Soften your Hands with a Driving Rein

Driving rein

When Buck Davidson rode Carlevo with his reins in the driving position to stadium jump at Rolex, people took notice. Commenters noted that Carvelo is a very sensitive horse and carrying your reins like you are driving is a quick and reliable way to establish a soft and giving contact. For many years, trainers have […]

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Taking the Single Pole Challenge

Zelda takes the Single Pole Challenge

The single pole challenge sounds simple: walk your horse over a pole with his or her feet straddling it. Let me tell you, it’s much harder than it looks! When I tried it with Zelda (in hand; riding over a pole is more difficult), she was utterly perplexed. “Why?” She asked, “would I want to […]

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Setting Ground Pole distances

Ground pole distances

Setting the right ground pole distances can be tricky. You want to start with your horse’s typical stride and then adjust the distances depending on what you want to accomplish in terms of shortening or lengthening your horse’s stride. When integrated into your schooling sessions, working over ground poles and cavalleti will increase your horse’s […]

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The benefits of rein back

Rein back

One of the moves Zelda and I have been practicing is the rein back. It seems pretty simple, right? Just take a few steps back instead of forward. But it can look pretty sticky if you don’t practice it and if you do it right, the benefits are significant. It helps to raise the horse’s […]

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How to teach your horse a Turn on the Forehand

Turn on the forehand

As part of my coronavirus riding program, I’m focusing on exercises we can practice at the walk, like the turn on the forehand. This relatively simple movement is a good way teach your horse to move away from your leg (sideways as opposed to forward), teaches obedience, improves suppleness, and frees up her shoulder for […]

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This looks suspiciously like me


Equestrians are really bad at evaluating the extent of their injuries. For years, I’ve figured that if I could walk and there weren’t visible bruises, I was fine. Now that I’m back riding again — only in the most basic sense, as I’m only walking and trotting — I have a new respect for the […]

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Not Afraid of Plastic Bags

This sales video is hard to top! Another potential buyer for Pumba said to me, “so she’s ok with kids and llamas but what does she think of chickens and is she scared of plastic bags?” So I thought, well why would they ask that? Maybe they need her to help with the groceries… (No […]

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Unbelievable focus!

It’s hard to imagine the focus, training and trust that makes this performance possible.

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