Friday, December 27, 2013

Sharp Bits

You owe it to your horses to inspect your bits 
carefully and often!

The very sharp edge (orange arrow) on the relatively soft copper roller next to the center joint in this simple snaffle was created by the roller rubbing on the swell of the joint (green arrow) over time....years probably. It was really quite sharp. Sharp enough to have a horse react negatively. That surface should be round and smooth. The other side of the bit was in the same condition, forming a sharp pinching edge between the two.  Fortunately, this is easily fixed with a small file.

Here's the same bit bit with a slightly modified construction in the problematic area. Note the shoulder of the joint adjacent to the copper roller (red arrow). It's not tapered. This will keep the copper roller in it's original shape.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bending: It sounds so simple

"When moving on a curved line - this includes all turns on one track - the horse must be a part of this line. It must be bent in its body to the extent required by the curve. The degree of the required bend depends on the size of the circle on which the horse moves, the smaller the circle, the greater the bend. This bend must extend over the entire spinal column so as not to have an adverse effect on the horse’s way of going."
(Gustav Steinbrecht, 1884)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

There are no neutral steps.

(73) Manolo Mendez Dressage:

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Every step matters.

Every step is an opportunity to develop a healthier, more balanced, straighter, more even horse.

Every turn, simple or square, every revolution around the arena which contains four built in turns, is an opportunity to condition your horse, to loosen him, to teach him correct flexion, correct bend and to enhance his natural rhythm.

A chance to teach him to carry himself, to develop the ability to slow down but keep his rhythm while bending.

There are no neutral steps, we either create postures that create a foundation for wellness, or not. Not even a simple turn should be taken for granted since, when executed properly, it offers so much to our horse.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Echoes of Resistance

"It is natural that resistances support each other and will have many echoes." 

Alexis Fran├žois L’Hotte, 1895

A good thought to ponder as you attempt to achieve lightness with your horses.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kiss Your Farrier

Keep this in mind:
This is what your farrier has to deal with to keep your horse sound.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cock Horse

You don't see this very often!

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Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes

More background:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

World's oldest living horse?

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Old Billy, pictured above with Squire Henry Harrison, has gone down in history as the world's oldest horse. He was born in 1760 in Woolston, Lancashire, England and was a barge horse, owned by Mersey and Irwell Navigation, during his working life.
Old Billy died on November 27th, 1822 at the incredible age of 62. Mersey and Irwell Navigation had his head stuffed which was  later presented to Manchester Museum.
I suspect thee are ponies that have lived at least this long.

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