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Riding the Canter, it’s a Swing, Not a Scoop

The canter is a big stepping stone in learning to ride, especially as adults. On most horses, the canter is a different and bigger movement than walk or trot, and it’s faster too! When you are learning, riding the canter requires both figuring out the canter movement plus feeling the added adrenaline of the faster

Ancient Yoga Wisdom Applied to Modern Riders

In horsemanship, we are aware of how many elements are involved in good horsemanship. There is the health of the horse, the fit of the equipment we are using, our skills as a rider, our relationship with the horse… each matters equally, and the more educated we become as horse people, the more clearly we

These Yoga Poses Will Make You a Better Rider

I’ll admit it, I love fitness. I believe that being in shape makes us better riders and I’ve been an active person ever since I was a kid. But in the past, I wasn’t very smart about fitness. I would focus too much on one activity without paying attention to the total effects it was

Afraid You Are Too Heavy to Ride? This Matters More (and applies to all riders)

How much weight can a horse actually carry? Well, one study showed that horses had increased physical stress after carrying 25% of their body weight and above, so we do need to pay attention to how much weight we ask our horses to carry.  However, as a riding instructor with 11 school horses, I can

Is a Tight Core Important for Good Riding?

“Core Strength” is a bit of a buzzword right now. The fitness industry is awash with photos of airbrushed six-packs and headlines promising exercises to get a flat stomach and a strong core. In riding, we may not see those six-packs, but it is often taught that a key to good riding is to suck

Leasing a Horse: Pros and Cons

The question of whether to own a horse is a big one. Having your own horse is exciting and fulfilling, but it is also a big responsibility. As an owner you have not only the financial responsibility of caring for a horse and being prepared for emergencies, but are also solely responsible for their training

Why your horse does what he does… A Simple Model for Understanding Behavior

Behavior can be both simple and complicated. Today, let’s focus on the simple. Understanding the behavior of your horse, what causes different behaviors, whether certain behaviors will continue, and how horses learn new behavior are all very important for your work with your horse. The more that we can understand how behavior works, the more

The Secrets Behind Riders with Invisible Aids

Think of the riders you know who appear absolutely effortless on the back of a horse. When they are riding, you can’t even see what they are asking their horse to do. It looks like the horse is just responding to the rider’s thoughts… and from the rider’s perspective, it can feel like this too.

How to Give Leg Cues, Without Feeling Stiff or Awkward

Ahhh… the quiet lower leg. Better leg position and cues are often among the first of the goals students list when they come in for a lesson. But no rider actually wants a still lower leg. What we really want is to feel secure and to feel as though our horse is listening and responding

Falls Can Happen. Here’s How to Prepare

When we climb onto the back of a horse with a mind and behaviors all it’s own, we are always taking on the risk that we could fall. As careful as we try to be, it could still happen. A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about accepting risk. Safety does come in pretending