Horse welfare in the show ring – who defines abuse?

An interesting article about how horse show committees must navigate the tricky waters of horse welfare and abuse -maneuvering around the varied voices of competitors, researchers and public perception.
Here are some article highlights and examples of FEI angles on the issues of head and neck positions, tack, whipping, and generally “abusive riding”.

Heads up! Heels down! The line between equitation poise and pose.

Beautifully turned out equitation riders head up the placings at the top horse shows. Riding lessons devoted to arena laps without stirrups and in 2-point position pay dividends in the show ring. Head up! Heels down! But have you ever considered the line between equitation poise and pose? Dignity, effectiveness, calm and confidence describe a rider with poise. An air of assurance born from experience.

“When things get back to normal…” Getting back to the mounting block.

Like a horse creeping away from the mounting block, his rider still adjusting her stirrups, as we creep into another year, adjusting and re-adjusting, pandemic life is taking its toll. “Whoa, how did we get here?” In the middle of our I DON’T KNOW, we long for things to get back to ‘normal”. But was life before lockdowns really normal? I mean, life as it ought to be?

Mounting block manners- a winter project for you and your horse.

Mounting style doesn’t affect the judge’s horse show score card or influence a barrel run time – no wonder riders don’t devote time to standing still while mounting . Until it starts to become a bigger problem. So before things escalate to “Butch Cassidy mount-on-the-fly” style, sneak some mounting block training into each riding session. Training in one area of horsemanship spills into others.