Connecting with your horse through trail obstacle competition!

Judging the CQHA trail obstacle challenge at the Happy Trails Horse Park , my score sheet reflected the connection (and patience!) of horses and riders. When you think about it, the horse doesn’t know if that water obstacle is 2 ft or 20 ft deep. He doesn’t know that the bridge REALLY  IS sturdy and … Read moreConnecting with your horse through trail obstacle competition!

Trail Obstacle Challenge – “This will be on the test!”

Math exam, driving exam – we’ve all been there. Unknown questions are best faced with well-rehearsed  fundamentals. Judging the Mountain Trail challenge show at Happy Trails Horse Park, it was cool to see riders navigate their horses through unfamiliar obstacles with familiar cues. Though not permitted to practice the obstacles on competition day, some had … Read moreTrail Obstacle Challenge – “This will be on the test!”

How low is too low? Head position in the show ring.

An excellent article from champion Bob Avila, addresses a horse show  trend that’s been troubling  me as a horseperson and judge.  Another trend I hope our governing associations will consider  “reining back” , for the welfare of our industry and the welfare of the horse.  (Every discipline has its trends!) It’s the extreme low, even … Read moreHow low is too low? Head position in the show ring.

Speed event “horse science”…Every little resistance costs precious time.

I love working with “speed riders” in clinics or lessons – helping them to: identify specific instances in which the horse is resisting their cues on course clarify their cues  speak in a code the horse understands – even while navigating at speed. Jumper, barrels or extreme obstacle races. Speed under control is quicker than … Read moreSpeed event “horse science”…Every little resistance costs precious time.

Horse show luck?

“Good luck!” With a final buff of my boot and a pat to the horse’s neck, the horse’s owner waves me from warm up ring to show pen before taking their place in the bleachers. Many years of showing horses, many owners, many horses, but the scene is familiar. Do you believe in luck?