An opportunity to study and teach equine behaviour and research in the classroom provided more insights into the way horses think and learn.
WHAT might you expect to go wrong in the show ring? I’ll put on my judge’s hat and share common mistakes. So common, in fact, that every score sheet has a menu of these mishaps and space to record their numerical deductions.
WHY do these things happen? Here, I’ll wear my hat as a specialist in horse behaviour (and generally curious person ). Uncover the source and the symptom begins to fade away. Here are the final 3 common show ring “suddenly moments “ and how to make the best of them!
If you plan to step into the horse show arena, expect the unexpected. Few sports have more variables than equestrian. This is the 1st of a 3 part article I wrote for Canadian Horse Journal. What might you expect to go wrong in the show ring? I’ll put on my horse show judge’s hat and share common equestrian mistakes. Additionally, I’ll wear my hat as a specialist in equine behaviour. Fixing WHAT happened depends on discovering WHY it happened.
In barn aisles and social media platforms, equestrians debate, disdain and defend the use of training aids.
I’m convinced the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Let’s lift the lid on the tack box, looking objectively at the evidence concerning training aids – how to use them, choose them, and avoid the ways we might abuse them!
Training tack – whips, spurs nosebands and martingales. It’s a divisive topic in the horse industry. Horse show committees, popular clinicians, coaches, competitive and casual riders differ in their views.
In a sport where truth, tradition and emotions often collide, I’ve had to sift through the issues to form my own system as a horse trainer, show judge and riding coach.
Mystical, humorous or deliberately elusive – the terms we use in the horse business can leave a rider scratching her head. As a young rider, I was a coach’s worst nightmare – “What do you mean by that?”, I’d ask.
I rarely got a meaningful answer.
No doubt, jargon adds some comic relief to the conversation. Some horse trainer lingo is just – funny!
But, are the terms we use meant to CREATE mystery or to UNCOVER and UNPACK the mysteries of humans working with horses?
Training a non- English- speaking horse partner is complicated enough without including unclear terms which train riders to give unclear signals and horses to be clearly stressed out! If we can’t describe our aids in such a way that someone who’s never ridden could understand, chances are the aid is fuzzy to the horse too!
I’m cautiously following my post, In Praise of Horse Show moms – a tribute to my own horse mom and cheerleader)-with the OTHER kind of horse show mom. Sharing the same breed characteristics as the intense hockey dad, this mom advocates fiercely for (and rides vicariously through) her young equestrian.