Category Archives: Western/Reining

Reining Horses Sought for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Photo by Rick Osteen
Photo by Rick Osteen

March 19, 2010 – Lexington, KY – Do you have a world-class Reining horse in your barn looking for a rider on which to represent their country?

Scores of athletes from around the world will be coming to the US this fall to compete in the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games – one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world. Many of these international competitors will be seeking quality horses to lease for the duration of the competition. Horses must be actively competitive and at least six years of age to qualify.

Ever thought your horse might turn up on TV on a major network?

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support the athletes from around the world and help grow the western horse sports internationally. Now is your chance: let your horse fulfill its potential on the world stage and take part in history.

Get your horse’s paperwork started and on the “available” list today! Already, there are riders ready to talk to qualified horse owners.

To add your name to a list of contacts for interested reining athletes please contact Brad Ettleman with HorsePower, Reining Manager to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, at 720.982.3574 or Brad@HPowerInc.com.

Gunner Shoots Past Another National Reining Horse Association Milestone

Colonels Smokingun (aka Gunner) is the first registered American Paint Horse to join the exclusive list of NRHA Two Million Dollar Sires. Photo Courtesy APHA/Abigail Wilder Boatwright (2007)
Colonels Smokingun (aka Gunner) is the first registered American Paint Horse to join the exclusive list of NRHA Two Million Dollar Sires. Photo Courtesy APHA/Abigail Wilder Boatwright (2007)

March 31, 2010 – Colonels Smokingun, better known as Gunner in the reining world, has recently been named the unofficial eighth National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Two Million Dollar Sire. He accomplished this only three years after being named a NRHA One Million Dollar Sire. This was, in part, due to the recent successes of his offspring at the 2009 NRHA Open Futurity, the 2010 NRHA European Futurity and the 2010 Cactus Reining Classic, which brought his unofficial total NRHA offspring earnings to $2,000,453. Gunner was the first American Paint Horse to achieve the NRHA million-dollar mark, and is now the first Paint to reach the two million dollar mark.

Sired by Colonelfourfreckle (AQHA son of Colonel Freckles) and out of Katie Gun (AQHA), the bald-faced stallion, which is registered with the American Paint Horse Association (APHA), has an impressive lifetime record with the association. He won back-to-back World Championship Paint Horse Show Open reining titles in both 1996 and 1997, in addition to the other reining honors he earned throughout his career with APHA.

Continue reading Gunner Shoots Past Another National Reining Horse Association Milestone

“The Man Who Listens to Horses” – Monty Roberts Returns to South Florida to Host Clinic and Meet & Greet Event for Equestrians

Monty Roberts will share his famous Join-Up technique and wisdom March 26th at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo courtesy of Monty Roberts)
Monty Roberts will share his famous Join-Up technique and wisdom March 26th at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo courtesy of Monty Roberts)

Wellington, FL (March 18, 2010) – World-renowned trainer and clinician Monty Roberts is returning to West Palm Beach, Florida to host a clinic March 26th at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Monty Roberts is known the “Man Who Listens to Horses,” an award-winning trainer of championship horses, best-selling author, and creator of the revolutionary equine training technique, Join-Up.

Roberts has won countless awards and received worldwide press coverage. He is the author of three books on the New York Times best-seller list.  He trained horses for Queen Elizabeth’s equestrian team and been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich.

Wellington Classic Dressage, Inc., which hosts horse shows and events for the equestrian community, organized the Monty Roberts clinic after the famed clinician was featured at the USET Holiday Fund Raiser last December held in conjunction with the Wellington Classic Dressage Holiday Horse Show. “It is definitely a case of back by popular demand,” said Wellington Classic Dressage Sponsorship and Events Director, John Flanagan. “When Monty was here in December, people just kept coming up and asking us when we could have him back.”  So Flanagan went to work to schedule the March Monty Roberts event. “He has universal appeal across the disciplines,” Flanagan stated. “Monty’s proven training methods have helped show horses, race horses, and riding horses of all disciplines.”

Continue reading “The Man Who Listens to Horses” – Monty Roberts Returns to South Florida to Host Clinic and Meet & Greet Event for Equestrians

Slow Down to Go Fast: Part II

Use Bryan Neubert's colt-starting techniques to get your ranch colt ready for the range.
Use Bryan Neubert's colt-starting techniques to get your ranch colt ready for the range.

Cowboy, clinician and horseman Bryan Neubert shares his insight into starting ranch colts.

By Bryan Neubert with Jim Bret Campbell in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Mount Up
Once the horse has softened and accepted the lessons from Part 1, he’s ready for me to prepare him to carry a rider. Remember to stay soft and quiet as you get on. I’ll slowly introduce my weight in the stirrup and just let him get used to the feel before I proceed. (See the photo gallery.) I’m also ready to step back down, draw his head toward me and move his hindquarters away from me to prevent him from pulling away or kicking me. After he accepts my weight in one stirrup, I lean over and rub him on the shoulder and hip on the right side. I might also move the fender of the offside stirrup a little to get him used to the movement. When he’s handling this well, I step into the saddle, remembering to stay soft and quiet.

Once I’m there, I don’t worry about trying to guide him much. I’ll let him adjust to the extra weight. I have a Cheyenne roll on the back of my saddle, and I’ll hold on to that in case he bucks. They almost never do if they are prepared up to this point.

Continue reading Slow Down to Go Fast: Part II

FEI ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE RESOLVES ROLLKUR CONTROVERSY

FEI Round Table Conference Participants on Rollkur/Hyperflexion - 9Feb2010
FEI Round Table Conference Participants on Rollkur/Hyperflexion - 9Feb2010 (click for larger image)

Lausanne (SUI), 9 February 2010 – Following constructive debate at the FEI round-table conference at the IOC Headquarters in Lausanne today (9 February), the consensus of the group was that any head and neck position achieved through aggressive force is not acceptable. The group redefined hyperflexion/Rollkur as flexion of the horse’s neck achieved through aggressive force, which is therefore unacceptable. The technique known as Low, Deep and Round (LDR), which achieves flexion without undue force, is acceptable.

The group unanimously agreed that any form of aggressive riding must be sanctioned. The FEI will establish a working group, headed by Dressage Committee Chair Frank Kemperman, to expand the current guidelines for stewards to facilitate the implementation of this policy. The group agreed that no changes are required to the current FEI Rules.

The FEI Management is currently studying a range of additional measures, including the use of closed circuit television for warm-up arenas at selected shows.

The group also emphasised that the main responsibility for the welfare of the horse rests with the rider.

The FEI President HRH Princess Haya accepted a petition of 41,000 signatories against Rollkur presented by Dr Gerd Heuschman.

The participants in the FEI round-table conference were:

HRH Princess Haya, FEI President
Alex McLin, FEI Secretary General
Margit Otto-Crépin, International Dressage Riders Club Representative
Linda Keenan, International Dressage Trainers Club Representative
Sjef Janssen, Dressage Representative
Frank Kemperman, Chairman, FEI Dressage Committee (by conference call)
François Mathy, International Jumping Riders Club Representative
David Broome, Jumping Representative
Jonathan Chapman, Eventing Representative
Roly Owers, World Horse Welfare Representative
Tony Tyler, World Horse Welfare Representative
Ulf Helgstrand, President, Danish Equestrian Federation
John McEwen, Chairman, FEI Veterinary Committee
Dr Sue Dyson, Veterinary Representative
Dr Gerd Heuschman, Veterinary Representative
Prof. René van Weeren, Veterinary Representative
Jacques van Daele, FEI Honorary Steward General Dressage
Graeme Cooke, FEI Veterinary Director
Trond Asmyr, FEI Director Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage
John Roche, FEI Director Jumping and Stewarding
Catrin Norinder, FEI Director Eventing
Carsten Couchouron, FEI Executive Director Commercial
Richard Johnson, FEI Communications Director

The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and includes 133 National Federations. Equestrian sport has been on the Olympic programme since 1912 with three disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. It is one of the very few sports in which men and women compete on equal terms. It is also the only sport which involves two athletes – horse and rider. The FEI has relentlessly concerned itself with the welfare of the horse, which is paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences.

FEI PRESS RELEASE
Media Contact:
Malina Gueorguiev
FEI Press Manager
Malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33

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FEI Launches Investigation into Odense Dressage Warm-Up & FEI Position on Hyperflexion

This is the modern version of Dressage showing the 'competition trot' with the front leg overextended and not parallel with the hind leg, plus the horse's head is behind the vertical. Notice the horse's rump high and not rounded - the horse is on his forehand and cannot make use of his backend for thrust. He is being ridden from front to back instead of back to front as in Classical Dressage. He may have been trained using hyperflexion (roll kur) techniques.
This is the modern version of Dressage showing the 'competition trot' with the front leg overextended and not parallel with the hind leg, plus the horse's head is behind the vertical. Notice the horse's rump high and not rounded - the horse is on his forehand and cannot make use of his backend for thrust. He is being ridden from front to back instead of back to front as in Classical Dressage. He may have been trained using hyperflexion (roll kur) techniques.

October 26, 2009 – The FEI is aware of the video filmed at the FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier at Odense (DEN) and posted on YouTube by Epona TV at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hIXGiV4N4k. FEI’s main concern has always been and will always be the welfare of the horse. We are taking the issues raised in the video and in the comments made by members of the public on social media and by email very seriously and have opened a full investigation. The conclusions of this investigation will be made public in due course.

Please read Dr. Gerd Heushmann’s book “Tug of War” and see his DVD “If  Horses Could Speak” about the dangers of using this method of training and the long term effects of forcing horses to be hand ridden, ridden incorrectly from front to back which is is SUPPOSED TO BE as in Classical Dressage – from back to front, and pushing young horses into doing Dressage levels at too young an age before they have completely developed. I had posted that I interviewed him last week and will be posting more on this in the very near future. Click below to purhcase his book and DVD.

See previous blog post: http://horsesinthesouth.com/blog/index.php/2009/10/28/dr-gerd-heuschmann-author-of-tug-of-war-dvd-if-horses-could-speak-lecture-clinic/ . Click on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TahYWzsCdQM to watch a YouTube excerpt from his DVD which you can purchase from the Amazon.com link above. This should be ‘required reading’ for all of those who compete and for judges, if you do not know the true form of Classical Dressage or riding the horse from back to front to have a happy horse!

FEI POSITION ON HYPERFLEXION – updated 17.11.08

 “The FEI held a successful seminar on Hyperflexion in 2006. There has been no change in the scientific evidence since that review. There are no known clinical side effects specifically arising from the use of Hyperflexion. However, there are concerns for the horses’ well-being if the technique is not practised correctly. The FEI does not permit excessive or prolonged Hyperflexion in any equestrian sport, and has a strict stewarding program to protect the performance horse in all disciplines.”

 “The FEI regulates international competition principally. Also through its work it seeks to educate riders, trainers and judges thru their NFs how to deal with issues which have a bearing on the welfare of the horse.  Where there is a specific training issue which brings the welfare of the horse into question it is for the NF to legislate at National level.  At international competition level it is for the FEI to act.  Through the ongoing training of stewards and all officials we seek to develop peoples understanding of what is acceptable and unacceptable training techniques.”

 David Holmes, Executive Sports Director

Associated info at HorseandHound.co.uk: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/291211.html

British Horse Society chairman Patrick Print has since written to HRH Princess Haya requesting the FEI launch a second investigation into the practise of hyperflexion.

Print’s letter reads: “The concerns so widely expressed are reasonable and therefore deserving of an urgent two-part investigation: first, an inquiry into the treatment of this particular horse on this particular occasion; and, second, a broader inquiry into the ethics and consequences of hyperflexion. In this second aspect The British Horse Society stands ready to assist the FEI in any way it can.”

Forums are rife with angered comment on the topic and several facebook groups have been set up in condemnation of rollkur.

The Classical Riding Club have also written to the FEI and are urging all members to sign their petition to the FEI to ban all hyperflexion in competition. 

Another YouTube video showing hyperflexion used in show jumpers and western riders: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7o-Ref-owE

More to come on this important issue!!

Dr Gerd Heuschmann, author of ‘Tug of War’ & DVD ‘If Horses Could Speak’ Lecture & Clinic

heuschmann-horseDr Gerd Heuschmann, (www.gerdheuschmann.com) a veterinarian and well known dressage rider/trainer, author of the book “Tug of War” and the DVD “If Horses Could Speak” is coming to St Augustine for a book signing, lecture and two day riding clinic, October 29 through November 1st, 2009.

No charge for being a guest at the book signing, lecture is $50, riding (which includes Dr Heuschmann riding your horse) is $250, and auditing both days and lecture $125. If you wish to audit only the cost will be $80 for both days, $45 for one day.

Dr. Heuschmann was trained as a Bereiter (master rider) in Germany before qualifying for veterinary study at Munich University. There he specialized in equine orthopedics for two years before accepting a post as the head of the breeding department at the German Equestrian Federation. Dr. Heuschmann is a founding member of “Xenophon”, an organization dedicated to “fighting hard against serious mistakes in equestrian sports”. He is the author of the “Tug of War” and the DVD “If Horses Could Speak” which is the basis for his world-wide lectures.

By describing the basic anatomy and physiology of the horse, Dr. Heuschmann identifies widely-used incorrect training methods- especially in dressage- that can undermine a horse’s health and well being and offers the rider solutions that do not cause pain or fail to respect the mental habits and physiological needs of the horse. His dynamic teaching on the biomechanics of correct riding and proper training result in the horse’s improved mental and physical condition.

BOOK SIGNING
Thursday October 29, 2009
5pm-7pm

The Gift Horse
716 Orange Ave N
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
(904) 529-8225
www.thegifthorse.us

LECTURE
Friday October 30, 2009
7pm
Comfort Suites at the World Golf Village�
475 Commerce Lake Dr.
Saint Augustine, FL, US, 32095
Phone: (904) 940-9500  

RIDING CLINIC
Saturday October 31 and Sunday November 1, 2009
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Two Son Farm
8050 CR-208
St. Augustine, Florida 32092
Phone: (904) 759-4390
www.twosonfarm.com  

Contact: Sandy Mooney
904-463-2908
housedoctorinc@comcast.net

Isabel Werth’s Gigolo FRH has died at 26

gigolo-werth-dies
Atlanta Olympics in 1996 - Team gold and Individual Silver.

Olympic gold medal winner Gigolo FRH, horse of renowned equestrian Isabella Werth, has died at the age of Twenty-Six.

On September 23rd, Isabella Weth’s top level dressage horse was put down after declining health resulting from an injury. Winner of four Olympic gold medals, two Olympic silver medals, four World Championships, eight European Championships and four German titles, Gigolo proudly served as Isabella’s friend, teacher and sport partner for many years.

Bred by Horst Klussman (Pursau) (Graditz x Bunett by Busoni xx), Gigolo was discovered by Dr Schulten-Baumer. Although a plain horse to look at, but he thrilled spectators with his precision and charisma. Born in 1983, he was ridden by Werth for twenty years.

Werth and Gigolo won both team and individual gold at the European Championships at Donaueschingen in 1991. They repeated the double in 1993 at Lipica, in 1995 at Mondorf, and in 1997 at Verden. At the 1994 World Equestrian Games in The Netherlands and in 1998 in Rome the pair also won two gold medals each time.

Gigolo’s four Olympic gold medals were won in 1996 in Atlanta (individual and team gold), 1992 in Barcelona, and 2000 in Sydney (team gold). The two individual Olympic silver medals were in Barcelona and Sydney.

Youtube Video:

AHorse Blog – 3 Tips for the Correct Length and Height of Your Horse’s Neck, by Jane Savoie

Lots of you tell me you’re confused about the correct length and height of your horse’s neck so I thought I’d address that in this article.

1.     Neck too high: The height of the neck is determined by the degree of engagement of the hindquarters. So, the height of the neck changes as you go up through the levels and your horse becomes more collected.

Always keep in mind, however, that if you ride with the neck too high and short and the angle of the throatlatch too closed, there can’t be any bridge from the back end to the front end.

The neck has to be in line with the power train of the hindquarters-not above it. When the neck is too high, the hind end is disconnected from the front end.

2.     Neck too short: I like to say the length of the neck is proportional to the length of the stride taken by the hind legs. So, if you crank the neck in and it gets too short, the hind legs take shorter steps.

Always strive to keep your horse’s neck long.

Even though you want more and more of an uphill balance as you go up through the levels, you still want to see a long neck blooming out in front of you.

This is an exaggeration, but I like to pretend that I have 1/3 of the horse out behind me, and 2/3 of the horse blooming out in front of me. The last thing I want to see is a short neck with 1/3 of the horse out in front of me and 2/3 trailing out behind.

Now, it’s really not 1/3 behind and 2/3 in front, but that gives you a good visual for always having a long neck blooming out in front of you. And that’s the case whether you’re in the horizontal balance of Training Level or the uphill balance of Grand Prix.

One of the mistakes you see at the FEI levels is that riders think they’re collecting their horses, but all they’re doing is shortening their necks.

This creates all kinds of problems because the hind legs are blocked. For example, in a canter pirouette, a horse might switch leads behind or break to the trot. In piaffe, the diagonal pairs might break up, and the piaffe is no longer a real 2-beat trot.

3.     Rules of thumb for your horse’s balance: At Training Level, the horse has approximately 60% of his weight on the front legs and 40% of his weight on the hind legs.

That’s the same balance that a horse has in nature because a horse is built like a table with a head and neck on one end. By virtue of the weight of the head and neck, horses naturally have more weight on the front legs than the back legs.

So, at Training Level, with 60% of his weight on the front legs and 40% of his weight on the hind legs, the horse is in what I call “horizontal balance”. His topline looks pretty much parallel to the ground.

At First Level, exercises and movements like smaller circles, leg yields and a little bit of counter canter, cause a slight shift in the center of gravity back to the hind legs. That’s because those exercises create an increase in the bending of the joints of the hind legs. The horse’s croup goes down a little bit, and the forehand goes up proportionately. So at First Level, you might have approximately 55% of the weight on the front legs and 45% behind.

At Second Level, you begin “modest” collection. More weight shifts toward the hindquarters by virtue of the exercises such as shoulder-in, haunches-in, renvers, and simple changes of lead. So you end up with about 50% of the weight on the hind legs and 50% of the weight on the front legs.

At Third Level, you have the beginning of real collection with more weight on the hind legs than on the front legs.

As you go up through the levels there’s a progressive increase in the loading of the hind legs. As a result, the horse, like a seesaw, gradually sits more behind and comes more “up” in front.

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602