Ocala, FL (April 27, 2010) – Helmets are the center stage topic in equestrian safety right now, and USEF Safety Committee member Chester Weber has turned his Charles Owen helmet into a box office hit! Safety really is a movie, thanks to a camera installed on Weber’s Charles Owen helmet.
Combined Driver Weber, the eight-time USEF National Four-In-Hand Champion, uses his helmet camera as a training tool. “The helmet cam is a way to record the driver’s-eye view of a four-in-hand team. I use it as a training tool at home,” Weber said. “The helmet cam makes safety fun and acts as a training tool that can enhance future performances.”
When it comes to safety, Weber has always put his money where his mouth is. He and his team are long-time users of Charles Owen helmets, which provide safety and offer unparalleled comfort. “The importance of wearing helmets is in the spotlight right now, and as a driver I certainly recommend wearing helmets, especially in the marathon,” Weber said.
Warning: The Horse Husbands Episode is back! This episode consists of four horse husbands sitting around talking about their horse addicted wives. If you are a horse woman, be warned. If you are a horse husband, grab an adult beverage, sit back and enjoy. Listen in…
When your horse tilts his head, it’s often a sign that he isn’t “through”. So, if you’re tracking right and his right ear is lower than his left ear with his mouth going to the left, you’ll need to supple the left side of his poll. (Supple the right side of his poll if he tilts the other way with his left ear lower.)
Remember, you can’t use your connecting aids successfully if he’s locked anywhere including the poll. (Suppleness comes before Connection on the training scale.)
Tampa, FL – April 8, 2010 – Riders brought forth their finest efforts in the equitation classes at the Tampa Equestrian Festival’s Tournament of Champions held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds. Earning the top accolade in the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class was Michael Murphy aboard Winnetou. Testing Robert McCune’s equitation course to first place in the Pessoa USEF Hunt Seat Medal was Shawn Casady riding Eastwood.
These outstanding riders exchanged placings in the equitation classes when Murphy won the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship, while Casady rode into second place. Then, Casady earned the blue ribbon in the Pessoa USEF Hunt Seat Medal class and Murphy took home the second place prize.
Murphy has been riding Winnetou for approximately two weeks, since his prior equitation horse had sold. Elizabeth Patz, who also shows at Murphy family’s facility, owns Winnetou. “I am still figuring this horse out a little bit,” remarked Murphy. “He sometimes gets a little bunched up and compressed so I try to allow him to be soft. He is definitely learning to open up and not stay so tight.”
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.”
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
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.
Shoulder-in is the father of the advanced lateral dressage movements. It does many wonderful things for your horse. Here are just some of them:
Shoulder-in is a suppling exercise because it stretches and loosens the muscles and ligaments of the inside shoulder and forearm. During shoulder-in, your horse passes his inside foreleg in front of his outside foreleg. This motion increases his ability to move his forearm gymnastically in other movements.
It’s also a straightening exercise because you should always straighten your horse by bringing his forehand in front of his hindquarters. Never try to straighten him by leg yielding his hindquarters out behind his shoulders.
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.
Can you feel when your horse’s hind legs are on the ground? This is an important skill to develop because you want to time your leg aid so that you give it when your horse’s corresponding hind leg is on the ground.
In fact, the exact moment to influence a particular hind leg is just as it’s getting ready to push off the ground.
You can learn to feel where the hind legs are by feeling your horse’s hips. When a particular hind foot is on the ground, your horse’s hip is higher on that side. It feels like your corresponding seatbone is being pushed forward.