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 Designates Gene Mische American Invitational as WEG & European Championship Qualifier

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Tampa, FL – March 1, 2010 – Stadium Jumping, Inc., announced today the FEI, the governing body for world equestrian sports has designated this year’s $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational as a qualifying event for the World Equestrian Games 2010 and for the European Championships in 2011.

The city of Tampa, Florida, will once again play host to this event, the world’s premiere show jumping event, often dubbed the “Super Bowl of Show Jumping.” The $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational returns to Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 8 p.m.

The $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational is the grand finale to the Tampa Equestrian Festival which takes place at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center from March 24th through April 10th, 2010.

Continue reading FEI Designates Gene Mische American Invitational as WEG & European Championship Qualifier

Prescribed Fires Help Protect Natural Areas

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson this week is promoting the awareness of prescribed fire’s vital role in maintaining the health of Florida’s forests and other natural areas, as well as protecting the safety of the state’s residents and visitors.

The Florida Cabinet in 2008 designated the first week in March as “Prescribed Fire Awareness Week.”

“Prescribed fire is a safe way to apply a natural process, ensure ecosystem health and reduce wildfire risk,” Bronson said. “Many of our plant and animal communities are dependent on a regular occurrence of fire for a healthy existence.  Prescribed fire provides better forage for wildlife and livestock, returns nutrients to the soil, helps to control certain plant diseases, and reduces hazardous fuel buildups.”

Continue reading Prescribed Fires Help Protect Natural Areas

They Named Him FREEDOM

IDA-15023It lasted only minutes, but his life changed forever. His ordeal was horrific but he had no choice, he was motivated to risk everything in his escape to freedom. Freedom’s story needs to be told, so we don’t forget what it means to be FREE!

In January, Freedom and his family were among hundreds of America’s wild horses mercilessly chased by helicopters over dangerous terrain toward capture pens, where uncertain futures and sometimes death awaited them.

Most were terrorized – frozen with fear.

But Freedom fought back!

With dramatic determination, he regained his freedom by jumping a 6-foot fence, then breaking through barbed wire, as it painfully tore his flesh, in his successful effort to regain his liberty.

Today, IDA is fighting for all the wild horses who are threatened by man’s inhumanity. And we need your help! Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10353

Bronson Announces Completion of Marion Cty. Plant That Converts Animal Waste to Energy

metro-talking-DSC09965-200OCALA — Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today announced the completion of an innovative bioenergy project that helps manage animal waste while at the same time producing energy and agriculture products.

Bronson joined a host of public officials and industry representatives at the demonstration of a bio-energy plant owned by Sigarca, Inc., and located at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion in Marion County.  The facility processes horse manure into renewable energy, organic soil and soil tonic (bio-fertilizers) and gives Florida’s substantial equine industry an environmentally superior method of disposing of animal waste.

“Florida has more than half a million horses, and waste disposal is an increasingly difficult and costly endeavor,” Bronson said.  “In addition to providing a safe and effective waste disposal method, this technology can also move Florida further ahead in efforts to produce clean, renewable energy.” Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10346

The What, Why, and “How To” of Shoulder-In, by Jane Savoie

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.

Shoulder-in is also a collecting exercise. It increases your horse’s self-carriage because he lowers his inside hip with each step. As a result, his center of gravity shifts back toward his hind legs. His hindquarters carry more weight and his front end elevates. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10240

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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AQHA Welcomes Dressage

honey_bright_dreamDressage becomes an official AQHA class.

Dressage is now an official AQHA class — one in which you can earn AQHA points, qualify for AQHA Incentive Fund earnings and compete for year-end awards. Beginning at Training Level Test 4, AQHA dressage classes will be held within existing classes at competitions recognized by the United States Dressage Federation or licensed by the United States Equestrian Federation.

The same USDF-USEF judges will preside over the AQHA classes; the only additional requirement is that the judges must be AQHA members. Exhibitors must also be current members of AQHA, and the horse must be a registered American Quarter Horse. A competition license fee of $85, good for the lifetime of the horse, is also required. The shows must be approved by AQHA at least 60 days in advance.

Horses competing in dressage are given scores, expressed in percentages. The Quarter Horse show industry has always been a point-driven system, so AQHA has created a conversion table to change dressage scores into AQHA points. View the conversion table (click on “frequently asked questions”). Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10096

Jacksonville A to Z and Gulfport Updates

We had another great week in Jacksonville.  This week we were minus our leader, Tony Weight, the President of NFHJA, because he had shoulder surgery, but somehow we made it through.  We all wish Tony a speedy recovery. It’s hard to believe that four weeks have gone by this fast.

The Jacksonville Winter Series is quickly drawing to a close.  Four exciting weeks have flown by, but there is still another week of fun!  The Jacksonville Finale boasts yet another $25,000 Grand Prix on Saturday, Feb. 6th at 7:00 p.m.  The $10,000 Bruning Foundation Equitation Classic presented by Jerry Parks Insurance Group will be held Friday, Feb. 5th at 7:00 p.m.  Come out and cheer on your favorite horse and rider in both of these exciting events! Plans are already underway for 2011.

On Friday night the show hosted the USHJA National Hunter Classic. Megan Young won the call aboard Levaro, owned by Rachel Herman. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10078

A Platinum Win for Aaron Vale in the $25,000 Jacksonville A-Z Grand Prix

Aaron Vale & Platinum ©Flashpoint Photography
Aaron Vale & Platinum ©Flashpoint Photography

Green Cove Springs, FL — January 30, 2010 — Tonight’s $25,000 Jacksonville A-Z Grand Prix sponsored by North Florida Hunter Jumper Association closed out Week IV of competition with one of the most successful riders in show jumping, Aaron Vale, adding another win to his illustrious career.

After a week of observation, course designer Allen Rheinheimer put all he learned about today’s starting field into a lengthy and technical 13 obstacle/6 effort test with a time allowance of 96 tight seconds. “It was a little bit on the snug side for sure,” chuckled Vale about the tick tock of the clock. A vast majority of the faults in round one occurred from battling the clock, with 3 horses retiring and 6 having time issues.  It wasn’t until the 6th in the field of 21, birthday girl Claire Lee, that the audience saw a clear round. Lee and partner High Roller posted a clean run of 91.786, which held as the only perfect ride until 3 rounds later when Vale and Platinum assured a jump off with a clean 94.083 seconds. Only one other horse and rider combo, Tony Font and Gardenio (owned by YZ Partners LLC) with a clean 93.776, would accompany them to the final round. Vale said, “This was surprising. When I walked the course I thought, wow – we had 9 clear last week, we’re going to have more clear this week. We only got 3 so sometimes you just can’t tell. Allen did a great job.” Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10050

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