If your horse’s shoulders are stuck, it’s like having a kink in a water hose. The energy can’t flow from behind, over the back, into your hands where it can then be recycled back to the hind legs.
Here are two shoulder suppling exercises for you to try with your stiff horse.
1. Make a 20-meter box with 4 corners in the walk.
To give you more control of your horse’s shoulders, do the exercise in counter flexion. (That is, you’ll just barely see his outside eye or nostril.)
If you’re going to the left, ask for right counter flexion with your right wrist. Stay in counter flexion during the entire exercise.
At the first corner, bring both hands to the left to swivel your horse’s shoulders around the corner.
Then, soften the contact without letting the reins get loopy.
After the corner, walk straight ahead in counter-flexion.
At the next corner, bring both hands to the left again.
Do this in all four corners.
As your horse’s shoulders become more supple, it’ll get easier to spin his shoulders around the turn without meeting resistance.
You can tell there’s no resistance when the weight in your hands stays the same as you swivel your horse’s shoulders around the corner.
2. Ride down the long side of the ring, and move your horse’s shoulders slightly to the left and right.
Walk down the long side of arena.
Flex your horse at the poll opposite the direction you’ll be moving his shoulders. For example, when riding to the left, ask for a counter flexion to the right by turning your right wrist. Then, take both hands to left to slide your horse’s shoulders over. Move the shoulders over only 1-2 inches.
Now change to correct flexion by turning your left wrist.
Move both arms to the right to pop the shoulders back out to the track.
Smoothly and fluidly move the shoulders back and forth as you work your way down the long side.
Lexington, KY – May 13, 2010 – The second day of competition for the professional hunter divisions concluded today at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show located at the world-class Kentucky Horse Park. In the Stonelea Arena, the hunters competed for their division championships right before a short but strong rain shower rolled through. Hunt Tosh was the name to beat today. He had numerous championship wins including the Green Conformation Hunters, aboard Trade Winds; the Regular Working Hunters, aboard Lonestar; and the Regular Conformation Hunters, on Tasty. Lastly, Tosh added a reserve championship in the First Year Green Hunters aboard Good Humor.
Today’s competition began with the First Year Green Working Hunters followed by the Green Conformation Hunters, the Second Year Green Hunters, the Regular Conformation Hunters, and then finally the Regular Working Hunters.
With a little more than three months to go before the first ever Youth Olympic Games, the FEI has posted a short video of the Open Day that took place recently at Glen Haven Park in Australia. It is here that a dedicated team is schooling the horses that will be paired with the young Olympic riders in Singapore.
A second video update will be posted on the FEI website in the next few days.
To watch the video, please visit www.fei.org and click the “Singapore 2010 – Open Day” link on the website’s homepage.
The first Youth Olympic Games will take place in Singapore from 14 to 26 August 2010.
Media queries in connection with the Youth Olympic Games should be addressed to:
Ocala, FL (May 12, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber, the eight-time USEF National Four In Hand Champion, recently shared the secret to his success with students in an Exercise Physiology class in the Equine Studies program at Central Florida Community College (CFCC). The community college is the only two-year institution in Florida that offers an equine program, and Equine Studies is the college’s most popular Associate in Science degree program.
“Chester gave a wonderful talk to my Exercise Physiology students during their last class of the semester,” said Dr. Judy Downer, Associate Professor of Equine Studies. “Chester summarized his training and conditioning program that he is using that will lead him up to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall. It was a great review of the subjects we covered all semester.”
11 May 2010 – The new Annex (XIII) created by the Working Group that produced a revised FEI Stewards Manual on warm-up techniques for Dressage has now been completed, following the production of three diagrams to illustrate permitted positions of the horse’s head and neck during pre- and post-competition training.
One of the key stipulations in the Working Group’s report was that all unacceptable training methods and techniques must be stopped immediately. The Working Group was also insistent that abuse of the horse must be avoided and, in particular, stressing the horse, aggressive riding and inflicting pain and/or discomfort on the horse must be prevented.
Chubby the Horse’s Birthday party occurred here at the Horse and Hounds in Ocala today. Chuck Waters wanted to buy Chubby a beer for his 21st birthday so he planned a little surprise birthday party for Chubby at the local watering hole. Chubby enjoyed his bucket of Killian’s Red and his special birthday cake. Chubby and Chuckie have been together for 17 years, longer than any of the other 5000 or so horses Chuckie has owned over the years!
12 May 2010 – British-based riders have their first chance to earn points in the valuable HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing series at Chatsworth (GBR) this weekend (May 15-16), and five nations are represented in the entry of 33.
Paul Tapner (AUS), fresh from his thrilling Badminton success, is two-handed with Kilfinnie ll and Tiger Flynne, and is joined by fellow Australians Bill Levett with Sea Oro and Sam Griffiths, having his first major international competition this year with Happy Times, third at Badminton and Burghley last year.
The Chatsworth CIC***-W has often proved a pointer to future international success, and Clayton Fredericks (AUS), who won this class in 2006 on Ben Along Time, is riding his smart new acquisition Bendigo lll, a German-bred horse proven in Grand Prix Dressage and Jumping which has been taking the national season by storm.
Thousand Oaks, CA – May 10, 2010 – The United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) would like to invite everyone to the First Ever Para-Webathon. The event is scheduled for June 8, 2010, from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. The First Ever Para-Webathon will be broadcasted from the studios of Alltech and will be hosted by the 2010 Radio Show announcers Glenn the Geek, Samantha Clark, and Para-Equestrian Susan Treabass. The 2010 Radio show is the unofficial podcast about the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The purpose of the Webathon is to reach out to all equestrian enthusiasts and the entire nation to help raise capital for the United States Para-Dressage team, which will be competing at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Presented by The Horse Radio Network, the 2010 Radio Show, Alltech, and the USPEA, the live Webathon will bring the Para-Equestrian discipline to the forefront of everyone’s minds. During the Webathon, many of the inspirational athlete’s stories will be highlighted. This exciting event will assist the Para-Equestrian Athletes in raising awareness and funds for this intriguing discipline. In the past, costs have ranged around $20,000 per competitor, and this Webathon will be an important asset to the Para-Equestrians.
May 10, 2010 – LEXINGTON, KY – Champion rider and equine competitor Stacy Westfall will entertain audiences as she performs without a saddle or bridle on her champion horse, Roxy, in the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Westfall, who has appeared on Ellen and is a YouTube sensation, will bring her champion reining horse, Whizards Baby Doll (“Roxy”), out of retirement to participate in the Opening Ceremonies for the world’s most prestigious equestrian competition.
Tickets to the 2010 Games Opening Ceremonies, held on the evening of September 25, are still available and can be purchased at www.alltechfeigames.com/tickets.
America’s Horse, May 11, 2010 – America’s Horse in Art returns to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum in August, and a painting by renowned western artist Wayne Baize will be the signature piece for the third annual art show.
The public is invited to the America’s Horse in Art opening, which will take place Saturday, August 14. Many of the talented artists will be at the opening and available to discuss the inspiration for their art work. The opening will be 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum and will feature live music, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.
America’s Horse in Art: The Horse That Settled the West show and sale will continue through November 13 in the Scharbauer Gallery in the museum.