Eight Quick Tips for Horsemen
Check out eight things that will make you a more knowledgeable horseman.
March 17, 2014
Recreational rider, weekend warrior or small-time breeder. Whatever the descriptor may be, horsemen all work for the common goal of improving the lives of horses.
“Knowledge is power,” said Sir Francis Bacon, and he was right. To be a well-informed horseman is to be a good horseman.
So, horsemen, add these eight quick tips, courtesy of the March American Quarter Horse Journal, to your coffer of horsey wisdom.
- Put miles on your colts outside. While you’re out there, work on leg yielding, softening in the face, stopping and backing. And all of this can be done at the trot, says Chance O’Neal, who shares his training insights, along with Matt Koch, in “Making Cow Horses.”
- Get your horse back into shape this spring by using a serpentine. Serpentines are a great tool to practice lengthening and shortening your horse’s stride. It’s just one tip of 10 in “Spring Training.”
- Always rise with the outside front leg at a posting trot. That’s because the trot is a diagonal gait, so by lifting your weight out of the saddle as that hind leg bears weight, you’re relieving the horse from extra pressure. AQHA Professional Horsewoman Julie Goodnight teaches fine tuning feel at the sitting and posting trots in “Trot On.”
- After foaling, always identify all the parts of the placenta. Dr. Patrick McCue advises readers to spread out the placenta, noting the difference between the pregnant horn of the uterus and the non-pregnant horn. He shows readers exactly what to look for, plus other options for evaluating the placenta, in “Take a Look Before You Throw It Away.”
- The center of pressure of a horse’s hoof is of the utmost importance. If that center of pressure is moved to one side of the foot, that side of the foot will be subject to increased forces, says Dr. Stephen O’Grady. The farrier-turned-veterinarian takes readers on a tour of how the healthy hoof functions in “Hoof in Detail: Basic Biomechanics.”
- Work circles to encourage your horse to step his hind leg up and under. That’s just one step of many that AQHA Professional Horsewoman Michelle Just-Williams shares in “Borrow a Trainer” as she shows riders how to develop a “trampoline” back in their horses.
- A balanced, correct horse can be a tremendous athlete. That’s what Gotta Good Habit proved when he traded a career as a successful racehorse to become an accomplished show horse, and the 50th open AQHA Supreme Champion. Take a page out of this race-halter-English-rope horse’s playbook in “Welcome, No. 50.”
- Whenever you decide something with an open heart, that’s when you make the right decision. So AQHA Past President Ken Mumy believes, and he imparts his wisdom in “Welcome to the Hall,” a roundup of the horses and men inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2014.