How Western Dressage can help your western horse

According to the Western Dressage Association of America, the goal of Western Dressage is to develop a partnership: a happy equine athlete working in harmony with his rider. Western Dressage training uses classical dressage principles combined with the maneuvers of the working/stock horse.  It gives horses the foundation to excel in any discipline, and it can help prevent or solve problems western riders might face in another discipline. In recent years, Western Dressage has developed […]

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What to expect at your first schooling show

In the last newsletter, we talked about how to get started in competitive western dressage.  Here is more information about what you’ll experience when you’re ready to head to a schooling show. If you’ve been to or competed in a traditional Dressage show, you pretty much know what to expect at a western dressage show.  If not, here is an idea of what you’ll find when you get to your first schooling show. There are […]

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Tradition

A recent poll published in Horse & Rider magazine, a publication geared toward western riders, showed that 61% of their readers who responded said they always wear a helmet when riding. Another 13% said they sometimes wear one, 9% said they rarely do, and 17% said they never wear a helmet. Those percentages may sound surprising to some, considering that western riders haven’t traditionally worn helmets. Western tradition, as far as attire, tack, and training […]

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Bring on Spring!

We are definitely starting to see signs that spring is on its way.  The days are starting to get longer, horses are starting to shed, and the weather… Well, it’s Minnesota.  Who knows what to expect with the weather!  The good thing about early spring in Minnesota is it gives us plenty of time to plan ahead for the upcoming riding season.  Here are some reminders and suggestions to help make 2013 your best season […]

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How to Get the Most From Your Next Horse Training Clinic

Looking for ways to escape the clutches of cabin fever? Start by planning what you would like to accomplish with your equine partner during the upcoming riding season and attend a local horse training clinic. Attending a clinic, either with or without your horse, is a great way to expand your knowledge, gain experience, as well as make progress in your training program. A horse training clinic is typically an event where an out-of-area instructor […]

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Winter Horse Care Tips

Winter Horse Care Tips Crystal Smith, Animal Science Extension Agent As we gear up for the arrival of Old Man Winter, we are reminded of the challenges that winter horse care brings. The cold, snow, ice, rain, wind and any combination thereof, complicates barn chores and limits our riding time. For these reasons, we typically do not spend as much time in our barns or with our horses during the winter months. However, by keeping […]

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Horse Trailer Maintenance 101

Horse Trailer Maintenance 101 This article originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of Practical Horseman magazine. It’s 5 a.m. the day of the show. Your horse is fit, prepared and groomed to perfection. The only thing keeping you from the ribbons is a flat tire—and an equally flat spare. To avoid such a situation, it’s essential to get into a regular routine of trailer maintenance, just like maintaining your car. Your owner’s manual will […]

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Proper Saddle Fit

In recent years, the sport of horseback riding has become very specialized. From the trail to the show ring, saddles have evolved from utilitarian pieces of equipment into finely-tuned instruments of riding. With all the different makes and models out there, proper saddle fit has become a hot topic, one that can sometimes get very confusing. With all the advancements in the world of saddle making, riders have become obsessed with finding the perfect saddle […]

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A Basic Lesson in Horse Bits

The Bit Wall…every tack shop has one. A wall of tangled metal hardware, each piece designed to work slightly different from the next. Bits come in different sizes and metal types; some are jointed, with and without shanks, some look like medieval contraptions while others are made out of rubber. It can be intimidating to stand there, gazing at the wall with its vast array of bits, trying to decide which one is right for […]

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History and Inspiration for Western Dressage

Western Dressage encompasses fundamental training and riding techniques with the desire to strengthen the trust and understanding between horse and rider. The “Western” component comes from the traditions and heritage of the American West; horsemanship utilizing light contact while seeking to understand and build the relationship between horse and rider through communication. “Dressage” is the long-established, classical training principles which evolved from cavalry movements and battlefield preparation designed to develop the strength, athleticism, and partnership […]

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