Several of my horses have, ahem, winter girths and summer girths. Why, you ask? Well, just the reason most girls have pants that aren’t always the same size. When you’re fighting fit and ready for a competition, you might slip into your little black girth, but in the winter when you’re a bit puffy and you’re mostly hacking after vacation, you’ll need some kind of comfortable elastic girth that’s maybe a size or two larger. I’d rather have fat winter horses than the type that requires a thousand calories a day, but it does make my tack room a bit full.
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Establishing a soft yet effective position requires repetition, hard work, diligence, and a lot of patience. Remember that when you see riders with incredible body control from upper level riders that position and effectiveness is the product of years (sometimes decades!) of work and practice. We’ve got ways to help you better understand how you can make progress in your own position, which is one of the biggest assets a rider can have, no matter their goals. [Strong Core, Still Leg, Soft Hands]
Good feel is key to much of what you do with your horse. It’s that, often seemingly magical, ability that the best riders possess to really sense what is happening underneath them, and, as Geoff Teall shares in his book, “You must immediately start developing an awareness of the concepts, if you ever want to ride effectively, effortlessly and invisibly. Feel and lightness are closely related to each other. In order to be an effective rider, you need to learn to feel just the right amount of hands, legs, seat and weight. The more you can feel what that right amount is, the more lightness you will have in your riding.” [Developing Lightness & Feel]
Though muscle is recognized and appreciated for its importance in the physical prowess of horses, the role of muscle in maintaining normal protein metabolism throughout the body is likely undervalued. The horse’s body is composed of thousands of proteins that are in a constant state of turnover, breaking down and synthesizing simultaneously. Because muscle is the main reservoir of amino acids in the body, and amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, basic knowledge of protein and amino acids is essential for all horse owners interested in nutrition. Using a simple Q&A format, here’s your chance to learn more about protein in equine nutrition. [Protein, Amino Acids, and Exercise]
Best of Blogs: In Defense of Unmounted Lessons
Our community is mourning the sudden loss of Rob Bowersox this week, and everyone in Eventing will miss his infectious enthusiasm for the sport of Eventing and everyone he met. A memorial mass will be held next Tuesday for those who are able to attend, and in lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Fair Hill International Green to Gold. [Robert John Bowersox]