This training tip posted by the Optimum Youth Equestrian Scholarship page last week got me thinking: one of the greatest skills a horsewoman/horseman can have is that of perception. It might have been Kate Samuels who wrote on this topic at some point, but the ability to understand a horse’s personality and how to adjust your training accordingly vastly outranks only viewing the horse through our own personal judgements and emotions. With these filters removed — effectively removing ourselves from the picture to ponder, “what is it my horse needs right now — for them, not for me?” — it becomes clearer that horses are constantly providing feedback and communication.
Of course, there remains a difference between empathetic listening and failing to establish leadership (and, by association, safety and security for your horse) and set boundaries. In the sweet spot between the two is the space for a true partnership to be built.
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Wednesday News & Reading
Helmet safety is the focus of the latest US Equestrian educational video, in which Dr. Lola Chambers discusses causes and symptoms of traumatic brain injuries and concussions and why it’s so important for riders to mind their melons. [Concussions: Signs, Symptoms, and Helmet Safety]
Time for a rules refresher! If you’re considering a move up to Training or Modified, take a few minutes to review the rules for each level as there will be some differences from their lower counterparts. Always better to be over-prepared! [Rule Refresher: What Will Be Expected of Me at Training and Modified?]
Curious about how the development pathway for show jumpers and eventers works? For athletes with aspirations to compete at the elite level, there is a long path from competing at the national level to representing the U.S. at international championships. The USEF development pathways for each FEI discipline help bring promising athletes along each step of the way, ensuring the best chance at success. [How Jumping and Eventing Athletes Move Up the Development Pathway]
Hot on Horse Nation: In the latest edition of “Equestrian Girl Bosses”, journey back in time as we meet a few badass women from the “greatest shows on Earth” slash my worst nightmare, the circus. [Horses in the Circus]
Go behind the scenes with the Equatic Spa, Rehab and Conditioning facility in California.
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The highlight show has landed! Relive the action at the Grand-Prix Eventing showcase at Bruce’s Field this spring: