In The Saddle (Riding)

             When you hear the word “Therapy,” what do you think of?  Some people might think that the word “therapy” refers to talking to a therapist about your problems or going to a therapist to fix a relationship issue. Others might associate that word “Therapy” with a hospital and how one would us therapy as a means to rehabilitate their body from a serious injury. But do you ever think about horses when you hear the word “Therapy”? Did you know that horses can be used as a therapeutic tool too? Equine therapy is a program that uses horses, as a therapeutic outlet, to help people with...
                Horse jumping is one of the most widely known events within the world of English riding. It is an extreme sport that requires focus, good body control, and balance.  Horse jumping also requires a lot of trust between you and your horse. Your horse has to trust you to lead him into the right direction, and you have to trust your horse to take you over the fence. Without that trust, the rider might become nervous and therefore making the horse nervous. Confidence is key when it comes to this sport! Horse jumping doesn’t have to be just a show event. Jumping is a great way to...
                Barrel racing is a Western timed, speed event that requires you and your horse to maneuver around three barrels as fast as you can. However, this sport isn’t just about speed. It is all about body control, concentration, and synchronization between you and your horse. Both horse and rider have to work together as a team in order to accomplish the task at hand. Otherwise, your race isn’t going to go well and you or your horse could get injured.   The Barrel Racing Setup:                 A barrel race is held within a closed arena, and it includes a starting line and three...
The equestrian sport of vaulting is often described as gymnastics on horseback.  Vaulting has a history that can stretch back a least two thousand years.  It is believed that vaulting started in the Roman games, where acrobats performed on the back of cantering horses.  Still others believe that vaulting started in ancient Crete during the tradition of bull leaping.  The present name is from the French term “La Voltige” which was acquired during the Renaissance as a form of drill and agility riding.  Modern vaulting was developed in post war Germany as a way to encourage children into...
Horse with vaulting tack
          Have you heard other horse enthusiasts talking about gymkhana?  Have you ever wondered what gymkhana is?  In this article gymkhana is described and how to get involved in gymkhana is discussed.             Gymkhana is a term used to describe an equestrian event that consists of speed events. These events include barrel racing, pole bending, keyhole, keg race, and flag race. These competitions often center on children participation. Most gymkhana competitions are put on by young rider groups such as Pony Club or 4H.               In other parts of the US, this type of competition may...
Horse Pole Bending
The word hippotherapy is derived from the Greek word hippos, which means horse.  So hippotherapy literally means horse therapy.  This is a form of physical, occupational, speech, and language therapy that incorporates the horse.  Evidence shows that hippotherapy may date back to ancient Greece, however it became a formal treatment in the 1960’s.    The concept behind hippotherapy is that the horse’s movement aids in a certain physical responses from the rider.  The horse’s pelvis has a similar motion to a human’s pelvis when waking.  The horse’s movement provides physical and sensory data to...
Little Kid Riding Pony in Lesson
Equestrian Riding     Merriam-Webster:: 1)a: of, relating to, or featuring horseback riding   b: riding on horseback: mounted   c: representing a person on horseback 2) : of, relating to, or composed of knights Noun     : one who rides on horseback     Origins of Equestrian Latin equestr-, equester of a horseman, from eques horseman, from equus horse          Equestrian Riding, Equestrianism, are all names for the same thing, riding a horse. Equestrian riding, is a broad term for the act of working with or using a horse for work, transportation, recreational activities, artistic or cultural...
  How well can you ride without a saddle? Can you post without stirrups? How well do you ride without your reins? If you struggle to ride in any of these circumstances, you may need to work on your riding skills. While time in the saddle does help to improve your riding, there are certain exercises that will improve your balance and equitation.  As you are working to improve the areas in you riding that are weak remember no horse or environment is completely controllable. Take safety precautions when doing riding exercises. Wear a helmet to protect your head. Ride in a safe environment with...
Young Girl Working on Riding Position
  Natural horsemanship has enjoyed a dramatic increase in popularity over the past decade from horse lovers of all disciplines.  Unlike other training and riding philosophies that “break” a horse's spirit, natural horsemanship strives to work in concert with the horse's innate conduct and herd instincts to preserve its natural behaviors. Although there is a broad range of natural horsemanship practices, all share a common understanding of the keys to success. Relationship One key to successful natural horsemanship involves the development of a horse and handler relationship that closely...
  Owning a horse is hard work. Interrupting a rigorous training regimen with some fun games provides an opportunity for playful skill development that further enriches the horse and rider relationship. Mixing up a regular work schedule with games keeps riders focused and allows horses a chance to interact in a less restrictive environment. Riders of all ages and skills levels can participate in fun games on horseback with a horse of any discipline. Broom Polo Polo, arguably the oldest team sport known to mankind, does not have to be played with polo ponies ridden by professional riders. A...

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