MAS­TERY IN THE MAK­ING

EQUUS - - Conformation Insights -

Texas horse trainer Allen Pogue (be­low) is one of the most highly cre­ative horsemen I have met. Allen reads widely, owns lots of horses that (he tells me) he gets most of his lessons from, and con­stantly tries out new ideas and tech­niques. Here he works his cross­bred Span­ish geld­ing Nave­g­ador on the sin­gle pil­lar and gets spec­tac­u­lar re­sults. Allen builds his own equip­ment; note the ball-bear­ing ar­range­ment at the top of the pil­lar that pre­vents the line from bind­ing up. He is also the in­ven­tor of the ball-whip, a great way to pad the end of a whip so that should it touch the horse, it will nei­ther star­tle nor hurt him. Buck Bran­na­man pro­tégé Kathy Ry­dzyk (above) is an­other cor­re­spon­dent at my on­line fo­rum. Here she demon­strates beau­ti­ful form in col­lected trot with her bri­dle horse Scooter, who has been brought along in “the four reins” but is work­ing off the spade bit alone in this shot. Not ev­ery great stu­dent cares about com­pe­ti­tion; the daily prac­tice of an­cient tra­di­tional forms is deeply sat­is­fy­ing in it­self.

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