The Quick Fix

Horse & Rider - - From The Editor -

Fast so­lu­tions make the horse world go ’round. We find all sorts of crazy ways to re­use al­most any­thing in a pinch—in­clud­ing feed sacks, of all things! (Visit

for “Up­cy­cle Your Feed Sacks” if you need hints.) So there’s a time and place for the quick fix. Such as when your per­for­mance horse reg­u­larly pulls front shoes when over­reach­ing. (Grab your elec­tri­cal tape and turn to page 51.) Or when you plan to school your horse at a show and ques­tion whether your pre­sen­ta­tion and your horse’s turnout are ac­cept­able. (Hint: Leave the hoodie at the stalls; more ad­vice from Bob Avila on page 28.) A quick fix gets you out of a jam and in the sad­dle with­out any ma­jor con­se­quences.

For the Long Haul

Quick fixes are con­ve­nient, but in some sit­u­a­tions noth­ing can re­place a wellthought-out plan of ac­tion that re­quires mind­ful­ness and per­sis­tence. The fa­s­tand-easy way is rarely suc­cess­ful in train­ing or health-man­age­ment sit­u­a­tions. Yes, that means we’ve yet to find a magic spell to get that lead change. (But you can find ex­er­cises to im­prove it, with hard work and prac­tice, on page 65!)

Be­hav­iors such as jig­ging or pranc­ing on the trail are an­noy­ing and can snow­ball into more danger­ous sit­u­a­tions if not han­dled cor­rectly. The mas­ter of his “method,” Clin­ton An­der­son, of­fers his straight­for­ward process for elim­i­nat­ing your horse’s jig­ging on page 52. And some­times you’re the one who needs to change your habits to achieve the “fix,” as out­lined in Pri­vate Lesson on page 26, with reiner Casey Deary’s tips for rider po­si­tion dur­ing a stop.

Choose Horsemanship

Con­tribut­ing vet­eri­nar­ian Barb Crabbe says it best in “Meds or Man­age­ment” (page 36). “A ‘magic pill’ might sound ap­peal­ing, es­pe­cially if it could make your horse slide far­ther, turn a bar­rel faster, or take the edge off for a rail class. But rarely does it take the place of good old-fash­ioned horsemanship.”

We al­ways choose horsemanship, and we’re pretty sure you do, too. Keep send­ing your train­ing and horse­keep­ing ques­tions; you’ll see them in monthly de­part­ments such as Prob­lem Solvers and Whole Horse. You can email them to me at the ad­dress below.

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