Horse & Rider

Bring On 2023


THE SNOW IS BEGINNING TO MELT, and the excitement of spring is on its way. As the ground thaws, you can’t help but get excited with what’s to come this year.

It’s been a little over a year since I started riding my horse, and when I look back at how far we’ve come, it makes me excited for what the future holds for us. A year ago, I was teaching her how to take the correct lead and follow her nose; now we’re focusing on flying lead changes and turnaround­s. While I’d love to get to a horse show in the next year or two, I’m making sure my goals for the year are focused more on what my horse is mentally and physically ready to do, and not what I want to be able to do.

However, this doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep working toward my goal of getting back in the show pen again. This year I plan on hauling to local trainers to get lessons, and maybe even attend a clinic or two. Plus, I’m lucky enough to have a great barn community who likes to do everything from trail riding to competing at local competitio­ns, giving my horse the opportunit­y to get off the property and explore a new territory.

As the days get longer and the weather warms up, I plan on spending every moment at the barn, and I hope you can, too!

She’s also going to be taking on co-hosting duties with me for our podcast Horse&Rider’s The Ride, where we have the chance to interview different riders who are all living their best Western horse life. And if you haven’t had a chance to check out our podcast, be sure to give it a listen wherever you listen to podcasts. We’ve made a few changes to it that I think you’re going to love! announce that legendary trainer and longtime contributo­r Al Dunning is taking the reins on this department to share answers to any problems you come across with your horses. Check out his first problem-solving topic on page 36. (Be sure to email me if you have a problem you’d like Al to solve!)

We have seen romal reins popping up everywhere lately. While you’re probably familiar with them for reined cow horse events, we’re also seeing them show up more in reining and ranch riding events. But finding the right pair of romal reins for your horse can feel overwhelmi­ng if you’ve never shopped for them before. In “Choose & Use Romal Reins” we go over the dos and don’ts of romal reins so you can find a pair that fits your needs.

Lastly, we cover the Ridden Horse Pain Ethogram.

If you haven’t heard of this, you’ll want to check out “Is Your Horse Hurting?” where Contributi­ng Veterinari­an Barb Crabbe, DVM, talks about a tool researcher­s in the U.K. have developed to help people know if their horse is in pain when they’re in the saddle.

With the new year comes new goals in my personal horse life. This year I plan on enjoying the journey that comes with riding a young, green horse.

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