Ed­i­tor’s Note

Practical Horseman - - Special Dressage Issue -

Iusu­ally high­light ar­ti­cles that have in­flu­enced my horse and my rid­ing. But pro­duc­ing the mag­a­zine is a team ef­fort, so this month I want to share in­sights that res­onated with Prac’s Man­ag­ing Ed­i­tor Emily Daily and As­so­ciate Ed­i­tor Jo­ce­lyn Pierce.

Emily’s fa­vorite: From Lisa Wil­cox (p. 35)—“If you hap­pen to be on a sen­si­tive and/or claus­tro­pho­bic horse, busy warm-up rings can make achiev­ing the re­lax­ation and pre­pared­ness that you hope to bring to your test dif­fi­cult. It’s your job to make the world a safe place for him, so de­vise a strat­egy to pro­tect him from un­nec­es­sary warm-up stress.”

Emily’s rea­son why: Lisa of­fers tips to not only sur­vive but thrive in a chaotic warm-up ring. My mare takes ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to spook or tense up in ner­vous show-ring sit­u­a­tions, so Lisa’s thought­ful step-by-step ap­proach to avoid any po­ten­tial dis­as­ters and pre­pare your­self for the best ride pos­si­ble was help­ful in cre­at­ing a suc­cess­ful game plan for our next out­ing.

Jo­ce­lyn’s fa­vorite: From Eric Navet (p. 19)—“Don’t try to do bet­ter than the oth­ers, but do the best you can on your horse in the mo­ment. When it’s done, whether you win or you’re third or you’re fifth, you’ve done your job. It’s a com­pe­ti­tion about your­self and your horse, not so much the oth­ers.”

Jo­ce­lyn’s rea­son why: Eric’s sen­ti­ments are a good re­minder to fo­cus on your own rid­ing skills and the strengths of your horse in­stead of be­ing dis­tracted by and dwelling on what other com­peti­tors may be do­ing. If you and your horse per­form at your best, it doesn’t mat­ter where you fin­ish in the or­der.

My fa­vorite: From Richard Spooner (p. 39)—“At the end of a show day, I try to step out­side of my­self and look ob­jec­tively at what­ever prob­lem I had that day … .” Horses, horse­man­ship and show jump­ing can be vex­ing, so this “ob­sess­ing” has to be done with­out emo­tion. Frame mis­takes, by horses or rid­ers, as in­stances to be dwelt on only long enough to learn from, then let go.

My rea­son why: The other day, I was lead­ing my usu­ally se­date horse from his pas­ture when he got ex­cited, pulled away from me and trot­ted off. I fi­nally got hold of him, but I was mad (re­ally, af­ter all he’s 23!). With Richard’s thought about no emo­tion on my mind, I put my horse back into his pas­ture un­til I mas­tered my tem­per and then did ground work to get his at­ten­tion on me.

Those are our picks. Let us know which ones have in­flu­enced your horse­man­ship at prac­ti­cal­horse­man@aim­me­dia.com. Ed­i­tor

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