How Mindful We Are – NOT

October 10th, 2018|Categories: Advice, Training|Tags: , , |

It was possible, I thought, that such distractedness arose from some evolutionary necessity. But I could not figure out how such fractured focus would have served us in the wild. In any case, it never fails amazing me how often during a 20-meter circle we riders drift off purpose. It seems like a small, clear task [...]

What Did You Call My Horse?

September 6th, 2018|Categories: Advice, Training|Tags: , |

Our barn visitor offered her comments good-naturedly, but still I bristled. She had chuckled at one or another of Corazon’s antics and then called him a male diva. A what? I didn’t share her chuckle, puzzled as I was that anyone could see this leggy Andalusian as anything but majestic and regal, maybe even brawny. Her [...]

Space for Improved Training

July 16th, 2018|Categories: Advice, Training|Tags: , |

If my horse, Corazon, wore a Fitbit, or other daily activity tracker that have become popular devices for people aiming to more active lifestyles, I imagine this is how it might read: 200 steps chasing neighbor’s black cat around pasture; 50 prances along perimeter fence next to a mule deer; 150 relaxed ambles moving from one [...]

Gallop to Better Training

June 8th, 2018|Categories: Advice, Training|Tags: , |

Here we go galloping - gulp. I tried to work up the nerve to let the reins out another inch or two as we cantered around, but I was having a really hard time doing it. First of all, my horse might run off. Second, if I got lucky and she did not run off, she [...]

The Sandwich Lope

April 5th, 2018|Categories: Training|Tags: , , , |

When Western Dressage first established itself, we instructors struggled to describe the requirements of a “working lope” clearly enough for students. We wanted to be sure to differentiate it from the stilted gaits seen in the Western Pleasure discipline, and yet it was also not the animated jumping-across-the-ground canter of the traditional dressage world. It should [...]

Walking Ground Poles

March 14th, 2018|Categories: Training|Tags: , , , |

Modern science explains something the old school masters already knew For years, they sat on one end of our indoor arena—five ground poles anchored by concrete blocks. With unwavering consistency, we worked our horses over them once a week, either ground driving or riding. But it was not until the winter when my mom and [...]

How to Find the Perfect Horse

February 16th, 2018|Categories: Training|Tags: , , , |

Professionial trainer, Jec Ballou found her perfect horse in a horse that isn’t perfect. What is the perfect horse? We trainers should have the experience to define one, to measure challenges versus desirables. After years of hands-on work and education, envy over other trainers’ successes, and hours flipping through trade journals or watching YouTube videos, [...]

Video Tips from Jec Ballou

January 22nd, 2018|Categories: Training|Tags: , , , , |

Each month, Jec Ballou provides WARHorses with simple, fun advice and exercises to developed improved performance and riding enjoyment with our horses. Between posts, Jec will share video tips, exercises that show us exactly how to best perform a specific movement. Today we feature two videos from Jec’s book “101 Western Dressage Exercises for Horse and [...]

Cross Training Fitness Test for Your Horse

January 5th, 2018|Categories: Training|Tags: , , , |

Jec outlines a basic test that will help you gauge your working horse’s fitness level for the New Year. Get in the habit of performing a fitness test every 6 to 8 weeks. This will be your check-up and time to assess which cross-training exercises to utilize over the next several weeks. Remember that the goal [...]