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Bareback & Bridleless Jumping

 

This is an absolutely lovely video of a woman jumping 6 feet, bareback and at one point bridle-less.  She is an absolutely outstanding rider.  This horse also appears to be quite good at dressage as well.

George H Morris Jumping Clinic Snippet 2010

The above video is a snippet from a George Morris jumping clinic.  George Morris is one of the world’s best jumpers and instructors.  His riding style is fluid and gentle.  Watch how lightly these horses are ridden.  USHJA offers full clinic videos for sale.

Stampede

Known Kill Buyer Caught Hauling 47 Wild Horses to Slaughter in Mexico

It has been speculated since the early 90′s that extensive mustang trafficking has occured.  The BLM’s closed book policy served to enhance this.  Horses to Slaughter, Anatomy of a Cover-up within the Wild Horse and Burro Program within the Bureau of Land Management was published in 1997.

While groups have been fighting the BLM for decades, it took just under 15 years for the feds to catch the first slaughter truck.  An excellent article was published in horseback magazine. Whether you are a horse person or not, I encourage you to read it in its entirety.  This is an example of a lot of untracked federal money and property dissapearing.  Are there other sieves out there?

 

 

hoofprints

Finding a Lost Horse

Has your horse gone missing?  While I recommend using all of the conventional search methods, it is possible that your horse could be found by someone that won’t have access to your local newspaper or notice the sign posted in your feedstore.  Your horse could end up being quickly sold and be shipped across the country or even the world.

That is where www.netpossee.com comes in.  They post lost as well as found adds and are totally devoted to their cause.  If you sign up for their mailing list, you will recieve missing horse notifications, which may enable you to be a part of the solution.  In addition, you can register your horse’s information with them, including microchip ID number and markings.  That way, should your horse go missing, you will have all of the necessary information to begin the search.

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Recent Articles

1
Oct

A history of the CIA and Animal training

I found an article I really enjoyed that detailed different types of learning styles and training in various animal species including crows, chickens, cats, and even alligators.  An excerpt from the article is as follows. Click on the link to read the article in its entirety, it was great and so were the photos!:

The CIA’s Most Highly Trained Spies Weren’t Even Human!

|Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-CIAs-Most-Highly-Trained-Spies-Werent-Even-Human-224933882.html#ixzz2gQlW4Yud

The fate of this asset has become serio-comic lore, obscured by conflicting accounts and CIA classification. Jeffrey Richelson, in his book The Wizards of Langley, quotes ex-CIA official Victor Marchetti on the program’s demise during a field trial: “They put [the cat] out of the van, and a taxi comes and runs him over. There they were, sitting in the van with all those dials, and the cat was dead!”

But Wallace disputes that. “It was a serious project,” he says. “The acoustic kitty was not killed by getting run over by a taxicab.” His source? “The guy who was a principal in the project.” Wallace says Bailey’s name is not familiar to him, though he adds that by the time he joined the agency, “the animal work was really historic.”

Bailey says ABE’s records were destroyed in a 1989 fire, and the CIA declined my request under the Freedom of Information Act for documents relating to animal training for intelligence activities, noting that even “the fact of the existence or nonexistence of requested records is currently and properly classified.” A CIA press officer told me, “Unfortunately, we cannot help you with this.” Thus the agency’s only official word on the project appears in “Views on Trained Cats,” a heavily redacted document in the National Security Archive at George Washington University. While acknowledging that “cats can indeed be trained to move short distances,” it concludes that “the program would not lend itself in a practical sense to our highly specialized needs.”

During the 1960s and 1970s, as dancing chickens entertained crowds at the I.Q. Zoo, Bailey and a handful of his colleagues were undertaking intelligence scenarios nearby. “We had a 270-acre farm,” he says. “We built towns. Like a movie set, there’d be only fronts.” Without disclosing who they were working for, Bailey had his team rearrange the town according to photographs they were given. There were also field demonstrations—including one at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. “‘This is the room we want to get to,’” Bailey says he was told. “ ‘Can you get your raven up there to deposit a device, and can we listen?’ Yes, we can.” The bird would be conditioned, via a laser spotter, to pick out the room. At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Bailey created a so-called “squab squad,” pigeons that would fly ahead of a column and signal the presence of enemy soldiers by landing. In tests, the pigeons, says Bailey, thwarted more than 45 attempts by Special Forces troops to ambush a convoy. But, as was so often the case, field operations revealed a problem: There was no way to retrieve the pigeons if they saw no enemy troops.

When I ask Bailey if any of the various animal projects were ever used in real-world scenarios, he turns uncharacteristically laconic. But then a thin smile cracks his face. “We got the ravens into places. We got the cats into places,” he says. “Usually using diplomatic pouches.” He says he carried a raven aboard a commercial flight, against regulations. “It was in a map case under the front seat,” he says, “and every now and then the raven would make a noise.” He makes a low guttural groaning. “I’d be in my seat and I’d go like this,” he says, squirming.

But the nexus between the shadows and the midway proved brittle: When the Senate Select Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities (also known as the Church Committee, for chairman Frank Church of Idaho) was formed in 1975 to investigate abuses of power at several U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA, ABE decided to end its intelligence work. And in 1990, the I.Q. Zoo served up its last match of chicken tick-tack-toe.

Over lunch at McClard’s Bar-B-Q (a favorite of former President Bill Clinton, who grew up in Hot Springs), Bailey notes that animal intelligence work of the sort he did has been rendered largely superfluous by technology. “Today, all you have to do is illuminate someone with an infrared laser and pick up the scatter back from that, and you can listen to their conversation without any trouble at all,” he says. “You don’t need a cat.”

But that doesn’t mean Bailey is done. He’s been working with security agencies in Europe, he says, on training dogs, via acoustic signals, to perform any number of security tasks. “There’s nothing that can run up stairs like a dog,” he says. “It has a billion years of evolution behind it.”

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30
May

Timing Rate of Skeletal Maturation in Horses

As a biomedical engineer by education, I make it a habit to understand the physiology of my favorite sport, horseback riding.

 

I was able to identify an outstanding article:

Timing Rate of Skeletal Maturation in Horses

By: Deb Benette, PhD

 

http://www.equinestudies.org/ranger_2008/ranger_piece_2008_pdf1.pdf

The article has a range of excellent information, including tables of maturation points of major bones.

Below are a number of quotes from the article portraying the main points sought by the author, but I encourage you to read the article in its entirety.

“Believe it or not many vets are totally unaware, as many members of the general public are also unaware, that horses have more than one “growth plate”, that there are multiple ossification centers pertaining to every bone of the body outside of the skull, and that the schedule of growth-plate closure (which begins around the time of birth and extends until the sixth year, and is coordinated with the eruption schedule of the teeth) has been well known to veterinarians, paleontologists, zooarchaeologists, and mammalogists since the early 19th century.”

“There is no such thing [as a] slow-maturing breed. The Quarter Horse is not an ‘early maturing’ breed – and neither is the Arabian a ‘slow maturing’ breed. As far as their skeletons go, they are the same. This information comes, I know, as a shock to many people who think starting their colt or filly under saddle at age two is what they ought to be doing. “

“While growth in cannon bone length stops with the fusion of both growth plates at around 1 ½ years of age, increase in cannon bone girth does not taper off until close to 5 years of age, and essentially the same can be said for the girth of any other limb element, with those bones located higher up in the body maturing later.”

“Most of the growth plates above the distal radius in a three year old horse are unfused, including, most importantly, those of the animal’s spine. It is the spine of the horse that governs the overall coordination of the limbs and the animal’s running “style”. It is the spine, not the limbs, that the animal primarily uses to compensate for potholes, slick spots, and other irregularities in the race track [or any track]. The higher the speed and the greater the physical effort, the more important it is that the animal have all of its joints mature and in good working order. While catastrophic failures are uncommon, more subtle distal limb disease and chronic pain and dysfunction in two and three year old racehorses are commonly diagnosed and are major causes for the “wastage” of young Thoroughbreds.”

“What people often don’t realize is that there is a “growth plate” on either end of every bone behind the skull, and in the case of some bones (like the pelvis or vertebrae, which have many “corners”) there are multiple growth plates.”

The lateness of vertebral “closure” is most significant for two reasons. One: in no limb are there 32 growth plates! Two: the growth plates in the limbs are (more or less) oriented perpendicular to the stress of the load passing through them, while those of the vertebral chain are oriented parallel to weight placed upon the horse’s back. Bottom line: you can sprain a horse’s back (i.e. displace the vertebral physes – see Figs. 5 and 8) a lot more easily than you can displace those located in the limbs.”

4
Oct

Jumping Lesson 5

 

Show jumping lesson #5 with Altamonte Show Stables.  Here we worked more on creating an even cadence to the walk, trot, and canter then some canter work. Finally, a number of small jumping sets were completed and evaluated.  Instructor is Brody Robertson who is a master rider, trainer and jump designer.  Horse is Aurora Borealis von Jorrit, a Friesian Cross.

26
Sep

Horse meat and Drugs

This article is the single best argument against American horse meat entering the food chain.  Scientific, thorough and well-written, I encourage you to read it.  Below is a short excerpt of the article as well as a link to the rest of the article.

By: Jerry Finch

It is not a secret that horses in America are not considered food animals but are rather regarded as large companions or athletes, bred to trust their human masters, provide them leisure and to perform at the track like professional sportsmen, and as such, horses are raised, fed and medicated in a totally different fashion than real food animals like beef cattle, sheep or pigs. Never considered part of the food chain in this country (not even in the hardest times, where it was sold primarily to poor European immigrants as a cheap replacement for beef), horses are routinely administered all kinds of drugs, food supplements and miscellaneous substances that, under current American and European laws, theoretically prohibits them from being used as human food yet, last year alone, more than seventy million pounds of tainted horsemeat from America’s pet horses were sent abroad for human consumption.

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21
Sep

Jumping from the Horse’s Perspective

Horse is free jumping with trainer on the ground.  Taping is being done by the horse. ;)

 

 

22
Aug

Horse Training – The Basics of Showing in Western Pleasure

By 

Author: Lynn Baber

Western Pleasure classes are included in most breed and open circuit horse shows. Horse owners looking for ways to have more fun with their horses often pick the pleasure class as the first attempt in their new show career. Because the class routine itself is not very complicated new exhibitors are frequently confused and disappointed by their lack of early success. Here are the basics of Western Pleasure competition and the qualities the judge looks for in a winner.

Western Pleasure Is Not As Simple As Many Think

Horsemanship is similar to other sports like dancing and gymnastics. Unless you have dedicated a considerable amount of time and study to them, you won’t have a clue about how to evaluate differences among couples on the dance floor or gymnasts performing their floor exercises. Judging a ‘simple’ class like Western Pleasure is really quite complicated.

In a Western Pleasure competition, each horse and rider team performs three gaits going one way in the arena, then reverse and do the same three gaits the other way. At some point they will also be required to back up. The three gaits are walk, jog and lope. How difficult could that be to score?

Western Pleasure is actually quite technical regardless of how simple it seems. Many riders compete in Western Pleasure and never truly understand what the judge looks for when selecting the winners and placing the riders from first to last. In a pleasure class only the horse’s performance is judged, not the rider’s. Riders are judged in horsemanship and equitation classes. Read more »

21
Aug
Wild Horse Wild Ride Premieres in New York, New York

Wild Horse Wild Ride NYC Premiere

Wild Horse Wild Ride Premieres to the general public this weekend.

20
Aug

Stifle Lock: Identification and Alternative Therapies

While not always the cause of lameness, a performance horse’s stifle is often suspect when he comes up lame. Several different types of stifle lamess exist, but the purpose of this article is to discuss upward patellar fixation (UPF), otherwise known as stifle lock. More

19
Aug

World Equestrian Federation 2011 $500,000 Jump-off

Here are some fine examples of jumping horses and riders.  I think it is important to watch a lot of good jumpers in order to continue to improve.

8
Aug

How to Stop Bucking

My friend’s 10-year old Mustang has been bucking on the trail. Is there a way to get this to stop?

Whenever dealing with a bucking horse, the first thing I would do is try to eliminate a physiological problem. Are you causing the horse pain while riding? A few quick and easy checks:

• Abrasions on the gums or face. Is your gear causing unnecessary pain or discomfort?
• Saddle fit: When you remove the saddle, are there dry patches of skin. Does the saddle abraid the skin?
• Lunge the horse and check his limbs for heat.
• Have a farrier check his feet for abscess or other signs of soreness.
If you do not find anything with these simple checks, you may want to consult a veterinarian. It is quite possible that your veterinarian may not find an issue.

If you are a very confident with a rider, you may want to evaluate your riding technique. Riders often inadvertently cause problems. Start by asking yourself, are you being snatchy with the reins; this means do you leave the reins slack and then suddenly catch the horse in the mouth? Do you have quiet legs? Unquiet legs send conflicting signals. Are you overly submissive when working your horse? Are you the leader? Learn how to do the emergency stop, where you pull your horse in a circle as it is very difficult for him to buck or rear in this position. Be sure to stretch him beforehand. If he does buck, put your weight in your heals, and put your heals down to anchor your position. Then drive the horse forward.

If you find yourself fearing your horse after being bucked off a few times too many, then you may want to consult a professional. At this point, the horse can be “restarted” for a week or two with lunging, positive reinforcement and teaching a lot of forward momentum. There is really no cue for “don’t buck,” so rather than telling your horse what not to do, give your horse something else to think about. Ask him to step over a log, sidepass or speed up into a circle.

A goofy thing that was taught to me by a Texas riding instructor is that when a horse rears, crack an egg over its head. He will think he is bleeding and it may prevent him from doing it in the future. I tried it once and it did work on the young horse I was riding; but I am certain it depends on the reason behind the behavior.

Do you have horse training questions? Email saddletraining@aol.com with your question. We will do our best to get it answered for you soon.