Category Archives: qotm archives

louise
Past Questions of the Month are listed below in chronological order.  Just click on the Question to pull up Bill’s Answers.

Turns on the forehand in the 1st Level Rider Test

I like this question and I am also pleased that turn on the forehand has been included in the First Level Rider Test. Just as in the distant past when leg yielding was deemed unsuitable for inclusion in the tests (See “My Leg Goes Where?” on the Media Productions page of the website), turns on the forehand have been eschewed by some who claim “It puts horses on the forehand.” Others insist that it should only be used at the very beginning of the horse’s training and then abandoned in favor of shoulder-fore and other movements. Having been trained for years in the Scandinavian tradition, where leg yielding is done without bringing the rider’s inside leg behind the girth and turns on the forehand are performed in motion—not from the halt—and always with the horse thinking forward into the reins, I reject those arguments.

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My horse guesses

This is related to the recent QOTM about the Rein Back. Sorry to say, we’re in classic Vending Machine territory again! Horses that “guess” just aren’t on the aids enough. Easy to diagnose, hard to fix, but you just have to be quicker and more innovative than he is.

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Riding a proper Rein Back

Let’s take the second question first. If the Friesian’s Rein Back 1) comes from a balanced, immobile, and square halt; 2) if he backs maintaining a round topline without resistance; 3) if he marches back in unconstrained, relaxed (appearing to be) diagonal pairs; 4) if he stays straight; and 5) if he takes the desired number of steps and moves off promptly without squaring up first, you have just made a really good Rein Back! If he steps higher as a function of his breed characteristic and not from tension, the judge should totally ignore it.

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What about protective wraps for your horse?

Many more people wrap their horses than need to. Some sort of protection is in order if your horse tends to hit himself. There’s no point in risking him getting hurt if he’s prone forge or interfere. But lots of people wrap just because they think they should. In the heat of a Florida summer when bandages inhibit your horse’s ability to shed BTUs from the blood vessels which lie so close to the surface, it doesn’t make much sense. Nor is it a good idea in wet or muddy conditions when absorbent wraps make your poor horse carry that much more weight around as he works.

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