Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Magnificent Marching Mangalarga Marchador Horse - Full Article

by Crystal A

The Mangalarga Marchador is the National Horse of Brazil and is one of the most popular and widespread horses in South America. It has been exported to Germany, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, but did not arrive in the United States until 1991 where it is still a rare breed. The United States Mangalarga Marchador in America (USMMA) is working with breeders in many states to promote this beautiful and uniquely gaited horse that exhibits classic Spanish conformation and charm and is a wonderful sport horse that can be inspected and registered as a warmblood. Traditional tack that is used for showing the Mangalarga is quite simple with the saddle resembling an Australian stock saddle. The headset is clean cut with a snaffle bit and the rider s clothing, when showing the Mangalarga in Brazil varies from region to region but it is always colorful and unique.

The Mangalarga is the product of a rich agricultural area and its haciendas where the farmers and ranchers have always valued a smooth and comfortable ride and superb temperament since they spent a large part of their work day on horseback.

The Mangalarga Marchador was originally developed in 1740 as an Iberian breed, descending from the Andalusian stallions of Portugal and Barb mares...


The Groundwork Waltz - Full Article

Story by Tracey Emslie with John Lyons
How to achieve hindquarter control, softness, and shoulder control as if you were dancing.

Since riding is your goal, let's practice some groundwork steps that apply directly to your riding. You'll focus on moving one spot at a time in a specific direction, then you can observe how this action affects your horse’s performance, or what your horse does as a result of moving that one spot. The key here is to become an observer, and also to realize that many things are happening at one time as a result of one thing you're doing.

By putting the Spot, Direction, Pressure, Release formula to work, you gain more control of your horse. It improves any horse’s behavior in all areas. It can be a foundation to teach your horse to lead better, perform better under saddle, and become softer and more responsive to your commands.

What You Need
Give these exercises an hour and a half of honest effort, and you will find you have a different horse. The first step in the exercises takes the longest, but it will be worth the effort because of the results. See these exercises through to the end, don't give up, don't change, hang in there! These exercises set the foundation for many levels of performance and control.

Equipment. Although this exercise can be started even with a foal in just a halter, in most cases you should have a bridle on your horse with a snaffle bit. A dressage whip is a useful tool. It also helps to put a marker between your feet. This can be a cone, a clod of dirt, a plastic water bottle, or anything that will help you remember to keep your own feet still and not walk around the horse. The horse is the one who does the walking.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Therapeutic Shoeing of Horses Discussed at AAEP - Full Article
by: Multiple Authors
February 22 2010

Veterinarians attending a Table Topic at the American Association of Equine Practitioners 2009 convention chose to discuss applications of the heart bar shoe; the Nolan Plate system, including what it is and how it works; shoeing after deep flexor tenotomy; suggestions for shoeing horses with navicular syndrome, and quarter crack repair for refractory cracks.

Veterinarians in the audience were asked if they were using heart bars and if so, was it for lamintis or for other hoof conditions. They answered overwhelmingly that heart bars were being used commonly for a number of different problems. Chronic laminitis was the most common use, but others used the shoe for any number of issues where frog support would be helpful.

The next topic was the Nolan Plate system. The basic questions were: what is it, how does it work, and does it work? The Nolan Plate is a thin, perforated piece of metal that is applied over the dorsal hoof capsule from toe to quarters. The plate is suppose to relieve pressure on the laminar corium, improve circulation, and help re-establish the laminae/hoof capsule bond. The plate is attached to the hoof wall by multiple sheet metal screws. There were a few in the audience who had tried the plate, but all said they would not use the plate again and questioned its efficacy.


Boots and Saddles Blog

Fall Apart and Annoyed
Tuesday, February 23 2010 

On one of the boards I follow and post, someone asked the question of what annoys you the most when new people show horses.  Along with the more predictable responses of "I'm annoyed when the veterans aren't nice to use newbies!", there were a lot of complains about newbie turnout and horse cleanliness. 
Now - before you get all hot and bothered, I will admit that there is a LOT veteran riders can do to make a newbie's experience enjoyable.  HOWEVER, I remember as a newbie being very concerned about being a "nuisance" and really wanting to do the right thing....if I just knew what was expected.  Lists like this one really helped me ride courteously at my first ride and as a result, people were more likely to stick around and help me out and explain stuff. 
Here are my top 10 pet peeves in the endurance world (no matter if it's a veteran OR a newbie:
First my list of caveats:  Sometimes "stuff" happens.  I totally understand.  We are all human.  An apology and a quick smile goes a long way.  I don't expect any horse to be perfectly behaved and I've been horrified at behavior that has NEVER happened at home.  I think we've all been surprised......however how the offending rider handles such a situation in recognizing and rectifying it counts for a LOT.  So please don't' assume if some poor innocent person accidentally does one of these, I automatically roar and singe the whiskers off the horses face in rage!

Curcumin, an extract of the spice turmeric, is a natural product with potent anti-inflammatory properties that also exerts beneficial effects on cartilage metabolism. Scientists believe curcumin inhibits degradative enzymes such as metalloproteinases and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and reduces cartilage cell apoptosis (programmed cell death).
To study the effect of curcumin on cartilage breakdown in vitro (in the laboratory), a research team from the University of Nottingham established a model of cartilage inflammation that mimics the inflammatory events thought to occur in osteoarthritis. They induced cartilage degeneration with the pro-inflammatory mediator IL-1 beta. Then they co-treated some cultures with curcumin (0.1-100 µmol/L) for five days, subsequently measuring the amount of glycosaminoglycans (GAG) released from the cartilage in the culture media.
Curcumin significantly reduced the IL-1 beta-stimulated release of GAG back to control levels. Specifically, cartilage explants exposed to 100 µl curcumin reduced GAG release by an average of 20% to 27% when co-exposed to 10 and 25ng/ml IL-1 beta, respectively.
As a result, the authors suggested "curcumin antagonizes GAG release in vitro" and that "this model may be an effective in vitro system for evaluating the potential beneficial effects of botanical extracts."
Investigators indicated the need for more research to determine the "true efficacy and potential safety" of curcumin.


Meet the WEG Discipline: Endurance - Full Article

22 February 2010
by Jennifer Bryant

The sport of endurance, like those of eventing and driving, has its roots firmly planted in practicality.

Before horses were companion animals, playthings, and sporting partners, they were transportation and instruments of farming and of warfare. To travel distances too great to cover on foot, one needed a horse. A surefooted, hardy mount with stamina was a must for those who had to undertake long journeys.

Today we watch the miles slip by from the windows of planes, trains, and automobiles; but we recognize "the original off-road vehicle," the horse, in the sport of endurance, now an International Equestrian Federation (FEI)-recognized discipline and one of the eight that will be featured at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, September 25-October 10 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

Endurance became a competitive sport relatively recently, in the 1950s, and the FEI recognized the discipline in 1982. As it's conducted in FEI-level competition, endurance horses and their riders traverse a course of 160 kilometers (100 miles) that's divided into several sections or "phases." At the conclusion of each phase is a mandatory veterinary inspection, during which the horse's condition is assessed and monitored to gauge his fitness to continue. The horse is held until his respiration and heart rates, among other vital signs, indicate that he has had enough of a breather to go on.

Time spent in the vet box counts toward a competitor's total time, and so the objective is to start with a supremely conditioned horse who needs as little rest as possible. The horse's fitness and well-being are paramount, and any rider determined to be pushing a tired horse can be disqualified.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Equine Parasites: 6 Tips on Learning to Live With Worms
by: Christy West
February 21 2010, Article # 15854

If you read the title of this article and said, "WHAT?!?" don't worry--you're not alone! No horse owner wants to think of even a single worm burrowing in their horse's innards. But a goal of zero tolerance for worms is no longer a realistic one; increasing resistance of worms (particularly small strongyles) to common deworming drugs means we have to use much less of them to avoid creating even more resistant superworms.

At the 2009 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas, Nev., Craig R. Reinemeyer, DVM, PhD, president of East Tennessee Clinical Research, discussed the current state of equine internal parasite resistance (primarily in small strongyles) and the new strategies we must use to control it. The basic idea is that we need to use dewormers far less often and more selectively to preserve their value and, yes, even learn to live with the worms to some degree.

Tip #1: Stop Focusing on the Wrong Things

"'Deworming' as a component of a control program is an unfortunate term, because it emphasizes treatment rather than prevention," noted Reinemeyer. While we tend to think parasite control efforts focus on killing adult worms present in our horses, he says that this is entirely the wrong goal. Our objective should be to maximize the health of our horses, and most worms do their worst within a horse as immature larvae. Thus, the better goal is to reduce parasite reproduction and contamination of the environment, so there are fewer worm larvae in the next generation to damage our horses.


West Desert Mustangs - Full Article

Text and Photography: Vicki Ross-Gaebe

Last spring, some fellow photographers and I discovered that a group of mustang owners from the Utah Horse Expo & Festival of Learning had organized a field trip to the West Desert in search of the elusive mustang. We packed our cameras, joined the caravan and headed west. We were not disappointed. From the raw power of the stallions, to the fragility of newborn colts, it's hard not to be in awe of the wild mustang.

It's about a two-hour drive from Park City west to the Cedar Mountains, where one of the largest herds of wild mustangs in Utah can be found. Being there is like a scene from a movie - a herd of wild mustangs galloping alongside our car, and then disappearing around the side of a mountain, miraculously managing to skirt treacherous gopher holes and deep crevices. The mustangs were headed to a nearby watering hole, where eventually we would find a herd of nearly 100 horses.

Quietly, we crept up to a vantage point and watched in amazement as these incredible animals carried out their day-to-day lives. We saw mothers with foals, frisky adolescents and bossy stallions.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Minerals and Vitamins - Full Article

by: Karen Briggs
November 01 2009

They represent only a tiny portion of your horse's feed intake, but they pack a nutritional wallop several times their size.

Break down the components of the equine diet and think, for a moment, about what each accomplishes for your horse.

Fiber forms the basis of his energy intake for maintenance metabolism--the everyday, low-key workings of his body. It also stimulates the digestive system and helps keep it functioning.

Protein provides the amino acid "building blocks" for the growth and repair of the body's tissues.

Carbohydrates offer a concentrated energy kick for the faster, harder, longer work you ask of your performance horse.

Fats give your horse a concentrated, easy-to-digest alternative energy source to fuel long-distance work, and they help promote a shiny coat and support the reproductive system. They also assist with weight gain when adding protein is not an option.

The function of minerals and vitamins, however, can't be summed up in a sentence or two. The work they do on behalf of your horse is so varied, so comprehensive, and so amazing that they deserve a little more appreciation than they normally receive. Tiny though these elements may be, they're crucial to your horse's every conceivable function. So let's take a closer look.


Dealing with a Pushy Horse - Full Article

by Charles Wilhelm
Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Problem:

I was leading my horse and he was pushing into me. I tried to correct it with a whip but only thing I could do was move away. Is there something that I should have done?

The Advice:

This is a very good question and it happens a lot. There are a number of components in this situation that need to be discussed. A lot of people don't like to talk about controlling an aggressive horse. There are corrections that have to be made but there is a difference between making a correction and a beating.

In this situation, the handler tried to correct the horse, put pressure on it by blocking the horse from coming toward her but the horse kept coming and she finally moved away. Now, in horse world, a horse learns by pressure and release so the moment she moved out of the way, she released the pressure and taught the horse to do it again. I will guarantee that this will happen again if the horse is not properly corrected.

Correction is nothing more than follow-through. Everyone understands the roll of pressure and release in herd dynamics. Intellectually we understand that it means the least amount of pressure but as much as needed. If you look at any herd, pasture or big corral, when a new horse joins that environment, you can see the dynamics at work. Sometimes the lead horse will turn around and look at the new horse with snake eyes and that is the least amount of pressure. If the new horse does not respond to that or he challenges, the lead horse may swing his hind quarters around toward the new horse adding pressure. If that doesn't work, it is amazing how fast a horse can back up and kick at the same time.


Is concussion really a problem?
Tuesday, February 16, 2010 by Duncan McLaughlin

We have all seen them, those insidious concussion rings that appear in the hoof wall following an endurance ride, gradually moving down with the growing hoof capsule. Sometimes they even manifest as horizontal concussion cracks. They look ugly and they scream: Damage! And then, there is all that long-term concussive wear and tear on joints leading to inevitable arthritic change. Not surprisingly, managing concussion is often considered the primary soundness issue for your endurance horse over his career.

But need it be so?

To answer this question, let’s first consider how the hoof functions. Of course, as any internet search soon shows, there are about a bazillion or so theories on how the hoof functions and how to best manage and dress the hoof for optimal performance. For any one theory of hoof function you will soon find another in complete contradiction. However, all the different theories can be categorised into two basic models based on the distribution of weight through the hoof.

1. Whole Of Foot

Under this model, your horse's weight simply falls, via the skeleton, to the ground through all components of the hoof (wall, sole, bars, frog), which share in the distribution of that weight. The coffin bone is the load-bearing structure. Under this model, factors external to the hoof, such as the amount of daily movement, the living and working terrain, conformational traits, and the presence/absence of hoof protection, are considered to determine which hoof structures are trimmed or left untouched. The aim is to distribute weight across all hoof components, including the caudal hoof (digital cushion, ungual cartilages), to optimise correct coffin bone loading within the hoof in motion and at rest.

2. Lamellar Sling

Under this model, your horse's weight falls through to his coffin bone, which is in turn suspended in a 'sling' by way of the close interweaving of the epidermal (hoof wall) and dermal (inner hoof) lamellae. Under this model, the hoof wall is the primary weight bearing structure, and the focus is on angles and measurements of the hoof in isolation to both your attached horse and his living environment. Obviously this model is implicit in all farriery: attaching a shoe mandates the hoof wall as the only weight-bearing structure. Some vets and researchers also use this model. For example, the work of much-quoted laminitis researcher Chris Pollitt DVM is based on this model, which he describes as the 'lamellar corium - distal phalanx attachment apparatus'.

Most schools of barefoot trimming use methods based on the Whole Of Foot model. Rightly so - there is good reason to be skeptical of the Lamellar Sling model:


Monday, February 15, 2010

Save Money, Save Your Horse

In these tough economic times, nearly every horse owner is trying to pinch pennies. When watching your wallet, it's also important to remember that trimming many veterinary expenses may cost you more in the end.

"Horses can be very expensive animals to own and maintain," says April Knudson, DVM, manager, Merial Veterinary Services. "So it's no surprise that, even in a relatively strong economy, horse owners look for the most inexpensive ways to care for their animals. However, the urge to trim costs becomes even stronger in a weak economy. When that happens, horse owners must be extremely careful not to cut back on important equine health care staples - like vaccinations, for example."

In fact, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) recommends that all horses be vaccinated against core diseases, including tetanus, Eastern and Western equine encephalomyelitis (EEE/WEE), West Nile virus (WNV) and rabies. Other vaccinations may be recommended by a veterinarian based on individual risk if traveling or the disease is a problem for the area. This could include equine influenza and Potomac horse fever (PHF).

"Annual vaccinations - both for core and additional disease concerns - have long been a staple of equine health care and are the best way to help prevent potentially deadly equine diseases and keep horses healthy," Dr. Knudson says. "Even though there is some cost up front, vaccinations are the most cost-effective way to control veterinary expenses related to disease treatment later on down the road."

In fact, supportive care for horses infected with tetanus, EEE, WEE, WNV, PHF or equine influenza can cost thousands of dollars, especially if overnight veterinary care, intravenous feedings or stomach tubes are required. For WNV alone, supportive care can cost up to $3,000 - 45 times more expensive than simply vaccinating the horse for WNV.

Diseases listed in the AAEP's core vaccination guidelines, and PHF and equine influenza, are all diseases that could be a concern for every horse, adds Dr. Knudson.

In some cases, horses can't help but be exposed. For example, tetanus is caused by bacteria from everyday manure, dirt or rust contaminating a puncture wound, and is fatal in at least 50 percent of the cases. EEE and WEE, most often known as sleeping sickness, are two of the most common causes of equine encephalitis, and are endemic to the United States - making it nearly impossible to completely eliminate risk of exposure.

"WNV, another core disease concern, has been identified in all areas of the United States and horses represent more than 95 percent of all non-human cases in mammals," Dr. Knudson says. "Finally, rabies is transmitted in the saliva of an infected animal and is 100 percent fatal for horses and almost always fatal for humans. In the case of rabies, vaccination not only protects horses, it protects their human handlers."

While PHF and equine influenza are not included on AAEP's list of core vaccinations, they are included in the list of risk-based vaccinations. Horses that travel or are stabled with others that travel are most at risk for equine influenza, but any horse that comes in contact with infected caddisflies or mayflies can contract PHF. What's more, PHF is a potentially deadly disease that can cause mild depression, anorexia, diarrhea, abortion in pregnant mares, toxemia and laminitis. Equine influenza is transmitted through infected horses, contaminated inanimate objects and people moving between infected and uninfected horses, and is one of the leading causes of respiratory disease in horses.

"Without vaccinations for these diseases, horses are left vulnerable to debilitating side effects or even death," Dr. Knudson says. "In addition to a sick horse, horse owners may also have to deal with an empty wallet because supportive care for many of these diseases can cost thousands of dollars. When you do the math, it costs so little just to vaccinate horses up front compared with the potential cost after the horse is sick."

Today's advanced vaccine technology provides new choices for vaccination and helps protect horses. For instance, the RECOMBITEK® line of equine vaccines includes advanced recombinant canarypox-vectored vaccine technology to aid in the prevention of WNV and equine influenza, in addition to a new combination vaccine featuring recombinant WNV with EEE, WEE and tetanus.

Merial also provides leading equine vaccines such as IMRAB® rabies vaccine and POTOMAVAC™ vaccine for PHF.

For more information, contact:
Michele Egan
(678) 638-3524
michele.egan @

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How To Help Your Endurance Horse With Acupressure - Full Article

Posted by admin on Feb 14, 2010
By: Nancy Zidonis & Amy Snow

It is dark and downright cold this morning! The ride starts at 5:00 a.m. and it is 3:30 a.m. Too cold to sleep and Samson, my 8-year-old gelding, is probably just as cold and stiff as I am. I can hear him moving around in his pen just trying to keep his blood circulating. I’d better get up and do something to help him warm-up and prepare for the many miles ahead....

Endurance and pleasure trail riders know how important it is to have their horses feel energized and warm before heading out for a cold, early morning ride. Cold, stiff muscles, tendons, and joints can cause injuries and certainly will affect the animal’s ability to perform at his best. Many riders are offering their horses’ Acupressure Sessions as part of their conditioning routine to maintain their animal’s health and fitness.

Acupressure is an ancient healing art. This noninvasive, deceptively gentle complementary modality can profoundly impact your horse’s balance of energy, health, and general attitude. For trail riders, acupressure is particularly powerful because it is safe, drug-free, and always available.

Our friend Sara was riding in the high planes of the Colorado Rocky Mountains last summer with a group of her horse-buddies. Two days into the four-day ride, she noticed that her 16-year-old mare, Gracie, was having difficulty breathing and showing signs of distress. She was not sure if it was the altitude or over exertion, but she knew she had to do something quickly. They were at least 25 miles from any hope of finding a veterinarian.


Monday, February 08, 2010

Racehorse Research Identifies Speed Gene
Posted on: February 8, 2010 3:10 PM, by "GrrlScientist"

If you've worked at or been around a racetrack very much, as I have, you'll quickly realize that everyone there has their own pet idea for picking winners. Horse breeders have always relied on pedigree analysis and studying the horse's conformation to predict whether a particular racehorse is better suited for running short or longer distances. But this is an inexact science that can waste valuable time, money and sometimes, horses. Which makes one wonder whether modern molecular biology can be applied to the challenge of identifying specific genes that make a particular horse better suited to running sprints or distances?

"Everybody knows one horse can run faster than another -- most people want to know which one," said Emmeline Hill, a genetics researcher at University College Dublin in Ireland. "I want to understand why."

To gain an understanding of the athletic ability of Thoroughbreds, Dr Hill spearheaded a team of researchers that investigated the genetic factors that contribute to muscle growth. Muscle growth in animals is influenced in part by the myostatin gene (MSTN). MSTN produces a protein that contributes to muscle size development in a range of mammalian species: the animal can either have a compact, muscular body that is suited to short sprints or a longer, leaner body that is better for endurance.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Looking After Endurance Horses - Full Article

Elizabeth Peplow

The sport of endurance riding looks set to reap the rewards of an increasingly high-tech approach to horse care.

As the sport benefits from the appliance of science, there will be lessons for all.

But, says Rod Fisher, who has served as British endurance team vet since 1988, both riders and officials can still do more to get the basics right. Rod stresses that more could be done to improve care before, during and after rides.

"I would like to see people monitoring their horses more closely. It is a question of seeing how receptive the horse is, how willing it is to go on and how much it isdrinking.

"Often, riders who know their horses well can spot something is not right before the vets. Some people see a problem and try to pretend it is not there in the hope that it goes away. But if you address difficulties early, they are always easier to treat."

He also stresses the benefit of using heart monitors during training and for competitions. Riders who train themselves to pick up even slight changes to their horse's demeanour before rides, he says, stand a better chanceof preventing problems taking their toll in competition.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Second Annual Jerri FitzGerald Canter Against Cancer to Benefit Noble Hospital

Ride Honors Memory of South Pole Physician, Dr. Jerri FitzGerald
February 3, 2010

Southampton, Massachusetts - Organizers of the second annual Jerri FitzGerald Canter Against Cancer Benefit Trail Ride, honoring the memory of cancer warrior and South Pole physician, Dr. Jerri FitzGerald, have announced that proceeds from this year's ride, Saturday September 18 (rain date September 19), will go to Noble Hospital of Westfield, Massachusetts.

"Dr. FitzGerald was an intelligent physician who was aware of the gravity of her diagnosis," said Dr. Phillip T.Glynn, director of Oncology at Noble Hospital, where Dr. FitzGerald received care. Despite the burdens of treatment, she managed to be grateful for each day and for the loving care of the people around her, he said. Her first battle, self-treating breast cancer in the late 1990s while stationed in Antarctica, captured world attention and led to her N.Y. Times best-selling autobiography: Icebound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole. She was in remission until 2005 and lost her battle against the disease on June 24, 2009.

"Noble Hospital was important to Jerri, and to those who loved her and were with her on this journey," said Canter Against Cancer organizer, Claudia Sarti. Dr. FitzGerald received treatment at Noble and wanted donations in her memory to go to the hospital.

The Canter Against Cancer benefit trail ride features 100+ autumnal acres of groomed field and forest paths, hay rides, raffle, and slow-cooked pig roast. Giddyap Girls will donate all-natural horse treats and Mark Lexton Collection will return as creators of the Jerri FitzGerald Canter Against Cancer signature rope necklace in sterling silver or gold. The ride is again hosted thanks to the generosity of Twin Orchard Farm and the Kaniecki family of Southampton, Massachusetts. Suggestion donation is $25 per rider or $25 per car for non-riders, and includes continental breakfast and pig roast.

A second Canter Against Cancer, inspired by the Massachusetts event, will be June 12, 2010, outside of Zillah, Washington, and hosted by the Yakima Valley Riding Club. "Our club has been hit hard with members and family diagnosed with cancer. We strongly feel that it is time for us to be involved in the fight and to do what we can to raise funds to find a cure," says organizer, Linda Spurlock. For information on the Washington State ride, email Linda at

Find Canter Against Cancer on Facebook and YouTube, or for information (images available on request), contact L.A. Pomeroy,, (413) 586-6121, or Claudia Sarti,, (413) 549-0050.

Craig Cameron's Top Trail Tips - Full Article

Story by Cynthia McFarland

We chat with the "cowboy’s clinician" about all things trail.

Cowboys are known for many things; practicality and common sense are at the top of the list.

Thanks to a lifetime of ranching and rodeoing and conducting clinics for more than two decades, Craig Cameron is known by many as the "cowboy's clinician." He’s also spent countless hours on the trail. His down-to-earth philosophy for smart riding is to make sure you can live to ride again tomorrow. He stresses safety in every aspect of horse handling, whether on the ground or in the saddle.

I caught up with Cameron just before he headed off into the Colorado wilderness for a week-long trail-riding clinic. He was kind enough to share his top trail-riding tips.

How important is horsemanship to trail riders? Why?

I think horsemanship is extremely important for good trail riding, because the better you can handle your horse, the better you’ll be able to go down the trail and the safer you'll be.