Monday, June 18, 2018

Saddle Fitting the Arabian Horse

TheConnectedRider.com - Full Article

TheConnectedRider.com

I never had a desire to ride a bucking bronco. If I did I would have joined the Rodeo. Instead I prefer to ride my horses safely making sure if there was a bucking fest it came from training or exuberant expression (my nice way of saying they were being a naughty pony!) and not from pain. This first and foremost means my saddle must fit. If you have ever tried finding a saddle to fit an Arabian then you have stared adversity in the face and stated “I have got this!” Why?

Let’s clarify adversity: if you have ever called a saddle fitter and told them you were having trouble finding a saddle to fit and then the word “Arabian” came out of your mouth you could almost hear the crickets against the silence. In the saddle fitter world Arabians are known for being tough to saddle fit, not impossible but tough. Some saddle fitters relish in the challenge, others slowly back away never to be heard from again. It isn’t that Arabians are not particularly suited to being ridden, quite the contrary but the modern Arabian Sport Horse has become so athletic it has some unique fitting challenges to go with that athletic conformation and quite frankly many saddle manufactures just haven’t caught up. I thought I would pass on a little bit of knowledge I gained over the years trying to fit the impossible to fit Arabians.

For starters an Arabian horse in general has a straighter top line…please note I said in general, I currently have one Arabian that has anything but a level top line. The modern Arabian sport horse also in general has wide broad shoulders, a well sprung rib cage, a short back that is also well muscled with an equally well muscled and active loin. These horses are short coupled with well laid back shoulders and being fantastic elastic “back movers” it is amazing we don’t need super glue and duct tape to keep a saddle on them. Arabians in general do not have substantial withers. The good news is all these features make a spectacular riding horse.

The first thing I learned over the years of having Arabians is: there is no such thing as an Arabian saddle...

Read more here:
https://www.theconnectedrider.com/blogging/saddle-fitting-the-arabian/

Trail Riding Equine Etiquette

By Carey Williams and Janice Elsishans

When trail riding, everyone needs to be aware of not only safety concerns for the rider and the horse, but also courtesy for other trail users. All safety precautions and tips on riding should be practiced, because trail etiquette and safety go hand in hand.

Stay on designated or marked trails. Do not ride horses at a pace greater than a walk on muddy trails. You should cross rivers, creeks, or wetland only in designated areas to guard against adverse impact on the environment and for the safety of you and your horse.

Good riding etiquette prevents land abuse and destruction.. If you ride on federal or state lands, ask the park officials for their advice on the best trails to take or if there are any map changes. Ride only on lands offered for public or private use where you have permission to ride.

If you stop for lunch, make sure your horse is resting in a safe place both for the horse and for other trail users. Stay with your horse and be considerate of other trail users.

If it is permissible to have the horses rest off the trail, do not tie your horse directly to a tree. Use two lightweight 8-foot lines with panic snaps and secure your horse between two trees. This will prevent the horse from chewing the bark and damaging the root system.

Leave what you find and carry out what you packed.

Water should be offered to a horse at any available point on the trail if the trail permits horse access. If there is no access, do not attempt to enter the water. Entering rivers or streams in undesignated areas can cause damage to the environment, be unsafe for the horse, and possibly result in the trail being closed to horses.

At the trailhead or when using a public park, be considerate of other users and clean up any manure. Do not toss manure from your trailer into the bushes unless you have asked the proper officials if this is acceptable.

Horses that are young or new to trails can learn from seasoned trail horses, so surround the novice horse with two or three seasoned horses. This is especially helpful if a novice trail horse is easily spooked.

Horses may not understand that a hiker with a large backpack, floppy hat, or a fishing rod is still a person. Speak to others on the trail to help your horse understand that unfamiliar objects do not pose a danger.

Keep your own safety in mind, as well. It is best not to ride alone, but if you do, tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back. Consider carrying a whistle or cell phone to use in case of an emergency. It takes less effort to blow a whistle than to yell for help.
 
Consider attaching an identification tag to your horse when trail riding. The tag should include the horse’s name, your name, and your cell phone number. Should you become separated from your horse and you are some distance from home, a cell phone number will aid anyone who has caught your horse in reuniting it with you.

Carry a current map of the area and have an idea where you are going. Study the area around you, noting landmarks. Occasionally look behind you to help recognize the trail for your return.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Riders are more stable in saddles without flaps, study finds

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Sarah Radford
15:37 - 14 June, 2018

Riders have greater stability in saddles without flaps, a new study has claimed.

US researchers collected data from five dressage horses ridden in their own conventional saddles and a flapless saddle provided by EQ Saddle Science.

The conventional, treed saddles featured two flaps — a sweat flap next to the horse’s ribcage where the girth straps lay and a second flap over which the stirrup leathers hang.

The flapless saddle goes one further than a monoflap design, separating the rider’s legs from the horse with a saddlepad only.

The horses used in the study were three European warmbloods, one thoroughbred-warmblood cross, and one Lusitano, all of which were ridden by their regular professional riders to reduce variability in the data.

Each horse was ridden in the flapless saddle twice in the three days prior to the study to allow them to get used to the feel...

Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/riders-stable-saddles-without-flaps-study-finds-656370#tHVrK0c1ISr4IWbj.99

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

All the Wild Horses review – hills, hooves and unhinged competitors

TheGuardian.com - Full Article

Ivo Marloh’s documentary about the Mongol Derby captures the beauty and bedlam of the 1,000-km cross-country race

by Peter Bradshaw
@PeterBradshaw1
Fri 8 Jun 2018

To non-horse-riders the subject of this looks like the most extraordinary exercise in masochism and self-harm, and yet there is a kind of fascination in it. The film is about the Mongol Derby, a brutally punishing 1,000-kilometre endurance race across Mongolia, recreating Genghis Khan’s 13th-century horse-messenger trail.

Riders have to use the wild horses they’re given and ride all day for about 10 days, changing mounts every 40 kilometres. They are intensively tracked and monitored with GPS, with hyper-alert support teams of doctors and vets, although psychotherapists would probably also be a good idea. The contestants face tough terrain, the possibility of encountering wolves and probable/inevitable injury – or, as someone cheerfully puts it: “faceplanting”, which could lead to broken necks. It looks as terrifyingly dangerous as the TT races in the Isle of Man...

Read more here:
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jun/08/all-the-wild-horses-review

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Long Riders' Guild Press publishes 3-volume Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration

May 25 2018

After years of uninterrupted labour the Long Riders’ Guild has helped usher in a new age of equestrian exploration. With Members in 46 countries, the Guild has mentored equestrian expeditions on every continent except Antarctica.
 
Subsequently, to mark the 400 year anniversary of the birth of equestrian travel literature, the Long Riders’ Guild Press is writing to announce the publication of the three-volume Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration, the most extensive study of equestrian travel ever created.
 
Robin Hanbury-Tenison is a Founding Member of the Guild and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society who was awarded the Patron’s Gold medal. In the Preface, Robin declared, “CuChullaine O'Reilly is a phenomenon. In these magnificent volumes all the great equestrian experiences throughout history are recorded and, above all, the love that can exist between humans and horses is revealed.”
 
Noted equestrian author and Founding Member of the Guild Jeremy James stated in the Foreword, “If the Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration isn’t a Magnum Opus, then nothing counts. I believe CuChullaine O’Reilly has written the most astounding book in equestrian historical literature. CuChullaine, you’ve joined the Immortals.”
 
The first and second sets of the Encyclopaedia were presented to Great Britain’s reigning monarch, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and to the future king, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, both of whom exerted a profound influence on the creation of the books.
 
The famous British explorer, John Hare, reviewed the Encyclopaedia for England’s most prestigious magazine, Country Life. He described “the masterly volumes as a comprehensive work that will be treasured by future long riders and seen as a unique treasury of horse and human wisdom.”
 
The Encyclopaedia is not the limited personal view of the author. It is not the recollections of a single traveller. It does not promote the superiority of one race or culture. It contains the collective wisdom of more than 400 Long Riders. The pages document their neglected role in equestrian history and reveals their gallant struggles against inconceivable odds
 
For the first time in history the books written by Long Rider authors are honoured in an extensive Bibliography which includes more than 200 titles dating back hundreds of years. The 1,800 pages are enriched by nearly a thousand images, drawings and photographs.
 
Volume 1 consists of The Preparation, The Horses and The Equipment, Volume 2 consists of The Challenges and Volume 3 consists of The Journey, The Aftermath and The Epilogue. Thus the Encyclopaedia’s three volumes contain hundreds of pages of practical wisdom gained from the travels of the greatest equestrian explorers.
 
It is also a guidebook that explains that state of mental tranquillity described as The Long Quiet. A few books have addressed the practical aspects of horse travel. But no one has examined the philosophical side. The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration doesn’t just tell you how. It reveals why. HRH Prince Charles provided the spiritual inspiration for the Encyclopaedia.  His profound influence can be seen throughout the book, and he is specifically quoted and thanked in the Epilogue, which addresses issues that confront us all as human beings.
 
To augment the study of equestrian exploration, the Long Riders’ Guild previously released The Horse Travel Handbook. This smaller cavalry style manual has already accompanied a number of Long Riders during their journeys in the Americas, Asia and Australia.
 
Taken together, the Encyclopaedia and the Handbook represent an equestrian Rosetta Stone that chronicles the ancestral story of the Long Riders and ensures that humanity’s collective equestrian travel heritage is preserved for posterity.
 
Kind regards,
CuChullaine O’Reilly FRGS
Founder, The Long Riders’ Guild
 
Advance Reviews
 
“CuChullaine O’Reilly is unquestionably the most gifted equestrian writer of the 21st century. Except for his abbreviated version – The Horse Travel Handbook, there has never been a guide written that is in any way comparable to this unusual tour de force.
Canadian Long Rider Bonnie Folkins
 
“The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration was authored by CuChullaine O’Reilly, the foremost expert, scholar and gentleman of horse back travel and exploration. It represents a vast collection of wisdom brought together for the first time.”
New Zealand Long Rider Ian Robinson
 
“CuChullaine O’Reilly is the lore-master of the Long Riders’ tribe. After decades of amazing research, his wonderfully written Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration represents a literary landmark in the study of horse travel.”
Russian Long Rider Vladimir Fissenko
 
“The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration is not about one nation. It represents the collective wisdom of humanity’s travel on horseback. This is a book of marvels that includes precious stories, valuable ideas, forgotten history and endangered practical knowledge.”
Lithuanian Long Rider Gintaras Kaltenis
 
“No one has written about equestrian travel as CuChullaine O’Reilly has. The author misses nothing. His breadth of knowledge is astonishing. I was amazed at the skill of the writing. This book is not only vital to equestrian travelers, it is essential to our human history.”
American Long Rider Lucy Leaf
 
“The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration is the Bible for Long Riders. These books will guide you, inspire you, and show you right from wrong.”
Argentine Long Rider Benjamin Reynal