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Our Newsletter

November 2004


Tricks Of The Trade




To maximize your control throughout a course, the trick is to land after the jump and think only about two things: straight and slow. Then, proceed through the turn with a balanced and organized horse. When approaching the next line of jumps, establish a length of stride that is appropriate for that line of jumps. Most riders tend to only worry about the organization of their horse’s stride once they have gone around the corner and begin to approach the next line of jumps. At this stage it is too late to do everything necessary to set yourself up correctly for the next fence. Simply put, the first half of the turn is devoted to collection and reorganization from the jumps just completed, and the second half of the turn is devoted to preparing for the jumps that you are approaching.

A practical example: A racecar driver completes deceleration before entering into a turn, unusually by just letting off the accelerator slightly. He then maintains a small degree of acceleration throughout the turn in order for the car to maintain and contain speed. Likewise, a rider’s deceleration happens in a similar way—on the straight line entering into the turn-- you must decelerate to begin the organization and collection while keeping momentum. To maintain the speed and energy for completing the turn and preparing for the next fence, you need to keep your outside leg on the horse throughout the entire turn-- the way a race car driver would keep his foot on the accelerator.

Greg Best,

International Clinician and Olympian

Ride and train with Greg Best in beautiful New Zealand! To learn more about this equestrian training vacation, visit www.equestriancavactions.com

This tip was sent to Carol Land, who shared it with us, thank you!



Get two small Tupperware container, about four inches in diameter and a few inched deep. Place a stack of 3x3 or 4x4 gauze sponges in each container. Fill each container halfway with witch hazel in one container and Nolvasan solution in another. Now you have instant first aid supplies without having to mix up a solution. Whenever you need to clean a wound, grab a few sponges, which are already soaked in the antiseptic solution. If you need to clean skin or mucous membrane, the sponges soaked in witch hazel are a soothing stringent. You could also have a third container with wads of cotton soaked in alcohol for use in giving shots or disinfecting items.

Julie Goodnight, 
Trainer and Clinician







There are very few states that were exempt from the effects of West Nile Virus (WNV) last year and by this year, the mosquito borne virus, which affects both humans and horses, is expected to be in all 48 contiguous states. Vaccination is an expensive proposition (at $15-20 per dose), especially for large group riding programs. While vaccination may not be a sure-fire prevention of the disease, there is increasing evidence that it is good protection against the disease and that if a vaccinated horse does get WNV, its chances of survival and full recovery are greatly increased over that of an unvaccinated horse. WNV vaccine must be purchased from a vet and the initial inoculation requires two doses, four to six weeks apart, prior to the first sign of mosquitoes in the spring. After initial inoculation, an annual booster should be given as late in the spring as possible (booster efficacy is immediate after the initial two shots). In many areas, the greatest outbreak of the virus occurs in late fall, so in high-risk areas (either high mosquito count or high incidence of WNV) it is recommended to give a second booster later in the season to protect against late-season infection.



‘Nappy’ is a British term for the kind of horse we have all experienced at one time or another. A nappy horse is one that refuses to respond to properly applied aids, particularly as it relates to leaving the barnyard. If you have a nappy horse, the worst thing you can do is turn him in the direction he wants to go. If your horse refuses to turn right, you must insist that he turn right. Do not turn him left and circling him back around. While this may make you feel like you have accomplished something, since you circled the horse all the way back around, all the horse knows is that by refusing your aids, he got to turn the way he wanted to. It does not compute to the horse that you brought him all the way back around; those two factors have no relationship in the horse’s mind. The best way to deal with a nappy horse is to do more ground work to bring the horse into a more obedient and subordinate frame of mind. If the horse looks to you as his leader, he will happily go with you anywhere.

Julie Goodnight