This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
that had been labeled with a behavior problem now had an attitude that was improving every day.

So in 2002, Nick and Asterix’s owner came to an agree- ment and Nick purchased Asterix for himself. At that point, the pair had competed at Preliminary once. Nick was con- vinced of his potential to move up, even though it was unexpected at first.

“I would never have expected him to be the one to get me to the upper levels of this sport. He looks like a dressage horse – but he loves eventing!”

Nick attributes some of his success with Asterix to the time he spent helping the horse relax, along with his ability to ride through occasional misbehavior that might have thrown another rider. The key to successful training, he explains, is to find that relaxation. It is also, in many ways, its reward. “That’s how you know they are enjoying the job,” he says succinctly.

In the case of Asterix, Nick says he knew he could not be pushed too far or too hard. “Mentally, he just wasn’t ready,” he explains. “Just because a horse seems right for job – realize they may not be mentally prepared for it. Don’t get overzealous and push too far past their comfort zone.”

Asterix did not compete at this year’s Rolex event in April, despite having qualified last year. Unfortunately, after over- reaching during a training session, he slightly bruised a ten- don sheath and needed time off to make a full recovery. As he comes back into training, however, Nick is already plan- ning his competition schedule for the rest of 2009 – and, he hopes, for many years to come.

Dressage to Hunters

the Hanoverian Lorenzo

“He just fits the bill perfectly as a hunter.”

Christina Major’s 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Lorenzo, is, in her words, “a dressage flunk out.” In his case, she says, the decision to change his career was easy to make, both for her and for his former owner. The 16.3 hand bay is simply not built for dressage, she explains, with a low-set head and neck and a distinctive “daisy cutter” style of movement. Dressage riders saw him as dragging his feet, she says, while hunter riders see exactly the long and low style of movement they want. In addition, because of his conformation, the more upright frame needed for dressage was stressful and demanding for him.

Conformation shot of Lorenzo, now doing well in the hunter ring.

“It was very hard work and because of that he started to develop bad habits,” she explains. “Even though his previ- ous owner was not aggressive with the dressage training, he started backing off the bit and then he started to really back up to avoid the work.”

Lorenzo’s former owner soon recognized that he was in the wrong job and, knowing she wanted a dressage prospect, she put him up for sale. Christina, a trainer based in Keene, New Hampshire and Ocala, Florida, immediately saw his potential to shine in the hunter ring and purchased him in 2007. “He just fits the bill perfectly as a hunter,” she says with a laugh.

She spent the first year teaching him to go forward into a very light contact, with months going by before she intro- duced a single jump. When she did, he took to the fences easily and confidently. He had a relaxed attitude and willing- ness to go forward that quickly made him popular with her students. Christina says that his new attitude came from being given a job that was physically easy for him.

In 2008, Christina and her students began to compete Lorenzo, both in New England and in Ocala. He quickly found success at the “A” shows around New England. That year, he took blue ribbons in both the Children’s Hunter and Adult Amateur Classes, both under saddle and over fences, at the Vermont Summer Festival. In addition, he took the championship ribbon in the Modified Hunters at Stoneleigh- Burnham School in Massachusetts.

Even better than the ribbons, Christina says, is the fact that Lorenzo is clearly content. “Now he’s just happy in his new career. My students love to ride him, especially the kids. And he’s such a pretty mover – he was made for this job.”

16 Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76
Produced with Yudu -