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A&M equine short courses The annual Equine December Sale! HUGE

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Plum Creek QUARTER HORSES 5022 East FM 20, Lockhart, TX 78644 – Phone 512/398-4958

Web: – Call about other horses we have for sale. H O R S E S F O R S A L E

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Reproductive Management Short Courses will be held No- vember 30 - December 2, 2010 and January 11-13, 2011. The Equine Repro-

ductive Management Short Course is designed for own- ers and breeding managers who want to learn the most efficient methods for ensuring the success of their breeding programs. Each 3-day course will include classroom sessions on anatomy and physiology of the mare and stallion, control of the estrous cycle, gestation and foaling, feeding the broodmare and young horse, and estrous cycle manipulation of mares. Hands-on laboratory activities are scheduled each day and will include semen collection and

evaluation, estrous detection, artificial insemination, body condition scoring, perineal conformation evaluation of the mare and foaling management. The course content includes a broad range of topics that are useful for horse owners in any segment of the breeding industry. Previous attendees have indicated that the knowl- edge they gained from similar workshops has strengthened their confidence level and im- proved the relationship with their veterinarian concerning horse breeding activities. Each short course

will have limited enrollment to ensure adequate time and ani- mals to allow every participant to develop the skill they desire. Enrollment will be confirmed on


riding your horse in lightness The hand is the third

Training without force

By Mary Rose, FBHS © 2010 It is always possible

for the horse to be supple and light, but it is up to the rider. Horses mirror their rider. They can only swing in a supple, relaxed gait if the rider uses soft smooth aids, correctly and precisely applied at the correct moment in time. Lightness of the


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horse does not mean he takes no contact with the rein. It means he is without undue ten- sion and in balance. The horse cannot be in balance if the rider is not balanced and possessed of an independent, balanced seat.


2006 Sorrel Stallion - High Poco 2005 Brown Stallion - King-CJ Sugar- Tivio-King-Poco Bueno blood.

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Grand Prix horses - should be able to be ridden in a snaffle bridle and without spurs. Some riders think that as the horse becomes more advanced the rider needs more strength but this is far from the truth. What the rider does need is precise and thoughtful application of the aids from a completely in- dependent, balanced seat. This means that the rider is able to sit correctly in the saddle with the legs draped down the horse’s sides, relaxed and not gripping the horse. Each leg must be

By Ingrid Edisen All horses - even

able to be used independently, softly, in an inward and forward direction, and precisely at the correct moment in the stride to be effective. In addition, there must be no tension in the rider’s hips, back, shoulders or arms. Tension in the rider blocks the flow of energy forward from the hindquarters through the bridge of the back. Seat, leg and hand

causes the back muscles to stiffen.

aid. When seat and legs are effective the hand can be used very lightly. Keep the contact but feel the moment to give fractionally within the contact. Keep shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers supple and without tension.

aids create the connection be- tween horse and rider but they need to be used with feeling and in correct order. The seat is always first, it influences every- thing a rider does. The seat initi- ates bigger movement and then follows it. The seat collects the movement and in half halts for a moment can improve connec- tion but should not sit against the horse by being too strong or by the upper body hanging behind the horse’s movement. The secondary aid,

used after the seat, is the leg. The more influential the seat the less leg and hand is needed. Feel will tell the rider how much leg pressure is needed but too much leg pressure will cause tension in the steps. Pressure from the thighs blocks the hind legs and

outside rein work together to straighten the horse. The outside rein controls collection. Pull- ing hands stop the energy of the horse and fixed hands will “frame” the horse but make him dull. Feel as if you are holding two light bamboo twigs in your hands and gently pushing them forward, towards the bit. To ensure lightness

The inside leg and

a first-come, first serve basis as registration forms with fee pay- ment are received. In addition to the lectures and laboratory sessions, the registration fee includes a handbook of the lec- ture material, information from suppliers of equipment and sup- plies, lunches and snacks and a certificate of completion of the course.

be Dr. Martha Vogelsang, Dr. Clay Cavinder, Dr. Josie Cover- dale, Mr. Dave Golden, Ms. Krissy Johnson-Schroeder, and graduate students in Equine Reproduction.

tion, please contact Dr. Martha Vogelsang at 979-845-7731 or by e-mail at m-vogelsang@

For more informa- The instructors will

in your horse, spend time and effort developing your firm, independent, balanced seat. The very best way to do this is with lunge lessons from an ex- perienced instructor on a steady, balanced horse.

at 512-589-3796 or 512-894- 4536 or visit: www.maryrose-

baucher’s mastery of dressage Dressage has its tradi-

tions--and politics. After all it’s been around since Xenophon as horses were “the” military vehicle for centuries. If you could not train the animal to re- spond to your aids in battle you might become fodder for the enemy’s weapon. One contro- versial figure is the Frenchman Francois Baucher (pronounced “bow-shay” 1796-1873) who at times trained the military, then for the circus and developed many methods that been woven into the mix. Speaking broadly, the

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type of dressage we see com- monly in the U.S. is from the German tradition. Baucher was French. One could say that the Germans ride back to front; the French ride front to back. This is a gross overstatement and not necessarily correct, though. Any good riding is good riding. In either case, balance is the key--the masters demonstrate this no matter where they come from.

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are several things. He used “flexions” to get his horses to relax, supple and accept the bit. These are manipulations of the head, neck and shoulders-- stretches, really. There is said to be his first manner and then his second manner. Several editions of his books describe quite well his first manner. It was in the latter part of his life, after having an accident with a chandalier falling upon him during a riding demonstration which weakened his legs, that he developed his second man- ner. Later, some of his students were wrote down what he had taught them and it is from these secondary accounts that we discover he altered some of his teachings.

Hallmarks of Baucher

was amazed to turn a horse over to him for training (“dressage” is French for “training) and to have it returned to them two months later able to perform maneuvers that normally took a year to teach a horse. Other experiments with balance at the time, done from SLOW speeds were being done, for instance by Francois de Lubersac, the dressage trainer at Versailles under King Louis the 14th. De Lubersac would work his horses at a walk for up to two years, concentrating on balance, then release that animal to trusted riders who worked under him; those riders were astonished to find the animals perfectly bal- anced in ALL THREE GAITS .

started teaching the horse to carry himself in better balance first at the halt, then slowly at the walk. He assumed control of every aspect of the horse’s anatomy via “mise en main” (translated loosely as “bring- ing in hand”) and then later “reassembled” the animal back into a whole (called “effet d’ensemble”) while in motion. Should the animal fall out of balance he would correct the an- imal and begin anew. Compare this to the German School of modifying the animal’s balance while working at speed. Gradu- ally Baucher worked the animal “at speed” (trot, canter), etc. His command was so masterful of the animal’s balance that he could make horses canter back- wards and perform the canter pirourette on three legs. Move- ments that frustrate modern day dressage riders--for example the piaffe (appears as a trot in place but is actually a stepping or walk gait) and passage (a

In summary, Baucher The French military You can contact Mary

big, “floaty” trot)--were a snap for him. Some horses need years of muscle building and education to get to this point. He is the one who is credited with the axiom “Hand without legs; legs without hand”--mean- ing that one isolated one’s aids and worked the horse within the parameters back and forth within the “brackets” of one’s own aids, further reinforcing balance.

pictures of him riding, yet, from surviving written descrip- tions during his day he had his supporters and detractors. Detractors said that the horses moved stiffly or unevenly--this said in particular about those trained with his “first manner.” Also he was criticised for not teaching the horse to go forward enough--again a limitation of his first manner. After his ac- cident he came to realize he did not need his legs really to affect the animal, body weight and direction from the reins was enough. And he did not pull back on his mounts; rather he raise the rein(s) perhaps crudely at first but much more subtly as the animal became more edu- cated.

haps the most legendary dres- sage trainer from Portugal, and many others have adopted aspects of Baucher to use in their own methodology. Today Baucher’s stamp is all over dressage and strains of it run through U. S. Western riding too. It is still hotly debated, and used in various formats. The late Jean Claude Racinet, a huge propenent and scholar of Baucher who taught world wide and lived in the U.S., is perhaps one of the most recent, influential teachers of Baucher’s discoveries and knowledge.

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