JULY 2019 THE RIDER /19 President Vice President Youth Director

Secretary/Treasurer Past President

2019 OXC Board of Directors Susan Caldwell John Hodgson Shelley Newton

Chuck Ornstein

416-529-5425 613-859-3260

705-930-1603 (after 5pm)


Regional Director - West Samantha McFadyen 416-799-5090 Regional Director - West Karen Dallimore Regional Director - West Ellie Ross

Franny Galvin-Hynes 705-977-2957 519-855-1127

Regional Director - Central L. Paige Swanson Regional Director - East

Sheila Toll OXC News

CALLING ALL 3-4 Year Old Horses! Be the very first OXC Futurity Winner and make history!

From the Desk of the Pres- ident

OXC is excited to offer

for the first time an OXC Futurity for 3 and 4 year old horses at the OXC Provin- cial Finals that will be held October 23 & 24th, 2019, at the Ancaster Fairgrounds. All breeds are welcome to compete for a custom silver buckle and prize money. Registration for the Fu-

turity will open in August. Need to get some miles

on your young horse? Then come out and give the Green Horse division a try. This is a division that wel- come horses of all ages that need the exposure before moving to a more advanced rider division. OXC has a total of 15

scheduled races this season before the Provincial Finals.

There are races happening all over Ontario from Brig- den in the south west, to Vankleek Hill in the east, and for the first time, OXC has 2 races in the northern area of Echo Bay! Come give it a try and

see what all the fun is about! Our OXC website has

all the events listed and on- line registration at http://on- In June our club en-

joyed the premiere event at Erin Fairgrounds with Horse Day on Saturday that was very well attended, and a sanctioned Extreme Cow- boy Show on Sunday. The winners of each divi- sion from the Erin Event are as follows;

Isaac DiNardo - Young Guns Josie Rowling - Youth Gillian Joyce - Novice Paige Swanson - Intermedi- ate

Regional Director - North Erika Peckover Fundraising Committee

Leianne West

Paige Swanson - Non-Pro Amanda Moore - Green Horse Kathy Bonehill - Ridesmart Nina Morrisey - Pro Paige Swanson and

Nina Morrisey both receive a ballot to win the HR Sad- dle from Ionson’s Saddlery.

Upcoming events in Au- gust are; August 10 - Peterborough Fair August 11th -Williamstown August 17th- Vankleek Hill Fair August 18t- Laird Fair August 25th- Capital Fair

This is the most inter-

esting equine sport in On- tario and its growing with most events sold out in record time. Try it out! There is a division for every level of rider. If you’re not sure which division you fit into, contact us with your questions and we are always happy to answer! You will never be

bored. Your horse will be- come very well educated

Photo Credit : Sutherland Images Jassen Phillips. Photo Credit : Sutherland Images

The Science of how Horses Think & Learn Taking poles in stride. Part 1

So here’s your checklist on the approach

to every obstacle. As long as you get your horse to the pole straight, in the right length of stride and with enough spring or energy in the stride – the rest is your horse’s re- sponsibility.

1. STRIDE LENGTH. You should be able to adjust your horse’s lope as evenly and smoothly as an elastic band, between six and ten feet. Trail courses are built on a six foot lope stride. If your horse gets ex- cited when you lengthen or breaks gait when you shorten, return to developing this skill with- out the rails. Know what your horse’s six foot stride feels like and keep it the same, stride after stride. Keep your rhythm like a metronome – I always have a drum beat going in my head.

2. STRAIGHTNESS. Is your horse laterally responsive- guiding easily from your leg and subtle neck rein? To cross the pole cleanly, your horse’s spine needs to be aligned straight from nose to tail, with front and back feet strad- dling the line of travel.

By Lindsay Grice, Equine Canada certified coach and show judge.

Building your horse’s skill and confidence over

poles is like building any structure – first, lay a solid foundation. Nothing shakes a prey animal’s confidence like getting his feet tangled as he leaps over and lands on the rails. As with jumping, the building blocks of this foun-

dation are stride adjustment , lateral control and collec- tion before cantering or loping obstacles. Slower is faster. A logical progression of trotting

rails first, before you began loping is the key to penalty free performances in trail and western riding classes.

This horse is a wee bit crooked. To cross the pole cleanly, your horse’s spine needs to be aligned straight from nose to tail.

Rider error can incite horses to hurry through

obstacles. Like those who rush fences, horses who don’t trust their riders’ judgement just want to get it over with! I hear riders confuse this with eagerness, yet rushing is actually an automatic re- sponse, triggered by fear. With every mistake, confidence erodes and a horse’s flight instinct takes over. So slow and steady is the best insur- ance policy.

3. SHAPE. The quality and outline of the stride is the final ingredient. With suspension or (“bounce to the ounce”) in the gait, the horse

has enough energy to adjust to make even an awkward approach work out. And he must be al- lowed to stretch to look down at the pole. A horse’s line of bilateral vision is down the plane

of his face. If his head is in the air, he’s going to hit the rails. Start by loping single poles, scattered around

your arena at distances far enough away from each other that you have time to think in between. Approach each pole at a six foot stride, on a per- pendicular path, with your horse’s body aligned straight. See if you can count three strides before

519-742-4000 705-977-0650 613-646-0186 705-622-1400 519-270-8958

and skilled. You will make many great new friends! What do you have to lose? Give it a try!

Samantha McFadyen. Photo Credit : Sutherland Images

each pole. This is the process of developing your “eye”. And that’ll be our topic for next month!

About Lindsay Grice. A horse show judge and certified rid-

ing coach with a special interest in equine behaviour. After 25 years as a competitor and horse trainer, Lindsay enjoys teaching clinics and travelling to Ontario farms as a freelance instructor. She’s taught the science of equine behaviour and learning for horse associations, courses for University of Guelph and therapeutic riding facilities. Lindsay judges many disciplines and

breeds and serves on an EC judging com- mittee

Why do horses do what they do? “In the horse world, our traditions and evi- dence sometimes collide – I love to help rid- ers solve their horse puzzles with logic, patience and equitation science.”


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