18/ FEBRUARY 2020 THE RIDER President Vice President Youth Director

Secretary/Treasurer Past President

2020 OXC Board of Directors Susan Caldwell John Hodgson Shelley Newton

Chuck Ornstein Josie Rowling

Communications Director Tracy Galvin Fundraising Director

Leianne West Regional Director - Central John Blodgett

416-529-5425 613-859-3260

705-930-1603 (After 6:30pm) 705-445-3524 613-334-9527 705-741-7654 519-270-8958 705-559-9448

Regional Director - Central Michelle Manklow 705-828-5988 Regional Director - West Karen Dallimore OXC News

2020 OXC Board of Directors

President, Susan Caldwell 416-529-5425 Vice President, John Hodg- son 613-859-3260 Secretary/Treasurer, Shel- ley Newton 705-930-1603 (After 6:30pm) Past President, Chuck Orn- stein 705-445-3524 Youth Director,


Rowling 613-334-9527 Communications Director, Tracy Galvin 705-741-7654 Fundraising Director, Leianne West 519-270-8958 Regional Director - Cen- tral, John Blodgett 705- 559-9448 Regional Director - Cen- tral, Michelle Manklow 705-828-5988 Regional Director - West, Karen Dallimore 519-855- 1127 Regional Director - West,

Samantha McFadyen 416- 799-5090 Regional Director - West, Ellie Ross 519-404-5959 Regional Director - West, Laikyn West 226-668-1289

New Year - New Goals!

The motivation that

you and your horse have been needing! What happens to

horses that compete in Xtreme Cowboy? They be- come better trail horses. Better partners. They learn to trust their riders more. You can even try it in an English saddle before you decide to invest in the cool cowboy attire that we know you want to. Like any sport, you

have to decide what you

Regional Director - West Samantha McFadyen 416-799-5090 Regional Director - West Ellie Ross Regional Director - West Laikyn West

519-855-1127 519-404-5959


want out of it. Riding horses is no different. Most often, the number one reason is to have fun with your horse and most horse riders want to improve their horseman- ship skills. What goals are you setting this year to get there? Why not try some- thing that is fun and will im- prove your and your horse’s skills? Sometimes improve-

ments are ever so slightly and somethings take longer than others, but any im- provement no matter how small , should be seen as a positive. Some ways to keep

track of your own personal bests when competing could be recording overall times, specific scores of common obstacles, such as a gate, bridge or free ride, or even what obstacle you’ve re- ceived your highest score on. Find where you need to make improvements on and set some goals. The biggest improvement is that you are

actually getting out there and trying it! This is one of the rea-

sons that Xtreme Cowboy has been such a growing sport all over the world. Xtreme Cowboy is based on everyday ranch type obsta- cles of a working cowhand. Obstacles can be very hum- bling. Riders are learning about setting goals for them- selves, their horses, and wanting to improve their horsemanship in the ring but most importantly outside the ring in everyday situations, bit by bit. The best part about it is, that you will have a much better horse overall as a result of it. With Xtreme Cowboy,

the courses change from event to event. There is al- ways a new challenge to keep this sport fresh and in- teresting at all levels. At competitions the approach and the departure to the ob- stacle changes, and the ob- stacles themselves may be presented in a new way.

Should you find yourself being challenged at a com- petition with one particular element, the best advice is to go home and try to re-cre- ate what challenged you or your horse break it down into easier parts and work through it. Then put it all back together until you have mastered the element. As with any task, speed will come with the confidence and you also increase the degree of difficulty. If you are nailing the element at a slower speed at an event, then push yourself to in- crease the speed at home without jeopardizing the quality of the maneuver, then watch your scores in- crease at competitions. Un- derstanding your rider and horse skills at a competition is also reflected in the horse- manship points section of your overall score. As a rider you may recognize when your or your horse’s skill level is below what is being asked. If you ac- knowledge an element but do not complete it, you will not be disqualified. You will receive a minimal mark for your approach and depar- ture of the obstacle. Take that opportunity to go home with a new challenge or goal to work on. Extreme Cowboy As-

sociation (EXCA) also al- lows you to find the best division that fits you and your horse. It offers a Green Horse division that is open to any age of horse or breed

The Science of how Horses Think & Learn Alignment. In riding and in life!

and show clothes, when we know they won’t necessarily put us in the ribbons. Or we might spend our energy chasing those ribbons at the expense of family relation- ships. Committees, career, fashion and Facebook can worm their ways out of their proper place in line. We feel like life is happening to us instead of the fruit of thoughtful choices, stride by stride. You have to decide what your highest

priorities are and have the courage – pleas- antly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.” Stephen Covey

I instruct you in the way of wisdom

and lead you along straight paths. Proverbs 4:11

Ive drawn a line in the dirt to illustrate that, curved path or straight, your horse is aligned when his nose follows the path, with front and back feet straddling it.

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

Alignment. In riding and in life! A medley of horse performance issues stem from the same source – lack of straightness. Anyone driving a truck a truck and trailer will tell

you that in stopping or backing, you’d better have the rig straight! The same is true with horses. When a horse has his head, neck, shoulders and

hips aligned with his line of travel, he’s straight. So, curved path or straight, no body part should drift off the track. Picture your horse’s nose on the line with front and back feet straddling that line.

I'm showing these riders how to correct a horse who cuts in after a jump and misses the flying change. By shifting the shoulders to the outside of the line of travel and flexing the nose to the inside, a green horse is prepared for the lead change, right-to-left.

When your horse’s nose tips to the outside, his shoulder

drops to the inside. If his haunches fishtail toward the in-gate, he’ll swap leads or break gait. Horses jump in poor form or even refuse due to a crooked approach to the fence. Flying changes hop and canter strides lose their flow when a there’s a kink in the hose – misalignment, however subtle. When our lives get out of alignment, we lose sight of our

priorities. We get sidetracked from our goals and sometimes our values. We might spend more money than we intended on tack

About Lindsay Grice. A horse show judge and certified riding 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 instruc- tor. She’s taught the science of equine behaviour and learning for horse as- sociations, courses for University of Guelph and therapeutic riding facilities. Lindsay judges many disciplines and breeds and serves on an EC judg-

ing committee

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


(including mules) that is new to obstacles. This is a great place for seasoned rid- ers to get a new horse intro- duced to the obstacle racing. If you are an adult, com- pletely new to riding and the sport of Xtreme Cow- boy then the Novice divi- sion is a great place to start. In both Green Horse and Novice, the obstacles are rated easier to maneuver through. Once your skills have improved enough and you want to be challenged more, but just don’t have the speed, then Intermediate is the next step up. In EXCA sanctioned events there are 8 divisions of- fered. Young Guns (ages 7- 11), Youth (under 17), Green Horse, Novice, Inter- mediate, Ride Smart (over 55), Non-Pro, Pro. With Pro

classes being the most chal- lenging level of difficulty. Note that any breed of horse or mule can compete. If you are interested in

learning more about Xtreme Cowboy in Ontario please free to check out www.on- or contact myself or a current OXC board member for more information. Upcom- ing 2020 OXC events will be posted on the website as they are confirmed with a completed list by late spring. Remember that every

accomplished rider was once a beginner, and every finished horse was once not tame.

Susan Caldwell 2020 Ontario Xtreme Cowboy President

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