Author: PJ Janssen

Riding Helmets – Fit

Riding Helmets   You know you should wear one, but do you know how it should fit? You want your helmet to be snug, but not so tight that it gives you a headache.   A well fitting helmet will not move or bobble on your head. The brim should be about an inch above your eyebrows. When properly adjusted, if you try to wiggle the helmet, your eyebrows should move with the hat.   When first putting a helmet on, make sure if it has a dial, the dial is opened all the way. Also, make sure the chinstraps are adjusted so that you will be able to snap it. After placing it on your head, turn the fitting dial, if so equipped, in to make it snug. Do not try to get a helmet with “room to grow” and just dial it down smaller. The helmet should fit with minimal adjustment. If it is a sized helmet with no dial, make sure it is snug enough, as some of them will settle and become a bit larger after wear. When your helmet is on, you should not be able to put your fingers in spaces on the side of the helmet, if you can, the helmet is too round for you. You may need to find a helmet that comes in long oval. Some people may have...

Read More

Differences and Similarities between Traditional Dressage and Western Dressage by Coeli Netsky

I am often asked, what is Western Dressage and how does it compare to Traditional Dressage?  Dressage training is based on using The Dressage Training Scale , Rhythm , Relaxation , Connection , Impulsion , Straightness ,  and Collection .  Both Traditional and Western Dressage use the same dressage ring and placement of the letters .  They also use both sizes of the dressage ring according to what tests are being ridden , the large ring is 66 x 190 , the small ring is 66 x 120 . In the lower level tests for each may be performed in the smaller ring ,  but at  higher level tests must be in the large ring.  Besides the difference in the saddles and tack the core of the training is based on the Dressage Training Scale.  These are the similarities you will find in both dressage disciplines. The differences are the tests , the movements , the gaits , and the tack. In western dressage we do not expect or ask the western horse to look like a traditional Warmblood in its gaits or movements .  The western dressage horse is a stock type , working ranch horse , and dressage helps to marry the principles of The Training Scale to the working western horse by improving their overall suppleness , impulsion,  and harmony with their rider.   In fact...

Read More

Horse colors

Horse Colors Horses can be found with a wide variety of coat colors. Some horses are mostly one color, while some horses have multiple colors. Most horses have at least some white such as a blaze, or snip or a white sock. A blaze is a wide white stripe on the horses face. A snip would be a small white marking on the muzzle not connected to any other face markings. Horses can also have a star, which is a white marking on the forehead. If a horse is said to be bald, it just means the white covers most of his face, possibly covering the eyes. Socks are white markings that usually include the fetlock joint. Legs can also have stockings, which usually go up to or include the knee. A coronet is just a thin band of white just above the hoof. Some common horse colors are bay, chestnut, palomino, white and black. The more common colors are listed below. There are more colors than we have listed.   Bay horses have brown bodies and black manes and tails, black points on their legs and face. Chestnut horses have red coats. They can have a lighter coat, called sorrel to a darker liver chestnut color Black horses, if a true black, have no brown hairs. They almost have a sort of blue hue to their coat. Seal...

Read More

Bell Boots/Overreach boots

Bell Boots   If your horse overreaches, or hits his front heels with his back hooves, or, if your horse is wearing studs, you may need bell boots (also called overreach boots). They will help prevent injuries. If your horse tends to lose shoes in turnout, or finishes a ride with dirt marks, scrapes or bruises on his heels or pasterns, he may need bell boots.   Bell boots, when fit properly, just about skim the ground in the back when the horse is standing level. You should also be able to fit a finger or two between the boot and the horse at the top.   There are many different types of bell boots. Some bell boots are pull on, some have Velcro closures. Some boots are gum rubber, some are made of a ballistic nylon material, some are made with PVC or neoprene. There are even some made with carbon fiber for horses that are extremely hard on their bell boots.   Pull on bell boots are made of a softer more stretchy material, as they have to be able to stretch to fit over the hoof. Softening them in warm water before use makes they easier to put on. To get them on the horse turn them inside out, put the hoof through the big opening first, then slide through the small opening. You then flip...

Read More

Choosing the right boot

The type of riding you do may dictate what type of boot you wear. Dress, Field, Paddock? Tall riding boots give the rider lower leg protection against rubbing, and getting pinched by the stirrup leathers.   Dress boots are tall boots with no laces. Dress boots were traditionally stiffer than field boots, but now manufacturers have made them in softer leather. The softer leather requires no break in, but will not last quite as long, or look quite as sleek as a stiffer boot. Many dressage riders like a boot that is stiff. It gives a lot of support, as well as looking neater as it does not drop as much at the ankle as a softer boot would. Field boots are tall boots that have laces in the ankle. The laces make them more flexible at the ankle, as well as offering room for people with high insteps. The added flexibility of the laces makes these boots great for jumping. Boots in the past were put on with boot pulls, but now most come with zippers allowing you to get a more contoured fit at the ankle, as well as making them easier to put on. You still need to make sure your boots fit well.  They should be just to the knee, and when new, maybe a bit tall because they wrinkle at the ankle and drop....

Read More