Trainer/Coach abuse of Young Riders

Today the New York Times published a story providing further details on now-deceased equestrian trainer Jimmy Williams and his abuse of young riders. In addition to describing Williams’ inappropriate and unacceptable actions, the article also discusses how painfully difficult it can be for survivors, athletes, and even parents to recognize the signs of abuse and report it. US Equestrian wants you to know: if you are a victim of abuse, it is never too late to come forward and make a report. You will be supported and an investigation will be conducted. Better safeguards are now in place to prevent abuse and...

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The “Ride With Me” App for Safety

Ride With Me is a horseback riding safety app by Smartpak that gives you peace of mind when riding. Many horseback riding accidents happen when no one is around. If you fall and can’t call for help yourself, Ride With Me is designed to alert your emergency contacts. When you start your ride with Ride With Me, the app monitors your movement to know that you’re in control, using the natural rhythms of you and the horse. If Ride With Me detects no movement over a period of time, a warning will sound. If you’re okay, one button silences the...

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What is Reining?

USA Reining

The modern reining horse’s roots date back to the bygone era of the Old West where horses were a vital part of every working livestock ranch. Horses needed to be sturdy, quick, responsive, and agile to be able to herd and move cattle and other livestock across the range. A reining competition essentially shows off the skills and athletic abilities necessary in the working ranch horse, but does so within the confines of a show pen and the movements you see in competition today have become extremely precise and highly refined. There are a total of 13 approved official reining...

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What is Eventing?

USEA Eventing Logo

Eventing is the equestrian equivalent to a human triathalon, consisting of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. This event is usually contested over three days, hence the other popular term for the discipline, three-day event. By performing each of these classes, horses that compete in eventing show their balance, stamina, and precision. The USEA is an educational organization committed to providing eventing enthusiasts with a competitive level suited to their individual skills. The USEA offers a strong and continuous training opportunity for an ever-expanding field of world-class competitors. Learn more about Eventing.

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What is Para-Equestrian?

The primary focus of para-equestrian sport is to provide educational and competitive opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities. Many disabled athletes compete, and even excel, in sports designed for the able-bodied, but para-equestrian in particular opens a world of competition to riders and drivers with even severe disabilities that might preclude them from other forms of sport, and does so while providing a structured, focused, and highly competitive environment. In para-equestrian competition, each rider or driver is classified according to his or her functional ability and competitors are grouped accordingly to ensure a level playing field. Competitions can include dressage,...

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What is Jumping?

USHJA Jumping

Jumping enjoys its place, both nationally and internationally, as one of the most popular and perhaps most recognizable equestrian events, aside from Thoroughbred horse racing.  At its highest competitive level, Jumping is recognized as one of the three Olympic equestrian disciplines alongside both Dressage and Eventing.  Essentially, what pole vaulting, high jump and hurdles are to track and field, Jumping is to equestrian sport. Spectator friendly and easy to understand, the object for the Jumper is to negotiate a series of obstacles, where emphasis is placed on height and width, and to do so without lowering the height or refusing...

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What is Endurance Riding?

Endurance is a long distance sport covering variations in altitude, terrain, and weather that tests the fitness and stamina of the horse as well as the athlete’s discipline and horsemanship skills. Periodic checkpoints occur throughout the competition to ensure the health and fitness of the horse and athlete. Given their ability to meet and master physical challenges, it’s no surprise that Arabians and their close kin dominate in this discipline. The American Endurance Ride Conference was founded as a national governing body for long distance riding and over the years has developed a set of rules and guidelines designed to provide a...

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What is English Pleasure?

English Pleasure

English pleasure can trace its roots to the bygone era when horses represented the primary mode of transportation to and from town. Society members prided themselves with showing off their elegant and finely-trained saddle mounts as they rode through the parks and into town, dressed in their finest hacking attire. These horses exemplified smooth-gaited movement, impeccable manners and superior tractability, making them a true pleasure to ride. In today’s show ring, English pleasure is divided into three distinct categories: hunter seat, saddle seat, and driving. English pleasure horses can be of any breed, but all horses must exhibit impeccable manners,...

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What is Vaulting?

America Vaulting Association

Vaulting enjoys an ancient heritage and can probably be described as one of the oldest known forms of equestrian sport. Often described as gymnastics performed on horseback, vaulting’s origins can be traced back to Roman games which included acrobatic displays performed on cantering horses. Tracing history through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, many references to vaulting are made, and it was during this time that the practice of “La Voltige” (drill riding and agility exercises performed on horseback by knights and noblemen) gave the sport its present name. Modern vaulting was developed in postwar Germany as a means to...

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Getting the most out of your lessons

Riding Lessons

If you are anything like me, I work hard for my lessons, and want to get as much out of them as possible. Here are just a few tricks to help you get the most out of your time with your trainer: Come to the lesson prepared. Bring any equipment you might need to the arena (lunging equipment, riding whip, spurs, cooler, side reins, etc.), be on the horse and ready to start your lesson on time. Be honest with your trainer. This includes goals, fears, apprehensions, strengths, weaknesses, limitations, previous injuries, etc. This helps your trainer build a constructive...

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