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To Compete Successfully Today, You Have To Make Time To Train

John Strassburger

All of today’s equestrian disciplines offer more competitions than ever before. But until about 25 years ago, all horse sports (even flat racing) had off seasons in the winter, during which riders and trainers actually stayed at home and trained. read more

A Camcorder Can Be An Educational Tool

John Strassburger

You can video any ride you want with a helmet camera, but the educational benefit is probably limited to those disciplines for which reliving the line or track is important. The camera we tried the Sony Action Cam (see sidebar), has a high-definition/slow-motion mode, which can provide footage to analyze movement, footfalls and gaits of horses you own or are considering buying. read more

Competition Breakthroughs Begin With Training At Home

John Strassburger

Very often you’ll have training breakthroughs at competitions, but those things will only happen because of the strides you’ve made while training with your horse at home. read more

For 2014, My Competition Plans Are Flexible

John Strassburger

It was a solid year, one in which we each learned a great deal and in which my respect for her courage and work ethic only grew, along with my devotion to the little chestnut mare. read more

The FEI Continues Its Drug-Rule Lunacy

John Strassburger

Eight years!? Does that mean that if in 2018 they add a substance to the banned list, something that wasn’t on the list in 2014, that they can re-test our horse’s sample? read more

Six Reasons To Breed Your Mare

John Strassburger

I’m riding three lovely young horses we bred ourselves, three of about a dozen we’ve been involved in the breeding of. As they’ve started to compete, it’s caused me to ponder again the question of whether it’s better to breed or buy a new horse. read more

Horses And Trailers Don’t Always Go Together

John Strassburger

Horses seem to have a sixth sense about it—everything is ready and you’re right on time for a lesson, a show or the vet. It’s time to put the horse on the trailer. And then he... read more

Why We Humans Have To Control Wildlife

John Strassburger

The big question, though, is does our society have the heart to solve the problem, to control wildlife, especially top predators, through hunting, before their numbers reach an unsustainable level that forces them to starve to death? As horse owners, we should have a greater understanding of animals and the natural world than most Americans, so we should be a voice of intelligent reason in this de read more

Equine Retirement Is A Tough Decision

John Strassburger

My colleague Grant Miller has written a thought-provoking Veterinary Viewpoint column about equine retirement in this month’s Horse Journal, so this week I’m going to add my own thoughts. read more

A Farewell To Sam

John Strassburger

As we here at Phoenix Farm were reeling from the loss of our great schoolmaster Schultz (whom I wrote about in my last blog), only 10 days later we were struck another blow, when Heather lost her semi-retired event horse Sam, 18, to colic. read more

We Said Good-bye To Schultz

John Strassburger

A discussion about the value of schoolmasters and one very special Hanoverian horse. read more

How Our Parents Shape Our Lives with Horses

John Strassburger

John Strassburger discusses a parent's influence on a child's life with horses. read more

Three-Day Jitters, Yesterday And Today

John Strassburger

So this weekend I’m hoping that competing in the CCI1* will help us cement the correctness of our new communication. read more

My Experiments With Bits For Two Horses

John Strassburger

My column in this month's Horse Journal discusses every rider’s quest to find the ‘right’ bit for the horse they're currently riding. I’d summarize this column by saying there are two primary methods of searching the best bit for your horse. The first method is to follow the evolution that results from thorough training. But you must also accept that the reason you need a different bit (especially a stronger one) may actually be that your problem is actually a training deficit that you haven’t addressed. It could also be a sign of the effect of read more

Begin Your Quest For The “Right” Bit

John Strassburger

Do you know why you can buy hundreds of different bits from tack stores all around the country? Because finding the ”perfect” bit is like getting to the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. This great quest is one entirely without GPS guidance, and it really can be never-ending, since horses are individuals whose needs and preferences often change as their training progresses, as they get older, or if your riding progresses. The bit your horse seemed to like so well may not be what he wants now, and you may have to combine educated guessing with divine inspiration read more

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