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Barn Drama

Margaret Freeman

Barn Drama reported by the Wall Street Journal. Really? Why? read more

Judging Western Dressage

Margaret Freeman

USEF S-level judge Margaret Freeman takes another look at Western Dressage. read more

Swimming Through Summer Heat

Margaret Freeman

It’s a good thing I’m a compulsive list maker, sometimes making lists of lists, because there is always something at the last minute I can’t find. I almost prefer to take a follow car for the truck because then we don’t have to pack so carefully – but if I was driving by myself I’d miss that great opportunity to catch up on gossip. read more

Media Critique: Where Does My Horse Hurt?

Margaret Freeman

"Where Does My Horse Hurt'" by Renee Tucker DVM is a colorful, well-organized volume that provides an excellent introduction to how chiropractic works and a detailed explains what it can do for you and your horse. read more

Low-Tech Arena Maintenance

Margaret Freeman

A clean arena helps to reduce flies and dust and also potential slick spots. This de-pooping procedure is particularly true with indoors and covered arenas and even occasionally with outdoor arenas, maybe not huge ones but certainly smaller dressage-sized rings. read more

Getting Hooked - Velcro Cleaners

Margaret Freeman

Hook-and-loop material (aka Velcro) is everywhere. Most of the time we don't bother to clean it because, even with tail hairs and hay stuck to the little plastic hooks, it still works pretty well. Eventually, though, you've got to take action. read more

Longe Whip Techniques

Margaret Freeman

I know some people like to pop their longe whip, but I was taught not to do that – rather to cast steadily toward the horse’s hind leg and if I needed a bit of emphasis to flick the tip at a hock rather than to crack the whip. Since a pop is basically the tip of the whip breaking the speed of sound, it makes sense that allowing the lash to fully extend would reduce some of the speed there and thu read more

Bit-Metal Choices

Margaret Freeman

The array of bit types and shapes displayed in catalogs and hanging on tack room walls is daunting enough to consider, and when you add in the factor of what the bits are made of it's hard to figure out where to start when selecting a bit. read more

Grand Prix Dressage Training

Margaret Freeman

One solution we are trying is to substitute long-shank spurs for my regular short spurs. The idea isn’t to use stronger leg aids but rather much lighter leg aids, usually with my calf but with a light touch of the spur if necessary. It isn’t really a kick but rather a curved movement, sort of like the Nike swoosh. read more

Bargains Not Found at the Tack Shop

Margaret Freeman

Last week I scored a new stepstool at Home Depot and a new wagon at Costco. The stepstool cost all of $10 and is extremely light. It’s also wonderfully stable. I will use it for both braiding and as a mounting block. My previous stepstool for shows was the folding kind, but I think this one will be worth the extra space it takes up in the trailer, and stored upside down .... read more

It's That Time of Year

Margaret Freeman

Clay sticking to the remnants of winter coats is a sure sign that spring is here. read more

App Hygiene at the Barn

Margaret Freeman

Hidden apps on your smart phone cost more battery life at the barn or out riding because they're always searching for a connection even though you aren't using them at the time. read more

Helmet Saves Another Top Rider

Margaret Freeman

Silva Martin’s serious head injury last week brings to mind again all the horrors that friends and admirers of U.S. Olympic dressage rider Courtney King Dye experienced four years ago. It appears now that Silva will recover completely. And Courtney broadcast the wonderful news last month that she had given birth to her first child, despite the many physical challenges she still faces. read more

Freestyles for 2014

Margaret Freeman

Music choices for equine dressage freestyles are more limited than those for skating. read more

Zipper Riding Boot Care

Margaret Freeman

Good zipper-care product choices include Zipper Ease (from AGS Company), Gear Aid’s Zip Cleaner and Lubricant and Hypofek from Pharmaka, most available from your tack retailer. (Always test a small spot before getting any zipper cleaner/lubricant on the leather.) read more

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