Functional Soundness and Spanish Colonial Horses

During our conversations in the mid-seventies, Weldon McKinley told me that they only saw a few signs of the Spanish Colonial horses the first few years they owned the Romero ranch. They set out to catch some of D.D. Romero’s Spanish Colonial horses when they found that hoof prints and manure piles indicated that the […]

The Gallop and the Horse’s Back

Horse people tend to use the words canter and gallop interchangeably, when the horse actually has two distinct hardwired versions of the canter/gallop. Dressage trainers call one version a four-beat canter. Personally I call it the galumph because it is an awkward collapse towards the front  that feels like the horse is progressing by moving […]

The Working Trot and the Horse’s Back

The first photo I have included has poor resolution because it is an old Xerox copy of a photo of my Spanish Colonial Medicine stallion at the working trot. I have ended up using it because I could not find an image of a horse moving correctly at the working trot unencumbered by a rider […]

The Free Walk and the Horse’s Back

One of the huge factors in the epidemic of back problems our horses struggle with is the fad of insisting that the horse move with their neck arched and their head tucked into a fixed position regardless of what they are doing. I am stunned by how many riders of late seem to be genuinely […]

Kikkuli Principles of Horse Fitness

Thank you for your interest in my blog. The information in this post is an excerpt adapted from Developing Independent Aids, the fifth book in my series on horse training. Lest people think that my insistence that horse and rider become proficient at their tasks before ever mounting up is some odd, new-fangled, or unproven, […]

How Horses Show Signs of Pain

By the time a horse begins to vocalize (groan) with pain IF they ever do make noise at all their situation is life threatening.  Noticing signs of pain , distress, and discomfort early on is vital in schooling and competition as well as horse keeping. Learn to see, not just look!