In this issue, we take a look at the craftsmanship that goes into some of the items western riders regularly use, including making leather chaps and western hats. Making saddles is a fascinating topic, we have part 1 of the saddle making process in this issue.
In our training articles Al Dunning is working on lead departures, so if you would like your lead departures to be smooth and fluid take a look at Al's advice. Joe Midgley will help you to finesse lead changes, give these exercises a try and see if you can improve your lead changes. Cutting corners? Julie Goodnight can help keep you on the rail with her problem-solving tips.
Horse health: Vet Nikki answers your questions on heel cracks, heel mites and sweet itch on page 10. On page 32 Equine Wellness Consultant Wendy Price explores healing options for Sarcoids.
Now the season is well underway we have lots of updates from the various UK western riding and breed associations, we have two youth teams to support this year. Six youth riders (aged 14 to 20) have qualified for the FEI European Reining Championship; this will the first time that Britain has fielded a full Junior and Young Rider team. At the end of June, the AQHA UK Youth team will head out to Texas to participate in the Youth World Cup. Both teams have worked incredibly hard; we wish the very best of luck.
There is so much to think about when it comes to caring for our horses, in this issue, we look at hydration for horses through the practice of Equine Nutritional Hydrotherapy (ENH).
The practice of ENH encourages not only the use of natural whole food nutrition, but it must allow for an increase in the hindgut reservoir of fluid available for the horse to use, as and when required. This is now proving to be an invaluable resource for veterinarians within the clinical environment both in the UK and in Europe.
Franklin Levinson asks us to consider the amount and speed of information that we expect our horses to cope with. Too much information, energy, provided too fast confuses horses and, when they are confused, they become afraid. When they are, they cannot readily comply with requests made.
On a similar note, Equi-Ability discusses the impact our emotions have on our horses: "Our emotions are inextricably linked with our horse, and how we feel impacts directly on how well placed our horse is to learn. Based on this, the better we know ourselves and are aware of our emotional responses, the better we can support our horses in new ventures. We are less likely to block our equine partners by attributing a problem to them, when in fact it is our doing."
In this issue’s training articles, Alessia Pagani helps us to direct the feet, with timing and feel "when you are in time with those feet, you can slow them down, speed them up and you can stop them before they get into trouble."