a rider riding english style

Tips on riding an Equitation Pattern

  The diagram below provides an important tip for equitation classes that many beginners learn the hard way – by performing the pattern incorrectly in the show ring. As this diagram shows, to correctly execute a figure 8 in an equitation class at a horse show, it is important to not ride the pattern in…

Is Dressage Unnatural? Dressage Movements at Liberty

  After competing in dressage for years, one statement I’ve heard occasionally- especially in the midwest- is that dressage is unnatural for horses. Proponents of this view feel that the way in which horses are “forced” to move during a dressage competition are not natural, and that such movements would never be performed by a…

Learning the parts of an English saddle is an important part of riding

All About English Saddles

All About Billet Straps on an English Saddle This photo shows the part of an english riding saddle known as the “billets”. The billets are three straps underneath the top flap, on each side. The billets are the anchor to which the girth is tied. The billet straps are securely attached to the tree (what…

The Pros and Cons of Using a Pelham Bit – Dressage and Beyond

A Pelham bit is a horse bit that functions as both a snaffle bit or a curb bit, depending on how it is used. A Pelham bit is essentially a plain dressage-legal snaffle bit, but with an second rein connected to the bit at the end of a short shank. This shank, which creates curb action,…