The National Sporting Library

My most salient memory of the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia is of the bronze sculpture of a war-weary Civil War horse in the Library's courtyard. This is not the customary type of equestrian statue, with the horse depicted as powerful and imposing but purposely shows an animal that is exhausted, half-starved and standing with a back hoof bent, the reason being that the sculpture honors the 1,500,000 horses and mules that lost their lives in the Civil War. The sculpture, by...

Value, Fit, Fit and Fit

Did you pay too much for your saddle? Or did you get a bargain? Only you can answer; but maybe you don't want to know. Ignorance is bliss so they say, and in this instance, it may be best to simply enjoy a state of blissfulness. What might be more important than having gotten a bargain or having paid too much in the past, is how best to shop for your next saddle.

I have a Barn Sweet Horse

Dear Maggie, I am 50 years old and have had a number of horses in my life. I now have a 3 year old Paint/gelding that is a pleasure to work around, he has a nice disposition and has really bonded with me. I ride him in the arena with no real problem but he has become so barn sour (in love with his stall) that when I ride him away from the barn his whole attitude changes and he goes into a bucking frenzy (not sissy bucking/he really throws a tantrum).

Foal Watching

Have you ever watched young horses? Foals and even yearlings and two year-olds, out in the field as they experience the world? Many natural horsemanship types have written entire books about how the relationship between a young horse and his herd as a basis for creating a relationship with horses and training them. But I'm talking less about herd dynamics and more about watching a young horse learn about himself, develop his personality, and figure out how his massive and powerful body works.

Do You Speak Russian?

We've all heard it. You hear it sitting in the stands at a horse show, standing in line at the local tack shop, or riding along the trail with a group of friends. It's got to be the most repeated phrase in the horse world... "My horse is perfect, except..." Regardless of the 'except,' I have come to see that those imperfections we find in our horse's training and behavior stem from a few basic problems in our horsemanship and our relationship with our horses.