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Halter Horse Expression

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Here is an insider's tip for getting expression from your halter horse.

by AQHA Professional Horseman Kathy Smallwood, Courtesy of American's Horse Daily

“At home, give your horse a peppermint and be sure to unwrap it right in front of him so he associates the noise of the wrapper with getting the peppermint. Then, when you go in the show pen, put a little bit of the peppermint wrapping in your pocket and when you want to get expression, take it out and crinkle it through your fingers a little. It’ll get the horse’s ears up because he’s looking for the peppermint.

When you’re done showing, and you’re about to go out of the ring, give him the peppermint. Otherwise, he’ll lose interest.”

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Double the Fun

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Courtesy of America's Horse Daily

Trick-riding sisters tell of their experiences in the horse extravaganza Cavalia.

In 2005, with college degrees under their belts, sisters Renny Spencer and Landon Pearson left behind life as they knew it to do something totally out of the ordinary – they joined the cast of Cavalia, a show that features equestrians, aerialists, acrobats, dancers and musicians all displaying their talents around and aboard horses.

While they had grown up riding horses and were members of the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls, an all-girl California drill team that specializes in trick riding and roping, they didn’t see any use for those talents in the real world. “I was four months away from graduating with a degree in biology when Kansas (Carradine) called me out of the blue and said Cavalia was looking for new trick riders,” says Renny.

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The Natural Arc

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Courtesy of America's Horse Daily

All horses, when they lope or canter naturally, perform that gait at an arc. If you go out into the pasture and watch your horse lope, you’ll notice that he carries his body in an arc. He hits a lope stride and moves his inside hip slightly in depending on the lead he is traveling. He travels straight but holds his body on a natural arc.

There is a correct arc for a left lead and a correct arc for a right lead. When you watch a horse’s legs as he lopes toward you, if he’s on a correct arc, you should see his outside hind leg fall dead center in between his two front legs. (If he’s on a right lead, it would be his left hind leg.)

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