Create a Positive Presence

ImageFrom the moment you enter the corral or pasture, you’re sending your horse messages. Set the tone for a successful training session with clinician Tammy Pate’s advice on catching your horse.

I’ve come to realize that ranching is not only a way of life, but also a way of being and seeing the world. It involves living in harmony with others, as well as with animals and the land. With it comes a special awareness of intent, balance, spirituality, family values, the fragility of life, and the beauty of the inner and outer worlds.

The same is true with two of my other passions, yoga and horsemanship.

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Ready, Set, Warm Up

In this exclusive online article, Dan Byrd shares his warm-up routine to prepare your mounted-shooting horse for a stage.

Between shooting events, Dan spends a lot of time keeping his horses legged up on the track or trail.

Mounted shooting can be hard on a horse. The intense sport demands tight turns, boomerang-style direction and lead changes, and nothing short of a flight to the finish line. Because of this, mounted shooting horses need a fair share of athleticism, agility and heart. Just like any athlete, your horse needs a complete warm up before shooting a stage not only to stretch his muscles, but also to focus his attention on you and get him in a competitive frame of mind.

Top mounted-shooting horse trainer and competitor Dan Byrd of Cave Creek, Arizona, stresses the importance of a proper warm up.

“Mounted shooting is just as mentally and physically demanding as barrel racing, roping, polo or any other sport,” he says. “You can’t expect your horse to go in the arena and perform if he hasn’t been prepared with a solid warm-up routine.”

About 30 minutes before shooting, Byrd warms up his horse using a variety of horsemanship maneuvers that supple the horse’s body and prepares him for the high-speed challenge ahead.


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