Horsemanship: Art or Science?  The first paragraph condenses the 6000 years of equine domestication into a 24 hour time line. It ends: “If equine veterinary science commenced with the establishment of the first veterinary schools, it was born at 11.15 pm but did not mature until 11.48 pm. Equine behavioral science was not a recognized discipline until three minutes before midnight. Regarding the methods by which riders communicate with their horse’s head, there has been much art and little science.” The article urges a reversal of the familiar phrase. Students should first learn the science of horsemanship so that they can subsequently develop the art. (Published in Western Farm, Ranch and Dairy: Southwest/Rocky Mountain) Horsemanship: Art or Science Click the link to read the article in PDF format.
Treatment of Dorsal Displacement of the Soft Palate  Describing the several different ways in which the bit causes this common scourge of racehorses. Many different treatments have been tried in the past but none of them have been very effective, as the cause was previously unknown. No treatment can be expected to be satisfactory under these circumstances, as removal of the cause is fundamental to the successful treatment of any problem. Even now, rational treatment is barred, as the stewards of racing do not permit the use of the cross-under design of bitless bridle. (Published in the Veterinary Record, the official journal of the British Veterinary Association) Treatment of Dorsal Displacement of the Soft Palate Click the link to read the article in PDF format.
Rationale for Allowing the Crossover Bitless Bridle for Racing.  Evidence presented to the Veterinary Committee of the Jockey Club in June 2005 to support a trainer’s application to use the cross-under bitless bridle for racing in the UK. (See also the supplementary evidence below). Two dozen reasons were listed in favor of the application. (Unpublished). Rationale for Allowing the Crossover Bitless Bridle for Racing Click the link to read the article in PDF format.
Risk & Safety Factors in Flat & Steeplechase Racing Associated With All Bitted Bridles, Compared With the Predicted Risk of Using the Crossover Bitless Bridle.  A risk assessment tabulation that was presented to the Veterinary Committee of the Jockey Club, UK as a supplement to the above proposal to support a trainer’s application to use the cross-under bitless bridle for racing. Twenty nine factors were considered. The opinion given to the committee was that accidents would be reduced by permitting the cross-under bitless bridle. The application was denied on the grounds that no other racing organization had yet permitted the bridle. (Unpublished) Risk & Safety Factors in Flat & Steeplechase Racing Associated With All Bitted Bridles, Compared With the Predicted Risk of Using the Crossover Bitless Bridle Click the link above to read the article in PDF format
Taking the OW out of WOW: Changing the Rules of Competition.  by Suzanne Engler Case.
In this valuable article, the author reviews the protocols for rule change proposals in three organizations, the United States Equestrian Federation, the US Pony Club and 4H. She points out that the USPC follows the lead of the USEF. [For information, the USEF in turn – follow the lead of the FEI. But, as can be seen from the above correspondence, the FEI do not wish to give a lead to the USEF or any other national federation. In this way, an impregnable circle of resistance is mounted to reject any rule change proposal that the FEI do not like, such as permitting the cross-under bitless bridle for dressage]. One option is to use existing protocols for reporting cruelty to the USEF, whenever such incidents are witnessed. [Cruelty is defined as the infliction of avoidable pain. As bit-induced pain is now avoidable, every use of a bitted bridle is an act of cruelty] If current organizations are unwilling to update their rules to bring them into compliance with advances in welfare, equestrians have the option of forming alternate organizations. (Published in Natural Horse Magazine)
Anatomical Constants of the Healthy Equine Hoof.  An anatomical creed on the horse’s hoof , developed in order to refute criticisms of barefoot hoof care.Anatomical Constants of the Healthy Equine Hoof Click the link to read the article in PDF format.
The ‘Ground Parallel’ Coffin Bone Debate.  It was suggested that differing definitions of what constitutes the ‘base’ of the pedal bone might explain how the debate on this topic between shoers and ‘barefooters’ has arisen (Unpublished) The ‘Ground Parallel’ Coffin Bone Debate Click the link to read the article in PDF format.
Pain-Free Communication.  By Kathleen M.Hulle The welfare of the horse should take precedence over the traditions of man. The author cites the successful rehabilitation of her own Arab/Welsh pony that had been ‘bitted’ for 20 years and was a stumbler, spooker, headshaker, muzzle rubber and crab-like mover (Published in Holistic Horse). Pain-Free Communication Click the link to read the article in PDF format.
On the Bit & the F.E.I.  Recent adoption by the FEI of the requirement that a horse should be “on the bit” has generated an unnecessary obstacle to rule reform on equipment. “On the aids” would be a more appropriate requirement, with the recognition that “seat” comes first, “legs” second and “hands” third. On the Bit & the F.E.I Click the link to read the article in PDF format.
Traditional Bitless Bridles 2005 Comments on how the traditional bitless bridles (hackamores, bosals and sidepulls) compare with the cross-under design of bitless bridle. The difference is between pain-based bridles that have limitations for their use and signaling ability and a bridle that is virtually pain-free, universally applicable in all disciplines and provides for comprehensive signaling. (Unpublished) Traditional (Pain-Based) Bitless Bridles
Click the link to read the article in PDF format.
Teeth, bones and brushing ( 2005)A letter to the editor responding to the question: What has caused the current escalation in equine dentistry? It was suggested that it has arisen because man’s use and management of the horse fails to comply with its evolution. We have failed to ask ourselves, for example, what the bit does to a horse and what it is about our management that results in horses developing sharp enamel edges to their cheek teeth. Just as walking rasps hooves, grazing rasps teeth. Until such time as horses graze and go bitless there will be work for equine dentists. (Published in the Veterinary Record, the official journal of the British Veterinary Association) Teeth, bones and brushing
Click the link above to read the article in PDF format.What Makes a Horse Fast?
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