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John Strassburger

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Don’t Forget to Reward Your Horse

Training horses is very much a carrot-and-stick game.

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Six Reasons Why Horses Resist Your Aids

When you properly give a command, your horse should snap to attention, salute and respond, “Yes, sir/ma’am! As you wish.”

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If Only Horses Could Wear Glasses

How many horses who are dismissed as “useless” or “crazy” are really that way because they can’t see well?

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Horse Journal OnCall: She Won't Jump Oxers

Back to the basics: Start with two poles on the ground.

2014 Hollywood Derby - California Chrome

California Chrome—Simply Awesome

If you rate Secretariat as perfect horse, a 10 - then California Chrome is a 9.75.

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Our “Talk” With Boogie

I’m thinking perhaps I should try sports goggles. I wonder if I can find them big enough?

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Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful

I’m intimately familiar with the joys of trying to ride on frozen ground, chipping the ice out of water buckets and shoveling a path to get to the barn.

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Attaching The Longe Line

There are four simple methods.

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The Elusive Mind of a Horse

Conformation, movement, scope—identifying these things can be learned with a small amount of effort. Mental fitness is much more challenging.

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Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me A Match

Part magic, part science, part luck, the perfect match is an elusive thing.

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Really, You Should Take Lessons

I’ve often encountered people who don’t take any lessons, or work regularly with a trainer of any kind, and they’re fiercely proud of that fact.

Better days: When good winter rains turned our fields green and lush.

What Is The Future of Boarding?

It looks to me like the future may be at large boarding facilities.

Olympic gold medalist Pierre Durand is one of the two candidates for FEI president I’d support.

The Bungling FEI’s Next Election Will Affect Our Horse Sports’ Future

The FEI’s leaders and its Swiss-based staff need to develop an entirely different outlook on what their job is and on how they do it.

For a WEG to be fan success, the facility has to have the physical infrastructure to accommodate tens of thousands of people for three weeks.

It’s Time To End The World Equestrian Games

FEI, pull the plug on Bromont—now—and open up the seven World Championships to individual bidders.

During the years that I rode steeplechase races, I would run 5, 6 or more miles four days a week.

The Only Way To Get Better Is To Ride More

But overall fitness can substantially improve your ability to stay on, and to influence, your horse.


Here’s How To Choose The Right Body Protector For You

The most vital factors are: How it fits and the type of riding you do.

Full-care often means that you’re not teaching students anything about horsemanship.

Full-Care Or Self-Care: Which Is Better For You?

Full-care means you have to charge your clients fees that are large enough for you to be able to hire enough staff to accomplish it.

Retirement is like your best friend telling you that you can no longer share an activity that you love doing together.

Why It’s Really Hard To Retire Your Horse

Honestly, you don’t want to face that a part of your life has passed by.

It always brought a smile to my face to open the door and hear my fabulous partner Merlin call to me.

The Joys—And Surprises—Of Night Check

Admittedly, at 3 a.m. you don’t feel lucky to be in the barn, especially when it involves pouring Foal-Lac into a bunch of bottles.

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Why I Decided To Stop Competing Alba

She competed mostly on heart, because she tries her hardest every minute of every day.

On the initial exam, Hannum evaluates the horse from poll to tail.

With His Hands, Dougie Hannum Treats The Equine Athlete

Horses move and perform better after he’s worked on them.


All Creatures Great and Small

If you've read it before, you'll enjoy it again. If you haven't . . . get cracking!

Little Bit and Wesley lead the July 4th Healdsburg children’s parade.

Taking A Pony Out In Public Shows How Much Outreach We Need

Do they not understand that he’s a living, breathing creature?

We have to teach our horses to respond to the signals or cues that we give them.

A Phone Call Makes Me Ponder How We Communicate With Our Horses

The language we have to teach our horses, continuously, is a language centered around communication with our bodies.

Stay calm, confident and reassuring when riding a nervous horse.

Nervous Horses

Whatever your particular issue, equine anxiety is the No. 1 training and management issue for every rider and trainer.

If a bit is comfortable, most horses don't mind wearing it.

Horse Journal OnCall: Do I Really Need to Use a Bit?

We just trail ride, but if I should use a bit, how do I get him to accept it?

I listened attentively (far right) as Phillip Dutton (far left) instructed us in riding cross-country.

What I Learned By Riding In A Phillip Dutton Clinic

Phillip’s mantra: The horse must be in front of your leg and on your aids whenever you put him to work. And he must be immediately there.

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What’s Next For California Chrome—And the Triple Crown?

I’m thinking that, instead of decrying California Chrome as just another not-quite-champion, that we should be impressed by his courage.

The main stadium at the 2010 Lexington, Ky., World Equestrian Games was an awesome spectacle.

A Look Back: "Here’s Hoping We’ll Host Another WEG Soon"

The 2010 Games in Lexington were beyond anything we’ve seen before.

In 1919, Sir Barton became the first Triple Crown winner.

Can California Chrome Win The Triple Crown?

I think that today's racehorses aren't as iron fit as horses of the past.

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My Three Examples Of Why You Can’t Train All Horses The Same Way

Horses mature and develop at their own speed and in their own ways.

The Baucher snaffle.

The Baucher Snaffle: How Does It Work?

It applies more leverage than an average snaffle, but many horses are quieter in it.

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Wear Riding Helmets—It’s How To “Mind Your Melon”

“It’s time to declare war on the b.s. of people still riding without a helmet.”

I often tell my son Wesley that “can’t” is a word I don’t understand.

Your Horse Trainer’s Program Needs to Suit Your Goals

The truth is that some riders and trainers fit together better than others.

Our biggest Rolex Kentucky TV broadcast criticism: We’d have liked more cross-country coverage.

Did You Like The Rolex Kentucky Broadcast? We Did

Think an NFL Films version of a Super Bowl, versus what you watch on Super Bowl Sunday.

Epic Riding and Horsemanship On Display At Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event promo image

Epic Riding and Horsemanship On Display At Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

Every year I go to Rolex Kentucky, and I see things that help me to become a better trainer and horseman.

In the last few weeks, I could feel Bella getting stronger and stronger.

Strength Is So Important In Horse Training

I’d say that training a horse to event is a lot like training a person to do gymnastics, track and figure skating.

Too many owners believe horses will, somehow, take care of themselves.

What We Learned From Watching An Equine Cruelty Case In Court

It’s apparently easier to get a felony trial and conviction with a dead animal.

Sometimes Hawley Bennett-Awad holds her breath when Gin ‘N Juice attacks cross-country jumps.

R-Star and Gin ‘N Juice—Two Mares I Love To Watch

I was mesmerized by the sight of them in the prime of their athletic careers, in full expression of their unique athletic and mental gifts.

Soft-tissue strength keeps horses sound while performing the repetitive exercises of dressage and jumping.

Horse Journal Readers Often Ask How Hard to Work Their Horses

Too often riders forget this and think that if some work is good, then more must be better.

Credit: eventing_strassburger

Now Event Riders Can Choose: Medical Armband or Medical Bracelet

The USEA's new medical rule clarified, with medical ID still required.

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Riding Alone? Where Is Your ID?

In an emergency, accuracy and response time can be critical.

We might be mistaken to feel safe because of our relatively remote location.

Do We Really Need Surveillance Cameras?

Maybe our trusting nature is a mistake?

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We Recommend These Massage Products

They’re costly, but they can give your horse a suppling massage.

Could my $1 contribution to equine medical research make this scene—a newborn foal in a vet clinic—less common?

We Should All Be Funding Equine Medical Research

This is a tremendously significant program, one that everyone who competes—in every single discipline—should embrace wholeheartedly.

Credit: Strassburger There’s no feeling like the heart and determination of a true cross-country horse.

To Me, Cross-Country Is Still The Key To Eventing

I can think of many star horses of yesteryear who were extraordinary on the cross-country course but wouldn’t even be considered as team candidates today.

By adding $1 to every starter fee, event riders are now making a significant contribution to equine veterinary research.

Equine Medical Research Gets Funds From Three-Day Event Riders

Event riders have added $1 to their starter fees to support equine medical research. And they’ve challenged others to do the same for their horses.

Photos like these are really the start of the horse-breeding cycle.

Photos of Foals Remind Me Why I Miss Breeding Horses

Seeing the squeal-worthy photos of fuzzy wee foals always causes a pang in my heart


Media Critique: Modern Eventing With Phillip Dutton

This book is a blueprint for success in three-day eventing.