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Improving Horsemanship with Equitation Science

Today’s young riders often compete with comparatively few hours of experience in the saddle. With safety a huge priority in eventing in particular, a growing number of coaches and trainers are utilizing a new teaching tool to help students use knowledge to overcome horsemanship deficits from inexperience, and are discovering equitation science is improving performance in all disciplines. Safety in eventing’s cross-country phase has been the subject of studies, articles, and a few FEI summits. The factors that contribute to a horse falling on course are myriad and include fence type and design, time allowed, technical challenges, event level and importance, riders’ skill level, experience and gender, and horses’ age, experience and prior performance. In 2016, the FEI conducted an independent audit known as the Barnett Report to analyze the risk factors for horse falls in cross-country at its competitions. Phase 1 of the study included the analysis of fence-related…

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