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RUNAROUND

Sandy Collier has enjoyed great success in her career as an NRCHA, NRHA, and AQHA champion horse trainer. Named one of the “Top 50 Riders of All Time in All Disciplines” by Horse & Rider Magazine, she was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2011, and the NRCHA’s Hall of Fame in 2012. Collier was the first and only female horse trainer to win the prestigious NRCHA (National Reined Cow Horse Association) World Champion Snaffle Bit Futurity. She also won an NRCHA World Champion Snaffle Bit Futurity Reserve Co-Championship in addition to being a regular Finalist there annually. She has been a NRCHA Stallion Stakes Champion, an NRHA Limited Open Champion, and an AQHA World Champion.

In champion trainer and popular clinician Lynn Palm’s book THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION, Palm asked Sandy Collier to share how she works to achieve collection with her performance horses.

“I do a lot of work through speed and gait transitions,” was Collier’s reply, “which makes no sense at all to most reining or Western riders.”

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Sandy Collier competing.

Collier says that even though reiners and Western riders will often get their horses really collected at the trot and lope, “as soon as you start putting a lot of speed to it, it’s like the wheels start falling off the car.” She uses an exercise called The Runaround to maintain collection, improve the quality of a horse’s rundown, and thus ultimately better his stop.

“I’ll build speed while maintaining collection for a long, straight run,” explains Collier. “As I approach the short end of the arena, I’ll take a deep breath, start to exhale, and make my horse follow my seat as I sit down in the saddle, making him come back to me on a straight line without falling out of lead. It’s like downshifting a real expensive car, where it has to come back down real smooth. I keep my horse slow and collected through the short end (don’t let him careen around the corner), and once I get around the corner, I ask him to build speed again and start over. My horses eventually get to where they can run really fast while staying collected, and then as I let my air out, they’ll come all the way back to a slowdown or a stop, depending how long I sit.”

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The goal is to capture the complete tail-to-nose package of supple muscle and hind-end-generated impulsion that becomes a “frame” where the horse is more athletic—that is, his forehand lightens, enabling him to maneuver his front end more quickly, and his steps become cadenced and his movement free-flowing. For more exercises that help achieve this real collection, check out THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION by Lynn Palm, on sale now at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information.

 

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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Photo by Keron Psillas from The Alchemy of Dressage by Dominique Barbier and Dr. Maria Katsamanis

In almost every book we publish, we invite our authors to include a page of acknowledgments; this is their chance to thank those who may have had a hand in their careers or the making of their books. While it isn’t every day that we look back through to see who they’ve thanked over the years, it seems appropriate on this blustery, cold, Vermont afternoon, the day before Thanksgiving 2016. As might be imagined, there is one resounding theme that emerges…have a look at some of the words of gratitude TSB authors have put in print. If your book was about to be published, who would YOU thank?

 

“They say success has a thousand fathers—I thank from the bottom of my heart all those who have taken an extra minute out of their day to help me down my path.” Jonathan Field in THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES

“Thanks go out to every horse I’ve ever had the pleasure and privilege of riding…they’ve taught me the importance of caring, patience, understanding, selflessness, and hard work.” Daniel Stewart in PRESSURE PROOF YOUR RIDING

 

TSB author Jonathan Field with his family and "Hal."

TSB author Jonathan Field with his family and “Hal.”

 

“Most of all my greatest thanks go to Secret, the horse who has taught me so much—she is a horse in a million.” Vanessa Bee in 3-MINUTE HORSEMANSHIP

“We owe the greatest depths of gratitude to the horses.” Phillip Dutton in MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON

“Thank you, Santa, for bringing the pony when I was little.” Jean Abernethy in THE ESSENTIAL FERGUS THE HORSE

“Thank you to my partner and wife Conley, without whose moral support and inspiration I would be sitting on a tailgate by the side of the road holding a cardboard sign that reads, ‘Will work on horses for food.'” Jim Masterson in BEYOND HORSE MASSAGE

 

TSB author Linda Tellington-Jones.

TSB author Linda Tellington-Jones.

 

“Thank you to my beloved parents. You were so wonderful to let me chart a path with horses, which you knew nothing about.” Lynn Palm in THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION

“I thank my beloved equine partners—my most important teachers.” Dr. Beth Glosten in THE RIDING DOCTOR

“Thank you to all my wonderful students and friends for always being there.” Jane Savoie in IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE RIBBONS

“I really need to honor the people who have invited me to work with them and the horses that have allowed me to be with, ride, and train them over the decades. I have learned some things from books, but most from the people and horses I train.” Heather Sansom in FIT TO RIDE IN 9 WEEKS!

“I give thanks for all the horses over the years who have taught me so much.” Linda Tellington-Jones in THE ULTIMATE HORSE BEHAVIOR AND TRAINING BOOK

“I am grateful for all my teachers, two-legged, four-legged, and winged, for all they have taught me through their own journeys.” Dr. Allen Schoen in THE COMPASSIONATE EQUESTRIAN

“Thank you to every horse that came my way over the past 45 years. Each one had lessons to teach me.” Susan Gordon in THE COMPASSIONATE EQUESTRIAN

“I want to thank my parents who finally gave in to the passionate desire of a small child who wanted a horse.” Heather Smith Thomas in GOOD HORSE, BAD HABITS

“Most of all, thank you to all the horses.” Sharon Wilsie in HORSE SPEAK

 

TSB author Dr. Allen Schoen.

TSB author Dr. Allen Schoen.

 

“I am extremely thankful to all of the horses in my life. I would not have accomplished so much without them. The horses have been my greatest teachers!” Anne Kursinski in ANNE KURSINSKI’S RIDING & JUMPING CLINIC

“I need to thank all the horses.” Sgt. Rick Pelicano in BETTER THAN BOMBPROOF

“Thank you to students and riders who share my passion in looking deeper into the horse and into themselves.” Dominique Barbier in THE ALCHEMY OF LIGHTNESS

“Thanks go to the many horses that have come into my life. You give me great happiness, humility, and sometimes peace; you always challenge me to become more than I am, and you make my life whole.” Andrea Monsarrat Waldo in BRAIN TRAINING FOR RIDERS

 

And thank YOU, our readers and fellow horsemen, who are always striving to learn and grow in and out of the saddle, for the good of the horse.

Wishing a very happy and safe Thanksgiving to all!

The Trafalgar Square Books Staff

 

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is a small company based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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Ever wonder what it’s like to be a top rider, trainer, judge, or clinician? Trafalgar Square Books (www.horseandriderbooks.com) is tracking down its top authors and asking them to pull back the curtains and let us take a quick peek into their lives. In our fifth installment in TSB’s “Horseworld by the Hour” blog series, we caught up with “WonderHorseWoman” Lynn Palm.

Lynn is not only the author of THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION and YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO WESTERN DRESSAGE, she’s won 34 World and Reserve World Championships; four Superhorse titles, AQHA Female Equestrian of the Year, and many more awards and accolades throughout her career in the spotlight, which has now spanned over 40 years. She and her husband Cyril Pittion-Rossillon conduct training courses and clinics across the country. Lynn is an Advisory Director of the Western Dressage Association of America, and makes regular appearances at expos and special events, such as her popular bridleless riding demonstrations at the World Equestrian Games.

Lynn has shown horses on the flat and over fences, in Western, hunt seat, and dressage saddles. And NOW we hear she’s taking up a whole new sport, to boot!

So just how does Lynn fit it all in? Check out her typical day:

 

24HourLynnPalm

 

Just a Regular Ol’ Spring/Summer/Fall Day with Lynn Palm

5:00 a.m. Still sleeping, I hope!

5:30 a.m. I wake up in the spring, summer, fall at 5:30, with all my dogs. In the winter I get up around 6:30 a.m.

6:00 a.m.  My morning chores: making coffee, unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry, planning meals for the day. If I have clinics, I start preparing lunch and dinner for at least 20 people and often more!

6:30 a.m. I feed my wonderful dogs: 3 labs and 2 mini longhair dachshunds.

7:00 a.m. I check my gardens and greenhouse, and then get dressed for the day while drinking my coffee. I make a protein fruit smoothie and take my vitamins!

7:30 a.m.  In the summer, by now I’m getting to the barn to ride my first horse before feeding. Spring and fall I start riding at 8:30 a.m., and in the winter I may ride in the afternoon, switching my day to ride with our warm afternoon sun!

8:00 a.m.  I’m riding horses and following up with necessary calls for the day.

8:30 a.m.  Still riding horses, and finding time to check in with Marie Frances (my office manager) and Cyril (my husband) about what’s up for their day. Cyril also works our horses, and we discuss our saddle business and what orders or leads he may have about our hunt seat and dressage saddles we have made in France.

 

Lynn Palm has written two important books for Western dressage riders: THE RIDER'S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION and YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO WESTERN DRESSAGE. .

Lynn Palm has written two important books for Western dressage riders: THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION and YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO WESTERN DRESSAGE.

 

9:00 a.m.  I’m in the barn, checking on all the horses for health or care, confirming supplies needed, and discussing with the farm manager what he is doing on the farm for the day.

9:30 a.m.  On another horse, while my staff turn out some horses and plans for grooming and care of horses and the stable for the rest of the day.

10:00 a.m.  I am training horses in our wonderful training field with the big Live Oak Trees.

10:30 a.m. Training horses in the Outdoor Jump Field.

11:00 a.m.  Training horses on our 3-acre Natural Obstacle Training Arena.

11:30 a.m. Training horses with ground work in our training paddocks.

12:00 p.m. Training horses still—but now it’s driving to prepare for Combined Driving (a new sport for me this next year!)

12:30 p.m.  Riding horses in the covered arena (if it is raining, as can be the case in the afternoons).

1:00 p.m.  Lunch, swim in the pool, play with dogs!

1:30 p.m.  Shower and clean up from the barn.

2:00 p.m. Office duties: email, Facebook, marketing plans, writing newsletter or editorial for magazines, following up on horse sales, planning shows and clinics, working on remodeling our property in Sarasota, Florida (Southern Reflections – An Equestrian Private Retreat).

3:00 p.m.  More office duties: conference calls with sponsors, companies with product development, reviewing client requests with their horses, making contacts for clinics or expos engagements.

4:00 p.m. Office duties continue, or if we have a clinic going on, I prepare dinner for the students, guests, and staff.

4:30 p.m.  Still in the office: preparing the daily horse training and lesson schedule for the next day.

5:00 p.m. Haven’t left the office but gotta feed my dogs!!

5:30 p.m. Close the office for the day.

 

Lynn with her Labs. Photo by Cappy Jackson from THE RIDER'S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION.

Lynn with her Labs. Photo by Cappy Jackson from THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION.

 

6:30 p.m. I’m watching Nightly News on NBC if I can!

7:00 p.m.  Preparing dinner for Cyril and me, and friends if we have some over (which is often).

7:30 p.m.  Cocktails at the Red Fox Inn or sitting on the front porch enjoying the sunset—talking about the day or what is happening in the horse world with Cyril, Marie Frances, and/or horsey friends. My dogs have cocktails, too: marrow bones, which they love so much!

8:00 p.m.  Dinner in the main dining room, in front of the TV if it is just Cyril and me (of course with the dogs) or at poolside—we have a wonderful pool area with lots of beautiful landscape.

9:00 p.m. Cleaning up dinner or maybe sitting at the bonfire in a courtyard beside the pool.

9:30 p.m. In bed watching The Voice or America’s Got Talent or sports.

10:00 p.m.  Up again! Time for Night Check on all the horses.

10:30 p.m. Sleeping!

 

Lynn Palm’s excellent books THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION and YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO WESTERN DRESSAGE are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW

 

Read the other installments in TSB’s “Horseworld by the Hour” blog series:

Daniel Stewart

Doug Payne

Janet Foy

Clinton Anderson

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TSB author Lynn Palm in a collected jog with an uphill balance.

TSB author Lynn Palm in a collected jog with an uphill balance.

 

The Western Dressage Association® of America (WDAA) lists collection as the sixth step in its Guidelines for Training Progression: Readiness, Balance, Rhythm, Impulsion, Suppleness, Collection, and ultimately, Lightness. There are many different ideas of what “collection” in the horse is—and what it isn’t. The WDAA defines it as follows in its Western Dressage Glossary:

Collection is not to be confused with “headset,” nor with slower or shorter strides. Collected paces have relatively shorter steps and more uphill balance, while the frame is shorter and the neck is stretched and arched upward. The horse should reach calmly to contact with the bit with the nose nearly at, but never behind, the vertical. At collected trot and canter, the support phase of the hind legs is more pronounced than in the other paces of the gait. Collection is achieved by increased weight-bearing of the horse’s haunches, thereby lowering the croup and lightening the forehand to allow the shoulders more freedom. The horse’s stride becomes markedly shorter but gains animation and height.

“Transitions are the first steps taken to teach your horse how to transfer more weight to his hind legs, engage the joints in his hind end, and round his spine, which compacts his body in the way necessary for him to be collected,” writes TSB author Lynn Palm in her terrific Western Dressage primer THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION. “The flexibility of his hind limb joints—hip, stifle, hock, and fetlock—is increased. Transitions also work on the suppleness of his longitudinal muscles; they stretch when the horse goes forward and compress when he slows down, which builds strength and enables him to go forward and slow down with more power.”

As she discusses in YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO WESTERN DRESSAGE, Lynn teaches her students that their seat is their primary aid, and rein and leg aids merely support it.

“Think of it this way,” Lynn says. “Your seat is the director. Your leg and rein aids are the supporting cast.”

 

In YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO WESTERN DRESSAGE Lynn Palm explains the difference between a "neutral" seat (A) and a seat asking for an upward transition (B).

In YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO WESTERN DRESSAGE Lynn Palm explains the difference between a “neutral” seat (A) and a seat asking for an upward transition (B).

 

When you are passively letting your hips follow the horse’s motion, your seat stays in “neutral,” but for an upward transition (walk to jog or jog to lope, for example), you move your seat and hips in a more exaggerated manner, “As though you’re trying to propel a swing higher and higher,” says Lynn, before adding a touch of the leg aid. For a downward transition (jog to walk or lope to jog, for example), you stop your seat and hip movement to restrict your horse’s motion, and then add a whisper of a rein aid.

 

Try this walk-jog-walk transition exercise from THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION to improve your use of your seat while building your horse’s ability to collect, so you can ultimately turn in a better Western Dressage performance:

1  Ask your horse to move in an active, forward, four-beat walk for one full circle.

2 Use your seat to prepare and cue your horse for the upward transition to jog.

3 Jog one full circle. The jog should be an active, square jog, where the hind legs track in line with the front legs, and your horse maintains longitudinal bend on the curved line of travel.

4 Use your seat to prepare and cue your horse for the downward transition to walk.

5 Repeat the exercise in both directions.

During the exercise, Lynn says to think of the horse as a speedboat on the water: When the boat accelerates (the upward transition from walk to jog) the back of the boat goes down because the power is coming from the motor (the horse’s hindquarters) and the front of the boat lifts up (the horse’s forehand lightens). When the boat’s speed is reduced (the downward transition from jog to walk), the motor pushes the back of the boat down and elevates the front so it can slow smoothly and not in a jarring, rough manner. The horse should slow from jog to walk in the same way, with power from behind while elevating his front end.

 

THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION and YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO WESTERN DRESSAGE by Lynn Palm are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

 

 

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WDI AVAILABLE

Get the fully illustrated official WDAA tests at http://www.HorseandRiderBooks.com!

It has been exciting to watch the evolution of the new sport of Western dressage and rewarding for so many to see it finally be recognized at national levels. And now, at the mid-year meeting of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the Board of Directors approved a rule change proposal, effective December 1, 2013, which recognizes Western dressage as an individual discipline! That’s right, beginning with the 2014 competition season, Western dressage will have its own chapter in the USEF Rule Book.

TSB is thrilled to have a role in promoting Western dressage and encouraging riders of all abilities and levels to pursue it with their horses. Right now, you can order the official, fully illustrated Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA) tests at the TSB online bookstore. WDAA tests are available in four “Dressage Illustrated” collections (click each link to view and order):

Each book includes the directive ideas for each test with all coefficient movements (double points) shaded for easy identification. In addition, the required gaits and movements are clearly diagrammed and defined. Western Dressage Illustrated books are printed on heavy paper and plastic laminated for outdoor use, so you can refer to them time and time again.

Western Dressage Illustrated books feature required gaits and movements clearly diagrammed and defined.

Western Dressage Illustrated books feature required gaits and movements clearly diagrammed and defined.

 

For those all-around dressage enthusiasts, TSB also has Dressage Illustrated books for USEF tests, Training through Fourth Level (CLICK HERE for more information).

 

Just getting started in Western dressage? WDAA Advisory Director Lynn Palm’s wonderfully illustrated book THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION provides all the training exercises you need to succeed!

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

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Check out the TSB horse books available in digital format!

Check out the TSB horse books available in digital format!

Is someone you know getting a Kindle or tablet for Christmas? Treat your horsey-and-tech-savvy friends right with a few of TSB’s bestselling books in digital format! The following titles are available in Kindle and ePub (ebooks.com)!

And don’t forget: ALL these titles and MORE are available in print format from the TSB online bookstore. If you order before midnight on December 16th, you can still get FREE SHIPPING in the US in time for Christmas!

Trafalgar Square Books Titles Available in Digital Format:

7 Deadly Sins of Dressage by Douglas Puterbaugh with Lance Wills

Academic Equitation by General Decarpentry

Clinton Anderson’s Downunder Horsemanship by Clinton Anderson with Ami Hendrickson

Complete Guide to Hunter Seat Training, Showing, and Judging by Anna Jane White-Mullin

Crown Prince (Book One of the Brookmeade Young Riders Series) by Linda Snow McLoon

Crown Prince Challenged (Book Two of the Brookmeade Young Riders Series by Linda Snow McLoon

Dressage for the Not-So-Perfect Horse by Janet Foy with Nancy J. Jones

Geoff Teall on Riding Hunters, Jumpers and Equitation by Geoff Teall with Ami Hendrickson

Getting in TTouch with Your Horse by Linda Tellington-Jones

Horse Economics by Catherine E. O’Brien, CPA

Horse Profiling by Kerry Thomas with Calvin Carter

How Good Riders Get Good by Denny Emerson

Lessons Well Learned by Clinton Anderson with Melinda Folse

Nature, Nurture and Horses by Paul Belasik

Reflections on Riding and Jumping by William Steinkraus

The Rider’s Guide to Real Collection by Lynn Palm with Stacy Pigott

Riding on the Autism Spectrum by Claudine Pelletier-Milet

The Smart Woman’s Guide to Midlife Horses by Melinda Folse

Taking Up the Reins by Priscilla Endicott

That Winning Feeling! by Jane Savoie

The Ultimate Horseman’s English/Spanish Dictionary for Horsemen by Maria Belknap

The Way to Perfect Horsemanship by Udo Burger

What Horses Say by Anna Clemence Mews & Julie Dicker

Women Are from Venus and So Are Their Horses by Menno Kalmann

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Since the early 1990s, Lynn Palm has been a major proponent for showing the American Quarter Horse in the dressage discipline. After nearly 20 years, on January 1, 2010, the AQHA agreed to recognize dressage as a event in which points could be earned. That same year, nationally known trainers Eitan Beth-Halachmy and Jack Brainard spurred formation of the Western Dressage Association of America (WDAA), an organization that now has seven recognized state associations and is growing at astounding speed.

Dressage is simply the french word for “training.” By building a dressage foundation, a horse can gain suppleness, flexibility, and balance, all while strengthening the rider-and-horse partnership. Through the standardized progressive training methods of dressage, a horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to perform is maximized. Horses trained correctly are able to perform various maneuvers while remaining relaxed and giving the illusion of effortlessness.

AnnMarie Brockhouse, who serves as WDAA executive assistant and is a co-founder of the Western Dressage Association of Minnesota, explains that the nonprofit WDAA developed from knowledge of the importance of dressage “regardless of the tack it was being utilized in.” And TSB author Lynn Palm, winner of four Superhorse titles, is one of the leading proponents for good training, regardless of your tack or your outfit. Her fun, easy-to-use book THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION provides 26 dressage exercises, separated into basic, intermediate, and advanced sections. With terrific full-color photos and clear diagrams, its a terrific book for anyone looking to get a start in the new and exciting sport of Western dressage.

“Lynn understands that good training is just good training. She uses basic dressage principles as the foundation for all her work,” says US Olympic Dressage Team Alternate Jane Savoie. “Lynn’s book THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION explains the what, why, and ‘how-to’ of teaching your horse to collect. It discusses a number of factors that affect a horse’s ability to shift his weight back and lighten the forehand. And probably most importantly, Lynn explains the ingredients that go into laying the correct foundation to achieve true collection so you don’t resort to shortcuts that only create an artificial headset.”

THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

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