2020 | October


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Featuring an interview with the amazing lady Amberley Snyder, now featured on the Netflix film "Walk, Ride, Rodeo". After Amberley suffered life changing injuries in a car accident, aged just 19, undeterred she got back in the saddle and back to the sport she loves.

Also find inside our must-have Xmas Gift Guide in plenty time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and anyone else getting organised for Christmas.


Horsemanship Journal Oct 2020 Western Horse UK 2020 Oct

At this time of year, under normal circumstances, equestrians start to brace for winter. But this year is different, as we not only brace for cold, wet and muddy weather but the unknown effects that a COVID surge may have over winter. 

Our community is made up of passionate people, including riders, trainers, coaches and retailers. In 2020, these passionate individuals have also become creative problem solvers. Lessons and shows moved online, and then they pivoted again to implement COVID safe solutions to reopen. I know that we’ll all make the best of this unusual winter and keep our community thriving.

The months October to December are crucial on the equine calendar, as we attend exhibitions to watch inspiring displays and to shop! Seasonal events are moving online too, and a great deal of hard work and creative thinking has gone into making this change. Many retailers count on the large events that round off the year, I hope you can support the new formats for events this year, and we hope to virtually see you at some of them!

If you’re reading this on a cold rainy October day, then snuggle up, turn off your phone and get stuck in. We have some great in-depth reads this issue. If you’re stuck on something in your training, then turn to Philippa’s article on page 10 and consider some new techniques. Jason Webb explores the meaning of some of his favourite quotes, starting with ‘Nurture the Natural Instinct’. Ross Cooper considers how the intricacies of fit can affect behaviour, performance and communication. 

We are delighted to introduce Anna Blake, her article this issue explores the power of the walk, a largely underutilised gait. 

We are into the final leg of 2020, and it seems we are going to have to dig deep, as we face the gloomy weather (though I do love a crisp winter's day - it's the damp, muddy ones that get me down) and the ever-changing COVID rules.

I know many of you have been able to get out to clinics and lessons over the summer, and I hope this continues over winter. If the rules change, then I know our small western community will still find ways to support trainers, coaches and other western businesses, as you did earlier in the year.

On the subject of clinics and lessons, Al Dunning wants you to get the most out of clinics, and sets you up for success in his article on page 22. Bella Barr explains how being a spectator rather than a rider can have significant benefits in terms of what you can observe and learn, page 16.

Also, in this issue, our trainers have lots of tips and exercises to keep you busy over winter. Ben Longwell ups the game, as he moves on from the basics covered in the last two issues onto the more challenging counter arc. Joel Conner asks us to consider our self-awareness and the effect on our horses in his thought-provoking article.

Don't forget to check out the Christmas Gift guide on page 24 - it’s definitely not too early to start your Christmas shopping.