Posts Tagged ‘horseback riding’

No that is not a typo………..read on……….

These vintage leather saddle bags were made around the late 1940s to early 1950s by Keith Robbins, who was born in 1927. Following is an excerpt from Robbins biography that was written by his son.

It was at this time that Dad worked at the Utahn Saddle Co. (they couldn’t use “Utah” and have it as registered companies name so they called it Utahn). It was a business his father started because he couldn’t find a saddle that was comfortable to him. They began with about five employees, including my Dad. One of their main customers was Sears.

As a publicity stunt, they strapped a saddle on the outside of a single-engine airplane. A flight instructor rode around the Salt Lake valley while sitting in the saddle on the back of the airplane. Eventually, the Utahn Saddle Shop went bankrupt. Then my Dad went to work for Jenkins Saddle Shop.”


Utahn Saddle Co., Vernon Utah vintage Late 1940s, early 1950s heavy skirting leather all stitching intact very clean inside 39″ long from end to end each of the two expandable side pockets are 10 x 12 and the softer chrome tanned leather in the expansion area allows them to be 3 3/4″ deep so hold a lot of stuff

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To see about this book visit Como Piensa tu Caballo

To see all books by Cherry Hill including all international editions, visit

Chronology of Books and Videos by Cherry Hill

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If you have a question about horse care, facilities, horse behavior or training, perhaps your questions has already been asked and answered on my Horse Information Roundup.
There you can browse by categories such as Hoof Care, Riding and Mounted Training or Horse Clothing just to name a few………

OR you can use the Horsekeeping search tool at the top of the page to type in a word or phrase and that will create a list of articles that contain that subject.

To get more in depth information, you can browse through my complete books list. Here is the complete chronology of my books and DVDs

and here is a place where you can look for books by category – the Book Barn.

Cherry Hill

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What Every Horse Should Know by Cherry Hill

When watching horses, we often say, “…he should know that…..” somewhat like we heard our mothers say as we were growing up, “You should know better.” I guess once we get to a certain age and have learned XYZ, you’d think we’d also know our ABCs. But often that is not the case. Frequently the basic lessons are missing and that is so often true with horses. Basics are the building blocks; they are foundation for everything else that is to come. If there are holes in the foundation, at some point the horse, the person, or the barn could come tumbling down.

Sugar is a sweet gelding that can really turn out a pretty western pleasure picture as long as his stable mate accompanies him to the show and stands ringside. Oh, and Sugar has this silly habit of moving during mounting so needs someone, well, two someones, to hold him while his rider gets aboard. And one more thing – he must routinely be sedated before he loads in a trailer. Then there’s just that one foot that he jerks away from the farrier………Sugar has holes, things he really should know. Things that he should have learned at the beginning. Although he can walk, jog and lope with the best of them, there are important basics missing from his training.

But before we even begin to make a list of what we think a horse should know, let’s celebrate all the splendid things a horse inherently knows. I’ve discussed why horses do what they do in detail in “How to Think Like a Horse”. There I give you a bird’s eye view of a horse’s evolution, physical traits, senses and behaviors. But there is so much more.

Horses bring with them beauty, nobility, grace, curiosity, generosity, honesty, and forgiveness. Horses have amazing physical attributes, keen senses, strong instincts and they are very social animals. Such rich character is a great gift to us.

As we develop our horses with a partnership as a goal, we need to preserve those things that make a horse a horse. In that way, there are no losers. Both human and horse emerge winners. If you work together for safety, effectiveness and unity, it will be a satisfying and successful experience.

I’ve written many step-by-step training books that guide you through specific lessons. Those how-to books can help you master the nuts and bolts of horse training. But this book also focuses on the behind-the-scene goals that are necessary for developing a trainer’s consciousness. Understanding training concepts is helpful for seeing the big picture. As you read you’ll see that certain themes reoccur throughout a horse’s life – from foalhood to the senior years.

Whether you are handling a foal for the first time or asking your riding horse to cross a creek, in the mix there will be measures of fear and trust, willingness and patience, leadership and mutual respect, obedience and confidence, generosity, patience, and harmony. Seeing how all of this works when it comes to handling, working with and riding horses, will help you become a more complete horse trainer. Understand the concepts, master the skills, develop the horse.

This book is devoted to those universal lessons that every horse should know whether a trail horse or reiner, dressage horse or jumper, rodeo horse or ranch horse. In addition, each horse discipline will have its own set of specific skills that the horse will need to learn.

Throughout my life with horses, I’ve been a “be here now” and “back burner” trainer. When I work with a horse, I am in the moment. But afterwards, I take a bit of time to review what happened, where we are, where I’d like to be, and what skills and principles are necessary to get there. Then I put all that on the back burner until the next time I work with the horse. Things have a way of reordering themselves in the subconscious. That works better for me than overanalyzing and becoming too detail oriented while I am working with the horse.

It is my hope that you’ll read this book from cover to cover, reread parts in between training sessions, add something to the pot and put it on your back burner to simmer. Skills are great to master but concepts really bring about those “Ahhhh” moments. You’ll see how each concept can be thought of separately yet they all intertwine to make the whole horse.

Mastery of the concepts will help you design your own custom training program. You can use the subjective and objective goal chapter at the end of the book to help you get started. The checklists there are designed to help you find an entry point for your horse and they will provide you with some ideas of what you need to review or work on next. You’ll be constantly making and revising individual “To-Do” lists for each of your horses.

Horse training is not strictly linear though – at any one time, several things are occurring. In addition, each horse comes with his own set of influences: age, sex, breeding, health, soundness, condition, previous handling, temperament, and attitude. A particular horse might pass certain tests quite easily and need much more time to master others while his full brother might be vice versa.

As you design a program, you will also need to keep in mind your own temperament, experience, talent, timing, physical abilities and goals. To get help with how-to lessons, please refer to the training books listed in the appendix.

Thankfully horses tell us every day what they need to learn. Their voids become quickly apparent because until they are taken care of, they will crop up in all sorts of places. A horse that has never learned to stand still might paw and move around when tied to a hitch rail, move back and forth when the farrier is trying to shoe him, sway side to side and move up and back in a trailer, or starting walking while a rider is mounting. He has missed the basic lessons of Whoa and Patience

That’s why no matter what age a horse is, it is a good idea to start from square one to evaluate what he does and does not know. This is especially important if, when looking for a horse to buy, you test ride a horse and find him to be well suited to your riding needs but really don’t know if he is OK with clipping, bathing, trailering or shoeing. By testing him on the basics, you can see whether his schooling is complete or deficient.

No horse is perfect and no horse performs everything perfectly every time. Horses are living beings, not machines. Each horse comes with natural talents and challenges – some things come easily, others are tough. Our role is to fortify the strong portions of a horse’s nature and help the horse develop and become more confident in the weak areas.

As you look at accomplishing your goals, you will want to keep these things in mind.

1. Break larger things into smaller achievable goals.

2. Do simple exercises well rather than more advanced maneuvers in poor form.

3. Be consistent. (Always be training.)

4. Be patient.

5. Preserve a horse’s curiosity, willingness to learn, good attitude, and spirit.

6. Work for balance and quality of movement.

7. Let results be your measure, not time.

8. Feed a horse according to his age and work requirements.

9. Exercise a horse daily.

10. Give a horse a job, a purpose.

11. Practice regularly.

12. Use reward and yielding to reinforce a horse’s good behavior.

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The Journey is as important as the Destination.

Enjoy every moment and live life fully.

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January 2012
Translated into Czech:

What Every Horse Should Know


Cherry Hillova

Publisher: Vydala Euromedia Group

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Ms Hill,

I am 59, rode for 40 years but  had a hip  replaced about four years ago and need to get the other done sometime in the not to distant future. 

Talking to my physical therapist about getting back in the saddle and asking for exercises or what-ever to try to improve the range of motion in both hip sockets is like trying to get an answer out of my dog.  (and due to restrictions of my medical insurance I can’t go to another therapist.)

Do you know of any books that address this issue, or know of any group that works with rider disabilities who might be able to help me get back in the saddle? 


Hi Dianne,

I’m posting this in hopes that one of the readers of this blog might be able to help you specifically with a group or book recommendation. I don’t know of any specifically related to hip replacements and riding.

However I have heard that hip replacements enable people to ride, rather than disable, so I’d think of it that way !

I’d start by asking your doctor and/or physical therapist specifically what limitations you have in terms of exercise, such as you shouldn’t go past a certain angle with your artificial hip joint. Also in terms of the other hip joint that will need to be replaced in the future, ask which exercises would exacerbate whatever the condition is that is going to require you to get that hip replaced too. Just like with horses, some exercises would accelerate damage to an already deteriorated joint. So ask which movements are safe and which are not for each hip as they currently are.

Once you know what you shouldn’t do, that will rule out certain yoga poses, certain Pilates exercises and some general fitness and stretching exercises.

Also, again asking your doctor and/or PT – they probably have a standard handout or booklet they give patients of exercises to prepare for and recover from surgery. This will make a good basis for your program.

I hesitate to go much further than that because I’m not a doctor or a PT and every person’s situation is different.

Hip Flexor Stretch

If it were me, I’d find out what I shouldn’t do and then start with simple exercises, adding repetitions, weight or difficulty…..always listening to your body.

And finally, one of the best ways to get back in the saddle is to get back in the saddle with the help of a mounting block. Even if for a few minutes every day, gentle walking, moseying around.

Best of luck and please feel free to post any comments, information directly here on this blog.


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Hi Cherry,

I’m a veterinarian, but not a horseman.  So I have been around horses, have treated them, but I can’t say that I know them well.  I recently will retire and want to spend time with my other animals as well as buy two horses.  Given my partner and I are beginners, do you ever help with finding two experienced and gentle horses for pleasure riding and for pets?  The farm I’m buying has 40 acres of pasture in vermont as well as excellent equestrian facilities.  If you don’t do this, do you know someone who does?  Thanks for any help.  Doug

Hi Doug,

Being in Colorado and you in Vermont………that would be tough.

BUT maybe if you took some lessons from an ARIA (American Riding Instructors Association) instructor in your area,


that would get you started……and then the instructor might be able to recommend some horses or other people to help you find horses.

Click on Find an ARIA instructor in the left column to get started………

It will take you to a list of Vermont instructors


Perhaps one is near you………best of luck.

And please let me know how this works for you……..

and if you haven’t read Horse For Sale, How to Buy a Horse or Sell the One You Have, you should. It is filled with valuable information for you as a potential buyer. Here’s the expanded table of contents.

Chapter 1 – Getting Ready to Buy a Horse 

The Benefits and Responsibilities of Horse Ownership
Sample Budget
Choosing a Horse
Choosing a Mentor

Chapter 2 – Factors in Selection 

Estimated Price Ranges
Selecting a Horse for an Event
Movement and Way of Going
Breed or type
Predicting Adult Weight and Height
Color and Markings

Chapter 3 – Methods of Buying  

Private Treaty
Breeding Farm or Production Sale
Terms and Conditions
Using an Agent
Finder s Fee
Where to Look
Buying Protocol
Buying Procedure

Chapter 4 – Buyer Exam  

Evaluating Conformation and Movement
Making a Visual Assessment
Conformation Components
Proportions and Curvature of Topline
Correctness of angles and Structures
Evaluating Potential of Young Horses
Attitude, Temperament, and Mental Powers
Conformation and Athletic Ability
Evaluating Movement
Movement Evaluation Process
The Natural Gaits
The Phases of a Stride
Terms Associated with Movement
Factors that Affect Movement
Lameness at the Trot
Level of Fitness
Stage of Development
Recognizing Defects
What is Ideal Movement?
Gait Defects
Defects in Travel

Chapter 5 – Evaluating Temperament, Behavior, and Training  

Signs of Vices and Bad Habits
Wood Chewing
Stall Kicking
Tail Rubbing
Dental Problems
Digestive Problems
Relationship with other horses
Attitude toward people
Vices, Description, Causes, Treatment
Bad Habits, Description, Causes, Treatment
Evaluating Ground Training
Evaluating a Horse s Riding Training
On the Bit?
The Test Ride
Summary of Buyer Exam
Horse Information Checklist

Chapter 6 – The Pre-Purchase Contract and Veterinary Exam   

The Pre-Purchase Contract
Notes about Items Covered in Contract
The Veterinary Exam
Pass or Fail?
Excepted Conditions
Be on the Lookout for These Conditions
Tests and Examinations
General Clinical Exam
Examination of the Limbs
Hoof Exam
Hoof Tester
Flexion Tests
Nerve Blocks
Neurological Exam
Laboratory Tests
Blood Chemistry Panel
Chemical Test
Endoscopic Exam
Reproductive Exam
Rectal Palpation
Approximate Charges
Trial Period

Chapter 7 – Paperwork and Legalities for the Buyer

Types of Insurance
What Type Do you Need?
Registration Papers
Brand Inspection

Chapter 8 – Alternatives to Buying  

International Buying
Shares, Syndication
Adopt a Wild Horse
Working Student

Chapter 9 – Getting Ready to Sell a Horse  

Finding a Niche for Your Horse
Identify the Buyer
International Sales
Establishing the Value and Price for Your Horse

Chapter 10 – Marketing a Horse 

Selling Through an Agent or Auction
Terms and Conditions When Consigning to Auction
Bulletin Boards
Farm Sign
Classified Ads
Direct Mail Flyer
Word of Mouth
Public Appearances
Display Ads
Advertising Terminology
Response to your Ads
Video as a Marketing Tool
Use of Videos in Selling Horses
Making a Video
Sample Shooting Plan
Include in Video Action Script
Video No-Nos

Chapter 11 – Presentation of a Horse for Sale 

The Horse s Appearance
The Handler s Appearance
The Facilities
Get a Fix on Buyer s Wants and Needs
Customer Selection
Showing a Horse to a Buyer
Liability During a Test Ride
Things that Kill a Sale
Things that Make a Sale

Chapter 12 – Paperwork and Legalities for the Seller  

Information Sheet
Transfer of Ownership
Registration Papers
Bill of Sale
Installment Sales
Purchase and Installment Agreement

Chapter 13 – Alternatives to Selling


Cherry Hill


Excellent suggestion!  Thank you so much.  In fact, one of the ARIA instructors, is in the same town as the farm I am purchasing. 

Thanks again!  I will send pics of my new friends once I get them, but I want to take my time to find the right pair.

Have a great rest of week.


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Help Cherry !

I am looking for a pad that protects the anterior vagina from pressure.

After my last riding lesson in which I took the rising trot for the better part of an hour,  aside from the pain and soreness, I discovered that I blistered and battered my very private nether parts.  Other than a very thick sanitary pad, is there anything you recommend for this.  I am certain I am not the only 67 yr old female who has encountered this.


Hi Susan,

There are a number of products out there for horseback, motorcycle and bicycle riders that you might find helpful. Some are designed with more padding in the crotch area and others have more padding in the seat.

Here are some search terms for you to use to help you find what you need.

Padded breeches

Padded briefs

Under Riders

Padded bike briefs

Padded bike shorts.

That will get you started !



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What Every Horse Should Know by Cherry Hill

“Essential information for any horse owner.”  

Horsemen’s Yankee Pedlar, April 2011

“This book, a follow-up to the successful How to Think Like a Horse, is packed with information that every domestic horse needs to know in order to live a fulfulling life around humans. Regardless of discipline or age, there are certain lessons that we should all teach our horses in order to create a respectful relationship with them and eleiminate fear of people or their surroundings. Hill divides her book into threee sections: “No Fear”, “Leadership and Partnership”, and in-hand under-saddle exercises called “The Work”.

“Hill’s book reminds us that horses aren’t naturally adapted to live in our world, so if we want them to live happily alongside us, it’s our job to teach them how to act appropriately and enjoy domestic lie. Throughout the book there is essential information to better help us understand how our horse perceives our actions, and how we can make him more comfortable with things that he naturally has an aversion to. All of the advice is extremely practical and helps the reader to get inside the horse’s mind, in order to help him become well-adjusted to both humans and every day equipment. Well organized and full of photos and drawings, there is a lot to be learned from Hill’s newest book.”

“BOTTOM LINE: Essential information for any horse owner.”

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