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Dear Dana: My mare ends her stops with a nose flip!

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - August 7th, 2014

DEAR DANA: I have an unfinished 4-year-old mare that I am attempting to get finished for the show ring. I sent her for 30 days to a trainer, and I just got her home. Every time I go to stop her in hand, she stops with her body but flips her nose up in the air. HELP!
– Theresa

Dear Dana: What can I do to end my horse’s stumbles?

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - April 3rd, 2014

DEAR DANA: My horse has been stumbling a lot with me. Any suggestions of what I can do?
- Elaine

DEAR ELAINE: I take it very seriously when my horse stumbles. It is potentially dangerous — I know of horses that have stumbled and then fallen with their rider!

Dear Dana: Can I get my horse to stay in the bridle?

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - February 6th, 2014

Dear Dana: Every time that I bridle my horse’s head, as I release him he lifts his head back up — and comes right back out of the bridle. I must admit I am getting really frustrated with him, and sometimes I really jerk him. Then, he over-bridles but still pops his neck back up! Please give me some advice.
- Steve

Dear Dana: My horse and I aren’t improving together – help!

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - December 5th, 2013

Dear Dana: I ride my horse four days a week after work. I have only 45 minutes to ride her every day. She is doing pretty well but not progressing. I feel like I am having a good enough ride, but we aren’t really getting any better. My little issues stay the same. Every day I work on the walk, jog and the lope each way and the back up as well as the side pass. Any suggestions of how I can accelerate my horse’s learning or improving?
–Nicole

Dear Dana: How do I prepare my horse for his first show?

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - November 21st, 2013

DEAR DANA: I’m taking my horse to his first show. Do you have any tips on how to prepare him? I’ve taken him to one show previously, where I just rode him around to expose him to the sights and sounds. He was pretty good considering, but he was jumpy and whinnied a few times.
–Elaine

Dear Dana: How can I get my mare’s good ol’ ‘lift’ back?

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - October 3rd, 2013

DEAR DANA: I have a 9-year-old mare that I show in amateur Western pleasure and trail classes. I have had her for three years. When I first bought her, we did quite well and even won at some good AQHA shows. In the last year, it seems like we have been going downhill. My friend says my mare looks like she is on her front end and has lost the lift she used to have. In my trail classes, she isn’t marking as good of scores and hits a lot of poles. What do you recommend that I do?
- Eileen

Dear Dana: My mare’s trot is in need of refinement! Any exercises?

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - July 18th, 2013

DEAR DANA: My newly purchased 3 year old foundation Quarter Horse has only had hunter under saddle training, although she was marketed as “good all around potential”. Actually, she has a very poor jog — when asked to jog slowly, she gets real shuffley and doesn’t maintain the two-beat gait. I would rather be going a little faster and have the true two beats vs. the shuffly look. Can you recommend ways to get feet moving more crisply?
–Anonymous

Dear Dana: I’m between a new bad habit and being too tough!

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - April 4th, 2013

DEAR DANA: I have a 2-year-old reining-bred filly that I have started myself. I am an amateur, but I’ve ridden for all my life. This is only the second horse I have started myself. My problem is that every time I stop her, she roots her head and neck out of my hands. I don’t want to be too tough on her mouth by jerking her, but I feel that a bad habit is starting to develop.
Bonnie, Oakdale

Show-ring success starts long before you enter the arena

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - February 21st, 2013

DEAR DANA: Do you have any tips to keep in mind for getting the most out of the new show season?
Carmen, Escondido

Dear Dana: How do I work my horse with short, cold days

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - January 17th, 2013

DEAR DANA: Days now are shorter and I can’t ride my horse as much as I could before. It is so much colder, and my horse has a lot more energy. It feels like I need to work my horse twice as long, and I have half the time. Any suggestions?
–Dean