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Dear Dana: How can I become more confident in my seat?

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - March 5th, 2015 Issue

Dear Dana,
I am a beginner rider and when I take lessons at my local riding club I just don’t feel like I am very secure on the horse in my seat! I have come up out of the saddle a few times, not off of the horse, just out of the saddle. I am starting to lose confidence. My instructor keeps telling me that we need to work on my seat. Do you have any pointers?


Dear Dana: How do I tell if my futurity prospect is up for the challenge?

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - February 5th, 2015 Issue

Dear Dana Q & ADEAR DANA: I have a 2-year-old Quarter Horse mare that I bought as a yearling with a goal of making her a futurity horse. Now that it is time to start riding and training her, I’m just not sure if she is mentally and physically mature enough for all that it might take to make her a top futurity horse. Any advice? – Jaime

Dear Dana: Help! My horse changes from day to day under me

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - December 4th, 2014 Issue

DEAR DANA: Every day, when I ride my horse she is like a new horse. One day, she’s quiet. The next, she’s full of energy. One day the saddle is no big deal, the next day when I cinch her up, she grunts and moves around. One day the chairs by the arena are nothing, the next day she’s afraid of them. I really like this horse. She was a dream come true for me, but this one area is really disappointing. She is a 4-year-old Quarter Horse, bred for working cow and reining.
— Jean

Dear Dana: Help! My horse’s ears are off limits

By DANA HOKANA - Horsetrader columnist - October 2nd, 2014 Issue

DEAR DANA: My horse won’t let me near his ears with the clippers. He throws his head in the air and jumps sideways! Do you have any suggestions?

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

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

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 Issue

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

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 Issue

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 Issue

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?

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

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

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.

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

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

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