Vol. XIV, Week 3 Jan 22, 2024


All Issues


We all know about the importance of genetic and health testing our canine athletes. New tests are announced frequently and your inbox is undoubtedly deluged with offers from genetic testing companies. 

The AKC has just launched the AKC Canine Genetic Counseling Center to provide reliable information to support breeding decisions. 

You can learn more here.


Each year, the AKC celebrates those individuals whose many years of dedication have led to significant contributions to our sport on a national level.

Officers of Member Clubs have been sent ballots to vote for one candidate in each event category. If your club has not received a ballot, get in touch with Amy.hamernick@akc.org.

Jack Unbehaun is one of those nominated in the Performance Events category. You can check out the bios of all the nominees here.

Being Relaxed vs. Tense

From Denny Emerson's post on FB.

There have been studies done that indicate that relaxed horses learn better than tense horses. I would have thought anyone with half a brain could have figured out that, though.

Bad riding, rough training quickly takes most horse above what we might call their “anxiety threshold,” the point at which they become so nervous that they get tight, resistant, and we know what happens then---The less able riders ALSO get tight, often frustrated, angry even, and the whole shooting match begins to spiral out of control.

So many so-called trainers are too rough, too sharp with their hands, their spurs, their whips, and their attitudes. These are the riders, trainers, teachers who use all those devices, pain inducing bits, the apparatus designed specifically to force submission. Sometimes drugs when the horse fights back against the pain.

Correct riding is partly physical, certainly. A rider who bounces around, has poor balance, over-active hands, these will upset a horse. But riding skills can be learned. What is more important is the human’s philosophy of riding and training, and by that I mean does this human think that riding a horse is a test of wills between horse and rider, or is riding a system of quiet communication, taught over time to allow both horse and rider to learn a common “language”?

Relaxed horses come from relaxed riders, and by relaxed I don’t mean Old Sloppy Joe, but relaxed enough emotionally to become able to educate rather than dominate the horses they ride.

I don’t care how skillful the rider may be, if domination is the go-to training choice, that rider is a bad rider. There are lots of winning riders who are bad riders.