Pushing the Limits

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One of the most important things I learned during my year as a working student with my trainer is that every horse should have impeccable manners. Don’t get me wrongÑI’ve always known that horses should be well-behaved, and all of my family’s horses have had very good manners, stood well for the vet and farrier, and been easy to handle, lead, tack, and medicate.

But there’s nothing like seeing, on a regular basis, 1,000+ pound event horses giving their riders trouble with even the simplest of tasksÑboth at competitions and at homeÑto reinforce the notion. As a result, my trainer and I instilled impeccable ground manners upon Dorado, and even today, he rarely (if ever) sways from what he’s learned is acceptable.

Because he’s proven to me that he’s very well-behaved, Dorado gets some leeway in departments other horses might not…like taking his sweet time getting up from a nap

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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