After a year of lockdowns and social distancing, the world is finally opening back up. For equestrians, this means a return to horse shows, expos, county fairs, clinics, and an array of other social and educational activities that we’ve missed out on for the last year.  

Even if you’ve attended your fair share of Zoom events and virtual shows, you’re likely feeling a bit rusty. Getting back into the swing of things may or may not be, as they say, ‘like riding a bike,’ but it does take time and patience.

While you and your horse are slowly putting yourselves out there, Equus Film Channel has a fantastic selection of on-demand, educational videos to help you get warmed up and ready to swing a leg over before your next event. Whether you’re looking to brush up on your horsemanship knowledge or getting ready to rock your next dressage test or a trail ride, here are three great places to start:

  1. The Parasite Journey of the Horse

From the Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky, The Parasite Journey of the Horse is a seven-part series on the plethora of worms and other parasites commonly found in horses. These slightly nightmarish but deeply fascinating videos are oddly perfect for the spring/summer season. They are so chock-full of information that, a few minutes in, I forgot to be grossed out!

In each episode, veterinarian and equine parasitologist Dr. Martin K. Nielsen breaks down what each parasite does, how it’s contracted, and what symptoms a horse may exhibit if they do. Each video is also filmed in Dr. Nielsen’s lab, and his clear, precise, and straightforward presenting style makes it feel as if viewers are attending one of his lectures at the university.

Natural Horsemanship expert Sonny Garguilo may have been born in Brooklyn but he has the soul of a cowboy. The Equus Film Channel has several, short, and easily digestible training videos created by Sonny that are great for bringing a pasture horse back into work or just revisiting your groundwork basics.

Subjects include ground tying, how to make your horse more handy, crossing water, and working with a horse with food aggression. With each video running just 30 minutes or less, viewers won’t find themselves drowning in information, and Sonny’s instruction is accessible and a pleasure to watch.

The more experienced a rider gets, the more he or she will understand how vital correct saddle fitting can be. Not only does the right saddle make for improved performance for both horse and rider, it can also prevent injuries and bad behavior.

In this 48-minute video, world-renowned saddle fitter Jochen Schleese breaks down the steps he uses to find the perfect saddle. While explaining why each aspect of fitting is essential to the biomechanics of the horse, Jochen provides demonstrations and explanations of his process. The film focuses mainly on English tack, but Jochen’s fit points can be applied to all disciplines.