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Improve Your Horse IQ with USEF Licensed Official Diane Carney

Diane Carney is passionate about education and horsemanship. Photo Marketing4Equestrians.

West Palm Beach, FL – April 7, 2020 – The time we have now is the perfect opportunity to improve your horse IQ according to USEF Licensed Official and coach Diane Carney.  While horse shows have been temporarily put on hold and access to regular time in the saddle may be limited, learning and improving your riding skills doesn’t have to stop. Take advantage of some free time to expand your knowledge so you can apply it when your seat changes from your home to the saddle.

Horse IQ is thinking like a horse, intuition, and experience with a horse. As riders become advanced, they learn to think like a horse to prevent issues rather than merely responding to a horse’s actions. Carney lists some ideas for how to improve your riding without being in the tack. 

Review Videos

Reviewing some of your own personal videos can be helpful along with conversations about them with your professional or other professionals such as Carney. She has been reviewing rider videos from the judge’s perspective and offering exercises that can be worked on to improve skills such as balance of the horse or the rider. In conversations on conference calls that include parents and trainers, Carney offers an open dialog, answers questions about the rider’s performance, and offers goals with outside insight to improve the ride. Riders and parents from across the country have sent videos and had conference calls with Carney to discuss the videos and collaborate with their teams and welcomes others to do so through her Facebook page  - Telluride-Diane Carney or messenger.

It is also helpful to watch videos of the equitation finals, derby finals or FEI classes through outlets such as, YouTube or  Grab some paper and judge along to see why the winners won, watch their positions, watch their form, watch their turns and learn from what you see. Demonstration is another great form of learning and there is nothing like watching the best riders in the country and internationally to see the balance of the horse and the rider and how it looks. 

Photos can provide similar information if you don’t have a video. Carney welcomes photo reviews as well.

Read Books

Go through your bookshelf and review some books you have read. Many times your horse IQ has increased since the last time you read the book and you may have a new way of processing the information at a more advanced level. If you don’t find something on your shelf, order a new one online to add to your collection. Designate some time in your daily routine to read a chapter and see how it applies to your riding.

What book you read doesn’t matter as much as how you apply the knowledge and increase your horse IQ. The American huntseat style has many books that have been published through the decades by various authors, course designers, and Olympians so there are numerous options. 

Look through that pile of old horse magazines you have or go online and find articles about position, aids, and balance.  Compare photos to your photos to point out where you need to improve the details. Have conversations with your professional or collaborate with others to learn more. 

Keep Up on Fitness

“All of us at home are working on some kind of fitness. I myself have been biking every day. I don’t think the distance is as important as the fact that you do it everyday – keep the discipline,” said Carney.  “When the barn is open again you won’t be too out of shape.”

What you do isn’t as important as doing something. It could be Yoga, Pilates, walking, running, biking, anything that keeps you moving and ready to get back in the tack.

When you do get the OK to head to the barn, keep your goals realistic and work on basics. Be reasonable suggests Carney. Don’t think you can hop right on and go the grand prix. Even though the professionals have been keeping your horse in competition shape, give yourself time to get back in the swing and get the confidence up of both the horse and the rider after a lengthy break.  

Review Checklists

Carney suggests using this downtime to go through checklists and make sure your horse’s health and passport records are up to date. When was the last time your horse’s teeth were checked? How about spring vaccinations? How about farrier records? Use this time to be sure your equine partner will be ready to go as well. 

“We will all be back in business soon,” added Carney, “and perhaps many of us will come back with a greater appreciation of the basics regarding our stable management, horse and rider balance, and our business relationships. I see this time as opportunity for details. There are endless opportunities to pay attention to details and focus on basics and gratitude.”

About Diane Carney Diane Carney is a lifelong, dedicated horsewoman, emphasizing horsemanship in every aspect of her world.  Her versatility and in-depth knowledge as a grand prix rider, hunter rider

, clinician, USHJA certified trainer, event organizer, commentator, course designer, and USEF R judge, gives her a well-rounded perspective on the industry. Carney’s judging resume includes the 2016 ASPCA/Maclay Medal Finals, the New England Equitation Championships, WEF, HITS Thermal, Bend Oregon, Blenheim CA, Flintridge and Sonoma, CA; LA Masters, Kentucky Summer, The American Tradition of Excellence Equitation Championship, the Sunshine Series USHJA $100,000 Hunter Prix, HITS $500,000 Hunter Prix, IEA and IHSA, SEC Championships, the USEF Pony Finals, Gulfport and the West Coast Equitation Final at the USHJA Championships. Over the last 40 years, Diane has continued the mission of spreading knowledge and horsemanship through clinics and supporting programs that raise the level of horsemanship for riders, trainers and owners.  Carney is available for clinics, judging, sales, commentary and private clients. Visit her website at for her complete resume.


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