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World Equestrian Games Offer More than Elite Equestrian Sport

Equine Extremist Tommie Turvey is one of many clinicians and demonstrators at the 2010 games

By Kimberly Abbott | 2-Oct-10

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Tommie TurveyIn addition to the top equestrians in eight disciplines from 58 countries, the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games plays host to many of the equine industry’s top trainers and clinicians, such as Equine Extremist Tommie Turvey.

Known for his trick riding performances with Paint horses Joker’s Wild and Ace In The Hole, Turvey is also a stuntman and horse trainer for films and television. For the WEG, Turvey brought his famous equine duo and his robust personality to share his philosophy on training horses, and how he achieves the partnership he has with his horses and gets them to perform stunts such as jumping through hoops of fire, standing on podiums, sitting and lying down.

“It’s not about jumping through fire or lying down,” said Turvey of his training methods to get his horses to perform stunts. “It’s about how we get there.” Turvey stresses that all of his training methods are practical for everyday horsemen. By teaching horses the principles of any discipline, they will be better performers. For example, training his horses to stand on a box is a practice based on controlling their steps and forward movement.

With the help of Ricky Suarez, who has been a performer in the highly acclaimed equine traveling shows Arabian Nights and Cavalia, Turvey explained the history of bareback riding and what he calls “circus-style vaulting,” and how they pertain to what they do as entertainers. For the general population of equestrians, he says bareback riding is beneficial to developing a balanced seat.

Turvey also touched on the importance of finding the right job for a horse. When it comes to performing comedy and trick riding routines, Turvey makes sure his horses are in the right mindset.

The demonstration ended with an at-liberty performance by Turvey and his two Paint Horses, using only two longe whips, body language and voice commands to ask Joker and Ace to perform small circles around him, rears and bows.

If you’re at WEG, don’t miss the many opportunities available to learn more about working with your horse and developing a solid foundation and strong relationship from professionals like Turvey. If you’re not fortunate enough to be joining us at the Kentucky Horse Park, there will be other opportunities to see the Equine Extremist at events across the country. Visit www.tommieturvey.com for more information.

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