Choosing the Right Stallion for your Mare

7:52 pm
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Fall may have just arrived, but for those in the horse breeding business, it’s already time to think about spring.

Today’s foals are tomorrow’s yearlings, and horse magazines are printing up their stallion issues. The breeding season will be upon us before we know it. Have you decided on the right stallion for your mare yet?

Chances are, unless you’ve fallen head over heels for one particular horse, there are still a few players on the market. What criteria will you use to choose the perfect stallion? We have a few suggestions.

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A History of Horse Breeds

7:50 pm
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There are more than three hundred breeds of horse and pony in the world – we’ll bet you have a favorite one out of all those breeds! Where did such diversity come from? If every breed descended from one little dog-sized creature, Eohippus, how did we end up with everything from the Shetland to the Shire?

Well, the answer is humans, of course — we know what we want, and we aren’t afraid to mix and match horses until we get it. But in the case of horses, different groups of humans wanted different sorts of horses. The light […]

Para Dressage at the 2014 WEG

4:27 pm
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Ready for some equestrian inspiration?

During the 2014 World Equestrian Games, keep an eye out for the Para-Dressage competition. You’ll see horse-and-rider teams competing at the highest level of international dressage, just like in the standard dressage competition. But you’ll also see riders who are overcoming physical difficulties and impairments that might keep many people off any horse, let alone ride down the center line in Normandy during the most prestigious equestrian competition in the world.

Competitions in para-dressage began in Great Britain in the 1970s, as a response to the growing […]

Breed Standards and Stud Books

10:06 pm
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Breed standards and approvals are in place for many breeds around the world.

It’s perhaps best-known in European warmblood circles, but many less common and rare breeds are also the subject of strict stud book approval. Equine breeding societies around the world are making careful decisions about the futures of their breeds, choosing the horses that will continue and enrich the bloodline of the horses that they love.

Registration is one thing for these breeds, but entry into the breeding program is entirely another. An “open stud book” sounds inviting, but horses are inspected fiercely before […]

What’s Your Riding Discipline?

8:01 am
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As equestrians, we all have our favorite style of riding. And do we ever have choices!

Eventing, reining, show jumping, team penning, sidesaddle, equitation… those are just the obvious ones. Each year, more and more riding organizations are offering specialized training and competitions for unique styles of riding.

Different breeds come with their own riding styles: Icelandic horses, for example, have two unique gaits: the Tölt and the Pace (or Flying Pace). Although Icelandics are shown in more common, all-breed disciplines, learning to ride these gaits and show them competitively is a discipline all its own […]

Homemade Fly Spray

8:03 pm
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Summer bugs — no fun for your horse, and no fun for you.

How about some natural fly repellent? Here are three homemade fly repellents for your horse to give a try. Some contain essential oils, some contain dish-soap, some Avon’s Skin-So-Soft. Where you live and the kind of insects you have in your area. Horsemen in mosquito-prone areas often swear by Skin-So-Soft, while barns that only have a minor fly problem might get away with little more than soapy water.

Keep in mind that every horse (and person!) is different and […]

Adult Summer Riding Camp

7:57 pm
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Summer camp! Archery, canoeing, friendship bracelets, and horseback riding!

If you miss your summer camp days, or if you never got to go, never fear — there are adult and even family sessions of summer camp out there. You can live your summer camp dreams with some of these versatile equestrian summer camp programs:

Vershire Riding School in Vershire, Vermont, has been welcoming campers for 43 years. Specializing in Eventing, Vershire offers camps for children, adults, and families. Week-long adult camps take place all summer long, and feature four hours (!!) of mounted lessons every day. In […]

Run-in Sheds

10:46 pm
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Your horse has a stable for shelter. Your horse has a pasture. But does your horse have a shelter in the pasture?

Run-in sheds, or loafing sheds, are a necessity for many turn-out areas. Horses need to be able to get shelter from heavy weather or excessive heat or frigid winds. Trees, though nice, don’t always fit the bill. They can let heavy rains through, and are no protection at all from hail or lightning. And branches laden with snow or ice create a serious risk.

When considering a location for a run-in shed […]

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