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 […]

Endangered Horse Breeds

3:53 pm
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Could your favorite breed of horse go extinct?

When we think of extinction, we typically picture wild animals who are suffering from loss of habitat. But it’s not just exotic or wild creatures that are in danger of disappearing forever. There are horse breeds who are on the brink. You could argue that they’re suffering from loss of habitat, too–lost jobs, barns, and pastures when the Industrial Age replaced horses with machines.

Many of the threatened or endangered horse breeds of the world were once working horses. The Cleveland Bay, the Hackney horse, the Suffolk […]

Three New Horse Sports

8:55 pm
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Ready for something new with your horse?

Maybe it’s time to think outside of the traditional disciplines. These three new horse sports aren’t necessarily brand-new, but none of these disciplines fit into the classic English/Western molds most of us are accustomed to. And that’s precisely the appeal for many riders!

Horseball: We talked about Horseball on this site back in February — Horseball is a hot new sport in Europe, Mexico, and Canada, and will be part of the World Equestrian Games in Normandy this August. The sport involves a soccer ball with handles […]

Household Items That Are Barn Essentials

3:33 pm
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Not everything in your barn needs to be an expensive speciality item from the tack shop — it just seems that way sometimes!

In reality, there are plenty of everyday items available at the people store (that’s where you buy that regular stuff like cereal and toothbrushes, different than the tack shop) that are great around the barn. Here are five barn essentials (and a few bonus items) to put in your cart the next time you’re at the discount store.

Duct Tape: I know, this is a gimme. But seriously, have you replenished your […]

Riding Helmets

8:41 pm
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Do you wear a riding helmet?

There’s a growing faction of pro-helmet activists in the equestrian community. One of the most visible, Riders4Helmets, includes some alarming statistics on their website. Horse riding, the organization states, is a dangerous sport on level with motorcycle riding, and head injuries are the leading cause of equestrian-related hospital admissions and deaths. http://www.riders4helmets.com/2011/02/equestrian-sport-statistics-facts-what-you-should-know/

And in a Canadian study of patients admitted with equestrian industries, 60% of related deaths were caused by head injuries to riders who were […]

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