Horses are creatures of habit.
They like their meals at a certain time (as anyone who lives within earshot of a hungry horse will attest to), they like returning to the same stall every evening, and they like seeing the same familiar faces every day.
So when humans begin periods of transition, our horses do not always take the change well. New schedules, resulting from school starting, a new job, or even a new owner or rider, can send the most reliable and calm of horses into a physical and emotional tizzy. Behavior changes, health problems, and nervous […]
Where did you buy your horse?
From Craigslist ads to breed shows, from auctions to sales barns, finding the perfect horse can feel like a hunt for a needle in a hay-stack — or several different hay-stacks! How do you know which route is best for you?
Are you an amateur or buying your first horse? In these cases, it’s best to go the tried and true route — to established sales barns, with a trusted professional at your side. Many horse enthusiasts are drawn to rescuing down-on-their-luck horses in auction rings and sales […]
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.
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 […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]