Reflecting On A Month Without Stirrups

stirrupsNovember has been, most profoundly associated with men refusing to shave their faces for the whole month of November resulting in what may be, the largest number of somewhat irritated and unhappy women we have all year. Since I am not the sort to “join in” by refusing to shave my legs, I decided to jump into the equestrian trend of, “No Stirrups November”. While November is over, I think this post will give us something to both reflect on, and work towards.

My golden rule for a full month without stirrups:

Stirrups come completely off the saddle and stay in my apartment.

This may seem aggressive, however, if temptation is removed, the work begins. Continue reading “Reflecting On A Month Without Stirrups”

Why Won’t My Pony Listen – A Case Study

Ponies are very particular little creatures. When I was younger, and a bit smaller, I begged my mom for a pony. I mean, what little girl doesn’t?

Of course, she said, “no”, and when I asked, “why not”, she responded by telling me, “I don’t trust ponies”. This conversation led to me being the only little girl with pigtail braids and bows in short stirrup riding a 15 hand horse.

What I eventually came to understand was that, with a well-trained horse, it’s likely that even if everything doesn’t go according to plan, it won’t really phase or bother the horse too much. However, when it comes to ponies, especially if they’re younger ponies, they’re absolutely going to hold a grudge if something seems askew. Thus, the reason for this post! Continue reading “Why Won’t My Pony Listen – A Case Study”

Kicking Off Fall with a Clinic

I celebrated the first day of fall by entering into a last minute clinic with Sue Peltier and Colleen Kelly from Millpoint Farm in Virginia. This post is both going to describe my experience in the clinic but also give you the exercises we did and why we did them, so you can use them in your own riding. Continue reading “Kicking Off Fall with a Clinic”

The Mystery Lameness

Honey Flat Work

This past month, my mare became stiff, unwilling, lazy, and then just flat out lame. There was no heat in her legs and the farrier checked for a possible abscess with no conclusive findings. It was a true puzzle for everyone at the farm but one thing was certain, Honey was lame. Continue reading “The Mystery Lameness”

Gamify Learning to Ride

As anyone who owns lesson horses knows, it’s a constant struggle, and balancing act, to keeping your horses conditioned and keeping your lesson kids happy. This is an exercise that I used to do with my former trainer and while it sounds simple, my students really started to get a feel for what it’s like to have an adjustable horse simply because we made a game out of it! Continue reading “Gamify Learning to Ride”

Improve Transitions and Lead Changes

This is a great exercise I picked up from a dressage clinic I took in high school. While I have never been a dressage rider or owned a dressage saddle, I have truly come to realize the value of really great flat-work. Continue reading “Improve Transitions and Lead Changes”

“You Can’t Make Everyone Happy” – No Longer Applies

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After a few weeks of teaching riding lessons, I’ve come to truly realize and understand what my trainers went through every day. It’s a constant balancing act between loving your students, wanting them to truly excel, and keeping in mind how far they actually want to progress compared to how much fun they want to have. Continue reading ““You Can’t Make Everyone Happy” – No Longer Applies”

Learning To Ride Just Isn’t Sexy Enough

I’ve recently started traveling to various horse shows and watching trainers give lessons and school their students both in the ring and in the barns. When you decide to teach, you all of a sudden become much more aware of the teaching styles of others, and, how their students receive their instructions. Continue reading “Learning To Ride Just Isn’t Sexy Enough”

FEI Tribunal Disqualifies Maxime Livio (FRA) And French Eventing team

What are your thoughts on the whole team being disqualified?

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The FEI Tribunal has disqualified Maxime Livio (FRA) and Qalao des Mers from the Eventing competition of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, following a positive for a Controlled Medication substance. Livio, fifth in the individual rankings, was also a member of the French team, which finished fourth in Normandy to secure qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The FEI Tribunal has also disqualified the French team, resulting in the loss of its Olympic qualifying slot.

Samples taken on 29 August 2014 from the horse Qalao des Mers (FEI ID 103MQ19) returned positive for Hydroxyethylpromazine sulfoxide, a metabolite of the sedative Acepromazine. Acepromazine is a Controlled Medication substance on the FEI Prohibited Substances List. Controlled Medications are substances that are regularly used to treat horses but which are not allowed in competition in order to maintain a level playing field.

Any breach of the FEI’s Equine Anti-Doping and Controlled…

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