Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Explain Horseback Riding to Anyone

We all have friends, and friends are awesome.

IMG_0172

Some of our friends are horse people, and totally get what we are talking about all the time. For instance, you can say your horse “was a little up today, but only bucked a few times and was otherwise fine” and these horsey friends will nod in understanding..because that’s not jargon to them.

But we also have non-horsey friends…and to them that is pretty much a foreign language. Your non-horse friends are also awesome, but sometimes they try to ‘get hip with your lingo’ and stumble…and sometimes they just stare blankly and pray you talk about boys, or ice cream, or the latest episode of The Bachelor so they won’t have to listen to you talk about your horse again. And this can be tricky to manage, but here are some things you might hear, and how to address them nicely:

  1. “How was your race?” – Because mainstream media touts racing as the ‘horse sport’ of choice, this tends to cause many people to wrongfully assume that all riders are racers (kind of like how everyone assumes that anyone who lives in Texas must be a Country music fan). It’s ok to correct them a few times, but be nice. As a hobbyist group, we tend to not realize how defensive we are about our beloved sport…and can come off as jerks. So don’t be a jerk. If your friend feels the need to always ask ‘how fast’ you went, or if you raced anyone today…just smile and re-explain that your discipline has nothing to do with going fast (unless you actually do race horses, or are a jumper).
  2. “But doesn’t your horse do all the work?” – Don’t flip out, this is a common misconception. Because most actions that involve sitting are commonly misconstrued as ‘easy’, horseback riding is an easy target. For the same reason that Nascar is belittled for just being about going fast and turning left (see Talladega Nights), many people assume that things you do whilst sitting on your butt require little to no effort. Just calmly explain that what you do is a challenging physical activity, and that no, riding a horse is not like driving a car. If you still have difficulty letting this concept sink in, find a good ‘thrills and spills’ video on Youtube, and try having them watch that.
  3. “You horse is brown, so it’s a clydesdale, right?” – This one probably will only happen once, as once you’ve established that not all brown horses pull beer carts you should be good to go. Because Budweiser uses clydesdale horses in their ads, its only natural that most people assume horses that are big and brown must be clydesdales (your average person might have caught wind of the Romney horse and be aware that warmbloods exist, but it isn’t likely). If you ride a warmblood, feel free to explain what that means…and if you have a thoroughbred, be prepared for a renewed believe that you race and go fast. See 1. again.

For the most part, these are the only 3 annoyances you will probably experience. The exception to any of these, is the person that firmly swears by what they find in a Google search or from ‘sources’ like Yahoo answers and comments in YouTube videos. In the case of these, just don’t bother trying to explain to them that:

  • Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron is just a movie, and your horse is fine with being ridden
  • The Parelli method is not the only effective method out there
  • No, they cannot ride your horse without permission
  • Yes, even if they have been taking notes from old western movies
  • No, rearing and kicking out is the opposite of what should happen (those were stunt horses)
  • No, you cannot ride your horse on the highway
  • Yes, you are sure you cannot ride your horse on the highway, its illegal

Hopefully this helps!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leather Advice for Non-Equestrians

As an equestrian, I’ve seen a lot of interesting tactics used by my non-equestrian friends to keep their leather clean and polished. Even though I tend to be pretty lazy with my leatherware (admittedly, I don’t always follow my own advice), I’ve come up with three simple tricks to keeping your boots, belts, and leathery goodness clean and conditioned:

DSC_0092

  1. Never clean polished boots with soap. Using glycerin soap (or any soap) pulls the polish off freshly polished boots. If you want to limit the times you have to fully polish your boots (its a pretty smelly process) wipe your boots with a wet cloth. Make sure you polish them at minimum twice a month. Men? You can do the same with your swanky work shoes. That ought to save you some money at the shoe-shining stand.
  2. Break in your boots/shoes faster.  If you just purchased fancy leather shoes or boots, wet them with a cloth or with the ‘mist’ setting of a garden hose and walk up and down a set of stairs for 40 minutes. Do this daily until they break in. DO NOT dampen white leather or light brown. This might leave permanent color changes!
  3. Do not use Urad. Though this product will make your boots shine through dirt, grime, and mud (probably) it does have one design flaw: the chemical compound for whatever reason eats through stitching. Not good. Stick to Fieblings or Kiwi (if you’re ok with cheap polish).

Hope that helps!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Famous Last Words: Equestrian Style

I thought to cheer you all up (and after that thrillingly long hiatus) I’d share a few funny possible equestrian ‘famous last words’:

  • “Oh he doesn’t need ear puffies, he was fine yesterday”
  • “I don’t think I’m going to lunge him today, I’m sure he’ll be fine after that month off!”
  • “It’s going to rain? Quick, open that umbrella!”
  • “Oh its fine, your boyfriend can ride him without a helmet, experience, or supervision. I’m sure he’ll be fine.”
  • “Well I saw it work in this movie once, so I’m going to try it.”
  • “This guy at the dude ranch told me it worked with his horses, so I’m going to try it in my clinic with George Morris.”
  • “I’m sure you can text and ride, it’s not like that’s as unsafe as texting and driving.”

Got any great ‘last words’ to add? Tell me int the comments!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When Am I Going To Post More Horse Stuff?

Image courtesy of RedHotPogo

For anyone who missed that meme reference, its to sewer horse.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Modern Pentathlon: What Did I Just Watch?

Perhaps its because I rode in the IHSA during college, and have witnessed similar “oh crap” moments when riders pull ‘that horse’ whose description reads something to the tune of “hold on and Jesus take the reins”, but after watching a clip sent to me by a friend of the 2012 riding portion for the Modern Pentathlon…I am genuinely curious to know why the riding is that horrifically bad.

Um….What…The….Shit? Image courtesy of VC Star.

If you are offended by pictures of terrible riding and some foul language….yea just keep reading anyway.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monsters In The Corner, And Other Horse-Eating Creatures

Anyone who rides has inevitably encountered the equine version of the ‘Bogeyman’

Image courtesy of Horse Junction

Whether its the shadowy corner of the indoor, the flapping plastic bag in the wind, or the wild animal running past the outdoor ring, horses can get scared pretty easily. Even the bravest of equines fall victim to the shadowy creatures of their fears inevitably, but there are some great ways to avoid falling on your butt when they turn tail and run. Here are some things to keep in mind when the evil creatures of the shadows descend upon your horse (or when you horse thinks they are):

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Attack of the Clones

The legendary Gem Twist has a clone! Did you know? Image courtesy of Tuesday’s Horse

Confused about the title? Well here’s the skinny: clones of former olympic champion horses have no been approved to compete in future olympic endeavors! In a recent ABC article, the The Fédération Equestre Internationale(FEI) confirmed that though these clones would be too young to compete in the London 2012 olympics, they would be allowed to compete in upcoming events. The decision came after an inquiry into whether or not these clones of equine superstars would have an advantage over their un-cloned competitors. The result? Clones were deemed only 98% accurate copies of their originals, but it was decided that the training and upbringing of the horse was what determined its ability to compete, not genes. Perhaps in the next olympics we might be able to sneak a peek at Gem Twist’s clone.

Get a good look! This is Gemini Twist, the rumored clone of Gem Twist who has been training under equestrian legend Frank Chapot. Image courtesy of Young Jumpers.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bell Boots in Wonderland

Wherein I try to discover the mythical land my horse’s equipment scampers off to

Hipster Pony Disclaimer: every single inch of this post is my opinion and my opinion only. What you’re going to read is going to be filled with rampant sarcasm and quite a heavy dose of realness.

Have you ever walked into the barn and noticed your bell boots are missing? Perhaps your saddle pad has scampered off? Or maybe by some divine intervention, each and every single set of shipping wraps (which by the way is over 5 sets for anyone playing along at home) has magically evaporated? Perhaps your equipment takes notes from the late Houdini? What extraordinary magical place to they travel to when you aren’t looking?

(it is important to note, that the gripes you will see in the rest of this article in no way reflect gripes I have with where my horse is currently stabled. Much love and happy reading to my beloved Duncraven-ites who take top-notch care of my boy!)

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hello Heatwave

As some may have noticed the weather seems to get hotter and hotter this summer with each passing day. At least for Crackers and I, that means constant bathing and shorter and shorter rides.What are some things we use to cool down? Check it out!

CJ and I showing in the summer heat! Image courtesy of the ever-talented Roger Wang.

In this heat, you can expect a lot of sweating, tired muscles, and plenty of greenheads waiting to swarm you and your horse. Here are some things we use at Duncraven to help us through the blisteringly hot summer months:

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Commuting Equestrian

image

So for some  weeks now, I have been commuting back and forth from New York City to New Jersey to see my horse CrackerJack. Between the long train rides and my constant attempts to stay in good riding shape, it has been a huge challenge. Here are some tricks I have learned:

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: