Tag Archives: Expensive

Hay Prices Go Up, Many Horses Seek New Homes

As you may have heard recently, hay prices have been going up due to high temperatures this year, making it increasingly harder to feed and maintain horses. In a recent article by WTRF.com, it is estimated that it can cost as much as $1,000 to keep a horse fed: a price many Columbus, Ohio residents are finding they cannot afford.

Image courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch

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Old School vs. New School

The more classic look. Image courtesy of Equine Now.

As the sport of riding has evolved, so has its apparel. Once, riders wore helmets that were thin and offered little protection. At another time, they added clear plastic or elastic head straps to keep the helmets on their heads. Now, technology has enabled more advanced equipment that offers more protection and comfort. However, as these classics have evolved, are we losing some of the formal notes that made the sport so dignified?

Oh, now those are a tad bit loud. The hi-tech knee…ribbons…don’t really help..Image courtesy of Horse Zone.

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Rafalca Jokes Aside?

Ann Romney and her horse “Super Hit”. Image courtesy of Washington Post

In an article in the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire, it was released that a recent ad featuring Rafalca was pulled from the air. The ad, which featured criticising remarks about Romney’s tax return statements also showed footage of Rafalca competing in dressage events. It’s no secret that horseback riding is an impressively expensive sport, but in a statement by President Barack Obama, it was mentioned that he considered the ad was in bad taste and said he was against personal attacks on family members. In an interview with Good Morning America, Mrs. Romney’s hurt reaction caused concern that the ad hit too close to home: Mrs. Romney uses dressage to combat her multiple sclerosis and has spoken about its benefits in public before. Have we had the last laugh about the Romneys?

Ann Romney and Rafalca, who will be competing in the London 2012 Olympics. Image courtesy of The New Yorker.

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Taking On ‘The Week’

As an avid equestrian that reads The Week, I was insulted by an article written recently in the July 6-13 2012 issue on the ridicule of the Romney’s horse Rafalca. Admittedly, the buzz around the horse has been a bit much, but that wasn’t what pissed me off. The tab that caught my eye on the top of the page, depicted Rafalca performing with Jan Eberling with the caption, “Making fun of dancing horses”. Intrigued, I turned to page 16 to read what was the most irritating posts I’ve read slandering equestrianism in a while.

Just in case you missed this especially offensive article, feel free to ask me for a copy, I’m happy to scan it with my phone and send you a copy.

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Dixon Rocked By Equine Scandal

UPDATE: Rita Crundwell has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the fraud charge against her.

Of Glitz And Bling And Embezzled Things

In the quiet town of Dixon, Illinois, long-time comptroller Rita Crundwell is alleged to have embezzled over $30 million to fund a private horse farm, a lavish motor home, and expensive jewelry. The horse farm in question, Meri-J Farm is well-known for its high-quality quarter horses that were predominantly local champions in the western riding scene. Crundwell was well-known for her elite horses, most recently praised for her mare ‘Pizzazzy Lady’, who won the 2011 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in Oklahoma City.

Pictured: Rita Crundwell and one of her horses. Image courtesy of The Atlantic.

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Work to Ride: Transcending Boundaries

Pictured: Most people's first impression of a 'polo player'. Image courtesy of CapMiller.com

When we traditionally think of polo as a sport, sometimes we conjure up images of the upper crust of society sipping flashy drinks whilst celebrity polo players charge across the field on expensive ponies, met with polite golf claps. Work to Ride, a program based out of the Chamounix Equestrian Center near Fairmount Park, focuses on making this traditionally bourgeois sport more accessible. Work to Ride program’s mission, as stated on the website, is to :”promote discipline, self-esteem, motivation, social development, life skills, academic achievement, and physical fitness through year round programs that encourage long term participation.” This ideology is better explained in the video below:

The Cowtown/Work to Ride team, which has been active at Chamounix Equestrian Center since 1994, is notable for being comprised of mostly black players. In a sport so dominated by mostly white teams, it is refreshing to see a diverse program successfully establish itself. When the team won the National Interscholastic Championship in 2011 against Baltimore, every member of the team was African-American, making interscholastic history as the first-ever all-black team to win.

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All My Daddy’s Horses: Wealth In The Showring

It should be no surprise to anyone in the equestrian sport that being a participant in the show ring comes with a lofty price tag: between the cost of equipment, horses, horse care, show fees, veterinarian bills, shoeing, and show clothes, you are already looking at an annual bill that would make the lease of a ferrari look like chump change.

Pictured: Moorlands Totilas, one of the dressage world's most expensive, and most talented performers. Image courtesy of Telegraph.co.uk.

In a recent article in Forbes, high-profile riders such as Georgina Bloomberg and Jennifer Gates are mentioned, both of whom compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival. An unnamed source mentions that because these girls are pampered and given tutors and funds, that riding is often “the only part of their life that they care about”. As an equestrian I take a lot of offense to that statement, and find it highly unprofessional that a journalistic source of information like Forbes would not name whoever made such an inflammatory remark. Furthermore, I highly doubt than any equestrian, celebrity or otherwise, only cares about riding competitively and nothing else.

So then they don’t care about charity work, the welfare of animals, or anything else except spending daddy’s money on their horses? Really?

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Equitation: What People Think I Do

In the wake of the highly popular meme trend of “what ___ thinks I do” images that have been appearing across the internet, I decided to write my own opinion piece of what non-horse people think I do. To provide an example of what I mean, here is an example of one of those images:

Image courtesy of Horse Forum.com

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