Tag Archives: Hooves

How to Explain Horseback Riding to Anyone

We all have friends, and friends are awesome.

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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!

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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!

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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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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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Zone Champions; Goucher Gallops To Nationals

In the April 7th Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Zone 4 Championships (the equivalent of conference championships for equestrian), the Goucher College equestrian team finished first with 45 points overall ahead of St. Andrews’ 43 points, Bridgewater’s 34 points, and University of Delaware’s 30 points.

The full 2011-2012 Equestrian Team. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Kellogg.

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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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Goucher Equestrian Takes To The Airwaves!

On this past Sunday March 26th,my fellow tri-captain (Goucher’s Equestrian Team has 3 team captains!) Karli Postel ’13 and I joined in the evening broadcast of INSIGHT ON disABILITY at the WCBM AM 680 radio station in Pikesville, MD. We pitched the Goucher Equestrian Team‘s Healing Hooves 2012 event alongside host Michael Gerlach, and charismatic co-hosts Brent Tarring and Harry Cook. Having never been on the radio before, we were naturally incredibly nervous, but anxious to get started.

Image courtesy of Michael Gerlach.

I have never tuned into AM 680 before, as I tend to habitually listen to CDs and mixtapes instead of the radio when I drive, but after this experience I think I have found a new station to tune into! Michael, Brent, and Harry as well as the entire staff at WCBM were incredibly respectful and Karli and I were honored to get a chance to join the show!

Image courtesy of Michael Gerlach

To hear the full program, click the link below!

goucher-equestrian-on-insight

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Save The Date!

Hello! Anyone following this blog might remember me mentioning that there there is a major fundraiser coming up in April. Well, Goucher Unbridled would like to encourage all of its Maryland-based readers to save to date! Click the following image below for more information! Thanks!Image

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Horses In Mountain Grove Can Rest Easy

With the recent lifting of the horse slaughter ban,  horse lovers everywhere have begun to grit their teeth at the prospect of living in a town where horse slaughter plants could crop up. One such town in southwest Missouri, Mountain Grove, angrily shouted down the prospect of one coming to their town on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. After Sue Wallis and Belgian company Chevideco (please be advised that images of horsemeat are listed on this site) approached the town with the prospect of opening a plant that could slaughter as many as 400 horses for human consumption. Met with outrage, Wallis has stated that she and Chevideco will look elsewhere and look forward to starting production.

Pictured is a Missouri Fox Trotter Stallion, a smooth-gaited breed which originated from the Ozark Foothills.

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The Olympic Long List Welcomes Laura Kraut and Beezie Madden

Fans of show jumping will be pleased to hear that two more familiar names will join the long list before the Selection trials set to run from March 21st until March 24th at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. Joining previously announced competition McLain Ward, Beezie Madden and Laura Kraut will join the hopeful contenders to represent the United States in London this coming summer. Joining these ladies on the list will be their respective mounts: Kraut aboard Cherry Knoll Farm’s Cedric, and Madden aboard Coral Reef Ranch’s Coral Reef Via Volo.

From Left to Right:Will Simpson, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden and McLain Ward
who won the Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. Image courtesy of Zimbio.

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