Tag Archives: Race

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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A Word Of Advice

I will keep this short, sweet, concise…what have you. When you are marketing to an equestrian demographic, do your homework. I find that some people do not tune in to this concept, and as a result get lost in the many sphere of equestrianism.

Like with any great campaign, being able to be as specific as possible will be key to your success:

  1. If you are trying to hit the affluent polo-goers who wear Ralph Lauren causally and insist on premium products for themselves and their horses, be true to that. Trying to glue together a fragmented industry is probably not going to help you win the uphill battle you will inevitably need to climb to court the horsey market.

  2. Knowing the difference between a casual trail rider and an Arabian endurance rider will change the demographic. Knowing the difference between a western trail rider and a hunter pace trail rider is also key to understanding demographics.

  3. Knowing the difference between a trail rider, a hunter/jumper amateur, and a professional show jumper is colossal: If you are trying to reach out to ladies who rent horses on weekends for light trail riding, don’t throw up stories about new releases from Animo. It’s just common sense.

  4. If you are trying to reach racehorse fanatics who bet on races with whatever money they can find, realize that those are not the floppy-hatted race-goers who sip mint juleps and wave casually to their horses as they pass by.

  5. Realize that someone who will drop $40,000+ on an equitation/hunter horse will likely not have any interest in trail riding guides. Also realize that people who want and need trail riding guides probably don’t give a crap about updates in the combined driving sphere. Also realize that part of why Dover does not sell combined driving gear, is that it realizes its core demographic is hunter/jumper and dressage.

  6. And also realize that not every equestrian is an affluent iPhone user that is intently concerned on using apps for functionality: most YouTube equestrians post videos of them jumping things and messing around, most instagram shots are of pony-noses and equestrians goofing off, and most Facebook activity is in a younger demographic than people intently seeking trail guides.

And if any of this confused you, and you aren’t sure how any of these demographics are different, maybe don’t pursue the equestrian demographic.

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Frankel Vs. Black Caviar

Frankel. Image courtesy of Dear Racing Fans.

Endorsed as the “world best racehorse”, onlookers at the Royal Ascot should expect a lot from Frankel as he faces off against thus far undefeated Black Caviar in the 1,200-metre Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Thus far, Frankel has proven to be tough to beat,  with 10 back-to-back wins in the Queen Anne Stakes over 1,600 metres. Ten others will face off against these titans in the lineup, but sources say Black Caviar will be the horse to watch when these two take to the field.

Black Caviar. Image courtesy of Sydney Morning Herald.

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Will We Have Another?

Since 1978, the racing world has not seen a Triple Crown winner. The last great horse to achieve this feat, Affirmed, was also a chestnut youngster. Like I’ll Have Another, he was a force to be reckoned with and an early favorite to win.

I’ll Have Another. Image courtesy of The Guardian

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‘I’ll Have Another’ Upset Please

In yesterday’s Kentucky Derby, racing fans watched as the favorites to win, Bob Baffert’s Bodemeister and Michael Matz’s Union Rags struggled to make an impression on the field. Leading the pack in the last big push for the win, Ill Have Another, an extremely long shot nosed ahead for a stellar finish. Ill Have Another is the first horse to win from post 19 at the Kentucky Derby,often referred to as the ominous  ‘long long shot’ spot racing.

Image courtesy of the LA Times.

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Its A Rough Week To Be A Horse: HBO’s Luck and History Channel’s Full Metal Jousting

Still shot from HBO's 'Luck'. Image courtesy of The Atlantic.

HBO’s horse racing series ‘Luck’ faces an unprecedented number of horse deaths on set, raising questions about the treatment and well-being of animals being used in filming. In previous productions, even one horse death was extremely rare, the last known horse to be euthanized during a productionwas in “3:10 to Yuma” from 2007: Luck has lost three horses.As a result, Luck will end its first season abruptly on March 25 after HBO has decided to pull the show entirely. Whether this was due solely to the loss of life, or in combination with its low ratings is still unclear.

Full Metal Jousting competitor,Landon Morris, having just struck the black horse pictured in the face. Image courtest of Warming Glow.

CLICK ‘CONTINUE READING’ TO READ ABOUT A HORSE GETTING PUNCHED IN THE FACE

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