Tag Archives: Racehorses

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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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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Atrocities At Aqueduct

Since last year, the Aqueduct casino and racetrack in Queens, NY has been experiencing a staggering rate of horse injuries, deaths, and equine contestants are reported to have a staggeringly high number of injections previous to hitting the turf. On March 3rd, three year-old hopeful Wes Vegas took to the track only to break his leg in the first turn and be euthanized. A week previous, four year-old Coronado Heights suffered a fatal breakdown, largely attributed to an ‘early degenerative disease’. Horses like these are reported to have received as many as 13 drug injections, many of which are used to mask pain and help sore horses run more comfortably. However, these practices often come with disastrous results.

Pictured: though not a victim of Aqueduct, Eight Belles suffered a fatal injury at Churchill Downs in 2008. Image courtesy of Tuesdays Horse.

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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!

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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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Getting Back On The Horse: A Word of Advice

Greetings from Oranjestad, Aruba everyone!

Horses and motivational sayings have a long proud history in America. As Ronald Reagan once said, “There’s nothing so good for the inside of a man like the outside of a horse” Many famous equestrian idioms have been inducted into our daily life, however none have taken off quite like the saying, “When you fall off a horse, you have to get back in the saddle”, along with its many variations and adaptations. Though it is unclear who first said this motivational phrase (and when), it has served as one of the most universal motivational phrases for nearly every difficult situation: If we are to assume that ‘life’ had all the mannerisms of a horse, then we must ‘fall off’ all the time. Don’t believe me? Here are a few situations where this phrase works fairly well:

Lose your job? Get back in the saddle and ride it out.

Rough hangover from the night before? Get back on the horse.

Or take it from Sandra Bullock:

“I didn’t think I was ready to go back to acting, but that role was a great way to get back on the horse.”

(Actress Sandra Bullock talking about returning to movies after her divorce. (Associated Press))

Image courtesy of Laurel Hill Event Horses. Click to read their suggestions on how to fall safely from a horse!

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Givenchy ‘Tisci’: A ‘Sexy Take’, But Not On Horseback Riding

As Givenchy launches its new line ‘Tisci’, equestrians like myself struggle to understand how this new collection could possibly claim to be ‘equestrian’. In a recent article, the collection claimed to reference ‘sporting polos’, ‘horse blinders’, and ‘jodphurs’. In my previous article about equestrian fashion, I laid out my opinions regarding the mindless ‘equestrian fashion’ parade of unrealistic and dysfunctional fashion being produced as ‘equestrian’ garments.This new ‘Tisci’ line is no exception. Here are some ‘looks’ from Tisci’s latest runway show.

The only reference I can see in this 'Tisci' line garment are the dizzingly obvious 'riding boot' riff that seems to be abysmally popular for brands that wish to wave the 'equestrian flag' and distinguish themselves from other fashion brands. A boot, is a boot, is a boot...is not uniquely 'equestrian'. Image courtesy of Idaho Statesman.

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