Tag Archives: Show Jumping

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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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.

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This One’s For Switzerland

As you may have heard, the Swiss ended their 88-year long stagnant streak in the individual show jumping portion of the London 2012 Olympics.

It’s a pretty big deal

Image courtesy of Vaterland.li

Swiss rider Steve Guerdat rode the talented Nino des Buissonnets to win the individual gold medal. Guerdat’s success was the first in over 88 years, the last individual gold from a Swiss rider was in the 1924 Paris Olympics.

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Official Equestrian Coverage Schedule

Instead of a news writeup, here is what you really want to read: the equestrian olympic TV schedule for NBC.

I am in no way affiliated with NBC. I just like horses. I’m not even going to waste any space with pictures. All these times are courtesy of Yahoo:

Saturday, July 28

Individual and team eventing dressage: 1:45 pm. – 2:45 pm. (NBC Sports Network)

Sunday, July 29

Individual and team eventing dressage: 2:15 pm. – 3:00 pm. (NBC Sports Network)

Monday, July 30

Individual and team eventing – Cross Country (LIVE): 8:15 am. – 12:45 pm. (NBC Sports Network)

Tuesday, July 31

Eventing – Team Jumping final (LIVE): 6:00 am. – 8:15 am. (NBC Sports Network)

Eventing – Individual Jumping final (LIVE): 9:15 am. – 10:30 am.

GO USA, or whoever you root for.

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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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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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Equestrian Sports And Safety: Concerns For Future Olympics

As equestrian Olympians prepare for the London 2012 games, there has been some concern over the safety of the sport and whether or not it should be retained as a summer sport in the olympic games after London. In recent remarks made by International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Princess Haya, “Anyone who thinks equestrian sports are secure for London is mistaken”(reference). Haya goes on to say that due to low-interest in the dressage discipline, show jumping may also be in jeopardy, as it is highly unlikely that show jumping would be allowed to remain as a standalone equestrian sport in the olympic games. Because cross country requires so much space and very specific location requirements, it too could be in jeopardy.

Sad but true: we may never see legends like Steffen Peters and Ravel at olympic tournaments if what Haya is saying is true. Image courtesy of La Times

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