Tag Archives: Unbridled

The Name Game

Horses are named all kinds of things: some aim for the more classic names like “Spot” for an appaloosa, “Blaze” for a horse with a blaze, and so on. As times have changed, so have names. Like an opinionated horse woman, I have formed strong opinions about names use given to horses: some are cute, and some just aren’t. Here are kinds of names I adore, and three I truly hate:

Love:

  1. Famous People. Having ridden a ‘Anne Sullivan’, a ‘ Sammy David Jr.’, and a ‘Gandhi’, I will admit that there is something innately cute about horses named after famous people (given that they are not named after someone bad). Naming your horse after Barack Obama in my eyes is too cheesy, and naming your horse ‘OJ Simpson’ shows a lack of taste…but hearing horses named ‘Clark Kent’, ‘Jane Eyre’, and ‘John Wayne’ do make me smile. Naming your mare ‘Helen Keller’ isn’t recommended….just for superstitious reasons.
  2. Food. Admit it, when ponies are named after food, it can be hopelessly adorable. My own horse, Crackerjack fits his nam perfectly. I’ve sat on several horses named ‘Popcorn’, ‘Oreo’, ‘Spud’, and even a few ponies named ‘Hershey’. You can never really go wrong with food names: even ‘Figgy Pudding’ puts a smile on your face.
  3. Classic. When in doubt, the tried-and-true names are sometimes the best option. ‘Splash’, ‘Dancer’, and ‘Spot’ are all classic names that you can feel comfortable telling your kids. Especially with ponies, keeping it simple can be easier for kids to remember: try explaining to a 4-year-old that their pony’s name is ‘Corsair’ or ‘Chardonnay’ and see how that goes.
  4. Song titles / Lyrics. Admittedly, the most classic kid-friendly song titles and lyrics are the best to use. I’ve heard of a few very cute ‘Rocket Man’ ponies, ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ jumpers, and ‘Sweet Carolina’ New England ponies. A good rule to go by, is if you can’t tell your grandmother your horse’s show name…don’t use it. An example? I’d steer clear of any song by ‘Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, 50 Cent, Steel Panther, or any song that involves the word ‘b-itches’ or ‘h-es’.

Hate:

  1. Rappers. Now before I go into this, I will concede that some names lend themselves well to horses: ‘Slim Shady’ is a good fit for a slim darker horse, and I would be impressed to compete against a horse named ‘Immortal Technique’ or ‘Idle Warship’….I might even take my hat off to a ‘Hopsin’ with two blue eyes. That being said, I cringe whenever I hear that someone has named their horse (showname, mind you) ‘Free Weezy’, ‘Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em’, or ‘Birdman’. I can understand devotion to these artists….but at least with equitation horses, I feel like seeing ‘Free Weezy’ or ‘Gucci Gucci’ on the scoreboard during a prestigious competition kills the mood somewhat. But like I said, I’m split on this: if the name fits the horse, I am willing to endorse it. I can see ‘Teach Me How To Dougie” taking off….or even “Gangnam Style” becoming the next hot pony showname.
  2. Branded Alcohol. I genuinely don’t enjoy when horses come in with brand name liquor names. It just doesn’t feel classy….even ‘Grey Goose’ feels a bit forced. Similarly, I don’t think its in any way classy to name a pony after liquor when the kid on him is well under 21. Somehow, types of wine never seem that bad: ‘Chablis’ actually sounds pretty classy, as does ‘Merlot’: Somehow ‘Gin and Juice’ and ‘Jose Cuervo’ don’t have the same ring to it.
  3. Drugs. I have rarely heard of any horses with drug-influenced names. Very rarely. But as a warning, I sincerely hope no one starts by naming their mare ‘Have You Found Molly?’, ‘Heroin’, or ‘Opium’. Just don’t.
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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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HITS Day 2

Final Summation:

  1. Crackers jumped in a ring
  2. Crackers jumped out of a ring (don’t worry he was supposed to)
  3. Crackers had a smashing good time

Skye and Nina looked fabulous

The Powers sisters, no surprise to anyone, looked fabulous

Taxicab and Abby rocked it out

Troy and Anastasia guided George and Maaaaaavelous beautifully, as expected.

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New Name, New Content!

Hello all!

I just successfully graduated from Goucher College, and will be on a teensy bit of a hiatus until I am fully moved into New York City.

Henceforth, this blog will be simply called ‘Unbridled‘ (although the web address will not change) . I plan on expanding the topic base a bit more than usual, so expect more diverse equestrian topics and content!

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Important Announcement

Image courtesy of Amanda Markowicz.

Hey all! Since I will be graduating May 18, I will no longer be focusing in on Goucher-specific equestrian themes and events. As a result, I will be switching things up a little bit, starting with the name of this blog. Effective May 18, 2012 this blog will be renamed simplyUnbridled’ I feel that this transition, like my transition from college student to optimistic graduate are necessary steps to helping this blog mature and evolve into something better. Thank you for understanding!

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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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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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IHSA Zone 4 Championships; GO GCET!

Tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM, the  members of the Goucher Equestrian team will head down to the college stables to prepare for a varsity horse show, just as they always have. But tomorrow, it’s not ‘just another horse show’: the team will be facing the top riders of their conference.

Making a bid for nationals, selected riders will represent the team as a whole as the official ‘zone’ team. Several individuals who have qualified for this event will also represent their college as individuals.

Goucher will be facing off against Bridgewater College, St. Andrews University, and University of Delaware as a team, but those riding as individuals will also face tough competition from other individuals from schools in the region like Sweet Briar College, University of Pennsylvania, and Duke University.

The competition will begin at 10 AM, and will be held at the Goucher College stables (this link will take you to a campus map)

Click ‘Continue Reading’ to view to Goucher College lineup for tomorrow’s competition!

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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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