Horse shows are not just for showing off the skills of your and your horse. There are also many things that can be learned (and you don’t even have to be riding!) In fact, just looking around and watching at the horse show can help make you a better competitor in many ways.
Horse Show Tip #1: Judge the Judges
When watching from the sidelines, you can see how the different judges judge. As much as judges try to be as impartial as possible, they are still human and can be biased. You can watch and see if a judge consistently places solid colour horses above the others, what sort of movement they prefer, if they prefer riders to take a bit of a risk in executing manoeuvres, or if they tend to only watch a certain side of the arena. You can get an idea of what preferences they have and whether to change your strategy or skip certain shows if you know your horse isn’t going to
place well under a certain judge no matter how well you ride.
Skip the crowds and do your Black Friday and holiday shopping online and support local athletes at the same time! In August 2017, the Eat Sleep Ride Repeat team will be competing in the 250 mile (400km) Shore to Shore race with their horses. The race is run over 5 days starting at the shore of Lake Huron and ending at the shore of Lake Michigan. We are fundraising to help offset the costs for preparing and participating in the race.
You do not have to do anything extra and it will not cost you anything more than what you spend. Every time you shop online using this link: https://www.flipgive.com/f/167720, Flipgive will give them a percentage of your purchase to go towards their goal. The link will give you access to big name retailers such as Indigo, Apple, Lowes, Under Armour, Bass Pro, Hudson’s Bay, Groupon, and many more.
Please feel free to share this with family and friends and they thank you in advance for your support.
Eat Sleep Ride Repeat is a team of endurance riders from Ontario that blog about their adventures with horses, both at home and abroad. Check out their website https://eatsleepriderepeat.com/ for more information.
Eat Sleep Ride Repeat is the brainchild of Canadian endurance rider Sarah Cuthbertson. In 2014, Sarah was selected as the sole Canadian rider that year to race Mongolia’s wild horses 1000km across the Mongolian steppe. She started the blog to not only allow others to read of her adventures leading up to and during the race, she was fundraising as well to help offset the approximately (more…)
Kim Leffley is the current chair of the Canadian Pony Club. She came across the organization while looking for riding lessons for one of her horse-crazy daughters. What drew her to the organization was that it provided comprehensive equestrian training, with members partaking in riding components as well as educational programming. After seeing the confident, disciplined, well-rounded children emerging from the program, Kimknew she wanted to be involved and help promote this wonderful organization.
In this episode of the podcast, we cover such topics as what is Pony Club, what are the costs involved in the program, what the programming is like and the variances in the different clubs across the country and what kids can learn when they get involved.
Kim also discusses with us how she got her start in horses, her role in the organization, and what her visions and goals for Pony Club are.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend an Endurance 101 clinic at Fletcher’s Horse World in Waterford. The clinic was organized by some members of the Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association (OCTRA) who wanted to provide those who were interested in the sport of endurance and distance riding the chance to learn more about the sport, ask questions, and meet people involved in the discipline. Roughly 25 eager participants attended the one day clinic which covered topics ranging from nutrition and electrolytes to conditioning and tack. Speakers included OCTRA members Deanna Ramsay and Sue and Mike Downing.
The morning half of the clinic consisted of classroom learning where the different disciplines within OCTRA were discussed as well as competition rules. Many questions were asked and answered regarding the importance of electrolytes, conditioning schedules, and what to expect at a ride. Taylor Beckett, a distributor for the Nurtural bitless bridle brought a selection of bridles to demonstrate with and lead a discussion regarding their use and benefits. Susan Aldis also stopped by with a wide selection of Easy Boots and provided lots of information (and some pretty funny stories!)
The afternoon involved some hands on practice with the horses (who were very good sports for never having done anything like this before!). How to trot out and present your horse for the vet was demonstrated and participants got the chance to practice for themselves. Lay judge Deanna Ramsay demonstrated the procedure for what happens at the vet checks and participants practiced listening to heart beats and gut sounds with a stethoscope.
I would recommend attending one of these clinics for anyone, whether you are interested in getting into the sport of distance riding/endurance, a pleasure trail rider or someone wishing to hone their horsemanship skills as many things learned here can be applied to many facets of the horse industry. Anyone interested in learning more about distance riding and endurance is encouraged to check out the OCTRA website at http://www.octra.on.ca/
When the cold weather comes, many people find it too cold to ride but they still want to have fun with their horse. Don’t fret! Here is a list of 8 things to do with your horse if you can’t (or don’t want to) ride:
Practice showmanship patterns. Perfect your horse’s leading, backup, pivot and more. Patterns are a fun way to do this rather than constant drilling. The American Quarter Horse Association has a number of patterns listed on their website for rookies up to world class competitors. https://aqha.com/journal/blogs/2015/february/02112015-showmanship-patterns-for-practice/
Practice braiding your horse’s mane and tail. Not only can this save you money if you show, if you get good enough, you can offer your services to other riders. There are a number of fantastic books and YouTube videos out there to give you some inspiration and tips.
Get to know your horse’s vitals. Practice the equine health check. It’s always good to know what is normal for your horse so in the event you think something is wrong, you can perform a quick check before you call the vet. Equine Guelph has a great resource to help out with this: http://www.equineguelph.ca/pdf/facts/Health_Check.pdf
Create costumes for your horse and dress them up. Show off your creative side! Host an in barn show with your friends or save them to enter in costume classes around Halloween.
Set up an obstacle course and lead your horse through. You can get many ideas for obstacles online. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, try the obstacle course with your horse at liberty!
Practice wrapping and bandaging. This is a very important horsemanship skill to have as wrapping incorrectly can cause damage to your horse’s legs. There are many tutorials online to get you started but asking an experienced horseperson or coach who can watch you the first few times and offer help is most useful.
Trick training is always a fun thing to try when you are unable to ride. You can teach party tricks like bowing, counting, Spanish march or useful ones too! Imagine how much easier it would be if your horse could pick up a crop you accidentally dropped while riding or if he came when called!
If you have access to a trailer, practice trailer loading. This is always a handy skill for your horse to have because you never know when you might need it. Your horse may never go off property for shows or trail rides, but it may need to get to an equine hospital in an emergency. Try and get to the point where a lead rope isn’t needed.
I’m so excited to be able to attend this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair as a media sponsor! 😀
I will be tweeting and posting live videos on Periscope so make sure you are subscribed to these links and you will be notified each time I post a pic or interviews with Olympic Equestrians! If you are also going to be at the Royal please add your links to your social media or blogs in the comments below so I can follow you too!
Can you believe the technology we have today? I can share my real time experiences and you no longer have to be afraid of missing out. Did you miss the 2015 World Clydesdale Show? I have a few recaps to share if you did. First a nicely polished video of the under saddle western class. Can you imagine riding atop one of these majestic giants? Watch this and please subscribe to our channel to be notified of future videos! (more…)