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December 26, 2014

Horses And The Laws Of Physics

I wasn’t much interested in math or science in high school.  I wanted to study art and writing; I failed to see the value in taking trigonometry or calculus or chemistry.

Looking back, though, I wish I had paid more attention in physics class. Little did I realize how applicable the laws of science would be to horse sports—particularly when riding in a crowded indoor arena during the winter. There’s nowhere else I can think of where one can observe so many natural laws in action.

December 1, 2014

The Blanket Clause

The question of whether or not to blanket your horse at arises frequently this time of year. The temperature is prone to unexpected dives, and many horses are sporting some sort of body clip. You may have seen the wonderful When-to-Blanket flowchart posted on the Facebook page of The Equine Program at Auburn University that’s been making the rounds of social media.

November 14, 2014

Banking On A Pony

This is my favorite time of year.

It’s a favorite time for many people, but my reasoning has nothing to do with holidays. I’m looking forward to something much more eventful.

The Wells Fargo Ponies.

October 20, 2014

Back To Zero: Re-Learning To Ride

In the summer of 1973, after three years of begging, pleading, and promising I would never ask for anything else, ever, my mom gave in and let me start taking riding lessons. From that day on, I seized any opportunity to spend time with horses.

September 12, 2014

The Fabric Of Change

Once upon a time, when Thoroughbreds ruled the hunters and breeches were rust-colored on purpose, riding clothes were stiff, uncomfortable and unforgiving. They needed to be handled with care, dry cleaned and, worst of all……ironed.

Ironing long-sleeved cotton shirts was a dreaded horse show task—which we simplified by rationalizing that only the cuffs and collars showed, so why iron the rest?

July 25, 2014

Horse Ownership 101

Few milestones in life are anticipated with greater joy than bringing home your first horse. Having a horse is in many ways like having a child who will never grow up, get a job and move out of the house. Also like a child, until you actually have one of your own you really don’t know what you’re in for. To assist with your transition, I’ve cataloged some of the life changes that you can expect as a new horse owner.

June 27, 2014

Real-World Equestrian Apps

Who would think that a smart phone could be of any use in the daily routine of a horse person? Not me. But while researching some recent projects online, I discovered an incredible variety of smart-phone “apps” designed for the equestrian.

Some, like those that manage your horse’s vet and farrier schedules, appeared well thought out and useful. Others, however, seemed to have been designed by people with no real understanding of the horsey sect.

Like EquiClock, which promised to “wake you to a variety of horse sounds.”

May 31, 2014

What Trainers Really Think

A trainer is a unique breed of equestrian. Trainers are long-suffering individuals who act as teachers, cheerleaders, therapists, guides and mentors. They coach us tirelessly through our ups, our downs, our fears and our shortcomings, share the joy of our accomplishments and help us shoulder our disappointments.

April 27, 2014

High Tech Eq

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the role technology plays in the horse show world. Show management can now be done entirely online. Riders can download apps to review tests, plan course strategies and learn to keep a canter rhythm.

But I have an even better idea. Let’s take all these voice-activated interactive guidance systems and develop an app that we can take into the arena to, say, talk us through our medal course. Our trainers can only yell so loud, and once we get out of earshot or screw up to the point that they are forced to deny knowing us, we’re on our own.

March 27, 2014

Hunting For Excitement

A movement to inject more excitement into the hunters is currently underway. The intent is to bring back the thrill of the original sport, where bold Thoroughbreds galloped across open fields and displayed bravery and brilliance over natural obstacles. Let’s make the fences bigger. Make the courses more complex. Set a time limit.

I hope you’re kidding. 

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