Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hair styles

I've been working on a post on hair styles at horse shows.
Whats everyones thoughts on how you should finish your look with a great hair do at shows.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

lesson Saturday

Every Saturday morning Maddie takes a lesson.  Its amazing how much she can learn in one hour. Shows what awesome trainers she has.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


When I was 19 year old a good family friend was killed on a horse. She was at a cutting and her horse started getting naughty in he arena.  He bucked her off and her foot became stuck in the stirrup.  Everyone ran to help and and catch the out of control horse.  He was running around the arena spooked by the riding attacked to his side.  Someone opened a gate to run in to help her and didn't think to close it.  Her horse ran out the gate continuing to drag her by her foot.  He ran through the gravel parking lot at a frantic speed.  He eventually bucked enough to get her foot free.  When people were finally able to get to her she was already gone.  The impact on her head caused her to die on impact. 
I had always been a fearless rider up until this point.  It really made me realize how unpredictable horses can really be.  This event made a large impact on my life.  I miss her dearly even though its been almost 20 years. 
When Maddie started riding there was no question as to whether she would ride with a helmet or not.  If I started her young it would just become part of her tacking up routine and it is.  Its always brush her horse, put pads on, put saddle on, helmet on and then bridle. 
In 4-H it is a requirement for all riders to have a helmet on, but in breed shows it is optional.  I think we will begin to see this change for the younger riders in the next few years.  Even in English they only wear a cover and not a full helmet. 
I started doing some research in helmets and the benefits of wearing one.  Here's a few points a found in addition to some references for you to read yourself.

"Equestrian Helmet Facts

  1. Between 12 to 15 million persons in the United States ride a horse or pony every year.
  2. Approximately 20 percent of horse-related injuries occur on the ground and not riding.
  3. Most riding injuries occur during pleasure riding.
  4. The most common reason among riders for admission to hospital and death are head injuries.
  5. A fall from two feet can cause permanent brain damage. A horse elevates a rider eight feet or more above ground.
  6. A human skull can be shattered by an impact of 4-6 mph. Horses can gallop at 40 mph.
  7. According to the National Electronic Surveillance System figures the most likely ages for injury is at 5-14,
  8. and 25-44 years with each decade having about 20 percent of the injuries.
  9. A rider who has one head injury has a 40 percent chance of suffering a second head injury. Children, teens and young adults are most vulnerable to sudden death from second impact syndrome: severe brain swelling as a result of suffering a second head injury before recovery from the first head injury.
  10. Death is not the only serious outcome of unprotected head injuries. Those who survive with brain injury may suffer epilepsy, intellectual and memory impairment, and personality changes.
  11. Hospital costs for an acute head injury can be in the range of $25,000 per day. Lifetime extended care costs may easily exceed $3 million. There is no funding for rehabilitation outside the medical setting.
  12. Helmets work. Most deaths from head injury can be prevented by wearing ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials), SEI (Safety Equipment Institute) approved helmets that fit correctly and have the harness firmly applied. Other types of helmets, including bike helmets, are inadequate.
  13. Racing organizations require helmets and as a result jockeys now suffer fewer head injuries than pleasure riders. The US Pony Club lowered their head injury rate 29 percent with mandatory helmet use. Britain's hospital admission rate for equestrians fell 46 percent after helmet design improved and they came into routine use.
  14. The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Medical Association through the Committee on Sports Medicine, Canadian Medical Association, and the American Medical Equestrian Association/Safe Riders Foundation recommend that approved, fitted and secured helmets be worn on all rides by all horseback riders. "
Source: Equestrian Medical Safety Association

Here's a great article about the arguments around not wearing a safety helmet.

Here's an articlr about concussions.

When  I sent an email to Troxel about my upcoming post they generously sent a Victory helmet for Maddie.  She loves it.  Other english helmets she has worn were either to big or not very comfortable.  The Victory is adjustable so she has a perfect fit no matter what style her hair is in or if she grows.  The Vicotry helmet to very pretty and made of fine quality materials. Because of it being so light fit she will be able to wear it for her riding events as well as  english showmanship. 
This is the third Troxel helmet we have owned and have always been pleased with the feel of them.  Troxel makes helmets to fit a young child to an adult.  Check out their website at:

**A special thank you to Troxel!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013, when, why

When my daughter started riding Indie she had a really hard time communicating with him as to what she was asking.  He was primarily trained using your legs.  We’ll she being only ten struggled to get enough pressure into him to tell him what she wanted.  Besides the fact that before her his primary rider was an adult.  When Maddie asked him with her legs her leg position is in a completely different location than an adult.  We found the best way to remedy this was for her to use spurs on him with a very long shank.  She was taught from the moment she put them on how to respect the spurs and how to properly use them on her horse.  It took her a while to get the hang of them and know the correct pressure to use, but once she figured it out she and Indie really started to become a team.

Spurs are a very controversial topic in riding and training.  I myself was very anti spur until I learned the proper way to use them.  I was very afraid I would harm my horse.  I quickly learned with proper training spurs can be very helpful when working with your horse.

There are two key points to using spurs: understanding when is the proper time is to use them and what type of spurs to use. 

First when to use spurs.  Martin Black a former write for, America’s Horse, wrote about using spurs he said “You can relate it to a child disregarding your warning of something being “hot” in order to touch it for themselves until they feel the burning sensation. A squeeze with our leg or legs is the warning “Hot!” and the contact with the spur is the burning sensation.” 

Secondly what is the best option for spurs.  There are many things to consider such as what you are using them for, what type of riding you are doing, your experience with spurs and will you have guidance on how to use them properly.

There were to websites I located which had wonderful information on these two topics.

Spurs can be a very useful training aid if you train yourself properly on using them as well as find the right fit for you and your horse.




Sunday, May 5, 2013

Camping with your horse

The weather here in Oregon has been just wonderful this week.  We were able to put our Indie out to pasture to just let him be a horse.  I think part of being a good horse owner is recognizing your horse, just like you, needs a break to from the show ring.  One thing I have always wanted to do was take our horses camping with us, but I can honestly say I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to do it.  I started doing some checking around, just like I did for our first show.  I knew there had to be a website out there with a list of everything to take with you and what to do when you are there.  I found a website just like this called Camping and Horses.

Camping and Horses has everything you can think of when it comes to camping with you horse.   There are three separate lists: What to take with you, first aid kit supplies and a check list for your ride.  Great information!

Here’s a link to the website:

Another great link they have on the website is for horse lodging.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Buying your first horse

Since I started my blog and my friends are watching Maddie grow in showing, they now are asking questions about buying a horse for their children.  That is a loaded question which can be very difficult to answer.  I never want to crush someone’s dreams but I also want to give them information which can save them and the horse in the long run. 

I found a great article on buying your first horse as a beginner.  It’s a great resource for anyone looking at getting a horse for the first time.  Some of the points which I really appreciated were how the author warned about buying cheap and also getting a rescue horse for your first horse.  We lease our Indie and it was great the author included this option.  Two other things she pointed out was don’t buy a baby and always take someone who knows what they are doing with you.  Horses are not like puppies.  Having a pet to grow up with isn’t a good idea with a horse.  Children will grow bored quickly and being inexperienced is not best with a young horse.

To read the full article click on the link below:

What are your thoughts on buying a first horse??

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Flies, flies go away!!

I love facebook.  I get some of the most awesome ideas from others.  Today I was looking through some posts and came across one I thought everyone would love.  A lady gave a great remedy for flies!  Flies!  I hate flies.  Every time we walk into the barn they are hanging out by the door.  My poor 4 year old son makes me cover his face and run him through them.  When I read this solution I couldn’t wait to tell everyone.

Here’s the picture and the description is below.



Take a barrel and drill hole around the top like seen in picture.  This reader drilled 50 ¾ inch hole in the barrel.  Fill the bottom of the barrel with water.  Drill a hole in the top middle of barrel and hang a piece of meat from wire.  The flies will attract to the meat.  Once they are full they cannot fly out and will drowned on the water. 


If you try this please let me know if it works.  I’m curious.  The reader stated within a day the flies were all gone.  She also checks the meat daily to make sure it hasn’t fallen into the water.