This page is designed for equine enthusiasts to come together and read about and share experiences they have had. The love of horses is one that is shared by many people so feel free to comment or just read about other peoples experiences and their favorite equine friend.
- I have been riding horses for 10 years and I am an active member of the United States Pony Club. I own 3 horses and I am an HB in the Pony Club rating system. I enjoy eventing, dressage, and instructing younger club members but love to do anything dealing with horses. Currently, I am studying animal sciences and hope to use this to increase my knowledge of horses.
- ▼ 2009 (21)
Friday, April 24, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
The most obvious change between school and summer, is that I will be at home and will take over the daily care of my horses. During the year, my parents are in charge of making sure they get hay four times a day, grain twice a day, and a clean stall to sleep in at night. This means that in the summer, there is no such thing as sleeping in. I am up at 8am normally ready to go out to the barn. I will admit, I will normally roll out of bed at 7:59, throw my boots on and go out in my pajamas to do the morning feeding.
Also during the summer, I have a lot more free time in order to ride. In the perfect world, I would be able to ride both of my horses in the same day. Due to an accident that occured while riding though, I am not able to ride more than one a day. In the summer of 2005, I took a bad fall off of my horse and about a week after that started having back pain. When I went to the doctor, they told me I had a stress fracture in my lower back that would always cause me trouble. They were right, I am not able to ride both horses without experiencing severe back pain. That means that I have to rotate which horse I ride everyday which can get a little annoying.
Throughout a normal summer, I would be competing in anywhere between five and ten competitions. This summer, however, I will not be competing. There are a couple factors that play into this decision. First of all, I have not been able to ride on a regular basis throughout the year so my horses are very fat and out of shape. By the time I come back to school, they might be back up to their top performance. Secondly, I will actually have a job this summer that requires 40 hours a week which means that cuts down on my riding time too. Thirdly, the horse that I would normally compete will hopefully be sold by the time competitions start.
This summer, I am looking forward to being able to spend some time not just around my barn but hopefully at other barns with various horses. This will help me improve my riding by using different types of horses. I am hoping to ride everyday this summer and be more motivated to continue riding all through next year. The school year provides added complications when it comes to my riding schedule, but summer gives me a blank slate to start clean and begin anything I want to pursue.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Sunday was a good day...or so I thought. I got to sleep in, had lunch with my friends, and watched a movie. That all sounds great, right? Well it was until I got a call from one of my best friends back home. Sarah and I met through horses and have been friends for about 10 years. When I get a message from her asking me to call as soon as I get a chance, I know it can't be good.
So, I call Sarah back and she informs me that one of our good friends is having to put her horse down on Tuesday. This news is unfortunately not really surprising to me. This horse is not only very close to the owner but also very close to Sarah. When Sarah was looking for her first horse, she was only interested in borrowing a horse not owning a horse, so through pony club she found Chief.
Chief is a very special horse who has been around for 27 years. If you are familiar with the Indiana horse community, you have most likely heard about or seen Chief around at some show or other outing. He is a tall appaloosa who has the heart of a teddy bear. In his prime, he was shown at preliminary level which is a higher level in eventing consisting of roughly 4 foot jumps. As he aged, he helped beginners learn the ropes and would perform any task he was called to do.
Instructors felt comfortable putting a five year old on him because of his willingness to please. Anyone who entered the barn was automatically drawn to Chief due to his puppy dog eyes and quiet expression. He served two generations in the owner's family and touched the heart of so many others.
Chief will be greatly missed. Anyone who laid eyes on this horse knew he was something special. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Mundt family and Sarah. Thanks for sharing this great horse with us.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
This new law is surprisingly a very controversial subject in the horse world. There are two sides of the argument and I honestly am not sure where I stand on this matter. First, there are some people who look at horse slaughter and are completely opposed to it. These people think about the condition of the horses when they are sent to slaughter. They are normally in very poor condition because the owners have finally realized that this is the only thing left to do because they have not taken good care of them. The other point to think about is the transportation to the slaughter houses. These weak, sick horses are normally shoved in a semi-truck and transported in huge groups.
The other side of the argument is that now that slaughter has been banned in the US, many horses who would have gone to slaughter before are not being taken care of well because the owners don't have the money. In order to get rid of horses that could not be taken care of financially, owners could send them to slaughter for a very cheap price. Now these horse are being forced to suffer in barns that are not appropriate and conditions that are not healthy.
This is a very hot topic in the equine world because it is a new law and many people are not sure where they stand on this subject. Personally, I do not believe that slaughter is the only way of getting rid of a horse that can not be properly cared for. I know there are rescues and even individual families all around that would happily take a horse instead of seeing them be sent to slaughter. I will most likely never support slaughter of horses. Instead, I think we need to educate our horse owners of alternate options to get these horses out of these terrible living conditions.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Many people who are not involved with the horse community don't understand though that even if you are competing against someone if you ever find yourself in trouble the first person you call is that lady you met at the small show because you know she lives close. There are horse people all over the country and when you are found traveling with a trailer and your tire goes flat, it is nice to have that little black book of friends close by.
One perfect example of this is when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Everyone in the horse community knew that there were still horses down there, so they started sending anything and everything they had. It didn't matter how small it was. Helmets were sent so those little kids could get back on their ponies and start riding, hay was sent by the truck load to replace the thousands of bales that were lost. It was no longer a matter of who was going to win the show, it was only a matter of who was not going to lose the battle.
Michigan and had a very bad accident that landed her in the hospital for about a month. Unfortunately, she still had horses back home that needed to be taken care of and she had a kitten in her truck that needed food and water. Almost immediateAnother example actually involves a really close friend of mine. She was competing up inly after the accident happened people were calling offering to take care of the kitten and her horses back home, offering to cook meals for her family, and offering to just come visit with her. That is not to mention that multitude of cards and gifts that were sent to her to keep her mind busy. After a long recovery she healed fine and didn't have to worry about what she had to take care of when she got home.
The horse community is always there for each other whether it be a bad accident or just a minor crisis. There will always be that open door close by of a family that has a small barn in the back and is willing to give you a meal or even a bed as long as you enlighten them with your many horse stories and experiences. An equestrian will never feel alone as long as they remember the huge horse family that is there to back them up.
As I had mentioned earlier, I am a member of the United States Pony Club. Every year they have an annual meeting which is held in a different place every year. This is a time when people from across the country come and learn more about Pony Club and the new things that are going on in the horse world. Something that is held in conjunction with this meeting is known as the National Youth Congress (hence the title).
This Congress is somewhere where people between the ages of 18-21 can be nominated to go and learn about leadership within the organization. It is a huge honor to be able to go because you have to be in the upper levels of Pony Club and you have to be nominated by the leaders in your region of the country. When I was younger, I always wanted to take part in this Congress because I looked up to the other girls who were a part of it.
I never even thought about applying this year because I am one level away from the cut off, so when I got a call asking if I was interested in going I was thrilled. I turned in my paperwork and made sure everything was in order as soon as I could. All of the leaders discussed it and decided that I would be the nominee for our region this year. Now the hard work started. I had to get approvals to miss class from professors and I had to reserve a hotel room and plane ticket.
This year the annual meeting and Congress were held in Greenville, South Carolina which meant I got warmer weather too. After everything was accounted for and I made sure I had everything organized for things I would be missing, I boarded a plane to South Carolina. I honestly didn't know what to expect other than I was going to get a special name tag with a special ribbon on it making me special. When I arrived there though, nothing could have prepared me for the things I would learn in those three days.
We started off with just an ice breaker reception which was very awkward being thrown into a room of girls who think they are better than you when it comes to horses. Throughout the next days though the 40 of us became best friends. Thursday and Friday we were stuck in a room in the back of the hotel for the whole day and we sat through presentation after presentation. No one would want to sit through that and at the time everyone was complaining. It wasn't until the end of the two day when we were asked to look back that everyone realized how much we had grown and learned within 48 hours.
The whole Congress was based on being leaders in not only the organization but in the world and our future careers. We outlined characteristics of good leaders and we talked about decision making and how to analyze and make decisions in split seconds that could affect your future in a career. We also talked a lot about how to make a difference in our community and we were challenged to organize a community service event to benefit the equine community around us.
I look back now and although I did not like sitting in the same room for two days listening to speakers, this opportunity has made me realize what a leader is and how hard it is to be a leader in today's world. I was challenged along with the other girls and now instead of hearing complaints from all of us we are all wishing we could go back and do it all over again.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
We arrived and got the horses settled and equipment unpacked and we were ready for a week of showing. It was the same routine everyday, arrive at the barns by 6 AM, ride once or twice a day, and leave at 6 PM. The week went very well and the team had some very respectable scores. The last day was when Sarah and I were scheduled to do our freestyle. Unfortunately, our music didn't start at the right time so we were forced to make it up as we went along and my pony decided to buck as we were cantering toward each other. Other than that slight mishap though the week went well and we all had fun. We finished 6th out of 14 teams which we thought was pretty good for the region's first time competing in Dressage. I had a really good time and I am hoping to go again next time it is hosted in Kentucky.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
My other horse, Danz, is actually boarded at my trainers because we are trying to sell him. He is a thirteen year old 16.2 hh thoroughbred. I evented him for awhile but decided he needed to go to someone who didn't mind doing training or preliminary and going fast. I have had him for four years and although it will be sad seing him leave, I am hoping to eventually replace him with a really nice dressage horse. Unfortunately, with the economy, it will probably be awhile before he is sold. For now though I am just enjoying riding whenever I can and looking forward to competing on Luke this summer.