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.

About Me

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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.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Favorite Memory

Since I have been riding for so long, there are many events that I vividly remember. One of my favorite memories though is when I qualified to go to the US Pony Club Nationals which is held every year. You qualify at a regional show and then during July can go to Nationals and represent your region in the discipline that you qualified for. I have been to Nationals twice, but I only rode one time. In 2006 I qualified in Training level dressage on my pony Luke. Then in 2007 I went on our regional team but only as the barn manager. I am going to talk about my 2006 experience though. My friend, Sarah and I decided that we were going to get a team together and we were going to try to qualify as a team. In our region that would not be an issue because not many people wanted to go to Nationals in Dressage. We had to commit by February which gave us four months of intense training before our regional rally. We all had our horses in top shape going into our regional rally. One of the things that is required to qualify is that you have a freestyle prepared and you have to perform that at the regional rally as well as at Nationals if you qualify. A freestyle is a ride choreographed to music. Sarah and I decided to do this together and decided to use songs from Grease the musical. After many months of long practices and a few collisions, we thought we had our freestyle ready. Everything went as well as can be expected at the rally and our whole team qualified plus one additional person who competed on a different team at Nationals. Now we had one more month before we had to drive out to Lexington, Virginia to compete. This month went by very fast since we were all excited about going. I remember the day before we left trying to pack all of the necessities for 3 people and 2 horses for a week into a truck and trailer. The hardest part about that was trying to squeeze eight bales of hay into a short bed. After squeezing everything in though we were packed and ready to go. We had to leave by 5 AM at the latest if we were going to get there and get the horses settled before they closed the barns. Needless to say, the 13 hour drive gave plenty of opportunities for napping.
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

For The Love of The Horse

There is something about horses that draws a person in. Could it be the innocence you see in their eye or maybe the calmness or serenity in the way they carry themselves? What is it that draws people in? What creates that special bond between human and equine? Whether you ride for pleasure or enjoy competing in English or Western there is a common tie that draws everyone together, it is the love we share for our equine friends. When you step into the barn, all your cares from the day just fall away and all that is left is you and your horse. You work for years to establish this bond, and this camaraderie. You and your horse have finally formed a partnership, you are finally a team. As soon as you climb aboard your horse, there is nothing else around you. As mentioned earlier, there are so many disciplines to choose from that it turns into a family sport and everyone can find something they enjoy. Within the english discipline, people can choose dressage, eventing, hunter/jumpers, polo, saddle seat, and even endurance riding. Western offers many different events as well, that include barrels, reining, cutting, and roping. I have learned most everything I know about horses from the United States Pony Club. I have been a member for 10 years and I love it.

I have three horses, and two actually live on my property which is very convenient. I still have my first pony that I ever owned. His name is Luke and he is a 14.3 hh grade pony who I evented for a little while and now am schooling him in First Level dressage. The other horse that I have at my house is actually one that I rescued from the Indiana Horse Rescue. Sheba is a 35 year old appaloosa and is blind in both eyes due to a common disease called uveitis. This disease causes the gradual shrinking of the eyes and is common in Appaloosas. Her right eye has already been removed because it was too small for the socket. Suprisingly, she gets around very well as long as you do not change her surroundings. There is a picture of her below.

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.