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.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Supermarket of Horses

There was a comment left about one of my previous posts asking how I found one of my ponies from a rescue. There are many options when it comes to finding and buying horses. The marketplace for horses, just like the economy, is very slow and numbers are way down right now but there are still lots of options. With the internet and other new technology, advertising on the web has become very popular. Whether it be classifieds on different equine organizations or actual search engines specifically for finding horses that fit your needs, you will always find horses that could potentially match your description. These search engines offer many options including searching by name, location, age, or discipline. The ads that you will see for horses on these types of sites will include information on the horse including a short description, age, sex, height, breed, etc. Although the internet is a popular way of starting your search for the perfect horse, there are other options that could work just as well, if not better. Another way of finding your next horse is by simply talking to local trainers about what you are looking for and what you need in that next horse. Most of them if they do not have a potential horse for sale on their property will be more than happy to keep their eyes open for you. Also, most states will have horse rescues or establishments that are equivalent. These places don't always offer the perfect horses, but for people that are looking for companion animals these are great places to look. We got Sheba from the Indiana Horse Rescue and we just use her to keep my other pony company if I am gone at a show. The other advantage of these types of establishments is that they are normally very inexpensive. They will normally just charge a small adoption fee and then the horse is yours after they have completed an inspection of your property. Auctions are another way of purchasing horses for a very cheap price. I don't have any experience with this but some horses can be bought for as little as one dollar at auctions. Normally these horses need some work to get them in shape, but if you are willing to put in the time and effort this can be very rewarding. All of these are options that are easily accessible, but for people who are new to this part of horses, I would recommend that you just click around on the internet and familiarize yourself with the ads and the different terminology used in advertising these horses. Also, before you ever commit to buying a horse it is best to go and see the horse being ridden. This way you can see the horse move and see how experienced the horse is. The best advice though is if you are looking to buy your first horse and you aren't extremely experienced, get help from a professional. That way you can assure that you know what you are buying and you understand the needs and requirements of that animal. Have fun shopping!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rolex Roadtrip

So, it is that time of year again. The mailings have come out and advertisements have started in all the magazines and popular online sites. You might wonder what I'm talking about. I am talking about the Rolex Kentucky 3 Day event seeing the new, up and coming competitors. You might ask yourself what a horse show would have to offer if you are not competing yourself. Not only is the competition being run, but also there is a huge trade fair that sells everything a horse person could ever want. The show is scheduled to run over four consecutive days. However, the international horses are flown over very early to adjust and to be kept in quarantine for the required amount of time. Thursday and Friday are scheduled for all of the competitors to do their dressage test. This is just a pattern of movements that is the same for every rider and they are scored by three judges on how well they execute the movements. These days are very important because this score is the riders' starting point. Saturday is the most exciting day for spectators. On Saturday, the riders participate in their cross country course. This is when they run full speed over the rolling hills of. This horse show is only the biggest event and qualifying show in the United States. This four star event brings together some of the most famous eventing riders. During Olympic years, this show is used for these riders to get qualifying points to attend the Olympics. Rolex is one of four shows of this magnitude, but the only show in the United States. The other shows that are this big are held in Europe. Rolex is held over 4 days in April in Lexington, Kentucky. Around the first of the year, they send out the mailings about tickets, parking passes, and grandstand seating. That means that if you want to attend you have to plan early because grandstand seating sells out and so do all the hotel rooms in the area. I have attended this show as a spectator for the past 8 years and I love going every year and Kentucky and must negotiate over natural obstacles like logs, ditches, and water. The jumps at this level can be very tall and very technical. The course consists of 4 foot jumps with 6.5 foot drops on the landing side. Cross Country really tests the relationship that the horses and riders have. If they are not performing their best, accidents can and will happen. Sunday is the last day and the horses that are still moving well and feeling alright will continue on to the stadium jumping round. This is a set course of less than 15 jumps that are made up of poles and standards. This is a timed course and as long as they jump in order and don't knock any poles down, no penalty points will be added to their scores. This show is run the same way every year, but the variety of novice and veteran competitors brings something new every year. My friend and I already have our tickets ordered, our seats reserved, and our hotel reservations made. All that is left is for April 23rd to come so we can pack the car and head to Kentucky for another year of excitement at Rolex Kentucky 3 Day Event.