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Leading Your Horse Through Gates and Doors   29th Jul 2014
Leading Your Horse Through Gates and Doors
General It sounds simple right? And you may do it almost every day. But leading your horse through a gate takes a bit more attention than you might first think. Holding a horse while fiddling with a gate latch, having other horses crowd around or having the gate get caught in the wind, among other things, can make this supposedly easy maneuver riskier than it first appears. Oddly enough, people do get hurt doing this every-day, commonplace thing. That doesnít mean you should feel at all apprehensive about going through gates, because when you have a horse and a pasture, chances are itís something youíll be doing a lot. You just need to know how to handle your horse and that gate.
How Much Does It Cost to Own a Horse
 by Saferaphus on 27th Jul 2014
How Much Does It Cost to Own a Horse Care and Grooming  Every now and again, Iíll sit down and figure out just how much it costs to own a horse. Itís good to know to budget ahead. If you want a horse, youíll want to make sure you can actually afford one, because the purchase price is usually the tip of the iceberg.

If you donít board your horse, youíll probably spend money on other necessities like feed. Few of us have pasture to support grazing our horses full time, so hay may be necessary.. Horse owners can expect to pay around $4 a bale and up or $35 for a 4x4 round bale. Hay prices can fluctuate wildly. After bad weather round bales can exceed $75 per bale. A full-grown horse can eat a half a bale per day. A low estimate of hay cost would be about $2 per day. Thatís $730 per year. You might get away with cheaper, but a lot of horse owners will pay much more.
How Many Riders Does It Take To Write An Essay   26th Jul 2014
How Many Riders Does It Take To Write An Essay
General Any of us who have ever been forced to attend some kind of educational institution have most likely encountered, at some point, that horrendous piece of mental strain that we call Ďthe essayí. Essays may seem easy in theory, but who among us has not sat up all night with an energy drink and a pen-cramped hand, screaming through tears that thereís just NO WAY we could write 1800 words on how the world would be different if platypuses wore hats? The point is, essays are an unfortunate part of educational life, and each of us must develop our own unique approach to churn out essay after essay whilst keeping our sanity intact.
Quick Tips To Sell Your Horse Fast - What Not to Do   23rd Jul 2014
Quick Tips To Sell Your Horse Fast - What Not to Do
General Most people are looking for horses that are quiet and easy to handle. The best way to demonstrate the steadiness of any horse, especially a young one, is to put a small child on its back. Have the child go without a helmet, and possibly barefoot, to confirm your faith in the horse. The younger the child the better and donít let any adult photo-bomb the picture.
Horses and Dogs Needed for The Sunday Horse Movie
 by Saferaphus on 21st Jul 2014
Horses and Dogs Needed for The Sunday Horse Movie Horse Stories  Good news for horse lovers. Thereís another horse movie currently being filmed. In the spirit of such Ďunderdogí stories as Dreamer, Secretariat and Seabiscuit, The Sunday Horse is based on the true story of Debbie Connor, a young rider from the wrong side of the tracks who overcomes prejudice, and a near-fatal accident that left her wheelchair bound. The injury meant she was forced to watch
A New Flame - Chapter Ten - The End of the Beginning   20th Jul 2014
A New Flame - Chapter Ten - The End of the Beginning
Horse Fiction Elijah sat down on the couch beside her and took a sip. He felt Jane sigh and set the mug down on the coffee table in front of them. She turned to him and her sleepy blue eyes met his. Her wild blonde curls were a mess, but yet completely perfect at the same time. A few stray hairs framed her sweet, freckled face as she stared up at him.

'Doesnít it always seem like when one thing ends, another begins?' Jane asked, breaking the silence.

'This isnít the end, Jane.' Elijah replied gently, 'I know it feels like youíre shutting a door, but itís not the end. And itís not the beginning of the end. This is just the end of the beginning.'
A New Flame - Chapter Nine - Rising From the Ashes   19th Jul 2014
A New Flame - Chapter Nine - Rising From the Ashes
Horse Fiction He took the stirrup, slid into the familiar, soft leather of the saddle and bumped the geldingís sides with his boots. Aquillo broke into a jog, then a canter, then a gallop. Elijah felt the rush of cold air on his face as Aquillo thundered down the path towards Noahís tree. When he reached the river and slowed to a stop, he noticed the trail change. The trees became bare. They hung over the river like sad, lonely figures in the dark. Gray ashes covered the ground like a blanket of snow. As they crossed the river to the other side, Elijah felt his heart strings pulled. Just hours ago he walked down this trail in awe. The trees stood so tall and proud. They towered over him and seemed to scrape the sky with their magnificent branches. Now all that was left was their weak, broken skeletons.
Cruel Modifications to Correct Horse Tail Positions   18th Jul 2014
Cruel Modifications to Correct Horse Tail Positions
General Soaring, rollkur and rapping are considered abusive training methods by many people, but there are other practices that donít get as much attention, because the methods give results that are not as obvious, especially to the non-horse person. Many of these methods are used on show horses in pursuit of the ideal performance or look. Hereís a look at a few not so obvious practices that are still in use.

Horseís tails are very useful for swatting away flies and other biting insects. Horses also use their tails to express their reactions, and the tail being the end of the spine, is used to help the horse balance. Using the tail to help re-balance is often seen on dressage horses, when they give a single swish during transitions, or changing directions. This swish used to be regarded as an indication of resistance, but judges may be less likely to penalize the horse if they see that it is re-balancing itself. There are times when a tail swish is not tolerated at all.
How Horseback Riding Affects My Driving   16th Jul 2014
How Horseback Riding Affects My Driving
General When you have a horse, it means youíve chosen a lifestyle that is a little different than most. Owning a horse can affect how you think, and your behavior in other situations. Iíve found that horseback riding has profoundly affected how I drive.

Being a horse owner, it just feels right to drive a truck. Most people who own a horse, aspire to own a truck. I had to convince my husband to buy a truck, as heís not a horse owner. Once we got a truck he Ďgot ití. If you have a horse, you need a truck. A truck can haul hay, manure, trailers, and get through muddy fields where horse events are held much
A New Flame - Chapter Eight - Uncovering Old Feelings   14th Jul 2014
A New Flame - Chapter Eight - Uncovering Old Feelings
Horse Fiction A few moments passed before Jane glanced up at the stairs. She heard the familiar creak of the shower as the water turned on. Her heart pounded a little quicker in her chest. She found herself standing and heading towards the door. Her bare feet hit the weathered wood of the porch as she stepped out into the chilling night. Janeís pale blue eyes squinted into the darkness, scanning the yard for that familiar figure of Elijahís. Her feet padded against the steps and into the cold grass.

She looked to the sky. A distant, soft orange glow peeked over the trees. The smell of smoke lingered in the air, making Jane cringe.

Goosebumps shot up her bare arms as the light of the house became farther away and she neared the barn. One square of light on the ground came through the small window of the barn office. The faint sounds of menís voices were muffled out by the thin door between them and her. She stepped into the light and peered into the window, where she observed Gale and her father, deep in conversation.
Is Eventing Really Too Dangerous   13th Jul 2014
Is Eventing Really Too Dangerous
Shows and Events The eventing world has again attracted some unwanted attention following the unfortunate deaths of two top riders on one day. Thirty-year-old Canadian Jordan McDonald died after falling during an event in Somerset. Twenty-five year-old German rider Benjamin Winter was killed during Germany's major four-star event at Luhmuhlen. Both deaths followed rotational falls. A rotational fall is when a horse hits a fence with its forearms or chest, somersaults over, and lands on its back. Winter died of massive head injuries while McDonald suffered a cardiac injury, suggesting that his chest cavity was crushed despite the protection of his safety vest.
A New Flame - Chapter Seven - Playing With Fire   11th Jul 2014
A New Flame - Chapter Seven - Playing With Fire
Horse Fiction The ride back was quiet, but peaceful. She enjoyed Elijahís company, even without speaking his presence was calming and comforting to her. She was glad that he was with her to revisit Noahís tree. A part of her felt that she had found closure with her past and another part of her felt like she was just opening a door to something new. Jane glanced back at Elijah, who rode peacefully alongside her, taking in the surroundings. She couldnít help but smile. Without speaking, Elijah smiled back at her.

When they entered the crescent shaped clearing near the east pasture, Jane felt something strange stirring in the woods. She turned to face Elijah who, by the expression on his face, knew something was wrong too. He lifted his head and glanced back.
Mystery Pony Painting Remains Unsolved   9th Jul 2014
Mystery Pony Painting Remains Unsolved
General There is no artist's signature on the print. The frame is old and battered, and I rather like it that way. I have it hung in the hall, out of any direct light, so that it doesnít fade any further, but itís still visible from where I often sit to write in my room. Iím fussy about horse art. I like it to be Ďgoodí. Iím sure my definition of Ďgoodí is quite different from everyone else, but I donít like cheesy, or cliche. I like realism. So the mystery pony is one of the few horse pictures hanging in my home. Someone once saw the print and told me that an identical one hung in an office
A New Flame - Chapter Six - Noahs Tree   8th Jul 2014
A New Flame - Chapter Six - Noahs Tree
Horse Fiction Jane took in a deep breath of earth. The air that filled her lungs smelled of soft, earthy dirt and fresh greenery. The woods felt alive around them. The occasional silk of a spiderís web draped between branches glittered as the sun struck it. It looked almost like decoration. The horses continued to walk peacefully along the winding, beaten path through the woods. Jane couldnít help but feel so disconnected from the world yet so connected to her surroundings. She felt the rhythmic, ever so gentle beat of the horsesí hooves hitting the soft ground, each step careful and precise. Every so often the breeze returned, flowing through the air, playing with Janeís unkept strands of hair and dancing through the trees, making their leaves rustle.
Would You Ever Eat Horse Meat   6th Jul 2014
Would You Ever Eat Horse Meat
General In some cultures, horse meat is still a valued source of protein. A few years ago, I interviewed a young woman from Malta, who was then working in London, England. What did she miss most about home? She missed a delicious meal of horse meat cooked by her mother. Horse meat was hard to come by of course, in horse crazy Britain.

While eating horsemeat is abhorrent to most of us, obviously not everyone feels that way. Horse meat is eaten in many countries, including Mexico, Belgium, Canada, Kazakhstan, Chili, Spain, Iceland, France, Russia, and many Eastern European, South American, Southeast Asian, and Eastern countries such as China and Japan.
A New Flame - Chapter Five - Falling Backwards   4th Jul 2014
A New Flame - Chapter Five - Falling Backwards
Horse Fiction Janeís chest collapsed in on her heart, as if it was bearing a thousand pounds. A sick, eerie feeling quickly filled her stomach as her mind spun around his words and worked to unravel them. Her thoughts became one tangled mess of incomprehensible words and phrases that she couldnít put together. His lips continued to move but she refused to listen. How could she when her heart was beating too loudly to hear herself think?

'Thatís not funny, Elijah.' Her sparkling blue eyes filled with tears as she stood. Suddenly, she became light headed. She felt the sky begin to spin around her.

Elijah stood quickly and reached for her but Jane drew back. 'Donít touch me,' she hissed.

'Jane, I wish I was joking but Iím not.' He breathed, watching the color drain from her vibrant face.
Who Wants to Ride Forever   3rd Jul 2014
Who Wants to Ride Forever
General When you are young, itís really very difficult to visualize what life will look like when you are older. You think that the things you see Ďoldí people live with wonít happen to you. The bad news is, it probably will. Things like crappy eyesight, aching joints and the desire to be in bed by 10pm every night will probably be just a few of things youíll find yourself dealing with. The really weird thing about aging is that at 50, 60 or 90, youíre really the same person inside as you were when you were 12 - or five or two. You will have many of the same dreams, passions, fears and dislikes. The exterior may change, but the interior you really doesnít.

I really donít mean to get philosophical about aging here. Most of you are probably thinking yeah, yeah, whatevs. However, I want to keep riding forever, and I want you to, too.
A New Flame - Chapter Four - The Sudden Twist   1st Jul 2014
A New Flame - Chapter Four - The Sudden Twist
Horse Fiction Elijah rubbed his forehead with his hand and ran his fingers through his hair and over his neck. 'I visited you in the hospital after the accident.' He admitted softly.

'Why would you do that? I didnít even know you before the other day.' Jane began to unravel thoughts in her head. Her head began to spin and her heart started to pound.

'Thereís something I havenít told you.' Elijah said hesitantly.

Jane shook her head in confusion. She began to tip head slightly to one side, letting her blonde curls cascade over her shoulder. As Elijah stared back at Janeís perfect, clueless face he couldnít help but feel guilt. His stomach twisted and turned violently. He forced himself to tear his gaze away.
The World Equestrian Games are Headed for Canada   29th Jun 2014
The World Equestrian Games are Headed for Canada
Shows and Events The World Equestrian games are headed for Canada. As the FEI narrowed its choices for where the 2018 Games will be held, two contenders remained. Bromont Horse Park near Montreal, Quebec and Lexington, Kentucky. Lexington, as you may remember hosted the 2010 WEG. Bromont was the site of the 1976 Olympic equestrian events. One of the larger issues for not choosing Lexington was a sponsorship conflict between Longines and Rolex. Bromont was initially passed over because their financial information was not complete. When bidding was reopened last summer, the Bromont committee could supply all the required information.
A New Flame - Chapter Three - Getting Caught in the Rain   28th Jun 2014
A New Flame - Chapter Three - Getting Caught in the Rain
Horse Fiction The truck eased back on the road slowly. Jane peeked out the window to see a dark piece of sky through the trees above them. Just as Elijah turned onto the next road, a loud rumble of thunder filled the air and shook the ground.

Janeís wide blue eyes met Elijahís. He smiled bigger and laughed, 'I hope youíre not afraid of storms.' Moments later, rain was pounding down on Elijahís truck.

'Shut the windows!' Jane yelled over the thunder and the loud, steady beating of the rain.

Elijah began laughing out loud and leaning over the steering wheel. He turned to Jane and yelled back, 'The windows donít work!'

Janeís eyes widened. 'Are you kidding?'
A New Flame - Chapter Two - Bonding Over Breakfast   27th Jun 2014
A New Flame - Chapter Two - Bonding Over Breakfast
Horse Fiction Jane danced down the mahogany staircase with grace. Her perky blonde curls bounced and slapped against her back until she came to a sudden halt. Her icy blue eyes fixed on the man at their kitchen table.

'Good morning,' Elijah greeted her, noticing Janeís alarmed appearance. Jane let her bare feet slide slowly off the last step. She glanced down briefly at the bowl of cereal in front of him, and then back up at Elijahís smile. 'Did... Did you want some?' He asked, gesturing towards the box.

Jane made her way into the kitchen with slow, lazy steps. She narrowed her eyes at his somewhat mischievous smile and took a bowl from the cupboard. 'Well, I didnít think I needed permission to have a bowl of cereal in my own house.' She took a spoon from the drawer, sat down across from him, and added, 'But... I do love Cheerios.' Janeís lips curled into a smile.
A New Flame - Chapter One - A New Beginning   23rd Jun 2014
A New Flame - Chapter One - A New Beginning
Horse Fiction Jane slid her hands down on the leather reins and tightened each of her fingers into fists. The oxer approached quickly, her hands raised up the mareís neck, she lifted out of the saddle. Jane felt the powerful take-off, sending them both into the air. The mid-air suspension seemed to slow everything down. For a moment, they were off the ground completely. Then she sat hard as the mareís head came down and forced her hips back when the back hooves hit the ground.

The eager mare bounced back after the jump, launching Jane forward as they cantered towards the cross rail. Jane collected her reins, adjusted herself, and positioned the mare for the last jump. The young mareís perky ears flicked forward with interest as she charged toward the jump and soared over it with ease. Jane lowered the mare back into a soft canter and leaned forward, patting the place where her neck and withers met. A soft snort escaped the mareís nostrils as she eased into a slow jog.
Misleading Horse Words and Phrases   21st Jun 2014
Misleading Horse Words and Phrases
General The horse world has its own language and like any language it can be a bit confusing to the new comer. Some words, however, just donít make sense, or represent what they in fact mean. In some cases, I think these misleading words or phrases may actually be barriers to developing our horsemanship and riding skills, because they suggest something other than what we are supposed to be doing. Words are powerful things, and they need to be chosen carefully. There are some words we use by default, without realizing their influence on us. Hereís a few horse words and phrases I think we could improve.
A Lifetime of Horses and The One That Got Away   19th Jun 2014
A Lifetime of Horses and The One That Got Away
General I think every horse owner will have, when they look back at a lifetime with horses, one horse that stands out from the rest. For me, it was the Bay Goddess Freya. When Freya died, I asked a friend how long it would take to get over losing her. She told me about ten years. Now, itís almost ten years later, and it doesnít take much for the tears to start flowing. Iíve written about Freya before, and although she didnít win me a wall full of ribbons, do anything heroic, or really, do much of anything notable at all, I still regard her as my Ďonce in a lifetimeí horse.
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Surviving The Warm-up Arena Have you ever taken a moment at a show, to pause before entering the warm up? Do you ever look into that deadly hornetsí nest of an arena and think, 'Holy doughnuts, Iím going to get crushed in there!' If you havenít Ė g . . .
18 - 19 September Dam 'n Dyke Horse Show Finding myself sick once again, it was with a distinct lack of energy and enthusiasm that I awoke (or should I say Ė I grudgingly woke up after much encouragement.) at 05:30 AM on Saturday 18 September 2010. In between c . . .
Moonfire - Fixing a Rearing Problem - Part 2 I did my best to avoid the instances that encouraged rearing Ė but if you look above, youíll see that itís quite a list, and that there are many aspects that you just CANíT avoid when riding a competitive horse. The main . . .
Saddle Up Series - Understanding Your Horse's Back - Part Four As mentioned before, back pain in horses is shockingly common; in fact most horses Ė even the soundest of them Ė are likely to be experiencing at least a small degree of back pain simply from the strain of hard work. The . . .
Who Is On My Horse Have you ever ripped the head off one doll to pop it onto another, or forced a puzzle piece to fit where it doesn't belong? We all know the feeling, looking at something so familiar; yet thinking Ďthat doesn't look right . . .
Jumping My Polo Horse Bareback This video shows myself and my Polo horse simply being ourselves and having a great time! Everything in this video is bareback, it is a complete no saddle zone! The only tack used is always either a bridle or a halter an . . .
Cross Country 101 - Part Two An arrowhead is a type of skinny built in a triangular shape, so that the horse must jump from the narrow point of the arrow over the wider end. Arrowheads can be particularly tricky jumps for riders, because the point o . . .
Saddle Up Series - Understanding Your Horse's Back - Part Two Believe it or not, an ill-fitting saddle is not the only cause of back pain in horses, although it is the leading one. Back pain can be caused by a number of different things. The following are a few prime examples. A ri . . .
National Junior Championships Ė Part Three In a pathetic lapse of concentration that I am still kicking myself for, I went ahead and Ďshowjumpedí the fence Ė getting my weight off his back and leaning forwards, rather than keeping my seat in the saddle and leanin . . .
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 3) My instructor was around to help me with Moony, and we started by doing a bit of free jumping. She got him going extremely well, and he soon learned to jump on his own, without the help of a rider. As Moony is uncertain . . .
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