the power of thank you

Thank you is something that is often missed, especially in this industry. It is one of the most important things at the end of the day next to always hugging your pony.

There is so much power behind a thank you & so many people who should be included in the thank you. Thank you gets lost in translation in this generation & feels like a lost art. Everyone’s list of thank you’s is different depending on your situation, professional rider versus amateur rider versus junior rider. I wanted to take a moment to make a gentle reminder to always thank everyone on your list as championships gear up for the end of the year. These thank you lists should be an always & you should always be grateful regardless your situation. It can all be gone in an instant.

Professional thank you’s
Owners, groom(s), parents, sponsors, clients, students, working students, barn manager, show sponsors, show organizers (championships especially),volunteers, any one who has helped you to get where you are, trainers you who have helped you along the way.

Amateur thank you’s
Groom(s), parents, trainer, barn manager, volunteers, anyone who takes care of your horse, & anyone who has helped you get to where you are.

Junior thank you’s
Groom(s), owners, show sponsors, show organizers (championships especially), trainer, barn manager, parents, clinicians, volunteers, program directors & anyone who has helped you along the way.

A lot of these go hand in hand. Thank you’s are a big deal. Just a small reminder to be grateful along your journey & remember to say thank you this time of year.

 

 

Food For Thought: Good Snacks For Horses

Everyone loves to have some delicious splurges every now and then. Obviously the ones that are packed with sugar and the other bad things, tempt you the most. Horses are the same way. All those things that you eat, your horse want to eat too.

Lots of people feed their horses human food of all sorts. From donuts to hamburgers, somewhere in the world you bet a horse has eaten it. But, what most don’t realize is that chemicals in big name brand foods and the products consumed in large quantities can hurt your horse.

Pinky is a master treat begger. If this whole dressage thing doesn’t work out, she could be a treat tester. Her favorite snacks include The Pony Spot Shop treats, all foods of the fake cheese variety (X-tra Cheddar Goldfish and Cheez-Its), and Dairy Queen french fries.

can you tell that she wants some?

But, I have to be super careful with all of these foods. They could potentially be fatal for her when consumed is too large amounts.

Most commonly, if feeding a human food, the serving size that is reccomended on the side or back of the box/bag is the maximum you should feed your horse. Some horses that have or had health issues such as colic should cut that serving size in half; especially if the snack is new to them.

When feeding horse specific treats, 3-4 should really be your maximum if it is something like I have in the photo below. These treats are obviously very high in sugar content and that is exactly why they can be so bad.

Treats of this variety can reek havoc on your horses stomach when fed in too large if portions or too often. There are tons if heather alternitives to these sugar packed treats.

Pinky has some real “cushion for the pushin,” I am not going to lie. So in order to find a good treat that helped her stay is show shape and she loved took some work. I hunted for a few weeks to find some good brands that made what I was after. When I finally found a few that I liked, I bought small bags and then had her try them. The brands included those of Omega Nibblers Low Sugar/ Low Starch, Standlee AppleBerry Cookie Cubes(they aren’t actually cookies, just grass cubes), and DuMor Horse Treats. None of them seemed to be working for her or she just didn’t like them(much to my surprise).

So in light of me not being able to find one, I took some initiave and looked up recipies of my own. After I found a good base and then added my own flare to them, I had Pinky try them. Instantly, they were a hit, but not just with Pinky. The whole barn was loving them! Thanks to my dad being a sucker to the cute pony eyes, the whole barn got to try my new concoction.IMG_0014.JPG

Soon, I started to sell them through my store, The Pony Spot Shop. They were a hit in among the people in my barn and surrounding areas. In the first week there were over 15 orders. The treats are currently being improved but will come back out in November! You will find them in our etsy shop here and follow us on instagram @theponyspotshop.

Hope this helps y’all with finding the perfect sweet treat for you four legged bestie!

Until Next Time Preps,

Sydney

How To Help Improve Your Horse’s Topline

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It’s hard to ride a horse without a top line because they’re usually weak, sore and unbalanced because they don’t have strong muscles to help move them forward. So I’m going to share with you a few exercises I’ve been using on my Thoroughbred the past few months to help gain weight and muscle mass. 

 

Many people think their horse raising its head or having a shortened neck is building their top line but it’s actually doing the opposite and putting stress on your horses body.

It’s very important to have a loose rein and let your horse stretch its head down because that’s helping them loosen up and build topline.

Exercise 1:

Building Topline At The Trot:

At the trot I use my legs on Phippen the whole time to keep him forward and he starts to lower his head and have a nice lengthy trot. I also do lots of serpentine, circles and trot across the diagonals.

Exercise 2: 

Encouraging A Soft Mouth:

My horse loves to raise his head and sometimes take the bit away so my coach and I have been working on that with him so he can engage his topline. If he takes the bit away we softly start to flex side to side to encourage him to give me his mouth back and to bring his head down.

Exercise 3:

Trotting Poles and Lateral Work:

Trotting poles are a great way to engage your horses topline because it encourages the horse to move forward and stay lifted and balanced. Lateral work is using leg yields encourages the horse to step under and engage their topline.

 

Thank you so much for reading! I hope these exercises help you with your horses topline!

Check out my Instagram: @Hannah_Equestrian and My business @TheOilyStable 🙂 

 

 

Julia And Flirt

Hey everyone! I’ve decided that today I’m going to help you guys get to know flirt and I better since I never really told you all about me (or flirt!).

10 facts about me:

1. I’ve been riding for 5 years

2. I’ve leased 3 horses

3. I am a freshman (😅😱)

4. I am 13 years old

5. I show in the Intermediate Childrens (2’6)

6. I’ve riden at two different barns with different trainers

7. I live in Ohio

8. I can ride my bike to my barn

9. I’ve never wrote for a blog or article before The Preppy Equestrian Blog

10. My first day of school is today

10 facts about Flirt!!

1. She is a Dutch Warmblood

2. She is imported

3. She is 16 years old

4. She was a jumper before she came to the USA

5. She doesn’t have a mare-ish attitude

6. She’s been with me for 8 months and she will be with me for 4 more months

7. She has four white socks

8. She has a really big blaze

9. She likes to pretend she’s lame before we ride to try and get out of work

10. She only gets riden 5 days a week (if that)

I hope you guys enjoyed learning a bit more about flirt and I!  Sorry this is short… school has started and its been crazy!

  • Julia (nikonh0rse)♥

 

Handling School and Riding

With school just around the corner, us equestrians have to start thinking about school and how we are going to balance it with riding. Here is one way you can ride and focus on school for the next 9 months.

After you come home from school every day, sit down right away and do all your homework. Then study for an upcoming test for 30 mins at least. After that go to the barn and limit yourself at 2.5-3 hours. Once you are home, shower and change then study for that same test or other tests you have coming up. Try to go to bed at a reasonable time (10:30 would be a reasonable time for me).

Another way to balance times is to get a calendar and use it to help you plan your time. You can buy calendars that let you write a ‘top 3’ for the day and they give you boxes almost like a graphic organizer to plan your day.  This may sound silly to some serious riders but if your entire day is filled with school work, either give your horse the day off, have someone else ride them, or go to the barn and turn them out or lunge them.

If your planner looks like this Home Executive open

then its most likely not a good idea to actually ride your horse that day. Take time to do homework then use one of the options i said above.

If your planner looks like this

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you should be good to go ride that day, but make sure your school work happens first.

I hope this article will help you balance your school work and horse life!

@nikonh0rse Julia♥

Tips To Help Prevent A Stressful Horse Show

Everyone loves to have a easy horse show without stress, injuries and mistakes so here’s some tips I use before the big day!IMG_0009.PNG

 The Day Before The Show:

The day before the show I go out to the barn and give whatever horse I’m riding a good bath, check their body for any injuries and clean my saddle, bridle and martingale. I also load the trailer with my tack, grooming supplies and miscellaneous things I might need.

The Night Before The Show:

I go home eat a healthy dinner, lay out all my show clothes, pack my ringside bag and clean my boots. I set my alarm on my phone, brush my teeth and get as many hours of sleep I need before I wake up.

Things In My Ringside Bag:

Rags

Horse Treats

Measuring Tape

Snacks

YL Essential Oils

My Show Helmet

A Crop

Phone Chargers

My Wallet

The Horses Papers

The Day Of The Show:

I wake up early, head to the Barn, load the horse and head off. Once I get to the show I unload the horse, fill up water buckets, throw in some hay and get started on unloading the trailer. Depending on the show I bring my tack trunk, saddle rack and stall decor to set up. I go with my coach and sign up for the classes I’m doing and get my number. Then I groom the horse, tack up and school as much as I can before my class. When I school I usally practice what I need to work on and jump a course similar to what I’m showing in.  If you’re on new horse I reccomend doing warm up classes so you can get a feel of how the horse acts in shows. If I have free time I usally grab a bite to eat and  take pictures! Right before I enter the show ring a let out a deep breath and try to shake off my nerves. Once I’m done with all my classes I thank my coach, parents and family for coming and supporting me. When the show is over and it’s time to go I pack up my tack and load the horse into the trailer and head back. Showing isn’t about ribbons, money or what horse you’re riding. It’s about having fun, doing your best and treating the horse the way you want to be treated.

I hope ya’ll enjoyed my show tips!!! 🙂

To see more from me check out my Instagram Hannah_Equestrian!

The Equestrian Stylebook: August

Welcome to my new series The Equestrian Stylebook! Every month I will be putting a new stylebook out with 3 awesome outfits. Look out for the notification on my (@equestrain.syd) or The Preppy Equestrian’s instagram when it is posted. Enjoy!

Finding the perfect riding outfit is one of the hardest things in the world. With so many different brands and styles to choose from there are so many great options. And, as much as I would like to be, none of us are made of money, so pricing is something that most of us have to be very cautious of. I have compiled a stylebook with 3 great and budget friendly outfits that every equestrian can rock!

The Classic Navy:

The Sailor look is my personal favorite. As most of my friends or anyone who follows me on Instagram know, navy is the best color ever. It is so classic and being a dark color, it is very slimming.

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She may be blinking but she is still the cutest Pinky Promise in all of the land! Photo Credit to: Modory Photography

This combo includes:

  • EST Full Seat Breeches in Navy Plaid (no longer available but just plain is still as awesome!)- $129.00
  • Loft Knit Sweater in Navy- $29.99
  • Treadstep Donatello Field Boot- $299.99
  • Michael Kors Parker Watch with Navy Face- $129.99
  • My 4 legged Best Friend Pinky- Priceless 🙂

This outfit is suitable for all seasons depending on how you layer below the sweater. In the summer I wear a moisture wicking, fitted talk top by Nike. In the winter I opt for a North Face base layer (I actually have it for when I ski but it works well for winter riding too).

The Stars:

The Stars look is a great style for any occasion. It has a bit of spunk to it but is still very professional. I love it for schooling at summer shows because it is very cool. Also the stars on the booty is pretty cute.

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Photo shows the star details on the seat and boots

This Combo Includes:

  • Black & White Star Leather Full Seat Breeches- $146.99
  • 20×60 Namaste On My Horse Tee in Heather Grey- $38.00
  • Mountain Horse Fiorentina Dress Boot- $299.99
  • Charles Owen JR8 in Grey/Black- $129.99
  • EquiVisor in Black- $35.95

This outfit is mostly for spring and summer riding. The 20×60 shirt is thin and moisture wicking so it is not the best option for the cooler months. The breeches are also more of breathable fabric so unless you wear a thick base layer underneath of them, you are likely to be cold in the winter.

The Grey Day:

Weather in Indiana is so bipolar; most states in the midwest are. Our outfits have to reflect that as well. The Grey Day modeled by my friend Rose Huff it showcases some great pieces for this coming fall.

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Rose is totally rocking this look with her matching Ogilvy Half Pad and her ever so gorgeous mare Roxxy

This Combo Includes:

  • Kerrits Microcord Knee Patch Breech in Silver- $89.99
  • Ariat Sunstopper Polo in Navy- $49.95
  • Base Layer of Any Kind- Varies
  • Ariat Radiant Reversible Belt in Black Ostrich/Deep Red- $89.95
  • Ariat Heritage Contour Field Zip Boot- $289.95
  • Charles Owen JR8 Helmet in Black/Grey- $129.99

Like I said above, this outfit is mostly for late summer and fall. It can adapt pretty well with fluctuations of weather with how it layered. But the shirt is great for those hot days when you don’t have a base layer underneath it.

I hope that this stylebook helps my fellow preps with your styling. More to come with next months Equestrian Stylebook!

 

Until next time Preps,

Sydney

How to Keep Your Daily Rides Interesting and Fun!

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(Photo by: Kelsey Bolin @snapcrackleclick)

Most of us ride our horses 5-6 days a week. Those 5-6 days envelope lessons and your plain  hacks on your horse. But those “plain hacks” can easily be changed into a whole new learning experience if you go into with the mindset of doing something new almost everyday. Below, there is a list of ways I make my hacks more meaningful for the well-being of me and my horse, and just more fun for the both of us! (All of these may vary for your riding situation)

  • Ride in different areas. Instead of riding in a normal arena everyday, try riding out on a flatter, grassy area. And, if available to you, don’t just ride in the same ring everyday. Where I ride, we have have 4 actual arenas (3 outdoor and 1 indoor). It’s very good for your horse to experience many types of scenery.
  • Don’t just “go around the carousel”!! Mix it up by throwing in some circles, going down the quarter line, or doing serpentines. That way your horse will be able to balance itself without the rail to lean on.
  • Ride with other horses. Lots of horses enjoy having company. So, they might be more focused if they know someone is working with them. Also, it can give them trail buddy (next bullet point will explain).
  • Go on trail rides. After a ride on your horse, reward them by cooling them out outside of the arena. This will help them stretch out after work. It’s also good to trail ride with other horses because it can create a relationship of trust with other horses. It can help a horse who is usually grumpy around others maybe pick friend!
  • Have a plan going into your ride. Plan out what exercises you want to do with you horse so it’s easily to establish reward. That way, you don’t run out of ideas while riding.

Enjoy your summer while it’s here!

– Anna Catherine