Keeping Their Brain In The Game

Let’s just admit it, horses are basically giant, fluffy goldfish. They are scared of invisible

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one of my favorite comics about spooky horses!

monsters or even the ever so famous demon, plastic bag *gasp*. With a brain just a bit bigger than a walnut, it makes it easy to get unfocused and bored just doing the same ole’ thing every day. If I were them, I wouldn’t want to jump colored sticks or make fancy circles every day either. It is super important to keep the goldfish happy by keeping their brain happy.

 

With a brain just a bit bigger than a walnut, it makes it easy to get unfocused and bored just doing the same ole’ thing every day. If I were them, I wouldn’t want to jump colored sticks or make fancy circles every day either. It is super important to keep the goldfish happy by keeping their brain happy and mix up the routine. Even just spending a day giving them a good bath and some treats rather than helps. I have compiled a list of my top 6 favorite things to do outside of the ring with my horses that keep their brains happy and healthy.

 

1. Going For A Walk!Screenshot 2018-01-07 23.12.38

This is hands down one of my favorite things to do with any of my horses. Liam loves to see his buddies outside in the fields and grab the occasional mouthful of grass, no matter how much I dislike it later while cleaning his bit. Oh well, happy horse, happy life right? This can be done on or off horseback but if you don’t feel like walking on foot the whole time, bring your helmet along so you can hop on if needed.

 

2. Spa Day!

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Owning two grey horses means that these kinds of days happen a bit more frequently than any of the others on this list, especially since Pearl loves to roll in whatever will make her dirtiest. To learn how I keep my grey as white as possible you can check out my article about it here! Use this time to really scrub out the dirt and give your horse a good massage. When they feel good, they act that way as well.

 

 

 

3. Mini Photoshoot!Screenshot 2018-01-07 23.14.04

As I am an obsessed pony mom, I do these a ton. Taking the time to brush your horse and take some photos is always fun. Plus you get those fun snapshots you can annoy, sorry I mean show off to every single person you meet! If you are feeling super into it, you can even book a pro photographer to go and get high-quality photos of you and your fur babies together. If you don’t want to drop a large sum of money on that, enlist a friend with a camera or even just a camera phone to help you out!

 

 4. Cuddle Time!screenshot-2018-01-07-23-14-36.png

I live for cuddle days. Just sitting around and spending time with my babies make my day twenty times better. Liam loves his neck scratched and when we have cuddle days, I grab that curry comb and become his personal itching post. Pearl, on the other hand, loves to just be pet, no matter where. And when your attention wavers from her, even for a moment, she likes to make it known that she is the princess and demands the pets commence with a good hard booty bump.

 

5. Treat Fest!

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All photo credits to Hunt Club & Inside Turn

This option is very popular amongst my food motivated equines. I really love to make homemade treats and then have a treat fest where the ponies get to choose what they want. If you want a good recipe, check out Hunt Club’s pony poptart recipe here. Eventually, they are all cut off and any leftovers go into the barn community treat jar so every horse can enjoy some spoiling.

 

6. An Off Day!Screenshot 2018-01-07 23.16.57

This may seem odd but giving a horse an extra day off, even if it just every now and again, can be really helpful. I know I love when I have a long weekend and can delay going back to school/work so why wouldn’t they?

 

Bonus: Clean Your Tack!

Screenshot 2018-01-07 23.17.28This one is a bit more geared towards the rider but it helps to horse out too. If your saddle is hard and uncomfortable, you don’t ride at your best. When you don’t ride at your best, your horse can’t perform at its best. If you clean your tack often, give yourself a pat on the back and keep doing what you are doin’!

 

I hope y’all enjoyed my top 6 favorite things to keep your horse’s brain happy. If you have any questions feel free to DM on instagram @equestrian.syd !

 

Until next time preps,

Sydney & The Ponies

Riding With Chronic Pain

In November of 2017, I was diagnosed with genu varum or better known as bowleggedness. It means that the bones in my legs are bowed outward rather than straight. On top of this, I have a medial rotation of my kneecaps, aka my knees turn inwards. The combination of these two things makes things like walking and standing for long periods of time very painful. Long story short, regular everyday things are painful for me if it requires me to be on my feet. Sadly, the only way to truly fix either or both of these problems in big surgeries and if I get just one, that doesn’t guarantee that I won’t need the other.

Over the course of the past year, this pain has started to leak into my riding. I couldn’t ride more than 30-45 minutes at a time without considerably long breaks in between. With my wanting to become more competitive, add more horses to my string, and become a better rider, this pain was a big roadblock holding me back. Most of the time, I would try to push through the pain, but at some point, enough becomes enough. Taking time off was not an option for me, so I had to figure out a system to help me be my best and avoid pain.

After much research and discussions with my doctor, we decided to try physical therapy with bracing and a really cool pair of stirrups from MDC Stirrups. The stirrups have a wide tread that allows for more stability as well as a swiveling top that turns to 45º or 90º. By having the top that turns, it helps to reduce the rotation of the knee/ankle needed to keep the foot straight. In my opinion, it is genius.IMG_1579_Facetune_04-01-2018-01-16-52 With my physical therapist, I do exercises tailored to me and my needs that help to build up muscles in my legs. By building the muscles up, it helps to keep everything in place and not hitting any other bones, tendons, ligaments, etc, leading to less pain. When I ride, I also tape my knees with kinesiology tape. The tape, though it seems like it doesn’t do anything, actually helps to connect muscles and give them support. In doing so, it helps the muscles work more efficiently and makes it so they do not fatigue as easily. After working for about 2 months I have seen some improvement and hope to see more in the future as I continue to work towards getting better.

For me, it has been one tough road. Luckily I have a great group of people that support me. Huge thanks goes out to my orthopedist for seeing my dream and helping me to keep going for it without hurting myself, my parents, my best friend Kelsey for sticking with my crazy self, my trainers Valarie and Lauren for being so understanding of when I need breaks during lessons, and for my patient horse Liam for not trying to buck me off… for the most part. Screenshot 2018-01-07 22.07.21I am pretty sure he enjoys those walk breaks just as much as I do. And a big shoutout to all those other kick-butt equestrians that don’t let hiccups in their life keep them from doing what they love, keep being awesome.

If you ever have questions about anything I mentioned in this article or just need someone to talk to about your own hiccups, feel free to DM me @equestrian.syd on instagram!

 

Until next time preps,

Sydney & The Ponies

My Top 5 Best Buys Of The Month!

The holidays bring an influx of new products joining the day to day routine of most equestrians across the world. As the holidays come to a close, I have compiled a list of my top 5 favorite things I got this month!

1. MDC Super Sport Stirrups With Flex Sides

These stirrups were a game changer for me. I have some knee problems and these stirrups eliminated almost all my pain while riding. The flex sides are shock absorbing to help take the shock off your joints. Also, the rotating top helps to keep your feet in the correct position and steady your leg. If you are interested in purchasing a pair of these stirrups you can find them on MDC’s website (here) for $210.

 

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Can you tack goals yourself?!

 

2. Alessandro Albanese Free Button Long Sleeve Shirt

I grabbed this shirt at my favorite consignment store, On Course Consignment in Wellington, for a steal and it is now my new favorite shirt. It has fantastic moisture-wicking fabric so you can stay cool even though it is long sleeved. Also, since the shirt is long sleeve, if you add some layers, it will be a great base layer for riding in colder weather! If you would like to pick up a shirt of your own you can find it on Horseware, Alessandro Albanese’s sister company, site here for $75.

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I paired this top with a pair of simple black breeches and a basic brown belt for a sophisticated, clean look
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Pre-Ride Theraplate Session at IDA Farms in Wellington!

3. Equiline Boston Breeches

I also grabbed these amazing breeches on consignment at On Course for an absolute steal. I swear that these pants are a second skin. They even have pockets, REAL pockets that actually fit stuff in them. Girls know how much this quality means. Plus, who doesn’t want quick access to their phone to take all the photos of your adorable horse am I right? Seriously, if you are in the market to purchase a pair of high-end, long lasting breeches, these are definitely ones to try out. You can purchase them here for $324.

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4. Lululemon Base Runner 1/2 Zip

Indiana’s cold weather can be brutal for riding. I needed something that could keep me warm when tacking up, setting jumps, etc but I at the same time, something that was breathable to keep me from overheating while riding. With the combination of moisture-wicking fabric and mesh venting, it keeps you comfortable while you sweat. It also has multiple pockets for treats, your phone, and whatever other knick-knacks you need. You can find it on Lululemon’s site here for $98.

 

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Swishy Hair & Fuzzy Pony Lovin’

 

5. Dover Saddlery Classic Flash Bridle

I am a sucker for matching tack and I hate when mine doesn’t. So, when I was searching for a brown version of the bridle in Liam’s current one, I stumbled upon one that was basically just the brown version of his current one. With some oiling, it should match my saddle and custom browband very well. It fits Liam super well and has his favorite feature, a monocrown. Also, his nose pad fits well under the noseband so Liam is comfortable at all times. If you would like to purchase you can find it at Dover Saddlery (here) for $179.95.

 

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Such a handsome little man in his new bridle

 

Those are the best buys for me this month! Have anything you want me to try out and feature? Feel free to DM on Instagram @equestrian.syd !

 

Until Next Time Preps,

Sydney & The Ponies