Professional Photoshoots: How To Prepare

I adore having photos of my girl. While the photos I take on my phone, but they are never the best quality and normally don’t have both me and her in them. So, getting professional photos done is the perfect way to get those high quality, cute pair photos you’ll treasure forever. But, getting ready for these photoshoots can be nerve-wracking. Accident prone ponies and weather are just a few examples. As someone who has done a lot of these types of shoots, I have compiled a list of my favorite things to do when I prep for a professional photoshoot.

 

Bath Time!

Making sure your pony is squeaky clean and shiny is super important. These are photos that you are getting to show off you and your perfect best friend; no dusty and dirty ponies allowed! If it’s possible and works with your area’s weather, clipping is a great thing to do also. When Carina and I did our photoshoot in Wellington with Lorien Huddleston of Lorien Huddleston Photography, we had a horse show the next day so she was bathed and ready to go. To battle to Florida heat, she was also body clipped.

SydneyandKarinaWM#8.JPG

To Braid or Not To Braid

I personally love the look of when a horse is braided for a photoshoot but sometimes it jut isn’t feasible. While braiding provides a really clean look, it takes up a lot of time and some horses won’t even stand still for it. The best time to braid is when you do a black background or solo, artistic photos of your horse. Other times, it shouldn’t be a concern. Since Carina had a rated show the next day that she was going to be braided for so I kept away so I didn’t tear up her mane too much.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Wear Neutral Colors That Won’t Blend Into Your Background

Don’t wear anything flashy or super intricate patterned. They just don’t translate well to the camera and can do more harm than good. I opted for a simple patterned, navy and white button-down with some plain white jeans and navy Sperrys.

SydneyAndKarinaWM#22

Clean Your Tack

Whether you are using a bridle or halter or even full tack, making sure it’s clean is vital. You want to look the best you can and dirty tack is not the way to do it. Even if it’s just running a damp cloth over the tack, makes all the difference.

Dress Up

You want to look perfect for these photos, so don’t be afraid to dress up. Also be aware that you were more than likely will get horse spit on it so make sure that it isn’t near impossible to wash! White is also a color to steer clear of but I was willing to take the risk 😉

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I will forever cherish these sweet photos of my girl and I. Lorien did a phenomenal job and I have more shoots lined up with her when I go down to Wellington again this season. If you are interested in getting a shoot with her, she is frequently traveling so DM her on her instagram @loriens.photography to get in touch!

 

I hope y’all enjoyed this article about prepping for a professional photoshoot! If you ever have any questions feel free to DM on Instagram @equestrian.syd!

Until Next Time Preps,

Sydney & The Ponies

 

Buying On A Budget: Why Second-Hand Horse Items Are Best

Horse stuff is expensive. Plain and simple. But, it doesn’t have to be. Why by new stuff when you can buy something gently used for much less and still get an amazing product?

Buying things second-hand is one of the most underrated things in the horse industry. Of course, there are some things that you shouldn’t buy second-hand like helmets if they’ve been used, medications, etc. But you can find some amazing deals on stuff that you may not normally be able to afford for your horse. Blankets are a perfect example for this. If you have a blanket destroyer or live in a place with bipolar weather and you need to buy lots of blankets, buy second hand! Most are kept in great condition and are sold for a fraction of the price a brand new one would run you.

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 2.52.16 PM
All of Carina’s bridle was bought second-hand! Even though it is a monocrown and has an extra strap we don’t need with this bit, it works greatly as our trail bridle!

Many people are wary of buying second hand, especially online, in fear of getting scammed. Luckily, I’ve compiled a little list with my tips to make sure that you don’t end up in that situation.


  • Always Use PayPal Goods & Service

PayPal has anti-scammer policies that helps to protect your money in any good/service transaction. While they do have a small fee, it’s a small price to pay for insurance that you’ll get your money back if it turns out that it is a scam.

  • Ask For A Specific Photos

By asking for a photo that is of a specific thing on or with the product, you are making sure that the seller really does have to product in their possession. If they are unable to provide it at all (people have jobs and may need a day or two to get and send the photo so please be patient), I would say to walk away.

  • Never Accept Screenshot Photos

The photos need to be taken on whatever device the seller is talking to you on. If the photos are screenshots from a text, email, websites or just at all, walk away. This is the tell tale sign of a scam. Bogus sellers will get lots of photos off of other Facebooks posts or websites and pass it off as their own.


 

Personally, I am apart of a lot of Facebook groups and I constantly visit consignment shops on the hunt. Joining a lot at first is a great plan. As you scope out posts, you can remove yourself from groups you don’t like. My favorite three are English Tack Trader (USA), High End English Tack Trader, and English Tack Exchange. I’ve had great luck with there groups and see really awesome stuff on there constantly. Also, there are groups specific to calling out bad sellers. Joining one of there helps you keep up to date with scams going around. The one I am apart of is Bad Tack Sellers/Traders. Surely, there are loads if other groups but I’ve found these to be my favorite. All of them are ‘request to join’ so there is potential to not be able to be apart of certain groups but almost always, the admin will let you in.

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 12.35.14 PM
Both my saddle and my breeches were bought second-hand!

My favorite things to pick up used are apparel items like shirts and breeches, saddle pads, and accessories for my horse like boots, bonnets, half pads, etc. Carina has a collection of so many extra things I wouldn’t normally be able to get for her or even myself, because I buy them second hand. Heck, I even got my saddle off of a facebook!

 

I hope y’all enjoyed this article about buying horse item second-hand! If you ever have any questions feel free to DM on Instagram @equestrian.syd!

Until Next Time Preps,

Sydney & The Ponies

Growing From Experiences

This past June, I took my mare to our first show since she came to Indiana. It was an eventing combined test at a local farm. For those who aren’t familiar, a combined test is only the dressage and show jumping phase of a 3-day event aka no cross country. I came into the class fairly confident that we would be perfectly fine. Boy oh boy was I wrong.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I knew that we would be having a somewhat rough dressage test. Carina is not a dressage horse but has solid flatwork. She was great in warm-up but as soon as we walked into the area, it all fell apart. My nerves translated to tension from Carina and silly mistakes we should not have made happened. Walking out of the area, I knew that our score would reflect those mistakes. I got the worst dressage score I had ever received that day. Reading the judge’s notes really helped to show me what we needed to work on in our flatwork at home and in the comment section she wrote “Wonderful pair! Just seems to be nervous today, keep working hard.” This really helped to show me that the score doesn’t reflect Carina and I as a pair, it shows us what we need to work on to get better.

Going into the show jump warm-up I was much more confident that my horse knew her job and we would be able to clean up what we lost in dressage. Again, I was wrong. She was great in warm-up but I failed her as a rider in the arena. We had a refusal at jump 3 and again at jump 5. We were eliminated and walked back to the barn. I cared for my horse, gave her some of her favorite treats, and patted her because she tried her hardest for me, even if everything didn’t go our way.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

At first, I was mad at Carina for not performing as I knew she could. But really, I was angry at myself for not being the right ride for her that day. Horses are only as confident as their rider is. They are our partners and just like us, they can have bad days too. We had a bad day and when we went home, our training plan changed to reflect what we needed to work on.

Horses keep us so humble. They teach us lessons about everything under the sun and while it might be tough to deal with in the moment, it gets better. Looking back on that day, I see my actions, where I went wrong, and know that I have bettered myself from my experience. Carina and I went on to another show in our area 2 months later and placed 4th in our 3′ round out of 19 and 5th out of 21 in our 3’3″ class. I am proud of what we have accomplished and I am incredible blessed to have Carina in my life. Never again will I take for granted her talent and work ethic. I can’t wait to have more experiences with her and learn all the lessons that she has to teach me.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
I didn’t realize until now that we are wearing the exact same show set-up!

I hope y’all enjoyed this article about growing from experiences! If you ever have any questions feel free to DM on Instagram @equestrian.syd!

Until Next Time Preps,

Sydney & The Ponies

 

The Preppy Equestrian Holiday Gift Guide 2018

I have been told many times this year that equestrians are hard to shop for. There is just too much to choose from! I have compiled The Preppy Equestrian’s 2018 Holiday Gift guide with 8 awesome, “jump for joy” present ideas.

 

Horse Guard Flaxen Flix Treats

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 11.39.28 AM

Hore Guard is the most trendy supplement company on the market. They mostly gained popularity around their flax based treat Flix. Even the pickiest of eaters love these treats! You can find a 9lb bag here for $23.99.

 

Saratoga Horseworks Bandage Set

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 12.07.52 PM

These bandages have been taking social media by storm  Their versatility, simple care instructions, and virility have made them a favorite for so many people. They are offered in 3 different lengths, 2 different colors, and in 4 or 2 packs. You can find them here starting at $84.99 for a 4 pack.

 

Park North Designs Nail Necklace

Equestrian themed jewelry that isn’t tacky can be hard to come by. This necklace is a fun twist on an equestrian item that normally gets overlooked, a farrier’s nail. With a sleek, sophisticated design, you are sure to get compliments. You can find it in sterling silver here for $116.00 or in rose gold here for $121.00.

WOW Pampa Yellow Belt

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 11.55.57 AM

Belts are always a great way to accessorize an otherwise plain outfit. The WOW Pampa Yellow Belt is a great addition to practically any outfit with it’s 2 base colors being a neutral navy and cream but still having a little pop of red. You can find it here for $47.99 and it is also offered another in a multi-color pattern here.

Kate At The In Gate Custom Pony Portrait Embroidered Hoop

DSC_8160

Can you say cute?! These awesome little embroidery hoops are a perfect way to showcase your ponies adorable face. All of them totally customizable and are handmade by Kate. They are available is 2 different size hoops and 3 different background fabric colors. You can find them here for $45.00 and you can browse Kate’s other embroidery options here.

 

I Love You More Than Horses Art Print

i_love_you_more_than_horses_art_print__86623.1483555264

I have a weak spot for pretty, horse related art pieces and this one is no exception. This fun print would be an awesome edition to any room on the wall or on a table. Its quirky little saying and fun colors add a great vibe to anywhere you put it. The art is offered in 4 different sizes. You can find it here starting at $18.95.

 

Noel Asmar Equestrian Calais Wool Cape

Screen Shot 2018-12-21 at 12.13.24 PM.png

Noel Asmar is a superpower for equestrian fashion; this cape is no exception. Its chic design is perfect for street to stable. It can perfectly pair with most high-necked shirts and long sleeves for a comfortable and stylish look. You can find it here in 2 colors starting at $214.40 on sale.

Dalia Lehmann Equestrian Alexy Light Pink Shirt

Sporty, fashionable, and out-of-the-box has become incredibly popular this season. New colors with stylish designs on some of the biggest riders in show jumping. This shirt has the flare to stand out while still being feminine and chic. You can find it here in 5 sizes for $116.19 and others like it here.

 

I hope y’all enjoyed this year’s holiday gift guide! If you ever have any questions feel free to DM me on instagram @equestrian.syd!

Until Next Time Preps,

Sydney & the Ponies

 

What Goes On Behind The Curtain

As a young equestrian in an ever-evolving age of knowledge, I work with multiple trainers at all different levels to grow my own personal knowledge in the industry. I have learned from some of the best in the business and also some small town homegrowns. They all have something new to offer. But, when you are taught something by anyone, there is always room for something to go wrong.

You see nowadays, with the assistance of social media’s watchful eye, people bounce from one barn or trainer to another all the time. It has happened since the very beginning and will probably continue for more time to come. People have many reasons for moving barns or trainers; the facilities may be too far for a regular commute, the board may become too expensive, etc. But, there are also more reasons that aren’t talked about.

Drama amongst barn members is big, along with arguments with trainers over many numbers of things. The barn “family” as it is called is a rider’s support system. And when drama starts among members… all hell can break loose. Without a solid support system, riders lose touch with the fun that riding horses brings, making it no longer an activity that they want to partake in. Trainers are a large part of the support system and could easily be considered the core. They are the make-or-break of a rider’s confidence. It’s one thing to be verbal with harsh criticisms, but sometimes it is what trainers don’t say that hurts the worst. Personally, I’ve gotten to be on the receiving end of both and it isn’t pretty. I was very close to taking a ‘leave of absence’ from riding because I was so unhappy. But that wasn’t the end and normally it isn’t.

Our industry is flooded with the money seekers, the ones that are just in it to make a buck off of whoever they can. Crazy charges for simple tasks or holding back riders until they buy a big, fancy horse, the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong, professionals charge what they feel their time & knowledge is worth and that is entirely up to them. But, taking advantage of people is not okay. All too often, you see families leave barns or stop involvement in horses altogether because it grows to be too expensive.

Sometimes, even if riders love the barn, people, and horses, it just isn’t feasible to continue training under certain people. The equestrian industry is based on a platform of judgement, and that judgement has ruined riding for so many people. But, riders doing what is right for themselves isn’t wrong.  Knowing when it all becomes too much is important. I hope by talking about this and bringing the not-so-fun subject to light, the judgment that surrounds moving barns or trainers, etc becomes less of a taboo affair.

I hope y’all enjoyed this article! I know it was kind of a downer but I promise there are lots more fun and exciting articles coming your way 😉

Until Next Time Preps,

Sydney & the Ponies

Ringside Fashion

Watching shows from ringside is one of my favorite things to do. But, not everyone enjoys showing their horse(s). With nerves, the pressure to do well, etc etc, the fun gets sucked out of it. Just because you aren’t riding doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun and look good while doing it. I’ve curated a collection of some of my favorite outfits to sport while watching ringside with an emphasis on stable to street.

Kastel With Black Lululemon Leggings-

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Athleisure is one of the best things to ever be invented in my opinion. It gives me an excuse to wear comfy leggings and have nobody judge me. For this outfit, I decided to pair one of the new Kastel Denmark fall collection sun shirts with my favorite Lululemon Leggings. For shoes, I added my all black Nike Revivals.

Basic black is pretty plain but by adding a fun color up-top with the turquoise, it brightens the look right up. Technically this is athleisure, but it still works really well for working out or even riding! Kastel’s breathable material makes sure that you don’t overheat while also keeping you looking fashionable. Looking for an equestrian specific workout plan? Check out The Fit Equestrian for some great programs as well as tips and tricks.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Off The Shoulder Top & Breeches

SONY DSC Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Pairing these two things may seem pretty out of the box. Typically, when wearing riding attire, you want to look professional. The off-the-shoulder top adds a more fashion forward look to a plain pair of breeches that seems to be a trend on the rise in the competition ring.

As a little bit of flare, I added Salvatore Ferragamo Gancini belt. This is totally optional and the outfit can look good with or without a belt. For shoes, I chose to wear my dark leather and tan Sperry Top Siders. The neutral tones of the shoes pair so well with the grey & navy to complete the earthy tones. If you want to add a fun twist, wear a pair of fun tall boots! Browns would pair best but if you have a fun pair of boots like grey, those would look great too!

You may also be able to spot the CEECOACH headset that we use during lessons as well as the stunning Custom Saddlery Saddle we got to model with! De Greggory was our equine model for the shoot and is modeling his own awesome outfit; A 20×60 Premia Double Bridle in black & white and Dressage Sport Boots in brown. Big thanks to Lauren Knopp for helping out and allowing me to use Greggy and her little dog Kaia.

 

 

I hope y’all enjoyed this article about ringside fashion! If you ever have any questions feel free to DM on Instagram @equestrian.syd!

Until Next Time Preps,

Sydney & The Ponies

The High-Performance​ Stirrup: MDC Super Sport

As a rider that suffers from chronic pain, being comfortable during my ride is important. I tried all sorts of solutions but continued to look over a small but vital piece of equipment that changed everything for me, my stirrups. For years, I had ridden is the most basic stainless steel stirrups and pads that you could find. They offered no shock absorption, support, or stability in any way, and honestly did more harm than good to my joints.

49C45BAC-C745-4A92-B76D-56DFAF4D136D copy.jpg

 

 

In the summer of 2017 my trainer and good friend, Lauren Knopp, turned me onto a stirrup company called MDC Stirrups. She had had back, ankle, and knee pain while riding previously but after using their stirrups had no pain. At the time, I was undiagnosed and didn’t have as high a pain level so I put the information in the back of my mind. When I did get my diagnosis I looked for solutions. Braces, compression sleeves, stretches, exercises, you name it, I probably tried it. Until Lauren brought up her stirrups again. Intrigued, I did more research and asked my orthopedic surgeon, who gave me the go ahead.

7724C2BD-02C5-4C89-91CB-8973FF866DAF 3

Upon looking into all the different models, I decided the Super Sports were the best option. The rotating top offered relief in what I call ‘airplane feet’, the rotation that your leg does to compensate for putting your foot out to set in the stirrup. Flexible sides helped to absorb the impact from jumping, posting, and pushing your heels down. Along with all the other awesome features, I opted for the wider, grippy metal tread pad. This type of tread gives a more stable and supportive base to the rider.

 

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Post Ride, Sweaty Photoshoots 😉

 

After my first ride in them, I knew I’d made the right choice. There was basically no pain during my ride and I was considerably less sore afterward as well. I personally set my rotational top to be at 90º. By having it at that angle, it makes ‘airplane feet’ a thing of the past and also has an added benefit of having it be easy to pick right back up if I lose it. The weight is also a very nice happy-medium of not heavy but still weighed down enough that they don’t bounce all over the place. If you are interested in looking into my choice of stirrups, you can find them here.

MDC offers a really wide range of models and styles in their product line. With a money back guarantee if you don’t love them, you can trust the product that you are buying. They even offer a stirrup consultation program to make sure you are getting the perfect stirrup for you. You can email or call them using the email on their about us page.

 

I hope y’all enjoyed this article about my favorite stirrups, MDC Super Sports! If you ever have any questions feel free to DM on Instagram @equestrian.syd!

Until Next Time Preps,

Sydney & The Ponies

An Athlete Inside & Out: Nutrition For​​ Equine Athletes

Have you ever stopped to think about what you are feeding your horse? With so many different choices of feed, supplements, and forage on the market it can be hard to really understand the complexity of what your horse gets nutrition wise. Horses are just as much an athlete as their riders, and with unbalanced feed programs, they cannot perform at their best.

The horse’s diet should be developed around six basic nutrient categories: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Factors such as body mass, age, workload, and metabolic efficiency influence the importance of each of these categories as well. When creating a feed program for a new horse or looking more into an existing feed program, it is essential to recognize the six basic nutrient categories that need to be satisfied.

Carbohydrates come in two forms, structural and non-structural. Structural carbohydrates come from roughage like hay and grass. The way that the horse’s digestive tract is designed makes it easy for them to digest the roughage to use it as their main energy source. Because of this, it’s vital to feed good quality hay. Making sure that the hay is free of mold and dust as well as properly matured are all factors in proper hay selection. Non-structural carbs are easily digestible sugars and starches found in grains. They provide a more concentrated form of energy then structural carbs. Grains should be used to supplement a good forage program. To evaluate your horse’s feed makeup, try checking out the feed tag of the grain bag. If you don’t handle the feed, most grain companies have the information on their websites!

Proteins are a nutrient that is often misunderstood by most people. They are broken down in the small intestines and then restructured to make-up muscle, hoof, and hair. Higher amounts of protein don’t lead to higher energy levels as many people think. Proteins are responsible for growth and maintenance. Growing horses typically need between 12 and 18 percent crude protein in their diet and matured horses get a lower percentage, about 8 to 12 percent, depending on workload. Horses with intense workloads need a higher protein level to assist in muscular regeneration. Forage is also another source of protein. Good quality legume hay can contain 18 to 22 percent crude protein and quality grass hays can have 10 to 16 percent crude protein. You can find the crude protein levels on the feed tag or the website of your grain as well.

Fats are a great source of easily digestible energy. Many feeds are now supplemented with a fat, typically a sort of stabilized oil. Feeds of that nature have anywhere between a 6 to 12 percent fat level. Some brands do not add fats to their feed and those contain 2 to 4 percent fat. If a higher fat level is desired, add a type of oil like corn or a specific fat supplement. But, it is important to be sure that all other nutrient needs are being met.

Vitamins are crazy important to allow your horse’s systems to work to the best of their ability. There are two different types of vitamins: the water-soluble group, B-complex vitamins, and the fat-soluble group, vitamins A, E, D, and K. It is important to know that the horse’s body synthesizes many of its necessary vitamins and don’t always need supplementation. Deficiencies or excess amounts can lead to health problems so making sure what amounts are in your feed are crucial when making a nutrition program. Minerals are also just as important as vitamins. Commercial grains are fortified with most essential minerals but it is still important to check what the levels are in your feed.

Of course, water is just as essential as food. Making sure your horse has an adequate amount of fresh, clean water is vital. Dumping buckets and cleaning them out with a specific bucket cleaner or even just a scrubby brush are great ways to keep algae and gross stuff out of your horse’s water. If it’s hot outside but your horse isn’t a fan of drinking water, give them some electrolytes or loose salt encourage drinking.

 

I am an advocate for proper equine nutrition. There are so, so many benefits to making sure that your horse is getting the most out of their food. When I look at a nutrition plan for any horse I follow 3 simple rules:

  1. Quality Over Quantity- Just throwing large amounts of grain at a horse isn’t the correct way to ‘fatten a horse up’. Adding more of certain nutrients is the key. It is just as harmful to feed too much grain as it is to feed too little
  2. Every Horse Is Different- Every single horse has different needs. A plan that works for one, isn’t guaranteed to work for every single other horse you put on it.
  3. Not All Grains Are Created Equal- Every grain has a different make-up of nutrients. Making sure a wide variety of grains that serve different purposes in the feed room is a great idea
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
make them shine from the inside out! a strong, shiny coat doesn’t come with only grooming and products, proper nutrition is key!

Every month, I slave over Carina’s nutrition plan to make sure that her diet is always perfect. My tried and true brands, that have never let me down are Tribute Equine Nutrition & Buckeye Nutrition. Both brands own all of their production plants so there is very little chance of contaminants being found in the feed. This also means that you know where they come from. Carina gets Tribute Kalm n’ EZ Pelleted as her main source of nutrients. As a performance horse, she needs a high concentration of fiber at 20% and starches at 13.5%. The fiber helps to keep her digestive tract in good condition while also providing a slow burning energy source. Starches come in for a concentrated energy source.

SONY DSC
SONY DSC

With the amount of work she was in, I found that she was having some muscle soreness after every ride, even with cold & massage therapy and supplements for recovery. Even though her grain had a good percentage of protein, I felt it was time to add a protein supplement. Buckeye Nutrition produces a wonderful ration balancer & protein supplement, Gro N’ Win. With a protein level of 32 percent, I saw a noticeable difference very quickly. She wasn’t nearly as sore as before and she started to mold muscle into her topline and become the princess beefcake that she is today.

SONY DSC
SONY DSC

As an older horse (13 means she is a teenager now, lord help me) means that has had a lot of miles in the upper-level jumper classes, it was very important that I have a joint supplement into Carina’s diet. Not just as a preventative measure, but also to keep her as comfortable as possible. I personally have found that Finish Line Horse ProductsFluid Action HA Liquid works the best for Carina. Though she loves food, powdered supplements are not her forte. Going with a liquid option was best for her and adding a pump to the bottle makes it easy to feed too! The supplement contains Hyaluronic Acid (HA) to support healthy joint function by lubricating joints and helping to maintain structural integrity. Happy pony = happy life!

SONY DSC

 

I encourage every owner, rider, hobbyist, whoever, to take the time to look into equine nutrition. I never knew the impact it made until I was fully immersed in the top level of performance horse nutrition by my trainer, Lauren Knopp. By changing my perspective, it opened up a Pandora’s Box of possibilities. There is no need to go and take classes to be an equine nutritionist, but basic knowledge and make a world a difference.

I hope y’all enjoyed this article about equine nutrition! If you ever have any questions feel free to DM on instagram @equestrian.syd!

Until Next Time Preps,

Sydney & The Ponies

Barn Boyfriends

Balancing relationships and horses is not an easy task for anyone. Not everyone is okay with being ditched for a 1,200lb animal that is scared of plastic bags. I have been lucky enough to have found a boyfriend that is incredibly supportive of me and my riding, but I know others haven’t been so lucky.

For some, their significant other (SO) is the hobbiest-horse-liker. This type of SO will come out to the barn with you, on their terms. A little too cold, a little too hot, too many flies, the list of excuses grows longer and longer over time. Do not get me wrong, they still will come out to hang out with you or do some simple tasks. SONY DSCWhile this seems okay to some, I challange you to put this type of SO to the ultimate test… a horse show. If you do try this, let me know how it goes by DMing me on my instagram @equestrian.syd!

Another type is the good sport type. This type of SO will do what they are asked or come to the barn if you want them to. Typically their tasks include taking videos or setting back up a fallen jump rail. Basic things like holding a horse, if they feel comfortable, is also in their job description. They earn the title of good sport because they do the tasks but don’t really have any interest in learning more. But don’t fret, significant others of this type have tons of potential to be really awesome barn boyfriends! Fun fact: my boyfriend started as a good sport type too.

Last but certainly not least, there is the all-in type. The person who gets up at an ungodly hour with you to go to the horse show. The person who supports your passion full heartedly because it is what makes you happy. If you stumble upon this type, keep them around, they are special! 49577874-F6BF-4CE6-8AB4-20CB751E4083.JPGEven though they may not be able to make it everytime (remember, they have lives too) they support you no matter what. Whether it is shining your boots, walking courses with you, or giving some cookies to your pony while you are away.

 

SONY DSCI have been blessed with a pretty darn good barn boyfriend. He never misses an oppurtunity to grow his knowlage about horses or the sport by asking questions. My horse is also Drew’s #2 fan (behind me of course). Maybe it’s because he is known as “Drew The Treat Man” but it’s also because he takes time out of his day to spend time with me and her.  His support of my riding makes me even more grateful for the oppurtunities that I get to spend time with them together. Drew is a competitive lacrosse player as well has having other hobbies like mountain biking and running. While I can’t really run and would probably hit a tree if I tried to mountain bike, I still make sure he is safe and always having fun. Because he supports me and my passion, I support him in his. This basic principle helps making the balance of sport & relationship much smoother and happier.

Although it may seem as though I wrote this article just to brag, that is not my intention. My intention is to show that having a relationship and being passionate about horses is not impossible. Our 1200lb, money-eaters should not drive people away, if they are scared to love a person that is strong and passionate about something, keep on searching. It took me a couple tries too 😉

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

I hope y’all enjoyed this post over barn boyfriends! I hope y’all enjoyed and if you have any questions feel free to DM me on instagram @equestrian.syd!

Until Next Time Preps,

Sydney & The Ponies

 

p.s. HUGE shout out to Drew for being such a team player and posing for these photos without a single complaint. I know I can be a little bit bossy to get the shot I have in my mind so putting up with me can be hard. Much love xoxo

How I Travel For Riding

If you know me or follow me on social media, you know that I travel quite a bit to ride. Wellington is my most frequent destination but I also travel around my region to show. From over-packing to underpacking to buying too much stuff that it barely fits in my bag to go home. I have compiled a highlight reel of my how-tos on traveling for riding.

IMG_3776

The number one thing is the size of your bag.  If you don’t pick the right size bag, you could be in for a world of hurt. I tend to go a bit bigger, especially when I am flying. It allows room for extra stuff if/when I buy stuff to spoil my pony. When you are driving to your destination, there is more leniency on space. My bag of choice for flying is the North Face Longhaul 26″ Rolling Duffle. It is only offered in black now but I have one that is a couple of years old and bright orange. With a price tag of $239, you may think it isn’t worth it but trust me, that thing can last an apocalypse. You can find it here. For shorter or driving trips, I choose my Samsonite Leverage LTE 20″ Spinner in purple. You can find it here for $169.99. It’s light, flexible, and easy to maneuver. The size is just right for everything I would need on a daily basis. When driving, I don’t worry about extra space in my suitcase for any goodies I would pick up for my pony since those can just stay in their bag/box and sit in the trunk.

When I travel for riding, I also find that it is best to make a list of exactly what I want to pack. By writing everything out, it allows me to make sure I get all the outfits I want and also not forget important things. Planning outfits are one of my favorite things leading up to any of my trips. Start with the essentials and then add extras such as jewelry, hats, etc. If you are constrained by space in your bag, try delegating a certain amount of space to certain things. The best way I’ve found is by using packing cubes! I use Amazon brand that you can here, but anything of the sort should do. By only giving yourself a particular amount of room, it keeps you from overpacking and not having enough space for other things that you need.

Being at the busy airport and juggling everything, stuff tends to get dropped or lost. Having a small wristlet or wallet is super beneficial. My favorite is the Tucker Tweed Equestrian Wallet in dark chocolate! It’s compact but still has the perfect amount of room some money, cash or cards, a boarding pass, and your passport. By putting all of those things in one place, losing any or all of them is much harder. Tucker Tweed offers this wallet in 7 different colors for $110 on their website here.

 

I hope y’all enjoyed this post over how I travel for riding! If you have any tips that I didn’t mention or want me to explore, feel free to DM me on Instagram @equestrian.syd !

Until Next Time Preps,

Sydney & The Ponies