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Experiences Of A First Time Horse Rider

Posted by Laura Avisato, 03 April 2013 · 4,915 views
horse riding, horse care
Experiences Of A First Time Horse Rider Very few experiences in life are as scary yet rewarding as climbing into the saddle for the very first time. I remember feeling so intimidated of the thought of climbing on to such a huge animal; I remember thinking what if he doesn’t want me sitting on him and how will I ever control him if he doesn’t like me? Thankfully I was with two people who were much more experienced riders than me.

The first piece of advice was to keep your cool. How could I keep the horse cool and calm if I couldn't keep my own emotions in check? I had such great teachers though; they reminded me that it is OK to be nervous. Every time I began to get a little anxious, I took a few deep breaths, calmed down and kept going.

The next lesson involved learning what to wear. Always dress for safety. This includes riding boots, comfortable-fitting pants and most importantly, a helmet; helmets save lives so always wear one.  Don’t overlook the importance to riding boots. My riding instructors recommended comfortable, pointed-toe boots which would allow me to easily place my foot into the stirrups.  Now that I’m all dressed to ride, let’s get the horse ready.

Horses are typically equipped with a bridle, a saddle pad, and a saddle. I was shown how to properly place these pieces of tack on the horse so as to not startle the horse. I don’t see how he could be more nervous than me! I held the horse’s head near the nose and bridled the horse. Ok, my confidence grew a little. Next I placed the saddle pad down and then set the saddle on the horse's back. I was worried I wasn’t doing it right and that the saddle would be uncomfortable but my instructors’ reassurances were encouraging.

Finally I learned how to mount and dismount from the saddle without falling on my face. I let the horse know what I was about to do. This may have been the scariest part. It then took all my courage as I grabbed the reins and positioned the stirrups. I remember thinking “Oh my God, I’m really doing!” as I gripped the saddle and swung my leg over the horse’s back. I then slipped my feet into the stirrups and adjusted the track. I then practiced doing everything in reverse so I could dismount correctly.

Now that you and the horse are all prepared, the only thing left to do is climb into the saddle and head out. I hope you are now as comfortable as I am in the saddle to feel confident on your first horse ride.


Wearing The Correct Horse Riding Boots For The Right Reasons

Posted by Laura Avisato, 22 March 2013 · 2,830 views
riding boots cowboy boots
Wearing The Correct Horse Riding Boots For The Right Reasons There are several different kinds of horse riding events or activities. Wearing the correct horse riding boots for a specific reason or style is an essential element of what it means to own and ride horses. Throughout history, most cultures and societies who have used horses eventually came to recognize that special clothing and boots were necessary in order to make the best use of the horse.

There are a large amount of different styles to choose from especially for horse riding boots which are very specific for the activity. You'll quickly discover that different types of riding activities require a particular type of boots. For example, horse jockeys wouldn't wear an ankle-high paddock boot when they are competing in a race. That type of boot wouldn't work for that riding style. A rider in a dressage event rider would use a boot which is slightly different from that of the barrel-racing pony rider. Rodeo competitors typically require boots with a higher than normal heel so they would never wear an equestrian show jumping boot. As you can see choosing the correct boot with the correct fit is quite important.

Much like different events, the diverse conditions of the weather can often time play a significant role in the type of boot as well as the material it will be made from. Boots made specifically for winter riding are somewhat different than riding boots which are intended for summer riding. They also use a different material. You won't require any insulating materials in a summer boot, but you almost certainly will when out winter riding on a trail or up a mountainside.

As you do your research into which style of riding boots would work best for you, you'll notice that many of them have changed over time. Some have kept that classic style and functions over the years while others have slight differences. One example would be the length of the stirrup. If you are show jumping, you'll want a shorter stirrup along with a certain kind style of heeled boot.

As you can see there are many different varieties of boots and styles to match. It is important you consider all these different factors, for example if you are riding during a competitive event or simply for a relaxing ride through the countryside. You'll undoubtedly find the specific boot for whatever your need or desire. It won't be long before you'll be comfortable enough to correctly choose the perfect pair.


My Favorite Pieces Of Essential Riding Apparel

Posted by Laura Avisato, 18 March 2013 · 2,505 views
riding apparel riding clothe
My Favorite Pieces Of Essential Riding Apparel Horseback riding has been a popular sport and a relaxing hobby for centuries; it is both exhilarating and captivating. It is a graceful activity, a pleasurable pastime, and an activity people of all ages and backgrounds can take pleasure. The world of equestrian clothing, however, can be daunting and bewildering as there are so many products out there.

Riding Boots - These are specifically designed for horse riding. There are two different types of riding boots that you can buy and these are either the long boots or the Jodhpur boots. Jodhpur boots are perfect if you wear them with a pair of jodhpurs and chaps or gaiters to prevent your legs from rubbing or pinching. Despite this, long riding boots are specifically designed to be worn with breeches.

Riding Hats - It is imperative that you own a riding hat or helmet if you are thinking of taking up riding as they are essential for safety purposes. In the unfortunate event of a fall the riding hat or helmet will help protect your head from this particular event. Wear these whilst you are around horses in case of an accident on the ground but be sure to wear them when you are in the saddle.

Breeches - These particular trousers are specifically aimed at riding, although they have been seen in recent fashions. Breeches allow full movement whilst you are in the saddle and enhance your performance whilst riding and stop just above the ankle - specifically designed for wearing with long riding boots.

There are two forms of breeches: knee patch breeches and full seat breeches. Knee patch breeches use an area of sturdy material on the inside of the knee that increases the horse riders grip. These breeches are often utilized by show riders, eventers and hunters. There are also full seat breeches that have sturdy material areas on the inner knee, inner thigh and across the seat of the trousers, this gives the horse rider much better grip in the saddle.

Jodhpurs - Jodhpurs are tight trousers for riding, made out of adaptable cloth which allows the rider to move easily and makes it possible for skin to breathe. Jodhpurs are designed to enhance the safety and comfort of the rider. There is often a patch of additional grip cloth about the knee which provides the horse rider increased stableness and a patch of grip material on the seat of the jodhpurs to keep the horse rider on their seat.

Riding Gloves - By wearing riding gloves you can boost your grip when riding your horse to prevent slipping and gives you more control over your horse. These can also be used to keep your hands warm in the colder weathers and foils against potential damage such as blisters and rubs.


Winter Stable Management Tips

Posted by Laura Avisato, 22 January 2013 · 1,095 views
winter, winter stable management and 2 more...
Winter Stable Management Tips As the cold months of winter close around us, we have to making arrangements regarding the health and well-being of our horses. Important aspects of winter horse management include temperature maintenance, nutrition and hoof care. If you haven’t already taken precautions against the harsh winter weather, here are some winterization tips to add to your annual stable routine.

First and foremost, prepare for power outages. Keep a good supply of heating fuel available such as a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove or gas and a generator, in case you lose power for an extended period of time.

Well ahead of winter make some easy improvements to the stable to keep the warm air in and the cold out by:
  • Insulating walls and attics
  • Caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows
  • Installing storm windows or replacing old single-paned windows with newer double-paned models.
Don’t weatherproof the stable too tightly. Horses need as much fresh air as possible.  Horses require adequate ventilation to reduce the chance of respiratory infection.  It’s important to remember that while you may be cold in your barn your horses will be just fine.

Provide more food than usual, an adequate and dependable water source and a windbreak for animals that stay in a field or pasture. Consider keeping smaller animals and pets indoors. More

If you find your water buckets freezing overnight, consider placing the bucket inside an insulated housing. Heating elements that hook over the side of the bucket may be available. Check your local tack shops and feed stores.

Horses actually handle the cold weather than they do in extreme heat.  Keeping them dry and out of the wind is essential.   If you are using a turnout blanket, it has to be waterproof.  A wet blanket is more harm than no blanket at all.  If your horse is in pasture board, he will need a three sided shelter and may need to be brought into a stall on the colder nights.

Winter isn’t all that bad and it does not have to be all work. With a cold weather good management, the winter won’t be too bad, leaving you with plenty of time for bonding with your horses. In a few months’ times, there will be plenty of time to saddle up and have a good ride.


History Of The Jodhpur

Posted by Laura Avisato, 20 November 2012 · 1,294 views
jodhpurs, riding breeches and 1 more...
For those who do not know, jodhpurs are tight fitting pants that horseback riders wear when riding English style. They go from the waist down to the ankle. These pants were not always tight-fitting or the length of each leg. These loose fitting riding pants originated in the city Jodhpur, India around the 1890's.

Brief History
The jodhpur comes from Churidar, an ancient style of Indian trousers, which are tight around the calf and baggy at the hips. The people of Jodhpur, India used the same style and created a pant suitable for riding. These pants are slightly different from the tight hip-hugging riding pant styles that we common today.

Sir Pratap Singh, son of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, India first introduced these riding trousers to England. Singh was an avid polo player and when he visited Queen Victoria in 1897, he brought his entire polo team with him. The jodhpurs that were worn by he and his team caused a sensation among the fashonistas of the United Kingdom. Singh's jodhpur style had a flared thigh and hip and tight at the calf, was quickly taken up by the British polo playing community, who then changed the jodhpur to its existing design much like the English breeches that end at the bottom of the calf and are worn with socks and tall riding boots.

Though the term "jodhpurs" was used for this style of breeches, though these are not true jodhpurs and were more accurately called "flared-hip breeches". The British versions of these riding pants were soon being produced in London. The use of the Indian-style, ankle-length Jodhpurs helped riders save money and not have the need for tall expensive riding boots. The calf of the leg was protected by the newly designed and snug lower fit of the longer pant leg which helped to keep the rider's calf from rubbing against a horse's sides and against the stirrup leathers.

Jodhpurs Today
There have been several changes made to the original jodhpur to help those who wear them; which include a pattern cut with the leg seams on the outside of the leg and a patch on the inside of the knee usually made material such as suede, which helps the rider stick to the saddle. The classic jodhpur colors are beige or white, also come in a variety of other colors.

The word "jodhpurs" is often used interchangeably with riding breeches, though this is technically incorrect, as breeches are similar to jodhpurs, but come down to only about mid-calf, designed to be worn with long socks and tall boots. Jodhpurs are ankle length and worn with short, ankle-high Jodhpur boots, also known as Paddock Boots, sometimes with knee-length half-chaps or leggings.

What's the Difference?
Jodhpurs are full length riding trousers and are meant to be worn with paddock boots. Breeches are similar to today's Capri pants. Breeches are different in that they designed to fit snugly and not rub while riding. Riding breeches are designed to stretch to allow for more freedom of movement. This allows riders to sit and ride more comfortably.


Properly Measuring Your Horse's Hooves

Posted by Laura Avisato, in Hoof Care 27 June 2012 · 539 views

Not all horses need to wear shoes. In fact, some horses experience less hoof-related problems by going barefoot. The only drawback with a barefoot horse is the lack of hoof protection can sometimes lead to injury from hard surfaces, sharp stones, and other hazards. The added support of the boot while out on the trail is why so many horse owners choose to use them.

Choosing a particular style of hoof boot is easy; determining the correct size is another matter. Getting the right measurements are essential to purchasing properly fitting hoof boots. Here is how:

    Try to measure the hooves after a trim for better accuracy.

    Begin by lifting the horse's foot and placing it between your legs. The foot should be positioned so that the bottom of the hoof is facing you. Now that you have easy access to the hoof, clean it out thoroughly with a hoof pick and brush. Caked on dirt can lead to an inaccurate measurement.

    Measure the length of your horse's hoof by placing the tape measure across the middle of the front of the hoof or the toe and stretch it straight back to the middle of the back of the hoof, commonly known as the buttress.

Measuring the length of a hoof

    Determining where the heel buttress line is can be a little tricky for those who have never done it before. The buttress line is the farthest weight bearing point of the heel. Follow the collateral grooves along the sides of the frog which form a V. The hoof wall curves inward towards the bar at this point, which is the heel buttress. Now that you know where the heel buttresses are, imagine a line across the back of the foot and measure from that line to the toe. The heel bulbs are not included in your measurements.

    Find the widest part of the bottom of your horse's hoof and measure at this point.

Measuring the length of a hoof

    Now that you have all your measurements, compare them to our sizing chart. Find the corresponding size in the brand of hoof boot you are interested in.

    It is sometimes recommended that you use a boot one size bigger or you may have difficulty getting the boots on the hoof.

    If you are unsure how to do this yourself, speak with your farrier. He or she will gladly help you measure your horse’s hooves.

There are several different boots and each has its own unique benefits. No matter what boot you choose, measuring the hoof correctly will help allow your horse to comfortably bear its weight and help keep your horse performing its best.

This article was republished with permission from Horse.com.





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