Posted in Equestrian Fashion

15 Signs that you are a true equestrian girl

Equestrian girls, we are a unique breed and  pretty easy to spot. 

1. Your social life is restricted to hanging out with friends at shows and clinics and dates with your boyfriend/partner (if they are lucky).

 

2. You have an agreement with your partner that if they are to make a proposal of marriage they will offer you an engagement horse rather than a ring.

3. When most girls were dreaming about their wedding day you were dreaming about your Grand Prix debut.

4. Your dream car is a Dodge Ram 1500.


5. Couture to you means Kask and Asmar Equestrian.

6. High flow diesel is one of your favourite things in life.

7. You know that life would be simpler if breeches were considered ‘professional dress’.

8. You wouldn’t dare deviate from your strict 5week shoeing schedule for your equine partner but your shoes are at least two years old (and maybe they’re even falling apart).

9. Your horse owns your money.

10. You didn’t think twice about paying $800 for your bespoke made to measure Celeris boots (you know they are an investment), but $100 for jeans seems pretty ridiculous.

11. You are seriously considering a petition to your local TV station to have the football coverage replaced with coverage of the Longines World Cup.

12. Your partner knows to add at least two hours on to whatever time you told them you’d be back from the barn.


13. Your significant life events (graduation, birthdays, marriage etc) have to fit in around your competition schedule. Not the other way around.

14. When someone mentions protection your first thought is about bandages, brush boots and shipping boots.

15. The closest your nails get to a mani/pedi is being chopped off nice and short to keep the dirt out from underneath them. Besides long nails are errr impractical…

16. Your wardrobe is 3/4s breeches and shirts from your favourite brand.

Until next time xo AP.

Posted in Dressage, Training

The Soundtrack to Our Rides

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Back when I was a young lass… I’ve always wanted to be able to start a story this way, so a story about what happens when horses and technology collide seemed like a good time to do it. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have grown up riding horses and as a child of the nineties I rode sans iPod. As I finished uni and moved away from home rather than riding with my mum, I often found myself riding alone. I began to listen to music more and more. Over the last few years, I have fluctuated between riding to a soundtrack and riding in the ‘silence’ of nature.

I take great pleasure in the ability of music to influence emotions, whether the song personifies joy or transports you back to a particular chapter of your life and the emotions that were prominent during this time. As a bit of a nerd, I was thrilled to realise that this has previously been described by the likes of Aristotle and this observation is supported by science. These emotions can take hold within our bodies and can influence us physically, so of course if you do choose to ride with music, careful selection is important. Here are a few of the tunes I love:

The question on my mind at present is not whether it is enjoyable to ride with a back drop of music, but rather should it be done at all? Here is my take:

The Benefits:

– Having music playing whilst you ride can be beneficial in increasing the riders relaxation. In the past I have had great difficulty striking the balance between maintaining a strong and effective position and being relaxed. During these times music has helped to achieve this.

– The right song can really help to improve the quality of the paces by acting as a goal post for rhythm

– Breathing! Bailey Notle of @joyful_dressage discusses the importance of breathing and how a good sing along can assist. I know I have certainly been guilty of this when I have the arena to myself

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The Negatives:

– I have noticed recently how distracting riding with music playing can be. When working on new or harder movements where I need to think about the process and the sequence of aids I need to apply, I have needed to pause my music in order to be able to focus.

– I do often wonder if having music on whilst riding is potentially dangerous. However I have come to the decision that so long as you aren’t blasting your ear drums out or riding along the side of the road you should be fairly safe.

– I also find myself questioning how it may impact upon my ability to connect with my horse. If we our connected to the music does this prevent us connecting with our equine partner, or does it in fact serve to enhance this connection? I feel that Nonie and I have an excellent relationship, and I am not convinced that the absence of music with all its benefits would have enhanced this.

So I am sitting on the fence on this matter, I’d love to know what you guys think.

Posted in Dressage, training aid

Equestrian Staples – Whips

Those who know me know that when it comes to my horse no reasonable expense is spared, and really when it comes to your horse pretty much everything is reasonable, right?
One thing I have never been able to bring myself to spend much money on however is the humble dressage whip. After all how much difference can there be between a run of the mill $15 whip and a $100 whip?  Especially when for some unknown reason my whips seem to continually go walk about. This would become expensive very quickly indeed.
fleck whip
Anyway recently my one remaining whip began to unravel, literally, and I decided to bite the bullet purchase a Fleck Whip.  I have previously heard rave reviews about how well balanced the Fleck whips are, but I had always been quietly skeptical.
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My attempt at repairing my whip with electrical tape and bailing twine (aka the most important tools in a equestrian girls tool kit)
After a quick browse online I decided upon the plain black ‘My Whip’ which seemed reasonably priced at just under thirty dollars. At this price I figured I could justify two, that way I could keep one on hand for daily use and another in my car for when I travel.
Other than the great price, there are two things that I really like about this whip. The first is the nice grippy handle, which still manages to be light. The second is the amount of ‘bounce’ in the whip itself. In contrast to the brittle feeling of the cheaper whips I have used in the past the Fleck whip has a much more supple and soft feel. I think this possibly gives Nonie a softer aid, however I’m not so sure she would agree.
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For those of you who just can’t go past a good bit of bling never fear, there are plenty of sparkly options too!
Hopefully my new whips won’t get lost any time soon, but if they do I certainly only replace them with  a Fleck whip.
Unit next time happy riding! xAP
Posted in Entertainment

Great Equestrian Reads

Ok, confession time, I am a total bookworm. Or at least I am now that I have wrestled my way out from under the mountain of text books and journal articles that were common place during the days of my undergraduate degree. Since I was a young child I have relished in the experience of being transported to another world just by simply picking up a book.
Confession number two is probably unsurprising, but I never quite grew out of the ‘pony mad’ stage, so of course I love nothing more than to bury myself in a good equine read. Sadly well written equestrian novels are few and far between, particularly if you have already read your way through the classics by the likes of Pullein-Thompson sisters.
Since I have done the leg work, I thought I would share a few of my favourite reads with you. Where many other equine novels fall short, these novels excel, they place the horses and the riding front and centre of the plots. They are also far from your average, 12 yo child with a big dream, stumbles across an outrageously talented and conveniently cheap horse, who just also happens to be wild and untrainable, for anyone except that 12yo child that is. And best of all these titles are available on Amazone for Kindle, which means no waiting!

1. The Dressage Chronicles by Karen McGoldrick
The Dressage Chronicles accounts the journey of young and optimistic Lizzy who quits a sensible desk job in order to pursue her passion whilst working for her idol Margot Fanning. This series is exceptional in the way that the writer describes the daily struggles of working with horses, the accidents and mistakes and the occasional triumphs.

dressage chron

2. The Eventing Trilogy by Caroline Akrill
In the Eventing Trilogy we meet Elaine, who stumbles into the world of eventing through a combination of luck and hard work. The novels follow her journey from working for the eccentric and broke Fane sisters to training in one of the countries elite eventing programs. Originally written in the early 1980’s, these books allow you to slip in the world of eventing and hunting in England, with just a suspicion of romance.

ticket to ride

3. Ride Every Stride by Amy Maltman
What is perhaps most unexpected about this novel is the way the story begins. Jed is a young man at the lowest point of his life when he secures a job as a groom at an elite barn in Canada. While his hard dedication and determination ultimately see him become head trainer, don’t be mistaken, this is no Cinderella story.

ride every stride

4. The Eventing Series by Natalie Keller Reinert
Jules Thornton loves her horses and the sport of eventing and has raw unharnessed talent, but her bad luck and financial woes might just be her undoing. She is a character who can’t help but get in her own way and you’ll be rooting for her to succeed every step of the way.

eventing series

Happy Reading!