How Pony Club Prepared Me for Quarantine

I’ve been a proud member of the US Pony Club since I was a wee kid riding a naughty pony named Pickles. My devotion to this organization has seen me through my horsemanship journey even to this day—horsemaster members have all of the same access and abilities to Pony Club certifications and trainings as our younger counterparts, which means no one is too old for Pony Club now. Pony Club has taught me how to take excellent care of my own horses and given me riding opportunities I couldn’t have

How to Make a Face Mask for Droplet Protection

The past couple of weeks have been confusing for equestrians as we try to shift our minds from “pre-purchase exam” to “personal protective equipment” every time we see PPE. I confess, it took me longer than it should have to catch on. But now that we’re settled into this new reality in which people are more concerned about buying face masks and gloves than Hanoverians, it’s time to get down to business and figure out how to best keep ourselves healthy. In my last post, I mentioned that making

How to Manage Anxiety as a Horse Owner during COVID-19

Every horse owner I know is experiencing some level of anxiety around how COVID-19 is or might affect them as an equestrian. This is totally normal, and if you’re having feelings of anxiety or panic, know that you’re not alone. This anxiety has many causes, ranging from whether the horse show season is over before it began to when we will get to see our horses again. My friends who board their horses are worried about something happening to their horse while the barn owner has COVID, their hor

Tack Cleaning Tips for When You’ve Really Got to Make it Sparkle | The Plaid Horse Magazine

Maintaining proper daily maintenance for your tack means that when it’s time to really deep clean it, whether for a big horse show or Pony Club turnout inspection, you’re working from a cleaner baseline with healthier leather. When it’s time to go the extra mile, here are some tips for beautiful tack that will pass any inspection and demonstrate professionalism in the show ring. This sounds obvious, but when I look at a saddle I can tell if it’s just been top-level cleaned or if it’s really bee

Effective Cooling Strategies for Summer Riding | The Plaid Horse Magazine

Summer is associated with a lot of extra daylight, beach vacations, and lovely hot weather. We may love it, but it can be really hard on our horses. As Dr. David Ramey says, “Horses aren’t really hot weather creatures.” They definitely tolerate cold better than heat. Their bodies aren’t designed to dissipate heat well, because their surface area is small relative to their size and their only cooling mechanism is sweat. That means it takes a long time to cool their internal organs when they get

Shedding Season Survival: Get Your Horse’s Gleaming Coat Back | The Plaid Horse Magazine

It’s almost spring. Like I promised, winter doesn’t last forever. I can tell that winter really is ending, because all of my fuzzy yaks are just beginning the process of turning back into sleek athletes as they lose their winter coats. This is, honestly, my favorite time of year for grooming. As much as I love putting the final touch on a gleaming, fit horse just before they go into the ring, I find getting all that winter hair out so satisfying. There are a lot of tips and tools out ther

Everyday Tack Maintenance: How to Keep Your Tack in Good Shape | The Plaid Horse Magazine

I like tack cleaning, but don’t always have time to clean my tack to the extent that I’d like. Back when I had an office job I could stop thinking about after I left work, my tack was always show-ring ready, but now I don’t have that kind of time and I bet you don’t either. So here are my top five tips and products for keeping my tack serviceable and tidy between in depth cleanings. I confess that I used to shy away from anything called a “one step” tack cleaning product. I didn’t think they we

How to Get That Shiny Coat for Your Horse | The Plaid Horse Magazine

One of my favorite things about going to horse shows is seeing all the beautiful, well-groomed horses. It takes a lot of work on the day of the show to turn the horses and riders out so well, but one of the key elements of proper turnout is a shiny coat. A proper coat takes a long time to develop, and has different elements (besides endless currying) to get that optimum shine. I hate to start with a bummer, but it’s true that some horses are naturally going to be shinier than others. It’s all

For Successful Equestrian New Year’s Resolutions, Start Now | The Plaid Horse Magazine

While non-riders across America are gearing up to go to the gym every day and eating more salads in the start of 2020, equestrians likely have a different set of resolutions for the new year. Apparently, 80% of people have declared their resolution a failure by the second week of February, but horse people are nothing if not determined. We know that January certainly isn’t the only time of year to set goals, but how can we take advantage of the momentum a new year brings? We need to first consi

10 Equestrian Grants & Scholarships Every Rider Should Know About | The Plaid Horse Magazine

The equestrian community is generous, and many people and organizations are invested in the future of our young riders and up and coming professionals. The next generation is the future of the sport itself. We’ve compiled ten grants and scholarship designed to boost young riders and grant exciting opportunities in the sport. Andrew Ryback Photography and The Plaid Horse Magazine have teamed up to offer a $2500 scholarship to students who will be attending college in the fall, including high sch