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Horse Trailer Art

Horse Trailering Can be Fun and Easy

Most of us are in it for the horses.  But trucks, tractors and trailers come with the territory.     If you want to go to shows, clinics and trail rides with your horses, learning how to drive a truck and trailer is essential.   

When you get to your destination, you usually have to back in your horse trailer.   Here are a few tips:

  •  If you are really awful at backing and can unload your horses first, that would be a nice thing to do for them.    
  •  Also, if you can practice lots with any empty trailer that is even better. 
  • Have a ground person, if possible, directing you.
  • Tip: Point your truck wheels in the opposite direction you want to go.  For example, if your trailer is too far to the right, turn your truck wheels to the right.

This will get the job done, but if anybody else has more pointers or clever tricks please feel free to leave them!

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The following picture taking tips came from Jennifer Gulati of ASHAM:


Show season is winding down and old man winter is getting ready to visit Michigan soon.  Why not take advantage of the last few nice days of fall to get some great candid shots of you and your favorite friend?  
It seems everyone tends to think about those candid shots in January as the magazine deadline approaches.  Unfortunately, that means we end up taking poor quality indoor pictures of freezing people and fluffy horses.
Here’s a few tips for some great photos.
1) Go outdoors.  Natural light is always the best for pictures. 
2) The golden hour for pictures is the hour around sunset and sunrise.
3) Use your flash on bright sunny days.  You will brighten up dark shadows caused by the harsh differences between the dark and bright areas of the subject.  Flash may be useful on cloudy days as well.
4) Most flash has a range of 6-8 feet.
5) SCUFI, Shoot Close Up For Impact.  Get the subject, not the background.
6) Take care of the background, and the subject will take care of itself.  Telephone wires, cars and manure piles can easily ruin a great shot.
7) Go Vertical.  Humans are vertical, and horses from some angles are vertical.  The magazine is printed vertically.
8) Get help.  Have another person or two get the horses ears up, then the photographer can focus taking the picture.  Baby powder, umbrellas, noise makers, and ect….
9) Move around,  Different angles or heights may produce a fantastic shot.
10) Take lots of photos, You may have a great one hidden in the average.
Follow some of these tips and even point and shoot cameras can produce amazing shots.  There’s only a few good days left this season with beautiful leaf color and green grass.  Take advantage of them.  We hope to see the results of your good work in our annual magazine or on our website.
Good luck and happy shooting

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Here are some of the more fun things I have participated in at boarding farms.   If you have any ideas or thoughts to share, please let me know and I will post them!

  • You have to buy the barn pizza if you fall off your horse.
  • No stirrups month.
  • Have a costume Halloween party — with bobbing for apples for the horses!
  • Go on a group trail ride.
  • Stall decorating contest.
  • Play winter sand volleyball in the indoor arena.
  • Stick horse race.
  • Have a horse show.
  • Secret Santa Horse
  • “How To” Clinics
  • Barn Newsletter
  • Set Up Obstacle Course
  • Have a used tack sale/exchange
  • Decorate barn t-shirts
  • Come up with a name for your barn and barn colors
  • Give riding lessons
  • Party to clean barn and paint jumps

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Farrier Horse Art

Farrier Horse Art

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The horse’s hooves grow continuously and need to be trimmed regularly, about every six weeks.  A person called the farrier comes to the stable to do this job.  Many horses can be left barefoot, but if the horse is shown or worked on hard surfaces, the farrier will put shoes on the front two feet or all four.  

By the way, many barn dogs LOVE to snack on hoof trimmings.  Do you let yours?


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For the most part, my sister and I earned our horses by asking our parents for one ten times a day — for five years.   Now, it certainly helped that both of our parents loved horses and had ridden earlier in their lives and I am not sure that begging is the best route for all children.   Luckily, Katherine Blocksdorf of About Horses has put together a guide to getting your first horse or pony:  http://horses.about.com/od/buyingyourfirsthorse/a/iwantahorse.htm

Since childhood, owning a horse hasn’t always been in my budget.  Expensive things like college and putting a new roof on the house have occassionally gotten in the way.  But I have always been able to keep one foot in the stall door.   You can look into leasing a horse.    Just make sure to sign a contract that spells out each other’s costs and reponsibilities.   Both times I have leased a horse, it was a great experience!   Also, some stables might let you exchange chores for a riding lesson.   I have done this, too!   My cousin, sister and I cleaned a stable and in exchange we got to take turns riding a Clydesdale, Hackney Pony, and Morgan out in the fields.     (The Hackney Pony turned out to be the challenging one to ride!)  So, even if you don’t end up with your very own horse,  you can find a way to have lots of fun at the barn.  Just be creative, be polite and be prepared to work hard, and you will be in the saddle soon!

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Do you know how to score jumping?  If you are a new to the sport, this quick guide will make it easy for you to determine the winner!

Scoring Jumping:

Knocking Down a Fence: 4 faults

Hoof touching water: 4 faults

1st refusal: 4 faults

2nd refusal: Disqualification

Rider falling off: Disqualification

Horse falling: Disqualification

Off course: Disqualification

Riding over time: 1 fault for each second over allowed time.


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What is English riding?  When I first started taking lessons, I found this confusing as saddle seat is English on the Morgan circuit but on the Quarter Horse circuit, hunt seat is English.    If you are new to showing, I hope this little description helps you:English riding includes dressage, cross country, saddle seat, jumping, and hunt seat riding.   At shows for pleasure horses, such as Morgans & Arabians, English riding refers to saddle seat classes; hunter classes are for hunt seat riding.  At shows for stock breeds such as Quarter Horses and Paints, English classes are for hunt seat riders.  Generally, stock horses are not ridden saddle seat.



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