The Student Becomes the Master

Written (and shown) by: Emma Knight

Saturday, June 17th, we took Beau to his second off-property schooling show. I’m not sure what his previous owners did with him, but it certainly feels as if it was his second ever, not just with us.


Snapshot 2 (6-14-2017 11-56 PM)
Practice the week before. Just a little forward, there. *facepalm*


Here’s how the day went:

(Note: Times are estimated, show times get blurry. In addition, we found out that our bit was controversial the night before, so we showed him in a D-ring single joint snaffle, which I’d ridden him in for a ride or two a year ago, which did not end well. He loved it at the show, though, and I haven’t switched it back since!)

6:30AM: Leave home barn

7:30AM: Arrive at show property

8AM: I school Beau. This consisted of some hasty lunging in the show arena before being nicely kicked out so that riders could school under saddle. Beau definitely had plenty of energy and excitement, hopping around and half rearing and running and more.


OoOoOo, baby, I love how we look in this shot.


8:30AM: I school Beau under saddle. He surprised me with his attention. We only had one small buck, and he went straight back to work. My trainer helped us by having us rate our gaits, which means using my post to go from a small, short trot to a long, strong trot. It seems to calm us and get our heads in the game. We also popped over a few verticals at 2′. We had one refusal, because I’m lame and didn’t commit, but I made sure that didn’t happen again.

9AM: I get off, Beau gets hay and water. I leave his saddle on to keep him in the “riding mindset” (which I’d end up half regretting later but hunter shows are all “hurry up and wait”).

9:30AM: My leaser arrives. Her first hunter show (above x-rails)!

11 to 12PM: I get on again. We school about a half hour before my classes. He is fantastic, soft and adjustable. I’m loving it!

1PM: My rounds! I do three 2′ hunter rounds, which are the best jumping rounds I’ve had on him ever. I don’t know what got to us, but we were on. We placed 1st in schooling, 2nd in the 2nd round, and 2nd in the third round. Our flat classes were okay, not bad but not fantastic either. It was super windy and hard to hear the announcer, plus there was a flapping tent that Beau wasn’t too happy about either. We placed 6th in under saddle (aka I have a giraffe for a horse) and 4th in equitation because I cannot freaking get my diagonals.


Those knees, though! Yes!


2PM: My leaser rides in the 2’3″ class. Beau is, again, perfectly amazing. I am now completely befuddled as to who this quiet, well-behaved horse is. She places well in all 5 of her classes, and is ecstatic to have shown so well in her first big class (her words, but I love it!). Beau is now super sweaty and tired.

3PM: My dad rides in the 2’6″ class. My concern is much higher for Beau than for my dad, as he is super tired and sweaty at this point. He still has plenty of energy though, and it doesn’t take much to get him to go. My dad has nearly flawless rounds, except leaving out some of the strides. He places in 4 of his 5 classes, and 2’6″ is definitely the most competitive division.

Enjoy my commentary, by the way!

4PM: Beau is super sweaty, huffing and puffing. Later, we realized that this is probably at least partially due to his medical condition. He has a normal secondary AV block in his heart. What this means is that when he’s not in hard work, part of his heart shuts off. It’s somewhat common in racehorses. I’d assume it’s even more common because he is a descendant of Secretariat, who is known for his huge heart. So, it’s logical that when his heart turns on, his breathing would increase.

As soon as my dad is off, his saddle is pulled off and I sponge him down with as much water as possible, sweat scraping as I go. I then squeeze plenty of liniment on his lower leg tendons. By the time his cooled off and eaten some grass, it’s time to go home.

We load up, and head out. I feed him and give him a dose of bute for good measure. He had a long, hard day. He gets the next day off and the day after is a quick, chill hack. My barn friend/caretaker informs me he’s slept most of the day inside (he goes out at night to avoid the heat).


Ignoring my helmet hair (#mindyourmelon), I was so, so happy.


Last notes: Two years ago, Beau was an underweight, undermuscled, super green horse who liked to go up and down more than forward (well, unless it was running forward). One year ago, at his first off-property, he spooked and ran and had all the wiggles. Two years ago, I never could have kept up with him. One year ago, I was nervous. This show, I was the most calm I’ve ever been. It wasn’t just that I was a better rider, it was that I knew we could do. I knew that we had become a team, a partnership. And once I realized that, there was no stopping us.

“Be My Beau” gave us fourteen ribbons. Like an old schoolmaster, he carted around three people for fifteen classes. And just like that, the student, my pride-and-joy project, became the master.

Summer Riding Must-Haves

FullSizeRender 2.jpg

Hello! Sorry for my absence! Everything has been super crazy with my life!

Here today, I’m going to talk about my summer riding must haves! Ready to beat the heat!

  1. Smart Water: Whenever I work out I alway use smart water or any type of electrolyte water to keep me hydrated. We lose electrolytes when we sweat so we need to replenish them!
  2. Kerrits Ice-fil TightsThese are my favorite riding breeches I use in the summer, I hate wearing my thick breeches during the summer heat and they make me extra hot. These tights are thin and have Ice-fil brand technology to keep you extra cool!
  3. Helmet VisorUsing a helmet visor is great during the summer to keep the hot sun out of your face as well as being able to see better without having the sun blinding your eyes!
  4. Katherine Cosmetics: Katherine Cosmetics is one of my favorite makeup brands, I especially love their K-Sport line, which doesn’t make my makeup sweat off or feel gross from the heat and they also have SPF to protect our faces!
  5. Ecolicious EquestrianMy favorite fly spray of all time is the So Fresh and So Green body spray which is all natural and smells amazing, I love using it on myself as well. It also protects your horse’s coat from the sun rays!
  6. Nobel Outfitters Mesh GlovesThese gloves are great for hot weather as they have mesh ventilation to keep your hands cooland not all hot and sweaty.
  7. Herbal Horse Aloe Vera LotionI forever will love their aloe vera lotion! Aloe vera is great for sunburns and to keep your skin hydrated in the summer. It’s completely organic which I love a ton. They have different kinds of aloe vera lotion to choose from! My favorite it the muscle soothe great for sore muscles after riding!

Horse or Best Friend

Written by Dana Moskowitz.

Ever wonder why equine therapy is so popular?

Psychologists aren’t just horsing around: they actually put their faith in the lovely creatures. Horses are the perfect type of therapy due to their ability to reflect our emotions and bring relief from addiction and stress. Not only does equine therapy help release emotions, it also helps a person create a bond with something that can become a symbol of hope.

Horses immediately trigger strong emotions in humans, and, because they are attuned to body language and stiffness, they can sense what a person is facing and help further their recovery. Scientific research has been done regarding the effectiveness of equine therapy. It shows that horses actually change human brainwave patterns. When a person is near or on the horse, their brain waves become more centered and focused from natural empathy.


Many companies such as Lift Me Up use equine therapy to help calm people and help them stay focused on the present, rather than whatever problem they are facing outside the barn.  Equine therapy can also be used to help slowly gain mobility without having to go to your physical therapist. Horses have a way of empowering people to try their best and work on their strengths and weaknesses in a stress-free environment.

The practice of using horses for medical issues isn’t new; in fact, it dates back to 600BC with the Greeks! Either way, scientists have medical proof that horses help relieve stress, and it seems that there is:

“Something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

The Value of Volunteers

Post by: Emma Knight

Well, they’re really invaluable. Priceless. Irreplaceable. Exceptional.  Whichever way you write it, volunteers keep eventing going. It would be literally impossible to run horse trials the way they are now without volunteers. For example, you need scribes and runners for dressage, jump crew and timers, cross country jump judges and timers, and that’s just the beginning.


I was inspired to write a little blog about and for volunteers by the USEA. The US Eventing Association has recently started a new Volunteer Incentive Program, or VIP for short (Apps in the Apple Store and Google Play). It’s a way for organizers of the horse trials to keep easy tracking of volunteer sign ups. I also believe there are certain “incentives” for the volunteers as well, although the information on that is lacking. Be sure to check the VIP site for updates! One of my favorite event hosts, Stone Gate Farm, is trying the program at their spring event, the Winona Horse Trials (Hanoverton, Ohio – Area VIII).

My hope is that it makes volunteering easier and incentivizes more people sign up to volunteer. Volunteering is an important way to give back to the eventing community. Not only is it a form of community service, it’s a fun way to get to know the rest of the eventers in your area. There are usually multiple events throughout the year, as well as smaller jumper or dressage shows, so there should be at least one you can volunteer at in the year for farms near you.


Here are a few things to remember about volunteers:

  • They are there all day: rain, sun, freezing cold, or sweating and hot.

Remember that volunteers aren’t just there for one ride. They are often outside all day, through all sorts of weather, doing jobs to make sure riders can get the best ride possible. Especially with cross country judges, who usually sit in isolated spots, giving a smile or a wave can make their day!

  • They are there to help you.

Volunteers are usually riders or family members of riders. They know what it’s like to be in the place of a rider – so, anything you need (that isn’t unauthorized assistance), volunteers will usually be happy to help!

  • They are committed to the sport of eventing.

If there is one way to tell if a person is committed to eventing, it’s volunteering. Like what I said before, volunteers are out all day to help you. They take time out of their days to volunteer so that you can ride.

So, smile, say hello, and volunteer if you can. Make sure to thank a volunteer the next time you’re at an event – they are there for you!

I am planning on vlogging my volunteer day at Winona Horse Trials on Sunday the 14th, so keep an eye out for that on my blog or YouTube channel!

– UEquestrian

Tips For Switching Barns

Photo provided by Emma Knight


Written By: Sarah Lewandowski

We all know the time will come when we need to switch barns, but there are a few important questions to answer. When is the time right, what do we look for in a barn, and how do we tell our trainer and barn owner that we are leaving the barn?
Thinking about making that choice of moving barns from my experience, I’ve made a list of tips:

  • Don’t change barns because of one bad accident. Try it again, get comfortable!
  • Do change barns if there is poor or careless management
  • Do change barns if you feel that the trainer isn’t caring about you enough, or if they are no longer challenging you.
  • Do switch if there is a lot of barn drama, and you hate going to the barn.
  • Do switch if you feel like your horse isn’t getting the care that they need: This is your money after all!

If you do feel that you want to leave the barn, you need to grab a laptop and look up a few places and then call or email them to make an appointment with the trainer to talk to them in person. We live in a world where technology is so advanced now that you can go online, find the barn, see reviews of what others think of it, and see pictures or even videos of how the barn looks like.

When you go out to talk to the trainer, look at how the barn is – how far away is it from your house, is it clean, are the horses kept for, or are there any fences falling over? These are very important factors when looking at the barn.
When you talk to the trainer ask them how their lesson plan is, how many times a week their riders ride, what shows they go to (if you’re interested in showing), what type of footing they use, if the trainer shown in any competitions, is the trainer good with kids, and very important, talk to the people at the barn. Ask them if they like the barn, if the trainer is good – listen to their opinions of the barn.

If you have a horse, ask about the care: how many times a day do the stalls get cleaned, how often do they give hay to the horses, when do they feed the horses, and what is their turn out like?

When you go see the new barns, make a rating sheet. On a scale of one to ten, put down the barn, the trainer, location, horses, lesson costs, etc.

Ask if the trainer to do a trial lesson. See how the trainer is during the lesson: what kind of pointers do they give you, what does this instructor do differently than your current one, do they like teaching, and can you see if they have a passion for riding?

Take your time in making the choice; you don’t need to rush to make your decision. Make sure that you are happy and that all your needs are check off on your list.

So, you found the barn that you love, and you want to make the switch. How do you tell your trainer that you want to leave them?

  • Make sure you’re one hundred percent sure that you want to leave the barn for a good reason.
  • Write down why you’re going to leave. Try to gather all your thoughts and get a clear reason why you want to leave.
  • When you do sit down to talk to the owner/trainer make sure you’re very professional about it. Thank them for their time and their service and tell them why you are leaving.
  • Don’t feel guilty about leaving your barn. We live in a time where people are going to be changing barns, and it’s normal. Horseback riding is very expensive and you shouldn’t be throwing around your money at a place you don’t want to be at.
  • Don’t give a last-minute notice. Many contracts require a 30-day notice. If you do own a horse make sure you look at your contract and read it to see how much of a notice you need to give. Barn owners may not like it if you’re moving less than 30 days without notice.
  • Don’t burn any bridges. You might see this person again,
    so make sure you’re professional, nice, and reasonable.
  • When you do leave the barn, don’t talk about them behind their back. Chances are they will find out what you are saying, as the horse community is a small one, and everyone knows everyone!

Changing barns can be a new and exciting experience. While it can be a stressful time, these tips will help to make it as smooth of a transition as possible, allowing you to focus on starting a better experience at the new barn!

Equestrian Barn Hacks

Hi! Sorry it has been a while! It’s been crazy with my health and school, so I don’t always have the time to write! But here is a quick post with all the amazing hacks that will help us equestrians!

  1. For your polo wraps and other similar items, use a lingerie bag to wash and dry your polo wraps to keep them from getting tangled up!
  2. Baby wipes are great for a million uses! I always have them hanging around the barn somewhere!
  3. Use rubber braiding bands for bridle keepers as a quick temporary fix.
  4. Put a tennis ball at the ends of cross ties to get rid of the annoying “clang” sound.
  5. Use dish scrub with a soap holder to use for cleaning your horse easily or scrubbing buckets.
  6. Loofa gloves are also great for cleaning horses and tack.
  7. Use colored or patterned duct tape to distinguish everyones supplies.
  8. Having trouble with keeping your horses ears forward for a photo? Buy all ears selfie app for your phone they have many sounds to bring your horse’s ears forward!
  9. Want a cheap and durable tack trunk? Stores such as Home Depot carry tool boxes such as Stanley or Husky for $100 and are just as great as actual tack trunks.
  10. You can cut pool noodles and use them as boot trees.

Have any other great barn hacks? Feel free to comment them below!

Recovery Time

As I may have said this before, a few weeks ago, after my lesson, I was cooling down Dexter, and all of a sudden he spooked and I was thrown off, hit my head on the wall and knocked unconscious for a few moments. (as what I was told as I can’t completely remember what had happened.) Luckily, I was wearing my helmet and my mom was there as well as my trainer. I was taken by ambulance over to the nearest hospital. I got a full work up and was fully conscious. Nothing was broken, but I did get a head CT that did show a very small brain bleed. I was also told a had a concussion. I had to stay in the ICU overnight so they could closely watch me. Later the next day I was transferred to the regular floor and got to go home the next day. I now have to get a follow up CT and was also told I couldn’t ride for three months. Sadly, I have many symptoms of post concussion syndrome as well as getting many flare-ups of my fibromyalgia. Last weekend I was feeling well enough to head to the barn! It was such a warm day (almost 70!) and I got to groom Mocha! Some of my favorite products I used on her was my Equine Organix waterless shampoo, Ecolicious Equestrian Moisture Manic mane and tail detangler, and The Herbal Horse Shine Bright! As you can see all products I use are all natural and won’t harm your horse! Mocha also got many delicious valentines day treats from Pony Riders Club Bakery! It felt so great to be back at the barn even though I couldn’t ride! Definitely lifted my spirits up after my accident!