What’s in a name?

I’ve always laughed about how appropriately (or inappropriately) a name can describe a horse.

To name a few (famous and not famous) options….

Butterfly Flip

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Joris de Brabadner

Appropriateness (out of 10): 8

I mean, this mare had such grace and effortless float to her. Butterfly flip sounds like an ice skating maneuver.

Chill R Z

Tumblr Source

Appropriateness (out of 10): 2

Talented, agile as all heck. Chill, this horse was not.

Catch Me

CM
Sigh…

Appropriateness (out of 10): 7

Yeah, I’d need someone to catch me too if I rode a hunter that jumped like this!

Small Affair

SA
Image Sauce

Appropriateness (out of 10): 3

If you count multiple National championships and that style “small”…

Ligist

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MacMillan Photography

Appropriateness (out of 10): 3

Ligist is German for “hooligan”. I don’t know about you, but when I am called a hooligan, I do not have that level of care toward my job.

This is my level of hooligan.

Tango

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Mare can dance…

Appropriateness (out of 10): 10

Beautiful mover, emblematic of partnership…. I buy in. I am also calling my own bias.

 

Any notable names from your own lives? Either because they are super appropriate (or not)?

The Effect of Urbanization on the Industry

It’s no secret that the world is moving to cities. As we migrate to our high-rises and skyscrapers, land becomes increasingly expensive as most of our public spaces will be converted into vertical architecture.

We cannot put horses in skyscrapers. Though at the Royal Agricultural Fair, there is a two-story stable building which has always given me pause. As well, I do know some carriage horses in New York and other large cities reside in multi-story buildings.

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This is far from the ideal circumstances for our performance horses.

So this begs the question, how will increased city living change the way we ride our horses?

More with Less

This is the key driver forcing all of the below listed after effects. My suspicion with increasing property values is that horses will have to be managed on less land. That means larger scale barns, smaller turnouts, and meticulous scheduling.

Regimented Exercise

Getting a horse moving will become increasingly reliant on treadmills / hot walkers and other “simulated” turnouts. Gone will be the days of endless lush green turnouts for solely two horses.

Veterinary Shifts

Our horse care professionals will need to accommodate for less variety of footing and likely less of “freeform” exercise. We will see more injuries related to inconsistencies in work frequency and loading; fewer related to turnout-related freak accidents.

Increases in horse proximity and activity may lead to higher instances of ulcers.

Behavioral Accommodation

Horses that are given strict schedules may flourish (high-level of detail on care and training) or flounder (over drilling until submission). With greater time spent in a stall, owners may spend more on enrichment objects and activities for their horses.

Upward Costs

With the mounting pressure financially, some barns will not be able to afford to be a mid-tier facility. Stratifying the divide between “us” and “them”, the elitism of the sport will be positioned to intensify.

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Living in close proximity to others has shared advantages of public services, transportation, and culture. We gain so much from interactions with diversity and enabling a pooled set of resources.

Horseback riding is not a typical sport. You cannot shove it in the basement of a gym, and rest laurels on the comradely of people. Our equipment requires special storage, care, and attention.

As we adjust to the new normal, this will present real shifts in our industry. In my suspected future, what do you agree or disagree with? What did I miss?

Smile Worthy – A Bit of Fantasy

Part of my 2019 mantra — to be happy with what you have — has practicing a neat little Jedi mind trick.

Normally my arrival to the barn after work goes something like this –

  1. Panic, stress, panic about getting to barn late.
  2. Speedy groom.
  3. Ride for 20 minutes.
  4. Panic, stress, panic about getting back home late.

At that level of frenetic, what is even the point?

So now, I arrive to the barn, take my leisurely time, even if it means I will be there kind of late. I snuggle the horse. I walk around the property. We sniff grass.

More importantly, I indulge in a bit of fantasy.

Don’t get me wrong, we don’t want to slip into delusional or unsafe. I am not jumping property fences, gleefully claiming I am the new wave of Beezie Madden (which, is sacrilegious to begin with, if you ask me ).

The scene is typically only me with a small collection of other people at the property in the evening hours. So I strut around and pretend.

I own this horseLie.

I own this beautiful property. Lie.

I don’t have to worry about Property Taxes on this beautiful, development-rich landTRUE.

I love this moment. Most truth ever! Shrink my nose into my head.

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Lady, you crazy.

At any rate, my re-ignition of childhood imagination has me feeling much happier. I need a re-calibration of my mind to stop focusing on what I don’t have, which is not healthy and endless.

I encourage everyone to lie to themselves in small doses, when the mood is right and your heart needs it.

Smile Worthy – Walking the “Dog”

On Sunday, there was a miscommunication in which Q was hacked before I came to ride.

No matter, I am used to these kerfuffles (but I do attest, I cannot wait to have a horse all my own).

Instead, we had a spa and grass day. Naturally, this led to a more stubborn stalemate.

 

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What does it look like when 1,000 lbs is leaning against you, refusing to go back to his stall?. (Answer: pretty cute still)

How wonderful is it to just relax with your horse?

Smile Worthy – Riding Outside with Christmas Lights

A totally bizarre phenomenon happened to me while riding tonight. Next door, there was a ton of activity, so Q was feeling like the pony express. Let there please be yelling and sounds of “yipee-kai-yay”-ing all the time please. So much more forward, so I did not have to play the jockey.

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Could you forget to ride me tonight since I look super cute?

Cowboy yipping aside, I made a realization tonight, while riding in a plain t-shirt sans jacket.

I had never ridden next to Christmas lights.

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Investigating said lights and/or grabbing a snack

In my colder climate homes, it was far too cold to ride outside productively in the time near to Christmas. Most days of riding, it was not even really safe to be driving out to the barn. (Which is how I became an expert and driving through immense snow piles in a two-wheel drive bug).

Sure, I’d admire  Christmas lights on route to get to the barn, but never did I get to ride with them in view.

Not going to lie, I could get used to this!

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Lackluster photos taken while walking, but it is impressive!