This Year’s Most-Read TPH Stories

2017 is quickly coming to an end, and we all have been on one wild ride. Changes are occurring worldwide, and certainly within our own sport. As we invest ourselves physically, mentally and financially it is our duty to stay informed of the changes happening and to be active participants in this sport we hold so dear. At The Plaid Horse we pride ourselves in providing audiences quality information, efficiently and promptly. Scroll down to see this year’s 10 most-read stories and keep following to stay updated on the latest changes developing within our industry.

1. A Young Professional’s Reaction to Recent US Equestrian Horse Welfare & Safety Penalty Guidelines

By Tyler Weith

As a young professional who puts horsemanship first, the recent US Equestrian Horse Welfare & Safety Penalty Guidelines email immediately made me feel like I had to make a statement. I work very hard to give each of my horses the individualized program they need to be successful. I don’t drug, over lunge, over ride, use improper equipment, or even contemplate how to make my horses quiet if it compromises their welfare. Over and over I watch horses who are treated with respect and compassion, perform better than the ones abused for quietness and performance.

That being said, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly attacked by the US Equestrian who wrote their new welfare guidelines in a very accusatory tone. I agree that there is a vast horse welfare problem that exists today, and I have seen it firsthand. However, I am deeply troubled with the vagueness of these new punishment guidelines, how they cater to the politics and wealth already ripping the sport apart, and finally the lack of support and understanding the US Equestrian gives to young professionals and future professionals trying to enter the industry. CLICK HERE to continue reading!

2. The Balancing Between Universes

By Mackenzie Shuman

“Our whole universe was in a hot, dense state

Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started, wait…”

We can all sing the theme song to The Big Bang Theory in our heads and reflect upon how math, science, and history unraveled according to science, and then watch as the vision of cells dividing and pyramids being built are faded away to show the cast of the hit TV show sitting on a couch devouring snacks and drinks. Right in the middle of that cast is 31 year old Kaley Cuoco who plays the part of Penny. Though she is a star in Hollywood, she has also become a star in the equestrian world in recent years. CLICK HERE to continue reading!

3. The Dope on Depo

From loud conversations to faint whispers, there is a buzz in the hunter/jumper industry about Medroxyprogesterone Acetate, also known as Depo-Provera. “Depo,” as the drug is known in the vernacular, is a progestin widely used on mares, geldings, and stallions for a variety of reasons relating to behavior. Some believe that Depo has an anti-anxiety effect on horses. Some believe that it lessens mare-ish behavior and stud-ish behavior. In all cases, the effects are merely anecdotal as there has been no clinical research on the behavioral effect of Medroxyprogesterone Acetate in horses. CLICK HERE to continue reading!

4. Notes to my daughter – Life lessons at the horse show

By Averill Pessin

As parents, we hope our children get two main things from their sport: Short-term fun and long-term life lessons. Here are some I have shared with my daughter …You are not the richest kid at the horse show. Or the poorest. But you may be one or the other, some time in your life.   If you are humble and kind and work hard, you can be blessed with great opportunities and a wonderful life, no matter how thin your wallet is. Put your phone down and clap. CLICK HERE to continue reading!

5. The 8 Types of Hunter Jumper Trainers

By Averill Pessin

The Battle Ax: Loud, brash and unapologetic, you’ll always know when the Battle Ax has a client in the ring.  She holds up the order, is the loudest ringside and is the undisputed queen of the in-gate.

The Kindergarten Teacher: The Kindergarten Teacher rules with a soft voice and a velvet fist. In her world, everything is fine, everything is going to be fine and everything you do is beautiful, you perfect cutey-pie baby widdle muffin. CLICK HERE to continue reading!

6. How to Speak to Our Youth About Showing

By Kirstie Dobbs and Hailey Johns

What’s the first question that you ask a young rider when they return home from a horse show?  Is it, “How did you ride?” Or, is it, “How did you pin?”  Is it, “What new ribbons did you bring home?” Or, “What new knowledge did you bring home?” This subtle yet meaningful exchange of one word can make all the difference when conversing with young riders. CLICK HERE to continue reading!

7. It Shouldn’t Be Our Goal to Become FEI

By Piper Klemm

I love horses. That’s why I wake up early every day and set to work before I leave my bed. I love horse shows. In 2015, I went to about 64 horse shows. Last year was tamer, clocking in at about 46. I’m anticipating about 40 this year, but we’ll see. I never seem to anticipate as many as I do.  I live in Canton, New York, which means a lot of days and all nights on the road. In the office at home, we don’t have a “days since workplace accident” – we have a “days since the last all-nighter.” Between Adam and me, the number almost never hits double digits. CLICK HERE to continue reading!

8. Lessons From Levi – When The Horse You Got Isn’t The One You Thought You Were Getting

By Kristyna Lucakova

“He’ll keep you out of trouble my father mumbled”, as he signed the check. Little did we know, he would do so much more than keep me out of trouble. For a while, he did exactly the opposite.

Levi was my 14th birthday present. A beautiful jet black Oldenburg gelding. A “derby prospect” who turned out to be a dangerously dirty stopper. Within two days of being gifted to me, with a big red bow around his neck, Levi had bitten, kicked and terrified me. What was this monster my parents had purchased for me? CLICK HERE to continue reading.

9. Four Reasons You Should Be Leasing Instead of Buying

By Emily Elek

Many equestrians dream of a horse to call their own – but is ownership the right path for you? Leasing may not sound as exciting as owning your dream horse, but there are numerous merits that should be taken into account before you choose your next equine partner. Below we will look at some of the pros and cons of owning or leasing, and help decide which is the best path for you. CLICK HERE to continue reading!

10. 2017 Maclay Finals Defy Description

By Sissy Wickes

My 90 year old mother, still never at a loss for words, had some great sayings for when I would arrive home tired and stressed. Some of my favorites are, “You look like nine miles of dirt road.” And, “ You look like something the cat dragged in.” Or, “You’re as wrung out as a dishrag.”

Well, even my mother is going to have to coin some new phrases for riders, parents, trainers, and grooms after the 2017 ASPCA Maclay Finals. This year, the prodigious equitation finals begin at 5:30 AM. Yes, the lucky first rider has to walk into the ring and perform a riding test that he/she has been gunning toward for years at 5:30AM. Years of training, practicing, competing, preparing-all comes down to a National Championship that begins at 5:30 AM. CLICK HERE to continue reading!