The Great Equestrian Debate: English VS Western

With two totally different saddles and mindsets, English and Western riders have been at each other’s throats for years, over one epic debate. I ride English and my best friend rides Western. We don’t argue about it. We simply accept the differences between our riding disciplines and continue to learn more about the opposite style through conversation. I’m training in dressage and she is leaning more towards barrel racing…two completely different disciplines.

There are two main types of riding in the equestrian world; English and Western (four if you count saddle-seat and Australian stock types). Some people seem to think one style is better than the other and it seems to divide our community. Others attempt to shelter the peace by keeping their opinions to themselves.

(Left: A multi-purpose, English saddle. Multi-purpose means that it can be used for jumping or Dressage. Right: a Western saddle.)

The first difference (and most obvious) in the two styles is the tack we use. Tack is what we call our bridles, saddles and other equipment we use to ride. A Western saddle is heavier and bulkier than an English saddle and is more comfortable than English. Most people ride in a Western saddle because it is easier to stay in it. Cowboys used and continue to use Western saddles on ranches because spending a long, hot day in an English saddle wouldn’t be that fun.

English has more strict rules for competition attire than Western. In dressage tests (those are competitions in which we compete for a blue ribbon, money and other prizes) you cannot have any color in your riding attire or your tack besides black, navy, brown and white. Meanwhile, Western’s competition attire is usually more carefree and there are rarely any attire codes set in place at competitions.

Western riding is typically more laid back than English is. You don’t necessarily need to learn to post the trot (that’s where riders rise up out of the saddle in rhythm with the horse’s two-beat gait) or to use your legs to steer the horse more than your reins. You have a lot less to think about in Western than English. Western competitions are usually more cut-throat than English competitions, but nonetheless, they are both fun.


(Above: My Morgan Cross Dressage pony, Avery.)

There are some breeds that are better than others in different disciplines. Quarter horses, paint horses and appaloosas usually catch the average Western rider’s eye. The beautiful markings of paints and appaloosas freckle the horse’s coats elegantly. The quarter horse’s stocky build is desirable for cutting (the Western sport of “cutting” two cows away at a time from the herd). Paints and appaloosas catch the eyes of judges in the Western pleasure arena. Arabians, morgans and warmbloods are typically seen in the English arena.

We do have our similarities as well. We both use kind, loving and patient horses. We ride with bits and with our heels hanging below the stirrups. Our eyes look forward through the horse’s ears and not at the ground, or that’ll be where you end up at.

We have one game that we can all play, whether our saddle has a horn or not. Equestrians call this game “gymkhana” which is a series of games played on horseback, some that can be quite dangerous if not practiced the right way.

We ride the same gaits, we just call them differently. A walk is, well, a walk for both disciplines. A trot is sometimes called a jog in Western. And cantering is called “loping” in Western. My older cousin and I argued whether or not it should be called canter or lope last year while talking about our horses.

Our show riding attire is different though. English riders typically wear breeches, polos, hunt coats and tall boots while Western riders wear Western show shirts, jeans and cowboy boots.

Both have an incredible love for their horses. We wake up early in the morning just to head outside and feed our horses, muck out their stalls and give them the usual morning carrot. We spend our Christmas money on a new saddle pad or feed. And I even feel bad when I have a gift card for Amazon and don’t get my horses anything from it.

No matter what discipline, we communicate with our horses through simple movements in the saddle, light taps with your heels and leg pressure. We simply squeeze the reins softly and the horse stops dead in its tracks. We have to keep our shoulders back and our backs even taller.

Even in the different styles of riding, their disciplines can be totally different from each other. For instance, even though we both use an English saddle, jumping and dressage are totally different. We understand it, but the way it’s judged and even the attire can be completely opposite. In western, reining is completely different than barrel racing. It’s just a matter of whether or not you use the same saddle.

Personally, I prefer English over Western. I have a love for Western riding, but English can be just as much fun as Western, especially if you have a trainer like mine.

(Above: Olympic Dressage Rider, Charlotte Dujardin, riding her champion dressage gelding, Valegro.)

You see famous horses and riders from both styles of riding. You have Charlotte Dujardin, a British dressage rider who competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games in dressage with her very lovely gelding by the name of Valegro. Then on the other end of the spectrum, you have Fallon Taylor, an NFR barrel racing world champion of 2014 and her Quarter horse mare, Babyflo.

While we might have our differences, we both mount our horses from the same side, don’t we? We still love our horses the same, right? We keep our horses well fed and happy. We wake up early just to see the bright brown eyes of some of our best friends.


Pictured Above: Me riding my Pap’s Quarter Horse mare, Bella, in an English saddle. Bella is a western trained horse, but we are slowly working her into the English riding style.

The previous version of this post can be found here: English VS. Western: The Great Equestrian Debate

Photo credits

English saddle: By Alex brollo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Western saddle:  By Modification by Montanabw, original image by Borsi112 (Modified from Image:Tinker Stute.JPG) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro: By Charlotte_Dujardin_2012_Olympic_Dressage.JPG: Equestrian derivative work: Nordlicht8 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


English Riding Attire: Dressage Attire & Equipment Retrieved December 20, 2017, from

English Tack: W. (n.d.). Tack & Equipment. Retrieved December 20, 2017, from

English saddle VS Western saddle: Wilson, J. P. (2003, January 16). English Versus Western Riding – What’s the Difference? Retrieved December 20, 2017, from

Charlotte Dujardin: ABOUT. (n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2017, from

Valegro: Valegro. (n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2017, from

Fallon Taylor and Babyflo: Taylor, F. (n.d.). MEET FALLON. Retrieved December 20, 2017, from


How to Keep Track of Your Horseback Riding + Free Printable!

If you’re like me, you might forget who you rode for a lesson or what you did on a particular day and when you want to go back to see what you did, you can’t find anything. Today I’m going to give you three different methods, which are all very easy to use.


Lesson Notes

I did this for about six months before I moved on to my Riding Diary. I used plain notebook paper to write down what all we did in my lesson and the date of that particular lesson. I didn’t go into depth and just put what we worked on instead. If you don’t have time to actually write down what you did, I highly recommend just lesson notes.

D.I.Y Riding Diary

I quit writing my lesson notes and started my riding diary. I did this electronically for a while and it works just as good as writing it down on paper. You can do it either electronically, paper or both! You can see one of my old Riding Diary entries here.



Monthly Horseback Riding Tracker

This is what I personally have been using for the past three months. So far, this is my favorite way to keep track of my riding. I have a chart with every horse in the barn’s name and each of them have their assigned color. For instance, Avery is turquoise and Bear is blue. In the corner of the paper, there is a legend with 5 different abbreviations representing a different activity. I fill this out by putting a block with the horse’s assigned color, the abbreviation of what we did and how long we did it for. A turquoise block with R1hr means that I rode Avery for one hour. At the end of the month, I add up my riding hours.


Don’t forget your free riding tracker!

J’adore Equine Riding Tracker



7 Things to Do With Your Horse (Other than Riding)

Are you bored with riding? Probably not, but if you are, you have serious issues as an equestrian. What equestrian doesn’t like riding? Are you wanting to bond with your horse? Well, then we have a list for you!


  1. Go for a walk. The Crew loves going for walks, especially after riding (or work in the Minis’ case).  Your horse may love to go for a walk!

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  2. Groom. Take your time and just groom your horse. You may find their favorite place to be scratched or a bite mark from their pasture buddies. (Don’t worry, we find them all the time on Avery!)


  3. Take them into the arena (or round pen) and play! I know the boys love to play in the arena and in the paddock all the time. Try bringing a yoga ball in with you to play soccer with your best buddy.


  4. Have your own photography session with your best friend. And by best friend I mean your horse, not your barn buddies. You don’t need a million dollar camera. Your cell phone will do just fine.


  5. Read a book in the field. Just watch out for those chompers when they’re near.


  6. Test your horse’s favorite treats. Neville’s are banana popsicles and Avery’s are sugar free, all natural peppermint wafer treats.


  7. Learn how to check your horse’s vitals. It’s easy enough to learn how to do and if you don’t know how to, look up a YouTube video. Plus, you’ll have their normal vitals for emergencies.

Don’t forget to have fun with your pony!



Dear Pampered Pony

Dear Pampered Pony,

Even though you are under 14.3 Hands doesn’t mean you have to show your attitude all the time. You still get treated like all the other horses.

You get your hooves trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

You get groomed almost every day. And don’t forget bath time every once in a while.

You get hosed down in the summer after a hot ride.

Your feed arrives promptly on time almost every day. (We’ve learned by now not to face the wrath of the pony).

Your stall is clean.

Your water is fresh.

You have a fan in your stall. A fan. I don’t even have a fan in my bedroom. 

You have turn-out unless there’s a storm or if it’s too cold, or if fall leaves are blowing around. (Count yourself lucky that you’re in for that).

You have at least 5 halters, several duplicates of that matching lead rope I just had to buy for you, whips in every shape, color and size you can imagine and treats in every flavor. Oh those treats.

Quit begging for those wretched treats.

You look like you ate a small child. You are not starved.

And you definitely don’t need another treat, even though almost every time I give twice as many as you should really have.

Also, would you mind not trying to knock me down for a scratch? Thanks.

But I love you, my pampered pony and I wouldn’t change any of it.

 With love, 

The Pampered Pony Owner

P.S. You’re going on a diet.

Join the #Purpuoise Team!

As promised, the Purpoise Team is now underway! If you don’t know what this is, stay tuned for more information!

What does purpuoise mean?

It’s turquoise and purple squished together to make one awesome gradient. Plus, they’re my favorite colors and most of my horse stuff is purple or turquoise. It doesn’t really have a special meaning, other than that this would be all of my favorite things smooshed up into one, big ball of happiness.

What does the Purpuoise Team do?

The Purpuoise Team is both an email list and a Facebook group. To join the email list only, specify in the application below. As a team, we motivate each other. We are an equestrian team by sharing tips, tricks and our favorite thing— pictures of our horses! When you sign up, you’ll be the first to get FREE printables and you’ll be able to get sneak peaks of YouTube videos, plus behind the scenes videos!

How do I sign up?

To sign up, you’ll need to fill out the form at the end of this post. It has to be FULLY filled out, otherwise you can’t join the Purpuoise Team. There is a deadline for when you can join for the month. When you’re signed up, you’ll get an email back from J’adore Equine that you are officially signed up as a member. After you get that email, you can post this picture:


On any of your social media accounts with the hashtag, #Purpuoise. Your friends can join in on the fun too! You’ll be able to find posts just for Purpuoise with this tag. (That means they’ll have some content you’ll want to see!)

How often will I get emails?

Emails won’t start until Monday, June 19th, 2017. You will only get an email for the Purpuoise Team once a week on Sunday nights. It won’t be an annoying amount of emails, so don’t worry.

Can I quit at anytime?

Yes. Just send an email to with your name and email. You will be removed from the email list and the Facebook group. Don’t worry— you can rejoin anytime! When you rejoin, your contact form should look like this:

Registration for Summer 2017

June 15th — June 18th

July 5th — July 9th

August 2nd — August 6th

Registration for Fall 2017

September 7th — September 10th

October 4th — October 8th

November 1st — November 5th

Registration always begins on the first Wednesday of the month (except for June of this year) and ends on the following Sunday. Be sure to get your registration within the four days of registration!

I would love to see you join the Purpuoise team! I can’t wait to see everyone of you very soon!

Join now!

Copy and paste this form below to join the Purpuoise team! (Paste it in the message field in the contact form).

Horse(s)’s Name(s):
Riding Discipline:
Years of Riding Experience:
How did you find out about J’adore Equine and the Purpuoise team?:
I want to join both the email and the Facebook group: Yes or No

Thanks for joining!









How to Stay Cool at the Barn (Human Style)

Summer is quickly creeping upon us. Unfortunately as equestrians, we have to wear breeches and boots in 90° heat. Let’s face it. It’s m-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e. Riding and doing barn chores in the heat can be a bit unfortunate.

Now, you’re probably thinking, let’s get to the post! That’s why I came here! Okay, okay. I get it. On with the post!

Stay hydrated! Take care of yourself in the heat. Pack plenty of water for yourself and keep it in the fridge, if available. Avoid drinking too much caffeine and pop, because it’s dehydrating. I pack a Yeti Cup of water and/or a bottle of water just about every week.

Dress appropriately for the barn. Avoid wearing dark colors at all costs. They make you hotter and it makes your whole day annoying. If you aren’t going to ride, consider wearing shorts or capris. Wear loose fitting, light colored clothes. White shirts (and sometimes pants) will become see-through if it becomes wet. Wear a light colored shirt and thin breeches for riding.

Store sunscreen in the fridge. Personally, I haven’t tried this yet. You want to keep sunscreen with you anyway, but if there is a fridge available, stick your sunscreen in the fridge before apply it to your skin.

Put peppermint essential oils in your sunscreen. Again, I haven’t tried this personally, but peppermint is a cooling oil. It’ll cool down your skin and the sunscreen will protect it from the sun’s harmful rays. Some oils you can put in your water as well, just check with a health specialist before doing so.

Bring veggies and fruits for a snack. Fruits and veggies are yummy for snacks— especially at the barn! Plus, you can share carrots with you favorite pony while you’re at it. Eating this foods will help keep you cool instead of foods high in protein.

Braid or wear your hair in a ponytail. If you have long hair, I suggest wearing your hair in braids or a ponytail. It’ll help keep you nice and cool, and it’ll help tame your helmet hair.

Bring a cooler. If a freezer isn’t available, and if at all possible, bring a small cooler with you. Pack it full of ice-filled Ziploc bags so you can either put it in your drink or use it as ice packs to keep cool.

Pack a fan. If you can, pack a small fan. It doesn’t matter if it’s battery powered or electric, just as long as you have a place to put it. For Neville, I use a Ryobi 18V battery powered fan. We use it just about every day. With Avery, we use a regular, electric box fan.

When you’re out in the heat, be sure you know the signs and symptoms of heat stroke.

  • High body temperature. If you’re temperature is above 104° F (or 40° C) you may have heatstroke.
  • Rapid breathing. Your breathing rate might become very fast and very shallow if you have heatstroke.
  • Headache. You might have a headache if you have heatstroke.
  • Vomiting and nausea. If you have heatstroke, you might experience a sense of nausea or vomiting.
  • Abundant amounts of sweating. You may start sweating large amounts if you experience heat stroke.
  • Tired feeling. Heatstroke can make you tired.
  • Dizziness. You might feel light-headed or dizzy.
  • Muscle and/or abdominal cramps. You could get cramps in your muscles or abdomen.
  • Dark-colored urine. If your urine is dark, this is a sign of dehydration. This could also be a sign of heatstroke.

If you think you have heatstroke or if another person has it, seek medical help immediately. 911 is literally the easiest number to dial on your cell phone. If you don’t think you can make it to the hospital quick enough, call 911.


Where’d the Site Go?

Hello, fellow equestrians and readers!

The site will be under maintenance temporarily from today (June 1st, 2017) to Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 for site updates. It has become quite outdated and I figured it was time to give it a little more…pizazz. 

What will be added to the site? I’m going to add a few things to the site from a better home page to a calendar of upcoming blog posts. I’m also going to be working on a new logo, header images and a place to subscribe to a new program that will be announced once the site is updated. Plus so much more!

Will I be able to access the blog still?  As of right now, yes. But as the site is going under maintenance, the posts might not be able to load as quickly as it normally is. I would wait to get back on until the end of the upkeep.

Thank you for understanding.

Posts will resume Wednesday, June 7th, 2017. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact me below.

Riding Diary Week Six

I had an amazing lesson today. The weather was perfect for being in the barn, so Grammy came to watch us ride today.

Avery’s leg is much, much better than it was last week. We might have to put front shoes on him for the summer, but we’re going to talk to our farrier about it and see what we’ll have to do about it.

He perked his ears forward as he heard the container of sugar cubes being opened. Avery was excited about the lump of sugar in his corner feeder. With a couple chomps of his teeth, the sugar cube was demolished.

Autumn haltered him and lead him to the cross-ties like last week. I grabbed my purple Kensington grooming tote that I got at the tack swap on Saturday and pulled out the curry comb— Avery’s favorite brush.

I rubbed circles on his neck, then his shoulders, his back, belly and sides then his hindquarters. Avery kept wiggling so I could get the really itchy places that he was informing me of. I took the curry comb just a few inches behind his ears, where he loves to be scratched, and rubbed it on his neck. You would’ve thought that that was the best thing in the world!

After the curry comb, I took the Farnam grooming block I have and took it across the same locations that I had come across as the curry comb. Farnam grooming blocks are miracle workers honestly.

I grabbed the dandy brush and flicked away the dirt, followed by my finishing brush. The purple comb in my bag was going to be used next on his mane, tail and forelock. I brushed through the tangles and got my tack.

I used my normal hunter green Roma saddle pad, the black Roma half pad and saddle G. Avery took the bit like he normally does and I pulled the reins off of his head and handed him to Autumn. She took him in the arena to walk him around for a little while.

On Sunday afternoon, we go to my Grammy’s house after church for lunch and to spend time together. I brought my breeches that I got at the tack swap for $5 to show everyone. Unfortunately, I forgot them at Grammy’s.

Grammy was coming to the barn today so I had her grab my breeches before she left. I quickly changed into my breeches before my lesson and slipped on my riding boots. My helmet made my Laura Ingalls style braids look weird.

I mounted Avery after adjusting my stirrups and gave him a squeeze to walk. Miss Kim’s granddaughter was there and wanted to come in the arena with her Nonna to aid in my lesson.

We worked on trotting circles and some canter work today. We were trying to get Avery to respond to my seat in the canter after relaxing at the poll. He collected at the canter for a few steps, then went back to his big canter.

After working on some canter work and trotting, we jumped at the trot again. Instead of jumping one time and leaving it at that, we jumped four times! In fact, Avery was so excited about jumping that he tried to go over it again once we were trotting along the wall.

Avery was a very happy boy after he got a couple more sugar cubes after the fantastic ride we had after that “injury” last week.

Autumn even jumped Avery at a walk today. She was quite excited about doing so. They have been working on balance a lot lately on Avery.

I unsaddled Avery and put the saddle pad, half pad and the saddle on the arena gate. Grasping the reins in my hands, I brought Avery over to the mounting block to ride bareback to cool him down.

We walked for a lap and then he stood at the gate forever, trying to get attention from my Mom, Miss Kim and Jordyn (Miss Kim’s granddaughter’s mom), who were all talking. Grammy left a bit earlier because she had to show a house to one of the ladies in our church.

I dismounted and we took Avery over to brush him. Mom brushed him while me and my siblings swept so she could have a chance to spend with Avery. I grabbed my Bronco fly spray and sprayed him down for the night. He was a happy boy.

Avery had a lesson with one of the barn’s students that he absolutely adores. He loves all of his little riders. Poor Avery last week was so upset that he didn’t get to help with this particular lesson, so he was quite excited to see his student today.

I turned him out and he went trotting up to his pasture mate, Bear. Bear wasn’t going to deal with Avery today and so he went to bite at Avery. He did a beautiful half-pass in the field and stopped dead in his tracks to eat some grass.

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The picture above was from today when we were leaving the barn after Pap and I finished our volunteer chores. We said our goodbyes to the ponies and headed to my house, where Pap was going to drop me off.

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Neville was waiting very patiently for me to come and take his fly mask off of him for the night. Poor pony had to wear it until his 8 PM feeding, which was about 45 minutes away. He was a very happy boy to have it off.


Riding Diary Week Three, Four & Five

After an amazing trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Ocala, FL and Orlando, getting back into the swing of riding can be a bit rough. The reason why I included three weeks worth of riding into one diary is because I forgot to post for the past three weeks!

Avery was an amazing boy week three. He listened very, very well even though it was a beautiful day outside that he could be spending in the pasture. We didn’t have a lesson that week because the barn truck broke down on the way to our riding instructor’s lesson at another barn.

We played around with Avery in the arena for a little while. He trotted and cantered with the slightest ques and listened to the tiniest half halts.

After riding for a while, we took Avery outside for a small wall up half way up the driveway and back. He didn’t want to walk on the gravel and took a little detour to the grass in between his pasture and the driveway. He kept leaning his head down as we walked to get a bite of grass, nearly pulling me out of the saddle.

Next week was the week after we got back from vacation. Avery wasn’t as forward as he usually is on chilly days because Kayla had just rode him in her lesson before. My lesson with Miss Kim was after Miss Kim’s lesson on Bear and Avery was quite excited to see Bear in the same arena.

Avery chilled out in his stall for a short break while we watched Miss Kim’s lesson. I got Avery’s halter and haltered him, leading him to the cross-ties. He snorted nervously at the new tack room being built beside the wash stall. The silly pony hates change and so he’ll snort at anything new.

I took the dandy brush and brushed him down with simple flicks of my wrist. He seems to enjoy being brushed. I put my Roma hunter green saddle pad and scooted it up on his withers, followed by the black fleece Roma half pad I borrow from the barn. I placed saddle G gently on his back and grabbed the girth off his hindquarters (I keep it there when I’m adjusting the saddle).

Tying my hair back into a bun, I tucked my undershirt in my breeches and pulled down my purple sweatshirt. After smoothing down my hair, I put the helmet on front to back to make sure my hair didn’t look stupid.

I put the reins over Avery’s neck and unhooked the cross-ties from his halter. I undid the gold colored metal clasp on Avery’s leather halter and hung it on the hook beside the cross-ties. Avery opened his mouth to take his bit and I bridled him. I tightened the throat latch and the chin strap before taking the reins off his head, grasping them in my fist.

The arena gate was opened and I lead Avery through it. He stepped through without any hesitation. We walked around the arena until we got to the mounting block. I adjusted my stirrups to the 3rd one from the top (I am very, very short) and mounted. He took a couple steps before halting so I could make sure I had both feet in the stirrups. I gave him a gentle squeeze and he walked along the wall.

Miss Kim set up a small cross rail jump by E down quarter line. Today was the day I’d finally get to jump! We worked on trotting and posting on the right diagonal. It was really happening! I was going to jump! Avery was excited too because he loves to jump. His ears perked towards the jump as we walked beside it along the wall.

“Go ahead and take him over the jump at a walk so he knows it’s there.” Miss Kim said.

I rolled my wrist to my hip and walked him over the jump. He stopped before we were able to go over the cross jump and attempted to spook. I turned him around and he walked over the cross jump without hesitation.

We went along the wall and once we reached A, I turned left. “You’re such a good boy!” I scratched the top of his neck— his favorite spot to be scratched. He loves to be told that he is a good boy.

“Alright, bring him up to trot.” Miss Kim told me. I nodded and brought him up to a trot with a simple cluck of my tongue. He understood and went up to a trot after I clucked my tongue several times.

We changed directions before we turned right at A. I rolled my wrist towards the jump and got ready to lean up in jumping position. It might be a small jump, but if he decided to leap over it higher than it really was.

“Grab a bit of mane, just in case he decides to leap over it!” Miss Kim called. My hands clasped around a small bit of mane around his withers.

Avery’s ears perked forward at the jump. We leaped over it with ease. I leaned up in jumping position, although it was pitiful looking. I’m a dressage student, not a jumper for Pete’s sake!

We only jumped over the cross jump once so Avery could have a break. But, he did want to go over it again. We worked on cantering and making him collect his canter. I had to scoop with my seat smaller than I usually do to make him collect his canter. He only did it for a few steps, but at least I got him to do it.

The next week Avery didn’t seem like his normal self. He was laying in his stall, but he normally does that until he hears the tack trunk being opened and a candy cane wrapping being torn. He didn’t want to get up for the treat and wanted us to bring the treats to his lazy little self.

He stood up and Autumn put Avery’s halter over his ears. The chestnut gelding refused to get out of his stall. She led him to the cross ties and he did his normal snorting at the new tack room. He didn’t put that much weight and was standing weird on his right hind leg.

We didn’t think that much of it and tacked him up anyway. We got to ride him for a little while before my lesson. “Can you bring him up to trot for a minute? It looks like his right hoof’s hurting him.” Miss Kim asked. I brought him up to a trot and he was definitely favoring his left hoof over his right.

I dismounted and brought him into a wash stall after untacking him in the arena. I took the hose in the wash stall and cold hosed his right hind leg from the top of his hindquarters where it was hot to his hoof.

We didn’t get to do our lessons, but Avery got to chill out in his stall after getting lineament on his rear. Buck took his lesson that night.

I was cold hosing Avery again that evening and when I was leading Avery to the wash stall, Avery spotted his little student and dropped his head. He seemed like he was upset because he didn’t get to help his little rider this week.

He seems to be feeling much better. Miss Kim said he was racing Simon down the field for breakfast the next morning. We had to drop off vendor passes back to Miss Kim Saturday night and Avery was in the field with Bear.

Avery was being a bit of a turd and wouldn’t come see us until Eve and Luna did in the field across from the geldings. Avery was a jealous little pony and came over. I gave him and Bear half of a peppermint stick and they both chomped it happily. Avery turned to Bear and tried to nip him in the neck.

Bear wasn’t taking any of Avery’s bratty attitude and bit him right back. Avery stuck his head in Bear’s butt and sighed. Poor boy knows his ranking now.



Respect Barn Safety Rules!

Barn rules are set for a reason: To keep everyone in (and out of) the barn safe, including our four legged friends. If you don’t respect them, expect to be loaded up into an ambulance on its way to the hospital.

Young kids and even some adults seem to not understand some barn rules. When I first started volunteering at the barn, there was a group of teen girls that needed community service hours every week for a few months at a time. Most didn’t understand the reason why we still wear our shoes in the barn after taking ponies out to the very nasty, knee-deep mud pit of a field. Others would scream if they saw a spider, occasionally spooking your average therapy pony. Some would fling horse dung over stall walls or run up and down the barn aisles.

When in a barn, you need to turn on your ears and have quiet feet and mouths. Yelling and running in the barn doesn’t help a nervous horse. You need to ask about barn safety rules before you even step foot into the barn door.

Don’t feed a horse by hand, especially if it has a tendency to nip or bite. I wasn’t paying attention the other day when I gave Neville a treat and he bit my finger, leaving that nasty blood blister in the picture above.

More serious injuries can happen if barn rules aren’t respected. Some people have gotten their bones broken and others have lost their lives doing what they loved to do. But, you have more chances being struck and killed by lightning (averaging about 31 reported deaths per year) than you do than being killed by a horse (there are only about 20 fatalities per year related to horses).

One thing you have to take into consideration is; will you, the horse and others around you be safe after your action? If not, rethink your decision and try a different route. If you need to do it the original way you had planned, then wait until the horses are turned out and everyone who could be in danger is away from you.

Always ask permission first! Especially if you’re a volunteer or just a boarder. You need to ask permission from a paid employee before you continue with your plans. You can be destructive if you don’t watch.

BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. A barn isn’t where you can take off your shoes and lay in the middle of the floor. You need to be aware of what’s going on because you never know when a horse might get loose or a fire might start. Just be aware.

Don’t be nervous. You don’t need to be nervous about anything. Horses can pick up on your nervousness and they can become nervous as well. Just chill out, but still be aware.

Know the basic safety precautions. Don’t run in the barn, don’t yell unless it’s an emergency, don’t wrap lead ropes around your hands, don’t stand directly behind a horse, don’t wear open-toed shoes. Just know the basics and then ask one of the staff members about the safety rules specifically for that barn.

If there is an emergency in the barn, you need to know who to call if a horse or another person is injured. At the barn, we have a list of who boards what horse and their phone number if there is an emergency.

If a horse is injured, following these steps.

Call the vet. We have the vet’s phone number by the phone along with the boarders and their phone numbers if their horse is in danger. Call the vet first. You need to give them the address of the barn and follow the next step.

Get the facts straight. Know what happened. The more accurate you get, the better you can help the horse. The vet will be able to paint a better picture of what happened and know how serious the injury is.

Get one of the staff members. The staff will be able to help you. Whether it’s a matter of just holding the horse while you contact the vet and owner, or the other way around. They can help.

Call the owner. If you don’t own the horse, call the owner of the horse and let them know what happened. They deserve to know, especially if it’s their horse.

Keep the horse calm. You need to stay calm so that the horse will stay calm. Horses pick up on emotions and if you get worked up, they get worked up.

If a human is injured, follow these steps.

Call 911. State your emergency and give the location of the emergency.

Know what happened. If you witnessed it, tell the 911 operator exactly what happened. If you didn’t witness it and the victim is unable to speak and can’t speak, tell the operator that you don’t know what happened but they need an ambulance.

Call emergency contacts. Ask a staff member to do this. They have access to the volunteer files and other staff members files with the emergency contacts. The family deserves to know.