Sunday, February 26, 2017

How to Introduce Objects to Horses

As a lot of you may know, horses can be spooked from unfamiliar items that they may not be used to or have seen before. Horses are naturally fight or flight animals and have prey instincts, this makes them very wary of new objects. Items that I have played around with to help my horses get over their fears have included tarps, umbrellas, and large bouncy balls. This post from the blog Learning Horses explains the steps thoroughly in getting your horse used to objects in a safe way for both you and the horse. I love how she describes that this is not breaking the horse to the point where it is so deathly afraid its spirit is broken, it is merely slowly introducing objects and showing the horse there is nothing to fear. The horse's head is the most sensitive part of their body and they tend shy away from things close to it, especially if they fear it will hurt them. She stresses patience and to approach the horse and then retreat with the object. I completely agree with introducing foreign objects slowly. I have used it countless times with my own horses. It really works and I love reading about another person's experiences. I hope that all of you can try it out with your horses and have a much better relationship with them that is more than just fear and force, but instead is trusting and a partnership. I highly encourage you to check out this post by this amazing blogger. Here is the link:

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Resources for Horse Shows

Hello to my fellow equestrian!

I have written several posts what you will need and what you can expect to see in the show ring and even the tack and clothing you will need for both you and your horse. I wanted to share a little bit about each one so you have better luck at finding them later and getting the information you need.

Several weeks ago, I posted about what you will need for you and your horse to be ready for the show ring and need to purchase to be ready. In this post, I went into detail about the tack you will need for to have for the riding you want to do. I also made a list of the show clothes you will need in order to look just as sleek and professional as your horse. I covered the two major riding styles, English and Western, and even gave examples of what tack and clothing to use in specific show classes and everyday riding. Here is the link back to the post. 

Another post I did regarding shows was about the classes you will encounter at most of the shows you will attend.  I explained a few classes that I thought would help someone who may be unsure of what they entail and whether they are for English and Western riding or either one. I explained what you would expect to see in Jumping, Trail, Barrels, Dressage, and several other classes. Here is the link to my post and I hope it is another valuable resource for you to come back to.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Must Have Product for Your Horse!

Bottle of Wipe'n'Spray
I have tried out so many different fly repellent products for my horses that they either liked or disliked. The fly spay that I would recommend to everyone who owns a horse is Pyranha’s Wipe N' Spray.  It is in a yellow container and comes in several different kinds of containers. My favorite is the normal spray bottle, because it is easy to use and works very well compared to other spray bottles and sprays. This product contains pyrethrum-based formula that you can easily apply directly to your horse, which makes it very easy and quick to use. I have tried many variations and brands of fly sprays and this is the only one that I have noticed really keeps the flies and other insects off for a long time throughout the day. I also like how the spray bottle does not make a noise when you spray it on your horse, which makes it a great product for horses who tend to spook from the sound of a spray bottle. I have used this product daily for trail rides and for shows and it works every single time. I do recommend that if you do use fly spray for a show that it be Pyranha Insecticide, which is the same product but in an aerosol can instead of a spray bottle. This spreads an even coating on your horse without it getting the horse covered in spray marks that will not look as good in a show. It is a very popular product for show, because it leaves your horse with a nice shine when you wipe it off. I would recommend this product to anyone and it has proved itself to work every time. Here is the link to the company’s site that will let you know even more about the product and the different kinds they offer.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Rope Halter Review

Awhile back, I decided to try out a rope halter (top picture) for the first time with my horses, instead of the more popular nylon halters (bottom picture) that I had grown up using. The rope halter was highly recommended by my trainer and other horse professionals that I had talked to. So, I decided to try it out and buy one for my horse Memphis. At first it was difficult for me to learn how to tie the halter so it wouldn't fall off, but after a while I got the hang of it. My horse seems to like it and he responded a lot better to the pressure he received when he tried pulling away. Because the rope is thinner than a normal nylon halter, the horse can feel the pressure of it and can ignore it or push through it like the nylon ones. I like the fact the rope halters don't have any form of metal on them that my horse could injure itself with. Especially the clip that is used to take the halter on and off. Also, the rope halter was better for my 15.3 hands tall (63 inches at the wither) horse and me who is only 5'1". After I had worked with this halter with one of my horses, I decided that it was a great halter and I needed to buy one for my other horse. This was one of the best purchases I made more my horses and myself. I have noticed that over the years, these halters are becoming more popular, especially among trainers and professionals. I am really happy with this purchase and I would recommend them to all who own a horse. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Natural Horsemanship Success

I wanted to share some other blogs with you that have had great experiences and how they used natural horsemanship to overcome challenges and build a trust with their horses. I did Parelli Natural Horsemanship with my two horses and other horses I have worked with and ridden.  I have tried many other forms of training over the years and none of them worked as well for my horses as natural horsemanship did. Here are some other bloggers who have share their successes and experience working with their horses using natural horsemanship.

I stumbled across this blog by this girl names Lea and her journey with her horse, Eddie. I loved reading through the journey that this girl and her horse went on by using natural horsemanship and how successful it was for her. She developed a strong relationship and trust with her horse that will last a lifetime.  Her blog is another example of how connecting with your horse can be so beneficial for you and your horse.

I decided to include a link to the Parelli Natural Hormanship's blog for you, because that is the method, I found to work the best and give me the greatest success. I was able to have a partnership with my horse that no other program gave me. I believe you will be just as successful with your own horse with this style of horsemanship. Their blog and website offers other resources, so please check it out if you are interested.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Popular Horse Show Classes

Showing is something I love to do! I know when I first started showing horses I had no idea what the classes entailed or what type of riding I would be doing in them. I will share with you what the popular ones you will find mean and what you can expect before you enter the show ring.

1. Halter/Showmanship
Halter and showmanship are a little different from the other ones I will be mentioning later in this post, but they both are very popular and will be at almost every show you attend. Halter is for displaying your horse’s build, coloring, how well it stands, and its confirmation. The goal is to have your horse looking its best, while standing perfectly square as the judge walks around and examines the horse with you leading on the ground. Showmanship is very similar, but instead you’re leading the horse in a pattern and having it move in sync with you.

2. Jumping
This class is self-explanatory. You are riding in English attire and tack for this class and the judge evaluates how well you get through the jumping course without knocking any jumps down.

3. Barrel Racing
This class is also well known and very popular in rodeos and western shows. This is a speed event where it is very important to get around all three barrels in the shortest amount of time.  

4. Dressage
A form of English riding where the goal is to go through a pattern and with a lot of speed and direction changes, but using as little number of verbal cues and very smooth transitions between each change.

5. Trail
Trail is very much like going through an obstacle course, except that you are riding the horse. You will be asked to do tasks such as open a mail box, maneuver through a gate, walk over poles, etc. This is a very good class to move up to if you want your horse to be less spooky and listen to directions.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tack and Show Clothes Needed for English Versus Western Riding

English Riding

This tack is usually used for areas of riding such as jumping, dressage, English pleasure, and even everyday riding.

  • English bridle
  • English saddle
  • White pad
  • Snaffle bit

Clothing is more formal in English riding, especially for shows. The picture on the right is of me riding the horse I was leasing named, Mary. This was taken right before my English Pleasure class at a county show. The show clothes that are necessary include:

  • Breeches
  • White button up English shirt
  • Blazer/show coat
  • Pin for the collar
  • Tall boots
  • Hair net (if you have long hair)
  • Black helmet (or helmet cover)

Western Riding

The tack is usually the same items that you would see in an old western movie. It is used in areas like ranch work, roping, barrel racing, trail riding, and pleasure riding.

  • Western saddle
  • Western saddle pad
  • Bridle
  • Bit depends on the horse and your preference

Show clothing for western is a little more elaborate and flashy. For ladies the shirts are usually covered in bling. The picture is of me and my mother talking before one of my western classes. 

  • Western show shirt
  • Black or some color of pants to match
  • Chaps
  • Belt
  • Boots to match the chaps. 
  • Hair net
  • Cowboy hat/helmet

No matter what style of riding you choose to ride, whether it is English or Western, the key is to look polished and put together.  Both you and your horse need to look clean and professional before you enter that show ring. I always thought it seemed like a horse and rider beauty pageant depending on the level of showing. The main goal is to do your best and have fun. Showing can be nerve wracking, so I really hope this list helps you know what you will need for a show both for yourself and your horse.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Supplies Needed for Horse Care

Not everyone knows the work it takes to take care of a horse or the supplies that are needed to do so. I am here to share with you the basics in what you will need and what you can expect if you are considering owning a horse one day.

I have created a list of items that are necessary to have on hand and ones I found useful from my own experience. 

  • Water buckets
  • Food bowls for grain
  • Plenty of hay
  • Hay bag
  • Grain
  • Halter
  • Lead ropes
  • Soft brush
  • Hard brush
  • Curry comb
  • Hoof polish
  • Hoof pick
  • Scissors
  • Bandages
  • Electrical tape
  • Grooming tote to hold the brushes and other supplies
  • Hose
  • Sponges
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Sleezy (thin, fitted blanket to keep the horse from getting dirty again)
  • Winter blanket
  • Leg wraps
  • Wheel barrel
  • Plastic pitchfork
  • Stall bedding
  • Salt block
  • Fly spray
  • Fly mask
These items are very important in horse ownership and will help to keep your horse healthy and happy. Some items may need to be replaced every so often and others will last for the entire duration of your life with horses. This list does not include tack, such as saddles and bridles that will be used for riding, because I wanted to cover the basic care items first. I will be writing another post soon about tack and show clothes you will need if you decide to get in the show ring at some point. I also will provide what tack is used for what type of riding, so you can think about what your preferences are and interests. I hope this lists helps to clarify what you'll need if you want to have a future with horses.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

About Fancy M Equestrian

Hello, I'm Fancy M Equestrian and I write this blog, Life with Equine, to help those who are considering getting their first horse, already own one, or just want to learn more about these amazing animals. I fully understand that it is sometimes hard to know what supplies you'll need when learning to care for, train, and even show horses for the first time. Horses are a huge investment and it can be intimidating at times to make the step to purchase, not just the horse, but all the necessary care items and added things that people don’t always think about. I hope to share my experiences and the many joys that come from getting involved with horses and potentially owning your own. I want to show others the fun horses bring into my life and how it can be the same for you. I'll share how to care for and train your horse using natural horsemanship methods that can deepen the bond with your horse to build an unconditional friendship and trust. I am currently a college student, but before college, I had two beautiful Quarter Horses named Memphis and Fancy that I owned and trained since I was thirteen. I have ridden in multiple shows from county fairs to local open shows over the last five years. I worked at a horse stable for over six years, where I was around horses constantly and took care of them from cleaning their stalls to feeding them individual dietary supplements. I have gained a lot of confidence from my experience with horses and I hope to give my readers the same confidence as well. Please contact me with any questions you have or if you need support.