Preping Tack For Upcoming Horse Show

An important part of preparing for your upcoming horse show is cleaning your tack, which includes but is not limited to your bit, bridle, breast plate, draw reigns, equi boots, girth, leather halter, martingale, and saddle. Taking the time to thoroughly clean your tack will not only make it presentable for in the show ring, but also help keep supple and lasting longer. The following is eight steps to cleaning your tack:
1. Gather your preferred saddle or leather soap, a soft cloth and a sponge.
2. Fill a small bucket with water.
3. Dampen your sponge (do not get sponge too wet) and in small circles on tack rub on the soap until it lathers.
4. Rinse sponge in clean water, and rub leather until clean (removing all soap residue). You may have to get clean water several times.
5. As you clean your tack look over it carefully and inspect your tack, checking for any safety issues.
6. Dry tack off with the clean cloth.
7. For the saddle rub on saddle shine or oil with the clean cloth and let dry overnight
8. When cleaning the bridle avoid putting soap on the bit. Simply use clean water and sponge.

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What’s the Right Amount to Tip?

How much should I tip is a question that is asked often, no matter if you at a restaurant, the day spa, getting your car from the valet, or at a horse show. However, the standard customary amount of 10-15% doesn’t apply for horse shows. I have found it is customary to tip closer to 25-30% for the people that take care of your horse(s) at their home away from home.  For the fantastic guys that feed, muck the stalls, and groom the horses at shows, a.k.a. the groomers they get the standard fee per day that is negotiaErnesto has been our groomer for over 15 years!ted by your trainer plus the tip you leave them. What I have found appropriate is about $15 per day per groomer for each horse you have at the show, this includes the days your horse is at the show but you aren’t also. For the person that braids the horses tails and manes the appropriate amount is around $50 per week for each horse you have at the show.

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The Dreaded Tall Boots

One of my least favorite parts of riding and competing in the Hunter Jumper Circuit is getting new tall boots and having to break them in. For me at least, they aren’t very comfortable to wear even after they are broken in, but over the years that I have been riding and having to get new boots and break them in I have learned a few tricks that make it easier. The main trick to breaking them in fast is to wear them a lot, and I mean A LOT!!!!! Besides wearing them when you are at the barn and when riding you should wear them around your house. Wear them while cleaning your room, cooking dinner, doing work or homework or taking your dogs for a walk. The more you are in your boots bending, stretching and moving around the fastest they will break in. Another trick is to spray rubbing alcohol on them, this helps the leather stretch and form to your leg. Tall boots may look elegant and fancy, but there sure is nothing elegant or fancy about breaking them in!

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What To Do With All Your Show Ribbons?

If your like me you have hundreds of ribbons that you have collected from the  competitions that you have gone to. You only display a select few in your room, home or tack trunk, like the champion and first place ribbons you have won and then the rest of them are stored in bags or bins some where. I never wanted to throw any of mine away because they all meant something to me and one day I came acroJust one example of many types.ss a unique idea, show ribbon pillows and quilts. Show pillows and quilts are made out of your show ribbons to create a one of a kind piece. If you don’t think you can do this yourself there are people who can for you. If you do a google search of horse show ribbon quilts you can find a person or company to do it for you.

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Spoil Your Pony

Here is a recipe for homemade horse cookies that I have been using for years and my horse loves them. I got it from a mom of a friend I used to ride with. She called it her Peppermint Horse Kisses.
The ingredients and the amounts of each you need are:
1 cup molasses
1 cup oats or
dry oatmeal
½ cup carrots (chopped)
1 apple (diced)
4 peppermints (crushed)
1 Tlb sugar.
simply mix all the ingredients together and clump into tablespoon size balls and serve to your horse.

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Saddle Shopping

Shopping for the right saddle is never easy. You spend a lot of time in your saddle and want to make sure you get the right one. You want to make sure that you get one that not only will keep your tush comfy, but also put your posture in correct form, and fit your horse comfortably and properly. There are thousands of brands out there but here are four trusted brands that I have ridden in myself and either have owned or known someone who has: Antares Saddles, Crosby Saddle, Pessoa Saddles, and Stubben Saddles. Shop around and find the saddle that you like the best, there is nothing worse than riding in a saddle you are not comfortable in.

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My Passion for Horses

Here’s a little about me: I have ridden since I was 10 years old and fell in love with it from the start. I have attended countless shows in California, Arizona and Oregon where I have received champion in my division, won the Ariat Medal at HITS Arizona, and qualified for the NorCal Medal Finals. I  was never able to compete at the NorCal Medal Finals in 2008 because when I was practicing for it I fell off my horse (which has happened more times than I could count in all the years I have ridden) and broke my back! Breaking my back was a bitter-sweet experience for me. The bitter part being I wasn’t able to compete at finals and that my horseback riding career got put on hold for a while, but the sweet part is I learned that just because you can’t ride doesn’t mean your passion dies. I truly believe that the passion for horses never leaves you.

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Filed under Extras for Horse Lovers, In the Saddle