Summer is here, and pony camps are starting! Is your horse-crazy child prepared for everything this fun week might bring?
Horse camp is so much more than riding! They may be taking part in horse care activities including bathing, feeding and stall cleaning. It is important that they are dressed appropriately and safely for their daily activities. Use our horse camp checklist to make sure your child is geared up and ready to go!
By: Gabriela Reutter
1. Weird tan lines
-severe farmer's tan
2. Early wake ups & long days
-ever heard of a 5:30am wake up to ride a horse before showing?
-we get to see pretty sunrises though!
Our Brand Ambassador Kippy McLiverty headed to Ireland for a post-graduation riding adventure. Below is an excerpt from her longer blog on her journey across the green countryside. You can read more about Kippy’s adventure in her blog!
"Day one on horseback"
We start the day with a delicious breakfast in our hotel, all you can eat, which is fine with Felicia and I. Felicia and I are buzzing with excitement as we fantasize about the day we have ahead of us. When 10 rolls by, Mrs. O'Sullivan picks us up and we are off for our first ride. We travel down many winding roads bringing us further and further from Killarney until we finally pull off at the base of a mountain. Our horses were there waiting, all tacked up and ready to go. As we get ready to start our day, we are offered a bottle of whiskey to swig from, as the woman running the show claims that's the best way to wake up. Accepting the fact that we are in Ireland, and must drink as the Irish do, Felicia and I both take a swig laughing and then proceed to clammer onto our horses backs as only two Americans who never get on from the ground can.
We start by following our guides, two German girls who are here to work for the summer, further up the steep mountain side road through the mist and rain. As we settle into the trot my mind drifts to home with the idea that riding up the side if a mountain road in the rain at a trot would never be heard of. As we go I take in all the beautiful scenery that surrounds us thinking how none of it looks real, even in the rain. We change back and forth between trotting and walking for about an hour as we climb further into the mountain. The girls with us are very sweet and very friendly, so conversation flows naturally between the four of us. As we reach a fairly flat part of our ride, we break into the canter for the first time down a fairly straight and slightly rocky road. As I laugh from the realization that I'm cantering along the side of a cliff in the middle of an Irish rainstorm, something that I would never have had the courage to do a few years ago. We canter and trot along the winding country roads for another 30 min or so gawking at the country side that is too beautiful for words.
The rain and clouds finally parted, and for the next few hours we were lucky brought to have heat and sunshine casting down on us for our ride. When we reach a steep and rocky pasture we enter and proceed to climb the side of the mountain for the next 3 min or so until we reach the top. At the top we are hit with an instant strong, cold breeze that is passing briskly through the gap lying ahead, which we were informed was aptly named the windy gap. As we ride through the gap and down the other side of the steep winding mountain, we see the beautiful ocean and beaches lying ahead of us. The tour guides inform us that tomorrow those are the beaches that we will be galloping across. With the ocean in front of us, and windy gap at our back, we made our way down to the bottom of the mountain where we stop and allow the horses to rest as we eat our lunches.
Following lunch, we work our way through more countryside roads, losing our way a bit but eventually finding the right path that brings us to a field occupied with two donkeys that were not too pleased with the intrusion. We all laughed at their mewing as we cantered across their field, through a giant puddle and out to the other side of their enclosure. As we rode for the last hour to the waiting trailers, the sunshine subsided and in true Irish fashion the mist settled back in. After a long hard ride through the mountains, Felicia and I were exhausted and when we reached the hotel, we promptly showered to wake ourselves up a bit. Following our showers, we proceeded to wander the surrounding area of our new town, followed by dinner at the pub located in the hotel. Another short walk after dinner, and we were ready to turn in for the night, thoroughly exhausted and ready for a good night’s sleep to prepare us for whatever tomorrow brings!
About our guest blogger: Kippy McLiverty is a Carousel Horse Brand Ambassador. She is a recent Slippery Rock University grad, where she was captain of their IHSA team.
By: Maggie Carty
After not having any professional instruction for almost two years, I was a little nervous to ride in front of someone who competes all the way up and down the east coast, and whose barn is featured in Equestrian Living Magazine. I typically flat my horse twice a week, jump twice a week, and then trail ride as much as I can. Sometimes this fluctuates into running around in the woods and then the following week getting back into the sandbox. Another thought crossed my mind as well: a group of other amateurs who regularly attend clinics/lessons will be there to watch me potentially fly off my horse. I signed up to ride in a show jumping clinic with August Torselieri because I knew I needed a tune up, but also wanted a challenge.
In the weeks before the clinic I spent a lot of time making sure my horse was physically fit enough to do a lot of jumping over two days in the muggy June weather. I also thought about my position, my equipment and a lot of other details that go into my riding. I wanted to prepare as much as I could, but ultimately I only knew that day 1 was grid work and the 2nd day was courses. I watched the clinic he gave last year at the same facility, and all of the lessons were tailored to each horse/rider combination.
Since I have been doing my own things at horse shows, I was eager [also slightly apprehensive] to learn from an outside instructor who had no pre-existing knowledge of me or horse. Even better, I learned that I was the only one in the 3’ - 3’3 height.
Day 1: Grids! My favorite! Before we started, August asked what my goals were and what I typically compete at. I mentioned that having a smaller horse is usually an issue for me in any competition setting, because I can do both the add step and leave-out. We had a discussion about why that could be. I personally get a lot out of talking about riding and then putting it into practice. We warmed up and instantly smoothed out some of my transitions. His recommendation helped my horse and I smooth over our flying changes in an efficient, balanced manner. He set some warm up fences up and Paige was a little star. Once the fences were raised, I enjoyed a dialogue between August and I on how speed, collection, straightness effect my ride through the grids. By the time my hour was over Paige had earned herself some [ok, plenty of] carrots.
Day 2: Courses I was super excited to ride! I had a later time so I wouldn’t be as sweaty, and I had a better idea of what I was in for. After another little warm up, we tackled some courses. They started out easy, medium, and then my favorite: a long ride single to start. I like to run to these typically, but he reminded me to keep one rhythm, and it was a great fence! He added some other challenging pieces in, and then compared the exercises to what I could encounter in the show ring. Even when I was riding to something I was unsure of, I was up for the challenge.
I think in general people are shy of riding at clinics and although I understand why, I encourage everyone to try it! Being pushed out of your comfort zone is the only way to improve both horse/rider. You never stop learning at work, school, life so why not keep learning new things from other professionals? Another set of eyes can also help smooth over something you may have missed and really take your ride from good to great. A ton of professionals are willing to travel to your farm or welcome you to theirs, too! Take a friend and have a blast, this is supposed to be fun after all.
Get Maggie's clean, clinic look:
Helmet: GPA Speed Air 2X Helmet
Breeches: Tailored Sportsman Ladies Vintage Contrast Patch and Tredstep Symphony Rosa Side Zip Breech
Boots: Ariat Womens Heritage Contour Zip Field Boot
Belt: Noble Outfitters On The Bit
Gloves: Roeckl Roeck-Grip Chester Gloves
Saddle: Collegiate Convertible Diploma Close Contact Saddle
Bridle: Nunn Finer Hampton Bridle
Martingale: Crosby Raised Standing Martingale
Protective Boots: Horze Advanced ProTec Boot Set
About our blogger: Maggie Carty is a brand ambassador for The Carousel Horse. Maggie is a 2016 graduate of Seton Hill University where she competed for, and was the captain of their IHSA team. Maggie actively horse shows in the tri-state area.
The Carousel Horse welcome Elaina Eppinger, Purina Animal Nutrition Lifestyle Product Specialist, and Kayla Burgess of the Pittsburgh Agway Group as they presented a fun, interactive seminar on Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome.
Their presentation touched on a variety of topics including contributing factors associated with gastric discomfort:
Signs associated with gastric discomfort
Treatment and management tips
Feeding management recommendations
If you missed out on this seminar, be sure to follow us on social media for announcements on upcoming events at the store.