Get to Know A Circuit Class

How did you get into riding?

            I started riding after a failed ballet attempt. My birthday was approaching & when my grandparents asked what I wanted I randomly said to ride horses…. They paid for my first 10 lessons & I fell in love!

 

What is your favorite riding memory?

            My favorite riding memory has to be from when I was little. I had a tiny tiny buckskin pony named Sparky. He was 16 but a COMPLETE SPIT FIRE (he bucked me off or ran away with me every lesson, ily though). We used to go trail riding (yes, real trail riding, I had a pony pack on the side of my saddle & everything LOL) & we used to ride for hours then take the horses swimming in the lake (we stayed on!!) & then have races & omg it was just so much fun. No pressure, just enjoyment! It was what most people would consider “bobo” but it still stands as my favorite memory!

 

Who is your most memorable horse?

            My most memorable horse is Coach of course. I’ve ridden many amazing horses that have taught me tons but C has been with me the longest, taught me the most & certainly has my heart.

 

What is your greatest riding achievement?

            My greatest riding achievement would have to be winning the Champagne Nutt Hunter Derby & Equitation Championship in one night.

 

Who do you train with?

            I train with Peggy Stevens out of Brookmore Farms in Oviedo FL. Peggy has truly done wonders for not only my riding & my horses but my life in general. She has helped me to accomplish so many things in just the 4 years we have been together. She has turned my dreams in to realities. She puts so much hard work in to my riding & I couldn’t ask for much more from a trainer. Peggy is definitely the biggest credit to my riding today. She believes in me… & that in it’s self is the best feeling in the world. I can’t thank her enough.

 

What are your horses’ names?

            My horses’ names are Coach, AKA Perfect Partner, & Easy, AKA Big Easy.

 

Who are the main influences on your riding?

            I would say my riding influences have changed over the years but always remained the same type of person; my trainer. My trainer before I came to Peggy truly shaped me as a person & rider I am today. She laid the foundation to me & is still a huge influence on me today. Peggy is my most constant & biggest influence. Training & working with her everyday she’s become a huge role model & advisor for me. On the less constant side I would say George Morris has also influenced me. In the short times I have had with him I have learnt an incredible amount, not just in riding but about the sport, my self & the horses. He is a walking book of knowledge & I truly credit him for our sport today.

 

What are your favorite horse companies?

            My favorite horse related companies have to be Back On Track, EquiFit, Noble Equine, EcoLicious, Oglivy, Tenney’s Custom Saddlery, FarmVet, Shop Dapple Gray & Rebecca Ray Designs.

I use a lot of ToadJuice, EcoLicous & Calm Coat for skin products. As far as

pampering products go it’s all about the Back on Track everything!!!

 

What is your favorite riding outfit?

            My favorite brand of breeches would have to be Pikeur & TS. For shirts I like a light button down with some flow to it; protects from sun but not too hot. Of course I have my usual arm candy on, my Noble Equine Peddie socks & my Tenney’s custom half chaps with paddock boots on!

 

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about riding?

            My favorite thing about this sport would be that it is so on edge. Every day we get on we don’t know what’s going to happen. Not only are we predicting our selves though… We are predicting the judges, our horses, our trainers, everything. It’s all unknown but that’s the fun of it. & when it all comes together, it is that much more rewarding. The worst part about this sport is also the unpredictability we are dealt with. We can be on our A game but the second our horse isn’t there goes that blue ribbon.

 

How do you manage horses and school?

            I manage school & showing through my half time school schedule. I only have 1-2 classes a day& the rest are virtual. This means missing school is easy as I only have 1-2 classes to make up work for. I do my virtual school while at the barn too!

You were just at HITS Ocala. How did it go?

            Ocala was great! It came with MANY ups & downs as most of you know; my golf cart was stolen, the coach fiasco, riding a million horses & then general search for a new one. Overall it taught me more than any other circuit though!

Highlights of the circuit include showing Coachy for the last time & placing 4th in the Maclay out of 40+ people. It was so amazing to realize it officially made a year of doing 3’6 & I had improved so much! I couldn’t have placed if I tried last year, especially in the eq! I was the only one on a hunter & it was truly a way to go out with a bang with my boy! Another highlight was finding Easy boy !

Down fall of the circuit was obviously getting my golf cart stolen for the 4th time & dealing with Coachy being out & the endless effort to find an eq horse. I said goodbye to some amazing horses for different reasons but I’m thankful for all, for I would not be the person I am today if I didn’t deal with adversity in my life.

If I wasn’t riding I was usually watching friends, grazing my horses, grooming my horses, cleaning something, browsing shops, eating… LOL, or doing virtual school!

 

Do you have any tips for people who want to start showing at bigger shows?

            My biggest tip for people wanting to show the circuit is to keep your confidence up. In a sport based off of confidence it reaches an all time high at the A/AA rated shows…. To the point of cockiness at some points… Smh. But with out confidence in your self & your riding it is easy to be trampled. Believe in your self & the rest will follow!

 

How do you deal with horse show jitters?

            My advice for show jitters is ,breathing. Focus on your breath, slow it down & concentrate. Look at where you are & realize how lucky you are just to be sitting on a horse, something most people never do in a life time. You are doing what you love because you love it, don’t let your nerves get in the way of that.

 

How do you get in the “zone” to ride?

            Music always gets me in the “zone” for riding. The song “Remember the Name” is a ritual of mine every horse show morning on the way to the show. It reminds me of my goals & prepares me mentally for athletic excellence (i hope anyways).

 

How did you start your anon?

            My anon was actually an existing account. The girl asked me to run it with her & she left a month later. It then sat for a couple of months before one day I started posting on it out of boredom ! I gained 400 followers in one day & it was up from there!

 

What are some pros and cons to having your anon?

            Pros to having an anon are that I get to interact with people all over the world that love the same thing I do. You draw connections on so many levels with so many people that you otherwise would have no idea existed if it wasn’t for the internet! It also opens doors for things like ambassadorships & interviews like this! It’s a great way to share your story & build relationships while doing it! It’s always nice to know someone else feels your pains or joys!

Cons are basically the ones you would imagine. People are quick to judge & form opinions on you just based off of your twitter account. No one hangs hard times on the wall & some people fail to remember that. Hate is a daily occurrence & the best you can do is ignore it. Having a big following requires staying true to your self no matter what. & honestly, the more popular you become, the more hate you receive, you just have to remember that with all the hate there is triple the love!

 

I want to give a huge thank you to Georgie for answering my questions! Good luck with Coach and Easy!

Helmet Wars

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Almost everyday I see people tweeting about which helmet they should get… I feel like some people buy helmets that look nice or the helmet that is the new fad. I know that some people get a GPA just because they want a GPA but does it fit 100%, probably not. I recently just went through the process of getting a new helmet. I had the Charles Owen GR8 for a few years and after a bad fall it was time to get a new one. A lot of girls at m barn were getting GPAs and I loved them and how it looked on me, so of course I wanted one. I went to Calabasas Saddlery, my favorite tack store, to get fitted! Sadly my dreams were crushed when they told me it would be dangerous to get this helmet since it wasn’t a perfect fit. A Charles Owen rep was there who took my measurements and had me try on the AYR8, I wasn’t a fan but she told me to keep it for a few days to get used to a new look, if I didn’t like it I could always try another. The AYR8 was the model that fit the best and would be the safest. I took her advice and slept on it for a few days, Julie, the owner, knew I didn’t like it at all. When I went back to the store a few days later she sat with me for hours figuring out which helmet would work. They pulled a Charles Owen Wellington Professional from the back, it fit like a glove. I hated the AYR8 on me because it perched and I wasn’t a fan of the mesh, luckily the Wellington Pro was just what I wanted! I really like the Wellington Pro because it is just like my GR8, only it fits way better. I loved my GR8 and I was sad I couldn’t get another, but since I cut my hair, it just didn’t fit right. I am happy that the staff at Calabasas Saddlery are so adamant about people having a helmet that fits perfectly, one bad fall and who knows what could happen. I trust the staff’s opinion as well. 

 

So before you go out and purchase an expensive helmet, please make sure it fits perfectly. Workers at saddleries should know how to fit helmets, I know the ones out here in Cali are taught by the reps. All helmets are nice but it’s not nice if they don’t fit well. So please the next time you get a helmet, get fitted. Heads are precious cargo. Would you buy your horse something that didn’t fit well? 

A Lesson in Equestrian Opinions

Riding is like politics. And I’m not talking about the politics of show judging. I’m talking about how there are so many different ways of doing something, and each and every person subscribes to different ways. Each and every person has facts to back up what they do, and if you disagree with those facts and put forth your own method, you’re automatically wrong – even if both methods have adequate support.

Sound familiar?

Take any political issue today (just choose one, I don’t feel like getting into a debate about some social issue). I guarantee if you googled that issue, you would find a million sources in support of one view and a million against that view – both with sufficient facts to back that view up. So, even if you could feasibly go both ways, you’re still wrong if you choose the side that someone else doesn’t.

I’ve experienced this a lot, especially recently. At my current barn, we have two “main” trainers. One trainer is also one of the barn managers, and she also happens to be the head of another stable in the area. The other trainer, with whom I ride, also has a ton of experience in the horse world. It all sounds well and good, right?

Well, the BM/trainer and my trainer often have differences of opinion on how to ride and train. They have differences of opinion on their “ride.” My trainer loves big, slow warmbloods. My BM loves the smaller, faster horses. If she could have a barn full of ponies, she 100% would (and I would suddenly find myself without a barn.. yikes!) My trainer did the hunters and big eq for years and prefers to ride with lighter contact and tons of leg. My BM prefers to ride with contact more akin to Dressage style with tons of leg. My BM also swears by natural horsemanship, for all horses, and my trainer.. well, she prefers more traditional methods and adapting to how a horse learns best.

I’m sure we can all agree that there is evidence of the effectiveness of natural horsemanship and evidence of the effectiveness of traditional methods. Obviously, different people prefer different ways of riding – otherwise, we wouldn’t have all of the disciplines that exist in this sport.

The problem arises when two people can’t recognize that they each are skilled and knowledgeable, even if they tend to do different things when it comes to riding. My BM tends to think “less” of how my trainer rides, and as a corollary, how I ride because I prefer my trainer’s way of riding. My trainer often says that she and my BM have different methods that reach the same result – and this is 100% true most of the time.

I’ve seen this way of thinking – and often vicious attacking of others who don’t agree – often on the internet. Just go to Tumblr and search terms like “bitless bridle,” “barefoot shoeing,” “natural horsemanship,” etc. The “debate” amongst equestrians can get vicious. I’ve seen a group of equestrians shun George Morris. I’ve seen people making fun of the auto release. There are even individuals who believe that horse riding itself is abusive, and all of it should be stopped.. a little extreme in my opinion.

While I know that this way of thinking will never go away, I believe that we should all try and play a part in changing the way equestrians react to something that diverts from their way of thinking and how they have been taught. Just because you may not agree with how someone rides doesn’t mean they aren’t a good rider or that they don’t know what they’re doing. Why can’t we all accept that maybe each of us has something to learn from someone else, even if we think they are wrong? (Note: I am OBVIOUSLY not talking about ANYTHING that is remotely abusive to a horse or to a rider. I shouldn’t have to make that disclaimer, but I know someone is bound to comment.)

One doesn’t have to assume that a rider or trainer doesn’t know what he or she is doing simply because their method of riding, training, or teaching doesn’t conform to another person’s standards or ideas of how it should be. We need to support one another and build each other up – not tear each other down.

Will riding EVER stop being like politics? Probably not. But we can all try to do what we can to make a difference, even if it is just changing the thinking at our own barn.


Jess

CANADIAN INVASION

A few people have asked me, “What are your favorite brands?” or “What is “in” right now?” So I decided to write about the three hottest companies on twitter! (If you don’t agree, you’re entitled to your wrong opinion, that’s fine)

All the companies have a few things in common,

1. They interact with their followers on social media sites

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

2. They make horses happy

3. They make the riders happy

4. They are super helpful

5. They’re all located in Canada

So now you’re probably wondering what companies I’m talking about…

1. My Barn Child

My Barn Child sells bling for the riders and their horses. I am hooked. I’m absolutely obsessed with MBC. Averill is super nice and is always interacting with her followers. I think I talk to her everyday, like I said, I’m obsessed. My Barn Child has some of the best jewelry ever! I just ordered some SWAG from MBC last night! I’m super excited to get my package! Shipping is super quick too! Both Celebrity and I love My Barn Child!

2. EcoLicious Equestrian

EcoLicious Equestrian sells a line of products that are:

100% Free of Nasty Chemicals, Silicones & Parabens.
Only Natural & Organic Goodness.
Biodegradable & Earth Friendly.
Sourced from Renewable Resources.
Packaged in 100% recycled bottles.
They DON’T test on animals unless is passes a “shower test”
If I am going to use a product on my horse or myself, I want it to be good for us. I don’t want to be using something that is harming animals to see if it’s safe to use. I like knowing that what I am using on my horse and myself is safe. They are not only good for the earth, they smell AMAZING! I can’t wait to give Celebrity a bath this weekend because he needs some major work after the past week or so of rain. I’m so excited to his coat look healthier and for him to smell nice! The company interacts with their followers a lot! It’s really nice when they favorite your tweets, respond to you, like your Instagram pictures, ect.

3. Ogilvy Equestrian

Ogilvy Equestrian is the ultimate solution for your horse’s back.

After all, at the end of the day, your horse is what matters most.

Ogilvy pads

• Allows for maximum freedom of movement and suppleness
• Eliminates rubbing
• Distributes pressure and eliminates tensions caused by the saddle

After reading reviews I immediately made the decision that I was going to purchase an Ogilvy half pad. I love that they are customizable, I love being able to create my own design for my tack. I also am purchasing a pad because after reading that it helps the horses back AND the riders back, I just couldn’t not buy one. I have a lower back injury so I need something that will help me out! Also Ogilvy is really interactive with their followers. I think I DM’d them on twitter asking thousands of questions about the pads and if the colors I chose would match my barns jumper pads! They never not answered a question of mine! They are always retweeting their customers, intagramming their pictures, overall just interacting with their fan base!

It’s really nice having three phenomenal companies interact with you. They make you feel special. I am more inclined to purchases products from them than anyone else! I can’t wait to show off all my products from these companies.

If you don’t already have products from any of these companies, I suggest you order them right now!

http://www.mybarnchild.com

https://twitter.com/MyBarnChild

http://www.ecoliciousequestrian.com

https://twitter.com/EcoLiciousEQ

https://ogilvyequestrian.com

https://twitter.com/OgilvyEq

Don’t forget to like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram!

Red Carpet Treatment

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I got my package from EcoLicious Equestrian on Monday, March 3rd. I unfortuneltey could only use the headband since it was cold and rainy in Southern California. But boy was the wait worth it.

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Before EcoLicious

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Celebrity seems to enjoy his EcoLicious bath

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After EcoLicious

I can honestly say I am thoroughly impressed with EcoLicious Equestrian’s Squeaky Green & Clean Deep Cleansing & Conditioning Shampoo, Silky Rinse Out Moisturizing Conditioner, and De-Stress Intensive Restructuring & Detangling Treatment. I love using products that are good for the environment, not tested on animals, natural and organic, and they smell good too. Celebrity is usually antsy in the wash-racks and hates being bathed, but when I was bathing him with EcoLicious products he stood perfectly still, he was actually falling asleep. Within the first few minutes of shampooing I could see his dapples coming out. You could actually tell that the shampoo was deep cleansing; I could see the dirt washing off of him that would normally take weeks to resurface. Since California is usually so warm and dry his skin/coat is dry, the Silky conditioner worked wonders on him! The conditioner made his coat so soft and shiny, he was a giant teddy bear! His white on his face and legs was BLINDING, his dapples stood out and his color was so enhanced, I loved it!

The Shampoo is made with Coconut-derived ingredients that are tough on dirt yet gentle on skin, silk powder that helps prevent the coat from bleaching (super helpful with the California sun), Tea Tree Essential Oil which soothes and protects sensitive skin, it is moisturizing, soothing, and nourishing and restores natural shine and softness to the coat.

The Silky conditioner is made with Tea Tree Essential Oil that soothes and protects sensitive skin, silk powder to restore shine and softness to the coat, Glycerin and Organic Hemp Oil to moisturize and condition the coat, it also helps to detangle and soften damaged mane and tails. It is also made without silicones so you don’t have to worry about the saddle sliding around.

The De-Stress treatment is made with Coconut Oil to add shine, soften and prevent dryness and breakage that is caused by rubbing, Tea Tree Oil to help soften and moisturize an itchy tail when rubbed into the tail base, and a “cocktail” of Organic Hemp Oil, Coconut, Apricot, Wheat Germ, and Olive Oil, full of fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins, to add moisture to a dry scalp and to promote overall scalp health and growth of the mane and tail.

So as you can tell EcoLicious is amazing for your horse, using only the best for your horse. I can’t wait to order more from this AMAZING Company! If you don’t already have any EcoLicious Equestrian products, I suggest you go to http://www.ecoliciousequestrian.com and buy yourself something nice! You won’t regret it! Their headband is fab too; I use it everyday when I was my face or want to get my hair out of my face! I’m so glad I found such a fantastic company! I can’t imagine using any other grooming products on Celebrity. I only use the best for my horse. I can honestly say EcoLicious is the best.