All Blog Posts (4,530)

Increasing My Stability in the Saddle

Increasing My Stability in the Saddle    

When I got my new Pegasus Butterfly jumping saddle, I noticed that the saddle leather was more slippery than the leather in my old Stubben and Crosby saddles.  My riding teacher, Debbie, started getting after me more about the position of my lower legs.  Where before, when I was riding in the Stubben or Crosby saddles, she was pretty much content with the stability of my lower leg, she changed to correcting my lower leg several times each…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on January 7, 2017 at 4:53pm — No Comments

Safety and Being a Spoil Sport.

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I’m a riding instructor. Wait, it’s worse than that. A riding instructor who has read the small print of her liability insurance, as if I didn’t feel responsible enough before. Beyond that, I’m certain that if one of my horses hurt someone, it wouldn’t be his fault and it would break my heart. Maybe literally.

My…

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Added by Anna Blake on January 6, 2017 at 11:32am — 2 Comments

Oakley Diaries - 30: 2016 Was An Awesome Year

Very many seem to treat this year a something of a kidney stone, and in much of the world, according to the news, it was. But in my little corner of the world, it was awesome.

First, I spent most of the year's focus on learning to jump, and teaching Oakley to jump. To learn, I hiked up the road a ways to another barn, got on school horses that would reliably jump. One cannot…

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Added by B. G. Hearns on January 1, 2017 at 10:01am — 1 Comment

Life Hacks we can learn from horses

Life Hacks we can learn from horses

by Linda Finstad

Acknowledging horses as great teachers is nothing new.

Anyone who learned to ride on a pony will eagerly relay all the life lessons they learned from that experience.  Lessons in patience, determination, how to fall and roll and humility.…

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Added by Linda Finstad on December 31, 2016 at 10:08am — No Comments

Remembrance: Someone’s Always Dying

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It’s that weird week between the holidays. I never know what day it is so I mess up scheduling around Christmas, only to follow through and mess up the same exact way one week later for New Years. Squinting at the calendar doesn’t help…

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Added by Anna Blake on December 30, 2016 at 11:30pm — 2 Comments

So you want to write a horse book?

Why write a Horse book?

For myself, the question should be “Why Not write a horse book” 

For the best part of my life horses have filled my thoughts, dreams and…

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Added by Linda Finstad on December 28, 2016 at 12:24pm — No Comments

The Politics of Holiday Pie

Inconceivable: I’m going to share my pie recipe. I’ll pause and give my friends time to pick themselves up. They know this sort of thing could go either way.

There was that time years ago, that I had a date over for dinner. We hadn’t known each other long and I always want to get off on the right foot. We were sipping wine…

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Added by Anna Blake on December 26, 2016 at 8:30am — No Comments

I am Riding Mia Again!

I am Riding Mia Again!

When I stopped riding Mia three months ago, she was not pleased with the way that my new saddle and pad combination was working on her back.  She “muttered” under her breath that she was too old to put up with such shenanigans, that the shifting saddle was just TOO IRRITATING, and that she would appreciate me not riding her until I figured out how to keep the saddle stable.  So I worked on figuring out how to stabilize the saddle on Bingo and Cider, and when I…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on December 24, 2016 at 11:52am — No Comments

Retraining a Less Than Ideal Horse in a Riding School

Retraining a Less Than Ideal Horse in a Riding School

Winter has arrived here in NC, and due to the cold, or the rain, I’ve been able to ride only twice since my last post, both times on Bingo.

Debbie had to start using Bingo with other riders because she had run out of other horses to mount her students.  She actually sort of apologized to me for putting other people up on him while I retrain him but I just shrugged it off, he is a horse at a riding school, of course other…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on December 17, 2016 at 2:22pm — No Comments

Negotiating; Not Fighting



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It was last spring when this ancient donkey came to the farm. In the beginning, we thought she might not make it. Nobody likes change but we couldn’t tell if it was a hunger strike or her organs shutting down.

Then she nibbled and…

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Added by Anna Blake on December 17, 2016 at 12:27pm — No Comments

Riding a Suspension… of Disbelief



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Some of us are okay with who we are in the saddle. We don’t question the ride, or if we do, we put it on the horse and he’s fine with that. It is what it is, and it works for lots of horses and…

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Added by Anna Blake on December 17, 2016 at 12:15pm — No Comments

Negotiating; Not Fighting.





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It was last spring when this ancient donkey came to the farm. In the beginning, we thought she might not make it. Nobody likes change but…

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Added by Anna Blake on December 9, 2016 at 9:45am — No Comments

Slow Feeding for Ulcer Prevention

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Added by Texas Haynet on December 8, 2016 at 11:31am — No Comments

Maybe I Finally Got the Shims Right with Bingo

Maybe I Finally Got the Shims Right with Bingo

This week I finally came to the realization that, at least on horses with the croup high &/or sway back conformation, the key to getting my new Pegasus Butterfly saddle working correctly, is to shim my pad correctly.  I also established that when I made my stirrup leathers uneven (to reflect that my right leg is shorter than my left leg), my seat stays centered in the saddle without much extra work on my part.

Last Sunday I…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on December 3, 2016 at 1:25pm — No Comments

Mental Focus Means Not Trying Too Hard





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My friend and I took yoga while we were in high school. It was 1971 or so, and I can’t remember if the group met in a church…

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Added by Anna Blake on December 2, 2016 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Life Hacks# for Riding Schools

Life Hacks for Riding Schools

Stand out from the crowd by adding extra services and promotions for your clients.

Its as easy as looking through your phone book.

  • Ask your local tack store to give your clients a discount  - I am sure if you were sending all your new riders their way to get kitted out they would be more than…
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Added by Linda Finstad on November 29, 2016 at 7:33pm — No Comments

Find your Tribe - Art connects us All

Either Directly or Indirectly art has given me more than the gift of beauty and inspiration.

 Art has connected me to some amazing people and some of my most treasured friends.

My preferred art form and one at which for the past 15 years I have earned my living is “Fine Art Photography”.  Not just any fine art photography, my specialty and number one passion is…

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Added by Linda Finstad on November 29, 2016 at 2:04pm — No Comments

Is My Right Leg Shorter Than My Left Leg?

Is My Right Leg Shorter Than My Left Leg?    

Last Sunday, for my ride on Cider using my new Pegasus Butterfly saddle, I added both the ¼” and 3/16” bridging shims to my Contender II BOT/ThinLine pad.  This made the pad thicker, which meant Shannon had trouble getting Cider’s string girth to the bottom hole of the billet straps.  If we had used any girth but a mohair string girth we would have been in real trouble, but since the string girth has some stretch to it Shannon finally got…

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Added by Jackie Cochran on November 26, 2016 at 2:07pm — 1 Comment

The Passion to Punish





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First, last, and always, this is the truth about communication with animals: Punishment is the lowest form of expression.

A photo of…

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Added by Anna Blake on November 25, 2016 at 10:04am — No Comments

Why It's Never "Good Enough"

Follow the blog at Equestrian Lifestyle!

Hey guys! It's been a while since I've written a personal post, so here's a little update on what's…

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Added by Sarah Eder on November 23, 2016 at 1:29pm — No Comments

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