Thursday

Love this video welcome to winter riding



Winter officially begins in about a week, but horseback riders are suiting up and prepping for snowy trail rides.


Mountain Horse has presented a fun musical video to get intrepid equestrians in the mood for mushing and slushing. (OK, the video came out in 2006, but ya gotta love it.)

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Who’s ready to hit the trails?

Grab your Mountain Horse Hand Cozy Fleece Gloves, and let’s ride.

If you go, be sure to strap on that riding safety helmet. Why not add some extra warmth with a Fleece Equestrian Riding Helmet Cover with Neck Warmer?

Image/s:
Horses in Winter by Ellumyne
Creative Commons Licensing Photos



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Sunday

Santa eyes Moorlands Totilas, This year's hot Breyer for horse lovers



Favorite and famous horses have been honored as Breyer plastic horse collectibles for many years. The 2012 prized pony (OK, he’s not REALLY a pony) is Moorland Totilas.

Who is Moorland Totilas?

The famous 2000 Dutch Warmblood stallion is the star of the international dressage scene. Ridden by Edward Gal for The Netherlands, Totilas earned remarkably high scores (reaching even into the 90s) in top world competitions. Totilas picked up three gold medals at the 2012 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

Take a look at Totilas in action.

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Molded in piaffe, the Breyer Totilas retails for $19.99, plus tax and shipping. Although the real Totilas stands 17.1 hands high, the plastic collectible is five inches tall.


Image/s:
Totilas: Reigning World Dressage Champion
Breyer Horses promo photo
Fair Use

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Wednesday

Happy Thanksgiving, Horse Lovers!

Hope your Thanksgiving celebration includes at least a bit of horseplay.

Whether you celebrate at home or journey over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house, enjoy the happy holiday!


Happy Thanksgiving from The Mane Point!

Thursday

Santa - Ponying up for a horse for Christmas?



Watch this first!

Hey, St. Nick! Stop horsing around. What’s on the top of every kid’s Christmas list? If it’s not a puppy, it’s surely a pony.

How many classic Christmas movies, TV holiday sitcoms, and storybooks contain happy “Santa brought me a pony” endings? Could an endearing little equine be the answer to any horse-loving youngster’s Yuletide dreams?

Perhaps. Still , it may be time to rein in some of that enthusiasm for things equid at the North Pole. A pretty pony is amazingly adorable, as long as the owner is ready for all that comes with such a charming creature.



Whoa, baby.

Gather the elves, big boy. Check this out before picking a pony for that special kid at Christmas.
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Maybe it’s time to channel that unbridled enthusiasm.

Equine rescues often overflow after Christmas with these well-intentioned holiday gifts that didn’t quite work out. It sort of like the post-Easter phenomenon, when pet shelters gain a surplus of bunnies, chicks, and ducklings.

Santa: Can you add a pony to the pack and still keep the family stable, so to speak? Is the clan prepared to be saddled with the expenses and responsibilities of caring for the cute critter?

If so, have at it. (I’d bet I could even help you find a few suitable mounts.)


Image/s:
Shetland Pony by randoooooom
Creative Commons Licensing Photos

Monday

Who's up for a trail Ride to Remember?

Just received this notice from the American Competitive Trail Ride Association (ACTHA).

In this nationwide equestrian event, riders will saddle up at their own chosen locations for six-mile trail rides to raise funds for Horses for Heroes - New Mexico, INC., a non-profit organization that benefits American military veterans and active-duty personnel who have suffered injuries or illness related to their service of our great nation.

The 2012 Ride to Remember takes place across the United States on Veterans Day Weekend, running from Saturday, November 10, through Sunday, November 11.


What a super cause! Who's going? Who's hosting a ride? (If you are, please contact me, so I can include your Ride to Remember event in a future roundup piece.)

For more information:
ACTHA
P.O. Box 341047
Austin, Texas, 78734
Phone: 877-992-2842


Have an upcoming Midwestern horse event?


Mane Dates: Horsing Around in the Upper Midwest posts pertinent details on upcoming equestrian events. From horse shows to tack swaps, equestrian education to expos, and clinics to county fairs, Mane Dates has it all

Horse Show by Linda Ann Nickerson/Nickers and Ink
Is your event included?

How can you submit your future horse happening for Mane Dates: Horsing Around in the Upper Midwest?

If your event is scheduled for a location in the American Upper Midwest, you can send your details in a number of ways. Find the simple instructions here.

You may also choose to join this Facebook group to promote your show or event: Posting Upcoming Wisconsin and Nearby Horse Show Bills. (Remember: JPG photo files are the best for possible promotion.)

Don't forget to follow Mane Dates: Horsing Around in the Upper Midwest for alerts on horse happenings in the region.



Should the ruler thirst around the humane refund?

Wednesday

Dressage x Natural Horsemanship = LOL


What happens when you mix dressage with natural horsemanship? The results, in reality, might be wonderfully worthy. Still, the possibilities are potentially amusing as well.

Personally, I’ve dabbled in dressage, Western, trail, hunter-jumper, and more. And I’m learning some helpful pointers from natural horsemanship friends as well. (Yes, lots of good things happen on the ground between horse on rider, when the two are able to build a partnership through communication.)

So I found this video particularly entertaining.




This comic equestrian video may be primitive, but it’s also both poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. Whether you are a natural horsemanship guru, a dressage diva, a devoted hunter/jumper, or a rodeo fan, you’ll likely enjoy this.


Take a look at “Dressage – Naturally.”
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OK, who wants to add a fringed top to a pair of white lycra full-seat breeches now?

Image/s:
Video Screenshot
Fair Use

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Sunday

What’s up with The Jockey’s Prayer?


Halt right there.

This may surprise a few folks. I’m all for prayer. I love the idea of jockeys praying. I’ve often prayed for jockeys – both those I know personally and those I do not. I’ve prayed for their horses too, particularly when they’ve run into tight spots.

But “The Jockey’s Prayer” has me snorting with righteous indignation. Maybe I’m just having a “bad mare day,” but I think it’s more than that.

Ready? I'm fixing to stir up some trouble here. Or maybe I'm just horsing around. You decide.


 See for yourself.

Antique horse racing prints are popular among equine enthusiasts, track wagerers, and other horse lovers. “The Jockey’s Prayer” is one such item. This 19th Century artwork appears on everything from framed images to tea trays and coffee mugs.

Racetrack chaplains customarily pray with jockeys before big races. Maybe we like the sound of that. Who would object to a group of the fittest athletes, pound for pound, dropping to their knees to plead for divine favor and protection before laying their lives out on snorting, sprinting steeds on the track?

Sure, the idea of jockeys praying may be most meritorious.
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But have you ever examined the words of “The Jockey’s Prayer” closely?

This missive has been attributed to Rae Smith, who apparently produced the 1868 lithograph. Read closely, and you may find that “The Jockey’s Prayer” has little to do with actual racing.

“O! Mighty Nimrod, as it is not my nature to run the race set before me alone, to Thee I pray for a helpmate. Send me, I beseech Thee, a wife such as will suit a lover of the turf and chase; and as I am to be saddled to her for life, let her be gentle in her disposition.

“I desire her to have a clear, full eye, a finely put up head and neck, in every particular a good forehand, and go well upon her pasterns; not too long in the reach, neither may she have too much stride for her gather.

“In build and bottom may she prove herself a star, and when it comes to the homestretch may she ever be equal to any task. Although I should wish her handsome, and a filly well bred, yet I beseech Thee, let not her beauties prove as blinkers to my understanding, nor her extravagance gallop me to destruction.

“ I am not easily spurred to passion, but should she endeavor to get the whiphand of me, I probably might be led to jostle and cross, which might ultimately end in some terrible rearing, plunging, and kicking up.

“Let her not, I pray Thee, be tainted with the flinders of pride, not the farcy of self-will, causing her, when I attempt to curb her for lugging heavily on the rein, to toss her head and bridle at my instructions, lest I should be compelled to put on the martingale of restraint, and force her to chew the bit of sober reflection.

“May it please Thee, Great Leader, so to direct my judgment that I may select a wife without spot or blemish, and always proud of my bargain, as I journey on neck and neck with her in our matrimonial road.

“May she be competent to take the reins at times as we glide smoothly along together, and by that means better equalize our burden.

“Could I meet with such an article, that had never been broke – not too large in the girth, and who would come easily to collar – I should look upon her with that degree of satisfaction and admiration with which the Bedouin of the Desert feasts his eyes upon his favorite mare. Honest Harry Kemble would be more than pleased to hitch up and gaily prance with her to the Circle us Hymen, sign and seal the necessary nuptial bonds with many kisses and embraces, and cheerfully run with her the generous race of mutual affection, ever the uneven course of life.”

Whoa! Who’s the nimrod now?

Alright, ladies. What’s your response to “The Jockey’s Prayer”? Who’s bristling at these old-fashioned sentiments?

Yeah, I get that "The Jockey's Prayer" was intended as fun. It's clearly an "Old Boys' Network" joke of some sort. I've sat in the modern-day media rooms at big races and seen the network still in play.

Still, the pet prayer has been passed through generations. And it raises some serious questions that merit pondering, particularly for those who have not yet been reined in and taken a trip down the bridal path to be hitched.

How is marriage like a horse race? How is it not?

OK, besides the nearly inevitable turf wars and the occasional leave-‘em-in-the-dust breakups, does wedded bliss or bedlam have much to do with horses and jockeys on the track?

“The Jockey’s Prayer” begs a question of a different sort. Ladies: would you liken your ideal guy to a fast Thoroughbred, a flashy Arabian, a sturdy Quarter Horse, or another breed altogether?

Somebody stop me before I cast myself in my own office.
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Image/s:
The Jockey’s Prayer
Horse Racing Litho
By Rae Smith
(1868)
Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs Division
Washington, DC
Public Domain Photo


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Monday

Ever been water-skiing with a miniature horse?


The American Midwest may be emerging from a long, dry heat wave, but a young horse lover in Arizona has had a bit of fun in the sun.

Jessie, of I Am Ranch in Waddell, grabbed a wake board and hitched a ride for some puddle-skiing in her flooded backyard with I AM Rhythms Classic Cameo, her four-year-old Miniature Horse.

The diminutive equine stands just 7.35 hands high, but she’s definitely packed with power from head to hoof and from nose to tail.

And the video went viral. (See it below.)
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File this one under adorable.

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Jessie is a game little cowgirl, who also has been known to ride the family cow.

This time, however, the Arizona equestrian teen has given “hang ten” a whole new meaning with her own version of summer ski-joring.
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Image/s:
Jessie and Classic Cameo:
 Waterskiing with a Mini Horse
Video Screenshot
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