In just a few short weeks, I will be starting the last fall semester of my college career. Thank God. Unfortunately this semester is full of upper level History, Anthropology, and Religion classes….which means I’ll be reading and writing papers pretty much non stop from the end of August to sometime in December.
I’ve already started formulating a plan so I can keep up with riding this fall and winter (I’m just dreaming about cooler weather right now). It’s going to be an exhausting semester and the horses are probably not going to be to happy with me.
Here’s what going back to school with horses means to me:
- Long, Long Days: I try to plan riding to the days where my classes get done early and not the day before exams! But, sometimes it’s still going to be a long day!
- Working on basics: I know my rides are going to be sporadic so I try not to get too much into teaching something new to my ponies. Instead, I focus on basics as well as what I can do to improve myself (which is a lot!)
- Stress & a Short Temper: School stresses me out, so does work…so do the horses sometimes. While I always feel better after a ride, during the school year I have to really remind myself not to lose my patience during a bad ride.
- Beer, Books & Bareback: Sometimes, I just want to be around my horses but studying gets in the way. A few years ago I learned what a relaxing place the barn can be to read for class. I like to grab a cooler and throw a couple of beers in it, grab a book for class and just hop on one of the horses bareback and sit in the arena. It’s nice but it’s also really important to make sure your horse is feeling lazy too!
- Early Saturday Morning Rides: Going back to school coincides with the start of football season, which means many saturday afternoons I have to be at home to watch a game. It also means I get to spend crisp fall mornings out at the barn. It’s a glorious time to ride.
- Fall Horse Shows: some of the best horse shows take place from September through November. They are always something to look forward to.
These are just a few things I think about when fall rolls around and school starts back up. Being in school and having horses means something different to everybody though. In my case, I am lucky I live just a few minutes from the barn even during the school year. For others they have to leave their horses behind for school or pay even more to bring them with. I also can’t compare the fun or stress of being on an equestrian team. Since I’ve attended school only full-time a few semesters I was never qualified to join, plus my school doesn’t have an active team!
Let me know how you plan to keep up, get involved, or just stay connected with your horse life this school year! I would love to share your stories and survival tips! Comment below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
a Lovely Way to Study!
Everybody likes to wear their college team allegiance, so why shouldn’t your horse too? Yesterday I caught a glimpse of a Facebook post by the author of The Barrel Racing Blog, a photo of NFL themed polo wraps. That immediately got me thinking, ” I need to make Husker polo wraps.” So, I searched the internet and found two great resources for “collegiate fleece fabric”:
Polo wraps are really easy to make. All you need is the fleece, a sewing machine (even a small travel one will work), scissors, and some heavy velcro. Make sure the velcro is sew on without a sticky back since it will gum up sewing machines.
Measurements for your wrap should be 9 feet long by 4.5 to 5 inches wide. After you cut out the fabric (make sure you cut as straight and clean as possible) all you have to do is sew on the velcro (it should be about 3 inches wide). To get the right placement of the velcro, I always use an existing wrap and just match it up, then sew the velcro on!
Repeat 3 more times or just once, if you only want front wraps…and you’re done!
My directions probably aren’t the best but it’s a really easy project! It’s also a great way to show your school spirit! If you can’t find your school or don’t have school spirit, you can make some pretty great polo wraps out of the tons of different colors and patterns of fleece out there!
Posted in College, Collegiate 4-H, IHSA, Money Saving Tips, Tack, Varsity Equestrian, Websites
Tagged College, Collegiate 4-H, Collegiate Polo Wraps, Money Saving, Tack
Everybody needs some basic pieces to their show wardrobe, especially a simple white show shirt! It goes with everything, including any color horse, tack, and show blanket! Here are my favorite picks from Rod’s Western Palace!
Regularly priced, the White Beaming Rhinestone French Cuff Blouse is $129.00 but right now Rod’s is offering it on sale for $79.99. It has shimmery, silvery appearance and can add a lot sparkle in a classy way.
Next, for only $59.95, is the Rhinestone French Cuff Blouse. It’s tailored with darts, has rhinestone buttons and french cuffs. It’s a simple and stylish shirt!
Rod’s White Solid Twill Long Sleeve Blouse at $39.95, is a classic. A button down shirt is an inexpensive way to buy a show shirt yet still look professional. Rod’s even offers a monogramming option for an additional $6.00. This is great shirt for those states requiring white shirts for 4-H!
Well, Spring is still a ways away but that doesn’t mean I can’t start planning for spring shows and horse fairs! Many states have their own fairs through March and April and Indiana is no exception. The Hoosier Horse Fair is April 1-3 in Indianapolis. Last year it fell on the same weekend as Equine Affaire Ohio, which I decided to go to instead. This year Equine Affaire Ohio is April 7-10! I am not sure if I will attend HHF but I will definitely be at Equine Affaire! Last year I had a great time and came up with a lot of great ideas!
Horse Fairs are great place…
- to bargain hunt, try things on, or just check out quality. Sometimes there are good deals other times not so much! I always go with a list of what I want or need and average prices!
- are also a great place to check out schools with Equine concentrations if you are looking for one or maybe want to change your academic focus.
- to meet members of local and state horse clubs! Some offer membership discounts at fairs as well. If you’re looking to start showing in some different places or try breed show for the first time. This is a great way to make connections!
In my searches for money-saving tips, good deals, and random, cool things I’ve noticed something about what’s offered for equestrians my age (24!). There aren’t a lot of magazines or websites directed to my age bracket. Magazine wise, one of the most popular horse publications Horse & Rider, has a reader base of 76 percent are aged 40 or older. One of the other most popular magazines Young Rider, is aimed at a much younger reader base. So, what are 20 somethings reading? Personally, I’m a dedicated reader of Paint Horse Journal and Equine Chronicle. The problem with both these publications is that they are primarily ads though they have some great articles and Equine Chronicle can be viewed online for free (actually their whole website is one of my absolute favorites)!
As far as websites go, looking up college oriented or 20-30 age bracket websites usually only brings up schools, how to bring your horse to school, and sometimes collegiate team info. I want more! A magazine/website aimed at my age group would cover these things
- Financial advice, about boarding in school, affording a horse after just getting married & starting a fam, while looking for a career starting job
- Fashion, for horse girls on a budget inside the show pen, out at the barn, and other horse-y events
- IHSA (intercollegiate Hose Show Association) news from around the country and Collegiate 4-H (who knew!?)
- Training tips (of course!) but ones aimed at people who have to ride between studying and work!
- Anything DIY from making show clothes to repairing and sprucing up tack
- Some serious reporting on where to find and get the best products
- And why not a section on issues important to our age group, whatever they may be at the time…like looking into getting judges cards, starting a business, association rules
That’s what I’m looking to read anyway. What are you looking for in a magazine or do you know of a publication or website that has a lot of these things? Would you want to read something like this?