Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What's next?

The show season has come to an end, but the next season will arrive before you know it. No matter if you placed Champion or not at all means that there is always room for improvement. What can be done for next year to help you meet your goals, your trainers goals and ask yourself should your riding strategy be re-evaluated? Are you competing in the right classes? These are all valid questions but how do you address them for a better future...

There is so much for any rider to get ready for! The start of the new season is only 3 months away. Yikes! I would be asking myself some questions and toss around some food for thought:
1. What was the most consistent problem you faced in the 2013 year?
2. Write down realistic goals. I.e. I would like to be able to place in top 10 in my 3' amateur hunter division.
3. Don't get in over your head by not setting a strategy with your trainer that takes into consideration those problems you faced in 2013.
4. Figure out how you learn best. Are you a visual learner? Or are you better when verbally explained? Determining how well you learn can assist you in becoming a better rider.
5. Most riders that compete in the A and B shows are students; meaning they are in school. Since the majority of those are students, then time management is key. Balancing school, riding and anything else is vital for a sound minded rider. I know without some organization when I was a student, I would have never been able to pull off straight A's (as that was what my mother told me I had to have in order to continue riding).
6. Lastly remember to always practice. "Practice makes perfect", isn't that how the saying goes?

There is always more advice; especially advice that just floats in one ear and out the other. Knowing how you want to prepare and what you want to do next year is key! Plus, we can never forget to have fun!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Insurance for Equine Camps and Clinics

It is prudent for the organizer of camps or clinics, to have insurance for injuries to the third party, participants. Coverage can be endorsed as part of an on going commercial stable operation or purchased on an individual, one time basis. When speaking to your insurance agent, it is important to differentiate between the activity of a camp and that of a clinic. The underwriting companies may charge differently for these two occurrences.

A camp is customarily, a full day of riding and non-riding activities packaged in a series, over a week long period. A clinic is usually a concise, riding group lesson, lasting an hour or so, over the period of one or several days. The participants in both activities are typically, people who are not your regular students.

Most insurance companies have no problem with day camps or clinics that offer horse related activities. The various underwriters will review the activity parts and charge accordingly for the inherent risks. It is extremely important to disclose to your agent, exactly what activities you have planned and how they will be implemented. Generally, the costs are charged according to the number of participants, their ages, the number of days offered, gross receipts, number of school horses used, and how many instructors, with their qualifications. Some activities will not be acceptable and therefore should be avoided. Those may include overnight camps, cooking and providing food, transporting people, swimming, and other non-horse related functions.

Whether you are having a camp or clinic, it is important that the instructor is insured. The instructor may already be insured as part of the barn’s coverage or be an outside independent contractor. If they are an outside instructor, the camp or clinic organizer must require that they carry their own insurance and supply the organizer with a Certificate, showing proof. If the outside instructor does not have insurance, you may be able to add them to the facility insurance at an extra cost.

Further, it is imperative that a proper release of liability form be completed by every participating person, and/or the responsible adult. The form must include all the instructor’s names, landowner entities, and your specific state statute equine liability language.

For further information, contact Shawna Dietrich of Dietrich & Company Equine Insurance 800-942-4258

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Is your horse properly insured?

We all know that insurance is an important part of life!
From car insurance, health insurance, homeowners insurance and life insurance, just to name a few. Most of us are fairly familiar with these types of insurance and how to navigate the system. However, when it comes to equine insurance many people are left scratching their heads. Do I need it? What kind? How much?

Equine insurance is highly varied based upon your needs, your horse(s), usage, etc... some of the most general and common types of equine insurance are Full Mortality, Loss of Use, Surgical and Major Medical. Then there are a host of others to consider such as Specified Perils, Stallion Availability and International Air Transit just to name a few!

So how do you decide what type of insurance you need? Well the best answer would be to talk with a professional such as your trainer and with an Equine Insurance Specialist. A insurance specialist can help you to determine what type of insurance would be best for you.

Dietrich Equine Insurance is a Kentucky based Equine Insurance Company comprised of a host of licensed insurance agents that are active in the horse world, both in competition and pleasure. These are agents are uniquely qualified to help guide you through Equine Insurance.

Dietrich Equine not only specializes in Equine Insurance but also in Farm and Liability Insurance allowing them to help with all of your Equine related needs.

For more information go to www.ChicagoEquestrian.com for a direct link to Dietrich Equine Insurance.

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Friday, March 15, 2013

March Madness Giveaway!

Who doesn't love a giveaway!!

All new subscribers to www.ChicagoEquestrian.com between now and March 31st will be entered into a giveaway of a quality Walsh leather halter.

This time of the year is the perfect time for a new halter! With the mud and muck of winter transitioning into spring,having a brand new beautiful halter sure would be nice.

Walsh Harness & Saddlery has a long and rich heritage of producing peerless products known for their craftsmanship, longevity and ease of use. The company was founded in 1914 by John Walsh. The best part about Walsh... All Walsh brand products are not only manufactured right here in the USA but in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

It is great to know that when you invest your money in quality Walsh products you are supporting a local/regional based company!

NOW... Head on over to www.ChicagoEquestrian.com and become a subscriber today to get your name entered in the free Walsh halter drawing!

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Will EHV-1 keep you from showing?

With the ongoing scare of EHV-1 another Showplace Productions A show is being canceled. Showplace productions has put into place strict bio- security procedures to keep the spread of the disease at bay. However, it seems that many owners and trainers are just not wanting to take the risk of exposure and are deciding to sit this weekends show out.

The horses down in Florida at HITS Ocala are slated to be released from quarantine tomorrow after being in lockdown for 21 days and those horses will be returning home soon. Shippers are taking extra precautions such as decontaminating the trailers after every use and requiring strict health certifications to keep the disease from possible further spread.

Many Chicago area barns have voluntarily gone on quarantine after having vets administer the appropriate vaccinations. The general attitude seems to be better safe than sorry!

It's not just the Chicago area and Florida that have recently seen these EHV-1 outbreaks. There have been recent cases in California, Tennessee, Utah and Canada. Last fall the racing industry in Chicago had an outbreak at Hawthorne Racetrack that involved the death of seven horses and an imposed quarantine to control the outbreak.

These recent EHV-1 outbreaks makes us realize just how dangerous some diseases can be to our horses.

Will EHV-1 keep you and your horse at home and on lockdown?

For more information on EHV-1 and what you can do to keep your horses safe go to www.chicagoEquestrian.com

- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Remember your hands?

Hands. Remember those? Having just been in a lesson this past weekend, I apparently have forgotten the purpose of those hands. Having been reminded that good hands are not a physical characteristic of a rider, but are an extension and reflection of the rider's brain; I was not in stride with that sentiment. I was using my hands this past weekend as a way of keeping me on the horse and not as an extension of my brain. One major point that I was reminded of numerous times was that I needed these hands to communicate with the horse.

One must remember to hold your hands about one hand's width apart; just above the front of the saddle. Then bear in mind to keep a good grip on the reins without having a heavy hand which will pull on your horse's mouth; this action which will make him/her tense. To counteract this start with your fingers and assure that they are properly gripping the reins. From there the placement of your hands on the reins wil help maintain stable contact without putting the weight on your horses mouth. Working up from your hands, keep your wrists slightly relaxed and bend your elbows to prevent your arms from locking and keep a more natural bend to your arms. 

One point that is a good reminder when you feel that you are gripping your reins too tightly, is to turn your wrists inwards just a small amount which will allow a more gentler hold and gives more for your horses mouth. 

Keeping these tips and advise in mind while hacking, in a lesson or in competition, will assist me and other riders in the future to have an amazing ride. In the end, don't forget the importance of your hands. For a great refresher you can always refer to George H. Morris's book, Hunter Seat Equitation Chapter Two: The Rider's Aids, page 29, which discusses the topic more in depth. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Winter Show Season is upon us!

Winter is upon us in Chicagoland and it is a great time to get out and head to a horse show!

Winter brings its own set of challenges for horse showing. The biggest is the unknown of the weather. Snow, ice and very cold temps can all come into play and need to be paid attention to. Our horses safety is number one priority for all of us! However with careful planning, paying attention to details and with using good common sense we can easily overcome these challenges and get out to show.

Horse showing in the winter is a great way to get out of the barn, see somewhere different, alleviate winter blues and boredom. After all, nothing adds excitement to your home riding routine than when you are preparing yourself and your horse for a horse show.

There is another great advantage to horse showing in Chicago in the winter, the shows are generally a bit smaller and it can be a great environment to take a new horse to a nice easy show or perhaps to try a new class or a to see how a higher level works for you. Winter shows in Chicago are generally in a more controlled environment in a nice indoor arena that both horse and rider can quickly adjust to. There are a variety of shows to choose from! Both A and B IHJA shows, NIHJA shows as well as some very well organized open shows. There really is something for every level and every budget.

Not sure where or when horse shows are going on in the area? You can easily check the calendar at www.chicagoequestrian.com for a listing of shows and other special events happening in the area.

Be sure to also check out the 'links' page at the bottom left side for a great set of links to associations, horse show managements, and other great resources.