Friday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Lainey and Al just modeling in some cold Virginia weather. Photo by Tylir Penton.

Lainey and Al just modeling in some cold Virginia weather. Photo by Tylir Penton.

I’ve started pony-ing my horses on trot sets down my dirt road, because frankly, it’s way more efficient. With the footing all gross everywhere else, a lot of my winter is walking and trotting up and down the road, and it’s not bad really. They hardly ever put down new gravel, and when it’s soggy everywhere else, the dirt has a nice give to it. All my horses are used to it, and legged up properly, so they like it. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that Nyls, the warmblood, is WAY more competitive than any of the other horses and can barely be contained when paired with someone else. He tries to beat them at the walk! I guess it’s good motivation for him, because otherwise he’s a bit of a kick along sometimes, but seriously…you’re not a racehorse dude and you’ve never been one, get it together.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Stable View Aiken Opener H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Three Lakes January H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around the Globe:

NPR wants to know, exactly how smart are horses? While the rest of the world still thinks horses might fall somewhere below dogs, we horse people know better. Japanese scientists have taken it upon themselves to measure the cognition of horses, by doing a few experiments with horses and their human counterparts. Their findings point not only to advanced cognition but also to flexible cognition, with the horses adjusting their communicative behavior to the humans’ knowledge state. DUH. [How Smart Are Horses?]

The Event at Rebecca Farm continues to expand, as does their economic impact every year. The 2016 competition brought in $5.5 million in economic revenue to the Flathead Valley, a full 25% increase from 2015, and welcomed over 600 competitors and 10,000 spectators. With attendees coming from 25 of the United States as well as Canada, many visitors stay to enjoy more of the outdoor beauties that Montana has to offer. [Rebecca Farm Impacts the Community]

Scary news from California, as a Brook Ledge trailer full of competition horses was hit by another tractor trailer while driving on the highway. The tractor trailer lost control and swerved into the center divider, bounced off, went back toward the slow lanes of traffic and side-swiped the large Brook Ledge Horse Transportation trailer, ripping a portion of the side. Of the seven horses on board, three were injured, with varying degrees of seriousness. [Horses Injured in Brook Ledge Crash]

Ah, saddle fit, the struggle that plagues so many of us riders. Not every horse (or horse parent) can afford a perfectly customized saddle, but the effects of a poorly fitted saddle can be varied and long lasting. In a society that prefers quick fixes and cheap solutions, saddles and horses are not a good match for this philosophy. Do you invest in a fitted saddle? Or wait for the horse to prove himself? But what if he can’t prove himself with a poorly fitted saddle? [Thoughts on Saddles and Training]

At some point, we’ve all looked for the magical “indestructible bell boot”. Everyone has one of those horses, the one that constantly pulls shoes, the one that destroys bell boots left right and center, or just loses them in the field every day. I’ve had some of these lovely beasts in my care, and honestly, I’ve tried all the bell boots. I feel terrible spending $50 on the nice ones I want to show in, just to have them ripped off in the field. My personal favorite for very hard wearing but still affordable are these Davis Bell Boots, which look unassuming and average, but are anything but. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Best of #TBT: USCTA 1987 “Tack Madness”