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Equestrian

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Equestrians: More than Just Horse Riders

Horses have played a vital role in the history of mankind. They have served
several purposes from transportation to heavy cavalry. Nowadays due to the
development of technology horses are no longer used anymore. They can be mostly
found working for humans in ranches, farms, circuses and driving carriages for
amusement rides. Although horses are not as vital as they were back in the days
the tradition of riding them did not falter. Equestrians were regarded as nobles
in Rome who are members of the cavalry. Nowadays they are riders who participate
in a number of equestrian sports.

Equestrians in this day and age are more known for equestrianism. It refers to
the ability to ride and drive horses. This definition does not just include the
use of horses for recreational activities and sports but also for working and
practical uses. Contrary what most people would think the term refers to other
skills not just riding them for equestrian sports.

Equestrians in History

Horses were used in variety of purposes. They were both used in war and
peaceful pursuits. They were used from transportation, agriculture and warfare.
In Rome Equestrians were regarded as elite. Horses were expensive at that time
so owning one meant that you were rich and does not need to do manual labor.
They were members of a social upper class in Rome. This class was most often
referred to as knights. They were both a military and a political group because
horsemen received financial compensation from the government.

As Rome expanded it relied on its allies for cavalry. There were no use from
equestrians and they lost their military functions. They did not engage in war
anymore but their titles still remain and indicate nobility. The equestrians
were rich and governed the provinces. At that time senators were equal to
equestrians.

The senators dominated the magistrate offices but were forbidden to operate
business and gain commercial income. The equestrians on the other hand
continued to invest in marketing and tax farming companies. Conflicts arose
between the two of them. Equestrians made as much money as they can while
senators notice rebellions due to overtaxing. During civil wars the two elite
collaborated and their orders were defined as reforms were done.

Equestrians Today

There are popularly known for participating in equestrian sports during
Olympics. Like before horse back riding is reserved for the rich. Even today
horses are still expensive and prized.

Equestrian events include dressage, show jumping and eventing. Equestrians
should be able to make the horse carry out natural movements on request while
running loose during competitive dressage. It is also referred to as "Horse
Ballet". Its goal is to develop a horses' athletic ability and its initiative
to perform to maximize its potential. Show jumping is a timed even where
equestrians are required to jump over a series of obstacles with the fewest
mistakes. Riders and their horses should be able to go through the obstacle
with the least knocked over portions of obstacles.

Eventing is the combination of dressage and show jumping. The horse and the
rider have to go through a series of fixed obstacles such as stone walls,
water, logs banks, ditches with the fastest time possible.

Although the role of equestrians has changed through the centuries it still
holds that aura of nobility that it once enjoyed in medieval times.

Riding Hats: Safety Guaranteed

Equestrians also need their own set of gear for the competition. Each
equestrian sport is unique which demand different skills from the rider. Their
clothing is not just used for presentation but also to help them move freely
during competitions. There are many types of clothing that equestrians need.
There is corresponding clothing to protect the rider from head to foot.

The main clothing of an equestrian are composed of riding hats, jackets, boots,
jodhpurs and breeches, body protector, chaps and gaiters. For a beginner it is
essential to know each of this clothing. Each individual's preference may be
different but it important to know the basics before buying any clothing. Horse
back riding can be expensive and its clothing is not exemption.

The most important clothing is the riding hat. Obviously it protects the riders
from falls which can be experienced whether you are in or out of a competition.
Although horses can be trained they can still be unpredictable.

The rider's clothing

The riding hat

It is the most important piece of clothing which offers protection for your
head. These hats are made of a hard shell which is lined with a material that
absorbs shock. This is essential to provide protection for the rider in case he
or she falls. It's also important to wear them even though they are not riding
because the horse may kick them instead. It's advisable to wear them when
handling horses on the ground.

If the rider suffers from a fall the hat should be replaced immediately. The
fall can diminish the hat's protection. The protection also decreases over time
as the padding compresses from daily use. Riding has should be replaced ever
three to four years.

Three basic hats are available for the riders:

The first one is the classic riding hat. It's a traditional velvet hat
available brown, black, or navy. It has a hard peak.

The second is the skull cap which is also referred to as the jockey cap. It has
no peak and is usually worn by jockeys. It's now popular with other riders for
leisure and competition. Silks which are peak covers can be placed over the
skull cap. This gives them the appearance of a riding hat. There are also
novelty silks available for children such as eyes and ears sewn on them.

The third one is the skull protector. It's a riding hat similar to a cycling
helmet. It's very lightweight and ventilated. The hat is usually worn during
the warm weather or summer.

Riding hats have chin straps and should conform to the riding hat safety
standards. The United Kingdom has 3 safety standards. Riding hats should follow
one of these standards for optimum safety of the rider. The chin traps should be
able to secure the hat safely and securely on the riders head.

Riders should always remember to secure their hats. Beginners should also buy
which is comfortable for them. Riding hats is a piece of equestrian clothing
that should be regarded with importance. Sever falls can be very fatal. Riding
hats can decrease the severity of the injury of the rider.

Rides should not buy a second hand riding hat. Although the damages cannot be
seen from the outside it is most likely that they have reduced protection. Buy
new hats for guaranteed protection.

Equestrian Supplies: The Horse Grooming Kit

Apart from the horses clothing equestrians should also take care of their
horses. After all, the performance of the horse has a major impact on the
scores. No matter what sports the horse is going to participate he must be well
prepared before the event. This entails not just proper but also grooming.
Riders are not the only ones who should look their best but also the horse.
There are many supplies out there for the horse. Riders have a wide array of
choices for their horses.

One of the most important of these supplies is the grooming kit. This is an
essential kit when grooming and preparing the horse. With it riders will be
able to maintain their horse's coat in good condition. This will also be a good
time for them to check for any injuries, scratches and bruises on the horse.
Grooming will also massage the horse and promote circulation.

Horse care

The grooming kit is made up of different combs and brushes to keep the horse
clean. Each of these combs and brushes has a different purpose when cleaning
the horse.

These are some of the basic brushes and combs in a grooming kit:

Dandy brush These brushes are used to remove dirt on the surface of your
horse's coat. They are used in the less sensitive parts of the horse. This
brush has long bristles.

Body Brush These brushes can be either hard or soft depending on your need.
They have leather back. It is used to remove grease and dusts from you're
horse' coat. They can be used in the sensitive areas of your horse's body.

Metal curry comb This is not used on the horse but is rather used to clean the
body brush when grooming. It removes dust and dirt from the brush so that you
can use it again on the horse.

Rubber Curry Comb They remove mud and loose hair from the mane and tail of your
horse.

Water Brush You are going to use water when washing or dampening your horse's
coat. This brush is used when applying water on your horse.

Mane comb As the name suggests these are combs used on the main and tail of
your horse. They come in plastic and metal. There are variations of these combs
for different purposes. Short metal combs are used for pulling manes. Other
special combs are used to cut the mane thinner.

Hoof pick They are used for removing dirt and stones that are packed into your
horse's hooves. Dirt and stones usually collect on the underside of your
horse's hooves when you go riding or when he's out there in the field. The hoof
pick can be easily lost under your grooming kit so it's advisable to type in a
baline twine.

Cotton Sponge Used for cleaning the eyes, nose and wounds of your horse.

Sweat scraper Wipe away sweat from the horse or excessive water when washing.

Stale rubber Used for doing the finishing touches on the horse. They are used
for polishing the coat of the horse. Stake rubber or linen cloth can be used.

Grooming kit box Last but not the least, is the kit box. It can be any
container or bag with ample storage for the brushes. You can also use a canvas
bag with a drawstring.

Horse Walker as Equestrian Equipment

There are many people who show their fondness to their pets. Even so, a lot
others fancy taking care of a horse for a pet. Ranches are common in various
countries. Horses are most of the times used not only as favored pets but are
treated for industrial and at times for commercial uses as well. As people
search for some formal training with regards to rearing horses, they seek to
become full fledged equestrians. Part of the training includes getting to know
the appropriate equestrian equipment. Among of which are the horse walker and
the horse tack.

Horse Walker for Equestrian Exercises

For a person who is definitely serious in getting on with bringing up horses
and then its stabling, you must know how important the horse walkers can
become. What benefits can be derived out of the horse walker? For one, the
horse walker is a recognized equestrian equipment to saving time when
exercising or practicing your horses and in the attempt to have them cool down
after a long day's ride. Among the rest of the uses of a horse walker is for
halter breaking and the other is for nursing back the health of the animal
should any illness has occurred. The everyday use of a horse walker is certain
to make the horse stronger and then more physically able. Furthermore, the
utilization of a horse walker before any ride starts up would mean that the
animal would be able to focus at the task that is on hand as soon as it is
taken out of the stable and get to be tacked up.

The Varieties of Horse Walkers

There are several kinds of horse walkers to choose from but the common
denominator among them is that they have the same features. Many of these horse
walker types are capable of handling four up to six horses at a given time.
Likewise, there are horse walkers which are put up for sale in the market and
are able to cater to all numbers of animals to be taken out for a ride.

The common models of the horse walkers include the flatly packed and readily
assembled ones right there on the site. However, for some other specifications,
there are those which may be bought along with roofs and fencing. Various
controls and speeds are also included in the features. The horse walkers
involve the forward and reverse motions too.

On the other hand, the higher end models of the horse walkers permit the taking
off of the pressure from all parts of the body of the horse which are too prone
to injury. Moreover, this equestrian equipment stops it from bucking especially
in relatively open fields. When the animal gets any wound, it is important that
it fully heals. With this equestrian equipment, such is possible. Be certain
that the equestrian equipment has enough space that would allow the animal to
relax especially during long rides.

Safety must be a top priority as always. Inquire on the safety precautions that
come together with the purchase. You may also seek the help of the experts in
horse rearing because they are knowledgeable enough in the field. Before you
purchase any horse walker, be sure that it would work well both for you as the
handler and for your horse.

Equestrian Employment: Where can You be Good at?

The term equestrian has been around for several decades or so. With this comes
the concept known as equestrianism which points out to one's skill of driving
and riding horses. Such a broad description, isn't it? However, for a simpler
understanding of it, equestrianism includes the use of the horse for practical,
recreational, and working purposes and activities. Likewise, it is worth
mentioning that equestrianism also means employing the said animal in a
competitive sport.

With the great number of people who express their fondness for horses, the
number of equestrians especially in the entire United States has tremendously
increased. With this fact, equestrian employment has also widened in scope.
Equestrian colleges started to open here and there and the horse industry
drafted more and more equestrian employment to cater to all these individuals
who have decided to turn their passion into a career.

A Review of the Equestrian Activities

Before the horses are ridden and enlisted for competitions, they are first
trained. Some horses are trained to do practical work in ranches whereas a
great deal of them are used for various competitive sports. Among which are
eventing, racing, reigning, dressage, endurance racing, tent pegging, show
jumping, polo, vaulting, driving, horse racing, and rodeo. For these
competitions, these animals execute movements of various disciplines.

However, there are also those horses which are employed in non-competitive
activities. Donkeys and mules, for example, are mostly engaged in recreational
purposes like trail riding, fox hunting, and hacking. Horse trails are often
available for public use. There are ranches, parks, and public stables that
provide places both for independent and guided riding.

Besides all these, horses are also involved in therapeutic causes such as the
paraequestrian competitions and some other non-competitive riding sprees, to
name a few. Both activities are directed towards the improvement of human
health and the enhancement of one's emotional maturity.

The animals are then employed to do farming, pulling carriages, in exhibitions,
and other historical reenactment ceremonies. All countries have their own
special usages meant for the horses.

Types of Equestrian Activities

To exactly know where you may excel in line with equestrian employment, you
have to know the following activities.

Horse rearing. Horses are among the common animals which are reared and bred.
Ranches all over the world attend to this kind of stuff. Now if you would like
to rear and breed horses, you have to get the proper training for it.

Horse racing. It has been so much of an addiction for humans to test the speed
of their horses. Horse racing is one way of determining which horse can outrun
the rest of its competitors. Gambling is often a part of horse racings. The
spectators bet on which animal is more capable of attaining the highest speed
that can be recorded on the dot.

Horse rider. For the sake of the prestigious Olympic discipline, you may be
employed as a rider to compete with delegates from all over the world. The
horse has to bear a certain field of specialization and must execute movements
without difficulty.

Horse trainer. As a trainer, you must let the animal recognize your superiority
as its master. You are the one who is in command in practicing its skills and in
basically taming it.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to equestrian employment. You just
have to know where you can find the fulfillment and where you may be good at.
After all, being an equestrian is a career path that you have to harness.

Buying Equestrian Decors and Clocks

If you are a big fan of horses and the people who ride them, you might want to
express it by buying different equestrian decors and clocks for your home. If
you know of someone who is a big fan of the sport, you might also want to give
such items to him or her. However, purchasing an item needs a lot of careful
thought. How exactly does one choose a decor or clock?

1) Consider the recipient -- If you plan to give the decors to a friend or even
if you are just buying something for your own use, you might want to consider
whoever is using it. Try to match it with his or her personality. This doesn't
mean the usual cliched "yellow if she's happy and red if he's mad" type of
personality matching.

You need to go deeper than the obvious. With a gift, you have an opportunity to
capture a person's essence.

2) Location, location, location -- A decor or clock should always blend with
the surroundings. If you are giving one as a gift, you might want to check out
the recipient's place first. If you are buying it for your house, you need a
clear idea regarding where you will place the clock.

Sometimes, a small item like a clock or decor is able to bring about an organic
unity. Of course, there are also times when a clock or decor ruins the entire
look of a place. That statement was not meant to pressure you into picking the
"perfect" decor. However, you should take it as an encouragement to at least
try and make the decor work with other decorations. Try not to see it just as a
separate piece but as part of the whole.

3) Budget -- Money will always be a cause for concern among people. You do not
have unlimited resources. You need to make use of those resources wisely.
Before buying anything, you need to at least have an idea regarding just how
much money you can spend on the item. However, you must also be very discerning
regarding the true value of something.

You need to be a bit flexible regarding your budget. If something's worth just
a few more dollars, why shouldn't you get it? You have to trust your instinct.
However, you still have to remain in control. Make sure that your flexibility
is within reason.

4) Functionality -- If you are buying an equestrian clock, you might want to
make sure of its functionality. Although such a clock is made to look good, the
fact that it is a clock establishes certain expectations.

If its decor we are talking about, surely you might see some purpose behind the
aesthetic value of a decoration. Some people may argue that the whole point of
decoration is to look good. However, you should realize that life today calls
for practicality. Function is sought after, even in decor.

5) Consider the materials -- In decoration, the materials used determine a lot
of factors. By checking out the materials of an equestrian decor or clock, you
will be able to determine its overall aesthetics. You will also have an idea
regarding just how strong the item can be. It is very important to consider the
durability of an item, as you will be investing your cash in it.

Equestrian Colleges: The Place to Start a Career

The horse industry has grown very big and it continuously provides rewarding
equestrian careers to those who seek to become a useful member of it. It is for
this reason that several equestrian colleges have opened up in the effort of
molding and equipping the horse lover individuals and in guiding them in their
chosen career path. Many people have been so expressive in thanking the
equestrian colleges that have given them the proper training and support. They
are aware that these colleges have become the avenues of making their dream
come into a realization.

Horse training actually begins as soon as you get your horse. Now with all of
the excitement that you feel for the new adventure that awaits you, you would
surely want to learn everything about horse rearing and training. There's no
need for you to worry about how to get the information that you need. There are
a lot of equestrian colleges that have their very own portals in the internet.
You can always surf the net and log on to the websites that can provide you
with the details on horse training and rearing.

What can the online portals of these equestrian colleges do for you? Of course
it is time saving. If you are pretty busy with your day to day activities, then
taking the online classes would be a good idea. You would just have to spare a
few minutes of the time that you have in a day and be able to learn the aspects
that come along with horsemanship. Plus, you could avail of free tips which are
relatively valuable for the career path that you are taking.

Here are among the aspects that you would be able to learn from the equestrian
colleges.

It is important to provide an atmosphere wherein the horse would be able to
discover things on its own besides the formal training that you are giving to
it. Other fundamentals of training include training the animal to do some
tricks and movements which can please you. With this, the horse would behave
accordingly when it is taken out into the track.

Right from the very start, it is important that the horse is trained to behave
properly. You must understand that the animal should know how to keep you safe
during a ride. It must likewise realize that its task is to go on rides. Do
some horse grounding so that it would know how to ride fast when needed and how
to slow down too.

Be in command. Initially, the horse will feel afraid. When it undergoes trauma,
it would be hard for you to train it to execute the necessary actions that you
require. Once your horse has been trained to follow your command and other
instructions, training it would be far easy.

Train the horse to be calm at all times. Do not hurt the horse or else it would
have the feeling that it would die whenever you ride on it.

Do some training exercises. You can use tack, horse walker, and other
equestrian equipment for this.

These are just some of the things that the equestrian colleges would emphasize
in the training. It is always your call to let the animal respect and obey you
as its master. Enrolling in equestrian colleges would make you more capable of
handling these animals.

Elements of a Good Equestrian College Program

If you are someone who is passionate about equines (read: horses), and you want
to use your time in college to learn more about them, then you might want to
check out the various Equestrian college programs available today. Many
colleges offer such programs. However, picking a single program over all of the
choices can be a bit confusing.

In order to help you choose the best program, here are a few things that you
might want to look for:

A) Focus -- you need to see if the programs offered by a specific college are
appropriate to help you get a career doing what you love and working with
horses. There are various skills that you can learn and a focus on these
learning areas shows you what the college can do for you. Here are the areas of
focus:

1) Horseback riding and training -- an equestrian is often defined by his or
her ability to ride horses. Riding is a skill that will forever be attached to
the title "equestrian". However, riding is just the tip of the iceberg. In
order to learn how to be a true equestrian, you need to learn how to work with
your horse, training it and shaping it until it can respond to your slightest
command. Remember that Equestrian studies is not just about you; It's about
both you and your horse.

2) Horse care -- you also need to learn how to take care of your horses. A lot
of people assume that the hardest part of being an equestrian is getting your
horse to jump. This is a fantasy. In order to become a true equestrian, you
need to learn how to take care of your mount. You need to understand horses
inside and out. You will study the horse's anatomy, how to fee it, how to groom
it, and other essentials in horse care.

3) Horse Businesses -- once you have acquired the skills, you need to learn how
to use those skills to help you in the real world. In other words, you should
learn the appropriate techniques to turn your skills into money. A good program
will teach you to run horse-related businesses, such as stables, riding schools,
and others.

B) Hands-on learning -- a good program will always allow the students to learn
about horses hands-on. You cannot be a "classroom equestrian". There is not
such thing. You need to actually work with horses in order to become an
equestrian.

The best way to judge a college equestrian program would be to see if there are
any stables in the campus. This shows you just how extensive the training of the
students is going to be. You should also check to see if the program includes
internships. This is the best way to learn how to apply "classroom" skills in
the "real" world.

C) Extracurricular activities -- in order to see just how much you will learn
from a college's equestrian program, you might want to check out if they have a
great equestrian or polo team. This will show you just how much you will be able
to learn. It will also give you a glimpse on how much the school prides itself
on this field.

Those are just some of the things you need to check out in choosing a college
equestrian program. Remember: you can always check how much the teacher can
give before you start taking classes.

Equestrian Clothing: Body Or Back Protectors

The most important role of equestrian clothing is for protection. Although
horses can be trained they can be unpredictable when provoked. Riders are
vulnerable while riding and handling horses, especially for beginners. They may
seem to be friendly but they can easily gallop or kick someone when not handled
correctly. Apart from riding hats, a body protector is also important
equestrian clothing.

Apart from protecting your head any rider should also protect their body.
Against a powerful kick of horse, any human can get thrown away like a dummy.
Falls can not just injure your head but also break your spine. Riders can also
suffer from other internal injuries during a bad fall.

Equestrian protection

Horses are prized in equestrianism but riders are important too. The rider's
ability to handle the horse also has a big impact on their performance.
Fortunately there is clothing that can protect them from injury.

Body or back protectors are garments that protect the rider's chest and back.
We all know that your spine is also as important as our skull. Our spine
contains the spinal vertebrae which are composed of our body's nerves from head
to foot. Any injury to the spine can paralyze the rider. Our chest on the other
hand contains vital organs.

It's a vest type of clothing that is filled with foam. They are worn over the
top of the rider's clothes. They can also be worn under the jacket. Its good
protection for the rider in case they fall during a ride or get kicked by the
horse while handling them.

Injuries from a fall cannot be completely avoided but their impact can be
reduced. Wearing body or back protectors will provide preventive measure
against possible injuries while the rider is with the horse.

The protector is divided into two: the front and the back. They are held
together by Velcro fittings on each side and over the shoulder. The protector
should be fastened securely and should not move while riding. At first they may
seem uncomfortable but the foam moulds to adapt to the rider's body shape and
contour.

All protectors should abide by safety standards. Riders should buy new and
original ones for guaranteed protection.

There are three different types of protectors:

Level 1: The black label. It's only appropriate for licensed jockeys. It has
the lowest level of protection.

Level 2: The brown label. It provides medium protection. It's appropriate for
general riding with low risks. This does not include riding on hard surfaces
such as roads. Jumping over obstacles and riding young excitable horses are
excluded.

Level 3: The purple label. It offers the highest level of protection when
riding horses. This includes normal and competitive horse riding. It's also
used when handling horses.

Like riding hats body protectors should be replaced after three to four years.
Second hand body protectors are not advisable since their foam padding have
already been used. Other body protectors have additional attachments such as
shoulder pads.

Although body protectors come in different sizes many manufacturers offer
custom fitted ones. This provides ample adjustment for maximum comfort for the
rider. Some may like it snuggly fit while others prefer it loose.

No matter what your preferences are prevention is still better than cure.
Coupled with riding hat body protectors are also important pieces of an
equestrian's clothing.

Equestrian Christmas Cards: Quick Steps on How to do Them

Every year comes the holiday season. It is deemed to be the perfect time of
giving and sharing. Gifts are not measured by the sizes of their boxes or by
the lavishness of their wrappers. The thought that comes with the giving is
what matters the most. Christmas cards bear the thoughts that you want to share
to your loved ones. Of course, you want something unique this time, right? These
Christmas cards are better appreciated if it comes as a fruit of your labor. Why
should you purchase the traditional Christmas cards from the department stores
and be like the rest of the individuals who seem not to pay attention to the
authenticity of the message therein? With this, a homemade Christmas card would
be far better off.

If you are an equestrian by heart, then perhaps you can make use of this
concept to create a valuable Christmas card for the holiday season. As you are
very much aware of, the Christmas cards have been a part of the human
tradition. Every single folklore adopts the Christmas card giving up to this
date. Put yourself into the shoes of the recipient of a homemade Christmas
card. Isn't it very pleasing to receive one unique card and yet a product of
one's hard labor? Now that you are not an alien to the feeling, you can be more
inspired to come up with a magnificent creation with an equestrian theme for a
Christmas card.

No matter how busy you may be, you can still produce a masterpiece out of your
passion as an equestrian. It doesn't matter whether being an equestrian is
merely your fancy or your career path itself. What is necessary is that you
have a profound idea on how to conceptualize and start off with your holiday
freebie.

Follow the mentioned steps below and you are on your way to giving out the best
equestrian Christmas cards ever.

Step One -- Print

The personal touch to the Christmas card plays a major role. You have to write
your personal message and greetings. To add more personalized adornments,
include your equestrian photo or any graphics which are equestrian-related. You
can just simply print out these photos and use them to produce as many cards as
you wish to. You don't have to book an appointment with a professional
photographer for this. Any candid shot of yours would do.

Step Two -- Do the collage.

Instead of the traditional positioning of the photos and other related stuffs,
you can opt for a collage. It is a more artistic way of organizing the designs
and materials that you are going to employ for your Christmas cards. You may
likewise add some equestrian stuff such as boot leather material, horse hair,
and the likes.

If you have plenty of time for your masterpiece creation, you can start with an
organized draft of your materials, cut them out into several pieces, and then
reassemble them in an artistic manner. You may add ribbons, sequins, glitters,
and colored glues for the background or for insets. Just let go of your
creative juices and have your imagination go really wild.

Step Three -- Come up with Delicious Fillings

Of course, not only should the outside look enticing but the inside as well.
Come up with a personal Christmas greeting. You may include humorous quotes and
other attractive characters to make the inside page very interesting.

Now it's time to send them out. The pleasure is all yours as you receive
commendations for a job well done. Enjoy your equestrian Christmas card venture!

Lucinda Green's Equestrian Challenge

Lucinda Green is a record holder in the Badminton Horse Trials. She won the
trials for an astounding six times! What's more, she rode six different horses
during those trials! Isn't that just amazing? Now, you can share her experience
in the thrills of being an equestrian through Lucinda Green's Equestrian
Challenge.

The game challenges players on three fronts: cross country, show jumping and
dressage. The ultimate goal of the game is for you to win all four-star events
in Adelaide, Badminton, Burghley, and Kentucky. Before you get ahead of
yourself, however, you need to cover the basics.

The game starts with you as a young two-star equestrian taken under the wings
of Lucinda Green. Full customization of the character allows you to create a
rider that truly matches who you are or, at least, who you perceive yourself to
be.

You also get to take care of your own horse. This is a very important aspect of
the game, as your success depends on the amount of work you put into training
and caring for the horse. It must be fed, watered, brushed, among other things.
You also need to make sure that its attributes are distributed properly so that
you will be able to grab the prize every competition.

There are four "stats" or attributes that you need to balance. They are: Speed,
Stamina, Jumping, Agility, and Trust. Each person will be able to develop a
horse differently by simply adjusting the allotment of stats.

Lucinda Green teaches you and trains you until you can compete in the four-star
competitions. At this level, you will pit your character in various contests
against the biggest names in riding today.

Graphically, the game is stunning. That is, if you compare it to other
equestrian games today. The customizability of the character is also a nice
touch. However, the gameplay is nothing revolutionary. The game just does not
push any gaming boundaries.

It is less tedious than other games, which means you can enjoy yourself more
and take care of the details less. After all, gamers who buy equestrian games
are more interested in the competition rather on the simulated horse-care
lessons, right? The life of the game is also quite good: you are able to enjoy
the different challenges and you don't end up feeling a bit disappointed
because of the length.

However, the repetitive motions that one must go through in order to compete
and the actions involved in taking care of the horse can be very dull at times.
The menu is also quite clumsy and this means that you might have a hard time
navigating around the controls.

Not many people are bound to buy equestrian games. It just doesn't seem like a
genre that appeals to the common couch soldier/strategist/athlete. Equestrian
challenge attempts to change this through lots and lots of eye candy. However,
its sticking to realism doesn't really help in making it more popular with
gamers. Even a little bit of imagination could surely have helped this game.

The bottom line is this: Equestrian Challenge is a great game. In fact, it's
superior to any equestrian games available today. However, if you are not fond
of the sport, you might not see enough in this game to try it out. You should
get this game if you love horses, but if you are the typical point-and-shoot
guy, you might want to skip it.

Equestrian Careers: How to Find the Right Path for You

There are just people who have fallen in love with horses. They may be both
young and old, man or woman. It is not a new scenario to see a kid who asks for
a pony as a birthday gift. For them, it feels like heaven just to spend some
time with their beloved animals. There are even instances when they can't spend
a day without having to visit their pet's stable. No wonder, many individuals
have turned out to be equestrians.

If you live your day breathing horses, sleeping with them, eating with them,
going for adventures with them, then perhaps you happen to realize that you can
start off a career with it. Equestrian careers are common not only in the United
States but in many other countries as well. You can always land yourself in a
useful career in the horse industry and get on with a better way of spending
your daily routines.

In the past years, surveys have showed that there are nearly seven million
horses in the United States alone and the more it gives rewarding opportunities
for the horse lovers. The American Horse Council further points out that it
supports an estimated 1.4 million full time jobs for the equestrians. The horse
industry features a wide spectrum of equestrian careers ranging from the
hands-on tasks of large animal veterinarian up to those that include becoming a
supplement and feeds distributor. Other equestrian careers are research,
breeding, showing, education, health, recreation, product manufacturing, and a
lot other service industries. Sure enough, you would find something that would
be perfectly appropriate for you.

So, how can you possibly gauge the rightful opportunity that is most apt for
you as an equestrian? Before you practically send out your resumes to the horse
industry related offices, you first need to seek out the opportunity or career
that would suit you best. You need time to attend to this. As much as you want
to be employed as a veterinarian or technician, no one in his right state of
mind would surely hire you if you can't show the documents that would serve as
your credentials. Hence, take time to research on the various equestrian
careers, then find out the requirements for those and then work on how you
would be able to earn the credentials. Trainings and certificates are most
likely needed.

Here are some of the questions that you would have to ask yourself.

What do you really want for a career involving horses? What are you most fond
of doing? Are you much in contact with these animals? Or would you rather go
for a job that includes working in some supporting field? Here are the pros and
cons for them.

The supporting field role can make you earn more because the job is more 
stable, requires you to report in the regular hours, and of course, you have 
the benefits to be enjoyed. Meanwhile, a hands-on equestrian career can provide 
you with more flexible and greater chances of getting in full contact with your 
favored animals.

What degree of education can you boast of? You would need trainings and the
right education in order to get admitted into the horse industry careers. If
you prefer to be a barn manager, a horse trainer, a riding instructor, or
perhaps a public relations expert, a vet, or a writer, then seek out the
required trainings or degrees for them.

It is important that you know your goals especially when you are eyeing for an
equestrian career. If you keep in focus, then you'll be successful in the end.




Insights on How to Buy the Proper Equestrian Boots

Why do you think is it important to consider the proper tips in purchasing the
equestrian boots to be used with or without any horseback riding competition?
Do you think you can get on with a long ride without the proper equestrian
boots? Read on and find out the necessity of choosing the appropriate
equestrian apparel such as the boots for someone like you whose passion is all
about horse-related stuff.

What are equestrian boots?

Equestrian boots are likewise termed as horseback riding boots. They are the
footwear that you are required to use whenever you are going for a ride with
your horse. The definition itself practically sounds too simple but of course
there is a special reason as to why you must wear these. The general idea is
that these boots are capable of keeping you safe and comfortable even as you
take heavy and rugged terrains. You must understand that your horseback riding
adventures are sure to engage several other difficulties and challenges, much
more, accidents. If you are not wearing the proper footwear, then you just
can't imagine what may happen to you should untoward incidents arise.

What are the different equestrian boots?

Did you know that there are several types and styles of equestrian boots?
Surely, there are. They are like clothes which have various categories
depending on what trend is hot and in for everyone. The same goes with these
boots. Historically speaking, the equestrian boots were supposedly made out of
higher heels which were geared towards the prevention of foot slipping. Now,
today's versions of these boots come with low heels. But of course, some cowboy
boots still have the same higher heels.

Now that you have known that there are different styles of the equestrian
boots, how should you know which boots must you prefer for your rides? It is
simple. Just take note of the following circumstances regarding the boots
styles.

Some riding boots are for show riding while there are those which are meant for
pleasure riding. Taller boots, those which are tailored just a little below the
knees are mainly designated for the use in the field, for hunting, and for
dressing.

For some dressing apparel instances, there is a standard set for that. The main
point that you must look into is the capacity of your horse to handle its rider.

Some policemen likewise wear the same style of riding boots because these give
them their desired comfort while mounting and getting off their motorcycles.

The field boots, or those riding boots which are characterized by ankle lacing
design, are primarily effective to use for short length stirrups such as when
doing show jumping, event jumping, and fox hunting. The usual colors are brown
and black. The hunt boots, on the other hand, come with a top cuff. Male riders
often use the hunt boot, which is very traditional in appearance. On the other
hand, the dress boots bear no ankle lacing and they appear stiffer as compared
with the regular riding boots. This kind of boots is designed to be knee-high
in order to prevent any injury. Fox hunters and event riders typically wear
this type.

Other types are the Paddock boots which may be used for daily rides and the
cowboy or western boots which are both made of leather or synthetic materials
and cost thousands of dollars or so.

Equestrian boots have been around for a long time and they continuously evolve
in terms of style and design.

United States Equestrian Federation: A Brief Review

The United States Equestrian Federation or USEF formerly bore the name of
American Horse Shows Association. USEF is the national foremost institution
which handles the equestrian sports that there are in the United States. Among
those equestrian sports which the Untied States Equestrian Federation
administers include the eventing, dressage driving, hunt seat equitation,
endurance riding, hunting, jumping, roadster, paralympic, reigning, vaulting,
saddle seat equitation, trail, western equitation, and several other related
equestrian events.

The job scope of the USEF is so vast that it is a recognized governing body in
equestrian related activities. The following are the job functions and scope of
USEF.

The breed shows such as the Lusitano, Andalusian, Arabian, Anglo-Arabian,
half-Arabian, Friesian, Connemara, Hackney, American Saddlebred, Morgan, Paso
Fino, National Show Horse, Shetland, and the Welsh breeds that are practically
conducted in the whole of the Untied States are all governed by none other that
the United States Equestrian Federation.

It is also the task of the United States Equestrian Federation to closely
monitor the yearly points earned by the competitors in the horse shows and
other related events. The points are actually accrued by the individual horse
shows all throughout the year. USEF then renders special awards to the winners
and their merits are based on the accumulated points. The points are summed up
at the end of every year. The horse shows which are under the wings of the
United States Equestrian Federation are rated with AA, A, B, or C ratings. The
shows that earn the AA ratings are those which are considered to be the most
prominent ones in the country and big prizes come at stake too. However, those
shows which are rated with a C are those called local horse shows and of
course, a lesser amount of money is specified for a prize.

The other governing organizations that work hand in hand with USEF are the
United States Hunter/Jumper Association or USHJA, the United States Dressage
Federation or USDF, and the United States Eventing Association or USEA. All of
the competitions which are spearheaded by the abovementioned governing
organizations are ruled by the bylaws set by USEF itself.

A Brief History of the United States Equestrian Federation

Everything started to boil up in January 20 of the year 1917 when the delegates
from various horse shows set up a meeting in New York City. The council was then
governed by Reginald C. Vanderbilt. The council's main goal was to unify all
horse shows and to conduct clean competitions inside the horse show ring. They
then solidified the organization under the banner of the Association of
American Horse Shows and upon its initial meeting in the year 1918; exemplary
organizers of the twenty six prestigious horse shows were all present. By the
year 1924, the then twenty six horse show members increased to sixty seven.

By February 1933, its original name of Association of American Horse Shows,
Inc. was altered to a new one, the American Horse Shows Association, Inc. It
was in 2003 that the United States Equestrian Team merged with the United
States of America Equestrian to form a new national governing body and the name
United States Equestrian Federation or USEF came into being.

It is the USEF that provides an all out support to all equestrian
sportspersons, establishes a clear future for all equestrians, and endorses
international excellence in the horse sports field.

Men Love Equestrian Events

Loving the competition--this is presumably the very motto of men. They do enjoy
any form of competition. The competition that they take too much interest in
range from the simple basketball games wherein they bet for their own favored
teams to bring home the bacon and down to enlisting themselves as members of a
specific sports event team and work on taking home the victory.

Now there is another addiction that men would die for and that is rodeo. When
asked which variety of rodeo they engage themselves in, most of them would give
a ringing answer of barrel racing. Why would they not love it when really
engaging women are the ones who are participating in the sports league? This
then is one of the main reasons that influences them to also pay attention to
equestrian events.

Equestrian events showcase the participant's speed. Perhaps one more reason as
to why men patronize equestrian events is because they get to witness women
competing against men in this sport of speed. Isn't it too enticing and
astounding to see pretty women who are too talented to enlist themselves in
such kind of sport which had been for long a time regarded as a man's stuff?
But of course, there are innumerable men who are equestrians themselves.

There are several other kinds of equestrian events that men can join and be
good at. It is very very important that they know how to choose the appropriate
horses to ride on. Safety and comfort are two of the key factors to consider.
When one talks about competition, the very thing that comes into the mind is
winning. What is the sense of a competition if no one can be declared as the
winner, right?

This just makes all sorts of competition pretty exciting. And in order to win,
the horse's condition plays a major role. Just take reigning as an example.
Reigning is an equestrian event that features the rider completing a pattern
set while on board his horse. The pattern includes difficult obstacles wherein
various maneuvering must be finished off with ease and confidence.

Other important equestrian events which are most sought after and which deserve
to be noted are The National Horse Shows, the Olympia London International Horse
Show, and the Arabian Horse Show.

The National Horse Show caters to all equestrians in the United States who have
all the intentions of showing off what they've got. It is organized by the
National Horse Show Association of America and is held at the Palm Beach Polo
Equestrian Club that is located in Wellington, Florida. Thousands of spectators
come around to witness the competition. The event is focused on the display of
horsemanship. As an equestrian sport, the main goal is for the competitors to
show off their excellence in the said field.

The Olympia London International Horse Show on the other hand is held in
London, England annually in the month of December. Elite people who own the
elite horses join this prestigious equestrian event. The common categories in
the competition are the dressage or the show jumping.

The Arabian Horse Show that is sponsored by the Arabian Horse Association of
Arizona is a tough competition for the equestrian and a lot of money is
involved as the price.

Equestrian events are really that interesting. No wonder, men are passionate
enough to indulge in all of these.

Equestrian Singles -- Where to Meet Them

A horse lover, or any animal lover, would want to find someone who likes horses
like themselves. While it may seem petty for some people, an equestrian who ends
up with someone who dislikes horses or does not understand their partner's
passion for horses is doomed to have a lot of potential relationship problems
in the future. Weird but I've heard of some people feeling jealous of the
partner's love and attention towards their horse. That is why horse lovers
would want to find someone who shares the same love for the animal. But where
do equestrian singles meet and mingle?

A primary venue where equestrians may find other equestrians is in a horse show
or competition. There are also local horse-riding groups in the community which
conduct meetings with members. Through regular meetings and competitions, you
get the chance to see other horse-loving people in your area.

Unfortunately, few people find love in these places. Because horse riding is a
competitive sport, it is hard to develop any romantic feelings for anyone in
such arena.

That is why there are websites where horse-loving single men and women can
meet. Through online dating websites, many couples have met and found "true
love." The site works by asking any single adult horse lover to register and
upload details for his profile. Or he can be asked to make a personal ad
through video. The information is added to the database which members browse
through. If they are attracted to anyone of the other members of the website,
he may send messages to the person, and later on, meet her.

Aside from the regular online dating services, some sites have special
match-making services. Using the information that you provided, the host
website runs a program which can then check which couples have more potential
of becoming lovers than others. Once they've found your "match," they would
then set you up on a date.

Some websites are not mere dating sites but online equestrian communities where
people with the same passion and love for horses meet and exchange ideas.
Upcoming events in the community are posted in the website, so people will know
if there will be a show, rodeo or competition anytime soon. They also have chat
rooms and forums, perfect venues for equine lovers to interact and talk more.

Here's a word of caution, though. Never give personal details of yourself like
your name, work or home address, and others, unless you've developed a deeper
trust with the other person. The thing is, you are the only person to judge if
the other person is trustworthy or not. You need to trust your instincts and be
mindful of all details that you may gather. If your gut tells you that he is
lying, then it is better to stop communicating with him during such early
stages. Learn to be more attentive, and at times, investigate on the background
of the other person.

Like horses, relationships have needs, too. As horses need to be fed and cared
for, relationships need to be nurtured and loved. Meeting equestrian singles,
in any possible way, is just the first step. If you want to develop a deeper,
more meaningful relationship with someone, you have to work on it. Soon enough,
you will find your special someone to share love with.

Equestrian Products: Horse Blankets

Equestrians engage into highly competitive sports. Although horse back riding
is mostly reserved for the rich, people of all ages can try it. It takes a lot
of work and discipline to be able to train a horse. It also takes a lot of
patience to ride them. Equestrian sports have been included in the Olympics.
Although the rider is as equally important as its horse, the chances of winning
in the competition do not lie on them. Like racing cars it's important that
horses are in their maximum health.

There are many products out there that could help the horse. They are available
online. One of the most important products is the horse blanket. They can also
be called rugs or sheets.

Does my horse need a blanket?

Horse blankets are important to protect horses from nature's elements. Like us
they also need to be protected from the rain, cold, wind and heat from the sun.
Horses that are left without blankets during the season have more chances of
getting ill.

There are different types of horse blankets, rugs or sheets. Their use will
depend on what your horse needs.

Coolers and anti-sweat rugs As the name suggests they prevent the horse from
getting chills when they cool down after exercise. These rugs are breathable
with mesh. The size of the mesh can very depending on the horse. Fine mesh
helps to keep off flies.

Fly sheet or rug This protects the horse from insects and flies during summer
when they are grazing. The sheet is also available with additional attachments
such as neck covers, bonnets and fly masks. These additional products provide
complete protection from the horse.

Summer sheet It's a variation of the horse which is much lighter. They are used
to protect horses from dusts and flies during summer. They can also be used as
travel rugs.

Under blankets or liners They are placed on the horse as a protection from
friction from stable rugs. They are placed underneath stable rugs. They come in
different materials. The traditional under blanket is made of wool. Modern under
blankets are made of lightweight materials and are considered as under rugs.

Stable rugs They are used to protect the horse from the cold during winter
while being stabled. They come in varying, colors, thickness and weights.
Different thickness and weights offer varying degrees of warmth. They are also
breathable which enables the horse's sweat to evaporate. Under blanket can also
be placed underneath the stable rug to add warmth. This is usually needed when
the horse is stabled day and night. Turnout rug

They are used to keep the horses clean when they are out in the field. They ca
also provide warmth during the winter. Turnout rugs should be long enough to
cover the horse's belly. The front should also have a good overlap. These rugs
usually have pleats on the shoulders to enable movement. These rugs also come
in different thickness and weights. Turnout rugs vary from light weight with no
filling for the summer, and heavy weight with filling for the winter.

No matter which rug you use it's important to keep your horse well protected.
Like a well oiled machine they perform best when taken cared off. Horses are
not like cars that can be repaired again and again. A horse's health is as
vital as the rider's.

All About Equestrian Jewelry

Horse lovers and riding enthusiasts show their love for horses in many ways.
Some like to wear equestrian outfits. Others use equestrian home decor in their
houses. Still others like to use equestrian jewelry.

The beauty of a horse's form and elegance of its stand and gait make it the
perfect addition to any jewelry. That is why more and more jewelry makers have
horse design collections. From trinkets to large diamond-stud pendants, these
pieces of jewelry can match any wardrobe and can be worn in any occasion.

This type of bling may be made of gold, white gold, sterling silver or
platinum. While some are purely metallic pieces, others add some stones or gems
like diamonds, pearls, turquoises, sapphires, rubies, and crystals. Of less
costly materials include beads and semi-precious stones.

As for the jewelry types, the most common is the necklace. Horse designs are
usually in the pendant. While you may see a horse in extended trot, there are
more pendants that have a horse head or Equus design. The head is sometimes
framed with a round or square frame, and may be plain or studded. Other pendant
designs are horse shoe, bit, stirrup, hunting horn, crop and boot, dressage
horse, saddle, hoof pick, golden boot, blue ribbon, and many others. Some
charms can also be used as pendants, such as bell boot, breed and bucket
charms. Heart-shaped diamond lockets with horse designs are also used as
pendants sometimes. Chain can be cable or plain.

Another jewelry type is the bracelet. Charms are used to embellish the chain.
With slide or clip-on charms, you are able to mix and match the charms and
bracelets that you have. Some common charm designs include heart horse, horse
shoe, boot jack, paddock boot, blue ribbon and dressage hat. For the chain, it
can be plain, or with designs such as stirrup, toggle, bit or cable.

Earrings are also among the favorite jewelry for women. Designs are similar as
the pendants, as necklace and earring sets are commonly sold. Some like smaller
stud earrings, while others prefer longer, dangling ones. Common designs are
horse shoe and stirrups.

There are also horse rings available. Some designs include double horse head
and nail. The good thing about rings is that it can be worn by both men and
women. His and hers horse rings would make a nice engagement or wedding present.

There are also watches with horse designs available.

Horse designs are also available for brooches, barrettes, pins and cufflinks.
While they are generally not considered jewelry, they also fall in this
category because of the material used and its cost. Examples are square horse
cufflinks and gold equestrian brooches. For pins, you may find saddle, hunting
whip, hunting horn or heart-shaped horse designs. You can also find
diamond-studded silver barrettes for the hair.

You don't need to love horses in order to wear equestrian jewelry. You may not
even like to wear jewelry at all. But with the many designs available, there is
one that you'll surely grow to appreciate and love. So if you're thinking of
spicing up your wardrobe or if you're running out of gift ideas for a friend or
family member who loves horses, why not try horse jewelry. They're elegant,
classy and never go out of style.

Getting Great Equestrian Books

Becoming an equestrian takes more hands-on learning than book reading. However,
getting great equestrian books would definitely help you on your way. Books,
after all, are time-tested ways to pass on knowledge from those who have it to
those who need it. Today, there are a lot of different books floating around.
How exactly do you choose which book to buy?

1) Look for expertise -- a great equestrian book should be written by a great
equestrian. It is said that you cannot judge a book by its cover. However, you
might want to check the back cover of a book for the name of the author before
you buy it. If you want knowledge on how to become a great equestrian, you
might want to check out if the source of that knowledge is reliable.

Expertise is pretty hard to judge. There are certain "greats" in the world of
horse riding but who would not be able to pass the knowledge on to other
people. Because of this, you should still be the one to tell whether or not the
author has the ability to show you how to become a great equestrian.

2) Judge your own knowledge -- looking for the "best" equestrian book requires
that you first examine yourself. How much do you actually know? What do you
think you still need to know? It is impossible for a book to cover everything
about a subject in full detail. You need to examine yourself and find out what
you truly need.

The main purpose of buying a book is to gain knowledge. What knowledge would
you gain from a book if it contains nothing that you do not know already?

3) Check your budget -- of course, books can be quite pricey. Because of this,
you might want to check your budget before buying a book. The Internet today
provides a lot of information regarding every subject and you can use this as
an alternative. However, if you truly want to make sure of the knowledge you
gain, a book is your best chance. You might want to start saving up your money,
then.

4) Research -- before buying a book, you might want to make sure that it
actually contains something you can use. You could try borrowing a copy. This
will allow you to skim through the book and get the information you need. If
this is not possible, you might just want to research on the Internet regarding
what the book is all about. You can read reviews, check out ratings and
recommendations in order to see if the book is really worth the investment.

Research plays a key role in making great buys. Just make sure that you have an
idea of what a book is all about before buying it. George Orwell's "Animal
Farm", for example will not be able to help you in raising horses.

5) Read -- a book is useless if you do not read it. Just buying an equestrian
book does not make you more knowledgeable in matters pertaining to horses. You
need to actually utilize the resource. A lot of people make the assumption that
if they have the book, they will be able to consult it any time they need a bit
of knowledge. This is wrong. You need to learn as much as you can from the book.

Equestrian Apparel -- Combining Function and Style

If you are into serious riding or you just want to have the equestrian look,
then equestrian apparel is for you.

In choosing what clothing to use, the criteria are functionality and style. The
rider must feel both elegant and comfortable at the same time. It is also
important that the fabrics used are both light and hard-wearing at the same
time.

To start of, choose a cool fabric that allows ease of movement. The more common
kinds of fabric used for equestrian clothing is cotton and Lycra.

Choose also a fabric that acts as a moisture wick. This type of fabric works
well in both hot and cold temperatures. During hot months, the fabric keeps you
cool by allowing you to sweat. In cold months the fabric keeps you warm by
moving sweat away from your body, keeping your skin dry. Since moisture does
not penetrate the fabric weave, it evaporates quickly, causing the fabric to
dry quickly as well.

As an added bonus, you can choose fabrics and fabric weaves that reduce
moisture absorption, repel UV rays and insects.

What are the pieces of clothing that make up equestrian apparel? The basic
piece is a shirt, usually made of cotton or wool crepe, and is usually white.
Then you can add a waistcoat or vest to match.

For the lower body, breeches and jodhpurs are the more popular pieces. While
others prefer full-seat riding breeches, there are still others who like jeans
and jodhpurs. Make sure that the piece fits well. Also, choose one that can
protect you from heavy rains and winds.

While tall riding boots look perfect for shows and competitions, short boots
with trouser socks are a wise alternative during training or ordinary days.

To complete the look is a riding jacket. Choose one made of luxurious fabrics
like tweed. Take note of details like silk lining or double satin piping,
buttons and trims.

Do not forget your riding gloves.

As for the head gear, choose one that fits perfectly. The usual piece is a
helmet, although there are others who like to wear black top hats. Helmets have
now incorporated easy-fit systems, so it is safe to use. Some riders like to
customize their helmets by putting decals or crystals.

What are the trends and forecasts in equestrian apparel? As for the colors, the
trend is softer, more subtle pastel tones of blue, green, pink and purple. The
same goes for show breeches. Light tans are also in for breeches, although
white continues to be popular. Show coats and dressage coats can be in any
color, although the trend is towards darker navys and black instead of the more
common light shades of brown and khaki. You can also see stripes and patterns in
the coats instead of the plain, solid-colored ones.

As for accessories, you will see glittery accessories like stock pins and
jewelry. Swarovski crystals in belt buckles, spurs, helmets and everything else
are also becoming popular.

Tall leather boots with zippers are the more popular footwear for shows. Back
zippers make the boots easy to take off. For those who are into serious
training, half chaps and paddock boots are still in because of their durability.

Equestrian apparel is all about fashion and ease. With the many styles and
designs available, finding one that suits you perfectly should be no problem at
all.

Kicked in the Head: The Equestrian Helmet

Equestrian helmets may not be the biggest fashion sensation today, but there
are some stories behind them. The distinctive style of the helmet, kept even in
these days of modern materials and cutting-edge design, still reflects the
tradition of conservatism proliferated by the early English riding headdress.

Unlike their predecessors, however, equestrian helmets of today serve a purpose
beyond making people look good: safety. Not many people realize this, but
competitive horse riding is a sport that can be fraught with danger. This is
the reason why helmets of today are designed and standardized to make sure that
a rider does not suffer serious cranial injuries when riding.

The helmet itself has an outer layer of plastic, which resists impact and
prevents injuries in case of a fall. However, some helmets are designed with a
cloth covering the shiny plastic in order to make the helmet look more
attractive.

The brim of the helmet is designed to protect the eyes of the rider form the
harsh glare of the sun. It also makes the helmet more attractive in terms of
design. However, the brim is not made of the same materials as the "shell" of
the helmet. Rather, it is designed to crumple during a fall. This makes the
helmet safer in event a rider lands on the brim.

The inside of the helmet is designed with both comfort and safety in mind.
Added padding makes sure that the helmet takes the brunt of the impact in case
of a fall. The design is also very sport-specific: one of the reasons why an
equestrian helmet is easily recognizable.

The design of the helmet makes sure that the whole head is protected. This is
unlike bicycle or skating helmets, which focus the protection in the front and
back of the head. It is also designed with the comfort of the rider in mind,
with ventilation and positioning factored into the overall aesthetics.

There are many variations on the equestrian helmet based on the competition.
Horseracing jockeys, for instance, wear helmets that are brimless and covered
with a cloth matching the color scheme of their uniforms. Traditionalists frown
upon the spreading use of brilliant colored helmets, but more and more people
find the colors black, brown and gray boring.

There are also some varieties of equestrian helmets today that have been
adapted to more "western" designs. These helmets, however, are yet to be
embraced by riders in rodeos (where they are obviously more needed).

Standardization varies form country to country. However, a rider who joins a
competition must have a standard helmet or that rider will not be allowed to
compete. People who have performed a "conformity assessment" judge whether the
helmet is up to standard

The conformity assessment is a series of tests that show how safe the helmet
is. Some assessments involve various tests that simulate a rider falling from a
horse and even getting kicked by a horse in the head.

Today, the equestrian helmet is not yet required for riders. However, they are
becoming common practice. In fact, riding instructors today are required by
insurance companies to make their students wear riding helmets in order to get
an insurance policy. Some people may feel that equestrian helmets are
uncomfortable and hot, but you should always remember that these helmets keep
you safe.

Finding the Best Equestrian Gifts

What's the perfect gift for a horse lover? That would have to be a horse. But
if you do not have the finances, or if they already has one, then you buy the
next best thing. With the many options available, there is one gift that would
best suit any horse lover. Here are some equestrian gifts
that you can find for your loved one.

For a young horse lover, you can get him a toy pony. You can also find a bag,
tote or purse with horse design, a boot box where pens, markers or brushes can
be placed, a shirt or heart-shaped jewelry box, also with horse design. There
are also other toys like cards and puzzles. If they like to watch movies, give
him a DVD of a nice horse movie.

Another gift idea is equestrian jewelry. You can find horseshoe rings, horse
pendants or bracelets with horse trinkets in gold, silver or platinum. Or you
can give some horse art, like paintings and posters. If you can paint, you can
make a mural on a wall of their home.

For someone who likes to read, you can give subscriptions to equine magazines.
There are also horse lover notebooks, journals and address books, office
stationery, paper weight and book ends that you can find. If your loved one is
seriously considering a career in horse riding, you can give DVDs and books on
horsemanship. Tickets to a horse show or rodeo would also make great gifts.

There are also house items that you can get for the adult horse lover. You can
find many blankets and throws with horse prints, pillowcases and pillows with
horse designs, equestrian trellis designs in placemats, tablecloths and
napkins, floor mats and rugs, horse racing table tops, home accents and decor,
clocks, etched glassware, horse loving mugs, statues. Other house decor like
nightlights, lamps and candle holders would also look beautiful in a horse
lover's home.

For someone special, you can give a horse mailbox. Some manufacturers have
different breeds, colors and poses available. So you can find a black palomino
in a running pose, or a chestnut thoroughbred standing. These products even
have some natural-looking mane and tail hair.

Another practical gift is a basket containing stuff for the horse like horse
treats or toys that the horse can play with. Or you can give a bucket full of
products for horse grooming like shampoo, hoof pick, body brush, shedder,
saddle soap and others. This is ideal for a horse trainer or riding instructor.
Ask help from a riding professional to know the best products to buy.

Of course, you can buy horse apparel and riding accessories like jackets,
boots, hats and saddles.

If, despite all these gift ideas, you still can't decide on what to give, why
not give gift cards or certificates to a specialty store. That way, they are
sure to get something they really want.

There are many sources of equestrian gifts. You can find them in stores, museum
gift shops and the internet. Also, if you really know the person, then you will
know what gift they will love. So, the next time you would want to give a horse
lover friend or family member a gift, you know what to buy and where to find it.

Brighten Up Any Room with Equestrian Home Decor

If you're thinking of giving your home or room a lift, then equestrian home
decor is the solution. Horse decor is one of the most popular animal decor to
grace our homes. Its versatility and beauty, not to mention its availability,
makes you like to have the horse form in your room. Here are some ideas on how
to decorate your home with horse decor.

If you feel that bigger pieces are overbearing, you can start with small accent
pieces. It can be a small horse statuette on your study table, a Texas star wall
clock, bookends with horse figures, or wall art with horse design. Smaller
pieces are great for small spaces. You can also put up a large welcome sign or
doormat with horse and cowboy design to set the tone or mood of the home.

Other types of horse decor are furniture accents like a country-themed drawer
chest or armoire in deep color with horse design. This piece can serve as
centerpiece of the room, or it can be placed in a corner for accent. A base
horse figure can also serve as coffee table or side table.

This horse figure as base can also be used for lamps. Or you can have a
beautiful horse scene in the shade. When lit, the shade gives really beautiful
western colors. If you love to decorate your room with tea light candles and
oils, you can find a horse oil lamp made of ceramic where oil can be burned to
provide the scent that you want, or candle holders which are of horse design
made from wrought iron.

You can also hang some horse art in the wall. Big or small, the size would
depend on your preference and on the size of the room. If you want bigger horse
designs, you can paint a mural on one wall or use wallpaper with horse designs.

Other accent pieces are horse-designed throws, rugs or throw pillows. These
pieces can make any cabin-styled home interesting. For the room, you can also
have a comforter, beddings and pillow cases with horse design. This is perfect
for a horse-loving kid's room. Add a rocking horse, and your child may never
want to go out of his room anymore.

Horse design pieces also blend well in country-style bathrooms. You can add a
horse towel bar, tissue holder, shower curtain or rug with horse design to your
bathroom. You can also place a few decorative tiles with horse design in your
sink.

The kitchen can also be filled with horse decor. Horse figures in wrought iron
may be used as plant or magazine holders. You can also have horse figures as
cabinet door knobs or pulls.

One's fascination with horse decor can be because of different reasons.
Surprisingly, some who incorporate horse decor are not even horse riders nor
are they of western or country origin. They simply love the horse form.

There are many sources of equestrian home decor. Visit a home furnishings store
in your locality. Or you can surf the web for pieces that you can purchase. With
the many designs available, there is one to accentuate your home. Let the beauty
and grace of our equine friends shine on. Find a piece to suit your home.






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