Rider Insider

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Noble OutfittersSometimes the best resource for becoming a better horse owner or rider is to learn from other equestrians. Each month, we ask HorseChannel.com visitors a new question about horses, horsekeeping and equestrian life, and we want you to share your stories. Some of the editors’ favorite responses may appear in the pages of Horse Illustrated!

Throughout 2014, Noble Outfitters will be sponsoring the Rider Insider column in Horse Illustrated with a prize for the selected featured response. If you’d like to be considered for a prize, make sure to include your contact info in the email field of the contact form (emails will not be publicly displayed.)

Equine Mysteries Equine Mysteries
When you first get started in the equestrian world, everything is brand new and confusing. You might have been surprised to find out there were different kinds of saddles, subdivided beyond those familiar English and western designations. When you heard people talk about ringbone, navicular and laminitis, you were likely left with questions. And when your new barn friends started breaking out the horse-show lingo? Forget it.

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Side Effects of Horses Side Effects of Horses
There’s a popular short humor piece that has been circulating the Internet since as far back as 2001 titled “Potential Danger of Horse Hair.” It describes some of the side effects of spending time at the barn, including a reluctance to do housework or spend money on anything other than the horse. And while this is a humor piece, we’d argue that time spent with horses does, in fact, have side effects.

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Your Horse’s Favorite Thing Your Horse’s Favorite Thing
Dew drops on roses and whiskers on kittens are nice, but your horse probably doesn’t give them much thought. He undoubtedly has his own ideas about what the finer things in life truly are.
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The Best Horse Movies The Best Horse Movies
One of our most popular articles of all time here on HorseChannel.com is our 2006 list of the 30 Best Horse Movies. The continued traffic to that page proves that plenty of people are looking for some horsey cinema to enjoy. The sometimes strongly worded disagreement (and occasional whole-hearted agreement) in the comments section shows that people also have very strong opinions on the topic.
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Hidden Talents Your Horse’s Hidden Talents
Poor Wilbur Post. His troublemaking equine companion, Ed, had the amazing ability to talk in fluent human English, but he refused to share that talent with the world. Wilbur went through life knowing that the horse in his backyard had this amazing skill, but had no way of proving it to anyone else.
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Show Tips Show Tips
Going to a horse show is a great way to add some excitement to your equestrian life. Competing gives you goals to work toward. It provides an opportunity to meet new horsey friends. And yes, it’s a great outlet for the competitive side you didn’t even know you had.
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Summer Memories Summer Memories
Any season is good when it’s spent with horses, but there’s just something about summer. It doesn’t matter if your preferred equestrian activity is on the trails, in the show ring or hanging out at the barn with your friends, those days between Memorial Day and Labor Day offer endless possibilities.
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Equestrian Lifehacks Equestrian Lifehacks
Are you familiar with the term lifehack? The term is relatively new, having come along with the Internet age, but the concept is timeless. Lifehacks are unique, usually non-obvious methods or tricks to help make life a little better or make a task easier.
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Learn from My Mistake Learn from My Mistake
Mistakes are a part of life and they’re a big part of the learning process in any activity you pursue. Riding is no different. What’s one mistake you’ve made in your equestrian life, and how did you learn from it?
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Most Fun Ever Most. Fun. Ever
There’s a time for work and there’s a time for play, and when it comes to horses and riding, there’s nothing better to revive your riding routine than a bit of fun. What experience have you had with a horse that was the most fun ever?
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Becoming a Real Rider Becoming a Real Rider
There’s a popular notion in the equestrian world that you’re not a real rider until you’ve fallen off 10 times. Or is it three times? Either way, if you hang out with enough horse people, you’ve probably heard some variation of this old adage.
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Room for Improvement Room for Improvement
Working with horses is full of challenges. Even the greatest rider in the world has something to improve upon when it comes to horsemanship skills. After all, perfection is an unattainable goal, but one every rider strives for.
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Equestrian Traditions Equestrian Traditions
Traditions are a way for certain practices to live on from one generation to the next. Every culture has traditions and many families do, too. There are certainly traditions that live within equestrian cultures, and maybe your barn family has a few that persist year after year.
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Barn Rules Barn Rules
When riding in the arena, pass left shoulder to left shoulder. If you borrow it, put it back. Don’t feed fingers to the horses. Regardless of whether you ride at a commercial megastable or just keep a few horses in your backyard, your barn undoubtedly has a few rules.
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Equestrian Guru Your Equine Guru
Once you’ve spent enough time riding and caring for horses, you start to become pretty competent and handling the daily problems around the barn. However, even the most experienced equestrians will occasionally run up against a situation that stumps them.
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Misbehaving Horse Dealing with a Tough Ride
Most riders will agree that there’s never a truly bad ride. After all, if every ride went smoothly, you would never have mistakes from which to learn. Of course, that’s the best-case scenario. Working through problems and ending on a high note leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment. However, things don’t always end up so well.
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Horseback Riding One Reason to Ride
Any rider can list off a dozen reasons why they love to ride and be around horses. The challenge would be whittling those myriad reasons down to one. If you had to describe the one primary reason why you ride or work with horses, what would it be?
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Riding Lesson Bring in the Newbies
How would you combat the misconceptions about our sport and get newcomers out to the barn to see what it’s really all about? Read more >>
Totilas Dream Horse
If you could have any horse, real or fictional, which horse would it be? Read more >>
Horse and Rider Finding a Perfect Match
There’s nothing quite like seeing a horse and rider working in perfect harmony. The only thing better is actually being the rider in that equation. Read more >>
Dad and Daughter Stuff Non-Equestrians Say
As horse lovers, we accept that we can seem a little strange to the outside world, but when outsiders step into our world, they can be downright hilarious. Read more >>
Girl and Horse Finding Motivation
In any activity, enthusiasm ebbs and flows, and accepting the tough times as a normal part of life is the first step in getting through them and returning to the devoted rider you truly are. Read more >>
Woman walking horse Telltale Signs of a Rider
Face it; no matter how hard you may try to appear to be a normal person at times, you are, in fact, a horse person. Read more >>
Girl and Horse Time for Horses
In a perfect world, you’d be able to spend all day riding, grooming and doting on your horse. However, real life doesn’t usually allow for that luxury.  Read more >>

14 COMMENTS

  1. One of the most inspiring quotes I was told is: “We expect horses to learn our language, but in return we never learn theirs” Since hearing that I have made it a goal in every lesson to connect with my horse using signals she understands; her language.

  2. The horse I used to ride would yank against the reins and almost pull me out of the saddle. When I asked her to move forward she would yank and then back up. When I used the crop on her she would lurch forward and try to ram me into the arena fence. Why does she do that?

  3. I wouldn’t call it a match, but rather a destiny.
    Loping up the pasture from the creek, all I saw was a mesmerizing muscular body with a silky smooth beautiful flowing mane, simply a beauty queen. I had seen multitudes of breeds, colors, and personalities, from the high spirited brats to the slow gentle giants. Not a single steed could compare to my Peppermint Patti.
    It was a pleasant aha moment type of day in September of 2007, the day I asked the barn owner if I could ride that Quarter Horse mare Patti on the trails with the group. Patti was just a pasture ornament, occasionally ridden by beginners on trail rides. Men definitely were devils in her eyes and not all beginners could ride her, so she always got tossed to the back seat. Mind you, I had my own family horse to ride, although Queen Patina was the mare I was recklessly determined to ride. Luckily for me, approval was given to saddle up, and let me just say, you think winning the lottery is overwhelming, well you are sadly mistaken. My excitement was enough to give my little heart a never ending violation. From that trail ride forward, I knew what I saw loping up the pasture that day was a soul mate I could never loose. I looked beyond her occasional witchy ways that made her second class. Surprise, surprise my Mother and Father had seen the match too. In a box beneath the Christmas tree that year was a bill of sale and Patti’s American Quarter Horse registration papers with my name labeled on the bottom. Can you say happy?
    I had never moved forward in lessons from the trot before I owned Patti. The next day I was in the round pen riding. Okay, even casually trail riding I had an assurance that if she loped off, I’d be safe. So, I decided to give it a try on my own, no trainer and no mom, and my assumption was right. Although it took me a few more months afterwards to get fully comfortable with cantering, Patti was my confidence builder. She had such a cadenced lope, that no matter how fast she went, I would always feel safe. One of my worst fears while riding was steep hills and sides of mountains. Every step that mare took, she took with my safety in mind, with one ear forward and one listening back to me. She sensed my every emotion, whether I was balling in tears from frustration or nauseated before entering a class at the horse show.
    All she wanted was a little girl to know as hers. We both understood one another’s strengths and weaknesses and loved each other anyways. I didn’t really have a girl best friend, you know the one you do girly things with and know each other’s deepest darkest secrets. I also had some confidence insecurities. Conclusive Patti was that girl, my first class; confidence builder; best friend. It did not matter what we went through, she always proved herself unfailing. So was she a match? Yes she was, love at first sight for me, but a destiny is more like it, two souls wanting acceptance through thick and thin, meant to be, a match with destiny.

  4. I wouldn’t call it a match, but rather a destiny.
    Loping up the pasture from the creek, all I saw was a mesmerizing muscular body with a silky smooth beautiful flowing mane, simply a beauty queen. I had seen multitudes of breeds, colors, and personalities, from the high spirited brats to the slow gentle giants. Not a single steed could compare to my Peppermint Patti.
    It was a pleasant aha moment type of day in September of 2007, the day I asked the barn owner if I could ride that Quarter Horse mare Patti on the trails with the group. Patti was just a pasture ornament, occasionally ridden by beginners on trail rides. Men definitely were devils in her eyes and not all beginners could ride her, so she always got tossed to the back seat. Mind you, I had my own family horse to ride, although Queen Patina was the mare I was recklessly determined to ride. Luckily for me, approval was given to saddle up, and let me just say, you think winning the lottery is overwhelming, well you are sadly mistaken. My excitement was enough to give my little heart a never ending violation. From that trail ride forward, I knew what I saw loping up the pasture that day was a soul mate I could never loose. I looked beyond her occasional witchy ways that made her second class. Surprise, surprise my Mother and Father had seen the match too. In a box beneath the Christmas tree that year was a bill of sale and Patti’s American Quarter Horse registration papers with my name labeled on the bottom. Can you say happy?
    I had never moved forward in lessons from the trot before I owned Patti. The next day I was in the round pen riding. Okay, even casually trail riding I had an assurance that if she loped off, I’d be safe. So, I decided to give it a try on my own, no trainer and no mom, and my assumption was right. Although it took me a few more months afterwards to get fully comfortable with cantering, Patti was my confidence builder. She had such a cadenced lope, that no matter how fast she went, I would always feel safe. One of my worst fears while riding was steep hills and sides of mountains. Every step that mare took, she took with my safety in mind, with one ear forward and one listening back to me. She sensed my every emotion, whether I was balling in tears from frustration or nauseated before entering a class at the horse show.
    All she wanted was a little girl to know as hers. We both understood one another’s strengths and weaknesses and loved each other anyways. I didn’t really have a girl best friend, you know the one you do girly things with and know each other’s deepest darkest secrets. I also had some confidence insecurities. Conclusive Patti was that girl, my first class; confidence builder; best friend. It did not matter what we went through, she always proved herself unfailing. So was she a match? Yes she was, love at first sight for me, but a destiny is more like it, two souls wanting acceptance through thick and thin, meant to be, a match with destiny.

  5. I knew my match with Willow, my 7yro Paint mare when i first saw her on the cross ties. She was a beautiful horse with the kindness in her brown eye and the wildness in the blue one. It was a mix of everything i look for in horses. I love challenges which she sure is but she would never do anything to intentionally hurt me.

  6. I have the best horse. While having Meniere’s I am still able to ride only because my little girl knows when I get off balance and will put herself back under me or if I am tofar off she stops altogether until I position rright in the saddle. Never letting me fall off. Love her so much and thankful for her.

  7. The first and most important thing about riding: know your horse. If you can understand him, then rides will be better for both of you. Who wants to obey someone who doesn’t understand them or take the time to get to know them. Take a few minutes every time you’re with your horse to try and build your relationship. However, the relationship doesn’t need to b best friends. While you can still be friends with your horse and play with them, your the dominant one, the boss. But you don’t have to e a commanding dictator, they just have to know that you make the rules, but that you don’t want to hurt them. If you can create a good, trusting bond between you and your horse, then they’ll respect you, and it’ll be happy riding from there on out.

  8. I don’t get to ride very often so horses illustrated and rider insider keep me tuned in with horses and events.Thanks horseillustrared,your great.

  9. Rider Insider is a great way to gain more knowledge about horses learn from othere peoples mistakes sucses tips and much much more

  10. My horse is a 3ft jumper, but on our flat days she gets a little too excited. Is that a jumper thing or is she just a hot mare?

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