Equine Empire

Ancient empires had a size limit determined by the horse. If the outer limits of the empire were more than 14 days ride it was difficult to maintain control and thus the edges were claimed by other peoples – shrinking the empire. This helps explain why American empires were significantly smaller than Old World empires. They did not have horses, but travelled by foot. Once the horse was introduced to American cultures their territories expanded exponentially.

Family Equidae + The Mule

Another semester of equine learning has begun! This fall I’m enrolled in Horse Science 1 and as part of the intro material we are looking at the Equidae family which includes horses, zebras, and donkeys. We are all familiar with these species, but I wanted to take a moment to look at a fourth creature: the Mule.

Why Volunteer at Horse Shows?

I’m pretty new to the world of horse show volunteerism. My first volunteer shift was in the Spring of 2018 but I loved it and can’t seem to get enough! I feel so strongly that there are great reasons for equestrians to volunteer at their local shows so I have gathered a few of my top reasons here for your consideration.

Nine Equine Careers

Last week we looked in depth at the role of a Barn Manager. Here I have collected lighter overviews of a few more careers in the equine industry. My personal background is in graphic design, marketing, and art, so I’ve shared careers highlighting those skills among others below.

Fédération Équestre Internationale

Last week my instructor asked us to research the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) and share our thoughts on the future of the organization. Fédération Équestre Internationale (or International Federation for Equestrian Sports in English) is the international governing body of equestrian sports. It was formed in 1921 to ensure the safety and fairness of disciplines under their oversight for both equine and human competitors. These disciplines include jumping, dressage and para, eventing, driving and para, endurance, vaulting, and reining.

Horse Racing

When discussing horse racing it is not uncommon for concerns of safety and horse welfare to arise. Like any activity—from stock trading to figure skating—you will find the good, the bad and the ugly.

Harness or Driving Competition

Growing up I knew about horses being used to pull carriages (the Budweiser Clydesdale spot was always my favorite Super Bowl commercial) but I have only recently been exposed to driving as a sport. I was able to volunteer at the combined driving test event to evaluate the World Equestrian Games facility in preparation for the Tryon 2018 WEG and was blown away by the amazing sport of combined driving. How the same team of horses could be used for something as elegant as dressage one day, then bravely dive into the water obstacles in the marathon phase, and finally gather all their finesse and accuracy for cones on the final day — it was beautiful to watch!

The Digestive System

This week we covered the horse’s digestive system. The horse is a non-ruminant animal. Non-ruminant animals (also called monogastric) have a single-chambered stomach. As opposed to ruminants, who use bacteria in the rumen to break down food, non-ruminants use saliva in the mouth to start the digestion process. Horses are non-ruminants as are humans.

Riding Home

After completing an overview class on Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy at the end of last year, I’ve been packing my “to read” list with equine therapy titles. Riding Home by Tim Hayes turned out to be a good place to start.

Historic Horses

Przewalski’s Horse or, Equus ferus przewalski, is considered the oldest horse still in existence, but was not discovered until 1879, well after men domesticated and harnessed the power of the common horse, Equus caballus.

Going to School

I’m going back to school.

I spent many years in school earning a B.S. and M.A. in graphic design, so why am I going back? Passion. My passion for learning more about horses.

Wild Horse Country

I finished Wild Horse Country by David Philipps recently and highly recommend it to all readers (not just horse lovers). The book tells the sweeping story of mustangs in America. I knew next to nothing about the history and future of these animals and appreciate Philipps’ balanced look at all sides of the issue.