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June 10, 2016

Jitterbug's Guide To Starting Your Human In The Saddle

After many years of working with the same Human, I recently decided to expand my horizons by taking on a few beginner students. It gives me the chance to rest my over-worked bucking muscles and recalibrate my brain cells.

I find that working with children is considerably more rewarding than working with adults—they are both easier please than adults and easier to scare into submission when necessary. 

May 13, 2016

Spring Ahead, Fall Off

Let me establish one thing right away: I don’t fall off. It has nothing to do with my riding skills. I don’t fall off because falling off hurts, and I have an aversion to pain.

I don’t remember the last time I fell off. Literally. I don’t remember it because I hit my head and four hours of short-term memory blew out of my brain faster than my medal course plan at the in-gate.   

April 15, 2016

Just Stopping By The Barn

5:17 p.m. - Text from HorseGal1101: On way home. Just have to stop at barn & check on horses real quick

5:18 p.m. - Text from ImyourGuy: How long will U B?

5:18:30 p.m. -  Text from HorseGal1101: Not long. Call U on way home. (happy face emoji)

5:19 p.m. - Text From ImYourGuy: K. I’ll start dinner (spoon/fork/knife emoji)

5:20 p.m. - Twitter: HorseGal1101 has logged on

5:20:15 p.m. - Tweet from HorseGal1101:  Going to the barn to see my best girls! #happyplace #Ilovemares #whyiwork

February 26, 2016

A Public Service Announcement

And now, a public service announcement:

Competing in equestrian sports is inherently dangerous. In the challenging and sometimes frenzied environment of a busy horse show, there are a hundred ways to get hurt. 

I’m here to talk about one of them.

January 29, 2016

Who Needs Leg When You Have Winter?

Wish your hunter had more pep in his step? Want your jumper more animated during his flat warm-up? Ever long for your horse to move with the style and athleticism of a cream-of-the-crop dressage champion?

Get ready to have all of your wishes granted.

December 17, 2015

Horse Girl Gifting 101

I don’t know a man who doesn’t regard the Christmas holiday with dread. Whether it’s from pressure to find the perfect gift for a significant other or the tendency to wait until 6 p.m. on Dec. 24 to take action, shopping rates right above root-canal-sans-anesthetic on most men’s lists of things they want to do. 

Well, men, if you’re involved with a horse girl, I’ve got great news: We are incredibly easy to buy for.

September 11, 2015

Jitterbug's Guide To Being Photographed By Your Human

If you are a trainer of Humans in this day and age, you’ve probably noticed that they are unusually obsessed with their Dumb Phones, and equally obsessed with taking photos of everything from their alarming makeup jobs to their fattening brunches/gravyfests.

Unfortunately for Quadrupeds, this probably means they fancy themselves photographers, and that they will almost certainly try to capture our likeness in pixels. Consider this a teaching experience that will not only make the biped a better photographer, but a better Human.

September 4, 2015

Every Turtle Has His Day

In August, I observed a very important anniversary: the first anniversary of my return to riding. You may remember reading my column about my laughable first attempt at being back in the saddle following a two-year break.

In the past 12 months I have managed to rebuild my strength, rebuild my stamina, and rebuild my lower body into a shape that fits into my riding pants again.

July 30, 2015

A Guide To Evaluating Your Horse's Personality Type

I returned to riding about a year ago after a two-year break following the loss of my equine soulmate. Since then, through the generosity of a wonderful “barn family,” I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy many wonderful, and very different, horses. I’ve discovered something to love about each one, and each has taught me its own lessons. Mostly what I’ve learned is that the horses fall into one of three basic categories: The Pleaser, The Persnickety One and The Laz-E-Boy.

This is how their internal dialog goes on any given day:

The Pleaser

July 2, 2015

Supporting Your Horse Habit

If you’re like most horse owners, you could use some extra income. Horses can and will adapt themselves to exceed any budget.  If taking a second (or third) job isn’t feasible, then it’s time to think outside the box. Horse people have plenty of raw materials at their disposal, and all it takes is a little ingenuity to turn them into extra cash. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. eBay
eBay is the perfect sales venue for not-quite-new items, and every barn is full of things that qualify.

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