Trail Trials

The YLPEC hosted our first-ever Trail Trials on January 27.  We had an excellent turnout with approximately 30 horse and rider combinations.  It was such a success that we are hosting another Trail Trials event on Feb. 24 (weather permitting).

We ended up breaking it out into three categories: Novice (never to have competed in a Trail Trial event), Intermediate and Open (advanced).  Our largest class was the Novice.  We will have the same breakdown at the next event, but the obstacles will be different.  We had participants come from as far as Three Rivers and Hanford.  We hope to have an even larger turn out on Feb. 24!
I enjoyed watching everyone have fun and to see the Equestrian Center offer something new.  Karen Kroske, a longtime supporter of the Equestrian Center, volunteered to organize the event.  We appreciate her efforts as well as the efforts and time donated by our volunteers.  We were able to keep the event running smoothly because we had six judges so that six horses could participate at one time.
For information about the event, please contact Karen Kroske at 341-4764 or you can email me at equestriancenter@yloa.org.
Here are some photos of the event:

Mustang Matt Clinic

Last weekend we hosted the Mustang Matt Clinic for the Back Country Horsemen, Sierra Free Packers.  Mustang Matt is a horse trainer from Montana who trains a lot of wild mustangs but will work with any breed.  His philosophy for training is “Trust and Respect.”

We had a wonderful turn out for the clinic — in addition to nine horse owners who signed up for the clinic, we had 30 auditors.
I had the privilege of being able to participate with my horse.  The change I saw in my young mare was incredible.  I love to ride but doing ground work with my horse was never something I really learned to do.  My older horse who will be 18 this year came with some great ground manners and I have had her almost 15 years, so whatever I learned before that had become a bit rusty.  
Matt’s focus wasn’t just ground manners, he also taught on how to safely stop if you get in a bad situation and need your horse to stop immediately.  Another great tool he taught was how to calm a horse down and to keep their focus on what their rider is asking.  Everyone who was able to participate and watch is now a better horse person, if they apply the tools he provided.

Debunking thrush remedies

I love winter and I love the rain!  This is my favorite time of year for many reasons but winter does have a downside when it comes to my horses.  Between the unsafe riding conditions the rain can cause, my supposed-to-be-gray horses who are now various shades of mud and fighting off thrush in my horse’s feet, it really puts a damper on my favorite time of year.

Many of us who have horses are familiar with thrush, but for those of you who are not, it is a fungal infection in horse’s hooves caused by too much moisture.  It is treatable but can cause more serious issues if not treated.  I have heard of a lot of home remedies for thrush, but the medications available for purchase can be a bit pricey.  I found this great article that debunks a lot of the home remedies for thrush that cause more harm than good.

YLPEC Trail Trials

The YLP Equestrian Center decided that in 2019 we want to host additional events, not just horse shows. On Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, we are hosting Trail Trials. It will begin at 10 a.m. and will end when everyone who signed up has had an opportunity to participate.

The cost is $25 for the day and there will be 15 obstacles and different participation levels (novice and open).

For those of you who may not be familiar with Trail Trials, it is essentially an obstacle course on horseback.  Many of the obstacles essentially replicate something you may encounter on a trail ride.  For instance, one of the obstacles may have you ask your horse to step over poles. Out on the trail, you may have to step over tree branches or large rocks.  Some of the advanced Trail Trial courses may have you jump over a small jump. On a trail ride you may come across a tree that has fallen in the path of the trail with no way around it, so if your horse is familiar with taking a small jump then you are prepared for that situation.
Even if you don’t enjoy trail riding, Trail Trials are a great way to work on agility and teamwork with your horse.  To correctly maneuver around the obstacles on horseback, your horse has to trust you and to listen to you. You may be asked to back through barrels or to turn in tight quarters.  Having these skills and that level of connection with your horse can only benefit the horse and rider team.
We encourage everyone to come check it out even if you don’t have a horse to participate with. Please see our flyer for more information.

Balancing horses & life

When Your Hobby Becomes Work: How to Balance Life and Horses
I think any adult who has horses has felt this way at one time or another.  We love our horses but sometimes busy schedules can make our barn time feel like work.  The holidays in particular can be a busy and stressful time.  I found this great blog from SmartPak’s website with some great tips on how to make time for and enjoy our horses even when it isn’t easy.

The importance of trainers

I read this blog and knew I had to share it with you.  When it comes to horses, in my opinion no truer words have ever been spoken.  Finding the right trainer makes all the difference.  No matter what discipline you ride or what kind of horse you have, none of us are experts and as I have previously shared, we all can benefit from taking lessons.
I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful trainer who knows just how far to push my horse and I to help both of us be better and better together.