Being the young (and broke) professional I am, I take any new opportunity to work with horses. If the ranch/barn/farm is within a 40 minute drive, I'm in. This attitude has worked well to help fill my wallet (until the next vet bill or feed order or board payment is due anyway), but has put me in some pretty strange situations that have led to the occasional moral crisis. The truth of the matter is that most people don't hire me for my opinion, but simply to do the work they don't feel like putting in themselves. Normally, this situation works out fine for me as most horse owners I've encountered have treated their horses fairly as well as myself. However, there have been two recent situations where I was caught between the owner's expectation and the welfare of the horse. Now, here's the big question: what do you do? Walk away? Hold out and hope to make a difference? I can tell you which one is the easier option, but is it the best?
Just the other day, I tacked up my three-year-old thoroughbred mare in her dressage saddle and bridle, lunged out her bucks and leaps, carried the mounting block to her side, and got smacked in the face by cold, hard reality. Anyone with a young horse KNOWS that everything was going far too smoothly in the beginning of that narration.
A very merry Christmas morning last year involved two pairs of new socks: a pair of Foothuggies Riding Boot Socks with the red eventer graphic on the side and a pair of Nobel Outfitters Ultimate Boot Socks in black and white. As all equestrians know, socks are one of the greatest presents anyone can give and we go through them like CRAZY! Being someone who had predominately ridden in cheap socks bought at places like Wal-Mart or Target up to this point, I was more than thrilled to find actual riding socks under the tree!
In the imaginary realm of my mind, adopting a horse was simple. Once you are deemed a suitable home, you pick out a horse that aligns with your skill level and take it home.
I had my first experience training an unfamiliar horse today. Now, I'm not going to lie. I felt wildly unqualified. I have hacked horses in exchange for money or even done basic training on my trainer's dressage horses, employer's reiners, and family friends' horses. I have retrained problem horses I have either bought or have been given temporarily to fix. However, I find this to be a whole different experience than showing up at a stranger's house, have them tell you what they would like to improve with their partner, then hand over the horse. Not only that, but this was groundwork. While I feel that I am more qualified than most to handle lunging, ground driving, and general obedience training, I am still in a bit over my head with this project.
One of my (many) Black Friday gifts to myself was the Original Booband in pink. I discovered this brand on Instagram, and immediately had a strong sense of respect for the idea and the people behind it. Breast health is a commonly overlooked part of fitness, as a well-fitting sports bra is not always at the top of the shopping list for beginner and even experienced athletes. I know an alarming number of people who ride in everyday bras, which offer little to no support when utilized in such a high-impact sport. In addition, many people do not consider changing into a sports bra for a simple walk, when even this lower-impact activity can lead to sagging and damage over time. Many people who use sports bras do not realize how often they have to be replaced to remain fully effective. Boobands offer a universal addition to the sport bra line to protect breasts and promote breast health everywhere.