Equestrian Supplies

One of the most important pieces of horse care equipment is the grooming kit. It is important to keep you horse in good condition and grooming plays an important part in this. After all condition plays a part in determining how well a horse performs whatever the task. Many tasks also require a horse and rider to look their very best. There are many different pieces of grooming equipment and many different options owners can choose to go for when decide how to care fro their horses.

Grooming is essential for removing ticks and other skin parasites a horse might pick up as well as removing dirt and debris from the coat, helping to keep the coat in excellent condition. Grooming being a social activity helps to build and strengthen the bond between horse and rider. It also provides an opportunity for a rider to check the horse over for any cuts, scratches or minor injuries. It also has the added health benefit of stimulating the skin and increasing blood circulation.

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The grooming kit consists of various brushes and combs which are used to brush the coat and keep it clean. Each is different and specifically designed for a specific purpose. Here are the main items and basic brushes and combs your grooming kit should contain:

Dandy Brush

This brush has long bristles and is used to remove loose dirt from the surface of the coat; it is generally used on the least sensitive part of the horse.

Body Brush

These are general all purpose brushes used to do the bulk of the work. They are hard or soft depending upon your requirements. They have leather backs and are used to remove oil and grease from the horses coat and as their name suggests are used all over the horse’s body including sensitive areas.

Metal Curry Comb

This is not a brush used on the horse but rather one which is used to remove hair and dirt from the body brush as you work.

Rubber Curry Comb

These are used on the horse’s mane and tail to untangle knots and remove any dirt.
 
Water Brush

This is used to apply water to the horses coat during grooming as necessary. This dampening and wetting of the coat may be needed to remove stubborn dirt.

Mane Comb

A comb used on the mane and tail that can be either metal or plastic. There are a few variations on this comb depending upon its exact purpose. Short metal combs are used for pulling manes and others are used when cutting manes.

Hoof Picks

Hoof picks are very important as they allow you to get out any small stones or other debris which might lodge in the hoof of your horse. Often these are minor very small objects but if they cause damage it can lead to infection and lameness.

Cotton Sponge

Used for cleaning delicate areas around the eyes, ears and nose as well as minor wounds.

Sweat Scraper

This is used to remove any excessive sweat and water from you horse.
 
Stale Rubber

This finial item is a piece of leather used to literally give you horses coat a polish and shine. It is used to finish off at the end of a grooming session.

Grooming or Kit box

This is any container or bag where you kit is stored whilst not in use. It makes sure all items are kept together in one place and not lost.

Equestrian Careers

If you are one of those people who have fallen in love with horses then a career working with them may be for you. Horse lovers can be young or old male or female and seem to be pretty much universal, there aren’t many kids who would say no to a pony. If for you spending time with horses is your idea of heaven then you should seriously consider going into the industry you love. Especially if you are one of those people who cannot stay away from the stables even for a single day, as it is this level of dedication that is required.

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If you eat, sleep and breathe horses from an early age then for you it may seem inevitable that you will have a career with them. Equestrian centers can be found worldwide and are always popular so there are many opportunities to work with horses. Careers are wide ranging from producing, selling and distributing horse products to grooms, trainers, horse whispers, riders, vets, furriers to taking part in competitive sports as a rider, such as racing, polo, jumping, dressage and eventing. No matter what section of the horse industry you go for, you will have a rewarding and enjoyable outdoor career.

Past surveys have estimated that there are 7 million horses in the US alone creating a huge demand for experienced and knowledgeable people trained to work with horses providing many opportunities for horse lovers. The American Horse Council supports an estimated 1.4 million full time jobs ranging from feed producers and distributors to the hands on work of a large animal vet. There are many different types of establishments you can work on ranches stud farms or you can travel whilst showing or competing. Vets and furriers often have to travel to many different stables to treat horses or work from horse hospitals where they can carry out operations. There are also many different aspects of horse care you can get involved in recreation, health, training, breeding, competing and producing horse related products. With such a wide variety of jobs and opportunities available you are bound to find the one for you.

So how do you get a job in the equine industry? First you need to be absolutely sure that working with horses is what you want to do. Spend as much time as you can with horses even if this involves volunteering and mucking out. This will enable you to gain experience and decide what if any areas of horse care or management you want to go into if any. You will need to be patient and learn from experienced horse handlers who are working around you. Try working in as many different areas as possible to get an idea of what kind of work suits you best.

Once you have decided on an area you will need to gain the necessary experience and qualifications before sending off your CV. For a vet this will require extensive studying and a long period at veterinary college as well as practical study following a qualified large animal vet on their rounds. Most horse related jobs involve some kind of apprenticeship were you are trained by someone who has the skills and experience. You will need to research and investigate the particular training and qualifications of your chosen career and how you will need to go about gaining any training, qualification or experience you lack.

There are several things that can affect you choices and so you need to ask yourself several questions.

Do you really want to work only with horses? What particular aspects of working with horses do you most enjoy? Are you currently in regular contact with horses? Would you prefer to work in some supporting field? There are many pros and cons to consider.

A supporting role often provides more stability and involves regular hours and higher pay, though you still get the benefits of working with horses. A more hands on career has the benefits of working with horses all day everyday and greater flexibility with hours etc though expect to work long hours. Though these jobs are less well paid, often harder to attain and less reliable.

What skills education and qualifications can you boast about? Many jobs have certain qualifications or experience as essential requirements for applicants. Without these you stand little chance of getting these jobs. Make sure you stand the best chance by studying hard to gain necessary qualifications and most importantly, especially with hands on jobs, get as much experience of working and riding horses as possible. This will ideally be several hours per day as a minimum.

You may need to volunteer and spend money in order to train and gain qualifications and experience initially but if you persevere you will attain a rewarding career as an equestrian.

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Equestrian Jewelry

Many people have a close relationship with horses and find many ways to express this. Equestrians and horse enthusiasts have many ways of expressing their love of horses, through home décor and accessories, clothing and of course jewelry.

The horse’s elegance and grace, it stature and gait, the sheer beauty of its form make it an ideal candidate for decorative items such as jewelry and is the reason why many jewelers have horse designs in their collections. These pieces vary from small trinkets to diamond studded pendants and can match any wardrobe and are worn to any occasion.

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Horse jewelry can be made of a number of precious metals silver, gold, white gold and platinum. Some are pure metal whilst others include precious stones and gems including diamonds, pearls, sapphires and rubies. Other less costly components may include beads and semi precious stones.

Equine jewelry can come in many different forms, the most common being a necklace, the horse design being incorporated into the pendant. Some show a horse in trot or more commonly display a horses head or Equus design. Sometime the head may have a round or square frame which can be plain or studded. Other popular designs are equestrian equipment, horse shoes, stirrup, crop and boot, dressage horse, saddle, hoof pick, golden boot, blue ribbon to name a few. Charms are also popular and cover a variety of horse related designs. Love heart pendants with horse designs are also sometimes used as pendants. Chains for equine necklaces can be cable or plain.

Another popular item of equine jewelry is the bracelet. These often consist of a number of equine charms to embellish a plain chain. Clip on charms allow you to add and remove charms to suit you mood and mix and match to taste. Some popular charm designs include hearts, horse, horse shoes, boot jack, paddock boot, blue ribbon and dressage hats. The chain can also have a number of designs or be plain. Equine watches are also a nice twist on the equine bracelet.

Earrings though not as common are also popular items of equine jewelry. Designs are similar to necklace pendants and matching necklace and earring sets are commonly sold. Earrings can be small studs and bigger dangling ones. Like necklace pendants popular earrings designs include horse shoe and stirrups.

Equine rings are also available. Designs include double horse heads as well as many other equine designs. Rings are one of the few pieces of equine jewelry that can be worn by both men and women. This fact means that they make ideal his and hers gifts for horse loving couples for special event engagements and wedding and anniversary’s.

You can find broaches, barrettes, pins and cufflinks available in horse designs. Whilst some may not consider these jewelry, they are often included in this category as they have the same use, are made from the same materials and the cost. Popular examples include square horse design cufflinks, gold equestrian broaches and diamond studded silver barrettes. Pins can be done in saddle, hunting whip, hunting horn or heart-shaped horse designs.

You don’t need to have or love horses to wear equine jewelry, though you may come to appreciate their beauty and grace over time. With so many beautiful designs and types of equine jewelry available you are bound to be able to find a piece you will love. Equine jewelry is great way to spice up your wardrobe and make great gift ideas for friends and family with an interest and love of horses. They are elegant and beautiful and won’t go out of fashion.

Equestrian Clothing

The main purpose of equestrian clothing is to provide essential protection. Even the most experienced riders on the best-trained horses can suffer falls and injuries if their horse is panicked or provoked becoming unpredictable. For inexperienced riders this equipment is even more vital as they do not yet have the skills to keep a horse calm and under control making the possibility of accidents even greater. Horses are large powerful prey animals and instinctively run or rear often kicking out when frightened or when incorrectly handled. Riding hats and body protectors are essential riding equipment and will protect you if this happens.

Protecting the entire body is essential; the most important areas to protect are the head spine and chest. A horse’s kick is hugely powerful sending you flying and can easily break bones or cause internal bleeding. At the most serious a fall or kick from a horse can leave you completely paralyzed if the spine is damaged.

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Equestrian Protection

Horses are prized and often expensive animals and owners spend a lot protecting them but thought should be given to protecting the rider too. The rider’s ability to handle a horse will affect their performance and both should feel secure. The riders clothing should cushion any blows they might suffer during an accident.

Back and chest or body protectors protect the rider’s upper body. This is a vital area to protect as it contains our spinal column, which could leave a person paralyzed if damaged. Our upper body also contains virtually all our vital organs that are essential to survival leading to life threatening illness if damaged.

A body protector consists of a padded vest, which will cushion any blow protecting the body underneath and minimizing potential injuries during a fall or when kicked. There are differing types, which can be worn under or over clothing; virtually all can be worn under a jacket.

The body protector is divided into two sections front and back they are usually held together using straps or Velcro over the shoulders and sides making them tight against the body to provide the most effective protection. Your protector should not be loose fitting or move freely. They may be uncomfortable at first but adapt to your body’s shape and contours after it has been worn for a few times. They are designed to be an effective preventative measure against serious injury.

All riders should use new properly fitted body protectors, which conform to safety standards. All body protectors should conform to these standards. There are however different brands and types of protectors on the market.

-Level 1 – The Black Label is appropriate only for licensed jockeys as only provides the bare minimum of protection.
-Level 2 – The Brown Label offers medium protection and is suitable for experienced riders for low risk general riding.
-Level 3 – The Purple Label is suitable for normal and competition riding and for the inexperienced rider as it offers the greatest protection necessary when there is a greater risk of accidents occurring. It should also be used when handling horses rather than just for riding.

Like riding hats protectors should be replaced after 3 or 4 years or after a serious accident as they could have sustained damage, which makes them less effective. Second hand protectors are not advised. Some protectors may come with additional features such as shoulder pads.

Manufacturers provide body protectors in a variety of sizes and styles and it is possible to get one custom made or fitted to be as comfortable and as safe as possible. Some like their protectors looser than others but they should never be too loose or will loose their effectiveness. No matter what your preferences prevention is better than cure and one day you will be grateful to you body protector and along with your hat they should be considered as essential riding equipment.

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Equestrians and Equestrianism

Horses have had a crucial role in the history of mankind from prey to transportation and cavalry. Today horses are rarely used purely for transportation and more often associated with hobbies and sport such as hunting, racing, jumping and dressage. Though there are many, which still work on ranches and farms across the world. In some areas of the world they are also considered a delicacy, though many cultures have too much respect for these creatures to eat them. Though they are often no longer needed for work riding horses is still a hugely popular pastime.

Transporting your horse be a challenge in this industry. But it is a challenging part of running a horse related business dealing with international clients.

You may want to transport your horse to the USA from Europe. This can be extremely expensive because of the legal and paperwork costs between countries.

Equestrianism refers to a person who has the skill to ride, drive, handle and manage horses. It covers every aspect of horse care and handling from riding and racing to grooming all of which take a lot of experience and skill to master. It also refers to every kind of horse and equine management from highly strung racehorses to pets and working ranch horses including everything in-between.

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In the past

Horses have been put to a variety of uses since they were first domesticated. When fighting wars before the development of armored vehicles the cavalry were the fastest and most deadly force an army possessed. In peaceful times before the introduction of trains, tractors, vans and lorries horses were widely used in agriculture and transportation. They pulled carriages and carts loaded with goods, plowed the fields and pulled canal boats.

In ancient Rome equestrians were considered members of the upper class, horses were expensive and so anyone who could afford to keep them was unlikely to have to do manual labor. The Equestrian class, were both a military and political power as horsemen received compensation from the senate and their horses essential to the success of the Roman Army.

As the Roman Empire expanded Rome relied on it allies to provide cavalry horses and so equestrians were no longer a military power though their title and status remained. They were considered equal to senators and remained rich governing the provinces. Senators dominated government offices but were not allowed to operate businesses or make money of their own. Equestrians on the other hand were free to invest, run businesses and make money.

Today

Today equestrians can belong to any strata of society although horses are still expensive to buy and keep. Equestrians are most associated with sports most notably horse racing and events such as jumping and dressage in the Olympics.

Events such as dressage, eventing and jumping are designed to test both horse and rider. Dressage involves being able to get the horse to carry out certain movements and tasks whilst running loose. This involves a close connection and understanding between horse and human as well as intensive training. Dressage is also known as horse ballet and is designed to test the horses athletic ability and ability to perform.

Show jumping requires a rider to guide a horse round a series of jumps and obstacles in the fastest time and fewest mistakes. It requires a great deal of trust between horse and rider as well as strength to clear extremely high and long jumps.

Eventing is a combination of show jumping and dressage and requires a huge amount of skill to master a range of disciplines. Again the aim is to get through the course with the fastest time and fewest mistakes possible.

The role of equestrians has changed through time but still holds that air of nobility and garners respect throughout the world.

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