I made a decision well before 2021 – I wanted a new, young horse to “grow” with. After retiring my last show horse, I knew there would be many more great years of trail riding, but I was going to miss actively working towards something – whether it was preparing for a show or taking lessons.
I started on projects around the property to accommodate another horse – updated fencing, built a barn extension for hay, updated inside the barn. It was getting serious – a new horse was on the horizon!
I dipped my toes into breeder and adoptions options – was I going to go for a draft cross? A stock horse? An off-track Thoroughbred? I had grown up being able to ride the same horse in a Dressage test in the morning, out into a cornfield at night and then pop over some logs the next day. I hold both English and Western riding styles dear, so I wanted that versatility in my next horse – and there were so many great options to choose from!
As soon as I saw the picture of my soon-to-be new colt, my goal of patiently waiting and shopping in the Fall was out the window. After a few weeks of hustled preparations, getting advice from seasoned equestrians, ordering an absurd amount of Cherry Hill books and working with the organization that was fostering him – my new horse, Remington “Remi”, arrived on a cold Friday morning.
All Hands On Deck
Let me tell you, I got a dose of “baby life” immediately! Remi was opinionated straight off the trailer. After an outpouring of encouragement and taking the advice of my family and friends, we took progress a day at a time. The first test in owning him, was giving him, and myself, the patience we both needed to figure out our new life together.
It took only a few days to establish haltering and walking around his paddock, a few more days to be comfortable with him being loose, and a few more days after that to really relax. Who knew I could stress so much over him making good choices!? I realized how much I took for granted the things older horses just know. Years and years of building a relationship with my seniors made everything so easy – while I had to start at the very foundation for Remi.
It’s both overwhelming and exciting being the person that teaches a young horse the fundamentals. That privilege comes with great responsibility as well. Every interaction with him is a lesson – for both of us. What I allow from him as a baby will translate into a full grown horse.
Waiting for food, getting brushed, picking up all four legs and ultimately going outside to burn off energy are very easy things for a seasoned horse, but for a baby it’s about the repetition and comfort in routine. Space and patience are something we work on every single day. In just three weeks of working together, he trusted me enough for “scarier” introductions – like wearing a blanket for the first time and getting his first round of vaccinations!
We have so much to look forward to on our journey together! Do you have a young horse? What are some of your favorite experiences working with a baby?
Looking for the perfect holiday gift for yourself or someone else? In the latest Big Dee’s Blog Series, we dive into the latest trends and must-haves within several categories, finding top-rated picks from our staff and fellow riders. Whether you decide to “Treat Yourself” or get the look for less, each item is guaranteed for quality construction, value, and fabulous styling.
This bridle oozes blue-ribbon construction! The Nunn Finer Giulia Hunter Bridle features a square raised noseband and fancy stitch details throughout. Specifically designed with the supplest Italian leather, this classic bridle is made for the serious competitor and guaranteed to stand out among the field of competition.
Directly modeled after the $300+ bridles, the MTL Standard is a beautiful bridle for competition, or if you’re looking to upgrade your schooling tack. Featuring traditionally styling, this bridle is made from quality Austrian leather that breaks in easily and gets better with age. The elegant fancy stitching and classic look is perfect for any hunter/jumper ring from schooling to AAA-rated classes.
The ultimate competition or schooling bridle for Dressage and Eventers, this FEI-approved bridle is designed to provide maximum comfort to your horse. Its unique engineering includes curved browbands and plush padding through the browband and crown, while the streamlined caveson protects sensitive facial nerves. Every one of Schockemohle’s bridles have exquisite German craftsmanship in mind and the highest quality of materials, ensuring that each piece is made to last.
Known as one of the original “anatomic” bridles of its class, the Micklem Diamante builds off the classic styling and comfortability of the original Micklem Competition Bridle, with a few upgrades that make this bridle perfect for Dressage or Eventing classes. The wider noseband and diamante crystal accents on the brow band adds subtle sparkle and glamour without becoming appearing gaudy or overdone.
Perfect for Pleasure, Barrel, and other showing classes, this Professional Choice Headstall is a quality choice that comes from a name with superior craftsmanship and unwavering brand recognition. The gorgeous floral tooling and wide set cheek pieces are elegant enough for mares or geldings, while the decorative buckles add a whimsical old-school Western look. Collect the entire collection with coordinating breast collar and one-ear headstall!
I love the bohemian-inspired beading of this wide browband headstall. The reds and oranges compliment the rich chocolate leather of the rest of the headstall beautifully while keeping with traditional Western elements. Available in a single ear option, pairing either with the matching beaded breastcollar ($92.99) creates an eye-catching look that is sure to stand out in the ring or on the trails.
Known as the standard for long-lasting, super plush, GORGEOUS half pads and saddle pads, Mattes pads offer superior design and construction to eliminate movement under saddles and suitable for any ring. Each of their pads are have engineered sheepskin panels for protection and ultimate close contact or the ability to customize fit with shims for a precise fit. Simply put – they’re the best money can buy in a show pad. Just be sure to grab your bottle of Melp to keep your pad in tip-top shape.
For those looking for a Sheepskin “dupe” pad for the Dressage ring, the Steffen Peters Shearling pad features UltraShock, Professional’s Choice signature shock-absorbent material, that is perforated to allow maximum breathability and create additional support without the need of a half pad. Plus, with the 60-day guarantee, you’ll be guaranteed to love this pad!
Known as one of the best-selling pads among any and all Western riders, this 100% pure virgin wool USA-made pad is a fan-favorite due to its versatility, durability, support, and ease of cleaning. The wither cutout and sturdy wear leathers ensure comfort to your horse, while the variety of pad thickness and sizing make selecting the correct pad for virtually any sized horse a breeze. Grab a bottle of the 5 Star Pad Cleaner and handy Sponge.
This Weaver pad offers a similar look and impressionable support as the 5 Star. Made from a balanced wool felt/foam blend, this American-made pad features sturdy wear leathers and a wither cutout for additional comfort and durability. Available in 31 x 32 and 33 x 32 sizing, the Synergy pad is one of the most used pads among recreational and competitive riders alike.
One of the most famous names in equine leather goods, the Walsh British Halter is nothing short of exquisite. The classic triple stitch and sturdy brass hardware makes this a beautiful halter for home or shows. To add a finishing touch, a custom nameplate creates a finished, polished presentation for your favorite horse.
Our best-selling leather halter, the likeness of the Quiet Creek Halter to more expensive brands is virtually identical. Available in a variety of sizes and featuring an adjustable chin (or check out the Quiet Creek Thoroughbred Style for a non-adjustable version), these hand-stitched USA-made halters are meant to stand up to the rigors of everyday or show use.
Even more stunning in person, this Tory Congress Halter is the definition of a “wow” factor. Handstitched in the USA, this exquisite halter is accented with heavy Sterling Silver accents, including engraved cheek and nose pieces and concho-style buckles. The elegant tapering around the nose and jowl highlights the horse’s facial curves and presentation, making this halter a show-stopper for any Western class. The included matching lead comes with a chain, making this set essential for Showmanship or Halter classes.
Royal King’s Congress Halter is hand crafted with equally supple, durable harness leather. Just like a glass of fine wine, this halter gets better with age! The glint of the Sterling Silver and Inca berry edging highlights your horse’s facial features while the included matching lead makes this show-ring ready halter a winner for any individual.
Enjoy the Ride, Colleen
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