Horse Show Points September 2021

horse showOur September fun show was a big success and very well attended. I love to see how all the riders have improved as the season has progressed. Taking lessons is important but it is just as important, if not more so, to be able to put into practice what riders learn. Being able to safely and correctly control a horse without the help of your training is imperative. That's what showing does. It also gives riders the opportunity to bond further with their horse as they spend time preparing for the show and waiting for classes to start.

Thank you so much to the many parents and friends who volunteer on a regular basis. Putting on a horse show is hard work, and we couldn't do it without you.

Fun Horse Show Leader Board September 2021

rider horse points place
Kaleigh White Rose Fandango 59.5 1st
Ellie Firefly 54 2nd
Mary White Rose Solar Eclipse 52 3rd
Kendall White Rose Rubydoo 48 4th
Kacie Ontopps Aragon 31.5 5th
Levi Tucker 30 6th

We only have one more show left for the 2021 season. Be sure not to miss it as it also include a costume class. All proceeds from the costume class go to the Sam Jonathan Davis Trust for my grandson's needs.

Fun Horse Show Leader Board Running Totals

rider horse points place
Kaleigh White Rose Fandango 227 1st
Mary White Rose Solar Eclipse 176 2nd
Sadie White Rose Let's Tango 167 3rd
Ellie Firefly 134 4th
Claire White Rose Moonfire 117 5th
Kacie Ontopp's Aragon 103.5 6th

Our next fun show is on October 16th, please come and join us.

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 When is it too hot to ride my horse?

Too hot to rideAs summer begins to wind down and the kids go back to school, it seems that no one bothered to tell Mother Nature. The only way to describe the oppressive heat and humidity we are currently experiencing is brutal. With a regular heat index of over 100°f (37.8°c), I often hear people asking is it too hot to ride. If you search online for the answer, you will come across a variety of advice and formulas. Some would allow you to ride just about year-round, and others would have you never riding between June - September. In this blog, I combined facts, science, and common sense and came up with a system that works for my horses and me.

Keeping Cool

The average temperature of an adult is between 97°f - 99°f (36°c - 37°c). The average temperature of a horse is 99°f - 101.5°f (37°c - 39c°). Horses and humans use the same two methods to keep cool.

  • Sweating: Sweat glands release sweat, as it evaporates it cools the skin. This helps to lower your internal temperature.
  • Vasodilatation: Blood vessels under your skin expand. This increases blood flow to your skin where it is cooler allowing your body to release heat through heat radiation.

These methods function well until the heat index exceeds the average body temperature. So, what is heat index sometimes referred to as real feel? 

What is Heat Index?

According to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the heat index is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature. Unfortunately, calculating heat index isn't as easy as adding the temperature and humidity together as many people think.

The heat index formula is expressed as

HI= c1+c2T+c3R+c4TR+c5T2+c6R2+c7T2R+c8TR2+c9T2R2

In this formula,
HI = heat index in degrees Fahrenheit
R = Relative humidity
T = Temperature in ∘F
c1 = -42.379
c2= -2.04901523
c3 = -10.14333127
c4 = -0.22475541
c5 = -6.83783 x 10−3
c6 = -5.481717 x 10−2
c7 = -1.22874 x 10−3
c8 = 8.5282 x 10−4
c9 = -1.99 x 10−6

Assuming any of the above formula makes sense ain't nobody got time for that!

How to Calculate Heat Index

NOAA has a calculator that you can use assuming you know the temperature and humidity. To find these easily, I recently bought a temperature and humidity gauge to keep at the barn. Going to the link is time-consuming so I prefer to use the graph, below, that was created by NOAA. I have it pinned on the wall under the temperature and humidity gauge. You also have the option of purchasing a gauge that indicated the severity of the heat index.

Too hot to ride
NOAA Heat Index Chart

Common sense tells you that it will be slightly cooler in the morning and later evening so those are the best times to ride. Unfortunately, not everyone has that as an option. Hopefully, the above information will make it easier for you to decide if it is safe to ride.

NOTE: I am not a veterinarian or doctor. The views expressed in this blog are my own and should not be taken as medical facts. If you are concerned about working/riding outside in the summer, consult a doctor or veterinarian.

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How Much Does it Cost to Keep a Horse

cost to keep a horseI recently saw a post in an equestrian group on Facebook asking, how much does it cost to keep a horse for a year? Many people responded. My favorite answer was 'your heart and soul'. That pretty much sums up the life of an equestrian. But, it got me thinking. Horses and the sports that go along with them are, for most of us, far more than a hobby they are a way of life.

I would hazard to guess that not many equestrians know how much they spend annually on their passion. They will know how much they spend on board, farrier, and the vet but don't always take into account clothes, necessary tack, unnecessary extras such as treats, blingy browbands, the latest style of saddle pad, or any other accompaniments that equestrian brands tell us we must have.

Below I have attempted to put together a list of expenses relating to keeping a horse. It shows three varying options. The lower end includes the basics, the middle range covers possible unforeseen expenses, and the latter has all the bells and whistles. I have then averaged out these prices. Of course, I can not include all scenarios and these prices are subject to fluctuation depending on the type of horse, discipline, and location. I have also not included the cost of a truck and trailer to get your horse to shows etc.

I would love to hear your opinions and have some feedback.

Annual Cost to Keep a Horse*

Service Pasture
Board
Basic Full
Board
Full Board in a
Show Barn
Average
Board $3,000 $6,000 $11,400 $6,800
Lessons $0 don't take
lessons
$3,380 one lesson
per week
$8,320 for one lesson and
one trainer ride per
week
$3,900
Farrier $433 barefoot
every 6 weeks
$1,300 full-set
every 6 weeks
$2,340 full-set
every 4 weeks
from the best farrier in town
$1,358
Vet $500 shots and
teeth floating
$3,000 basics
plus unexpected
lameness
$8,000 basics,
lameness, chiro,
Magna Wave
$3,834
Tack $500 basic needs $2,500 basic needs
and upgrades
$7,500 basic needs,
upgrades, plus new
top-of-the-range
saddle as the horse's
physique has changed
due to training
$3,500
Clothes $500 barn boots,
pants, etc.
$2,800 boots, new
riding clothes
$5,500 basics plus
latest fashion trends
$2,934
Showing $0 do not show $800 a few local
shows
$10,500 six rated shows
including entries,
accommodation,
trainer, etc.
$3,767
Misc.
Expenses
$800 $2,000 $4,000 $2,267
TOTAL $5,733 $21,780 $57,560 $28,358

I will admit to being frugal when it comes to spending money so it is possible that these prices are on the low side. No matter what kind of barn you board at, whether or not you show, or how often you buy new clothes, one thing is very clear, the decision to buy a horse should be given a great deal of thought and you must be sure you can afford to cover all your known and unexpected expenses.

How much do you think it costs to keep a horse for a year?

*Prices are per annum based on average prices around the Charlotte, NC area in the summer of 2021 and are subject to change.

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Things Your Barn Manager Will Never Say in Summer

barn managerDay after day we see a weather forecast with highs in the 90s, and next week it's going to get to almost 100°f. Perfect if you plan to sit around a swimming pool with a cold beverage. Not so perfect if you happen to be a barn manager.

If you board your horse be sure to thank your barn manager and barn hands for all their hard work in all weather conditions.

Below is a lighthearted look at just a few things you will never hear your barn manager say in summer.

  1. Oh goody, another scorching hot day ahead.
  2. I think I'll ride at noon today instead of 7:00 a.m.
  3. I'm so glad it hasn't rained in over a month. The straw-like grass is so beautiful.
  4. I love global warming.
  5. No, I'm not looking forward to fall.
  6. I love mucking stalls when it's really hot. Makes me think I'm in a sauna.
  7. Changing clothes two and three times a day makes me so happy.
  8. I don't think I'll shower tonight.
  9. Think I'll call in sick today.
  10. This fly spray really works.
  11. Hat hair is the best. Wet, hat hair is even better.
  12. I love my farmer's tan, especially my pasty, white feet.

Here are a few of the must-have products that help me get through the summer.

  1. Yeti Rambler 26oz tumbler keeps drinks cold for hours.
  2. Neutrogena Sunscreen Spray. Easy to apply, even to your back, and doesn't feel greasy or heavy.
  3. Air King Enclosed Motor Fans keep the barn and the horses cool. They are more powerful and safer than regular box fans.

Taking care of horses is a labor of love and looking forward to some cooler weather is what is currently keeping me going.

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White Rose Equestrian is a small, private, full-service equestrian facility located in Iron Station, NC. 

Horse Show Points July 2021

horse showYesterday was a HOT one! We wouldn't normally have a horse show in July, but because of all the rain we had in March, we had to cancel that show and move it to July. Thank you to everyone who came out to support their riders and tolerated the heat. Horse show parents are the backbone of the local show circuit. We couldn't do it without you.

The kids worked hard and put into practice what they learn in lessons. It is so rewarding for trainers to see the progress they make and watch their confidence grow.

Fun Horse Show Leader Board July 2021

rider horse points place
Kaleigh White Rose Fandango 76 1st
Kendall White Rose Rubydoo 43.5 2nd
Ellie Firefly 39 3rd
Sadie White Rose Let's Tang 38 4th
Kacie Ontopps Aragon 26 5th
Clair White Rose Moonfire 25 6th

As we edge closer to the end of the show season our riders are becoming more and more competitive as they jostle for position on the overall leader board. I understand that they each want to win but I emphasize to them that taking part and learning are just as important.

Fun Horse Show Leader Board Running Totals

rider horse points place
Kaleigh White Rose Fandango 167.5 1st
Sadie White Rose Let's Tango 135.5 2nd
Mary White Rose Solar Eclipse 124 3rd
Claire White Rose Moonfire 117 4th
Kacie Ontopp's Aragon 91 5th
Ellie Firefly 80 6th

Our next fun show is on September 18th, please come and join us.

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Fun Horse Show Points June 2021

Fun horse show
Fun for all ages

Our third Fun Horse Show of the season was lots of fun even though it was incredibly hot! Once again we welcomed some new competition along with our regular riders. I am so grateful for everyone who supports our shows and pitches in each month to help.

Horse showing is so important and probably not for the reasons that first come to mind. Yes, it's great to win a blue ribbon but, to me, that's not the main reason for showing. Taking lessons is important but really learning how to ride well happens when your trainer isn't there. Being able to do something under supervision isn't the same as being able to do it on your own. The confidence of all the riders is improving with each show as they begin to realize how to put into practice what they learn each week.

Fun Horse Show Leader Board for the June 2021 Show

rider horse points place
Kensi Sally 68 1st
Kaleigh White Rose Fandango 48.5 2nd
Kacie Ontopps Aragon 34 3rd
Mary White Rose Solar Eclipse 34 3rd
Paige White Rose Sweet Sierra 26 5th
Sadie White Rose Let's Tango 25 6th

All our Riding Club members worked hard. Some horses excelled while others just weren't feeling it. No matter how hard we try or how much we practice, sometimes our horse might have an off day. Riding teaches us to be humble and persistent.

Fun Horse Show Leader Board Running Totals

rider horse points place
Mary White Rose Solar Eclipse 104 1st
Sadie White Rose Let's Tango 97.5 2nd
Claire White Rose Moonfire 92 3rd
Kaleigh White Rose Fandango 91.5 4th
Kensi Sally 68 5th
Kacie Aragon 65 6th

Our next fun horse show is on July 17th. We look forward to seeing you all again for more fun and learning.

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We have a riding boot exchange at White Rose Equestrian

You're probably asking yourself, what is a riding boot exchange? Let me tell you.

horse riding boot exchangeFor anyone with young children, you already know how quickly they grow. This isn't too much of a problem when it comes to buying them regular clothes and shoes as they can wear them often. It can, however, become expensive when buying equestrian attire if your child only rides a couple of times a week. That is where our boot exchange comes in.

It is extremely important for all riders to wear the correct kind of footwear. Not only does it keep their feet, reasonably, safe when they are walking around the barn and interacting with horses, it is also safer than non-equestrian footwear when riding.

Horseback riding boots can be either short, just above the ankle (paddock boots), or full length (tall boots). Paddock boots can be made to look like tall boots by wearing chaps. As a general rule of thumb, but certainly not written in stone, a rider will wear paddock boots until they either turn twelve years old or change from a pony to a horse.

How our riding boot exchange works

As I already mentioned, buying riding attire is expensive and is usually outgrown long before it becomes worn out. At White Rose Equestrian we collect boots that have been donated to us by parents when their kids outgrow them. They are available FREE OF CHARGE to anyone who needs a pair on the understanding that when their child grows out of them, they donate them back to us. Some weeks I give away two or more pairs.

We also collect out-grown riding clothes and horse equipment that we sell at VERY reasonable prices to our riders. All proceeds from these donations go to The Sam Johnathan Davis Trust for my grandson.

If you have any riding boots, clothes, or equipment you would like to donate, please reach out to us. Thank you!

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Fun Horse Show Points May 2021

horse show
Sadie and White Rose Let's Tango

Our second Fun Horse Show of the season is in the bag and the leaderboard positions were shaken about quite a bit. It was a picture-perfect day, sunny but not too hot. We had some new riders join us; it's always fun to meet new people.

I love how all our riders are such great sportspeople. They cheer and encourage each other. I am very proud of each and every one of them. I also love how our horse show moms and dads are willing to help out even if they feel they don't really know what they are doing. There is always such a great family atmosphere at our fun shows.

Fun Horse Show Leader Board for the May 2021 Show

rider horse points place
Ellie Firefly 41 1st
Kendall Maximus 41 1st
Claire Stahler White Rose Moonfire 39.5 3rd
Mary Robinette White Rose Solar Eclipse 38 4th
Sadie Barton White Rose Let's Tango 31.5 5th
Kacie Ontopps Aragon 31 6th

All our Riding Club members work hard throughout the season to accumulate as many points as possible for the end-of-season party. We do, however, emphasize that winning is not the main reason for showing. We want our riders to learn and have fun. A blue-ribbon is an extra bonus. Having said that, I know our riders are eager to see who is in the lead.

Fun Horse Show Leader Board Running Totals

rider horse points place
Sadie Barton White Rose Let's Tango 72.5 1st
Claire Stahler White Rose Moonfire 70.5 2nd
Mary Robinette White Rose Solar Eclipse 70 3rd
Kayleigh Beckemeyer White Rose Fandango 43 4th
Ellie Firefly 41 5th
Kendall Maximus 41 5th

Our next fun horse show is on June 19th. We look forward to seeing you all again for more fun and learning.

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Have you ever seen a mirage? I have.

mirage
With my second cousin, Jeaneen at her wedding

As some of you know, I recently had surgery on my right eye. I had a creased retina, or in doctor terms, a macular pucker. I had never heard of such a thing, but apparently, it's pretty common. We have a gell-like substance in our eyes called vitreous gell. As we age, the gell can begin to harden, causing it to pull away from the retina and form scar tissue called an epiretinal membrane. If this happens near the macular, the part of the retina used for sharp central vision, it results in blurred vision. My gradual loss of vision is how I realized something was wrong.

The only treatment is a surgery called a vitrectomy. The vitrectomy is performed as an outpatient procedure and removes the vitreous gel, replacing it with a saline solution. The surgeon then peels the epiretinal membrane off the surface of the retina with forceps. 

After the surgery, the saline solution made it impossible for me to see anything out of my right eye. This made depth perception difficult and plagued me with a constant feeling of seasickness. As I write this, I am one-week post-surgery. The water is subsiding, but there is still a small drop at the bottom of my eye, and my vision is still very distorted. Due to this, I have found day-to-day activities cumbersome and haven't been able to work. 

So, what does this have to do with a mirage?

Nothing really, but it did get me thinking about how much we take for granted our vision and reminded me of a time when I was traveling from Las Vegas to LA and experienced a mirage. 

It was the summer of 2000. My cousin, Susan's, daughter, Jeaneen, was getting married in San Pedro, California. I flew out to LAX and met my mum and dad there. They had accumulated so many Delta Skymiles that they flew for free. My parents traveled over 5,000 miles from England before cellphones were commonplace and just hoped that we would be able to find each other in one of the largest airports on the planet. As luck would have it, we did. 

The ceremony was spectacular and held on the lawn at Fort MacArthur overlooking Los Angeles Harbor. We partied until the wee, small hours and slumped into bed exhausted. The following day we had arranged to drive to Las Vegas and spend some time with Susan. Tired and somewhat hungover but sufficiently fueled with a much-needed jentacular caffeinated beverage, we set off on a four-and-a-half-hour drive and headed 'out of Dodge.' Highway 15 connects LA and Las Vegas and climbs slowly out of the San Bernadino Valley toward Cajon Pass and through the Mohave Desert. 

The busy, drab, grey concrete scenery gradually gave way to magnificent, stunning, picturesque rock formations decorated in hued reds, carmine, terracotta, and bronze. As we left behind the thick smog of LA, the temperature gradually climbed along with our ascent. I had taken the first leg of the journey, and after three hours, I was done! We pulled over in Baker, CA, at the World's Tallest Thermometer. The temperature registered at a blistering 112f (44.5c). The dry heat of the desert and the absence of anything resembling a breeze took my breath away as I swapped the driving seat with my dad. 

The vastness of the scenery was difficult to comprehend, with enormous stretches of dry scrubland interspersed with shrubs and wayward tumbleweeds and bordered by rugged, imposing mountains. Thirty minutes after our pilot change, we navigated Mountain Pass before dropping into the Primm Valley located on the Ivanpah Dry Lake Bed. 

Armed with nothing more than our desire to rest and a well-worn paper map, we cruised into Las Vagas, past the airport, skirted Sin City, and on to North Las Vegas and the cool and comfort of my cousin's home. 

Our visit was relaxing and filled with reminiscing talks about departed family members and happy memories of Susan visiting us in England many years before. Of course, we touristed along quintessentially Vegas hotspots of Freemont Street and The Strip. The neon-soaked promenades exuded splendor lined with exuberant hotels, opulent restaurants, palatial music venues, and of course, resplendent casinos—the soaring choreographed Fountains of the Bellagio danced and mesmerized visitors. The replica Eifel Tower beckoned with the promise of a sweeping view. 

Not being gamblers, we set ourselves a limit and nonchalantly fed one-armed-bandits with quarters. We made sure to be actively nourishing the hungry machines should a scantily dressed cocktail waitress pass our way. Gamblers are plied with free beverages to encourage them to stay, and we took full advantage of this service. 

Time to leave

After a very pleasant couple of nights with my cousin, we needed to head back to LA to catch a flight back to Charleston. With clear heads and not a hangover in site the trip back was far easier than the journey out. With our magnificent California and Nevada journey coming to an end, we solemnly left Las Vegas with heavy hearts and happy memories. Silently we passed Last Chance to Gamble, Whisky Pete's on the CA/NV border, and gradually began a gentle climb out of the dusty, extinct lake bed. 

I glanced over to my left and noticed a huge, glistening lake with a tall-masted ship sailing majestically across it. 

 "I don't remember seeing a lake when we were driving here."
 "Neither do I." replied my dad.
 "Look, there's a boat on it." My mum added.
 "How did we not notice such a large lake?" I asked.
We were all dumbfounded. As our journey continued, the craft slowly floated across the shimmering lagoon.

As we drew closer and closer to the vast waterhole, it appeared to shrink before our eyes. The once sparkling expanse evaporated into oblivion. And, what used to be a luxurious sailboat morphed into a fence post. We couldn't believe what we had just witnessed. The lake, the water, the boat, had all been a mirage. I am so glad my mum and dad were there to experience it with me. We talked about it often, and as with many of our stories, we 'dinned out on it' on more than one occasion. My dad was such a good storyteller. He would say that fun, exciting, memorable things happen to everyone. The nack is noticing and remembering them so you can pass them on to others. I hope I have inherited his gift.

So, back to where this story started, our eyes. We can not always believe what we see. That should not stop us from looking for the good in everyone, the beauty in nature, and the peace brought to us by good friends. 

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Fun Horse Show Riding Club Points for April 2021

fun horse showIt was a fabulous first fun horse show of 2021. We had a great turnout and lots of fun with the new show schedule. For many of our riders, this was the first show they have ever been in. We even had a couple of green horses who handled all the fuss and excitement very well. I am incredibly proud of all the riders. They gained confidence with each class and even took home some ribbons. So without further ado, here is the leaderboard.

Fun Horse Show Leader Board as of April 2021

rider horse points place
Kayleigh Beckemeyer White Rose Fandango 43 1st
Sadie Barton White Rose Let's Tango 41 2nd
Mary Robinette White Rose Solar Eclipse 32 3rd
Mila Ranucci White Rose Solar Fandango 31 4th
Claire Stahler White Rose Moonfire 31 4th
Maddie Fountain White Rose Moonfire 25 6th

I would also like to say a very big thank you to everyone who helped out on and before show day. It takes a lot of people and time to pull together a horse show and I couldn't do it on my own. We have a wonderful barn family and I am very grateful for every single one of you. If you would like to volunteer please reach out to Carol.

Our next fun horse show is on May 15th. We look forward to seeing you all again for more fun and learning.

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