The history of equestrian sport and how they have evolved is incredible. The sheer number and types of equestrian sport are staggering, and we love to share the stories behind their humble or exciting beginnings. There is such a rich story to each sport and a reason as to why they have lasted hundreds of years.
With Valentines Day right around the corner, we have the perfect gift idea for your loved ones. Come take a beautiful and romantic trail ride with us for a unique and memorable day for everyone you love! On the topic of love, we wanted to get back to celebrating the amazing equestrian sports that we love sharing with you. In our last blog, we talked about both the original and newest forms of horse pulling equestrian sport. We researched and found a few more sports just like it that we thought you would enjoy as much as we did! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!
How inspiring are these sports? The agility, power, and skill you need as a driver is incredible. The dedication to learning each of these sports goes deeper than just practice. Have these horse pulling sports inspired you too? We can help you with that! Come visit us and take a ride, even if it's not for Valentine's day. We are happy to share your love and interest in equine sports and horses alike!
Horses have been known to be some of the most powerful creatures for hundreds of years. They have helped raise civilizations and helped us travel the world. Today we still celebrate their beauty and strength, and reminisce about their power through some of the most popular equestrian pulling sports still practiced to this day!
We cannot get over this January weather! It's so warm and balmy, we hope that you will take advantage of the weather and come take a ride with us! We had so much fun researching and talking about some of the most unique equestrian sports, that we wanted to share some of the more common and popular sports that highlight their strength and beauty. These are horse pulling sports. We have so many wonderful and exciting examples to share with you, that we couldn't put it all in one blog. So for January, all of our blogs will be focusing on this incredible category of equestrian sport.
Due to their incredible strength and power, and the hundreds of years that horses have been a part of human life, there are many different horse pulling sports out there. This particular category of sport didn't have the best or safest beginnings. Thankfully, they have become much safer for both the horse and the rider. Each pulling sport ranges in skill and difficulty, along with different weight classes and rules for each to keep the horses safe. These sports are meant to show off the feats of strength displayed by these amazing animals, not to hurt or harm them in any way. Some are very ancient sports, while others are very new. Each has such a unique and incredible way of showing off the strength of these wonderful animals.
You can just feel the power these sports bring just by reading about them. The skill each driver needs to be successful in these sports is incredible. We are very happy to see that horse pulling sports have become safe and exciting events that are still loved today. Have you been inspired by these sports? Come visit us! You might not be pulling or racing, but you will be riding an incredibly powerful horse and have an amazing afternoon spent in the saddle!
There are so many incredibly fun, highly skilled, and exciting sports and events that take place on horseback. Some of these fun sports have been going on for centuries and are apart of certain cultures and backgrounds, while others are no longer played. But in each of them, there is excitement, skill, and a sense of grandeur that is so fun to learn about.
Happy New Year, Lowcountry! We hope all of you had a wonderful holiday, and are so excited to kick 2020 into gear. The weather has been so warm these last few weeks, that we hope you start your new year off with a fun and exciting trail ride with us! For those of you who have visited us recently, have you been inspired by your visit that you've become a little curious about what else you can do on horseback beyond trail rides? You've come to the right place! This week's blog and in the next few blogs to follow, we are going to be talking about the many fun, challenging, and unique sports that can be played on horseback.
Each of these sports we will be discussing over the next few blogs will challenge you in more ways than one. They're fun to watch and exciting to learn. Some take years to master with multiple skills needed to succeed, while others aren't played anymore. If you're here with us in the Lowcountry or are from areas close (in NC, TN, KY), this is a great area to expand your knowledge and explore the world of equestrian sports!
In this blog, we will be discussing some of the more unique and interesting equestrian sports. Each has their own special traits, tactics, and skills needed to excel and do so safely. Some you can still see in competition today while others are just for show. Maybe you've heard or seen some of these sports before, and maybe you'll learn a thing or two today!
That's right! Forget about Medieval Times for a second, and think back to when this was not just the days of yore. When princes and kings ruled the lands and were fighting for the fair princesses' hand. In its heyday this wasn't a sport found at the Renaissance festival or at themed dinner shows, it was a way of life! Jousting was an actual mid-evil sport that was very popular and needed for the training of knights and soldiers. The way it works is that two opponents on horseback wield long poles called lances (that are 6-7 feet long!) with blunted tips on their ends. Dressed in full armor, they ride full speed at one another on a specially made course that is about 110-220 yards long separated by a fence right down the middle part of the field. There is a rider on either side of the fence. The goal of each ride is to knock your opponent off of their horse before you get knocked off. If the riders make it to the end of the course without either falling off, they turn around and start again until someone is eventually knocked off. The sport was originally created to train for battle and warfare, Soldiers would learn what it would feel like to get hit or clash with someone else while wearing a full suit of armor while going very fast. Even during its height, it was also a sport for fun during celebrations, not just for training. Today it is seen in historical reenactments, renaissance fairs, and the ever classic Medieval Times dinner show. It is considered to be an extinct sport and has been for over three centuries.
Cowboy Mounted Shooting
This sport is one of the newest equestrian sports out there, despite its name. It was created in the late 1990's and is a sport for those well versed in horseback riding and shooting. Also know as mounted shooting, this very disciplined sport involves shooting at still targets while riding a horse. As of 2015, the United States is the only place this sport is still played. Each course this sport is played on is specifically designed for each race, and balloons are used as the targets. The goal is to get through the course as quickly and perfectly as possible while shooting as many balloons as you can. Each rider is timed, and each target missed and part of the track not ridden correctly are points that are added to your time. The riders with the lowest time at the end of the race wins. Riders use old fashioned western style single-action revolvers to strike the balloons, and the guns are filled with blanks. Both men and women can play and compete in this sport.
Mounted Horseback Archery
To be efficient at this sport, you need to be well versed in two skills - riding and archery. You need to be able to do both at the same time to succeed. The skills used in this sport are used for mounted hunting around the world. Those to first use these techniques were European nomads during mid-evil times, and the most famous to use it were Japanese Samurai called Yabusame. The objective of the sport is for the rider to ride without reigns on a 90 m course while shooting arrows at different targets that are placed at different distances. This sport takes a different kind of skill than most normal horseback riding or equestrian sports. It is almost harder than riding bareback, as your hands will be used to work the bow and arrow. The guidance of the horse and actual skill of riding will be left to your legs and body. The sport continues to be very popular today, especially here in the United States. Many riding clubs offer classes and courses to learn, and there are competitions held across the country.
How excited are you to come to visit us now? One trail ride could lead to you becoming the next best show rider, a career in show business, or just learning how to show off some very exciting skills. We will see you next time for the next round of equestrian sports blogs. Until then, come visit us for a ride and have a happy new year!
he festive season may be upon us, but that doesn't mean you forget about your beautiful horses! This can be one of the most exciting times to share with your horses and those who help care for them.
Happy December everyone! Can you believe it's already here and that Christmas is just days away? Where did 2019 go? As we have been keeping a steady eye on our beautiful horses and making sure Santa pays a visit to Middleton, we have been thinking about some of the best ways to celebrate with your horses! That's right! We celebrate with our beautiful horses, so there is no reason for you not to! Are you stumped on ideas on how to celebrate this time of year with your majestic four-legged family member? Here are ten ideas to help you make this holiday the best year yet!
See? The holidays are the reason for the season and you can enjoy them with your horses too! From the Middleton Equestrian Center family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
With the temperatures dropping at alarming rates here in the Lowcountry, it's time to get yourselves and your horses ready for winter!
It's been a cooler fall than many of us in the Lowcountry and Southeast expected. It looks like it's going to be a pretty cold winter. So, it's time to get your stables and horses ready for whatever might come our way this year. Dare we say it, maybe even snow!
Important Steps To Follow:
The winter might seem harsh on you and your horses, but it doesn't have to be. Prepare early and understand that their care might take a little more time than usual. On beautiful winter days, always take advantage of them with your horses and enjoy it as much as possible. Until then, come ride with us and enjoy the changing weather on our beautiful trails!
It was such a joy to walk down the honored halls of some of the most famous horses of all time that we couldn't just limit it to one blog. It was hard enough to pick just a handful to celebrate, but it's been such fun to comb through their history and share their stories with you!
Happy November, Friends! Have you stopped by to enjoy the cool weather and beautiful foliage on our riding trails yet? It's starting to get chilly - so make sure you come to see us soon! While you are waiting for your next ride, we wanted to continue our history lesson with some of the most famous horses of all time. We are moving forward with Seabiscuit and Seattle Slew!
This amazing horse was the grandson of Man O' War, one of the horses we discussed in our last blog. Ironically, Seabiscuit didn't show any racing qualities until later in life and was on the smaller side. He was born in Lexington Kentucky on May 23, 1933. Just two years later he made his racing debut at Hialeah Park in Florida on January 19, 1935. Thankfully he was purchased by Charles S. Howard after his first few unsuccessful racing seasons. He lost 17 races in a row before Howard found him with trainer Tom Smith. They found Seabiscuit 200 pounds underweight, exhausted, and in a terrible temperament. He needed rest, relaxation, and to heal before anyone raced him again. That's exactly what Smith gave him, and he came out of his vacation a brand new horse.
With the help of Smith and his jockey Red Pollard, Seabiscuit won 11 of the 15 races he entered in 1937. Pollard was a bit of a controversial jockey. He was much bigger than most and was blind in one eye. But both underdogs took to one another right away, and the pair became famous virtually overnight. His popularity soared during the Great Depression and gave the country something to hang on to. He was named Horse of The Year in 1938 and was the champion handicap horse in 1937 and 1938. One of his crowning moments, known as the "Match of the Century", was when he defeated Warm Admiral in 1939 at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. War Admiral was considered the fastest horse of his time, and no one saw this race turning out the way it did. Seabiscuit retired in 1940 and went on to inspire many books, movies, and a major motion picture in 2003 with Toby McGuire, Chris Cooper, and a full star-studded cast.
In his six racing seasons, Seabiscuit won 33 of his 89 races with a total winning of $437,730. At the time this was a record for an American Thoroughbred. Just a few days shy of his 14th birthday, Seabiscuit died of a heart attack and is buried at Ridgewood Ranch in California.
This stunning horse was born on February 15, 1974. His owners were Mickey and Karen Taylor and Jim Hill of Tayhill Stable. His parents were Bold Reasoning and poker mare, My Charmer. No one expected much from Slew when he was born, but thankfully someone gave him a chance. The moment he hit the race track, he was a born runner.
When Slew was born he was described as ugly, He was an almost all-black bay, something that didn't catch the eye. He had big floppy ears and a very big personality. He was big for his age, and very clumsy when he first started. He needed time to grow into his body, and to learn how to become the powerhouse he was destined to be. He was bought by Tayhill Stable at a steal of $17,500 in 1975. He was then trained by Bill Turner, and under his tutelage Slew learned quickly and had great confidence in his skills. At three years old he made his career debut with jockey Jean Cruguet, who helped him make a 5 length victory at Belmont Park on September 20th, 1977. He went on to win the Triple Crown that same year.
Slew was the 10th Triple Crown winner for the United States and the first to complete the series with an undefeated career record. Through his career years between 1976 and 1978, his total earnings were $1,208,726. He had 17 starts, 14 first place wins, and 2 second place wins. Just two months before he was set to retire he defeated the heir to the Triple Crown, Affirmed, in the Grade 1 Marlboro Cup at Belmont Park.
After he retired, he sired more than 100 stake winners. He was the only stakes winner to sire a Belmont winner, A.P. Indy, who also sired a Belmont winner, Rags to Riches. At the tender age of 28, Slew passed away 25 years to the day he won the Kentucky Derby.
These amazing horses have such inspiring stories to tell. We are inspired by them daily and the legacy they have left behind. We have loved walking down memory lane with you and look forward to the next time we meet. See you at the stables!
Just like any Hall of Fame, horse lovers can easily name off some of their favorite famous horses of all time. In this two-part blog post, we will be talking about some of the most famous horses of all time and why they changed the world of horse racing as we know it.
Horse lovers through time, no matter their age or background, can name off some of the most famous and important horses of all time. Each one of them will have their own opinions on why they believe their top four or five took those places. But there are a few who always make the top ten list. These beautiful creatures helped change history, shaped the country when they were needed the most, and gave people something to celebrate in desperate times throughout history itself. Even if you've never ridden a horse, we are sure that you could name at least one famous horse. We are going to be celebrating some of these incredible animals and celebrate their legacies!
His owner, Samuel Riddle, was a very private man, and almost decided not to race him. His career was cut short after just three incredible years, and his owner didn't allow him to race in longer events. This included the Kentucky Derby and the other famous races that if he would have won, made up what became known as the Triple Crown. Even still, he established three world records, two American records, and seven track records. He was the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes champion in 1920 and defeated the 1919 Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton, by 7 lengths in 1920. In his whole career, Man O' War lost just one race at the Sandford Memorial Stakes but still came in second. It was a story that haunted his whole career and the rest of his life. He was so popular during his race years, that everywhere he went he had an armed guard protecting him.
After he retired into sire life, he produced over 64 stake winners and 200 champions. One of his offspring sired Seabiscuit, who we will be talking about in our next blog! His total record earnings when his career came to an end was $249,465. Which during a time of war, was pretty incredible. After his death, he laid in state for several days as thousands came to pay their respects to the incredible horse. He is now buried at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Who is your favorite famous horse of all time? We still have a few more horses to introduce you to, but those will have to wait until next time!
Owning a horse of your very own can be a very special experience and a lifetime goal. Before you decide to take this very large step, make sure you know everything that goes into the process of researching, buying, and owning a horse.
For many, a dream come true is owning your very own horse. Believe us, we understand that. But, it's not just beautiful fall days filled with glorious rides through your favorite fields and feeding them a few lumps of sugar. There is so much that goes into the purchasing, owning, and caring of a horse. As much as we support the decision, we stress that it's not for everyone. Please take the time to consider this blog as you are deciding to or thinking about buying your very first horse.
Think about it this way. Treat buying a horse like you would any big investment. You must take the time to research, understand the strategies of buying a horse and talk with those who have had serious experiences of their own when buying horses. You don't want to make the mistake of buying a horse that's wrong for you, get frustrated, and then give up on the horse and the dream of owning one. As much as you love them, buying a horse isn't the correct path for everyone. It's a huge emotional, time-consuming, and expensive commitment.
The Book Work
We love horses, we love owning horses, and we love caring for horses. But we know the work that goes into this every day. We want you to share this magic with us, but be prepared to face the realities too. If it's not quite time for you to own a horse, you know the best place to horseback in South Carolina! Right here at Middleton Equestrian Center! We can't wait to see you on your next ride!
With hurricane season officially kicked off in the Lowcountry, it's time to prepare not only your homes but also your barns and think of the best plan of action for your animals when a storm is heading your way!
It's not new news that Hurricane Season is officially here in the Lowcountry! Now that we have made it through our first hurricane, it's still incredibly important to stay prepared and on alert until the end of the hurricane season. It lasts through November and even though that's just a few more weeks, that's still plenty of time for anything to start brewing. As a horse owner, it's just as important to prepare your stables and grounds and have an evacuation plan for your horses as you would be for you and your family.
We wanted to share a few helpful hints on how to prepare for a hurricane, how to evacuate, or how to hunker down when you're a horse owner or own a farm of your very own. The first important step is to make sure that you stay informed, make educated decisions, and be prepared to decide anything at a moment's notice. Thanks to incredible Apps and advancements in storm tracking, it's much easier now to understand a storm than ever before. But no matter how intelligent our weather systems might be, the power of mother nature will always win.
The first step is to prepare your barns and grounds. You need to invest in these steps if you are evacuating or hunkering down. Don't wait until the last minute to start preparing. We recommend planning before hurricane season even begins. This way you're prepared no matter what happens!
If a storm decides to head your way, it is your personal choice to stay or evacuate. Once you have prepared for the storm, and you decide to evacuate, there are still some important steps to take care of before you get on the road.
If you decide to stay, it's best to take your preparation stages to the next level. Remember to put the safety of yourself, your employees, and your animals first. Make sure the decision to stay has been made with good intentions behind it. Sometimes if you can leave, it's better to take that opportunity than not.
No matter what you decide to do during a hurricane, always make safety your number one priority. We hope that these tips help you stay prepared for this hurricane season and many more to come. We will see you next time!
One of the most important pieces you'll ever buy when owning a horse is its saddle. But with so many different types of riding, what saddle is right for you?
When it comes to buying a saddle, it should never be something that you scrimp on. It is an item worth investing in since you'll possibly be spending a lot of time in it and it is a huge part of your safety while riding. But it can be daunting when it comes to buying a saddle knowing and deciding which one is the right one for you. The normal range you'll find on a basic saddle is between $100 and $500, but once it comes to custom saddles and custom needs, it could easily dip into the thousands. But when it comes to comfort and your safety, sometimes adding those extra zeros is worth it. Originally, a horse was ridden without a saddle, which was called bareback riding. Did you know the Chinese were the ones to invent the saddle?
When you are in the market of buying a saddle, it needs to be fit to your shape, size, and style of riding you plan on doing. Have a saddle master inspect the horse you'll be using the saddle for too. The saddle master will need to know what disciplines the horse will be doing from general riding, to hunting, competition, and so on. There are so many options out there, but we hope this helps you narrow down your options!
There are Western saddles, which are used by actual cowboys. There are sidesaddles which were designed to keep women ladylike while riding in the middle ages. Other saddles include dressing saddles, jumping saddles, hunting saddles, and racing saddles. There are also certain saddles made specifically for long hours in the saddle and are a little more expensive than your basic saddles. Some of these include the Abetta Saddle, the Allegheny Mountain Trail Saddle, and the Tex Tan Saddle.
We promise that it is worth the time to research your saddle and taking the time to find the perfect fit. You should invest just as much time researching a saddle as you would a car, a house, and anything that would keep you safe and comfortable. The next time you visit us for a day of trail riding, ask your trail leader about the styles and types of saddles found in our barns. They will be impressed with your knowledge of what you learned here today!
Middleton Place Team