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Our Newsletter


2011 Pet Peeves

Pet Peeves Around the Barn & Solutions to Fix Them

Dangerous and Messy Leavings!

Leaving halters attached to crossties after tacking up. This is a danger to another horse led by that could step into the halter. Please take them off and put them away after you use the crossties. Picking out hooves in the barn aisle and leaving the mess. Please do this before leaving to ride so that others don’t have to step over your mess. - JoAnne Young, CHA Clinic Instructor 

Rein Snaps

Although it is highly convenient for the rider, having metal snaps on the ends of your reins, clipping onto the bit, may not be the best thing for your horse. A metal to metal connection to the bit causes clinking and a sharp vibration that, at the very least, can be unpleasant and annoying to the horse. Metal to metal also makes it hard for the rider to develop “feel” of the horses’ mouth since there is no give or elasticity like a leather or rope connection would have. To me, the cons far outweigh the pros when it comes to metal snaps for rein connectors. I will gladly forgo the convenience of clipping reins on and off for the comfort of my horse and the better feel I get through the reins with a leather or rope connection. Besides, it’s easy to find reins with quick connectors that are not metal. - Julie Goodnight, CHA Clinic Instructor

Lip Service to Wearing a Helmet

I enjoy taking my students to big horse shows to see the most elite riders and horses, but it is embarrassing and disappointing to see the riders thumb their noses at the helmet rules. Although most of the high-level shows we attend as spectators require helmets of the riders when they are in the competition arena, the riders often leave their helmets off in the warm-up arena and seem to make a point of whipping them off, sometimes before they have even left the competition arena, as if to say, “I am only wearing this because the rules make me.” If these elite riders only knew how our youth riders were watching every move they make and how much they look up to them, perhaps they would be more conscientious about being good role models. - Rhonda Williams, Tampa, FL 

Using Your Equipment the Way It Was Made to Be Used

Full cheek bridles with no keepers. Whether they are being used English or Western, please attach the bit to its keeper and to the cheek piece of the bridle so that the correct action of the bit occurs. - Theresa Kackert, CHA Clinic Instructor 

Hay String Attack!

When feeding round bales of hay to horses it is tempting to leave the strings on to help hold the roll together, but this is dangerous for the horses. They can hang their legs in the loops or catch their shoes. Hay string, especially the plastic or wire versions can severely injure a horse’s leg. - Polly Haselton Barger – CHA Program Director 

Follow Me…

Please use a lead rope to lead your horse. I am not arguing the fact that your horse/pony loves you and would follow you to the end of the world. But please use a lead rope when leading him/her in or out. - Becky Holden – CHA FaceBook Fan 

Tie Up!

Not tying horses up in the barn as they are “trained to stand.” Even if this is so, don’t endanger other horses and riders and please tie up and to the appropriate place in the barn. - Danielle Grant Post – CHA member – Riverton, Wyoming 

Cross Tie Correction

Quick release snaps on cross ties – the quick release should go to the wall, not to the horse. If there is a problem I want to be able to release the horse from a safe distance and not have to go to the horse’s head or forefeet. - Danvers Child – CHA Board Member from Lafayette, Indiana 

Squeaky Saddles! Just use baby powder for squeaky saddles by rubbing it on the area and the squeak is gone! Diane Mitchell – CHA Instructor in Auburntown, TN

Parents who want their child’s instructor to entertain them more than instruct their child. Solution: Ask them to take notes about the lesson and after it is over you can answer any of their questions. - Suzi Carragher – CHA FaceBook Fan

Loose hay falling off a feed cart is impossible to clean all of it up only to become organic goo on the ground (pacific northwest). Solution: fitting the carts with mini cargo nets that are easily undone at the destination, plus it makes it so you can carry a larger load & make less trips. - Pamila Cronkhite – CHA FaceBook Fan

Water troughs with yuck in the corners. Our motto is “if it’s got anything green- it isn’t clean” We keep a toilet bowl brush (to get in those tight curves and corners) at every water trough. A little elbow grease, a thorough rinse, and they look brand new! The Happy Horse – CHA FaceBook Fan

People who let reins or lead ropes hit/drag the ground/dirt when they are using them. They aren’t respecting the value of clean tack. Especially when it belongs and is maintained by someone else! - Carla Vollenweider Irving – CHA Instructor in Morningview, KY

When one person is trying to lead too many horses by themselves through the alley way of the barn....if just one horse misbehaves you will have a real problem on your hands, and others are now in danger with horses running left and right. Please lead one horse at a time. - Danielle Grant Post – CHA Instructor in Riverton, WY

Tossing feed to pastured horses without dividing the feed equally plus feeding one more than needed. All you have to do is practice your spacing on the ground. - Robin Eich – CHA ACI in Quincy, CA

Some pet peeves of mine are reins and lead ropes on the ground, when the straps on English schooling pads aren’t connected to the saddle, and when riders constantly cluck at their horses and don’t use any of their other aids. - Katie Westfall – CHA Instructor in Marshall, MI

Volunteers who don’t show up when they said they would. - Cynthia Chapman Roche – CHA CI in Prescott, AZ 

Cleaning out the Trailer

It is incredibly inconsiderate to not clean out the trailer after you unload your horse. Leaving waste in the trailer is not only unpleasant for the next person to use it, but also contributes to weakening of the floor boards. - Polly Haselton Barger – CHA Program Director

Improper Mounting

There are two common mistakes when mounting that are important to remember. One is to NOT grab the cantle of the saddle with your right hand to pull yourself up. This puts torque on the near side fork of the tree, digging it into the horse and making a sore spot. Both hands should be in the front one on the mane and the other on the off side of the pommel (in a western saddle this is not the horn). The other is to sit down very lightly and not plop down on the horse’s back. - Polly Haselton Barger – CHA Program Director