Father’s Day Gift Ideas for the Ultimate Horse Show Dad

If you’re one of the many who delays Father’s Day shopping until the last minute, BarnManager is here to provide gift ideas for dads who support their kids at horse shows. We all know horse shows can be frustrating and boring at times for parents, who invest a great deal of time in support of their kids’ hopes and dreams in the competition ring, so express your gratitude and give him something he can use while cheering you on from the sidelines. Even if your dad rarely makes it to a horse show in person, but is extremely supportive from afar, these gifts can be enjoyed away from the showgrounds, as well.

1. A Yeti cooler

Often horse shows are full-day commitments, so packing snacks and drinks is a must. Help your dad keep all the food and beverages cold with a high-tech cooler from Yeti or a similar brand. These coolers are easy to transport, look super cool, and are stellar at their job of keeping things cold on hot days.

2. Drink holder

No matter what your dad likes to drink at horse shows, there are surely koozies or tumblers that can keep his beverage of choice cold (or hot) all day while he’s on the move. There’s nothing worse than getting a cold drink on a hot show day that turns lukewarm only 20 minutes later. This will help dad enjoy his beverage all day long while he waits for you to show!

3. Sunglasses

The sun can be annoying when trying to watch horse show rounds, especially early in the morning. Find a cool style from your dad’s favorite sunglass brand and maybe opt for something trendy he hasn’t considered yet. He will likely trust his kids’ expertise about what styles are “in” these days, so this will help keep him looking good while being able to enjoy all your rounds without the sun getting in the way.

4. Branded gear from the horse show

Some competitions sell branded merchandise in a variety of styles, so you can get your dad a hat or golf polo that he can sport both at and away from the show. If he golfs, he can wear these items out on the links to show that he’s a proud horse show dad. Think about what your dad likes to do in his free time and choose your branded gift accordingly.

5. Lawn chair

Not every horse show offers extensive seating, so give your dad a comfy place to sit no matter where you are competing. Go for one that’s easily portable so he can pack it up and toss it in the car, and consider the extras, such as cupholders and built-in umbrellas for shade.

6. A funny t-shirt

We all appreciate a good dad joke, so you can help him up his sense of humor by gifting a comical t-shirt that pokes fun at being a horse show dad. He may only wear it around the house, but everyone’s sure to laugh when they see it.

7. Fitness tracker

Horse shows involve quite a bit of physical activity, so buy him a fitness tracker that rewards him for the number of steps he takes following you around the show grounds all day. These typically double as wristwatches, as well, so he won’t be late for your class start time if he wanders off somewhere!

8. Travel duffle or overnight bag

If your horse shows are typically out of town and overnight stays are required, maybe upgrade his travel gear by buying him a cool duffle or overnight bag to pack all his things and be ready to hit the road.

9. Portable grill

Is your dad a big-time griller? Get him a portable grill and he can be the life of the party at all horse shows. When lunch time rolls around, he’ll be so excited to whip out this fancy portable grill and make lunch for everyone in the barn. Grilling at the horse show is a great way to bond and also guarantee you’ll have good food, instead of relying on whatever vendors are available.

No matter the gift you choose, be sure to express how grateful you are that your dad supports your horse showing, whether it’s in person or from afar. Above all, if you can, try to spend some extra time with your dad this Father’s Day. No gift can beat quality time together, so try to focus on him and create some new memories.

The Benefits of Secondhand Shopping From Green Is the New Blue

At Green Is the New Blue, we are often asked for recommendations on sustainable equestrian fashion, such as breeches and boots. Although we always look for sustainably sourced products, we believe the best way to buy many items is used.

Purchasing used clothes is an obvious form of recycling. A pair of breeches can find a new home with someone who will give the item a new life. Depending on product type, a used purchase can make a big difference when it comes to environmental issues like climate change. Leather goods, such as boots, bridles, and saddles, are made from leather sourced from the cattle industry, which requires significant land and water use. We understand the need for show-quality tack, but there are plenty of beautiful older and functional pieces that still look great for schooling.

There are other benefits of choosing to buy secondhand clothing and tack, too. Generally, there is little to no product packaging associated with used clothing and tack, which minimizes waste. Also, by purchasing secondhand, we help to divert unwanted items from a landfill. Plus, of course, the price tag is more attractive. Used items often cost much less than new ones, even though in many cases they are barely worn.

Where To Buy

On Course Consignment in Wellington, Florida, is one of many great places to find quality used items. They feature popular brands like Tailored Sportsman, Animo, Charles Ancona, EIS, and more. The equestrian consignment store fills a gap in the local community, connecting quality secondhand items with riders who need them. Owner Jacquie McCutchan meticulously inspects items to make sure they are in quality working condition. On Course Consignment has a wide variety of top-quality items for sale, from riding attire to tack and other barn equipment.

Another great resource to check out is the Grazers App. Similar to the popular secondhand clothing app PoshMark, Grazers is geared specifically toward equestrians. Two amateur riders, Casey Norton and Jennifer Burke, created the app. Grazers serves as a platform to connect horsemen, who can easily sign up as vendors and list their items for sale. Items ship directly to the buyer from the vendor. This remote consignment shopping app has everything you need across multiple disciplines, from saddles to show attire.

If you are in the market for a new saddle, don’t forget that most major saddle brands have used options available. Many offer a wide variety of models and years. There are also plenty of dealers that specifically sell quality used saddles, such as Old Dominion Saddlery or Sport Horse Saddlery. Well-maintained saddles retain their function for many years. You can purchase a used saddle knowing it will still serve the same purpose as a new one. You can most likely still find the proper fit for both you and your horse in a used model.

When Not To Buy Used

The only time we recommend buying new is when you are in the market for a helmet. As safety certifications and features continually improve and adjust, helmets expire after a few years and especially after significant falls. Helmets can appear in good condition, but you never know if the previous owner wore it during a fall. We love secondhand shopping, but helmets just aren’t worth the risk. Safety comes before all else!

Artwork by Sarah Lazarovic

How To Sell or Donate

If you have riding clothes that you are not able to consign or sell, consider donating to The Rider’s Closet or your local therapeutic riding program. The Rider’s Closet was designed to ensure riding apparel is accessible to those in need, including those from scholastic programs, pony clubs, camps, equine charities, and individual riders.

Finally, we recommend keeping tabs on your local equine Facebook groups. There are many different groups to buy and sell clothing and equipment. People snatch well-priced items up quickly, so turn your notifications on! This is a great resource to sell your own tack and clothing quickly. There aren’t consignment fees associated with the sale.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to keep usable items out of landfills by connecting them with those who need them. As much as we advocate for supporting eco-conscious brands, the most sustainable choice is always to buy used.

9 Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer

As the summer months draw near and temperatures get warmer, it’s important to remember how to stay proactive and avoid overheating, for both yourself and your horse. With long days, high temperatures, and extreme humidity levels, overheating can happen fast and with little warning. Horses can fall victim to heat stress much faster than their humans, and they don’t have the words to tell us they’re overheating until it may be too late. But with proper actions on your part, you can keep your horse and yourself cool all summer long.

1. Hydrate.

This is a no brainer, but when temperatures start to heat up again and we are sweating more than we’re accustomed to, hydration levels can fall fast. Drink plenty of water both before and after your ride, and snack on hydrating foods such as cucumbers, strawberries, and watermelon. If you struggle to drink enough water, use a hydration booster or find a water bottle with labels to remind you to drink throughout the day.

Similarly, always make sure your horse has access to water to stay hydrated. A quick way to tell if a horse is dehydrated is to pinch a small amount of skin on its neck; if the skin takes more than a few seconds to even back out, the horse may be dehydrated. Electrolyte supplements are a quick way to restore a horse’s hydration if it isn’t drinking enough water. You can also encourage a horse to drink water by adding apple juice or honey to their water.

2. Ride at the beginning or end of the day.

Typically, the sun is strongest in the middle of the day, heating up temperatures to their highest points in the afternoons. If you can ride first thing in the morning, you’ll likely beat the heat and can get on with the rest of your day. If you can’t ride until later in the day, wait until the sun is down and the temperatures have cooled off slightly.

3. Ride efficiently.

Over the summer, it’s important to know how to make your rides as efficient as possible so you both aren’t out in the heat working for too long. Focus on exercises that challenge your horse but don’t physically demand as much when the heat is extreme. You can get a lot done in a smaller amount of time if you are intentional about every minute in the saddle.

4. Always monitor breathing.

If you feel your horse breathing excessively or see its nostrils flaring more than normal, it may be time for a break or the end of the ride. Also be aware of how long it takes for your horse’s respiratory rate to return to normal. If a horse is struggling with labored breathing in the heat, put it in front of the fan and spray its body with rubbing alcohol to cool it down. If labored breathing continues, you may need to call your vet.

5. Shower and sweat-scrape.

Hot days can lead to sweaty horses, so cool showers feel good and help them cool down. The most important areas are the chest, neck, and between the legs. Once you spray their bodies, quickly scrape the excess water, as it can heat up on the surface of their skin quickly and cause discomfort for an already hot horse.

6. Clip winter coats.

\Though horses naturally shed their winter coats, some might need extra help getting rid of the remaining hair that may be making them extra hot. This is particularly important on really hot competition days, as significant effort is required and extra hair could lead to overheating. Keep coats clipped throughout the summer and have a sheet handy for nights when the temperature dips somewhat.

7. Wear lightweight materials.

We all have our favorite ventilated, moisture-wicking clothes we like to wear on the hottest days. Companies like EIS, Ariat, and even mainstream sports brands like Under Armour make very breathable fabrics that are ideal for riding. While we may know what keeps us coolest while riding, we also have to keep this in mind for our horses. Use saddle pads made from thinner materials that wick moisture and cover less area on the horse.

8. Adjust the turnout schedule.

If the days get too hot, you may want to turn out at night or very early in the mornings. If the sun is shining, be sure your horse has ample shade to relax in while turned out.

9. Fans, fans, fans!

There’s no such thing as too many fans in a hot barn. They help keep everyone cool on hot days and maintain proper airflow throughout the facility. It’s important that every horse has a fan in its stall, plus additional fans in the grooming areas for post-ride cooldowns and to dry them after showers. Plus, it feels pretty good to stand in front of a fan after a hot ride.

While the cold can be uncomfortable, heat can bring its own problems, so we have to be smart about how to beat the heat and keep everyone safe and healthy. Keeping all these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a great summer with your horse. You can make the most of hot summer days without fretting about overheating yourself or your horse.

Help Wanted: How To Decide if the Working Student Position Is Right for You

Written by Emily and Sarah Harris

If you scroll through social media, you have probably seen a post seeking applications from anyone interested in becoming a working student at a barn, stable, or training facility. Perhaps your trainer or someone you know has offered you the position of a working student. If it’s something you’ve considered, we are here to educate you on what this title means and what a golden opportunity it can be. Working students are always needed, no matter the riding discipline or operation level.

What Is a Working Student?

A working student is a young person, typically a junior, who works in exchange for lessons and training. Responsibilities will typically include feeding, mucking stalls, cleaning up around the barn, cleaning tack, taking care of the horses, helping with lessons, and helping the staff, trainers, boarders, and students. Some positions may also include being capable of administering shots and medications, assisting the farrier when needed, operating farm equipment, farm-sitting, and helping out at horse shows, where you might be braiding, tacking up, grooming horses, holding horses, and more.

The job sounds like a lot, and it can be. But the benefits are endless. Some facilities might offer board for your horse or allow you the use of farm vehicles. Also, depending on the size and amenities available at the facility, you might be provided housing on the premises.

Overall, a working student position can be the perfect opportunity for learning and growth. You will get to work with different horses and be able to ride under the instruction of an expert. Doesn’t that sound great?

We have had the opportunity to be working students for several trainers in different disciplines as we’ve learned the ins and outs of the sport. Each trainer had different methods, so we learned something new with each opportunity.

If you are considering becoming a working student, here are some tips and advice to help you get the most out of your experience. We also want to be honest about the challenges so you are well prepared for what you may encounter.

Prioritize Communication 

Communication is number one, not just as a working student but in all aspects of a training operation. Make sure that expectations are clear on both ends in the beginning and discuss all the details of the position before accepting the role. This is a great time to sort out things like job responsibilities and how often things like lessons will be provided in exchange for your work. It may be difficult to approach this subject because your excitement to accept can often overshadow the details, but you don’t want to accept a position and work hard and then receive less in return than you expected. This initial conversation about the details and benefits is also good because it helps you decide if this is a role that you will want to accept.

Also, once you know what the job responsibilities are, consider your abilities and limitations. Be upfront with yourself and the person for whom you will be working.

If you choose to accept the position, be sure to maintain open communication throughout your time of employment. If you are unsure about something or have concerns, speak up; don’t ignore the issue. It is better to discuss the issue than to push past your feelings and end up with a bad experience.

We can’t stress enough how important communication is, and good communication skills will serve you in all your equestrian endeavors for your entire life.

Consider the Cost

Always consider the cost of accepting a role as a working student. Your excitement might make you want to jump at the opportunity to get lessons without paying cash, but don’t rush into a position without carefully considering if it is worth your time and money.

Consider how much a lesson with that particular trainer would be. Also consider all the work you will be doing at the barn. In your opinion, is the input you give the same value as the output you receive? Think about commuting time and associated costs; they can both add up. Keep in mind any other possible benefits, such as the knowledge and experience you might not get otherwise. If you have any horses, is it better to bring them or leave them at home since you won’t have as much time to dedicate to them with your new responsibilities.

Everyone values the costs and benefits differently, so there is no “right” answer. The best-case scenario is that both you and the trainer will benefit from you joining the team, making it a win-win situation for everyone.

Make a Decision

If you need some time to think it over, don’t be afraid to ask if you can get back to the trainer with your answer. Be sure to give them a reasonable time frame for your decision and stick to it. You don’t want to keep your potential employer waiting because then he or she might ask someone else. After you have considered everything, talked it all over, and weighed both the advantages and disadvantages, you will be able to make an informed decision. Contemplate how this position may or may not be to your benefit, then tell the trainer your decision.

Moving forward

Stay tuned for our next blog post about what happens once you’ve been hired; that’s when the work truly starts. There are lots of things to keep in mind once you begin a working student position. Next, we will outline all of them for you!

Head to the Sisters Horsing Around website for more blogs, videos, and tips.

Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo!

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!


Four Ways Learning from Human Sports Can Up Your Game in the Ring

By Dr. Tim Worden

As equestrians, we know our sport is tremendously different from most other sports out there, and it can be hard to draw comparisons between other athletes and ourselves. However, there is a lot we can learn from other sports to help us gain a deeper understanding of equestrian sports. Like a basketball player or a long-distance runner, horses are incredible athletes, and they need to be cared for as such.

As riders, we are athletes, too, and the way we treat our bodies is equally crucial to top performance. Dr. Tim Worden of the Equine High Performance Sports Group shared with us some of the ways that learning from human sports can help equestrians up our game:

1. Study how other athletes prepare for competition.

Understanding the similarities and differences between how humans and horses prepare for competition gives you a deeper sense of why we train horses the way we do and how you can improve your own methods to benefit the horse. Top athletes don’t skip the most important steps that are beneficial to their health or overall performance, such as rest and proper nutrition. Many professional athletes also take career longevity into consideration, which is a top priority for sport horses. There could be a lot to learn about how they preserve their bodies for the long haul, despite the high level of impact caused by performance.

2. Ask the experts in other sports.

Do you know a college coach or a current or former professional athlete? Ask them for tips on training, recovery, gearing up for competition, and other topics that could be applied to equestrian sports. Learning from human coaches and athletes who have had prolonged success can provide you with new strategies for handling pressure, managing relationships with sponsors, prioritizing health, and more. You can also gather information from a personal trainer, sports therapist, or nutritionist to learn even more about how other kinds of athletes care for their bodies both pre- and post-competition.

3. Do the research.

For every research article examining sport horses there are more than 100 studies published on human athletes. While there are certainly differences between humans and horses, there are also many similarities, so read up on how human coaches apply the latest research to their own athletes to get that winning edge. The Sport Horse Series, presented by the Equine High Performance Sports Group, does just that, pairing renowned experts from human sports with equestrian thought leaders to discuss the application of human sports focused research to equine athletes.

4. Study the change over time.

Human-centric sport training methods have evolved rapidly over the last forty years while some aspects of equestrian training have moved more slowly. By learning from human sports, you can apply some of today’s frameworks to manage equine athletes. Many modern sports medicine practices have resulted in far fewer injuries and have pushed the boundaries of human athletic potential, and the same could be accomplished in equestrian sports.

Learning from the top competitors across various sports is a great way to learn about optimum performance and how it can apply to equine athletes. Look at your favorite athletes from other sports competing at the top of their game. Research how they take care of their bodies, physically, mentally, and emotionally before, during, and after competition. While equestrian sports may still be its own world with unique practices and methods, all sports have the common goal of healthy, top-performing athletes.

If you want to learn more about the parallels between human and equestrian sports, and learn about applying the research and methods from human sports to equine sports, check out the library of courses in the Sport Horse Series. And be sure to follow the Equine High Performance Sports Group as they announce new topics, new speakers, and new discussions each month.


What to Get the Horse Mom in Your Life This Mother’s Day

Horse moms are still moms, right? While you’re out searching for the perfect Mother’s Day gift for all the mothers in your life, here is a list of things that horse moms everywhere would love to receive this Mother’s Day.

1. Photography session.

Contact a local photographer and schedule a photo session, whether it be horse and rider or just the horse on a black or white background. Professional photos are something a horse mom treasures forever, and photographers can be quite brilliant when it comes to capturing the unique bond between a horse and its person.

2. Subscription box.

These have taken the world by storm, and the equestrian world has caught the bug lately. Give the gift that keeps on giving by having a subscription box sent every quarter with fun surprises in it each time. These often include items you can’t find in stores, so she’ll be getting something unique in the mail for herself or her horse.

3. Graphic tee.

Lots of up-and-coming brands in the equestrian world are making fun tee shirts with horse lingo and creative designs. Find one that you think will really speak to your favorite horse mom and that best matches her style. Some brands also offer other items, like socks, stickers, and mugs that can complement a tee.

4. Custom artwork.

This one takes some planning ahead, but there is something so special about receiving a piece custom art depicting the animal you love most in the world. Contact an artist to have an equine portrait made. Different artistic media are usually different price points, depending on how much you want to invest. You can let the horse mom in your life choose the photo she likes best to have turned into a portrait, or you can surprise her by choosing yourself and gifting the finished product.

5. Engraved jewelry.

Many tack websites will make custom leather bracelets with a horse’s name on it, or you can go the Etsy route and have a piece of fine jewelry custom made with a horse’s name or initial engraved on it. Either way, this is a great way to gift something special that holds more meaning than just another piece of pretty jewelry.

6. Horse treats.

Because every horse mom needs horse treats. How else are we supposed to spoil our horses? You can find horse treats in all shapes and flavors, and they’re the perfect way for horse moms to reward horses for a great day of riding or just a fun surprise. There’s nothing quite like the way a horse looks at you when it knows you have a treat.

7. New tack or apparel.

There is probably something the horse mom in your life needs or wants around the barn. Pay attention to whether she complains about any tack that breaks or is on its last leg. Or go on a whim and buy her something new and trendy she may not otherwise try. Just remember to save receipts in case it isn’t the right size or her style.

8. Horse show photo.

If the horse mom in your life competes, visit official photographers’ websites to find competition photos from the year. Choose a favorite to have enlarged and framed for her home. This will serve as a fun reminder of a great competition or a great memory with her horse and will be a conversation piece to hang in her house, as well as something to be proud of when guests come over.

You can’t go wrong with any of these gifts, but if you came up with something not listed, let us know in the comments. We would love to hear about special gifts horse moms received this year, and you might encourage someone reading this to follow suit.


Have questions about utilizing BarnManager or want to give it a try for yourself? Request a live demo here!

BarnManager is designed to be a part of your team, with the compatibility and credentials necessary to improve communication, simplify the management of horses, and get you out of the office, off the phone calls, and into the barn with the horses you care about! Click here to get a free demo and find out more!

Appreciating the Cultural Differences in Equestrian Sports

Written by Emily & Sarah Harris, Sisters Horsing Around

What is Culture?

Simply put, culture is a way of life for a particular group of people that can encompass shared beliefs, practices, behaviors, and values. It can include how they talk, how they dress, their appearance, and other things that are unique to the group. We understand that there are different cultures based on race, such as black culture and Hispanic culture; cultures based on religion, including Christian culture and Hindu culture; ones based on geographic location, such as western culture and eastern culture; some based on interests, like gaming culture and biker culture; and so on. There are even cultures based on music, like hip hop culture and rock culture.

Just like in the rest of society, culture variation exists in the horse world among equestrians. The equestrian world is beautifully diverse with lots of different disciplines and areas of interest. There are English riding disciplines and Western riding disciplines, and there are various others like horse racing, vaulting, trail riding, and driving, just to name a few.

There are a lot of people that participate in each and each has its own culture. These cultural differences include myriad ways of dressing, language, cultural norms, traditions, and even etiquette. But despite those differences, we all have one thing in common, which is our love for the horse.

Who Are We?

We – Emily and Sarah – are multi-discipline riders and as such we are part of multiple “cultures” in the equestrian world. Through our experiences as members of these different cultures, we have heard some things that concern us. Our concerns relate to the unfair stereotypes, biases, and prejudices that exist between the different disciplines.

We have heard disparaging comments made by those in one group of equestrians about other groups of equestrians. English riders have labeled Western riders as “rednecks.” Western riders have called English riders “sissies.” Eventers refer to hunters as “snobs” and hunters see eventers as “slobs.”

We have heard Saddle Seat riders called out for being “abusive” to their horses. We have heard riders who train with trainers condescendingly look down on riders without trainers as “backyard” riders. You may be familiar with hearing these stereotypes yourself.

Why Stereotyping is Dangerous

Stereotyping equestrians like this is a dangerous thing because it is counter-productive and divisive. It limits the growth of one’s perspective and creates misunderstanding. It also fosters attitudes of supremacism, where one group of equestrians think they are better than another group. This is what we should guard against.

Instead, we should be willing to listen and learn, broaden our viewpoints, and open our minds to understanding. In order to counteract negativity and push towards change, we need to demonstrate and promote a positive cultural appreciation for the different equestrian sports. There are a lot of good and admirable things that we could learn from each discipline.

What Should We Do?

So, how should we go about creating and promoting appreciation across different disciplines? First, we need to recognize that the people within each discipline are more than just a group; they are individuals, just like me and you. Then we need to set aside our biases. Be willing and open to listen and learn from others about what they do and why they do it. Try to gain an understanding, ask questions in a non-demeaning way, and be humble. Glean what information you can from multiple sources. There are so many different viewpoints, and not one is the same. People within the different disciplines typically enjoy sharing with others why they love what they do and will be ecstatic to answer your questions.

To put this into practice is only the beginning. The journey towards building a cultural appreciation for the different disciplines will never end because we will never stop learning. But the benefits we will get as a result of our efforts will be tremendous. As you gain a better appreciation for the disciplines, encourage others to learn as well. Don’t stop at accomplishing this for yourself; get others involved so that we all can work toward making the equestrian world a better place for everyone involved.

In future posts, we will share more details about the cultural differences that exist in various equestrian disciplines and we will explain what makes each one unique and exciting. Be sure to keep a lookout!

How You, as an Equestrian, Can Save the Planet

Written by Anna Zygadlo for Green Is the New Blue

April 22, 2021, marks the 51st annual Earth Day. Earth Day serves as a day of education and environmental awareness around the world in more than 140 nations. Following the first Earth Day back in 1970, environmental concerns rose to become a top national priority. As a result, a number of national environmental acts were passed including the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act. To celebrate Earth Day in the equestrian community, Green Is the New Blue has identified a few impactful ways to support the movement for a sustainable sport.

For Earth Day 2021, the teams at BarnManager and Green Is the New Blue are inviting you to make an impact through the Equestrian Earth Day Challenge. Complete one of the following items, then document it with a photo, and tag us, DM us, or use the hashtag #EquestrianEarthDay. We will pick our favorites to be featured.

1. Create a Green Team

Create a Green Team with your barn mates and organize scheduled meetings to create meaningful conversation around sustainable action. Together, research and address environmental issues including waste management, energy efficiency, and water use. We recommend developing a calendar with environmental field trips or community service projects. Try to build a “Living Jump” as a team using native plant species to promote biodiversity, or design a jump course using upcycled materials.

2. Contact Your Representatives

Connect with the representatives of organizing bodies within the equestrian sport. Reach out to the board of your local horse show series or take it to the national level of our sport. Express your interest in a Sustainability Action Plan. Design it to address environmental issues at their affiliated horse shows. For inspiration, check out the FEI Sustainability Handbook.

3. Attend Eco-Conscious Horse Shows

As riders, we are the consumers who control demand. Support horse shows that enthusiastically exhibit a commitment to sustainability. Visit GITNB’s website for a list of partner horse shows. If your favorite horse show hasn’t yet gone green, reach out to the manager and share your desire to see sustainability initiatives put into place. Share Green Is the New Blue’s “Refuse to Use” and “Living Jump” campaigns for inspiration. Express interest in sustainable food vendors such as Perks with A Twist, whose owners use fresh local ingredients served in compostable packaging.

We hope that you are inspired you to join us on our mission to create a sustainable equestrian sport. We would love to see your Earth Day projects, please share with us via email (azygadlo@greenisthenewblue.com),  Instagram, or Facebook.

7 Ways To Keep Flies at Bay

As temperatures begin to rise across the country, legions of dreaded house flies make their return to the barn to terrorize our horses. While it may seem like a force we can’t compete against, there are certainly ways to cut down on the number of flies and their impact on horses in the barn. Warmer weather makes it more enjoyable to spend time at the barn with our horses hacking in the fields, grazing, trail riding, and even just grooming, but we have to be aware of the annoyance flies can be for both humans and horses and help protect them from being bitten. Follow some of these tips to cut down on the fly population both inside and outside of your barn.

1. Have an effective manure disposal system.

Manure attracts flies by the dozens, so pick your horses’ stalls frequently and dispose of the manure often. If you have too much manure lying around, even if it’s out of horses’ stalls, flies will be more attracted to your barn.

2. Eliminate standing water.

Although not much can be done about ponds on the property, try to fix spots where standing water gathers, as these are places where flies can reproduce. Install a drainage system if this problem occurs when it rains, and make adjustments around the farm as necessary to help the standing water clear after a storm, such as repaving and angling surfaces.

3. Replace damaged fly sheets.

Fly sheets can protect our horses’ entire bodies while they’re outside grazing, keeping them from being bitten and developing rashes or sore spots from flies. But with time comes usual wear and tear, so be sure to look over and repair or replace any fly sheets that have significant holes.

4. Choose a fly spray you trust.

Fly repellant can often irritate horses’ skin or cause other issues, so try to find a brand with natural ingredients designed to provide only positive effects. Spray your horse before it goes outside, before a ride, and when it goes back into its stall. Keep the bottle at least a foot away from the horse as you spray to avoid causing skin irritations.

5. Implement a fly-spray system in your barn.

If you’ve tried everything and flies still won’t leave, install a system that sprays automatically into the barn aisle and stalls. It can be a worthwhile investment.

6. Seal all food containers.

Treats, open feed bags, and snacks left out can lure flies into the barn. Eliminate food smells by sealing containers, throwing away scraps, and cleaning up crumbs. Don’t skimp on giving your horses treats just to avoid flies, but be sure to clean up after your horse if they drop any bites on the floor.

7. Treat problem areas.

As always, keep a close eye on your horses’ skin to catch areas that might become more sensitive to flies. Often these areas may require a daily fly repellant ointment along with routine fly spray.


While many are grateful for warmer weather (horses included), we are less thrilled to welcome back the flies that disappeared during the cold winter months. They are a part of life for horse owners and managers, so we simply have to learn to lessen their impact so our horses can live comfortably in the warm spring and summer months.