Equine Affaire prize lineup

We’ll be giving away fabulous Darn Tough socks (made right in Vermont and guaranteed for life), Adventure Medical Kits and Zootility tools to ALL Remuda Reader subscribers at the Equine Affaire (while supplies last).  We’ll be at the Better Living Center.

Not going? (scroll down)

Anyone signing up to be a Remuda Reader automatically receive Eco Lips lip balm and a Nicker More Buck Less bumper sticker. Sign up and also qualify to win daily giveaways. Remuda Reader subscription is just $10 per year.

Here’s our schedule:Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 12.16.52 PM

  • Thursday: a luxurious, superfine Merino wool top from Ramblers Way Farm, valued at $90.
  • Friday: a Perfect Barn Coat from Cotopaxi, valued at $279
  • Saturday: one English and one Western saddle pad from 5 Star Equine Products, valued over $200.
  • Sunday: SPOT satellite messenger and tracking device with one-year complimentary service, valued at $450.

We’ll also have A Rider’s Reader: Exploring Horse Sense, Science & Sentiment books as well as custom Nicker More Buck Less Liberty bottles too.

Not going?

You can still qualify to win by signing up to be a Remuda Reader between November 11-14. Just $10 per year.

Also, Keep in touch by monitoring our NickerNews and BestHorsePractices facebook pages during the Equine Affaire. We’ll have daily giveaway especially reserved for social media fans.

Redmond-GiveawayHere’s the lineup for daily facebook giveaways:

Redmond Equine, a $94 prize pack including Redmond Rock, Daily Gold, and First Aid for Horses.

Renegade Hoof Boots, a $200 prize of a pair of boots. (wow!)

Hay Pillow, standard slow feeder bag. ($70)

Muck Boots, new Western leather boots ($250 value

See you there or see you virtually!

Get Smart. Get Tan!

It’s going to be cold and dark in a few months. These delightful, crisp, and sunny riding days will be a murky memory as you bundle into seven layers to toss hay and rub frosty noses with your equines.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 11.42.30 AMWhy not give your mind and body a break with an escape to Costa Rica? Assuage your guilt by simultaneously improving your horsemanship and the connection with your equine partner.

Get smart. Get tan. Get warm at the Evidence-Based Horsemanship seminar, hosted by Equisol Retreats in Nosara, Costa Rica.

Dr. Steve Peters and Martin Black, co-authors of Evidence-Based Horsemanship, will join a limited number of attendees at the January 17-24 event. Check out one element of EBH here.

“Equisol offers week-long holistic yoga and horsemanship retreats that feature luxury accommodations, delicious and healthy cuisine, yoga classes, relaxing massage offerings, and truly amazing beach and jungle trail riding. Add Martin and Dr. Peters to the mix for daily 1Evidence-Based Horsemanship seminars, horsemanship discussion and roping lessons, and you have the opportunity to relax and learn! Each guest will be paired with one of Equisol’s charismatic Costa Rican horses, so both horse and rider will have a chance to bond and learn together over the course of the week,” said the EBH press release.

A typical day: Roll out of your luxurious bed, enjoy a leisurely brunch, then take in a one-hour presentation on equine brain function, followed by lunch, then an ocean-front trail ride before it’s time to get cleaned up for dinner. Or, you might choose to have a roping lesson with Martin after lunch, try out a little yoga, or catch a nap by the pool. All-included.

Prices range from $2550 – $3300 per person and includes daily seminars scpwith Black and Peters, roping lessons, trail riding, seven nights of accommodations, and all meals. Includes transportation once in Costa Rica, but does not include airfare.

Click here for more information and to register. Limited availability for this tropical seminar.

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Durango Gathering Does Authentic

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Over the course of four b-e-a-utiful October days in southwest Colorado, the Durango Cowboy Poetry Gathering entertained several thousand visitors with myriad offerings.

There were poetry readings, music, and art showcased around town, during the day and at nightly, sold out performances at the historic Strater Hotel and elsewhere. Suffice to say: around these parts, the odd man out was the one without cowboy boots and hat.

My favorite elements were the Cowboy Poetry Ride,

L-R, Anne Rapp and Linda Mannix

L-R, Anne Rapp and Linda Mannix

the parade (the largest motor-less parade in the state), and the exhibit of William Matthews’ watercolors at the Durango Arts Center. Matthews, who was in attendance, has a well-earned reputation for exquisitely capturing the modern-day working cowboy. Over the course of several decades, his subjects have included horseman and saddle maker Scott Brown, saddle maker and silversmith Jeremiah Watt, and horseman and poetry reciter Randy Rieman.

The Gathering’s ride got its start over 20 years ago, said Anne Rapp, who runs Rapp Corral and supervised about 40 guests and several wranglers on the splendid, six-mile trek. After an hour through the San Juan National Forest, riders were treated to a catered lunch (chili, salad, wine, coffee, and more), campfire, poetry recitation by Jerry Brooks with music by Mike Beck.

Horses. Fall colors. Mountains. Good company. What’s not to love?

The event annually sells out in June or July, according to Rapp.

“It’s a good day on horseback,” she added.

Linda Mannix, the gathering’s coordinator, said the ride added authenticity to the event. “This is how cowboy poetry started, around the campfire. They talked with each other. There was no social media,” said Mannix.

At the next day’s parade, spectators were a mix of locals and tourists. All seemed to have a keen appreciation of western U.S. culture. Pairs or foursomes of draft horses pulled impressively restored carriages. Drivers and riders dressed in costumes straight out of the 1880’s.

Planning a trip to these parts? Mark your calendar for next year: the Gathering runs September 29-October 2.

At the Durango Cowboy Poetry Parade

At the Durango Cowboy Poetry Parade

 

Check out the Horseman’s Calendar

The horse world just got a little less confusing and overwhelming thanks to a new website developed by Jim Thomas, his daughter, Emily Luciano, and Steve Bell of Eclectic Horseman.
The Horseman’s Calendar, a new online listing service which went live last week, was the outcome of one sleepless night around

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas

Christmas last year, said Thomas.

“It was the middle of the night and I was thinking, ‘why in the world do we not have a resource to visit, instead of searching through 97 different websites? It’s just a killer,’” said Thomas, a successful clinician and owner of Bar T Horsemanship, from Pittsboro, North Carolina.

And, so, the project was born.
Here’s the beauty of the Horseman’s Calendar: You can search by key word, by region, by clinician, by type of horsemanship. Or, you can browse and explore. As it grows, everything from trail rides to clinics to fun shows will be listed.

“We hope to open up the horse world and give riders a cornucopia of opportunities,” said Thomas.
For web developer, Steve Bell, the Horseman’s Calendar presented myriad challenges. Behind the smooth-running façade, there were plenty of complicated features and technological hurdles to overcome.
The result, however, is a seamless, smooth-running, and logical site that’s pleasant to navigate and fun to browse.
horse cal“I think the site could become a destination site for the horse world. I don’t think there’s another site for horse people to search out not only clinics, but to find local info on farms and barns, even coffee or steak houses if there are travelers to a given region during an annual event,” said Bell. “So, I think it could build into something bigger than what Jim & Emily originally envisioned if they stick with it and think big.”
Added Luciano, “the beauty is that the Horseman’s Calendar will be collaborative,” said Luciano. “After we’re solidly underway, Horseman’s Calendar users will be able to review clinicians, barns, etc. This will absolutely help folks decide on their equine activities.”

Got a listing to advertise?
Until the end of the year, the Horseman’s Calendar is offering free listing for any events taking place through April, 2016. Click here for more information.

Trail Necessities for Free

Signing up for our free newsletter will not only give you entertaining and enlightening content, it’ll help get you out the door with some fabulous items for your saddle bag or backpack.

This week, sign up for a chance to win:

SunRidge Power Chews. Little blocks of delicious, healthy energy. Organic. In great flavors: Peanut Butter and (my favorite) Coconut-Mango-Pomegranate.

Zootility’s Headgehog. A cute, clever multi-tool that fits in your wallet or pocket. TSA friendly, so you HH_colors_03_1024x1024can take it on that flight to Costa Rica and a horse-riding vacation!

Adventure Medical Kit: The one-to-two person waterproof kit has everything you’ll need in a jam, when you’re away from the medicine cabinet, even basic care instructions.

Remember, it doesn’t cost anything to receive this weekly newsletter from NickerNews and BestHorsePractices.

Sign up here!

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SPOT to the rescue! (And for serious fun)

The move to Colorado means a few things change:

  • GEN3_leadI’m in unfamiliar territory.
  • I’m mostly alone while exploring on foot and horseback.

Just in time, the folks at SPOT have sent their Gen3 device with satellite service for messaging and tracking. This summer, SPOT is 50 percent off. Check it out.

I don’t plan on getting lost or needing help. Who does? I didn’t plan on getting in a wreck with Jolene this summer, either. If I’d been alone, it would not have ended as well.

SPOT is a fabulous option for so many of us who are out in the boonies with no cell service. (Despite what your cell company tells you, bad service happens more often than you’d think. And cell phone battery life can die quickly, especially when it is in constant search mode for reception.)

Extreme Tracking of an 11-mile trek near Mesa Verde National Park

Extreme Tracking of an 11-mile trek near Mesa Verde National Park

The SPOT unit is small and tough. It clips easily to a belt or can go in a pocket.

  • Press the message icon button to send an OK message via text message or email to whomever you list. (see below, screen shot of the text message I sent to my son. “Pretty Cause” is a name I gave our home here.)
  • Press the hiking boot icon to track yourself using Extreme Tracking. It’s a feature you will LOVE. You can choose the increments of GPS location: 2.5, 5, 10, 30, or 60 minutes. I found 10 minutes to be a good stagger for riding. During this ride (see screen shot, right), we covered 11 miles over high meadow and through gullies of timber.

If you’re really in trouble, there are two options: by pressing the ‘give me a hand’ icon, a HELP message is sent to those friends and family listed in your account (via text and/or email). Or, use the SOS feature to get help from emergency services. SPOT has helped thousands in dire circumstances. Read this recent story of a outdoorsman boxed in by a wildfire.

Sign up to be a Remuda Reader and you’ll automatically qualify to win a SPOT Gen 3 unit with complimentary service (including messaging and Extreme Tracking) for a year. A $450 value.

 

Typical "Check In" message sent to family or friend

Typical “Check In” message sent to family or friend

 

 

 

Starting ’em young and without mounting blocks

Russ Little has a lot going on. The 37 year-old Idahoan has dozens of horses he uses for the company, Dry Ridge Outfitters. His four children, ages 14, 12, 10, and eight, all help out. It’s a busy place and the kids, said Little, have “on the job training.” The three daughters and son have learn to be quite resourceful.Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 8.29.03 AM

That’s pretty much how eight year-old Little’s son, Cody, ended up on a beautiful, 17 hand Percheron AND as a Facebook darling, with 10 million views and counting. Little said the Percheron, Sheila, “is always a sweetheart.” Check out the video here.

Just so you know, Sheila is not Cody’s regular riding horse. That would be Bud, a three year old Friesian-Percheron cross. He’s about 16 hands, said Little. Cody gets on Bud by grabbing the saddle strings and doing a variety of scrambling and pulling-up.

Not to be outdone by her little brother: Watch Cody’s older sister getting up on her horse.

Granted, these horses are gentle beings. The Little family puts a lot of time into working with them and many don’t make the cut. “We have some mustangs and quarter horses,” said Little, “I just sold a few. They were fine for wranglers, but not gentle enough for guests.”

Little’s grandfather started Dry Ridge Outfitters in the 1950’s, and his father, Kevin, leads pack trips and outings under the same business name with his wife, Deb. Their motto? “Leave only hoofprints. Take only memories.”

Keep up the good work!

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Vote for your favorite Ah-Helmet moment, Round 4

Round 4 of the Ah-Helmet moment contest is a great one.

Read more about the Ah-Helmet contest here.

ah-helmetThere are so many to check out!

To read more about the following contestants, simply click on their names:

 

Christina

 

Eadith

 

Zoie

 

Barbara

Christina in California

Christina in California

Claire

 

Nanon

 

Nancy

 

A New Go-To Jacket

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 3.59.00 PMAs cold days come to Colorado and Utah, I’ve got a new Go-To jacket. It’s the Alpha Air from LL Bean. As comfortable as your favorite high school hoodie and as warm as a ski jacket, it’s better than either because it stretches and insulates during these variable, frosty days.

“Stretches?” you ask.

Yep. The Alpha Air is a stretchy soft-shell with 100 gram Polartec insulation. That makes it warm, breathable, and versatile. I’ve worn it while clearing trail, running dogs, tossing hay, and working with horses. Thrillingly, it’s not a dog- and horse-hair magnet (like so many jackets are). It also shed dew, branches, and leaves while I was clearing trail, and it refused to snag or rip. Hooray.

Think of it as a hearty, Irish wool sweater without the itch, weight, and without the hair, hay, and burr magnetism. Oh, and no dry cleaning bill, either. Machine wash and dry.

IMG_1572The Alpha Air is blissfully free of bells and whistles. There are three useful and well-placed pockets: one zippered chest pocket for your phone and perhaps a billfold, and two for warming your hands or zipping in your keys. That’s it. Perfect.

Thankfully, the hood is not detachable which makes for less clutter around your neck and shoulder. And why would you want to take the hood off anyway? As they say in Maine (and everywhere else I’ve lived): “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”

With hunting season coming up, I chose the nicely bright blue. But there are black/grey and red/pink varieties, too. Check it out here.

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