Equestrian And Horse News by BitsAndBridles.com

Ten things to remember on International (Riding) Helmet Awareness Day

Posted by on Jul 12, 2014 in Equestrian News, Horse Tack Features, Tack and Saddle Care | 0 comments

Ten things to remember on International (Riding) Helmet Awareness Day

Riders4helmets’ mission is to educate equestrians on all aspects of helmet safety. Education starts at the choice to put a helmet on your head, but it doesn’t stop there. Equestrians also need to be educated on the need for properly securing helmets and replacing them at the appropriate time.
As 2014’s IHAD nears, riders4helmets Lyndsey White shared these ten important messages that all riders should remember on a daily basis.

  1. If you have a hard impact blow while wearing your helmet, immediately replace it with a new helmet. There may be damage to the helmet that is not visible to the naked eye.
  2. Helmet manufacturers generally recommend replacing your helmet every 4-5 years. Helmets take a beating over time from sweat, heat, dust and rain, and the Styrofoam in the helmet relinquishes its ability to protect the head over time. “So, replacing your helmet sooner than 4 to 5 years may in some circumstances be necessary,” said White.
  3. A ponytail or different hairstyle can affect the fit of your helmet. When you try on helmets prior to purchase, wear your hair in the style that you expect to wear it when riding.
  4. If you purchase your helmet online, check the date of manufacture. Purchasing a used helmet can be very risky and is NOT recommended. The helmet may have sustained previous damage that you aren’t able to see.
  5. There is no statistical correlation between skill level and injury likelihood. Professional riders are just as at risk to sustain injury due to a fall as less frequent riders.
  6. Even a fall from a standing horse can be catastrophic. Your injury risk depends on the height from which fall, as well as the speed at which you’re traveling.
  7. Head injuries are cumulative. An original head injury can be made much worse by additional concussions.
  8. Riding is considered more dangerous than downhill skiing and motorcycling.
  9. Approximately 20% of accidents which result in head injury happen while the person is on the ground.
  10. It is best if you invest in your own helmet regardless of whether or not you own a horse. “It is a personal purchase. Your helmet is designed to fit your head,” reminds White. An incorrectly fitting helmet offers very little, to no protection. In addition to wearing a correctly fitting helmet, you must have the harness correctly fastened on your helmet. If the harness is not fitting snugly, the helmet can rotate should you have a fall and thus not be able to protect your head to its fullest intention.

Riders looking to purchase a helmet can visit riders4helmets.com/ihad/ to find retailers near them who are participating in IHAD.
For more information on the Riders4Helmets campaign and IHAD, visit riders4helmets.com.

Riders4Helmets announces International Helmet Awareness Day 2014 (July 12th, 2014)

Posted by on Jul 3, 2014 in Equestrian News | 0 comments

Riders4Helmets announces International Helmet Awareness Day 2014 (July 12th, 2014)

Riders4Helmets.com has teamed up with leading helmet manufacturers to once again host International Helmet Awareness Day 2014 on Saturday July 12th.

Building on the success of International Helmet Awareness Day 2013, participating retailers all over the world will be offering discounts on helmets to equestrians on this day. “We are absolutely delighted at the continued support of the event shown by equestrians, retailers and helmet manufacturers,” said Lyndsey White, Riders4Helmets. “To be in our fifth year of hosting and organizing International Helmet Awareness Day is truly a testament to the need for continued education of equestrians with regards to all aspects of helmet safety. Over 230 retailers in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have already registered to participate in this year’s event and many more are expected to do so.”

The riders4helmets campaign was founded in 2010 as a direct result of Olympian Courtney King-Dye’s accident with the aim of educating equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitting, secured and certified helmet. “In 2013, International Helmet Awareness Day received support from 12 helmet manufacturers and retailers in 8 countries,” said King-Dye. “Whether you are a helmet manufacturer, retailer or equestrian, I hope that you will lend your full support to this important event in 2014.”

Queen celebrates Equestrian Style Birthday

Posted by on Jun 4, 2014 in Equestrian News | 0 comments

Queen celebrates Equestrian Style Birthday

Just passing on some fun British Equestrian News

The Queen indulged in one of her favorite passions on the day of the 61st anniversary of her coronation. The active 88-year-old monarch joined her head groom Terry Prendry for a morning horse ride. Wearing jodhpurs, an overcoat and a…

The Queen indulged in one of her favorite passions on the day of the 61st anniversary of her coronation. The active 88-year-old monarch joined her head groom Terry Prendry for a morning horse ride.

Wearing jodhpurs, an overcoat and a colorful headscarf, the spritely Queen was pictured trotting around Windsor Great Park on Monday morning on her pony Carltonlima Emma.

Two knee operations in 2003 make it difficult for her to ride horses so she has since opted for fell ponies.

These days Terry is her frequent companion on riding excursions, but the equine-loving sovereign has also taught her four children to ride and gave lessons to Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie at Balmoral.

The Queen’s love of horses is well known. She has a passion for riding but also a knowledge of equestrian matters that rivals that of the professionals who manage her 25 or so animals.



10 Ways to Green Up Your Horse & Farm for Earth Day

Posted by on Apr 22, 2014 in Equestrian News | 0 comments

10 Ways to Green Up Your Horse & Farm for Earth Day

Happy “Equine” Earth Day!

This is a summary of a post from

hhhp_2014-earth-day-coverWhile helping my clients during a sustainability audit identify where they might make a change, we look at ways to use Best Management Practices (BMPs) for the farm.  I also assist horse owners that board their horse with green tips that are for the horse.

These tips can be implemented quickly, easily and cheaply. In honor of Earth Day let’s all work together to reduce your farm’s footprint and your horses’ hoofprint upon this gorgeous planet we all call “home”. It is our responsibility as conscientious horse owners to use eco-friendly  horse care for better overall health of our horses and the welfare of our planet.

Five Tips For The Horse:

1)   Do a Fecal Exam

1-2-horse-kits-closedThis will help you be sure which wormer you really need to use. Doing a fecal will tell you exactly what worms to treat so you are not using (and wasting) more chemicals than you need and creating needless impact to the earth. When you are done put your empty wormer syringe in a baggie before throwing it away, this will help prevent the chemicals from leaching into the soil at the landfill.

2)   Use Natural Methods for Worming:

Image: Verbac.com.au

Until about 25 years ago when chemical dewormers came to the market, horse caretakers had used natural deworming practices. Chemical dewormers, have their place and are effective in killing parasites.  They are problematic though because they kill more than just the bad bugs and the chemicals are toxic to the planet.   Nature provides us with various gentle, effective, health-enhancing means of accomplishing the same goal  plus natural dewormers such as diatomaceous earth and garlic rid the horse of parasites without causing harm to the planet.

3)   Use Biodegradable Grooming Products: 

Have you ever looked at the labels of some of the products in your grooming tote? Some can be outright hazardous to the health of our animals, our earth, and our health. To stop the toxic overload we need to use Biodegradable products on our horses.

4)   Use Natural Fly Control:

There are many natural products like flax oil, minerals and plant extracts that are digested and pass through the skin that can create a protective shield which help your horse’s body deal with flies from the inside out. Garlic has been used traditionally in this role. Diatomaceous earth, grape seed extract and cider vinegar are also believed to do the same thing when added to your horse’s drinking water or grain. Non-chemical fly sprays, fly masks & sheets also help control pests without harming the Earth.

5)   Supplement with Natural Product:

Bee Pollen is terrific for weight gain, coat conditioning and immune support. Herbs such as devils claw, white willow, and meadowsweet have been useful for arthritis and slippery elm and licorice root are terrific for digestive issues.

Five Tips for the Farm:

6)   Get a soil sample done. ALWAYS start here with your pasture. This can be collected free of charge by you or through a County Extension service. The analysis from each sample is under $10. It will also tell you exactly how much fertilizer you need to use, taking the guess work out, reducing your costs and the amount of nutrients that can run off.

7)   Cover Your Manure Pile. This is a super easy one. When rain water falls on the pile, it picks up pathogens, bacteria and nutrients and carries them to the soil and water.   By throwing a simple tarp over your pile you eliminate a huge amount of this run-off!

8)   Compost Your Manure.

9)   Reuse your water through a rain barrel or cistern.

10)  Put a simple recycling bin in the barn.  Ways to Recycle around the Barn


Great Graphics and Art celebrating the Year of the Horse

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Equestrian News | 0 comments

Great Graphics and Art celebrating the Year of the Horse


More fun facts about the Chinese New Year 2014: “Year of the Horse”



  • Lucky Colors: green, red, purple
  • Lucky Numbers: 3, 4, 9
  • Lucky Flowers: giant taro, jasmin



It’s the Year of the Horse! What does it mean?

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in BitsAndBridles.com Tools & Tutorials, Equestrian News | 0 comments

It’s the Year of the Horse! What does it mean?

Gung Hay Fat Choy! (Peace and Prosperity for the New Year).

On January 31, billions of people around the world celebrated the advent of the lunar new year – the Year of the Horse! At Bits and Bridles, we think this means all of us horsey folk should celebrate all year!

For those of you born in the Year of the Horse (1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002), it is said you share some of the horse’s traits such as speed, especially speed of thought and action, and love of exercise and the outdoors.

For the rest of us, the Year of the Horse promises to be a year of change and financial volatility – a year when you may be tempted to take on projects you normally wouldn’t. If you are careful, this can lead to great success! It is also a time when you may find unexpected romance.






Great articles on Pro Equine Grooms, the blog on tack, tack care and horse care

Posted by on Dec 23, 2013 in Equestrian News, Equestrian Tack Industry Marketing, Horse Tack and Horsemanship Tips, Tack & Saddle Reviews, Tack And Saddle Profiles | 0 comments

Great articles on Pro Equine Grooms, the blog on tack, tack care and horse care

As we finish our year end round of tack and saddle articles, we found so many great articles at ProEquineGrooms.com that they deserves their own post.  Here are some of our top favorites:

Article #1: Why would I use polo wraps when I can just use schooling boots?

Here’s an excerpt:

Crisp White Polo Wraps nothing substitutes for them

Crisp White Polo Wraps nothing substitutes for them

…There are a few cases in which I would use a polo instead of a sport boot.

  • You need coverage below the fetlock.  Perhaps you are battling a case of scratches, or your horse has some sort of “boo-boo”, and the arena is a bit dusty.  Using your polos to create a barrier between dust and skin where boots don’t cover is a good idea.  Be sure to wrap loosely over the fetlock joint to allow for maximum mobility.
  • Your horse is about to go in for “honor rounds” at a show.  Tradition dictates that crisp white polos are to be worn here.  Better do some practicing at home with application before you get to the show!
  • You are tending to a horse who is recovering from a tendon injury.  Polo wraps can give you very consistent application from top to bottom when applied correctly.  Your veterinarian may give you instructions to hand walk or tack walk with compression wraps, in which case you may need to polo wrap over a protective bandage.  Sport boots have straps, which make them easy to put on, but create gaps of coverage in between the straps.
  • You are attending a clinic
  • You need some wrapping practice...

Some tips for using polo wraps:

  • Wash them inside of a lingerie bag
  • Be able to fit a finger or more into the top and bottom.  That’s not too loose, I promise.  For a reference, wrap a polo wrap around your own calf and move around for an hour.


Article #2: Equi Cool Down Line of products

Here’s an excerpt:

Ice your horses legs

"The Equi Cool Down Line of Products – For Horse and Human

“…  We are responsible for cooling them out.  We are responsible for taking care of their tendons after exercise.  We need to help them normalize their body temperatures in some conditions.  …

Equi Cool Down products are designed to do just that – cool things down.  The unique fabric is thin, tough, and water activated.  Get it wet, wring it out, shake it, and your Equi Cool Down product is ready to steal the heat from whatever you need it to.  It turns a darker shade of blue when it’s soaked, and returns to a lighter blue after you have wrung the water out of it.

And this is where the huge product line comes in.  If you think it, they make it.  For your head, for your horse’s body.  For your hands and neck, for your horse’s legs.  Here’s a link to their complete product list.  All of the products work the same way, and the horse stuff is one size fits all…

[One last tip]  -Keeping cool under a helmet or hat (the human line has great stuff for Grooms and horse owners!)”

Equi Cool Down >> Read more


3 more horse care and tack related articles:

How to estimate your horse’s weight! 


The many uses of diapers at the barn!


Breaking in your new leather riding boots!



Western Saddle Fitting, Part III: an analysis through images of saddles that do and don’t fit

Posted by on Dec 19, 2013 in Equestrian News, Horse Tack Fit, Saddle Fit, Western Horse Riding | 0 comments

Western Saddle Fitting, Part III: an analysis through images of saddles that do and don’t fit
Article from the Galloping Grape

The great photo to the right was found on Pinterest and we’ve re pinned it to our own board: Western Saddle Fit.

The picture comes from the “How to fit a Western Saddle” at the GallopingGrape.com.  Our favorite excerpt is the first two paragraphs:

To fit a western saddle you must first measure your horse. Each saddle measurement will differ between saddle makers. Not all Full Quarter Horse Bars are made the same. Just because its 6 3/4″ gullet in one maker doesn’t mean it will be the same width in another saddle maker. The flare and rock will also differ, as well as the bar angle.

To Measure your horse you need a flex-i-curve (which can be found at an office supply store) or a piece of heavy coated 1/2″ electrical wire, about 2′ long. You’ll also need a piece of cardboard or a piece of heavy stock paper. With this you can make a replica form of your horses back.  This will give us a pretty good idea how your horse is shaped and help you in the fitting process. (more…)

Funny Holiday Horse Video/Commercial

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Equestrian News, Horse Cartoons | 0 comments

Funny Holiday Horse Video/Commercial

Really cute Christmas video using Mounted Search And Rescue-trained horse

When the company I worked for sent out a casting call for employees’ kids for a video they wanted to make, I (the smark aleck) sent back an email saying “I don’t have kids but I have a horse”. Haha. Well, the marketing department had this wonderful flash and came to me and said “yes, we want to use your horse!”. However, when I heard what they had in mind, I didn’t think my Morgan mare would be bombproof enough for lights, camera, action on the front porch! So, I asked my friend if we could borrow her MSAR-trained, color guard mare, Casey. Casey was a dream — “so you just want me to stand here and eat hay and ignore everything else? No helicopters, no fireworks? Sure, I can do that”. Anyway, I’m sure that all of us can totally identify with the little girl in this video!
http://vimeo.com/53884865 (more…)

Marketing a Tack Shop on Facebook

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013 in BitsAndBridles.com Tools & Tutorials, Equestrian Marketing, Equestrian News | 0 comments

Marketing a Tack Shop on Facebook

Having a website seems like the most important first step anyone can take. Having a Facebook presence is not a substitute for a website but a adjunct tool. Facebook has a ton of users that an equine business would want to get out in front of. Most Facebook addicts check their Facebook Newsfeed a couple times a day. What a dream for a marketer!
Having a Facebook Fan page is the best way to get in front of these users.  Make sure to announce it via email blast and buttons on your websites. A person (or team of persons) then has to work hard to build up the new Fan Page to get followers. We find posting content almost every day is necessary to keep up “engagement” with new & return visitors who are all hopefully “followers.”  This strategy along with paid advertising on Facebook has helped us grow our number of followers to be substantial.  Then when a business has a history of engagement, users will be perspective to posts about Sales, Specials and other things to promote your business.  At this point we have seen the best ROI on our efforts to generate sales. (more…)

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