Suffolk Downs OTTBs – From the Backside to Your Barn

BLOG_FACEBOOKIMAGEAfter a 79 year legacy of horse racing, Suffolk Downs has announced that it will be closing its starting gates at the end of the 2014 Season on September 29th. Many of the Thoroughbreds that have found their first careers at the track will be in need of new homes and jobs after the closing. While there will be a grace period after the track closes in order to allow horses to be matched with new owners, CANTER New England, a non-profit horse welfare group, expects that over 100 horses will need to be re-homed by mid-October. Continue reading

The Other 4-Legged Friend – Favorite Breeds of Barn Dogs

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Dogs just seem to go along with horses. Spotted at many barns, show grounds and homes of equestrians, many riders keep a smaller four-legged friend nearby. While a vast array of dog breeds, including mixed breeds, would make excellent companions for both riders and horses, the same breeds of barn dogs are often seen repeatedly in the equestrian world. It seems that many riders may have a preference for particular dogs, and for a reason. Continue reading

Cleaning Her Way to the Top of Her Pony

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11-year-old Taylor McFall, whose mom is Rolex eventer Jen McFall, has a dream – the same dream as many of us – she yearns to own her favorite pony. Taylor has been leasing Kilbarry Prince, a 14 year old Connemara pony with a hunting background that makes him a fearless eventer, and the pair’s time is almost up. Taylor was told by her parents that they don’t have the budget to purchase the pony, and when the lease ends in November he will likely move on to a new home. Not to be dissuaded, Taylor said that she would like to purchase Prince herself because she didn’t want to lose him.

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So how does an 11-year-old buy a $15,000 pony? With a sense of responsibility, a lot of drive, and the help of those who have been in her child sized shoes dreaming before. Taylor has come up with 2 services and 1 product to offer as fundraisers at horse shows for her pony-fund: Tack Cleaning, Truck Washing, and “Pony Puffs” horse treats. A true entrepreneur, she considered what people might be in need of at a busy show and aims to provide those services, thus saving people time and adding to her savings for Prince. For those of you who are not going to encounter Taylor at a show, you can still donate here and receive Pony Puffs by mail.

We love a hard working, young rider who’s passionate about her pony. Therefore, we wanted to help make sure Taylor had everything she needed to provide the tack cleaning services she wants to, and get her closer to a future with Prince.

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We hope backing your fundraising business with this tack cleaning kit makes reaching your goals even easier, Taylor!
Good luck from all of us here at Dover Saddlery!
Get that pony!

Helmet Awareness Week is Coming!

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Dover Saddlery is excited to once again help support Riders4Helmets in its initiative to promote helmet use by equestrians for International Helmet Awareness Day 2014, on July 12th. This day provides an opportunity to purchase select top-of-the-line helmets at specially discounted prices for one day only. Additionally, Riders4Helmets will be hosting a series of educational webinars featuring leading equestrians and experts in head injuries and helmets.

The first International Helmet Awareness Day was held in 2010, and is geared towards educating equestrians on the benefits of wearing a properly fitting and certified helmet every time they get on a horse. Currently, 16 helmet manufactures and retailers from eight different countries come together to help pass this message on to their customers.

In honor of International Helmet Awareness Day, we will be sharing a variety of helpful and educational helmet related information here on our blog until the day comes. We will also be running a series of contests, so make sure you follow us on Facebook for a chance to win. And of course, don’t forget to come back on July 12th to purchase your dream helmet!

Washington International Horse Show 2013

Washington International Horse Show
Thursday October 24, 2013

Presented by Dover Saddlery :
- Shetland Pony Races
- Gambler’s Costume Class
- Scavenger Hunt
- Model Horse Painting
- Autograph Signings
- Contest Prizes include:
Olympian Will Coleman Clinic
Custom Golf Cart
$5000 in Dover Gift Certificates

Group Discount Ticket Sales:
202.661.5061

Register your barn and download contest information here!

PVDA Ride For Life!

To purchase tickets in advance or for more information, click here!

Dover_RFL_060513_fbJoin us for a wonderful evening of… Dancing Horses – A Celebration of Life! Dressage Freestyles by Top International Riders!

Saturday, June 22; starting at 5PM
At the Prince George’s Equestrians Center in Upper Marlboro, DM

This event supports the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Center.

Enter to win a $500 shopping spree from Dover Saddlery!

Tack Room Gatherings

Today, Denny Emerson joins us, and shares some tack room memories that he has in this colorful post:

It might be a couple of nails driven into a barn wall, holding a couple of dry, cracked and ancient bridles. In the corner, a sawhorse, and on those splayed and splintered legs, the dusty ruin of what was once a cowhand’s treasured saddle.

In Europe, tack rooms that rival Park Avenue apartments. Gleaming marble floors, chandeliers, polished ledges of black granite, ornate antique desks and chairs.
My first tack room memories from 1950, the Stoneleigh Prospect Hill School barn, the first door on the right.

In the corner, an old coal stove for warming cold New England winters. Brown walls, red trim on the door frames and windows. Rows of iron saddle racks, on each a well oiled and polished English saddle. Ornate iron bridle racks, several rows, each with a snaffle, or a Pelham, and not a few double bridles.

A sink. Cans of saddle soap, the yellow kind in those old, flat jars, bottles of neatsfoot oil.
Boots, hunt caps, saddle pads, crops, piled, jammed helter skelter.

The pungent aroma, a commingling of soap, sweat, leather, linament, intermingled with the over-riding scent of the horses in the adjacent stalls.

A couple of high stools, by the sink. Four pronged bridle hooks, hanging on chains from the ceiling, each loaded with sweaty bridles, martingales, girths, stirrup leathers, halters, each awaiting its turn to be scrubbed, oiled or polished.

Chattering, laughing, boisterous riders, done for the day and cleaning up, or scooping up tack for the upcoming ride.

Horse people gravitate to tack rooms the same way that bees are drawn to apple trees in full blossom in Vermont in May.

It’s their natural habitat, the one refuge from the outside world and all its cares and pressures.

The barn draws the heart of the horseman, like bees are drawn to apple blossoms. The tack room is the heart of the barn.

From guest blogger Denny Emerson. Entry represents personal opinion of the blogger and is not formally edited.

DENNY EMERSON is “One of the 50 most influential horsemen of the Twentieth Century …”(The Chronicle of the Horse, 2000).He is the only rider to have ever won both a gold medal in eventing and a Tevis buckle in endurance. In 2006, Denny was inducted into the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Hall of Fame. Denny Emerson, eventer, trainer, coach, author, leader, activist, has been a significant, influential force in the equestrian community for a half-century.