In the Saddle with Jessica Thoma: #TripleAmputeeEventer


Jessica Thoma’s journey as a rider amazed and inspired us all at Dover Saddlery, and we wanted to share her story with you.

Jessica lives in Tennessee and has been riding for more than 20 years. She first learned how to ride on school ponies, later moved up to a Mustang, and she now owns, with her family, a total of 10 horses. Five of them are a herd of miniature horses! Her introduction to the equestrian world began with learning how to ride Western, but her focus quickly changed to English after watching numerous videos of professional jumpers and eventers complete their courses. She started learning how to jump bareback because she could not afford to buy an English saddle at the time, and when Jessica’s parents gave her a three-day event video game, she was hooked. It soon became her dream to become an eventer and to show at recognized events.

Jessica’s story so far may sound familiar to your own; many could say they, too, began their riding career in a similar manner. But Jessica has started writing a story that’s


entirely her own as a #TripleAmputeeEventer. In 2017, she began to feel sick constantly, and eventually developed a severe rash that prompted multiple misdiagnoses. Her condition drastically deteriorated. Finally, through a biopsy of a lesion on her side, her doctors discovered she had Polyarteritis Nodosa (PAN), a rare type of vasculitis in which the blood vessels within the arteries become inflamed and cause organ damage. Jessica nearly died three times during months of hospitalization, and ultimately underwent surgery to amputate both of her legs and her left arm. After a long ordeal, Jessica is finally back home with her horses and family.

We recently interviewed Jessica Thoma to hear firsthand all about her inspiring journey as a #TripleAmputeeEventer, her plans to continue riding and to work in the equestrian field. She loves to draw and play video games, but at her heart, synonymous with her love of riding is her passion for teaching people, especially kids, how to ride. For those who want to learn more about Jessica, she also keeps her supporters updated on her progress through Facebook (Jessica Thoma) and Instagram (@TripleAmputeeEventer).


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Guest Blog: EquiOtic™ – The “Real” Approach to Equine Probiotics


Equiotic Logo


Curious about introducing probiotics into your horse’s nutrition plan? Hear from EquiOtic themselves to answer all of your questions about the difference between EquiOtic and other probiotics available— and how you can help support your horse’s gastrointestinal health to the fullest!


Equiotic Daily Packets

The Difference in Equiotic
EquiOtic is real equine gastrointestinal bacteria. This single fact sets it apart from every other equine probiotic on the market. But there’s more. The bacteria in EquiOtic are Equine Lactobacillus reuteri, DNA-typed for consistency. These bacteria work in ways other bacteria simply do not.

While most other probiotic bacteria start to die in the horse’s stomach, EquiOtic’s bacteria begin to grow. They multiply rapidly, preventing pathogens from adhering to theEquiotic Equine Bacteria intestinal mucosa. The Equine L. reuteri secrete a metabolite that stimulates immune response and modulates the remaining bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.


The GI Support Your Horse Needs
What does this mean to you as a horse owner? It means your horse receives better support for a healthy GI tract, which in turns helps create a healthier horse. This is the reason many team riders and international competitors rely on EquiOtic for their competitive horses. A healthier mucosal lining means less irritation all the way to the hindgut. For older horses, it helps digestion for better absorption of nutrients in feed.

At the end of the day, everybody uses the term, “natural.” What is more natural than actual equine bacteria? Horses have around 76 trillion CFU’s of gastrointestinal bacteria. When you give EquiOtic, you support those bacteria with the best source there is. Click here to shop EquiOtic for your horse and start seeing the difference today!

Equiotic Tube

For more information call 1-800-989-1500, or stop by any of our retail stores to speak with a Dover Saddlery product adviser. Visit for a complete store listing and the full product offering.

How to Dress the “Super-Sensitive” Horse for Fly Season

Most of us know a horse that absolutely hates bugs. Even the sight of a bug has him stomping, flinching, and swishing his tail all day long. Some horses, such as Thoroughbreds, have very sensitive skin and get easily irritated by flies and other insects in turnout. A susceptible horse like this may need the complete coverage of a fly sheet, fly mask, fly boots and fly spray, or any combination of these, to stay comfortable. Does this sound like your horse? Check out a few of our suggestions for products that go beyond your everyday fly spray and can help you and your horse beat the bugs this summer.


Full Coverage Fly Sheet

Horseware’s Amigo® Evolution Fly Sheet offers excellent protection from flies and the sun’s harmful rays. This fly sheet comes in a bright aqua and orange color combination, two colors that naturally deter flies. Most insects cannot perceive the colors orange or aqua because their vision centers on different sections of the electromagnetic spectrum. Use of this science-based color technology offers natural fly protection for your horse, and the lightweight polyester net material makes it perfect for those hot summer days outside.

Horseware Fly Sheet



Fly Wraps/Boots

Dover Saddlery Fly Wraps

Dover Saddlery® Fly Wraps are perfect for keeping your horse’s legs free from pests. They are made of a lightweight mesh to keep your horse cool, with soft shearling bindings to prevent rubs. They also have double binding at the bottom to keep dirt out. These wraps can stay on constantly for 24-hour fly protection, and they come in a set of four. It is always a good idea to remove these boots daily to check your horse’s legs and to readjust for an ideal fit.




Fly MasksRider's International Fly Mask

You can’t go wrong with a fly mask. Depending on how much coverage your horse needs, there are many different meshes that provide varied levels of UV protection and visibility for your horse. The Rider’s International® by Dover Saddlery® Soft Mesh Fly Mask has heavy, durable mesh to protect your horse’s face, and soft mesh lined with fleece to protect his ears. This fly mask also comes in cool colors to express your horse’s unique personality!



Visit for a complete product offering of fly protection and gear. Whether you need a long nose fly mask, a full coverage fly sheet, or fly traps for around the barn, you can find it all in our expansive Fly Control selection here.


The Inspiration Behind Kelly Herd Equestrian Jewelry: An Interview with Kelly Herd, Head Designer and Owner

Kelly Herd Stirrup Bracelet

With Mother’s Day fast approaching we sat down with Kelly Herd, Head Designer and Owner of Kelly Herd Jewelry to get some inside information on one of the leading brands of equestrian jewelry. A piece of Kelly Herd Jewelry perfectly captures the essence of the equestrian rider and the numerous designs that have been created easily translate from the barn and beyond making your next Kelly Herd purchase perfect for Mom.


Tell us about the inspiration behind a few of your most popular jewelry pieces. Why are they customer favorites?
Kelly Herd NecklaceHaving been in the equestrian jewelry business for over 30 years, developing a line of breed- and discipline-oriented designs was only natural. When you’re around equestrians, you get inspired to bring their love of horses into their lifestyle to complement how they dress and give them an opportunity to show off their hobby or lifestyle through their jewelry.



How did you get into the jewelry business, and what prompted you to specialize in equestrian jewelry?
I am from the traditional jewelry industry. Like most independent jewelry manufactures and designers, it was a family business. My mother started dabbling in the business in the 80’s after retiring as a Sears store manager. When I graduated college she asked if I would help her get her jewelry business off the ground. Being a native Texan, the equestrian part came natural.


Can you describe the process it takes for a new piece of jewelry to finally be sale-ready at Kelly Herd? What are the initial phases behind inspiration and creation and the following production steps that ultimately lead to the final product? How long is the entire process from start to finish? Kelly Herd Ring

When we started manufacturing back in ’92, we would actually hand-carve the wax into the type of design we wanted. Technology has caught up to the industry so now we either CAD/CAM or 3D print the desired design and create the wax. Once that is done, we cast the original in silver and produce molds from the original casting for production. We then repeat the casting process for the waxes derived from the mold and then hand-polish and hand-set the stones. Depending on the design, it can take as little a 2 – 3 days or up to 30 – 45 days. It is not unusual for a piece of jewelry to be made from 3 – 4 different design castings.


What are your recommendations for how to best clean and care for a piece of Kelly Herd Jewelry?
A simple cleaning cloth works for most jewelry. If your ring has a little soap or lotion build-up, then some warm water mixed with a little ammonia and Dawn® dish soap will break up the grime, and the cloth will put the shine back to your beloved piece.


With Mother’s Day fast approaching, what are your favorite picks for a perfect Kelly Herd Mother’s Day gift?Kelly Herd Mare and FoalKelly Herd Pendant Necklace

Jewelry is immensely personal. We offer the traditional mother’s rings or pendants, but most of our customers prefer a design that relates to their equestrian lifestyle. If they are breeders, we have several mare and foal designs. We have designed a new three-stone ring with a rose gold horseshoe that has been tremendously popular. With over 300 designs and the ability to create almost anything, it’s pretty easy to get mom exactly what she desires.


What is the best part of being a jewelry designer?
Being in the jewelry business is rewarding because everyone is always happy. If you are receiving a gift for Valentine’s Day or Christmas, both the receiver and giver are excited. When it comes time to pop the question, it is an honor that the young man comes to you to design and build him a ring that expresses his love. Jewelry has a long history of being a part of everyone’s life. It is extremely rewarding knowing you had a small portion in making someone feel happy and loved.


Visit to see a complete listing of Kelly Herd Jewelry we have
available and find the perfect gift for Mom this Mother’s Day!


In the Saddle with Holly Andrews: An Inside Look at the Ariat® Divino

holly andrews ariatHolly Andrews, Senior Director of Global English Footwear, has been a manager of English Footwear at Ariat for the last 25 years. She was one of the first employees at the company and built the English category to be what it is today. Holly started riding when she was seven, competing on the A-circuit at age 11 and rode in hunter, jumpers and medal classes throughout her early riding career. As an amateur rider, she has primarily shown in the Hunters and has had the opportunity to ride with many top trainers. For the last several years, she has ridden with John French and competed at top shows including Capitol Challenge, Del Mar National, and HITS Coachella. She now predominantly competes on the West Coast. Continue reading

In the Saddle With Chloe Reid – Dover Cover Model and Show Jumper

Chloe Reid DoverOur new catalog is coming out next week, so we sat down with our cover model, Show Jumper Chloe Reid. She was happy to tell us how she got started riding, what challenges shes had to face and a bit about some of her favorite horses.

How did you get involved with horses and what drew you to them?
In my family, the love of horses skipped a generation. While my brother, mother, and father are not equestrians, I have a very horsey family. My Uncle, Chester Weber, has been on the US Four-In-Hand Equestrian Team since he was a teenager and my grandmother, Charlotte Weber, runs a highly successful thoroughbred breeding and training farm called Live Oak Plantation.

I started riding when I was four years old in 2000. My family was all in Ocala for Thanksgiving and Lauren Hough, who was dating my Uncle Chester at the time, placed me on a pony. They asked if they could take me to Devon for the lead line. I won a purple ribbon! We joke that since that day, I never got off!

As you have developed your riding career, what do you believe was your most rewarding obstacle to overcome?Chloe Reid for Dover
Obstacles come along all the time in equestrian sports. Accepting that, which is far from easy, has helped me. Having my family involved in other equestrian disciplines over such a long period of time helps to remind me that I am not alone when things go badly or good luck seems to have left the building.

How do you balance your busy show and riding schedule with your college class schedule?
I have been juggling two lives my entire life. I attended high school in Washington DC and would travel to Florida on the weekends for competitions. I am fortunate now to attend collage at the University of Miami in Coral Gables Florida. The hour and a half drive now to school is a walk in the park compared to the high school commute.

This semester I am taking five classes. I organized my schedule to overload my classes earlier in the week so then I can head back to Wellington to show later in the week.

To be honest, the most successful times in my riding have been when I’ve been completely overwhelmed in school as well. When I have schoolwork and riding, I don’t have time to overanalyze or get nervous over one. I can’t procrastinate my schoolwork and I don’t have time to get nervous for a big class.

What are your current riding goals and how do they compare to your riding goals when you first began your career?
I remember when I was just starting riding and fell off for the first time, Lauren Hough told me that I had to fall off a thousand times before going to the Olympics. After she told me that, I would count and be excited I was one step closer to the Olympics every time I took a tumble. Today, while I no longer get excited to fall off, I still have dreams of competing on championship teams representing team USA.

I also have the goal to compete with my Uncle Chester in the jump and drive in Aachen! Sharing the passion of horses with my family makes us really close and to be able to combine our disciplines and compete with Chester (especially at Aachen!) would be incredible.

Tell us about a few of your horses’ personalities. What are they like while travelling when compared to living at home? What funny quirks do they have?
One horse that I have had for the past three years is TNT Explosive (aka Pumpkin). He is the sweetest animal I have ever been around. He is a professional selfie taker and his ideal day would be to have a bunch of children to love and play with him in his stall.

A young horse that I have been developing for the past year is named Santauer (aka Santa). We refer to him as the teenager in the stable because he has to sleep (fully sprawled out) every morning and if you try to do anything with him before his post breakfast nap then he moans.

My spicy hot chestnut mare is named Sally 643 (aka Sally). When turning the horses out in the paddock, if she doesn’t go first then she throws a fit! If she was to be described as an emoji she would be the lady salsa dancer.

What advice would you give to aspiring riders who would like to become such an accomplished rider as yourself?
If I have learned anything from riding horses it is that the highs and lows are not far apart. Even the best riders in the world are only winning 20% of the time, if they are lucky. It is really important not to let the set backs or downtimes hold you back, but instead to learn from these challenges so you can continue to improve.