The Kick-Start-Summer Show will start with the Hunter classes at 9AM. Warm-up will start at 8:30. Hunt riders will help set up the courses.

Beginner and Prebeginner will warm up at 10AM and take their round as soon as they are ready. Ring 1 will have Walk-Trot Figure 8 at the same time.

Courses and speed event descriptions will be posted on the office window. Riders are encouraged to try something NEW!

Games and speed events will start at noon. Riders can check in anytime. Bring a chair and enjoy the events.


Riding Gear

Probably the most important items for a new rider to buy are riding boots and an approved helmet. In the beginning, the most common mistake a rider makes is getting stepped on by the horse. It takes a knack to avoid the hoofs while grooming and leading a horse. The animal doesn't know where you are putting your feet. He simply steps where he must. Pressure from a horse's hoof is often more than 800 pounds. Ouch! Wear those protective shoes and boots!

Riding helmets, like helmets for other sports, protect the head from impact. A horse can slip and fall on wet pavement. A person might lose their balance dismounting. You don't have to ride a bucking bronco to experience a fall. Emergency dismount training will help you avoid hitting your head in many situations, but the day will come when that helmet protects you best. It's always a good idea to wear your helmet.

Riding pants, breeches and jeans are for the comfort of the rider. Breeches offer stretch and light-weight fabrics. Jeans are sturdy and prevent chafing. At the same time, jeans tend to be warm in our summer climate. Tops for tops are plain cotton tee-shirts. Sweatshirts and short jackets can be added on cool days.

Avoid fabrics like knits that attract horse hair and shavings. Avoid slick materials like nylon pants. Nylon windbreakers are fine. Tuck in shirts and wear a belt to prevent clothing from snagging on the saddle horn. When your clothing is correct, you are ready to walk the walk and talk the talk.


Riding Isn't Just For Kids!

Adult riding lessons are a great way to reduce stress and get in a little exercise. Held in the evening when the barn quiet, adults learn how to brush, tack and handle the various personalities of horses. The bossy ones have to be disciplined in a calm but assertive manner. The timid ones have to be handled confidently.
Riding requires a bit of stretching, always a good thing for those of us over twenty nine. Riding can be either a work-out or a relaxing quiet time. You decide. To book a lesson for an adult, simply email and describe your goals. We'll set it up for you.


Cookies and Brownies

Girl Scout cookie money is wisely spent riding horses at Sam Houston Equestrian Center. Not only are the Troop Groups fun, but they are also informative. Nearly every weekend in the spring, Sam Houston Equestrian Center hosts Troop Groups. They follow the same format used for parties and are an economical way for the whole troop to ride. Girls can work on their "Love Hug and Groom" patch and ride too. "Horse Fan" is the most popular badge. "Horse Rider" is the most difficult requiring many hours in lessons.

To book a Troop Group, meet with your troop and choose a few dates. Have a leader send an email requesting a Troop Group. Your leader will need to send a deposit and everyone will need to find a good pair of riding shoes or boots. Wear long pants too. Put your hair in a braid if it's long. Don't use clips on the top of your head. Your helmet has to fit. Don't forget to bring the camera. You'll want pictures for your troop scrapbook.

On the day of the event, have your questions prepared for your instructors. If each girl in your troop is responsible for one or two items on your list, you can pool your answers in the party room after your time with the horses. Your group will learn more than riding. A trip to the tack room will give you a chance to see many different kinds of equipment used to train horses. Sam Houston Equestrian Center is home to many different breeds, from small Shetland ponies to huge Canadian Warmbloods. You'll tour the barn and see them too. You'll go home with new information and great memories.

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