Lila Gendal: Where there are horses…

…there are dogs. Usually several of them. Lila gives a nod to our four-legged friends.

From Lila:

You love horses or you wouldn’t be reading this right now–am I right? It’s all about horses and tack and galloping and cleaning and mucking. But what about all those riders and their little, or not so little, sidekicks? What’s up with horse people and their dogs?

I am definitely NOT pointing fingers here. I am an event rider and my two little sidekicks come in the form of sausages–or mini dachshunds.

My Mini Dachshunds-Link and Wedge!

The brown on the left is named Link, and yes, you guessed correctly if you thought sausage link!  The poor little puppy sitting in the winter boot is named Wedge, a name she got because she literally wedges herself into the tiniest of places. So here we are, two mini dachshunds and two enormous warmbloods… I like all creatures immense and small!

sleepy corgi

Sleeping corgi

It’s truly amazing how many dogs are in the horse world. Farms just wouldn’t be the same without all the various canines running around. Here at Tamarack Hill Farm, there are always somewhere between two or three to six or seven dogs hanging around at a time. There are always dogs here and that’s just the way it is. All the horses and dogs must learn to coexist… or else….

I’m an event rider and have been to my share of competitions. I have yet to go to a show where I don’t see dogs everywhere. There are corgis, labs, Jack Russells, German shepherds and so much more. I don’t personally bring the minis to my competitions because little Wedge is a bit of a yapper and would drive everyone completely nuts all day. They have been to a couple events with their harnesses and leashes securely fastened and they seem to enjoy that.

a sleeping wedge...

A sleeping Wedge

I also find it amazing how elaborate these “show dog’s” headquarters are. I have seen riders get to an event extra early just to set up their dogs’ areas: beds, housing, food, water, fans, music… you name it and they bring it. I think it’s pretty cool. I mean, we spend all this time primping our own horses for these shows and competition, so what’s an extra half hour making sure your labradoodle is comfortable? It all makes sense to me; I just prefer to leave my little creatures at home for the day because they can be a bit of a handful and two 1,300-pound horses are plenty for me to deal with!

Do you bring your dogs to your competitions? If so, are they well-behaved or needy? What kind of dogs do you have and why did you choose that breed? Do your horse and dogs get along?

Until next time, Go Riding!

About the Author

My name is Lila Gendal and I am 27 years old. I am from Vermont and have been riding horses since I was 6 years old. I have been eventing since I was 10. I have been riding and training with Denny Emerson for the last 7 years. My goal is to compete at the upper levels someday. I currently have a 2005 Holsteiner mare, “Valonia” (Contester X Parlona), who is currently going training level, and I am riding one of Denny Emerson’s horses, a 2005 Selle Luxemburg gelding, “Beaulieu’s Cool Skybreaker” (Beaulieu’s Coolman X Une Beaute by Heartbreaker) who will be moving up to training soon! When I am not on a horse or in the barn I am likely working in my office on what I like to call Equine Media… or social media for equestrians and equestrian websites.

V aug jump school!


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