Sally Spickard

Fleeceworks Morning Feed: Here’s a Fun Grid Idea

Here’s a fun idea to try — if your horse is game!
Screenshot via Tiara Equine on Facebook.

Screenshot via Tiara Equine on Facebook.

The riders at Tiara Equine in Canada sure do know how to spice up their gymnastic work. Who cares if it’s winter? Not these guys, they have plenty of ideas to keep their winter doldrums at bay.

As they go through this gymnastic exercise, riders have to take off and put back on their jackets or vests. It’s a true test of balance and concentration — not to mention the quietness of their horses!

Tiara Equine posted the following little disclaimer with the video:

“Hilarious times on Tuesday night with the vest challenge. Don’t try this at home without prep. We desensitized the horses to the vest first, and I picked the most suitable horses for the task.”

Lesson to be learned: Make sure your horse is up to the task — obviously everyone needs to put safety first when trying something new. However, this is a fun idea if you think your horse is up to the challenge!

Check it out (must be logged into Facebook to view):

Hilarious times on Tuesday night with the vest challenge. Don’t try this at home without prep. We desensitized the…

Posted by Tiara Equine on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Go Winter Riding, and Go Fleeceworks!

Fleeceworks Morning Feed: Can’t Afford a Horse?

There are always more cost effective options if you’re far too cautious to throw money into the horse pit!

Screenshot via Huisdierplein on Facebook.

We all know horses are expensive. More than just expensive, they’re gosh darn money black holes. My running joke is that I should just put my money straight into my horse’s hay feeder — he’d probably still eat it!

So with that in mind, we know that some people may want to find a suitable alternative to their chosen sport. The good news? We’ve found it for you. The bad news? There really isn’t any. We’d like to introduce you to … hamster agility!

While this course is set up similarly to a dog agility course, there are several modifications you could make to satisfy your equestrian needs. First off, the tiny show jumps are probably the cutest thing we’ve ever seen. Second, all you’d need to fashion some cross country obstacles would be some sticks from your yard. The possibilities are endless.

While we’re at it, this could go in many directions. Hamster dressage … hamster penning … hamster in hand … the possibilities go on and on.

Check it out: (must be logged in to Facebook to view).

Ook je hamster kan je veel leuke dingen leren!!

Posted by Huisdierplein on Monday, January 18, 2016

When you factor in your monthly expenses of a horse versus a hamster, the clear winner is the hamster. The tiny hiccup might be that there are probably all of five people in the world who know how to train hamsters. Perhaps there is some sort of Natural Hamster-ship DVD you could purchase for your new hobby.

What do you think, HN? Ready to give up horses for hamsters?

Nah, we didn’t think so. But it’s good to know there are options.

Is Sam Arlen the Horse Lover’s Powerball Good Luck?

Because no one has more need of a massive inflow of cash than equestrians, it’s got to be more than coincidence that the man who will draw what potentially will be record-breaking jackpot winning numbers tonight has links to the horse world.
Sam Arlen and Rick Wallace pal it up at Red Hills. Photo by Patricia Dileo.

Sam Arlen and Rick Wallace pal it up at Red Hills. Photo by Patricia Dileo.

This post originally appeared on our sister site, Eventing Nation.

If there is anyone feeling pressure today, it’s Sam Arlen. He’s the man you’ll be watching this evening as those little white balls are chosen one by one to determine the fate of the record-breaking $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot.

It’s a small world, though, as it turns out Sam and eventer Rick Wallace are close friends — Sam even ventures out to Red Hills each year to hang with his favorite equestrians. Perhaps this is the good luck charm we’ve all been looking for!

When it comes down to business, though, Sam takes his position very seriously. “I started working with the Florida Lottery and then did a law school gig after that. When I came back, I did more work with the Florida Lottery, and then PowerBall decided to move to Tallahassee,” he said.

“I remember vividly thinking, ‘One of these days, I’m going to be doing Powerball.’ I certainly didn’t know it would happen and, to my knowledge, I wasn’t even on the radar. But when Powerball decided to move to Tallahassee, they asked if I would be interested. It was kind of a full circle moment for me to be able to host the biggest lottery in the country.”

Tonight will be a history making moment for Sam, who will either draw a set of winning numbers or will draw a set that sends the jackpot skyrocketing even further into outer space.

“I will be really freaking nervous,” Sam laughed. “But I’m also excited. I feel like I’m sharing a collective excitement and energy about the game and the hope someone might win.”

“I don’t know if this comes across on TV, but it requires a lot of focus up there, to call the numbers right and without a teleprompter. I’ll be more focused than ever tonight — I’ll be in the zone, so to speak.”

“It’s one of the best things to ever happen to me, and I’m extremely grateful to be the host. Though I can’t play myself, I can channel this sort of international energy that surrounds Powerball and the hopes and dreams so many people share.”

I tried to give Sam a list of numbers that I wanted him to draw — unfortunately, he said that wasn’t exactly how the process worked. His advice to the eventual winner, however, is to “hire a lawyer and get a CPA! And maybe buy a horse.”

We’ll take that advice and run with it, Sam! Best of luck to all lottery players tonight — no pressure, Sam, but the entire horse community is now depending on your to pull our numbers.

You can follow Sam on Twitter and Facebook to get the latest from the Powerball stage. Many thanks to Sam for his time and to Rick Wallace for connecting him to Nation Media!

Fleeceworks Morning Feed: Christmas Puissance

“Go big or go home” is a holiday tradition at the Olympic Horse Show.


Olympia Horse Show in London hosted the Alltech Christmas Puissance last week. A part of the London International Horse Show, Olympia offers just about every class you can imagine, and the Christmas Puissance didn’t fail to contribute its fair share of excitement.

In the end, it was Belgium’s Jos Verlooy and German rider Hilmar Meyer who made it to the fifth and final round at 7’1″. Jos and Hilmar both made it through the final round and were declared dual winners of the contest.

Here’s the video from the Christmas Puissance:

While I highly doubt my family would take up the new tradition of a Christmas puissance, a girl can dream right? It sure would start my holiday off the right way — given, of course, I stayed on. Which is always questionable.

Merry Christmas Eve from Horse Nation and Fleeceworks!

Fleeceworks Thursday Morning Feed: WI Puissance

We double dare you to try this at home … ok, maybe not.


The Puissance Wall is always a formidable challenge, ever increasing in height and challenging even the most daring of horse and riders. The Washington International Horse Show recently featured a Puissance class, where riders attempted to clear a brick wall that increased in height with each round.

The eventual winners of this year’s competition were Jos Verlooy and Sunshine, who cleared an astonishing 2.13 meter wall. Pretty impressive. I’m lucky to clear the .13 meter portion of that equation.

If you’re wanting to see more action from Puissance night, you can catch the whole class on demand on the USEF Network here. Just don’t tell your boss we gave you that link!