By Brec Baitling

The warmer months are upon us, so early morning rides, if possible, are most ideal for both horse and rider. Most days I have between 10 or 11 horses to work so avoiding the heat can be tough. I’m eternally grateful for covered arenas this time of year. Trips to the beach or coastal trails are the best at this time of year and it’s great to give your horse a break from the heat, especially for those of us in North County! July has been a busy month of clinics, horse shows, Mid-State Fair fun and 4th of July celebrations and I’m looking forward to some quiet, down time at the beach in August.

Hot Summer Days

Another warm summer is greeting us here on the Central Coast; the threat of fires is always imminent. I am thinking of our friends north and south of us battling blazes already this year. I’ve had to evacuate a few times in the past, and one thing I’ve learned with horses is to be on standby at all times during the danger months. It is important to have halters and leads (avoid nylon) ready for each horse on the property, with names and contact numbers already on them. If you have a truck and trailer that resides permanently at your place, keep it hooked up (especially if you’re headed out of town) so others can step in and move horses efficiently and safely. Consider microchipping your horses, take photos of brands or identifying markings and keep ownership records in an easy to get to place for quick access or removal if needed. For more info on wildfire preparedness for horses, visit nfpa.org.

Cal Poly Eventing Team

A small but motivated group of Cal Poly students, led by president and founder Lexie Thacker, have embarked on their dream of adding an Eventing Team to Cal Poly’s existing team of equestrian athletes. Inspired by the United States Eventing Association, implementation of a nationwide Intercollegiate Eventing Program, Thacker hopes to put the college on the map at a national level within the sport of eventing. Cal Poly already hosts an English and Western show team, dressage team, rodeo team and polo team. Contact calpolyeventing@gmail.com for more info on joining and upcoming intercollegiate events.

Injuries in Equestrian Sports

We’ve all had one of those falls; it happens so quickly and is seemingly harmless that you think you’re fine. The next thing you know, you’re suffering from headaches, memory loss, physical complications and even
epilepsy. So many equestrians pride themselves on mental and physical toughness, yet we can be a
stubborn bunch. Brain health awareness within our industry, amongst amateurs and professionals alike, should be taken very seriously. Check out Michelle Nicole’s blog about her experience with a TBI and subsequent complications from her fall on misfitsinwellington.com/the-blog. Take care of yourselves riders, even if it’s a minor fall, don’t go unchecked!

August Calendar

Aug. 1-5: La Fiesta, Santa Barbara, Old Spanish Days, shows at Earl Warren Showgrounds, parades downtown. oldspanishdays-fiesta.org

August 8: Haul-In Schooling Day at Golden Hills Farm, 8455 Creston Rd, Paso Robles. 8am-1pm, $15 per horse. Also happening the same day is a Cavaletti Workshop with Mary Anguiano 760-250-5707

August 10-11: Back to School Bash at the Paso Robles Horse Park – This weekend is filled with equine education, access to horses for the entire community and fun in the sun! This is a fantastic opportunity to bring young horses and/or new riders to experience an event “off property” while supporting the Paso Robles Horse Park Foundation. For more info call 805-369-1338 or email info@pasorobleshorsepark.com or visit pasorobleshorsepark.com for info on upcoming events.

August 10-12: SLO – CDS Fall Fling and CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition at Twin Rivers Ranch, 8715 N River Rd, Paso Robles (USEF, USDF, CDS, AQHA, US PRE High Point Program). Come and enjoy dressage in Wine Country, spectators welcome and food available on grounds. Contact show manager and secretary Ellen Corob 805-440-2947 or emcorob@charter.net

August 16-17: Melissa Creswick, ‘S’ level judge, will be teaching a clinic at both Moon Valley Farm, 5625 Linne Rd, Paso Robles, and Four Corners Dressage, 5720 El Pharo Dr, Paso Robles. Contact Katey Augsberger Katz kateyaugsburger@gmail.com for more info, auditors welcome.

August 18-19: Cal Poly Alumni Tournament, Central Coast Polo Club, 2320 Clark Valley Rd, Los Osos. Contact Megan at 805-801-9410 or email megan@centralcoastpolo.com for more info.

August 19: Barrel Racing Clinic with Katelyn and Lindsey McLeod at the Jones Ranch Arena, 2095 Adobe Rd, Morro Bay. Auditor fee is $75. Contact jmacandcompany@gmail.com for more info.