December 4, 2020

3 Common Classes You Might See at an Equestrian Competition

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Horse shows are a kind of exhibition that often contains contests and has origins in agricultural fairs. Over time they have evolved from informal displays to highly regulated, often prestigious events that many individuals spend months preparing for. Horses are bred and specially trained with tools like Cavaletti horse jumps to help them reach peak condition to perform at these shows. There are many classes you may see at one of these showcases.

Equitation class activities focus more on the rider's form (position, posture and seat) than on the horse's abilities. How the rider handles and interacts with the horse and how the horse responds to commands are important aspects. Dressage, where the horse and rider team execute a number of movements, is a common event in the equitation class.

This class is the opposite of equitation, with more emphasis placed on the horse's personality. Disposition, manners and gaits at different speeds are examples of factors evaluated in pleasure class events. Horses are judged on the basis that they should "be a pleasure" to ride, so what is essentially looked for is their suitability to be ridden on. Quietness, calmness and smoothness are considered pluses. Generally all riders enter the field and participate at the same time. They are instructed to have their horses do things like walk and jog in different directions and at varying speeds.

There are also often timed events. Jumping, barrel racing, cross-country and pole bending are timed class activities.

These are not the only classes of events that may be at a horse show. There are others like stock horse class and showmanship class. These spectacles may include several of these classes or feature only one, depending on scope and size. For example, show jumping, or stadium jumping, exhibitions may include both equitation events and jumping events, as well as hunter class events.
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4 Hallmarks of a High-Quality After School Program

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If you're a working parent, chances are your day doesn't end at three or four o'clock like your child's day does. Like many parents, you might be considering one of the many after school programs Tampa has to offer. While you might think that any program will do the trick, consider evaluating potential programs by looking for four different characteristics.

Academic Support
An ideal after school program will have structured homework support for students. Look for a program that includes daily supervised time for students to complete assignments or study — even better if the program provides teens, adults or even trained tutors to help students complete their best work.

Enrichment Activities
A good after school program should also include plenty of options for students to have a little fun after their homework is complete. Depending on your child's interests, ask if programs offer sports, art or extracurricular classes (like dance or cooking) to fill students' time after schoolwork is done.

Social Support
Budding friendships can be challenging in the elementary and middle school years, so look for programs that have a plan in place to support students' relational and emotional growth. This might be informal, such as peer-to-peer social support, or might take the form of formal instruction on emotional intelligence and social strategies. Either way, a good program should make considerations for how it will meet students' emotional and relational needs.

Logistical Support
Finally, a good after school program should provide the necessary logistics to support parental needs. Be sure to ask about bus schedules and available hours to ensure a program is the right fit for your family.

Whatever program you consider, be sure to ask lots of questions up front. Your child deserves the best, and the peace of mind you'll have knowing you've made an informed choice for him or her is totally priceless.
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December 3, 2020

3 Tips to Be Happy

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Happiness is something many people have a hard time with. Especially as days become shorter and the weather becomes increasingly dreary, seasonal depression can become a real problem. However, there are three simple things you can do to become and stay happy, even on the darkest of days.

Be Kind
It may seem obvious, but being kind to others is a simple way to increase your own happiness. By doing something for someone else you are putting them first which, in turn, makes you feel better. Being kind can even have a ripple effect and, if others see you do something kind, they may feel empowered to follow suit.

Be Open
Be open to change and trying new things. A simple tip is to go for a walk and try a new restaurant or ice cream shop. If that thought makes you nervous, start smaller. Maybe begin by walking down the block and just breathing fresh air, or instead of sitting inside at your favorite restaurant, ask to be seated outside. When people are stuck in the same routine day after day, small changes can help them see the world in a different way. If you can open your eyes and do something enjoyable, but slightly different than your normal, it might be surprisingly fun.

Be Grateful
Sometimes, it can be hard to see the good things in your life. However, there are always things to be grateful for. Whether that is something as small as being able to read or as big as owning your own house, carve out some time to acknowledge the good in your life. By focusing on the positive things, you will eventually train your brain to see the world in a happier light.

Although this year has been difficult, there are still ways to be happy. If you can focus on increasing your awareness of yourself, others, and the world around you, you are well on your way to living a happier life.
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December 1, 2020

Puppy Training Tips

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Puppies are the cutest things until they pee on your carpet. Although you shouldn’t expect to house train a dog in one day, there are ways to make the process as speedy as possible. Consistency, praise, patience and the proper supplies are key.

In the beginning, keep your dog confined to a particular area. It doesn’t have to be crate, but make sure there are limits to where he can roam. Place an old shower curtain or other plastic tarp on the floor and cover this with newspaper. This will help you avoid having to deal with urine removal Turnersville NJ on your carpet. Make sure the area is fairly large so it will be hard for your puppy to miss the paper.

When your pup does his business on paper, shower him with praise. Promptly clean it up and replace the area with fresh paper. Don’t forget to take your doggie on walks too. Praise him extra hard if he goes on the grass but don’t expect this every time.

After the first couple days of paper training, begin to shrink your puppy’s available potty space. If he seems to like a particular corner of the room, make sure you keep that area well covered. Every few days, decrease the space until you have your puppy trained to go on a square. Slowly, slowly scootch this square of paper closer and closer to the door. Continue to heap praise on your puppy when he goes outside.

If you’re very consistent with meal and walk times, your dog should be reasonably trained in four to six months. If this seems like a long time, remember that we change human baby diapers for two to three years and many children continue to wet the bed until they’re nine or ten. Dogs generally want to please you, so stay steady and keep the praise coming.

Housebreaking a puppy is definitely a time commitment. If you stick with it in the beginning though, you’ll both be much happier in the long run.
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