Close-up of the carpet knife I chose to tape to my trailer door for emergencies.

The wonderful judges of Texas Trail Challenges and NATRC offered a Riders Clinic April 14th at C-Bar Ranch in Valley Mills, Texas. It was one of the most practical and informative clinics I have ever attended and I have been to some clinics presented by the most famous of the clinicians. The clinic was one day. We were divided into 5 small groups. During the first morning session we rotated through various stations demonstrating how to set up a safe equine camp, suggestions for what and how to carry gear on your horse for competitive trail rides, tips on what the judges are looking for, and how to present our horse to the judge and vet at CTRs. During the second part of the morning session, we worked in hand with our horses on sending, backing, turning on the fore and hind, side passing, and stopping. After a lunch break, we saddled up and rotated through sessions dedicated to teaching us how to improve our skills on gates, hills, cavaletti, side passing, turning, stopping, and dragging objects.

I would like to share with you one of the best tips I got from the clinic. As you know, it is always best to have a knife handy when around horses to cut whatever they manage to get themselves tangled in. Their tip was for everybody to have a sharp knife visibly taped to the inside of the trailer tack room door.  It should be a standard practice for everybody to do this. If you are walking by an unknown trailer and the horse got tangled up, just reach in and grab the knife. Or if it is in the middle of the night and you hear that awful commotion, instead of trying to find your old jeans with the knife deep in the pocket, just open your tack door and there is the knife. They suggested a carpet knife with the serrated edge towards the handle ending with a curved, smooth, sharp tip. The curved tip on my knife was very pointed and sharp so I just had my husband grind the very tip down a small amount so I would not stab my horse in an emergency.

The knife very visibly taped to the inside of the tack door. The red duct tape catches your eye. It would be a good idea to have another knife taped around a busy part of the barn, too.

The carpet knife taped to the door using only 2 pieces of red duct tape. Enough tape to hold the knife in place, but yet still easy enough to pull off. Notice the tabs at the top of the tape to allow you to quickly pull the tape off.

To make the tape easier to pull off, just fold the tape over on itself to create the tab.

I hope you enjoy and will utilize this tip as I have. I think it is a great idea. Maybe we can start spreading this idea around.

Submitted by Carol Warren, Team Easyboot 2012 Member