Written by Nicole Lootsma.
Summer means horse shows, tan lines, bonfires, and road trips!
I am very lucky to live in a town right along Lake Huron’s beautiful shorelines where I can enjoy the beach all summer, but I still find myself spending a lot of time in my car whether it be travelling to work, the barn, the cottage, or horse shows. My car came with a free trial of SiriusXM radio when I bought it which I’ve ended up keeping due to all my travel time, but I quickly realized that they have a tendency to pick the top 10 hits of the week and play the same songs over, and over, and over…
As much as I love to roll down the windows and shamelessly sing along to the Backstreet Boys as I drive along, sometimes I find myself craving more of a “conversation,” especially when I’m driving long distances alone. That’s when I discovered talk radio and podcasts – most notably, podcasts by the Horse Radio Network. The Horse Radio Network is “home to the most entertaining equine radio shows (podcasts) on the Internet. If it is horse news, interviews, and a whole lot of fun you are after, you’re in the right place.” Best of all – these podcats are free!
HRN caters to all equestrians and has a show for nearly every discipline; Horses in the Morning, The Eventing Radio Show, Stable Scoop, The Dressage Radio Show, Horse Tip Daily, Jumping Radio Show, Western Radio Show, and even the Driving Radio Show!
My favourite show on the HRN is The Dressage Radio Show, hosted by top riders Reese Koffler Stanfield and Philip Parkes. Philip is an accomplished dressage trainer in nearby Fergus, Ontario, and I have had the privilege of training with him on several occasions over the past years which makes listening to the show even more relatable and enjoyable.
Each week, the hosts chat about the latest in dressage news and share training tips, have guest interviews, and even give advice to listeners. Each podcast is about an hour long and can be easily streamed or downloaded to your phone or mobile device using their handy App (this link is for iOS compatible devices; see below for other ways to listen) which makes it perfect for listening on the go.
My favourite segment of the show is when Reese and Phil are joined by Hilary Moore Hebert who is the Senior Editor of Dressage Today Magazine. Thanks to this wonderful world of technology – I’m able to subscribe to Dressage Today Magazine on my iPad and listening to Hilary’s segment each month truly helps to bring the articles to life and gives some really great and practical context to practicing some of these great exercises in the saddle. I have learned a lot of really helpful exercises from listening to the show which I’ve been able to add to my regular schooling sessions. The Dressage Radio Show has been an invaluable resource, and I love that I am able to spend what would normally be idle time in the car learning more about my favourite sport.
Whether you’re looking to learn some new training tips, hear about the latest in tack trends or equestrian gadgets, or just to enjoy a laugh or two, I would highly encourage you visit the HRN website or download the free iOS or Android App, and check out the variety of entertaining podcasts offered by this wonderful network – you won’t be disappointed!