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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Love Equicizer

For Valentines Day...

We are hosting a quick and fun contest to celebrate our (and your!) LOVE for the Equicizer! 



We are excited to announce the newest Equicizer/Wooden Horse Wednesday Contest - a photo contest! 

Here in the Wooden Horse Corp office, nothing brings a smile to our face quite like seeing  and hearing of your success stories and fun with Equicizer. Follow these steps and you could win!




1. Take the photo.

2. Write a sentence or two on why you LOVE the Equicizer.

3. Submit your photo and description to info@equicizer.com.

4. Share the contest information on some form of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). You can share the blog or share our social media posts.

5. Check back to the Equicizer Facebook page on Monday, February 13th and vote! Voting ends at noon EST on Tuesday. Encourage your friends to visit our page and show some LOVE.


The winner will receive recognition and an Equicizer t-shirt! We can't wait to see what you will come up with!                                                                                   
Keep in mind these photos will be published on the public Equicizer page and the winner will be posted across our social media platforms.                                                                                                                                  
Questions can be commented below or sent to info@equicizer.com!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Year, New You


2017 has arrived!

 

2017 legal tech technology
2017 is bringing a lot of new and exciting things to the world around us. For example, on August 21st, the moon's shadow will fall across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina during the first total solar eclipse in the continental United States in 38 years! It is the year of the fire rooster, meaning that lucky numbers are 5, 7, and 8 while lucky colors are gold, brown, and yellow. In December, NASA plans to launch an exoplanet seeking TESS mission. The 2017 World Expo will be held in Kazakhstan and will feature  "Future Energy" ideas.

 

Equicizer 2017

That all sounds grand, but let's make it a little more personal. For us, 2017 will bring the 35th birthday of the Equicizer. In 1982, the same year the Toyota Camry was born and Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" was the computer, an idea was born that would grow and develop into what we know today as Wooden Horse Corporation.
Frankie in his jockey days.

Jockey Frankie Lovato Jr, creator of the Equicizer and founder of Wooden Horse Corporation, designed the original Equicizer when he found himself between a rock and hard place. After a devastating and life changing injury at the racetrack, Frankie faced a long, arduous recovery. He found there was basically no rehab options that simulated the function of a real horse in a way that could allow his flexibility, strength, and balance to regenerate enough for him to feel safe "back in the saddle". That was the spark that lit the Equicizer fire and we are happy to be celebrating 35 years! (Read more about the development of the Equicizer here)



2017 and YOU

Now that we've talked about us... we want to know what 2017 means to you? Have you made some resolutions? Are you hoping to see some changes come about? Do your goals perhaps look similar to one or more of the below?

-Learn to ride a horse
-Become a stronger, more effective rider
-Get more time in the saddle
-Level up in competition (English, Western, Other)
-Become a stronger, fitter jockey or become an exercise rider (Read more)
-Rehabilitate from an injury or illness (Read more)
-Develop a more balanced seat
-Get into or back into shape (Read more)
-Lose weight

You might think it's a little bit cliche to make New Year's resolutions in the month of January, but what better time than today? A new year is a fresh start and a new opportunity to succeed. New year, new goals, new you! 

The Equicizer can help with a range of different resolutions and goals. It was invented as a means of rehabilitation and therapy and thus has many applications toward fitness. The Equicizer can also help you rise to new levels as an Equestrian by extending your access to "ride time" almost infinitely. 

For Owners

If you haven't yet, Equicizer owners or those who have regular access to an Equicizer should check out the fitness training offered by long time Equicizer owner and friend, Heather Sansom. Heather's primary area of expertise is dressage, but she has also trained and competed in hunting, Prince Philip Games, polo, competitive trail, liberty training, and natural horsemanship. She offers coaching and training for helping fix rider movement pattern and posture issues, injury post-rehabilitation for riding and other sports, programs for people with health conditions or generally older bodies, and well-being/general fitness/weight loss coaching. Let Heather help you "Equicize" your way to a healthier lifestyle!

#FitnessFriday
Another way to start achieving new goals is to look at your Equicizer in a new way! Try "mixing it up" by trying out new exercises outside the box of traditional riding. Depending on your fitness and experience level, you could try new things on the Equicizer like riding side saddle, backwards or doing "around the world" exercises. You may even incorporate free weights for building more upper body strength and cardio exercise as you ride. Follow us on social media for #FitnessFriday, where we are constantly showing new and fun ways to stretch and workout on your Equicizer!

Potential Equicizer Owners 

You might be wondering to yourself whether or not the Equicizer is a smart investment toward helping you achieve your 2017 goals. If those goals have anything to do with fitness, riding horses, or a combination of the two.... the answer is a resounding YES! We have many options for payment, including financing options.

Chester says "Brrr it's cold in Ohio!"
One of the best benefits of an Equicizer workout this time of year is that it can be done inside. Many people in fluctuating climates find themselves limited during winter months by the environment. (Temperatures around the Wooden Horse Corporation office dipped below 10 degrees this past week - brrr!) Daylight hours become shorter, temperatures are much lower, and cool down times for your horse are longer. It's hard to stay in tip top shape when all these things are considerations for an equestrian athlete. While we hope you still give your equine teammate(s) all the love and affection they need, we also hope you could imagine swapping some of the frigid winter workouts for warm and cozy ones!

Not only can you ride anywhere on the Equicizer, but you can ride anytime. Squeeze an early morning ride in between your coffee and the office without ever walking outside! You can ride on your lunch break or before you go to bed. If you are like us, you could even keep the Equicizer in your office so it's ready and waiting for a quick ride to shake you out of a funk during the workday! Having the Equicizer in your home lends itself to many conveniences that the barn may not. You don't have to worry about childcare, you don't get dirty nor is there cleanup, and your house is never closed like some barns may be during certain hours or days of the week.

For those just starting out or for those who teach newbies, consider that on the Equicizer, you never have to "share the arena". This can be really helpful for riders learning new skills or feeling the motion of a canter or gallop for the first time. There is no steering which helps make these new ventures less intimidating.

Are you and your equine partner competitors? Ever feel like you yourself are playing catch up in the spring as you bring your horse back into competition condition? The best way to go about that is for only one of you to be conditioning! You can stay in shape all year round so you are never playing catch up. This allows for continuous improvement of both your fitness and your skill set! We can always become a better version of who we were yesterday. This same idea applies if your equine teammate is laid off with an injury or resting in late pregnancy.

Looking Ahead


All things considered, we here at Wooden Horse Corporation want what's best for you. We hope that means bringing the Equicizer into your home, barn, lesson/therapy facility, or office to spice up your 2017 goals and your riding ambitions. The Equicizer is a great investment into your future as both a healthy individual and successful equestrian. It's a fun way to get you (and your kids/friends/family members/students) up off the couch and active.

Shoot us an email if you are interested in learning more about the Equicizer. Feel free to explore our shop online, as well.

Image result for cheers to 2017For owners, please always keep in mind that we are interested in your feedback and follow up. We just love hearing from you and seeing how the Equicizer has impacted your life and/or the life of your students. We welcome pictures, videos, stories, and even guest bloggers! Connect with us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest)

We wish you the best of happiness, health, and prosperity in this new year. Stay tuned to our blog and newsletter for all kinds of fun updates, contests, and exciting new Equicizer products!

by Amanda Chicotel

www.equicizer.com


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"Tonka" - The Special Horse

As we break for the holiday season, we want to thank you all - our readers and supporters - for your feedback and encouragement with our Wooden Horse Wednesday venture. We hope you'll continue to follow and read our blog, and we look forward to bringing you more awesome content and inspirational journeys in the new year!  

We'd like to close out 2016 by sharing with you the story of not only a dear friend, but also an Equicizer owner, who believes strongly in the Equicizer's power to change lives, as she has seen its effects in the life of her own beautiful daughter.

By Paula Lyles
 
As a mother, it is only natural to want to give your children everything they need to be the best they can be in life.  As a mother of children with special needs, you know the needs of these children mean so much more than succeeding in life.  Meeting these needs can be the difference between not walking and walking, or not speaking and speaking, and the list goes on and on.  It can be overwhelming, but a mother’s heart will never give up on making life better for her children.

Such is the case with my second sweet daughter, Jordan Grace, born with Dravet Syndrome, the most catastrophic form of pediatric epilepsy.  Children with Dravet Syndrome tend to develop a weak core over the years, and in an attempt to prevent this happening to Jordan, I began searching for something that we could use at home to help strengthen Jordan’s core.

In December of 2007 while searching, God lead me to The Wooden Horse Corporation in Norwalk, Ohio, and the owners, Frankie and Sandy Lovato.  In January of the next year, my sister, Anne, her children, Jordan, and I drove to Norwalk to see the wooden horses called Equicizers that Frankie lovingly crafts and specially designs for each individual rider.  It was an instant meeting of the hearts and minds, and we gave Frankie the “go ahead” to make a horse for Jordan.

Later that day at home, Jordan’s cousins, Emily, Josh, and Luke searched the internet for pictures of horses to show Jordan.  Jordan chose a Palomino horse that was tan with a blonde mane and tail and promptly named her “Tonka!”  We immediately started seeking donors to help sponsor Tonka and within weeks had donations totaling $1600—enough to pay for half of Tonka.

Tonka officially became part of our family in early February when Frankie and Sandy hand delivered her from Norwalk!  I will never forget that day; it was magical.  Jordan stood in our huge front window, dressed in her favorite red ice skating dress, eagerly awaiting the arrival of her horse.  When the trailer pulled into the driveway, and Tonka made her way into her new home, Jordan could hardly contain herself!  Scooping up her best friend, our cockapoo, Tulip, Jordan got up on her horse and rode with the biggest smile on her face.  I had tears, and I’m quite sure Frankie and Sandy did too.  Being able to have this horse for Jordan opened up a whole new world for her.

We had scheduled a fundraiser in April of that year for Dravet Syndrome, and it was there we planned to raise the remainder of the money for Tonka.  In mid  March, Sandy called me to let me know that an anonymous donor had contacted her and paid Tonka off in FULL.  Paid in full-a debt forgiven!  Amazing!  After I stopped sobbing, I hugged Tonka around the neck and whispered, “You really are a special horse!”

Over the years, Tonka has given many rides to family, neighbors, and friends in Ohio.  Brushing her mane and tail has always a favorite pastime of her riders.  Jordan loved her horse so much, and when Sandy began her therapeutic riding program, Stampede of Dreams, Jordan was one of her first riders.  We loved the nights we spent out on the farm riding.  We became good friends, more like family, with the Lovato's.  The time we were able to spend with Frankie and Sandy, I will always hold as some of the best ever!

Fast forward eight years, Tonka now lives with us in Colorado!  Tonka continues to give rides to children and adults of all ages.  People are amazed when they see this wonderful creation, the Equicizer.  I truly believe that every riding program, every physical therapy program, and home of a child with special needs would be blessed to have one.  Machines are nice, but impersonal; Equicizers  are wonderful and each has a personality of their own.  I will be forever grateful to Frankie, Sandy, and the Stampede of Dreams for all the love and support they have given us.
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We'll see you in 2017!
 
If you or someone you work with has a personal story or testament with the Equicizer and would like to share it, please send us a message at info@equicizer.com or give us a call,
 419-663-1472.
 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

We Have a Winner!!

We are so pleased and excited to announce the winner of our first ever Wooden Horse Wednesday Blog Contest! Thank you to all who participated and offered their opinions on the poll we posted. 

 

Congratulations goes to......

 

Victoria M. of Wisconsin!

 

All of the responses we received were appreciated and heard loud and clear. We hope to implement some of your suggestions from the comments in future posts. The most popular responses were "In English Disciplines" and "As a Form of Therapy". 

 


We look forward to bringing you more fun Equicizer content in blog posts to come. Please stay tuned in the coming months for our next contest! 

 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Equicizer Poll Contest Announcement

This week on Wooden Horse Wednesday, we are excited to announce a Poll Contest we are hosting on social media. We are interested in your feedback because we want this blog and all our social media to reflect your interests related to the Equicizer. The contest part of this is simple: in exchange for your feedback and sharing our poll, you are given one entry to win a prize!

Please accept our apologies for the technical difficulties last week. We now have all the wrinkles ironed out!

The Prize

What is the prize? A mug featuring art (Spring Creek Run) by internationally-renowned artist, Chris Cummings. Can you picture yourself enjoying a cup of hot cocoa while reading up on Wooden Horse Wednesday's latest blog? We can!

The Poll

The question is very simple: what do you want to read more about when it comes to the Equicizer? Do you want to know more about how it can be beneficial to English discipline riders? Western? Maybe you want to know more about how the Equicizer is used for therapy or in horse racing. We included the "other" option as well for the wide range of other topics you might be interested in reading more about.

Tell us more!

Once you answer the poll, feel free to expound on your answers in the comments here or on our Facebook. Please share the poll with your friends and family. The winner will be announced in seven days and is randomly chosen. You must provide a valid contact email or phone number to be entered in the drawing.

Coming Soon

Stay tuned for our next blog post in two weeks! Also, we look forward to having more contests in the future. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to make sure you don't miss out!

Create your own user feedback survey

www.equicizer.com




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Why We Do, What We Do


We are back in the office again and trying to get organized after our trip to the 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium which took place in Lexington, Kentucky at the immense Kentucky Horse Park this past weekend. The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) does a fantastic job of putting on the entire event and we were thrilled to be a part of it.


We had a prime position near one of the entrance ramps to the main, TCA Covered Arena and – as usual – we received a slew of looks as onlookers and participants went about their business. (We’re a bit of a head turner – imagine that!) The more places we go and events we do, the more people come up to us that have heard of us or have an Equicizer of their own. However, no matter where we go, we always receive the entire range of human reactions - from skeptical to admiring to confused to sarcasm. Many people stop and listen, fascinated, and their criticism turns to understanding as they open their mind to the possibilities the Equicizer presents to both the avid rider and non-rider alike.


This event was especially fun for us as we were able to "revisit our roots" so to speak (see our previous blog!) and there were many requests for jockey lessons by Frankie on the Equicizer! It’s always riveting for people to learn more about horse racing and the various aspects, specifically riding, as that is where our expertise lies and there is nothing cooler than getting to speak to a professional jockey in person. The questions are endless!


Saturday morning four former jockeys including Frankie, Remi Bellocq (Executive Director of the North American Racing Academy), Chris McCarron (former head of NARA) and Rose Napravnik took part in a “How To Ride A Racehorse” demo which drew quite a crowd. They took a couple of riders from other disciplines and put them in a galloping position on their Off Track Thoroughbreds, offering direction and pointers on how to rider their OTTB’s as racehorses. Let me tell you – they did great but the struggle was real!


We had a wonderful weekend and met some awesome people. It’s always a thrill when social media friends and supporters come up to us, excited and looking forward to getting an Equicizer of their own (or telling us stories of the Equicizer they already own) but it’s just as satisfying teaching someone about the Equicizer who has never heard of us and encouraging them to get on, ride and feel the results for themselves. Those are the people that make these events so worth it! The chance to bring a little more joy and positivity to people’s lives emotionally, physically, and mentally is what makes our “job” so rewarding. We believe in our product and stand behind it whole-heartedly.


This will most likely be our last event for the year as we focus on holiday orders and the standard rush, but we’re still here, where we always have been, and we hope you’ll send us a message, say hello, and allow us the opportunity to explain to you why we do, what we do!


 
By Kayla Jarvinen
 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Going Back to our Roots

 

Equicizer inventor and creator, Frank Lovato, Jr.
This year we will be attending the Retired Racehorse Project’s “Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium” at the Kentucky Horse Park with the Equicizer. The event begins on Thursday and runs through Sunday, October 27th-30th.
 
Here at Wooden Horse Corporation, the history of the Equicizer has deep roots in horse racing beginning with founder and creator, Frankie Lovato, a retired professional award-winning jockey of 25 years. As many of you may already know, the Equicizer was originally developed by Frankie to assist in his recovery from a badly fractured leg, resulting from a racing accident. The Equicizer can be seen at racetracks and in the homes of jockeys and exercise riders around the country and all over the world.

Aside from the Equicizer’s origins in horse racing, the Off Track Thoroughbred itself makes its presence felt very strongly here within our team at Wooden Horse Corporation. Both myself and our Director of Social Media, Amanda Chicotel, have our own Off Track Thoroughbreds and they are, without a doubt, the love of our lives!

Amanda Chicotel with her OTTB Techno Centre
aka "Chester" after a successful afternoon of showing

The goal of the Thoroughbred Makeover, in their own words, is “…to showcase the trainability and talent of off- track Thoroughbreds, to inspire good trainers to engage in the process of transitioning these horses to second careers, and to educate the people involved in the care, training, and sale of these horses to responsible owners.” This is something we wholeheartedly support here at Wooden Horse Corporation and we are very proud to be attending this event.

In a cool twist, Frankie Lovato actually won
on Kayla's OTTB at Arlington Park in 2003 before
they parted ways, only to be reunited years later
 
The Makeover itself will be featuring Thoroughbreds competing in ten different disciplines: barrel racing, competitive trails, dressage, eventing, field hunters, freestyle, polo, show hunters, show jumpers, and working ranch.
 
It doesn’t matter if you’re a racing fan or not, the TB Makeover has something to offer everyone. If you are in the Lexington area, we strongly encourage you to come on out! This is a fantastic opportunity to try the Equicizer (we will have multiple Equicizers in our booth, saddled to accommodate all disciplines) and speak to the man himself – Frankie Lovato! We are only able to do a limited amount of events per year and would love to see you!

Kayla Jarvinen and her OTTB
Intrinsic Worth aka "Shorty" sharing
a moment after being apart for 6 months last fall
If this is your first introduction to the Equicizer, I encourage you to check out our previous blogs which feature a few of the basic ways the Equicizer is used by riders and NON-riders alike, around the world:
 
Equicizer for English Disciplines


Equicizer for Western Disciplines


Equicizer in Horse Racing


Equicizer for Therapy



We will be in booth 38B in the TCA Covered Arena. For a complete schedule of events, click here. We hope to see you there! (And if you're around, don't miss Saturday night's party at the KHP in the "Big Barn" - rumor has it, there may be some celebrity Equicizer racing taking place!)

By Kayla Jarvinen