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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Equicizer Q & A Part 1

Back in July we published a blog post on some of the similarities and differences between our two Equicizer Models - the Equicizer Classic and the Equicizer Elite. As promised, we also want to cover some of the other common questions that we get about the Equicizer in general including the building, shipping and purchasing processes. This will be fun!

Is the Equicizer used for exercise only?

While the Equicizer is commonly used as a tool to exercise on, that's only one of the many ways it's used. The Equicizer is often used as a training tool in both private homes and public facilities for riders to work on things such as correct posture, form, balance, alignment and more, which can then be carried over almost seamlessly to a real horse. The Equicizer is also used by many people for rehabilitation purposes. It's becoming very popular among therapeutic riding programs; the Equicizer is used by programs around the world.

What maintenance does the Equicizer require?​ 

Virtually none! While we always recommend using care with your Equicizer like you would any nice piece of equipment, the Equicizer is built to last. We use high quality materials including a marine grade carpet which can be sprayed and washed down to clean if needed (we don't recommend completely soaking the carpet to avoid saturating the padding underneath). 

The only parts that may ever need replacing on the Equicizer are the springs, neck bands and wheels. All of these parts are under warranty for a period of time with each new Equicizer purchase and we sell them in our online store. We offer a 3 year warranty on springs and resistant neck bands for the Classic for personal use or 18 months for schools, programs etc. where being used by multiple riders. We offer a 10 year warranty on springs and resistant neck bands for the Elite for personal use or 5 years for schools, programs etc where being used by multiple riders.

Can the Equicizer simulate the two beat trot and the canter?

The Equicizer offers the sensation of a horse in all gaits for the exception of the trot (a two beat gait). The Equicizer does not simulate the trot but you can do the posting exercise in rhythm on the Equicizer which strengthens your legs and core for the sitting trot on a real horse and is an excellent exercise in and of itself. This is a great example of a posting trot on the Equicizer, demonstrated by Dressage Instructor, Meg Hilly: 




How many labor hours go into making every amazing Equicizer?

Many!! We build Equicizers in sets of 4 at a time. Our goal is to build 8 Equicizers a month, which breaks down to a set of 4 every two weeks or so. This is barring any unforeseen delays with parts used in the manufacturing process. Depending on how busy we are, we're in the workshop anywhere from 5-7 days a week.

What is the most “interesting or high profile” sale that’s been made, either by a person or place? 


This is a great question. The first sale that comes to mind is the movie Seabiscuit. Equicizers were used in all of the close up scenes for the movie, which aired in 2003. The film purchased 2 Equicizers from us directly and borrowed 4 more locally in California for the production. One of the Equicizers was put in actor Toby Maguire's home so that he could train on it in preparation for the race riding scenes he would be acting out (also on Equicizers).

Here' s a cool "would have/could have been" on the most interesting sales list. Last year, the Equicizer appeared on a taping of the Ellen DeGeneres show, "Ellen". After the show aired we got a call from Ellen's assistant. She said that Ellen loved the Equicizer so much she went backstage and hopped on it during a break in the taping and said that she wanted to get one for her home. If you're reading this Ellen... we're still waiting on that phone call! 

For more fun question and answers, check back in two weeks for Part 2! 

by Kayla Jarvinen

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Wooden Milestone

Keeping with our recent throwback theme (have you seen these vintage videos we recently uncovered, featuring interviews with Equicizer creator Frankie Lovato during his racing career?), today we have another fun blast to the past: our 500th Equicizer! 

First, some backstory. Frankie built his 500th Equicizer in 2006. It was extra special for a couple of reasons. Frankie had just moved his Equicizer operation from his Long Island single car garage to a  rented workshop in an effort to increase his manufacturing capabilities to meet the rising demand for Equicizers. Over the span of 17 years he had built around 400 Equicizers in his tiny garage while maintaining a full time career as a professional jockey and this specific Equicizer was one of close to 100 that he built in that first year of moving into the bigger space. In many ways, it represented the growth that was taking place within the business. 
Triple Crown winning jockey, Mike Smith, visited Frankie's
NY workshop in 2006 for an Equicizer photo shoot.
Shown here aboard none other than #500.

That aside, it was also Frankie's 500th Equicizer ever built, which was, in and of itself, a monumental milestone. 

Due to the sentimental value, Frankie decided he would keep this Equicizer and use it as a demo model. Around this time Frankie moved his family and his business to his late wife, Sandy's, home town of Norwalk, Ohio. The 500th Equicizer came with them and shortly after accompanied them to PATH International's (the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) national conference. 

Equicizer #500 was used as a demo during
PATH International's national conference in 2006.

Around that time Frankie received a call from the Jockey's Guild, a major organization dedicated to the representation of professional jockeys in Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. They were planning to hold a fundraiser and wanted an Equicizer there. What would be the possibility of purchasing one immediately? Absolutely none. Zero. Zilch. It just wasn't possible. 

Frankie was back ordered as usual and even if he could have moved them up to the front of his building queue, he still wouldn't have been able to make a brand new Equicizer in time. Unless... he did have his 500th that was being used as a demo... after some internal conflict, Frankie made the decision to part ways with his 500th Equicizer. It was, after all, going to an undeniably good cause in the sport that had given him so much including the customer base that had launched his career as a business owner building Equicizers. 

Current and past top jockeys from around the country
gather around the Churchill Downs Equicizer (#500) for a photo.

The decision was made, the fundraiser was held and Churchill Downs Racetrack came out on top as the winning bidder. Frankie and Sandy personally delivered the Equicizer to the Churchill Downs Jockeys' Room, up the escalator and all (how we would have loved some footage of that!). 

"I remember building my 100th Equicizer in the early 90's, then my 200th in the mid 90's and finally approaching number 500," recalls Frankie. "These milestones meant a lot to me. Every horse I've ever made I've numbered so it was exciting for me knowing I would be getting close to the next milestone. My dream was to someday have a real workshop. To spread out, have all my work stations with other craftsmen working for me. I wanted to someday have an office and showroom where people could come see and try my horses. 

At the time, that dream was out of reach, so I made do with what I had which was my little garage, then the workshop I rented and now my very own space right in my backyard here in Ohio. Looking back, I am very proud to have made all of that happen."

We have some awesome photos of recent Triple Crown winning jockeys - Victor Espinoza and Mike Smith - warming up on the Churchill Downs Equicizer prior to their Derby wins. Churchill Downs also uses their Equicizer for various public events at the racetrack. 






















Triple Crown winning jockeys Mike Smith (left) and Victor Espinoza (right) warming up aboard the Churchill Downs Equicizer, #500. They both went on to win horse racing's Triple Crown in 2018 and 2015, respectively.

We recently received this video from Clerk of Scales Javier Torres, of jockey Jack Gilligan warming up on Equicizer #500 before a race at Churchill Downs... and it's still going strong.


by Kayla Jarvinen

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween Contest



It's Halloween 2018, and, if you are lucky, you might win yourself a treat! No tricks here!

We know you are busy putting the finishing touches on your Halloween costumes, so today's Wooden Horse Wednesday is a simple contest! Like this post and share our most recent newsletter edition on your Facebook with the text "Trick or Treat! #Equicizer". Feel free to say more about the newsletter but make sure to include the hashtag because that is how we will find your post!

Posts made through midnight tomorrow (EST) will be tallied up and two winners will receive $25 Amazon gift cards! One entry per person will be counted.

Wishing everyone a safe and fun Halloween! Feel free to share pictures of your Equicizer all decked out if you are so inclined!




www.equicizer.com

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Vintage Equicizer Video Series - Part 2

What did you all think of our last post showcasing some Vintage Equicizer Videos? If you didn't catch the first part of this series, click here to see what you missed! We shared two videos, the first featured an interview that aired on NBC in 1990 that gave viewers a look inside Frankie's New York City single car garage where he built over 400 Equicizers during the duration of his career. The second video included an interview with Frankie after his 1,000th career win and footage of the race itself.

This week we have two more videos to share!


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This video is a 1997 interview that aired in New Orleans and showcases how the Equicizer quickly evolved into a necessary tool for jockey's rehabbing and maintaining the fitness required to ride races, and includes demos aboard the Equicizer with Frankie himself.


The final and most recent video we want to share is from August, 2003 and was a feature segment that aired on Horsin' Around TV with Joe Kristufek and Katie Mikolay. Along with additional behind the scenes vintage Equicizer clips, it includes footage of Frankie's OTB (Off Track Band) during one of their weekly gigs.



This has been a fun trip down memory lane for us and, we hope, for you too!

by Kayla Jarvinen
www.equicizer.com

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Vintage Equicizer Video Series - Part 1

This week we're going to take a trip down memory lane! Many of our customers and even friends, are fascinated with the background of Equicizer creator Frankie Lovato... and for good reason! Frankie's status as a top notch professional jockey for over 25 years isn't one you come across often. We have recapped the highlights from Frankie's career in past blogs, from our "The Birth of the Equicizer" series to a Q&A "Meet the Equicizer Team" post with Frankie this past summer.

Recently, we came across some old videos from interviews taken during Frankie's career that we thought you might enjoy. Our production capabilities and market reach has expanded greatly from when Frankie was riding professionally but the Equicizer was still very well known with-in the racing industry at the time these interview were conducted. That's one of the reasons we're so excited to share these with you, there is a ton of never before seen footage and lots of vintage Equicizer history!

There are four videos in total, which we've decided to break up into two blogs as not to overwhelm the reader. We hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane as much as we did!


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The first of the videos we're sharing today was taken from a Breeders Cup segment that aired on NBC in 1990. You'll get a behind the scenes tour inside Frankie's garage in New York City, the original home of the Equicizer and the location he built them out of until his retirement and relocation to Ohio in 2006.




The second video we want to share features a 1992 interview with Frankie after his 1,000th winner... the segment also includes footage of the race itself!


Stay tuned in two weeks for additional vintage videos featuring one woman's return to race riding by way of the Equicizer, old clips of Frankie personally demonstrating aboard the Equicizer and some bonus footage of Frankie playing with the OTB (Off Track Band) he formed and maintained during the second half of his racing career.

Click here for Part 2 of our Vintage Equicizer Video Series!


by Kayla Jarvinen

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Winsong Farm Gets Creative with their Equicizer, Titus

We recently came across an online article that was published on Horse Canada Magazine's website, featuring Winsong Farm and their brand new Equicizer! Finding no record of Winsong Farm in our customer base, we were intrigued and sent them an email to learn more. After some initial correspondence, farm owner Winnie was kind enough to answer a few questions for our blog:

What does Winsong Farm offer in the form of lessons and services? 

We don't give lessons in the traditional sense, however we love showing people how intelligent, fun-loving and amazing horses are. We hold several fundraisers each year featuring the horses at Winsong Farm performing. The horses are clicker trained and very happy to dream up new games to play. Anyone interested in watching our sessions with the horses or interested in learning more about how we play with them is most welcome to come visit. We don't charge for learning! We love sharing the fun we have with our horses.

How did you first learn about the Equicizer? 

I was looking at a YouTube video and an Equicizer was in the sidebar. I was fascinated with it and researched the Equicizer on-line. The research made me even MORE interested and I contacted several dozen people by email and asked if anyone knew anything about the Equicizer. One friend had met a lady who had one. I contacted the lady and asked her many questions. Turned out she was selling hers. I committed to buying it sight un-seen.

I initially thought I'd send the Equicizer home with one of the beginners we have here. This person has quite a busy schedule and is only able to come and rider her horse a few times each week. I knew that having the Equicizer at home would give her many opportunities to ride. BUT we found so many uses for the Equicizer at the farm every day I ended up keeping it in the arena instead.


What went into the decision to purchase one?

Currently there are a few beginner riders here. I thought the Equicizer would be GREAT for helping the people learn balance and tons of things without wear and tear on a horse. For example: the beginners were having balance problems with the canter. We turned to the Equicizer and they practiced riding in a two-point. Now the riders LOVE cantering on a horse.

I read the Equicizer website and knew that the Equicizer would be of terrific benefit for anyone who was not able to ride (either due to a human injury or a horse injury). And, wouldn't you know, within weeks of placing our Equicizer in the arena a friend came off her horse and broke her leg AND injured her ankle and knee. As soon as the doctor gave her the go-ahead she came here and rode our Equicizer. She was amazed at the cardio workout she received. She loved the feeling of being on a horse again. I actually offered our Equicizer to her (allowing her to take it home during her rehab), but she graciously declined, knowing how much we enjoy using it every day. And, she has returned several times to ride the Equicizer.


Does your Equicizer have a name? 

Our Equicizer is pre-owned and came with a name engraved on the plate on his chest. It reads, "Titus".

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about Winsong Farm or your new Equicizer?

Here at Winsong Farm we hold fundraisers at least twice a year with the horses playing games. You'll see some of the activities on YouTube at "Bill Stott Channel" and "Winnie Stott Channel". Other videos are at our website www.winsongfarm.com .

We have a fundraiser for North York Cat Rescue October 21. One of the acts we're working on includes vaulting. We started on the Equicizer and moved to the horse. Then we decided to try some vaulting movements with two vaulters. We don't have a vaulting horse at the farm, just nice horses that are trying to help the vaulters. However, two people on one of these horses doing movements didn't sound all that safe to me. Vaulting schools have barrels for the students to practice on BUT the barrel can't move. I turned to the Equicizer and everyone had a great time! And, once again, when the vaulters were secure at the standstill we added some movement to the Equicizer. The Equicizer is a super transition from doing the movements while the Equicizer is still, then setting the Equicizer in motion. What a wonderful way to progress in vaulting, bit by bit. Talk about a safe way to learn something new!


We love the Equicizer. I ride it every morning while the horses are eating breakfast. I showed it to our vet this morning. I'm 72 and she was amazed when I dismounted by swinging my right leg over the "horse's" head and slid off the left side.

One of our boarders is learning the two-point and the Equicizer helped her tremendously.

We've printed the thirty exercises from your website and do some of them before riding. We have gotten through all thirty and find some of them really challenging!

I wondered if the Equicizer would be of any benefit at the canter. Our instructor, Alex Reinfels, instantly answered that question. He showed us how to work on our aids for the flying changes, canter depart, canter/trot transitions, etc.

I'm sure we'll find more and more ways to integrate the Equicizer into our fitness and riding programs.

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We'd like to wish everyone at Winsong Farm much success with their upcoming fundraiser and many more happy rides on their Equicizer - "Titus"!



by Kayla Jarvinen

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wayback Wooden Horse Wednesday


Today, for Wooden Horse Wednesday, we have created a virtual time capsule of content from previous blogs. It's amazing to see all the ground we have covered surrounding the unique and versatile Equicizer. We have something for everyone from history buffs to athletes, from pop culture vultures to physical therapists. Hop in our Wooden Horse DeLorean and we will take you backwards, forwards, and all around the world of THE Wooden Horse...


Creating the Equicizer

This three part series details (and shows) the process
behind the “wooden horse”.
If the three parts of the building process were not enough
for your curious mind, the above three blogs go into even
more detail about creating Equicizers.

What's In Store

A comparison blog detailing all the fine features of the Equicizer Classic and Elite models.
Learn all about this custom pad designed from front to back by Equicizer creator, Frankie Lovato Jr.!
Learn about the different financing options we offer.
Did you know that each Equicizer is unique and stamped
with its own identification information?
Equicizer... from E to R!

Who's Who

Meet Frankie! He is the creator of the Equicizer and founder of
Wooden Horse Corporation.
Meet the Equicizer Team! - Kayla Jarvinen
Meet Kayla! She is Wooden Horse Corporation’s Office Manager.
Meet Amanda! She is Wooden Horse Corporation’s Director of
Social Media.
   Outside our workshop in Norwalk, Ohio    
Going Back to our Roots
Delve a little deeper into the Equicizer team.
This 3 part series takes you on the journey
of the Equicizer: from its inception to modern day!

Roots in Racing

A Touch of Nostalgia....

As we hope you read in our "Birth of an Equicizer" series,
the Equicizer was born from Frankie's roots in racing.
These two blogs posts nod to his past in the industry by covering
the 2018 Run for the Roses and touching on a bit of racing history.

Engagement

We try our best to engage you! If you have ideas for new content you would like to see, please let us know!
Comment below or shoot us an email!

Looking Back and Looking Forward

Yearly recaps, holiday specials, announcements, and new beginnings!

Therapeutic Riding

A young rider at Grace Lake Ministries
Dream Catcher's "Woody"
Programs around the world that use the Equicizer to help, heal, and teach!
We are proud to follow and share in the success of each program!

Competitive Edge


The Equicizer is used & recommended 
by many professionals & equestrian 
coaches/trainers to help riders 
gain and maintain that competitive edge!
Equicizer in Action - Isabelle Wenc
An interview with up and coming jockey, Isabelle Wenc,
who has used the Equcizer to rehab from injury
and stay at the top of her game.
Check out how award-winning trainer and instructor
Steve Lantvit used the Equicizer at a clinic in Ohio.
We did a few blogs featuring para-equestrian Sydney Collier
and her journey to the paralympics!

In Your Words

Read all about how the Equicizer has changed peoples’ lives… in their own words via testimonials!

Deborah's WHW blogs are an intro and three part blog series recapping a blog
started by a new Equicizer owner. We follow her first 4 months and encourage
you to continue following along with her.

So POPular!

The Equicizer has been featured in movies, on daytime TV, and even on reality television!



As a company, we take great pride in producing a top quality, custom product that lasts for decades. We also take great pride in staying connected with our customers and those who benefit from our products long after the point of sale. One way we hope to both attract new customers and stay connected with those who have become a part of what we like to call the "Equicizer Family" is through social media and blogging. Please share this post with your friends, family, and fellow equestrians whom you believe would be interested and/or benefit from the Equicizer! Additionally, we would love to hear from you if you have ideas about future content and/or are interested in being featured or interviewed!

Compiled by Amanda Elia