Happy Hiccups Equestrian LLC

Happy Hiccups Equestrian LLC Sometimes when working with horses, hiccups happen! Don't let it limit you or your horse's progress. Check out our instagram
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Central Maryland private riding instruction, equine management, and training.

I think this is how some of my students view me when they come to the barn and i’m like “Hey, guess what!” 😂😂😂
04/25/2024

I think this is how some of my students view me when they come to the barn and i’m like “Hey, guess what!” 😂😂😂

A fascinating point of view from the mom of an equestrian.Sometimes, when you’re on the outside of this sport (like bein...
04/19/2024

A fascinating point of view from the mom of an equestrian.

Sometimes, when you’re on the outside of this sport (like being a non-equestrian parent) looking in, it can be difficult to see where the real victories and joy are coming from. Learning and working with horses rarely has the consistent stoplight-style mile markers and marks of success that you see on social media.

How we feel happiness, fulfillment, and pride in our riding journey is going to come from how we make our horses feel, and our level of safety and ease (which are all difficult to measure from an outside perspective).

Worth the read for a parent!

I’m the mom who made her daughter’s riding about me. I’ll admit it. Thankfully, my daughter’s trainer wasn’t afraid to call me out.

Every horse person in Maryland should read this and TAKE ACTION! Do you want this sport/hobby to still be affordable and...
03/23/2024

Every horse person in Maryland should read this and TAKE ACTION! Do you want this sport/hobby to still be affordable and accessible to the average person? Do you want horse stables to be able to safely do business? Then PLEASE, participate!

LIABILITY WAIVERS - FINAL UPDATE - 4/8

The Maryland General Assembly today passed Senate Bill 452, which makes provisions in "waiver" or "release" documents that purport to limit a "recreational facility's" liability for ordinary negligence unenforceable.

It is important to note that the bill, as passed, does NOT ban the use of all waivers or releases.

The right to ask clients or customers to acknowledge the risk of an activity and to assume that risk remains unaffected. You should consult with your attorney to see how the provisions of this bill might affect the documents you use in your business.

When we became aware of the bill, we mounted a major grassroots campaign, which was shared throughout the equestrian industry and beyond. The House hearing on 3/27 had well over 100 witnesses in opposition, many from the equestrian community, but also including the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, the Maryland Farm Bureau, the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, and numerous motor and water sports organizations. There were only about a half dozen witnesses in favor of the bill.

Some of the opponents who were equestrian business owners tried to make the point that, when you are talking about animals in general, and horses in particular, the considerations are fundamentally different from other activities where the equipment and maintenance are entirely in the control of humans. When a horse is involved, even the most careful human cannot prevent certain equine actions/reactions; and even the best trained horse is still a prey animal and can react unpredictably to certain stimuli. Therefore, when an accident happens, it is not so easy to determine whether the cause was human negligence or animal whim.

At the urging of many members of the horse industry, Del. Griffith (R - Cecil & Harford) offered an amendment that would have exempted equine facilities, but it was defeated 34-98. Ultimately, the legislators were persuaded by the argument that businesses should not be allowed to require their customers to waive their right to compensation if they are injured by the business' negligence.

It remains to be seen how the bill will affect the incidence of negligence claims and insurance rates.

MHC PLANS TO HOLD AN EDUCATIONAL WEBINAR IN THE COMING MONTHS TO DISCUSS THIS COMPLEX AREA OF TORT AND CONTRACT LAW. WE WILL POST MORE INFORMATION HERE AS IT BECOMES AVAILABLE.

Stay tuned!

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LIABILITY WAIVERS - LATEST UPDATE 4/5

As expected, today the Senate refused to accept the House's stripped down version of the bill. A conference committee has been appointed, to see if they can work out the differences. The conference committee is composed of Sen. Carter, [email protected], the sponsor of the bill; Sen. Charles, [email protected]; and Sen. West. [email protected].

LATEST UPDATE! 3/29

The House Judiciary Committee concluded their voting session on the Senate version of the liability bill on 3/29. House Judiciary rejected the amendments that the Senate had added. This means that the bill will go back to the Senate, and will likely end up in a Conference Committee. This increases the chance - but does not guarantee - that the bill will not pass this session.

UPDATE -3/27

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on this bill today. Although they acknowledged the huge number of comments expressing concern about the bill, it is not clear what they will do. There was no discussion about the fact that - unlike "trampoline parks, climbing gyms, etc." horses are a unique situation. The legislators may not understand that horses are "special case." When you are talking gyms, trampoline parks, etc., you are talking about situations where humans are solely in control of the function and maintenance of the "equipment." With horses - 1,000-1,200 pound animals with minds of their own - not so much. It becomes much harder, when horse behavior is involved, to assign fault to human negligent behavior, or innate horse behavior. But that won't stop the proliferation of litigation, which may, in turn, raise insurance rates.

If you would like to share your thoughts about this bill - for or against - you can contact the committee here: [email protected]

The committee vote to advance the bill to the House floor may happen in the next few days.

************

In Maryland most people who enter shows or take lessons or rent horses for a trail ride sign forms that contain clauses that waive claims of ordinary negligence. This bill would make those clauses illegal. Since insurance rates are set in part by claims experience, passage of this bill would likely result in increased insurance premiums for barns, instructors, shows, rental stables, etc. That in turn means increased costs to the consumer. And, since, especially in situations involving horses, establishing negligence can be pretty unclear, this could result in increased litigation, and resulting increased insurance costs. It might result in some places deciding to shut down.

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled the Senate version of the bill to prohibit waivers of negligence (SB 452) for a hearing on Wednesday, March 27 at 1:00 pm. Because the Committee has already had a hearing on the identical House version (HB 162), this hearing will accept oral testimony only from the bill sponsor. However, it should be possible to submit written testimony. Submitting written testimony through the General Assembly's website is the best way to go, because that testimony will become part of the official bill file; that means that the Committee members will have it in front of them during the hearing, and the testimony will "follow" the bill to the House floor for the final vote.

To submit written testimony, you must first create an account on the General Assembly website. It is very easy to do, and takes only about a minute or so. There is a short (less than 3 minutes) video tutorial on how to set up an account. Scroll to the bottom left to see "My MGA New Account." https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Information/VideoTutorials.

Once you have set up your account, you can then go to the General Assembly's main page: https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/. Click on "MyMGA" on the very upper right, then select "Witness sign up" from the drop down menu. You will then need to scroll down to the House Judiciary Committee list of bills, select "SB 452." check the box on the left next to the bill, and select your position, and that you are submitting written testimony. Then you can upload your written testimony. It must be a .pdf. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO REMEMBER TO CLICK "SAVE" WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED. Then, you can also click "Signed up items" to make sure it all went through. The video tutorial on how to do this is here - scroll down to the bottom right, "Witness signup": https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Information/VideoTutorials

The window for submitting testimony on this bill is ONLY 8:00 am - 6:00 pm on Monday 3/25. You can create your account anytime before then, but you can only upload your testimony during that window.

If you do not want to submit official written testimony, you can still email the Committee here: [email protected] You can do that at any time, but the legislators may or may not see your individual message. Sometimes staffers review and summarize those emails. Be sure to put "SB 452 - Courts - Prohibited Liability Agreements - Recreational Facilities" in the subject line.

PLEASE ACT NOW!!

A bill is pending in the Maryland Legislature (HB 162/SB 452 - Courts - Prohibited Liability Agreements - Recreational Facilities) that would significantly impact most lesson, boarding and rental stables in the state, as well as competition venues. The text of the bill is here: https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2024RS/bills/hb/hb0162t.pdf.

This bill would declare provisions in routine liability disclaimers/waivers of negligence claims, as well as clauses relating to indemnification and hold harmless agreements, such as are routinely found in lesson, boarding, and competition documents, null and void as against public policy.

The Legislators' own analysts have concluded: "The bill has a meaningful impact on small business recreational facilities whose contracts contain these provisions and who face increased liability, insurance costs, and/or litigation under the bill."

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE, as both the House and Senate versions of this bill have passed in their chambers of origin and crossed over to the opposite chamber, where further action could be swift. You can contact the two committees who will vote to send the bill to the floor here: House Judiciary - [email protected]; Senate Judicial Proceedings - [email protected].
If you would also like to contact your personal legislative representatives (who will vote on the bills when they reach the Floor), you can find them and their contact info here: https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Members/District Be sure to put "HB 162/SB 452 - Courts - Prohibited Liability Agreements - Recreational Facilities" in the subject line. If you are interested in this issue, ACT NOW!

Salem, our one-eyed ‘wonder pony’ extraordinaire, sporting his new saddle AND his new pom-pom bonnet (courtesy of Cozy C...
03/06/2024

Salem, our one-eyed ‘wonder pony’ extraordinaire, sporting his new saddle AND his new pom-pom bonnet (courtesy of Cozy Critters who is fabulous!) 🥰😍 Such a handsome young man he’s turned into!

😍Sooo CUTE!😍 The new pom-pom bonnets for Geralt and Dandelion just arrived in the mail and they look GREAT! We super app...
03/04/2024

😍Sooo CUTE!😍 The new pom-pom bonnets for Geralt and Dandelion just arrived in the mail and they look GREAT! We super appreciate Cozy Critters for hand-making these adorable hats for the goats 🥰

And so we say ❤️goodbye❤️. Clover is heading back to her home farm in Virginia this week. We had such an amazing year wi...
03/02/2024

And so we say ❤️goodbye❤️. Clover is heading back to her home farm in Virginia this week. We had such an amazing year with this sweet girl, and i know every single one of us will miss her presence (and ever-shedding hair) in the barn. We were so lucky to have her in our program, but she’s ready to return to her home herd and enjoy the rest of her retirement. Clover, we wish you all the best! ❤️🐴❤️

02/28/2024

There’s just something so joyful about a kiddo and his pony trotting along in the sunshine singing a little song - and all without their reins!

Another late night colic-watch with miss Babe… poor chickadee, her system is just not feeling the best this week. 😬🥲 Doi...
02/27/2024

Another late night colic-watch with miss Babe… poor chickadee, her system is just not feeling the best this week. 😬🥲 Doing what we can to help her get more comfortable for tonight, and hoping she feels more like herself by morning.

Who does this make y’all think of? 😂
02/26/2024

Who does this make y’all think of? 😂

LET THE SHEDDING COMMENCE 🐎

Seriously, does anyone live a better life than Bert does? 😺 The MOST pampered barn cat EVER! Curled up in my big office ...
02/15/2024

Seriously, does anyone live a better life than Bert does? 😺 The MOST pampered barn cat EVER! Curled up in my big office chair, with the heater on, snuggled up under a jacket with his favorite stuffed fish 🥰 Oh, how we love our Barn Meownager! ❤️😂❤️

Someone got a little soggy from all of the rain yesterday - poor Bellatrix! 🥺Don’t worry, we gave her a warm rug to wear...
02/13/2024

Someone got a little soggy from all of the rain yesterday - poor Bellatrix! 🥺Don’t worry, we gave her a warm rug to wear and dry off in, although admittedly it IS a bit large for her. Still super cute, though!🥰

02/13/2024

An excellent perspective!

Locksley being the ‘Very Official Helper’ for one of our students with understanding some paperwork. We couldn’t do it w...
02/12/2024

Locksley being the ‘Very Official Helper’ for one of our students with understanding some paperwork. We couldn’t do it without you, Locksley! And, as an official witness to the document, he even signed it (with drool) 😂

Well said! Remember, learning is meant to be a progression, NOT an exercise in perfection! And with horses, we are ALWAY...
02/08/2024

Well said! Remember, learning is meant to be a progression, NOT an exercise in perfection! And with horses, we are ALWAYS learning ❤️🐴

“I will not get upset with you for making a mistake, I’ll be disappointed if you chose to not learn from it.”

Let that one sink in. Coaches: understand the trust that this mentality establishes between you and your students. Students: realize that you’re holding yourself back by fearing making mistakes.

Your perception of mistakes can make or break your mentality as an athlete. Mistakes, by definition, mean something went wrong. We don’t mess up on purpose, we don’t wake up saying “todays the day I get it wrong!” When shortsighted, your mistakes can be devastating. No, you’re not winning the class. Yes, your trainer will give you constructive criticism and it might be uncomfortable but you need to hear it. Long term, this mistake likely won’t matter and you’ve just provided yourself an opportunity to learn to do it better moving forward. You have a chance to ask questions, seek learning. You found a weakness which you can now improve upon. Several potential causes for struggling with mistakes: perfectionism and people pleasing being common. Two big perception takeaways 1) state vs trait. You MADE a mistake (state) you are not MADE OF mistakes (trait). The former is empowering because it gives you room to improve, the latter holds you back because of your self-imposed feeling like a failure. 2) in shutting down when making a mistake, you make yourself uncoachable and inhibit forward movement. Instead of perceiving your mistakes as personal attacks, let down your guard to let in the learning that’s been knocking the whole time

Peekaboo! 🤭 Little Bit, our new young barn cat, has found an adorable new “hiding” spot. (Nobody tell him that we can st...
02/05/2024

Peekaboo! 🤭 Little Bit, our new young barn cat, has found an adorable new “hiding” spot. (Nobody tell him that we can still see him! 😂)

Look at this handsome young man! 😍 Dandelion is rocking a new scarf to keep warm this evening. He’s growing up so fast! ...
02/05/2024

Look at this handsome young man! 😍 Dandelion is rocking a new scarf to keep warm this evening. He’s growing up so fast!

The truth about winter riding 😂
02/02/2024

The truth about winter riding 😂

Our biggest most handsomest man just got a new blanket - look how cute he is! Nevermind that he only got a new blanket b...
01/31/2024

Our biggest most handsomest man just got a new blanket - look how cute he is! Nevermind that he only got a new blanket because he absolutely shredded the old one… 🤫

Such an adorable up-close-and-personal pic of one of our goofy lesson horses, Rohan! (And Rohan, by nature, always prefe...
01/30/2024

Such an adorable up-close-and-personal pic of one of our goofy lesson horses, Rohan! (And Rohan, by nature, always prefers to be very up-close-and-personal with his chosen riders/caretakers 😂) Photo courtesy of one of our students. !

🤩 Summer Camp Registration is OPEN! 🤩 Join us this summer for five days of riding fun in the sun. Camps run from June th...
01/25/2024

🤩 Summer Camp Registration is OPEN! 🤩 Join us this summer for five days of riding fun in the sun. Camps run from June through August for kids ages 7-17. We have some weeks for beginner riders, and some for those who are more advanced. Give your kid a memorable summer spent with our amazing lesson horses, adorable minis, and goofy goats! Details can be found on our website at:
https://www.happyhiccupsequestrian.com/summertime-horsemanship-program.html

01/21/2024

Read this twice, three, four, multiple times. 🐴

You have every right to say “no thank you, but thanks for your time” at any point you feel someone offering a service to you and your horse is not aligning with your values.

Over the years with training my rather challenging horse, I’ve had professionals tell me the following (and so much more);

“You need to give him a couple of hard smacks and then he’ll do as he’s told”

“You’re not firm enough with him, he’s being naughty”

“He needs to be able to accept the use of a whip”

“Take him for a good blast, make him really tired, and then he’ll listen to you” — even though he was high off adrenaline all the time.

And I’m not going to lie, there were points where I was very “soft” with him, and I let him “get away” with an awful lot… but it was important that he was able to express himself, I could see his reaction and adjust my reaction accordingly. Different saddle, different bit, release his muscles, more strength, a few days off… there are so many reasons why a horse may react in the way they do, and responding with anger and force is not the way these are solved.

I have put my hand up in training sessions before and said “this isn’t working for us, but thank you”, because I’d rather leave with my horses trust than the trainers. How he feels, and how he wants to be trained is far more important to me than letting someone down, or someone thinking I’m too soft.

I spent so long getting my horse to trust me and my judgement, and he knows I wouldn’t ask him to try something that I don’t think he wouldn’t be capable of. Even when pushing outside of his comfort zone. And I learnt early on that just because someone trains their horse in that way, doesn’t mean it’s right for mine, and the trust lost or damaged by trying is heartbreaking.

Horses can be tired, in pain, distracted, sad, excited, blocked before the word naughty and evasive should ever be used. Trust your gut 🐴

Address

16700 Thurston Road
Dickerson, MD
20842

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 8pm
Tuesday 9am - 8pm
Wednesday 9am - 8pm
Friday 9am - 8pm
Saturday 9am - 7pm
Sunday 9am - 7pm

Telephone

+12403947230

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