Managing the Veteran Horse www.theeverydayequestrian.co.uk For many horse owners, there comes a time when your horse gets older and his needs change. For some, this might happen at a reasonably young age, but for others changes may not become evident until the horse or pony gets past 20 years old. As with the human population, horses are increasingly living well into old age! So what kind of things do we need to consider? Teeth As horses age, their teeth erupt and become worn down through grazing and fibrous feeds. This is an absolutely normal process, and the horse has evolved to [...]
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So far hberx has created 32 blog entries.
Feeding hay in the field www.theeverydayequestrian.co.uk Not many of us are lucky enough to have an endless acreage of pasture for our horses. Indeed, many livery yards restrict turnout over the winter months so much that we’re lucky to let our horse’s stretch their legs in the field at all! Good grazing is at a premium over winter, and to attempt to keep horses occupied, meet their need to trickle feed, and to give them something nutritious when the mud appears, we are forced to provide hay or haylage in the field. Lugging hay out to the field each morning is [...]
No matter what you tell your other half, horses are expensive. But don’t worry, there are things you can do to try to be a little thriftier & save money for the fun stuff, like competing, going to events, shopping, etc. Buy in bulk So we’re coming to Autumn/Winter where many of us will be stabling our horses more, which means greater costs. Try to buy in bulk wherever you can, for example bedding, hay/haylage, feed etc. Not only will you be less likely to run out, you should be able to get a better deal. Buy the [...]
Get fitter The top professional riders know this, but as amateurs a lack of fitness can often get eclipsed by work, family and simply the time involved in riding & managing horses. So anything you can do to improve your cardiovascular fitness is only going to help you ride better. Ideas might include HIIT sessions (high intensity interval training sessions – google it!), swimming, jogging, exercise classes or DVDs at home. Something is better than nothing ;-) Get assessed by a physiotherapist A good physio who understands horse riding is invaluable. They’ll work with you to identify your asymmetries, assess [...]
Clean your tack! All the books say you should clean your tack after each time you ride, but really? Who has time for that? I certainly don’t, so my compromise is to do it monthly. It could be a quick wipe over or a more thorough, full strip of the saddle/bridle. You might also tie this in with going to a competition or a lesson. Check the fit of your tack It’s hugely important to check the fit of your saddle regularly, since most horses will change shape quite dramatically throughout the year. If you’re not sure about whether your [...]
10 ways to help your horse in hot weather Offer some shade in the field. Wherever possible, ensure that your horse can get out of direct sunlight in the field. This might be a posh (or not!) field shelter, or using paddocks with decent hedges or trees. Provide a constant, clean supply of water Horses will inevitably drink more during hot weather, so always make sure that you keep field water buckets or troughs clean and topped up. Twice daily checks It sounds obvious, but it’s really important to check your horses morning and evening; things can change [...]
Top Tips for Riding in the Winter www.theeverydayequestrian.co.uk We’re definitely in the grip of winter now and it can be a real challenge to get motivated to ride at this time of year. Time is precious and here are my top tips for riding in the winter: Wear the right clothes! In my experience the best way to keep warm and dry in the winter is to use layers. There are some fantastic base layers available for ridings, layer with a wick-dry fleece and a snug waterproof jacket & you’ll be ready for anything. I love the new style riding [...]
Improve your horse’s straightness www.theeverydayequestrian.co.uk Most horses start their ridden career with a degree of one-sidedness; just as we prefer to use one hand over the other, or curl our legs up a certain side when we’re sitting on the sofa while watching TV, horses also find things easier and more comfortable on one side of their body when compared to the other. The challenge for us as riders is to resolve our own asymmetries and bad habits, alongside those of the horses we ride. But that’s really tough isn’t it? We somehow have to ride as straight and as [...]
Rules of Relaxation www.theeverydayequestrian.co.uk The first basic ‘rung’ of the German Scales of Training is rhythm, which is such a key component of the training of any ridden horse. However, for me rhythm can only really be achieved if the horse is relaxed. I teach a wide variety of riders, across many levels with a huge variety of different horses. One of the biggest issues I come across is tension in the horse (and very often in the rider too!). Addressing tension in the horse can be really challenging, but I often find that if I can give the rider [...]
Rewarding your Horse www.theeverydayequestrian.co.uk I’m a big believer in rewarding my horses when they try hard, or do something that I ask. But I’m quite particular in howI reward & praise them. I’ve seen many people give their horses praise, but some methods can be really quite alarming! Great big enormous claps on the neck, virtually yelling ‘Good Boooooy’ at the top of their voice, throwing themselves at their horse’s neck. But does the horse really understand these actions as a positive experience? I’m not so sure. My go-to rewards are as follows: Allow the horse to stretch & relax; take [...]