Distracted and Dangerous
One of the main reasons horses don’t pay attention is you are not ‘leading’ them. If you don’t have a purpose or a plan in which to engage your horse, they are likely going to be focused on any potential dangers around them. They will feel like a lone horse and we all know that a horse on its own is vulnerable and will be particularly nervous and tense.
Have a plan for worst case scenarios!
First you need to have a plan for worst case scenarios, indications of bucking, bolting, rearing. ... Read More
Your horse’s spine is designed like a bridge. The vertebrae are strung together and supported by muscles, similar to the design of a suspension bridge. When the additional weight of a rider is added, the spine is supported by the back muscles and the abdominal muscles. If these are weak, the danger increases of the vertebrae sagging and leading to further problems. When we speak of building up back strength, we are speaking of developing all of these muscles.
The topline actually consists of all the muscles along the neck, withers, ... Read More
This weather certainly brings out the best in us, but it also means that your horses may be feeling particularly full of themselves after the long, wet winter! Much of this is down to management, so it may be worth thinking about these tips:
1. Grass. Due to the increased fructans (soluble carbohydrates) that are produced by the grass for growth during this period, energy is released quickly into the horse's bloodstream (which can cause excitable behaviour) and can also cause problems such as laminitis and digestive upsets. Therefore, although it is ... Read More
Great song, sung by Queen and a great man we lost in January; David Bowie (not to be confused with Ice Ice baby!) a sad start to the year really, some all-time greats no longer with us ...
But the world goes on and so do our equestrian goals, lots of my riders making plans through injury and accident, set-backs and excitement but always working towards those all important events!
The weather forecast for the first weekend of eventing was snow and heavy rain, are they mad?!! Us showjumpers enjoyed a heated café, indoor warm up and arena and by no means ... Read More
For the final article in this series I wanted to move on from the training aspects of confidence and look at how we continue the development process in the season. With Burnham Market now behind us and Belton on the horizon, riders are now into the season and for those aiming for Olympic teams in August they will be clear on what they need to do to put themselves in the frame.
Depending on targets for the season, what you've done so far might be a case of dealing with a fresh ... Read More
Problems under saddle often come from confusion on the ground. I seem to get runs of horses with the same issue in my training yard. For example, I will get a succession of horses that rear or a few stables full of horses that are traffic shy, it’s the same with phone calls to go out to people, I will have lots of horse refusing to go through water or over a ditch and then it will be
I recently helped a client with her horse who had the equine equivalent of Attention Deficit Disorder! The challenges she faced and that I helped her to overcome are faced at some stage by most horse owners (well, probably all if I’m totally honest!). So this weeks blog post is about how to gain your horse’s attention….and keep it!
How long is a horse’s usual/average attention span?
Horses have the ability to focus on one thing and block out everything else. For instance when they are worried.
Last month I discussed Spooking and I promised I would cover Napping this month as it can be hard to distinguish between the two!
So just to recap from last month:
If you are not sure if your horse is napping or spooking then look at their ears and you will know!
You can tell the difference between a genuine spook and evasive napping by their ears; if they are spooking, their ears will be pointing forwards at the scary object and you need to be sympathetic with them. Conversely, a napping horse will ... Read More
Napping or Spooking?
But for me there is a big difference between spooking and napping. In this article I shall be explaining the difference and the reasons why some horses feel the need to do either! I’m then going to give you some tips that you can use to try and overcome these common problems.
Spooking – For me spooking is when your horse is genuinely scared by something: a noise, an object or a sudden movement. They may react by jumping, refusing to go forward, planting their feet, spinning round or ... Read More
Having been privileged to be presented with the opportunity to work with some of the best riders we've seen, I've gained a valuable insight into the training and planning they put in that allows them to ride with confidence. It is important that everyone understands that confidence is built with repetition over time, drilling the basics so that you and your horse are completely on the same wavelength. Confidence in a horse is knowing what you'll get when you ask it to do something, and knowing that you'll be able to ... Read More