BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS #5 Do not overlook the veteran horse Do not be deterred from buying a horse that is over 12, 15, 18 or even 20 years old. If the animal is fit there is no reason why such an age should matter. A 20 year old horse will hunt, show-jump, hack or even compete in dressage for example. Horse care has come … Continue reading Horse Buying Guide Part II
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS #1 Don’t be swayed by pretty names and good looks My first horse was a 14.2 hh strawberry roan mare called Princess. 8 year old girls in particular will immediately want to own a pony that is strawberry roan, and called Princess. The child’s parents may also assume such a beautiful pony with an angelic, virtuous name would be appropriate for … Continue reading Horse Buying Guide Part I
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS There appear to be various contraptions readily available to buy these days in which it seems evident that the designer of the product either had no love for horses, or was ignorant of their welfare. Moreover it appears the buyer of such contraptions willingly shares the same mindset of the manufacturer. There are a few things that cause me to grimace … Continue reading Grazing Muzzles Cause Misery
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS Hard hats must be worn when riding, poo must be picked up immediately, no smoking on the premises, dogs must be kept on leads, children under 12 years of age must have adult supervision. While there may be a few more, I won’t bore you with the rest. These are the do’s and don’ts we see written on the large sign as we … Continue reading The Yard Sign Plague
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS No one wakes up feeling motivated . People may wake up feeling an urgency or an excitement for what the day may hold. But motivation is not an instinct, it doesn’t spontaneously materialise if you eat well, drink plenty of water and sleep a solid 7 hours a night. In fact there are people (or have been) that survive eating junk … Continue reading Equitation Motivation
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS This was the subject of a conversation I had many years ago with a woman in her 30’s. She was very typical of a person that rode in their teens but gave up for all the usual reasons such as university, getting married, having a career and raising a family. Some of us do all that yet still keep horses, those … Continue reading Is Riding Dangerous?
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS I have read several articles recently regarding bombproofing and many of them offer some handy tips and tricks. Most of them provide information on what many of us would do anyway in terms of schooling with a plastic bag, or tying one to the arena fence. But what I would like to add is something all of the articles left out, … Continue reading Sniffing For Confidence
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS The main argument surrounding this subject always seems to be centred around protecting the back of the horse. My main argument to you, Dear Reader, is if you do not know how to mount correctly then using a block will not protect the back of your horse either. If a rider is completing a mount in a fluid motion and in … Continue reading Mounting Block?
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS Open the gate, open the gate!!!! No-one stopped in their tracks, conversations were not interrupted, tea drinking did not cease mid-sip either. By now everyone was accustomed to Screaming Sue and her daily routine of turning out her horse. Sue’s somewhat unconventional method of taking Bargy Boris (BB) to pasture always started in the stable, albeit with less volume, but still … Continue reading Screaming Sue
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS (If you are an Arsenal supporter then you’re in the wrong place unless you want to read an article about horses). I am just going to come out and say it. Spurs should only be used if you are a very, VERY good rider. If a rider does not have the skills, knowledge or patience to re-educate a horse with desensitised … Continue reading Why I Hate Spurs
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS I had a moment of confuzzlement recently. Reading equine body language does not come from watching several horse videos or from owning horses for many years. It comes from watching domestic and wild horses in person, online, studying images and experiencing a million moments on yards and observing how humans respond to horses, and vice versa. It takes all those things, … Continue reading Learn From Children
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS The tall birch trees were swaying in synchronised unity. above my head A million leaves being rattled by the wind had a sound not unlike a fast moving river moving over boulders. I admonished myself for having the stupidity to ride my horse through the large copse of trees on such a gusty day. But I had been ambling along oblivious … Continue reading Too Windy to Ride?