BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS Part 1 – In this series I aim to cover all the weaponry horses have in their rather formidable arsenal. While predators may be seen as well-equipped killing machines, this particular prey animal is more than capable of inflicting serious and at times fatal injuries. If you love horses, then undoubtedly you will find this image beautiful. Perhaps it will invoke feelings … Continue reading Peaceniks or Killers?
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS When strolling through the undulating landscape of Dorset recently, one particular right of way cut its way through a very large paddock. I entertained myself by trying to guess the types of horses that had been there. The field had been poached over winter, because even in May the grass looked decimated and was littered with discarded spoilt hay. This now … Continue reading Paddock Size Matters
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS We have all seen the videos in which a rider falls while show-jumping, and the horse continues to jump the fences. Most of the video comments have a very positive outlook on such an event. Most people will agree it’s because the horse loves jumping and has been trained well. The more ignorant comments will suggest that the horse is attempting … Continue reading Why Do Horses Jump Rider-less?
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS #11 Buy a horse you already know Many riders go on to become horse owners after sharing or loaning a horse. However I am not talking about loaning with a view to buy here, as that is something very different. But a rider that has been financially contributing to the upkeep of someone else’s horse for some time, without the sole intention of … Continue reading Horse Buying Guide Part IV
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS #8 Try out the horse yourself When one particular family with limited horse knowledge asked for my help to try out a horse for their daughter, I was happy to oblige. On riding the animal in the arena I achieved three good paces before taking it for a hack through a wood. Even when jumping a fallen tree, the horse behaved … Continue reading Horse Buying Guide Part III
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