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 NIGEL BEAN Here are my answers to the Scottish Hunting Consultation: 1.1. Do you think the definition of “to hunt” as provided in the 2002 Act should be more specifically defined? No, To change the wording is the Scottish Government signing up to the demands of animal rights fundamentalists. The fundamentalists are unhappy because they can’t prove out their money spinning campaigns because they … Continue reading Scottish Hunting Consultation
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?
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS …and she’s only a D.I.Y’er! Yes I heard those words. That delightful sentence fell from the mouth of a person on full livery. They had felt compelled for some reason to log a complaint to the yard owner about a person on Do It Yourself livery. I can’t imagine what the naughty diy’er had done, perhaps it was even about me! What dross … Continue reading The Livery Snob
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS The majority of foals, certainly in my experience here in the UK, are spending their first few months alone with the mother. Although, I am well aware of reputable horse breeders that turn out a number of foals and mums together to live amiably as a herd, I have seen many individual horse owners segregate the mother and baby until weaning. … Continue reading Raising Foals Fairly
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS Those were the words the livery used to inform me that her horse could not be part of a herd. This horse could not have a field mate. There would be no swishing tail to turn and face during the summer to deter the flies from bothering her eyes, or a restful sleep while the other horses stood guard looking out … Continue reading The Individual Turnout Yarn
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS A vet once said to me by the time the horse shows pain, the damage is already severe. Those words sent me down the road of wanting to fully understand equine body language, instinct and psychology. I have now adapted those words to fit what I believe is true, which is by the time a human identifies pain in the horse, … Continue reading Just Let Go
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS There is only one good reason why my terrier would suddenly go from lounging on the carpet to suddenly leaping up and running under the sofa at break neck speed – the human sat on said sofa jumped up and ran fearfully to the living room door. For the past 20 years, this particular arachnophobe has made sure to train her … Continue reading The Spook
BY DEBORAH JANE NICHOLAS Every single one of the horses caught my attention, in terms of equine behaviour there was a lot to observe. Most of the behaviour was instigated by a human walking through the gate that led to the paddocks. All seven horses whinnied and most of them ran to their own fence-lines. Being early December the grass was almost depleted – snow … Continue reading Food is not the Answer