Many of our users have kindly been sending in their Top Tip's so we thought we would start sharing them with you.
APRIL: Top Clothing Tip in assosiation with Mountain Horse Spring Showers? Apart from getting soaked, the tell-tale sign that your waterproof needs reproofing is when water stops forming droplets on the material's surface and starts to sink into the fabric instead. This is called wetting out.Mountain Horse's Coat and Jacket Reproofer comes in a quick and easy pump spray and is suitable for all Mountain Horse waterproofs. Link: http://www.mountainhorse.co.uk/index.php?p=products&;id=1266435212
A really simple, yet effective way to introduce a young or nervous horses to clipping. If you are prepared to invest a short amount of time daily you will reap the rewards ten fold. Using an old battery operated toothbrush, get your horse use to the noise, then gradually move it around it's body, including the head. Remember to go at the speed your horse is comfortable with, take your time with lots of reassurance.This was used on a very highly strung racehorse which went on to accept clipping without a problem, proving time and patience will win the day! Click on the following link for more information on trimming and tidying up your horse. Read more grooming and clipping tips
Rather than leave your equine partner at home, why not plan a holiday with other friends and their horses? The English countryside is second to none, with beautiful scenery to enjoy from horseback. With a little forward planning you can tailor your holiday to meet your exact needs, including specialised tuition, pub rides or a few days at the seaside. Why not take your competition horse and both have a complete break from routine? The Army do just that, giving their horses a well earned break; often riding along the beach and splashing in the sea! A far cry from ceremonial parades.You get to spend fun time with your horse, lots of exercise and fresh air giving you a healthy appetite to enjoy a good meal and a glass of wine at the end of the day. Click on the following link to read more about how to prepare for such an exciting venture. Riding Holidays. Don't forget to send us your photographs!
Horse losing focus and unnecessary marks lost, another 'nearly' rosette? Click on the following link to read how to Avoid Costly Mistakes When Jumping. Simple to set up yet a very effective exercise for both horse and rider. It will not only be your horse who has to pay attention!
Take advantage of hills and the open space whilst out hacking to teach your horse to lengthen his frame and take those bigger trot steps. Whilst trotting up a hill, put the leg on and ask for the bigger steps. Taking advantage of a natural incline and open space will encourage your horse to step under with his hind legs, lengthen his top line and take the bigger steps without rushing. If your horse is slow to react or loses his balance you have all the space you need to re-balance and ask again. Adds variety to your hacking and sets your horse up for success. For more schooling tips click the following link Schooling Tips
Shoulder in (click to read more), is an excellent lateral movement, helping to develop engagement and suppleness. A common rider mistake, is to bring their inside leg too far back and push the quarters out rather than move the shoulders across to the inside.To help reduce the risk of this happening when teaching either a horse or rider shoulder in, start off in a school with a high fence around the school, or for those lucky enough, an indoor school. In this way it will be more difficult for the horse to swing his quarters out as there is nowhere for them to go. The rider must keep their inside leg well forward and think about moving the horse's shoulders across.Riding up the centre line from A and a mirror at C will clearly show whether the quarters are being pushed out or the shoulders moved across.Read more great rising tips and advice
Make up a solution in either a hand held or pump action sprayer, of strong disinfectant and water. Once you have mucked out (Click to read more on mucking out) and swept the floor, spray and quickly sweep again. You will be amazed how much cleaner the floor looks as the brush picks up all of the little bits left behind and the stable will smell a lot sweeter.
TEMPERATURE, RESPIRATION AND PULSEAs a reminder the guideline "norm" is: Temperature 38 degrees C. Respiration 8 - 12 inhalations to the minute. Pulse 36 - 42 beats to the minute Each horse will vary slightly, knowing what is normal for each horse is an important part of horse management. Without this information, how do you know when to take action or call the vet? Every responsible owner should know the temperature, respiration and pulse rate for any horse in their care. The vital signs should be checked when the horse is at rest; checking 2 or 3 times over the period of 7 - 10 days to ensure the recording is correct. Without this knowledge it is difficult to confidently know what action you need to take, including when to call the vet.When trying to determine what is normal do not, for example, check a horse's pulse rate after fast exercise, or when the hunt has just galloped past. It is highly likely it is going to be quicker than when at rest. If your horse is in pain his temperature will drop and rise if a fever.Information for each horse should be recorded on a chart or in a book and kept in clear view near the first aid cabinet along with the number of your vet. More veterinary and horse care advice read more
There is nothing more distressing than experiencing a burglary. To help speed up the awful process of making a claim, make sure you have an up-to-date record of all items. An easy way of doing this is to photograph all items of value, making sure it is dated and keep a list of all tack and other items covered by your insurance. In the unfortunate event of having to make a claim you have an up-to-date reference point to hand. You will not have to rely on memory and potentially miss items and it should help reduce the stress.
For those of you who drive manual cars this is a really easy way of preparing to ride progressive transitions. (Particularly good for young or unbalanced horses). Imagine you are approaching a junction, you go from fourth gear, third gear, second gear, then stop. it is the same with your transition, prepare, prepare, prepare then execute. The level of training and engagement will dictate how quickly you move through the gears. This should help you get a smooth, balanced transition.
If you have difficulty picking up and maintaining a rhythm when riding in the school; play some music with the desired tempo and rhythm. Without realising it you will find yourself riding to the beat of the music. If playing music through headphones, always make sure the environment is safe to do so. You can easily put together some warming up music to get you both in the right frame of mind.
For horses who refuse or are difficult to feed medicine in powdered form. Make into a paste with butter or honey and form a ball. Pop into their mouth, place your hand under their chin and hold their head up so the medicine does not escape! The butter or honey melts and slips down nicely with minimum fuss and waste.