Top Tips!

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GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR RIDING LESSONS - MAKE SURE THEY WORK FOR YOU AND YOUR POCKET!Riding and schooling tuition can be an expensive outlay especially in today's climate where every penny counts.  Be clear about your riding goals and openly discuss your objectives with your instructor, ask them about the steps you need to take to achieve them - REMEMBER they are your goals.  Start taking a friend along to your lessons and get them to video or take photos of you and your horse (out of courtesy inform your instructor, a well practiced one should see this as a positive) by studying these after your lesson it will help you note and understand your weaknesses, strengths and areas of improvement‚ Don't forget to ask your instructor to provide feed back and don't forget to repay your friend when she has a lesson. WHAT LEVEL OF EXPECTATION DO YOU AND YOUR INSTRUCTOR HAVE FROM YOUR RIDING LESSON ? Read more
  Got a youngster who is trying out jumping and you can't afford or don't want to fork out on poles just yet, then use Carpet Inner tubes which are available free from your local carpet superstore‚Äö√Ѭ∂ They make great jump poles. They come in 12' lengths and are so simple to cut to size and are really safe. If they are a bit light for windy days then simply fill with stones or sand and seal the ends - Janet king, Worcester 
No Sweat!  When the going gets hot, look for breathable fabrics to keep you cool and dry. Lightweight polyester garments such as Mountain Horse Elite Top will wick moisture away from your body and keep you comfortable. They're easy to wash and quick to dry. Link: http://www.mountainhorse.co.uk/index.php?p=products&;id=1328274042
It is inevitable that you and your horse will be out on the road at some stage even if its to reach a nearby bridleway, so just like drivers, riders should be aware of the Highway Code and obey a few simple rules.DO'S AND DON'TS DO Use hi-vis clothing - It's easy to point the finger at drivers, but riders must take their responsibilities seriously too - so ensure you and your horse can be seen clearly on the roads. Wear a British safety standard hat and body protector - Its sensible and makes sense. Always thank polite drivers - a smile or nod is sufficient - it will encourage them to be considerate in the future. Where possible ride in single file, or two abreast at most  and use clear hand signals to convey to drivers what you intend to do or what you would like them to do.  Ride on the left hand side of the road, do not steer to the middle even when turning right, wait for the road to clear and then turn. DONT Hack  on the road in poor or fading light even if you are wearing Hi-viz gear. Never ride out an inexperienced horse without a steady and experienced  companion. Never assume that your chosen route is quiet and safe from dangerous traffic. (BHS states that over half of all accidents occur on minor roads - its a good idea to take your BHS Riding and Road Safety Test) Ride on pavements, they were made for pedestrians Avoid using your phone, I-phone or smoking when in the saddle
The following is a guideline to help you calculate how much (total weight) you should be feeding your horse.  This is split between roughage and hard feed and will depend on many factors which need to be taken into account. Rules of Feeding Before you can work out how much you should feed you need to know the weight of your horse. Weighing Horses   The Calculation Take the weight of your horse, multiply the weight by 2.5 then divide by 100This will give you the recommended guideline for the total amount of feed required, split between roughage, (hay/haylage) and concentrated feed, oats, barley etc.ExampleHeight   16.2 167.2cms Weight   600 kgs     600 multiplied by 2.5 divided by 100 = 15 kgs (33lbs), 2.2kgs = 1lb
Shine on! Want a real high-gloss shine on your competition boots? Try Mountain Horse's Nourish & Gleam. It feeds and conditions the leather until it shines with glee. Link: http://www.mountainhorse.co.uk/index.php?p=products&;id=1328202552
Take advantage of this hot weather and save some money at the same time. All you need is cleaner, a broomshank and a plastic bin.  It's worth purchasing a bottle of rug wash as it will make cleaning dirty rugs easier.  For rugs which are not heavily soiled you can clean for a fraction of the cost.   Put water and cleaner in the bin When half full add the rug then continue filling to the top (you can use cold water if hot is not available) Take a wooden broomshank, or similar and pummel the rug  Tip the water out then refill a couple of times with clean water to rinse thoroughly  Simply hang the rug over a gate to drip dry, in this heat it takes no more than a day to dry Make any repairs then store the rug away until next winter  
To help keep control of the outside shoulder when riding Half Pass  take both hands across in the direction of travel.  In this way the outside rein is against the shoulder avoiding too much neck bend.  (Half Pass right, both hands to the right, Half Pass left, both hands to the left)       If you find the quarters start to lead, a serious error, ride a couple of steps Shoulder In, before re-starting half-pass.
Stretch Test The way a material is made affects its stretch. Knitted cotton breeches, such as Mountain Horse Allison, are naturally more giving than woven fabrics. Check the Lycra or spandex content too. 2% will give you a slight stretch but if comfort is your priority, look for 8-10%.  Link: http://www.mountainhorse.co.uk/index.php?p=products&;id=1282804859
A horse is said to be straight when it's hind feet step forward on the same track as the front feet.  Ever had "crooked", "quarters in" or" losing straightness" on your dressage sheet and wondered how to make the correction?  A common mistake made in an attempt to straighten a horse, is to push the quarters out.  The correction is to move the forehand across, placing it in front of the hind quarters.  Your trainer may ask you to put your horse into shoulder in to correct the loss of straightness.  This movement can be ridden in walk, trot or canter.  Click Shoulder In to read more about how to ride this lateral movement, used to help straighten the crooked horse.
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