Category Archives: Stable Management
Scroll through Facebook or Instagram and it is on many ‘inspiring’ quote or hastag #livingmybestlife but you’re not, your horse is. Horse ownership should come with a disclaimer that explains its most about being covered in hair / mud / poo and paying vet bills or replacing expensive broken things. If you don’t agree let’s look at just a few reasons why your horse is living a better life than you right now
Will encouragingly watch you slip, slide and groan as you lug heavy buckets of water that you have slowly and painstakingly dragged from the nearest tap or water source that isn’t frozen solid. Will wait until you arrive before promptly knocking the bucket over looking absolutely delighted
Aim to look professional, tidy and workmanlike.
Footwear – Adults long leather boots. (leather short boots and gaiters may be permitted, check rules of class). Adults cannot show in short boots only. Children under 12, short boots with jod clips. Children over 12, as per adults. Have your groom wipe your boots before you go in!
When I was in school, the highlight of every week was riding a big chestnut mare called Jenny. Jenny got arthritis and in an effort to help the yard to treat her I started researching what could help. This was long before the days of being able to buy ready made and mixed herbal remedies for horse aliments in Ireland but after reading everything I could get my hands on I found a shop on Georges street in Dublin that had a wall full of A – Z herbs. The lovely man who owned it was fascinated by my use of the products for horses and became a big help. I started mixing tailored herb mixes for the big mare and for horses belonging to friends. These mixes helped and to this day I have remained fascinated by how the plants and herbs that we can so readily avail of can help to heal. There are many herbal remedies that can be used and I would encourage everyone to do their research. The herbs and plants listed below and those I have personally used and found beneficial. Often products come onto the equestrian market that are based on a specific plant, it is always worth checking the ingredients as it may be cheaper to simply source the key ingredient (ingredients are often listed under the latin name of the plant). As with everything, if you are competing, make sure to check the permitted substances list for your sport and governing bodies to ensure that any supplement you feed is permitted for competitors.
This is what you hope they all are! These horses like being clipped. They stand still, they don’t care how much you climb over or under them, will happily have their face clipped and will probably even hold up a leg by themselves if you ask nicely.
You can’t touch this. You haven’t a hope of actually clipping it.
I want a pair of new shoes but I spent all my money on ones for my horse.
The horse now has three shoes, one bare hoof and a smug expression.
I can’t get a fly veil in the right shade to match my saddle pad.
Knowing the difference between water resistant and water proof clothing and accessories.
Knowing the difference between sort of waterproof and really waterproof as in can withstand hours in the lashing rain waterproof.
Resorting to riding horses in gardening gloves or marigolds – now that’s a proper waterproof glove.
Use Your Head
If you are clipping, wear a hat. I keep an older skull cap in my kit for clipping so that I don’t end up with hair stuck to my good hat. Clipping out a horse will involve leaning in under the horses belly and having your head in close proximity to the horses legs. Clipping a horses legs poses its own dangers as it will have your head close to the knee, hock and hooves. Horses will rarely kick you on purpose but a kick or a sudden leg movement due to fright, pain or a dislike of the clippers can and does happen. To be honest you are often at risk of just being in the way when a horse innocently moves. Having a hat on reduces the risk of injury and won’t cost you anything. If you are using an old fashioned twitch (the type with a heavy wooden handle) ensure you and your helper are wearing a hat – if the handle gets loose it can swing and hit you.