The Reality of Grey Pony Show Preparation

Worth the cleaning effort in the end!
Worth the cleaning effort in the end!

Bay / Chestnut / Dun Pony

Evening Before the show:
– clean tack
Morning of the show:

– pick out feet
– Groom
– Put on travel gear
Grey Pony

The evening before the show:
• Arrive at yard pleasantly surprised that pony is not quite as dirty as you expected. Pony turns around. Sadly realise that in fact all of the dirt is on the other side and is a mix of brown/green/yellow – basically every colour except white

Continue reading “The Reality of Grey Pony Show Preparation”


You Rode Horses Growing Up in the 90’s When….

The bible in the 90's
The bible in the 90’s

* The gospel was ‘Horse and Pony’ magazine and Freddie the chestnut pony was god. The posters covered every inch of your wall, the free stickers ended up on every school book and some of you might even remember the day the magazine went from black and white to colour!

* You wanted to ride and own Downlands Cancara the black stallion who was the Lloyd’s Bank mascot and Milton the ultimate show jumping gelding

Continue reading “You Rode Horses Growing Up in the 90’s When….”

Common Phrases Heard at Competitions and Their Meaning



“That fence is WAY over max height” – using the incredibly accurate measuring scale of ‘my own leg’ this fence is bordering on being a little on the big side.

“I’m not competitive” – I’d eat you for a rosette

“I’m REALLY not competitive” – you and the horse

Continue reading “Common Phrases Heard at Competitions and Their Meaning”

Things They Never Tell You in Stable Management Books – Part 2

Feed me- it's ten minutes past diner time and I am starving!
Feed me- it’s ten minutes past diner time and I am starving!

Only an idiot wears uncovered white jodhpurs more than fives minutes before you have to get up on a horse

Expensive shiny black hoof polish does not come out of white jods. Been there, done that, have the cleaning products to prove it. Give up it’s not going to happen.

Ditto for bog mud

Continue reading “Things They Never Tell You in Stable Management Books – Part 2”

Things They Don’t Tell You in Stable Management Books – Part 1


Time for a roll!

-The quickest way to get a horse to roll is to wash him

-There is no easy way to wash a horse’s mane without ending up with more water and shampoo on yourself than on the horse

Continue reading “Things They Don’t Tell You in Stable Management Books – Part 1”

Dressage Sheet Comments Deciphered



“Nice Entrance” – Don’t get cocky we are only one movement in


“Wobbled on centre line” – horse wandered from A to C like a drunk trying to walk a straight line


“Could show more inside bend” –  Horse should be looking where it is going not gawking out of the arena at the photographer or the horse in the next arena or the monster in the hedge.


“Hesitant” – horse is dog lazy


“Tense” – Horse trying desperately to feck off away from rider while rider tries in vain to restrain it.


“Resistant” – Horse has no intention of obeying rider what so ever and there is no hiding it.


“A pity” – for gods sake help me out here and ride the horse I am trying to give you marks


“Unbalanced” – all over the shop


“On three tracks” – sideways but unintentionally sideways


“Could stretch down more in free walk” – horse is not meant to be delightedly sticking his head in the air and practically shouting ‘ha you have no contact you can’t stop me’


“Hollow” – horse is looking upwards not forwards


“Behind contact” – horse is attempting to touch chin off chest


“Needs to work more from behind” – horse should be carrying some of its own weight on hind legs rather than bulldozing through the riders hands with the front end.


“Running” – horse is resembling a trotter more than dressage horse


“Nice Strike Off” – pity about the rest of the canter


“Has potential” – just decided not to show or realise any of it today


“Unsteady to halt / stepped back / halt uneven” – nice try but fail. We are bang in front of you and we both know that wasn’t square.