- Using cold water
You wouldn’t wash your own hair in cold water! Using warm water will allow your shampoos and products to lather much better. It also feels more pleasant for the horse. Mix your shampoo into warm water in a bucket and lather up and apply with a sponge or soft cloth
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.
Old School Horsemanship
If horse is too fat…… feed it less
If horse is too skinny ………….. feed it more
If horse looks good………. feed it the same
Shows in general:
“He / She was BRILLIANT” = I was sadly not that brilliant and we did not place hence the lack of any other details
“Just a few problems” = It didn’t go well and I don’t want to go into details. In fact I want to go home and eat my own weight in chocolate and hug my duvet.
So about a week and a half ago the orange train and I headed off on another side saddle adventure, one I had been looking forward to for weeks. Ciara O’Connell (this lady: http://sidesaddleciara.wordpress.com/) had organised for a group of us to travel back to Ballyduff House near Thomastown in Kilkenny to avail of lessons with side saddle instructor Jennifer Torrance before staying over and heading to Mount Juliet the following day to hack out.
I say this at least once a week. In the past it has been due to a variety of reasons from having a toenail removed by a hoof to getting caught in lashing rain at shows while a pony delightedly refused to load. Last week it was having to traipse around a field to catch a horse who just knew I didn’t have time to both catch and ride it. This week it was due to the horse thinking that ‘screw this I’m cantering home’ was the appropriate response to seeing a pig about 5% her size which was neither moving nor making a sound. I can’t actually play chess but I can still see the appeal of it.
I was asked earlier today by a rider if there were any exercises she could to prepare for riding in a side saddle lesson. Having only recently converted to the sideways side I thought it was only fair to share my experience and what I learned in those valuable first few weeks.