Monday, September 27, 2010
What is resistance in horses and ponies?
8:13 am gmt
Resistance is a horse or pony's way of saying "No thanks". There are many different forms of resistance, depending
on the animal's temperament. Some are more dangerous ones than others. If your horse is resisting something, don't despair. Only
a saint of a horse never resists anything in his life. I saw it in action last week with two young riders:
older, normally well-behaved horse hadn't done a turn on the forehand for some time and said "no thanks" when asked
by reining back. Every time he was asked to step sideways, he stepped backwards instead. It took a bit of time and patience
for his young rider to get him to do this exercise correctly.
A placid, teenage 13.2 who is great with beginners,
decided he had had enough cantering in circles when being asked to do plenty of transitions. This was hard work for him! He
said "no thanks" by suddenly leaning forward and trying to pull the reins out of his rider's hands. This is his
usual form of resistance.
Working through the resistance firmly but non-violently is essential. Be careful,
though, with young horses. Sometimes they will start to resist if they are tired or if they are being asked for too much.
Always try to work out why the horse is resisting. Is he afraid? Is he fed up with doing the same thing over and over? Is
he just being naughty? More info here
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
The new craze for riders and sports people
4:53 pm gmt
Have you seen our new Equestrian Greetings Cards? We try out all our products ourselves to make sure we are happy with them and our latest favourite is the Gummy Sports Watch which is a big hit this Autumn for sport and riding. The Sports Watch is made of natural rubber and looks like a wrist
band but it also has a digital watch. Cool! Check out our bright colours: red, blue, green, navy and Glow in the Dark.
You can now purchase table mats, coasters and T-shirts with the design of your choice. We especially like the mugs with a choice of red, blue, green and pink inside for a splash of colour at coffee break. We've launched a new design
under the "Racing and Competition Horse" section: a selection of racing colours. Perfect for horse racing fans who
want something different.
If you're looking for a gift for someone, why not add a horse, cat or dog greetings
Monday, September 13, 2010
When to put rugs on horses in Autumn
9:40 am gmt
We've had several enquiries about when to rug up a horse or pony in Autumn. This is a difficult time of year, like Spring,
and there are no hard and fast rules but this is what I would do:
If the horse is not too hairy by now, put on
a lightweight waterproof rug on wet, windy days. It is still mild so he would only sweat in anything heavier. You have to
be ready to take off this rug if there is very warm sunshine. The rug will keep the shine on his coat and stop him getting
too hairy. If the weather is warm and mild, I would take the rug off during the day and put a light rug on him at night -
unless the nights are very warm. Sweating under a rug is bad because it can lead to skin infections so be careful of this.
When the horse gets so hairy with his winter coat that it difficult to dry him off after excercise, it is time
to clip him and put on the winter rugs. I personally don't think we are at that stage in Ireland yet as my horses and ponies
are still shedding hair. If you want to make life easier, you can leave the rugs off until the horse has grown a winter coat,
then clip him and put on the winter rugs. The drawback is that a horse in work will be harder to clean after turnout and will
take longer to dry off after work.
Ponies and horses in very light work or not being ridden (who will not be clipped
or only lightly clipped) can be left until they have grown more hair before putting on winter rugs.
For tips on
clipping horses and ponies, click here.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Our 2010 Christmas Cards have arrived - early!
5:07 pm gmt
Our new Christmas Cards are here! I know it sounds a bit early to be thinking about Christmas in September but why not have
a look here
. You can order the cards singly or in numbers. We also have packs of 10 cards at a reduced price and, if you wish, you
can have your name, address, message or whatever you like printed on them.
We have a selection of horse, cat and
dog cards - all with a Christmas touch! The cards are high quality, glossy and 5% is donated to the NSPCC by the printers.
If you need any help, please don't hesitate to call us on 086 3292790 or 045 525757 (International: 00 353 86
3292790 or 00 353 45 525757) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Parrot mouth - why you should look a gift horse in the mouth
2:14 pm gmt
I came across my first case of Parrot Mouth this week. Thankfully I have never had a horse with a parrot mouth before but
while the vet was here yesterday doing flu vaccinations, she spotted that a yearling has a mild case. Parrot mouth can't
be spotted in a newborn foal but appears between one and six months of age. It is definitely something to look out for if
you are buying a horse or pony as a parrot mouth can affect the way an equine eats and it is also considered a defect when
you come to sell the horse. Like windsucking, cribbing, weaving and sweetitch, it affects the price.
So what is
parrot mouth exactly? It is when the top incisor teeth of a horse come out over the bottom incisors, much the same as buck
teeth in humans. Apparently it is relatively common and occurs in 2-3% of horses, so 2 or 3 in every hundred horses have this
The reason why parrot mouth is a bad thing in a horse is because it affects the way the horse grinds his
food and how he digests it. A bad case will prevent the horse putting on condition and also cause problems with a bit in his
mouth. It can make it hard for him to graze.
Mild cases are easy enough to treat with dental floating (rasping) and
severe cases benefit from dental procedures, such as braces believe it or not! Mild cases are where the top teeth protrude
slightly over the bottom incisors but still meet the bottom ones and a severe case is where the top teeth protrude so far
over the bottom ones that they do not meet.
I found a useful article written by an Australian vet with excellent
photographs of parrot mouth. If you're interested, go to www.evdsdentalinstruments.com/site/index.php?section=94 .
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Record visitors in August 2010
9:41 am gmt
We would like to thank everyone who has visited our website and put forward questions. We had our record number of unique
visitors in August, much to our surprise as it is holiday season. It really does prove that the experts on website building
are right: you don't need to spend money on advertising a website if the content is useful enough to bring more and more people
to it. Obviously ours is a specialised website supplying the needs of a niche audience so we can't expect the numbers
of visitors the likes of Amazon.com receive. Another thing to remember when building a website is to make sure the information
on it is authentic. But enough about that, unless of course you want advice about building and maintaining a small website.
If so, contact email@example.com !
We have big plans for Autumn 2010. We'll be launching our first ever collection of Equestrian and Country Christmas
Cards and we also hope to have a page for Questions and Answers - an A to Z of short, pithy info. So please stay with us,
keep coming back every now and then and, last but not least, encourage your friends to buy our cards. Thanks again.