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Hoofbeats - The Blog 

Welcome to our blog page, HOOFBEATS, where we talk about the countryside with a main emphasis on training and caring for horses and ponies. If you would like to contribute ideas and information about your own experiences, we would be delighted to hear them. Please email to editor@horseandponyinfo.com or post to our Facebook Page, Horse and Pony Info. If you're into Twitter, you can contact us @horse_ponyinfo.

The opinions expressed here are from personal experience and we strongly advise you to contact your vet or your riding instructor if you are seriously worried about your horse.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

July: Pony Club Camp, French students and schooling horses
I can't believe it's nearly August. So much has been happening that July seems to have galloped past.

Sprite made it to the Pony Club Camp
For any readers who worried that Sprite, the naughtiest pony at the Pony Club Rally, and his little rider didn't get to go to Pony Camp, you can breathe a sigh of relief because, believe it or not, he made it. His rider brought a whip to wave at him at the next rally and he behaved like a little angel. Both rider and pony enjoyed the camp and came home with a hoard of rosettes. One was for, wait for it, 'Most Improved Show Jumper' but I suspect it was the jockey rather than the pony who won that!Traininghorses/Acenarrowfence.jpg
French Students
Our French students returned again this year and their visit lasted seven weeks. We had a lot of fun and plenty of riding. The horses and ponies were taken to schooling rounds at CoilÓg, a fun show jumping competition and (what the boys like best) around the cross country course at Stradbally. Hosting French students is a worthwhile experience if you have a son or daughter the same age and, if you can offer riding, you will be paid more by the language agencies.

Schooling horses before competing
I really recommend this. There are many equestrian establishments that offer schooling now in Ireland. For example, CoilÓg in Co. Kildare holds schooling on Friday afternoons and evenings and you can ride around one of their fabulous arenas for €20. It gives a horse and rider a chance to jump coloured fences and scarey fillers without the pressure of competition. It's also great for a warm up for the experienced rider before a big competition. Put the fences any height you wish.

Schooling around cross country courses is not only essential before tackling the real thing in a competition but it is also great fun. When we go cross country training, we start off with the lower fences and work our way up. We walk from each group of fences to the next and spend as much time over the different types of obstacles as we need. We also bring a video camera (Camcorder) with us and this is helpful for analysing problems afterwards. Also recommended are bottles of water to drink and a picnic!
(Photos: Left: Cross country at Stradbally and Right: Schooling show jumpers at CoilÓg)
6:46 pm gmt 

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