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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, August 19, 2011

What to do with a 2-y-o and Great Britain win Team Gold at FEI European Dressage Championships

How much should you do with a 2-y-o horse?

Most of us would leave them in the field to grow up, keep an eye on them, teach them to lead if they don't already know, worm them, vaccinate them and have their feet pared by the farrier. That's it!

It's amazing, however, how many people can't wait to get going and start breaking them. We're not talking about flat bred race horses here but ponies and sports horses. Only a few weeks ago, I met someone who told me that her boy is planning to hunt his 2-y-o pony this Autumn. We never do much with our horses until they are 3-y-olds and, even then, they are turned away after breaking to digest what they have learned before coming back for more serious work as 4-y-olds. 

Our thanks go to Catherine Ryan of Mountain View Stables who has written a helpful account of what she does with her 2-y-olds. Ten minutes of bombproofing, grooming and handling in an appropriate and fun way can lead to a well adjusted 3-y-o which is much easier to break and not nervous of humans. Read Catherine's suggestions here

Great Britain win Team Gold at FEI European Dressage Championships for first time

Well done to the team of four riders representing Great Britain who triumphed in Rotterdam yesterday. Charlotte du Jardin had a dream beginning to representing her country when leading after day one. Carl Hester clinched top individual score on day 2. This was a fantastic achievement for the team, in the year before the London Olympics, who finished ahead of the Germans in second and the Netherlands in third. Watch an FEI TV interview with the team members here

Ireland has sent two riders to Rotterdam for the Dressage Championships: Anna Merveldt and Judy Reynolds. Good luck to them as they go in the individual competition on Saturday and Sunday, 20th and 21st. If you'd like to see the dressage live, you can watch it on FEI TV with subscriptions available on a daily, monthly or yearly basis. Click on the link on this page. 

3:31 pm gmt 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Watch FEI International jumping, dressage and eventing LIVE
We all know how little TV coverage international horse events get. We recently discovered FEI TV which gives everyone a chance to see the top competitions such as the FEI Nations Cup which takes place next Friday at Dublin International Horse Show. You can also choose a subscription which suits you.

Click here to find out about subscribing to FEI TV and watch international show jumping, dressage, eventing and more streamed LIVE on your computer. You can subscribe on a daily, monthly or annual basis.
6:11 pm gmt 

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Horses racing on a frozen lake in Switzerland
copyright: Gilles Oster - Fotolia.com

Use this in kitchen, stable or garden - your choice!

Canine equivalent of Christmas sweater in three designs


Bitless riding is becoming more popular. Read our articles by three experienced bitless riders


Recommended books:

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Horsey Brain Teaser

Answer to Brain Teaser No. 3 is 80

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FURminator Equine - We recently bought one of these ourselves and have found it great. It effortlessly removed loose hair and the horses really seem to enjoy being groomed with it. We even tried it out on our dog! Obviously you need to take care not to use it on parts of the body where the bone is close to the surface, such as face and legs. (by Suzanne Lalor, Horse and Pony Info)

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Answer to Horse Breed Puzzle

There are 5 breeds mentioned: Shetland, New Forest, Welsh Mountain, Thoroughbred and Irish Draught.


Buy direct from an Irish grower
Plant hedging and trees now
We supply beech, laurel, hornbeam, box, hawthorn & yew.
Instant hedges a speciality. Ireland's premier grower of
beech hedging.

Bareback riding
Students come to Ireland to learn English and ride horses

Small ponies rarely need shoes
'Black Pony' available as a greeting card. Click photo to buy.
Take rugs off horses and ponies in April and May
'Equine Conversation' is available as greetings card. Click photo to buy.

Visit our page of cards of Cats and Dogs
Black Labrador in Deck Chair. Click photo to buy.

Watch a tame fox in West Cork eating food from human hands
(This file is 50mb so, if you have a slow internet connection, you might need to go off and make yourself a cup of coffee while it's getting itself organised on your computer).

Play video of tame fox in West Cork - 50mb

Horses load better if they enjoy going to shows
'Clearing the Last' - available as a Greetings Card. Click photo.

A pony who had been abused

Do you have ideas or a problem which would interest our readers? Please email to editor@horseandponyinfo.com .