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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.

IMPORTANT - The opinions expressed here are from personal experience and we strongly advise you to contact your veterinary surgeon or your riding instructor if you are seriously worried about your horse. Prompt action is important.

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Saturday, December 31, 2011


If a horse wanted to make a New Year Resolution, what do you think it would be? Here is a list by readers on our Facebook page:

1.       Eat less hay and get on the slimmer side. (Ella Loveyuee Ridgewell)

2.       Convince rider that I DO NOT like bath time! (Abby O'Regan)

3.       Not to be as strong. (Paige Firman)

4.       Try harder to do stuff with their owner - adopt an owner. (Keilin Polar Coley Coleman)

5.       Maybe try to jump higher? (Eimear O'Reilly-Smith)

6.       Stop wrecking my rug so that I will be allowed to wear the expensive rugs! (Tammy Gilyeat)

7.       To stop being so grumpy and impatient when it's food time. (Gemz Donaldson)

8.       Actually listen and not do what I want all of the time. (Gabbeey Jonessyy)

9.       To train my 'person' into bringing more sweets every time they come...who cares if my bum looks big in my rug! (Anita Marsh Neé Farrell)

10.   To lift my legs going over jumps! (Megan Lyons)

11.   To eat more grass...do less work ...lol (Kelly Palmer)

12.   To tell my owner to stop telling me to slow down when I go for a hoon... why does it matter that she hasn't got any control?! (Kate Dooney)

13.   Convince my 'person' I don't need exercise as I get plenty of it playing in the field turning up all the grass! (Livi -May)

14.   To stay in my field until mum comes for me and stop showing off by bringing myself in. (Fern Brooks)

15.   To stop making my owner walk four fields further than necessary because I've decided fence jumping is so much fun...or at least bring those jumping skills with me into the school! (Sophia Killjoy Greppi)

16.   More sweets, less work, and more pasture time! And a good scratch right there, no.. there, ahhhhh that's it right there! Lol. (Jacqi Beck)

17.   To maybe let the owner catch him! (Tia Tilly B)

18.   Learn more tricks so I get more treats and get fat! (Jess Pullen)

19.   Won't kick, bite or rear my owner off..won't sneeze in my owner face, won't do a dump just as my owner cleaned the stable..lift my feet for the farrier..I will be well behaved at all times and never be a moody mare. Happy new year for us all! (Arenda Lake)

20.   I shall not poo in my water bucket just as I've watched my owner drag it across the yard! I shall also try not to chew or snot in my owner's hair or dribble down her neck (although I think she loves it really). (Amy Louise Cole)

21.   To have more grass and lots of carrots and lots of mud to muck about in! (Dayna Lee)

22.   I will not be going out in the fields at 5.30am in the morning anymore lol ! (Sue Bowtell Was Griffiths)

23.   This year I will defo be getting my rider off, lol. (Sharon Rolfe)

6:37 pm gmt 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

When to do the last clip of the season?

When do you clip your horse for the last time for the season? This was a question we received recently and, like many equestrian queries, it has multiple answers. Traditionally, horses usually received their last clip in December or January so as not to interfere with the summer coat coming through. 

If you ask a showing owner, he or she will probably tell you that they clip all year round, especially if they specialise in cobs who need constant trimming to keep them looking tidy.

If you ask a hunting owner, the horse will be clipped to stop him sweating until the end of the season which is usually February.

And then it depends on where you live and what the weather is like. When we asked others on our Facebook page, it turned out that owners in Scotland will clip as late as April some years if weather is cold.

When planning to clip a horse, the main thing is to be flexible. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I really need to clip the horse? Is he or she sweating when working and finding it hard to dry afterwards? If the horse or pony doesn't sweat, is not in work or only in light work such as hacking, there is no need to clip. 

2. Is he an old horse who sweats in warm weather and gets very itchy? If this is the case, clip in Spring to keep sweating to a minimum and reduce the chance of skin infections. Removing the rug instead can help if the weather is warm. 

3.  Different sports require different types of clips. A horse who has to gallop fast will need more clipping than one used for leisure riding. 

We have a whole page devoted to caring for horses in winter so click here for more info.  


3:01 pm gmt 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Countdown to a Horsey Christmas
The Christmas Countdown Clock has really started ticking...Advertisements/ChristmasGiftIdeas.jpg

Cards sold well at Christmas Crafts Fair
We went to a Christmas Crafts Fair last Sunday in Cahir, Co. Tipperary with our Christmas and Greetings Cards. While last year's fair was very quiet, this time it was better attended (without the snow and ice worries) and our cards sold very well. The most popular were the large, A5 cards and the 'Labrador Lying in Snow' was the favourite of the day because these were not horsey people but it's amazing how many people own a labrador. They also liked the little Jack Russell wishing you to 'Have a Ball on Your Birthday'! There were plenty of cat lovers too and the large, ginger cat wedged in the bird table amused many. See our Christmas Cards here.

Online Store with three different categories
We've got plenty of Christmas Gift ideas for you. We've categorized three sections in our Online Store: (1) Under £10 (2) Under £25 and (3) Under £50. The reason these are in GB pounds and not euro is because we have an affiliation with amazon.co.uk. When you click on an amazon link, you get brought to the main amazon.co.uk website and the prices you pay are their usual ones so you don't pay any more. We get a small commission for advertising if you buy something. To visit our Christmas Online Store, click here.

Specially selected books and DVDs
We've got a page of reviews of books and DVDS for you to see, including an interesting book on how to train your horse or pony to do tricks. It's called 'From Leading to Liberty'. We've got a DVD about Monty Roberts in which he recalls his lifelong memories and what he has learned over the decades. If you're into keeping fit, we have 'Pilates for Riders' and for those of you who like a bit of nostalgia or perhaps missed them the first time around because you were too young, we've got 'The Adventures of Black Beauty' and 'Flicka' - both DVDs are great value and will keep horse lovers occupied for hours.

The new Amazon Kindle, horse covers and everything else you need for it!
Do you still prefer paper books or have you moved to electronic ones? The new Amazon Kindle is on this page and there are two lovely horse covers which have been produced for it. One has a black horse and the other, yes you've guessed, a white one! On the Kindle and Horses page you'll also find lists of ebooks for children and others for adults. In fact, there's an extensive list of anything you need to do with Kindle and, if we've forgotten anything, you can always use the Search Box to find what you really want.

Happy shopping!
2:53 pm gmt 

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


More info: 

UK and Ireland


Reading on the beach or in the bath? - STAR PRODUCT OF THE MONTH

I'm addicted to reading and I love the NEW KINDLE OASIS because it's waterproof. Believe it or not, you can drop it into water and it will still work. No more worries about taking my Kindle to the beach or pool. It's ideal for my husband who likes to read - and fall asleep - in the bath! It's also got built-in Audible so I don't need to take two devices with me and can switch from reading to listening whenever I want.

(Suzanne - Editor of Horse and Pony Info) 

Watch out for laminitis in small ponies and Native Breeds. Keeping weight under control is vital.


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


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