Friday, February 17, 2012
Bombproof and mannerly horses
9:12 pm gmt
A horse doesn't care how much you know until he knows how much you care.
- Pat Parelli
It's always interesting to see which page on our website attracts the most visitors and
for the month of January 2012 it was 'Bombproof and Mannerly Horses'. We asked readers to give tips on what they thought would
be a help to anyone attempting to train their horse to be easier to manage. The page also includes two videos, one on bombproofing
and the other on clicker training.
Plastic bags are often terrifying for horses. We have one who is fearless about
most things but hates having to pass the black plastic used in silage bales. Often these are left lying around the fields
when the silage has been eaten by cattle and eventually get tossed onto fences and trees where they flap like demented crows
when we have to ride past. There are ways, however, to get your horse used to plastic, such as:
- Your horse
will get used to plastic bags if you start gradually introducing them. Feed him treats from one. Wrap one around the end of
a long stick or broom handle. Rub up and down horse's legs and sides until unafraid. Then just tie one end of bag to the stick
and start again.
- Gradually rub a colourful plastic bag over their coat when grooming to show that the
bag will not hurt them. It will help them not to be afraid of colourful things and rustling plastic. Plastic bags, balloons
and strips of plastic tape can be tied to water buckets or to doors.
Another good idea is to feed your horse
from a plastic bag. While this may be terrifying to start with, he or she will soon get interested in the food inside and,
with a bit of perseverance, should soon be happy to eat it.
NEW - Video of the month
Our first 'Favourite
Video of the Month' is 'The Ballad of Ruby Walsh' by Christy Moore, accompanied by a funny video from YouTube. Ruby
is well known in Ireland and Britain for the brilliant jockey he is and recently won the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup (Grade 1
Steeplechase at Leopardstown on 12th February) riding the Willie Mullins trained Quel Esprit. Christy Moore's song is to the
tune of 'The Galway Races' with his own particular blend of humour. It's on our Home page so have a look here to view