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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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Friday, February 17, 2012

Bombproof and mannerly horses

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.

For more tips on bombproofing, click here.

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.
9:12 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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There are 5 breeds mentioned: Shetland, New Forest, Welsh Mountain, Thoroughbred and Irish Draught.


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