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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, 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

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

Visit our KINDLE AND HORSES page for eBooks and a comprehensive list of horsey and non-horsey accessories

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 .