Gymnastics in riding is very helpful when it comes to jumping your horse. It not only helps develop your horses muscles, but also help the rider to better understand and play around with striding.
Benefits of Gymnastics Exercises:
- Develops confidence in both horse and rider
- Gain better balance
- Learning to stay on a consistent rhythm
- Corrects drifting/improves straightness
- Helps in understanding/controlling striding
- Helps in developing equitation
Generally, there are 3 phases, which include trot poles, cross pole, vertical and an oxer. This gives you a variety to work with and better understand the feel over the jumps.
You mostly start with trotting over the trot poles, however, there are some who prefer to just canter straight towards the cross pole. It depends on your riding and training.
Here is a video that helps to explain the 3 parts:
I personally need to work on this a lot! It is a good exercise to do at least once a week, even if it is only poles on the ground.
Hope this helps 🙂
I have been asked a few times what to look for when buying a new horse, or the average cost etc.
Therefore, I decided to write up this post just to summarize some crucial points to keep in mind before purchasing a horse.
Things to think of before considering buying a horse:
- Determine your level: If you are a beginner, it is best to stick with riding schools or leasing rather than owning a horse until you are a little more experienced
- Commitment: Are you ready to commit to taking care of a horse and riding it often?
- Cost: A horse’s price may range, but the cost of livery and other services they need for maintenance is costly with each month
- Outcome: Why are you looking to buy a horse? what is your goal? Leisure riding? competing? etc.
- Look around: Do not settle for one breeder/seller, ask around and see what’s out there
- Ask around: Do not be afraid to ask horse owners about the lifestyle and their experience with their horses
- Get Help: Do not attempt to go ride a horse on your own. Make sure you have a knowledgable trainer, friend, horse owner etc, with you
- People are not always honest: Hard truth is that people lie, whether it be about the horse, price, history etc. So keep that in mind.
Things to think of when considering a horse:
- Pick a discipline: as horses of different breeds are used for different disciplines
- Keep options open: Just because you liked an ad for one horse, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at others
- Take an experienced person with you
- Watch the horse being lead walking and trotting
- Observe as being ridden: Ask seller or person with you to ride the horse beforehand if you are not comfortable
- Ride the horse yourself
- Check horse’s behaviour: Loading in trailer, stable manners, farrier etc.
- Temper: are they too temperamental or too lazy?
- Experience: What have they done in the past? Schoolmaster? green?
- Age: Old does not mean experienced and vise versa
- Horse History: Check the horses medical and training history
- Price: Are they worth the price asked? Always negotiate
- VET CHECK VET CHECK VET CHECK! I cannot stress enough about this, but make sure you do a vet check that is not in the same location as the horse is generally in, as things may be overlooked or gotten used to.
I hope I didn’t forget anything els, if so please comment below 🙂
Ever since Tofino’s sight has been deteriorating, he has been very difficult to load onto the trailer, even though we never had a problem with loading at all before.
First thing first, NEVER use force. No whips, chains, hitting etc. The reason why a horse won’t load is either because it’s something new and need to get used to it, or it’s because they are genuinely afraid for many reasons.
- Be patient
- Open the side door of the trailer so the area feels less claustrophobic
- Having a horse already inside will help to ease anxiety and doubt
- Lead your horse yourself as they probably trust YOU
- Allow your horse to walk around the trailer and sniff it out
- Reward with each step
- Talk to your horse gently
- If that fails, simply cover your horses eyes with a jumper or towel and lead them inside (this seems to work most of the time)
Note: Don’t forget your safety travel gear!
If you have any specific technique you know of, please do not hesitate to share. Personally, I have been using the above steps and ended up having to cover his face once which worked like a charm. Without doing so, it would take me 20 minutes to load otherwise.
Hope this helps
Riding protection vests are not only used for eventing and cross country, but can also be used for jumping or even beginner riders.
I have been using mine for the past 5 years whenever I am jumping. I use the Teuton Germany Protection Vest which I found years ago in Tack n Track.
Although the vest is bulky, I find that it doesn’t alter my movements while riding. It has velcro on both shoulders and the waist, allowing you to open it on one side or both, making it easier to wear and remove.
The vest is perforated for better breathability, however, I still do find myself sweating, but nonetheless, never overheating. You can easily remove the lining for washing by opening the velcro on the back and simply sliding it off.
The vest is in line with the old European standards: EN 13158:BETA2000 which have been stopped in 2011, with the current standards now being EN 13158:BETA2009. However, since I do not do cross-country or eventing, this one suits me just fine for now. If I were to get a new one, I would definitely recommend getting the up do date standards.
|• Easy to put on/off and move with
• Great adjustability
• Easy to wash
• Currently out of date with standards
Verdict: I would definitely recommend this vest, although it is bulky, I have been greatly satisfied with how it held up and how easy and light it is. If you plan on buying a new one though, make sure it the latest standard.
Giveaway of the Oster Grooming Kit that I previously reviewed.
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The hocks play a major role for the horses movement. They are the driving mechanism for their hind end. The Hock is the joint between the tarsal bones and tibia.
What happens to the hocks?
When the horses cartilage starts to thin in the middle join spaces, pain is evident as it is the actual bone grinding when moving. Therefore, horses will start to develop bone spurs along the edges which is the starting process of bone fusion. This affects not only the back legs, but also the the hips, croup and hindquarters.
To help relieve pain during the degeneration process, an injection is given to the lower and middle joint spaces until the process of fusion is complete. Fusion is a good thing in this case as they don’t slide, and therefore they don’t hurt anymore.
This happens to many athletic horses. The injection consists of corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory agents that according to studies and performance, help with pain relief and inflammation. Some vets combine corticosteroid with hyaluronate (also known as hyalruonic acid, or HA) to help lubricate the joint. Tofino got his hock injected within the first few months of having him. His X-ray showed that he has arthritis between the joints and started to develop bone spurs (see pic below).
- Type of riding
- Genetics (play a role in arthritic degeneration)
- Movement, or lack there of (horses in stall, standing still will be a lot stiffer)
- Joint Supplements: Adequan, Legend, Pentosan, glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM, NSAIDs are some of many suppliments that can aid in joint lubrication and pain.
- Weight management & Exercise: If your horse is overweight it can put a load of pressure on the hocks. If not then just continue to work them normally, and keep the outside of their box as much as possible.
- Therapy: To help relieve stiffness and pain.
- Surgery: Only in extreme cases, surgical drilling of the hock joints or chemical fusion of the hocks may be an option.
- Injections: Cortisone injections provide somewhat of a long term anti-inflammatory effect and pain relief. Depending on discipline and intensity, the injection may last somewhere between between 6 and 15 months.
Within the 5 years that I have had Tofino, I have only injected him 3 times so far. As soon as I start to notice when he’s in pain in that area, I give our vet a call. I found that the Turmeric treats help SO MUCH with the fluidity of his movements, and his diet, being on Reverdy Feed has given him the right nutrients, without adding supplements, to hold off on the injections, therefore, not needing them as much.
We are not sponsored by Reverdy Feed anymore, but I still stand by the product as I have noticed a great deal of positive change with Tofino’s performance and body.
Although I like to use the Ecolicious De-Stress , I heard a lot about the EQyss brand and decided to try their Detangler.
- Smooths out tangles, mats or knots
- Excellent for manes, tails, braids, or feathered legs
- Enhances shine
- Softens coat, mane and tails
- Vitamin E protects hair
I have used this for over a month now and I am honestly not liking it. This is a silicone based de-tangler which I find adds a “fake” shine and rigid feel to your horses mane & tail without adding any benefits in the long run.
After usage, there is minimal positive difference on the tail, and rather a negative one with the time used. I found that it made Tofino’s mane & tail frizzy, brittle, dry and rough. Sure it de-tangles, but it takes a lot of product to do so. With that being said, shine is very minimal and frizz is not tamed. I tried it on both dry and wet tail and it seemed to work better with the tail being wet but only lasts the day.
The consistency feels silky without being sticky or gooey. The scent is strong out of the bottle, but once on the horse, it cannot be smelt, which in my opinion is good, as I did not like the floral scent.
• De-tanlges temporarily
|• Doesn’t last
• Minimal shine
• Silicon based
• No long term benefit
• Leaves mane & tail with a plasticky feel
Verdict: This is a big NO for me. As much as I wanted to like this, the ingredients do not help, the results are more on the negative side unfortunately.