Archive for April, 2010

Top Rural and Countryside Blogs

April 30th, 2010

We are in the age of new media, rural and countryside dwellers have been using the new media just as much as the townies (Broadband availability permitting). There are quite a few fantastic rural blogs out there that give you information about countryside in general or a particular aspect of the countryside from buying, selling a horse, generating revenue for your small holding to rural lifestyles. We bring you some of the leading rural blogs out there, we hope you find them informative.

Farming Related Blogs

  • DEFRA Blog –  department for environment food and rural affairs needs no introduction if you are a farmer or lives in a rural area. Their blog can be informative, though when this was being written they were talking about the General Election.

Horse Related Blogs

Badminton Horse Trials – Sponsored by Mitsubishi Motors, Badminton horse trials in Gloucestershire is one of the most important horse trials on horse lovers calendar. This blog gives you the low down on this annual event, who is hot in what event and so on. Visit this blog to get the low down including information you may not necessarily find on the official Badminton horse trials homepage.

Other Countryside/Rural Blogs

Field Day – A nice humorous blog about countryside issues ranging from food and drink to wildlife conservation.

Add your rural blog to this page FREE

Horse Lovers Dating is compiling the largest and most authoritative listing of rural and countryside blogs in UK, if you write a countryside blog or know of one you feel we should have on this list, please contact us using the contact for found here and we will consider adding your nominated blog to this page.

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Horse riding basics – how to sit correctly

April 29th, 2010

This rider is not sitting correctly
Horse riding, the art of keeping a horse between you and the ground, has many important aspects, including sitting corectly.
General position
The basic position for walk and halt is sit up straight and tall, keep your elbows in a diagonal line with the horses mouth (your arms should never be straight), keep your heels down. keep the ball of your foot in the stirrup,ensure your shoulder, hip and heel are in a straight line.

When riding the position of your hands is important. How you hold the reins is also important, you should be able to feel a horses mouth without jabbing or pulling at the reins. Your instructer will tell you how to hold the reins correctly, but remember, always keep your thumbs on top and don’t rest your hands on the saddle or the horses neck.

Stirrups need to be different lengths for different activities. Dressage is done with long stirrups and requires confident riders with a deep seat.
For beginners, stirrups should be as long as your arm from finger tip to arm pit, to give a general idea.

Jumping position
When you start to jump your instructor will explain every thing you need to know but it is good to come prepared.
The way you approach a jump is very important. Keep your heels down, look ahead, keep your normal position and ride positively.
Take off
As you take off the only change in your position should be that you fold forward at your hips. Keep your heels down!
Moment of suspension
Keep the same position as above.
As you land, keep your heels down, they are your anchor, and sit up so that as you make the getaway, you are back in your usual position.

To achieve a good seat there are some exercises you can do. These include riding without stirrups and practicing sitting still (although this will most likely not be done in your first lesson).

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Horse Riding Basics – Your first riding lesson

April 18th, 2010

Learning Horse Riding

In the first article of Horse Riding Basics
we looked at how to choose a riding school that suits your needs. In this article we  examine what you need to do and how to prepare for your first riding lesson, including basic safety tips, what to wear, how to prepare for the lesson and other tips to make you first horse or pony riding lesson a pleasant experience.

Preparing for your first lesson
You should get to the riding school at least half an hour before you are due to start, you should consider booking your lessons in such a way that you are not the first pupil of the day, getting there half an hour early would probably mean that you will see the student before you still riding, watch other riders riding and listening to the instruction the instructor is giving usually help calm and prepare novice riders.

What to wear to your first riding lesson
You will find a list of the clothing and footwear you need for your first riding lesson below. You should not rush out to your nearest tack shop and buy all the equitment until you are absolutely certain you want to continue with horse riding, if you buy the equipment and clothing and then discontinue learning to ride a horse, you would have wasted a lot of money so it may be advisable to hire or borrow some or most of the clothing and equipment for a few lessons, once you are certain riding is for you, you can then buy your own clothing and equipment.

Horse Riding Hat Standard
Riding hat: Just like cyclist and motocyclist wear crash helments when riding, horse riders must wear a riding hat when riding to protect their head in case of an accident. The riding hat you buy or borrow must conform to current British Horse Society (bhs) standards such as BS EN1384.
For young riders, buying a second hand riding hat could be an option, because children outgrow riding hat and other equipment quickly, you may find some quality second-hand riding hats for children. But some people say it is unadvisable for any body buy second hand riding hats as they may be be broken inside.

Body protectors: While body protectors are not mandatory, it is advisable to wear one as it reduces the risk of serious injury should you fall during your riding lesson. For phases like cross country they are essential but your first lesson certainly will not involve cross country.

Riding trousers (Jodhpurs/breeches): Though Jodhpurs are the ideal riding trousers, any close-fitting trousers that allow you freedom of movement and protect your skin from getting sore from rubbing agains the saddle is adequate. Avoice trousers such as jogging bottoms or other material made from nylon or related materials.

Riding boots: You can choose the long knee lenght boots or jodhpur boots providers protection for the feet and ankle. As a beginner, you may also use any sturdy shooes with stout heels such as walking boots. The one pair of shoes you should not consider wearing for your riding lesson are trainers.

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Spotty the Dalmatian Foal – Dotted Dartmoor pony spotted in Devon

April 13th, 2010

Spotty the Dalmatian Foal – Rare polka dotted Dartmoor pony spotted in Devon

At first glance, the ramblers that found spotty the pony probably think they found the missing dalmatian dog from the 101 dalmatian  but then spotty is way too big to be mistaken for a dog. Perhaps a young Zebra that has escaped from a zoo? that is wrong too.
Cliff-top ramblers spotted this photogenic foal at Wembury Point in Devon. Spotty’s parents were part of wild horses and ponies that grazed and lived in Dartmoor until they were moved to  Wembury Point to help keep the grass short. Nickname spotty by the rambler who spotted him but called Pongo by its owner.

Spotty or Pongo as its owner prefers to call him has an unusually colouring. His mother is a brown and his father where he is though to have got his colouring is from the stock of ancient British Spotted breed which used to be quite common.

Spotty who was born a week ago is said to be going back to  Dartmoor on Friday to join the rest of the herd. He will be back to Wembury Point when he is a little older to come back and graze.

Do you own or know of a horse or pony with similar colouring to Spotty? why not share the picture with us by commenting on this post and posting a link to your spotted horse?

The British Spotted Pony society describes the characteristics of spotted ponies as follows:
A quality pony with adequate bone and substance, hardy and active with real pony character of miniature, riding or cob type up to and including 14.2 hh.
Breed Characteristics:
All ponies must display some or all of the following:
White sclera around the eye.
Mottled skin – this part-dark, part-pink skin is usually most evident around the genitals, lips, muzzle, eyes and inside the ears.
Striped hooves.

You can find more information about spotted horses at  British Spotted Pony Society. 

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Find new love in spring & win £100 Countrywide vouchers

April 13th, 2010

Join Horse Lovers Dating with £100 voucher

Arrival of spring is a magical time in the countryside, pale green shoots, pink blossoms and brilliant white colours fills the countryside as snowdrops, bluebells and other flowers of spring emerges from the soil and come alive. Spring lamb are being spotted on the hills and field as dawn chorus gains momentum. This is the time of the year thoughts of single men and women, young and old begins to turn to love.

Find your perfect Country match this spring at Horse Lovers Dating. We have thousands of singles just like you, looking for love and meaningful relationship. Registration is free, you can also upload your profile, send up to 400 messages to local singles completely free of charge.

Will you be needing his and hers riding hat?

His and hers riding hat courtesy of Horse Lovers Dating?
If you join Horse Lovers Dating before the end of May 2010 we will enter you in a raffle to win Countrywide vouchers worth £100. Who know what can happen once you are a members of Horse Lovers Dating; one of the fastest growing rural dating network in UK. You could be shopping for riding hat for you and your new lover, our £100 voucher could just buy you his and hers riding helmet.

How to with £100 Countrywide Vouchers

To win the £100 countrywide vouchers, you need to sign up with Horse Lovers Dating by midnight the 31st of May 2010. Comment on this blog post to let us know you join via this offer and we will enter you into a raffle. The winner will be chosen at random and notified via private message in our dating platform. We look forward to welcoming you as a Horse Lovers Dating member.

Please click here to join Horse Lovers Dating.

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