Archive for July, 2011

Ride your pony without fear – Tips for young riders

July 16th, 2011

A phenomenon, a hinderance, or simply a survival mechanism? Eniola Odurinde looks into Fear.
Fear. Stress. Anxiety.
These are all negative emotions. People say that riding is the ultimate stress buster, but does the stress that you carry through the yard gate have an effect on your horse?
It does.
Horses can sense fear. They can feel the hand that holds their reins tremble. They can feel the quick pounding of nervous hearts and they can sense that something is frightening the rider. Horses are flight animals and we are their guides. Wild or feral horses survive in herds, but we have taken the place of the herd leader. If the herd leader is afraid of something, you should be afraid of it too. What the horses dont know is that what is (usually) scaring the riders is the horses themselves. At other times it may be a black binbag that the riders think the horses will be scared of, so they tense in anticipation, and the horses feel the rider tense up and spook at the black binbag because they think they should be scared of it because of the riders fear. It is a vicious circle, but many people dont realize the effect, and smack their horse because they think the horse is being naughty. The horse gets confused and does not quite understand, and the rider becomes even more fearful because they anticipate the ‘bad’ behavior.
Some riding school horses are used to the negative, anxious vibes that they receive from beginners, but most horses, especially young ones are extremely sensitive to these vibes.
If you are suffering from stress, be it over a divorce, or a hard time at work, you must not take it through the yard gate with you. Breathe deeply. Even though it sounds obvious to keep breathing, sometimes people just stop breathing. To avoid not breathing, sing a catchy, happy tune such as you are my sunshine. When you get to the yard gate, breathe deeply and close your eyes. Visualize your problems, grab them and stuff them in a bag. Seal the bag so they cannot escape and put it aside. Then enjoy the time spent on the yard.

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Training Young Horse to Carriage Drive – Part 2

July 7th, 2011

Carriage driving pony

Once the horse is 100% comfortable with all the harness it is time to long rein him in full harness. Once he is comfortable with this, attach traces to his harness and have one person lead him amd another two to hold the traces. The leading person trots the horse along and the other two people hold on and get ‘pulled’ along. Some people recommend getting the horse to pull a tyre, but these can bounce and hit a horse’s rump or legs causing him to take off. If you do choose to use this method great care should be taken to ensure there are no bumps to spook the horse.

Some people get the horses to pull railway sleepers, others prefer to use hay bales.

One person should get the carriage near the horse and bang and clatter it a bit to ensure the horse is comfortable with the noise.

Once your horse is ready, under the instruction of an experienced driver it is time to get your horse pulling a sledge. Your guide will take you through the steps of going about it correctly.

Once your horse is doing all of this calmly and confidently’ it will soon be time to put him to. But before you do this, get him used to the shafts against his sides to avoid problems by getting two wooden poles, old broom handles will do, and stand behind him ( out of the kick zone of course (even if you trust him with your life, he may still be spooked by wooden poles touching his sides)). Carefully rub the poles against his side, to recreate the effect of the shafts.

Once all of these steps have been sucessfully completed, the time has come to put the horse to. For this activity you need at least three people, one to hold the horse, and the other two to carefully lift the shafts over the horses back and gently slide them into place.

Once you have him put to, slowly walk him forward so he can feel the shafts against his sides.. With time and careful handling, you will soon be able to put weight on the carriage and then you will progress to actually driving the horse, teaching him to obey your voice and rein aids and you will be truly off and away!!!

good luck and happy times with your hose!!!

top tip: you will go so much further if you talk to your horse. Dont feel stupid about it, say whatever you like in a calming tone and he will trust you much more.

For more information on carriage driving visit to check out other carriage driving aspects and events

Your can read part one of this article here.

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Car collides with horses in Cumbria

July 3rd, 2011

Two horses died when a car collides with the horses and their riders in Cumbria. A man in his 70 has been charged for causing the collision, his charges includes drink-driving, driving without due care and attention and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.

The collision happened where the slip road joined another road off junction 39, near Shap, at at about 6PM on Friday. A male rider in his 60s suffered a minor head injury and serious chest and leg injuries. A woman in her 50s suffered minor knee injuries.

When collision like this occurs, the horses always come off worst, most of the time losing their lives.