Monday, 17 July 2017

Product Review - Shires Boots & Roekl Gloves

For my holiday I needed rubber boots and some better gloves.  As the Iceland horses have never left the island they do not have any resistance to viruses which our horses are either vaccinated against or have some natural resistance too.  This means horses are never imported to the island but also no used leather products are allowed in.   This meant I could not take my usual boots or chaps with me.  So I had to buy some new long rubber boots.  I chose these ones from Shires, they are the 'Stanton Long Riding Boots'.

 
They look really smart and look like leather.  I also found them very comfortable even wearing them for several hours at a time.  They were comfortable to walk in too!  The zip up the back made them fit much better.  Unfortunately, they were not very waterproof,  even from rain.  Admittedly the rain on my holiday was unforgiving and continuous but I would have hoped that they would have been waterproof.


The gloves are Roeckl  'Roeck Grip' Riding Gloves.  I bought these expecting them to keep my hands dry and warm, but again they are not waterproof.  They were comfortable and I was pleased with the fitting around my wrist - often there is a gap between your coat and gloves but I didn't have that problem with these.  The gloves are not bulky and so holding the reins is no problem.  They were also plenty warm enough when dry!



I would not recommend them for riding in the rain because they were wet very quickly and then held the water inside which made my hands really cold too.



The rain in Iceland on my third day was unbelievable but I was still surprised by how quickly the gloves and my feet inside my boots became saturated :(

Did you see last week's video 'A Sunny July Day'  on my You Tube channel?   
Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.

Until next time!
Jo

Friday, 14 July 2017

All About ... CranioSacral Therapy


CranioSacral Therapy (CST) helps to promote healthy function of the tissues of the body.  The craniosacral system is the Central Nervous System  which has a huge influence on the entire body.  This therapy can help stimulate the body's own healing properties and help to calm the central nervous system.




It basically works with the horse's own healing process and uses light touch on specific parts of the body to help release any restrictions in the musculoskeletal system or other tissues.  The body is not manipulated as in chiropractic treatments but CST can help to relieve tensions and constrictions.

It can be used for:

·         Head shaking
·         Lameness
·         Cribbing
·         Hock or stifle issues
·         Lumbar or sacroiliac problems
·         Facial nerve paralysis
·         Difficulty breathing
·         Difficulty making transitions when riding
·         Teeth grinding
·         Other unexplained behaviours


CST works to restore the 'energy flow' or 'rhythm' of the craniosacral system.  The aim is to increase the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system which helps to keep the body in a relaxed and unstressed condition.  The therapy also aims to decrease the activity of the sympathetic nervous system which effects the physiological reactions to threatening situations and increases heart rate for example.




After treatment the horse should be allowed to rest for 24 hours to allow them a chance to adjust to any changes.

Injured horses should be assessed by a vet before CST is considered.

Have you seen Wednesday's video 'One Sunny July Day'  on my You Tube channel?   
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You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.

Until next time!
Jo

Thursday, 13 July 2017

June 2017



A short month of riding because my holiday was sandwiched in the middle.  Definitely continuing our progress at the beginning of the month, which is good news.  Basil has put plenty (too much!) weight on and looks much better for it.  We also have been having a new roof on the stables for the last week of June so that has meant the horses have been out 24/7 for a few days, which they don't really like.  They have all been extra tired  :(


My Aims for June were:

1.        Calmness - mostly
2.        Rhythm - variable
3.        Suppleness - yes, definitely
4.        More balance in canter - yes definitely
5.        Correct canter leads - variable
6.        Turn on forehand - yet again variable
7.        Leg yield circles (spirals) - forgot these
8.        Poles/Jump - good over poles in trot.


This is what June  looked like: 
 
2nd  - lunged today, good boy as usual.

3rd - rode in the arena today, we did half a circuit of counter canter today.  He struck the wrong lead on the right rein and I decided to carry on!  Lovely over the trotting poles today.

4th - hack out today - I always enjoy a nice gentle potter and Basil likes stopping for snacks!

7th - really windy today so no riding and it rained yesterday :(  Vet came today to take blood from Chesney for his Cushing's test.


 
9th - not sure if Basil's breathing is slightly laboured so started on some Ventipulmin today.  Rode gently in arena, walk and a bit of trot.  Leg yield and poles.

10th  - lunged, Basil seems better today.

11th - hack out :)

13th - lunged today.  Chesney started his Prascend today.

14th - rode in the arena.  He rushed the trotting poles today so we went back to walking until a few strides out.  Good walk leg yield and some great circles in trot with good bend and on the bit.  Unfortunately canter was rushed.

16th - lunged.

17th - HOLIDAY

26th - tried to lunge but after a week off Basil thought it was more important to bomb up and down the arena.

27th - lunging and a better session today. 

29th -  lunged again - want to make sure I am not going to be bucked off and giving my slightly sore backside a few more days to recover.  Wrong lead on our second right canter today, unusual when lunging.

30th - walk and trot in the arena today.  Leg yield, serpentines, circles ... very pleased with him for our first ride for a couple of weeks.



My Aims for July are:

1.      Calmness and Rhythm
2.      Suppleness
3.      More balance and slower in canter
4.      Correct canter leads
5.      Turn on forehand
6.      Leg yield circles (spirals)
7.      Canter Poles
8.      Small jump

Must try harder to achieve my aims this month, definitely the turn on forehand and spirals.

Have you seen yesterday's video 'A Sunny July Day' on my new You Tube channel?
Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.

Until next time!
Jo

Monday, 10 July 2017

Greatest Horses - Be Fair



Be Fair is the other of my two ALL TIME favourites horses.  I have read his biography 'Up, Up and Away'  so many times and I enjoy it every time.  He had such a personality but his journey to  success was not easy!  He won Badminton in 1973, was European Champion in 1975 and part of the British Team at the Montreal Olympics.




He was a beautiful chestnut colour, a thoroughbred, just under 16.2hh with a back to front question mark on his face!


Be Fair's sire was Fair and Square, who won Burghley in 1968. His dam was Happy Reunion, a hunter. The picture above is when he was 2 years old.  When it came to breaking him in he showed his naughty side by refusing to do what he was asked ... he even lay down at the end of the lunge line and refused to move!   He was purchased by Lucinda Prior-Palmer's (now Green) family when she was 15 years old and he was a 5 year old (1968). He continued to be a difficult, stubborn and strong willed horse refusing jumps and trying to do what he wanted.  One day he decided to jump the ditch as asked - he never stopped again.  He had amazing scope and a huge jump.


I think it is his partly his naughtiness that makes him one of my favourite horses but  mostly because the naughtiness was overcome and he proved to have a wonderful personality.    I only ever read about Be Fair and maybe it is the book that made him so wonderful to me but he just seemed such a special horse.  


Be Fair was injured at the 1976 Olympic Games and retired!


All the photographs in this blog are taken from the book 'Up, Up and Away'.

Have you seen last week's video 'Very naughty horses'  on my You Tube channel?   
Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.

Until next time!
Jo

Friday, 7 July 2017

All About ... Homeopathy!

Homeopathy is a therapy where drugs which are capable of causing disease in a healthy horse are given in tiny doses to stimulate the body's own defences.  The belief is that substances which cause symptoms in a healthy horse can be used to cure them in an unhealthy one.  However, it is still not certain exactly how it works.


This type of therapy has been used since ancient times but Samuel Hahnemann is generally considered the modern day founder.  A German physicist, he conducted experiments in the late 1700's before publishing his findings.  In Homeopathy the patient is treated - not the disease!

The symptoms seen in an unhealthy or sick horse are  matched to the known toxic effects produced from a particular substance - this substance is then diluted and given as a treatment.  This means that an exact diagnosis is not necessary because the symptoms seen are the body's way of fighting the disease and not caused by the disease.  The belief is that when the substances which cause the same symptoms are given to a horse it stimulates the body's response to fight the disease.  This has been explained as 'teaching the body to heal itself'.


The substances used are normally plants or minerals and they are prepared carefully.  Initially made into a tincture with alcohol they are then progressively diluted with water and violent shaking (using a machine).  In fact, theoretically,  in some situations the final remedy contains none of the original substance.

This type of treatment is matched to an individual horse based on their symptoms and not on a specific illness.  So two horses with the same illness may show different symptoms and therefore receive a different homeopathic treatment.  A complete medical history is therefore of enormous benefit, unfortunately as horses often change owners this is not always possible. 

Homeopathy can be used for:

·         Rain scald
·         Ringbone
·         Ringworm
·         Bruised Soles
·         Colic
·         Muscle sprains/strains
·         Abrasions/bites/stings
·         Laminitis
·         Warts/sarcoids


The substances are diluted to minute levels, the more dilute the more effective it is.  This means that homeopathy is a safe treatment.  There are no side effects and no residues left to show up on drugs tests for competition horses.

Remember:  

·         In the UK it is illegal for anyone other than a veterinary surgeon to prescribe a homeopathic treatment for a horse.
·         The drops or tablets must NOT be touched by your hands as this will make them ineffective.  An ideal way to administer the treatment is to pour the drops onto bread or a sugar cube or to dissolve the tablets in a small amount of water and do the same.
·         The horse should not eat anything else for at least 30 minutes and not drink for at least 15 minutes.

Did you see Wednesday's video 'Very naughty horses' on my You Tube channel?   
Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.

Until next time!
Jo

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Sunshine and grass :)



Lovely weekend, lots of sunshine.




Basil thinks Chesney is a great scratching post ....


... Chesney lets Tommy stand REALLY close :)



  The weekend ends with some nice grass. 




 


Have you seen this week's video 'Very naughty horses' on my You Tube channel?   
Horse Life and Love.  Please check it out and SUBSCRIBE.

You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on Chesney, Basil, Tommy and Daisy.

Until next time!
Jo