Monday, 19 June 2017

Where am I ??

I won't be blogging again until the 26th June - I am in Iceland! 

Have you seen my You Tube channel? Horse Life and Love
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Back soon!


Friday, 16 June 2017

All About ... Magnetic Therapy

Magnetic Therapy has been used throughout the centuries.  First mentioned in 200BC by Galen, a Greek physician, magnets have been used in a variety of ways.  However, research is still varied and there is still uncertainty about the effects of magnets on the body.

Magnetic Therapy can improve circulation by encouraging blood flow and therefore increasing cell activity in a particular area.  It is the increase in blood and cell activity in an area that helps to repair and regenerate tissue - therefore encouraging healing!  It is also suggested that magnetic therapy can reduce pain.

Magnets can be used:
·         to warm up muscles and ligaments before exercise
·         to ease aches and pains after exercise
·         to reduce inflammation and encourage new cell growth
·         to calm or soothe a horse

Magnets can also be used to treat injuries, for example:
·         bowed tendons, tendonitis etc
·         ligament injury
·         bone injury

There are a huge range of magnetic products available now for use on horses including leg wraps and blankets.  Many people have found them to be effective.

Remember: horses should not be exposed to magnets whilst they are being exercised.  This is because a result of magnetic therapy is to stimulate the circulatory system which increases body temperature.  Horses already become hot when working!

Have you seen this week's video 'More enthusiasm needed!' 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!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

June Sunshine ... Sometimes!

So far June has been disapointing, windy and a bit colder than it should be :( 

 ... but the grass has started growing.  

Chesney and Tommy are becoming better friends!  Chesney lets Tommy get closer now and Tommy is braver :)

Have you seen yesterday's  video 'More enthusiasm needed'  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!

Monday, 12 June 2017

The Don

The Don breed name comes from the river Don which is found in the steppes of Russia.  Don Cossacks used the horses as far back as the 18th century as cavalry horses.    They are still found on the Asian Steppes where they cope with heavy winter snow and have to forage for survival.  They are extremely tough and hardy.

It is believed that the Don contains blood from Turkoman and Karabakh stallions which were captured from the south and set free to roam with the original smaller horses which the Don Cossacks rode.  As with the Akhal-Teké this is where the golden chestnut colour originates!


Thought of as a working horse, the Cossacks used the Don for raids on Napoleon's army during the retreat over the winter of 1812.  The horses had to be able to survive on little food but also cope with the bitter cold whilst carrying riders.  These horses also marched to Paris and back - an unprecedented campaign!

The breed became popular and many horses were exported.  Unfortunately, numbers fell during the Russian revolution and WWI.  However, a programme of breeding was established to restore numbers.


Height:  15.1hh - 16hh

Colour:  'Gold' chestnut, chestnut, bay or grey.

Conformation:  Fairly wiry appearance. Good clean head set onto a good neck.  The withers are high and the chest deep.  The back is long as are the legs and the hooves are strong.

Temperament:  Tough and self sufficient.

Used as a good all rounder.  Popular for long distance riding but also driving and are often used in a Russian tachanka - 4 horses are hitched side by side.

Have you seen last week's video 'Muddy Tommy'  on my 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!

Friday, 9 June 2017

All About ... Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a different type of treatment, for some physical and psychological problems in horses, which uses essential plant oils (essence).  The use of these oils can be traced back to at least 2000BC, the Bible records their use and the Egyptians were known for using them widely.  There are records of the use of Aromatherapy in Britain from the 13th century.

 The plant essences are mixed with a 'carrier' before they can be used and the quality of the essence will depend on the extraction method.  The best oils are obtained using steam distillation and they must then be stored correctly to maintain their quality, in a tightly sealed dark glass bottle.    It is also very important that the strength of the essential oil is correct to ensure the desired effect is achieved, overly strong essential oils can have the opposite effect.  The 'carrier' is often sweet almond or sunflower oil although a water based gel is sometimes used.  

The plant essences can be used for:
·         massage
·         compresses
·         lotions
·         ointments

and for treating
·         sweet itch
·         mud fever
·         other skin problems
·         allergies
·         aches
·         arthritis
·         respiratory problems
·         behavioural problems

An aromatherapist will often mix several oils together and offer options to a horse, the horse will pick out their choice by showing more interest in one!  

The oils can then be massaged into the horses skin when they will be absorbed via the hair follicles into the body.  Alternatively, the essential oils can be administered by inhalation; using a vapouriser in the stable or by spraying onto the rug. The smell of the oils is transmitted to the brain via the Nervous System  these messages can then trigger reactions ; reduce pain, encourage calm, balance the body, or stimulate.  Herbs often used include:

·         Basil
·         Bergamot
·         Chamomile
·         Citronella
·         Eucalyptus
·         Geranium
·         Lavender
·         Lemon
·         Tea Tree
·         Yarrow

I have written blogs about several of these herbs in the past.

·         Horses with oil on them should not be turned out in the hot sun - they will burn! 
·         Never use essential oils undiluted as they can be toxic.
·         Some essential oils are banned from competition.
·         Qualified equine aromatherapists will work with the permission of  a vet.

Did you see Wednesday's video 'Muddy Tommy'  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!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

May 2017 Review

Yes!!!!  Progress is continuing and Basil and I are enjoying ourselves.  We are working back up to a small jump at the moment, just poles so far though. My brakes are still working and balance and rhythm is getting better week on week.  We are enjoying the better weather, no rugs, and I have swapped them onto their summer routine now so they are out at night and in during the day.

My Aims for May were:

1.      Calmness - still improving
2.      Rhythm - and this is too :)
3.      Suppleness - good progress in walk and trot, not so much in canter
4.      More balance - definitely feel this is getting better
5.      Correct canter leads - most of the time
6.      Turn on forehand - forgotten to practise this
7.      Leg yield - still good 90% of the time
8.      Poles - yes !

This is what May  looked like:

2nd  - rode in the arena today, softer in walk and looking for a contact.  We had a good session today with some great walk and trot serpentines. Brilliant left canter, settled really quickly but on right rein I had to do lots of trot circles before he dropped his head and stopped rushing.

3rd - lunging, great.

5th - lunged again today and Basil was very good for most of it, but then had a nutty moment and galloped up and down the side with Chesney the other side of the fence.  Tommy was galloping around the field too :(

6th - Badminton

7th - arena, we had to do fewer circles today before Basil calmed down enough to canter which means we continue to make progress.  Softer and more balanced and a slower canter too - all good things.

9th - great ride in the arena today.  Lovely walk and trot leg yield and some great trot serpentines, on the bit, good rhythm and bend :)  Canters were calmer too.

12th  - arena and still making progress.

13th - hack out today - lovely.

15th - arena schooling and we are still moving forward.  Calmer sooner before I try to canter and some great circles.

16th - lunged today.

17th - rained all day :(

19th - rained all day :(

20th - arena for a slightly disappointing session today.  Basil was rushing so we had much less rhythm and he was really anticipating the cantering.

21st - arena and a better session today.  Basil was steadier, better canter transitions and steadier in canter, more balanced.  We walked over 3 poles today.

23rd -  HOT today.  Quiet lunging session.

24th - HOT today, rode 20 minutes before swapping them to summer routine - which means I will now ride early in the morning before it gets hot.  We did lots of walk and some trot.  Worked over the poles again and I eventually go Basil to trot steadily enough over the trotting poles to meet them all correctly.  Farrier too.

26th - lunged, had a very silly  moment but much cooler early in the morning.

27th - arena early today, we had some good trots over the poles again today :)

28th - hack, it is lovely and quiet first thing, sunny and peaceful :) :)

31st - rode early again today.  Lovely trot serpentines again today, one wrong canter strike on right rein, not quite prepared.  Cantered some pretty good circles today too.

 My Aims for June are:

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

As I am away for some of June we probably won't jump this month - but maybe!

Have you seen yesterday's video 'Muddy Tommy' on my 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!