Where tradition ends and horse welfare begins

Tradition, in many respects, is a wonderful thing and I personally think it is great that we still ride in jackets and stocks despite the new and fancier options that we could potentially have adopted. I’m such a stickler for tradition that I still wear my stock under my XC colours in the cross-country phase and have an older style jacket for showjumping (to the despair of my friends who tease me about it frequently!). That said, the training system we use, while it still includes many of the traditional ideas, is completely new age, science based and built on…

What’s Wrong with a Bucket and Sponge?

It’s a sight we see at many a horse event – hot, sweaty horses standing in line waiting for their turn at the wash bays. Debatably, it’s a great time for your horse to have a pick of grass and you a chat to your friend or debrief your round with a loved one, but what is happening on the inside of your horse? While he may appear to be enjoying a pick of grass as he waits his turn for a wash, on the inside his temperature is rising and every degree counts. If a horse’s body temperature rises…

Running Performance Horses in Herds

I wouldn’t exactly call it a ‘herd’, but running my high level event horses together was initially a pretty big leap of faith. Luckily, the benefits have proven to be well worth the white knuckles and hair-greying of the initial meeting! We didn’t just chuck them all out together of course, but it is still nerve-racking when keeping horses separately has become so naturalized over the years – despite it being so much more natural for them to live together. Horses are extremely tactile creatures. They are always together, playing, bumping each other, quietly driving each other around the paddock…