The Overweight Horse Who Won’t Stop Eating

Your horse is overweight. You’ve been told to feed him a lot less hay and you’re desperately trying to do the right thing. But it won’t work! It won’t work for your horse any more than a strict diet would work for people. We have known this for years when it comes to human obesity. The reason is simple – dieting restricts calories, which lowers the metabolic rate. Weight loss may occur at first, but the body goes into “survival mode” and starts to hold on to fat and becomes sluggish in burning calories, making it extremely easy to put all…

Freak Riding Accident? Hardly

The horse world has lost some good riders in the last few weeks. Sadly, it happens all too often. Horses can be unpredictable and people get hurt. Some of it is unavoidable and some of it is totally preventable.

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…

Contact and Dexterity- Part 5 The Rider Training Scale

As equestrian enthusiasts we should all understand the principles of riding and the training scale for the development and education of our horses. What is not often discussed is that there is also a ridden scale of training that assists rider progression in the development of an independent seat.

The Nervous, Anxious, Spooky, Reactive Horse- Part 3

Understanding the Worry Cup The final part of this series from Shelley Appleton: I am now going to provide a short description of each category but please make sure you consider each of these dimensions of stress in each individual horse as a worry cup can be clog up with more than one type of stress and to address the problem you may need to target more than one issue. (If you missed them, click here for Part 1 and Part 2) 4) Frustrations & Desires This aspect elaborates on from a horse’s thoughts and feelings existing at the root…

The Nervous, Anxious, Spooky, Reactive Horse- Part 2

Understanding the Worry Cup Part 2 of this series from Shelley Appleton: I am now going to provide a short description of each category but please make sure you consider each of these dimensions of stress in each individual horse as a worry cup can be clog up with more than one type of stress and to address the problem you may need to target more than one issue. 2) Lack of Trust or Obedience or both I could write pages and pages on this issue and this sits at number #2 worry to discuss regarding the worry cup because…

The Nervous, Anxious, Spooky, Reactive Horse- Part 1

Understanding the Worry Cup I have always loved horses and have spent the majority of my life surrounded by them. But it is only in the last few years that I have actually started to understand the horse and its behaviour. I believe the reason for this is that horses are not intuitive and neither is the way we train them. We tend to get wrapped up in traditional practices and misconception about them that further complicates things. In fact my life up until 5 years ago is evidence that you can love, own horses and even compete horses in…

Coordination- Part 4 The Rider Training Scale

As equestrian enthusiasts we should all understand the principles of riding and the training scale for the development and education of our horses. What is not often discussed is that there is also a ridden scale of training that assists rider progression in the development of an independent seat.

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…

Rhythm- Part 3 The Rider Training Scale

As equestrian enthusiasts, we should all understand the principles of riding and the training scale for the development and education of our horses. What is not often discussed is that there is also a ridden scale of training that assists rider progression in the development of an independent seat. Over the next few months I hope to explain and break down the Rider Training Scale from a physiotherapy perspective giving you insight into becoming a more effective and efficient rider.