Tag Archives: Horse Scout

Stabilising Pilates for your stable

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Horse Scout Blogger is a great fan of Pilates as a way of increasing and maintaining good core strength. Using Yoga or pilates type exercises to improve fitness are as useful for your horse as for you.  Theses are exercises which have been adapted to take into account your horses structure.

  1. Core Strength

Core strengthening exercises strengthen and stabilise the spine and pelvic muscles as the horse responds to pressure over specific areas. If you have strong hands, you can apply pressure manually; if not, use a metal thimble over your thumb or finger. Perform three to five repetitions, allowing the muscles to relax for a few seconds after each exercise. Some horses, especially those that are girthy or cold-backed, may resent certain procedures. If resentment persists, omit the exercise until you’ve consulted with your veterinarian.

The following exercise stimulates lifting of the base of the neck, sternum, and withers through pressure on the ventral midline between the forelimbs. These movements are essential for self carriage.

Sternal, withers, and thoracic lifting exercise:

1. Stand facing the horse’s side, just behind the elbow.

2. Apply upward pressure to the sternum (breastbone) in the middle of your horse’s chest, between the pectoral muscles. Gradually slide your hand back between the forelimbs and behind the girth line while maintaining a steady upward pressure.

3. The horse responds by initially lifting through the sternum and withers. Then as the pressure moves further back, he responds by lifting in the thoracic area immediately behind the withers, and finally in the thoracic area under the saddle.

Note: the amount of pressure needed to stimulate a response will vary between horses, so start gently and increase pressure gradually, or use a slow stroking action until the horse responds.

  1. Balancing Exercises

Balancing exercises improve balance and stability by inducing the horse to use active muscular contractions to shift the centre of gravity toward his haunches and/or to resist displacement of his centre of gravity. A horse uses his muscles in some of the balancing exercises to shift his centre of gravity, while in others, he uses his muscles to resist a shift. Many of the balancing techniques used in horses are similar to those performed in Pilates and yoga training in people.

The next exercise stimulates activation of the pelvic stabiliser muscles to maintain the horse’s balance.

Tail pull:

1. Stand to one side of the hindquarters.

2. Take hold of the horse’s tail, pull it toward you by flexing your elbow. (The goal is not to pull the horse off balance, but to stimulate resistance in the pelvic stabilizer muscles.) You’ll see the muscles around the stifle contracting as the horse resists the pulling force.

3. You can gradually increase the amount of force applied to the tail or the number of repetitions as the muscles get stronger.

Remember to check with your veterinarian before including such exercises into your horse’s training regimen; this is especially important if the horse is recovering from an injury.

Core training exercises can be done without a warm-up–for example, in horses that are recovering from injury–because the horse controls the amount of motion, and loading of the joints is less than during locomotion.

Three fantastic opportunities at Lucinda Fredericks’ Yard, Rosegarth in Wiltshire

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Horse Scout keeps an eye on its lists and when possible will blog or tweet on behalf of the professionals who have profiles of themselves, their yards, their horses and any horses they have advertised for sale.

  1. For A professional Rider from May 2015

A Fantastic Opportunity for a professional rider to rent 6 – 10 boxes at Lucinda Fredericks’ Yard in Wiltshire from May 2015. Rosegarth offers every facility for the competitive rider including : 30 m x 60m outdoor school, stabling with rubber matting, wash area with state of the art solarium, lunge pen, covered horse walker, rower and rub show jumps, gated access and an alarmed tack room and a full onsite security system. We are located within superb on and off road hacking. Opportunities for tuition from Lucinda Fredericks.

We will ensure your horses are completely cared for on a daily basis including mucking out, feeding (using Pure feed and hay), turning in/out, grooming, tack cleaning and exercising.

Facilities:

24hr onsite supervision

Designated lorry parking

Excellent off-road hacking

Horse walker

Hot water washdown

Individual turn out

Lunge Pen/ Separate school

Mirrors around school

Non-individual paddock turn out

Onsite communal tea & coffee facility

Onsite shower & changing rooms

Outdoor school 20m x 60m or over

Solarium

Stabling

Undercover horse walker

Current Onsite Professionals: Lucinda Fredericks (Aus) Oliver Smith (GB) Emily Young-Jamieson (GB) Thomas Heffernan Ho (HK) Nicole Pearson (HK)

Horse Scout Blogger also notices that Rosegarth are also advertising for staff on their website as follows:

2.A Temporary Full Time Groom

We are currently seeking a temporary groom, full time over 6 days to start immediately.  This is a great opportunity for someone wanting to gain experience working on an International Eventing yard as part of a fantastic and friendly team.  Excellent on site accommodation is available.

3.And a Working Pupil Position

We have a new opportunity for a working pupil to join us with or without their horse asap. Closing date: extended to 31 March 2015

This is a great opportunity for someone wanting to experience life on an International Eventing yard as part of a fantastic and friendly team, whilst developing your own, and your horses career.

Case Study: Zoe joined us in August 2014 as a Working Pupil, she has shown herself to be a hardworking member of the team who is quick to learn and is a joy to be around. Due to her commitment and enthusiasm we have worked with her to transfer her onto an apprenticeship scheme and she is now working towards a level 3 qualification with us.

Zoe commented “Lucinda is someone I aspire to be like and what more could you want than being at her yard itself. In five years time I see myself and my own horse competing regularly in different disciplines, surrounded by and being part of a determined, hard working team. My ambition is to run my own yard for breaking, schooling and competitive livery”.

New to our lists – Berry’s Farm Livery

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Horse Scout is growing!.  Every day it has new professionals adding their profiles to our lists.  If you are looking for livery near Norwich then here  is Berry’s Farm Livery.

Berries Farm Liveries is situated on the outskirts of the small village of Hevingham in Norfolk – seven miles from Norwich and just four miles from Aylsham. Run by Richard and Ruby Pointer and Lisa Morris  Berries Farm, is a friendly family run livery business with over 40 years’ experience working with horses – our full time team of highly experienced, caring staff have the welfare and safety of all the horses and ponies in their charge as their main priority.

We are able offer a wide range of livery options to suit every horse and owner, from DIY to Part, Assisted, Full, Competition and Holiday livery.

The livery business is situated at the centre of a working farm, which means we can provide many miles of wonderful idyllic off road riding, whilst the quite lanes and roads that surround the farm allow for peaceful hacking.

Our facilities include:-

• 20m x 40m floodlit all-weather surfaced ménage

• Full set of show jumps

• Horse walker

• Lunge Pen

• Clipping room

• Covered Hot horse shower/ wash down area

• Miles of tranquil off-road rides

• Lorry/trailer Park

• Excellent managed grazing

They say;

Here at Berries Farm we not only provide a first class livery service, we also specialise in affiliated show jumping, with our Yard Manager, Ruby Pointer producing some of the very best Sport Horses in Norfolk.

Ruby’s father – Richard Pointer is a familiar face on the show jumping circuit supporting not only Ruby but he’s also on hand to provide invaluable advice to up and coming riders. Richard is also the Vice Chairman of the Norfolk Show Jumping Club being one of the founder members of this popular club over thirty years ago.

Richard started his riding career (a very long time ago!) as a four year old boy, by the time he was ten he was competing in affiliated jumping competitions regularly. He then moved onto the Senior County circuit before taking a break.

Ruby started riding at eight years old at a local riding school, she quickly progressed and within two years was jumping affiliated competitions throughout the country on a successful string of ponies that had her standing at the head of the line up on many occasions.

Richard and his wife Sally are still to be found supporting Ruby who has moved up to senior show jumping competitions.

Another key element here at Berries Farm is our Livery Yard Manager, Lisa Morris who has been a long standing influence in Ruby’s life having been with our family since 1996, her dedication and hard work with the horses makes for a superb team.

They provide:

• Professional Care For Your Horse

• On Site Supervision and Late Night Check

• Clipping Service

• Nutritional Advice

• Supply of Home Grown Hay and Haylage

• Shavings Available

Want to Shine in the Showring? – What are the judges looking for?

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There is so much to know about the show ring.  Take a look at the long list of seventeen Top Tips which give a clue for every important conformation requirement for a well made horse to shine in a Ridden Horse Show.

Not only must your show horse be immaculately turned out, as must you, he should be impeccably schooled and ready for anyone to ride. Before venturing into the show ring make sure you understand what is required of you and of your horse.

Learn ring craft form the best , go on a course, attend clinics or even livery your horse at a showing yard.  That way you can take the show season on knowing you have prepared everything as well as you possibly can.

Horse Scout has Justine Armstrong Small listed on its professional rider pages.  She runs a yard training people and horses for the showroom and also hosts clinics specifically aimed at those who want to perfect their ringcraft.

  1. If you want to take part in riding Horse Classes not only is the ride itself important but, ultimately, it will come down to type and conformation. If you are buying a show horse you need to look for a horse which should be of Thoroughbred type, (really more of a National Hunt type) with
  2. plenty of good quality, flat bone,
  3. deep through the girth and
  4. with strong powerful second thighs and a
  5. well rounded backside, lots of muscle and strength,
  6. short across the loins and with the length of back concentrated on the quarters, so that you have a powerful engine.
  7. They need to be able to gallop.
  8. A very sloping shoulder is excellent, so there is plenty to sit behind and the horse is able to have a long stride,
  9. with a neck coming out of the top of the withers and a good length, narrowing elegantly behind the head so that the head and neck are not restricted by a fat thick structure.
  10. To make an impression in the ring the horse needs to be able
  11. to flex and bridle happily and comfortably, and
  12. be able to breathe easily while being ridden in collection.
  13. The body should be in proportion and foursquare,
  14. the legs, especially viewed from the front should not appear too close, or too wide.
  15. The horse should move straight, without dishing or plaiting and stand straight on all four legs on good well shaped feet.
  16. A good looking head is very desirable, but there is quite a lot of variation; from a dished slightly Araby head, to a longer straighter, more thoroughbred head, what is not wanted is a tiny pony head or anything with a common cobby aspect, roman nose or bumps between the eyes!
  17. Good big second thighs are essential and if the tail is lifted there should not be a wide space of nothing under it (split up behind) – there should be plenty of muscle. Mares do tend to be longer in the back than geldings because they have to carry foals

 

10 helpful hints when buying or selling horses

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Horse Scout has a great website for buyers and sellers alike. The sales and professional pages are full of information and clear to read.  This makes it so much easier for both buyers and sellers. Having all relevant information sorted into categories make it easy to make informed choices when looking at the horses form or potential.  Good photographs make a difference to a viewers initial decision and Horse Scout offers both stills and video footage.

10 Helpful Hints when Buying or Selling Horses

1. As a seller write your advert carefully and be accurate in your description, don’t advertise your horse 100% in traffic if you have only ever ridden him down quiet country lanes. Both Sellers and Buyers should keep a copy of the advert which can be useful if there is a dispute in the future.

  1. If you are having the horse vetted which is always recommended, do not use the regular vet of the seller. You must instruct an independent vet and pay for the vet direct.
  2. If it is important that the horse is good to load, ask to see him load. If you ask the seller to confirm that the horse is vice free get the seller to warrant that the horse is vice free by writing it down. As a Seller if you have told the Buyer that the horse is green and has never been ridden out alone before, for example, write this down and ask the buyer to sign it acknowledging the fact.
  3. Don’t buy a horse without its passport.
  4. Be realistic about your abilities – don’t over horse yourself.
  5. If you discover a problem with your horse inform the seller immediately and keep copies or notes of all correspondence.
  6. When you go to try or look at a horse to buy always take an experienced person with you if you are a novice.
  7. If the Seller is selling on behalf of someone else, if appropriate contact the Owner direct. Whenever looking at a horse ask lots of questions about vices, what it has done, its breeding, competition record, laminitis, sweet itch, lameness etc.
  8. Cut your losses – If all has gone wrong and you end up with an unsuitable horse, come to terms with the fact and don’t always insist on litigation which can be expensive, consider selling it to a more suitable home. As a Seller if a horse proves to be unsuitable for a Buyer consider taking the horse back and finding an alternative buyer, if the horse is genuine this shouldn’t be a problem.
  9. Always have a written contract, with details of the buyer, seller, price and warranties (if any) given signed by both parties.

Bite Sized Bits:- Walk-Out for 2 Hours and get a Mars Bar Free

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Riding – Why is it good for you?

Mars Bar related weighting!

An hour’s riding burns about 120 calories at walking pace, 360 calories at trotting pace and 480 at galloping pace. Although it may seem that the horse is receiving all the exercise, this equates to the calories lost in a 30-minute jog or cycle ride carried out at a similar speed.

Less Strain on your joints (although that first turn round the gallops can have you wondering if this fact is true!)

The position taken when riding a horse works muscles in the dorsal and abdominal region that are seldom used in everyday life. It provides steady exercise without straining the knee and ankle joints.

Zen for the mind (well …. unless its a frosty day and your horse has just been clipped)

Riding is further recognised as possessing excellent therapeutic and stress relieving qualities due to the relationship developed between rider and horse.

…and last bite sized bit….Equestrian sports are enjoyed by people of all ages, as shown by German rider Reiner Klimke who won six Olympic gold medals between 1964 and 1988. Which is all very well but creaky joints is not a euphemism; having said that perhaps we all feel we would like one of those walkways you get in airports to go up and down from the field on occasions.