Sunday, 31 March 2013

Guest Post; Regular Grooming- Important For You And Your Horse

Today's guest post is written by Joe Hargreaves, he grew up riding and has always had a passion for the equestrian lifestyle. He recently started own website about horse riding equipment.

Regular horse grooming is essential, both for the health of the horse and for your relationship with him. It is a time for bonding, when he knows it will be just the two of you together, and it enables you to get a sense of his happiness and well being, or if there is anything troubling him. If you do it right, both you and your horse will enjoy your grooming sessions and look forward to them.

There are several reasons why regular grooming is important, the obvious one of course being the health of your horse. Even removing the mud will prevent skin problems, and picking his feet with a hoof pick will prevent thrush, and avoid abscesses developing from stones being left in. The circular motion of brushing with a curry comb over the whole body really stimulates circulation and blood flow, which not only reduces swellings and promotes healing, but brings up the natural oils in his coat.

Along with this, grooming is important because it enables you to assess his physical health and his emotional state. You should run your hands over the whole horse every time you groom, so that you get to know the normal feel of his skin. This means you can quickly pick up any problem, such as a lump, scratch or cut that wasn't there before.

Apart from this, regularly running your hands over your horse is part of communicating with him -- horses are very sensitive to touch. Not only your hands, but your voice and your body language will have an effect on him and strengthen the bond between you. This will work both ways, and enable you to become increasingly sensitive to how he is feeling as well, so that you can pick up on anything that needs attention. This type of hands-on grooming is especially valuable for young or nervous horses, and helps them to build up trust.
As well as regular horse grooming, it is equally important to carry out regular cleaning of tack, or horse riding equipment. It is particularly necessary to clean any part of the equipment which has contact with the horse, including horse saddles, saddle pads and girth, and of course the bit. All these items of equipment get dirty very quickly when you are out riding, and failing to clean them regularly will not only cause discomfort to the horse, but can result in sores and ulcers.

You can clean saddle pads by hanging them up and whacking them with a stick several times, to remove the loose hair and dirt, and then brushing the side that is next to the horse's skin with a horse brush or
rubber curry comb. Vacuums can also be useful for sucking off the loose dirt and hair. As well as being important for the horse's comfort, regular cleaning of the horse riding equipment is important for preserving the leather, and helping to keep it more supple and weatherproof.

Regular horse grooming has benefits for you as well as the horse -- it is a great means of exercise, and improves your muscle strength. You have to remember grooming is only part of the overall care of your horse, and a good balanced diet is also very important to ensure he has a gleaming coat. Keeping all these things in mind means that you and your horse will benefit each other, and have a long and happy relationship.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Guest Post; History Of The Grand National

Today's guest post is written by Neil Maycock, who writes articles on the Grand National for

The Grand National is without a doubt the best known and most popular horse racing event in the world. An estimated 500 to 600 million people watch the Grand National in over 140 countries, it attracts over 154,000 racegoers over its three days, and under the sponsorship of John Smith’s, is Britain’s richest jump race by far with a total 2013 prize fund of £975,000.
The National as it’s often simply known is a handicap steeplechase run over 4 miles and 4 furlongs with horses jumping 30 fences over two circuits of the course but what makes the Grand National really stand out so much from other races are perhaps its three greatest features:
·         The race is one of the most open there is – 40 runners with outsiders almost as likely to win as the favourite.
·         It gets prime television coverage on a Saturday afternoon every April.
·         Quite simply, it’s a great spectacle to watch with drama, skill, luck and emotions all clearly on show.
The Grand National is also one of the easiest horse races to get involved with as most work places, clubs, pubs, etc. hold their own sweepstakes on the result, so even people who would never normally bet on a horse race can easily join in. The advent of online betting has made it easier than ever to get directly involved.
The first Grand National was run in 1839 at Aintree, Liverpool and has been run regularly ever since (with only a short break during the first World War). The 2012 race provided a classic, nailbiting finish with Neptune Collonges just winning the on the line from Sunnyhillboy.
The runners for the race are not finally confirmed until close to the day but you can guarantee that the very best steeplechasers will be there with every one of them in with a chance – there have being four winners in Grand National History that have started at 100/1, the latest being Mon Mome in 2009.
The history of the National contains some memorable events.
Tipperary Tim, the first 100/1 winner in 1928. The 1928 National also holds the record for the fewest number of finishers, with only two riders completing the course but making outsider Tipperary Tim a household name.
In 1956 Devon Loch, owned by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, was leading the race by five lengths after the final fence but only forty yards from a clear victory Devon Loch, for no apparent reason, half-jumped into the air, collapsed onto the course and was unable to complete the race, gifting the win to E.S.B.
The most famous and successful horse to win at the National was of course Red Rum, uniquely winning the event no less than three times in 1973, 1974 and 1977. He lived on until the age of 30 when the general affection for this great horse helped him be honoured by burial at the Aintree finishing post.
Probably the most famous winning jockey in the Grand National was Bob Champion in 1981. He had been diagnosed with testicular cancer and given only months to live by doctors but was passed fit to ride the Grand National on Aldaniti, a horse only recently recovered from leg problems. The underdog pair went on to win the race and celebrity status by four-and-a-half lengths. Their story was later turned into in the film Champions, starring John Hurt.
We have no idea what unique result we’ll get this year although many are hoping to see the first win by a female jockey. One thing is certain, it will be followed by millions.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Guest Post; What You Need To Wear When Looking After A Horse

Author Bio – Claire Hunter enjoys writing on a wide range of topics including animals, horses, lifestyle, home wares, fashion and more. Hopefully readers will enjoy this blog post and take from it some useful information. 

Owning a horse requires a lot of purchases to be made from an owner. Accessories, equipment, food and housing are just a few of the things you will need to buy if you are going to be caring for a horse. One thing that many equestrians also need to consider, that most other pet owners don’t is clothing. Wearing the right clothing is essential when choosing to take care or ride a horse.

Equestrian clothing comes in all sorts of different pieces, which you will need to acquire when looking after your pet. Whether you are riding or mucking out the stables, there are many different items of clothing you will need to purchase when taking on the responsibility of a horse. Riding a horse requires you to wear all kinds of different apparel.

What you will need -
  • The hat is the most important item, as this will keep your head safe if you were to have any kind of accident while riding.
  • Gloves are also essential for keeping your hands warm while out in cold weather as well as keeping a tighter grip on your horse’s reins.
  • Riding boots and chaps are also needed for the sport of horse riding. These will help to secure more grip and control while on your animal.
  • Body protectors will also keep you safe when you are out and about on your horse.
  • Breeches or jodhpurs are required when riding to help you stay comfortable and still on your horse.
  • The right footwear is also important, this is usually a pair of riding boots specially for wearing while on your horse.

From time to time you may take part in competitions with your horse. This will require a whole new set of clothing for you to wear. Usually a tweed riding jacket is worn over a shirt and tie with a smart pair of jodhpurs to go with it. Sometimes a stock is adorned instead of a tie and of course a hat is to be worn too along with chaps and riding boots.

If you are considering looking after a horse then you will need to think about all those purchases including the many items of clothing you will need to obtain. Owning a horse is a lot of responsibility, but it can also be a very rewarding hobby. Remember to think through your decision before coming to the conclusion that you want to look after a horse.  

Monday, 4 March 2013

Guest Post; Are You Ready To Own A Horse?

Today's post is a guest one from Joyce Pearson has been around horses her entire life and has been riding since she was old enough to walk. She currently owns 2 of her own horses and rides every day. She shares her knowledge on

Owning a horse is a truly rewarding, if at times challenging experience. It requires dedication, time and money, and while it will be hard work, it’ll be completely worth it if you get it right.

Before you get carried away with the idea of cantering down a beach on a beautiful day, it is important to think it all through before spending any hard-earned cash. A horse is a massive commitment and an investment that requires monthly outgoings as well as the initial outlay.

There are many factors to consider, all of which will cost you money! The biggest expense and also the biggest decision you need to make is where your horse will live. The most expensive option is a livery yard, although there are various different options depending on what your needs are. The most expensive of the livery options is Full Livery – this is often the best option if you are a busy person and need some help looking after your horse.

It is important to do your research to work out what kind of livery you will need and how much it is likely to end up costing you. You may also have to join a waiting list for a livery yard, so it is important to suss all of this out before you even start looking for a horse.

Once you have done your sums and worked out whether or not you can afford a horse, it’s time to start looking. Be patient and prepared to take your time - finding the right horse for you can be a long process and it’s important not to rush it. 

Write out a list of the qualities you are looking for based on your riding abilities. Although you want a horse that is going to advance your skills as a rider, what you don’t want is a horse that will be too difficult for you to control and that you will end up regretting buying.

Start your search on Horse Deals, they have a huge variety of horses for sale and you can tailor your search to suit your needs. Keep your list to hand at all times and refer to it throughout.

Once you have your shortlist you can make some phone calls to ask any questions you have and then start arranging visits. Always visit a horse at least twice and remember that the most important things you are looking out for are the horse’s temperament and whether you have a connection or not. This will matter more in the long-term than the type of horse you go for.

Click here for more tips on buying a horse and prepare yourself for an amazing journey! 

Friday, 1 March 2013

Sooo, What Is Dance Pony Dance?

I have found out what my last blog post was all about now. It is a website where you can make interactive music videos of Shetland ponies. Click here to watch mine! The website where you can make your own is below and you can pick from a variety of music and special effects! Mine is the Boy Band one!!

Love Laura

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