What I Would Write Home About

An Equestrian and Lifestyle Blog

Category: Realisations (page 1 of 3)

Let’s go back to basics

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I was trying to think of a funny title for this post, maybe a ‘click bait’ title but quite honestly it’s not come to me yet.

*Disclaimer, I am no longer frustrated by this subject and you’re about to read an incredible brain dump. Don’t forget your cup of tea.

A group of people hang out for a reason, be that a passion of the same music, the love for the couple getting married, the need for the chips at the bar, all having met on Tinder and awkwardly hoping that the person they’re meeting does actually look the same as the photo… they all have a mutual understanding that they are just there to get whatever it is done.

They’re not looking to be best friends forever, or publicly be the ‘best’ at something, or even claim to be an expert about something. Who knows you might even be standing next to the future prime minister and all you can really think about is why Tinder by Pitbull feat. Kesha isn’t playing ’cause really why else did you say yes to this night out or who picked yet another pastel orange dress for the bridesmaids.

But bring horses into the mix and the dynamic changes. Suddenly life is a competition, life is all about seeing who knows the most about the non-speaking third party in the situation. Hay should be at this weight, your behaviour should be like this, your horse shouldn’t poo between the hours of 3 and 5, you should only smile if your horse changed transition at letter A, not just before, not just after.

Not being funny mate, but my horse doesn’t read, nor does he tell the time and he most certainly doesn’t care about his bikini body or show condition.

There is something strange about the equestrian world, owners/riders/grooms are all slumped into a world that started with love and is now full of loveless judgement. At what point did the whole experience miss the key ingredient? You fell in love with a horse, you bought that said horse and you love riding that said horse. How can what other people do with their horse effect you? You didn’t buy their horse, you bought your horse. That same horse that is standing in the field enjoying life, not giving two hoots about how somebody else’s haynet is 15mm away from the door when yesterday and in every other previous life, it was 16mm away from the door.

Let’s go back to basics. Let’s start at the very beginning if you will – Hello Julie Andrews. Or even more to the beginning, of time, with words from the Bible (’cause I can’t put it any better myself).

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 

So from now on, let’s just love our horses, love what we are doing with them, love that they eat more hay tonight then they did last night and love that they do not, cannot and never will read the manual. So a pinch of salt is needed at all time. Let people do what they would like with their own horses. Judgy – judge, go home.

K, bye.

 

 

 

Don’t Risk Your Happiness.

Just remember…

 

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Chilblains

Oh the horrid word, it is complicated to spell, painful to experience and a complete bore to tolerate.

For anyone who doesn’t know what they look like – see below. Ouch. These are my legs, I am not actually on the loo, just not wearing my ‘riding pants’… cheeky!

They happen due to a cold area trying to get hot quickly – so for example when you come in from the elements, you go straight to the heater/aga or shower. This is where your body freaks out and has to exclude that area for warming up, creating lumps. They then become itchy as they are heating up – this is the worst bit! They can appear on your fingers, toes or thighs.

They are horrid, and can burst and my advice if you think you have got them is to avoid wearing tight clothes. This is extremely hard when you have to wear jodhpurs and tight clothes at work. What I do is wear my jodhpurs and then wear waterproof trousers over them, and allow the warm air between the jods and waterproofs to act as the warming component.

Admittedly, this omens’t always work. I have been to doctors and they haven’t been too helpful, more saying that there is nothing you can do.

Apparently they end after your 20s… I’ve never wanted to be 30 with more desperation.

Don’t do it if you’re not 100% into it.

Imagine you can’t talk and you can’t understand all the noises around you – ever. Apart from routinely instigated ones – like food time or being allowed out of stable.

Then imagine someone getting onto your back, asking you to do something – but in a half hearted way – without clear instructions. You try. But then they hit you, shout at you, jab at you because you didn’t understand. You didn’t understand their half hearted attempt at telling you what to do.

Now imagine you’re at home, you speak the language around you, and you can understand what’s going on in your surroundings. Someone has asked you ‘please can you get me a glass of water’ – sure, you oblige. Passing it to them, you get a glare and then you get shouted at. ‘That wasn’t the right glass’ ‘it’s not cold enough’ ‘try and get it right sometimes’ ‘I don’t know why I bothered asking you’ ‘you’re rubbish’. You understand these, you understand that it’s through poor communication and that’s why you didn’t get it right.

Your horse doesn’t understand why they get it wrong. Your horse doesn’t comprehend why today you’re angry, you’re jabbing them in the body for trotting at the speed that you ‘asked for’. Imagine you didn’t know what was going on and someone tried to get at you for something you don’t comprehend. You don’t know why, or how to rectify it.

If your mind isn’t in the game, don’t bother. You’ll only end up with a confused horse, and yourself being frustrated. Why didn’t they do what I wanted? Why did they prat around? Why did he bronk when I whipped him for the 3rd in a row?

Think of life as him. He was clear instructions. With clear instructions, he knows what you want.

Don’t risk it all because you ‘have to’. No one says you have to ride. You don’t have to school your horse – you can leave him to be a horse or you could just go for a hack.

Short term love and consideration = long term success!!

Now… think long term rather than short time. Love rather than fight!

Horse’s Memory Length

sebastian-abbruzzese-328239A while back I did some Parelli Training, it was quite a fascinating environment to be in, mainly about using the ‘herd instinct’ with the horse – behaving like a herd animal and treating them as if you are the leader of the herd. Very clever for getting on the good side of the naughty ones!

Now one thing that was mentioned in the training, was that a horse’s memory length is only four seconds long. I don’t know how you feel about this (hit a girl up!) but I am slow to believe this, mainly because they are creatures of habit thus resulting in salivation when they know it is nearly feed time, or asking for a treat because you’ve given one before.

So how does the four second memory idea work? I think it would be wrong to assume that it is the only way of navigating the horse’s brain. Horses are loyal, loving, hard working and cheeky. And this takes time to create a bond that gives space for these things. Hence, they can be slow learners, however they can be quick learners – either way… it is hard to put a time barrier against their ability to remember something.

That said, there is one corner in the indoor arena at the yard Oscar lives at, that he spooks at, every single time we go past it – by the end of the lesson, or training we have cracked it – and if I am on the ball about it, we can crack it earlier- but mainly we spook at least 3 times. And I go back around towards the corner in about 10 seconds from the first spook time… this example goes with the idea that the memory is only 4 seconds. But is it that simple?

I struggle to comprehend, or keep this as a 100% correct thought pattern. It would be good to other arguments for it…

 

I remain unconvinced either way! 

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