What's in a name?

Chief in name and nature

What's in a nameHaving a special unique name is important for any horse or pony. It is something that is going to be your calling card for your animal hopefully for its life. Horse sometimes have super superior lengthily names for registration, showing, racing, competing etc. Or they may have pretty unimaginative names like one of our recent editions “Pony”. Each horse needs a tag or a short name it can respond to and be called by. Sometimes it is really amusing to hear what the nicknames are for the horses christened with long names.

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When my best friend gets old.

Just like people horses are living longer now days than in previous years thanks to the advances of modern medicine and improved nutrition. The average life of a horse in now around 24 years of age with many horses and especially pony breeds living into there thirties. When a horse or pony reaches the end of its working and productive time due to advanced age or even injury the owner is faced with a grim decision regarding what action to take regarding the rest of that animal’s life. All too often the owners don’t want to face the reality of doing what is in the best interest of the horse. So many horses and ponies are passed on from home to home or left with people that are not able to meet the requirements of taking care of a geriatric horse simply to ease the previous owners conscience. When the time comes for retirement the owner must keep in mind that quality of life is the most important factor for the horse. The owner must ask themselves the following two important questions:


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Equine vices under saddle.

Last month we chatted about some vices which occur mainly when horses are stabled. There are also many vices that develop when horses are under saddle. The important point here is that the majorities of these develop into vices very quickly and most have the potential to be extremely dangerous to both horse and rider. One particularly dangerous vice is rearing, which can become extreme to the point that a horse goes up and over backwards with regularity.

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Horse behaviour, it’s normal to be abnormal.

All species have a bell curve of behaviour that has as the main body most of the individuals, however each edge of the graph has two extremes of behaviour. On the left we have the individuals that do not show enough normal instinctual behaviour. On the right of the graph we have those few individuals that show far more instinctual “abnormal” behaviour.
The vast majority of horses is easily schooled, tolerates what we ask of them and are really compliant to work with. However horses learn from experience what works and what doesn’t work to make their world a better more comfortable place for them. Some individuals are extremely quick to learn, usually the more highly strung ones, and others are extremely slow.

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Improving your relationship with your horse.

Knowing your horse relies on you building a strong relationship based on mutual trust and respect. It is also one of the hardest things to define and is often very different between individual horses and trainers. I work with a lot of different horses and often only get to work with them for short periods of time. In order to accomplish helping overcome its fear or issue I need to build a relationship based on trust. I need to have the horses looking forward to seeing me arrive to work with them and I need them to have a “want to” attitude. A lot of horse owners also are inclined to rely too heavily on this, a good relationship will not take the place of good technique and knowledge. Mutual trust needs to be established between horse and human and you need to be secure in the knowledge that you know the animal well enough to be sure it won’t intentionally hurt you ( i.e. kick, bite or go over the top of you).

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