With the 2017 season complete I thought it would be nice to do a blog post to show you all my favourite photos from this season! It's been an actioned packed but very successful and fun season competing both 6yr old Keystone Diego (Doogie) and 6yr old Laurentina (Tebby). Both horses have really given it their all this season and between them they are now qualified for 5 classes at next years winter regionals in February! They have both consistently scored 70%+ throughout the year and Doogie has broken the 80% barrier three times - he's such a dude! To see all of the results from this years season, click on the "results" tab at the top of the website. A huge thank you goes to my sponsors, my home team (farrier, physio, vet, yard staff) and my incredibly supportive parents for making this all possible! :-) The 2018 season will start in January when we will be taking the horses to a few warm up shows before the regionals but for now we are busy training and on countdown to Christmas!! Enjoy :-)
Good Evening all, hope you are all well and enjoying this sunny and slightly chillier weather (it’s better than rain, right?!). I mentioned in a previous blog that I would soon do a product review on the Heiniger Saphir cordless clippers so here it is… Lots of pictures included at the bottom of the review!
I think a good place to start would be to talk about the quietness of the clippers. After using mains powered clippers for the past 5 years I really wonder why I didn’t switch to cordless/battery powered sooner! Although I never had a major problem with any horse and the noise of the mains powered clippers, when ever they first started up they would always jump and take a few minutes to get used to them and I found when clipping the slightly more “boney” arena’s such as the legs or head they would always be a bit fidgety because of the strong vibrations on the bone. Since using the Heiniger Saphir’s I have had no problems at all when starting the clippers, and when clipping area’s such as the legs and ears the horses have stood very still which makes life much much easier! For a young horse who has never been clipped before or a horse that is nervous when being clipped these clippers would be great for making it a good and positive experience for them which I think it crucial - the more positive experiences a horse has, the more confident they will become… simple!
Because the clippers are cordless, it makes clipping a breeeeeze! No annoying cable getting in the way, no worries about the horse treading on the cable and of course when you’re doing the trickier and more intricate parts such as the ears, elbows, legs and faces it takes much less time and I also think it makes clipping a lot safer because you haven’t got the hazard of the cable. The clippers weigh just 440g, and although that sounds a fair bit I did some research and the average mains powered clipper weights 1.25kg!! So that’s a third of the weight! The clippers are simple to turn on (simple slide on/off switch), the battery is easy to take out and put back in, plus it’s easy to put the blades on and take them off. Cleaning the clippers is simple (small brush is included), and so is the oiling process (oil also included). I usually oil the blades every 15-20 minutes whilst clipping.
Probably the most important thing to talk about is the battery! The clippers come with two batteries plus a charging stand and each battery will last approximately 45-50 minutes. The re charge time for the batteries is 40 minutes which means you can be charging one battery whilst using the other which is perfect if for example you’re doing a full clip which takes longer than a blanket clip. These clippers would also be perfect if you didn’t have any mains power at your yard and if you felt that 90 minutes wouldn’t be enough time for you to clip then you can buy additional batteries direct from Heiniger for £49.99.
These clippers are not just for horses, we have a springer spaniel who has a VERY fluffy coat which we clip with these clippers every few months. Clipping dogs is very different to horses, instead of clipping against the hair, you clip WITH the hair (yes it takes some getting used to!) and you do not take the coat as short as you would for a horse. The only thing I change when clipping the dog compared to the horses is the blades. I use the #7F blade for the dog, but for clipping the horses I found this blade quite useless (it’s very wide toothed) so instead I use #30F on the horses. I purchased my #30F blades from www.masterclip.co.uk for £15.99 and that includes free delivery.
My only criticism of these clippers is how hot the blades become when you’re using them (this a very common problem among all types/brands of clippers). To solve this I just have two sets of blades that I alternate every 30 mins and I keep checking them and make sure they don’t heat up too much and cause any discomfort to the horse!
Now the final thing to talk about is the price and whats included with the clippers. The cheapest place to purchase the clippers is direct from Heiniger (http://www.heiniger.co.uk/heiniger_saphir_clipper.html) where they are priced at £249.99. This includes the clippers, two batteries, the charging stand, clipper oil, clipper brush and a practical carry case. This price does not include any blades. If you would like to include blades then prices start at £269.99.
I highly recommend these Heiniger Saphir cordless clippers, they are a must have for anyone who owns a horse/pony! They're Practical, affordable, and very ease to use. I believe that mains powered clippers will soon be a thing of the past… :-)
Evening all! Although the competition season is over, things are still full steam ahead here at GDD. Today we had a visit from one of our sponsors, Protexin Equine to stock up on supplements before Christmas but the last few days i've been busy teaching, riding, and clipping so there hasn't been much to blog about, however i'm thinking about doing a product review on my new cordless clippers - the Heiniger Saphir's. Since using them this winter I don't know why I didn't switch to cordless clippers sooner... they are FAB! I thought this blog would be a good idea to show you an insight into my horses training program... Enjoy!
Variety is key, it really really is! All of my horses enjoy a varied training schedule which ranges from schooling, to hacking, to pole work/grid work and more! Here is a list of all the different "activities" that my horses do and my reasoning behind it.
Schooling - Well i'm not sure that this needs much explanation, but I will talk about how many schooling sessions a week my horses do later in this blog. A typical schooling session will last around 45 minutes.
Lunging - I think lunging is important as it gives the horse a chance to really stretch out and work nicely over their back. I like to lunge my horses so I can see how they are moving without a rider on... It's also a good way to detect any lameness or weaknesses. Im not a fan of pessoa's as I feel this restricts the horse too much, instead I use a simple lunging aid. (lunging aid pictured at the bottom of the blog in the slideshow!).
Hacking - In my opinion, the most important of them all! A great way of strengthening the muscles (especially if you can hack up lots of hills!) without the pressure of school work. This also gives the horse a chance to walk on different surfaces and undulations which will help to strength tendons and ligaments.
Pole work/Grid work/Jumping - Although I mainly focus on pole work, very occasionally some of my horses might try some jumping. I find pole work is a great way to teach the horse how to lengthen their stride and also to teach them how to come up and move more through their shoulders.
In hand groundwork - This is something that I am relatively new to and I started to incorporate it in my horses regime during the summer. I've already seen a big difference in their suppleness and I've found the in hand work a great way to give the horse confidence in showing where to place and cross their legs during exercises such a leg yields and shoulder-in's. I'm still "learning the ropes" with the in hand work, but with monthly help from in hand extraordinaire Diane Thurman-Baker I am always improving my technique and learning new exercises.
Water Treadmill - This is an extremely new addition to the regime and currently just Doogie will complete one water treadmill session a week (see my previous blog post to read how Doogie's first treadmill session went!)
My weekly plan is different for each of my horses, for example, Doogie benefits more from the in hand sessions whereas Tebby (Laurentina) benefits more from pole work sessions. Here's how a typical week might look like for each horse:
Monday - School
Tuesday - Hack
Wednesday - Lunge
Thursday - School
Friday - Hack & Water Treadmill
Saturday - In hand
Sunday - Day off
Monday - School
Tuesday - School
Wednesday - Hack
Thursday - Lunge
Friday - Pole work
Saturday - School
Sunday - Day off
My horses also enjoy daily turnout which I believe is mentally very good for them to have some down time and enjoy a nice roll. :-)
Wow, you definitely can’t beat these sunny autumnal days! If only the weather could be like this everyday through the winter…
Today has been a day of firsts, my first time driving the horsebox with a horse on board, plus it was Doogie’s (Keystone Diego) first time on the water treadmill at the equine rebalance therapy centre (which is based at Wellington Riding, nr Basingstoke). First up I had to drive Doogie and myself there and arrive in one piece which was a success (phew!) and then it was time to attempt to get Doogie on the treadmill... and with the encouragement of a few carrots he was on in no time! Next mission... to get him walking on the treadmill! As you can imagine, the whole experience is very alien like to the horses but it amazes me how well they adapt and cope in situations like this! After a few minutes of letting him walk and find his balance it was time to add some shallow water which again he accepted and adapted to very quickly ... no excuses to be scared of puddles when we're out hacking now Doogie! ;-) because this was just a taster session that we booked, our 15 minute session was nearly over but after a good 5-10 minutes walking in the fetlock deep water it was time to drain the water and stop the treadmill. Although Doogie still seemed fairly perky, you could definitely tell he was starting to become both physically and mentally shattered! He will definitely sleep well tonight :-)
After the success of the treadmill today we have booked him in for 6 sessions (one a week). I’m really interested to see how his strength improves over the 6 week course. With the 2017 competition season over, we decided that this would be the best time to start the treadmill and along with training at home and fortnightly visits to Gareth Hughes for lessons we should be raring to go for the 2018 season! Exciting!
For more information on the water treadmill feel free to leave and comment below or message me via social media or simply visit the Equine Rebalance website http://equinerebalancetherapycentre.co.uk/water-treadmill/. It is not as expensive as you would expect with a taster session (like Doogie did today) being just £15 and a block of 6 sessions being £175 (you pay for 5 and get the 6th free). I’ll leave you with a video of Doogie in his session today - each week the session will become longer and the water depth will increase.
Hello all and welcome to my blog! It's safe to say that I have never done anything like this before, but I'm looking forwards to showing you an insight into my life :-)
I am planning to write a blog post once a week and within the blog posts I will also include lots of photos, product reviews, Q & A's, and anything interesting and fun I can think of (idea's are very welcome - comment below and let me know what you would like to see in the blog!).
To conclude this first blog post I would like to thank every one who voted in my recent instagram poll which was the decision maker to whether I should start blogging or not... I’m super excited and I hope you all enjoy reading it. Time for me to head off to bed and prepare for a busy day tomorrow. Speak very soon :-)