Having had some interest in where we can all ride on a beach in the South of England, I have put up a new page to guide you on where to go, where to park and riding restrictions - which can be found by clicking here. Hope this helps :0) Enjoy !!
Its a tricky area that's for sure, I have learnt that horses that are broken take a very very long time to come back together again. Most of the horses in my little herd have one issue or another. Whether its rearing, bucking, loading or pissing off, I think I can pretty much cover it all. Each horse has come to me with its issues and I have taken them on in full hopes of managing to get them back to a normal riding state.
So, how long will it take to rehabilitate a horse? It will take FOREVER and even with forever, each horse has the potential to return to its prior behaviour if it is not very carefully monitored and managed. Two of the horses I took on in February 2016 are well on the mend. My naughty rearer has turned in to my favourite hunter and I can't actually think of the last time he reared, he is an easy going gent. SUCCESS.
As for the other one, it has turned out his behaviour was down to lameness, he will still try to buck and piss off now occasionally but way way less than he has done before. He is still very slightly lame, but this is improving every day but is taking huge amounts of time and patience, he will always be sharp I don't doubt that, its just his nature that he likes to keep you on your toes. What I do know is that he is not innately a mean horse, he was simply telling his rider he was in pain and there is only so much s**t this horse will take. So, should he have been put down? No, I don't think so, he just needed someone as stupid as me to put up with his weird quirks, take my time and enjoy a fun ride with reduced athletic expectation for now. Maybe one day he will reach the hunting field, fingers crossed but maybe he will be a happy hacker for the rest of his days, we shall see !
The final pony, he is tricky. It pisses off on the ground and occasionally decides not to load randomly. He has only been in the herd for a few months but already he is improving. I took him hunting on my own the other day and he loaded perfectly, but then other times he just doesn't fancy it - completely random. He needs more experience of going out regularly and a slightly regimented approach to how he is handled on the ground. BUT he is only 5, plenty of time yet - he is always getting better and that is all I need to see, small improvements. At the point this pony loads on command I shall be loading a video up as that's my aim, at the moment he looks at me like I am insane..........I'm in it for the long haul clearly !
With all my rehab ponies there is no quick fix, it just won't happen with any horse. Even if you get a quick fix, chances are it will return to its prior behaviour just as fast and as soon as its given the opportunity to do so. Rider education is also very important and time spent teaching owners would be key. To all the professional rehab trainers out there, I have to salute you, it can be a tough and a frustrating job but so good to think of the results you can get.
Winter is always a tricky time for horse owners as the bills go up and the available light goes down, which is pretty depressing when you have a heap of horses to feed, keep fit and exercise. So, how do we do it?
The best way I find is to be super organised and have a plan for each week. Sounds nuts but I am speaking to fellow horse mad folk right now so I assume I'm in good company. I have a weekly plan for each horse where I can fit my riding around work / non-horsey life.
The clocks go back soon, which leaves even less light and means riding early before work and on lunch. I am lucky that my horses are super close which makes riding at lunch do-able (10 mins drive / 10 mins tack up / 40 mins ride) and they live out so I can pooh pick pretty much whenever I have 30 mins free and my lovely yard managers feed for me in the morning or evenings depending on which end of the day I will be there - this really helps.
When I plan my week I factor in my sharer who rides on set days on one of them, then the other two who are in full work a minimum of 5 days per week each, its tricky but it can be done. One horse is ridden in the morning before work and one is ridden at lunch 3 days in the week, I will ride and lead twice in the week also which gets two out at once for hacking. The weekends are usually hectic with at least one day hunting/competing then the other day riding at least two.
So, it can be done but it does mean you have no other life than your horses and your boyfriend may try to strangle you in your sleep, but other than that its happy days- for the 'horse mad' its perfect, but for those who are less keen, it looks like I have finally lost it !!
A crazed horsey person from head to toe, writing something that I hope will help other horsey folk.