Wednesday, 25 November 2015

HP Relief Horse Bits - Like Myler, but BETTER.

Horse Bits - HP Relief
Eggbutt Snaffle Horse Bit HP Relief
Hp Relief Eggbutt Horse Bit
, are the best bits I have ever tried.
I have used Myler bits for years, but bought one of these, tried it and could not believe the improvement in the horse's understanding and comfort. Brilliant bits.

Wilkie Horse Bit - HP Relief
HP Relief Wilkie bit
 I liked them so much that all my horses are now ridden in them and I have become the UK Agent for the Brand.
3 Ring Continental Gag - Dutch Gag - HP Relief
3 Ring Continental Gag - Dutch Gag - HP Relief bit

HP Relief Pelham Bit
HP Relief Pelham Bit

Monday, 23 November 2015

Cheap saddles - Made in India - WARNING

Cheap Saddles on Ebay, Made in India - Warning

I have seen the quality of cheap saddles decline over the years, but I was appalled when I took the seat off a new one (that a client bought on Ebay), to check the tree, as it seemed to have bit too much 'give' in it for my liking..

The construction of the saddle is not only one of the worst examples of workmanship and materials I have ever seen, but downright DANGEROUS as well.

These saddles can be bought new for under £150 and are advertised as being top quality, craftsman made.

Make your own mind up:

Indian Saddle Pic 1

Broken cheap, rough wood tree under seat area. The wood is snapped in half and splits for 4" up the tree. On flexing the saddle, the pointed end pokes down and has split the underside of the panel.
Look at the cheap, dreadful quality of the metal used for the tree support! It wasn't much thicker than a tin can and rusty already.

Indian Saddle Pic 2 

The girth strap webbing has tacks sticking out of it. These were supposed to attach the girth strap webbing to the tree, but have missed the tree totally - not that they were long or strong enough anyway to do the job.  The girth strap webbing is in one piece and goes over the top of the tree to the other side.As all the nails have missed the tree on this side, a half-driven in nail on the other side (see photo below0 is the only thing holding the girth strap webbing on at all!! How safe then is the girth!!!

Indian Saddle Pic 3

Note the huge, rough stitching on the underside of the panel - WHERE NO-ONE SEES IT!! Top Quality????
Indian Cheap Saddle Pic 5 

Nails sticking out from the underside of the rough wooden tree. The middle 'split pin' is the tree attachment for one of the front 'D' rings! I can bend the pins up with my fingers! How safe is your hunt breastplate???

Cheap Saddle Pic 6 

The other side of the girth strap webbing. Nail sticking out, not driven into the tree. There should have been several nails to hold the girth strap webbing onto the tree, but only one was present on this side, half driven in. I pulled it out with my fingers!

 Indian Saddle Pic 4

Worst of all. Crack right through the thin, flimsy front metal arch of the tree. This extends to over 2/3 of the width of the arch. Imagine what would happen when it breaks and the 2 metal ends descend onto your horses withers!!

Remember the words of John Ruskin:
"There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey."


Needless to say, my client does not want me to put this saddle back together again.

DON'T be tempted to buy a cheap saddle from Ebay. Buy a Top Quality Saddle instead.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Australian Stock Saddles

This is what I have been looking for!

The only 'Dressage Position' Australian Stock Saddle

Designed with help from a top dressage rider, the HP Swinging Fender Australian Stock Saddle is the ONLY one for sale in the UK that will automatically put you in the correct Ear/Shoulder/Hip/Heel position for balanced riding. All other Australian Stock Saddles have the stirrup bar placements too far forwards making the correct position difficult, if not impossible and forcing you into a 'Chair Seat'.
  • They keep you MUCH safer and more secure in the saddle!
  • Invaluable for nervous riders, green horses and spooky horses
  • Protect the horse from the problems caused by unbalanced riders - sore backs, sore mouths and Veterinary issues
  • 4 Trees - Standard (narrow), Medium, Quarter Horse (wide), Clydesdale (extra wide)
  • ALL Australian Stock SADDLES will be Special Order and are handmade to measure both to the horse AND the rider, so allow 4 weeks from order to shipping
  • You can pick your personal design modifications, colours, materials, tooling, etc.
  • Fibreglass tree with innovative 'HP' additional features (cannot disclose due to competitors copying his intellectual Property) 
  • Ideal for Polocrosse.
Australian stock saddle swinging fenderAustralian stock saddle with English jockey flaps - brown - suede seatSwinging Fender Australian saddle, brown and tan
Half breed model. This is the most popular design.
You can choose your own design, colours, leathers, suedes, roughouts etc. as well and only £770 delivered!
Australian saddle brown and tan

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Cheap DIY Hay Feeder

Horse Hay Feeder | Cheap | DIY
Horse Hay Feeder Made From A Few Bits Of Wood And A 1 Ton Sand Bag
Used, discarded 1 ton sand bags are everywhere, on every building site, and make ideal hay feeders. Simply make a frame and hang the sand bag over the posts. The one above has been in service now for 2 years, with the same bag.
You can lower a rail on one side if you are feeding horses of different heights.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Rewarding Your Horse

What is a 'Reward'?

 Rewards come in many forms. Most people think of  'Treats' when they reward their horse, but horses don't reward each other by giving edible items. In fact, using treats to reward, can and does lead to vices such as nipping, pocket searching and resentment, if a treat is not forthcoming - exactly the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.
Consider a lead mare in a group of horses. She will chase another horse at the least sign of insubordination, but when the culprit shows sufficient apology, she stops the chasing and removes the pressure. Lead horses reward another horse's 'Good' behaviour by taking the pressure off and cement relationships by mutual grooming, etc. We can replicate this during our riding by lessening or removing pressure when our horse does the right thing, together with a stroke on the neck or using the voice to say, “Good boy”.  Unlike punishment, the reward explains to the horse exactly what he did that was right, provided that the release comes with split second accuracy at the precise moment that the 'right thing' occurs. This ensures that he stays content and cooperative throughout the levels.
A reward can be riding straight and forward after a lateral exercise or letting the horse stretch on a long rein. The lessening of an aid, such as a strong hand or leg, can also be a reward. For example, if the horse is alert and going forward, he will be rewarded when the rider lightens her leg at the very moment he starts to go nicely. Then the horse will learn that when he feels the pressure of the leg and goes forward, he gets the reward immediately.
 Punishment does not teach a horse what to do. Most of the time it only causes confusion and resentment as most times the horse is simply communicating to you that he either does not understand the request, or that the request is uncomfortable or painful. Punishment is only valid if the above do not apply and the horse knows exactly what he did that was wrong and that he was being disrespectful for doing it.  It does not explain to him how to achieve what the rider is requiring or even what that requirement is. For example, you see a lot of riders punishing their horses for not standing still at the halt. The rider will pull he reins, apply the leg, even smack the horse - all signals that mean 'move' to the horse! But they don't tell the horse in a constructive way what to do, such as dropping all pressure - and the reins - the moment that the horse stands still. Horses only understand through a reward.
Another way that you can reward your horse when first teaching a movement is to only do a step or two and not maintain it. If I want to teach my horse to move sideways from my right leg, for example, and he responds to my leg by moving his haunches left and moving a step to the left, I reward him right away by ceasing my leg aid, petting him and riding straight and forward. Then you do the same thing again. Step-by-step rewarding will ensure that you create a solid understanding of the aids on which you can build. If you insist that your horse continue to do more steps at a time or try to maintain the movement, he will get confused. It will not be clear to him what you want.
Once you get a solid, immediate response to your aid, you can delay the reward and ask for a few more steps. After those additional good steps, in which you have lessened the pressure of the leg, you may reward him by going straight. If you insist without making sure the horse really understands what you want, he will become cranky and unresponsive. Sometimes you can see this at shows: The horse has spur marks in his sides, the rider is pushing and pushing, and the horse is swishing his tail and is tense in his back and unwilling to go forward. The horse and rider are not speaking the same language.
Blind repetition acts like punishment and makes a horse dull. It does not make the horse understand the exercise better. Also, muscles get tired. If the horse does something well, I may do it once again but then I reward him by putting him away and let him absorb just what it was that he did right.

The principle of rewarding after a good response is just as important when you ride at the highest level, where the demands on the horse reach the limits of his physical ability. If the horse is trained by punishment, drill or repetition, he'll soon learn to hate his job, and you'll have a horse that's not willing and eager to work for you. 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Horse medial patella ligament desmotomy, severing, Fred update

By the way, Fred's medial ligament severing desmotomy was a complete success. She can even still sleep standing up, which is a surprise, but the Vet says that some horses manage to find a way to do it and clever Fred is one!
It is such a shame that she didn't come sound as well, as she is a Saint.

As I said in a previous post, the reason that she was WORSE after the splitting op to shorten the ligament was because it turned out that the problem was that the ligament was too SHORT in the first place, not too long as the Vet suspected. The operation to shorten the ligament then made the sticking worse, not better. It is ESSENTIAL that the Vet is CERTAIN that the ligament is too long before any treatment is carried out, be that injections or splitting.

I would not hesitate to recommend this treatment to anyone with a horse that has problem sticky stifles, either too short or too long, as my old Vet tells me that, contrary to what you read on the Internet, out of the hundreds of similar op's he has done during the last 30 years, not ONE has had any further problems or arthritis in later life.

Fred goes to a new home.

Fred will never be 100% sound. This is the opinion of both the Vet and myself as after 3 months of strengthening work, she is still 1/10 lame on the off-hind, probably due to a paddock injury 2 years ago which I witnessed. Fred was galloping around and slipped, dragging her off-hind stifle behind her. She got up hopping and came sound after a few strides, but she must have torn something up high as she is still lame after nerve blocking the stifle.

Fred has gone to a 'Happy Hacking' home as she is sound on straight lines but not on an anti-clockwise 20M circle. I gave her away on permanent loan and I am sure that she will be loved and looked after. She is only 9 miles away and I shall visit her often.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Fred's medial ligament cutting operation appears to be a complete success. No more sticking and she is striding out. However, she is still 1/10 lame on her off-hind in trot and worse in canter, on an anti-clockwise 20 metre circle. She is 100% sound in straight lines and clockwise.
I had the Vet out and she has had nerve blocks up to and including the stifle with no reduction in this lameness. His conclusion is that it must be muscle/ligament problem in the rump area, so, she starts a fitness programme next week, building up over 2 months with a re-assessment at the end. All work to be done in straight lines.

We will see what happens.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Sarcoid cure

7th June.  This morning, Fred's last remaining sarcoid came away in my hand, all thanks to 'EQUR' cream. It came away with a 20mm root, leaving a small hole which is now filled with more Equr. Brilliant cream!!
June 7th. Two weeks after the op and Fred is still doing well. She is now turned out in a small paddock with her best friend Emily. They don't charge about, thank goodness, but Fred is getting a lot of slow, walking exercise daily, with the odd trot. She is much happier in herself and has grown 2 hands in her mind since the operation - she is full of herself instead of being the quiet mouse she was before, always worrying about her stifle catching - much happier.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Medial Patella Ligament Cutting - FRED

On 24th May, 2013, Fred had another operation on both stifles. This time, the ligaments were severed completely.
It was done at home as she has become much worse as far as locking is concerned, since the tendon splitting operation in early March, 2013. It was locking at every stride and she could not balance in a trailer or lorry for transport to the Vet as she could not unlock her legs to balance around corners and would have fallen down.
When the stifle was opened, the ligaments were so tight that the Vet had a job cutting them! They had not been too loose at all, but too tight and this had prevented them from releasing the patella! The splitting operation had made them thicker, shorter and even tighter!!!!! No wonder she was WORSE!!!!
So, if your horse has an upward fixation problem, make sure that you find out if the Medial Patella Ligament is too loose or too tight BEFORE you operate to split the tendon!!!

Fred seems a lot more comfortable now and it is wonderful to see her walking around, striding out, no lameness at all and obviously feeling great again.
She has to have 15 to 30 minutes walking in hand twice a day for 2 weeks, then very limited turnout, (20 foot by 20 foot), trotting on week 4 and riding from week 6.

I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Fred to have the medial patella ligament severed

After over 2 months, Fred's sticky stifle is worse than ever. It used to stick in the mornings, but would get better after working, but now it sticks all the time. The other one is also causing her trouble as well.

I have decided to get the ligaments severed completely as she can't go on like this. She can't even be transported to the Vet as the leg locks both forward and back positions and she couldn't unlock it fast enough to balance in a trailer. The Vet is having to come here to do it at home.

It is Fred's last chance, so keep fingers crossed. The op is next Wednesday, 15th May.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sarcoid cure for horses

Fred also had 2 matching sarcoids, one at the top of the inside of both front legs. One was a flat sarcoid, about an inch across and the other was nodular one about the size of a grape.

I had a horse years ago that developed a sarcoid in the middle of her belly and had it removed by the Vet using the 'Liverpool' cream. It was very expensive and was very painful for her and I vowed to never use it again. She got another nodular one on her fetlock and I tried a £20 cream called 'EQUR' by Gayne Prospero and without any pain, it pulled out completely, root and all, within 3 weeks. I have since used it on other peoples horses and it has never failed to remove them.

This morning, after 3.5 weeks of Equr treatment, I see that the flat sarcoid has gone completely and the nodular one is down to about 2 match heads and is wobbly, so it is about ready to pull out.

Unfortunately, Gayne Prospero is no longer trading and I guard what is left of my Equr very well!

Fred Update

Fred is now 7 weeks post op. and her stifle is still catching. It has stopped locking, and some days are worse than others, but she has grown so much in the last 7 weeks and filled out as well. I don't know whether to leave her and see what happens as she is certainly maturing at the moment, or go the whole hog and get the ligaments cut? What do you all think?

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Fred's Sticky Stifle - 28/03/2013

It continues to stick. It was locked this morning. Easter starts tomorrow, so I am going to excersise Fred with riding out every day - walking and trotting if she is up to it. I think that the time has come to really push her, as the Vet told me to 'Ease off the excersise to avoid stretching the ligament' a week ago and this seems to have made it worse.. It will make or break the results. Fred had plenty of excersise last Sunday though! I woke up to find that she had escaped. One of the sheep had broken into the turnout arena and then had burst through the electric fence tape. Fred had followed the sheep out onto the track and all I saw was Fred, galloping down the track followed by the sheep. Out of sight round the corner. Then the sheep galloping down the track followed by Fred. Out of sight round the corner. Then the Fred galloping down the track followed by the sheep, etc. I could hardly get dressed for laughing. As soon as they saw me, they both galloped to the gate and waited to be let in for breakfast - good girls!
Horses loves sheep!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Fred's Sticky Stifle - 25/03/2013

The weather has been so awful that it has been difficult to excersise Fred at all. I have turned all 3 mares out together, so they have had a lot of exersise themselves as they compete for 'Who is Emily's Best Friend!' Unfortunateley, Fred is no better and has started to kick out with her 'good' hind leg as well, so it is upsetting her now. I had her on the lunge last Friday and asked her to canter briefly, but she 'bunny-hopped', bouncing on both hind legs at once and couldn't do it at all. At canter, she is a cripple. The Vet comes back from Holiday next week so we are going to look at our options then. It is so sad.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Fred's Stifle Problem - Day 12

No difference I'm afraid. Still catching every stride this morning on both hind legs this time. I can't help but think that the op is a failure. If she is not improving in another week, the Vet has agreed to sever both Medial Ligaments as the research that showed increased arthritis after this op was done on HEALTHY horses without stifle issues. Latest research on horses WITH sticky stifles to start with has found NO arthritis issues. They think it is because the affected horses have different stifle conformation to healthy horses and this limits the long term damage. I am not going to give up on her without a fight!!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Sticky Stifle - Days 10 and 11

Fred is still catching her off-side stifle on every stride first thing in the morning and if she has been standing eating hay for a while during the day. I lunged her Saturday and Sunday to free it off and then rode out on Bella (TB 6 yr old)whilst Beverley (a girl of 28, who has been coming here to ride since she was 11yrs old) rode Fred. Beverley didn't like to trot Fred as she could feel that she was "Lame", as she put it, but it was just the stifle catching slightly, so I told her to ignore it and push her on. We did an hour both days, but Fred is still sticky this morning. I am so dissappointed. The vet says to keep on, but he is not hopeful. I started to mouth Emily, my 8yr old 'Feral' Standardbred yesterday as she had her teeth done last week. I stsrt mouthing using a full cheek French Link snaffle and tie the head round to a roller - a small angle to stsrt with, so they can learn that they are restricted and cannot fight the bit laterally and win. This increases in angle, on both sides (10 mins at a time each day)for 4 days, untill they are almost touching the roller. This is only done for about 5 mins though. Emily was very good. She didn't resist much and started turning in a circle, which I like to see. She tries so hard to please that it almost makes you cry. If anyone could have seen Emily 2 months ago, literaaly climbing the walls of the stable every time someone went in, they would not believe how far she has come.