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horseyculture

My journey with Abbey & other horsey bits 'n' bobs

Replacing the floor of a horsebox (van conversion)

My personal mission this last week has been to replace the wooden floor in my horsebox.  I’ve known it’s been rather squidgy for a little while now but with the metal base of the van being intact I’ve not worried about it too much.

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A number of factors came together recently meaning that this horrid job rose to the top of my to-do list:

  1. Abbey still isn’t travelling well and I’m sure that the stress of it caused her ulcers. Is it because she doesn’t like the floor? It’s another thing to eliminate before I restart the travel training (loading and short journeys daily).
  2. Urine-soaked wood will eventually start to compromise the van’s metal floor and that is going to be a lot harder and more expensive to fix
  3. I’ve got some time to do it (and the OH took a week’s holiday….I can’t think of a better way of spending Valentines than lifting horse wee soaked rotted wood….can you?!)

Continue reading “Replacing the floor of a horsebox (van conversion)”

Today’s lesson: improving the hind leg and suppleness

It’s always interesting having a lesson with someone new; they often see different things to your regular trainer. Today’s was no exception.

Having explained our back story and our aims (novice – improving medium trot, canter-trot-canter transitions), we warmed up.

New RI observed that I am nagging to keep Abbey forward particularly with my left leg.  Which means she’s in danger of switching off to my leg aids. It also means that I’ve nothing left to ask for medium trot.

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Windy lesson part 2 – the good: practicing a test in an odd sized arena

Practicing dressage in an odd sized arena isn’t ideal. Ours is 25m wide (not 20m) and 40m long (my test is in a long arena which is 60m).

Letters A and C don’t line up properly and M/H/F/K are very close to the corners.  B and E are roughly where they should be but remaining letters (S/V/P/R) are far too close together.

Day-to-day it doesn’t bother me, in fact I am normally grateful that our YO put in the biggest school they could. It means more of us can comfortably work in there at the same time, and there’s more room for showjumping courses.

However, when it comes to test-riding it can lead to brain pickle!

The first thing we do, is put out poles to bring in the width – 2.5m on each side. For a short arena test, I just ignore the ‘middle’ letters (V/S/P/R).

But if it’s a long test…..then it starts to get complicated….

Continue reading “Windy lesson part 2 – the good: practicing a test in an odd sized arena”

Windy lesson part 1 – the bad

If I’d have known just how windy it was, the mood Abbey was in, or not needed to get to grips with 15m circles, I’d have cancelled my lesson.

Abbey is a little sensitive and hot at the best of times, but when the wind is up…..

Thankfully my RI understands Abbey, knows what she is like and is adaptable.  The object of my lesson was to practice my up coming test.  Before I’d even started warming up she said ‘we won’t try to do medium canter-working canter transitions today, I’ve a feeling Abbey isn’t in the mood and it’ll just wind her up!’.  She was right.  Abbey was argumentative from the get go.

Continue reading “Windy lesson part 1 – the bad”

5 photos 1 day

Haynet has set a challenge: 5 photos to describe one day. I make no apologies for the frequent appearance of ‘ the quadrupeds’ – they are often feature in the ‘best bits’ of my day.

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Every morning I wake up to this little face. The OH sends her in to wake me up because he knows I won’t get grumpy with her! After I drink my tea, I bore her silly while I get dressed and do my hair and make-up. “C’mon! Stop faffing! Time for walkies!”

 

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We’re very lucky to have a park on our doorstep for walkies.

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Ready and waiting….c’mon mum finish that cuppa!

 

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Trying be good and do our carrot stretches after each ride!

 

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And the day finishes the way it started; snuggles with Betty.

Novice 23, dressage test practice

Feeding Abbey’s Ulcers – Supplements

There is a dizzying array of gastric supplements on the market. If you’re like me starting my research, I felt overwhelmed and confused! However, it’s not as complicated as it first looks; most of them contain relatively few ingredients and these ingredients generally fit into one or two of the following categories:

Probiotics – these are the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, yeast such as saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Prebiotics – these are the foods of the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, FOS and MOS for instance.

Substances that are slimy – these protect the lining of the stomach and gut, protecting it from being scratched by food passing through and some stomach acid. Linseed oil, pectin and beta glucans are good examples.

Substances that have a neutralising effect on the stomach acid – calcium and magnesium, for example.

Substances that remove/destroy or help the body to protect itself from harmful toxins and ‘bad bacteria’.

For a list of the most common ingredients in gastric supplements and which categories they fit into, click here.

Continue reading “Feeding Abbey’s Ulcers – Supplements”

Feeding Abbey’s Ulcers – Common ingredients found in gastric supplements

If you’ve not read the previous post on supplements, here’s a quick reminder of the 5 categories of gastric supplement ingredients and how they work:

Probiotics – these are the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, yeast such as saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Prebiotics – these are the foods of the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, FOS and MOS for instance.

Substances that are slimy – these protect the lining of the stomach and gut, protecting it from being scratched by food passing through and some stomach acid. Linseed oil, pectin and beta glucans are good examples.

Substances that have a neutralising effect on the stomach acid – calcium and magnesium, for example.

Substances that remove/destroy or help the body to protect itself from harmful toxins and ‘bad bacteria’.

 

COMMON INGREDIENTS FOUND IN GASTRIC SUPPLEMENTS:

Apple pectin – a slimy one! Pectin acts as a barrier for the gastric mucosal membranes against excess gastric acid. (Source: https://forageplus.co.uk/the-egusin-concept-ulcer-prone-horses/)

Continue reading “Feeding Abbey’s Ulcers – Common ingredients found in gastric supplements”

Feeding Abbey’s Ulcers – Balancers

Following on from my post about chaffs, this post is about my research into balancers.

In my last post I concluded that the base of Abbey’s feed would be Simple System’s Organic Lucie Stalks, which is purely alfalfa (or lucerne as it is sometimes know in the UK). While this is a sound base and it’s calcium:magnesium content should have some antacid properties, it won’t supply all the minerals and vitamins Abbey needs. So Abbey needs a ‘balancer’.

With the ulcers and Abbey’s weight in mind I am looking for a balancer that delivers:

  • a range of minerals that balance those in her forage
  • vitamins – particularly vitamin Bs
  • some protein
  • some amino acids – particularly lysine
  • some ingredients that may help prevent Abbey’s ulcers returning in the future

It also needs to be low in sugar and starch and not contain any molasses or grain.

Continue reading “Feeding Abbey’s Ulcers – Balancers”

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