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horseyculture

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

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MANAGEMENT

Thank goodness for the yard owner

Yard owners and managers often come in for some hefty criticism especially on the equestrian forums.

I don’t envy them; from managing the grazing and maintaining the yard, to resolving livery squabbles and caring foe our most precious equines, they have a tough job.

I’m sure that there are bad’uns out there but mine are great. The husband and wife team (and wider family that chip in) do everything they can to ensure the yard is a happy place for their liveries and their horses.

Twice this summer I’ve gone away and both times Abbey has required medical attention. The first time, she was bitten on her girly bits and, just like last time, she was very uncomfortable (who wouldn’t be!)

The YO tended to her bite, working out that aloe vera was more soothing for her than the sudocrem I’d been applying. Applying it couldn’t have been easy with Abbey dancing like she’s on hot coals, with added tail swishes.

Continue reading “Thank goodness for the yard owner”

Getting hands-on with a charity massage course

It’s been an intense day full of learning with Sue Palmer, aka The Horse Physio (and who’s husband, Simon, is a partner in Ethical Horse Products).

Designed for horse owners, the course consists of introductions (met some lovely, interesting people), introduction to physiotherapy and massage, some anatomy, some massage techniques and practice on both people and ponies.

All the group members came for different reasons; from developing relationships with their horses to keeping their horses free from tension between visits from a professional physio.

I’ve tried learning the names and locations of different muscles before but they’ve never stuck. This evening, however, I can name 7. I can also find them on a living horse and know where they attach to bone. This is in no small part due to ‘Dollar’, my new equine friend:

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“Hey!”

After studying pictures and scientific drawings in the classroom, we headed to the stables to practice identifying the muscles on real horses (by drawing them on in chalk).

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“Very funny. You’d best not have drawn anything rude on my bum!”

After lunch we learnt some massage techniques and practiced them on ourselves, other students, and finally the horses. I think Dollar enjoyed some of it!

At the end of the day we’ve all come home with new skills, more knowledge and a routine to use on our beasts at home.

Together we’ve also helped Riding for the Disabled Association support two people ride horses for a year.

Big thanks to our tutor, Sue Palmer, and to Stourport Riding Centre for the use of the ponies and facilities.

Check out this video to find out more:

Feeding Abbey’s Ulcers – Revision Sheet

In doing the research on what to feed Abbey I realised I had forgotten most of my biology lessons from school and couldn’t remember what various ingredients were, nor how they are used by the body.

I did a ‘crib sheet’….here it is:

THE BIG STUFF

Amino acids – nitrogen-containing molecules containing an amine group. Most amino acids that a horse needs come from the protein they consume.  The horse breaks the protein down and rebuilds the molecules to make most amino acids and new/more proteins. The amino acids horses can’t make are: arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Lysine is often in short supply in a hay/grass only diet. (See this article)

Continue reading “Feeding Abbey’s Ulcers – Revision Sheet”

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