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13.10.19

Horse bit fitting consultation

Bridle and bit fit, especially the headpiece fit and horses' comfort are issues that I've known about for ages and despite trying to my very best, a while ago I decided that I needed professional help with both Melisse and Vallu's bridles and bits. Whilst both seem comfortable in their bridles, I've not been entirely convinced that I have got the best possible bits which is why I decided to go for a Horse Bit Fit consultation - my local bit fitter is the lovely Lyn Beattie. Even though I consider myself and my family as experienced horse owners, I've spent hours trying to learn as much as possible about all the different types of bits and I've spent much money on purchasing many different bits, Lyn's advice was invaluable. She spent ages with us and advised which bits to try and explained how both of my horses needed slightly different settings in their bridles and in the end found the right bits for both! 🙌🏻
So each horse had a 1.5 hour consultation with Lyn. Both were looked at in the stable with the bridle on as well as when being ridden. The weather was NOT on our side - although we didn't get soaked through down to our skin, it was SO windy that neither of the horses were able to relax fully (I mean who would in the middle of a storm?!) which meant that it was a bit more difficult for Lyn to judge what the horses thought about the bits. I loved when Lyn went over both of the bridles, it felt like a lesson in bridle fitting which is exactly what I wanted, I needed for someone to point out what needed to be better, what was good, how each horse's mouth confirmation meant that they suit different bits, what to look for in a bridle, what to avoid, how to make a bridle fit a horse better, where exactly the bit should fit in their mouth etc. It was like having a tutor there for 3 hours explaining everything to you!

11.10.19

10 Questions For October

Thank you to the wonderful Viva Carlos for doing another set of brilliant questions. In case you don't follow her, you really should - I love her writing and have been following her blog for years!

1. What discipline do you ride? What would you ride if you could pick any other one?
I'm going to be sticking to dressage, but if I was braver then I'd love to give eventing a go. All my horses have been bought for dressage so I can't see myself doing any jumping shows with them, the boys can just about canter over poles, and Melisse gets so hyper that she jumps everything and forgets about steering and half-halts totally so I don't think we'd survive an actual round of jumps!

2. How many horses have you ridden in your entire riding career?
I have no idea! I'm guessing it must go well into the several hundreds... Considering I started actually riding when I was 7 years old and since then I've been lots of riding schools, had my own pony and own horses and ridden friend's and employee's horses, there's no way for me to be able to count how many I've been lucky enough to ride.
3. Most bizarre activity you’ve done with your/a horse?
Not my horses, but when I was at a summer confirmation camp organised by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland when I was 15 years old, one day we took all the horses out for a swim at a local lake  🌊 I'd never ridden a horse bareback in a swim suit and swim with it before and don't think I will ever again - but it was SO COOL!

3.10.19

Tech Stirrups Athena product review

It's been a long time since I've last done a product review blog post but it's also been a while since I've bought something that I've thought would be good to review like this! I know when I get ready to purchase something either from a new brand or something which is expensive, I enjoy doing a bit of research before parting with my hard earned money so I always have a bit of a google and always read any blog posts about that particular product 💻🔍 So if anyone wants any more information about the Athena stirrups from Tech Stirrups, here is my review!

11.9.19

A bit of a bang

Ever since last Wednesday I've been a mess trying to wrap my head around the fact that both my horses are injured, and safe to say it's not been an easy few days. Over the weekend I was in Finland attending my grandfather's funeral after he passed away after losing the fight against cancer, yet at the same time all I could think about was that one of the vets was coming to see Erik on Monday afternoon.

On Wednesday morning when we went to turn out the horses, I noticed a new rather large area of swelling on the inside of Erik's front leg and with a more prodding I also found quite hard smaller lump in the middle of swelling. Thinking that he'd just banged himself overnight (clumsy horse) I turned him out and tried to think nothing of it - whilst at the same time going into a total melt down in my brain - and decided to give him days off over the weekend whilst we were away and hopefully it would have gone down and away on it's own. However seeing the leg on Thursday morning before our flight, I decided that there was no way I would be able to cope mentally unless a vet confirmed to me that there was nothing more serious going on. I had nightmares of broken bones and torn ligaments!
Luckily Monday afternoon came round quickly and we had the lovely Manuela from Wessex Equine come have a look at his leg. After hearing about what we thought had happened and my explanation of the swelling have gone down incrementally each day, but also that it is more swollen in the morning after a night in his stable and that the swelling goes down when he's been turned out, so after a quick examination of the leg, the vet wanted to see Erik moving. We did the usual walk and trot in a straight line on a hard surface, and then lunged in the arena - during which Erik was on his best behaviour and the vet agreed that he wasn't lame and was actually moving quite well! I'm REALLY pleased that he's not in any pain and is moving so well, he's not been on any painkillers so that the vet could see exactly how he's doing.

9.9.19

FLY OFF an alternative to fly spray - sponsored blog post

Over the summer do you get bored of having to use lots of different sprays and gels to keep the flies off your horse? I find it amazing how much spray I can get through in a few weeks and still there are tons of flies aggravating the horses. A few months ago I was contacted by a wonderful company called Fly-Off who have designed a new way of combating flies, and since then I've been testing out their product! 
Fly-Off have created a product which are leg straps that have little holding pouches for inserts. There are four different types of insets: Deet Extra, Citro Extra, Neem Extra and a standard insert. You can mix and match these inserts to effectively keep flies away 24/7, without you having to worry about the chemicals in fly sprays. Fly-Off uses repellents that have natural oils and aromas that to keep the flies away, and these specially infused inserts can be worn on the horses’ legs, fly rug, saddle or head collar. The inserts last for up to two weeks and have been proven to deter flies from anything up to 1m radius. What I really like about these straps and inserts is the they release repellent over 14 days, so for two weeks you don't have to do anything 👏🏻 They're also waterproof, and can be worn all the time so provide 24 hour protection for the horses. They've made a massive difference to Vallu who wore them inside in his stable too as he is very sensitive and easily agitated by the flies.