Summer at last! 30°C in the shade and plenty of sun. First of all I go to the sea of course: I plan to ride later on in the day. But even then the temperature drops to only 24° if we’re lucky, which means that our training sessions are a tough and sweaty business for me and my horse, as I realized once again just recently.
Feeding your horse properly is a complex but important subject that every horse owner should give careful thought to – after all your horse’s health and happiness depends partly on the right feed which should also be tuned to the horse’s needs. Nowadays there are so many different sorts of feed that the real question is: what does my horse really need? In the following lines I have given you a global view of the most important types of feed as well as a few feeding tips:
In my opinion if there’s one rug that you can’t do without in the stables, it’s the cooler rug. In fact I use mine all year round: in summer I throw it over my horse after a nice cool shower and in winter it’s useful after work so that his winter coat can dry without any problem. Especially for horses who don’t have a loose box and have to stand in the wind, or those who just sweat easily, this rug is a must-have as it significantly shortens the drying process and protects them from the cold wind, preventing them from getting a cold.
Flair and I love jumping obstacles – it’s just like flying for a moment. But jumping is not just a thrilling experience: practically any horse can benefit from training over cavaletti and jumping gymnastics, and what’s more small jumps are a welcome change from everyday training programmes.
I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but instead of hacking around in a light top, the last few weeks I’ve found myself riding in my favourite jacket to keep out the cool temperatures. But if I’m going to wear a jacket in summer, it must a thin one – that’s why I’m happy I’ve found a great summer jacket in the Quilted Jacket Loreen II by Felix Bühler!
For most of us salt licks belong in the stables and horses usually enjoy them very much. But as I was looking into the subject of equine nutrition, I asked myself: how much salt do our horses actually need, which licks are the best, and what you should be aware of in general when feeding your horses salt? Here, in today’s blog article, is what I discovered.
After a really nasty fall, I vowed that I would never again sit on a horse without a riding hat. When I finally actually flew off Flair and unceremoniously kissed the ground in the indoor school while schooling over jumps a few weeks ago, I was extremely glad that, as ever, I was wearing a hat – without one I could have been quite badly hurt.
Particularly in summer, when the temperatures are hot, the ideal way to cool your horse down is to hose it down. But there are also other reasons why a bath might be necessary; for example before a competition in order to give your horse’s coat a real shine or for horses that suffer from sweet itch and have problems with their skin and coat, they can be helped with special sweet itch shampoos.
This week’s Blog Deal should convince you with its low price and great value for money, but also with the fact that this item you use everyday is so easy to turn into a unique item.
It’s clear that our horses suffer too when it’s really hot and will seize any opportunity to cool down. Flair for example is always to be found in the shade if the sun is burning, and it’s hard to get him to move at all. So I try to adapt our training programme and either move it forward to the early morning or on the contrary postpone it until the evening when the temperature has cooled down. This way we both have much more to gain from our training sessions than if we were killing ourselves outside in the heat of the day.
A few weeks ago, just for her birthday, I took my horse-mad niece Mina on a girl’s day out: a riding lesson, a ride out on Flair… and a lavish shopping spree during which I equipped Mina from head to toe with new chaps, jodhpurs, several cool shirts and accessories and a new pair of breeches which she chose after trying on several pairs in the shop and discovering the perfect one.
Riding is still one of the most dangerous sports. It is not just fast disciplines such as show jumping and eventing which could be considered ‘high risk’: but falls can also occur when a normally trustworthy and reliable horse suddenly spooks and bolts when you are out on a quiet hack – something which could happen to any of us.
For most people summertime is the best time of the year. Sun, beaches and holidays: the dream of anyone… who doesn’t ride. For those who do, it’s synonymous with sweet itch, biting insects and fly spray. During the on-going battle with these irritating pests there’s bound to be a fly rug entering the stable some time soon…
Summer would probably be the best time of year at the stables if it were not for the pesky insects which have the ability to spoil this lovely time for our equine companions. However, with the proper safeguards, you can help to make life on the field more tolerable for your horse.
When the hot sunny weather puts us all in a great mood by making each day feel like a holiday then summer is really underway. In the stables we’re no exception: we’re loving this weather and spend every free moment with our horses and our stable colleagues either sharing a barbecue, indulging in silly beach-volley matches in the dressage arena or discovering our new favourite game, horseball, guaranteed to give everyone a good laugh!
In order to organise my schooling at home more effectively and in a more varied way, I created a schooling plan for my horse and me. I hung a notice board in the stable, on which I have put my schooling plan. You can also write the plan in a diary or a notebook. Nowadays there are even apps which one can use for this purpose.
Faecal water is a problem that can have many causes. Stress due to travelling or restlessness in the herd, for example, as well as a change of feed, or parasitic infections are among the possible triggers. My mare Dakota, who at 26 is the matriarch of our herd, has had tooth problems related to her age for some time and is no longer able to chew her feed properly. Unfortunately this caused faecal water.
Now that the competition season has started and days at the stables are once again getting longer, I would like to take the opportunity to present to you a few equine hairdos which you can use to make your beloved pony look super-smart.
The warm season has unfortunately not been very summery. There have not only been comparatively cool temperatures, but there have been occasionally very heavy showers and I was very glad that I had a good jacket! I was fortunate enough to stay protected from the rainy weather, even at the stables!
Dressage does unfortunately have a reputation for not being particularly exciting, although riding properly in this discipline is extremely demanding. Fun, for many, often takes second place when you have to put your concentration into practising leg yielding etc. in the school or dressage arena to ensure that the horse stays fit and supple. That used to be exactly the case with Flair and me – but since we started to combine our dressage training occasionally with a long hack we both feel more motivated and nowadays we have loads of fun with our dressage sessions!
Do you too have the feeling that the plague of insects gets worse each summer? As much as I love going out riding on mild summer evenings, it is not much fun during the insect season and the horses just get irritated. This is why I recently purchased a fly exercise sheet to try and solve the problem.
I feel an ice-cold chill running down my spine every time I hear of a riding accident that has happened somewhere. At moments like that we once again become aware of the risks we take on a regular basis – whether out riding or in our daily dealings with horses.
As much as I appreciate the benefits of long boots, in summer there is nothing to beat comfortable, pleasantly light jodhpur boots. I much prefer wearing these in warmer weather, especially for stable and groundwork. When I ride I can still, if necessary, fall back on gaiters which are easy to slip on.
At first glance, the practical rope halter has decisive advantages: it is made of very lightweight material, has absolutely no metal parts and allows anyone who knows how to use one to have fine control when leading or working on the ground. But how does it work and what do you need to be aware of when you use one?
Even after having taken part in numerous competitions, going to a competition is still something special for Flair and me. I love sprucing up my horse and attach a lot of importance to even the smallest detail: everything has to be just right, from colour- coordinated fly veil and saddle pad, to a neatly plaited mane and the proper headcollar.
When horse flies, black flies and the like make our horses’ lives miserable in the summer, the best possible fly protection is often the only thing that helps: apart from “mechanical” protection such as fly rugs and fly masks, which also cover a large part of the horse’s sensitive head. There is however a wide variety of fly repellents containing insect repelling agents which can also be used.
Even when the weather is good, I prefer not to pass up the benefits of wearing riding gloves: when riding and especially when I am doing groundwork or leading my horse, they protect my hands from painful blisters or wounds if my pony decides to play bucking bronco or really wants to let off steam when on the lunge.
Summer time is fly time: the warmer the temperatures get, the more the annoying pests bother our horses. To ensure that our animals can relax and enjoy their grazing, or can focus on working during schooling, there is unfortunately no getting around the fact that appropriate measures need to be taken to protect them against flies. As well as fly sprays, special rugs are particularly effective in protecting the horse from those irritating insects when grazing and while riding.
Summer would be so lovely if only it weren’t for the countless flies, horse flies and other insects that make life difficult for us and our horses. Our four-legged friends in particular are almost defenceless against these pests if you don’t take the appropriate defensive measures. Good protection against flies in the form of sprays, rugs, etc. is often essential in the summer.
In the course of my life I have tried out many types of sports: from handball to swimming and jogging, through to exercising in the gym – the only one I have stuck with, though, is riding – because no other type of sport is as exciting or makes me as happy as riding does. Not only does riding exercise a myriad of muscle groups, but handling horses and the comradeship at the stables has a really positive effect on people – in particular on one’s own spirits!
For grooming in particular, when you need access to a variety of brushes and horse care products when tending to your horse, a second pair of hands would come in very useful. Fortunately, there are practical helpers available to make your work considerably easier.
When I first started riding, I could hardly wait to finally go out on a hack with my favourite school horse. But by the time it finally happened, I had already had many riding lessons.
When I was a pony-mad girl I loved my regular vaulting lessons and had the most incredible fun doing gymnastic exercises on horseback. I no longer actively take part in vaulting but I always enjoy watching others practise at our stables, especially when my friends take part.
Groundwork is a good basis for a trustful bond between horses and humans. It is not only good for young horses, ponies and veterans but for animals that can’t be ridden anymore due either to illness or injury. There are various ways to work your horse: starting with lead training or classical lungeing, double lungeing or on long reins. How about trying circensic exercises (using the horse’s natural behavioural traits), circus tricks or individualized instruction – anything goes!
Unlike dressage and jumping saddles for example, western saddles don’t have any panel padding so it’s extremely important to have a good saddle pad. And it’s not just about the right amount padding; the shape of the saddle pad must be anatomical so that the saddle sits perfectly. That way you can be sure that your horse’s withers are protected properly against any painful rubbing.
Spring always means a thorough clean-up at our stables. The stalls are disinfected, mangers are scrubbed, all fences are checked and the huge mirrors in the indoor arena are polished clean. Do not forget to free tack cabinets from dust, dirt and treat crumbs
Horse gear and riding tack are also up for detailed cleaning. I dedicate today’s blog to: helpful hints on caring for your valuable equipment and helping it look brand new again.
It is well known that spring weather is temperamental so I got myself a jacket that will protect me against (almost) all sorts of weather and can be worn the year round. I found this jacket with STEEDS : the model “Lori” which I love to wear especially right now when there is no way of knowing when the next April shower might be:
Usually just on the day of the competition when you’re already excited and have to fight down your nervousness you have small setbacks that could ruin your competition start. Manure stains on your grey, dirty competition breeches or a dusty riding hat mustn’t rob you of your concentration, so here are some of my favourite last-minute competition lifehacks that can help you to banish these small problems!
Flair and I are enjoying the warm spring temperatures, so pleased that cold winter has ended at last. My horse is in the middle of shedding hair and I myself have moved my thick winter clothes to the cupboard to enjoy the lighter ones, including shoes of course. The thickly lined stable boots and riding boots have made room for light jodhpur boots and all at once I feel much more free and supple, especially in the saddle!
Poisonous plants pose a serious threat to our horses. Unfortunately, unlike their wild ancestors, horses often no longer have the natural instincts which tell them how to distinguish between harmful plants and palatable grass. Therefore, it is our responsibility to be able to identify the most significant poisonous plants we are likely to come across – because only then can we take the appropriate precautionary measures to protect our four-legged friends from serious poisoning.
Especially when jumping or riding out, I believe it is of great importance to have good leg protection, safety from injuries which could occur from kicks, knocks or hits. Flair generally tries to take good care of her legs but occasionally when jumping something occurs like she steps on herself or she knocks a pole. I don’t want to take any risks, that is why I prefer hard shell tendon boots with shock-absorbing inner lining.
At the moment with many horses, their coat change is already in progress and Bruno shows me that he too is very anxious to get rid of his as well. Every time I leave the stable, I’ve collected enough hair to knit a jumper with.
At last the competition season is about to begin again and Flair and I are already in the starting blocks! We’re looking forward to it so much and are not only training like mad but also well equipped with the best attire. Today I’d like to present a new item to you, one that will complete my competition outfit. As a Blog Deal of the Week, its price has been marked down exclusively this week.
Of course I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of browsing through the new, fresh-off-the-press, Kramer catalogue. Next to the regular classics, I was fascinated by the number of new products. My sweet Bruno has no idea of how lucky he is, and of course I couldn’t stop myself from making a little wish list of my own personal must-haves from the new spring/summer catalogue:
It’s precisely now between seasons, when sudden downfalls are often to be expected and horses have already lost most of their winter coat, that a turnout rug can prevent them from cooling out too quickly. Colds and muscle tenseness can be prevented this way and your horse stays dry and clean.
Before our four-legged friends can be allowed back out again onto the paddock or pasture, there are a number of tasks that need to be carried out in preparation for the grazing season. These include not only the preparation and maintenance of the pasture itself, but also fence building and removing poisonous plants which might be harmful to our horses. To ensure that no important job is forgotten, I have put together a short “To Do” list for you.
I really have to grin, when I think back on how I used to look riding my bike to the stables. Riding hat on my head, whip in my hand and not to forget the long riding boots ? I must have been a sight! Mum truly appreciated it when I stuffed my smelly riding clothes (the scent of horse of course, was heaven to me) in my nice school rucksack!
One of my favourite highlights in spring is to watch the horses when they are turned out for their first rendezvous with the luscious spring grass. But before we can let them out, all the essential preparatory work has to be carried out. The first part of our series on the topic of grazing is dedicated to one of the most important jobs that has to be done before the start of the grazing season: how to provide secure fencing for the paddock.
We just got through that frosty winter weather period, spring is just around the corner bringing us a bit of sunshine and milder temperatures but also sometimes unpredictable weather fronts. Be prepared for freaky weather with our latest incredibly practical blog deal.
After the cold, dreary winter months I can hardly wait to banish my thick winter clothes to the back of my wardrobe and swap them out for my lightweight summer clothes. The thrill and anticipation of warm spring weather always increases for me when the new Kramer catalogue arrives.
Cowgirls in particular will be happy about the new blog deal: this week we have reduced our STONEDEEK Women’s Shirt Passion for you. Jo already owns this shirt herself and is really impressed!
A good saddle girth doesn’t only hold your saddle in the correct place but should also allow the horse to have the best freedom of movement possible and be comfortable, as well. Nowadays, girths are available in many different types of material and are made in diverse forms which should fit and compliment the different horse breed’s anatomy. Let us not forget that the correct length is also essential. What you should know when choosing the right girth is mentioned in this article.
The start of spring is only a month away! Even though it will be a little while before it’s really noticeable, you can feel on those beautiful bright sunny days that winter is really on its way out.
Although it has been quite a few years back, I can still remember my first lesson very vividly. I was so giddy and nervous, that I couldn’t think straight. I thumbed through my whole horse book collection, trying to prepare myself. When it finally happened it was so ecstatic, I sat on the horse’s back for the very first time – it was like heaven on earth! I have a few tips for you, so that you first riding lesson will be a great experience for you like mine was for me.
A good riding hat is absolutely essential for every rider. It doesn’t matter if you have just been taking lessons for a short time, are a successful competition rider or train young horses. It protects your head against life-threatening injuries which can very easily happen in our favourite sport. After all, our four-legged friends are ‘fight or flight’ animals (even if they they are most dependable and docile) they can trip when hacking or get spooked and run off. The consequences are often bad falls with injuries which could have be avoided with protective gear, such as a good riding hat.
There are various types of riders. Find out which type you are.
Do you feel the same way? After last week’s icy coldness you can’t wait for the end of the cold season and are longing to be able to spend more time with your horse without having to freeze at the same time. I am looking forward to the competition season and I couldn’t help getting Flair a new outfit for the upcoming competitions. I picked the beautiful Crank Flash Bridle Glitter from the CLARIDGE HOUSE collection, which is this week’s reduced price blog deal.
Horses are ‘fight or flight animals’ and they are stronger and weigh more than us, all the more reason that we should have and obey some basic rules when handling them. Tying and leading a horse belong to the basic rules. Daily routines can become horror scenes and lead to unnecessary accidents if one is careless. Our blog has some important tips on securing and leading horses correctly.
I do consider myself to be somewhat weatherized, but I must admit that in the past winters, I often lost the desire to ride when my fingers and hands ached because of the icy cold wind. Over the years I have tried out all sorts of gloves until I found the right ones, that could also handle cold temperatures. I am so very satisfied with them and they are on sale; let me introduce to you our blog deal of the week.
For many horses, loading means stress: the very sight of the trailer is so frightening to some horses that being relaxed when loading and travelling is inconceivable. Some get no further than the ramp, many just want to bolt off and then they refuse to go any further. With good preparation, lots of patience and regular training, this problem can be effectively prevented.
During the cold seasons in particular, horses benefit from extra walk and trot controlled exercises. A horse walker not only provides variety but also has a positive impact on the horse’s condition, which makes it a good variation to work in the field and normal training. In order to avoid muscle tension due to draughts and to keep the horse from becoming cold, the use of a special walker rug is recommended. Let us tell you about our recommendation.
As a novice rider you might be quite overwhelmed at first by the amount of leather straps that make up a bridle – and at the same time the question of how all that leather can possibly be put onto the horse…
Especially when we are pursuing our favourite hobby, we are almost always outside in the fresh air. Clothing which keeps out the cold and is also waterproof is a must in the winter, as well as, preventing you from freezing when you are in the saddle. In this blog deal I would like to present you my most favourite piece of winter clothing for the stable: Jöki Riding Overall from Kramer’s own Icelandic label, FENGUR.
No matter how hard you try to take care of your four-legged friend’s health, sometime sooner or later you will might have to deal with some sort of ailment. Careful management and natural husbandry are important factors in minimising the risk of potential illness. Sound knowledge is also important to enable you to prevent equine diseases. Which is why, in this article, I would like to introduce five of the most common ailments in horses and give you a few tips on how to prevent them or, in case your horse does become ill, how to handle them.
All sorts of exclusive offers are waiting for you in 2017 in our Kramer Blog – enjoy the savings the whole week long. Jo lets you know about our 1st special blog deal this year from our Western department.
Now, when it is so icy outside, good footwear is an absolute must if you don’t want to suffer from chilly toes. In order to ensure you keep your feet lovely and warm when you are riding, we have reduced the Felix Bühler Biasca winter jodhpur boots just for you!
In order to guarantee better interaction with your horse, I would like to recommend 5 small but very important and useful tips, which are easy to use on a daily basis. An easy and relaxed daily routine with your mount is essential. Please read and apply these tips, it is that easy!
It is finally going to happen, you are going to get your first pony! What breed, what size, how old and which gender – all of these questions are important. Much more important is that you should ask yourself and be aware of what you want to do with your new leisure partner. It might be helpful to talk to your riding instructor about this matter.
I love Christmas time but buying presents isn’t one of my most favourite things. But I think it is even harder for my family, what should they get for a hard-core Western fan? Let me show you a few Christmas gifts that would make any Western rider happy:
The cold polar air moved in last week and we experienced our first freezing nights. It is time to bundle up with thick jumpers and warm accessories in order to combat the cold air in the stables. Usually the first things to get cold are the hands and feet. We want to help you be prepared for those chilly days. Read our winter blog and benefit from our great deals.
Horses communicate with their body language, facial expressions or noises such as neighing, snorting and breathing heavily. It is not always easy for us to interpret them properly. In order for us to deal with them harmoniously and free of any conflicts, we must exactly know what they are trying to convey to us, in order to respond appropriately and give correct answers.
On the top of the wish list for all of those little horse lovers is ‘my own real pony or horse’. Unfortunately for many families, it is very hard if not even impossible to make this wish come true. But don’t despair, we don’t want the magic of Christmas to be spoiled by grumpy children with sad faces under the Christmas tree. I have a few Christmas comments on hand for you – to make your Christmas be bright!