Okay, so I’m mostly self-taught when it comes to riding, horse care and natural horsemanship especially. I have scanned books, Youtube, asked my farriers over the years for hoof care advice, picked other trainer’s and friend’s brains – and I have gained an assortment of knowledge where I have chosen what advice to use and what wouldn’t work for me. I have rarely paid to go to a clinic or lesson with my horses. There are tonnes of horse trainers out there, doing their clinics and selling their books. And if you have the money, great, go for it. If you are more conservative and want to learn anyway but in your own time, I can recommend 2 books that I have found most useful out of the bunch I have come across over the years. Here goes:
Dancing with horses by K.F. Hempfling. I actually only got this book second hand after many years into my discovery of horse communication, what I made most use of was the FREE Youtube material on this guy’s channel. Don’t blame me, I was a poor student stubborn enough to own a horse!
So this is probably the most known guy in horse communication. I would say that while most other trainers are good at working with pressure-and-release methods to teach their horses to listen, obey, and become motivated, KFH actually gains immediate respect, compliance and happiness of the horse from just being a leader who use their own body language. Whenever I watch a video from some random trainer who goes “and find out the solution to this problem by paying for the rest of the video” I turn it off. Not saying their method doesn’t work but I’m not interested in listening to salespeople. I understand that they want to make a living but I’m for the open source approach, when it comes to software as well as everything else in life. Rememeber that information sharing is noble! Be noble or be a salesperson. So, KFH sure is an entrepeneur, but the amount of free material online is enough to become quite proficient in horse communication. At least I got from newbie to confident on this material only. This book brings up a large summary of situations and how to use your own body language respectively.
Essential Hoof Book by Susan Kauffman and Christine Cline. Horses were born without shoes and can definitely live without them in all environments suitable for horses. This book is very informative on hoof function, anatomy, common problems and diseases, and thoroughly explains the aspects of a healthy versus unhealthy hoof. I trim my horse’s hooves and a lot of my confidence comes from gaining information from various online/literature sources and farriers. A lot of what I have learnt is summarized in this book.
So there you go: 2 books to read when starting your natural horsemanship journey. Good luck!
So we did a Novice 40k GER at Cirencester on July 10th! It was awesome! A great experience for both me and Jargo, to go to such a large event and test ourselves in the wonderful Cotswolds landscape! We participated in the team competition as well, and I think we scored quite well and gained points for team South west 😊 It was amazing to do that on our 2nd ever endurance race! Jargonaut did so well, she behaved impeccably, both on the site and on the course itself, although she kept thinking we were finished at every check point when she saw a viz vest standing around! 😄 Next up is the Pegasus ride, this time a bit closer to home!
I have plastic consumer anxiety. Honestly been thinking about this for most of the early hours of the morning and realising that I really need to do something about it. I don’t want to drink from a reusable plastic water bottle or store leftovers in tupperware anymore, for the fear of ingesting microplastics. I don’t want to wear everyday clothes that contain artificial non-degradable textiles, which pollutes the water with microplastiscs when I wash them. I don’t want to buy fruit or food in plastic wrapping, which I will discard and create waste from… And I don’t want to contribute to plastic consumption and pollution by using or buying more plastic single-use products. So here we go part 1 – phasing out what I can from my personal plastic use, the only exemptions will be clothes and things that I only wear very occasionally or things that I definitely feel will cause minor ingestion/pollution risk of microplastics.
To be continued with an update of what I will phase out…!
The Piddle Ride was our first ever competition in the UK! It was extremely hot and sunny, but we made it! Jargo behaved, she still has her silly moments now and then, but overall I’m quite pleased with her – the fact that she is a complete novice makes it easier to forgive her silly behaviour sometimes! 🤣 it was an ambitious outing and next I will plan things a bit diffefently, but it was also superfun to complete the ride! 🤗
I’ve entered me and Jargo to a 35 km ride in June! Season’s first and actually my first real competition in the sport. It’ll be in Dorset and I’m really looking forward to it! There was also a 45 km one but I think a 35k is reasonable to start with. A 40k ride is very doable for any horse that is being hacked a couple of times a week, so I’m sure we will be able to go around it! There will be some river crossings but I’m not too concerned about that 😄 I’m really looking forward to it! Sadly there have been so many cancelled rides in the area and I need to start getting into the sport if I’m going to advance to Open level next year!
Starting and schooling a young horse is one of the most exciting things! Rollo is three and even though he has a long way to go when it comes to physical maturity, I have now chosen to introduce the idea of being trained in saddle for this little guy. The first steps are to just steer and stop, and my sessions are brief, about 10 min.
Jargo on the other hand is now so mature and strong that I can ask more of her. Today we worked a bit on transitions, just to get that idea of collection going! 🙂
Or… spring? I’m looking forward to the weather improving with longer evenings -it’ll be ideal when I start the horses for the season’s events! I need to keep schooling sessions brief at the moment, but it is suitable to starting them easy. Jargo did phenomenally yesterday, and I’m sure her back muscles will impove quickly as she works in such a positive way! 20 min might be short but it was definitely a good session!
The horses have had quite the winter holiday 😊 They’ve become very sociable, and despite the fact that they are out with other horses, they know they belong to the same herd… My herd ❤ What this year will be is quite open, with regards to the current situation in the UK, but I’m hoping to get some outings with Jargonaut at least. Hopefully summer will arrive soon! 🌞
And a thought: it seems really popular in the UK to pull the mane and tail of a horse. It is something I would never do to my horses, if I do need to trim them I use scissors. I mean, how nice would it be to pull your own hair? I strongly doubt that horses are non-sensitive to hair pulling, and it looks really ugly anyway… 🤣
I’ve been sewing some things in anticipation of the new arrival and here are a few things produced 🙂 (Some are not completely finished on the pics!) But I have to say, it is so nice to have a sewing machine! 🤗 I bought some nice fabrics from simplelifefabrics.co.uk and got some nice elastic jersey fabrics from there, so will continue sewing some more baby clothes. Sewing your own clothes can really complement a wardrobe of bought/inherited clothes!