Horses Do Sense

When I gazed into the calm, round eyes of the auburn-coloured quarter-horse, I thought of all the people who ask me, “Do animals have souls?’ Miss Tanya snuffled as I rubbed the underside of her head, and I imagined her saying, “This human is okay. By the way, do you have an apple for me?” The racehorse’s owners wanted my friend Brian, an animal acupuncturist, to treat Miss Tanya’s skittishness, and Brian had asked me to accompany him, so I could link with this beautiful horse’s soul and try to find out why Miss Tanya was so frenzied whenever she stepped onto a race track.

Carlotta, one of the horse’s owners, cocked a skeptical eyebrow when Brian asked about bringing me, but she shrugged and said she’d try anything. Horse racing is an expensive sport, and after spending thousands of dollars on training and upkeep, Miss Tanya wasn’t living up to her potential

Brian and I arrived at the stables to find six horses in or around their stalls. A young stable hand was combing the silvery mane of a palomino. Two horses were being led around the ring for exercise. Brian pointed out his favorite mare, Saladin, a jet-black Arabian that looked like he spent his life posing for statues. His neck was the size of an armload of baseball bats.

In her stall, calmly munching hay was Miss Tanya. She stood 15 hands high, and her well defined muscles stood out beneath her sleek brown coat. When we approached her, she raised her head and snorted, then chuffed twice and dipped her head into her water trough.

Carlotta regarded me with a smile. She gestured with her chin at Miss Tanya and said, “She’s just letting you know who’s boss.”

“Yes, ma’m,” I told the horse, then gently stroked her head. I love horses. They’re such wonderful, loving, wise animals, and so attuned to their emotions. Miss Tanya looked at me and blinked twice. I felt a twinge of sadness. Miss Tanya seemed to nod, then nuzzled my hand. I wished I had a fistful of oats to give her.

Keeping my eyes locked on the horse, I said, “She doesn’t feel like she’s being listened to.”

Carlotta snickered as she pulled back her thick dark hair and tied it into a ponytail. “She’s not the only one. Honestly, sometimes, I think none of these horses give a fig about anything I do for them.”

How do you feel? I silently asked Miss Tanya.

I’m bored, seemed to be the reply. I want to run around outside.

I don’t know how much time passed, but as I got a feel that Miss Tanya liked running, but didn’t like racing. Whenever she lined up at the starting gates, all the other horses were either in bad moods, or hell-bent on competing. They were so focused on winning, they unnerved her. As a result, she wanted them to hurry up and get out of her space. Which explained why she usually came in last.

You like running, I mentally told Miss Tanya. Think of a race as just another way of running. Ignore the other horses. Just have fun going fast.

Miss Tanya snorted once – if she’d been human, she might’ve gone “Hmph!” – then stepped away from me.

By this time, Brian and Carlotta were in another stall, tending to Bucky, a Bergeron with a limp. It was odd seeing the huge horse standing still, seeming to enjoy acupuncture with several thin needles in its flank.

“If you want to help Miss Tanya,” I said, “put blinders on her eyes before the next race. Seeing the other horses freaks her out.”

Carlotta nodded, considering the idea.

Over the next few hours, Brian and I spent time with the other horses. Cinnamon told me she was pregnant, and was excited about getting ready to foal. Rockefeller loved Carlotta for taking care of him when he was sick, and thought of his owner as “Mom.” And Bucky wished people would brush him more often. Carlotta seemed intrigued when I told her my impressions.

Two Sundays later, I watched Miss Tanya race at Woodbine and the poor girl came in sixth out of seven. From the stands, I noticed she was not wearing blinders. Oh, well…

I spoke with Brian last night, who told me Carlotta had admitted that after my visit, her horses seemed to be listening to her more. But she still couldn’t understand why Miss Tanya ran so well when she was all by herself.

Grieve, Then Honor the Loss of a Horse

The grief experienced over the loss of a horse is deep, profound and feels like it is too much to bear. The decision to euthanize your horse to release him from pain does not make your loss any easier to bear. What are you going to do now?

Grieving is experienced differently for everyone yet there are stages you will go through and emotions you will be dealing with. Allow yourself to feel the pain and grieve the loss of your horse, then you will be able to move on to honor and cherish the time spent with your horse.

According to WebMD there are five classic stages of grief that are often associated with loss:

Denial: Reacting to the death of a horse is challenging for most owners. During this first stage of grief you may seem confused or uncertain about the loss of your horse, which should not be confused with lack of caring. The grieving person may find it helpful to take action, such as making funeral arrangements, and as you acknowledge the loss, denial and disbelief will diminish.

Bargaining: This second stage may involve continued thoughts about what you could have done to stop the loss and/or preoccupied about ways things could have been different. This stage becomes very apparent in an owner who had to make a decision to euthanize their horse. Horse owners in the bargaining stage of grief, although it will not change the outcome, will look for alternatives in an attempt to regain control over the situation. This stage of grieving over the loss of a horse needs to be resolved or feelings of remorse and guilt will interfere with the healing process.

Depression: This stage of grief occurs when individuals realize the full extent of their loss. Signs of depression include disturbance in sleep and appetite, a lack of energy, a struggle to keep concentration and crying out of the blue. A person may go through feelings of loneliness, emptiness, isolation, self-pity or withdrawal from close friends, family and social contacts.

Anger: Losing a long-time companion, such as a horse, is frustrating and gives the mourning person the feeling of helplessness. During this stage grief can be expressed as anger. A person may speak rude towards friends, colleagues or even their vet and may be angry at a higher power or toward life in general. The anger becomes a defense mechanism during this stage of grieving.

Grieving the loss of a horse can also bring changes in the emotional attachment toward the remaining horses and animals in the horse mourner’s life. This may show through becoming overly attached or aggressive, neglectful, or unhappy with other animals in their care.

Acceptance: Acceptance is the stage of grief where a horse owner will come to terms with their feelings, accept the fact that the loss has occurred and move past the period of depression and anger. They may still be sad, but will have accepted the loss and can now move forward with memories of their horse.

Along with the memories of the horse here are some ways to cherish the time spent with your horse and keep your horse close to the heart.

  • Instead of a funeral hold a celebration of life to honor your horse and the joy your horse brought into your life.
  • Use the last set of shoes and make photo frames. Finish them how you’d like and glue a favorite photo to the back of each shoe. Use material from the saddle blanket to make a ribbon hanger.
  • Donate a horse book or subscription to a horse journal to your local library.
  • Plant flowering bulbs, perineal flowers or a tree that will represent your love for your horse and the growth you gained by it being in your life.
  • Braid a bookmark, window ornament, or wristband out of your mane or tail hair.
  • Buy or make a special horse memorial piece of jewelry, a keepsake box or keychain.
  • Make a memory book of photos, stories, recollections of, and lessons learned from, your horse.
  • Make a shadow box with his leather halter, stall plate, forelock hair, memorable ribbons, halters, brushes and photos.
  • Sponsor a horse in a rescue farm in your horses’ memory.
  • Send a donation in memory of your beloved partner to your favorite rescue or equine charity.
  • Honor your horse by volunteering at your vet’s office or local equine rescue organization.
  • Donate a horse book or subscription to a horse journal to your local library.
  • If you feel very ambitious start a 4-H club to introduce kids to horses.

The grieving process is something that is painful but you will get through it. Allow yourself to go through it then take steps to remember and honor your horse. No one can take away the wonderful memories and thoughts of your horse and they eventually will bring a smile to your face.

Toni Grundstrom is a freelance writer with published articles on pet loss. Grundstrom combines her talents of 20+ years of writing and designing/building stained glass pet memorial stones into an online Zazzle store named “Hooves In Heaven” where you can find gifts to honor your horse.

Grundstrom owns and operates her small business, Stained Glass Creation Station, “My interest in pet loss began by supporting individuals who lost their pet and creating products they could have to memorialize their pet.”

Important Considerations When Owning A Horse

Since you were young, perhaps you always wanted to have a horse. If you are now ready to buy one, there are plenty of important things you must know. Preferably, you must have taken riding lessons.

Start out safe – Do not let inexperienced riders deal with inexperienced horses. This may make the horse miss-behave if you ride it. The horse’s temperament is a huge thing to look for. It is highly advised that you must go for one with a calm easy going temperament. But if you want to opt for a spirited horse, know that it needs to get ridden more because it wants to run and be free.

Budget & Time – Horses will need regular attention. Hence, it is very crucial for you to determine how much time you would spend with them. Apart from time, consider also your budget since you will need to provide them with good food and shelter.

Work Involved – A lot of work will be involved when caring for them. For instance, you must ride your horse every week as this will help keep him in good physical shape. After a ride, you must hose the sweat off as long as it is not cold outside. Practice different things each time you ride so your horse won’t get bored.

Horse Accessories To Consider

When riding your horse, safety must be the priority. An approved horseback riding helmet must be on every rider’s head. This is a must-have since you do not know how and when an accident might happen. You must know that when he spooks at something, you might fall off. Moreover, there are some horses that get frisky if the weather cools so they might buck. Here are some accessories you can buy for you horse:

Leads & Halters – These are among the frequently used pieces of horse riding equipment. Preferably, opt for longer leads as this will allow the horse to have more drifts.

Bridles & Bits – The bridle is a very important gear that consists of a headstall. The bit, on the other hand, is the metal portion that will go to the mouth and is connected to the reins and headstall.

Saddle – This will help keep you balanced and secure. For him, it will distribute the weight down his back evenly, which makes it a lot easier for him to carry you comfortably for a very long time. It is made from a variety of materials. Also, it will require regular maintenance, care and cleaning.

Is Hitting Horses Okay? I Don’t Think So

Since working with a young horse the last few days who is head shy, the horse squeezes his eyes and shies away when I try to halter him, rub his face, or scratch between his ears. I’ve been thinking about how many horse people are out there still hitting and slapping horses as a form of discipline.

Or what I would prefer to say, out of a form of frustration.

I can’t see any good coming out of slapping or hitting a horse. I have tapped horses on the butt to move away. I have never had to resort to hitting or slapping a horse around the head or face. I don’t consider myself a horse expert, but I do care deeply for horses. I’ve had several horses of my own and I work with horses almost everyday in my pet sitting business.

I work with horses everyday that I have not had a chance to establish a deep bond with yet. I have to halter them, feed them, grain them, apply medications, put on and take off fly masks and blankets, turn-out, lunge, and work around them.

I have never had to resort to hitting, slapping or any type of violence, ever.

I could see myself reacting in a split second by hitting back out of shock, pain, or fear if a horse tried to bite or kick me. I don’t remember ever having to go there, though.

So far, there have been warning signs way ahead of time and I’ve been able to leave the space to give the horse and me a break so that I could take a moment to figure out a different approach.

This morning I searched online about using hitting and slapping as a disciplinary measure with horses and I was extremely disappointed to find that this is still a very accepted practice. There must be other ways of communicating and working with horses without using any type of violence.

In the ten year span, I kept Reanna, my Holsteiner mare who passed away a couple of months ago, I never hit her once. She was a big girl. She was a bossy girl. She was impressive and intimidating size wise and still I never resorted to violence to deal with her. I remember one day a woman came out to visit us at my farm. Reanna pushed her in the chest and the woman slapped her across the face. I was shocked. I said “Reanna has never been hit before”. When Reanna did that to me. I walked away. She didn’t like not having attention and being ignored. As soon as she connected that I would not participate, play with her, groom her, and be affectionate with her if she was rough, she stopped this behavior.

I think our visitor reacted by slapping Reanna without thinking it through. I didn’t get upset with her, but Reanna did. I gave her the benefit of the doubt, that maybe she reacted out of surprise or shock.

Within minutes of the incident, I took our visitor on a tour of the pastures. Reanna was turned-out after the initial meeting in the area we were walking. Out of the corner, of my eye, I could see Reanna staring down the woman, pulling herself back, getting ready for a full speed gallop towards the lady. Before Reanna’s full on attack, I calmly looked over at the woman and told her it was time for us to leave the pasture. We left the area. I closed the gate behind us before Reanna got around the corner. The woman didn’t see what was about to happen. She left in one piece, thank god.

Reanna had not forgotten our visitor’s offense. She was like an elephant that way.

This morning I’ve been really sitting with this.

I think it’s really up to us as animal people, horse people to find non-violent ways of communicating with our horses. I think patience really is a virtue here. I understand horse trainers and many horse people are on tight time-frames. They need results. And sometimes they need them quick. A horse has to perform. A horse has to behave. A horse cannot be dangerous.

I’m just asking to take a step back. Take some more time. Try to figure out a different approach. Study non-violent training methods. Use your intuition. Listen to your horses.

Surrogate EFT Tapping Cures Horse’s Trauma

As a psychotherapist, I usually work with people, not animals. But a while ago, a woman whose horse was traumatized during a move in a storm asked for my help. I used Surrogate EFT Tapping with her, which cured her horse of all trauma symptoms in just a couple of hours.

How Does EFT Tapping Work?

EFT Tapping (or Emotional Freedom Techniques) is most often used on humans to alleviate many kinds of issues, from the effects of stress and trauma, phobias, pain and physical illnesses, and many other things. It works by focusing on events or patterns of events that have emotional charge while simultaneously tapping on specific acupuncture meridian endpoints. Normally, the EFT practitioner shows the client where to do EFT Tapping and the client taps on her/himself at the same time. Using information, sentences and words the client uses in describing a painful event, for example, the EFT practitioner has the client say sentences that bring up emotional charge. Often, this helps the charge decrease or disappear and the client is calm even when thinking about the painful event.

Surrogate EFT Tapping

However, when the “client” is a baby, very young child, or otherwise unable to participate in this protocol, it’s possible to use what’s called “surrogate tapping.” One way to do this is to have a person close to the one who experienced the painful event to tap on her/himself as if she/he were the traumatized person.

It Started With a Scary Move

My client had moved from one state to another, and her seven horses, including a stallion, were transported in a large horse-trailer, arriving at their new destination around midnight on a moonless, foggy night.

The handlers put the stallion in a pen next to the pasture into which the other horses were to be unloaded. After the other six horses were let out into the pasture, one of the mares jumped the 5-foot horse fence, and was injured running through barbed wire and cacti. Three others also jumped the fence. The stallion, having witnessed all of this, was restless in his pen and called frantically to the other horses. After this, the stallion was stabled on another property for a while, and upon being reunited with his herd, began showing signs of trauma.

He would pace back and forth in his stall and call loudly. He became especially agitated whenever the other horses, which were let out into a larger yard, moved farther away from him. The woman explained that, as the stallion, he felt responsible for their well-being. Before all this happened, he had been the horse she rode most often. After the trauma, however, whenever she tried to ride him, he refused to leave the area of the barn near the other horses. One time when she forced him to leave the area, he threatened to rear, and became unmanageable on the ground. He became dangerous to handle whenever he left his stall or the barn. This behavior went on for over eight months. The woman’s despair over the situation was so great she asked me to help with EFT – she’d try anything, she said.

Surrogate EFT Tapping

The woman was very sad and discouraged. We started by tapping on these feelings, as well as on her dashed hopes to develop a community of riding buddies, her fear that she would never be able to ride any of her horses again-as all of them were having difficulties of some sort. This took about ½ hour.

Then we moved to sit just outside the stallion’s stall. I had the woman step into “being” the stallion. We went through each intense piece of the night of their arrival. With her continuing in the role of the stallion, we used EFT Tapping on each visual memory and emotion that came up. Then we tapped on anything that was intense since then-the other horses moving away from him, the woman trying to ride him away from the other horses, etc. In her role as the stallion, the woman very clearly felt what he had felt. It’s amazing how that works-when we put ourselves into another’s role, even that of an animal, we often actually DO experience what the other has experienced. This took about 45 minutes.

Once having tapped on all of this, the woman went into the stallion’s stall. She had learned some horse acupuncture points, which she had used for several months-with little success. She tapped on those points in his stall. Where he normally would have been very agitated, he was already quite calm and let her rub him and tap on him.

Then we led the stallion to a corral somewhat away from the other horses. Usually when she put him in this corral, he would become quite agitated, pacing and calling loudly. He calmly walked around for a bit and then faced the other horses, pacing a bit. I had her tap on the acupuncture points while guiding her to speak aloud his remaining fears about their safety: “Even though you’re still afraid when the mares are away from you;” “even though you worry about them;” “even though you still feel badly for not being able to protect them,” etc. After a couple of rounds, he relaxed completely. He calmly walked around the corral, stopping to graze on grass. He seemed to have finally found the peace of mind he’d lost almost a year earlier.

The stallion continued being calm for the rest of his life, and the woman experienced many happy hours riding him.

Zoe Zimmermann, MA, LPC is a Certified EFT Practitioner and long-time licensed psychotherapist. She uses EFT Tapping as her modality for fast breakthroughs with core issues and specializes in clients who suffer with PTSD from accidents, surgeries, abuse, dysfunctional family dynamics, other traumas and physical pain.

EFT is an exceptionally effective energy psychology and alternative therapy, where EFT Tapping on acupuncture meridian pressure points is used to take emotional charge out of traumatic and painful memories and experiences, often alleviating pain.

Anti Inflammatory Horse Medications Over the Counter

The non steroidal anti inflammatory medications are given to a gathering that is identified with cortisone. They are regularly called NS aids.

Understand that NS-aids create their pain relieving activity by diminishing the aggravation. The news you don’t prefer to hear is that it can cover the real issue. On the possibility that the horse has harm to the joint surface, this may permit the owner or trainer to continue utilizing the horse which may show that you can harm the horse for ever!

One of the notable in SS-helps are the aspirin medicine. Aspirin can be utilized as a part of horses as it’s utilized as a part of people. Horse aspirin are huge pills, simple to smash and frequently exceptionally viable. Aspirin is a standout among the most agreeable medication as it is over the counter and frequently deals with an intense indication.

Obviously you generally contact your veterinarian when things continue returning constantly. Aspirin can be utilized as a part of numerous creatures, not in cats (by the way), with constant and serious issues with no side effects reported. Frequently horse owners utilize it when their horse is determined to have a hoof lameness, however the more you utilize it, the more inadequate, it will be, and again your veterinarian is your pioneer in this circumstance.

Digging into the hoof lameness illness which is a dynamic, hopeless issue, there are certain approaches to make it simple on the horse. At the point when a horse is determined to have this issue make a point to have a nearby contact between the farrier and the veterinarian, as they can have a colossal effect in the horse, counter treat with a brilliant result and a horse that keeps dynamic at all time.

Try not to place it in a stable and allow the horse to stand and doing nothing, turn the horse out and ensure that it’s walking and continues being exercised as much as could reasonably be expected. When you are in uncertainty about the hoof lameness infection, request that your farrier apply the hoot analyzer.

It’s an extremely valuable device, as though you begin testing the typical foot and place approximately strain on the foot with the foot analyzer, when sound no response will be given. By setting off to the issue foot you will experience a beyond any doubt and clear response to the pressure gave by the farrier. The hoof tester will likewise discover punctures, corns, sole abscesses and progressively on the possibility that they’re.

The pulling back of the hoof is to let you know that there is an issue. Begin with a little measure of weight and gradually work your way up in pushing power. However, there is dependably an exemption, as when the horse has been in a stuffed wet and messy territory the soles may be delicate and furnish you with a false answer and vise versa is the same for the foot that is to a great degree dry.

Tapping the sole with a little hammer might be more viable to scan for a reasonable reply. When you have convinced the foot test with the analyzer and nothing shows up, in any case, the horse unmistakably hints being lame, has gone onto the trial of flexion the joints in the influenced combine of hoof. Flexion may give you a reply as it alludes to bowing the joint as it normally twist or flexes.

A flexion test on any joint or set of joints are done keeping in mind the end goal to stretch the joint, the hard and the delicate tissue around. The response to all the previously mentioned issues that can happen regardless of the level or quality and breeding lines of the horse is to make a point to create an extraordinary relationship with your certified farrier and licensed veterinarian.

Western Horseback Riding – The Basics

We all know that there are obvious differences in the tack (equipment used to ride, such as saddles and bridles,) but when I was taught to ride, we weren’t taught why the tack was different, and how different the two types of riding really are. I was always mesmerized by the beautiful Western horses with their fancy headstalls and breastplates and the riders with their chaps and cowboy hats walking in the parades, but other than that, I didn’t really see a lot of Western style riders growing up, except for on television. During my research I have discovered that English riding is initially more difficult to learn, and it is easier to switch from English to Western than vice versa. I am not going to focus too much on English riding today, and will pretty much just explain the fundamentals of Western riding. I will go much more in depth on English riding in a future article.

I guess the first place I should start is at the beginning… the very beginning. Western riding can first be traced back to about 400 B.C. when it is widely accepted that Xenophon, a Greek solider and historian, founded modern horsemanship. Although any breed of horse can be used for Western riding, the most popular breeds are Quarter Horses, Paints, and Appaloosas.

Western riding basically evolved on cattle ranches in the American West The Western rider uses their non-dominant hand to handle the reins, and uses neck reining to control the horse. When neck reining, you push your horse gently into the direction that you want your horse to go instead of pulling in the same direction. For example, if you want your horse to move to the right, you would touch the left rein to your horse’s neck. Western trained horses are trained to listen to your commands without much mouth contact. You might be wondering why you would use your non-dominant hand to hold the reins – the reason for using the non dominant hand for the reins is so that the rider can use their dominant hand for roping cattle, etc. Even if you aren’t into roping cattle, there are many other events you can find pleasure in with Western riding! They include barrel racing, pleasure riding, roping, Gymkhana, and endurance riding.

Western saddles are heavier, and have a horn in front which is to assist with herding cattle. The saddle is also larger and deeper and can be more comfortable for a horse who has to spend long periods of time actively working. It is also comfortable for the rider, and distributes the weight more evenly on the horse’s back. The bottom of the stirrups should hit the rider’s ankle bone for proper fit.

The rider should be relaxed but sit straight with good posture, and move with the horse. Subtle cues with your hips and seat give steering signals to your horse. Your horse will rely on you to correctly shift your weight and carry your body correctly to interpret your commands.

In Western riding it is not unusual for the rider to use noise signals to change speeds. Some Western trained horses can speed up and slow down just by hearing their rider’s signals. Many riders use the “kiss and click method,” in which you click your tongue to ask for a jog and you smack your lips together to ask for a lope. A jog is the same as a trot, and a lope is the same as a canter in English riding. Some horses might recognize voice commands, it all depends on how your horse is trained. Most horses know the voice command “Whoa” to stop, as you sit deeply into your seat.

Plant Based Horse Minerals

When I was advised to give my horse Nathy a mineral supplement to improve his health and well being, I decided I wanted to take a natural approach. Of all the minerals I found for horses most were of a metallic nature, which was going against the way I want to approach supplementing Nathy.

The word Metallic is enough to turn me off feeding these minerals to my horse, I wanted something more natural. I came across a brand of horse minerals that are plant based and all natural. With 74 plus plant ingredients to keep horse healthy and happy, below are just are few.

Premium Horse Mineral Ingredients.

  • Sea Plants
  • Kelp
  • Age Old Healing Plants and Herbs
  • Colloidal Minerals
  • Biotin
  • Moringa Powder
  • MSM Plant Sulphur
  • Clay Dolomite
  • Clay Calcium Bentonite
  • Diatomite

Natural plant minerals are better for a horses digestive system and also absorb easier than non plant derived minerals. Eating natural, healthy products can improve human well being, so should the same not apply to our animals.Humans usually don’t go well on high starch, or high sugar, which lead to diseases like diabetes. Diabetes can raise the risk of heart attack or stroke by 50%. If we can improve a horse diet with healthy feed and natural supplements, it has to be better than feeding them unhealthy feed filled with sugar and starch.

If humans can get a disease like diabetes, it is crazy to think that a horse would be immuned to this. Horses shouldn’t have too much sugar, it can lead to laminitis and even insulin resistance, much like a person with type 2 diabetes. It’s important for us to give our horses a well balanced diet, so they stay gut healthy and avoid diseases such as insulin resistance and laminitis.

Minerals play an important part in a horses overall health and in my opinion, natural minerals are a better choice to help a horses digestive system and overall well being. Horses can’t tell us how they feel or what is causing them pain and discomfort but they can show us by either physical, emotional or by their overall behaviour. Most bad behaviour by a horse is caused by pain, or if they are uncomfortable, if we don’t listen to them these behaviours will only get worse and could cause harm to the horse owner.

Starting Out With a New Hanoverian Sport Horse

The Hanoverian horse has been a consistently popular breed of sport horse for a long time, and for good reason. Hanoverian horses are incredibly lithe, agile and sportive. Hanoverians are renowned for their good temperaments, which makes them easy to train to a great extent. These horses are also highly intelligent and generally form very harmonious relationships with their riders. Hanoverian sport horses are famed worldwide for their awe-inspiring grace and beauty – they possess an infallible combination of muscular limbs, a robust body and an enduringly strong back. Any horse lover, or potential investor in a sport horse would truly be wise to choose a Hanoverian sport horse.

Hanoverian sport horses can be seen at all levels of competitive games, from local horse shows to the Olympic games. In fact, statistics show that the Hanoverian breed is the most successful of all warm blood horse breeds – not surprising when their athleticism and excellent temperament are acknowledged.

Question: I have invested in a fantastic Hanoverian Sport Horse. What is my next step?

First of all, congratulations on your successful investment in a Hanoverian, anyone who has the pleasure of owning one of these horses is guaranteed many years of satisfaction and enjoyment from seeing their horse continually succeed. However, their success does not come automatically. The most important first step to take, once you have purchased your horse, is to organize its training.

High quality training with an experienced trainer is imperative to guarantee your horse’s success in competitive games. It is recommended to conduct ample research on the type of training you wish your horse to receive. Training based on classical teaching principles has proven widely popular. In many cases, the classical teaching principles are applied during training, while the trainer simultaneously forms a specific program based on the unique needs of the horse undergoing training, taking their personality traits and physical strengths into close consideration.

When researching and deciding on the right horse trainer for your Hanoverian horse’s needs, inquire as to the success levels in competitive games of horses that have been previously undergone training with them. This will give you a fair idea of how well the trainer works with horses and caters to their individual needs. It is also very important to introduce your horse to the trainer, and even allow them to take the horse for a ride to gauge how they collaborate with one another. Additionally, it is just as important for you, the horse owner to mesh well with the chosen trainer.

Hanoverian horses are highly intelligent and if they sense any weakness, their training may not be as successful as it could be. In the long run, it is extremely important that your Hanoverian, you and your trainer all connect well to ensure your horse’s maximum success.

Age Versus Love Of Horses

You’ve loved horses all your life, maybe you did some trail riding as a teenager and maybe you had the chance to re-kindle your love of horses later in life. Then the day came in your late 50’s you had a the opportunity to buy your first horse. Are you to old to take on this beautiful, majestic, powerful animal?

In my opinion, you are not, I say that because I moved to the country at 57 and bought my first horse at 58. What did I consider when I was choosing my horse? First I thought of what I was capable of physically, with that in mind I thought I wouldn’t want a horse over 15hh, anything larger than that makes for a bigger fall and possible broken bones.

My second consideration was the horses age and temperament, a nice old bombproof horse that I could ease myself back into riding with. Then there is breed I wasn’t fussed about breed, purely because as a teenager I rode a lot of different breeds, and how calm a horse is, is more about how they are trained and treated not the breed.

I was thinking Quarter horse or Standardbred, I leased a Standardbred in my late 30’s and he was very calm but he could be very stubborn. One breed I never considered was a Thoroughbred, I thought this breed may be way over my head and from what I’d seen watching horse racing, my thought was far too highly strung for me.

After taking all the above into consideration I started looking for my dream horse, and I found him. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with a horse I found in an ad on Facebook. This is where I started questioning my sanity, this horse is 16.1hh 11 yr old off the track thoroughbred, he hadn’t been ridden since his racing days and I didn’t even know if he was sound.

The truth is I didn’t care, I fell in love with the horse in the ad and I fell even more in love when I met him. Yeah so he’s a thoroughbred, he needs re-educating and as a pleasure horse he is green, but so am I. I used to ride feisty horses but I was 16 not 58… so I ask myself “What were you thinking” my answer is I wasn’t thinking, I just knew this boy was for me.

So now the next question is am I too green and too old take on this mammoth task to get my horse sound enough to work with and eventually ride. If I had no experience with horses at all then perhaps it may be too big a task for me. If there was no such thing as the internet then again it may be too big a task for me. The thing is I believe I can do this and I love and trust my boy and I know he loves and trusts me.

Another thing to consider is fitness, I am not too unfit but to start groundwork I need to step up my fitness which I am working on now. Age is just a number, if you have the passion, the love and the commitment nothing is impossible. Learn to read your horse and listen to him and always make safety a priority, horses are big powerful animals and are capable of doing us some serious damage, even if accidentally.

Pauline Smith is passionate about and horses and is head over heels in love with her 11 yr old Thoroughbred Nathy.