What Do Vicki Roycroft, Monty Roberts and Dr Andrew McLean have in common?

What Do Vicki Roycroft, Monty Roberts and Dr Andrew McLean have in common?

If you guessed that they are all world class professional horse people, you are right! Vicki holds the record for the first female Olympic athlete to compete in both showjumping and eventing, Monty travels the world teaching his Join-Up method and Andrew is another international expert who has used evidence based scientific research to improve horse training and welfare. All are Equine Industry Experts and these three are all guests on the 'Horse Chats' podcast.  If you would like free education from world class trainers, click on the link below and subscribe.   https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/horse-chats/id1291293396?mt=2&i=1000392871574 Make sure you subscribe, there are more international experts coming your way! Happy Riding, Glenys :) … [Read more...]

Horse Steps, Strides, Gaits and Paces

Do you remember how complicated it was learning about horse steps, strides, paces and gaits? Just when you thought that horses could walk, run and gallop you learned that when horses ran it was called trot and somewhere in there was canter. Great, now you know the four natural gaits of the horse, or are they called paces? So you consult your trusty horse book only to find that horses have... wait a sec, the other trusty horse book said there were four natural paces of the horse and now this one has included stepping backwards. You read a little more and find that a horse has steps in the walk and trot and strides in the canter and gallop. Is that right? In human terms a step is putting one foot in front of the other and a stride is a longer decisive step. Yet the stride in horse … [Read more...]

Ten Reasons Why You Should Look Up When You Ride

There was an old poem that my grandmother used to tell me about holding my head high and always looking between the horse’s ears when I rode. While I can’t remember the poem (and I don’t agree with ALWAYS looking between the horse’s ears), I do agree that the habit of looking up is certainly one that will influence riding ability. Listed below are 10 reasons why looking up will positively influence your (or your students’) riding ability. To see other riders and horses Have you ever been at a competition or riding in a crowded area and had to avoid riders who are looking down. They are probably lucky that you have been considerate enough to avoid them, but watch for long enough and they will have a collision or near collision with another rider who is looking down. … [Read more...]

Interview with Jen Hamilton

What type of philosophy do you have about riding and training your horse?  We make many choices . . . like if we should ride English or Western or if we choose to jump or not to jump. We also choose our training philosophy which could be adopted by our coaches and mentors.  In this interview with world renowned equestrian coach Jen Hamilton, she talks about her coaching philosophy...  Glenys Hello, today we're going to talk to Jen. Jen Hamilton is one of the highest qualified coaches in the world, equestrian coaches, and Level IV Coaching Canada. Jen, just briefly, could you tell me a little bit about your coaching philosophy? Jen Very simply I believe that we as coaches, it is our responsibility to make the riders and horses into the best athletes they can be. We have to isolate … [Read more...]

I Have a Good Excuse!

Do you have a good excuse why you didn’t win the last competition, or why you haven’t ridden lately? The thing is that everyone HAS a good excuse! No-one wins all the time. But those who win more often and progress to higher levels don’t dwell on their excuses! They work out what went wrong, how they can improve and get on with fixing things. We are all born into different situations, some brought up in families where they could choose what horse they rode, had the best instructors and started competing in big competitions at an early age. Then there are others who had to ride their bike for miles just to get to the nearest riding school. They would work all weekend and be rewarded with a short ride if it suited. It doesn’t matter where you started, it matters where you are … [Read more...]

Does My Butt Look Big In This Saddle?

When you are riding in a lesson, do you make sure you shirt is tucked in before you start? What about if you are coaching a lesson, do you make sure your riders have their shirt tucked in before you commence a lesson? If not, why not? If you as a coach choose to not tuck your shirt in or don't expect your students to tuck their shirts in, then think again. Latest Fashions Have a look at the world's best fashion houses for the latest trends this season. There are many garments where the shirts are long and flowing, or even midriff and sleeveless. The style of these high fashion clothes is continually changing and updated at least once each season. Equestrian Fashions While fashions change and evolve in the equestrian world, they remain fairly traditional. Riding is a … [Read more...]

Do you want a better horse or do you want to be a better rider?

Imagine this .  .  . you are out on a ride with some new friends and you are really enjoying your ride. They are all more experienced with horses than you, and you think you can learn a lot from them. You are happy they are including you in their ride and hope you will be invited again. As you ride, they show you a few new places to ride including a lovely sandy track where you can all ride along in pairs. Then there is a creek across the track and their horses all happily walk through, splashing and playing. You look in horror! Your horse hates water! What runs through your mind? Or what about this scenario . . . you are at a dressage competition that you know you should do well at. Your horse has either had a win or a place each time you have attended competitions at these … [Read more...]

Horses and Happiness

What type of horse does it take to make you happy? What has to happen to make you feel grateful for your horse? Second Horse To some one who learnt to ride on their first horse, happiness can be a younger, more energetic horse. Teenager To the teenager who has fast growing legs, happiness is a taller horse. Retired Stockman The old stockman who has spent many long days in the saddle when he was younger, happiness could be riding his favorite horse who has grown old with him. Competitor To some competitive riders, happiness could be a horse that was prettier, less resistant, straighter moving, had more collection, was more athletic, was a more accurate jumper or else was a faster, bolder horse. Dreamers While many people are searching for that special horse that will … [Read more...]

10 Tips To Improve Your Horse’s Results

There has been a lot of research about visualization to assist you to achieve better results in your horse competition and equine performance goals, but there is more to it than that. These tips will help you improve your own and therefore your horse’s behaviour and performance. While there might be some reference to competitions in the tips below, these tips can relate to other activities (either mounted or unmounted) with your horse. 1. Clear Picture of Horse’s Performance and Behaviour Is there a clear image in your mind where your horse is performing well? This would be some time in the future either at an event, a special place or at home. How does it feel? Have you made an emotional commitment and do you feel the emotional energy when you are in that picture? 2. … [Read more...]

10 Reasons Why Equestrian Competitive Riders Should Take A Second Look At Gen Ys/Millennials

Do you wonder why the up and coming Generation Y seem to be a higher quality of competitive equestrian riders than previous generations? What have they got that older competitors didn’t have when they were the same age? (Depending on who claims the research, Gen Y - also called Millennials - could have been born anywhere between 1980 and 2004.)  It is common knowledge that Generation Y are the most educated, entertained and materially endowed generation in history, but what makes them better competitive equestrian riders? 1. Gen Ys love their sport Compared to previous generations who have a higher reason for engaging in sport because they want to keep fit and healthy, Gen Y’s look for a sport to engage in because they enjoy it. This generation has a higher participation rate … [Read more...]

Help! I Have So Many Horse Chores!

When you are flat out working and also have family commitments there are sometimes you barely have time to ride, let alone catch up on the many chores around the stables that should be done. Your gear needs a clean, you saddle cloth and bandages need a good wash, the manure in your paddock is piling up and the mice love the amount of grain on your feed room floor. The weekends are busy with kids to organise, competitions and other commitments. Sunday night comes around and you feel like there are more horse chores to do there were at the beginning of the weekend It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the horse chores there are to do. Don’t worry; you don’t have to catch it up all at once. Just focus on the most important task until you have a well-run, efficient stable. That … [Read more...]

Horse Vision – Interesting Facts that Affect Horse Behaviour

What it is about horses’ eyes? Your life can be in turmoil, full of stress and worries and then . . . you look into the eyes of a contented horse, really look into them,  and it can have such an amazing effect on your day. A large eye has a much more powerful effect, and horses have eyes larger than any other land mammal. The more we understand the way that horses use their eyes, the easier they are to train and much of their natural behavior is related to their eyes. Blind Spots For instance, they have both monocular vision and binocular vision with a range vision of 350 degrees. Their ‘blind spots’ are just in front of their eyes and behind their head, over their back and their tail as shown in the image at right side*. When we are working around horses, we must … [Read more...]

The Horse’s Point of View

Sometimes you just need to look at things from the horse's point of view. "My horse just won't lead in the trot" Could be that he is happy to follow you in the walk because he is confident and there are no confusing messages. But then when you start pulling on his head and jumping up and down in front of him or waving your arms around, he gets worried about the extra pressure on his poll and mouth. He then has to put his head up in a defensive position so that your newly growing limbs won't hit him around his eyes. ---oooOOOooo---   "My horse just won't stand still when I mount" It may be that because he is not well balanced and well prepared he finds it easier to move his legs to counteract the weight as you scramble up. Other times it also could mean that as … [Read more...]

Starting a Horse Business is Not Just About the Money

Starting a horse business is not just about the money. Horse people understand that. If it was only about the money, there are lots of other types of businesses that have a better chance of providing a higher income, more sociable hours and better conditions. Who else but a horse person would slosh about in the mud putting on extra rugs, put their hard earned savings into their business to pay the astronomical bill for horse feed orstay up all night with a mare so they can witness the birth of a new born foal. Then be so excited that they don’t sleep for another 24 hours anyway! Horse people understand that having a horse business really is a labour of love that stems from that special connection between man and horse. But while starting a horse business in not just about … [Read more...]

Good Horsemen and Butchers

A friend of mine walked into a butcher shop in a small town on the way home from the National Dressage Finals. The butcher saw they were travelling with horses, and boasted that he used to ride when he was younger. There was a local pony club day on in the town that weekend and the butcher went on to complain that ‘riders these days’ don’t do anything, they just sit there and look pretty. He said that dressage riders were the worst. My friend was very excited! “Isn’t it wonderful that people think riders can sit there and look pretty while the horse does all the work? Ultimately, isn’t that what good horsemanship is all about?” A good horseperson works quietly with their horse, giving signals that only other good horse people recognize. They see potential problems with horses … [Read more...]

A Guard Dog Trainer Taught Me About Horses’ Eyes

The guard dog trainer was watching a young excitable horse who was being a bit cheeky while being lunged. The man had previously told me that he had very limited knowledge about horses so I was explained that the horse was not naughty, just being a bit fresh and playful. I explained that once the horse had the initial play then he would be fine to ride. The dog trainer replied “Yes, I can see that in his eyes”. I knew I should listen as I could learn from this man. He went on to explain that although all animals were different, they have very similar expressions in their eyes. He explained that he liked a soft kind eye, the type of dog who thinks that being a guard dog is a game. The type of dog that can play with the kids but on command can also be very protective of them. A mean … [Read more...]

Three Ideas For Horse Business Extra Income Streams

I have been asked if it is better to have agistment/livery/boarding or to give lessons. In most cases, my answer is ‘What do your customers want?’ The majority of horse businesses are small businesses, not large franchises or multi-national companies with a rigid ‘one size fits all’ policy. This gives the owners the flexibility to continually meet the needs of the customer. In an environment where a horse business can offer customers both lessons and a place to keep their horse, there are so many additional services and streams of income that their customers may require. Simply ask your existing customers what else they would like to see in your business. As long as each idea is financially viable and doesn’t impact negatively on another part of your business then why give your … [Read more...]

5 Tips To Gain Confidence With Horses

Great horsemen through the ages are admired for their ability to ride spirited horses at speed, over fences and through difficult terrain. Even today we love our Olympians and their equine partners, and admire their ability to take calculated risks, brimming with confidence to make it all look so easy! Many people ask me about confidence, how to gain it back after a bad experience, a long period out of the saddle or even how to gain confidence initially. It takes persistence but if it makes you feel any better, even Olympians had to learn the basics. Despite the saying ‘they were born in the saddle’, every-one needs to learn how to rise to the trot, have their first canter and go over their first jump. These five tips (plus a bonus) below talk about the main situations where people … [Read more...]

Do You Want Your Riding School Business To Have a Higher Income?

You can create a higher income for your riding school without buying more horses, equipment or riding areas by simply filling in non-peak lesson time using the existing facilities. That itself is a fairly simple statement, but the real question is how do you fill in non-peak lesson time. Most riding schools are often quite busy on Saturdays, Sundays, after school as well as school holidays. If they have floodlights, these lessons can go on into the evening. During the day and during the week are usually the quieter times for a busy riding school. This is because traditionally the majority of riding school students arealso school students or people who work in a Monday to Friday job. You might need to think a little ‘out of the box’ to fill in those non-peak lesson times.  What type … [Read more...]

Three Rules for Profitable Horse Businesses

Q. How can I make my horse business profitable? Everyone wants to be well paid for doing what they love, especially if horses come into the equation. However many horse businesses do not run at a profit and often need to be supported by another income to justify their existence. Profit is not the cash generated, but the income after the expenses have been calculated. For a horse business to become profitable, these three rules must be followed and are the basis of all profitable businesses. Then, usethe tip to change a profitable horse business to a very profitable horse business to open your mind to the possibilities. . . Know your expenses  List everything, including all the fixed expenses that are often forgotten. This could be the rent that needs to be paid each … [Read more...]

Your Number 1 burning question about horses.

Hi! People from all over the world have told me that they love the newsletters I’ve been sending you. You’re welcome! Now I’d love to ask you a favour . . . Please let me know your #1 burning question about horses, horse business and equestrian coaching Then I’ll answer the most common questions that are sent to me in future newsletters Simply comment to this post with your question… I look forward to hearing from you. :) Happy Riding, Glenys : ) … [Read more...]

How I Pick Tradesmen For My Horse Property

Sometimes a job needs to be done on the property that I have no expertise in. I mean, even if I could put a roof on a stable or repair the hot water system, why would I want to? That is not my area of expertise and not my area of interest. If you are a horse person, I am sure you will understand. Horses are the priority. They need to be happy, healthy with the correct amount of work and training. Students need my focus on their lessons and they need to run on time because they are busy people as well. As I am a member of Bartercard, that is where I look first. (If you don’t already know about Bartercard, please click here). But there are usually lots of tradesmen who are Bartercard members in my area to choose from, so I need to decide who is going to be the best for the … [Read more...]

Bartercard for Horse Businesses

Do you use Bartercard in your horse business? If not, then why not? I think the best way to describe Bartercard is that it is like a secret little family business where everyone recommends and uses other people in their family business. Then the businesses grow with each other. Just think of the saying ‘You scratch my back and I will scratch yours’ But don’t worry,it is legal! In fact Bartercard is not a little business, they operate in quite a few countries around the world. The Bartercard community is a great way to increase the size of your business by filling in those spots for extra services or to sell extra equipment that might normally be hard to move. Everyone trades in Bartercard dollars and they trade with other Bartercard members. Many Bartercard members have an … [Read more...]

Starting Green Horses and Green Riders

The A, B, & C’s So much has been said about the need to of the correct way to start of youngsters to the saddle, with progressive training so the green horses have the right attitude, are well-balanced and able to understand the communication between rider and horse under saddle. This could be called the A, B, C’s of teaching horses to accept the rider. What about correct way and the A, B, C’s of teaching beginner riders to ride the horse?  Green riders also need to be educated with progressive training so they have the right attitude, are well balanced and are able to communicate with their horse. A = Attitude Green horses or young horses need the correct attitude. This must be a mixture of confidence and respect. They should have the confidence to trust people, even when their … [Read more...]

What Horse Riders Want vs What They Need

As a horse riding instructor there is often a balance that must be maintained while teaching between safety, education and enjoyment as well as the balance between teaching what riders want vs what riders need. A good instructor will say that safety comes first with horses and while I agree to a point, there is a balance. After all if you would like to be guaranteed that a horse won’t stand on your foot, then stay away from them. The same goes for falling off. There are no guarantees. Don't get on a horse if you would like a guarantee that you won't fall off. Speed and jumping usually increases the risk with horse riding, yet we teach, compete and find a great deal of natural adrenaline from jumping and riding in the faster paces. Horse riding lessons should include both education … [Read more...]

What learning style do you use to learn more when learning about horses?

Finding the right horse-riding instructor Knowing and understanding your type of learning style is a great start to finding the right horse-riding instructor. When you find one who understands your learning style and adapts their lesson to match, they you can progress your understanding of horses and riding much quicker than having a horse-riding instructor who teaches uses different techniques to the way you learn best. Simple learning styles When we talk about learning styles and ways to process new information, we can use the simple terminology below. visual verbal (auditory) active (kinesthetic) We can even divide the visual learning style into pictures and words to provide a greater depth of understanding of the types of styles we can use to learn to actively ride and … [Read more...]

7 Tips For Teaching Beginners On The Lunge

People learn to ride in many ways and are instructors have developed many different routines and procedures to teach their beginner riders. The more experienced the instructor is the more the procedures are fine tuned so that the beginner rider remains safe while learning to ride in the most efficient manner. I am a strong believer in teaching beginners on the lunge. They can focus on gaining their balance and confidence while the instructor focuses on controlling the horse in a pace that is most beneficial to progress the skills of the rider. As soon as the beginner rider is able to walk and trot without balancing on the horses’ mouth and thumping them in the back then they can progress to the next stage of riding without the lunge in a confined area. When I teach instructors or … [Read more...]

How to Mount and Dismount a Horse

Everyone knows that you don't mount a horse holding onto the cantle (back) of the saddle! The saddle tree twists and the risk of damaging the horses back increases. In addition, if the horse moves off as you release your hand to swing your leg over then you could asking for trouble if he moves off and you lose your balance. But exactly how do you mount and dismount a horse? If you are an experienced horse person, you have probably been asked this question a million times! I know, I know, everyone who has ridden any type of horse should know how to mount and dismount a horse. After all, how do they get up on the horse and down off the horse if they spend any time at all in the saddle? Maybe the question should be ‘how should you correctly mount and dismount a horse?’ However before … [Read more...]

Did Michael’s Horse Save His Life?

Michael was out riding one day when his horse was spooked by a gunshot. The horse bolted and threw Michael who then required x-rays. While his doctor was examining the x-rays it was revealed that Michael had cancer.Did the horse save his life?This question is asked along with many more about the way horses can naturally heal stress, depression and other illnesses by simply communicating with people in the book ‘Healers with four legs and a tail’.Michael Hay has agreed for readers of Online Horse College articles to have a free download. More information can be read about ‘Healers with four legs and a tail’. … [Read more...]

Healers with Four Legs and a Tail

 I have just read a lovely book about using horses for rehabilitation during or after a serious illness or depressing situation. The author Michael Hay writes about this natural but different approach in a way that provokes much thought into the way we use our horses and making sure our perspectives are in the right mind.His approach looks at the healing ways of horses, the way they naturally reduce stress and compares the basic needs of the horse to our basic needs. Michael has kindly allowed me to give you a free copy of his book ‘Healers with Four Legs and a Tail’ which can be downloaded here Enjoy the read, Glenys :) … [Read more...]