You open up the dressage handbook and immediately you know that this book is different from any other dressage books you’ve ever read in your life. It’s a collection of facts, information and quotes to do with dressage.. the best way to describe it is that this book tries to emulate what it feels like to be a dressage queen!
Check out the Introduction:
” In this book, you’ll find the answers to many Dressage
questions, and the stories behind numerous of Dressage’s most
intriguing pieces of trivia. Each entry includes a fact, the story
behind that fact, and related quotes. I’ve tried to prioritize
them all in some way, but they don’t form a logical line – they
are there for you to explore and ZigZag through.
Together, we’ll jump around from one thing to another, always
finding something Dressage related along the way. Chances
are, wherever you wind up, it’ll be someplace interesting.
As each entry proves that there is so much more to find out
about the Dressage big picture, you’ll be able to call yourself a
true Dressage expert.
So welcome to the world of Dressage facts, trivia and quotes,
where there is much, much to learn.”
A dressage handbook without a logical line… one that zig zags through various topics?? That sounds exactly like I do my Google searches on the topic… (and if I’m really honest it also looks a lot like our centre lines… ahum… )
The book has 188 pages packed full with content. It’s not one of those fluff books with a lot of aesthetic white spaces.. nope.. every pages is filled to the brim with information and trivia about dressage.
Dressage – Arena
The standard arena is 20m by 60m (66x197ft), and is used for
tests in both pure dressage and eventing. The standard dressage
arena letters are A-K-V-E-S-H-C-M-R-B-P-F. The letters
on the long sides of the arena, nearest the corners, are 6m
(19.7ft) in from the corners, and are 12m (39.4ft) apart from
each other. The letters along the centre line are D-L-X-I-G,
with X again being half way down the arena. There is speculation
as to why these letters were chosen. Most commonly it is
believed because the German cavalry had a 20 x 60 meter area
in-between the barracks which had the letters posted above the
1992 Summer Olympics – Venues
Real Club de Polo de Barcelona – equestrian (dressage, jumping,
eventing final), modern pentathlon (riding)
’It’s very good for you, riding. You know how every model is like, ‘I do yoga.’ Well, I find horses to have the same effect, in that you have to put
your ego aside and concentrate on making the horse do the things you want it to do, and move in the way you want it to move – particularly if
you’re doing dressage.’
Posted in Found on the web
Buying your first horse is such an exciting and wonderful adventure! After a lot of research, excellent advice and guidance, you’ll be able to find your ideal equine match!
However, we’ve all seen the emaciated, neglected, abused and abandoned horses that end up on rescue websites, in dogger pens and sales yards.
It’s always heart breaking for any animal lover to see this happen and a kind hearted and inexperienced horse lover can easy make the potential mistake of purchasing a rescue horse as their first horse…
Taking on a rescue horse can be a very challenging endeavor for a variety of reasons. Especially for a first time buyer. There is a greater financial hardship as rescue horses tend to need a greater amount of care and rehabilitation to nurse them back to good medical and emotional health.
The biggest issue with purchasing a rescue horse as your first horse though, is the lack of history about the horse you’ve now taken under your wing. Where did it come from? Does it have any hidden health issues? Is the horse mentally sound? Has the horse been abused? Does the horse have behavioral issues (on the ground or ridden)?
These are all potential huge risks when purchasing an unknown quantity….
Especially if you are looking in dogger pens and sales yard for a horse to rescue. Shonky dealers will sometimes tell you anything you want to hear just to make a quick dollar, even if that means lying about a horse’s history or reason for ending up in the yards to begin with. They will happily sell you a dangerous horse as a bombproof “family pet”, and by dangerous, that could be as simple as the horse just being too much for a beginner horse owner to handle, which can end in catastrophe. Up to 20 Australians are killed each year from horse related accidents.
Not all abused and/or neglected horses are dangerous or have behavioral issues, and sadly have just been incredibly unlucky and need lots of love and care! But the message here is, rescuing horses is a WONDERFUL thing to do and so many fantastic people do wonders in re-homing neglect cases…But when searching for your first horse or pony, go down another avenue. Safety and caution is paramount!
By all means look at rescuing a horse in need later down the track when you have more knowledge and experience under your belt. 🙂
We all have those quirky things that our trainers say to us that we can’t help but sit back and have a giggle at sometimes and there are also plenty of things we wish we could ignore as well.
Remember when you were a kid and confidence just oozed out of you? How a tumble off a horse never phased you or made you question your riding ability or safety? Weren’t those the days!
As we get older, we grow wiser and our regard for life changes and we become more careful as well as cautious. So if our horse spooks or we have a fall (being big or small) it can severely impact our confidence in our horse, our safety and our riding ability if the unexpected occurs.
Once we start doubting ourselves, we start to anticipate all of the bad things that could happen while we are riding, which in turn makes us nervous. Horses are incredibly sensitive creatures and will pick up on your nervous body language.
So you want to get into horse riding, but don’t have your own horse? Knowing where to start can be tough.
When looking at potential horses, getting a second opinion is extremely important, even if you are a knowledgeable horse person yourself. This is especially true if you are buying your first horse. A knowledgeable trainer can objectively look at a horse and pull out the fine details that you might not notice which will influence your decision in purchasing the horse.
Too many first-time horse owners select a horse that isn’t right for them. Eventually, they get frustrated and give up on horses altogether, forever missing out on the joy of horse ownership.
Buying a horse is a lot like buying a used car. Both take a lot of research, plus some experience and smart buying strategies, to make a purchase you’ll be happy with.
Check out these properties below too!
Even though it’s still Winter and we haven’t really started thinking about the warmer weather that is fast approaching us, it’s super important to be proactive and aware of the challenges the Summer weather may bring our horses.
Summer means hot, stinky and humid weather, and to cope with these extreme temperatures we like to go sit in the air conditioning, relax in the swimming pool or sit in front of a massive fan! However, if we aren’t lucky enough to have these luxuries, we rely on our ability to sweat in order to cool down.
This is the reality that some horses have to face when they have an unfortunate condition called, Anhidrosis.
Anhidrosis is also known as ‘drycoat syndrome’ or ‘non-sweating disease’. It’s defined as a decreased ability to sweat in response to increased body temperature. It can affect horses of all breeds and of all ages and can come on suddenly or develop over time.
A normal horse can return to a normal temperature and respiration rate relatively quickly after exercise. Whereas a horse with Anhidrosis will stay at a dangerously high temperature and respiration rate, which puts the horse at great risk or heat stroke and even potential brain damage in extreme cases.
– A dry coat in the hotter weather, even thinning and loss of hair.
– Heavy breathing and panting during and after exercise. Look for rapid and shallow breaths that continue long after the exercise stops. The heavy breathing is the horse’s way of compensating for the inability to sweat and cool down.
– Lethargy and lack of willingness to perform.
– And of course the lack of perspiration after a heavy workout
The successful treatment of Anhidrosis can be relatively easy, but it is often challenging to cure. There are many different treatment options for Anhidrosis, and what works on one horse might not work on another.
Exercise your horse early in the morning or in the evening, when it’s not so hot. Take frequent breaks, allowing his/her breathing to recover before you ask for more effort.
Make sure your cool down process after a workout is long and effective – use lots of cold water and fans if possible. Monitor your horse’s vital signs and continue to hose down your horse until they are back to normal.
Ensure there is ample ventilation in his/her stable and be sure that there is large amounts of shade in the paddock (alternatively only turn the horse out at night time).
There are certain supplements available that have been proven helpful in the treatment for this syndrome. But please contact your vet for available options.
**DISCLAIMER** We are not vets, so if you have concerns about your horse’s health, please contact your vet as they will provide your horse with the best diagnosis, treatment available and care.
A lot of the time you will hear riders talk about how “comfy” a saddle is and how “lovely” it feels to ride in, which is fantastic as the rider’s comfort is important.
However, is it comfortable for the horse? How well does it fit? Does it feel just as lovely for them as it does for you?
As horses lose or gain weight and change in terms of their fitness levels, their body and back shape can change as well, so it’s important to revisit saddle fit every so often.
Fitting saddles is like fitting a shoe, it needs to be done correctly to allow for movement without pinching or pain. If you are noticing discomfort or changes in your horse’s attitude or behavior under saddle, then it may be time for a professional assessment of how your saddle is fitting.
A horse’s conformation and structure can limit or expand his/her options as a performance horse. With poor conformation, a horse may be best suited to quiet trail rides or a paddock companion. With good conformation and athletic ability, horses are capable of exceptional athletic performance.
Conformation and soundness are very closely linked. Conformation is the overall shape of a horse and is variable between breeds in details such as average height and weight, overall build, refinement of head, etc, but to remain sound, all breeds must have the same basic correct conformation.
A well-conformed horse of any breed has a look of balance and squareness, and an imaginary line should equally bisect any limb all the way to the ground. The neck, body and hindquarter must all be in proportion.
Bad legs can make or break a horse, both as a performer and as a breeding prospect. Unlike poor body conformation, leg faults cannot be concealed by fat, though they are not always glaringly obvious and it does take time and experience to recognise them instantly, radiographs can also be very helpful with uncovering leg problems due to conformation faults.
A horse’s muscles make up 60% of their body weight, and muscle activity is responsible for all body functions including, skeletal movement, heart contraction, food moving through the gut, urination, and breathing, among many other bodily functions.
So it’s super important to notice if your horse has sore muscles as it can severely hinder his/her comfort if something isn’t right.
Does something not feel quite right with my horse? Am I noticing stiffness when I ride? Are they just not moving as freely as they should? Are they not willing to do certain movements that usually should be easy?
Early identification and correction of painful back conditions, whether they are primary or secondary in origin, can prevent your horse from reaching that most unpleasant point of telling you in his/her own behavioral way…..“Get off my back!”
Possible treatments for sore muscles/sore back
If you have any concerns, always contact your vet first before seeking other treatment.:-)