Writing about horses: these boots were made for, er, paddling

Have you ever asked a twitchy horse to walk down a stream without their having been formally introduced? I had, but usually the horse took my word for it and walked on, trusting me.

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“Moi” on Georgie a, er, while ago
when I was a bit slimmer (ahem…)

But when it came to our Georgie? Nope. This 16hh TB mare was otherwise so quiet you could have ridden her down the middle of an Interstate highway in the rush hour and she wouldn’t have turned a hair.

However … [Read more…]

Writing about horses: Her Majesty’s gallop

small__8201075602There can’t be many riders who have received official permission to gallop a horse in Richmond Park (London, England.)  This is no ordinary park, you understand; it is one of England’s Royal parks, and as such is as important as the Tower of London or even Shakespeare. And yet I was one of the privileged few…for entirely inappropriate reasons… [Read more…]

Writing about horses: nearly a mis-carriage

small_178297231“Idyllic, unspoilt lanes where cars must give way to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders,” say the tourist brochures, “and motor vehicles are not even allowed at certain times of day.”  This refers to the romantically named “green lanes” on Jersey, largest of the (British) Channel Islands, where my young son and I went on holiday some years ago. Sounds idyllic, right? Not necessarily…. [Read more…]

Writing about horses: how to ride a small piano

HTWB thelwellIn the good old days when I weighed a mere 8 stone (112 lbs, 51 kilograms) I could ride smallish ponies without collapsing their lungs or creating S bends in their spines. This fact did not go unnoticed by my Belgian godmother, a successful national showjumper, riding instructor and livery yard owner who still lives just outside Brussels, Belgium.

Having taught me to jump on some of her horses, all of whom were the size of elephants but beautifully schooled, she decided that I was the perfect choice to help teach her young son’s pony a few manners.

This pony, unlike his larger stable mates, was not well schooled and like many vertically challenged individuals (at 12.2hh or approximately 1.20 metres) had all the social skills of a cornered rat. [Read more…]

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