Tuesday, 24 January 2017 11:31

Trot on over to Aldi for Equestrian Bargains

There’s No Horsing Around with Aldi’s Great Value Range of Equestrian Essentials

Aldi’s Specialbuys Country Living range is available in stores nationwide from 26th January and can be pre-ordered online at www.aldi.co.uk from 19th January but be quick, as with all Specialbuys, once it’s gone it’s gone!

Riding enthusiasts need look no further than Aldi’s Country Living range to stock up on equestrian essentials this winter. Including everything from blouson jackets and gilets to stable rugs and hay nets, the range will be  available online from 19th January and in stores from 26th January.

The Fixed Neck Turnout Rug (£34.99) is available in blue and comes complete with integrated neck cover, touch close straps and shoulder gussets. It’s the perfect choice for keeping horses comfortable and dry during chilly rides in the winter months. In addition, the fully lined Standard Neck Stable Rug (£19.99) with twin buckle chest fastening is a great option for keeping horses warm whilst in the stable and is available in a range of sizes.

Aldi’s wind and water resistant Ladies’ Softshell Riding Breeches (£29.99) are breathable and quick drying to ensure riders are also protected against the elements. They are available in 26-32” waist sizes and come with a full faux suede seat to provide ultimate comfort. These can be paired perfectly with the hooded Ladies’ Softshell Jacket (£19.99), and Ladies Riding Gilet (£14.99), which come in stylish blue and berry colour options.

With a fleece lined collar and padded lining, the Blouson Jacket (£24.99) is warm, cosy and ideal for wearing round the stables or even for keeping warm during cold country walks. The jacket also features an inner zipped panel for team logos be embroidered onto. Lovers of the great outdoors can complete the look with Aldi’s Ladies Walking Boots (£19.99).

Aldi has even got the dogs covered for 2017 with a cute Waterproof Dog Coat (£8.99) which comes in smart navy or green colour options and boasts a warm fleece lining to keep them dry and snug. What’s more, Aldi’s Canvas Dog Bed (£9.99) will ensure pooches get a comfy night’s sleep. It is washable and comes complete with removable mattress cover to protect against muddy little paws.

The range also boasts a whole host of quality stable must-haves, including  smart and durable Numnahs (£8.99), padded Saddle Pads (£8.99) , adjustable Horse Head Collars (£3.99) and nylon Hay Nets (£3.99).

The items are expected to be in store for two weeks, or until they sell out.


 
 
 

 

Published in Articles

2017 is going to be a totally different year. I know, I know, everybody says that in the beginning of a new year. It seems like that New Year's Eve is a new beginning, a chance to stop and reload. So no wonder that many people use these days to set up lists of New Year's resolutions - just to realise shortly that they never happen.

This year is different for me as there are no resolutions. I have made some decisions last year and started to work on my new plans already - so I did not need 1st of January to start a new chapter in my life. The only thing that I need to do now is to stick to my plans. Yes, there are plans, there are goals and all of them are well on their way already on January 9.

The most important thing is not to have a long list of resolutions, goals or whatever at the beginning of the year, but to actually DO it! No matter what it is, go out there and do it!

I was complaining about my weight and fitness for ages and just last quarter I started to workout in the gym. It was tough in the beginning but now I already feel bad when I cannot make it to the gym. I have lost weight already and plan to do some more, I feel better than ever before, my skin is glowing. I changed my diet, I take more care about myself. All that is necessary to reach my ultimate goal: to become a better rider.

The only thing that will stay the same like in all the years before: I am trying to do more of what makes me happy!


 

Published in Trot On Blogs
Monday, 09 January 2017 09:58

Every time I see a Horse for Sale…

I’m no stranger to the lure of ‘equine online dating.’ I often sit down at the kitchen table with a glass of wine and some chocolate to spend the evening searching through every 'horse for sale' ad that I can lay my eyes on. I will scroll through image after image of every breed of horse under the sun and can spend hours at a time reading and re-reading their profiles to see if they have the right credentials to become my perfect partner. Could this relationship work? Does it have the potential to be long term? Would this new arrival get on with my other horses?

I am 100% guilty of buying into the dream of a horse and not facing the reality as I try to convince my inner sane voice that this is sooo the right choice for me! A 17hh, 3* eventer? No problem! I haven’t even jumped a x-country fence since 2010 but it’s like learning to ride a bike, right? It just comes straight back to you. Or, “wow, there’s a dressage horse here that’s been to Nationals and won!” I’ve never ridden a dressage test in my life but I’m pretty sure I could do it…eventually. The simple matter of the fact is that I would probably be better suited to the slightly less talented, rather plain, rotund pony in the corner, compared to these flashy advanced competition horses, shouting, 'look at me!' But I'm allowed to dream, right?

I’ve always found reading horse for sale ad’s interesting. The terminology seller’s use is always slightly intriguing and often crosses the line into amusing fantasy fiction. “He’s a fantastic horse, really talented and scope to burn.” What some people then fail to do is read the small print,  “Of course we’ve been lacking time so he hasn’t been ridden in a couple of weeks.” What they really mean is we’re all too scared as hell to ride him and we’re sure it’s got scope because we’ve been watching it jump the fences in the field to escape for the past few years!

I’ve never had too many disasters when turning up to try a horse…so there aren’t too many funny stories there. If anything, on the odd occasion that I would allow myself to think that I was the prodigy of either Charlotte Dujardin or William Fox-Pitt (depending on where the wind took me), I was more of a disappointment than the horse. My biggest tip would be, no matter how experienced you are as a horse owner, everyone needs a reality check when viewing a potential horse to buy, especially if you’re a bit of a dreamer like me. And definitely get good at decoding the 'horse for sale' ads!

Have you got any interesting tales of 'horse for sale' ads and how to spot truth from fiction?

Katy Dixon


foreveramberKaty's novel, Forever Amber, is available to buy now. It is the true story about her mare, who she's owned for 10 years, who broke her leg followed by several life threatening illnesses. It was a huge journey... Amber is truly inspirational, she never stopped fighting.

An agreed percentage of the proceeds from each sale of both the e-book and printed edition is being donated to the British Horse Society in aid of protecting, expanding and maintaining bridle paths across the UK.

Published in Trot On Blogs
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 18:50

JANUARY 2017 - #horseyhoroscopes

Find out what January has in store for your horse!

Check out this month's predictions in HORSEY HOROSCOPES - Visit this group on the first day of every month to find out what the universe has in store for you and ... READ MORE

Published in Front Page
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 13:01

JANUARY 2017 - #horseyhoroscopes

Find out what January has in store for your horse!

Check out this month's predictions in HORSEY HOROSCOPES - Visit HORSEY HOROSCOPES on the first day of every month to find out what the universe has in store for you and you're horsey friends. Sometimes it can be difficult to feel fully connected to your horse or pony, but we can help. See you there! #horseyhoroscopes

CAPRICORN. December 22nd - January 19th.

2017 has finally arrived, and for you and your Capricorn horse or pony, the beginning of this month can be set aside as a time of reflection. The Capricorn will draw from its earthen roots and... READ MORE

AQUARIUS. January 20th - February 19th.

Maybe things haven’t been panning out quite as you hoped with your horsey friend recently. Well, this is about... READ MORE

PISCES. February 20th - march 20th.

The Pisces will experience a big change this month, as Jupiter is positioned in the Pisces sector of transition and... READ MORE

ARIES. March 21st - April 19th.

January is a wonderfully motivated month for you and your Aries horse. The ruling planet for Aries is Mars, and your... READ MORE

TAURUS. April 20th - May 20th.

The fairly laid-back Taurus horse will need a bit of a push in the right direction in January 2017. Maybe you and your... READ MORE

GEMINI. May 21st - June 21st.

This January, the Gemini’s will be influenced by the shift in Jupiter’s position, focusing on the sector of communication... READ MORE

CANCER. June 22nd - July 23rd.

Mercury’s retrograde will greatly affect Cancer’s during early January. Between the 1st and the 8th, you will feel a lack of... READ MORE

LEO. July 24th - August 23rd.

During the first half of January, until the 14th, Mercury will be transiting the Leo’s sector of career and performance. So... READ MORE

VIRGO. August 24th - September 22nd.

January could be a spectacular month for you and your Virgo horse, with Jupiter moving into the Virgo’s sector of good... READ MORE

LIBRA. September 23rd - October 22nd.

Expect a sense of peace between you and your Libra horse this January. It will seem as if everything has fallen into place... READ MORE

SCORPIO. October 23rd - November 22nd.

The Scorpio’s could be feeling a little insecure this month, whether a change of environment is afoot, or a temporary... READ MORE

SAGITTARIUS. November 23rd - December 21st.
This is quite a harmonious time for the Sagittarius horse, making a lovely start to 2017. There will be an equal balance of... READ MORE
 

 

Published in Trot On Blogs
Thursday, 22 December 2016 10:43

Holidays and Horses

It’s the holiday season: families, friends, eating, travel, reflection, spirituality and gifts. Before running out to buy the new I-Phone or that GAP gift certificate, I’d like to share some thoughts with all of us lucky enough to have a horse in our life. As the years go by I become more aware of and grateful for the amazing gifts I receive not only from my horse Austin but from every horse I try and help.

I believe happiness is a feeling that spontaneously originates inside me. No matter what things or situations I have on the outside, if I look to them to keep me happy, my happiness eventually disappears. If I’m feeling good about myself, if my relationships are working positively, most of the time I feel happy. So the question becomes; if my happiness begins to fade as I start to get scratches on my new car, what can I do to help me feel good about myself and stay happy on the inside.

For me the answer is the same advice I got when I was a little kid: It’s called”The Golden Rule”: Treat others the way I want them to treat me and treat myself the same way. If I have a happy relationship with myself, I have a very good chance of having a happy relationship with others; spouse, partner, father, mother, son, daughter, friends, boss, etc. When my relationships bring me happiness, I feel even happier. It’s the ideal win-win situation.

The greatest teacher of The Golden Rule and all it’s ingredients I have ever known is the horse. From years of studying how horses treat each other in their relationships I now understand that they are treating me the same as they would another horse. I have discovered they possess the same 12 “Golden Rule” qualities that I want to be treated with from others as surely as they want me to use to treat them: acceptance, kindness, understanding, patience, generosity, trust, consistency, honesty, justice, respect, compassion and forgiveness. Another way to say it with just one word is”Love”... READ MORE


 
Published in Articles
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 10:13

Women are fantasizing about marrying horses

Forget Tinder. My Horse Prince, a new dating simulator app from Japan, lets you digitally fall in love with a human-faced horse. The simulator released an English version on Dec. 10, and it has Americans saying “Yea!” and “Neigh!”

“My horse prince is disgusting but amazing at the same time I highly recommend it,” one user wrote on Twitter.

The choose-your-own-adventure game lets you play a teen girl who stumbles into a ranch full of good-looking men... READ MORE


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1. The Sticky Beak

There's always one person, that no matter how much you practise your fake smile will eventually make it crack! They will be forever peering over your shoulder to see if you’re doing something wrong.  Nothing will bring them greater pleasure than to lecture you on what you’re doing wrong and how to do it right whilst gleefully revelling in the fact that they know (or think they know) something that you don’t.  Perhaps its the way you rug your horse, position your saddle and put on your brushing boots, their way is apparently always the right way. You’re convinced they suffer from a severe case of stupidity and lack of open mindedness. The best thing to do is humour them and once they’ve left just turn around and do it your way anyway.

2. The Philosophical Preacher

They just love to preach about their beliefs on horse welfare and care. But in fact, they spend so much time preaching their beliefs that they hardly do anything about them themselves.They truly believe that their opinion is right and no other opinions matter. Beware - pick and choose your fights with this one!

3. The Proud Neurotic Mother Hen

When they brag about how well their boy did in the school the other day, other non-horsey friends are sure they’re talking about their child. It's only when they move on further in the conversation that the listener realises that they are in fact talking about a horse! This person enjoys nothing more than to act as though their horse is their child, but to be honest they might as well be. The Mother Hen will bore you to death with details about their beloved horse or pony and they usually have a shrine dedicated to their four-legged friend within their home plus a multitude of photos on their i-phone which they will regularly show you (even if you’ve seen them a thousand times before).

Although, I think every horse owner has fell victim to this trait at some point!

4. The Wannabe

They desperately want to be friends with everyone at the yard. This person bounces around the yard asking each and everyone about their horses and always attempts to sympathise with every person (even if this goes completely against their own beliefs). Of course the Sticky Beak loves this persons company as they can endow them with all their knowledge, however this is mostly due to The Wannabe’s ability to hide their dislike for the patronising, know-it-all Sticky Beak.

5. The Hopeless Extra

This person is dragged to the yard by their partner, son or daughter, sibling or friend. Unfortunately they don’t share your love for horses but they’re along for the ride whether they want to be or not! They spend their time trying to figure out why people like horses and attempt to keep up with their wild ambitions. They’re the unpaid groom, designated pole-picker-upper and poo-picker! It’s not the most glamorous job but they can’t be trusted with much else. They’re an integral part of the yard never the less.

6. The Bolshy Bull Dog

Everyone has a Bolshy Bull Dog at the yard, this person can be heard from about five miles away and is always the first to voice their opinion. They take no-nonsense and don’t ever allow their horses to misbehave. This person clashes with most people on the yard, particularly the Philosophical Preacher. This person is a doer and not a thinker. They act on instinct and don’t sit around all day deliberating what to do next.

7. The Scaredy Cat

They often refrain from yard group activities with their horse and instead prefer to do their thing in private. You see more of both their horse and themselves on Instagram and other social media than you do in real life. They're scared of ever being caught doing something wrong and tend to hide from the more vocal people on the yard. This person is often a secret horse whisperer and always knows more than they think they do.

8. The Worry Wart

They will diagnose their horse with about five illnesses and two injuries per week. They're always convinced their is something wrong and will continually google possible symptoms whilst always ruling out the fact that they are just crazy. Their horse gets put on box rest for the most simplest of things, “I swear I saw him sneeze, it’s obviously a contagious disease!", most of the time it’s a lot of fuss-about-nothing.

9. The Hippy Dippy

It’s their craziness that draws you in. They aren’t the conventional horse owner, they have boxes full of natural remedies (which you’re pretty sure just don’t work) and constantly scold you for using off-the-shelf antibacterial gels when her self made concoction clearly works better…You always catch them having conversations with their horses and talking to them as if they might reply. You’re convinced that this person is secretly practising yoga with her horse whilst no one else is at the yard, their horse is always really relaxed, this is probably due to the owners professed ‘zen training’ to reduce stress…the jury is still out on this one.

10. The Yard Bitch

This one loves to gossip and pretends she is everyones best friend but in fact is the first one to stick the muck fork in your back! She likes to organise things and seems like the most sociable person on the yard however she only wants you to be in her gang so she can control you. Whilst smiling at you she makes remarks which subtly undermine you, but as you can never be sure, they cut even deeper. This keeps the yard bitch top of the muck heap!


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foreveramber

Katy's novel, Forever Amber, is available to buy now. It is the true story about her mare, who she's owned for 10 years, who broke her leg followed by several life threatening illnesses. It was a huge journey... Amber is truly inspirational, she never stopped fighting.

An agreed percentage of the proceeds from each sale of both the e-book and printed edition is being donated to the British Horse Society in aid of protecting, expanding and maintaining bridle paths across the UK.


Published in Trot On Blogs

It's safe to say that most pony-mad-kids dream of having their own pony. I used to spend hours on end imaging in what my first pony would be called, what competitions I would enter and all the different sparkly bits of tack I would have! Well my Mum also had that dream, and after nearly fifty years, she finally made the decision to get her own horse and since then, I have never seen her happier…

Although Mum had ridden as a child, buying her own horse was a step into the unknown. No matter how much online advice you read, or how many experienced people you ask, making the decision to buy your first horse is a pretty daunting prospect. There are so many adverts out there for starters – a quick initial internet search brought up hundreds of possibilities, and we didn’t really know where to begin! Mum also quickly came to realise that price was a very limiting factor – although she had been saving for years, her budget wasn’t exactly huge, and her expectations about what her money could get her had been a little unrealistic. A genuine schoolmaster is worth their weight in gold!

Unfortunately, I was away at University, so Mum went to see the first horse she liked the look of accompanied by my Grannie. It was definitely a bit of a gamble as Mum had just found this advert somewhere online, and we didn’t know his sellers or much about his background. Also, the  advert didn’t give much away, but Mum literally saw the photos of Teddy and  fell in love! Yes, I know what you're thinking!  Teddy was advertised as a 15hh chestnut gelding, who had done a little bit of dressage but not much else. It was definitely his lovable face and gentle temperament that won Mum over when she met him. I remember When Mum rang me on her way home from visiting him she sounded just like the ten-year-old pony-mad-girl that I used to be.  She was over the moon, and felt certain she had found the right horse. Although certain people will tell you that you shouldn’t buy the first horse you see, Mum trusted her gut instinct and went with what felt right.

Within a few weeks, Teddy had arrived at the yard and Mum soon came to realise all the difficult decisions that come with getting a new horse: who would he go out in the field with? What would she feed him? What tack would suit him? Luckily Mum was surrounded by plenty of very experienced horse people who were able to help, but it certainly made us both realise just how much there is to think about when buying a horse. In fact, owning a horse is a life-style choice, and not only does it require a lot of thought  and money but it also takes up hours of each day.  All in all, it's not much different from having a child! Mum has had to adapt her life to accommodate Teddy – she now gets up at the crack of dawn each morning to feed him before she goes to work, and spends her entire weekends at the yard riding, mucking out and doing boring jobs like poo picking!

As well as having to sort out logistics, Mum also needed to work at forming that all important bond with Teddy. Although he is nine, he is still a bit of a big baby, and can be very nervous. He took a while to learn to trust Mum, but she was keen to build a strong relationship with him as soon as possible. As a result, she got him into a routine and did simple things like brushing him every day, and chatting away to him (anyone would have thought she’d lost the plot…) so that he got to know her voice. She also made sure she learnt where his scratchy ‘bit’ was (the star on his forehead) and carefully noted any little quirks he had to avoid mishaps . For instance, it soon became apparent that he was a bit of an escape artist and could barge out of his stable without warning, so Mum had to learn to deal with that by always making sure she shut the stable door properly behind her.

As I was away at University in the first few weeks of Mum getting Teddy, I didn’t really realise the impact he was having on her until I came home. My Mum is someone who has always struggled a bit with her emotions and can get very down at times, especially when I go back off to University leaving her in the house on her own. However, getting Teddy must be the best decision she’s ever made. I’ve never seen her so happy, so enthusiastic and so motivated – I feel replaced as the ‘favourite’ child...ha ha! Spending time with Teddy has helped to de-stress her and has also helped her make new friends.  Riding and mucking out has given her something to do each day whilst I’ve been away; all very good reasons to get out of bed. Since I’ve been home, I’ve become equally besotted with this little horse – I’ve been begging to ride him every day, and feel like a pony mad girl all over again!

The future with Teddy looks so exciting – we have just started teaching him to jump, and he seems to love it. We are hoping to enter some little shows, but before that I will need to have a few lessons with him as there are definitely things we need to work on to build up a strong partnership.

Do you have a story of a new horse? I’d love to hear how you're getting on together and the impact they are having on your life…


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Published in Trot On Blogs

Equestrian rider packed a huge amount into a life cut tragically short at 18

SPORTSWOMEN OF THE YEAR - Inspiration award: Hannah Francis

Not many riders have made an impact on equestrianism by the age of 18. But Hannah Francis did. When she died in August, after a 15-month battle against a rare bone cancer, the grief in the sport was palpable.

Charlotte Dujardin, the triple Olympic gold medallist and dominant dressage rider of her era, who was preparing for the Games in Rio, said: “Hannah was brave and courageous and touched the lives of so many and will be remembered by everyone.”

It is entirely appropriate that Francis should have posthumously been given the Helen Rollason award for inspiration. This is named after the BBC’s first woman Grandstand presenter, who died aged 43 from cancer in 1999. Like Rollason, Francis touched everyone by the manner with which she coped with her cancer, continuing to ride and, as her mother told the audience at the awards ceremony, “with a smile on her face.”...READ MORE


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Published in Articles
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