“What the hell happened to my horse?” she said, laughing as she recounted the story.

With wildfires raging around the province, a mother-of-five who lives north of Williams Lake thought British Columbians could use a good laugh right about now.

Cindy Roddick lives in Likely, B.C., a small community that’s located about 100 kilometres northeast of Williams Lake.

Her family has packed up a fifth-wheel trailer in case they have to flee due to wildfire. And she’s concerned that the fires could force her to miss her son’s wedding in Vancouver on Monday.

As part of preparations for any potential evacuation, Roddick asked her other, 15-year-old son Jacob to spray-paint her phone number on the family’s two horses in case they had to release them in the event of an evacuation.

It’s common practice for people in rural communities to do this in wildfire situations, Roddick told Global News.

“You take a Sharpie and on their hooves you put your name and phone number and the horse’s name,” she said.

“Somehow my son missed the whole thing.”

Roddick came out to find Rosie painted pink from head to hoof...READ MORE

Published in Articles
Thursday, 29 June 2017 09:49

Horses fitted with gas masks in WWI

You'd be forgiven for thinking these horses have literally strapped on the feedbag and are munging on some lunch in this photo, but you'd be wrong.

What is actually happening here is a gas mask training exercise in Belgium, 1917.

Chemical warfare became common threat during the conflict after Germany used chlorine gas in an attack against the French in April, 1915. Since then, gas masks became a standard issue during the war.

Horses, being valued members of both enemy and Allied forces, were also given gas masks, which consisted of a flannelette bag connected by a tube to a canvas mouthpiece secured around the nose with an elastic band. At this point in time, protective goggles weren't included in the apparatus.  [Australian War Memorial]


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A miniature horse is being trained in North Yorkshire to provide people who are visually impaired an alternative to guide dogs.

Seven-week-old Digby is being trained by Katy Smith at a centre in Northallerton. Her other miniature horses attend care homes to offer therapy to older people.

It is hoped he can offer mobility assistance and help with a range of household tasks, from emptying the washing machine to using a dishcloth to clean work surfaces... READ MORE


Published in Articles
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 12:02

Working at Liberty

When I first started learning about join-up and Monty Roberts’ techniques I never expected to find such rewards from working at liberty with horses. Initially I used join-up to build a relationship with Archie and to gain his confidence as in the early days he was nervous and unsure about a lot of things! Over the last year that has developed further and we are now having a go at liberty work. On days when we both fancy a bit of play and nothing too strenuous, mixing some loose schooling and liberty work can be really rewarding. It’s particularly good to help us reconnect as Archie is a champion sulker when I’ve been away on holiday.

The video (above) shows a little bit about what we have been doing at liberty, I have been very much just taking things as Archie offers them and playing around.

Learning to follow me came fairly quickly as part of effective join-up, and so the next step was teaching him to back up. It’s a useful skill to have in your toolbox for everyday situations, especially at dinner time when it stops Archie barging me out of the way to get to his feed!

Since Archie is inherently lazy and would love to spend all day in bed or chilling in the field teaching him to follow me in trot took a little while, and he still has a tendency to stand in the middle of the arena as I run around him like a lunatic. Something I’m sure he does purely for his own amusement.

When Archie has previously had physiotherapy we have noted that he is reluctant to cross his right hind leg underneath him on a circle, and so working at liberty has been a great chance to improve on his flexion. He has needed plenty of encouragement to get him flexing and moving over his right hind leg but it has finally started to make a difference. Something I was delighted to hear that Samantha Bardill our physio noted the last time she came out to see him.

If you have ever thought about liberty work but have been unsure where to start, I would highly recommend learning about join-up (there is masses of information online if you are new to it), and spending some time getting to know your horse without lines or reins. A round pen certainly makes this easier but you can do it in any space.

For me liberty work is about learning to communicate more effectively with Archie, and to put it simply, I believe that honest communication is the bedrock of any long-lasting and successful relationship.

 joae01As it says on the tin, this is a personal blog about the journey Archie and I are taking in discovering the world of eventing. Archie is a 6 year old Irish gelding, and I am a 26 year old horse addict. I didn’t grow up in a family with horses, and Archie was the first horse I ever owned, having loaned for over 20 years. I hope that we can show other riders who perhaps don’t feel that they can achieve their dreams, that anything is possible!
Re-published by kind permission of Journey of an Amateur Eventer|Blog 
Published in Trot On Blogs

Seamus is nearing the end of his career as an action horse - but could still attend events such as store openings

With his rippling muscles and dark good looks, he’s one of the biggest stars of BBC1’s Poldark.

Irish horse Seamus gives Aidan Turner a run for his money in the dashing hero stakes as he gallops through some of the drama’s most iconic scenes.

But now Turner, 33, has admitted that the trusty steed – who he’s grown to love in real life – might not be able to carry him between Nampara and Trenwith for much longer.

The actor says his four-legged friend is close to drawing his horsey pension.

“There is talk of my on-screen horse Seamus needing to retire as he is 17 now,” he says sadly. “I love Seamus, he’s a real star and I have a huge attachment to him, but if he needs to retire…” READ MORE

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WE’RE not horsing around — this retired racing thoroughbred’s best mate really is a backyard chook.

It sounds like the opening to a corny joke, but in the Gold Coast hinterland suburb of Worongary, Buddy spends his days hanging out with Chilli, a five-year-old chicken.

After an unspectacular racing career of three starts for three last places under the name of Grand Liar, Buddy was bought by the Stoopman family where he enjoyed a more successful stint in dressage and show competitions.

Now 16 and living comfortably in retirement, Buddy has grown fond of Chilli, one of the family chooks. Sometimes Chilli will even jump up for a bareback ride... READ MORE

Picture: Adam Head
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She's a double Olympic gold medalist who became a fierce equestrian rider.
And Victoria Pendleton, 36, was at her competitive best pictured enjoying a game of polo in Gloucester, on Saturday.
The hippophile wore her blue club colours with cream jodhpurs and a cream racing cap as her horse galloped furiously across the field.
The dual Olympic gold medal-winning track cyclist swapped the bike saddle for that of the horse after challenging herself to compete in the Foxhunters' Chase at the Cheltenham Festival 2016... READ MORE

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Hayley Griffiths is doing the epic challenge for charity

A woman from Blackwood who used to be terrified of horses is taking part in a 100-mile trek on a horse to raise money for charity.

Hayley Griffiths, 41, wanted to take part in the challenge to raise funds to help support her new charity PINKS which uses horses as therapy in hospices and care homes.

She said: “I’ve never been into horses because I was too frightened, but my son Brody started riding lessons and I fell in love.”

Hayley joined a hacking group, Islwyn Happy Hackers, on Facebook and started raising money for local causes.

Last year they raised £4,000. But Hayley wanted to take it one step further – and set up her own charity to help others.

With the help of her friend Kayleigh, the pair set up PINKS, a charity which takes a Shetland pony – called Pinks – into hospices and care homes for equine therapy... READ MORE

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Prince Philip admits he smashed up royal carriages as he gives his first interview since he announced his retirement.

The Duke of Edinburgh says when he reached the age of 50 he decided to give up polo and find a new hobby but instead of a safer sport he turned to smashing up the royal collection of antique carriages.

Taking a number of horses from the royal stables he set about perfecting his carriage racing skills in the grounds of the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

After having only ever competed in one race, the Duke reveals he then bravely signed up for the European championships for his second foray into the field of carriage racing.

He gave his first interview since he announced his retirement at the Royal Windsor Show... READ MORE

Published in Articles
Monday, 08 May 2017 12:32

Judging When to Push On or Pull Up.

Many of us watched dismayed as U.S rider Elisa Wallace coaxed her obviously exhausted horse over the last fence during the Badminton Mitsubishi Motors Cross Country phase and saw them crash to the ground as Simply Priceless lacked the energy to clear it. It was very sad to watch and afterwards the ground jury gave Wallace a yellow yard for 'Abuse of the horse.' 

However, did many of you wonder, as we did, why those officials on the ground didn't make her pull up earlier?

Fortunately rider and horse were unhurt in the fall and In a statement on her Facebook page, Wallace said,

“I am OK as well, but I’m disappointed in myself for letting down my horse, my country, and my sport. I should have pulled him up. And I agree with the ground jury giving me a yellow card. I made a mistake that I will NEVER make again. I am lucky we are both unscathed. Johnny gave me everything today. I love my horse and my sport.”

Some horses really will give their all for us so it's important that not only riders but also the sports that we engage in don't abuse that generosity. However, before we all jump in to attack Wallace for what is obviously a bad judgement call, we should also ask ourselves if we have at some point when working towards a goal, however big or small, just gone that little bit too far and asked too much of our horse.


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