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    One year on - “not so new” boy update

    Our not so new boy has been with us a year now and is really settling in. I did a little then and now photo comparison to remind me how far we’ve come and was pretty chuffed! In my friend’s words “in some ways he is twice the horse you bought, and in one particular way, half 😂” The only sad...
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    Dairy free baking?

    I’ve been asked to bake some dairy free cupcakes for a friend. I’m a pretty experienced baker, but for some reason I’ve never been asked to do dairy free before! I’ve checked and it’s definitely just dairy free, not vegan, so eggs are ok. I was thinking either going for a naturally dairy free...
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    Back of saddle pad rubbing

    The back of my horse’s saddle pad appears to be rubbing. He’s got a super thick coat (blanket clipped) and it seems to be creating a ‘ridge’ in the deep coat that doesn’t disappear with brushing. No issues with saddle fit (checked very recently). Does anyone have any recommendations for a...
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    Winter wellies - ideas please!

    I thought I’d cracked the cold toes conundrum of winter horse care with a pair of Ariat neoprene lined wellies that I bought in January, but they have already split 😕 Any suggestions for a robust pair of warm winter wellies? I have quite narrow ankles and calves so I don’t like anything too big...
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    Saddle fitter recommendations for Northants/MK/Bucks

    It’s getting to the point where we need to replace the saddle our new boy came with. Any recommendations for local saddle fitters around Northants, Milton Keynes, Bucks? I’ve used Antonia Wills and RB in the past, but just want to make sure I’m not missing anyone brilliant!
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    Chunky Labrador breeders?

    Does anyone know any breeders of chunkier, thick set labradors? We recently lost our dog of a lifetime and if we do decide to have another, we’d like one of a similar stamp and temperament. Our boy’s sire was Naiken Way Out West but he was bred by a friend who isn’t breeding any more and I can’t...
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    Knocking over water bucket - help!

    My terror of a Shetland has found a new way to amuse himself - pulling over his water bucket and flooding his stable 😡 we’ve tried putting it in a tyre but that hasn’t stopped him. Any other suggestions or am I doomed to a soaking wet bed daily?!
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    Cyclists on bridleways - do you come across them?

    For the first time ever I encountered a peleton of cyclists on one of our local bridleways today. They were very polite and somehow we managed to let them squeeze past, but I was a bit unnerved. It’s a narrow bridleway along the side of a field, blackthorn hedge on one side and sheep wire on the...
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    Bitting ideas?

    Looking for some suggestions for new boy, who is currently in a thin hanging cheek snaffle with a lozenge. He’s very mouthy and constantly pulling his tongue back. Saddle and bit fitter checked it today and it’s the right height, and we’ve no teeth issues (recently checked). Fitter thought he...
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    Pictures FINALLY! New boy is here 😊

    So after what has felt like an endless and at times very frustrating search, our new boy finally arrived yesterday. Connie x ID, 12 years old, because clearly @Michen cant be the only one to have matching Connies! (I feel I’ve rather drawn the short straw with two greys however....!) We’ve got...
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    Rubs in armpit wrinkles?!

    My Connie is 21 this year, he’s not overweight but he’s always been a bit wrinkly in various places as if he once was before I owned him. He’s always had sensitive skin and at this time of year gets rubs in all sorts of places as his coat changes. This year what can only be described as his...
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    Putting in an arena - surface and company recommendations please!

    We are looking to put an outdoor 20x40 arena in at home. The planning consultants we used for the house and stables are going to do the planning application, but OH has tasked me with researching arena companies and surfaces. I’d be grateful for any feedback on companies used and also surface...
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    Ifor Williams head partition?

    Has anyone fitted and/or used an Ifor Williams head partition in a trailer? My friend’s horse is a bit of a thug in the trailer and I was wondering if this might help keep him out of my horse’s space. Are they easy to fit and how much extra faff do they add to loading/unloading?
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    Suspiciously missing stuff...

    My livery and I parted ways earlier in the year, as what had been a good relationship was deteriorating due to her propensity to treat my house and stables as her own, ignore polite requests (like don’t spraypaint the floor of the stable please!) and boss me about to an unbearable level (not...
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    Mane and tail maintenance!

    Any tips on how best to manage a fluffy and sticky mane and tail on a Shetland? My Connie x has a lovely silky mane and tail so it takes very little maintenance to keep it tangle-free. As he’s a grey I probably wash it once a week/fortnight depending on the weather and the mud. The new...
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    Bit rubs - help please!

    My horse has been ridden in a sweet iron loose ring snaffle with a lozenge since I got him 5 years ago with no issues. I noticed recently that the bit has started to rub on the right hand corner of his mouth (outside, not inside). It’s a small rub, skin has just broken but it’s not profusely...
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    Help with waggly hands!

    Can anyone help me with my waggly hands please?! I know my hands move around too much in trot and canter. I went to try a potential horse today. He was only 6 and clearly too good for me (and very nicely schooled). He went really nicely for me and I was really enjoying the lightness in my...
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    Badger spam

    So we are three weeks into shitland ownership and I thought I’d share some photos of the little man. He’s proving to be a total legend so far, is already the boss of the two big boys and is loving life. We’ll overlook the multiple mornings we haven’t been able to catch any of them as he runs...
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    A thank you thread!

    Just wanted to say a big thank you to all the posters who came up with the lockdown exercises and gave me feedback on them. We’ve been quiet over the past week or so as the grass arena is like concrete, but we had a our first lesson back on Saturday and my instructor was absolutely thrilled with...
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    New addition to the (horse) family...

    After five years of dealing with separation anxiety, routine juggling etc. to fit around other people’s horses to make sure my boy always had a turnout companion, my husband has finally decided to solve the problem.... Meet Badger, a yearling Shetland colt 🙈 What have we let ourselves in for?!
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    Switching to in during the day in the summer?

    I’ve potentially got a new livery joining me and she’s asked if we can switch to out at night, in during the day for the summer months. I’ve never done this before as my horse requires turnout company and up until now I’ve always been reliant on someone else’s horse for that, and they’ve always...
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    Grieving horse

    So we are two days past the horrible events of Saturday and my boy seems to be coping ok. He’s eating and drinking, lying down at night in his stable as normal and is mostly sensible to handle. However, when turned out with his new companion he is spending a lot of time stood at the gate calling...
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    Today has been just the worst day

    Went for a lovely hack in the sunshine this morning with my friend and our two old boys. Within two hours of getting back her boy was colicking severely in the field and had to be PTS this evening due to a strangulting lipoma and surgery not being an option at 22. She has been so brave but is...
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    Book recommendations for starting a young pony

    Can anyone recommend a book covering the basics for starting a young pony (ie not breaking and riding but groundwork etc)? We have a young Shetland coming to stay with us as a companion for my pony. She’s young, and had all the basic handling, but I’d like to do some groundwork with her (and her...
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    Horse hunting post lockdown

    So rather unexpectedly it looks like my OH and I will be horse hunting once lockdown is over. I wish I could feel excited about this but I just feel an impending sense of dread! 😂 If any of you lovely HHOs know of a sane and sensible 15hh+ gelding who is happy to hack alone and in company and...
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    Ben Atkinson film

    Has anyone else watched the Organised Equestrian film of Ben Atkinson? We had tickets to see him at Addington in April that have been postponed, so we got a free viewing of the film in return. I really enjoyed watching Ben work his various horses and found the groundwork and de-spooking tips...
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    COVID-19 and vets

    Just wondering if anyone’s vets have moved to emergencies only? Looks like the BVA is steering them in that direction and around here some small and equine practices have already taken that approach. Scary times, for vets and owners 😔
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    DIY Dressage to Music

    One of our local venues is putting on a Christmas dressage to music event at the end of December and I’m thinking about having a go (always wanted to!) Me and my fellow livery are going to try the pairs class. It’s more relaxed than usual, fancy dress is required and no requirements for...
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    Second clip questions

    Clipped my boy on 10th October, his usual blanket clip. Normally I try and get away with not re-clipping at all as he used to be very tricky to clip, but things have improved markedly and so I am considering it! Last few days we’ve had a sweaty girth patch after riding again so I am...
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    Riding boots - recommendations please!

    For the last couple of years I’ve average one pair of Toggi Calgary boots per year. Inevitably they don’t seem to last much longer as the stitching around the zip fails. I had them repaired last year but the repair cost was £40 per boot, which isn’t much more cost effective than buying a...