Ladies of a certain age.....

Joined
26 July 2013
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5
Location
up north
Love this!! So many memories. Its got far too complex now for sure! I remember using cut up blankets for saddle cloths. Scrubbing string girths and webbing halters one size fitted all!
 

keeperscottage

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13 June 2007
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1,357
Location
Hertfordshire
Loving this thread! When I started riding in 1963, aged eight, I wore baggy Bedford cord jodhs, hat with elastic chin strap and yellow polo neck jumper! String gloves, too! First horse in 1970, second in 1972. Both were young and had so many problems but in those days you didn't analyse the problem, you were just too happy to have a horse, unlike today when everyone wants the perfect horse!

Matching string girths, plaited reins, saddle cloths and brow bands - I had red, yellow, green and blue sets!!

Jute stables rugs, green canvas New Zealands.....I was the first person on my yard to have a Lavenam rug!

I bought a Stubben Parzival saddle from Giddons in New Bond Street 1973 - cost me £199 - yard owner had to have one too because he thought they were the Rolls Royce of saddles! No saddle fitting back in those days!

I could write REAMS but I won't ....Oh, a set of shoes in 1972 cost me twenty five shillings (£1.25)!

My horse had a "back person" out to her in about 1974. This was new and unheard of. The entire livery yard turned out to watch him - and I was charged £20 which really was a fortune back then and the "back person" travelled from Oxfordshire to Essex!

Feeds were "straights" - no mixes, no supplements.

But we used to have such FUN riding! My horse (which I owned for 22 years) could be so naughty but I adored her and just put up with her misbehaviour - and I lived to tell the tale! No one seems to have fun any more!
 

ILuvCowparsely

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5 April 2010
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12,655
You'll know what I mean. Out riding with a friend of a similar age and reminiscing about the good old seventies (no hats, string girths ,set of shoes cost a fiver etc etc) and ended up with a rousing chorus of 'Follyfoot' followed by 'White horses'.......Happy days!

I have a few episodes of White Horses I love it and the music , also have many episodes of Follyfoot.

Best years were 1970-1980's hate the 90's and hate 2000 onwards. Wish I could roll back the clock

canvas only NZ and polywarm rugs were the best on the market.
 

LessThanPerfect

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22 March 2014
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347
Grooming a pony, brush in one hand,sandwich in the other, having just picked out half of a mouse out of a hoof (front half)! Strange how no-one ever seemed to have/get allergies then! None of this "kills 99.9% germs" rubbish then and we still survived!
Definitely don't miss jute rugs though, and didn't those plastic chin cups make your chin sweat
I remember the first quilted waistcoats too, in navy, olive or mustard. I desperately wanted a mustard one but was only allowed navy as mustard was too "flashy"! And yes, those yellow string gloves--yuck!
 

ozpoz

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31 August 2010
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2,464
I had the blue plaited reins to match my blue string girth.
I remember thinking adults who rode well on thoroughbreds were the most awe inspiring thing.
Looking back, we really did have unlimited hacking across country. We jumped gates and walls and ditches, cattle feeders and fallen trees and looked for slopes to slide down on our ponies, which were very rarely lame. We knew the word "laminitis" but didn't know any ponies who suffered from it.
We watched Follyfoot but despised Dora for falling off every episode for no reason whatsoever!!
: )
 

OwnedbyJoe

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22 August 2013
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275
Location
Western Australia
Hacking 12 miles to the local racecourse at Taunton for shows.. Jump 3 or 4 showjumping rounds then hack home again. Feeling "posh" because we had to have a flu vaccination, as we were setting a (horsy) foot on a racecourse. No one ever bothered with flu jabs otherwise. Pony club rallies which rotated between friendly farmers' fields, which weren't always that flat.. No arenas. Jumping concrete cattle water troughs. Every horse had a summer (hunters) or winter (everyone else) spell when shoes were pulled and no one rode them for at least 3 months.
Being told by my grandfather that "brass was for carthorses" when I dared buy a browband that wasn't plain flat leather.
Not daring to set foot in a dressage arena unless plaits were sewn in - you used to get inspected by a Pony Club dragon (always a single lady with a double barrelled name, a headscarf and tweed) before you could go in: this was not a safety check, but a presentation check.
Neatsfoot oil and saddle soap were all there was, and and don't you dare try and call a bridle clean unless it has been pulled completely apart, cleaned and reassembled, and you have poked the saddle soap residue out of every.single.buckle hole with a nail...
Nothing was synthetic. The only horses that got clipped were hunters. Spending hours trying to make one of those damn "wisps" out of twisted straw...
Wynmalen's books, where everything was in a double bridle with a flat cavesson noseband and no crank.
Having one saddle that went with me from horse to horse.
Only having an AP saddle: only REALLY posh professionals had dressage and jumping saddles.
Reading and re reading Pat Smythe's autobiography.
4 faults for showjumping rails, not 5 penalties...
 
Last edited:
Joined
17 January 2014
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8
Eddie Macken inspiring the hackamore craze of the late 70s
standing martingales
lampwick girths
the elastic chin strap always over the peak of the riding hat
long long hacks to rallies or shows
jute rugs (unforgettable) and completely shapeless green canvas new zealands with chains to hold them in place and which always slipped
 

1life

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7 October 2009
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362
Cantering on every grass verge, even if you could only get two strides in at a time.
Not giving a stuff what position your horses head was in or even being knowledgable enough to care!
Going to local shows and actually competing on grass - YES GRASS!!!!
Riding down the high street and being totally unaware of the dangers of cars.
Doing a 'pretend' dressage test on a school playing field!
Galloping up a set of steps built into the side of a hill and hoping your horse would work out the striding for itself.
Building xc fences out of old tyres and bits of rotten tree branches and pretending you were the next Ginny Leng!
Endless hot summer evenings after work galloping your horse on a massive area of wasteground and hollering out to dog walkers to get out of the way.
Jumping your horse every evening without fail.
Taking part in every fun ride that you could get to.
Wow....we must have led the same life!

Grass verges that had drainage inlets from the road were the best as they meant you had ditches too....and they were never 'properly spaced' ;)
The wasteland I used to gallop across is now a housing estate :(
A show that I could 'get to' meant 'anything within an hour and a half to hack to'.
Playing Fox and Hound through the woods was the highlight of any hack.
 

Cowpony

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17 May 2013
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2,138
There are some things I don't miss though - chilblains and chapped hands from scrubbing carrots in cold water in winter; navicular disease was a death sentence and the standard treatment for colic was warm beer. From a proper glass bottle! You could give a colic drench, but most people didn't have them and we were told that if you gave one the vet wouldn't be able to give a stronger treatment later. If your horse got an injury you pushed a smooth clean stone into the wound to stop the bleeding until you could get home (goodness knows what bacteria we pushed in too!) And there was no understanding of horses` mentality or herd behaviour.
 

Brummyrat

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20 June 2008
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804
Does anyone remember Barretts (of Feckenham)? That was my shop of choice. When I got my first pay packet at 16 I went in and bought a bridle. Hadn't got a pony, just wanted to have one to clean! If only I was so keen now!!

Also.. those green canvas NZ rugs, remember how you could almost stand them up on the floor when the ice got to them? Great rugs though, as were the jute rugs with mother's old blankets underneath, folded back neatly under the roller. They seems so much warmer and harder wearing than the rugs today.

Oh and whoever mentioned the sweaty chin under the plastic chin cup, I used to have mine in my mouth to relieve the sweatage, not a good look!
 

Tobiano

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1 August 2010
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4,236
Location
Norfolk
wonderful thread!

It has brought back the memories of the smell of jute rugs... and boiling barley... and bran mash. How you would niftily fold the woolen under-blanket into a triangle and secure under the surcingle. And putting on actual leg bandages instead of ready-made boots!

I think I must have been too old for Follyfoot but remember going to bed early then my parents waking me up at 10 pm to watch HOYS. I had a t shirt with a caricature of Harvey Smith doing the v sign which I think I wore for about 15 years.

And yes why was it always a yellow polo necked jumper?!!
 

Crumpet

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5 September 2012
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186
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Nottinghamshire
I won a dapple grey sindy horse in the WHS competition, I was absolutely gutted, though I think my parents were secretly relieved. Hacking for miles to get to a show, galloping about on the showground, entering as many classes as you could afford while leaving enough for a hot dog, then hacking home again, poor ponies!
Horrible frozen, wet canvas NZ rugs that weighed as much as the horse. Stripey Puffa coats and Westropp clicky overreach boots. Nag Rags matchy matchy stuff and black tack becoming more acceptable. I am humming the Black Beauty music now!!
 

vickyb

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19 April 2011
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Gloucestershire
I've already made one contribution, but...as most pony saddles were jute, wool or linen lined, it was good to have something to use underneath. There were two options, a pure sheepskin numnah (usually only used by adults) or those ghastly cotton saddlecloths, which were usually checked and the same thickness as a tea towel. They had ties to tie them on under the saddle flaps. They looked good when you first put them on, but slipped back and bunched up as soon as you started moving. It was a revelation when (many years later) man made fible 'sheepskin' numnahs came out.
 

Biska

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8 August 2012
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86
Jods were only available in beige or if you were very posh a sort of clotted cream colour, jackets were tweedy and rough, gloves were made of yellow string and quite appalling when wet.

-Our horses and ponies never wore rugs and were out 24/7 with copious slices hay lugged up to them on the back of a bike, with a feed bucket dangling off the handlebars, in the dark, before and after school.

-Oil barrels and poles to jump, and like someone said we never rode on the bit, far too busy charging around having fun!

-Competing in the Chase me Charlie at the end of the shows we hacked to. It was always the last class!
 

Alan's mum

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6 November 2013
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67
At the end of a ride at the local riding school everyone would walk down the bank , turn at the bottom and gallop like blazes back up !

We never used to wait for everyone to get to the bottom and usually some poor sod would only be have way down when his pony would suddenly spin round to join in !
 

Ibblebibble

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1 June 2011
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Wiltshire
who remembers putting down a 'day bed' after mucking out in the morning? and folding back the jute rugs to quarter your horse, proper brushing with a wooden backed body brush and metal curry comb. Tidy square muck heaps and if you had to poo pick it was with a shovel!
 

Biska

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8 August 2012
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86
who remembers putting down a 'day bed' after mucking out in the morning? and folding back the jute rugs to quarter your horse, proper brushing with a wooden backed body brush and metal curry comb. Tidy square muck heaps and if you had to poo pick it was with a shovel!
Yes....I do, and grooming included strapping with a stable rubber.
 

littleshetland

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25 January 2014
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683
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On top of the hill, Somerset.
who remembers putting down a 'day bed' after mucking out in the morning? and folding back the jute rugs to quarter your horse, proper brushing with a wooden backed body brush and metal curry comb. Tidy square muck heaps and if you had to poo pick it was with a shovel!
And all the yard equipment weighed a ton! no lightweight forks and shovels.
 

cambrica

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8 November 2011
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2,145
Riding back to the field with only a head collar and lead rope
riding bareback in shorts and a sun top
leading ponies from a bicycle on the main roads
Spending all the summer holidays riding and our parents never knowing where we were but knowing that we would turn up at some time
Riding out in all weathers - I even had one of those lovely rubber riding macs!
small ponies didn't have rugs so saddle went on even if the pony was wet
Riding to local shows or if they were too far away clubbing together to hire a cattle lorry!
My friends dad had a cattle lorry. One year we loaded it up with ponies and went to Horseman Sunday in Hyde Park, London. After the service we all went off for a gallop around Hyde Park! We also travelled in the back with the horses!
Musical poles where you took your hats off whilst galloping in and placed it on the pole. Being bronced in Gretna Green and all the Dads drunk in the beer tent!
Pretending we were in the circus and attempting to jump standing on my horses back.... Oh and no back problems!
My childhood was fabulous!
 
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