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26.8.15

Lungeing and Long-Reining Book Review by Jennie Loriston-Clarke MBE FBHS

When my name was pulled out of the hat at Haynet HQ to review the newly published Lungeing and Long Reining Book by Jennie Loriston-Clarke; one of Britain's leading dressage riders and trainers I was over the moon. I love to learn and equestrian training books are something I treasure, I soak up the knowledge, make notes and poor Oscar is the guinea pig as I attempt to replicate the masters - a favourite technique of mine is to photocopy key pages/diagrams and take these to the yard with me as my notes - I'd hate to drop a book in the ménage or for it to be rained on so find photocopies useful to fold in and out my pocket for whenever I get stuck!



Firstly I'd like to confess where I was at with lungeing before I was introduced to the Lungeing and Long-Reining book:

  • Watching other liveries lunge, what equipment they chose to use, how long they lunged for, their choice of words and body language
  • Learning from a natural horsewoman who disagreed with lungeing as it 'dulled a horse' and limited circles to two at a time and used excellent body language
  • Observing at a showjumping yard where lungeing always included a "gadget" of some kind...along with many many bucks
  • Watching my geegee being vetted, which required work on the lunge
  • Having a classical dressage lesson and being told my horse may require lungeing before I ride on particularly naughty days, I had guidance on how best to do so after my lesson, mainly focusing on my position, to walk an on the spot circle and which part of the horse to face depending on circle size and pace
  • Finally, not to step on the lunge line or else I will trip and die...seriously someone actually said those words to me!

Where am I now? Remember my breakthrough with my lungeing cavasson back in July? I can only describe this book as giving me that eureka moment over and over again, the chapters it covers are:

  • Training foals and young horses
  • Lungeing equipment and technique
  • Introducing long-reins and early lateral work
  • Backing and riding young horses
  • Lungeing over poles and fences
  • Advanced long reining - including cantering, rein-back, shoulder-in, travers, half pirouettes, half-pass, renvers, canter half-pass, canter pirouettes and tempi flying changes.
  • Piaffe and passage
The book is a must read for anyone training a young and/or inexperienced horse, I wish I'd have known a lot of the safety techniques when re-schooling an ex-racehorse we had to stay last Summer - I hold a vivid memory of lungeing him on his weaker rein - his right, after racing left handed his whole career - and he just couldn't turn on the circle, whooshing me from one end of the 60m ménage to the other like a rag doll, not my finest moment but thankfully I had gloves on...oh and didn't let go! 


Easy to understand diagrams throughout the book give the reader a great starting point of how to set your work area up

Since reading I have a deeper understanding of lungeing - why we do what we do- and feel more confident and effective in my training. I have added a new string to my bow in the form of long reining...something I have only ever done once before and I am thoroughly enjoying playing with the technique in the safe confines of the school and as I gain experience I am looking forward to practising the more advanced moves to improve our suppleness.

A few examples of the excellent step by step pictures throughout, these detail how your work should look and discuss what to do when things go wrong - invaluable information

Lungeing and Long Reining expresses the importance of varied, fun and rewarding work for your equine partner and beautifully explains the correct foundations that if followed will reward you back in years to come as you successfully and accurately progress through the scales of training.

A book I know will refer back to time and time again for years to come.

Thank you for reading, Jessica & Oscar xxxx

20.8.15

My Fabulous FlipBelt

Ask yourself the question; what do I carry when I ride my horse out?

My answer; my phone...possibly a tissue, totally depends on how many pockets I have on that day!? Not the most mature and sensible answer I could give, but it's an honest one. During the Summer months my phone lives down my breeches, I've known friends stash them in their bras but sadly I don't have a big enough cup size for an iPhone so my knickers have to make do!
Now ask yourself...what should I take when I hack my horse out?

My answer; PHONE...preferably with enough battery life, tissues, potentially some cash/debit card, a hoof pick, some bailer twine - in event of rein, bridle breakage! Horse treats and sugary human treats - please note my list isn't extensive, but it works for the hacks I ride of 10-15 miles - no picnics, torches, compasses or maps required!

When I saw the FlipBelt I knew it would be perfect for equestrians, equally as it's current main stream market of fitness enthusiasts. FlipBelt's have no bulk or bounce to them therefore feel invisible, it is the comfortable solution to carrying all of your essentials.



My FlipBelt is invisible under my body protector and I can't think of a better bounce test than galloping across Summer stubble fields!

The FlipBelt can be worn where you find it most comfortable...many of you will liken this to getting the right pair of breeches, some of us like a high waist others a low rise. The pockets can be left facing outwards or for additional security the belt can be flipped inwards to keep the pocket sleeves close to your body, there is no right or wrong. 




Once you're happy and the FlipBelt is in place, it won't budge, I love this feature...I have trotted along roads and uneven terrain in my FlipBelt and it's true to it's word, it doesn't bounce or jangle around, I've also cantered out my seat and jumped it in and it is unnoticeable - gone are the days of handing my phone to my trainer, friend or leaving it at the side of the ménage, hoping for no rain, no falling off, no important phone calls and NO forgetting it after my ride!

The FlipBelt is made from a wicking fabric to keep you comfortable, dry and chafe free - 92% polyester and 8% spandex, it is feather light and super stretchy with a small key clip inside one of the pockets for increased security. And when it gets stinky, it can easily be popped in the washing machine on a cold cycle. FlipBelt's size guide is superb and can be found here - I wear small - I am a high waisted girl (can't have my back catching a chill can I...) and therefore wear my FlipBelt quite high around my waist.





Now for the fun part...FlipBelt's come in nine wonderfully cool colours, I chose Hot Pink...partly for road safety, I wanted something bright and my hiviz is pink and secondly...because it's PINK!




I absolutely love my FlipBelt it holds my hoof pick, bailer twine, keys, cash, phone, tissues and treats, all my essentials weightlessly and comfortably, I also think come Winter it will be ideal for the Hunting season, I am always short of secure pocket space and forever concious of bulking out my tweed too much, lumps and bumps are never flattering, the FlipBelt makes these invisible.

To purchase your FlipBelt visit EquiStead RRP £25 - FlipBelt Pree Release



Thank you for reading, Jessica & Oscar xxxx

6.8.15

Keeping Up With The Unicorns - Leovet Power Phaser Fly Spray Review

Because Unicorns should never be bothered by flies...and especially not horse eating ones!


Fly spray...we do it every year, spend heaps of money and cloud our horses in their own atmosphere of fly spray, only for them to happily roll the minute we've turned them out leaving a weak reminiscence of repellent? And so the vicious circle of spraying every 10-15 minutes returns...haha, if only!

Because of this I have almost given up fly spraying in the field and instead prioritise a quality fly rug and fly mask as protection - both to be reviewed - I haven't yet succumbed to one of those funny fly hacking out sheets....mainly because Oscar would poop himself and I can just image the looks I'd get in my village - are they in fancy dress? - therefore when hacking I still turn to the bottle and for the last three Summers I have been using Leovet's Power Phaser Fly Protection in both the spray and gel options.


Power Phaser Fly Protection is described as the 'ultimate fly protection', it works against repelling horseflies, ticks and all other nasty biting and non-biting insects, the active ingredients continue to work even when our horses perspire - banishing that boring saying of...lets have a quiet ride...I don't want to attract the flies if we get sweaty, admit it, that's all been us, zzzzzzzzzz. 

The smell is strong, almost chemically and therefore wouldn't be suitable for anyone looking for a natural spray, it advises not to inhale (as I am sure most fly spray bottles do) therefore I do not use this product on Oscar's face, I always spray down his neck and away from his head and I embrace the stink because in my opinion Power Phasher seriously works, it is the most effective repellent in both the spray and gel format I have tried and it allows Oscar and I to hack out with little bother from the insects and bugs sabotage attempts! The gel is ideal for the horses whirls, belly and legs where Oscar seems to be most sensitive, it also gives owners an alternative if their horse dislikes traditional spray bottles, which is something many are scared of. 


I buy Power Phaser from my local tack shop for around £15 but have found it cheaper online from Viovet.
And a final note to make you smile, here are my instructions to my boyfriend last week when he rode Oscar out when I was at work;

  1. Don't place the saddle too far forward 
  2. Remember his over reach boots
  3. His fly bonnet - not in sight in the photo? Must have ignored this instruction!!
  4. Spritz him with Power Phaser please...it will make the world of difference to your ride

I am sure you'll agree I don't ask for a lot...and it was a joy to get this picture as I was sat at my desk, made me laugh out loud...three out of four ain't bad, I'd say he is a keeper!

Thank you for reading, Jessica and Oscar xxxx