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Beth's Story

Posted by unicorn1927 on October 21, 2015 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Clip and Canter sponsors Beth Davies...Read Beths story it’s inspiring, emotional, a must read:

In February of 2014 Clip and Canter received an email asking if I would be willing to help teach an unbroken 3 year old cob called Alfie and a man’s young daughter, Beth. The email explained that Alfie had been handled on the ground and had a saddle and bridle on him. When I agreed to help I arrived at the yard with an open mind, although I had some worries. I had never seen Beth ride and being a child I was concerned about safety. A child, a dad who wasn’t ‘horsey’ (but had read a lot of books and was muddling through impressively) and a 3 year old unbroken welsh cob was feeling like it could be a challenge. Some people would say a recipe for disaster.

It turned out that Beth’s mum had tragically passed away and it was her that had chosen Alfie as a foal to be their family horse. Beth’s mum had been a keen horse rider and another strange twist of fate is that I later realised I had actually taught her regularly at a local riding school many years ago…

So we set to work…Beth backed, broke and schooled Alfie having a lesson every week. He really wasn’t easy though, especially in the early days. He napped; he planted and presented Beth with many challenges. Beth was extremely patient and some of our lessons consisted of simply walking Alfie in a straight line! Beth taught him everything, walk, trot, canter, lateral work and later to jump. Beth never gave up even when Alfie kept trying to dominate and have his own way. Beth rides in a sympathetic way but also takes leadership. We have taken it slow and steady but have made amazing progress. No one else has ever schooled him and the only help she has had is from me guiding her (and of course her dad, supporting her).

Beth has begun competing and won 1st in Intro dressage first time out! Beth then continued to mount up the rosettes and is now being placed at prelim too. Beth won a combined training event a couple of months ago also…For all the above reasons, the hard work, the dedication, through all the frustrations, highs and lows Beth is an inspiration and a talented rider so I am proud to say that Clip and Canter has decided to sponsor her and Alfie. I am sure Alfie will present some more challenges for us along the way as we continue to develop the partnership. Alfie and Beth are a great combination, he is spirited and Beth enjoys the challenges he sometimes presents. I am positive that her mum would be extremely proud… Well done Beth and Alfie...


To Mount! Or not to Mount - That is the problem...

Posted by unicorn1927 on March 1, 2013 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (1)

To Mount! Or not to Mount – That is the problem….

So you’re all tacked up, enthusiastic, hat and boots on for your lesson, hack or schooling session. You lead your horse to the mounting block, place your foot in the stirrup and leap aboard with a huge smile in anticipation of your ride…Or, erm, perhaps not… You place your foot in the stirrup, or nearly, with a nice deep breath of joyful anticipation as you look forward to your ride, but alas, just at that moment, that precise second, your horse walks backwards, sideways, forwards, swings her/his quarters, indeed just manages to avoid you getting on in a rather mischievous yet skilful way. You carefully realign the block and make several more attempts to mount until you actually find you are now at the other end of the school. You begin to get angry, frustrated, upset and start shouting ‘stand!’, ‘behave!’ ‘****’, :lol:whilst sweating and preying that no one is actually watching you, your dreams for your lovely ride shattered before you are even on. You turn around in dismay and you swear your horse is laughing at you as you scramble about on and off the mounting block! Does this sound all too familiar? Well then, read on for some great tips from Wendy Bliss - Freelance Instructor & Equestrian Writer for The Arabian Magazine!

There may be many reasons why your horse does this and sometimes the reason is quite genuine. First of all, always ensure your horse is not in any pain. Get your saddle checked by a qualified reputable saddler and then get a vet, physiotherapist or a qualified back specialist to assess your horse. Whilst the benefits of sports massage are great, and I fully recommend it, remember that an equine sports therapist / masseuse may not be able to diagnose and mainly deal with soft tissue as opposed to bones. They may charge less and your horse will probably have a lovely time but you may not get to the root cause of any discomfort. Once you know that your horse is not in any pain, check if your mounting technique is smooth and you are landing gently in the saddle. If you do not use a mounting block then it’s a great idea to start as it really helps to save your horses back as your body weight pulls to one side as you mount.

Ok, so you have done all that but your horse still won’t cooperate! If you have a friend who could hold the horse this may help (although sometimes the situation can worsen as the horse feels threatened). Always have your friend hold the noseband (preferably lead rope attached)rather than grip and pull on the horses bit and mouth. If no one is available then you can line up your horse so his quarters and back end are in a corner. This way the horse will not be able to swing out away or go backwards. If your horse has a tendency to walk forwards then point his front end into the corner instead. See if you can work out if your horse is scared or calm. Sometimes young horses are simply a little scared, after all a person mounting on their back goes against all their flight survival instincts, so who can blame them. In this instance it can really help to rub and scratch his withers as you stand on the mounting block, just like you were another horse grooming him. This has worked for many of my customers who I teach! There are many other ways of working with your horse and ensuring they stand still whilst you mount. If anyone would like another blog on this subject or any other please let me know! The worst thing you can do is to get angry, shout, pull and prod. We always have to try to empathise, find out why our horse is up to something, so we can find a sensitive solution – sometimes it takes time and patience! I would love to know how many of you out there have had or are having mounting problems and how you overcame them, so please leave your comments.

Happy riding! Regards, Wendy :)

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All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. and Wendy Bliss makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

My first blog! HELP! Wendy @ Clip and Canter..

Posted by unicorn1927 on February 18, 2013 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (2)

So here it is! For all you horsey folks out there, Clip and Canters first REAL Blog! I am pretty new to this but basically I'm here to help with tips, advice and scintillating articles about horse care and riding. I will be providing regular blogs on many different topics. As a Freelance Coach for over twenty years and a newly established Equestrian Writer (for The Arabian Mag) I have many ideas and proven methods for helping riders and horses of all ages, levels and temperaments, regardless of what discipline you are interested in.

For those of you who are reading this and know me, you will know that my methods have the horses welfare as  top priority. Indeed my empathetic approach extends to the rider also. Every horse and rider is an individual and we must always remember that the solution is often found when the reason is found. Ah yes, very profound I know, but simply, we must understand why are horse is perhaps misbehaving, why we are nervous or cannot seem to master something then we can really find a solution... 

Now, I am gonna need your help - Please write your comments below as to what topic you would like me to help with in my next Blog.... It could involve tips on horse care, for example, helping to prevent mudfever... It could be tips for improving your riding position, a fitness regime for the up and coming show season - Indeed ANYTHING you, the reader would like to see. Perhaps you are interested in 'natural horsemanship' or you may even be struggling with a specific problem. Comment below and I will try to cover as many as I possibly can. I'm looking forward to your suggestions!

By Wendy Bliss from Clip and Canter. :)