Unfortunately, this has led to tremendously negative impacts on Britain’s ecosystem and native wildlife. From incessant farming to acute grazing, immense land areas are exhausted and diminished of their past richness. Nature, like animals, does not tend to take forcefulness at the hands of humans well, and it has suffered greatly.
Just as with Natural Horsemanship, many landowners are answering the call to steer towards more natural ways of looking after and restoring their piece of the earth by taking steps that will encourage native plants and animals to return through rewilding.
As horse owners, we can look at the impacts our domestic horses have on the environment and make small changes to contribute to the rewilding effort.
The World Equestrian Games is held every four years, in order to bring together all the disciplines that are recognized by the FEI, in one event. There are 8 equestrian sports that are held under the FEI umbrella; 3 Olympic, Show Jumping, Eventing and Dressage, one Para Olympic, Para Dressage. There are 4 NOD (Non-Olympic Disciplines) comprising of Reining, Vaulting, Driving and Endurance. Each one of these disciplines compete to award the coveted FEI World Champion titles to their teams and to their individuals, as well as the top 5 nations in the Olympic Disciplines gaining qualification for the next Olympic Games, that will be held two years later. It is the one time every four years, that all the disciplines are on the same site vying for the same podium positions, and the very best equine athletes in the world (both two legged and four) are there, representing their country. There just isn’t another equestrian event like it and the atmosphere is amazing!
It seems like yesterday, the Western Equestrian Society (WES) were celebrating their very first year as the premier Western Riding Club here in the UK, and here they are, many years later, planning a huge celebration for the 34th anniversary. WES members participate with a vast variety of breeds such as Highland ponies, Welsh ponies, traditional cobs, cobs, Haflingers, Arabians and not to mention various western breeds. Looking at it realistically you name breed, and WES probably have a member out there riding in a western saddle.
As winter now approaches and our show season is over, it is time to appraise your efforts for this year. My suggestion is to take time out and write down all or any of the problems that you have had in low-scoring rounds so that you have a master plan to work on before next season. Remember, spring is only a few months away and if we take out Christmas, and bad weather days, we have probably got only six weeks left to get into shape for next year’s show season.
We are halfway through the show season and according to Facebook, most riders seem to be extremely happy with their efforts and achievements, so super, well done. For my part, it seems that lessons and clinics are moving to higher levels so these are exciting times. It is nice to know that the two youth riders that I have been coaching these last two years in conjunction with one mother and one uncle have performed well…..well enough to catch the eyes of other trainers and selectors, so there is still some life in this “old parrot” yet!
I think I can safely speak for Roger Wells too. In saying when we had the dream of making western riding a respected discipline (back circa 1983): a coloured magazine, major sponsors, instructors everywhere, shows and clinics the length and breadth of the countryside was in our dreams, and so it is amazing. I am so thrilled that this has now become a reality.
I'd forgotten that moving house was so stressful, but was quickly reminded when we were given two weeks’ notice. Thankfully, with the help of friends, family, and our excellent removal team — Move Fast, aka, Steve Hart, former owner of Quarter Horse Rio — it was successfully completed on time. Twenty-seven years of successful breeding, shoeing, and training came to an end on the 24th February. Wye Oak Quarter Horses finally closed its doors.
On the show scene, please, if you decide to go and compete, send at least one entry in beforehand so as a show secretary can raise paperwork and save time for you, your horse, and themselves on the day. It would be nice to send some money at the same time, especially if you require stabling. Remember the organiser is doing all of this for your enjoyment.
Having just returned from the 25th anniversary of the Western Equestrian Society Nationals, this month’s article is dedicated to those western riding enthusiasts who attended and supported the Society that changed the face of Western riding in Great Britain.
I feel very privileged to be accorded the honour of judging the 25th-anniversary WES championship show. I hope as many of you as possible will put the date in your diary and attend, either astride or on foot! I am sure a large proportion of your readers started western riding through the efforts of WES. Over the years, the society has probably been ‘responsible’ for a lot of sales of the American Quarter Horse as during the early days there was only one annual Quarter Horse show and three major WES shows.
Home from Arizona with a temperature of 30C and clear blue skies, there is much to reflect upon. One thought that comes to mind, that I wouldn’t normally dwell on, is the ranch holiday.
Chrissie and I spent one night at the White Stallion Ranch on the way to our hotel in Tucson. The whole holiday was one of stunning views wherever we went. While returning from Sedona, “God’s Home” in the southern Arizonian desert, we found the While Stallion Ranch just a few miles off Interstate 10.
It has been a long time since my last trip to the USA but in 2015, I was invited to go to view some broodmares for sale at the NRHA Futurity with a long-time friend. He managed to purchase two nice mares in foal, but more of that later as they should arrive before the next issue.
It’s that time of the year – no not Christmas – it’s time to appraise your efforts over the last ten months and set your goals for next year.
Take a notepad and jot down all of the things that went wrong at shows you attended. Was there a regular problem cropping up that you missed? Or were there many various problematic scenarios? Then put down what you did to try to correct these.
Mick Fould’s Appaloosa Kaz recounts the nine day challenge he undertook to help escort a horse drawn WW1 ambulance from Lands End to John O’Groats for charity. Horses helps heroes was the idea of paramedic Jacks El Tawil, an experienced horsewoman and carriage driver based in Wiltshire. Jacks was inspired to raise funds for injured servicemen and exservicemen through her love of horses.
I recently experienced one of the most memorable moments in my life. It was an almost indescribable mixture of sheer joy, thankfulness, relief, and surprise when my horse and I finally marked a 70 in a reining run. I’d be a wealthy woman indeed if I could bottle that feeling; one lightning rod capturing five years of training in a series of reining runs gradually building to that single achievement. And no, I’m not talking about doing this on a Futurity horse or an expensively bred reiner but on a 17-year-old family pet that came into reining training as an 11-year-old. And here’s where is all started.