Working On A Stride – Try A Bounce!

Trying to figure out your horses stride? Doing bounce work with flat poles on the ground as demonstrated in the picture above is key!
We recently tested this out on Coco, and to say she loved it was an understatement!! 
Set Up:
  1. Starting off on a semi circle, using the full width of your school set out 6 ground poles. 
  2. Measured out 3 footsteps between each pole. (Bearing in mind this may need to be adjusted for each horse depending on size.)
  3. Try keeping the poles in the semi-circle shape, this will mean you will need to have slight bend in your canter when using this exercise. 
Go over the 6 poles both on each rein, keep doing the exercise until you are satisfied it is done correctly. 
Go have a look on our Instagram @nobuckingwayblog to look at Coco nail the exercise perfectly!
To make this exercise a little harder, start taking out poles and see if your horse still maintains the steady pace as if the 6 poles are still in the ground! This is a great exercise for control.
Tag us in your videos on Instagram, let us see how you tackled the exercise with your horse!

TREC – An Introductory

What is TREC u ask? Well let me start by saying it is so much frickinnn fun!!! A local Trec show was being held at my yard last weekend, so I grew a set of balls and decided, this is it, I am going to enter and see how we get on! To say I was surprised with our outcome was an understatement, we ended up coming 3rd in our Novice class, I am so proud of Dante, he really put 110% into it!

But enough with that, let me give you a brief explanation of what TREC actually is, bearing in mind I am no expert, personally I think this is a great sport to get into if not for competing professionally, it really helps with behaviour, as the sport relies a lot on trust between you and your horse, read below to find out some more!

What is TREC?

TREC originated in France, it is basically a means of testing your ability as a trail rider to the max (in my opinion). It consists of 3 stages that tests the horse & riders ability in each stage, from pace of gaits, to obstacles, and orienteering.

Stage 1- Orienteering (POR)

Stage one consists of orienteering, now I haven’t done this part as of yet, but you basically get given a map and on horseback you follow the route given by the speed predetermined by the organizers, to set checkpoints that are unknown by the riders. They tend to Start from 10km treks up to 20km the higher the levels you go.

Stage 2 – Control Of Paces (MA)

So in stage 2, you are basically showing off how well you can control your horse within certain paces. You have to canter down & walk up through a 2-4m wide corridor that is 150m in length, judges score you by timing you, marks are awarded by having a slow canter and a fast walk. The most points you can get for each is 30, 60 in total.

Stage 3 – Obstacle Course (PTV)

In my opinion this is like a stripped back version of a cross country course, it tests your control as a team & how well you work together.  A single PTV course will consist of a max of 16 obstacles varying from ridden corridors, to jumping logs to walking over foot bridges, obstacles may also be done in hand as well as on horseback.

View the TREC Ireland website for more info!

I will attach below a couple of images of the obstacles that were included in the competition from Sunday, you really don’t realise how much trust you need in your horse or how much they need to rely on you for guidance throughout the obstacles.  Keeping in mind that most of these competitions take place in an open field, with young horses it will teach them to relax, and not be expected to race off, but to wait for instructions from you the rider. If any of you are interested in giving TREC a go I would definitely say DO IT,

Below are a few pointers of things you will need with you on the day, and certain things you should be made aware of!

  • If your horse has a martingale, a head collar & lead rope must be worn, this is to aid you with any in hand obstacles.
  • Medical Arm bands must also be worn, on either your arm or leg.
  • At an obstacle if the two entry cones are places together you may enter the obstacles from anywhere, if they are placed apart you must enter through the cones.
  • You can walk, trot or canter an obstacle, the faster the pace the higher the marks you get, canter is only permitted for certain obstacles in the novice stage.
  • If their are drawn white lines at an obstacle, you must stay inside them, if you don’t points will be deducted.
  • When you are doing in-hand obstacles, the horses nose must remain behind you, if you lead your horse standing at his shoulder you will be marked down.
  • If you are not a TREC Ireland member, the entry fee will require you to pay an additional €7 for insurance on the day.
  • As fun as TREC sounds, it is a serious sport so respect the professionals and listen to there advice, do have fun but don’t insult their sport!

So take a leaf out of my book & enter yourself in a local TREC competition you may do better than you think! I will definitely be doing another one!








Youngsters, Patience is Key!

Over the past few months we have put a lot of effort into trying to get Dante & Coco settled and relaxed into their work. They’re not perfect, (that may takes years) and both have improved tremendously but there’s still a long way to go. To help us get there, we have both decided to start fortnightly private lessons with the same instructor, kicking off with our first lessons this weekend. (We’ll be sure to do lesson posts after each lesson to detail some of our key learnings.)

But before we get going with lessons, we thought we’d share what we’ve learned so far by ourselves…

Steer Clear of an Argument

Try to keep everything positive! This is much easier said than done but the main thing to remember is that you always want to end every session on a good note if you can. Don’t fight them, you will not win against a 700lb horse! If they are spooking in corners and jumping away from noises in trees around your arena steer clear of these areas, the last thing you want is an unhappy horse. With time you can slowly introduce them to the scary spooky corners giving them praise when they do it in a calm manner.

Keep your Sessions Short

Youngsters can lose their concentration very easily so try to keep your sessions short, sweet and to the point. Focus on one goal at a time, if he gets it right give him a break. This will keep him thinking without overloading him with information. Throwing too much information at a youngster can confuse them and cause a lot of tantrums!! So remember, you will achieve more in 20 minutes than you would in an hour. 

Focus on Basic Flatwork/Schooling

Always keep in mind, everything your young horse learns now will stick with them throughout their riding career. So it’s important to get things right the first time, no matter how much time it takes! There is no point rushing into competing your young horse, and having him jump sky high fences just because you think he can. Focus on getting your horse to respond to your leg aids and working in a relaxed rhythm. Transition work up & down is perfect for this with the aim being to transition without anything being sloppy. Taking shortcuts at the beginning will only end up in heartbreak and a lot of work re-schooling with a stubborn teenager!!

Reward Good Work & Let them Stretch

When your horse does what you ask of him, reward him! Tell him Good Boy/Girl” and give them a scratch on the neck. Everyone likes to be rewarded for good work and horses aim to please so it will only make them enjoy their jobs more! The best reward is to let them stretch. Stretching helps your horse to relax and in the long run it will help with building up topline muscles, making them stronger. Let them stretch long and low at the beginning and at the end of a session while using stretching as a reward for good work throughout your session. 


Every horse has a tantrum now and then and we all have those days where those tantrums force us to re-think owning a young horse. Regardless of what your horse is doing underneath you, always remember that you are the Boss! Don’t be afraid to be vocal and give out, they must learn what’s right and what’s wrong. Our one key piece of advice, DO NOT lose your temper, it will only make the situation worse!! Try to remain calm as best you can if they misbehave, take a breath, ignore it and keep them moving forward. Change the exercise, get them relaxed and listening and try the exercise again. If they complete it correctly without misbehaving reward them and move on. Just keep reminding yourself that this is the hardest your horse is going to test you. Stay strong, put the hard work in now and the results will speak for themselves.

We hope you found our few pointers helpful and if you have any tips of your own please share by commenting below!

Darielle & Orla


Home Remedies: Sage Leaves


Sage Leaves can be used to help calm down and clear eye infections.


  • Sage Leaves
  • Hot Water


Boil kettle, place 5-6 full sage leaves in a bowl, pour hot water into the bowl. Let the hot water cool down fully before distributing into water bottle/storage container. (Plastic bottle is ideal)

With Cotton buds or a make up remover pad, dab the infected area twice a day for 4-5 days.

If the infection has not calmed down or If you have not noticed any noticeable difference after the 4-5 days contact your vet.


If clear fluid is coming from the eye, this is an indication of an infection free eye.

If the eye is excreting a coloured fluid, it is recommended that the horse gets an anti-biotic as this could be a bad eye infection or an allergic reaction.

Welcome to No Bucking Way

Hopefully you’ve had a gander around the website by now but if not here’s a quick run-down of who we are and what we’re about:

  • Two Enthusiastic Equestrians thrown into the deep end with two rowdy youngsters
  • One 4yo(rising 5) Appaloosa Mare and one 5yo Irish Sport Horse Gelding. One is 15.2hh, the other 17.2hh..take your guess as to who’s who (hint: the answer is in the pic)
  • Discussing topics such as behavioural problems, useful schooling exercises, healthcare tips & tricks, training events & days out and anything else that we think is worth writing about

That’s probably the shortest amount of detail I could give you without boring you to death. Our journey with the brats is sure to be filled with endless entertainment and we’d be delighted to have you come along for the ride so make sure to check back in and keep up to date with our posts.

Have Instagram? Make sure to follow our account: NoBuckingWayBlog

Darielle & Orla