Product Review – Georgian Dollar Sieta Riding Jeans

By now, us girlos here at No Bucking Way are well used to reviewing different horsey products and giving you all the low down on what you can expect from them. So when the lovely Amanda at Georgian Dollar agreed to send me out a pair of her Sieta Jeans to review I got super excited because riding jeans have been on my want list for well over 3 years now.

To be totally transparent, this is my first review of an item of clothing so before I sat down to write what you’re about to read, I really thought about what it is that you would want to know before buying a pair of riding jeans. What’s always stopped me from making a purchase before was mostly the price. Any of the nice ones that caught my eye always seemed so expensive and then I’d worry if the sizing would be accurate and if they’d be good quality or if they’d look as good as they did online. So with all of this in mind, here are my thoughts on the Sieta Jeans.

The Jeans

Let me start off by saying that I absolutely love these jeans. These are genuinely a great buy for anyone looking for this style of riding trousers. So what do I love so much about them..ehh EVERYTHING!

The Fit & Sizing:

To start, these are absolutely 100% true to size. I’d be a (reluctant) size UK14 but honestly depending on the brand, I could be either side of this so when I asked for the size 14 I did worry whether that would be the best fit or not. When the jeans arrived, I did have a little panic when I first took them out of the packaging as they seemed much smaller than I’d have liked around the waist but alas, I needn’t have worried because the stretch on these bad boys is real.

The leg size is perfect – not too tight so they slide right on, not too baggy and the perfect length with no extra material left to roll up at the end to ensure they go into my riding boots comfortably.

These jeans also have belt loops with one extra loop than usual so if you do find you need a belt, you don’t have to worry about the belt riding up as your jeans slip down (believe me, this has happened to me with normal jeans – think I might need a gym!). So far so good.

The Style:

There are so many things to love about the style of these jeans. Starting from the top, I love the design and placing of the button. The extra length and curve over the zip adds such a gorgeous difference to your standard pair of jeans. The zip itself tucks right up to the button so you’ll have no concerns of being caught flying low.

The placing of the Georgian Dollar branding is discrete and classy with a gold logo over the left pocket and a placing between two belt loops on the back. The shading of the denim itself is gorgeously classic which means it guarantees to match with virtually any top in your wardrobe.

Specific Features for Riders

Hack in Sieta Jeans

Comfort: Being 70% cotton, the material of these jeans are super soft making them extra comfortable especially in the saddle when rubbing and chafing can occur. I wore these jeans when me and Dars went on a road hack one day which was a good hour and half of riding and other than the usual stiffness after a long hack, I was otherwise unscathed.

Silicone Grip: What riding trousers are complete these days without the coveted silicone grip? I’ve ridden in a few different pairs of jods which all have some form of grippiness to them and I have to say, so far the sieta jeans are my favourite. They add a subtle sturdiness to your seat without being too grippy. I have another pair that literally feel like I’m plastered to the saddle which is honestly not as great as it sounds.

Lycra Ankle Cuffs: This is that black patch on the bottom of the trouser legs and I never realised how important it was until I wore a normal pair of jeans to the yard to compare the experience. The lycra ankle cuffs make it much easier for the jeans to sit into your riding socks and boots, reducing the bulkiness – flippin genius!

The Riding Experience

After all is said and done, none of the above matters if these riding jeans are an absolute disaster to actually ride in. Thankfully, that’s not the case with the Sieta Jeans.

I have ridden in them 3 times since I got them – once for a light session in the field, once on a decent road hack and once for a hard work session in the arena. I can honestly say, riding in these jeans was just like riding in any other pair of jodhpurs. They stayed put around my waist, the zip stayed in place, there was no uncomfortable rubbing on my legs – I genuinely forgot that I was even wearing jeans at all which for me is exactly what I wanted.

In terms of general wearing around the yard – I wore these to one of Darielle’s lessons and also the day that I miraculously turned Coco’s tail from black to white – you may have spotted them in the video. They were super comfy and again just like wearing any other pair of jodhpurs..except maybe better cause your arse will look great the whole time you’re in them 😉

About Georgian Dollar

Georgian Dollar is based in the UK and their Sieta Jeans are available to purchase through their website www.georgiandollar.co.uk/. The Jeans are available in size UK 8 – 16 with a handy size chart available here. And as an extra bonus, they are totally machine washable!

Price-wise, you’re looking at £92 with free shipping. However, as a little treat to our NBW followers, Amanda has very kindly given us a special discount code which will give 10% off when you order a pair of Sieta Jeans by 31st October so make sure to get your order in quick!

Get your discount by Clicking Here or use the code NBW_SpecialOffer on checkout. You will see the discount applied after you click through to checkout.


So…have you bought yours yet? If you’ve been on the hunt for a high quality, comfortable and stylish pair of riding jeans, then look no further because the Sieta Riding Jeans are exactly what you’re after. The £92 price tag is on the high side but when you think about what you’re getting it makes the spend very worth it.

If there’s anything that I haven’t covered here that you’d like to know, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I’m happy to answer any questions.

Thanks for reading and happy shopping 🙂

Orla

8 Step Guide To Cleaning Your Horses Sheath

I have revamped this blog post from 2 years ago, and from my recent Instagram stories explaining the process, a number of you requested a “how to” guide on How to Clean Your Horses Sheath. 

I have been putting off cleaning Dante’s ‘D’ for a few months now to be brutally honest as it is not my most favorable thing to do. So with a little research,  and a lot of really weird Whats-app group conversations later I managed to rope Sue into washing Dante’s willy for me! 

Warning: Stay away from watching YouTube video’s on this topic, it is not pleasant!

How To Prepare your Horse:

I have cleaned Dante before, so he was used to this process. But for anyone who hasn’t be prepared for your horse to be slightly cautious. Remember to take everything nice and slow. Before you start make sure you rub and pat your horse on the bum/hind leg let him know you are there, this will also get them used to the idea of what is in store for them once you start! 

Equipment Needed:

  • Rubber Gloves (plenty of pairs!)
  • A bucket with Luke warm water, not too cold as you don’t want to freeze the balls off of your horse!!
  • Sheath Cleaner (see products below) I have previously used hibiscrub diluted in the water, this acts as a disinfectant so if you have this handy there is no need to go buying anything extra.
  • A towel or a sponge

Step By Step Guide On How To Clean A Sheath

Step 1: Get your bucket of water prepared. Luke warm water is ideal. 

Step 2: Get your cleaner prepared, if you are using hibiscrub, pour a small amount of the hibiscrub in to dilute the warm water. If you are using one of the sheath cleaning products, their is no need to dilute this into the water, just have it to the side beside your bucket of water ready to use.

Step 3:  Prepare your towel/sponge, leaving them in hands reach to you also beside your bucket/cleaner.

Step 4: Lets get to work! Put on your gloves on & prepare to clean some winky!

I had Dante tied up outside of his stable, with a hay-net there for him to keep him distracted, so this was the perfect setting.

Step 5: Begin by giving your horse a pat on the hind end, let him know you are there, the last thing you want is a hoof in the head if they are not comfortable with being fondled! Begin by dipping your hand in the warm water, start pulling off any pieces of dirt from your horses sheath. Once you have the outside of the sheath looking presentable then you can start adding in your sheath cleaner.

IMG_4909

Step 6: OMG, this part is literally insanely gross,  I don’t often clean horses bits, so I had no idea what to expect, as you can see from the photo’s of me previously doing this, you can see how elbow deep you can go up into your horses willy!

Most horses that are used to getting cleaned will drop their sheath down for you to clean the Smegma but Dante didn’t, he just stood there eating.

If your horse wont drop, Keep squeezing generous amount of the sheath cleaner into your hand or sponge, and continue to gently work the cleaner into the areas you are cleaning, be sure to remove any loose particles that come clear.

This meant that Sue had to put her hand up Dante’s bits and gently work away at removing the crusty bits the hard way. The sheath cleaner was fantastic as it loosened everything up. It surprised me how far her hand could go up there but Jesus it was never ending.

Step 7: Getting into the swing of things, it actually was not too bad, slightly smelly but once you got over the shock of doing what you were doing, its just a continuous process, hand fondle, sponge, clean and repeat. After doing this for approx 20 minutes, Dante was still not dropping, but you could noticeably see the difference from the amount of grossness that came from his sheath!

Step 8: Once you have cleaning as per the above, you then have to check for The Bean. This is an accumulation of smegma, a natural lubricating substance produced by the horse. It is located in the head of the horses penis, just above the opening of the urethra (which is where the horse’s Wee comes out of)

It is v.important to remove the bean, , if not removed it can cause difficulties for the horse when going to the toilet. In some cases it can even be as big of a golf ball!! Have a look at Dante’s bean, (OMG i cant believe I just said that!) Having this removed when he goes toilet next, he should feel a lot more comfortable in himself!

After all of the above is completed, give the outside if the willy area a quick clean and a rub down to get rid of any access grime. 

Useful Tips:

  • Cleaning only needs to be done 2/3 times a year (every 6 months) it is cleaned for hygiene purposes, or if you notice any problems with your horse urinating.
  • Be Gentle, do remember what you are cleaning!!
  • Be prepared for the smell, and for how deep your hand can go up into your horse.
  • Wear Gloves, and wash your hands religiously after your clean your horse
  • If you notice anything unusual, please contact your Vet. 
  • If your horse is not comfortable with you cleaning him, don’t proceed. Do remember, some horses do need to go under local anesthetic to get this done.

If you have any tips of your own for Sheath cleaning do let me know, I was a total beginner when I done this, and I am extremely lucky to have a friend on board that loves doing this job… Strange I know!! 

Now go get your gloves & start washing those Winkies!

Until Next Time, 

Darielle

October Exercise – Coming Full Circle

It has been forever since we have done an exercise post here at No Bucking Way. We have so many new exciting ideas for our exercises & with the addition of Cosmo to the gang we have really had to think hard going back revisiting & reviving our older “young horse” exercises.

Prepare to be excited & keep your eyes peeled for Orla’s first Cosmo exercise next week, but up first we have one all about Dante. As hard as it is to say, this is an exercise for the older slightly more experienced horse. I can’t believe I am referring to Dante as Experienced…. What has the world come to!

Don’t worry though, I like to keep my exercises extremely versatile & adjustable, as you know Dante can pick & choose is moods, she if you have a young horse, an older horse, experience or unexperienced keep scrolling to find out all about riding our “Coming Full Circle” exercise!

Side Note: I rode this exercise on Dante wearing my Reinrite training aid. You may have noticed this on Dante the past few weeks. A full review is coming next week, I have been trialing this aid in almost every aspect of our training!

The Set Up

For this exercise, you will need 5 poles, & 3 x cavalletti’s stands to raise your poles in the centre of your arena. Clear your arena/field as best you can, removing any obstacles except for what is laid out in the image below. This is so you can make use of the entire arena & give you and your horse as much space as you can get!

The space between your canter poles should be 10 footsteps. I adjusted mine to 12 as I wanted to push Dante in his canter a little bit whilst still maintaining control.

The Benefits Of This Exercise

  • Improving your canter rhythm
  • Maintaing a steady canter rhythm
  • Improving your horses suppleness
  • Great for improving your horses balance
  • Improves your eye for a stride

Steps For Riding This Exercise

Step 1:

  • As per any of our NBW exercises, we recommend a good 15/20 minute warm up prior to beginning. For this exercise, In my warm up I focused on riding figures of 8 & serpentines in trot, this got Dante bending & flexing around my leg, as well as making him listen & think to the aids I was asking him to do.
  • As I moved on to my canter, getting a forward moving canter from Dante was most important. I focused on pushing on the long sides of the arena & holding on the shorter sides of the arena. This not only wakes Dante up, but it gives me the active canter that I am looking for prior to beginning any pole work exercise.

Step 2:

  • Once you are happy with your warm up, starting this exercise piece by piece is key to nailing it when you come to putting the entire exercise together.
  • See the image below to the left, start by cantering your 20m circle or 15m circle over your ground pole at A. You are looking for a consistant canter here from your horse, no rushing to the pole, no rushing after the pole. A Smooth consistent canter throughout.
  • Your position in the saddle should not change either, you should not treat the ground pole as anything different than a stride for your horse. Stay riding forward, keeping your contact on the reins with your leg still firmly on to keep your horse moving forward.
  • Once you are happy with your horses performance over the single pole at A, then can you begin to piece in the pole at C at the other end of your arena as per the image above on the right. Again ride both circles the exact same. if your legs are not starting to ache at this point you need more leg!

Tip: When you are riding your circle, look to the centre holding your inside rein out away from your horses neck. Having your inside rein opened out will direct your horse to where he should be travelling but it will also automatically position your shoulders correctly moving in the same direction with your horse.

Step 3:

  • Once you are happy with the way your horse is moving over both poles positioned at A&C in your arena, you can then move on to your raised poles positioned at B in the center of your arena. Raised poles should not differ from your ground pole with how you ride into them. Everything stays exactly the same!
  • See the image below. When you are approaching your raised poles, remember that you are riding them on a circle, keep your leg on, holding out your inside rein directing you horse over the poles. Your horse may find this slighty difficult as he has to travel over the poles on a bend, but still keep that consistant canter that you had over the single ground pole as above.
  • Do not look at the poles on the ground, remember to always look to where you are going! Don’t worry if your horse rushes over these poles or gets excited the first few times. Practice this circle until you are happy with your horses & how he approaches in & out of the raised poles before moving any further.

Step 4:

  • Now that you have completed all the above steps, it is time to complete our ” Coming Full Circle” exercise. Please excuse the dodgy diagram for this one! Who knew circles could get so complicated!
  • See the image below. Like in Step 2, begin by riding over your black circle as per the image, ride this no different that you did at the beginning, as you ride out of the black circle, you are then riding up your arena into your second circle, your red circle in the middle.
  • The trick with approaching your middle circle is to anticipate your space, you can make full use of the centre of your arena on your approach to your raised poles. Remember not to look at your poles, when you approach then, but to look ahead of you in the direction you want your horse to go!
  • Finally after you go over your raised poles, ride your circle out on to track moving up the arena again to your green circle at the end of your arena at C.
  • By this stage I found that my body was getting quite fatigued & my legs were aching! So keep your focus & remember as above to keep your forward consistant canter. Look to where you are going always, never at the pole on the ground!

And there you have it! My step by step guide to riding our “Coming Full Circle” exercise. It is tougher than it looks but it is very rewarding once you finish.

If you wish to adjust this exercise for a more unexperienced horse, you can take out the raised poles at B and replace then with a simple ground pole. Or if you wish to make it more difficult you can place 3 raised canter poles at both A & C in your arena instead of the ground poles!

Like I said, it is a very versatile exercise & can be adjusted to meet anyone’s needs. Be sure to give it a try out over the weekend, it is a great winter exercise & extremely simple to set up!

As always, if you have any questions be sure to drop me a PM and I will get back to you asap, but for now fell free to like share & tag your friends, lets get everyone Coming Full circle with this exercise!

As Always, thank you for reading,

Darielle

6 Things to Remember when Taking on a Young Horse

I am genuinely a bit shocked that I’m back here again, owning another 4 year old horse. I thought if I ever made the decision to sell Coco, I’d take on something a bit older with more experience and honestly that was my intention until I sat on Cosmo. While Coco and Cosmo are two completely different horses, I have to say I learned a lot from bringing Coco on from the nappy, bunny-hopping 4 year old that she was to the 7 year old all rounder she is today. I can be proud knowing that I did a lot of things right with Coco but I’m also aware that there were a few things that I could have done better and things I know I did wrong.

With that in mind, I decided to compile these 6 things I feel are absolutely essential to know when you make the decision to take on a young horse. For the sake of clarity, when I talk about a young horse I am talking about a horse who is broken, has been turned away and brought back in, ready to start their ridden career. Typically this is when a horse is around 4 years old but this obviously depends on the individual horse.


1. Variety is Everything

Keeping variety in your work with your youngster is so vital to their development on so many levels. The last thing you want is for your horse to go sour to ridden work as this can cause a stream of behavioural issues down the line.

Cosmo doing his first of many field days

Mentally, you want to keep them happy and focused on the job and the best way to do this is to give them a good mix of days with hard work schooling and days where you do something fun and different, all with the correct amount of time off in between. In addition, this also does wonders for them educationally as doing different activities during each ride gives them new experiences to get used to and enjoy, which is vital when producing a young horse.

For Cosmo – I give him two days off a week which are scattered between his ridden days. The other five days consist of two hard work days and 3 easy days that may involve riding in the field, a road hack, a lunging session or a very short walk-trot-canter session in the arena where he doesn’t get pushed to do anything difficult. Unless its a lesson, the hard work days will never be longer than 20 minutes.

2. Focus on Building the Correct Muscles

A young horse is constantly developing which is clearly demonstrated in a graphic we recently posted on Facebook which details the stages of equine skeletal development. Indicating that the horse’s spine isn’t fully developed until it reaches 6 years of age, this graphic serves as an eye opener to how important it is for us to look after our young equines and, most importantly the muscles that surround and protect these ever changing bones.

Photo Credit: horsefeedblog.com

With this in mind, your key focus when deciding which exercises to do with your horse should be anything that helps to develop your horse’s topline. The topline is the string of muscles that stretch across a horse’s back from the base of the neck right back to the croup. When this group of muscles is correctly developed, your horse’s back is in a much better place to be able to cope with the different levels of work you expect from him.

3. Feed them What they Need

This may seem like a very obvious statement but bear with me. While we all know that horse’s have basic nutritional requirements, some horse’s require a little more help than others. For example, a large 4 year old tends to take much longer to develop and mature than a smaller 4 year old horse as there is much more of them to grow and fill out.

Check out Darielle’s review of this product for more info –> HERE

When it comes to helping Cosmo develop his topline, I know he may need some assistance so I intend to start him on a supplement that will promote muscle development. Darielle is currently using Equitop Myoplast on Dante and is seeing great results so I may give this a go. This isn’t something I ever considered starting Coco on as she was a much smaller horse who, with the right exercises, built topline without requiring assistance.

4. Don’t Allow your Riding to Suffer

This was something that I really took liberties with when I had Coco as a 4 year old. I 100% used her young-ness as an excuse for why my riding wasn’t as good as it should have been. We tell ourselves that sometimes your position needs to give way to the needs of the horse and in some cases this is true – for example, I used to put more weight on my inside stirrup when riding Coco in an arena she was prone to spooking in as this would put me in a better position to sit the spook if it came. But for the most part, there was no real excuse for my rounded shoulders, vice-grip knees and up-turned heels.

Earlier this year, I really began to focus on fixing my position and I made serious headway before I broke my foot. Now that I’m back riding I’m determined not to allow my old habits to sneak back in just because I’m riding a 4 year old. If anything I need to be stricter with myself as I discovered once I started taking better care of my position, it had such a positive impact on Coco’s way of going. This just reaffirms that the correct position and riding will only help your youngster in his education with you.

5. Take Regular Lessons

Cosmo and I during our first lesson with Sue Byrne

This kind of stems from my last point but there’s a little more to it. While taking regular lessons helps you keep on top of your own riding, it’s also so so important for schooling your youngster. I genuinely regret not doing more lessons with Coco in our first year together. I told myself that I didn’t want to spend the money on the lessons when all I’d have to put up with was a ratty bunny-hopper who wouldn’t go straight but this was probably when I needed lessons the most.

In your young horse’s early days, it is invaluable to have eyes on the ground that can pick up on something that you’ll most likely miss. An instructor will catch any of your bad habits that might be hindering your horse’s way of going and they can also provide important exercises for you to work on to help you both develop. This time round I am making a point of doing lessons with Cosmo as often as I can afford them.

6. Time Off is Essential

This is one that I’m not sure everyone is aware of, I certainly wasn’t when I got Coco. We all have a good idea of how the breaking process goes. Horse gets backed and lightly schooled and introduced to the basic concepts for a few weeks before being put out to the field for 3 – 4 months to mature and think about what they were taught. After this time they are brought back in and ridden away to get produced. At this point most people assume the time off part is done but I’ve come to learn that this might not always be the best way.

Of course it all depends on the horse and how it was broken and what it’s being produced to do but I think giving your horse some further time off after they’ve had a few months of work and schooling put into them, is something that everyone should consider doing with their youngster. I don’t mean that they should get another 3 – 4 months off but even a few weeks to a month after they’ve been schooled well, have tried their hand at everything you’d like to do with them, entered a few low level shows and just generally seen the world could be just what the doctor ordered to keep them fresh and keen on their new job. This is certainly what I intend to do with Cosmo anyway. I’d like to spend the next 2 months or so to get him working well and out to a few small training shows before giving him some time off in December to digest everything he’s learned.


With this being my second time round, I think I’m much more prepared for what’s in store with Cosmo. I know he’s a completely different 4 year old to what Coco was and in some ways I find him much easier than she was but in other’s I feel I have some new challenges to face which I’m looking forward to. I think if I keep all of the above in mind, I’ll have a good shot at producing another well-rounded horse.

Have you recently made the decision to buy a young horse? I don’t pretend to be an expert in any way, but if you have any questions I’d be glad to help as best I can – just leave a comment 🙂

Thanks for reading, hopefully you’ve found this helpful!

Orla

Product Review – Equitop Myoplast

Over the past year I have found it quite hard to find a supplement to help support Dante and his every growing body. As he is quite the large animal, training him & working his muscles without the proper support was not exactly ideal. We went through spurts where he gained incredible muscle then dropped it quite quickly due to winter months, cold weather & to be honest, not enough physical work to up keep the gains he made.

Dante is a 7 Year old Irish Sport Horse, he is 17.3hh and to be brutally honest I will say that he is quite the slow developer, he is nicknamed the giraffe when it comes to how he works his body, he is yet to piece himself together when it comes to muscle growth & maintaining that muscle mass.

So I set out on a mission to put the head down & focus on Dante’s nutritional needs just like I do with myself when I go to the gym, muscle needs support in order to grow. With a lot of research & with a few test trials on other products, ones that just didn’t suit Dante I came across Equitop Myoplast. I came across this product from word of mouth, and from the ever so popular social media site Instagram.

I reached out to the brand & after a few exchanges over email & a phone conversations later, I was gifted the product to trial on Dante. With the Autumn competition season ahead, getting in shape was something both of us needed. Whilst I hit the gym, Dante was put on his 5 day workout routine adding in our new supplement Equitop Myolpast. We have come up to our 5 week mark with the product.

Keeps scrolling to Find out what we thought, & if we seen any physical changes of the product below!

What is Equitop Myoplast?

Equitop Myoplast is an amino acid high quality feed supplement specifically designed to support lean muscle growth & structure for your horse. It is Created from a combination of 18 amino acids that help support lean muscle growth. Essential amino acids in Equitop Mysoplast include L-Lysine, L-Threonine, DL-Methionine and L-Tryptophan.

Equitop Myoplast is a very compact feed, it is a sugar coated pearl granule making it very easy to feed to your horse.

What Does It Do?

Amino acids are the building blocks of the proteins which form muscles. Unlike many supplements that use a combination of fats and oils to promote weight gain, Equitop Myoplast focuses solely on muscle growth. As mentioned above it contains a complex blend of 18 amino acids, this helps with growing and recovering of your horses muscle tissue. It helps supports & helps develop your horses muscles during intense training periods. It supports suppleness, stamina & muscle growth particularly in your horses topline & hind-end.

While your Horse can produce some amino acids themselves, what is required to help build them up & support their muscle growth must be supplied within their diet. If a horse’s diet is lacking in any amino acids, their performance may take a hit.

How Do You Feed It?

It is recommended that Equiptop Myoplast is fed to your horse for at least 2 months. One scoop is to be fed to your horse twice a day, One during the morning, and one in the evening.

< 500 kg              1 measure (25g)

> 500 kg              2 measures (50g)

Each tub of EM comes with a very nifty measuring tool, so your horse is guaranteed to get the correct amount each time. Equiptop Myoplast mixed in with any wet feed can make it taste quite bitter for your horse. but I can safely say that as Dante is fed wet feed (pulp) twice daily & I have had no problems with him eating it mixed in.

There is also an option to hand feed this supplement to your horse twice a day also if you wish, I have heard of a few people that do it this way.

Who Can Benefit From Equitop Myoplast

It is of course important that you only use it & feed it to your horse if they need it. It certainly benefits no one or any horse if you start loading them up with supplements for the sake of it, everything should have a purpose. Equiptop Myoplast has some guidelines as to when they recommend the use, see them below,

  • During periods of intense training for your horse, where you are in competition
  • Getting your horse back into shape at the beginning of a season or if you are bringing your horse back in to work after a long rest period
  • For horses who have difficulties maintaining condition
  • Brood Mares who are lacking protein
  • During rehabilitation, where you dont want your horse to drop muscle it will help maintain the condition.
  • It is also great for young horse starting off on their training journeys

What Do I Really Think?

It is not very often that you try a product that promises you the world of change in your horse to actually get the exact results it gives you on the tin. With this product I can say it certainly ticked all the correct boxes for me & I think certainly for Dante. I honestly cannot believe the difference not only in Dante’s appearance (see image below) but in his behavior too.

The image on the right is from two weeks on Equitop Myoplast, with the image on the left takes yesterday week 5.

A lot of people have commented that Dante has started to mature in the past 5 weeks, but they also didn’t realise that within the last 5 weeks he has been on Equitop Myoplast. To say it is a coincidence is something but to say it gave us great results is an absolute fact. 

While I really don’t believe in loading your horse up with every supplement under the sun, their regular diet should contain everything they need to maintain balance, but there is no harm in adding in something extra to help build your horse up the way they should be.

Feeding this supplement alone needs to be backed up with regular & proper exercise to help your horse maintain that muscle growth. I would recommend that if using this that your horse is doing a minimum of 4 days exercise per week, pole work & transition work amongst your routines will also no doubt help massively with this supplement.  

I am over the moon with the results I have gotten in this product, not only does he look fantastic, but his is carrying himself so much better now that he has the support of his new found muscles!


Over the past few weeks I have received some great feedback on Dante’s appearance, and unusually I have began to notice myself. As a person who sees her horse 7 days a week, I always find it quite hard to see the difference in my horse when I am forever looking at him but I am certainly beginning to feel it & that to me speaks volumes.  

It could also just be a coincidence, but over the past few weeks Dante seems to have matured, he has calmed down massively & just seems to be so much happier in his work. He is willing to learn, he can carry himself a lot better & he is performing to the best of his abilities. I can safely put my hands up now & say that any errors made in the ring are purely down to the rider at this point!!

I am over the moon with this product and I hope to continue to use it as we come into our winter competitions. I couldn’t recommend it enough not only for the amazing results you will see in your horse but for everything else it does that is not stated on the tin. I have gotten myself a brand new horse out of this supplement so why not try it for yourselves on your horse & get the same result as I have.

A massive thank you to Warren over at Equiptop Myoplast, I hope to collaborate with you again in the future, but for now to buy your tub check out the link where you can buy online. It is also available in Ireland from Orchard Equestrian.

As always, if you have any comments on this product drop them below, or send me a message.

Thanks For Reading,

Darielle

Cosmo’s First Week

The first week with a new horse is always one filled with a mix of excitement and anxiety. The horse world doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to buying & selling so you can’t always bank on bringing home the same horse that you tried. With that being said, you can tell a lot by your first few days with a horse and it all starts with the arrival home…


The Arrival

After picking Cosmo up we had a good 40 minute drive home. Half of that he spent pawing the floor of the trailer and making a general nuisance of himself while I spent that time calling him a git! Thankfully he eventually settled and we had a quiet uneventful drive home.

We arrived home and I hopped in the jockey door to see a less than relaxed horse. He was a bit on edge, obviously not used to the trailer experience and also wondering where the hell he was (poor divil). It took a bit of time to get him off the trailer as he was so confused about how he was supposed to do it. It was amusing enough but my main concern was making sure he didn’t try turn in the trailer as that would have ended in total disaster. Eventually he clambered his way off the trailer to see his new home!

I walked him around to give him a good look at where he was. Getting his travel boots off was another interesting experience as he was totally freaked out by the sound of the velcro. It was around this time that I started having the “Oh shit…why did I buy another 4 year old?” thoughts! He was so jumpy but once we got the first boot off he seemed to realise the end result was worth it so he began to relax and we managed to get the rest of them off. Aside from those two instances, he was remarkably calm about taking in his new surroundings. With that I brought him to his stable and settled him in for the night with some grub.

Day 1 – Getting to Know Each Other

My first day with Cosmo was all about us getting to know each other and showing him a bit more of the yard. So first thing was a quick groom to familiarise ourselves before clipping on the lunge line and heading out for a walk. We headed up the yard towards the main arena, taking our time and stopping to have a look at anything he found interesting. When we got to the main arena I spent my time in there walking him around the track and into the corners so he could have a good look.

Our arena would definitely be spookier than most so I was expecting at least a bit of a reaction when we got in but amazingly, all he cared about were the horses in the field beside us and once he got over them he didn’t look twice at anything, not even a flinch. I couldn’t believe it..he was just so chilled.

Next we moved into the sand arena where I took the lunge line off to let him roam. He spent most of his time following me around until he eventually decided to wander off and say hi to the horse in the field beside us. He had a bit of a trot around before coming back over to me where he pretty much stuck himself to me from then on. By this point I knew I was screwed because he had just totally stolen my heart.

Day 2 – First Ride at Home

I had originally planned on just doing a short lunge session with Cosmo on our second day together but Sue (friend + coach + horse-finder extraordinaire) was around to come down to the yard that evening so I said feck it – Ill hop up and see how we get on. I wanted to have someone there on the ground with me the first time I tried riding him at home just incase something were to happen (back to riding a young horse means all the extra precautions need to be taken) so I figured I should take advantage of the opportunity.

So we grabbed all of Coco’s tack, hopeful that her saddle would fit Cosmo and skeptical if her bridle would fit – amazingly, everything fit!! Her saddle, girth, bridle and martingale, I was shocked! Her bridle isn’t as good a fit as I would like and the girth is tough enough to close but they will definitely do the job until I can afford to buy new ones.

With the lunge line hooked up I gave Mo a quick lunge on each rein (his trot is so frickin cute, I can’t even cope) before heading up to the main arena and giving him a quick lunge in each corner to test the spookiness before I hopped up. I genuinely had nothing to be worried about though as just like day 1, he didn’t bat an eyelid at anything. He just seemed more excited about the fact that we were in a big arena with so much open space compared to the small lunge ring.

With that I hopped up – I don’t know what exactly I was expecting but it definitely wasn’t a totally chilled horse which turned out to be exactly what I had. From my first ride I knew he was very responsive to the leg so I made a point of applying very light squeezes to get him moving forward but aside from that he was a total saint. For the first day of ridden work we kept it easy with a good bit of walk before some trot and canter and then we called it a day.

Day 3 – First Ride with No Ground Back-Up

This may sound silly to some people but when you go from riding the same horse for 3 years, who you know like the back of your hand, to a new youngster who you’ve only ridden twice before – that first solo ride can be a bit daunting. Horses and especially young horses can be unpredictable so it’s important to have your wits about you and be prepared for anything. Thankfully I needn’t have worried though as Cosmo was just as well behaved as he was the other times I rode him.

Again, I gave him a quick little lunge before getting on. For this ride I focused a little bit more on transitions from walk to halt to walk and also some circle work in the trot. With a big youngster like Mo, all of this basic schooling is going to be so important in building the foundation for his flatwork. He’s still incredibly weak in the canter so I don’t want to challenge him in this gait just yet.

Day 4 – Introducing Polework

After seeing how well Cosmo handled the first few days of ridden work, I wanted to make sure to keep his work interesting so I decided to introduce him to some polework (after a quick little lunge first).

I set out a simple variety of poles – a single pole on the longside, a single pole on the centre line and three trot poles. I started by just walking him over these to get him familiar with the concept of lifting his legs. After some nice work in trot I started him over the single poles first, using the pole on the centre line to change rein and then we tried the trot poles. For his first attempt he did incredibly well, I just need to get used to his rhythm and way of going so I don’t push or hold him too much over the poles.

I finished him then with a quick canter on each rein which is improving more and more with every ride.

Day 5 – Day Off for Cosmo, Physio for Me

Mo had a well deserved day off while I went to the physio for my foot & ankle where I was told there is huge improvement but still quite a bit of stiffness so I need to keep up my exercises to ensure I don’t have problems down the line – other then that, I’m all clear and no more physio visits are needed..YAY, it only took 11 weeks and 6 days!

Day 6 – Darielle’s Turn

Day 6 was a Friday evening after work and I definitely wasn’t in the mood for any hard work so I kept it light and easy, just doing a walk, trot and canter before finally giving Darielle her first spin on Cosmo! Up to this point I hadn’t actually seen someone else ride him so I was dying for Darielle to give him a go. By now, I had a good feeling Cosmo would behave himself and he didn’t disappoint. He was an absolute gent and rode no differently to how he would go for me so I was delighted to see that he’s consistent no matter who’s riding him. I think once Darielle got over the shock of riding a 4 year old again, she enjoyed herself too!

Day 7 – First Ride in the Field

Something so important when training young horses is to remember to give them their fun days. The last thing anyone wants is a horse to go sour and not enjoy their work so being able to ride in a field is almost a requirement. With Cosmo being young, I expected our first venture to the field to be an exciting one with at least one outburst of excitement…and yet there was absolutely nothing. He was forward and felt happy to be out but there wasn’t a single point where I felt I didn’t have control. I swear, this horse must not know he’s a 4 year old – HE’S SO FRICKIN CHILL and I love it!!


Check out a lil video I made with a few clips from the first week!

And there you have my first 7 days with Cosmo. I’m still kind of in shock that he’s so level headed but I have to say it’s such a welcome change to the sharpness of Coco. Seeing as I don’t seem to have to worry about any baby antics (for the time being anyway) I feel like we can get stuck right into getting some solid flatwork in place and get to building up those muscles.

I’m so looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together and regardless, I think we’re going to have so much fun doing it!

Thanks for reading,

Orla & Cosmo

Meet Cosmo

The Facts

I am so excited to introduce my new steed – Cosmo.

Cosmo is a 4 year old 16.2hh Irish Sport Horse. His official name is Killossery Diamond Ring and he’s by Jack of Diamonds out of Killossery Ringwood (Dam Sire: Touchdown).

He was broken as a 3 year old by the person I bought him from. He hasn’t done much but he’s been hacked up and down busy back roads to the extent where he leads the pack and has done a good bit of cross country and has proven to be an absolute machine. His flatwork needs a fair amount of work but he has great foundations which so far has made working with him very rewarding.

I know this all seems to have happened quite quickly and come out of no where so I wanted to take some time to explain how it all came about…


How it Happened

To be honest it all happened so fast I could barely keep up but it feels like things have worked out the way they’re supposed to.

About 3 weeks ago I made the very difficult decision to sell Coco. Considering I hadn’t been riding her for the last 2 months and she was a bit unfit, I decided to send her to a sales livery yard (which comes highly recommended) where she would get the focus and work she needs to get her fit and ready to sell. Considering my injury, it would be another few weeks before I was back to full strength so this seemed like the best choice for the two of us.

Cosmo’s Sire: Jack of Diamonds
Image: www.blup.se

After making that decision the excitement of the horse search began. I had a scope through DoneDeal and made some enquiries to get a feel for prices. Being totally transparent, I was originally looking for something a bit older around 9/10/11 years old that had been there and done it all so I could go out and have fun competing at the level I wanted to be at. And then Sue Byrne (friend + coach + horse-finder extraordinaire) made some enquiries to her friends in the industry which turned up a ‘fabulous grey gelding’. We were given tidbits of information – ‘the one from Killossery’, ‘by Jack of Diamonds’, ‘brave as a lion’. So far I was hearing all the right things until I heard that he was 4 years old. I had to think ‘did I really want to go down that road again?’ I reasoned that the right horse with good breeding might be doable so I’d at least have a look. One thing we didn’t have yet though was a picture and there was the possibility of someone else taking him so I wasn’t getting my hopes up on this guy…until…

…the next day we made a last minute decision to pop out and see him. My phone was hopping the whole drive over as I was being sent pictures and videos of this ‘fabulous grey gelding’ in action. When I finally had a chance to take a look I suddenly became very excited about the horse I was going to see. He really was fabulous and seemed very easy going around a course of fences.

It was short notice on a Sunday afternoon so the owner was not prepared to ride him first so I just hopped straight up. The very first thing I noticed and loved was how responsive he was off my leg. All he needed was light little squeezes to encourage him forward, just what I like in a horse. I was told he had no flatwork and this would need work so I had zero expectations for an outline but low and behold all I had to do was ask and he gradually settled into a lovely rhythm and came into a shape. He was heavy in my hands and had all the typical tendencies of an unbalanced youngster but despite all that, he just blew me away. He was such a genuine horse, happy to work and didn’t give a fiddlers about the other horses galavanting around the field beside us.

I gave him a quick pop over a handful of jumps – my first time jumping since I fell and not once did I feel in any way nervous. This horse made me feel so comfortable and confident. I just trusted that he would look after me and he did – even when we struggled to get a straight line into a jump and he only found his take off point 2 strides out!! In the end that’s what totally sold me on him.

So I had fallen in love with the first horse I tried but sometimes things are just meant to be so next up was to get a vetting organised. Amazingly we were able to arrange for a vet to come out the next day. It was probably the longest day of my life but it ended up being so worth it as he only went and passed!! By the end of the day I was organising when I was going to pick him up which would be the following Saturday – and so started the longest week of my life!!


I am so excited to get working with this guy. He has such potential and I think we can have so much fun together. As with all youngsters, I know it’s not going to be all plain sailings but I learned such a huge amount from my time with Coco so I’m looking forward to putting it all to the test with my new guy.

Thanks so much for reading and if you have any questions at all please just drop me a comment below, Ill be happy to answer anything 🙂

Orla

Top 5 Flatwork Exercises that Everyone Must Do!

Flatwork by far is one of the most important things to focus on with any horse young or old. It’s benefits are not only rewarding, but with a good Flatwork foundation you will in turn see massive improvements in your jumping.

Check out some of my go to exercises hat I have been focusing on the last few weeks, while there are adjusted to Dante & his ways, I am sure you will all find something to add to your Flatwork routines!

Bend Left, Bend Right

Having a big horse can have its hardships & challenges. Getting them to be supple even to do it whilst being relaxed is tough. Then try move on to bending them correctly, or flexing those neck muscles, this is where you come into difficulties especially if they are not used to it. But I have learned a way to help loosen Dante out, and this short yet effective exercise really helps me out before I start any jumping.

Exercise: After a good warm up, I let Dante have a 5 minute stretch on a long rein. When gathering up my reins to go back into work, I make sure both reins are even. Remaining in walk I bring Dante to the left circling him back to the right & I continue this pattern until he is accepting the contact and turning with a slight feel of the rein. Be sure to maintain a even contact on both reins, using your hips and body movements to back up your aids. It is all about backing everything with your legs also. In the long run I eventually will hopefully be able to do this with the pressure of my legs rather than using my reins as direction pointers.

Push On the Long, Hold on The Short

This is by far one of my most feared exercises. But one that has a fantastic effect on Dante. With him being so big and floppy he finds it hard to hold himself together. This exercise is brilliant to help him maintain his balance, & it really helps him grow his topline.

I will warn you, doing this with a horse for the first time be sure to remember to grip with your lower legs, this will help you keep your balance. To ride this, you are basically using the long sides of your arena to push & lenghten out your horses canter, using the short sides of the arena to shorten & really focus on collecting your canter.

Your legs will feel this exercise for sure as will your hips! Try using the motion of your hips to push your horse forward, you really want to be able to use this when you are jumping a round of fences, being able to push your horse for the longer stride is something we all want to do, as well as having to sit back and hold your horse for the shorter stride without your horse falling into canter.

One downside, your horse will take time to adjust to this exercise. They are clever animals, they will start to anticipate the exercise by remembering. So keep the exercise frequent enough that you can start to see the difference. I tend to keep this as an exercise I do in my jumping warm ups its helps get that extra bit of fizz out too!

Leg Yield – Lateral Work

Something I thought I would never have the patience for, let alone a horse that would actually cooperate with me to do it. I now finally understand the art of lateral work & the magic that it can create when you really begin to incorporate it into your weekly flatwork sessions.

We have started off simple with Dante. We have almost nearly mastered this in the walk, & only dabble in doing some lateral work in trot always trying to finish him when he does it correctly. I find this a great exercise to do toward the end of my flatwork sessions, as he is already loose & moving forward, I find it easier to get him soft & collected. Other times though, I use this exercise at the beginning of my sessions to get him to soften slightly, it depends on his moods!

How I Ride this: Starting in walk, from A in your arena i come in 1/2 meters from the outside track. The main thing is to keep riding Dante straight before I start asking him to do anything. Once I am happy I then begin to ask Dante to move over on to the outside track. Making sure Dante has his neck flexed away from the track, you should always be able to see your horses eye, I then open out my outside rein using my inside leg to push him over. Always make sure not to drop the contact on you inside rein as you need this to keep your contact. I have been using my schooling whip to reinforce my aids. When your horse reaches the outside track the most important thing to remember is to ride your horse straight! What i normally do is push Dante forward into trot remaining in that contact for a few strides once he is straight on the track.

20 Meter Circles – Push in, Push Out

Canter work can be boring, there are only so many times you can do those laps around the arena before you tend to get quite fed up. So instead of aimlessly cantering around your arena how about we add in some lateral work to your canter circles.

This is a great exercise to do, it also helps with getting your horse moving away from your leg. I do this exercise in trot to begin with then I move it up into canter.

Exercise: A good starting point to really open your eyes to this exercise is to place an object in the middle of your 20 meter circle, this can be a cone, a mounting block or your instructor! Start by riding your 20 meter circle, once you pass your starting point start using your outside leg to push your horse in toward the object you have placed in the middle, keeping on your circle, then begin to use you inside leg to start pushing your horse back out on your original circle. Remember to keep an even contact, try using your legs to do all the work with your reins as a back up. And the most important thing to remember, you should always be able to see the white of your horses eye as they bend & flex in around your leg.

Start Walking

Start Walking. Who would of thought it, how important can your horses walk be? Well trust me it is an important one. How else are you going to get good marks in your dressage test ehh!! It is a gait that is always forgotten, but I love focusing on Dante’s walk. This may be because this is the hardest one to get a steady rhythm in.

At the beginning of almost all of our riding sessions, Dante does this little skip & a hop out of slight protest against walking forward. He finds it hard to hold a contact a gather himself in an outline in walk, which worries me but also challenges me. I have learned that if I focus in our walking half way through our flatwork session or at the end I get a much better reaction.

While I focus on keeping Dante held together, I also do a lot of walk to halt transitions, using my legs & seat to push him forward. Focusing on your own position at this time is also vital. your seat in walk should be the same in all other gaits, so I take those 5-10 minutes to focus on keeping my shoulders back, my heels down and my leg positioned correctly just behind the girth. The say your muscles have great memory, & I feel like practicing in walk is one least liable to end in an accident!


Now that you have my 5 go to flatwork exercises, try piecing them together in one of your training sessions & you will have yourself a hardcore workout plan with some amazing results.

I pick days at the start of the week & the end to really focus on my flatwork, keeping things fun & exciting in between with field hacks & some jumping lessons. There is also no harm in ending any of your flatwork exercises with a small jump. If your horse loves jumping, it will certainly leave them on a good note doing something they love, who knows they may even start to think that if they perform their flatwork well they will be rewarded with that jump at the end of their session!

If you give any of the above a go, be sure to tag us in any videos, or if you have any go to flatwork exercises, be sure to write them in the comments below, I am becoming ever so fond of learning new flatwork techniques!

Until Next Time,

Darielle