Adele’s ‘Hello’ Equestrian Parody #adelehorseparody

By , January 2, 2016 5:27 pm

Remember the famous Adele song ‘hello’? Well now we have an equestrian parody of it, and it’s hilarious!

Here are some of the new ‘horse inspired’ lyrics:

Hello, it’s me
I’ve been chasing you for 40 minutes just to get you in
To go into your stable
That I pay a fortune every month for and you’d rather crap outside

Hello, are you listening
Your temporary deafness drives me mad when it’s time to get you in
Your field companion is in
I need to wash your legs and clean your sheath and then pick out your feet
There’s always this mud between us
Or a million flies

Hello, from the other side
In the field I’ve called a thousand times
To bring you in out of the pissing down rain
But each time I call you you piss off again
Hello from the warm and dry
At least I can say that I’ve tried
With treats and carrots time after time
But it don’t matter, even though mud’s up to my thigh

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Irish Horsemanship is a national community of horsepeople in Ireland whose aim is to improve their communication with their horse. Improve your relationship with your horse & build trust and softness at our Lights Hands Equitation clinics in 2016 join our email list here.

Join the Irish Horsemanship online facebook group here.

The Irish Treeless Saddle Review – Meet the Deuber, Grandeur, Barefoot & Ghost saddles

By , December 27, 2015 2:25 pm

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I had a rough time over the last year trying to find a nicely fitting treed saddle for my 14.3 medium round, short, Connemara. I wanted something that fitted both me and him, but after watching these saddle fit videos, I discovered that Ireland has a TINY range of saddle makes and models – and none of them suited my horse!

In my quest I’ve gone through:

– 3 bad treed saddles
– 10 bad Irish saddle fitters
– 1 good Irish saddle fitter
– Every tack shop in Ireland & the north
– Many kind UK & German friends who answered all my saddle questions!
– ZERO saddles in Ireland that would fit my horse
– Multiple lost nights of sleep!

I’d be completely happy with a standard treed saddle if I could find one to fit my horse. The problem was I couldn’t find one.

Instead I found some great alternatives, including the Deuber Espaniola, Barefoot Madrid, Grandeur Bareback pad and the Ghost Quevis. I have just published the ‘IRISH TREELESS SADDLES REPORT’ which you can download for free here. Its my journey to find the best saddle for my horse. I hope its useful to you and I wish you a lifetime of great saddle fit.

If you would like to try any of these saddles we will be having a demo saddle bank at our 2016 clinics, for all clinic riders.

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Download the free ‘IRISH TREELESS SADDLES REPORT’ here.

When you get the timing right the movements are effortless – Isi Brenner clinic report Sep 2015

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By , September 15, 2015 12:07 pm

Isabell Brenner, one of Steve Halfpennys’s Silversand / Light Hands Equitation instructors was over in Ireland for her second clinic in Tipperary. I met Isi a few years ago in Australia and was totally blown away by how beautiful a rider she is.

So when I met her again at her home in Germany last year at the Jeff Sanders clinic, I absolutely had to invite her to come to Ireland to teach.

She arrived last Thursday and we had fun doing some tourist things in Cashel, including helping a friend with a saddle fit issue, via SMS photos, while on a tour of the rock of Cashel (technology is great) which was pretty good multitasking!

We had a 3 day clinic then from Friday to Sunday, which was sold out before Isi left the country after her first clinic. It was great to see everyone back again to learn lots more. It was hard to believe how much work everyone got through all weekend. Saddle fit was much better this time around, and anyone who needed it borrowed my barok saddle or bareback pad, both which worked really well (especially the bareback pad) on a good few horses. Here is the story of how I got on with Ozzie.

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Continue reading 'When you get the timing right the movements are effortless — Isi Brenner clinic report Sep 2015'»

The hackamore and bosal / mecate review

By , September 14, 2015 2:14 pm

For two or three years now I’ve been going to clinics and watching some of the riders use a 5/8 hackamore and mecate. The hackamore is the part with the noseband and head stall. The mecate are the horsehair reins.

Jeff Sanders explains the origins:

“The hackamore is a braided rawhide nose band (bosal) with a mecate attached for reins that has traditionally been used by Vaqueros for starting young horses. The bosal part of the hackamore comes in varying sizes depending on how far along a horse is in its training. A young horse will be ridden with a larger bosal than one that has been transitioned to the two rein. With a two reined horse a smaller bosal goes under the bridle and helps the Vaquero to transition slowly to the use of the bit.”

Last November at a clinic in Germany, all the horses were wearing these, mainly 5/8 sizes which is the one you begin with, and to be honest the level of horsemanship they were displaying was beautiful. While a great horseman will ride well in any gear, I was curious to know why these people seemed to prefer the hackamore to a rope halter.

One kind lady explained that the hackamore was like a more subtle rope halter. You can do small movements and the horse will still feel them. That sounded good to me. The more subtle my aids can be the better.

It works on pushing the horse, instead of the rope halter which involves a greater pull action. The rider needs to have very good & sensitive hands to use one. It’s not a beginner / intermediate rider tool. If it goes wrong it goes badly wrong.

As these are quite a sophisticated tool, first I needed to get one made that was of a high quality and fit my horse exactly.

You can get ones that are stiff and soft. You do not want one thats really stiff.

When you hold both ends of the hackamore in your hand and squeeze then, you should be able to create a little wave in the hackamore (noseband) part. Too stiff = not good.

You shouldn’t buy these in a shop, they have to be handmade for your horse.

You not not want a cheap one of these, as its likely to start hurting your horse if the quality is not perfect. Do not go down that road.

My German friends recommended Micha in Germany (there is 4 month waiting list). I contacted Micha, figured out colours and then got to measuring my horses head. The hackamore should be snug, but not too tight.


With everything set, I left it with Micha and about 3 months later I got a message to say it was completed. Once week after that it arrived in the post!



When you’re hackamore arrives, you MUST get someone experienced with hackamores, like Steve Halfpenny or Isi Brenner (both teach in Ireland once or twice a year), to fit it for you the first time, show you how many wraps it needs and how to tie it, and also then you teach you the technique about how to ride in it.

Do NOT get a hackamore / bosal if you cannot meet all this criteria as otherwise you’re walking yourself straight into serious problems.

Here is a video about how to tie the mecate to the hackamore.

So a week ago Isi came over, fitted the hackamore on my horse and we had our first ride.

I really had to focus to move my hands a lot less and be waaaaay more subtle. My horse is very sensitive, but he had no problems in it at all.

At the beginning, we just walked around with it, while I rubbed his neck to relax his body and mind while he got used to the different feel (note – he is used to working in a halter so its very similar. It is not that similar through to a bridle).

Looking forward to doing more with it!


Horse hair analysis and the food changes adventure

By , August 31, 2015 3:07 pm

A friend of mine had reported very good results after she got her horses hair analysed, and then changed her horses feeding. So I decided to give it a go and track my progress here. First up I put a little mane hair in an envelope and posted it off to Rose. My horse is outside all the time, eats old pasture grass and has a mineral block. He’s healthy and has 1 sarcoid.


Low in vit B, hind gut not working as well as it should and overall a bit acidic. So I was directed to get the following.

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So he’s going to get 2 meals a day from now on, also including speedibeat and TopSpec anti-lam. Most of the products in this picture are just for 2-4 weeks only. Rose also suggested I get a mojo band and he’s living out near a telegraph pole. I have no idea if it’ll work but I got one for myself too and will report back.

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I will be doing 2 feeds each day, but will start with 1 feed a day for today & tomorrow.

Aug 31: Evening only feed. Dinner #1 went well. Oz sniffed and tasted it for a minute, then ate it and licked the bowl.

Aug 31: Loved his breakfast.

ANALYSIS #2 and #3

Got the hair sample back from our other 16.3 horse. Different things to fix, including low copper, vit E & selenium, low omega 3 and omega 6. She also said hes shows a little arthritis in his base of neck & lumber area. So have a list of things to get, but not as many as Oz!

I also sent away my hair. But I am un-testable!! My energy wasn’t compatible. 😀 I guess I’m off the charts in either a good or a bad way lol!

Sep 3: Day 2 feeding our bay horse, day 3 feeding Ozzie. Oz cantered up when he saw the bucket. Quite funny.

Sep 3: MOJO bands update. I feel the exactly the same. No obvious changes in my horse. But according to the sleep cycle app on my phone, I’m sleeping a lot better!

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Sep 17: Food update

– Top spec and anti lam twice a day, ongoing and can do this forever.
– Kidney & spleen tonics – to use for 1 month. One will last the month, the other will last about 3 weeks as both horses are getting it.
– Myogard – 2 weeks. Finished now, all good.
– Transit – 2 weeks or ongoing. I have half a tub left so I’ll keep going.
– Shy Feeder vit b for 4 weeks. Half way through so will keep going.

Work on feeling the changes in your horse – Jeff Sanders UK clinic Aug 2015

By , August 31, 2015 11:37 am


This was a fantastic 2 day clinic at Lisas in the UK. Jeff was super. A lot of focus was on how the riders used their bodies, and also how aware they were of how they were using their bodies. Really fantastic to watch the changes and thank you for the hospitality! Jeff was wonderful and lots of homework in this blog post to work on. Anything that doesn’t make sense is 100% me.


– Using a whip / stick: Hold it upright straight up in the air, like you would hold a pencil. Before you use it, put all reins in other hand, so when you use the stick it doesn’t cause any unwanted rein mvt.

– Put your weight on the inside seatbone.

– To ask for piaffe you should feeling your body like you’re in canter, your core is going upwards and forwards.

– Walk a circle then move into sideways while keeping the same rhythm.

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How to use the reins: Continue reading 'Work on feeling the changes in your horse — Jeff Sanders UK clinic Aug 2015'»

A review of the Grandeur Barock Saddle Pad

By , August 24, 2015 5:07 pm

Finding myself without a saddle that fitted my horse, on the recommendation of German trainer & superstar Isabell Brenner, I decided to get a Grandeur bareback pad to ride in.

Here is their website (look for fellsattel) & a few pictures of their new models.

I managed to buy an older second hand barock style one from a friend in Germany.

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I had ridden in a best friend bareback pad a few years ago but didn’t like it much. Continue reading 'A review of the Grandeur Barock Saddle Pad'»

A wonderful saddle for a short backed, wide, flat horse – Deuber Espaniola review

By , August 24, 2015 4:52 pm

You may be familiar with my sorry story of buying saddles that don’t fit from saddle fitters that wouldn’t know one end of a saddle from another. You can read about my bad saddle fit drama here.

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During the process I learned a few things: Continue reading 'A wonderful saddle for a short backed, wide, flat horse — Deuber Espaniola review'»

“Soften your hands. No pulling.” Manolo Mendez UK report

By , July 29, 2015 3:43 pm

These are my quick notes from watching Manolo Mendez share his knowledge over 2 days in the UK. Manolo was the head rider at the Spanish Riding School in Jerez. He is known for his legendary ability to teach the 3 Ps – Piaffe, Passage & Pirouette. If anything doesn’t make sense its 100% my fault :) Manolo, all the riders & all of the horses were inspiring to watch.

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On the ground, get a relaxed walk, a relaxed trot and a relaxed canter.

Look for hard muscles or a lack of muscles along the vertebrae in the neck. Continue reading '“Soften your hands. No pulling.” Manolo Mendez UK report'»

“Get lighter. Do less. Keep the softness.” The Light Hands Equitation TRIPLE CLINIC REPORT

By , July 29, 2015 3:20 pm

These are my quick notes from watching Steve Halfpenny share his knowledge over 3 UK clinics. If anything doesn’t make sense its 100% my fault :) Steve, all the riders & all of the horses were so inspiring to watch.

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When the slack goes out of the lead rope, move the HQ out more to get the slack back into the rope.

When Steve does groundwork his hand is at about waist level quite often. Most students hands are a lot higher.

In groundwork, if your horses raises his head to go forwards or his nose gets near his chest when you back up, then you are pushing & pulling too much.

In groundwork if your horse is rushing, you can twirl the rope in front of him.

If you want to scratch your horse, scratch on his opposite side to the one you are standing on. Then he won’t push into you. Continue reading '“Get lighter. Do less. Keep the softness.” The Light Hands Equitation TRIPLE CLINIC REPORT'»

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