Lifestyle

When It Is Time To Say Goodbye. How to Cope After Losing Your Pet.

Now, the aim of this post is not to upset anyone. I am so sorry if you have experienced this recently.  It’s a horrible subject and can feel like the worst thing in the world when it has just happened.  It’s just I have now had experience of my horse Stanley passing away very unexpectedly in 2003 and now also my beloved dog Ziggy too. I am afraid it is something that as animal owners that we may have to deal with unfortunately and when it happens it is horrible. Although not a nice subject, even if this post makes one other person feel better in a similar situation it was worth writing. As someone who is currently going through this and has experience of this before. I want to remind you and myself that time is a wonderful healer and you won’t always feel this sad.

I wanted to write this post today particularly as my beloved pet dog Ziggy passed away two weeks ago. Although he was old and we knew he had always had a heart condition it still came as a horrible shock that quite frankly we just weren’t prepared for. In 2003 my horse Stanley passed away in his field after suffering from a brain aneurysm, which was completely out of the blue and  I thought by perhaps telling you the things I have struggled with after losing Ziggy and Stanley then perhaps it could help someone else feel better, who has been in this situation too.

The shock. Firstly the shock of both of these events was immense. Yes my dog Ziggy was old but he hadn’t been unwell and he had actually been to the vets 3 weeks before and had a full ‘Old Dog MOT’ which included his heart being checked, his blood taken and his vaccinations and he was fine. Similarly although completely unrelated the death of my horse Stanley was even more of a shock as he had no underlying health conditions at all. In both cases the shock was the hardest part at first. It takes a few days to actually believe it has happened and you secretly hope that you are just having a horrible nightmare that you are going to wake up from. To help with this, do what feels right for you. When Stanley passed away I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t go to work for a few days I was just too upset. However with Ziggy I continued on with my normal routine and I found that helped. It’s weird, just do what suits you and what you feel like doing.

TALK. Again this time around with Ziggy passing, I have been able to talk about it and have done with a lot of my friends. It has definitely made me feel better, as there is no elephant in the room and my friends have had an opportunity to offer their support. However when Stanley passed, I couldn’t talk about it and didn’t really for a long time afterwards. Perhaps it was a little different when Stanley died. It did actually change my life as I had a huge chunk of my life that no longer existed. No more riding or going to the stables everyday. When he died I didn’t get a new horse, so a massive part of my life disappeared with him. I returned to the stables to collect my things, but was so upset no-one could approach me to talk about it and I didn’t even see or hear from some of the girls at the yard again. It’s not their fault I closed myself off and didn’t ever go to the stables to see them again.  I couldn’t even bring myself to ride again for a whole year. I even felt sad driving past the fields where he was kept, so there was no way I would have been able to go visit the stables. I just didn’t want to.

Thinking you could have done something to stop it from happening. Now, I had this with Ziggy. Despite me saying he had a check up 3 weeks earlier, he had seemed a little quiet for the previous few weeks. For the first few days after it happened I kicked myself for not taking him to the vets again. But you what he seemed fine and the test results proved he was fine 3 weeks earlier. We were in the middle of two brutal heatwaves and he just seemed hot. That was it. But I felt responsible like I hadn’t looked after him properly. Which of course is not true at all. He had a long and very happy life with us and was looked after like a fricking king! I just needed to remind myself of that! It was the same with Stanley, as when he passed it was completely out of the blue. I even had an autopsy done and the vet told me there was no way of knowing that this was going to happen. But as the person responisible for these animals that we adore you can’t help but feel that you could have done something, anything to prevent this from happening. Unfortunately though that is just not the case sometimes.

Feeling silly that you are so sad. Both times I have found this hard. But my animals are part of my family and it feels like I have lost family members when they have passed away. You know, I have found that some of my friends really get it, some just don’t. More people understand about Ziggy as all of my friends knew him and what a big part of our lives he was. However with Stanley,  some non- horsey people just didn’t understand. My good friends did, so I surrounded myself with them. But you can’t pretend to be happy all the time if you are sad. Talk to the people that do understand and try and keep busy if you feel like you can.

 Carrying on. Now both times this has been hard. I found being in my apartment without Ziggy very hard. The silence is unbearable. My mind actually played tricks on me too, I kept thinking I could hear him and expected to see him. But it is seemingly better each day. I’m afraid that time is the only thing that will help in this situation. With Stanley, my routine changed completely. I didn’t have to go to the stables everyday and day by day I got used to that. It just took a bit of time.

Missing them. For me this is the hardest part. It is inevitable you are going to miss them terribly. This is normal and it is ok to feel sad. I find getting up and not walking Zig the hardest. But even now a few weeks down the line it is better. Some days are easier than others of course and the last few days have been really good but today for some reason I really miss him. But I’m afraid it will just go like that. Try and think of some happy memories you shared together and I find keeping busy has really helped. I know that I will miss him for a long time but I have to remind myself what a lovely life he had and am actually relieved he didn’t become really ill and suffer before he passed away.

Unfortunately I think time is the best healer. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t feel guilty or silly that you feel sad. Feel the feelings and let them out! I assure you, you will feel better. On the other hand, if you aren’t a big feelings person take my hubby James’ advice – don’t dwell on things. This does really help me when I get in a sad slump, however I think I do prefer to get my feelings out! Which ever way you choose it’s fine. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

I would like to assure you too, that I now never feel upset when I think about Stanley. So much time has passed and I have healed to the point all I have is very fond memories of our time together that I will never forget. The rawness does fade and eventually you stop missing them. It doesn’t mean you love them any less than you did. It just means you have healed. I am looking forward to that point with Ziggy, as I am not there yet but already I can look back at our time together and am so thank you that we had twelve wonderful years together.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who reached out to me after hearing the bad news about Ziggy. I think nearly everyone I know contacted me, which was very nice and it meant a lot to me and James.

Please make sure you reach out to someone if you are feeling sad and have experienced a loss recently. Please speak to your family and friends and do not try and cope alone.

There are lots of websites available that may help you too. I have listed some I have come across.

https://www.griefandsympathy.com/griefforpets.html

https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/coping-your-pets-death-important-guide

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-we-need-to-take-pet-loss-seriously/

 

Copyright of Louise Dando and In Due Horse 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fun Ideas

How to Make Ice Lollies for Your Horse.

During the heatwave last week I decided to try making some ice lollies for Mya and Jazz. I did a little video on my Instagram stories and it was quite the hit!

It’s super easy and really quick and the horses loved them!

So here is my recipe for to make a really easy ice lolly for your horse..

1 plastic Tupperware container for each horse/lolly

1 Apple

1 Carrot

Apple juice (just enough to cover the cut up apple and carrot)

Water

All you have to do is chop up an apple and a carrot. Place them in the Tupperware container. Cover them with apple juice then top up with water. You just freeze that overnight and you have a yummy treat that your horse will love!

For everything you need head to amazon.com so you can spoil your horse rotten! Just click on the images below.

Try AmazonFresh Free Trial

Putting it out there: This site contains Amazon affiliate links. Meaning, at no cost to you if you click through and purchase something on Amazon I will receive a tiny bit of commission.

Copyright of Louise Dando and In Due Horse 2019.

Lifestyle

7 Horse Riders That Have Really Famous Parents.

Everybody knows it would be very handy if your parents had an unlimited supply of cash to fund your passion. Well, this the case for these very lucky riders. Each of these women compete in their own right and successfully, however it must have helped a little that their Dad’s were millionaires!

It seems particularly on the US show jumping circuit, there are a fair few riders surnames you will immediately recognise as their dads are famous. Saying that though after researching a bit about these women, I must say despite their vast wealth they all do seem to have a genuine passion and love for horses.

Here is my list of riders that have famous parents…

1. Jessica Springsteen

Jessica Springsteen showjumping
Photo: Ashley Neuhof

Daughter of Bruce Springsteen, Jessica started riding when she was 5 years old when they her family moved to a horse farm. Jessica is now a very successful showjumper competing at the top level of competition. She is currently a member of the ‘Miami Celtics’ on the Longines Global Champions Tour.

2. Jennifer Gates

Jennifer Gates
Photo: Chronicle of The Horse

Jennifer is the daughter of Bill Gates, who is the guy who invented Microsoft. He is the second richest man in the world with a net worth $89.9 BILLION!!! Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in the world just so you know.

Anyway, Jennifer also competes on the Longines Champions Tour on the ‘Paris Panthers.’ At 23 years old, she currently taking an academic break after graduating from Stanford in 2018. However, she will be starting Med School later this year and is not sure if she will be able to continue competing at this level of competition. She is currently dating her Egyptian team mate Nayel Nassar and is the current team manager for Paris Panthers.

3. Eve Jobs

Eve jobs showjumping
Photo: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk

Daughter of the late Steve Jobs, who founded Apple. Eve came 2nd in the $209,000 CSIO4* Grand Prix in the Winter Equestrian Festival in earlier in 2019. Her best result at international level to date.

It is reported that like their fathers, Eve Jobs and Jennifer Gates are rivals, both having barns in close proximity of each other in Wellington, FL and both have recently both graduated from Stanford.

4. Hannah Selleck

 Hannah Selleck show jumping

Photo: Mccool photos

Daughter of Tom Selleck, the actor who famously played Magnum PI and Monica’s love interest Richard in Friends to name a few of his roles.

Hannah has loved horses from a young age. She now rides at Grand Prix level and produces her own horses out of her own ranch in Southern California, whilst coaching and competing for Burgundy Farm, California . Hannah is also an ambassador for horse charity Brooke USA, which is a Horse and donkey welfare charity.

5. Bella Lloyd Webber

Bella Lloyd Webber

Photo: Bella Lloyd Webber from Twitter

The only Brit and the only Eventer in this list. Bella, daughter of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is a budding Eventer competing up to CCI** level having recently graduated from the University of Bath.

6. Noah Cyrus

Noah Cyrus
Photo: Teen Vogue

The younger sister of Miley and daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, Noah was an avid horse enthusiast. She was even home schooled as a teenager to focus on competing her horse. However, as time has moved on she has forged a successful music career supporting Katy Perry on tour. What can you do when there is music in your blood?!

7. Destry Spielberg

Destry Spielberg
Photo: Hollywood Reporter

Destry is the daughter of Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg. Apparently Destry was the reason Steven made the film ‘War Horse’ because his daughter was such an avid horse lover. Now, a pledging actress growing up Destry competed in hunter jumper competitions and has worked with equine therapy charities.

So there you have it. I hope you have enjoyed the list and please do leave me a comment.

I am part of Amazon Affiliates so the following link is an affiliate link, so if you do click through and purchase something I will receive a tiny bit of commission at no extra cost to you.

Did you know you can get some really cool riding gear and equestrian supplies from Amazon? Click on the link below to check it out!

You and your horse can feel like celebs at an affordable price

Other blog posts you may be interested in:

7 Celebrities you didn’t know could ride

16 things you probably didn’t know about the horses used in Game of Thrones

6 Equestrians you probably didn’t you are on Amazon

10 fun facts about the Queen & her horses

Be sure to follow In Due Horse on Facebook & Instagram.

Copyright of Louise Dando & In Due Horse 2019

Fun Ideas, Lifestyle

Quick! It’s Amazon Prime Day!

Hurry its the last day of Amazon Prime today! There are so many sales on Amazon you’d be crazy to miss out! Along with massive savings on electronics, Amazon products, 20% off fashion,  loads of lightening deals and there are lots of savings on equestrian equipment too. Just click on these links to shop!

In order to take part in these amazing deals, you need to be an Amazon Prime member of which you can sign up for free for 30 days. Don’t worry if you are not in the UK, Amazon changes to your local currency when you check out and shipping is really cheap! I shop on Amazon UK all the time and get my stuff delivered to France really easily.

Click on the pics and highlighted text to get shopping!

Here are my top picks from the Prime Day sales…

              1. Top horsey pick = Wahl Products. Prime members will receive an extra 20% off all Wahl products including their clippers and shampoo. They also do a large range of dog clippers too.



          1. 2. Kids Toys- Lego and Playmobil . For those of you with children. There are massive savings on Playmobil and Lego sets and lots more. You aren’t going to want to miss out on these massive savings! Heck, you can even start your Christmas shopping early! It’ll be worth it!

              1. 3. Attachments for Go Pro. If you have a Go Pro and want to video yourself riding in it. Amazon basics have a large selection of head and chest attachments, carry cases and camera mounts for your Go Pro on sale today. 

                1. 4. Supplies for your cat or dog. This includes food, toys, flea treatment and accessories for your pets. 30% all products to be precise! Click here for the link to the offer for dog supplies and here for cat supplies. They also have sales on Amazon basic pet supplies here.

                  5. Kindle – Get your summer reading fix with a brand new kindle. There are lots of massive reductions.

                  So, in all honesty not the biggest selection of equestrian specific deals to be had. However, there are plenty of deals that you should definitely take advantage of. If you sign up to Prime you benefit from free super quick shipping on prime purchases, access to Amazon Prime TV, where you can stream TV and movies and much much more. You have access to special offers. Its totally worth doing. Click on the link here to try for 30 days for FREE!

                  If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy my latest blog 6 Equestrian Brands You Probably Didn’t Know Are on Amazon.

                  ***Putting it out there – These links are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase I will receive a tiny bit of commission.***

                  Happy Prime day! Remember offers finish at Midnight tonight.

Fashion

6 Equestrian Brands You Probably Didn’t Know Are on Amazon

I have recently become an Amazon Affiliate. It made sense for me and my blog. I chose to do this because I use Amazon A LOT! I enjoy the ease and convenience of it and let’s not forget the price is pretty hard to beat!

 

Shopping for my horse
Photo by Emily Cole Illustrations

 

However I think you may be surprised at what a good selection of equestrian clothing, tack, equipment, feed and horsey accessories they have on there.

Amazon is quick, easy and very convenient and they ship worldwide. For me in France this is a big plus. I can connect with brands that normally I would have to pay a lot in shipping when I order something and get it delivered here. 

Here are my top picks of the best equestrian brands you can shop for on Amazon. Just click on the picture to take you straight to Amazon to get your internet shopping fix!

    1. Ariat.

You will find a wide choice of Ariat riding, paddock and country boots at very reasonable prices.

2. Le Mieux

If you have matchy matchy goals, then Le Mieux is the go to brand. You can shop for your  horse and clothing for yourself on Amazon.

3. Kevin Bacon’s Hoof Care.

One of the leading hoof care companies around, Amazon have a large range of their products for your perusal!

4. Blue Chip Feed Balancer

There are many horse feed companies on Amazon including Dengie, Blue Chip, Allen and Page and Dodson and Horrell to name a few. How nice would it be to have your heavy feed delivered to your yard?!

5. Wintec Saddlery

There is a lot of  Wintec Saddlery products on Amazon, you can even buy a saddle on there!

6. Mark Todd.

Mark Todd products were a personal fav of mine when I had my own horse. I love Mark Todd and think his products are great.

**Putting it out there – These are affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase I will receive a tiny bit of commission**.

Other posts that may interest you are:

Louise’s March Look Book 

Louise’s March Look Book 2 

Louise’s April Look Book

Copyright of In Due Horse and Louise Dando 2019.

Top Tips

Keep Cool and Carry on! My Summer Tips for You and Your Horse.

I have had a steep learning curve since moving to the South of France about keeping cool during the summer. As I sit here in my apartment right now it is 35 degrees celsius and it is 8pm! I do get used to it, however the first week of each summer is tough!

I would like to share with you some of my top tips for keeping you and your horse cool this summer.

1. WATER WATER WATER! Don’t under estimate how much water you need. The National Health Service recommends that we drink 1.2 litres of water a day and that we may need up to 2.5 litres when the weather is hot. Our horses need between 5 -15 gallons of water per day.

Chilly’s bottles keep your water cold all day.

Get your Chilly’s Bottles here! Keeps Cold for 24+ Hrs, Hot for 12 Hrs

2.  Sun Protection. I always like to look tanned. However in trying to get brown I used to get sun burnt quite often. Now, I have discovered sun protection tops and have not looked back. I always ride in one now, I have an Ariat one and a Equetech one and they are both great. They are long sleeved tops that have lace down the underside of the arms to keep you cool and I swear by them. No more getting sunburnt and you don’t feel too hot either. I forget I’m not wearing a t-shirt! I bought my Equetech one pictured below from Boudica Equestrian

3. Sun tan lotion. If you can’t resist getting your skin out then make sure you are plastered in sun tan lotion. I wear it EVERYDAY in Toulouse. It’s part of my morning routine. I have recently started using factor 50 as my Spanish friends couldn’t believe that I was only using factor 30 and I have a nice tan and have not been burnt once. I definitely recommend!

4. More protection from the sun. At the stables I also always wear a cap apart from when I am riding, when obviously I wear my helmet! Protect your face. Nobody wants a leather face!  You also may have noticed if you follow me on instagram that I also always wear sun glasses. I cannot bear to squint. Perhaps they aren’t the best to ride in (not my fashion ones anyway as I always have to stop them falling off my face) but they are great for when you aren’t riding. Make sure you buy glasses that have UV protection – be aware that not all glasses have that.

5. Fly Protection. With the heat comes the flies.  Mya is so sensitive to flies she wears a fly rug and a fly mask every day in her field.  Maybe not all horses need that but I would deffo advice a fly mask and to find a good anti fly spray as a minimum. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable it is for them to be covered in flies. Also in France I need mozzy spray too for myself. I cover myself before I go to the stables (or anywhere else) and  I also  place citronella candles on the window ledges of my apartment to keep the mosquitoes away.

6. Pick when to ride carefully. I can only really ride in the morning here. As the evenings are the hottest part of the day. But obviously this would not suit everyone. Plan your day accordingly. Did you know that according to Practical Horseman Magazine horses can sweat up to  3-5 gallons of water a day?!

7. More water. I always hose Mya down if she is really sweaty. Horse and Hound have published research showing that it is perfectly fine to hose your horse down and not scrape the water off, as there was a popular belief that hosing a horse and leaving water on him would make him hotter – wrong! Also I find a cold shower works wonders for humans too. If you don’t want a full cold shower, I frequently just shower off my feet with cold water and I find that really cools me off.

8. Fans. Only rely on fans & air conditioners if it is exceptionally hot. I do not normally use a fan or air con in my apartment and this allows my body to actually get used to the heat. If you constantly sit in front of a fan it’s refreshing but it doesn’t allow your body to get used to the heat.  When there is a heat wave here of course I use a fan but I try to avoid it at home if possible. At work and in the car is a different ball game – I deffo need it in the car and if you are busy at work it would be impossible to be productive if you are sweating your bits off! I am just talking lounging at home here!

9. Shade. Mya lives out all year. But she does have a field shelter where she can hide from the sun or the rain. She uses it a lot! Her owner has even fitted a little fan in her field shelter. If your horse does not have a shelter, he should definitely have trees to hide under to escape the sun. The same for humans. I always walk in the shade and avoid the sun for most of the day if I can. If I am outside, I always sit in the shade as it is just too hot otherwise. Seek out those shady spots! You won’t regret it!

10. Keep your windows shut. If the temperature reaches above 30 degrees, it is actually hotter outside than it is inside. This felt really unnatural for me as a brit who craved the sun, however now in the summer the windows are shut and so are my shutters. It really does keep my apartment cooler. The windows can be opened before 10am and after 9pm (but be careful of mozzy’s in the evenings) but the rest of the day, I leave the place in darkness even if I am there! It feels weird at first, but you will get used to it.

I hope you have found my top tips for keeping you and your horse cool useful. Let me know if you have any ideas of your own in the comments!

For more top tips check out

My 6 Top Tips For Remembering Your Dressage Test

My top tips for new horse owners

**Putting it out there: In this post some of the links included in this are affiliate links, meaning at no cost to you if you click through and make a purchase I will make a tiny bit of commission.**

Copyright of Louise Dando & In Due Horse 2019.

Inspo Interviews

Inspo Interview #6 Jake Tarrant From Little Bentley Eventing

Let’s hear it for the boys! I thought it was about time we have a boy on the blog.  I am very pleased to introduce this month’s inspirational equestrian Jake Tarrant from Little Bentley eventing. You may have seen him on this years Omega All Star Academy. He is a riding instructor, eventer, blogger and all round good guy that retrains and competes on his rehabbed horses. I hope you agree that his interview does not disappoint!

1) What inspired you to start doing what you are doing?
From an early age I was always drawn to horses, but as a boy it was always about the speed and excitement of galloping across the countryside. As I approached my GCSE’s and had to decide on my route through life it became apparent that I could not compete academically with my twin brother, so I decided to abandon institutionalised education and gain a world recognised qualification with the BHS, my AI. As I progressed through my equestrian career, I worked in all the major disciplines to get as much experience of the industry as I could. It soon transpired that my particular affinity was with those animals that all others had given up on, those horses that had run out of hope, but how could i do something about it? The answer was simple, I gave up working with horses………….  took over my family business and gave it an equestrian theme, built my own yard, and started out on a new path of rehabilitating those horses that humans had failed. But as boys only get older, and never grow up, my love of the speed and power of flowing across the country stayed with me, and a love of eventing rehabbed horses was born.
The more I took these horses out, the more I did with them, the less people would understand…….. confused yet??  People simply couldn’t understand why I would be over the moon with a poor result on a horse that consistently kicked out show jumps, or did a dressage test that was half poetry and half pain; they didn’t understand that the success was just there in the partnership, in the completion, in the trust that is earned when these animals have no reason left to believe in us. This is the path that led us to audition for the Omega Equine Allstar Academy, the chance for one of these horses to prove to the world that every horse deserves a chance; a chance to rise above their past and to forgive what has been done to them. They do not judge us, they do not resent us; but if we deserve it, they can forgive us.
2) Who do you look to for inspiration & why?
As many of us have, I have been the victim of a mental health disorder, this makes being inspired both easier and harder. It’s easy to watch the great riders doing their thing and winning at Badders or Olympia and come home being galvanised into emulating them; but no, I love scrolling through facebook and seeing those people that have gone above themselves, challenged themselves, bounced back from trauma to prove that they can be a success, that have gone out of their way to be better than they were. It makes me want to believe in myself again.

 3) What would you say has been your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement is probably the judges ride section of the Allstar Academy, when Charlie Hutton rode rehabbed 16hh Bay gelding Troy, which led to him not only winning the module, but also birthing the viral sensation that was the Cup of Tea challenge, proving that a rehabbed horse can be far more than just that.
4) What would be the best piece of advice you could give someone who is feeling a bit uninspired at the moment?
Everyone has bad days, everyone hits walls in their riding that makes them question whether they are good enough, everyone feels judged by their peers and at that time are found wanting; But the thing is…….. EVERYONE does, you are not alone, it happens to the best of us; and like theirs, your story will be inspiring someone else.
5) What are your plans for this year & what do you hope to achieve?
I’d like to qualify my boys for the Grassroots at Badminton (in addition to the 5* obviously, but that is more of a long term goal), but this will only happen with a lot of training, so I will be pursuing any bursaries and scholarships that I come across to help fund the work I do.
 But in reality, my plans for this year are simple; to every day be a slightly better version of myself than I was yesterday, to enable me to help take these horses further along the path of success, to wherever that may be.
Find Jake on facebook – Little Bentley Eventing
Instagram- @littlebentleyeventing
Incase you missed it check out last month’s Inspo Interview – Inspo Interview #5 Zoe Boyd That Sassy Rider
Copyright of Louise Dando and In Due Horse 2019.
Fun Ideas

16 Facts You Didn’t know about The Horses in Game of Thrones

As we wave goodbye to our favourite characters after the final series I thought I would share some fun facts about the horses from Game of Thrones. I have read some fascinating interviews with Camilla Naprous, The Horse Mistress from Game of Thrones and I thought I would share some facts you probably didn’t know.

Photo credit: vanityfair.com

1) All the horses were provided and trained by an English company called The Devil’s Horsemen. Run by Brother and sister Daniel and Camilla Naprous and their French father Gerald.

2) The Devil’s Horsemen horses have been in too many films and TV series for me to name but include Wonder Woman, Justice League, Les Miserables & Mission Impossible Rouge Nation. If you see a horse on TV it is probably from The Devil’s Horsemen!

3) Jon Snow can actually ride! Kit Harrington took to riding very well. He learnt to ride for the show and was taught by Camilla. A body double was not needed for his scenes.

Photo credit: HBO

4) So can Jamie Lannister! Apparently Nikolaj Coster- Waldau also took to riding very well for the show and when asked who the best riders were Camilla stated Jon Snow and Jamie Lannister!

5) Elle.com stated that the actors often used the same horses. Jon Snow used three different horses during the 8 series Concord, Tornado and Quentin. Jamie Lannister’s normal mount was a grey Andalucian called Dali. The actors apparently became very fond of them and often asked about them.

6) The horses often had to wear make up to appear dirty or injured.

7) The horses also had stunt doubles too. For example Jon Snow’s horse Tornado had his own stunt double!

8) The Battle of the Bastards was the scene that used the most horses. 100 horses were used in that epic battle scene. According to the LA Times, the horse department employed 160 people for that one episode including stunt riders, grooms, lorry drivers and trainers.

9) During the Battle of the Bastards, they shot as much as possible using real horses and actors. The iconic scene where 30 horses are charging towards Jon Snow who is stood on foot was really filmed like that. In an interview with esquire.com the show’s runners have actually since said that they weren’t present that day and would of never let them do that worrying it would be too dangerous for Kit Harrington if they had been there!

10) Jon Snow’s horse Tornado was actually killed off in the Battle of the Bastards but he was used again in the next series as it was decided no one would notice!

Photo credit: HBO / Helen Sloan

11) CGI wasn’t used when the horses fell over. The horses actually did that. They fell onto a mattress and Camilla only allowed them to fall 3 times a day due to the timing and accuracy needed to safely do this stunt.

12) There was a campsite with stables and a riding school to do their training on set.

Photo credit: reddit.com

13) The Dothraki were known as being good horsemen in the show. However to be able to show their weapons and gallop freely. Camilla designed a special rig for the stunt riders so they could stand on top of the horses whilst galloping and swinging around their weapons!

14) The Dothraki horsemen were inspired by Mad Max. Mad Max on horseback if you will!

15) In the earlier series the Dothraki scenes were filmed in Spain, which meant a 3 day lorry ride for the horses used from Buckinghamshire, England.

16) You will be delighted to know that no horses were ever injured, during the filming of all 8 series of Game of Thrones.

Photo credit: gameofthrones.fandom.com

Anyone else want to go watch them all over again and look out for all these details?! That’s after I have signed up to stunt rider school obvs.

Check out my other lists here.

My 6 Favourite Disney Horses

7 Celebrities you didn’t know could ride!

10 Facts About The Queen and Her Horses

Did you know that Amazon stock loads of cool horse stuff? Click here to shop Horse stuff

**Putting it out there – This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you I will earn a tiny bit of commission if you click through and make a purchase. **

Copyright of Louise Dando and In Due Horse 2019.

News

The Lesson That Changed Everything!

I wanted to get round to telling you all about my first riding lesson in many years. This something that had wanted to go and do for a long time,  but as I now live in France I was frightened of going incase I couldn’t understand anything the instructor said. Like most people when they start speaking another language, some days I feel fluent, like I can understand anything or there’s those other days that I will make one tiny mistake or not be understood & then think how stupid was to think I can speak French! So going for a lesson to start with was quite the personal achievement.

I picked a stables near where Mya is kept. It was familiar and I was able to book online. The yard is called Encayla. My friend Nic came with me for moral support as she was familiar with the yard as she had previously had a pony on part loan there for her son Jake to learn to ride. Handily Nic is also an ex riding instructor.

The day I went for my lesson, the weather was apocalyptic. Storms and heavy rain continued throughout the day. Marion my instructor had text that morning asking me my size and my riding ability so she knew which horse to put me on. So I knew the lesson wasn’t cancelled. That would have been a good excuse not to go!

We arrived at the yard and the weather seemed to break. I was told I was riding Campa, who to me looked like a big pony. Pretty looking horse but seemingly quite nervy. I was regretting telling Marion that my riding was ‘ bien’,  when I needed to ask Nic to help me tack her up. (At french riding stables you come 15 mins early to brush and tack up the horse you are riding). Campa just seemed nervous or excited, moving around, pawing the ground which was making me a bit nervous too now. Gulp. I tried to be brave so I didn’t look like a complete wimp in front of Nic.

It was time to get on. I led Campa to the smaller arena. There was stuff everywhere. Cones, poles, whips & jumps. But it was only me riding so I tried not to let it bother me. I got on and Campa felt so tense! She felt like a coiled spring ready to explode. But I didn’t know how. As we started to warm up Marion told me that Campa does not like any contact on her reins and that I must ride with loose reins to keep her calm. This to me was the opposite of I wanted to do. However I did what I was told. Half relieved that I could understand what Marion was saying to me and half relieved that Campa hadn’t galloped or bucked me off yet.

Marion was right, we walked and trotted and Campa became more and more relaxed. She quite quickly settled down, and riding her with loose contact actually started feeling normal. I no longer had the urge to shorten her up to gain control as it was not necessary. Campa was doing everything I asked of her. I realised as I riding that Campa that my tenseness is the exact same thing that happens when I ride Mya. Mya is strong and can lean on my hands, and instead of pulling her up (which only occurred to me to do after Katie telling me recently) I just get more and more tense.

We went into canter next, and it was so interesting as Campa was very responsive, however when I asked for canter she wouldn’t. Marion said it was because I was too tense and blocking her & you know what it was true! Exactly like when I ride Mya I was a little worried about going into canter. As Mya has a tendency to run across the middle of our enormous arena bucking if she is feeling particularly naughty. I reminded myself that probably wouldn’t happen now and kicked on. Campa was good as gold. No bucks, no gallops. I actually felt a bit silly for being worried about cantering. Nic gave me an encouraging ‘go on’ from the side of the arena and on the other rein we were much better. We then did some walk to canter transitions to help me with my canter transitions and that was good fun. Marion reminded me to keep my reins loose to keep Campa calm and we went for it! By this time I had begun to trust Campa and had relaxed a lot. We did lots of walk to canter transitions on both reins and Campa did them brilliantly. Responding exactly when I wanted her to.

We finished the lesson and I felt so pleased. I just got Campa back to her tie up paddock (which was covered) and the rain absolutely poured down again. I was so lucky that my hour lesson had been dry.

I realised that I had brought along my insecurities with Mya to my lesson with Campa. For someone that had never suffered with nervousness when riding before. I was relieved that by the end of the lesson those nerves had vanished and I was enjoying riding like I should be! I didn’t realise how nervous I had become riding Mya. I had a few incidents with Mya in hand since Christmas. That involved her rearing and bolting a few times on separate occasions that I had admitted had frightened me but I didn’t realise I had let that worry join me in the saddle too.

But I am delighted to report that since that lesson I have ridden Mya on several occasions and have not been worried. I have been firmer with her, as I now realise I think she was being naughty sometimes when I let her be. For example she would spook constantly when being ridden in the arena, since my lesson now I have found some renewed confidence she has not spooked once.

I will be certain to book more lessons in the summer. As I really enjoyed it, I liked my instructor and I cannot explain fully how much it has helped me. It took going to ride another horse for me to have a little epiphany about how I had let the fear take over with Mya. The change since that lesson has been incredible. I didn’t want to admit that I was starting to feel nervous every time I went down to see Mya, worried about what she was going to do. I had lost all my trust in her, and I think that lead to her not trusting me either. Mya needs a firm hand, as she can be nappy and she can be spooky. After riding Campa, I realised that I do know Mya and can predict what she will do and that actually I do trust her to not be  a complete idiot all the time. Since then each ride we have had has been so much better!

 

Inspo Interviews

Inspo Interview #5 Zoe Boyd That Sassy Rider

This month I have the pleasure of introducing you to Zoe Boyd That Sassy Rider as our Inspo Interviewee. Zoe is an Equestrian blogger on Instagram and facebook. Her pages follow her progress with her new mount ‘Princess Brian’ as they start competing together.

I reached out to her to be part of the Inspo Interviews because of a really honest blog post I had seen she had written recently for Equissimo a brand of whom she is an ambassador for. It was about some bad personal circumstances that she has been going through. It was so honest and raw but she wrote with such tact and warmth that I respected her even more than I did before. Zoe is not only a cool person and a great rider  but a great role model to her online followers! I urge you to follow her if you don’t already.

  1. What inspired you to start your instagram account/ blog?

It’s not really inspiration but I did it to stop boring my friends and family on Facebook as I used to spam my page with all things horsey! I then realised that there were a lot of people out there that have a geniune interest in how you have been getting on with your horse. So I created all my social media handles. I find it lovely to part of an online community.

2. Who do you look to for inspiration and why?

I don’t particularly have one person that I look up to it’s more of a group of people who keep me inspired. I love seeing how people are achieving their goals and staying positive with their set backs.

3. What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?

My biggest achievement would be competing at the showjumping National Championships 2 years ago. I genuinely thought it was a once in a lifetime thing…until this year on my new horse Brian, I have managed to qualify again for show jumping AND Combined training. I couldn’t make the Show jumping nationals this year though as they were two weeks after the qualifiers and Nationals was about 300 miles away from me. Thankfully I am able to compete at The Festival of The Horse in May.

4. What would be your best piece of advice you could give someone who is feeling a bit uninspired at the moment?

Behind every rider there has been some level of pain or upset. You still have the passion inside to get back to it after a knock back, you just need to get your butt back in the saddle and remember how the good days feel.

5. What are your plans for this year and what do you hope to achieve?

This year I’m hoping to just bond more with Princess Brian, so far we have been quite successful in a short amount of time. Once we have full trust in one another Im hoping to up the ante and compete at a higher level.

Follow Zoe @thatsassyrider on facebook & instagram.

Incase you missed it. Check out last month’s Inspo Interview here. Inspo Interview #4 Poppy from Young Hip & Horsey

Copyright of In Due Horse and Louise Dando. Photo credit Zoe Boyd unless otherwise stated.

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