Ok I know this isn’t strictly horsey related. But until very recently I was a dog owner and I know I loved my dog as much as I love my horse so I am thinking you guys won’t mind the odd dog related post.
Halloween is only a few weeks away. I don’t know about you but I love Halloween! It’s fun and a good excuse to get dressed up and party. With these excellent outfit ideas your dog can join in on the fun too! Excellent dog selfie opportunities a plenty!
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1. An Ewok. Even if you don’t like Star Wars everyone thinks Ewoks are cute!
2. A Minion. Now minions are cute and your dog will look even cuter in this outfit!
3. Wonder Woman. You could even get a matching outfit and twin with your dog!
4. A hot dog! Classic joke dog costume!
5. Lion Mane. Any dog would want to have a wonderful lion’s mane! How regal!
6. Harry Potter. This is just too cute!
7. Cowboy rider. This is just so funny! A little cowboy who rides your dog!
8. Raptor Costume! Your dog can be a scary velociraptor!
9. The Pope! Of course you can even dress your dog up as The Pope!
Which one do you like best?! Let me know in the comments.
These photos are something you didn’t know you needed to see until you see them. Now I am not sure how well they can ride but here are 8 celebrities that look great on horseback.
Starting out strong with this one. Here is Zac Efron galloping shirtless in the sea on a horse. I don’t really have much else to add to this…
2. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga looking like a straight up goddess riding her horse Arabella. Fun fact: Arabella was bought for Lady Gaga by her record label.
3. Taylor Swift
Tay Tay looking awesome in her music video for Blank Space. I think I’d do this if I had a chateau.
4. Chris Pratt
Now, I haven’t met anyone that doesn’t like Chris Pratt. Here he is looking like a cowboy. Although when questioned about his riding ability he claims he rides a horse like a jet ski!
5. Brad Pitt
Continuing with the cowboys, Brad Pitt is looking very comfy here in the saddle during filming for Legends of The Fall.
6. Hugh Jackman
Another cowboy for you. Here is Hugh Jackman looking very much the part for his role in the film Australia. He trained for a year to be able to ride good enough for the movie. He could ride before but knew he would have to improve a lot to feel comfortable herding cattle and cantering around.
7. Cillian Murphy
Possibly the best thing about Peaky Blinders is when Cillian Murphy rides bareback around the streets of Birmingham. He just looks so cool! I’m pretty certain I’m not the only one that thinks this!
8. Kendal Jenner
I think it’s fair to say Kendall Jenner would look good doing anything including horse riding! Oh to be a super model and look good all the time
Copyright of Louise Dando and In Due Horse 2019.
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So Peaky Blinders series 5 is back. Hooray! I binge watched all of the other series on Netflix last year & am excited about it’s return. It’s a good show but I love it because there is a lot of horses in it and Cillian Murphy rides through the old fashioned streets of Birmingham on horseback. It’s pretty badass!
Here are 10 reasons that you really should check out Peaky Blinders if you love horses. Move over Poldark Thomas Shelby is back!
1. Tommy Shelby riding through the streets of Birmingham. Bareback! It’s just so cool!
2. Sam Neil’s Irish accent. Not horse related but worth a mention. “It’s none of your concern”. I said that a lot. My Irish friends loved me!
3. Thomas Shelby’s race horses. Tommy owning race horses sees the Shelby Family go to numerous race courses around Britain, including Epsom, Worcester & Kempton. So there are even more horses in those episodes!
4. Thomas Selby’s racehorse trainer is a bad ass lady named May. At the time it was very unconventional to have a female race horse trainer, but come to think of it I can’t think of any today. Come on girls let’s get racing!
5. There is now a real racehorse named Thomas Shelby based in Australia. Not sure if they were inspired by Peaky Blinders perhaps?!
6. Tommy named his racehorse Grace’s Secret after his wife Grace.
7. Weird horse care tips. In one of the episodes they said to put goldfish in the horses water to stop them getting worms. Never tried & not planning on testing it out anytime soon.
8.The gypsy carriages are really cool. In series 4 we see the Shelby’s head to a gypsy camp to cremate two people. They are taken by horse & carriage and the carriages used are traditional gypsy carriages.
9. Atkinson Action Horses provided all the horses for Peaky Blinders. They also provide all the horses for Poldark and Elizabeth as well.
10. One more time! Thomas Shelby riding through the streets of Birmingham. Bareback! Even if you don’t fancy him it’s still pretty cool. Look at that horse!
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I am actually off camping for 2 whole weeks tomorrow. It’s ok…I do live in the South of France where the weather is pretty hot in the summer. That being said I always used to go when I lived in the U.K. too and it rained a lot!
I think there are many reasons why us horse girl’s thrive whilst camping & here is why…
1) We are used to be being cold & wet (well, if you are British anyway.) But I think horse girls worldwide can relate to those days at the yard when it is torrential rain & freezing cold. You can’t feel your fingers & think you will never be warm again but it is all worth while when your darling is exercised & put back in their cozy warm stable.
2) The lack of cleaning facilities are not a problem for horse girls. We are used to spending all day at the yard. We are used to getting a bit smelly after mucking out. Getting hay and straw all over ourselves. Horse slobber is everywhere. And we are used eating our lunch without washing our hands. Camping is actually quite luxurious in comparison.
3) This then leads us to the ‘facilities.’ If the toilet situation is a little less than desirable camping it’s probably far better than the stable toilet. I actually got frightened to go in ours the other day as something quite big moved in the undergrowth by the door. The toilet I don’t think has ever been cleaned so I didn’t fancy my chances even from the outside and there is never ever any toilet roll. Note to self pack my own toilet roll for camping.
4) Camping brings back glorious memories of pony club camp. Those days were the best. We would ride all day then sneakily eat chocolate biscuits in our tents. My friend Lucy & I used to get dressed for riding the night before. We would sleep in our clothes so when we were awoken at the crack of dawn we could lay in our warm beds right up to the last minute & not get up and get changed in the cold.
5) Mud glorious mud! Something else that if you camp in bad weather you will have to get used to. Of course us horse girls know all about mud & it no longer bothers us. It helps that we have all the boots, coats, hats and waterproofs already needed to stay dry and warm and it really doesn’t matter if your horsey clothes get covered in mud it probably is already.
6) Some places you can take your horse! It’s becoming more and more popular to be able to take your four legged friend with you. If you don’t take your own you may well be pitched next to a field of other four legged creatures you can make friends with. You’ll surely be able to take your dog.
7) Being outside. I just love it! There’s nothing that beats seeing the sunset and getting up nice and early whilst camping in a nice quiet field and listening to the birds tweet.
8) Its cheap! Camping is a great holiday that doesn’t break the bank. Which of course leaves you more money for horse related necessities.
So there you have it. Camping is in fact the perfect holiday for a horse girl. Our way of life has prepared us brilliantly for it. Go grab your tent and get going!
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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
Apple juice (just enough to cover the cut up apple and carrot)
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.
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…
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
OK admittedly less serious than my normal posts. But who doesn’t love Disney films?! I am a massive fan! I loved them when I was a child and I still love them now. So I thought I would compose a list of my favourite Disney horse characters. Take a look to see your favourite makes the list.
Frou Frou from Aristocats
Now, Aristocats is one of my absolute favourite Disney films. It is one of the classics and for me that is part of the appeal. The animation is all scratchy and it is based in France! Anyway Frou Frou is a friend of Duchess and the kittens who get kidnapped by their owner’s horrible butler when he realises their rich owner is leaving all of her money to her cats in her will. Frou Frou actually is the one who helps capture Edgar the butler at the end of the film when she kicks him into a trunk heading to Timbucktu!
Phillipe from Beauty and the Beast.
Phillipe is the horse Belle rides up to the beast’s castle and when she escapes from the beast. He is kind and sweet and he tries to look after Belle. He also warms to the beast when he shows his softer side to Belle. Another one based in France!
Maximus from Tangled
Maximus is more like a big dog than a white stallion but he is very funny! He is arch enemies with Flynn Ryder but he later becomes his best friend to help Rapunzal return to her family.
Bulls Eye from Toy Story 2
Bull Eye is Woody’s horse in Toy Story 2. He is a horse but acts like an excitable puppy as he has been in storage for years. He loves Jessie & Woody & he is part of Woody’s round up gang. He helps Woody and Buzz rescue Jessie by running as fast a plane when they escape from Stinky Pete.
Sitron from Frozen.
Sitron is Hans’ horse and side kick. He holds the boat steady when Hans and Ana first met and is ridden by Hans up to Elsa’s castle. I just love his mane!!
Do you have a favourite? Is it on the list? Let me know in the comments!
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I absolutely love living in France. I love speaking French and learning about French culture. I love the lifestyle here and the food and you know what France has some pretty bad ass horses and riders too! Here are the French horse riders that you need to know about this season.
1) Thibault Fournier.
Thibault Fournier is an eventer, who won Pau 4* in October with Sinani de Lathus despite it being his first competition at that level. He is only 24 years old and is aiming towards the European Championships in August, 2019. I saw him at Pau and he seems to absolutely adore his horse. He is definitely someone to watch for the future.
Fun Fact: Thibault is training to be a physiotherapist along side his riding career!
2) Astier Nicholas
Despite only being 30 years old. Astier Nicolas has had a very successful eventing career already. He has competed successfully at all of the major events including Badminton, Burghley, Pau and Bramham, winning Pau in 2015. He is a double Olympic medalist after winning team gold with France and individual silver in Rio de Janerio in 2016.
Fun Fact: Astier has a degree in Equine Management from Hartpury College and lived in the UK for many years. He has now returned to France and is living in Normandy.
3) Thomas Carlisle
Thomas Carlisle is one to watch! He has been progressing very well over the last few years. Thomas’ BE results are impressive and consistent even though he only started to compete at high level competition a few years ago. Despite this, and his mount Upsilon being the youngest horse in the competition, they won the Event Masters in Bleinham CCI*** in 2016 and they have been doing well since with their last win being Barbury CIC*** in 2018.
Sadly though Tom posted on Facebook last week that their 2019 season has not started well. Upsilon has contracted a nasty virus which had left him fighting for his life. So we are sending good thoughts and really hoping Upsilon is making a speedy recovery.
Fun Fact – Thomas Carlisle was born and lives in France but has English parents. He went to school in Toulouse and a friend of mine knows him!
4) Penelope Levropost
Photo by thomasreiner.pro
Penelope is a successful French show jumper and has had a very successful career competing in numerous World and European championships, including winning a silver medal in the World Cup in Las Vegas in 2015 and winning olympic gold at Rio de Janerio in 2016 to name a couple of her achievements. She also has her own boutique Penelope-store.com that sells riding equipment for horse and rider and is a single mother to her daughter Eden.
Fun Fact: Penelope has become a bit of an internet sensation with a following of 142k on instagram!
5) Morgan Barbancon Mestre
Grand Prix Dressage rider Morgan was born in France but actually rode representing Spain until May 2018. Her father is French and her mother is Spanish but she actually lives in Switzerland. Morgan represented Spain at the 2012 Olympic Games, 2014 World Equestrian Games, 2015 World Cup Finals and 2015 European Championships on Painted Black, but has chosen to represent France to continue to compete at the higher levels of competition. That successfully started with Morgan winning the French Grand Prix Championship in 2018.
Fun Fact: Morgan was born in France, lived in Germany, Holland and now is hoping to develop dressage in the french speaking part of Switzerland. Talk about being European!
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The Eventing season is just around the corner. Your horse is clipped, fit and ready to go. You have mentally prepared yourself for the season ahead. Half scared half excited. You have carefully selected your events, you have maxed out your time and your money to be able to compete this season so you want to do the best you can.
But I don’t know about you I really struggle to remember my dressage tests. I am historically a show jumper, however as I have grown older I have liked the challenge of being an all-rounder. I have now done a few riding club dressage tests and even a couple of one day events, with varying success. I can for some reason remember my jumping courses easily, however with dressage I am useless at remembering my tests. At my first one day event with my pony Cassie I forgot my dressage test twice and the horror of that Judge’s car horn beeping twice haunts me to this day. Since that day I must have a caller every time and that is just not possible sometimes. Even with a caller you still need to be able to remember what move is next to make sure you can do the test the best you possibly can.
So, You want to be the next Charlotte Dujardin? Here are my 6 top tips for remembering your dressage test. I have found best results need patience and a good sense of humour too!
Mya please remember the test for me!
1. Walking your test on foot. This is a very effective way of making you look like a complete nut case! But I have found it to be very effective. The best way to do this is take the ‘Dance like no one is watching’ approach and pretend you are riding but do the test on foot. I mean walk, trot and canter on your own two feet as if you are your horse. Practical Horseman Mag suggest this way is particularly good for kids! This also is a good way to repeat the movements of the test without your clever pony getting bored or thinking they know a better way. It can be done in the actual arena or any made up arena in your lounge/ car park/ office etc.
2. Drawing your test on paper or on a white board. Dressage4All suggest another personal favourite of mine. Just draw out an arena with the markers in the correct place on a washable white board or a piece of paper and draw the route of your test on the sheet. This method works best if you have practiced the test and are familiar with it already. You can get as detailed as you want and use different colours for each gait or keep it simple. Just imagine that you are doing the test and draw it on the paper. I found this method very helpful as it is easy to repeat over and over again.
3. Listening to your test being called. Another method which could be helpful is calling your own test out and recording it on your phone. You can then replay it to yourself when you are riding it or repeat it whenever you want to revise the test. Alternatively Equivisions offer a service that plays all dressage tests from intro to advanced medium at 3 different speeds as MP3 downloads.
4. Watching others do your test online or in real life. This one maybe controversial. People seem to have differing views on whether it is helpful to watch others do their test. However the FEI have recommended it as a good way for you to visualise what your test looks like when it is ridden.
5. Dressage Today suggest reciting the test for a friend so he/she can follow your instructions to see if you can remember it properly. If he/she can do the test with you reciting it – well done! If they can’t you need to memorize it better!
6. Use an app. Of course there is an app for EVERYTHING. There are many dressage apps that incorporate the above techniques to help your learn your tests. The British Dressage app Testpro British Dressage is free. There are other ones to purchase available such as Equi Sketch Dressage and FEI Equi Tests to name a few.
So good luck for the season ahead. I hope that my top tips will be useful and give you some new ideas to help you memorize your tests. Let’s just hope this lovely weather stays around for a bit now!