What I have Realised Since Being Separated From My Horse

I wanted to write this blog today as I know everyone has been struggling over the past few weeks because of the Covid-19 virus.  As I live in France I have been in complete lock down since the 17th March. This has meant that I have not been allowed to go see my horse Mya as all the stables in France have been closed. Only proprietors have been allowed to look after the horses. Mya is totally fine, she lives out and the weather has been beautiful here in Toulouse. I know now some other countries including the US have had the same measures put in place and people all over the world may be separated from their precious horses today. 

However even though I am completely sure she is fine I am having a hard time not seeing her! I wanted to share some of things I have realised since not being able to see her.

Horses just get on with it! We treasure our horses dearly, but having a few weeks off in their paddocks will not do them any harm. Yes they may lose some fitness but in the scheme of things their lives will continue like normal. We miss them more than they miss us for sure! Think of it as a little holiday for them! 


We shouldn’t stress over the small things. I know before all this began, I used to fret about what dressage classes to do, how often I should ride. I used to put pressure on myself to accomplish this and do that.  It isn’t until I was separated from my horse that I now realise all those things don’t really matter. It’s having fun together that counts.

Don’t put things off! I didn’t ever occur to me before that I could be separated from Mya. I am so glad I started to do my online dressage competitions and start having lessons with an instructor again before this happened as I had put that off before. If this has taught me anything it’s not put things off unnecessarily, as now when I can go back to the stables I will be able to restart things a bit easier than if I hadn’t gotten going at all. 


How much I rely on my stable time. I live in the city and I always said that I loved driving out to the country to see Mya 3x times a week.  But I really do miss being outside and out of the city. The stables is for me like for a lot of people my happy place, my therapy and my thinking time. Hacking through the countryside is the ideal time to reflect on things and I am really missing that! 

What an outlet riding is. Now I am not riding I am really aware of what other little exercise I do! I’ve had to make a big effort to do some pilates in my house and go running so I do some exercise. The problem is I don’t get the same joy I get from riding. But instead of dwelling on that I have decided on trying to stay fit so I can get the most out of riding when I return to it. 

We shouldn’t worry about what level we compete at. Before Covid -19 my main concern was dropping down a level in my dressage. I was really worried that I would look silly and felt a bit embarrassed that I wanted to drop down. Now, I would just be happy riding at all! 

How much I love my online dressage competitions. I was always a jumper and when I started riding Mya there was a massive transition period of not really knowing what to do to keep her and me interested, so we started doing online dressage. I really enjoyed it when I started but as I am quite competitive I found it to be a frustrating when I wasn’t progressing how I thought I should be. However now I can’t do it I miss it tremendously and have realised how much I love doing it. *Gasps* Maybe I am a dressage diva after all?!

How we should use this time to spend time with our other pets. My husband and I had a dog for 12 years. Sadly he passed away in July and I really wanted another pet. Living in an apartment it wasn’t fair to get another dog. Our dog coped well in a flat but I know that wouldn’t be the same for most dogs, so I convinced my hubby to get a kitten. It’s fair to say we forgot how trouble a baby animal is! We were shocked at her energy levels, her constant need to play and quite frankly found her a little annoying!! Sadly for Gwen she had very big boots to fill after our dog Ziggy.  However now we have been home with her we have bonded so much and we now love her dearly. She is a rescue kitten so us being here all the time has given her reassurance and she has calmed down a lot. She is my new best bud!


We should appreciate every minute we have with our horses.  I always thought I appreciated my time with Mya. It is my favourite place to be. Now I definitely have a renewed appreciation for my time out in the countryside at the stables and my time with Mya, who I am lucky to have to miss.

It will be a tough few weeks for those who can’t see their horses or ride them like normal. So I suggest we stick together. Don’t try to deal with all these emotions alone. If anyone needs someone to moan to, talk to or just someone to chat with during this time I am here. Either comment on here or find me on Instagram @induehorse.

We can get through this together! xx



9 Things to do When are in Confinement and You Cannot Ride Your Horse.

I sit here writing this in my apartment in Toulouse, France. Where like Italy and Spain we are in total confinement for 15 days to try and combat the Covid 19 virus. We cannot leave our houses unless we have particular jobs or are going to buy food or medical supplies. Even then we need to fill in a form issued by the government to give to the police/army explaining why we are outside. It’s very surreal and quite frankly scary. For an equestrian this bizarre situation is perhaps a little worse as we are not allowed to see our horses. All stables are closed and only proprietors are able to enter and look after the horses . For us this means Mya is in good hands with Christina and Fred but it’s hard not being able to see her.

As I have 2 more weeks at least of this I have been thinking of things to entertain myself with and thought I would share them with you incase you are stuck indoors as well. None of these ideas are ground breaking but I thought I would share some of my favourite things incase you don’t know them already.


  1. Watch your favourite equestrian vlogs. Over the past few months I have been really getting into watching horsey vlogs. My faves include: 

Horsey Vlogs

EM Tee Eventures following Tina and Emily who compete their horses Banksy and Lola in Eventing. Their friendship is really fun and the girls are very relatable and funny.

Elphink Event Ponies. In these vlogs you can follow Megan and her yard of amazing event ponies to their competitions.  Although only being 23 years old, Megan is so knowledgeable and switched on when it comes to her ponies.

If you are like me and can speak French my fav french speaking blogger is Vicky Life. Vicky makes videos about everything to do with her horsey life and has a gorgeous horse called Soli, who she competes with in dressage. Excellent for those wanting to improve their french horsey vocabulary. I have learnt a lot from Vicky.

Non – Horsey vlogs 

The Kitten Lady. As a new kitten owner myself I was introduced to Hannah the professional kitten rescuer by the couple that looked after Gwen before we adopted her. She has loads of informative videos about looking after kittens, rescuing kittens and kitten behaviour that are so helpful! If you like cats you’ll love these videos!

2. Podcasts. As you may or may not know I actually am a co-host of an equestrian podcast called Equestrian Pulse and since I started recording my own podcasts, I have gotten more into podcasts.

Here are some that I really like:

Horsey Podcasts. 

Olivia Towers podcast.  Olivia is a grand prix dressage rider and podcaster/vlogger. She is very honest and open and often interviews interesting horsey people.

Small and Supercharged podcast by Rhea Freeman. Rhea is a horsey business consultant that works with equestrian businesses, bloggers and riders to help them market their businesses. The podcast gives you tips on how to use instagram for your blog or business,  talks to interesting people in the equestrian world and talks about issues that everyone faces like internet trolling. Its informative and interesting for other bloggers like me or entrepreneurs that need a hand getting their biz off the ground.

Equi Ratings Eventing podcast. Talks to event riders, vets and topics related to eventing.

Non – Horsey Podcasts 

Serial. Oh how I love this podcast so much! If you love true crime documentaries this is the podcast for you. This podcast looks at the case of Adnan Syed who was convicted of killing his ex girlfriend in 1999. The podcast looks at his case reexamining it as they go to try and figure out if he did actually do it.

Goal Digger. This podcast by Jenna Kutcher who is a self made millionaire. She brings you tips on being a successful social media influencer. Now this is obvs not for everyone but the episodes relating to blogging and instagram I have found really useful.

3. Colouring. Now I thought colouring for adults sounded a bit ridiculous when I heard about it a few years ago. However I was intrigued and I bought a couple of colouring books and actually found it to be really soothing. Quite frankly I don’t really have the time to do it normally, but in these weird isolated times – time is what I now have bags of and I plan to get my colour on!

4. Blog writing and vlog editing. Again this will not suit everyone but I will try and blog as much as I can whilst I have the time. I said before I am finding that my day can easily not be very productive but by simply writing a blog I feel I have achieved something and it helps my mood. I also have a vlog that I need to finish editing and publish that I will try and do by the end of the week.

5. Pamper session. Again something I don’t normally have the time to do, but at some point this week I plan to get my face mask on. I always buy a face mask from Primark when I go so have a few in the bathroom I can treat myself to. This will hopefully make me feel nice, as quite frankly if I am house bound I will be mainly staying in my pyjamas that is for sure!

6. Self learning. As my french school is shut I hope to take some time to revise what I have learnt in the last few months of my lessons. I will also sort out and organise my notes and work on things that I feel I need to relearn. You could do this with any language or course you have started and would like to continue with. Keep that brain ticking!

7. Stay fit. Now only because we can’t go out doesn’t mean we can’t exercise. I personally love the Body Coach’s HIIT sessions on Youtube. They are free and they are each 15 mins long. They are a really good work out and so easy to do at home. I will make sure I do a few a week to keep from feeling like a complete potato. There are also lots of equine specific workouts you can do to get fit for riding.

8. Stay in touch with your friends and family.  Make sure you do this! No matter if you are like me and live in a different country to your family or live down the road. Just stay in touch, it’s good for you to speak to someone everyday and it’s good for them to know how you are getting on. It’s a worrying time, only because we have to not actually see each other doesn’t mean we can’t talk to each other.

9. Quaran-streaming. Lots of groups, musicians and clubs are getting together online for chats, concerts and conviviality from the comfort of your own home. Today we watched a concert by Mark Rebillet for free which he put on from his apartment in New York.

So, in this scary time please be sensible and stay at home as much as you can! Lets work together and stop the spread of this horrible virus, as it affects the most vulnerable the most.

Stay safe and take care! xxx


The Evie Toombes Foundation.

This year I was thinking that I would love to use the blog to help people and have been thinking of ways to raise some money for charitable causes. I thought about which causes I would like to help within the equestrian world and immediately thought of The Evie Toombes Foundation. Being a nurse myself, I honestly have been blown away with Evie’s courage, determination and mind set despite her ongoing struggles with her health.

So I will be supporting The Evie Toombes Foundation as much as I possibly can and I urge you to as well. Incase you don’t know who Evie is, Evie is a British para rider, who was born with Spina bifida and also suffers from gastro paresis which effects her bowel/ bladder and leg function & her ability to feed, meaning she needs to use a tube to feed normally. I ‘met’ Evie when I interviewed her for an Inspo Interview for the blog a few months ago. I liked her straight away, she was a pleasure to work with and despite only being 18 years old she is definitely one of the most inspiring people I have met. Evie struggles with her own chronic health problems with an amazing outlook “find a way not an excuse.”

I had seen her on the BBC 3’s ‘Amazing people’ and wanted to find out more about her. To be honest I reached out to her because she seemed like a very inspiring and interesting person to feature on my blog, but I was blown away when I got to know her more. Evie is a just a lovely person. The way she handles herself and her attitude towards life is amazing. She uses her own ill health to help to educate people about medical conditions, procedures and equipment which people may not be aware of. So much so that she now works as a Hidden Disabilities Ambassador, which has led to her setting up The Evie Toombes Foundation. This work taken her to meet Prince Harry and Meghan last year and this year has led her to talk at the RDA’s 50th birthday celebrations in front of HRH Princess Anne.

Evie finds riding her horses an excellent release and a wonderful distraction from her illness, which affects her everyday. Over the past few months Evie has been an inpatient in hospital for 5 weeks receiving PRN feed as her weight dropped dangerously low and she also frequently visits the hospital to get potassium infusions as her potassium levels also frequently drop dangerously low . The Foundation was set up to help her fund, maintain and run a medical facility/horse box to allow Evie to continue competing her horses as Evie cannot manage her complex medical condition away from home very easily. Her condition effects her bowel, bladder and lower leg and her ability to feed. In order to raise money Evie is visiting schools to educate children about hidden disabilities, but not only this Evie has written a children’s book about the subject – ‘Lucy Goes To School’ which she hopes to be in every primary school in the U.K.

So why don’t you get a copy of Lucy Goes To School’ it would make the perfect read for young children and is engaging, light hearted and fun whilst enriching children’s knowledge and awareness of hidden disabilities and illnesses.

The link to purchase is below

Evie’s book seller

Finally I would just like to add I have not been asked to write this blog by Evie or profit at all from any books sold. I just want to support Evie as much as I can.

Also some of the words describing Evie’s conditions and her books have been taken from her website.

For more information about Evie head to her website

 Follow Evie on Instagram @evietoombes or on Facebook @evietoombespararider


Our First Online Dressage Results – September 2019.

It’s fair to say that September started out very well! I returned from holiday full of enthusiasm and Mya was going brilliantly. I had set myself a goal of entering an online dressage test before Xmas but as Mya was going so well her owner Katie & I thought let’s just do it now! In September! After all 3 of us having had August completely off! We both entered the same class on Mya, the charity event that donated to Jo’s cervical cancer trust on Prelim 1.

So I practiced once with Katie and once alone and we scheduled a date the week later to film the test with our good friend Nic. Feeling very happy with how Mya was going I was just really excited that we had reached a point where this is possible. If you have been following me for a while, I only started riding Mya a year ago & had quite a few issues with her over the winter that totally knocked my confidence.

Feeling eager I learnt prelim 1 off by heart (!!) and got my friend to film it. Now as my mum put it I was ‘ never very taken with dressage’ before. I have ridden on and off since I was 5 years old. But I love to jump, so now coming to learn a dressage test I’m realising it is actually very hard! Getting Mya going forward but not too much, (we had some braking issues in the practice session), keeping my heels down, toes in, elbows bent, hips relaxed…. all whilst making beautiful shapes with Mya who is meant to be going at the perfect speed and making perfect shapes at exactly the time I ask her to whilst in a beautiful outline…wow! Dressage is hard!!

The day we picked to film test was very windy. Not Mya’s perfect conditions but knowing there may not be another convenient time for us to do this we cracked on. Katie rode her first. Mya was pretty forward but did a lovely test for Katie after having some similar braking issues to me in their warm up. I was then my turn and suddenly I felt quite nervous. I had instigated this whole thing & now have my friends both very capable riders here and I got on and felt quite inadequate. I warmed up and started my test. It was tense & felt horrible. We continued to the second canter transition and stopped as we were on the wrong diagonal and the test was just blurgh. I then re did my test trying to remember that my besties weren’t judging me and I felt that Mya went well this time. The girls agreed and we decided to end it there.

Looking back at the video, My circles are sqircles, my transitions are not quite at the right places in the arena and our free walk is more like a giraffe impression. But I reminded myself what progress we had made to even be entering and that only months before we could not even canter large without spooks and bucks. So I submitted our tests. The first since 2007 for me and awaited the results…

Me & Bert 2007

Fast forward to October 1st and the results are in!

We came 21st in a class of 25. Oh. How disappointing! Now I knew I wouldn’t be in the top 6 but to be that near the bottom sucked. I then started thinking about the things even I knew went badly and felt a bit silly for entering. What was I thinking?! Doing a dressage test with barely any experience of dressage and barely any practice on a horse I’ve only just clicked with and not only that doing it very publicly making a blog & a vlog about it. I suddenly felt very silly.

I then looked at my mark. I had hoped for 60% and had said despite the placing I would be happy if I got 60% or above. Well wouldn’t know we got 61.5% – happy with that! Starting to feel less silly now. I looked up Katie’s results 12th with 65% brilliant & not a million points more than me! Ok ok I am calming down now. I then managed to find my sheets from the last dressage competition I did when I used to ride Bert. It was from 2007, I remember it was an evening riding club comp and I had been happy & came 4th. I searched for the score 59%!!! I was riding a lot back then and remember I was so pleased with that score and now with a lot less practice on a horse that hasn’t competed in years I have beaten my personal best! Woo hoo!

Yes in hindsight Katie and I jumped the gun a bit entering without much practice – that we will learn from. I am looking forward to receiving my score sheet so I can read the comments. But I have gone from feeling disappointed and silly to actually feeling pleased and chomping at the bit to do another test and get a better mark this month! So watch this space perhaps we are dressage divas in the making!!

To watch my first ever vlog of this experience click here

Copyright of Louise Dando & In Due Horse 2019.


The In Due Horse Vlog!

In Due Horse now has a vlog!! Please subscribe at our YouTube channel to check the full vlog out–tdWw

Recently I have been really getting into watching equestrian vloggers. This made me want to give it a go myself. So I used the preparation I have been doing for my recent online dressage test as a subject.

Here are some clips of the vlog…

I included some out takes of my preparation for filming my test. It’s fair to say I still find dressage very hard!!

I have also included the actual dressage test I have submitted for my competition too.

So please subscribe to our channel ‘Louise Dando In Due Horse‘ on YouTube and like and share it if you enjoy it!

I am hoping to film some more about my horsey life in France very soon!

If you want to hear more about our dressage preparation here is the blog about it. Louise and Mya Progress Report!


Louise and Mya Progress Report!

Well, I am very excited! If you have been following my blog for a while, you may notice that I don’t actually publish that much about myself on here. Mainly because I feel that I don’t do anything interesting enough to blog about and actually compared to when I was younger and competing and jumping all the time I actually feel that my level is not what it used to be. This is because as an adult I have stopped and started riding many times, sometimes with long breaks in between. And now when I ride I have been hacking and having the odd lesson but not doing anything particularly exciting.

However, after having a few lessons on Mya with her owner Katie. I realised that actually we have been progressing quite nicely. I set myself a goal of entering an online dressage competition at the end of last year and failed to do it. As it is fair to say Mya and I have taken quite a while to work nicely together. When I say this it doesn’t mean we don’t like each other. Its the opposite in fact I adore her and I think she is pretty fond of me too. It is that we are both quite sensitive girls together. Both of us had a long time off, before I started riding her, Mya due to an injury and me due to moving to France etc. So our first year together was enjoyable, but I was starting to feel that we hadn’t made much progress. It wasn’t all plain sailing though, we had some trouble with Mya being difficult to handle in the winter that really knocked my confidence with her. It affected me on the ground and in the saddle. Her unpredictability was not fun and she reared a few times in hand with me which really frightened me. I had some problems with her spooking quite violently in the arena, napping going out of the yard and bucking when we were cantering. God actually this makes her sound awful which wasn’t the case! But you can see my point of not making any progress! However I persevered. At times I wondered why. But I am so glad that I did. A massive milestone for me was back in May. I went for my first proper riding lesson in years. In French! I had put this off due to being worried I wouldn’t understand anything that the instructor was saying but it actually went very well. I rode Campi a very sensitive little horse in the torrential rain. Where I had to succumb to the less is more tactic on this little coiled spring that they had put me on! After riding Campi around for an hour with long reins despite her feeling like she was going to gallop away, I realised that I actually knew Mya quite well and compared to that fizzy, prancey little horse I could actually anticipate what naughtiness Mya had instore for me now. Campi didn’t make me fall off and Mya hasn’t yet either. What am I feeling frightened of?


So, I went back to Mya with new confidence and haven’t looked back. I realised I now knew when she would be likely to canter across the arena bucking with me and if she did I would just sit it out like I always do. This happened a couple of times and then I would just ask for canter again until she wasn’t doing it anymore. She hasn’t done it for months now. It no longer frightened me. I realised it wasn’t building up to anything else, that’s all she does. The spooks in the arena have got less frequent too and she gets an assertive tap with the whip instead of my passiveness before.  If we hadn’t been able to ride for a few days, we started to lunge her before we got on and this helped my confidence greatly too. Mya loved having a canter on the lunge and it was wonderful getting on a nicely calm warmed up horse instead of a coiled spring.

So without realising our rides soon drastically improved fast after that. We hacked out with confidence. I could cope with and not be afraid of her spinning if she did try and nap going out of the yard. I started to trust her again and now she could look to me for reassurance. Something I was not able to give her before. Mya has taught me to be a bit more assertive than I like to be too. However now I don’t need to be as much. Well not all the time! We had a few more sessions with Katie and did things in the arena that I wouldn’t of even considered trying to do alone. Cantering around the arena no handed was a highlight! A particularly memorable trust exercise that Katie used to prove that Mya would not gallop away or buck with me and that I should learn to trust her again. It worked as she didn’t and hasn’t since. Over the summer we hacked out frequently with Katie and Galaxy totally relaxed and when it was cool enough we schooled in the arena practising dressage tests, working in an outline and leg yielding (I need practice with all those things not Mya) until I went on holiday for 3 weeks in August.

So I was absolutely delighted that after having a month off in August that Mya was going as beautifully as she was before I went away. Mya ended up having August off too, as she developed a cough. So the week I returned from holiday, Katie showed me how to use a Pessoa and we lunged Mya in that. I was quite taken with it. Mya looked beautiful and I really felt that she had worked as hard or even harder than she would of if she had been ridden. Then this week Katie and I rode her and she went beautifully. So beautifully in fact that we have entered an online dressage competition! I am so excited!

We decided to enter with and they have made their own  prelim/novice test that looks great. We decided to enter that next month, as it is a fairly straight forward dressage test but it does include movements like rein back and turn on the forehand, which I think will be really challenging! I had to you tube what turn on the forehand was actually! It’s fine I know now, but this show jumper has rather limited dressage experience and it is starting to show! But when I went online to print off that test, I noticed that E-Riders are running a charity event in September, which is Prelim 1. So we have entered that too!  We have to video that test this week as it has to be submitted by 30 September! We ran through the test on Wednesday and I was so proud. Mya went beautifully. Katie and I each did the test a few times and she was amazing with both of us. I was on a high all day after. Not only because I felt that I was riding at a standard I can be proud of again but because my passion has been revived well and truly again. I am not a nervous rider anymore. I never was when I had my own and feeling frightened is not fun. It makes you feel rubbish and silly.

So even if I do not get placed. It would make my year if I get a rosette though I’m not going to lye. I have my eyes on one and will try my best to get one, but if I don’t that’s ok too as I am so happy to back doing what I love! I am not a dressage rider. I only ever did flat work when I was made to so I could jump. As an adult I have a secret dream of eventing but thought it would always just be a dream as my dressage is so bad. But maybe there is hope for this show jumper yet! Maybe I will be back out jumping soon too. I suddenly feel anything is possible and it is great!

Have a great week.

Louise xx



Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

Fun Ideas, Lifestyle

8 Reasons Why Horse Girls are Great at Camping.

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.

Click here to get your camping stuff from Amazon.

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!

** This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to click through and purchase something at no extra cost to you I will receive a tiny bit of commission**.

 Mystical Fire Flame Colourant $8

Marshmallow Roastings Sticks $9.99. 


 Instant Set up Tent for 3-4 people $69.99


Let me know if you have been camping or love it in the comments section!

Copyright of In Due Horse and Louise Dando 2019.

If you liked this blog be sure to check out

How to Make Ice Lollies for Your Horse.

7 Horse Riders That Have Really Famous Parents.

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




My Back To School Equestrian Picks From Amazon



I don’t want to be a total bummer but the end of the summer holidays is rapidly approaching. I don’t know about you but I like to make sure everything is as organised as possible before I go back to work. This includes my horsey & dog stuff!

I like everything to be ready to use and organised so when I go back to work and have less time to hang around at the stables my stuff will be tidy, I will know where everything is and it will be clean!

Here are my top back to school picks from Just click on the pictures or the highlighted words to shop!! Also Amazon will convert the currency to your own country by the way. So if you are not shopping from the US. Don’t worry!

***Putting it out there- This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click through and purchase something at no extra cost to you I will receive a tiny bit of commission***

  1. Get your grooming kit in order!

Equi-Essentials Super Groom Organiser $18.95

Now is there anything more satisfying than cleaning out your dirty old grooming kit?! I just love it! I have recently moved my grooming kit to a bag that I can carry on my shoulder and I will never use a tray again! I can now carry my tack & my grooming kit at the same time, saving me a trip to the tack room & how nice are these colours?! They stay cleaner too, as I hang my bag next to Mya when I am brushing her and then a lot less dirt and hay gets in there when it is off the floor & I don’t need to keep bending down too.

2. Buying your dog/horse food in bulk & keeping it in a large container

Chicken Soup for Your Soul Dog Food $39.99

If you buy you dog/horse food in bulk it’s cheaper. Fact. So get your self a big container that will keep it fresh. Shop Amazon here for Dog Food Containers.

Get your horse and dog food delivered! I order my dog’s food on Amazon as I couldn’t find the one he likes here in France. It is great. I don’t have to carry it to & from the car. The delivery guy brings it straight to my door! 

3. Get ready for school or work with this cool lunch box.

Cute Horse Tote Lunch Box $9.99

I am a big packed lunch fan!  When I was nursing full time I took my own lunch everyday. It saves you so much money if you take your own lunch. You can also make sure that you are eating nice healthy lunches that you prepared yourself instead of picking something quick & fattening! Amazon have loads for adults and kids.

4. Get your riding gear cleaned and organised!

Shires Flamingo Boot Hat and Whip Bag $47.99

Sorry but this is the coolest boot bag I have EVER seen! It has flamingos on it! Flamingos! If you are like me and go riding in different places or just like your stuff to be kept clean and dry in a bag whilst in the tack room, this is the bag for you! It is just so cool!

5. Ready for school?

Wildkin Backpack $29.99

Your kid will be the coolest in the playground with this pretty horse backpack. I want it and I am an adult! You can also get a matching pencil case too.

6. Get your horses rugs ready for winter

Derby Winter Blanket Storage Bag $32.95 

Tidying out your tack room? Where do you keep your horse’s rugs during the summer? I used to get mine washed then keep them in my parents garage. That is not an option anymore as I don’t live in the same country as them! I deffo need one of these in my life! You can just pop your clean blankets in the bag and then the rugs are kept clean and away from pesky rodents until you need them again in the winter. Great idea!

7. School Supplies

 Always be a Unicorn Pencil Case $7.44 

Amazon have a wide selection of school supplies. Pencils, pens, back packs and stationary. Check the girls stuff here and the boys stuff here.

8. Did you know that you can order your groceries from Amazon? Get stocked up for school!

Amazon Fresh is a grocery delivery service that delivers fresh groceries to your door. Click here to trial for FREE! They have everything you can think of and more.

9. Get extra supplies for your horse ready for winter.

Shires Premium Haynet $14.63

Make sure you have spares of everything you need to prepare for your horse for when he comes in for the winter. I make sure I can prepare my horses hay net for that evening and the following morning at the same time. I also prepare his feed for the following day too. Anything that saves time when you have gone back to work!

10. Get your warmer clothes back out.

Ariat Ideal Windbreaker Jacket $64.50

There are bargains to be had off season! If you need a new jacket start thinking about buying one now, as you may find they are a lot cheaper off season. There are some great equestrian brands on Amazon like Ariat where you can get some real bargains.

Here are some other posts that you might like:

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

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

6 Reasons I Love Having a Horse In Autumn

My Horsey Must Haves For Autumn

Copyright of In Due Horse and Louise Dando 2019.


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.


Copyright of Louise Dando and In Due Horse 2019.









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

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