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August 2015

I am delighted and proud to announce that I have had an article published in Veterinary Practice Today on horse behaviour (Understanding Veterinary Behaviour – why is it important in veterinary practice?). This magazine is used for continuing professional development by both vets and vet nurses, so hopefully the article will be useful for some.

Owners can help here too by describing exactly any changes in behaviour to vets when their horse has something wrong – writing it down lets the vet refer to it if needed and ensures it is remembered accurately e.g. points could be important that you don’t think relevant at the time: e.g. horse standing in an unusual fashion the day before, or gradually becoming harder to ride or mount.

It is not just in veterinary clinics that the focus should be more on the behaviour of the horse. It is so easy to give animals ‘human’ emotions and feelings (=anthropomorphism), and in some cases this helps us to understand them, but a horse is definitely not a human and doesn’t think the same way. A horse is not by nature ‘spiteful’ or ‘a pig’ or doing something just to get back at its owner/rider. Instead, they live in the here-and-now and their actions are based on their genetics, past experiences and their current environment. So, that ‘spitefulness’ may instead be due to a bad memory from the past, or something the horse can sense that we cannot, or even because that is what horses ‘do’.

Of course, many people understand horses very well but there are still those out there who readily blame the horse.

Our dressage booklet is proving popular, and has already been sold as far away as Truro! Thanks to those that liked and shared it on Facebook. Both “Equine Behaviour Explained” and Professor Pony’s book are also still selling steadily, and we get some nice comments via the contact page, so it is good to know that people enjoy them or find them useful.

Not much happening with the horses on the yard in the last few weeks, except for a big tidy up. I have become a massive fan of the power-washer and strimmer; but wonder why we can send people to the moon but not invent a window cleaning spray that actually does give a streak-free finish plus doesn’t cause your lungs to seize up while using it! Am 100% sure all these sprays must be bad for Carol’s asthma too!

The weeds had got a bit out of hand this spring, so many thanks to Roger who gave up his Sunday to help get the place tidy, and also to Serena for doing extra to help tidy up and maintain it. Thanks also to Sue for keeping the yappy terrier quiet during the open day. Now the place is all spruced up it is just a waiting game; not sure why the lawn grows so much faster than the paddocks though…

Lexi has just reminded me that she had her photo featured in the article mentioned above. Though she would also like to point out it wasn’t her best view! I needed a photo of a horse being aggressive, and so had to pose the terrier near her when she was eating – she isn’t going to let any dog near her feed! Note that Patch was safely out of reach and out of photo shot.

Hope all those entered for competitions this month do well, but even if not then enjoy your riding and the nice fine weather.

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