Winter training tips from Bridleway Equestrian

Winter training exercises to get you and your horse ready for spring

If, like many, your horse has been enjoying a bit of a break over the winter, you might be hoping to kick-start the year with some productive time in the saddle. Here are some simple-but-effective exercises for you to try.

Exercise 1: Fitness first

Before asking your horse to tackle a long and difficult schooling session, it’s important you make sure his fitness levels are up to the task – particularly if he’s been completely out of work for a few weeks. It might mean three, four or more weeks of purely hacking, but it could mean the difference between your horse having a complete and successful competition season or picking up an injury along the way.

Once your horse is hacking comfortably for an hour or more a day with plenty of trot and canter work, incorporating hillwork will help boost his fitness. It works and strengthens all areas of his body, and combining it with transitions will go a long way to improving his muscle tone, too.

Try cantering up a hill, walking back down and repeating. Combined with the additional intensity of going uphill, these bursts of intensity followed by recovery – also known as interval training – will help strengthen your horse’s respiratory system and build him up to the sustained cardiovascular efforts he’ll have to make in competition.

Top tip: vary your hillwork by occasionally walking and trotting up hills as well as cantering, otherwise your horse may start to anticipate canter at the bottom of them.

Exercise 2: Side to side

Once your horse has attained a level of fitness that will allow you to school him for a sustained period, incorporating leg-yield in walk, trot and canter will help him become more flexible and supple through his shoulders, back and pelvis, while encouraging him to come through from behind in order to make the effort to cross his legs while maintaining his rhythm.

Start by asking for leg-yield from the three-quarter line to the track, and when you’re both comfortable, try from the track to the three quarter line, continuing straight for a few strides before leg-yielding back. To add a further challenge, try to reach the centre line as you leg-yield down the arena long side.

Exercise 3: Making shapes

If you’re hoping to get some jumping outings under your belt, cracking the code to the perfect canter and approach is a key part of your training. You can achieve this by riding a simple rectangle. This will help you achieve and maintain an active rhythm, while encouraging you to use your inside and outside aids evenly and engaging your horse’s hindquarters underneath him.

Working between the track and the centre line, place a marker just inside the track at M and F, and just inside the centre line at D and G. Place a pole horizontally at X. Each marker should prompt you to turn as if you’ve reached a T-junction – a 90° angle to follow the line of the rectangle shape. Focus on using your outside leg to prompt him to turn, rather than pulling him round with your inside rein. Try in walk first, before progressing to trot and canter, and try swapping your pole for a small jump.

For all your horsey needs, visit bridlewayequestrian.com

 

 

 

Winter feeding tips

Not sure about where to start with feeding your horse this winter? Our top tips will make organising his menu a breeze

Winter has arrived – shorter days, diminished grazing and, for many horses, more time in the stable means a complete change in routine as the cold weather rolls in. As your horse’s lifestyle adapts, so too do his dietary requirements and you’ll probably find yourself tweaking his daily ration to suit his altered hours of turnout and level of activity. Sound complicated? It needn’t be. All that’s required is a little consideration of his requirements and how winter changes the way you address them.

Fibre first

Fibre should make up the bulk of your horse’s diet, and his primary source of this particular nutrient forage – preferably ad-lib grass, hay or haylage. With reduced winter grazing and more time indoors, you need to ensure your horse is eating enough forage to keep his digestive system running smoothly, as insufficient quantities can lead to issues such as gastric ulcers.

To maintain his weight, your horse needs to consume 1.5 to 2% (dry matter) of his bodyweight in dry matter forage daily. With many paddocks containing little to no grass over winter, this needs to be replaced with good-quality hay or haylage. It’s a good idea to weigh out your horse’s winter forage ration to take the guesswork out of making up his haynets and put you more in control of maintaining a healthy weight for him.

Top tip

Horses have evolved to naturally lose a little condition – or ‘drop off’ –  over winter in preparation for the sugary grass in the spring. If your horse is going into winter a touch overweight, use the season to your advantage. Try turning him out in fewer or no rugs to encourage him to burn more calories keeping warm.

Nutrition mission

Reduced grazing means your horse will consume lower levels of vitamins and minerals from the grass – and what he does manage to nibble on will have a much lower nutritional value than in the summer months. Adding a comprehensive, general purpose vitamin and mineral supplement or balancer in his bucket feed at the recommended rate will cover all bases and ensure he gets the essential nutrients he needs at the right levels.

Top tip

Is you horse facing stable boredom? Why not inject a little fun into the way he eats his forage? Try giving him a forage block to nibble at, hide some carrots in his haynet, or give him several small piles or nets of forage to keep him moving.

Back to the grind?

If you’re planning to reduce your horse’s workload – maybe you’ve scheduled in a few weeks off for him ­– his daily calorie requirement will also be reduced. This could mean that his current amount of bucket feed will give him a calorie surplus, which will ultimately lead to weight gain. It might be that your horse can thrive on forage, chaff and a vitamin and mineral supplement or balancer alone for a time, but make sure you don’t cut his concentrated feed ration overnight – reduce the amount he eats gradually over at least a week.

For all your equestrian needs, visit bridlewayequestrian.com

Christmas with Bridleway Equestrian

With just over a month to go until Christmas, the team at Bridleway Equestrian have their tinsel and mince pies ready to go! To ensure you’re as prepared as possible for the holiday season, we’ve put together some fab gift ideas that will be perfect for the special horse or equestrian in your life (or just a great gift for yourself!)

For those who love a little bit of glitz

Both horse and rider can enjoy some glitz and glamour this Christmas with our sparkly style suggestions!

For the glamourous rider

Spoil them with a new pair of glitzy breeches, to add that little bit of extra luxury to their riding outfit. We suggest the Kinver Breeches, which feature gold embroidery and a matte floral silicone seat, or our Mendip Breeches, which have stylish silver glitter star print knee grips. Throw in a Sparkle Hat Cover in either royal, navy or pink to complete the look!

For the horse who loves to shine

Why not treat them to a cosy Fleece Lined Headcollar? With its attractive silver or gold sewn design your horse will look super elegant! Alternatively, the Classic Diamond Quilted Saddlecloths (available in Black, Navy or White) look effortlessly smart, and their gold cord trim provides an extra touch of sophistication.

For Matchy-Matchy enthusiasts

We all know them. You’ll never see this horse or pony in anything less than the perfect coordinated combo. Why not wrap them up a new matchy set? Our Signature range includes saddlecloths, bandages and fleece saddlecovers in five fabulous matching colours.

For the naughty pony

Have you got a cheeky horse who makes catching him seem more like you’re playing a game of tag? Choose a practical gift like the Break Free Headcollar, and you’ll not only be getting him something lovely and colourful, but you’ll have treated yourself to an easier life. With its reflective strips you’ll be able to spot your horse better at low light even if he’s playing hide and seek in the field.

For the spoilt pony

Does your horse have his own special stocking at Christmas? Well then, this category is probably for you! Alongside the carrots, why not treat your horse to something a little special. A sophisticated leather headcollar is always a winner. Choose between plain leather, leather with a nameplate, or our elegant Cowdray Headcollar and your horse will definitely look super smart. Fancy something with a bit more colour? Treat your horse to a new turnout rug –  there’s lots of options guaranteed to bring some fun to your horse’s field.

For those on a budget

Part of a Secret Santa with your horsey pals? Here are some great suggestions for under £15:

First look: Bridleway 2018/19 Collection

With the arrival of falling leaves comes Bridleway’s new clothing collection, offering some fantastic autumn/winter looks.

With easy-to-style pieces and great colours we just know you’ll adore this collection. To give you the low down, we’ve asked our designers to share their inspiration behind the range – straight from the horse’s mouth!

So, when designing a new range for Bridleway, what is most important to you?

“Practicality is key. When designing the new 2018 range, and all of our previous clothing, we always make sure that the clothing is fit for a busy equestrian lifestyle. Riders need to be comfortable as their wardrobe is always put to the test! The fabric and the fit play a big part in this, we test all of our styles and sizes on riders to ensure we achieve optimum comfort.”

We’ve seen some new colours make an appearance in this catalogue, what’s the story behind those?

“Well, practicality is great but we all want to look fabulous too! This year’s colour palette brings together a traditional navy with a sage green. We wanted to step away from the norm and bring in a new staple colour, and sage was the perfect option. It is smart and stylish, and also looks great with denim – making it perfect leisure wear too! All that topped off with pink lining and trims… Who doesn’t love a little pop of pink?! Not us!”

What did you have in mind when designing the new range?

“We wanted this compact range to provide everything you need for daily equestrian life. We focused on layering options, so that you are covered whatever the weather. Mornings can be cold, so this is where the Willow Padded Jacket and the Cherry Pom Pom Hat come in handy, but as the day goes on and you build up a sweat riding you can rely on the Rowan Midlayer & Sycamore Baselayer to keep you at the perfect temperature! The versatility of this range also means you can dust off the straw, swap your breeches for your favourite jeans and you’ll look great away from the yard too.”

The Collection:

From the sporty Sycamore Baselayer to the lightweight, padded Willow Jacket, meet the Bridleway 2018/19 clothing collection – making layering, and looking good, effortless.

Sycamore Baselayer

Sporty and functional with a round neck and flat lock seams, the Sycamore is the perfect foundation for any riding outfit. Multi-stretch fabric and moisture wicking properties ensure you can work hard without compromising on comfort.

Style suggestions:

Wear with a pair of riding tights or breeches, choosing additional top layers and accessories to match the weather. Looks great when co-ordinated with the Hickory Hat Cover or Cherry Pom Pom Hat.


Rowan Midlayer

Offering a flattering, fitted silhouette, this lightweight jacket is perfect for multi-layered looks. Whether you wear it riding, or as part of a casual, leisure look, this sporty top will help keep you at the optimum temperature.

Style suggestions:

Slip the Rowan Midlayer over the Sycamore baselayer to create a lightweight combo perfect for riding. In cooler weather, add the Pine Wind Soft Shell and a coordinated Cherry Pom Pom hat for extra warmth on the yard.


Pine Wind Shell Jacket

This smart jacket is at home anywhere you are. Wind resistant with a lined collar and colour-popping contrast trims, this navy jacket is a definite wardrobe winner.

Style suggestions:

Whilst this jacket works with any casual outfit, we love how great it looks styled with a baselayer, midlayer and a pair of comfy riding tights. With its pink accents, this jacket looks fabulous when coordinated with the Hickory Hat Cover and pink pom pom!


Willow Padded Jacket

Whether you’re headed to the shops or out riding, this padded jacket offers a flattering, contoured fit. Finished off with gorgeous pink accents, elasticated cuffs and a handy inside pocket – perfect for storing your phone or hiding some polos.

Style suggestions:

This jacket looks fantastic with denim, just add the Cherry Pom Pom Hat (we’d pick pink or sage) for the perfect cosy autumn/winter outfit. For riding, wear the Willow Jacket over a baselayer, with a pair of winter riding tights, and you’re ready for a cosy winter hack.


Maple Winter Riding Tights

An undoubtable winter essential. Fleece lined multi-stretch fabric and flat lock seams ensure your legs are comfortable and cosy on colder days. The streamlined leg cuffs are perfect for tucking into your favourite pair of boots.

Style suggestions:

Be warned, you’ll never want to take these off in winter. You can pair any of our new tops or jackets with these tights and know you’ve got the perfect riding outfit ready to go. Inject a bit of extra colour with the pink Cherry Pom Pom Hat or Hickory Hat Cover with pink pom pom, plus some Hemlock Socks for cosy toes.


Find this fantastic new collection at your local Bridleway Equestrian stockist or online!

Become a dressage maestro with these top training exercises

We all know achieving dressage success is no free-walk on a long rein in the park. It takes time, patience and productive training to achieve the marks you want. If you’ve found yourself in a bit of a schooling rut lately, never fear – follow these simple exercises to get your horse moving in a forward rhythm, a supple frame and with an elastic contact.

Warm-up: Long and low

Encouraging your horse to warm up in a long, low frame – stretching throughout his body with an extended neck – means you can coax him into a forward rhythm while asking him to seek the contact. Don’t start with your reins at washing-line length, though – allow him to gradually take the rein down as you work, incorporating simple shapes such as 20m circles and 5m loops to give him an active contact to work into and to occupy his mind. Don’t worry if he’s doesn’t have a beautifully arched neck, as you’re aiming for a forwardness and feeling your horse at the end of your rein. Besides, a curve in the neck doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve achieved a good contact!

Exercise 1: Bend and listen

This serpentine exercise is a real test of your warm-up. If your horse is moving forward and seeking the contact correctly, you should be able to gradually pick up a shorter rein and maintain that lovely, elastic feeling with an active step. Your job is to maintain this feeling around the curves of your serpentine and for your trot-walk-trot transitions over the centre line.

Start on either rein and establish an active trot and with horse listening to you. Preparing your turns is key, so make sure your line of vision anticipates the movements you’re about to make, your inside leg supports the turn, and your outside leg maintains impulsion and guards against falling out. Meanwhile, your outside hand should permit the stretch to the inside through his neck.

Before your transition, half-halt to prepare your horse and remind him to keep seeking the contact before asking him to come forwards to walk, keeping your core engaged and your leg secure to prevent hollowing. When you ask for trot again, make sure you don’t throw away the contact and keep looking for your next turn. Next, step things up by trying the exercise in canter.

Wrapping it up: Super circles

In order to ride a correct 10m circle, especially in canter, you’ll need a horse who’s forward enough to maintain his rhythm, supple enough to follow the curve of the circle through his body and accepting enough of the contact to guard against rushing, breaking and falling out. If you’ve not done this exercise before, start with a 15m circle and work your way down.

To ride a correct ten-metre circle, you need to leave the track just after A, touch D at the top of your circle and re-join the track again just before A. You might find you need to use more leg than on your serpentine curves, but don’t let this encourage you to collapse your position or throw away your reins – focus on riding your horse in a way that allows him to move forward and bend around the circle without rushing.

Heading to a dressage competition soon? Get yourself kitted out with Bridleway’s range of jackets, saddlecloths and more, visit bridlewayequestrian.com

Equine dehydration: what you need to know.

Dehydration in horses can be very serious, so being able to spot and prevent it, particularly during the warm summer months, is an absolute must. Making sure your horse has access to a clean, plentiful supply of water at all times is essential, but there’s certainly more you can do to make sure your horse avoids dehydration.

Spotting the signs

At best, your horse’s performance will be affected by dehydration, but in more severe cases it can lead to him exhibiting the symptoms of colic and you’ll need to call your vet.

Dehydrated horses can seem lethargic and produce thick, sticky saliva. Their urine is often darker and their mucus membranes, such as their lips, can become particularly red and congested.

Pinching the skin on your horse’s neck and counting the number of seconds it takes to spring back used to be a widespread method to check for dehydration, but recent research has since suggested that this is unreliable. Instead, checking for tacky gums is a more accurate, easy-to-test indicator of dehydration.

Did you know?

The most accurate way to test for dehydration is to have your vet examine a blood sample for the level of proteins in it – a high level indicates dehydration.

In the summertime

Horses are designed to cool down through sweating. By doing so, they also lose water and body salts, which contributes to dehydration. But, did you know your horse loses water through respiration, too? Therefore, exercising your horse in hot weather, causing him to sweat and increasing his respiration rate, contributes heavily to loss of water and can put him at risk of dehydration.

If you’re taking your horse out competing all day while the weather’s warm, there are plenty of steps you can take to keep him hydrated. Make sure he’s got access to water at all times just as you would at home, and try adding a flavouring such as apple juice if he’s reluctant to drink and if he won’t at all, try a slushy feed such as sugarbeet. Bring plenty with you, as washing him off after his class will help cool him down and reduce his need to sweat and he’s more likely to want to drink water that tastes more familiar to him, too.

Winter blues

It’s not just the summer months and exercise that pose a risk to him. The moisture in grass goes a long way to contributing to your horse’s daily water needs, so when this is scarce over the winter and is replaced with much drier hay, he’ll need to drink much more to stay hydrated. Horses can be put off by ice in their buckets, so you could try insulating his water bucket by putting it inside a tyre and packing round the edges with straw, or bobbing a tennis ball in it to prevent it freezing over.

What you feed can also help guard against dehydration. Again, feeding sugarbeet can help increase his water intake, but consider your horse’s forage ration, too. Haylege has a much higher moisture content than hay and will increase how much water he consumes, but you could also try soaking your hay.

Last but not least, it’s imperative you replace the body salts your horse loses through sweat and respiration – not just the water. You can do this by feeding an electrolyte supplement at the recommended rate.

For all your equestrian needs, visit www.bridlewayequestrian.com

Handling the Heat – 10 Tips for Better Summer Riding

The UK is currently experiencing the longest heatwave it’s had in five years. Over lots of cool water and an ice cream or two, Bridleway’s team have been discussing how we, and our horses, have been coping with this beautiful but troublesome weather.

Here are our top 10 tips to help you handle the heat when riding this summer:

  1. Change your routine
    Ride in the coolest parts of the day, avoiding the midday sun. Get up early or wait a bit longer in the evening before riding to make sure you and your horse don’t overheat when you’re out. Consider stabling your horse during the hottest part of day too, as this will protect them from the sun and pesky flies.
  2. Use fly spray AFTER you tack up
    A good fly spray is a lifesaver for horse and rider in the summer months, as it is the peak season for horseflies and midges. However, remember to only apply to your horse’s coat after you’ve tacked up – fly spray under a confined area, like the saddle, can cause irritation when your horse sweats.
  3. Choose breathable fabric for your horse
    Even when riding during the cooler parts of the day, keeping your horse dry and cool is important. By choosing a saddlecloth and girth that are made with a breathable or wicking fabric, your horse will stay comfortable. Saddlecloths made from a quick-dry fabric will draw away moisture from your horse and keep him cool. Plus, an ergonomic girth like the Contour Comfort Girth allows greater airflow and reduces moisture, minimising the risk of rubbing or chafing.
  4. Protect yourself
    Whether you’re riding in an open arena, hacking out, or just doing yard work, remember to keep yourself protected too. Stay in the shade where possible, regularly top up your sun cream, and wear breathable clothing, like riding tights or a base layer. The base layer’s moisture wicking properties will keep you feeling fresh, and longer sleeves, whilst sounding counterproductive, will protect your skin from the sun and do a better job at keeping you cool than short sleeves.
  5. Stay hydrated
    Whilst long hacks aren’t advisable during the hottest parts of the day, if you are out for a while, take supplies with you in a handy bum bag. A bottle of water and an energy bar will keep you going and help replace the nutrients and water you’ll lose when you sweat. Offer your horse water on return from your ride and don’t forget to have a drink yourself.
  6. Use a fly veil
    Your horse’s ears are a sensitive spot that flies love to attack. Keeping them covered with a fly veil can protect them from biting insects and have the added benefits of blocking noise and looking good too (especially when paired with a matching saddlecloth!).
  7. Avoid still or stagnant water
    From puddles to ponds, areas of still water are a breeding ground for midges. If your usual hack takes you near a pond, try and find an alternative route to stop your horse getting pestered.
  8. Take it steady
    A lack of rain and constant sunshine dries out the ground, making for uncomfortable footing for your horse. When hacking, try to avoid riding too quickly on hard ground or rocky surfaces. Keep to a walk or trot, as this is less likely to cause damage to your horse’s legs. Stick to an arena for your faster paced schooling work.
  9. Don’t forget the cool down
    Once you’ve returned from your ride, take your time to cool your horse down properly. Sponging or hosing him off will help bring his temperature down and a good body wash brush and sweat scraper will help make the process easier. Don’t forget to reapply the fly spray once he’s dry and pop on a fly mask and lightweight fly sheet for extra protection.
  10. Make cooling treats for your horse
    After a warm ride, your horse will need to cool down and stay hydrated. Help him by using handy tricks that encourage him to drink more, such as adding apples for him to bob for in his water trough or bucket. Another fun idea is to create a frozen horse lick with water and chopped up apples and carrot. He’ll be cool, hydrated and kept amused with his very own ice lolly!

Hopefully these 10 tips will help you and your horse stay comfortable and make the most of this British heatwave.

For all of your summer equestrian needs, visit your local Bridleway stockist or  www.bridlewayequestrian.com

Perfect Protection

For all horsey people, their trusty four-legged friend’s safety is paramount and thankfully, there’s a wealth of kit available to fit every horse, from fine-boned Thoroughbreds to chunky cobs.

However, it’s also important to consider your own safety. Rider protection takes many different forms, be it high-visibility clothing or riding hat bags to cushion your most vital piece of safety gear.

Best foot forward

Boots and bandages come in a wide range of colours and styles, and can be used for a variety of purposes, including competition, travel and training, to help protect your horse from cuts and bumps while he’s out and about. Brushing boots are suitable for daily exercise, while over reach boots help protect the bulbs of his heels. The Bridleway Fleece Trimmed Quick Fit Over Reach Boots are available with a fleece lining that reduces the risk of rubbing or discomfort.

Shine bright

Making sure you can be seen is essential while hacking out, especially on the road. A simple piece of high-viz, such as a hatband or vest, helps you to be seen up to two seconds earlier by other road users. Bridleway’s stunning range of orange high-viz clothing is designed to make you and your horse stand out while out on the road.

Buzz off

At the height of the summer, pesky flies irritate us all. Relieve the stress by kitting your horse out with fly masks, veils and rugs to reduce the risk of fly bites and to help alleviate itching. Choose from Bridleway’s range of fly rugs and team up with a fly mask to create the best combination for your horse to keep him fly free. For ultimate fly protection, treat him to a Bridleway Sweet-Itch Bug Stoppa rug, which has breathable fabric to keep him cool on a hot summer’s day. In addition, liberal use of fly spray is a good idea, and you can also buy creams or gels for sensitive areas.

Ahead of the game

Protecting your head is the first port of call for rider protection, but it’s also important to protect your helmet. Invest in a padded hat bag to keep your hat safe from dirt and damage while on the move. Many bags include pockets to store extra essentials such as gloves, which help to protect your hands and improve your grip on the reins.

Protection is priceless for both yourself and your horse, so head over to bridlewayequestrian.com for all your safety needs.

jumping success Bridleway Equestrian

Jumping success – exercises to try at home

Jumping at home is something a lot of riders enjoy, but without the help of an instructor it can be hard to know what to work on. Setting up one fence to pop over a few times on each rein might be fun for a few minutes, but there’s not much for you and your horse to learn from it. Here are a few simple exercises to help inspire you to take your jumping at home to the next level.

On the grid

Gridwork is very effective for improving horse and rider technique and confidence. A line of fences in quick succession encourages your horse to concentrate and pick up his feet, while your position is tested as the lower leg becomes an anchor, and the urge to over-fold must be resisted.

Another benefit of gridwork is being safe in the knowledge that you’ll hit every fence on a perfect stride and in a powerful canter every time. Using a grid to set you both up to a stride or two before an oxer makes trying bigger fences feel easier and less daunting.

Start with a three-bounce fence in a line, each 3–3.7m apart, and a fourth another 6.4-7.5m away to ride as one canter stride. Remember to build the fences up slowly – don’t just ask your horse to tackle the whole grid from the word go as this might knock his confidence.

A different angle

Jumping fences on angles encourages your horse to think on his feet and will give you a real advantage in a jump-off situation. After you’ve warmed him up over a couple of fences, set up a small upright in the middle of the school for ease of approach from A on both reins. Keep the place pole under the original line of the fence, but move the right-hand wing around slightly towards E. This will create an angled, corner-shape fence with a ground line that’s easy for your horse to interpret.

As your horse grows in confidence, you can create a steeper angle with the fence and even place the ground line directly beneath it to make the exercise more challenging.

Get creative

The most important aspect of your jumping is that both you and your horse enjoy yourselves. If you’ve been asking a lot of him recently with difficult exercises and competitions, why not try taking a more relaxed approach to jumping every once in a while – it’s possible to do this and still teach him something.

Instead of demanding a high degree of technical accuracy, try jumping some small yet unusual obstacles he might not have encountered before. Maybe you have some plastic barrels lying around, or some tarpaulin that can be fashioned into a makeshift water tray? Asking him to approach some new and interesting fences will not only boost experience and bravery, it’ll give you the chance to learn how to ride positively into fences he may have doubts about.

Don’t forget to protect your horse’s legs with boots when you’re jumping. See Bridleway Equestrian’s range of affordable boots and bandages at bridlewayequestrian.com.

Bridleway Grooming Tote

Grooming routines your horse will love

Grooming your horse isn’t just about making him look squeaky-clean. Regular grooming will keep him comfortable while he’s wearing his tack, and promotes overall skin health and loosens his muscles. It also offers the chance to thoroughly check him over and help him shed any dead hairs. Plus, daily grooming allows for valuable bonding time and will build trust between you and your horse. Here’s how to make the time you spend grooming him extra special.

A shedload of hair

At this time of year, loose hair can make your horse hot, itchy and uncomfortable. Turning him out without a rug on, if the weather permits, will let him have a roll to dislodge some hair – which will give you the chance to give him a thorough groom when you bring him back in.

You can help him speed up the shedding process as you groom him. Use a rubber curry comb in vigorous circles to further dislodge any hair and help bring mud to the surface. Once you’ve done this all over, use a brush with stiff, long bristles, such as the Bridleway Long Bristled Dandy Brush, to flick away the hair and mud you’ve worked out of his coat. Finish by rubbing a hot, damp cloth over him to lift away any remaining hair and dirt to leave him with a clean coat. Add baby oil to the cloth to give him that extra sparkle.

Hot and bothered

With warmer weather on the way, your horse will really appreciate a cool down after a ride, particularly if he’s hot and sweaty. It’ll help loosen off his muscles after hard work, too.

Rather than just hosing him down, try using a wash brush to really work the sweat out of his coat to avoid leaving marks. Concentrate on where his saddle has been to help alleviate any tightness in the muscles post-exercise. When you’ve finished, don’t forget to use a sweat scraper to remove any excess water from his coat – the Bridleway Spotless range includes a good range of grooming equipment and matching grooming bag to keep your kit together.

Best of friends

What better way to unwind is there than spending time pampering your horse? Not only will this strengthen the bond between you both, but there are also added health benefits that come with it, such as boosted circulation and a sense of calm.

A great way to bond with your horse is to mimic the way another horse would groom him. You might often see your horse and his field mate stood side-by-side, grooming each other’s manes, necks and backs. Focus on grooming him in these areas, with short brush strokes. With any luck, he’ll turn his head and groom you in return!

Bridleway products and great advice can be found at your local Bridleway stockist, find your nearest at bridlewayequestrian.com