WELL I NEVER .............

  • Salt is very important to the horse. It always needs to have a saltlick within easy reach. 

  • A mare is pregnant for eleven months. 

  • The Iceland horse has two extra gaits: tolt and amble. 

  • A fully-grown horse that works hard and sweats a lot can drink up to 50-60 litres of water per 24 hours.

  • Good hay is green, smells good and is free from dust. 

  • The first show-jumping competition in the world was arranged in London in 1869. 

  • The oldest English thoroughbred in the world reached the age of 42 years. 

  • The horse has a small stomach, and needs to be fed at least three, preferably four times a day.

Horses were first domesticated in the Ukraine approximately 6,000 years ago.

A Sport for all Ages

Riding is a sport that suits everyone. It can be both exciting and relaxing. The closeness to the horse makes the sport different from other sports. Riding is also a sport that one can take part in whatever one’s age but the size and temperament of the horse is important.

The horse is the best teacher. According to an old saying – the newer the rider, the more experienced the horse! Riding is a sport which handicapped people can enjoy.  It is also a very equal sport with  boys and girls competing on the same conditions all the way up to top level.

Some useful advice

Start at a riding-school with good instructors. Equip yourself with casual clothes, preferably without seams that might chafe, shoes or boots with heels, and a safe riding cap. Get an accident insurance, and choose the right horse.

Before you buy your own horse, you could be a feed host for someone else’s in order to understand what it takes to have one’s own horse. Estimate all the expenses. Think why you want a horse. Be critical. Do not buy the first horse – ask experienced people for help.

If you want to compete, you need a green card to show you have learned the prerequisites of competing, the rules and horsemanship. The calmest way is to start in the home club. Both the horse and the rider have to be well prepared and in good shape.

Riding Cap  

The riding cap is the most item of equipment. It should fit well on the head and the strap needs to be buttoned under the chin. Make sure that you have a good riding cap and never buy a used one.  


Boots, shoes with heels such as jodhpur boots, or riding shoes are a must when you ride. The heel prevents the foot from slipping through the stirrup, if there is an accident. Never go riding in plimsolls or trainers.


  There are several kinds of security stirrup, the most important thing is that the stirrup fits the foot, not so small that the shoe gets stuck and not so big that the foot easily slips through.


The saddle needs to be well placed, so that the horse does not get any chafes or swellings. Tighten the girth until you can get three fingers between it and the horse’s belly. If the saddle glides forwards, you can put on a tail guard. If it glides backwards, you might use a breast-plate. If you buy a used saddle, check that the pole is not broken.

Snaffle bridle and Reins

 Regularly check that the snaffle bridle is whole and that no seams have come apart. If the rein or the snaffle bridle break when you are out riding, you could have a bad accident. All leather items need to be oiled regularly so that they are not spoilt.


Never ride in short sleeves or shorts even in the middle of the summer as if you fall off you could get nasty abrasions. It is more comfortable to ride in breeches than in ordinary trousers as they have no seams. In winter use the ”layer by layer” method when dressing in order to keep warm. Put your scarf under your jacket as a long dangling scarf could catch on something.


In winter it is important that you put reflective stripes on yourself, as well as on the horse. The horse needs reflective stripes on its legs. There are horse blankets with a reflective surface for sale and for the rider there are reflective waistcoats and lamps to put on boots that show white light forwards and red light backwards.





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