Time the equine industry followed innovative suit as others do?
Have you ever mounted your horse from the off side? It feels mighty strange, but it’s said to be good for them to get used to it in case you suddenly need to in an emergency. I had to recently and it got me thinking about the reasons why we do things with our horses the way we do.
Equestrian tradition and old knowledge
So many of the everyday horse husbandry actions we do are based on tradition. Tapping from the knowledge our forefathers had about horses. That know-how was built up from centuries of working with horses on the land or for transport. Now more recently it is for sport and pleasure.
Many of the things that they did still ring true. Nowadays practices once accepted as the norm are known to be bad for horses. Tying up working horses in stalls for the night to save on stable space was considered fine. After all – horses sleep on their feet, don’t they? Now it is widely known that horses need a small amount of recumbent (lying down) sleep every night to stay healthy and happy. Meaning those poor horses were probably rather sleep-deprived!
Opening our minds to new ways of doing things
Embracing new ideas to support our beloved horse’s well-being should be easy. But it can sometimes be met with derision by the old school horsey types. The latest research shows that soaking hay is not the best course of action for dust-allergic horses, yet you will still see hay soaking happen in yards across the country. The tide does turn, albeit slowly. Natural horsemanship, bit-free riding (never going to happen with Ollie but it sure works for some!) and keeping sports horses turned out 24/7 are all far more mainstream than they were.
I’m privileged to get to see and try some of the very latest equestrian products. Especially those that are disrupting the way we’ve done things for years. The Epona Products Tiger’s Tongue Horse Groomer is a brilliant example. With that in my grooming box I barely use some of the old staples in there.
I own a Thoroughbred and I know that I now so very rarely (if ever!) use a dandy brush on him. His skin is far too sensitive and it would make me feel bad scrubbing away knowing that he was uncomfortable. I’ve also owned horses who would suffer from cracked heels if I repeatedly washed their legs even in late spring, yet if I turned up at competitions or shows with muddy legs it would be seriously frowned upon. Now I have another way to get his coat gleaming and squeaky clean thanks to this fab product!
Revolutionise your grooming process with the Tiger’s Tongue
The Tiger’s Tongue is a brilliant product that is now available to equestrians in the UK thanks to TRI Equestrian. This innocuous looking grooming sponge makes light work of the most ingrained sweat and mud. Lifting it up and out of the coat (like a cat’s tongue, hence the name!) and trapping it in the sponge.
The Tiger’s Tongue also brightens up white leg markings in the blink of an eye. Meaning you don’t need to get out the water and scrub to make sure your horse is presentable. It’s also great for removing mud from the hoof wall and helping to strip a shedding coat. Another benefit is that it can be used both wet and dry.
At a rough count, when you have the Tiger’s Tongue you can do away with the dandy brush, a hoof brush, the rubber curry comb and a plastic curry comb. It’s also a great massage sponge when used wet. As an added bonus, you won’t end up covered in scurf and dirt at the end of a groom – it all gets trapped in the sponge.
Interested in revolutionising your grooming process with one small, extremely affordable item? Check out the Tiger’s Tongue on the TRI Equestrian website here: https://www.triequestrian.ie/epona-tiger-s-tongue.html
And the mounting from the near side? It was handy if you had a sword (normally carried on your left hip) so that you didn’t hurt your horse as you hop on. This is now seen as the safest way if you need to mount when in traffic (in the UK!).