9 months ago


LETTERS Email to

LETTERS Email to Name and address must be included. Letters may be edited. A baler twine wisp is washable, cheap and easy to replace A WISP WORKS A TREAT Sir — I really enjoyed your turnout feature (18 January) and was particularly interested in Kate Johnson’s homemade wisps made from hessian rope or baler twine. I like making mine out of baler twine (pictured, above). They cost nothing to make, work a treat, are washable and once SOCIAL media informs me a lot of people got terribly excited about a supermoon last week — one that, to the untrained eye (mine), looked rather like the moon on any other day. In a slightly unconnected point, there will no doubt be tears of joy on the pavements around Windsor on the day of the royal wedding this year. It does appear that in an era of economic uncertainty, many in this country are simply looking for something far less practical and depressing, something entirely joyous, at which to marvel. Riding out last Tuesday morning as the fog lifted over the weald, I was reminded once again that this is where, as riders and equestrian enthusiasts, we are so very lucky. Whether amateur (see feature, p32) or professional, if we want to enjoy our sport there will be early mornings in every season. And the payoff for that — peace, crunching frost, pink sky, warmth they’re worn out, you can simply make another one. Susan Pearson Rhosllanerchrugog, Wrexham THEY’RE NOT MACHINES Sir — I so endorse the views of Sarah Laye with regard to riders wanting the quick fix (letters, 25 January). It appears parents are becoming ever more competitive for their children to achieve good results, all at the expense of forming a bond with their pony. I come from a non-horsey background, but was given a course of lessons for my ninth birthday. I not only learnt to ride, but was also shown how to muck out, groom and clean tack. But the most important lesson learnt was to always put my pony first. I desperately wanted a pony of my own so to prove to my parents how committed I was, I went without Christmas and birthday presents for three years and had money instead. I eventually saved £50. Then on 28 August 1964, Misty came into my life. I am 66 years old, have owned three horses since then and now in my life is Raymond, with whom another close bond has formed. We compete at novice level affiliated dressage, when the enjoyment is in sharing the experience with my Nothing beats riding as a means of escape In these times of economic uncertainty, is it any wonder we’re relying on the simplest pleasures to lift our spirits? H&H Content Director SARAH JENKINS from his withers and a horse’s cloud breath — is a fine antidote to the loomin rise in interest rates, the uncertainty that follows Brexit and the highest rate of inflation for six years. Skippy doesn’t know her feed just went up 50p per bag. And those carrots just keep coming if she nuzzles my pocket. I like her optimism. And I love the escape she brings. H&H LETTER OF THE WEEK Sir — While reading “Be more honest” (letters, 18 January), a weary feeling came over me. In my younger years, I spent many long days driving to view horses and ponies with clients who requested support and advice. In those days, we did not have the luxury of viewing videos and were lucky to be able to see more than one photograph — usually the only one was the photograph in the advertisement in H&H. Like Mrs Green, I was astounded at the sad misrepresentation of many sellers of their horses. One had to laugh that some had put in their advert “no time wasters please”. After one too many wasted journeys, I adopted a new approach and while speaking to vendors, I’d ask the following: “If this horse is misdescribed in any way regarding temperament, rideability or conformation, are you happy to pay my fuel bill before I leave your premises?” If the answer was no, then I simply stayed at home! Worth a try Mrs Green and good luck in your search. Ginny Oakley Pope Potterspury, Northants The writer of letter of the week wins a bottle of Champagne Taittinger lovely horse, and bringing home a rosette is the icing on the cake. Children and parents should realise that ponies and horses are not machines to win on, but flesh and blood to be loved and respected — learning this will stand them in good stead for life. Elizabeth Gabriel Avonwick, Devon

@ horseandhound TREASURE TROVE Sir — Your recent letters page (25 January) sparked some very happy memories for me from Horse of the Year Show when it was based at Harringay Arena, and the Royal International at White City Arena. However, the difference then was that as school girls, we were allowed to wander around the stables and speak to the riders and heroes of our day — just as we did outside Foxhunter’s stable. NEXT WEEK WHY EVERYONE LOVES A DUN Plus the tooth problem every horse owner needs to know about. Don’t miss it! I remember caressing his noble head and found a single forelock hair in my hand. I kept it and still have it today in a frame. Now in my 85th year, needing to pass on “stuff”, is there anyone interested in acquiring this treasure for their equine archive? A small donation to my local Riding for the Disabled Association would secure and I am confident that any DNA test would prove positive. Angela Doughty, MBE Walgrave, Northants H&H replies: If you’d like to get in touch with Angela, write to her at and we’ll forward your email. HORSEBOX HORRORS Sir — Having loaded a pony into our Ifor Williams 505 trailer, he suddenly started rearing. He got his front legs over the breast-bar, then tried to get his hinds over but couldn’t and was stuck fast. So we had to unscrew the breastbar retaining bolts (thankfully we’d located the Allen key), but one would not unscrew. So I removed the rear partition, then the centre post with the front partition attached. This worked and the pony walked out. So the lessons learnt are to always carry the correct Allen key; check that the breast-bar retaining bolts have not rusted in place as ours had; and regularly grease the bolts. David Larmour Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumb A spokesperson for Ifor Williams Trailers replies: “This incident highlights the need to be aware of what can go wrong when handling even the most calm natured of horses. Your reader’s experience underlines the need to service your horsebox regularly, checking the obvious things like brakes and floors, but also the safety features that you may need in an emergency.” AIMING FOR THE BEST Sir — In reading your recent story about bullying (news, 1 February), I so agree with Olympic dressage rider and trainer Robert Dover. There is a lot of bullying and criticism in the equestrian world and I am pleased that Robert is standing up against it. It can be tough trying to do the best for your horse, and it’s easy to have your confidence dented by unwarranted criticism. Even those of us who compete at a lower level can come up against it. I myself have been on the receiving end, but have been lucky to be supported by positive friends and trainers — we need more of that. Tricia Kilbank Dorchester, Dorset NOT ENOUGH TURNOUT Sir — I am so saddened by the number of horses stabled 24/7 with little exercise during the week and no opportunity to let off steam and be “a horse”. It is well understood by vets, and top riders and trainers that horses need several hours out of the stable each day to ensure that their mental and physical wellbeing needs are met. Why on earth would anyone think of keeping a horse where there is no facility to turn out? Caroline Robinson Frolesworth, Leics Established 1884 Editorial queries 01252 555029 Advertising queries 0800 316 5450 Pinehurst 2, Pinehurst Road, Farnborough Business Park, Farnborough, Hants GU14 7BF. 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