Author Archives: Deborah Jay

NATURAL AIDS (FOR HORSE RIDING, NOT SEX!) – HORSE TIPS FOR WRITERS

Aids? You may wonder why you might need aids to ride a horse, natural or artificial, but believe me, you do. Aids are the umbrella term for the methods we use to communicate our desires to a horse. They are split into two categories: Natural aids Leg, seat and hands – our main means of […]

What is colic?

Tummy ache You may have heard the term ‘colic’ used in relation to babies. Broadly it means the same thing in horses, but is a condition that must be taken very seriously, with around 5% of colics having the potential to be fatal. I should know – I’ve lost three this way over the years. Potentially […]

Interview with Grand Prix dressage rider Debby Lush – me!

Debby Lush: “There are no shortcuts” Debby Lush is a Grand Prix rider, List 1 judge and the bestselling author of The Successful Dressage Competitor and The Building Blocks of Training. She has taken time out from her busy schedule of riding, judging and training to talk about near misses, swapping from eventing to dressage […]

What exactly is a piebald?

Do you remember the film, NATIONAL VELVET? Do you also remember that the horse in that film was called, ‘THE PIE’? Have you ever wondered why such an odd name for a horse? I guess the film makers just couldn’t find the appropriately coloured horse for the part, so they went with a SOLID COLOURED […]

How Old is that Horse? Horse Tips for Writers

How long does a horse live? At what age are they still working? Do you know how to equate horse age in human terms? NO? Guess that’s why you’re here then 😉 How long does a horse live The answer is, of course, as long as a piece of string. Average life expectancy rather depends […]

Did you know a horse could be cold blooded? Horse Tips for Writers

Cold blooded horses? Well, yes. But not like a reptile! Categorisation by temperament Horses can be categorised in a number of ways, taking into account breed and type, but doing it by temperament gives you 3 simple categories: Hot bloods Cold bloods Warm bloods Hot Bloods These are the fiery tempered, least predictable breeds. They […]

So horses are unpredictable, right? Horse Tips for Writers

Yes. And no. Predicting a horse’s reactions, whilst by no means an exact science, is far easier to estimate when you understand a bit about horse psychology. Fight or Flight Horses are prey animals. In most cases this means that when they feel threatened, their option of choice is to RUN. Regardless of who or what […]

3 ways riders communicate with horses

Rider communication with horses If your horses are in a fantasy world, try telepathy. For those of us stuck in mundanity, ways to communicate wishes/instructions to a horse come broadly under 3 categories: 1.Natural aids (no, not the marital type!). These consist of a rider’s hands, legs/feet, and weight. 2.Voice 3.Artificial aids – whips, spurs, […]

Equine sexes

I’m not trying to be sensational – this was a question asked of me by a sports journalist, and is not quite as obvious as it sounds. You’ve heard of COLTS and FILLIES, but when does a colt stop being a colt and become a stallion? As a rough guide, we talk about colt foals […]

Horse Tips for Writers

This is where I shall try my best to share my expert equestrian knowledge with you, hopefully in plain English, to assist writers who want to include any form of horse knowledge in their books. I plan to share tips on such areas as: general information about horses horse care and handling riding horse behaviour […]