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New Beginnings and Moving Forward in 2017!
January 01, 2017

New Beginnings and Moving Forward in 2017!

First I'd like to wish you a very Happy New Year!

I'd also like you to know how much I value the fact that you've signed up to this newsletter, and that you're interested in an alternative way of looking after and working with horses.

The last year has seen some big changes for both of us. Camille got married and has moved further north, and I had a baby girl, named Licia, in July.

This meant that I've taken what feels like an eternity of time off working with the horses! It was very important to me to give her all the contact she needed in her first months. Back to work again now though! :)

It's been a wonderful experience so far, and I have some insights relating to horses to share in an upcoming newsletter.

Baby Licia :)

Despite the changes, Happy Horse Training will of course be staying faithful to its holistic principles, and I'm looking forwards to raising the activity on the website again this year, as well as on the facebook group, which I warmly invite you to join if you're not already a member:

It's a friendly place to share any ideas or questions you may have on anything relating to horse care and training.

I also have an exiting new teaching project that I'm going to be launching this year - I'll keep you posted on that in the next few months.

The herd at HHT has also undergone some big changes with Camille's move. Eight horses went with her, and although, inevitably, some strong relationships were separated, all seem to have accepted the changes very well, on both sides.

It goes to show that horses who have a holistic lifestyle that meets their basic needs for freedom and sociability are very adaptable, and are actually less dependent on specific close relationships than horses in a more restricted, artificial lifestyle.

While many old ones remain, some new friendships are forming, and the herd of 15 has plenty of room for each member to find their place.

So far this winter has been very dry and settled here in the south-west of France, thanks to an anticyclone that has got stuck over central Europe! We've been spared the usual mud so far. We have had fairly cold temperatures though, and it's great to see how well all the horses are doing rug-free.

It still surprises me to see them going into their shelter to find shade from what to me is the very welcome warmth of the sun on a chilly winter' day! How uncomfortable they must have been when we inflicted heavy rugs on them in such conditions in the past!

Now they are free to groom each other, feel the sun on their backs or have a gallop or a good roll without an uncomfortable rug getting in the way.

Lulu, the chestnut above, struggled to grow a thick winter coat last year, having been stabled, rugged and clipped previously, and he had a hard time regulating his temperature in both hot and cold weather. This winter his coat has come in thick and tough and his general condition is doing great. Energetically, it feels like he has built a lot of resources that, after some time off, he will be ready to put into his work when we start up again soon. His personality has also become a lot more balanced - he is much less clingy towards people, with a calm confidence in the herd.

This is also the first winter since we completely removed grain from the horses' diet. They have all kept their condition very well so far, including those who are getting on into their twenties and in addition are not good-doer types.

They are still getting a handful of Camelina meal daily, which is an excellent source of omega 3 and 6 oils, plus a small amount of luzerne hay. Otherwise they have ad-lib access to meadow hay via slow-feeder nets, free access to loose sea salt, and to a seaweed supplement, which interestingly they have been relishing lately! Seaweed is a great natural source of minerals, and they seem to prefer the taste to sea salt. It's better to offer it free-choice as some horses are more sensitive to the iodine it contains and will know to avoid it.

Best wishes for prosperity and happiness during the coming year!

Gabrielle Dareau

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The equestrian world is one dominated by traditionalist ideas and conventions, but we would like to help inform the growing minority of horse-owners who want to make their horses happier with progressive and holistic methods.

Happy Horse Training now has over 100 pages exploring many different areas of holistic equitation. Do have a look through our site plan to find the subjects and categories that interest you.

Available from HHT:

The Gymnastic Rider eBook

Available exclusively from HHT, a unique and comprehensive guide to practical rider biomechanics. This professionally produced eBook takes the rider through the process of developing their body in the specific way that brings the horse's movement into harmony and balance, without force and constraint.

The information in this book, including over 55 000 words, represents what we would normally pass on in a minimum of 12 specialist lunge lessons, focusing on each part of the position and its influence on the horse, with a value of at least €450. The Gymnastic Rider is available for only €29.99.

Click here for full details, and to download the 15-page introduction to the book for free.

How to Train a Horse Without Force eBook

The first part in HHT's Training series, this unusually profound and well-written e-book gives a unique holistic understanding of training horses, from the very first contact with a young horse, through to a thoroughly explained method of lunging, that is beneficial for any horse, not just in preparation for first riding, but at any stage of training.

With your purchase you will receive a free bonus supplement on Horse Trauma - cutting edge insights on this subject that up until now have mostly been applied only to human trauma. This supplement shows how to recognise, avoid and deal with horse trauma, which is much more common that we realise.

These two e-books - How to Train a Horse Without Force and Horse Trauma comprise more than 75 thousand words and are richly illustrated. They are available for only 19.99 Euros (around $26). Click here for more details.

Other HHT Products:
The Simple Seven-Step Natural Trim eBook

Learn how to perform the ideal barefoot trim with this comprehensive how-to guide.

Click here to visit Happy Horse Training

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