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Why I don’t use the measurements Pony, Cob and Full.

To a non-horsey person that must sound like utter gibberish, but the horse lovers amongst us know that every item we purchase for our horse to wear (apart from rugs and saddles) tends to come in three sizes, “Pony”, “Cob” and “Full”. Now that’s perhaps a little brash, some places now offer “X-Full” or “Warmblood” as measurements or perhaps “Small Pony” but realistically there aren’t enough options given the range of horses we have.

Firstly, how many of you have a horse that fits one of these sizes perfectly? “She’s not quite a “Full” but too big for a “Cob!”” “The “Full” fits, I just need to punch some extra holes!” “I just bought the bridle in two sizes and use the “Cob” headpiece and the “Pony” cheekpieces.” Sound familiar? If you just think about it, there are so many different breeds and types of horses, how can we possibly think that 3 sizes will fit them all? Let’s use a bridle as an example. Is a 12hh show pony really going to fit the same size bridle as a 12hh Exmoor?  Will a 16hh thoroughbred take the same bridle as a 16hh Irish draught? I think not.

But even two remarkably similar horses, say two 16.2hh ISH geldings, may have small differences that could result in their bridles fitting differently. One could have a slightly longer head, a narrower nose or longer cheek bones. Another factor to be considered is what type of bit are they ridden in. A bridle may fit a horse beautifully in his snaffle, but change to a leverage bit for cross country and suddenly the cheekpieces are far too long.

You may have read all of that and think, ok that makes sense, but I actually have a horse that genuinely does fit a “Full” size. Well, I hate to break it to you, but there is no consistency with sizing across brands (ladies I’m sure you can relate!) Just now I have googled “Full size bridle measurements” and for the cheekpieces alone, I found four different measurements: 9”, 9.5”, 10.5” and 11”. So, when someone asks me to make a “Full” sized product and I just stare blankly back, this is why, I don’t know what size that is?!

To summarise, I’m sorry if it’s a bit of a pain having to get actual measurements for me, but I promise that there is good reason for it and hopefully a better fit as a result.

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Can we just all be a bit nicer to each other?

Recently the horse community has been getting me down a bit. I find it really sad that this group of people who have so much in common, seems to be so judgemental and full of anger and hatred towards each other. Now before you all come at me, I know full well that it is only a minority of people causing problems, but the negative always seems to make more of an impact than the positive.

Everywhere I go, people are judging others for their riding ability, tack choices, what shoes they put on their horse, if they don’t put shoes on their horse at all, whether they turn their horse out, what colour rugs they buy, if they choose to go un-rugged, the list just goes on! At the end of the day, the one thing I’ve learnt about horses over the years, is everyone has their own way of doing things. Now isn’t this the same as everything in life, we all do things our own way, and if that works for us, what is the problem? It’s like marmite, you either love it or you hate it, but neither is wrong!
I appreciate people have the right to an opinion, but there is no need to push your opinion on others in such an aggressive way.

On the other hand, I have recently got first-hand experience of the best side of the horse community. I posted on a Facebook group last week, looking for some advice. I have been having some motivation issues since the retirement of my horse. (I won’t go into all the details now but if you’re interested let me know and I will write another blog about it.) I posted fairly cautiously, fully expecting to receive a number of judgemental and blunt responses. In fact, the response was so heart-warming I could hardly believe it. I received numerous kind words as comments on my post and a few people even took the time to privately message me. The vast majority of people didn’t judge or pry into my choices or decisions, they simply expressed empathy and shared personal experiences.

So please, can I just ask that we’re all a little bit nicer too each other. Rather than judge how others choose to do things, let’s just be supportive and encouraging. It’s great that we have such a huge community of crazy horse people and we should make the most of it!