The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

4.10.2022 Jan and Rebel (28)

A Guest Blog By Jan Daley

Whilst the world has raged at covid restrictions, Brexit, the related Northern Ireland protocol (which, to my limited understanding, increases beyond reasonable the paperwork for, and restricts movement of, goods, people, animals, and everything else between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and NI and the rest of the UK – of which we are part! – creating mayhem and shortages of certain products), I have carried on rejoicing, in my selfish, self-centred, utterly self-absorbed, little bubble of splendid isolation.

Limiting social contact has worked well for my health, and has allowed me to increase driving mileage. My driving whip is the ideal tool for enforcing social distancing.

As soon as my 2020-2021 Drive500 challenge was completed on 10 June, I started another one for 2021-2022! It’s an excellent motivator, I find!

We did another drive to the beach (lunch again with Grainne!), and had our first proper beach canters in harness. Another achievement!

Being used to only road driving, Rebel didn’t quite understand circles and figure-8s, but with plenty of space on the beach we were able to start getting our heads around the idea.

Indeed during our road drives after that beach drive, I started using road junctions – where safe to do so! – as little schooling areas to turn and bend, walking and trotting. I noticed that the unexpected changes in speed and direction really upped Rebel’s game, and he started really striding out and enjoying his work again.

It only then dawned on me: how boring to spend your working life walking and trotting along roads when – at 9hh – all you see at eye level is road or grassy verges that you aren’t allowed to snack on! Small wonder the poor lad was bored!

Rule 28 – A change is as good as a rest!

Keep an eye out for my next book, ‘Recognising Pain in Ridden Horses: Performance, Partnership and Potential’, co-authored with Dr Sue Dyson, published by J A Allen, due 2023. Sign up at to be kept up to date with new information as it comes available. Watch a FREE 30 minute documentary on recognising pain in ridden horses here.

Here’s a FREE 30-minute presentation by Sue Palmer on how to recognise pain in your horse.

Other books by Sue Palmer MSc MCSP:

‘Horse Massage for Horse Owners’

‘Understanding Horse Performance: Brain, Pain or Training?’

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2022

October 4, 2022
Sue Palmer