Friday, March 15, 2013

Wendy Bliss, Clip and Canter

Located on the outskirts of Wigan, in the North West Territory of the United Kingdom, Wendy Bliss is a freelance coach and equestrian author/writer for The Arabian Magazine. She is the proprietor of Clip and Canter, offering professional clipping services as well as practical training. Her new book, Enhanced Riding, is the process with a release date coming soon!

Welcome Wendy!

What was your first encounter with a horse?
MMMmm. Well I think it was when I was about seven, if you do not count my obsession with riding donkeys on the beach when I was two years old! My parents took us on a family holiday where there were ponies you could ride. My dad (who incidentally knew absolutely nothing about horses) lead me round a field on a pony named Mardy. From that day on I was hooked. When we returned from our family holiday I begged my parents for lessons….

What is your riding discipline?
When I was younger jumping, jumping and more jumping, indeed anything that was not jumping was boring! In my twenties however, I became interested in showing and in particular with my purebred Arab. In my thirties, I then thought I would try my hand at dressage, with my Arab retired, I bought an Irish Sports Horse for the job. I have stopped competing now to concentrate on my teaching.

Do you have a favorite breed?
I love all breeds of horses/ponies, but I have a particular love of Arabs, so strong but delicate, graceful and willing partners with amazing personalities. 

As a trainer, what training methods do you use?
I like to use a combination of methods, each horse and rider is an individual and what works for one, may not work for another. If there is a problem or behavioral issue, then I believe trying to find out why is essential to come up with a solution. I like to use some Classical Training, ‘Natural Horsemanship’ techniques and my own ideas from my experiences. I have a holistic approach to training, utilizing knowledge of equine and human psychology, physiology and my teaching / coaching qualifications to develop horse and rider into successful partnerships.

What is the secret to the perfect clip?
Taking your time! A clean horse and clean sharp blades. By overlapping strokes helps minimize tram lines. Even though I clip lots of horses, I still always chalk lines on them as a guide.

Tell me about your books and freelance...
I am currently a regular writer and contributor for The Arabian Magazine.  My articles, The Enhanced Riding Series, are being developed into a book – Enhanced Riding.

What advice do you have for beginning riders?
If you are thinking of doing it, then do it! Horse riding is an amazing hobby and keeps you fit, both mentally and physically. There is always a risk of falling no matter how experienced we are but taking the time to understand how a horse thinks and appreciate these fantastic animals is a journey, in my opinion well worth embarking on. Always think safety, wearing a hard hat, a body protector perhaps and learning simple safety handling rules can minimize accidents.

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