where it all began…

Intelligent Horsecare was founded by cheeky scots-lass from the islands and is run by a somewhat unusual southern African who met over the pages of a book they had both read across the counter of a village shop. Although growing up on opposite sides of the world they quickly discovered that not only did they have similar eccentric backgrounds but their lives had evolved similar lines of thought half the world away. When not discussing horses, photographing horses, debating issues relating to horses, one or both can be found out with the horses (either theirs or someone else’s).

In those brief moments when horses are not the topic of conversation you’ll find that dogs are being walked, sheep wrestled with, bales rolled by hand across awkward fields or the weird and wonderful foundlings of the wild world that have arrived in Sylvia’s kitchen being rehabilitated for release.

what makes us different

We’ve searched far and wide, to find the best solutions to make keeping horses that little easier and our horses’ lives a little healthier, while aiming to seek the most natural solutions, finally choosing products that what best met our (and most importantly, our horses’) needs. Many of these items were often difficult to source and had to be specially imported, some we liked so much that we decided to share them with other horse owners here in the UK. We hope you’ll find these items as helpful as we have with the dilemmas of domestic horse-keeping.

You’ll also find Tips & Links to a few other products and sites that we believe are effective and worthwhile having a look at, they may be just what you need. We are however of the view that in the end equine health and happiness comes from simple proactive management practices and cannot be bought in bottles or boxes; after all, there is not replacement for the time you spend with your horse and no shortcuts to growing happy healthy horses. So next time you’re mucking out in the dark with the rain pouring down while you pony supervises, just remember, its time well spent because they’re worth it, well, most of the time.

Thanks for Visiting!

meet the herd

Our horse herd is rather dynamic; there are members that find their way to us for a few months  respite and those which have come to us because they or their owners need a bit of help. The core of our herd however is very much constant, no matter how much we might threaten when one or all have unleashed chaos, they are here for the long haul.

An image of Blue

blue

Blue was born with a nose for mischief and the charm to get away with it. A winter with his cousin Freckles has graduated him from the school of troublemakers with flying colours. If there’s an adventure to be had Blue will be the first through the door (even if that means having to climb into and out of paint buckets to get there!) Part puppy dog, part pony this little quarter horse cross appaloosa colt is quietly fearless and takes everything in his own laid back style, if blues music were a horse it would have spots!

Likes: Making trouble – including walking (upstairs) into the cottage to pull laundry off the line and confuse the dogs. Playing at wild brumbies with his best friend Piggy. Practicing for the British Sheepdog Trials by herding the lambs about the field. Exploring the world outside the pasture – the grass is always greener on the other side!

Dislikes: Cyclists which whizz passed inches from his bum! Silver cars, it’s the sky with an engine at horse height and never stands still enough to have a good nose!

star

Star is an all or nothing madame. Half connemara, half thoroughbred she is pony smart and thoroughbred quick. Arriving with enough excess baggage to need her own motor home, she’d been passed from pillar to post, ending up returned back at a dealer’s yard (where we found her); it’s taken time and care to bring her round. She is a constant surprise and source of wonder, from walking under the digger arm of a running jcb to adopting lambs. She nominated herself Blue’s foster mum and guardian from the moment he stepped out the box and has been busying herself teaching him all the good things to eat in the pasture and how to eat them (prickly thistle heads included!)

Likes: Dancing – for star there is no greater joy than kicking up her heels or rearing up to solute the sun in a snow covered pasture. Food – even if it means having to pick up her food bowl and giving it to you so you get the hint!

Dislikes: Plastic bags that float disembodied in the air. Swallows using her bum as a landing strip in the barn (it’s not dignified being perched on!).

piggy

Piggy is part elephant though sees himself as something of a Shetland pony with long legs. This 750kg plus IDx spent most of his life standing about in a stable and as a result has some rather unique querks. Now barefoot and enjoying the freedom of space this twenty-something gentle giant has been recalled from retirement to relive his youth in the esteemed position of playmate first for Freckles and now for Blue.

If there is a fence to push over or a dumper truck to shift Piggy is your man, but always with the very best intentions, after all how was he to know that a fence which kept in cows would bow to his behemoth form, or that dumper trucks roll down hills if used as scratching post!
Likes: Blowing bubbles in water troughs. A good scratch, even if he has to take the door off its hinges to get a better angel. Tractors – you never know what good stuff is hiding inside them.

Dislikes: Midges, they bite! Gates, they were made to be pushed over!

the pack

Here Come the Girls (and boys)!  Trouble is not the exclusive domain on the equine world and just to prove the point the pack is takes trouble firmly between the teeth and drags it through the front door! We’ve always had a house full of furred four-footed family (with the exception of three weeks when we were moving across continents).

The current pack consists of the ‘the girls’ a gaggle of collies that live by the words ‘girls just want to have fun’. The girls are the core of an ever growing pack, it’s ranks now swelled to include several senior citizens and one bear (a 32.kg!, 12-year old retired working collie dog), they’re proving that even old dogs can learn new tricks, including how to open fridge doors for self service!

Duties include (but are not limited to) carrying backpacks on walk, supervising the flock, keeping the sofa warm, digging up pot plants, washing lambs, pulling pony tails, overseeing yard work and making sure everyone plays ball!