How to jump on horseback

Jumping on horseback gives you a great adrenalin rush and is a challenge for you and your equine friend. It’s also a whole bundle of fun. So whether you and your horse are heading for the county show or just want to tackle a clear round in the field I’m here to help.

  • Never jump alone. Have a friend on the ground, preferably somebody qualified if it’s your first time jumping. This is important for a number of reasons (safety included) but if you keep on hopping on and off your pony to change the jumps your horse will get bored and think this isn’t that fun of a game.
  • Show your pony how to do it. One of the best ways to increase a nervous or shy ponies confidence is to have a more experienced horse jump successfully in front of them. Horses are herd animals… you get the gist.
  • Warm up. As with all riding activities it is important that you do a little groundwork to warm your horse up. If it is the first time a horse is attempting to jump, place the jump in the centre of the field (or sand school) and walk/trot your horse in wide circles around it. Continue your normal warm ups but getting closer to the jump. This is to accustom your horse to the foreign object in their environment.

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  • Start small. If you’re a newbie I recommend you put the cups lower down in the wings. Trot for the first month or so of jumping as that encourages your mount to jump correctly. Jumping from a standstill sucks, but wait it out and he, or she, will kick the habit. And if you want your horse to love jumping just as much as you do make sure you don’t go pulling on the bit when you approach the jump. Instead grab his/her mane or neckstrap and lean up and forward.
  • Make sure you’re in the correct position (see below). Rise forward and up in the stirrups and your weight should naturally fall to the balls of your feet. This is not good! 😉 Shift your weight from the balls of your feet to your heels and you’re good to go! Shorten those stirrups by a couple of holes too, just don’t forget to lengthen them afterwards. When you lean forward your arms should be further up your ponies neck to give him, or her, plenty of room to stretch out and make that jump. If you feel insecure practice beforehand at a walk or trot as horses can sense when you are nervous.

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  • Don’t sit down (at least not until you’ve landed safely). If you’re doing a close double/triple stay in the jumping position until you’ve come out the other side. Bouncing between jumps is great practice for you and your equine companion.
  • Jump safely! Ensure the jump is properly made (if it isn’t a vertical that the back pole is higher). Any stray poles are properly spaced according to your horses stride (which you will learn in time) and the ground is safe and all gates are closed. Although jumping is a great activity it can also be dangerous so it’s important that you wear protective gear, such as a hard hat and a body protector. See here for the Highway Code rules for riding.
  • Say thank you. Always look to yourself before blaming your horse. Although it is nice to have a rosette fluttering from your horses bridle there’s always next time and everyone deserves praise however little the win. Your pony is star for even trying.

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Whether you can jump already or are a newbie to the jumping universe I’m here as a helping hand but I don’t replace a qualified instructor. If you’re serious about riding consider riding lessons, or if they are too expensive you could always volunteer at your local stables in exchange. Stables are always in need of extra help.

Why not call in to talk to us about our Hacking Around range (bridleways marked). If we don’t produce maps for your local area and you wish to stock them then we are happy to produce them for you (no extra charge and a starter pack of ten titles)!

For our contact details see here.

Photo credit: RS photography

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Summing up the Spring Fair

Having returned from Giving and Living last month we set out to the Spring Fair up in Birmingham with a positive attitude. As always the trade show never failed to impress and we had a blast! We came away having met up with lots of old faces and inviting new friends onto the stand too. Fortunately, we had a very eye-catching stand so we do tend to catch the wandering eye!

The Spring Fair isn’t only about getting your brand out in front of so many eyes but building a good working relationship with new retailers (and sneaking in a quick game of cricket). Country store, La Di Da in Andover and The Henge Shop were both very enthusiastic about the maps and ordered that very same day! If you’re local to the area or heading there on holiday do pop in to La Di Da or The Henge Shop to pick up a local area walking map of the area.

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Not to forget our regulars! It was great to see Malvern TIC on our stand who reminded us that we had promised them a Worcestershire Way Zigzag, long distance footpath series map. I am sure they will be glad to hear that we have created the map and a copy will be winging its way to them the beginning of next week 🙂 As we tell all our retailers, if you want to stock it we’ll make it and the minimum is just 10 maps. After all if we don’t believe in our retailers why should we ask anyone else to?

Everyone who came onto the stand during Spring Fair 2016 was entered into a draw to win a brand new site-centred canvas map. The Old Electric Shop was drawn as the winner and will be receiving their map shortly 🙂 Based in Hay on Wye they have a wonderful shop with a lovely vegetarian cafe and an event space too. You can follow them here.

Our Yellow Atlas is also a finalist in the accessories category of the UK Outdoor Industry Awards. There are only two days left until online voting closes so please do vote! All voters have the chance of winning a finalist product so it’s worth a shot.

If you’re a long distance walker our Yellow Atlas is by far our best product, with the best coverage at a bargain price. Take for example our Brecon Beacons atlas, it covers the entirety of the Beacon Way at 1:40000 for £11.99. 

So please vote here and be in with the possibility of winning a free sample! 🙂

 

Three romantic Valentines walks

What better way to spend that special day than exploring the outdoors with your partner. Rather than a meal under candlelight we recommend a walk in the woods to bond with your other half. Whether it’s scrambling up mountains, climbing down beachy cliffs or wading through rivers getting out in the fresh air is good for the soul and good for the heart. What more could you ask for on the most romantic weekend of the year?

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  • Gribben Head, Cornwall. Gribben Head is not only famous for housing the largest landowner in Cornwall, it is the long term residence of Daphne Du Maurier, romantic novelist and author of the famous novel, Rebecca. In fact she based ‘Manderley’ on the Menabilly Estate at Gribbin Head. The headland is owned and preserved by the National Trust but open to the public so you can both walk in Daphne du Mauriers footsteps and find inspiration in the beautiful wildlife and scenery that the South West Coast Path provides. If you are looking for a local area map of Gribben Head you can find one in stock at one of our many Cornish retailers. To name a couple: The Bookshop in Liskeard or Bookends in Fowey depending on which direction you’re coming from.

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  • Boot, Lake District. Despite being difficult to get to, the tiny village of Boot is well worth the trouble. The Lakes are well renowned for their unspoilt beauty and en route to your destination the both of you will have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the scenic landscape. Hidden away in the Eskdale Valley it’s a stunning spot for those looking to get away from the masses for the day and enjoy a stroll hand in hand. We don’t currently produce local area maps of the Eskdale Valley but if you’re a retailer and interested in stocking the map we will create it for you. See our website for more details.

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  • Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. Laced through with Shakespearean history Stratford-upon-Avon presents a solid romantic backdrop for any couple in love (and not just with literature). There are plenty of options trails-wise but we recommend the River Avon Trail, a long distance footpath that runs through Stratford-upon-Avon itself. On the North side are the world famous RSC theatres and the church in which Shakespeare is buried and on the South side the recreation ground. For a local area map of the beautiful Stratford-upon-Avon please visit the Tourist Information Centre where you will also find some great Valentines themed activities!
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For singletons Valentines Day is often a time when you can feel most lonely. So why not walk with friends or join a walking group? Walking is both a pleasurable and intimate activity and offers up much conversational titbits, especially when walking among the stunning scenery Britain provides. The Ramblers run walking groups all over the country and make it very easy to find a group in your community if you’re interested.

Heading out to the NEC

Only two weeks ago we finished up at the excellent Giving and Living Trade Show and now we’re heading out to Birmingham for the Spring Fair. Our entire workforce is very excited for the trade show and are just finishing prepping the new products for the fair today.

We now have over 1000 titles to our name and the production staff have worked tirelessly to make sure we have them all ready for the show.  Our creative director and the team have redesigned and revamped a number of our fixtures to give the stand a refreshed feel for what we know will be a very busy Fair.  Meanwhile our admin co-ordinators are gearing up for an influx of orders from new customers, to be processed alongside the many that are already coming in for existing contacts who are stocking up for half term! It’s all go go go at the moment 🙂

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But this rigmarole is something we are well accustomed to. We have been exhibiting at the Spring Fair for a few years now. In 2014 our Around and About little yellow walking map was placed in the top 3 in the ‘Under 10’ category receiving a highly commended. Quite an accolade seeing as the Spring Fair is the UK’s number one gift and home trade event!

To see Yellow Publications exhibitor page on the Spring Fair website, click here. If you’re visiting the NEC we’ll be in Hall 5, Stand 5BB54, so please come and say hi and experience our maps in person.

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Our innovative Yellow Atlas series is also a finalist in the accessories category in the UK Outdoor Industry Awards. All voters will be entered into a prize draw to win one of our fab atlases so please do vote to be entered. You will also have our heartfelt thanks when we win and we will mention you, as a collective, in our speech when we claim our award. Maybe the prospect of a free atlas is better though? (see below)

Thank you very much and you’ll hear from me next week on how we did at the Spring Fair! This is the last of the trade fairs until Harrogate and the OIA conference in March when the Outdoor Industry Awards get announced so vote your socks off!

If you want to keep in touch with current events follow us on twitter and like us on facebook or you could just check our website out.

 

5 top tips for walking in the wet

Despite the Met Office and their new storm system predicting the worlds end every other week nothing beats battling the elements. There’s really nothing more thrilling than stepping outdoors when mother nature is having a little fun!*

So here are my top five tips on how to enjoy a walk in the rain:

  • Walk with a friend. Two is often better than one and safer too when you’re walking in bad weather. In addition to walking with a companion you should always notify someone of your whereabouts in case you get injured or lost (much more likely in wet weather). You should always take a waterproof map with you and plan your route beforehand. We recommend you use our local area walking maps as they are conveniently pocket sized, waterproof and use OS data at an easy to read scale. Click here to be taken to the website.IMG_3387.jpg
  • Visit a river or a waterfall. Walking in the wet can get depressing if you don’t enjoy one of the main benefits, the views. Water in turmoil is wonderfully dramatic and gives your walk a purpose. Obviously don’t walk too close for obvious reasons 😛 I don’t recommend climbing up too high in bad weather as it can be very dangerous and you can get quite chilly with the rain and wind blowing up a hoolie. Stay on conventional paths and under trees for protection from the weather.
  • Walking boots for wet weather. Unfortunately walking and running shoes are not water resistant. Waterproofed hiking boots are available or you could wear gaiters over the top of them to prevent any rainwater seeping in.
  • Keep your walk short, but not too short. Walking in the rain can become disheartening as the damp starts to seep in and you begin to feel depressed. We recommend you cut your walk relatively short to avoid the harshest of the Winter walking blues! Be sensible when cutting down your mileage and keep those miles up; we don’t want you cutting your walk in half. 🙂Cat_and_Fiddle_public_house_-_geograph.org.uk_-_40707
  • Finish up in a great pub. The idea of that meal will get you walking that extra mile when you’re wet and tired. There’s nothing better than drying off next to a roasting log fire and eating steak pie and chips (or whatever you fancy).

But most importantly make sure you have fun in the rain. Splash in some puddles, catch raindrops on your tongue, release your inner child and remember rainy days are fun days 🙂

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*I’m not encouraging you to walk in 80mph winds. You need to consider personal safety at all times especially if you live in the more Northerly parts of Britain where flooding is prevalent.

 

How to make a Giving and Living

We’ve had a great week at Yellow Publications. Not only did we receive great news on a personal level but, as I’m sure you’re aware, we’ve been at the Giving and Living Home and Gifts trade show at Westpoint, Exeter which went exceedingly well.

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Many customers old and new visited us on Sunday through to Wednesday. We had a wonderful time, talked a lot about the great outdoors and made lots of new friends as well as welcoming old faces. Just to mention a few regular customers: Dartmoor National Park, Ocean Blue and South Devon Railway dropped by to reorder and, as always, it was lovely to see them again in addition to many other regulars who know who they are 🙂 We love you all!

We look forward to working with all our new customers in the future. Seaton Jurassic and Shakspeare Glass and Arts along with others were particularly enthusiastic about the maps and ordered on the day! The historical Jurassic Coast is not only a UNESCO world heritage site but an adventure in itself if you choose to venture forth and explore. Shakspeare Glass and Arts is based in Langport and in addition to the entertaining glass blowing lessons they run on site Langport is a scenic location and a haven for both walkers and cyclists. The Langport walking festival is run annually and a great deal of fun if you live or are on holiday in Somerset county.

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All in all, Giving and Living was a successful endeavour. I recommend it to all small businesses based in the South West dealing in the gift trade. Next on our radar is the Spring Fair on the 7-11th February, a much larger fair based in Birmingham at the NEC. If we’ll see you there feel free to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. We like to keep in contact and we’re up for a chat about maps and the great outdoors!

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Our Yellow Atlas is also a finalist in the accessories category of the UK Outdoor Industry Awards! I realise this is getting a tad annoying but the fair is coming up soon so it’ll all be over soon *sigh of relief*. If you’re a long distance walker our Yellow Atlas is by far our best product, with the best coverage at a bargain price. Take for example our Brecon Beacons atlas, it covers the entirety of the Beacon Way at 1:40000 for £11.99. 

So please vote here and be in with the possibility of winning a free sample! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five ways to lose those Christmas calories

We all eat a little too much over Christmas and New Year: seconds and thirds of Christmas Dinner and we mustn’t forget numerous tins of chocolates and nibbles, which you never count at the time but regret terribly come January. Here are five simple ways to shed those pesky Christmas calories:

  • Walk it off! Did you know walking is the number one way to trim your waistline? It’s better than working out in the gym or even a daily jog for losing that muffin top, so if you intend to shed those pounds get outside and start walking. Remember to set realistic goals however, one or two pounds a week is a reasonable target.

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  • Stay hydrated. A lot of people often mistake hunger for thirst so will eat rather than drink water. If you’re craving a snack of some sorts ensure you’re not dehydrated by having a glass of water and seeing if you’re still hungry twenty minutes later. If you replace sodas and other sugary drinks with h20 then not only will you start to feel healthier but you can lose up to 5% of your body weight
  • Eat early. There is a myth that eating late at night will make you pile on the pounds. If you eat dinner early then not only will you feel more energised in the morning leaving time for early morning walks but you won’t suffer bloating and you’ll sleep a lot better… leading on to my next point.

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  • Catch enough ZZZZs. A regular adult needs 8 hours of sleep a night. Any less or any more and you will be suffering “metabolic grogginess” – an awesome term coined by the researchers at the University of Chicago. The idea here is if you have one bad nights sleep it increases the likelihood of having a bad nights sleep the following night until you become severely sleep deprived. And do you really think you’re going to be wanting to go out for a ramble after a bad nights sleep?
  • Go easy on the alcohol! Everyone drinks a lot over Christmas. Few know how many liquid calories they’re consuming however and be willing to pay the price. Two standard glasses of wine would take fifty two minutes to walk off and two pints of cider would take one hour and forty two minutes to burn off.  I recommend you cut you alcohol intake in half. While losing inches off your waistline, you will be saving your hard-earned dosh and preventing further liver damage. All in a new years resolution!

If you slip up don’t fret, just take it a day at a time. As I’ve said prior to this anything is doable in twenty-four hours. If you do take my advice please check out our website for local area pocket walking maps and if you like what you see you could click here to vote for the Yellow Atlas in the UK Outdoor Industry Awards (we’re a finalist in the accessories category).