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The Nagsman

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Since man first started to work with horses centuries ago many civilisations, Egyptian, Roman, American Indian, Mongol, Spanish, Germanic, British and legions more have learnt the secrets of our Equine friends. In Britain these secrets were passed from generation to generation by The Nagsman, men (and women) who lived and breathed horses and through many long hours of toil and labour and love discovered the best ways to motivate, handle and control the horse. The Nagsman was a breed apart, he devoted his entire life to the horse and through his own experience and that of his forebearers became as one with the equine.

Sadly today few Nagsmen remain and the secrets that they hold all to frequently die with them. Our modern educated life, with rules about how long we work and how much we are paid, is gradually removing the Nagsman from our midst. When the last Nagsman dies the equine world will be a much poorer place.

The purpose then of this page is to try and keep alive, with the help of the new technology which in some cases has caused his demise, the spirit of the Nagsman. Here on this page you and I will share the secrets that we have discovered either from a true Nagsman or from our own experience, or from ancient texts.

So if you know some of the Nagsman's secrets email us at : We will publish suitable secrets here on this page, but we reserve the right not to print items which we feel are cruel or dangerous. In the meantime we will keep delving into that fascinating world and bring you:


One way to help control a nervous horse is to briskly rub his wiskers this releases soothing hormones into the bloodstream which in many equines will give a few moments of calm.

Similarly, if you object to a nose or ear twitch, then in some circumstances a skin twitch will work wonders. Simply turn the animals neck towards you and grab a fold of skin. In many cases this will have the same effect as the more traditional twitch without the same trauma to the animal.

Trying to catch a horse or pony in a field who just doesn't want to be caught can be tiresome. So let it catch you. After an initial couple of attempts have proved futile simply turn your back on the problem. Crouch down in the field and ignore the animal, even talk to a blade of grass if necessary! You will be amazed at the number of times that curiosity will get the better of your friend and a nose will suddenly be pushed into your back. (Not to be recommended with Stallions!)

Old remedies are sometimes still the best: If you have a problem with capped hocks try mixing Fullers Earth with Vinegar to form a thick paste and smear this liberally on the hocks - allow to dry and leave over night. Preferably wash off and repeat for a week.

Mud Fever is the horseman's nightmare especially in the current damp conditions and there are a large number of treatments and preventions on the market. But in our experience you can't beat Goose Grease, this cure all is ideal for putting on existing mud fever sores and for a variety of other skin problems. It can also be used every day as a barrier cream to prevent mud fever.

We will be publishing more of the Nagsman's secrets soon, in the meantime send us yours. If you have tried The Nagmans remedies with success email us and let us know!


Click here to see reader contributions to this page

Pat Mather / John Keleher
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School Farm, School Lane,
Pickmere, Cheshire, WA16 0JF, England.
Tel 01565 733259  Fax 01565 733222

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