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WIN! £4,000 OF AMAZING PRIZES UP FOR GRABS! The UK’s best-selling equestrian monthly Issue number 563 March 2017 n Your horse’s social life – revealed n Robert Whitaker’s jumping tips n Behind the scenes at the Animal Health Trust n Bandaging step-by-step photo guide

BANDAGING MADE EASY STEP-BY

TAKE YOUR

HACKING TO THE NEXT LEVEL!

-STEP PHOTO GUIDE

ON TEST

brushing boots for all budgets

YOUR HORSE’S SOCIAL LIFE REVEALED!

›››››››››››› EQUINE REHAB:

how lungeing can help

SPACE INVADERS Teach him to respect your personal space

ROBERT WHITAKER’S

how they’re helping horses like yours £3.99

Mar 2017

JUMPING TIPS

Meet the cutting-edge vets


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UK’s BEST-SELLING EQUESTRIAN MONTHLY

Contributors

Winter is about multitasking, as Kelly McCarthy-Maine found out when she visited eventer, Coral Keen, who shares her next-level hacking tips on p20.

Georgia Guerin spent the day with showing producer Clare Poole learning how she starts retraining her ex-racehorses – p38.

H

ere we are, again! I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but it’s nice to reflect on things you might have done differently and take the opportunity to make some changes, making the new year an even better one. So, I’m focusing on what I can improve. And that list is pretty long. As well as the usual New Year diet (which I’ve probably given up on by the time you read this), I’m going to try to be more consistent in my riding and also a bit more brave. Feeling nervous or just risk-averse is probably the most common worry that I hear when I speak to readers, so I know I’m not the only one who baulks at doing things that, five years ago, I’d have agreed to without hesitation. 2017 is going to be a year of embracing challenges and trying to say ‘yes’ when inside my nervous self is yelling ‘avoid, avoid’. I’m lucky enough to (at the moment) have a sound horse and be fairly sound myself, so what am I waiting for? I hope I’ll see you out there, enjoying your wonderful equine and seizing the moment. After all, isn’t that why we have horses? Until next month,

Is your horse always in your space? Warwick Schiller shares his tips to solve this with Rachel Dyke on p44.

Louise Kittle, Editor

Louise began riding aged six. She’s a qualified BHS IntSM and owns Ted, a six-year-old Irish gelding. They enjoy exploring the countryside, and Louise is a fan of eventing and dressage, although Ted prefers parsnips!

Winner

Our recent awards Consumer Magazine of the Year, PPA Independent Publisher Awards 2016; Publishing Company of the Year, PPA Independent Publisher Awards 2016; Editor of the Year, PPA Independent Publisher Awards 2015

This month with the H&R team... Being fascinated by all things veterinary, I jumped at the chance to visit the Animal Health Trust’s equine clinic and see what goes on there. When I wasn’t being distracted by all the young puppies that were running around the place, desperate to be made a fuss of, I was amazed by what I saw. I had no idea that horses were receiving high-tech cancer treatment, and the

tiny little tendons and pieces of bone I saw being grown in petri dishes in the lab were incredible – who’d have thought anything like that was possible?! Find out more on p72.

Lucy Turner, Assistant Editor

Discover our team’s wealth of horsey experience at horseandrideruk.com EDITORIAL Editor Louise Kittle Assistant Editor Lucy Turner Staff Writer Georgia Guerin Junior Staff Writer Rachel Dyke Editorial Assistant Jessica Lewis Products & Production Freda Jackson ART Art Editor Sarah Garland Designer Adam Witt Assistant Designer Sophie Rigby ADVERTISING & MARKETING Group Advertising Manager Abi Cannon Sales Executives Holly Thomson, Franchesca Slack

Marketing Manager Gemma O’Neil Marketing Co-ordinator Alison Hill Marketing Assistant Hollie Bladen PUBLISHING Publisher Zoe Cannon Accounts Peggy Ainsworth, Sarah Smith Office Manager Vicki Owen Managing Director Kate Austin Publishing Director Terry Grimwood Commercial Director Marion O’Sullivan MBE Deputy Managing Director Andrea Moffatt, Steve Moore

HORSE&RIDER AFFILIATIONS n Supporter of equine charities, including The Animal Health Trust, World Horse Welfare, The Brooke Hospital for Animals and The Donkey Sanctuary n Associate member of the British Equestrian Trade Association and Professional Publishers Association Product prices correct at the time of going to press. Horse&Rider cannot guarantee that items will be in stock or that prices will not change. If you have enquiries regarding products or sizing, please contact the relevant company.

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Horse&Rider, D J Murphy (Publishers) Ltd, Marlborough House, Headley Road, Grayshott, Surrey GU26 6LG phone 01428 601020 email djm@djmurphy.co.uk web horseandrideruk.com

HORSE&RIDER 3


Contents March 2017

Cover stories

14, 120, Cover photo by Bob Atkins 132 WIN! £4,000 OF AMAZING PRIZES UP FOR GRABS! The UK’s best-selling equestrian monthly

50 44 34

Issue number 563 March 2017 n Your horse’s social life – revealed n Robert Whitaker’s jumping tips n Behind the scenes at the Animal Health Trust n Bandaging step-by-step photo guide

20

BANDAGING MADE EASY STEP-B

TAKE YOUR

HACKING TO THE NEXT LEVEL!

86

Y-STEP PHOTO GUIDE

ON TEST

brushing boots for all budgets

114

EQUINE REHAB:

94

Meet the cutting-edge vets

72

YOUR HORSE’S SOCIAL LIFE REVEALED!

›››››››››››› how lungeing can help

SPACE INVADERS Teach him to respect your personal space

ROBERT WHITAKER’S

£3.99

Mar 2017

JUMPING TIPS

how they’re helping horses like yours

Regulars 6 Horseworld News, views and the fast-paced

excitement of the Cheltenham Festival 16 Share, write, tweet It’s over to you! Comment on an article or share your views here 100 Subscribe to H&R Save up to 20% and get every issue through your door before it’s in the shops 106 What’s on the web? Discover even more on our social media pages and at horseandrideruk.com 144 Competition entries One simple form to enter all of our fabulous competitions 145 Next month A sneaky peek at what you can look forward to in the Spring issue of Horse&Rider 146 My life with horses Variety is the spice of life for freelance trainer Becks Smallwood

In the saddle 20 Take your hacking to the next level Coral Keen’s

26

34

38

4 HORSE&RIDER

top tips on improving your flatwork outside the arena Testing teamwork Easy exercises to improve rideability from dressage rider Dan Greenwood Robert Whitaker’s jumping tips How to train your horse to be less spooky when showjumping Retraining racehorses explained Showing producer Clare Poole on getting to know your new ex-racer

Mind matters 44 Space invaders Teach your horse to focus and

respect your space with trainer Warwick Schiller

50 Your horse’s social life – revealed! Behaviourist

Anna Saillet reveals the secrets of herd dynamics

Ask the experts 58 Management know-how

Is your farrier at fault? l Getting your horse used to wearing travel boots l The benefits of sugar beet l

60  Mind matters

Managing your horse’s expectations l Aggression in company l Are youngsters more receptive? l

62  Ask a vet

Treatment and management of sarcoids l The dangers of frosty grass l Worming a pregnant mare l

64 Horsey shopping

A squeaky, creaky saddle l Buckles or billets on a bridle? l Feeding hay in the field l

66 In the saddle

Tackling water trays l Can you enjoy hunting without having to jump? l Where to look when you’re jumping l

68 In brief

How to stop your water trough freezing over l Is it safe to ride a mare who’s in foal? l


38

86

44

Horsey shopping

72 Ask a vet

114 On test: brushing boots for all budgets Our top

picks to help you make the best choice for your horse

122 Away from it all Winter can get you down, so we’ve got two fantastic riding holidays to tempt you away

129 This month we love... Cosy rugs, stylish jackets, fabulous feeding solutions and much more

134 The perfect purchase Finding a new horse can be tricky, so read our tips to find your ideal match

72 Meet the cutting-edge vets H&R goes behind the

79

scenes at the Animal Health Trust Don’t move a muscle Spot exertional rhabdomyolysis syndrome and know what to do when it strikes

Directory 135 Horses for sale Find the horse of your dreams here and in our huge selection at horseandrideruk.com

136 Spring clean Now’s the perfect time to restore some

84 Winter worming All you need to know about

137 Horse&Rider directory Find everything, from

Management know-how

controlling one of the biggest equine parasitic threats 86 Bandaging made easy Our step-by-step guide to applying dressings, bandages and poultices 94 Equine rehab: how lungeing can help Expert advice on how to use groundwork correctly in rehabilitation 102 Wellbeing: Feeding forage Everything you need to know about choosing the ideal forage for your horse 109 New year, new career Our guide to horsey courses and picking the perfect one to get your dream job

order to your yard using our top tips

insurance to riding holidays, in our classified ads

Competitions

14 W I Great N!

gea Vale Bro r from thers

14  WIN! Gear and a factory tour from Vale Brothers

120 WIN! A photoshoot with

your horse

132 P erfect prizes! Some

great gear up for grabs HORSE&RIDER 5


Let’s

race

T

here are few things more exhilarating than a day at the races, watching horses, jockeys and trainers battle it out to be crowned champion. Four days of racing will be held at the Cheltenham Festival this year, with the 28 races culminating in the famous Gold Cup. More than 260,000 people are expected to attend, so the atmosphere is sure to be electric as everybody waits with baited breath to see who will cross the line first.

Photo: David Davies

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6 HORSE&RIDER


Horseworld

HORSE&RIDER 7


HorseworldNews BIG STAR’S LEGACY British Showjumping has announced that its National Six-Year-Old Championships will be renamed the Big Star Championships. Big Star, ridden by Nick Skelton, made history at the Rio 2016 Olympics by taking home Great Britian’s first showjumping individual gold medal. The National Six-Year-Old Championships

Horse&Rider scoops coveted award

was chosen to bear his name as a reminder of his amazing talent and performance. Sculptor, Carolyn Morton, has been commissioned to create a new trophy for the Championships. It will be in bronze and will depict Big Star and Nick jumping one of the fences from the Olympic Games.

Nick Skelton and Big Star

There was lots of celebrating for the Horse&Rider team after the magazine was crowned Consumer Magazine of the Year at the prestigious PPA Independent Publisher Awards. And to top it all off, DJ Murphy, publisher of Horse&Rider magazine, was named Independent Publishing Company of the Year. The Independent Publishers Network said: “Horse&Rider really impressed our judges by managing to increase its market leadership and compete against some of the biggest beasts in publishing, which makes it a very worthy winner.” We couldn’t agree more!

A reminder of his amazing talent and performance

Photo: British Equestrian Federation

NEW EVENTING PERFORMANCE MANAGER The British Equestrian Federation and British Eventing have recently announced the appointment of Richard Waygood MBE as the World Class Eventing Performance Manager alongside new Performance Coach, Christopher Bartle. Richard said: “I am very excited and feel privileged to hold the highly prestigious position of Performance Manager for the British Eventing team. It’s been a lifelong ambition, which I have dreamt about on so many occasions.” Christopher Bartle added: “It’s exciting yet daunting to be offered the opportunity to train the British team. I’m really looking forward to building up strong relationships with the British riders and their team.” 8 HORSE&RIDER

Beat the bounce A new guide called The Horse Rider’s Guide to Bras has been produced by BETA in conjunction with the British Equestrian Federation to try to help riders avoid breast pain. The guide is based on a large-scale study conducted by Dr Jenny Burbage of the University of Portsmouth and Lorna Camera of Sparsholt College. They revealed that 40% of 1,324 women surveyed experienced breast pain, which was significantly related to increased cup size. They also found that less than 35% of female riders wear a sports bra and more than 70% of women are reported to be wearing the wrong size. The guide provides advice and tips on how to secure a perfect fit. To obtain your free copy, visit beta-uk.org


Horseworld

BHS Hall of Fame New series

Flower power World Horse Welfare (WHW) will feature a garden at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2017. The concept for the garden was brought to life by designers Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith, and will pay tribute to the supporters of WHW, who have played a vital role in the past 90 years of the charity’s history. The garden also aims to continue shining a light on invisible horses around the world. Following the show, elements of the garden will be used as part of individual ‘In memory’ gardens at each of the charity’s four rescue and rehoming centres.

British Eventing (BE) is revamping its arena competition. The series starts in January and is open to everyone, it will run at BE80, BE90 and BE100. Competitors complete a round of showjumps followed by the cross-country elements in the arena, finishing over a joker showjump fence set 10cm higher than the rest of the course. For more information, visit britisheventing.com

The British Horse Society (BHS) has inducted five new members to its hall of fame, including... • Chilli Morning, ridden by William FoxPitt, who is described as one of the greatest stallions in eventing. • Opposition Buzz, ridden by Nicola Wilson, who is best known for the enthusiasm he showed on the crosscountry course. • Philco, ridden by David Broome, who rose to fame in the late 70s after jumping 29 successive clear rounds at Wembley International Horse show. • Avebury, who won Burghley on three consecutive occasions, ridden by Andrew Nicholson • Christopher Bartle FBHS, who has achieved great success as both an international coach and a rider. Commemorative plaques can be found on the wall of the Household Cavalry’s barracks in Knightsbridge.

WellbeingNews Do horses recognise humans? Research carried out by Drs Leanne Proops and Karen McComb at the University of Sussex demonstrates that horses can identify different people. It follows on from previous research that showed that horses can combine auditory and visual information to recognise each other, and they found that horses also use this system to distinguish between different humans. The researchers first tested where the horse would look when one familiar and

one unfamiliar voice was played from a hidden loudspeaker – the people stood either side of the speaker. The horses responded more quickly and looked at the familiar human more often and for longer than the stranger when their voice played. The researchers also tested how the horses performed the more complex task of distinguishing between two familiar voices, and found that the horses were able to match the voice to the correct human.

Rib problem

Claire Wylie from Rossdales in Newmarket carried out a study because she believes that rib fractures are an underdiagnosed cause of lameness. Claire examined patient’s medical records, looking at 11 years of case results, and found 50 rib fracture cases. In 40 of these cases, the break was capable of causing clinical signs. In total, 37.5% of the horses were lame, 32.5% were resistant under saddle, 15% had a history of trauma and 2.5% were painful to the touch. A total of 64 ribs were affected, with 64.1% on the left and 35.9% on the right, and fractures were usually in the final rib. Claire believes it’s important for vets to be aware that rib fractures can be present and be causing problems, even when there is no history of trauma or obvious clinical signs.

➤ HORSE&RIDER 9


HorseworldDiary

Get started Winter’s nearly over, so it’s time to prepare for the season ahead with these fab days out

6

International Eventing Forum 6 February

February

Hartpury College, Gloucestershire The forum will provide a full day of interactive training and demonstrations from dressage trainer for Equestrian Team GBR, Tracie Robinson, and FBHS and BEU18 and Junior team coach, Caroline Moore. Three top eventing grooms will share their insights into how they keep event horses at the top of their game. The afternoon will be lead by Badminton Course Designer, Eric Winter, who will explore the next generation of cross-country design. He will be supported by Christopher Burton and Sam Griffiths, who will share their techniques for training the next generation of medal horses. Admission: Advance tickets from £50 internationaleventingforum.com

Crufts

9–12 March

NEC, Birmingham Crufts is one of the world’s biggest dog shows, and there’s plenty to see and do. Watch the breed judging, and see Best in Show and exciting displays in the Dog Activities ring, such as agility and flyball. Plus, there are more than 200 breeds to meet and greet. Admission: Adult advance tickets from £18, children under 12 go free crufts.org.uk

9-12 March

10 HORSE&RIDER


Horseworld

Thoresby Game and Country Fair

11-12

11–12 March

Thoresby, Nottinghamshire

March

This game and country fair has lots to offer, with three arenas running throughout the day. Watch the fast-paced action of the scurry driving and horse boarding, and see Jonathan Marshall with his Free Spirits display of horsemanship and falconry. Plus, there’s working Shire horses and displays from Shadowquest dog display team. Admission: Advance tickets £12 for adults and £4 for children. Children under five go free livingheritagecountryshows.com

18-19 Photo: PA Images

March

14-17 March

Cheltenham Festival 14–17 March

Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire The Festival is one of the main highlights of the jump season and provides a great atmosphere with lots of excitement over four days of racing. Join more than 260,000 people and watch the finest horses, jockeys, owners and trainers battle it out for a chance to win a share of more than £4.1 million prize money. Admission: Advance tickets from £25 for adults cheltenham.thejockeyclub.co.uk

18-19 March

West of England Game fair 18–19 March

Royal Bath and West Showground, Somerset There’s something for everyone at this huge show. In the indoor arena you’ll find informative displays of ferreting, fly casting, falconry and gundog training. Plus, there are plenty of activities to have a go at yourself, including BASC gundog scurries and tests, clay shooting and archery. You can also indulge in some retail therapy with more than 300 tradestands in three shopping halls. Admission: Advance tickets £11 for adults and £9 for children. Children under five go free westofenglandgamefair.co.uk

Naturally Classical workshop 18–19 March

Barnstable, North Devon Join in at the Naturally Classical Dressage weekend. Jam-packed full of information, the first day will demonstrate groundwork and the second will show you exercises used by the Classical School to train their own horses. All exercises will have a focus on breath-heartenergy awareness. Admission: Advance tickets £180 naturallyclassical.com

➤ HORSE&RIDER 11


Horseworld

Horse&Rider’s

2017

CHARITY OF THE YEAR 2017 Horse&Rider has joined forces with the Animal Health Trust to highlight the incredible work that goes on at this charity

O

n a mission to fight disease and injury in animals, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) helps animals in the UK and abroad. The charity was formed in 1942 by Dr Reginald Wooldridge and is based in Newmarket, Suffolk, where it was gifted 140 acres and Lanwades Hall to work from, and given funding by the racing industry to get started. Initially caring for a variety of animals, the Trust now specialises in equine and small animals, with one referral clinic for horses, and another for cats and dogs. Together the clinics see 4,000 new patients each year and many of those are horses. All the money that’s raised by treating animals in these clinics goes towards the research that takes place at the centre. This includes finding out more about the diseases our pets suffer from and ways to prevent them, and developing new diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines. There are more than 200 members of

staff at the AHT – mostly scientists, vets and veterinary nurses – and everybody is directly involved in improving animal health in one way or another. All the vets who work here conduct research as part of the job and even owners are asked to take part by signing to say that they are happy for their animals’ information to be used for research. Unfortunately, though, while the clinics are a good way to generate money, the research projects can be lengthy and expensive, so to enable the AHT to continue its good work, it relies greatly on donations from supporters. To find out more about what goes on at the Trust, Horse&Rider went behind the scenes at the equine clinic – take a look for yourself on p70. We hope you’ll wholeheartedly agree that this wonderful charity thoroughly deserves all our support over the coming year. Discover

Next month, find out how you can help the Animal Health Trust’s important work, plus the latest on grass sickness

Monty Roberts

more about the Animal Health Trust and ways to donate at aht.org.uk

What’s on TV for horse lovers Tune in to Horse&Country TV on Sky 253 or online at play.horseandcountry.tv This March, don’t forget to watch the FEI World Cup Showjumping and Dressage Season Review, and the Classics Mid-Season Catch Up. There’s plenty of action with the FEI World Cup Dressage and FEI Equestrian World. Plus, Rudall’s Round-up: JAS Finals, The All Star Diaries, Backstage Pass with Monty Roberts, Around the Dog World and new series The Quiet American Gardener.

12 HORSE&RIDER


H&R competition

WIN

FACTORY TOUR AND PRIZE BUNDLE from Vale Brothers Ltd TWO LUCKY READERS WILL EACH WIN...  Vale Brothers Ltd Factory tour  Thermatex T2000 rug, worth £194  Thermatex LWT leg wraps, worth £69.30  Harry Dabbs waffle girth, worth £46  Wembley Pro bridle, worth £129.79  Brady Calder cork bag, worth £151  Edward Goddard whip, worth £15  Thermatex cotton drill numnah, worth £24.99  KBF99 anti-bacterial eight-piece grooming kit, worth £74

Q

Ever wondered how some of the most iconic horsey brands are made? You’ll find out on this exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour, and you’ll also take home a bootful of amazing horsey kit! The tour takes place at Vale Brothers Ltd in Walsall, West Midlands, where you’ll get the chance to see a wide range of equestrian products being made, including Harry Dabbs saddles, Jeffries bridles and accessories, Edward Goddard whips and KBF99 grooming kits. Equerry grooming kits and yard tools are also made on-site and the brand holds a Royal Warrant. British brand Brady bags has been in production since the 1800s, and is designed and manufactured in the building.

Which Vale Brothers brand holds a Royal Warrant?

WORTH £750 EACH

Terms and conditions. The winners are responsible for their own transport to and from the factory. Winners entering the premises do so at their own risk.

For more information, visit valebrothers.co.uk

To enter: Answer the question on the competition entry form on page 144 or visit horseandridercompetitions.co.uk to enter online, and for full terms and conditions. Entries must be received by 31 March 2017. No purchase necessary.

14 HORSE&RIDER


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Follow

GOLDEN OLDIE

Horse&Rider may edit letters submitted due to space constraints and style

SHARE, WRITE, TWEET... If you want to comment on an article in Horse&Rider or share your thoughts, then drop a line to Jessica Lewis ­– address on p18. Remember to include your contact details and fleece size!

Tweet box

Find out what our favourite horsey people are saying on Twitter this month

16 HORSE&RIDER

I own two senior ponies, one is a good-doer and the other needs help to maintain her weight due to her poor teeth. Finding the right feed for each of them has been tricky and I’ve found it difficult to get advice, which is why I’ve decided to focus my MSc dissertation research on feeding senior horses and ponies over 16 years old, particularly those with poor dentition. I’d like to find out more about other people’s experiences, so if you care for a senior horse or pony, I’d really appreciate it if you could complete my survey – edinburgh.onlinesurveys. ac.uk/senior-horse-dentition-and-feeding Rebecca Bushell, via email

H

Horse&Rider thank you... The sender of our star letter will receive a Toggi Nora ladies’ technical fleece, worth £55 – available in flame or black, in sizes 8–20. This functional and stylish fleece has curved seamlines and hem for a flattering fit. The reverse of the inner fabric has a textured check design that wicks away moisture and traps heat to ensure you remain warm and dry. For more information, visit toggi.com or to find your local stockist, call 0113 2707000 or email info@toggi.com

@HorseandRiderUK How exciting! We’ve just won the Consumer Magazine of the Year Award!!

@JennyRudall (TV presenter Jenny Rudall) Not everyone is impressed by Valegro. #boredPup #edit #work


Your letters

SPECIAL ISSUE The January issue of Horse&Rider has just dropped through my door. It’s brilliant and could have been written just for me! I’m 68 years old and have been riding for three years. I part-loan an 18-year-old, 17.2hh mare called Jay and I love her to bits. Some of the articles I found particularly helpful to me were ‘All by myself’, as Jay lost her long-time field buddy through colic and has become very anxious when stabled alone, and ‘Wellbeing: Aches and pains’, as Jay is getting a bit stiff in her old age. The January issue is superb, thank you!

H STAR LETTER

!

Yvonne Field, via email

PERFECT PARTNERS

pulled every stray strand of her hair out, I’m guessing she has her hair cut with scissors because pulling hair out hurts! I’m the proud owner of a Welsh Cob and I like his mane long but neat. I use scissors, as he hates it being pulled, and I really don’t care who can see it’s been cut. Welcome to 2016, where riders are sympathetic to their horse’s feelings.

I wasn’t ready for the emotional trauma of buying a new horse. I was thrust into websites and Facebook groups in much the same way as you would be when looking for a boyfriend. Then it was on to the next stage – meeting up for a date. I spoke to three times as many owners as I saw horses, and at least three horses I’d arranged to see were sold before I could see them. It felt much more like trying to find a relationship than making a purchase. The phrase ‘all the good ones are already married’ sprung to mind and my friends kept telling me that there were plenty more out there, I just hadn’t found ‘the one’ yet. However, eventually I made the decision to buy a very sweet eightyear-old Connemara X. Hopefully I’ve made the right choice, but we have a long way to go to see whether we’re a match made in heaven.

Deb Brown, via email

Kat Auckland, via email

SNIP, SNIP I had to write in response to the letter ‘Just pull it’ printed in December 2016 Horse&Rider. The letter urged people to pull their horses’ manes, saying how awful manes look when cut with scissors. I couldn’t believe what I was reading! The letter states the author was taught this 40 years ago – was this in the days when one saddle fitted all and the only bits available were a snaffle and a pelham? I wonder how the writer would feel if I

WHERE DO YOU READ YOURS? @aliceplunkett (racing journalist and wife of William Fox-Pitt) Bumpkins @foxpitteventing and Nicola Wilson on the tube! Thank you @BritishHorse. Great honour for Chilli & WFP to be inducted in the hall of fame

Animals all happy, cleaned and fed. Time to warm up and relax before pony bedtime. @RunRideWrite

➤ HORSE&RIDER 17


Your letters

HAVE A GO This year, I got back into competing after an eight-year break. Lots of my friends were out and about competing, and hearing about their experiences made me really miss it, but I had no horse to join in with. By chance I met an old friend out hacking who offered me her horse, Timmy. It had been so long since I’d ridden anything other than my elderly cob that I was more nervous than I thought I’d be. However, after a couple of months of having regular lessons, I entered a local dressage competition. Despite being really nervous, as I rode down the centre line all my nerves and doubts disappeared, and I managed not only to get through the test, but to secure second place! I’ve entered a few more competitions since, including a hunter trial, and I’ve loved every minute of it. Don’t let being out of practice stop you – go for it! Georgie Walker, via email

ARIAT Inspiration of the

Lauren feels that Pauline is the fairy godmother of the horse world, giving her time, care and expertise

month

I first met Pauline two years ago at a riding school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and she took me under her wing. Since then, Pauline has helped me develop the skills to ride independently and has really helped my confidence. She’s also shared her passion for all things horsey, from making her own fly spray to plaiting, lungeing and encouraging me to pursue my BHS Stage 1. Pauline is a nurse, but has a lifetime of experience with horses. She’s a trained Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) instructor and offers free lessons to all children wishing to learn to ride. She also takes on rescue cases such as Dibley, who has chronic laminitis and was left by his owner when he stopped winning showjumping medals, and Jack, who now enjoys life in the UK after Pauline paid for him to be transported

from Saudi. Plus, there’s Dahab who was just skin and bone when he came to her, but Pauline brought him back to life and showed him he could trust humans again. She’s is one of the most generous and selfless people I’ve met and always has the horses’ health and happiness as a priority.

Tell us why your inspiration deserves this award and they could win a pair of Ariat Berwick Tall GTX boots, worth £349.99. Send a clear photo, SAE for its return, and contact details for you and your inspiration, to: Ariat Inspiration of the month, Horse&Rider, Marlborough House, Headley Road, Grayshott, Surrey GU26 6LG or email jessica@djmurphy.co.uk For full terms and conditions, visit horseandridercompetitions.co.uk

For information on Ariat products, call 0845 6003209, visit ariat-europe.com or email info@ariat-europe.com

If you want to share your thoughts, send your letters to Jessica Lewis, Letters Editor, H ­ orse&Rider, D J Murphy (Publishers) Ltd, Marlborough House, Headley Road, Grayshott, Surrey GU26 6LG, with photos if they’re relevant and an SAE for their return, or email jessica@djmurphy.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you! Articles, photos and drawings welcomed but we cannot be liable for their safe return – enclose an SAE. Every effort is made to ensure that the information and advice contained in all articles is correct and appropriate, but no responsibility for loss or damage occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action in reliance on or as a result of anything included in or omitted from such articles can be or is accepted by the authors, the publishers, their employees or any other person connected with D J Murphy (Publishers) Ltd. Save as expressly permitted by law, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written authority of D J Murphy (Publishers) Ltd. Copyright D J Murphy (Publishers) Ltd.

18 HORSE&RIDER


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PART THREE In this feature. . .

As told to Kelly McCarthy-Maine. Photos: Bob Atkins. With thanks to Coral Keen and her team, coralkeeneventing.co.uk

Our trainer

Wiltshire-based Coral Keen decided on eventing as her full-time career as a teenager. A decade later, she has represented Team GB on Nations Cup teams, is on the World Class Development programme and has many of her homeproduced horses on the Equine Pathway.

Our model

Purchased as a four-yearold, Coral has produced Zoe up to advanced level eventing. A 16.2hh bay mare, Zoe is hugely talented with plenty of scope and movement.

20 HORSE&RIDER

➤ Making the most of varied terrain


In the saddle

➤ Schooling in the open ➤ How hacking can help your horse gain confidence

SM OOT H

operator Take your training out of the arena with event rider Coral Keen’s simple hacking exercises

R

iding out makes a nice change from the routine of working or jumping in the arena. Building your horse’s confidence and his trust in you is a gradual process. The more often you can take your horse to a new place and work him in the same methodical way that you do at home, the more confident your horse will become and the more secure your partnership will feel. Hacking is a brilliant way to build this trust and confidence together. I’m extremely lucky to have access to the chalk hills of Salisbury Plain. My philosophy with horses and schooling doesn’t change just because I’m out on the plain. I work methodically and avoid surprising the horses, no matter where I am, whether that’s training at home, preparing for a lesson or warming up for a competition. I try to keep everything I do with them really black and white, keeping my body language relaxed and the message clear for the horses. It’s a simple thing but it really works.

TOP TIP

It’s important to be disciplined and stick to your programme whe n riding out – yo u won’t progress with your trainin g if all you do outs ide the arena is have a jolly.

➤ HORSE&RIDER 21


All-weather

Competitions take place outdoors in just about all weather conditions, so the best way to prepare yourself and your horse for the challenge of performing in the wind and rain is to train in it. As long as the roads aren’t slippery and the conditions underfoot don’t pose a risk to your horse, ride out as normal. I have a great pair of waterproof trousers for just those sorts of occasions!

The best way to prepare for the challenge of performing in the wind and rain is to train in it

Walking up and down hills

Walking up and down hills and slopes is like going to the gym and lifting weights – it’s physically demanding and helps to tone and build muscle. Unlike the faster paces, your horse can’t rush or run off in walk and has to take deliberate, even steps. This is an intensive work out, so choose easy, sloping hills at first and build up gradually towards steeper inclines.

22 HORSE&RIDER

Trotting up hill

Trotting up a hill is a demanding exercise for your horse. Maintain the rhythm of the trot with your rising, keep your hands low, and encourage your horse to lift and round his back.


In the saddle

The ground underfoot

It’s important to always be on the lookout for changes in the ground that might indicate a hole or a rut. Changes in the height of the grass and the types of plant can mean there are holes or rutted ground, so use the opportunity to leg-yield away from them. Picking the best ground for your horse trains you to be accurate with your eye and makes you practise riding your horse on the line that you choose. This discipline is helpful whatever you do with your horse. It benefits me in all three phases in eventing, whether it’s the centre line in the dressage, a bending line in the showjumping or jumping an angled fence on the cross-country.

Training your horse to hack

Most often when a horse is naughty out hacking it’s because he feels insecure or a bit overwhelmed facing the big, wide world. Some horses need to be shown how to hack and have their confidence built up slowly. If I have a horse who’s struggling to hack out well, I’ll always try to pair him with a really calm companion. Just as importantly, you need to stay relaxed in your own body and avoid tensing up or reacting to any wobbles that your horse may have. Once you and your horse are hacking out well with a calm companion, take turns leading, encouraging the shy or nervous horse to step out in front for short periods. Once he’s feeling more confident and able to go in front in a relaxed way, it may be worth taking him out on his own on a familiar route.

Top tip Puddles

Competition horses need to be confident in themselves and the partnership they have with their rider. Taking the time to teach your horse to hack well can help him to develop and grow in experience and confidence.

I ask my horses to go through puddles when I find them out hacking, but only if I’m sure about the footing underneath. It’s importa nt not to give your horse a fright if the puddle is deeper than you anticipated or has an uneven base. Approach puddles in the same TOP TIP way you would teach your horse to app your horse to stay g kin roach any As spooky or scary obstacle, includin gh a puddle g a water straight and go throu complex on a cross-country cou build his to y wa t rse. He is is an excellen allowed to look and see, but he about in g hin las sp e must stay confidenc straight and go through it. Be pre water. pared for a leap or dramatic movements, but stay calm and keep quietly riding through the puddle until your horse relaxes and understands there is nothing to be afraid of.

➤ HORSE&RIDER 23


In the saddle

Leg-yield on a circle

Leg-yield on a circle is a great way to help your horse focus and settle when you’re schooling out hacking. It’s also brilliant for developing his strength, power and suppleness. Rather than allowing him to make the circle bigger and smaller by turning his body, encourage him to move away from your inside and outside leg to produce the spiral. Check he’s flexing at the poll and not offering you too much bend in his neck. You should be able to just see the inside of his eye and no more. If there’s too much neck bend, he will be more likely to lose balance and fall out through his shoulder, which will affect the quality of the exercise. The activity takes place as he moves away from your leg, staying straight and level while moving sideways. It doesn’t matter if it takes you five circles to spiral in or out. With all lateral work, it’s not about the volume of steps or how far you can travel across the spirals, but the quality and correctness of the steps, and the maintenance of good balance and rhythm. If you and your horse find this easy, then add transitions within the pace to make it more challenging.

Get to know the ground well in the areas that you hack out. Parts of your ride may change with the weather and the seasons, and long grass can mask holes, roots or wire. Be careful to put your horse on the best ground and avoid riding him through ruts or over uneven ground.

Stay cool

Stay relaxed and remember to breathe if your horse becomes tense out hacking. Show your horse that there’s nothing to be alarmed about by keeping your body language quiet.

On the job

Hacking doesn’t mean wandering around on a long rein. It’s important to keep your horse tuned in and working, just as he would be if you were schooling him at home.

Next issue: Part 4

Improve your horse’s fitness with training tailored plans 24 HORSE&RIDER

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PART TWO In this feature. . .

➤ Exercises to improve his balance

Photos: Bob Atkins. As told to Tilly Berendt

Avoid schooling the same movements every day, and try to incorporate hacking and hiring local venues to keep things interesting and fresh

26 HORSE&RIDER


In the saddle

➤ Flatwork troubleshooting ➤ Overcoming and avoiding resistance

Testing

teamwork

In the second part of our series, dressage rider Dan Greenwood explains how to use the quieter winter months to improve your horse’s rideability

I

n the middle of a long winter it can feel as though you’re disconnected from your horse. Whether he’s not responding to your aids or is spooky, the exercises I’ll share with you this month will encourage him to listen, think and respond appropriately, increasing his rideability and improving communication between you.

Fine-tuning the focus

By the time winter sets in, many of us are as guilty of losing focus as our horses are. I insist

Our trainer

Dan Greenwood is a dressage rider and trainer. He has won many National Championships and ridden for GB at Small Tour, as well as coaching up to Grand Prix.

on 100% concentration from horse and rider – shorter, productive sessions are better than uncommitted drilling, which can cause your horse to resent his work. With younger horses in particular, it’s good to vary your routine. Avoid schooling the same movements every day, and incorporate hacking and hiring local venues to keep things interesting and fresh. This way, by the time the competition season begins, your horse will be attentive, interested and used to changes of scenery.

Our models

Lukien von Tespe, owned by Jo Handman, is eight years old and working at Advanced Medium. He won the Nationals at Preliminary level as a five-year-old.

HORSE&RIDER 27


The resistant horse

Riding

a new horse Resistance is all about reactions. I see a lot It’s especially common – and of riders who desensitise their horses to understandable – to be nervous of a the point that they feel happy, safe and new horse. In this situation, remember comfortable, but the horse no longer has your nerves will improve as you get to sufficient sensitivity and reactions to the know him. Avoid switching him off, rider’s aids. The rider finds they have issues as once you’re feeling confident, with resistance, because they’ve focused you may find he’s learned to so much on finding a comfortable point that ignore you! they’ve effectively switched off their horse. The important thing is finding a balance – is your horse unresponsive when you need him to be sensitive or is he so sensitive that he’s spooky? A happy athlete needs to be sensitive without being unrideable and must always be able to go forward into a light contact. Repetition can also cause your horse to switch off to your aids. Repeating test movements can leave you with a dull horse who anticipates your aids, so never bothers to listen to them.

Commit to a stride

Don’t accept the transition whenever it comes, but rather decide that in three strides you will walk, in two strides you will canter, and so on. Practising accuracy throughout your schooling session makes it habit.

Exercise 1: Simple change Why? Practising simple changes is an effective way to help with engagement and focus. How? Establish the canter and work on shortening, compressing and engaging it so that it’s bouncy and active through the turn across the school. Keep your weight down through your inside leg. If you have established a good quality, supple canter, your horse will be able to bring his hindleg through and you will be able to keep the connection through a straight outside rein. Ask for smaller, more ‘up’ steps of canter, then walk, making sure your horse gives you an uphill, forward-going downward transition. In the early stages of introducing this exercise, it can be more productive to allow for a longer period of walk than you’d ideally have in a test. You want to encourage relaxation in walk before asking for the upward transition. However, once he’s established, aim for three to five strides of walk. 28 HORSE&RIDER

C

H

M

E

B

Canter

K

Walk

A

F


In the saddle

Problem solving Resistance – Anticipation causes horses to become fussy, unfocused and tight through their bodies. Regardless of whether your horse knows how to do the movement well or badly, if he’s anticipating you must take a step back and get his focus on your aids. Going back to the halt and turn on the forehand exercise to get your horse listening and to balance him in preparation for a canter departure tends to be very effective.

C Ride a square halt

H

M

E

B

K

F

A

Apply your inside leg to move his quarters

Exercise 2: Halt and turn on the forehand Why? This is good for rebalancing horses who are prone to being on the forehand and can be introduced from the beginning of your session. It also improves the leg-to-hand connection, making it easier to establish and maintain a good outline. Pay attention to his reactions to each aid as well as your own position and accuracy as you ride the exercise. Having someone on the ground can be helpful. How? Ride a forward-going, square halt. Assess your horse’s reactions – is he quick to respond? Does he feel balanced? Apply the aids for a turn on the forehand – sit to the inside, turn your shoulders in the direction of the flexion and apply your inside leg. Remember to ride forward at the end of the turn. Repeat the exercise until you’re happy with his reaction, then establish the connection from your inside leg to your outside rein and trot on. It’s important to work on something that requires a bit more forward movement so that your horse doesn’t get stuck.

Open your inside hand to give him room to move

Problem solving Overbending – This is a really common mistake. Keep your outside rein straight so that your horse can’t overbend to the inside. Think ‘whoa’ on the outside rein to encourage his legs to step up and down, rather than striding out and forward. Use your inside leg in a press and squeeze motion until your horse moves away from the pressure. The moment you feel him move, take your leg off – he should keep going sideways because you’re sitting to the inside.

HORSE&RIDER 29


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In the saddle

Exercise 3: Shallow loops C

H

Maintain straightness as you leave the track

M

One loop

E

B

Two loops

K

F

A

Why? This is a really good exercise to improve balance. Ridden correctly, it activates your horse’s shoulder and allows you to adjust or move it as needed. How? This is the only exercise in which I encourage slowing down and really focusing on the balance and accuracy. In most exercises, slowing down is detrimental to what you’re trying to achieve, but in this instance it can help. Focus on making your loops consistent in shape. To do this, drop your weight through your inside leg, bring your upper body back and turn your shoulders in the direction you want to go. Then flex your horse and take his shoulders that way. You’re aiming to feel as though you have his inside shoulder up and his outside shoulder contained, and that you can ride one or two shallow loops on the long side without him losing balance or accuracy.

er

uld Control his outside sho p on the apex of the loo

Ride positively back to the track

Problem solving Motorbiking – It’s important to keep your horse’s body over his legs, otherwise he’ll fall in or motorbike through the corners and bends. If you feel that his body has come to the inside and his legs to the outside, or that your inside leg is lower than your outside (or vice versa!), ride the exercise in a slow, rhythmic rising trot, without changing your diagonal. Focus on getting your horse to stay balanced between your aids and ensure that you’re sitting in the middle of your horse to encourage better balance.

➤ HORSE&RIDER 31


In the saddle C

H

M

E

B Shoulder-in

K

F

A

Exercise 4: Counter canter and insideout shoulder-in Why? I like to use counter canter and an insideout shoulder-in as a refresher with older horses. They’re both great ways to check if your horse is really on the aids and focused, and it’s also a good way to make sure that you’re being a proactive rider and not just going through the movements on autopilot. How? Introduce counter canter by using the shallow loops you practised in the last exercise. Establish an active, controlled canter and use the corners to check your horse’s shoulder is up and underneath him, and that he has the correct bend through his body. Maintain this slight bend while riding a shallow loop down the long side. When he’s comfortable with this, you can ask for more – counter canter serpentines or changing direction, but not the lead, across the diagonal. The inside-out shoulder-in helps to keep your horse focused and listening. Your aids are the same as for regular shoulder-in, but the bend is to the outside, not the inside. So if you’re riding on the right rein, rather than asking for right bend around your right leg, you’ll ask for a left shoulder-in around your left leg. This forces you to really think about what you’re asking for with each part of your body.

Problem solving Anticipation – Can you ride a left shoulder-in around your left leg on the right rein? If your horse automatically offers a right shoulder-in, then this is a good indicator that both you and he have fallen into the habit of doing what you’ve always done. Work on being a proactive rider, check your own accuracy, then insist on performing the movement correctly.

Last issue: Part 1 Dan’s position tips

32 HORSE&RIDER

Be progressive when teaching counter canter and focus on maintaining his balance

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Next issue: Part 3

Dan shares his exercises for developing engagement


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Scare As told to Lucy Turner. Photos: Bob Atkins. With thanks to John Whitaker International Ltd, johnwhitaker.com

TACTICS

Love jumping, but your horse finds the whole thing a bit of a worry? Showjumper Robert Whitaker has some great tips to take his mind off spooking and help him focus on the job

Our trainer

Our model Robert Whitaker, son of John, is a very successful international showjumper who has ridden on the British team on many occasions. He has also been British Open Show Jumping Champion an impressive three times.

Balantines K is a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding.

I

f your horse is spooky to ride, it can make your job much harder, especially in the showjumping ring where there are lots of interesting fences to gawp at and often ‘scary’ arena furniture to negotiate, too. All the while your horse is distracted by the terrors in the ring, his mind is on whether he’s in real danger and needs to flee, not what jump is coming up next. This not only makes it very difficult for you to get him to listen to you and focus on the job in hand, but if he’s not concentrating on what he’s doing, you could risk an accident. The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to make him less spooky and easier to ride, but it takes time, patience and dedication to get him used to all the things he’ll need to deal with.

34 HORSE&RIDER


In the saddle

HORSE&RIDER 35


Gentle introductions

When introducing spooky fillers or something unusual that you’ve put under the jump, it’s important to introduce them gradually – riding your horse straight at something he’s really frightened of will just dent his confidence, not build it. Here’s how I like to get my horses used to fillers...

Spooky surroundings

Start by introducing unusual things at home, particularly items he’ll come across at a show, such as potted plants, water trays, clapping people and photographers – your friends and family will be able to help with clapping and photos. Pick a selection of random items your horse isn’t used to and dot them around the school so you can ride past them. It’s important that you don’t ride straight towards the scary object, as your horse will want to back up away from it – ride past it, almost ignoring the fact that it’s there. If your horse is really reacting to the object, leave quite a bit of space between it and your horse when you ride past, then begin to edge nearer as he starts to relax. If he wants to stop and have a look at it, let him have a minute to do this and take it all in before asking him to move on again. Keep these items in the school all the time and move them around regularly to make it different. You can even swap things out and add new ones in to make sure it continues to be a learning experience for him. Take him to as many different venues as you can for schooling, too, and when he’s been to a particular one a few times, take some of your scary props with you to make it more challenging – the centre may even have some objects you can borrow to put around the school.

Jump to it

It’s not just their surroundings that horses find disconcerting, the jumps themselves can cause an issue, too, particularly if they have unusual fillers. The best way around this is to regularly jump as many different types of fence as possible and to keep moving the jumps around so they look different. Use your imagination when building fences, and put random objects from around the yard next to and under them – bales of shavings and feed bags are ideal for this.

36 HORSE&RIDER

1 Put a pole on the ground between the wings and place the fillers on either side of the wings. Ride your horse over the pole in both directions.

1


In the saddle

2 2 Next, build a crosspole and bring the fillers in slightly, so they’re closer to him when you ride through them.

3 3 Bring the fillers in further so they meet in the middle, but prop up the ends of two poles on the fillers so they create a channel on the approach to help guide you in.

4

4 Finally, take the guide poles away on the approach and voilà, you’re jumping the fillers with ease!

Regularly jump as many different types of fence as possible and keep moving the jumps around so they often look different

Build his trust

You’ve got to be patient and consistent with your riding and keep introducing your horse to new things all the time. Eventually, he will become used to seeing different things and he’ll learn to trust you when he meets anything he’s not sure of.

HORSE&RIDER 37


As told to Georgia Guerin. Photos: Bob Atkins. With thanks to Saracen Horse Feeds for their help with this feature, saracenhorsefeeds.com

PART ONE In this feature. . .

38 HORSE&RIDER

➤ Where to begin with your ex-racehorse


In the saddle

➤ Checklist for the best chance of success ➤ Teach him to stand while you mount

Off the track: GETTING STARTED

So, you’ve got your new ex-racehorse, but where to start? Clare Poole, top ex-racehorse showing producer, rider and judge, explains

B

uying horses off the track and retraining them for a new career is becoming increasingly common. And thanks to the Retraining of Racehorses charity, competing them is becoming much more accessible. Popular new careers include, but are by no means limited to, showing, eventing and dressage. Retrained racehorses are also excelling in disciplines you might not expect, such as polo.

Our expert

Clare Poole is a showing producer and rider. She specialises in ex-racehorses and has competed at HOYS and the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) National Championships. She runs an RoR approved official retraining establishment and is on the RoR judging panel.

Ex-racehorses can begin new careers at any age. Some will have raced many times over a long career spanning a number of years and others may have only raced once or even not at all, despite being in training – every horse is different. In this three-part series, I’ll explain how to get started with your ex-racehorse, and the best ways to introduce flatwork and jumping, which you can apply to non-racers doing something new, too.

Our models

Kings Grey, known at home as Mr Grey, is a 13-yearold Thoroughbred. He raced predominantly as a steeplechaser, earning more than £64,000 in his sevenyear career, with his last race in May 2016. Clare plans to show him in the future.

Sumak is a 13-year-old Thoroughbred. He raced on the flat for two years and over hurdles for another four, earning more than £30,000 from 26 starts. He went on to point-to-point and Clare hopes to do dressage with him.

HORSE&RIDER 39


Change of pace

Life as a racehorse is a strict regime of daily training, little variety and limited turnout. It’s important to understand that when a horse starts his new life and career outside this racing bubble, although it initially seems like a more relaxing experience, such a change can be a bit TOP TIP overwhelming for him. It’s important to keep When he arrives, put him out for to a routine when it comes to a few days and allow him to get used feeding and turnout, but try to being in all the different situations to keep his work as varied on your yard, because it’ll be as possible. completely different to what he’s used to. While he’s settling in, it gives you time to give him a full MOT so that he’s got the best chance of success when you start work. Here’s a checklist of things to work through...

Although it initially seems like a more relaxing experience, such a change can be a bit overwhelming for him

40 HORSE&RIDER

ask your vet to give him a health check – this is a good time to discuss any injuries your horse has received in his racing career and how best to proceed assess his condition – consider when he last raced and whether he’s had time off for an injury, as this will have an effect on his condition. Bearing this in mind will help you start thinking about feeding and working him get his teeth checked – many horses leave racing with poor teeth, which are often very sharp. Before you start working him, get him seen by your vet or equine dental technician review his diet – his digestive system is used to being full of concentrate and much less forage than is ideal. You don’t need to stop feeding him, but keep it simple and feed him according to his condition and temperament. Speak to a nutritionist for advice if you’re unsure check his tack – as with any horse, you might need to experiment with different bits to see what suits him best, but avoid over-complicating things and restricting him with unnecessary tack. It’s also a good idea to get a qualified saddle fitter to check his saddle, especially as he’s likely to change shape quite a lot in the first few months


In the saddle

Most horses need two or three weeks of quiet time, but once he’s settled in, you can get started. Remember that your horse was used to training six days a week, so unless he’s injured, it’s not good to stop altogether – you need to keep his brain ticking over and muscles working, just not in the way he’s used to. In this time, it’s good to watch him move. Ask a friend to lead him around for you and allow him to be loose in your arena. There’s no single best time to start introducing ridden work because it all depends on whether he had any down time or injuries before he came to you, or come straight off the track. Some horses need a little more time spent on groundwork and lungeing because they need to improve their condition before they begin doing more ridden work. Once they’ve been away from racing for a bit, they tend to have a sense of ‘Okay, I’m ready’.

Ask a friend to lead him around so you can watch him move

1

1.

2. 3.

Mounting made easy

You’ve probably seen jockeys mounting on the TV – they tend to get a leg up while their horse is walking. There’s no stopping and waiting by a mounting block like you’re probably used to, so this is one of the first lessons you need to teach him.

2

3

4.

Ask a friend to walk alongside your horse as you approach the mounting block. Ask your friend to hold him while you prepare to mount. Mount and sit down gently. Take up your reins slowly and ask your handler to hold him still for a few seconds. Praise him when he stands. Ask him to walk on, halt, then dismount. Practise this a few times and he’ll soon get used to standing and waiting when you mount.

4

HORSE&RIDER 41


And you’re off

To begin with, it’s all about getting to know your horse, rather than thinking about flatwork (that comes next month in part two). It’s useful to try him on the lunge first before you ride him, although some horses just don’t understand it because they haven’t done it before, so it might take a little time and patience. Lungeing is great for encouraging your horse to stretch down over his back and will help him get used to listening to your voice commands. It’s also a really good opportunity to watch your horse, and see how he moves and responds before you get on.

When you’re on, ride lots of wide turns and big shapes. Avoid making any really tight turns or asking him to do too much. Focus on encouraging him to go in a consistent rhythm – this is more important than anything else. You’ll find in most cases that the muscles underneath his neck are far more developed than those across the top. This takes a while to change, but start by encouraging him to stretch his neck down. You don’t need to ask him to work in any sort of outline at this stage.

Focus on encouraging him to go in a consistent rhythm – this is more important than anything else

Ride lots of transitions between halt, walk and trot, and when you halt, ask him to stand and wait for a few seconds before you move on again. Think about his natural head carriage – many naturally have quite a high head carriage, but some can be downhill and quite snatchy. Even if he was racing fit when he came to you, he’s likely to tire quite quickly because he’ll be doing different work to what he’s used to. It’s like when you’re backing a young horse – he’ll tire mentally quickly, too. Keep it varied, working little and often. Introduce a bit of hacking and work on the lunge once a week, too.

42 HORSE&RIDER


In the saddle

nd Give away your ha at he th so ten of every so lf up se him ld ho to s learn

DID YOU KNOW?

Most races in the UK are run anticlockwise and most racehorses have a preferred direction, so are raced more at courses running in this direction. This is similar to working your horse predominantly on one rein because he finds it easier and, as a result, you’ll find your ex-racer tends to hang to one side. Although your aim is to maintain a consistent contact, if your horse hangs to one side, give away your other hand every so often so he learns to hold himself up.

Next issue: Part 2 Introducing flatwork

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PART TWO In this feature. . .

➤ Teach your horse to respect your space

Space invader Does your horse walk all over you? Get him to take a step back and pay attention with advice from Warwick Schiller

As told to Rachel Dyke. Photos: Bob Atkins. With thanks to Warwick Schiller, warwickschiller.com

I

f a person, even somebody you know fairly well, moves into your personal space without invitation, how does it make you feel? Probably a bit awkward and uncomfortable. So why is it any different when your horse does it? Horses encroach on our personal space all the time, so much so that we often don’t even notice them doing it. This is down to the way we handle them, but what may seem like your horse being affectionate could be undermining any training that you do. Having a horse who respects your space and pays attention is the basis of all groundwork. It’ll encourage him to be more responsive and can even help with spooky behaviour.

Buffer zone

Each of us has a bubble of personal space around us and it’s the same for your horse – research has shown that horses in the wild have a personal space of around one metre. In the same way that we’ll move out of the way to avoid bumping into other people, horses have lines of personal space that they follow. If one horse wants to enter the personal space of another, he’ll ask with either submission or aggression based on his position within the herd. The problem is that we blur these rules by wanting to be close to our horses all the time. Handling horses correctly is a bit like dating. Most people try to go straight to the cuddly, intimate stage of the relationship with their horses, but that isn’t how horses naturally behave. They’re more like people on a first date, wanting their own space, and it’s only after they get to know and trust you that they feel comfortable letting you any closer. It doesn’t happen immediately. Getting too close to your horse too soon shows a lack of respect and if you don’t respect him then he won’t respect you.

44 HORSE&RIDER


Mind matters

➤ Keep his attention on you ➤ Teach him to lead politely

Our expert

Originally from Australia, but now based in California, Warwick Schiller is a former World Equestrian Games Australian team member. He makes online videos and holds clinics around the world, demonstrating the principles of horse training for any discipline.

HORSE&RIDER 45


Baby steps

Horses learn about personal space as part of growing up. A foal in the field will usually stand close to his mother. He doesn’t need to pay attention to what’s going on around him because she’ll do it for him, which means that although he’s standing next to her, he’s mentally in a different place. Leaning on her is his safe place and that’s where he’ll rush back to if something scares him. Later, when the foal is weaned and turned out with other horses, if he goes crashing into them they’ll bite and squeal, and he’ll stop doing it. He also has to learn to pay attention to what the other horses are doing so he doesn’t miss out on important social cues within the herd. The other horses don’t tolerate leaning on each other, but as humans we tend to prolong and promote this juvenile behaviour in the way we handle our horses. It’s part of our relationship with them that they can enter our space without us reacting, meaning we’re condoning that behaviour, and it echoes the mare and foal relationship. Most domestic horses have become paedomorphic, which means they display juvenile behaviours as adults. Dogs and humans are the only mammals that should do this naturally in a group situation – when an adult horse reaches sexual maturity, he shouldn’t display childlike tendencies anymore. However, in a domesticated environment our horses are allowed to continue to do to us what they did to their mothers. As a result, your horse will tend to be more spooky because he’ll still be physically in one place but mentally in another, and feels he can crash into you if he’s scared. You’re his place of safety, but the problem is that he’s so much bigger than you that you risk getting knocked over and hurt when he does it. So, you need to instead teach him to take a step back, pay attention and behave in a more adult-like way.

The sweet spot

When teaching your horse to respect your space, you’re trying to find the sweet spot. This is the safe place outside your personal space where he’s completely comfortable and knows that you won’t ask anything of him when he’s standing there. Although he’s allowed to relax there, his focus should be on you, waiting for whatever you ask next rather than switching off. He should stand there quietly on a loose leadrope and not move away or step into your space. You’re allowed to move into his space because you’re the boss, but he’s not allowed to step into yours unless he’s invited to do so.

How to do it...

Decide how big you want your bubble of personal space to be – I’d suggest about an arm’s length. Ask your horse to step back away from you so he’s outside this designated bubble. Do this first by using your halter aid and, if he doesn’t respond, back it up by flicking the end of your leadrope or a flag towards him, without actually making contact. Once he’s in the sweet spot, relax your aid and keep the leadrope loose, because he could take any pressure on it as a cue to move forwards. If he then chooses to step 46 HORSE&RIDER

TOP TIP

Unless you’re asking your horse to do something, your leadrope should always be slack. It’s an aid, in the same way that your leg is an aid when you’re riding, and if you keep putting pressure on it unnecessarily he’ll become numb to it.

towards you into your space, you need to send him back to the sweet spot in the same way. In a herd, horses establish hierarchy by making each other move – if a dominant horse steps into the space of another herd member, the lower-ranking horse will step away. So, by asking your horse to step out of your space, you’re showing him that you’re the dominant one in your herd of two. In addition, horses instinctively want to conserve energy, so once he learns that he doesn’t have to work if he stands quietly in his spot, he should be happy to stay there.

If he tries to come into your space...


Mind matters

We blur the rules of personal space by wanting to be close to our horses all the time

Negative rein

p back

...ask him to ste

forcement There are two ways of training any animal – po and negative reinforcement. sitive Despite its na negative reinfo me, rcement isn’t a bad thing. In it’s the remov stead, al of a stimulus when the desi behaviour is ex red hibited. When you ride, your whip aids are leg and methods of ne gative reinforc because the pr ement essure they ap ply is taken aw when your ho ay rse moves forw ards. Negative reinfo rcement can be two different broken down types. Firstly into there’s escape is when you us , which e a whip and he moves forwar escape it. The d to other type of negative reinfo is avoidance, w rcement hich is when yo u use a subtle such as your le cue, g aid, and back it up with your if you don’t ge whip t a response. In itially this is es because you’re caping using the whi p, but after a your horse will while learn to move forward from subtle leg aid, the more avoiding the ba ck-up cue from whip. Avoidanc the e training is w hat makes your pay attention horse because he ha s to spot the su that comes be btle cue fore the bigger one, and if he do that, then can he can avoid it instead of havi to escape from ng it, which uses up more ener gy.

HORSE&RIDER 47


If his attention starts to shift from you...

Stay focused

The groundwork technique I use to teach horses to lead politely is another type of avoidance training. By staying focused and watching you for specific cues, he’s able to avoid pressure on his leadrope. While he’s standing in his sweet spot, your horse should be tuned in to your body language, waiting for a signal that you’re about to ask him to do something. If you watch horses in a herd, they’ll walk or trot along in a line, nose to tail, and if one stops they’ll all stop, even if the one at the back can’t see the one at the front, because they’re so aware of each other. So, if his mind starts to wander then it’s your job to get his focus back.

How to do it...

If you can see that your horse is starting to become distracted, walk away in the opposite direction to where he’s facing. Move slowly and deliberately to give him plenty of opportunity to pick up on your cue, but don’t put pressure on the rope. Instead, keep it slack and, if he doesn’t notice your cue to move, he’ll be the one causing it to tighten and pull on his halter, and he should move forward to relieve the pressure. He can walk wherever he feels comfortable, either at your shoulder or slightly behind, as long as he stays out of your space and matches your speed. Every time his focus starts to drift off you, though, ask him to do something. Turning and walking away is only a subtle command, but it means that he 48 HORSE&RIDER

TOP TIP

This technique can be very helpful if your horse has a tendency to be spooky. By teaching him to stay focused on you, he’ll be less likely to notice scary things and should, therefore, be less likely to spook.

has to keep paying attention to you to avoid getting pulled with the leadrope. Once he starts paying attention, you can move at a more normal speed. If he’s overtaking when you lead him, it’s because he’s anticipating where you’re going and not paying attention. He’s taken control of the situation. To get his focus back, turn around and go the opposite way. If he wants to walk that’s okay, but he has to walk in the direction that you tell him. Every time he goes past you, change direction and eventually he’ll start to focus in on you and move when you move. He’ll wait for you to make the decisions, because it’s easier and more comfortable for him than getting pulled with the rope.

...turn and walk away in the opposite direction...

...and he’ll have to focus again


Mind matters

Coming to a halt

Keep slack in the leadrope when you stop

It’s important that your horse learns to stop when you do, too. Just like before, he needs to do this outside your personal bubble, as he would with another horse – you don’t see a herd of horses crashing into each other like bumper cars.

How to do it...

If you stop with some slack in the rope and he fails to halt, too, he’ll pull himself up when he reaches the end of the rope. Repeat that enough times and he’ll soon learn to stop when you stop. Think of it as him being tied to a post. If he stops inside your space, send him backwards to where you originally wanted him to stand, first using your halter aid, then backing it up with a flag or leadrope if you need to.

Ask him to step over using pressure on his halter...

Asking your horse to step out of your space shows him that you’re the dominant one Hands off

...and back it up with your hands if he doesn’t respond

If you need to move your horse over and he ignores pressure on his halter, don’t push him. He’s much stronger than you, so he won’t move unless he wants to. Horses have a natural instinct to push into things, which goes back to how the foal leans against his mother, so if you try to push him away, he’ll probably just push back. Instead, push the air in the direction of his face. Don’t make contact, but he should move away from your hands. Again, this act of making him step away from you asserts your dominance. When he has stepped away, it’s important to show him that your hands aren’t going to hurt him or you might cause him to become headshy. Use your hands to rub him – if he’s happy to allow you to, rub his face, if not then rub his withers.

Consistency is key

Never ask your horse for something without wanting it. Be committed and keep asking until you get the response you want – you don’t take the pressure of your leg aid off until your horse speeds up, so it should be no different when you’re working with him on the ground because this is just another type of aid. You need to be consistent – horses don’t stop learning, so any time you let him stop or change direction without a cue from you, you’re condoning that behaviour in any future circumstance.

Last issue: Part 1

Using sensitising and desensitising to build confidence

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Next issue: Part 3

Communicate effectively with your horse HORSE&RIDER 49


Find out more about Anna Saillet, equinebehavioursolutions.co.uk

Our expert

Anna Saillet is an Equine Behaviour Consultant. She gained a BSc (Hons) in Animal Behaviour from Liverpool University, and an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare from Newcastle University, in which she specialised in equine behaviour. She has competed in dressage, showjumping and eventing. 50 HORSE&RIDER

It’s a herd life How much do you consider your horse’s natural social behaviour in his management? Probably not enough, as Anna Saillet explores


Mind matters

Y

ou’ve most likely stood at the field gate watching your horse interact with his fieldmates and wondered how their herd structure works. The reality is that the behaviours you see from your clipped, rugged, oversized pet are more similar to that of his wild relatives than you might imagine. In natural environments, horses typically live in relatively stable social units. Horses live in herds so that

they are able to fulfil their basic needs, which are to avoid danger or harm, and to reproduce successfully and bring up healthy foals. Group living offers security, which is particularly important for a prey species, and being with others provides opportunities to rest more easily, giving each group member additional protection from predators. Herd life requires horses to have a balanced co-operation with each other, and they communicate quickly and effectively through subtle body language.

➤ HORSE&RIDER 51


The myth of dominance

Social groupings

The most commonly seen type of herd is one made up of mares who are sexually mature, their young offspring and one or more adult stallions. Typically, a stallion will form bonds and breed with several mares, and will defend them rather than a set territory. This is likely to be due to the importance of the herd being able to move to different areas between seasons to ensure they can find the best available source of food, rather than finding themselves restricted to just one area. However, this isn’t the only type of social group – there are herds made up of just mares and their offspring, sometimes resulting from the death of a stallion, and also bachelor bands made up of only male horses. Bachelor bands are often less stable groups than the family herds and have fewer individuals, often with no more than four members. Certain adult mares have been found to develop mutual attachments to one another, preferring each other’s company to that of any other individual, and they may remain together even if there is no stallion with them.

As well as the outdated idea of a pecking order, many people have suggested that there is a lead stallion or mare of each herd who makes the decisions for the group, who are often the biggest and strongest of the group and are typically followed by all other group members. These individuals are often referred to as the dominant horse and several methods of horsemanship today insist on the importance of you becoming your horse’s leader, based on this school of thought that is, unfortunately, outdated. A recent study looking at leadership in Przewalski horses found that, regardless of what definition of leadership was used, they could not find any horse who qualified as the leader. Instead, it was found that multiple horses contribute to group coordination and movements, and that horses’ rank positions within the herd can change depending on situations and context. Despite leadership being a term used widely in the equestrian world, there is no scientific study that has been able to quantitatively demonstrate that a certain individual consistently takes the role of the leader in group movements of animals.

A recent study found that, regardless of what definition of leadership was used, they could not find any horse who qualified as the leader More complex than you might think

It’s highly likely that you were brought up with the idea, put forward in books and even scientific studies, that horses organise themselves socially through the use of a pecking order. It was believed that the alpha animal in the herd was the most aggressive and enjoyed the most privileges, but also had more duties to perform than other herd members. It was thought that the alpha animal was dominant over the beta animal, and so on down the chain until reaching the unfortunate individual at the bottom who had no real control over anyone. However, a closer look shows us that equine herd life simply isn’t that simple, and this simplistic view fails to take into account the complexity of social organisation within a horse herd and how their behaviours and interactions may change depending on environmental factors.

What feral horses can tell us Studying wild horses is obviously the best way to understand more about the behaviour of their domestic cousins, but truly wild horses are extremely rare. However, feral populations are more common, so it’s helpful to look at the 52 HORSE&RIDER

research going on into these groups to improve our understanding of equine behaviour. Populations of feral horses exist across the world in a variety of different habitats, from deserts to mountains, forests to

This begs the question, why have so many schools of horsemanship based their methods around this theory of equine leadership? Whether you’re reading books, articles or online equestrian forums, you will often find people referring to horses as the dominant one in a group or as being dominant over his handler. A horse who chases another away from a pile of hay can still be good friends with him. Groups typically work as a co-operation together, and their relationships can change and develop over time, and are likely to alter depending on the availability of resources and each individual horse’s needs. While one horse may be dominant over another in certain situations, even if the second horse always submits to the first during any altercations, this does not mean that the first horse is dominant because dominance is

barrier islands. As a result of this, although there are behavioural and organisational strategies that are typical of all horses, the behaviours of feral horse herds also vary to enable them to thrive in their unique situations and environmental context.


Mind matters

not a personality trait. No horse, human or dog is born dominant, instead dominance is primarily a descriptive term for relationships between pairs of individuals and usually comes into play when one of the individuals wants access to particular resources. Dominant behaviour can be demonstrated to enable the individual to gain or maintain access to a resource on any particular occasion. This is not, however, achieved through force or coercion, but through one of the individuals responding submissively without any aggression occurring. Just because one individual displays dominant behaviour in one situation does not necessarily mean that the same individual will show it on another occasion to either the same or another individual. Where you see an increase in bullying behaviours or possible dominance behaviours in domestic herds of horses, it’s mostly the result of the conditions the horses are kept in, where they feel there is a necessity to fight over important resources such as food, water, shelter or friends. In more natural environments, horses don’t have the need to argue over piles of hay, buckets of feed, access to a water bucket or space through gateways.

Horses can be friends, too

Friendships are extremely important in your horse’s life, with horses often forming close bonds with certain friends, spending time hanging out together, mutual grooming and standing nose to tail to swish each other’s flies away. Mutual grooming assists with the consolidation of friendships and it’s often observed that one horse in a pair of friends is slightly bolder than the other. Due to the close bond that a pair of horses can develop, a form of grieving can often be seen when the friends are separated. Like humans, horses all respond differently to the death of a close companion and a huge variety of reactions have been observed in these cases.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Przewalski horse is the world’s last truly wild horse. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had declared these horses as extinct in the wild with the only ones remaining living in zoos. However, through ambitious breeding programmes, numbers of these horses greatly increased in captivity and there has been a successful reintroduction programme where four groups of horses were ➤ reintroduced to their natural habitat in Mongolia. HORSE&RIDER 53


Mind matters

Sympathetic management Going solo

Most importantly, horses don’t like to live alone and very few would ever do so by choice. While there may be some feral horses who live in solitude, this appears to be rare and is often due to circumstances out of their control. Horses are social animals – they have a natural desire for company and, as their carers and keepers, it’s our responsibility to ensure that they have this. Where circumstances prevent another horse from being kept as a companion, some people take on a goat or sheep to provide companionship instead. While this is preferable to the horse being completely isolated, be under no illusion that this is as good a solution as equine companionship. Other species cannot offer the same mutual benefits as another horse would and ideally a longterm solution of enabling equine company to be possible should be sought. Stallions typically get a pretty raw deal with regards to how they are kept. Unfortunately, it’s still common practice for stallions to be kept completely socially isolated and to never have any interaction with companions other than when expected to cover a mare in extremely artificial circumstances. Sadly, because stallions are often kept isolated their whole lives, they lack appropriate social skills, so people become too concerned about turning them out with other horses because of their behaviour. Introducing any horse to living with company should always be a steady, gradual process, but stallions should have the same rights as every other horse we keep. It’s an equine need to have companionship and without the provision of this we are seriously impairing their welfare. Contrary to popular belief, it can be possible to keep stallions together provided they’re introduced carefully, and monitored and managed appropriately.

DID YOU KNOW?

Due to the way that we manage horses – keeping them in small spaces, in often unstable, regularly changing groups with limited resources – we have taken away their natural abilities to regulate their own groups. Horses are often moved to different fields with different companions or even moved to an entirely new yard and each time one of these movements happens, the dynamics of the group will alter. Even separating horses when they come in to be stabled overnight during the winter can cause them to show more agonistic behaviours each day when they are turned out together again. Horses develop strong, close bonds and this is often not considered or not taken seriously when owners consider whether they should move to a new field or yard. Repeated separation from companions can lead to the development of separation-related anxiety and could also contribute to the development of other behavioural problems due to an increase in stress experienced by the horse. Where management conditions have created competition for resources among horses, care should be taken when introducing a new horse, as existing group members may try to bully a newcomer to prevent access to resources. The introduction of new horses to any existing herd should be gradual, ideally with the new horse being turned out adjacent to the herd, across a safe barrier, for a number of weeks before being fully introduced. Scent swapping can be really beneficial – simply put some of the new horse’s droppings into the existing herd’s field and vice versa so that they can start to learn all about each other before coming properly face to face.

In Switzerland, since 2008 it has been a legal requirement that all horses, ponies, donkeys and mules must be able to see, hear and smell other equines, and horses under two-and-a-half years old must be kept in groups to allow for social needs. Wouldn’t it be nice if the UK followed this welfare-friendly approach to make improvements for horses’ lives? 54 HORSE&RIDER


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W

ith the short, dreary days of winter beginning to lengthen, it’s important to nutritionally prepare your horse for the new season. Here are Blue Chip’s five top tips to help him kick off spring with a flying start!

1. Bag a balancer Feeding a balancer is the ideal way to maintain health and wellbeing, giving your horse the best chance of keeping condition, whatever the year throws at him. Blue Chip balancers include nucleotides to maintain skin and coat condition, and a quality source of protein to promote muscle development and the formation of a strong topline. 2. Jump for joints! Olympic medallist, Tina Cook, says: “I believe prevention is better than a cure and my horses come into work, are all fed Blue Chip Joint RLF”. Joint RLF supplies essential nutrients vital to joint health such as glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and Rosa canina.

It’s important to nutritionally prepare your horse so that he gets a head start to the new season

3. Pick a probiotic Feeding a probiotic helps to maintain a healthy gut environment by promoting the growth of friendly, fibredigesting bacteria that ensure your horse makes the most of the feed and fibre that you put into his diet. Balanced gut flora is important to protect against harmful bacteria taking over, and probiotics increase gut motility and maintain efficient nutrient absorption, helping to keep your horse happy and healthy from the inside out. 4. Relax and ride on! If your horse is affected by being stabled more, a calming balancer may help to keep him cool, calm and collected when stabled for longer. Blue Chip’s new Super Concentrated Calming Balancer combines all it’s quality ingredients found in the bestselling balancers with the calming properties of magnesium, L-tryptophan and chamomile in one easy-tofeed, effective pelleted balancer. 5. Decide on a diet Remember, dietary changes should be gradual and take into account his workload and exercise regime, because it’s important to provide the calories he requires, especially if you plan to compete. Blue Chip Original provides specifically tailored levels of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, alongside quality sources of protein, nucleotides and probiotics that will keep your four-legged friend thriving all year round.

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If you’ve been injured & it wasn’t your fault, Kyle - Experienced equestrian talk to me... I’m an expert. Ian and Partner at Irvings Law Irvings Partner Ian Kyle is an active horse riding enthusiast with two children involved in the sport. As part of the equestrian community he fully understands the injuries riders can get because of someone else’s negligence. There are many ways you can sustain an injury, one of those is a horse being spooked by a car driving too closely or a sudden loud noise. If you have been injured, contact Irvings now for a FREE initial meeting to discuss your claim on a NO WIN, NO FEE basis and how we can get you compensation for your injuries.

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Clare Barfoot RNutr is an equine nutritionist and the Research and Development Manager for Spillers.

Alice Dunsdon is a four-star eventer and Senior Master of the Surrey Union Hunt.

Lucinda Fredericks has won Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton. She now trains others alongside competing.

Huw Griffiths BSc BVSc Cert AVP(SM) MRCVS is a senior assistant vet at Liphook Equine Hospital.

Anna Hollis BVetMed DipACVIM DipECEIM MRCVS is Senior Oncology Clinician at the AHT.

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Tricia Nassau-Williams is Lorinery Lecturer and Projects Manager at The Worshipful Company of Loriners.

Jenni Nellist BSc (Hons) MSc helps to co-ordinate the Equine Behaviour and Training Association.

Gemma Pearson BVMS Cert AVP(EM) MRCVS runs the Equine Behaviour Service at The Royal (Dick) Veterinary School.

Jon Phillips is Managing Director of The Organisation of Horsebox and Trailer Owners.

Judi Piper-Dadswell is a UKCC Level 3 showjumping coach.

Jamie Prutton BSc (Hons) BVSc DipACVIM MRCVS ACVIM is an assistant vet at Liphook Equine Hospital.

Ollie Pynn BVSc CertEP MRCVS is a partner at veterinary practice Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons.

Helen Rutherford is a barrister and specialises in equine law, commercial law and personal injury.

Anna Saillet BSc (Hons) MSc is an equine behaviourist and runs Equine Behaviour Solutions.

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| MANAGEMENT KNOW-HOW OUR EXPERTS

Helen Rutherford is a barrister and specialises in equine law, commercial law and personal injury.

Jon Phillips is Managing Director of The Organisation of Horsebox and Trailer Owners.

Clare Barfoot RNutr is an equine nutritionist and the Research and Development Manager for Spillers.

Photos: Bob Atkins

DID YOU KNOW?

In dispute

t lame straightaway and I After my farrier shod my horse, he wen er to pay for treatment? had to get my vet out. Can I ask my farri Name withheld

Helen Rutherford answers: es, but there are situations It depends on the circumstanc These include when the farrier where a farrier can be pursued. to the lameness, or failed to has directly caused or contributed d. ble farrier would have identifie identify an issue that a reasona the to due ired requ is vet r you If there’s reason to believe that then it may be worth discussing action or inaction of your farrier, e with your farrier. However, ther a contribution to the treatment t. faul ier’s farr r you be not that may are many causes for lameness at is ier farr r you e sibl pos it’s ther Ask your vet for advice on whe fault before confronting him. the treatment is expensive You can consider the courts if have to be able to demonstrate enough to merit it. You would d by your farrier fell below the that the standard of work provide nt farrier. Often the way to do standard of a reasonably compete be another farrier or a vet) to this is to get an expert (likely to then shown to the court. comment in a report, which is

58 HORSE&RIDER

Nail bind is when the nail is driven too close to your horse’s sensitive laminae and, although uncommon, it does happen. In mild cases it causes pain and lameness, but infection can develop around the nail, leading to a foot abscess. If this happens, contact your farrier first because most would want to put it right.


Ask the experts

Sweet enough What are the benefits of feeding sugar beet? Can I feed it year-round? Beth Sutherland Clare Barfoot answers: Sugar beet is an excellent source of highly digestible fibre and, although high in energy (calories), it’s low in starch and sugar if it’s unmolassed. This makes it both non-heating and sympathetic to your horse’s gut health. However, the increase in volume after soaking means it’s easy to overestimate how much you’re feeding. Once it’s soaked, sugar beet contains approximately 80% water, which means a large scoop of soaked sugar beet is of very little nutritional value. In fact, a Stubbs scoop of an average pony cube could have four or five times more calories than the same size scoop of soaked sugar beet. This is handy if you have a good-doer, because a pre-soaked cupful will bulk out his feed without adding many calories. If you use it appropriately, following the manufacturer’s instructions, sugar beet is safe to feed throughout the year. Choosing quick-soak varieties can help to prevent it fermenting in hot temperatures or freezing in winter months.

Kicking off I’ve just bought a new horse and his old owners said they never travelled him in boots as he didn’t like wearing them. Is it safe to continue like this or would I be better trying to introduce travel boots? K Russell Jon Phillips answers: I prefer to see horses travel with some sort of protection on their legs. However, some do object to boots and can cause themselves more damage trying to get them off than if they just travelled without. I advise putting some travel boots on your horse, one at a time, while he’s in his stable to see what exactly he doesn’t like. Make sure the boots fit well and are secure – if they’re too big or flapping, they’re likely to irritate him. If he’s okay with them in the stable, try walking him in them to see what he does. If he’s still happy, try a very short journey. If you’ve checked the fit and your horse really doesn’t settle with boots, it may be worth trying bandages instead. These can feel more secure and some horses are happier with them – stable bandages with shaped padding underneath to cover knees and hocks can be a great alternative to boots. Again, try them in the stable first. Given time, most horses will get used to boots or bandages, so I suggest persevering for a short time each day until he’s confident wearing them.

TOP TIP

Only soak as much sug ar beet as you need for a 24hour period. This will keep it as fresh as possible .

Once it’s soaked, sugar beet contains approximately 80% water

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| MIND MATTERS OUR EXPERTS

Anna Saillet BSc (Hons) MSc is an equine behaviourist and runs Equine Behaviour Solutions.

Jenni Nellist BSc (Hons) MSc helps to co-ordinate the Equine Behaviour and Training Association.

Gemma Pearson BVMS Cert AVP(EM) MRCVS runs the Equine Behaviour Service at The Royal (Dick) Veterinary School.

Managing expectations

Photos: Bob Atkins

My new horse has learnt to expect an apple bobbing in his water when he comes in. His old owner warned me that if we run out, he’ll sulk at the back of his stable and not drink. Why does he do this? Is he frustrated? Should I make sure there’s always an apple or try to train him out of it? Jan Dwiar Anna Saillet answers: This is a very interesting question! Sulking, by definition, is when a person becomes silent and refuses to be pleasant because they’re upset or angry about something that another person has done, similar to the idea of holding a grudge. By using these types of words to label your horse’s behaviour, you shift blame onto him rather than carefully considering what the behaviour is actually telling you. As horse owners, TOP TIP sometimes we incorrectly anthropomorphise To stop your horse’s water our horses (ascribe human attributes to them) freezing over in winter, when there may be a much simpler explanation. put your buc ket in a large straw-packe It could be that perhaps your horse simply isn’t d tyre to keep interested in the water when there’s no apple, it insulated. because an apple is a high-value treat and without it the water isn’t so appealing. Apple bobbing is just one of many types of enrichment that can be provided for stabled horses. However, when you create a very set routine of certain things always happening at certain times, you build your horse’s expectations, then if something changes – for example, there being no apple in his water – he may become stressed or frustrated. Because this is something You could try hanging fruit or vegetable strings in he’s become used to, you may need to gradually train his stable, or branches to chew on with treats poked him out of it so that his expectations will become onto the twigs, sprinkling pieces of fruit or vegetable lowered over time. You could do this by gradually around the stable, or giving him a mineral lick. You may reducing the size of the pieces of apple that you put in also want to experiment with offering him an additional his water over several days, while starting to introduce bucket of water to his normal one, containing flavoured different types of enrichment in his stable so that there water made using either a small amount of cordial or are other things for him to become interested in. This flavoured tea bags, to trial different tastes. Many horses will help to prevent him from becoming frustrated on will also drink more water if warm water is provided in the inevitable days when your apple supply runs out, the winter months, so if you’re concerned that he isn’t rather than simply stopping giving him any apples to bob drinking as much as you’d like, this may encourage him altogether. to drink more, too. 60 HORSE&RIDER


Ask the experts

Social struggles My horse socialises well in his field, but when I ride out with my friends and his fieldmates, he can be quite aggressive and protective of his space. Why is this? Bronagh O’Sullivan

Jenni Nellist answers: There are a number of reasons why your horse could be behaving in this way. He could... • be redirecting his irritation, pain or discomfort from another source to his herd mates. His pain may be associated with riding, so I would suggest arranging a health check • be experiencing or anticipating non-pain related frustration that he’s redirecting onto the other horses. Consider whether you could be causing him any confusion in your aids that could be creating frustration

have formed a fear association with this situation. It’s possible that he feels he has no control over how close his herd mates get while you’re out riding. This wouldn’t be an issue in the field, where they have more freedom of choice, and the sense of loss of control may make him (and others) tense and anxious, manifesting in aggressive behaviour. Fear of consequences for this behaviour – for example, you kicking him on – may increase his anxiety further • be resource guarding. Like defending his feed or treats, he could be guarding a close friend from a perceived approach by a less-favoured herd mate. Carefully consider the order you ride in, especially if it’s directed at one particular horse. Whatever the case is, a veterinary examination is important then, if physical problems are ruled out, referral to an equine behaviourist will help you get to the bottom of this.

Window of opportunity I’ve heard that it’s better to teach horses as much as you can and let them see the world when they’re young, but why is this? Are they more receptive at this age? Thea Crowe Gemma Pearson answers: You may already know that puppies go through a stage of their development when they’re more likely to find new experiences interesting rather than frightening, so it’s important to introduce them to everything they might DID YOU encounter as adults before they’re 12–16 weeks old. KNOW? However, as horses are a prey species, foals don’t When your horse encounters undergo the same process and, instead, categorise something he perceives to be a new experiences as okay (habituation) or scary danger, his sympathetic nervous system (sensitisation) from day one. Actually, adult horses is activated. He may startle and freeze are just as receptive as youngsters, but if you wait or take flight – either way his instinct to introduce them to things until they’re older, they can overshadow other information he’s may have already built up a memory bank of scary receiving such as your aids. The more experiences that you’ll need to retrain. If youngsters obedient your horse is to your aids, are carefully exposed to lots of different experiences the more control you will have such as traffic, plastic bags or new people, they tend to in this situation. learn to be braver and more confident as adults.

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HORSE&RIDER 61


| VETERINARY MATTERS OUR EXPERTS

Anna Hollis BVetMed DipACVIM DipECEIM MRCVS is Senior Oncology Clinician at the AHT.

Leave it be My friend has been trying to pick off what she thinks is a sarcoid from between her horse’s hindlegs. Are these not best left alone? Name withheld Anna Hollis answers: Sarcoids are a form of skin cancer that are typically locally invasive (meaning they affect the area around the sarcoid) but don’t metastasise (spread to other organs). There are several different types of sarcoid that each have a different appearance, and some sarcoids will remain unchanged for years while others will change rapidly and become large, ulcerated and problematic. In many cases, different types of sarcoid can be found on the same horse. The majority of affected horses will have more than one lesion, but occasionally only one is present. Sarcoids are most commonly found in areas where flies congregate, such as around the eye, in between the hindlegs, and on the sheath, although they can be found anywhere on your horse’s skin. Sarcoids can be challenging to treat and there are many different treatment options, including various topical creams,

If a sarcoid is incompletely removed, it may recur in a much more aggressive form

62 HORSE&RIDER

Ollie Pynn BVSc CertEP MRCVS is a partner at veterinary practice Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons.

Jamie Prutton BSc (Hons) BVSc DipACVIM MRCVS ACVIM is an assistant vet at Liphook Equine Hospital.

TOP TIPabnormal

s any If your horse ha a m examined by hi t ge , ns skin lesio tions op t en m at tre odern vet, as many m dable if ective and affor eff ly gh hi are e small. ar n the lesions performed whe ts can en m at ow, tre As the lesions gr lt, cu ffi di y gl become increasin n less te of d an expensive successful.

injectable substances, laser surgical removal and radiotherapy. If a sarcoid is incompletely removed, it may recur in a much more aggressive form. I would, therefore, never recommend trying to pick off a possible sarcoid, as it is highly unlikely that this would be successful, and may well aggravate the lesion and lead to a rapidly growing and hard to treat sarcoid. Other lesions that can resemble sarcoids are harmless warts and, less commonly, other types of skin tumour such as melanomas, mast cell tumours and squamous cell carcinomas.


Ask the experts

Touch of frost I’ve heard that it’s unsafe to turn your horse out in the frost. Is this true? Will my horse be okay if he lives out 24/7? Jacqui Hignell Ollie Pynn answers: First of all, it’s important to remember that many horses are kept out 24/7, including when it’s cold and frosty, and the vast majority are fine. Also consider wild horses who have to put up with inclement weather conditions and do so with minimal problems. However, frosty grass isn’t good for some horses because it can have a high fructan (sugar) content. Fructans are produced through photosynthesis, which occurs when it’s sunny, then the grass uses these fructans for growth. However, when it’s cold (below 5°C) grass doesn’t grow and instead the fructans are stored, ending up in high concentrations within the grass. Frost also stresses the If you can’t bring your horse pasture, which can increase fructan in when there’s a frost, make concentrations even further. Your horse sure he has access to plenty of then ingests the excess fructans, which hay in his field. can be responsible for causing colic and laminitis. So, if he has had, or might be prone to, laminitis, it would be sensible to limit his access to frosty pasture.

TOP TIP

Worming while pregnant

My mare is due to foal in four months. What should I do about worming her? Are there any special cons iderations? Kim Havering Jamie Prutton answers: Regular de-worming of pregna nt mares is important for their health and for that of thei r newborn foal. Routinely coll ect and send off a sample of her dro ppings for a faecal worm egg count (FWEC) to ensure that she doesn’t carry an excessive burden of worms, while maintai ning a natural population of worms in the horse and paddoc k. Most wormers are safe for pre gnant mares, but you should always discuss appropriate med ication with your vet and check that the data sheet shows it’s lice nsed for this use. Routine deworming with an ivermectinor moxidectin-based product is recommended approximately one month prior to foaling and during the remainder of the pre gnancy, treatment should be based on FWECs. If you’re not sure of your horse’s de-worming history prior to pregnancy, or it’s been insufficient, then you should discuss treatment with your vet due to the risk of encysted redworms.

TOP TIP

Before worm ing your hors e, it’s best to se nd a sample for a FWEC and se ek advice from your vet.

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➤ HORSE&RIDER 63


| HORSEY SHOPPING OUR EXPERTS

Tricia Nassau-Williams is Lorinery Lecturer and Projects Manager at The Worshipful Company of Loriners.

Sean Jeffs is an SMS qualified saddle maker and fitter. He’s the factory manager at Harry Dabbs and Jeffries Saddlery.

Billets or buckles? I’m looking at buying my horse a new bridle. Am I better to choose one with billet hooks or buckles? Jo Winterbourne Tricia Nassau-Williams answers: If you’re going to the expense of buying a new bridle, I suggest that you spend as much as you can and get something that has been produced to a high standard. Look for one with quality leather and well-finished metalwork because spending more now will save you money in the long run.

TOP TIP

When choosing your bridle, find one that suits your horse’s face and the work that you’re doing with him. If you’re not sure what to choose, revisit your copy of July Horse&Rider or buy a back issue at horseandrideruk.com/shop

64 HORSE&RIDER

As for choosing between billet hooks or buckles, unless a rulebook you compete under states otherwise, it’s up to you. Here are a few points to consider... • some riders think that buckles are safer than billets because the buckle’s tongue is fastened to a cross section of metal within the buckle • billet hooks are generally a more popular choice, as they’re more aesthetically pleasing and neater than buckles. Some people think that bit and rein buckles on riding bridles are unattractive and look cheaper, although they’re commonplace on driving bridles • both can be undone for maintenance, cleaning and changing the bit, but you may find that buckles are easier to undo, so if you’re frequently changing the bit or reins then buckles may be an advantage • you’ll need to inspect billet hook fastenings regularly to ensure that the leather around the hooks is in sound condition • if your horse has particularly fleshy cheeks, you may find that buckles are less likely to rub, as they’re on the outside and smooth against his face


Ask the experts

Hay waste I feed my horses hay in the field, but some of it seems to get lost in the mud. How can I reduce the waste? Keeleigh M Horse&Rider answers: Feeding your horse hay throughout the winter is hard to avoid, but there are ways to minimise the wastage. An ideal solution is to invest in a manger to prevent the hay falling on the floor in the first place. There are many different styles available, so if this seems like a potential solution for you, first consider how big you need it to be to accommodate your horses and whether they will be happy to share, or if you’ll need more than one. Think about whether you would prefer a wooden, plastic or metal manger, which would be easiest to move if you needed to and whether you want one with a cover to keep your hay dry. If you don’t have provision for a hay manger, try tying haynets to the fence on a hard standing area of the field, if you have one, as anything that falls is less likely to get trodden into the mud. Placing your hay in a shelter or against a hedge will also prevent it getting blown across the field.

Squeaky saddle TOP TIP

Your horse will change shape over the year and this can alter the fit of your saddle, so you should have its fit checked at least twice a year.

My saddle creaks and my friend suggested that the tree might be broken? Do I need to buy a new saddle or can this be fixed? Marion Butler Sean Jeffs answers: If your saddle is making any creaks, groans or squeaks, I recommend that you get it checked by a qualified saddler, or Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) saddle maker or fitter. Weather conditions, combined with general wear and tear, can lead to leather saddles becoming dry, which may lead to cracks, colour fading or annoying squeaks when in use. If this is the case, I also recommend that you use a good-quality leather product to rehydrate the leather. Another cause could be that the rivets from the head plate (the steel plate at the front of the tree) have become loose, creating a squeak. This can sometimes happen if the saddle tree has been professionally stretched by a saddle devil (saddle adjusting machine). If this is the case, then it’s likely that your saddle can be repaired. If your saddle has been dropped on a hard surface, rolled on or been involved in an accident, then it’s possible that a laminated wooden tree has been broken or damaged in some way – a qualified saddler or saddle fitter can check this for you. Your regular fitter should be able to detect any maintenance issues with your saddle and advise an appropriate course of action. If you’re in any doubt about the fit or condition of your saddle, then seek professional advice.

Want slow release energy? SPILLERS® Care-Line 01908 226626

➤ HORSE&RIDER 65


| IN THE SADDLE OUR EXPERTS

Alice Dunsdon is a fourstar eventer and Senior Master of the Surrey Union Hunt.

Lucinda Fredericks has won Burghley, Kentucky and Badminton. She now trains others alongside competing.

Judi Piper-Dadswell is a UKCC Level 3 showjumping coach.

Water worries I took my horse to a competition and there was a water tray that I couldn’t even get him to go near. How can I get him used to them if I don’t have one at home? Laura Bell Judi Piper-Dadswell answers: I often find that water trays aren’t introduced to horses until they’ve been jumping for quite a while, which tends to produce a horrified horse. To them, the water tray appears as a hole in the ground because, while humans have very good three-dimensional vision, your horse has more trouble distinguishing between twodimensional and three-dimensional shapes. Ideally you would introduce trays from the very beginning, but following these steps will still help you... 1. Buy two small plastic seed trays from your local garden centre (approximately 80x30cm). Lay

them in your arena next to each other, end to end, with space between them wide enough for your horse to walk through. 2. Practise riding your horse between them, then ask a friend to gradually move them closer together. Once he’s quite happy to trot between them, introduce a pole over the two trays. Don’t let him stop or turn away – if he refuses, go back a step and ask your friend to separate them again. 3. As your horse grows in confidence, progress to a rolled up blanket on the floor underneath a pole – start with it 20cm wide and gradually increase the width. The effect of a blanket will be the same as a tray, but you can adjust the size easily. 4. If possible, return to the show centre where you had the problem for a schooling session to put your completed homework into practice.

TOP TIP

Photo: Bob Atkins, david muscroft/Shutterstock.com, Kit Houghton

Instead of seed trays you can use flat, wooden boards and paint them blue.

66 HORSE&RIDER


Ask the experts

Looking up? On the approach to a fence I always get told to look up, but I feel like I need to look at the fence. Where should I be looking? V Reynolds

Hunting options I think I’d really enjoy a day’s hunting, but I’m worried that my horse won’t be able to manage large fences, ditches or hedges. Is there an option of jumping smaller obstacles or not jumping at all? Harriet

Lucinda Fredericks answers: This is a good question and one I always ask my students. The answers I receive vary from looking at the bottom of the fence, trees in the distance or the clouds, to downright bizarre, imaginary things like circles on the floor, dotted lines or rainbows. I’m not sure how it gets so complicated – or how some people get over fences with some of these strategies! Without question, as you turn towards a fence, you need to be looking at the highest part of the fence where your horse’s front feet are going to go over. Your focus should be so intense that you bore holes in the paintwork. Your peripheral vision is an extraordinary asset and you can use it to help you navigate around obstacles and turns on the course, while your laser-beam focus remains relentlessly on the highest part of the fence.

Alice Dunsdon answers: I would encourage everyone to go for a day with your local hunt. You don’t have to stay out all day and you can go home whenever suits you, as long as you let the Master know. Most hunts have jumping and non-jumping days and, much of the time, the hunt will have jumping Field Masters and non-jumping Field Masters, too. You can then choose which day would most suit you and your horse. There’s always a way round a jump, ditch or hedge. It may take a little bit longer to catch up with the field, but there’s normally more than one person not jumping. I always advise riders to find a local Ordinance Survey map before the day and study the TOP TIP area you know you’ll be in. The best way to find out about This way, if for some reason your local hunt is to contact the your horse won’t jump or hunt secretary. You should be able you don’t fancy a particular to find their contact details on fence, you won’t get lost the hunt’s website. or left behind because you’ll know another way around.

When you’re two or three strides away, you can subtly change your focus and put the highest part of the fence into the background of your vision, then focus on where you’re going next. A combination fence is a good example of this – look at the paint on the rail at the highest part of your first jump and subtly shift focus to the second element when you’re three strides away. This focus will automatically tune in your body, and give your horse a feeling of security and commitment. I also count out my horse’s rhythm as I’m riding a course, counting each stride in eights as his leading foreleg hits the ground. This makes you more aware of the rhythm of your canter and develops your eye to judge your take-off distances. Keep counting on the landing stride and towards the next fence. That’s my advice – develop laser eyes and count out your rhythm. Good luck!

Revisit December Horse&Rider for more first-timer tips in ‘A beginner’s guide to hunting’.

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➤ HORSE&RIDER 67


Ask the experts

| IN BRIEF Huw Griffiths BSc BVSc Cert AVP(SM) MRCVS is a senior assistant vet at Liphook Equine Hospital.

OUR EXPERT

Safety first Is it safe to ride a mare in foal? Someone at my yard does it, but I assumed it would be too risky. Name withheld

Frozen over

What can I do to stop my trough freezing?

B Beck Horse&Rider answers: It’s hard to prevent your trough freezing when the temperatures drop, however, floating a ball in it will keep the water moving, making it less likely to freeze. If your horse is likely to try to play with the ball or take it out, it might be worth putting in more than one.

Huw Griffiths answers: It’s safe in most circumstances, as long as it doesn’t cause the mare stress, as this would be a risk to the pregnancy. Because of the extra weight of the unborn foal and uterus, in addition to a rider, it’s best to slowly decrease DID YOU ridden work from KNOW? three months to seven Plenty of maiden mares hardly look months, when ridden pregnant at all and can be mistakenly work would probably ridden without knowing until a few stop completely. weeks before they’re full term, but However, these dates are then give birth to healthy foals. very dependent on the individual mare.

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68 HORSE&RIDER


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Powering performance with Dengie Alfa-A Oil Nutrition is a vital part of performance, and while the right diet doesn’t guarantee you’ll win, the wrong diet guarantees you won’t

F

eeding isn’t simply a case of supplying energy and nutrients to meet the demands of exercise, it’s also vital for supporting your horse’s health and general wellbeing. Things can go wrong if the diet isn’t right and this is often because we feed things that aren’t sympathetic to our horses’ digestive systems, such as large quantities of cereals. This is why fibre feeds are so important – they’re a slow-release form of energy that helps to keep the digestive system healthy. Fibre is, after all, what horses have evolved to eat.

Fuelled by fibre

Cereals contain high levels of starch that is broken down into sugar, which may cause peaks and troughs in energy levels and can result in unpredictable behaviour. In contrast, pure alfalfa and oil can provide the same amount of energy as cereal-based feeds but contain much lower levels of sugar and starch. Alfalfa also provides good-quality protein, which is essential for muscle development and repair, and is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals.

Cutting out the sweet stuff

Sugar occurs naturally in grass and dried forages such as hay and straw, so it’s practically impossible to feed your horse a diet that’s sugar-free. Many feeds also contain added sugar to aid palatability, usually in the form of molasses, so check the ingredients on the back of the bag if you want to reduce his sugar intake.

Added oil for added oomph

Oil is very energy-dense and makes an ideal addition to your horse’s diet if he’s working hard and needs extra energy. It also has the added bonus of promoting condition, healthy skin and beautiful coat shine. Dengie Alfa-A Oil is a pure alfalfa feed with a rapeseed oil coating and has the same energy level (12.5MJ/kg) as a competition mix or cube, but with on average about 10 times less sugar and starch. It’s ideal for fizzy horses or those prone to muscle problems, contains no cereal grains and is free from molasses and preservatives. Feed

Digestible energy (MJ/Kg)

Starch

Sugar

Dengie Alfa-A Oil

12.5

2%

4.5%

Competition mixes

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20%

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Gut health

Weight for weight, fibre feeds take about three times longer to chew than cereal-based feeds, which helps to produce more saliva to counteract excess acidity in your horse’s gut. The presence of fibre in the gut also helps to reduce acid splashing onto the delicate upper part of the stomach. Feed a double handful of chopped fibre before schooling or fast work Independent research to help keep his stomach in good health. has shown alfalfa is a better buffer to acidity than other fibre sources due to Dengie’s Alfa-A Oil and Healthy Tummy both its protein and calcium proudly display the new BETA approval mark content. for products suitable for horses prone to equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS). Products that have this endorsement have undergone independent testing, thereby helping owners to make educated feed choices to improve the health and wellbeing of their horses and ponies.

For the answer to all your equine feeding queries, talk to a Dengie nutritionist today


Lucy Jackson, competing at Osberton in 2016 riding Superstition II

Case study Beth Day has been on British Junior and Young Rider teams and is part of 2016/17 Excel Beth Da y an d De lila h Talent Programme. She competed in the Inter I at the 2016 British Dressage National Championships on home-bred mare, Delilah. “Dengie’s Alfa-A Oil has made a massive difference to Delilah. She’s more rideable, allowing me to go for more expression in her paces, and she has much more power and stamina, too. Her temperament has improved, she’s more relaxed when away at events and I’ve even managed to remove her hormone supplement. Since switching to Alfa-A Oil, her condition and topline have improved and her coat is gleaming. She’s a picture of health.”

Pure alfalfa and oil can provide the same amount of energy as cerealbased feeds, but contain much lower levels of sugar and starch

h

Case study International eventer Lucy Jackson says: “Dengie fibre is essential for all of my horses. Alfa-A Oil provides quality nutrients, energy and stamina while promoting healthy digestion, enabling them to perform at their best. I wouldn’t be without it in their diets.”

Top tips for feeding ulcer-prone horses • •

Feed plenty of forage to increase chew time and saliva production Use highly digestible fibre sources such as alfalfa with added oil to meet energy requirements rather than cereal-based concentrates

Feed a small amount of chopped fibre before exercising your horse to help reduce stomach acid coming into contact with the upper, unprotected non-glandular part of the stomach

Dengie feedline 0845 345 5115* • Dengie online dengie.com *Call charges apply see website for details

• • •

Try to reduce stressful situations, which may include exercise activity and competing Turnout at much as possible Provide access to water at all times

Photos: Tim Wilkinson, Camille Peters

Bet h Day an d Delila


Behind the scenes at

the Animal Health Trust The veterinary world is advancing at the rate of knots and the Animal Health Trust, Horse&Riderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2017 charity of the year, is where much of the magic happens. Lucy Turner visited to find out more

Photos: Bob Atkins

Horses are referred to the AHT from around the country in the hope that the cause and a solution can be found 72 HORSE&RIDER


Ask a vet

W

The dummy rider

hen I think of equine charities, centres full of rescued, abused horses and ponies who need to find loving homes spring to mind. And while a huge part of equine charity focuses on horses and ponies in need, not all of it does. What I hadn’t considered was the amount of charity work that goes into making sure our horses stay happy, healthy and sound for years to come – that’s where the Animal Health Trust (AHT) comes in.

Specialist help

The Animal Health Trust has a referral clinic and Sue Dyson uses a nerve block to the majority of the horses who come to the Trust investigate a lameness problem are there for a lameness examination – with expert in orthopaedics, Sue Dyson, heading up this area of work, they couldn’t be in better hands. As horses in the hope that the cause and a solution can be found arrived for their appointments and were led onto – I’ve often heard it said that if Sue Dyson can’t fix the yard by their owners, I couldn’t help but sense a your horse, no one can! hint of apprehension in the air. The girls on the yard The vets have state-of-the-art equipment at their welcomed them warmly and made the horses feel disposal to help them reach a diagnosis, including at home straightaway, and the vets were kind and a dummy rider for horses who aren’t safe to sit on, sensitive, as well as ultra-professional, but still which allows the vets to see whether the horse is there was a sense of unease. affected differently when he’s ridden. Once the It soon transpired that for many area of pain has been located using nerve and of the horses who come here, it’s joint blocks, the location is imaged using DID YOU a last chance saloon. Often they X-ray, ultrasound, bone scan and, in more KNOW? have ongoing lameness issues complicated cases, MRI. The AHT has the use that, so far, no one has been able No imaging technique is 100% of X-ray, ultrasound, to resolve, so they are referred sensitive, so the vets use X-ray, bone scan and MRI here by vets around the country ultrasound and bone scan to investigate problems, as they can all show up to help diagnose different things. For X-ray, there needs lameness to be at least a 30% increase or decrease problems. in bone density for the problem to be visible. And when vet, Laura Quiney, carried out some research on the sensitivity of bone scan, she discovered that in some horses, quite major bone changes weren’t picked up. MRI detects almost all problems, but it’s incredibly expensive, so the vets try to get to the bottom of the problem using other techniques first. MRI is most commonly used for foot pain, because up to 80% of forelimb lamenesses are in the foot, and because it’s not possible to use ultrasound to image the tendons and ligaments in the foot due to the thickness of the hoof capsule.

HORSE&RIDER 73


Protecting against injury

While there is a clinic for treating horses at the centre, the majority of the Animal Health Trust’s work is research-based. Researchers have carried out many studies into the risk factors for injury, ways to prevent injuries and diagnose them, and rehabilitation – things all our horses could benefit from. One of the older projects looked at which disciplines had a higher risk of certain types of injury, and highlighted that dressage horses have an increased risk of hindlimb suspensory ligament problems, while showjumpers tend to damage the bottom of the tendons in the forelimb. A lot of their current work has stemmed from this study, leading the researchers to look at the risk factors for injury in dressage horses and showjumpers. The study into dressage horses showed that arena surface type was a risk factor, as was arena maintenance – the less frequently it was maintained, the higher the risk of injury. Following on from this, they’ve used a specialist mechanical hoof called the Orono Biomechanical Surface Tester to look at how different arena maintenance techniques affect the properties of the surface. The mechanical hoof measures the firmness of the top layer of the surface, how much energy is absorbed by the surface and grip of the surface. There are only three of these machines worldwide – the AHT uses one based in Sweden. A new project the researchers are working on is looking into water treadmills, which have become really popular for rehabilitation and fitness, particularly since Valegro started using them. However, while people DID YOU KNOW? have had a lot of success The Orono Biomechanical with them, there isn’t Surface Tester used by the actually any concrete AHT when studying arena evidence that they are surfaces was used to check of benefit, which the the surface at the London researchers hope to rectify.

and Rio Olympics.

74 HORSE&RIDER

Researchers are studying risk factors for injury, ways to prevent and diagnose them, and rehabilitation techniques


Ask a vet

Stem cell secrets

to understand all the factors that are involved It’s not just practical research that’s going on at the in making tendon, so they’ve been growing little AHT. In the labs, researchers are beavering away artificial tendons in the lab. on incredible projects, even growing mini tendons It’s been discovered that if a foetal tendon is and pieces of bone. They currently have two injured, it will heal with no scar tissue, which is projects in progress. what vets want to achieve in adult horses. The One is looking at using stem cells – cells that researchers think that the embryonic stem cells have the ability to turn into things like tendon, will create a much earlier stage of tendon cell, bone and cartilage – to repair tendon which may be much more beneficial to injuries. The scar tissue that forms after regenerating a better quality tendon. a tendon injury is what predisposes The other project they’re looking horses to a high reinjury rate. It’s at is fractures, because a previous already possible for vets to take stem study at the AHT found that there’s cells from the bone marrow of the a genetic basis to fractures and some injured horse and inject them into horses are at much higher risk than Mini tendons in the tendon, and it was thought that if others. Researchers don’t know the the lab these cells turned into tendon cells you’d specific genes that cause it, but they can get better healing. However, research has identify whether a horse is at high risk. shown this isn’t the case – when you put them into Currently, they don’t know why these horses the tendon, they disappear quickly. It’s not to say are more at risk, but it’s likely that there are two that they aren’t beneficial, because they promote options – the bone is weaker or more brittle so better healing, reducing the initial inflammatory is likely to get more microdamage than normal, response. The problem is that it takes three to four or that the horses aren’t very good at repairing weeks to grow enough stem cells to reinject and by microdamage, which leads to fracture. then you’re past the point when they’d be of most To find out more, they tested horses who’d come benefit. to the AHT for a post mortem to see if they were The researchers are now looking at embryonic high or low risk of fracture, then took skin samples stem cells as an alternative. These cells will from them. Then they turned the skin cells into the grow forever in the lab, so they could be grown equivalent of embryonic stem cells by genetically and kept aside, ready to use as soon as a tendon manipulating them so they can turn into anything, injury occurs. When the embryonic stem cells including bone, which is what they want to study. were injected into tendons, they did survive and Once the bones have grown, they can start to seemed to turn into tendon cells. Since then, the compare the bone from high and low risk horses researchers have been doing a lot of work to try and find out what’s different about them.

DID YOU KNOW?

The AHT has set up a website for horse owners and vets, giving them more information about the flu virus, showing where recent flu outbreaks have been and sending out rapid notifications of an outbreak. To find out more, visit equiflunet.org.uk

DID YOU KNOW?

AHT researchers are working towards improving the repair of tendon injuries and discovering why some horses are more prone to fractures.

The fight against infectious diseases Infectious diseases affect us all, particularly flu, strangles and equine herpes virus (EHV), all of which are endemic in the UK. There’s a team at the AHT that records and reports outbreaks of these diseases, researches them and develops new vaccines, helping to keep the diseases under control. Exotic diseases are closely monitored, too, and measures have been put in place to deal with them should they occur in the UK.

Viruses are constantly evolving, so the team works hard to keep coming up with new vaccines that are effective. The flu virus evolves particularly quickly and when vets come across a case, the virus that’s caused it is investigated and compared to older strains and the current vaccines. The team collaborates with labs around the world, and they get together yearly to look at whether the vaccines should be updated, then advise the manufacturers.

The strangles team is also working on a vaccine, but a large part of their work has been focused on better surveillance of the disease because it’s often underestimated how widespread it is – because of the stigma associated with the disease, it’s often not reported. They are also looking at the different strains circulating, because a horse can be infected with a few different strains at once.

HORSE&RIDER 75


Ask a vet

Before

A horse receiving brachytherapy

DID YOU KNOW?

Six weeks after treatment

Cures for cancer

When we think of cancer, tumours within the body spring to mind, but strangely horses rarely get these types of cancer. Most equine cancers are skinrelated, such as sarcoids, melanomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Even stranger, while cancer in humans and other animals would normally be treated, these skin tumours are often left unless they begin to cause problems. The AHT is now offering innovative cancer treatments, so there’s no reason why these tumours can’t be dealt with like any other. A new technique they’re using is high dose rate brachytherapy, which involves placing catheters that channel a radioactive source into the tumour. It’s proving to have fantastic cosmetic results and the added bonus is that it delivers a large hit of radiation to the tumour, but leaves the area surrounding it virtually radiation-free and unaffected by the treatment.

Currently the AHT is the only place offering brachytherapy and they are only carrying out the procedure on tumours on eyelids because those around the eye are much harder to treat with other methods. Tumours in other areas of the body have other treatment options that are generally easier and cheaper to perform, such as laser surgical removal, which has an 80% success rate. However, the vets at the AHT hope to be able to treat more areas with brachytherapy in the future. The centre is also the only place to offer strontium radiation therapy, which is much less penetrative and is only suitable for smaller lesions. It’s a much simpler procedure and it’s useful for squamous cell carcinomas on the cornea and third eyelid. For horses suffering from melanomas, a vaccine that can only be administered by a specialist is also available at the AHT. It’s actually a dog vaccine and there’s currently a trial going on in Florida that’s

Investing in your horse’s future

The AHT is the only place offering brachytherapy and strontium therapy as a treatment for equine cancer.

looking into which cases would benefit from it most. At the moment, around half the cases respond well to it and the tumours start to regress, while others aren’t showing any response. It’s not known why some are having a better result, but hopefully the study will shed more light on it.

Having seen the incredible things that go on behind the scenes at the AHT, it’s clear that without it, veterinary treatment would be nowhere near as advanced and the options for our horses would be far more limited. While this charity isn’t about rescuing horses in need, the work done here is just as valuable, still helping the UK’s horses, but in a different way. You never know, one day your horse could benefit from the wonderful work done here. 76 HORSE&RIDER


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At World Horse Welfare we have over 85 years’ experience in caring for se horses. Leaving your hor e lfar We rse to World Ho in your Will gives you the g peace of mind of knowin ing llbe we ure fut that their . will always be our priority

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H&R_half page 2017_H&R_half page 2017 15/12/2016 10:28 Page 1

Animal Health Trust Equine Clinic

Improving the lives of horses today and tomorrow

Registered charity no: 209642

Our friendly team of experts offers a personalised service to each and every client, regardless of whether you have an elite competition horse or a beloved family pony. All funds raised through donations and treating patients go straight back into the AHT’s research to enhance knowledge and develop new diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines. With your help, we aim to translate our scientific findings into real life animal benefits as rapidly as possible. Experts in: Orthopaedics ● Diagnostic imaging ● Poor Performance ● Oncology ● Ophthalmology ● Dermatology Facilities include: Low-field and high-field MRI ● Nuclear scintigraphy ● Radiography Radiotherapy suite ● Ultrasonography


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With thanks to the Animal Health Trust for their help with this feature, aht.org.uk

Ask a vet

Our expert

Annamaria Nagy DrMedVet DipACVSMR PhD FRCVS is Senior Orthopaedic Clinician at the Animal Health Trust. She has a keen interest in investigating lameness and poor performance in horses, and advanced diagnostic imaging.

Don’t move a muscle If your horse suddenly found it difficult to move while you were riding, would you know what to do? Vet Annamaria Nagy, from the Animal Health Trust, explains the best course of action when exertional rhabdomyolysis syndrome strikes

Y

ou’ve probably heard of tying up, azoturia or Monday morning disease, which are all common names for the same disease – exertional rhabdomyolysis syndrome (ERS). It’s a disease that affects skeletal muscles (ones that contribute to movement of the body). Many years ago, ERS was often seen in working horses after a day of rest, when they’d

receive the same amount of grain as on a working day. When the horses were brought back out to work (usually on a Monday morning), the condition would strike – this is where the term Monday morning disease comes from. Vets know much more about ERS than they did then and it’s now known that there are several forms of ERS that affect horses in different ways, from very mild to fatal, although all forms of ERS result in damage to the muscle cells.

HORSE&RIDER 79


Potential causes

The causes of ERS can be put into two big groups – acquired and inherited (genetic) – however, there is some overlap between the two groups. Many horses with the genetic forms of the disease may never develop any clinical signs, but if they’re exposed to intense or prolonged exercise, they may be more likely to develop the disease than normal horses.

Acquired causes of ERS

l Overexertion, or too much or unaccustomed exercise are probably the most common reasons for ERS in the general horse population – this is the type working horses suffered from. It typically occurs if the horse is exercised after a period of rest or low-level exercise, especially if food wasn’t reduced during this period, or if the intensity or duration of the exercise is suddenly increased and exceeds the horse’s fitness level. In addition to the physical muscle damage, too much or too intense exercise can lead to exhaustion, which results in several problems, including heat retention, and fluid and electrolyte loss. These can make the muscle damage and clinical signs more severe.

Inherited causes of ERS

l Polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM) was first seen in Quarter Horses, but has also been recognised in a number of other breeds, including draught horses and warmbloods. The cause of the disease is a genetic mutation in one of the genes responsible for regulation of glycogen synthesis. Glycogen synthase is a muscle enzyme that converts glucose from the bloodstream to glycogen in the muscle. Glycogen is stored in the muscle and can then be used by the muscle as a source of energy. The genetic mutation means that the glycogen synthase enzyme functions abnormally and is overactive. This leads to increased production of glycogen, which is a polysaccharide (a type of sugar), but also leads to the production of additional abnormal polysaccharides that accumulate in the muscle because, unlike glycogen, the abnormal polysaccharides cannot be broken down and used by the muscle during exercise. Recently, two forms of PSSM have been discovered and the genetic disease described above is termed Type 1 PSSM. In some horses with a history of ERS, the result of a muscle biopsy reveals abnormal polysaccharides in the muscle cells, but there’s no mutation of the glycogen synthase 1 gene. This form of the disease is named Type 2 PSSM, and has mostly been seen in Thoroughbreds, Arabs and warmbloods. l Recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis is a disease that’s considered to primarily affect Thoroughbred racehorses, but it has been recognised in Standardbreds and Arabs, and also in event horses of other breeds. In Thoroughbreds, it’s seen in fillies more commonly than colts and some reports suggest that nervous or lame horses are more likely to develop episodes of ERS. The exact underlying cause is not known. l Malignant hyperthermia is a rare disease with a genetic background and signs usually only develop after general anaesthesia.

Tell-tale signs The severity of signs can range from subtle (poor performance or stiffness) to being unable to stand, and the outcome may even be fatal. The onset is almost always related to exercise, but when it comes on can vary from within minutes of starting exercise to shortly after exercise has ended. Typical signs include... l stiffening or cramping of the muscles in the hindquarters and sometimes the back – this is the most obvious symptom l hardening of the muscles, although in some horses they may feel normal. In mild cases, the muscles may only harden 80 HORSE&RIDER

slightly, but in more severe cases they can become rock hard and may swell l difficulty moving, which relates to the stiffness and hardness of the muscles, and how many are affected. Horses with mild hardening can move, albeit stiffly, but as it becomes more severe, horses may be unable to move and even unable to stand. Some horses never show signs of stiffness, but have reduced performance l hindlimb lameness sometimes occurs when only one hindquarter is affected l dark urine is another common symptom and this is caused by pigment (myoglobin) being released from

the damaged muscle cells. The term myoglobinuria, which is another name for ERS, originates from this symptom and literally means urination of the myoglobin pigment. The degree of darkness is usually related to the extent of the muscle damage. Myoglobin can cause damage to the kidneys, especially in dehydrated horses, and it can be a serious complication of severe cases of ERS l trembling and distress is often seen in horses who have extensive muscle damage and are in a lot of pain l raised heart and respiratory rates are common as a result of pain


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What to do if you suspect ERS

If you notice a stiffness or change in your horse’s gait when he’s being exercised, then it’s very important to stop immediately, because if he has got ERS further exercise can result in more severe symptoms and complications. If the episode occurs out on a hack, depending on the distance from home and the severity of the signs you may need someone to come with a horsebox or trailer to pick you up. It may be safe to walk your horse for a few hundred yards if he has mild stiffness, but if he’s moving very stiffly or is reluctant to move, then walking even for a short distance can result in considerable damage and a great degree of pain. If you’re unsure whether it’s safe to walk him home, phone your vet for advice – they may even want to come out and see your horse where you’ve stopped, before you travel him home. If your horse becomes stiff and his muscles hard during or after exercise, it’s always best to call your vet for advice. If the symptoms are mild, your vet may just ask you to keep an eye on your horse and make sure he has free access to water.

Extreme or extensive stiffness and hardening of the muscles, with or without dark urine, is always an emergency so call your vet immediately. If his urine is brown, it could indicate that he has considerable muscle damage. While waiting for the vet, keep your horse still. If you’re at home or somewhere with stables, put him in a box with deep bedding and make sure he has access to fresh water. You can also offer hay and, depending on the weather, put a rug over him to keep him warm. Although it may be tempting to massage the stiff muscles, avoid doing so as it could result in further muscle damage and release harmful chemicals.

HORSE&RIDER 81


Confirming the diagnosis

Most cases of ERS can be diagnosed based on the clinical signs, but if it’s mild or the affected horse shows poor performance but no overt stiffness, a blood test can be taken to check the muscle enzymes. Your vet may decide to take a blood sample even if the clinical signs point to a clear diagnosis, because it helps them to assess the severity and extent of the muscle damage – the greater the rise in muscle enzyme levels, the worse the damage is. In some cases, additional tests may be required, including...

l a blood sample to see if your horse is dehydrated or has lost a considerable amount of electrolytes and also to evaluate any potential kidney damage l genetic testing if an underlying genetic disease is suspected – for example, if your horse is of one of the breeds susceptible to PSSM l a muscle biopsy to help confirm a diagnosis. The biopsy is taken under sedation from the hindquarters, then sent to a laboratory for examination l scintigraphy (bone scan), which can be helpful when diagnosing ERS in horses who only show poor performance and no overt signs of muscle stiffness l an exercise test, which can also be used for horses whose only symptom is poor performance. The horse undergoes strenuous exercise, then muscle enzyme levels are measured after exercise

The road to recovery

Early treatment is essential to maximise the chances of recovery. However, PSSM itself cannot be treated, only the rhabdomyolysis that developed as a result of it. The aim of the treatment is to minimise further muscle damage, to prevent kidney damage caused by myoglobin and to correct any underlying problems. If your horse develops ERS, your vet will prescribe the following...

intravenous fluids to flush the kidneys through to get rid of the myoglobin and to correct dehydration, which can make kidney damage worse. An important part of assessing the response to treatment is monitoring the frequency of urination, and the amount and colour of the urine. As horses recover, their urine gradually becomes lighter and eventually returns to normal. Mild cases can recover without intravenous fluids, but they should be monitored closely to make sure the symptoms don’t get worse pain relief will be provided, but only with intravenous fluids, because painkillers can damage the kidneys in dehydrated horses

Your horse may need fluids if he comes down with ERS

82 HORSE&RIDER

further blood tests to monitor muscle enzyme levels. Exercise should only be resumed when the enzymes have returned to normal, otherwise further muscle damage could be caused. However, in mild, one-off cases, repeated blood tests may not be practical or necessary and a few weeks’ turnout may be sufficient reduced food while he’s recovering. In most cases, feeding hay only is sufficient


Ask a vet

Reducing the chances of ERS

No method has been proven to completely prevent future episodes of ERS, however, experience suggests that the severity and perhaps the frequency can be reduced. There are two important components for prevention – diet and exercise. Horses with recurring ERS or PSSM should be exercised daily and any change in intensity or length of exercise must be introduced very gradually. Daily turnout is also recommended. Some horses benefit from living out all the time, but if that’s not possible, warming up before exercise should be slow. If your horse is rested or his exercise is reduced, his food should also be decreased. Horses with recurrent exertional rhadomyolysis or PSSM have been shown to benefit from a lowcarbohydrate, high-fat diet, but it’s important that the high-fat diet is introduced gradually. Increased fat can be achieved by adding vegetable oil (1g/kg bodyweight) or rice bran. There are also commercially available low-carbohydrate, high-fat feeds. If excitement is a triggering factor, efforts should be made to keep stress levels to a minimum. It’s important to try to prevent other factors that may lead to metabolic exhaustion and dehydration, which can trigger ERS or make symptoms worse. Make sure your horse always has access to fresh

water. This is particularly important at competitions when horses may be wary of a new environment or the taste of the water, and may be less willing to drink. If you have to travel a long distance, make sure you arrive early enough to allow your horse to settle down. If your horse has travelled a long distance that involves him being on the lorry or trailer for most of the day, don’t exercise him intensely the next day. If you’re going to a competition that’s a way away, go a day or so early and allow at least one day before the competition, where he can be lightly exercised while he gets used to his surroundings.

What does the future hold?

Horses with an underlying genetic condition are prone to recurrent episodes, however, some of them, with careful management, can still compete successfully. The prognosis for recovery for most horses with mild to moderate rhabdomyolysis is good. Unfortunately, though, severely affected horses have a guarded to poor prognosis because of the extent of the muscle and kidney damage.

There are two important components for prevention – diet and exercise

If your horse’s exercise is reduced, his feed must be, too

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Winter worming With the ever-increasing risk of drug resistance, worming can be a minefield to get right. H&R has all you need to know this winter

A

t this time of year, the focus of any worming programme should be managing the risk of encysted small redworm, one of the most serious parasitic threats to your horse. While the basis of a responsible programme is conducting regular faecal worm egg counts (FWECs), encysted small redworm don’t show up on these tests because the worms are immature and not producing eggs, so it’s advisable to treat for them routinely every year.

Why should I treat for them?

The larvae of small redworm hibernate by burrowing into your horse’s gut wall, where they become encysted, and in this state they can account for up to 90% of his overall redworm burden. They remain dormant for up to two years and usually emerge in early spring, meaning winter is the perfect time to treat for them. A high burden of small redworm can disrupt the normal workings of your horse’s gut and cause loss of condition, colic and diarrhoea. If the larvae emerge at once, however, it can cause larval cyathostominosis, which has a mortality rate of 50%.

Which wormer should I use? Not all wormers are suitable for treating encysted small redworm, so look for one containing moxidectin or fenbendazole. If you need help, speak to your vet or ask a Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) at your local tack shop.

DID YOU KNOW?

An SQP is somebody who has received specialist training that allows them to prescribe or sell certain types of veterinary medicine, such as wormers, and advise on their safe usage.

TOP TIPS

Photos: Bob Atkins, Steve Bardens

1. It’s very important to accurately know your horse’s weight so you can administer the correct dosage of wormer – a lower than recommended dose won’t be effective and can increase the likelihood of wormer resistance developing. A weighbridge is the most accurate method of weighing him, but if you don’t have access to one use a weightape.

84 HORSE&RIDER

2. If your horse is difficult to worm, try filling an empty, washed-out worming syringe with something tasty, such as puréed apple. Administer it just as you would normal wormer – once he discovers that the tube contains something pleasant, he should become more co-operative. You’ll have to do this regularly, however, so he maintains the positive association.

3. The way you manage your horse’s grazing is an important part of tackling the threat of a worm infestation. Turn him out with the same fieldmates to avoid the risk of cross contamination and ensure that they’re all on the same worming programme. Rotating fields will prevent overgrazing and allow areas of pasture to rest and recover, and paddocks should ideally be poopicked every day.


Ask a vet

How to do it...

Stand at your horse’s shoulder and hold his head still. Guide the syringe into his mouth and aim it towards the back of his tongue where he can’t spit it out. Once you’ve administered the wormer, lift his head up to encourage him to swallow. Offering him some treats or a handful of food in a bucket can also help to make sure he’s swallowed it all and means that the experience ends on a positive note.

Tapeworm

Tapeworm is another parasitic threat to your horse, and should be tested for in spring or autumn. While tapeworms do produce eggs, they are very hard to spot in a FWEC – a tapeworm burden can be diagnosed using a blood or saliva test. If you’ve tested for tapeworm and your horse needs treating, a wormer containing moxidectin and praziquantel will treat both tapeworm and encysted redworm. 4. It’s usually only a small proportion of horses on the yard who have a parasite burden. The use of FWECs and administering wormer to only those who need it will help to control parasites in a way that benefits the whole herd. If you need help formulating an effective worming programme for your yard, speak to an SQP or your vet.

5. Adding a digestive health supplement, or one that contains pre- and probiotics, to your horse’s feed for a few days before and after worming will help to minimise any negative impact on his gut flora. This is particularly helpful if he’s older, lacking in condition or not in the best of health.

6. Aside from the annual treatment for encysted small redworm, many horses will not need worming for the rest of the year. To avoid any unnecessary treatment, conduct FWECs in the spring, summer and autumn, and only worm if your horse has a high burden (usually more than 300 eggs per gramme).

DID YOU KNOW?

A test for encysted redworm is currently under development.

HORSE&RIDER 85


Dress to

impress Are you confident about dressing wounds and bandaging correctly? Brush up on these vital skills with H&R’s step-by-step guide

T

here’s no getting away from the fact that horses are accident prone, and we’re often left wondering how on earth they’d survive if they lived in the wild and had to fend for themselves. Their inquisitive nature and flight instinct are a bad combination that can lead to all manner of bumps, cuts and grazes so, with this in mind, if you have anything to do with horses then knowing how to bandage and dress a wound is essential.

86 HORSE&RIDER


Management know-how

Key bandaging points Essential bandaging kit l Stable bandages l Cohesive bandages l Adhesive bandages l Padding bandages l Sterile wound dressings l Scissors l Gamgee

l Always bandage from front to back as it reduces the chance of him catching the end of the bandage and undoing it. It also means that extra tension created when applying the bandage occurs on the front of the cannon bone and not on the more delicate tendons at the back of the leg. l Always overlap the bandage by half as this will help ensure that the pressure is distributed evenly. l Make sure the bandage is smooth and straighten out creases as you go, otherwise they could cause pressure sores. l Keep the tension even throughout because tight areas could cause pressure points and damage his leg. l Don’t apply them too tight or too loose. Too tight and you’ll damage his leg, too loose and they will slip, becoming a trip hazard. To test the tightness, slide your index finger into the top of the bandage – it should feel firmly snug around your finger, if it’s difficult to get your finger in or it feels tight, it’s too tight. l Always apply stable bandages in pairs. The leg opposite the injured one will be under more strain because your horse will be keeping his weight off his injured leg, so bandaging the pair will provide them both with support. l When applying a cohesive bandage, don’t apply it at full stretch as it’ll be too tight. Pull it to unravel it, let it relax a little to about half stretch, then simply lay it over the leg.

Simple wound dressing

1

Apply a sterile dressing to the wound.

2

Wrap a padding bandage around the limb so it extends roughly 5cm above and below the wound dressing.

3

Apply a cohesive bandage over the top of the padding bandage to secure everything in place.

HORSE&RIDER 87


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Rider First Aid

Equine Woundcare

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Management know-how

1

Stable bandages

3

2

Cut a piece of gamgee to size – it should overlap by about 10cm when you wrap it around your horse’s leg, and should extend from the top of his hoof to halfway up his knee or front of his hock. Then wrap it around his leg from front to back, ensuring that the edges of the gamgee sit on the side of his leg.

4

Once you’ve done one turn under the fetlock, begin to work your way back up the leg.

Start bandaging half way up the leg on the outside and work your way down to just below the fetlock.

5

As you reach the top of the bandage, you’ll see a little of the end sticking up. Fold this over and continue to bandage over it to secure it.

TOP TIP

Always finish your bandage just under the knee or hock joint, with the fastening on the outside of the leg.

When bandaging hindlegs, tie your horse’s tail in a knot to keep it out of the way.

➤ HORSE&RIDER 89


Hock bandages

1

Place a sterile wound dressing over the injury.

2

Using a padding bandage, start just above the hock on the outside of the leg and do two turns.

3

Next, bring the bandage across the front of the hock, do one turn under the hock and bring it back up across the front of the hock. Do one turn at the top, then take it back down across the front of the hock.

Knee bandages

1

Place a sterile wound dressing over the wound.

90 HORSE&RIDER

2

Using a padding bandage, start just above the knee on the outside of the leg and do two turns.

3

Next, bring the bandage across the front of the knee, do one turn under the knee and bring it back up across the front of the knee. Do one turn at the top, then take it back down across the front of the knee.


Management know-how

4

Continue bandaging in this way, creating a cross on the front of the hock and leaving the point of hock clear, as bandaging over it can cause pressure sores.

4

Continue bandaging in this way, creating a cross on the front of the knee and leaving the back of the knee clear, as applying pressure here can cause damage.

5

Secure it by applying a cohesive bandage on top of the padding bandage in exactly the same way.

5

Apply a cohesive bandage on top of the padding bandage in exactly the same way to secure the bandage.

6

To help prevent the bandage slipping, you can apply some adhesive bandage around the top, so half of it is on the bandage and half is stuck to your horse’s coat.

6

To help prevent the bandage slipping down, you can apply some adhesive bandage around the top, so half of it is on the bandage and half is stuck to your horse’s coat.

HORSE&RIDER 91


Management know-how

Poulticing

1

Thoroughly clean your horse’s foot.

4

Take the poultice out and squeeze out the excess water.

7

Place a square of gamgee over the bottom of the foot for extra padding and to help prevent your horse wearing through the dressing when he moves.

92 HORSE&RIDER

2

Cut a piece of Animalintex to the size of the sole of his foot.

5

Place it on the sole of the foot, shiny side up, and press it into the nooks and crannies.

8

Wrap cohesive bandage around his foot to secure everything in place, making sure you bandage up over the bulbs of the heel, which will help keep it on, and that it doesn’t get too tight over the coronary band.

3

Dip the poultice in boiled, cooled water that’s cool enough to put your hand in.

6

If he still has a shoe on, you’ll need to put some padding material, such as cotton wool or gamgee, on top to keep the poultice snug to his foot. If he’s barefoot or has had his shoe removed, you won’t need this.

9

Cover the foot with strong waterproof tape, making sure you tape up round the bottom of the pastern to prevent it slipping off. Applying the tape in strips will prevent it becoming too tight. Reinforce it with a double layer on the sole and even more layers on the toe.


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Web extra

As told to Georgia Guerin. Photos: Bob Atkins. With thanks to Hartpury College Equine Therapy Centre for their help with this feature, hartpury.ac.uk

Watch the Hartpury Therapy Centre staff demonstrate different therapeutic exercise tools bit.ly/HR_LUNGEING

Our expert

Dr Kathryn Nankervis BSc MSc CVPM is Principal Lecturer in Equine Therapy at Hartpury College. She oversees all treatment at the Therapy Centre and was instrumental in its setup and development. 94 HORSE&RIDER


Management know-how

Getting the

right moves Helping your horse to move in the right way is an important part of a rehab programme, as Dr Kathryn Nankervis explains

O

nce your horse has benefited from veterinary treatment and physical therapy in whatever form was deemed most suitable for him, he’s ready to learn how to use his new body. The aim is to support the recovering injury, while prompting the development of more efficient muscle balance and movement, so it’s likely to incorporate a number of different methods of exercise, with the overall programme gradually increasing the difficulty and intensity. In addition to using high-speed and water treadmills (in part two), further therapeutic exercise, which can include

Behind t h scenes a e t Hartpury College PART TH REE lungeing, long-reining and in-hand walking, is a key part of a successful rehab programme. When your horse is undertaking a rehab programme, you’re aiming to retrain his body to be able to access and harness the range of movement of key joints to the best of his ability. To do this, we need to find a method of exercise that encourages him to use a new and improved posture and pattern of movement, then reinforce this within short, but frequent, exercise sessions. By keeping the sessions short and sweet, and by focusing on quality over quantity and duration, we make sure to avoid fatigue.

HORSE&RIDER 95


Checking out his moves

When thinking about altering a horse’s movement, it’s important to be careful that you’re not looking just at the aesthetics of his movement, but at the whole functional picture. To the human eye, something that looks regular and uniform is pleasing, but that doesn’t always mean it’s right. The change that needs to happen might not be what you, as an owner or rider, first expect to see – for example, even if your horse is working at Prelim level dressage, it might benefit him to work in a more shortened, raised outline if we are specifically aiming to encourage flexion in his hindlimbs and behind his saddle. There’s no point trying to get your horse’s head down even further if he already has a downhill posture, because all that will do is push him onto his forehand.

Using a lungeing aid or piece of kit doesn’t produce or enhance your horse’s movement, it just limits undesirable movement in one way or another

Gear up Using a lungeing aid or piece of kit doesn’t produce or enhance your horse’s movement, it just limits undesirable movement in one way or another. So, if your horse hasn’t physically got the means to do what you’re asking, no amount of tack can do it for him. It’s also important to understand that using a lungeing aid won’t improve your horse’s injury, although if it’s used correctly, it can alter his movement in a positive way. For example, putting him in a Pessoa isn’t going to suddenly make your horse flex his back or go straight when he couldn’t before, but it could reduce his tendency to rush forward when you’re showing him how he should be moving. When choosing a lungeing aid, we consider the horse’s...  conformation  age  education  injury  discipline  current movement 96 HORSE&RIDER

Examples of therapeutic aids we use include...

Long-reining Lungeing your horse do esn’t have to be done on a circle and in the vast majority of circumstance s, it’s often counterproductive to do so. If he can’t stay upright on the circle, then all you’re doing by con tinuing to lunge him is teaching him to lean in, so long-reining him in straight lines is more useful. With lon g-reining, it’s really simple to incorp orate polework and it’s also possible to include some lateral wo rk to focus on one particular limb – for example, using right shoulder-in to move his right hind closer to his body or left shoulder-in to move it further away.


Management know-how

ngeing Double-rein lu two reins can ith w Lungeing ent your horse really help prev side. It can also tilting to the in courage him to be used to en ds eight backwar transfer his w y an ith w an th more efficiently a kit. Adding other piece of ns that you ea m in second re nds to ask for can use your ha , e aids are slow half-halts. Voic n ca o reins you so by using tw er adjustments fin , er make fast velop activity and rapidly de ters more in the hindquar effectively.

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Management know-how

In this series Part 1 An overview of equine therapy and the importance of initial and continuous assessment

All the gear but no idea Lungeing aids can be fantastic tools to alter your horse’s movement but, if used incorrectly, can do more harm than good. No tool or aid is one-size-fits-all and it’s necessary to adapt the way you use each one to your horse. As part of a rehabilitation programme, the intensity, complexity and duration of movement are increased at intervals, followed by a plateau where the body adapts to the increased challenge before adding the next step. It’s not about repeating the same exercises for weeks, because the body will stop adapting.

Only someone with extensive anatomical knowledge and experience will know when it’s safe and appropriate to make the increase, which is why it’s so important that rehab programmes are undertaken with expert supervision. How long each therapeutic exercise session lasts often depends on when your horse’s injury fatigues. Because the tools we use act on both his sides equally (and it’s likely that he’s stronger on one side than another), we have to carefully look at the injured limb or region and stop when we see fatigue and incorrect movement.

Did you know?

It’s also good to take a step back and consider whether less is more – many horses might work best in just side reins, in which case there’s no need to use anything other than the skill of the handler.

Putting it all together

Once the goals of your horse’s rehab programme and therapeutic exercise have been established, his response needs to be continuously reviewed. It’s not always a smooth process and his new way of going may produce new challenges that also need to be addressed. On treating one lameness, you may uncover another that wasn’t apparent before. We find ourselves peeling back the layers as we gradually break down habitual movement patterns to ultimately create a better way of going. It’s a challenging but extremely rewarding process, and one that should hopefully set your horse up to avoid injury in the future.

Part 2 Learn about the difference between high-speed and water treadmills, and how they could help your horse

Part 3 The importance of correct exercise and different ways you can lunge your horse

Part 4 Discover some of the wide range of therapies available to your horse

Part 5 How to keep yourself in good shape to benefit your horse HORSE&RIDER 99


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Wellbeing:

Feeding forage

When planning your horse’s ration, the importance of picking the correct forage can easily be overlooked. H&R has advice on how to choose the perfect option

H

orses are trickle feeders, which means their digestive systems are designed to have fibrous material moving through them almost constantly. Because of this, they have an innate desire to chew, which is easily achieved when they’re out at grass, but less easy when confined to a stable. Long periods without forage can increase the risk of health problems such as colic and gastric ulcers. During the summer, when your horse can spend long hours in the field, providing enough forage to keep him in good mental and physical health isn’t too difficult – in fact, for some horses it can be too easy. However, winter brings a decline in grass growth and quality, and more time spent in the stable for most horses, so his forage will probably have to be supplied through preserved sources such as hay and haylage.

102 HORSE&RIDER


Management know-how

Good stuff

The benefits of feeding forage start as soon as it enters your horse’s mouth. Forage and other sources of fibre require much more chewing than concentrates – research has shown that 1kg of hay requires more than 3,000 chews and 40 minutes to consume, while the same weight of oats only requires around 800 chews and 10 minutes. Forage also requires longer, slower jaw movements to chew, resulting in more even dental wear than chewing concentrates. Unlike humans, horses can only produce saliva when they’re chewing so, because forage requires much more chewing than mixes or cubes, it produces a greater quantity of saliva. This aids the passage of chewed food to the stomach, where the bicarbonate in the saliva helps to neutralise excess stomach acid. Fibre also forms a mat on top of the acid, helping to prevent it splashing against the sensitive stomach walls, which can cause ulcers.

TOP TIP

Making the right choice

Forage is digested in your horse’s hindgut, where it generates heat as a by-product. This means that feeding plenty of forage will help power his internal heating system and keep him warm in cold conditions.

When forage is preserved, either the water content or air needs to be removed to reduce the risk of mould developing. Hay is dried in the sun before being baled, which reduces the water content to below 20%. In comparison, haylage is baled sooner and wrapped in plastic to prevent air reaching it, meaning it has a higher water content of around 40–50%. It used to be that haylage was only fed to sport horses and those in harder work. However, new, low-energy blends mean that there are options suitable for most types of horse and pony, even good-doers. If your horse needs to watch his weight, look for a hay or haylage made of grasses that are low in sugar and starch, such as timothy and rye grass, choose bagged forage that has a logo showing it’s suitable for laminitics or have your haylage tested to check the nutrient levels. There is now also an option that falls somewhere between hay and haylage – wrapped hay. Technically, it’s still a type of haylage, but it’s drier than the traditional variety and hasn’t undergone the same degree of fermentation as a result, meaning its sugar levels are more similar to hay. True haylage will feel damp because of its higher water content and give off a strong, sweet smell as a result of the fermentation, while wrapped hay will be drier and smell more like hay.

HORSE&RIDER 103


Quality control

Feeding forage that’s poor quality or past its best can have an impact on your horse’s health. A good bale of hay should... • have a fresh, pleasant smell – avoid hay that smells musty or mouldy • not be dusty • be a colour somewhere between green and gold – avoid hay that’s turning brown or has patches of mould • break easily apart into slices rather than sticking together • feel cool to touch – any heat is a sign that mould is forming

Breathe easy Choosing forage can be tricky if your horse suffers from a respiratory disease. Hay in particular can become very dusty, which will stress his respiratory tract and lead to coughing and other problems. Haylage or wrapped hay is a better alternative because of the increased moisture content, and the plastic wrapping can help to prevent dust from the surrounding environment from reaching the forage while it’s being stored. Soaking is the most common method of reducing dust levels but, while a 10-minute submersion in water can lower it by up to 90%, it can increase the hay’s bacteria content by 150%. Soaking also leads to a reduction in water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC), which can be beneficial for weight loss or feeding laminitics, but also in protein and valuable minerals within the hay. The liquid left after soaking is classed as an effluent and, as a result, it shouldn’t

FORAGEsters

?

myth bu

?

be poured down the drain or anywhere where it could pollute nearby water courses such as rivers or ponds. Feed soaked hay immediately and throw away any that’s left when your horse is finished, as the increased bacterial content causes it to go off quickly. Steaming hay at a high temperature doesn’t significantly alter its nutritional content, but it does reduce dust by up to 98% and kills any mould or bacteria, resulting in a much cleaner, more hygienic forage. However, if a high enough temperature isn’t reached and the steam doesn’t get to the centre of the forage, the warm environment can cause bacteria levels to rapidly increase – this is why it’s always advisable to buy a scientifically proven steamer rather than make your own.

My horse is prone to weight gain, so he shouldn’t have haylage If you choose carefully, haylage can be safely fed to most horses who are watching their weight. Choose one with low levels of energy, protein and sugar – send a sample for analysis to help determine if it’s suitable. Buying a branded haylage means you can be more certain of its nutrient values, as these are routinely tested during production.

of it than I do hay Haylage is high in energy, so I should feed less y than hay, the extra energ in r While it’s true that haylage can be highe need to feed more you so ents, nutri the water content actually dilutes normally feed you if ple, exam For hay. in s value in order to meet the ure, you’d need moist 10kg of hay and your haylage contains 30% more . value ent nutri to feed 13kg of haylage to provide the same 104 HORSE&RIDER

?

My horse finishes his evening haynet quite quickly, but he’ll be okay until I come back in the morning Studies have shown that if horses are left without forage for more than six hours, there’s an increased risk of gastric ulcers. An empty gut can also increase the risk of colic. Ideally, all horses should have access to ad lib forage, meaning they’re never without it. However, if your horse is a good-doer and requires a restricted ration, you’ll have to come up with ways of making what he’s allowed last longer to reduce the time he’s got an empty stomach.

?


Management know-how

Make it go further

Although many of us would prefer to give our horses the unlimited access to forage that nature intended, sometimes this isn’t suitable for his weight or condition, so what follows is a balancing act between managing his weight and giving him as much forage as possible. If your horse needs to lose weight, forage shouldn’t be restricted to less than 1.5% of his bodyweight, but the lower the nutrient level of your forage, the more you can feed without promoting further weight gain. A late-cut, stalky hay will be less digestible and have a lower nutrient level as a result. There are several things you can try to make a reduced ration go a little further... • double-net your forage or use a net with very small holes • hang the net from the ceiling, but still at nose-height, so he has to work harder to get each mouthful • divide the ration up into smaller nets and spread them around his stable, which will also encourage natural foraging behaviour • bulk out his ration with a few handfuls of good-quality oat straw • swap some of his ration for a compressed fibre block, which should slow his rate of consumption

ovide my horse Hay alone won’t pr so I should give him y, with much energ d, too supplementary foo from will get enough energy rk wo t ligh in ses Most hor h oug alth for additional food, forage without the need l era min er or vitamin and you should feed a balanc he has a balanced diet. e sur ke ma supplement to r horse’s workload, don’t When you categorise you the ing him to the whole of forget that you’re compar sport e elit and s ing racehorse equine population, includ ing Rid and ing ool king, sch horses – if he’s doing hac n if it’s several times a eve ns, itio pet com el Club lev o the light work or int s fall week, he probably still . maintenance categories

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TOP TIP

The sugar level in correctly-made haylage is typically lower than hay because it’s used up during the fermentation process, so it’s usually within the recommended levels for horses requiring a low-sugar diet. This means that soaking is unnecessary, and can cause a second fermentation and increased production of bacteria.

My horse is prone to being fizzy, so I can’t feed him haylage Haylage actually contains very little sugar, but it does contain a higher level of digestible energy than hay, which may express itself in excitable behaviour. If you want to feed haylage, choose one that provides a lower energy level. It’s also worth considering the effect that the rest of your horse’s diet may be having – some feeds can contain high levels of sugar and starch, which are sources of quick-release energy.

??

My horse struggles with hay, so I should just feed him concentrates If your horse can’t easily manage long-stem forage, maybe because he’s a bit older and his teeth aren’t what they once where, you’ll need to find an alternative. Choose a short-chopped fibre feed that’s suitable to be used as a hay replacer – be careful, as some chopped fibres can’t be used as total hay replacers because of their nutrient levels, so you may need to combine them with another product to make sure your horse is getting the required amount of fibre. Recommended feeding quantities should be listed on the packaging or call the company’s nutrition helpline. If even short-chopped fibre is a problem, try soaking high-fibre cubes or grass nuts into a mash, or offering a soaked feed such as unmolassed sugar beet.

a year old only be fed hay that’s Laminitic horses should on its sugar level due ect eff iod of time has no per any for hay ng avi Le nts can leach away tent. While some nutrie to its low moisture con tis or obesity. Older t ones that cause lamini over time, these are no se respiratory re dusty, which could cau hay can also become mo . problems for your horse HORSE&RIDER 105


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Don’t miss An Evening with Mary and Emily King FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY Hartpury College, Gloucestershire

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NEW

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W E N ALL Build it up

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fillers! with our handy guide on

If your pony , keep the fillers spooky until he fences small ent feels more confid jumping them.

Build up filler fences

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sure his muscle Always warm jumping to make to he’s listening before you start loose and that shed an active are warm and sure you’ve establi impulsion s with your aids. Make moving forward good jump and canter so he’s ea him to produc you if he’s – this will help plus it’ll help confidence, filler. give you both a approaching hesitant when

Top tip

Top tip

to help Ask a friend fillers you move the fence so and adjust the to keep you don’t have off getting on and your pony.

have If you don’t home, any fillers at barrels, you could use blocks or cones instead

THE UK’S NO1 PONY MAGAZINE

Top tip

approach a big difference ch can make is A correct approa lly if your pony g fillers, especia Establish a when jumpin t or try to stop. likely to be hesitanic canter, look towards the t to get a straigh balanced, rhythm plenty of time Wrap your legs fence and allow after you turn. look fence and the ion line to impuls to maintain – not down at around his sides beyond the fence as this up and ahead of the fence, at the base him more likely the poles or make and nce him could unbala the fence down. to stop or knock

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Some ponies d and can look brightly coloure problem for ponies they’re often n home, so it’s a commo practising at intimidating, fence. When around to refuse a filler different types of fillers so he with between them build fences ride your pony him up to them, the arena, and You can walk nothing them. to learn there’s gets used investigate and nt types of fillers too, so he can differe more ones of. The to be scared be to jump the more likely he’ll ring. he sees, the mping the showju you meet in

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Top tip

ends!

never lead your pony down the ramp on an angle, otherwise he could trip as he steps off it.

Last month we showed you pony safely. This month, how to load your fave learn to unload!

1

4

Top tip

Muck out and swe your lorry ep after each or trailer help keep journey to the good cond floor in ition.

With a helper, unfasten the ramp slowly and and lower ly. Always stand to the careful side of the ramp, never underneath it.

2

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pony magaz

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jumping

fillers

Tying up

When tying your pony to your lorry trailer, always or tie him to a thin piece of bailer twine, using a quick release knot. That way, if he spooks

Ask your helper to to the lorry to untie and holgod inyour pony for you.

Always untie your pony before opening the partitions so that if he tries to rush out he won’t get caught or hurt himself.

Top tips for

Top tip

Always wear your riding hat and gloves to load and unload. your hat will keep you safe and gloves will prevent you from injury and help you keep hold of the leadrope if your pony rushes off the lorry.

What not to do!

Remember not to walk in front of your pony as lead him down you the ramp – this will give you less control, and could cause an acciden off the lorry behind t if he rushes you.

Lead him down the the ramp. Stay by middle of to encourage him tohiswalshoulder k down steadily, rather than rushing

Head over to PONY TV at ponymag.com check out our loadin g how-to video! to

he can get away, rather than panicking and causing damage to himself or the lorry or trailer. Never leave your pony unattended while he’s tied to the lorry or trailer. If he’ll be standin g around for a while, it’s best to load him back up with haynet, where a he’ll be safer.

Quiz!

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Banish filler fears for good

finds or your pony to jumping fillers build up to to If you’re new , it’s a good idea g a simple crossthem spooky Start by buildin outside of the jumping them. the your fillers at pony pole and place This way, your act like wings. to jump fence so they but won’t have they’re there g between the will see that jumpin he’s happy er. over them. Once in so they’re closer togeth them the fillers, move then change couple of times to move the fillers Jump this a . Continue upright a them fence into jumping until your pony’s in gradually confidently.

1

IDEAS2.indd 1 20/12/2016 13:11

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Management know-how

NEW YEAR,

new career Are you considering a new job for 2017, taking the next step on your career path or improving your knowledge? A horsey course could carry you in the right direction

T

here’s a horsey course out there to suit almost everybody, but with so many types on offer it can be hard to choose the right one for you. Before you get too carried away looking at the different options, it’s important to take some time to consider things such as the skills you already have and what doors you’re hoping the course will open for you. While some courses are quite general and can be applicable to a wide range of jobs, others are more specialised and there are fewer logical career paths at the end of them.

HORSE&RIDER 109


Levels of learning In England, Wales and Northern Ireland there are eight levels of education. The general rule is that each time you complete a level you’re eligible to move on to study at the next one, dependent on the entry criteria for your course, which may require certain grades or for you to have studied certain subjects to provide you with a basic understanding of the content. However, in certain circumstances you can bypass a level based on work experience. Scotland has 12 levels built on a similar framework. These are just some of the types of qualifications you can expect to find at each level...

TOP TIP

Contact the learning provider if you aren’t sure if you’re eligible to study your chosen course or you need advice on the entry criteria. Level 1 – GCSEs (D–G grades), NVQ1 Level 3 – AS and A-Levels, NVQ3, advanced apprenticeships Level 5 – higher level diplomas, foundation degrees, NVQ5 Level 7 – postgraduate certificates and diplomas, masters degrees

1 2 3 4 5 6

Level 2 – GCSEs (A*–C grades), NVQ2, intermediate apprenticeships Level 4 – certificate of higher education, higher apprenticeships, NVQ4 Level 6 – bachelor degrees

7 8

Level 8 – doctorates

Thinking caps on

Starting a course can be a big undertaking and there are quite a few things to consider before choosing the best one for you. Here are just a few of the things you might need to think about...

TOP TIP

Although the places you’re looking at may offer similarsounding courses, it’s always best to check the list of modules on offer because these can differ depending on the facilities available.

TOP TIP

Some universities will allow you to combine equine courses with other subjects – for example, you could do a joint honours in Equine Science and Business Studies. While this would mean studying topics unrelated to horses, it could give you a wider knowledge base.

110 HORSE&RIDER

what skills and experience do you already have? If you have a number of years of workplace experience, you may be able to by-pass some lower-level qualifications and start higher up the ladder. what type of course would suit you best? If you’re a hands-on person, a work-based qualification, practical course or apprenticeship might be the best option for you. However, if you prefer spending your day in the classroom or lab, rather than at a yard or on the road, a college or university course is more likely to be a better fit. what skills or qualifications might you be missing? If you don’t quite meet the entry requirements for your desired course, you may be able to do a top-up course to improve your existing skills. how much time do you have? Are you able to dedicate three or more years to completing a degree or do you want to do something that can be done in a year?


Management know-how

Horses for courses

There is a wealth of potential careers within the equine industry and each requires a different set of skills for you to succeed. Some have multiple pathways to the end goal, while others will have a more fixed progression. Here are just a few examples...

Nowhere nearby

Colleges that offer equine courses can be few and far between, but don’t despair if there isn’t one local to you. Many institutions offer distance learning options that allow you to access your learning materials and submit assignments online. Think carefully about

Farrier – you’ll need an apprenticeship, which can take up to four years to complete. Apprentices are paid a national apprentice minimum wage (starting at £3.50 an hour from April 2017), and you’ll have the chance to learn your skills from experienced practitioners.

distance learning – you need to be self-motivated and able to work under your own steam without the support of other people in the same situation. However, it can be a more practical option if you need to fit your studies around your job, family or horse.

what other things does your learning need to fit around? If you need to fit your learning around a job, your family or other commitments, then you may need to consider a course you can do part-time or distance learning that you can do at a time that suits you. will you need to be earning alongside? A college or university course will be demanding of your time and you may find it difficult to work alongside it, although most institutions offer bursaries and financial assistance to eligible applicants. Instead, you could consider an apprenticeship or a working pupil position where you’ll earn a wage while you’re learning. what are your plans after your course has finished? If you have a particular career in mind, then you can choose a course that’s a bit more specialised. However, if you aren’t set on one job, consider doing a more general course, such as a degree in Equine Science or NVQ in horse care. Some jobs allow you to work typical office hours during the week, while others may require you to work longer hours or over the weekends, so think about what you’d be happy to do. what will happen to your horse? Some universities and colleges have the facilities for you to take your horse with you – having him on a working livery to help students with their studies is a cost-effective option. Some working pupil placements will allow you to take your horse, too, but you’ll probably be expected to care for him outside of working hours. when does the course start? While some courses may have several intakes throughout the year, others may only have one window, so you’ll have to plan in advance when you start your application.

Groom – you might want to consider a work-based qualification such as an NVQ, which you can do through a college, or getting a working pupil position where you can learn on the job. If you decide to become a working pupil, look for a yard with BHS or ABRS approval so you can be assured that you’ll receive a high standard of tuition. Nutritionist – most employers look for an equine science degree and having a masters would be advantageous. Try to choose modules with a strong focus on nutrition and use nutrition topics where possible in your assignments.

Equine vet – you’ll need to go to vet school, which usually takes six years to complete and takes you right up to level 8. Try to organise work placements with equine practices during your university holidays so you get as much experience as possible. Internships at equine hospitals are available once you’ve completed your studies.

TOP TIP

Not all horsey jobs require an equine qualification. Roles in marketing, PR, journalism, sales, photography and event management are examples that might not, although you may need to study another course to provide you with the relevant skills.

HORSE&RIDER 111


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Haddon Training Ltd is an OFSTED Grade 1 ‘Outstanding’ National work-based training provider. We provide apprenticeships and wider qualifications across three core sectors; Equine, Animal Care and Business. We deliver Apprenticeships in: ● Horse Care at Level 2 and 3 ● Racehorse Care at Level 2 and 3 Would you like to gain industry experience and earn a wage, while being trained by an experienced employer? An Apprenticeship could be for you!

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EquinE CouRsEs 2017 Wellington Riding Centre offers a variety of tailor-made adult courses to refresh your equine skills. Combined Training Practice Holiday Wednesday 22 – Friday 24 March

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OUR T

TRIED TESTED AND

BRUSHING BOOTS

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ESTERS Over thre e months, our testers used these brushing varying w boots in ea across diff ther conditions an d erent disc ipline the tough ness, fit, b s to check reathabilit and ease y of use.

EVERYDAY PROTECTION Whether you’re schooling or hacking, brushing boots offer great all-round protection for your horse’s legs against knocks and bumps. H&R has found lots of different styles and colours to help you choose the perfect pair for your horse with any budget

114 HORSE&RIDER


Horsey shopping

UNDER £20

Showmaster splint boots

Elico Langley brushing boots

HyImpact brushing boots

“The boots were easy to fit. I had cob size on test and they fitted my 15hh horse’s front legs, but the straps were only just long enough, so for a horse with heavier legs they might be a bit snug. The elastic on the straps was a bit stiff at first, but soon softened after a couple of uses and helped mould the boots to her legs. They didn’t rub, slip or twist, even when riding through deep water, but they didn’t dry very quickly. After lots of use and many washes they still look good, and have survived being thrown around by my young horse when I wasn’t looking!”

“These boots were very easy to fit and I liked that the fastenings were easy to undo. The neoprene is flexible and has a soft binding. I found the full size quite large, both around the leg and in height. They fitted my 16.2hh warmblood’s hindlegs, but he’d need a size smaller in front. I used them for hacking, lungeing and polework, and was happy with the protection they gave. They also washed and dried quickly and easily, so were great for muddy days!”

“The boots fitted my 16hh horse well. I had a medium, which fitted his front legs. They didn’t slip or move at all, so didn’t leave any rubs, and the fastenings were easy to use. I liked how lightweight they are, but they made his legs sweat a bit, especially after fast work. The area protected is quite small – for hacking and general schooling they were fine, but for jumping I’d want more protection. The strike pads marked quite easily, but they protected his legs well.” T

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FEATURES Soft, shock-absorbing neoprene boots with synthetic strike pads COLOURS Black or white SIZES Pony, cob, cob wide, full or extra-full RRP £18.50 VISIT bridlewayequestrian.com

& TEST ED E RI

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“These boots were true to size and, for the price, the quality and design is great. The neoprene is tough and flexible, but didn’t make my horse’s legs sweat. The stitching is recessed, which stopped it from being damaged or pulled. They were quick and easy to put on with two straps and, although I would prefer a third strap to give a neater fit, they didn’t slip or rub. They washed well, but took longer to dry than some of my other exercise boots.” THE VERDICT

“A practical, tough, no-frills brushing boot.”

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“A good, entry-level boot that comes in lots of fun, bright colours.”

Bridleway neoprene brushing boots

& TEST ED RI

& TEST ED RI

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& TEST ED E RI

THE VERDICT T

“Sturdy boots that are quick and easy to use.”

FEATURES Lightweight, flexible boots with a padded strike pad COLOURS White, pink, purple, navy, black or brown SIZES S–L RRP £16.99 VISIT hy-equestrian.com

D

& TEST ED E RI

THE VERDICT T

T

“Good value for money for a basic, everyday boot.”

D

D

& TEST ED E RI

THE VERDICT

FEATURES A neoprene boot with a contoured strike pad and double straps COLOURS Black, purple, blue, pink or orange SIZES Pony, cob or full RRP £16.95 VISIT elico.co.uk

& TEST ED RI

FEATURES Soft chloroprene rubber with added reinforcement on the strike pad SIZES Cob or full RRP £14.90 VISIT kramer.co.uk

➤ HORSE&RIDER 115

& TEST ED RI


UNDER £20

£20–40

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& TEST ED E RI

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& TEST ED RI

T

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“A tough boot with a good strike pad.”

“The boots look smart, and are soft and flexible. I used them on long hacks and they didn’t cause any rubs on my horse’s legs. The neoprene material washed well and dried relatively quickly. The length was good, but they came up a little wider than I was expecting. I found the straps a bit fiddly, especially with cold hands, as the strap threads through the ring and fastens back on itself, but once done up they stayed firmly in place and didn’t slip.” & TEST ED E RI

THE VERDICT

“An everyday boot that looks smart.”

“A robust boot for hacking and training.”

T

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THE VERDICT

FEATURES Soft, padded neoprene boots SIZES M or L RRP £20 VISIT johnwhitaker.com

T

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& TEST ED E RI

THE VERDICT

“I had these boots in cob size and they were a perfect fit for my 14.1hh pony. They were easy to take on and off, and the double locking fastenings kept them from slipping. They didn’t rub his legs, even when they were wet and muddy. I mainly used them for hacking, schooling and some jumping, as they have a thick strike pad. They washed well and the colour hasn’t faded at all, but they took quite a long time to dry.”

JW51 brushing boots

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“These boots were a great fit on my horse’s front legs. I had a large size on test, which were perfect for my 16.2hh warmblood. Despite lots of use they still look good with no marks on the strike pads, so I was very pleased with the quality of the material. They washed and dried quickly, and are very lightweight, so were great for everyday use. The double lock strap system wasn’t too fiddly to use and kept the boots securely in place.”

FEATURES A resistant shell lined with shock-absorbing neoprene and fastened with a wide, elasticated, hook-and-loop closure COLOURS Brown, pink, green or dark purple SIZES Pony, cob or full RRP £19.99 (includes fetlock boots) VISIT decathlon.co.uk

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FEATURES Flexible, neoprene boots with a synthetic strike pad COLOURS Black, brown or white SIZES S–XL RRP £19.95 VISIT equilibriumproducts.com

Fouganza soft boots

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Equilibrium Tri-Zone brushing boots

& TEST ED RI

CONTINUED

& TEST ED RI

Woof Wear Club reflective brushing boots

FEATURES Soft, lightweight boots with high-visibility straps SIZES S–XL RRP £28 VISIT woofwear.com

& TEST ED E RI

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“They’re true to size, very soft and flexible, and the high quality of the materials means they last a long time. I used them for hacking and liked the extra safety of the high-vis straps. They didn’t slip or twist at all, even on fast, muddy rides. They’ve been through the washing machine many times and still look good. The strike pad isn’t very thick, so if I had a horse who brushed badly I would want something with a bit more protection.”

& TEST ED RI

116 HORSE&RIDER

T

ED

THE VERDICT

“Practical leg protection that’s good for hacking.”


Horsey shopping

Rambo Reflective Night Rider boots

Caldene Strapless brushing boots

Ekkia CSO brushing boots

“I really liked these boots. They are true to size, fitted really well and never slipped or twisted. The material is lightweight, soft and flexible, and even though my horse is usually prone to rubs, these never caused any problems. They were quick to dry, even after a really long hack through mud and water. The reflective material is very effective and looks smart. The strike pad was tough enough to protect his legs well when I was out hacking, but I’d probably want something with thicker protection for jumping.”

“I tested the full size on my horse’s front legs (16hh sport horse). The one strap closure meant they were really quick and easy to put on and take off. However, as there’s only one strap, it was difficult to make them mould well to his legs as they couldn’t be adjusted differently at the top and bottom. Despite this, they didn’t rub at all. I really liked the thick, solid protection over his fetlocks.”

“These boots are quite long, which was good for my 17hh horse, but he also has quite chunky legs and they only just fitted round the width. They’re very lightweight and dried quickly, so I used them as a turnout boot as well as for hacking and schooling. The fastenings were secure but quite fiddly, as there are lots of straps close together. The style of the strike pad was different to brushing boots I have used before – for fast work or jumping I would prefer a thicker pad over his fetlocks.”

T

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“A boot with a good strike pad, best for fine-boned legs.”

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& TEST ED E RI

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“A high-quality, reflective boot for safer hacking.”

FEATURES Lightweight and durable with four straps and a nylon reinforcement inside the fetlock to limit chafing SIZES XS–L RRP £30.90 VISIT ekkia.co.uk

“Lightweight protection and easy to look after.”

T

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THE VERDICT & TEST ED RI

LeMieux Prosport mesh weave brushing boots FEATURES Lightweight boots with a synthetic strike pad, leather straps and a breathable 3D mesh outer COLOURS Black, brown or white SIZES S–XL RRP £32.50 VISIT horsehealth.co.uk

& TEST ED E RI

D

T

“The boots fitted my horse well, have plenty of adjustment in the straps, and were quick to fit and take off. They moulded well around my horse’s legs and, although they were quite long, the softness of the material didn’t cause any rubs or pinch points. Despite the leather, they can be put in the washing machine, but I then had to treat the straps to make sure they stayed supple.” “A smart, effective boot, but needs a bit of extra care to maintain.”

T

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THE VERDICT & TEST ED RI

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THE VERDICT T

T

ED

& TEST ED E RI

D

D

& TEST ED E RI

THE VERDICT

FEATURES Soft neoprene boots with one full-width hook-and-loop fastening SIZES Pony, cob or full RRP £30 VISIT caldene.co.uk

& TEST ED RI

FEATURES A soft, perforated neoprene boot with a reflective polyester outer SIZES Pony, cob, full or extra-full RRP £28.95 VISIT horseware.com

➤ HORSE&RIDER 117

& TEST ED RI


Horsey shopping

OVER £40

£20–40

CONTINUED

T

& TEST ED E RI

THE VERDICT ED

T

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“The boots fitted my 16.2hh horse well on his back legs in a large size. The fluffy lining was really soft, but still breathable as his legs didn’t get sweaty. I found it quite hard to keep the pressure even around his legs. They needed to be done up quite tightly to stop them slipping and, as there are only two straps, this left a slight bulge in the middle. I used them mainly for schooling and they washed very well.” “Soft boots for schooling work.”

T

ED

FEATURES All-purpose boots, lined with faux fur and Welltex fabric that’s infused with ceramic particles to reflect back infra-red heat SIZES S–XL RRP from £42.90 VISIT backontrack.com

T

“A hard-working, breathable exercise boot.”

Back on Track 3D Mesh brushing boots with fur

D

& TEST ED E RI

THE VERDICT T

THE VERDICT

“A substantial boot that’s still lightweight and breathable.”

“These boots were an excellent fit and true to size. They were quick and simple to put on with three fastenings, and moulded nicely around my horse’s legs. I liked that the lining is a breathable neoprene, as even when he’d worked hard, there was no sweat under the boots. They have been in the washing machine plenty of times and dry quickly. Although they’re more expensive than some others on the market, I felt that the quality and detail made them good value for money.” D

& TEST ED E RI

D

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“The boots were a good fit for my 17.3hh horse. I had a full size on test and used them on his front legs. They moulded nicely around his leg and met neatly. The fastenings are very secure and easy to do up and undo, and they didn’t cause any pinching or rubs. The fur lining is very soft and they have a heavy duty strike pad, but were breathable enough to stop his legs from sweating, even with the fur. They took quite a long time to dry and after lots of washes the fur wasn’t quite as fluffy, but the stitching and the fastenings were still good as new.”

FEATURES Soft mesh outer with a breathable neoprene lining and synthetic strike pad COLOURS Black or white SIZES Pony, cob, full or warmblood RRP £39.99 VISIT weatherbeeta.co.uk

& TEST ED RI

FEATURES Flexible, ergonomically shaped boots with a faux fur lining SIZES Cob, full or extra-full RRP £34.99 VISIT shiresequestrian.com

WeatherBeeta exercise boots

& TEST ED RI

Shires Arma fur-lined brushing boots

& TEST ED RI

Veredus TRC-Vento brushing boots

FEATURES Lightweight boots with an anti-shock carbon strike pad, microperforated neoprene and double Velcro closures COLOURS Black or brown SIZES M or L RRP £72 VISIT veredus-uk.shptron.com

& TEST ED E RI

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“I loved how lightweight these boots are, despite all the detail and extra features. The shell is really tough and covers a wide area, but is thin and doesn’t stand out from the boot at all. I liked how soft the neoprene is and, despite lots of hard, fast work, my horse’s legs didn’t sweat up. They didn’t slip, and the elastic straps are really soft and stretchy, so I never felt they restricted his legs. They washed well, dried quickly and still look fantastic.”

& TEST ED RI

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ED

THE VERDICT

“An investment, but worth the price for a top-level boot.”


MASTER CLASS with

Pat Parelli Immerse Yourself With Other Like-Minded & Like-Hearted Horse Lovers Who Want To Unlock The Secrets Of Equus.

Ask Lots Of Questions And Observe Pat Teaching 12 Riders While Providing You With The Keys To Becoming A Real Puzzle Solver With Your Own Horse!

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Newark, Nottinghamshire UK Rider & Spectator Tickets Available Now UK +44 (0)2476 692 888 or USA +1 970 731 9400 | uk@parelli.com | www.parelli.com/events


H&R competition

WIN

A PHOTOSHOOT FOR YOU AND YOUR HORSE with Horse Photographer UK

TWO LUCKY READERS WILL EACH WIN... • a photoshoot with hair and make-up, worth £210 • vouchers to spend on images and products from the shoot, worth £550

Q

WORTH £760 EACH Immortalise the special relationship between you and your horse with this amazing photoshoot. The day will start with some pampering, with your hair and make-up being done by a professional stylist. This will be followed by the shoot itself, which is a mixture of portrait, fashion and fine art photography, and aims to capture the bond between you and your horse. After the shoot’s completed, you’ll have a wide range of images to choose from and a range of products to purchase with your vouchers, including albums, canvases and desktop products such as a portfolio, easel and acrylic blocks.

What does the photography aim to capture?

For more information, visit horsephotographeruk.co.uk

To enter: Answer the question on the competition entry form on page 144 or visit horseandridercompetitions.co.uk to enter online, and for full terms and conditions. Entries must be received by 31 March 2017. No purchase necessary.

120 HORSE&RIDER


www.rockies.co.uk 01606 595022

Superb riding holiday in Southern Andalucia . . . . . . on fit, well-trained horses through beautiful Spanish countryside. Small groups, private apartments, swimming pool, home made food, Spanish wines, horse displays and airport transfers and, of course, fabulous riding.

Available from all good Rockies stockists.

A recommendable holiday for the capable rider and horse lover.

The Field & Stable Block can be used in the stable and outside too, to provide the horse with essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Perfect for horses receiving a reduced ration of hard feed, or those on a forage only diet, providing horses with the nutrients they need in a free access manner. Supplement the diet of a number of horses with very little effort for minimal cost, saving both time and money.

Call Giles & Miranda on 0034 952 455010. or visit www.horseridingspain.com

PIck & Choose your own policy Optimise your horsepower Choosing your own insurance options means a plan just as you like it. It means the freedom to build your own cover however you ride. It means optimising your horsepower.

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Pick & Choose cover options starting from £1.75 per lunar month* Vet's Fees covered up to £3,000 per incident Public Liability cover up to £1.25 million Personal Accident cover up to £12,500 Cover for Theft or Straying, Dental and Stables Cover

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www.horse-insurance.co.uk is a trading name of The Equine and Livestock Insurance Company Limited (registered in England and Wales no: 294940) Thorpe Underwood Hall, Ouseburn, York, YO26 9SS *A lunar month runs for and premiums are collected on equal periods of 28 days; automatically renews every 28 days. Premium based on minimum insurable value with all available discounts.


Away

from it all Whether you’re riding in the rain or up to your knees in mud, winter can get you down. A riding holiday is the perfect pick-meup, so H&R has travelled far and wide to find some great options

W

hile a week in the sunshine might sound heavenly right now when everything is either frozen solid or caked in mud, the thought of being away from your horse for that long may put you off going. But, whether you want to learn some new skills or simply enjoy some of the most amazing hacking on offer, a riding holiday is the perfect solution. The H&R team knows this only too well, so we’ve picked two very different, but

122 HORSE&RIDER

equally stunning, destinations for you to consider. Marketing Manager, Gemma O’Neil, took a trip to Epona in Spain to experience the beauty of Andalusian horses in their native country. Going further afield, Deputy Managing Director, Andrea Moffatt, took a walk on the wild side with a horseback safari in Botswana and experienced the majesty of the creatures who live there. The most difficult decision will be choosing where you want to go!


Horsey shopping

HORSE&RIDER 123


An

n a i s u l a d n A drea m

onado to enjoy a trip ci afi ge sa es dr a be You don’t have to ma O’Neil found out to Andalusia, as Gem od

Gemma stayed courtesy of Epona. Trips start from €1,480 per person for five days and six nights, inc accommodation, transfers and some meals, eponaspain.com

I

dalusian horses ’ve always loved An week in the a and the thought of ing these rid ia heart of Andalus a dream s wa als im an beautiful ed off to come true, so I head ce riding ntre that’s Epona, a family-run o s dressage horses wh home to 50 gorgeou . ies array of abilit are trained to suit an airport, I had a e th to y On the wa

if I wasn’t a go sudden panic – what ought of dressage th e Th enough rider? e and scared me at th lessons both excited to ing th no d ha I t ou same time. It turned d ival, the highly traine arr On t. ou ab rry wo t ou ab Cati, asked instructors, Vivi and als, then perfectly go d an e nc my experie training programme matched this to my s given to ride. and the horses I wa

Right to roa m On the first day, Fernando, my host and founder of Epona, picked me up from the hotel in the nearby historic town of Carmona. We were given a tour of the charming 16th Century hacienda, complete with whitewashed walls, an original cobbled courtyard and wonderful facilities, including the arenas and a pool area for downtime between rides. I was doing the train and trail package, which is a mixture of dressage lessons and exploring the beautiful Spanish landscape. After the tour, I was introduced to my trail horse for the week, Naranjero. He was a big, grey Andalusian gelding with a huge neck and a long, braided mane – exactly what I imagined! We set off with Fernando as our trail leader, riding across the stunning Spanish plains and winding through olive groves. In Spain, you have the right to roam, which means that as long as you respect the agriculture and don’t ride across growing crops, you’re allowed to ride wherever you like. Fernando was the perfect guide, allowing our group to relax and enjoy the ride, as well as telling us all about the history of Andalusia and stopping for plenty

of photo opportunities along the way!

A taste of Spain After a delicious lunch, it was time for my first lesson. I was introduced to my other horse for the week, Aladin, a stunning bay with a beautiful face. Cati, my instructor, was fantastic. She quickly identified my problem areas and set to work addressing them. As well as focusing on my position, we also practised leg-yield and shoulder-in, and this was my first experience of how amazing Aladin was at lateral work. He was incredibly responsive and had a big, fluid movement. Once we’d freshened up, the group enjoyed one of the many tapas restaurants that Carmona has to offer. Carmona is a stunning town, full of historical buildings and narrow, cobbled streets, and is the most authentic part of Spain I’ve ever visited. There are no English bars or restaurants in sight and a trip to the highly recommended ice cream shop was a great end to the day.

Aladin helped improve my riding so much

124 HORSE&RIDER


Horsey shopping

Walk on the beach The following day, Fernando took us to Donaña Natural Park, about an hour-and-a-half away, where the local trekking centre allows him to use its horses for guests at Epona. We headed off over sand dunes, weaving through wild lavender and pine bushes. As we got closer to the sea, the views were out of this world – a white sand beach lay ahead of us, with barely another person in sight. We paddled in the surf and enjoyed a relaxing walk along the sand – it was a long trek, but the horses at the centre wore traditional Andalusian tack, which was very comfortable. When we got back to Epona, we shared stories of the beach ride over lunch with the rest of the group, who had been training hard in their lessons. It was a particularly hot day, so a dip in the pool was very

welcome before my next lesson. As well as practising what we’d worked on the previous days, we practised simple changes and I also learnt to ride travers. Cati explained what to do extremely clearly and luckily it wasn’t a new move for Aladin, so once my aids were correct and I asked him properly, we were away.

A bit of inspiration One morning, we visited the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez, where we had the privilege of seeing Andalusian stallions perform in the breathtaking setting of the 18th Century palace and riding hall. We explored the beautiful grounds and saw the stallions being trained, before watching a performance in the riding hall itself. It showcased the talents of the breed and what these horses have been used for through the years. This included traditional cattle herding, in-hand classical dressage where the horses performed airs above the ground such as capriole, levade and courbette, and classical dressage demonstrations under saddle, all in a spectacle of light, music and colour. Inspired by what I’d seen, Aladin and I picked up where we’d left off with Cati. We continued working on lateral movements and spent time concentrating on my canter position, too. I could already feel an improvement in my riding, which gave me great motivation for the rest of my lessons during the week.

We enjoyed a relaxing trip to the beach

Time to stay goodbye On my last day, I went on another trail ride with Fernando. The landscape on Epona’s doorstep is fantastic, with sunflower fields, olive groves and cotton fields all there for exploring. Afterwards I said my goodbyes to the beautiful Naranjero and tried to persuade Fernando to let him come home with me. In my last lesson, everything just seemed to come together. We went over everything I’d learnt throughout the week and I was even lucky enough to experience a high-stepping Spanish walk. It was a movement that Aladin was still being trained in, but it was an amazing feeling and the perfect way to end my Andalusian riding adventure. I would love to return to Epona again one day. My riding really improved during my time there and the mixture of riding, relaxation and social time meant it felt like a holiday as well as a learning opportunity. Fernando and his family have thought of every detail for their guests, and truly love and care for their magnificent, talented horses.

➤ HORSE&RIDER 125


A ride on the

wild side

d personal with an e os cl up t ge to u lows yo A horseback safari al a Moffatt discovered re nd A as s, al im an g some truly amazin

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Andrea stayed courtesy of Limpopo Horse Safaris. Trips start from £330pppn, inc all meals, accommodation and activities, limpopophorsesafaris.com

p ith the UK knee-dee d en fri my in mud, Dani and I decided to go in search of sun and adventure, opo Horse Safaris so we headed to Limp gh we share a love in Botswana. Althou most of our riding of horses and Africa, ride well-behaved ast na is done in an are we wondered if we dressage horses and s enge of several hour were up to the chall en op st va ss ro ac ing rid a day in the saddle, e th th rses. But wi spaces on strange ho

% a being rain-free 92 promise of Botswan tge ct d like the perfe of the year, it seeme . ed ’t disappoint away and we weren me Reserve in Ga atu ash The M unrivalled on so Limpopo Province is a landscape in ine many levels. Imag en plains extending widescreen – vast, op a patchwork of sandy to the horizon with us vegetation in the tracks and rich, luscio one of the largest summer. It’s home to ants in Africa and populations of eleph by their size and you’ll be mesmerised beauty.

Perfect partners Our riding ability was first assessed and we were teamed with suitable equine partners. My mount was Hidalgo, a beautiful warmblood X sport horse, and he proved to be a match made in heaven. Although capable of great speed as we galloped among herds of zebra, he still stood patiently while I took photographs. I rode three horses during the trip, each one well-schooled and a joy to ride. Full and partbred Boerperds, the native South African breed, make up many of the horses at Limpopo Horse Safaris and what incredible bush horses they are. Bred for their temperament, bravery, intelligence and endurance, they’re extremely sure-footed on the sometimes rocky terrain. Any fear we had of riding in the bush immediately dissolved, and Dani and I discussed the possibility of taking several of them home with us!

126 HORSE&RIDER

Our horses were truly capable of tackling all terrai ns


Horsey shopping

Our morning rides were filled with exhilarating canters across floodplains and tracking animals deep into the bush, venturing where no vehicle could pass and splashing through rivers. Afternoons were spent by the pool, sleeping or reading in the hammocks, or taking a stroll up to the stables. Shorter, early evening rides took us to enchanting vantage points where we enjoyed a welcome gin and tonic while taking in the diverse colours of the landscape. On some afternoons, we took a 4x4 into the bush and tracked elephants or followed the banks of the Limpopo river, spotting crocodiles and an abundance of birdlife. Meals were delicious, with a plentiful array of fresh local fruits and heavenly salads, and each evening, by lamp light, we learned about the wildlife from our knowledgeable guides.

We enjoyed some exhilarating canters in the bush

Close encounters On day two, there was a tangible air of excitement in camp. A leopard, the most secretive and elusive of the large carnivores, had been spotted in the distance. Our guide, West, quietly led us in the direction the leopard was heading until it disappeared from sight. As we rode silently through the tall grass, a deafening roar rang out and the leopard jumped to his feet barely 10 metres in front of us, startling the horses and sending my heart racing. He stared at us briefly, eyes piercing, before slinking off, his spotted coat providing almost perfect camouflage. On our fifth day, we rode past wildebeest and springbok before coming across a large herd of elephants. They appeared agitated and were on the move, so West steered us quickly up onto a safe ridge. As we watched, an almighty trumpeting began, stirring the elephants into a frenzy – a bachelor group of young bulls was challenging the herd. The imposing matriarch stood her ground, warning the young bulls off, but this only seemed to make them more excited. As the hysteria gathered pace, so too did the elephants and

we watched as bushes and shrubs in their path were entirely obliterated. What we were witnessing was the unforgettable sight of some 200 elephants stampeding. Later that evening, we enjoyed drinks on the top of a stunning vista. Hyena and jackals were out in number looking for their next meal, and giraffe moved along the horizon in their awkward gait. Then, as we were driving back to camp and I thought we had surely exhausted our game sightings for the day, we came across lion spore. West turned the 4x4 slowly into the bush and immediately in front of us were five lions feeding on their recent kill. We watched silently, barely daring to move, and I will never forget the sounds of gnawing and growling as they fed. It was a breathtaking end to an incredible day.

Like no place on earth When you’re in the African rhythm, time is of little consequence and all your senses feel vividly sharpened. It’s hard to describe the connection you feel with nature and the sense of wellbeing it gives you. Riding in the bush is life-changing – it calms the soul and connects you to the earth. The trip was a captivating and refreshing escape from everyday life and, of all the destinations worthy of your annual leave, Botswana has to top the list. So go on, saddle up and let the adventure of a lifetime begin!

HORSE&RIDER 127

H&R recommends always wearing a correctly fitting, up-to-standard riding hat

A tranquil escape


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20/12/2016 15:36

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love..

Horsey shopping

This month we Take a look at some of our favourite horsey products

TOUGH TURNOUTS

HIGH-VIS HANDS

The FalPro Cheltenham medium turnout rug has a detachable, anatomically curved neck cover, a wipe-clean tail strap and an extrastrong, 1,680D waterproof outer. Sizes: 5ft 3in – 7ft 3in RRP £144.99 falpro.com

HEALTHY HERBS

There are more than 50 varieties of alpine grasses and herbs in the Thunderbrooks Healthy Herbal muesli. High in fibre, and low in sugar and starch, it has fruits, seeds and flowers for extra palatability. RRP £18.50 for 15kg thunderbrook.co.uk

Be seen on the roads with the Hy5 Extreme Reflective softshell gloves. Waterrepellent, with reflective material on the knuckles, forefinger and stitching for extra visibility. Sizes: XS–XL RRP £17 battles.co.uk

NATURAL BEAUTY Perfect for getting rid of winter mud, the Winner’s Circle dandy brush has allnatural fibre bristles and an ergonomic, Canadian maple handle. RRP from £12 shadowhorse.co.uk

WINTER WARMTH

The water-repellent Equit’M padded jacket has a warm, high collar, a removable hood trimmed with faux-fur and a two-way zip for riding. Sizes: XS–XL RRP £104.90 equi-theme.com HORSE&RIDER 129


STYLISH WARMTH

Keep winter chills at bay with the Dressage Deluxe Thermatex quarter sheet. High wicking and insulating without adding bulk, it’s available with or without embroidery. Sizes: 4ft 6in or 4ft 9in RRP £89 dressagedeluxe.co.uk

HAY SAVINGS TWO-TONE STYLE

The Spanish Boot Company two-tone boots have a range of bespoke options available, including a choice of colours, sole and the tassel on the side. RRP £265 thespanishbootcompany.co.uk

TRIED & TESTED

The small, 25mm holes in the Trickle Net encourages slower eating, and can hold up to 8.5kgs of dry hay to help maintain a constant fibre intake and a healthy gut. RRP £32.99 tricklenet.co.uk

TRIED & TESTED

LAKELAND FUR NITE-RIDER

MINK ORIENTAL EQUESTRIAN BREECHES

FEATURES A waterproof, fur-lined boot with adjustable, reflective straps and a metal shank sole support SIZES 3–10 RRP £65 VISIT lakelandfootwear.co.uk

FEATURES Made of a four-way stretch material, with a waistline that is cut higher at the back and silicone grip on the seat SIZES 34–46 RRP £93 VISIT minkhorse.com

“These boots were very comfortable right from the start and I liked that the adjustable straps on the calf made the boots easy to fit. They have a thick sole with good grip, so I felt confident walking through muddy fields. They’re great as a practical yard boot, but don’t look particularly stylish! However, they kept my feet warm and dry, and that’s the most important thing for me on the yard during winter.”

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& TEST ED RI

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“Sparkly breeches that appeal to your inner THE VERDICT diva.” & TEST ED E RI

& TEST ED RI

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“A practical winter yard boot. I’d THE VERDICT recommend a size up if you like to wear thick socks.” & TEST ED E RI

“The pattern on the seat is a gorgeous, eye-catching design with a very blingy emblem on the back that showed below my top. The silicone is really sticky so these breeches were great for dressage training, as I felt it helped keep me secure in the saddle. The fit and design of the waistband was comfortable and the elasticated ankles were perfect under long boots. They came up quite small, so I’d recommend a size larger than usual.”


Horsey shopping

TRIED & TESTED

BOSSY’S BIBS RUG GUARD FEATURES A silky, protective layer that covers your horse’s body to help prevent rubs and stop the build-up of dirt SIZES 4ft 6in – 7ft 3in RRP £45 VISIT bossysbibs.com

& TEST ED E RI

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“The guard was true to size and was great under my horse’s rugs. I found it especially useful under the heavier, harder to clean rugs as it helped stop them getting too dirty inside. I washed it regularly to prevent any build up of grease and dirt, which was easy to do in a day so it was ready to go back on that night. Sometimes it moved a bit under the rug, so it’d be more secure with a surcingle, but overall it has performed well.”

T

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THE VERDICT

“A great way to help prevent rubs and save on rug laundry bills.”

& TEST ED RI

TRIED & TESTED

TRIED & TESTED

BACK DOOR SHOES

MUCKBOOT PACY II RIDING BOOT

FEATURES Lightweight, waterproof, slip-on shoes with more than 25 different designs to choose from SIZES 3–8 RRP £25 VISIT backdoorshoes.co.uk

FEATURES Fleece-lined boots with a slim profile, a heel spur for riding and soft neoprene around the leg COLOURS Black or brown SIZES 3–9 RRP £110 VISIT muckbootcompany.co.uk

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TRIED & TESTED

MASTA FIELDMASTA TURNOUT RUG

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“A tough rug that has lots THE VERDICT of freedom of movement for horses who like to run about.” & TEST ED E RI

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“I really liked the fit of this rug, especially the dome shape of the neck, which made it very roomy and took the pressure off my horse’s mane. I also liked that the surcingles pass through the sides of the rug, so it stopped the material pulling tight around his elbows and stifles. The shoulder darts are generous, so he didn’t look restricted at all. The outer fabric is tough and has survived the games my horse plays with the youngsters in his field, and it’s very breathable – I could throw it straight on after riding.”

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FEATURES A 200g fill turnout rug with a 600D outer for the body and extra-tough 1,200D reinforced neck RRP £100 VISIT masta.co.uk

& TEST ED RI

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& TEST ED RI

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THE VERDICT

“A versatile boot great for going straight from the yard to riding.”

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“A useful pair of shoes for all sorts THE VERDICT of odd jobs.” & TEST ED E RI

& TEST ED E RI

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“The shoes were easy to slip on and comfortable to wear. I used them for popping in and out of the garden, taking the dogs out and other odd jobs. They were ideal for leaving by the back door, as they were so easy to slip on and off. They are sturdy and well-made, so seem like they’ll last a long time. They weren’t that warm for the winter, so it would be lovely to have the option of a fleece-lined pair!”

“I mainly used these boots around the yard and for hacking, and they have kept my legs and feet warm and dry on some horrible wet and windy days. They’re quite expensive, but the materials are good quality and they have lasted well despite lots of hard wear. They were easy to clean with just a quick hose. The style looks quite different and may not be to everyone’s taste, but for an everyday, hard-wearing boot they have performed very well.”

HORSE&RIDER 131

& TEST ED RI


4 7 3 , 1 £ RTH OF

Perfect

PRIZES!

WO TO BE S E Z I PR

! N O W

7

A good balance

Seven lucky readers will each win a 3kg tub of Blue Chip Super Concentrated Balancer of their choice (RRP £24.95) and a Blue Chip cap (RRP £10). The Super Concentrated balancer range includes Calming, Senior, Daily Health and ULSA–Cool. Each balancer contains specifically tailored levels of the highest quality vitamins, minerals and nutrients, alongside probiotics to aid digestion, and hoof and respiratory supplements.

TO WIN!

For more information, visit bluechipfeed.com

13

Squeaky clean

TO WIN!

Thirteen lucky readers will each win a bottle of NAF Lavender wash and Warming wash, worth £7.99 each. Both the washes are norinse, gentle and easy to use. The Lavender wash contains lavender oil to help refresh your horse after exercise, and the Warming wash contains ginger and clary sage to help warm and cleanse.

For more information, visit naf-equine.eu/uk

132 HORSE&RIDER

3

Keep smart

Three lucky readers will each win a pair of Jeffries Competition breeches, worth £95. Manufactured from a high-performance, lightweight, quick-drying and durable material, they feature a full stretch leather seat and Drylex gripper microfibre tubes that reduce bulk around the ankle and allow perspiration to escape. Available in ladies’ sizes 22–32in, in regular or high waist styles, and in navy, black, white, cream, teak, grey, sand or corn.

TO WIN!

For more information, visit ejeffries.co.uk

1

Putting on a show

One lucky reader will win a family ticket to attend the London Spring International Horse Show (RRP £140.40) and a behindthe-scenes tour, worth £60. The evening performance includes performances from The Gaga Experience and Kingsley Equestrian Quadrille, a masterclass from top rider Richard Davison and CDI*** International Grand Prix Freestyle Dressage. Tickets are for the evening performance on Thursday 13 April.

TO WIN!

For more information, visit londonspringinternational.com


To enter, complete the form on page 144 or visit horseandridercompetitions.co.uk Entries must be received by 31 March 2017

9

Stay safe

Nine lucky readers will each win a Horse and Rider First Aid Kit from Robinson Animal Healthcare, worth £24.95. The kit contains all the necessary products to deal with minor cuts and grazes, including Animalintex, Veterinary Gamgee, Equiwrap bandages, a 15g tube of Vetalintex, Skintact wound dressings, cleansing wipes and tough cut scissors.

TO WIN!

ADVERTISE YOUR HORSE FOR SALE FOR

FREE!

For more information, visit robinsonhealthcare.com

9

Clever chaps

TO WIN!

Nine lucky readers will win a pair of HyLand Synthetic Combi leather chaps, worth £23.50 each. The chaps are durable, making them great for everyday riding. They feature a soft, fleece-style lining for extra protection, an elasticated panel for a snug fit and an additional panel at the front that easily slides over your boots. Available in black or brown, in sizes XS–XL.

✓ Quick and easy ✓ Add up to four images and a video link ✓ Selected adverts published inside Horse&Rider magazine

Visit ›››››››››››››››››

For more information, visit hy-equestrian.com

horseandrideruk.com HORSE&RIDER 133


The perfect purchase Buying a new horse is exciting, but can be a little daunting, too, so H&R has some top tips to help you find your dream horse

W

ith so many horses out there, how are you supposed to find the perfect one? There are lots of considerations to make and rushing the process could see your new purchase turn out to be less ideal than you first thought. A lot of time and trouble can be saved with careful planning, so read our top tips to get your search off to the best start.

1

Before you start, give some thought to the type of horse you want. What activities do you plan to do? How often are you able to exercise him? Would you like a horse who is able to live out or do you have the time and facilities for one who needs a bit more coddling? Write a list of your requirements and how much you’re willing to spend, and stick to it – shopping without a clear idea of what you’re looking for could see you end up with a young, off-the-track Thoroughbred when your perfect match is an experienced cob type.

2

Photos: Bob Atkins

When you find an advert for a suitable horse, make a list of questions to ask the seller over the phone. Find out as much information as you can before you hop in your car and go to visit – an extra 10 minutes on the phone could save you a wasted trip. Think about any information missing from the advert and ask specific questions – ‘Does he jump?’ is very open to interpretation, but asking what jumping he’s done, including competing, will give you more concrete and useful answers.

3

When you go to view him, take a knowledgeable friend or your instructor with you so they can offer a second opinion and ask any questions you may have forgotten. Try to see the horse in as many situations as possible, including being caught from the field and having his feet picked up. 134 HORSE&RIDER

4

Ask to see him being ridden in walk, trot and canter, and over fences, on both reins. Only then, if you’re feeling confident, should you think about riding him yourself. Don’t feel pressured to go outside your comfort zone, though.

5

After the viewing, go away and consider what you’ve seen. How does he compare to your original wishlist? If you’re still interested, arrange to view him again. Take him on a short hack, including some roadwork and riding in open spaces, and find out how he reacts to clippers and being loaded – don’t assume he’ll be fine just because it says so on his advert. Also, find out about his management routine and consider how this will fit with your plans – if he spends most of his time stabled, he may not cope with living out 24/7. While the first viewing was about the initial impression, the second is about the finer details.

6

If you know he’s been to any affiliated competitions, go online and look up his record or contact the governing body. It’s also worth searching online for him, as you never know what may pop up – good or bad!

7

Ask to see his passport – it’s illegal to sell a horse without one – and check that the picture matches the horse you’re looking at. It’s important to also make sure that his current owner is listed in the passport, because you’ll

need their signature on the ownership transfer document that’s sent away with his passport to get you added to it. Legally, this must be done within 30 days of purchase.

8

Arrange for a vetting, ideally a fivestage one, to try to avoid any nasty surprises once you get home. It may seem like an added expense, but could save you a lot of money on vet bills in the long run. Either use your own vet or an independent one who hasn’t treated the horse before to avoid bias.

9

It’s okay to try to negotiate on price, particularly if you feel he doesn’t live up to his advert, but make sure you’re confident that you’re offering a figure that reflects his true value. Once you’ve reached an agreement, get it in writing, along with a description of the horse and any claims made in his advert. This should be signed by both you and the seller, and can be considered a receipt of the sale.

10

Arrange his new insurance policy to begin as soon as you’ve paid for him, even if he hasn’t left his old yard. Once he’s legally yours, you’re liable for all costs, and if he’s injured before you collect him or in transit, you need cover. Most polices won’t cover him for illnesses immediately, but he should be covered in the event of an accident.


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horses for sale

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The UK’s best FREE horsey marketplace Super, fun mare

l 14.2hh, Welsh Section D gelding, 12 yrs. Perfect all-rounder, safe, snaffle mouth. Done DR, PC, SJ, XC, showing and hunted. Easy to do, no vices or injuries. £1,300. 07398 752315 (North west)

l 13hh, reg Welsh Section B gelding, 4 yrs. Lovely manners, great to handle. Ready to back, confident, quick learner. Will excel in the show ring. £1,000. 07730 042426 (North west)

l 13.1hh, cob gelding, 5 yrs. Ideal for riding school or first pony. Sweet nature. Great to hack, been to local shows, good at jumping. Good box, clip, in traffic. £950. 07855 406473 (East mids)

l 11.2hh, Welsh Section A gelding, 12 yrs. Ride and drive. Good in the school and to hack, jumps a decent-sized fence. Excellent on and off lead. £700. 07923 213864 (West mids)

l 12.1hh, gelding, 17 yrs. Super PC all-rounder. Does a beautiful DR test, done BSJA and shown, great hack. A pleasure to own, fantastic with children. Sad sale. £2,000. 07792 155425 (West mids)

l 12.1hh, Dartmoor Hill Pony geldings, 10 yrs. Driving pair, not for novice drivers. Ideal for driving trials, ready to compete. Must go together. £3,500 ono. 01372 721700 (South east)

Bags of potential

l 14.2hh, Irish Sport Horse mare, 19 yrs. Forward-going, never spooks, perfect hack. Fantastic jump, schools nicely. Needs experienced handler. £900. 01252 794992 (South east)

l 13hh, gelding, 9 yrs. Mother’s dream, safe and sensible. Won national title and numerous championships in DR, also won SJ and eventing, has hunted. £6,000. 07901 622403 (East mids)

l 17.1hh, Cleveland Bay X TB gelding, 9 yrs. Will excel in working or show hunter in the right hands. Thrives on work. Not a novice ride, needs experienced, patient, kind rider. Great stable manners, needs work loading. £3,500. rscm12@hotmail.com (Scotland)

FR EE

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l 16.3hh, warmblood mare, 9 yrs. Loves to please. Dream to school and hack, forwardgoing to jump. Would suit someone who wants to go out and compete. Brilliant to shoe, box and clip. Sad sale through no fault of her own. £4,000. 07801 215344 (South east)


Spring clean Get ahead with yard chores so you’re all set for the competition season with Horse&Rider’s top tips

S

pring is around the corner, so it’s time to make sure that you, your stables and yard are ready for the season ahead. Why not get together with your yard mates to share the chores? Cleaning can be a dirty business, so make sure you’re suitably dressed – overalls, disposable gloves and a hat to keep your hair out of the way are essential. Begin with the feed room – move everything outside, empty your feed bins, and give the insides a thorough sweep and wipe out. If you hoard paper feed sacks, these can be used in your compost bin or even in the garden underneath plants to suppress weeds. Sweep the feed room from ceiling to floor, then replace the bins – only put back things you need or want,

as there’s no point in hoarding broken feed scoops! Next on the agenda is your horse’s stable. Remove all bedding into wheelbarrows or plastic sacks and store them out of the way until you’re finished. If you use rubber mats, lift, remove and disinfect them. Sweep the ceiling, walls and floor, then disinfect the floor. If you have solid stables (not wooden), then a jet washer can be an effective way to remove deep-seated dirt. Make sure the floor and rubber matting are completely dry before fitting the mats and relaying bedding. Now look outside – begin by checking the gutters for leaves and other debris. Methodically work from one end to the other and look out for loose or broken sections. Fix these once the guttering is

FOR SALE HERTS West Grinstead £1,750,000 13 Ac, 6 Bed Charcter Home, 3 Stables & Outbuildings

FOR SALE WARKS, Edge Hill £799,950 8 Ac, 4 Bed House, 9 Stables, Manege, Jumping Field & Studio

FOR SALE GLOS, Old Sodbury £1,000,000 19 Ac, 3 Bed House, 6 Stables, Horse walker & Outbuildings

FOR SALE BERKS, Lambourn £699,950 5 Ac, 3 Bed House, 4 Stables & Outbuildings

FOR SALE DORSET, Binnegar £1,000,000 28 Ac, 6 Bed House, Stables & Outbuildings

FOR SALE DEVON, Beesands £630,000 3 Ac, 4 Bed House, 4 Stables

FOR SALE HERTS, Little Berkhamstead £2,500,000 10 Ac, 4 Bed Character Home, 3 Bed Cottage, 3 Stables & Outbuildings

FOR SALE CARMS, Tavernspite £495,000 24 Ac, 4 Bed House, American Barn – 11 Stables, Indoor School & Manege

136 HORSE&RIDER PBB_HR563_HH.indd

1

cleared. Many yards have soakaways, and it’s worth lifting the cover and checking them for debris. If there’s a grill, consider buying some fine-gauge mesh and cutting it to fit underneath to catch debris before it’s washed down. Use a pressure washer to clean the concrete on your yard – it’s particularly good for removing moss and dirt that can easily build up, making the surface slippery. Lastly, turn your attention to your hay store. Consider restacking your hay to make more efficient use of the space. This will also allow you to sweep up stray ends of hay, reducing dust and mould. If it’s impossible to lift or move the hay and pallets they’re stacked on, consider borrowing a leaf blower to clear out underneath the bales.

TO LET HANTS, Hatherden £4000pcm 16 Ac, 3 Bed House, 48 Stables, 2 Gallops & Outbuildings

TO LET OXON, Southmoor £3750 pcm 6 Ac, 19 Stables, Horse Walker, Round Pen, Manege, 1 Bed Flat

20/12/2016 14:57


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DEVON Nr. Okehampton c.24 Acres • Various Outbuildings inc. Stables & Workshop • Detached 4 Bed Farmhouse ER:(D) • Planning Granted for Barn Conversion • Guide £699,950

WORCESTERSHIRE Nr. Tewkesbury c.3.25 Acres • Equestrian Facilities Inc. Stables and Sand School • Paddocks • Views To The Malvern Hills • Spacious Detached 4 Bed Bungalow ER:(F) • Guide £675,000

DERBYSHIRE Nr. Chesterfield c.4.4 Acres • Stables, Manege, Horse Walker& Field Shelter • Detached 4 Bed Family House ER:(E) • Additional One Bed House • Guide £660,000

CEREDIGION Nr. Lampeter c.50 Acres • Superb Indoor Stable Complex • Manege • Spacious Detached 6 Bed Residence ER:(D) • Guide £650,000

CAERPHILLY Between Merthyr / Abergavenny c. 5.8 Acres • Superb Equestrian Facilities • 2 Maneges • 30 Integral Boxes • Lovely Attached 5 Bed Barn Conversion ER:(E) • Former Dealing Yard • Guide £475,000

WILTSHIRE Between Chippenham / Devizes c.1.5 Acres • Spacious Barn with Integral Boxes • Adjoining Paddock Area • Charming 3 Bed Grade II Listed Cottage • Guide £429,950

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the form below. competitions and ‘Perfect prizes!’ on lborough House, Please complete the answers for the Mar rs) Ltd, Horse&Rider, D J Murphy (Publishe ’t be valid. won ress Send your entry to: March Comps, add r othe any to 6 6LG. Entries sent conditions, and s Headley Road, Grayshott, Surrey GU2 For full term ch 2017, unless otherwise stated. Entries must be received by 31 Mar eandrideruk.com/terms_conds.htm visit hors ridercompetitions.co.uk To enter online, please visit horseand

Page 14 WIN! A factory tour and prize bundle from Vale Brothers Ltd Question Which Vale Brothers brand holds a

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Page 119 WIN! A photoshoot with your horse Question What does the photography aim to

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Page 132 Perfect prizes!

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NEXT MONTH IN ...

EVENT GET R ING: E FOR T ADY SEASOHE N!

Waygood ● Coral Keen rd ha Ric ● d oo nw ee Gr n Da ● e TOP TRAINERS: Harry Mead

ON TEST

CHOOSE THE RIGHT BIT FOR YOUR HORSE

LIGHTWEIGHT TURNOUT RUGS

EASY EQUINE FITNESS PLANS HORSEY SOS:

WHEN TO CALL A BEHAVIOURIST + how they can help

SPINES EXPLAINED

FREE

36-PAGE

+

MARY & EMILY KING TRAINING GUIDE

O R P A E K I L JUMP E D A E M Y R R A H with

DON’T MISS OUT!

Spring issue on sale 9 February


My life with h rses Becks Smallman, freelance trainer

Coaching an elite modern pentathalon squad and having fun with Pony Clubbers is only a slice of Becks’ busy schedule

Monday I take my four-year-

old gelding, KJ, out for his first hack. My dad has hold of a lunge line, just in case. Of course, we bumped into an army training exercise, which KJ thought was only mildly interesting, thank goodness. In the evening, I run my outdoor circuit fitness class called ‘Fit for your horse’, which is targeted to build core strength and improve general fitness – the fitter we are ourselves, the easier it is for our horses to perform like superstars!

As told to Kelly McCarthy-Maine

Tuesday A perfect way to start the day,

I spend the morning showjumping my ex-racehorse, Brook, and she doesn’t bat an eyelid at any of the fillers, which is brilliant. Later, I take my semi-retired exeventer, Josh, for a hack and meet our neighbours out in their carriage. Josh is exceptionally curious about the carriage, so we tag along, making slightly unusual hacking companions.

Wednesday I ride early before heading over

to a local school to teach swimming. This afternoon’s group consists of 12 four-yearolds, so we play games to help with their confidence in the water. Once I finish, it’s 146 HORSE&RIDER

time to head over to teach at my old Pony Club, the Avon Vale Hunt. The children are a wicked bunch, whose antics never fail to make me smile. I’m always amazed at how quickly children progress, whether it’s in the pool or on a pony. I head home, tired but happy.

Thursday

I have a showjumping lesson with visiting Team GB coach, Corinne Bracken. Corinne lets me shadow her after my lesson to help me develop my own coaching – I always come away full of ideas and inspiration. After lunch, I head out to teach swimming to a group of 11-year-olds, so fewer water games this time and more technical work in the pool. Then I dash off to coach at a nearby riding school, where my pupils include several soldiers.

Friday Today is my first day of HGV

training in an enormous 18-tonne lorry. I have three-and-a-half days to practise before my test and am feeling a bit of pressure to get the hang of driving this beast. I’m looking forward to the freedom of being able to take my horses competing on my own and giving my dad a break. I jump back in my car, which now seems like a toy car, and head towards my next job, coaching showjumping, running and swimming for a modern pentathlon group. Keen and talented, these athletes are a joy to train.

Becks Smallman, freelance trainer

Becks lives with her family, nine horses, three dogs, seven alpacas, and a flock of ducks and chickens. In her spare time, she’s launched an outdoor circuit training class for horse riders and retrains racehorses for eventing.

Saturday I have a new ride called Pippin, so

I spend some time getting to know him and can’t resit a jump – I’m super-excited for the future with him. I also do some polework with my other horses. Later, our massage therapist, Wendy, visits to give the horses a once over. We have some extra time, so I get a sports massage from Wendy, too.

Sunday A busy morning teaching my

regular clients, followed by helping my Mum out with her Spiritus Equis therapy training afternoons that she runs with our horses and two psychiatrists. They offer a unique style of equine-facilitated therapy to help people make positive emotional changes and also do corporate team building days. I was very sceptical to begin with, but after being a guinea pig on training days, I’m amazed. Sunday evenings mean a full roast dinner with the family, before rolling into bed just after 21.00. With all this running around, I’m definitely not a night owl!


PRESENTS

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TIPS FROM THE TOP • See their top horses in action • The secrets of their success • The flatwork exercises they rely on • Tips for jumping success

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