K ’M C - I E! PI UP RE F
JULY/ AUGUST 2021
Win... WE’RE CELEBRATING TURNING 30 WITH A MEGA PRIZE GIVEAWAY!
Also Inside: BUYER’S GUIDE
2021 ISSUE 350
Saddlery and Tack including your questions answered and Poppy Webber talks communicating with your horse Event Reports
FEATURES INCLUDE 4 News 6 Special Feature - Absolute Horse Magazine turns 30! 20 Health & Welfare - including VetWatch by Rossdales on pain management; cooling summer tips; the ‘learning effect’ of Covid 31 Rhea Freeman asks - Have you tried Reels yet? 32 Buyer’s Guide 36 Equine Careers - including an artist, an author, sock designer and a scientist
Though every attempt is made to ensure accuracy, PCD Media Ltd cannot be held responsible for the opinions expressed in the magazine. The opinions and technical information in the articles are those of the authors.
How to contact and connect with us...
The Professionals including Camilla Bingham and Sara Parrott Nutrition including travel feed tips, mashes explained, summer weight watching and The Forager introduced What to look for in an Equestrian Property
GIVEAWAYS & OFFERS 5 Ariat Saddle Snaps 13 MEGA Competition 23 Absorbine 45 TrickleNet 67 Gladwells’ money-off reader offer
PCD Media ( East Anglia) Ltd, Home Barn, Grove Hill, Belstead, Ipswich, Suffolk IP8 3LS
NEWS RIVER RESCUE OF FOAL
ROYAL PRESIDENT VISITS WORLD HORSE WELFARE
RH The Princess Royal visited the Norfolk centre of Britain’s largest equine rescue and rehoming charity on 11th May. As president of the charity, The Princess Royal wanted to find out how the work of World Horse Welfare had continued throughout the pandemic, learn more about how the charity deals with the increasing number of cases involving large numbers of unhandled horses and meet some of the horses currently in the farm.
FESTIVAL OF HUNTING RETURNS: WEDNESDAY 21ST JULY
he East of England Agricultural Society, organisers of The Festival of Hunting, along with the Chairman and committee of The Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show Society are delighted to announce they are planning for this popular rural event to return to the East of England
Showground, Peterborough, on Wednesday 21st July, supported by the Countryside Alliance. The Festival plays host to the Peterborough Royal Foxhound Show, the blue-ribboned competition in the summer showing calendar for Foxhound packs up and down the country. www.festivalofhunting.com
nimal rescuers from the RSPCA and Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service joined forces to save a foal stranded in a river from drowning. RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs was called to the River Nene at Guyhirn, Cambridgeshire, after a passerby spotted a little piebald pony stuck up to its shoulders on the edge of the riverbank. Officers used ropes and a rescue sled to paddle out to the foal, secure him safely, and pull him to safety.
RARE BREED CHAMPIONS
are native horse and pony breeds on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) Watchlist have the chance to compete for ‘RBST Priority breed’ and ‘RBST At Risk Breed’ champion rosettes for the first time. The two classes will close the Norfolk Equestrian Show, hosted by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA) in association with RBST, behind closed doors at the Norfolk Showground on 28th July 2021.
HORSE TRUST COMMISSIONS CELEBRATORY ARTWORK
he Horse Trust has commissioned a special piece of artwork in celebration of its 135th Anniversary. The celebratory painting has been created by specialist animal artist, Sarah Perkins from Derby, and is being sold as a series of limited edition mounted fine art prints signed by Sarah, as well as the original painting, to raise funds for the charity. www.horsetrust.org.uk
CROWDS TO RETURN TO HICKSTEAD
his year’s Prenetics Royal International Horse Show will see crowds welcomed back to Hickstead for the first time since summer 2019. Tickets for the show (21st-25th July) are on sale now, costing just £15 per person with concessions available and under 16s going free. A strict limit of 4,000 people per day will apply, so visitors are advised to book quickly before tickets sell out. www.hickstead.co.uk
EACH ISSUE AN ABSOLUTE HORSE READER WILL WIN A PAIR OF - Roxanne Isbell “I love you mum.” “I love you too Nellie!”
- Lexi Hodgkins “Lockdown Moustache I really need a trim Mum!”
- Amanda Harrison “Dad is this two metres apart?!”
ARIAT BURFORD BOOTS worth £130!
- Hollie Davy “Someone said I need teeth whitening but I think they look great, don’t you?!”
- Molly Horsnell “I don't want to horse today... !”
- Ginny White “Bad hair day Oscar. Just can’t get the staff meant to be harnessing up!! Ted says you need a brush!”
WINNER! WINNER! - Bela Struzkova “Mirror, mirror on the wall...!”
ENTRY IS EASY. SIMPLY EMAIL A CANDID PHOTO OF YOUR HORSE TO snaps@ ahmagazine.com
DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS AND A CAPTION TO YOUR IMAGE. THE BEST PHOTO AND CAPTION WINS THE BOOTS! 5
Absolute Horse Magazine
e're thrilled to be celebrating our 30th-year of publication and are so proud to have reached this milestone - which for any publication is a HUGE achievement. In this issue we take a look back at the magazine through the years, as well as some of the pages that feature readers - anyone there who you recognise?! We’ve also got a fun 'How It Started Versus How It is Going' feature where a number of the UK’s top riders share two images with us, illustrating just how far they have come in their careers. Also, check out our 'Mega Prize Giveaway' where one lucky reader will win a huge haul of prizes - this is the biggest competition in the magazine's history. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our readers, contributors, clients and advertisers for making the Absolute Horse Magazine what it is today - we could not have done it without your support over the last 30 years. So to you all...
1991 and the ‘Anglian Horse’ newspaper is launched; it will later change it’s name to ‘Absolute Horse’ in 1996. 1993 the newspaper changes format to an A4 magazine
Anglian Horse newspaper, that was to become the Absolute Horse Magazine, was launched by April Wright
Top riders explain... HOW IT STARTED VERSUS
Lou Simpson, International Showjumper, Coach and Producer
HOW IT IS GOING!
Lou pictured age 6 with her pony Charlie Brown
Lara Edwards at three months old on her first pony, Crystal
Lara Edwards, Cathedral Equine owner and International Dressage Rider
Lara currently competes Internationally at Small Tour level with her top horse Jazzed Up
is Recognise th * star? future CCI4
Eliza Stoddart, International 5* Event Rider
Photo: Nico Morgan Photography
All is revealed overleaf...
Eliza is sponsored by Aloeride, the natural aloe vera supplement for horses.www.aloeride.com
SPECIAL FEATURE Hazel Towers, 5* Event Rider and BETTALIFE Brand Ambassador
Camilla Bingham, International Showjumper
Camilla on her adorable first family pony, Stroller, at Snowball Farm – they used to do little shows and have family days out!
Growing up on her parent’s farm based on the outskirts of Harrogate, Hazel has ridden from a young age
Coral Keen, international Eventer, Coach and Producer
Coral Keen on a pony called Sherry, aged 2. Hazel’s first international win came in 2017 with Simply Smart at Blair CCI3*, since then, Hazel has completed both Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials.
“...Little did we know then what they had started...!” - Jayne Ross, seven-times HOYS Champion 10
Camilla competing at Hickstead on Felix, where she now jumps regularly with her team of horses from Puttenham Place.
Coral and Total Belief (homebred) in the CCI4*S 8/9YO Championships at Blenheim 2018
Bex Mason, Gloucestershire-based Showjumper
David Simpson, international Showjumper, Coach and Producer
Photo: 1st Class Images
Jayne Ross, seven-times HOYS Supreme Champion
Jayne riding Supreme Horse of the Year 2019, Twinshock Warrior, owned by owned by Jill Marsden and Tanya Moulden.
Kevin McNab, International Event Rider
“Tarzan was the first pony we had, dad bought a field and he was in it! He taught us all to ride and he used to buck like mad so we’d have competitions between myself and my three brothers to see who could stay on the longest!”
“I was nine when I had my first win at HOYS on a 12.2hh pony called Cusop Pirouette. It was owned by Dr and Mrs Gilbert Scott and produced by them and their two daughters, Simone and Carol. Little did we know then what they had started!”
Jodie Seddon, International Eventer, Showjumper and Producer David winning a Grand Prix in Prague on Foudre F in April of this year
is Recognise th ? HOYS champ All is revealed overleaf...
Jodie’s first ODE in 1987 with the original flying grey - Tessa
Skies the Limit jumping for fun round Bramham 4*L 2019
SPECIAL FEATURE Kate Honey, International Event Rider
Photo: 1st Class Images
Jo Bates, multiple HOYS Champion, Producer of top show and dressage horses
Here Jo is just 2-years-old and already showing her natural horsemanship skills. She is riding Hotspur and being led by head girl Barbara Gallimore. Clearly a natural it is no wonder Jo went onto be a Multiple HOYS Champion
Kate on Silver Firefly at Middleton PC ODE in 1995
Jo riding Grandeur (owned by Yvonne Jacques) to be crowned HOYS SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse Champion in 2019. Grandeur won an impressive ten times on the flat during his racing career, earning over £600,000 in prize money.
Shaun Mandy, Grand Prix Dressage Rider and BD Coach. www.shaunmandy.com
Kate on Fernhill Now Or Never at Badminton 5* in 2018
Jayne Turney, International Dressage Rider and Coach Jayne learning to ride at Wymington Riding school.
Louisa and King Eider at Burghley.
Photo: Julia Sherwood
Louisa aged 7 competing on her pony Chester.
Photo: Chanell Murray
Louisa Milne Home, International Event Rider
Jayne and Tom Cruz III, National PSG champions 2020
IN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! W WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! ONE LUCKY READER WILL WIN ALL 30 PRIZES IN OUR MEGA GIVEAWAY...
The Brooke Jacket worth £199.95 by Schoffel Country! Cut from waxed-cotton in a timeless camel colour, this women’s waterrepellent Brooke rain jacket is designed to keep you comfortable on outdoor pursuits, even in inclement weather. Exquisitely styled, the hooded Brooke jacket features adjustable drawcords at the neck to lock in heat and an elasticated cinched waist to temper the loose fit. Complemented with Schöffel logo embroidery and a horn button fastening, the two drop pockets are roomy enough to fit your keys and phone when you’re out in the fields. www.schoffelcountry.com
Prize bundle from Georgian Dollar including Jeans, Base Layer and Belt! New and enhanced Sieta Equestrian Jeans, are made using a super soft, 100% recycled denim and offer supreme quality and durability in and out of the saddle. These jeans are so versatile and stylish, they are perfect for taking you from the saddle to the high street. RRP: £115. Made with super soft and breathable material, this Georgian Dollar Base Layer fits like a glove. Designed to provide extreme comfort in warm or cool temperatures and incorporating regulating and moisture wicking technologies, this is a base layer for all seasons. RRP: £49.99. Custom made in stunning ocean blue or navy blue on dark brown leather, or beautiful aqua on tan leather, these gorgeous Georgian Dollar Polo Belts are hand stitched to the highest quality, with subtle GD branding. RRP: £70. www.georgiandollar.co.uk
A Rose Gold Snaffle Necklace from Pegasus Jewellery! The Rose Gold Snaffle Necklace. What a stunning piece of equestrian jewellery! The curve and angles of the snaffle can be interpreted beautifully into jewellery, and this has been combined with Rose-gold vermeil for an on-trend look. The snaffle is attached directly onto a trace chain which can be fastened at 40 or 45cm. RRP: £55. www.pegasusjewellery.net
WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! SPECIAL FEATURE
To enter: Visit www.absolutehorsemagazine.com and click on the Competitions page. Entries open 1st July and close 31st August 2021.
Madeline Hoodie and Baseball cap from Nouvelle Habit! Super for keeping you warm this cotton mix Madeline Hoodie features the Nouvelle Habit logo embroidered in gold on the chest and has Nouvelle Habit written in gold on the right arm. The chunky feel hood with cross cowl neck design makes for a super snug feeling, plus to add extra warmth the Madeline hoodie has thumb holes in the cuffs to really keep out any cold drafts. RRP: £50. These cotton blend Baseball caps have a soft to touch feel and are adjustable at the back with a metal clip. Available in three colours - Black, Navy or Grey. RRP £26. www.nouvellehabit.co.uk
A Burnham Long Sleeve T Shirt from Whale of a Time Clothing! A step up from your plain cotton t shirt, the Burnham Long Sleeved T Shirt is designed to provide a more relaxed and oversized fit for those looking for both style and comfort. Detailed with stripes down the sleeves, contrasting to the main block of the sweet sorbet shades and classic navy colour, the t shirt is finished with the Whale of a Time Clothing logo and is an effortlessly key wardrobe staple for those looking to inject a bit of colour into their everyday wardrobe. Manufactured with premium organic cotton, the t-shirt is just as soft as it is sustainable, with the organic cotton meaning 88% less water and 62% less energy is used when making the t-shirt. RRP: £36.95. www.whaleofatimeclothing.com
Cheltenham Horseshoe Handle Serving Tray from Mulberry Tree at Home! Mulberry Tree at Home design and hand make country inspired furniture, home accessories and equestrian accessories. The Cheltenham Horseshoe Handle Serving Tray is handcrafted from wood and real reused horseshoes. If you prefer you can send your own horse’s shoes for a personalised tray. The serving tray makes a unique gift and addition to the home. RRP: £45.99. www.mulberrytreeathome.com
WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! A Jasmine & Oud Luxury Candle from Hooves & Love! Hand poured into a stunning black glass, the intense, sweet scent of jasmine partners perfectly with the rich depth of oud in this luxury candle. The deep, sensual, indulgent fragrance calms the mind, strengthens the power of thought, and de-stresses. The Hooves & Love candles are made from sustainably sourced coconut wax which provides a great scent throw and slow burn providing you hours of wonderful scent. RRP £30. www.hoovesandlove.co.uk
Bundle from Dressage Anywhere including Gift Certificate, saddlecloth and cap! Dressage Anywhere, the online competition website is offering one lucky winner a £25 entry voucher to our online competition or training classes. Upload your video for judging and download your scoresheet as soon as your test has been judged. Win prizes, rosettes and prestige! Kit yourself out in a branded baseball cap and saddlecloth (RRP £12 and £28). www.dressageanywhere.com
One tub of PharmaPlast Ultimate Topline from BETTALIFE! PharmaPlast Ultimate Topline uses a sugar-free and non-heating formula, with no artificial fillers or bulking agents, to support muscle condition, coat health and topline for all horses in a variety of workloads. PharmaPlast contains every single essential amino acid plus L-Arginine and Spirulina to support muscle recovery and development. BETTALIFE offers a full money back guarantee and a detailed ingredients list can be found on the website. Available in a variety of sizes. RRP: £39.99 for 750g. www.bettalife.co.uk
One set of four grooming products from Cavalor! Cavalor Equi Wash is a mild shampoo that thoroughly cleans the coat of your horse. It gives a shiny effect to the horse's coat and does not irritate. Cavalor Equi Wash is a highly concentrated and soft (pH 7-7.5) shampoo that has an important cleaning and shining quality. Cavalor Bianco Wash is a skin friendly, gentle shampoo that removes stains and produces an illuminating shine for all coat colours. Cavalor Star Shine is long-acting detangler that gives a beautiful shine to your horse. Cavalor FlyLess is a highly effective insect repellent spray to protect horse and rider against horseflies, flies, mosquitoes, ticks and other insects. The pleasant fragrance will make sure you can enjoy your summer ride to the fullest. www.zebraproducts.co.uk
! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN! WIN SPECIAL FEATURE
To enter: Visit www.absolutehorsemagazine.com and click on the Competitions page. Entries open 1st July and close 31st August 2021.
One bag of Muscle Builder and one bag of Ready Mash Extra from Rowen Barbary Horse Feeds! Muscle Builder contains a unique blend of milk powders, breakfast cereals, highly digestible protein sources, glucose, oils, vitamins, minerals and trace elements to help encourage overall muscle tone and development. Its great for horses in hard work as it helps support increased stamina for sustained performance and also provides an extremely beneficial source of slow releasing energy. The coconut oil which is also included will help improve skin and coat condition for an all year round shine. Ready Mash Extra is perfect for a horse which needs a high calorie diet for conditioning and controlled weight gain. It provides an excellent source of slow release energy from the structured fibre. It contains high levels of essential oils and milk powders which contributes massively to helping horses achieve the required body condition whilst ensuring a great, shiny coat. Rowen Barbarys Ready Mash Extra is fully balanced in essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements to help support health and vitality. www.rowenbarbary.co.uk
Muscle Builder RRP : £42.09. Ready Mash Extra RRP £15.48.
Two bags of Minty Treats from Equerry!
Two 2kg tubs of TurmerAid from The Golden Paste Company! Formulated to optimise bio-availability, the pellets include turmeric (5.1% curcumin), linseed oil, black pepper, apple cider vinegar and yucca. Ideal for horses that require additional support to maintain healthy joints, TurmerAid also supports the body’s natural inflammation process and supports digestion and general wellbeing. TurmerAid remains effective as the ingredients are evenly distributed in each pellet and are only released when the horse bites into them. There is no risk of individual ingredients dissipating inside the tub over time and the horse subsequently receiving an unbalanced measure. The pellets can be added to feed or fed alone by hand or from a bucket. RRP: £19.99. www.goldenpastecompany.com
Equerry Minty Treats make the perfect reward for your horse whatever the time of year. These delicious healthy treats come in a 20kg size and are ideal for larger yards or sharing! A healthy treat option, Minty Treats are fibre-based nuggets, low in sugar and are ‘Non-Heating’ and cereal-grain-free so they won’t cause any problems or ‘fizz’. www.equerryhorsefeeds.com
First Aid bundle from Robinson Animal Healthcare! Animalintex is the only VMD licensed multilayered poultice available in the UK. Highly absorbent, it is extremely versatile and can be applied either as a wet, hot or cold poultice. RRP: around £5.50. Animalintex Hoof Treatment is distributed in packs containing convenient hoof shaped dressings, ready for foot poulticing. RRP: around £6. Equiwrap Cohesive Bandages are a powerful, flexible bandage that sticks to itself but not to skin or hair. Equiwrap is easy to tear and is available in a wide range of colours. RRP: around £1.25 per roll. Veterinary Gamgee is used to promote wound healing by insulating, cushioning and protecting wounds from external trauma and is ideal as a highly absorbent secondary wound dressing. RRP around £12. www.robinsonanimalhealthcare.com
Two bags of CoolCondition Cubes from TopSpec! TopSpec CoolCondition Cubes provide ‘NonHeating’ but conditioning calories and are ideal for horses that need condition without ‘fizz.’ CoolCondition Cubes are designed to be added to a TopSpec Feed Balancer or supplement and therefore contain no added vitamins or trace-elements. CoolCondition Cubes combine the brilliant properties of being seriously cool and seriously conditioning, this is a very rare combination. They are formulated without the use of any cereals, so they are not just ‘oat-free’ or ‘barley-free’ but completely cereal-grainfree. www.topspec.com
TIPS AND HINTS
GUIDE! AFTER A LIFETIME OF HONING THEIR SKILLS (AND FEATURING IN THE ABSOLUTE HORSE OVER THE YEARS!) THESE TOP RIDERS SHARE THEIR ALLTIME FAVOURITE HORSY TOP-TIPS Kevin McNab, International Event Rider and sponsored rider for Robinson Animal Healthcare “Success is about having a great team. Your family, grooms, owners and supporters are all part of your team. When you surround yourself with these great people, great things will happen.” www.robinsonhealthcare.com
Shane Breen, Irish Showjumper
Photo: Elli Birch
“You always need to have a positive frame of mind when you enter the show ring. The best performances happen when you truly believe you and your horse will go in the ring and do your best. The old saying ‘consistency is key’ couldn’t be more true, so managing your horse with the right exercise and products at home, so that they’re happy and fit, gives them the best chance of performing well in the ring.” www.breenequestrian.com
Shaun Mandy, Grand Prix Dressage Rider and BD Coach “Whilst working as a rider for Hasse Hoffmann in Denmark, he taught me what I believe to be one of the most important aspects of training horses and people. Remain humble at all times so that you may continue to learn and develop. When you practice humility, you never stop learning and developing your skill set.” www.shaunmandy.com
SPECIAL FEATURE Robert Smith, Olympic and Nations Cup Showjumper and BETTALIFE Brand Ambassador
Amy Stovold, International Dressage Rider and sponsored rider for Balanced Horse Feeds
“Concentrate on your canter. The canter is the key to a successful show jumping round. Working on your rideability on the flat at home is so important, horses must react to the riders aids at the correct time. “If you struggle with confidence or pressurising yourself at shows, pause for a moment and just bring your focus back to the canter, it really is key!” www.bettalife.co.uk
“Starting a horse in the world of dressage is multi faceted most people assume that it is all down to schooling and technique but I like to look at the bigger picture. For me the main importance is to understand the horse you are riding and to ask the question as to whether it is suitable for you and the job are asking it to do. “A point many people miss as well is that at the end of the day the horse needs to want to work for you - and this does not come from hours purely in the school - its about building up a partnership with your horse from the ground up and this can take years. “With all my horses I spend at least two sessions in-hand a week (I work on a reward based clicker system) and the rest of the time will be divided between a hacking and then the rest in the school. Daily turn out is essential - horses need to be allowed to be horses in my mind and to become too precious over them is detrimental to their mental health and for their complex digestive system. They are herd animals and they need to graze but also to be fed the correct hard feed. I am very lucky as I have been working with Balanced Horse Feeds for over twenty years and their nutritionists are on call whenever I need them to to discuss a specific horse.” www.balancedhorsefeeds.co.uk
Heidi Woodhead of DHI Event Horses and sponsored rider for British Horse Feeds “When you’re out travelling and competing, try and keep your horse or pony hydrated. De-hydration causes fatigue and a decrease in performance. We make a sloppy Fibre-Beet mash at competitions, which instantly helps to put fluids into the horses, settles them for the journey home and they love it.” www.britishhorsefeeds.com
Bex Mason, Gloucestershirebased Showjumper "Pay attention to the details and the bigger picture will take care of itself! If a rider is wonky then the horse will be unbalanced too. Aiming to transform your riding overnight isn’t realistic, but little improvements lead to big results. I work with Liz Launder, an osteopath specialising in horses and humans based at Hartpury College. A flexible and balanced rider can give clearer, more consistent aids - the difference she makes to me and my pupils is amazing.” www.bexmason showjumping.co.uk www.osteo4horseandrider.com
Photo: J K Riding Photography
Jesse Campbell, Event Rider “We find the key to a happy horse is to make sure they have a good routine with variation in their workload. “Turnout is hugely beneficial. We often turn our young horses out overnight, so they’re less fresh and have plenty of time out in the field just being horses. For the older eventers, downtime in the field is crucial. A key part to making sure they stay relaxed and comfortable during turnout is correct rugging. Shires Equestrian (www.shiresequestrian.com) have an excellent range from heavyweight turnouts that keep horses warm on the coldest winter day, to their extremely lightweight fly rugs to keep them cool and unbothered during the summer.” www.jessecampbelleventing.com
Georgie Campbell, Event Rider “Feeling confident is key when leaving the start box. A lot of this will come from good preparations, but there are also things you can do on the day. “A good course walk is essential. If there is a fence that you are unsure of, try to watch a few horses jump it to see how it rides. Remember to visualise positively riding the course before you head out, keep breathing, and enjoy yourself! Make sure you have all your safety kit in correct working order, to avoid any lastminute panics, and ensure you have Personal Accident cover – we use KBIS for that extra peace of mind.” www.kbis.co.uk
Jayne Turney, International Dressage Rider and Coach “Practice riding squares as a way to improve straightness and balance – it really encourages the rider to ride from inside leg to outside rein. It can be done in all paces too.”
Louisa Milne Home, International Event Rider, and sponsored rider for Robinson Animal Healthcare “My top tip is time! Don't be in a rush with your young horses and feel you have to be out competing in age classes; they all catch up in the end and time spent letting them strengthen and mature at the start will pay off in the long term.” www.robinsonhealthcare.com
Sarah Lewis, Showjumper “Always seek out the best advice you can get, and use the very best equipment you can afford – it will save you heartache and money in the long run! “Find a trainer that you like and respect, who has the time and interest to invest in you and your horse’s progress. Don’t over-horse yourself, find a horse you feel comfortable on. Talk to a qualified nutritionist to make sure your horse’s diet provides them with all the nutrients he needs and gives them enough energy to do their job without causing them to be over the top. I use Saracen Horse Feeds, who give excellent nutritional advice and whose products are simply the best.” www.sarahlewisshowjumping.com
Eliza Stoddart, International 5* eventer and sponsored rider for Aloeride “When running a yard it always helps to have a list so the team around you can work efficiently and effectively. On a competition day this is also effective, if everyone has a timesheet to refer to it helps with a smooth and successful day.” www.aloeride.com
HEALTH & WELFARE: VETWATCH
t PAIN h e c t V a W MANAGEME IN HORSES
syndromes. In humans and in horses, pain can have a negative impact on behaviour and performance.
ROSSDALES HERTFORDSHIRE Unit 7, Saltmore Farm New Inn Road, Hinxworth Hertfordshire SG7 5EZ T: 01462 790221 (24 hrs) E: email@example.com www.rossdales.com
reedom from pain is an essential part of horse welfare and, as horses can’t talk, it’s essential that their owners or carers can recognise when there is a problem. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.” The IASP adds, “Verbal description is only one of several behaviours to express pain;
By Stephanie Fitzgerald MVB MRCVS
inability to communicate does not negate the possibility that a human or a nonhuman animal experiences pain.” Why is pain management Important? Pain management plays an important role in recovery from injury or illness. In humans, the benefits of adequate management include fewer complications, earlier discharge from hospital and reduction in the development of chronic pain
How do you know if your horse is in pain? Early detection of pain is crucial so it can be managed effectively. In lameness cases, for example, early diagnosis can play an important role in successful treatment and resolution of the problem, resulting in a better prognosis for long-term soundness. However, recognising pain in horses can be challenging. Horses are prey animals and are instinctively programmed to hide their vulnerability to predators. Horses are also known for their individual variation in displaying signs of pain. For example, highly anxious or temperamental horses may be more likely to
NT demonstrate intense pain than horses of a calmer disposition. Evaluation of pain in horses therefore requires careful interpretation of abnormal, pain related behaviour. Signs that your horse is in pain Manifestations of pain in horses can be subtle and non-specific, but signs you should look for include: • Behavioural changes: restlessness, agitation, sweating, headshaking, dullness or depression, signs of aggression, tail swishing, snorting, whinnying frequently, or decreased interaction with surroundings • Change in posture or movement: altered stance, arched back, reluctance to move, lowered head carriage,
A horse with colic showing signs of being in pain
stretching, weight shifting or pawing • Change in appetite: loss of interest in food, playing with water, slow chewing or dropping feed • Change in facial expression: fixed stare with wide nostrils and clenched facial muscles, glassy eyes or an anxious expression
• Dental pain: dropping food, slow chewing, reluctance to eat, pocketing or pouching of food in the cheeks, head tilting or nodding or an abnormal head carriage, problems with acceptance of the bit.
How can your vet help manage your horse’s pain? The methods used to manage Sometimes signs of pain can be your horse will depend on the more specific and can relate to duration, type and severity of the underlying problem: the pain. Diagnosis and • Colic pain: rolling, flank treatment of the underlying watching, kicking at the problem is the first step and a abdomen, pawing, stretching, short course of pain relief is groaning often required while this is • Lameness: weight-shifting undertaken. However, in cases of between limbs, abnormal chronic pain, longer term or weight distribution, pointing, indefinite treatment may be hanging and rotating of the needed to manage the patient’s limbs, abnormal movement, comfort and improve their and reluctance to move or quality of life. The most work. Horses with laminitis common example of this is have a typical stance of leaning horses with osteoarthritis. In backwards and have a ‘pottery’ horses undergoing long term gait treatment, health checks must • Ocular pain: holding the eye be performed every six months closed, upper eyelashes (or more frequently in some pointing downwards, increased cases) to ensure that the tear production or discharge prescribed pain relief is still from the eye, sensitivity to appropriate and to check for bright light adverse side effects. Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) NSAIDS are the most commonly used drug for pain management in horses. Examples include phenylbutazone (bute) (e.g. Equipalazone or Danilon), flunixin (e.g. Equinixin or Finadyne) and meloxicam (e.g. Metacam). These medications relieve pain and help in the reduction of inflammation and fever.
STEPHANIE FITZGERALD MVB MRCVS Stephanie joined the Rossdales Hertfordshire veterinary team in 2020. She qualified from University College Dublin in 2017 and then completed a twelve month internship at an equine clinic in Gloucestershire. This was followed by ambulatory work in Australia and in Somerset. She spent the 2020 breeding season at Twemlows Hall Stud Farm AI and ET centre in Shropshire, before joining Rossdales. Stephanie enjoys all aspects of ambulatory work and has a particular interest in stud medicine. She is currently studying towards the Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in Equine Stud Medicine. When she’s not working, Stephanie is a keen follower of horseracing.
HEALTH & WELFARE: VETWATCH Continued from previous page...
They can be given orally as well as by injection and are frequently used in the management of osteoarthritis, among many other conditions. However, as with any medication, NSAIDs can have side effects and it is important to balance the benefits of treatment with the risk of side effects, which can include gastrointestinal disease (such as stomach ulcers, colon ulcers and diarrhoea) and kidney damage. The risk of side effects is increased in sick or dehydrated horses. Clinical signs of toxicity include loose droppings, colic, ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract (seen as low protein and/or anaemia on blood work, or as ulcers on an endoscopic examination), poor hair coat, increased drinking or urination and weight loss. If you notice any of these signs in your horse then the medication should be stopped and you should speak to your vet. Other Options Other pain relief options are available and are often used in combination with NSAIDs. Some of these can be given orally whereas others can be given only by injection by your veterinary surgeon. Using multiple classes of drugs can improve pain relief while decreasing the risk of side effects. Many horses suffer from acute or chronic pain that requires careful treatment. The goal is to alleviate the pain as quickly as possible with the least side effects. For horses with chronic
water and hydrotherapy are also useful for acute injuries, helping to reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain. Ice may also be used to relieve pain. Combination therapies are often the most successful in maintaining a quality of life for horses with chronic pain conditions; using variations of traditional medications, adjunctive therapies and nutraceuticals as appropriate.
Hydrotherapy can be useful as part of a rehabilitation programme
pain, it is often necessary to try different medications to see which one is most effective for that particular horse. Some nutraceuticals are reported by horse owners to provide beneficial health effects – a good example being joint supplements and there are a myriad of products available that are marketed as helping to improve joint function. However, there may be considerable variation in the composition of these products and it can be difficult to weigh up the real benefits if they have not been scientifically tested. In addition to medical therapy, methods such as physiotherapy, weight management, acupuncture, remedial shoeing and laser therapy can all play a role in the management of pain in your horse. The latter can be helpful in the management of acute inflammation, as well as speeding up wound healing and tendon/ligament injuries. Cold
Medication and Competing Many horses with chronic pain are still able to perform, but need to be medicated. Make sure that you check with your vet to make sure that you are not violating any association rules when you medicate a performance horse that is competing. There are mandatory withdrawal times for certain medications and these are in place for the health and welfare of your horse. Some medications may appear in the horse’s blood or urine for a period of time; so if your horse is competing, you need to discuss with your vet about the length of time that the drug will still be detected in testing. (For a list of prohibited and controlled medications in FEIsanctioned events, see prohibitedsubstancesdatabase. feicleansport.org) Careful use of the correct medications at the appropriate time can greatly improve your horse’s comfort whether he is recovering from an injury or surgery, easing the aches and pains of competition, or keeping comfortable in retirement.
SUMMER OF SAFETY CAMPAIGN
he British Equestrian Trade Association has launched its Summer of Safety – a three-month awareness-raising initiative designed to demonstrate how equestrian products play a frontline role in keeping horses and riders as safe as possible. It replaces BETA’s annual Safety Week and highlights a wider range of products involved in equestrian activities. While Safety Week’s primary focus was on riding hats, body protectors, air vests, hi-viz and footwear, the BETA Summer of Safety will feature tack; yard, biosecurity, horse and rider safety; horse health; riding and road safety; feed room safety plus much more. The campaign runs until mid-September. BETA’s Summer of Safety will be promoted across social media using the #BSOS21 hashtag. There will be a regular stream of helpful, informative content, such as posts from safety experts, rider tips, live sessions, competitions, video clips and podcasts to help share the key messages.
WIN! WIN! THREE LUCKY READERS BLUE CROSS SHARES
COOL SUMMER TIPS FOR HORSES
lue Cross cobs Harriet, Edna, Mavis, Agnes and Barbara delivered a modelling masterclass in how to keep cool, recently, inspiring the national pet charity to share some simple top tips on how to keep your horse comfortable in the summer heat. 4 Make sure your horse has access to a shady area or shelter so they can keep out of the sun’s rays and the flies on hot summer days. 4 Try not to ride your horse at the hottest times of the day choose the cool of early morning or evening instead. 4 Your horse will be grateful if you wash off sweaty areas which may attract the flies and become sore. 4 Some horses may enjoy a cool, shallow water tray designed to safely take the weight of a horse. Alternatively, a gentle cold hosing may meet with approval but introduce the hose to your horse gradually to start with, until they are comfortable with the water. 4 A constant supply of clean, fresh drinking water is essential to prevent
dehydration and prevent heatstroke in horses. 4 A salt lick will help replace vital nutrients that horses lose easily through sweating. 4 You may also want to buy a fly rug, a UV protective face mask and a good quality fly repellent. 4 Horses can suffer from sunburn. Protect exposed, unpigmented, white and pink areas of the skin, like the muzzle, with a suitable hypoallergenic waterproof sunblock cream. 4 Horses’ feet can dry out in warmer weather so keep them well hydrated – your farrier can advise which products to use. www.bluecross.org.uk
WILL EACH WIN A SILVER HONEY BUNDLE FROM ABSORBINE!
Silver Honey is the first and only combination of natural Manuka Honey and MicroSilver BG. It provides an effective barrier against harmful bacteria and supports new skin cells by nourishing, moisturising, and conditioning the skin. Silver Honey soothes and protects using natural proven ingredients so you will quickly see amazing results on minor wounds or tough skin conditions. It is pH balanced and free of hypochlorous acid with a bitter taste to prevent licking and can be used for horses, dogs and all animals. Each winner will receive a Silver Honey: • Ointment – Long lasting coverage and moisturisation. The ointment is highly effective in softening older, persistent scabs to aid in removal while providing a barrier against bacteria to allow natural healing of the wound beneath. • Spray Gel - Provides continuous coverage to the wound. Its touch-free application is ideal for applying to large areas of skin or for difficult to reach areas. • Neck tube – a sunny, yellow lightweight neck tube that can be worn as a face mask, headband, neck scarf, wristband, or a hairband! For more information about Silver Honey visit: www.absorbine.co.uk/silverhoney
To enter: Visit www.absolutehorsemagazine.com and click on the Competitions page. Entries open 1st July and close 31st August 2021.
HEALTH & WELFARE
REDWINGS RESCUED PONY
BECOMES TV STAR
rescued horse from Redwings Horse Sanctuary has found a loving new home at the farm of wildlife television presenter Kate Humble. The moment Gilbert, a handsome 6-year-old cob, arrived at his new home was filmed for the latest episode of Escape To The Farm, which aired recently on Channel 5. The series follows life on Kate’s farm, ‘Humble by Nature’, in Monmouthshire, Wales, and this episode captured Gilbert being led from the Redwings horsebox and meeting his new Guardian Sarah Stephens. Sarah had been searching for a companion for horse Rags, who lives at Kate’s farm and who had sadly lost his stablemate. After enquiring with Redwings, the charity’s Rehoming team set about finding a perfect new friend for Rags. Gilbert’s mother Florence was rescued from horrific conditions as part of a large-scale rescue operation. Fortunately, as he was born following the rescue, he has never known anything
other than love and care and was chosen specifically by the team for the important job of being a friend to Rags because of his calm and friendly nature. Having arrived at his new home in April, Gilbert is settling well into his new surroundings. Kate said: “Finding the perfect companion for a horse who has lost his stablemate of many years was not something I expected to be easy. But the knowledge and experience of the staff at Redwings helped us find Gilbert. He and our Rags struck up an instant rapport and Gilbert has become well and truly part of the farm family. “We are so grateful for the careful consideration that Redwings gave to allow us to rehome this lovely horse and, in so doing, support the work of this excellent charity.” Redwings has been rehoming rescued horses since 2005. Due to Covid safety measures, the charity is currently rehoming just non-ridden companion ponies and unbacked project horses - the latter receive basic training but are suitable to be
trained to be ridden by experienced Guardians once in their new home. Despite the changes, Redwings experienced its most successful rehoming year ever in 2020 and recently rehomed its 100th pony since the onset of the pandemic. Rachel Angell, Redwings’ Head of Norfolk Equine Operations and Rehoming, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that Gilbert is enjoying his new home – and has become a television star to boot! Thank you to Kate and Sarah for highlighting the sheer joy of rehoming a rescued horse and the importance of companion ponies. “Companions not only provide invaluable friendship for another horse, but they can also act as
calming travel buddies or can simply be wonderful pets in their own right. When you rehome from a registered charity like Redwings, you’re not only giving a second start in life to a rescued horse but you’re also providing space at the Sanctuary for another horse in need to be brought to safety. “We wish Gilbert, Rags, Sarah and Kate many happy years together!” Episodes of Escape To The Farm are available to watch on My5 at www.channel5.com. To find out more about Redwings’ rehoming scheme, visit www.redwings.org.uk/ rehoming
HEALTH & WELFARE
EQUITOOLZ LAUNCHES ROAD SAFETY COURSE
TO SUPPORT THE GREAT HORSES FOR HEALTH UK RELAY
OPEN DAY FOR LIVERY
ack On Track Rehabilitation And Retirement Livery on the Norfolk/Suffolk border quiToolz, the equine-specific online training provider specialises in the care and supported by the British Equestrian Trade Association wellbeing of retired horses and (BETA), has launched a free road safety course for ponies. participants of The Great Horses for Health UK Relay. “Set in the countryside in an The course covers the basics of riding on the road including what area of outstanding natural you and your horse should wear, how to ride junctions, turnings and beauty, we provide a relaxing roundabouts, hazards you may come across and how to deal with and stress free environment for them, road signs, signals and more. your horse. When you are no Kirsty Collinson developed EquiToolz after seeing a gap in the longer able to ride but do not market for interactive, accessible and cost-effective online training. want the trouble of loaning out She said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Relay and the your horse or losing ownership, charities they’re raising money for by providing this essential we can provide you with a training free of charge.” choice of livery plans,” explained The training is accessible to all, and Relay organisers recommend Holly Banns. those taking part complete the course as a subject refresher or to “We have over 28 horses here learn new skills. www.EquiToolz.com and we have just invested over £20k on our new track system, The Great Horses for Health UK Relay... ‘Paddock Paradise.’ A fundraising relay ride in celebration of horses and how they “The Paddock Paradise track have helped so many people throughout the last year, the Great offers one mile of different Horses for Health Relay 2021 is taking place throughout the UK surfaces, encorporating sand now. It consists of horse riders, carriage drivers, cyclists and and stoned areas, for those who walkers with the aim of raising awareness of road safety; wish their highlighting the impact horses can have on mental health; horses to have raising money for a number of equine welfare and mental a more health charities. ‘natural’ way Sophie Gifford, who was inspired to create the Relay by Captain of life.” Sir Tom Moore’s fundraising walk said: “One of the three key The vision principles for Horses for Health is vulnerable road user safety. was created We can all learn a bit more about how to ride safely on the by Holly and roads, make ourselves more visible and talk confidently with her husband non-horsey people about how to navigate horses.” Tom. She www.horses4health.co.uk explains,
“We do still offer 'traditional’ livery options, but we wanted the horses who come here to be healthy both physically and mentally, which is why we have different options available. “We believe our track system is the future of keeping horses. The tracks offer nearly a mile of horse-safe fencing with interlocking areas, hay stations, different surfaces, loafing areas, a big barn to choose to come in and out of. It has zero grass and consists of sand shingle and dirt tracks. We currently have fourteen horses on our track, which encourages good doers to walk more and eat less but have enrichment along the way.” Holly and Tom have an open day on the 25th September with goody bags from their sponsor, Pure Feeds. www.backontrack retirementlivery.co.uk
SINCE 1954, THE ABRS+ HAS BEEN THE ONLY ASSOCIATION DEDICATED TO REPRESENTING EQUESTRIAN ESTABLISHMENTS. THE ABRS+ CERTIFIED AND APPROVED SCHEMES FOR RIDING ESTABLISHMENTS, LIVERY YARDS AND EQUESTRIAN CENTRES OFFER A HALLMARK OF QUALITY, PROMOTE PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND PROVIDE SUPPORT FROM A TRUSTED ASSOCIATION. Article by Cheryl Johns, ABRS+ Trustee
COVID ‘LEARNING EFFECT’ FOR EQUESTRIAN ESTABLISHMENTS
he past fifteen months have been a tumultuous time for the equestrian industry, in particular the disruption to riding establishments and livery yards. The Coronavirus pandemic saw restrictions on owners being able to visit their horses - deemed ‘nonessential’ if on a serviced livery package, and riding schools and other riding establishments, such as trekking centres relying on tourism, having to close their doors with no sight in end to the business disruption. Many livery yards were also faced with an exodus of clients seeking cheaper livery packages, or having their clients fall behind with their payments due to reduction of incomes, and most riding schools had to shut in full with a complete loss of income, yet having the continuing cost of caring for horses on the yard. Despite equestrian associations like British Equestrian and the ABRS+ lobbying hard to seek clarity and financial support for their members, those who
managed to battle on were faced with complicated rules, sanitary protocols and a backlash from clients who felt interpretations of the government guidelines were excessive and unfair. We all remember the confusion that arose with the rules on ‘caring for pets’ and ‘exercise’, and the sheer lack of clarity and the confusion over eligibility for government financial support led to even further complication and stress for business owners. However, it appears that the residual effects of Covid are not all bad! The necessity for additional health and safety considerations, cutting costs and record keeping has resonated with the owners of many equestrian establishments who are keeping a number of their new protocols in place which they feel improves how they manage their business and deal with clients. One of the main aspects is to continue monitoring - or even limiting - visitors, be it friends or family accompanying riding pupils and horse owners, or even
sharers and equestrian professionals. Many also brought in allocated time slots, prebooking and rules on the provision of services by the yard or third parties, that they are intending to continue with. The requirement of recording professionals visiting yards and verifying the provision of services within the scope of ‘essential care’ – such as requesting copies of insurance or qualifications from instructors, freelance grooms and therapists – revealed that some were operating without the necessary insurance or professional registrations. Covid has also helped many yard owners understand the importance of biosecurity in equine terms too, and that
limiting access to the premises and equines also reduces the risk of cross-contamination for equine diseases. The benefit of recording details of pupils and livery clients - such as livery contracts, client and horse details forms - has also become a clear advantage to ensure sufficient contact details of anyone who may be on the premises and clarification of arrangements for horses in their care. So although Covid has been a stressful time, we’re nearly out of the woods now and it’s actually been a positive learning curve for many, despite the dramatic way in which it has forcibly come about! www.abrs-info.org
HEALTH & WELFARE
DYLAN: AN UNUSUAL CASE OF PERITONITIS This photo appears hazy due to the inflammatory debris within the eye. Clotted inflammatory material can be seen (red arrow) settling in the eye, and the pupil is in spasm (yellow arrow).
ylan presented to Cambridge Equine Hospital having developed a fever of unknown origin. At the same time he developed severe ocular pain, with his vision appearing reduced in both eyes. As is common in cases like Dylan, no ‘localising clinical signs’ were found on thorough examination, meaning that a systematic approach was required to get to the bottom of the problem. Blood samples were submitted for analysis, showing that Dylan had a low white blood
Normal abdominal fluid should be clear and pale yellow; this photo shows the abnormal fluid collected from Dylan’s abdomen.
cell count, and very high inflammatory marker concentrations. This was supportive of an infection being the cause of his fever, but does not confirm where the infection is present. Having these values is helpful to help track disease
Written by Sarah Voss, Equine Internal Medicine Clinical Teaching Associate
progression and response to treatment. Analysis also showed that Dylan was anaemic; this is a common finding in horses with underlying inflammation or infection, and unlike in other species is not due to iron deficiency. As peritonitis (infection/ inflammation in the abdominal cavity) is a relatively common cause of fever of unknown origin, and can be life threatening if not treated promptly, we began by taking a sample of fluid from Dylan’s abdomen. Analysis showed a high white blood cell count, confirming a diagnosis of peritonitis. Despite further investigation including abdominal ultrasound and rectal palpation, it was not possible to identify a cause. Unfortunately, this is the case for many horses with peritonitis. The peritonitis was treated with intravenous anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, and Dylan received plenty of TLC to encourage him to eat and drink. Dylan had also presented with severe ocular pain. Further examination revealed that he had severe uveitis affecting both
eyes. This is an inflammatory response inside the eye, which in Dylan’s case was secondary to the inflammation in his abdomen. This is a relatively rare complication, but is vision threatening if not treated aggressively. As well as steroid ointment to reduce the inflammatory response, Dylan received medication to dilate both pupils to relieve the muscle spasm affecting the iris. Dylan stayed in the hospital for one week, before being discharged to continue treatment at home. Dylan has since revisited the hospital for re-examination, and we are delighted that the inflammation in both eyes has now completely subsided, the abnormalities shown on his blood samples have normalised, and his abdominal fluid is now normal, indicating his peritonitis has resolved. He has regained the condition he lost when he was unwell, and has since returned to ridden work. Article supplied by: Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge
HANDY NEW APP LAUNCHED
eading horse health and supplement brand Equine Products UK Ltd has unveiled its first ever app, developed to enable customers to shop on the go and access support from the brand’s qualified equine nutritionist. The Equine Products UK app enables horse owners and professionals to browse the full EPUK product range, learn more about the products and buy, all from their mobile device. It also gives them access to exclusive offers, promotions and content, including advice and research from Professor JoAnne Murray at the University of Glasgow Veterinary School. www.equineproducts-ukltd.com
RIDER HEALTH & WELLBEING
MOVEMENT IS THE KEY
TO A HEALTHIER LIFE
or riders, movement is paramount as it is the key to increasing core stability. It is crucial to keep your spine healthy and mobilised; if your back is even slightly stiff it will soon affect your riding and the connection with your horse. This is why choosing the right chair is so important; it has to encourage ‘active sitting’, much like when you’re in the saddle. When was the last time you saw a backrest on a saddle! No one sits as actively as a horse rider which was the inspiration behind designer, Peter Opsvik’s kneeling ‘variable’ chair. He was inspired by the riding position where the legs hang down from the saddle around the sides of
the horse. The main feature of the Varier Variable Balans chair is not only the kneeling, but the fact that the knees are lower than the hips, promoting a more effortless uprightness, together with movement simulated by the rocking design. The tilted seat enables an open hip angle, encouraging a natural posture which will provide greater movement and also relieve any unwanted pressure on the discs. It stimulates the
blood circulation of the legs, provides more space to the internal organs and allows you to breathe more intensively. RRP: from £279. www.backinaction.co.uk
Shower In A Can is an antibacterial dry showerfoam you apply to your skin, and that dries off in seconds. No need to rinse or towel dry. It simply is a shower in a can. www.shower -in-a-can.co.uk
HORSES BENEFIT OUR MENTAL WELLBEING EXPLAIN THERAPY TEAM
nteracting with horses can be a great way to help ease mental health issues, in particular with stress and anxiety, explain the equine therapy team from Delamere Health. When petting your four-legged companion, your stress-related hormones reduce. Studies have shown that these benefits can occur after just five minutes of interacting with your horse. Interacting with your horse raises our feel-good hormones called endorphins. These include serotonin and dopamine, the hormones that calm and relax the nervous system. When we begin to smile, laugh or converse with our horses, we experience feelings of happiness, relaxation, overall mood improvements, and lower symptoms of anxiety. Being physically active outdoors has also been shown to reduce stress, anger, depression and improve overall mental and physical health. The sunshine naturally increases serotonin, a hormone that affects mood, while exercise produces endorphins, which boost your mood and reduce symptoms of pain. www.delamere.com
FastAid Disinfectant Wipes come in hygienic single use packaging and help to keep hands and surfaces contamination free, killing enveloped viruses, including Covid-19. The hand wipes are a practical alternative for when it isn’t possible to wash your hands with soap and water. www.robinson healthcare.com
RIDER HEALTH & WELLBEING
Small & Supercharged Mastermind is an online group supporting small equestrian and rural businesses and, as such, is bursting with amazingly knowledgeable people with lots to share. Each month we’ll be asking them a question and members will be sharing their top tips… this month’s question is…
Jane Brindley, Horse Riding With Confidence Scotland “When I can’t think of something new then I repurpose something old. I dig out an old post and say the same thing in a different way to give my message another chance to be seen.” www.horseridingwithconfidencescotland.co.uk
‘TELL US HOW YOU OVERCOME SOCIAL MEDIA BLOCKS?' Photo: Martha Lily Photography
Heidi Hunter-Cope and Thea Roberts, Horsefest “Share something useful – we tap into our HorseFest experts for top tips to share. Remember to have fun - there are always funny stories to share about our horses! Take a break – occasionally take a day off to recharge.” www.horsefest.org Amanda Marshall, 3 Donkeys Clothing “I am not a naturally descriptive creator, so ‘content block’ can be rather difficult to overcome. “I deal with it by ‘just shutting off’, stop stressing about it and refocus on other things. By taking time out for myself, inspiration often appears and allows me to regain momentum. A day off has not hurt my account so far.” www.3donkeys.co.uk Ruth Chappell, Dressage Anywhere “Revisit the posts that worked really well and think about how you can incorporate that into your social planning. Failing that, revisit older blogs and refresh the imagery but use quotes and snippets to update it.” www.dressageanywhere.com
Emma Batcheler, Hooves & Love “I get a lot of inspiration when I’m out hacking. I find my mind switches off from the day to day and I let it wander. Inspiration and ideas start flowing and the hardest part is I have nothing to write it down on!” www.hoovesandlove.co.uk
Emma Michael, Emma Michael Social Media Consultant “I look at what is trending on Instagram, take inspiration from trends and captions, then my creativity starts to flow again.” www.emmacmichael.com Tracey Cole, Tracey Cole NLP “When those blocks strike, it’s good to remember that people love value, so give them something of value, a piece of helpful advice or answer an FAQ. “We’re all a bit nosy, so tell us a bit about yourself and your life away from your business. I write down anything of interest and keep notes on my phone for times when I’m really stuck!” www.traceycolenlp.com
Abbi Grief, Abbi Grief Photography “I schedule posts as and when I think of them, otherwise I end up over-thinking things and make the process quite complicated for myself. “However, be sure to do any research that may help you - are there any special events that tie in with your business? Remember to make your posts relatable and always be you. Authenticity is key.” www.abbigriefphotography.co.uk
Find out more about the Small & Supercharged Mastermind group: www.rheafreemanpr.co.uk
your Instagram app, go to Home (bottom left) and tap on the + icon at the top, then select Reels. When you open this up, you’ll be greeted by the main options down the left (audio (where you can pick music if you want), time (15 or 30 seconds at the moment), speed I’M RHEA FREEMAN. I’M A PR, MARKETING AND (you can speed things up or SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT AND COACH WITH A slow them down here), effects, SPECIALISM IN EQUESTRIAN AND RURAL touch up, and timer (this lets you BUSINESS. I WORK WITH A NUMBER OF THE BEST decide how long you want to record a particular clip for)), and BRANDS IN THE INDUSTRY AND MANY THAT at the bottom you have the YOU’LL SEE IN THESE PAGES... capture button (and next to this, nstagram’s Reels joined any additional software or apps. you have different filters too). Instagram in August last This is a good place to A win, right? year. Since that time, this experiment and have a look at Reels can be great for a variety all the different options - find type of content seems to have been prioritised by the of different content. I use them some music you like and then to share three points around a platform with many people hold your finger on the capture subject (I go for three as I can enjoying high numbers of button and it’ll start recording. fit that in the time), to switch views on the videos they You can record a series between things (I have done create. But how can you get of short clips or you them where I click my fingers involved? Are they hard to can do one long one. and the item below changes), do? Should you even You also have the but you can also do much more ability to trim clips bother?! I’m here to help… flashy Reels if you up your Have you seen Reels? The as you go. Then, game on the ‘transitions’ (this is when you have chances are, you probably have, but you might not have where you move from one thing some footage, tap to another). One popular Reel is Preview and you realised it as they have where people jump in the air integrated them rather now have options beautifully into the Instagram and when they land they’re in across the top platform. In essence, Reels are different clothes, for example. (download, audio short, fun, videos that last for Don’t think that this is it - there controls, are some incredible, technical 15 or 30 seconds (at the voiceover, moment!). They can be set to Reels out there that show a lot stickers, line more in a short space of time, music. You can add effects. tool, and text). and while it’s great to see these Again, You can have slow motion and feel inspired by them, I sections and increase the experiment speed too, you can add timed simply want you to consider with these. giving them a go after reading text and stickers… there’s a When you’re this. And if you start simple, you happy, press whole lot you can do inside can scale up and improve. If Reels. And the really good ‘done’ (don’t you’re overwhelmed by news is that you can create worry, it something super technical, you will not really good Reels inside the might not start! app, without having to use post at So, how do you do them? Open
HAVE YOU TRIED REELS YET?
this point!), and ‘Share to’ to move onto the final screen where you can add your captions, hashtags, cover photo, tag people, decide if you want to share to feed, etc. This is the point where, if you pressed Share, it would publish. But you could also decide to save as a draft for a time in the future, or publish as a Story instead. There’s a lot more I could say about Reels, but if you’re looking to grow your presence on Instagram, I would definitely consider giving Reels a go. Some are gaining huge traction on the platform with thousands of views for people with a relatively small follower count. www.rheafreemanpr.co.uk Twitter (@rheafreeman) Instagram (@rheafreemanpr) Facebook (/RheaFreemanPR)
The Aldeburgh Fedora with Brown ribbon. RRP: £69. www.hicksandbrown.com
r e m m Su Style
Peony dress in Navy. RRP: £79.95. www.schoffel country.com
Stamford Linen Shirt in Blue and White. RRP: £69.95. www.whaleofatimeclothing.com
Sterling Silver Charm Bracelet. RRP: From £40. www.thesilverstable.co.uk
Brooke jacket in Camel. RRP: £199.95. www.schoffel country.com
Cornwall Cotton Crew Jumper in Oat. RRP: £89.95. www.schoffel country.com
Finsbury. RRP: £250. Saint Tropez. RRP: £140. www.fairfaxandfavor.com
Signature Stallion Scarf. RRP: £85. www.waringbrooke.com Ladies Linen Mid Blue. RRP: £59.95. www.oxford shirt.co.uk
Bordado Belt. RRP: £99. www.pampeano.co.uk
Wimbledon Skirt. RRP: £95. www.waring brooke.com
Fitzwilliam. RRP: £295. www.fairfax andfavor.com
Saint Tropez. RRP: £140. www.fairfax andfavor.com
Brooke jacket in Navy. RRP: £199.95. www.schoffel country.com
Signal Jumper. RRP: £44.99. www.equiboodle.co.uk
New Spring/Summer 21 collection. RRP: from £29 to £32. www.honestriders.co.uk
Jaguar Hairband. RRP: £27. www.waringbrooke.com Zip Neck. RRP: £110. www.tomlane.co
Green wash bag. RRP: £59. www.asalidesigns.co.uk Finsbury. RRP: £250. www.fairfaxandfavor.com
The Aldeburgh Fedora with Black Ribbon. RRP: £69. www.hicks andbrown.com
SAS Travel Bag. RRP: £365. www.asalidesigns.co.uk
Jessica jumper in Silver Grey. RRP: £99.95. www.schoffel country.com
Hold Your Horses Narrow Scarf. RRP: £69. www.clare haggas.com
Sterling Silver Necklace with 9ct Yellow Gold Bar. Mochara Half Zip Sweatshirt. RRP from: £190. RRP: £35. www.thesilver www.mochara.co.uk stable.co.uk
Tweed Fitted Waistcoat in a beautiful dove grey colour. RRP: £165.99. www.frimble.com
9ct Yellow Gold Stirrup Stud Earrings. RRP: £100. www.thesilverstable.co.uk
GUIDE TO COLOUR MATCHING IN THIS ARTICLE, JAMES HARRIS, COOWNER AT STOCKINJUR TALKS ABOUT USING COLOUR TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
ne of the most frequently asked questions we receive at Stockinjur usually involves either matching colours in an outfit or what colours best suit a horse. Over the past decade, equestrian fashion has become a huge deal, booming in both matching rider wear and horse wear. The term ‘matchy matchy’ can be found across all social media platforms, riders striving to match their beloved steeds. From base layers to fly veils, leggings and hat silks to saddle pads and bandages, the only thing better than matching your horse, is to match your horse with the right colour(s). This can sound a little daunting, but rest assured it really isn’t that complicated if you stick to the rules surrounding the ‘colour wheel’. Used in fashion and
design, the colour wheel offers different answers depending on its rules. Soft colour matching If you want a more subtle colour to your overall look, then analogous colours are the answer. These are positioned next to each other on the colour wheel. They possess a similar common hue. So take a chestnut, for example - the colours positioned next to the orange hues are reds, or on the other side, golds/yellows. Make a statement Making a statement is the often preferred route to take when competing with your horse. Complementary colours are definitely the way to go if you want to stand out. These are colours positioned opposite each other on the colour wheel. So if we take a bay this time
(browns are shown as darker orange on the wheel) and use the complimentary rule, the opposing colours would be light blues to a darker medium shade of blue.
colours for grey horses, pinks, sky blues and mints working well. If light colours aren't your thing, darker colours like burgundy and purple work well too.
Coordinated Another great look is to choose monochrome colours. If you think ‘monochrome’ you might envision a black and white universe cast in grey shadows; however, the word ‘monochrome’ actually indicates any single colour. The past few seasons have seen single colour themes dominating many fashion houses, their coordinated looks stemming from the use of varying hues of a single colour - this offers a stylish way to add depth. So if you rode a grey, adding similar grey and silver shades to you and your horse’s look would offer a coordinated finish.
Highlights If you have chosen a single colour throughout your entire look, how about adding a highlight colour? Again, if we go to the colour wheel and take a colour positioned opposite your choice, you could add this highlight to either the piping on your horse’s saddle pad or fly veil, and match it with either stars or patterns on your base layer and hat silk. Picture a bay and it’s rider donned in royal blue attire - not a bad look by any means, but now mentally add yellow piping to the saddle pad and yellow stars on the rider’s base layer and hat silk. Not enough yellow to take over; just enough to tie the whole look together.
Grey and black horses Of course, grey and black horses are easier to choose a more personalised colour for and you don’t need to adhere to the colour wheel. Whilst black horses can carry off virtually any colour, from light pinks to purple, greys are a little harder to choose for. You can't go wrong with lighter pastel
Personal preference Whilst there are no rules when it comes to personal preference, throwing the colour wheel and rules into the equation will always ensure you and your four-legged partner are a match made in heaven. www.stockinjur.com
Manufactured using highly breathable, lightweight, technical jersey, the perforated fabric of the new Fly Veil allows your horse to stay cool when competing and wicks away any moisture, whilst providing an excellent fit for ultimate comfort with a lightweight soft poly/cotton binding. Available in four standard colours Black, Grey, Navy and Royal but is also fully customisable in a range of body colours and bindings as part of the CUSTOM range to match your brand.
RRP: from £95.
Manufactured in the UK using extremely strong, yet lightweight British-made polyester mesh, the Mesh Cooler Rug is excellent at wicking away sweat post exercise with the added bonus of also helping to keep flies at bay. Both available from www.yarisequestrian.co.uk
The range showcases five signature designs: The Flamingo on White, The Flamingo on Blue, The Banana Leaf, The Peacock Feather and The Geometric Jungle Print.
Paladin has recently launched with an inaugural collection of vibrant general purpose, full size saddle pads. The outer lining of each pad is made using more than fifteen recycled one litre plastic bottles and the pads are filled with Bamboo Fibre, which is not only one of the most eco-friendly resources on the planet but also known to be incredibly wicking, absorbing up to 300% more water (or sweat!) than cotton. RRP: from £62.99. www.paladin-equestrian.com
The Bucas Sun Shower is a lightweight turnout rug developed to cater for both rain and sunshine being waterproof and breathable. RRP: from £104. Bucas Sun Shower Combi Neck RRP: £41. www.zebra products.co.uk
New 2020 Travel Boots from Bucas are made of tough outer nylon fabric and a stay-dry inner lining. Made with cushioned padding the boots will fully contour to the horse’s legs. RRP: £125. www.zebraproducts.co.uk
Equetech Bonner Ice Bandage brings fast and natural relief in the treatment of pain, swelling and inflammation. The bandage is medication free and freezes within ten minutes. RRP: £66.95. www.equetech.com
The Buzz-Off Deluxe Fly Mask offers super protection against insects and the sun. Reinforced darts help keep the mesh fabric away from the horse’s eyes. This mask can also be bought with no ears, suitable for horses who dislike having their ears covered. RRP: from £17- £38. www.zebra products.co.uk
IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR...
WE MEET THE FAMILY BEHIND THE ANIWELL BRAND AND DISCOVER HOW THEY HAVE BUILT A SUCCESFUL INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS OVER THE LAST NEAR-HALF CENTURY.
obin Sinclair qualified as a Pharmaceutical Chemist in 1961. He is the developer and managing director of Robin Pharmaceuticals Ltd, NZ, of which Aniwell is a division. He has also been registered as a Pharmacist in Mt Gambier, Australia and the UK, where he was a locum in Oxford. Robin comes from an era of Chemists who mixed ointments, creams and capsules to doctors’ prescriptions, therefore having an in-depth knowledge of how ingredients work together to form creams, ointments or liquids. Robin has been developing and manufacturing topical skin
Samantha Sinclair and 25-year-old Murielle
preparations for animals and human use (Dermatological issues) for over fifty years. He had an interest in developing and manufacturing topical products for the Veterinary industry and had been making Paral Eardrops for dogs and cats – drops for ear mites and medicated animal shampoos, after hours of his regular Pharmacy work. In 1975 Robin was engaged by the NZ Veterinary Wholesalers to produce a covering cream to combat the clinical effects of facial eczema with a cream to protect the skin of cattle and sheep. FiltaBac begins 1975 Facial eczema is caused by the absorption of the toxins from the fungus (Pithomyces chartarum) appearing in the grass during times of warm humid weather. When this fungus is ingested by cattle and sheep, the toxins from the fungi are isolated by the liver and create a photosensitive-reaction – intense photosensitivity, which causes severe irritation, inflammation and pain to any exposed lightly pigmented or
sparsely haired skin, resulting in peeling, weeping and severe damage to teats and udders. This happens to such an extent in dairy cows that it is impossible to milk the cow. The traditional application (1960-70) was a black cream or ointment. Robin rationalised that due to the photosensitivity, a breathable cream (not an occlusive ointment), should be reflective not absorbent to protect the underlying tissue. FiltaBac was developed and is used extensively throughout the dairy industry in NZ to this day. Aniwell brand grows from FiltaBac FiltaBac was joined by FiltaClear, specifically developed for any animals with sensitive skins and AMHVet with active manuka honey. This product was developed after Robin was initially involved with Professor Peter Molan, from the Honey Research Institute at Waikato University, developing irradiated
active manuka honey dressings to be used on chronic wounds in compromised patients in the 1990’s. Samantha Sinclair Joins the family business “I started my working career as a Veterinary nurse in a small and large animal practice. I then trained in New Zealand as a Registered Nurse where I went on to specialise in Intensive Care, Renal Dialysis and in the last six years of practice a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Diabetes. In Australia I specialised in diabetic wound care and educating other health workers in managing
wounds in a remote environment,” Samantha explained. “However after twenty-six years Nursing I realised a change was in the air. “Ever since I can remember, Robin, my father, had been making FiltaBac. We wore it as sun block in summer, riding our horses bareback in our bathing suits, we were lucky to graze our horses on farms that surrounded a lake. Our horses had it slathered on their white noses, cuts, bites and grazes (as did we!). “FiltaBac had been sold in Australia for many years and Robin had launched the Aniwell products into the UK in 2010. I loved the products, used and use them extensively on all our menagerie of animals so felt, with my background in wound management (albeit human!), I could be of assistance to the family business. “Fortunately for me they agreed and I have been with the company since 2012. “It has been a steep learning curve from working in a government run Health Institution to a private business, however the rewards of receiving feedback and images of our products doing amazing things for customers animals – horses, cats, dogs, sheep, cattle and the odd cracked tortoise shell, is so incredibly satisfying. “I think my dad is a genius and am thankful they have given me the opportunity to be involved with the manufacturing side of animal care products.” www.aniwell-uk.com
Five Minutes With...
atie Riley, 26, took up the role of General Manager for the Coolhorsesocks.co.uk brand in 2018. Coolhorsesocks is a small family business which started in 2008 as a germ of an idea by Tim Riley, Katie’s dad as Katie had constantly stolen his football socks to wear to the yard. When quizzed as to why the retort was “they don’t fall down”. So Coolhorsesocks was conceived with the plan to take this concept and create a Britishmade equestrian range of riding socks that met Katie’s approval. Fast forward twelve years and in that time Katie has graduated with a BA in Graphic Design, travelled Asia and Australasia and came back in 2018 ready to take up the leadership of the business. Katie has worked to develop the range with a keen eye for design, seasonality, performance and functionality with tremendous success trebling turnover in 2020. This success has been achieved by developing the online platform and social media exposure to engage with
equestrians across Britain, and working closely to knit bespoke riding socks for prestigious brands such as British Horse Society and Joe Stockdale to name a few. “We work with our knit partner in Leicestershire ensuring our British-made ethos is to the fore and that sustainability, particularly in the packaging used, is to be as sustainable as possible without compromising the goods delivered to our clients,” said Katie. Katie is a keen rider and has just
acquired her first horse since her pony days, Rebel a 5-year-old Irish Sports horse. Katie puts the socks through their paces every day, and being both a rider and a wearer she understands the needs of her customer base and ensures the quality, reliability and performance is never undermined. www.coolhorsesocks.co.uk
EVENTERS PROGRAMME: APPLICATIONS OPEN
pplications for the 2021 intake of riders to the Windrush Equestrian Foundation Young Eventers Programme will be open until 14th July 2021, and will be accepting applications from riders between the age of 21 and 28. Riders within that age range and competing at CCI3* level, and above, can apply to become part of the 2-year programme. The non-profit organisation aims to bring education and training to talented young event riders to support their futures, with the welfare of the horse and rider at the heart of the programme. www.windrushfoundation.org.uk
FARRIER INJURY SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS RISKS DURING HOOFCARE APPOINTMENTS
recent survey conducted by the British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association (BFBA) has highlighted the risks farriers are exposed to during hoofcare appointments. 349 farriers and farriery apprentices took part in the survey; 76% reported a minimum of one injury requiring hospital treatment and 32% reported visiting a hospital three or more times. In the study, fractures accounted for 42% of the injuries sustained with 56% of the injuries resulting from a kick from a hindlimb. 38% of the respondents reported a lasting physical impairment and 22% required more than four weeks off work. When asked to consider the most serious injury sustained, 31% of farriers felt that it could have been unavoidable. Being prewarned of known behaviours (22%), improved handling (46%), a better environment (30%) and sedation (41%) were among the recommendations suggested for potentially avoiding accidents. 60% cited misbehaviour as the cause of the injury sustained. Norfolk farrier, Mark Aikens BSc (Hons) FdSc DipWCF lost a finger when it became trapped under a hoof during a routine appointment on a
horse that he had cared for since it was a foal. “Having sustained a career threatening injury has made me prioritise safety at each appointment I attend; the horse’s wellbeing and an optimal shoeing/trimming for that horse is my priority. Communication between farrier and client is vital in reducing injury to the horse, handler and farrier and I strongly advocate that all parties are in agreement to achieve this with the horse’s welfare being the prime concern.” Craig D’Arcy BSc (Hons) AWCF, President of the BFBA, is “concerned but not surprised” by the results. “We know that injuries sustained whilst shoeing and trimming horses can be devastating, with many having lasting, long-term implications for farriers. The findings will provide the basis for a campaign in which the BFBA aims to highlight the risks – educating both farriers and the people caring for horses and ponies on a daily basis – helping them create an environment where optimum hoofcare services can be provided safely.”
Horses have been part of my life since I was 2years-old. I have always loved them and riding is also therapeutically beneficial as I suffer from chronic pain due to muscle and joint problems; due to these issues and poor balance, I have to ride in a western saddle. “As a child, as well as riding, I longed for roller-skates and ballet shoes, but was unable to join in these hobbies with my friends. So I stuck with horse riding. “Odin my Fjord Horse, truly was my soul horse. I rode the Dorset lanes and learnt to canter on him and he would stop if I lost my balance. I lost him aged 35 but during those years I wrote an inclusive children’s story based on me and him. I hoped
the story would spread a positive attitude towards ‘difference’ and encourage a can-do attitude in children facing challenges. In the story, like me, the character Molly is challenged by disability and longs to roller-skate with her friends. She meets Odin, and ogether, they find fun and selfacceptance. I see it that the book will enable Odin to go on helping people. “Then as I grew older I honestly
DAVID NOALIA ART EXHIBITION
avid Noalia lives and works in Seville, the capital of Andalusia. David returns to the Andalusian Horse, also known as the Pure Spanish Horse, for his artwork. He describes the subject as, “Essential; it allows me to reach any person or culture. It is a universal theme, and I am passionate about movement, elegance, and power.” David Noalia, who sold his first painting at seventeen, has won fourteen first prizes in art competitions throughout Spain and has held exhibitions in Madrid, Paris, Mallorca and Marbella. Exhibition Dates: July 13th and August 7th 2021 Location: Osborne Studio Gallery, London www.osg.uk.com
LOCKDOWN GIFTED THE TIME TO DEVELOP A CHILDREN’S STORY, LAUNCH AN EQUESTRIAN LEISURE-WEAR BRAND AND START A PODCAST believed my riding days were over. However more recently Rosie entered my life and my journey in the saddle began again. “Initially I was terrified and it took a team of three for every lesson, but with the help of the RDA, I am now riding Rosie. I’m a long way from cantering, but at least I am off the lead-rein! “With time on my hands lockdown then presented the perfect time for me to actually
publish Odin’s story, with the motivation to give something back to the RDA. “I have also joined forces with Crafty Ponies UK to offer cuddly Odins that through sales, are also donating to the RDA. “In addition during lockdown I also created Horse Power Equestrian Leisure Wear and every garment sold donates to World Horse Welfare. “I also set up my Off The Lead Rein Podcast to chat to inspiring
Leah and Rosie
equestrians and was even lucky enough to feature Natasha Baker MBE as a guest!” Odin’s book is available via Amazon or the book, toy ponies and Horse Power clothing are available via www.jadeleahy.co.uk
Photo: Caitlin Hodges Photography www.caitlinhodges.co.uk
5 Minutes With...
I started Stitch ‘n’ Stable during lockdown as I was unable to work in my regular job as a nail technician. “I have been riding since I was 6-years-old (I am now 18), and my current pony is a 13.3hh British Spotted Pony called Jeffery - he is my world. We enjoy competing in the local jumping league. “I had previously tried sewing but thought it wasn’t for me, but during the Covid pandemic I still needed to contribute to Jeffery’s livery fees so I took on the challenge of making masks by learning from a YouTube video. This led to me sewing and selling masks throughout the first lockdown to subsidise Jeffery. With the money left over once I’d paid my yard fees, I bought a pair of TechStirrups and made myself a pair of fleece covers to protect them and from there Stitch ‘n’ Stable was born. “I started with items such as stirrup covers and girth covers for the horses, and ear warmers and headbands for the riders. Almost all of our products are made of fleece which is easy to wash. I started with a limited choice of fabric but as my enthusiasm for my business grew, so did my client base which enabled me to add different patterns of fleece. “I found new clients were asking for things that I didn’t yet stock but I rose to the challenge by making these items (such as travel wraps and saddle covers) which I have now added to my product list. “My products are available on Etsy, EBay and Facebook with my website currently under construction.”
Photographs: kindly donated by equestrian photographer Rachel Bragg
AUTHOR & FUNDRAISER
Photo: Jo Hansford Photography.
EQUESTRIAN CAREERS ONE OF ONLY TWENTY THERAPISTS IN THE UK TO BE QUALIFIED IN RIDER AND EQUINE FASCIAL MANIPULATION, DEE SO’OIALO COMBINES PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS THROUGH BIOMECHANICS WITH RIDER STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING.
LOOKING AT THE
WHOLE PICTURE W hen it comes to solving training issues and improving performance, you have to look at both the horse and the rider to get a true understanding of what’s going on, says Dee So’oialo, founder of Dynamic Sports Performance. She is the Soft Tissue Therapist for many top horse and rider combinations, and works alongside leading experts in their field with the aim of improving equestrian athletic performance. “I always say it’s like making sure you've got the best Formula One car in the world, but not even considering the driver’s influence on it. As riders we can often fixate on our horse’s training, performance and way of going, but we as riders also play a huge part – and that’s why I like to work with both horse and rider to get the best results. “My analogy is that performance issues are a puzzle, and I need to
have all the pieces to be able to reach a solution. When I start working with someone, I’ll do a full initial consultation on both horse and rider to get as much information as possible. “That isn’t to say that there’s always a major issue to work on, and often I am just looking at how I can help with small margins of improvement in performance by assessing them both as athletes, and during biomechanics sessions. Some of the simple things I will also look at and encourage everyone to do is regularly look at if they are wearing out one glove or shoe more than the other, and to look at their breeches too as uneven wear can be quite good indicators of asymmetries. I’ll also look at the rider as well as the horse during a trot-up, to see how they walk and run – it’s amazing how tiny changes can lead to an improvement in performance. I also look at the inherent athletic limitations of the horse, plus the muscle
development, general conformation, lifestyle and fitness of both horse and rider. A crucial element for me is of course soft tissue mobility and any discomfort that might be present that could be limiting performance. “I often find that equine problems are the result of rider issues, and the horse then compensates – it’s a bit of a spiral effect. My job is to balance both halves of the partnership, making sure they are both moving to their optimum ability and not restricting one another, improving their strength and boosting their performance. I try to keep an open mind and think ‘outside the box’, but of course I’m not Mystic Meg, and it’s not possible to know exactly what a horse is thinking or feeling all of the time! All we can do is try to interpret their behaviour or actions as best we can, and I always try to get other professionals involved where needed to get the whole picture.
It’s really important for the entire support team to work together in a cohesive manner. “Equestrian sport is currently miles behind other sports like football or Formula One when it comes to analysis and riders fully appreciating how much marginal gains can lead to an improvement in performance, but I do think we’re getting there slowly. Most competition riders now understand the importance of including soft tissue therapy in their horse’s and their own routine, and they appreciate that our equine athletes can’t be expected to perform over and over again without any help and maintenance. “Solving those puzzles is a challenge, but it’s so satisfying when all those pieces come together. Watching those magic moments happen during biomechanics sessions, then seeing the improvement in competition, is definitely the best aspect of my job.” www.dynamicsports performance.co.uk
FIVE MINUTES WITH...
Much like all horse-mad kids, I spent my teenage years trying to spend as little time as possible at school, so I could spend more time with my horses. “Eventing was my passion, and obtaining Mary King’s autograph at Blenheim aged seven was a defining moment! I competed alongside academic and sporting commitments at school and university – but then reality hit. I had jumped my first three day events and intermediates, but my horse was becoming older and while I would have loved the opportunity to continue riding, a law conversion course beckoned with the promise of a sensible career. “With it came London, then stints in South East Asia and regular commutes across Europe. I took the plunge and focussed on corporate legal work, where an ability to work
long hours whilst maintaining focus and attention to detail (honed from an early age while eventing) held me in good stead! I chose to step right away from the horses, so I could travel widely and focus on developing a career. “As 30 approached, I became restless… and occasionally sneaked off at the weekends to sit on some poor unsuspecting borrowed horse. After about six months of this, and endless scrolling through for-sale adverts, we found Umarite. She too was slightly out of shape, but enthusiastic, and we snatched downtime in early mornings and weekends to channel our mutual enthusiasm
into some eventing again. “Despite our many shortcomings, we had an absolute ball, placing regularly at BE100, winning at Novice, and placing at CCI2*L and Intermediate – and so it started…. “I managed my legal career strategically, developing commercial experience at an inhouse role, and then moving to a part-time senior role at the European arm of a US investment bank. This allowed me to broaden my skillset and sharpen my focus: for me, good legal advice must take into account the commercial circumstances, so a client is not left with conflicting priorities. It also allowed me more time to train and acquire another horse. “In 2016 I took a step back from my legal career to focus on producing and competing in eventing and jumping at Stonehill Sport Horses. By that point, I was riding a number of horses up to 3* level, and had bred my first foals from the
original mares I started competing again on. These two, Umarite and Shenandoah Go Go Gin, are still with us and breeding lovely foals each year. I joined GunnerCooke LLP initially to allow me to continue working with previous employers on an ad hoc basis, while I worked out how best to combine my equestrian and legal interests. “As I became more reintegrated within the equestrian world, it was clear to me that there was an absence of accessible, clear, commercial legal advice. Rather than being the last resort, the law can help and support riders, owners, trainers, sponsors, brands, organisers, vets, physios, breeders, and many more by structuring relationships effectively. A contract effectively is just a way of managing risk between two parties, nothing more. “So – as well as stepping up to 4* level eventing (including two trips round Blenheim!) and developing an international showjumping career, I have been working hard to grow an equine law practice. We are all senior lawyers with sector expertise, from contracts to disputes, property and regulatory matters. We also all have personal knowledge of the equine world, and can genuinely understand the context of equine-related issues. For me, it allows me to combine my legal skills with my extensive equine knowledge, as a rider, yard owner, breeder, employer and more.“ www.gunnercooke.com www.stonehill sporthorses.com
ith global warming and levels of pollution on the rise, it’s never been so important that we all play our part in looking after our planet. Showjumper Camilla Bingham explains how equestrians can help be more green. “Trying to be sustainable on a competition yard is tricky. For a start sport horses require so much stuff – lots of hay, feed, rugs, boots, tack and gear – and they all have to have their own equipment because each horse has its own requirements. Also, as we all know, horses can be incredibly destructive! Things break all the time and need replacing, but this means adding to landfill – something we should all do our best to avoid. “Often it’s cheaper or easier to just replace old or broken items with new ones, but I always try to get things mended or repaired whenever possible. I’m not a big fan of clutter so I have regular clear outs and won’t keep things in the tack room if they don’t get used. I try to sell things second-hand before I am allowed to buy anything else new, though not everybody wants to buy used items these days. I find if something isn’t selling, just give it away for free instead of automatically binning it – often your ‘trash’ can be really useful to someone else. “One thing I’ve learnt over the
years is that that buying quality items is better because they last longer. It might be more expensive at the start, but it pays off in the long run as you don’t have to keep buying the same cheap items over and over again, and of course end up throwing the old ones away each time. Always go for quality over quantity, and try to thoroughly research each purchase before buying something and finding it’s not quite right. There are so many influencers these days reviewing products online, so be mindful that they might be being paid to promote something rather than giving their honest critique of a product. “I try to work with companies that share my aim of being more sustainable. So many equine items come in plastic bottles or jars, or wrapped in plastic, and the waste from these can soon mount up. I was lucky enough to meet Zoe from Honest Riders a couple of years ago and I really love their horse care products, which are cruelty-free and use all-natural ingredients. They also come in recyclable packaging, and this summer I’ve been particularly impressed by their soap bars, which have great results for bathing horses yet have zero packaging. Certain products such as fly spray, coat gloss and detangler I buy in bulk, as it’s cheaper and more
CAMILLA BINGHAM IS AN INTERNATIONAL SHOWJUMPER BASED AT PUTTENHAM PLACE IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. STARTING HER COMPETITION CAREER AS AN EVENTER, SHE SWITCHED TO SHOWJUMPING IN 2010. efficient to buy large 5l bottles to fill up the smaller spray bottles, rather than keep on buying more of the smaller ones. “I use Gain Horse Feed because I was impressed by their green credentials. Their feed comes in brown paper bags, which are recyclable, and they source their ingredients from working farms that are trying to be more sustainable in terms of promoting soil health and biodiversity. “One thing we can all do is spend a bit of time researching which companies we buy from. Often their website will have a section on their environmental credentials, or you can ask their sales reps about how the company is working towards
Camilla is sponsored by GAIN Equine Nutrition, Honest Riders, Lord and Lady Equestrian and Protexin.
being more sustainable. “I try to recycle as much as possible, and with any rubbish we do have we keep separated according to material, so plastic in one, string in one, and bags in the other and so on, so when we take it to the tip it can be put in the appropriate bins. At shows we try to bring our own food and water, and even take our own mugs so we can avoid getting those takeaway cups from the show cafés. “These things might not seem much, but if everyone in the horse world does what they can it really will make a difference.” www.puttenhamplace.com
Photo: Indie Pics
ndurance GB is planning to build on a postlockdown surge in grassroots membership and participation this season with a new scheme #GoEnduranceGB to encourage riders to step up to graded level competition. #GoEnduranceGB offers the opportunity to enter up to two novice Graded Endurance Rides (GERs) up to 40km before becoming a full riding member of Endurance GB with a further £10 in membership or ride entry vouchers to all those who complete a ride under the scheme. Designed to smooth the path of riders who enjoy the experience of pleasure rides to challenge themselves and their horses at the next level, anyone entering a graded novice class through #GoEnduranceGB 2021 will have support from experienced riders and on completion an introduction to the vetting process with a post-ride pulse check for their horse. www.goendurancegb.co.uk
SARA PARROTT & STARLIGHT Myself and my partner Craig Elenor have a yard of show horses, most of whom we produce for clients although we do have a few of our own. These range from lead reins, show ponies and M&M’s, to horses, youngstock and stallions.”
that she would buy her for me to show. “She was very raw when we bought her, but she has really blossomed over the years. When Flick gave up the show horses two years ago she gave me the opportunity to buy her, which we did.”
How did you come to start riding Starlight? “One of my team Katie Ramsden who worked for me said she thought she knew a horse I might like. She showed me a video of Starlight, known as Queenie at home and I liked her straight away. “After watching her trot up inhand on the road in the video, Craig and I went to see her that afternoon and as soon as we walked in the yard and saw her we knew we had to have her. A client at the time who is now a good friend, Flick Haigh, said
Tell us more “She is a 16hh, Native Coloured mare and is now 9-years-old. Her stable name really suits her perfectly as she is definitely the queen of the yard. She can be hot at times but has a heart of gold, loves children and is the perfect nanny for the foals.” What makes her special? “Queenie just has that star quality we look for in a show horse, she loves to perform. To ride she’s like a plaited horse, she’s so light on her feet and
powerful, she’s super spooky at home yet the moment she steps in the ring she’s into best behaviour mode. She stands like a rock at the biggest shows yet is ready to turn it on when you ask.” What is her routine? “Queenie’s routine is very basic, she likes to be in the field as much as possible; summer time she’s out at night and vice versa in the winter. As long as she gets her breakfast and dinner she’s happy! As she’s mine she’s last on the list to ride, so she gets ridden as and when we have time - she’s no different if you ride her every day or give her a week off.” Your major wins? “Queenie is very reliable and bar her novice year she has won every HOYS qualifier she has been in - hopefully I’ve not jinxed my luck! However we do not over show her, she’s lucky to do six shows a year. She’s been second at the Royal International Horse Show twice, she loves it there, it’s one I would really like to win on her. It was fantastic when she went Supreme of Show at CHAPS last year which was amazing.”
“She has two feeds a day, TopSpec Comprehensive Feed Balancer, TopSpec UlsaKind Cubes, TopChop Lite and TopSpec Calmer. She has haylage when she is in and just loves her food and looks so well with a shiny and glossy coat.”
NUTRITION LOCATED IN NEWMARKET BUT WORKING BOTH NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY DONNA CASE BSC (HONS) IS THE HIGHLY EXPERIENCED EQUINE NUTRITIONIST WHO RUNS ‘THE HORSE FEED GURU’, AN EQUINE NUTRITION CONSULTANCY. FORMERLY A COMMERCIAL NUTRITIONIST ACROSS THREE BRANDS, NOW COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT, HER AIM IS TO DEMYSTIFY FEEDING FOR THE GOOD OF THE HORSE AND RIDER.
TRAVEL FEED TIPS F inally (yippee) we seem to be in a place where we can travel more with our horses, whether that be to competitions, clinics, lessons, beach rides or just going further afield to enjoy exciting new hacks. But do you know how you can help your horse, particularly in the heat of the summer with these trips whilst travelling? As a nutritionist who has worked away at various equestrian events, the best advice I can give, is to plan
ahead of time. Always take supplies for longer than you think you need. For example if it is a one hour trip for a lesson, take a full day supply of forage, feed and water.
These short trips are more likely to catch people out; for example when you think you will be back home and actually something goes wrong, like a severe delay in traffic. Having plenty of supplies to offer your horse in these situations will at least ease some concerns. Do take plenty of forage with you, but don’t suddenly switch forage type. I often see owners switch their forage supply for journeys e.g. they may be on hay at home and suddenly decide to switch to haylage to travel. This is not ideal, remember we want to make changes gradually, this is not the time to switch a big part of your horse’s daily feed ration to something different. Some horses simply do not eat well whilst travelling, whilst others will happily tuck in. Make sure you take plenty of
rest breaks on long journeys to offer a relief for all horses but also to give those who struggle to eat whilst on the move a chance to tuck in. Always allow much longer to reach your destination. On long journeys it is also worth during these breaks to offer forage from the floor. Have as much of your own water with you as possible and offer it regularly to help your horse stay hydrated. Just like when we travel and find the taste of the water unusual this can be off putting to some horses. This is the last thing you want in order to help them stay hydrated. Another tip for those who drink less whilst away is give very wet feeds or mashes (introduced ahead of time) to increase fluid intake. Do ensure you have a suitable electrolyte strategy in place for all horses. www.thehorsefeed guru.com
HorseHage is very convenient to take to shows and for travelling because it’s highly compressed into half its original size and packed into handy sized bales which can be stored outside or on a roof rack if necessary. You will love the way it splits into wedges which makes filling up your hay net so quick and easy, and because most ponies love the taste, there is rarely any wasted. HorseHage is a dust-free, pure product. It has no artificial additives and comes with a 100% quality guarantee. It is available in four varieties – Ryegrass, High Fibre, Timothy and Alfalfa, offering an option for all types of horses and ponies. The High Fibre and Timothy versions are great for ponies and can be safely fed to laminitics. Feeding a dust-free forage such as HorseHage is extremely important to reduce respiratory problems, especially in a confined space such as a horsebox, and to enable your pony to perform at his best. www.horsehage.co.uk Revive is a great tasting powdered horse supplement that maintains essential minerals and salt lost through sweat. Formulated to help restore and maintain the critical balance after dehydration. Contains necessary minerals including calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium. RRP: £26.80. www.animal-health.co.uk Apple Lytes Granules have been carefully formulated to replace the key electrolytes and encourage drinking to help prevent dehydration and maintain peak performance all season. Apple Lytes are highly palatable and should be mixed in feed. Clean, fresh water should always be available. RRP: £18.50/80 day supply. Also available in an easy to administer paste. RRP: £11.50/30ml syringe. www.equine-america.co.uk
WIN! WIN! ONE READER TO WIN A TRICKLE NET ORIGINAL AND ONE TRICKLE NET MINI! Trickle Net makes high quality, robust and practical feeding nets that are designed to encourage trickle feeding and reduce the forage intake of your horse. They keep your horse eating for much longer than traditional haynets, while also reducing waste – saving you money! Each Trickle Net has been hand-stitched in England, providing you with the highest quality, most sturdy and robust feeding net available. The nets are made from super strong, 4mm braided polyethylene, and are waterproof and rot-proof so can be soaked or used in a steamer. The holes are 25mm in size and will not stretch or tear. The Trickle Net Original holds around 8.5kg of dry hay, which will keep your horse happy for hours, while the Trickle Net Mini holds up to 4kg, making them perfect for ponies or for using in your horsebox or trailer. www.tricklenet.co.uk
By Dr Tom Shurlock, British Horse Feeds consultant nutritionist
THE WHAT, WHEN, HOW, WHY OF
ashes have been a staple of equine nutrition for many years. Looking back at a turnof-the-century ‘bible’, Stable Management & Exercise: A Book for Horse Owners & Students by Captain M W Hayes (1900), mashes are mentioned: “We should not overlook the important fact that bran mashes are a medicine, owing to the presence of contained water, while dry bran is a food.” And again, ‘It is a pretty general custom to give a bran mash every Saturday night, or oftener as the case may demand.’ As such, a bran mash was believed to be a therapeutic dietetic, after a day’s activity
(such as hunting), acting as a digestive calmer and laxative. Furthermore, adding other ingredients to the mash – such as linseed – was considered as an aid to urinary health. Mashes, therefore, tended to be introduced for specific purposes. In the main they were high fibre bases, usually bran, as these products are absorbent and can take in plenty of water. The instructions for their manufacture are simple: Add as much boiling water as possible, stir and leave to stand. Over the years, the ‘therapy’ element of a bran mash has waned, but the concept of a hot mash as a winter treat became a norm, as well as the habit of a
weekender! Although there is a beneficial element to this and subsequent uses. As a winter warmer a hot mash can help support body core temperature. The gut is a centre
of heat generation, from the fermentation of feed by the microbiotica, but energy is lost to the system as cold water and feed needs to be warmed up. By the same token, feeding a cold mash during warm weather can help cool the horse. Beyond the concept of warming or cooling a horse, there are other aspects of a mash that should bring its practice into mainstream feeding, and that is the benefit of inherent moisture. Considering that grass can be up to 85% moisture, it seems a little odd to present other feedstuffs as a mainly dry food. Obviously, what we offer in the way of supplemental feeding are dry products like cereals and seed proteins, and we preserve forage by drying, but do we consider what we lose by
situations where it may not drink; more importantly, the action not only satisfies behavioural needs (a reduction of stress by achieving a ‘rest’ activity), but it allows the stomach to refill, absorbing extraneous acid. The benefits of feeding a mash, highlighting hydration, the support of body temperature maintenance, digestive health and efficiency, as well as sparing the wear and tear on teeth, suggests that it is a sensible dietary option across the age and activity of the horse. feeding dry products? On the dehydration. Although severe Whether it is warming a horse face of it, nothing much as we dehydration may be obvious, on a cold winter night, simply provide a water bucket. mild conditions may go encouraging feeding of a However, there are negative unnoticed. Constant access to dentally compromised veteran, aspects. fresh water is advised but there or rehydrating a performance The act of chewing is a are situations when the horse animal, mashes should be a mechanical force. Inherent water cannot, or will not be able to lubricates the action and drink. Here a mash is the answer, major component of a diet. The fact that many people soak their enables greater penetration of especially if it is on the watery saliva. This, in turn, allows side. A horse will generally eat in hay (for whatever reason) before feeding or provide mashes for subsequent conditioning, specific purposes show that enzyme breakdown and there is an acceptance of wet digestion of feedstuffs to be feeding, and that a mash can be conducted with greater an integral part. efficiency, reducing the chances Nowadays, the idea of a bran of gut dysfunction, such as mash as a weekly medicine is no diarrhoea or colic. As important, longer valid but there has been there is less wear and tear on the an increase of fibre diets that are teeth; veterans benefit from suited and recommended as moist feeds. feeding as a mash. Bran, itself, is As a rule of thumb, for every kg not the ideal ingredient – even of dry feed intake, a horse will Captain M W Hayes suggested ‘a need at least two litres of water. regular supply of carrots or green This value increases markedly food is much better for horses when the weather is warm, or than bran mashes’ – but there is the horse is exercising. Heat loss, a host of fibre blends that have through sweat, is a major been developed to be fed moist. mechanism of temperature And preparation cannot be control (alongside blood flow to simpler. Hot or cold water – no the skin and, at the other end of longer the boiling method of the scale, shivering). Under 1900 – and you’re good to go! certain conditions (exercise, www.britishhorsefeeds.com stress etc.) this can lead to
Suggested Products... Made using only best quality British beet pulp, SpeediBeet is subjected to British Horse Feeds’ patented cooking process to produce a unique soaked feed. Can be fed in larger quantities to a poor doer for weight gain; in small amounts to overweight horses; as a carrier for a multivitamin and mineral supplement. www.britishhorse feeds.com RRP: £12.50-£13.50.
Equerry Cool Mash is a quick-soaking mash for horses that need a low energy feed. Equerry Cool Mash is cerealgrain-free, has low levels of starch, and benefits from a ‘Non-Heating’ formula. Contains highly digestible fibre sources including sugar beet, and yeast to support a healthy digestive system. Added vitamins and minerals include magnesium. www.equerry horsefeeds.com
KEEP HORSES TRIM TO REDUCE HEALTH RISKS:
CASE STUDIES TO INSPIRE OWNERS
pillers hopes that by sharing two real life case studies they can help highlight the importance of good weight management to minimise the risk of serious conditions such as laminitis. “We really hope these case studies will encourage owners to take action to prevent their horses from piling on the pounds,” said Clare Barfoot RNutr, Marketing and Research and Development Director at Mars Horsecare UK, home of the Spillers brand. “Carrying excess weight means carrying increased health risks not only because of the direct weight-associated effects, but also due to the increased risk it poses for certain clinical conditions, in particular laminitis. We hope Bess and Star’s stories will resonate with horse owners and inspire them to keep Star before their horse or pony at a healthy weight all year round.” www.spillers-feeds.com
Star’s story... In December 2018 Jane Witton’s 15hh Welsh Cob Star started to show signs of lameness in her front feet. “My vet diagnosed mild laminitis due to a few factors, one reason being her weight,” said Jane. “I was told to cut down the amount of sugar, starch and calories in her feeds and cut down her hay intake.” After around three months of soaked hay, smaller feeds and restricted grazing, Star lost around 50kg, had recovered from the bout of laminitis, and received positive feedback from the vets. “I continued to slim her down over the next six months,” said Jane. “When she was weighed and body condition scored, we actually felt she was now slightly
underweight – certainly safer than being overweight but she needed more energy to cope with an increase in workload.” Star was given a fibre and oil-based cube to provide additional energy whilst still restricting her starch and sugar intake. “We are continuing to monitor her weight and diet to make sure we reduce the risk of her gaining weight and potentially suffering from laminitis again,” said Jane. ”My advice to owners is that sometimes being harsh is the kindest thing to do in the long term. Feed smaller amounts more often and get nutritional advice, there’s always someone willing to help.”
Identify the right feed for your horse...
engie’s new Green Cross logo, has been introduced to Dengie Hi-Fi Molasses Free. The new eyecatching logo was designed to help horse owners easily identify the right feed for their laminitisprone horse or pony and is accompanied by an endorsement from The Laminitis Site on the back. However there has been no change to the product itself - it still contains just 2.5% naturally occurring sugar which is between 5 and 10 times lower than average grass hay. Hi-Fi Molasses Free is low calorie making it ideal for good doers and overweight individuals and is high in fibre. www.thelaminitissite.org
Bess’ story... Lorna Purser’s 15.1hh cob mare Bess was in regular work and enjoying Riding Club activities. “She has always been a good doer but although prone to a cresty neck she wasn’t fat,” explained Lorna. Unfortunately, Bess was kicked in the field which resulted in fractured splint bones and six months of box rest over the winter. “As Bess was Bess showing gradually brought her crest back into work I noticed that she wasn’t 100% Slimmed down Bess sound,” continued Lorna. “Lameness investigations and steroid treatment followed. Meanwhile Bess was doing less exercise and gaining more weight.” The following winter
Bess came down with laminitis. With the help of her vet and a Spillers nutritionist Lorna immediately put Bess on a strict management plan. Initially this involved box rest with soaked and weighed hay and a balancer, over time restricted grazing could be introduced, her workload was increased gradually, and her bodyweight monitored weekly. Lorna now has a sharer to help keep Bess’ exercise levels high. The mare is body condition scored and weigh taped weekly and is on a low calorie, low starch and high fibre diet plus a balancer designed to supplement a restricted diet to ensure Bess is still getting the nutrients she needs.
PRINCESS: BEST FOOT FORWARD
hen Emma Richardson’s miniature pony, 8year-old Princess became ‘footy’ she was fortunate that her farrier was able to help. “I have a fantastic farrier, Jonathan Nunn who is highly regarded for his remedial work and who recommended using LaminAid from Cavalor. I just added the maintenance dose as she is very small. Within three days she was so much better and was back to her old self.” Cavalor LaminAid is a unique balanced combination of several essential oils, each charachtarised by a specific structure, composition and effect. It also supports circulation towards the hoof. www.cavalordirect.co.uk
SUMMER WEIGHT WATCHING...
t this time of year, it can be all too easy to let your horse graze away all day and then offer him more forage and concentrates when he is brought in at night, without a thought for the extra calorie intake. If your horse is a ‘good-doer’ he will gain weight quickly and easily, and may be a little on the greedy side, constantly eating up and thriving well. Obesity can place extra stress on limbs, joints and the spine as
well as the lungs. It will prevent a horse from performing at his best and he may also become lazy and sluggish. It is important to realise that overweight horses and ponies still require the essential vitamins and minerals to lead a healthy life. If they are out grazing during the day, additional forage, such as High Fibre or Timothy HorseHage which has a lower sugar content compared to hay, can be given when they are brought in for the night.
vitamins, minerals, biotin, trace elements and antioxidants and Mollichaff HoofKind Complete is when fed at the recommended ideal for the good doer as it is a levels, can be used as the sole complete low energy, low starch, bucket feed. It is suitable for horses and ponies prone to low sugar, high fibre feed in a bag. It contains a balanced blend laminitis. www.horsehage.co.uk of oat straw, alfalfa, fibre pellets, soya oil,
NUTRITION into bedding, manure and urine. From the field Chelsea Pearce’s 3* eventer Kilnaboy Buffet has used The Forager for about three months. On the slightly small side, he needs to mind his girth to stay fighting fit. “It’s nice for him to be able to pick away at his hay through the day,” Chelsea reports. “It keeps him occupied a bit longer.” She has always been a fan of horses eating with their head in a natural position. “We like them stretching down over their necks and backs.” The Forager base can be filled with sand to improve stability in the stable, but Chelsea’s horse didn’t require that. “It’s very sturdy in the stable.” “And there’s not the mess of the hay left on the floor and mixed into the bedding,” she continues. “That is a massive plus.” Two of Hannah Biggs’ dressage steeds have been enjoying the Forager for a few months. The 5year-old Millie is “a little The Forager enables the horse to dramatic” and was shy of the they are happy to share their equipment at first. eat with its head in a lowered experience with fellow horse “It only took her a day or so for position. This is ideal for owners. The experiences are her to get 100% used to it,” musculoskeletal health and powerfully positive and Hannah says. At the other end drainage of respirable irritants plentiful. of the Like Haygain Hay Steamers and from the airways. temperament Haygain’s ComfortStall Flooring, A ring around the “...It’s nice for him spectrum, Dutchie outside of the Haygain’s Forager delivers to be able to pick “went straight in” cylinder gauges multiple health benefits. consumption to It slows down the horse’s away at his hay for his hay on first use. consumption, putting them on help monitor through the day - it weight or a pace nearer to that Mother keeps him occupied Healthy appetite. Nature intended for digestive alternative function. More time eating small By containing a bit longer...” Hannah considers the hay, The quantities of forage keeps The Forager a Forager keeps it horses happily busy, reducing healthy alternative to eating off clean and prevents waste that boredom behaviours. the stable floor or from a hay occurs when forage is trampled Also following nature’s design,
SCIENCE BORNE OUT IN THE STABLE
quine nutritionists, veterinarians, product designers and scientific researchers have all weighed in on Haygain’s Forager over the last several years. Computer assisted design software, mathematical calculations and stress tests in a research laboratory were all part of the process. None of that, however, means much if not melded with the feedback from horse owners' experience with the equipment in day-to-day stable life. Now that the subtly refined Forager is fully on the market,
net. The former leads to forage longer than Chelsea and waste and the latter to concerns Hannah’s horses to embrace The over the impact of holding the Forager. But he came around neck in an unnatural position for after a more gradual extended periods of time. introduction recommended for Hannah’s horses live out at initially reluctant horses. By night and come lowering the inside in the regulator grid to a morning to a mid-point on the “...it can slow the cylinder and Forager full of hay freshly steamed in horse down but placing loose hay a Haygain Hay without making atop it, Nicola Steamer. enabled Archie to them feel “They’re eating first eat his hay at that all morning a normal pace and restricted...” and afternoon.” effort, then She has already comfortably segue recommended it to fans. into pulling small bits of forage “Someone who had a horse that through the grid to get the last is greedy and messy asked me if segment of his meal. The it would be good and I thought adjustment is an example of it would be perfect for them. how The Forager can serve a Using either of the two grids, it variety of horse health needs can slow the horse down but and preferences. without making them feel The Forager is now enabling restricted. Keeping a natural hundreds of horses to enjoy trickle of food into their bellies is more leisurely, more healthy really healthy.” meal times. Nicola Bell’s Archie took a little www.haygain.co.uk
REDUCE YOUR PLASTIC USE WITH REFILL SACKS
he Golden Paste Company is encouraging regular TurmerAid users to consider purchasing their 15kg sacks to help reduce plastic use as part of their ongoing commitment to the environment. The sacks are also excellent value for money and customers will make a saving of over £20 when purchasing a 15kg sack rather than using the same amount of TurmerAid packaged in the 2kg tubs. Customers have the choice to be plastic free or purchase the 2kg TurmerAid tubs. TurmerAid, the complete turmeric pellet for horses, is sold in plastic food grade tubs; these tubs are not made from recycled plastic but are recyclable and reRRP for a 2kg tub £19.99; 15kg sacks are £125.99. usable. The Golden Paste Company removed plastic scoops from the 2kg tubs last year to reduce plastic use as a standard tablespoon can be used instead. Using one and a half level tablespoons to measure out the pellets is the equivalent to one of the scoops that was previously included in the tub. Said Sales Manager, Hattie I’Anson: “The Golden Paste Company is committed to minimising the impact of its activities on the environment. We take care to recycle and reduce our waste internally, and have applied this thought process to our products and our packaging. “From loose fill packing peanuts made from potato starch that dissolve in water, to reducing plastic packaging, we are constantly evaluating our operations to ensure they are as efficient as possible. “Our bespoke branded tape is fully recyclable and the ‘sticky’ is made from potato starch. Case packs are fully recyclable or compostable and are made from cardboard. The Golden Paste Company has also stopped using bubble wrap.” The only pelleted turmeric supplement on the market, TurmerAid is added to the diet all year round and over the summer months it can be fed straight from the hand or alone from a bucket if daily feeds are reduced. www.goldenpastecompany.com
MOLLICHAFF CALMER COMPLETE HELPS RUBY!
welve-year-old Ruby, a pure bred Oldenburg mare owned by Jessica Clack regularly competes in dressage and showing and loves being out in the field or going on hacks with her companion, Penny, an Irish cob. However Ruby did become anxious and excited at times, particularly with puddles and water, and when travelling and competing. Jessica heard about Mollichaff Calmer Complete in a magazine and decided to give it a try. Mollichaff Calmer Complete is a complete fibre feed formulated for nervous or fizzy horses. It is high in fibre and can be used as the sole bucket feed when fed at the recommended levels as it contains a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement which includes elevated levels of magnesium along with vitamins B1 and B12, plus camomile, lemon balm and mint. It’s low in starch and sugar and is suitable for all horses and ponies including those prone to laminitis. Said Jessica: “Since Ruby has been on Mollichaff Calmer Complete, she is a much calmer and happier horse, particularly when travelling to events.” www.horsehage.co.uk
Super So Kalm Powder is essential for calming behaviour. The three key ingredients are specially formulated to reduce stress in a multipronged approach. The magnesium soothes neuro-muscular excitability, calcium strengthens nerve function, and Vitamin B1 maintains energy levels. RRP: £30.99. Paste form RRP: £19.99/30ml syringe. www.equine-america.co.uk
eCalm is a non-magnesium, natural calmer which has been developed by world-leading veterinary surgeons and scientists with proven, statistically significant results. Its prebiotic-like functionality comes from novel ingredient Wheatgerm Extract which has been shown to influence the horses natural gut microbiome which in turn supports calmness and wellbeing, as well as supporting gut functionality and the maintenance of a healthy skin and coat. Horse owners have confirmed eCalm’s noticeable results: Ollie’s owner comments: “I have tried many other calmers which had no real effect. He is a character but, since using eCalm I have found him to be much more settled in his stable and whilst out competing.” RRP £37.99/1kg tub (lasting approximately 50 days for the average 500kg horse). www.nettexequine.com
Tranquil E is a calming supplement for horses, based on an aqueous infusion of Valerian. Tranquil E is a natural calmer used for when spirits are excessively high and specific unmanageable conditions can lead to control problems. This calmer will naturally help calm a horse/pony without removing its ‘competitive edge.’ In situations such as an activity that may cause anxiety or stress for example transportation, schooling etc, use Tranquil E 1-2 days prior to the activity and again on the day of the activity. Horses and ponies that react to situations such as loud noise, severe weather, sudden movement, new surroundings etc, should be given Tranquil E on a regular basis. RRP: £17.35. Settleze is a natural calming supplement for horses. The calming powder works without containing any medicinal drugs and will not cause drowsiness. Settleze is an ideal horse anxiety supplement for use before competitions and training, as it allows horses to keep alert without anxiety. RRP: £25.10. Both www.animal-health.co.uk
STABLES, YARDS & PADDOCKS
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN
EQUESTRIAN PROPERTY ANGELA CANTRILL IS A CHARTERED SURVEYOR AND PLANNING CONSULTANT AT THE RURAL PLANNING CO, ONE OF HER SPECIALISMS IS PLANNING FOR EQUESTRIAN FACILITIES.
ou find yourself searching through pages and pages of online marketing to find that dream equestrian property; some fit the bill but are out of budget and some have little or no facilities – could you get planning to upgrade these? When considering buying property which will be used for equestrian pursuits, what should you look out for? If you are looking to add equestrian facilities to a property such as manèges, stables, horse walkers, canter tracks, for instance, you will need planning permission. There are several planning implications that you would be wise to consider, particularly if you find yourself looking to buy a non-equestrian property, as there is a big
difference between equestrian use and agricultural use. Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) can differ in their approaches to assessing applications, so it’s worthwhile taking time to research the likelihood of getting planning permission for your chosen proposal. All the usual considerations when choosing a property should be taken into account from a practical point of view such as location, access, facilities, stabling, hacking opportunities, fencing, security, water and electricity supply, soil type and drainage; but when looking to develop or enhance a property and adding equestrian facilities there are several considerations: 1. Do your homework –
if you are looking to install and add equestrian facilities, look at other applications which have been successful, or not so successful, in the area and identify why; then you can decide on what aspects will be important for submission of your application. I would suggest that an approach to the LPA is made only once you have done the research and have a strategic plan of how you propose to develop the property. 2. Public rights of way (PRoW)– it can be great having a bridleway through or near the property so you can access hacking locally but do consider the potential frequency of use by other users. If the footpath or other PRoW is a special/historic route, this may
impact on an LPAs planning decision. 3. Access – how you get to and from a property and the traffic generated is likely to be an important planning aspect, Two important messages to take away are: 1) Do your homework early and take advice before approaching the LPA 2) Do some strategic thinking, particularly if the property is in the green belt or has any other designations which might impact on the success of planning applications – identify what is there already; can it be reused or replaced if necessary?
depending on whether you would like a private facility or to operate a riding school, for instance. Depending on the severity, if you need to drive along a single-track road with poor visibility from the access onto the highway, it might be worthwhile getting a professional opinion before committing to the property. 4. Designations – whether the property is in, or near, any special designations, such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or Green Belt (GB), or other historic or environmental designations, will impact on how the LPA decide a planning application. As a rule of
thumb, a GB designation sets a very ‘high bar’ on applications, where any new structures are likely to be resisted by an LPA, however, the re-use of a building could receive more support and if new agricultural buildings are erected, could the use of these be changed at a later date? Certain designations are available to view on https://magic.defra.gov.uk from which you should be able to identify what designations potentially affect the property. For more information on planning for equestrian facilities visit www.therural planningco.co.uk
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY & SAFE
ritish equestrian riding surfaces manufacturer Martin Collins Enterprises Ltd would like to assure past, present and future customers that their CLOPF fibre is safe and environmentally friendly. The Environmental Agency recently confirmed they are withdrawing the automatic allowance for the use of shredded waste carpet in equestrian surfaces. Martin Collins Enterprises Ltd
do not use waste carpet in their world renowned performance fibre, CLOPF, only virgin material is used. This ensures the product does not have contaminants that may come from using postconsumer material. The fibres used have been Laboratory analysed for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which are chemical substances that may pose a risk to health and the environment. www.martincollins.com
SADDLERY & TACK IN THIS ISSUE THE TEAM AT THE SOCIETY OF MASTER SADDLERS OFFER ADVICE ON TACK CARE AND MAINTENANCE TO HELP ENSURE IT LASTS AND STANDS THE TEST OF TIME.
ood quality, handcrafted saddlery can last for years but only if carefully maintained and looked after. When using saddles and bridles on a daily basis, the rigours of riding puts them to the test so regular cleaning, care and attention is vital to ensure you are still using them in many years to come. As we all know, investing in good quality tack is likely to be one of the most expensive and important purchases you make for you and your horse. Once you have the right saddle, bridle and other tack accessories it is then over to you to ensure they remain in good condition and last for years. Your saddle and bridle should be checked each time you tack up and a more in depth look taken
when cleaning. In general leather should be supple and free from cracks. If allowed to dry out, leather becomes brittle and weak, making it prone to splitting. Pay particular attention to straps which are subjected to a lot of stress e.g. girth straps and stirrup leathers. Make sure stitching is secure, metalwork e.g. buckles are not damaged and that holes have not become enlarged. If the tack is in poor condition it can injure you and your horse or cause a serious accident. Checks to tack should be thorough; this will involve turning your saddle upside down to check underneath it and lifting up all flaps. To check a bridle properly it will need to be taken apart as buckles often hide cracks in the leather. Steps to maintain leather must
be taken to ensure it stays supple and safe. Ideally tack should be cleaned every time it has been used, but this is not always possible. At the very least bits should be washed in clean water and dried with a clean cloth after they have been used. Also if tack gets wet and muddy it should not be left or it is likely to become brittle or may stretch. Remove mud and dirt with a warm damp cloth and allow it to dry at room temperature, and then apply a leather conditioner. It is advisable therefore to thoroughly clean your saddle and bridle at least once a week. The aim of thorough cleaning is to remove all dirt and grease and then to feed and condition the leather. There are numerous products available on the market for conditioning leather such as sprays, wipes, soap bars,
creams, oils and balms. Always read manufacturer’s instructions carefully to make sure the product is suitable for your particular type of leather. Whether you use a sponge, brush or cloth to clean and apply product make sure it is not too abrasive so that the leather isn’t scratched. To clean metalwork you can use a metal polish, this will leave buckles and stirrups etc looking brighter and clean. Never use polishes on bits though as they may be harmful to your horse. Even if you think you have washed a polish off it is likely a residue is left behind which you cannot see. If a saddle is good quality and well cared for it should last for years, and if it still fits your horse there is no need to replace it. You might like to replace certain parts though such as the girth straps and stirrup leathers. Stitching may also need redoing on certain parts of your saddle or bridle after a few years. www.mastersaddlers.co.uk
Your Questions Answered... QUESTION: “What is the best way to find a Qualified Saddle Fitter? Are there any qualifications I can look for?” ANSWER: “There are many people out there claiming to be saddle fitters but in my opinion there is only one qualifying association that you should turn to for a properly qualified saddle fitter and that’s The Society of Master Saddlers. “The qualification was started in 1995, so they have 25 years’ experience in training, bringing on and assessing fitters under the auspices of the City of Guilds qualification board. “Having attended the Introductory course run by the Society, trainees (known as trainee saddle fitters) will continue fitting under the watchful eye of their Mentor for
a total of three years, at which time they can attend the Qualified Saddle Fitter’s course. This is followed by a stiff assessment that includes a written paper, completely reflocking a saddle, adjusting the flock in a saddle, assessing conformation and movement, back assessment, templating, identifying materials used in the manufacture of saddles, checking saddles for safety and soundness and then fitting two saddles, including ridden assessment of suitability for both the horse and rider – one a dressage saddle and the second (on a different horse) a GP or jumping saddle. Most certainly
not everyone passes, many achieving their qualification on the second attempt. “Once qualified, SMS RQSFs have to achieve CPD points through the year to keep their registration (that’s the R in the title) so that standards are kept high and new information can be shared. “In addition to the RQSF Qualification there are Registered Master Saddle Fitters – those that have practiced in this field for many years to a very high standard and undertaken further confirmation as to their abilities. Continued overleaf...
MASTER SADDLER AND SOCIETY OF MASTER SADDLERS’ REGISTERED QUALIFIED SADDLE FITTER, KAY HASTILOW ANSWERS
SADDLERY & TACK
DR DAVID MARLIN: ANNOUNCES MAJOR RESEARCH STUDY
quine scientist Dr David Marlin has announced the launch of a major independent study which is being run in collaboration with experts in the field. The Effect of Different Stirrup types on rider’s foot, leg and body stability is a collaborative project with biomechanics specialist Dr Russell MacKechnieGuire (Centaur Biomechanics), Master Saddler Mark Fisher (official Master Saddler of London 2012 Olympic games), Di Fisher, (Society of Master Saddlers Master Saddle Fitter), Dr Roberta Godoy (Senior Lecturer Veterinary Physiotherapy / Equine Science Writtle University College) and Dr Maria Terese-Engell who specialises in posture and movement analysis (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences). This research project will be carried out in two stages at Writtle University. The first phase will focus on studying rider responses to differing stirrups in a rider simulator setting, followed by the same study but addressing the
changes on a ridden, rather than simulated horse. The initiative, one of the most comprehensive studies of stirrups ever, will review how different stirrup designs affect rider position, knee angle and rider-saddle horse pressure and the findings are likely to stir up significant interest within the equestrian community. Commenting on the study, Dr David Martin said, “I am fortunate enough to be able to work with the best in the field to conduct independent trials to provide science-backed evidence to horse owners and riders which will impact on their decision making – and ultimately their horses’ comfort and therefore performance. Our research is not funded by any equestrian brands and we have no vested interest in delivering a preferred outcome, everyone involved in each of these studies is only motivated by the potential to identify impartial facts which will be shared to benefit the equestrian community.”
QUESTION: “Could a half pad and shims be a good long-term solution for my 4-year old’s quickly changing shape?”
KAY HASTILOW PROVIDES ADVICE ON THE BENEFITS OF A HALF PAD AND SHIMS.
pad to try and achieve a good fit. Better to have regular visits from your saddle fitter who will be delighted to monitor and adjust the fit as necessary through the horse’s development. ANSWER: “Some half “Also, whilst the pad can adjust pads with shims can be an the fit, if the saddle is a bit wide excellent short-term solution for to start with it can’t do anything a horse which changes shape, if the saddle then becomes too but in your situation, with a nice narrow for the horse. 4-year-old to bring on I would “Choosing a saddle that is too be inclined to look instead for a wide to start with and blocking for a well-designed adjustable it up with shims may appear to saddle, fitted by an SMS work but the pressures involved qualified saddle fitter rather won’t be so easily distributed than relying on pads. and there is a high risk that the “Many horses will keep changing saddle will be less stable, both in shape for several years and that’s movement side to side and front a long time to be using such a to back.
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“Please do not confuse a Master Saddle Fitter or Qualified Saddle Fitter) with a Master Saddler or Qualified Saddler. These qualification holders are highly skilled at making saddles, bridles and leatherwork but are not necessarily saddle fitters. Each is a separate skill set and, whilst some QSFs or MSFs are also Qualified or Master Saddlers this is not a given. Please choose the skill that you need. “To find your nearest qualified saddle fitter visit The Society of Master Saddlers’ web site, www.mastersaddlers.co.uk where you will be able to see those in your area and their qualifications. I am sure that you will find someone good near to you who can help you with all of your saddle fitting needs.” “If you decide to use a pad (and these are a very useful piece of kit to have in your tack room anyway) choose carefully. Look at any research work done on the pad and check on the methods used in the testing. Any claims made about any products should be verified as being based on solid and verifiable research. “Make sure that the pad does not have any filling through the centre seam – there should be a good 4 to 6cm space to allow room for the spine. If the filling/fleece continues over the spine this will exert pressure and compromise the horse’s comfort and ability to move.”
STOP PRESS: Poppy is one of only four finalists (out of thousands) through to the 'Saddle Fitter of the Year'
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF
The new Ludford Snaffle Bridle is made from premium black leather, the bridle features a sparkling, clear crystal browband and a crocodile and patent padded crank noseband. The throat lash is fully adjustable on both sides and the cheek pieces attach with traditional billet fastenings. Available in sizes Full, Cob and Pony. RRP: £108.99. www.cathedral-equine.co.uk
ow many times have we, as horse owners, said ‘I wish they could talk’ and ‘If only they could tell me what’s wrong’? Quite a few, I suspect. But sometimes they DO tell us, we just have to know how to listen to them, and understand them. Horses tell us in a multitude of ways that their saddles aren’t fitting them, or that it’s time to get the saddle fitter out. So, what are the signs we’re looking for? We might think ‘bucking’ and ‘rearing’ are the things to look for; but there are many other, often more subtle signs. Any change in behaviour needs to be looked at, but the main things that we look for as saddle
fitters are: • Suddenly not wanting to be caught or brought in to work • Hiding in the back of the stable when the saddle comes out • Unusual swishing/ kicking/biting when the saddle is put on or girthed up. Or even just a crinkling up of their little velvet noses • Moving away from the mounting block/reluctance to stand still when mounted • Rushing straight off when the rider mounts • Humping or hollowing their back on mounting • Unusual bucking, nappy or rearing • Throwing head up in upwards transitions • Reluctance to canter on one or
both canter leads • Started ‘stopping’ at jumps, or clipping poles with front feet • Rushing forward when rider leans forward to dismount All of these signs CAN be your horse telling you, in their own special way, that they’re uncomfortable. And all of them can be related to the saddle fit. Obviously, they can also indicate many other things (sore back, acid-y tummy, sore teeth etc), but saddle fit is often a good place to start. Remember, horse’s aren’t usually ‘naughty’ for no reason. I mean, yes, some have more, um, cheeky personalities. My daughter’s Dartmoor pony likes to empty his grooming kit on the floor, and I swear he giggles as he watches you pick it all back up again. But usually a CHANGE in behaviour has a reason. And yes, whilst the reasons above can indicate it’s time to get your lovely Saddle Fitter out… it can also mean a call to the physio, chiropractor, dentist, farrier, or even vet. So, listen to your horse, and make sure you hear them when they ‘talk’ to you in their own little way. A list of all Qualified Saddle fitters can be found at www.mastersaddlers.co.uk www.peeweesaddlery.co.uk
Photo: Abbi Grief Photography
The Equitex Close Contact Saddle Pad is totally non-slip and has been proven by the Italian manufacturers to reduce the impact and concussion that a rider can impart through the saddle. It has also been shown to help encourage muscle development under the saddle. Equitex have developed a unique TechVelvet combining it with a shock absorbing foam, both of which allow for total freedom of movement for the skin and muscles under the saddle. RRP: from £229. www.equitex.co
QUALIFIED SADDLE FITTER FOR THE SOCIETY OF MASTER SADDLERS, COVERING CAMBRIDGESHIRE, LINCOLNSHIRE, NORFOLK AND SURROUNDING AREAS, POPPY ALSO WRITES REGULAR ADVICE POSTS ON PEEWEE SADDLERY’S SOCIAL MEDIA.
SADDLERY & TACK
NEW STUDY REVEALS: HEADCOLLAR HAZARDS
new research study published in Equine Veterinary Education - a journal of the British Equine Veterinary Association - which examines the usage of headcollars on horses and any associated safety issues has exposed some worrying statistics. While it is generally accepted that horse riding carries certain risks, the latest findings underpin the potential hazards for horses and humans, associated with handling horses on the ground. The online survey was conducted by renowned equine scientist Dr David Marlin, Dr Jane Williams, Head of Research & Associate Professor at Hartpury University, and Dr Kirstie Pickles, Clinical Assistant Professor in Equine Medicine, University of Nottingham. It was carried out in 2020 and revealed that a third (31%) of the 5,615 respondents had experienced a horse being injured as a result of wearing a headcollar, with 15% of respondents reporting an additional injury to a person. In addition, 134 headcollar-related incidents were referenced resulting in a horse sustaining a fracture, while a staggering 167 equine fatalities were cited which were attributed to headcollar usage. The risk of an injury increased by 70% when horses were tied up although 20% of incidents occurred whilst horses were turned out. The frequency of injury was highest amongst owners using webbing
Your Questions Answered...
headcollars and lowest amongst those opting for a leather product. The use of either leather or synthetic safety headcollars significantly reduced the likelihood of injury. Commenting on the study, Dr David Marlin said, “Headcollars are the most commonly used piece of tack, yet ironically, there is very limited information available to owners regarding how to fit them correctly, how to use them safely and which safety features to look out for at point of purchase. This is definitely a topic which would benefit from improved education amongst horse owners to help them understand and mitigate against the potential risks linked to headcollar usage. Owners also need to be made aware of the research which suggests that leather headcollars represent a safer option. As always, we should be guided by the science that provides the evidence to dictate the best choice of headcollar, rather than allow ourselves to be swayed by the latest designs. More studies are required on this subject and we are hopeful that further research will be undertaken relating to headcollar function, leading to industryapproved guidelines for headcollar fit and use.”
whilst being a bit safer as, should the horse catch a leg on a fence going crosscountry, you QUESTION: “I am looking at moving from are more likely to be pinged clear unaffiliated to affiliated eventing. I currently compete of the falling horse. in all phases in a General Purpose saddle, would specific “Whilst your budget will dictate saddles for each phase improve my performance?” what type of saddles you can buy, you do not have to spend a levels but to begin with these King’s ransom to get both. There ANSWER: “If you are will serve your purpose. are some excellent wellmoving up to affiliated “A well-designed dressage designed synthetic saddles on eventing it would certainly saddle will position you in a way the market as well as various help your performance if you that makes your riding more price points as you go into could buy more specialised saddles, and this needn’t cost effective in this section as well as leather saddles. giving a more pleasing picture to “A Society of Master Saddlers’ you a fortune. I think that a dressage and a jumping saddle the Judge. A jumping saddle will Qualified or Master saddle fitter will suffice for now – specialist enable you to ride with a shorter (one local to you can be found stirrup which will help you to on the SMS website where they crosscountry saddles are stay in position over a fence are listed by county) will be able needed for more advanced
to guide and advise you within your budget, knowing what might suit your horse and you, and what will not. “Not all saddles fit horses or their riders well and you really don’t want to make a mistake with this so please take their advice, as they want a satisfied client who will return to them year after year. They won’t be retained by one manufacturer so will have an open mind as to what will work for you and will also be there to care for your saddles as you progress. “Good luck with your eventing adventure!”
Your Questions Answered... QUESTION: “I am new to horse ownership and was given a bridle when I bought my horse but am looking to buy a new one. Are there any aspects when it comes to fitting I should look out for?”
KAY HASTILOW PROVIDES ADVICE ON BRIDLE FITTING.
The new EquiAmi Lunge Line is soft and padded and has markers to indicate when the horse is working on 10m, 15m and 20m circles. The markers are even positioned to take into account the lower arm of the user so that the circle sizes are as accurate as possible. This ensures the handler knows they are working the horse on a consistent circle size on either rein or can easily judge if the circle is collapsing in. RRP: £24.99. www.equiami.com
The new BootProtect spurs from Sprenger protect riding boots thanks to the rubber coating on the inside of the spur. Invisible from the outside, the rubber coating also assist with a non-slip fit and the spur also impresses with their slim, stylish appearance. RRP: £42. www.zebra products.co.uk
“The best advice is to ask a Society of Master Saddlers Qualified Bridle Fitter to come and advise you. “Although this is a recent addition to our qualifications it has been keenly taken up by many members and we are now building a good pool of such qualified people. These can be found on the SMS website. “It has become more and more obvious that the fit of the bridle is as important to the horse’s comfort and welfare as the fit of its saddle so it is not something that you should just guess at. Understanding of the anatomy of the horse’s head, the position of the many nerves in the face and other factors are far better understood now thanks to a great deal of research work that has been carried out, and a QBF will have studied this in detail. “Some factors to watch out for though, starting at the top of the head is that the headpiece must fit correctly both in length and shape around the ears. “Cheek pieces should sit in about the fourth or fifth hole
from the top and be level with the eye, but please remember that new bridles will stretch a bit. “Therefore, don’t buy one which is on the top or second from top hole each side. “The cheek pieces should be of even length and be fastened as closely as possible to even each side. “Nosebands - a real minefield here but the one that is best avoided is the flash with a separate flash strap as these really affect the nerve endings around the face and are very uncomfortable for horses. There are alternatives that are better fitting if you need better communication with your horse. The noseband, headstrap and cheek piece must not sit on the
edge of the cheek bones. “Likewise, if you use a high ring grakle it must be capable of being fastened so that the rings lay flat against the cheek, not at the edge. With many this isn’t possible. “Now the above are just a few of the factors that need to be taken into consideration – there are many more, so I ask you to please ask for guidance from a qualified fitter. If, however, you decide to just buy a specific make of bridle that you think looks good please check that it has been thoroughly researched as to the design and in use, and that the research is validated and available for you to see. Sometimes all that glitters is not gold!”
Photo: 1st Class Images
Photo: Felbridge Photography
ESSEX’S JACK NICKLIN SCOOPS THE SEIB WINTER NOVICE QUALIFIER AT FELBRIDGE SHOWGROUND
RONNIE JONES LANDS THE BRITISH HORSE FEEDS SPEEDI-BEET HOYS GRADE C QUALIFIER
Friday 14th May
Saturday 29th May
ertfordshire County Show played host to the first British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet HOYS Grade C Qualifiers of the season, and it was Ronnie Jones from Dunmow, Essex who took home the honour riding Ruth Dowie’s Interstar B. Course designer Peter Gillespie set a challenging test from the outset when only ten of the sixty-six initial starting combinations managed to produce a clear round for a spot in the jump off. Ronnie steered the 8-year-old dark bay gelding into the top spot when crossing the finish line in 35.43 seconds.
elbridge Showground played host to an SEIB Winter Novice Qualifier which took place on Friday 14th May, and it was Jack Nicklin from Ongar, Essex who scooped the red rosette with Diamante III, a 7 year-old mare owned by Joely Parradine. From a competitive class of sixty-seven a whopping thirty eight made it through to the jump off, leaving it wide open as to who would take the win. With a show of speed and accuracy Jack steered Diamante II in to first place with a lightening fast double clear in 30.20 seconds. Second was Allana Clutterbuck and Etoile Du Bary.
ESSEX’S LORRAINE LOCK SCOOPS THE WIN Saturday 29th May
he Equissage Pulse Senior British Novice Second Round held at Norfolk Showjumping Club was won by Lorraine Lock from Brentwood, Essex who produced a triple clear riding her own Billy Gobi. With a field of determined riders, the first two rounds were closely contested with just eight combinations making it through to the final jump off. With lightning fast round, Lorraine steered her 5year- old grey mare to a triple clear in just 47.93 seconds.
TAMSIN DREW CLAIMS TOP SPOT Sunday 30th May
ith a solid triple clear Tamsin Drew from Buntingford became the winner of the Nupafeed Supplements Senior Discovery Second Round at Norfolk Showjumping Club riding her 8-year-old bay mare, Isn’t it Special. Seven combinations produced two clear rounds for a spot in the final jump off. Tamsin went on to jump Isn’t It Special around the track in 51.08 seconds to become the fastest treble clears of the day.
PONY RIDERS WIN NATIONS CUP FOR GB’S TEAM NAF IN WIERDEN 26th - 30th May
he Dutch Youngster Festival at Wierden in the Netherlands drew to a close on 30th May, after five days of jumping with the Pony Nations Cup being the final one contested. Earlier in the day the GB Children’s team had won their own Nations Cup and then the Pony team, riding under the title sponsor banner of Team NAF, came out and did the double! Winning with more than a fence in hand the team put in some superb performances with two of the team notably producing the sole double clears of the entire starting field. It was Henry Squibb, aged 14-years from Brentwood in Essex, with the 13-year-old stallion Kilcurry Dawn owned by Emily Fenn that produced the first double clear of the inter-nation competition. Their performance was foot perfect setting the team up from the start in an extremely good position to go forward with. Next to go Poppy Deakin, aged 15-years with the 11-year-old chestnut mare Armene du Costilg owned by Kerstin Deakin picked up an unfortunate four penalties in the first round before jumping a beautiful clear in the second. Sophie Evans, aged 14-years with the 11-year-old bay stallion Oscar Van De Beekerheide owned by ESM Equestrian came forward as the third rider. An unlucky touch of a fence and just outside the time allowed, in what was otherwise two great rounds, saw them pick up five penalties in each. Elissa Herrmann, aged 15-years with the 11year-old Dun gelding Lapislazuli produced an impressive clear in the first round and she entered the arena for the second time with considerable pressure on her shoulders to jump clear and guarantee GB the win. Taking the pressure in her stride she broke the finish line clear within the time allowed having produced a precision ridden round to return home with zero penalties to add and to become the only other rider to produce a double clear. It was a jubilant team that celebrated their win finishing on just four penalties ahead of nearest rivals Belgium.
SHELFORD BE: HUGE SUCCESS FOR LINCOLNSHIRE’S ROS CANTER 30th - 31st May 2021
ith twentyfour sections running over the first two days at Shelford British Eventing and a further twelve unaffiliated classes taking place on the third and final day it was a busy and sunbaked event for the team at BEDE recently. More than 750 entries were catered for over the three days with Stuart Buntine’s crosscountry courses receiving much praise from competitors. Sections included BE80T through to BE100 Open, BE100 Under 18 and a special five-yearold section which attracted entries from leading names Andrew Heffernan, Ben and Sarah Way and Lincolnshire’s Ros Canter. In a closely fought section it was Sarah Way and Ditchford Explorer who ran out the winners finishing on their dressage score of 26.5 after a solid clear in the showjumping and cross-country. Leading after the dressage, Ros Canter and DHI Rock Dancer’s pole down in the showjumping proved costly as they claimed second place on 27.8. Sarah’s husband Ben came home in third with the attractive World On Fire, also finishing on their dressage score while Georgie Frow and Milton’s Star
took fourth, a pole falling in the showjumping also proving expensive. At the end of the Bank Holiday Monday, Ros Canter was in the ribbons once again when heading the final BE100 section on Destiny. Again leading after the dressage on a score of 22, the Lincolnshire based rider then went clear showjumping and on the cross-country. The second day of Shelford also proved a busy one for Paul Burgess and his team when heading Section U. One of seven BE100 sections held over the event, Paul secured the leader board with Noble Son. Paul also took second in BE100, Section S on Colandro Rivie. Section T, BE100 fell to John-Paul Sheffield and Shannondale Aero, the talented 7-year-old bay gelding heading off Nina De Haas and Enola who finished in the runner-up spot.
BRENTWOOD’S HENRY SQUIBB IS FLYING HIGH 30th April - 3rd May
ust two weeks after landing the Charles Britton Equestrian Construction Winter Classic JA Championship with Emily Fenn’s Kilcurry Dawn, Henry Squibb commanded victory in the feature POYS JA grand prix at its new Arena UK venue. The elements of rain and wind on the final day certainly added an extra test to the competitions. The JA Grand Prix was no exception as fences were blown down by gusts of wind, but three riders battled the elements over a tough,
technical track with committed and dog-leg lines to provide a thrilling jump-off. Tabitha Kyle had three rides through, although her first Atomic Du Bary was carrying four faults from the first round under the A9 grand prix rules – a minimum of five in the jump-off. Atomic was out of contention when Tabitha followed with second ride Su and Gordon Hall’s Gangnam Style II to set a sizzling target. But on-form Henry sliced into the time. Using Kilcurry Dawn’s stride to cut across the ground and taking a risky turn into the final water-
tray oxer saw Brentwoodbased 14-year-old Henry edge ahead to take the lead by 0.65 seconds. Sophie Evans and the Oscar Van De Beekerheide tried a similar route and brought the last fence down – it was down to Tabitha to regain her lead on last ride Orchids Vienna. She was in contention all the way but the ultra-tight line to the final oxer was a gamble too far and the front rail fell leaving Henry to claim his second title in a fortnight and the leading rider award after claiming a second and third in the qualifiers.
MATTHEW PHELPS WINS Sunday 6th June
Photo: Moret Photography
atthew Phelps from Great Dunmow, Essex secured the win the NAF Five Star Silver League Qualifier held at Codham Park Equestrian Centre, jumping his own 13-year-old chestnut gelding Ulove Des Charmes. Thirty-two keen combinations set out over the twelve-fence track and after two rounds just seven remained to contest for first place in the final jump off. He set an unbeatable time of 39.86 seconds, taking top spot with a triple clear.
ESSEX’S RONNIE JONES CLAIMS TOP SPOT Sunday 6th June
Photo: Spidge Event Photography
onnie Jones from Dunmow, Essex was on winning form as he claimed first place in the Lord & Lady Equestrian Senior Newcomers Second Round at Pyecombe Horse Show recently riding Kaleche, a 6-year-old bay mare. In a class of seventy-four strong competitors, Ronnie jumped two clean rounds for his place in the jump off. With twenty-seven other competitors snapping at his heels, Ronnie rode with speed and accuracy to cross the finish with a triple clear in 36.43 seconds.
n Saturday 22nd May Kate Scorey-Sayer, Wayne Bailey and the Welshmoor Team put on an exclusive show with evening performance, marking the first Welshmoor of the Year Show at Forest Edge. Classes were hotly contested from morning until night, showing varieties from Welsh ponies and youngsters, to heavy horses, hacks and veterans. Judges Karen Pickwick and John Osborne had their work cut out with full classes throughout the day. In the morning classes, Natasha Heaphy and Llanai Tiago won the In-hand M&M Small Breeds, followed by the Bay/Grey/Chestnut class, whilst the M&M Large Breeds was won by Amelia Short and her welsh cob Daichristu Flying Temptress. Amelia’s success continued with her other horse Shanbally Lucky Dip, who won the Ridden Hunter class followed by the Ridden Horse Championship. Sisters Rachael and Helen Hawes had a real winning streak with their two youngsters, topping the Small Youngstock class with Thisteldown Darling Buds, as well as the M&M Youngstock class with Llyndu Starlight. Both these ponies continued to wow the Judges, taking the Youngstock In-hand Championship and M&M Youngstock Championships respectively. The bay hack Wakefield Farm Sunset was led to victory by handler Tom Saunders in two of his morning classes; those beautiful paces landed him with Overall Reserve Supreme In-hand
WELSHMOOR OF THE YEAR
tallied another win for Maisie and Moseley Diamond Saturday 22nd May Celebration. Report by Amy Harris. Photographs by Emily Harris Photography A line up of horses and ponies every shape, size and age filled later on. decided top six horses and the arena for the Overall Winners of the Ridden SP/SHP ponies came forward for the went to Steph Ryder-Bayes’ lead Concours D’elegance final, and it Supreme Championship. A unanimous decision was made, rein Windbush Medallion, with was Maisie and her Dartmoor and the Supreme Sash was her son Oscar on board. This pony Moseley Diamond awarded to the ever consistent prolific trio continued their Celebration that clinched the Llanai Tiago, after winning both winning streak taking the Open Championship – delighted as it M&M Supreme and In-hand Pony class, up against the adults! was her debut in wearing this Supreme, who just came to life At 5pm sharp the evening outfit. with the music playing. Reserve performance started with music Kate, always running inclusive filling the arena. The earlier events to get all involved, held a Supreme was won by Oscar and Steph Ryder-Bayes, with Supreme Championship in the Windbush Medallion. And finally Reserve Supreme evening for those whose day Time to Sparkle First Reserve Supreme was Holly didn’t quite go to plan - known Gill Neve Greathead and her fell pony as the Time To Sparkle Cheshirefells Black Beauty. Championship. One of the winners was Jo Cullen’s homebred Pennydown Fire Llanai Tiago and Natasha Queen, who at 2-years-old didn’t Heaphy manage to settle in her morning classes, but wowed the Judges in the evening to win One For The Future Champion. Overall Supreme Sparkle Champion
Shanbally Lucky Dip with Amelia Short
Oscar & Steph Ryder-Bayes with Windbush Medallion
Pennydown Fire Queen and Jo Cullen
2nd M&M Youngstock - Corstan Aristocrat & Faye Bircher
Wakefield Farm Sunset and Tom Saunders
Reserve Coloured Champion Warrackston Little Jaspper & Tara Vaughn
Moseley Diamond Celebration and Maisie Whitehouse
Cheshirefells Black Beauty and Holly Greathead
BRITISH RIDING CLUB’S FIRST NATIONAL VIRTUAL DRESSAGE CHAMPS 26th April to 2nd May Lilly Tailby riding Humbug
his year British Riding Clubs (BRC) ran the BRC HorseHage & Mollichaff Intermediate Winter Dressage Championships for both 2020 and 2021 as Virtual Championships events from 26th April to 2nd May. BRC streamed these virtual championships on their Facebook page alongside the BRC SEIB Novice Winter Dressage Championships with over fourteen hours of competition shown. Featuring the top three riders in each of the fifty-eight separate arenas, totalling 174 dressage tests, ranging from Intro (Walk and Trot) to Advanced Medium, for both junior and senior teams and individuals. These videos have received over 6,600 views. “This has been a huge undertaking and the whole team worked incredibly well to ensure a seamless production for our riding club members. In all we had over 1,250 entries,
running across the 58 arenas, with 29 dressage Judges marking the all-important tests, giving great feedback to the riders. We are thrilled to have been able to run this competition for those riders who had already qualified and hope that everyone enjoyed taking part, we saw some fabulous arenas and backdrops which we would not normally get to see. This is certainly one of the largest virtual equestrian competitions we are aware of,” said Rachael Hollely-Thompson, Head of BRC. Following the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 BRC HorseHage & Mollichaff Intermediate Winter Championships due to the Covid pandemic, BRC set to work hosting these virtual championships for those riders who had already qualified across the UK in their respective dressage classes. Davinia Kickham riding Divine San Siro from Atherstone & District RC lifted the overall Senior Novice 2020 title, with a score of 75.25%. The overall winner of the Junior Novice Winter Championships 2020 was Lilly Tailby riding Humbug from Misterton & District RC, finishing on a score of 76.20%.