Absolute Horse - July/August 2022

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FEATURES INCLUDE 4 What’s On - forthcoming shows and events including Ride Out UK, RIHS, Framlingham Horse Show 12 Health and Welfare including a Seasonal Concerns guide from Rossdales; update on Pickle; Ukraine horse crisis 20 Transport and Trailers including horsebox insurance considerations and the rise in demand for trailers 23 Rider Health and Welfare including five minutes with Andreas Liefooghe; accidents at riding schools; riding fitness

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...

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when pregnant with Chartered Physiotherapist Louise Towl Rhea Freeman asks How do you make the most of social media? Dressage Coach Jessica Gale asks - How do you know what the Judge is looking for? Careers, Education and Training - including the latest from The Open College of Equine Studies and enrolment details Summer of Safety Campaign from BETA

GIVEAWAYS & OFFERS 10 Ariat Saddle Snaps 15 Absorbine bundle 16 Aniwell bundle 55 Sprenger Bits 67 Gladwells’ money-off reader offer

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JUL/AUG

2022 ISSUE 355

WHAT’S

INSIDE

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Buyer’s Guide - including our new styling columnist Tamsin Sprawling Nutrition - including feeding beet through summer; equine joint health; feeding the ex-racehorse; nutritionist Donna Case talks about NOPS Saddlery and Tack including your questions answered, and saddler Poppy Webber talks saddle myths Stables, Yards, Arenas and Bedding - including cutting costs, not care with Cheryl Johns Event Reports and Photos

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WHAT’S ON

The 126th

GO BEHIND THE SCENES:

AT ROYAL YARDS

Royal Yard Tours cost £165 per person.

FRAMLINGHAM HORSE SHOW 16TH JULY

STRATFORD HILLS: UPDATE

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oyal trainers William Haggas, Michael Bell and John and Thady Gosden will open the doors of their stables for a very special series of Royal Yard Tours this summer to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Discover Newmarket has been given the exclusive chance to show visitors behind the scenes at Somerville Lodge, Fitzroy House, and Clarehaven, where Her Majesty has horses in training. The royal trainers will also take guests to the Gallops – the training grounds around Newmarket where horses are put through their paces – to see these top thoroughbreds exercise. The full-day tour includes a visit to the National Stud, where a special Stallion Parade will be conducted by the former manager of The Royal Studs. Plus, there will be a chance to look around the National Horseracing Museum, which the Queen opened in 2016 on the original site of Charles II’s Palace and Stables. www.discovernewmarket.co.uk

he Stratford Hills Horse Trials committee are saddened to announce that the 2022 fixture was the final British Eventing fixture to be held at the Essex venue. Set in the heart of Constable country, Hills Farm, Stratford-StMary, boasts incredible views of the Dedham Vale and the perfect setting to watch some of the icons of eventing take part. The event has played host to grassroots competitors and a plethora of international stars over the years, including Olympic, European and World Championship Gold medallists. Over the past nineteen years the event has run solely for charity. www.shht.co.uk

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his historic show, in the grounds of Framlingham Castle, returns this summer after a two year absence due to the pandemic. As well as a full programme of Suffolk Horse classes, the schedule includes in hand and ridden light horse classes and Carriage Driving - judged in front of Framlingham College and then paraded through the town and on the main showground. The show is affiliated to BDS, SHS, UKPH and Equifest. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust will feature for the first time and displays include Side Saddle Association, Tractor Parade and Hamilton Bloodhounds. Free admission for spectators is new for 2022. www.framlingham horseshow.co.uk

ART EXHIBITION: CLEMENTINE ST JOHN WEBSTER Until 9th July

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Photo: Far Loudoun

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lementine St John Webster spent a ‘free and feral’ childhood among horses in rural Somerset and Wiltshire. She was the youngest of four, hunting and racing around with picnics on horseback. After a formal education and classical art training she worked in the Masai Mara for a riding safari, and since 2016 has been a full time artist. “Horses have been a thread running throughout my life. I love painting all the different environments they appear in.” This will be her third solo show at The Osborne Studio Gallery. Her first, in 2016, was a sell-out. Location: Osborne Studio Gallery, London. Free admission to the gallery. www.osg.uk.com


HUNT COMPETITION

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unts from up and down the UK will return to the Festival of Hunting on Wednesday 20th July, with the opportunity to relax and catch up with friends at the back of the hunt horse trailer after the morning’s classes. Whilst primarily a relaxed affair, the Hunt Picnic competition – with prizes from local food writer, Jenny Jefferies, as well as goodies from local food and drink producers, and the ‘Stirrup Cup’ up for grabs – has become a hotly contested event over the years. This year’s Hunt Picnic competion will be judged by Country Life Chief Subeditor, Octavia Pollock, and author of ‘For the Love of the Land’ and ‘For the Love of the Sea’ cookbooks, Jenny Jefferies. www.festivalofhunting.com

Annual Show

Photo: Hattie Austin Photography

PICNIC HAMPERS AT THE READY

2022

Saturday July 16th 2022 on Castle Meadow Framlingham

CLASSES FOR SUFFOLK HORSES, RIDDEN AND IN-HAND LIGHT HORSES, PONIES, CARRIAGE DRIVING AND DISPLAYS

REFRESHMENTS Photos: Far Loudoun

www.framlinghamhorseshow.co.uk


WHAT’S ON SIGN UP AND SADDLE UP FOR THE BRITISH HORSE SOCIETY’S (BHS) RIDE OUT UK CAMPAIGN, THE ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF THE JOYS OF RIDING OUT THAT ALLOWS YOU TO CONNECT WITH YOUR HORSE WHILE RAISING MONEY TO PROTECT AND IMPROVE SAFE OFFROAD ROUTES IN YOUR LOCAL AREA.

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ide Out UK has returned for another summer, running for six months from May through to October. The campaign speaks to Britain’s long affinity with the great outdoors by encouraging equestrians to get out and explore either their local area or embark on a new adventure to raise donations. Proceeds go towards the Ride Out Fund which is dedicated to ensuring every horse rider and carriage driver has a safe place to ride off-road. There are several ways to get involved – leisure rides are being held up and down the country, from pleasure rides at stunning National Trust sites, to gentle

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hacks across the rolling Cotswold hills. If you can’t see an event in your area, keep an eye on the website where new events will be added throughout the year. To find an event near you, visit bhs.org.uk/rideoutuk. If you’re seeking a solo adventure this summer, why not get involved in Rideathon? Sign up for free online, pledge your fundraising target and the distance you’re aiming to achieve and set off on your adventures. Make sure to download your Rideathon Adventure Toolkit from bhs.org.uk/rideathon. Whether you want to cover 5 miles or 1000 miles, set your goal and a fundraising target – from £50 to £100, or £1,000 and beyond,

every penny raised is vital to improve off-road access. No horse? No problem! Why not take part at a BHS Approved Riding Centre, or, alternatively, you can explore by foot or bike – the choice is yours. By fundraising as part of the Rideathon Adventure, you’ll be entered into a prize draw, with Horse and Country membership, BHS membership, clothing, and BHS Shop vouchers up for grabs! Rideathon is accessible to everyone, no matter your age or what distance you feel able to cover. Size and age were no barrier for the BHS’s previous fundraising stars, Eliza (6) and Beatrice (3) Cowell (pictured) who raised a fantastic total of

£265 for the Ride Out Fund. The girls journeyed with their Shetland ponies, covering more than 43 miles and earning their place as the youngest participants to have ever completed Rideathon. Along with their mum, Caroline, Eliza and Beatrice also helped out at their local BHS Affiliated Equestrian Access Group, Essex Bridleways Association. This year, Ride Out UK is proudly supported by Horse & Country. All Ride Out UK and Rideathon participants will receive a fabulous rosette, plus a discount code for H&C+ membership. So, what’re you waiting for? Saddle up and get fundraising! Visit bhs.org.uk/rideoutuk


Fundraising for the future The Ride Out Fund was launched in 2015, with the aim of protecting our historic rights of way and enabling off-road access so that these routes may be enjoyed now, and by future generations. Preserving these safe, multi-user paths has never been more important, with reports of four horses killed on Britain’s roads already this year. This follows 46 equine deaths

reported to the BHS in the previous year, with an additional 118 being injured and 130 human injuries. More than 50 access projects across the UK have been funded by the Ride Out Fund, creating new routes and improving existing access for equestrians. It’s crucial that fundraising for these projects continues; every contribution however big or small, will go towards creating safer places for all off-road users.

BEDFORDSHIRE BRIDLEWAY IS TRANSFORMED One of many projects the Ride Out Fund has helped to bring to fruition is the new permissive bridleway opened in the Bedfordshire region running adjacent to Warden Road, Ickwell to Old Warden bridleway 12. This new route takes users off a dangerous, narrow and twisty section of road in the area that can often become busy when events cause a large influx of traffic to the area. Central Bedfordshire Council was unable to fund all the works required, which involved a lot of tree and shrub clearance, route levelling and the installation of several horse stiles. The BHS was delighted to be able to grant funding from the Ride Out Fund to support the works, alongside additional contributions from a local charity, Peter Maudlin Community Trust, and from some local individual donations. Local BHS member, Jacqui Sutton and her husband, Neville, together with the Shuttleworth Trust charity agreed to allow the route to be created. The Sutton’s generously provided the fencing on their land and the Shuttleworth Trust cleared the headland alongside their field. Local councillor, Frank Firth and councillor officers, Chris Dorow and Chris Nicol worked with BHS local volunteer, Ann Kennedy, to deliver the route which was formally opened in mid July 2021 after the grass had time to grow. A truly collaborative effort which is now being enjoyed by many local riders, and will continue to be enjoyed for years to come.

DODSON & HORRELL BOLESWORTH INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW: IMPRESSIVE LINE UP

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he Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth International Horse Show is excited to welcome an impressive line up of well known showjumpers to Bolesworth (29th June3rd July), who will be competing against each other and high profile event riders during the show. Top names entered for classes across the five days of showjumping include Guy Williams, William Funnell, Geoff Billington, Joe Stockdale, Joe Davison, David Simpson, Louise Saywell, Holly Smith, Jack Whitaker and Angelie Von Essen, to name but a few. What might be surprising is that the eventers are also showing good entries with Pippa Funnell, Gemma Tattersall, Ben Hobday and Chris Burton also competing. “We are so excited to welcome everyone back to Bolesworth; the entries are looking fabulous,” said Nina Barbour, Managing Director of Bolesworth. “We have some incredible riders and amazing horses. It’s going to be a great competition. “We love that our venue is now attracting event riders too. We know that the riders coming are also well known on the showjumping circuit, but having them here is really exciting for us. We like to see a bit of cross sport rivalry too!” The Dodson & Horrell International Horse Show starts on 29th June and will run until 3rd July. In addition to International Showjumping Classes, visitors will also be able to see young horse classes, International Amateur Classes, the Science Supplements A List Auction, Mini Major Pairs Relay, Puissance and the Dodson & Horrell Bolesworth Grand Prix. On Thursday, AP McCoy and Michael Owen will also be at the show. This incredible programme of sport sits alongside entertainment, food, drink and shopping. To get your tickets online and for more information, see www.bolesworthinternational.com

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WHAT’S ON

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he Longines Royal International Horse Show has been held at Hickstead in West Sussex every year since 1992, but the history of its most famous trophies dates back long before. We take a look at some of the amazing silverware on offer at this five-star international horse show. The Longines King George V Gold Cup The Longines Royal International Horse Show takes place from 26th-31st July, and on the final Sunday of the show the Grand Prix takes place, attracting a stellar field of international talent. The winner will lift the King George V Trophy, a stunning solid gold depiction of the George and the Dragon fable - which is replicated on the official logo for the All England Jumping Course. The trophy is so valuable that it is kept under lock and key in London and has its own security

King George 2019 winner David Will from Germany. Photo: Nigel Goddard

Billy Twomey wins King George in 2016

guard, so the riders don’t get to take it home and put it on their mantelpiece – which is probably a relief, due to the high costs of including it in their home insurance policy! It was commissioned in 1911 by King George V, the patron of the show, and was won that year by Russia’s Dimitri d’Exe on Piccolo. In 1939, the last year the show was held before the outbreak of

the Second World War, it was won by Italian rider Conte Alessandro Bettoni-Cazzago. The trophy remained on Italian soil throughout the war – the Conte was said to be so concerned about the welfare of the trophy that he had it buried in the grounds of his villa. It was retrieved after the war and

TROPHIES FIT FOR

KINGS& QUEENS By Victoria Goff 8

Photo: Craig Payne

returned to Britain, and has never left these shores since. The trophy is quite sizeable and heavy, as riders soon discover when they try to lift it in the prizegiving! In 2016, winning rider Billy Twomey managed to drop the trophy during the prizegiving, but thankfully it was not too badly damaged.


The Swedish Team (above). Chloe Winchester wins Queens Cup 2015 (below). Photo: George Gunn

The Edward, Prince of Wales Cup Keeping up with the Royal theme, the teams in Friday afternoon’s Longines FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain will compete for The Edward, Prince of Wales Cup. This team competition began in 1929 when Great Britain won on home turf. The Brits have won a further thirty times in the years since, but have not been victorious at Hickstead since 2010. The Longines Royal International Horse Show has

been held at a number of venues over the years, including Olympia, the White City Stadium, Wembley Stadium and Birmingham’s NEC. But it was felt that the Nations Cup should be held at an outdoor venue, so in the 1970s it was held at Hickstead as a separate fixture. After the RIHS moved to Hickstead in 1992, it didn’t take long before the Nations Cup was moved back to form the feature class of the Longines Royal International Horse Show in 1998, where it has remained since.

The Queen Elizabeth II Cup King George V’s granddaughter first presented another of Hickstead’s famous trophies back in 1949 when she was still known as Princess Elizabeth. The Queen Elizabeth II Cup was initially open to females only, and for more than half a century it was won by many of the world’s top lady riders. In 2008 the rules were changed so that both sexes could compete for the King George and the Queen’s Cup. Since then the Queen Elizabeth II Cup has been open to the leading riders on the national rankings – a change fully approved by Her Majesty The Queen and The British Horse Society, who own the trophy. The competition will take place this year on the Saturday of the Longines Royal International Horse Show, of which Queen Elizabeth II is the official patron.

Allister Hood winning the Winston Churchill in 2016. Photo: Craig Payne

Dick Saunders Trophy won in 2016.

Showing showstoppers While Hickstead is best known for showjumping, showing is also a huge part of its events, with thousands of the best show horses and ponies competing at Hickstead each year. Those that win their respective classes go through to their division championships, and the winners of these qualify for Sunday afternoon’s British Horse Society Supreme Ridden Horse Championship and the Supreme Products Supreme Pony Championship. The winner of the Supreme

Horse final will lift the Winston Churchill Cup, a trophy honouring the British Prime Minister, while the Supreme Pony winner is presented with the Dick Saunders Trophy, given in memory of Hickstead’s former Showing Director who famously won the Grand National on Grittar in 1982. At the age of 48, Dick still remains the oldest winner of this famous steeplechase. The ponies used to compete for the Winston Churchill against the horses, before their own championship was created in 2002.

Photo: Craig Payne

Tickets for the Longines Royal International Horse Show (26th-31st July) are on sale now from www.hickstead.co.uk

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DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS AND A CAPTION TO YOUR IMAGE. THE BEST PHOTO AND CAPTION WINS THE BOOTS!



HEALTH & WELFARE: VETWATCH

t h e c t V Wa HEALTH

By Lorna Brokenshire-Dyke MRCVS

ISSUES TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS SUMMER

Presented by

ROSSDALES VETERINARY SURGEONS Beaufort Cottage Stables High Street, Newmarket CB8 8JS T: 01638 663150 E: practice@rossdales.com www.rossdales.com

SEASONAL CONCERNS

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hile most of us enjoy the summer months, they can bring a number of health issues for horses and ponies. Some of the most common ones are highlighted here. Excess weight and laminitis Many horses and ponies have increased turnout at this time of

Changes in weight should be monitored regularly with a weigh tape

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year. Even if a paddock doesn’t appear to have much grass on it, this can be deceptive. Growing grass will be consumed as quickly as it grows, and stressed, closely grazed grass is especially rich in sugars. This contributes to the risk of laminitis. Ideally, your horse’s weight and condition should be monitored regularly, using a weigh tape and a body condition scoring system. Studies have shown that the risk of laminitis increases both in overweight horses and, particularly, in those gaining weight. Your vet or an equine nutritionist will be happy to offer weight management advice. It

A pony in a typical ‘laminitic stance’, shifting its weight

may be useful to discuss investigations of metabolic disorders such as Equine Cushings Disease (PPID) or Equine Metabolic Syndrome (insulin dysregulation), both of which significantly increase the risk of laminitis, but can be easily diagnosed with blood tests. Signs of acute laminitis range from subtle (warm feet and increased digital pulses) to more obvious (reluctance to move and


the typical ‘laminitic stance’). Chronic laminitis often results in visible changes to the foot, reflecting altered hoof growth and movement of the pedal bone. If you suspect laminitis, contact your vet immediately. Skin conditions Summer skin conditions are frequently caused by biting insects, sunburn, heat, or bacterial infections in humid conditions. They are usually diagnosed using the animal’s history, season and clinical signs, but may require a hair sample, skin scrape or biopsy sample to be examined in a laboratory. Sweet itch One of the most common allergic skin conditions in horses is ‘sweet itch’. In most cases, it is a reaction to midge (Culicoides) bites, but occasionally to horseflies, mosquitoes and other biting insects. Most horses do not show signs until they are 4-5 years old and the condition typically gets worse with age. Clinical signs include intense pruritis (itchiness) – rubbing the neck, mane, head, back and tailbase is typical – as well as tailswishing and fidgety behaviour. These signs may appear worse when midge activity peaks at dawn and dusk. Raised, crusty lumps may develop along the back and sometimes horses rub themselves so vigorously that the skin becomes hairless and, in the worst cases, broken and secondarily infected. With chronic sweet itch, the skin becomes thickened, with hair loss, especially on the neck, withers and tail-head. Avoiding exposure to midges

VET PROFILE Sunburn/photosensitisation Horses with any pink skin (usually around the muzzle, eyes and limbs) are at risk of sunburn and high factor sun cream should be applied to those areas to help prevent redness, peeling and blistering. Removing affected horses from the sun is important, as is addressing those areas that have been burnt. If the sunburn is mild, discomfort can be soothed by moisturising the dry skin and using products such as aloe vera gel. Occasionally, the sunburnt area may become secondary infected and Horses with pink skin are at risk of sunburn your vet may prescribe a topical antimicrobial cream to help limit infection and soothe the skin. To prevent further sunburn, consider turning your horse out at night, or in a field with plenty of shade to stand under. Full face masks are useful for covering sensitive areas prone to burning. Sunburn can also be a result of photosensitisation. This is an abnormal reaction to sunlight when a 'photodynamic agent' such as a plant, chemical, fungi or bacteria in the skin is present in the horse's circulation due to ingestion or absorption through the skin. Primary photosensitisation is caused by ingestion of chemicals from certain plants, such as St John’s Wort. These chemicals settle in the skin where they react to UV light, making the horse’s skin susceptible to burning. Sunburn can also occur as a result of liver disease in horses (secondary photosensitisation,) where toxins normally processed by the liver sensitise the skin to UV light, often resulting in severe and widespread sunburn. The difference between these different types of sunburn will require veterinary diagnosis. and other biting insects is the best strategy, achieved through the use of insect repellants (such as permethrin), full cover fly rugs and face masks. Stabling at dawn and dusk, when midge activity is highest, can help. In the worst affected individuals, consideration should be given to moving horses away from

habitats where midges thrive, including standing water. In some cases, anti-histamines or corticosteroids may be prescribed by your vet. Where skin becomes secondarily infected, antimicrobials may be prescribed.

LORNA BROKENSHIRE DYKE BA, MA, VETMB, MRCVS Lorna is a member of Rossdales Veterinary Surgeons’ sport and leisure horse ambulatory team in Newmarket. She qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 2009 from the University of Cambridge and subsequently joined Rossdales, completing two internships at the Hospital and Diagnostic Centre. In 2012, she helped establish the Rossdales Hertfordshire branch, working as an ambulatory vet. After leaving the practice in 2015 to focus on her young family, she then spent five years as a senior equine vet in a mixed practice in Suffolk. She rejoined Rossdales in 2021 and is currently studying to turn a Postgraduate Diploma into a Master of Science in Veterinary Physiotherapy.

Continued overleaf...

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HEALTH & WELFARE: VETWATCH

PRODUCT NEWS...

Use plenty of cold water to cool your horse following exercise in hot weather

LOOK OUT FOR THESE Heat stress and dehydration Horses’ water intake increases considerably during hot weather and exercise. Several sources of water are important for groups of horses so that dominant horses can’t prevent more timid ones from drinking. Some horses prefer water from home whilst travelling or competing. Most horses struggle to acclimatise to sudden increases in temperature. Exercise should be planned for the coolest part of the day and extra care should be taken whilst travelling, with more frequent checks, and consideration given to reduced warm up times during competition. Heat stress can occur when horses work in excessively hot or humid conditions and is a condition that must be treated immediately. Body temperature can rise dangerously due to

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massive heat production from the muscles, insufficient heat loss, excessive loss of fluids and electrolytes and oxygen being consumed faster than it is being delivered. The consequences can be serious and occasionally fatal.

Signs of possible heat stress

• Rectal temperature above 39.0°C • Heavy and/or rapid If your horse displays any of breathing these signs (right), aggressive • Rapid heart rate cooling methods are required to (sometimes an irregular reduce the horse’s temperature rhythm) as quickly as possible. The most effective cooling has been shown • Excessive sweating • Lethargy or restlessness to be repeated applications of copious cold water, WITHOUT • Stumbling or going scraping between applications. down The horse should be walked • Muscle spasms slowly in the shade between • Kicking out with the back applications and monitored legs regularly including taking repeat • Slow recovery after rectal temperature. Always seek exercise veterinary help if you suspect a • Dark urine/reduced case of heat stress. More urination intensive treatment with intravenous fluids and medical • Collapse and, in serious management may be required. cases, convulsions www.rossdales.com

Kentucky Liquid Joint Supplement provides key nutrients, including Glucosamine Hydrochloride, MSM and Boswellia, to provide nutritional support for both cartilage repair, and to help maintain healthy joint fluid to lubricate and nourish the joint, supporting joint health and comfort, and reducing stiffness. RRP: £29.50/1ltr. www.equine-america.co.uk

Citro Shield Gel from Veredus is a fly repellent gel, non-toxic and hypoallergenic, made of citronella, geranium and cinnamon. Specially formulated for use on delicate and sensitive areas such as eyes and muzzle. The gel is safe for use on skin abrasions. RRP: £26/500ml. www.zebra products.co.uk


WIN! WIN! Cortaflex HA Regular Powder includes collagen, hyaluronic acid, trace elements and amino acid building blocks to provide essential nutritional support for maintaining healthy cartilage and joint fluid. Suitable for all horses and ponies in light to medium work, and older horses and ponies to support mobility. From as little as 59p per day. www.equine-america.co.uk

No Bute is used to attain and maintain healthy joints and connective tissue. No Bute liquid is made with the Devils Claw plant and is suited to horses that have suffered from joint discomfort. No Bute does not contain phenylbutazone. RRP: £16.50. No Bute Premium contains Devils Claw for horses. No Bute Premium is perfect for maintaining healthy joints and connective tissues in horses. It is the same as No Bute, with the addition of MSM, Glucosamine Sulphate and Vitamin C. RRP: £25. www.animal-health.co.uk

Re-Hydrate, a water-soluble glucose base used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance, before, during or after prolonged sweating or strenuous exercise. Provides essential minerals for recovery and optimum performance. RRP: £14.20/2kg. www.rowenbarbary.co.uk

THREE LUCKY READERS TO EACH WIN A BUNDLE OF ABSORBINE PRIZES! Absolute Horse Magazine has teamed up with Absorbine, to offer three lucky winners this fantastic pampering bundle worth over £60. It includes ShowSheen 2-in1 Shampoo & Conditioner, an effective yet gentle formula to deep clean and condition hair in one easy step, and ShowSheen Stain Remover & Whitener that uses Oxi-Eraser technology to lift out stains for a deep clean without bleach or bluing agents. You also get a bottle of ShowSheen Hair Polish and Detangler not only making your horses coat smooth and sleek but also giving it a healthy shine including its mane and tail. Finally, you can maintain your horses hooves in tip top condition with Hooflex Liquid Conditioner keeping the frog, sole, heel and coronary band healthy. ShowSheen Stain Remover & Whitener RRP £11.49/591ml ShowSheen 2-In-1 Shampoo & Conditioner RRP £11.49/950ml ShowSheen Hair Polish & Detangler RRP £18.82/946ml Hooflex Liquid Conditioner RRP £20.11.

www.absorbine.co.uk To enter: Visit www.absolutehorsemagazine.com and click on the Competitions page. Entries open 1st July and close 31st August 2022. Full terms and conditions are available on our website.

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WIN!

HEALTH & WELFARE

A Calming Influence...

FIVE LUCKY READERS TO WIN A BUNDLE OF PRIZES FROM ANIWELL!

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ith stressful horses being a frequent issue in the equine industry, Cavalor know that there is no 100% nutritional solution for stressed horses because they all react differently. However Cavalor’s innovative product, Cavalor Take It Easy Forte, has fast become a go-to calming product within the dressage, eventing and showjumping scene. Event rider Emily King, has been using Cavalor Take It Easy Forte since the product launched in 2019 on her horses who have a sharper and quirkier nature who find it difficult to concentrate in their work particularly in the dressage. Emily said: “I was recommended Cavalor Take It Easy Forte by another 5* rider when discussing how I was struggling with the concentration of a sharper horse of mine. “I use the paste leading up to a dressage test, if needed. I have noticed that it really enhances the horses focus and concentration which aids them to work to their full ability.” Emily told us that the tube is easy to administer and the horses seem to like

We have teamed up with Aniwell to offer 5 lucky readers the chance to win a set of their antibacterial protective skin products!

the taste. Cavalor Take It Easy Forte’s paste formula is enriched with several calming essential oils. These oils help to lower blood pressure, support the breathing and to suppress fear. Said Emily: “The Take It Easy Forte‘s are a must-have in my grooming box. I use them on my sharper, more exuberant and nervous horses and it helps hugely with their concentration and relaxation meaning they can 100% focus on the job in hand.” www.zebraproducts.co.uk

Buteless Original High Strength includes Boswellia, MSM, Yucca and Turmeric to help maintain a normal inflammatory response and contains key antioxidant vitamins E and C on a palatable linseed base, to provide important omega 3 fatty acids. Low sugar and suitable for horses and ponies prone to laminitis. Glucosamine HCI 12,000 contains a full 12g Glucosamine per 30g serve, provided from Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCL). Also provides MSM and Hyaluronic Acid (HA). Offers great value joint and mobility support for all horses and ponies. www.equine-america.co.uk

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FiltaBac is a complete protective, antibacterial, sunblock cream that acts as a totally natural second skin. FiltaClear rubs in to near clear. It is a protective antibacterial sunblock cream that acts as a totally natural second skin. Active Manuka Honey Vet (AMHVet) is a totally natural antibacterial cream containing 25% of 15+ UMF (activity factor) manuka honey, suitable for all damaged skin areas. www.aniwell-uk.com

RRP: £30.99/1kg. RRP: £19.99/1kg.

To enter: Visit www.absolutehorsemagazine.com and click on the Competitions page. Entries open 1st July and close 31st August 2022. Full terms and conditions are available on our website.


BVA CALLS ON ANIMAL OWNERS TO

‘THINK BEFORE THEY TYPE’

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he British Veterinary Association (BVA) is calling on animal owners to consider the impact their online behaviour has on vets and veterinary teams. Figures released recently to mark World Veterinary Day show 1 in 2 vets working in clinical practice experienced online abuse last year. As part of their new ‘Respect your vet team – end abuse’ campaign BVA is encouraging animal owners to ‘think before you type’ and consider the impact that harassment, trolling and unfair reviews can have on veterinary staff.

BVA President Justine Shotton said: “The current pressures on vet teams are immense and it’s simply unacceptable that their jobs should be made even harder by abuse from clients, either online or in person. We’re very aware that a visit to the vet may be an anxious and uncertain time for animal owners, particularly when the prognosis is poor or the necessary treatment is costly, but it is absolutely unacceptable to take these frustrations out on veterinary staff. I would ask all owners to think before they type and consider whether their online comments are fair,

respectful and courteous. “Most clients are cooperative and grateful for the care their animals receive but a small minority are creating an intolerable environment for veterinary professionals in person and online. I know from experience the huge impact that a single aggressive or intimidating interaction with a client can have on your mental wellbeing.” Almost half of those who experienced online abuse had experienced abusive language (46%), while one in three (33%) experienced trolling.

Activ Scrub from Robinson Animal Healthcare is an antibacterial scrub and cleansing wash that is ideal for using to remove sweat after exercise. Mild and gentle, Activ Scrub can also be used diluted as a general hand wash. Supplied in a conveniently sized 500ml pump bottle for ease of use, especially when away at competitions. RRP: around £10. www.robinsonanimal healthcare.com


HEALTH & WELFARE

PONY IN A ‘PICKLE’ NOW DOING WELL

A

pony who had an untreated eye injury is recovering in Redwings’ care in Norfolk after having the eye removed. Pickle, as she has been named, had surgery at Redwings’ reception centre within 24 hours of being signed over to the charity, and whilst still under quarantine conditions. The piebald cob filly is just four or five-months-old. Julie Harding, Senior Field Officer and Reception Centre Manager, said: “Unfortunately, circumstances meant her owner wasn’t able to provide the veterinary attention she needed,

and they agreed to sign her over to us so that her welfare could be secured. “We think she probably scratched her eye on some fencing, causing the initial injury, followed by a serious infection. “Thanks to our brilliant Reception Centre team, she had the treatment she needed within 24 hours of her coming into us.” Nicola Berryman, one of Redwings’ Welfare Veterinary Surgeons, performed the operation. She said: “Pickle was in a great amount of pain when she arrived, and she couldn’t see

out of her eye, so the best option was to remove it. “Things were looking a little shaky for a few days due to problems linked to a high worm burden, but she was in the very best place with the very best care and some special company – Phoenix the foal’s old teddy bear. Redwings supporters will

remember much-missed Phoenix’ story, who sadly passed away just before Christmas despite all efforts possible to help him recover from extensive burns. For Redwings’ dedicated nursing team, seeing her with his favourite toy was heartbreaking and heart-warming all at the same time. “She’s adapted so well to having one eye, and it doesn’t seem to be phasing her at all. We’re so thrilled that she’s come through it and is now doing great.” So great, in fact, that Pickle – accidently named by a member of staff - has now been turned out on grass at the Norfolk site, which is closed to the public. Once she’s ready, she’ll be moved to one of their other centres. Redwings is 100% funded by public donations, if you’d like to support them to continue to be able to take in and care for ponies like Pickle you can do so by visiting their website www.redwings.org.uk/ donating

CALLING ALL ERISKAY PONY OWNERS

I

n a ground breaking move the Eriskay Pony Society is engaging with genetics experts at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) to carry out the biggest ever survey of Eriskay Pony DNA, as they work to protect and promote this critically endangered native breed. The results of this analysis will be used to help inform all future breeding plans and decision making. Catriona Rowan, Chair of the Eriskay Pony Society explained: “It’s easy for Eriskay owners to get involved. Simply email info@eriskaypony.org for a testing kit. It’s a simple process using a hair sample, which must be returned to us by the end of July.”

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UK HORSE VET HIGHLIGHTS:

HORRIFIC SUFFERING OF UKRAINE’S HORSES

A gunshot wound reported to have been deliberately inflicted by Russian troops. Despite veterinary attention the horse died

H

orses remain under serious threat within occupied areas of the Ukraine, with horrendous accounts of animals continuing to be maimed or killed, while grooms and carers risk their own lives by refusing to abandon them, says David Rendle, president elect of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA). Having returned from the Ukraine-Poland border recently, David delivered essential veterinary supplies from the UK including antibiotics and painrelieving medications. He also worked with British Equestrian and World Horse Welfare to help treat and to relocate horses from Ukraine. While there he received pictures and testimony of a number of attacks being carried out by Russian forces on stables in Bucha, Irpin and other equestrian premises north of Kyiv. Ukraine vet Anatoly Levitsky who is working in Kyiv reports:

their yards. “It is hard to understand what could motivate anyone to perform these deliberate acts of cruelty,” said David. “Random shootings, stabbings and burnings are widely reported and pictured on social media, we have no idea how many horses are dead and how many injured, but it has to be a significant number. “Some of the lorry drivers I have met coming out have been shot at, shelled and beaten up, evacuating surviving horses. They are taking risks that we would consider totally unacceptable to move animals out and supplies in; I have nothing but admiration for the bravery of the Ukrainian people. “Ever conscious that there is an equal humanitarian need you feel very small and rather cowardly that you aren’t permitted to go into Ukraine to help the people and animals that require treatment.” The British Equine Veterinary Association and American Association of Equine Practitioners are working

together to support vets in Ukraine whilst they are not permitted to provide direct practical help. There are dire shortages of medicines and materials in the areas where they are needed, and the collaboration is doing what it can to get veterinary and humanitarian supplies to the vets they are in contact with. They are working to establish safe stables in the West of Ukraine to get horses and their owners away from likely areas of combat in the East. Previously people have had no option but to turn horses into the woods prior to fleeing or they have stayed to look after their animals despite the risks to themselves. BEVA, in association with the British Equestrians for Ukraine Fund, is calling for urgent support to help fund veterinary treatment, supplies and the safe relocation of Ukraine’s endangered horses. www.worldhorsewelfare.org/ support-us/appeals/britishequestrians-for-ukraine-fund

“Not very big horse club was not far from Borodianka and owners were using their horses for hippotherapy of children with different pathologies. When war started, the lady who owned the stable and her child emigrated to Poland and her husband was conscripted into Ukrainian army. When Russian bandits in army uniform came to the village, they set fire to the stable and started shooting the horses that tried to escape. “Some horses ran away, others were wounded, and some were burned down. After the building was burned, Russian soldiers went away and horses that escaped were wandering around the village and trying to find the feed. Step by step, people living in the village collected (Left) This horse arrived in Poland with impaction colic, and was treated successfully by the horses and keep administering fluids via a soft drinks bottle and a short piece of hose pipe. (Right) It is reported that one or two horses in this horse was released from its stable and then gunned down by Russian forces

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TRANSPORT & TRAILERS

HORSEBOX INSURANCE A

Social, Domestic, and Pleasure policy adequately covers most horse owners. This level of coverage allows the nonprofessional rider to get out and about with their horse to compete for pleasure – but it’s not likely to be the right choice for an amateur competing at major competitions with huge prize funds. Regardless of whether you consider those prize pots a significant part of your annual income, they will likely push you into the professional category from an insurance point of view.

policy. This generally applies to trainers and professional riders who will take their horses out to compete for significant prize money. But significant is the key word, here: taking your horses out needs to contribute to your business in a substantial way. If you’re producing horses or riding for owners and the payment for which forms part of your income, then this would also put you into the Business Use category. Taking those horses to training or competition venues, or even to the vets, would classify as part of your business/income.

When it’s for profit You may only ever move your own horses, but if there’s some financial incentive involved, you’ll need a Business Use

When it’s for other people If you ever find yourself moving someone else’s horse for payment, you’ll need a Hire &

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Reward policy. This isn’t limited just to transporters – it’s also valid for livery yard owners or similar if they use their lorry primarily in this capacity. This policy protects the lorry itself, but it’s generally wise to top it up with a Care, Custody, and Control policy to offer cover in case anything should happen to your charge, allowing the horse’s owner to claim for

GEARING UP FOR A BUSY SEASON BEHIND THE WHEEL? BEFORE YOU DUST OFF YOUR SAT-NAV, MAKE SURE YOU’RE PROPERLY COVERED NO MATTER HOW OFTEN YOU HIT THE ROAD, IT’S ESSENTIAL THAT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT INSURANCE POLICY FOR YOUR HORSEBOX OR TRAILER. BUT DO YOU KNOW WHICH CATEGORY YOUR USAGE FALLS INTO? SHEARWATER INSURANCE BREAKS DOWN THE BASICS. damages and vet’s bills. When you want to be prepared for anything Most insurance policies don’t automatically include


breakdown coverage, nor will they necessarily insure the contents of your lorry, so speak to your broker about adding these essential extras on. Similarly, if you want to travel abroad with your horses, policies and regulations are liable to change as Brexit unfolds – for your own peace of mind, call your insurer before you plan your trip. CPC or leave it be? A Certificate of Professional Competence, or CPC, is an additional certification designed for professional drivers of lorries over 7.5 tonnes. You’ll need a CPC if you drive a lorry in any sort of professional capacity – for example, if you transport someone’s horse for them for payment, or if the use of your lorry represents a significant part of your business. Professional riders generally need to ensure they have a CPC – after all, without a lorry, they can’t compete. As such, their lorry is considered essentially connected to their income, and that makes them a professional driver in the eyes of the law. You’ll also likely need a CPC if you’re under 21 and want to drive a lorry with a payload of 7.5 tonnes or higher. In this case, the CPC effectively fills the gap created by a lack of on-theroad experience. The fine for not holding a valid CPC is reasonably hefty at £1,000, but the good news? You only need to top up your training every five years once you’ve got it. www.shearwaterinsurance.co.uk

RISE OF THE

TRAILER

D

id you know that you no longer need to take a test to tow a horse

trailer? This change to the law, combined with the cost of living rising at an unprecedented rate, has led to horsebox and trailer manufacturer, Equi-Trek, seeing a huge increase in the demand for trailers. Years ago most horse owners dreamed of owning a horsebox with living accommodation so that they could stay away at shows and have plenty of room for all of their kit. Fast-forward to 2022 and the standard of trailers that are now available are often much better options as they have excellent overnight accommodation, generous payloads and can be significantly cheaper to purchase, run and maintain. Most 3.5 tonne horseboxes don’t have living accommodation or adequate payload to transport two large horses. However, there are several Equi-Trek trailers available that do and they also come without the expense of

tax and MOTs. Managing Director, Tom Janion said: “The standard of living in our trailers is excellent so many owners now find it much more affordable not to run a horsebox when there are trailers that have everything they need, including a bathroom, kitchen area and bed. “Since the law on towing changed in December 2021 people can now legally tow without having to take a test which has also been a further incentive for people to swap their horsebox for a trailer. We always recommend training before people start towing on the road if they have no previous experience.” The Equi-Trek range of trailers leads the way when it comes to choice and innovation. From the new lightweight, spacious and wood free Apollo to the luxury Star-Treka with exceptional living accommodation, there is a transport solution to suit every owner’s needs and budget. Another popular trailer is the Space-Treka III which carries up to three horses or four ponies

(depending on size and weight) whilst remaining compact and easy to tow. It also has a totally separate tack and changing area that provides ample space for equipment. Equi-Trek trailers offer market leading payloads due to their design which utilises superior strength lightweight panels and aluminium flooring. Their ability to efficiently and costeffectively design for space utilisation, comfort and lightweighting has become a key market differentiator. Equine welfare is the top priority for Equi-Trek which is why the trailers are spacious and provide a comfortable experience for travelling horses, whether that is rearfacing, herringbone or forward-facing. www.equi-trek.com

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TRANSPORT & TRAILERS

A AROUND HORSES O HOW TO DRIVE SAFELY ne encounter which regularly causes incidents on our roads is the meeting of cars and horse riders. Statistics show that on average two horses are killed every week. However, it’s not just horses that are in danger. Since 2010, 44 people have died and 1220 have been injured. Of the incidents reported in the last year, many were due to drivers’ negligence with 40% of incidents occurring because a driver passed too quickly, 81% of incidents occurring because cars passed too closely, and 43% of riders reporting road rage. Therefore, Horse and County wanted to share their advice for driving around horses safely.

Horses are naturally fearful animals and their response to danger is flight not fight.

their palm held out flat, they’re signalling you to stop. Do so and Give them space remain stationary until it’s clear Horses have 350˚ vision they are advising you to move meaning they can see far and again. wide. However, do bear in mind it’s Therefore, it’s essential car not always safe for riders to take drivers give horses enough their hands off the reins, so space, allowing them to slip past don’t always expect them to without issue. signal a thank you or any Slow down Remember to always leave at direction. Horses have a much keener least a cars width between you sense of hearing than humans, Driving away and a horse (where possible). they can hear low to high When driving away, remember Understanding rider frequencies ranging from 14Hz to keep a gentle acceleration to signals to 25 kHz. Humans can only avoid any loud engine noises. Sometimes a rider may signal hear from 20Hz to 20kHz. Avoid splashing any puddles Alongside this, a horses’ ears can the best thing to do as you where possible too as this can approach. move 180˚ using ten different spook horses. When turning left, a rider will muscles, allowing them to extend their left hand outwards, Riders have the same right as isolate sounds, therefore, they straight, at 90°. For a right turn, motorists to use the road, so it’s are much more likely to hear, important to treat them with and react to, the sounds of a car. they will do the same with their respect and patience. Often, right hand. That’s why it’s essential that If a rider’s hand is held outwards incidents between horses and drivers reduce their speed and drivers are down to towards the middle of the road remain patient. Beeping your misunderstanding or and they are waving it up and horn or revving your engine will down, they may be trying to ask miscommunication. However, only spook a horse. with understanding and When approaching a rider, slow you to slow down. Take heed education, everyone can safely and reduce your speed. down to 15mph or less and share our roads. If a rider is facing you and has remain calm until it’s safe for

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you to pass.

ndreas, you are a professor and a doctor – can you tell me when you first considered using horses in your psychotherapy work and why? “I was brought up with horses, and I recall from a young age I would spend time with them, and just sit in their stable. There was something wise about them, something incredibly soothing about their presence. As I swapped horses for university they somewhat receded until I first came across the natural horsemanship movement, which was about the same time as I finished my studies. “For a while, I kept horses away from therapy but the evidence for their effectiveness was simply too apparent – and so the two combined.” What do you feel horses add to a therapy session that is unlikely to be gained in a ‘normal’ therapy session? “Horses do in therapy what they have always done for us make things go faster. People come to therapy finding it hard to talk. Horses don’t rely on language yet are great communicators. They don’t judge; they seek connections, they help people move when they’re stuck.” What type of horses are best suited to this work? “All horses can work


RIDER HEALTH & WELFARE

Five minutes with...

ANDREAS LIEFOOGHE potentially, however you do need to select a horse that is secure in themselves, contained yet outgoing enough. I love working with Arabians and Thoroughbreds in therapy although Shire horses are equally amazing due to their enormous presence.” What type of human conditions do you find are best treated through horse therapy? “It’s not so much the condition as the person - people with trauma, shame, who find trust in relationships problematic. People who don’t like sitting in an office with a therapist looking at them. Operation Centaur now has clinics for most conditions including addiction, eating disorders, anxiety and depression, trauma.” Have you seen a rise in the above-mentioned conditions since the Pandemic?

“Eating disorders and addiction have certainly increased. People who were already struggling clearly found things very hard, for everyone else there has been an increased awareness that sound mental health is not something we can take for granted.”

strong. People can identify with them.”

We understand that you tend to use Shire horses for work such as antibullying in schools and work with offenders in prisons – can you tell us a little bit more about this and why you choose to use this breed? “It’s difficult to bully a horse that weighs a tonne. Shires are so impressive, noble - gentle yet

You are planning overseas horse therapy retreats, ‘Retreat and Conquer’ in 2023 – can you tell us a little bit more about these? “Our clinical work has taught us that a lot of working with horses and humans can be translated to situations out of the clinic post-pandemic there’s a real need for this. Many people feel a bit stuck, lacking purpose,

THERE ARE TIMES IN ALL OUR LIVES WHEN OUR EMOTIONS ARE OVERWHELMING BUT HORSES CAN PLAY A PIVOTAL ROLE IN RECOVERY AND EQUINE-ASSISTED THERAPY CAN HELP US WORK THROUGH DIFFICULTIES. OPERATION CENTAUR, THE UK’S LEADING HORSE THERAPY CENTRE, HAS BEEN HELPING PEOPLE WITH ANXIETY, PTSD AND EATING DISORDERS THROUGH EQUINEASSISTED THERAPY FOR YEARS, AND WILL BE LAUNCHING A NEW OVERSEAS INITIATIVE IN 2023. PHOEBE OLIVER SPOKE WITH FOUNDER, ANDREAS LIEFOOGHE, TO FIND OUT MORE.

feeling there’s something is missing in life, as a result of this we have put together a list of retreats in some of the most awe-inspiring places in the world including Asia, Arabia, South Africa and Mustique in the Caribbean.” www.operationcentaur.com

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RIDER HEALTH & WELFARE

ASK A

Masterminder 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 answers. This month’s question is…

‘HOW DO YOU ENCOURAGE LOYALTY FROM YOUR CUSTOMERS?’ Carly O’Brien, COB’s Executive Virtual Assistant and COB’s Equine Services “I truly believe that the loyalty I have with my customers is because of great communication, completing work to a high standard and going the extra mile. “With these key traits, I have repeat customers who come to me again and again. They even recommend me to their friends and family. I love it when I receive a message saying, “you were recommended” or “x recommended you”. www.cobs-eva.co.uk

Matt and Harry Wallis, Hand Forged Hearts “A good product. He (Matt) takes pride in his work and the finished product always looks good. “Being as flexible for the customer as possible has helped us get repeat orders. We have an easy drop off and collection service if customers want their own horse’s shoes incorporated into a design. We offer free local delivery and free nationwide delivery for larger orders. We communicate well with customers which is streamlined through Etsy or our website for simpler orders and more personally for commissions. “Lastly, we are quite open on our website and social media about why we do this business and share little sneak peaks about our family and what we get up to. So much so, at a show recently, a lady came up to our stand with her partner and said to him, “These guys have just spent their first anniversary in Sardinia!” www.handforgedhearts.co.uk Tracey Cole, Tracey Cole NLP “I think how I’m inspired to be loyal to brands and businesses and aim to do the same. I like to feel that I’m a person, not a number. If I take the time to comment or share a post, it helps if that’s acknowledged. “The same applies when following or buying; it’s good to feel that it’s valued.” www.traceycolenlp.com

Find out more about the Small & Supercharged Mastermind group: www.rheafreemanpr.co.uk

IMPROVING EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

IN THE EQUESTRIAN COMMUNITY

B

ritish Equestrian and its eighteen member bodies have recently signed a unity pledge which outlines a commitment to improving equality, diversity and inclusion throughout the equestrian industry.

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The pledge includes the following commitments: 4 to make equestrianism representative of the diverse communities around us 4 to grow a welcoming community for all who are united by a passion and

respect for the horse 4 to promote the benefits of equestrianism on mental and physical health and wellbeing. Chief Executive of British Equestrian Jim Eyre said; “If we are to open up participation for

everyone to experience the unique joy horses bring, we have to do more to embrace our differences and recognise what can be possible when equality, diversity and inclusion is woven into our culture.” www.britishequestrian.org.uk


Rhea Asks...

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF

SOCIAL MEDIA?

W

e all know that social media can reap huge rewards, but it also takes a lot of time. If not managed properly, it can also be rather unrewarding. The question is, how do you make the most out of social media? Here are a few tips to help you… The first question to ask yourself is ‘why am I here?’. Sounds obvious, but it will help you to use your time well on the platform IF you know why you’re using it. Do you want to raise awareness about a specific cause? Find like-minded friends? Connect

over a shared passion? Educate yourself about something that matters to you? Think hard. Why did you start your account and is your objective the same now? Now you know why you’re there, you can work out what you need to do to achieve that goal. So, if you want to raise awareness around a cause how are you going to do that? What type of content will help you do it? What kind of hashtags do you need to use and follow? Which other accounts can you follow and engage with that support your cause? What relevant Facebook Groups can you join? Spend a bit of time on this. It will honestly help you. Next, you want to be a teeny bit ruthless. Go through your social media feeds and see what’s coming up and if it aligns with why you’re using social media. Even if you’re online to find likeminded friends, look at the content that’s coming up and see if that aligns with your thoughts. In real life, would you be friends with this person? That’s quite an acid test, and if the answer is no (as in, you wouldn’t be a friend of theirs/their content doesn’t align with why you’re using social media) then consider unfollowing or muting. You

don’t need to alienate people (so muting is a good call on Instagram, unfollowing works well on Facebook), but you don’t need that content on your feed either. By having a good spring clean, you’re making sure that the time you do spend on social is well spent as you’re seeing stuff that matters to you. Be strict with yourself. I can go down a social media rabbit hole as much as the next person, but if you’re looking to use your time well on social media, you need to avoid this. Decide how long you want to spend on social media, set a timer, and come off social when the timer sounds. Knowing you have a time limit is likely to help you use your time in a more efficient manner. You can even plan how you spend your time such as: go on, check DMs, look at comments on recent posts and respond, look down feed and comment on relevant posts, search via hashtag and engage on those too, and then move on. It's all too easy to waste time

I’M RHEA FREEMAN. I’M A PR, MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA CONSULTANT AND COACH WITH A SPECIALISM IN EQUESTRIAN AND RURAL BUSINESS. I WORK WITH A NUMBER OF THE BEST BRANDS IN THE INDUSTRY AND MANY THAT YOU’LL SEE IN THESE PAGES... on social media, but with a bit of thought and planning, you can make it work for you, just how it should be. www.rheafreemanpr.co.uk Twitter (@rheafreeman) Instagram (@rheafreemanpr) Facebook (/RheaFreemanPR)

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RIDER HEALTH & WELFARE

By Charlotte Dowson, Senior Solicitor at Bolt Burdon Kemp

is likely to include a duty to: 4 Take reasonable care to supply suitable horses 4 Provide appropriate and well maintained equipment 4 Provide adequate supervision and instruction 4 Provide suitable premises Employers are also under a statutory duty of care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees. In order to protect clients and employees riding schools are required to comply with health and safety law. Risk assessments should be carried out, potential hazards identified and precautions put in place such as yard rules and safety signs. Other practical ways that a riding school can protect their clients Learning to ride and This could be where: the risks involved 8 You are given an unsuitable or can be through pre-assessment. Prior to a client’s first ride a Learning to ride is exciting and unpredictable horse to ride competent member of staff rewarding and for most of us the 8 Poor instructions are given journey starts at the local riding from riding instructors during should assess their weight, height, age and riding ability to school. Horse riding is known to a lesson or whilst on a hack help ensure they are provided be a dangerous sport and you 8 The equipment provided is with a horse that meets their accept a level of risk when you unsuitable or defective needs. get into the saddle. 8 There is overcrowding in Clients should be advised about Most horse riding accidents lessons suitable clothing, particularly unfortunately cannot be 8 There are defects with the prevented but in some ménage or surfaces around the footwear. Most establishments supply hard hats for clients which circumstances, where the riding yard school or its staff have been The main hazards associated with should be of the relevant careless, you may feel like more horse riding relate to falls and the standard. Staff fitting hats should could have been done to ensure consequence of injury. However, be suitably trained to do so. One of the key safety controls is your safety. injuries may also occur through the competency of the riding being kicked, bitten or crushed instructor. Riding establishment against obstacles. licence guidelines state that a Duties and person must be at least 16. responsibilities of horse Ultimately it is the responsibility riding schools of the person having control of The owner of a riding school has the business to determine who is a duty of care towards clients competent to teach and to what who visit their premises to ride as level. Formal qualifications can well as to employees who may be assist when attempting to exercising or training horses. This substantiate such decisions.

ACCIDENTS

AT RIDING SCHOOLS

H

orse riding is a popular sport in the UK but despite this it does come with some risks irrespective of experience. Some of these are avoidable but others arise as a result of someone else’s negligence. Horse riding and equestrian accidents can occur in a variety of circumstances and the injuries sustained can be serious and life changing. There have been a number of stories in the news recently that demonstrate how dangerous riding horses professionally or for leisure can be. Professional event rider Nicola Wilson had a horrific fall at Badminton Horse Trials this year that has left her with serious spinal injuries; a stable girl working for a top racehorse trainer was kicked in the head;. in Somerset a young girl’s horse bolted on a hack which led to her sustaining a brain injury.

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Proprietors should ask to see certification or check with the relevant certification body where not available. On commencement of the lesson or hack clients should be advised of the potential hazards, and basic principles such as how to safely approach horses and to be advised to follow instructions. Close supervision to enforce this is essential. The quality and maintenance of the tack is also an important part of the management system. The areas prone to break or likely to rub or pinch are of importance, as breakage or discomfort may result in horses panicking and/or riders or handlers having less control or falling off. A riding school’s liability where they have not provided appropriate safety measures If you have been injured as a result of a horse riding school not providing appropriate safety measures then you may be able to make a personal injury claim against the horse riding school. You should speak to a specialist personal injury solicitor about this so an assessment can be made of the likely prospects of successfully making a claim. If you are successful in making a personal injury claim against a riding school you will receive compensation relating to any past or future financial losses and expenses incurred or likely to be incurred. You will also receive an award for pain, suffering and loss of amenity to compensate you for the physical and/or psychiatric injuries you have sustained. www.boltburdonkemp.co.uk

By Louise Towl

RIDING FITNESS DURING

PREGNANCY

L

ast time I talked about some of the challenges that face pregnant women – especially riders – when it comes to exercising. Now it’s time to take a look at the ways we can be proactive during pregnancy; this is so important for our health during pregnancy, but also afterwards. For all pregnant women, key areas to focus on are the perhaps obvious ones of cardiovascular fitness and strength, as well as trying to limit excessive weight gain. The latter is, apart from anything else, just going to increase the load on already overloaded joints, and potentially exacerbate problems such as pelvic girdle pain. It is also hard to shift once baby has arrived. Riders have additional requirements, whether choosing to remain in the saddle during pregnancy or not. At the best of times it is hard to have good enough ‘dynamic stability’ around the pelvis to effectively absorb the forces coming up from our horses, and be able to move in synchronicity with them. A

growing bump throws all the usual biomechanics and weight distribution out of the window, and even though the bump disappears pretty quickly, it can take time to regain the control of low back and pelvic movement that was there before pregnancy. We also have to consider the contact, and I like to think that we don’t just aim for an independent seat, but also an independent contact. Whilst both are reliant on the dynamic stability I’ve already mentioned, the contact also requires strength and stability around the shoulder girdle. As a baby bump grows, so it can be harder to maintain ‘normal’ posture, shoulders become more rounded, and some of the finer control is lost. What to do? Well, the first thing to bear in mind is that during pregnancy it is recommended that you don’t lie on your back due to the potential for the baby to compress mum’s aorta – this is a rather major blood vessel! Otherwise, provided you are comfortable, and your medical team are happy, you can exercise in any position you like. Obviously, once you have a bump you won’t be lying on

CHARTERED PHYSIOTHERAPIST LOUISE TOWL IS FOUNDER OF ‘READY TO RIDE PHYSIOTHERAPY AND PILATES’ AND HAS CREATED ONLINE COURSES THAT OFFER HELPFUL ADVICE FOR FEMALE AND PREGNANT RIDERS. your tummy though. There are many exercises you can safely do in sitting, standing and kneeling, such as pelvic tilts, squats, lunges and general hip/glutes strengthening, which will all help to maintain a good degree of strength and control round your low back, hips and pelvis. Hopefully I don’t need to remind you that doing pelvic floor exercises is an essential part of the day for ever more…. Although your balance will continually change during Continued overleaf...

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THE PROFESSIONALS Continued from previous page...

pregnancy, it is still well worth working on this, so again provided it is comfortable, continuing to work on challenging and single leg exercises is excellent. In some ways, working up upper body strength is easier, because pelvic girdle pain is not going to impact on the ability to do this. Working on all 4s is a good way of automatically upping the workload on the upper body, and using weights and resistance bands provide lots of options for not just standard biceps curls, but movements such as ‘give and retake’, as well as postural work. It’s also important to incorporate mobility exercises; whilst a bump will limit certain movements, maintaining rotation through the whole of your spine for example, will make you feel more comfortable, and again help you regain your riding fitness post pregnancy more quickly. Our ability to turn equally both ways is key to our horses’ ability to work equally on both reins, by ensuring we don’t block or unbalance them. All of these don’t just help keep the body primed for riding, but also help prepare for the physical demands that will arrive along with baby. My Pregnancy Fitness for Riders course covers a multitude of exercises that are safe to do during the second and third trimesters, and which will help with riding-specific fitness, as well as plenty of advice for dealing with the changes in your body. www.readytoride.online

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WHAT IS THE JUDGE

LOOKING FOR?

(AND HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR MARKS?)

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rying to work out why you got the mark you did and how the Judge came up with that mark is a discussion that I think every rider will have had many times! Sometimes it can be hard to work it out, especially if the mark is higher or lower than you expected. When a Judge is sitting in the Judge’s box watching your test there will be lots of information running through their head and there will be lots of things that they will be thinking about to help them decide on a mark to give you. And they have to make that decision in a matter of seconds! There are three main things the Judge will be taking into account every movement you do throughout the test. The first is your horse’s way of going, followed by the quality of the movement and finally any mistakes or deductions that need to be made.

The way of going This is all about how your horse moves throughout the movement and throughout the test. There are six parts that make up ‘way of going’ and they are: rhythm, suppleness, contact, impulsion, straightness and collection (these are also called the ‘scales of training’). When it comes to the rhythm, the Judge will be looking for correct and regular footfalls (4 beat walk, 2 beat trot and 3 beat canter) as well as a consistent tempo throughout the whole test. They’ll also be looking for a good level of suppleness, this is when the horse can use his muscles correctly but doesn’t brace, resist or tighten when the rider gives an aid, and instead stays soft and relaxed and using their muscles, most importantly the ones over their top line. Judges will also be looking for a consistent, elastic contact; a horse that takes the rider forwards and reacts to the rider’s aids (this is impulsion) and finally

JESSICA GALE IS A BDCC AND UKCC LEVEL 2 COACH WHO HAS COMPETED UP TO SMALL TOUR. JESS COACHES RIDERS UP TO SMALL TOUR AND RUNS ‘DECOMPLICATING DRESSAGE’, A SITE DEDICATED TO ACCESSIBLE DRESSAGE TRAINING AND INFORMATION. THE SITE INCLUDES PODCASTS, TRAINING ARTICLES, VIDEO INSTRUCTION AND CHALLENGES. that the horse is straight and even (straightness) and carries the weight on their hindlegs (collection).


BRITISH EVENTING ANNOUNCE As you progress up the levels of important you read up on the dressage, the Judge will expect a rules to avoid any unnecessary higher quality way of going with deductions! each of those Scales of Training How can you improve more established. These Scales your marks of Training also play a big role So now you know what the when the Judges are marking the Judge is looking for. The next collectives. These are the marks step is working out what you at the end of the test that are all need to do to boost your marks. about the general impression The most beneficial thing that I throughout the whole test and can suggest is to practice test are usually double up marks too riding regularly. This is all about so by improving running through a your horse’s way of test and practicing ... a Judge wouldn’t going you can make the test riding skills a real difference to expect a Prelim horse that we just don’t your scores. to have as much practice enough! We suppleness as a horse spend the majority Quality of movement at Elementary, or for of our time when we The next part is all the contact to be as ride our horses, about the quality of consistent as a horse training where we can repeat a the movement. This at Medium... movement and try is all about riding again and take a the correct break when we need movement in the to. These are all things we can’t correct way at the correct time and making it look effortless and do when we’re in a test. When fluent - and that is definitely not we test ride we have to learn what we need to do to prepare an easy feat! and set our horses up to ride a This all comes down to really good quality movement preparation and a lot of practice so when competition day comes, on the first try and learn how to you know exactly what you need be accurate; ride a straight centre to do to set your horse up for an line, an accurate circle, transitions exactly on the marker accurate, correct movement. - all of these things can make a Mistakes or dedications huge difference to your scores! Going the wrong way in your So this week, give test riding a test, using your voice, wearing go! Pick any test or make one up the wrong tack or clothing, or but as you ride through it really your horse being especially think about what the Judge disobedient, can all result in you would be thinking if they were having marks deducted. There watching your test. Where could are many other rules around the you get a few extra marks, be correct dress and equipment and more accurate, set a movement ways you can lose marks, or even up a little better, or show a better get you eliminated, and they quality way of going? have tripped me up more than a www.decomplicating few times so I think it’s really dressage.com

SIGNIFICANT NEW INVESTMENT

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ritish Eventing has announced a significant investment into the sport of eventing through the introduction of ‘The Howden Way’. The seven-figure sum investment over a five-year period from David Howden, Group CEO and Founder of Howden and Founder and President of the Cornbury House Horse Trials, will enable the delivery of new training for riders and the creation of a young horse pathway. The investment will facilitate the development of a detailed performance programme, enhancing the current limited training offered by British Eventing and help to enable the sport to identify, develop and nurture its up-and-coming talent, both human and equine. The introduction of The Howden Way will provide the foundations for British Eventing to improve its offering to members in the future. David’s passion for youth development and eventing is reflected in the three key areas of The Howden Way: The Howden Regional Training Academy, The Howden Talent Academy and The Howden Young Horse Academy. Through the investment, British Eventing will be able to introduce new regional training available to all riders. Regardless of an individual’s riding experience, all British Eventing members will have an equal opportunity to take part in the subsidised training and have access to remote online content. The Howden Regional Training Academies will endeavour to ensure all riders are competing both competently and safely with the bespoke training syllabus created to develop riders, in and out of the saddle. The regional training sessions will also provide a means through which talented young riders, aged between 14 and 28, can be identified by regional lead coaches and be invited to join The Howden Talent Academy. Top-class tailored coaching and mentoring from world-renowned trainers will help the individual’s progression in the sport, aiding the transition to elite level eventing. The Howden Way also brings about an exciting opportunity for eventing to help maintain the high calibre of horses in the UK required to sustain a leading position on the world stage. Through The Howden Young Horse Academy, horses that have future potential will be identified and enrolled on to an equine pathway consisting of training and competitions. New British Eventing age-specific leagues will be generated to identify, showcase, and develop the up-and-coming five to nine-year-old horses as they progress through the season. These leagues will also act to support stakeholders, including owners and breeders, on whom the future of the sport relies.

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CAREERS, EDUCATION & TRAINING

STUDY AT HOME FOR A NEW CAREER

WITH TOCES W

hether you are looking to start a new career, increase your experience within a current role or looking to gain knowledge as a new horse owner, The Open College of Equine Studies (TOCES) has a course to suit your needs. TOCES is the world’s leading equine distance learning college for students both in the UK and internationally and is based in the heart of rural East Anglia near Newmarket, Suffolk. This location provides easy access to equine centres of excellence such as Rossdales Equine Hospital and The National Stud. Courses run from a basic level 1 through to higher education level 6 and are open to students aged 14 upwards. Some courses can be studied by tutor supported e-learning 100% from home (distance learning) and some courses involve study week attendance to supplement the distance

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learning (blended learning). The list of courses on offer can be filtered by level. The foundation/novice courses are aimed at those with little or no experience of horses, the intermediate level courses are ideal for anyone looking to further their career with horses, and advanced level courses are suitable for those aspiring to study a subject in depth and/or work within an equine profession. So why study with TOCES? TOCES has an outstanding reputation and is associated with more world-renowned equine organisations than any other equine distance learning college. Every student has a dedicated course adviser who will make contact following enrolment. The calibre of course tutors and lecturers is second to none with most tutors holding an Honours Degree, Masters Degree or a PhD

in equine subjects. Course material is delivered online, presented in a user friendly, easy to read, distance learning format consisting of textual information, interactive activities, pre-recorded webinars and videos, Test Your Knowledge quizzes and assignment guidance. TOCES has its own virtual ‘Coffee Shop’ where students can upload posts and contact each other to share experiences.

The veterinary nusring and physiotherapy courses delivered by TOCES are highly regarded within the industry.

Courses available There is a course available through TOCES to suit all levels from basic level through to degree level, whether you are a happy hacker or pony owning parent or are aspiring for a complete change of career, perhaps into veterinary nursing or equine therapeutics. The veterinary nursing and physiotherapy courses delivered by TOCES are highly regarded within the industry, with the college having trained nurses from 70 practices from both the UK and overseas. Many students often already work in veterinary practice in administration or support roles and wish to train to further their career. The Level 3 Equine Veterinary Nursing programme works very well for busy practices, as students are able to continue in full-time employment while completing their studies through blended learning. Veterinary nursing students are required to attend eight study weeks at the college to supplement the theoretical


knowledge with clinical training and assessment. Study weeks also form part of the syllabus for the equine physiotherapy and equine sports massage courses, where students gain hands-on experience and have their practical skills taught and assessed. Although hard work, study weeks are also great fun and provide an opportunity to get to know other students on the same course. A number of specialist short courses such as first aid or equine nutrition are ideal for those wanting to focus on a particular subject without committing to a full course. TOCES offers students a great learning experience where they have access to full tutor and administrative support throughout their course, which has gained the college a reputation for having a friendly and personal approach with students. TOCES courses are recognised by leading organisations and industry bodies, including the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the Register for Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners (RAMP), the British Horse Society (BHS), Lantra, City and Guilds (C & G), Pearson (Edexcel – BTEC) and the Accreditation Committee for Veterinary Nurse Education (ACOVENE). To view the full range of courses available visit www.equinestudies.co.uk

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re you looking to take that leap and study for a career you have always dreamed of? TOCES is accepting enrolments now for the Level 6 Equine Physiotherapy Diploma Programme, which is a fouryear blended learning course. Aimed at higher education students that are looking to start a career in equine physiotherapy, the programme is accredited by the Register of further specialist training Animal Musculoskeletal needs and areas for Practitioners (RAMP), Institute professional development. of Registered Veterinary & 4 Encourage learners to explore Animal Physiotherapists (IRVAP) and evaluate the scientific and International Association of evidence and recent Animal Therapists (IAAT). developments relating to the The Equine Physiotherapy use of a range of therapeutic Diploma aims to: modalities in treatment and Instil an understanding of the ethical and legal principles applicable to the application of equine therapy. Equip learners with the skills and knowledge required to: 4 Administer first aid to horses following injury. 4 Maintain or restore health and soundness in the horse via the use of manual therapies. 4 Enable them to plan and implement optimum rehabilitation programmes. 4 Promote effective communication and liaise with owners, veterinary surgeons and other professionals when planning and implementing treatment and rehabilitation programmes for equine patients. 4Develop the academic and professional skills that will allow learners to identify

A CAREER IN... Equine Physiotherapy rehabilitation programmes. The programme is delivered using a combination of printed materials, e-learning, live and pre-recorded online lectures and webinars alongside practical study weeks at TOCES. Continued overleaf...

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CAREERS, EDUCATION & TRAINING

The next start date for the Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing is Monday 26th September, with an induction study week 26th to 28th September, followed by weekly online study days starting every Thursday from 6th October. Enrolment includes membership of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA).

A CAREER IN... Equine Veterinary Nursing

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OCES also offers equine veterinary nurse training to UK and international students leading to the award of the Lantra Awards Level 3 Work Based Diploma in Veterinary Nursing (Equine). The 2-year Level 3 Equine Veterinary Nursing programme works well for busy practices, as student veterinary nurses (SVNs) can continue in full time

employment while completing their studies through blended learning. Weekly online study days are supported with attended study weeks held at TOCES’ purposebuilt equine education centre near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. The new facilities provide a high-quality teaching and learning environment for clinical skills and objective structured Continued from previous page...

Students will also undertake independent practical study to develop their skillset; occupational experience by shadowing other members of the equine health management team to generate an understanding of influences on equine health outside of equine physiotherapy; and

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clinical examination (OSCE) training. SVNs must be employed or undertake a placement, paid or unpaid, for a minimum of 15 hours per week within an approved RCVS Training Practice (TP). As an approved RCVS centre, TOCES can arrange the approval process for UK and overseas practices. Subject to meeting approval

criteria, international veterinary practices can become TPs enabling overseas students to train for this globally respected qualification which entitles the holder to enter the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses and thus use the post-nominals ‘RVN’. Veterinary practices may enrol their SVNs with TOCES if the practice is already a TP with another Primary Centre or they have other SVNs training with another college. TOCES’ veterinary nursing team consists of experienced SVN advisors, lecturers, and tutors, all of whom have either worked, or are still working, in the equine veterinary nursing profession. The combination of on-going tutor support, high-quality study materials, live remote teaching, pre-recorded webinars, and hands-on clinical skill and OSCE training at study weeks, has resulted in TOCES enjoying very high success rates which have been commended by the RCVS. The SVNs’ clinical supervisors (formerly clinical coaches) are also supported to help throughout the completion of the SVNs’ nursing progress logs (NPLs). www.equinestudies.co.uk

manual therapy-specific experience by shadowing professionals qualified in differing industries within equine manual therapy. On completion of the course students will be fully equipped to start their career in the field of equine physiotherapy and take referrals from Veterinary Surgeons. Enrol now and start the pre-course induction reading to get a head start with the theoretical content before the official start date in September 2022.


FIND TOP UK VETERINARY NURSE OF ‘22

PHOTO COMP!

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rom horses, cats and dogs to hedgehogs, guinea pigs and sheep, under19s can enter their eyecatching pictures into the popular RSPCA Young Photographer Awards. The judges are looking forward to another year of impressive entries. www.rspca.org.uk/ypa

Photo: Christine Dunnington Photography

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lue Cross has opened nominations for its annual search for the UK‘s 'Veterinary Nurse of the year' and is calling on animal owners and veterinary practices to put forward their star vet nurses. The charity’s award recognises the dedication of the country’s vet nurses and their invaluable support to their veterinary teams, the nation’s pets and animal owners. To nominate a vet nurse who has gone the extra mile, complete the nomination form on the Blue Cross website www.bluecross.org.uk/bvna

IMPORTANCE OF TREATING

COMPETITIVE HORSES

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r Tamsin Addison is an Irish paradressage rider who has been riding since she was 5-years-old. Tamsin evented for most of her younger years until she was given a recently gelded dressage horse to ride. Whilst training progressed up the levels for Tamsin, there were setbacks, however one turned out to be advantageous in the most unexpected way. “My best failure was to turn up to a competition and not have my paperwork in order. It was the best failure I have ever had as it resulted in me being lent a horse to ride from Joyce Fern and she hasn’t managed to shake me off since!” Joyce is now Tamsin’s trainer and accompanied Tamsin to the Tokyo Paralympics in 2018. Tamsin’s current horse is Fahrenheit (Fursty), a Danish Warmblood. Tamsin says, “I would love to do the European Championships next year and it

would be amazing to dance around the gardens of Versailles in Paris Paralympics of 2024.” Fursty also has a lot of help with his physical performance from McTimoney Animal Chiropractor Jin Langstone who treats a range of competition horses, including supporting the Irish dressage and para-dressage teams at WEG in 2018. Tamsin explains, “Among her considerable talents is the ability to assess each horse as an individual – to get to know them and treat them with such huge care and attention. I see her visits as a way of my horses being able to talk back to me and give me feedback on how its working for them as an athlete.” Any animal that competes is challenging its body and for high level horses this includes the travel, routine changes and optimizing performance for a specific competition. As an International Equestrian Federation Permitted Equine

McTimoney Animal Chiropractor Jin Langstone

Therapist (FEI PET) Jin is able to treat her equine clients at international competitions as well as at home, which gives her a fantastic insight into how the competitions affect the horses as well and enabling her to tailor treatments accordingly. Jin explains, “McTimoney chiropractic treatment is critical to allow the horse to work bilaterally symmetrical with minimal energy expenditure through their body. Therefore, it is critical to know the horse at the competitions and at home, and why the ability to adjust the poll, spine, pelvis and pasterns is important in maintaining symmetry.” www.mctimoneyanimal.co.uk

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SAFETY

KEEPING YOU SAFER

THIS SUMMER... ...AND BEYOND! Did you know that there are three levels of protection when it comes to body protectors? Level 1 – Provides a lower level of impact protection and is suitable only for licensed jockeys while racing, although in the UK and Ireland Level 2 is now required when racing under rules. Level 2 - This provides a lower than normal level of protection and is considered appropriate for low risk situations. This doesn’t

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he British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) is running its Summer of Safety campaign from June to September, to help keep riders safer when they’re on their horses and on the ground. There is a lot more to equestrian safety that just riding hats, and BETA is keen to support people in learning ways to help keep themselves safer. This extends beyond what you might expect and also covers feed safety, tack safety, and more besides. The Summer of Safety will include lives on social media with riders, organisations, and the BETA team, lots of information to help people make better choices, and also plenty of incredible competitions from BETA’s members. To make sure you take advantage of all of the above and more, follow BETA on Instagram @beta_equestrian, and on Facebook /betaequestrian.

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include most ‘normal’ riding activities. Those working in racing can wear level 2 if the trainer has completed a risk assessment beforehand. Level 3 – This body protector provides a level of protection considered appropriate for

5 facts about hats… Hats can look fine on the outside but be heavily compromised on the inside if they have suffered any type of impact. The hard shell can rebound after impact to give a ‘perfect’ appearance, but if the EPS, which is the foam layer underneath, has been used to absorb the energy from an impact, it won’t be able to protect you to the same level- if at all- should you fall again. The EPS layer is sometimes referred to as microscopic bubble wrap. When the hat sustains an impact, these bubbles burst and are unable to reinflate. Even if you haven’t had a fall, a hat should be replaced if it is more than five years old as the protective liner and the inner padding will have started to deteriorate and could offer less protection in the event of an impact. Getting a hat that is the correct standard is important but having a hat that fits correctly is also key. It should sit firmly on the head just above eyebrows and ears, and there should be no pressure points, even when you flex your jaw. BETA hat fitters can help fit new hats, but can also help you check the fit of an existing hat if you’re concerned. Never leave your hat in direct sunlight or exposed to direct heat (such as on or near to a radiator) as it could compromise the materials used inside the hat.

RIDING HAT CONSTRUCTION Hard outer shell

Inner shock absorbent layer

Point of testing impact Inner comfort layer


normal horse riding and competitions and should help to prevent minor bruising, some rib fractures and reduce soft tissue injury and swelling. Body protectors should be replaced every 3-5 years depending on the level of use as the impact absorption properties of the foam might start to decline after this time. Always try body protectors on before you buy, but also make sure you give them five minutes or so to warm up! Some can seem a bit stiff when you first put them on, but when your body heat has warmed up the foam it should mould to your shape for a more comfortable fit. What do you know about NOPS? What do coffee, tea and chocolate have in common? Apart from being part of most of our daily lives, they’re also defined as containing prohibited

substances when it comes to horses. NOPS (Naturally Occurring Prohibited Substances) is an independently audited code that BETA runs with manufacturers of feed, supplements and bedding products to help ensure that everyone who is part of the code minimises the risk of NOPS entering the production process at any point, and this includes sourcing, storage, transport and processing. If you see the BETA NOPS logo on your feed or supplements, you know that these companies and their processes have been audited and found that their processes and systems reduce the risk of contamination. Did you know that there is now a NOPS standard for horse bedding too? As per the NOPS code for feed, the NOPS audit helps to offer peace of mind to riders and trainers that the bedding process has been scrutinised to reduce the risk of any prohibited substances entering the process at any point.

For horses at risk of EGUS This distinctive feed approval mark is designed to help riders with the management and welfare of their horses while providing greater confidence when selecting feed products. It can be seen on bags of horse feed with the wording ‘Suitable for equines prone to gastric ulcers as part of a balanced diet’, serving as a signpost to feeds that are most appropriate while giving reassurance of independent assessment. Feeds carrying the assurance mark are also required to feature compulsory information and management advice for horses or ponies prone to or at risk from Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome. To download guides on all the above, and to find out more information, see www.beta-uk.org

CODE RED

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ave you ever wondered why traffic lights, brake lights and warning signs are red? The retina of our eyes has two types of light-sensitive cells called rods and cones, found in a layer at the back of the eye which processes images. These cones are receivers for tiny visible waves. The sun is a natural source for visible light waves and our eyes see the reflection of this sunlight off the objects all around us. The colour of an object that we will see is the colour of light reflected while all other colours are absorbed. Car headlights are another source of visible light waves.

Why red is so effective Red has the longest wavelength of all colours in the visible spectrum. Its long wavelength results in red colours being scattered the least. Due to the receptors for red colours in the eye being clustered in the area near the centre, where the sharpest images are formed, it is easily visible over long distances. This is why it is so effective when used to indicate danger. In our minds, red is associated with stopping. When we see a

THE COLOURS YOU CHOOSE TO RIDE IN COULD MEAN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING SEEN BY A DRIVER OR NOT. EQUISAFETY’S NICKY FLETCHER EXPLAINS MORE…. red warning sign we instinctively know to stop. As riders, we want to wear a colour that has the greatest visibility in order to help us be seen and stay safe when out hacking. Seeing a horse and rider wearing red prompts an immediate response from drivers to slow down. Red for STOP - it is traditionally used for warning and danger; red alert, red card. Yellow for CAUTION - it was first used for safety clothing in 1964. Yellow is eye-grabbing because of its associations with the natural world (bees and wasps). Green for GO - a safe colour. Green is for fire exits, first aid kits and the colour worn by paramedics. www.equisafety.com

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BUYER’S GUIDE

r e m m u S Selection

2.5mm Gold Heart and Kiss Charm Classic Bangle. RRP: £205. 18 Carat Gold Plated Mini Hoops. RRP: £115. www.rennejewellery.co.uk

Lyddington Quilt Jacket. RRP: £169.95. www.schoffel country.com Brownlow Shirt Kingfisher Print. RRP: £99.95. Mill Bay Shirt Mykonos Blue. RRP: £49.95. www.schoffel country.com Mini Winsor Backpack. RRP: £285. www.fairfax andfavor.com

Finsbury Cornflower Blue. RRP: £250. Iris Jersey Lined Wellington www.fairfaxandfavor.com Boots, Bleu Clair. RRP: £100, www.lechameau.com

Highcliffe Lightweight Deck Shirt. RRP: £72. www.beaufort andblake.com

Brancaster T Shirt in Blue (left). RRP: £32.95. Falmouth Deck Shirt in Navy. RRP: £79.95. www.whaleofa timeclothing.com Henley Knitted Tee. RRP: £85. www.waring brooke.com

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18 Carat Gold Open Oolana Bangle. RRP: £285. (Below) 9 Carat Gold 2.5mm Bangle and 9 Carat Gold Star. RRP: £975. www.rennejewellery.co.uk

The Heacham, Tan. RRP: £120. www.fairfaxandfavor.com Santorini Towel in Blue. RRP: £30. www.whaleofatimeclothing.com

The Hemley Fedora in Navy. RRP: £79. www.hicksandbrown.com


SPRAWLING & OSBORNE IS A COUNTRY LIFESTYLE CLOTHING BRAND BASED IN ESSEX, AND IS RUN BY TAMSIN SPRAWLING. HERE TAMSIN SHARES HER THOUGHTS ON...

SUMMER STYLING

Turquoise Iris Drop Earrings. RRP: £250. Polo Bracelet. RRP: £350. www.rennejewellery.co.uk

Cannes Bikini Top in Blue. RRP: £36. Cannes Bikini Bottom in Blue. RRP: £34. www.whaleofatime clothing.com

Eclipse Pencil Skirt. RRP:£115 www.waring brooke.com

Burford Cornflower Blue. RRP: £255. www.fairfax andfavor.com

Glaze & Gordon Foxy Push-On Bangle. RRP: £125. www.glazeandgordon.com The Orford Fedora in Blue. RRP: £69. www.hicksandbrown.com The Trinity Driver, Cornflower Blue. RRP: £165. www.fairfaxandfavor.com

The Monaco Flat, Jaguar Haircalf. RRP: £145. www.fairfaxandfavor.com

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or me, summer style is about being able to get up in the morning, or come home from a long day in work clothes, and have easy-to-grab items that don’t require too much planning to make an outfit and that can be adaptable for whatever I’m up to. I always want to design pieces that are not only timeless and will last you for years to come but that will also fit into your existing wardrobe and create multiple outfits. Dresses are a really easy way to have a put-together outfit that requires minimal coordination or effort. My two The Amelia Short Sleeve Rib Knit Dress £65 favourites at the moment are the Amelia Rib Knit Dress and the Natalie Rib Knit Dress, both of which are made from a super soft, organic cotton rib knit jersey and fully lined to ensure maximum coverage. Whilst we might all wish we could rely on the British summer to provide us with consistently warm days The Natalie Long Sleeve Rib throughout the season, unfortunately, Knit Dress £75 we all know that’s far too optimistic. Essential Quarter Zip Having a selection of sweatshirts on hand to throw over an outfit for a chilly Sweatshirt £85 morning or evening or on those rainy days is a real essential. Our patchwork quarter zips are the answer to not being able to choose your favourite colour but also one of the ways I try to reduce waste in production. Making these patchwork quarter zips enables me to use up smaller pieces of fabrics that might otherwise have gone to landfill in a regular factory. www.sprawlingandosborne.com

Tamsin x

Patchwork Qu ar Zip Sweatshi ter rt £85

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BUYER’S GUIDE

Covalliero Active Jacket. RRP £57. www.zebraproducts.co.uk

Cavallo Dagna jacket. RRP: from £199. Covalliero Polo Shirt. RRP: £34.50. Calima Grip Breeches from Cavallo. RRP £92.50. Lin Grip RL Breeches from Cavallo. RRP £117. Caja Grip Competition Breeches. RRP £186. www.zebraproducts.co.uk EOS Moto Full Seat Tight in Blue Nights. RRP: £95. Sunstopper 2.0 in Blue Opal. RRP: £45. www.ariat.com/gb/en

Sleeveless Equestrian Technical Base Layer. RRP: £36.99. Technical Equestrian Base Layer RRP: £41.99. Riding Tights With Pockets. RRP: £48.99. www.eqcouture.co.uk Eco Ignite in Cream. RRP: £100. www.ariat.com /gb/en

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Original Coveralls. RRP: £90.50. Personalisation available. www.3donkeys.co.uk


PRESERVE YOUR PRECIOUS MEMORIES

WITH A MOUNTED MOMENT

A Equisafety Inverno Jacket. RRP: £118.99. Equisafety Wrap Around Rug. RRP: £74.99. www.equisafety.com

new business by equestrian, showing enthusiast, and digital creator Claire Thorpe, has recently been launched. Mounted Moments transforms treasured photos into extraordinary digital portraits to capture that special moment for you to enjoy every day, and cherish for years to come. For a fraction of the price of a real painting, Mounted Moments will digitally transform your photos into an impactful and striking work of art. Choose your Mounted Moment to be framed, or buy in a mount to frame at home, with prices starting from just £35. Mounted Moments also offers a box frame service to house those special photos, rosettes, and sashes with a

ZEBRA STRIPE TECHNOLOGY Covalliero Fly Mask. RRP: £10.50. www.zebraproducts.co.uk

Covalliero Saddle Pad. RRP: £40. www.zebraproducts.co.uk

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he zebra’s striped coat has been a hot topic for over 150 years with many in depth studies carried out by scientists on why zebras have stripes and the connection with flies. There have been studies carried out on painting zebra stripe patterns on cows which has been found to reduce fly bites by 50%. The study, published by Japanese scientists in the journal Plos One, found fly attacks were ‘significantly reduced’ by the disguise. The scientists believe the striped pattern confuses the fly’s motion detection and deters the pests. www.zebraproducts.co.uk

wide range of options to choose from. www.mounted moments.co.uk

Bucas developed and launched their iconic Buzz-Off Zebra fly rug in 2012with thin zebra-like stripes, to confuse and repel flies

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NUTRITION

FEEDING BEET

THROUGH SUMMER

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s we move through summer, there are many changes to our horse’s lifestyle that affect the nutrition they need to stay healthy and free of deficiencies. Food for thought Biologically, their hormonal system responds to increasing daylight and temperature. This adapts the body to utilise the upcoming surge in nutrients and take it away from the winter deficit and loss of condition. However many of us spend a lot of effort to maintain condition through winter, but this means a certain amount of extra work to make sure any extra of condition doesn’t follow in the spring/summer months. At the same time the horse’s main feed – grass, or preserved versions – can vary wildly in its nutrient profile. Also as well as these changes the horse’s level of activity may well increase; more hacks, perhaps competitions, shows

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IN THIS ISSUE DR TOM SHURLOCK, CONSULTANT NUTRITIONIST TO BRITISH HORSE FEEDS, GIVES ADVICE ON SUMMER NUTRITION AND THE BENEFITS THAT FEEDING A BEET PRODUCT CAN HAVE ON THE HORSE DURING THE SUMMER. subsequent first gorging feed of nutrient rich grass, when the morning intake of grass can be at the highest level, and so avoids glycaemic peaks. A daily breakfast on, for example, Speedi-Beet, can impact the subsequent days feeding pattern, perhaps reducing the intake of early sugar-rich grasses.

transportation etc., all add to a changeable daily routine. What all this means is that summer can be a time of extremes, both nutritionally and in activity. One moment there’s spring grass, or first cut hay, during some light activity, then a full summer ley, hard exercise, the potential for dehydration, followed by increasing grass sugars in late summer, with perhaps a reduction in exercise. The benefits of feeding beet Feeding an alternative forage

Gut health The versatility of a beet product does more than just even out source, such as a beet product, the forage component of the can fulfil two functions. • In the wild, a grazing horse will diet. Prior to exercise many people withhold feed; it may search for alternative sources also be that an earlier cereal to supplement its diet. Providing a beet product helps based meal is given, as stomach fulfil this behavioural response, clearance would be faster. However, exercising on an even for a stabled animal on empty stomach, or one with hay. • As importantly though, across cereal feeds in it, allows free stomach acid to splash onto the grass growing period, inclusion of a beet product on unprotected areas. a daily basis can help level out The soluble fibres (pectins) of beet are released from the fibre the peaks and troughs of the matrix under acidic conditions nutrient variability of grass. and can bind with the stomach’s Even before turnout, a beet naturally producing mucin layer, meal can reduce the


extending and reinforcing it. Providing beet products can help protect the stomach from free acid burns, but also have the capabilities of soaking up excess acid, further reducing stomach wall damage. Beet products can be fed before exercise, providing gut fill during exercise, without compromising performance and can improve the quantity of slow release energy. Providing energy and promoting digestibility The fibre profile of beet pulp makes it extremely digestible (or at least fermentable by the microbiotica), giving high levels of slow release energy; it also has been shown to help promote the digestibility of other fibre sources in the gut. Not only does beet have the energy equivalence of cereals, it can help the microbiotica become more efficient at breaking down forage fibre. Increasing the beet content of the diet provides more energy for summer activities. It has the versatility to be fed as discreet meals, the amounts can be varied to meet demands, without disrupting the microbiotica, and can also be fed strategically for specific purposes, such as rehydration. Guaranteed hydration Many beet products are designed to be soaked. SpeediBeet and Fibre-Beet, for example, were specifically designed for wet feeding. The heat/moisture process that produces Speed-Beet and, by association Fibre-Beet, actually increases the water uptake over

a shorter period compared with standard beet. Whilst soaked beet is a useful vehicle for maintaining water intake, especially where dry forages are fed, the speed and uptake of moisture in SpeediBeet and Fibre-Beet means rapid rehydration can occur during competition. Also resting horses may be less inclined to drink, but will readily eat a beet ‘soup’. As the water is inherent to the fibre it will be readily carried to the absorptive parts of the intestine, giving rapid moisture uptake to dehydrated cells. This can be particularly important for endurance competition rests, but useful for any resting horse. ‘Beeting’ summer nutrition Feeding beet products across summer can fulfil many functions. Despite the apparent plentiful amounts of grass, and two or three cuts of hay, having Speedi-Beet as a daily supplement helps flatten out nutritional variation, supplies extra energy, supports gastric health and helps keep horses hydrated across a range of situations. Additionally, a product like Fibre-Beet can also act as a conditioning feed to help improve condition and conformation of the horse during a busy competition season. There are many advantages of this supplemental feeding over winter, but equally summer supplementation makes perfect sense. www.britishhorsefeeds.com

PRODUCT NEWS... Speedi-Beet from British Horse Feeds is a highly nutritious beet pulp feed that is soaked, providing your horse with guaranteed hydration throughout the summer months. This is due to the soluble fibre in Speedi-Beet which has a high water holding capacity increasing the amount of fluid in the horse’s hindgut. This reservoir can then be drawn upon during prolonged exercise to help replace the water lost through sweating. Speedi-Beet is an ideal fibre source to maintain a healthy gut function and provides quality protein sources to aid muscle development and function. It is also starch free and unmolassed, making it 95% sugar free and suitable for horses and ponies prone to laminitis as part of a balanced diet. Speedi-Beet can be soaked and ready to use in under ten minutes and is extremely palatable. When soaked, it holds five times its weight in water. Adding small amounts of Speedi-Beet to water may also help encourage horses to drink during competition. RRP around £14.99. www.britishhorsefeeds.com

Beetroot Mash is a soft textured tasty treat that contains natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to help re-hydrate and support cardiovascular health, bone strength and natural antiinflammatory response. RRP: £4/700g. www.rowenbarbary.co.uk

Equerry Cool Mash is an efficient quicksoaking mash for horses that need a low energy feed. Designed for horses and ponies in light to medium work Equerry Cool Mash is cereal-grain-free. It has low levels of starch and benefits from a ‘Non-Heating’ formula. Contains highly digestible fibre sources including sugar beet, to benefit your horse or pony. RRP: £14.75/20kg bag. www.equerryhorsefeeds.com

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NUTRITION

EQUINE JOINT HEALTH By Dr Tom Shurlock of The Golden Paste Company

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oints are the most obviously moving skeletal parts and are subject to wear and tear, as well as physiological damage due to the interaction between oxidative and inflammatory factors, resulting in tissue degradation and damage to cartilage and, in severe cases, bone. Other factors, such as IR, can also add to the problem, highlighting what a complex topic joint health can be. This is reflected in the range of products available in supplements, from green-lipped mussel to glucosamine to prescribed NSAID. Broadly speaking there are two main directions of joint support; those products that supply the base materials to help rebuild damaged material, or antiinflammatories/antioxidants that support the body’s natural defence to the degradation of tissues. What route is best for your horse will depend on the circumstances of, and severity of the condition. For those whose joints are obviously

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compromised, a belt and braces approach of both directions to provide maximum support. Products containing substances like glucosamine, chondroitin or hyaluronic acid, for example, provide the building blocks, whilst green-lipped mussels, omega-3 fats or turmeric are examples of inflammatory support. It is, however, preferable to adopt a methodology that supports the body’s own reaction. Providing natural antioxidants – many of which are present in feedstuffs and hard feed – is a good general approach, whilst introducing those that have an interaction with the inflammatory/antiinflammatory cycle, help reduce both oxidative damage and the consequences of physical injury. Any supplement is dependent on its components; obviously, the more ingredients the more expensive. There are supplements that range from a single component – for example, cod liver oil providing omega-3 fatty acids – to multi ingredient compounds. However, for those horses that

aren’t displaying symptoms of joint degeneration, a simple ‘inflammatory support/antioxidative’ product such as turmeric should be a cost-effective supplement. Turmeric is a spice, the root and rhizome of which is used in many preparations as ‘herbal remedies’. Although no natural bioactives can claim to be therapeutic, there is plenty of research work that can explain their interactions. Turmeric contains over 200 bioactives, in three major groups. The curcuminoids (including curcumin and the tetrahydrocurcuminoids) are powerful antioxidants and can mop up free radicals, oxidative fragments that can damage cartilage and bone. They also have specific biochemical pathways through the metabolism, which can directly support cartilage regrowth and can also ameliorate oxidative enzymes that stimulate inflammatory cues. Through different mechanisms, the essential oils, including turmerone, support aspects of the natural inflammatory cycle, helping to maintain optimum function. Turmeric has other, relevant properties. Curcumin can, for example, help improve insulin sensitivity. This optimises cellular energy utilisation, which is important in overall functionality, not only in joints but throughout the body. TurmerAid, from The Golden Paste Company, has

been developed as a support to help optimise normal metabolic processes. Both inflammation and oxidation are stress factors that are the result of normal life. Whenever the body detects an input it regards as alien, its first line of response is to release a raft of inflammatory factors. Within these are specific cues which combat specific threats, such as immunological or allergic response, physical damage or pain, or even chronic obesity. At the same time inefficiencies in metabolism, possibly exacerbated by inflammatory stress, release oxidative factors. As there are continuous stress factors – even aging is an inflammatory stimulant – seasonal, behavioural, external and internal, feeding a product like TurmerAid all year will support wellbeing and joint health. The only pelleted turmeric supplement on the market, 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. www.goldenpaste company.co.uk

RRP: £23.20/2kg



NUTRITION horse requires more condition, correct levels of a mix or cube are a better option as a balancer alone will not provide sufficient calories for weight gain.

By Emma Short BSc (Hons)

FEEDING THE

EX-RACEHORSE

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o many Thoroughbreds are now finding new careers as riding and competition horses and, when they first come to a new home, a new diet is one of the first major changes they face. Fibre – Especially Important! Research suggests that 90% of horses in training suffer from gastric ulcers due to the low fibre, high starch diets that they receive during training. This makes it all the more important to ensure that an ex-racehorse is returned to a high fibre diet as soon as possible, although this need not be at the expense of

supplementary feed, which supplies essential nutrients known to be lacking in forage. Supplying ad lib forage will provide the necessary fibre, to support a healthy and efficient gut, and satisfy the horse’s physiological and psychological needs to chew, which will help reduce stress levels, while the saliva produced during chewing will neutralise gastric acid. For those who are fussy forage eaters, providing a choice of other fibre sources, like alfalfa chaff or soaked beet pulp, in separate buckets from the hard feed, will encourage natural foraging behaviour and increase overall fibre intake.

Creating a healthy gut If your Thoroughbred has been out of racing some time, the gut should already be adapted to a new feeding regime, however, moving to a new home or adapting from a life in racing can take its toll on the digestive system. Giving a prebiotic, at times of stress or routine-change, will support the gut’s good bacteria, allowing them to flourish at the expense of pathogenic species and thus help maintain the natural bacterial balance of the gut. This reduces the risk of digestive upsets or discomfort and helps improve digestive efficiency.

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Feeding at Grass If you decide to turn your exracehorse straight out to grass for a period of rest, it’s still wise to continue with some supplementary feed to provide those nutrients known to be lacking in modern pasture. If the grass is good and likely to provide sufficient calories to maintain condition, a low calorie balancer is ideal to provide a concentrated source of protein, vitamins and minerals, to help maintain muscle tone, skin and hoof condition and general well-being. As they are fed in small volumes, balancers can easily be fed once a day but, where grass quality is not good or the

Safe Conditioning For those Thoroughbreds who need to gain condition, whether in work or not, the recommended amount of an appropriate mix or cube will help provide the necessary additional calories and other nutrients to promote weight gain. In the early days of getting to know your horse, it’s probably wise to assume that keeping cereal, and therefore starch, intake to a minimum will be most appropriate. Feeds that contain highly digestible fibre sources, like beet pulp, soya hulls and alfalfa, as well as oil, as energy sources, are useful and often cereal-free and low in starch, while still providing sufficient calories. In particular, higher energy/calorie feeds formulated for those with or prone to gastric ulcers are ideal for promoting the necessary weight gain and top line, without going to the horse’s head. Normal Horse Ex-racehorses’ nutritional requirements are no different from any other horse’s though they may initially have their own particular issues or requirements. If you are unsure of the right approach for your Thoroughbred, feed company helplines can offer practical advice and help you explore your options. Once settled into their new life, most Thoroughbreds will simply need treating as any other individual horse and some even become laid back good-doers! www.baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk



NUTRITION

MRS POTTS STAYING TRIM

WITH HELP OF BAILEYS

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rs Potts, an attractive 14.1hh bay mare, is based at World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Norfolk. She came into the charity’s care in 2015 as a 6-year-old, following a request to help another charity with a group of horses kept on wasteland in Bedfordshire. The site revealed a number of horses in poor condition, of which one – Mrs Potts - was very lame, underweight and heavily pregnant. She was also unhandled and had possibly previously suffered from laminitis. Mrs Potts gave birth to a healthy filly foal at Hall Farm just one month later and both she and

the foal thrived in the care given at the centre. Once Mrs Potts had fully recovered it soon became clear that she was rather prone to weight gain and keeping her at a healthy weight was a challenge but now, with the support of feed company, Baileys Horse Feeds, a healthy balance has been found. Since recovering, Mrs Potts has been rehomed to a number of homes and has been backed to ride, but her previous history means that she can only undertake gentle hacking and controlling her diet is a large part of the day-to-day management of this laidback and lovely mare. Sue Hodgkins, Centre Manager at Hall Farm said: “Mrs Potts is

currently back with us at the farm, meeting visitors, being groomed and showing her wonderful temperament. “We are seeing increasing numbers of overweight horses and managing a horse prone to weight gain is not simply restricting the amount of food available. Careful planning must go into what food is given, whilst ensuring all the necessary

vitamins and minerals. With the generous support of feed company, Baileys Horse Feeds, her weight is under control.” Graham Rice, Business Development Manager for Baileys Horse Feeds said: “We’re proud to support World Horse Welfare and their teams rehabilitating all kinds of horses, whether over- or underweight.”

PHD STUDENT DEVELOPS APP: COMBAT OBESITY IN HORSES

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he University of Glasgow has created and updated a free weight management app to help owners monitor their horse’s bodyweight and condition. The new version of the Equi-BCS app – refreshed in response to a survey of more than 100 people, including veterinary professionals, nutritionists and horse owners – was developed by Katie Williams, an equine nutritionist, who carried out the survey and development of the app as part of her PhD. The app allows owners to record and share their horse’s weight data, making it much easier for professionals to support horse owners to help them keep their horse’s weight on track. This feature also supports horses that are not holding their weight, so health issues can be spotted early. The Equi-BCS app can be downloaded for free from Apple’s app store or Google Play.

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KILOS TO £££s

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pillers is on a big mission this year; to help overweight horses get slimmer while adding weight to Redwings Horse Sanctuary’s funds. The feed company has pledged to convert equine weight loss kilos into £££s, to raise £5,000 for the charity. Spillers is inviting horse owners to join the Spillers Slimmers’ Club, with the goal of members' horses collectively losing 100,000kg. As the weight loss accumulates it will be converted to a financial donation of £5k to support Redwings’ vital equine welfare work. www.spillers-feeds.com/kilostopounds



NUTRITION

FEED FOR COMPETING UNDER RULES... By Donna Case BSC (HONS)

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o, you have taken the plunge and affiliated your horse or pony… Massive Congratulations! With more and more people taking note of all the positives of competing under rules and joining in, it is important to understand what is acceptable to add to your horse’s diet, and on the contrary what could find you in hot water! What we are looking to avoid is feeding anything that would be classed as a prohibited substance, which can be defined as exerting an effect on the horse. Whilst you may only be competing at a low level the chances of your horse being tested for prohibited substances are typically as high as those who compete at the highest standard which may come as a bit of a surprise. So, what can you do to avoid any problems? First of all, you want to check that the feed you are using is

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competition legal and contains no prohibited substances. However, it should not stop there; checking the list of ingredients to ensure no prohibited substances are included is not enough. Why? Because of a group of little naughties known as NOPS. So, what are NOPS and why do they matter? In short NOPS stands for Naturally Occurring Prohibited Substances. The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) defines NOPS as “either naturally present in certain ingredients, or occurring as a result of inadvertent crosscontamination before it arrives in the manufacturer’s facility”. A few examples of NOPS include caffeine, theobromine and morphine, but there are more, and this is why the advice would be to select only feed or supplements that are displaying the BETA NOPS

logo. The BETA NOPS scheme was set up to reduce the risk of naturally occurring prohibited substances in horse feed and in each step of the manufacturing process members of the scheme are audited to reduce the risk. All members can be found on the BETA website. If your manufacturer is not a part of the BETA NOPS scheme it would be wise to source an alternative. Finally, once you are happy with the feeds and supplements selected make sure you do not accidentally contaminate any feed yourself through keeping a clean and tidy feed room. Don’t share utensils e.g., feed bowls or stirring sticks with other horses and always ensure that the bags or tubs you purchase are sealed and in good condition. www.thehorsefeed guru.com

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.



SADDLERY & TACK

Your Questions Answered... SOCIETY OF MASTER SADDLERS’ PRESIDENT, MASTER SADDLER, MASTER BRIDLE MAKER, MASTER HARNESS MAKER, REGISTERED MASTER SADDLE FITTER AND REGISTERED QUALIFIED BRIDLE FITTER, HELEN READER, PROVIDES ADVICE QUESTION: “What are the main points I need to look for in a well-fitting saddle/how do I spot signs of a problem?” ANSWER: “Although the saddle must be assessed ridden, it first needs to be looked at statically. It is really important when doing this to ensure that the horse is stood square on a level firm surface, so that they are as level and straight as possible. “The saddle must be placed on the horse’s back so that it sits behind and not on top of the horse’s shoulders. The first thing you can look for is the balance of the saddle, is the seat of the saddle parallel with the ground? If the seat is

being tipped forwards or backwards, it will tilt the rider’s pelvis and cause them to become unbalanced when the horse starts to move. “The length of the saddle is determined by the length of the horse’s rib cage. From the horse’s flank run your fingers forward with a small amount of pressure until you feel the back of the rib cage, then follow the natural curve of the ribs up towards the saddle. This point is a good guide to where the saddle tree must finish, but the panel of the saddle may go a little past because once the

horse starts to work and lifts through it’s frame this area opens out. “As stated it is essential that the horse is seen ridden, the horse must move freely under the saddle and not with a different action to when the horse isn’t wearing a saddle. If the horse has a lovely long flowing stride when loose in the field or on the lunge but never under saddle, then question why. Perhaps the saddle is tight somewhere and blocking the horse’s shoulder or causing tension through the back? Any behavioural issues that the horse shows under

saddle, for example bucking, refusing to move forwards, snatching the reins etc. could be signs that the saddle needs to be assessed by an SMS RQ/MSF. “However, they could also be signs of discomfort somewhere else, so it is advisable to have the horse checked by a vet or musculoskeletal practitioner to rule out any physical issues. If the rider is suffering from aches/pains or unable to maintain their position in the saddle, perhaps they are finding their legs keep sliding backwards and their body is tipping forwards, then the saddle may be out of balance. The saddle may move or slip to one side, forwards or even backwards; these can be caused by a number of issues such as asymmetry of the horse’s shoulders or back, lameness, flocking that has settled unevenly within the saddle panel or the rider may not sit straight or balanced. “Some of these issues can be rectified by a flocking adjustment or change of gullet plate to rebalance the panel, whereas in other cases it may require a different saddle to solve the issue.” www.mastersaddlers.co.uk

PRODUCT NEWS... The Equiseat Aid is a new and innovative yet simple to use riding aid which helps equestrians achieve straightness in the saddle and harmony with their horse. It is made from heavy stretch elastic which wraps around the lower thigh of the rider’s stronger, dominant leg and has two foam blocks, one on the middle of the hamstring and one on the inner thigh, each encased in a Velcro-fastened pocket. It is designed to be worn when riding, including schooling, hacking out and jumping. RRP: £79. www.equiseataid.com

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SADDLERY & TACK

Your Questions Answered... QUESTION: “When I get a new saddle do I need to break it in slowly, or is it suitable for my usual level of work straight away?” ANSWER: “When I started my training, the leather used in our top quality saddles was quite thick and very stiff. The seat was of pigskin, which is very hard wearing but not known for softness and comfort, and the butt leather used for the skirts and flaps was meant to last. “Pre-greased or specially dressed leathers weren’t an option and consequently you could expect a saddle to take two to three months of regular use to get them broken in to your and your horse’s shape. “The leathers used nowadays are either pre-softened, tanned in a particular way so as to make them malleable or often a soft hide is fixed to a light solid leather to give immediate grip and comfort. Most seats and knee grips are of calf skin, hide or sometimes doe skin. All of this makes the saddle almost

ready to go, my only proviso being that you should use it for a few days so that the girth straps can stretch and, if flocked, the flocking can settle to the shape of the horse. Therefore have your saddle fitted on a Monday, ride from then until Friday and you should be ready to do whatever you are wanting to do at the weekend. Enjoy!” www.mastersaddlers.co.uk

PRODUCT NEWS... The Junior Saddle from Pessoa has been specially designed for young riders to ensure their comfort, support, and performance. Thanks to its flatshaped seat, young riders can develop a balanced position and ride flexibly, accommodating all stride combinations. RRP: £1900. www.pessoa-saddlesuk.com

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KAY HASTILOW MASTER SADDLER, MASTER SADDLE FITTER, TRAINED AS A BENCH SADDLER WITH BLISS AND CO, LONDON IN THE LATE 1960s. KAY SET UP HER OWN BUSINESS IN THE 1970s. THEN IN 1995 THE SOCIETY OF MASTER SADDLERS SET UP THEIR COURSE AND QUALIFICATION FOR SADDLE FITTING AND KAY TAUGHT ON THIS COURSE FROM THEN UNTIL 2021, FOR MOST OF THIS TIME AS LEAD LECTURER.

PRODUCT NEWS... The Centre Line have just announced their exclusive UK distribution of Rider In Balance products. These specially designed, patented stirrups help to improve a rider’s leg position and balance. It’s claimed the Rider In Balance Steel Stirrups will transform rider experience, whatever the discipline. Rider In Balance Steel Stirrups can be used with ordinary stirrup leathers (maximum width 26mm), but they would need to be approximately 16-18 cm longer than with a standard stirrup. With the leather running through the head of the stirrup the rider is able to adjust the angle of the foot plate to their individual preference. Competition approval across BE, BS and BD has been confirmed. RRP: £300. www.thecentreline.co.uk

AMZ Saddles has unveiled a new jump saddle design which offers exceptional freedom of movement for the horse with unrivalled comfort and security for the rider. Crafted from hard-wearing English leather, a forward-cut flap and chunky knee roll offers the rider a stable and secure position even over the biggest fences or on the scopiest horse, and the dual flap design is perfect for riders who prefer this classic style. RRP: from £1995. www.amzsaddles.co.uk


NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH:

REVOLUTIONARY NEW SAFETY REIN

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ree Reins is a brand-new safety rein system that is designed to help prevent entanglement. The revolutionary new quickrelease connector is the only rein on the market designed to unclip automatically when sufficient force is applied, allowing the reins to come apart and release the horse or rider. Once the connector, which replaces the traditional rein buckle, has activated and the risk to horse and rider has been avoided the reins can simply be reassembled and are safe to ride in again. “From our recent survey in partnership with Dr David

Marlin, 61% of horse riders had experienced a horse or pony catch its reins on an object,” commented Laurie Williams, Free Reins Founder. "It was on observing a fall where a child became caught in their reins that I came up with the concept and so started three years of development,” Laurie explains. The finest quality materials have been used at every stage including English leather and a super-soft bio-rein grip. Manufactured in the UK, the weight adjusted connector is available in three sizes according to rider weight, two colours of rein and connector and three rein lengths. There has been no

compromise in style whilst creating this new product. The Free Reins safety system has been subject to extensive testing at AMRC Cymru, part of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s network of cutting-edge research and development facilities. Its experts extensively tested the safety product at its state-ofthe-art advanced manufacturing facility in Broughton. Dr David Marlin, Equine Scientist commented, “Safety is incredibly important when it comes to being around or riding horses. Somethings happen rarely but may take less than a second for

something to go badly wrong. A horse or rider getting caught in its reins is one of those events. We support innovation and science-backed products and this appears to be a well designed product that we hope will decrease injury risk for both horses and riders.” www.freereins.co.uk


SADDLERY & TACK

S POPPY WEBBER .. n. o ts en Comm TWO COMMON SADDLE SIZE MYTHS

QUALIFIED SADDLE FITTER FOR THE SOCIETY OF MASTER SADDLERS, COVERING CAMBRIDGESHIRE, LINCOLNSHIRE, NORFOLK AND SURROUNDING AREAS, POPPY ALSO WRITES ADVICE POSTS ON PEEWEE SADDLERY’S SOCIAL MEDIA.

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ig bottoms need big saddles - well, yes, sometimes a bigger booty needs a bigger seat… But, seat size isn’t all about the size of your rump, there are so many other factors that we take into account - leg length, pelvic angle/width, how short the rider’s stirrups are, their discipline etc. Putting a rider into a too-small saddle can cause lots of problems, most specifically there is increased pressure at the back of the saddle.

maximum length that we can work with. We have to fit a saddle to their ribs (the ‘thoracic’ part of their back), so their rib length determines how long a saddle can be. We don’t HAVE to fit up to the last rib, in fact some horses much prefer a shorter saddle. We can put a teeny-tiny little saddle onto a huge-enormous horse if that’s what the rider needs. Because putting a rider into a too-large saddle means that they’ll be sitting in the wrong part of the seat and the saddle won’t be balanced - plus the rider won’t ‘My horse needs a 17.5” saddle’ be secure, at all. - we hear this a lot. People buy a And then… there are other horse and are told that the horse factors to take into was in a specific length saddle so consideration; for example, they go looking for that length different brands (and different for their new steed. But did you models within brands) actually know, that it is actually the measure very differently. RIDER that determines the seat Sometimes a 17.5” saddle in size? The horse merely gives us a one brand/model can measure

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the same as a 16.5” saddle in another brand/model. Plus the type of saddle makes a huge difference - a long legged rider might be able to fit into a smaller saddle if it is more forward cut, so their knees can come forward without slipping over the blocks on the saddle; or even the opposite, a smaller seated dressage saddle where their legs are straighter. So, I think you know what I am going to say. Yes, you got it… you need to pop along to www.mastersaddlers.co.uk for the list of all the Qualified Saddle Fitters in your area. Ask them for advice and let them tell you what size saddle you and your horse need. www.poppywebber.co.uk

prenger has developed a new range of bits under the Pronamic label developed by bit expert Heiko Schmidt-Sentekl in collaboration with Olympic gold medallist Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl and Benjamin Werndl. The pronamic bits are anatomically curved single jointed bits featuring a forward flared port. These bits encourage horses of an advanced training level to carry themselves and to step forward to the hand/bit while staying elevated and through the neck. Explains Lindsay: “The concept has been developed by bringing together aspects from the Dynamic, Novocontact and Balkenhol collections. “The Pronamic bits combine the flatness of a Novocontact snaffle joint with the curved shape of the Dynamic mouth piece. “This gives you a more direct contact which is also aided by the Sensogan material that the Sprenger bits are made from which gives the horse a great feel.

The Nathe Gag Pelham Bit with Flexible Mullen Mouth is suitable for strong horses and provides contact on the mouth, poll and lower jaw. RRP: £346.50.


SUPPORTING

THE SENSITIVE HORSE

“From personal experience I have a mare working at medium level who is quite difficult in the contact. “I decided to try her in the Pronamic Loose Ring Snaffle as she is sensitive and a touch argumentative. “She quickly became much more accepting with the change of bit which is allowing me to develop her training further and I am delighted with the progress.” The bits are recommended for horses that have completed the basic training levels correctly and solidly. When it comes to show

IN THIS ISSUE SPRENGER BITTING CONSULTANT, LINDSAY MIDDLETON LOOKS AT THE NEW PRONAMIC RANGE AND HOW THEY HELP A SENSITIVE HORSE ACCEPT THE BIT BETTER. jumping, the pronamic bits are especially effective for horses that energetically pull to the obstacle and tend to tighten up their neck. Due to the special shape of the bit, the rider has a more effective influence without having to become too strong. www.zebraproducts.com

WIN! WIN! ONE LUCKY READER TO WIN A NEW SATINOX WEYMOUTH & BRADOON FROM

New from Sprenger are the Satinox Weymouth and Bradoon. The Weymouth has a slanting mouthpiece and is slightly curved to ensure no contact to the sensitive palate. Steady, even pressure is transmitted to onto the whole tonguewidth and it is an excellent bit for introducing the Weymouth to a young horse. The Satinox Bradoon comes in single and double jointed versions. Thanks to its ergonomic shape this allows even distribution of pressure and fits anatomically correct between the tongue and palate. The Satinox bit has been designed to provide a direct and precise effect. They are made of high-quality stainless steel and are characterised by excellent workmanship and tested material quality. The Satin mouthpiece with its matt surface ensures a pleasant feeling on the tongue. The curbed shape of the Satinox bits gives the tongue plenty of room. www.zebraproducts.co.uk

Satinox Weymouth RRP: £135.24 Satinox Bradoon RRP: from £41.58.

The Nathe Mullen Mouth Pelham Bit with Port relieves pressure on the middle of the tongue and has bit guards to protect the lips. It comes in both soft and hard mouth pieces. RRP: £248.22. www.zebraproducts.co.uk

To enter: Visit www.absolutehorsemagazine.com and click on the Competitions page. Entries open 1st July and close 31st August 2022. Full terms and conditions are available on our website.

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STABLES, YARDS, ARENAS AND PADDOCKS SINCE ITS LAUNCH IN 2011, UK LIVERY YARD DIRECTORY ‘LIVERYLIST’ HAS DEVELOPED TO ALSO BECOME A UNIQUE AND INDESPENSIBLE RESOURCE FOR YARD OWNERS, OFFERING GUIDANCE, RESOURCES AND SUPPORT ON ALL ASPECTS OF YARD MANAGEMENT

By Cheryl Johns

CUTTING COSTS...

NOT CARE W

e are all aware that the cost of living is increasing. This is having a chain effect on many household costs and not least the cost of owning a horse. Horse ownership can be an expensive hobby, even more so if you have multiple, or for those who compete. As current costs rise, for many this is proving harder to manage. With price rises across all industries, this means horse owners and yard owners are being hit with price hikes from all directions. Whilst it may seem opportunist to save money in the cost of your horse care, it is important to ensure that any cost-cutting will ensure the same level of care and welfare for your equine. To continue owning their horses in an affordable way, many horse owners are making quick decisions about changing their yard, their horse’s routine, or the quality of provisions which may

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not always have the best longterm outcome. Recent times have seen many horse owners seeking cheaper yards or moving to those offering less inclusive livery packages. It is important to consider why some yards may be cheaper than others and ensure that any yards you consider moving to meet what would be deemed ‘industry best practice’ in terms of the competence and experience of the yard owner and staff, and that considerations are in place with regards to the insurance of the premises and equines, and a satisfactory level of care and welfare for the equines, as well as health and safety for all on the yard. Yard owners are being hit with huge cost increases as well, with many forced to raise their prices to make ends meet. As a first port of call, it may be an idea to speak to your current yard owner to see if there is any way

your current package can be downgraded, or costs reduced suitably as many are changing their business models in reaction to these price rises and may have an alternative solution to a yard move. Changes to day-to-day care such as bedding, feed or forage can reduce costs, but these must be considered carefully to ensure they still meet the needs of your equines, bearing in mind that often cheaper feed and forage can be of lesser quality. It is also important not to cut on important costs to routine care such as worming, farriery, vaccinations and even insurance, as these can all lead to additional problems. Whilst

changes like these may cut costs in the short term, they could lead to costly issues further down the line. The ideal way to save costs is to look at your current expenditure for your equine and see where costs can be realistically cut, and that will not compromise the care or welfare in the short or long term, and still provide your horse with what it really needs. If you write down all your current outgoings, you may be surprised at the areas that you can cut costs where the care and welfare of your equine won’t be affected in any way. www.liverylist.co.uk


THE ULTIMATE GUIDE:

STABLING AND CARING FOR YOUR HORSE DURING SUMMER

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f course, there are lots of things to look forward to during this season. Many of us are gearing up for a summer of impromptu gatherings, BBQs, water fights and sunny staycations. Plus, longer days mean more time to ride and care for our horses. Sounds like a dream, right? Having said that, basking in the sun’s rays all day long can have a negative effect on your horse be it dehydration, fatigue or even diarrhoea. With this in mind, it’s important to know how to take care of your horse during summer. That’s why Vale Stables are sharing their top tips on caring for your horse’s health when the temperatures rise.

because it works by sitting on top of the skin and reflecting harmful rays, as opposed to absorbing them.

enough coverage against the blazing sun. Another top tip: only clip the areas that are most susceptible to sweating, such as the neck and lower body. 2. Clip your horse’s coat In the unfortunate event that A thick coat can hold heat and your horse gets sunburned, it’s make it difficult for your horse sensible to take them out of the to cool off when the sun is out. sun immediately and speak with So, it’s a good idea to clip the your vet about which products coat, especially if your horse is you can use to heal and on the hairier side. However, you rehydrate the skin. 1. Apply sunscreen don’t want to clip the hair too Sunburn can be pretty painful 3. Provide shade close to the skin, as this will and uncomfortable for a horse. reduce protection from UV rays When turned out, your horse Horses with light coloured coats and increase the risk of sunburn. will need access to shade. Don’t or white markings are more Remember, the lighter your worry if you struggle to find a prone to sunburn. Affected areas horse’s coat is, the more prone natural shady area, as you can will show signs of classic they are to sunburn. It’s sensible create one using a field shelter. sunburns, such as redness or to use a medium blade when Field shelters provide the perfect even blistered and peeling skin. clipping horses on the fairer amount of It would be nearly impossible to side. That way, you can leave keep your horse stalled 24-hours them with a day, 7-days a week just to keep them out of the sun. But thankfully, there are a few easy things you can do to prevent sunburn such as applying a high SPF sunscreen. It’s worth investing in a sunscreen containing zinc oxidise. This is

shade and protection from the elements. You may even want to consider investing in a mobile field shelter, which you can easily move around the field. Though it’s advisable to move your mobile field shelter every six to eight weeks to avoid paying potential penalties. Alternatively, you may decide to stable your horse during the hours when the weather is unbearable. Just make sure your stable has appropriate ventilation. 4. Adjust your stabling schedule Usually, horses are stabled at night and are out during the day. However, it may be a good idea to stable your horse during the warmest hours of the day. Understandably, you may not be able to leave your horse out all night. In such cases, it’s worth letting them out as early in the day as possible. That way, they can go back in the shade by midday. Similarly, it’s wise to adjust your schedule when competing to ensure your horse doesn’t end up standing in a horse box in traffic during the hottest hours of the day. www.valestables.com

If your stables aren’t fit for keeping your horse cool this summer, it may be time for an upgrade. It may be a good idea to choose a company specialising in designing and building like Vale Stables. They work with horse lovers to design and build bespoke stables that meet your specific needs and protect your horse all year round.


STABLES, YARDS, ARENAS AND PADDOCKS

FOCUS ON BEDMAX:

CARING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, YOUR COSTS, AND THE HEALTH OF YOUR HORSE

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edding is the biggest contributor to dust and spores in the stable which can have a detrimental effect to a horse’s respiratory health. In fact, stabled horses are exposed to 50 times more dust in their breathing zone than those that live outside. Problems can range from a lowlevel cough through to serious conditions such as COPD, however it is important to address these issues no matter how serious they appear to be. Alternative bedding products, particularly those made specifically for the equestrian market, are often branded as being ‘dust free’. Unfortunately, most are not. No bedding is entirely dust free – this is impossible to achieve. However, veterinary research carried out in collaboration with Bedmax identified the range of particle size which can be inhaled by

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horses and tailored their bedding products to this specification. During manufacture, Bedmax Limited’s range of bedding products are triple dust extracted removing all particles below the safe threshold. Large flakes are also beneficial for horses with respiratory issues as they do not break down and deteriorate as quickly, which can create more dust than you would expect. Aside from respiratory issues, bedding material is important when it comes to hygiene. Bedmax shavings are made predominantly from pine which has natural antibacterial properties. This is useful when it comes to hoof health and also injuries, particularly those on the legs, as it maintains a clean environment reducing the risk of cross contamination. During production, Bedmax is also dried

to sterilising temperatures which removes bacteria and spores making it a clean and hygienic option. Bedmax is the official choice of bedding at some of the UK’s top events again this year. This includes Badminton, Bramham, Burnham Market, Gatcombe, Houghton and Burghley. This is in fact the 15th consecutive Burghley Horse Trials Bedmax has supplied which is testament to its quality and reliability. One thing almost all horse owners have in common is the desire to do the best they can for their horse. Seeing these top events proving the best for the best horses is inspiring for owners. It encourages them to want to do better for their own horses, which in turn causes them to look at why and how it might benefit their horse. Looking at the bigger picture, ensuring a safe and healthy

environment for their horse now will pay dividends in the future – it might sound clichéd, but prevention really is better than cure, especially as most respiratory disease is incurable. Spot dope testing is commonly carried out at affiliated events, and not just at top levels, as the industry is making positive steps to tackle the problem. Bedding is often overlooked as a cause of positive tests, but it is regularly, and sometimes unintentionally, ingested by horses when it becomes mixed in hay for example. The problem is that it takes only a tiny quantity to show up in a blood or urine test, and affiliating bodies across the board take a no tolerance stance. Being certified as NOPS Accredited means that all products in Bedmax’s range are safe to use at any level of competition and in any discipline. Affordability Bedmax shavings is the gold standard of equine bedding and is also a very efficient bedding product, which means it requires less topping up making it good for those on a budget. Designed to form layers, Bedmax performs best when at an optimum depth of at least 6-8 inches. This allows the structure to manage moisture, draining urine from the surface to be absorbed in the lower layers by smaller flakes. A common mistake owners make is thinking they are saving money by putting less bedding down, but, especially with Bedmax large flake shavings, this is false economy.


Alternatively, Strawmax pellets are another alternative that also offer owners the same benefits as Bedmax. Straw pellets outperform wood pellets on absorbency and sustainability, traditional straw on equine health and consistency and are also extremely easy to use, time saving and odour suppressing. For those that prefer shavings but have particularly wet or dirty horses, Strawmax can be utilised as a base with Bedmax on top to provide extra absorbency. Strawmax also comes with NOPS Accreditation as with all Bedmax products which makes it safe for competition horses. Bedmax believes presentation is a very important factor. Bedmax products are of the highest quality and brand and image is part of that. Its distinctive yellow packaging is made using 30% recycled plastics and completely recyclable. It needs to be strong to avoid ripping when handled, especially as many individual horse owners buy bedding in small amounts (and transport using their cars). Alongside this, Bedmax make sure that nothing is wasted during production and over 3,000 tonnes of dust and particles extracted during the production of Bedmax, Littlemax and Stockmax shavings is collected and compacted to make Hotmax fuel logs. The company also encourage owners to compost their used bedding and return to the soil. Often local farmers are happy to remove muck heaps to use as natural fertiliser. www.bedmaxshavings.com

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f you’re puzzled by how to get the best from your paddocks, take a read at what Farm & Country Online founder and fourth-generation mixed Farmer, Tom Wells, has to say on field maintenance and management. Tom says there are five key things you should do to ensure your paddock has good quality grazing and remains safe for your horse...

tackle large established weeds as they can struggle to get enough active ingredient into the plant due to several factors including hairs on the leaf, such as with nettles and waterrepellent waxy leaves. Best practice is to top the field and then spray weeds on regrowth. Essentially, what that means is cutting/mowing them and then spraying the newly emerging weed as it will be much more susceptible to chemical control. Poo pick to reduce worm burden However, ragwort requires a very different Endoparasites (worms) reach maturity in the approach and must be removed! Ragwort gut, breed and then lay eggs in vast numbers, in contains the toxic compounds pyrrolizidine excess of 80,000 eggs per day! These pass out alkaloid. If eaten in any state, it can cause with the faeces and infect pastures and, by irreversible liver damage and fatality. When the ingestion, the horse. These eggs then pass plant is alive it has a bitter taste meaning most through three larval stages on the pasture; the horses won’t immediately choose to eat it but first two stages Larval Stage One 1 (L1) and some develop a taste for it if nothing else is Larval Stage Two (L2) will not develop into available so it shouldn’t be assumed that live mature stages if swallowed by the horse so will ragwort is safe. When ragwort is cut and dries it not cause infection and usually remain on the loses its unpalatable taste but not its toxicity faeces. However at L3 stage the larvae leave the meaning it is imperative to remove it. droppings and rise up the grass, often on surface It is vital that ragwort is transported and moisture, making them easily eaten by a horse, removed safely – we recommend using an old and if ingested can develop into mature feed bag to transport from the field as any seeds infectious stages. left behind could grow into plants. It must not Different worms will cause different infections, be disposed of on the muck heap or compost so it’s important to get proper advice from a bin – the best method is burning or landfill. SQP and treat accordingly. Rotate your grazing Regular poo-picking is not just to make fields Rotational grazing is the concept of moving look tidy it serves a serious task in removing worms from the field. As we mentioned earlier, horses around onto different pasture at regular L1 and L2 larvae remain on the faeces so regular intervals. The intervals vary depending on the time of year and grass growth but can be removal of faeces will significantly reduce the anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The worm burden in the field. main benefit of rotational grazing is that it Control weeds allows grass time to recover. Weeds, if left, can grow quickly and become difficult to control. Don’t rely on sprays alone to Continued overleaf...

TOP TIPS FOR:

PERFECT PADDOCKS THESE SIMPLE TIPS FROM TOM WELLS SHOULD HELP YOU IMPROVE THE QUALITY AND LIFESPAN OF YOUR PADDOCKS AND KEEP YOUR GRASS IN TIP-TOP CONDITION! 59


Continued from previous page...

In an ideal world, a rotational grazing system should consist of at least 4 paddocks of roughly equal size, however the more paddocks you have the better as you can move them more often. Even if you like to keep your horse’s grass low for dietary or health reasons, such as laminitis, then rotational grazing can still help. It’s not about moving them onto thick lush crops but optimising grass growth so you have more control about grass length with rotational grazing as you can move them on and off to suit their requirements. Topping fields to maintain quality Topping is not only good for weed control but it also removes old tough grass. As grasses grow they transition from the leafy vegetative phase to a woody reproductive phase in preparation to support seeds. Woody old grass has very little nutritional value, it may be fine for a horse with low energy demand on a maintenance diet but it likely won’t meet the demands of a horse with higher energy demands. Topping (cutting/mowing) the grass signals to the plant that it needs to restart it’s vegetative phase in order to grow so it produces more leaves meaning you get fresh, nutritional grass and a tidy looking paddock. Re-seeding and over-seeding A reseed is when you sow seeds in area with no existing grass; it may be used to cultivate and rejuvenate an old paddock but most often it just refers to areas of poached grass which have been levelled and harrowed. Overseeding is what many people really mean when they talk about reseeding; it’s when you sow seeds onto an existing grass field. An overseed allows you to add beneficial species to the grass sward to tailor it to your requirement. For instance, a hay mixture will be different to a grazing mixture and the needs of a high performance competing horse will be different to a retired horse. Now is a great time to think about rejuvenating paddocks with new seed. You can reseed and overseed from spring through to autumn. Reseeding should take place in any areas where grass has disappeared. It’s important to consider which grasses you use; for example, you might like a ryegrass because of its growth yield and nutritional value but it isn’t as hardy as many other species so if you have an area that regularly has limited growth, due to high traffic for instance, consider reseeding that area with a hardy species. www.farmandcountryonline.co.uk

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REPORTS & PHOTOS

WELSHMOOR EGG-TASTIC SHOW SUNDAY 17th APRIL Photos by Emily Harris Photography

1st Ridden Gelding - Amelia Short and Teller

Reserve Supreme Champion - Kaci Bircher and Pantyfid Pure Gold

Ridden Champion - Elle Wood and Parvez

Reserve Ridden Champion - Charlotte Wright and Fleur

Reserve Champion - Ivie Fuller and Troy


THE SHOWCASE SERIES UNAFFILIATED SHOWING SHOW SUNDAY 8th MAY (Continued overleaf...) 1st In Hand Hunter Pony - Amelia Dorans and Prince Supreme Champion - April Abbott-Hall and Fronarth Ronaldo

1st Ridden Walk & Trot - Lucy Thompson and Bersham Dragon Fly

Reserve Ridden Champion - Michelle Bentham and Julius Caeasar

Leah Bircher and Pantyfid Master Rupert

1st In Hand Palomino's, Buckskin's, etc - Faye Bircher and Corstan Aristocrat

3rd Concours - Ella Miller and Bingo

1st Junior Concours - Charleigh and Klingrahoull Cavalier

Reserve Champion In Hand - Mia Biggs and Drenrow East Seventeen

Novice Champion - Tim Hall and Gweunydd Seren Aur

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REPORTS & PHOTOS (Continued from previous page) Ridden Traditional Reserve Champion - Tracy Watson and Glaven's Touch Of Magic

In Hand Supreme Champion - Jenna Land and Bwlchclawdd Little Lady

Ridden Supreme - Mia Turner and Thistledown Goodnight Mr Tom Ridden Traditional Champion - Millie Metcalf and Tinkers Dream Boy

In Hand Reserve Supreme - Jasmine Hunter and Lansmoor Lucy Locket

Ridden Novice Reserve Champion - Anna Chaplin and Rhyd-Ddu Commander

In Hand M&M Champion - Tim Hall and Ballagh En Vogue

3rd Solid Colour Traditional Cobs - Samantha Weston and Glaven's Velvet Touch

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In Hand Light Horse Reserve Champion - Georgia Edwards and Martinstown Maverick

Ridden M&M Champion - April Abbott-Hall and Ballagh En Vogue


THE SHOWCASE SERIES UNAFFIL SHOWING SHOW SATURDAY 4th JUNE Supreme Ridden Champion - Matilda Whitehead and Glynaur Ricky Bobby

Supreme In Hand Champion - Jo Cullen and Amilas Motet

Youngstock Champion - Emma Reader and Kellythorpes Tutti Frutti

Reserve Champion VHS - Lincoln Russell and Staverton Magnolia 1st Diamond Veteran In Hand Joseph Mace and Lady in Red

Champion Part Bred TGCA - Gemma Platt and Annie of Oakhaze4

1st Veteran Pony - Beth Fulcher and Regina

Champion Show Horse - Emma Clutterbuck and Babochoff

Reserve Champion 'Best of British' - Harriet Whitehead and Sharptor Skyfall

Champion Novice - Charlotte Bunting and Greenholme Majestic

Reserve Supreme In Hand Champion - Bev Pooley and Scarf

Reserve Champion Traditional Cob - Claire Fox and Woodsprite Lucky Boy

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REPORTS & PHOTOS

SOHAM PONY CLUB TEAM SHOW JUMPING SUNDAY 12TH JUNE Photos by Emily Harris Photography

Class 1 - Izzie Hardy and Jack

Class 1 - Olivia Scott and Rita

Class 3A - Megan Jone and Comet

Class 3B - Sienna Cawston and Hero

Class 4 - Claudia Ingham and Lobur's Dazzler Rover

Class 5 - Joe Hartshorne and Jake Little

Class 6 - Cian Murphy and Rincoolo Rolo

Class 3B - Frankie Unwin and Another Dun Deal Class 6 - Lewis Poulter and Maddie

Class 4 - Libby Hodges and Bella

Class 7 - Pippa Moore and Polos Gold Heart

Class 5 - Emma Keddie and Lola

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Class 2 - Ellie Barnfather and Sianwood Quevega


Photo: Felbridge Photography

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ourtney Young from Shotgate, Essex secured the win in the NAF Five Star Silver League Qualifier held at Felbridge Showground, jumping Maxine Locke’s Islandwood Roxy Ella. Forty-three keen combinations set out over the twelve-fence track and after two tough rounds of showjumping just ten remained to contest for first place in the final jump off. With the pressure mounting, Courtney was able to keep her cool and set an unbeatable time of 32.71 seconds, taking top spot with a triple clear.

Photo: Lotti- Elizabeth Photography - www.lottie-elizabethphotography.com

ESSEX’S ASHLEA SILKJONES TAKES THE NUPAFEED SUPPLEMENTS SENIOR DISCOVERY SECOND ROUND SUNDAY 29th MAY

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arwood Equestrian Centre played host to the Nupafeed Supplements Senior Discovery Second Round recently, and it was Ashlea Silk-Jones from Romford, Essex who took home the honours riding Diamant Top, a 5-year-old bay gelding owned by Jacqueline Jones. Over a challenging course, the initial start field of ninety-five competitors were whittled down to just seventeen strong combinations who all delivered two clear rounds for a place in the jump-off. With a late draw, Ashlea went on to steer Diamant Top into the first place, crossing the finish line in 36.04 seconds.

SATURDAY 28th MAY

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he British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet HOYS Grade C Qualifiers held at Herts County Show was won by Ronnie Jones from Dunmow, Essex riding Invictus 11, a 9year-old bay stallion owned by Ruth Dowie. Course designer Peter Gillespie, set a challenging first round track that put the starting field of fiftyone horses and riders through their paces. Twelve combinations managed to negotiate their way around the track faultlessly to go through to the jump off, where Ronnie put his foot on the accelerator to cross the finish line with a double clear in an unbeatable 40.69 seconds.

Photo: SBM Photographic

SUNDAY 15th MAY

ESSEX’S RONNIE JONES CLINCHES THE BRITISH HORSE FEEDS SPEEDIBEET HOYS GRADE C QUALIFIER

COLCHESTER’S IAN FOSTER WINS THE NAF FIVE STAR SILVER LEAGUE QUALIFIER SUNDAY 5th JUNE

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an Foster from Kelvedon, Colchester secured the win in this week’s NAF Five Star Silver League Qualifier held at Codham Park Equestrian Centre, jumping his own 8year-old bay mare, Broadstone Primrose. Twenty-seven keen combinations set out over the 1.15m track and after two tough rounds of showjumping just five remained to contest for first place in the final jump off. With the pressure mounting, Ian was able to keep his cool and set an unbeatable time of 49.35 seconds, taking top spot with a triple clear.

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Photo: Harry Beckingsale photography

ESSEX’S COURTNEY YOUNG WINS THE NAF FIVE STAR SILVER LEAGUE QUALIFIER


REPORTS & PHOTOS

Photo: Libby Law

ENTHRALLING WEEKEND OF SPORT AT HOUGHTON THURSDAY 26th - SUNDAY 29th MAY

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home win for the British team in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup, was just one of the many highlights from four days of unmissable eventing action at the Barefoot Retreats Houghton International Horse Trials in Norfolk. Some of the top horses and riders from around the world travelled to Houghton Hall to contest the second leg of the 2022 FEI Eventing Nations Cup

Series, including the all-female team who had arrived over from the USA. Five teams took part in total, with the British riders taking an early lead after the dressage phase. The team of Tom McEwen, Phoebe Locke, Heidi Coy and Piggy March maintained their advantage throughout the show jumping and cross country to deliver the win, much to the delight of the home crowd. Great Britain finished the

competition with a narrow lead over the team from the USA in second, and Sweden in third. It was a doubly rewarding weekend for Tom McEwen, who not only helped the British team secure the home win in the FEI Eventing Nations Cup but also took the CCI-S 4*O title with Fred and Penny Barker’s gelding, Bob Chaplin. World Number One, Oliver Townend enjoyed another

successful weekend riding for the Caunton Manor Stud. He took the top two places in the CCI 3*-L with the lovely young mares, Crazy Du Loir and Caunton First Class, owned by Sir John Peace and Charlotte Cole. Alongside the international competitions, there was a wide variety of non-eventing classes to be enjoyed – from Pony Club competitions to showing.

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