Equestrian Life SA November 2020

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Summer Essentials


BUSINESS FEATURE Email Marketing in a Social Media Era


TRAVEL Abelana Tented Safari Camp




Made with Love...And Livers


EQUINE FIRST AID First-Aid Essentials


EQUINE WOUND CARE First-Aid for Equine Injuries


COVER FEATURE Philippa Johnson-Dwyer




10 THINGS...


Horses Taught Me about Social Media


SUPERSTITIONS Horse People KNOW to be True


HEALTH Anti-aging Superfoods




Copyright 2020. The information in this publication is provided for general information only. It is not professional advice and we accept no liability or responsibility, if any information is, for any reason, incorrect or corrupted; or for any loss or damage that may arise from reliance on information in this publication. Equestrian Life disclaims all liability for any loss, damage, injury or expense that might arise from the use of, or reliance upon, the information or services contained herein. All views expressed in this publication are not our own and do not represent opinions of Equestrian Life. All rights reserved.

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EDITOR Shevaun McCreedy SENIOR DESIGNER Madeline Teles



DIGITAL PRODUCTION Amy Blair (crazyredchestnut)


CONTRIBUTORS Charlene Carroll Georgina Roberts Rechelle Kloeck Bernadette Versfeld

ello November!

It’s always the month that feels a little like no-mans’ land…. So close to December holidays and all the year-end festivities (basically December-eve) and yet still a full month of work, school and adulting activities to survive first. Talking of survival, our cover feature this month is dressage Paralympian Phillipa JohnsonDwyer, who overcame a fatal car accident at age 23 that left the right side of her body paralysed to not only survive, but defy odds and become one of South Africa’s most acclaimed equestriennes. This issue has a strong focus on health and wellness for horses and humans alike including a comprehensive look into what you should include in your equine first aid kit. We also delve into advice for the treatment of wounds and injuries whilst you wait for your vet to arrive. For the humans – check out the top 10 anti-ageing super foods to pack into your diet - full of anti-oxidants and minerals. We also provide a recipe for liver

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bread in the canine section, which your doggo may consider a super food too! It’s simple to make and requires just a handful of ingredients but is healthy, nutritious and a convenient treat! It’s another jam-packed issue with all things equestrian and lifestyle to keep you inspired and motivated and as always, we hope it brings you as much reading pleasure as it gave us compiling it!

Email shevaun@equestrianlife.co.za

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Equestrian Life SA

Enjoy xxx equestrian_life_mag




www.equestrianhouse.co.za I 02




D ber 2020 vem o N 26-28 Time: TBC



Entrieus:ts before

try-o To book mber, contact e 20 Nov r Chelsea to o e ll e h ic lle M . Miche k o o b 7 1 7 57 073 07 pitalstud. a@ca / chelse o.za c

ovid has seen the movement towards virtual auctions in 2020 and the Capital Stud auction promises to be one worth logging on for! Look out for progeny from international showjumping stallions including; Arezzo, Douglas, Bubalu, Capital Colnardo, Zirocco Blue, Numero Uno & more. The Auction itself will open on the 23rd of November and consists of 44 horses going under virtual auction hammer on the 26th, 27th and 28th November 2020.





11 - 14 November 2020



The pricing is per handler dogs are free. R160 per person

Time: Cost: R


Shellea Ripley ripley@lantic.co.za


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29 November 2020

November 2020


On the Day Entry:

R200 per person R90 Children under 12 Children under 6 Free (must be with a paying adult)




uddy Puppy will be hosting an event on Sunday the 29th November at Walkhaven Dog Park. All dog owners and their furry companions can spend some quality time, walking, running and completing obstacles for both dogs and owners, taking on the mud and water and just enjoying the 2.4 km course together. A portion of the “Muddy Puppy” proceeds will be donated to a chosen Dog charity for each event. Dogs must be on a leash at all times and must be at least 8 months old to participate. Please note all COVID-19 Precautions will be in place. NO MASK NO ENTRY


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Festive Gift Guide D E H


Credit: Google Images



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FIRST AID ESSENTIALS Be prepared to manage a minor injury or stabilize a serious wound with a well-stocked and accessible equine emergency first-aid kit. BANDAGES there are a few different ones you will need in your first aid box which are used in different situations and on different areas of the body: • Crepe bandages • Vet wrap • Elastoplast bandages All bandages available at Milmac and Equifox.

As horse lovers and owners, we all shudder at the thought of our magical unicorns getting hurt but the unfortunate reality is that if there is something for them to get stuck in or on, THEY WILL! In an emergency, time is of the essence. You need to assess the severity of the situation calmly and, depending on the nature of the incident, there may be a number of actions you can take to manage the situation until the vet arrives. In order to do so, however, it requires that you (or your yard)

have a well-stocked and easily accessible first aid kit readily available. For clarity, suggesting yards keep an equine first aid kit on-hand is not an alternative to calling the vet (and consulting Dr. Google), it is, on the contrary, providing you with tools and means to keep the situation under control (or from worsening) until the vets are able to arrive.

EQUINE First-Aid BETADINE SURGICAL WASH and Ointment – an antiseptic to keep the germs at bay Betadine Antiseptic Solution (250ml) R89,95 (Dischem) Dermavet 75ml tube R191,00 (Equifox)

A FIRST AID BOX We recommend a toolbox or fishing tackle box with partitions and securely fastening latches. A good idea is to write your vets contact number clearly on the box in the event your groom or other carer is required to call the vet on your behalf. Big Jim Toolbox R145 – R200 Builders Warehouse

STERILE SALINE SOLUTION We don’t often think about it, but what if your horse gets a foreign body or worse, snake venom, in its eyes? You can flush the eye with saline solution until your vet gets there. DO NOT administer steroids or cortisone to reduce the inflammation, as these can actually worsen the disease, delay healing or possibly lead to infection and/or partial/full blindness, your vet will need to determine the extent of the damage first. 10 I

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FIRST AID ESSENTIALS A DIGITAL THERMOMETER – No real explanation required here. A quick reminder to not leave the thermometer unattended when taking your beloved horses temperature however as you will either be scrounging through the bedding looking for it or calling an unimpressed vet that will have to fetch it from you know where! Digital Thermometer R49,95 Dischem

GAUZE SWABS For dabbing and wiping (much like cotton wool but the beauty is it doesn’t get caught or leave remnants after wiping) Medic Gauze Swabs Sterile R11,95 Dischem

EPSOM SALTS These can be used for flushing wounds and for drawing out an abscess.

A STETHOSCOPE Whilst this may seem too advanced, we recommend you ask your vet to show you how to listen for gut sounds and breathing rates on the next yard visit. Criti Care Stethoscope R249 takealot.com NAPPIES AND DUCT TAPE Yes you read correctly and yes we mean baby disposable nappies. These two are a must for poultice bandaging - simple yet highly effective. The nappy is absorbent on the inside and provides a protective layer whilst the duct tape stops your horse for walking though the bandage just after you have applied it. (Side note – your equine does not need Pampers or Huggies – No-Name brands will more than suffice). INTERLEAVED COTTON WOOL OR GAMGEE Cotton wool (interleaved) R96,00 Gamgee R133,00 Equifox

A HEADLAMP - we all know horses don’t abide by working hours and it’s far easier to manage the situation hands free. LED Headlamp R69,99 Mr Price Sport

BLUNT-NOSED SCISSORS The most used and frequently vanishing item in the first aid kit – be prepared to replace often I 11



e all know the helpless feeling of waiting for the vet when one of our equine children has suffered an injury or open wound, or if the wound is small enough to be treated without veterinary assistance but we’re not sure where to start! Whilst we may not be medically trained, there are a number of equine first aid basics that are essential for horse and yard owners to learn for these instances, as explained by Gail Foxcroft from Equifox. 01 I 12

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s e i ur j n I e n i u q E for Minor Wounds

Regardless of the type of injury, rapid attention will make a big difference. Cold therapy (ice packs or hosing) is most effective if applied immediately following an injury, whether it be a knock, strain or even a wound. The sooner a wound is cleaned the better the prognosis, because despite a wound not looking contaminated, it can become infected after six to eight hours. Steps taken to minimise inflammation (cold therapy) can significantly assist the healing process.

Minor wounds will usually stop bleeding within a few minutes and should not cause undue concern if treated appropriately and quickly. When the skin is damaged as a result of a laceration or other injury, the horse loses its first line of defence against infection. Even a small cut can become badly infected if not cleaned and covered properly. • Clean the wound gently by hos ing the wound using very low water pressure (high water pres

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sure may drive debris and infec tion deeper into the wound) and then by swabbing or rinsing with Saline solution or Ringer Lactate solution (Strong antiseptics may damage the tissue, especially in larger or deeper wounds). • If the wound is small, an antisep tic such as Equiscrub or Surgis crub may be used to clean and disinfect, rinsing well afterwards. • Carefully clip or shave around the wound to prevent hair and excessive dirt from contaminat ing the wound. Repeat the clean ing and disinfection process above. • Apply a sterile dressing and bandage in place. A wound should always be covered with a dressing or a bandage to keep it clean and assist in the healing process. Many people still be lieve that a wound should be allowed to ‘air’ and ‘dry out’, but in fact the opposite is true and provides the following ad vantages: 14 I

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Faster Healing – Wounds heal more quickly in a moisture controlled environment. The new epithelial cells can move around more easily, allowing the damaged tissue to repair more quickly. Less Scarring – The likelihood of scarring is reduced because there is no scab formation. Reduced Pain – In open wounds, the nerve endings may be exposed, causing pain. With a moist environment, the nerve endings are cushioned and protected by the moisture, thereby relieving pain. • If the wound is fairly deep or you suspect that it is infected, use a poultice such as Animalin tex or Glycerine Icthammol to draw out dirt and/or infection. More Serious Wounds More serious arterial or venous bleeding will require emergency attention and should be controlled by the application of pressure. (Don’t

worry about whether it is arterial or venous bleeding – the technique is the same). • Hold a pad of Veterinary Gamgee over the wound, applying pressure for at least 10 minutes, to allow the blood to clot. If blood seeps through the dressing, place another pad on top (so as not to disrupt clot formation). • Once the bleeding has slowed, bandage the pads firmly in place, perhaps even placing a rolled bandage on top of the wound to apply more pressure. • This extra pressure should be released every 15 minutes so as to avoid excessive pressure. This type of wound will most probably require the attention of your vet. Puncture Wounds Puncture wounds should be flushed with Saline or Ringers before covering the affected area. Use a poultice to draw out pus and change

the dressing twice daily. A puncture wound will require a Tetanus injection.


Call your vet if: • The wound has penetrated your horse’s chest or abdomen. Vital organs could be damaged. • The wound is located over a joint. You may see clear/yellow ish joint fluid (Synovial fluid) leaking from the wound. • You see exposed bone or tendon. • Skin edges are gaping. Sutures may be required. • The wound is on a leg that is buckling or non-weight- bear ing. Nerves or supporting struc tures (bone, tendon or ligament) may be damaged. • The wound is bleeding profuse ly and there are obvious signs that your horse has lost a large volume of blood (such as a pud dle of blood at the accident site). • The cut is accompanied by cel lulitis (marked swelling of the limb with ‘pitting oedema’).

• If your horse appears anxious or dazed and the mucous mem branes are pale, he may be suf fering from shock, especially fol lowing blood loss. Keep the horse quiet and offer water. • The wound is located on an eye or eyelid. It may need immedi ate help to minimize scarring and damage to the eye itself. • You see a defect or puncture wound on the sole of the foot or on the coronary band. Vital structures could be damaged. • You see a foreign object in the wound (wooden splinter or met al). If possible, leave the object in place so that depth, direction and vital structures in its path can be determined to enable it to be removed without causing additional damage. • If you suspect a fracture – the less movement the better. Your horse will need a tetanus injec tion. Bandaging • Bandage to keep dressings in place and to keep the wound clean. It will also provide support

and insulation and as an aid to reduce or prevent inflammation and swelling. • Bandage with an even pressure and a 50% overlap, taking care not to over-stretch the bandage. • Bandage with a lot of padding (Gamgee is ideal) so as to avoid circulation restriction, as this is detrimental to the healing pro cess and could cause serious damage in itself. • Ensure that the bandage does not restrict movement EG: at the hock or knee. • Bandage from the top and from the front to back of leg. Wound –Care Don’ts • Don’t give the horse any pain killers or anti-inflammatories without the vet’s approval – certain anti-inflammatories may cause increased bleeding. • Don’t give the horse a sedative or tranquiliser if he is frightened or excited or has just exercised, as this could depress his heart and/or respiratory system. I 15

• Don’t apply topical medication to a wound that will need veter inary attention, as this could compromise the repair and debridement of the wound. The wound should just be thoroughly cleaned and protected. Healing Problems You might have been treating your horse for a wound that initially seemed minor- but it is not healing as expected. If you observe any of the following developments, call the vet. • Your horse becomes lame on the injured limb which previously was sound. He may have a more extensive injury than expected or an infection may have devel oped in the wound. • Your horse develops a fever (temperature greater than 38.9 degrees C) which could indicate an infection. • The wound itself shows signs of infection, such as increased amounts of drainage or swelling and the area is painful or hot to the touch. • Your horse becomes depressed or listless or goes off his feed.

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Equifox Vet 16 I

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• Barn-style stables • Large, individual grass paddocks • 3 large arenas (Showjumping & Dressage) • Lunge arena • Indoor wash bay and solarium • Secure tack room linked to armed response • Hospitality pavillion with breathtaking views • 800m fitness track around the premises of the property 41 Trotting Close, Sun Valley

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SA'S Equestrian Golden Girl



very national sport has a home-grown hero who everyone roots for, even if you know little about the sport or the competitors. Think of Bradley Binda in Moto GP, Chad le Clos in swimming and Siya Kolisi in Rugby. The common denominators? They’re South African, they’re super talented and yet they’re still approachable, humble and genuinely nice people. When it comes to the equestrian world, one name which quickly comes to mind is Philippa Johnson-Dwyer. Philippa is a four time dressage Paralympian, having represented South Africa at the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Paralympics in Athens, Beijing, London and Brazil respectively. She became the first South African rider to win gold at a Paralympic Games when she claimed first place in the mixed dressage championship IV event at the 2008 Games in Beijing. Philippa hails from a show jumping family with horses having been part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her father, Arthur Johnson (brother of the late Bill Johnson), started teaching her to ride at the age of four and although show jumping was the family tradition, Philippa’s first love has always been dressage. 18 I

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In 1998, at just 23 years of age, Philippa was involved in a fatal car accident in which she lost both her brother and her boyfriend and which left her paralysed down the right side of her body. Whilst medical professionals told her that she would never be able to ride again, they underestimated the tenacity and determination of this young equestrienne who was determined to regain her place in the saddle.

November 2020

“Don’t allow anyone to put limits on your dreams”

Philippa managed to regain 6070% of the use of her right leg but her right arm remains paralysed. This did not deter her however, and with the unwavering love and support of her family, she set the goal posts progressively higher. “Never once, not even through the most difficult times, did it ever enter my mind to give up on the dream to ride again” says Philippa, who not only went on to ride, but went on to compete in the most highly acclaimed sporting event in the world – the Olympic Games – against the very best athletes in the world.

“To ride in the Olympics was my life goal for longer than I can remember – but my dream was to simply represent my country, never did I think I would ever have a chance to actually medal.” Her equine team mate for her Olympic success was a chestnut Hannoverian gelding named Benedict who she first met in 2002. Philippa and then coach, South African Katrine Puttick, had travelled to Belgium for an international para-equestrian competition and were in search of horses for the team to compete on at the tournament. It was love at

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first sight for Philippa and Benedict – enough to motivate the South African to pack her bags and move to Belgium to begin what became a fairytale career and partnership between horse and rider. In Athens in 2004, Philippa and Benedict obtained two individual silver medals and, four years later, she topped that with two golds in Hong Kong (Beijing was the host country that year but all equestrian events were held at ShahTin in Hong Kong). All under the guidance of coach, Chris Haazen. History was made for South Africa that year – not only was it the first time in history South Africa had sent a complete equestrian team to the Olympic Games, but Philippa and Benedict achieved the first ever equestrian gold medal for her home country. Whilst Benedict is now enjoying his well-deserved retirement, Philippa has two other competition horses who are excelling in the arena - Verdi, who starts at international level in the Intermediare I and Lord Louis in the Prix St. Georges. Her ultimate goal is to compete at able-bodied Grand Prix level in Europe. As we chatted to Philippa this week, she provides feedback from her hospital bed where she recovers from heart surgery. “It started with what I thought was a gastro accompanied by some serious 22 I

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muscle spasms. When I landed in hospital and it was discovered that I had a bacterial infection in my blood.“ “The bacteria landed up adhering to one of my heart valves. While doing further test they also discovered that I had a malignant mass in my large intestine! I have already had the heart surgery which went very well, the doctors amazingly were able to repair my valve instead of having to replace it, and I have to say I’m feeling a world better!!!, says Philippa with true South Africa resilience. With the first step out of the way, Philip-

pa is now determined to kick Cancer in the proverbial “butt” so she can make a timeous return to the show ring. If ever there was living proof to the saying that you should make your comebacks stronger than your setbacks, it is Philippa Johnson-Dwyer - so we have no doubt we’ll be seeing her name up in lights again very soon. When asked about what words she lives by, Philippa doesn’t hesitate: “Do this sport for the right reason: because you love your horse. If you do it for any other reason you aren’t doing yourself, your horse or the sport justice.

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EQUESTRIAN ESSENTIALS Rechelle Kloeck, showjumper and Fit Mom with Love blogger, provides the lowdown on her favourite summer essentials. ELIZABETH SUMMER HAT I love her hats, each hat is sequinned by hand, lots to choose from and a perfect accessory for any holiday. R850 www.elizabethsummer.com

My favourite summer self love products

s ’ e ov L h t i W FIT MOM

COLLAGEN SLIMMING SHAKE Bikini season! If your goals are to tighten and tone and have your daily intake of collagen. R599 www.motherkindco.co.za

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LAUPRENE LUXE NEOPRENE VELVET TOTE The most stylish bag, for a night out on the town or a day at the beach. The perfect size to throw all your goodies in and its washes easily. I absolutely love mine. R1300 www.lauprene.co.za

VICHY CAPITAL SOLEIL SPF50 Cream 50ml This sunscreen is awesome! It goes on very smoothly and is not sticky at all. I love the light scent and your skin is well protected. R244 Clicks

COTTON ON DENIM SHORT It’s every girls Summer staple… We all need a pair of denim shorts. R399 Cotton on

ADIDAS SOLARBOOST Keeping fit during the summer and holidays is so important. I recommend getting a good pair of running/training sneakers that can double as casual footwear. R1680 www. superbalist.com


AVÈNE THERMAL SPRING WATER 150ML This is an absolute must-have. No matter your skin type or concern. This product is just so soothing & refreshing. R170 Dischem

VICHY CAPITAL SOLEIL SPF50 CREAM 50ML This sunscreen is awesome! It goes on very smoothly and is not sticky at all. I love the light scent and your skin is well protected. R244 Clicks

WOMEN’S SWING DRESS I love dresses for summer and the Light in the Box has many dresses to pick from. R440 lightinthebox.com HAVAIANAS WOMEN’S SLIM BALLET ROSE SANDALS The Havaiana flip flops are so nice and comfortable. If you don’t have a pair for summer , I definitely recommend getting. R299 www.sportsmanswarehouse

Follow fit_mom_with_love on Instagram I 25





Is it still effective in a Social Media era? A recent report by McKinsey reported that people spend an average of 13 hours per week in their inbox which means we’re inclined to say yes… a professional email marketing strategy is a critical part of your marketing artillery and your day-to-day communications activities. 26 I

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targeted email campaign can be a highly effective tool for marketers – it places relevant information directly into the inbox of an audience who are open to receiving the information and are likely to heed the call to action. It is NOT the same as collecting as many email addresses as possible and sending a generic email to the entire database with a “spray and pray” mentality, hoping some of the thousands of recipients might respond positively.


There are 10 main benefits of professional email for businesses: 1. Keeps customers in the loop by providing regular updates on relevant topics. 2. Builds trust by teaching custom ers something new about the business every time you correspond. 3. Develops stronger relationships by making doing business with you a personal experience 4. Attracts more website visitors by piquing attention and providing a call to action to obtain more information via the website. 5. Provides a consistent form of communication and one which customers can save to refer back to in need. 6. Encourages helpful feedback. 7. Generates leads, leads and more leads. A carefully crafted email marketing program is an excellent sales lead generator.

8. Keeps customers coming back for more. Once leads have been converted into customers, the key to sustainably growing the business is to provide enough incentives for customers to return, which regular email mark eting can achieve. 9. Provides an ideal platform for storytelling. Content comes in different styles such as product reviews and educational blog posts, however, one of the most effective content strategies for businesses is called storytelling, and professional emails are the best platform for telling your story. These can include case studies and testimonials. 10.Increases brand awareness. Email marketing is an important tool for tying all your digital marketing strategies together. Your email footers (if sent from bulk email service providers) has a prepopulated footer with social media icons,

enabling readers to link directly to your social media pages. Email is also the perfect tool for promoting your blog posts, podcasts, tips, tutorials, videos, infographics, webinar or event invitations and other content. How to use Email Marketing to drive better engagement 1. Optimise for Mobile Most automated email service providers will automatically optimize the layout depending on whether the reader views on desktop, tablet or smartphone. 2. Automate Modern email service providers enable you to automate the tasks which may seem mundane but add significant value to customer relationships, such as birthday, anniversary or welcome emails. I 27


3. Provide Value Email marketing should be used responsibly, putting customer needs first. It should also set the tone, so communicate in a way which reflects your brand personality. Refrain from always trying to sell, rather provide valuable, useful information through story telling. 4. Repurpose Other Content Content creation can be time consuming and expensive if you’re reliant on freelancers for copywriting. Repurpose content, with some tweaks, where possible and get creative with social integration. 28 I

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5. Strengthen your Call to Action The call to action is probably the most important part of your email. As your prospect scans your email you have the opportunity to convert their attention into action. Decide what you want customers to do once they’ve read your email and decide on the value proposition before crafting your subject line and key elements to reflect it. 6. Measure & Optimise Your email marketing tool should provide you with statistics in terms of how many emails were delivered, opened and the call-to-action heeded. You can run two different

email campaigns concurrently to see which content or imagery was most effective. Use the statistics received to optimize your email campaigns. One critical aspect to remember about email marketing is that it is a permission-based marketing platform which requires recipient to opt-in to receive communication. The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) bill sets conditions for responsible data management and requires marketers to provide recipients with the option to unsubscribe should they no longer wish to receive correspondence. More details can be found at: www.popia.co.za




TRAVEL Great Reasons To Support / Start Vaulting in SA “Kids need freedom to choose their own path in life. I want to show them everything about horses, so they can be exposed to something they would normally never know about. This is how we let their talents shine through. This is how we let them grow.” - Enos Mafokate, the champion of the Soweto Riding School


the Discipline of Vaulting (Part 2)

In the October issue we covered the basics on when vaulting began in South Africa and a brief overview of how the sport works. This month, contributor Georgie Roberts, delves a little further into the discipline and provide a whole lot of good reasons to consider getting involved. GEORGIE ROBERTS (THE OFF SIDE)


he present name Vaulting [voleting] is derived from the French “la voltige,” which it acquired during the Renaissance when it was a form of riding drill and agility exercise for cavalry soldiers. Modern vaulting developed in post-war Germany as an initiative to introduce children to equestrian sports,

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and as such many famous German equestrians like Ingrid Klimke and Michael Jung most likely have roots in this discipline. In Europe it is a standard way to begin riding careers affordably, socially, and to learn essential skills in a controlled environment before becoming disciple specific.

Vaulting offers a rare opportunity to transform the equestrian community, based largely on two key elements: it is more affordable, and more accessible. A team only requires one horse, as opposed to any other discipline which requires one horse per rider. Because of this we see vaulting being our most transformative FEI equestrian discipline in South Africa, with vaulters from disadvantaged backgrounds not only being able to share in the joy of horses, but potentially secure themselves a spot in an international team - this has happened in 2010 (WEG), 2014 (WEG) and 2017 (FEI Vaulting World Championship for Juniors) - something that our admittedly elitist sport is woefully behind at facilitating. VASA’s vision for transformation is a long term one, which has seen them actively encouraging, coaching, and now qualifying black learner judges to join the panel. This is not only good for the sport, but it is good for our country. It is good for our children to embrace diversity, have access to multiple sporting avenues, and see possible sporting and career paths that are both inclusive and legitimate.

On a physical level, even basic vaulting at the walk is excellent for even tiny children, as the dynamic motion of the horse activates the rider’s core in three dimensions up and down, back and forward, left and right. This is unlike any other sport, and it does this whether you want to or not! A Horse, A Horse, My Trampoline For A Vaulting Horse Vaulting horses usually belong to a club where people go to train, and members either share the cost or contribute with training fees. Smaller ponies are used to introduce children, and large warmbloods compete under teams. They can be any breed but need to have several important attributes, namely: • excellent temperament (as they are required to be an equine jungle gym) • good quality paces (not too bouncy, not too flat, steady rhythm) • ideally have a long broad back to accommodate enthusiastic acrobatics! No previous riding or gymnastics experience is required to try vaulting or to experience our exciting sport. VASA is prepared to facilitate classes for all levels of vaulting, from beginners to competitive World Champions! To begin vaulting training will be a combination of moves on a calm, educated horse with the amazing vaulting “handles” available as your emergency seatbelt (eventually these are employed for handstands and flick flacky things) while you become familiar with the movement. Anything involving movement is known as dynamic movements. Training sessions progress as per individual, and new moves are in-

troduced on the stationary barrel for intensive input and assistance from the coach, where they can train immobile movements - or static movements - without momentum or mobility at first. The barrel helps to build strength and muscle memory and allow the coach to make posture corrections in a very safe, very fun, and very easy environment! Personally, I love the barrel, because you can build one for the kids in the garden and it DOESN’T EAT and DOESN’T NEED A VET. EVER. Win. No helmets? While helmets are an ABSOLUTE MUST for equestrians, vaulters do not wear them - why? The simple answer is that helmets do not aid in the safety of vaulters, but by unbalancing and restricting them they rather increase the risk of injury in this discipline. The consensus is clear across the board amongst all vaulting experts worldwide, coaches, competitors, medical professionals well versed in vaulting: • Vaulting has the best safety record by far of any equestrian discipline. • This is primarily due to teaching safety of falling and dismount ing from the horse as a funda mental part of vaulting training from the beginning. • The footing vaulters land on is typically soft, offering added protection. • Current helmets are restrictive as they are too thick to safe ly allow a forward or backward roll on proper footing, prevent ing vaulters from safely imple menting this proven safety manoeuvre upon “bailout” dis mounts - they could get jammed and cause severe neck injury.

• • • •

Straps pose a serious safety hazard, potentially getting caught on equipment or other vaulters - disastrous in a fall or dismount. Helmets limit the scope of vision even when fitted perfectly, and are not snug enough to stay completely still, blocking a vault er’s ability to judge distance. Helmets prevent vaulters from performing most of the exercis es and transitions as they limit motion and mobility. Helmets disturb the refined balance of vaulters (and any gymnasts) when performing any dynamic exercises, and espe cially anything involving rota tional momentum (such as a flip or spin).

The jury is in on this one, and this one alone: in vaulting, if you want to keep your head, lose the hat! Not to mention it makes the sport even MORE affordable, and you can spend the extra bucks on excellent costumes. For more information or to schedule a fun day anywhere in SA, please contact our fresh and fantastic VASA President, Janine Turner, for assistance: president@vaultingsa.co.za or visit www.vaultingsa.co.za

GAUTENG VAULTING Michelle Blaauw president@gautengvaulting.co.za KZN VAULTING Glyniss Braum Glynis.Braum@gmail.com WESTERN CAPE VAULTING Jacqui Tacknis task@iafrica.com

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Your Dream Equestrian Property is Within Reach LD SO

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THE STRAWBERRY When you ask your children where strawberries are found and they respond “Woolworths” you realise it’s time to escape the city (only just) and head out to farm country and back to basics. 01 I 34

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he Strawberry Farm in Hartebeespoort is a haven for children and adults alike. There is something quite therapeutic about sitting in a field of a working farm on a beautiful, sunny, summer day eating delicious organic strawberries to your hearts content. Strawberry picking is available on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays from mid-September until early December. The strawberries are organic - no herbicides, pesticides or artificial fertilizers are used to grow them – so you can literally pick them and eat them straight from the soil. I thought my 18 month old may be too young to truly appreciate the experience, but after just one bite she’d cottoned on to the concept and I think she ate her weight in strawberries. So for moms and dads looking for something fun for the whole family – this is definitely one for the memory books (and also makes for Insta-worthy photos!). Apart from the strawberry picking itself, the farm is also a great place for a picnic (whether you bring your own basket or order from them), a spa day or a sneaky stay-over in their guest house. They also have a fully-operational restaurant on-site called Forage & Feast, with a comprehensive menu that includes a number of items made with fresh strawberries – including scones, waffles, salads, cheesecakes and more. For the moms and dads…. Their signature strawberry daiquiri is one of the best you’ll ever have and the perfect refreshment after a morning of intensive fruit picking! THINGS TO NOTE

The Strawberry Farm • The fields opens at 8am and close at 4pm. We went mid-Oc tober and by 10h00 it was scorching hot so go early if you can and don’t forget sunblock and hats. • It costs R100 per adult (age 10 and over) and R80 per child – this enables you to eat as many strawberries as you like within the fields (you may go in and out of the fields as many times as you want) and make use of the picnic areas. • Depending on supply, if plenti ful, you are provided with a plastic bucket which you can fill with strawberries and weight out on your way out of the field. This will be charged at the going rate per kilogram.

• You don’t need to pre-book un less you order a picnic basket from them, but it is advised to go early as it is popular during picking season • It’s a farm and you’re forag ing in a field so yes, there is mud. Nothing drastic by any means but I wouldn’t recommend wear ing your favourite white sneak ers.

S46 on R560, Hartebeespoort http://thestrawberryfarm.co.za/

The Strawberry Farm

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I 02

10 Things


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orses teach us so much… and some of it even has to do with horses. This week our resident dressage diva, social media queen, and The Off Side columnist Georgie Roberts contemplates what our equine educators can subtly show us about the battlefield-meet-ballroom that is social media, and how to dodge the abundant manure on both. Being popular on social media used to be like being the fastest Shetland at the Summer Cup… not much use at all. Then the Zucc monetised the whole thing, allowed some fascists to advertise their political campaigns, and suddenly the whole world is holding the talking stick at once. No one is ever more prepared for anarchy and chaos than the horse world, however…. 1 IT IS HARDER THAT IT LOOKS, SO MAYBE SSSH

Mark Twain said it is better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to speak aloud and remove all doubt, and nowhere is this truer for the boombox of stupidity that is social media. We have given amplifiers to the everyman, and a platform for people to share their politics and ponies while galleries shriek both biased adoration and vile abuse. But before we insist we could do it better, be it running a country or jumping an open track, we should all channel our memories of that first rising trot. Never has anything looked so easy, and also made everyone look like such a poephol. When radio DJ Roger Goode bemoaned dressage at the Olympics, saying the horse did all the work, outraged and unfit equestrians everywhere sommer lit up their

pitchforks to expedite the lynching. Clearly the solution was to invite him for a nice relaxing sitting trot lesson at a dressage show while the showjumpers held a lap of honour next door. Don’t fight the stupid: ignore it or silence it. 2 ALL THE EXPERTS ARE ON


when you are riding away from someone or miles away on your phone, but you shouldn’t do this, because Karma. She isn’t a bitch, she just has a GPS and a great sense of humour, and you WILL find yourself sitting opposite them at a dinner party, mostly because of #5. 4 THE PEANUT GALLERY ISN’T ON THE PODIUM

Sunday quarterbacks are like Monday judges are like opinions on I really can’t stress this enough. The social media - and the people ad- most vocal people on social media vocating turmeric over vaccines on are seldom the business tycoons, Facebook are seldom immunolo- the effective activists, the brilliant gists. Every time someone chirps politicians, or the Dalai Lama. Why “Why don’t you…” I have to bite is this? Maybe it’s because those my fist and fight the overwhelming people are busy doing things that urge to interject WHY DON’T YOU matter, like the best trainers are GET ON OR GET LOST (but I don’t, the ones who duck the flying turds because apparently it is rude and and work their way up to holding there are disciplinary hearings for a championship cup. Take insight those sort of comments). But what from when it comes and remember: I can tell you is that it is SELDOM criticism never comes from those someone worthy of input who is who are doing more than you are. actually offering their input. Au contraire, mon ami fatigué, it is 5 TWO DEGREES OF SEPARATION usually someone who rode their sister’s horse twice ten years ago If social media and horses have and didn’t fall off offering their ex- anything in common it is a) that pertise, like it is never a lawyer who the world is small and b) everyone actually threatens a lawsuit. who you like will hate someone I WISH GP riders would offer ran- else who you like. You can’t throw dom advice, but alas, people usual- everyone away (unless they are siff, ly charge for valuable insights. like #10, in which case you should Similarly, there is always one chase them like an auctioneer in a weapons grade moron [thanks round pen). Some of the best peoDuncan] on Twitter with an option ple to me in the horse world have on parenting, and they NEVER have been universally reviled by others, children. Actual parents are like while some of the WORST are reactual riders - we know we are one spected members of our incestuous booger or buck away from forced fraternity. This makes birthday parhumility, so we shut up. ties fun, but in the way that bungee jumping is fun: Will someone be killed? WHO KNOWS, IT IS SO 3 DON’T TALK KAK WHEN YOU’RE ON YOUR HIGH HORSE EXCITING! My best advice is to be forewarned, but keep an open And don’t sling mud when you are mind… your brain probably won’t behind a screen if you wouldn’t do fall out. it in person. It is easy to be mouthy I 39

everyone insists it is right, and who supports you in these dark corners is a good indicator of character.

a lucky day, sure, but to quote the great Player himself, the more you practice, the luckier you get.




I’m joking. But certain platforms DO attract a certain quality of person, and horses attract terrible people - I say this confidently as a terrible person. I think it’s because they are really nice, and we all desperately want a piece of that. But whenever you are about to passionately engage with someone, be mindful of where you are and who you are likely to bump into there. For example, never fight with a man in a cut-off shirt from Fourways, a vegan woman on a community parenting group... or an endurance rider at an FEI AGM. Too soon?

The air-kissing and ass-kissing of Instagram and horse shows are fun, but don’t believe your own press on either. Just like a lucky championship win doesn’t make a rider, a filter doesn’t make you beautiful inside. Stay real. Yeet* those filters and fake friends into the sun, along with your ego. In a world where so much is not real, it is refreshing to encounter genuine emotion and genuine connection. Seek it out, attract it by being it, and you will be amazed at the results. I’m not speaking about boobs or false tails. There is also a place for fakeness, and that is IT, PEOPLE.


[*2020 has given us many gifts, least which is the addition of the word “yeet” into the Oxford Dictionary, along with “irregardless”.

If you are mean to people, when you are getting beaten up in a corner everyone will graciously turn their cheek to allow karma to tip her scales. If you are mean to your horse, your horse will remember and invite humility to join you in the saddle. The moral of the story is don’t be an asshole, and as people who have had their social media scanned by prospective employers will tell you, there is a long and visceral history of asshole behaviour now available to haunt us. If you haven’t done anything wrong, you don’t need to worry, but realistically these days the adage to “always be your true self” is terrible advice if you are a racist homophobic misogynist, because people WILL find out, you WILL be owned, and you WILL be fired / sued / dumped. And it’s a thing of beauty, because it saves many people the agony of months of investment only to discover their new cherrie is a Trump supporter. Viva, Facebook, for being more effective than Tinder at narrowing the search!

The real opportunities for connection and relationships lie with those whose morals don’t abandon them when they become unpopular, and who don’t abandon their friends when they fall (literally and figuratively). It is a great gauge of people and their principles to see who is by your side when you get planted, lose a championship, ride like an arse… or similarly when you behave like an arse. My best friends remain those who stand by me one hundred percent, but equally who tell me to get my shit together when I am very wrong and then help me to fix it. The false environment of social media often needs recalibrating by people who balance their time between choosing their fight, while refusing to stay complicitly silent when others baulk. Wrong stays wrong, even if 40 I

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Beware of comparing your daily experiences with someone’s highlights. It is easy to see rosettes and romantic getaways on social media and feel envious or depressed by comparison, but that’s just it - comparison is the thief of joy. Very few people post their bad days, their tired days, the days that things go very badly wrong. They post their wedding but not their affair, their win but not their fall. Don’t compare yourself to photoshop - to quote a photographer friend, “Not even the girl on the cover of the magazine looks like the girl on the cover of the magazine.” Those people posting their great shows have all had


Now excuse me while I go share this to social media.


I 41



The Real Big 5 of Horseback Safaris

here are few things more spectacular than game viewing in the African bush… unless of course you’re doing it on horseback - then it’s basically unbeatable. Georgie Roberts visited Abelana Tented Safari Camp adjacent to the Kruger National Park to provide a review just to give us all #LifeEnvy! Let’s be clear. I am not one for roughing it. I don’t understand going on holiday to be LESS comfortable than I am at home. I also don’t want to be riding horses that need educating - I do that for a living, so it sounds like the opposite of relaxing. This is seldom the reality of a fantasy riding holiday, as anyone who has galloped against their will down rocks on a Drakensburg pony can attest. Similarly, I am no 42 I

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longer content to eat baked beans out of a tin, and this is not because I am a massive snob (just a little bit of one), but because I did it enough on my youthful travels. The final holiday horror is ANOTHER trip to the bushveld; now put your pitchforks away. As beautiful as veld and trees are, I just always figured that if you have seen it once you have seen it all. Right? Challenge accepted, apparently. And so I was offered a weekend at a tented horseback safari camp, and it sounded like the OPPOSITE of what I imagined a holiday would be. I am seldom wrong, as my exes will tell you, but I was utterly relieved to be completely re-educated on this fantastic getaway to Abelana Tented Safari Camp. 400km outside of Johannesburg near Gravelotte, in the east of Limpopo and just half an hour past Hoedspruit, lies a new big five

game reserve with exceptional camps on 15 000 hectares of some of the most stunning scenery I have ever seen. The truth is that while there are numerous horseback safaris, there is also the REAL big five which lifts the cream from the skim milk, and this was my taste of it on this exceptional trip. BIG FIVE #1: I LIKE BEING CLOSE TO NATURE, BUT NOT NATURAL, THANKS Abelana succeeds in seamlessly blending an authentic bush experience with luxury at their Safari Camp, with every effort taken to ensure total comfort while exposing you to the sights and sounds of Africa on your doorstep. The “tents” [I use this term reluctantly because they are nicer than my house] are nestled in the trees at the foot of a short climb to a deck bar overlook-

ing their massive watering hole, allowing guests to partake in their own quenching with artisanal gins and superb wines while reclined on stretchers, shaded by fig trees and umbrellas to appreciate the panoramic view for miles. Back to the rustic-meets-refined lodge there is no amenity forgotten in their sustainable set-up, with expert staff ready to show you to your quarters. Here you enter an oddly temperate climate, cozy in the winter chill and cool in the midday summer blaze, where you can channel your inner monarch as you recline on down to catch one hundred and fifty winks after being over-indulged with horses, food, drink and exceptional sightings. Admittedly my standards for bathrooms were imagined horrors, but the facilities were as fantastic as everything else with locally-produced products to wash away the dust of the drive and refresh you for a ride or a nap, beneath the birds and branches outside if you so wish. Care has been taken with every small detail, from spare lights and mosquito protections, to

fine linen and private decks where you can appreciate the birding ambience and occasional wild visitor in total comfort, morning coffee in hand. Balm for the body and soul! BIG FIVE #2: THEY KNOW ALL ABOUT ELEVENSES… AND SECOND BREAKFAST Honestly, there is little in this world that a good sleep and an excellent meal can’t fix. Now that one element was removed, we were treated to meal after sumptuous meal by a team overseen by exBlues chef Alexandra Napier. Just as one course was done, another appeared before us like magic, wine savoured from apparently bottomless goblets as though from the gods themselves, and the jovial staff kept our campfires crackling as they regaled us with stories below the starry night skies. My only complaint was the comprehensive breakfast menu which left me envious of bovine’s multiple stomachs as I tried to nom every culinary delight. I never want to look back

in regret and think “I should have eaten that,” but I need not have worried about missing out - while a month would not have been long enough to enjoy every item on the Abelana menu, they ensure you never go unsated. After every adventure there was a new snack, crisp cold fruits, iced teas, homemade pastries and a multitude of other things that makes you realise why their horses are so well conditioned - I am not just implying that they are excellently fed, but hinting that if they have to carry people around after their second breakfast [nod to the Hobbits] they must be pretty fit. BIG FIVE #3 - PEOPLE MAKE THE PLACE, STAFF MAKE THE EXPERIENCE My personal space borders on “I want you here as soon as I need you, but don’t want to see you if I don’t,” so I understand that accommodating people is the worst. Service can make or break customer I 43


care, and Abelana has ensured that guest comfort and care is the foundation of their ethos throughout the lodge and surrounds. “Abelana” itself means “to share amongst each other”, and this eco-tourist partnership with the Mashishimale community embodies that through their various empowerment projects and staff programmes, and it shows. Much like happy horses make good partners, the same is evident in human capital. From their experienced equestrian guide and manager Tamlyn, to their super-efficient hosts and knowledgeable guides, down to the often-underestimated but essential touch of basic staff, we wanted for nothing and no request was too daunting… in fact, we barely has time to verbalise a request before it was done (I suspect telepathy). The right tone and cheer was sufficient to make us smile, but not so much that it pained our hangovers. BIG FIVE #4: A HORSE, A HORSE, MY RELAXATION FOR A DECENT HORSE I have had enough people try to offload a psychopathic sprinter fresh from Turffontein as a “hack” to 44 I

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treat all trail horses with deep suspicion, and I have known enough humans to be doubtful of horses’ care in every environment. Abelana has invested in the next cornerstone of pleasure by ensuring your butt will be resting in (thank god) decent tack, fitted well to a happy, schooled, experienced horse. As equestrians this is essential, as we expect an enjoyable ride from the moment we meet our weekend buddy! Going from halt to canter and back again with minimal effort, no break in conversation with my friends, and furthermore preferably at our own discretion, is something we all strive to do daily, but also what we expect on a holiday. Every one of the Abelana horses is specifically chosen for their job and function, catering to all riders. They are gradually and systematically trained by the guides, receive care and treatment best suited to Kyalami Kugel standards (but with better paddock space), all resulting in smart friendly employee-equines who excel at their career. This all transforms the experience of cantering through riverbeds amongst a herd of wildebeest, walking beneath the giant baobab with curious giraffe, and even dismounting for a bush-wee in a porcupine hole

[apologies to everyone involved] without fear that my steed would abandon me to the resident leopards. Nay nay (neigh neigh?), I was quite attached to Diego when the time came to depart. BIG FIVE #5: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION The Selati River winds through this incredible land, where massive rock formations and ancient trees guard their roots in this sacred African soil, and we can humbly partake in the true experience of what it means to be wild. This diverse and unusual scenery gives rise to a wide variety of both indigenous and curated wildlife, all monitored and tracked by their rangers to ensure your visit to Abelana is a thick book with many chapters of adventures, each different and thrilling. Every hill and turn on our trusty steeds brought more wildlife, and while I understand the thrill of the big five, we were more excited at the variety of all that we saw. From bird life to antelope, fauna to flora, whiskey to wine, Appaloosa to Warmblood, there is no desire unaccounted for! When our thighs (and tummies) were tired we elected for a dawn drive from




Safari Camp to the exceptional River Lodge - which was then freshly opened to people seeking a more indulgent escape - and gained a more elevated perspective of everything this reserve and its people have to offer all tourists. Except tourist is the wrong word. People say “Africa stole my heart�, and that is also wrong. What Africa does is remind us that our hearts never left her. Like

the great baobabs, the magic of Abelana whispers in our ear and reconnects us to our roots. It plants us. It invigorates us. It reminds us of the continent where it all began, unchanged except for the most careful and conscious of touches which allows us to explore and appreciate it in its finest. You might arrive to Abelana a tourist, but when you leave you take a little, and you leave a little

of yourself behind. Just as they share the land with us, they share the spirit and experience of it. And sometimes when we lose ourselves in the wilderness, it is there that we truly find ourselves. Find yourself at Abelana Safari Camp - explore the landscapes from horseback, meet the Big Five of animals and of luxury, and find yourself refreshed. If they can meet my challenge - and exceed it - I promise you that your next dream holiday will exchange coconuts with canters, and beaches with bushveld. With international restrictions and to recover what the community lost through 2020, they have opened up their camps and rates to locals. Take advantage and salvage your 2020, rediscover your roots beneath the baobabs, and give Diego a carrot from me! I 45



...And Livers Home Made Liver Bread

Liver bread is an ideal alternative for treats, for training, as a snack or as the base for homemade canine birthday cakes or “pupcakes”. The beauty of making it at home means you know exactly what goes into it and ensures your fur-children receive only the best quality.


iver bread is one of those easy to make recipes with just a handful of ingredients that requires minimal time and effort – and let’s be honest, the recipients aren’t worried about presentation. Any extra can be stored in the freezer and used as required. 46 I

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500g raw liver 3 eggs 1 tablespoon golden syrup (optional) 1 cup flour 1,5 cups whole-wheat flour 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Optional Extras

You can add vegetables such as grated raw baby marrow, broccoli, sweet potato or butternut (steamed and mashed) for added nutrients


1. Blend the livers, eggs and syrup in a blender until smooth 2. In a large mixing bowl, add the blended mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed 3. Add vegetables (optional) 4. Place the mixture into a greased flat baking tray and back at 180 degrees for 12 minutes

5. Once cooked and cooled, cut into squares and serve (or freeze for later use) If you choose to bake the mixture in a muffin tray, place the mixture into a greased muffin or cake tin and bake at 180 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. “Ice” with smooth cream cheese and biltong powder or even peanut butter.

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Horse People KNOW to be True

Charlene Carroll Debunks the Superstition Myths


ith Halloween just behind us and another pantomime, the US election, in front of us I think it’s a good time to talk about superstitions, fairy tales and general folklore. Let’s be honest we have all at some stage walked precariously around a ladder, dodged a black cat walking across our path and worn the same undies when on a winning streak. (Did I say that aloud?) So, superstitions. Ironically most of these are based on some semblance of reality or belief. Like opening umbrellas in Victorian England could literally result in someone losing an eye and the Egyptians believed that a ladder leaning against a wall forms a 48 I

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triangle, the shape is sacred as it represents the trinity of the gods, and to pass through a triangle was to desecrate them. Whether the logic is sound or its just downright laughable… there is some lucidity. One would think. That is until you consider horse people. We have no logic and are very laughable. Moving along, here are some common horse superstitions. Fair warning. I tried to research some of these, and it is as easy to find an explanation as it is rocking horse s*&%. Everyone talks about it – but no one knows where they even came from except that many are rooted in English folklore. Never wear anything new when going on a hunt or a long outride.

This you you and

bad luck, like Zeus, will strike down from the heavens and will find yourself in the ditch not leaping gracefully over it.

Do not by any means rename your horse. This is unlucky and will result in your paddocks shrivelling up, your saddle no longer fitting and your horse being a douche. I kid. I have no idea why it is unlucky, and with all due respect some horses deserve a better name than “Limping Goliath” – but you are welcome to tag on a nickname… JUST NOT a new name. Green is terrible luck for equestrians.

This may have to do with leprechauns or the fact that too much green grass can lead to colic. But again the logic is hard to follow except that it goes all the way into the racing community where it was considered bad luck to even bet on a horse if you had a green handkerchief. When plaiting your horse, you always give a gelding 13 plaits, and a mare should get 12. Unless you are trying to cross a troll bridge at midnight, then you should make it an even number, always be sure to include the forelock as a plait otherwise the horse eating judge will destroy your dressage show and you will “A enter in fly leap”. Stepping in manure is good luck. Wait. What? If there is any semblance of truth in this I should have won the lotto 40 times, my children would be Einstein, and I would have been born into a family of whisky distillers. I call this bad luck, especially when you have just polished your boots or as a teenage kid, you have to get into your non-horsey mother’s car. Putting copper coins in the water of a moody mare will cure her mood swings. I am no doctor, but maybe copper has the same medicinal properties as Eltroxin. Who am I to judge? My personal favourite “sitting backwards on a horse or donkey will alleviate toothache and cure snake bites”. This one must be American; perhaps we can ask the Native Americans if it works… oh wait.

Braiding your horse’s hair with ribbons will protect it from witches, and if your horse’s tail is messy in the morning, it went on a midnight jaunt with a gang of pixies who rode it in the heather. Perhaps we could use this as an excuse on hangover days. Sorry instructor can’t ride today my horse’s hair is messy, so it has been up all night cavorting with the pixies it is exhausted. Literally… where is my mind. (If you don’t get the reference send me a postcard at INeedToExpandMyMusicHorizons ThePixiesAreABand). Horseshoes are good luck. But only when hung outside and the right way up. The right way is with the curve at the bottom. Otherwise, your luck will drain out, and you will be packing matches at the Lion matches factory riding your horse to work and not the Derby. I think. I wouldn’t quote me on that. White Horses When you see a white horse make a wish. Ask someone when they last saw a white horse to alleviate hiccups. Lead a white horse through your house to ward off evil spirits. Seeing a white horse in your dream for three consecutive nights means an elderly person will die. Geez. Own a grey, they said. It will be fun,

they said. There goes my delusion of grandeur and my enactment of Gandalf and Shadowfax. I leave the most bizarre for last “One white leg, buy him. Two white legs try him. Three white legs send him far away and sell him to your foes. Four white legs, keep him not a day and feed him to the crows.” Uh huh. Thanks Steve. There you have it. All completely logical superstitions based in real fact and we haven’t even touched on what you can do with horse’s hair to cure ailments and why you shouldn’t leave a cowboy hat on your bed. Call me a cynic even if I always add 13 to my lotto numbers and believe that a broken mirror gives you splinters – not bad luck. But each to their own and if your personal poison is to be superstitious then perhaps you can put a good word in for me in Valhalla. I 49


from the Inside Out 10 Anti-Ageing Super Foods

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November 2020



ur skin is the first part of our body to show any sign of internal trouble and there’s only so much that lotions, potions and serums can do before we need to look more closely at what we’re ingesting and fueling our body with.

The skin is the body’s largest organ…. It is also the most visible, which is why it’s one of the first places where we’ll notice significant changes such as a dull complexion and fine lines. When we start to consume more fresh, vibrant foods that are packed with antioxidants, healthy fats, water and essential nutrients, we’ll be rewarded with glowing skin… from within! Here are 10 of the best anti-aging foods you should include in your diet: 1. Watercress This nutrient-dense leafy green is a great source of: • Calcium • Potassium • Manganese • Phosphorus • Vitamins A, C, K, B-1, and B-2 Watercress acts as an internal skin antiseptic and increases the circulation and delivery of minerals, resulting in enhanced oxygenation of the skin. Packed with vitamins A and C, the antioxidants in watercress neutralize harmful free radicals, helping to keep fine lines and wrinkles away. 2. Red Pepper Red peppers are loaded with antioxidants which reign supreme when it comes to anti-aging. In ad-

dition to their high content of vitamin C — which is good for collagen production — red peppers contain powerful antioxidants called carotenoids. Carotenoids are plant pigments responsible for the bright red, yellow, and orange colours you see in many fruits and vegetables. They have a variety of anti-inflammatory properties and may help protect skin from sun damage, pollution, and environmental toxins. 3. Papaya This delicious superfood is rich in a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that may help to improve skin elasticity and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. These include: • Vitamins A, C, K, and E • Calcium • Potassium • Magnesium • Phosphorus • B Vitamins Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which provides additional anti-aging benefits by working as

one of nature’s best anti-inflammatory agents. 4. Blueberries Blueberries are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as an age-defying antioxidant called Anthocyanin. This is what gives blueberries their deep, beautiful blue color. These powerful antioxidants may help protect skin from damage due to the sun, stress, and pollution by moderating the inflammatory response and preventing collagen loss. 5. Broccoli Broccoli is an anti-inflammatory, anti-aging powerhouse packed with: • Vitamins C and K • A variety of antioxidants • Fibre • Folate • Lutein • Calcium Your body needs vitamin C for the production of collagen, the main protein in skin that gives it strength and elasticity. I 51


6. Spinach Spinach is super hydrating and packed with antioxidants that help to oxygenate and replenish the entire body. It’s also rich in:

• Strengthen skin cell membranes • Protect against sun damage • Give skin a beautiful glow by preserving its natural oil barrier

• Vitamins A, C, E, and K • Magnesium • Plant-based heme iron • Lutein

8. Avocado Avocados are high in inflammation-fighting fatty acids that promote smooth, supple skin. They also contain a variety of essential nutrients that may prevent the negative effects of aging including:

This versatile leafy green’s high vitamin C content enhances collagen production to keep skin firm and smooth. The vitamin A it provides may promote strong, shiny hair, while vitamin K has been shown to help reduce inflammation in cells. 7. Nuts Many nuts (especially almonds) are a great source of vitamin E, which may help repair skin tissue, retain skin moisture, and protect skin from damaging UV rays. Walnuts even contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that may help: 52 I

November 2020

• Vitamins K, C, E, and A • B vitamins • Potassium The high content of vitamin A in avocados can help us shed dead skin cells, leaving us with gorgeous, glowing skin. 9. Sweet potatoes The orange color of the sweet potato comes from an antioxidant called beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A, and this may help restore skin elasticity, promote

skin cell turnover, and ultimately contribute to soft, youthful-looking skin. This delicious root vegetable is also a great source of vitamins C and E — both of which may protect our skin from harmful free radicals and keep our complexion radiant. 10. Pomegranate seeds Pomegranates have been used for centuries as a healing medicinal fruit. High in vitamin C and a variety of potent antioxidants, pomegranates may protect our body from free radical damage and reduce levels of inflammation in our system. These healthy fruits also contain a compound called punicalagins, which may help to preserve collagen in the skin, slowing signs of aging.

Image: Sahand Babali

Image: Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis

CONTENT CREDIT: https://www.healthline.com/health/ food-nutrition/anti-aging-foods

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