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February 2011

The UK’s No.1 Equine Health, Management and Training Magazine


Breeding future competition stars Breathe life into your riding

Bringing on young horses over winter Matt Ryan advises

Equine Physiotherapy Linking gait to performance


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Shires 2011 cover star winner revealed!

Contents ENGLAND & WALES News

1, 62

Health Care

2 - 7,

16 - 36

Global Herbs Competition 2 Snooperstar



8 - 16

Cereals: Oats




Matt Ryan






Pain Killers





34 - 36

Equine Dentistry


Training: Foals



36 - 42


42 - 45, 57



Horses for Sale



46 - 49, 58


46 - 54

Tack & Turnout

48 - 51,

61 - 62

Horse Behaviour




Field & Stable

52 - 57





Saddle Competition


Winter Care






What’s On

63 - 64

Copy Deadline

10th of the preceding month Available on the 1st of the month Equi-Ads is published monthly by:

Equi-Ads Limited Office 1, Tay View Estate, Friarton Road, Perth PH2 8DG To advertise, please call

01738 567700 Fax: 01738 567776 Please send editorial to: Office 1, Tay View Estate, Friarton Road, Perth PH2 8DG Fax: 01738 567776 Email:

Fighting off competition from hundreds of online entries, 18 year old Natasha Moore from County Down, Northern Ireland has been selected to star on the front cover of the Shires 2011 catalogue. On winning, Natasha commented “I was on the way home from school when I found out. I could not believe I was going to be on the cover of the Shires catalogue, especially as I usually shop from this catalogue myself.” Ten contestants took part in the semi-finals where they received flatwork and jumping tuition on a variety of quality horses. Four finalists were invited back to feature in a photoshoot, from which the winner was selected based on their horsemanship and natural ability in front of the camera. “The competition was promoted on Facebook, Twitter, and in our newsletter this year. We were amazed by how fast the entries came in” said

Louise Ainge, Marketing Manager at Shires who would like to thank all contestants, their friends and family for their time, The Talland School of Equitation for their super horses and facilities, and of course the horses “for being brilliant!” Natasha stars with Puffin on the front of the Shires 2011 catalogue which will be available in March. Find Shires Equestrian on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest news. Contact Shires at 01568 613600 Contact The Talland School of Equitation, Gloucestershire at 01285 740155

Durham & Teesside Group of Endurance GB On Thursday 13th January 2011 the Durham and Teesside Group of Endurance GB held their annual awards evening at Mount Oswald Manor, Durham, following their successful season in 2010. The group holds horse endurance rides across many locations throughout the Durham & Teesside area with different routes and challenges. Some rides are based on distance alone (pleasure rides) and others are based on distance, horse heart rate and time taken (competitive ride). The group have had a very successful season with many members gaining awards & trophies Below are just some of the riders which achieved brilliant results. Junior Rider – Champion Awarded to the junior rider 14 years & under with the highest overall distance. Millie Newman took 1st place being the Junior Rider Champion. Millie worked very hard in 2010, successfully completing many rides across the county.

The goup whishes Millie the very best of luck for the 2011 season Well done!!! Local Novice Champion Awarded to the horse receiving the highest number of points in their first competing season. Michael Evans received this award after the hard work and effort which has gone in to getting the horse through its first successful season. Michael and Simeric Sharukh received the highest number of points from different types of novice level rides across the country. The points are awarded on a combination of distance, heart rate and time taken. Due to the level of fitness required, Michael should be very pleased with his horse being the local Novice Champion.

Veteran Awarded to the rider 50 years plus with the highest overall distance. Congratulations to Karen Fairburn who achieved the 1st place veteran award. Karen has worked very hard over the season in 2010 and should be pleased with her success. Karen has worked hard competing at rides throughout the year and received the highest overall distance out of all our veteran riders.

The Durham & Teesside group would like to say well done to all those who won awards and say a massive thank you to all the members for a great night. A full list of results and pictures are available on our website for people to view. We wish all our riders the very best for 2011 & look forward to a successful year. Further information on rides for 2011 & about the sport are available via website February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 1

Health Care - Competition

New information on Laminits Laminitis is not a hard problem to overcome! This is a controversial statement but is becoming a more common experience amongst many horse owners in the UK. At the root of almost all laminitis lies a horse’s inability to correctly digest grass and forage. This is strange considering horses are designed to live off large areas of grass pasture and rangeland. Most of the problems arise when the grass becomes too rich. This may be caused by fertilisation or just the ‘time of year’. At Global Herbs we have discovered the simplicity of laminitis by experiencing the success of our product called ‘Laminitis Prone Supplement’ (LPS for short). LPS is a nutritional product, which helps maintain normal digestion in the face of the most difficult situations. The effects of feeding LPS are very dramatic and start quickly. Often LPS is the only product needed to keep your horse in good form when there is a danger of laminitis. The principle product LPS can also be supported by the use of two other products: Alphabute for comfort and Rebuilder to help the body get back to normal when change has already happened. Rebuilder can be of great

help for the laminae themselves and also for the lining of the gut that may get damaged. Only a very few cases of laminitis are not caused by grass or feeding issues. At such times the main problem is high levels of steroids in the body caused by such problems as Cushings disease or excess fat deposits. These situations also readily respond to correct feeding regimes but are of course more difficult. At Global Herbs we now have complete information packs available which inform about nutritional laminitis, Cushings disease, metabolic disease, insulin resistance and many other relevant issues. To receive all this information and details about the products above call Global herbs on 01243 773363 or log on to

Supplements for perfect breeding Supplements can make a huge difference to any breeding program. Nutrition is the key to producing the healthy foals and Global Herbs provide some of the best supplements to compliment your normal feeding regime. For mares one of the best options is to use GlobalVite and high quality FlaxOil. Controversially most equine diets need a better source of minerals and GlobalVite contains perhaps the best chelated minerals that money can buy. Combine this with high quality flax oil and the effect on quality and timeliness of egg supply is very marked. Mares also respond very well to a course of the liver and digestive tonic called Restore. A course can be used at the start of the breeding season to good effect. In stallions GlobalVite is of equal importance but Global Herbs have a very special herbal formula called StallionMix. This formula is essential if you wish to maintain the very best semen quality and libido and combines very well with a good mineral supply. Such a combination is perfect for prime stallions.

2 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

A calm approach to the whole breeding scene is also important. With this in mind the product called SuperCalm is ideal and also helps with general libido. SuperCalm can be used in its instant form to give good results on the day or as part of a general program to maintain calm throughout the whole period. When Mares, Stallions and Geldings are not involved in breeding during the breeding season it is often very helpful to manage hormone levels and associated stresses. In this regard the use of FriskyMarePlus for mares RigCalm for males can solve many problems. Both products are extremely effective and have solved countless problems all over the UK. In particular RigCalm is a unique product to help sensible management of non-breeding stallions and geldings. FriskyMarePlus is one of the most effective products in its class. For more advice about these products and others used for breeding call Global Herbs on 01243 773363 or look at their website on For more information see the Breeding feature on page 40

Competition - News

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 3

Health Care - Holly Davis

You are what you believe You see, your mind does its utmost to create what you believe and get what you focus on. If you don’t think you can be successful... Then guess what, you’re right! If you DO think you can be successful... Then guess what, you’re right! It’s a fact that what you think, what you believe about yourself at your emotional, unconscious level leads exactly to how you will act in the world. That’s why some people with the same background, opportunity, traits and intelligence can be a stunning success in a chosen field and others end up a dismal failure. It all comes down to your internal programming. Ever since you were a small child you have been programmed by parents, teachers, siblings, friends, media and even the government. You have a set of beliefs about yourself because of this. Some of them are empowering. Many of them will NOT BE. And you may not even realize they are holding you back. Confidence is actually a mix of Competence (your skill set) and Self - esteem (your

sense of self worth – what you feel is your value and significance in life). So what about fears - the “what if” worries, anxiety, even panic attacks. It’s actually an unconscious response of the sympathetic nervous system, which causes the racing heart, shallow breathing, nervous tummy, and need to urinate frequently. When your safety is threatened, the part of your brain responsible for the” fight or flight” survival response, kicks in. If the trigger to this response is not reset, it continues to run in the background. So every time you get on your horse, think about jumping, or competition, or whatever your particular trigger is, this programme will start to run unchecked, becoming a fast and strong neurological highway. My job is to direct your unconscious mind to do some inner searching. To EMPOWER YOU  to discover new or existing resources, create new choices and new behaviours so that unconsciously you can approach that old problem in a fantastic, easy, new way. What would be the most appropriate, useful or rewarding state of mind to have when riding? What would it be like for you to be calm, joyful, playful, confident and relaxed, just as a way of being with your horses? For more information on how to improve your riding confidence contact Sherree Gingers on 01403 865338 or visit

4 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

Insert Category

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 5

Health Care - Snooperstar

Puzzling times I may be young and ‘wet behind the ears’ according to Snoopy but I know one thing; the big wide world is a very bewildering place. I have lived with Mummy and Snoopy for two years now but every day still brings new surprises and things that confuse me. The biggest surprise lately was waking up in the morning from a nice snooze to find that someone had taken away all my lovely green grass and replaced it with cold, white soft stuff. It didn’t taste very nice. I trotted all round my field, looking for the missing grass but couldn’t find it. Snoopy said the white stuff was called snow and that the grass was actually underneath it all. I spent the next while trying to dig a hole in the snow to find the grass but all I found underneath was horrible mud which didn’t taste nice either. I wish it was warm again. I had lots and lots of grass to munch on then. Mummy says it will be spring soon and the snow will be gone and the grass will be back again. I can’t wait. Mummy also says that I will be starting my ‘big boy’ work in the spring too. She keeps putting something on my back that Snoopy says is called a saddle. This confuses me. I mean, how can I carry Mummy and the saddle thing? I think I

From the Horse’s Mouth – The World According to Maurice

need lots more grub to build me up if I am going to be doing all this lifting and carrying. And talking of grub, I had a very disappointing Christmas. I had asked Santa for all my favourite sweeties, but all I got was a horrid pink lycra rug thing. I don’t understand it. I was a very good boy all year and I very carefully wrote my letter for Santa, specifically asking for polo mints and horse biscuits but all I got was the lousy rug. I have a funny feeling Snoopy had something to do with it. He smirked when I pulled the rug out of my stocking and said it was no more than I deserved. I will just have to wait until Mummy isn’t looking and then have a chew on the rug. There’s no way I can be seen in pink. It’s just so not my colour. Snoopy can also be confusing. Everything has to be on his terms. One minute he wants to run around the field and play with me and the next he wants to bite my head off. Mummy says it’s his age. She says he is turning into a grumpy old gelding. The Man can be a bit of a grumpy old gelding too, she says. The Man is very confusing. He comes to see us at the yard and brings me apples then moans when I give him a

Equi Med Pro for all your horses needs! Equi Med Pro is a family run business recently founded by Belinda Spittle and her daughter Claire. Belinda, having spent her working life in the equine industry in various areas wanted to develop a new direction that allowed her to use her expertise to help others, and so Equi Med Pro was formed. A registered SQP, Belinda is able to supply all wormers, supplements and behavioural products along with much more, and is able to help you individually if you’re unsure which is the best product for your horse.

Equi Med Pro also caters for all ages of equine with their foal to specialist veteran range, and if you’re missing anything from your first aid box, stop by the horse care and first aid category. Equi Med Pro aim to supply a comprehensive range of products for all aspects of equine care, so make sure you visit them to see how they can help you! Visit or call Belinda on 07881767779

big slobbery thank-you kiss. Mummy always seems to like my kisses. The Man just grumbles that he has horse drool on his clothes and mud on his shoes and whinges at Mummy to hurry up. I don’t understand why he doesn’t want to spend more time with us, like Mummy does. He very rudely refers to us as money-eating donkeys and says he would be a rich man if it wasn’t for Mummy having us. I think Mummy should make him wear my pink lycra rug as punishment. The Man would probably give Mummy an ultimatum – him or us – but I think he knows what the answer would be. Chester the Shetland also confuses me. Snoopy says that me and Chester the Shetland are the same age. But how can we be? He is tiny compared to me. He barely reaches my tummy. Snoopy says that his short, hairy legs will never get any longer which is a bit of a pain.

You see I can scratch his back, but he can’t scratch mine. We have a very one-sided relationship. But the most confusing thing of all is Mummy. She seems to be obsessed with my poo. She follows me round the field, picking up after me and spends hours mucking out my stable. So as not to disappoint her, I always try and wait until I get into a nice clean bed and then I deposit a nice fresh poo for her to pick up. And how does she thank me? She sighs and calls me a mucky baby boy. She also seems to have a bit of an obsession with removing my hair. She is forever pulling hair out of my mane and tail and even shaves off my whiskers. Doesn’t she understand that there is a reason we grow all these things? Snoopy says it will get worse when she clips off all my fur. Why would she want to do that? I will freeze! Snoopy says that Mummy shaves off our furry coat in the winter and then gives us lots of thick pyjamas to wear in bed and cosy coats to wear in the field. That just doesn’t make sense at all? Snoopy says that human persons never make any sense and Mummy is no exception. He says that horses are by far the most intelligent species and the poor human persons are so very, very stupid. It is very lucky that we are around to look after them or they would most certainly be eaten by lions or possibly fall down big holes or something. But all this trying to work things out is hurting my little baby head. Time for a snooze I think. Right after I annoy Snoopy for a little bit that is. Translated from horse-speak by Gayle Culross

6 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

Health Care - Insurance - Livery Yards

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 7

Feeding - Health Care - News

8 - Equi-Ads - February 2011


Cereals and their by-products: Oats Dr Derek Cuddeford, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh that the ancient universities of Scotland had a holiday called Meal Monday to allow students to return to their farms to collect more oatmeal. Up to 1885 this was allowed regularly (by Edinburgh on the first Monday of every month but restricted after 1896 to the second Monday in February) until the late 20th Century; it remains an annual holiday for workers at St Andrews University until this day. It is worth noting that countries like Russia, Poland, the Scandic countries and Canada are all major oat producers; both Finnish and Canadian oats are prized by racehorse trainers as the best oats in the World.

Men behaving promiscuously can be said to be “sowing their wild oats” and this irresponsible behaviour was considered by some to be an acceptable practice conducted by young men prior to their getting married; a necessary “experience”! In an agricultural context the wild oat (a weed!) was the progenitor of today’s cultivated oat that originated in Asia Minor, better known perhaps as the Anatolian region of Turkey. The oldest confirmed cultivated seeds were found in Swiss caves and originated from sometime within the Bronze Age (3300-1200BC) and they were the last of the major cereal grains to be domesticated around 3,000 years ago in Europe. The Greeks and Romans considered oats to be a diseased form of wheat and the latter race considered oats to be a food fit only for horses and barbarians. In this context Dr Samuel Johnson is famously quoted as saying “Oats are a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people”. The Scots might argue that is why the people of Scotland are better than the English and why English horses are the best................certainly the Romans were never able to conquer the Scots. Oatmeal has a long history of use in traditional Scottish cooking because oats are suited to Scotland’s short wet growing season unlike other cereals. Thus oats became the staple grain north of the border even to the extent

Oats are available in several different formats for human use. Oat groats are produced by removing the outer hull which is then available as oat bran and is high in fibre. Steel-cut oats or Irish oats are groats that have been chopped into small pieces. “Quick” oats are groats that have been cut into several pieces before being steamed and rolled into thin flakes whereas “Instant” oats are made by chopping the groats into tiny pieces, precooking them, drying them and then rolling them. Oat flour is made by fine grinding groats. Rolled oats or old-fashioned oats are oat groats that are steamed and then rolled. The foregoing represents roughly how oats are processed for our use and its relevance to horse feeding is that the oats themselves together with the byproducts of processing are available to be fed to horses. Whole oats are available in the UK in two forms, the normal husked version which may or may not be rolled and the naked version which is huskless. The latter contains little fibre and, as a result, is more nutrient dense than the traditional oat and may contain up to 9% oil! Obviously the energy content of these oats is very high and thus they are usually only fed to top level performance horses. Traditional oats contain around 4-5% oil and the oils contained in oats are highly unsaturated and thus can turn rancid if poorly stored. Whole oats are easily chewed (try it if you do not believe me) and thus should be always fed whole; as soon as oats are processed in any way the grain is non-viable (dead!) and the oils “go off”. If you insist on feeding processed (eg. rolled) oats they should be prepared and fed on a daily basis. Oats may be “bruised”, rolled, crimped, crushed or clipped; the latter process involves removing each end of the kernel. All of these processes needlessly add cost to a perfectly fine feed. Horses find oats very palatable and they are the “safest” of the cereal feeds because

they contain the least starch but also this starch is the most digestible of all cereal starches. Oats of course have the reputation for making horses “high” and whilst I believe some horses may possess a sensitivity to oats I think most problems arise because of overfeeding as can be the case with all concentrate feeds. A result of this belief is that some feed manufacturers produce “oat-free” products but more of this later. As further evidence of the ridiculous beliefs held by some horse people it is thought by some that black oats are better than the conventional beige-coloured oat. There is no basis in fact for this but if you go to some racing yards in France you will find this belief to be true. The oat husks or hulls comprise about 25% of an oat grain and are of low nutritive value and are thus essentially a fibre source. They may be available as a raw material that feed manufacturers can incorporate to provide fibre in various products but it is more likely that they will be available as a component of oat feed. This is the by-product of the manufacture of oatmeal that is produced for use in porridge and other breakfast products. The important point to note is that oat feed contains both oat hulls and some starchy endosperm (part of the groat). You can buy several different “oat-free” compound feeds that list oatfeed as the third ingredient in order of magnitude of inclusion. Although whole oats are not included it seems to me that the products are not entirely oat-free. Furthermore, those people who buy these so-called “oat-free” products must believe that their animals respond adversely to being fed oats but clearly they do not as they are still getting their oats!!…………… I have already referred to the high fibre content of oats. It is important to understand that oats contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, the latter being important in regularizing bowel function. The major component of the soluble fibre is beta glucan which plays a significant part in maintaining health. This type of fibre forms a gel in the lumen of the small intestine and inhibits the digestive process by slowing up the uptake of glucose and thus reducing the glycaemic response to a meal (holds down blood glucose). Furthermore, the gel traps cholesterol-carrying bile acids and thus leads to a reduction in blood cholesterol levels and although this is good for us, I do not think that the horse will share this benefit. Oats also contain compounds called tocotrienols that are antioxidants that form vitamin E together with other tocopherols; these substances cont. on p.10

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 9

Feeding cont. from p.09

counteract free radical damage, inhibit cholesterol synthesis and help to lower blood cholesterol levels. A reduced synthesis and absorption of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol helps to reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases in man but in horses we know of no such benefits. Last but not least we must remember that one of the most valuable byproducts of oat production is the straw that is used in many chaff products for horses. In bygone days, before the advent of farm crop driers, oats used to be cut whole in the field using a horse/ tractor towed “binder” that tied it into bundles (“sheaves”). These were then leant against each other (“stooked”) by hand with the grains uppermost to dry in the field before being carted into the farmyard where they were built into stacks known as “ricks”. At some time later a travelling machine (“thresher”) would arrive on farm to separate the grain from the straw. At this time in farming it would not have been uncommon to feed whole sheaves into a chaff cutter and feed the mixture of chopped straw and grain to the farm horses and cattle. To this day the Jutland draft horses at the Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen that deliver beer throughout the city are fed chopped oat sheaves as part of their daily ration. This makes eminent sense

rather than feeding cereal and then adding a chaff product! Unfortunately oat production in the UK has declined rapidly over recent years (1.7 million tonnes in the early 60’s to 0.5 million tonnes in the early 90’s) so that oat straw is in short supply. This is a pity because, of the UK cereal straws, it has the highest nutritive value and is also more palatable. It is usually characterised by being very bright, shiny with a strong colour and usually fairly dust-free. Altogether it is an excellent forage for horses and it used to be widely fed when it was more available. It is clear from the foregoing that oats are a very useful cereal both for horses and man. For the latter there are undisputed health benefits and to some extent horses will also obtain similar benefit from the antioxidants. The low level (~40%) of highly digestible starch means that oats are a very “safe” cereal that can be used by horses in order to obtain additional energy. Certain myths surround their use in horse feeding and to some extent this is exploited by the production of so-called “oat-free” products. For horse owners to obtain the cardio-protection afforded by eating oats I suggest that they eat a bowl of porridge at breakfast time every day after they have given their horses their morning feed of oats!

Feeding Fibre for Warmth During the winter months Dodson & Horrell receive a lot of calls from owners who are concerned about their horses losing weight and condition. A thick winter coat can often hide weight loss, so it is important to monitor your horse’s weight and condition throughout the winter. Horses use the food they eat as fuel, whether it’s fuel for exercise or to keep warm. In order for horses to keep warm the forage they eat is digested as bacteria in the hind gut, resulting in the production of heat and acting as the horse’s ‘central heating system’ so it’s essential that we keep this system topped up with a regular intake of fuel, in a horse’s case, fibre. Feeding ad lib hay or haylage will provide your horse with essential fibre but the addition of chaffs and concentrate feeds will be beneficial in helping your horse maintain his weight. Chaffs such as Dodson & Horrell Alfalfa and Fibergy will provide fibre and extra protein that will be lacking from hay or haylage. 10 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

Dodson & Horrell High Fibre Nuts are just that, high fibre nuts that are packed with vitamins and chelated minerals, they are a low intake feed which means they provide a large quantity of fibre in a relatively small ration. Top fibre providers from Dodson & Horrell (if feeding the recommended quantity): 1. Fibergy – 35.0% fibre 2. Alfalfa – 30.0% fibre 3. High Fibre Nuts – 20% fibre 4. Leisure Mix – 20% fibre 5. KwikBeet – 16.5% fibre For more information on Dodson & Horrell fibre providing feeds contact our Expert Feed Team on: 0845 345 2627 or visit


February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 11


Feeding Fibre By Horsehage Horses have evolved to utilise a high fibre diet, using bacterial fermentation in a highly developed large intestine. However, modern feeding practices such as feeding large grain meals, and suppressing natural foraging behaviour is often at odds with the healthy function of the gastrointestinal tract. Low levels of fibre, or poor quality fibre in the diet put horses at serious risk of problems such as colic and gastric ulcers. Leaving horses for long periods of time with nothing to eat can also lead to serious digestive and metabolic disturbances. For most leisure horses and those competing at lower levels, up to 100% of the energy needs can be supplied using fibre, but as a rough guide, at least 50% of the horse’s diet should consist of long-stem roughage such as bagged forage, haylage or hay. In situations where good quality forage is scarce, chaff or chopped hay and/ or straw can be fed as a partial forage replacer. Chaff is commonly fed to horses and ponies to stop bolting of the feed. Chaff is quite simply dried forage that has been cut into small pieces (in contrast to the long grass stems in hay and haylage).There are many different types of chaff and chaff mixes on the market today, such as chopped hay, alfalfa, dried grass and straw, or mixes of one or all of these. Most are made by forage producers and bagged for ease of transport and to help maintain freshness. Molasses and/ or oil or another mixer such as wheat or corn syrup is used to reduce dust and increase palatability. Flavours may be added such as cherry, apple or spearmint and herbs including garlic. Dried grass is dried at high temperatures which kill any bacteria and spores, but preserve the nutrient value, leaving the forage clean and nutritious. Many horse owners feed a small amount of chaff just to bulk out the concentrate feed but there are other beneficial reasons for its use. Horses are predominantly fibre digesters or hindgut fermenters. Within the hindgut, are millions of micro-organisms that play a vital role. This is to break down digestible fibre content of the natural herbage diet, releasing energy giving substances which the horse then uses. Contrary to some beliefs, fibre is not just a ‘filler’. The hindgut micro-organisms create a delicate microbalance which if upset may result in health and performance problems 12 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

and also may suppress the immune status of the horse, often creating a downward spiral of health problems. Forage however, must not just meet the needs of the digestive tract, but also those of the respiratory system. Where conserved forage is fed it must be of good quality nutritionally but it must also be clean i.e. free from moulds and fungi and therefore not compromise respiratory function. The deleterious effects of feeding poor quality forage cannot be underestimated. Forage also provides energy, protein and other important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals and is an entirely natural feedstuff for horses. It is generally well known that feeding plenty of good quality fibre helps to maintain the health of the digestive tract and has an important role in immune function. However, it also reduces the risks of digestive problems such as colic, gastric ulcers, laminitis and carbohydrate overload. Trickle feeding fibre such as chaff (a little at a time) encourages horses to chew, producing much more saliva than when concentrates are fed on their own and this alkaline saliva buffers the stomach acid, helping to naturally reduce the incidence of gastric ulcers or to give the technical name “Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome” (EGUS). This can be a serious health problem in both adult horses and foals. It is thought that as many as 80- 90% of horses in training may have gastric lesions at any one time. The presence of a high fibre feed such as chaff in the stomach helps to neutralise stomach acid. Chaff will also encourage chewing, prolonging feeding time and the production of increased amounts of acid-buffering saliva. Furthermore alfalfa may actually have a more protective effect than other hay based chaffs because of the high protein and calcium content giving improved buffering properties. Feeding a bowl of alfalfa chaff or any chaff prior to exercise may be helpful as this will help to reduce the splashing effect of acid on an empty stomach.

cont. on p.14


February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 13

Feeding cont. from p.12

Feeding large quantities of high starch cereal based concentrates may swamp the foregut and be rapidly fermented by the hindgut micro-organisms. This may lead to metabolic problems, increased acidity in the hindgut, followed by the proliferation of undesirable microorganisms and the delicate microbial balance is upset. This leads again to health problems such as colic and loose droppings. Feeding chaff will slow down the horse’s intake by encouraging chewing, helping the horse to digest the feed properly. (Some research has indicated that feeding chaff may increase the rate of passage of the feed through the small intestine, but this should not be a problem if meal sizes are kept small, and the benefits of feeding chaff will usually outweigh this slight disadvantage.) For veteran horses with poor dentition, chaffs are a valuable source of chopped or short fibre reducing the need to rely so much on the teeth for cutting. They can provide a more palatable base for a feed to help encourage appetite, whilst maintaining the intake of vital fibre. The choice of chaff product will really

depend upon the horse’s bodyweight, work level or stage of the breeding cycle. Youngstock and horses in hard work may benefit from alfalfa chaffs due to the higher protein, energy and mineral levels whereas overweight horses or those in light work would be better suited to lower energy hay/straw chaff mixes. Horses in hard work could be fed high oil chaffs to help provide extra energy. Some feed manufacturers now produce complete fibre feeds for specific types of horses and ponies, such as laminitics or those prone to nervousness or excitement. Whichever form of fibre feed/forage you choose, it should be made from good quality ingredients from a known reputable supplier. It should smell fresh and should not be dusty or contain boluses or chunks of molasses in gluey balls and have no obvious contaminants. For further information and advice on feeding your horse, please ring the HorseHage Helpline on 01803 527257 or visit

Hay Replacers from Mollichaff If supplies of forage are low, don’t despair! The Mollichaff range of fibre feeds and chaffs from HorseHage have two products that can help.

from alfalfa mixed with high quality oat straw, natural mint and a light dressing of soya oil, it is also molasses-free and can be fed to laminitics.

Although Mollichaff Veteran was formulated for elderly horses and ponies that cannot consume long forage, it can also be used to replace the entire forage ration where necessary. It contains a balanced blend of dried grass, dried alfalfa and oat straw and is topped with a unique dressing combining linseed and soya oil with a very light, low sugar coating, plus added vitamins, minerals, plant-based antioxidants, mint, nettle, salt and biotin. It is very palatable and so is ideal for fussy feeders too.

For further information or advice on feeding horses, ponies or donkeys, call the HorseHage Helpline on 01803 527257 or visit

Blue Chip‘s Managing Director Jem Clay says ‘‘As Dodson and Horrell now distribute Blue Chip’s range of products, Dena should make a fantastic addition to the team. Dena already has a very good relationship with the major wholesalers and retailers across the country and brings a wealth of experience with her.’’ There have also been two promotions at Blue Chip; Liz Sayfritz now becomes Marketing Manager and will handle all of the company’s media relations. Liz has worked for Blue Chip for nearly two

products, extruded barley nuggets and even a fibre feed for donkeys, there are plenty of high fibre choices to keep your equine friend healthy and happy. For further information and advice on feeding your horse, please ring the HorseHage Helpline on 01803 527257 or visit

years and her role has expanded with the company’s growth. Liz says ‘‘I am really excited about the promotion and am looking forward to working closer with the magazines and discussing editorial opportunities as well as advertising.’’ Liz’s role will also cover Blue Chip’s Marketing and PR in the company’s expanding overseas markets. Sarah Butler will become Office Manager and Nutritional Advisor for Blue Chip. Sarah graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Equine Sports Science before joining the Blue Chip team in 2009. Sarah’s role also includes looking after the sponsored and supported riders and all the Blue Chip events such as the Blue Chip Winter Showjumping Championships. Sarah says; ‘‘I have been with Blue Chip for over a year now and really enjoy giving both new and existing customers nutritional advice and helping them with all aspects of their feeding programmes.’’

Left to right Sarah Butler, Dena Plaice and Liz Sayfritz

TopSpec Super Conditioning Flakes ‘Naturally oil-rich ingredients’ contain intracellular oil which is oil that occurs within the cells of a plant.

Happy and Healthy with Horsehage

14 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

Due to rising sales both in the UK and abroad Blue Chip Feed Limited are expanding their team with the recruitment of Dena Plaice as Business Development Manager. Dena has worked for leading horse feed manufacturers, Dodson and Horrell, for 13 years as their key accounts manager.

TOPSPEC Super Conditioning Flakes are full of naturally oil-rich ingredients and are very palatable.

Mollichaff High Fibre Alfalfa can also be used as a partial hay replacer. Made

HorseHage produces a range of dustfree bagged forages in four varieties, offering a choice to suit all types of horse or pony, including laminitics, as well as the Mollichaff range of chaffs and fibre feeds. Now with 12 varieties to the range, including five chaffs, a high fibre forage mix for veterans, 2 complete feeds, 2 molasses-free alfalfa

Dodson and Horrell’s Dena Plaice moves to Blue Chip

Feeding intracellular oil in a very palatable and highly-available way of providing oil in the diet. These calories are balanced with high quality soya as a protein source and with available sources of calcium and salt added. TopSpec Super Conditioning Flakes improve condition, provide balanced calories and protein for

performance, provide a balance of fastreleasing energy with oil for stamina and reduce the weight of current hard feed intake without reducing performance or condition. They are particularly beneficial for show horses and ponies, bloodstock being prepared for sales, hard working horses that need high levels of calories without excessively large feeds and elderly horses that struggle to maintain condition, particularly in winter. For free nutritional advice please contact the Multiple AwardWinning Helpline on 01845 565030 or visit

Joni Bentley

December 2010 - Equi-Ads - 15


Feeding the leisure horse

Congratulations Nupafeed wish to congratulate Piggy French who has finished the season as Britain’s Top Lady Rider for the second year running, finishing fourth overall with 1053 points. This completes another successful year for Piggy who has put together a string of strong performances including representing Great Britain at the World Equestrian Games.

Inflam-E-Rase with Equimins Equimins’ new Inflam-E-Rase is one of the latest additions to the company’s range and has been designed to help with the nutritional maintenance of healthy bones, joints and ligaments. Inflam-E-Rase contains a blend of anti oxidants, organic minerals, herbs and other ingredients known for their anti inflammatory qualities. “Inflam-E-Rase is a powerful supplement that will be very useful for the horse or pony who is prone to discomfort from any condition concerning joints and the surrounding tissues,” says David Willey, Managing

16 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

Director for Equimins. “We’ve used ingredients such as Devils Claw and Bromelain to help the horse in addition to vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12 and fourteen different herbs selected for their properties in this area to create a really effective product.” Inflam-E-Rase is available in 600g and 1.2kg tubs and prices start from £21.50. A 600g tub of Inflam-E-Rase will last the average horse 30 days. For more information see, email or call 01548 531770.

It is vital that you take a horse’s workload into account when trying to determine the correct diet as if a horse’s energy loss is greater than energy intake then weight, and subsequently, body condition will be lost. On the other hand, if horses are receiving more energy than they are burning off daily then this will result in weight gain. Rowen Barbary Leisure Horse is a highly versatile mix that is designed specifically for horses in light to moderate work. Providing a well balanced supply of medium energy levels, sourced from digestible fibres and cooked flaked cereals, it is ideal for horses and ponies in light to medium work which will include all those competing in Pony Club and Riding Club activities as well as those that regularly compete in dressage, show jumping or one day events. Soya oil is added for skin and coat condition and will also supply slow release energy helping improve stamina. A broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and trace elements are also included to help ensure your horse is

receiving all the essential nutrients needed for a fully balanced diet. As it is highly palatable it will tempt even the fussiest of horses. For more information on Leisure Horse please contact Rowen Barbary on 01948 880598 or visit


February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 17


Bringing on young horses over the winter HAYGAIN sponsored rider Matt Ryan gives expert advice on how to bring on young horses, ready for the next competition season. With tips on dressage, show jumping and cross country schooling. Cross Country Remember to instil in your horse from the beginning not to fear anything. It is important with cross country schooling to keep everything in low dimensions. It is about building up confidence not about the size of the fence. Most horses tend to have a natural fear of ditches, as far as they are concerned these are dangerous dark holes with monsters lurking at the bottom.

The way to teach young horses is through repetition, the more you practice something the quicker the horse will learn. To begin with, when you are training a young horse, the most important thing is ensuring the horse is building up confidence and getting familiar with the flatwork and fences. Don’t get impatient, be patient. You must be a good leader, make clear what is good and bad, don’t be ‘wishy washy’, this will only confuse the horse. The clearer you are the more confidence your horse will get.

straight and sideways. Showjumping With showjumping, start off with small jumps. The difficulty is teaching young horses to see strides. With a young horse I would use gridwork to begin with, because to meet a fence well you have to be able to lengthen and shorten the stride, and this takes time with a young horse. Matt on the yard

Many people are taught to chase a horse over a ditch; feeling if they have enough pace and keep the horses head in the air they won’t see that it is there until it is too late. This approach is wrong, because a horse will never learn to overcome its fear, once the ditches get wider and can be seen from a distance, you can’t kid the horse into jumping over with their head in the air.

Try not to be too quick to judge the horse and discipline them, horses need to understand when they are wrong, but also should be rewarded when they do well.

Matt jumping a small crosspole

Grid work

Dressage Dressage and flatwork in general is the basis for everything you do, so work hard and the rest will fall into place. When doing dressage schooling, be forward thinking but avoid taking too strong a control on the horses head through the rein. You need to make the horse want to go forward rather than have him feeling restricted all the time. When working on the flat, don’t focus on getting a set outline, try to get the horse working lower. It is a feeling you are looking for, that the horse is going straight and low, this can be helped through lots of lateral work both 18 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

horse spins around, make the horse turn back to look at it. As soon as the horse is facing the ditch, stop hassling them, as it is a reward for facing the hidden monster! The idea is that as soon as the horse goes in the wrong direction, turns away from the ditch – you use your leg and voice to turn them round, if they walk forward be less aggressive with the leg as a reward. Encourage them to walk over the ditch, be patient and follow the approach and they will usually end up quite willing to walk over it.

To teach horses that aren’t very well educated or manoeuvrable, set up two cross rails in a straight line with a perfect related distance between them. Whether you approach the jump from trot or canter the horse should get the perfect stride from landing to reaching the next jump.

With a young horse, my approach would be to find a small ditch which is shallow enough for your horse to walk into. Walk up to the ditch and let the horse lower his head and look into it. If your

I use the same approach when teaching young horses how to go over small drops and steps down and into water. When approaching other fences follow a more educated horse over the fence, horses are herd animals, so by following a more experienced horse, your horse will gain confidence. When you are at an event, don’t let the horse stop and look, ride forward. As the horse gets more confident and more familiar with what is required, you can put them under more pressure by using bigger fences and combinations. Competing over the Winter To bring on young and inexperienced horses competing over the winter taking them to dressage and show jumping is a great idea. Getting the horse out and about, will give them experience and get them used to a competitive atmosphere.

Repeat this exercise over and over, adding extra fences and increasing the height, making sure the horse doesn’t miss a stride. This will teach a horse to pick up and make the correct distance. The idea of this type of grid work is the safest way to teach a horse about getting the correct stride and building confidence.

Striding through a double

If you are just breaking a horse, take them along as well so they can get a feel for a competition.

Practising the water tray

For further information on HAYGAIN hay steamers telephone 0333 200 5233 or

Feeding - Health Care

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 19


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Health Care

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 21


Breathe life into your riding

Jenny Rolfe

The importance of self-awareness My last article looked at the importance of core breathing to enhance a profound connection with the horse. Here we will look further at building self awareness so that you can learn a deeper way to communicate with all horses, whatever their breed or type. When we spend time, on the ground, just building up self awareness it will reap many rewards once we are in the saddle. In this way we learn to understand the influence of both posture and core breathing to enhance our co-ordination, balance and focus. We can create perfect ‘harmony’ between ourselves and our horse. It is a useful exercise to practice walking, with focus on a natural rhythm of core breathing. Use the deeper inward breath to steady, lengthen and strengthen your body. The deeper outward breath will enhance fluidity and motion and increase your energy flow. Begin to develop a feel for how your breathing can influence and affect your movement. Then just stand quietly and sigh very deeply. Release all your tension down through your body, into the ground. This will not only create calmness for you, but when you are with your horse, he will sense your inner peace. He will often sigh deeply himself releasing any tension. You are offering him a place of tranquility and harmony. A place where he can connect with you and a bond of trust can grow. Now place your hands on your hip bones and feel the motion whilst you are walking. Synchronize your breathing within a steady rhythm. Try walking around on a circle and then walk laterally and feel the mobility of your core in each direction. Notice how your breathing can enhance your core mobility and observe when you feel more restricted in your core. Allow your weight to sink down through

your relaxed knees and ankles. This will feel similar to ski-ing. It is interesting to watch a person jogging using regular, deep breathing. This way of breathing enables him to maintain a steady rhythm and energy, enhancing co-ordination with every stride. Every athlete can increase performance, both mentally and physically by using steady, deep and rhythmic core-breathing. Unlike the athlete, a rider has to focus, not only on personal balance and energy but also upon another sensitive, highly energetic living creature- the horse! When you can understand how to master and control your own body you will become much more effective as a rider. BODY POSTURE EXERCISES TO GAIN SELF AWARENESS Standing in good posture, begin to lean forward, as if touching your toes. Stretch forwards and relax into your spine, then slowly return to a normal upright position. Then, prepare to repeat the same exercise but before you begin, take a deep inhalation, into your chest and upper body. As you breathe deeply inwards, try again to flex your spine forwards, reaching towards your toes. You will find that the movement is restricted by your inhalation which tightens the spine and restricts your mobility. The inward breath has given stability to your upper body which impedes flexibility. This small, yet significant exercise, will help you to feel the importance of breathing awareness and how this can influence your body when riding. Your body can lock tension in any of the joints, for instance just try clenching your fist. This tension travels up the

whole arm creating tightness through your arm and shoulder blades and spine. Now stand in a good posture and push your heel down and your toe upwards. Place your hand on your inner thigh and feel the tightness through your leg as you push your weight down into your heel. Now place your hands on your hips and try to mobilize your core and you will find the tightness through your leg restricts the movement of your core. If you sit on the horse with tightness through your legs, this will fix your seat and you will find it impossible to flow with the movement of the horse. Where ever we carry tightness and tension, we will create a block of resistance within our body. This will prevent the flow of energy required, to enable us to perform and move with fluidity. If we cannot allow this release of energy and power then we will not be capable of absorbing the energetic movement of the horse. MOVEMENT OF THE HORSE The horse has a swinging movement which also rotates backward and forwards with each stride. The rib cage will naturally swing from side to side. The rider has to absorb all this movement to gain security in the saddle, or he will just bounce heavily, becoming totally unstable within the movement. There is a small exercise which will help us to understand how we absorb our own movement whilst on foot. Walk slowly along level ground and then place your foot up onto a step or staircase. As you prepare to lift your body up the step, feel the elevation needed through the upper body for the uphill movement. Your upper body has to elevate to create space so your leg and foot can move up to the next step. If you do not allow this elevation through your core and upper torso, you will block the upward step. When riding you need to think not only of forward riding but absorbing this ‘uphill’ movement. Also think of relaxing through your shoulder blades so your spine can remain fluid to move more freely with the movement of the horse.

Core breathing enhances balance and harmony with your horse. Jenny riding Maestu

Allow your body to flow with the motion. Feel the advancing of your seat and the connection through your core. Strong fixed arms and hands will only restrict the freedom of your body and riding with one hand only, for a few minutes will help you to focus on lightness in your arms and energy flow through your body. When we sit on the back of the horse we are looking not only for a connection of minds but also a connection between two living beings striving to move together in balance and harmony. Core breathing is a very potent tool which will help us to focus with clarity and be ‘within the moment’. In this way our mind will slow down and we can find more simplicity in our thoughts as we are just in that ‘moment of time’. Homework: Take a few moments each day, on your own, to focus on body and breathing awareness. Then when you are together, with your horse, focus on core breathing and calmness. Watch his responses- does he become your mirror? My next article will give tips from ‘Topto-Toe’ for natural body posture for the rider. Jenny gives clinics with her Iberian stallions. Her book and DVD ‘Ride From the Heart’ are available from her web site www.spanishdressagehorses. or you can telephone her on 01769 540774

When your shoulders become rigid, the restriction extends down through the spine and arms so it is impossible for energy to flow through the spine and upper body. Relaxed lowered shoulders sustained by deeper core breathing will allow both expansion and release through the upper torso of the rider. It is helpful to spend a few minutes riding with the reins in one hand only. The horse will become the mirror of your mind’ Jenny with Delfin

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Habil relaxes as Jenny gives a deep outward sigh

Health Care - Worming

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 23

Health Care - Hydrotherapy

The power of water Leading the way in equestrian rehabilitation, the team at Bennett Equine Sports Rehabilitation Centre understand the benefits of not only using hydrotherapy treatment in order to help injured horses back to full fitness but also as part of training. Here we find out more. Hydrotherapy is a fast growing and well proven method of training a horse’s muscles and improving condition. Spas and the latest in technology; underwater treadmills, provide a controlled and safe means of exercise and rehabilitation without the stress and impact of regular riding. Whilst exercising using an underwater treadmill there is less impact on the muscles and joints during training sessions as there is no gravity in water. It roughly takes around 60% of the weight off the horse’s lower legs. Said Tim Bennett: “We are delighted to be able to provide horse owners with the opportunity to use the Activo-Med Aqua Treadmill we have installed here at our centre.

Underwater treadmills also train the horse to move in a natural and gentle way which is beneficial to prevent other possible injuries that can happen when the horse is trying to alleviate the stress from the current injury. Dr Matthias Baumann, experienced veterinarian and leading event rider is an Activo-Med consultant and uses the aqua treadmill in his daily work over in Germany. “The Activo Med Aqua Treadmill provides controlled training to help build and preserve the working muscle system, help tendons to be carefully trained in the right direction and allow joints to be worked with reduced pressure, activating joint circulation.

It is wonderful for helping to both maintain healthy joints and muscles, and also repair and rehabilitate damaged ligaments and tendons. There are currently very few equestrian yards with the facilities to cater for horses in recuperation and with the facilities and the equipment to carry out the work needed to return horses and ponies to full recovery.”

When looking at both fitness and rehabilitation principles the important factors are daily control of the horse, daily control of the recovery and daily control of the physical condition.” Hydrotherapy can help with many ailments from tendon and soft tissue injuries to simply all round condition and good health.

Using the underwater treadmill creates a gentle resistance that helps to strengthen the horse’s body. Increasing the pace of the movement increases the resistance and in turn the intensity of the training increases. At the same time the water has a cooling effect for muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints providing a gentle massage to injured areas. Horses on box rest often become bored and agitated and using such technologies as the underwater treadmill can help work away the energy and boredom whilst promoting healing and fitness. 24 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

In using an aqua treadmill for fitness training you should always plan for each individual horse and not just for your chosen discipline. With this in mind it is important to think about any previous problems your horse may have encountered whilst training in the past so you can plan accordingly. For eventing the three phases must be considered; you have the elegance and obedience of dressage, stamina, coordination, muscular strength of show jumping along with the endurance of galloping cross-country. The aqua treadmill is ideal to use early on in a training programme and can speed up conventional ridden training, cont. on p.26

Health Care - Tack & Turnout

Mouth bruised from pinching bit

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 25

Health Care - Hydrotherapy cont. from p.24

as your horse develops strength and fitness to move on to heavier training. The treadmill can then be used throughout a training programme to form a base of maintaining and improving fitness. The anaerobic and aerobic energy systems play a big part in fuelling the horse for many disciplines. The powerful muscular contractions that are involved with jumping relies totally on anaerobic energy system but the stamina and endurance needed to keep going over three days and complete the cross-country course in eventing relies on the aerobic energy system. Fitness also relies on the horse’s ability to replace oxygen debt in the body to slow the onset of stiffness and muscle soreness which will occur after the stresses of eventing.

particular, also providing a cooling effect to reduce the risk of injury and any swelling. The aqua treadmill can go a long way in training the horse’s fitness especially for the showjumping and cross-country phases, whilst improving gait and natural movement, which will aid the dressage phase. The facilities at Bennett Equine Sports Rehabilitation Centre include an ActivoMed Aqua Treadmill, horse walker, top class outdoor arena and close links with veterinary practices in the area. This new state of the art centre is ideal to help injured equines on the road to recovery and they also provide livery fitness programmes designed to maximise your horse’s fitness.

Using the aqua treadmill can improve the conditioning of the muscles and the heart and lungs whilst reducing the stress on the tendons and ligaments. This helps improve stamina and endurance, training and improving the aerobic energy system to work more efficiently.

New rehabilitation programmes at Bennett Equine Bennett Equine Sports Rehabilitation centre are offering new rehabilitation programmes that are tailored to suit each horse’s individual requirements and incorporate exercise to facilitate restoration to normal function. The centre is a brand new facility and their aim is to support and bring the equine athlete back to full competition after injury or surgery. The brand new private and secure state of the art facilities at Woodhouse Farm, Tutbury, Staffordshire include an ActivoMed Aqua Treadmill, horse walker, 20x60ft soft lined outdoor arena, 22 stables and seven acres of post and rail paddock. Each horse will be evaluated by Tim or Isla Bennett upon arrival and a controlled rehabilitation programme agreed with the owner. These will vary and could be a straightforward controlled exercise regime or include a combination of treatments to improve the following:

The control of the exercise in the aqua treadmill can also add significant tone and conditioning to the back and stifle muscles improving muscular power and strength. Equally improving bone density and the ability to cope with the extreme stresses of eventing in

. Pain reduction . Restoration of motion . Restoration of strength and stamina . Flexibility and agility . General conditioning and fitness Said Tim: “Our new Activo-Med Aqua Treadmill has many properties including

conditioning joints and muscles, improving the cardiovascular system whilst reducing stress on the tendons and ligaments.” “This service is ideal for competitive and sports horses in the general recovery stage or post acute phase of an injury. Water creates a gentle resistance that helps to strengthen the horse’s body. By quicker movement the resistance grows and increases training and enforcing effects in a natural way. At the same time the water has a cooling effect for muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints providing a gentle massage to injured areas.” The centre also has a new Activo-Med Combi Pro, a pulsed electro-magnetic field therapy and massage rug. By enhancing venous blood flow, this combination of therapies can be used on many equine problems and conditions. It also has great results when used on a pre-warm up program before exercise and a recovery program after exercise. Other treatments can also be arranged and the centre has close links to a series of therapists and veterinary support. For further information contact Bennett Equine on 01283 812185 or visit

Wound Gel with a silver lining! Equimins’ new Wound Gel contains natural colloidal silver along with natural herbal extracts, all specifically chosen to help speed up skin repair post injury. Wound Gel is the latest addition to Equimins’ range and contains a number of carefully selected ingredients including silver ions, MSM, Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil, Chamomile Oil, Echinacea herbal extract, Elderberry herbal extract and Allantoin.

26 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

“We have combined a number of effective, powerful ingredients into one new product, Wound Gel,” says David Willey, Managing Director of Equimins. “We have used colloidal silver in Wound Gel as it is a powerful microbial agent that kills around 99% of germs. This is the second product we’ve used it in, with the first being Mud Block. The other ingredients have been chosen due to their specific qualities- so MSM helps promote skin recovery, Tea Tree Oil

has antiseptic properties and helps prevent skin infection, Echinacea helps to activate white blood cells and reduce inflammation, Chamomile is a natural analgesic, Elderberry has natural antibiotic properties, Allantoin helps speed up cell renewal and Aloe Vera has a long history when it comes to skin care.” Wound Gel joins Equimins’

excellent range of first aid products. Wound Gel is available in a 100ml airless dispenser and retails at £6.99. For more information see, email or call 01548 531770.

Health Care

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 27

Health Care - Pain

Pain Killers – Are they Ethical? Ben Sturgeon, BSc, BVMS, Cert EP, MRCVS As the song goes “sometimes it’s hard to be a vet, giving all your love to just one job,” or perhaps even as Superman said “just say no.” Simply doing the job can be simple it’s what goes on between the ears that makes things difficult. It is very common to receive requests from clients for pain killers of various descriptions (Equipalazone, Danilon, Finadyne etc). Whilst they are commonly necessary for treatment of acute inflammatory conditions it is not unlikely that the clients request is simply because the horse has a low grade orthopaedic problem such as navicular syndrome or arthritis or some other non-descript ailment and they wish to go for a ride and do not want to cause the horse undue pain. A reasonable request surely? Full of good intentions and with consideration of the welfare of their beloved animal? Consider then that one of the most basic principles of morality is to treat objects (i.e. our horse) of moral concern as an end in themselves, not as a means in itself. Obviously, we do treat others as means, we call a mechanic to fix a car, we would like to go for a drive, we want the car to work. But that does not mean that we treat them as a tool and simply toss them into the shed, as one would a screwdriver, when they are done. This is an important point and one that each and every vet grapples with invariably on a daily basis. Whether an animal is a companion viewed as a family member or has a primary working role (i.e. a racehorse, eventer etc), or is even destined to end up on some ones plate, it is arguable that we should not lose sight of the animals needs and treat it simply to satisfy ourselves and our wishes. This is why many countries, ours being one of the few world leaders, are

addressing intensive farming methods as we propose that the systems fail largely to meet an animals need for space, socialization, and play even. Perhaps the one backward step made in the UK is the acceptance (and legal definition) now that horses are in fact food producing animals. Not long ago, in Herriot’s day, it was a moral decision made by the then horse owning public to not eat their animals, they were perhaps more inclined to see their animals as more than mere tools. So what is a vet to do? He or she is running a business which exists solely on the back of sale of service or of associated product, unfortunately we cannot do everything for free. Sell neither, exist no longer, a simple choice. But he or she also swore an oath at graduation and is an advocate of and to the animal (any animal) with the primary obligation being made to the animal, not as our aforementioned mechanic who is fundamentally obligated to the owner and their exclusive wishes. So what should a vet do? I don’t have the answer I’m afraid and our role comes in two mouthfuls: 1. Primum non nocere 2. Aesculapian Firstly, “do no harm” – if we are unsure or convinced that by administering or allowing a drug or treatment to be instigated may prove more deleterious than beneficial to the underlying condition (we think that by exercising the horse the arthritis will accelerate), we should refuse. Aesculapian simply means “a doctors authority” which we can all ignore (i.e. don’t eat transfats, don’t smoke) but to our delightful peril. We may advise that exercise on a pain killer is not sensible but ultimately it is the owners choice, after all it is their horse.

So our client may choose to ignore, to go to another more money orientated vet, or argue that the horse is in pain. If the latter is actually the case then we still would try and consider raising a moral awareness over medication which masks pain whilst potentially furthering clinical deterioration. Often then a compromise needs to be met, is exercise detrimental and if so are all types of exercise detrimental, can we tailor everything from diet and farriery to exercise length, intensity and even surface? Can we address joint therapies, riding style, weight management? To simply allow continued analgesia without respect for the animal as an end is insensitive to the animals needs. Justifying this can be extremely difficult and even if we believe that the animal should be treated differently often the best we can achieve is a compromise commitment

One final thought to churn your mind even further. In all this discussion we placed an altruistic understanding that a horse has of pain is similar to our own. The likelihood is this however, whilst we can generally understand the source of pain we feel, rationalize it and hopefully follow a path to a pain free future (or at least expect it) a horse cannot; pain for them is not rational nor does it carry a forecast, it is here and now and as far as they are concerned, always will be. A horse in pain is pain. Weigh all this up, then decide what dose you are going to put it on?

INNOVACYN launches Vetericyn products in the UK Innovacyn™ Inc., a U.S-based healthcare company, announced that Vetericyn®, its revolutionary range of animal wound care products, is now available in the U.K. for use on equines, companion animals and livestock. Vetericyn is the first, completely nontoxic, broad-spectrum topical spray product on the market. It is a one-step solution for minor wounds, cuts, scratches, abrasions, skin irritations and more. Vetericyn is antibacterial and antifungal. It is based upon unique and patented technology that mimics the body’s own immune system. Vetericyn products were first launched in the U.S. 18 months ago. Vetericyn is used throughout the United States and Canada on horses, cats, dogs, birds, exotics and other companion animals. Veterinarians and pet experts alike recommend the product based upon its efficacy, safety and ease of use. “There really isn’t any aspect of horse care that we haven’t utilized Vetericyn for,” said Dr. Brad Gordon, DVM. “The ability to manage the animal successfully has gone way up with a very low complication rate because it is so easy to use.” Australian equine expert

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towards keeping an animal comfortable even with possible increasing analgesia moving towards further medical or surgical input, retirement or exercise modification or even euthanasia (definitively an act to remove pain).

Clinton Anderson has used Vetericyn on his animals with great success. “Since the (Vetericyn) solution is literally as safe as water, I was able to apply the product near the delicate facial area,” he said. “It didn’t sting or irritate the wound more. In fact, how fast Vetericyn went to work healing the wound was unbelievable. This revolutionary technology should be seen as vital for your animal’s health care.” Vetericyn will be available in its over-the-counter (OTC) formulation via local retail outlets in 500ml, 250ml and 120ml bottle sizes. In addition, Vetericyn VF will be available through veterinarians throughout the U.K. Vetericyn VF is a special, professional formulation of the product and is approximately double the strength of the original Vetericyn OTC product. Vetericyn is steroid-free and antibioticfree, which makes it an ideal product to use on show animals as it tests free. Innovacyn will be distributed by Battle, Hayward & Bower Limited. For further information on the Vetericyn family of products, visit www. For further information on where to buy Vetericyn products within the U.K., visit

Horse Behaviour

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 29

Health Care - Physiotherapy

Veterinary physiotherapy: Optimising equine performance. Linking Gait to Performance. Jo Paul, Chartered Veterinary Physiotherapist The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Animal Therapy (ACPAT) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. To celebrate this, Scottish ACPAT members will run a series of articles entitled Veterinary Physiotherapy: optimising equine performance. This series will cover anatomy of the horse and how the horse should move, how the rider affects the horse and will show you how to enhance your horse’s movement. Last month I identified three main postural types and indicated how these may cause specific performance problems. This month I will discuss why these postural types alter the gait patterns or movement, which affects the performance. When a Chartered Physiotherapist assesses your horse they are looking at the actual conformation of that horse and making best effort to identify abnormal movement. They will then look at the structures involved to produce that movement and identify which structures may be dysfunctional. Invariably the structures will either be restricting range, weak, poorly coordinated or painful.

Fascial or connective tissue lies in large, thin, mobile sheets between the muscle groups, wraps around all the muscle fibres and thickens at appropriate points to create ligaments and joint capsules. It provides a transport medium for the small capillaries that transport blood, therefore food and oxygen to the other structures and takes the metabolites or waste products away. Small nerve endings also travel in this tissue and fire at appropriate intervals to tell the muscle when to contract and relax. This tissue is very specialised and will stiffen and shorten to protect itself along areas of stress. This is good as it strengthens the tissue and prevents injury but bad for movement as it restricts range, sometimes tightening enough to restrict the blood flow and alter the nerve firing. Joints should sit in a position that ensures the optimal movement through the maximal range that the actual conformation allows. This will ensure that more joint surface is utilised not just working repetitively on a small area which increases the risk of injury.

To be able to identify abnormal movement it is essential to appreciate the components of normal movement. Normal movement requires each and every structure to be working optimally. This requires symmetrical pain free movement through the full range that the horses’ conformation allows. Therefore muscles should be able to contract to create movement and pay out to allow movement. They should be able to maintain stability to maintain optimal joint position throughout range of movement and in a static situation. The function each muscle performs will create different muscle types. Short duration power work will build fast (twitch) acting, powerful muscle fibres that quickly fatigue. Long term endurance work will build slow (twitch) fatiguing, high stamina muscle. It is essential to have the correct balance of these types of muscle fibres in each performance horse and, although breed will naturally give more appropriate bias for a specific job, training will alter muscle type balance significantly. 30 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

Photo 1

Optimal movement requires the abdominal muscles to contract on one side of the horse as that side’s hind leg comes forward, while the opposite side has to pay out in a controlled way when that side’s hind leg travels out behind the horse. If these muscles work in a co-ordinated way they will efficiently support the thorax, gut, spine and rider. When the spine is supported in this way the spine is free to move efficiently which will allow the mid thoracic (under the saddle) to laterally bend and the lumbar spine (behind the saddle) to flex and extend to allow the pelvis to tuck under the horse and achieve an optimal length of stride behind. This cont. on p.32


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Health Care cont. from p.30

support from the abdominals and spinal movement will also allow the horse to come up through the withers, enabling the horse to come off his forehand. This co-ordinated movement of the spine allows the horse to laterally bend to stay straight on the circle and allows space underneath to allow the hind legs to travel underneath. It will also create top line muscle, giving the joints more support, reducing stress and likelihood of injury.

pain free range. When the foot hits the ground the muscles must support the joints of the hind limb while still allowing them to move underneath the horse. The majority of the propulsion forward comes from elastic recoil of the muscle, tendon and fascial tissue. However this elastic recoil is dependent on this tissue stretching into enough range to rebound efficiently. Therefore if the horse takes a short step the recoil is less and muscular effort is more, as in collected movements.

For the hind legs to work into full range all the muscles down the back of the hind limb must pay out optimally and the joints must work through full

When the hind limb action is working to stabilise and propel the horse, he can lighten the forehand and, provided the muscles around the scapula allow and

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create available range, the forelimb will move through the maximal range. The muscles around the scapula are then free to support the rib cage and accommodate the changing balance requirements. As the horse can bring the withers up through the scapula then the base of his neck can be free to move and allow the head and neck to be used as a fine balancing tool. This gives us the rounded outline and then potentially the soft elastic contact. So now let’s look at what happens to the movement when the horse has adapted to one of the three main postural types. Type A. Because of the lack of support from the abdominals the spine adopts a hollow position. This physically prevents the efficient movement of the thoracic spine laterally and therefore into flexion. This makes it difficult for the horse to work straight on the circle or go forward in a truly round outline. The hollowing of the spine also rotates the position of the pelvis forward which restricts the range of the lumbosacral area, which will adversely affect the canter. Also, this restricts the anterior (forward) range of the hind leg therefore makes it difficult for the horse to step under, propel and gain balance on his hind legs. Because the range of the hind leg is reduced the horse can not rely on efficient elastic recoil of the fascial tissue and large muscles of the hind quarters, having to use more force to

punch his legs into the ground to propel him forward and more muscular work in a short range. Both these compensatory mechanisms are less efficient, cause fatigue more quickly and predispose the horse to hind limb injury. Within transitions the horse will find downwards transitions very difficult as he can not step under, stabilise and decelerate. So he may become heavy in your hand, shuffle down to the slower pace or be considered disobedient. He will always find it difficult to remain straight through the transition. For the same reason he will find going downhill difficult. The lack of balance on the hind limb and the hollow back make it impossible for the horse to lighten his forehand, therefore he has to use the muscles around the scapula to lock the scapula to the rib cage for stability. This will affect the movement of the scapula and restrict the range of the forelimb. It will also prevent the base of the neck lifting and the horse achieving a round outline. (see photos 4&5) If we put all of the above aspects together and then ask the horse to circle he will have to either swing his quarters or lose straightness through his shoulders to negotiate a circle and whichever mechanism he adopts will dictate the evasion he produces and the stresses that are applied to each limb. Finally let’s go back to the rounded head and neck position. If the scapula are holding the ribs down the head must naturally go up. Then the horse has the problem of how to advance cont. on p.34

So whether your skin is sensitive or just deserves to be nourished naturally, there’s something for everyone. Let the fantastic aromas of roses, alpine lavender, honey, patchouli and frangipani lift your mood, and the soft and sensual shea butters, and almond, coconut and apricot oils feed your skin with kindness. The range includes face and body creams, intensive hand and feet Photo 2

Photo 3

Likit Giveaway September issue It has been brought to our attention that 4 of the winners have not yet received their prize. Owing to a technical problem at Equi-Ads the contact details for these winners is no longer available, so we would ask the following winners to contact Ann at Equi-Ads on 01738 32 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

567700 or email to arrange for delivery: Brenda Rae, Stamford Margaret Adamson, Kilmarnock Alex Turley, Hockley, Essex Ella Moir, North Hykeham We apologise to Likits and the winners for this inconvenience.

Health Care

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 33

Health Care - Teeth - Worming his forelegs. Type A horses usually, very cleverly, set their poll and use the brachiocephalic muscle to pull the foreleg forward, creating a ewe neck. This strategy however is usually frowned on by the rider as in the worst cases the head is in a high position and in the less serious cases the contact is wooden. Most importantly it will cause a stiff neck, head shyness, bridle lameness, bitting problems and is one of the many reasons for head shaking. I have discussed Type A posture starting from dysfunction of the abdominals but equally this postural adaption can be initiated by many stresses including a problem in the hind limb that restricts the range, a poorly balanced forefoot that locks the scapula to the ribs for support, a saddle that restricts the thoracic spine and teeth that prevent the horse being soft through his poll. The numerous causes of the Type A posture make it the most prevalent posture adopted, either entirely or partially. Type B. This is the herring gutted horse that normally locks on all the muscles of the trunk. This will mean the horse has difficulty bending laterally but also hollowing and rounding his back. Depending on the position he adopts, his pelvis may be in a neutral position

or even tucked underneath him. This will give the appearance in the early stages of training that he is stepping under and propelling well from behind. Because he steps under he may well be able to lighten the forehand and work in a rounded but wooden way. Due to the lack of movement in the trunk the horse can not maintain straightness on a circle will tend to stand off rather than get under his fences and will find canter and jumping down steps challenging. His difficulty with adjusting balance might appear as if he is unresponsive in hand and a bit ‘bargie’.

forward and especially to canter and jump. Although they do not show up as technically lame they often will have adapted by setting their lumbosacral junction. These are the horses that often will show up lame after they have had the muscle spasm in their backs released. By reading through these problems you would be forgiven for putting a schooling issue forward as a reason for all the functional difficulties described,

but if you have a horse that is having these issues and shows tendencies to one or the other adapted postural type it would be worth giving him the benefit of the doubt and have him assessed by a Chartered Physiotherapist. The next few articles will discuss what can be done to correct the postural and movement dysfunctions. Jo Paul Contact 01368 830633 or Based in East Lothian.

He may appear to jump well, but there will be a huge stress on the lower hind limb structures which may show up as soft tissue swelling e.g. windgalls, and eventually will predispose him to injury. This type tend to be caused by a problem in the spine or abdomen so can include joint or ligament damage, poor saddle fit, heavy rider, or a systemic gut problem such as worm burden. Type C These horses appear to have all the problems described in Type A but can not adapt to propel themselves efficiently with increased hind leg activity. Therefore they appear weak behind and sometimes reluctant to go

Equine Dentistry

Photo 4

Photo 5

Harriet Cater BSc. Eds

Everyone who has horses knows that every few weeks their feet need some attention from the farrier, but what about their teeth? Equine dentistry is a relatively new industry and equally as important as farriery.

horses have a total of 12 incisors, 12 premolars and 12 molars. Many, mostly males, can have up to 4 canines. Wolf teeth are vestigial but still occur in some horses and sit just in front of the first premolars.

How do horses’ teeth differ from ours?

Why do horses need their teeth checked?

Horses have hypsodont teeth, which means they have long crowns and short roots, with most of the tooth lying below the gum line and slowly erupting thoughout much of the horse’s life. All

As a horse chews its food, the jaws move laterally and grind the food up and in doing so wear the surface of the teeth down. Teeth comprise three

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cont. from p.32

materials; enamel, cemetin and dentine, all of which wear at different rates and can therefore cause abnormal wear patterns. The enamel can form sharp points which can lead to ulceration of the soft tissues of the mouth and restrict the movement of the lower jaw. Regular dental examinations ensure that these overgrowths are removed. How often do horses need their teeth checked? It is a good idea to get a vet or equine

dental technician to carry out a dental examination within the first few weeks of life. Deciduous teeth begin erupting almost from birth and it is important to deal with any abnormalities before they cause problems when the permanent teeth begin to appear, usually at around nine months to a year old. Assuming there are no problems, dental checks every six to twelve months are advisable, depending on management and discipline.

Holidays - Training - Transport

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Health Care - Training - Worming

Training from the beginning – The Foal Heather Gwillim I have always believed it is easier to train horses that have been handled in a kind and sympathetic way from an early age; the earlier the better in fact. The sooner a foal is handled the easier and more stress free the process is. As we use cameras and foaling alarms at the stud it means we can start the training process almost as soon as the foal is born. As long as the mare is happy for you to handle the foal and as long as you are careful not to interfere with the bonding process between the foal and mare it is possible for you to bond with your foal, too. So when the mare is licking her foal all over after the birth, I like to give them a rub over too, especially in the ticklish places that can cause problems in later training. I start with the head gently rubbing all around the eyes, the muzzle and the inside corners of the mouth. I pay particular attention to the ears; being careful to be gentle then rub down the neck and over the foals back and under the tummy checking the navel and making sure you use whatever preparation your vet has suggested, I usually treat the umbilical stump to prevent infection. I then rub down the legs. You must then stand back and let the mare encourage the foal to get up as the most important thing is that the foal finds milk and starts drinking, if possible I prefer the foal to do this on its own so I tend to retreat out of the stable and watch from over the door. Once the foal has

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had a good drink of the first milk called colostrums they usually pass their first droppings – called meconium – this is very important as some foals may become constipated and display colic like symptoms and may require an enema. If all is well it is time to leave the mare and foal alone. After 24 hours we usually have the vet to check the foal over and to do an IGG blood count to make sure that the foal has had enough colostrum as this is what contains the anti-bodies that the foal requires to live. If the IGG count is low the vet can take blood from the mare, let it separate and give the foal a transfusion of the plasma to top up the anti-bodies it requires to a safe level. Once the basic safety measures have been done for the future well being of the foal it is back to the handling. It is very important that every time you handle the foal during the first few weeks/months of its life that you are consistent, patient, kind but firm and that you make it easy for the foal to understand what you want of him/her. So even though your foal is probably living in the field, you will find bringing the foal into a stable with either rubber mats or a thick bed for handling on a regular basis for the first month of the foals life will make the training sessions easier and safer for the handler and foal though it is possible to use the same techniques in a safe field or paddock with a little thought and care; however, for this article I will assume you are

cont. on p.38

Field & Stable - Transport

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Stud cont. from p.36

able to lead the mare into the stable with her foal as required. When you handle the foal you must reward the smallest try – for instance, I like to pick the foals feet up the day after it is born but I only lift each foot off the ground for a few seconds and then place it back on the floor before the foal starts to pull away, the reward to the foal being the release of the leg in this instance. I then try to hold each foot up for a little longer each time in the training sessions over the next few months, this works well and often the foal will just accept this as normal. As time passes you can then start to put the leg in the positions it will be held in for trimming. We also like to get the foal used to having a foal slip put on and taken off, this is better done with two people and we try to do this daily until the foal is completely relaxed about it; the foal is held against the mare by placing one arm around its chest and the other around its quarters, they usually relax best against the mare, I then rub the foal slip up the neck holding the head piece over the top of the neck in my right hand and the rest of the slip in my left under the neck and slip the nose band quietly over the muzzle; if the foal protests I will slip the nose band gently on and off the nose several times until the foal is relaxed before doing the

buckle up; we then like to lead the foal around the stable by the side of the mare by having one hand around the back of its quarters and a hand around its chest, this hand also holds the lead rope which is not used at all at this stage. I have seen foals that have had injuries to the nuchal ligament caused by people pulling too hard on a foal slip when teaching it to lead, so we are very careful not to pull the foal along by the head collar. Depending on the size and strength of the foal we progress to using a butt rope which makes things easier; this is a soft rope that is placed around the foals quarters and then back to the head collar, the ends are threaded through the noseband and the foal is then again encouraged to follow the mare around the stable, if the foal pulls back the pressure of the pull is not on the foals head or neck but on the rope around its quarters which gives the person leading more control and prevents any possible injuries. After a few days of using the butt rope and the foal accepting the rope being put on and taken off in a calm manner it should be possible to lead the foal back to the field by the side of its dam, you then hold the foal next to the mare as you remove the butt rope and the foal slip. Another method of applying a butt rope is to use it around the quarters as described then cross over the back and around the chest, the ends being held by the withers in the right hand while the left hand holds the foal slip. This is

a good method with small young foals. During these short training sessions you can get the foal used to anything the mare is relaxed about; for instance if your mare is good in traffic you can stand the mare by the side of a car with the engine running, if the foal is worried by the car retreat with the mare and foal to a distance where the foal is relaxed and gradually over a few days get closer to the vehicle, don’t force the issue but take time and get a little closer each time, always stopping or even moving away when the foal shows signs of worry until he is relaxed before moving closer again. Every training session I spend time rubbing the foal all over as I did the first time, as time goes by I will rub the foal with a cloth or piece of plastic, a carrier bag is quite good and end the session by flapping the cloth or plastic all over the foal carefully, always if the foal becomes anxious, it is important to go back a stage to where the foal was relaxed and then progress from there always ending with the foal happy and relaxed. It is important that if for instance the foal is pulling his leg away from you when you are picking it up and refusing to stand still for you, that you are prepared to persist firmly picking up the leg until the foal accepts you doing it, do not end with the foal barging you out of the way or indeed trying to kick you or you have just taught him to be naughty. Be patient, be kind but be firm and consistent in all of your training sessions. As long as you make each training session a small step forward ending with a calm, happy foal you will make steady progress to a happy well adjusted young horse that is a pleasure to be around and work with and a horse that will want to be with you so a partnership has begun. Author Profile Heather Gwillim has worked for over 40 years with horses and has a very

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broad range of experience. Originally introduced to riding by Mary Broome as a child, she has continued to ride and work with horses of all types. Heather has ridden horses in the U.S.A. and Portugal as well as in the U.K. She has ridden a variety of horses from point-to-pointers, Warmbloods, Quarter horses, Arabs and Iberian horses. This has given her the opportunity to observe different training techniques and adapt them to suit all different breeds of horses and situations. Heather has managed livery yards, competition and training studs and has had experience working in holiday riding centres. The training techniques that Heather has developed over the years are based on sympathetic correct and fair training methods used consistently and patiently making it easy for the horse to understand what is required of him whilst, at the same time, making the training rewarding and inspiring confidence in the horse so that a true partnership can be formed over time, which will allow horse and trainer to fulfil their potential and ambition whilst still enjoying the journey they are experiencing. Heather currently runs an Iberian Stud and training yard in Carmarthenshire, South Wales with her husband Tim. Their yard stands a black P.R.E. (Andalusian) Stallion at stud. Heather and Tim also offer training courses by arrangement in ground work and horse handling techniques. Courses are also available to first time horse owners on - Stable Management, Breeding a Foal, Buying your First Horse, Vet and Farriery Protocol, Loading and Handling etc. Contact Details: Tel: 07815 446858 Email: Website:


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Breeding competition stars of the future In this feature we team up with Amy Poltinger of Upsall Stud, to offer advice on breeding competition horses, and how to find that all important match for your mare to provide the best possible chance of good quality offspring. also have the qualities you are looking for. Some breeders maintain that the mare is the most important parent, and has a greater influence on an individual foal. Its physical characteristics influence the developing foal inside the womb and once born learns habits from the dam.

Zilver Ego

Making the Right Choices The first and most important factor in breeding a competition horse is choosing the bloodlines and qualities that you would like in your offspring. Choosing a stallion that will complement your mare will improve the chances of getting the best qualities of both animals and decrease the chance of ending up with the weaker qualities. Unfortunately, a foal can inherit the

worst faults of both parents, but it is still a good idea to try to choose a stallion that should improve any weakness the mare may have and vice-versa. Many showjumping horses are bred with certain qualities or traits in mind such as power to jump the huge fences, along with speed, agility and scope. A stallion that has proven himself in the discipline or sport you wish your offspring to follow in is often a good place to start. Mares should also have a competition record showing that they

Do not be afraid to use an up and coming stallion, providing you are satisfied with his conformation, movement, temperament and his own performance record, particularly if you are not looking to sell your foal early in life. If the sire or dam has not yet proven themselves by competition or by producing quality offspring, the bloodlines of the horse are often a good indicator of quality and possible outcomes.

Some bloodlines are known for their athletic ability, but could also carry a defect such as a poor temperament or a conformational or genetic defect. When breeding a foal you should also consider conformation, size and temperament. All of these traits are inheritable, and will determine if the foal will be a success in its chosen discipline. A good indicator of a stallion is his ability to pass on his characteristics, and the particular traits he actually passes on to other offspring. Some stallions are fantastic performers but never produce offspring anywhere near as good in comparison. Others sire great fillies but not colts. Sometimes stallions of average ability sire foals of outstanding quality. It is important to find a stallion which suits your mare rather than just using one which is fashionable. However beautiful a stallion, if he has a difficult nature, there is always the chance that he will pass it on to his stock.

Winston XIV

Visiting the stud will also give you the opportunity to see the facilities available cont. on p.42

Nupafeed MAH® Magnesium Liquid Magnesium depletion is common in brood mares due to the stress of foaling and the amount of magnesium the foetus requires during gestation. In human medicine, extensive research shows that poor magnesium levels are strongly associated with low birth weights, birthing complications and increased sensitivity to stress even in later life. Supplementing Nupafeed MAH in the run up to foaling and through to weaning can reduce stress to the mare and greatly improve temperament and manageability of the foal as well as helping to ensure health and well-being. Nupafeed’s MAH® Liquid provides a far greater bioavailability of magnesium than any other product. It is made in our controlled pharmaceutical laboratories, does not contain any other ingredients and is absolutely not a sedative. Feed to the mare in the last trimester. Continue 40 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

to give to mare and foal as required. You may want to restart feeding MAH or increase the level shortly prior to weaning. 1Ltr - £27.95 3Ltr - £64.95 5Ltr - £91.95 Mail order only: Tel: 01438 861 900 Web:

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Insurance - Stud cont. from p.40

and meet the people you will be dealing with. Covering the Mare Live cover is the more traditional way and will involve you mare boarding at the stud. She is “teased” several times with a stallion usually presented to the mare over a barrier. Her reaction to the teaser, whether hostile or passive, is used to signal whether or not she is ready. A mare that is in heat will present herself to the stallion, holding her tail to the side. A veterinarian may also determine if the mare is ready to breed. Once the mare is ready, both the mare and intended stud will be cleaned. The mare will then be presented to the stallion. More handlers are preferred, as the mare and stallion can then be easily separated should there be any trouble. Artificial Insemination (AI) is a more up to date method that has many advantages over live cover. The stallion mounts a phantom mare, although a live mare may be used, and his semen is collected using an artificial vagina (AV) which is heated to simulate the vagina of the mare. The AV has a filter and collection area at the end to capture the semen, which is then processed in a laboratory. The semen may be chilled or frozen and

shipped to the mare owner. When the mare is in heat, the semen is directly inseminated into her uterus using a syringe or pipette. Frozen semen can be stored and used to breed mares even after the stallion is dead, allowing his bloodlines to continue. However, the semen of some stallions does not freeze well. It also opens up the world to international breeding, as semen can be shipped across continents to mares that would otherwise be unable to breed to that particular stallion. Also on that note a mare does not have to travel to the stallion, so the process is less stressful on her, and if she already has a foal, the foal does not have to travel. AI also allows more mares to be bred from one stallion, as the semen may be split between mares and reduces the chances of spreading sexually transmitted diseases between mare and stallion. On the safety side, the mare and stallion never have to come in contact with each other, which reduces breeding accidents, such as the mare kicking the stallion. Other advanced methods include, using a surrogate dam and embryo transfer, this is usually an option for owners who are reluctant to take their valuable mare

out of competition. These options also allow for multiple foals to be produced in the same breeding season. For further information about Upsall Stud visit or contact the stud on 01845 527712 or 07590 453236.

Insurance for Breeding We speak to Kathy Tansey at Shearwater Insurance to explain what insurance you need to consider in relation to breeding… What Insurance should I take out for my Broodmare? Most standard insurance policies will offer breeding as a use option in the lowest category. I would suggest that you took All Risks of Mortality Cover and Veterinary Fees but Loss of Use for breeding is not usually an option taken. Other options such as Tack Cover and Third Party Liability would be purely a matter of personal choice and may be covered elsewhere. Will my Vet Fees cover the mare for pregnancy related problems? This is always a point to check with the particular company involved but most (including all of those offered by Shearwater) will cover for complicated Foaling and/or abnormalities during pregnancy but will NOT cover any routine procedures such as scans nor for the attendance of a vet to check all is well at a normal foaling. Also no treatment required by the foal either during or immediately after birth would be covered by the mare’s policy. How soon can my foal be insured? This varies from company to company but normally a foal can be covered for Death from 24 hours old and Veterinary Fees can be added at a later stage usually around the thirty day point. Other than third party liability, if this is not covered elsewhere this is probably the only cover you would want until the horse was being ridden.

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young stock

Is it possible to insure the foal before it is born? Prospective Foal insurance is available but as it is high risk it is quite an expensive policy. It must be taken out quite early in the pregnancy and it does require a lot of medical checks on the mare including negative twin scans etc. It is really only cost effective if you have paid a very high stud fee and is most popular amongst breeders of expensive racehorses. I run a stud and have visiting mares in to use my stallion, what insurance cover do I require? If you are running any commercial equestrian business it is always wise to have public liability insurance which will cover you in the event of the horses escaping and causing damage or somebody being hurt on your yard if you are proved liable. If you keep horses on your premises which are not your own I would also strongly recommend that you have Care, Custody and Control insurance which will cover you in the event you are proved to be negligent in the care of those horses whilst they are in your charge. It should be said however that these policies usually do not extend to cover any injury caused to a mare whilst she is being covered by the stallion. I would therefore suggest all mare owners are asked to sign a disclaimer agreeing that they accept this risk prior to allowing your stallion to cover. For further information tel: 01992 767 666 or visit to learn more about the various policies on offer.


February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 43

Horses for Sale - Holidays

Ground Rules The most frequently used phrase at our frosty livery yard at the moment is ‘This isn’t funny anymore!’ The recurring, frustrating flurries of snow which will not melt away are now becoming more than a joke. Although the white stuff makes the yard and fields look gorgeous from a distance, the reality of the manure stained slush is far from beautiful. Hopefully, by the time you read this, our running commentary on snow, frozen pipes, double rugs and slipping over on the ice will be a distant memory. Spring will be on its way, with lighter evenings, finer weather and lots and lots of riding! Don’t get me wrong, I love winter. The thought of wrapping up, chucking a fleecy exercise sheet on my horse, Lord Darcy, and going for a bracing morning hack is almost my idea of heaven.

Jessica Gill

However, this winter seems to have taken it a bit too far. I was one of a number of people who was able to ride just once in the entirety of December and due to the layout of the yard, was not able to turn my horse out for over three weeks. Resolutions are made to be broken The slow start to 2011 will have delayed many people’s New Year resolutions to ‘get out and compete more’, ‘keep white tails white’, ‘keep the horses weight down’ etc. This weather has impeded many of my own resolutions, including my plans to start training towards our first ODE. However, contrary to my thwarted plans, the inconvenience of the weather has allowed me to accomplish one of my other resolutions. Being forced out of the saddle has actually freed up time to do some much needed in hand work. During my busy weekdays, I am usually in a rush and have been neglecting Darcy’s occasionally bolshy manners on the ground in favour of a ride. Having read all of Monty Roberts books in the past, watched various Parelli and Natural Horsemanship demonstrations and possessing some common sense of my own, I was keen to explore some training techniques.

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I would always start with a walk around the frosty ménage, halting at specific markers. I remember reading or hearing somewhere that you should carry a whip when training a bolshy horse in hand, never to punish, only to guide. I thought I would try this, as tugging my horse to a stop was not really working. Using my voice and lightly touching Darcy across his chest when I wanted him to stop worked a treat. At first, he was a bit puzzled, but after we had done it a few times, with a lot of praise and positivity, as I said ‘Halt’, with ears pricked he would stop immediately. Sometimes, Darcy will invade his handler’s space, to the extent that you are moving out of his way, so we did a little work on this too. When he came into my space, I would stop and walk towards him so that he backed up out of my space. Then I would praise him and carry on. It wasn’t particularly a submission, but more an understanding. We usually finished with some carrot stretches, which was Darcy’s favourite bit!

We also managed to improve other every day things like picking up feet and moving over in the stable to be groomed. I focused on channelling positive emotions into my time at the yard and generally enjoying the company of my horse, scratching, cuddling, grooming and having a good old chat. To be honest, instead of feeling dejected and negative, whizzing around the yard to finish there as soon as possible as I saw many people do, this quality time spent with my horse made me feel positively elated, it feels as if our relationship has improved entirely. I just can’t wait to get back on board and continue improving our strengthened bond. I would entirely recommend to every type of horse owner or rider, to sacrifice a ride or that glass of wine waiting at home, and engage with your horse on a level that you may usually neglect, you will not regret it.


February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 45

Clinics - Horsebox - Training - Transport

Getting ready to party Parelli-style! Busy out on the road spreading and sharing the Parelli natural way of life with horses. Here Linda Parelli takes five minutes from her busy schedule touring Italy and Portugal to answer our questions about their trip to the UK for the huge Parelli Celebration event in April 2011. How do you think the 2011 Celebration will be different from the previous one? There will be the same energy but with tons more learning on a subject that touches every part of our horsemanship - HORSENALITY. It’s so exciting to focus the entire event through this filter. We are planning some wonderful audio visual support and lots of live examples. Are you excited about returning to the UK? Absolutely! I think the British really stand out in the realm of horse lovers. We travel all over the world and somehow there’s an energy here that is different. Why is the LG Arena so special? I think because so many of the rock stars we love have played there too! What a privilege and a dream to be at the same venue. The arena is superb, the lights, sound, and most importantly the atmosphere. It is without a doubt the most exciting venue we have been to. If there were three pieces of knowledge spectators went away from the Celebration with - what would you hope they were? Learning to really read your horse, to deeply understand his needs, to know how to improve your communication and training as a result, so the horse loves it and looks forward to being with you. That happens when they feel that you truly “get” them.

What are your plans to involve the Savvy Team? The Savvy Team is critical to our shows. They prove that this is not about what Pat and Linda can do, it’s about what we can teach you to do. I think it will be even more interesting this time to know which ‘HORSENALITY’ each of them is playing with... it will give it a whole new dimension. What have been some of your highlights in previous years? The crowd, the atmosphere is electric. Taking our own horses abroad and sharing our relationships with the world. The Savvy Teams, the lessons, the demo horses... all of it! It’s really a very exciting event, hard to pull out just one or two highlights. How do you prepare mentally for the Celebration? We are always preparing, every day in every way. It’s like achieving your horsemanship goals; it’s all in the preparation, in the ingredients, in our own self mastery. That’s why we so often say “It’s not about the... trailer, jump, flying change, circling game, etc.” Will there be any new products / kits / packs available? Oh yes! Exciting preparations are underway concerning more in-depth learning on horsenality. Why did you develop HORSENALITY as the main theme? It’s an industry breakthrough and we’ve

really been quite low key about it. We know how much it has changed the way horses and humans communicate and is empowering students all over the world. It’s part of the lingo now, and when someone comes up to ask a question about their horse, it’s so easy for us when they say “My horse is a right brain introvert and...” Got it! Now we can get straight to the point. People in general have a lot of trouble describing and reading horses accurately. HORSENALITY makes it possible for everyday people to read horses like the masters do. Are there any particular areas/things about the Celebration that Pat really enjoys? All of it! He’s not shy you know, and when we have thousands of people in the audience you can really feel the difference you are making in the world. What would you say to anyone who has been to the Celebration before and is wondering whether to return? I wouldn’t want to miss anything that was going to increase my understanding and results with horses tenfold... or that held the keys to reading and develop a better understanding of my horse! Most problems with horses arrive because we offend them, approach them all wrong. We’re too fast, too slow, too pushy or not provocative enough. Knowing when to do what is what savvy is all about. Knowing that horses are not just horses; they are interesting individuals that need us to be able to flex our approach in order to bring out their best. Do you get nervous before the Celebration? No never but we do get very excited. It’s

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amazing being behind the curtains and feeling the energy. What is the one thing at the 2011 Celebration that you think will blow the audiences socks off? The whole darn thing! We are totally psyched and we can’t wait to be back in the UK. We hope to see you there! This great two days of fun, learning, laughter and thought provoking horsemanship takes place on April 9 and 10 at the LG Arena, Birmingham. Ticket Prices Member £89 Regular £119 Child £59 Groups buy 10 tickets - £500 To book tickets visit www. or by phone 0844 581 0825 For further information contact the Parelli UK team on 0800 0234 813 or visit

Clinics - Training

Win tickets to the 2011 Parelli celebration! Want to experience two days that will change your life? In this issue we have teamed up with Parelli to offer two lucky readers and a friend the chance to win tickets for the 2011 Parelli Celebration.

The key focus of the celebration will be Horsenality, and will essentially show the individual character of horses, how to recognise the four different Horsenality types, and whether they are on the cusp of two.

This great two days takes place on April 9 and 10 at the LG Arena, Birmingham with Linda and Pat Parelli sharing their wealth of knowledge and helping to make the world a better place for horses and humans.

There will be an insight into what causes horses to shift behaviours and show the best strategic, horsenalitybased training approaches to get your horse to be: calm, trusting, motivated and willing.

The 2011 Parelli Celebration will have you sitting on the edge of your seat providing a compelling two days not to be missed.

They will also be looking at Horsenality alongside Humanality and what to do if your horse is your opposite!

Everything from Horsenality, to problem horses and developing relationships with horses will be covered. As well as an action-packed educational programme, the team will be celebrating people who have discovered their potential with horses and showcase them in the Savvy Spotlight sessions.

To book tickets visit www. or by phone 0844 581 0825 For further information contact the Parelli UK team on 0800 0234 813 or visit

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 47

Tack & Turnout - Training

£100 Easter Discount on Treeless Saddles Birgit from Dream Team Products, UK’s number one specialist for Treeless Saddles, is delighted to offer £100 discount on any in stock saddle. “We like to help during these difficult times. It is so much easier and cheaper having a treeless saddle. You can have one saddle for various horses and not have to worry about saddle fitting problems as treeless saddles are pretty much self-fitting. With hundreds of saddles and accessories in stock we are confident

to find the right model for you and your horse. We will guide you through the entire selection process on saddles and treeless saddles pads. Why not give us a call on 08450 725 765 (and quote Equi-Ads). Still not sure? Why not try a Torsion or a Freeform treeless saddle for just

For more information visit www. or call our treeless saddle helpline on 08456 731 737 with any treeless saddle question you might have.

Online distance learning programme in Equine Science a huge success The first postgraduate programme of its kind in Equine Science launched at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in 2008 is now into its third year of running and is proving to be a great success in terms of recruitment and student satisfaction. Students can opt to study for a Certificate (one year), Diploma (two years) or an MSc (three years) through part-time online distance learning. The programme aims to enhance knowledge of scientific study and research as well as assisting students in understanding how scientific knowledge can be applied to aid equine performance and welfare. Current students rate the programme very highly. Their comments include: “I chose the MSc in Equine Science because it is a unique programme offered by one of the top univeristies in the field. The flexibility of online classes enabled me to balance my personal and academic ambitions.” (Christine Filion, 2nd year) “I enjoy the distance learning aspect as I have a young family and it works well around their schedule. Also, I like the online discussions as it generates more thought on a particular subject or answer’s questions that everyone may have. Overall the course material is very thorough and well organized and easily accessible. Great on-line support and help.” (Aleida Tweten, 2nd year) “I am thoroughly enjoying studying the online MSc Equine Science and the fact that it can be carried alongside my career means that it really is enhancing my knowledge whilst working in the equine industry. The distance learning also means that it fits into the everyday schedule around work, socialising and most importantly the horse too!” (Kate Mee, 2nd year) Dr Jo-Anne Murray, Equine Science Programme Director, said: “We set up

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£49. We are here to help you make an informed decision.”

this programme after research showed that online learning was the preferred option for those wishing to enhance their career professional development while not having to give up their jobs or relocate.” “The online distance learning programme in equine science will provide that competitive edge for those wishing to progress in their careers while also enabling learning in a flexible and easily accessible format.” The equine programme uses the University’s award winning online learning environments using a blend of online learning methods, including innovative video podcasts, web based discussion forums, live tutorials (using Skype and in the Virtual University of Edinburgh on Second Life), group activities using Wikis, and expert tuition from internationally renowned researchers and clinicians. Courses include scientific methodology, equine digestion and nutrition, equine reproduction, equine orthopaedics, equine behaviour and welfare and equine exercise physiology. The programme is open to students with a biological science background; for example a degree in: veterinary science, biological sciences, zoology, animal/equine science, and pharmacology/pharmacy. Candidates with a relevant background and alternative qualifications should contact us for further details. Applications for this programme, which will commence in September 2011 are currently being taken and interested students are encouraged to apply now as there are only a few places remaining for this coming academic year. To join one of the leading research and teaching institutions in the world, or for further information, please contact: 0131 6506259 or Jo-Anne.Murray@ Or visit: Website: Facebook: Twitter:

Tack & Turnout - Training

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 49

Horse Behaviour

‘Drive your horse up to the bit’ Part 3 A series by SUSAN McBANE dealing with equestrian principles from the viewpoint of equine behaviour and psychology As they say, I wish I had a tenner for every time I’ve heard that one. This must be certainly one of the most used phrases in equestrian terminology, this and ‘get your horse going forward’ which I’ll deal with next month. As a familiar phrase and equestrian principle, driving a horse up to the bit is a concept you will never read much about in the most respected and older classical books. It seemed to rear its ugly head more and more from about the 1960s onwards as competition increased rapidly in popularity and the desire to Win spawned all sorts of ideas of how to get horses to ‘go properly’ without taking the time and acquiring the knowledge and skill to actually do it properly. In the UK and Ireland up to and before that time, we concentrated mainly on thoroughbreds and horses largely so for competition and, in galloping countries, for hunting as well. Although created for racing, thoroughbreds make exquisite riding

horses for those skilled, sensitive and caring enough to treat them properly, but we did have our own version of what is known now as a warmblood and that was largely a thoroughbred with a dash (say an eighth or a sixteenth) of Irish Draught, British native or ‘common’, heavier blood. This was felt to insert a modicum of sense and a ‘fifth leg’ into the thoroughbred whilst retaining the prized qualities of speed, stamina, courage and the ability to attain athletic fitness better than any other breed. The reason I am mentioning breeding is because, quite rightly, most thoroughbreds will not tolerate being driven up to the bit – particularly the modern version with its hard and rigid contact - and who can blame them? Before it was first conceived, true lightness in the hand was the quality striven for by knowledgeable horsemen and women and still is by those into classical riding and the fast-spreading discipline of Equitation Science, the

principles and techniques of which are applicable to all disciplines. Your aim was to school your horse to go in self-carriage on the weight of the rein. Those of us fortunate enough to have been brought up on ponies and then horses who went like this, (with their weight down behind, light in front and surging forward and upward like an equine power boat or sports car,) and who automatically still train for it today, are dismayed by the obvious lack of understanding of this crucial concept by so many modern trainers and riders in all equestrian disciplines, even at the so-called highest levels, and by the vice-like grip and hard contact wrongly taught as correct by many teachers. COCKEYED AND CRUEL I had an instructor in the 60s, when the man-made concept of driving a horse up to the bit was spreading like a disease, who was the first person to tell me to keep a fairly firm contact on the bit with my young horse as ‘he needs the support from your hands so that he can balance properly’. Balancing on the mouth sounded pretty cockeyed to me, an ‘old-fashioned’, if young, classical rider. It didn’t seem like a very comfortable, kind or effective technique and was contrary to everything I had been taught from childhood. As we ‘progressed’, I was told constantly to drive my horse up to the bit because he ‘had to accept the contact’ although no rational-sounding reason was given for this; neither was a solution ever provided to the problem of his getting heavier and heavier in my hands. When I queried accepting contact by quoting self-carriage on the weight of the rein, the instructor laughed and said that that was a very advanced quality which I could forget about for years. Combined with being told to ‘make him go forward’, I soon ended up with a 5-year-old horse with a much harder mouth than I knew was either correct or comfortable for him or me. I was in a mess. My horse was in a mess. I stopped the lessons, moved yards, reverted to correct methods and retrieved the situation. I know, though, that that sort of teaching and schooling is still widespread today. MODERN PROOF Thanks to many studies meticulously carried out in recent decades by equitation scientists and other researchers in equine behaviour and psychology, we now know beyond doubt, because of studies done on how horses’ brains function, that

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horses cannot cope with two (or more) demands (instructions, aids) at once. They become confused and anxious by not only constant pressure (contact) on mouth or sides but also by two conflicting pressures (aids) at the same moment, and by our failure to release those pressures (stop asking/ demanding) the very instant the horse responds as we wish. How many times have you heard riders being told to keep applying their legs when the horse is already moving actively as required, or to maintain the bit contact and make the horse ‘accept’ (tolerate) the bit whilst using the legs firmly to ‘send him up to the bit’? You have probably experienced this kind of instruction yourself as it is the norm. Even when the horse is going as required, the aids are kept on, yet what more is he expected to do, and how can he resolve this worrying situation? In the words of my classical trainer of the 80s, Desi Lorent, ‘you wouldn’t keep asking someone to pass you the salt when they’d already done so.’ FOUNDATION TRAINING In what is called Foundation Training in equitation science (a more appropriate term than ‘breaking-in’, ‘backing’, ‘riding away’ or ‘starting’), horses are trained to understand that pressure from both sides of the bit means slow down, stop or go backwards, and that pressure from both legs means go forwards. Bearing in mind what is known of the horse’s mental functioning, how confusing it must be for him to be receiving a stop aid in his mouth and a go aid on his sides at the same time. By nature, horses pay most attention to the stimuli (aids or outside events) which appear strongest to them. So, if he perceives the bit pressure to be stronger than the leg pressure he will either go too slowly or unenthusiastically or will overbend, go behind the bit, shorten his neck or raise his head to try, understandably, to get rid of the uncomfortable, painful or intolerable pressure in his mouth. If he perceives the leg pressure to be stronger than the bit pressure, he will go too fast, with an exaggerated action, lose his balance and become heavy in hand or go hollow and move poorly in an effort to produce the speed we seem to want within the restriction of the simultaneous bit pressure. What a life!

Tack & Turnout No wonder so many desperate riding horses today ‘misbehave’, go badly, become unresponsive to leg or hand or, conversely, hypersensitive, spooky, inattentive and ‘hot’, all of which are caused by confusion, anxiety and, therefore, fear. Many probably suffer from a condition known as ‘learned helplessness’ where they ‘shut down’ in the absence of any way out of their dilemma. (This will be dealt with in the April issue.) FORWARD TO THE PAST The more humane and ‘thinking’ classical Old Masters discovered and taught that good horsemen use ‘legs without hands and hands without legs’ – in other words, never hands and legs at the same time. They knew what equitation science has confirmed. But they also discovered and taught another hugely important principle which, again, has been confirmed by equitation science – that we must ride from back to front, allowing the horse’s muscular and mental development to produce collection and lightness in front as a consequence of correct training and riding, NOT the way so many people teach, train and ride today, with the emphasis on actively maintaining a significant contact on the horse’s mouth with a view to achieving an arched and rounded shape to the (shortened) neck, plus firm leg aids at the same time which cause confusion and distress to the horse and are often implicated in the unnatural, ugly and exaggerated action so often seen in some dressage and show horses. At this point, I cannot do better than give the following quotation from the groundbreaking new book ‘Equitation Science’

by horsemen Drs Andrew McLean and Paul McGreevy and published by WileyBlackwell, (visit for more information on equitation science): ‘Incorrect training methods that promote concurrent rein and leg pressures used to “drive the horse onto the bit” result in false collection and compromise the welfare of the ridden horse. Such reduction in welfare may manifest as conflict behaviours [see my own articles on these in the September and October 2010 issues of ‘Equi-Ads’] and ultimately lead to wastage.’ Also: ‘In optimal training, the horse should be in self-carriage, and the weight in the rider’s hands should be the weight of the reins plus a light connection to the lips and tongue.’ Self-carriage is not an impossible dream beyond the reach of the ‘ordinary’ horse and rider. It develops very early on in all gaits, including galloping and jumping, with correct, humane training that a horse can understand. As for lightness, imagine a scale of 0 to 10, with zero being a completely loose rein and 10 being as hard as you could possibly pull: a contact regarded as light would be in the 1, 2 or maybe 3 range. SUSAN McBANE has an HNC in Equine Science and Management and holds the Classical Riding Club Gold Award. She founded the Equine Behaviour Forum in 1978, is the author of 44 books and co-publishes ‘Tracking-up’ with Anne Wilson (see advert in this issue). She teaches in Lancashire and surrounding counties: ring her on 01254 705487 or email her on horses@susanmcbane. com. Her website is at www.

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 51

Field & Stable

Life on a livery yard Unless you are lucky enough to own your own land, then you probably keep your horse at a livery yard. Another option is to rent land and/or buildings from a farmer or landowner; possibly erecting your own stables on rented land. Both the latter options are open to misunderstandings and disputes between people, but in my experience it is the livery yard which carries the highest possibility for friction. There are three categories of livery which are generally accepted in the UK, namely:1. Full Livery -where the horse is completely cared for by the yard owner and employees, including being exercised by them when the owner does not ride or attend. 2. Part Livery – where the horse has all his needs catered for by the yard owner or staff, but the owner is responsible for exercising the horse. 3. D.I.Y. – where the horse owner is completely responsible for the care of the horse. However, some yards do offer extras, such as turning out, mucking out, etc. on certain agreed days at an extra cost for each specific task. Due to financial constraints, I think that the DIY option is the one under which most people keep their horses these days. It doesn’t seem to matter, however, which option you choose; the chance of misunderstandings, arguments, and even bullying are just as likely whether you are a full livery client or on DIY. Very few of the problems which occur are caused by horses, but by people; both horse owners and yard owners alike are guilty of many unkind and even fraudulent acts. Choosing a Yard

Anne Wilson

Many good livery yards have a waiting list for places, so beware of a half empty yard; unless of course it has recently opened. If you don’t actually own a horse yet, then be prepared to wait for a place on a good yard. Obviously the first thing is to find a yard within reasonable travelling distance from your home or work, which you will be able to travel to easily. You need to make a list of your requirements in order of priority, i.e. an indoor school or outdoor manege, all year round turnout and arrangements for turnout (how many horses are turned out together and how is it decided which horses to turn out together); availability of good hacking, etc. This list could and should be very long, including types of bedding allowed (some yards do not allow straw); who has responsibility for picking up droppings in the field, and so on. Think hard about what you want for your horse. When you have found a yard which seems to fulfil most of your criteria, then a phone call followed by a mutually agreed visit is the next step. Whilst you are at the yard, it is best if the owner, after showing you around and explaining the basics, will allow you to wander around to ‘get the feel of the place’. Speak to other owners; watch a few minutes of a schooling session if one is taking place and the rider is agreeable. Try to time your visit to coincide with a time when horses are being brought in and possibly exercised, such as early evening in the summer, or later afternoon in the winter. Look closely at the stables, bedding, water facilities and quality of hay. You wouldn’t want to keep your horse at a yard where other owners are less than caring and you certainly wouldn’t want poor quality hay. Try to do all this as unobtrusively as possible; not only so as not to be a nuisance, but also because you will get a truer picture of what goes on. If you speak to a few people, and observe other owners interacting between themselves, you will hopefully get a feeling of how friendly or otherwise the yard is.

If most, if not all, of your criteria have been met and you think you would like to keep a horse there; this is when the serious business starts. My advice is that you need a written contract which is agreeable to both parties. If there is anything in the contract with which you are not happy, don’t brush it under the carpet – this may be the very thing which becomes a bone of contention later. Politely enquire as to whether that particular condition could be slightly altered, or maybe something added. At this stage I feel that it is best to be very polite but business-like. It is always difficult to point out a fault or deficiency to someone whom you have already befriended. Here are a few of the things which can cause problems which are often overlooked in the initial stages:1. Many yard owners, especially where the yard owner lives on site (which is best from a security point of view), do not allow clients access to their horses on a 24 hour basis. This is understandable if you think about it. They don’t want people turning up on their property late at night, especially in the winter when things generally shut down much earlier in the country than in the towns. However, I have known some yard owners to be quite unrealistic about this and refuse to allow anyone on the yard after 7.00pm. In my opinion this is quite ridiculous in the summer, since it is the only time at which many owners can ride. In any case, whatever hours of access are agreed, it should be unquestionably understood that 24 hour access is essential if a horse is unwell. Also if access is denied during the evening, then the yard owner should take on the responsibility of checking the horses later in the evening.

Made from extremely strong, flexible, 100% polypropylene and available in 3 sizes, it is tough enough to withstand assault by hooves and teeth, while its 52 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

disagreement between livery clients, so this needs to be clearly set out in the beginning. 4. Feeding times should be discussed in detail. I feel that it is quite unfair to horses who are stabled side by side, to be fed at differing times. This causes a lot of stress and resentment. It should be possible for a group of owners to get together and agree to leave the required feed and/or hay nets in a certain place, so that another owner can place them in the required stables, if the owner is late arriving. 5. Horses being turned out together is generally an essential to their wellbeing and happiness – BUT not if they don’t get on. Some yards separate mares and geldings. I can never see the point of this. Mares and geldings generally mix with each other with no problem; in fact I think a mixed group can work better in many instances than a single sex group. The main thing is that the horses like each other, and this can only be gauged by watching them. If one is being bullied then he or she needs to be taken out and tried with another group or maybe with another ‘loaner’.

2. How often and at what times horse owners are allowed to use the schooling facilities and the arrangements for a rota should be understood by all.

It is not uncommon for a new horse, on arrival, to be injured by a kick or bite from another when first turned out. This could and should be avoided by first turning them out in an adjoining field, so they can get to know one another for at least a few days, if not weeks, before being placed in the same field. This is just common-sense and used to be common practice, but unfortunately these days it becomes forgotten.

3. The space and facilities for feed and tack storage can become a source of

You may have other issues, such as a horse who needs restricted grazing in

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Anne with Lucy Lou

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Field & Stable the spring and summer. Speak to the yard owner about this before entering into the contract. You sometimes need to be polite but very firm in your insistence on requiring these facilities. If they are caring people they will not be upset by it. Frequently Encountered Problems Between People on Livery Yards Here we come to some of the most upsetting aspects of human nature. It is sad but true that many people on livery yards ‘gang’ together. They then tend to pick fault with anyone who is a bit different from themselves. I hear of this frequently in reference to classical riding. Many people don’t understand what it is all about and are only interesting in following the latest fashions of crank nosebands, draw reins and the like, in order to win rosettes. They frequently hang around to watch a classical lesson or schooling session, sniggering and making snide comments. Since these people have no patience, courtesy, understanding and very little brain power, they behave like ignorant school children. It is easy for me to say ‘just ignore them’, but not so easy to do, when they have a large following of like-minded fools and you are the only rider following the classical principles. It is likened to a Christian living in a land of Pharisees. It can make one feel lost, alone, upset and sometimes even cause one to question the wisdom of the classical masters. You really do need to distance yourself from these people. Unless they ask any questions, I find that it is usually best not to become involved in conversations about training techniques with contentious people. It usually ends in disagreement and frustration to us classicists. It is very impolite to stand watching whilst someone is schooling without enquiring as to whether the rider is happy for you to do so. Therefore I would ask them not to do it; in a polite and genteel way. If they go away sniggering, then that’s their problem, not yours. Just remember that you are not alone. There are many like-minded people trying to do the

best for their horses, who are shunned and ridiculed by the majority; in fact I think it has always been that way. Try joining the Classical Riding Club and subscribing to ‘Tracking-up’ magazine (see ad in this magazine). You will find lots of people who have suffered similarly at the hands of so called ‘equestrian experts’.

wrong with her, but only if she eats grass.”

There are other problems which may be encountered at some yards. These include the misappropriation of belongings. Such things as lunge lines and whips often go missing; possibly after being borrowed and not returned. It is probably best to keep your equipment, either under lock and key or to take it home; in order to avoid any ill feeling when things go missing.

I have really only scratched the surface of things that can go wrong at a livery yard, but please don’t be too despondent. There are many good yards, filled with happy horses and their owners. If you can find a friendly

I think the worst possible scenario of life on a livery yard is when the yard owner is not a caring horse person (possibly knowing little or nothing about horses). Sometimes these proprietors are unreasonable and impose conditions on the keeping of your horse which are far from ideal. Sometimes they even completely ignore the horse owners direct instructions and cause actual harm to the horse. I once kept my horse at a yard, on a part-livery basis (all her care should have been the responsibility of the staff, except for exercise). It was spring-time and I knew that my mare had sensitivity to rich grass, so I gave instructions that she should not be turned out for more than one hour per day. I arrived to exercise her one day, to find her in a state of colic. I was later informed that she had been turned out for four hours. After four or five vet’s visits she did recover, but it was touch and go at one point. After this I was insistent that she should not be turned out for more than half an hour per day. Unbelievably this instruction was again ignored just a week or so later, and she developed colic yet again. This was a yard which had been recommended by several people in the area and was run by a fairly well known event rider who had competed at Badminton. The latter fact seemed to impress people so much that it was assumed she could do no wrong where horses were concerned. My horse was only at that yard for another week, before I was able to bring her home. For the rest of her stay I had to attend to her morning, noon and night, to ensure that they did not put her life at risk again! Even after the second bought of colic the owner was unrepentant, saying “Well there must be something wrong with her if she can’t eat grass.” To this I replied “yes, I told you more than once there is something

I recount the above sorry tale because the point needs to be made that you should not automatically trust anyone with your precious horse until they have proved their worth – be wary and be warned.

yard where most of the owners get on with each other, it can be great fun and a source of inspiration, giving rise to camaraderie and lasting friendships. I really hope you find one. For more in-depth information about assessing a yard, a sample livery contract and suggested questions to ask a yard owner, and much more, please see Susan McBane’s book ‘The Horse Owner’s Essential Survival Guide’, published by David & Charles – a limited number of signed copies are available direct from Susan McBane, at only £10 plus p&p – phone 01254 705487.

Quality Wood the Hay Way With winter now upon us, why not treat your horse or pony to a cosy new stable or field shelter. Wood the Hay Way provide both internal and external stabling. Their stables and field shelters are custom built to suit individual customer’s requirements and are delivered and built on site by highly qualified family members.

are keen to talk through your ideas at an early stage. They will then discuss the bare bones of your design, offering you immediate feedback and provide you with an estimate. Wood the Hay Way can also meet for a site visit and discuss the layout and specification.

Wood the Hay Way pride themselves on attention to detail and high standards of workmanship with quality and customer satisfaction as a priority.

Visit the website www.woodthehayway. to have a look at the wide range of products available, the range is constantly being updated.

Phone or e-mail with your idea of shape, size and specification as they

E-mail or phone 01290 42177 or 077 90 30 7057.

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 53

Field & Stable

Vets collabarate to improve long distance horse transport Vets attending the first veterinaryled European Equine Transport Forum, held in Brussels on 29th November 2010, have agreed that their profession needs to take a leading role to help enforce the current Regulation governing the long-distance transport of horses, in order for equine welfare standards to be improved. In support, the BEVA Trust has announced the introduction of the BEVA Trust Equine Transport Enforcement Award of €1000, to be given annually to the individual or group of individuals working in the field, doing the most to improve enforcement of the current transport Regulation. The Forum was initiated by BEVA President Madeleine Campbell in conjunction with the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) and is sponsored by the BEVA Trust and World Horse Welfare. It attracted representatives from 38 nations; including a strong turnout from Eastern Europe where horses sourced for slaughter often start their journeys and Italy which is the end destination for the majority of these horses. The plight of horses sourced for slaughter was the main focus for discussion and the key issues raised for immediate address were: · The practical enforcement of the current Regulation at the beginning, middle and end of journeys · Consistent enforcement of the current Regulation across all Member States · That horses transported for slaughter should receive the same regard for their welfare as competition and leisure horses · The lack of adequate assessments of fitness to travel, leading to diseased horses being transported greatly increasing the risk of transmitting infectious diseases across Europe. These non-compliant shipments should be tackled through robust and thorough

veterinary examination at each stage of the journey, coupled with rigorous identification procedures for every horse to ensure traceability.

to ensure a long-term difference for the horse is by working in partnership. This event has provided a valuable opportunity to do just that.”

Delegates also examined the long-term need to change the attitude of Italian consumers, raising awareness of the current welfare issues related to their preference for fresh meat, labelled as Italian produce. In addition they discussed the impact on equine welfare of increased profits in sourcing horses in Eastern Europe and then transporting them long distances for slaughter.

Professor Sandy Love, BEVA Trust Chairman concluded: “The Equine Transport Forum and the BEVA Trust Equine Transport Enforcement Award are both practical tools with which to address some of the major equine welfare issues of our time. The BEVA Trust is proud to support both of these worthy projects.”

Dr Madeleine Campbell reported: “The atmosphere throughout the day was one of collaboration and determination to succeed. Proper enforcement of the current Regulation is the key to welfare improvements, as is the need for a system of best practice to drive a change in cultural attitudes about how horse meat is produced. A process of education is necessary so that consumers understand the welfare issues associated with long-distance transport and start demanding accurate information about where the meat which they are buying originally came from, and how far the horses travelled to slaughter. We are all in agreement that vets have a pivotal role to play in both education and enforcement, and that they want to play it.” Jo White, Director of Campaigns at World Horse Welfare welcomed this event: “This was a fantastic opportunity to examine the major welfare challenges relating to long-distance transportation of horses. The veterinary profession has a pivotal role to play in safeguarding the welfare of all horses transported, whether to slaughter or for other reasons. Through carrying out thorough assessments of fitness to travel and supporting colleagues faced with difficult decisions, vets can fulfil their role of protecting horses from unnecessary suffering. World Horse Welfare has been campaigning on this issue for over eight decades; we strongly believe that the best way

Nominations for the annual BEVA Trust Equine Transport Enforcement Award are open and can be made via the FVE and the BEVA Trust. The award will be judged by the FVE Working Group on Transport, and will be awarded for the first time in November 2011. The programme, abstracts and presentations from the Forum can be found at: index.html#conferences Mr Padraig Kenney, Chair of the FVE’s Working Group on Transport, argued that the current transport Regulation “ought to be protecting the good transporters and getting rid of the bad ones.” Slaughterhouses should refuse to accept animals in poor condition and vets should be increasingly willing to exercise their right to euthanase horses which were unfit to travel from the outset or were injured or diseased en route. Improved communication between vets and competent authorities at the point of departure, during the journey and those at the end destination would significantly help enforcement by picking up discrepancies. Dr Alexander Rabitsch, a veterinary transport inspector from Austria called for unified enforcement to put a stop to route deviations that intentionally avoided properly enforced check points, which could increase journey times. He pointed out that non-unified enforcement may confer an advantage on non-compliant transporters. Graeme Cooke, Head Vet at the FEI, explained that: “The FEI is not opposed to the slaughter of horses (for human consumption), but believes that slaughter should be as close as possible to the place of origin, and that slaughterhouses must remain open.” Dr Andrea Gavinelli, Head of the Animal Welfare Unit at the European Commission, pointed out that the distribution of slaughterhouses is

54 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

not the reason that horses are being driven across Europe for slaughter. The problem is that Italian consumers in particular want locally sourced, fresh meat, and if the horse is killed in Italy the meat is labelled as Italian. There is a need to change cultural attitudes so that legitimate consumers of horse meat become concerned about the meat’s origin and how far the horses have travelled. A compulsory meat labelling policy would make such information readily available. That it is currently more profitable to raise horses in Eastern European Countries and then slaughter them in Italy, rather than both raise and slaughter in Italy, was cited as a reason why long-distance transport still occurs. The fact that transporters can increase profits by including just a few extra horses on each lorry, frequently encourages non-compliance and exacerbates the welfare problem. The increased risk of the spread of infectious diseases through noncompliant shipments was a subject of concern. It was advocated that the microchipping of all transported horses and the scanning of every horse at every European control post and at every abattoir would ensure traceability and management of the risk. The BEVA Trust is the charitable arm of the British Equine Veterinary Association charged with supporting horse welfare through veterinary science. Founded in 1966, the Trust supports a wide range of projects from educational programmes for equine veterinary teams working overseas to early-career training for veterinary graduates. World Horse Welfare has led the campaign to end the long-distance transportation of horses for slaughter in Europe for many years. The charity has achieved a number of important successes to tangibly improve the welfare of horses involved in this trade. World Horse Welfare welcomed the opportunity to support the European Equine Transport Forum through sponsorship and delivery of a presentation; the charity believes that this event has provided an important platform for raising awareness of the key welfare concerns.

Field & Stable

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 55

Driver Training - Pilates

Pilates for Equestrians The second extract in our series by Liza Randall Let us now look at the Pilates Principles for Riders, which were mentioned last month, in more depth. Centring Think of your internal deep muscles as your centre, like an apple core, which starts in the centre of your head, and passes down your neck into your upper and lower back, trunk and ribcage, ending in your pelvis. This is where your core stabilising muscles can be found. Core stability is essential for your posture and is your ‘strength from within’. Once you have engaged these muscles, you immediately protect your back from injury and strain when you exercise or move around in everyday activity. Breathing In Pilates you need to breathe wide and deep into the sides of your ribcage. This is called thoracic or lateral breathing. To feel this, place your hands on your ribcage and breathe in wide and deep, filling your lungs with air. Imagine your lungs are a pair of bellows. Feel your ribcage expanding as your lungs fill with air and your diaphragm lowers, then breathe the air out thorough your

mouth. The wider and deeper you breathe in, the more fresh air you take in to oxygenate your blood. As you breathe out, try to exhale all the air you have taken in and you will find that, as your lungs empty, your diaphragm will start to rise and this, in turn, will help you connect your deep abdominal muscles from your navel through to your spine. Flowing Movement After spending hours perfecting your trot-canter transitions at home to ensure you and your horse are a picture of flowing movement when you enter the dressage arena at A, so you need to flow and demonstrate easy progressions and harmony when you are practising Pilates. As with learning anything new, be patient; flow will develop the more you practise, until it becomes second nature. It takes some time to develop, but the stronger your centre becomes, the easier it will be to move your arms and legs out from a stable core in a flowing, easy-looking movement.

Alignment, Co-ordination and Precision Alignment, co-ordination and precision of the body when in motion are the building blocks of Pilates and should be reflected upon regularly during a session, so as to enjoy the full effect of the movement and achieve balance in a co-ordinated way. You need to ensure that your body is in alignment before you even think about moving. As a beginner, ask yourself every time you finish a movement: ‘Am I level, straight; are my pelvis and spine in neutral; are my legs like tramlines to enable my body to move efficiently for maximum effect?’ Relaxation and Concentration Relaxation and concentration may appear to be almost opposites, but they both apply equally to Pilates. These two traits probably come easier to a rider as, to be successful in the saddle, you must be relaxed in your body to convey authority and leadership to your horse, but equally you need to concentrate your mind, especially if you are riding around a showjumping course or remembering complex movements in a dressage test. Tension is not an option! When scheduling-in a Pilates session, make sure it is at a time of day when you can concentrate fully on what you are doing and put everything else out of your mind. By putting aside a regular slot – whether it is fifteen minutes a day before breakfast or half an hour after evening stables four times a week – you will see your own body strengthening markedly and improving in tone and your mind benefiting from the relaxation Pilates offers. Stamina Just as you wouldn’t go to an event two

Reader offer Pilates for Equestrians by Liza Randall (Kenilworth Press) RRP £19.95 is available to readers at a special price of £17.00 (with free p&p) by phoning Quiller Publishing Ltd on 01939 261616 (please quote Equi-Ads when ordering).

56 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

weeks after bringing your horse in from the field following his winter break, don’t expect to be doing advanced Pilates a few weeks after you start! In Pilates the emphasis is on quality of movement – think back to the principles of alignment, co-ordination and precision – rather than quantity. Pilates is not about exercising until you drop or pushing yourself until you are physically and mentally exhausted. Mind-body As well as strengthening your body, Pilates does a power of good for your mental wellbeing, too. Your mind and body are connected – if you feel good physically, then your demeanour improves. If you have in your mind’s eye a poor body image of yourself, it often follows that you will harbour negative thoughts. Certain exercises – especially those that target muscle groups where we tend to hold tension, such as the shoulders, ribs and spine – can instantly give you a mental lift. If you can’t wait to see the next instalment in Equi-Ads, Pilates for Equestrians by Liza Randall is available from Kenilworth Press at RRP £19.95. Email: Tel: 01939 261616 Copyright c 2010 Liza Randall Studio Photography by Simon Lusty; mounted and other photographs by the author and Karl Randall Line illustrations and cartoons by Dianne Breeze Extract courtesy Kenilworth Press, an imprint of Quiller Publishing Ltd

Field & Stable - Insurance

Emvelo – Bringing the Freshness inside!

Horses stabled over winter deserve to be in an environment where natural products are used to help reduce the risk of disease and infection. Why is stable hygiene so important, particularly in winter? Good hygiene reduces the risk of disease, caused either directly or via cross infection with more animals brought in doors during the winter months. Cold weather can mask any odour problems, with these being generally associated with the presence of bad bacteria. Treating your bedding and stables with our product assists in repelling insects, reducing odours and thus harmful bacteria and so help provide a healthy stable environment. Using our products to help keep a hygienic stable environment Emvelo Stable has been shown to reduce ammonia odours naturally, by using a blend of beneficial micro-organisms and aromatherapy oils to provide a more pleasing aroma in stables and horse transporters. Using disinfectants has been shown to eliminate both good and bad bacteria. Emvelo Stabl, works to manage and re-balance the stable environment by encouraging the good bacteria and crowding out bad bacteria. Emvelo Stable applied to the bedding and surrounds can help suppress any harmful microorganisms that could cause diseases and the manure will dry quicker making it less odorous.

Need assistance keeping respiratory issues in check this winter? Coughs in horses in the winter months tend to be more common, often because contact between horses in stable situations leads to easy cross infection. The infection may also lie dormant but when the horse is subjected to any form of stress, the infection can surface. Strong ammonia smells can also irritate this further. Emvelo Breathe is a respiratory spray, applied regularly, provides symptomatic relief for horses with breathing difficulties. Emvelo Breathe helps to liquefy thick, sticky mucous and open up breathing passages, thereby reducing stress. Bring the freshness in this winter by using Emvelo’s natural products in the stable! For more information go to or email

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 57

Security - Training

The Science Behind The Horse Whisperer Traditionally riders have been told to never, ever show fear to a horse. Recent studies into the neurophysiology of emotion suggest that it is actually impossible to hide what you are feeling from your horse. For centuries people have struggled to suppress negative emotions. To emphasize logic over feeling as if emotions were by products of an undisciplined mind or imagination gone wild! Scientists in the late 20th century discovered that the human brain wasn’t actually in charge of this process, not by a long shot! Recent advances in the emerging disciplines of neurocardiology and neurogastroen-terology show that intelligence is contained in the body as well as the brain and that molecules carrying emotional information (neuropeptides) are not only generated by the brain but by sites throughout the body, most dramatically in the HEART and GUT. The heart also communicates information throughout the entire body via the electro magnetic field interaction which can be detected several feet away from the body. Shown in figure. 1. Physiologists now know that 60% of the heart cells are neutral, and there are more neural cells in the gut than in the entire

spinal column. As a result both the heart and the gut can act independently of the brain in gathering information and adapting to the environment. So when we say we have a ’gut feeling’ this is real. In this way the body serves as an aerial receiver for all kinds of information. It feels, learns and has definite opinions that sometimes contradict the brain When you are taught to focus exclusively on what an authority figure is saying, you may unquestioningly follow the instructions of your riding instructor and ignore your gut instincts about what is right for you. Suppressing gut feelings and wildly fluttering heart beats are not a long term solution for your riding difficulties. When you ride, or deal with your horse on the ground, your horse is paying attention to your body as if it were another horse. What you think you are communicating is much less important than what you are unconsciously conveying to the horse through your heart rate, muscle tension, breathing and the various emotions that cause those physical responses to rise and fall. Emotions are contagious to both humans and horses alike. This is shown in figure. 2. As animals possessing large and sensitive guts and hearts, horses exhibit a great talent for receiving and responding to emotional information. The body language of someone ’putting on a brave face’ is incongruent with the rise in blood pressure, muscle tension and emotional intensity transmitted unconsciously by an individual who is actually afraid.

Figure 1

Unless you are a sociopath, your blood

Freeze Marks are highly recommended It is not just Freezemark who will tell you that their marks are essential to security. Why do police, horsewatch and many other security and welfare organisations recommend this visible marking? The reasons are as follows:•

• • •

You do not need to get too close to read them –obviously this is vital in deterring unwanted intruders. Freeze marks are permanent. You do not need expensive equipment to read them Freezemark’s clients are supported by a 24 hour back-up service. Freezemarks increase security for welfare organisations, particularly when animals are homed away from their headquarters.

58 - Equi-Ads - February 2011


• •

If the worst happens there is a greater chance of recovery with a security tool that is so readily recognisable by so many people with or without equestrian experience. Freeze marks are inexpensive. Freeze marking gives peace of mind that you have done your very best to protect your beloved animals.

Freezemark Ltd is national and mark horses, ponies donkeys and mules. Contact Freezemark now for details on 01295 788226 or visit their website: Freezemark offer a 10% discount for bookings taken by 15 March 2011.

Figure 2 pressure, heart rate and breathing intensify when you are frightened or angry, even when you are wearing your best poker face.

blood pressure and response, which the animal demonstrates by sighing, licking and chewing, and by lowering his head.

It takes extra energy to hide our true feelings, which adds to the anxiety radiating from your body, through a complex process scientists are only now beginning to uncover.

So what are we supposed to do with troublesome emotions if we can’t actually hide them? Linda Kohanov, author of ’The Tao of Equus’ and Riding Between The Worlds’ discovered that there are predictable, quite rational messages behind troublesome emotions like fear, anger, frustration, sadness, grief and depression which she shared for the first time in ‘Riding Between The Worlds’ in 2003. Horses use emotion as information. Rather than suppressing emotions horses follow a 4 point method that any human is smart enough to learn in a weekend.

As prey animals, the volume of this recently discovered ’sixth sense’ is turned way up in horses, who become noticeably agitated in the presence of people who are incongruent (trying to cover up fear, anger or sadness with a feeling of wellbeing) This is not a judgment of our tendency to lie about what we are really feeling, it is a reflection of emotions, physiology and its contagious nature. Horses show signs of stress when the human handler or rider tries to suppress emotion, then calm down the moment the handler openly acknowledges that feeling. By making fear or anger con-scious (by becoming congruent), the handler effectively lowers his own blood pressure, even if only slightly. This is anough to drop the horses

1. They feel the emotion in its purest form 2. Get the message behind the emotion 3. Change something in response to the message 4. Relax and go back to grazing. This learned skill of embracing and discerning the messages behind emotions has great benefits to both horse and rider. AUTHENTIC positive feelings are contagious too. A person who truly feels peaceful and calm in situations that unnerve others can have a calming effect on everyone around him. This is a key skill in becoming a great rider You can contact Mike Khan on 07977 467 455 or

Field & Stable

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 59

Winter Care

Surviving the freeze We at Ross Dhu Equestrian are often asked how we manage our horses in this sort of cold weather and if we find it really difficult. The simple answer is no, it can be straightforward if not particularly pleasant as long as we plan ahead. The motto “be prepared” can be best applied to this type of winter and good planning and management can prevent a lot of problems with your horse. Believe it or not one of the biggest problems facing horses in freezing conditions is dehydration. We often think of this as a hot weather problem but if you think about freezing pipes or water troughs and thick ice then you realise your horse might not be getting enough water. How do you prevent this? We use automatic water feeders in our stables but no system will operate below -5oC and so we switch to using the corner feed mangers as water holders and feeding from door mangers at dinner times. We know that each manger holds around 2 buckets of water and we know how much each horse is liable to drink per day. Our outside tap is well insulated and only requires a few kettles of hot water poured over it to defrost. We always keep a kettle half full in our feed room ready to plug in to begin defrosting first thing in the morning. It is absolutely vital that you try to avoid your horses becoming too thirsty as there is a risk of them drinking lots of icy water or eating snow and this can chill the stomach and lead to colic. Always remove any ice you have broken from field troughs and it helps if you can pour hot water into these troughs to take the edge off the cold. In the stable always take the ice out of buckets etc before filling with fresh water and make sure it has not iced over before


the horse comes in. If you feel there might be a risk of your horse not having access to water in the field then only offer half a bucket of warmed water, giving the horse time in between buckets for the water to settle in their gut. We check all our water again at 9 o’clock to ensure that any horse that drinks a lot will not run out of water. We plan ahead for this by filling large plastic buckets or barrels with water from the defrosted tap earlier in the day and remove any ice prior to toping up the mangers. As a result our horses do not gulp down large quantities of water at any one sitting and so minimises the risk of colic. Feeding is very important at this time as it is essential that the horse gets plenty of roughage to maintain a healthy gut and to generate internal heat to keep them warm. A lot of people might panic about putting horses out in fields at this time, but it is essential that horses are able to move about to keep them exercised and to keep their gut movements healthy. Often horses stabled too much and fed large quantities of hay or haylage run the risk of blockages in the gut and yet again colic will happen. It is vital that your horse has some means of exercising and putting them out in a snowy field (even for a few hours) is not a problem, especially if the snow is deep. We have all weather standings for our mud fever sufferers (not an issue at present!) but we turn all the horses out in the field for up to 12 hrs a day in this type of weather. They can socialise and move around foraging under the snow for some tasty morsels. We also provide up to 6 ring feeders with haylage dotted about the field, so each horse has a choice of munching from the feeder or digging in the snow for grass. This allows the horses to occupy their minds and prevents boredom, it keeps them physically stimulated as walking (or running about) is harder in the deep snow. Any spilled haylage also makes a nice cosy platform to stand on whilst eating! If you can’t put your horses out in a field then perhaps a few hours in the indoor or outdoor school will do. Put horses out in pairs or small groups that get along and always give them access to haynets to keep their mind occupied and simulate foraging. Problems such as prolonged cold around the feet and legs causing arterial shunt (blood being diverted from the feet) can lead to problems such as laminitis attacks when the weather warms up. This can be avoided by ensuring that your horse has somewhere insulated to stand for a period of time. Our horses come in at night and because we have deep litter beds their feet and legs have the chance to warm up preventing damage through reduced blood supply. If your horse lives out then it might be worthwhile to throw some straw down on a hard standing area to give the horses something warm to stand on.

60 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

People often panic when it gets colder and start to increase the concentrate feeding their horses get. This, combined with confinement in the stable, can lead to real issues when the horse does finally get out and runs about trying to burn off excess energy. There is a real risk of injury to the horse in this situation and the simple answer is that your horse should not need any extra concentrate feeding (especially if they are not being ridden) but would benefit even more by additional roughage. The process of fermentation used to breakdown roughage creates a huge amount of internal heat, similar to an inbuilt central heating system. Please do not pour high energy feeding into your stabled horse that does not need it. Obviously feed according to age and type, some horses will need a little extra help to keep weight on and this can be done through high carbohydrate, low protein feed stuffs. It is also vital that you rug according to type and age. Do not over rug as this in itself can cause problems, such as rubbing etc. Most horses can survive very well without rugs if they are unclipped and hardy and you should only rug where necessary. Often a thin rug on a hairy horse will make them colder as their hair cannot fluff up to trap their body heat. Just because we feel cold does not mean the horse feels the cold in the same way, remember they are designed to live outdoors in all weather conditions, whereas we are softened by our cosy centrally heated homes. One of the biggest problems on a yard is the risk of slipping on ice or packed snow. This is more of an issue during a thaw and can be a real hazard for horses and humans alike. It is vital that you have a supply of grit or salt to hand to put down on pathways and tracks. We had ordered 2 one ton bags of grit prior to the freeze but our supplier did not deliver in time and now all the grit has gone. We are compensating by using sand thrown down

on cleared paths. Even if this freezes it should provide some grip for boots and hooves. There are other alternatives you can use such as hay or straw put down to give some extra footing, this may mean a really messy yard come the thaw but it is worthwhile if people and horses are safe. Lets not forget about ourselves! We need to keep warm and yes, hydrated during our horse work. Wrap up well in layers and it is worthwhile paying that extra money for a pair of well insulated boots with good grip. One of the best investments I ever made was to buy a pair of ski trousers during a summer sale. The difference is unbelievable, no more frozen thighs between boots and jacket and they are lightweight and waterproof. Always put on layers of clothing so that you can add or take off as you heat up or cool down whilst workingI know that some of you might find it difficult to be as prepared, perhaps you are on a DIY livery yard or rent a small field. However if you ask the yard owner for simple things like a grit bin or well insulated tap and electric points available for defrosting, they simply cannot refuse. You are not being unreasonable and this is usually all it takes to keep things running smoothly. Remember, yard owners have a duty of care for the animals, even on DIY yards and this includes access to fresh water. If you have a field kept horse then during the summer months it might be worthwhile getting hard standing or hardcore for the gate area. This will give you a good solid base to feed hay or haylage from and to put down straw for warm standing if necessary. When the warm weather returns it might be worthwhile thinking back to the problems you encountered during this cold season. Lessons learned now can be prepared for in the future. Think ahead and lay down plans to better prepare you and your horses to survive the big freeze!

Tack & Turnout

February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 61

News - Tack & Turnout

Horslyx Competition Winners! Congratulations to the following winners of the Horslyx competition in the December issue of Equi-Ads:

Horse Bit Hire bitting advice Following on from last month’s article mentioning the various types of link available, I will focus on the Neue Schule Team Up as this is often described as the modern version of the French Link. The Team Up has a curved mouthpiece with a rounded lozenge in the centre and is a good all round bit. It is available in two different thicknesses and therefore suits a variety of mouth conformations. It is particularly useful either from early training (and can indeed be used throughout the horse’s career) or re-schooling. The thicker Team Up (16mm) was very helpful





when I re-schooled my ex-racing TB, Woody, who had a very high head carriage and was very much up and behind the contact. He is a sensitive chap and was very tentative to take the rein forwards and down but this mouthpiece helped him tremendously. It is also useful for horses that are sometimes overactive in the mouth and tense in the jaw and neck. For further information and some case studies on the NS Team Up, please visit the website or call Gail Johnson on 07789 587302

Jade Vale, Dorset

Tara Gallagher, Broadley Common.

Sophie Miller, Kent

Thank you to all our readers for taking part!

Nupafeed Amateur Points Award

Nupafeed would like to announce their sponsorship of the British Show Horse Association Amateur Points Award for 2011, which will be open to all amateur members of the association. Prizes will be awarded at the AGM at the end of the year and will include nine different categories. Cards are free, so make

sure you get yours and start collecting your points! Information will be sent out to all amateur members upon registration; otherwise you can contact the BSHA or simply use the links on our site,

Transport your Smelly Dirty Rugs with ease The SMUG Bag makes it as easy as 1, 2, 3 The SMUG Bag has a 100% waterproof lining designed to keep the wet stuff in or the wet stuff out! There are sturdy handles to allow ease of carrying that can easily be slipped over your shoulder.


Open the d SMUG Bag an lay it down


Zip up your SMUG Bag and off you go to the cleaners


62 - Equi-Ads - February 2011

Brenda Miles, Sommerset



Place your dirty rug in your SMUG Bag

Valerie Harrison, Manchester

The dimensions of the SMUG Bags when folded ready for transporting are 26.5" high and 36" wide.

To order a SMUG Bag simply visit our website and place your order or send a cheque made payable to Stable Productions stating the amount of SMUG Bags you would like to order along with the colours to; The SMUG Bag Company, Cotton Farm, Windyedge, Perth, PH2 0PW



Classifieds - Directory - What’s On

Horse Transport Services CET and Defra Qualified - Fully Insured 24 Hour Emergency Call Out Member of Equine Rescue Service - Vet Trips - Shows

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Directory Crematorium Horse & Pony Cremation enquiries@hoofmove. 0845 0620088 or 07958 701651

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Genuine Individual Cremation. Leyland & Cheshire Pet Crematorium. Tel: 01772 622466

Property Abroad Brittany & Normandy Cardyke Overseas Properties


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What’s On Central Regulars Tues Eve, S/J Knebworth SJ, Manor Field, Park Lane. 2nd Saturday of each month Antrobus RC Open Dressage, Yew Tree Farm, Nr Northwich. Tel: 01606 891033. Every Day Dean Valley Farm Ride, Dean Valley Farm, Cheshire. Tel: 0161 4391945. Every Saturday, Heavy Horse Club, Milton Keynes Museum, 07889 339551

North REGULARS Every Weds Evening, S/J Horses and Ponies, Barton EC, Preston. Tel: 01995 640033. Every Weds Dressage Unaff Rossendale & Hyndburn EC, Accrington. Tel: 01706 213635. Every Thursday Senior BSJA, Hollingworth Leisure Park, Milnrow, Tel: 01706 644484 Every Friday SJ Unaff Rossendale & Hyndburn EC, Accrington. Tel: 01706 213635. Every Friday Evening SJ Unaff Indoor, Mill Lane Stables, Selby. Tel: 01757 702940. Every 3rd Sunday in March - Sept,

Rossendale Valley RC Show, Rawtenstall, Lancs. Tel: 07976 056677. Every Month Dressage Camp, Mill Lane Stables, Selby. Tel: 01757 702940. Every Day Dean Valley Farm Ride, Dean Valley Farm, Cheshire. Tel: 0161 4391945. Every 2nd Monday, Virtual RC meets in Chester.

Bossy’s Bibs The effective cure for rug rubs £18 - £20 Tel: 01442 824033

South Central Regulars Monday evening class, Contessa EC. Tel: 01920 821792. Tuesday Evening Advanced Dressage class, Contessa EC. Tel: 01920 821792 Tuesday 12-8pm, Clear Round SJ, Hoplands EC. Tel: 01794 388838 Wednesday Evening Novice Dressage class, Contessa EC. Tel: 01920 821792 Winchester RC, weekly dressage and S/J Clinics for all abilities on Tuesday eve & Thursday mornings, Woodhams Farm Equestrian, Kings Worthy. Thursday Evening Jumping class, Contessa EC. Tel: 01920 821792 Friday Evening Kids Club, Contessa EC. Tel: 01920 821792 Saturday - Heavy Horse Club, Milton Keynes Museum, Tel: 07889 339551 SJ Clear Round 10am-2pm, West Wilts EC, Trowbridge. Tel: 01225 783220 Wylye Valley PC Evening Rally 6pm, West Wilts EC, Trowbridge. Tel: 01225 783220

South West Regulars Monday – Dressage Clinic with Julia Buckle, Shannonleigh Stables. Every Monday - Bournemouth Horse Ball Club Training, Stocks Farm EC. Tel: 01202 57028 Every 2nd Wed, Dressage, St Leonards EC. Tel: 01566 775543. Wednesday - Jumping (Lwr/Higher), Badgworth Arena, Nr Axbridge, Tel: 01934 732543 February 2011 - Equi-Ads - 63

Insert Category What’s On Wednesday – S/J Clinic with Sarah Scott, Shannonleigh Stables.

East Regulars Monday Evening Class, Contessa RC, Colliers End, Tel: 01920 821792 Tuesday Evening Dressage Class, Contessa RC, Colliers End, Tel: 01920 821792 Thursday – Contessa Club Night, Contessa RC, Colliers End, Tel: 01920 821792 Friday – Kids Club 5.30pm, Young Riders Club 6pm, Contessa RC, Colliers End, Tel: 01920 821792 Saturday / Sunday – Kids Club, Contessa RC, Colliers End, Tel: 01920 821792

South East Regulars Tuesday to Thursday, Vicki Thompson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield, Tel: 01293 822414 2nd Tuesdays + Last Saturdays Clear Round SJ, Ingleden Park EC, Tenterden, Tel: 01580 765160 Wednesday, Clear Round SJ, Blue Barn EC, Tel: 01233 622933. Thursday evening SJ Unaff, Duckhurst Farm. Tel: 01580 891057. Thursday evening, Sam Ray SJ Clinic, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield, Tel: 07787 575475 Every 2nd Thursday (starting 19th July), Beginners S/J Evenings, Newthorpe EC, Newthorpe. Tel: 07917 303000. Tues-Sun, Group&Private lessons for adults&children, Badshot Lea EC, Kiln Cottage. Tel: 01252 312 838. Tues 1st Feb Wed 2nd Feb Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640

Sun 6th Feb

Tues 15th Feb

Sat 26th Feb

Snr Int / Amet, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057

Snr Progressive, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057

Fiona Foy Clinic, Manor Farm, Teffont Magna Tel: 07968 059434

Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640

Unaff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07951 121708

Pony Aff, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057

SJ Damian Charles Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 01342 833317

Wed 16th Feb

Unaff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07951 121708

Open SJ, Thorney Island SC, Emsworth Novice Show, Lydford Stables Devon Tel: 01822 820225

Dressage, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057

Sun 27th Feb

Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640

Trailblazers, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057

Mon 7th Feb

Thur 17th Feb

Fiona Foy Clinic, Wokingham EC, Chapel Green Tel: 07968 059434

Flat Work Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 833317

Colette’s Indoor SJ, Willow Farm, Faversham Tel: 07949 096086

Jump Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 837581

Fri 18th Feb

AGM, Taunton Deane Bridleways Conquest RDA. Tel: 01823 442953 Tues 8th Feb Wed 9th Feb Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640

-20th Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07967 676504 Sat 19th Feb Beginners Jumping, Lydford Stables Devon Tel: 01822 820225 Sun 20th Feb

Thur 10th Feb

Snr Int / Amet, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057

Flat Work Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 833317

Dressage, Dairyhouse Farm, Altrincham Tel: 07766 078745

Fri 11th Feb

Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640

Fiona Foy Clinic, Fortune Centre, Bransgore Tel: 07968 059434 Horse Sales, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07967 676504 Sat 12th Feb Fiona Foy Clinic, Manor Farm, Teffont Magna Tel: 07968 059434 Pony Aff, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057

Nr Lewes Tel: 01342 825453 Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640 Dressage, Avon RC, Tel: 01179 590266 Jnr Fun Show, Lydford Stable Devon Tel: 01822 820225 Mon 28thFeb Jump Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 837581 Tues 1st Mar Snr Progressive, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Wed 2nd Mar

SEH Point to Point Racing at Godstone Tel: 01435 866871

Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640

In Hand Show, Lydford Stables Devon Tel: 01822 820225

Thur 3rd Mar

Mon 21st Feb Fiona Foy Clinic, Wokingham EC, Chapel Green Tel: 07968 059434 Jump Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 837581 Tues 22nd Feb

Flat Work Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 833317 Fri 4th Mar Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07967 676504 Sat 5th Mar

Wed 23rd Feb

Colette’s Dressage, Willow Farm, Faversham Tel: 07949 096086

Thur 3rd Feb

Unaff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07951 121708

Flat Work Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 833317

Sun 13th Feb

Mini Novice, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057

Natural Horsemanship Clinic, Nr Lewes Tel: 01342 825453

Fri 4th Feb

Trailblazers, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057

Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640

Snr Int / Amet, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057

Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07967 676504

Colette’s Combined Training, Blue Barn Tel: 07949 096086

Gymkhana, Lydford Stables Devon Tel: 01822 820225

Unaff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07951 121708

Sat 5th Feb

Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640

Thur 24th Feb

Sun 6th Mar

Flat Work Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 833317

Trailblazers, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057

Fri 25th Feb

Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640

Driving Show, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057

SJ, Avon RC, Tel: 01179 590266

Natural Horsemanship Clinic, Nr Lewes Tel: 01342 825453

Unaff SJ, Blue Barn EC, Tel: 07748 707270

Colette’s Dressage, Willow Farm, Faversham Tel: 07949 096086

Open Show, Lydford Stable Devon Tel: 01822 820225

Unaff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07951 121708

Mon 14th Feb

Beginners Dressage, Lydford Stable Devon Tel: 01822 820225

64 - Equi-Ads - June 2010

Jump Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 837581

Fiona Foy Clinic, Fortune Centre, Bransgore Tel: 07968 059434 Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07967 676504 Ride with confidence 1 day unmounted workshop, horsham, west sussex. Booking information

SJ Damian Charles Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 01342 833317 Mon 7th Mar Jump Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 837581

Equi-Ads February 2011  

The Leading free equestrian magazine in the UK. February 2011 issue. Full of articles written by experts in their fields on equestrian train...