The Equine Health, Management and Training Magazine
How to cope with a horse on box rest
Respect: learning to pick up feet
Cross Country Coaching:
Challenging behaviour: excitability and laziness
WIN Tottie Gear worth over ÂŁ400 Equi_Ads_July_EngWales_Rev.indd 1
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Contents News ..........................1, 2, 46 Tack & Turnout .................... ...........................2, 38 - 42, 44 Directory..............................6 Feeding .......... 6 - 25, 46 - 48 Health Care ........................... ...................6, 22 - 31, 46 - 48 Feeding on Box Rest..........9 Nutrition for Behaviour ..... ..................................... 14 - 22 Field & Stable .......14, 31, 36 Cross Country ..................20 Wound Management .......... ..................................... 22 - 29 Strangles .............................24 Worming............................31 Pilates for Horses..... 32 - 33 Training..................... 33 - 34 Horse Behaviour ..... 34 - 38 Insurance .................. 35 - 39 Property .............................35 Saddling Up.......................40 Subscriptions.....................42 Tottie Competition ..........43 Fourflax Giveaway ...........48
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Who comes first - your horse or your other half ? L eading specialist equine insurer, Petplan Equine has received some interesting feedback from visitors to their Facebook page in answer to their tongue-in-cheek question: ‘Who comes first, your horse or your partner?’ The answer was a resounding 90% in favour of their equine rather than their human partner, with a number also placing their dog and/or cat ahead of their other half. Among the comments received were: • “Horse – that’s why I don’t have a partner any more!” • “Horse! Men are cheaper to replace.” • “The horse doesn’t abandon me for the pub.” • “The horse of course – the partner should be able to look after himself.” One long-suffering man even admitted that he was beginning to wish his name was Dobbin. However, some lucky horse owners appear to have the best of both worlds with comments such as: “My partner helps me with my horses and even cuddles me when I come home smelling like one” and “My husband loves my horses so I don’t need to choose.” Petplan Equine’s Head of Marketing, Isabella von Mesterhazy, commented: “I’m sure that there are many people who have long suspected they are behind their
other half ’s horse in the pecking order and this exercise has certainly proved that. On the plus side, it’s lovely to see how highly valued many of our horses are.” Perhaps the last word should go to horse lover Laura, who said: “Who loves you more, your partner or your horse? Lock them both in a stable overnight, then see who’s happy to see you in the morning!” Why not join the debate by visiting Petplan Equine on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ PetplanEquineUK
Riders needed for important research project E quine vets at the Animal Health Trust are appealing to horse riders to help with an important research project, to assess the interaction between horse, saddle and rider. Participants simply need to complete an anonymous online questionnaire. In so doing they will be helping to protect and improve the future health, welfare and longevity of the ridden horse. Dr Sue Dyson, Head of Clinical Orthopaedics at the Centre for Equine Studies at the Animal Health Trust and Line Greve, PhD Student, are conducting the detailed study to find out how the horse, rider and saddle can influence each other. They are particularly trying to understand better why a saddle may persistently slip to one side in some horses. “Saddle slip is a problem seen in all
sorts of horses and ponies and can contribute to back pain and thus impaired performance,” explains Line Greve. “Research suggests that 25% of British dressage horses have a history of back-related problems and subsequent reduced performance. Our preliminary studies involve just over 700 riders but for a more accurate picture we would like to bump this figure up to 1000 plus. We are urging all riders, whatever their level or ability, to help by completing the questionnaire.” The online questionnaire should take no more than 15 minutes to complete and all answers remain anonymous. The questions cover saddle types, fitting, use and maintenance; rider experience, training and ‘handedness’; as
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Q&A with BE rider and model Sophie Beaty B
ritish Eventing caught up with rider Sophie Beaty, the cover girl for BE’s new EquestrianClearance.com range launched by BE at the 2013 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. Sophie is aged 17 and is from Finedon, Northamptonshire. She represented Britain on the Charles Owen Pony Squad at the FEI Pony European Championships in both 2010 and 2011, taking team gold and bronze medals respectively. Q: Where did your love of horses stem from? Sophie: My Mum has had horses all her life so I started riding at a very
young age and did a lot of working hunter pony and Pony Club then slowly got into eventing. I was not sure that I would be brave enough but loved it from my first ever BE90 at Prestwold Hall.
Who was your first event horse/pony?
My first ever event pony was Domino (The Little Big Man) whom we bought from the Carmichael family. He was one of the coolest ponies I have ever had with a heart of gold who gave me so much confidence. We bought him to do working hunter pony and some pre-novice eventing but surprisingly ended up doing pony trials and he was even selected as my reserve pony for the Europeans in 2011. His stable mate who also came from the Carmichaels was my European ride. You were partnered in the photo shoot by the lovely Pink Gin can you tell us a bit more about him?
We bought ‘Pinks’ or ‘Pinky’ as he is known in the stable at the end of last year from some great local family friends whose daughter Antonia felt she could not carrying on competing whilst studying at Durham University. ‘Pinks’ by Gareeb, is roan in colour, hence his name and is super cool, extremely laid back and a bit of a chiller and I am hoping that he is going to surprise everyone and be my first 4 star horse to take me round Burghley and Badminton! Who is in your string of horses at the moment and what are your plans for them all?
At the moment I have three horses, Pinks, Stanly (owned by Alison Booth and myself ) and Navigator (owned by Lynne Earle, William Fox Pitt and Catherine Joice who is my Granny). I am aiming all the horses for the Junior Championships at Houghton and I would love to make the Racesafe British Junior Team as well as continue progressing up the levels this summer. What is your ultimate eventing goal?
My aim at the moment is to make a career out of riding and one day if I am lucky go to the Olympics. Who is your biggest idol in the sport?
I would have to say William Fox Pitt because it always has been and I am also so privileged to have the ride on one of his horses. Do you have other hobbies beyond riding/eventing?
I have lots of hobbies, mainly sporty things like lacrosse, hockey, skiing and then I am also quite arty and take both Art and Photography as A levels at Queen Margaret’s School, York. From your modeling session for BE at Rockingham Casle, which was your favourite item from the new range?
I really enjoyed the day shooting the BE clothes and love everything, especially all the breeches (so comfy!) and the zippy hoody. 2 | July 2013
New research shows equine lameness can be measured
or many years, opinions on the value of flexion tests in assessing equine lameness have been divided, but now new research looks set to turn what has always been regarded as a subjective process into a wholly objective one. The comprehensive study, recently published in Equine Veterinary Journal’s (EVJ) in partnership with the American Association of Equine Practitioners, has shown that a wireless, inertial sensor-based system can effectively measure the horse’s response to a flexion test. Flexion tests are used routinely in horses with subtle or imperceptible lameness, to exacerbate the problem and make it apparent to the observer. The test involves applying a short period of pressure to the joints of the limb before re-examination, and evaluating any change in gait. However, flexion tests rely on the ability of the observer to identify and interpret changes in the horse’s gait and in that respect these tests are subjective and not necessarily consistent between observers. The research study was conducted by orthopaedic surgeons based at the University of Glasgow’s School of Veterinary Medicine1. A total of 17 healthy adult horses, all in work, were fitted with sensors before being trotted in a straight line. The sensors measured vertical pelvic movement asymmetry for both right and left hind limb strides and the average difference in maximum and minimum pelvic height between right and left hind limb strides. A hind limb was randomly selected for 60 seconds of proximal flexion, after which the horse was trotted
for a minimum of 10 strides. Response to the flexion was blindly assessed as negative or positive by an experienced observer. John Marshall, lecturer in equine surgery at the University of Glasgow, who led the study, concluded: “A positive response to flexion resulted in significant changes to objective measurements of pelvic symmetry, supporting the use of inertial sensor systems to objectively assess response to flexion tests.” Professor Jim Moore, North American Editor of the EVJ, continued: “The introduction of an objective approach to documenting lameness examination will not only help vets and trainers to investigate equine lameness more accurately. It will also serve as an unbiased method of communicating lameness examination findings among vets, trainers, farriers and other professionals.” The next phase of research will be to establish cut-off values for objective assessment of other equine lameness diagnostic procedures, such as nerve blocks. 1Use of a wireless, inertial sensorbased system to objectively evaluate flexion tests in the horse, JF Marshall, DG Lund and LC Voute, EVJ ISSN 0425-1644 DOI:10.1111/j.20423306.2012.00611.x EVJ is an unrivalled international equine veterinary science journal owned by the British Equine Veterinary Association. The study is published by WileyBlackwell and can be accessed at http://onlinelibrary.wiley. com/doi/10.1111/j.20423306.2012.00611.x/abstract www.equiads.net
Are we being Blinded by Colour? Fiona Reed W
e probably all secretly confess to having a favourite horse colour. For many in the show world looking for a Hunter, Riding Horse, Hack or Show Pony top of list is likely to be a dark bay with little or no white, although many like a nice flashy chestnut with four white socks and white face. Others profess a passion for a nice dapple grey, whereas others looking for an easier life preparing for a show or event and would much prefer to steer clear of anything with any form of pale colouring. The old saying of “a good horse is never a bad colour” is so true on so many levels, as handsome is as handsome does but in ideal world we would like our perfect horse to also come in our preferred coloured robes. It isn’t that long ago that the main colours available were limited to bay, chestnut and grey. If you fancied a strawberry roan it would be likely to have a bit of Welsh blood to introduce the colour, or a dun would be part Connemara or Highland. The limited choice in Skewbalds and Piebalds would have a high percentage of gypsy cob blood. However, over recent years things have changed in a dramatic way, led mainly by the Coloured (Skewbald and Piebald) lovers. Their popularity has exploded across all disciplines from eventing, show jumping, dressage, even racing and with the biggest impact being seen in the show ring. More recently Spotteds (either pure or partbred Appaloosas and Knabstruppers) Duns (or Buckskins) and Palominos have become very popular and it won’t be long before they are seen widely across the equine world. As with any popular product, there are people there to fill the market and breeders are actively trying to breed whatever colour appears to be in demand. The scientific advancements allowing reasonably priced DNA testing for colour and the hereditary tendencies to produce colour has also hugely affected the ability to plan and predict the outcome of colour in any future progeny. When an animal is tested as Heterozygous to a specific trait (in this case a particular colour) it indicates it carries one copy of that particular gene and can reproduce that colour in its offspring, but this is not guaranteed. When tested as Homozygous it carries two pairs of the gene, thereby guaranteeing a specific trait in all offspring regardless of the genetic makeup of the other half of the mating. Therefore when trying to fulfill a specific trait, a homozygous stallion or mare is a valuable commodity as it eliminates doubt of the outcome
4 | July 2013
for that particular trait, in this case colour. Having discussed, albeit very briefly, the history behind the demand for colour, and touched even more briefly on the science, what about the impact of breeding or indeed buying, when looking for one specific factor as the highest priority, or in some cases, the only priority? When looking for a specific colour, what other qualities would you sacrifice to achieve that aim? Ability for the chosen job? Conformation? Temperament? Type? Soundness? Size? Breed? Price? If you want all your boxes to be ticked, you may well be in for a long, and expensive search. In our desperation for a horse of a certain colour will we ultimately have a horse that does not meet our needs in any other way? Should other criteria be paramount and the preferred colour an added bonus if we find it? When coloured horses first became popular there were a lot of very poor examples around, as breeders and dealers tried to cash in on their premium price. The standard of all coloureds has risen hugely since then, with ‘plaited’ types and also the traditionals, natives and cobs. This is partially due to the grading system of the two leading societies governing the colour, combined
with breeders meeting the need for improved standards. However, with the sheer numbers being bred and imported there are a lot of poorer quality specimens that still retain a slightly higher value purely because of their coat colour and pattern. Is this trend now likely to repeat itself in the current fashion for palominos, duns and buckskins? With the influx of continental “dilute” stallions, which are colours that will produce palominos from chestnut mares and buckskins from bay mares, there are now more of these colours coming through into horses where previously they were more regularly found only in pony bloodlines. In my opinion, when a stallion stands at stud and is to be used primarily for colour it is essential that it is free from all hereditary disease, has very correct conformation, is a straight mover and has an even temperament. I feel that all these qualities are even more important in homozygous stallions as they will attract a wide range of mares, who may carry a variety of faults but are being bred to this stallion because of the guarantee of colour rather than because the stallions other attributes match those of the mare. I was once discussing the homozygous debate with a leading coloured stud owner and stated that I would rather breed a good foal that happened to be bay than a poor one that was coloured. She agreed, but also pointed out that if someone has set their heart on having a coloured foal, no matter how good it was, they would be disappointed with a brown one. I can see this point of the argument too, particularly for the one time breeder, but am still concerned that in prioritizing one trait we are in danger of falling into the trap of doing so at the cost of what should be other very important considerations. What are your thoughts? Do you have a preferred coat colour? How high on your list of priorities does it come when planning to breed or buy? Equi-Ads would love to hear your views and opinions, and any experience you may have had in breeding or buying your own colour specific horse or pony. Let us know by email to email@example.com or by posting on our facebook page. www.equiads.net
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wing a horse can cost quite a lot of money but can provide one of the most rewarding and life enhancing experiences in a person’s life. Bonding with your horse adds a dimension of care to the relationship which benefits you both. It will come as no surprise to learn that, working with horses, juvenile delinquents, and even hardened criminals, become more balanced and more sociable 6 | July 2013
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people. They then are a valuable source of emotional stability in an increasingly bizarre world. Horses have distinct personalities and a very proper sense of their own worth as befits a herd animal. Yet, their relationship with humans is unique! They are the only prey species to bond with a predator species, i.e. us! Wrapped up in their role as a subordinate partner, they adopt some of our priorities as their own. And since we’ve used their natural
Nervous? Anxious? Tense? P erfect Performance helps to calm anxious and nervous horses and riders. If nerves are affecting performance when competing, Perfect Performance will help release anxiety and fears and help to stop ‘mental chatter’ which can lead to lack of focus. Debbie Boylan, winner of 2 classes at HOYS, stated how much Perfect Performance had helped herself and her two horses. As the products contain no banned substances, leading riders from the showing, dressage and show jumping worlds are using these winning solutions to great effect. Not only do they promote a competitive edge, but equally they are fantastic when used at home in training, handling and hacking out as well as stressful periods, for example the run up to competitions. At these times it can especially help the rider, if they are feeling the self imposed stress of competing to the best of their abilities, or anticipating problems that have previously occurred. Circumstances in which it can be used: For horses - which are uptight in the collecting ring; highly strung, nervous or anxious when on box rest. Event horses before the dressage. Show jumpers/working hunters for helping to encourage greater concentration, without losing presence or energy. Show horses for settling in electric atmospheres. Helps horses relax when hacking out. For riders - who are tense, fearful or worried; overly competitive or anxious. Are nerves affecting your performance? Anxiety can stem from many things, sometimes it can just be that you are plain terrified, sometimes it can be that that you are frightened of failing, or showing yourself up in front of people. More often than not anxiety tends to stem from thoughts about the outcome of a class you are competing in -something you have no control over! At home you may have worries such as, will he worry that the other horses have been turned
out? Will the windy weather affect his concentration? Will the roads be busy? Or at a competition, will the judge like my pony? Will my horse go well? Will I win and qualify? Will the ground be good? Perfect performance helps you to release all these anxieties and fears by being able to give you satisfaction from the process of preparing and competing without worrying about the outcome. Perfect performance helps to stop mental chatter that is getting in the way of you riding your best and helps to put you into the winning zone, by helping to put the enjoyment back into competing. How do they work? We have taken two healing modalities well known in the equine world, aromatherapy and flower essence therapy (made famous by the Bach remedies with Rescue Remedy) and have synergistically combined them to get the healing benefits of these two wonderful healers, to great effect. The science behind these products is that they work through a two pronged effect; the spray targets the olfactory system, which provides instantaneous effects as a surge of endorphins are released. The drops work by flooding the body through the blood brain barrier in the mouth. Through the combination of aromatherapy and flower essence therapy the horse and rider are helped to overcome emotional barriers that were previously blocking progress. It costs £22 and can be purchased on www.forestfarmacy.com
behaviour traits to “domesticate” them, they become extensions of ourselves. Accordingly, we owe it to ourselves to do our best for them and to care for them properly. Apart from breeding, the horse’s main preoccupation in life is feeding, and proper appropriate feeding is an expensive business in these hard times. Fortunately, there is a way that you can get more out of your feeding regime, whilst at the same time helping your horse to “do better”. This is to adopt an age old
strategy used by our own species for millennia. This is to add small amounts of “Happy Tummy”TM charcoal to the feed. This adsorbs toxins so helping to make the digestive system work better. This action brings about a noticeable improvement in health and condition, the end result being a healthier, happier horse that is “cheaper to keep”! Full details and advice on use are available free on 01600 712 496 or go to www.finefettlefeed.com www.equiads.net
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Box Rest • Feeding
How to cope with a horse on box-rest Dr Derek Cuddeford, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh
any horses are kept stabled in loose boxes or stalls throughout the year, extreme examples would be racehorses that are probably in loose boxes for up to 23 out of every 24 hours every day. The Household Cavalry in Knightsbridge Barracks are stalled for similarly long periods of time on a daily basis. Effectively these animals are on boxrest! However, many domestically kept horses are also housed for long periods every day often because their owner is at work. Box-rest refers to keeping horses confined 24/7 although in my view when you consider the above many horses share a remarkably similar situation although mitigated by short periods of exercise. The purpose of box-rest is usually to allow animals to recover from some form of surgical intervention involving the legs or abdomen. Prior to the intervention, horses may have been very active and fed high levels of concentrate feed and clearly this cannot continue. Others may have received little concentrate and be physically unfit. The former type of horse will adapt less well to confinement and the absence of regular demanding physical exercise than a horse that has been inactive. Another point to consider is that the athletic horse has probably been kept in a box as part of its routine management and thus will be familiar with being housed for long periods and is thus possibly well-adapted. However most horses are like young children whose incarceration in the house on a wet day leads them to become hyper and less manageable. It should be clear then that many horses are kept in a box most of each day but that they get out
for brief periods of exercise as part of a fittening programme that allows them to “let off steam”. They thus remain manageable even though fed vast quantities of concentrate and limited amounts of forage. The horse requires energy and nutrients on a daily basis for maintenance purposes and to support work. During box rest a horse only needs enough energy (calories) to maintain itself and thus generally speaking, concentrates are unnecessary since forage should be sufficient. However, it is important to realise that a horse that has undergone surgery of whatever type needs additional nutrients to support repair processes. Most obviously protein will be needed together with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Thus, depending on the nature of what has taken place, a low volume balancer may well be necessary to ensure nutrient adequacy. Having established the principle that forage will be the sole provider of energy we must be careful to make sure that it is not energy dense because we will want to ensure that our box-rested horse can be fed forage ad libitum in order to allow it to fulfil some of its normal behaviour. Housing curtails normal activities that include social and locomotor behaviours but there is no reason to prevent aspects of normal feeding behaviour. Obviously it is impossible for the horse to engage in all aspects of normal foraging behaviour. However one can go some way to rectifying this situation by providing mixed forage at different sites in the stable and also concealing some succulents in the bedding (must be clean!).
I would always go for straw bedding as horses will “graze” on it and in this way it adds diversification. It is generally accepted that restriction of feeding time in housed horses leads to the development of abnormal behaviours characterised best I suppose by the oral stereotyped activities such as licking, cribbing, windsucking, etc. So, how to provide ad libitum forage without fattening the horse? To some extent this depends on the nature of the beast. A Cob is more likely to fatten than say a restless, fretting Thoroughbred. Clearly one must know if we are dealing with a “good-doer” or a “hard keeper”. The former requires the selection of very low energy forage and this is not synonymous with poor quality in the terms of hygiene. The highest hygienic quality forage is mandatory for a horse stuck in a box 24/7 because it might recover from the original ailment but could end up with respiratory problems such as Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO) following housing.
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Clean straw is the lowest energy forage that is available and this can be mixed in different proportions with a low quality mature hay such as Timothy/Cocksfoot; proportion depending on the type of animal to be fed. Both Timothy and straw are not very palatable (good) and are very fibrous requiring a lot of chewing (good). Haylages tend to be more palatable because they are “wetter” and are also more energy dense on a dry matter base because the material is usually cut at a younger stage of growth. Thus, if you want to feed haylage because of its hygienic quality then you will have to make the horse work hard for it so ultimately it gains less dry matter. Double haynets and those with very small holes can help to frustrate the rapid intake of haylage. If you have pretty good quality forage you can reduce its energy value by soaking it to help remove some of the energy-rich soluble carbohydrate. Remember that you will also leach out some minerals so this must be compensated, perhaps with the use of a balancer. To reduce the stress of housing 24/7 you can walk out your animal providing the vet approves this strategy. Allowing it to pick at some grass whilst on a lead rein will provide a welcome relief to the horse and all consuming boredom to you-it could be worse though since you could be in the box and
only walked out once per day for the odd 20 minutes! Distraction can be provided to the horse in a number of ways. For example an unbreakable mirror attached to a wall will help the horse to imagine it has company. Various devices are available for use in the box. Taking a tip from the Scots who like to go in for such activities as “dooking for apples” at Halloween, why not offer this activity to your horse at other times of the year? A well known Scottish delicacy is the swede referred to locally as a “neep” and is typically consumed alongside haggis. Suspending said swede from the ceiling of the box provides no end of entertainment for your horse and a wacking great bruise on your visage if you forget it is there! There are various stable “toys” available that provide the horse with the opportunity to lick sweetened treats (small amounts provide few calories) and, as they are often not fixed, it can keep them engaged for ages. It has been confirmed that these stable “toys” are beneficial in terms of normalising behaviour. In conclusion, the lot of a horse on box-rest is not that much worse than that of many valuable horses that are kept for commercial reasons. The key to successful management of the box-rested horse is to limit energy intake, secure nutrient intake and provide some distractions..
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Feeding horses on box rest
aving a horse on box rest can be extremely stressful for both horse and owner. It usually involves more cost through bedding and more time spent mucking out. It can be especially difficult if the horse was fit and in full work and injury has caused him to be on box rest. One minute they are being worked hard every day and the next they are asked to stand in a stable for 24 hours a day! It is therefore no wonder that some horses don’t settle straightaway. Nutrition can play a major role in recovery and ensuring the horse is getting all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients in their diet will aid a speedy recovery. If your horse was in hard work, he will probably have been on a high starch diet. Ensuring this is changed to a high fibre, low protein diet will maintain good digestive health, whilst prolonging ‘chewing’ time, thus helping to keep the horse occupied and reduce the risk of stable vices forming. Alongside a high fibre diet, it is recommended to feed a good quality feed balancer such as Blue Chip Original, which contains the optimum level of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, many of which are in a bio-available organic form. Combined with a comprehensive hoof and respiratory formula, Original, as with all the balancers in the Blue Chip range contains a complete respiratory supplement which contains garlic, eucalyptus, mint and antioxidants, all vital in keeping a healthy respiratory system whilst on box rest. The high levels of probiotic yeast in Blue Chip balancers will help the beneficial bacteria in the gut to thrive, helping to prevent any digestive upsets. Some horses can quickly gain weight whilst on box rest if their feed isn’t monitored carefully, so if you
12 | July 2013
Box Rest • Feeding
find your horse is gaining too much weight, swap to a low calorie, low sugar, low starch diet feed balancer such as Blue Chip Lami-light to ensure the horse is still getting the essential vitamins and minerals needed without encouraging weight gain. All Blue Chip balancers are recommended to be fed at 100g per 100 kilograms of bodyweight. To help extend fibre digestion, try double or triple netting your hay so the horse needs to work harder and takes longer over his fibre intake. If your horse is also prone to putting on weight or you think he is becoming overweight, soaking hay to reduce the calorie content can be very useful without having to limit the amount of fibre fed. Hay may be soaked for several hours to reduce the soluble carbohydrate content and therefore the calories. Treats such as swedes can be hung from the ceiling and apples floating in water can also help to keep your horse occupied. A lot of horses may need a calmer whilst on box rest to help keep them relaxed and less stressed whilst being stabled for long periods. Feed a natural calmer that is safe to use on a daily basis, such as Blue Chip Karma, or for instant effect, Blue Chip AppleCalm or CarrotCalm, which all include the superior water soluble form of magnesium that is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Along with the generous levels of magnesium, Karma and AppleCalm and CarrotCalm contain L-tryptophan, which is one of the building blocks of serotonin productiom, a hormone produced in the brain that helps to keep the horse in a settled and relaxed state. For advice on what to feed the horse or pony on box rest visit www.bluechipfeed.com or call 0114 266 6200.
Baby’s got new boxes! R
ockies’ Baby Pure, Baby Red and Baby Yellow Licks have recently been rebranded, to help give customers more information about these great value, easy to feed products. Baby Pure, as the name suggests, is a salt lick made using the purest, premium Cheshire salt. Baby Red combines this quality salt with copper for bones, joints, growth and fertility with magnesium to help address any deficiency. In Baby Yellow, copper and magnesium are replaced with cobalt, which helps to produce vitamin B12 for growth and performance, and selenium for the immune system. “As part of our commitment to our customers and our retailers, we’re always looking at ways to improve, and helping people make an informed choice as to how they spend their money is a key objective,” says Jeremy Sample from Rockies. “Our new packaging helps to explain how our products could help their animals, and also emphasises one of our USPs; the way our products are manufactured and how this means that they are hardwearing, won’t crumble and are long lasting. These features and our prices help to make them really excellent value.” All licks are made in Rockies’ Cheshire factory, using specialist machinery that creates each and every lick under high pressure. Pressing the licks in this way makes them hard, helping Rockies’ product range to stand the test of time while delivering great quality, value…and a much better carbon footprint too as everything is made in the UK! Baby Pure, Baby Red and Baby Yellow Licks are available in 2kg blocks, which fit into conventional salt lick holders, and have a RRP of £2.75 each. For more information, see www.rockies. co.uk, email info@rockies. co.uk or call 01606 595025.
Coping with a horse on box rest
he two main priorities to bear in mind when a horse is on box rest are maintaining a healthy digestive system, and relieving boredom to prevent them from getting stressed and agitated. Horslyx provides a solution for both and helps extend eating times and maintain condition whilst balancing any deficiencies in the diet. The unique, palatable lick is easily digested and encourages a natural trickle feeding pattern to keep horses entertained for hours, as well as provide the necessary vitamins, minerals and trace elements to ensure optimum condition. Horses have evolved to efficiently digest sugar providing the intakes are little and often as they are when grazing, eating hay/ haylage or when licking Horslyx. Because the molasses in Horslyx is fed ‘little and often’ the nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine and don’t upset the balance of micro flora in the hind gut – which significantly reduces the risk of digestive upset. If a horse or pony is on restricted rations of forage to control calorie intake, they may be hungrier, which increases the risk of overconsumption – because there is nothing else to eat! Try reducing forage quality rather than quantity to bulk out his diet and help reduce the risk of digestive upsets. (For example feed hay rather than haylage, or mix hay and clean straw for a lower nutrient value). Allowing them restricted access to Horslyx will give you peace of mind that their forage and grazing is balanced, without the risk of adding unwanted calories. Restriction can be physically allowing them access for 1-2hrs per day or using the 5Kg Holder with the restrictor bars which will allow 24hr access with a restricted intake. Horslyx is available in four different formulations, Original, Respiratory, Garlic and Mobility allowing owners to feed specifically to their horses’ requirements in one cost effective, easy and effective method. Horslyx is available in 5kg, 15kg and 80kg weatherproof tubs and costs from just 28p per day based on the recommended intake for an average 500kg horse fed 80kg Original Horslyx. Mini Horslyx is also available, which is ideal for offering as a hand held reward or distraction during stressful situations, such as vet visits. For further information tel, (01697) 332 592 or visit www.horslyx.com
Sensible Feeding W
hether you are feeding the pony club pony who tends to carry a little too much weight, the horse sidelined through injury or the hot headed youngster, Forage ‘n’ Fibre will help provide you with all the essential nutrients on a high fibre base. The high fibre content is sourced through a blend of super fibres which helps make Forage ‘n’ Fibre very palatable, with the high fibre levels helping ensure a healthy hind gut. Cereal free with a very low starch and sugar content Forage ‘n’ Fibre is a very versatile product and helps provide the low energy levels required for good doers, horses on box rest and those requiring a non-heating diet. It also contains all the essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements so that you can rest assured that your horse is receiving a fully balanced diet. A light coating of Soya Oil is also added to help maintain coat and skin condition. By feeding Forage ‘n’ Fibre daily your horse will look the picture of health. For more information please contact Rowen Barbary Horse Feeds on 01948 880598 or email email@example.com
CalmingXxxxxxxxxx • Feeding • Stables
On Best Behaviour
olshy, hotting up, fizzy and excitable are names used to describe unwanted behaviour in horses. However, as Emma Hurrell BSc (Hons) equine nutritionist at Allen & Page Horse Feeds explains, whilst this kind of behaviour often has a root in natural instinctive actions used for survival (known as the flight response), the effects can be undesirable. Although feeding cannot change the natural character of the horse, or alter instinctive behaviour, incorrect feeding can often cause exaggerated responses to harmless, everyday situations. Horses and ponies have evolved as trickle feeders, grazing for around 18-20 hours a day, eating small, frequent meals of low nutritional value. Modern management however, can mean that time out at grass is limited and for some horses, the demands of work mean a completely forage based diet will not fulfil their energy requirements. These factors have led to a change in how many horses and ponies are fed. It is now routine to feed two, relatively large meals a day that are high in starch and sugar. Although feeding in this way often proves convenient for owners, it can be detrimental to the horse, resulting in physical problems (for example, gastric ulcers) and/or behavioural issues. High starch and sugar diets When food is digested and absorbed it enters the blood stream and causes blood sugar to rise. This happens after every meal, but diets high in sugar and starch bring out a much greater response than fibre. Starch and sugar are broken down in the small intestines and absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. Sugar circulating in the blood is the most accessible form of fuel for the horse and can be beneficial for horses that need an instant burst of energy. However, there is not enough in the circulatory system to sustain exercise for long periods. When blood sugar reaches
a certain level, the hormone insulin is produced which causes the sugar in the blood stream to be stored in the cells of the body - blood sugar usually peaks around two hours after a meal. For some horses, the sugar contained in the blood can cause excitable behaviour and the greater the blood sugar peak, the more chance there is of your horse showing unwanted behaviour. When we feed our horses limited forage and large meals such as mixes or pellets, the peak in blood sugar can be exaggerated. Unlike high starch diets, a diet high in fibre causes less extreme peaks and troughs in blood sugar, which means there is less available excess sugar circulating in the blood that may cause an increase in excitable behaviour. The reason for this is that fibre is broken down in the hindgut by bacteria much more slowly. Bacteria ferment the fibre, which then releases volatile fatty acids - compounds that the horse can use as slow release energy.
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14 | July 2013
Too much energy For some horses it is not just a matter of addressing the source of the energy or calories in their diet but how many calories and therefore how much energy they are consuming. For example, feed ingredients such as unmolassed sugar beet and linseed oil are low in starch and sugar but are high in calories/energy. For a horse that does well on very little, feeding diets that contain these high energy/calorie feed ingredients, when they are not needed for weight maintenance or work, means the energy they provide could potentially fuel excitable behaviour.
addressing excitable, fizzy behaviour in horses is the possibility of intolerance to a feed ingredient. For some horses, normally nutritionally sound ingredients appear to cause unexpected and unwanted reactions. Individual horses react differently, often through physical symptoms such as hives, but feed intolerances can also result in unwanted behaviour. Feed allergies in horses are rare, while intolerance to a specific feed ingredient appears to be much more commonplace; intolerances to common feed ingredients such as barley, molasses and alfalfa also seem to be increasing. This is something to consider if a reduction in overall energy/calorie consumption and dietary starch and sugar have been minimised. Feeding will not necessarily solve the problem of unwanted behaviour in horses but with correct feeding, it can become more manageable. For more information on feeding your horse, call the Allen & Page award winning nutritional helpline on 01362 822 902 or visit www.allenandpage.com
B y a t
Intolerances Another consideration when
Beat Box Rest Blues H
ow to best support your horse when on box rest can be confusing but the experienced, friendly staff at Aivly are happy to help. Feeds formulated to offer essential nutrients to ensure optimal health while avoiding a rich diet include the supplement NAF Slimline which offers vitamin and mineral support for horses on a low calorie diet and can be fed in conjunction with a chaff such as the maintenance basic, Dengie Hi-Fi Good-Doer. Pre-formulated feeds for horses on a low intake ration while on extended periods of box rest or recovering from illness or injury include Dodson & Horrell’s Convalescent Diet. Containing high quality protein, antioxidants and extra B vitamins the diet encourages palatability and condition without excitability and indeed the diet is oat free and contains added magnesium to optimise the horse’s ability to cope with stress. Returning to the supplement shelf and Global Herbs Box Rest offers nutrients to aid recovery and promote calm but you can also look at other avenues to keep your horse entertained. Game-based treats such as hanging mineral licks to trickle-feeding balls are one option while for the complete stable toy, look at the equine play station including mirror - to simulate companionship and a variety of toys for him to nuzzle. Visit Aivly Country Store, Ringwood, BH24 3EA or order at www. aivly.com or via tel 01425 472341. www.equiads.net
F n h
D f * Q
AP Ad_The Steps_210x297_12.3.13_Layout 1 16/04/2013 09:47 Page 1
THE BARLEY & MOLASSES FREE RANGE
STEP-BY-STEP Barley Free – Low Starch, Molasses Free – Low Sugar*
By moving up and down the Barley & Molasses Free Range, you can provide your horse or pony with exactly the right amount of energy as his needs change throughout the year.
Power & Performance®
Calm & Condition® Step four: Estimated DE 12.5 MJ/kg
Veteran Vitality® Cool & Collected®
Ride & Relax®
Step two: Estimated DE 9.5 MJ/kg
Step two: Estimated DE 9.5 MJ/kg
At rest or light to medium work
At rest or light to medium work
At rest or light work
• High fibre, low starch, low sugar
• A palatable light muesli mix with added mint
• High in fibre and low in starch and sugar
• Quick soak – less than 3 minutes!
• Quick soak – under 60 seconds!
• Ideal for horses and ponies with feed related behaviour issues
• Highly digestible with high fibre energy sources • Slow release energy from fibre and oil
• Highly digestible with slow release energy sources
• Includes linseed, a good source of Omega 3
Fast Fibre® Step one: Estimated DE 8.0 MJ/kg
• Suitable for good doers and those prone to laminitis • Can be fed as a partial or complete hay replacement
At rest to hard work
Step three: Estimated DE 11.0 MJ/kg At rest or light to medium work • High in fibre, with a good calorie level to help maintain weight
• For horses that need to put on or maintain condition, or for those working hard • Quick soak – less than 10 minutes!
• Quick soak – less than 3 minutes! • Highly palatable and easy to chew for horses with worn or missing teeth
• Slow release energy from fibre and oil • Contains linseed, a good source of Omega 3
Step five: Estimated DE 12.8 MJ/kg Hard work • Unique highenergy competition feed • Highly digestible with slow and fast release energy sources • Ideal for horses and ponies in hard work such as eventers, dressage horses and hunters • Boosted with vitamins, minerals and electrolytes for performance
• Includes linseed, a good source of Omega 3
For veterans As fed by Pippa and William Funnell
Fast Fibre® – ideal by itself or as the feed from which everything else can build
For friendly and helpful advice, contact our award-winning nutrition helpline today on 01362 822 902, email email@example.com or visit www.allenandpage.com Digestible Energy (DE) levels correct at time of printing. To get the full benefit from these feeds they must be fed at recommended levels. *When compared to traditional diets with comparative energy levels. Quote Advert: Step216
Winners of the 2013 HAYGAIN Nutritional Helpline of the Year Award, for excellent advice and customer service July 2013 | 15
Calming Xxxxxxxxxx • Feeding
CHALLENGING BEHAVIOUR – Excitability and Laziness Verity Beaton BSc (Hons), Product Manager, T.E.N. Supplements W
e ask our horses to do many things they wouldn’t normally do in the wild such as carrying a saddle and rider, walking into a dark stable, travelling in a confined horsebox, jumping coloured obstacles, riding along busy roads, the list goes on. However all horses are individuals and will not react to these situations in the same way. In the extreme you can have some horses which are so nervous or excitable that every situation is a challenge yet there are others that are so laid back you can barely get them to trot. Pain can be associated with a change in behaviour so it is always a good idea to contact your vet and have your horse checked over. Badly fitting tack can also affect a horse’s way of going, so having your saddle and bridle checked by a qualified fitter on a regular basis is important. In some cases excitable or laid back behaviour can be modified with correct training so it might also be worth discussing your issues with a suitable instructor. It’s also worth considering your horse’s diet as, for example, high starch diets can increase excitable behaviour in some individuals. Furthermore, some horses can become lazy if they become overweight and so it’s best to keep them slim and fit. If you are having behavioural problems with your horse it is worth addressing all these issues before taking a look at the role of calming supplements. There are many calming supplements on the market and even some to increase energy, but why and how do they work? Supplements for Excitable Horses Having a nervous or excitable horse can ruin your enjoyment and interfere with training, schooling and competing. However there may be some ingredients, found in supplements that may help. Magnesium
Magnesium is very much talked about in the equine world where it is believed to help alleviate nervousness. In fact it is now the most common ingredient found in calming supplements and in piglets it has been shown to have a beneficial effect. While there are no relevant scientific studies to support a calming effect in the horse, there are numerous case studies from horse owners who believe that feeding magnesium has helped to support calmer behaviour in their horse. Magnesium oxide, which is often used
as a source of magnesium in supplements, may also act as a buffer in the hind gut by helping to neutralise excess acid, which can sometimes lead to behavioural issues in some horses.
known to be used by people all over the world to treat anxiety and is a common herbal ingredient in calming supplements.
Lemon balm is another commonly used herb in human supplements, taken for its calming effect and to help with sleep disturbances.
Thiamine, a common ingredient in horse calming supplements, is important for the correct functioning of the nervous system. Deficiency in humans can lead to serious alterations in brain function. As yet there are no studies to confirm that thiamine supplementation in the horse can result in calming behaviour but there are case studies of owners who believe it has helped improve their horse’s behaviour. Pyridoxine is important in the production of the neurotransmitters of the central nervous system such as dopamine and serotonin. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers of the brain, which are important in modulating behaviour. Folic acid is another important B-vitamin which is involved in many functions within the body but of particular interest is its role in the production of neurotransmitters. Lysine and Arginine
Lysine and arginine are amino acids that have been successfully used in combination in a couple of human studies to reduce anxiety and therefore may have a role in equine calming. Live yeast
Live yeast can have positive effects on the horse’s digestive system, by increasing the population of beneficial bacteria in the hind gut. Horses with digestive challenges can be irritable and show signs of unsettled behaviour so keeping the digestive system healthy could have a positive effect. Chamomile
Chamomile has been traditionally used in herbal remedies for thousands of years and there are some studies showing it has possible calming effects, as seen in humans and also in calves. Passiflora incarnate
Passiflora incarnate is commonly used in humans along with other herbs to help counter difficulty in sleeping, nervousness, and unrest. It is also
Hops are again used in humans for sleep disturbances and there is some clinical evidence that they have calming properties in humans. Supplements for laid-back Horses
Coming back from a hack a lot more worn out and sweaty than your horse is not ideal, there are a few supplements on the market for energy but how do they work? Ginseng and Gingko
Ginseng and gingko are often taken by students studying for exams with the aim of supporting brain function and focus. They have been shown in human studies to improve blood flow to the brain and hence result in increased brain performance and the feeling of being full of energy. Warning: Iron
In humans it is known that being deficient in iron can lead to tiredness and a lack of energy due to anaemia. On this basis iron supplements for horses are popular; yet they are very unlikely to have any effect as horses are rarely iron deficient. In fact over-supplying iron can lead to toxicity. Challenging behaviour, whether overexcitability or laziness can be very frustrating for us as horse owners and riders but it seems there are supplements out there that might help. However, before you reach for a supplement first make sure you check for sources of pain and look at your horse’s fitness and training. Also remember that all horses are individuals and you may have to try a few different approaches before you find one that works for your horse. For more information on the T.E.N. behaviour supplements check out our website – www. tensupplements.co.uk or contact us on advice@ tensupplements.co.uk or call 01908 311010 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, excluding bank holidays).
SPILLERS® expands sales team S
PILLERS® has appointed two new sales and advisory professionals to support demand for their substantial portfolio of horse feeds. Victoria Davies is the new regional sales manager for the North of England and will be joining the sales team offering support to the trade. With a degree in marketing and handson experience of her family’s flat race training and Thoroughbred breeding business in North Yorkshire, Victoria is also a successful amateur jockey who has had four winners to date. She has an excellent understanding of the market, as well as a thorough knowledge of horse nutrition. She said: “SPILLERS® is one of the oldest and most highly regarded companies in the horse feed business and I am very proud to be a member of
16 | July 2013
their highly professional team.” Vanessa Macdonald is the new competition nutritionist for the North and East of England and will be joining the nutritionist team who provide free, expert nutrition consultations and support for competition yards. Based in Newmarket and a keen horsewoman, she holds a degree in Equine Science from Warwickshire College and has co-written a number of equine research publications. Vanessa has previously evented her own horse up to advanced level and groomed for event rider Sharon Hunt. Vanessa will be providing expert nutritional advice and will be running weigh clinics for competition yards, livery yards and riding clubs. She said: “I am passionate about my horses
and am therefore particularly looking forward to helping more people improve their horses’ health and wellbeing with the SPILLERS® range.” SPILLERS® competition feeds are the brand of choice for many of the country’s top riders, including Tim Stockdale, Flora Harris, Scott Brash and Jeanette Brakewell. Victoria is one of six sales professionals covering the UK. If you have any questions about the stocking of SPILLERS® products call 01908 222888. If you have a yard of 10 or more competition horses and would like a free visit, ring Vanessa on 07809 340181(North) or Sarah Elphick on 07989 961837 (South). For further information on the brand visit www.spillers-feeds.com or call the SPILLERS® Care-Line on + 44 (0)1908 226626. You can also join Team SPILLERS® on Facebook. www.equiads.net
Equi_Ads_July_National_Rev3.indd 17 2011 'Cubes' ad 297x210mm_02.indd 1
July 2013 | 17
21/06/2013 12:55 07/12/2011 20:50
18 | July 2013
. Corrigan... …sweet natured and a true gent, he inspires confidence in novices and a little admiration from the ladies!
Although when it comes to work, Corrigan can be a little too laid back. Since taking T.E.N. Energy Boost, Corrigan has upped his enthusiasm and focus for work whilst still maintaining his waistline. Corrigan is still calm and collected, but now has more of a spring in his step!” Kathryn Herring (proud rider of Corrigan)
A range of targeted nutritional supplements from the makers of SPILLERS
...because your horse is an individual
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tensupplements.co.uk Call us on 01908 311010 ®MARS and SPILLERS are Registered Trademarks. © MARS Horsecare UK Ltd 2013
CROSS COUNTRY COACHING Combination Fences Jenny Richardson BHSAI
n any cross country competition, you will encounter one or more combination fences, which consist of a group of two or three obstacles following on from each other which must be jumped in the correct order. Any combination fence will be marked the same as your other single obstacles with a red flag on the right and a white flag on the left, together with the number of the jump, additionally the first part will have an ‘A’ with the second and/or third elements having a ‘B’ and ‘C’. A combination fence is judged as a single obstacle, giving you only three attempts to clear all the
elements. If you were to refuse at B or C, you may either continue on, re-presenting the horse at the part at which you faulted, or you have the option to start the combination of fences again. Combinations vary in style and can include banks, ditches, drops/steps and water complexes. A coffin fence is commonly used and consists of two rustic fences either side of a ditch, marked A, B and C. You are also likely to meet fences placed off centre questioning your ability to jump two or three fences at a slight angle. Gridwork An excellent introduction to combinations is gridwork, getting your horse used to jumping several obstacles in a row, which can be built at distances and heights to suit you and altered as you become more ambitious. Doubles and trebles are also a good part of your homework, start in a school with wings, blocks and showjumps, graduating to a hired cross country course and concentrating on the more simple options of two plain fences for a first lesson. You will then naturally progress to three in a row, and then add the more unusual elements such as water, ditches, banks, drops and angled fences - be sure that you are well established at these individually before you introduce them as part of a combination fence. Using medium canter It is better to approach your combinations in medium canter as you will need plenty of momentum to jump two or three fences in a row, and ensure your line to the first element relates to all the jumps, giving you the best track to complete the fences easily and economically. Your horse is more likely to steady himself to judge what is ahead of him at a combination, so keep a supportive leg on to
Jenny Richardson BHSAI is Equestrian Centre Business Manager at Ireland’s Castle Leslie Estate, a venue that oﬀers luxurious equestrian riding holidays and training breaks in the heart of Ireland. The team welcomes riders of all abilities and age groups and oﬀers expert tuition, gentle hacks and exhilarating cross-country rides over an extensive XC course. Visit www.castleleslie.com encourage and reassure him of his capabilities. It is an advantage if he is on his hocks at the first part, rather than his forehand, to help maintain a good balance throughout the combination. If your combination includes drops and/or banks, you will be required to stay in balance with your horse as fast as the fences appear, for example going down a drop you will lean a little back, and riding uphill, take your weight off his back and lean forward. The ability to slip and regain your reins quickly and without impediment to your horse must be practised and learned. Because the fences are situated closer together than normal cross country obstacles, you will need to be quick thinking and have the ability to adjust and adapt to fit the situation as it happens. The more combinations you can train over, the more comfortable you and your horse will become, hopefully establishing a trusting partnership based on mutual understanding and enjoyment.
An excellent introduction to combinations is gridwork, getting your horse used to jumping several obstacles in a row.
20 | July 2013
GARLIQ Liquid garlic Easy-to-use Fast-acting Better absorbed
+44 (0)114 266 6200 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.bluechipfeed.com | facebook.com/bluechipfeed
garliq_297x210.indd 1 Equi_Ads_July_National_Rev3.indd 21
22/04/2013 12:56 16:37 21/06/2013
Calming • Feeding • Health Care • Wounds
Hickstead Horse Feeds TopSpec Calmer - Cubes versus Mix T L ast month we looked at why horse feeds have become so expensive over the last year. This month we will be looking at which types of ingredients are most suitable for your horse. Of course, we all prefer to look at the colourful ingredients in mixes rather than boring cubes; low energy cubes looking identical to race cubes – a potential problem if they are mixed up! BUT are those attractive ingredients in your mix suitable for your horse? Bright yellow maize has the highest starch content and therefore highest energy level of all cereals. Green peas are not far behind. Barley, the mainstay cereal of mixes is often incorporated at around 25% yet can cause skin allergies and irritate the gut in some sensitive horses. Not appropriate ingredients for an excitable type of horse. Reconsider those boring cubes. At Hickstead Horse Feeds we realise the needs of horse owners requiring a high fibre, low cereal and therefore low starch diet for their horses and we have risen to the challenge. We can guarantee that all our cubes are not only barley free but maize free too. We concentrate on using ‘super-fibres’ such as soya hulls, sugar beet shreds and lucerne (alfalfa). We also add soya bean and soya oil when required. Mixes have become so popular because WE, the horse owner prefer them. They smell nicer than cubes because the sweet coating is added at a higher percentage than cubes. Our message is don’t disregard the humble cube. At Hickstead Horse Feeds we will have a product suitable for your horse. Why not contact us to find out more. For any information on Hickstead Horse Feeds products, or for nutritional advice of any sort, please feel free to contact us on 0845 0250 444. We really are very friendly. email@example.com www.hicksteadhorsefeeds.co.uk Facebook: Hickstead Horse Feeds.
opSpec Calmer is designed to be fed to horses and ponies with anxious temperaments, particularly those that cannot cope with stressful situations such as showing, travelling and competing. Not all horses are anxious for the same reason so TopSpec Calmer has been developed with much more than a ‘single ingredient’ approach. It contains a pure protected yeast, MOS, B vitamins, magnesium, tryptophan and sepiolite clay, which all act in different ways to help calm and relax responsive horses. TopSpec Calmer is a palatable, caramel-flavoured, additive to be mixed into the feed. It can be fed daily to stressed or anxious horses or occasionally to help horses cope with stressful situations eg, competitions, travelling and fireworks. TopSpec Calmer can improve performance by improving focus and reducing the effects of stress. Some ingredients start to work within two hours but maximum effect will be seen within three weeks. 3kg TopSpec Calmer £24.95 For further information please contact the Multiple Award-Winning Helpline on 01845 565030 or visit www.topspec.com
NEW from HyHEALTH HyHEALTH Poultice: 100% Natural, veterinary approved, first aid poultice - All purpose dressing for wounds, cuts and abrasions. Can be applied hot, cold or dry. 40g RRP £5.00 Also available Hoof Shaped HyHEALTH Scrub: Powerful and effective antibacterial scrub and skin cleanser. Contains Chlorhexidine 500ml RRP £7.10 HyHEALTH Dressing: Highly absorbent cushioned padding for leg protection, insulation and wound management. Quality cotton wool, encased in a low-adherent,
Providing First Aid for your horse, all purpose dressings and bandages.
tubular non-woven cover. 45cm x 2.3m RRP £11.50 HyHEALTH: Cotton Wool: 100% Cotton. All purpose, first aid veterinary care cotton wool roll for softness and absorbency. Use as part of your routine care. 350g RRP£5.00 HyHEALTH Sportwrap: The easy to tear, flexible bandage. Ideal for maximum support, strength and protection. HyHEALTH: Sportwrap is comfortable yet strong, providing a great combination for an extremely high quality bandage tape. RRP £1.50 www.battles.co.uk/hyhealth
FIBRE Cubes HI FIBRE Cubes PADDOCK Cubes COOL SPORTS Cubes SPORTS Cubes RACE Cubes CONDITION Cubes STUD Cubes LEISURE BALANCER Visit our website for further information about these products.
22 | July 2013
For more information: telephone: 0845 0250 444 www.hicksteadhorsefeeds.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org HicksteadHorseFeeds www.equiads.net
Julia Silvers and a relaxed and happy Poppy
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Health Care • Strangles
STRANGLES – A Diagnostic Challenge?
Ben Sturgoen, BSc, BVM&S, Cert EP, MRCVS
Photo provided by MSD Animal Health
between 10-15 % of horses may remain as symptomless carriers for months to several years. Such carriers probably result from pus remaining in the guttural pouches or sinuses. With time, the pus may solidify to form masses known as “chondroids”. These harbour the bacteria and excrete them intermittently in nasal secretions, acting as a source of infection for other horses. Identifying and treating these long-term carriers is crucial for
controlling the spread of the disease. Until now, the only way of identifying strangles carriers has been by culturing a series of swabs (3 swabs taken weekly) from the nasopharynx, or by examining a swab or better still, a guttural pouch wash for S. equi DNA (a PCR test).
New Health Scheme for Horses Aims to Control Strangles Disease A
diagnostic challenge? Perhaps you read that wrong? Perhaps my vaunted clinical acumen is in steep decline? Surely any fool can spot a horse with pus coming down its nostrils and swellings on the side of its head and throat? The answers? No, don’t like to admit it, and yes. But strangles is or has changed. Firstly, that typical “classical” strangles recorded way back in 1251 when the coined name aptly described horses struggling to breath, or actually suffocating, as enlarged lymph glands obstructed the throat; horses that were described with fever, inappetance, pus and swollen lymph nodes. These now appear to be becoming less common, especially in the initial stages of an outbreak. Instead and representing a major shift in the clinical presentation, we are seeing many new or “atypical” strangles cases which are only slightly dull, off their food for only a short period, and have only a mild fever (typically 102°F or 39°C). There is often no substantial swelling of the lymph glands and none, or only a white, nasal discharge with an occasional cough. These early
signs may last for less than 12 hours and can be or are often easily missed. This form of disease is sometimes referred to as ‘sub-clinical strangles’ and is believed to represent the ‘tip of the iceberg’. If not identified and controlled, outbreaks will then develop with appearance of the more severe symptoms in the subsequently infected horses. This shift in the presentation of strangles has not, however, been accompanied by any reduction in its contagiousness. Vets are therefore faced with a disease that is easily confused with other causes of mild respiratory symptoms but which, if not detected early, spreads rapidly causing widespread illness. Strangles, as you will know, is one of the most commonly diagnosed infectious diseases of horses. One reason for this and arguably the most important feature of the disease is the occurrence of clinically normal carriers. Once a horse has recovered from an infection, typically taking 4-6 weeks, most will have mounted a good immune response and so not be carriers. However, it is thought
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SRUC urges horse owners and industry to work together
new, UK wide, health scheme addressing the threat to horses from the disease Strangles has been launched by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). The Premium Assured Strangles Scheme (PASS) is designed to protect horses and livery yards from infection and reduce the spread of the disease in local areas. The programme has the support of the British Horse Society, Scotland. The new Strangles health scheme is the initiative of the “SAC Consulting” Division of the Rural College. It has long experience of running health schemes for cattle, sheep and goats. According to Professor Jill Thomson, Veterinary Manager with SAC Consulting Veterinary Services: “Strangles has been on the increase, with unexpected outbreaks in many parts of the country, followed by disease spread in local areas. The disease can be carried by healthy-looking horses and then spread by contact with others. A concerted effort is needed to bring Strangles under control and this scheme provides the framework to do this in an organised and transparent way.” Strangles is highly contagious and caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus equi. It affects the lymph glands around the throat and can be caught from direct horse to horse contact, contaminated water or equipment and from human hands or clothing. Horses with weakened immune systems, or in closer contact with others, as they are in riding schools, livery yards, racing stables or stud farms, can be particularly susceptible. While not usually fatal, untreated cases can lead to abscesses in the neck which can sometimes enlarge to the point that the windpipe becomes crushed and the horse appears strangled. It is possible for infection to spread throughout the horses’ body. However it can be treated and the recovery rate is good if it is caught early. In a typical case the livery yard owner would apply to join the scheme, following consultation with their horse owner clients and vets. Members are required to blood test their horses annually. If no trace of Strangles is found the yard gets a PASS accreditation. If exposure to the disease is found the affected horse(s) must be isolated and treated to eliminate infection. Only then can the yard be passed. The appropriate veterinary surgeons will be involved at every stage. All scheme members must then follow strict guidelines (STEPS guidelines) to reduce further risk, including that posed by new arrivals or taking horses to shows, events or competitions. It is believed that members will have an enhanced status in their community and amongst potential clients. As more businesses join there will be less risk of the disease becoming established in the local area. “Through this proactive approach,” says Jill Thomson “And with proper regard to biosecurity, the risk of Strangles will be greatly reduced. No one wants their horses to suffer such a terrible disease and together we can beat strangles’’. For further information contact…Professor Jill Thomson or Alistair Cox at SAC Veterinary Services, Edinburgh on 0131-535-3130 or VCEdinburgh@sac.co.uk. www.sruc.ac.uk/news www.equiads.net
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Health Xxxxxxxxxx Care • Wounds Although reasonably effective both tests have their limitations and place. Culture is less sensitive but provides evidence of active infection rather than merely the presence of bacterial DNA which may be from dead bacteria present, for example, after an infection has resolved. Therefore, for diagnosis, PCR is worthwhile as it reduces false negative results (i.e. missing infected horses), however once infection has been established PCR is of less value (although consecutive negative horses are almost certainly clear) and culture is important to establish whether live bacteria are still actually present and the horse then represents a risk to other horses. The accuracy however of bacterial culture is only as reliable as the samples taken. Following sample collection, S.equi may die or become overgrown in transit. Culture is also slow as bacterial growth may take up to 48 hours. PCR overcomes the concerns of bacterial death following collection and provides results more rapidly (within 24 hrs) than culture. Genetic drift and variation between S.equi isolates had resulted in some false negative results with early PCR methods but advances in the technology have utilized different regions of the S. equi genome increasing sensitivity. Thus it is considered that whilst PCR is good for detection, culture is better for
confirmation, in reality both may need to be undertaken. Thankfully along with the changing clinical picture, need to identify carriers rapidly, and avoid potential practical and financial difficulties involved in culture and PCR we have evolved too. So secondly, a “Strangles blood test” has been developed. The value of this test is in detecting silent strangles carriers either as a screening tool for any newly arrived animal, or as a method of identifying residual carriers at the end of an outbreak. The strangles blood test measures antibodies to two components of S. equi. Following infection, the immune system produces these antibodies as part of its strategy to eliminate the bacteria. Antibody levels rise during the early stages of infection and remain high for months to years. The test measures these antibodies present rather than the bacteria themselves. The test has a reported sensitivity of 93.3% and specificity of 88.0% with respect to exposure to S. equi within the last 6 months. Without doubt this is a major tool in identifying horses with strangles but it just like the PCR and culture we need to always look at the results of any test in light of a potential or proposed infection. 1. The measured antibodies take
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approximately 2 weeks to form and so if the horse has been exposed to the bacteria within the last 2 weeks the test could show a low antibody response despite the horse having the active disease. 2. Around 1 in 15 infected cases will fail to seroconvert giving a false negative result (this is still a very small failure rate when compared to other tests), and foals less than six months may show abnormally high values due to passive transfer from colostrums. 3. The blood test only shows if the horse has been exposed to the S. equi bacteria within recent history (approx 6 months). After exposure antibodies will persist for months, even years, after the infection has cleared. So horses with antibodies could still be incubating the disease, have had strangles and recovered, or have had strangles and remained carriers. Therefore, if a positive result is obtained it is not possible, on a one off sample, to determine whether the horse is a carrier or just recently infected. In this situation the actual “titre” or value recorded can provide information as to the appropriate course of action. Low Values <100: Rarely carriers and have rarely been exposed. The major caveat to this would be if the horse has been exposed in the last 2-3 weeks. If the horse is currently on a yard where there has been no suspicion of a strangles then in terms of movement testing some livery yard owners would be happy to accept this risk without requesting that the horse be tested prior to moving yards. If there is a suspicion or history of strangles on the yard then the following would be advisable: Close monitoring for any clinical symptoms of S.equi infection in this horse and on any in contact animals on the premises.
Repeat blood sample in 2 weeks (minimum) – if there is a stable or falling titre then this is likely a historic exposure, the horse is neither a carrier of the S.equi nor been recently infected (assuming it has been in good isolation since the first test). This individual may have been exposed to the bacteria in the past but it would appear to have successfully mounted an immune response and cleared the infection. A rising titre suggests recent exposure and a potentially active infection or carrier status both of which require isolation and investigation. Perform guttural pouch lavage for PCR and culture. Weak positive values: A similar approach to the above would be taken.
Moderate and strong values: Highly suggestive of recent exposure (within 6 months) to the bacteria and the horse has a potential to be a carrier. Strict isolation should be undertaken and follow up investigation (PCR/ culture/second sample) performed. Again if the titre is stable or declining then we can reasonably assume the horse to be or have mounted an effective challenge and cleared the infection. Without doubt the consideration and following of an effective identification and control action plan for a strangles outbreak or for a screening process for potential carriers is not as simple as you may have initially thought. It is important though to have perspective, whilst many horses are exposed as the AHT (the developers of the test) state, “only a small minority of seropositive horses are likely to be carriers”. For the sake of all our horses it is important not to do what has gone before and simply close a yard until the “disease burns out.” All it could take is one blood test.
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ound dressings are essential for numerous reasons. The correct dressing for a particular wound should maintain a moist environment at the wound interface and absorb excess exudates which will encourage the wound to heal more rapidly and reduce the risk of infection and scarring. Dressings provide a physical barrier to help keep microorganisms out and maintain thermal insulation, but they must still allow gaseous exchange. Non-adherent dressings should be used on open or infected wounds accompanied by high levels of exudates, whereas low to medium exudating wounds can be dressed with low adherent dressings. It is important that once a dressing is removed it can be done so easily without causing trauma and that it does not leave any foreign particles behind. All dressings must be non-toxic, non-allergenic and suitable for the wound type as no single dressing is appropriate for all wound types and all stages of
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healing. For open and infected wounds Activate®, from Robinson Animal Healthcare, is suitable to use. The activated carbon dressing is ideal for cleansing and healing open and infected wounds. The multi-layered dressing incorporates activated carbon which has been found to attract and absorb bacteria into the dressing keeping contamination away from the wound surface. The dressing promotes rapid wound closure and improves normal healing of wounds susceptible to exuberant granulation (proud flesh). Excellent results have been observed when Activate® has been used on chronic wounds that were previously not responding to treatment. The dressings are sterile, non-adherent and absorb exudates, eliminating odours. For low to medium exudating wounds Skintact®, from Robinson Animal Healthcare, is ideal as it is a low adherent sterile perforated film dressing. The protective dressing is also double sided for ease of use and is available in a range of sizes. For more information on the Robinson Animal Health Care range contact us on 01909 735000 or visit www.robinsonhealthcare.com. You can also find us on Facebook.
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Linda Greaves BSc (Vet. Sci.) BVetMed MRCVS
he treatment protocol for a wound can be different for every horse that a vet examines. First the wound must be fully assessed and the vet will take a lot of information into consideration when deciding on the best option to repair a wound as well as the medication required and the follow up treatment needed. Whether or not your vet can repair a wound depends greatly on where on your horse’s body the wound is. It also depends if it is just a tear in the skin or if other structures are involved. For instance leg wounds can often have the involvement of muscle, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves and joints, these must all be assessed individually before your vet can start the repair process and give you a prognosis for the horse. The size of the wound is important in trying to decide if the area can be sutured back together. If a large region of skin is missing sometimes it is not possible to close all of the wound. Your vet must assess how old the wound is. If a wound is over a few hours old the blood supply to some areas of skin and tissue may have ceased and that area will have begun to die so will need removing. The fresher a wound is the easier it is for your vet to repair. If the wound is very dirty and contaminated, often your vet will choose not to suture the wound closed, as infection and dead tissue will stop the wound from healing so often will choose to leave the wound open to drain. This is often not what an owner expects, as most of the time the wound looks like it can be closed! Horses do not have a lot of extra skin like cats and dogs, therefore making suturing most areas difficult, as there will be tension across the stitches and the wound will ‘breakdown’ (begin to open up again) The type of wound also influences the vets approach to treatment for instance; • a puncture wound such as from a nail on a fence post which although may look small can be very deep and contaminated and may be left open to drain.
• A horse that has caught its leg and ripped a large flap of skin off may require sutures or the flap of skin removing if the blood supply to the area is not adequate. • A wound that is over a joint can be more serious, especially if the joint capsule is penetrated as infection within a joint will require surgery to correct. • a small graze that is only through the skin may be left to heal naturally compared to a deep wound involving skin and the underlying muscle, which may need several layers of stitches As you can appreciate each type of wound will need a different course of action for the best possible results. For some injuries your vet may decided that referral to a specialist hospital is the best option for your horse. Stitching a leg back together in the middle of the field in the dark is never going to give the same outcome as surgical repair at a hospital. Most vets will sedate a horse that needs stitches (unless the horse is very well behaved) this is for their own safety and the horse’s. The hair around the wound may be clipped away and the vet will clean the area. They may trim the edges of the skin or debride dead tissue so that the skin has clean fresh edges to stitch together to allow for the best possible closure. Local anaesthetic may be injected around the wound or your vet may perform nerve blocks so that the area is numb while the stitches are being placed. Antibiotics, either injections or in feed granules, may be required for some older more contaminated wounds depending on how likely the wound is to be infected and depending on the severity and position of the wound, pain killers may also be given. Wounds that are below the knee or hock may heal best having a bandage placed over the area to protect the stitches or stop movement of the wound. The bandage will need to be changed regularly depending on the type of wound, This can be as often as daily if the wound is very infected and has a large amount of discharge. The cost for having a wound treated can vary greatly between cases. Wounds that require bandaging can have bills for hundreds even thousands of pounds to cover the cost of frequent bandage changes and bandage material. Wounds that need a few stitches or staples may be a couple of hundred pounds bearing in mind that you will require two visits from your vet, to place the stitches and then to remove them. Sedation, antibiotics and analgesia can also increase your bill significantly so ensure you have a discussion with your vet before starting treatment so a huge bill doesn’t catch you by surprise! Non healing wounds Sometimes wounds that have been stitched closed or left open do not heal as quickly as expected, there
28 | July 2013
are several possible reasons for this including; • Infection- even after the wound has been thoroughly cleaned and a course of antibiotics have been given some bacteria may still be present and cause infection. Those bacteria might not be sensitive to the antibiotics initially given and may need a different type of antibiotic to control the infection. A swab of the wound can be taken and sent away for culture and sensitivity to find out which antibiotic will be appropriate to clear the infection. • Movement- excessive movement of the skin over and adjacent to the damaged area can stop the healing process, often several layers of firm bandaging may be required to limit movement especially over lower limb wounds. This can often cause problems in addition to the original wound, with bandage rubs being a common side effect from bandages that have been placed too tight. • Foreign body- wounds that have foreign bodies such as thorns, splinters or bone fragments do not heal, they can lead to a persistently discharging non healing wound. Foreign bodies may be identified by using ultra sound to scan the area or by taking x-rays. Once removed the wound should begin to heal. • Poor blood supply- for skin and tissue to heal correctly it requires a good blood supply, sometimes this blood supply is lost and the tissue will slowly start to die and necrose. This will need another visit from your vet to remove the dead tissue and to ensure that healthy tissue is present to start to healing process. Wounds over the carpus, hock and distal limb often heal particularly poorly, due to poorer blood supply to some areas slowing down the healing. Non healing wounds of the lower limb often start to produce granulation tissue (proud flesh), which looks unsightly and will need further attention from your vet to remove. For some very large wounds where there is a deficit of skin, skin grafts may be required. The grafts are often taken from your horse’s neck and there are different methods of skin grafting available. This is often a procedure that is completed in a hospital environment to ensure that the grafts ‘take’ to the wound. Wounds can often be difficult and expensive to treat, for the best possible outcome for your horse seek advice from your vet as soon as possible and make sure you discuss all treatment options including costs. www.equiads.net
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Poor horn quality? Horn infections?
The Laminitis Clinic has dealt with hundreds of horses and ponies with “bad feet”; without the correct products they can be a real pain to sort out! The data we collected from these cases 4 4 enabled us to develop Formula Feet and Solution Feet. They proved so successful that they are now regarded as the “Gold Standards” against which other hoof care products are measured. Formula4 Feet is the market leader. It is highly palatable, produces excellent improvement to horn and coat in as little as six weeks by providing over 65 essential micronutrients. 4
Solution Feet is the most efficient way of preventing and the most effective way of dealing with horn inf infections such as white line disease and seedy toe. Solution4 Feet dangerous chemicals and, being isotonic, it can even be used contains no dang painlessly on w wounds. Farriers use Solution4 Feett Matrix where prologned horn disinfection pr ection is needed e.g. under pads or in white line defects or hoof cracks. whit
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RESPECT – Learning To Pick Up Feet Anne Wilson
earning to politely pick up a foot when requested is an essential part of the young horse’s training and should be done regularly from birth. However, there are some youngsters who miss out on this early training. Some youngsters are born and bred outside, living in mini herds, which is all very nice except that when they are weaned and sold on to future owners they are completely ignorant of what is required of them. Leading in hand is usually the first thing taught, followed by lungeing, backing and riding away. Incredibly the feet are sometimes neglected. I have had one horse brought to my yard as a three year old Warmblood imported from Holland, who had supposedly been backed and ridden away, but it was almost impossible to pick up this horse’s feet and his feet were unshod and extremely long. His owners were under the impression that this was unimportant and that he would lift his feet up when he was good and ready. To me this appeared an appalling state of affairs, since his feet needed urgent farriery attention, not to mention the fact that they were packed full of debris which had been there for a very long time. The health implications of this were obvious; infection and/ or damage from the altered hoof/pastern axis were only a breath away. Every time the owners tried to lift a foot the horse either refused to pick it up or snatched it away, and the owners immediately gave up. I believe that the handler should hold onto the foot if at all possible, moving with the horse as he moves and wait for him to find his balance and stand on three legs. Once the horse realises that it is quite possible to stand still on three legs and does so for a few seconds, then the handler can slowly release the leg to the ground and give much praise. Unfortunately in the case mentioned the owners would not take my advice, saying that they did not wish to stress the horse, so every time he snatched the foot away or moved at all, they let go. The result of this has been that several years on he is extremely difficult to shoe, regularly rears with the farrier and more than one farrier has refused to shoe him. Teaching a horse to lift his feet up does not have to be stressful. To begin
Lifting the hind foot
with the youngster should be familiar with the handler running the hands gently but firmly down each leg, not necessarily asking for the foot to be lifted. This should be done several times a day, ideally in the early days after foaling, but the principle still applies at whatever age. Lifting the Front Feet
When beginning to lift the feet, it’s best to start with a front foot. Speak reassuringly to the horse and stand facing the tail, say on the left hand side. Run your hand down his neck and shoulder, and then down the leg to the fetlock. On reaching the fetlock joint gently put some of your body weight onto the horse to encourage him to take weight off that limb. Be careful not to do this too harshly, just a small weight shift is enough; you don’t want to unbalance him. Using your left hand gently but firmly lift up the fetlock joint, or fetlock hair if he has any, at the same time saying ‘up’. Then take hold of the foot at the toe with your right hand. Less weight will fall on your arm if you hold the foot at the toe rather than the pastern. Hold this position for a couple of seconds (holding the foot in both hands). Then slowly lower it to the floor again. Do not suddenly let go which may well unbalance and frighten the horse. Lifting the Hind Feet
Lifting the front foot
‘I WISH I’D SUBSCRIBED YEARS AGO’ said a reader of ‘TRACKING-UP’ published by In our current issue: PHILOSOPHY AND STRUCTURE OF THE HORSE’S PACES, Geoffrey Hattan, FBHS; WARMING UP AND WORKING IN, Susan McBane; MUSIC TO THEIR EARS?, Lesley Skipper; SCHOOLING FROM SCRATCH, indirect rein, weight aids and leg yield, Anne Wilson; DO HORSES REALLY SEE HUMANS AS PREDATORS?, Lesley Skipper; TRAINING THE HORSES OF NAPOLEON’S CAVALRY, Paul L. Dawson; SPANISH RIDING SCHOOL PERFORMANCE, reported by Anne Wilson; STRETCHING TO FLEX, Charles de Kunffy; WHEN LIGHTNESS IS A HOLLOW WORD, Lisa Scaglione, also summer rugging, steaming hay, Peggy Sue’s scales of training, feeding, worming, plus a READER OFFER and REVIEW of SYLVIA LOCH’S new book, ‘THE BALANCED HORSE’. ‘Tracking-up’ is available quarterly for £5.17 per issue or £18.70 for a 4-issue subscription. Clearly print your name, address and ‘TUA19’ on the back of your cheque payable to ‘Tracking-up’ and post it to Anne Wilson, Park End House, Robins Folly, Thurleigh, Beds., MK44 2EQ.
30 | July 2013
After verbally reassuring the horse, stand next to his hip, facing the tail. Place your left hand which is nearest to the horse (we will again assume you are on the left side),on his quarters. Run your hand down the back of his leg to the hock. Then put your hand on the front of the hock and run it down the inside of the cannon bone down to the fetlock. Give the command ‘up’ as before and if the horse does not comply gently ease a little weight towards him to encourage him to move his weight away from that leg. As with the front legs, be careful not to overdo this weight transference and do not do it suddenly. Move the joint slightly backwards when the horse raises his foot. Slide your left hand down to encircle the foot, holding it at the toe with your right hand. Do not lift it high nor take it far back. Both these actions could seriously upset and unbalance the horse. Hold the foot for a few seconds before gently replacing it on the ground. Obviously the hind feet can be more dangerous, as some horses, if frightened, will kick out. If you suspect this to be the case then it is best to concentrate on the front feet for a few days. When he is really at ease with picking up the front feet, he should then be much more relaxed with the hind feet. It is worth noting that the closer you stand to the hind limb when picking up, the less momentum the horse has if he should kick out. This is a job for a relatively young and agile person. If you are at all stiff or arthritic you won’t be able to move around with the horse whilst holding the leg, if he dances away on three legs, and more importantly you may not be able to jump out of the way quickly enough if he does kick out. If the horse does kick at first; it is not always because he is being nasty or naughty, it could just be that he is afraid. It is difficult at first for a young horse to learn to balance on three legs, and may be a frightening experience if he has been shouted at or even hit in the past. But persistence and quiet determination will usually win the day. When the horse realises that you are not going to give up the moment he shows resistance, and that when he lifts his foot, he doesn’t have to keep it up for too long, he will start to relax about www.equiads.net
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Some horses are so stressed by the process of having their feet attended Webyhave beenthat faced with a to be sedated a horse severe pain, bleeding stem the blood ﬂow using a CLEAN • Be prepared for the arrival of the vet – to the all farrier they need by ainveterinary surgeon for it situation when our four legged friend heavily, needing stitches, has a wound towel/jumper etc. If possible also make sure there is somewhere to park, to be done in a manner which is safe for the farrier as well as the horse. This requires veterinary but it’sof bad over a joint,and/or has trauma an eye, apply pressure above the wound to enough light for the vet to work in and sad state of affairs istreatment, usually because training a badtoexperience, good to know some basic fi rst aid and is struggling to foal, is non-weight help slow down the blood fl ow. have a bucket of warm water and a such as a nasty, impatient person unnecessarily hitting the horse. Thankfully what farriers to do whilst waiting for the bearing/has suspected fracture, has clean towel ready. most are very patient, yetvet calm, persistent anda determined, so in my to arrive. colic, or has collapsed*. In these experience it is not normally the farrier to blame. Obviously sedation is a last situations youowner, should but call unnecessary your vet • If you have been involved in a road resort; not only does it involve a great expense for the Loch Leven Equine Practice explains immediately, no matter what time of traffic incident and your horse is stuck sedations are definitely not good for the horse. It is possible that after one or The number one rule inwith any situation is day night. in between, the horse in your trailer or horse box then do not maybe two sedations, good training andorhandling to stay calm. A panicking owner is not try and get them out unless it is safe will then become calm enough to have his feet attended to without sedation. able to communicate willand it is the responsibility of the owner/ to do so. - Do not open the jockey/ This should definitelyclearly be theand goal, also be of no reassurance to the horse. grooms door as some horses will trainer to prepare the horse as much as possible for the farrier. Your is paramount, put is a two way street. The trainer must panic and try to get out of the open As safety in all horse training,never respect yourself in danger and in the way of a space. Instead try to keep the horse as respect, and be sensitive to, the horse’s feelings of fear or discomfort and make fractious horse. calm as possible while waiting for the allowances for previous bad experiences. However, this should not mean vet and fire service to arrive. acceptance of complete lack of discipline and reasonable co-operation on the Thereofare numberThe of situations 20/5/09 16:32 Page 29 part thea horse. horse mustEQUJun09-N.qxd also respect the handler. Calm, firm, yet CALL US FOR GREAT PRICES ON ALL where knowing some basic first isaidrequired of the trainer. With a previously (Genuine emergency) patient determination is what “Do not put yourself will be useful. 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July 2013 | 31
Horse Behaviour • Training Xxxxxxxxxx
Pilates and Stretching FOR HORSES This month’s article from Horses Inside Out by Sports and Remedial Therapist Gillian Higgins includes an extract from her book ‘How Your Horse Moves’, available from www.HorsesInsideOut.com Muscle Make Up
There are three types of muscle found within the body: • cardiac, which is specific to the heart and cannot be consciously controlled • smooth, which is also involuntary and plays a part in the circulatory and digestive systems • skeletal, which produces movement, maintains posture, and stabilizes joints. This muscle type is under conscious control although it will contract involuntarily as a reflex response. More about skeletal muscle
Skeletal muscles come in all shapes and sizes. They respond to motor nerve impulses, are highly elastic, and have strong contractile power. Muscles have a fleshy ‘belly’ comprising thousands of muscle fibres intertwined with connective tissue called fascia. Muscle fibres decrease towards the ends of a muscle, reducing its circumference until only the longitudinally arranged collagen fibres remain in the form of a tendon. This attaches to the bone via a tough fibrous membrane known as the periosteum. Muscles are attached to, and therefore move the skeleton by passing over joints. The points at which the skeletal muscles attach to the bones via the tendons are known as: • the point of origin – nearest to the body centre • the point of insertion – furthest away from the body centre. Skeletal muscles – up close
Muscles consist of fibres made up of many thousands of individual muscle
cells that run parallel to each other. The fibres are bound together in bundles, called fascicles, by very thin layers of connective fascia. Within each fibre are thousands of smaller threads known as myofibrils, which give the muscle its ability to lengthen and shorten. Within the myofibrils are millions of minute bands known as sarcomeres, which comprise myofilaments made up of proteins. Actin produces thin myofilaments and myosin produces thick ones. These are responsible for muscle contraction. They slide over one another when the muscles contract thereby shortening it. They slide back to their original position as the muscle relaxes. Very simply, muscles convert chemical energy into movement. Skeletal muscle fibres come in different types. These are inherited, so although you can train to get the best from your horse, you cannot actually change them. In other words you cannot change a cob into a racehorse any more than you can change a weight lifter into a long distance runner! The muscle types are: • slow twitch that produce energy slowly over a long period. They work aerobically, requiring oxygen to create energy. Horses with a predominance of these types of muscle fibres are less likely to fatigue and are good for endurance • fast twitch that are physically larger than slow twitch fibres. They work anaerobically producing small amounts of energy quickly and explosively but they tire out easily.
There are approximately 700 skeletal muscles in the horse! Periosteum
Tendon Deep fascia
Skeletal muscle Periosteum
Striations Sarcolemma Nucleus
In show jumpers fast twitch fibres predominate.
Endurance horses have a predominance of slow twitch fibres. 32 | July 2013
Pilates • Training
Inside Out HORSES INSIDE OUT Horses - Conference 2014
Conference 2014 - The Back and Beyond
Saturday and Sunday 22nd/23rd February 2014
nderstanding the structure, composition, complexity and strength of a horse’s back is critical to his usefulness, ability to perform, and well-being. Equitation problems, poor performance, discomfort or challenging behavioural issues can all be back related and, as all structures in the equine body are interdependent the cause of back problems can be diverse and seemingly unrelated. This conference aims to provide a deeper understanding into the complexity of back related issues and shed some light onto training the back sympathetically and effectively. Saturday and Sunday 22nd/23rd February 2014 For prices, more information and an application form see advert or Ring Shirley on 0115 921 2648
At The Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester GL7 6JS We are now taking bookings for this popular conference. Numbers limited. Early bird tickets available. Speakers and topics include: Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer – Olympic Trainer
Training Horses whilst Maintaining Good Back Health.
Dr Sue Dyson - specialist in equine orthopaedics, with a particular interest in lameness and poor performance in sports horses
How we Diagnose Primary Back or Sacroiliac Joint Region Pain: Saddle Slip and Lameness: How Lameness can Masquerade as a Back Problem.
Dr Andrew Hemmings – Equine Neuroanatomist and Principal Lecturer at RAU
The Relevance of Evolution to the Ridden Horse; Spinal Cord Anatomy and Neurological Problems; Posture and Behaviour; The Effect of Therapy.
Dr Richard Hepburn – Specialist in Internal Medicine
Is it Actually in the Abdomen… Not the Back?
Gillian Higgins – Sports and Remedial Therapist, BHS Senior Coach, Anatomist and Author
Biomechanics, Posture, Anatomical Training and Compensation Patterns.
David Kempsall - Master Saddler and Scientific Saddle Designer
Understanding Horse and Rider Asymmetry and Corrective Saddlery Methods.
Dr Theresia Licka - Professor of Orthopaedics in Vienna.
The Influence of Lameness and Reduced Vertebral Movement on the Function of the Back; Pressures under the Saddle: The Sandwich of Muscle Contraction and Spinal Movement and Saddle “Software” (flocking and pads)
Haydn Price – Consultant Farrier to BEF
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Equine Behaviour Consultant This This Course, run as a series of 10 of monthly Course, run as a series 10 weekend modules at Oatridge monthly weekend modules at College, Oatridge Scotland and Warwickshire College, England College Scotland and Warwickshire byCollege leadingEngland expert DrbyDebbie leadingMarsden, expert covers all training systems and is accredited Dr Debbie Marsden, covers all training professional training for the UK Register of systems and is accredited professional Equine Behaviour Consultants.
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July 2013 | 33
Horse Behaviour • Property • Training
Speaking the language part 13 A series by Susan McBane explaining equestrian and scientific terminology in relation to equine behaviour and psychology, and its effects on horses and training . This series is based on a glossary of equestrian and scientific terms presented at the First International Equitation Science Symposium, 2005. The glossary description is given in quotation marks, followed by Susan’s discussion.) BEHIND THE LEG:
‘A horse that lacks self-maintained speed and rhythm requires the rider to continually deliver leg cues with each stride or each alternate stride.’ The term RHYTHM is described in the glossary as: ‘The beat of the legs within a particular gait. In ideal equitation, rhythm is trained to be self-maintained.’ THE main point for a rider or trainer to bear in mind in both these definitions is ‘self-maintained’. The horse should keep himself going in the way the rider has requested until asked to stop or do something else. This is an age-old classical schooling principle also required by riders using the principles of modern equitation science, the two having a great deal in common. It seems to be usual today for riders to be taught to use their legs all the time to keep their horse going or, at least, going actively and energetically. Indeed, I am told by many a new client when I try to teach them otherwise that if they don’t ‘keep at him’ their horse will stop – and he usually does, encouraged by an over-firm bit contact which, of course, he has been taught means ‘stop’. Clients also often tell me that they have been taught to ‘do something at every stride’ to keep their horse up to his game, so confusing him even more by telling him to do what he is already doing. He cannot understand the difference
between ‘do it’ and ‘keep doing it’ from one identical aid. The principle of training a horse to continue in a particular mode until requested by his rider to stop or do something else seems to have been largely forgotten or to be unheard of. Most horses like a quiet life so it must be really upsetting for them to be constantly nagged by their riders, and it must be equally awful for a rider to have to keep on at the horse just to keep him moving. If the horse won’t even keep going without constant aids, achieving any other movement than the basics, not to mention qualities like impulsion, cadence, collection and lightness, must seem like an impossible dream. None of this is the horse’s fault, although such poorly-trained, confused horses usually have their characters blackened by such descriptions as ‘lazy’, ‘idle’, doesn’t want to work’, ‘unwilling’, ‘stubborn’
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and so on. If a horse doesn’t fully understand what we want we can’t expect him to obey, so let’s train him in a way he does understand. Horses of an active temperament often keep going of their own accord but more phlegmatic sorts, from thoroughbreds to ponies, probably won’t. The whole problem can be solved pretty quickly by training the horse, in a way he understands, to maintain his gait and rhythm himself until his rider alters them. Once this ABC of schooling is achieved, we can begin to make progress in teaching him other movements and ways of going. His age and previous experience don’t matter, so long as he is sound and healthy of course. The rider must play his or her part, not least by using a light bit contact that is not telling the horse to slow down or stop!
snaffle bridle and stand him with his right side next to a fence or wall. Stand to his left just in front of his head, nearly an arm’s length away; if he is wearing a bridle bring the reins forward over his head as for leading and use them like a leadrope. With your left hand, exert a gentle but definite vibrating pressure on the rope or reins straight forward so that he feels the pressure on the headpiece. At the same time, tap (don’t hit) him quickly with the end of a long schooling whip on his side, exactly where your leg would go if riding. Keep up the vibration and tapping until he takes a step forward, then immediately stop them, and rub the side of his withers with your right hand to give him a pleasant sensation. It is crucial that you do not stop your aids until he has responded because his confirmation that he has done the right thing is your stopping (or ‘releasing’) them. If you stop before he has responded he has not learnt to go forward to a tap on his side: in effect, you have ‘rewarded’ him for not doing anything. When he does respond as you wish, stop the aids instantly so that he can associate or connect his stepping forward with the release of the pressures, and associate that with the pleasant rub on his withers. After a few moments, repeat this sequence until he walks forwards at once from light aids, which may take about three or four repetitions. Then
You can give your horse this basic lesson by initially checking and training his responses to your aids for ‘go’ and for ‘slow/stop/back’ in hand: this is not essential but will help him to understand your requests more clearly and quicker when he is ridden. The same basic aid is given for slow down, stop and go backwards because the horse uses the same muscle groups to carry out these movements. Start with ‘go’
Have him in a headcollar or simple
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Arenas • Horse Behaviour do the same from the other side. Timing is vital: you must keep up the aids till he responds, and you must release them immediately he obeys. The reason for a vibrating pressure and quick whip-taps, rather than sustained pressures, is because horses find vibrations more irresistible. In horse-language, short, sharp pressures such as nips or kicks mean ‘move away’ and horses usually do, whereas they naturally tend to push back into or against sustained, even pressure: under saddle, this creates heaviness and poor balance.
Even though a horse’s ‘problem’ is not keeping going, these two requests are, obviously, closely linked and should be taught together. A horse who will go and stop/slow/back is well on the way to quickly understanding moving his forehand and hindquarters sideways on similar principles, so with these four movements you have made him manoeuvrable and have the basics of teaching him anything. This time, you need to pressure the noseband of the headcollar or the bit in his mouth, so you exert your vibrating pressure straight back towards the underside of his neck and tap with your whip on the very front of his cannon nearest to you, not the side of it. Again, keep it up till he takes even a small step back, then release instantly and rub his withers. When you are using these new techniques it is normally best not to speak to your horse, so that he can concentrate on the pressures. As soon as you are getting responses from light aids, you can introduce vocal commands, with which he may well be familiar already and which are invaluable for training. Again, their timing is crucial. Ideally the end of the vocal command should overlap your starting the physical pressures. So, if you want to say ‘walk on’ to get your horse to move forwards (‘go’), start the vibrations and tapping at the same moment as you say ‘on’. For moving backwards, split the command into ‘ba – ack’ so you can apply
“Many horses dislike working in a school but can you blame them when their work confuses them? Giving leg aids at every stride or so is felt to be needed because, without them, horses often go inactively or stop altogether. This is because the aids are used in a way they don’t understand”
your physical aids on the second part. When performed by the trainer with correct timing of application and release, and the same every time, these equitation science techniques are very clear and easy for the horse to understand. Most catch on very quickly. For fuller details, see the books Equitation Science by Paul McGreevy and Andrew McLean or The Truth About Horses by Andrew McLean, or follow up the contacts on the equitation science websites at the end of this article.
If you have given the in-hand training above, you will find that your horse is already quicker to respond lightly to your leg and whip aids when ridden because he is clear about what you want and will be responding to light aids. If you haven’t done this groundwork, you can still improve matters. Remember the same principles – give vibrating leg aids (with BOTH legs for ‘go forward’) without stopping till he moves forward, then release the aid immediately and rub his withers. The instant you feel the gait starting to slow, repeat the leg aids and keep it up till he is going at the speed you want, then stop the aids again, rub his withers, and sit there enjoying it. Keep on with this till he realises, which he will within one short session, that when he slows down, unless asked, you ask for more energy. When he is going as you wish, DO NOT keep using your legs; just go with his gait with your seat movements to indicate to him to keep it going, which he will quickly learn. Try to give the aid to move up a gait – from halt to walk, walk to trot and trot to canter – with the upper inside of your calf. To ask for more energy in the existing gait, say a more active walk or trot, give the aid with the lower inside of your calf or ankle. These two distinctly different sites on your horse’s sides make it clear to your horse which you want and he will quickly learn them. Don’t let your aids degenerate into kicking with the backs of your heels. If you aren’t getting your response, tap (again, never hit) with your long schooling whip immediately behind your leg, NOT further back on his flank. Be very careful about positioning the whip-taps because the flank is very sensitive and it is easy to cause pain, which has no place in ethical training. Also, logically, the taps must be very close to your leg in order to back it up. Be very careful that your bit contact is light, and not firm enough to indicate ‘stop’ to him, or he will never go at a reasonable speed. In fact, this is one of
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Events • Insurance
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xperience VIP treatment at Your Horse Live this autumn. Take advantage of this year’s exciting Gold or Silver VIP ticket and receive star treatment all day at this exciting two-day event. Held at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, Your Horse Live takes place on November 9 and 10 and provides a great day out for all equestrian fans. The limited edition tickets provide a fantastic VIP experience, from getting you straight in on the action and onsite parking opposite the main entrance, to special VSilver VIP tickets cost just £40 and include fast track entry to the show, fast track entry to the main arena and a guaranteed seat for every performance in the main arena all day. Gold VIP tickets cost £65 and include fast track entry to the show, fast track entry to the main arena, a guaranteed seat for every performance in the main arena all day, parking on site and access to a private VIP lounge where refreshments are available. The fast track feature will ensure you never miss a demonstration allowing you to watch leading celebrities including Lucinda Frederick, Geoff Billington and Oliver Townend to name just a few stars of the show. VIP tickets are limited so book your tickets today and take advantage of this incredible experience or save £££s by booking standard tickets in advance. To book your tickets in advance and save money visit www.yourhorselive.co.uk or call 0844 581 0770. Hotline closes at midnight on Monday 4th November.
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Horse Behaviour • Tack & Turnout the main reasons for horses appearing to be behind the leg: although the legs are constantly telling them to go the bit is constantly telling them to stop. For the same reason, never ‘drive your horse up to the bit’ as this is identical and is a human concept, not an equine one, very confusing to horses. To stop or slow under saddle
Just use a light, vibrating aid on both sides of the bit to stop under saddle, and cease your seat movements. Never use your legs to ‘ride him forward into halt’ as this is very confusing and is the reason, along with a too-firm bit contact, for the stiff, propping, squirming halts seen in dressage competition, and increasingly in showing classes. If you use a light bit pressure, with no leg aids, keep it going till he stops or slows, depending on which you want, and stop the aid the instant you get what you want, then rub his withers and/or praise him vocally, he will stop or slow easily and correctly. In halt, keep your hands still and on a very light contact, or let the reins go completely: this will relax him and keep him ‘parked’ there. If he moves forward, calmly apply the stop aid again, releasing the contact as soon as both his front feet have stopped, and praising him. He will soon learn the right way to stop and stay still.
The Classical Riding Club (www. classicalriding.co.uk), the International Society for Equitation Science (www. equitationscience.com), EquiSci for the UK (www.equitationscience.co.uk), the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre (www.aebc.org. au) and the Equine Behaviour Forum (www. equinebehaviourforum.org.uk). Also, follow up the links and publications on each site. (The Equine Behaviour Forum published the full glossary in its magazine ‘Equine Behaviour’. For your copy, send a cheque for £3.50 payable to ‘Equine Behaviour Forum’ to the Editor, Dr Alison Averis, 6 Stonelaws Cottages, East Linton, East Lothian, EH40 3DX.) SUSAN McBANE has an HNC in Equine Science and Management, is a Classical Riding Club listed trainer and Gold Award holder, co-founder of the Equine Behaviour Forum and a Practitioner Member of the International Society for Equitation Science. Author of 44 books, she is a co-publisher of ‘Tracking-up’ (see advert this issue). For lessons in and near Lancashire, ring 01254 705487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Todd Fly Ultra Combo
op to Tail Protection Manufactured in a lightweight, tightweave mesh fabric, the Mark Todd Fly Ultra Combo offers effective protection from irritating flies and insects, as well as deflecting UV rays to help prevent the horse’s coat from being bleached by the sun. Features include an integral neck cover with Lycra panel at the withers for freedom of movement, a wide belly flap, anti-rub shoulder lining, double chest fastenings, removable leg straps and a generous pleated tail flap. Available in sizes 5’6” to 7’ at a Suggested selling price of £59.99
Contact Westgate EFI on 01303 872277 for stockists or visit www.wefi.co.uk
Mark Todd Skinny Jeans Breeches Tried & Tested By Rowan Tweddle BHSII
have a new favourite item of clothing! I’ve always loved Mark Todd breeches for their fit and comfort and these jean style breeches add a bit of cool into the mix. They fit like a glove, with a wide, sturdy but comfortable waistband which sits a little lower on me than the traditional ones and the contrast stitching, pockets and applique ‘coat of arms’ effect on the rear are flattering. The front pockets are cut like the ones on jeans, with little rivets at the corners and no zip. The material, whilst containing enough stretch to allow all riding related bending and moving, is supportive. These Mark Todd breeches are so great the only problem might be separation anxiety when I have to wear something else! Colours: denim blue or black Sizes: ladies 24” to 34” Price: £59.50 Contact Westgate EFI on 01303 872277 or visit www.wefi.co.uk for stockists
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Saddlery • Tack & Turnout
Helping Tack Stand the Test of Time
his month we talk to the Society of Master Saddlers about the importance of looking after your tack, keeping it clean and in good repair. As we all know, investing in good quality tack is likely to be one of the most expensive and important purchases you make for you and your horse. Once you have the right saddle, bridle and other tack accessories it is then over to you to ensure they remain in good condition and last for years. Your saddle and bridle should be checked each time you tack up and a more in depth look taken when cleaning. In general, leather should be supple and free from cracks. If allowed to dry out, leather becomes brittle and weak, making it prone to splitting. Pay particular attention to straps which are subjected to a lot of stress e.g. girth straps and stirrup leathers. Make sure stitching is secure, metalwork e.g. buckles are not damaged and that holes have not become enlarged. If the tack is in poor condition it can injure you and your horse or cause a serious accident. Checks to tack should be thorough; this will involve turning your saddle upside down to check underneath it and lifting up all flaps. To check a bridle properly it will need to be taken apart as buckles often hide cracks in the leather. Steps to maintain leather must be taken to ensure it stays supple and safe. Ideally tack should be cleaned every time it has been used, but this is not always possible. At the very least, bits should be washed in clean water and dried with a clean cloth after they have been used. Also if tack gets wet and muddy it should not be left or it is
40 | July 2013
likely to become brittle or may stretch. Remove mud and dirt with a warm damp cloth and allow it to dry at room temperature, and then apply a leather conditioner. It is advisable therefore to thoroughly clean your saddle and bridle at least once a week. The aim of thorough cleaning is to remove all dirt and grease and then to feed and condition the leather. There are numerous products available on the market for conditioning leather such as sprays, wipes, soap bars, creams, oils and balms. Always read manufacturer’s instructions carefully to make sure the product is suitable for your particular type of leather. Whether you use a sponge, brush or cloth to clean and apply product, make sure it is not too abrasive so that the leather isn’t scratched. To clean metalwork you can use a metal polish, this will leave buckles and stirrups etc looking brighter and clean. Never use polishes on bits though as they may be harmful to your horse. Even
if you think you have washed a polish off it is likely a residue is left behind which you cannot see. Your horse changes shape regularly. The frequency of these changes will relate to his age, training, management and so on. Try to develop an eye to recognise these changes. Viewed on a daily basis, the changes may seem inconsequential but over a period of just a week or so they can be surprisingly substantial. Have your saddle checked regularly and always use a Qualified Saddle Fitter. If a saddle is good quality and well cared for it should last for years, and if it still fits your horse there is no need to replace it. You might like to replace certain parts though such as the girth straps and stirrup leathers. Stitching may also need re-doing on certain parts of your saddle or bridle after a few years. To find your local saddler, who can carry out any necessary repairs or your local saddle fitter visit www.mastersaddlers.co.uk or contact The Society of Master Saddlers on 01449 711642.
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Subscriptions • Tack & Turnout
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Classy clothing for classy kids Y
ounger riders can dress in style this spring/summer season with these two fabulous new items from Cavallo’s kids range. The Whitney hoodie and Welly gilet are perfect for wearing around the yard and in the saddle this year. Both available in colours: Greymelange, Almond-melange, Mint, Lavender and Lilac, in sizes 158cm – 176cm (Also available in Ladies sizing) RRP: Whitney hoodie: £79.50, Welly gilet: £75 www.zebraproducts.com
Tottie Hayley N
ew to the Tottie range is the brilliant Hayley short sleeved polo shirt. Ideal for those sunny days down the yard. Featuring a diagonal stripe across the middle and an appliquéd ‘No 1’ on the sleeve, the t-shirt has a simple yet stylish design. Offered in summer colours of Cranberry, Mint and White, in sizes XS to XL. Perfect for your summer wardrobe, the Tottie Hayley t-shirt is priced around £37.50. For further information please contact Tottie on (01274) 711101 or visit www.tottie.co.uk
Get your copy of Equi-Ads delivered to you, hot off the press, every month and never miss another issue! Equi-Ads, now in its 18th year of publication, is well known for its in-depth articles on health, management and training issues. Each month, topical articles on feeding and healthcare are provided by experts in the various fields, together with behavioural and training topics, all designed to provide the reader with practical advice on building a better relationship with their horse and ensuring his well being. Cut out the coupon below and post it to Equi-Ads Ltd., Office 1, Tayview Estate, Friarton Road, Perth PH2 8DG, with a cheque made payable to Equi-Ads Ltd NAME: ADDRESS:
POSTCODE: Please send *6 issues for £10 / *12 issues for £15 (please delete) Please send *England & Wales edition / *Scottish edition (please delete)
42 | July 2013
Conditions of Publication All material submitted to Equi-Ads will be subject to the following conditions. The placing of an advertisement or editorial copy will be deemed to be an acceptance of these conditions. 1. Typewritten contributions accompanied by a tamped addressed envelope for return are invited, however, no responsibility will be taken for photographs, transparencies, illustrations or literary contributions. 2. The publishers cannot accept liability for any loss suffered directly or indirectly by any readers as a result of any advertisement or notice published in this magazine. Nor do they accept liability for loss arising from the non-inclusion or late publication of any advertisement. 3. All advertisements are accepted subject to our standard conditions of trading (a full copy of which is available by sending a stamped addressed envelope to the editorial offices.) 4. The publishers reserve the right to refuse, amend or withdraw any advertisement without explanation. 5. Cancellation must be received in writing 14 days prior to the publication date.
6. All copyright reserved by Equi-Ads. No part of this publication may be recorded, or reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. Equi-Ads is a registered Trade Mark, which is the property of Stable Productions. 7. The opinions expressed in literary contributions are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. 8. The publishers reserve the right to revise advertisement copy to conform to the standards of Equi-Ads’ house style. 9. Advertisers should notify the publishers of any errors immediately after the appearance of the first insertion to allow subsequent insertions to be corrected. The publishers will not accept responsibility to correct all insertions ordered if the error is not reported immediately after the advertisements comply in all respects with obligations and duties to 3rd parties e.g. rights relating to Copyrights, Intellectual Property, Trade Marks and this list is not exhaustive. 10. The advertiser warrants that his advertisements comply with the British Code of Advertising Practice and do not contravene the Trade Descriptions Act 1968.
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in a stylish new outfit for you and your horse thanks to Tottie. The three lucky readers will receive the new Nicole polo top, Agnes top, Eva jodhpurs, Paris saddlecloth and Glamour over reach boots. Brighten up your summer wardrobe with the new Tottie Nicole polo top. Offered in bright colours of Buttercup, Mint and Navy and in sizes XS to XL. Priced at around £31.99. Get in the height of fashion this summer with this all New Agnes top from Tottie. Agnes is available in a range of great colours including Navy, Fuchsia and Bluebell. Priced at around £37.50, sizes range from XS to XL. These jodhpurs are excellent for everyday use down at the yard. Made from cotton and spandex they are comfortable and cool to wear in the sunny hacks. Eva comes in sizes 24”-32”, priced at around £31.99 and is available in Black and Bluebell. Also available in Junior sizes 20”-28”, priced at around £24.50. The Paris Saddlecloth will make you stand out at a show. Available in the colours Purple, Dark Navy, Red, Stone, Black Pink and Blue, in sizes Pony, Cob and Full and Priced at around £30.99. Dazzle whilst jumping with the Glamour Over Reach Boots. Available in Pink, Crystal, Flamingo, Turquoise and Silver, in sizes Pony, Cob, Full and X-Full and Priced at around £14.50. To be in worth your chance of winning one of these fantastic outfits, answer this question opposite:
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QUESTION What is the name of the Tottie Jodhpurs?
Send your answer alongwith your name, address and contact telephone number to Tottie Competition, Equi-Ads Ltd, Oﬃce 1, Tayview Industrial Estate, Friarton Road, Perth, PH2 8DG alternatively email the details to firstname.lastname@example.org - entries close 31st July 2013. *Please provide preferred sizes and colours. If the product is not available a suitable alternative will be provided *. For further information please contact Tottie on 01247 711101 or visit www.tottie.co.uk.
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July 2013 | 43
Parelli • Tack & Turnout
Highland and Hot Jazz – A Talented Duo
Linda Parelli will be heading to the UK in September to host a five day masterclass at Solihull Riding Club. Here we find out more about her two talented horses Highland and Hot Jazz.
inda Parelli is well known for her great relationship with her ‘wonder’ horse Remmer who is now taking life easy. So with time to devote to new horses, Linda has been quietly making progress with the Holsteiner, Highland and Oldenburg, Hot Jazz.
Crow Lane, Ringwood, BH24 3EA
44 | July 2013
HiGHlanD Now five-years-old, Highland gets his name because of his extravagant movement and Linda thought he looked like he was performing a Highland fling dance. Linda and Highlands’s life together started in the most unusual of circumstances, having found Highland quite by chance on YouTube. Linda was captivated by his presence and movement; however he was on the other side of the world in Germany. Arrangements were made for a friend to view Highland on Linda’s behalf; however this never took place due to them being told he was at the vets being gelded. After several more phone calls Linda was told the horse had had an accident and may never be sound again. When Linda saw another horse she liked, again in Germany, she jumped on a plane to view this one herself. Disappointingly this horse was not the one. With Highland still on her mind she decided to persevere and thought she had nothing to lose in going to visit him. She had to see for herself if he really was so impressive in real life. As Linda approached Highland’s stable and opened his door she realised there was no sign of his accident. Linda had been put off from seeing Highland because they believed him to be lame, not physically lame but bridle-lame. With much excitement Linda bought him knowing she could fix the problem, with tried and tested Parelli techniques. Highland is bay with four white socks, has a striking face with a star and stripe and standing at 16.2hh he is impressive and statuesque. Being a left brain extrovert he has a playful character and needs constant variety
in his work, taking to new tasks calmly and confidently. Hot Jazz Born on Valentine’s Day in 2009 Hot Jazz has been with Linda since he was a foal, coming to Pat and Linda as soon as he was weaned. Hot Jazz is an embryo transplant foal and was born to a surrogate mother. Bred by Judy G Yancey in Ocala, his father is the well known stallion Hotline. Hot Jazz is dazzling in appearance being all black with a white star and standing at 16.1hh. Being a right brain introvert he is a nervous type of character and needs things to be kept simple and consistent to avoid him becoming confused and to help keep him relaxed. Having had a great start in life with Pat and Linda, Hot Jazz is now growing in confidence and just loves people. For more information, contact the Parelli UK Team on 0800 0234 813 or visit www.parelli.com
Smug Bags Make Rug Care Easy
Now in the height of Summer, it’s time to send our smelly horse rugs off to the cleaners. Why not use the SMUG Bag to transport your rugs in style. You no longer have to worry about getting yourself and your family car covered in the lovely aromas that come with them. You simply open the SMUG bag drop your rug in, zip it up and then off you go to the rug wash putting an end to trips where you end up covered in the caked mud and smells that our beloved equines leave behind. The top quality SMUG Bag is the ideal solution. They are made from heavy-duty canvas with a waterproof interior that zips into a bag, containing all the mud, drips and smells. It also has handles so you can carry your rug to the cleaners easily. The SMUG Bag is even large enough to easily take a heavy weight 7ft 6in rug with no difficulty. The SMUG Bag is available in pink or black and features the smart SMUG logo. To order one of our fantastic SMUG Bags you can visit www.smug-bags.com or simply give us a call on 078 2527 1512 to order one over the phone.
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Healtthcare • News
Calls for Simpler Horse Passport System as Survey Results Highlight Poor Understanding and Compliance
he UK’s horse passport regulations are in urgent need of simplification and strengthening after sector-wide survey results revealed a dramatic lack of confidence and worrying shortcomings in most parts of the system meant to safeguard the human food chain. Almost 3,000 horse owners, 100 local authority enforcement agents, 600 veterinary surgeons, 54 Passport Issuing Organisations (PIOs) and two abattoirs shared their understanding of and experiences with the regulations. For the foreseeable future, horse carcasses are currently being held until test results confirm they do not contain bute in order to safeguard the food chain. The survey results demonstrated a catalogue of misunderstanding, patchy compliance, lack of enforcement and a struggling system without controls or consequences. A staggering 80+% said they did not believe the system fulfilled its purposes. Reasons for this lack of confidence included: MiSunDERStanDinG oF tHE RulES Across the board there was a fundamental lack of knowledge about which types of equine needed passports, who could issue them, and when a PIO needed the passport sent back to them for updating. Worryingly there was little difference in awareness of the rules between horse owners and the average PIO, and even abattoirs did not recognise the system’s prime purpose of protecting the human food chain. laCk oF CoMPlianCE -- anD EnFoRCEMEnt Weak enforcement was cited as the key reason why the passport system did not fulfil its purposes. Many local authorities admitted to not enforcing the regulations at all and often they had been given a lower priority in light of restricted resources. All groups pointed to a lack of compliance with the current system that has been allowed to go unchecked and so undermined its integrity and compromised motivation to comply.
no CEntRal DataBaSE All groups stated that they believed that a lack of central database was a top reason for poor compliance because, with no central database, enforcement was rendered impossible. CoMPlEx oR iMPRaCtiCal RulES Veterinarians pointed to the impracticalities of the current system which, unless they have done so previously, require them to check every horse’s passport before any medication is given. “We have long recognised that the passport system was far from perfect. As a result of this extensive survey, we are now in a much better position to demonstrate the scale of misunderstanding of the rules. The survey results tally precisely with the highest priority risks in the Equine Health and Welfare Strategy review: Poor identification and enforcement, lack of central database and overbreeding of low value horses. We clearly need to move forward now to create a simpler system and ensure that communication is improved,” asserts sector council Chair Jeanette Allen. “It is essential that any improved system works in practice and not just on paper,” said David Mountford, chief executive of the British Equine Veterinary Association. “To minimise the chances of unacceptable veterinary residues entering the human food chain the individual sending a horse for slaughter must be culpable if the carcase returns a positive test.” Advancing Equine Scientific Excellence’s case studies, carried out by 12 participating UK academic establishments, also highlighted weaknesses within the current systems and made innovative recommendations for engaging all sectors of the horse community, improving communication and understanding, all through a new central equine information system. The sector will continue to work with Defra on these proposals, carry out further research and consultation to make sure that all members of the equine community are better equipped to comply with regulation and can access the information they need more readily.
Keep Calm and kick on this season
hether you want to simply enjoy a leisurely hack with your horse minus the spooky behaviour, or dream of a harmonious partnership, without the tension, in the dressage arena, there are many ‘calming’ products on the market for you to choose from. But how do you decide what will suit your horse? CHooSE WiSElY Tension, nerves, anxiety and unruly behaviour are generally counterproductive to performance levels. Even the most talented of horses are wasted unless you can maintain their attention and focus. There are different types of calmer available depending on your requirement and the first step to choosing the perfect product is to identify what you require. Is your horse naturally hot headed and needs a regular dose of calmer on a long term basis? Or is it only when you are away from home that he gets stressed and uptight? By identifying these requirements you can then decide whether you want to administer a regular supplement to help make him more trainable on a daily basis, or if you simply need an instant calmer for on-theday results. DailY DoSE When a horse is stressed, or under pressure through exercise, their magnesium levels can deplete and in the event that they are not replenished this can exacerbate an already nervous disposition. For this reason choosing a product with Magnesium Aspartate Hydrochloride included is likely to have positive results when 46 | July 2013
selecting a regular calming product. When you are looking at ingredient lists on any supplement always check the bioavailability of the formula as there is no point in paying for a product which appears to have a high level of relevant nutrients if they are not easily absorbed by your horse. Magnesium Aspartate Hydrochloride is absorbed quickly and efficiently into the blood stream, which can counteract the behaviour associated with stress and excitement, aid concentration and improve general anxiousness. In addition it helps reduce muscle tension caused by nervousness and anticipation, which projects a more relaxed picture of your horse and will also help reduce muscle fatigue. Vetrocalm is a highly bioavailable form of Magnesium Aspartate Hydrochloride and has been formulated using Specially Optimised Bioavailable Formula (SOBF) technology. This easily absorbed proprietary blend goes directly into the bloodstream, where it replenishes levels of magnesium that have been depleted through activity or stress. Vetrocalm is scientifically proven to counteract behaviour associated with stress and excitement, while reducing muscle tension caused by nervousness. Horses who are prone to excitement, aggression, nervousness or those who lack focus perform better when fed Vetrocalm. inStant RESultS For horses that have a relaxed
disposition at home but become tense and nervous when faced with a difficult situation, an instant calmer may be more suitable. Stress can reduce the level of oxygen in the blood so by offering a product that helps replenish this means you can promote a more relaxed and focused outlook, and also improve recovery in one quick and simple application. Oxyshot uses a revolutionary oxygen technology called CS02 which uses natural ingredients to instantly replenish oxygen levels in the blood which have been lost during hard work or when in a stressful environment. This stable form of oxygen easily dissolves in the blood stream when ingested and helps oxidise lactic acid allowing horses to recover quickly from exertion and cope with anxiety and worry. The result is a far more levelheaded horse that is easier to ride and happier to perform. Vetrocalm and Oxyshot can be used separately or together for the ultimate stressbeating formulation and neither contain any prohibited substances or chemical ingredients. Vetrocalm is available in a 42 or 120 day supply, with prices starting at £39.99. Oxyshot is available in a 3 dose syringe, 10 dose, 20 dose or 40 dose bottle, prices start at £12.99. We are so confident in our products we offer a money-back guarantee! * For more information about Animalife and their calming range tel: 0845 365 0050 or visit: www.animalife. co.uk.* subject to T/C’s see online for more info. www.equiads.net
Feed • Healthcare
Feeding the horse on box rest We chat to Ellie Parkin, designer of the award-winning Elim-a-Net, to find out why slow feeding is so vital, especially for horses on box rest… WHY iS tRiCklE FEEDinG FoRaGE So iMPoRtant? The equine’s digestive system is designed to consume small amounts of food constantly to maintain health and efficiency. This delicate digestive system has evolved to trickle feed a high fibre diet, such as grass, hay or haylage, which supplies the horse with a good source of protein, vitamins and slow release energy. Without this constant passage of food excess acid in the stomach is not neutralised which can lead to digestive upsets. WHat HaPPEnS iF YouR HoRSE DoESn’t ConSuME EnouGH FoRaGE? A reduction in forage intake can cause serious health problems because if the gut becomes too high in acid it can lead to problems such as gastric ulcers and colic. A lack of forage can also trigger stable vices such as cribbing, chewing wood, weaving, and box walking – all of which indicates our horses are unhappy or stressed. WHat aDDitional PRoBlEMS Do oWnERS FaCE WitH a HoRSE on Box RESt? When your horse is laid off work their management regime and energy requirements are drastically altered overnight. Most horses on box rest have a reduced need for concentrate feed but their fibre requirements do not change. Our horse’s behaviour can also be
influenced when their innate need to chew is prevented, resulting in boredom and discontentment and during box rest many horses may become dejected in their personality. In order to retain a relaxed and happy horse, ad lib access to forage is ideal. HoW Can EliM-a-nEt HElP anD WHat MakES it DiFFEREnt FRoM oRDinaRY SMall-HolED HaYnEtS? So how do we keep our box rested horse happy and healthy? Elim-a-Net is totally different from conventional small holed haynets and features a unique Inner Net Design which alters the size and shape of the holes to ensure the horse has access to forage for longer, thus increasing the amount of time they spend chewing. Elim-a-Net prevents bolting of hay or haylage and keeps your horse or pony munching for longer without having to load them with excessive quantities of food. The unique design of Elim-a-Net also reduces wastage, preventing hay being dropped or trampled into your horse’s bedding. Elim-a-Net comes in three different sizes, Pony, Cob and Horse, to make it easier to give your horse or pony exactly what they need. Elim-a-Net is available in a variety of colours with prices starting from just £9.99. For further information and to find your nearest stockist visit: www.parellproducts.com or tel: 07715 172 470.
Nettex Summer Hoof D
on’t allow the changeable British weather to get to your horse’s feet this summer. Stock up with Nettex Summer Hoof, a moisturising and strengthening formula that will maintain hoof suppleness whatever the weather does. Nettex Summer Hoof aids moisture retention in order to prevent splitting, cracking and chipping that commonly affects horses’ feet during the summer months. Used regularly, this product will successfully promote and maintain healthy hooves, allowing horse owners to get on with riding and competing. Highly breathable, Nettex Summer Hoof is a cream that can be applied by brush or sponge to the hooves and soles during the summer months and when conditions are particularly dry. A blend of Keratin, Vitamin B6, Keratin and Glycerine in a white oil base, it penetrates deep into the hoof wall to keep hooves supple and pliable. New for this year, Nettex Summer Hoof, which is part of the Nettex Hoof Care range, has been stylishly repackaged. Consider making Nettex Summer Hoof part of your
KM Elite Ultimate Oil
M Elite Ultimate Oil is the next generation in oil supplementation. Ultimate Oil is a blend of high quality oils providing more than 190 bioactive nutrients including healthy ratios of Omegas 3, 6, 9 and rare Omega 7 - nourishing the body with essential fatty acids, minerals, plant sterols, antioxidants, amino acids, anti-viral and antibacterial nutrients and vitamins including Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, B15, C, E, K. All the oils in ultimate Oils are of the highest quality, easily biologically absorbed by your horse and are included at specific levels for specific reasons so they work together, creating a synergetic effect for the total health and well-being of your horse. . RRP £9.99 for 1ltr or £32.99 for 5ltr. www.kmeliteproducts.co.uk Tel 01403 759659.
daily grooming routine and see the difference for yourself. It’s a wise choice you won’t regret. RRP: £12.50 for 500ml For stockist information, visit www.nettexequine. com or call 01634 257150. July 2013 | 47
Feed • Giveaway • Healthcare
skin, coat and immunity supplement supplied to you by Nupafeed UK The Seabuckthorn has been grazed by horses for centuries and was revered by the ancient Greeks for the healing effects it had on their war horses, in fact the Latin name for the plant is Hippophae Rhamnoides which means, ‘shiny horse’. Seabuckthorn is a highly concentrated source of nutrients including anti-oxidants, B-vitamins, omega oils including high levels of rare omega-7, carotenoids and B-sterols all of which have known health benefits and support healthy cell structure throughout the body. Seabuckthorn nourishes your horse from the inside out, providing highly effective care for the delicate tissues which line the stomach and intestine, for complete digestive support as well as improved skin and coat quality and all round health. Seabuckthorn can be purchased exclusively from Nupafeed UK: Tel: 01438 861 900 Email: email@example.com www.nupafeed.co.uk
How To Cope With A Horse On Box Rest HorseHage and Mollichaﬀ Help Take the Blues Out Of Box Rest.
ox rest is a frustrating situation that most horse or pony owners will have to face at some point, and this will mean vital changes to your horse’s feeding routine as well as exercise. Of course, providing excellent quality forage is the most important factor in a good feeding regime and this still applies whatever the reason your horse is confined for, whether injured, laminitic or just recuperating, or even box - bound due to ice and snow. in tHE nEt! HorseHage offers a choice of two varieties of dust-free bagged forage that are suitable for horses and ponies in this situation. Both High Fibre HorseHage and Timothy HorseHage are high in fibre and low in energy and starch. There are several benefits from choosing HorseHage. It is more digestible than other forages, and so allows for more efficient utilisation of the available nutrients, and because it retains much of the value of fresh grass it can help improve condition and add a natural bloom to the coat. It does not contain any chemical additives, mould inhibitors, flavourings, molasses or inoculants. It is also dust-free and so is ideal
WIN WITH FOURFLAX! 10 lucky readers can each win a bottle of Fourflax 3mega flax seed oil (1 litre) worth £23.95 each. 3mega is a pure, natural flax seed oil from New Zealand. This wonderful supplement for your horse will promote a glossy coat, build strong, healthy hooves and is wonderful for fighting dry, itchy skin conditions. 3mega has an anti-inflammatory effect on muscles and joints, speeding up recovery time following strenuous exercise and events. In short, 3mega supports your horse’s immune, circulatory and structural systems and promotes overall good health, from the inside out. Simply add 3mega to your horse’s daily feed and see the incredible results in as little as 14 days. To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question: Where is the 3mega flax seed oil from? Send your answer along with your name, address and contact number to Fourflax Competition - Equi-Ads Ltd, Office 1, Tayview Industrial Estate, Friarton Road, Perth, PH2-8DG. Alternatively, email the above details to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries close 31st July 2013.
For more information contact 0800 328 3330 or visit us at www.fourflax.co.uk 48 | July 2013
when your horse or pony needs to be stabled over a period of time as a dust-free diet and stable environment is vital to help prevent respiratory problems from developing. You should also ensure that you use a dust-free bedding. When HorseHage is fed as the main forage source, you may be able to reduce your horse’s hard feed by up to a third…which helps with the current situation of stretched budgets! Top Tip: Use a HorseHage net for your forage which has extra small mesh or try putting your forage into two haynets (one inside the other). Not only will this help extend the eating time of the forage, but will help reduce stable boredom and increase mental stimulation! This is a particularly good idea for greedy horses or ponies! in tHE FEED BuCkEt! If your horse is on box rest, his energy requirements are likely to be greatly reduced. However, his daily requirement for other vitamins and minerals still need to be met. It is therefore important that his hard feed meets these new nutrititional requirements without overloading him with excess energy levels. In addition, your horse is likely to be more excitable, especially if he is not used to spending long periods of times in the stable. It is therefore desirable to ensure he is kept calm and quiet, particularly if he is on box rest due to injury or illness. Mollichaff Calmer is a complete feed that ensures that all nutritional requirements are met, whilst providing a Calmer supplement to help keep your horse relaxed and quiet. Importantly, the energy levels in Mollichaff Calmer are also low. It contains a balanced blend of fibre pellets, oat straw, dried grass, herbs, soya oil, vitamins, minerals, limestone
and trace elements and it can be used as the sole bucket feed. It is suitable for all horses and ponies, including laminitics, as it is low in sugar and starch providing limited controlled energy from high quality, digestible fibre and oil-based ingredients. Mollichaff Calmer includes elevated levels of magnesium along with a carefully formulated combination of camomile, lemon balm and mint, to help relax your horse. It also contains Vitamins B1 and B12 which are known to help decrease anxiety by exerting a calming influence on the horse. Mollichaff Calmer when fed at the recommended levels provides a good sized bucket feed. The average 500kg horse should be fed 2.5kg. This extends the eating time and helps reduce stable boredom. Top Tips: Divide your horse’s ration down into as many meals as possible. This will help keep him trickle feeding and not bolting it down all in one go. It will also help to keep him more mentally stimulated. Keep to regular feeding routines, feeding the same quality, consistency and amount of feed at the same times each day and don’t leave your horse for long periods of time with nothing to eat, as this can lead to serious digestive and metabolic disturbances. It also creates boredom, which has been associated with the increase of stable vices. For further information contact the HorseHage Helpline on 01803 527257 or visit www.horsehage.co.uk
New Product to the UK!
ew to the UK from New Zealand, 3mega for horses is a pure premium flaxseed oil supplement that provides a rich concentrated natural source of Omega 3. Adding 3mega to your horse’s feed on a daily basis can do wonders for their immune, circulatory and digestive systems. Key benefits of 3mega are; • Builds strong, healthy hooves • Promotes healthy skin and shiny, glossy coats - ideal for show horses • Speeds up recovery time following strenuous exercise and events • Aids joints and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis • Has a calming effect on nervous horses • Omega 3 supplementation can contribute to enhanced fertility With all of the benefits that 3mega can bring, your horse will look and feel amazing! With prices starting from £23.95, 3mega is available in 4 sizes from 1 litre to 20 litres for both personal and professional use. For more information contact us on 0800 328 3330 or visit us at www.fourﬂax.co.uk www.equiads.net
VetVits, PO Box 64, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 3BT. Prices featured are valid until 31.08.13
HorseSource Seabuckthorn The new gastric health,
P S S
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SCIENTIFICALLY FORMULATED THE PUREST VetVits, PO Box 64, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 3BT. Prices featured are valid until 31.08.13
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“EquiFlex ® is clinically tested to help optimise mobility, with independent clinical trials finding that a group of horses being fed EquiFlex over a 31 day period displayed statistically significant improvements in 4 out of 5 movements. VetVits use only the purest, most advanced form of Glucosamine HCl available, providing 40% more glucosamine per serving than standard glucosamine products.” Product Description Size/Price Qty SALE EquiFlex 496g @ £19.95 £18.95 SALE EquiFlex Bulk 1,488g @ £56.95 £55.95 372g @ £13.45 EquiHoof – hoof health care EquiMSM – joint health care 600g @ £14.95 EquiSenior – complete health care 496g @ £14.95 NEW EquiCalm – natural calmer 434g @ £16.95 FREE Postage and Packaging*
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EquiCleanse minor wounds and superficial skin irritations 4 Veterinary level of hygiene 4 Safe, effective wound management 4 Powerful Grapefruit Seed Extract EquiCleanse the natural answer to first aid NAF'S VETERINARY SUPPORT RANGE, NATURALINTX HAS BEEN DESIGNED AND CREATED TO HELP YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR HORSE NATURALLY
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