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

April 2012

Lameness investigation and diagnosis

Jumping exercises

Perfect condition


worth oF prizes




The latest in equestrian fashion

How well do we treat our horses? Feeding Stallions

Allergic skin disease and Sweet Itch

Healthcare - News

Front Cover Image: Adrian Sinclair - 07939272791 -

Contents Healthcare 1, 4, 23 – 29 News 1, 4, 5, 56 Field & Stable 2, 38, 55 Harry Hall Giveaway 4 Tack & Turnout 5, 33 – 38, 52, 53, 54, 55 Legal 7 Training 7, 32 Competition – Nupafeed 8 5 Freedoms 10 Feeding 9 - 24 Perfect Condition 14 – 18 Feeding Stallions 18 - 22 Stud 19 Lameness 24 - 26 Horse Behaviour 28 Worming 29 Insurance 29 – 31, 54 Schooling 32 Equi-Style 33 - 35 Sweet Itch 39 – 48, 49, 50, 52, 53 Physiotherapy 46 Giveaway – Leslie Sutcliffe 49 Directory 54 Giveaway – Dever Bridle 54 Livery 54 Animal Communication 56 Holidays 56

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Lucky 13 as Petplan Equine continues its sponsorship of Area Festivals Riders and owners across the UK will be delighted to learn that Petplan Equine is to continue its support of the country’s competition series for amateur dressage riders, the Area Festivals, for a 13th year as title sponsor. The series of qualifiers for the 2013 Petplan Equine Area Festivals kicks off at Weston Lawns in Warwickshire on 18th and 19th August 2012 and the 13th annual Finals will be held alongside the British Dressage Winter Championships at Hartpury College in April 2013. To take part in any of the Petplan Equine Area Festivals, that run from August to October this year, horse and rider need to have achieved a minimum of two scores of 62% or above at Preliminary to Elementary level or 60% or above at Medium to Prix St Georges at any affiliated competition from 1st January 2012.

The competition is also open to nonmembers of British Dressage, who may qualify for the Petplan Equine Area Festivals on ‘Class Tickets’. However, once the scores have been obtained the rider must become a full member of British Dressage in order to take part in a Petplan Equine Area Festival. Horses

must be registered before entering the Area Festival from Novice upwards but do not need to be registered to enter an Area Festival at Preliminary level. For more information on the Petplan Equine Area Festivals visit www.

Endurance GB try before you buy scheme continues for 2012 Following on from huge success last year Endurance GB, (EGB) the governing body for Endurance riding in England and Wales is pleased to announce that their Try Before You Buy scheme will continue this season. Try Before You Buy is aimed at people wishing to experience competitive Endurance riding, and offers free registration for horse and rider to enable them to compete in two competitive novice rides up to 40km before becoming a full member of EGB. The list of rides to choose from is extensive, with 23 regional EGB groups and a busy EGB calendar offering over 100 rides, from February to October, covering all levels.

Non-members of EGB are welcome at all non-competitive rides, but Try Before You Buy provides a great opportunity to try this challenging sport in a competitive ride. Participating riders will pay just the competitive ride entry fee for the ride which is £37. The registration fees for horses and riders, which are usually £96, will be free to allow participation in two rides under the scheme. Rosettes will be awarded for completion, but there will be no eligibility for trophy points or progression towards novice qualifications.

Riders may only participate in the scheme for one season, anyone who took part in 2011 will not be eligible to do so again in 2012. To find out more, visit the official Endurance GB website for details

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 1

Field & Stable

Keeping the laminitic comfortable

Bedding him down in a stable fitted with Equimat will ensure that his feet are cushioned and that he is also insulated from the concrete floor.

He’s the type of horse that just has to look at a blade of grass to put weight on and would quite happily eat until he popped!

A comfortable bed will support your horse’s feet and also encourage him to lie down and rest.

My horse adapted very quickly to using the triple net and after 5 minutes of bashing the net around he was happily munching away...a few strands at a time.

Teaming your Equimats with suitable low dust bedding will avoid respiratory issues associated with long periods of box rest.

The mats come in two different thicknesses the 20mm standard and 28mm supersoft, perfect for Laminitics.

Throughout the evening I received regular updates from the girls on the yard to let me know that he still had hay left which up until this point had been unheard of . The Trickle Net has been specifically designed to greatly slow down the rate at which your horse eats his forage, the hole size is 25mm and holds 8.5kg of dry hay. They are made from very strong 4mm rot proof braided polyethylene so the holes will never stretch.

For more details on Equimat call 01536 513456 or visit

An added bonus is that Triple Nets are so easy to fill as they have a huge opening.

Stabling your laminitic horse or pony on Equimat will also help protect him against other possible stable injuries during his enforced box rest.

Cost effective rubber matting such as Equimat can be purchased direct via and is quickly and easily fitted.

Trickle Feeding for the Fuller Fillies I recently tried out the triple net and I am so happy I did. Before receiving my triple net I was double and triple netting my normal haynets in a bid to slow down my greedy horse which can (to everyone’s amazement) finish a double haynet in less than an hour.

If you suspect that your horse or pony is laminitic the first thing that you should do is to call the vet then move him to a stable where you can make him more comfortable.

These might include capped hocks, pressure on joints through long periods of standing on concrete, even falls and slips.

Tried & Tested - The Trickle Net

Yes, they are a bit more expensive than your normal haynet at £30 but they are not ordinary haynets and in my opinion are well worth the money. Honestly, I had tried everything else but nothing comes even close to the Trickle Net, I can’t rate it enough!! For more information- www.tricklenet. 07508 778955

Providing a modern, fast, 21st century service without losing the values we have learnt from retailing over the last 50 years.

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Competition - News

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 3

Giveaway - Healthcare - News

Join the Horslyx Healthy Hooves Challenge and win 6 months of Horslyx!

JJ Equestrian JJ Equestrian held their first Showing Show of the season at Milton (Cambs) on Sunday 11th March 2012.

Every tub of Horslyx contains Biotin, Methionine and Chelated Zinc – all vital to promote strong and healthy hooves. This, paired with the unique vitamin, mineral and trace elements offered in every Horslyx can help your horse reach optimum health, vitality and over all well being. Horslyx have now launched a unique Healthy Hooves Challenge giving horse owners the chance to win 6 months worth of Horslyx, in the formulation of their choice. Horslyx are now inviting customers to take part in a new scheme to see the difference Horslyx can make to their horse’s hooves. The Horslyx Healthy Hooves Challenge is open to all riders and their horses and ponies, whether they are a happy hacker or serious competitor. Customers will need to send before and after images of their horse’s hooves in

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order to be entered in to a prize draw with the opportunity for five winners to receive 6 months worth of Horslyx in their chosen formulation! Terms and conditions apply. To find out more about Horslyx and view the full competition rules visit: www., or tel: (01697) 332 592. We are confident Horslyx will benefit your horse’s health and their hooves, see the difference Horslyx can make for yourself and sign up to the Healthy Hooves Challenge today!

Champion XJ Ward and Fame and Glory Judge Vivien Bruce and Reseve Champ T Nicholls and Killarney Silver

Sarah Crosbie from Chatteris who set up JJ Equestrian last year set out to provide friendly equestrian events where those new to the sport or those with young horses and ponies could compete with and learn from the knowledgeable judges and more senior competitors. With 159 entries and bright warm spring sunshine, the event was a huge success. Sarah was able to offer winners in various classes a qualification to Equifest, 15+ Amateur Showing Society and Royal London which shows how JJ Equestrian has grown over the last year. There will be further events every month up until September at Sedgeways Equestrian centre, Sedgeways Business Park, Wichford Nr Ely Sarah can be contacted at or by calling 07513755192 Images by

Toby Layn and Eric

Tack & Turnout - Transport - Parelli Giveaway

Master class with Tina and Graham Fletcher

Do you want to watch a master class with Olympic hopeful Tina Fletcher and her husband Graham along with a top class showjumping Grand Prix? Well why not head to the Blue Chip Showjumping Championships at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire. The coveted Gala Evening on Friday 13th April starts at 7pm and there will be 600 seats plus standing, with tickets costing £7 on the door. The Gala Evening finishes

with The Blue Chip Grand Prix, which sees top riders competing in this one round, one jump off Grand Prix. The Championships run from Wednesday 11th April until Sunday 15th April, with over 1,000 horses and ponies competing in over 2,900 first rounds of competition, which is held over 5 days in two arenas, so there is certain to be plenty of action. For more information visit www.

Little Boy Blue V Wins Berkshire based rider Sarah Edwards (32) and her own Little Boy Blue V put in a great performance to take section N of the EquestrianClearance. com BE80(T) at Swalcliffe Horse Trials in Oxon. Sarah and the 16hh, eight-year-old TB x Irish Draught set the pace in the dressage finishing the phase with a score of 29.0 before producing a sure footed clear in the show jumping and cross-country phases. The pair added just 2.8 time penalties from the cross-country round to their score but it was still low enough to stay ahead of the field.

the winter. But when this didn’t happen I decided to start the season with some BE80(T) classes to get us going again.

Said Sarah: “I was really pleased with Blue’s performance, he has such as brilliant attitude to training and he loves competing. It is a great start to our season.

“I am hoping we can continue our success and compete at BE90 level and work towards competing in our first BE100 three-day event at Aldon at the end of the season.”

“Last year we competed in a few BE90 events and I was hoping to continue over

For further information visit www. April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 5

Feeding - News

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Legal - Training

iRide Training Reaches an International Audience. iRide training downloads are bringing training and technology together to make quality training available to all budgets and level of riders. “We have been thrilled with the response to this unique training concept”, said co founder Alison Short. “It all started from one of my clients finding it difficult to fit in her lessons during a hectic work schedule, so I recorded her training exercises which she

listened to prior to riding whilst commuting on the train”. Alison explains, “This gave her the opportunity to visualise her perfect session and retune her mind ready to ride, with her download guiding her through each exercise whilst on board the results where outstanding.” Alison Short a listed BD judge and Freelance Dressage trainer has used her contacts in the equestrian world to build an

extensive library of ridden downloads, from International Grand Prix riders Sarah Millis and Amy Stovold to List 1 FEI 5* Judge and 13 national titled Isobel Wessels.

the Prelim 19 on 69.09%. iRide has also recently launched the Eventers Corner with its first series from National trainer Russell Cooper covering Gymnastic Polework.

Alison’s partner Simon Hughes is involved in editing and production of downloads and has a vision of the business reaching a world wide audience.

Danielle Olding sports psychologist also helps you “Maximise Performance at Shows” and “Goal Setting,” keeping you on track to success.

iRide produced its first Winter regional winner at Patchetts in February with Alison Jones and Wyvern of Bellhouse, winning

“What if I am injured whilst trying a horse I want to buy?” Injuries when riding are common place but what is the position if you suffer an injury whilst riding or someone else is injured riding a horse you own. In the first of two articles in our legal section Richard Coates, Head of Equine Law and Keith Howell, Litigation Manager and personal injury specialist of Cobbetts LLP review the current position of injuries suffered by horse riders. Time limits The first question to ask is when did the incident happen? Personal injury claims have time limits in which a claim has to be brought. Section 11 of the Limitation Act 1980 specifies a claim should be made within 3 years of the incident occurring or 3 years from the date of knowledge. If a claim is brought more than 3 years after the incident the person claiming can ask the Court for permission to continue with the action if they can demonstrate good reason why it could not be started in the time allowed. The date of knowledge is used for cases where the injury has taken years to manifest and you may not know you have suffered an injury until a certain episode happens. An example may be when someone falls from a horse and they sustain a minor head injury that leads to the development of epilepsy. It can take some time for the epilepsy to develop fully

and it may be more than 3 years after an incident that the link is made. The 3 years starts to run from the date you have the knowledge that the epilepsy was caused by the fall from the horse. Who is responsible for injuries caused by a horse This is not a straight forward question to answer and the circumstances surrounding each case have to be carefully considered. The majority of the cases involving injuries caused by animals that have been before the Court involve horses, plus one involving a cow! Section 2 of the Animals Act 1971, establishes the law and imposes liability on the keeper of domestic animals. The Court of Appeal handed down a Judgment on 27 February 2012 (Goldsmith v Patchcott [2012] EWCA Civ 183) dismissing a claim where a rider was trying a horse before deciding to give it a new home. In this case the rider was thrown from the horse after it reared up and bucked violently after it was startled. The County Court initially rejected the rider’s claim on the basis that she assumed the risk of injury when she decided to ride the horse. The Court of Appeal examined sections 2 and 5 of the Animals Act 1971. Section 5 allows keepers of domestic animals to offer a

Defence to the liabilities placed upon them by section 2. The Court of Appeal agreed with the County Court’s decision to dismiss the claim on the basis the rider assumed the risk and the horse’s action that caused her to be thrown was a characteristic found in horses in particular circumstances. This decision will have wide ranging impact for people trying new horses when considering purchasing. Keith comments “the general position at common law is that responsibility rests with the person trying the horse and the Court of Appeal has clarified this. The Judgment will offer some comfort to keepers but it will stop a lot of badly injured riders from pursuing claims”. Although responsibility rests with the person trying the horse, rather than the owner, there are always exceptions. If a seller states the horse is suitable for a novice when in reality it is a very difficult mount, liability may rest with the owner for misleading the rider. Practical hints and tips As a result of the above, Richard suggests that before riding a horse you are considering buying, you should ask the owner if the horse has any peculiar habits and do not be afraid to ask questions about the horses characteristics. The owner has an obligation to tell you. Be objective about your own ability and

always discuss this in detail with the owner or trainer before getting on the horse to ensure they consider the horse is suitable for your experience and skill level. You should always check the owner has insurance in place covering you to ride the horse. It may also be beneficial to arrange your own insurance if you are trying a number of horses. One final area that some people over look is tack, always check it is safe and properly adjusted and wear the correct riding gear. If you ride a horse without the correct gear i.e. a properly fitted helmet and fall off suffering an injury, you could be found partially responsible (this is known as contributory negligence). Personal injury claims involving horses are not straight forward and advice should be sought at the earliest opportunity. April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 7


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Not all oats are the same, busting the myth Oats are a popular choice of feed for horses and ponies, but they are also much maligned. The golden rule of feeding according to work load is a relevant one when it comes to oats, but you don’t have to be working your horse like a race horse, or have to put up with unmanageable behaviour to benefit from what this cereal has to offer. The oats used by GWF Nutrition in all their feeds are Scandinavian black and gold oats. These are grown on contract in the UK to ensure their quality. The oats have been selected by the nutritionist at GWF Nutrition because they are 25% lower in starch than conventional ‘Porridge Oats’, but high in oil and fibre. The black and gold oats complement the natural ability of the horse to obtain energy from these sources. The low starch means it is a non heating oat which reduces the risk of digestive upset associated with undigested carbohydrate reaching the hind gut. The high oil content provides concentrated energy in slow-release form. Rather than cause your horse or pony to become highly excitable these oats can be used to put condition on – especially in cold weather during the winter months. Stephen Tucker, managing director and nutritionist at GWF Nutrition said; ‘’The oats we grow for our feeds provide a perfect balance of fast and slow release energy. They ideally suit the digestive system of all horses and are an essential part of feeding horses the GWF Nutrition way.’’

Selected components of oats are also used in the company’s Oatinol® delivery system. For all the nutritional elements of the feed to be utilized, they have to be absorbed from the horses’ digestive tract via the gut wall. The health of this membrane is essential for this transfer of nutrients but also for the natural exclusion of antagonists. Oatinol supplies specific nutricines to maintain gut cell wall integrity, maintain the lining of the gut, support the immune system and aid the absorption of nutricines, vitamins and trace elements. This is why it is called a delivery system as it all works together to produce safe and comfortable digestion. How and what you feed your horse and pony should always be taken very seriously; always remember a horse’s digestive system can be easily upset which can lead to colic or ulcers. It is a good idea to make sure your horse or pony is on a fibre and forage based diet which emulates how they would feed themselves in the wild. Try and make changes to the diet slowly and introduce new feed over a period of four days. Always feed a good quality feed as anything less will prove to be false economy. Finally make sure your animals always have access to fresh drinking water, a lot of advice is common sense but it can be over looked. For more information or to order, please visit: www. or call GWF Nutrition direct on 01225 708482.

TopSpec Win Nutritional Helpline of the Year Award SIX fabulous years of outstanding personalised customer service were recognised at the BETA Business Awards as TopSpec once again scooped the HAYGAIN Nutritional Helpline of the Year Award. Winning the award for an unprecedented sixth year saw an outstanding achievement for the North Yorkshire based family firm, well known for their range of innovative horse feed and supplements. TopSpec provide horses owners with valuable help and advice, and are well known throughout the industry for their multiple award-winning helpline. One nominator said: “The advice I was given was very detailed, with suggestions for a feeding regime fully explained.” An incognito judge added: “The diet recommended was explained

step by step, they also went through all the ingredients and I was given a timeframe for improvements.” Nicola Tyler of TopSpec said: “We are very grateful to be recognised by the industry for consistent excellence in giving nutritional advice. “Welfare and simplicity is always uppermost in our minds when giving advice but when we can help people to also achieve success in what they want to achieve it is very rewarding.” The awards presented at the hugely successful BETA Gala Dinner are highly sought after throughout the industry and the remarkable sixth consecutive win for TopSpec met with a huge round of applause from those attending. For more information tel: 01845 565 030 or visit April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 9

Feeding - Health Care

How well do we treat our horses? Dr Derek Cuddeford, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh

In 1965 the Brambell Committee reported on the welfare of farm animals kept under intensive livestock husbandry systems because there was real concern about an animal’s well-being in such systems. “Factory Farming” was the emotive term applied to such intensive animal systems. The report stated that farm animals should have the freedom “to stand up, lie down, turn around, groom themselves and stretch their limbs.” As a direct result of this report the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (FAWAC) was established and was subsequently superseded by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) in 1979.

The FAWC introduced the concept of the Five Freedoms, as described below, and that an animal’s welfare should be considered in these terms. They form a basis upon which to assess the welfare of animals kept in any husbandry system and include both the animal’s physical and mental state. It goes without saying that any animal kept by mankind must, at the very least, be protected from unnecessary suffering. The FAWC consider that it is imperative that there is an awareness of welfare needs amongst those that keep animals. On their web site they state “A management system may be acceptable in principle but without competent, diligent stockmanship the welfare of animals cannot be adequately safeguarded”. Basically it comes down to the competency of the horse carer who should be knowledgeable about the needs of the animal in their care. This may well require training and good supervision. Ministry regulation governs stocking rates or housing

requirements of farm animals. For example, there is strict regulation on the size of cage allowed for laying hens whilst some husbandry practices, the tethering of sows and the use of sow stalls, have been banned across the EU. It is noteworthy that horses, unlike sows, may be tethered in stalls and one of the best examples of this is at the stables of the Household Cavalry at the Hyde Park/ Knightsbridge Barracks in London where some 270 horses are kept. It is considered an acceptable method of keeping such working horses during their resting hours and it is in regular use for military horses. In contrast to the precise regulation of livestock farming operations we rely on recommendations/guidelines for keeping horses. The best example of this is encapsulated in the “Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium” whose third edition was published in 2009 by the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC). It is probable cont. on p.12

At risk of Laminitis? Throughout the Spring and Summer months, susceptible horses and ponies may be prone to laminitis. TopSpec AntiLam and TopChop Lite provide a suitable diet for overweight horses and ponies at risk of laminitis. TopSpec AntiLam is a brilliant formulation combining several supplements with a high-fibre, very low-calorie carrier to make it palatable. This unique multi-supplement is so palatable that it can be fed out of the hand to horses and ponies at pasture to provide vital nutritional support.

TopSpec AntiLam should be fed on its own with forage. The forage can be in the form of late-cut hay and/or unmolassed chops such as TopChop Lite, or controlled grazing, or a combination of these, depending on the individual circumstances.

treated for, and recovering from laminitis. However it is suitable for all horses and ponies and perfect for good-doers and others prone to weight gain. TopSpec AntiLam £34.95 (20kg) TopChop Lite £8.95 (15kg)

TopChop Lite is an unmolassed, natural product made from alfalfa, oat straw, a light dressing of soya oil and real mint. It is ideal for good doers that need their weight controlling.

For free nutritional advice please contact the Multiple AwardWinning Helpline on (01845) 565030 or visit

TopChop Lite is of similar nutritional value to average quality hay but contains less sugar. The composition and consistency of this product make it ideal for horses and ponies prone to, being

Likit’s Tasty Treats Likit Snaks are now available in new Apple & Cinnamon flavour. The wholesome, heart-shaped nibbles come in a 500g re-sealable pack, while the original Mint & Eucalyptus Snaks also come in pocket-sized 100g bags. Likit Snaks are tasty, crunchy treats 10 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

that can be used in conjunction with the Likit Snak-A-Ball to alleviate stable boredom, or fed from the hand as a training aid or reward - perfect for showing your horse or pony just how much you care.

Contact Westgate EFI on 01303 872277 for stockists


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Health Care cont. from p.10

that most horse owners/carers will not have read these guidelines as there is no obligation to do so and many of the guidelines (such as loose box sizes) cannot be enforced. There are many horse welfare organizations whose field officers do a fantastic job in dealing with disturbing cases of obvious poor welfare (cruelty cases) where horses, donkeys or ponies are grossly mismanaged. However, there are innumerable chronic abuses of equid welfare that never come to light or, are not recognized as such but deemed to be “normal” practice. We might not consider horse keeping as an intensive livestock husbandry system because in most cases, horses are housed individually. However, domestically kept horses are often severely confined, fed unnatural diets and often looked after by untrained personnel. In an attempt to objectively assess “how well do we treat our horses” we can try to do this by considering, in turn, each of the five freedoms proposed by the FAWC as a basis of assessing welfare: 1. Freedom from hunger and thirst This requires ready access to fresh water and a diet that will maintain full health and vigour. The former is almost always provided although in some cases, “freshness” maybe an

issue, but the latter may often be wanting. The NEWC recommendations state “Every horse must be offered daily an appropriate ration of food, to maintain its body condition around Body Condition Score 3”. Malnutrition may be evident in many different formats ranging from obvious clinical conditions such as colic and laminitis to obesity. Overt hunger is rarely recognized apart from obvious cases of starvation but one wonders what “hunger” is experienced by those animals physically prevented from satisfying their normal feeding behaviour such as animals prone to laminitis?

consider firstly prevention but if this has not been achieved then rapid diagnosis and treatment is essential in order to minimize the effects of pain, injury or disease. The key of course is prevention. Thus meal feeding, long inter-meal intervals, large meals, lack of roughage, limiting feeding time, overfeeding are but some of the feed-related scenarios that cause gastric ulceration, acidosis, colic, laminitis, obesity and so on. These are all conditions that are easily preventable by employing good husbandry yet, they occur widely, severely compromising the welfare of our horses, ponies or donkeys.

2. Freedom from discomfort

4. Freedom to express normal behaviour

To achieve this it is necessary to provide an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area. How many times does one see horses and ponies (separately and together) standing in a sea of mud during the winter months waiting to be fed or to be taken indoors? Frequently these animals are kept on an unsuitably small area of poorly drained ground often without adequate shelter. In the summer months, those same horses may be offered no respite from heat and flies. This surely means they are not free from discomfort.

For this one needs to provide sufficient space, proper facilities and the company of the animal’s own kind. The NEWC Compendium specifically states “Any management system which isolates them (horse) from other horses, or confines them to small areas, is contrary to their basic nature”. Clearly, hundreds of horses or ponies are kept in splendid isolation but does anyone do anything about this reduced welfare? Never! It is an accepted practice and yet who has not witnessed the behaviour of these isolated animals? It is clear that they are suffering. A further quote from the Compendium deals with stabling: “It is not good practice to keep horses confined in stables for long periods without access to adequate daily exercise”. In racing stables it is not uncommon for a racehorse to be exercised for just one hour per day spending the remaining 23 hours stabled. Does anybody question the validity of doing this? Clearly, it contravenes best practice but as it is accepted as “normal” practice nothing is ever done about it. “Proper facilities” are required for the animal to express normal behaviour. Stabling prevents physical contact and thus normal social behaviour, controlled feeding prevents normal feeding behaviour and so on. Basically, stabling (confinement) puts a stop to most normal behaviours and thus many horses do not “enjoy” this freedom.

3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease For this to be the case the FAWC

We all wish to enjoy this freedom! To achieve it for your horse you must ensure conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering. I think there is quite a list of events that will cause mental suffering to a horse. For example, the act of separation from other horses, isolation, transportation, pony club races (+physical encouragement!), teasing, weaning, racing, jumping and many more situations that cause mental suffering. Some stressful events occur daily on a yard where several horses are kept. Everyone is familiar with horses venting their frustration by kicking doors and biting. Stereotypies are often the response to mental suffering manifest by stall walking, weaving, cribbing and other abnormal behaviours. These behaviours can be seen in every place where horses are kept and thus overtly condemn the “in house” system of horse keeping. It should be clear from the foregoing that we generally fall short in terms of optimizing horse welfare and there is no effective mechanism in place to rectify the situation. In effect there is a degree of hypocrisy practised whereby appropriate guidelines exist but they are ignored. Unsatisfactory practices are allowed because they conform to what has gone on in the past and are considered “normal” and thus acceptable although they clearly contravene published guidelines that seek to maximize horse welfare. The horse industry should perhaps take a look at itself a little more closely in order to try to improve the general welfare of horses, ponies and donkeys. Perhaps more consideration should be given to the keeping of horses in groups both at grass and when housed. Group housing of horses is practised successfully in parts of Scandinavia together with continuous access to complete diets that are formulated with the animal’s needs in mind. So it is possible to improve the welfare of some horses but the inescapable truth is that we all keep horses to suit our particular needs. However, perhaps it is time that we look to our horse’s particular needs as well!

5. Freedom from fear and distress


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Perfect condition - getting it right Liz Bulbrook BSc Hons (Director of Nutrition), Baileys Horse Feeds What is Condition? Horses carry different proportions of muscle and body fat according to their type and level of fitness or training. It is our aim, as horse owners, to ensure that these proportions are appropriate to the work we are expecting of the horse and adjust his diet and work load accordingly. Body condition scoring, using a numerical scale where 0 is “poor” and 5 is “obese”, can be a useful way of objectively assessing condition by looking at the horse’s neck, ribs and rump. Ideally you should be able to feel but not see the ribs and the horse should carry “top line” in the form of muscle not pads of fat, so correct work is imperative to encourage muscle development in the right places. Whatever method of condition assessment you use, it should be both visual and “hands-on” – you need to feel through a thick coat in the winter, which can cover the true picture, and take a good step back from time to time to look at the whole horse. It is also useful to monitor your horse or pony’s bodyweight by using a weightape or a weighbridge. This will not only help you in your calculation of how much to feed but is particularly useful in assessing

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progress, especially when you are hoping to make considerable changes to your horse’s condition. The Right Condition Having established your horse’s current condition, the next step is to decide whether that is how you would like him to stay or whether you need to make changes in order to help change his condition. For this you will also need to consider the work the horse is expected to undertake and the level of fitness he needs to attain. A dressage horse, for example, needs stamina and muscle tone for physical effort but may carry more “condition” than a three day eventer who has to gallop and jump. Show producers are continuously accused of presenting horses and ponies which are carrying too much body fat, in an attempt to ensure they have a “well rounded” appearance. It can be difficult balancing fitness and muscle tone with levels of body fat but it must be done; an overweight horse risks damage to joints and laminitis, as well as other health issues, and will often simply not exhibit the enthusiasm for work that a slimmer horse can. Those who seem to live on fresh air can

be a nightmare to keep weight off but it is possible to maintain a balanced diet and control calorie intake, whilst those who struggle to keep the weight on must be fed with consideration to the limitations of the equine digestive system. Putting it On A common approach to promoting weight gain is to feed more of the existing feed, or to add straights, such as barley or maize, and gradually the costs mount up but the condition you’re looking for may not. Not only is it unbalancing the ration by adding straight cereals to an already balanced compound feed, but you are also likely to be feeding ever increasing volumes which the horse’s stomach, with its limited capacity, simply cannot take. What you risk when feeding large volumes in each feed is that some will pass on out of the stomach and small intestine before it has been fully digested. This presents a couple of problems – firstly the risk of digestive or metabolic upsets, such as colic or even laminitis, as a result of undigested starch reaching parts of the hind gut that it shouldn’t. Secondly, the feed

will not be fully utilised so some of its nutrients will be lost, resulting in a simple waste of money! It’s therefore much more efficient, more cost effective, and safer, to feed for the job in hand by selecting a compound feed formulated for weight gain and condition. Feeding frequent smaller amounts of a high calorie concentrated feed allows for less starch to be fed in order to promote the desired weight gain. Most reputable feed manufacturers also use cont. on p.16

Joni Bentley

December 2010 - Equi-Ads - 15

Feeding cont. from p.14

cooking techniques, like micronising, which significantly increase the digestibility of the starch granules, ensuring that they are broken down in the foregut, where they should be, rather than reaching the hindgut. Oil is another useful concentrated source of calories which is non-heating and helps to increase the energy density of the ration without significantly increasing volume. Specially developed high oil supplements are now available, which are more palatable and less messy than straight oil, and contain the necessary additional antioxidants which are required by the body to help it utilise the oil more efficiently. The art with promoting weight gain, particularly for the show ring, is knowing when to stop! Continue to monitor your horse’s progress and consider the changing contribution that forage makes as the spring grass comes through – be prepared to alter the diet again to one with a lower energy content once your horse is looking how you want him and finding it easier to maintain his condition during the spring and summer months. Getting it Off If your horse or pony is at the other

end of the scale and you are always struggling to keep that tummy trim, then a different approach will be required. Feeding less than the recommended quantity of a low energy mix or cube will deprive your horse of essential nutrients needed for health and well-being whilst still providing some calories that he doesn’t need. The fact that your overweight horse is dull and lack lustre may not be so much to do with lack of energy in his diet but with a lack of vitamins and minerals. An ideal solution here is to choose a feed balancer. These provide a very concentrated source of nutrients without extra calories and enable you to feed a balanced diet to ensure your horse is receiving all the nutrients for overall health and body maintenance. With correct work you should be able to encourage weight loss, whilst the protein content of the balancer will help promote muscle tone. So on a fully balanced diet, and losing some weight, your previously dull good doer should develop a brighter outlook on life! Again, be prepared to change what you are feeding throughout the year to suit the changing weather conditions, routine and work load. For the exceptionally good doer, a balancer may be an excellent year-round solution

Every Mouthful Counts If this winter’s cold weather has taken its toll on your horse, chances are you’re wondering how to get some of that lost condition back on without having to wait weeks for some spring grass. This is impossible to achieve without increasing your horse’s overall calorie intake and the most cost effective way is to give a specially

formulated conditioning feed, like Baileys Top Line Conditioning Mix or Cubes, alongside ad lib forage. Not only do these provide more calories, and other nutrients, per mouthful than a cool mix or high fibre cube, they are also carefully prepared so that the horse can make the most of every mouthful too.

Year Round Essentials Modern grazing is often deficient in minerals and during the winter is naturally less nutritious, whilst hay or haylage will provide calories but also don’t contain all the nutrients a pony needs. Feeding Baileys Lo-Cal balancer, alongside forage, will supply quality protein, vitamins and minerals but without additional calories so

helps ensure a balanced diet without adding to the waistline. Quality protein is essential to help build and maintain muscle tone and other tissues, including hair and hoof, whilst vitamins and minerals are equally important and also support health and well-being. Don’t forget that, even though your horse or pony may have a quieter time

whilst for others, once the weight is lost, you may find that as work load increases and the nutrient content of the grass drops off in late summer, you need to reintroduce some calories by choosing a low or medium energy mix or cube. Remember that keeping things balanced is the key to optimising performance – feed your concentrate at the recommended rate and, if it provides too many or too few calories, switch to something that gives you the energy levels you want when fed at the recommended rate.

However, your fat pony or cob, for example, still has the same requirements for fibre and should be fed a clean, dust free forage that is stalkier, less digestible and lower in nutrients to ensure that fibre intake is not restricted. Creativity is essential when feeding good-doers to ensure that even a limited amount of forage takes them plenty of time to eat; small-holed haynets and one net inside another will keep them occupied, whilst low calorie chaffs offer an alternative source of fibre which also takes up chewing time.

The Role of Forage

Keeping it Right

We all know how important fibre is to maintain gut function and satisfy the horse’s natural requirement to chew, so forage, including hay, haylage and grass, will be the basis of a healthy diet but will also make a nutritional contribution which should not be forgotten. For example, feeding forage with a very low nutritional value may mean that, even when using the recommended quantities of a compound feed, the over all diet may not be balanced. Feeding a good quality hay or haylage that is soft and leafy, will ensure that your horse receives plenty of nutrients as well as essential fibre - this is especially important when feeding poorer doers.

Having achieved the level of condition that suits your horse and the work you require of him, careful monitoring will help you make the adjustments necessary to keep him that way. Try to avoid the massive condition fluctuations which may result from any “down time”, whatever the time of the year, as it will take you longer to achieve your “ideal” again. Keep a watchful eye, or use a weightape, and above all, be prepared to alter your regime accordingly to ensure your horse remains on a balanced diet and is fit and healthy to perform.

This puts them head and shoulders above cheaper imitations which might stack up on paper but may not contain meticulously micronised cereals for maximum digestibility plus top quality protein sources which supply a range of amino acids for superb muscle tone and top line. With chelated minerals that are more easily absorbed and utilised by

the horse’s body too, Top Line Conditioning Mix or Cubes don’t need to be fed by the bucket-load to get results and they’ll support performance to the highest level.

through the winter, his hooves continue to grow and what you are feeding then will be part of the horn that you want to ride on in the summer! If his diet is deficient, tissue integrity may be compromised and crumbly hooves and a dull coat could be signs of this. Baileys

For more information or advice contact Baileys Horse Feeds on 01371 850247 or visit

For advice on feeding to improve your horse’s condition, contact Baileys Horse Feeds on01371 850247 (option 2) or visit Lo-Cal balancer is the perfect year round solution for the good-doer, ensuring they don’t miss out yet letting you control calorie intake as necessary. Baileys Horse Feeds: T – 01371 850247 E – W –

Put your horse in the pink for just 32p a day…. Feed balancers ensure that your horse is getting a balanced source of vitamins and minerals whilst reducing the amount of hard feed fed, however they are not always a cost effective option. Think Pink from Brinicombe Equine is a concentrated feed balancer in a powdered form which offers unbeatable 16 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

value and helps to reduce your feed bill. Think Pink includes a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals, specially selected live yeast for a healthy digestive system with added linseed oil for coat condition. Fed everyday, Think Pink will help to maintain the natural micro-flora of the gut for optimum

digestion and provide essential nutrients to help promote natural condition. A 2kg container will last a 500kg horse for up to 40 days. RRP £12.99

For further information please contact Brinicombe Equine on Tel 08700 606206 or visit www.brinicombe-equine.

Feeding - Health Care

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 17

Feeding - Stallions

Feeding Stallions Dr Jo-Anne Murray, PhD, PgDip, PgCert, BSc(Hons), BHSII, RNutr, FHEA, Senior lecturer at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Programme Director for On-line MSc/Diploma/Certificate in Equine Science Diet is considered to impact on fertility and reproductive performance and any issues with nutrition or health can significantly affect a stallion’s performance. Therefore, it is important to consider how we feed a stallion in a bid to maximise his potential and ensure that he is maintained in good condition before, during and after the breeding season. It can be difficult to maintain optimal body condition in the stallion; some become underweight during the breeding season, whilst others remain overweight regardless of the season. Moreover, stallions may be managed in different ways, which also affects their nutritional requirements. However, the overall aim is to maintain optimal body condition and supply a balanced diet throughout the year. Pre-breeding season Similar to any other horse or pony, the nutritional requirements of stallions differ depending on a number of factors including, breed, temperament and workload. Non-exercised stallions can be maintained almost entirely on good quality conserved forage (hay or haylage) or pasture. However, this will depend on the condition of the stallion and whether or not he needs to gain or lose weight prior to the breeding

season. Stallions that are exercised regularly will have higher energy requirements and should therefore be fed according to workload. Energy requirements also differ during the breeding season; however, even during the non-breeding season stallions are considered to have slightly higher (approximately 10 percent) energy requirements than mares or geldings maintained under similar conditions. Breeding season From a nutritional perspective breeding can be loosely defined as work. During the breeding season energy requirements increase depending on the number of matings (‘covers’) the stallion carries out (whether natural service or via semen collection for AI) and these requirements are estimated to be up to 20 percent higher than maintenance requirements, equivalent to feeding a horse or pony in light work. Meeting these requirements can be achieved by feeding good quality forage (hay/haylage or pasture) at between 1.5 and 2 % of bodyweight; for example as a crude estimate, a 500 kg stallion should be offered between 7.5 and 10 kg dry weight of forage daily (17 to 22 pounds). The minimum amount of forage offered should be no less than 1 % of bodyweight. During the breeding

A Plus for Fertility Fertility Plus from Baileys Horse Feeds is a scientifically formulated supplement formulated to enhance fertility in both stallion and mare. Its high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids help create stronger cell membranes which can improve sperm quality and prove particularly beneficial in helping semen to withstand the rigours of the freezing and thawing processes associated with

modern AI techniques. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are also believed to have an important role in the development of the foetus and are metabolised to anti-inflammatory compounds in the body, which is thought to help reduce the inflammatory response that often occurs in the mare’s reproductive tract following covering or AI.

season concentrates can be used to increase the energy content of the diet to meet the energy requirements for the increased work of breeding. In addition, some stallions are naturally more active than others and during the breeding season nervous stallions may burn more calories. Moreover, breeding may not be the only work that the stallion is doing, he may continue to be ridden and therefore his energy requirements will be higher still. When feeding concentrates, they should be introduced gradually to avoid digestive upsets, especially if the stallion was not receiving concentrates prior to the breeding season. Concentrates that are high in starch, for example cereal grains or high-energy mixes, should be fed in moderation (no more than 1 % of bodyweight) and the daily ration should be split over a number of feeds per day to again avoid digestive upsets (no more than 2 kg per feed). The amount of concentrates fed will depend on individual stallion differences, workload, forage quality and the energy content of the concentrate that is being fed. Adding oil to the ration can increase the energy content and reduce the reliance on high starch cereal grains; however, again this needs to be introduced gradually.

Fertility Plus also contains key antioxidants, including vitamins C and E and selenium, which support the metabolism of the fatty acids, whilst selenium itself is vital for sperm formation. Zinc is included and is essential for hormone regulation in both sexes whilst beta carotene increases fertility and libido and is particularly beneficial to mares as it stimulates ovarian activity whilst helping to reduce the incidence

Low Calorie/Weight/Condition When the grass quality improves during the spring and summer, it’s especially important to monitor the horse’s weight. Whilst it may seem that removing hard feed might be the best solution, it’s important that the horse receives vital trace elements, minerals and salt. Here are two ways that the horse’s supplementation needs can be met, without the need for a bucket feed: Health Licks Rockies’ Health Licks are calorie and molasses free, making them ideal for all horses and ponies. 18 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

They contain a broad range of high purity minerals and trace elements, all selected for the influence they have on different areas of the horse’s body, helping to address any possible deficiency. Better still, whilst the unique flavourings help to ensure palatability without sugar or calories, the salt Health Licks contain means that they are self limiting. This allows the horse or pony to take on what he needs, not what an owner thinks he does, thus making this a very cost effective supplementation solution. Health Licks are available in apple, cherry, garlic, carrot and mint flavours,

in 2kg blocks. They retail at £3.25 each. Field & Stable Block The Field & Stable Block contains vitamins, minerals and trace elements in a hardwearing lick, ideal for horses that don’t receive hard feed. It comes in the form of a hard pressed 10kg block with a light coating of molasses to ensure palatability. This must not be confused with highly molassed blocks, as the Field & Stable Block can be offered in a free access manner, with the in built hardness preventing excessive intake.

Adding oil to the diet can be beneficial for older stallions that tend to be thin or for those that are extremely active. The horse’s natural diet is low in oil; however, the oil that is present in pasture is higher in omega 3 than omega 6. Omega 3 has been used in other species in a bid to improve fertility; therefore, feeding oils that are high in omega 3 (such as fish oils) will increase the energy content of the ration and may also have a beneficial effect on fertility. Also, if a proprietary concentrate mix is fed then this will be fortified with vitamins and minerals and in most cases this will meet the stallion’s requirements for these elements. If a stallion is provided with a well-balanced diet there is no evidence in horses that the addition of further vitamins and minerals will enhance fertility. When feeding stallions, care must also be given to ensuring that they are not being over fed as it is possible that obesity can have detrimental effects on fertility and libido, as well as increasing the risk of other health issues, such as the development of laminitis. If a stallion becomes over weight then he should have the energy content of the

cont. on p.20

of cyclic disorders. Whilst nutrition cannot claim to solve all fertility problems, there are instances when it can prove highly beneficial so, with its unique formulation, Fertility Plus could help increase the chances of successful breeding encounters. Baileys Fertility Plus is available in 3kg tubs with a suggested retail price of around £96. For further information contact Baileys Horse Feeds on 01371 850247 or

The Field & Stable Block can work for a variety of different equine situations, it is a great way for field kept horses to top up on micro nutrients, and can be put into the field for a number of horses to share. It is incredibly cost effective too, costing from around 3p per horse, per day! The Field & Stable Block is available in 10kg blocks and retails at £13.60. For more information, see www., email info@rockies. or call 01606 595025.


April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 19

Feeding - Stallions diet reduced by removing or reducing the amount of concentrates fed. In this case, a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement should be used. Also, access to pasture may have to be restricted, especially during the spring and summer months. Having talked about over feeding, it is important to note that under feeding can also be problematic and can lead to a lack of energy and therefore reduce the number of matings the stallion can make. Therefore, it is important to monitor body condition and to adjust the diet according to whether the stallion needs to gain or lose weight. To promote weight gain, ad lib access to quality forage should be provided (either hay/haylage or pasture), supplemented with the recommended amount of fortified concentrate mix. Some stallions may also have a reduced appetite during the breeding season, which can lead to weight loss; therefore, adding oil to the diet to increase the energy content and other ingredients to improve palatability (such as molasses) can help to counter this. Reduced nutrient intake will result in a decrease in the stallion’s bodyweight and, over a prolonged period of time, may result in reduced fertility. Bodyweight should be monitored regularly (weekly or bi-weekly) using a weighbridge (if you have access to one) or by using a weightape.

Post-breeding season At the end of the breeding season, stallions in good condition can be reduced to a maintenance diet (if they are not being ridden) by reducing any concentrates that they are being fed and feeding high-quality forage alone. Again, bodyweight can be used to assess whether you are meeting the energy requirements of the stallion. If the stallion has lost weight during the breeding season then he should be fed a higher amount of energy to regain the weight that he has lost. This should be gradual and it may take up to several months for him to return to his ideal weight. Summary In summary, feeding the stallion must involve recognising that maintenance energy requirements are higher compared to other horses and ponies managed under similar conditions. The diet should be based on a good quality forage and should be supplemented with concentrates to maintain body condition during the breeding season if required (this will depend on the number of matings undertaken). Other factors also affect dietary requirements; for example, whether the stallion needs to gain or lose weight and the activity level of the stallion. Therefore, it is important to feed stallions on an individual basis and to evaluate the stallion regularly and adjust the diet accordingly.

Support for normal libido and fertility in stallions A specially formulated herbal blend traditionally used for supporting the normal function of male reproductive organs. Breeders are amazed at the results we get with this product. Global Herbs run a free vet advice phone

line should you wish to discuss this product further to ensure it is suitable for your horse; (01243) 773 363. RRP: 1KG - £30.30 5KG - £136.40

Fertility Aid for Horses from GWF Nutrition Fertility Aid from GWF Nutrition is a feed supplement which benefits both mares and stallions, providing nutritional support and helping give them the best chance of conceiving. Fertility Aid maintains fertility by supporting ova production and continuing the production of viable enduring spermatozoa which helps natural and artificial insemination.

quality and conception. EPA and DHA are also crucial for maintaining the production of prostaglandins which are found in large quantities in semen. Inadequate levels of prostaglandins have been linked to low sperm counts and poor quality sperm.

Fertility Aid contains Omega three fatty Acids as one of its main active ingredients. It’s been found that low levels of EPA and DHA – essential fatty acids – have been noted in the plasma of infertile mares. EPA and DHA are vital in supporting a normal, healthy oestrous, the production of large fertile ova and maintaining the smooth tissue of the uterus to aid both lipid membrane

For more information or to order, please visit: or call GWF Nutrition direct on 01225 708482.

20 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

A 10kg bucket of Fertility Aid has an RRP of £59.50.

Feeding Stallions Covering a full book of mares is stressful; many stallions lose condition and succumb to problems with their digestive tract. Blue Chip advise feeding their performance feed balancer Blue Chip Pro to competing and breeding stallions. Blue Chip Pro contains an EU approved probiotic, which has been proven to enable your stallion to double the digestibility of fibre in his diet, therefore getting twice as much out of the hay or haylage that he is eating. With its nutrient dense vitamin and mineral package, which also incorporates a blood building formula, designed to promote red blood cell production and oxygen transportation, along with a complete hoof and respiratory supplement, Blue Chip Pro will ensure your stallion looks as good at the end of the covering season as he did at the beginning, whilst ensuring he receives a balanced diet throughout. Blue Chip Pro is whole-cereal and molasses free, ensuring very low sugar and starch levels and incorporates generous levels of a fruit derived, natural form of Vitamin E which is a powerful natural antioxidant and the cells first line of defence against attack. It has also been shown to neutralise free radicals which can become abundant at times of stress. Blue Chip Dynamic was originally developed as a joint and bone supplement, but after Tullis Matson from Stallion AI Services approached Blue Chip to develop a fertility supplement for stallions they realised that most of the ingredients were already in Blue Chip Dynamic. Tullis says “At Stallion AI Services we feed Blue Chip Dynamic to our stallions as we have found that it can increase a stallion’s semen quality and therefore increase his fertility rates”. Blue Chip Dynamic contains vitamins and minerals that are highly beneficial to stallion fertility. A significant proportion

of these minerals are in the more bioavailable organic form meaning that they are more efficiently absorbed by the horse. The organic zinc found in Dynamic is known to be an essential component of the sperm’s protective membrane and is also beneficial to testosterone metabolism, sperm motility and sperm formation. Organic copper is also included and this is shown to have direct links to both semen quality and libido, whilst the organic selenium helps to create the correct environment for sperm function and protection and is essential for the production of testosterone. The high levels of plant sourced Omega 3 and 6 oils included are essential for reproduction and for sperm function, in particular they are also known to beneficially affect sperm quality and quantity. Dynamic is used by many stallion owners both in the UK and abroad and has even been distributed as far as Qatar to help preserve a rare line of Arabian horses. Tullis has evaluated Blue Chip Dynamic on the stallions he uses and says “We always recommend feeding Blue Chip Dynamic as a reproductive aid to our stallion owners.” Rob Williams, from Glenwood Stud International, says ‘We have found Dynamic to be extremely beneficial to stallion fertility. All the stallions standing at Glenwood Stud International (resident and walk-in) are fed Blue Chip Dynamic from January to the end of the covering season.’ To watch Blue Chip’s new video on stallion artificial insemination go to To find out more on feeding stallions, and to discuss special prices for studs, please call Blue Chip on 0114 266 6200 or visit www.


April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 21

Feeding - Stallions

Rowen Barbary Calm ‘n’ Easy Calm ‘n’ Easy is a low energy feed ideal for those horses and ponies prone to excitable and unpredictable behaviour. With low energy levels obtained through a balance of digestible fibre sources and cooked flaked cereals it is ideal for horses and ponies requiring a low energy diet. Feeds containing high levels of starch that are digested relatively quickly by the horse produce fast release energy, which is the type of energy that can cause some horses to become over excitable. Providing controlled levels of starch alongside a high fibre content produces a form of slow release energy that will help prevent this over excitable behaviour

occurring. Calm ‘n’ Easy is highly palatable as it compromises all natural ingredients and due to the high fibre content it will help ensure slow rates of digestion throughout the hindgut and help to maintain gut health. Fully supplemented with vitamins and minerals to provide your horse with all the essential nutrients needed for a fully balanced diet it is ideal for everyday feeding. For more information on Calm ‘n’ Easy from Rowen Barbary Horse Feeds please call 01948 880598 or visit www.

TopSpec Stud Feed Balancer TopSpec Stud Feed Balancer is designed for broodmares, youngstock and stallions. The formula will promote superb muscle and skeletal development without providing excess calories resulting in overtopping. The feed balancer improves the amount of nutrients a horse can extract from his total diet meaning that breeding stock can receive optimum nutrition from reduced levels of hard feed, with many resulting benefits.

TopSpec Stud Feed Balancer greatly improves hoof, skin and coat quality, whilst helping to maintain appetite, moderating the effects of stress on horses and helping to maintain a healthy immune system. Price – 20kg bag - £27.95 For further information contact the Multiple Award-Winning Helpline on 01845 565030 or visit

Beta Carotene Equimins’ Beta Carotene has been specially formulated for breeding mares and stallions. For stallions, Beta Carotene supplement will help improve covering performance and sperm quality. For mares, it will help prevent premature abortion, protect the colostrum and help protect the foal from

risk of infection. Beta Carotene is available in 2kg and 3kg tubs, where 2kg retails at £16.73. For more information see, email or call 01548 531770.

Nupafeed MAH® for Laminitis Magnesium supplementation is recommended to help manage laminitis because it aids the insulin response which controls blood sugar, is vital for the production of new cells needed to repair damaged laminae and is particularly crucial for cases of stress laminitis when depleted magnesium levels in the body results in the release of stress hormones which restrict blood flow to the hooves. Nupafeed MAH® contains only pharmaceutical 22 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

grade magnesium and will not cause lethargy. Contact us: Tel: 01438 861 900 Email: Or visit: www.nupafeed.

Bedding - Health Care

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 23

Feeding - Health Care - Laminitis

Feeding Strategies – Laminitis – new information A New Solution Robert A Eustace FRCVS Director of the Laminitis Clinic

Dr Keith Foster Like all animals, equines have developed to exploit an ecological niche which enables them to avoid competition from other species. Surprisingly, recent research shows that their chosen niche is the poorest quality vegetation! And they’ve developed a digestive system especially adapted to deal with this. Mammals digestive systems are incapable of breaking down the cellulose which is the complex sugar used by nature to form the structural skeleton of plants stems and leaves. Animals solve this problem by entering into a partnership, a symbiotic relationship, with microbial bacteria in their gut. These break down the cellulose into a form that their own enzymes can then digest. This is a lengthy process and requires a fermentation vat or chamber which can store large amounts of plant matter where the bacteria can do their job and break it down into useable form. The specialised digestive organ where this fermentation takes place is the rumen in ruminants (such as cows and sheep) or the caeum (in horses). The basic mechanism of the action of these two systems is the same but the speed of their operation is different. This difference enables the horse to live well on a much leaner diet. Rumination (used by cows, sheep, camels and etc.) is a more efficient form of digestion which breaks down every last bit of cellulose taken in, but it is a slow process! It takes between 70 and 90 hours for food to pass through a cow. On the other hand, the horse, whose digestive system is built around the less efficient caecal digester, passes food through in no more than 48 hours. This means that a horse, whose digestive system is only 70% as efficient as a cow’s, can push a lot more food through its system in 24 hours than can a cow. Therefore, per unit of time, if not per unit of weight of food, a horse can get more energy out of a low quality diet than can a cow. This is simply because it can eat more! Examples of this are the wild asses and the wild Przewalski’s horse. They thrive in regions containing very poor vegetation where man is very thin on the ground because the ruminants on which herding communities depend find it hard to get enough food. (Think deserts and steppe). Also, animal behaviour studies have consistently 24 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

shown that wild horses, in competition with ruminants, graze the same areas but invariably choose the very poorest, low protein, high fibre feed. Plains zebra (an equine) for instance, are observed to eat the same vegetation as the wildebeest (a ruminant), but they consistently follow the wildebeest over the pasture where the wildebeest eats the leaves and then the horse eats the stems. So, occupying an ecological niche at the low end of the herbivore diet, it’s been necessary for horses to cover vast ranges in search of food. This is probably the reason that horses grew in size and speed and are so efficient in conserving energy, but it’s certainly the reason why you should look very carefully at your horse’s diet. The horse is brilliantly adapted to do very well on very little! The modern diet is often too rich for the horse and can cause a spectrum of ailments to appear. If you live on a diet of rich food you can become ill, and it’s no different for horses, especially as they’re wonderfully adapted to live on very little as we’ve seen. One solution is to return your horse to its natural diet (and habitat); the other is to introduce a steady small quantity of active charcoal into his diet. I say active charcoal here since charcoal comes in many forms; some of these are created using an acid process and other using high temperature steam, both methods creating super-adsorbents. None of these are really good for feeding to horses on a regular basis as they can be too adsorbent, and may well take vitamins and minerals out of the system as well as the nasties. The safest and most effective active charcoal that can be used to help horses (and all other mammals) is one developed for this purpose by a specialist company Fine Fettle Feed. This adds much-needed oxygen to the horse’s system helping to remove those toxins that can give rise to gastric ulcers, laminitis, mud fever, colic and even sweet itch. A superb systemic filter, several empirical studies have shown that mammals on this diet live longer, are less prone to illness and perform better as a result. For more information tel: 01600 712496 or visit www.finefettlefeed. com

Horses and ponies suffer laminitis at grass in a different way from the other six common predisposing causes. They show a mild lameness, often unnoticed, which results in a gradual elongation of the toes, often show blood in the horn and the white line around the toes become wider than normal. Pasture laminitis is associated with insulin resistance, which means that the horses’ insulin cannot move the glucose in the blood into the peripheral tissues. The blood glucose concentrations therefore remain elevated resulting in more insulin being secreted. It is the abnormally high blood insulin concentrations, which causes the changes in the hooves and laminitis.

significant breakthroughs and the results will be published. Presently our best advice is to keep your horses and ponies below Condition Score 6 (on the Henke scale), avoid feeding haylage and use feeds, which carry the Laminitis Trust Feed Approval Mark supplemented with Formula4 Feet. Regular steady exercise is recommended for those animals, which do not have laminitis. Do not exercise laminitis cases they need complete box rest on a deep wood shavings bed. Tel: 01249 890784

We now know the mechanism whereby excess insulin causes the hoof deformation of pasture laminitis AND a solution is available. NoMetSyn not only normalizes the circulating blood glucose and insulin concentrations but also corrects the hoof deformation – no other drug nor product can provide these dual benefits. Research to identify the cause of the tissue resistance to insulin is making

Formula4 Feet: the best hoof and laminitis supplement Formula4 Feet is the UK’s leading supplement for horses and ponies with poor hoof horn quality or laminitis. The clinical response to supplementation is obvious with stronger horn growth and a radiant hair coat, in as little as four weeks. We have improved the formula, whilst still retaining the GM free ingredient status and high palatability. Combined with our unique blend of essential phospholipids, inorganic

and chelated forms of zinc, three powerful anti-oxidants, the two rate limiting amino acids lysine and threonine and an ample supply of omega 3 fatty acids makes Formula4 Feet the most cost effective supplement or feed balancer available. Please contact Equi Life on 01249-890784 for further information or visit the website www.

Competition - Health Care

Win, Win, Win 10 tubs of 15kg Garlic Horslyx worth £24.90 each

Horslyx is available in 5kg and 15kg weatherproof tubs and 650g Mini Horslyx. For further information Tel, (01697) 332 592 or visit

Garlic Horslyx offers owners a simple and cost effective method of feeding Garlic, whilst also offering a unique vitamin, mineral and trace element package, which provide multiple health benefits, in just one tub!

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The high sulphur compounds found in garlic are released through the horse’s skin via natural body secretions such as sweat. This produces an odour which flies find repellent and though flies may still present around the horse, they seldom land on the skin. Every tub of Garlic Horslyx contains the optimum level of pure dried garlic granules alongside a package of nutrients, including Biotin, Methionine and Chelated Zinc to promote healthy hooves, high oil content to improve coat condition and antioxidants Selenium and Vitamin E to support the immune system.

Please email your answer to the above question to or send it with your name, address and telephone number to Horslyx Competition, Equi-Ads, Office 1, Tayview Estate, Friarton Road, Perth, PH2 8DG

Garlic Horslyx is suitable for all equines and offers horse owners a cost effective method of balancing the diet. Garlic

Simply answer the following question – Name one of the nutrients Horslyx contains?

Entries Close 30th April 2012 April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 25

Health Care

Lameness: Investigation and Diagnosis Ben Sturgeon, BSc, BVM&S, Cert EP, MRCVS An unfortunate hazard of owning a horse is the likelihood of one day it going lame. There are many causes of lameness which all vary greatly in the ease of diagnosis and treatment. Some conditions, such as a foot abscess, can often be diagnosed and treated immediately, others require specialist diagnostic tools just to find the problem. Whilst I wish Star Trek’s Dr Macoy diagnostic wand could tell us everything and despite your mate being able to make a diagnosis based on a tail swish, we need to be a little more scientific and any owner should realise how complex a case of lameness can be and understand that even the most experienced of vets may not be able to give you all the answers immediately. Determining which leg(s) are lame Observation is the key to identifying which is the lame leg. An obvious lameness can often be seen at the walk and may cause the horse to stand awkwardly, however, most cases of lameness are only evident at the trot and this is usually the best gait to assess a lame horse. Typical evidence of a lame limb are: • Abnormal stance - e.g. pointing the toe, resting one leg, dropped fetlock • Abnormal movement - head nod (forelimb lameness), hip hike (hindlimb lameness) • Reduced arc of foot flight - often seen as stiffness or reluctance to flex the limb • Shortened stride length - shortened ‘swing’ phase of the stride • Abnormal foot placement - e.g. landing toe-first to spare the heel In order to enhance, and provide clue’s as to the cause, the horse’s gait is further evaluated over different surfaces and speeds: • on a level and inclined, even surface • at the walk and the trot • in a straight line and in a circle (generally lunged or in a round pen) • from the side, in front, and the rear • on different surfaces (e.g. hard and soft) The lameness is then graded independently at the walk and the trot and under each circumstance the horse is placed under. Bear in mind that there may be a problem in more than one leg or that the lameness may be subtle. In fact, due to the advances from both vets and riders, many lameness’ are presented as being subtle and this adds its own set of difficult questions: 1. Is the lameness subtle because either there is low grade pain or the horse 26 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

has a high pain threshold? 2. Is it because the horse’s exuberance is masking a more obvious lameness? 3. Is it because the horse has a bilaterally symmetrical lameness? 4. Is it because it is only evident under specific circumstances? e.g. canter pirouette in one direction. 5. Is it because the horse is adapting its posture and gait to minimise pain? e.g. the horse is leaning out or not bending correctly to protect itself. 6. Is pain-related back stiffness preventing the horse from showing concurrent lameness? 7. Is a performance problem due to subtle lameness? For example, is a horse’s uneven contact with the bit a reflection of lameness? 8. Is it because the horse is under the influence of analgesic drugs? 9. Is it because the horse has been rested? If we then filter in the fact that most horses have a bilateral or multi-limb lameness then the picture can become even more complex. Horses, for example are effective at compensating for mild, chronic low-grade pain and compensatory, coexistent lameness often develops in predictable patterns. Bilateral lameness, for example, is most common and, if symmetrical, can be a source of poor performance that goes unrecognised. Bilateral front foot pain is a common cause of poor performance that leads to compensatory hindlimb lameness problems or gait abnormalities. Vets are then called to evaluate the horse for suspected hindlimb lameness when riders complain the horse ‘feels off behind’, only to find the horse to be lame in front as a result of chronic foot pain. Horses may trot apparently without lameness in a straight line but lameness is easily recognised while circling the horse, and is particularly prominent on a hard surface and the horse’s apparent hindlimb gait deficit can be resolved once pain is abolished in the forelimbs. Thus, forelimb lameness can mimic hindlimb lameness and severe bilateral forelimb lameness can even cause substantial hindlimb gait deficits. Once the limb is identified only then do we really examine it. This requires three skills: Observation, Palpation, and Manipulation. Observation: • symmetry between left and right legs, and between the inside and outside of a normally symmetrical structure • when asymmetry is found, is it caused by enlargement (e.g. swelling) or reduction in tissue mass?

Palpation: • feel for heat, swelling, pain, and changes in tone or texture of a tissue • characterize any swellings as hard, firm, soft, fluid-filled Manipulation: • move the structure or tissue through its normal range of motion • check for pain, altered range of motion (increase or decrease), and crepitus (a grating, grinding, or crackling sensation) And each of these investigations should be tailored to the structure you are evaluating: For example, the foot - the most common site of equine lameness. • Observation - symmetry of the hoof wall; integrity of the hoof wall (cracks, bulges) and sole (defects, foreign objects); discharge, discoloration, or odour; shoe and nails • Palpation - coronary band (pain, swellings, depressions); heel bulbs; sole (thumb pressure); digital pulses • Manipulation - move the heels independently; tap the hoof wall; hoof testers And any finding must be interpreted within the overall presentation, the pattern of lameness in exercise observed, and your loose differential diagnosis already in your head. 1. The pain response must be repeatable to be valid. - when you return to the suspect area you should get the same (or greater) response to palpation or manipulation each time - the pain response may be subtle (e.g. tensing up, turning the head to look at you, moving away from your hand), but if it is repeatable, it is probably significant 2. Assuming the opposite leg is normal, it can be used for comparison. 3. Most lameness problems involve a structure in or below the knee or hock. This whole process allows us to not only identify the limb, form an opinion but importantly to grade it. Without this, the next step, investigative diagnostic analgesia, would be useless. Nerve and Joint Blocks In most instances the clinical examination is not able to identify the definative source of pain in the lame leg, therefore, nerve blocks are used. The aim of a nerve block is to sequentially remove all sensation from specific areas of the leg by injecting a small amount of local anaesthetic around nerves. The vet will start nerve blocks low down on the leg and work upwards until the horse is sound after a

block. This then indicates that the site of pain is between the level of this block and the previous one. If a joint, tendon sheath or bursa is slightly swollen or nerve blocks indicate that the pain may come from a particular joint, sheath or bursa, local anaesthetic can be injected into the structure to also confirm it or rule it out as the source of pain. To perform this procedure the area must be made sterile and the technique performed using sterile gloves and other equipment to prevent the joint, sheath or bursa from becoming infected. Once the site of pain is identified then really the final step is imaging. Simply put – some kind of picture to evaluate its “normality.” Imaging Radiographs (X-rays) X-rays are used mainly to assess the bones and joints and can be very useful in finding fractures, arthritis, bone cysts, etc. and are also very useful in assessing the conformation within the foot, especially in laminitics. For each area of the horse standard views are taken, often four needed, to fully assess the area. A recent advance in x-ray technology is digital x-ray which allows the images to come straight up onto a computer screen where they can be easily manipulated. Ultrasound scanning Ultrasound scanning is used to look at soft tissues, muscles, tendons, tendon sheaths, bursas or ligaments, and the bone surface. The area must be clipped, cleansed and ultrasound gel applied. High energy sound waves are produced which hit the tissues and are then rebounded back. The way these waves return gives us the image on the screen. Unlike with most radiographic machines this image is instant. Ultrasound scanning is mainly used to diagnose and monitor strain injuries of tendons and ligaments and to assess fluid build up. Bone scanning (Scintigraphy) Bone scanning detects areas of active bone remodeling (hot spots) and can find problems that could not have been found on radiographs or in areas that cannot be x-rayed easily e.g. pelvis. Radioactive material is injected into the horse which binds to active bone. These areas can then be seen by a camera that picks up the gamma rays cont. on p.28

Mud Fever

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 27

Horse Behaviour cont. from p.26

that are now being produced from the bone. After the scan, horses must be quarantined for one to two days after injection due to the radioactive material. MRI Magnetic resonance imaging is able to assess all tissues in one examination, however, it is time consuming and expensive and in some instances requires a general anaesthetic. Because of this MRI is used in cases where the area causing the pain is known, however, no abnormalities can be found using conventional tools, x-ray and ultrasound scanning, or where therapy has been unusually poor. The most common cases for MRI tend to involve the feet, which due to the hoof wall, are very difficult to visualize the soft tissues using ultrasound scanning. Key-hole surgery (arthroscopy, tenoscopy, bursoscopy) Surgery can be performed to look into joints (arthroscopy), tendon sheaths (tenoscopy) and bursas (bursoscopy) using a small camera. This technique requires a lot of skill and is particularly useful if a particular joint, sheath or bursa is found to be causing the lameness yet no abnormalitiy can be found again using conventional diagnostic tools. This procedure requires a general anaesthetic and is the most expensive of all the diagnostic

procedures available, however, in many cases the problem can be accurately diagnosed, attempts can be made to treat/improve the problem and an accurate prognosis can be given. Whilst the list is long and indeed not exhaustive (thermography and CT), it should be recognised that each modality has its limitations often meaning that several modalities need to be utilised to confirm a diagnosis. Hopefully you are recognising that the whole process can be long and open ended: • physical examination (observation, palpation, manipulation) • gait evaluation • joint provocation (flexion) tests • diagnostic anesthesia - regional nerve blocks and joint blocks • diagnostic imaging • therapeutic trial - presumptive diagnosis based on response to treatment And even with all this gathered information you are still to undergo treatment. Whilst this may be frustrating it is important to recognise without this the treatment would be non-specific and certainly likely to fail. Furthermore, and without wanting to be uncaring, the diagnosis may also indicate that because of the overwhelming poor prognosis, therapy should not be considered.

‘Ride inside leg to outside hand’ Part 17 in a series by SUSAN McBANE discussing equestrian principles from the viewpoint of equine behaviour and psychology AS we all know, there are several different schools of equestrian thought, each naturally claiming to be the best. In most of those common to the so-called English and European schools (also widely used in other countries where riding is popular), a phrase is often heard which can cause a good deal of confusion not only to horses but to riders as well, including me. Having been brought up in a classical vein by a former cavalry instructor trained at the British Army military academy of Weedon (which based its methods, I understand, on the modern French school as taught at Saumur), I had never been told to ride inside leg to outside hand. The first time I heard the expression in the 1960s, a few years after my old cavalry instructor had retired, I had no idea what the instructor meant and was indignant to be soundly berated for my ignorance. (Not good teaching practice! Incidentally, I soon realised that this instructor did not subscribe to any specific school of thought because she was constantly changing her principles and, consequently, her instruction according to which lecture/demo she had most recently attended, which made for a lot of confused horses and riders. I didn’t stay with her very long.) She told me that to ride with inside leg to outside hand means that the outside rein (which she called the Master Rein because it controls and regulates the horse’s speed, bend and posture) is held in ‘support’ as a base for the horse to work to while the inside leg constantly pushes the horse’s body over to the outside rein to help contain his movement and create energy, which the outside rein controls. I have heard numerous variations on this theme, none of which make any sense to me. My classical trainer of the 1980s, Dési Lorent (a long-time friend and student of Nuño Oliveira) never mentioned it and I remain ignorant of its supposed effects and benefits, despite having tried my best to put it into operation under the tutelage of

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different instructors, none of whom, again, convincingly have clarified its message for me. For a start, it is poor riding to constantly be giving a horse aids. This ‘white noise’ method is a sure-fire way of deadening a horse to the aids. Give your aid until you get your result then, as soon as you’ve got it, stop giving the aid. I also felt, and feel, that pushing the horse with my inside leg, however subtly, to the outside rein must raise questions in his mind about what exactly I want, and how he should respond. Imagine yourself inside your horse’s body and being given those aids. What would you think? Wouldn’t you feel like moving your body to the outside, only to find it blocked by the outside rein? I would. It’s not just me, either: I have spoken to other riders (and teachers) about this and they, sometimes grudgingly and with an air of slight embarrassment, admit that they aren’t really sure but that’s what they were taught so that’s what they teach, even though they don’t understand why (‘Good Heavens’ you might think, but this is a common approach to teaching). Some give convoluted explanations as to why it is a relevant technique but they always sound to me as though they have been learned parrot-fashion and don’t serve to clear the waters. Having ridden many horses who also don’t know about it, never having been trained that way, and believing that The Horse’s Mouth, or rather his mind, is a good place from which to glean help and information, I find that the simpler cont. on p.30

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you keep your methods and requests the better results you get. Also, the more ‘horsewise’ your methods and requests, the calmer, more enthusiastic and more willing are the horses you are working or playing with. I still ride and teach in the old French school taught to me by Dési which, when I first went to him, felt like coming home, and I still feel that way. Today, though, and for the past few years, I have also used the principles and techniques (which neatly comply with those of old French classical riding) developed by Dr Andrew McLean and colleagues into the new discipline of Equitation Science (ES), which uses scientifically-proven equine learning theory (how horses learn as opposed to how we have previously thought they learn). So far as I can yet see from my study of ES, there is no mention here, either, of riding inside leg to outside rein, I am relieved to say. Very basically, and very logically and simply from the horse’s point of view, both reins are used to ask the horse to slow, stop and go backwards, and a single rein, initially, is used to ask the horse to turn the forehand. Both legs together

are used to ask for forward movement, and a single leg to ask for a turn of the hindquarters. To go backwards, only the reins are used, although I use the classical positioning of my legs back a little without actual pressure, which the horses I ride recognise as part of the ‘keep your quarters straight and step backwards’ request. Horses trained in classical and ES techniques are certainly not subjected to constant aids (give your aid until you get your result then stop it, as described above). So then, it seems to me that there is no place in simplified, logical, horse-friendly riding for riding inside leg to outside hand. Another reason for not using this principle is because in ES horses are taught to develop self-carriage on a light contact from very early days and do not, therefore, particularly require a constantly supporting outside rein – which I also find, in some cases, can cause stiffness in the head, neck and shoulders and prevent fluid, forward movement. Using the outside rein, singly, in ‘support’, goes against the basic use of a single rein to only ask for a turn, although admittedly the feel of a supporting rein as opposed to a turning rein is different to the horse.

In any system, horses must be taken through a progressive programme of work in which one level leads logically on to the next. Some people delight in pronouncing that horses are stupid. They are not stupid but they are different from us; they have a simpler and more focussed mentality than us, I think. We know from the scientific work being done that they cannot cope with two aids being given at the same moment, a subject which has been covered many times in this series in different contexts. However, they can certainly learn (which most do like lightning) to obey aids given in quick succession. We all know how quickly horses react to something in their environment which startles them and we poor, unfocussed humans must learn somehow to try to keep one step ahead of them in the reacting process. When most horses seem slow to co-operate with us, it is usually because (a) they don’t understand what we want, which is our fault for not being clear, or (b) they have not been trained to respond quickly and accurately to aids, which again is our fault for not training precisely and perceiving that the horse’s education is lacking, not his intelligence or willingness. If a horse is given two equally pressurising aids at the same moment, he can become confused, frustrated, angry or eventually depressed, depending on his nature. He will also try all sorts of physical ‘evasions’ to try to, quite rightly, get out of the vice, such as squirming, twisting, coming behind the bit, hollowing, and possibly progress to signs of anger or distress such as tail thrashing or teeth grinding plus others. If he is given two aids of differing pressure, he will obey or in some other way react to the one he perceives as the strongest in an effort to relieve himself of it. So, if he perceives the leg/s aid to be the stronger he will respond to that by turning the hindmost part of his body (so he’ll try to turn his hindquarters or do a turn on the centre) or by going faster if you’re using both legs – equally - at once. If he perceives the rein/bit pressure as the stronger, he will either slow down or adopt some version of a faulty head carriage such as overbending or poking, if the pressure is even, or try to turn his head/forehand towards the more strongly-pressured side if the pressure is uneven. Therefore, riding inside leg to outside hand is asking the horse to do two, simultaneous, impossible moves – move your body over (inside leg) but

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don’t (outside rein used in a blocking way). If he perceives the outside rein to be used as a turn request, this, plus the inside leg pressure, will move his body to the outside, which presumably the rider does not want. I have always found that horses will try one or the other in a desperate attempt to respond somehow, or they are so confused, and blocked by the rider, that they do nothing, which results in the rider giving the aids with more pressure. (This smacks of English tourists abroad stupidly and repeatedly shouting in English at a foreigner who can’t speak our language.) This obviously ups the stress stakes for the horse and the frustration/anger stakes for us. Help. Albert Einstein said that a sure sign of insanity is to keep on doing the same thing and expecting a different result. If you don’t really understand why riding inside leg to outside hand is supposed to work, and why it doesn’t seem to be helping your horse’s performance or making it worse, it seems to me that the intelligent and horse-friendly thing to do would be to stop doing it. There are much simpler, more sensible and more effective ways of riding and training (because you train your horse every time you do anything with him) that I think this is one principle which could be dumped with great benefit to you and your horse. I promise you, you won’t miss it. Next month sees the last article in this series. It will be based on a quotation by Dr Andrew McLean – ‘The horse is a blameless participant in training’ – in other words, as always, everything is down to us. Oh, the pressure! After that, starting in the June issue, I’ll continue the horse behaviour theme by translating the terminology used by behavioural scientists and explain what the different terms mean, and how we can apply them, in relation to horse riding, training, care and management. SUSAN McBANE holds the Classical Riding Club Gold Award, is an Associate (practitioner) Member of the International Society for equitation Science and has an HNC in Equine Science and Management. The author of 44 books (the latest of which, ‘Horse Senses’, has just been published by Manson), she co-publishes ‘Trackingup’ with Anne Wilson (see advert in this issue). Contact her for lessons and clinics in Lancashire and neighbouring areas by ringing her on 01254 705487 or emailing her on horses@ Her website is at


April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 31

Schooling - Training

Schooling Exercises - Jumping Exercise 2 Rowan Tweddle BHSII (SM) B.Sc Hons. Here is another exercise which you can make as simple or as challenging as you want.

as perfect a circle with the pole in the way as you could without it, and in both directions!

The purpose of this exercise is to work on maintaining the rhythm and balance through a turn.

Repeat in canter. If your horse is green, unfit or you are unused to working on a circle in canter for any length of time, then do bear in mind this can be hard work. For a novice horse, being able to canter two or three circles with the pole, in balance and keeping an even rhythm, is probably sufficient work today.

A circle is merely a continual turn, and a showjumping course is a series of fences linked by curving lines and turns. The more easily your horse can maintain his balance around the turn the easier he will find it to tackle the jumps. If you have been following this series, you are hopefully now able to ride various circles and curving lines in all three paces and in good balance. Put a single pole with a wing at either end on over X where the red line is in the diagram above. Trot around the circle and observe if trotting over the pole has any effect on the horse’s rhythm or balance. Does he speed up or slow down? Take a leap over the pole? Does the 20m circle lose its nice roundness and symmetry? If any of these are the case, keep practicing until you can trot

The more experienced horse and rider can progress to jumping on the circle. When the circle can be ridden in good balance in canter on both reins, the pole can be made into a small upright about 50 or 60cm height. The purpose is not to see how high the horse can jump, but to check that the qualities of good balance and consistent rhythm can be maintained when a jump is included. Your aim is to ride the circle as beautifully as before with merely a pop over the jump that is hardly noticeable, so as always do keep checking that you are riding an accurate 20m circle (you

may want to look back at January’s exercise). Bear in mind that although developed and educated showjumpers can pop over enormous jumps from an incredibly balanced canter, your average horse may not have quite the same amount of scope, so keep the jump small and be happy to develop the quality of the canter rather than the gymnastic ability in this exercise.

Festival of the Horse The 10th BHS Borders Festival of the Horse takes place at various venues across the Borders from May 18th to May 30th 2010. Thirteen days of guided horse rides, racing and competitions, demonstrations and have-a-go sessions with vets, endurance riders and trailer towing. Highlights include Duke of Buccleuch Pony Club 80th anniversary, a memorable evening with the Heavy Horses and an authentic medieval

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fayre. Trick riding, grown up gymkhana and horse logging will all feature. Incorporating Floors International Horse trials and some of Kelso’s biggest racing days this annual celebration of equestrianism show cases the Scottish Borders as God’s Horse Country something for everyone whether you are horsy or not! Click on www.bordersfestivalhorse. org for further details or contact


Q Equi-Style R W

Following yet another late and drawn out winter, us equestrian enthusiasts can finally begin to return to a normal routine. Plans are being made for the fresh new season and there is a lot to look forward to in 2012. It is going to be an exciting year for us in the UK with the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond jubilee. Hopefully everyone is going to be feeling a little patriotic, with a real sense of pride and camaraderie surrounding our heritage, and more specifically our historical sport. I think we can say with some conviction that we have some strong potential teams going forward for the Olympics this year (but of course one can never be sure due to the nature of our highly unpredictable sport!) The eventing line-up is looking good, including William Fox-Pitt and Mary King with more than one ride each. Our dream dressage trio, Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin are looking very promising and there are a lot of show jumping combinations to get excited about including Nick Skelton with the amazing Big Star. If we win medals, we are sure to draw in new equestrian fans; with more and more new riders picking up the reins and embracing the horsey lifestyle. All this extra attention will also have an effect on the way our sport is presented, the public media and press will proudly embrace equestrianism’s very English heritage, therefore portraying an entirely vintage and ‘old-fashioned’ style. This fascination with the past and vintage style is by no means a new thing and seems to have been on the increase in recent years. Surely this is a positive

S p r i n g / S u m m e r Fa s h i o n 2 0 1 2


advancement, the elegance and class which exudes from historical equestrian style is truly something to be proud of. The timeless competition gear of the dressage arena is going to be one of the most iconic silhouettes of the Olympics; travelling on the tube I have already seen a number of posters depicting a stylised dressage rider and horse. The top hat and tails of dressage are an illumination of the very definition of ‘Vintage’ [adj] denoting something from the past of high quality, especially something representing the best of its kind (Oxford Dictionary).  Vintage fashion also has a curious hold over the high street, in this age of technology and impatience we have been conditioned in to accepting a very ‘throw away’ level of quality. Vintage is viewed as something superior, something which has stood the test of time, lending a certain sense of mystery and provenance to the style. The country influence of Barbours and quilted jackets were a staple on and off the high street during the winter of 2011 and as we come into the warmer spring months of 2012, these staple items are being swapped for similar but lighter wax jackets and gilets. These timeless pieces are being reproduced in high street chains and shops and constantly immortalised in various forms and styles. The recent trend for reaching back to the past also extends beyond the high street, to film and TV. The craze for WW1 and period drama, such as Birdsong, Downton Abbey, and the War Horse phenomenon hints at a wide spread nostalgia for a time when the horse was the pinnacle

has been so reverently adopted on the high street, is worn at all times, people are now happy to wear these ‘robust’ pieces for everyday activities, which, in the past, would only have been worn for active outdoor pursuits.The divisions between male and female riding wear, in the Spring and Summer of 2012, will again almost merge into one ‘unisex’ range. The new riding wear ranges for 2012 are similar to those of 2011; an expression of bright colours and sleek yet hardwearing design. However, with the addition of ‘bling’ into the show ring, diamante hats, whips, spurs, saddle cloths, bridles some judges may be feeling a little dazzled!

of industry and lifestyle. The equestrian friendly styles of this period in history were all designed around the activity of riding horses, driving horses or working with horses. Historically, riding wear was fit for a purpose, it grew organically out of a requirement to do a job; hardy clothing for a fast paced outdoor pursuit. Robust outfits, originally for men, transformed over the years into an elegant, but decidedly unisex fashion. Until recent years, equestrian competition wear has always been a uniform, rather than a fashion statement. In one of the only sports where men and women compete on equal terms, a standardized competition outfit allows judges a clear view of the riders skill, without the bias of gender or clothing style. In 2012, the ‘equestrian style’, which

2012 will be a year to be proud of our sport, to appreciate and promote its rich and fascinating heritage; reaching back to move forward. It will be a time to embrace the elegance and sophistication which our sport oozes to the public. This might sometimes seem a bit of a struggle, when behind the scenes we are struggling with heavy haynets, battling against the remains of mud fever and tackling those winter deep litter banks (yuck!) in yard gear stained by unidentified goo. Nonetheless, perhaps this year, we can all put on a brave face and embrace our increasingly fashion conscious sport. This season, with more and more ‘vintage’ being seen on the high street, perhaps the equestrian look will become an even more prominent style, pushing equestrian fashion fully into the spotlight during this very exciting year. Jessica Gill Fashion Editor

Barbour: Spring & Summer 2012 Women’s Lifestyle The summer Lifestyle collection encourages you to make the most of the Great Outdoors. Barbour plays to its key themes of biker, military, equestrian and country, but everything is light and breezy – with delightful use of colour, new Liberty prints and witty details.

Biker Colour plays a strong part in the Lifestyle collection. The popular International motorcycle jacket is reworked in a cornucopia of summer brights, including raspberry red, turf green, yellow and denim blue. For the summer months, jackets come superlight, like the Featherweight Biker Jacket in breathtaking fuchsia.

Equestrian There’s plenty of action at waist-level – nippedin, belted or tied – in the jacket line. The spirit of the polo field infects the Newbery Quilt Blazer in Sandstone and the Summer Calgary in bold primary colours. Ruff shirts add a sprinkle of relaxed formality when it’s time for tea.

Country House Tartan features through this collection supporting summer black, navy and sand. But this relaxed range has hidden depths: tartan lines a hooded top, or the inside of a placket on a polo, or the piping of a sleeve. Barbour’s Muted Tartan takes over the innovative Parachute Field jacket entirely!


Country Garden

The tailored military influence gives structure to a fun and colourful collection and every piece comes laden with details. Striped pullovers have a single shoulder fastener. The Grace wide leg trousers and the slouchy-but-structured May shorts come light and fresh in cotton-linen. The Cotton Touch Valerie, ideal for dressing up or down, is a summer-weight take on the Trench coat in turf green.

Flowers nestle on the interior yoke of a T-shirt, or collar of a scarf. Liberty prints line the Flyweight Beadnell wax jacket: in bright turf green with Barbour’s exclusive Rose print as lining; and in turquoise, navy or olive lined with new Liberty floral prints. Pick one and combine with the Jenny straight leg, chambray Naomi shirt and striped, ¾-sleeved Maisie Scoop sweater. Barbour’s exclusive Liberty print, the rose, is hidden in the construction of the stretch-cotton Millie and Katie shirts.

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 33


Jet Set is now Online Jet Set Saddlery & Countrywear has been back at Dundonald, Ayrshire for 6 months and enjoyed a busy Autumn and Christmas season. has a countrywide delivery charge of £4.99 which includes UK Islands and the Scottish Highlands.

The second generation family business has been serving the equestrian world for over 30 years and therefore understands customer requirements.

For most areas of the United Kingdom the £4.99 will be a next day service avoiding Express Delivery charges.

The new web site offers a huge choice for horse and rider and new products are being added daily.

The Jet Set superstore at Dundonald is a place to visit if you live within travelling distance and offers an even greater variety of horse and rider clothes and equipment than can be despatched by mail.

The PRICE PROMISE lets customers know that we are competitive and working hard to consistently offer prices that will stand comparison.

Cool Elegance with Italian Style LAS Helmets, designed in Italy bring an elegance to the show ring.  Leading lady show jumpers, Tina Fletcher, Laura Renwick, Edwina Alexander, Darby & Taylor Ward, Sophie Broome and many more know how to look that bit more special in the ring. An understated but visible bit of bling gives the regal touch.  LAS Helmets keep the trends coming forward and this season is no exception

Foxxy ladies! What do you get when you combine couture fashion with country tweeds? Super stylish label Timothy Foxx that’s what! British designed label Timothy Foxx injects new life into classic tweed, with their gorgeous new spring/summer collection of flirty separates and trendy accessories.   This stunning outfit combines their passion of sharp tailoring and ingenious use of colour and delivers it with a fashionable twist. The Timothy Foxx Grace Jacket In Duchess (RRP: £315.00  Seen here with matching Timothy Foxx Aimee Skirt in Duchess (RRP: £99.00) 01296 423 399

In Blue and in Black, with or without the real Swarovski crystals the LAS helmets are cutting edge design paired with safety of EN1384. Available in bespoke colours and designs from Ayr Equestrian, Weston Lawns Equitation, Cool Equestrian and Leslie Sutcliffe.  RRP £430.00

Spring in to Style for 2012 With Spring just around the corner, looking stylish whether in or out of the saddle helps everyone to feel better after the colder winter months. In this issue we provide top fashion advice from the team at and what’s hot and what to look out for in the style stakes throughout Spring 2012. “Spring/summer 2012 will no doubt see the return of the famous Union Jack colours in support of London 2012,” says Katie Farmer. “Colour ways such as navy, red and white are sure to be a big hit. Brands will be offering a large variety of items that you can mix and match to create the perfect outfit. “The summer celebrations for 2012 are very exciting and everyone will be wanting to make the most of this great opportunity. “Other colours such as pinks, greys and yellows including lemon will make a return to brighten up your wardrobe and give that feminine touch with gentle stripes and subtle spots. “How you look, whether on the yard, or nipping in to town, can make such a difference to your overall well being, so mix and match tops and bottoms until you find a look that really suits. Items such as fitted and belted jackets will remain a firm favourite for their elegant style. Padded gilets have been a huge hit and will see lightweight versions added to lines with the warmer weather fairing.

34 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

with dressage riders Daniel Watson, Nicola McGivern, Peter Storr and Amy Stovold keeping cool, safe and comfortable.  

“Classic polo shirts are a must have and form the basis of any riders wardrobe whether out of the yard, riding or as part of your everyday casual dress. They are a classic, timeless piece that always look great with jeans or jodhpurs. “In terms of riding wear, jodhpurs will continue to deliver practicality along with a comfortable feel, whilst offering a stylish European design. “Many brands will be offering new colour ways to original designs adding a splash of colour fit for the warmer weather, so there will be plenty of choice to find your favourite gear.” For hassle free shopping and many great bargains visit


Team up with Ariat in 2012 performance. As a flagship product in the range, the Team Softshell Jacket combines functional features with a flattering fit in both men’s and women’s styles. Made from a lightweight softshell fabric that ensures comfort and flexibility, the Team Softshell Jacket is perfect for hacking, training and working in. Meanwhile the Women’s Team 2.5 Layer Jacket is waterproof with fully taped seams and a hood for protection against the elements when it is needed.

After the success of Ariat’s Stable Collection, and subsequently the World Equestrian Games range, Ariat’s brand new Team Apparel was launched at BETA 2012 following popular demand! Taking a traditional red, white and navy colour scheme, the Team Collection offers year round style and function for men and women, utilising Ariat’s proven designs and fabric technologies. Comprising a staple selection of practical equestrian apparel, the Ariat Team Collection encompasses the rider’s desire for smart style without hindering freedom of movement, durability and ultimately,

Perfect as an under layer, or worn alone on a warmer day, the Women’s Team Fleece Pullover features ribbed cuffs and hem for style and comfort, along with a quarter zip which helps to regulate temperature. And when the sun is shining, what could embrace the Ariat team spirit better than a crisp, fresh Team Logo Polo Shirt and Team Logo Cap? The whole Ariat Team Collection has been designed with riders in mind, so for classic, timeless and practical style, join the Ariat Team this season. Prices start at £13.99 for the Team Logo Cap, up to £99.99 for the Men’s Team Softshell Jacket. For more information about Ariat or to view the comprehensive range of apparel available, visit: or telephone: 0845 600 3209.

New Bowness Fleece from Harry Hall The new spring/summer 2012 range from Harry Hall incorporates the season’s latest trends with the practicality of long lasting everyday riding wear. New to the range is the Bowness soft fleece hooded top with a two button fastening to the side of the neck. The Bowness also features a contrasting stripe lining in the hood and kangaroo pocket. The Harry Hall logo is embroidered on the arm and the Union Jack is also featured on the back hem. Ideal for the colder days and

those frosty mornings in spring the Bowness is made from 100% Polyester. Available colours Candy and Navy and in sizes Small to Extra Large, the Bowness retails at around £31.99. Bowness Jnr is also available in Candy and Navy, in sizes 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10, 11/12 and priced at around £21.50. For more information please contact Harry Hall on 01274 711101 or visit www.harryhall.

Made to ride, for him and her! Both the Men’s Sacramento Jacket and Ladies Fontana Jacket have been cut to flatter the figure and each features a classic double vented back, subtle contrasting collar and a unique stripe detail at the sides to accentuate the shape. Available in several colour combinations in ladies sizes 36 – 46, and men’s 38 – 42, both Jackets are priced at £330. The Manfredi collection is available through Performance Rider in the UK. Browse the virtual shelves at www. or tel: 01483 346011 for more information. Alternatively check out the Performance Rider diary dates online and try the Manfredi range for yourself in the exclusive ‘pop up shop’ at a show near you.

An All-Round Master Are you looking for a boot that will take you from the yard to the ring? If so, then look no further as Equitector would like to introduce you to the EquiMaestro. The extremely smart Equi-Maestro, manufactured in the UK from waterproof leather, has been designed for use either as a riding boot, or for wearing around the yard and paddock. Very stylish, this zipped boot provides maximum performance, protection and comfort throughout the year and in all weathers, making it ideal for the rider, instructor and groom. As with all Equitector boots, the EquiMaestro also comes with Climate Control Technology – keeping your feet cool in summer, but warm in winter; Steel Shank heel support; slip resistant, hard-wearing sole; Easy Rider Stirrup Balance system and Hoof Proof Toe protection (EN ISO 20346). This boot is suitable for wearers with medium to wide ankles, not recommended for those with very slim ankles.

(2”) stretch and an underfoot adjustable elasticated strap all add comfort factor. Colour: Black or Dark Brown. Sizes: Calf fittings from Narrow to Ultra-Wide (see website for measuring instructions). RRP: £97.00 (£84.75 online). NOTE: When purchasing Zip Boots & Gaiters together receive a 5% discount on both All Equitector boots come with a One Year Guarantee (providing correct care has been taken) Contact: Equitector on 0208 0904029 or visit

Colour: Black or Dark Brown. Sizes: 3 – 10 (half sizes available). RRP: £81.50 (Ladies) / £86.50 (Men’s) For that long boot look, why not invest in a pair of Equi-Gaiters. Suitable for competing or exercising, the gaiters come with waterproof leather outer, Cambrelle breathable lining and calf leather collar. Fulllength zip fastening, top edge elasticated tab, elasticated panels that allow up to 5cm

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 35

Tack & Turnout - Rugs

Summer Rugs Anne Wilson Spring is here at last and summer on its way. So we can wash, mend and put away all our winter rugs – well hopefully but don’t put them too far out of reach just yet, in case we have some unseasonably cold and wet weather. There’s nothing wrong in turning a horse out in a winter turnout rug in the spring if the weather is foul. A combination of wind with rain is what virtually all horses hate. Even with a thick natural coat (and by this time of year many horses are shedding their winter coats), when the wind blows up the coat, it allows ingress of cold air and water which can be very chilling. Modern Rugs are a wonder to behold compared to the cumbersome, heavy, relatively expensive, mostly poorly fitting, and often not very waterproof rugs, I had at my disposal as a young girl. The quality of the modern materials, the design and cut etc., all means that horses can be much more comfortable than hitherto. Modern technology means that we can have very waterproof rugs which are light and breathable. In latter years manufacturers have made huge improvements in the design of rugs; mostly the front end of the rug does not sit on the withers, causing rubbing and soreness as was once the case. These days you should be able to find an appropriate rug which is designed to encompass fully the shoulders and withers. Rugs with integral neck covers are also a huge improvement. My preference is for those without a seam separating the neck piece from the main body, but so long as the seam doesn’t sit on the withers it should be comfortable. Obviously summer rugs would not be expected to include a neck cover. Fitting of all Rugs – summer and winter

Having praised the virtue of modern rugs, they are still only comfortable if they fit properly. To measure the length of the rug required, measure from the middle of the chest, round the side of the horse to the tail. Having established the length required you then have to think about depth, width and amount of room at the shoulders. It is this latter point, i.e. the shoulders, which I find causes the most problem. A 6ft 6in rug which fits one horse perfectly, may be the correct length for another horse but be far too tight on the shoulders and chest. If you find a rug which fits a broad shouldered, thick necked horse very well, it will probably be far too large on a finer animal, even though both horses are the same length. Obviously if there is not enough room at the shoulder then this will cause rubbing, even if there are darts designed to allow for movement. Conversely, if there is too much room at the shoulder then the rug will slide backwards and still cause rubbing and be very uncomfortable. One only has to think of the different conformation of say a cob as opposed to a Thoroughbred. They may both have the same length measurement and be the same height at the wither, but their rug design needs to be totally different. In summer rugs without a neck cover, I prefer rugs which are cut well in front of the wither and end slightly up the neck, thus avoiding any pressure at the withers as previously mentioned and usually, although not always, giving a bit more room in the shoulder. Certain manufacturers’ styles appear to suit certain types of horses. If you have a new horse it is a bit ‘suck it and see’. My advice in this case would be to buy from a reputable tack shop, who will normally allow you to take a rug

home to try on the horse, on the basis that it can be changed if not suitable. Obviously the shop has to be able to re-sell the rug, so try it on over a cotton sheet or a clean blanket to keep it as clean as possible. There are some good bargains to be had on the internet, if you know exactly which rug will fit your horse, but sending it back if not suitable may be a bit of a hassle. Think about the leg straps for outdoor rugs – consider whether you think your horse would be happier with cross over under the belly straps, combined with a fillet string under the tail, or whether cross over between the hind legs would be more suitable. Personally I prefer the former, but there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to comfort. To Rug or Not to Rug? Some ‘in-between’ days are very difficult for working, DIY owners. You have to decide early in the morning when turning your horse out, whether he needs a rug or not. Obviously it’s very helpful to watch the weather forecast but this is not always exactly accurate. There will be times when you make the wrong choice, don’t beat yourself up, you can’t always be right about the weather. But if at all possible, try to arrange with someone else at your yard, who may be there at a different time, to take your horse’s rug off if the weather turns warm (or rug him up if the opposite). This is where the modern rain sheets and lightweight turn-out rugs are very useful. Often referred to as spring/autumn rugs, they can be useful on wet and windy summer days. Make sure you choose one which has good breathable quality, so if the rain does stop he shouldn’t bake, the rug will breathe. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that because it ‘breathes’ he can wear it all the time. He will still be too hot on a really warm day.

The ambient air temperature is always subjective; whether the horse needs a rug will depend on any significant wind chill factor and/or rain. Some horses feel the cold much more than others and some get overheated much quicker than others, and it doesn’t always follow that the thickest coats and native breeds do not need rugs, although this does have a bearing. There are so many variables, you need to study your horse and get to know his natural comfort zones. Generally horses, like people, will feel the cold more as they age, although even this does not always follow. Show Rugs There are a multitude of beautiful rugs available for use on the showground; mostly cotton coolers. Many of them are very comfortable and horse friendly, but don’t fall into the trap of using them just for appearances; it’s the comfort of your horse which is paramount. A lightweight ‘mac’ type rug, often described as a rain sheet, is invaluable at a showground to keep your horse dry during the odd downpour. Also an exercise sheet is useful, especially at the showground,. You can ride your horse to warm up/cool down in windy/rainy conditions without him becoming chilled or wet. Anti-Sweat Rugs The wicking quality of modern materials is a great boon. The waffle weave type rugs really will act in a similar way as a candle wick and take moisture, be it sweat or rain, from the inside to the outside of the rug. It is not always possible to walk your horse to dry him off, without him becoming chilled, so although it is always a good idea to walk him for five minutes if he is sweating, the use of one of these rugs will stop him from cooling down too quickly and becoming chilled. A word of warning here – waffle weave cont. on p.38

What Colour Are You? The innovative new KAT Stirrup, manufactured from premium Aluminium is really light but also as strong as a conventional stirrup “iron”.

KAT stirrup is based on a modular concept, now you can choose whatever colour you want for the iron and the tread. You can even customise the stirrup further as they can be engraved.

It also offers exceptionally broad tread stability and security in any situation.

Individualise your KAT stirrup by engraving your name, your horse’s name, the name of your team or stables or ask for your stable colours.

The KAT Stirrup is suited for all Equestrian disciplines, jumping, dressage, polo, racing, leisure riding and is for professionals, amateurs, adults and children. The really exciting feature is that The 36 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

Mindbuzzler Ltd distributes KAT stirrups for the UK Trade Inquiries are welcome Call 01337 870489

Tack & Turnout

Cover for summer A bit of sun on your back can make the world seem a much better place but, sadly, the summer is rarely all it’s meant to be. The good news is that there are a number of rugs available that can help protect your horse from whatever the summer season brings. This month, Ride-Away look at lightweight turnout and stable rugs. Let’s take the lightweight turnout rug. If you’re buying, make sure it’s waterproof, breathable and the correct size. You can get no fill turnout rugs that just keep the horse dry, or a number of different fill weights, depending on your needs. There are some pretty funky prints available on lightweight turnout rugs, and they can be packed with features too.

For shows and the stable, sometimes a cotton summer sheet or thin fleece is all you need, as it provides a little bit of extra warmth, and a barrier between the horse, muck and dust. Something like the Rambo Newmarket Summer Stable Sheet also benefits from a Teflon coating to repel dirt and water; whilst a fleece rug, like the WeatherBeeta Polar Fleece Cooler, actually wicks moisture away from the horse, and can be great for travelling too. For all your rugging needs, visit Ride-Away at, call 01347 810443, or order the new catalogue, packed full of summer clothing for horse and rider. Wide range of quality tack & clothing at bargain prices Spend over £50 for FREE Delivery

World Wide Tack confirms that Cowboy Magic truly does exist The age old question, is magic real, has finally been answered and the answer is yes! Well, Cowboy Magic anyway! proudly launches a new moisturising lotion that will turn any skin baby soft – as if by magic! The Outdoor Skin Daily Moisturizing Lotion is part of Cowboy Magic’s latest range and has been formulated for active and athletic outdoor people, who can sometimes punish their skin by exposing it to the sun, wind and rain.

• It is a deep conditioner - Rough, dry skin on hands will rejuvenate after exposure to water, cold weather, sun, wind and rain • It is long lasting - Aloe Vera, Apricot Kernel Oil and Silk Protein have been added to give long lasting results • It is fragrance free – It can be used under make-up or perfumes • It is a total body lotion - Apply to the hands, face, legs and the entire body anytime the skin is dry. Use before dressing in the morning, before bedtime, or after a warm bath or shower to keep your skin baby soft! RRP £9.80 – 4oz

Benefits • It is concentrated - Like other Cowboy Magic products, a little goes a long way • It works instantly – It absorbs into the skin quickly, leaving a clean fresh feeling.

To buy online, visit: or call: 01825 841 303

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 37

Field & Stable - Tack & Turnout - Rugs cont. from p.36

type rugs keep the horse cosy and comfortable whilst he is drying off on chilly days, but can be very overheating on a warm day – they may actually keep him sweating! On warm, but not hot, days when your horse comes back to the stable in a sweat, he still needs to be cooled down slowly without becoming chilled. Just think how you feel if you have been exercising, you then stop, take off your jumper and sit down; even on a warm day you will soon feel chilled as the sweat evaporates. My advice in this case is the old-fashioned string vest type anti-sweat rug (and they are still available), often described as honeycomb design cotton anti-sweat rugs. After giving the horse a good rub down, put on the string vest, then ‘thatch’ along his back with a layer of hay or straw and top it off with a cotton rug. The holes in the string rug allow heat and moister out, and it has room to escape through the ‘thatching’, but the cotton rug on top will stop the horse from cooling down too quickly. Fleece Rugs These are very popular; they are

relatively cheap, warm, light and easy to transport. They can be useful for the horse to wear whilst travelling on chilly days. They are invaluable when used as under rugs both in the stable and out, adding extra warmth on chilly spring nights, with a cotton rug on top, or under a normal stable rug in winter or under a turnout rug. They are not, however, very practical to be worn alone in the stable since when the horse lies down, the bedding will stick to the rug and be very difficult to remove. Fleece rugs also possess fairly good wicking properties, but bear in mind the same principle applies as to waffle weave rugs – they will be too warm on warm days, although perhaps not quite as warm as a waffle weave rug. Sweet-Itch and Fly Rugs Here again, modern technology has come to our aid. Rugs to help in the fight against Sweet Itch have improved apace in the last few years. Obviously the aim is to protect the horse when at grass from being bitten by midges which cause Sweet Itch. Sweet Itch rugs vary tremendously from fly rugs. The mesh of a fly rug is too

JHL Lightweight Turnout Rug This practical rug from Jumper’s Horse Line is ideal for warmer days or for those horses that just need a little bit of extra protection from the elements. Manufactured in 600 denier ripstop polyester, the rug has a mesh lining with nylon anti-rub panels at

the shoulder. The design includes quick release breast fastenings, cross surcingles, leg straps and tail flap. Neck cover sold separately. Colour: red/black or navy/burgundy See image above Sizes: 5’6” to 7’ Price: £56.99 (neck cover £28.49) Contact Westgate EFI on 01303 872277 for stockists

large to keep the miniscule midges out. A sweet itch rug needs to be of a very fine mesh and a belly band is essential, since the underside of the horse is a very vulnerable area. Unfortunately, the finer mesh required to keep out the midges means that it will be much warmer, and should not be worn on a very warm day. Some people find that the midges are only a problem at dawn and dusk, so a sweet itch rug can be removed in the middle of a warm day. Obviously this depends on someone being available to take the rug on and off at the appropriate times. Some owners find that the only satisfactory answer is for the horse to be stabled during the day during warm weather. But bear in mind that he will need to wear his Sweet Itch rug overnight in order to be protected at dawn, and in the height of summer at dusk, unless you are going to turn him out at around 11.00pm and bring him in before dawn! There are mesh type rugs for fly and midge protection which encompass almost the entire horse. His face can be protected, but be careful that you choose a face cover which will not slide around, cover his eyes, or allow the ingress of some insects. This latter

point must be infuriating to a horse; to have some horrid midgie trapped inside his face cover and be unable to dislodge it. To summarise, I would say that the most useful summer rug collection, excluding sweet-itch rugs, would be:• A cotton cooler rug • A fleece rug • At least one waterproof lightweight turnout rug • A lightweight stable rug for chilly spring/autumn nights • A waffle weave anti-sweat rug for chilly days • A string vest type anti-sweat rug • A lightweight show rug You will need one or two elastic surcingles to hold some of the above rugs in place.

Jumpers Horse Line Lightweight Turnout

Treeless Saddle Business for sale due to the owner retiring abroad • • • •

Over 10 years of profitable business in this growing niche market One of the most established companies in this field Excellent reputation for service and quality Largest choice of treeless saddles

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and accessories in the country Informative Website with online shop ( Established own brand product range and representation for major brands

For any enquiries please contact Birgit Michaux on

38 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

Arenas - Field & Stable - Holidays - Insurance

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 39

Health Care - Sweet Itch

Allergic skin disease and ‘Sweet Itch’ Peter Fenton BVM&S, MRCVS

‘Sweet Itch’ is defined as an allergic reaction to the saliva of the Culicoides midge. With the increasing use of allergy testing, many vets are finding that true Sweet-Itch cases are actually a lot less common than previously thought. The definitive diagnosis of sweet-itch is via a blood test result looking for excessive antibody production to the Culicoides midge. The blood test is often considered prohibitively expensive for many owners or uninsured horses and therefore is often performed after initial management and therapies have tried and failed. Managing true sweet-itch initially involves protecting the horse from exposure to the biting midges. Rugging with a protective flysheet at turnout (and occasionally in the stable if severely affected) and using an effective fly repellent (we recommend a permethrin based product such as Coopers fly repellent or Switch) are key. Stabling between dawn and dusk when midge activity is highest and improving the ventilation in stabling can also be useful in minimising exposure of the horse to the midge.

Symptoms of allergic skin disease can be very variable. These can include itching and hair loss at the base of the mane and tail and occasionally scabs and sores at these locations due to the continued itching and self-trauma. Chronic, long term cases may also present with skin thickening and darkening of the affected areas. Horses can also present with urticaria (hives) in response to the problem allergens. These circular raised areas on the horse

may occur on any portion of the body and the horse may further traumatise them by itching, resulting in the areas becoming wounds and then scabs. These wounds on occasion may also become infected which can complicate matters.

Many horses are now receiving blood test results showing no antibody production to the Culicoides midge yet have always shown the typical signs of ‘sweet-itch’. These test results follow a blood sample taken from the affected horse, which is then tested for various antibodies from the following groups: environmental, food and insect. An allergen specific immunotherapy (ASIT) protocol can then be used to desensitise the horse to these antibodies. This involves injecting increasing doses of the identified allergens (plant, insect or food species) over time to allow the horse to gradually become tolerant to them and no longer show any symptoms of the allergy. If this initial course works then a maintenance course is then started to maintain this level of skin tolerance. There are often positive results for food e.g. soya bean, rye, alfalfa. Again, immunotherapy injections can be formulated for these cont. on p.42

40 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

Flies Rockies’ Bug:go! is a great product for the summer months as, in addition to salt, it also contains 10% pure garlic, to help banish bugs. Garlic has been used for many years as a natural fly repellent. When eaten, the garlicky aromas come through the horse’s skin as he sweats, creating a natural deterrent.

In addition to salt and garlic, Bug:go! contains allicin and ajoene, which have recognised benefits. Bug:go! is available in 5kg blocks, which retail at £9.15. For more information, see, email or call 01606 595025.

TRI-TEC 14 KILLS the Swamp Fever Carriers !!! TRI TEC-14 American fly control Now available in the UK!

deer ticks, gnats, lice, and the Scottish Midge.


The unique formula contains cypermethrin, pyrethrins and strong polymers to keep it in place for 14 days, making it very effective, long lasting and economical. Tri-Tec can be applied by trigger spray or as a wipe.

West Nile Disease, Lyme Tick Disease, Swamp Fever, Scottish midge and many more are arrested by TRI-TEC 14 killing its carriers! TRI-TEC 14 spray, a unique formulation, new to the UK, approved by the HSE (license 9215), as an insecticide spray, and used in the USA for years as an ‘on horse spray’. TRI-TEC 14 kills the flies, mosquitoes (Asian and House), ticks, and lice which can carry infectious diseases, and the Scottish Midge! Efficacy tests prove TRI-TEC 14 to kill horse, stable, house, face, horn, deer flies, mosquitoes,

Kill the carriers to prevent the spread of disease with TRI-TEC 14, proven effective by efficacy test performed by respected Wellmark International. ‘The best spray I have ever used. Kills them all and made my horse happy!’, CM – Perth. For more information, please contact: LS Sales (Farnam) Ltd. Tel: 01608 683855 www.farnamproducts. April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 41

Health Care - Sweet Itch cont. from p.40

but avoidance is also possible by checking the ingredients list on your horse’s feed and selecting a different product. Allergen avoidance plays a key role in managing the allergic horse. This may mean fencing off certain areas of a field to minimise exposure to nearby sources of allergens e.g. a species of tree. Some people have also had ‘accidental’ success when moving onto a new yard as they have left behind the source of the allergy e.g. beech trees that were neighbouring the field where the horse was previously kept. This is obviously dependent on the new yard not having the species that the horse in allergic to. Cavalesse is a product that is being increasingly used with success to treat allergic skin disease in horses. Cavalesse contains nicotinamide (a vitamin B3 derivative) that has been shown to reduce levels of histamine produced and also boost the levels of natural fats in the skin therefore improving the skin’s natural barrier. There is also a topical gel supplied in combination with the in-feed product that can be used on affected lesions as an additional aid to treatment. Many long term sufferers of sweet-itch or seasonal allergic skin disease have

responded very well to treatment with Cavalesse, often showing a dramatic improvement in symptoms within days. The product is best started prior to the better weather and turnout to ensure

Miraculous D-Itch Skin Spray… …‘The Sweet way to spray away scratching’ At your wit’s end watching your poor horse or pony itch and scratch away at his mane and tail every spring, once the irritating midges and flies arrive? You need worry no more, with the timely arrival of NAF’s newly launched D-Itch Skin Spray – an effective, soothing spray to calm seasonal skin irritations and itching caused by biting insects and thus helping to negate the need to scratch.

that the skin barrier has been improved prior to the period when traditionally the symptoms have been worst. Most cases have still had partial or full success with starting treatment during the height of summer, in combination with allergen avoidance mechanisms outlined above. In conclusion, no horse should ever just be dismissed as ‘having a touch of sweet-itch’. Severely affected horses become so irritated and restless that they often lose weight and show a negative change in behaviour and demeanour. This is obviously a welfare concern that should be addressed by the owner as soon as possible. Most horses show a dramatic improvement in general well-being when a treatment is successful, which is telling of just how detrimental the condition would be if left untreated.

D-Itch Skin Spray is a natural formula combining unique herbal extracts with powerful antioxidant properties to support and comfort the reddened areas of hot, irritated skin, with MSM which is readily absorbed into the grazed, broken skin to support the natural healing process. For best results simply spray evenly over the affected areas, as and when required. D-Itch Skin Spray is fast acting. You’ll be amazed at the miraculous speed of the results… RRP’s 750 ml: £18.95 Ditch the Itch with D-Itch D-Itch is a completely unique complementary feed that can be fed to horses and ponies prone to seasonal skin disorders. It offers a revolutionary approach, in that rather than simply addressing the symptoms of the condition, ie the sore, itchy areas on the skin’s surface, D-Itch provides the

necessary nutrients the animal needs to tackle the root cause of the problem. It is important to recognize that the skin reaction is caused by an internal chain of events, triggered by the saliva of a biting midge penetrating the skin of the susceptible animal. It is a hypersensitivity to this that causes a significant increase in free radicals (toxins) within the system, which in turn trigger the sore, itchy reaction associated with the condition. Correct nutritional support can be highly effective in helping to address this free radical cascade. D-Itch is rich in a broad spectrum of naturally sourced, targeted antioxidants, such as hawthorn & ginger, combined with other natural ingredients that particularly benefit skin health. The antioxidants act as free radical scavengers and mop up the increased levels of harmful toxins, while the other nutrients support natural tissue repair and integrity. To achieve maximum results NAF recommend that D-Itch is fed prior to the ‘midgey season’ in order to help provide the horse with the nutritional resources needed to resist the reaction. RRP’s: D-Itch: 500g: £19.95; 1kg: £35.65; Larger sizes available. For further details please go to your nearest NAF stockist, or call the NAF Freephone Advice Line on 0800 373 106, email or visit

Ground breaking supplement Think Itch is a ground-breaking feed supplement recommended for horses prone to sweet itch. It incorporates the internationally renowned Think Fly formula together with ingredients for a balanced immune system, effectively combining the benefits of two products into one. The principle behind Think Itch is to deter midges from biting the horse, whilst at the same time helping to soothe the irritation. It therefore offers a unique dual approach to sweet itch. A 4kg container will last a horse for 33 days. RRP £39.95. For further information please contact Brinicombe Equine on Tel 08700 606206 or visit 42 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

Health Care - Sweet Itch

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 43

Health Care - Sweet Itch

Anti-itch Soothing Shampoo Available in 5L & 500ml. Priding itself on top quality, effective products that you can trust at affordable prices, Barrier Animal Healthcare specialises in a range of entirely natural, non-irritant healthcare products that are not only effective, but are kind to the animal, the user and to the environment. Anti-Itch Soothing Shampoo is a rich, gentle, anti-bacterial two in one shampoo with conditioner for all year round use. Perfect for use when excellent cleansing, conditioning and anti-itch properties are needed the most. Can be used on minor skin irritations and damaged skin. Includes all the added benefits of Tea Tree, Aloe Vera, Chamomile and Lavender to gently

soothe and calm, sore, bitten, irritated areas ensuring the skin is kept itch free and healthy, whilst cleaning away bacteria and fungi with ease. Regular use helps eliminate scurfy skin and maintain a healthy coat. No artificial thickeners. Free from all prohibited substances under current FEI and HRA rules. Barrier Animal Healthcare. 01953 456363. Visit www.

Z-itch that itch just once a week! Z-itch is a ready to use pour-on product that aids the control of sweet itch in horses and ponies. In addition to making the spring and summer months more pleasant for equines, it’s great for owners too, as it only requires application once a week. The product contains Permethrin, and is administered according to body weight. It’s simple and clean to apply too, just fill up the integral chamber on the bottle with the correct amount according to weight, and pour on the horse along the neck and rump. Then that’s it, for a whole week! Whilst effective when used at any time during the season, for best results, apply before the horse exhibits any symptoms. Since Z-itch’s launch last year, the product has helped a great number of horses. In addition to using Z-itch once a week, the

company also gives the following advice to owners of horses and ponies who suffer with sweet itch: • Look at your management regimemidges are most active at dusk and dawn, so consider stabling your horse during these times. If this is not possible, provide adequate shelter. • Look at well draining pasture that is situated away from water, as this is where midges breed. • Special sweet itch rugs can be really helpful. They should be breathable and have a close fit. • If you’re worried about your horse’s health or condition, consult your vet as soon as possible. Z-itch is available in 250ml bottles which retail at £33.60. This works out to a cost of around 80p per day for horses, and 40p per day for ponies. For more information, see and use the stockist finder.

Biting Midge Cream Biting Midge Cream has been designed to both soothe itching skin and repel midges and flying insects. It’s easy to apply and contains Tea Tree Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Jojoba Oil and Chamomile Extract, in addition to other active ingredients. Biting Midge Cream is available in 350g and 1kg jars, prices start from £8.35. Itchless Itchless is a liquid herbal tincture, designed for use in biting midge season, to help combat itching and nutritionally

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support the skin. It contains extracts of Marigold, Dandelion, Nettle, Garlic and Seaweed, and is fed at a rate of just 20ml per day. In addition, it works very well when used with Biting Midge Cream, and can even be diluted at a rate of 40ml per 500ml of water to make a body wash. Itchless is available in 1 litre bottles, which last 50 days, and retail at £19.25. For more information see www., email sales@equimins. com or call 01548 531770.


April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 45

Book Review - Health Care - Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy Problem Page My instructor constantly comments that I collapse through my left hip and that I ride with my stirrups too short but I find it very difficult to correct this. Could a physiotherapy assessment help me and what would be involved with this? A physiotherapy assessment with a Chartered Physiotherapist who understands the biomechanics of riding would almost certainly help you, and help your horse as you will be blocking his movement. In an initial assessment off the horse, I would look first at your ability to stabilise around your pelvis using a series of functional tests. As your horse’s hind leg comes forward, his back will rise slightly underneath your seat and carry it forwards. At the same time the other hind leg will travel out behind the horse. This will feel as if his back is dropping down and backwards. Then the whole cycle will start again. In order to allow this movement in the horse’s back the rider must be able to absorb the movement from the horse by rotating and counter rotating the hips and spine the whole way up to the head. Any restriction in your movement can block the horse’s movement. To allow your hip and pelvis on one side to move forward and on the other side move backwards, the stabilising muscles of the pelvis and hip need to be working optimally. Most muscles of the musculoskeletal system work in pairs, called agonists and antagonists. During a movement, the muscle responsible for moving the body part contracts or shortens; this muscle is called the agonist. The antagonist muscle acts against or in opposition to the agonist muscle, stretching when the agonist contracts. The antagonist muscle is responsible for moving the body part back to its original position. A muscle acts as the agonist in one action and as an antagonist in the opposite action. Around the hip the main hip flexor muscle, psoas, and the main hip extensor muscle, gluteus

maximus, work in this relationship. Muscle tightness can cause ‘reciprocal inhibition’. This means that a tight muscle, psoas, can cause a decrease in the neural drive of its antagonist, gluteus maximus. In lay terms this means if you have tight hip flexors chances are you will have weak bum muscles, gluteus maximus. Every horse rider that I have ever assessed has this problem to some degree, some much worse than others. Some muscles act as synergists, meaning they aid the action of a prime mover by affecting the same movement. For example the main extensor of the hip is gluteus maximus but the hamstrings also help with this. The problem arises when you have a weak prime mover, the synergist muscle compensates in an attempt to maintain functional movement and force production. Therefore if you have tight hip flexors chances are you will have weak gluteus maximus and tight overactive hamstrings. This is what will make you ride with shorter stirrups as you need to use your hamstrings to try to do the job of stabilising your pelvis and moving your hip. Just stretching your hamstrings is not going to change this – we need to look at your hip flexors and gluteus maximus and get them working more effectively. A rider I treated last week was able to lengthen her stirrups three holes after just one treatment as we were able to get her gluteus maximus to work more effectively, allowing her hamstrings to release. Also key to stability around your pelvis is a group of muscles known as the lateral sling. This comprises three muscles; gluteus medius (a stabilising muscle on the outside of the hip), the hip adductors (the muscle down the inside of your thigh), and the quadratus lumborum on the opposite side (a muscle which attaches from the bottom of the ribcage to the top of the pelvis). These muscles are used most when we are performing movements on one leg, climbing stairs, running when the foot is on the ground. They are also

Maeve Grant

very important in riding as they help us to control how our weight transfers from one seat bone to the other. Tightness or weakness on one side will cause ‘collapsing of one hip’. An easy functional test for this is a split squat test. In the photos below we see a rider perform this test. In Photo 1 we can see that when doing a split squat on her right leg she can stabilise well around the pelvis.

Split squat on right leg

In Photo 2 we can see the difference when asked to do the same movement on the left leg; she leans to the left, is unable to control the movement and loses balance. Her quadratus lumborum muscle on the right has to work very hard to stop her falling to the left and this can lead to right sided low back pain.

This rider reports difficulty getting her horse to strike off correctly on right canter. As she collapses through her left hip, the horse will find it very difficult to bring his left hind further forward underneath him to strike off into right canter. We need to address the rider’s functional problem so the horse can move more easily. By releasing the quadratus lumborum muscle on the right and using treatment and exercises to recruit the stabilising muscles on the left side of her pelvis, we can allow the rider to control the movement on the left rather than collapsing that way. If the rider is then not collapsing through her left hip it will allow the horse to bring his left hind further forward underneath him, making his right canter strike off easier. Collapsing through your left hip and riding with short stirrups is a functional problem for you and it is one that you cannot change on your own. Having an assessment and treatment with a Chartered Physiotherapist who understands the biomechanics of riding will certainly help how you move on your horse. This will allow you to move with your horse rather than blocking him and will allow your instructor to work on your skill as a rider, rather than constantly trying to change your position. Maeve Grant, Chartered Human and Veterinary Physiotherapist. BSc Hons Physiotherapy, PgDip Veterinary Physiotherapy, MCSP, ACPAT Cat A. Tel: 07815839790 E-mail: Web: Based in Edinburgh, covering Central Scotland. For more information on Veterinary Physiotherapy or to find a Chartered Veterinary Physiotherapist in your area go to

Split squat on left leg

Book Review - Horse Anatomy for Performance A practical guide to Training, Riding and Horse Care by Gillian Higgins with Stephanie Martin (IBSN 9781446300961) In over 350 colour photos and illustrations, Higgins uses her signature technique of painting internal diagrams directly onto the bodies of living horses, to great effect. Horse Anatomy for Performance builds upon the success of her 2010 book, How Your Horse Moves, to examine the anatomy of 11 systems of the horse. It is with careful and clear detail that Higgins shows just how anatomy influences the way we manage, ride 46 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

and train our horses. As a sports and remedial therapist for both horses and humans and a lecturer in anatomy and biomechanics, Gillian Higgins is recognised internationally for her ‘Horses Inside Out’ artworks and public demonstrations. She’s given talks to equestrian audiences from throughout the UK and around the world, receiving endorsements from academics and high profile riders,

including Richard Davison, Laura and Dr. Wilfred Bechtolsheimer and Christopher Bartle. Speaking of the new book, Higgins said ‘I hope that the book will serve as a vital resource to anyone interested in keeping a happy and healthy horse. As well as being of interest to therapists, students, and trainers, I am confident that Horse Anatomy for Performance will make a great read for all horse

enthusiasts.’ For anyone who has struggled to really understand what goes on under their horses skin, this book is a must and worth every penny at the SRP of only £19.99. More information is available from F&W Media International on Tel: 01626 323200. Email: enquiries@fwmedia. com Website:

Book Review - Stud - Training

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 47


48 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

Giveaway - Sweet Itch

Blue Sky Thinking from Snuggy Hoods What do you think Snuggy Hoods and the Deep American South have in common? One is the royal approved company which keeps your equines clean, tidy and protected from the elements. The other is part of a vast continent with porches and roofs painted a particular colour known as Haint Blue... The answer which combines the two is FLIES! Haint Blue is a spiritual and cultural colour believed to keep away evil spirits; it also cleverly fools insects as the blue matches the colour of the sky. This deters bugs from making themselves at home; they don’t want to nest in the sky. After extensive and careful research Snuggy Hoods has decided to combine this powerful shade of blue with their success of 2011 the Snuggy Bug Body. New for 2012 is the New Haint Blue Snuggy Bug Body® from Snuggy Hoods. The Snuggy Bug Body is a headless rug which offers protection from poll to tail; it includes a well fitting belly flap, lined hood tail guard which wraps around the dock and a tail

flap. It is elasticated behind the ears to prevent any unwelcome guests. Snuggy Hoods can protect your equine from nose to tail if a Sweet Itch Head is added. It gives customers complete choice on how much or how little their horse or pony needs protecting. Combine this impressive design with the tranquillity of Haint Blue and your equine will look like endless sky; no fly will be interested and it leaves your four legged friend in peace. The Snuggy Bug Body comes in sizes 4’6 to 7’ and has an RRP of £155.00. For more information visit www. or email sales@ or call 01225 783399.

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 49

News - Stud

50 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

News - Tack & Turnout - Worming

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 51

Sweet Itch - Tack & Turnout

Beating the Itch Forest Farmacy style with new sweet itch care pack Have you stopped to think about why itchy horses are more common than they used to be? Or why the common skin irritation so many horses suffer with is called ‘sweet’ itch? Consider this… when someone has had a ‘garlic-heavy’ meal you can smell it on them, this is because it comes out in their perspiration. It is the same with horses and anything that a horse eats will be secreted via their sweat. What do horses eat more of in the summer? Grass… and what does grass majorly consist of… sugar! So to bugs and insects, when a horse has a high blood sugar level – they smell good enough to eat! In addition to fresh spring grass, horses are generally being overfed resulting in higher blood sugar content. The excess sugars which aren’t used for energy are converted in to fat and ‘dumped’ through perspiration on to their skin producing a ‘heaven’ for insects! A large proportion of the insects that bite are females who, once they have mated, need a good feed of blood to germinate their eggs, which is why they bite! The anticoagulant the insect inserts in to the horse to maintain a constant flow of blood is acidic, as is the skin, which is what causes your horse to itch. Once the itch starts, horses start to rub which causes the area to become more raw and open – giving other insects the perfect feeding ground and method of sharing their bacteria. There are ways to help prevent it… forest farmacy’s Sweet itch Care pack To target the problems from the inside out we have created a unique supplement Skin Power is designed for feeding to your horse or pony every day to work on skin problems from the inside out by including herbs that help cleanse the blood, remove toxins, soothe irritations and allergic reactions and alkalising the skin from the inside out. Skin Power encourages clean, healthy skin and a glossy coat and is the perfect remedy for horses that have sweet itch, itchy coats, dry, dull coats and any skin allergies. Ingredients include wild sage, fenugreek and chamomile. To alkalise the skin extrenally for a double whammy ‘Quassia Anti Itch spray’ alters the PH of the skin making it unappealing to bugs and insects and in turn helping reduce the problem of sweet itch and insect bites. Quassia Bark Extract is found predominantly in Jamaica and other West Indian Islands. The whole Quassia tree – in particular the white coloured wood – is infused with an astringent resin containing Quassin which acts as a powerful insecticide – so much so in fact that no insect or pest ever bothers the tree in the wild. 52 - Equi-Ads - April 2012

When used in pesticides, Quassin is regarded as the safest and most effective way to eliminate harmful pests and insects. Quassin has historically been used in lice remedies and is powerful at eliminating parasites while still being safe to use on all horses and ponies, even foals. Quassia Anti Itch spray is ideal for keeping the skin cool, fresh and healthy and can be used diluted as a daily wash after exercise or alternatively sprayed on neat to affected areas. Tana White has used our Anti Itch products with great effects. “I have a horse that we have bred who suffers with terrible sweet itch and has done since he was a yearling. He is now 6. I have sprayed the Quassia Anti Itch spray on his mane and tail almost every day and the results are absolutely amazing. Not only has he not rubbed nearly as much, but the condition of his mane and tail is wonderful. When he does rub, I put on the Rapid Regrowth cream and within 10-15 minutes he has calmed down and stopped rubbing. I would recommend this range to anyone that has a horse or pony that rubs or has sweet itch, as over the years I have tried everything for my horse, he even manages to rub through the rugs!” “I have started using the Skin Powder on my mare and since using it she has been nowhere near as itchy, I will definitely be keeping her on it the difference is amazing!” Janice Pegler The Sweet Itch Care Pack retails at £85 and consists of a months supply of skin power herbal supplement, Quassia Anti Itch spray and rapid regrowth cream for manes and tails. For more information please call Forest farmacy help line on 0800 970 9421 or email

Dress To Impress Aivly unveils Competition Clothing Showroom Step upstairs at Aivly Country Store and discover a divine new competition clothing display to delight all equestrian enthusiasts. Catering for numerous disciplines, the selection includes beautiful dressage tail coats, the latest slimline dressage and showing hats, cross-country body protectors and the basics in numerous sizes. If you can’t find what you need for your equestrian sport – Aivly will order in specific items for you.

Laminitis Aivly offers an all-round approach to laminitis Taking a holistic approach to the prevention and recovery from laminitis, Aivly Country Store can help your horse or pony every step of the way. Laminitis Trust-approved feeds to low-sugar haylage and specialist supplements are available as are boredom-breaker toys, award-winning small-holed haynets, and electric fencing systems to create a coral, a paddock ring to encourage continued exercise or for simple strip-grazing. Sweet Itch

Right Tack for the Right Job

Sweet Itch Solutions at Aivly

Choice and Advice at Aivly Country Store

Aivly Country Store’s sympathetic and experienced staff can guide you through the latest solutions to relieve sweet itch. The spacious showroom stocks rugs to supplements from leading brand names from Horseware to NAF.

You could accuse Aivly Country Store of making you spoilt for choice such is the variety of items on offer – an estimated1500 bits are in stock for instance at the spacious showroom. But the friendly, experienced staff are also on hand to help you make the right choice.

Visit Aivly Country Store, Ringwood, BH24 3EA, or call 01425 472341.

Feeding - News

New innovative Flexi-Cool Combination Bandage hits the market! KM Elite Products are delighted to announce the launch of their new Flexi-Cool Combination Bandage. This innovative bandage offers maximum support and protection to the horse when being ridden. Half of the bandage which is put directly onto the horse’s leg is a supportive cooling liner which helps to reduce heat build up by wicking away moisture from the skin. It also has an important four way stretch eliminating any pressure areas on the leg. The second half of the bandage is an open weave stretch fabric which goes over the

liner to offer additional cushioning and protection without bulking or irritation. The bandages are secured with double locking Velcro to ensure maximum safety. The clever design in these bandages means there is no need to use under pads yet. It offers the maximum support and protection for your horse. The bandages are available in sets of two in black and white with an RRP of £19.99. For further information on these bandages and other KM Elite Products please contact www.kmeliteproducts. Telephone 01403 759659.

Beat the itch and get great skin condition Skratch is perhaps the most effective supplement traditionally used to help with tail, mane and itching skin in the spring and summer season. Use one blue 25ml scoop twice daily, introduce it very gradually over a few days, as this is a strong formula. Review the situation after four weeks and if necessary continue throughout the season. RRP: 500G 1LTR 1KG 2KG 5LTR

£19.25 £22.95 £36.30 £63.00 £103.00

Skratch Plus Severe itch formula, 500g Skratch (Classic) The classic formula for everyday use, 500g Skratch Syrup Much weaker but best for very fussy feeders- 1l & 5l ** SuperSkratch Formula ** The Winter formula (can also use in Summer), 1kg

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 53

Directory - Giveaway - Insurance - Livery - Tack & Turnout

Day, Son & Hewitt “Showing Masterclass” with Julie Templeton Day, Son & Hewitt is inviting budding showing enthusiasts to join them for a unique opportunity to learn some invaluable trade secrets from one of the country’s leading show producers; Julie Templeton. Julie is a specialist in ensuring first time partnerships for the Horse of the Year show

are able to turn out their best performances in the ring. A ticket price of just £35 buys you a one-to-one lesson with Julie, followed by a group lesson to put everything you’ve learnt into practice providing you with the ultimate preparation for the show season ahead.Julie has been feeding Day, Son and Hewitt supplements with some remarkable results and the DSH team will

also be to hand to offer nutritional advice and share their experience with you. The event is taking place over two days 2nd and 3rd at Bishop Burton Equestrian College in East Yorkshire. For more information or to book online please visit: masterclass

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


but not everyone knows we do horse and horsebox insurance.

Property Abroad

Brittany & Normandy Cardyke Overseas Properties Properties suitable for horses at a fraction of UK prices. Tel: 01775 630 008

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Saddlery Call 01296 436142 for a quote or pop into the office to talk to Virginia Stollery & Simon Parker at NFU Mutual Office, 1 Alton House Office Park, Gatehouse Way, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8XU. Agent of The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited.

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We do right by you

South East Andrew Reilly Saddlers Spoods Farm, Tinkers Lane, Hadlow Down, East Sussex TN22 4ET. Tel: 01825 830484.


East Regular worm egg counts can save money! 6-8 weekly spring through autumn £5 each. Church Farm FEC or 01728685638


The Haylage Co. A cost effective alternative to hay. Based South Hertfordshire, we deliver to locations nationwide. Telephone: 07836 514 435 or 07831 454 166 Email: Website-

Field & Stable - Tack & Turnout

New products from Tottie Tottie Vegas Headcollar & Leadrope Pack New to the Tottie range is horse wear. Now your horse can look just as fashionable as you. The Vegas Headcollar and Leadrope pack is bright and stylish. Featuring twin coloured polyester webbing, with a funky coloured taping on the noseband, it comes with a matching tri-coloured leadrope. Available in pretty colours Navy, and Pink, in the sizes Pony, Cob and Full. Priced at around £14.50. Tottie Zinnia The fantastic Zinnia three quarter length sleeved rugby style top is new to the Tottie range this season. It is ideal for a day out or down the yard. The fashionable rugby top has stripes running across, and features an Oxford floral shirt trim on the underside of the collar, placket, back neck buggy, cuff detailing and side vents. Available in Navy, Light Grey Marl and Dark Grey Marl, Zinnia is great to wear with any of your other Tottie garments. Available in sizes XS – XL, priced at around £43.99.

For further information please contact Tottie on (01274) 711101 or visit www.

April 2012 - Equi-Ads - 55

Animal Communication - Holidays - News

Beware of strangles outbreak says Derbyshire vet Following recent outbreaks of equine strangles in the Dronfield and Chesterfield areas of Derbyshire, equine vet Cornelia Chrobok, from Pegasus Equine Veterinary Practice in Dronfield, is keen to alert local horse owners of the dangers of this highly contagious infectious disease. Strangles is one of the most common bacterial equine respiratory infections and in extreme cases horses can die from an infection. Symptoms include fever, nasal discharge, abscesses in the lymph nodes on the head and neck and loss of appetite. Up to ten percent of recovered animals become chronic carriers of the strangles bacteria and will subsequently spread the disease. Yards may need to close temporarily, should an outbreak occur, which can result in considerable inconvenience and economic loss. Dr. Cornelia Chrobok says: “Even if your horse is not affected at present it’s important to bear in mind how contagious strangles is. Some yards may not quarantine infected horses so if you are out and about schooling or at competitions your horse may be at risk. Prevention is always better than cure so it is worth considering a vaccination to give your horse immunity.” Dr Chrobok offers the following practical advice if you suspect strangles: • Call your vet for detailed guidance on isolation and handling procedures. All

horses on the yard should remain under the care of your vet. • Isolate the suspected horse and any other horses who have had nose to nose contact with it, away from other horses on the yard. • Create three separate groups: infected horses, those who have had close contact with infected horses and ‘clean’ horses and maintain strict hygiene procedures between these three groups. • Prevent any horses from leaving or visiting the yard. • Contact the owners of all the horses on the yard and also any neighbouring yards, to inform them of the outbreak. • Take the temperature of all horses twice daily. Pay special attention to the young, old and immuno-compromised. Isolate any horses showing an increase in temperature and get them seen by your vet. • Don’t release any horse from the yard until they have been declared uninfected by your vet. The yard should not be opened to normal activities until after all horses are confirmed to be uninfected. For further information and advice on equine healthcare, including strangles, flu and equine herpes virus visit www.

Animal Communication Kristin Kosowan

When I communicate with an animal it is not censored, they communicate exactly what they want me to know, hear or see. They are upfront and honest. Individual characteristics surface ~ some have a sense of humour, some are very private and cagey and others are nonstop friendly chatterboxes. Animals who are very unwell can be sad, depressed and find communicating very comforting. As we all know, communication is not a substitute for trusted veterinary advice, which in such cases should always be sought. Communication is never diagnostic but can comfort and support an animal through difficult times in many ways. Asking questions focuses the communication to more specific concerns you may have or would like to know. After a communication, I discuss (on the telephone) exactly what I have received with no judgement, editing or ego. This is my personal mantra. This empowers the animal to teach, express and resolve confusion between you and your animal. It is a very personal, subjective experience that helps you both gain a better understanding of one another on many levels”. This is an extract taken from a recent communication with Kit Kit comes through as a very territorial and grumpy individual. He pulls faces to keep people at a distance, especially near his stable. Kit says he loves being ridden and, although he hasn’t been competing lately, he can’t wait to start again. He loves jumping especially across country but he doesn’t like the bottom part of his noseband and says he would prefer it to be taken off. Here is what Kit had to say: “I love the girl that I go into the field with, we are great friends. She’s a very calm and together person. I’ve had a lot

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of field friends over the years but she is my favourite. I hate being in my stable and would rather stand out in the cold and wet weather. I used to be left in my stable for days without going outside so I get very anxious being indoors. I love my life now because I am outside all the time. I don’t like horse nuts and mix is my favourite. Owner’s Comments Unbelievable, Kristin got Kit’s character spot on. We call him ‘the snake’ at the yard because he pins his ears back when people walk by. He hates his box and actually box walks if he is left in it for extended periods of time. He is very grumpy but a pleasure to ride, so I put up with his bad moods. He really is a one owner horse and doesn’t like strangers being in his stable. This is a big problem as he only allows myself and one other person to enter. He has spent most of the winter in the field double rugged as he prefers being outside. He’s turned out with a retired mare called ‘Rita’ and he adores her. Kit’s been back in work hacking for 4 weeks and I’ve been riding him in a flash, compared to his normal cavesson noseband, as he’s been full of beans. I find it interesting that he said he didn’t like the drop bit of the flash noseband, I’ll take it off and see if he stops shaking his head occasionally. I was really happy to hear that he can’t wait for our competition season to start. Really helpful feedback. If you would like Kristin to communicate with your horse or other animal, then please email a clear headshot of your animal with 3 questions you would like to ask to: An hour communication session will cost £60, (shorter sessions cost less) but 2 lucky readers will qualify for a refund if their communication is selected to be published in Equi-Ads, with their agreement. For more information see www.

Equi-Ads April 2012  

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