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March 2011

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


Feeding the pregnant mare Dr Derek Cuddeford advises

Poisoning An accident waiting to happen

Keeping Calm

WIN! a year’s

supply of Baileys Horse Feed and a consultation with a Baileys nutritionist, plus ongoing support

A review of the causes of excitable behaviour

Pilates for Equestrians Worming

Getting to grips with the perennial problem

Feeding - News

Technologically Advanced Feeds from Saracen


“Mare nutrition determines the foal’s healthy growth, development and eventual athletic success.” Larry Lawrence Ph.D (KER Nutritionist)


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1 – 2, 61, 63


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Baileys Competition


Feeding Pregnant Mares 9 Keeping calm


Balanced Diet









34 - 40

Training Youngsters



41 – 43

Tack & Turnout

41 – 48,

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Horses for Sale



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Saddle Pads


Horse Behaviour



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Showjumper to Dressage 54 Field & Stable

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What’s On

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Copy Deadline

10th of the preceding month Available on the 1st of the month

Since its launch, Mare-Care has been ensuring that future youngsters are given the best start in life. A broodmare’s feeding programme should be divided into three separate stages: 1. Early Pregnancy (from conception to seven months) 2. Late Pregnancy (seven months to foaling) 3. Lactation (generally lasts for five to six months after foaling) Mare-Care is a specially formulated diet for broodmares during their last two stages, late pregnancy and lactation. After seven months of pregnancy when the foetus develops rapidly, its nutrient requirements become significantly greater than the mare’s maintenance requirements. The foetus stores iron, zinc, copper and manganese in its liver for use during the first few months of life as mare’s milk is quite low in these elements. The trace mineral supplementation provided by Mare-Care is therefore particularly important during this period. After foaling, the mare’s nutrient requirements increase significantly, with a particular need for glucose in milk production. As energy requirements are

As it stands, the charity is currently caring for 298 horses and ponies at the four sites but this number is likely to increase to 334 over the next few weeks. This compares to January last year where a total of 268 equines were being looked after.

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

World Horse Welfare is urgently seeking potential borrowers who believe they could offer a home to one of the charity’s rescue horses or ponies,

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

01738 567700 Fax: 01738 567776

Mare-Care has been developed with the sports horse and Thoroughbred industry in mind. As part of the Thoroughbred feeding range that Saracen offer, it can be used in the Two-Part Feeding System with Stamm 30. This system has been devised so that energy levels can be increased or decreased as required at any stage of the breeding season. Individual assessment of breeding stock is crucial, and feeding rates should be adjusted to maintain appropriate body condition on mares and youngsters at all times. Stockist Enquiries & Feed Helpline 01622 718 487

Mare-Care is fortified with Stamm 30, another specialist feed from Saracen. This gives nutrient continuity and has the added benefit of providing flexible energy levels to control body condition when the two feeds are used together. Mare-Care

World Horse Welfare is struggling to meet demand for places at its four UK rehabilitation centres and is calling on people to consider re-homing a horse or pony.

Equi-Ads Limited

also provides a natural source of vitamin E, Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation and BioMos, which helps neutralise bacteria (such as Salmonella and E-Coli) in the gut.

Call for companions as horse charity at bursting point

Whilst one farm (Penny Farm, Blackpool) is just under its maximum stocking level, another farm is already at full capacity (Hall Farm, Norfolk). Additionally, two other farms (Glenda Spooner Farm, Somerset and Belwade Farm, Aberdeenshire) are due to reach their maximum levels soon. One of the factors causing the rise is due to owners struggling in the current economic climate and rising prices of food.

Equi-Ads is published monthly by:

likely to increase gradually during the last weeks of pregnancy, the levels of MareCare fed can be adjusted according to the mare’s body condition. Keeping condition on the mare, without her getting fat, is essential to support efficient reproductive performance. Underfeeding mares during this period can result in decreased milk production, loss of bodyweight and condition, and compromised reproductive efficiency.

especially those who would make good companions to other equines. At all of the farms there are several horses and ponies which need rehoming including 14 year old Toby who would make an excellent companion. He is a 14.3hh bay gelding who arrived at Hall Farm in 2007. He was very overweight and had badly neglected feet but his rehabilitation has helped him lose a huge amount of weight and he is on a carefully controlled diet and exercise programme. All of the horses and ponies available for re-homing can be viewed on the World Horse Welfare website at

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 1

Feeding - Health Care - News

Optimum feeding for the Broodmare Paying close attention to the care and management of your pregnant mare is of utmost importance to successful breeding. It has been shown that broodmares maintained in desired body condition will generally produce foals that are thriftier. Blue Chip Original is the perfect feed balancer for mares to provide the enhanced nutritional uptake required throughout the gestation period, and is used and trusted by leading studs who noticed that mares cycle early and maintain condition throughout pregnancy and lactation.

The unique formulation includes folic acid, which is important for the development of a healthy foetus; the highest levels of an EU approved probiotic, which is known to increase mare’s milk production and milk nutrient density and an enhanced vitamin, mineral and nutrient package, which will ensure your mare gets everything she needs on a daily basis. Blue Chip Original has been scientifically proven in a series of trials at Hartpury College. The trials showed that by feeding Blue Chip Original feed balancer alongside a fibre diet the horse can double their ability to digest fibre, meaning they can

get twice as many nutrients out of the fibre in their diet. This is vital during the last few weeks of pregnancy, when due to the increasing size of the foetus the mare is unable to eat as much fibre. The specially designed small pellets in Blue Chip Original are the ideal introduction to hard feed for the foal and can be safely fed from 3 weeks of age. Foals will develop good muscle tone, dense bone and strong, pliable hooves. Used and recommended by Joanna Vardon from the National Foaling Bank who says “I have never had my mares cycling and covered so early,

youngstock grow at steady, even rates with good dense bone, Blue Chip Original is invaluable.” For more information visit or call 0114 266 6200

Cleveland Bay Collected For Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s Gene Bank Kirkmoor Elderberry Flower, a young Cleveland Bay stallion owned and bred by Heather Ketley, has been collected by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) to provide semen for their ReGENEration Appeal. The appeal was established to provide a gene bank to protect listed livestock breeds from the effects of epidemics such as African Horse Sickness, which will inevitably occur in the future. The gene bank will provide an essential resource for breeders and farmers in the changing UK agricultural and rural climate.

Although horses and ponies are not susceptible to Foot and Mouth Disease, it highlighted the need for reserves of genetic material for all species and breeds listed by the RBST and so the gene collection has been extended to horses and ponies as well as other species. The long term aim is to collect semen from 25 stallions of each breed currently listed by the RBST, to represent the widest genetic diversity available in the current population.

Of the semen collected, there are three different uses: •

• •

55% goes into a permanent National Archive stored by the RBST. 30% is to be stored for use in Conservation Breeding Programmes 15% will be available to the animal’s owner and stored, free of charge, by the RBST.

The Cleveland Bay Horse Society is holding the King George V competition for the Champion Premium Cleveland

Bay Stallion 2011 at Lincoln University on Sunday 8th May 2011. For further information contact The Cleveland Bay Horse Society on (01423) 546168 or 541000 or visit

Homeopathy Saves Show Jumper from Tendon Surgery Keen show jumper and BHS instructor Liz Morrison was very concerned when her horse Todd came in from the field with a thorn embedded in his lower leg.

Todd a 16.3hh part bred Hanoverian show jumper was put on box rest but only part of the thorn could be removed. The leg began to swell and his vet monitored the injury by scanning the leg every two to three days. Scanning confirmed Liz’s worst fear; that the thorn interfered with Todd’s tendon. Surgery at this point was suggested but Liz decided against it. The situation remained the same over the next ten days and the thorn became engulfed in a cavity as the body reacted to the foreign body and tried to isolate it by healing around it. At this point Liz was unsure of the next step so decided to contact homeopathic vet Nick Thompson to see if he had any suggestions. Nick immediately came

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over to assess Todd and prepared a homeopathic medicine which included high potency Sulphur and low potency Silica. The swelling seemed to subside and three days later Todd had his leg scanned again. The scan left everyone speechless as it revealed that the thorn had completely vanished and the cavity had reduced in size and appeared to be healing! Said Nick Thompson: “I was delighted to hear the news that Todd had responded so well to the homeopathic medicine and was able to return to full work without any damage to his tendon.” Added Liz: “I think it is amazing that the homeopathic medicine eradicated the

thorn so quickly, I am so grateful Todd didn’t need surgery and made a full recovery.” Liz has since used homeopathic medicine on several of her horses when traditional veterinary medicine is not yielding the desired results. The British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons (BAHVS) offer a service to animal owners seeking homeopathic help and can supply names and addresses of veterinary surgeons with homeopathic qualifications. For further information please visit

Competition - News

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 3

Feeding - Health Care

SPILLERS® introduce new Senior Fibre SPILLERS® know that older horses and ponies deserve extra special care and attention so they have added a brand new blend to their range of complementary fibres, especially for them. SPILLERS® Senior Fibre supplies oldies with the extra nutritional support they need to help them stay healthy in their twilight years. SPILLERS® Senior Fibre is a unique balanced blend of natural fibres to complement senior feeds. It contains short chopped alfalfa and straw, carefully chosen for its consistent nutritional quality, together with mint, garlic and soya oil.   Older horses may have stiffer joints, be less effective at digesting certain nutrients and they may have compromised immunity.

That’s why SPILLERS® Senior Fibre contains glucosamine to help support joint function, live yeast to support fibre digestion and maintain gut health and vitamin E and selenium to help support the immune system. Quality protein helps to maintain topline and muscle tone and a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals provides more nutrition than any other chopped fibre blend. The short chop and soft texture of SPILLERS® Senior Fibre makes it easier on the mouth for older horses who have worn or fewer teeth and are struggling to chew and grind properly. It can be combined with a mix or cube or fed as a

replacement for compound feed. Clare Barfoot BSc (Hons) RNutr, registered nutritionist and Research and Development Manager for SPILLERS® who developed new SPILLERS® Senior Fibre said: “Horses and ponies are living longer and longer and many continue to lead active lives well into their 20s and 30s. This is in no small part down to improved nutritional support. Adding a purposedesigned fibre to your senior feed can help support overall health, condition and general wellbeing.”   New SPILLERS® Senior Fibre is available

from your local SPILLERS® stockist. From the middle of February while stocks last you can take advantage of £3.00 off every product in the SPILLERS® complementary fibres range, which includes SPILLERS® Conditioning Fibre, SPILLERS® Cool Fibre and SPILLERS® Senior Fibre. For friendly feeding advice please telephone the SPILLERS® Care-Line on + 44 (0)1908 226626 or send an email to For further information visit the SPILLERS® website at To stay in the know with daily updates, discussions, competitions, blogs and much more join Team SPILLERS® on Facebook.

Opt for the quiet life with Mollichaff Calmer Is your horse or pony prone to nervousness or excitability? Mollichaff Calmer may help solve this problem. Mollichaff Calmer is a highly palatable, complete fibre feed containing a balanced blend of fibre pellets, oat straw, dried grass, herbs, soya oil, vitamins, minerals, limestone and trace elements. A diet deficient in magnesium can result in increased muscle contraction, making the horse less able to relax and more likely

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to become excitable or ‘fizzy’. Therefore, Mollichaff Calmer supplies elevated levels of magnesium to help avoid this problem. Along with a carefully formulated combination of camomile, lemon balm and mint, it also contains Vitamin B1 and B12. These two vitamins are known to help decrease anxiety by exerting a calming influence on horses,

along with Vitamin E which is beneficial to cell membrane function in horses. Mollichaff Calmer is low in sugar and starch, providing limited controlled energy from high quality, digestible fibre and oil-based ingredients, making it an excellent feed for horses and ponies that are easily excited. It can be used as the sole ‘bucket feed’ as it contains a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement, and can

be fed dry or damp, according to preference. As with any new feed, always introduce gradually, increasing quantities as required and remember to weigh feedstuffs, particularly when feeding overweight, excitable or laminitic horses and ponies. At least 2% of bodyweight in total food per day is required by most horses and ponies. For further information call the HorseHage Helpline on 01803 527257 or visit

Insert Category

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 5

Health Care - Snooperstar

Itchy problem?... Feed the solution! New from Brinicombe Equine, 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 healthy 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 support the immune system and soothe the irritation. It therefore offers a unique dual approach to sweet itch, and is the first product of its kind. A 4kg container will last a horse for 33

days. RRP £39.95. Look out for special promotional tubs offering 25% extra free. For further information please contact Brinicombe Equine on Tel 08700 606206 or visit

Could Lilly Be Britain’s Oldest Horse? DENIM BREECHES Colour: Blue Sizes: 24” - 34” 505-0047 £59.99

DENIM JEAN BREECHES Colour: Brown/Black Sizes: 24” - 34” 505-0045 £59.99

Do you have an old horse or pony that has reached a remarkable age? Lilly, a pony believed to be the oldest horse in England, has reached the incredible age of 52! Lilly is living out her retirement at The Quality of Life Sanctuary for Animals in Holsworthy, Devon. Said sanctuary owner, Debbie De Ste Croiz: “Although Lilly looks her age with an almost completely grey face, she still enjoys life and is a shining example of a healthy horse and still grazes most of the time. Her natural foraging is topped up with High Fibre HorseHage and Mollichaff Veteran.”

Lilly is just one of around 30 horses and ponies that reside at the sanctuary, along with many other types of animals, from a talking magpie to a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. The sanctuary has cared for animals for many years and following the harsh winter weather we have had recently, this job has been made all the more difficult. Said Debbie: “We are desperate for donations and would be grateful for any unwanted feed, rugs, bedding – anything in fact that could benefit our animals. Volunteers to help out are also welcome. If you feel you could help in any way, please contact Debbie on 01409 259840 or email

DENIM STITCHED BREECHES Colour: Navy Sizes: 22” - 34” 505-0009 £59.99

STONEWASHED DENIM BREECHES Colour: Grey Denim Sizes: 24” - 34” 505-0049 £59.99

Mollichaff Veteran is specially formulated for older horses and ponies and is designed to complement or replace the entire forage ration. It is ideal for horses or ponies that are unable to consume long forage and is very palatable, containing mint and nettle plus all the necessary vitamins and minerals required by aged equines.

Terms & Conditions apply.

Buy any 2 pairs of these denim breeches and receive one of the pairs absolutely FREE!

0800 048 0114 FREEPHONE

Free from BT landlines - mobile network charges may vary

*Prices and details correct at time of print. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Derby House reserve the right to amend or withdraw promotions at any time, should circumstances change. In stock items only, available strictly whilst stocks last. Product availability & discounts may vary from store to store. Full terms & conditions available at Offers end Monday 7th March 2011.


Do you have a veteran horse or pony with a special story? Perhaps they have survived against the odds or have been a dear friend to you over the years. Please email your story with images to becky.tsmltd@ . The best ones will feature on the HorseHage website and will receive a voucher to try a free bag of Mollichaff Veteran. (Please remember to include your full name and address). For further information on HorseHage and Mollichaff, please call The HorseHage Helpline on 01803 527257 or visit

Keeping Calm Rockies’ Magnacalm provide horse owners with a different type of calming supplement. Magnacalm is a high quality lick designed to help prevent Magnesium deficiency. It contains purified Cheshire salt with a palatable, bioavailable form of Magnesium and Cerelose Dextrose to help create a sweet taste to ensure consistent intakes. A deficiency in Magnesium has

been linked (as a contributing factor) to nervous and behavioural problems. Magnacalm is available as 1.8 kg licks from all Rockies’ stockists and retails at £4.99. For more information, see, email info@rockies. or call 01606 595025.

Health Care - Insurance - Livery Yards

Keratex Hoof Hardener Does your horse suffer from: Brittle, weak or cracked hooves; sensitive soles; trouble keeping shoes on; or is your horse barefoot? Then Keratex Hoof Hardener is the perfect product for you! Keratex Hoof Hardener has just been awarded Product Of The Year 2010 by Horse Journal USA. Unlike other hoof hardeners, the Keratex Hoof Hardener formula is patented and includes a unique flexibility agent making it the perfect product to use if your horse suffers from brittle or weak hooves. Keratex Hoof Hardener strengthens and protects shod and unshod hooves; prevents cracks and hoof breakage so that shoes stay on tight and the horse remains sound. Since it first became available to horse owners in 1990 Keratex Hoof Hardener has been proven to improve hoof quality in short

and long term use. Keratex Hoof Hardener contains no banned substances and is recommended by vets and farriers worldwide including Head Farrier for the Beijing Olympics ‘08, Mr Ian Hughes DipWCF. Ian Hughes says: “I always recommend Keratex Hoofcare products to my clients. Put simply, the Keratex range of products work, they do exactly what they say they will do, and I find that hooves become healthier and stronger with Keratex.” One 250ml bottle lasts for around three months. The Keratex range of awardwinning hoofcare products help caring horse owners build up the strength, quality and condition of their horse’s hooves. If you have any questions about your horse’s feet, call the Keratex Hoofcare helpline on 01373 827649 or email info@keratex. com. For further information on Keratex products visit

New Products From Equine America Leading supplement company Equine America are delighted to announce two new products for 2011. SUPER-FEN a natural alternative to ‘Bute’ offers rapid relief for knocks, sprains and stiffness with outstanding results in hours. The product has already been widely tested with outstanding results and can be safely fed to competition horses. When Super-fen is used along side Cortaflex® it offers an ultimate all round or pre-competition boost for joint mobility. Available in 454g (one month supply at maintenance for average 500kg horse) RRP £19.99. 

Soreless liniment is a versatile product that can be used as a stimulating leg brace, body wash and hoof treatment. It is made with all natural herbal extracts and witch hazel. Unlike some other liniments Soreless does not contain comfrey, which has been banned by the US FDA (United States food and drugs administration). Available in: 946ml RRP £39.98. For further information please contact Equine America www.equine-america. or Telephone 01403 255809.

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 7

Feeding - Health Care - News

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Feeding the pregnant mare Dr Derek Cuddeford, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh Pregnancy lasts for about 11 months in the horse but as with all biological events the exact timing varies. For most mares foaling will occur after 335 to 345 days but it can vary between 320 and 370 days; foals born at less than 326 days are considered premature. Although there can be large differences between individuals in terms of length of pregnancy, when bred regularly, individuals tend to be fairly consistent year on year. Sex of foal can influence the length of pregnancy; mares with colts will be pregnant for 2 to 7 days longer than those with fillies. Mares foaling in late spring and during the summer will tend to have a shorter pregnancy than those foaling in January/February such as Thoroughbreds. Use of artificial lighting during the last third of pregnancy can shorten the pregnancy by up to 10 days. It is of interest to note that both Zebras and Donkeys tend toward a 12 month pregnancy. Thoroughbred foals weigh about 50kg when new born and those that weigh less than 45kg are less viable and

require additional care. Thoroughbred colts are generally heavier than fillies at birth and tend to grow at a faster rate. In contrast, cattle are pregnant for about nine months with a range of 276 to 283 days; longer pregnancies are often encountered with the Continental breeds. A “good” calf would weigh up to 45kg but of course ultimate size is determined by length of pregnancy and the size of the dam; only the latter is really relevant to the horse. In this context it is interesting to note that the horse or pony is pregnant for two months longer than are cattle. As foal weight at birth is a reflection of maternal size one can estimate the likely birth weights of different breeds using a figure of about 10% of likely mature weight. So a pony with a mature weight of 250kg will produce a 25kg foal, a Highland of 450kg a 45kg foal, a Thoroughbred of 550kg a 55kg foal and an 800kg Clydesdale a 80kg foal! It should be clear from the foregoing that the pregnant mare is going to store a lot of energy and nutrients in the developing foetus and it is crucial to the wellbeing of the newborn foal that this is done cont. on p.10

Keep it simple, feed Forage ‘n’ Fibre Forage ‘n’ Fibre contains a natural blend of forages and fibres providing the horse with all the necessary nutrients required for overall health and vitality while keeping energy levels to a minimum. With high fibre levels this helps ensure slow rates of digestion throughout the hind gut and helps to maintain gut health. As it contains no cereals and is very low in starch and sugars it is well suited to horses and ponies that are prone to laminitis. For horses in low levels of work, those on box rest and good doers who are often put on restricted grazing Forage ‘n’ Fibre is ideal to use as a sole concentrate feed. This will help to balance the forage given supplying all the essential vitamins and minerals whilst keeping energy and calories to a minimum. It’s natural balance of forages help to make it a highly palatable product, making Forage ‘n’ Fibre ideal for everyday feeding. For more information please contact Rowen Barbary Horse Feeds on 01948 880598 or email March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 9

Feeding cont. from p.09

properly. It is also worth remembering that the foetal membranes and associated tissues will also create a demand for nutrients and energy that must be supplied throughout the pregnancy. A well-developed placenta is needed to ensure that the foetus is “well fed” during the pregnancy and that it develops normally. For example, a Thoroughbred foal weighing about 55kg will be accompanied by a placenta weighing around 6.5kg. Furthermore, formation of colostrum and subsequent milk production will depend on adequate nutrition in late pregnancy. The developing foetus is “slow to get off the mark”! During the first 6 months of the pregnancy (550kg mare) it grows very slowly attaining a weight of ~4kg by the end of this period. Although a heart beat may be detected at day 21, the requirement for energy and nutrients by the developing foetus is trivial and thus during the first 180days of pregnancy a mare should be fed for maintenance if doing no work, for lactation if feeding a foal (common with Thoroughbreds) or for work if used in riding activities. This presupposes that the mare is in good bodily condition (5 on a scale 1 to 10 or 2.5 to 3 on a scale 1 to 5). Some breeders suffer from the misconception that giving lots of feed to a pregnant mare is a way to achieve large foals but this is certainly not the case and may result in over fat animals. The goal when feeding the pregnant mare is to achieve and maintain the condition score mentioned above. The estimated date of foaling will affect the nature of the feeding programme because of feed availability. Assuming that the mare is a nonlactating Thoroughbred and due to foal in January she will be at grass for the first 6 months of the pregnancy and will obtain sufficient energy and nutrients from the grass alone. However, some owners prefer to feed a small volume of a commercial product at that time to guard against any mineral shortfall and thus provide some “insurance” against deficiency. A mare foaling in June will have her first 6 months of pregnancy through October to March and thus grass is unlikely to be a great supplier of nutrients and energy during this period although any shortfalls can easily be made up with good quality hay or haylage. Overweight mares can only be managed to lose weight after the first 90 days of pregnancy have passed. Underfeeding during these first 90 days will lead to a higher risk of early embryonic death and foetal abortion compared to those mares maintained at constant bodyweight. After the first 90 days of pregnancy it is safe to put an obese mare onto a controlled weight reduction 10 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

programme. Feed intake and exercise should be adjusted to achieve a weight loss of no more than 1% of the mare’s bodyweight by the end of each week (1kg/100kg bodyweight) until she reaches and maintains the desired condition score of between 2.5 and 3. Starvation or the use of poor quality forages should not be allowed but it would be a good idea to feed a low energy, broad spectrum product to guarantee adequate mineral/vitamin intakes during this period of weight reduction. During the last 90 days of pregnancy foetal growth accelerates. At 224 days (~7.5 months) a Thoroughbred foal will weigh ~9kg and 60 days later it will have more than doubled in weight to ~19kg. After another 60 days to term it will have more than doubled in weight again to 45kg-433g per day! In the last 90 days of pregnancy these weight gains are truly impressive and demand a huge increase in both energy and nutrient supply to the mare. Clearly the Thoroughbred mare will depend totally on conserved forage and concentrate food since there will be minimal grass growth during the winter period. The grass in the field may be green but its nutritional value is zero although it might provide some occupational therapy. The goal as stated earlier is to maintain the mare in condition score 2.5 to 3 so that concentrate usage will have to be judged against forage quality. Normally ration composition should not exceed 30% concentrate with 70% forage at term since really poor quality forages should never be fed to pregnant mares. Concentrate feeding can be roughly incremented by 10% per month starting with 10% concentrate and 90% forage at the start of month 9 of pregnancy. If very high quality haylages are available then concentrate usage may be restricted to one of the low volume products designed specifically to provide micronutrients rather than energy. The mare foaling at grass during mid summer is likely to require no concentrate feed at all other than a low volume product designed to provide just vitamins and minerals. Pregnancy in horses is quite unusual in that there is an extended period of time in which there is very little foetal development only to be followed by a period of massive foetal growth (up to 1kg/day for a Clydesdale foal in utero). A time of great contrasts! Once born, the rate of growth accelerates. For example a Thoroughbred foal may achieve 1kg/day whilst a Clydesdale foal can grow up to 2kg/day. These are all quite exceptional biological achievements that illustrate how amazing our horses are compared to other species.


March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 11


Keeping Calm Catherine Hale BSc (Hons) Product and Nutrition Manager, Allen and Page Ltd The Winter of 2010 will certainly be remembered for the freezing temperatures, but perhaps for riders, January 2011 may be remembered for being the month when we braved getting back on our horses, having not been able to ride for a month, and no doubt, quite a few of us ended up neatly back on the floor quite quickly! So why do our horses decide that actually, today, they would much prefer to go for a hack on their own, having ditched us in the hedge. Or why do they suddenly decide that actually, the big green haylage bale that they have walked past for the last three months is really the scariest thing they have ever seen? Keeping horses calm has become a great talking point over recent years. Whether it is controlling the odd temper tantrum, keeping your horse calm and sane at a competition, or keeping him relaxed in the stable, controlling behaviour is one aspect of equine husbandry that many owners wish to improve. So what can be done to calm your horse? Do you really need to turn to supplements, or can

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behaviour be calmed in other ways? As with every animal, a horse will exhibit a behaviour in response to stimuli. A stimulus is anything that the horse sees, hears, smells, tastes or feels. The stimuli and the following behaviour may not really be very noticeable to an observer. For example, a fly landing on the horse’s side would be a stimulus, with the resulting tail swish to remove it being the behaviour. However, it may be very noticeable, for

example, when a plastic bag flapping in a hedge can be the stimulus, and the resulting shy, buck and bolt would be the behaviour! Behaviour in all animals is a stepwise response. A stimulus will be recorded by the animal through his five senses. This information is then sent, via the nerves that run around his body, to the brain. Here the brain computes the information and decides what response

cont. on p.14

TopSpec Calmer TopSpec Calmer is designed to be fed to horses and ponies with anxious temperaments, particularly those that cannot cope with stressful situations. Not all horses are anxious for the same reason so TopSpec Calmer has been developed with much more than a ‘single ingredient’ approach. It contains yeast, MOS, B vitamins, magnesium, tryptophan and sepiolite clay, which all act in different ways to help calm and relax responsive horses. TopSpec Calmer reduces anxiety without affecting non-anxious behaviour or presence and can improve performance by improving focus and

reducing the effects of stress. TopSpec Calmer will start to take effect within hours but maximum effects will be seen within three weeks. It is a very palatable, apple-flavoured additive and retails at £23.95 for 3kg. Telephone the Multiple Award-Winning Helpline on 01845 565030 or visit


March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 13

Feeding - Health Care cont. from p.12

would be most suitable. The brain then sends out the information, again via the nerves, to the part of the body that needs to act. In order to try and understand why a horse acts in a certain way, we should first consider how the horse has evolved. Horses evolved as grazing, herd dwelling, nomadic animals. In other words, they spend most of their day eating (upto 18 hours), live in a group and walk around. Horses also evolved as prey animals. This means that they would be preyed upon by larger, meat-eating (carnivorous) animals, such as lions. In order to protect themselves, and their young, horses are naturally alert, as any unsuspected movements, smells etc, could mean danger. Behaviours such as spookiness, shying, biting, kicking, bucking, fleeing and rearing would all have been used to evade predators and defend themselves if needed. Obviously, our horses do not have to worry about being attacked in their field by a lion. However, horses have evolved over 55 million years, yet they have only been domesticated for around 6000 years. It is therefore obvious that some of their evolutionary behaviours, developed as survival strategies, will still be deeply embedded in their psyche. The modern day, domesticated horse is usually kept in order to be ridden. This being the case, behaviour is an important consideration, as managing an unruly horse can be dangerous for all concerned. In recent years there has been a plethora of calming products to come to the market, all aimed at improving behaviour. However, before supplements are considered, it is wise to look at other aspects of management and feeding, to see if a problem lies elsewhere. Management of the horse or pony can have a big effect on behaviour, especially stress. As mentioned, horses

evolved as herd animals, so keeping them separately in stables can increase anxiety. Dr Andrew Hemmings, Senior Lecturer in Behaviour and Neuroanatomy at The Royal Agricultural College says that the horse’s heart rate will increase if separated from other horses. “An increase in heart rate is a typical symptom of stress. Horses that are separated from other horses will often have an increase in heart rate. This, along with behavioural signs such as vocalisation, kicking and pacing, would indicate that the animal is distressed”. Many unwanted behaviours in the stable can often be attributed to stress, one of the most common causes being a restricted diet. As horses are grazing animals, they are adapted to consume high fibre forage for most of the day. When this is restricted to meal times, it can cause problems. Dr Hemmings explains, “My research has found that when horses are stressed over long periods of time, for instance, if they have restricted access to forage, anatomical changes can occur within the brain. When we experience pleasure, chemicals are produced in the brain that give us a happy feeling. Similarly, when we are upset, stressed or in pain, chemicals are again produced. If an animal is constantly stressed, they will attempt to alleviate that stress by trying to indulge in the behaviour they want to perform. So, for example, if a horse is in a stable and has nothing to eat, he will start a series of behaviours to try and get food. He may try kicking the door, walking around the stable, and eventually will try biting the door and swallowing (crib biting). As this is the closest behaviour to eating, the brain will produce a small amount of the pleasurable chemical to tell the horse he has achieved his goal of finding food. We have found that in certain horses (those with the genes that allow it), when this pattern starts, they will increase their capacity for producing and receiving the chemical (called dopamine). This means that a cont. on p.16

Keep your horse calm the natural way Blue Chip’s scientifically advanced liquid Karma is proven to be amazingly effective on a wide range of horses and ponies, producing consistent improvements in temperament, trainability and performance, without compromising alertness. Used by many professionals including 2010 HOYS Supreme Champion Katie Jerram, who uses Karma on many of her horses including her Lightweight Ladies Hunter, Dunbeacon. Katie swears by Karma and says “I’ve only taken Dunbeacon to HOYS once before, and he always got upset by having to stand for a long time. I am thrilled that after giving him Blue Chip Karma he was so well behaved and gave me the most amazing ride you could expect to have.” The 100% natural ingredients in Karma include the superior, water-soluble form of magnesium - known as the anti-stress mineral - which can be quickly absorbed into the blood stream. When stressed, horses can use up their available stores of magnesium and so will potentially benefit from a readily available water-soluble source.

To find out more contact Blue Chip on 0114 266 6200 or visit www. bluechipfeed. com

How many “CALMERS” tell you they WON’T work? The problem today in our modern world is that we all want something to happen overnight and when it comes to our horses that have a stress or nervous problem we expect something to work straight away. If you are prepared to try our Calmer and to follow our guidelines then read on. Let’s be clear from the start we Do Not want anyone to use our product if you are not prepared to follow our instructions. You must be prepared to give your horse the Calmer Starter Pack before you tell us it does not work; the success rate is as high as 75% and from our experience we can tell you that most of the failures have been from people who have only used 1 or 2 bottles. Once you have followed our guidelines for the loading period and you start to see the benefits this product offers, you must then adjust the amount to your own observation simply because no two horses will be the same. You might need to stay on the loading period for longer but do not give up until

14 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

Karma also contains other beneficial vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, which is vital to horses under stress from exercise, training and new environments. Karma does not contain any banned or prohibited substances and is completely safe to use daily or as a single dose as required. Karma can be used on all types of horses and ponies including pregnant or lactating mares and can prove invaluable during the stressful time of weaning to both mare and foal. Karma is available in 1 litre bottles priced at around £28.50.

you have used the 3 litres. If after the 3 litres have gone and you see no benefit then all we can do is say sorry your horse falls into the 25% category that it will have no effect on. It is important to keep the calmer in the horses system; so do not run out because it will be flushed out of their system within a few days. The major benefit is your horse will be saving all that nervous energy it loses and making the trainer and rider’s job a lot less stressful. We believe in our products so much that if you buy a Calmer Starter Pack you will receive £10.00* gift voucher. This offer ends the 30th April 2011. Visit to find out about our products, purchase online and read about what our customers say. * Terms and conditions apply: Offer ends 30th April 2011, only one voucher can be used per order, cannot be use with any other Promotions or Special Offers; you will receive the gift voucher with your Calmer Starter Pack, offer only available if not used with any other promotion/voucher code.

Joni Bentley

December 2010 - Equi-Ads - 15

Feeding cont. from p.14

physiological change occurs and causes the horse to become addicted to the chemical release. Once this change has happened, the horse will always crib bite, even if placed out in a field where a constant supply of forage is available”. Although husbandry techniques can have an impact on the behaviour of the horse, feeding will also influence behaviour. There has been much research over recent years looking at how what we feed our horses impacts on the way in which they behave. High starch and high sugar diets have been found to increase “fizzy” behaviour. This is, in part, probably due to how quickly the carbohydrates, which come from the starch and sugar within these diets, are absorbed into the blood stream. Feeding high fibre, high fat diets has been shown to reduce excitable behaviour. However, this is still an area that warrants further research.

Many owners do turn to calming supplements when their horse exhibits unwanted behaviour. There are a great number of calmers and supplements aimed at adjusting behaviour on the market, however, although anecdotal evidence may exist, there remains a lack of scientific evidence to prove efficacy of these products. Herbs such as valerian, have been long recognised to have potent calming effects on many species of mammal, including equine. However, it should also be noted that valerenic acid, which comes from the valerian plant, is a banned substance under FEI rules. Amino acid based products have also become popular supplements to calm behaviour. This is due to the fact that amino acids such as tryptophan and tyrosine, are used by the body to make the chemicals used in the brain, as discussed earlier. Various studies have been carried out to assess the efficacy of these amino acids, however, conclusive evidence has yet to be

Serenity calming supplement Serenity Calming Supplement has been upgraded and now contains Magnesium from six different sources, all very digestible sources specifically for a horse. In addition, Serenity includes amino acids, B vitamins and some calming herbs, to make it a really effective calming supplement.

Serenity Calming Supplement is available in 1kg, 1.5kg and 3kg tubs with 1 kg tub lasting the average horse around 40 days and retailing at £24.25. For more information see, email or call 01548 531770.

Serenity Calming Supplement’s new upgraded formulation means that the daily dose level can be reduced, and in so doing means that a 1 kg tub will now last as long as the 1.5 kg used to. In other words, quite a saving!

proven. Although these amino acids can be absorbed from the gut once they have been ingested, it is unclear whether or not they can actually pass from the blood into the brain. Magnesium has become a very popular calming product, but once again, very little scientific evidence exists as to it’s efficacy and effects on behaviour. Magnesium deficiency can cause nervousness and muscle tremors in horses, and although very rare, would necessitate supplemental magnesium. However, effects on everyday behaviour have not been recorded in experimental trials. It is important to remember that every horse is an individual and so some will be more excitable than others. Although supplements exist, it is prudent to first check your horse’s management and feeding regimes before feeding additional calmers.

Reduce stress by ensuring your horse can see other horses or animals and so does not feel isolated. Ensure your horse always has a plentiful supply of forage, even in the stable. Be aware of situations that may incite your horse’s natural survival behaviours; take more time with your horse in these situations and keep calm yourself. Feed a diet that is high in fibre and low in starch and sugar. If you need additional energy opt for fibre and fatbased feeds, or supplement with oil. If you decide that you would like to use a calmer, research the market thoroughly and talk to the manufacturers to ensure that the supplement is the right one for your horse. For more information visit www.

Top Tips for Calmer Horses

Calm & Condition Formulated without barley or oats, Calm & Condition is a pelleted feed for horses that need to maintain condition but remain calm. It is suitable for horses with a true barley intolerance, is low in starch and high in fibre, and features a careful high-oil balance of linseed and soya oil to help produce fantastic skin and coat condition. Calm & Condition is also used successfully for competition horses that are working hard but need to remain sensible. Boosted vitamin and mineral levels and premium grade herbs also combine to produce optimum condition.

To see the results from Allen & Page’s successful Barley & Molasses Free Range Trial visit www.allenandpage. com/Trial-Results/Trial-Results.aspx. For more information on whether this range of feed could be right for your horse call the friendly nutritional helpline on 01362 822902.

Calm & Condition is part of the Barley & Molasses Free Range.

Blue Chip is Unbelievable Following an advert placed in the February issue of Equi-Ads, Blue Chip has received a number of calls and emails from people saying they thought the images used were faked or even different horses. As one of the largest advertisers in the equestrian industry, Blue Chip takes their responsibility as an advertiser very seriously. The Blue Chip advert in question used a selection of before and after photos that customers had sent in to them to show the remarkable difference that had occurred whilst feeding Blue Chip Original. Marketing Manager Liz Sayfritz says “As many horses lose condition 16 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

or struggle to maintain their weight during winter we decided to choose from the many before and after photos we receive from delighted customers to use in an advert. Customers frequently send to us photos showing the dramatic difference that feeding Blue Chip Original achieves. The photos that have been used are exactly what the customers sent to us, we would never doctor photos in any way and we also think that if you look at the overall conformation of the horse it is very clear that they are the same horses. One comment about the advert is that a white sock moved from one leg to another in the photos. This is because the image had been ‘flipped’; this was done by the customer to better

demonstrate the results. However we have now flipped it back and reissued the advert. The other horse commented on was a chestnut that in the first photo appeared to have white socks and in the after photo they appear as white stockings, but in fact if you look closely in the first picture the horse is wearing brushing boots on all four legs.” Blue Chip’s owner, founder Clare Blaskey says “We would never mislead anyone with our advertising as the Blue Chip products do exactly what we say they do. We would never use faked images. However with products as good as ours that really do make a difference, it is understandable that people cannot believe how much these horses have

improved and therefore assume it cannot be the same horse.” Blue Chip Original has been scientifically proven in a series of trials at Hartpury College. The trials showed that by feeding Blue Chip Original feed balancer alongside a fibre diet the horse can double their ability to digest fibre, meaning they can get twice as many nutrients out of the fibre in their diet. This can ultimately reduce feed bills whilst ensuring horses get everything they need on a daily basis, and is one of the reasons why Blue Chip Original keeps horses in top condition.

Feeding - Health Care

Getting to the bottom of misbehaviour L-tryptophan, B-vitamins or valerian, which suppress the nervous system. Many horses cope poorly with stress, while some will be permanently ‘wired to the moon’, others will only react badly when put in a difficult situation or show specific signs such as tension, spooking or aggression. What if you could get to the route of the problem, without using any sedative calmers, in a way that is actually beneficial to your horse’s health? Nupafeed MAH® Liquid contains only our unique MAH® magnesium formula. Domesticated horses commonly receive inadequate levels of magnesium; this is due in part to modern feeding but primarily because stress, nervousness and excitement increase the body’s magnesium requirement. Because magnesium is vital for normal nerve, muscle and hormone function, inadequate levels leave the horse more sensitive to stress and will cause a variety of behavioural problems and muscle tension.

Nupafeed MAH Calmer is available as the Liquid for daily use and as Concentrated Syringes for times of extra stress, the syringes can be used alone or in conjunction with the liquid. Feeding is highly flexible and dependant on your horses problem and requirements. MAH is suitable for any horse showing signs of stress, excitability, muscle tension, bad travellers and so on. You can feed MAH on a permanent basis or just for the required period, this may be through the winter, during spring when horses are often sharper due to the higher calcium content of grass, during a period of stress such as foaling, breaking or moving yards, or just for competition. Please contact for information or advice: Tel: 01438 861 900 Email:

Magnesium is a large ion making it difficult for the horse to absorb, this is why we developed MAH® which is by far the most bioavailable magnesium you can buy. The superior quality of our magnesium allows Nupafeed MAH® Liquid to correct a range of stress related problems at their cause, and this is why we are against the inclusion of masking ingredients such as herbs,

Power & Performance is key to success As the competition season gets underway make sure your horse has the energy he needs to perform at his best with Power & Performance from Allen & Page. Power & Performance is a completely new approach to performance nutrition. Being free from barley, molasses and alfalfa, Power & Performance is low in sugar and starch and provides the horse with a blend of both fast and slow release energy from digestible fibre and oil. This balanced combination of energy sources allows horses to work hard, achieve results and perform to the best of their ability while remaining focussed and in control. A favourite with eventer Pippa Funnell, Power & Performance consistently improves focus, stamina and ultimately competition results and is designed for

horses in hard work. RRP: £9.90–£11.70 (20kg) Power & Performance is part of the Barley & Molasses Free Range. To see the results from Allen & Page’s successful Barley & Molasses Free Range Trial visit www.allenandpage. com/Trial-Results/Trial-Results.aspx. For more information on whether this range of feed could be right for your horse call the friendly nutritional helpline on 01362 822902. March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 17


A balanced diet? Clare Barfoot RNutr, SPILLERS® Nutritionist Nutrition is essential to sustain life itself and on this basis should never be ignored! But what is a balanced diet? Well, food consists of the following components: water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and oils, vitamins and trace elements, all of which are needed in varying amounts and in balance with one another - hence the term “balanced diet”. However, don’t just presume because your horse looks all right he is receiving everything he needs. True health starts on the inside and is often shown on the outside in the form of a healthy coat, bright eyes, good feet and good body condition. To make sure your horse’s hidden health is in tip top condition here is a quick guide on the role of the different feed components and what to look out for in case of deficiencies. Water Water is the single most important nutrient and is often overlooked when it comes to looking at your horse’s diet. Water makes up 65-75% of an adult horse’s body weight and is vital for life. Restricted water intake will not only cause dehydration, which is very dangerous in itself, but will also reduce your horse’s appetite and this can lead to a loss of condition. The horse’s requirement for water depends on several factors including temperature, workload and diet. An average adult horse needs about 5 litres of water per 100kg of body weight for maintenance, this is about 25 litres (approx. 2 buckets) for a 16hh horse. Carbohydrates Carbohydrates are used by the horse for energy and refer to sugars, starch and fibre. Fibre is vitally important in the diet; a lack of it can contribute

to digestive disorders and metabolic conditions such as laminitis and tying up. Restricting fibre can also increase stress particularly in stabled horses that can lead to the development of stereotypies such as crib biting and weaving. At least 50% of your horse’s diet needs to be fed as fibre (hay or haylage) to help keep his digestive tract healthy and satisfy his psychological need to chew. Protein Protein is mainly used for growth, milk production, pregnancy and body repair; The quality of the protein is often more important than the quantity. Protein is not a preferred source of energy and will not cause a horse to be fizzy. High levels of protein are not required by most horses - approx. 8-10 % is adequate for light work and 12% for medium to hard work. Lactating mares and those in the last three months of gestation require slightly more protein in their diet. Fats and Oils Fats and oils are very concentrated sources of energy containing two and a half times as much energy compared to the same weight of cereals. Oil provides a form of slow release energy. Feeding oil can produce a nice show ring shine on your horse’s coat if fed at a low level and can also help to put condition on a horse or pony needing extra calories. Corn or soya oil are the most palatable to the horse. Minerals and trace elements There are two types of minerals; macro minerals, needed in relatively large quantities and trace elements needed in smaller quantities. The macro minerals are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and chloride. There are many trace elements known to man

British Horse Feeds Cool ‘n’ Calm Cubes and Mix Cool ‘n’ Calm Cubes and Cool ‘n’ Calm Mix have been specifically designed for horses and ponies in light to medium work, providing a generous source of fibre, the non-heating feeds are one of the first equine feeds to provide 100% of key vitamins and minerals in a natural form. Available in 20kg bags, Cool ‘n’ Calm has a RRP of around £8.10 for the Cubes and £9.10 for the Mix. 18 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

For more information please contact British Horse Feeds on 01765 680300 or visit

but the most important to the horse are copper, zinc, manganese, selenium and iron. Electrolytes Electrolytes are minerals that help the body maintain water balance and are lost through sweat. Sweating occurs during strenuous exercise, travelling, stress or even just on a hot day. The most important electrolytes to be replaced in the diet are sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium. Vitamins Vitamins are required in minute quantities in the diet to maintain good health and normal bodily functions. The main vitamins are split between fat soluble vitamins such as A,D,E,K and water soluble ones such as the B group. Green feeds and grass are a good sources of vitamins, but hay and many cereals such as oats are often deficient. A fully balanced diet will include all the nutrients your horse requires to stay healthy. The best way to achieve this is to feed good quality forage alongside a fully balanced compound feed or balancer that, when fed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, provides all your horse’s nutritional requirements. Some signs to look out for if your horse’s diet is unbalanced: Eyes / Sight A shortage of vitamin A in the diet can

cause poor sight at night, and weepy eyes. Copper deficiency can also be detected by looking in the eyes as it can cause a white ring can develop around the eye. How do we prevent this? Vitamin A is converted from betacarotene in green leafy plants therefore if your horse goes out to grass on a daily basis there is usually an ample supply in the diet. Copper is found in grassland and is also supplemented in compound feeds. Coat / Skin Coat and skin condition is a very good indication as to how healthy your horse is on the inside. If his coat looks rough and his skin flaky he may be deficient in vitamin A, zinc, copper or good quality protein. How do we prevent this? Zinc is added to compound feeds in the form of zinc sulphate or chelated organic zinc which may be more available to the horse. Soyabean meal contains excellent quality protein. A good quality compound feed should be formulated to contain quality protein with good levels of essential amino acids. Feeding soya or corn oil will also help put a nice bloom on the coat. Hoof health A balanced diet is critical in hoof development. Often biotin on its own is supplemented but a fully balanced diet is the most important consideration. cont. on p.20

Keep your horse and your pocket healthy with SPILLERS® It’s proving to be a tough winter so SPILLERS® have introduced some fabulous feed deals to help keep your horse and your pocket healthy. From mid-February, while stocks last, you can take advantage of some serious savings with a three for the price of two offer on SPILLERS® Cool Mix or £2.00 off SPILLERS® Conditioning Mix and SPILLERS® Conditioning Cubes. SPILLERS® Cool Mix™ is a non-heating* mix for horses and ponies in light work. It is a firm favourite with riders because it can really help to keep horses cool, calm and under control. SPILLERS® Cool Mix™ is low in cereal starch and has added magnesium, known for its calming properties. SPILLERS® Conditioning Cubes and SPILLERS® Conditioning Mix are for horses and ponies that need some extra help to maintain their weight over the winter. They provide extra non-heating*

calories and extra shine thanks to high levels of soya oil, while a perfect balance of vitamins and minerals supports long-term wellbeing. The offer runs from mid-February and is available while stocks last. For friendly feeding advice please telephone the SPILLERS® Care-Line on 01908 226626 or visit * A non heating feed is one that is less likely to produce excitable behaviour in some horses and ponies when fed at the recommended rate.

Feeding - Health Care

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 19

Feeding cont. from p.18

How do we prevent this? Common nutrients found in hoof supplements include biotin, zinc and methionine. Biotin is a vitamin that is manufactured by the bacteria in the hind gut and is found in green forage. Methionine is an important amino acid which can be found in ingredients high in essential amino acids such as soya. In order to ensure hoof health long term choose a supplement or balancer which contains a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals plus 15 mg of biotin per dose, chelated zinc and methionine. Bones/Skeleton Calcium makes up 35% of the horses skeleton, this calcium is renewed fully every 200 days. Calcium and phosphorus are the most important minerals for bone growth and maintenance. They need to be fed in the correct ratio to each other in order to be used by the horse. Some cereals such as bran have an inverted calcium to phosphorus ratio, which means the feeding of a balanced diet is essential. How do we prevent this? Feeding a quality balanced compound feed, rather than relying on straights, and access to good quality forage is the best way of ensuring correct levels of calcium and phosphorus are met. Muscles and Joints A competition horse will have a greater requirement for certain vitamins and

20 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

minerals than a horse in lighter work due to the wear and tear on his muscles and joints. How do we prevent this? Vitamins A, E, and C can help repair damage caused by wear and tear as they are known as antioxidant vitamins. These vitamins are found in fresh green forage (although vitamin C can actually be synthesised in the liver). However during the winter months they should be supplied through a good quality compound feed or broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement/ balancer. So, although we know grass is the most natural feed for horses we can’t be sure it is supplying all the nutrients needed at all times of the year for our horses and ponies to remain healthy. At certain times of the year, particularly during the winter and when competing, the addition of quality compound feed is essential. If at any time the addition of a compound feed is not required a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement or feed balancer should be used to ensure the diet remains balanced. Remember health comes from the inside so don’t neglect your horse’s hidden health! For more advice on feeding your horse on a balanced diet call the SPILLERS Care-Line on 01908 226626.

Dodson & Horrell announces sponsorship agreement with Lee Pearson Dodson & Horrell is delighted to announce a brand new sponsorship agreement with Lee Pearson CBE. Lee is one of the country’s most successful and talented horsemen, with an enviable record at Championship level. With no fewer than 9 Paralympic Gold Medals, Lee is the current National, European, World and Paralympic Champion and has been a stalwart of the British Para-equestrian dressage team since 1998. Lee made his mark with Blue Circle Boy, his most famous partner, and for all of his success over the last 10 years, Lee remains as focused and competitive as ever, with his sights set firmly on the Paralympic Games in London next year. Lee is very excited to include Dodson & Horrell in his team of top sponsors. Lee commented ‘The fitness and wellbeing of my horses is of the utmost importance and this is why I wanted my horses to be with one of the best feed companies in the country.’ As a proud supporter of many

disciplines and some of the country’s most talented individuals, Dodson & Horrell is delighted to now lend its backing to Lee. Bill Chudley, Sales & Marketing Director at Dodson & Horrell, commented: ‘We are thrilled to lend our support to someone as talented, dedicated and respected as Lee. His record speaks for itself and we look forward to working with him as he looks to realize his ambition of taking his Paralympic gold medal tally to an unprecedented 12 in London next year.’ For more information on Lee, please visit

Health Care

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 21

Health Care - Poisoning

Poisoning - an accident waiting to happen? Ben Sturgeon, BSc, BVM&S, Cert EP, MRCVS A warning came from The British Horse Society, following the recent tragic death of a horse from Yew poisoning. This was a loss unpredictable and invariably an accident in the most innocent terms, a curious horse, perhaps a slightly greedy one, simply putting it’s nose where it shouldn’t. It is every owner’s nightmare for their horse to be poisoned. Despite it being an uncommon occurrence, when poisoning occurs, the effects, as experienced by the person above, are often disastrous and far-reaching. Yew poisoning, as one example, is on the rise. Yews (English, Canadian and Japanese) are common, usually grown as ornamental shrubs or in landscaping but can be wild. The needles and seeds (within the red fruit) are all highly toxic containing a number of alkaloids collectively referred to as “taxine” which mainly affect the heart depressing electrical conduction resulting in heart attacks. Horses are commonly poisoned by eating Yews when they wander/escape into an area around a house or barn where they are planted, in the recent heavy snow falls some cases were almost certainly precipitated by hungry curious animals scavenging. Yew trimmings (branches or needles) have been found dropped over field lines, and even wreaths made of Yew have caused deaths when left on compost or manure heaps where horses have had easy access. Furthermore, Yews, fresh or dead are just as toxic. Consumption of as little as 0.5-2g/Kg for horses is lethal. This means that for a 450Kg horse as little as 225g (0.5Lb) of Yew needles is all that is needed for a fatality, that is just one mouthful. There is no treatment. There is no antidote. Supportive therapies have variable and little success. But this is not the only poison seen, it is just one of the lesser known. To list every possible toxic compound or substance would be impossible and the list increases each year. Some of the most common and potentially severe horse poisons reported are: Ragwort (Senicio Jacobae) Phenoxy acid herbicides – a weed killer used on lawns Rodent poisons or rodenticides Yew tree (Taxus baccata) Leyland Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii) Oak (Quercus spp). Ragwort (Senicio Jacobae)

Perhaps the best known and recognised and thankfully becoming less common. All parts of the plant are poisonous. It is said to be unappetising and is usually only eaten when there is little choice of other plants. Dried ragwort remains toxic, but seems more appealing. Signs of ragwort poisoning are usually delayed (weeks, months or years) and may include abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea, severe straining, weakness, weight loss, restlessness, unsteadiness, blindness, breathing difficulties and head pressing. Some horses develop kidney or liver damage. Phenoxy acid herbicides Phenoxy acid herbicides (including 2,4D, 2,4,5-T, 2,4-DB, MCPA, MCPB, MCPP and dichlorprop) are a type of weed killer commonly used on garden lawns. Other types of weed killer are available and may also be toxic to horses. Poisoning occurs when recently treated plants are eaten. Poisoning can result in abdominal pain, diarrhoea, problems swallowing, lethargy, twitching and fitting. Some horses develop kidney or liver damage. Rodent poisons The following specifically refers to anticoagulant rodenticides (including brodifacoum, bromadiolone, chlorphacinone, coumatetralyl, difenacoum, diphacinone, coumatetralyl, difenacoum, diphacinone, flocoumafen and warfarin). Other types of rodenticide are available which may also be poisonous to horses. Anticoagulants act by preventing blood clotting. These products are commonly used to control rodent infestations. The baits are usually coloured blue or green (sometimes purple or red) and can be sold in the form of a powder, paste, seeds or grains. Poisoning may result in life-threatening bleeding although effects may not appear for several days. Furthermore, bleeding may be internal and therefore is not always visible. Occasionally lameness may develop due to the horse’s joints swelling. Most horses will require a course of antidote. Blood tests may confirm poisoning. Yew tree (Taxus baccata) All parts of the yew tree, apart from the fleshy fruit, are poisonous to animals (including the seeds within the fleshy

fruit). Poisoning can occur all year round and even dried material can be toxic. Signs of toxicity may include diarrhoea, weakness, unsteadiness, collapse, breathing difficulties, tremors and fitting. Signs generally develop rapidly, and sudden deaths can occur with the animals often being found dead right next to the Yew bushes or clippings. Leyland Cypress (Cupressocyparis leylandii) All parts of this plant are potentially toxic. Signs of toxicity may include loss of appetite, colic, diarrhoea, tremor, weakness, depression, high temperature and laminitis. Oak (Quercus spp) Oak poisoning usually occurs in either the spring (from eating young shoots) or in autumn (after eating acorns and fallen leaves). Horses may not become unwell until several days after the poisoning incident. Poisoning can result in constipation, diarrhoea (which can contain blood), depression, colic, swelling of the neck and throat, red or brown urine, weakness, sweating and unsteadiness. In severe cases some horses may develop fits, breathing difficulties and coma. Whilst I have painted a rather bleak picture in each of the above, it is by no means certain that a fatality will occur, several factors affect outcomes; volume eaten and stomach fill being obvious factors. This does not mean you should sit and wait if you suspect your horse has eaten something it shouldn’t: Stay calm. Remove your horse(s) from the source of poison if possible. Contact your vet for advice immediately; inform them when, where and how the poisoning occurred. If appropriate, carefully retain the packaging, plant or substance to show to the vet. Be careful not to expose yourself. Follow your vet’s advice. If you are advised to take your horse(s) to the vet, do so quickly and calmly.

Ensure your horse’s water supply cannot become contaminated, and change it regularly. When using pesticides such as rodenticides in or around housing and exercise areas be sure to restrict your horse’s access to these areas. Ensure adequate and appropriate food/ forage is available for your horse’s to reduce the likelihood of eating other vegetation. Some feeds intended for other animals may not be appropriate for horses. Ensure riders, carers and visitors are informed about potential poisonous hazards to your horse and do not allow them to feed inappropriate food items. If in doubt contact your vet, he or she will have access to the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) which provides accurate and up to date information on all toxic substances, any known effects and treatment protocols. Don’t leave it to chance.

If the skin or coat is contaminated, wash thoroughly with mild shampoo and water, rinse and dry. Keep your horse(s) away from any other animals to avoid cross contamination. Prevention is obviously the key, again thankfully most toxic plants are largely ignored by horses unless in some form of extremis but this does not mean we should ignore the potentiality.

22 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

Ensure housing and exercise areas are free from, and not overhung by, poisonous plants.

R.I.P. Libby 1998-2010

Health Care - Worming

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Health Care - Tack & Turnout

Mouth bruised from pinching bit

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Riding - Health Care

Breathe life into your riding Top to toe awareness for the riderwith exercises The following postural techniques will help to show you how breathing will support the essence of good posture and have a profound influence on your whole body. Let us begin with a basic position which will enhance stability, balance and poise. These techniques are similar to the ancient wisdoms of the east, such as Chi Gong and Tai Chi. As I study the power of breathing, I realize that my personal journey has taken me on a similar path to the teaching of martial artists and Eastern philosophers. Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed and if possible play some soothing, relaxing music whilst you go through these techniques below: Stand quietly and cultivate the feeling of breathing, into the space around you.

Now take a slow deep outward sigh and begin your focus on steady breathing, beginning within your core. Expand your abdomen with your inhalation, breathe into your body- as if filling up a glass with water – from the core upwards. Exhale deeply down through your upper body and spine, releasing through your core. Empty slowly the glass of water! Empty the body of air from top to bottom. Your feet should be parallel, about shoulder width apart and facing towards the front (neither turned in or out) Focus on your feet and push your weight down, first into your toes and then into your heels, resting finally with your feet equally weighted on the ground. Have a feeling of connecting

The conundrum of equine (mis)behaviour Horses as a rule are known as neophobic. Meaning that anything that is ‘new’ is worthy of concern. Horses that are doing something new in new surroundings could be on high alert, which makes them especially ‘reactive’ to new stimuli. So what can you do? Some riders try to habituate their horses to different environments. The reasoning is if the horse has been there and seen it before, they hopefully won’t react in the same way next time. Nice idea but as something ‘new’ is always around the corner, this approach is not always successful. Hormones can affect behaviour. Some mares can be more difficult when they are in ‘season’. In early spring your mare may be ‘transitional’ as she gets

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ready for the summer. The transition can be punctuated by irregular and frequent periods of ‘heat’. This is normal behaviour; there are some supplements and herbs in NAF Oestress that claim to help with ‘mare-ish’ behaviour. Magnesium supplements such as NAF Magic can also work, but only in horses that are magnesium deficient. Supplements such as Zylkene are a milk protein that binds to receptors in the brain to reduce stress. It is not a sedative and can be used in competition horses. Vet Stuff Direct offer a large range of the market’s leading calmers and much more, visit www.vetstuffdirect. com or call Antonina on 01506 882136.

Jenny Rolfe

through your legs and feet, into the core of the earth – ‘feeling truly grounded’. Relax down through your legs, into released knees and ankles as if you are ski-ing down a bumpy slope and absorbing the irregular lumps of snow. Grow taller and expand your posture allowing your head to come slightly forward and upwards. Do not tighten the back of the neck but allow it to lengthen, keep your jaw relaxed. Cultivate the feeling that your head is balanced in lightness, floating above the shoulders, as a balloon above your body. This lengthening of the neck helps to release the shoulders and arms. Soften the muscles around your eyes. Focus and stare straight ahead at a single object and then immediately relax into 180 degree softer vision, taking in the whole vista. Relax the facial muscles and release the jaw. If you push your tongue into the roof of your mouth, just for a few moments, this will help you to soften your jaw. Allow the back of your neck to lengthen gently. Relax your jaw and push back gently into the back of your lengthened neck. Then release into a comfortable position. This movement will help to re-align the whole of your spine. Keep a relaxed feel in your sternum

The basic position (breast bone) whilst breathing. Expand the chest, not by tightening the sternum and hollowing your back, but by expanding through the ribcage and breathing wide and full, into your spine and between your shoulder blades. Take a deep outward sigh and allow the breath to ripple through your torso down into your core and through your legs and feet. You should start to feel more relaxed and grounded. Focus on your body awareness from your head down through to your toes. EXERCISES TO RELEASE TENSION IN THE ARMS If you can feel any tension in your cont. on p.28

Z-itch that itch! Z-itch is a new pour-on product designed to aid the control of sweet itch in horses and donkeys…and it will be available from a retailer near you! “Z-itch is a ready to use, pour-on solution which contains Permethrin and has been designed especially for those horses and ponies who suffer with sweet itch,” says a spokesman for Z-itch. “It is easy to apply and, for most horses, needs to be reapplied just once

a week meaning that one bottle could last the full season, depending on the size of the horse. “Ideally, treatment with Z-itch should start prior to the ‘sweet itch season’ for best results.” Z-itch retails at £30.40 (including VAT) for a 250ml bottle. For more information, see or speak to your nearest equestrian retailer and ask for Z-itch.

Health Care

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Health Care - Teeth

Solution4 Feet Matrix – Hoof disinfection which really works!

cont. from p.26

shoulders just swing your arms around, away from your body. Swing with floppy arms from left to right, with energetic movements. Swing your arms to connect with your lower back. Allow your arms to feel like wet rags and thump gently onto your lower back as you turn. After a minute or so, slow the energy and come back to standing still. Bring your arms around to the front of you. Reach out as far as you can in front of your chest and imagine you are hugging a tree! Stretch your arms out as far as you can in a circle. Your arms will be held in front of you, stretching through the outside of the arm. Allow a few moments to enjoy the stretch, then bring your arms and hands down slowly by your side. Enjoy the release from your shoulders and the looseness and freedom within your arms. If you can learn to become more focused on your personal ‘top to toe’ and breathing awareness, you will be in a peaceful place, where your horse can relax and feel within his comfort zone. This would be similar to life in the herd, when there is no predator to disturb him and no cause for concern. The herd would be together grazing, ambling or resting, feeling secure with their natural family. All horses are totally aware of each other and their body language, as they will always be aware of our body language and state of mind. When you open the door of the stable, take to the horse the calm focus you feel when you practice this ‘basic position’ described above.

Arm swing - to release tension in your shoulders Tune into core-mobility Relax arms and hands Allow weight into knees ‘carpet slipper’ feet INITIAL aid is from your core. Listen to your horse Free your mind- to enjoy each moment HOMEWORK- Spend some time each day with a focus on your core breathing and self awareness. Clench your jaw and release, clench your fist and release. Grow in awareness of where you hold on to tension. Take these lessons on into your riding. Learn to breathe with your horse. My next article will start to look at how to use our breathing when riding transitions. Jenny gives clinics with her Iberian stallions. Her book and DVD ‘Ride From the Heart’ are available from her web site www.spanishdressagehorses.

From the first moment you are with your horse, give him this place of composure and tranquility and very soon he will become ‘the mirror of your mind’. This will reflect within your riding and become a sound path on which to build friendship and harmony- the essence of horsemanship. TOP TO TOE- QUICK TIPS FOR THERIDER Sigh deeply- to relax whole body Begin breathing from the core Expand and lengthen upper body

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Stretch through your arms and hug a tree

Equi Life’s Solution4 Feet Matrix is a unique product which has proven spectacularly effective in dealing with hoof horn infections. Solution4 Feet Matrix combines the power of the 21st Century disinfectant Solution4 Feet, with an organic keratinous base material. Matrix moulds to the contours of the hoof and persistently releases active disinfection with each step the horse takes. Not only that, the physical characteristics of Matrix provides support and binds to the surrounding healthy hoof horn whether it be sole, wall or frog. This is particularly important when large masses of infected horn have had to be removed. The effective disinfecting packing, which Matrix provides, enables the healthy hoof to resume normal function and encourages new horn to grow into a healthy environment. White line disease, thrush and seedy toe are all conditions which have resolved after using Solution4 Feet and Matrix. Expert farriers find that using Matrix under pads keeps the sole and frog healthy, allowing natural exfoliation of new horn.

Matrix can be used under the branches of shoes over the white line to provide a disinfecting environment, resistant to ingress of dirt and dung, which lasts the whole inter-shoeing period and reduces the risks of hoof infections. When used with the UK’s leading hoof supplement Formula4 Feet, you are minimizing the time your horse may be off work due to hoof infection. Formula4 Feet provides over 65 essential micronutrients which enable the growth of good strong horn at a rate only limited by your horse’s genetics! Formula4 Feet and Solution4 Feet are the modern, effective, and affordable solutions to hoof horn problems. Their experiences lead expert farriers and veterinary surgeons to use and recommend Solution4 Feet, Matrix and Formula4 Feet. For more information telephone Equilife on 01249 890784 or visit

Horse Behaviour

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Health Care - Physiotherapy

Veterinary physiotherapy: Optimising equine performance Electrotherapy by Emma McCagherty and Kim Gunstone, Chartered Veterinary Physiotherapists. Electrotherapy is used as part of a treatment and rehabilitation programme, which is designed after taking a full history and completing a thorough assessment, with the goal of returning the equine to work and optimum performance. Electrotherapy is defined as the application of physical energy to tissue to achieve a therapeutic effect. There are many different types of treatment and a variety of available equipment and can be used in conjunction with other treatments and specific exercises. Types of Electrotherapy

the area of injury.

underneath to help transmit the current. The battery unit can vary in size from a hand held unit to one worn on a belt by the therapist. The choice of equipment depends on the type of tissue injured (i.e. tendon) and condition being treated. Effects of Electrotherapy

Electromagnetic field therapy treatment.

Ultrasound – uses sound waves to help injuries to heal, a water based gel is used to ensure all the energy passes through the skin from the hand held treatment head which is moved over the area of the injury.

LASER and Phototherapy – uses a hand held applicator attached to a battery unit. Special wavelengths or colours of light are chosen depending on the tissue being treated. Protective goggles/ glasses must be worn to protect the eyes.

Electromagnetic Field Therapy – uses energy produced by applying an electrical current to a special wire coil. This is contained in a pad, rug, boot or hand held unit which is positioned over

Electrical Muscle Stimulation – uses a small electrical current to stimulate the muscles to contract under special pads (vary in size) that are placed/ taped onto the horse’s coat, with water based gel

LASER and Phototherapy are most effective in the treatment of wounds or lacerations but can also be used for the treatment of tendon injuries and muscle trigger points.

Electrotherapy can be used to: Reduce pain Stimulate/support/speed up healing Prevent muscle weakness Relax/ stretch tight contracted muscles Enhance the quality of the healing tissue Electrotherapy and healing For 2 days following injury, cold therapy is recommended to minimise bleeding into the affected tissues. This can be in the form of applying ice packs or cold hosing for 15-20 minutes 4-5 times a day. Electrotherapy stimulates and enhances the healing process by: Increasing the blood flow to the area, which helps remove the inflammatory waste products (which cause pain) and brings nutrients and cells necessary for healing to the area. Encourages the healing tissue to lay down in a strong alignment (minimising risk of further injury) enhancing the quality of the repair. Ensures healing process progresses through the stages without delay and can speed up the process. Modalities that can be used include ultrasound, electromagnetic field therapy, LASER or phototherapy. Selection of modality depends on the type of tissue injured, area of the body and equipment availability for example:

Ultrasound therapy. 30 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

Ultrasound is most effective for tendon (Superficial Digital Flexor tendon) or ligament (Check ligament) injuries.

Hand held electromagnetic field therapy. Electromagnetic field therapy is most effective for haematomas (bruising), swelling, muscle injuries. The type of tissue injured, size of the injury and the stage of healing that the injury is at determine the treatment dose, time and frequency. Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) Uses electrical energy to directly stimulate the fibres within the muscles that make them contract, either to strengthen them or to teach them to relax Can help to prevent muscle wasting/ weakness in nerve injuries e.g. Sweeny. When the nerve that supplies the muscle(s) is injured, it is possible to stimulate the muscle directly, keeping it healthy and strong. Can also help prevent muscle wasting during a period of box rest or immobilisation by splint or plaster cast. cont. on p.32


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Health Care - Physiotherapy cont. from p.30

There are a variety of different types and sizes of unit that can be used, some may be hand held or on a belt or shoulder strap. Selection depends on the area being treated, equipment availability and condition being treated. Your Chartered Physiotherapist may be able to loan out small hand held units to owners for more regular use. TMM - Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) as a muscle mobilising modality. The TMM is a form of electrical muscle stimulation and uses electrical impulses to achieve a muscle contraction. It consists of a surcingle with an electrode attached. The second electrode is held by the therapist and used to move through the different muscle groups.

The TMM can be used as an assessment tool by the Physiotherapist to assess

the quality of the contraction and relaxation of the muscle, or how well the muscle is working. For a horse to achieve its optimal performance all the muscles must be able to contract and relax normally and at the correct time. If a muscle is weak or working too hard the horse will not be able to perform at its best. Once assessment has been carried out of that muscle, the TMM can be used for treatment. This can be done in different ways: * Reciprocal Inhibition By getting a muscle to contract you can achieve relaxation of the same muscle on the opposite side of the body or a relaxation of a muscle that does the opposite action on the same side of the body. For example, if you stimulate a muscle that brings the leg backwards you should achieve relaxation of the muscle that brings the leg forward. When using the TMM in this way you sometimes have to work through a chain of different muscles to get to the target muscle. This means that the physiotherapist MAY start working on the hind limb for a forelimb problem or vice versa, or on the opposite side of the horses body. * Trigger points These are focal areas within the muscle that are tender to touch and often fasciculate (twitch) with pressure. The TMM can be used to reduce the trigger point, which then allows the muscle to

work normally. * Muscle Movement By getting a muscle to contract/relax normally you improve the efficiency of cells and muscle fibrils within the muscle as well as increasing local vascular circulation to the muscle. By doing this the muscle works more efficiently and the horse will have more confidence to move the muscle. This is especially useful when treating the deep spinal muscles, as they are difficult to reach manually. * Connective Tissue It is proposed that the TMM may have an effect on the connective tissue (tendons, fascia) in a similar way to myofascial release techniques. It may reduce the strength of protein bonding and therefore act as if ‘softening’ the connective tissue matrix to allow more movement or stretch of the tissues. * Joint Mobilisation A secondary effect of the TMM is joint

Summary Electrotherapy can be used for a variety of conditions. It is essential that the correct type be applied at the right time, dose and frequency, because if used at the wrong time, settings or dose can cause damage to the tissue. The equipment requires regular maintenance, by a qualified technician, to ensure the machine delivers the intended dose. It helps to ensure that the healing process progresses unhindered ensuring that the tissue heals in a good strong alignment, minimising the cont. on p.34

Keep Competition Horses on winning form with Equissage Many horses will be competing this summer and will require extra care to keep them in good condition. Thanks to a daily massage from Equissage you can improve muscle tone, keep your horse supple and prevent stiffness. Equissage is a multi-unit physiotherapy massage system developed specifically for equine use. Its ability to deliver unique cycloidal vibrations which reach deep tissue, muscle and bone via the pad or hand unit enable Equissage to actively treat a number of specific problems, as well as helping to maintain peak condition and general good health. Equissage provides a deeply beneficial massage to the whole horse which increases circulation and lymphatic

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mobilisation. If you allow a muscle to work properly it will then be able to move a joint in the correct manner it is supposed to, allowing normal functional movement. Joints can also be gently mobilised during treatment as the muscle contraction causes movement.

drainage, relaxation of muscles, and increased joint mobility which in turn produces better movement and performance. For further information and a FREE demonstration on Equissage, please contact 0800 072 1180 or visit

Health Care

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Health Care - Worming cont. from p.32

chance of further injury. It prevents muscle wasting and promotes correct balance between muscle groups. Your ACPAT registered Physiotherapist will decide on the most effective method of treating you horse’s condition and the treatment dose, time and frequency, taking into account the stage of healing and the type of tissue that has been injured. The dosage and settings change as the healing process progresses. Electrotherapy is used as part of a treatment and rehabilitation

programme, which is designed after taking a full history and completing a thorough assessment, with the goal of returning the equine to work and optimum performance. Emma McCagherty 07841 22301 www.centralscotlandanimalphysio. Stirlingshire, Falkirk, Clackmananshire, Mid and West Lothian and Lanarkshire Kim Gunstone 07912 378934 Perth & Kinross, Fife, Angus and Dundee

THE RIGHT STEP® The Right Step® from Life Data Labs is a hoof conditioner developed to guard against undue environmental moisture while simultaneously retaining valuable natural fluids; thus making it ideal for horses standing for long periods in wet and damp conditions, for example muddy paddocks and sodden meadows. Its exceptional combination of ingredients using natural resins and plant extracts ensures the correct moisture balance within the hoof capsule. Oxygen is permitted to pass freely through to the hoof wall and thereby promotes a healthy, pliable hoof. Nor does it foster harmful infections from fungi and bacteria because the hoof is allowed to breathe through The Right Step® coating. When conditions are

dry, the natural hoof oils are retained within the hoof, lessening drying and cracking of the hoof wall. Unlike some hoof protection products The Right Step® is free from the greasy residue of harmful petroleum and tar. For more information please contact us on Tel: 044 (0) 7537151022, e-mail on kzetsche@ lifedatalabs. de or visit us at www. lifedatalabs.

Pfizer makes it easy to understand worm control Pfizer Animal Health, manufacturer of the equine wormers EQUEST®, EQUEST PRAMOX® and EQUITAPE®, has launched a new campaign to make it easier for horse owners to understand the modern principles of worm control. The Manage, Test, Plan, Dose campaign is based on concise, easy-to-follow messages and includes a practical worming booklet. It explains why horse owners should practice sustainable worm control and highlights the fact that a good worming protocol is about more than just worming. The campaign emphasises the importance of using wormers responsibly, explaining that if they are used too frequently or unnecessarily their effectiveness in controlling parasites could be reduced (known as resistance). Through the logical themes of Manage, Test, Plan and Dose, the campaign explains which parasites need controlling and why; how to 34 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

manage the worm challenge on the pasture; the importance of regular tests to assess worm burdens; how to plan an optimum worm control programme by assessing your horse’s history and regime and how to dose with the right wormer at the right time. Pfizer’s veterinary adviser Ben Gaskell said: “A worm control strategy that considers all the factors involved is a better way to maintain the health of your horse. Our new booklet aims to give you an insight into all the factors that need to be considered to provide you with a balanced, modern and thorough approach to worm control.” Whether you are a first time horse or pony owner or a professional yard manager the Manage, Test, Plan, Dose campaign contains important and practical messages to help ensure your horses are kept in the best of health all year round.

Holidays - Training - Transport

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Health Care - Worming

Natural Alternatives to Chemical Wormers Philip Ghazala, founder of Verm-X talks to us about adopting a more natural approach to parasite control. Small paddocks and stables benefit the horse in terms of comfort, quality and general health yet provide the perfect breeding ground for parasites. In this environment the key to effective parasite control is good pasture management to minimise worm egg and lava contamination and the use of regular worming treatments to remove parasites from the horses’ intestines. One cannot be adequately effective without the other. Are you looking for a natural parasite control that does the job using natural methods? Natural parasite control can help your quest. Is there really a need to worm? You may question the measures required to control internal parasites when horses have lived with parasites for many years without treatment and the intervention of man. However today’s environment is very different from their natural roots. Take the horse for example, once living in predominantly rural environments today many horses are urban dwellers.

However, regular worming treatments are recommended to maintain a low worm burden but it is becoming more apparent that this may increase resistance to certain chemicals used in the wormers. If you are worried about the risk of your horse becoming intolerant to chemical wormers seek advice from your vet, or the suitably qualified person (SQP) at your equestrian store or alternatively investigate a more natural approach to internal parasite control. Natural Alternatives

In recent years herbal wormers have taken the market place by storm as a real alternative for horse owners who want to use a gentler, but not less effective, product on their horses. We have seen a dramatic increase in the acceptance of natural products in the past three years. There is no question that horse owners today are increasingly aware of the resistance to chemical wormers along with environmental issues, and are keen to adopt a cleaner more organic approach to horse care. We saw a fair level of sceptiscm five years ago towards natural parasite control, this is reducing rapidly as horse owners see that herbal formulations like Verm-X are equally effective as non– herbal products. Herbs have a very important place in the market for all species. They have earned that place thanks to their use by many civilisations effectively over a number of centuries. In an increasingly sensitive world it is therefore timely and cont. on p.38

Controlling worms naturally Herbal parasite control products such as non-chemical market leader Verm-X provide an excellent alternative to using chemical wormers and provide a free parasite check for horses in conjunction with

independent laboratory, Westgate Laboratories. Verm-X offers a 100% natural, herbal alternative to harder chemical based products on the market and focuses

exclusively on natural parasite control for animals, basing all its research in this area. For further information please contact Verm-X on 0870 850 2313, or visit

£5,000 Cash Up for Grabs with Verm-X How would you like to scoop £1,000! A nationwide initiative by leading Natural Parasite Control experts, Verm-X will see five lucky winners each receiving the ‘grand’ prize with a total of £5,000 on offer. To enter the competition look out for the £5,000 ‘Everyone’s a Verm-X Winner’ sticker promotion on Verm-X Horse Pellets, Verm-X Poultry Pellets, Verm-X Pig Pellets, Verm-X Sheep & Goat Pellets, Verm-X Dog Crunchies, Verm-X Cat Crunchies, Verm-X Rabbit Pellets, Verm-X Caged Bird Pellets, Verm-X Alpaca & Llamas Pellets, Keep-Well, Poultry Zest and Allergy-X Biscuits for dogs. Five prize draws will take place throughout the year, with one entrant 36 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

winning £1,000 each time. The good news is it couldn’t be simpler to enter: just purchase a promotional Verm-X product (identifiable by the sticker pictured) and enter your unique code online or by telephone. Every entrant will also receive a moneyoff voucher to use against any future Verm-X purchase – so Everyone is a Winner! You may enter as many times as you wish providing a new unique number is used each time. The five prize draws will take place on; April 28th, May 31st, June 30th, July 29th, and August 31st 2011. Please visit the website for further details and remember to look out for promotional

packs in store or online. Verm-X is the award winning natural and effective way to keep your animals free of internal parasites. It is available for a wide range of animals, both for household pets and smallholder stock. For any further information or to find your nearest stockist please contact Verm-X on 0870 850 2313 or visit

Field & Stable - Transport

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Health Care - Worming cont. from p.36

fitting that one should have the option of an effective natural alternative to chemical formulations. Natural parasite control is proven to be gentler on the digestive system and therefore does not pose a threat to the horses’ performance. Herbal parasite control methods also tend to be less expensive than chemical alternatives. Depending on the horse, worming requirements can vary enormously, herbal parasite control provides a safer alternative to traditional chemically based wormers as worming without harsh chemicals maintains your animals

and their digestive systems in better shape, keeping them healthier and in top condition and performance.

on a regular basis and are less harmful on the digestive system therefore kinder on the horse in the long run.

Natural Parasite Control provides an excellent way to repel worms from the animal’s digestive tract.

How do I know if my horse is worm free?

Routine use of chemical wormers may damage the gut and metabolism in horses as they strive to maintain a zero worm load; this leaves the animal less healthy in the long run than one with a healthy gut and a small natural worm load. Due to the herbal content of natural alternatives, they are ideal to be used

How do I start using a worm count service? Are you thinking of getting your worming programme up to date this year? This means using fewer doses for those animals with lower parasite burdens, as advised by the BVA, and targeting wormers where they are needed instead. It is vital to stop blanket worming all horses as though they were the same or very soon there will be no effective wormers left. Using worm counts allows us to put this into practice. At Westgate Labs we try to make it all as easy as possible for our customers. Firstly you can choose the service which suits you. You can simply buy a kit in your local shop, complete with prepaid return bag. Or you can go online and request a free pack for as many horses as you like. Or you can use an economical season pack also available on line. Once the sample reaches the lab we aim to test it and report the results on the day it arrives. It really is a very quick process. The test is a standard ‘modified McMaster’ egg count with all samples spun in a centrifuge and then tested twice for accuracy. When you have your result you need to know what to do with it. SQP’s at the lab will be able to help you decide on appropriate products if you need to dose, or when to test again. This is a very important part of what we do as

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it’s the advice which makes a worm count based programme work. How do you keep track of your programme? We will send you an email reminder ‘Time to test or worm’ and you can log in directly to your past results in the data base too. A worming record card gives further backup. Most worming programmes run in this way will cost less than an old fashioned drug based programme, at least in the long run, so don’t let that put you off. More importantly they will be better for your horse, the environment and the long term efficacy of wormers. Visit for more information and to order your starter pack.

It is highly recommended that a simple diagnostic procedure is performed to determine the severity of the infestation and identify which worms are affecting an animal at any particular time.

Worm counts are a great way of finding out whether your worming programme is effective and should be used at a point in the cycle when your horse is due for worming. For further information please contact Verm-X on 0870 850 2313, or visit

A worm count will help you to monitor the situation inside your horse. It is impossible to know the level of worm burden carried by a horse without a worm count.

Start SMART for the New Year A new year means a fresh start so why not make your life a little easier by setting up a plan for your horse’s worming regime? Whether you have one horse or ten, EQVALAN®’s SMART online planner helps you start the year right, keeping your worming routine on track. EQVALAN®’s SMART planner is the simple way to set up and co-ordinate a worming routine for your horse. With an easy-to-use table accessed quickly online, the SMART planner lets you input data for multiple horses, and once it’s set up you’ll get reminders when each horse is due a Worm Egg Count (WEC). By testing the horses, you can be fully aware of each horse’s worm status, enabling you to worm each horse as an individual. The SMART planner tells you what to do, and when, alerting you to the actions required as well as keeping you up to date with the latest worming news. Case study 1 Teresa Flanagan has a number of horses and found it was becoming a nightmare to keep track of the worming situation. “I treated all the horses with EQVALAN® Duo in the spring and since then have been using the SMART worming planner and WECs to test each horse regularly to monitor individual worm egg outputs. I was surprised when some of the WEC results came back, as most were low or zero counts, but one horse I bred myself and who has never been off our farm, has had

quite a high -count. The online planner reminds me when to re-test the horses and keeps track of their individual results.” Case study 2 Alison Horgan has been really impressed with the SMART worming planner and now only worms strategically: “In the long run this method is good for resistance management, saves a little money with my mini herd and also prevents unnecessary worming treatments for my animals. I have been surprised by some of the results, such as Destiny my youngster having such a high worm count when we started using this system, despite the others in the same paddock having a very low count. However, on further research I discovered that youngsters are more susceptible so I have learnt something new. I am currently worm egg counting the whole lot again, this will then give me the knowledge of how or what to worm with next time they require treatment. To find out more and set up your own SMART planner visit


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Health Care - Worming - Training

Handling the young horse Part Two To go on from the article in the february issue of Equi-Ads, I am now assuming that you have a well handled happy confident foal. When to wean is always a tricky problem I find. You may decide if your mare is not in foal to leave your foal on the mare and let the mare and foal run together while you carry on with your handling and training. That will work up to a point but unless you are not planning to do anything with your youngster except keep it at home, there will come a time when you want

to take, or do something with, your youngster without the mare along. Therefore the foal does need to become independent from its mother. Foals can physically manage without the mare from 4 months old; however unless there is a reason such as the mare is ill or losing a lot of weight, I like to keep the foals with their mothers until they are at least six months of age and longer if possible. There are many kind ways to wean a foal from its dam depending on the circumstances and facilities available, but as this is an article about handling and training I will not go in to the different methods that are available. I would however suggest that shutting the foal in solitary confinement away from its dam and other horses is very stressful and not a weaning method I personally would ever use or recommend. I am happy to discuss the other, what I would consider kinder, methods if you would like to email me. I prefer to wean our foals over a period of time, approximately a fortnight, as I find this is less traumatic for all concerned and gives the foal time to adjust to life without the constant support of their mother. During the foals first winter we continue with the training and I like to introduce the youngster to having rugs and things thrown over their backs. As always this is just a slow progression from rubbing them over with a towel or something similar, progressing to throwing the open towel over the back where the rug or saddle would be placed in the future. When they get really confident with this, I will throw different things on their backs such as the plastic stable yard sheet the hay is carried in, leaving the sheet there for a moment as I do something else in the stable. It is always a good idea to do this from both sides not just from the left. This is also the time we start to teach them to walk over different things on the ground starting with rubber mats which can be put in various different places and indeed moved around the yard, to stepping over a single pole or take advantage of what occurs naturally and walk them through a puddle. With all training, always make sure you have lots of time so you can be very

Heather Gwillim relaxed if the foal goes around the mat. Don’t make an issue of it, walk a big circle, stand the foal as close to the mat as they are happy to be made a fuss of, then turn away and try to get closer on the next approach, which may be a day or two later, let them walk alongside the mat as you walk over it. Be quietly confident, if it takes a few days of training before the foal is happily walking over the mat, then that’s what it takes, training does take time. Once the foal is happily walking over the mat you can introduce other things for the foal to walk over. We have built a small wooden bridge which we also teach them to stand quietly on as well as walking over. This accustoms them to being on something that sounds hollow and has a small step up. A plastic sheet held securely down is another useful walk over object. All of these things teach your youngster to trust you and follow where you lead. My husband often puts a small course up in our manége to include our bridge, walk over poles, a rubber mat, sheet of plastic, a big stuffed Black Panther that growls and flapping plastic bags hanging from either side of the school or suspended in the air from a pole. In this sort of training you are only limited by your imagination and making sure that whatever you use is safe for the purpose. We always keep training sessions short, twenty minutes or less, but we also only do this sort of training when we have plenty of time so we are not under any pressure and if something doesn’t go quite as we would like we accept this and make the step we are asking several smaller steps. As long as we end the session with the foal happy and relaxed we can go back to that training another time. It is always better to make small steps, introduce everything new very carefully and gradually, making sure you are setting the youngster up to succeed at the task you are asking and always being happy to accept less than you have asked, as long as the training ends in a happy way. The beauty of training your young horses in this way is that because they are so young there is plenty of time, there are no set goals to achieve in a certain time. If something is unacceptable to the youngster you can leave it and come back to it at a later date when your youngster has gained in confidence. Just end the training with the foal happy and standing relaxed as close as possible to the object that has been the problem. Because there is a long time before you are going to start training the horse or pony for a specific equestrian discipline there is no pressure cont. on p.42

40 - Equi-Ads - March 2011


March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 41

Stud - Training - Horses for Sale

cont. from p.40

on you the trainer which should allow you to be very relaxed about all of the training you do. All you are trying to do is prepare the youngster for the future, to make life and future training easier as the small trials you are setting now can lead nicely into the training that is to come for starting the youngster under saddle. Noise is another issue to address at this time. Simply playing a radio as you work with the horses can accustom them to background noise. You can again add to that by using recordings of any sounds you think might be applicable in the future. As with all the training, start gradually with the sound low and gradually increase the volume.

Training in this way requires that you spend time with your youngster. In all training, time is the most important part; be patient, calm, and methodical, never be in a rush to achieve, make each goal a small one. Make the training fun and different and reward the smallest try from the young horse During the two to three years before you start serious training there is so much we can teach our young horses, the most important thing is obviously the trusting partnership we can build during this time, which will make all future training we undertake and situations we find ourselves in much easier and safer for both the horse and us.

Heather Gwillim and her husband Tim run an Iberian Stud and training yard in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. Their yard stands a black P.R.E. (Andalusian) Stallion at stud. They also offer training courses by arrangement in ground work and horse handling techniques. Courses are also available to first time horse owners on: Stable Management,

Breeding a foal, Buying your first horse, Vet and Farrier protocol, Loading and handling etc. If you missed the first article in the February issue you will find it on the Equi-Ads website.

Impeccable bloodlines to breed for success KWPN registered Zenith JC has been bred for success, as a son of World Champion Berlin he has a brilliant pedigree. A handsome horse he brings a great attitude to his work. With exceptional movement, conformation and scope and a natural jumping ability he is proving to be a very versatile sports horse. He has competed lightly in 2010 and is showing immense potential,

approaching his career in a brave, level headed way. His excellent bloodlines are all ready showing in his foals, who can be viewed at home. Zenith JC oozes quality and has a presence that turns heads. With much to offer mares of all disciplines, including good bone and length of leg, he is truly a stunning specimen. To find out more contact Jacqueline Cross on 0797597482

Equido hold two day clinic For the first time five of the Equido Instructors will be available over a two day clinic to help and guide riders and horses through training issues or to improve their relationship with their equine friends. Equido is unique in its approach to training and handling of horses and is a recognised qualification. At the clinic the Equido Instructors will cover a wide range of topics which are applicable to all areas of equestrianism. The clinic is open to all ages and styles of riding from Showjumping to Western Riding, as each of the Equido Instructors are specialists in their own areas. High demand from riders and students has prompted this clinic and there are

42 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

a limited number of horses available (for groundwork only) to those students who either do not have their own horse or are unable to bring their horse to the clinic. The clinic will be held at:- Ross Dhu Equestrian on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June 2011. There are limited spaces available for horses staying overnight so please book your space as quickly as possible. For further information please visit our website www.scottishhorsehelp. and to book your place please contact:- Morag Higgins, Tel: 01698 886 492

Tack & Turnout - Stud

Mindbuzzler for quality MindBUZZler sell a range of saddles that they have faith in and at the same time try to accommodate the fact that everybody has a different budget available. On the high end they retail Passier products and handcrafted Sankey saddles and provide a range of used saddles. However, they also offer special disciplines such as Western,

Icelandics, Iberian or endurance and Australian stock saddles. Each of the saddles is accompanied in the download section with a saddle fitting guide and since it is essential that a saddle fits correctly they offer saddle fitting and trial. Call 01337 870489 or 07404143526 or see

New Freeform Saddles don’t even look Treeless Not only do Freeform Saddles look like a conventional saddle, the rider also feels as though they are sitting on a normal treed saddle. The specially shaped seats allow the rider to sit narrow as on a traditional saddle but without pinching the horse. Being treeless allows the horse to increase or decrease its weight or muscle tone. The saddle will still fit as it moulds continuously to the ever changing horse shape.

which can create problems. Freeform’s seat innovations are fantastic, like the specially designed seat for people with hip problems or the very popular Elegance seat favoured by the male rider. The experienced staff at DREAM TEAM PRODUCTS can assist with any treeless saddle question on 08450 725 765. Or visit the Website on www.

Many new options for horse and rider create an almost tailor made saddle. New to treeless saddles is a specially cut back pommel option for horses with high and very high withers. The saddles come in two parts, saddle base and seat, which allows various sized riders to share the same saddle base but with more than one seat in the correct size to fit each rider. We often see differently sized husband and wife or mother and daughter using the same saddle,

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 43

Tack & Turnout

Online Retailer Focus: Launched last year, www.horsehalt. offers a wide variety of items for horse and rider - as well as pets and other four-legged friends through a breed-specific range - from some of the biggest brands in the UK. The site’s contemporary design is clear and easy to use, with most major credit / debit cards accepted and full secure ordering as standard on all purchases. Handily, payment and delivery details can be stored securely to make future purchases quick and easy, while the ‘My Account’ section of the site allows past orders to be tracked and personal details to be updated. Product areas include grooming, show ring wear and rugs, bridlework, training equipment and stable sundries, plus a collection of rugs in cow, donkey, heifer, calf, Clydesdale and Arab sizes from the Greenwood collection. HorseHalt’s ability to offer these unique and difficult to find items - plus a dedicated range of carriage driving products - set it apart from many other online equestrian retailer sites.

offer (you just pay the postage), plus an exclusive special offer Greenwood saddle pad for under £7. Following HorseHalt on Twitter (see below) will keep you up-to-date with new offers, as will regular visits to the site where offers are featured on the front page. HorseHalt offers a wide variety of products for the upcoming Spring and Summer months: flagship ranges available include the Greenwood Collection – a range of UK-made saddle pads, numnahs, rugs, dog coats and other personalised items – and the Four Seasons Collection of rugs and accessories from IV Horse, which features a variety of mini rugs in sizes down to 2’9” alongside standard horse size stable, turnout, fly, cooler and travel rugs. Other unique and award winning items, such as the Safehorse HorseThermometer, are also available. HorseHalt’s flat rate delivery service is a great incentive to buy: you’ll pay only £6.50 for mainland UK courier delivery, however much you buy, per transaction. A great reason to stock up on your Spring / Summer rugs in one place, as well as buy that luxury velvet saddle pad you’ve always dreamed of!

HorseHalt has steadily grown over the past 6 months and currently offers over 1,000 lines, from everyday essentials to luxury personalised items. Whether you plan to simply browse or know exactly what you are after, the at-a-glance category listing and the powerful site search functionality available on every page make navigating the site’s large product range easy.

Although the site is on the whole self explanatory, a dedicated customer service team is available by email to help with any queries or questions relating to the site or products featured. They provide a fast and friendly response to enquiries and are on-hand to provide further information if required (especially useful with more specialised products, such as the breed specific rugs and mini rugs available on the site).

Further additions are promised on a regular basis, with monthly and longerterm deals available across the store. At the time of writing, current long-term deals include big discounts on Western leatherwork and a great free shampoo

For all the latest news and offers from HorseHalt, follow them on Twitter at, or sign up for the HorseHalt newsletter at

44 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

Snuggy hoods = Happy Horses = Happy Owners Sweet Itch is caused by an allergic reaction to the bites of the Culicoides midge and to a lesser extent, Simulium Equinum which is a blood sucking blackfly. At present there is no cure for Sweet Itch. Once an animal develops the allergy it is generally affected every spring, summer and autumn. There are two approaches to improving the comfort of an affected animal: to ease the allergic reaction with corticosteroids, anti-histamines or soothing lotions, or to minimise midge attack by using Snuggy Hoods Sweet Itch Body©. The latter offers the most effective protection and avoids the need to use chemicals, repellents, oils or greases. The Snuggy Hoods Sweet Itch Body©

offers Nose-to-tail protection from midges, flies and sunshine (along with mud, dust and dirt!). Comprising a hood and rug set (available separately), it comes complete with built in ears, double fly-fringe, belly band, tail guard and flap as standard. Lined with a silky shoulder and mane saver© to prevent these areas from being rubbed or chafed. There’s an optional zip for ease of fitting and adjustable nose on the hood. It’s made of breathable, heavy shower proof, lightweight, stretch fabric. The Sweet Itch body and hood is fully machine-washable and designed to be worn 24/7, rain or shine. Full instructions and advice are given and offered at any time by e-mail or cont. on p.45 telephone.

Tack & Turnout

cont. from p.44

As with all our products, Snuggy Hoods offer a full after sales service that is second to none. Alterations, repairs and general advice are offered for the life of the product ensuring it is NOT a one season wonder. Legs, udder, sheath covers are also offered for those severe sufferers. Snuggy Hoods would also love to help

should you have any further ideas on how we can help your horse further. Available from Miniature to Heavyweight. Hoods XXXS-XXL Plus alteration for all ‘in-between’ sizes. Colours: Black, Brown or Beige. For further information visit or email or call 01225 783399.

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 45


Numnahs and saddlepads: A perfect fit be designed to distribute evenly the weight of the saddle and rider across the horse’s back.

The numnah or saddle pad is an essential piece of equine kit. Not only does it safeguard the saddle from dirt or damage, but it also provides valuable protection for the horse against pressure from the saddle and rider. Lee Buck from PolyPads explains the range of pads available and the importance of correct fitting. Saddle pads are available in a range of styles and colours to take into account every size and shape of horse and the individual preference of the rider. In addition, some disciplines or certain types of saddles might even have guidelines as to the shape or style of saddle pad the horse should wear. For example, the long, straight front of a dressage saddle will require a saddle pad that is fashioned to match, whereas a saddle pad used for Western riding will need to be more square in shape. Whichever the style of pad you choose for your horse however, it is important to remember that it will only be effective provided it is of high-quality design and has been fitted correctly. Protective padding The materials used to create the saddle pad have a large influence on the fit and comfort. A good saddle pad should be made of fabric that is soft to ensure it is comfortable for the horse to wear; shock-absorbing to prevent unnecessary pressures on the horse’s back, breathable to ward off excess heat and sweating; and durable enough to take the stresses and strains of everyday use. The saddle pad must also

46 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

Common types of fabric used in the manufacture of saddle pads include wool, cotton and polycotton (a blend of cotton and polyester). Polycotton combines the natural softness, breathability and light weight of cotton with the durability and wrinkleresistance of polyester, making this an ideal material for creating a comfortable yet hard-wearing saddle pad. Wool is also popular as a lining, but beware of synthetic wool materials as they can cause the horse’s skin to sweat. Polycotton is perhaps most common and can be quilted over a wool or foam filling or polyfibre padding, with the shape of the quilting deliberately designed to disperse pressure and allow movement. It is important that any filling used in the design of a saddle pad provides enough protection for the horse’s back whilst at the same time not allowing the back to become too warm. A saddle pad that becomes overly sweaty, greasy, muddy or hairy will not only look unattractive but also make the horse uncomfortable and reduce the breathability of the fabric. Saddle pads that are machine washable will be much easier to keep clean but after washing, always reshape the fibre filling whilst the saddle pad is wet and dry carefully. High tec solutions Manufacturers are constantly developing more high-tech solutions to saddle pad design, from extra padded inserts to intelligent fabrics. Low profile but high performance 3D material provides excellent cushioning and support for both rider and horse, whilst encouraging airflow beneath the saddle.

Gel inserts allow for specific padding solutions for unusually shaped horses. Risers can also help to position the rider in a better position. Special gel pads are now available to help prevent slipping – a good idea for the lightweight low profile saddles favoured by show jumpers. Fitting a saddle pad Most responsible horse owners will employ the services of a qualified saddle fitter when purchasing a new saddle to ensure they get things right, but the impact of the saddle pad can sometimes get overlooked. A well designed, correctly fitted saddle pad will enhance the horse’s comfort and performance, but a poor quality, ill-fitting pad can negatively affect the fit of a saddle and cause irreparable damage. It is therefore a good idea to have the saddle fitted along with the saddle pad that you will be using so that the saddle fitter can take this into account.

A good saddle pad should sit well clear of the wither and into the gullet of the saddle, not directly on the spine. For horses with very high withers, you can purchase specially designed pads that will take this into account. To fit a saddle pad correctly, lift it over the withers first before sliding it back into place, following the direction of the horse’s coat. Make sure that the saddle pad is sitting evenly on both sides. Then place the saddle on top and pull the front of the pad firmly up into the gullet of the saddle to create airflow along the spine, making sure that any trapped mane hairs are freed in the process. You can then sit back and enjoy your ride, safe in the knowledge that the saddle pad your horse is wearing is comfortable, safe and stylish! Find out more about the PolyPads range at

High-tech protection with the SpaceTec Pad Saddle design and manufacture has moved on incredibly quickly, but the world of saddle pads could get left behind. Thanks to a true innovation from PolyPads, all that modern technology has to offer has now been combined into the SpaceTec Pad. This brand new concept in saddle pads provides amazing protection and cushioning with minimal bulk. Made from low profile but high performance 3D material, the SpaceTec Pad provides cushioning and support for both rider and horse, whilst encouraging airflow beneath the saddle. Known for its top quality, British-made saddle pads, PolyPads has been a household name for decades and this new addition to the range brings the humble saddle pad bang up to date.

Breathable, washable, strong and flexible, the SpaceTec Pad will keep your horse cool and comfortable, so the only pressure he feels is the pressure to win! For more information contact PolyPads on 01842 752020 or visit

Tack & Turnout - Saddlepads

Something for every horse from Nuumed More winning designs to really fit your horse New designs and improvements to popular designs can be seen in the NuuMed range this Spring.

For more details of these pads or any other NuuMed lines email info@ call 01458 210324 or visit our website

New on the market is the HiWither Two In One saddlepad - a really good looking pad cut to NuuMed’s patented HiWither design which features top quality British wool front and back collars. The pad is available in either a quilt or half wool pad with the same collars – and whichever one you use, it looks as if you have both a pad and half pad on. Not only does it look good, but if your saddle fits well, the pad removes the need to use two pads and so works with the saddle fit and does not distort it by putting too much under the saddle. And in response to customer comments, Numbed has also improved and/or amended products including : making the wool on the underside of the Howitzer pads deeper; adding a close contact version to the very popular ProPad Plus range; putting a close contact option into the anti slip range and using a longer wool in the NuuMed HiWither shimmy range.

The right saddlepad can make all the difference and NuuMed have the right one for your horse

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 47

Tack & Turnout - Horse Behaviour

‘Send your horse forward’ Part 4 A series by SUSAN McBANE dealing with equestrian principles from the viewpoint of equine behaviour and psychology LAST month we talked about the very familiar but now discredited principle of driving a horse up to the bit. This month’s topic of sending a horse forward is related to that but has slightly different problems. ‘Sending a horse forward’ today often does not have the meaning it used to have up to a few decades ago. To very many people – instructors as well as their clients – ‘forward’ clearly seems to mean ‘fast’ which is not the correct translation of the principle into practice. The state of being ‘forward’ is really a

state of mind. It means that the horse is ready instantly to respond correctly to whatever aid his rider gives him. So, a horse can be forward when being asked to slow down or speed up (within or between gaits), jump, turn or go sideways, halt, stand still and even when reining back. A lot of damage can be done to a horse’s mind and body by our misunderstanding the correct meaning of the principle of forwardness, how to achieve it and how the horse should respond and perform when he is

forward. A dressage alternative to the word ‘forward’ is to describe a horse as being ‘on the aids’ meaning that he is instantly obedient to them. Anyone who spends any time around ridden horses today in almost any type of yard from DIY livery yards to competition yards in most equestrian disciplines cannot fail to notice that most of them are driven around their schooling areas, under saddle or on the lunge, too fast, relentlessly, on too-small circles and very often in an overbent/behind-the-bit/hyperflexed posture due to a too-firm or constantlyapplied bit contact from a rider or to being strapped into that posture by equipment. No matter what anyone, anyone at all, tells you, this practice is distressing to horses and I think it amounts to abuse. It is unethical because it can be painful, frightening, confusing and can damage their minds and bodies. Furthermore, it is counterproductive because it does not teach a horse to go correctly, comfortably and independently balanced within himself, relying on his own resources; quite the opposite, in fact. Trained correctly, a horse will gradually make demands on and develop the correct ‘riding’ muscles and become stronger, well-balanced under weight and more agile, with a good attitude to life and work. Any method of training which makes a horse, at any stage of his development, dependent for balance on outside influences is potentially harmful with far-reaching and possibly long-term consequences. (Don’t worry – there’s good news later on.) This damaging practice has become so common that a whole generation of riders, including instructors and trainers, now believes that it is correct and even beneficial. From conversations I have had with some of them, many have a nagging feeling somewhere deep inside that it is somehow not right but they continue to do it because they do not know what else to do or are being pushed by employers, clients or economics to get results quickly. SO WHY ISN’T IT RIGHT? When a horse goes or is driven to go faster than he can (that is faster than he can go in independent, good balance), he almost always puts too much weight

48 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

on his forehand which overloads his forelegs and feet. Speed and weight combined can do a lot of damage: many wise horsemen and women know that ‘speed is the killer’. You may remember from physics lessons at school the equation which goes ‘force = mass x acceleration’ or, in non-scientific language, force = weight x speed. The faster a horse goes the harder his weight hits the ground and the more likely it is that injury will result. This effect is exacerbated if the horse is already out of balance and on his forehand. (Remember that the forelegs go right up to the horse’s shoulders, the tops of the shoulder blades being on each side of the withers, and the hindlegs to the hip joints which, along with the thighs, are out of sight inside the horse’s hindquarters.) Many horses and ponies pushed too fast in the mistaken belief that it is teaching them to go forward are also worked on too-small circles. One reason for this when lungeing is that some people do not feel in control of the horse if he is on a large circle (in which case the horse’s pre-lungeing in-hand training to stop and go is insufficient). A second mistaken belief is that this teaches them to bend to the arc of the circle. In practice, what usually happens, even with ridden horses or those strapped into position by means of gadgets, is that the hind feet tend to travel outside the tracks of the forefeet as the horse tries, naturally, to save himself from the discomfort and the fear of falling through being forced out of balance, and to avoid treading on his forefeet. Also, he will tend to lean into the circle to try to balance, if possible with his head to the outside of the curve, putting considerable extra force on to his legs and feet as they work at an angle to the ground because of the direction of the lean. The muscles of his entire body will be working hard to counteract the speed, lack of balance and stressful body position and can also become injured as a result. There is yet another disadvantage to these practices, one that works

cont. on p.50


March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 49

Insurance cont. from p.48

against lightness which is one of the most important principles of humane horsemanship. Horses worked like this are very likely to throw their weight forwards and lean on the bit. This can do nothing but make them heavy in hand as their mouths habituate (become unresponsive) to the unrelenting, strong pressure. Depending on their natural inclinations, some horses then go overbent or behind the bit (with the front of the face behind the vertical) in an effort to avoid the distressing bit pressure, both of which serious faults can be very hard to correct, and put the horse out of effective control. Another result with some horses is to distort their necks as best they can to avoid the pressure and relieve their muscle pain. Yet others will try to go with their heads up partly out of fear and partly out of severe discomfort, in an effort to escape. The results of any coercive and incorrect practices in horse training such as those described above are physical discomfort or pain for the horse, possibly along with physical injury or at least incorrect physical development, plus anxiety, fear and resulting escape and conflict behaviours as the horse tries to get out of his appalling situation.

WHAT’S THE RIGHT WAY? Firstly, you need to get an accurate idea of your horse’s natural, balanced speed in all his gaits so you can build on them. You can get this by watching him loose in the field or other exercise area and by letting him go at his own speed on a loose or at least long rein when riding (probably best achieved out hacking when there is somewhere to go). Watch and feel your horse’s natural rhythms and absorb how he looks and feels. Get his rhythms into your mind like a metronome so you can tell when he deviates from them. If anyone tells you to push him out of his natural rhythms, just refuse. You need to develop his natural gaits and introduce balance, power, thrust and instant responses on a very light contact, not make him go like a maniac, flying along, grinding into the ground or pulling your arms out. If you feel that your horse or pony is actually going fast, he is probably going too fast. You might feel that he is sailing along without any real power from the hindquarters. He might be leaning forward and down and taking you with him, he might be getting excited or spooky, you might feel that you don’t have much control even in trot, bearing in mind that this phenomenon occurs mostly in trot and canter (which can easily escalate into a gallop), or you might feel that he is stiff (tense) and

awkward and altogether not a very enjoyable ride. FIRST SLOW YOUR HORSE What you need to do is slow him down to a speed a bit slower than his natural one. Do this by giving him a slow-down signal from both reins evenly, light at first but increasing within three seconds to a firmer one and do not stop the signal (release the contact) till he slows down. If he does not respond, gently vibrate the reins whilst keeping the contact. If you use the pull/release method often recommended, every time you release before he has slowed you are rewarding him (by removing the pressure) for not slowing down. Your horse becomes confused, you become frustrated and you’re getting nowhere. This method is one of the principles of Equitation Science and equine learning theory. If you get only a slight but noticeable slowing, especially with a horse who habitually goes too fast, at least you’ve got a significant response, so release the contact to reinforce (‘reward’) his response, then repeat after three seconds to get more slowing, until he is how you want him. Other methods of slowing, of course, are to put your horse on an everdecreasing circle, to slow your rise if you’re in rising trot, to sit to the trot and slow your seat movements, to bring your bodyweight slightly back as well and to use any word he understands to mean slow down, most people using ‘whoa’ or ‘easy’. With a horse who has habitually gone too fast for some time (weeks, months, years), in order for him to learn for the future and for a better pace to become a habit with him, you must release (stop) the slow signal the instant you get some definite slowing even if it’s not enough. After three or four seconds, ask for more and do not release the signal till he slows, then release it immediately. If he speeds up again, repeat at once, and so on. Be very careful not to give him a go-forward aid with your legs during this process, or at any time you are giving a bit aid, or you will confuse him completely. Keep your legs neutral. This technique may well be new to your horse so don’t chatter to him; leave him free to concentrate on one aid at a time, the physical aid to slow or stop. This is your security in times of trouble: his response to physical aids must become utterly reliable. Pretty soon, once he is obeying the physical aid well, other aids such as seat and voice can come in. If he understands a word for slowing say it, and only it, immediately before applying the aid so he will come to associate the two, and if he understands ‘good boy’ or whatever

50 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

you use, say it as you release. Your basis for achieving forwardness is a horse who is moving at a comfortable speed in a balanced way, which the above will achieve for you. Don’t worry about head and neck position: this WILL come naturally, as will real collection, if you work your horse correctly, in forwardness and balance with only a very light contact on his mouth. Exercises which build up the right muscles and increase strength when done correctly are transitions between gaits, lengthening and shortening of stride in all gaits, hill work, work over ground-poles and shoulder-in. You yourself need to have an independent, balanced seat, which I have recently covered in Equi-Ads, so that you do not interfere with or worry your horse and can give correct aids from a still, stable base. A BIT OF EQUINE LEARNING THEORY The same principle of applying a signal without let-up until you get the right response, then instantly releasing it, tells the horse that the action he has just done is the way to get rid of that particular pressure or irritation. This is called ‘negative reinforcement’ and is used in the mathematical sense of subtracting or taking something away (pressure in the case of aids), not in the meaning of negative being bad. So - you apply your signal/aid, whether it is to slow down, turn, go faster or whatever, you increase and maintain the pressure till the horse responds correctly, then you instantly release to reinforce the response. The very next time you apply that same aid, the response will occur a bit quicker and lighter which is exactly what you want as an ethically-minded rider. If you release every time the instant the horse responds correctly you’ll soon end up with a light, responsive horse who becomes calm and confident because he knows where he stands. He will be forward. This, of course, places a massive onus on you to be meticulously consistent or you will surely confuse your horse and you’ll soon be back where you started. SUSAN McBANE has an HNC in Equine Science and Management and is an Associate (practitioner) Member of the International Society for Equitation Science, plus holding the Classical Riding Club Gold Award. She is the author of 44 horse books, co-publisher of Tracking-up and founder of the Equine Behaviour Forum. She teaches in Lancashire and neighbouring counties and can be reached on 01254 705487 or Her website address is


March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 51

Insurance - Pilates - Holidays

Pilates for Equestrians The third extract in our series by Liza Randall Your Pilates Aids Zip-up Just as you would use a sequence of aids when asking your horse to half-halt to ensure the best engagement, lift and balance him to set him up for the next movement, so in Pilates you need to implement the following two aids to

Relaxed horse, relaxed rider

52 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

stabilise your core before you move. The first aid is the lifting up of the pelvic floor. If you have been to a Pilates session or watched a Pilates DVD, you would have heard the instructor asking you to ‘zip-up’ your pelvic floor muscles, which to the uninitiated sounds like torture! If you are not sure how to engage or locate your pelvic

floor, let alone its muscles, think of what you would do to stop urinating in mid-flow. It is this feeling of drawing up inside that engages the pelvic floor muscles which are so essential for core stability. If you are still in the dark, then imagine how you would stop yourself from passing wind in a packed secretary’s tent, and it is this reaction you need to engage! Try drawing up this imaginary zip from the back passage through to the front! Very glamorous, but well-worth the effort! Navel to Spine Some teachers use the instruction, ‘sinking your navel through to your spine’; others would say ‘hollow your tummy’ or ‘engage your abdominals’, ‘powerhouse’ or ‘core’. All basically mean to draw in your tummy muscles, as if you were pulling them through to your back. Picture your trunk and think of it as a mattress. The mattress button that fixes the front through to the back is your transversus abdominis muscle, which attaches to your lower ribs and down to your pelvis at the front of your body, passes through your middle and attaches to your spine, back of your ribs and pelvis in your lower back. This muscle creates a corset of strength around your middle and is the muscle we are going to recruit to help build your core stability. Collective of Both Aids In this series, the collective of both the above aids will be the instruction to

‘stabilise’, which will mean to draw up your pelvic floor and then engage your deep abdominals. Core Stability You know yourself that if you are lungeing a fresh horse who suddenly takes fright, unless you can quickly and effectively ground yourself you will be caught off balance, which, at best, can lead to a pulled muscle, or at worst you can be dragged across the arena. This is because, while it is easy to depend on the big moving muscles for brute strength, the secret of strength is actually in the recruitment of the smaller, deep, stabilising muscles of the torso to act quickly and protect the body. When mounted, having control through your body will help you to influence your horse in a subtle way. With control of your core you can go up and down the ‘gears’, change gait, shorten and

Clinics - Pilates lengthen strides, encourage your mount forward and check, all with slight movements – or ‘engaging’ of – your deep core muscles. There are three main areas of the body where a rider needs to be flexible but strong, stable yet mobile – these are the pelvis, lower back (lumbar spine) and upper body, including the thoracic spine and shoulders. These are the three core areas this series will concentrate on with regard to building stability through Pilates exercises. Pelvic Stability In a rider, the tell-tale sign of pelvic instability is the inability to keep the torso stable when the horse is moving, so the rider’s legs and arms move uncontrollably. As a rider you need to be able to keep you pelvis stable and level whilst the legs either stay still on the horse’s sides, or you move them independently of one another in a controlled manner when giving your aids. To do this successfully, you need to engage the pelvic floor muscles – which accounts for the lifting or the ‘zip’ command, and also to engage the transversus abdominis muscle, which, as mentioned earlier, is essentially the main muscle which, along with several other smaller muscles, connects your front to your back. But the main players in pelvic stability for a rider are the gluteus medius, a pair of deep muscles which are located one each side at your hips and which attach to the top of the femur at their base and around the lip of the hip bone. Lumbar Spine Stability Think of your spine as a stack of building bricks, placed one on top of another from your pelvis to your head. To keep the lumbar spine stable whilst you move, once you are in neutral with

all your natural curves in your lower back (not pressed or flattened into the mat) you need to lift up your pelvic floor muscles and engage your muscles from your navel through to your spine. Neutral Pelvis and Neutral Spine When working through Pilates exercises, it is essential to ensure that you are working from a neutral pelvis and neutral spine position. A neutral pelvis is one where you are neither tipped forward nor back, or more to one side than the other – rather your body rests ‘naturally’ in the middle. Shoulder (Scapular) Stability As a rider, the stability of your upper body is key to your balance and harmony in the saddle. One of the most valuable Pilates sequences learnt by riders is the ability to relax the shoulder-blades down the back and thus stabilise the shoulder girdle, something which, following practice of various Pilates exercises, soon becomes second nature, not only when on a horse but during everyday activity. If you can’t wait for the next instalment in Equi-Ads, Pilates for Equestrians, by Liza Randall is available from Kenilworth Press. Tel: 01939 261616. See Reader Offer. Copyright c 2010 Liza Randall Studio Photography by Simon Lusty; mounted and other photographs by the author and Karl Randall Line illustrations and cartoons by Diane Breeze Extract courtesy Kenilworth Press, an imprint of Quiller Publishing Ltd

Excitement in the air as Parelli celebration draws near AS well as an action-packed educational programme at this year’s Parelli Celebration those joining in the fun will also notice that Pat has a fine new figure after a major lifestyle change and a diet to match. Pat will be in fit form thanks to losing more than 40lbs on a homeopathic diet plan that he says has changed his life.

Said Pat: “I feel like a new man, I have lost a lot of weight and feel a hundred times better for it. I am now looking forward to flying to the UK for the Celebration, the atmosphere will be incredible, and it is a real high to be part of the event.” Have you got your tickets yet? There’s cont. on p.54

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 53

Field & Stable - Bedding cont. from p.53

not long left until one of the most mind blowing Parelli parties in the world. Held on April 9 and 10, at the LG Arena in Birmingham, the celebration will be two great days of fun, learning, laughter and thought provoking horsemanship. Pat Parelli, together with Linda and the Parelli instructors and students are all excited, getting ready to make their way to the UK to inspire and amaze with their natural horsemanship.

The key focus of the event will be ‘Horsenality’, and will essentially show the individual character of horses, how to recognise the four different Horsenality types, and whether or not they are on the cusp of two. See groups of horses of the same horsenality, it’s amazing how obvious it is when you put them together and get your hands on the ‘cheat sheet’, a helping hand to addressing specific behaviours.

Everything from Horsenality, to problem horses and developing relationships with horses will be covered over the two days. They will also be looking at Horsenality alongside ‘Humanality’ and what to do if your horse is your opposite! The 2011 Parelli Celebration will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and will provide a compelling two days not to be missed.

Don’t miss out! To book tickets visit www. or by phone 0844 581 0825 Ticket Prices / Member £89 Regular £119 / Child £59 Groups buy 10 tickets - £500 For further information contact the Parelli UK team on 0800 0234 813 or visit

Show jumper to dressage - First chapter Over the next few months Cora Roberts will be giving us an insight into her experience of converting a horse from the discipline of showjumping to dressage. Cora is a freelance instructor and lecturer. She has competed for many years in eventing, show jumping and dressage. FACT FILE The Horse - Zonetta Stable name ‘Olenska’ also known as ‘the Countess’ Dutch Warmblood, chestnut mare, no markings, 16’1”, born 2004 Zonetta has a show jumping pedigree through Nimmerdoor as well as Samber. Interestingly both grand sires have produced good movers suitable for dressage. Samber is the only coloured stallion to have been accepted into the KWPN register because of his excellent all round ability and his outstanding temperament. Setting the Scene

Do you remember the weather at the start of 2010? The several weeks of ice and snow when most arenas were frozen solid? My horse rather enjoyed the enforced rest but, being 18 and having experienced a few episodes of unsoundness during 2009, instead of restoring his previous loose way of going it left him stiff and unhappy when spring finally made riding possible again. After lengthy consultations with my vet and my trainer I decided to retire him. Although a source of great joy to him, it left me in limbo riding wise. At the same time, a problem with my left hip and shoulder (the result of two accidents a few years ago) made itself increasingly felt with stiffness and pain. Whenever I worked a horse through lateral exercises, especially half-pass, my left side protested with resistance and subsequent soreness. Not encouraging if I wanted to start another young horse on the road to dressage. The Quest Perhaps you have experienced the hapless position of looking for a horse when your coffers are very low yet in your mind there is a picture of some glamorous animal just waiting for you. If so you’ll know that this is utterly

54 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

unhelpful to keeping an open mind when trying out other horses. Since at that time the economic recession was biting deep I foolishly assumed the horse market would be ideal for buyers. Think again: yes, there were animals galore available, indeed I was offered quite a few for free but they all had one common denominator – they all proved unsuitable either for physical or temperament reasons. After six weeks of wasting time, petrol money and nerves (through suppressing urges of violence towards people presenting lame, sore, unfit, etc. animals) I contacted an old friend and ordered my budget dream horse. Jean Jackson of “Little London Horses” is based near Canterbury in East Kent. A horse dealer with over 60 years experience she and her business partner Peter Folwell have won a reputation for sourcing suitable horses

for every kind of rider for competition or simply leisure. Her horses have competed in the Hickstead Derby, completed Badminton, succeeded at County level showing and dressage. But most of her customers have more modest aspirations and time and again she has found lovely equine companions for them. In fact my retired old boy came through them as a youngster. With that in mind I phoned Jean Jackson around Easter. “Hello Jean, it’s Cora. I am looking for a horse to do a bit of dressage.” “Do you want something experienced or green? Any preference as to mare or gelding, height, colour, age? Do you want to be able to hack? Finally – boring but important – how much do you want to pay?” cont. on p.56

Field & Stable - Subscription

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 55

Transport - Field & Stable - Horsebox cont. from p.54

“I am easy about all of it. The money will decide.” She laughed when I disclosed my purse and said: “For that amount it will have to be a very green horse, it can’t be a ‘dressage’ horse and more than likely it’ll have to be an animal that was no good at jumping or eventing. Also it’ll take time possibly a few months before something suitable and affordable comes along.” There is a Chinese saying ‘everything comes to him who waits.’ Well at last in September I got a call from Jean about a mare she found who was very sweet natured, moved prettily and would hack on her own or in company. Not too big at 16”1’ as well as rather comfortable to sit she might do me. So off I trotted down the M20 to view this promising sounding horse. The trip proved worthwhile: I met a lovely looking Dutch Warmblood who stood quietly while I struggled on board (I was experiencing one of my less supple days), walked and trotted kindly and was not phased when my left leg asking for left canter lead got stuck but worked out what this

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strange rider wanted. What can I tell you? It was love at first sight. The mare was a failed show jumper. She competed in Foxhunter classes but occasionally would have a fence down in the jump off. A professional jumping yard does not spend time on such horses because financially and reputation wise they are not a viable proposition. Since this mare happened to be rather kind and relatively easy to deal with they were keen that she should go to a home where she would not be jumped into the ground and well treated. Hence she escaped being advertised, have lots of people try her and instead ended up with me. The Beginning of a beautiful Friendship? A Journey of Discovery On arrival at her new home the yet to be named mare (no way was she going to be called Zonetta – that’s practically Waynetta from Harry Enfield’s show) she was placed in the isolation box which meant that although she could see what’s happening on the yard, she has no eye contact with other horses. However, it has a small run in front allowing her a bit of turn out until she

was declared non-infectious. She proved easy and affectionate to handle until our first riding session. These days I need a mounting block which she considered to be extremely frightening. It needed a person to lead her up and then to steady her for me to mount. Not ideal but hey! on jumping yards riders are legged up while the horses move. I would have to teach her standing still. The second discovery was that riding an ex show jumper in a plain snaffle with no martingale, draw reins or any other type of gadget practically blew her mind. The concept of ‘forward’ was totally alien to her. She tippy toed like a teenager on 5 inch heels in all three gaits. The notion of ‘bend’ was completely beyond her and ‘halt’ was not part of her vocabulary. But show her a fence and she bounced sideways like a kangaroo on speed! As for hacking – it is true she would go on her own or in company but it was a matter of creeping carefully, ready to ping sideways at the drop of a hat or better still plant herself with eyes bulging. Most annoying was her head flinging and rein snatching which became more

frequent and violent with every session even during hacks. It was interesting, entertaining, challenging but – and this was a big but – would those tight paces ever amount to anything worthwhile? The answer came the day I loose schooled her in the indoor school. I don’t even remember why I chose to do this. Good thing I did though: she showed an amazing trot, her caprioles and handstands displayed her athleticism and her spins in canter indicated an ability to sit! I was elated and drove home on cloud nine. She would make a dressage horse in time. That’s when I knew for certain that she would stay. By the way, my husband surprisingly impressed by her looks suggested she would suit the name ‘Olenska’ because she reminded him of foreign aristocratic ladies. (I had no idea he moves in such circles.) Now the question arose what training strategy to adopt, who to train with and what goals would be achievable with a view to competing her. Our progress reports will appear during the course of this year – look out for them.

Field & Stable

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Page 59

Field & Stable International Enquiries Nicholson Machinery Ltd, 33 Common Lane, Southery, Downham Market, Norfolk PE38 0PB Tel: +44 1366 377444 Fax: +44 1366 377745 EMail:

SPRINGRIDE RUBBER SURFACES 25mm Clean Rubber Chippings for equestrian use.

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We produce ‘Excellent’ Arena surfaces including ‘Springride Shred’ Tel: 0845 602 1524 Fax: 01736 757 626 Email:

For the removal of droppings, dead grass, moss, stones and pieces of wood 4 acres per hour, the PC1800 fitted to a 35hp tractor will enhance the condition of your Paddock. For a brochure and video please telephone: Mervyn Trundle Tel/Fax 01366 388229 EMail: March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 57

Field & Stable - Insurance - Tack & Turnout

The Best Friend Bareback Pads This summer why not take the cool option and get closer to your horse with the Best Friend Bareback Pad. Bareback riding is a great way to improve your balance whilst increasing freedom of movement through your horses back. For the rider; the Best Friend Bareback Pad improves comfort, provides a barrier against dirt and grease, as well as an easy grab handle for confidence. For the horse; the Best Friend Bareback Pad is light and airy improving back comfort with additional wither protection. The Best Friend Bareback Pad is ideal for any horse including young horses being introduced to the saddle, horses recovering from injury and those horses whose backs are not shaped for traditional saddle fitting.

R.I.P. Libby

The Best Friend Bareback Pad and Comfort Plus Pad are available in a range of colours and sizes and comes complete with a matching girth for ultimate fit, grip and comfort. Girth adjusts to fit circumference of approximately 60” to 86” and 50” - 70” for pony size. The Bareback comes in a choice of Blue, Green, Red or Black at a retail price of £59.95 and The Comfort Plus come in Black or Navy at £65.95. Used by Britain’s Leading Mounted Police Officers. For more information contact Charlies Products on 0844 8094655

How do insurance companies value a horse? “My horse recently suffered from an accident that sadly resulted in him being put to sleep, I am trying to claim this through his insurance but the company are refusing to pay out the sum he was insured for despite me having competition records to prove his value. Can you explain to me where I stand with this and how insurance companies value a horse?” Kathy Tansey at Shearwater Insurance answers this question: The majority of horse insurance policies are sold on a Market Value basis which means that in the event of a horse dying they will pay out the sum insured or the market value whichever is the lesser amount.  A good insurance broker will try to ensure that you value your horse realistically at the start of your policy in an effort to avoid this situation arising. If you insure your horse at the time of purchase, or very soon after it, an insurer will accept the price you paid as the horse’s realistic market value.  We often have people ask us if they can insure the horse for more than they paid as they “got a real bargain”, “bought him from a friend” or some other reason. However Insurers are not likely to accept this argument as if the horse were to die within the first few weeks of the policy the policyholder would be in profit and the idea of insurance is that it returns you to the same situation as you were in prior to the incident you are claiming for occurred.  If you have had the horse for several years and have not adjusted the value at each renewal you may find that the Insurer feels that the horse is not worth quite the same 58 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

amount as it was when you first bought it and may wish to adjust the payout accordingly. The Insurer will take several points in to consideration when making such an adjustment, the most common ones being injuries which have affected performance or just lack of a consistent performance record. If Insurers were going to dispute the value they would normally consult with a dealer who was a specialist in the type of horse they were valuing.  If you do not agree with the arguments given for reducing your horse’s value you would be at liberty to get your own valuation from an independent dealer and challenge this with the insurer.  Finally if you do reach agreement with your insurer over a reduced value for your horse in most instances you will be entitled to a refund of the part of the premium you had to pay for insuring the horse for the higher amount. For further information tel: 01992 718666, or visit:

Field & Stable

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 59

Insurance - Tack & Turnout

Focus on Cheeks In the February issue of Equi-Ads I had discussed some differences in mouthpieces from the traditional single joint and French link through to the more ergonomically designed lozenges and revolving barrels. Another important factor when choosing a suitable bit is the action of the cheeks. This month’s article puts the spotlight on the hanging cheek which is also known as the baucher. When fitting a fixed cheek of this type it is important to ensure a snug fit. Ideally, this needs to be snug enough so that no mouthpiece can be seen between the bit cheeks and the horse’s lips each side, but not too tight so that anything gets squashed. Some of the bit manufacturers offer designs in ¼ inch increments which ensures you get a good fit.

The Polite Way to Ride Coming Soon To A Retailer Near You Nicky Fletcher of Equisafety says: “Due to the runaway success of the Polite© waistcoat which was launched at HOYS 2010, and the demand from riders across the UK for other items in the same genre, I am delighted to announce that the new Polite© Spring/ Summer range will be on sale from the beginning of April.”

Further details of the products in the range will soon be available in the national and regional magazines. If you just can’t wait, why not place an order now on our website for delivery in April, or visit your local stockist (details on our website). Please be aware, that these products have been cleared by the police. Wear Equisafety’s technical, performance sportswear all year round whilst out on the roads - be seen, stay safe – wear equisafety. For further information contact: EQUISAFETY on +44 (0)151 678 7086

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The bridle cheekpieces attach to the top part of the hanging cheek with the reins on the lower part. When rein pressure is applied, there is a lever effect and the horse feels some pressure across the poll area. At the same time, the mouthpiece also lifts off the bars of the mouth. This type of cheek can be excellent in helping

to promote a rounder outline and diminish nose poking, however care must be taken when choosing the mouthpiece to enhance the overall effect. A hanging cheek which encourages rounding in conjunction with a single jointed mouthpiece which can encourage head raising can give the horse conflicting signals and will often be no help in producing the desired result. In the Neue Schule range there is the Tranz Baucher which is dressage legal and Myler have the dressage legal Comfort barrel and Mullen barrel. Myler also have their popular Low Port mouthpiece on the hanging cheek (not dressage legal). Enter our March competition to have a chance of winning a free bit: write your horses name and bit size on our facebook wall All bits available to buy and hire at

Healthcare - News - Tack & Turnout

British Equestrian Federation announces new member bodies The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) has announced that two organisations will be joining the 16 independent equestrian member bodies that are already part of the BEF. The British Grooms Association (BGA) and The Showing Council will work closely with the BEF to co-ordinate policy on a wide range of issues.

Chair of the BEF Council, Jane Holderness-Roddam commented on the announcement; “I am delighted that these two organisations have joined us and look forward to working with them both closely in the future”.  

BEF Chairman, Keith Taylor commented; “To welcome two prestigious organisations, in the BGA and The Showing Council, into the BEF is wonderful for the equestrian industry. The knowledge and experience they both bring adds breadth and depth to the Federation, they are a very welcome addition”.

Isle of Axholme Country Store Visit the new Isle of Axholme Country Store at unit 5/6 Sandtoft Industrial Estate, Belton Doncaster, DN9 1PN. The store is situated next to Simms hill show field. Deciding what to feed your horse is a complicated matter. Not only do you have to take into account current condition, weight, temperament, workload and management

but you then have to choose from the numerous products on the market. The Dodson & Horrell range of horse feeds has supplements and herbal products that have been developed to help make this decision a little easier, by formulating products suitable for all feeding situations. High quality horse feeds range from, balancer, breeding, forage, herb and supplements, leisure, competition, racing, tailor made, veteran, weight &

condition and treats. We also provide gifts and accessories for you and your horse or pony. If you need any advice please feel free to call us on 01427 875959. Or why not pop in and see us at our store, opening times at the store Monday-Friday 8.30am 4.30pm Saturday 9am-12pm, so you can feed with confidence - Where Every Day Is A Sale Day Do you enjoy spending as many hours as possible with your horse or pony and struggle to find time to shop for clothing, saddlery and all the equipment you need for the new season ahead? If this sounds like you, log on to - one of the UK’s largest on line retailers. For the latest leisure wear, competition jackets, breeches

and jodhpurs, riding hats and footwear has it all. has everything required to enhance your riding experience whether you are a leisure rider or compete at the highest level across a range of disciplines. With more than 20 years experience, 365 day returns, excellent customer service, equestrian

knowledge and great prices what more could you want. The easy to navigate website and hundreds of fantastic offers help ensure you will have no problem looking for all those essential items to set you up for the spring and the competition season. Visit or call 07000 378378.

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 61

News - Tack & Turnout

62 - Equi-Ads - March 2011

Directory - Healthcare - What’s On

So-Kalm Plus Powder and Paste Directory Reduce Stress, promote calming and Improve Concentration. Horses can experience nervousness and tension before exercise or competition causing them to misbehave or ‘wash out’. So-Kalm Plus contains a premium grade Magnesium with L-Tryptophan, an essential amino acid associated with the production of serotonin, to calm and focus the horse, fed daily can aid concentration and willingness to work, but without removing the edge required for competition. Young horses also have a tendency to be highly strung and distracted, leading to training problems in the future. Feed young horses or horses in their first season So-Kalm Plus to enable them to relax and

ensure that their new experiences are good experiences. Feed So-Kalm Plus Powder daily for nervous, excitable and young horses. So-Kalm Plus Paste is a concentrated form of So-Kalm Plus for a more rapid effect. Administer 10 ml 1 ½ to 2 hours prior to competition or event or any situation where the horse may become difficult to handle.  Available in 908 gm powder for daily use (a one month supply at maintenance) RRP £35.99 or in an easy-to-administer 30 ml paste (3 x 10 ml servings) RRP £12.99. contact Telephone 01403 255809.

Elegance In The Saddle When it comes to looking good in the saddle AND producing results, rising dressage star Charlotte Dujardin has both, which is why Italian saddlery brand Equipe has snapped up the talented rider. The deal will see Charlotte training and competing in the Equipe collection of bridles, saddles and leather accessories and Simon Middleton MD of Zebra Products distributors of the brand in the UK says:

“We are delighted to have Charlotte in association with Equipe. We already have some great international riders on board from the UK including show jumpers Ben Maher. Laura Renwick & Charlotte Platt, so it’s great to be working with such an exciting name in the dressage world” Charlotte is equally enthused: “I am really looking forward to being an ambassador for such a great brand – their saddles allow me to sit in the perfect position

as well being comfortable for both horse and rider. The horses also go so well in them, which is a credit to their quality and design” For further Information: Zebra Products 01352 763350

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

Horse Transport South Central Hoofmove Horse Transport Theault horsebox 2x17.2hh. Very low ramp. Fully insured. Defra approved. Established 2001. Monty Roberts schooled driver. 24/7. enquiries@hoofmove. 0845 0620088 or 07958 701651

Horse Transport Services CET and Defra Qualified - Fully Insured 24 Hour Emergency Call Out Member of Equine Rescue Service - Vet Trips - Shows Lin Simpson T: 01327 341618 M: 07969 120342 linsimpson1@hotmail.


Property Abroad


Brittany & Normandy Cardyke Overseas Properties

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

Properties suitable for horses at a fraction of UK prices. Tel: 01775 630 008

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

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

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


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

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

March 2011 - Equi-Ads - 63

Insert Category What’s On

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

Thur 3rd Mar

Sun 13th Mar

Mon 21st Mar

Flat Work Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 833317

Colette’s Winter SJ Championship, Blue Barn Tel: 07949 096086

Jump Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 837581

Fri 4th Mar

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

Wed 23rd Mar

Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07967 676504

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

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

SJ, Avon RC, Tel: 01179 590266

Used Tack Sale, Hatch Beauchamp Village Hall Tel: 01823 442953

Sat 5th Mar Colette’s Dressage, Willow Farm, Faversham Tel: 07949 096086 Natural Horsemanship Clinic, Nr Lewes Tel: 01342 825453


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


Unaff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07951 121708

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

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

64 - Equi-Ads - June 2010

Sun 6th Mar Trailblazers, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640 SJ Damian Charles Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 01342 833317 Mon 7th Mar Jump Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 837581 Wed 9th Mar Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640 Thur 10th Mar Flat Work Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 833317 Fri 11th Mar Horse Sales, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07967 676504 Sat 12th Mar Pony Aff, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Unaff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07951 121708 Training, Jumpcross EC, Tel: 01780 782356 Dressage Comp, Adlington EC, Cheshire Tel: 07799252699

Unaff SJ, Blue Barn EC, Tel: 07748 707270 Open SJ, Thorney Island SC, Emsworth Mon 14th Mar Jump Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 837581 Wed 16th Mar Dressage, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640 Thur 17th Mar Flat Work Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 833317 Fri 18th Mar Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07967 676504 Sat 19th Mar Snr Int / Amet, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Unaff / Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07967 676504 Competition, Jumpcross EC, Tel: 01780 782356 Sun 20th Mar Trailblazers, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640 Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07967 676504 Dressage, Avon RC, Tel: 01179 590266 Table Top Tack Sale, Wickham Community Centre Tel: 01489 790982 Open SJ, Thorney Island SC, Emsworth Dressage Competition, WCRG, Romsey Tel: 01425 655922

Equine Tabletop Sale, Taunton Tel: 01823 442593 Thur 24th Mar Flat Work Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 833317 Fri 25th Mar Snr Progressive, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07967 676504 Sat 26th Mar Pony Aff, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Unaff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07951 121708 Sun 27th Mar Colette’s Indoor SJ, Willow Farm, Faversham Tel: 07949 096086 Snr Int / Amet, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640 Unaff Dressage Comp, Netherclay, Taunton Tel: 07710614139 Mon 28th Mar Jump Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 837581 Tues 29th Mar Unaff Dressage, Oldencraig EC Tel: 07951 121708 Wed 30th Mar Vicky Thomson Dressage Clinic, Oldencraig EC. Tel: 07774 211640 Thur 31st Mar Flat Work Clinic, Oldencraig EC Tel: 01342 833317

Equi-Ads March 2011  

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