Page 1

FREE July 2009

April 2010

The UK’s No.1 Equine Health, Management and Training Magazine Laminaze_148x210:Layout 1



Page 1

In this issue

Feed Laminaze – to help balance the spring diet for your “laminitis prone” horse or pony


Laminitis... New and novel ingredients for laminitics

Grass Sickness44 Sweet Itch

new advances, current thinking

Training the novice horse NAF Laminaze is a truely unique formula which provides all the nutritional support your horse needs to help balance the spring diet for your “laminitis prone” horse or pony.

Win with See competition on p16

Magnesium calmers explained




Equi-Style Summer fashion feature 33

For more information about Laminaze please turn the page For further information please contact your NAF Area manager or call the NAF Freephone Advice Line: 0800 373 106 Authorised by the British Equestrian Federation.

and more...

Healthcare - Tack & Turnout

How can Laminaze help your Laminitis prone horse or pony…

Contents ENGLAND & WALES Healthcare

1-2, 5-7


Tack & Turnout




3,6, 10-31

Holly Davis



4, 66, 70



What’s On

8, 71-72


10 – 23

Organic Food


Magnesium calmers explained



33 – 40

Horse behaviour


Grass sickness



45 - 48

Classical riding


Sweet itch


Field & Stable



53, 57, 59

Joni Bentley



55 - 60

Horses for sale



58 - 61







If your horse or pony is prone to Laminitis he needs all the help he can get. It’s important you feed and manage him appropriately. However, feed and management is not enough. Laminitis is a metabolic condition, therefore it responds well to nutritional support. So, invaluable help can be given by improving his daily diet with Laminaze, NAF’s market leading feed supplement. If your horse or pony is prone to Laminitis, the following steps will help you provide the best care you can for him this spring… Managing your laminitis prone horse or pony… • Monitor grazing, and limit access to lush grass. • Weight watch - ensure the ribs can be easily felt and check changes with a weigh tape once a fortnight. • Exercise regularly as fitness is important and will encourage healthy blood flow around the foot. Feeding your laminitis prone horse or pony… • Importantly, do not starve. • Feed a high fibre, low calorie diet. • Improve the diet with Laminaze. Feed Laminaze…

Laminaze is the only unique formula combining: • Live probiotic yeasts which work in synergy with prebiotics to help support the gut by encouraging “good bug” population. • Digestive absorbents to help prevent excessive gut acid escaping into the circulation. • Antioxidants to flush out the build up of the excess free radical toxins associated with the laminitis trigger. • MSM to support healthy soft tissue and keratin in the hoof. • Bio-available magnesium for efficient glucose metabolism, particularly for ‘Insulin Resistant’ individuals - often identified by a typically cresty neck. • Mint - an appetising herb to improve palatability. So, feeding Laminaze will give complete nutritional support to your horse or pony if he’s prone to Laminitis. Laminaze is available from your local NAF stockists. RRPs start from £21.95 for 600g (20 days supply), £38.45 for 1.2kg (40 days) and £66.95 for 2.4kg For details of your nearest stockist, or for further friendly advice please call the NAF Freephone Line: 0800 373 106 or email to speak to a qualified nutritionist

The most versatile Rug Bag you could imagine Imagine having an incontinent gelding, or a horse that gets great delight in rolling in all sorts, meaning that you have to have regular trips to the rug cleaners with extremely unpleasant smelling rugs.

Copy Deadline

really easy to carry, even with a heavy rug in it. The Smug Bag can not only be used for Smelly Rugs, but also for garden clippings, rugby gear, or a simple boot liner for transporting wet and muddy dogs around in the car, or perhaps even a picnic sheet.

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

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

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

Slipping the rug off the horse without getting too dirty is the easy bit, getting it ready to transport was not, that was of course until the SMUG Bag came along. The Smug Bag is a waterproof lined, double zipped bag that opens out flat to allow you to drop your smelly rug onto it so that you can zip it up without getting all dirty and smelly yourself.  There are sturdy handles that easily slip over your shoulder making it

SMUG Bags are currently running a promotion for a limited time offering the SMUG Bag for £15.99 including postage. Normal RRP £19.99 plus p&p.  Tel: 01738 622034 April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 1

Healthcare - Tack & Turnout

Laminitis? Metabolic Syndrome? Have you ever wondered….. As a young girl (in the 1960’s) I knew many ponies but I never experienced laminitis. Most owners aged over 45 agree – once a relative rarity it now appears to be a common problem. Metabolic syndrome? Never heard of it before. Modern nutritionists say today’s horses are fed too much and not exercised enough, but I don’t remember feeding my horses any less and exercising them any more. Our ex-eventer who recently developed metabolic syndrome/laminitis has never been obese or lazy in his life.

So here’s some thoughts of what has changed over the last half century. Pre 1950’s ‘organic’ farming was the norm. In contrast the agrochemical global market is now estimated at $119 billion. There are approximately 75,000 industrial chemicals registered in commercial use today, with 80% of total fertiliser ever used, used in the last 20 years. Horses grazed traditional meadows with a variety of herbs and grasses, not sterile herbicide and pesticide sprayed and topped ‘lawns’. Access is now lost

to old hedgerows (ripped out after the war) with chemical impregnated post and rail fencing or fields strip grazed in little corridors. Horses were fed oats, bran, hay chaff, fruit and vegetables. Now we buy processed feeds containing preservatives, mould inhibitors and waste by-products where pesticides and mycotoxins are concentrated compared to whole grains. Hay was cut once and late in the year. Now it is forced with artificial fertilisers, herbicides and sprayed with mould inhibitors. Recent research into

human metabolic conditions reveals interesting results. Many pesticides are endocrine disruptors that can play havoc with our metabolism. Studies are questioning whether certain chemicals are ‘environmental obesogens’ ie endocrine disruptors that affect fat cells and energy balance. What relevance has this to laminitis? What can you do? Find out more at

SNUGGY rework a classic for spring 2010 If you and your horse look forward to the arrival of spring with dread, then you are probably the owner of a sweet itch sufferer. Fortunately, Snuggy Hoods have a great product to help win the battle against the midges! Manufacturers of the original British Sweet Itch rug, Snuggy Hoods have taken this classic and reworked it for 2010 to meet customer requests: The SNUGGY HOODS SWEET ITCH BODY 2010, still incorporates a hood and rug set, offering built in ears, fly fringe, belly band, tail guard and tail flap and shoulder saver, however new aspects incorporate an

2 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

adjustable nose fastening – making it easier to fit, a water repellent fabric (still breathable and comfortable and offering total freedom of movement and shape retention) PLUS seamless internal hood lining (helps prevent mane rubs), both of which help ensure that your horse or pony remains itch free and comfortable all year round! As ever, because Snuggy Hoods appreciate that every sweet itch case is different, customers can also

buy additional extra protection with detachable leg and udder coverage and new for 2010, the company are also offering sheath covers for the boys! As well as offering unbeatable protection against midges and flies, the sets also help protect against sun bleaching and stains, making them a popular choice with non-sweet itch sufferers too and an absolute must have wardrobe item for top showing professionals including Lynn Russell and Lizzie Bryant.

Fully machine washable. Available in black, brown and beige. Hoods start at XXXS -XXL (miniature – heavy horse) and rugs start at: 3’6” - 7’6”. A heavier weight fabric is also available on request for ‘rug thugs’! Prices start at: £161.50 with hoods also available with optional heavy duty zip (£5.00) for easy dressing and Snuggy also offer a full alteration and repair service. Both the hood and rug can be bought individually. To Order - Tel: 01225 783 399

Holly Davis - News

Dog Attacks on Horses Dear Equi-Ads Having read the article that you published in the February 2010 issue of Equi-Ads about a horse being attacked by a pit bull type dog I felt compelled to write and let you know of a similar experience that I have had to encounter. I was happily hacking on Bridleway 13 in Hertfordshire and on Grange Lane, Letchmore Heath when my gelding was attacked. I also attempted to shake the dog off (a Staffordshire bull terrier), but to my disgust it kept up the chase which resulted in injuries that required 17

stitches. The people who witnessed the attack were extremely frightened and remarked on how the dog was “like a hyena intent on bringing down the horse”. One of the witnesses was so terrified that they jumped out of reach of the dog onto a 4ft high wall. Despite having witnesses, and my horse incurring injuries, the crown prosecution service elected not to pursue the case any further due to, A. It was not in the public interest B. No injury to a person had been caused and no “reasonable apprehension of doing so directly”

C. The defendant had taken reasonable steps in preventing the dogs release and was some distance from the location meaning that he was not in control of the dog at the time of the incident. It was therefore felt that there was no proceedings under section 3(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. I do hope that the Crown Prosecution Service in Hampshire have sufficient evidence from the witnesses to successfully prosecute the dog owner which was referred to in the article that you published in the February 2010 issue of Equi-Ads.

This type of experience is extremely frightening for both the horse and the rider, which can leave mental scarring which, may never be repaired. This is beyond the physical injuries that can be caused which, if serious enough can permanently leave a horse unfit for its intended use. My horse is now very frightened of dogs and I myself dread meeting dogs that are not on a lead when we are out on a hack. It seems unfair that both riders and their horses should be forced to fear dogs when they are out on a leisurely ride. Colleen Moore Hertfordshire

Holly Davis Column Sasha with Bee Bee has always been a forward going horse but there are times in the field where she trips a lot over her own feet as if she isn’t concentrating. Is this due to a lack of concentration or does she

have a physical problem? Bee, though forward going is a very grounded and chilled out ‘lady’. I use the term lady as thats what she is. Well mannered and polite mixed up with a lot of intelligence. The tripping you are

seeing in the field is nothing to worry about. This isn’t due to a physical problem more a case of lacking in concentration.

out of himself. Free schooling, mutual grooming and anything that helps get him thinking and that will increase the bond between you will all help.

When she is this relaxed in the field she doesn’t really think too much about what her legs are doing and how she picks them up. It’s not a problem to her so I really wouldn’t worry. She also comments that you have been riding her bareback lately. She has been very much enjoying this and has noticed how your balance has already improved.

Emma with Lofty

Rosemary with Sid I got Sid from a dealer about 3 years ago. He’s a lovely horse but very sad and just looks off into nowhere all the time. What has happened to him? Sid was badly abused in his younger years. He learnt that by trying to tell people when he was in pain or confused by them through his behaviour it didn’t work. To the point he quickly learnt not to show people when he had a problem as more often than not it resulted in physical abuse aimed towards him. To a large degree he has emotionally ‘switched off’. You may want to look into animal aromatics for him, especially Linden Blossom floral as this may well help him. It’s almost as if you need to find a way to bring him back

There isn’t really anything wrong with Lofty that I am aware of. I just really wanted to check how he has been feeling to make sure there is nothing underlying that is bothering him. As you suspect, Lofty is a pretty happy chap. A cheeky personality that also has a serious side. Firm morals and very honest and genuine. Any undesirable behaviour you may see from him in the future should be listened to. He is not the sort of horse to behave in a negative way without a firm and solid reason. He knows the difference in people that are riding him. The sort of horse that goes fast and fun for an adult but would quieten down completely if a child were put on his back. He understands schooling well and is eager to learn all sorts of new tricks. Basically anything that stimulates him mentally. He does have a balance issue on his left fore foot that you may want to have looked into. He is aware it is affecting his shoulder on that side. Not painful but by sorting the problem now you will avoid a bigger one later.

To contact Holly please call Aline on 01738 567700 or email 4 - Equi-Ads - April 2010


February 2010 - Equi-Ads - 5

Feeding - Healthcare

An approach to Sarcoids – Global Herbs New research from the University of Glasgow has confirmed that Sarcoids are non cancerous skin tumours caused by papilloma viruses. These types of viruses cause wart-type problems and are very difficult to get rid of. Experience at Global Herbs indicates that this virus may very well be spread by flies and fly bites. The University believe that in approximately five years time there should be a non toxic cream available to treat Sarcoids caused by papilloma viruses. However five years is a long time to wait if your horse is suffering

now. Stephen Ashdown MA MSc BVetMed MRCVS has trialled a natural alternative with very positive results. Stephen says “Having the confirmation that the sarcoids are in fact caused by papilloma viruses is really helpful. I speak to many owners whose horses are suffering from these sore lumps and in the majority of cases nutrition including a special natural herbal blend related to Sarc-Ex is very helpful. We also advise that a toxic flush be used throughout the treatment for maximum effect.” To date the most orthodox veterinary

treatment has consisted of burning out the affected part of the body. This can work but there is also a good chance of lumps returning. The best way through these difficulties is for your horse to improve its immune system. Modern veterinary approaches find this very difficult and often just normal feeding is not enough. In the wild horses can ‘superfeed’ by picking out all the best food – grass and herbs - over large areas. However domesticated horses are often restricted by their diet and unable to search out immune boosting herbs, leaving their immune system

weakened and natural reaction to tumours compromised. “When you find the missing link for your horse, body defences work more effectively and problems fade away. At Global Herbs we generally find that 2-6 months are enough to start to see big changes in a typical horse. To date we have had thousands of success stories from all around the country.” Stephen Ashdown. Global Herbs: 01243 773363

Press release H-trap, the new ‘pesticide free’ horse fly trap The H-trap is an innovative new product to help combat the severe nuisance caused to animals and humans by the painful bite of the horse fly. The H-trap has been cleverly designed to take advantage of the horse flies natural behaviour to lure them into the trap. The two key features of horse fly behaviour are that they find their victims by sight not smell and can only take off vertically. The H-trap uses a large black rubber ball to mimic the hindquarters of a horse and the horse fly lands on it

believing it to be the real thing, bite it but finds no blood to feed on. The horse fly then ‘takes off’, always vertically, and a cone shaped hood suspended over the ball channels them through the funnel shaped entrance at the base of a plastic cylinder of containing water. There is no upward exit from the cylinder and the horse fly drowns in the water. Details of the H-trap can also be viewed on For best results the H-trap should be

in position early in the season (April / May) and retained until September / October. The H-trap is supplied as a boxed kit, which includes a pump to inflate the rubber ball and a base post with an integrated soil auger to allow easy installation into paddocks. No additional specialist tools are required to install the product, which can also be easily attached to existing fence posts as an alternative to auguring into the soil. The H-trap is constructed from high quality corrosion resistant materials and is robust enough to operate in more exposed conditions. If it is taken down and stored carefully at the end of each season it should last for several years.

The H-trap was developed for outdoor use and should be positioned near to where horses, humans or other affected animals congregate. The H-trap is designed and manufactured by Alcochem Hygiene a Dutch company based in central Holland, where the product was successfully launched in 2008. Alcochem Hygiene is a Dutch manufacturing company operating in the global market with a growing range of mechanical and electronic hygiene and pest control products.

New - Lamigard XXXTREME Paste Act fast, for a sounder future Correct nutrition is vital for good health, correct bodily functions, repair and maintenance of tissue, as well as, fighting disease. If a horse is lacking in vital nutrients or anti-oxidants, the systems within the body are not working at full capacity and, therefore, will have a reduced ability to regain and maintain good health. Laminitis causes tremendous stress to the body, increasing its requirements for specific nutrients and anti-oxidants. Lamigard XXXTREME Paste will instantly provide powerful antioxidants to mop up harmful enzymes that settle in the feet, alongside much needed targeted nutrition to the horse or pony with laminitis to encourage health and support the body’s systems. The speed at which a laminitic attack is diagnosed and treated will inevitably influence the final outcome. Laminitis is a dangerous and distressing disease and signs of an attack should be

6 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

treated as a medical emergency. When laminitis occurs – Call the vet immediately. If possible get the horse into a stable with a deep clean bed - do not lead the horse around. Provide nutritional support - give Lamigard XXXTREME Paste. Good health can then be maintained with Lamigard Powder alongside a carefully managed routine and feeding regime.

Lamigard XXXTREME Paste is available in 60ml syringes. Five syringes provides a fourteen day course. RRP £31.30 per paste. Tel: 01403 255809

Snooperstar - What’s On

From the Horse’s Mouth – Ramblings of a Delinquent Twenty-Something... Party time again & Maurice The Destroyer Mum has been a bit more excitable than usual lately. I think it might be something to do with the longer days and the lighter evenings and the fact she keeps saying that summer is just around the corner. She forgets it was snowing only a few weeks ago. She has been enthusiastically collecting show schedules and plotting dates on the calendar when Maurice and I will be out to parties. She returned the other day from a shopping expedition with enough shampoo and show shine to last us for the next five years and began wielding her scissors and trimmers with a mad glint in her eye. Yup, show season is well and truly upon us. No sooner had she scraped off the mud, whipped off my beard and hacked off my feathers than I was bundled into the lorry on route to my first party of the year with Nice New Yard Owner and the Small Sparkly One. I sometimes think those two don’t take my parties very seriously as the Small Sparkly One seemed more intent in packing the lorry with cakes and sweets instead of my essential wardrobe items. I just can’t get the staff sometimes. Anyway, despite the chill in the air and the fact that I had to warm up outdoors, I worked in perfectly for Mum, who seemed pleased and more than slightly surprised at how well I was behaving, despite this being my first party since Blair months and months ago. She forgets that I am a professional who can adapt his hoof to any situation, quickly and with proficiency. When we were called forward for our class, I strode into the school, nodding

politely to the One Who Decides Who’s Best and my fellow competitors. I trotted and cantered at the places I was supposed to and even managed to do my best flicky-toed show-pony trot. And when the One Who Decides Who’s Best hopped on to ride me, I was every inch the perfect gentleman. She seemed very pleased with me and said I was lovely. Mum muttered under her breath to the Small Sparkly One that I was lulling everyone into a false sense of security. I chose to ignore that. The One Who Decides Who’s Best decided I was handsome and brilliant and gave me a lovely red rosette and Mum was very pleased with me and gave me a big hug while we waited to go back into the championship. Mum, the Small Sparkly One and Nice New Yard Owner occupied themselves with coffee and cakes whilst I stood chatting to a lovely young filly called Harmony who seemed to be awestruck by my greatness. After ages standing around in the cold, we were called forward for the championship and off I went to strut my stuff again. The One Who Decides Who’s Best studied us all very carefully before deciding I was the best and giving me the champion’s rosette. Mum was over the moon. Her happiness was short lived though as the following week we went hacking round the hills and Bounceypants came along to join in the fun. Mum isn’t a big fan of my alter ego Bounceypants and I don’t have the faintest idea why. I mean, he is lots of fun and is always the life and soul of the party. What’s not to love? Anyway, I love hacking round the hills.

There are lots of places to gallop and ditches to jump over. There are also lots of gates that Mum has to get off and open mainly because I refuse to stand still for her to open them while she is sitting on me, and getting back on again seems to be a problem for Mum too. She hops about on one foot while I impatiently spin around on the spot, urging her to hurry up. I don’t like to waste any valuable galloping time waiting for her while she faffs about. As soon as her bottom is in the saddle, that’s my cue to bound off at a flat out trot, regardless of whether she is ready or not. We bounded round the whole hack in record speed, quite an achievement considering there was still some snow around and Mum had insisted that I was not to gallop flat out over the ice. She can be such a spoil sport sometimes. I wish she would learn to trust me and appreciate that I am as quick and nimble as a gazelle. Not like Maurice. He is more like Bambi on ice at times. And talking of Maurice, he is back in the bad books with Mum again. Maurice has been identified as the phantom Snuggy Hood wrecker of our field. For the last two winters Mum has made me wear this ridiculous lycra hood thing that covers my whole face with only holes for my ears and eyes. It’s supposed to keep me warm and mud-free but I just find it irritating and itchy. In the past I have tried to rub it off on trees and my haynet but have only managed to tear it slightly, which Mum quickly mends. Then along came Maurice. He thought my Snuggy Hood was hilarious and insisted on pulling at it with his teeth.

At first I would snap at him to leave me alone, and then I realised I could use his mischief making to my advantage. After a couple of days encouragement and a bemused Mum who couldn’t understand my quickly disintegrating hood, Maurice finally ripped the whole thing to pieces, leaving me free to roll in mud and have a good itch. Unfortunately for Maurice, Mum witnessed the final act of destruction and screamed at him from across the field. Maurice was given a severe ticking off which sent him into his usual sulk. Astonishingly I was also given a ticking off for allowing Maurice to wreck my hood. My punishment? No new hood until next winter, with Mum saying that by that time surely Maurice would have grown out of his wanton destruction stage. I hung my head in mock disappointment and told her I would just have to live without it until then. But I have a feeling that the easily-lead Maurice will NOT have grown out of his demolition habit by next winter. Not if I can help it. Now I just need to work on persuading him to obliterate my purple lyrca all-inone suit and my fly-rug… Translated from horse-speak by Gayle Culross

Horsemanship Essentials with Kelly Marks – ‘The Delia Smith of Horsemanship’! Many of you have seen Kelly Marks in the popular ‘Horsemanship Essentials’ TV series. Others may have caught sight of Kelly featuring on ‘Countryfile’ gaining the trust of a nervous Exmoor filly foal causing her to accept her first halter. A horsewoman all her life winning championships in showjumping, racing and last year winner of the Pro-Am TREC championship at Royal Windsor, Kelly’s finding the greatest pleasure now in helping students understand the principles that have made her so successful with horses. Kelly is always at hand to help 8 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

her mentor Monty Roberts on his nationwide tours but this time she’ll take the main teaching role into places where ‘Intelligent Horsemanship’, her organisation, hasn’t reached before. “The trouble with Monty” laughs Kelly “is he’s so popular that we always have to go for enormous buildings with built in seating.” “My demonstrations are far more ‘intimate’ and it will be fun to visit these new places.“

the venue there is a reliable person to carry on helping the owner. As well as helping local owners I’ll bring a couple of my own horses to show the ‘this is one I did earlier’ as the cooks say. It’s very apt to use a cooking analogy – someone said to me once “You’re like the Delia Smith of horsemanship”. When I asked why, they said ‘Well you’re not sexy or exciting but it’s very easy to follow what you do!’”

“At every venue I’ll be joined by IH Recommended Associates who are former students, now qualified to help horses. This means that when I leave

Tel: 01488 71300


April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 9

Feeding - Laminitis

New and novel ingredients for the laminitic Hermione Perry MSc, Equine Development Manager for Brinicombe Equine Laminitis is described as a multifactorial disease as no single trigger is entirely responsible for causing the condition. Likewise, a simple solution does not exist as a combination of factors needs to be considered. Many researchers are studying the disease by looking at the anatomy, diet, grazing and metabolism of glucose and insulin and it is hoped that eventually their findings will slot together so that we have a better understanding of its aetiology, and can develop practical methods for its prevention. Laminitis is most commonly caused by incorrect diet, usually from excessive consumption of sugars and starch in either hard feed, or most commonly grass. It is triggered by a chain of events which start in the gut and lead to a metabolic dysfunction which reveals itself in the feet. As the cause is frequently dietary, and the horse’s digestive system is his first line of defence, it is possible to make adjustments to the horse’s feeding regime that will encourage a healthy gut and increase his chances of combating the condition more effectively. In this article we will look at some of the feed ingredients which are currently

10 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

being studied in the hope that they may be of benefit to laminitics. It must be appreciated that no herb or supplement is going to be a ‘magic bullet’ as laminitis is such a complex condition; but it is hoped that correct nutrition along with veterinary care, exercise and good management will go some way to improving the quality of life for our horses.

radicals. A recent study (Neville & Hollands 2004) showed that chronic laminitics may have three times the amount of free radical damage when compared to non-laminitic ponies, even when they had not shown signs of the disease for some 24 months. The body protects itself from free-radical damage with anti-oxidants that stabilise the free radicals so that they can no

Antioxidants: Antioxidants are molecules capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation reactions produce free radicals which start chain reactions that damage cells. Free radicals are produced naturally in the system as a result of everyday life such as exercise or aging, but when there is excessive production, the likelihood and severity of illness or disease will increase. When blood circulation is restricted, such as in the hooves during laminitis, the production of free radicals is thought to increase and this can cause significant damage both locally within the laminae and systemically. Trauma and inflammation which also occur during laminitis have also been implicated in the production of free

supplementary source of antioxidants in the diet of horses on restricted grazing, and particularly those who have suffered from laminitis who may have increased levels of circulating free radicals. Antioxidants for horses are often provided in the diet in the form of trace elements such as selenium, zinc & manganese, vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin E and plants with high levels of antioxidants (particularly the spices). Anti-oxidants are not a cure for laminitis but research recommends their inclusion in the diet. Magnesium

longer cause damage. Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body but during times of stress it may be necessary to supply an additional source in the diet. Horses and ponies suffering from chronic laminitis are often maintained on restricted grazing and a limited diet. However as fresh grass is the major source of antioxidants for horses this can have a counterproductive effect. It is therefore advisable to include a

Recent research has shown a link between insulin resistance and laminitis (equine metabolic syndrome). This appears to be most likely in certain breeds of horse, such as the native breeds which are genetically adapted to live off sparse vegetation. Domesticated natives are likely to be kept on pastures much richer than they were designed to eat, and are therefore more sensitive to the sugar content than other breeds. A combination of too little exercise and a diet high in soluble carbohydrates (grass sugars) can predispose a horse to insulin resistance, and a cresty neck with fat deposits over the rump and above the eyes cont. on p.12

Feeding - Laminitis

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 11

Feeding - Laminitis

cont. from p.10

may result. If the body loses its sensitivity to insulin, it will not be able to produce enough to trigger the transfer of glucose from the blood into the cells, resulting in starvation and damage of the cells. It has been suggested that the provision of additional magnesium in the diet may help manage the insulin resistant horse. Magnesium affects both insulin secretion and action and therefore plays an essential role in glucose balance. Low intracellular magnesium levels may result in impaired insulin function. In general, forage in the UK provides adequate magnesium, but grass analysis has shown a huge amount of variation between crops and seasons and it is well known that spring grass is often deficient. As magnesium competes with calcium for absorption sites in the gut, a high calcium diet will also reduce the amount of magnesium that can be absorbed. It is therefore good advice to ensure that the laminitic pony receives adequate levels of all vitamins and minerals, and importantly magnesium.


Live yeast

Like magnesium, cinnamon is also believed to help the cells to respond to insulin. A compound found in cinnamon known as MHCP (methylhydroxy chalcone polymer) is thought to inhibit enzymes that block the insulin response procedure. So far the only studies have been carried out on humans but research has shown that cinnamon can significantly reduce blood sugar levels in people with type-2 diabetes (a condition linked to equine metabolic syndrome of horses which is caused by insulin resistance). In the trial, 60 people with type-2 diabetes were given either cinnamon or a placebo. After 40 days those eating cinnamon showed reduced fasting levels of serum glucose by as much as 29% (Khan et al 2003). Extracts of cinnamon have also been shown to act as powerful antioxidants, which could lead to additional health benefits for the laminitic horse.

The trigger factors linking the gastrointestinal tract with the onset of laminitis are complicated and not known precisely. However, we do know that excess carbohydrate reaching the caecum in the form of starch or water soluble fructans will result in the fermentation of bacteria that produce lactic acid (lactobacilli and streptococci), and that this occurs at the onset of laminitis (Garner et al 1978) (Medina et al 2002). One theory links the increase in lactic acid (and therefore decrease in pH) with the death of the healthy bacteria resulting in the release of endotoxins into the blood stream. It is believed that these endotoxins may be responsible for the vasoconstriction of blood to the hooves. An alternative theory is that the production of amines as a result of fermentation may be to blame. As lactic acid is produced and the pH drops, the permeability of the caecal mucosa increases so that potentially damaging amines can be more freely absorbed.

The effect of live yeast (saccharomyces cerevisiae) on the equine digestive system has been thoroughly researched and with our understanding of lactic acid production and laminitis, live yeast should be recommended for its positive effects on digestive balance. When live yeast is fed, the effect of excess starch consumption and acidosis on the microflora of the gut will be reduced, therefore helping to keep the gut stable. (Moore & Newman 1994) Without yeast, a high starch diet could lead to four times more lactic acid in the caecum than a high fibre diet. The same diet with yeast showed almost normal pH values in the hind gut (Medina et al 2002). With this understanding of the link between digestive stability and laminitis, live yeast could be recommended for its positive effects on digestive balance. Live yeast reduces the build up of lactic acid by helping to consume the excess glucose in the gut, and it will also help to mop up oxygen which is toxic to the beneficial microflora.

cont. on p.14

12 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

Paddock Management Update

September April 2010 2009 - Equi-Ads - 13

Feeding - Laminitis

Feeding laminitic horses and ponies Throughout the spring and summer month’s, susceptible horses and ponies may be prone to laminitis. TopSpec AntiLam and TopChop Lite provide a suitable diet for overweight horses and ponies at risk of laminitis and to support horse and pony owners the team at TopSpec has developed a great offer. Everyone buying a 20kg bag of TopSpec AntiLam will receive a free bag of TopChop Lite (worth £8.95) throughout April, May and June. TopSpec AntiLam provides highly effective nutritional support for horses and ponies prone to, being treated for, or recovering from laminitis. Most overweight ponies, and some overweight horses, are susceptible to laminitis. TopSpec AntiLam is a pelleted product, it looks like a balancer, is fed at the same rate as a balancer, but it is not a balancer. AntiLam is in fact a brilliant formulation combining several supplements with a high-fibre, very low-calorie carrier to make it palatable. Long-term trials at the TopSpec Middle Park Farm Laminitis Research Unit have shown that horses and ponies on restricted/poor grazing do not gain any

additional weight when fed TopSpec AntiLam. It can also be used very successfully as part of a calorie-controlled diet when weight loss is required. This unique multi-supplement is so palatable that it can be fed out of the hand to horses and ponies at pasture to provide vital nutritional support. TopSpec AntiLam should be fed on its own with forage. The forage can be in the form of late-cut hay, unmolassed chops such as TopChop Lite, or controlled grazing, or a combination of these, depending on the individual circumstances. TopChop Lite is an unmolassed, natural product made from alfalfa, oat straw, a light dressing of soya oil and real mint. It is ideal for good doers that need their weight controlling. TopChop Lite Features: • Made from high temperature dried British alfalfa and high quality chopped oat straw with added real mint to improve palatability. Very lightly dressed with soya oil so that alfalfa leaves can be included in the chop. • Contains no molasses or any other sugar coating. • Exceptionally low in sugar and starch (including fructans).

The Laminitis Trust stimulates laminitis research The Laminitis Trust has recently provided funding amounting to over £230,000 for ground breaking research into equine laminitis. In 2009 the Laminitis Trust received eleven grant applications. After peer review, two research groups were selected to receive funding, based on the scientific merit and clinical significance of their applications. During the next two years, Dr MenziesGow at the Royal Veterinary College, London, UK and Professor Pollitt at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia will conduct research which will increase our knowledge of laminitis and aid in prevention strategies. Robert Eustace FRCVS, Director of the Laminitis Trust writes; 14 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

“We are very grateful to all who have made legacies and donations to the Laminitis Trust. Additionally we recognise the efforts of those feed companies, whose responsible attitude to horse nutrition, has enabled the Laminitis Trust Feed Approval Mark to become the "gold standard". Lastly, without the support of their customers who buy Laminitis Trust Approved Feeds for their animals, the Trust would not have been able to provide these substantial research grants”. If you wish to help the Laminitis Trust in its fight against this crippling disease please visit www.laminitis. org or telephone 01249-890784 for further information.

• ‘Non-Heating.’ • The alfalfa provides a natural source of anti-oxidants. • Dust-extracted. • Contains no preservatives or artificial additives or colourings. • Non-GM formula.

TopSpec AntiLam £34.95 (20kg) TopChop Lite £8.95 (15kg) For free nutritional advice please contact the Multiple Award-Winning Helpline on (01845) 565030 or visit

TopChop Lite is of similar nutritional value to average quality hay but contains less sugar. The composition and consistency of this product make it ideal for horses and ponies prone to, being treated for, and recovering from laminitis. However it is suitable for all horses and ponies and perfect for gooddoers and others prone to weight gain.

LaminShield the lick Rockies’ LaminShield is a palatable mineralised lick which can be fed to horses and ponies prone to laminitis.

LaminShield is available in 5kg and 2kg blocks which retail at £25.60 and £11.46 respectively.

The lick contains five different types of bioavailable magnesium and three different types of Bioplex. The lick can be fed in an unrestricted way, is free from any molasses and is energy free- just like the other products in the Rockies range.

For more information, see www., email info@ or call 01606 595025.

Don’t let laminitis turn your life upside down! Every year the arrival of spring brings a huge amount of concern and confusion to horse owners across the country. Natives and good doers who are most prone to laminitis are particularly problematic to feed as providing adequate nutrition and fibre with limited calories is a difficult balance to find. However, as laminitis is often triggered by diet, likewise, the diet can be used to aid in its prevention. If you own a horse or pony prone to laminitis, Think Laminitix from Brinicombe Equine has been specifically designed to make your life easier. As well as providing essential vitamins and minerals and ingredients for healthy hooves, a blend of natural, nutritional aids work in synergy to stabilise the metabolism, digestive system and blood sugar levels in order to maintain circulation and soundness. There are two versions of Think Laminitix

available to suit your horse’s feeding regime. The palatable granular version should be chosen when you need results fast, and can be mixed with a suitable high fibre feed. The alternative low sugar, low molasses lick is ideal for horses and ponies not receiving any additional feed, and provides targeted nutrition in a free-access form for longterm support. For further information please contact Brinicombe Equine on tel: 08700 606206, or visit

Joni Bentley

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 15

Feeding - Laminitis

Laminitis Trust approved feeds from British Horse Feeds Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet from British Horse Feeds are both approved by the Laminitis Trust. This means the feeds are suitable for horses and ponies which are considered prone to laminitis, or are suffering from laminitis. Speedi-Beet from British Horse Feeds is a highly nutritious sugar beet feed. It is unmolassed 95% sugar free and provides an excellent source of digestible fibre. Due to its unique manufacturing process Speedi-Beet can be soaked and ready to use in 10 minutes. Quick, convenient and excellent value for money, Fibre-Beet from British Horse Feeds is formulated using all the benefits of Speedi-Beet incorporated with good quality Alfalfa, making it a great conditioning feed. This low sugar/ high fibre feed also contains added Biotin to help maintain hoof integrity. According to the Laminitis Trust, obesity and overeating, particularly of foods rich in carbohydrates, are the most common high risk factors leading to laminitis. Speedi-Beet is an ideal fibre source

16 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

for horses prone to the condition as it releases the required nutrients without generating large amounts of lactic acid. Including Speedi-Beet in the diet means owners can reduce the amount of hard feed and ‘risky’ forage sources. Both Speedi-Beet and Fibre-Beet are made from pure unmolassed sugar beet pulp and are excellent fibre providers. RRP is around £8.90 for Speedi-Beet and £9.90 for Fibre-Beet. For more information contact British Horse Feeds on 01765 680300 or visit

Joni Bentley

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 17

Feeding - Laminitis

Blue Chip’s expert tips for laminitis management 1. Manage your horse’s weight: - Keep your horse fit and slim. Laminitis has been linked to insulin resistance and by keeping your horse slim, the risk of insulin resistance is lowered. 2. Feed a low starch, low sugar diet: Nutritionally triggered laminitis can be due to excessive starch in the diet, or a high intake of fructan from grass. These simple sugars are highly fermentable in the hind gut of the horse and can cause high acid levels. 3. Feed a probiotic and prebiotic: Feed a balancer, such as Blue Chip LamiLight, that contains both a prebiotic and a probiotic. This is a simple, yet very effective way of maintaining good gut health and aiding the digestion of starch and fructan. 4. Avoid fructans: The level of fructan in grass can vary with the changing seasons. The spring and autumn growing seasons are when fructan is at its highest level. With our winters becoming milder and our summers becoming wetter, the growing season has become extended. Because of this, it is important to observe grass growth. Not only should you monitor the field that your horse is grazing, you should keep an eye on surrounding fields that are not grazed to get an idea of how fast the grass is growing and therefore how much your horse is eating.

5. Graze your horse at the safest periods during the growing season: Turn out late at night and bring in before mid-morning as this is when fructan levels tend to be at their lowest. Do not turn out on a frosty morning because as the temperature increases, so will the fructan content of the grass. Long mature grass can also contain high levels of fructan so graze your horses on shorter grass. Turn out on managed pasture but do not turn out on to recently cut grass as fructans are stored in the stem.

with a good quality balancer, such as Blue Chip Lami-Light, to ensure they receive the correct levels of vitamins and minerals.

6. Never starve your horse or pony to maintain their weight and always feed adequate fibre: Starving your horse can cause digestive upsets and lead to problems such as colic. To reduce sugar intake, feed good quality but low grade hay and fibre. You can soak hay to further reduce its fructan and calorie content.

Remember – not only natives are susceptible to laminitis. Laminitis can occur in any breed of horse or pony.

7. Avoid vitamin and mineral deficiencies: Make sure that your horse receives the optimum levels of vitamins and minerals on a daily basis to maintain health and wellbeing. Feeding a restricted diet can help to maintain your horse’s weight and reduce sugar and cereal intake. However, it is important to remember that by restricting the diet you will also reduce the intake of essential vitamins and minerals. Supplement your horses

8. Contact your vet and farrier: If you suspect your pony has laminitis, contact your vet immediately. Your vet can prescribe pain killers to make them more comfortable and can reduce the severity of the case if contacted promptly. Your farrier’s expertise will help promote the quickest possible recovery.

Blue Chip Lami-Light is a diet feed balancer specifically for overweight horses and ponies, good doers and those prone to laminitis. Extensively trialled and endorsed by vets and farriers, the recently enhanced formulation is very low starch, very low sugar, whole cereal free and right at the forefront of scientific innovation. Lami-Light is enriched with Sound Hoof, a complete hoof supplement blend of organic zinc, biotin, methionine, lysine and organic copper for healthier regeneration of hoof tissues and enhancement of hoof quality. Sound

Hoof also contains MSM, a source of sulphur essential for the formation of strong hoof wall. Ask your feed merchant for Blue Chip by name or if you’d like to receive news of great Blue Chip offers and more information about Blue Chip products, join the Blue Chip free newsletter by emailing your name and address details to You can also contact Blue Chip on 0114 266 6200 or visit

Support the laminae! Superior magnesium for laminitis Equimins’ Laminator is a high specification equine product designed to help support the laminae and hoof integrity. Laminator was created several years ago and was devised to help support the areas of the horse that can be compromised if they are prone to laminitis. It contains a bio-flavanoid called Hesperadin which works with Vitamin C to make the capillaries more elastic. This helps blood to flow to the laminar corum. In addition to this, Laminator contains a very bio available form of zinc to help strong keratin growth, Saccharomyces cervisae yeast to help the digestion of fibre in the hindgut, prebiotics to help keep the 18 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

gut healthy and a number of other elements and herbs to help make this product truly exceptional.

Laminator is available in powder or pellet form where the pellets have been formed using a cold process which means that none of the important elements are degraded. Laminator is available in 3kg tubs with the powder costing £41.50 and the pellets costing £43.50. For more information see www., email sales@ or call 01548 531770

Magnesium supplementation is recommended to help prevent and manage laminitis because it aids the insulin response thus helping to control blood sugar, is vital for the production of new cells needed to repair damaged laminae and is particularly crucial for cases of stress laminitis when depleted magnesium levels in the body results in the release of stress hormones which restrict blood flow to the hooves. Nupafeed MAH® Calmer contains only pharmaceutical grade magnesium. It has been scientifically developed to provide a far higher level of absorption which is the key to making it effective in overcoming problems of modern diet and stress levels. Nupafeed MAH® does not contain any herbs or L-Tryptophan and is in no way a sedative so it will not make quiet ponies lethargic. For more information contact us: Email: Tel: 01438 861 900


April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 19

Feeding - Laminitis

Total safety for sensitive laminae From Global Herb’s experience you can now be totally safe from any danger of grass induced laminitis. By supporting the digestion all your horse’s nightmares can be over.  Laminitis is caused in such a situation by inadequate digestion of food and sometimes in a domesticated environment your horse needs a helping hand.  Global Herb’s product is called simply ‘Laminitis Prone Supplement’.  This is a liver tonic type of product which helps all the digestive juices that your horse produces do their job

20 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

in a more excellent way. Of course at all times you need to be sensible and manage grazing carefully. For example be extremely careful with fertilized pasture and spring grass. In the same way that a  very strong immune system can protect the body from any disease so a great healthy digestive system can completely protect your horse against nutritional laminitis problems.  Digestive concerns probably make up 99% of all laminitis scenarios.

Laminitis Prone Supplement is now available in both liquid and powder forms. The powder form has been made more palatable and the liquid form remains delicious and highly effective with a slightly quicker action. For more information about Global Herbs’s approach to laminitis prone horses email them on laminitis@ or call on 01243 773363

Global Herbs has a very special information pack on these issues that you can ask for.

Feeding - Health Care

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 21

Feeding - Laminitis

Laminitis and ‘adolescent’ grass In the spring as the earth swings back towards the sun the days grow longer and levels of ultraviolet light in daylight increase. They become more energetic and when they reach a certain threshold they trigger not only rapid growth in grass but also a change in its complex protein/carbohydrate structure. This is adolescent grass, full of high food value growth factors and very rich. Coming at a time when the breeding/birthing cycle is getting into full swing, this rich grass is a boon to free ranging horses who do not usually suffer from laminitis. A horse is a natural athlete and is better health wise when free to exercise 24 hours a day rather than being cooped up in a stable 23 hours a day. But in order to adjust to this tame environment it's necessary to carefully regulate your horse’s feed. Strip grazing is a good way of limiting your horse’s intake of the very rich adolescent grass. However, it is as well to remember that a horse is a trickle feeder and needs to browse all the time if the acid levels in its stomach are to be kept in check. A horse naturally produces 1.5 litres of stomach acid every hour and if it's not eating to absorb this then it can become prone to ulcers. Going back now to laminitis:- when the richer grass enters the horse’s stomach, this rich food can cause laminitis. These days it's not just the seasonal adjustment to sunlight which causes laminitis; it is also the modern habit of feeding rich high energy foods containing high levels of sugar, grains and a whole range of additives that can also contribute to the problem. A thicker overloaded blood supply is the result of rich grass intake or very rich food, coupled with low levels of exercise. This blood supply has difficulty passing through and around the small capillaries that supply the hoof capsule. This can result in a build-up of (often anaerobic) toxins which cause these tissues to swell resulting in great pain for the horse. Traditionally, laminitis has been treated by farriers cutting a wedge shaped piece from the hoof which helps to reduce the pressure. Also, there are all sorts of

specialists (usually more alkaline) food supplements which work to treat this problem. Recently however a new approach has been developed. One which doesn't treat laminitis as such but instead aims to remove its root cause before the damage begins. This new approach, which has been tried and tested by mankind for over 4000 years, is to add a specially activated charcoal to your horse’s diet. This has had the effect of reducing the acid levels in the horse’s bloodstream and restoring its natural pH balance. This thins out the blood supply bringing it back to a natural healthy consistency, which whisks away the toxins in the hoof capsule. The result is a pain free happier horse much less likely to suffer from laminitis. Happy Tummy™ charcoal is produced by Fine Fettle Feed who can be contacted via their website or telephone 01600 712496.

Be safe and save money with SPILLERS HAPPY HOOF® Laminitis is a word we all dread to hear. This crippling disease can strike at any time of year and can affect any size or breed of horse or pony, although those that are overweight are usually at greater risk. Research is teaching us more and more about how laminitis is caused and why some horses and ponies are more susceptible than others but essentially grass remains a major culprit. Grass, especially when it begins to grow in the spring and is available in larger quantities can be extremely high in calories and sugar. Uncontrolled turnout on today’s lush, seeded pastures can be a very risky business because your horse is capable of eating double his appetite in just 24 hours in the field. That’s over three times the energy a horse in light work actually needs. This excess energy will be stored as fat and may cause your horse to become more prone to laminitis. Clare Barfoot RNutr and the research and development manager at SPILLERS® says: “In the same way that you wouldn’t let your children run free in a supermarket 24/7 and say “eat what you like; I’ll pick you up in a week!” you shouldn’t allow your horse to have free access to grass, especially if he or she is already overweight or prone to laminitis. “Work out how you can restrict grazing when the grass has begun to grow, perhaps by using electric fencing to strip graze, turning out into a bare area. Provide regular exercise to help your horse burn calories and keep fit. Take control of calories consumed by

22 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

K. Foster, PhD, FLS

providing a low calorie fibre diet instead of unlimited grass or hay of unknown analysis: this is the safe way to provide the bulk and vitamins and minerals your horse needs but without weight gain and the risk of laminitis.” SPILLERS HAPPY HOOF® is a specially blended, low calorie, short-chop forage which can be used as a complete feed as it contains all the vitamins and minerals your horse needs to stay in good health. It is designed to extend eating time and was the first complete chopped fibre feed to be approved by the Laminitis Trust. SPILLERS® are giving you the chance to save £2 on every bag of SPILLERS HAPPY HOOF®, from the middle of April while stocks last. Such great savings will help you to keep your horse and your bank balance in good shape this spring. Look out for the special flash packs in your local store. For friendly feeding advice on how to keep your horse or pony safe from laminitis please telephone the SPILLERS® Care-Line on 01908 226626 or send an email to careline@ For further information visit the SPILLERS® website at

Feeding - Health Care

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 23


Organic food (considered by some to be health food) Dr Derek Cuddeford, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh.

I rather like (probably because of my age) the following quotation from Robert Orben: “Older people shouldn't eat health food they need all the preservatives they can get”. Certainly, in the UK we are renowned for our addiction to dieting, healthy eating and so on. We have a preoccupation with food and health and this is manifest by the column inches in newspapers that are devoted to these issues; we suffer from food paranoia! But instead of settling for a middle way we tend to go for extremes as cannily observed by Lee Iacocca “We load up on oat bran in the morning so we'll live forever. Then we spend the rest of the day living like there's no tomorrow”.  In February 2010 it was announced that a new “Euro-leaf” logo will be compulsory for all pre-packaged organic food produced in any of the 27 member states from 1st July. But is the future bright for organic food? Duchy Originals the organic food firm created in 1990 by Prince Charles lost 3.3 million pounds in 2009. The reasons given for this massive loss is that demand for organic food has fallen by 25% and that there has been a sharp rise in ingredient costs. A cynic might say that the general public have realised that organic food is no better than ordinary food. However, organic

24 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

food is much more expensive. For example, supermarket organic chicken costs £6.39/kg compared to nonorganic at £3.64/kg. These eye-watering differences probably account for the fact that in the current recession, organic food sales fell by 14% during 2009 alone! But what about organic horse feed? The problem here is that there is a lack of organic ingredients that feed manufacturers can use and the ones that are available are not fibre-based so in practise, very few organic products are available for horses although there are one or two organic specialities that can be bought. For example, you can buy organic seaweed products to feed to your horse or, to fertilise your pastures but that is hardly the same thing as conventional horse feed. In order to produce organic horse feed you need a feed mill that is registered for the production of organic feeds so it cannot make anything else! The next major problem is to find organic products to use in your mill; the few that exist are hideously expensive so that if you can eventually produce organic horse feed nobody will be able to afford to buy it. The Soil Association (SA) campaigns for planet-friendly organic food and farming and notes that although horses may be kept on organic farms they do not have organic statusdo they mean we keep non-organic horses? They go on to say “The SA has created equine standards to protect the integrity of those farms where horses are kept but are not managed (does this mean the horse?) to full organic standards”. The SA also dictates that “Horses kept on organic land must be fed on a non-GM feed” but they do not

say they must be fed organic horse feed! Helpfully the SA lists feed mills that produce non-GM horse feed and not surprisingly all the major UK horse feed manufacturers comply. In fact, they all produce non-organic, nonGM horse feed. A producer listed as producing organic horse feed did not reply to my enquiry about their products and prices so it seems that one cannot really buy organic horse food in the UK. A detailed analysis of 50 years of scientific evidence showed that organic food was no healthier than conventionally farmed products. This work was funded by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), an organisation charged with looking after us in terms of food safety and related matters. The SA was vehement in its criticism of this analysis saying that there were health benefits that related to the absence of pesticides and other agrochemicals. This brought a wonderful response from the NHS doctor who wrote the very well received book “Bad Science”. He commented that the SA were “proposing that there are health benefits which cannot ever be measured. In this case you have faith, which is not a matter of evidence. Or, you are proposing that there are health benefits which could be measured, but have not been yet. In which case again, you have faith rather than evidence”. It seems an inescapable conclusion that the responsible use of chemicals in farming is not dangerous to human health. As farming has become industrialised since the last war gastric cancer rates in western countries have at least halved and this has been ascribed to improved diet; specifically, the increased consumption of fruit and vegetables. It is interesting that some horse food manufacturers produce organic poultry, pig, cattle, goat and sheep feeds although they do not produce any organic horse feed. One wonders if they produce these organic feeds to meet the demands of the affluent “goodlifers” that migrate to the countryside and develop into ”nimbys” (not in my back yard), the well-loved neighbours

of the local farmer, you know, the one who has noisy tractors and a liking for farmyard manure! These immigrants are the sort of people who can afford to make these lifestyle choices. Some “yummy mummies” believe that, if they go organic, their children will grow up healthier, stronger and more intelligent than their pesticide-residue eating contemporaries. Of course, we all want to do the best for our families and animals, but there is no real evidence that the organic route is the way to achieve this.Perhaps if we ever get into eating horses in a big way in the UK there will evolve a demand for feeding them organically but as our reject horses find their way onto the table of “Johnny Foreigner”, who cares? Four per cent of the EU agricultural area is organic and the largest market for organic products is Germany followed by the UK so we clearly believe in organic as a nation. But will our horses suffer from not being fed organically reared food materials? The answer has to be an emphatic no! The most important consideration for any horse or human in dietary terms is to be fed a well-balanced diet. Unfortunately a large proportion of the UK population seems incapable of achieving this goal because they are offered such a diverse range of foods and eating opportunities (fast food outlets for example), whereas horse owners are provided with carefully balanced diets specific for their horses needs by dedicated horse feed manufacturers. I suppose the only human equivalent of a horse diet would be “oven/microwave ready meals”. Everyone should attempt to improve the way we grow food, be it animal or plant, and also, to safeguard our environment. However, we must maintain an objective view based on science rather than emotion. The danger is that we can get “carried away” with our respective causes/beliefs and close the door to reason. Sir Robert Hutchinson so nicely put it, "Vegetarianism is harmless enough, though it is apt to fill a man with wind and self-righteousness" and the same might apply to organics or any other lifestyle choice.


April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 25


Magnesium calmers explained Jemma Noble, BSc (Hons) Equine Science, Nupafeed UK It is widely accepted that supplementing magnesium can be of great benefit to both the horse’s health and behaviour. As a result it is uncommon for a calmer not to contain magnesium, so why do they not all give the same result? Magnesium is vital in the body for a huge range of processes. Horses burn off magnesium in response to stress, be it from stabling, breaking, schooling, travelling, competition, a change of routine etc. The domesticated horse is exposed to extremely high levels of stress and it is therefore common for magnesium requirement to far exceed dietary intake. This can cause generally highly strung or sharp behaviour as well as more specific problems such as spooking, aggression, nervousness, bad travellers, box walking, weight loss and even head shaking. These problems result from changes in both the nervous and hormonal systems. Low magnesium levels mean that calcium is allowed to overload the muscle and nerve cells making the nerves overly sensitive. Hormonally, there is an increase in levels of stress hormones, notably of adrenaline and cortisol. Unfortunately the solution is not as simple as it may seem. Getting the required result from the magnesium you supplement very much depends on the type, quality and quantity used. Magnesium oxide for example, is a very cheap and readily available form of magnesium but unfortunately it is almost entirely insoluble so absorption is very poor. Magnesium sulphate and magnesium phosphate are examples of readily available salts that would be in the horses natural dietary intake. The problem with these forms is that the complex sulphate and phosphate groups limit absorption. As a horse in the wild would be grazing large quantities of rough grassland and continually roaming, their intake would be far greater. Modern feeding not only decreases the consumption of magnesium by limiting roaming, but also hinders absorption through feeding of competitive nutrients in rich feed and because it reduces the amount of time food spends in the gut. Supplementing compounds such as magnesium sulphate is therefore rarely effective as the absorption rate is too low to overcome the problems of modern feeding and the stress of domestication. Unfortunately, comparing the quantity of different magnesium compounds in various supplements is pointless because it comes down to how much is actually being absorbed rather than how much you are feeding. Also bear in mind that the food only stays in the small intestine (where magnesium absorption takes place) for a relatively short period. This means that each type of magnesium will have a different upper limit to the amount that can be absorbed from one feed. For example if you take two different magnesium compounds; magnesium-A and magnesium-B. If magnesium-A absorbs twice as well as magnesium-B it would be reasonable to assume that feeding twice as much of magnesium-B would achieve the same result but in reality all that would happen is that you would be increasing the amount that ends up in your horses bed without ever entering his circulation. What you would actually need to do is feed one amount of magnesium-B, allow time for complete absorption and then feed the same amount again a few hours later just to match one amount of magnesium-A. To get the best from the magnesium you supplement, look for a liquid that has been specifically developed. The compound of choice is undoubtedly magnesium aspartate

This graph demonstrates the absorption rates of different magnesium salts into animals intestinal tract, showing the efficiency of Magnesium Aspartate Hydrochloride (MAH). When other magnesium salts plateau, MAH is shown to continue absorbing. Please note that Magnesium Oxide is not included on this graph. Due to the insolubility of Magnesium Oxide, its absorption is too low to warrant inclusion. Classen HG et al. Comparative Experimental Study in Animals on Magnesium Absorption from the Gastro-Intestinal Tract in the Forms of Sulfate, Chloride, Aspartate and Aspartate-Hydrochloride. Arzneimittel-Forschung (Drug Research) 1973; 23: 267-271 hydrochloride which has been scientifically and independently (i.e. not from the manufacturers own in-house research) proven to provide a level of absorption which far exceeds that of magnesium aspartate and magnesium citrate as well as the more readily available forms (oxide, sulphate, phosphate and protein bound forms). The ultimate deciding factor is how much your horse needs because this varies greatly and comes down to the combination of the amount of stress your horse is cont. on p.28 exposed to and how well it naturally copes with that stress. If you

Hay Bar corners the European market Hay Bar was first introduced in the UK just over 6 years ago. It has now proved itself to be a quality product that is both used and recognised by the veterinary profession, top competition yards and those people who realise how very important it is to ‘feed as nature intended’. Hay Bar is now widely available in Europe with outlets in Germany, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, France and Slovenia. Park Feeders has recently welcomed Hooks Hastsport AB of Sweden to join their stockists and help supply the Scandinavian market. Sarl Endurabois Horse Stop of Ambonil are also a new outlet and will be making Hay Bar more available to the French equestrians. The endorsements we are receiving from our wide spread users only goes to prove the point that the Hay Bar system has firmly established itself as the safest, most economical and most practical way to ‘feed as nature intended’. Tel: 01723 882434

26 - Equi-Ads - April 2010


April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 27

Feeding cont. from p.26 are lucky enough to have a horse that is mostly laid back, you may well see an improvement with cheaper forms of magnesium. It is worth bearing in mind though that this may be a false economy; you could deliver the same amount of magnesium by feeding a lot less of a more effective compound.

To make matters more complicated, many calmers are not really magnesium calmers at all. Although they contain magnesium, it is often inadequate to make any real difference and if you see an improvement it is likely to be coming from an array of other ingredients, the more common of which are listed cont. on p.30 bellow:

A little help for fresh or problematic behaviour It is widely known that horses are vulnerable to magnesium deficiency, often resulting in stress related behavioural problems. The lifestyle and feeding of the domesticated horse means that magnesium intake is often well below requirements. The winter can be problematic; cold weather and being stabled increase magnesium requirements while limited grazing and wet soil limits availability. Then the new spring grass comes, which is rich in calcium, this also disrupts the magnesium balance in the body often causing ‘fresh’ behaviour. Nupafeed MAHŽ Calmer is a unique magnesium liquid, originally developed for human medicine, it is so effective because it provides levels of absorption far beyond that of regular forms of magnesium. This means that it is capable of overcoming the problems of modern diet and increased stress levels and will keep your horse settled by allowing normal nervous function and preventing the excessive release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. The result is a healthier, easier to manage horse without the need for sedative herbs or tryptophan which merely mask the underlying problem. For more information, advice or to order please contact us or go online: Tel: 01438 861 900 Email: info@

28 - Equi-Ads - April 2010


April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 29

Feeding cont. from p.28 Valerian – this is a known herbal sedative which will cause drowsiness. If you are looking for a mild sedative this will work but it should not be used if you need your horse to be alert and it is totally banned for competition use. Long-term use of valerian in humans can result in depression, stomach ache, anxiety and nightmares. Whether or not these effects exist in the horse is unknown.

L-Tryptophan – this is a form of the amino acid Tryptophan, supplementation increases the secretion of certain suppressive, good mood hormones such as seratonin thus producing a

mild sedative effect. There is no dietary reason to supplement L-Tryptophan as the horses diet already contains far higher levels of amino acids (protein) than is natural to them. L-Tryptophan is legal for competition use in England but must be contained within strict limits; it is a banned substance in many other countries. B-Vitamins – different vitamins have different mechanisms of action but generally, when given in excess they have a suppressive effect on the nervous system which results in calming. Again there should be no dietary need for these vitamins as the

horse’s needs are adequately met by dietary intake and by absorbing vitamins produced by bacteria in the hindgut, indeed B-Vitamins only have a calming effect when given in excess i.e. be aware that companies will play on the ‘we don’t eat enough vitamins’ concept that is so familiar to us. In addition to these there is an array of herbs which may be included, in most cases it is not really known exactly how they work or proven that they do work at all, but many people believe in them and they may well have the desired effect.

To conclude, if you are looking for a calmer consider what you want to achieve from giving it. If it is the magnesium you are after be aware of other contents because it is probable that you will think you have solved the problem when in actual fact you are merely masking it. The great thing about magnesium is that it works not by manipulating the bodies control mechanisms to create an artificial calm, but by returning your horse to normal function, thus helping to overcome the negative effect of modern feeding and domestication.


Neddy's Nibbles

Equimins’ Temperamental Liquid is a pure herbal multiblend liquid designed to help maintain a balanced hormonal system.

Since their launch just over a year ago Hickstead Horse Feeds ‘Neddy’s Nibbles’ have proven to be most popular amongst horse and pony owners alike. Neddy’s Nibbles are a delicious, healthy treat for horses and ponies. The high fibre, low sugar formulation and natural herb flavouring along with some essential vitamins and minerals makes them a perfect treat or reward. From May they will be available in a handy resealable foil pouch, great for keeping them fresh and tasty! Great value at just £4-5 for a 2kg pouch, does your neddy deserve a nibble?

Temperamental contains Chaste Tree Berry, Dandelion, Raspberry, Chamomile and Skullcap to help with equine hormones and nerves. Temperamental is supplied in 1 litre dispenser bottles which retail at £20.25. For more information see www.equimins. com, email or call 01548 531770

30 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

See us at Badminton Horse Trials in the World of the Horse marquee! Ingredients: Organic alfalfa, wheat, soya bean hulls, sugar beet pulp, molasses, vegetable oils, salt, vitamins and minerals. Nutrient specification: Fibre 19%; Oil 3%; Protein 10%; Ash 8% For more information contact Hickstead Horse Feeds 0845 716 5103


April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 31

Tack & Turnout

KM Elite Products launch new Merino lambskin saddlecloth range Leading UK and European equestrian product distributor KM Elite Products are delighted to announce the launch of their new Merino lambskin saddlecloth range. The high quality, versatile collection includes numnahs and saddlecloths both plain and lined in GP and dressage shape. They also have a new saddle pad that can be used in conjunction with a saddle cloth. International Dressage Rider and Trainer Andrew Gould will be the first sponsored rider to endorse this range and he has worked closely with KM Elite Products with the design process from a rider’s point of view. Lined with 100% medicated Merino lambskin these will be the most affordable yet highest quality product of its kind on the market. Lambskin encourages muscle relaxation and improved blood circulation whilst also wicking away sweat and keeping the horse cool during the summer and warm in the winter. They have also been designed to give the horse the ultimate in comfort with a front rolled high wither feature. All the saddlecloth and numnah range have a strengthened girth strap protection area and double adjustable velcro straps for ease of saddle fitting. For further information please visit or telephone 01403 759659

32 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 33

34 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 35

36 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 37

38 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 39

40 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

Horse Behaviour - Tack & Turnout


Susan McBane

THE FIVE FREEDOMS are standards originally devised for the well-being of farm animals. They have been extended to cover the welfare of all captive animals, including domestic animals and pets. This 5-part series discusses how they can be applied with best effect to horses and ponies. No. 5 – FREEDOM FROM FEAR AND DISTRESS –by ensuring conditions that avoid mental suffering for the animal The phrase ‘mental suffering’ is quite an emotive one and also one that can also cause confusion in some owners. It’s true that many people find it hard to recognise when a horse is not entirely happy and contented. If you have followed this series on The Five Freedoms from number 1, you’ll have a very good idea of what a horse needs to keep him happy and healthy and how to provide his needs. Not fulfilling any one of the previous four Freedoms can mean we are not fulfilling this final one so, to some extent, this final article in the series will briefly recap what has been discussed before, but also will give some ideas as to how to sense or feel when your horse is not ‘right’ and also how to tell from his demeanour, his posture and his behaviour when he is experiencing mental suffering. Horses are as individual as we are and a life situation which might make one unhappy, anxious or really distressed may be tolerable, if not ideal, for another. This is why we need to adapt anything we read to each individual horse if we are to get it right from his viewpoint – remember the old saying ‘each horse is an individual and must be treated as such’. Freedom 1 covered freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition. Horses evolved to have food available all the time and water within reasonable trekking distance. It is a very unnatural situation for wild or feral equids to go for even only a few hours without food and being hungry and/or thirsty will cause them mental suffering. Freedom 2 covered freedom from physical and thermal discomfort. Although having evolved in the open, horses and ponies do need to be able to get away from distressing environmental conditions. Extremes of weather at any time of year definitely call for shelter, preferably free-access shelter, for almost all individuals. Again, applying this to the individual is important. Insects definitely come under ‘environmental conditions’ and horses and ponies definitely experience considerable mental suffering when plagued by insects, from midges to horse flies and everything in between, with no man-made shelter available to escape them. Leafy trees provide shelter from sun but not from insects. Freedom 3 covered freedom from pain, injury and disease. They must be prevented as far as possible and treated promptly and effectively when they do occur. It is essential to budget for veterinary care when managing horses. Denying a horse veterinary care when in need is against the law. Pain and injury can also be caused by the way we ride and equip our horses. Overworking and overfacing horses distresses and frightens them. Uncomfortable tack such as restraining gadgets which force horses into specific postures and actions, badly fitting saddles and girths, over-tight nosebands, too-high and uncomfortable bits all cause physical and, therefore, mental suffering and, science now proves, fear as well. This also applies to harsh, uneducated, inappropriate and unsympathetic riding, driving and groundwork.

Freedom 4 covered the freedom to express most patterns of normal behaviour. Domestic stabled horses are at a particular disadvantage in this respect. Adequate freedom in congenial company is most important to horses, who are herd-animals, of course. I believe that horses should be stabled (a) only when strictly necessary and (b) when they are showing that they want to come in. A roomy, comfortable loose box, well-ventilated and at a comfortable temperature; deep, dry bedding; more or less constant supplies of suitable hay or haylage and fresh water; and friendly company within touching distance will keep most horses happy. Turnout should allow normal socialising and mutual grooming between horses (single turnout is not the best, for this reason) and behaviours such as rolling, with room to gallop and buck around. Having briefly revised the first four Freedoms, let’s look at how to recognise fear and distress in equines. Some people have a natural empathy for horses and ponies or animals in general, and know at once when an animal is not happy and certainly when it is frightened or distressed. Others who have been around horses for many years still are not really tuned in to them and genuinely still cannot tell when a horse is frightened and distressed. It has to be said that not all horses make these emotions obvious. I think I have mentioned in Equi-Ads before the experiment done with police horses to test which were nervous in challenging circumstances and which were actually calm but giving the impression of nervousness (nervousness being anxiety verging on fear). This was determined by using heart-rate monitors to check by how much the horses’ rates rose when faced with taxing situations. In particular, a horse everyone thought was bombproof and brave showed high rates yet walked through the ‘problem area’ steadily and reliably whereas one considered nervous and green had a near-normal heart-rate despite dancing about and snorting. Fear apart, many people blame a horse for being awkward, disobedient, stubborn or bloody-minded when in reality he is confused (usually due to poor training) and being subjected to bad riding or handling. When unwanted behaviour becomes a habit in the horse – and we all know how easily horses form habits – he may perform it readily for no reason apparent to us. Then he is well on the way to being branded a problem horse when he is only being a horse and defending himself against treatment he has learnt to associate with discomfort, pain or confusion. Most horses do not have the mental capacity to work out what an inconsistent, rough, undisciplined and unthinking rider or handler wants or means so they respond in their evolutionary, hard-wired way (see below). Such horses are experiencing a level of mental suffering. Results of confusion, anxiety and fear Any behaviour which is defensive or aggressive is almost always the result of confusion, anxiety or fear although habit can play a part. These include biting, kicking, striking out, rearing, bucking, shying, spooking, bolting or running off, napping, running backwards, head tossing, pulling or conversely going behind the bit, refusing or running out at jumps, also charging at us (usually when loose),

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 41

Horse Behaviour this you probably can. It is the people who don’t want it badly enough who will never manage it. Not everyone cares deeply about their horse. The first two requirements for developing this skill are firstly to learn to become mentally very relaxed and calm ‘on command’ and, secondly, to keep very still and gentle in your body. Horses respond well to quiet, calm, strong people. Don’t think about how much time you have or what else you have to do: do your very best to clear your mind of everything except the horse. Then just look softly at him, observe him with an open mind and heart and, if you touch him, let him sniff the back of your hand first then touch him on the shoulder with a gentle but confident stroke. Do not pat horses as short, sharp feelings mean ‘go away’ in horse language so you will be rejecting him – not at all what you want.

whizzing around too fast and failing to slow down or stop on the lunge and refusing to be caught. Milder behaviours which still come under the heading of defence against us or against discomfort or pain in the body and confusion or anxiety in the mind include going poorly under saddle which covers a multitude of ‘sins’, not leading well in hand, barging and crowding us, not responding promptly to aids, head-shyness, excessive mouthing or ‘champing’ of the bit, grinding the teeth, flapping the lower lip up and down and almost anything which most owners label ‘annoying’. When faced with what the horse sees as a problem – pain, discomfort, confusion or fear – some horses react strongly or even violently in self-defence. Others, depending on temperament, gradually sink into a dull, zombie-like state known as ‘learned helplessness’, having learned just that – they are helpless to improve their lot. Horses can often be improved by time and correct handling, training and management from more enlightened, thinking and horsewise owners and trainers. The emerging discipline of Equitation Science which applies scientifically-proven animal learning theory to horses details a technique known as ‘over-shadowing’ – as we might say, cancelling out – bad habits and unwanted behaviours: details of this can be found on the website of the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre at Physical signs to look for When a horse is confronted by 42 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

something frightening his first reactions are to face it and raise his head as far out of the way as possible. His ears will prick towards the object and his eyes widen, to pick up what sounds and sights he can of it. His nostrils will flare and he will breathe in and snort out fairly quickly to detect any smell. All these senses are used to help him identify the object. His body will usually stiffen up and he may tremble. He will try to spin away and run off or back up fast, and, if frightened enough, and certainly if he is panicking, will fight hard to do this and get away as his instincts demand. If in a restricted area such as a stable or small pen, he will back away to a preferred spot or run around the available space. Some horses will try to jump out. If you can feel a horse’s neck during this behaviour and it feels soft and normal he is almost certainly not genuinely very frightened but if it is hard and stiff and especially if he is trembling he truly is very scared. Note that a frightening object may not be something strange: it can be something very familiar in a different place from usual. It can also be something which has given him a problem in the past such as a jump, a vehicle, something of a certain colour, a person, an animal, litter blowing around, a rider or trainer carrying a whip, clippers and many other things.

than contented, happy ones. It is ver important that we look for and learn to notice these signs. The horse may actually look dull with sunken eyes, lack of interest in most things, signs of distress when approached or, conversely, sluggishness and unnatural quietness, moderate or little appetite and thirst. Of course, many horses with a genetic predisposition to stereotypical behaviours of various types start weaving, crib-biting, wind-sucking, box-walking, scraping their teeth on the outside of their doors, head twirling, tongue lolling, wood chewing, self-mutilation, head nodding, pacing fences, kicking doors and walls or any other kind of abnormal behaviour. Such behaviours can improve a little when the horse is kept more appropriately for his individual needs. Keeping horses alone, away from particular friends and denying them normal social contact can also cause them to feel insecurity amounting to anxiety, distress and fear. Many horses understandably react badly to lack of friends, freedom and exercise. Quite naturally, most suffer from being kept close to a horse they dislike or fear: this includes not only being stabled near such a horse but also to being loose with or near the ‘enemy’ in small turnout areas. Developing sensitivity

Less obvious signs that a horse is experiencing a level of mental suffering relate to his demeanour, appearance, general behaviour and reactions to his environment and circumstances and even to his health. Unhappy horses, like humans and other animals, have poorer health and immune systems

Have you ever been with someone who has just ‘got it’ where horses are concerned, who seems to be able to get inside their minds and understand them on their own level, and wondered how on earth they do it? The good news is that if you really want to be able to do

If the horse rejects your advances by holding himself away from you or actually moving away, just stand quietly away from him and keep watching and, if you will, sending out goodwill and kind feelings towards him. Keep your mind open and maybe enquiring after him. Remain open to any feelings or intuitive ideas which come to you and don’t automatically regard them as your imagination – it could be you’re getting it right. The more you do this whenever you are around horses the more you will be able to understand what is going on inside them. Eventually, you will not have to think about it, you will just know how any particular horse is. You might even find that horses seem to want to tell you how they feel. (Books that might interest you include The Horse Behaviour Handbook by Abigail Hogg, What Horses Say: how to hear, help and heal them by Anna Clemence Mews and Julie Dicker, The Horse’s Mind a classic by Lucy Rees and Hands-on Energy Therapy for horses and riders by Clare Wilde.) Susan McBane has been around horses and ponies all her life. She has an HNC in Equine Science and Management, holds the Classical Riding Club Gold Award and has written 50 books on horse care, behaviour and equitation. She can be contacted for lessons and clinics in Lancashire and surrounding counties on (01254) 705487 or horses@

YARD WANTED: Susan McBane seeks professional yard in Lancashire or surrounding counties. For details, see www. and click Yard Wanted. email her on horses@ or ring her on

(01254) 705487.

Tack & Turnout

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 43

Grass Sickness - Healthcare - Worming

Grass Sickness Diagnosis The biggest challenge for vets is the diagnosis of the disease. This is largely made on clinical signs alone but with not all of the clinical signs always present chronic cases may look like other forms of colic or weight loss. With no conclusive noninvasive tests available the only way to get a 98% accurate diagnosis is to surgically remove part of the small intestine for testing, (an option which requires the horses abdomen to be opened, therefore requiring a general anaesthetic, which has obvious financial implications). Treatment While many of us may have heard about Grass Sickness it is often not until we have had the experience of seeing a horse with the disease that we realise just how horrendous it is. Loch Leven Equine practice explains Equine Grass Sickness was first suspected in Angus, Scotland at the end of the 19th century. The disease soon spread, wiping out large numbers of the young working Clydesdales in the affected areas. Such was the concern that in 1918 a research team based in Aberdeen was established by the Highland and Agricultural Society to investigate the cause of grass sickness, which at the time was regarded as a serious threat to the working horse population in Scotland. In the 21st century grass sickness continues to kill horses of all breeds and it is recorded that approximately 1 in 200 horses die each year from the disease in some parts of the UK. Equine Grass Sickness is known to recur on previously affected premises and is more common in grazing horses aged between two and seven, with a peak at three to four years old. It is believed that some horses develop immunity to the disease, which would explain why it is more commonly seen in younger horses. Interestingly it has not been proven to occur in foals under six months old, which is believed to be associated with foals receiving milk containing antibodies from lactating mares. It is most prevalent in spring time, with a peaking of cases seen in May, although it can also be seen in autumn. Great Britain has the highest incidence of grass sickness in the world although the disease is also well recognised in Eastern and Northern Europe and has been reported in North America. There have been several cases in Ireland. Clinical signs Labelled into three categories, acute, subacute and chronic, it is only the chronic cases that stand any chance of survival. In acute cases owners will see a sudden onset of clinical signs, the major symptoms relating to a partial or complete paralysis of the digestive system which leads to signs of colic (including rolling, pawing at the ground and looking at the flanks), difficulty in swallowing and drooling of saliva. Foul smelling nasal discharge, paralysis of the upper eyelids, muscle fasciculation’s (tremors), sweating in patches and constipation may also be present. Colic signs can quickly progress to a very quiet toxic horse which stands dull and depressed – hence ‘sickness’. Subacute cases will often show the same clinical signs but less severe. In both cases the disease is fatal. Although still very serious the clinical signs for chronic Grass Sickness develop slower and are not as acute. Mild, intermittent colic, difficulty in swallowing and a subsequent loss of appetite results in rapid and severe weight loss. The horse may appear tucked up and be shifting their weight, suffer from general muscle weakness, increased heart rate and temperature, depression and sometimes have inflamed nasal passages with dry crusts present, known as Rhinitis Sicca.

Treatment of chronic cases is usually undertaken if the horse can be kept comfortable and can eat a small amount – although this is by no means a guarantee of recovery. Horses are closely monitored during this time – with the recovery period usually taking a matter of months and requiring hospital treatment. Getting them to eat is often the biggest challenge, so food should be made as palatable and be as high in energy as possible. Human interaction such as gentle grooming and toys to stimulate them, along with very short walks are also encouraged. Recovery is a long slow process with not all horses returning to previous form, although some do go on to make a full recovery and lead active lives. Reducing the risks It is still not proven what causes grass sickness and how to prevent it. There are thoughts that premises with previous reported Grass Sickness cases are at a higher risk, with young horses and the over-weight also deemed in the slightly higher risk category. Removing droppings by hand (as opposed to machine picking) and supplementing the horses intake of grass with hay/haylage is thought to slightly minimise the risk. Research Studies are ongoing with the Grass Sickness Research Team largely looking at the theory suggested by Tocher, a vet who carried out a study in the early 1920’s, which showed that Clostridium Botulinum was the cause. Recent work supports this theory but it still requires further investigation. The Animal Health Trust is therefore coordinating the development of the first nationwide surveillance scheme for Equine Grass Sickness, following funding from The Horse Trust in 2006. This is a joint project with the Equine Grass Sickness Fund, the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh and the University of Liverpool. The surveillance scheme will provide valuable information for a future Grass Sickness vaccine trial and will allow the benefits of vaccination to be rapidly and accurately assessed. The scheme will also allow the identification of high risk premises and allow the calculation of accurate sample size requirements for a vaccine trial against the bacterium. This could be crucial for prevention of the disease in the future.

Chronic case of EGS. Photo courtesy of the Equine Grass Sickness Fund

Owners with horses thought to have contracted Grass Sickness are encouraged to contact the Equine Grass Sickness Surveillance Scheme and fill in a short questionnaire, in order for the true welfare impact of Grass Sickness to be quantified. Please report all cases of Grass Sickness to www.equinegrasssickness. For more information on Grass Sickness, advice on nursing a horse with Grass Sickness, and to support the research go to

44 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

Health Care - Worming

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 45

Classical Riding - Healthcare - Worming

Judy and Jasper – A case study following their progress towards half-pass Anne Wilson

Last month Judy and Jasper learned the basics of travers. This month I will describe how they improved their travers, moving easily from shoulder-in to travers and back again. This paved the way nicely for the progression to half-pass.

In travers the horse should be bent equally from poll to tail and the exercise has the effect of helping the horse not only to strengthen and supple the joints of the hind legs, but encourages a lightening of the forehand and more weight to be carried on the haunches.

Over the months that followed Judy’s first attempts at travers, she progressed from just one or two strides (in walk of course) to three or four, until eventually they could easily perform travers, slowly and deliberately in walk, right down the long side.

When the greater angle of head to the wall is adopted, the horse’s body is straightened and there is much less lightening of the forehand and subsequent weighting of the haunches. For this reason the horse will often choose to adopt this greater angle in order to avoid the extra work of flexing the muscles of his whole body and taking more weight onto the haunches. This is very akin to the way the horse, in the early stages of training shoulder-in, will often adopt a greater angle from the track with his forehand – in order to straighten his body, take less weight behind, and merely leg-yield up the track.

Head to the Wall – instead of true Travers At first the angle of displacement of the quarters to the inside of the school was quite shallow, but gradually progressed to about 35 degrees. There were times when Jasper brought his quarters in much more than this, ending up in what is sometimes called ‘head to the wall’. This is a recognised exercise, requiring much crossing of the legs, but does not have the same advantages of the true travers, which consists of a lesser angle.

46 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

Back to Jasper – when Jasper brought his haunches in too far Judy learnt how to counteract this; not only by using slightly more outside leg behind the girth, but by keeping her upper body

firm and turning her shoulders to the correct angle, i.e. not allowing her head and shoulders to face the wall. At the same time she learnt that keeping a deepened inside leg at the girth, and giving gentle vibratory nudges with it, encourages the horse to remain bent in the required direction. All these intricacies take time to perfect, but as time progressed Jasper began to find the exercise easier, as his strength and flexibility improved. He learnt what was required and was happy to oblige since he was never asked for too much too soon. Once the exercise was confirmed and performed easily in walk, a few strides of trot were requested. This was built upon over the weeks, until travers could be performed half way down the long side in a steady (not fast) trot without any undue difficulty. Interspersing Shoulder-in and Travers As Judy became more used to both shoulder-in and travers, it was not too difficult for her to begin to change directly from one movement to the other. At first this was done in walk,

and when confirmed progression to trot was easy. The main thing for Judy to remember was her own body position. Since Jasper understood the movements well, he could easily discern when Judy changed her upper body position from say shoulder-in to travers, turning her head and shoulders from the waist to the appropriate angle. When Judy changed correctly, then so did Jasper. Of course sometimes, in the beginning, when turning from shoulder-in to travers, Judy would turn her shoulders too much or too cont. on p. 48 little. This is when

Health Care

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 47

Classical Riding - Healthcare - Worming Jasper would find it difficult to follow and things went wrong, but when her mistake was pointed out, it was not hard to put things right. It was pointed out how important it is, when changing from shoulder-in to travers, for the rider to lengthen the inside leg and bring it slightly forward. The horse will then follow the weight in that direction. Judy was amazed and thrilled at how Jasper would mirror her body posture. This opened a new door to the pair in their other school work, such as turns and circles. Everything became more harmonious, with less reliance on the reins and more on body aids. The first half-pass (right rein) Half-pass requires more collection and strength on the part of the horse. I therefore never like to rush into this exercise. It is always best to allow plenty of time to establish the foregoing

exercises which strengthen and supple the horse in preparation for it. We began in right half-pass since we had previously established that Jasper’s stronger hind leg was his left. In halfpass, as in travers, the driving leg is the outside one; so right rein half-pass would be slightly easier for him; with his left hind doing the most work. Here are my instructions to Judy when attempting her first half-pass. “You can ride half-pass from various different exercises, but here is what I suggest to begin with and we’ll see how Jasper responds. If he finds it too difficult, we can approach it from a different exercise; perhaps from travers. I suggest that you ride a small circle in the corner of the school (in walk of course), say on the right rein at the ‘H’ marker, just before the short side. After

completing the circle, ride a few strides of walk shoulder-in along the short side. On reaching the quarter line, or thereabouts (the quarter line is half way between the centre line and the edge of the school), turn your upper body towards the ‘A’ end of the school. Bring your inside (right) leg slightly forward (the inside leg is often taken very slightly back in shoulder-in). Lengthen this leg with a feeling of stepping into the stirrup. Your weight being taken slightly into the direction of the movement will help the horse to move that way. Your inside (right) hip should be slightly in advance of your left. Try to keep the inside bend by gentle vibratory actions of the inside leg, but make sure you support the horse with the outside rein. In a right half-pass the outside rein is the left. Your aim is to move forwards and sideways, with the forehand slightly in advance of the quarters; aiming to reach the track between about the ‘H’ and ‘E’ markers. The horse should be bent (equally from poll to tail) around your right leg, moving into the direction of the bend, i.e. to the right. There is a general rule that the forward movement should take precedence over the lateral one, so don’t lose the forward impulse. Your inside rein (right) invites the horse back to the track, whilst the outside one (left) maintains a gentle supportive or ‘holding’ feeling which instigates the sideways movement. Your outside leg (left) is already behind the girth, so keep it there as in travers, and gently encourage the horse sideways in a right hand direction. Be careful not to over-use this outside leg, or the horse will swing his quarters to the right and then not know where to go. You must encourage him forwards with the inside leg and ask for a sideways movement with the outside leg once he is in motion. In half-pass (as in leg-yield), the forehand should precede the quarters, by about half a stride. The art is in getting this precedence correct; if the forehand precedes too much, then you will merely walk in a straight line back to the track; if the quarters precede, the exercise will also be lost.” Some Problems Occurred Not surprisingly this fine balance of allowing the forehand to precede just enough, caused Judy a lot of frustration in the beginning. At first Judy used too much outside leg and Jasper swung his quarters too much to the right, and neither horse nor rider knew quite what to do from that position. The correct, and only, thing to do is to pat the horse (since he is confused and the mistake was not of his making) and ride quietly forward; then approach the exercise

48 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

Healthcare - Sweet itch

Half-pass right (Elizabeth Tate with Elliot: photo by Lesley Skipper from Anne's book 'Riding Revelations' again. Jasper was confused but did not become upset since he knew that Judy was not angry with him and he had, by this time, infinite faith in her kind feelings towards him. The other thing which Judy found hard to get right, was the correct use of the outside rein (in this case the left rein). Too little ‘holding’ with the outside rein caused Jasper to walk a straight line, losing his lateral steps. Too much ‘holding’ prevented the forehand from preceding. It was a matter of trial and error until she developed a good ‘feel’ for the movement and the effects of her aids. After several attempts, which swung from quarters leading to forehand leading too much, the pair found the correct angle and rode one or two strides of half-pass. I asked Judy to ride straight back to the track and not expect too much as this stage. After some weeks they were able to ride several strides of good half-pass. The only other problem which they encountered, was when Jasper’s quarters and forehand were in alignment. When the quarters or forehand were leading too much Judy

could feel it; but when they were aligned she could not, and Jasper was still able to step sideways in this position; albeit without enough forward movement. I explained how this is quite common in the early training of this exercise. In this position the full benefit of the exercise is lost, since there is less loading and driving required by the hind legs, as well as less lightening of the forehand with subsequent collection. In this position there is excessive crossing of both front and hind legs, which can look impressive to the inexperienced onlooker (even to some dressage judges), but it is incorrect. It is a way the horse finds of making it easier for himself. He is not being naughty or awkward, it is just natural for horses to take the easy way out. If not noticed by the rider this can become a habit, and the full benefit of the half-pass is not achieved. It is also another reason why half-pass should not be rushed, since slower, deliberate and correct footfalls are far more body-building than rushed incorrect ones. When all this was pointed out, Judy made a point of acquiring the ability to feel where the quarters were placed. It took time to gain this feel, but she and Jasper progressed slowly and carefully in walk, perfecting the movement, before it was ever practiced in trot. Jasper’s strength and ability to collect improved week by week, so that he was then less likely to seek the easy way out by straightening his body. This steady progression also meant that he was being strengthened and suppled rather than having his joints or tendons put under stress.

Stop that itch naturally with Ruggle-it! Ruggle-it vegetable oil and shampoo can be used all year round on at least 18 different common issues affecting your horse, including summer itching, feather and body mites, rubbing, scabs, minor wounds, fungus, hair loss, head lice, flies, midges and mud-related issues. The ultra mild, low-lather shampoo can help soothe the skin and rid your horse’s coat of mites and ticks, and unlike many of today’s shampoos, it doesn’t contain any tea tree or nasty chemicals that could further irritate your horse’s skin. Also, by adding tap water to the oil, it becomes a very effective and long lasting bug spray! Said Miss Nicol-Bose from Scotland: “My Exmoor pony, Fern, has beautiful skin since applying Ruggle-it” “In 2008 she was scaly and scabby and so itchy she was rubbing herself raw. Last year she had lovely supple skin and just the occasional itch!” For an impressively long list of testimonials, more information or to order the gentle and non-invasive Ruggle-it animal skin care, probiotics and joint care products in the Ruggles & Stopitall Ltd range, visit www. or call 01823 259952

Anne Wilson, Classical Riding Trainer and Author and co-publisher of quarterly equestrian magazine ‘Tracking-up’ – see advert – see also

‘SKRATCH’ TIME is now really ‘tasty’ Global Herbs itching product called Skratch is well known for its strong smell and even stronger action. Many horses eat this formula well but in 2010 the palatability has been very much improved.  By adding in components that horses really like we now have available a skin and itching product that is not only a joy for your horse to eat but also even more effective. There are very few nutritional approaches to itching that do the job that you want and need.  Skratch is extremely effective because of the sophisticated mix of tree extracts which are absorbed from the food when eaten.  These tree extracts have many different beneficial properties but in the summer and spring the most important one is to make the skin much more comfortable.  Skratch works very quickly - the same day fed and helps your horse tolerate all the flies and biting insects that make life so unpleasant at times.  The formula also helps to settle down the skin if it does get bitten and helps deepen coat colour and improves skin quality. To find out more about Skratch call Global Herbs on 01243 773363 and ask for a special information pack.  Alternatively email the advice team and look at the website on April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 49

Healthcare - Sweet itch

Sweet Itch: New Advances, Current Thinking Ben Sturgeon, BSc, BVMS, Cert EP, MRCVS "O brawling love! O loving hate!.. O heavy lightness! serious vanity! Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms! Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this." William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet What was old Willy on about? Academics would call this an oxymoron, or several of them, I would call it writing for the drunk/bored/playful. Sweet Itch is an oxymoron, nothing sweet about it, severe itching, hair loss, skin thickening and flaky dandruff. Exudative dermatitis, weeping sores, with a yellow crust of dried serum, sores with a secondary infection. The neck, withers, hips, ears and forehead, and in severe cases, the belly mid-line, the saddle area, the sides of the head, the sheath or udder and the legs. Your horse may swish its tail vigorously, roll frequently

and attempt to scratch on anything within reach. It may pace endlessly and seek excessive mutual grooming from field companions. When kept behind electric fencing with nothing to rub on, your horse may scratch out their mane with their hind feet and bite vigorously at their own tail, flanks and heels. You may see your horse drag itself along the ground to scratch its belly or sit like a dog and propel themselves round to scratch the top of their tail. There can be a marked change in temperament resulting in lethargy, or your horse may become agitated, impatient and lack concentration when ridden. Your horse will become very agitated when flying insects are around and may start head shaking. This sounds anything but sweet to me. Government organisation, business ethics, temporary tax increase, sweet itch - all oxymorons. So let’s call it by its proper name Summer Seasonal Recurrent Dermatitis (SSRD). It is a seasonal allergic skin condition caused by fly bites. The fly most commonly involved is the Culicoides pulicaris midge (the same parasite responsible for transmitting bluetongue) although to a lesser extent, members of the Black fly family

Simulium Equinum, and Sand Flies can be responsible. Each of these insects has a preferred feeding site, midges the body, Black fly the ears. The breeding sites of the Culicoides are commonly in wet soil or moist, decaying vegetation. Whereas Simulin prefer water sources such as slow moving streams or rivers. Virtually all breeds and types of ponies can be affected and about 5% of the UK horse population are thought to suffer. Sweet Itch is an allergic (delayed hypersensitivity) reaction and results from an over-vigorous response by the animal's immune system (the system releases antibody IgE followed by an overproduction of cytokines and histamine) to the invading insect saliva

(containing a harmless protein) and it instead inflames the skin and provides a real-life lesson in basic immunology. To actually understand why a bite from a fly results in some horses in a huge reaction and in others nothing, and importantly to consider ways to reduce its severity and hopefully prevent its onset, let’s review the key immunological facts. Most fundamental is this, when an adult animal is exposed to a foreign protein ("antigen"), it generally elicits an immune response that involves developing antibodies providing the animal with immunological protection. However, depending on the antigen and especially cont. on p.51 on the magnitude

Invisible insect protection from the inside out! Garlic has been used historically for a number of health benefits but is notorious in the equine world for its assistance in repelling insects. With this in mind Horslyx offer an easy and cost effective solution to feeding this beneficial ingredient whilst also balancing the deficiencies found in modern forage and grazing. The high sulphur compounds in garlic offer blood cleansing properties and cause the body to secrete an odour. This effectively means that garlic

50 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

produces an invisible barrier that deters flies from landing on the skin, reducing the irritation caused to horses and their owners!

the unique Horslyx high specification vitamin, mineral and trace element package to balance deficiencies in the diet and help promote overall health.

Garlic Horslyx is a fuss free, palatable and cost effective method of feeding horses garlic and provides all the benefits of the well known ingredient whilst adding minimal calories to the diet making it safe for good doers and laminitics.

The weatherproof tubs make Garlic Horslyx ideal for all year round feeding, particularly useful during the warmer months when hard feed is not always necessary and horses and ponies are kept out at grass.

In addition, Garlic Horslyx contains

Garlic Horslyx has an SRP of around £11.75 for a 5kg tub; £22.50 for 15kg

tub and £3.20 for healthy Mini Horslyx. For further information tel: (01697) 332 592 or visit brand new www.

Healthcare - Sweet itch cont. from p.50 of the initial and repeated doses, a very intense immunological response can ensue and create an allergic reaction.

Now, it would be disastrous if the developing immune system of a mammalian infant were to generate antibodies to molecules from its own body. So evolution has arranged that antigens which a neonate contacts before birth and for a while after birth are recognized as "self" and do not elicit an immune response. (When this fails, it is an "auto-immune disease".) Then for a while, until the neonate’s immune system is fully developed, invading antigens elicit only a mild response without the intensity for a true allergy. An example is chicken pox. Babies exposed to this virus in their first few months generally develop no reaction, and when later re-exposed, are refractory to the allergic response we call "chicken pox". Yet without an initial exposure (or

Protecting horses since 2005 If you are still struggling to find an effective solution for nuisance flies, now is the time to start treating your horse from within, by feeding Think Fly. Now with five years of customer feedback, Brinicombe Equine’s ground breaking formulation is exactly what you have been looking for. Since its launch in 2005, when Think Fly became an instant best-seller, it has become an internationally acclaimed formulation with customers as far away as Australia. The secret behind Brinicombe Equine’s success is the unique natural formula which combines fourteen specially selected herbs and spices. These ingredients work naturally through the body’s system to create an invisible shield-like effect all over the horse. What’s more, Think Fly has an appetising aroma and is extremely

palatable, even for fussy feeders. Think Fly is available in palatable granules to mix with feed, or as a low sugar mineral lick for feeding from the field. To request further information or a sample, contact Brinicombe Equine on Tel 08700 606206 or visit www.

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 51

Healthcare - Insurance - Sweet itch cont. from p.51 vaccination), later exposure almost certainly causes the more severe allergic reaction.

With this background, sweet itch begins to makes sense. Foals born in sweet itch areas get bitten by flies early in life, so generally do not develop an allergic reaction. Conversely, horses introduced into sweet itch areas will have had no such early protection and are then more prone to the severe form of the allergy. It is known then that frequent low doses of an antigen generally do not generate an allergic reaction, but rather elicit a protective immunity. This is the principle behind desensitization and the logic extends to Sweet Itch. That is why it has been suggested that new horses should be treated religiously with a bug spray that has been proven effective at reducing the number of bites from Culicoides. It would be important to spray every day that the horse might be exposed, so that the horse never receives a large number of bites until after its immune system has been desensitized, which should result from the limited number of bites the horse receives with the spray. A more scientific approach is currently under development at Bristol University where a potential cure is being explored. In principle, allergic horses could be cured by a course of injections similar to vaccinations

(hypo-sensitisation.) For this to be successful the proteins that cause the allergy must be available in sufficient purity and quantity. To obtain sufficient quantities of pure salivary gland proteins researchers have isolated the genes that code for the salivary proteins and have expressed them in cultured insect cells. This has provided a supply of midge salivary proteins. More than 20 potential allergens in the saliva have been identified and work is starting to manufacture these proteins using recombinant DNA techniques with the hope immunomodulation can be achieved by 'feeding' the midge proteins back to the horse so that its immune system responds to them as it would to a normal food and “turns off” the allergic response. But this is at an early stage of development. So what do we know of the dreaded midge that may help us? Culicoides adults mainly rest among herbage and are most active at dawn and dusk, in calm conditions. Breeding sites are commonly in wet soil or moist, decaying vegetation. They are tiny, (wing length less than 2 mm) and able to fly short distances (100 metres.) Male Culicoides are nectar feeders, but the females require a blood meal to mature their eggs. They do not fly in strong wind, heavy rain or bright, clear sunshine. They dislike hot, dry

conditions. However, as they are poor fliers, if there is too strong a wind, or rain during early morning they will simply wait until later to feed. Likewise they may feed at any time during humid days with cloud cover. Culicoides are present late March until the end of October, depending on geographical location. Seasonal variations in the weather can have an impact - recent mild, damp winters allow breeding to start earlier. Summers that are alternately sunny and rainy cause an increase in midge breeding habitats and therefore an increase in numbers. Under these conditions most horses will show symptoms of Sweet Itch to some degree. At present there is no cure for Sweet Itch. Once an animal develops the allergy it generally faces a 'lifesentence'. From what we know there are 6 prongs to management: 1. Avoid marshy, boggy fields. If possible move the horse to a more exposed, windy site, e.g. a bare hillside or a coastal site with onshore breezes. Ensure pasture is well drained and away from rotting vegetation (muck heaps, old hay-feeding areas, rotting leaves.) Stable at dusk and dawn, when midge feeding is at its peak, and close stable doors and windows (or use fine mesh). Large ceiling-mounted fans can help to create less favourable conditions. 2. Use an insect repellent. Some are effective against flies but their effectiveness against Culicoides is generally unproven. DEET (N,N-Diethylm-toluamide), is the active ingredient in many midge and mosquito repellents used by people. Research has shown higher concentrations of DEET in a repellent are more effective and longer-

lasting. 3. Use an insecticide. Some owners achieve good results whilst others find little benefit. Benzyl benzoate, originally used to treat itch-mites (scabies) in humans has been used for years to prevent Sweet Itch. It should be thoroughly worked into susceptible areas every day. However, it is a skin irritant and should not be used if the horse has hair loss and broken skin application should therefore start before symptoms develop. Other insecticides, including permethrin and related compounds, tend to be longer lasting but should also be used with care. 4. Coat the susceptible areas of the horse with an oil. Midges dislike contact with a film of oil and will tend to avoid it. Oils and other repellents that are effective usually work for a limited time. In summer a horse's short coat-hair does not retain the active ingredient for long and it can be lost through sweating or rain. Re-application two or three times every day may be necessary. Greases (usually based on mineral oils) stay on the coat longer, but are messy. They are effective if only a small area of the horse is to be covered. 5. Use a Boette blanket. The most effective Sweet Itch protection but does not preclude the need for other management actions. 6. Allow midge attack but try to minimise the resultant allergic reaction by depressing the immune system with corticosteroids (by injection or tablets) to bring temporary relief but there can be side effects, including laminitis, in some animals, or by considering hypo sensitisation techniques offered by some practises.

Sweet Equimins Equimins’ Itchless is a dual purpose product designed for use during biting midge season. Itchless has been designed to help combat itching at the same time as helping to promote healthy skin and coat. It uses extracts of Marigold, Dandelion, Nettle, Garlic and Seaweed to do this. The great thing about Itchless is that not only can you use it as a traditional feed supplement, the product can also be diluted and used as a body wash. Itchless is supplied in 1 litre bottles and retails at £19.25. Biting Midge Cream works well with Itchless but can also be used on its own.

52 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

The product contains Tea Tree Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Jojoba Oil and Chamomile Oil and has been created to help repel midges and flying insects at the same time as soothing skin. Biting Midge Cream is available in 350g and 1kg tubs. Prices start from £8.18. For more information see www., email sales@ or call 01548 531770

Riding Holidays

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 53

Joni Bentley

Putting fun and joy back into your riding by Joni Bentley When did riding become so serious and such hard work?

To develop your innate power, simply direct your focus to your inner sensations, letting relaxation and pleasure guide your choices.

I see many riders struggling with consistent problems that interfere with the fun and success of riding. Whether it’s physical issues such as wrong canter lead, behavioural issues such as not going forwards, or slipping-saddle problems, my students often come to me wondering if they’ve got the right horse – or even thinking it’s time to give up riding altogether! If you sometimes feel the same way, let me assure you that the answer to these problems is always simpler than you think – and certainly simpler than most expert recommendations. Like my students, you don’t need fancy equipment or expensive osteopathic or veterinary care. Chances are, you’re simply trying too hard. And trying too hard means trying to force things to happen. Does stretching make you more flexible? Last month, I described how your natural physical one-sidedness plus the daily stresses and traumas in your life make heavy demands on your body. And your body responds with a specific set of reflexes. As you try to force things to happen, those reflexes create habitual muscular contractions – contractions you can’t voluntarily relax. This causes stiffness and discomfort, as anyone who’s felt the soreness of tension in their shoulders and neck can attest.

When you use your body in the way it’s mechanically designed to work, it naturally starts to organise itself well. You become more flexible – and contrary to most people’s beliefs, you do this by relaxing your muscles, not by stretching them. Muscles fall into two basic groups called “agonists” and “antagonists.” (This doesn’t mean you have to be in agony or in conflict! It’s just the technical term for how muscles work with each other.)

Less force = more success AND more fun Slow down! Take the time to focus on what’s actually happening instead of on what you think should be happening. If you want to get to London, it helps to know if you’re starting out in Paris or New York. Your route – and your chances of arriving in the right place – will be significantly different. Likewise, if you want (for instance) to develop independent hands and a sensitive contact with your horse’s mouth, it helps to take the time to discover what your arms and shoulders are currently doing before trying to make changes. In other words, no matter whether it’s a trip to London or a journey to a more successful, less stressful riding experience, you have to know where you’re starting from. I personally guarantee you that you can discover what it means to work harmoniously with your horse. No matter what level you’re riding at, if you slow down, relax, and develop your ability to observe and feel what’s happening, your riding will improve. Specifically, you’ll find yourself: •

gaining balance and flexibility

increasing your ability to give light, clear aids

developing soft, long legs

experiencing soft, independent hands

riding without pain and without causing your horse pain.

absorbing your horse’s movement both laterally and longitudinally

having a graceful, elegant seat

and having a lot more fun, with a lot less effort.

The early beginnings of struggle

In school, we’re taught ideas of right and wrong and judged by external experts to whom we surrender our inner sense of adequacy and autonomy. Movement learned in this way is tainted by muscular contractions linked to shame, anxiety, and inadequacy. And then you innocently and unconsciously transfer this mindset – and body-set – to your horse. 54 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

In this illustration, the hamstrings (in red) act as the agonist muscle when the knee bends. The quadriceps (in green) are the antagonist. Stretching a muscle – especially when you hold the stretch for extended periods of time – sends a signal to the brain. The brain then fires up a counter-contraction in the antagonistic muscles to the ones being stretched. So the longer you hold the hamstring stretch, the tighter the quadricep becomes in reaction. Stretching becomes a battle between your muscles’ natural responses and your will – and ultimately restricts movement, robbing you of your inherent physical power. On the other hand, when you work in a body-friendly way with light, easy movements that tap into your nervous system’s inherent wisdom, the muscles stop contracting. They naturally become longer, you become more flexible, and you gain control and choice over your movements. To have a soft hand on the rein, you need to be aware of what muscles you’re using. In gaining awareness of your arm, hand, and hips, you easily develop an independent hand – which is much kinder on your horse’s mouth and on your own body. Training should be fun! Think of a horse gracefully piaffing around a field, full of high spirits and the joy of living. His body puts itself into perfect organisation. It’s so perfect that the whole point of dressage is to emulate it – something I think we tend to forget. Foals do dressage without any training; it’s natural and fun for them. On the other hand, when movement is associated with pain, discomfort, shame, or embarrassment, you won’t spontaneously go there again – and neither will your horse. What would it be like to enjoy moving with your horse, noticing how he’s moving and how you’re responding to that movement? What would it be like to unlock your body so you can respond to your horse’s movements? When you approach training from this perspective, gently cont. on p.55

Joni Bentley cont. from p.54 changing your habitual ways of doing things, you start to make changes in your own brain and nervous system and in your horse’s. Then it’s just a matter of time; enjoyable, fun, and productive time, for riding to become more and more effortless.

Then there’s the horse Just as you become aware of how your own body moves, so you will also become aware of how your horse’s body moves and how the two of you naturally move

After all, if it turns out you prefer being serious, working hard, and struggling, you can always go back to it after trying my Correction in Movement process. But I’m betting the results you’ll experience will make you as enthusiastic as Kathy Young, who wrote, “After only three lessons with Joni, a lifetime of unanswered questions, misguided tuition, lame horses and an aging body….I have found the skills to retrain my body to become symmetrical, which miraculously is straightening my horses without gadgets or force, giving the feeling of true harmony. What a find! Never lose hope, I nearly did!” Joni Bentley diary 3rd April 1 day workshop Limes Farm, Deans Lane Barthomley Cheshire 5th April 1 day workshop Boldheath E.C., Widnes, Cheshire 6th April 1 day workshop Swallowfield Equestrian, Lapworth, Warwickshire 11th April 1 day workshop Willow Farm, Ospringe, Faversham, Kent 17th April  Selston Equestrian Centre, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire 23rd 26th April Stanmore Equestrian Centre, Lanarkshire Scotland. I will also be teaching in

Fife please contact me for details. 1st May 1 day workshop Limes Farm, Barthomley Cheshire 4th May Swallowfield Equestrian, Lapworth, Warwickshire 8th May Brinsbury College, Pulborough, West Sussex 16th May 1 day workshop Willow Farm, Ospringe, Faversham, Kent 29th May Great Farm Stables, Newbury, Berkshire 8th June Swallowfield Equestrian, Lapworth, Warwickshire 10th 11th July Aston Manor Equestrian Centre, Market Drayton, Shropshire

together, horse and rider as a single physical entity. For instance, when you see and feel what’s happening in the horse’s stride, you can see why, as Dr. Gerd Heuschmann points out, “If you use your legs when the horse’s hind leg is standing and bearing weight, the only effect you get is to make the horse dead to the leg, and the whole trunk becomes stiff.” On the other hand, notice that as the horse’s left hind leaves the ground, the right fore is coming back. You can see this happen, even before you develop the sensitivity in your legs that will tell you without looking. Then you can apply your leg aids with awareness of where the horse is in his stride and you’ll immediately notice how much more effective your aids are. As Dr. Heuschmann emphasizes, “It goes back to the natural biomechanical movement. For example, when the muscles pull the left hind forwards, the left side contracts and the trunk swings to the right. And vice versa. If you’re quiet, you can pick up this rhythm of riding in walk and trot. It’s so simple. The experts like to make us think it’s difficult, but it’s not difficult at all. It’s easy to understand the biomechanics if you want to. It’s easy if you slow down and take the time to feel riding, not just do it.”

All tickets MUST be purchased in advance. Places are limited and go quickly. Here is the price list: Dismounted workshop (limited to 10) £55. Mounted (semi private lessons limited to 6 riders) £85 if you book on a four day course the price goes down to £75 per day. Watch for the day £35.    Further workshops will be announced so keep your eyes on the website. If you can’t make this workshop but would like to attend, then contact me. I have many private workshops that you may be able to join in your area. 0777 1811561 We now have a sponsorship scheme for riders who want this training but can’t afford it. Please email through the website for more information.

This approach works Thousands of my clients have experienced what they’ve described as “a magic wand” resolution to their schooling issues. As one rider exclaimed, “This new, calm power is very exciting! I’m thrilled with us, it really feels like Con is coming on in leaps and bounds, and I feel much more effective and able to help him out. I am at peace with the world and grateful to you for making the world a better place.”

On my website, you can find a free Correction in Movement™ lesson that will help you start relaxing, learning what it means to be at ease with your own body and your horse’s body and start having fun in your training. Why do it on your own? Don’t let your to-do list, your fear, anger, sadness, or your past struggles keep you from doing the most important work of all: doing the best for your horse in training. Your horse will thank you and so will your body and your sense of fun and enjoyment.

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 55


Training the novice horse Cora Roberts is a freelance instructor and lecturer and course director in equine studies at the college of West Anglia. She has competed for many years in eventing, show jumping and dressage. Trainers, riders, judges all have their own ideas on schooling horses based on traditional knowledge and modern notions about horse psychology. But how much thought is actually given to equine physiology which is the baseline of a horse’s ability to develop into the ‘Happy Athlete’ everyone talks about? It is claimed by many horse people that equids are intelligent. An interesting theory because it depends on our definition of intelligence. According to the Oxford Dictionary ‘intelligence’ is defined as: intellect, understanding, sagacity; a rational being. The adjective ‘intelligent’ describes ‘having or showing (usually a high degree of) understanding’. This clearly does not apply to the horse. It would be far more accurate to consider the horse as a trainable creature much like the dog. And before the cry goes up about the great intelligence of our canine friends let me refer you to the simple but appropriate statement ‘Dogs have owners, cats have staff’. I leave it to the reader to draw the only possible conclusion! It is true that horses are quick learners

56 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

but they cannot differentiate between ‘good’ and ‘bad’. They are blessed with an excellent long term memory which can work for, but also against, the rider. On the negative side they are poor at ‘unlearning’, hence the problems encountered when retraining an animal for a different use (e.g. reeducating race horses or driving horses). Sensitivity is another characteristic frequently attributed to horses, particularly animals competing at top level. Usually it is said within the context of how easy or difficult the horse is to work with. This makes absolute sense because all the horse’s senses are very sophisticated and acute. Equine vision, smell, hearing and touch are vastly superior to those in humans. The horse’s reactions to everything happening to him/her directly or in his/ her environment are based completely on physical sensations and not on intellectual perception.

to, certain things. Armed with the knowledge that training is primarily physical it is necessary to consider how equine physiology (the study of living organs and their function) responds to exercise.

Many gifted horse handlers/riders, through observation and experience, have been aware of this and have used this to either increase or decrease sensitivity, e.g. create quicker reactions to finer aids or desensitise a horse frightened by, or hypersensitive

Before discussing how this affects working the novice horse, it must be pointed out that the respiratory system cannot be trained. Each horse is born with a finite lung capacity and this will limit the extent of extreme effort that an individual can undertake.

What is ‘Training’? It is a way to induce the body’s systems to undergo functional adaptation so they can withstand forces placed on them during locomotory performance such as galloping, jumping, dressage movements, etc. Therefore the aim of training is to enhance the properties of each tissue so that it can cope. The big problem is that the different tissues of the body respond differently to the stimulus of training. Undertraining (too little training) means that the horse will not realize his/her full potential whereas overtraining will lead to injury and possibly irreversible damage.

The Musculoskeletal System Lameness is by far the greatest pathological condition affecting horses in work. The range of lameness can vary from just a feeling the rider experiences but that is not actually detectable with the human eye to non-weight bearing, so it should be of particular interest to anyone working a horse to know and understand how bones, joints and tendons respond to specific exercises in order to optimise training methods and to minimise risk of injury. Bone Facts Bone is alive! It is very hard and resilient but has some degree of elasticity and it is trainable.

Cont. on page 58


April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 57

Horses for sale - Stud (If it were dead, fractures would not be painful nor would they mend.) Physical training will increase bone mass and density. The important point to note is that bone develops best when subjected to gradually increasing loads rather than long, continuous low levels of loading.

Cont. from page 56

Practical application: bone needs only short periods of daily work to become stronger. To encourage development of bone mass, brief spells of trotting on roads for instance will be beneficial, but the emphasis is on brief. Hours of walking, trotting or cantering on hard surfaces will fatigue bone and can result in damage. Speed, too, influences the strain on bone. The faster the horse has

to move, the greater the risk of bone injury. However, event horses, hunters, race horses, polo ponies, endurance horses and even dressage horses need to be worked at greater speeds on different albeit suitable surfaces for fitness, stamina and psychological reasons. The same principle applies – brief spells repeated with increasing frequency as in interval training. Joint Facts Limb joints consist of a joint capsule, cartilage, synovial fluid and ligaments. They link bones allowing and absorbing movement. Moderate training improves their mechanical properties (flexibility without friction). But overload them with

strenuous work (e.g. jumping, galloping on hard ground or working horses on uneven surfaces) and they will lose their load absorbing capabilities. Practical application: both jumping and more advanced dressage movements put particular strain on joints. In both disciplines fetlocks in particular experience extreme flexion. In jumping the landing phase produces the greatest stress, whereas in dressage the extended gaits cause hyperextension. Clearly both need practice, and the best way to avoid excessive strain when jumping is to keep fences at a sensible height and in dressage to ask for progressive lengthening rather than exploding into the movement. Tendon Facts Tendons and ligaments are composed of fibrous tissue that is elastic but has a poor blood supply. The former connect muscle to bone, the latter connect bone to bone as in joints. They store energy during the limb’s stance phase of gaits and release energy during take off and the swing phase. Very important to remember: tendons work close to failure point when working at peak performance. It is interesting to note that training has different effects on flexor

and extensor tendons. Flexor tendons remain unchanged with work load but extensor tendons and ligaments become more elastic and gain mass. Prolonged box rest cause the latter to reduce in mass – irreversibly! One specific aspect of caring for tendons is thermoregulation. They are poor at conducting heat which means that they require proper warming-up in order to function optimally but also they cannot get rid of core heat easily, potentially damaging the fibres. Tendons can suffer indirectly through exercise when muscles tire leading to lack of coordination, which places them under extreme strain. Practical application: All work must begin with a thorough warm-up. Exercises must be carefully controlled and finished before fatigue occurs. Protective bandages and/or boots (unless constructed from ‘breathing’ materials) should be avoided. The detrimental effects of lengthy box rest can be counteracted by brief, regular periods of walking in-hand or turn-out in a roundpen. Implications for Training the Novice Horse Young, immature horses are especially susceptible to exercise induced injuries, including self-inflicted damage incurred during turn out or even in the stable. The first thing to say is: don’t wrap a horse in cotton wool. Movement is essential to keep a horse healthy mentally and physically. However, riding poses a different problem because the horse has to deal with the rider’s weight and adjust to his or her shifting balance. Moreover the horse is expected to react quickly to the rider’s Cont. on page 60

58 - Equi-Ads - April 2010


April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 59

Stud Cont. from page 58 commands, which is very demanding on maintaining his/her own equilibrium.

f) Careful monitoring of the horse’s condition g) Awareness of ‘how the horse feels’

A training plan is a good idea providing it allows flexibility and puts the horse’s welfare first. Setting goals in the form of competitions is fine but such plans may require modification depending on the horse’s progress. And don’t get straightjacketed by the ambitions of ‘Young Horse Classes’. They are useful for showcasing the charges of professional producers but it should be remembered that very few of their winners have gone on to do great things later in life. The ingredients of good training are as follows: a) Thorough warm-up (however long it takes) b) Brief spells of work with rest periods in-between c) Increase frequency of repetition with recovery breaks

h) Stop work if there is any doubt about the horse’s way of going The trouble with horses is that they are big, strong creatures which leads to the impression that they should be indestructible whereas in reality their strength comes from a mass of complex, delicate structures that can be damaged more easily than we imagine. The good news is that with correct, careful training these structures can be strengthened to serve our purpose. The bad news is that generally riders/ trainers are not knowledgeable enough to understand how the horse functions, resulting in unnecessary health problems for their charge. Further good news is that by learning more about the horse’s anatomy and physiology equine health and rider goals are achievable.

d) Variation of work to avoid repetitive strain injuries e) Regular rest days to allow tissue recovery and to relieve psychological pressure

Solaris Sport Horses Solaris formerly Rass Stud saw a name change in 2008 with the introduction of the Cremello Warmblood Stallion “McJonnas” guaranteeing robes of gold and the colours of the sun. Standing the Stud’s foundation stallion Umenno the stud made its mark in the Show ring with Umenno, standing Champion Three year old, Youngstock and Inhand overall Champion at the Royal Highland Show in 2005. Umenno’s career got off to a flying start when Graded by the Scottish Sports Horse who awarded him the highest

60 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

overall mark for movement and the second highest scores of the day. He travelled throughout the UK in the years that followed standing Inhand and Ridden Champion at numerous County Shows, including the Scottish CHAPS and National CHAPS Championship shows. He embarked on his BSJA ridden career as a four-year-old ending the year jumping Newcomers, and as a Burghley Young Event Horse finalist. As a five year he was a winner of the Five Year Old class at Bicton Arena on two occasions. He has consistently sired first premium progeny and Ster mares. One of which

“Amenno” was the first and only coloured colt to stand Champion in the hunter foal class at the Royal Highland Show in 2005. In 2007 the stud introduced McJonnas, to a very rare Cremello Warmblood Stallion. Cremello stallions guarantee palomino foals 100% when bred to chestnut mares. However McJonnas can also produce palomino, smokey black or buckskin foals from bay/black mares. McJonnas is an athletic horse with good jumping ability from a lineage of performance sport horses.

The striking black bay stallion “Amoureux” introduced the bloodlines of G Ramiro Z, Pik Konig Wendekries and Krack C to the studs breeding program. From his first crop five out of six presented at the SSH mare & youngstock gradings were awarded first premiums. The latest addition to the studs stallion line up is the homebred “Solaris Buenno out of the Supreme Champion mare Edwina by Edkinghill. For more information please join us at

Field & Stable - Stud

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 61

Field & Stable - NLP - Transport

Equi-Trek Trail-Treka Britain’s largest horsebox builder Equi-Trek have added a new trailer to their range,

from only £3795.00 plus VAT and delivery, which makes this outstanding horse trailer incredible value for money.

The “Trail-Treka.” Building on their already successful range of patented side loading horse trailers, the Trail-Treka has been designed to offer a lighter weight trailer which has all the unique benefits associated with the ease of side loading. The Trail-Treka “M“ has a gross weight of only 2000kg and has been specifically designed to be towed behind some large cars and some smaller 4x4s such as the Freelander and Peugeot 4x4.The Trail-Treka “L“ has a gross weight of 2500kg  for those wishing to carry larger horses. Boasting stylish good looks, aerodynamic design, ease of towing and safer loading, the large side ramp is beautifully balanced and pressure assisted which makes loading and un-loading an easy task even with only one person. The Trail –Treka range starts

The Trail-Treka will be arriving in Equi-Trek dealerships from the 25th of March 2010, Interest is expected to be high, so contact your nearest dealer early to find out more on this exceptional new horse trailer. All Equi-Trek vehicles, trailers and motorised horseboxes are now covered by one year’s FREE membership of Equine Rescue Services Ltd which offers peace of mind that in the event of a breakdown you and your horses will be returned home or to the destination of your choice. (terms and conditions apply) Full details of the entire Equi-Trek range and dealer network can be found on their website, at

Managing nerves Danielle Olding Nerves are the brains way of alerting us to potential dangers and protecting us from doing anything rash! Many of us recognise when we are becoming nervous and experience clear symptoms from anxiety, doubt and negative thoughts, through to physical symptoms such as nausea, sweating, migraines, or an increase in breathing and heart rate. For many of us, nerves do a good job in speeding up our reactions and making us ride with more purpose than usual. However for others, these reactions can

take over and have the opposite effect making competing an emotional trial rather than a fun and exciting day out. It is therefore important to accept that it is ok, even good to be nervous and learn to work with our nerves channelling them constructively into the job in hand rather than trying to eradicate them altogether. There are a number of ways to manage nerves constructively: Managing the symptoms Step 1: Go into ‘Peripheral Vision’ This technique is useful for helping you get into a calm state regardless of what is going on around you. It allows us to see ‘big picture’ and see what is happening either side of us as well as in front of us. By going into peripheral vision, any apparent problem or worry is viewed in the context of the bigger picture and changes the meaning that

we place on such events. It has the effect of slowing your heart rate and triggering the ‘relaxed’ response in your brain. How to do it! - Focus on a spot in front of you a little above eye level. - As you focus on the spot, allow your awareness to extend either side of that spot in front of you. - Allow your attention to expand even further so that you are now aware of what is happening either side of you (180 degrees) whilst you continue to focus on the spot. - As you do this, notice how relaxed you feel. Now allow your jaw to relax even more. - As you remain in this state focusing on the spot, consider the situation that you were concerned about and notice how your feelings about the event have changed (make sure your awareness is a full 180 degrees). - When you feel calm repeat the process two or three times. NB. You can do this exercise both on and off the horse whenever you feel nervous or anxious - nobody will ever know you are doing it.

Step2: Focus on your Breathing Correct breathing is essential for staying calm, thinking clearly and remaining in a positive state. Experienced athletes are able to shift their breathing to change their emotional state and internal representations that directly affect their behaviour on the horse and their results. How to use breathing 1. Notice how you are breathing when you feel relaxed: - the rate – fast or slow - the location – the chest, stomach or midway - whether you are inhaling and exhaling through the nose and mouth cont. on p.64

62 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

Field & Stable - Transport

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 63

Events - Field & Stable

cont. from p.62 Pay enough attention to detail so you can repeat it

2. Practice replicating this breathing at times when it is appropriate for you to feel this relaxed. 3. Notice how you are breathing before and during schooling sessions, particularly when you are riding well (this may vary according to physical exertion). Pay enough attention to detail so you can replicate it. 4. Practice replicating the breathing before and during schooling sessions. Notice the results. 5. Notice your breathing before and during competition. If you are finding yourself feeling inappropriately anxious or nervous, adjust your breathing so that you are in (or at least closer to) the appropriate state. For example, it may not be appropriate to feel as relaxed as you did in point 1 above before the start of your race or cross country round. Understanding the positive intention behind getting nervous Very often, despite the fact that we might be ‘inappropriately’ nervous, we

still want to be able to ride and compete and actually enjoy it. This can cause a conflict between the part of us that wants to do it and the part of us that doesn’t! Exercise 1: This exercise works with the subconscious part of your brain responsible for the part that doesn’t. It requires you to establish a ‘communication’ channel with the ‘part’ of you responsible for your negative responses causing you to be excessively nervous. 1. Identify the ‘unwanted’ behaviour that you exhibit before or during a competition / race 2. Think about the issue and ask ‘what is the positive intent of this behaviour?’ What purpose does it have? What does this behaviour do for me? 3. Ask yourself to think of at least three other ways that the part with the unwanted behaviour could achieve its positive intention. 4. Ask the part with the negative behaviour if it would be willing to take

responsibility for doing at least one of these new alternative behaviours. If the answer is no, go back and review the choices and ask the question again until you get a positive feeling of acceptance of some kind.

sure you notice the sights, sounds and feelings in detail.

5. Imagine a future scenario that would probably have triggered the old behaviour and notice the differences.

4. Decide what ‘triggers’ you will use for your chosen state. You may choose to make a physical sign (e.g. pressing your thumb and middle finger together), pull up a visual symbol or picture, or hear yourself say a word or phrase that will trigger the state. You may choose all three however you need to be able to ‘fire’ them from your horse.

Exercise 2: Setting up a ‘Resource Anchor’ This exercise enables us to call upon certain ‘resources’ that would be helpful to us instead of feeling excessively nervous e.g. relaxed, calm, excited, confident. In basic terms, an anchor is a specific stimulus that leads to a specific response. For example, hearing a particular song on the radio might bring back specific memories or feelings from years ago when we first heard it. You may prefer to have someone talk you through this process so you can concentrate fully on what you are doing. 1. Identify the resource you would like to have access to – something that would make you feel good about riding / competing / jumping. 2. Remember a time when you had a strong past experience of that feeling – it does not need to be associated with riding. Relive the experience as though you were actually there now. Make

64 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

3. Think about a shetland pony wearing silver spandex hotpants! (distract yourself)

5. Go back into your memory and relive it again. When the positive feeling is strong, apply your trigger(s), hold them for between five and fifteen seconds and break out of the memory and distract yourself again. 6. Repeat step 5 two or three more times. Each time you do this it will become quicker and easier to access your desired state. Soon, you will be able to recall it just by thinking of your signal. 7. Imagine a time in the future when you would like this feeling. Fire your anchor and notice what feels different. tel: 07884 110735

Field & Stable




Page 59

International Enquiries Nicholson Machinery Ltd, 33 Common Lane, Southery, Downham Market, Norfolk PE38 0PB Tel: +44 1366 377444 Fax: +44 1366 377745 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: April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 65



Field & Stable - News

SEIB launch search for a stewarding star The new show season is fast approaching and another series of the South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB) Search For A Star will soon be underway. South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB) and Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) have instigated a new competition for 2010 to find the show stewards of the future. SEIB are renowned for finding equestrian stars and the new Search for a Star Steward competition will help to recognise these unsung heroes and find the up and coming stewarding stars. The competition is open to anyone who enjoys helping out at horse

shows and would like to become involved in stewarding at top level. Stewards regularly give their time and energy to ensure the smooth running of horse shows and this competition is designed to recognise their skills and offer the winners the opportunity to steward at the prestigious Horse of the Year Show. Entrants will be required to complete an application form giving details of their stewarding and equestrian experience. Shortlisted entries will then be invited to help at one of the SEIB Search for a Star qualifiers and the top steward at each of the first four qualifiers will be asked to the final judging at Vale View Equestrian Centre on 18th July.

The winner will spend a week working alongside the distinguished stewarding team at the Horse of the Year Show. The prize will include travel to the show, accommodation and all meals during the show and the winner will also receive 6 tickets for Wednesday’s performance at HOYS for friends and family. The winner will meet the HOYS organising team at Grandstand Media and may be interviewed as part of the competition by two HOYS officials, which could lead to future opportunities to be involved with the show.

play a vital and responsible role in ensuring the smooth running of events throughout the country. This competition is designed to encourage more people to give stewarding a go and provides a wonderful opportunity for those who would like to go further by stewarding at the big events”, said Nicolina MacKenzie, Marketing Manager at South Essex Insurance Brokers. For more information and an application form, visit www.

“Stewarding is an enjoyable and rewarding way to be involved with horse shows and stewards

December 2009 - Equi-Ads - 49

Petplan Equine is proud to be supporting Team GBR

EQUDec09-E.indd 49

Petplan Equine, one of the UK’s leading equine insurance providers, is pleased to announce its support for the British Equestrian Teams through its sponsorship of Team GBR Ontrack. Launched in partnership with the equestrian Olympic and Paralympic teams via British Eventing, British Showjumping and British Dressage;

up to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this September. The aim of Ontrack, which is free to join and has attracted more than 1000 members since its launch in late 2009, is to encourage more people into the equestrian world and allow them to follow all of the British Equestrian Teams in one place.

Ontrack is the first supporters’ club that brings together all equestrian disciplines in the UK. As part of the sponsorship, for every member of Ontrack that takes out a new policy with Petplan Equine, a donation will go to Team GBR to help support the teams in their quest for medals.

“We hope that Ontrack will encourage more people into equestrianism and give them an insight into the world of some of our top riders across all the different sports,” commented Anna Greenway of the British Equestrian Federation. “We are delighted to have the support of Petplan Equine and their involvement is integral to making this project a success and helping us to support all the British Equestrian Teams.”

Team GBR Ontrack is the only place where you will be able to follow the preparation and fortunes of all the British Equestrian Teams together. They will bring exclusive blogs, behind the scenes gossip and all the information on preparation in the run66 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

Petplan Equine is committed to securing the future of equestrianism, and giving its policy holders added

value in the form of access to a wide range of equestrian events and initiatives. The company takes pride in its specialist equine knowledge and strong links with equestrian professionals from top riders to vets through whom responsible horse ownership is encouraged and promoted. For every Petplan Equine policy taken out by a member of Ontrack a commission will be paid to Team GBR. “At Petplan Equine we are dedicated to supporting the equestrian world and are delighted to be able to offer our support to the British Teams,” commented Alison Andrew, Marketing Manager of Petplan Equine. “I hope that our involvement will help smooth the path to the podium and demonstrate Britain’s equestrian excellence in all disciplines.” The scheme is supported by those vital organisations that help produce

23/11/09 12:50:33

our medal winners The British Horse Society, the Riding for the Disabled Association, The Pony Club, the Association of British Riding Schools and also the equestrian sports of Reining, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting, Horseball, Polocrosse and Mounted Games. Petplan Equine hopes its involvement with Ontrack will help raise the funds to ensure that the UK is represented by the strongest possible competitors at the upcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to give us the best chance of standing on the podium. To join Team GBR Ontrack visit www. php. For more information about Petplan Equine call 0800 783 7777 or visit



d in a

on. ult



gently pullinginthe horse over.onObviously interested appearing the frontdo semi-final for the 2009 competition Bridgefoot, Dundee DD3 OPW number people who have of Shires’ not put your2010 head catalogue near the legstoifapply! the horse andTelif the 01382 813553 of Mobile 07517 607513 email Tack & Turmout touch with us already about is struggling (you should have a hard hat been Thebut Cover Starthrow competition, like last on) you can a loop around a leg the competition is anything to go are in for another great one! year, is made up of three phases. The One Stop easily (try practising techniqueplus on change a by,The collection – mediumthis – collection ofwe bend We are really to be hosting first phasepower everyone as develops welleasily as suppleness. Add pleasedShop fence post). invites I am(impulsion) 5ft 2” and interested I can Tack selection in becoming the Shiresthe2010 cover trottingthe difficulty by cantering the day at Talland School right a 16.2hh horse myself,loops it doesand not re- ofacross Equitation. It is a stunning venue star to fill in an application form. This Suppliers of all poles. quire strength Now that youbut aretechnique,sometimes thinking of website keepingall with Mrs aM Fawcett reputation uses Dust-X fabulous forfor many can be downloaded from the horse tack, rugs, your horse for nearest longer periods Smudgeand in the winter andpleased hardly you have tostabled do is your move the quarters far reasons we hats are really to orAfter acquired Shires boots, & he feed eightfrom years incan charge, Liz Nairn, the chair of BHS Strathclyde Branch The advanced version be a canter serpentine where keeping the air dust free is of great coughs at all. The vet couldn’t enough away from the wall to allow the Filling a haynet in just seconds used tight, ready to hang up in the stable be announcement working with theatTalland teambelieve on – stockist. has decided to stand down. Liz made the the Strathclyde

HAYMATE – New easy-to-use Clear breathing with DUST-X Abandoned pony highlights

New chair BHS Strathclyde haynet filler for really works!

the middle loop is in countercanter. But this how is strictly for importance. good his lungs were. to theon stuff ofmust dreams, butfull the time new workthis and all in just seconds. exciting contest.’ Allbe applications be received AGM 8 October, citing commitments as the reason for her very good riders! HayMate has changed all that, before 24th July 2009. From the decision. Dust-X is a product designed to help Dust-X costs £29.70 500g whichto so if likereceived, most people you 10 hate you think you’ve gotfor what it takes entries the final will One bigcope question remains. This is be all fine andIflasts good foraverage horses with dusty conditions. an horse 3 weeks. This spending ages filling haynets, Members thanked Lizbeforinvited all thetohard that shefront had cover put in of to Shires’ building2010 up bepoles on the selected and these at home butwill what happens whenwork the Itpractise works quickly and effi ciently cost is well650, worth forBHS the theread branch, which now has aand membership nearing theconsidering largest of of the Stocking a wide range then on…… catalogue, you need to be able to ride attend an assessment day at Talland are removed? The poles are a training aid not a crutch. enables horses to breathe freely even if dramatic benefi ts that occur in very branches in Scotland. Liz has agreed to remain on the Committee. topower a reasonable look good School products of the Equitation, Gloucestershire for & learnt Rider Hopefully horse will have gained greaterHorse and will standard, have to respond they haveBritish, had really badfor problems with needy horses. A patented design, on ahim/her horse and apply. In on addition to onsimple Tuesday 4th August phasewell to the rider’s leg aids sufficiently to propel self forward demand. The new Chair of the Branch will be Ann appearing Kennedy. Also resigning from the allergies in all the past. very robustly constructed using on the catalogue you will two. Here, semi-finalists will be Tel: 01259 753384 There is a niceisthought aid for the rider:Rattray, picture awho grid in your precisely Committee the Secretary, Michele beenmind in post for nearly Dust-X ishad available allplaced Global Herbs slow-growing Scandinavian pineand also receive a £300 at voucher to be assessed on aAny variety ofStrathclyde points where youTilly need extra power and then ride it! two years. BHS Branch member interested in taking on the Tack Shop, Blackfaulds Farm, The main problem with dust in hay stockists and you can phone for more from sustainable forests, the spent Shiresatproducts if you win. then the three’sshould detailsget willinbe role of final Secretary touch with Ann on Kennedy Blackfaulds Road, By Tillicoultry FK10 3AP and straw is actually not the dust but details at 01243 773363 HayMate is both attractive and posted online where visitors to the the mould spores that may carried Opening Mon-Friday 9am-6pm, Sat 10-4pm incredibly easy to use. Launched Shires website willHours vote for-be who they along with it. It testing, is the spores that For further information please contact after extensive it is already horses are sensitised or Telephone well proven to simplify the tedious to. of filling haynets, saving 01243 773363 task

O Ne p w e n ly e d

ns and store. donate elief.

Tilly Tack Shop

AINING SCOTLAND hours of staff time on busy yards.

Dust-X isdoes a unique It really 750004 work! x: 01896 herbal formula that contains manyis every rider’s The HayMate

Society of Master Saddlers


tropical herbs best mate as itlike means more QUALIFIED SADDLER Adhatoda vasica time for riding and if you’re one KAREN HOWARD thatthe aremany veryhorsesowners helpful of for for breathing. whom bendingThe down is more of aunique straincombination than it used to be, you won’t The Haymate is a sturdy, free standing d for all, from complete beginners of these plants be surprised to is learn the HayMate is unit priced at £125.00. Delivery is a tried tested Saddlers or and Leatherworkers, recommended by physiotherapists and directly from the manufacturer, so to traditional formula and chiropractors. find out more, contact 01670 772214 on: Saddle, Bridle, Harness making, helps where no other or if you would like to see just how General Stitching Skills. alternative approach Simply hook your haynet onto the quick and easy the HayMate is to use, will.evenfillstarting r job, or own business, let our and watch the Haymate, it with hay, your release the visit and drop the full video – you’ll wonder how you ever gatewayspring-loaded to a newhandles beginning. haynet at your feet, with the drawstring lived without one! Society of Master Saddlers


importance of identification

The Blue Cross, one of the UK’s leading animal charities, is advising horse owners to make sure their animals have suitable identification after taking in a seemingly healthy and well cared for pony found tied to a fence in Buckinghamshire in January. Because the pony is not microchipped or freezemarked there is unfortunately no means of accurately identifying him and tracing his owner. The 13.2hh cob gelding was originally found by the RSPCA who took him to The Blue Cross equine centre in Burford. Following an unsuccessful appeal for the owner to come forward he was eventually signed over to The Blue Cross. Named Hugo by centre staff, he is being carefully assessed and is in good condition and is used to being handled. It is hoped that he will eventually be suitable for rehoming via the popular Blue Cross loan scheme.

Vicki Alford, equine centre manager at The Blue Cross, Burford said: ”We are unsure if it was intentional, accidental or an unfortunate misdeed that this pony was so sadly abandoned but it is highly likely that someone is devastated by his disappearance. This could have been so easily prevented had the pony been clearly Equi-Ads • May 2009 • 63 and permanently identified with a microchip or freezemark, which would have enabled the owner to be traced 23/6/09 12:30:25 quickly and efficiently.”

All horses and ponies belonging to The Blue Cross are micro-chipped as a preferred method of permanent identification. This is in addition to complying with Horse Passport legislation, whereby all equines have a unique identification document. The charity also advises that keepers of horses and ponies should employ suitable standards of security to protect the animals from misadventure and theft. The use of security signs and marks on stables, fences and rugs, indicating that the horses are microchipped or freezemarked, are good deterrents and should form part of the security plan.

The Blue Cross receives no government funding so it relies on the public to support its vital work. To find out more or make a donation, please visit or phone 0845 230 1672.

WANTED! Loving loan homes for ridden horses and ponies A leading international horse charity is appealing for potential borrowers to come forward to offer homes to rehabilitated horses and ponies at its Somerset recovery and rehabilitation centre. World Horse Welfare Glenda Spooner Farm in Somerton is currently home to a number of riding horses of all shapes and sizes. The one thing that they all have in common is the need for a loving home. Centre Manager Janet Dale cannot understand why they have yet to find their perfect partners: “For some reason we are struggling to rehome some really lovely riding horses and ponies and I’m not really sure why,” she says. “People may be under the impression that we only have companion horses available for rehoming, but this isn’t the case! I would encourage anyone looking for a riding horse or pony to consider rehoming from us.”


Janet continues: “We rehome all our horses and ponies on a loan basis and provide honest, expert opinion about their capabilities as well as ongoing support and advice.” 68 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

Horses and ponies currently looking for homes include: Sherry, a 6 year old Shetland pony who has been trained for driving and can also be used for lead rein. Rowanna, a 17 year old 12.2hh Welsh pony who would enjoy Pony Club activities. Nicky, an 11 year old 14.2hh bay mare who is looking for an experienced rider who enjoys hacking. To find out more about these horses and view the others currently available for rehoming in Norfolk, Lancashire and Aberdeenshire, please visit www.worldhorsewelfare. org


Field & Stable • News & Views

Postponement of SSH Stallion Grading The2010 Blue Cross –


Regrettably the Scottish Sports Horse surplus funds available to invest in has chosen to postpone the stallion producing and presenting a colt in grading until the autumn of 2010 due light of the economic crisis at present. to a lack of entries. The 2010 stallion Harsh winter weather conditions has grading will now be held at the same also had an adverse affect, setting back time as the mare and young stock the training of many young colts for gradings in September as opposed to a those with only outdoors facilities. stand-alone event this spring and may For further information please ring Norman Phillips on 07967 783813. well do so in future years until such In addition fewer colts have been Email: times as the economy improves. purchased as potential stallion prospects in 2008 and 2009 and it British Breeders and stallion owners appears that a number of stallion have in fact welcomed the SSH’s owners have made the decision to decision, feedback from which geld many border line candidates confirms that there simply aren’t the rather than taking the financial risk of

• No Frills • Cheap Bedding • Plain Bags • Direct Deliveries • Ring 07967 783813

horse insurance

For a competitive quotation from a leading Equine Insurer Call Rachel or Ruth on 01296 436142 NFU Mutual Office in Aylesbury

investing further. This can only giving horses a be seen as a positive step forwards for British secure Sports Horse future breeding. Whilst the Scottish Sports Horse recognise that the costs borne on stallion owners to present a stallion for grading are exceedingly high, (in the region of £500 for a full set of 22 x-rays and an entry fee of £240 including vetting and DNA testing) the SSH stand by the decision that the introduction of x-rays was the right one to make if Cross they are to maintain he Blue is one of Britain’shigh leading standards stud book. animal within welfarethecharities, providing


practical support, information and advice for pet and horse owners across the UK. It takes in and finds new homes for horses grassponies roots that to elite access to the and areriders in need or suffering best products, best training from neglect, orthewhose ownersand cantheno best competition and, in supporting the longer cope. Tri-Zone BE 100 Eventers’ Challenge The Blue Cross’s goal is for as many anwe hope to further such ambitions and imals as possible to bean given a second offer these competitors unforgettable chance in worthwhile,fulfilling new homes. experience.” It rehabilitates and rehomes over 100 horses andtoponies every from its In addition this great newyear competition spectators attending the event on equine centres at Burford in Oxfordshire Sunday 12th will be able enjoy and Rolleston-on-Dove in to Staffordshire. A watching of the upEast andSussex, comingprothird facilitysome in Northiam, youngrest event at three go vides andhorses retirement forstar Bluelevel Cross cross country over the CIC*** course – equines. incorporating many of Blenheim’s most In the current economic climate,demand formidable fences and the famous river for The Blue services never crossings plusCross’s see many greathas displays, been greater. In addition to the horses demonstrations and attractions, shopand till ponies presently in thethe charity’s there they drop and watch show care, jumping is a steady animals seeking refinale of thestream CCI***ofcompetition featuring most of the world’s habilitation, guardianship andleading rehoming. professional riders. The Blue Cross needs your help in finding homes for these deserving horses and Advanced discounted tickets for ponies. If you can offerprice an experienced, the Blenheim Palace International long-term home for an animal in need, Horse Trials, full details of the they want to hear from you. programme, and the Tri-Zone BE 100 The charity has horses and poniesrules, to suit Eventer Challenge competition all levels, both riding horses and companqualifying venues and dates and all ions. Forinformation more information on the rehomfurther is available at ing process and to see some of the horses that are available for adoption, visit The Blue Cross website at or contact your nearest centre. The BluetoCross receives no government It’s easy funding so it relies on the support of the join Team public to continue its vital work. You can SPILLERS® help by taking just sign up part in a fundraising event, on the page.  making a donation or volunteering at an equine centre. Contact your nearest Blue Cross or see

Blenheim Palace is not just for Princes! You may not own a horse like And to enter, all you need is three • Tailor-made insurance for your horse or pony Granntevka Prince, last year’s winner ‘qualifying results’ of double clears of Blenheim International Trials at BE100 within 65 miles of • Take out mortalityHorse cover, then choose fromvenues a under British rider Lucy Blenheim Palace between July 31st range superstar of options, including: Wiegersma, but you too could compete 2009 and August 1st 2010. Vets fees, Loss of Use, Personal Liability, at the Palace during the international Personal Accident, Tack, Horse Trailers. event. Mandy says, “Our Riding Club and • Limited cover also available for veteran horses. Pony Club Eventer Challenges have If you are a regular of the BE100 been so popular that we wanted to give Stollery and Parker Agent of The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited circuit then, yes, you could compete more amateur riders the chance to at Blenheim Palace in an exciting compete at Blenheim in a similar format. competition being launched this year. Additionally as the qualification is based The brainchild of Event Director, Mandy on jumping results only, even if you Hervieu, the competition aims to give have a horse whose dressage is not the local amateur a thrilling best you can still qualify “ RENT OR combinations BUY experience inWARRANTY terms of venue and TEN YEARS MAINTENANCE FREE competition. Leading manufacturer of horse FAST FRIENDLY SERVICE products, Buckinghamshire’s PRICES FROM £15 PER WK Imagine, in front of an Equilibrium Products jumped at the NATIONriding WIDE DELIVERY enthusiastic Sunday crowdIN ofMOST the AREAS chance to sponsor the Eventers’ NO PLANNING REQUIRED MONEY BACK GUARANTEE bidding IF YOUR to NOT September three-day-event Challenge and the prizes awarded will no 100% SATISFIED ON DELIVERY OF GOODS be crowned inaugural winner of the Tridoubt include their acclaimed Tri-Zone TEL: 0161 7234545 07958magnetic 700240back01204 888867 Zone BE 100 Eventers’ Challenge. pads and boots while all qualifiers receive a discount voucher on Up to 120 competitors can be products and all competitors will receive accommodated to compete over a a rosette and coveted commemorative mixed course of 1m-1.05m show plaque. jumping and cross-country fences in the Bladon Arena with the winner being the Felicity Norrie, Marketing Manager round with the fewest jumping penalties of Equilibrium Products says, “As a closest to the optimum time. company we are always looking to offer


PREMIUM BESPOKE STABLES AND FIELD SHELTERS Handbuilt to last! Please call for a quotation

Equine DNA Testing

Services include testing for certain inherited diseases and colour coat prediction Current tests include: • Lethal White Overo (LWO) • Tobiano • Red Factor (chestnut) • Agouti (Black/Bay) • Cream dilution • Hyper Kalemic Periodic Paralysis (HYPP)

All tests charged at £16. Mane hair collection kits supplied free of charge. For more information

Tel: 01872 262 737

Join Team SPILLERS® on Facebook SPILLERS® have joined the Facebook revolution. The trusted horse feed manufacturer has set up Team SPILLERS® to help keep you in the know on all those important horsey things in life. Team SPILLERS® is buzzing with news, tips and gossip. You can find out about the latest special product offers, get the inside track on roving nutritionist Isabel Harker’s travels with her weighbridge – straight from the horse’s mouth, bounce ideas in the

Please visit our New Website

discussion forums and enter some great competitions. for more information

on all our buildings

Rachel Austin, brand assistant at SPILLERS®T says: “If you love horses ELEPHONE as much as we do, Team SPILLERS® is definitely the place to be! You can chat to us about your favourite four legged friend, share photos and memories and have a good old natter. In return we’ll give you all the inside gossip on the office, our horses and what we really get up to behind the scenes at shows and events.”

01798 869919

All Your Equestrian Needs… Delivered!

01452 88 63 98



24' X 12' STABLES FROM £1,770 INC VAT

01794 367770 • April • 2010 - Equi-Ads 69 Equi-Ads April 2009 •- 61


Letters Dear Anne, I read your article about spurs, in the December issue of Equi-Ads and was disappointed by what it didn’t say. Your article didn’t convey why spurs are used only how you think they should be used. You gave me the impression that they can be used, for example as an aid in rein-back or extreme collection or to encourage the horse at the right time. I agree, but you don’t tell your readers how they should be used ; you say “when the spur is used properly” or you refer to a “gentle brush”. Forgive me but these are quite meaningless without proper explanation and in my view neither does it enlighten readers to say if they are used in the classical way - what does this mean, depends on your interpretation of classical. In short I think you missed an opportunity to paint a broader canvas to inform your readers so they may judge for example, if their instructors are skilled and sensitive tutors. It seems to have been forgotten that the first lesson is to teach the horse to be immobile at the touch of the spur, which is probably the opposite intention in most riders minds. Furthermore spurs can be used to calm excitable horses, they can be used to regulate action, they can be used to lower the neck to stretch the back and they can be used to concentrate the mass and energy when the horse is immobile or in action. These techniques are largely unknown in the 21st Century, but they and many other techniques is what makes training an Art. I should emphasise that unless a rider knows how to relax to accompany the horses movement and to use the aids without any stiffness such techniques would be useless and could indeed be counter-productive when good judgement is lacking.

Rescuer Bertie is given a second chance Granted your average reader will never have the necessary skill or knowledge but I believe it important to know such techniques exist, handed down for centuries and are still relevant to those who practice equitation as an Art and especially essential for training spoiled horses in a calm and unforced way. Kind regards, Nigel Butt Dear Nigel, I do not totally share your views, in that I do not believe that the first lesson should be to teach the horse to stand still at the touch of the spur. The other techniques you mention are not, in my opinion, to be used by the spur in isolation. They involve weight, seat and leg aids, etc. - in fact almost a book in itself, not merely an article. Oliveira wrote a chapter called ‘The Lesson of Attacks’ in his book From an Old Master Trainer to Young Trainers. He makes it quite clear that the ‘lesson of attacks’ re. the spur - is only to be given when ‘....a horse is well collected, light, straight, cadenced and knows well ‘the combined effect’ - otherwise he warns ... ‘we incite disorder, over-excitement, sometimes an undemanding stop, or the horse jumps through the hand.’  For all the above reasons I did not go into the finer uses of the spur since its understanding requires a very skilled rider and a very well trained horse if it is to be effective and not misunderstood.  I am satisfied with everything in this article and feel that I fulfilled my remit;  i.e. to give an insight to intelligent and caring grass roots riders, as to the uses and abuses of different types of spurs, including their fitting and choice of type. Anne Wilson

Dartmoor Pony Training Centre Awards at House of Lords! Natalie Torr and Kathryn Hulland from The Dartmoor Pony Training Centre attended an awards ceremony at the House of Lords on 3rd March 2010. Wetnose Animal Aid awarded them the Best Training Workshop award for the work they do with Dartmoor Ponies and in particular educating people how to handle a feral Dartmoor Pony.

70 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

A police horse who cheekily refused to enter his indoor school but without hesitation swam into the sea to rescue a drowning man has arrived at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Norfolk Redwings was approached by Lancashire Constabulary’s Mounted Branch for help after it was forced to retire one of its trusted steeds after a ligament injury. Thornton (stable name Bertie) is a handsome light bay 16.1hh Irish Draught Cross aged 13. Like many police characters in tv dramas, Bertie has a cheeky personality but a heart of gold! He joined the Mounted Branch aged five, where he soon learnt the trick of planting his feet so he didn’t have to be ridden in the indoor school. He always rose to the challenge when on duty however. He attended many football matches where he helped control the crowds and he once faced a vicious dog at a music festival. Being based in Lancashire he worked at the famous Blackpool illuminations plus he attended charity events and even took part in the odd game of Horseball. However, Bertie and his mounted officer’s golden moment came when they stood at the edge of the sea with a drowning man battling the waves desperate for any help. Bertie was asked to swim out, and without hesitation he bravely entered the

John Altman otherwise known as “Nasty Nick” from Eastenders presented the award giving a brief speech on why it is so important that people are educated before taking on something like a wild pony. Nick Knowles, Lorraine Chase and Jenny Seagrove also showed their appreciation for the work they do at the Centre and it is hoped through the event the Dartmoor Pony Training Centre can find themselves a patron. The winter has been a tough one at the DPTC, they have taken on many more ponies than expected and are full, they therefore have lots looking for homes and would love to hear

sea and swam towards the man. His officer was able to grab him and Bertie brought them both back to the shore. Cheeky Bertie had become Heroic Bertie. Later, Bertie began to sadly suffer with a ligament injury and could no longer be ridden so his days of duty were over. The police tried to re-home him through their normal channels but no-one was able to take him on. All channels exhausted, they approached Redwings Horse Sanctuary. “We heard that Lancashire Constabulary’s Mounted Branch had tried their best and after assessment we were delighted to offer Bertie a home,” explains Senior Welfare Officer Rachel Fairhead. “He has settled in well and we are quickly learning his cheeky tricks. Fortunately we’re quite a way from the coast here at our Hapton headquarters so hopefully we won’t have to try out his rescue skills!” Sergeant Christine Driver from Lancashire Constabulary said, “Bertie, or Thornton as he is known to us was a fantastic horse. We had a great eight years service from him and he always rose to the challenge of policing the county. It was a very sad day when we had to retire him but we are delighted that Redwings have taken him on and will look after him. He worked very hard for us and we hope he has a very happy retirement!” To find out more about Redwings, please visit

be led around and touched all over. If you would like further details you can contact them on 07751 218093 or e-mail dartmoorponytrainingcentre@

from anyone who feels they may be able to offer one a loving home. The DPTC are running their next “award winning” workshop in October, it is a 5 day workshop where you learn to handle a feral pony and get it to a stage where it is happy to

Directory - What’s On

These boots are made for walking… …Running, Jogging and Jumping Simple Boots are top quality, multipurpose, simple to measure and fit and are the best price for quality and comfort in the world today.   We listened to and learned from many barefoot advocates and critics around the world to develop this simple solution to bare hoof care. Simple boots have a high performance outsole, a simple front closure and built–in sole relief. They are the ultimate genuine alternative to metal shoes, while getting away from some of the complexities of over-

engineered gadgets. No toxic glues. No screwdrivers. No muscle power. Simple Boots are made of genuine leather and a solid TPU sole that is durable, practical and shaped for the natural hoof. For more information visit www.cavallo-inc. com/hoofboots Available exclusively from Battles.

South Central

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

Horse Transport South East Chiltern and Thames Horse Transport Defra Approved. Fully Licenced. Fully Insured. London Immission Zone Compliant. Fitted with CCTV Monitors for horses safety. 24hr Emergency Call Out. For more information please call 07711 1700 01 or email: donna@ www.cthorsetransport. 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

Property Abroad Brittany & Normandy Cardyke Overseas Properties Properties suitable for horses at a fraction of

What’s On Central

Every Thursday Senior BSJA, Hollingworth Leisure Park, Milnrow, Tel: 01706 644484 Every Friday SJ Unaff Rossendale & Hyndburn EC, Accrington. Tel: 01706 213635. Every Friday Evening SJ Unaff Indoor, Mill Lane Stables, Selby. Tel: 01757 702940. Every 3rd Sunday in March - Sept, Rossendale Valley RC Show, Rawtenstall, Lancs. Tel: 07976 056677. Every Month Dressage Camp, Mill Lane Stables, Selby. Tel: 01757 702940. Every Day Dean Valley Farm Ride, Dean Valley Farm, Cheshire. Tel: 0161 4391945. Every 2nd Monday, Virtual RC meets in Chester.

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,

UK prices. Tel: 01775 630 008

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

Worming East Grass still growing? Warm wet soil means active worm larvae. Have you checked? Worm egg counts £5 each. churchfarmfec@ 01728685638

Milton Keynes Museum, 07889 339551


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.

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

South West

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


Regulars Monday Evening Class, Contessa RC, Colliers End, Tel: 01920 821792 Tuesday Evening Dressage Class, Contessa RC, Colliers End, Tel: 01920 821792 Thursday – Contessa Club Night, Contessa RC, Colliers End, Tel: 01920 821792

Friday – Kids Club 5.30pm, Young Riders Club 6pm, Contessa RC, Colliers End, Tel: 01920 821792 Saturday / Sunday – Kids Club, Contessa RC, Colliers End, Tel: 01920 821792

South East

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

Thur 1st Apr

SJ Course to Hire, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 OEC Flat Work Clinic Tel: 01342 837581 -20th Saddle Club, Ingleden Park EC, Tel 01580 764450

Fri 2nd Apr

Unaff Jumping, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Junior Show, Lydford Stables, Devon Tel: 01822 820225 Easter SJ, Hall Place EC, Reading Tel: 0118 9426938 Colette’s Unaff SJ, Blue Barn Tel: 07949 096086 Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07943 391224 Team SJ, Barraclough Shows, New Pastures, East Cottingwith Tel:07980 758817 Pony Club Dressage, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921 649801 Unaff & Trailblazers Dressage, Ingleden Park EC, Tel 01580 764450

Sat 3rd Apr

Mini Novice, Duckhurst Farm SC, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Unaff Dressage, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Colette’s Dressage, Willow Farm Faversham Tel: 07949 096086 Unaff Dressage, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07951 121708 Dressage Series, Honnington RC Tel: 01892 681229 Unaff Dressage, Barraclough Shows, New Pastures, East Cottingwith Tel:07980 758817 Spring Unaff, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921 649801 Combined Training, Ingleden Park EC, Tel 01580 764450

April 2010 - Equi-Ads - 71

Insert Category What’s On Thur 15th Apr

SJ Course to Hire, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 OEC Flat Work Clinic Tel: 01342 837581 Gymkhanas & Games, Ingleden Park EC, Tel 01580 764450

Sun 4th Apr

Snr Intr/Amat, Duckhurst Farm SC, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Side Saddle Assoc Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Vicky Thomson Dresage Clinic, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07774 211640 Championship 2009, Barraclough Shows, New Pastures, East Cottingwith Tel:07980 758817 P(UK) Amateurs & Trailblazers, Ingleden Park EC, Tel 01580 764450

Mon 5th Apr

Open & NPS Show, Lydford Stables, Devon Tel: 01822 820225 Spring Show Hall Place EC, Reading Tel: 0118 9426938 OEC Jump Clinic Tel: 01342 837581 Easter Egg Hunt & Practice SJ, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856 Fun Ride, The Trail Trust, Priddy Tel: 01761 453705 Pony Club Jumping, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921649801

Tues 6th Apr

Ground Poles, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856 GO! XCOUNTRY, Hartpury College, Gloucester, Glos

Wed 7th Apr

Clear Round Jumping, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Gymkana Afternoon, Lydford Stables, Devon Tel: 01822 820225 OEC Flat Work Clinic Tel: 01342 837581 Unaff SJ, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856 GO! XCOUNTRY, Penventon Hotel, Redruth, Cornwall Snr BSJA SJ, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921 649801

Thur 8th Apr

Angley School SJ, Duckhurst Farm, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Keeva Fox Dressage Test Riding Clinic Barlborough Tel: 07887 953132 SJ Course to Hire, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933

Fri 9th Apr

Horse Sale, Duckhurst Farm SC, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Unaff Dressage, Bagworth Arena Somerset Fiona Foy Dressage Clinic, Ipley Manor, Marchwood Tel: 07968 059434 Colette’s Fridays for a Fiver, Willow Farm Faversham Tel: 07949 096086 Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07943 391224 Unaff & Trailblazers Dressage, Ingleden Park EC, Tel 01580 764450

Sat 10th Apr

Pony Aff, Duckhurst Farm SC, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Unaff Jumping, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933

72 - Equi-Ads - April 2010

Fiona Foy Dressage Clinic, Manor Farm, Teffont Magna Tel: 07968 059434 Walk & Trot, Lydford Stables, Devon Tel: 01822 820225 Aff / Unaff Dressage, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07943 391224 Unaff Dressage, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856 Dressage, Knapp Farm, Wiltshire Tel: 07881 817904 Charity Ride, Waterside Parish, Knott End Lancs Tel:01254 823260 Jnr BSJA SJ, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921649801

Sun 11th Apr

Trailblazers, Duckhurst Farm SC, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Novice Show, Lydford Stables, Devon Tel: 01822 820225 Vicky Thomson Dresage Clinic, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07774 211640 Open Day, The Blue Cross EC, Burford Tel: 01993 822 454. British Dressage, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856 Dressage Afternoon, Bookham RC Leatherhead Tel: 01344 420028 Riding Club Show, Ribble Valley Witton Park, Blackburn Tel: 07939169179 Clear Round Day, Three Cups Corner, Heathfield Tel: 01435 830440 SJ & Clear Round XC, Bath RC Bushey Norwood. Tel: 07092 012784 Unaff Dressage, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921649801 Point to Point Racing, Godstone, Tandridge Court Farm Tel: 01435 866871 Open Day, Ingleden Park EC, Tel 01580 764450 Saddle Club Competition, Ingleden Park EC, Tel 01580764450

Mon 12th Apr

-13th Dressage Clinic, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Fiona Foy Dressage Clinic, Wokingham EC, Berks Tel: 07968 059434 OEC Jump Clinic Tel: 01342 837581

Tue 13th Apr

Easter Fun Show, Duckhurst Farm , Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Ground Poles, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856

Wed 14th Apr

Clear Round Jumping, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Fiona Foy Dressage Clinic, Middleton EC, Staffs Tel: 07968 059434 Gymkana Afternoon, Lydford Stables, Devon Tel: 01822 820225 Vicky Thomson Dresage Clinic, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07774 211640 Unaff SJ, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856 Eve Unaff SJ, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921649801

Fri 16th Apr

Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07943 391224 BHS/ Heather Moffett Lecture, Celaeron Eq Centre,Nr Aberaeon Tel; 01559 371241 Unaff & Trailblazers Dressage, Ingleden Park EC, Tel 01580 764450

Sat 17th Apr

Mini Trailblazer, Duckhurst Farm SC, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Unaff Dressage, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Unaff Dressage, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07951 121708 British Eventing, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856 One Day Workshop, Celaeron Eq Centre,Nr Aberaeon Tel; 01559 371241 Area 10 Novice, Sevenoaks RC, Redlands Tel:01732 461462 Eventers Challenge, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921 649801

Sun 18th Apr

Snr Intro/Amat, Duckhurst Farm SC, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Showing Show, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Junior Show, Lydford Stables, Devon Tel: 01822 820225 HP Trec, Hall Place EC, Reading Tel: 0118 9426938 Vicky Thomson Dresage Clinic, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07774 211640 British Dressage, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856 Spring Hunter Trial, Sevenoaks RC, Redlands Tel:01732 461462 Unaff Dressage, Taunton & District RC, Netherclay Livery Stables Tel: 01823 353066 SJ, Knapp Farm, Wiltshire Tel: 07881 817904 Open SJ, Honnington RC Tel: 01892 681229 Fun Jumping Show, Hillside Farm, Coolham Tel: 01403 740041 Eighth Scientific Symposium, Cold Cotes, Harrogate Tel: 01254 705487 Show, Trentham & District RC, Tel: 0771 4087555 Clear Round SJ, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921649801 Unaff & Trailblazers Dressage, Ingleden Park EC, Tel 01580 764450

Mon 19th Apr

OEC Jump Clinic Tel: 01342 837581

Tues 20th Apr

Ground Poles, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856 Wed 21st Apr Clear Round Jumping, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Vicky Thomson Dresage Clinic, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07774 211640 Unaff SJ, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856

Snr BSJA SJ, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921 649801

Thur 22nd Apr

Keeva Fox Dressage Test Riding Clinic Barlborough Tel: 07887 953132 SJ Course to Hire, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 OEC Flat Work Clinic Tel: 01342 837581

Fri 23rd Apr

Aff Dressage, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07943 391224

Sat 24th Apr

Pony Aff, Duckhurst Farm SC, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Unaff Jumping, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Fiona Foy Dressage Clinic, Manor Farm, Teffont Magna Tel: 07968 059434 Colette’s Unaff SJ, Blue Barn Tel: 07949 096086 B.S.J.A Jnr, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856 Showing Preparation - Stella Hore Leawood EC, Bridestowe Tel: 01822 820458 Unaff Dressage, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921 649801

Sun 25th Apr

Trailblazer, Duckhurst Farm SC, Kent Tel: 01580 891057 Unaff Jumping, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Vicky Thomson Dresage Clinic, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07774 211640 B.S.J.A Snr, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856 Winter DressageSeries, Sevenoaks RC, Redlands Tel: 07714 696534 Versatile Trec Horse, Bookham RC Leatherhead Tel: 01344 420028 Unaff Dressage Show, Three Cups Corner, Heathfield Tel: 01435 830440 Clear Round SJ, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921 649801 Unaff & Trailblazers Dressage, Ingleden Park EC, Tel 01580 764450

Mon 26th Apr

Unaff Dressage, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Fiona Foy Dressage Clinic, Wokingham EC, Berks Tel: 07968 059434 OEC Jump Clinic Tel: 01342 837581

Tues 27th Apr

Ground Poles, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856

Wed 28th Apr

Clear Round Jumping, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 Vicky Thomson Dresage Clinic, Oldencraig EC, Lingfield Tel: 07774 211640 Unaff SJ, Eland Lodge, Ashbourne Tel: 01283 575856 Eve Unaff SJ, Church Farm EC, Nr Ormskirk Tel: 07921 649801

Thur 29th Apr

SJ Course to Hire, Bluebarn EC Kent Tel:01233 622933 OEC Flat Work Clinic Tel: 01342 837581

Fri 30th Apr

Fiona Foy Dressage Clinic, Ipley Manor, Marchwood Tel: 07968 059434 Combined Training, Ingleden Park EC, Tel 01580764450

Equi-Ads April  
Equi-Ads April  

Equestrian magazine April 2010