DIGITAL ISSUE 156A | 2021
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Hello and welcome to HQ Digital! It’s wonderful to have you with us again as we move into our fourth month of digital publishing. It’s been such a fabulous experience to date, and we have to thank all of our advertisers for their continued support, which allows us to make this magazine free to our readers. We also wish to thank you, the readers, for the great numbers we see month after month of ‘complete magazine’ reads. It really is encouraging to see such a great following after just a few months in a digital format. For the die-hard print fans, however, we also have some exciting news this month. In just a few days, our latest print edition will be hitting the shelves. Whilst HQ Digital is available every month, the print will be available quarterly at the outlets of our advertisers around the country. And, as if this wasn’t enough, we can confirm that HQ will be available for FREE for the first time ever for all of our readers. Again, we couldn’t do this without the loyalty and commitment of the wonderful South African equestrian community, who have supported this initiative with advertising and content. We are thrilled with the product and hope you will enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed putting it together. For now, dive into this digital edition, knowing that print will be coming your way in the next couple of weeks and staying on the shelf for a whopping three months. There’s so much to look forward to – so stay tuned, and most importantly, ENJOY! With much love,
Lizzie and xxx the HQ team Dr Lizzie Harrison | Editor
Designer: Mauray Wolff
DIGITAL ISSUE 156A | 2021
IN THIS ISSUE 06 Capital Stud The stallions
64 Mental Health and Sport Lessons from Simone Biles and the Olympics
16 Breeding Magic The proof is in the pudding…
68 Evading the bit KIs your horse telling you their bit is not right for them?
26 Zandi Alcock And Favour the Bold
72 ‘Social boxes’ Offer hope for stallion socialisation
32 Nicola Sime-Riley The SA Champion
80 The Equine Heart Heart murmurs
38 Vinducath An asset to South African breeding
86 The barefoot transition How to transition your horse from shod to barefoot
42 Nosebands Does yours pass the pressure test?
92 Anatomy, Part 1 The skin
48 Prince Philip And Mounted Games
96 Q&A 100 Products we love
54 A Guide to Horseball Everything you need to know 60 Olympic Footing The ‘red carpet’ for the stars
112 Spot the difference 113 Pridey’s Piece
HYBRID AUCTION 18-20 NOVEMBER www.capitalstud.com
Greatest of all time - our legendary CAPITAL DON CUMARCO
ith the 2021 Capital Stud Hybrid Auction fast approaching, there is much excitement about the soon-to-be-revealed collection. HQ was given a sneak peek at the youngsters on offer, and talked through the collection by the expert Dirk Zagers – one of the trainers for Capital Stud, and a previous compiler of the WBFSH rankings. He had flown out from Belgium for a week with the horses, and his insights are certainly valuable. Here we have a look at the stallions that dominate this year’s collection, and chat a little about what the future holds in terms of the young, up and coming stallions who will be playing a bigger role as time goes on.
THE STALLIONS 6
KRONOS (VAN HET POELEIND) Darco x Cash Belgian Warmblood (imported from Belgium) 19/04/2010 | Bay | 170cm 16.3hh
Capital Kronos is full brother to the well-known Capital Homerus. Kronos is becoming well recognised in the showjumping arena with numerous podium finishes in the 1.45m classes with Nicole Horwood, recently winning the title at Gauteng Champs. This scopey stallion is proving that he is built with agility and speed and certainly has the scope and ability to conquer the Grand Prix tracks. Being a son of Darco, out of such an important dam-line, 162, by Cash/Lord, Kronos has the proven bloodlines to be a world-class sport horse. In fact his dam, Vroni van Orti, is also the dam of Couscous van Orti (by Nabab de Reve) who jumped at 5* 1.6m GP level in the USA with Samuel Parot. Kronos’ great potential as a breeding sire is clearly evident in his offspring, Capital Kingston and Capital Kamora available on this year’s auction. In Dirk’s words “Kronos’ offspring are all super athletic with great minds, just like their father. I really believe this stallion can bring South African sporthorse production to the next level.”
Capital Kamora is a major talent. Right now we are seeing the beginnings, but this mare is one for the future.
- Dirk Zagers
RENDEMENT Burggraaf x Zeus | KWPN (imported from the Netherlands) 28/04/1998 | Chestnut | 175cm/17.1hh
The most decorated stallion standing on South African soil. HQ|156A
NEWS Rendement, who previously competed with Johan Lotter, has a remarkable competition record of his own. Having competed at the 1.60m level overseas, attending the World Equestrian Games with Johan in 2010, where he finished in 19th place, he then returned to South Africa. Rendement is a proven talent and the Capital Team are thrilled to have him in their breeding programme. By Burggraaf and out of a Zeus mare Rendement has all the scope in the world, with unrivalled carefulness. He breeds for size and rideability, and his offspring are all proving extremely agile and careful. This is the first year that Rendement offspring have become available on the auction, and the Capital Stud Team could not be more excited to see the inevitable showjumping shake-up resulting from the arrival of the Rendement show stoppers including Capital Renegade, Capital Rembrance, Capital Rufina and Capital Raelynn. It doesn’t matter which of his progeny you chose, you won’t be disappointed. Dirk explains “The offspring are mostly bay, and show the Holsteiner traits beautifully. This is an exciting crop.” In terms of offspring, Dirk says, “Capital Renegade is the most like his father in appearance and in his elasticity. He is tremendous with one of the best canters I’ve seen in a young horse. On top of it all he’s very intelligent, with a great mind. He has every ingredient to get to the very top of the sport”.
Capital Rufina is marvellous. She doesn’t overjump the small fences, but rolls over them easily and then when the jumps get big she throws the most amazing jump using her entire body. - Dirk Zagers
HOMERUS Darco x Cash Belgian Warmblood (Imported from Belgium) 21/04/2007 | Bay | 175cm/17.1hh This time, Darco (one of the best sport sires of all time) is recognised in the direct bloodline as Homerus’ sire. Homerus’ dam-line comes from the very successful Holsteiner line no. 162 (Carthago and Canturo) out of Cash/Lord, and his dam produced the winner of the Belgian Trophy for Young Horses in 2009 as well as a horse who placed in the final of the free-jumping competition at Mechelen in 2008. Homerus’ half-brother, Couscous van Orti sired by Nabab de Reve competed in the CSI5* classes under Samuel Parot and continues to excel today. 8
NEWS Homerus was the winner of the free-jumping competition for three-year-olds at President's Cup in 2010 and developed up through the grades, placing in numerous 1.50m classes as recently as 2020 with Leona van der Merwe. Homerus has produced incredible offspring with superb rideability and scope. Look forward to Capital Hawk, Capital Hollybush, Capital Heartly, Capital Hollywell and more on auction this November. Dirk summarised Homerus’ crop with the unbeatable tagline,
Don’t buy work, buy success – and that’s Homerus.
Capital Hawk is a Nabab de Reve with blood – and that’s what you need. He’s quick off the ground, stylish, intelligent and know’s what he’s doing. He’s a blood type and deserves a great rider. - Dirk Zagers
CASTIGO Calato x Cascavelle Holsteiner (Imported from Germany) 20/02/2005 | Grey | 1.70cm/16.3hh Capital Castigo is sired by Calato who, under different riders, won championships and competed for the Danish team at the Nations Cups. As a breeding prospect, Calato emerged from his stallion performance test as one of the higher-scoring stallions in his age group. His son, Cöster, has won the European Championship as well as competed in the Olympic Games with Christian Ahlmann.
The versatile Cascavelle, Castigo’s dam sire, has produced showjumpers, stallions as well as top-class mares. Castigo jumped his way into the hearts of the equestrian community in South Africa with his wonderful showmanship and numerous accolades. Along with his successful achievements at the 1.50m level under Chris van der Merwe, Castigo is also a three time 6 bar winner, clearing 1.95m. Castigo’s offspring share his elastic canter and striking looks. Capital Ceres, Capital Cullinan, Capital Chinhoyi and Capital Clover are very exciting prospects on this year’s auction. HQ|156A
CAPRICCIO Cor de la Bryere x Capitol I Holsteiner (imported from Belgium) 20/06/1997 | Grey | 165cm/16.1hh Cor de la Bryere is one of the most significant foundation sires of the last century who revolutionised Holsteiner breeding. His progeny were horses with outstanding jumping ability and most importantly, he was a super producer of stallions such as Corrado, Corland, Calypso II and Cordalme Z who have moulded Holstein breeding into what it is today. Thanks to his dam’s sire, Capitol I, Capriccio has inherited the blood that puts him in an elite league of stallions that are able to produce both outstanding sport horses as well as stallions who in turn, go on to sire top quality offspring. Capriccio’s damline, 18b1, is one of the best in the world. Capriccio formally competed successfully in the open classes with tight, tucked-up front leg action. He is brave, careful and quick against the clock. We look forward to what is to come from his progeny, who in this Auction are represented by Capital Cadillac.
Easy as they come. Cadillac will make his rider look good!
- Dirk Zagers
Click here to see our article on Capital Colnardo
COLNARDO Colman x Coronado Holsteiner (from Germany) 01/03/2005 | Bay | 170cm/16.3hh Capital Colnardo’s pedigree includes the lines of Cor de la Bryere, Capitol I and Ladykiller xx. He really does showcase the best Holsteiner blood, including the influential Carthago (featured in many of the Tokyo Olympic bloodlines), Lord (also featured in many Olympic bloodlines), and Corrado I. Perhaps most significantly of all, however, his bloodlines feature the stallion Marlon xx who is one of the most influential Thoroughbred stallions and is found in many successful jumping pedigrees. After Colnardo’s achievements in South Africa with Nicole Horwood, he moved to the USA, where he jumped in the American 5-star team with Audrey Coulter. Capital Colnardo is one of the best showjumpers in the USA with outstanding achievements in the 1.60m CSI5* classes at Cascais (Estoril), Paris, Cannes, Madrid, Miami Beach and Hamburg
One of his greatest achievements is winning the world cup qualifier in Sacramento. Capital Colnardo remains in the limelight on the international stage, having achieved a podium finish in the CSI5* 1.60m Rolex Grand Prix under Jennifer Gates at Spruce Meadows. He continues to place in CSI5* competitions, finishing in second place as recently as March 2021, demonstrating his remarkable longevity and sheer consistency. Colnardo’s exciting offspring are exclusively available at the Capital Stud Auction represented by Capital Creighton, Capital Claribell and Capital Coretta. All three are incredibly athletic and show great scope, making them series contenders for the future.
Capital Creighton is absolutely superb. He is easy, keeps his rhythm and yet is adjustable, reading the fences himself. Anybody can take this horse around a big course. In fact, I suspect he can do it by himself. - Dirk Zagers
CONLANC Contender x Lancer II Holsteiner (imported from Germany) 15/06/2005 | Bay | 171cm/16.3hh Undoubtedly, the combination of a famous sire and successful dam-line makes Conlanc a special type of stallion. His father, Contender, is a legend in his own right and has produced multiple top horses who have been successful at the highest level, with names like Montender (Marco Kutscher), Checkmate (Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum) and Carlo (Sergio Alvarez Moya) to name but a few. Conlanc is out of an outstanding Holsteiner dam-line 318d2 which has produced very influential stallions. His third dam Golda is the second dam of the great Coriano
who jumped at top level with Judy-Ann Melchior and who is himself the sire of many GP winners. But this dam-line also produced numerous top stallions such as Corofino I & II (by Corrado I) and the very popular Diarado (by Diamant de Semilly). Conlanc successfully competed at Grand Prix with Danielle Lemmer. His progeny have proven to be extremely successful and take on Conlanc’s level mind and easy rideability. This is certainly evident in Capital Chipinge and Capital Cayman his only two offspring available in the 2021 Auction Collection.
Capital Chipinge is fabulous. He wants to win EVERY time. - Dirk Zagers
FUTURE BREEDING PROSPECTS CAPITAL
IMPOSSIBLE Verdi x Voltaire KWPN (Imported from Germany) 01/01/2010 | Bay
Capital Impossible has a big future ahead of him. - Nicole Horwood Capital Impossible, a very promising young stallion, is currently climbing through the grades with top open showjumper Nicole Horwood. Capital Impossible’s sire, Verdi, is one of the richest stallions in the world. With the Dutch team he won the silver medal at the Olympics in London, the gold medal at the World Equestrian Games in Caen and yet another gold medal at the European Championships in Aachen. Verdi is ranked 12th on the WBFSH stallion rankings. Impossible’s dam, Kicky Queen is also the dam of Tyson, who boasts one of the most successful showjumping records of any stallion worldwide. Kicky Queen, an elite sport mare, is, herself, sired by the legendary Voltaire. Impossible’s second dam, Firstlady, is also the dam of Nirvana, who competed successfully at 3* Grand Prix level with Dutch rider Annet Willems. This Lux is also out of Firstlady, and has jumped at the 2* level with Victoria Tachet for France. Calgary is yet another successful sport horse out of Firstlady, currently competing at 3* level with Bert Jan vd Pol for Holland.
The future certainly looks bright for Capital Impossible and 11 his progeny.
CORNETBLUE FLOREVAL Z Cornet Obolensky x Chacco Blue Zangersheide 2017 | Grey
This four year old stallion has provoked great excitement both internationally and at Capital Stud. His sire, Cornet Obolensky, has consistently produced elite offspring for the highest levels of the sport, and has thus maintained a place in the WBFSH Jumper Sire rankings since 2013. His dam-sire, Chacco-Blue, requires no introduction having been ranked #1 in the WBFSH Jumper Sire rankings for the past four years. He is also the sire of the Olympic Gold Medal winning Explosion W. Then on the dam side, we have Berlin the number 6 stallion in the world, and sire of the Olympic horse Berlux. His second dam, Pilona, is the dam of Chamberlain (by Chacco Blue) who jumps in the CSI 1.55m. Capital Coronetblue Floreval Z at his 30 day test received a 10 for his freejumping, and 9.24 in the partial index for jumping. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for this talented youngster.
FIGARO D’ISIGNY Kannan x Dollar du Murier x Irak E Selle Francais (Imported from France) 2015 | Chestnut | 1.66m This magnificent six year old stallion inherits his genes from Kannan (number one stallion in the 2014 WBFSH rankings, and in the top three of the rankings for four years in a row). Kannan brings power, style, balance, and scope to his offspring and Capital Figaro D’Isigny embodies these traits. Kannan’s other offspring include Olympic Gold medal winner Nino des Buissonnets, Molly Malone V, Quorida de Treho, Diva II, Oh d’Eole, Rosana du Park, Zoe II, Padock du Plessis, Sakann, Kavalier, Quannan-R, Albfuhren’s Paille and Quister. Capital Figaro D’Isigny is full brother to Alfueren’s Paille – winner of the World Cup final in Las Vegas with Steve Guerdat. Figaro is also the full brother to Priam D’Isigny, competing in the 1.50m Grand Prix classes with French rider Jean le Monze. Figaro’s second dam, Aconiere D’Isigny is also the dam of Katy D’Isigny, jumping at the 1.60m level with Adel Khamis Ali Saeed for Emirates. Galant D’Isigny is yet another successful sport horse out of Aconiere D’Isigny and is currently jumping in the 1.50m classes with Danilo Panone for Italy. Figaro is a stallion of the future and certainly one to look out for in the showjumping arena.
QORLAND Corland x Cassini l | 2016 | Grey Capital Qorland is the half-brother to Capital Levubu, who is currently jumping in the 1m50s with Bronwyn Meredith De Santos. Qorland’s sire Corland had an impressive career under W.J. van der Schans. Corland was Champion of the Benelux in The Hague, and 2nd in ‘The Sires of the World’ in Lanaken. Corland is from one of the last crops of the foundation sire Cor de la Bryere, a stallion that revolutionised modern breeding. Qorland’s dam, Zinnia I, is by Cassini I, one of Holstein’s most celebrated stallions, and her mare line carries Ramino and Landgraf I, reinforcing winners in every aspect of the pedigree.
Looking at the auction collection for Capital Stud this year one cannot fail to be impressed. Even the most amateur horses in the group, have scope, rideability and are endlessly quick with excellent use of their bodies. All are set to be a success at their level. With breeding of this kind, it just remains for us, as riders, to keep up with the talent being offered! South African sport horse breeding goes from strength to strength and this latest crop from Capital Stud will certainly set the showjumping stage alight.
2021 AUCTION | 18-20 NOVEMBER
LOOK UP! If you are struggling to ‘feel’ how your horse is moving, try and look up at the sky for a few moments. This avoids fixating on your horse’s head and neck and allows you to get a feel of the movement. Several top riders say they do this to really tune into their body and what they are picking up from the horse, without relying on their eyes. Give it a try – you might be surprised by how much more you can feel!
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THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING…
ith Callaho’s fourteenth auction fast approaching in October, HQ magazine took a trip down memory lane to look at the previous auction horses and their progress to date. We specifically wanted to focus on the horse-rider partnerships that have stood the test of time, and also look back at Team Callaho’s early predictions for these horses. We asked all the relevant questions: What were the original prices? What was the potential? How are these horses doing now? We’re sure you’ll agree that the results are pretty impressive!
22 YEARS DOWN THE LINE Since Callaho’s inception in 1999, the team’s single-minded focus has been on providing discerning equestrians in South Africa with sporting partners that have both the genetic potential and requisite disposition to excel at top level sport. The team celebrates four generations of rich horse breeding history. While deeply respectful of tradition, the team is continually refining, evolving and staying at the forefront of warmblood breeding innovation and excellence. A look at the statistics makes clear Callaho’s unquestionable ability to produce top quality horses for the equestrian sport. Over the past 22 years they have certainly backed up their tagline by conjuring ‘breeding magic’. The following summary only hints at their incredible achievements. The proof really is in the pudding. Enjoy!
A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE… EARLY AUCTIONS Callaho Freedom and Shaun Neill
• Callaho Freedom (Ferro x Ramiro Z x Gotthard) Auction 2010 for R210 000 • Back in 2010 Callaho Freedom was bought by Simon Burn. He was subsequently bought and ridden by Marlene Sinclair with Barry Taylor taking him round his first 1.50m class at the SA Outdoor Grand Prix in 2014. This was the first time a Callaho bred horse had jumped in the 1.50m classes. • Subsequently, since 2016, Freedom has been ridden by Shaun Neill in the top classes. • In total, Callaho Freedom has taken three riders around at the 1.50m level.
With For Joy as one of their early foundation stallions, his offspring arrived en masse into the open division starting with: • CALLAHO FIORELLA (For Joy x Raphael x Watzman) Auction 2012 for R255 000 • Callaho Fiorella was acquired by Jeanne Korber on the auction and produced to 1.50m. Fiorella debuted at the 1.50m level in 2016 with husband Ray while Jeanne was pregnant, but Jeanne retook the reins in 2017. • Fiorella was Callaho’s “cover-girl” for the 2012 Auction and was rated a two out of three stars for jumping, eventing and showing and described by the team as “a highly talented mare with an exciting future in the top levels for virtually any discipline”.
Callaho For Amigo
Another four For Joy sons who’ve jumped up to or are currently competing at the 1.40m level include: • CALLAHO FOR AMIGO (For Joy x Ramiro Z x Gotthard) Auction 2012 for R110 000 • For Amigo is the half-brother to Callaho Freedom and was ridden in the 1.40m classes by Jason Philips. He is now being ridden again by Carolyn van Schalkwyk.
Callaho Floyd and Kyla Brimacombe
• Callaho Floyd (For Joy x Padinus x Calato) Auction 2014 for R420 000 • Callaho Floyd was ridden to 1.40m by Ronnie and then pupil Kyla Brimacombe, the owner of Floyd, took the reins and has never looked back. • Callaho Floyd and Kyla recently won the 1.30m Reonet Riders’ Grand Prix. The pair are serial winners in the 1.35s.
• CALLAHO FRANKLIN (For Joy x Land Earl x Trocadero xx) Auction 2012 for R130 000 • Callaho Franklin competed in the 1.40m classes with John Bouwer. • CALLAHO FARGO WELLS (For Joy x Land Earl x Trocadero xx) Auction 2014 for R190 000 • Callaho Fargo Wells is the full-brother to Franklin. • He has also competed in the 1.40m classes with Robyn Salter.
IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR The Lissabon lads then come in hot and fast to supersede For Joy in the open high performance rankings: • CALLAHO LEXINGTON (Lissabon x For Joy x Raphael) Callaho Lexington Auction 2015 for R400 000 • Callaho Lexington is the son of Callaho Fiorella. He truly embodies the phrase ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’. • Jeanne Korber, in partnership with the Whitehouse family, acquired him on the auction, thereby producing both mother and son to the 1.50m division - a very special feat! The pair debuted in 2020 and placed in the top 10 recently at the 2021 1.50m SA Showjumping Championships. • Rated 3 stars out of 3 for jumping, Callaho remarked “Blessed with superior jumping ability and remarkable trainability under a sensitive, competent rider, this sport-horse presents a fine example of top-class, modern Warmblood breeding”. It’s safe to say Callaho weren’t wrong!
NEWS Callaho struck gold with the acquisition of foundation mare Welingan (Heartbreaker x Indoctro). Out of the 6 foals she produced which would be eligible to jump in the open classes, 5 offspring have, or are currently, competing in this division. Two of these are: • Callaho Le Cadeau (Lissabon x Heartbeaker x Indoctro) Auction 2014 for R750 000 • Le Cadeau was bought by Desiree Pienaar at the auction and produced herself to the 1.50m division. This pair also debuted in the 1.50m in 2020 and placed in the top 10 recently at the 2021 1.50m SA Showjumping Championships. • Rated three out of three stars for jumping, Callaho stated “a multi-talented sport horse with a scopey, elastic jump and effortless movement – ready to take a competitive rider to the top” • AND LOOK - he’s done just that!
Callaho Le Cadeau and Desiree Pienaar
ON A WINNING STREAK
Callaho Liantos and Tam Rueda
• CALLAHO LIANTOS (Lissabon x Heartbeaker x Indoctro) Auction 2016 for R510 000 • Liantos is the full brother to Le Cadeau • Tamara Rueda bought and produced Liantos from the 2016 Auction. This is an extremely special partnership as Liantos was a spirited youngster, who required careful handling. With Tamara, Callaho Liantos has flourished and their results include: – 2019 | 1.30m South African Champions – 2020 | 1.35m Reserve South African Champions – 2021 | 1.40m South African Champions • Rated three out of three stars for Jumping and Eventing with 2 stars for Dressage, Callaho commented “Liantos is an exceptional athlete in all respects - combined with his modern, beautifully refined type and bold disposition”. Notably it was also suggested that he go to a “Skilled/Professional rider” aka READ THE FINE PRINT!
• CALLAHO CONFIDOR (Con Coriano x Padinus x Calato) Auction 2013 for R200 000 • Confidor was bought by the Sanne family in 2013. He was competed to 1.50m with James White and he won the 6 Bar in 2016. • He is now together with Francesca Sanne and the pair have just been crowned the 1.40m Gauteng Champions. Callaho Confidor and Francesca Sanne
NEWS Callaho Lansink and Zandi Alcock
• CALLAHO LANSINK (Lissabon x Pilot x Paradox) Auction 2013 Auction for R450 000 • Callaho Lansink was produced by Ray Korber, and the pair won many titles together. They were 10 times National Championship winners, and other highlights include: – 6 x National Championship Runner Up – Top 1.35m horse in 2018 & 2019 – Runner up 1.35m horse in 2017 • Ray has subsequently sold Callaho Lansink to his pupil Zandi Alcock and the two are going from strength to strength. Lansink and Zandi have recently been: – Winners of the FEI World Jumping Challenge Gold Tour and the Aachen Youth Jumping Challenge Qualifier. – Reserve in the 1.35m Gauteng Championships – Reserve in the 1.35m A’Quelle WCQ Championships – Reserve in the Junior 1.30m President’s Cup Championships Callaho For Sure and Ingeborg Sanne
DRESSAGE CHAMPIONS As if the showjumping success was not enough, Callaho have also always embraced the dressage lines, and have produced some of the top dressage horses here in South Africa: • CALLAHO FOR SURE (For Joy x Simply x Ussuri xx) Auction 2009 Auction for R75 000 • For Sure was purchased from the auction and subsequently sold to Ingeborg Sanne, in the early stages of his training. Ingeborg and For Sure are currently competing in Medium Tour. Their results include: – 2020 WORLDWIDE Inter 1 FEI Dressage Challenge Champions – 2020 PSG DSA Challenge Champions
Callaho Fabriccio and Alan Conradie
• Callaho Fabriccio (For Joy x Idocus x Michellino) Auction 2011 for R80 000 • Fabriccio was produced by Nicola Mohr to Inter 1 level • Alan Conradie then took the reins and the pair won the 2020 Junior Individual & Freestyle SA Championships and the 2020 Junior PSG DSA Challenge.
• CALLAHO BUGATTI (Benicio x Iroko x Burggraaf) Auction 2014 Auction for R700 000 • Bugatti was bought and produced from auction by Nikayla Burger. In 2018 he was the SA Junior Dressage Champion with Nikayla winning the hattrick of: – SA Small Tour Champion – SA Small Tour Freestyle Champion – Prix St George Victrix Ludorum • In 2019, the pair then won the Western Cape Dressage Championships, including the WC Small Tour Junior Dressage Championships and the Small Tour Freestyle Championships.
Callaho Lincoln meeting Dawn Newman at the auction!
• CALLAHO LINCOLN (Lissabon x Rotspon x Matcho AA) Auction 2018 Auction for R120 000 • Lincoln was bought and produced by Dawn Newman and the following results demonstrate just some of their success to date: – 2020 WC Medium & Freestyle Champions – 2020 WC DSA Challenge Champions – 2019 WC Novice Freestyle Champions – 2019 Novice & Freestyle SA Champions • Rated two stars out of three for dressage Callaho attested “An exceptionally dazzling gelding with elastic movement, Lincoln is a chocolate-box horse personified. Lincoln has all the attributes and natural inclination to deliver his considerable potential”.
Remarkably, the pool of Callaho horses sold at auction over the last decade has produced over 100 open-level jumpers, a set of 1.50m jumpers, and plenty of fantastic dressage horses. Callaho certainly breeds the best, but what is perhaps even more noteworthy is Callaho’s ability to predict the futures for these horses with such accuracy. One can rest easy when choosing a horse from the Callaho catalogue, and one can count on the team’s honesty when it comes to advice and matchmaking.
Try-outs can be scheduled between 10 September and 10 October. Bidding on these special horses opens on 12 October, and the lots begin to close on 15 October.
Callaho’s class of 2021 has just been revealed and will present 23 quality sporthorses to the market. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for these Callaho horses. If the past is anything to go by, their success is all but guaranteed.
SAFE FRUIT AND VEG FOR HORSES • Apples • Apricots (remove stone!) • Bananas • Beets • Blackberries • Carrots • Celery • Coconut • Grapes • Lettuce • Mangoes (remove stone!) • Oranges • Peaches (remove stone!) • Pineapple • Pumpkin • Raisins • Strawberries • Sweet potato • Watermelon 24
HORSE AND RIDER
INTERVIEW: HQ TEAM PHOTOGRAPHY: PIX BY ALEX
Zandi Alcock And Favour the Bold
e chatted to 16-year-old up and coming rider Zandi Alcock following her phenomenal win in the Puresan 1.30m South African Championship. She rode to the top of the podium in a big class on her Off The Track Thoroughbred, Favour the Bold. HQ: When did you get Bold? Zandi: So Bold was actually a complete surprise. I got him for my 13th birthday when he was eight years old. My mom vetted him in secret after I had tried him out. She then decided to purchase him. He had been bought off the track by Danielle Pearson and was being ridden by Nicola Sime-Riley before I got him. HQ: Did you have much experience before buying Bold? Zandi: Yes, Bold is known for being a bit quirky. He is very hot and has a huge buck! Before I got Bold, I had a pony called Assegai Summer Song, who was definitely no pushbutton pony either. Before Sunny, I had some very tricky ponies, and my very first pony was completely green.
HQ: Ray (Körber) is a phenomenal rider himself, but what does Ray focus on in his coaching? Zandi: Ray is very strategic in the way he teaches and the exercises he sets up, so he often has a lot of gymnastics set up, and we don’t always do many courses. Most of the jumping exercises we do focus on balance, strength training and rhythm. With Bold, we have been working on the strength in his hindquarters and his technique with his back legs. In particular, we focus on oxers as he sometimes flattens out and takes the back rail down. HQ: Bold seems incredibly honest… Zandi: Yes, Bold is brave, but he can be quite spooky. Whenever there is a water tray at shows, I make sure he has a good few looks at it before we jump it. Having said this, he is the most forgiving horse I have ever ridden, and he will jump from anywhere. I think he might have stopped with me once in the ring over the years, but I may be mistaken.
HORSE AND RIDER
HORSE AND RIDER
HQ: It seems like you are jumping in a lot of the adult classes. Why is this? Zandi: I like the adult classes, mainly because there are a lot more riders, which makes the classes more competitive. For me, if I win an adult class with lots of entries, I feel I have achieved more. HQ: When did you start doing the 1.30s? Zandi: So my first 1.30 was at the beginning of 2019, and soon after we started the 1.30 classes, Bold actually injured himself and was out for a year. My mom and I rehabbed him for that period. At President’s Cup at the end of last year, he came third, and at the Burlington Cup, he came second. At last year’s Youth Champs, he also came second. Youth Champs last year was actually one of our best shows as we went clear in all four classes, and he placed in all of them as well. He has this huge heart and is the sweetest. He is so tricky to stay on in the warm-up, but he is completely focused once he is in the ring. I know him so well; I feel like we are one when we enter the ring.
HQ: We heard you had adopted a slightly different strategy with Bold in the last few shows; what is it? Zandi: So with Bold, due to the difficulty of his warm-up, he seems to tire himself out towards the end of the show, especially over three-day shows. At the Reonet Show, we missed the second day of classes due to rain, and he won the Championship Class. At Shongweni, he was quite anxious and tense in the warm-up, and I felt he was tired in the Championship Class. When he is calm, he jumps so much better as he uses his back properly. When he is relaxed, he is also so much more focused. I said to Ray I would like to try skip a day at SA Champs and see if it works, and it clearly did! HQ: How do you prep for your big shows? Zandi: I like to do a lot of visualisation before my shows. I try to visualise clear, smooth rounds and even visualise my
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horses in the championship blankets at prize giving. Before I won Reonet, I said to my Dad, “Send the live stream link to our friends and family - Bold and I are going to win tomorrow!” It seemed to work, as we did! I also do lots of dressage, pole work and fitness training as I find this really helps to strengthen my horses for jumping. HQ: Did you feel SA Champs was going to be different? Zandi: I don’t know. It is hard to explain, but in the Championship Class it was the first time he felt like he was fighting to get to the jumps. He was calm, but he was super focused. We have been working with horsemanship trainer Shelley Wolhuter on his anxiety, and it really seems to be paying off. He uses his back so much better when he is calm, and I have his 100% focus. HQ: Who was your biggest competition for the jump-off round? Zandi: It was definitely Tegan Bruyns and Cerravie. She went early on and set a great time. In the warm-up, it seemed that no one would be able to beat her time. I try not to focus on the other riders too much but try to focus on myself and my horse. I just knew from experience that Cerravie is an incredibly fast horse in the jump-off, so I would have to set a very fast time to beat her. HQ: What are your tips for a good jump-off round? Zandi: It is obviously important to be quick between the jumps, but I find that smoothness is the most important. A lot of riders seem to do tight turns, but they slow down during the turns, which affects their speed hugely and that often results in them getting too close to the next jump and taking a pole. Ray always talks about keeping the rhythm during the round, and this helps prevent chipping a stride. HQ: What are your dreams with Bold and your other horse, Callaho Lansink? Zandi: I am just going to keep going up the grades with Bold and see how it goes. I really feel he could be the next Iron Ruler (Daniella Machiné’s much-loved partner). In terms of Lansink, I feel I could go up to the 1.40s at the end of the year, but I know Ray will probably encourage me to stay in the 1.35s to ensure I am completely comfortable with the 1.35s. Ray always makes sure you are completely ready to move up a grade before he lets you move up, which I find has really benefitted my horses and me.
HQ: What are your short-term goals? Zandi: Last year, I wanted to go to the Youth Olympics, but due to COVID-19, it was cancelled. They have a new event now called the FEI Youth Jumping Competition, and that will be in Aachen next year. I am on the long list for that and will be doing qualifiers over the next few months to see if I can make it up the list to the last four candidates. The last four candidates will compete at Easter Festival, and they have to swap horses. I would love to represent South Africa at the Youth Jumping Challenge in Germany. A THANK YOU A huge part of my success at SA Champs was due to my team that constantly helps and supports me my coach (Ray Korber), my parents and my sponsors (Calico Socks and Equisense). I am so grateful for everything they do for me.
How many times a week do you see your horse? Samantha Joubert: Daily
Erna Hubbard: Ride at least five times, see at least 7 times, sometimes twice per day
Anita van Eeden: Every evening Albert Kriel: All day, everyday Desire Fourie: Everyday Chenee Seeberath: At least 5 times a week
Yvonne Lubbe: Every day, twice a day – and sometimes three times depending on the day I am having
Wanda le Hanie: Most of the day when I’m home looking at them through my room window. I feed them myself and groom them twice a day.
Katie Gillespie: 4 times
Candice Kent: 6 times
Nathalie Claire Lugard: As often as possible
Alet van Deventer: 1-3 times a week
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
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INTERVIEW: AMELIA CAMPBELL-HORNE PHOTOGRAPHY: LC PHOTOGRAPHS
Nicola Sime-Riley The SA Champion
t the beginning of August this year, one of the most coveted titles in equestrian sport in South Africa was up for grabs; the title of “South African Show Jumping Champion”! For the second time, Nicola Sime-Riley bagged the title, this time on her cheeky imported Belgian Stallion Insaghi DB, and she did so in fine style, jumping the only double clear! HQ had the opportunity to catch up with Nicola Sime-Riley to hear more about her latest win with the special “Ziggy”! HQ: First of all, congratulations on your latest win with a horse that seems to be going from strength to strength! Nicola: He (Sunny Park Stables Insaghi DB) was amazing, simply AMAZING! HQ: Well, you have been on quite the roll recently, winning everything on double clears! Nicola: Well, I always joke with people saying the only time I ever win is when I jump double clear and no one else is
clear. You must remember that this horse won President’s Cup this year and last year with a time fault at both! I couldn’t believe it. HQ: At least you won SA Champs without a time fault! Nicola: (Laughs) Listen - I don’t think there was any chance for time faults at this show it was just go, go go! HQ: For sure! But you haven’t had the easiest year this year? Nicola: Ya, so I broke my wrist, well, shattered my wrist before the World Cup at Kyalami at the end of April. I was riding a young horse on the flat. I wasn’t even doing anything serious… But he had stumbled with me on the Monday and on the Tuesday, I was doing some lengthen and collect, and I had lengthened him, and just before I collected him, we lengthened headfirst into the ground! My arm looked like a duck’s beak! And then I got COVID, and I was very sick. I haven’t been that sick in my life - it was terrible!
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HQ: That is quite an ordeal! And then, of course, being a “good” equestrian, you followed the doctor’s guideline on coming back from injury? Nicola: Yes, the rough guideline… I only rode eight or nine horses at SA Champs… HQ: Well, you clearly managed well! Tell us about your SA Champion “Ziggy”. Nicola: He was imported by Ronelle Gilbert of Manor D’Or and Fred De Wae to sell. Fred, with whom I have dressage lessons, saw potential in this cheeky, spirited boy whilst in Europe and so they decided to bring him into SA. He was not noticed by the riders and was a little difficult to ride so Ronelle asked me to ride him to produce and sell. To begin with, he was a thug! Well, he’s still a thug, but he was worse. But, I said I could work with him, and she sent him to me. Now I was riding him to be sold… And obviously, the more work I put into him, the better he got and the better he jumped. He has always been such a game horse for me - “Just show me the jump and let’s go” - so we’ve really got a good tune together. So that is basically how it started.
I remember Gonda (Betrix) liked the horse, but she was never crazy about him. I still remember we jumped the Derby in the 1.40s that year (2017), and he jumped the first few classes well, but then had a ‘whoopsie’ at the water and then started spooking at everything. Like planks and fillers, and I just thought this horse is not a Derby horse, so I didn’t jump the final class on him. Then I jumped the 1.35s at Maple World Cup, and Gonda said, “You need to geld that horse”. But I said it’s not the horse I know he is strong, but we just need to find out what works for him. Obviously, we didn’t geld him, and a few months later, Gonda said, “you better buy this horse”! Ronelle had people coming to try him the following week, so I called her up and said, “we need to make a plan!”. I spoke to my husband, and we made a plan, and the rest is history! HQ: He is now licensed with the SA Warmblood Horse Society, so you must have been glad you didn’t geld him! How many foals does he have on the ground? Nicola: Only the two that I’ve bred, a filly out of a Rendement mare that jumped out of her paddock when I
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sent it to be weaned, so that should jump! And the other is out of a Connoisseur, Wedekind mare, so that should be quite nice too. HQ: Well, we look forward to seeing those Ziggy babies in the ring in a few years! So, let’s get back to SA Champs; how did you feel going into the competition? Nicola: I rode Lazer first, so I was fortunate enough to have two horses to ride even though they are very different. But you know I always say to people, when I go and ride, I just love it. I just love being in the ring, and I just love what the horses do for me! I say to my clients a win is a bonus, and a place is a bonus… But Zig jumped the most fabulous first round. I suppose it was good not to be the top qualifier because there was no pressure on me, so I just went in there and rode, and he just jumped amazingly, so I am very chuffed. HQ: And what about Lazer, (Sunny Park Stables Eagles Lazer), your other 1.50m ride? Nicola: Lazer is very cheeky. He was also sent to me to be sold; the problem was he kept throwing everyone off! And when I say lighting fast, I mean it. A noise can set him off, and he just explodes off the ground and bounces around like a kudu. He is very naughty. I always say I put a knot at the end of my reins for the first jump; as I jump, the head goes down, the front feet start bouncing, and I just stick my leg forward, sit up and hope for the best! HQ: It seems you like them a bit quirky? Nicola: Well, they find me! I always get sent these naughty horses! Lazer was the same. He has been a bit trickier to go up the grades. He can get a bit anxious, and then he runs himself deep and almost stalls on take-off… He wants to be careful, so that is how he tries, but he is now feeling so brave and game and ready to go. HQ: Well, we know they have a way of finding you, but is there anything specific you look for when looking for your next top horse? Nicola: I never go looking - every horse I’ve taken to the top has found me! Sharp Colt I bought as a ‘learning horse’, but when I brought him home and started feeding him, he was a lunatic! I used to be the entertainment at a show. With Connoisseur, I was told the owner was looking for a rider but when I got there, they wanted to sell him, so I made a plan and bought him. El Paso is the only horse that I 'chose' in that I asked the girl if she had any more Consuelo’s, and she showed me this little grey thing… ugly,
skinny, no shoulders, and a tail as short as a warthog’s. So, I took him on trial for a week, and my ex-husband told me, ‘It’s rubbish, don’t buy it’, but the last horse he said that about ended up jumping the 1.40m with Lexi Carter! So, I decided to go on my gut feel and took him. My husband says to me now, ‘when your angel wings talk, listen to them’.
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HQ: Tell us a bit about your training regime between your competitions? Nicola: I don’t work them hard. I do quite a lot of flatwork with them – lengthen, collect work and my famous three canter poles on a circle just to make it a little less boring. I don’t jump them often; I’ll maybe have a lesson a week before a big competition and jump once at home the week before that. Other than that, I don’t do much jumping at home, mostly fitness. The younger horses train a bit harder; they jump at least once a week, but not a lot and not big. It depends on what I need to do with them. HQ: You also have a reputation of keeping your horses going and sound for a long time at the top; what would you credit that to? Nicola: I think it’s because I don’t put too much pressure on them! A lot of riders do lots of exercises; for me, I find it puts too much strain on them, so I won’t do exercises unless they need them, and I find my horses don’t need
them, so why would I waste their legs on that? HQ: Finally, how do you fit it all in? Nicola: I ride and teach in the morning, so in summer I start at 05.30 and finish at 10:30. I then coach each afternoon. I have Musa and Lovemore who help me work horses as well, so I choose which horses are ridden by who and send a list before bed each night. I currently have about 12 horses that I jump and compete with two Levubu babies and a Rendement filly being backed and on their way to me soon! THANK YOUS Nicola would like to thank her coach Gonda and her sponsors Fulvic Health and Western Shoppe. Last but not least, she wishes to thank her husband, who always believes her gut feel on horses and is super supportive of her career!
AN ASSET TO SOUTH AFRICAN BREEDING
he South African Warmblood Society’s Free Jumping and Loose Movement event was due to run on the 26th of June at Eaton Farm but unfortunately had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. There were some exciting horses with interesting pedigrees entered, and hopefully in the near future, this event can be rescheduled to show us a snapshot of South African Warmblood breeding. For HQ, it seems too good an opportunity to miss to use this event as the basis for shining a spotlight on some of the stallions and mares that will be seen and represented
on South African soil through this series. In this issue, we start with the unmissable Vinducath.
VINDUCATH Vinducath is a licensed premium KWPN stallion by Sandro Hit out of Kandy by Casimir. He is owned by Shiree Darley, who has owned him since he was just four years old. Vinducath competed on the European Circuit at Prix St George level before being imported to South Africa. He is a very attractive stallion, as so many of the Sandro Hit
Adela Van Helsing
sons are, and his performance record speaks for itself. He is currently being campaigned by Catherine Berning at Grand Prix level and has a string of wins under his belt. Something is certainly to be said about the longevity of his competitive career, as he is still competing in Grand Prix at the age of 19.
FOALS Vinducath’s first foal on the ground is the lovely Ambeck’s Violetta, a mare out of M.O.T. Gemma (Tyson STV x Sidney x Gratuity). She is owned by Shiree Darley and was entered in the 4-year-old loose movement class at the event. Maxine De Villiers of Adela Stud has had two successful crossings of Vinducath to her mare Adela Rosi. Adela van Helsing was Champion Foal at the 2020 Horse of the Year and full sister, Adela Valkyrie, won the SA Warmblood 1-2 year old class at Horse of the Year in 2019. Both Valkyrie and Van Helsing were entered into the free movement classes scheduled to be held on the 26th of June. Adela Rosi is a proven mare and also the dam of Adela Quantissima, currently doing very well at Novice level under Maxine. Adela Rosi is by Rosario, the famous
Oldenburger by Rubinstein, and it is fantastic to have her on South African soil. Rosi also boasts the world famous Donnerhall in her damline. Interestingly, the Sandro Hit line seems to cross very well with Donnerhall mares, which may be why the Adela Rosi cross to Vinducath has been such a good one. Coeur de Cuvee Dressage Stud has repeated the Vinducath to Adela Rosi pairing, and we look forward to seeing how the foal turns out.
SIMILAR PAIRINGS Saratoga stud has a Sandro Hit x Donnerhall stallion in Saratoga Senergy, who had a SAW filly, Saratoga Summertime entered into the 3-year-old loose movement class at the show. Samantha Foley owns a mare, Sira Queen by Sir Donnerhall, probably the most famous Sandro Hit x Donnerhall cross, and this mare was entered into the 4-year-old loose movement class. TAKE HOME MESSAGE Vinducath throws looks, paces and temperament and is a fantastic asset to the South African Warmblood. HQ|156A
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NOSEBANDS DOES YOURS PASS THE PRESSURE TEST?
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ightly fastened nosebands have been proven to exert significant pressure on our horses. Detrimental consequences for the horse include discomfort, pain or possibly even tissue damage. Most of us are aware of this but did you know that even slightly looser nosebands (a selfmeasured two-fingers) can still exert significant pressure? The origins of the two-finger rule are unknown, but it has appeared in texts since 1956. The difficulty with the two-finger rule is the difference in individual finger thickness and the different opinions about where the fingers should be placed. The International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) have tried to standardise the use of the twofinger rule using an ISES noseband taper gauge, a device that mimics two adult fingers.
RESEARCH From Bishop Burton College in England, Jayne Peters and her research team investigated three different noseband designs and their effect on rein tension and the force being exerted on the frontal nasal plane of ridden horses in a preliminary study. Jayne presented her results at the 15th Annual International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) conference. The conference theme of “Bringing Science to the Stable” explored the origins and evolution of our relationship with horses, the current state of equitation science and what we have learned, and the promising future for improving the lives of all equids. Of the three nosebands tested, the flash and drop nosebands showed significantly higher pressure on the front of the horse’s nose when compared to a cavesson type. The flash created the highest pressure. With the flash nosebands being the most popular noseband seen in international competition, further research is definitely needed.
TRY THIS TEST Place your fingers flat under your horse’s headpiece by the crown. Tighten up your noseband and flash to no-fingers distance. Allow your horse to move his head around and feel how the pressure increases under your fingers. An anatomical headpiece will significantly reduce this effect and the pressure on the sensitive poll area, but with all other headpieces, the effect is pronounced. Furthermore, a tight noseband can apply unwarranted poll pressure due to the conical shape of a horse’s nose. This means that when a noseband is tight, it will tend to pull downward, thus exerting pressure on the poll. A flash noseband compounds this, as the design of a flash pulls the noseband further down. To counter the downward pull
A thicker noseband spreads the pressure over a wider area and is, therefore, more ‘gentle’ on the horse’s face
A WORRYING STUDY A study done by researchers in Limerick, Ireland, on horses at International Level competition found that 44 % of the 740 horses tested had nosebands fastened with zero fingers! The study also raised concerns about the type of nosebands used, with thinner nosebands resulting in greater force being applied to the nose. of the flash, many riders tighten up the cavesson, which will then unlikely fit the two-finger rule. What is more, unlike a bit, a noseband’s pressure can be unrelenting on the poll. A NOTE ON THE CRANK NOSEBAND The crank noseband is one to apply with significant caution, as the leveraged buckle design allows for the noseband to be tightened to a much greater degree than the French or classical noseband.
ISES council member Kate Fenner agreed with the welfare concerns raised, describing findings from her study, titled “Restrictive nosebands are a welfare concern as they can inhibit natural oral behaviour and cause stress.” Significant cardiac responses (reduced heart rate variability and increased heart rate) were associated with the very tight noseband fitting, suggesting a stress response. These findings were supported by a significant increase in eye temperature. An increase in eye temperature from baseline is an indicator of stress in horses.
RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS Peters closed her presentation at the ISES conference encouraging more focus on correct training than equipment. Ensuring that our horse understands our rein cues and then ensuring that the bit and noseband fit properly will ultimately improve our horse’s welfare.
DID YOU KNOW? Black horses are often born grey. Whilst this isn’t always the case, many black horses are a unique shade of mousey-grey at birth. The true black coat is revealed after the mousey-coloured baby coat sheds.
Equi Regalis: Oil on Canvas | 180x110cm Equine Artist : Gerdus Brönn www.gerdusbronn.com | MOB +27 82 3776223 | Your Art Investment 74 Scott Street, Hartbeespoort, South Africa
PRINCE PHILIP AND MOUNTED GAMES
he 9th of April 2021 marked a sad day for equestrian sports as His Royal Highness Prince Philip passed away at the age of 99. Accompanied by his favourite ponies Notlaw Storm and Balmoral Nevis and their grooms, the Prince’s funeral procession paid their respects one last time to one of the world’s greatest and most influential equestrian athletes. Described as a ‘down-to-earth’ royal, Prince Philip’s lifelong love of horses and sport changed the equestrian world dramatically. Not only involved as a competitor the Prince was very much hands-
on in everything he set his mind to. Simon Brooks-Ward, the organiser of the Royal Windsor Horse Show recalled how Prince Philip “wasn’t one to stand on ceremony, and just wanted to get on with riding and organising the event”. Brooks-Wards stated that “The Prince would drive his ponies around the showground to check everything was going okay as the show was being set up. Even after retiring from competing, he became the competition steward for many years. He would spend the whole day on the showground officiating, taking a packed lunch with him so he wouldn't have to break to eat”. Prince Philip served as President of the FEI from 1964 to 1986, being the longest standing President of the FEI to date. FEI President Ingmar De Vos is quoted on the FEI website as saying, “The passing of Prince Philip is a huge loss for equestrian sport and his legacy, particularly at the FEI, will live on for many many decades to come.” Mr De Vos went on to state “He was a man of incredible energy
and a great sense of humour, and the FEI was honoured to have him as our longest serving President. His dedication to equestrian sports cannot be underestimated and will never be forgotten, especially in the Driving community. He was born in the same year the FEI was founded and sadly he will not be with us to celebrate his own and the FEI’s centenary this year. We will celebrate his life and remember him as a great ambassador of our sport.”
HISTORY HRH Prince Philip was born in Corfu, Greece in 1921 and was educated in France, Germany and Great Britain before joining the Royal Navy in 1939 at just 18 years old. Prince Philip was a keen sportsman throughout his life, enjoying cricket, hockey, rowing and sailing before being introduced to polo in the late 1940s. After the second world war, Prince Philip began an active polo career which spanned 20 years before his retirement from the game in 1971.
NEWS In 1955, Prince Philip founded the Guards Polo Club, which is still home to some of the best polo in the world today. An incredible rider and horseman, in 1966 young Prince Philip reached the final of one of the toughest annual tournaments in history, the Hurlingham Open in Argentina. He was also part of the winning teams for some of the most prestigious trophies in the UK including the Royal Windsor Cup, the Westbury Cup, the Cowdray Park Challenge Cup and the British Open Gold Cup twice. Arthritis sadly forced his retirement from polo, but not satisfied to sit on the side-lines, Prince Philip soon developed a passion for Driving and practiced with horses and old carriages at the palace before competing at the top level of four-in-hand carriage driving once it became an FEI discipline in the 1970s. His Royal Highness represented Great Britain in six World Championships and three European Championships.
HOYS The now world-famous Horse of The Year Show held annually in Great Britain, began in 1949 as the brainchild of Captain Tony Collins. Captain Collins believed that there was a need for a celebration to end the equestrian season and wished to start a ‘Champion of Champions show’. Chairman of the British Show Jumping Association Colonel Sir Mike Ansell and Chairman of the British Horse Society Colonel VDS Williams soon became involved, and the first HOYS was held at Haringay in conjunction with the Greyhound Racing Association. Prince Philip approached the Director of the HOYS, Colonel Sir Mike Ansell, as His Royal Highness wished to devise a set of games for children, which would be fun and did not require owning an expensive show pony. In 1957, the Horse of the Year Show staged the first Pony Club Mounted Games Championship for the Prince Philip Cup, and the competition was an enormous success. The Prince’s love of equestrian sports, developing camaraderie and teamwork, is exemplified in his development of the Pony Club Mounted Games, many of which are based on Cavalry techniques, and until his passing earlier this year, the Prince would present the trophy to the winning team.
MOUNTED GAMES A Mounted Games team consists of 5 riders, though only 4 participate in each game, giving the 5th rider and pony a chance to catch their breath. Before a show, the team will choose the order of the team, i.e. which rider is going first, second, third and fourth in each race. The fourth rider is the one to cross the finish line and win the race. With various skills being tested with each game, it is important
Bang-a-Balloon Ball and Cone Bank Race
Moat and Castle Mug Shuffle
Pony Express Pony Pairs
Ride and Lead
Ride and Lead
Ride and Lead
Socks and Buckets
Socks and Buckets
Socks and Buckets
Three Mug Three Pot Flag Race
Tool Box Scramble
Tool Box Scramble
Tool Box Scramble Triple Flag
Two Flag Victoria Cross
NEWS to choose the best rider combination for each race. There are approximately 40 different games which combine the following skills: - Mounting and dismounting - Handing something over to the next rider - Placing something into a container - Picking something up - Leading your horse from A to B - Dismounting and mounting while your horse is moving - Going through bending poles - Using a lance to hit something on the ground - Controlling your horse with seat and legs and using one hand on the reins The influence of Prince Philip’s time in the cavalry is evident in all of the games, as riders develop not only their horsemanship and agility skills, but valuable other skills such as timing, a sense of space, speed and direction. I also wonder whether Prince Philip’s time playing polo contributed to the development of Mounted Games as a team sport. The camaraderie, friendships, empathy and team-spirit which these young riders develop is invaluable, not to mention all of the fun and laughter had along the way!
EXPANSION Originally the Pony Club Mounted Games were only open to riders under 15 years old. In 1984, on his 70th birthday, the then Chairman of the Pony Club Mounted Games Committee Mr Norman Patrick founded the Mounted Games Association of Britain, as he felt the need for an organisation where riders could continue to play the games past the age of 15. In 1994, the Association became a limited company and quickly spread across the world with the object being “to encourage friendship between young people of different nations”. As the popularity of Mounted Games grew across the world, the International Mounted Games Association (IMGA) was formed and the following nations, including South Africa, are affiliated: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iran, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Sweden, USA and Wales.
Do you wear a body protector? Alexander Price: Nope, but probably should Nina Swart: Yes. I wear a Point 2 Air Jacket. Saved me more times than I can remember. Brunhilda Nel: No Julie Moss: Always when jumping Kayla Burton: I never have in the past. Body protectors were never really a big thing. But now being a mother I’m getting one, as well as for my son who has just started riding. Wanda Blom: Yes. Me and my daughter always wear ours when riding. Cally Smit: Yes, I have a prosthetic shoulder from a fall so feel it is essential Laurenne James: Yes. I have both an air vest as well as a solid type. I broke my back so I’m not taking any chances.
It’s incredible and works with technology that absorbs impact! I would highly recommend to anyone who rides! It’s an incredible product. Go check it out! Bianca Jade Heyns: Yes, every single time I get on a horse. I never used to until one day I had a fall while warming up my horse at a walk inside my dressage arena. The horse spooked and exploded sending my flying. I broke my back in 2 places and punctured a lung with a broken rib. From that day I won’t get on a horse without my body protector. I have since had many spills, and have come out fine with only minor bruising thanks to my body protector. The_golden_rose: I bought a Hit Air after 2 bad accidents have left me with severe chronic pain. Will now not jump without it. Natashagr1: So my daughter is really funny… She wears one at home, won’t get on the horse without it… But at shows she refuses to wear one because it ‘doesn’t look good with show kit’…
Jackie Smith Steyn: Yes, Equestro from Safety First Equestrian – so light I forget I’m riding with one.
Elaine_pullinger: I have a Hit Air and wouldn’t ride without it. Horses are sentient beings with their own minds and as such are unpredictable. Anything can happen – they can have a hectic spook, stop suddenly, slip… Whenever I speak to someone who has been badly hurt riding, they describe it as being a ‘freak accident’. ‘Freak’ implies it’s a very rare thing, except it’s not. People are often badly hurt, so I see it as just a horse riding accident. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Zelda du Preez: Yes, I ride in a safety vest from G-Form Africa. It is very comfortable, light, breathable and if you don’t tell people you are wearing it, it’s barely noticeable.
Itme_alys: I wear a back protector. I have lower back issues from a fall I had when I was a kid. So I guess better safe than sorry.
Debra Lee Docker Freeman: For dressage, no; for cross country, yes; and for jumping, no. But often feel I’d like to get the soft one with the gas canister especially as I have to be careful of my skull having had a craniotomy.
H O R S E A N D S P O RT
TEXT: FARRYN DAY
A GUIDE TO HORSEBALL EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
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rules were defined by the French Equestrian Federation in the 1970s. In 1999 the International Horseball Federation (FIHB) was formed and, today Horseball is played in over 17 countries across the world.
magine a cross between rugby and netball, on horseback. Sounds exhilarating, doesn’t it? Well, look no further, horseball is an exciting game that is on its way to South Africa… Horseball is based on an Argentinian game called ‘Pato’. Invented around 1600, it soon became the Argentines’ favourite game. ‘Pato’ means ‘duck’ in Spanish – referring to the live duck trapped in a basket that was originally used as a ball! In the beginning, Pato had very few formal rules and the passionate and competitive nature of the South Americans soon came to the fore. It is said that the pitch resembled a battlefield with riders crashing their horses into their opponents to steal the ball, with little regard for the safety of themselves or their horses. Pato has been banned several times throughout its history due to fatalities of both ducks and players. Inspired by ‘Pato’, modern Horseball as we know it today was started by a French army captain, and the current
BASIC RULES A Horseball team is made up of 6 players, with four players being on the pitch at the same time. Each player rides one horse and players may be substituted during a time-out or a break in play. The game is played in two, 10 minutes halves, with the aim being to shoot the ball through a 1m diameter hoop, and the team with the most goals at the end of the match wins. According to the FIHB sport rules: “Above all it must always be remembered that good sportsmanship is the foundation stone on which the game of Horseball is built and that the safety of both horses and riders are paramount”. As such, all of the rules of Horseball are there to ensure safety of both horse and rider, with the main rules being: 1. Riders are required to wear riding helmets, and suitable riding boots. Long boots are required for adults, and children can wear jodhpur boots and gaiters. 2. English tack is used, and any bit or bitless bridle is allowed (except for a fulmer or long shank bit as it can get caught up in an opponent’s reins). 3. Leg protection is required on all four of your horse’s legs, with a thickness of at least 3mm. Over-reach boots are compulsory. 4. Horses may only compete at a regional, national or international level from 5 years of age. 5. S hould the ball fall to the ground, riders may not stop or dismount to pick up the ball. Pick-up straps are compulsory for safety reasons as they enable you to reach out of your saddle for a downed ball. The pick-up strap joins the stirrups together under the belly and runs through the martingale strap. It is forbidden to tackle or intimidate any player who is attempting to pick up the ball, including forcing a change of direction. As this is considered dangerous play, a penalty, yellow or red card may be given.
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6. T he line of the ball determines which player has priority to pick up the ball. The line of the ball is an imaginary line passing through the ball and parallel to the long sides of the pitch. In the case where the ball is behind the line of the goal (i.e. within 2.5m of the end of the pitch), the line of play runs parallel to the short side of the pitch. Any player can pick up the ball in any area of the pitch. However, they must be travelling in the same direction as the line of the ball to prevent any collisions. 7. Players may steal the ball from an opposition player but must remain seated in the saddle and may only use one hand to grab the ball. Standing in the stirrups while grabbing the ball results in a penalty. 8. Players may use their horses to push an opposition team member out of bounds or off of the line of the ball, in a move called ‘riding off’. Players may not approach at an angle of more than 45˚ and must remain seated in the ride off. Horseball can be played in a sand or grass arena, as long as the footing isn’t too slippery. The rectangular pitch may vary between 60 to 75 metres in length by 20 to 30 metres in width. The ideal size is 65m x 25m.
HORSES The size and type of horse used to play Horseball is not limited, though horses smaller than 16.2hh are generally preferred. You can use any type of horse or pony that you like, as long as your horse or pony is safe, fit, and level-
headed, they will certainly be able to learn to play! Off-thetrack Thoroughbreds seem to do particularly well – they are intelligent and have great speed and stamina. Keep in mind, that according to International Horseball regulations, a horse may only play at the more demanding levels of competition once they are 5 years old. Horseball can be a taxing sport if your horse is not ready and conditioned to play – start slowly and take care of your horse for the long term. In order to play Horseball, you and your horse or pony must be comfortable with: - Comfortable with neck reining (i.e. riding with one hand). - Sensitive to the rider’s seat and weight aids. - Comfortable running next to and bumping into other horses with no fear or aggression. - Be confident and pain free.
PLAYER CATEGORIES Horseball is the only other equestrian team sport besides polo, and it can be enjoyed by riders of any age or riding ability. At tournaments, riders are broken up into categories according to age group, with a few adaptations for younger players - such as a smaller ball, smaller arena and limitations to the size of pony allowed. Although men and women are allowed to play on the same team, tournaments also include a special category for ladies, and children from as young as 6 years old are welcome to play.
PITCH SIZE Youth
Under 8 Under 10
40m x 20m
300 cm 60m x 20m 350 cm
Under 16 Adults
Under 12 Under 14
Min 60m x 20m
Mixed: Ladies & Men Pro Elite
Max 75m x 30m Ideal 65m x 25m
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EQUIPMENT Minimal extra equipment besides a ball and a hoop is required to play Horseball. A regular GP, Jumping or Polo Saddle works well, though if you are more comfortable in a Dressage saddle - that can work too! The only limitation is that a rider is not allowed to compete in a Stock or Western Saddle. A pick-up strap is compulsory and should run through the loop of the martingale. Adequate leg protection for your horse is required on all four legs (polo bandages or wrap-around boots are best).
HOW TO Before the start of a match, the team captains will meet with the referee and the start of the game is decided by a coin toss. The team that won the coin toss may decide to either pick up first, or they can choose which goal to defend. To start, the ball is placed on the centre of the 10m penalty line of the team chosen to pick up first. Members of the attacking team may stand between the 10m and the half-way line, but only those behind the 10m line may attempt to pick up the ball. The ball must be passed (thrown) three times between different players within a team before a shot at goal can be attempted. The ball can be passed with one or two hands, but a player may not hold on to the ball for more than 10 seconds. Handing the ball from one player to another is allowed; but does not constitute a pass. HQ|156A
Defending players may then attempt to intercept the ball, pick up downed balls, or steal the ball from attacking players after which they will have to pass the ball three times amongst their team before shooting for a goal. After every goal, play is restarted with a line-out. The ball is thrown in by a member of the team which conceded the goal. One or two players from each team line up in two lines parallel to the centre line and facing the thrower, at least 7m from the side of the pitch. The remaining members of the team must be at least 5m downfield from the players on the line, in their respective halves, until the ball has been caught or deflected by a player in the line-out. The ball must be thrown within 3 seconds of the referee’s whistle and must be thrown at at least stirrup height.
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10m PITCH AREA
3–5m SECURITY ZONE
SCORE BOARD Line out indicators (0.5m from each side of the centre line)
diameter = 6cm
internal diameter = 1m net with 4cm mesh
2m 50 58
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The ball is considered out of play when it has fallen to the ground beyond the boundaries of the pitch, or if the horse of the player carrying the ball steps out of bounds. Play is then restarted with a penalty 3.
PENALTIES Penalties can be taken by any player from the offended team. Penalty 1: A penalty 1 is awarded as a result of a serious or unacceptable infringement such as rough or dangerous play, interfering with the pick-up, or if the foul prevented a shot at goal. Penalty 1 is an undefended and direct shot at goal without moving. Players of the offending team stand in the corner of the pitch, within the 5m line. Penalty 2: A penalty 2 is awarded as a result of offences which are less serious but still interfere with play or the safety of the game. Penalty 2 offences include obstruction or intimidation of an opponent. The referee gives the team captain a choice between a direct shot at goal from the 10m line, or passing the ball (three times between three different players) from the 15m line. In the case of a direct shot at 10m, the shot must be made from a stationary horse. Players of the offending team must stand behind the 5m line and in the direction of play. Should the captain decide to pass the ball, the ball carrier stands on the centre of the 15m line, in the direction of play facing the goal, with the remaining team members behind the ball carrier. They can play as soon as the referee has whistled. Players of the offending team stand behind (i.e. goal side of) the 10m line in the direction of play. In both scenarios, the defending team may intercept the ball. Penalty 3: A penalty 3 is awarded as a result of minor infringements. A penalty 3 is always taken from the centre line and the ball carrier may stand anywhere along the centre line, with the remaining team members placed in their own half. The defending team must be within their own half, at least 5m from the ball carrier and standing/moving in the direction of play. The are allowed to defend as soon as the HQ|156A
If you would like to learn more about Horseball visit the FIHB website: www.fihb. net or contact Farryn on email@example.com referee has blown the whistle to restart the game. Technical Foul: A technical foul is described as “unsportsmanlike conduct such as the use of abusive language or gestures, or brutality to a horse; and may be awarded against players, substitutes, grooms or coaches on or off the pitch”. Technical fouls committed before or during the match or during half time will be penalised as the referee sees fit. Depending on the foul the referee may award a Penalty 1, 2 or 3, yellow or red card, or a warning.
A SUMMARY Although Horseball is not an Olympic sport, we hope that one day it will be! Like Polo, Horseball was a demonstration sport at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy.
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OLYMPIC FOOTING THE ‘RED CARPET’ FOR THE STARS
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orses’ legs and hooves have to withstand great forces when the hoof makes contact with the ground. This is in part because of their weight but also because of the speed at which horses can move. If a horse is moving at speed or turning, the forces that would be at play at rest increase, whether the horse is competing on grass or a specialised arena surface.
THE PERFECT SURFACE Producing the perfect footing for arena-based equestrian sports has become an exact science, particularly when it comes to surfaces for big competitions like the Olympics. Surfaces now have complex layering systems, whether for dressage or jumping, to create the optimal surface on which to perform. OLYMPIC FOOTING The Olympic footing at the Baji Koen Equestrian Park in Tokyo was set up with the same composition for the main competition arena and all training arenas. The
footing consisted of top-quality sand mixed with roughly 1.5% of textile fibres. The sand provides impact firmness and grip, and the fibres provide cushioning, elasticity and responsiveness. Oliver Hoberg from Germany, who was in charge of the arena surfaces during the Games, said the following, “Sand is the most important ingredient in footing, and then the textiles and fibres are like the spices in your soup”. Keeping the arena mix right and maintaining the footing was part of his daily routine throughout the competition, and his expert monitoring was required to ensure that surface allowed for optimal performance and horse safety. Hoberg works closely with the FEI footing expert Lars Roepstorff, DVM, PhD, of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Roepstorff is the scientist who designed the footing used in the Olympics. In partnership with Hoberg, he conducted daily checks on all the Olympic equestrian park arenas with a ‘mechanical hoof’ originally made for testing racetrack surfaces. The mechanical hoof, which has now been adapted for the different equestrian disciplines, mimics the load placed on the horse’s leg and hoof when performing a dressage test or landing over a fence. Roepstorff describes, “Special sensors [in the mechanical hoof] measure both horizontal and vertical forces as the mechanical hoof hits the ground, and those sensors measure the response from the ground so we can actually measure what the horse feels when it jumps on the surface.” He continues, “The footing is absolutely crucial, both to performance and to the health of the horse, and the different functional properties of the footing will affect how the horse performs.” Those functional properties allow for the surface to be adapted depending on the discipline.
MAINTENANCE Significantly, however, the footing alone is not enough to ensure the optimal stage for performance. Once the footing is in situ, it requires maintenance to keep it at the standard required. “The footing is only as good as the level of maintenance,” Hoberg stated. “In fact, maintenance is just as important as the type of surface used in the arena.” With the correct level of maintenance, modern all-weather footing lasts for up to 20 years, so there’s a post-Games legacy plan. This plan sees all the arenas remain in-situ when the venue is handed back post-Paralympics to its owners, the Japan Racing Association. This will allow the arenas to continue to be used for future equestrian sport in the country. HQ|156A
DID YOU KNOW? HORSES HAVE 10 DIFFERENT MUSCLES IN THEIR EARS TO ALLOW THEM TO MOVE THEIR EARS THROUGH 180 DEGREES. THIS ALLOWS THE HORSE TO EASILY ORIENT TO SOUNDS.
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HORSE AND RIDER
MENTAL HEALTH AND SPORT LESSONS FROM SIMONE BILES AND THE OLYMPICS
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n the 27th of July, Simone Biles sent shockwaves through the sporting world, announcing that she would not be competing in the artistic gymnastics women’s team final. Battling with her mental health, Simone cited the sheer pressure put on her as one of the reasons she withdrew from the competition. Almost instantaneously, and before the event even concluded, she was the top story across all major news platforms. CNN, the BBC, and the New York Times had articles about her withdrawal as their top story within minutes of the official announcement. In a world in the throes of a pandemic, Simone Biles’ withdrawal from competition at the Olympics was still the top news story within seconds of her putting on her tracksuit. This serves to provide the clearest indication of exactly how much pressure the modern athlete is under to perform at the top level. Speaking on Simone Biles bowing out of the competition, Michael Phelps said, “We carry a lot of weight on our shoulders…, and all these expectations are being thrown on us”. He also noted how he hoped this would spark a
larger conversation in sports, one that has typically been neglected around athletes and the importance of their mental health.
WHAT IS CURRENTLY BEING DONE? The current standard for supporting athletes’ mental health has been centred largely on building literacy and awareness around mental illness amongst athletes. While this is extremely necessary, it falls short in addressing elite athletes' varied mental health requirements. An athlete that is competing at the highest level will not only experience mental health concerns if they are fighting a mental illness. The sheer pressure that is placed on the shoulders of the modern athlete is enough to raise mental health concerns, as this often results in sub-clinical presentations of a vast number of threats to mental health. To date, there are extremely limited published frameworks for how best to support the mental health needs of the elite athlete. While the Olympic Committee has drafted a statement that emphasises the need to build awareness and increase
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help-seeking behaviour around mental health concerns, this is near pointless if there are no systems that cater to an athlete’s specific needs.
SIMONE BILES AND THE “TWISTIES” In Tokyo, Simone Biles found herself experiencing a phenomenon known as the “twisties”, where gymnasts feel a loss of control over their body mid-trick, and lose a sense of where they are in the air. To this point, Simone Biles said on Instagram, “Sometimes I can’t even fathom twisting… I seriously cannot comprehend how to twist.” For a professional gymnast, and arguably the greatest one of all time to “not have your mind and body in sync”, as she eloquently puts it, is a terrifying and unfamiliar experience. This begs the question, what is happening inside the body of a gymnast who is experiencing the twisties? Similar to the more common “yips”, the twisties are a moment where, without warning, the gymnast’s brain and body lose connection, and muscle memory fails. Through their countless hours of training, gymnasts literally rewire their brains to perform the complex movements you see at competition and when this wiring fails, chaos results. In attempting to understand the twisties, it is first important to understand how gymnasts perform these tricks at all.
Balance during complex motions requires incredibly fast, real-time comparisons between sensory input (what the gymnast can see, hear, and feel) and the brain’s expectation of the sensory input. The brain takes all the information in and develops an “internal model” of what the movement should feel like, based on past experiences. Through advanced practice, professional gymnasts develop an extremely sophisticated “internal model” of their movements, which allows them to make micro-adjustments in milliseconds, and nail complex motions even while on a balance beam. This training allows the skill to become so well learned that it is nearly automatic, and there is very little active thought involved in the movement; essentially, elite gymnasts almost never think their way through the flips. With this being said, there is one main catalyst that can cause the unravelling of years of training - pressure. When the gymnast is under a lot of pressure, they may try to take more conscious control of their motions (which are normally engrained in muscle memory). This process often leads to errors, and in this case, the twisties. According to Prof Moran-Miller of Stanford, under the experience of increased stress (physiological and psychological), the gymnast tries to consciously control movements that were previously
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automatic, leading to motions that are less fluid and more error-prone. As addressed in the July issue of HQ Magazine, there is a sweet spot for stress, where it can prove helpful, but too much stress can interfere with the brain's ability to initiate movements that it has already learned. The pressure the modern day athlete feels is almost unimaginable, and this is only compounded when they are regarded as one of the greatest of all time.
LESSONS FROM THE OLYMPIC ATHLETES The Olympics provided arguably the most influential example of the importance of mental health in sport. The new brand of athlete is different, mental health is a priority, and the “win at all costs” mindset is being phased out because it is no longer proving beneficial. Athletes at this Olympic Games recognised their own greatness while still sharing in the victory of others. If you haven’t yet, you must go watch the video of how Tatjana Schoenmaker's competitors celebrated her record-breaking win. Athletes are prioritising their mental health; a perfect example of this is Simone Biles not bowing to the pressure to perform or Tom Daley knitting between dives. If the top athletes in the world recognise the importance of mental health and how it positively improves their performance, so should you. MENTAL HEALTH AND RIDING Prioritising your physical and mental health isn’t selfish; it is entirely necessary to perform at your best. Understanding the conditions that enhance your performance is a vital aspect of modern sport. Preparing for the pressure, building confidence, and enhancing the joy you get from competing is of the utmost importance in attempting to have a long and successful career. In the world of equestrian sports, you are not only responsible for your own physical and mental health but also those of your horse. If you take one lesson from the 2020 Olympic Games and Simone Biles, it should be to prioritise the physical and mental wellbeing of both you and your horse ahead of everything else. Riders are particularly prone to mental health problems. This is mainly due to the following unique aspects of the sport that differentiate it from others. Firstly, social comparison, particularly through social media, is rife. Social media often provides a distorted view of the achievements HQ|156A
of those around you; these expectations for performance are then turned inward and can cause feelings of anxiety and inadequacy. Secondly, in any equestrian discipline, winning is a rare feat. As an equestrian, you get beaten a lot, and this can stir up feelings of inadequacy. If this or social media comparison is something with which you struggle, make an active effort to tie your success, not to rosettes or others’ achievements, but to personally set goals. Thirdly, the pressure in equestrian sports is immense, as competitors and spectators watch your round, and you may watch theirs. A small community has the tendency to put you under increased pressure. It’s a lot easier to perform in front of 1000 people you don’t know, and who don’t know you, than it is to perform in front of 50 people with whom you are intimately acquainted. In this regard, it is best to train yourself to only focus on the matter at hand (a good technique for this is mindfulness, which will be discussed in later issues). The importance of mental health cannot be overstated. While there are select things, you can do to prioritise your wellbeing, if you find yourself continually struggling, reach out to a colleague, or get professional help. If you were ill, you would see a doctor, treat your mind with the same kindness.
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TEXT: CHRISTIE WOLHUTER, FOUNDER OF EQUIBIO
EVADING THE BIT IS YOUR HORSE TELLING YOU THEIR BIT IS NOT RIGHT FOR THEM?
n our previous article on tight nosebands, we discussed some of the reasons for over-tightening a noseband, whether intentional or not. One of the reasons some riders over-tighten their nosebands is to stop the horse from opening his mouth to evade the bit. But, have you given any
thought as to why a horse might ‘evade’ the bit? Horses, just like humans, evade pressure and pain by trying to get away from it. Say someone teasingly squeezes your shoulder, and you find it painful; what do you do? You drop your shoulder and turn to get away from the pain.
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Horses are exactly the same, but interestingly, they are very different in their ability to take pressure. This is due, in part, to their anatomical differences.
SIGNS OF A PROBLEM How does a horse tell you they are in pain and not coping with the bit? They open their jaw and sometimes even tilt their head in an attempt to get away from the pressure. Others shake and throw their head up and down, especially when a rider tries to slow them down. This is most notably seen between fences when a rider is trying to influence their horse’s pace. Another way horses evade pressure from the bit is to move behind the vertical. This problem might be difficult to identify when riding as it feels as if the horse is ‘on the bit’, but they are not accepting the contact as it is uncomfortable for them.
SENSITIVE AREAS Some horses have large, fleshy tongues. Tongues are soft structures filled with blood vessels and nerves, and a horse with a large fleshy tongue has even more vessels and nerves supplying the area. These horses are often very sensitive to tongue pressure, and a bit that squashes their tongue, no matter how ‘soft’ the action is, will cause pain. Another region that is sensitive in the horse’s mouth is the bars. The bars are the sensitive gum area of the mouth where there are no teeth. A bit that sits incorrectly on the bars can cause the sensory nerve to the face to become super-sensitive, as well as cause localised tissue pain. A NOTE ON PERCEPTIONS Though severe bits are often to blame, even mild bits can be dangerous when coupled with careless or uneducated riding. For some horses, a slightly ‘harsher’ bit works better
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for them because less pressure needs to be exerted for them to understand the aid.
SAFETY Bit induced pain is not only a problem from the horse’s perspective, but is also dangerous. Due to the fact that horses are prey animals, when they experience pain, they don’t stop; they run away from it. A bit that is hurting them will put them into even more of a preparatory flight response. Dr Cook, who has researched bits extensively, used this brilliant example: “Imagine you’re riding in a bitted bridle and a piece of paper blows across your path. The horse spooks, and you lose your balance. Instinctively, you clutch at the reins and give your horse a painful bang in the mouth. This convinces him that the paper monster is dangerous, and he takes off,” he says. HOW TO MANAGE IT? So what do we do about it? Some riders choose to ride bitless, but some disciplines do not allow this. The most effective solution if your horse is displaying signs of bit discomfort is therefore to ensure you have the perfect bit fit and experiment a little. Some bits that are touted as being the best may not work for your horse. Make sure your horse also has regular dental work, as dental pain can also cause ‘bit evasion’ symptoms.
This snaffle is too big for the horse's mouth, which may lead it to slide from side to side. Also, it can result in pressure not being evenly distributed over the bars of the horse’s mouth.
The absolute ideal solution, however, is to not only sort the fit of the bit but to work on developing trust and communication with your horse in riding with light, understanding hands or what is otherwise known as ‘soft feel’. This takes patience and discipline, but when you get it right, it is the most rewarding. We will go over the correct bit fit in our next article.
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TEXT: SHELLEY WOLHUTER IMAGES: COURTESY OF GUT SCHÖNWEIDE
‘SOCIAL BOXES’ OFFER HOPE FOR STALLION SOCIALISATION
t is no secret that horses are social creatures. If given a choice, a horse will always choose to be with other horses. It is one of their basic needs, just like it is one of ours. It seems fair to assume that in light of current times, humans as a species have realised the fundamental need for socialisation and the potential mental health risks associated with a lack thereof. Therefore, now is as good a time as ever to reflect on the basic needs of our beloved equines.
As horse owners, we try to do everything we can to fulfil our horses’ needs, and for the most part, it is a relatively simple feat. For stallion owners, however, this is not the case. Of course, food, water, exercise, shelter and safety are easily attainable, but what about socialisation?
RESEARCH Research conducted by the Swiss National Stud farm, in Avenches, in 2016 showed huge promise for stallions HQ|156A
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A Franches-Montagnes breeding stallion.
A Franches-Montagnes breeding stallion.
DID YOU KNOW? The Franches-Montagnes, also know as the Freiberger, is an indigenous Swiss breed. It has been described as a ‘heavy warmblood’ and a ‘light draught’.
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and the possibility of successful socialisation. The study introduced the concept of ‘social boxes’. Social boxes are large stables that allow for increased socialisation between two horses in neighbouring stables. The adjoining wall contains vertical metal bars spaced 30cm apart. A horse can fit their head, neck and legs through the bars, but not the shoulders. The design aims to allow horses to interact and mutually groom while limiting potentially aggressive contact and thus reducing the risk of possible injuries. Sixteen Franches-Montagnes breeding stallions were stabled in ‘conventional boxes’ for three weeks and then in ‘social boxes’ for three weeks. After the stallions were fully
acclimatised, they were observed for 24 hours, and their behaviour was documented. Potential injuries were recorded weekly. Positive and negative interactions were recorded, and the findings showed an interesting difference. In the conventional boxes, the average total interaction time was 5 minutes per day. Of those five minutes, 14% of the interactions were considered negative. In the social boxes, the total average interaction time was 51 minutes per day. Of those 51 minutes, 13% were considered negative. Overall, the total interaction time between stallions was significantly higher in the social boxes. The study reported that “No grievous injuries were recorded.”
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Some minor coat injuries were noted above some of the stallions’ eyes due to banging the bars. However, that issue could be easily resolved with a design update, such as adding some padding around the bars.
AN UPDATE The concepts have since been further researched, tested and developed. In fact, German dressage sport horse stud Gut Schönweide, based in Schleswig Holstein, embraced this concept with great success. The stallion boxes at Gut Schönweide are 5m x 5m and have one social grid area between two stallions so that they have access to a stablemate on one side only. The opposite side of the box has a full wall so that stallions are not hounded from both sides and have the option to retreat and rest, undisturbed. This also offers the chance to test out different stallion pairs and fine-tune the stallions’ suitable stablemates. Unsurprisingly, stallions are known to form friendships and HQ|156A
have preferred companions. The boxes at Gut Schönweide also have feeding bars in the front of the stable, facing the aisle. This allows for even more social interaction between all of the horses in the barn whilst eating hay. In the early stages of introducing the social boxes, Sonja Kruck of Gut Schönweide reports that the stallions were bandaged as a precaution. A few minor bite marks were observed, and a few blankets were destroyed, but the stallions settled in quickly. In fact, she reports that no real aggression was observed at all, even in the breeding season.
FINAL THOUGHTS Gut Schönweide has set a fantastic example of what is possible for our horses if we trust science and research and constantly strive to improve the lives and welfare of our horses. It will be exciting to see which South African stud embraces this concept first!
DID YOU KNOW The most popular breed of horse in the world is the American Quarter Horse!
DID YOU KNOW? The Yonaguni horse is a critically endangered Japanese small horse breed. It hails from Okinawa’s Yonaguni Island. The breed was initially used for farm work and transport purposes. Today it is used for teaching in local schools and recreational riding.
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TEXT: DR. CHRISTINA EBERHARDT, DR.MED.VET., DIPL. ACEIM & ECEIM
THE EQUINE HEART PART 2
Dr Christina Eberhardt
EQUINE HEART DISEASES HEART MURMURS
n the HQ August edition, we learned about the remarkable heart of the horse and how it contributes to the equine athlete’s extraordinary performance. But what happens when things go wrong? Horses generally do not experience the same heart diseases that are associated with cardiovascular health in people. Horses do not, for example, build up cholesterol plaques in their coronary arteries, and therefore do not experience heart attacks like people. Horses also rarely develop enlarged hearts as dogs and cats can. Nevertheless, heart diseases are relatively common in horses and are often detected incidentally during a routine physical examination. Fortunately, many heart diseases in horses are mild, well-tolerated and have little or no impact on the horse’s performance. However, some heart diseases cause poor performance, result in a reduced lifespan, or generate safety concerns for both the rider and the horse. Two common findings on a physical examination of the horse will raise the veterinarian’s suspicion of a potential heart disease – a heart murmur or an arrhythmia. In this month’s edition of HQ Magazine, Dr Christina Eberhardt, Dr.med.vet., Dipl. ACEIM & ECEIM highlights heart murmurs in horses. Dr Eberhardt specialises in equine cardiology and internal medicine and is based at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Academic Hospital of the University of Pretoria. She is also the founder of EQUICARDIO, an equine cardiology consulting service.
WHAT IS A HEART MURMUR? The healthy heart of the horse beats 28 – 44 times per minute, and each heartbeat makes up to four separate sounds, referred to as S1, S2, S3 and S4. Two of them, S1 and S2, can easily be heard when listening to the heart with a stethoscope. The heart goes “lub-dub, lub-dub, lubdub”. Click on the audio file to listen to the heartbeat of a healthy horse. The “lub” is associated with the simultaneous closing of the mitral and tricuspid valves, which ends blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle and from the right atrium to the right ventricle. Then you hear the “dub”, which is associated with the simultaneous closing of the aortic and pulmonary valves and ends the blood flow from the left ventricle into the aorta and from the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery. The phases between the “lub” and “dub” are usually quiet. A heart murmur describes an extra atypical sound, such as whooshing or swishing, heard in addition to the "lub-dub." DETERMINING THE TYPE OF HEART MURMUR In up to 30% of horses, a heart murmur is detected during a physical examination or during a pre-purchase examination. Heart murmurs can simply be the sound of changes in blood flow through a normal healthy heart that may occur due to colic, fever, exercise, excitement, pain or
H O R S E A N D H E A LT H
anaemia. Such heart murmurs are called “functional”and they disappear when the blood flow returns to normal, for example, after exercise or when the colic is resolved. If a heart murmur is caused by abnormal turbulent blood flow because of heart disease, then it is called a “pathological” heart murmur. A grading system helps the veterinarian to characterise and better understand the heart murmur, says Dr Eberhardt. Heart murmurs are graded on a scale of 1 to 6 based on their loudness and are further characterised based on their timing and their location. “A grade 1 is a very soft murmur that requires experience and a quiet environment to be heard. A grade 2 is soft but readily heard. A grade 3 is a readily audible murmur that is moderately loud. A grade 4 is louder than the “lub-dub” and radiates widely. Grades 5 and 6 are even louder, and you’re going to actually feel a thrill on the chest.” The timing refers to whether the murmur is heard between the “lub” (S1) and the “dub” (S2), in which case it is referred to as a systolic murmur or between the “dub” (S2) and the “lub” (S1), in which case it is called a diastolic murmur. It is also possible for a murmur to be heard in both quiet phases, in which case is it called a continuous murmur. Murmurs are further classified by their location - the left or the right side of the heart or the lower or upper half of the heart. Specific forms of heart disease are associated with characteristic murmurs. Therefore, your veterinarian may suspect a specific disease after carefully listening to the heart with a stethoscope.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF PATHOLOGICAL HEART MURMURS? The most common heart disease causing a heart murmur in horses is valve regurgitation – the heart valves do not close tightly and leak. This often affects only one valve in the heart, is usually acquired and can occur at any stage of a horse’s life. In the healthy heart, blood flow through the heart valves is one-directional. A “leaky heart valve” allows backwards blood flow. Depending on how much the valve leaks (the severity of the regurgitation), the heart operates less efficiently and can affect the horse's performance. A less common cause of a heart murmur is a shunt – an abnormal blood flow pattern in the heart. The most common shunt in a horse is a hole in the muscular wall between the right and the left ventricle, a so-called ventricular septal defect. This is a congenital heart defect, which means the horse is born with it. If the hole is small,
Top image: An echocardiogram that shows the heart chambers – the left and right ventricle and the left and right atrium - and the mitral and tricuspid valves. Lower image: This is an echocardiogram showing aortic regurgitation. It shows a moderately “leaking” aortic valve (aortic regurgitation). The green colour shows blood flowing in an abnormal direction through the aortic valve.
it may not affect the horse, but if it is large, the horse will perform poorly. A very rare cause of a heart murmur in horses is valve stenosis – the heart valves do not open completely and hinder blood flow through the heart. Click on the audio file to listen to a heart murmur.
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Aortic regurgitation allowing blood to flow back into the heart i.e. the blood is travelling in the wrong direction.
DETERMINING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A HEART MURMUR Mild heart murmurs are commonly associated with insignificant heart disease, are well tolerated, and have little or no effect on the horse’s performance or life expectancy. Although progression tends to be slow, a mild insignificant heart murmur in a young horse might become more significant in older horses. This factor is especially important when a murmur is detected during a pre-purchase examination. Louder murmurs might be more significant, associated with more severe disease and may be performance limiting. In such cases, a comprehensive cardiac examination is important to accurately determine the significance of a heart murmur and assess the severity of the heart disease. For example, if your horse has aortic regurgitation, a “leaky aortic valve”, you want to know how HQ|156A
much it is leaking and if the heart size and function is still normal, says Dr Eberhardt. There is no cure or treatment for a heart murmur. Further diagnostics are directed towards the evaluation of the horse’s future performance, the suitability for intended use, the assessment of horse and rider safety, the risk for progression to heart failure and the influence on the quality of life. Echocardiography – an ultrasound examination of the heart - is the primary diagnostic tool veterinarians use to assess heart murmurs. It uses high-frequency sound waves to produce two-dimensional images of the heart’s chambers, valves, walls and blood vessels. With echocardiography the heart size, structure and function as well as normal and abnormal blood flow through the heart and the valves can be assessed. This allows for an accurate diagnosis of a horse’s heart condition and advice on appropriate management of the horse’s heart health. MANAGEMENT OF HORSES WITH HEART DISEASES If your horse was diagnosed with a mild heart disease, it is likely that you can continue to ride your horse safely and that the disease has no impact on the horse‘s performance. In such cases, Dr. Eberhardt recommends yearly cardiac examinations, where a veterinarian listens to your horse’s heart on both sides of the body to readily detect any changes of the murmur that indicates progression of the disease. If your horse was diagnosed with moderate to severe heart disease, the heart disease should be monitored closely for progression by yearly ultrasound examinations. Further examinations such as a 24-hour resting ECG or an ECG recording during exercise are often necessary to evaluate your horse’s safety for riding. Depending on the severity, veterinarians might recommend that the horse is only ridden on a low-intensity work level, is not ridden at all or is specifically not ridden by children. TAKE HOME MESSAGE Heart murmurs are common in horses. Many murmurs do not significantly affect a horse’s performance and do not generate a safety concern for horse and rider. However, some do. The best way to determine whether your horse has significant heart disease, and to answer the questions relating to rider and horse safety, impact on athletic performance, quality of life as well as appropriate management, is by having an echocardiogram performed.
DID YOU KNOW? HORSES CAN’T VOMIT! UNLIKE CATTLE AND OTHER RUMINANTS WHO REGURGITATE FOOD TO RE-CHEW IT, HORSES CAN ONLY ALLOW THE FOOD TO PASS IN ONE DIRECTION THROUGH THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM. THIS ONEDIRECTIONAL SYSTEM CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS THAT RESULT IN COLIC. 84
T E A M WO R K , PA S S I O N & EXCELLENCE
In our world of horse and rider, teamwork comes naturally, to us all. As together is better Working as a team really does make big dreams work. That’s one of the reasons we are proud to grow trusted brands such as Epol Equine and Equus. At Epol we work to ensure that we are sustainably equipped to be better and stronger in form and performance. Every bag of every brand in our business matters. We stand together united in our passion for excellence.
For feeding advice and further information contact: Leigh: 083 998 6824 | Hannah: 073 423 5491 | Debbie: 076 755 5164 www.epolequine.co.za
H O R S E A N D H E A LT H TEXT: CHRISTINE PINNA, CABALLO BAREFOOT TRIMMING
THE BAREFOOT TRANSITION
HOW TO TRANSITION YOUR HORSE FROM SHOD TO BAREFOOT
ave you ever wondered if your horse really needs shoes? Are you struggling with relentless hoof issues that you feel you would like to try dealing with barefoot, but you lack the support? Is your horse a Thoroughbred that everyone says absolutely "needs shoes"? Perhaps you are scared that things will go horribly wrong for your
horse if you take his shoes off, so you've just never tried it despite being curious about the ever-growing barefoot movement. With the Olympic showjumping team gold medals and individual silver and fourth place going to riders with barefoot horses, perhaps now more than ever, you are curious about how to venture into the barefoot movement.
H O R S E A N D H E A LT H 13 year old Thoroughbred transitioned from a very wet and lush area to a dry area with a mineral balanced, low sugar diet.
WHY BAREFOOT? Going barefoot has many advantages for your horse. Removing shoes can drastically reduce concussion on his joints, allowing him to develop better biomechanics so that over time, his hoof walls get stronger and thicker yes, even with the Thoroughbreds. As the horse's hooves recover from being shod and the heels strengthen, many horses may start to land heel-first for the first time resulting in a larger, more expressive stride. Barefoot horses generally also have much better proprioception, making them more aware of where their feet are, which can be quite an advantage in the competition arena. Who can say no to a horse that can potentially jump better, move bigger and stay sounder? But of course, like most great things in life, they don't always come so easy. HOW TO GO BAREFOOT If you're strongly contemplating going barefoot, it is important that you have the necessary support. A farrier who is not on board with your mission will not be able to provide you with this support, so it's important that your farrier is as keen on the idea as you are. Possibly the next most important person in your team is a nutritionist who knows the needs of the barefoot horse. Mineral balancing is absolutely vital. In South Africa and various other parts of the world, copper, zinc, and magnesium are lacking, and our soils are often far too high in iron, which further imbalances things. The appropriate balance of copper and zinc is vital for growing strong hoof walls that can cope with being bare. Is the bagged feed you are giving your horse providing sufficient in copper and zinc? The feed company consultant might seem to think so, but does it really? Does the feed contain additional iron? Do you know what's in your horse's roughage? These are all things that the right nutritionist can assist you with. I cannot overemphasise how important a properly mineral balanced, low sugar diet is if you are considering going barefoot. Some genetically strong horses may cope fine despite what they are fed, but many horses need all the help they can get. HQ|156A
Six months post transition.
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Expansion of foot from shod to barefoot.
get a horse back into shoes is to remove sole in the toe callous area - unless it is dead and ready to come out, which is generally the exception rather than the rule when shoes are first removed. Another barefoot dream killer is the routine trimming of the frog. In fact, for most horses, not a lot should be done at first when the shoes come off. I go into trimming methodology more in my last article, ‘Barefoot vs Farrier trim’, which can be viewed by clicking this link. Of course, leaving the feet to grow too long can also be a problem, resulting in a foot that isn't functional. Ultimately, you want to get to the point where your barefoot horse is being trimmed every 4-5 weeks unless the horse is working hard and wearing the feet down naturally.
The process of shoe removal can also be more complicated than one would expect. Again, some genetically superior horses may go on their way quite merrily when the shoes come off, regardless of the trim they receive. But many horses won't. In the barefoot trimming world, I have learned that the quickest way to
MOVEMENT AND HYGIENE Two often missed factors that can absolutely make or break your barefoot transition are movement and hygiene, and the two often go hand in hand. Horses living out with access to a shelter generally move a lot more and stay away from their poop a lot more, too, provided the paddock is cleaned regularly. This is an easy way to seriously enhance your horse's hoof health, and quite likely, his general health and happiness. Of course, not all yards will allow this, or perhaps it's simply not what you desire for your horse. In that case, there are some measures that can be put in place instead: 1. Offer your horse as much turnout as possible in the largest paddock possible. 2. Try to ride when your horse might otherwise be spending that hour standing in his stable. 3. H and-walk or lunge your horse on days you don't ride. Perhaps your horse can even be ponied from another horse on a hack if he has a quiet temperament. Another fun activity that many horses enjoy is a good gallop around at liberty in the arena if facilities allow for it. 4. Remove all urine and faeces from the stable daily. Both are terribly corrosive to the hooves and can easily cause thrush. It is important that your horse is standing on clean, thick shavings as much as possible when he is inside the stable. HQ|156A
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WHEN TO GO BAREFOOT I prefer to transition horses in dry weather if at all possible so that we are a few months into the transition by the time we hit the rainy season. Having said that, I have had many perfectly successful rainy season transitions, but it can be trickier when the ground is wet and unavoidable stones are lying around. In either case, it is good to consider having hoof boots on hand in case they are needed or be prepared to keep your horse off harder going for a while. Ideally, I try not to transition a horse when too many other changes are going on. For example, dewormers can cause an inflammatory response in the gut resulting in inflammation in the feet. Moving the horse to a new paddock that might be quite high in sugar can also be a problem. Both of these situations can cause uncomfortable feet, and it is best to wait for a little before removing shoes if possible. WHAT WILL HAPPEN If you have ever worn gel or false nails for a while and then removed them, you'll notice how easily your nails break until they grow out. This is how hooves usually are when coming out of shoes. For about three to four months, a bit of chipping and cracking can be quite normal, but after this, most horses are in a very good place, and the walls should begin to get much stronger as they respond to the surfaces they move around on. Most horses provided the diet and trim are correct, and provided they aren't expected to work on ground they can't handle yet, don't seem to notice too much after their shoes are off. Others might stride a little shorter for a few days before they start to improve. When the shoes are removed, the horse starts to load his frog and heels, which then start to widen, and this often happens quicker than one would expect. If you imagine the previously disused frog and heels as your biceps that are starting a new workout at the gym, you can understand what your horse's feet are now going through. A horse that is very lame after the shoes come off may have a degree of active laminitis which went unnoticed, or he may have a prolapsed frog which, in most cases, will need a boot and a pad with the frog area cut out to help to keep the horse comfortable until the heels grow and the frog returns to its correct position. HQ|156A
Are you considering going barefoot, but you don't quite know where to start? We offer both online and in-person consultations. We will hold your hand as long as it is needed and walk you through the process. We will also put you in touch with a range of practitioners who can assist with all aspects of your horse's transition, from nutrition to trimming and addressing any physical issues that may be picked up during the consultation. Visit www.caballo.co.za for more information.
It is also important to be aware of any event lines and how these could be impacting your horse's hoof wall quality, bearing in mind that these can take many months to grow out. To learn more about event lines you can view my previous article by clicking here. If you've gone through all of the above but you're still struggling with things such as abscesses, cracks, white line disease and thin walls and soles, it might be time to look deeper into your horse's health. Some horses with liver or kidney issues or various other health problems may have chronic hoof problems. In this case, I would suggest getting blood work done with a holistically-minded vet and consulting with a good herbalist. With a bit of patience and time as well the right support and "ingredients" there is no reason why your horse can't thrive barefoot.
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Louise Brown, Advanced dressage rider. Photography: Melissa Maeder
D E T BUS
MYTH "The top European showjumpers can go barefoot because their arena surfaces are superior to those of ours in South Africa." BUSTED by Amelia Campbell-Horne, 1.50m showjumper: "Having ridden both in Europe and South Africa I can safely say that our surfaces are much the same here as in Europe. A lot has been done to improve the surfaces we jump on here in South Africa over the years."
MYTH "Thoroughbreds can't go barefoot." BUSTED by Amy Blair, 1.20m showjumper & Instagram influencer: "I think the most important part, as an owner, is learning about all the aspects of keeping a horse barefoot successfully - diet, hygiene, trim and exposure to beneficial surfaces. Knowledge and understanding are powerful for making the right changes! As the owner of a Thoroughbred who was definitely not blessed on the hoof genetics front,
I can say that switching him over to a barefoot-friendly diet had a hugely positive impact on his hoof quality. The hoof that grew out after this change was so much healthier and stronger that it was hard to believe it belonged to the same horse! It inspired me to dive deep into learning about the other aspects, too, and with each change, we got even better results. It made me realise that changes in these aspects aren't just "suggestions" but rather essential changes, and when they are all addressed correctly, even the "thin-soled, crumbling Thoroughbred hooves" can make the most amazing turnaround and transition to barefoot successfully." MYTH "Shoes are needed to help with conformation issues so that horses can have better balance and engagement." BUSTED by Louise Brown, Advanced dressage rider and 1.30m showjumper: "People believe that the shoe is required to correct imbalances when actually a thoughtfully trimmed barefoot hoof is the best tool to balance the imbalances in the leg conformation. If we artificially make a hoof straight without considering the structures above it, we do more damage than good."
The skin T
he study of anatomy is the study of how the body works. As a horse owner, understanding the various functions of the horse’s body should help to prevent damage caused by improper care or even neglect. This knowledge will also help you understand your horse’s behaviour and meet his physical and psychological needs. It will help you progress towards your goals by ensuring you have a healthy and happy horse. In this series, we will provide an overview of the main functions of the different parts of a horse’s anatomy to help us get a better understanding of how the horse’s body works.
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A healthy summer coat
UNDERSTANDING THE SKIN The horse’s skin has many functions: • PROTECTION The skin protects the underlying tissues from the weather, infection and minor injuries. • SENSATION The skin contains many sensory nerves, which convey information from the external world, such as information about pain, pressure, touch, heat and cold, to the brain. • ACTIVITY Motor nerves in the skin react to the messages transmitted by the sensory nerves by causing the sweat glands to secrete and the hair erector muscles to contract. • TEMPERATURE REGULATION The skin helps the horse to stabilise their body temperature in several ways. In cold conditions, each hair is raised by the erector muscles, trapping a layer of insulating air around the body. The capillaries – which carry blood to the skin's surface – also contract, preventing heat loss from the blood through the skin. The layer of fat that lies underneath the skin's surface (subcutaneous fat) also helps to retain heat inside the body due to its insulating properties. Then in hot weather, sweat from the sweat glands evaporates on the skin, lowering the body temperature. Heat from the blood is also allowed to escape through the thin walls of the capillaries, which expand to lie closer to the surface of the skin. In addition, HQ|156A
A thick winter coat
the hair itself is shed and regrown twice every year. The winter coat is long and thick to help conserve body heat; the summer coat is short and fine to encourage heat loss. • WEATHER PROOFING Oil (sebum) is secreted from the sebaceous glands at the base of each hair, providing a waxy, waterproof covering to the coat. • PRODUCTION OF VITAMIN D Sebum in the skin is able to synthesise Vitamin D from sunlight. Horses who are stabled for much of the day may need to have their levels of Vitamin D supplemented to compensate for the lack of sunlight. • CAMOUFLAGE The colour of the coat may help to break up the outline of the horse’s body by allowing it to blend into the background. This could increase the chances of survival for a horse living in the wild.
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Hair Sebaceous gland
Capillary Subcutaneous fat
THE ANATOMY OF THE SKIN The skin can be divided into three layers: • The epidermis • The dermis • The subcutis The epidermis is the thin, outer section of the skin, which itself can be divided into upper and lower layers. The cornified layer – the actual surface of the skin – is composed of dead skin cells which are continually being shed. It is these dead skin cells that form the scurf, which we remove by grooming. The lower layer of the epidermis continually generates new cells; these replace the dead cells shed by the cornified layer. Pigment cells are located in the deeper epidermal layer. They produce melanin, which protects the skin from sunlight.
The dermis is the thickest area of the skin; it contains nerves, hair follicles, hair erector muscles and sweat glands, all nourished by a plentiful blood supply from the capillaries. The subcutis lies beneath and blends with the dermis. It contains many fat cells, which store nutrients as well as acting as a layer of insulation. The subcutis connects the skin to the underlying tissues. Many areas also contain cutaneous muscle, enabling the horse to twitch his skin.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE The skin is a very important organ for all animals, and the horse is no exception. It is very important that we don’t overlook the role of the skin in promoting the health and wellbeing of our horses. HQ|156A
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YOUR EQUESTRIAN QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Why is a horse’s breeding often described as ‘by stallion A x stallion B’? Why is the damline ignored?
Because stallions are much more prolific in the number of progeny they can produce and have their pedigrees more widely publicised than mares do, their pedigrees simply become more well-known. Referring to the stallion in a horse’s pedigree can, therefore, provide significantly more information about the horse you are interested in. For example, a horse by Ubergabe (sire) x Arko (damsire) would provide more information than saying the same horse was by Ubergabe (sire) x Anna (dam). Unless you know Anna personally, this phrasing would only really inform you on 50% of the pedigree. An alternative way of referring to the pedigree is ‘Ubergabe x Anna (Arko)’, which tells you a lot more about the horse’s genealogy. That being said, the dam line is often the most important for breeders. Because mares produce relatively few offspring – say 10 at most in a lifetime – if half of them performed well in competition, that’s
a hit rate of 50%. A stallion might sire 1000 offspring, and if he also had five performing well, his hit rate would be only 0.5%. To match the mare’s hereditary prepotency, he would need to have 500 competing successfully. This is why breeders value performance in the dam line so highly.
My new OTTB is incredibly strong and runs at every opportunity. How do I find the brakes?! Racehorses are trained to run into a contact. Therefore, a major part of retraining them is teaching them how to soften over their backs, necks, and poll and come into a softer outline, where they engage their hindquarter and lift their stomachs. Using your body weight and leg aids to get ex-racehorses to move through their ribcage, alter their paces within the pace, or move up and down through lots of
transitions between paces, is an excellent way to start the retraining process. Lots of direction changes are also helpful, as most OTTB are initially stiff to turn, and changes of direction will soften their bodies, remove the brace and make it easier to engage their hind end, whilst also, as an added bonus, keeping their concentration. Putting pressure through the reins when they are becoming tense, distracted or stressed is the worst thing you can do! The only way to keep them calm and listening is to ‘change the subject’ by getting them to focus on something else (e.g. bending through the body) or
something they find easier. Taking hold of the reins will literally create more speed and more tension! Over time, as you progress in the re-schooling process, you will see improvements, and the contact will no longer be something to pull against. However, in these early days, rely on your weight and leg aids, and avoid the hands wherever possible! If your horse runs, simply ask for some changes in bend and direction, try and effect transitions through your seat and focus on remaining calm yourself. If you must use the reins, make sure you give and take, not maintain any kind of consistent pressure.
My vet says my horse has caries. She already had to have one broken tooth removed. How should I manage this issue? Caries is the decay of the teeth. Caries are graded on the severity of the decay. A number of factors cause decay, but diet is a common cause and diastemas (gaps between the teeth) that trap food are also common culprits. With diastemas, as the food rots in the gap, it produces enzymes that eat away at the tooth's enamel. Similarly, if the tooth is not producing enough
‘cementum’, the food gets stuck on the chewing surfaces, which also has an impact and leads to decay. Depending on the grade, the first thing to address is to see what we can change to prevent the decay from getting further into the tooth. This usually involves removing as much sugary content from the horse’s diet as possible and having that horse live in the most natural way with plenty of grazing. Also, the horse’s ability to wear his molars down evenly in a lateral motion and produce enough saliva when chewing will decrease the chances of caries. This requires regular dental care to ensure that lateral excursion is possible.
Caries’ treatment has advanced greatly in recent years, and procedures to manage it are now relatively routine. It is almost the same as us getting a filling. However, if the caries has become severe, this can lead to infection in the pulp of the horse’s tooth, and ultimately lead to an apical infection (at the root). At this point, the horse will require an extraction. Caries can be detected by your dentist and managed over many years without it worsening, but if this isn’t the case, the tooth will require filling or extraction, and the priority becomes saving as many of the other teeth as possible.
Products we love Shopping fun Mash & Mix
Mash & Mix is highly digestible, replenishes lost minerals after heavy exertion and is recommended for colic-prone horses. To feed: Mash & Mix is suitable for all horses and ponies. Dilute with 50% warm water and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Cavalor’s completely new concept for treating both the horse’s legs and the muscle structure! • 100% natural hydro-gel ensures quick absorption • With essential oils including Eucalyptus, Lavender and Tea Tree • Deep and powerful relaxing effect on underlying tissues • Beneficial effect on blood circulation: o Provides support during warming up and cooling down o Helps to remove toxins o Reduces swelling • Can be used anywhere on the body. However, it’s recommended not to use Cavalor FreeBute Gel on places which can become very hot, or just before riding.
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Your horse’s favourite, and yet healthy, treat!
This is a mix for horses at rest or doing light work. It contains all essential nutrients, is oat free and aids with good digestion. Best of all – it tastes really good!
Performix is a competition feed for competition horses in average to intense levels of work. It is suitable for all disciplines, and, supports joint health and creates a healthy intestinal flora. The mix is highly digestible.
This is a pure, natural product which is balanced optimally to provide the right supply of vitamins and minerals. It is safe and healthy because of the low sugar and starch content and the correct calcium and phosphorus balance. High in fibre and free from oats and gluten, the feed promotes chewing, which creates more saliva and enhances digestion.
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Cavalor Gastro 8 Paste
Ideal for horses suffering from poor appetite due to stomach irritations. This product is a paste and causes a quicker absorption of the nutrients. Cavalor Gastro 8 paste can be administered directly via the mouth and may be used even for a longer period.
Cavalor An Energy Boost
A special blend of high-value electrolytes, vitamins, amino acids, sugars and salt that are easily absorbed to give the right energy for a fresh performance by the horse. Cavalor An Energy Boost is a paste for oral intake developed for horses that have to deliver powerful top performances. Perfect to use for recovery immediately after exercise.
Cavallo Hoof Boots
The complete hoof boot for any terrain, any speed and any horse. Cavallo Hoof Boots allow the barefoot horses’ hoof to expand as naturally as possible while still supporting the hoof and reducing any strain and shock. Benefits and features: • Promotes healthy hooves • Absorbs shock • Provides comfort for chronic pain and hoof sensitivity • Offers protection for injury rehabilitation such as navicular disease, abscesses and more • A comfortable boot that lasts, with rustproof and waterproof finishes Newest in the range of Cavallo Hoof Boots are the Slim Sole, the Entry Level Boot, Cute Little Booties and a widened range of accessories. Available online and in-store at Western Shoppe. Learn more at www.westernshoppe.com
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Glow from Within is a 100% pure hydrolyzed collagen peptides which is soluble in liquid (hot or cold) and tasteless with a creamy texture. It can easily be added to any liquid (water,juice,coffee,tea or smoothies) or used when preparing foods. Collagen is not only limited to moms but is beneficial for the whole family. We recommend doubling the daily dosage to morning and evening for optimising results for at least the first 2 weeks. Thereafter, it is your choice whether to maintain at the dosage recommended on the packaging or to stick to the double dosage. The more collagen you can take, the better it will work for you. However the recommended dosage of 2-3 teaspoons daily will still ensure great results.
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Ladies Isabella Show Shirt
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EA Sport Sneaker R990
Your day starts before your feet hit the ground, with the spark, goal or desire to be your best self. These versatile everyday sneakers are in it for the long haul as you make your daily rounds. Whether you are getting in a workout, running around the stable yard or simply enjoying a day off, these sneakers take the designated role of fulfilling your day to day equestrian needs. Their lightweight design and compact comfort can be worn either laced up or as a slip on. These sneakers come in sporty white, classic navy and an essential grey.
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PROUDLY MADE IN
For more information, please contact Jan on 082 880 2353 or email him on email@example.com
If you are riding a horse or pony you love, you have already won.
WHAT DO WE DO? Here at EquiConnect, we specialise in finding the right equine partners for the right people. We take extreme care in matching our buyers to the most suitable and appropriate horse or pony for their needs and abilities. We also acknowledge that the role of the seller is a difficult one. Moving on a much-loved partner to the next chapter in their journey with a new owner is often both challenging and emotional. We, therefore, commit to investing our time and effort in ensuring that the horse or pony being sold goes to the best possible home, where he or she is secured a happy future.
WHAT IS OUR APPROACH? We are fully invested in making this process as easy and stress-free as possible for both buyer and seller. Therefore, we make sure that we spend the time needed to get to understand each horse and pony so that we can ensure that their new partner and home will meet their needs. Equally, we spend time getting to know a buyer or rider’s requirements and preferences to narrow down the options and match the rider to the right horse or pony. Of course, there are also other factors that come into play, and we will build these into our decision-making process: • •
The finances that are available to the buyer; The level of experience of the horse or pony and how this level compares to the rider’s skills
The likely potential of the horse or pony and whether the prospect is likely to meet the rider’s expectations now and for the foreseeable future; The temperament of the horse or pony and how this will suit the rider; The rideability and size of the horse or pony and how these elements will suit the rider; and The quality of the horse or pony’s clinical and physical condition and the likelihood of them meeting the rider’s goals over the long term.
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Other factors such as the age and stage of development of the horse or pony and the likely duration of the new partnership are also important. EquiConnect strives to take these various factors into account when matching a horse or pony to a rider.
WHO IS EQUICONNECT? EquiConnect was founded by Jan Kleynhans, an experienced Open-level Showjumper and professional business person who has experience buying and selling horses locally and abroad. Jan is passionate about horses and about helping buyers and sellers of horses and ponies in an ethical and transparent way. He believes in complete honesty and disclosure and will share all necessary and relevant information with buyers and sellers.
EquiConnect is about professionalising the process of buying and selling horses to ensure the best outcome for all three participants in the process – the buyer, the seller and the horse.
A selection of our horses and ponies for sale Waterside Hudson Age: 7 Height: 16.2hh Gender: Gelding Breeding: Warmblood x Thoroughbred Current level of performance: Jumping 80cm For sale: R145,000 About: Waterside Hudson is a fairly novice horse but bold and conﬁdent and ready to go to the next level with the right rider. He is jumping 80-90cm at home and is doing this easily. He has a very willing attitude and a great work ethic.
Rideability: Waterside Hudson is super straightforward. He’s easy to ride and holds his rhythm in canter beautifully. He will suit a novice rider looking to grow in experience with a partner who can take them up the grades.
Baccarat Boy Age: 13 Gender: Gelding Breeding: Thoroughbred Current level of performance: Jumping 90cm For sale: R150,000 About: The gorgeous Baccarat Boy is a great all-rounder and comfortably jumps at 90cm. He also has lovely movement and could easily succeed in dressage.
Rideability: Baccarat Boy is forward going, bold and ultimately a schoolmaster who can instil confidence in his rider. There’s a lot to love about this striking Thoroughbred.
Seeis Katrina Age: 13 Gender: Mare Breeding: Warmblood Current level of performance: Jumping 1.10/1.20 and has the points to go Medium in dressage For sale: R190,000 About: Seeis Katrina is a very bold and willing schoolmaster. She is currently showjumping at the 1.10/1.20 level with definite potential to jump in the open classes. She has also competed successfully in dressage, having now acquired the points to go Medium. Rideability: Katrina is a lovely horse to ride with a fantastic jump. Bold and willing, she will suit a novice or experienced rider looking to move up the grades with a talented and dependable partner.
Capital Hewlette Age: 6 Height: 17hh Gender: Gelding Breeding: Warmblood (by Capital Homerus) Current level of performance: Jumping 1.10 competitively For sale: R160,000 About: Capital Hewlette is exceptionally well bred for showjumping (Capital Homerus x Argentinus) and shows tremendous potential. He, unfortunately, lost his right eye due to injury but is now fully recovered, and it’s safe to say this issue has not held him back! Rideability: Hewlette is very steady, bold and calm with a wonderful temperament. He will suit either a novice or experienced rider looking to climb the grades and ultimately jump in the open levels.
Waterside Baron's Jewel Age: 6 Height: 16.3hh Gender: Mare Breeding: Warmblood Current level of performance: Jumping 60cm For sale: R145,000 About: Baron’s Jewel is a trustworthy, safe and reliable, yet novice mare that needs more time to develop. She is jumping 60cm comfortably at home and is willing to learn. With the right partner, this mare will excel!
WATERSIDE BARON’S JEWEL
Rideability: Baron’s Jewel needs a slightly more experienced rider who will put the basic schooling in to get her to the next level. She has endless potential, and is wonderfully bred, and just needs someone to give her the time she deserves!
Waterside Cassius Age: 11 Height: 16hh Gender: Gelding Breeding: Warmblood Current level of performance: Jumping 1m competitively For sale: R170,000 About: Waterside Cassius is a delightful little warmblood out of a Lindenburg mare. He moves and jumps beautifully and is suited for both the disciplines of dressage and showjumping. He has competed in Elementary Dressage and jumped to 1m competitively.
Rideability: Waterside Cassius will suit a young rider looking for a first horse or a smaller adult wanting an experienced horse as a schoolmaster. Come and try Cassius – you can’t fail to be impressed!
Waterside Raphael Age: 7 Gender: Gelding Height: 144cm Breeding: Welsh x Thoroughbred For sale: R100,000 About: Waterside Raphael has a good jump with the scope to go to the higher levels. He is incredibly kind and understanding, and despite his young age has been used in the riding school due to his sweet nature. He would make a great ﬁrst or second pony. Rideability: Waterside Raphael is still a young pony and needs more schooling. He has a good canter and jumps everything with ease. He just needs a bit more time, and he’ll make an ideal first pony.
Waterside Dollar Girl Age: 13 Gender: Mare Height: 141cm Breeding: Welsh x Thoroughbred For sale: R80,000 About: Waterside Dollar Girl has wonderful movement. She has been successful in showing and has won titles at Horse of the Year, including in the Working Riding events. She is a solid, bold prospect that will thrive in dressage and showing. Rideability: Dollar Girl is an experienced pony who knows her job. She is fairly sensitive, so not a first pony, but with regular work will be a charming partner.
WATERSIDE DOLLAR GIRL
T H E H I N D Q U A RT E R
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE CAN YOU FIND THE 10 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE TWO IMAGES?
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T H E H I N D Q U A RT E R
Oh readers! What joy, what bliss!? This month you do not get to hear from me just once, but twice. I should probably *pause* here to allow you to catch your breath and absorb this splendid news, but I have SO much to share that there is simply NO time. To summarise the situation and avoid getting you all too excited with the anticipation, I can confirm that not only will I be hitting your screens but ALSO the shelves in the next couple of weeks. My mother in her first EVER act of brilliance, supported (and therefore I suspect to a large extent, aided) by the loyal advertisers (thank goodness for them) has confirmed that it will be possible to bring out digital issues monthly, AND print editions quarterly. This means that four times a year, you will receive a double whammy of the Pride-sta himself, up close and personal, in a store near you. And the best part – the first print edition will be on shelf in the next couple of weeks! This means you have just two weeks to wait until I’m back again with more words of wisdom, and this time printed so as to be stored for posterity. To say I am thrilled is an understatement. I have spoken to my team and to prepare for the increased workload, I am expecting a full wardrobe revamp, weekly (nay, daily) photo shoots and Woolworth’s carrots delivered to my office on the twitch of my left eyelid. I have finally arrived. I must say that after last month’s desperation, and my let down at not featuring on the cover of the Olympics Edition, I am mightily relieved to see that my mother has stepped up her game. She has been a great disappointment to me for as long as I have known her, and to see her finally take a step in the right direction is, quite frankly, shocking. As I said earlier, I can only conclude that the advertisers have paid a large role in this but whatever or whomever the instigators may be, this is a definite cause for celebration. Perhaps she has finally turned a corner? I suspect not, but as the beautiful adage goes you must #takewhatyoucanget Anyway, dear fellows, I just ask that you don’t become too excitable in the build-up to the next printed edition of the magazine. Let’s all exercise patience and remain dignified in anticipation of the real equestrian event of 2021 – Pridey 2.0 on a shelf near you! Stay calm and buy Woolworth’s carrots. Over and out, Pridey xxx
NEXT ISSUE 1st October 2021