HQ Magazine Issue 157c

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DIGITAL ISSUE 157C | 2022

SOUTH AFRICA’S PREMIER EQUESTRIAN MAGAZINE


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Welcome to this February digital edition of HQ! Life is certainly back in full swing after the festive season, and we’re super excited for what 2022 will bring. We have lots of projects in the pipeline and will be bringing you news of these in our upcoming editions. This issue is full of great content from our writers and some stunning images from our photographers. We’re so grateful to everyone who takes the time to contribute! If you’d be interested in sending through show reports, articles or images to feature in the magazine, please get in touch at info@hqmagazine.co.za. We want to feature the content you are interested in, so even send us a topic, and we’ll get our writers into research mode. For now, you can check out our content on our mare and stallion of the month, on the Equine Transeva Technique, on finding motivation after the January slump, on how to manage muddy conditions after all the rain and much much more. We hope you enjoy it! As always, we must extend a huge thank you to our wonderful advertisers who make it possible for us to provide this content to you free of charge. We couldn’t do it without them! Until March, happy horsing! With much love,

Lizzie and xxx the HQ team Dr Lizzie Harrison | Editor

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Designer: Mauray Wolff

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DIGITAL ISSUE 157C | 2022

IN THIS ISSUE 06

Summerhill Equestrian The land of legends

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Mud monsters The impact on the hooves

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Stallion of the month Legend

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Equine Transeva Technique (ETT) How it can assist your equine companion

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Troubleshooting Halting on the centre line

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Grooming kit essentials The five key brushes

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Bareback riding A few of the perks

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Poisonous plants A guide to five of the nastiest plants in South African pastures

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Mare of the month Sira Queen

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Too hot to handle Dietary considerations for hot weather

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Motivation Capturing the elusive

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Anatomy Part 6 The endocrine system

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Riding a grid Two top exercises

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The birth of endurance riding in South Africa

102 Products we love

The Fauresmith 200

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Show rider of the month Jorja Spence

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AskHQ

Shopping fun

109 Pridey’s Piece Valentine’s Plea

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The land of legends Photography: Hilary O’Leary Our ambition is to see horses made the Summerhill way tell the stories of their upbringings every day in the arenas of the world; this is all as a result of their association with the landscape, our histories, the character of the soils and the people they have grown with.

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Capital Stud are proud to write the next chapters of this beautiful estate and to continue to contribute to the rich history surrounding sporthorses and Hartford.

A beauty and promise that was first discovered by the Moor family over 150 years ago. - Henning Pretorius

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HORSE AND RIDER

TEXT: GEORGIA HARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY: HILARY O’LEARY

Stallion of the month LEGEND

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is name says it all - Legend - and it’s safe to say this stallion has turned heads in South Africa since his arrival, with his extravagant scope and technique to match.

BREEDING This impressive stallion was bred by Ilse Bosch and purchased two years ago from Holland through An D’hondt and Jaap Pleitjer. Legend is a KWPN stallion by the well-known stallion Mr. Blue. One of the most well-known sons of Mr. Blue is Zirocco Blue, who is ranked 11th on the WBFSH Jumping Sire Ranking. Mr. Blue himself is currently ranked 77th on the WBFSH Jumping Sire Ranking, and considering he passed away in 2006, this is quite some feat. It is especially impressive being as his sire Couperus was ‘exiled’ to Indonesia after a very short breeding career in Holland. As demonstrated by both Zirocco Blue and Legend, Mr. Blue’s offpsring are continuing to keep his

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name relevant in the world of Showjumping and will certainly to do so in the future. Legend’s dam is First of April and she has a dam line that brings together dream bloodlines, with the combination of Clinton and Heartbreaker. Clinton was not only a breeder of exceptional offspring, with Cornet Obolensky being the most impressive, but he was a great competitor himself, achieving a fourth place in the Olympics in 2004. Clinton’s dam line is the same dam line that produced the Team Nijhof stallion, Spartacus TN. Heartbreaker, on the other hand, is said be one of the greatest sires of showjumpers. In 2016 he was KWPN Horse of the Year. Heartbreaker’s legacy is sure to live on, especially with the likes of his son, Toulon. As Coco Chanel once said, “The right ingredients can create a legend” and having these three foundation stallions in combination in a horse like Legend really is a dream come true.

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The feeling this horse gives you is just so special. – Charley Crockart

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I knew from the first moment I saw him he would be special. – Charley Crockart

LEGEND This modern stallion has front technique to die for and reaches over his back with great ease. His powerful canter with a superb hind leg action makes sure he ticks all the boxes. The rising 6-year-old is already proving himself in the show jumping ring with Charley Crockart. LEGEND’S OFFSPRING Although the offspring Legend has produced are young, they are all acquiring his stamp, with his markings especially. They are built very correctly, have long legs and are strong foals. It is very exciting to see a young stallion producing such quality from the get-go.

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INTERESTING FACT Mr Blue was awarded Predicate status at the 2011 KWPN stallion show, five years after his death in 2006.

THE FUTURE The breeding in South African barns is continuing to improve and it is with stallions like Legend that this is possible. These promising young stallions are bringing new blood and modern conformation and technique to the South African circuit. It is exciting to think about the future of SA breeding with a “Legend” like this at our fingertips. HQ|157C


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HORSE AND RIDER

TROUBLESHOOTING HALTING ON THE CENTRE LINE

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WHAT IS THE IDEAL HALT? Judges reward a halt that displays purpose, straightness and submission. This means your horse’s body shouldn’t deviate from the centre line; he should maintain a nicely round and soft frame; and he should step actively into the transition with energy.

PROBLEM: My horse anticipates the transition SOLUTION: Any time you run through the test in advance of the show, do not perform the halt. If he still backs off and expects the halt, ask for a more forward trot as you turn onto the centre line. If you still need to practice the halt but don’t want him anticipating it, then ride down the quarter and three-quarter lines, varying where you ask for the halt. This way, you still get to practice the halts away from the side of the arena but avoid conditioning him to halt on the centre line. PROBLEM: My horse rests a leg SOLUTION: Improving engagement will minimise this issue. As you prepare to halt from a good working trot, picture a box surrounding your horse and keep him in there. You want to make sure he isn’t running out of the front of the box or trailing out behind the box. You need to keep this purposeful frame so that your horse steps through well with his hindlegs. To further encourage this, keep supporting him with your lower leg and don’t alter your rein contact as you make the transition. PROBLEM: My horse drifts SOLUTION: Try to visualise your horse moving along train tracks; keep his legs on the track and yourself between the rails. If, when doing this, you are definitely straight (most of us aren’t!), you can look to your horse and his potential straightness issues. Usually, the issue for the horse is swinging of the quarters on the centre line, and the way to fix this is shoulder-fore in the same direction as the swing. This encourages him to transfer his weight to the inside hind and step underneath himself for support, rather than swinging in to use his stronger hind leg.

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alts on the centre line are a fundamental part of any dressage test, whatever the level. While this movement may seem basic enough, it is often a significant cause of dropped marks. The trouble with the centre line is the absence of support from the arena fence, meaning that it is more important than ever to ride accurately and give your horse a helping hand. Here we look at the common faults and how you can work on them at home.

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PROBLEM: My horse is against my hand SOLUTION: You should not be using your hand to halt, but rather your seat. If you fall into the all-too-common trap of bracing your hand, you’re only going to give your horse something to pull against. Instead, you need to practice performing the transition progressively with your seat, using your hand as little as possible. Slow your rise to collect the trot. With your core engaged, close your knee and keep your lower leg in a supportive position. Most importantly, keep your hand soft. Over time you’ll teach your horse to slow in response to your seat, and he’ll be more confident and accepting of halt transitions. All of the resistance you feel now will magically disappear!

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BAREBACK RIDING A FEW OF THE PERKS

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iding bareback is something we commonly do as children but stop practising as we get older. However, it can still be worth throwing in a couple of short bareback sessions, even as experienced riders, to help work on our seats, challenge ourselves and get a better feel for our horses. Some of the positives of riding bareback include the following: • Riding bareback is an excellent way to develop your strength as a rider. Many riders use their saddle and their reins as a crutch to keep them in place. However, with the saddle gone, you have to rely on the strength in your legs and core to keep yourself upright on your horse. • Removing the saddle helps reveal flaws in your riding position that you may not have even realised were there. • Without the saddle and saddle pad in the way, a channel of communication can open up between you and your horse through your seat. You will be able to feel his every movement. This means that you can feel your horse’s intentions more clearly and react more quickly. • Riding bareback also allows you to experiment with using your weight as an aid and learning how your horse responds. When you then put the saddle back on, you

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need to try and recall how this felt and the way your own movement and position affected your horse. • By riding bareback and improving your core stability, you should find that the next time your horse bolts or spooks, you have a little more security in your seat. • Riding bareback is also a great workout, so if you want to improve your strength quickly, you should make a point of riding bareback for five to 10 minutes after each schooling session. It will also help to get you in shape! NOTE: If you have not tried riding your horse bareback before, make sure that you do it in a safe location. You could even try it for the first time on the lunge or with someone leading your horse. You must also (of course) wear a riding hat at all times. The other thing to bear in mind is that your horse’s back is a sensitive structure, and if you know that your horse is ‘cold backed', has a back condition like kissing spines or is just not very strong currently, then chat to your vet or instructor before attempting to ride him bareback. Whilst our weight is small compared to that of a horse, riding directly on our horse’s back can cause problems if not done carefully and for limited periods, at least initially.

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TEXT: GEORGIA HARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY: JACQUI S PHOTOGRAPHY AND HILARY O'LEARY

Mare of the month SIRA QUEEN

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o far, we have only featured showjumpers in this section, so it is high time a dancing mare took centre stage! In this article, the spotlight falls on Sira Queen, owned by Marilena Foley and ridden by South African Grand Prix dressage rider Sam Foley, who is based at Eaton Farm.

HISTORY Sira Queen was purchased by Marilena at the young age of 4-months-old on the Schockemöehle Auction in 2017. Once weaned, Sira Queen began her journey to sunny South Africa via Belgium.

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BREEDING Sira Queen is the daughter of non-other than the famous Sir Donnerhall. Sandro Hit has produced many great horses, but possibly one of his best offspring is his son Sir Donnerhall. Sandro Hit is said to be a foundation for dressage horses, but Sir Donnerhall follows very closely in his father’s hoofprints and is currently ranked 4th in the WBFSH Dressage Sires Ranking. HQ|157C


HORSE AND RIDER PHOTOGRAPHY: JACQUI S PHOTOGRAPHY

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PHOTOGRAPHY: HILARY O'LEARY

Sir Donnerhall became such a popular stallion that he retired from his competition early and began his full-time role in breeding. His offspring are said to be easy to work with and ride, and this is clearly shown in his daughter. With over 300 winning mares, it is also easy to see why many people retain his daughters for breeding. In fact, Sir Donnerhall is said to possibly be a better dam sire than a direct sire. As the cherry on top, Sir Donnerhall’s dam sire, Donnerhall is said to be the sire of the century. On the other hand, Sira Queen’s dam sire is none other than the striking 2018 Hanoverian Stallion of the year, Rotspon. As of 2019, Rotspon was the father of no less than 122 premium mares. He is the dam sire of Showtime FRH, the Bundes Champion and Grand Prix Medal winner ridden by Olympic dressage rider Dorothee Schneider. Interestingly, Rotspon was also said to be a pleasure to ride, showing that Sira Queen’s bloodline possesses much rideability.

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This all makes it easy to see just how valuable Sira Queen is to the South African dressage scene both in the competition ring and perhaps one day for breeding.

RIDING LIFE Everything to do with this now 5-year-old has been done by her rider, Sam Foley. Sam has taken her time with this lovely mare, installing great groundwork and trust before undertaking the backing process. Being an established Grand Prix rider, Sam has the knowledge and experience to allow the best of Sira Queen to be shown to the dressage circuit. True to her breeding lines, this young mare has the rideability, intelligence and lightness that makes teaching her new concepts easy. On top of her temperament, she has an extremely powerful canter and hindleg action. All in all, it’s fair to say that she oozes natural talent. HQ|157C


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PHOTOGRAPHY: HILARY O'LEARY

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HORSE AND RIDER PHOTOGRAPHY: JACQUI S PHOTOGRAPHY

COMPETITIVE CAREER Sira Queen started her competitive career at the welcoming Champagne Tour, ideal for young horses. After only two shows at Prelim level, Sira Queen is ready to take on this new year at the Novice level, with the goal of competing in Elementary level for the last six months of the year. TAKE-HOME MESSAGE It is very exciting for us to be able to share not only showjumping horses that bring top breeding to our country and competitions but also dressage horses who are doing just the same. With people like Sam Foley and her mother, Marilena Foley, the breeding of dressage superstars in this country is becoming possible.

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HORSE AND RIDER

TEXT: RYAN TEHINI

MOTIVATION

CAPTURING THE ELUSIVE

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e are now one month into the new year, and statistically, 80% of people have already abandoned their new year’s resolutions. While it is fairly well-known that new year’s resolutions typically do not last very long, it is quite bizarre to think that 4 out of 5 people reading this have given up on their resolutions before Woolworths begins setting up for Valentine’s Day. This begs the question - what are the mechanics of motivation? And why is it such an elusive mental state for us? We have all of the best intentions, but we almost inevitably lose interest or struggle to maintain the motivation to see things through. Motivation has captivated psychologists, creatives,

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and thinkers alike for millennia, but the concept is more straightforward than you might think. The following article aims to examine some of the more common reasons for lack of motivation and provide a few short techniques to assist in overcoming these.

INEFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING One of the most common reasons for lack of motivation is that people often do not know exactly what they want to achieve. This is particularly evident in some of your more common new year’s resolutions, “go to gym more”, “eat healthier” etc. While all of these are fairly noble HQ|157C


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pursuits, the lack of specificity breeds complacency. It is incredibly difficult to motivate yourself to do something when you don’t have a clear idea of exactly what it is that you are aiming for. Have you ever found yourself with an advanced knowledge of something arbitrary - such as an in-depth understanding of your favourite football team or the knowledge of every song lyric from the seventies but you are unable to remember what you had for dinner last night? This has nothing to do with intelligence but is rather the result of focus. If you find yourself lacking motivation in one aspect of your life but not in others, it is likely that you haven’t decided exactly what you want from that area; you have not focused on it; and you have not set specific goals. It is very difficult to find this focus without a clear indication of the best-case scenario outcome that you are searching for. The good news is that

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if you find yourself battling with this aspect of motivation, the solution is as clear as can be – you need to set specific, clear goals. For example, instead of saying “go to gym” your resolution could be “sign up with a personal trainer and aim to run 5km/lose 5kg/be able to do five pushups by March.” The specificity gives you something to work towards; you have a deadline (which we all need), and you have a clear idea of the best-case scenario (obtaining/exceeding your goal). The best way to set this is to ask yourself, “if everything were to go to plan (or better), what would that look like?” You cannot hit a target that you can’t see.

Sometimes motivation will leave you, and you will need to use discipline to keep up your progress towards your goals.

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Feeling overwhelmed is more difficult to fix.

YOUR GOALS DON’T INSPIRE YOU Clearly defined goals are only one aspect of maintaining motivation, and while they are absolutely necessary, they are somewhat unhelpful if you are not excited about your goals. Goals are an integral part of the human psyche; they drive us to push ourselves further and continually strive to be faster, stronger, and all-round better. However, this is only true if the goals inspire you to work harder. A common mistake is setting goals that are too obtainable, such as the aforementioned goals of “go to gym more”, “eat healthier” – the truth behind these is that they are exceptionally easy to execute, but most people do not see them through because they are uninspired by them. Setting a goal is a tricky task, and many people will set a goal without an exact desired result (like losing 5kg, running 5kms etc.) because they are scared of the feeling of failure. They don’t want to experience the associated emotions of falling short, and thus vague goals afford them the ability to quit without ever entirely admitting failure. From a psychological standpoint, however, if you limit your potential success through the use of vague goals, you put a cap on what you are willing to do to obtain them - resulting in reduced motivation.

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FEELING OVERWHELMED Not all sources of motivation (or the lack thereof) are as easily fixed as the previous two; while there are simple fixes for unclear goals, there is not a simple fix for heightened stress and feeling overwhelmed. When we are overwhelmed, it is extremely difficult to find motivation. The most common piece of advice doled out for this state of mind is to relax, and it is given to you by everyone with whom you come into contact as if it were some unique bullet of wisdom that only they had access to. The truth of the matter is that stress and relaxation are not opposites, and attempting to relax is seldom the solution to this. Being overwhelmed is a similar experience to burning out; you need time off, but you also need psychological treatment for the mental wound. Simply resting an open wound will not fix it; you need medical treatment as well (and occasionally even stitches or surgery). Similarly, the “fix” for being overwhelmed is multifaceted and fairly complex; the cause of the lack of motivation is the stress and anxiety that you are experiencing. Subsequently, these need to be effectively handled for motivation to return. For effective techniques in handling stress HQ|157C


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Set realistic goals with achievable steps.

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and anxiety, see the articles I wrote in the October – December digital editions of HQ.

SEEKING MOTIVATION INSTEAD OF DISCIPLINE The truth about motivation is that it is a fairly fleeting concept - no one can be motivated 24/7. Subsequently, there will be periods where you lack motivation even if your goals are specific, they inspire you, and you are not feeling overwhelmed – this is why instilling discipline is so vital. Motivation can be thought of as a fleeting mental state that aims to instil in you the necessary resources to form good habits; once those habits are formed, and the motivation disappears, you will be running on discipline, not motivation. The question then becomes, “how do I form a habit?” and the answer to this is much easier than you might think. The answer is – you use the exact techniques that you would use to train a horse, or even a dog, to train yourself. You start by identifying the habit you would like to execute (such as going to gym five times

a week); you then identify a cue that makes you do it (an alarm clock that goes off when you need to get ready); you execute the routine without fail (get in your car and drive to the gym); and then you reward yourself for executing (anything you find rewarding that doesn’t compromise your goals). While most people will say that a habit takes 21 days to form, truthfully, acts are unlikely to become a habit unless executed for at least two months. So if you run through the above technique for two months, you will likely form a habit and will no longer be a slave to the whims of motivation.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE Motivation is an incredibly elusive mental state. To fully harness it, one needs to reduce their level of stress and anxiety, set clear and exciting goals, and use the motivational drive to form a habit. After that, it all comes down to discipline, and if you consistently hope for motivation rather than instilling self-discipline, you are unlikely to see any long term results.

Set a goal that inspires you!

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RIDING A GRID TWO TOP EXERCISES

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are delighted to have teamed up with Rotoflo to provide a series of exercises for riders of all levels. Rotoflo produces the Rotovettis used for this exercise, and we can highly recommend getting yourself a few sets of these cost-effective and versatile training tools. Stay tuned in later issues for more from the Rotoflo team.

LAYOUT

3m

EXERCISE 1 LAYOUT RIDING THE GRID • It is advised that you lay the poles flat on the ground initially and walk and trot through the exercise on both reins several times. • Once your horse is ready, you can raise the poles at one end and repeat the process, adding in some canter. • Finally, once you are confident that your horse has understood the exercise fully, you can raise both ends and practice in canter. NOTE: It is essential to jump through the grid in both directions equally so that the horse develops his muscles symmetrically.

OBJECTIVES This exercise focuses on strength building, maintaining balance and getting the horse to use their inside hind leg through the grid. It is also useful to help the horse with footwork and hoof placement, particularly for young and novice horses who need to learn more about where their feet are in space.

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Click here to see Janine from Rotoflo ride the exercise with Voigtskirch Zidane

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TIPS It is important to avoid the horse ‘falling in’ through the grid by using your inside leg to keep the horse in the middle of the poles. The outside rein is then used to help the horse with balance and straightness. HQ|157C

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Exercise 1.

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Exercise 2.

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LAYOUT

2

3

ac es) (24 p

p (24

5s trid es

es trid 5s

5 strides (24 paces)

4

es) ac

Click here to see Janine from Rotoflo ride the exercise with Voigtskirch Zidane EXERCISE 2 RIDING THE GRID • Start with jump one and canter straight to jump two on five steady strides. Focus on keeping the horse balanced, calm and in a rhythmical canter. • Then return to jump one and canter on a curve to jump three on five steady strides. Focus on riding the curve smoothly. • From jump three, you then turn right and ride back to jump one. After jumping jump one you ride on five strides to jump four, after which you turn left to complete the exercise.

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1

OBJECTIVES This exercise focuses on: • Maintaining rhythm and balance between the fences. • The discipline of riding the curves and lines accurately to ensure the correct distance between each fence. • Maintaining straightness, rhythm and balance. • Keeping the horse in front of you and between hand and leg. THANK YOU A special thank you to Jan Kleynhans, open showjumper and owner of EquiConnect, for providing the exercises for this month.

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Brightly coloured, lightweight and interlocking fillers that can be used as walls or cavaletti jump blocks.

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Which famous horse, dead or alive, would you most like to ride? Lize-Mari Matthews: Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum’s Fibonacci

Sarah Moore: Valegro Samantha Joubert: Valegro and Shutterfly

Rika Wilson: Milton in showjumping and Valegro in dressage

Laura Paschini: Hickstead

Carla Botha: Have to agree with Valegro and Milton!

Cobus Meyburgh: Shining Spark

Charne van Rensburg: Valegro for sure!

Vanessa Clewlow: Totilas

Daniella Filipovic: The horse Lynne Piercy rode – Avis Ella.

Petro Roodt: Just to touch Secretariat would be an honour Tammy Silva: Valegro, no question!

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Linda Watson: Mark Todd’s Charisma. He was just incredible!

Adele Meijers: Hickstead

Simone Martins: Explosion W

Ashleigh Larthe De Langladure: Valegro or Milton

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Deidre Willers: Definitely Secretariat Jacki Mostert: Valegro and Matador Explosion W and Ben Maher.

Kirsten Rohrich: Explosion W Monique du Plessis: Valegro! Barbi Pulvenis: Milton Chantelle du Plessis: Seabiscuit Marné Myers: Zenyatta Kelley Reynolds-Clausen: Shutterfly Erna Hubbard: Totilas Claire Mullany: Master of My Fate Trudy Cumberland: Milton Miret Hammes: Snowman, Secretariat and Seabiscuit

Niki Versfeld: Gio and En Vogue! Flaunt for jumping. Sumari Piepmeyer: Reiner Klimke’s Alarich Nadia Swart: Totilas Tracy van Rooyen: Mine! Napoleon Zet – Derby Winner Janet Burmeister: Sea Cottage. I was a speed freak! Tayla Liversage: Explosion W Jeanne Rogers: Silver Claudia Cuturi: Explosion W Diane Snodgrass Botes: Milton Hester Kruger: Milton Kerryn Roodt: Black Caviar Jenna Deetlefs: Embassy II Alexis Mowatt: Valegro Paula Lasersohn: Totilas Elouisa Stapelberg: Secretariat and Black Beauty Arina Petit: Don Cumarco, Valegro Bridget Ford: Secretariat or Don Cumarco

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OPEN FOR DISCUSSION

The magnificent Don Cumarco.

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OPEN FOR DISCUSSION Anthony Kay: Milton Jennifer Opie: Baloubet du Rouet Penny Gilbert: Milton Teresa Kenton: Honey Girl Chané de Bruyn: Hickstead Bronwyn Thomen: Secretariat Stuart McClelland: Secretariat nerostracy: Valegro sharna_b_o: Milton shenaaz_Jeebhai: Shadowfax alexandraprice22: Shutterfly and Snowman sarahjane.venn: Secretariat tr.936: Kannan Fibonacci and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum

Danéll van Rooyen: Pumpkin

ninalambrakis: Honestly my one and only Contest – a horse in a million and would be my pick over any top horse once again.

Cameron Morrisby: Secretariat for sure!

zo.equestrian: Valegro and Gio

Natascha Lacey: Checkmate

ilse_carlisle: Valegro

Helen Farrell Divov: Prince Hal

_carley_macd: Secretariat

Natascha Erasmus: Shutterfly

arabellaprivatestables: Secretariat

Olga Jacobs: Milton

dom.mcleod: Hickstead

Neriske Prinsloo Hill: Clinton

_shenique_equestrian_: Ruffian

Alma Pretorius Esky: Secretariat

sejarellim: @cianoconnor_official’s Taj Mahal

Pardon Shaun Gwenzi: Secretariat

ninaleri2: Definitely @steveguerdat Bianca

Fiona van Zyl: Pumpkin Jacquie Jacobs Mouton: Totilas

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AND THE WINNER? We have a tied first place for Secretariat and Valegro, with Milton a close second.

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FOCUS

DID YOU KNOW?

Haflinger stallions come from one of seven bloodlines – A, B, M, N, S, ST and W. You can tell which bloodline a stallion comes from because his name will start with that letter.

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HORSE AND RIDER

TEXT: SKYE LITTLEFIELD

THE BIRTH OF

ENDURANCE RIDING IN SOUTH AFRICA

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HORSE AND RIDER

THE FAURESMITH 200

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ocated approximately 100 kilometres from Bloemfontein is a small Free State town called Fauresmith. A relatively innocuous little place, it features a population of fewer than 4000 people and far fewer horses. But, once a year, Fauresmith transforms into the buzzing epicentre of one of the world’s toughest endurance races - the Fauresmith 200. Over the course of a week, the town plays host to over 400 horses and thousands more people, from race competitors to their grooms and supporters.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF FAURESMITH While the average South African may never speak of or visit Fauresmith, it holds a huge amount of excitement for our country’s endurance riders, and within the world’s equine circles, it is known as the birthplace of one of the world’s most demanding endurance races. Initially, the race was born on the back of an argument in

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Landbou Weekblad over which horse breed had the best endurance ability. A couple of hundred kilometres later, the Arabian emerged victorious from what would be called South Africa’s first endurance race. To this day, Arabians are the prominent breed in endurance races in South Africa, followed by Boerperds.

THE RACE The Fauresmith 200 is a demanding three-day endurance race covering just over 200 kilometres, crossing grasslands, stony valleys, and endless hills. Horses, competitors, grooms, and spectators are housed in town prior to the race, preparing for take-off. After just a few short days, one horse (and their rider) will emerge from the depths of the Free State as the victor. While the race covers three days, each day consists of multiple legs, planned to allow enough time for both horse

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and rider to recover before embarking on the next stretch. The race is timed, but horse safety and health are of paramount importance. After every 25km, riders and horses have 20 minutes to cool down, after which horses are checked by a vet and disqualified if they show any ill effects of the race. Any seasoned endurance rider will tell you that planning your gaits and speeds effectively will guide you through a tough race, especially when you’re on the clock, but also make sure your horse remains healthy and functioning at their best. The allowed time for completing the Fauresmith race is 16 hours, meaning a rider needs to maintain a speed of approximately 12.87kmph throughout. The course is designed with equal distances of 75km on days one and two, respectively, and 56km on day three; however, the terrain changes drastically throughout. Most riders start off at a respectable speed on day one, which is, thankfully, then carried through to day two, where negotiating loose rocks, steep hillsides, and other horses becomes a sizeable part of the race! Higher speeds are saved for the final day, which, while short, has to be crossed when both horse and rider are stiff, tired, and desperate to get home. ‘Keep in control, and keep a level head’ is the advice most often dished out by those experienced in the race. It is also worth noting that the competitors have spent the nights in unfamiliar territory, sleeping little and getting

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DID YOU KNOW? To enter the Fauresmith 200, you will need to have completed at least three rides of 80km or longer, or two rides of 120km or longer; this is to ensure that the athletes are adequately prepared to make the 201km journey. up every few hours to check on their horses in freezing temperatures. The athleticism and drive required from both horse and rider are immense, and you’ll see the excitement on the faces of these special horses through every leg.

THE FINISH LINE The excitable atmosphere is palpable from the moment horses start arriving in town but culminates in explosive congratulations once the first horse crosses the finish line. Competitors often jump off their horses, remove their tack, and give their mounts giant kisses on the nose! Fauresmith 200 competitors are known for their sportsmanship, with amateurs and experienced athletes never hesitating to help out a fellow riding team wherever needed. The atmosphere is wonderful, and the partnerships between horse and rider are remarkable to witness! For more information on endurance riding within South Africa, visit www.erasa.co.za.

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HORSE AND RIDER

TEXT: TARRYN STEBBING PHOTOGRAPHY: NC PHOTOGRAPHY

Show Rider of the Month JORJA SPENCE

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ased in the Western Cape, Jorja is a Junior Open Show Rider. Jorja bought the lovely SA Boerperd, Mistico’s Surprise, in 2020 and began her showing career shortly afterwards. Now eight years old, the mare and Jorja, 17, have managed to get from Novice to Open in just one year with great success. As evidence of this, they recently took the Supreme Junior Showing Champion title in 2021’s Regenesis Youth Champs! Although many riders excelled at Youth Champs, Jorja must be commended for producing her own horse and climbing the ranks so quickly. From being a very novice rider, Jorja has shown pure tenacity and dedication in her rise to the top! Her belief in her horse and her passion for showing is admirable!

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WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR SHOWING? Firstly, showing with a grey horse is hard work, so always have purple shampoo on hand, and secondly, it doesn’t matter what the ride feels like; you must just make sure it looks professional! WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CLASS TO COMPETE IN? Show hunter DO YOU PREFER A PULLED OR PLAITED TAIL? Plaited, although it adds a bit more stress to the turnout preparation. I personally feel that having a plaited tail accentuates the hind end. HQ|157C


PLEASE COMPLETE THE SENTENCE: “Never would I ever (in the showing ring)…” Never would I ever lose my composure. I constantly remind myself that riding a young horse is about more than myself as the rider, as she is learning new skills that will evolve with time and patience. I focus on creating the most positive experience for us both whilst in the ring. PLEASE COMPLETE THE SENTENCE: “If I am not on a horse, I am…” HQ|157C

If I am not on horse I am always at the stables or close by. I also enjoy spending time with friends and family who believe in my dreams, encourage me and support my ambitions.

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE MOTTO OR A QUOTE THAT YOU LIVE BY? I have two life mottos that I constantly remind myself of. The first is “when you can’t control a situation, challenge yourself to control the way you respond,” and the second is that “if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough!”

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MUD MONSTERS THE IMPACT ON THE HOOVES

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ith all the rain we have been having in certain areas, you are likely struggling with some wet and downright muddy areas. Continuous exposure to moisture can leave the horse more susceptible to a range of hoof and skin issues. Here we focus on the hoof problems that can result under these challenging conditions.

THE PROBLEM Hooves can quickly lose their shape when constantly faced with wet conditions because moisture causes the frog, sole, bars and walls to become more susceptible to deformity under normal weight-bearing pressures. When the outer structures of the hoof start to become affected, so do the inner structures. There are many issues commonly facing moisture-laden hooves, but here are a few of the more common ones: SOLE BRUISING: Persistent mud and moisture make hooves susceptible to bruising even on normally innocuous objects. Bear this in mind if your horse is spending lots of time on wet, soggy arenas and fields.

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WHITE LINE DISEASE: Bacteria or fungi enter and infect the inner non-pigmented space where the laminae attach to the hoof wall. White line disease seems to be even more prevalent in areas with higher humidity, alongside excessive moisture on the ground. MUD FEVER: Although not a hoof issue, it is a common question posed to farriers as the condition affects the heel bulbs. Pastern dermatitis, as it is formally known, is caused by bacteria that enter the skin. Wet conditions cause the skin to soften; mud and dirt then rub against these areas damaging the skin's surfaces allowing bacteria to enter. Signs of mud fever include heat, swelling and crusty scabs around the pastern and heel area. THRUSH: Thrush causes painful destruction of the frog and sometimes the heel of the foot. The destruction is caused by anaerobic bacteria and fungi that thrive in wet conditions. Thrush is most commonly noticed due to the foul-smelling odour of the condition and the destruction of the tissue. LOST SHOES: When the hooves become softened from high levels of moisture, the walls become too soft to hold

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the nails, and this makes it easy for mud to pull off the shoe. Not only is this costly for owners, but it also increases the risk of injury to the horse in question through damage to the hoof as the shoe is ripped off, and the danger of standing on the exposed nails of the now removed or loose shoe. SLIPPING: Wet terrain can cause the horse to slip and slide while trying to keep their balance. This can lead to them standing on themselves, causing injuries to tendons and pulling shoes off with other feet. Horses that are unbalanced tense up and take shorter strides, which can also affect the horse's ability to work properly, leading to injuries.

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO REDUCE THE IMPACT OF MUD? This is possibly the biggest challenge, but a few steps can be taken to reduce the risk of issues when conditions are wet and muddy: • Consider installing pads or permeant dense aggregate (compacted material such as crushed stone, sand varieties, for example) around high traffic areas such as near gates and water buckets. • It's thought that used shavings are a cheap option to add to muddy areas, but they certainly are not ideal. When they become trampled into the ground and mixed with manure, pine shavings become acidic, which is not ideal for hooves. Unused shavings, not of pine origin, could be used, but a more permeant installation in high traffic areas will be far more costeffective in the long run. • Monitor your horse's feet regularly and immediately alert your farrier to any issues.

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• Hoof dressings can be helpful but moderate use (once or twice a week) should be exercised as permanent use makes the hooves reliant on artificial protection. Ask your hoof care provider about these. • Avoid overgrazing - reducing the number of hooves through high traffic areas reduces the number of muddy and boggy areas. Having spare paddocks also allows you to move horses to drier areas in times of need. • Avoid hosing the mud off as this adds more moisture to the problem and can force debris into open areas. Brushing can also cause scratching of the soft areas and so instead, use a lightly damp sponge to remove the dirt and debris before thoroughly drying the feet. • S chedule more regular trims to reduce overgrowth or imbalance.

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We are dedicated to socks. You won't want to wear anything else. Our riders agree.

www.calicoequestrian.com

PROUDLY MADE IN


H O R S E A N D H E A LT H

TEXT: BIRGIT SCHRODER, REGISTERED ETT PRACTITIONER & ETT EDUCATOR AT BSET ACADEMY

EQUINE TRANSEVA TECHNIQUE (ETT) HOW IT CAN ASSIST YOUR EQUINE COMPANION 62

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H O R S E A N D H E A LT H

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e've all heard the motto ‘prevention is better than cure', but do we know what to look out for to ensure we can step in and help our equine companions before the necessity for a cure creeps up on us?

UNDERSTANDING MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN Dr Sue Dyson, renowned for her work in the equine lameness field, published a study in June 2020 to examine behavioural changes they believed to be associated with musculoskeletal pain in the ridden horse. This study resulted in the creation of the Ridden Horse Pain Ethogram (RHpE), which encompasses 24 behavioural changes clearly documented with parameters to assist in identifying musculoskeletal pain in the horse. Some of the horses used in the study were deemed sound and comfortable in their work, thus not alerting the owner/trainer to any obvious issues. The majority of the horses included, however, had subtle lameness and gait abnormalities. This led to a range of scores on the RHpE, and it was deemed that horses demonstrating eight or more of these behaviours were likely to be experiencing HQ|157C

musculoskeletal pain. The study was much needed as it adds to the body of knowledge demonstrating that behavioural changes are linked to pain rather than the horse simply being 'naughty'. To view the full study and ethogram visit mdpi.com. This study was done to help educate the horse industry and not to point fingers. Pain for us humans as well as our horses is a very individual thing. We all know at least one horse that is just about crippled by a hoof abscess, where the next only presents a subtle lameness. Having a better understanding of how our horses try and communicate their discomfort or pain allows us to share a better bond. Acknowledging the existence of pain rather than persisting in 'working through it' and possibly making the underlying issues worse should be the norm. This is not to say that every buck or resistance to a movement is related to pain; it is the repetition of resistance that should be acknowledged and investigated. For example, a horse that bucks only on one rein or only during a flying change needs a vet to check them over. Often it is also a gradual change in a horse's willingness to work or a horse just not

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feeling quite like themselves that might alert the rider to something being amiss. In essence, look for changes and consistent problems and report them to your vet promptly.

THE TEAM The saying 'it takes a village to raise a child' has never been more true and applicable than in the equine industry. Whether it is in a competitive, breeding or leisure environment, we all have our 'go to' team that we ask for help or advice. The team's foundation is usually made up of a veterinarian and farrier, branching out into a chiropractor, physiotherapist, nutritionist, behaviourist, instructor, saddle fitter, etc., as the need arises. ETT Practitioners are another branch you, as the owner, can turn to for help. By using the Winks Greene Transeva (WGT), trained practitioners can assess the quality of muscle contraction, which in turn gives insight into the muscle's functionality and health. The pulse emitted mimics that of the nervous system sending a stimulus for contraction and then ceasing to allow for relaxation. In healthy muscles, this give and take happens evenly. When

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ETT We, as ETT Practitioners, strive to help your equine companions reach their optimal potential and give you peace of mind. Common issues ETT practitioners are presented with include: • Reluctance to canter on a specific lead • Uneven trot diagonals • Hanging to one side over a jump • Finding tight turns more difficult on one rein • Tilting the head to one side • Falling in through the shoulder • Bucking, rearing or freezing • Having a 'cold back' In our next article, we will get to know a few of our registered ETT Association Practitioners (www.ett-aap.com) as they share interesting cases that they have been presented with.

there is an imbalance due to one muscle group being strained or another underutilised, the horse might show discomfort when these muscles are stimulated. The horse's reaction to having the 'sore muscle' contracted is very often the same as the reaction you, as the rider, would get under saddle when asking for a movement that the horse finds uncomfortable e.g. chewing on the tongue, throwing the head, swishing the tail, kicking out or even bucking.

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H O R S E A N D H E A LT H

Once the 'problem area' has been located, the practitioner utilises the wide-ranged pulse to improve muscular efficiency throughout the various muscle layers and chains to assist in relieving discomfort. By gradually working through the different layers, the horse feels the benefit almost immediately and accepts the pulse. Some even start to position themselves in certain ways to indicate where they want the practitioner to work next. Having a trained ETT Practitioner as part of your team will help you differentiate between pain and behavioural issues. Scheduling routine sessions with your practitioner will also allow for early detection of muscle imbalance and avoid compensatory issues further along. Incorrect

muscle memory and compensatory patterns are much more difficult to address than the original issue. We need to remember that horses are still flight animals, despite their domestication, meaning they often mask the original strain to avoid appearing weak to predators. The compensatory patterns they use to mask the injury build up quickly to avoid any sign of weakness appearing. This can make it difficult to detect the original problem and also explains why problems can move from the 'prevention' to 'cure' category so quickly. However, as the owner, you know your horse best, so when your gut tells you something's not quite right, investigate early on to avoid a bigger problem later on.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ETT Visit www.ett-aap.com M: +34 684 13 17 10 E: info@ett-aap.com

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DID YOU KNOW? THE SMALL INTESTINE GETS ITS NAME BECAUSE IT’S NARROW, NOT BECAUSE IT IS SHORT IN LENGTH. IT IS ACTUALLY BETWEEN 15 AND 21 METRES LONG! 66

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H O R S E A N D YA R D

GROOMING KIT ESSENTIALS THE FIVE KEY BRUSHES

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good basic grooming kit will contain a selection of key brushes that are all designed to fulfil a specific purpose. You can buy the brushes individually or purchase a grooming kit that will contain all of them together. Of course, many more brushes could be added, but here we look at the five most important ones that you need to get you started.

CURRY COMB This is a short-toothed comb made from rubber or plastic that ‘curries’ or loosens hair, dirt and other particles in the coat. It also stimulates the skin for healthy blood flow and the production of natural oils. DANDY BRUSH The long, stiff bristles of the dandy brush remove dirt and hair that’s been brought up by the curry comb. These brushes can have plastic or natural bristles.

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NOTE: DON’T SHARE BRUSHES Many skin diseases are caused by microorganisms that can easily be passed from horse to horse, so each horse must have his own set of brushes.

BODY BRUSH This is a soft-bristled brush that is used to remove dirt and grease from the coat and produce a shine. These brushes are made with natural fibres such as horsehair or goat hair, or from soft, synthetic fibres. They usually need to be cleaned with a metal curry comb to remove dust so that the dust does not get brushed back into the coat. Smaller versions can be used as face brushes. METAL CURRY COMB This is used to remove dirt from body brushes used during grooming by moving the brush’s bristles across the curry comb’s teeth. It is not to be used directly on the horse. MANE BRUSH/COMB As the name suggests, this is used to remove knots from the mane and tail. It must be used carefully to avoid pulling out the long hairs. HQ|157C


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FOCUS

DID YOU KNOW Many Percherons have Thoroughbred, Arab and Andalusian breeding somewhere in their bloodlines, which makes them more athletic than other draught horses.

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H O R S E A N D H E A LT H

TEXT: FARRYN DAY

POISONOUS PLANTS A GUIDE TO FIVE OF THE NASTIEST PLANTS IN SOUTH AFRICAN PASTURES

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hen looking out on a paddock at the pretty green foliage and flowers, we often forget that some of these beautiful blooms can be deadly. A large portion of plants that are toxic to horses are also invasive species, and as such, it is up to us to protect our horses and prevent the spread of these dangerous plants.

PATTERSON’S CURSE (Echium plantagineum) Pretty and purple, this plant may look beautiful, but it is one of the most common liver-toxic plants to be consumed by horses. Patterson’s Curse resembles lucerne, growing low to the ground, with small dark green leaves and purple flowers. The flowers and seeds are the most toxic parts of the plant, followed by the leaves, stems and roots. Although

Patterson’s Curse

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FARRYN DAY Facebook: @SmicEquestrian Instagram: @smic_equestrian @smicfarryn @citypoloatinanda

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Thorn Apple

horses tend to avoid Patterson’s Curse as the plant is very bitter, it grows so prolifically that it can be accidently baled as it grows in amongst teff, lucerne or eragrostis pastures. Besides being toxic to horses, Patterson’s Curse also destroys indigenous plants as it poisons the soil with a deadly alkaloid toxin preventing the growth of any other plants except itself. A single plant can produce as many as 5000 seeds, and as the wind disperses them they can spread a long way. To develop liver failure, a horse would need to consume approximately 2% of its body weight. However, even if the horse ingests less than this, liver scarring can result and symptoms can resemble those of colic and the progression in affected horses depends on the duration of exposure and quantity consumed. When the plant is consumed, the liver metabolises the pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which then kill liver cells and cause widespread scarring of the liver. There is no simple cure, and all one can do is manage the horse’s symptoms. Ongoing damage caused by the plant can cause acute weight loss, reduced appetite, jaundice and photosensitisation.

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THORN APPLE (Datura Stramonium & Datura Ferox) The Thorn Apple is another common weed with a beautiful flower but is highly toxic. The Thorn Apple grows to approximately 1m-1.5m tall and is shrub-like, with serrated leaves and large trumpet-shaped white flowers. The plant is most recognisable by the spiny seed pods. The seed pods form as the plant blossoms before drying out and splitting open to reveal the black or grey seeds. Although every part of the plant is toxic, the seeds are the most dangerous to animals and humans, and horses will generally avoid eating the plant unless they are starving. Poisoning can be the result of contaminated hay if the seed pods were baled along with the hay and the seeds then consumed by the horses. The main toxin found in the Thorn Apple is ‘atropine’, which causes colic, dilation of the pupils, tremors, convulsions, respiratory coma and eventually death. Should you suspect your horses has consumed Thorn Apple, your vet can administer an antidote to the toxin atropine while treating the symptoms. HQ|157C


H O R S E A N D H E A LT H

RAGWORT (Senecio Latifolius & Senecio Retrorsus) Though not all Ragwort species are toxic, it is important to look out for Senecio Latifolius and Senecio Retrorsus. This tall perennial herb has bluish-green leaves and clusters of small yellow flowers. Ragwort has a deep and vigorous roots system, allowing it to dominate a pasture once the pasture has been degraded by over-grazing or drought. In winter, the plant stems die down, and young shoots appear in spring. Often these young, green shoots are the first to appear after veld fires, and this is when poisoning is likely to occur as livestock eat the palatable and tender young shoots. Every part of the ragwort plant is highly toxic to horses, and the alkaloid toxins are not inactivated by drying. This toxin destroys tissues of the liver and, in its most chronic form causes ‘dunsiekte’ – a gradual loss of condition and overall well-being. In the early stages, horses show a loss of weight and rough coat and seem tired, yawning frequently. They may stand alone, hanging their head and looking sleepy, or rest their head on a stable door or fence post. Later, the horse has difficulty walking often bumping and injuring themselves. In the late stages, the horse almost becomes comatose and struggles to lift their feet.

with dark purple, red or brown and are most commonly found on fencerows, in pastures and maise fields. The seeds are encased in spiny burrs and are transferred by attaching to animals or clothing – I’m sure we’ve all found these nasty burrs stuck in our horse’s mane or tail after an outride! The entire plant is poisonous though the seeds and seedlings are the most toxic. The toxin present in the cocklebur plant (sulphated glycoside carboxyatractyloside) limits the cell’s ability to produce energy and affects the liver. The plant is most palatable as a seedling, and a horse only needs to consume 0.75% of their body weight to result in poisoning. The plant is generally not palatable though if your horse does ingest it, signs of weakness, depression and muscle spasms will appear shortly after ingestion. These symptoms can progress quickly, leading to convulsions and possible death. Sadly, there is no treatment available to counteract the toxin’s effects on the cells of the body and liver. Treatment is aimed at reducing the absorption of the toxin, supportive therapies and managing the symptoms presented. However, due to the rapid rate of decline once a horse has ingested the plant, once symptoms are seen, it can be too late.

A cocklebur seed

Cocklebur

COCKLEBUR (Xanthium Strumarium) Cocklebur is an invasive species of weed originating in the Americas. This annual plant can grow up to 1.5m tall, the leaves are triangular in shape, and the stems are spotted HQ|157C

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Pigweed

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PIGWEED (Amaranthus) Pigweed is an invasive species native to North America and grows wildly across fields and pastures and along the roadside. Pigweed is a tall and bushy plant with ovalshaped leaves and large flower clusters. Pigweed thrives in hot weather, is highly drought tolerant and competes aggressively against crops. Pigweed is toxic to any animal sensitive to nitrates, including horses, sheep, goats and cattle, and symptoms of poisoning can occur soon after ingestion or accumulate over a period of weeks. Pigweed is classified as a nitrate accumulator and contains varying levels of nitrates and oxalates. Nitrates develop in both the stems and leaves of the plant. Horses may experience toxicosis when the nitrates in the plant turn to nitrates in the gastrointestinal tract. These nitrates can also affect the heart as they are filtered into the blood, and cause haemoglobin (the molecule essential for spreading oxygen throughout the body) to convert into methaemoglobin. Methemoglobin is incapable of transporting the necessary oxygen for the healthy functioning of the heart, muscles and brain. The horse may also develop hypothyroidism. The second chemicals present in Pigweed are oxalates. Oxalates in the plant are absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and bind with calcium in the blood to form calcium oxalate. Calcium oxalate is insoluble, and as it is filtered by the kidneys it can cause nephrosis and kidney failure. A Pigweed plant can contain as much as 30% oxalate in the dried plant. Symptoms of Pigweed poisoning include difficulty breathing, weakness and tremors, blue-ish coloured mucous membranes and general fatigue. There is no quick fix for Pigweed poisoning; the vet will treat the horse’s symptoms and then establish if any kidney or liver damage has occurred and treat accordingly. HQ|157C

SUMMARY To keep your horse healthy and safe, follow these simple steps: 1. Familiarise yourself with the different poisonous plants in your area and then in South Africa (remember that baled hay is sometimes transported across the country). 2. Check your paddocks and pastures regularly for any poisonous plants, especially during spring and summer when the plants are sending out tender young shoots and then flowering. If possible, before the plant goes to seed, remove all remains of the plant from the paddock and incinerate. Don’t be tempted to throw these weeds onto the compost heap – they will simply come back next year better than ever and quickly take over the compost heap. Then once that compost is spread onto the paddocks or gardens – the seeds are spread along with it. 3. Try to buy the best possible baled hay you can find from a reputable supplier. Should you find any type of weed in the hay, take a picture and contact the supplier as soon as possible. It is important for the supplier and the farmer to know, perhaps a few of his fields have been contaminated unknowingly, and they may need to recall those bales to prevent other horses from getting ill. 4. Try not to allow paddocks and pastures to become overgrazed. These weeds thrive despite the most challenging conditions, and without any competition, they quickly take over. 5. Plant different varieties of (safe) indigenous grasses and herbs to keep soil healthy and help to eliminate weeds. 6. Should the task of removing all of the weeds manually be too much to handle, contact your local co-op or agricultural specialist to see what other options may be available to control these nasty plants.

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DID YOU KNOW?

Most modern day Trakehners can be traced back to two stallions, Perfectionist and Tempelhoiter.

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FOCUS

DID YOU KNOW? UP UNTIL THE 1940S IT WAS CONSIDERED CORRECT FOR LADIES TO RIDE SIDE-SADDLE RATHER THAN ASTRIDE THE HORSE.

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TEXT: HANNAH BOTHA, MSC EQUINE NUTRITION

TOO HOT TO HANDLE DIETARY CONSIDERATIONS FOR HOT WEATHER

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More immature cuts of hay will keep the heat production in the gut to a minimum.

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ith the weather being toasty warm at this time of year, keeping our horses’ temperatures down is a high priority. As most of us are aware, the digestion of nutrients isn’t a completely efficient process, and some heat is produced in the process. This is not usually an issue for recreational horses, but for elite athletes working in the heat, diet is certainly something to be examined when looking for advantages in performance at high temperatures.

THE RESEARCH Evidence from several studies suggests that the heat production from a high-fat diet is less than from diets that provide energy in the form of carbohydrates (starch and sugars) or proteins. This could make a high-fat diet preferable for performance horses who are often required to work in high temperatures. In the winter, we aim to feed more hay, as the fermentation of this component provides additional heat to be released, and so in hot conditions, fibre is not an ideal foodstuff. However, removing it from the diet is not an option as all horses must have continuous access to hay for their health. Furthermore, HQ|157C

hay acts as a reservoir for fluids within the gut, helping to reduce the risk of dehydration and colic. Therefore, the only option to minimise heat production from forage intake is to look closely at the digestibility of the hay you are feeding. More mature, stalkier hays will have higher levels of indigestible fibre, which may result in more heat being produced, and so looking for more immature cuts of hay would be ideal for keeping heat production down. Another factor to consider is protein. If protein is fed in excess, the body must work harder to break down this excess. This process generates more metabolic heat than normal digestion resulting in increased breathing and sweating rates to remove the extra heat.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? For the average recreational horse there is no major reason to suddenly change the diet due to environmental temperatures, as the advantage in terms of heat load on horses is likely to be small. However, adjusting diet for heat is potentially worthwhile if the horse in question is not performing at his best in the 83


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Let your horse drink straight after exercise, just maybe don’t do it in your favourite bridle!

heat or if he is a performance horse looking for small performance improvements when working in the heat.

WHAT CAN WE DO? The key to feeding horses in hot weather is to ensure that they maintain their correct body condition. A horse that is too thin or too fat cannot perform at their best, and this puts additional pressure on the body, exposing the horse to a higher chance of heat stress. Another important thing you can do to help your horse use his digestive system to keep cool is to make sure he has access to water 24/7. After exercise in hot weather, we should allow our horses to drink as part of the recovery process. It’s been shown in several studies that horses have an increased desire to

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drink immediately after they have finished exercising, and this natural urge should be taken advantage of. Allowing them to drink at this time, even whilst they are still hot and blowing hard, does not carry any risks, contrary to old wives’ tales that circulate about this. Interestingly, research has shown that there is no advantage to providing cold (10°C) drinking water to horses to keep them cool, as this tends to lower their intake. Instead, ensuring plenty of water is made available is much more important than the actual temperature you provide it at. Finally, as mentioned above, using more immature cuts of hay, feeding only the right amount of protein and keeping the starch and carbohydrate content of feed down to a minimum is a good idea in horses performing at very high levels in hot temperatures.

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A NOTE ON ELECTROLYTES There are many theories around the use of electrolytes. There is absolutely no doubt that horses training and competing in hot climates will have increased sweat losses. Sweat contains electrolytes that are responsible for powering vital bodily functions such as muscle contractions, absorption of nutrients, the balance of the body’s fluids and even organ function. If the horse is sweating profusely for long periods of time, electrolyte imbalances can occur which would lead to reduced performance or an increased risk of conditions such as ‘tying-up’ (exertional rhabdomyolysis) or ‘thumps’ (synchronous diaphragmatic flutter). Due to the need for electrolytes, horses cannot rehydrate just by drinking water; they also need access to the electrolytes found in forage and feeds. For the average horse that doesn’t sweat excessively, his daily diet of feed and concentrates will be enough to replace any losses each day, but for horses working to a high sweat, an electrolyte is recommended. For more information on this chat with your equine nutritionist about your individual situation.

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Part 6

Anatomy 86

The endocrine system T

he body has two main methods of communicating messages from one part of the body to another: the first is the nervous system, and the second is the endocrine system. As we saw in our last edition (HQ157b), the nervous system sends electrical impulses along nerve fibres to transmit messages. On the other hand, the endocrine system releases chemical messages, called hormones, into the bloodstream, and these are detected by receptors, which allow the message to be received. Nerve fibres allow messages to be sent almost instantaneously, whereas it can take many hours for the

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Pituitary

H O R S E A N D H E A LT H

Hypothalamus

Ovaries (mare only) Adrenals

Thyroid

Parathyroids

Thymus

Pancreas Testes (stallion only)

effect of a hormone to be felt by the body. The effects of a nervous impulse are similarly usually short-lived, but a hormone can be present in the body for many days. In reality, these two messaging systems work in close conjunction with each other, coordinating their activities to best suit the scenario at hand. To further tie them together, the nervous system can stimulate or inhibit the release of certain hormones, and certain hormones can affect the transmission of certain nerve impulses.

THE ENDOCRINE SYSTEM The equine endocrine system is a collection of small glands that produce hormones that travel through the bloodstream to distant sites in the body. These hormones act to HQ|157C

regulate metabolism, growth, reproduction, sweating, stress and much more. Hormone production is regulated by positive or negative feedback loops that increase or decrease production respectively. The chemical messages (hormones) that are the key agent in the endocrine system are secreted by endocrine glands found in various locations across the horse’s body. These are:

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H O R S E A N D H E A LT H

Thyroxine

THE THYROID GLAND The thyroid gland is situated in the throat. It secretes thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which circulate throughout the whole body and are responsible for controlling the horse’s metabolism. The thyroid gland also produces the hormone calcitonin, which reduces circulating calcium by moving it out of the blood and into the bones for storage.

THE PARATHYROIDS The parathyroid glands are small round glands found at the back of the thyroid gland. They produce a hormone called parathyroid hormone, which controls calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood. THE HYPOTHALAMUS The hypothalamus is situated in the brain, and despite its small size it controls and coordinates a variety of functions in the horse’s body: • Information from the external environment is sent to the hypothalamus via the nerve fibres in the sensory organs and the body. All impulses from sound, taste, smell and feeling are sent to the hypothalamus. • Information from inside the body is also relayed to the hypothalamus. Receptors inside the hypothalamus

The pancreas

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H O R S E A N D H E A LT H

The adrenal glands are situated on top of the kidneys.

constantly monitor the blood, checking hormone levels, water concentration and temperature. • The hypothalamus ultimately regulates the main connection between the endocrine and the nervous system working in conjunction with the pituitary gland. When the hypothalamus senses changes in the body, it releases regulating hormones targeted primarily at the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland then adjusts the production of its own hormones accordingly; these hormones regulate the body's various functions. • The hypothalamus regulates heartbeat, movement of food through the digestive tract, and the emptying of the bladder. It also controls food and water intake and regulates waking and sleeping patterns. Finally, it affects the emotional state of the horse, particularly feelings of anger and aggression.

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THE PITUITARY GLAND The pituitary gland is also found in the brain. It works with the hypothalamus to control many of the horse’s bodily functions. Hormones produced by the pituitary gland include: • Adrenocorticotrophic hormone which acts directly on the adrenal glands to stimulate the production of steroids, most notably cortisol in response to stress; • Follicle-stimulating hormone, which brings about the maturation of a follicle in the ovary and sperm development in the testes; • Thyroid-stimulating hormone, which stimulates the thyroid to produce thyroxine; • Growth hormones, which alters metabolism and builds muscle; and • Oxytocin, which stimulates the contraction of the uterus during labour.

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H O R S E A N D H E A LT H

THE PINEAL GLAND The pineal gland is located in the brain. It secretes melatonin in response to day length. This means that the gland effectively acts as the body’s biological clock and helps to regulate the circadian rhythm, sleep and the seasonal and daily variations in reproductive behaviour. THE THYMUS The thymus is a two-lobed gland that is found behind the sternum, between the lungs. It contributes to the horse’s immune system by synthesising hormones that help to produce T-cells (cells that destroy invading microbes). The thymus gland is also part of the lymphatic system, which helps drain fluid from the body. THE PANCREAS The pancreas is found inside the abdomen, close to the stomach. It secretes insulin and glucagon, which control sugar levels in the blood.

Progesterone

Adrenaline

THE ADRENAL GLANDS These two small glands are situated on top of the kidneys (one on top of each kidney). They secrete adrenaline, the fight or flight hormone, and glucocorticoids like cortisol, cortisone, and corticosterone. This means that the adrenals play a key role in metabolism, behaviour and stress. The adrenals also secrete aldosterone, which regulates sodium levels, water balance and blood pressure. Finally, they secrete sex steroids.

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Oestrogen

THE OVARIES The ovaries are oval-shaped glands located in the pelvis of the mare. They produce the female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone. HQ|157C


H O R S E A N D H E A LT H

Testosterone

THE TESTES The testes are two oval-shaped glands located in the scrotum of the stallion. They produce the male sex hormone testosterone.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE The endocrine system, just like the nervous system covered in the last issue, is a very complex system that we will be examining in more detail in future articles. We hope this has given you a brief overview, and whet your appetite for more hormone-heavy information in the future!

Animal Feed, Fodder, Shavings & Supplements!

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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.


Seeis Micoleure Age: 6 Height: 16.1hh (still growing) Gender: Gelding Breeding: Namibian Warmblood Current level of performance: 1m showjumping For sale: R250,000 About: Seeis Micoleure is a talented youngster, who has the scope and carefulness to jump in the open classes. He is a serious prospect for either a professional or an ambitious amateur, looking to ride at the top levels. Rideability: Seeis Micoleure thrives in a regular training program. He will excel with a rider with the time to dedicate to his development.


Red Ruby aka Teddy Age: 12 Height: 16hh Gender: Gelding Breeding: Thoroughbred (Mogok x West Man) Current level of performance: Teddy has jumped up to 1m competitively and also done some eventing in the lower grades earlier in his career. For sale: R120, 000 About: Teddy suits a junior or young adult who wants to start out competing. He is honest and sweet, has been to many show venues, and is very easy to handle. He really is the kind of horse you can do anything with. He will be your true companion! Rideability: Red Ruby is a forward-going, safe ride and yet has a ‘fun side’, as he can get excited at shows. He is happy to hack out alone and safe in all respects. Overall he is a teddy bear of a horse – hence his nickname ‘Teddy’.


Fair Cloud Gloriana Age: 11 Height: 16hh Gender: Mare Breeding: Thoroughbred (Dynasty x Badgerland) Current level of performance: Gloriana does not have a show record in any discipline, except for some in-hand showing. She’s well-schooled, ready and prepared to compete. She has jumped 1m at home and jumps at this height with ease. For sale: R70 000 About: Gloriana has a super temperament and is a good all-rounder. She is sweet, kind, very tolerant and eager to please. Rideability: Gloriana is a very nicely schooled mare, yet needs a kind, considerate rider with good hands and a soft feel. She shows a good jump and would make an ideal first junior horse for someone who needs a bold and tolerant equine partner to participate in most disciplines.


?

YOUR EQUESTRIAN QUESTIONS ANSWERED

What’s an ergot?

Some horses have a small callous on the underside of their fetlock known as an ergot. These ergots might be on all four legs, a couple of legs or none at all. They vary in size and are often more prominent on horses with lots of feathers. It is thought that ergots are remnants of the horse’s multi-toed past, although we are unsure why they don’t occur in all horses or always on all four legs.

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DID YOU KNOW The word ergot comes from the French word for a rooster’s spur.

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Q&A

I’m worried that I’m not balanced in the saddle and that this is affecting my horse’s way of going, but how do I know if this is the case? The best place to start when addressing any concerns about your riding is with a good coach, who can help you from the ground and spot things that you might not be able to feel from the saddle. A good coach will be able to identify and correct any weaknesses and give you exercises to do either on or off the horse to improve the situation. Another option is to ask a friend to video you from the ground so you can see whether you are sitting straight. Ideally, you should watch the video in slow motion so that you can see the differences in weight distribution that are hard to see at full speed. For instance, you may notice that you put more weight in one stirrup or that you lean slightly more to one side than the other. Finally, you can watch your horse move on the lunge. If he moves more symmetrically on the lunge than under the saddle, it could be that you, or the fit of your saddle or bit, are causing the issues you are experiencing.

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SIGNS THAT IMBALANCE MAY BE AN ISSUE FOR YOU: • Uneven wear in the stirrup leathers • Differences in the lengths of your stirrups • Uneven wear patterns on your gloves • Uneven wear patterns on your jodhpurs • Hair loss under the saddle or on one side of your horse’s body relative to the other

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Q&A

What’s the difference between a close contact and a normal jump or dressage saddle? Is one better than the other? Close contact saddles are usually monoflap saddles, meaning that there’s just one layer of leather underneath your leg, rather than the usual two. These saddles, therefore, tend to have more streamlined panels than regular saddles which remove the bulk between the rider's legs and the horse’s sides. All of this means that the rider is much closer to the horse, hence the name of the saddle. Monoflap saddles were originally designed for professional riders with the ability to balance themselves and maintain coordination with their horse without the

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support of a deeper-seated saddle and larger knee rolls. So, this type of saddle may not suit a rider who relies on the added security a traditional saddle provides. As an added point to note, the streamlined panels mean there’s less area in contact with the horse’s back and subsequently less area for the pressure to be distributed through. This means that while all saddles should be regularly checked for fit, a monoflap saddle is less forgiving and must always fit perfectly to ensure it’s still comfortable. This may necessitate very regular saddle checks. Choosing the right saddle for you and your horse is down to being aware of how you ride, your horse’s way of going and what you plan to do together. Chat to your saddle fitter to get some advice!

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Q&A

How can I decide whether to put my horse through a big operation, like colic surgery? This is a big decision that it is best to make in advance of your horse becoming unwell so that you know the decisions you are going to make ahead of the stressful situation. Making the decision in advance will also speed up the process, as any delay can reduce the chances of a successful recovery. Colic surgery is a big undertaking and may not be the best option in every case. Many horses go on from surgery to have successful competitive careers, but some never return to their previous level of fitness, and others have complications after surgery that can be lifethreatening. It is also worth bearing in mind that the horse will require a general anaesthetic, which in itself has a number of risks, such as cardiac arrest or tissue damage. Overweight or older horses can be at higher risk of difficulties following general anaesthetic, so

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making sure your horse is in otherwise good health beforehand is key to a positive outcome. Older horses without any health concerns do equally well as younger horses following colic surgery so age is less of an issue. However, very overweight horses have a higher risk of problems with the healing of the wound post operatively. Similarly, horses with conditions such as arthritis may struggle to get up after the anaesthesia. They will also become stiff during the post-operative box rest, which is usually at least four weeks in the case of colic surgery. The mental state of your horse is also worth considering. Recovery from surgery is usually slow, and anxious horses can find the process unbearable. In particular, some horses will struggle to cope with the box rest, and their anxiety may precipitate another colic episode. Whilst most horses will ultimately adapt, getting your horse prepared in advance to equip him to handle stressful situations will be a significant advantage if ever he does require surgery.

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Q&A

My horse has been diagnosed with COPD. How does treatment for respiratory problems work, and will it limit what he is able to do? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), also known as recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) or, most recently, equine asthma, occurs when a horse inhales an allergen. This causes the airways to narrow, go into spasm and produce inflammatory cells and mucus. Treatment should be aimed at reducing airway spasm and inflammation through the use of bronchodilator drugs (that dilate the airways) and steroidal antiinflammatories (that reduce inflammation generally). These medications may be delivered orally or via inhalation. Inhalatory drugs are administered by metered dose inhaler (MDI), nebuliser or soft mist inhaler.

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Mucolytics can be prescribed to break up mucus that builds up in the airways. It’s also important to address the horse’s environment. Many cases of asthma occur following dust inhalation, be it from a dusty stable environment or dusty forage. This means you need to consider the following: • Using hypoallergenic bedding • Improving ventilation by opening windows and doors • Reducing dust in the forage through soaking or steaming hay. If asthma is diagnosed quickly and the horse responds well to the suggested treatment and management methods, he’s likely to be able to return to his normal levels of exercise. Problems only tend to arise in those cases that are difficult to control and those who require ongoing drug therapy.

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Q&A

My horse gets really stressed whenever I work him in the arena. Do I push through it, or is there a way to help him relax? Working in the arena is the most physically difficult thing a lot of horses do, so it is not unusual for them to take a dislike to being schooled there. This 'dislike' can present in a variety of ways, including being behind the leg, rushing or becoming tense or stressed. For a stressed horse, it’s always worth going back to basics. Make sure you aren’t doing too much in the arena – a varied workload is key for building your horse’s strength as well as keeping him fresh and enjoying his work. Include plenty of hacking, polework and groundwork in his routine. With this extra variety, you can then stick to keeping things really easy in the arena. For example, stick to walk and trot in the arena if that helps keep him relaxed, and try not to push him too hard. Similarly, you can encourage him to stretch out and stay soft rather than asking for a more established outine, as this should make him feel good through his body and create positive associations. By keeping the work easy, your horse will relax and enjoy his work without feeling under pressure to perform. This should improve his associations with the arena and over time you will be able to do more and more here.

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Samshield Limited Edition Helmets The limited edition MATT Collection helmets with statement trim and Blazon will demand a second look! These helmets are all incredibly unique whilst showing off the same Samshield class. Redefine your ride in Samshield Limited Edition Shadowmatt, Glossy or Premium shell styles which feature the bi-material effect, ‘Limited Edition’ signature embroidered chin strap and Swarovski crystal detailing. Inspired by premium motorcycle helmet technology, Samshield helmets are made of the most performant materials, with undeniable style. Safety, testing and ongoing development remains at the forefront with great attention on rider hygiene and comfort too. This creates a technologically advanced riding helmet unlike any other on the market today. Why make a choice when you can have both looks and security? Available online and in select Western Shoppe branches. Learn more at www.westernshoppe.com

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Tamara Sun Protector

The Tamara Sun Protector is made from a UV protective, breathable mesh fabric and is the ideal item for outdoor sporting activities. This product was especially designed to quickly throw on over a shirt during riding or other exercise and provide you with ultimate sun protection but still be cool and breathable. This garments pairs perfectly with the Teegan Tank Top Details include: • High neck for sun protection • Front pockets • Mesh fabric for cool feel • UV protective • Drop shoulder with piping detail • Long sleeve • Front chunky zip • Customised elastic waist and cuffs Colours | White, Black Sizes | XS, S, M, L, XL

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HYBRID Sportswear for Your Horse

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Graphene has excellent thermal conductivity and dissipate excess body heat in hot climates and preserves body temperatures in cold climates.

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Graphene offers a very high strength-to-weight ratio making even light weigh fabrics very strong. The Graphene print on the CATGO Hybrid lining fabric supports a high durability of the products keeping the shape even after long time use. Graphene is said to revolutionize the sports industry due to the materials unique thermal qualities! Graphene enables the faric to act as a filter between the body and the external environment and thereby ensuring the ideal temperature for the horse. This means dispersing the heat in warm weather and preserving it and distributing it evenly from “hot spots” in cold temperatures. Anti-Static: Graphene leads energy and thereby has a highly anti-static function.

Because performance matters!

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more products we love Shopping fun

Res-Q-Tack Tendon Set

A Three-In-One Therapy set for the application of Hot, Cold and Magnetic Therapy. The range is designed for easy application and aids in healing areas that are affected by strains and injuries. R5,295.75

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Rambo Hoody

The Rambo Hoody incorporates a number of Horseware Ireland’s most innovative features. The Amigo Ripstop Hoody is breathable, lightweight and offers 90% UV protection from top to tail. It comes with an integrated ‘Hoody’ style neck cover with ear holes that is attached to the body of the rug and an elasticated jaw strap which ensures a close contact fit.

SMART Voetsek Fly Spray

This fly spray contains DEET which is proven to protect horses from biting insects and will aid in the control and prevention of insect borne viral diseases, such as African Horse sickness.

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PRIDEY’S PIECE

VALENTINE’S PLEA

Dear readers, As a matter of national emergency, I feel compelled to get in touch with all of my fans and beg, nay plead, that you refrain from sending SO many Valentine’s Day cards this year. The postal service struggles to cope as it is, without this unnecessary burden. If you must send anything, please make sure it is fully recyclable (I’m concerned about the number of trees felled in my name) or edible (carving your declaration into a carrot would be very welcome – just don’t lose too much carrot in the process). The only exception I can possibly make is for lovely ponies out there who are looking for love this Valentine’s Day – do you have a bay? If not, drop me a note ;) Much love, Pridey xxx

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NEXT ISSUE 1st March 2022

www.hqmagazine.co.za 110

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Merlynn Trichardt 079 317 4556 | merlynn.bester15@gmail.com