DIGI TAL IS SUE 159A 158C | | 2022 DIGITAL ISSUE 2022
SOUTH AFRICA’S PREMIER PREMIER EQUESTRIAN EQUESTRIANMAGAZINE MAGAZINE SOUTH AFRICA’S
ONLINE BROODMARE AUCTION
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Dear readers, Welcome to another edition of HQ Magazine. We’re loving the buzz of everyone back at shows, the new venues on offer and the auctions taking place. It’s a very fun time to be a South African equestrian! Of course, the colder weather is less cheerful, but hopefully, we can have a couple of frosts to get rid of the AHS midges for a while. We hope you are all enjoying these digital editions, and, as always, if there is anything in particular you’d like to hear or read about, just let us know! Our next print edition will be out in mid-July, so look out for your copy. If you’d prefer, you can sign up for a subscription on our site www.hqmagazine.co.za Thanks again to our advertisers, who make this possible! With best wishes,
Lizzie and xxx the HQ team Dr Lizzie Harrison | Editor
Designer: Mauray Wolff HQ|159A
DIGITAL ISSUE 159A | 2022
IN THIS ISSUE 06 Breed your own Champions
Learning to ride in a neck rope
With Capital Stud
Callaho Warmblood Auction
Stallion of the month
Gelding of the month
Showing rider of the month
90 Horse insurance Remains a sound investment in tough economic times
The ‘magic’ of the horse’s movement
Winter weight loss Keeping condition in the cold
The Sumchi Technique The introduction
What is fascia? And how do we keep it healthy?
Capital Figaro D’Isigny
Emotional intelligence Unlocking a higher level of rider
2022 Winter Auction Review
Products we love
With Robyn Moolman Shopping fun
BREED YOUR OWN CHAMPIONS With Capital Stud
Lot 12 Capital Chana | Photography: Hilary O’Leary
From the 21st to the 24th of June, Capital Stud is hosting an auction unlike any seen before in southern Africa. The Exclusive Broodmare Auction sees seventeen mares in foal to stallions from the world’s best bloodlines going under the digital hammer. The real value in this opportunity comes not only from the acquisition of a mare and exceptionally bred foal, but the opportunities on offer to those electing to keep their mare and foal at Summerhill Equestrian in permanent livery. Upon choosing the livery option, the following unmissable offering becomes available to you: • • • •
Future coverings for your Capital mare by the Capital Stud stallions A live foal guarantee for your mare purchased on the Auction World-class facilities and the 24/7 attention of our team of experts Backing and producing of your young horses ‘the Capital Way’ allowing them to either return to you when ‘ready to go’ or be sold on the appropriate Capital Stud Auction.
Capital My Lady | Photography: Hilary O’Leary
In this way, this Exclusive Broodmare Auction truly offers you the ability to invest in your future in the sport, and breed your future champions.
Henning’s vision for Capital Stud has always been to provide South Africans with a quality of sporthorse commensurate with that seen on the international stage. He invests only in the best bloodlines in both his stallions and mares, and his pairings are carefully formulated with the goal of breeding ‘the ultimate sporthorse’.
Capital Kronos | Photography: Hilary O’Leary
With just five years of auction horses on the circuit, it is astonishing to see the number of ‘big names’ already jumping in the open classes across South Africa and overseas. From Capital My Lady to Capital Magic Boy, Capital Colman to Capital Night Star, Capital Don Cumarco to Capital Colnardo, Capital Moonlight to Capital Claribel, Capital Ayden to Capital Hampton, Capital Levubu to Capital Hawk, and Capital Chantilly to Capital Kronos, to name just a few, Henning’s selection process and ability to find and breed true quality is unrivalled. His goal with this Auction is to sell broodmares to those wanting to invest in their future in the sport. It is his dream to see these international quality horses ridden by those with the talent to produce them, and through this Auction he hopes to make this a more affordable prospect. HQ|159A
Capital Hampton | Photography: Lauren Courtenay 7
WHY A BROODMARE AUCTION?
Aside from the obvious ability to breed with these mares in the future, providing South Africans with the opportunity to create their own string of sporthorses, Henning has introduced this Exclusive Broodmare Auction in response to European trends. KWPN for instance regularly achieves prices for broodmares in the range of 30,000EUR (over R500,000), with European buyers recognising the value inherent in a good foundation mare for their breeding operations. The trend in Europe towards broodmare auctions in many ways was influenced by the Thoroughbred broodmare sales, where it is not uncommon to see prices in the millions of Euros for a specific mare. It all comes down to recognising the value of a good mare and the progeny she is capable of producing. This Auction replicates this trend to make the opportunity of owning your piece of the world’s best bloodlines a reality.
The reasons to invest in a broodmare are simple. If you start breeding from scratch today with a mare without a proven damline it’ll take you 20 years before you are really getting it right. You’ll be running behind the trends the whole time. Henning is selling mares that have a proper damline and that have already proved they can produce new generation offspring that can make it to the top in the sport. Henning has invested
the time for you by figuring it all out over the years. When you buy a broodmare on this auction, you’re buying time so that you can get ahead. This game doesn’t stand-still. - Dirk Zagers
Summerhill Equestrian | Photography: Hilary O’Leary
Another win of breeding your own horses from proven mares and stallions is the health factor. This sport is expensive and if you start with horses that have problems, the chances of them breaking down when they reach the big classes is high. Henning is so careful with his breeding. He X-Rays his horses, checks for correctness and always looks at the feet. With Henning you buy top horses, not top problems, and with your foal looked after by his team, you can guarantee the horse you are getting at the end has the best chance there is of getting to the Grand Prixs. - Dirk Zagers
Summerhill Equestrian is the ultimate place to raise your foal. This can be said with certainty when one sees not only the Warmbloods that have been produced from this property but also the winning Thoroughbreds of yesteryear. The space, the energy, the team and the facilities on offer are unparalleled. Better yet, they are affordable and give you peace of mind that your horses are in the best hands. Summerhill Equestrian is offering all those interested to visit the property, see the facilities and meet the broodmares on offer. With a mid-week stay, Hartford House is offering a 30% discount for those looking to stay in luxury on site.
CLICK HERE to view all livery options and prices HQ|159A
Capital’s Hermes Pommex Z | Photography: Hilary O’Leary
EXCLUSIVE OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE TO BROODMARES REMAINING AT SUMMERHILL EQUESTRIAN • • • • • • • •
Broodmare management Foaling down Weaning Re-covering by Capital Stud stallions Training of youngsters Backing of youngsters Initial under saddle training Producing of horses for sale on Auction
WE ALSO OFFER LIVERY OPTIONS FOR OTHER HORSES AS FOLLOWS: Livery A (Stable) or Livery B (Paddock) for: Breeding Mares | Weanlings | Yearlings | Pre-Training | Spelling | Sales Prep Stallions | Retirement
EXCLUSIVE BROODMARE COLLECTION
CAPITAL ARMANI X CONSUELO
CAPITAL DON CUMARCO X
CAPITAL SHIRAZ X BAMBIX
CAPITAL CAPRICCIO X GRAF
CAPITAL A STAR X TRIOMPHE
CAPITAL COLNARDO X CAPITAL
SPONECK X GRENADIER
CHICOLETTO Z X CAPITAL CAPRICCIO
CAPITAL DON CUMARCO X
KENTUCKY VAN’T RUYTHERSHOF
CAPITAL HITOSHI X CAPITAL
CORONADO X LANDEGO
X CAPITAL HOTLINE X CATOKI
CAPRICCIO X GRAF SPONECK
CLICK HERE to view the full collection
11 CAPITAL 09 CAPITAL
ZOI VAN HET GEHUCHT
LORDANOS X SANDOR
CAPITAL CHICOLETTO Z X
DARCO X JULIO MARINER XX
EMERALD ISLE X CONCORDE
CAPITAL CAPRICCIO X SANDOR
CAPITAL COLNARDO X PAVAROTTI
CAPITAL CHICOLETTO Z X CAPITAL
CAPITAL A STAR X CONCORDE X
VAN DE HELLE X CONCERTO II
CAPRICCIO X ARGENTINUS
PAVAROTTI VAN DE HELLE
CAPITAL ULRICH X BAMBIX
CAPITAL SHIRAZ X I LOVE YOU
X WACHMANN III
DUET CAPITAL DON CUMARCO X CAPITAL ULIOR VAN HET WUITENSHOF X LAND EARL HQ|159A
In the words of Dirk Zagers Capital Toulouse van het Keizerhof | Photography: Hilary O’Leary
WHY CAPITAL STALLIONS?
The showjumping sport has evolved at a rapid rate over the past decade, particularly in Europe. This has necessitated breeders of modern showjumpers to adapt accordingly. Whereas heavier types with scope to burn were winning the classes ten to fifteen years ago, this has all changed with the advent of lighter poles, more technical courses and a huge emphasis on time. Henning Pretorius, with his stud base in Europe, has been following and replicating these trends in his breeding for several years, and the rewards of this visionary approach are starting to become apparent on the showjumping tracks here. Henning continues to acquire stallions of the best quality from Europe, and his latest batch epitomise the modern breeding trends. To have the opportunity for your Capital broodmare to be covered by these stallions in the future by remaining at Summerhill Equestrian is too good to be missed. This would be a true investment in your future in the sport. 12
“In Belgium, we used to breed a lot with Darco. Our Darco mares continue to be the basis of our modern breeding operations, but they are now put to modern stallions. If Darco were to be cloned and come back to the sport today he’d be a great horse, but there would be better horses. He was one of the best of his time, but today the sport is different. The biggest game changer in the sport is the speed required. You have to fly around those Grand Prix tracks to avoid time faults. On top of this the poles are light, the cups are flat and the distances are more technical. Henning has followed these trends and his new crop of stallions are going to be the future play makers of our sport.
Capital’s History JT Z | Photography: Hilary O’Leary
Today you need horses that have blood for speed, but they must also be intelligent so they can cooperate with you and read the fence for themselves. They also need to be sharp and careful, but not afraid. If you want to be competitive, you need a horse that reads the fence with you, knows where the top pole is, is sharp in front and still has all the scope and power to clear the top fences. Ultimately, he needs to be more athletic
Hennings new stallions are really the ‘crème de la crème’ of what you can buy in terms of new blood, top blood and proven blood. Each one has a
damline that you can’t believe is real - it’s so powerful. - Dirk Zagers 13
THE LATEST IMPORTED STALLIONS AT CAPITAL STUD Capital’s History JT Z (a full brother to Hardrock Z) (Heartbreaker, Carthago Z, Rebel I IZ) Capital Voice van het Keizerhof (Pegase van ‘t Ruytershof x Chacco-Blue x Berlin (ex Caspar) Capital V-Power van het Keizerhof (Luigi Déclipse x Cassini I x Romino) Capital Very Cool van het Keizerhof (Luigi Déclipse x Casall la Silla x Carolus) Capital Vegas van het Keizerhof (Uricas VD Kattenv x Stakkato x Lord Caletto) Capital’s Emirates van Overis Z (Emerald van ‘t Ruytershof x Pommeau du Heup x Ramiro Z) Capital’s Barnidin JT Z (Baloubet du Rouet x Happy Days Z x Carthago Z) NOTE: Happy Days Z is full sister to Hardrock Z
Capital Udorado van het Keizerhof (Grandorado x Heartbreaker x Burggraaf) Capital’s Tandoori Pommex Z (Tobago Z x Golden Hawk x Rubens du ri dásse D’96) Capital’s Hermes Pommex Z (Halifax van het Kluizebos x Emerald van ’t Ruytershof x Usha van ’t Roosakker) Capital’s Harton vd Berghoeve Z (Heartbreaker x Diamant de Semilly x Atoucha van ‘t Roosakker) Capital’s Todos de Regor (Chacco-Blue x Dobels Cento x Nabab de Reve x Qerly Chin) Capital Toulouse van het Keizerhof (Diarado x Chacco-Blue x Berlin (ex Caspar)) Capital’s Jaures de Hus (Baloubet du Rouet x Wandor Van Mispelaere x Cento x Usha van ’t Roosakker)
Capital’s Jaures de Hus | Photography: Hilary O’Leary
Capital’s Harton vd Berghoeve Z | Photography: Hilary O’Leary
It is hugely exciting to see this kind of opportunity being made available to South Africans. Allowing top showjumpers to own their own damlines and breed their ideal foal, with the assistance of the expert Capital Team, is the next step in the evolution of the sport. Invest in your future with Capital Stud at Summerhill Equestrian.
Hartford House Photography: Hilary O’Leary
CALLAHO WARMBLOOD AUCTION 2022 Winter Auction Review 16
The recent Callaho Winter Auction was a resounding success. As always, the cross-country and international enthusiasm for the Callaho horses made sure that every horse found a buyer. There would have been plenty of celebrations as the lots closed over the two evenings. Bidding was, as always, heated with multiple lots being extended as hopeful bidders fought it out for their next Callaho champion or broodmare in foal. Whether buying or just ‘spectating’ the Callaho Auction never fails to keep you on the edge of your seat. For all those watching, it was an exhilarating experience. The horses on offer showcased Callaho’s breeding prowess. From top dressage prospects to open jumpers, this Winter Collection really had them all. Callaho certainly know what it takes to produce a winner. Team HQ would like to congratulate all the lucky new owners, and wish you the greatest happiness and success with your new Callaho superstar.
THE COLLECTION Twenty horses went under the digital hammer across the two evenings: 14 sporthorses and 6 broodmares in foal (each to carefully selected Callaho stallions). The collection was characterised by exciting diversity in stallion selection: the great foundation stallions, Callaho Lissabon and Callaho Con Coriano, were big drawcards, but so too were new offerings from Callaho Cartier and Callaho Equinox, both of which commanded super prices. Other sought-after stallions included Carnaval La Silla, Corinth, Sampras, Esclavo (the new hybrid PRE cross), and international stallions I’m Special de Muze and Kannan. Callaho Cartier’s daughter, Callaho Roulet du Ayenne (Cartier/Baloubet du Rouet/Contendro I), sold for the impressive price of R450 000, a testament to Ray Korber’s consistently top-drawer performances with the stallion in the 1.35m classes. Callaho Larison’s son (Callaho Lariano (Larison/Con Coriano/Quidam’s Rubin)) also showed huge promise for both showjumpers and dressage enthusiasts, achieving a price of R510 000. The new owner of Lariano would have had reason to smile after watching Callaho Larison perform so assuredly in his debut 1.40m class at Stokkiesdraai this past weekend. While there were certainly new names on bidders’ lips, the Callaho flagbearers proved their quality.
The highest price of the auction was for Callaho Con Catch Me (Con Coriano/Wachmann III/I’m So Bad xx), a Con Coriano gelding out of the 1.50m World Cup Winner Nissan Watch Me P. It’s easy to focus on the top-class stallions on offer at Callaho, but one could argue that the magic really lies in the damlines. Buyers on any Callaho sale are assured of quality, and much of this guarantee comes through the prodigious performance-proven damlines from which these offspring are derived. With this in mind, the selection of six broodmares for the auction was particularly interesting for buyers. As Team Callaho is known for its ability to expertly pair mares with stallions, the increased price of broodmares in foal on this auction should come as little surprise. It goes without saying that many of these broodmares are young and still have competitive careers ahead of them, which is an added advantage for those investing in their future in the sport.
Callaho Roulet du Ayenne (Cartier/Baloubet du Rouet/Contendro I)
Callaho Lariano (Larison/Con Coriano/Quidam’s Rubin)
Callaho Con Catch Me (Con Coriano/Wachmann III/I’m So Bad xx) HQ|159A
SOME STATS FROM THE AUCTION Average price for a riding horse:
R411,429 Average price for a broodmare:
R138,333 Highest riding horse price:
R800,000 Highest broodmare price:
THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING
70% of buyers on the auction were repeat buyers Only 36% of the horses on auction were tried by their new owners.
These statistics highlight the trust in the Callaho Team, and the satisfaction of owners with their previous investments.
CALLAHO’S DESERVED SUCCESS It is exciting for the sport to see the quality of horses consistently on offer on the Callaho Auctions. Their ‘breeding magic’ is truly providential and evolves continually to meet the needs of the modern sport. Their worldclass production programme makes sure each Callaho athlete is ready to deliver everything he was bred for. The transparency of the process, evidenced by the six weeks of try-outs offered and the scoring system employed, allows prospective buyers to make the right choices. It’s a formula that just can’t fail. We’re excited to see where the Callaho dream will lead us next, but for now the proof is in the pudding, and Callaho has the winning recipe. The next Callaho auction will be in October. Details of this Summer Collection will be published soon. Stay tuned for more!
XX H OXR S E A N D R I D E R
PHOTOGRAPHY: HILARY O'LEARY
Stallion of the month CAPITAL FIGARO D’ISIGNY - ONE TO LOOK OUT FOR
urchased off the Fences Auction in 2015 by Henning Pretorius of Capital Stud, this young stallion has already started his breeding duties and competitive role at Capital Stud. Figaro D’Isigny’s oldest offspring are just one year old, and he is currently competing in the 1.10m classes (soon to move up to the 1.20m level) under stud rider and training manager, Luke Compaan.
ABOUT FIGARO Figaro is absolutely bred to jump, but also has an exceptional canter, and his flatwork is easy and effortless. In the ring, he enjoys his job and the work seems to come naturally to him. Beside his great scope, technique, carefulness, and bravery, he is enthusiastic and straightforward to ride. He gets off the ground incredibly quickly and with a great shape in the air. Luke is currently focusing on increasing his exposure, while moving up the grades. From what has been seen so far, Figaro looks set to
achieve the elusive dream – to be a top showjumper and a top breeding stallion. In terms of his personality, Figaro is said to be quite a character. He likes to arrive and make his presence well known! Luke tells us, “You’ll hear him before you see him.”
BREEDING Figaro D’Isigny’s pedigree has it all. He is sired by Kannan GFE, one of the best sires of modern sporthorses in the world. Kannan GFE is known for giving his offspring scope, bravery, carefulness, good front reflexes, an uphill and balanced canter, as well as a good temperament, and all of this is clear to see in Figaro. Kannan won his first Grand Prix at the young age of eight, had three representatives at the Rio Olympic Games, was praised for his scope at his pre-selection scoring a 9.2 for his jump, and in 2021, sired two out of the five best 8-year-olds in the world. Kannan’s dam is the Nimmerdor mare, Cemeta. Cemeta HQ|159A
It has been a very rewarding process taking him on and growing him in the sport and I would like to thank Capital Stud and Henning Pretorius for trusting me with this horse” Luke Compaan
HORSE AND RIDER
DID YOU KNOW? Kannan was named after his breeders’ (Wobbe and Marietjie Kramer) foster child from India.
had two other offspring, one competing at 1.50 level and one competing at 1.40 level. Nimmerdor is most well-known for his son Heartbreaker. However, Nimmerdor is also the dam’s grand sire to one of the best dressage horses of all time, Totilas. Figaro D’Isgny’s bloodlines also include Voltaire, Furioso and Farn. These are all influential sires. Voltaire rewrote history; he went from being last in his licensing and barely making the criteria to becoming one of the first of the ‘super stallions’ who was deemed as important as a breeding stallion as he was as a competitor. Henk Nijhof described Voltaire’s offspring saying, “They want to jump.” Furioso II and Furioso are a father son duo, with both contributing to the making of the modern sport horse. Furioso was the leading sire in France from 1954-1961 and his son, Lutteur B won the 1964 individual Olympic Gold medal. Furioso II won his 100-day test and not only sired showjumpers but competitors in all disciplines. His most well-known offspring is breeding stallion For Pleasure.
Figaro’s damline contains the son of Jaliso B, Dollar du Murier, as well as Irak E who is the grandson of one of the greatest sires in history, Ibrahim. Dollar du Murier not only represented France in the 2004 Olympic Games but is seen to pass on the characteristics needed to compete at that level to his offspring - power, style, and athleticism, all of which Figaro demonstrates. Figaro’s dam Miloust D’Isigny was matched with Kannan GFE seven times in total, due to the immense success of the pairing. The most well-known match is Albfuehren’s Paille, who won the World Cup in 2015 with Steve Guerdat (CLICK HERE TO READ MORE). Priam D’Isigny is another full relative who is currently competing at the 1.50m level.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE This stallion embodies every aspect of modern breeding requirements, with his athleticism, speed, sharpness and intelligence. Having a stallion like this on South African soil is a gift for top showjumpers. Figaro is one to watch! HQ|159A
HORSE AND RIDER
TEXT: GEORGIA HARLEY
Gelding of the month LORD CARLOS
his month's gelding is Raffles, more formally known as Lord Carlos. Lorraine McHugh purchased Lord Carlos from Laurence Mowatt. The Mowatt family of Willowbrook Stud bred Lord Carlos using their imported Holstein mare, Carla. Laurence Mowatt did all the initial schooling of Lord Carlos before Lorraine acquired him in December of 2019. Lord Carlos has just turned seven and is currently successfully competing with Lorraine in the 1.10m classes. For such a young horse to take everything in his stride with an amateur rider is lovely to see. Lorraine has big ambitions with this delightful young gelding, with one goal being to maybe even compete in the SA Derby one day. Lord Carlos has shown that this goal may well be in his reach; he is careful yet brave, and this winning combination is difficult to find together but ideally suited for a track such as Derby. This youngster's bravery is often tested at home when he acts as the lead horse for other horses when training scary jumps! Lorraine feels this bravery kicked in at
Raffles' first show, where he was uncertain about a jump, received reassurance from Lorraine, and has never looked back since. With the guidance of Carl Boonzaaier and Mark-Lloyd Fox, Lorraine has managed to produce a happy, confident horse. She reports that he can still become a little anxious from time to time but that he continues to grow and improve with Lorraine ensuring he progresses gradually and carefully, to avoid setbacks and knocks to his confidence. Lord Carlos has offered Lorraine opportunities she simply didn't have when she was a younger rider, and she is determined to take the time necessary with Lord Carlos to get it right.
DID YOU KNOW? In 2002 L’Arc de Triomph a three-year-old son of Lady Killer xx sold for EUR 460 000. L’Arc de Triomph is currently number 16 on the WBFSH.
He knows what he was bred to do.
HORSE AND RIDER
I am always happy working with him.
Over the years, Lorraine and Lord Carlos have formed a tight bond, with him running to greet her in the paddock, wanting to play. This partnership is thus not only creating memories in the showjumping ring but behind the scenes too.
BREEDING – INFLUENTIAL FROM TOP TO BOTTOM Lord Carlos' pedigree is made up of a string of influential and talented horses. This all starts with his father, Lord Z, who is said to have influenced Dutch breeding with his jumping technique, mentality, and blood. Lord Z comes from the famous Holstein line number 206. Lord Z has three full relatives, one being another approved stallion, Lord Calandus. Lord Z is by legendary 'pillar' stallion and son of Lady Killer xx, Lord. Lady Killer xx was arguably the most significant Thoroughbred in shaping sporthorse breeding, and it is this strong Thoroughbred influence (64.45% Thoroughbred) that gives Lord Z his 'blood'. Lady Killer xx also sired the 'pillar' stallion Landgraf. Lord Carlos' damline is just as impressive. His mother, Carla, is by Holstein stallion Contender. Contender's dam is the most well-known daughter of the foundation stallion Ramiro Z, Gofine. Contender won the 1987 stallion test, and then his son Contendro went on to win his stallion test in 1999. Carla's damline goes on to feature other influential names like the 'father of world breeding' Alme Z. Alme Z has produced not only international competitors but
DID YOU KNOW? Contendro was an all-rounder; he is ranked 42nd in the showjumping sire rankings, 5th in eventing and 63rd for dressage. Contendro produced Codex One, who won over EUR 1.5 million and went to the London Olympic Games.
international breeders with the likes of Galoubet, I Love You, and Jalisco B. Jalisco B is the father of Quidam de Revel, who is the father of Nabab de Reve. This all proves that Alme Z is a true creator of winners. Carla's damline also features Capitol I, the father of Cassini I, Indoctro, Carthago, Cardento and Cento. Capitol I bred for scope and rideability and possessed one of the best damlines in Holstein. All of this indicates why Carla was such a good mare, competing in multiple disciplines with multiple riders and being successful with all of them. There is no doubt that the Mowatt's decision to name Lord Carlos after Carla was a wise one!
TAKE HOME MESSAGE This pedigree and Lorraine's commitment to taking it slow create a horse like Lord Carlos, who is brave, careful and intelligent with a wonderful work ethic and loving nature. He is bred to be good. He is bred to win. He is bred to please. HQ|159A
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FOCUS PHOTOGRAPHY: MERLYNN TRICHARDT
Here we see Melinda Prinsloo and her heart horse Wind Singlet. The pair are currently competing in the 1.10/1.15m classes. They were due to go into the 1.20m classes at the end of last year, but due to an injury sustained by Melinda this has been delayed. Melinda says “I would like to be competing in the 1.20m classes by the end of the year and for my last show for 2022, I aim to do a 1.30m track. It will make me so proud and be an honour to step into the ring with this horse in that class after everything we have been through together. He makes me proud every round, no matter what height we compete in. He is a very tricky horse to ride and so many people and even trainers said that he would go nowhere but I kept believing and after many tears and even more falls, we are where we are now. It only takes one trainer to believe in you and your horse and I found him - David Wilken.
HORSE AND RIDER
TEXT: TARRYN STEBBING
Showing Rider of the Month KARA FREITAG
ara started competing in showing when she was just two years old and was eight when she first represented her province at the South African Champs. She has been in the Showing Team pretty much every year since then. She is currently competing on the very special Shamrocks Zanadu under the watchful eye of her equally successful mother, Lauren Freitag. We put a few showing questions to Kara, and here's what she had to say:
WHAT IS YOUR TOP TIP FOR SHOWING? Never give up in the ring, and always give 100% right to the very end. Also, you must show respect to the judges and other competitors at all times. Oh, and as my mother always says, "try and STAY CLEAN." WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE CLASS? My favourite class is the Show Hunter. My pony Wohlstand Luna of Lagos used to love to gallop, and that was always something I looked forward to!
DO YOU PREFER A PULLED OR PLAITED TAIL? Pulled PLEASE COMPLETE THE SENTENCE "NEVER WOULD I EVER … IN THE SHOW RING" Never would I ever lose my temper with my horse in the show ring. Showing can be hard, and sometimes things don't go according to plan, but that's okay; I would never take it out on my horse if things didn't work out." IF I AM NOT ON A HORSE… I am either focusing on my schooling or hanging out at the stables with the horses. I love to spend quality time with them on the ground. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S MOTTO? Work hard in silence and let your success make the noise. HQ|159A
WHY ARE BREAKING WAVES REFERRED TO AS WHITE HORSES? Breaking waves are referred to as white horses, as the white tips looks like the crest of the mane. Some also say that the crashing of waves sounds like hundreds of hooves cantering along the ground.
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Here we see Cassandra Catherine and Capital Night Watch. Cassandra tells us “We are currently competing in the 1.35m and I would love to keep rising up in the grades. Night definitely has the heart to go further! However, for the time being Night and I are still finding our footing in the 1.35m and we're having fun while doing so!
HORSE AND RIDER
TEXT: KIRSTEN SPRATT
HIPPO THERAPY THE 'MAGIC' OF THE HORSE'S MOVEMENT
have been a horse-lover ever since my first pony ride as a little girl. Yet, besides being a lover of horses, I am also an Occupational Therapist, which is my other passion. I love working with children with various diagnoses. I love seeing them progress and develop to their full potential. I love watching them achieve a milestone previously thought to be unachievable. I love seeing them battle and then succeed at doing something that comes so quickly to the rest of us. I consider my job to be a real privilege. For many years I have wanted to tie these two passions together, and I would like to take the rest of this article to
explain to you how I have managed to do just that after discovering the benefits of a treatment strategy called Hippotherapy and an association called EATASA .
EATASA In 2020, in my quest to marry my passions, I stumbled upon an organisation called Equine Assisted Therapy Association of South Africa (EATASA). EATASA is a group of Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists and Physiotherapists who have formed an association to train qualified therapists in how to use their clinical reasoning HQ|159A
HORSE AND RIDER
skills in an equine environment, making use of the horse's movement to achieve therapy aims. I found their course taught me how to marry my Occupational Therapy and my love for horses in beautiful synchronicity, which creates a platform in which my patients can achieve the maximum benefit from the horse's movement. Though their annual 5-day Fundamental Hippotherapy training program was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID, I was fortunate enough to attend EATASA's online course in 2021. The course was approximately five weeks long
(made up of online webinars, assignments and group discussion) and consisted of three modules: Basic Equine Skills, Therapeutic Application and a practical module in which we could practice and apply the theoretical skills.
HIPPOTHERAPY Before I go any further, it is worth giving you a definition of Hippotherapy and what exactly it entails. The definition used by EATASA is that "Hippotherapy is a specialised Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy or Occupational Therapy treatment strategy that utilises
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equine movement as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes." (EATASA Course Notes, 2021). It is also worth noting that hippotherapy is just one way in which horses are being used to help people. There are also other ways in which these multi-faceted animals partner with various other professionals, equine experts and enthusiasts to help children and/or adults meet their physical and/or emotional needs, whether through riding, groundwork or a combination of both. Some of these other avenues include: • Therapeutic Riding - where a trained riding instructor gives lessons to a person with a disability). • Therapeutic Driving - where people with disabilities who are not able to ride a horse due to the nature of their condition, are taught to drive a carriage.
• Equine Assisted Psychotherapy - where a mental health professional uses the horse during their session through either riding or groundwork and focuses on psychological, emotional and behavioural aspects in the client. These modalities are all being used very successfully but must be clearly differentiated from hippotherapy.
USES OF HIPPOTHERAPY Hippotherapy has been shown to be used with success in improving components such as muscle tone, balance, abnormal reflexes, poor postural control, impaired coordination, impaired mobility, impaired communication, delayed speech and language development and poor oralmotor functioning in clients. Therefore, hippotherapy is used to treat many people with different diagnoses and the most commonly referred diagnoses, which frequently present with the aboveHQ|159A
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mentioned components, are autism, cerebral palsy (CP), chromosomal abnormalities (e.g., Down's syndrome), stroke, developmental delay, functional spine curvature (e.g., scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis), neuromuscular dysfunction (e.g., multiple sclerosis), brain injury and sensory integration dysfunction.
THE METHOD BEHIND HIPPOTHERAPY Hippotherapy is evidence-based, meaning its success has been proven through past and current research. This unique treatment strategy is even more special as it is presented in a team consisting of the horse, the horse handler, the therapist, the horse expert and a side walker. As a team member, ponies are generally preferred due to their size, as children make up the most significant percentage of clients seen. The pony's size allows for safety in mounting and dismounting, but it also allows therapists the opportunity to put their hands on the client for facilitation and support, enabling them to also use their specialised therapy handling techniques on the clients. Horses and/or ponies used in hippotherapy sessions must be sound, in good health, show three good natural paces, have a bombproof temperament, and have a lot of patience! The horse handler is responsible for controlling the horse throughout the session, directing the speed, tempo and change of gait as directed by the therapist. To obtain the full benefit of the horse's movement, the horse handler needs to ensure that the horse moves freely and walks in a natural frame during the therapy session. There can be one or two side walkers in a session, depending on the client's needs. One is usually the therapist (physiotherapist, speech and language pathologist or occupational therapist). The other is a volunteer who helps with positioning the client, preparing the pony, passing toys during the session, or providing emotional HQ|159A
support as the therapist directs. The therapist takes full responsibility for the treatment session, communicating what needs to happen with the rest of the team. The therapist also guides and facilitates for the client, positioning the client in the most beneficial position (alternative positions such as side sitting, backwards sitting, or lying over the horse's barrel, are used with children). As the team leader, they plan the session, which includes determining the gait, transitions and ground courses to be used, mounting and dismounting options, as well as any activities to be done in the session. Lastly, the horse expert, though not present in the sessions, has a collaborative role. The therapist will consult the horse expert about what is required of the horse or pony and what equipment is needed, and the expert will be able to advise which horses or ponies would work best with which tack. They often are also those that train and desensitise the equines in preparation for them being therapy ponies.
SO, HOW DOES IT WORK? In very simple terms, the therapist analyses and assesses the horse's movement, conformation and temperament and then carefully matches that to the client's needs. This requires the therapist to have the training to do standardised and unstandardised assessments to accurately determine the needs of the client. What makes the horse's movement so very special, is that the horse's pelvis moves in the same three-dimensional way as a human's pelvis when walking. By using clinical reasoning to grade the sessions, therapists can use this movement experience to help their clients develop new movement patterns. Another example of how hippotherapy can benefit clients comes from looking at children with autism. These children
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are frequently hypersensitive to sensory information (noise, movement, touch etc.), which they permanently receive from the world around them. They are often 'trapped inside' their own bodies and have difficulty communicating with people around them. They also frequently experience difficulty with planning and executing simple movement patterns and can therefore be thought to be 'clumsy' and 'uncoordinated'. Their behaviour is often perceived as being 'strange', and as a result, they can be ignored by society and labelled as being naughty. They often become mere 'bodies' who are not given a choice, making them feel powerless with no sense of control over what happens to them. In hippotherapy, the therapist will generally choose a horse according to the needs of this child, e.g., a horse who will not startle when hearing strange noises (as the autistic population may make these) or experiencing sudden movements. The horse chosen in this sort of circumstance would be chosen because of the gait they produce, either even and smooth or concussive and bouncy, to provide the child with the desired stimulation and movement. If chosen correctly, the horse's movement will have a calm
and organising effect on the child due to the nature of the motion. Children with autism often struggle at first to get on and stay on the horse, but it is truly amazing to witness the calming effect that just walking on the horse can have on the child. It can be so great that many children do not want to get off their horses at the end of the session. Many autistic children who initially struggled to participate in any meaningful/coordinated movement can engage in goal-directed activities through hippotherapy.
FINAL THOUGHTS I am truly privileged to have the opportunity to combine both of my passions in such a rewarding manner! I continue to be blown away by the 'magic' of the horse's movement and the tangible progress made in each hippotherapy session. I love learning with each session and am continually amazed by the effect that these majestic animals have on our clients. The horse is truly a graceful, noble, powerful and patient animal that, in my opinion, provides the best therapy anyone can receive!
Ché-vonne Maré and Brandenburg Claren Winter are currently competing in the 1.35m. Ché-vonne tells us “For me riding is just a hobby, and a way to get away from the world. I’d love to keep going and see how far we can get but I am so grateful for how far we have come over the last seven years. Winter has really made many dreams come true and that’s more than I could ever ask for. I have found people who believe in him as much as I do, and I think with that we could go further - but there’s no rush.
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INTERVIEW: GEORGIA HARLEY PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED
WITH ROBYN MOOLMAN
were fortunate enough to meet Robyn Moolman the founder of Equine Lingo. We’re delighted to say that Robyn will be providing more content for us in the future, and hope you enjoy this first article with her.
HQ: CAN YOU START BY TELLING US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU CAME TO BE WORKING WITH HORSES? Robyn: Although not from a horsey family, my parents raised my brother and me to love and respect all animals. When asked as a little girl, my favourite animal was always a horse, with dogs coming a close second. Ever since I can remember, I have been passionate about spending time with animals of various species, loving them, watching them interact and training them. In the UK, where I grew up between the ages of six and twelve, we had dogs and hamsters that I trained to do all sorts of tricks. In addition, rabbits, field mice, owls and wild ‘af-vlerkie’ birds made their way into our home, where they would be nursed back to health and then released, semi-trained…In fact, a later phase of training budgies and parrots for the local pet shops helped earn money to pay for pretty horse riding gear!
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It was in the UK where I learnt to ride and the real learning started with pony camps and weekly riding lessons. Any chance I got, I would volunteer at pony camps to groom or lead the horses around, muck out stables come sunshine or snow, I loved just being around horses. Staying on a farm in Hampshire where horses were kept, and I could assist with daily grooming and mucking out just served to increase my passion for these animals. I prayed every year that passed from the age of six for my very own horse, but God’s timing is everything. It was only later when we returned to South Africa in 2005, that I met Copper Sunset (previous name Mark Shuttleworth). Copper Sunset was a very spooky, untrusting, yet curious 5-gaited American Saddlebred who I fell in love with. He was standing in the veld at a DIY yard in Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, where I had jumping lessons. Copper was not for sale - especially not to a skinny "little girl" in Grade 6. He was "a man's horse" and was dangerous, often throwing his owner off. Every evening after my lessons, I would run up and spend time with Copper in the veld. No halter, just being present, aware of his body
language, and aware of my own. We formed a relationship based on trust, and before we knew it, I was sitting on him, riding in the veld at night and swimming through dams, all in secret. Our favourite time was sunset, when no one could see us. A year passed, with my father regularly offering to buy the horse from the owner. Then, after a final bad fall, the 'lion truck' was called for Copper. I begged and pleaded, and my dad, who was still working in the UK, called the owner AGAIN offering to buy the horse and accept all risks involved. And, that was that; he sold Copper to us in the heat of the moment. I finally had my dream come true. I had my own handsome horse. Here, the real work and learning began as I wanted to compete, jump and do dressage, but relaxation was not in Copper's vocabulary, never mind the correct frame and normal gaits. I promised myself that if I never competed, that would be fine, but that I would build up his trust and confidence and train him to relax and think no matter how long it took. It was at this point that I realised the traditional "help" I was getting was not helping Copper learn, so I threw away the 3-ring
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Portuguese gag he'd come with and took off his shoes, swearing to him that I would do whatever it took to help him trust life and people again. I found a "Natural Horsemanship" DVD, which was the first time I had heard the prey-predator body language psychology explained. It made so much sense that I then dived headfirst into researching and learning all I could about these more "natural" training approaches. I selfstudied on the internet, through books, DVDs, and online courses and had a list of professional international trainers I contacted when I had questions. It was amazing and rewarding to see the results of the training techniques in Copper. It took time, but we were getting good at some dressage, confident at showjumping, riding bridleless on outrides, and his liberty was impressive, even on the beach. I should also mention though, that it was not all sunshine and roses. Many times I would break down in tears when something would trigger his old behaviours and it felt like we had gone right back to square one. It was also hard to watch my friends compete and move up the levels, when we were moving so slowly. Yet, at the end of the day, all of the baggage he had for me to work through started to develop my character as a person. He taught me about patience, emotional fitness and tenacity - all
important when training horses. He also showed me that the horse is in charge of the timeline, not our ego, or what other people think. We can’t worry about the time, but just take the time it takes to train correctly. Despite the slow progress at points, the work we were doing drew quite a bit of attention in the area, so I started to share and teach the techniques I was learning with other owners and riders. This was where my passion for coaching started. I became good with problem horses sent to me and would travel and help with horses expressing problem behaviours in the area, implementing my forever evolving training techniques learnt along the way. I started backing horses for people in the area as well. Each horse taught me so much more, developing my feel and timing and growing my "technique toolbox." In Grade 10, it was time to choose my school subjects that would allow me to study my intended profession at University. I chose subjects that I would need to apply to study Veterinary. If I had to choose a profession apart from training horses, it would have been Veterinary, specialising in equines. Yet, at the end of school, I had some vet clients that I was helping with their horses, and I remembered how they never had time to practice or train. In the end, this made me decide to stick with my passion and pursue horse
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training and coaching as a career instead, as this way, I thought I would always have time to spend with my own horses, make a difference in the world, follow my dreams and help horses one human at a time! Little did I know how much time I would be spending away from my own horses and dogs whilst on the road coaching across the country... I have been blessed to have trained many wild, untouched horses and thousands of problem behaviour horses, as well as retrain and reback hundreds of horses. All the horses I have had the privilege of training have taught me so very much. I spent the first few years travelling for about 4-6 months of the year, coaching, training and hosting clinics in the Eastern Cape, Free State and Western Cape. I used to come up to Johannesburg about four times a year on training tours before I moved here permanently on the 1st of March 2020. I don't do as much hardcore training now as I do coaching – for two reasons: 1. My body has been through a lot. The compound effect on my joints is showing up more than I would like to admit and even affecting my own riding. I used to be able to work/ride/train 10-15 horses per day but that is no longer possible. 2. I decided to focus on empowering equestrians, coming up with a coachable, duplicatable training technology that other
equestrians can learn to integrate into their own training or coaching, no matter the discipline. My dream is to share this and empower equestrians. Too many trainers have the know-how and keep it to themselves in order to appear magical or as horse whisperers - feeding their ego knowing they are the only one that can do x/y/z, not leaving the owner or rider with much. Other times, good horse trainers are not capable of teaching or relaying information in a form that is easy to retain. My desire for Equine Lingo is to share training techniques and impart knowledge so that clearer communication can develop between horses and humans to allow learning to take place sooner and goals to be reached in a safer, more fun and rewarding manner!
HQ: WHAT LED YOU TO TAKE THIS PARTICULAR PATH? Robyn: Passion for the horse and passion for people and the compounded reward inherent in experiencing moments of both horses and humans learning together. Seeing the horses and humans I have been able to help that have overcome personal obstacles and found joy within their relationship with their horses, where they might have been struggling or wanted to give up before, is truly what I do this for.
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HQ: DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN HORSES? Robyn: Yes, my heart horse, Copper Sunset, is retired and turning 21 this year. I get to admire him outside my bedroom window daily. Bacardi is my rescue TB mare. She has never had a bit in her mouth. She is a 'get on and go anywhere' type of girl. She was one of the first horses I backed as a child. Savanna is her daughter (the farmer's stallion broke out one night, and the rest is history!) Savvy is a fiery buckskin with a huge heart and is going to make an amazing hony for a junior one day! Turkish Delight is a Shire cross TB I bought to back and sell in 2013. He was one of the most difficult horses I have ever had to retrain. Finally, I got it right, and then I couldn't sell him as I loved him too much. He taught me plenty about hand-raised horses and the dangers thereof. He is in the Eastern Cape still, living his best life as a hack. Dancing Tango is my current demo horse. He is 75% Friesian and 25% TB. I bought him at six months old untouched as I wanted to raise him right and not have any baggage to untrain. Tango has travelled the country with me and is my bridleless and liberty horse. We also
competed in eventing before his injury and plan to start up again competing in dressage this year.
HQ: WHO DID YOU LEARN FROM? OR HOW DID YOU LEARN YOUR TECHNIQUES? Robyn: I have learnt and am still learning from many great international horsemen and horsewomen, coaches and trainers - both traditional and more holistic. I self-studied many techniques and online programmes and attended many clinics nationally and internationally by horsemen, riders, trainers, and coaches. I have taken from each source what resonated with my training ethos and worked well for the horses and put together my own training techniques and coaching system. "Eat the meat and spit out the bones" has been one of my favourite phrases when studying or learning from fellow trainers or coaches, but the greatest teachers are most definitely the horses. I believe in continuous learning and self-development. I am passionate about expanding my knowledge any chance I get and am excited to see where Equine Lingo will be in 10 years from now - it won't be in the same place as there is still so much to learn! HQ|159A
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HQ: WHAT DO YOU DO STRAIGHT AWAY WHEN YOU START WORKING WITH A NEW HORSE? Robyn: I will read the body language of the horse with his owner/rider. At the same time, I will read the body language of the human and pick up on any "triggers" that I might see. I very quickly determine whether the horse is mostly in a learning frame of mind, "confident, relaxed, mentally HQ|159A
engaged", or the opposite and tense or shut down in that specific situation. In more scientific terms, I'm looking at whether the horse is in a Parasympathetic State or a Sympathetic State. Basically, are they in a 'rest and digest' or 'Fight/Flight/Freeze/Fidget' state. There are a lot of variables, though, but this assessment is step one and usually determines the training technique for the way forward. After this, we look at the more immediate training
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goal and how to coach the human to learn the training techniques that suit the situation and goal.
HQ: DO YOU BELIEVE A HORSE'S FUTURE CAN CHANGE OR IS THE DAMAGE PERMANENT? Robyn: A horse's future can most definitely change, and no, not all damage is permanent! So long as the horse is physically healthy, by understanding and reading the horse's body language, implementing techniques that the horse can understand and putting in time with consistent, correct training, I have seen hundreds of horses that people had given up on, change for the better and learn. But there is no such thing as a quick fix with long-lasting results - it all takes time.
HQ: DO YOU CLASSIFY YOURSELF AS PART OF THE NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP COMMUNITY? OR WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR WORK FITTING IN BEST? Robyn: Although my foundation went from very traditional English riding and handling in the UK to completely natural horsemanship in 2006 with my first horse in SA, I have since developed my own methods from various training styles. Equine Lingo's established method has had great success in both the competitive and non-competitive equestrian industry. My goal is to create a method that does not fit in a purely "natural "or purely "traditional" box, as I saw that this division can cause amongst fellow equestrians. Although I have in-depth understanding and experience in both, I am passionate about coaching and
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empowering all horse enthusiasts! Using the understanding of equine ecology, equine ethology, learning theory and classically correct movements, I coach owners, trainers and riders to develop communication that is clear to their horses – no matter the goal or discipline.
HQ: WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS KIND OF WORK? Robyn: Any equestrian wanting to develop clearer communication in the following areas of training: • Solving problem behaviours • Training intricate movements • Liberty, freestyle and trick training • Foundation training • Discipline-specific success • Developing a competitive edge HQ: ARE THERE ANY SUCCESS STORIES THAT YOU WOULD BE HAPPY TO SHARE WITH US? Robyn: Sjoe – I don't know where to start! I think the best will be to check out the testimonials page on the website or have a look at the before and after videos! Equine Lingo also often has posts on Social Media (Instagram and Facebook) where we share success stories and videos that inspire, encourage and educate. HQ: DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO DO MORE HORSEMANSHIP WORK WITH THEIR HORSES? WHERE DO THEY START? Robyn: Equine Lingo has a brilliant Foundation Training Online Video Series, which teaches the fundamental theory and practical application of Ground Skills and Mounted Skills. This is available at www.equinelingo.co.za If anyone is interested in more one-on-one coaching, Equine Lingo offers the following services: • Private • Group sessions • Distance coaching • Training videos • Clinics and demonstrations I am also more than happy to answer calls or WhatApps if anyone has any questions on where or how to start or questions about their horse or training goals. Attending a clinic with your horse or as a spectator is a fun way to learn about the training techniques and see it in action with various horses in various areas of training. Call 081 500 7136 to find out more. HQ|159A
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TEXT: SKYE LITTLEFIELD
MAD SKILLS LEARNING TO RIDE IN A NECK ROPE
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remember the first time I saw a video of neck rope riding - I was inspired! I dived into articles and videos to learn all I could about riding bridle-less, planning to hop on my horse the next day and give it a shot. In truth, the journey took far longer than expected, with ebbs and flows, but it was well worth it in the end. For me, nothing feels better than a successful neck rope ride, whether we’re practising some jumps in the arena or cantering along the bridle paths at home.
HOW TO GET STARTED If your horse is used to being ridden in a bitted bridle, the transition to a neck rope will require some self-discovery and practice, especially to avoid confusion and frustration. Thorough preparation is vital, and there are a few steps you need to take before leaping into it to ensure that your horse understands what you’re asking for. It’s unfair to assume that your horse will know exactly what to do if you haven’t shown them what you need and mean. Once you’re without a bridle, you’ll be able to identify quite quickly if your horse has learned enough to continue or if you need to repeat a few steps. Here are the key steps in learning to ride with a neck rope:
COMMUNICATION First and foremost, successfully riding in a neck rope is about clear communication between you and your horse. For me, patience and positive reinforcement were huge factors in our neck rope riding success. Just as you may feel a bit insecure removing the bridle, so will your horse; your job is to provide all that is needed for your horse to feel that nothing has changed and that they are safe. TRAIN VOICE AND SEAT CUES IN YOUR NORMAL TACK The position you hold with reins in your hands is different to that that is going to be required with a neck rope because using a neck rope removes what is commonly the rider’s safety net - the bridle. Without the bridle, your horse is going to rely heavily on seat aids and voice cues, and I implore you to be patient while they learn what you’re asking for.
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Some riders like to use voice cues, while others prefer to use their seat. Either of these methods is perfect for riding in a neck rope, provided it is clearly taught. When riding, try to reduce the amount of rein you use and gradually transfer all of your communication to voice and/or seat; I find that a combination of both works best for Nikkle and me. You may find that your horse doesn’t immediately understand, which is perfectly okay. It may take a few months of practice for you both to feel comfortable without the bridle as a primary communication tool. Patient practice will make progress!
RIDE WITH BOTH A BRIDLE AND A NECK ROPE This is a fantastic way to easily transfer your communication away from the bridle without completely removing it. Hold your neck rope along with your reins, and you’ll automatically transfer the rein cues to the neck rope too, helping your horse to learn while you both feel secure. I like to do this while still working on my normal routines so as not to change too much too soon.
While you’re practising this, be sure to practise your halt cues. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed or confused, come back to a halt and start from the beginning again. There is no timeline for success here, but if you have a good relationship with your horse and great communication, you’ll know when you’re both ready to remove the bridle. It’s important to remember that you’re asking your horse for something completely new, so think of it like working with a freshly-backed horse and advance slowly.
PRACTICE NECK REINING I know you probably think that only western riders neck rein, but it’s an invaluable communication tool when you’re starting with a neck rope. Eventually, you’ll be so in tune with your horse that you’ll use only your seat and voice, but for now, neck rein away! THE TRANSITION Once you’re confident enough to ride in only a neck rope, practice in a lunge arena, incorporating your seat and voice cues to walk and trot, as well as making turns and halting. Your horse may be a bit excited when you finally try working in a larger arena, but with your foundational steps in place, remember that you can always halt and start again. HQ|159A
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TEXT: RYAN TEHINI
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE UNLOCKING A HIGHER LEVEL OF RIDER
f you have read any of my other articles, you will know that I often discuss topics like modulating stress or anxiety, building confidence, preparation, and relaxation. This is because success in a sporting context often depends on how well the sportsperson can regulate their emotions around important events and performances. Often, as athletes mature, they will innately get better at these aspects of competition even if they aren't actively attempting to – this is the result of maturation in their emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is a concept with which I am sure you are somewhat familiar. Often termed EQ, it defines the athlete's ability to recognise and use their internal emotional state to change their intentions and behaviours. Essentially, the core component of emotional intelligence is a three-sided feedback loop, and it looks as follows: • The objective recognition and accurate identification of the different emotional states; • An overall assessment of the effects of this emotional state; and lastly • The ability to select the appropriate emotional state to manage and thrive in a particular situation.
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As such, emotionally intelligent people can get themselves into the appropriate emotional state to deal with almost every challenge based on the demands of the situation. If the situation requires high levels of arousal, they are capable of getting themselves psyched up and prepared; if it requires calmness, they are equally as good at relaxing themselves. Research has discovered several aspects of emotional intelligence that can be cultivated and developed
over time, making a person more emotionally intelligent. These characteristics, as well as the techniques used to cultivate them, will be discussed below.
PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS Recent research has discovered that emotionally intelligent people are significantly more likely to make use of psychological skills – such as visualisation, goal setting,
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and positive self-talk. Typically emotionally intelligent people display attributes of mental toughness as a result of this training, and thus it was noted that emotional intelligence could be enhanced through appropriately designed psychological skills training packages. This research provided a clear indication that the most efficient way to enhance overall emotional intelligence in athletes is to engage in psychological skills training. The relationship between self-talk, emotion and performance is a particularly important one and is necessary not only for you to maximise your potential but also to find genuine happiness in the sport. An excellent way to observe your self-talk is to spend a few days writing down some of the things you hear yourself say in your head at practice. If you notice these are typically negative, begin a process of trying to change this, as the way that you talk to yourself impacts your emotions considerably.
SELF-AWARENESS The core component of emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and recognise your emotions in order to change them. The purpose of this is that your emotions often interfere with your performance, and if you can identify this HQ|159A
and actively change it, you can control your performance. This also assists you in identifying the emotional states of the athletes around you through their non-verbal gestures and body language. One of the most efficient ways to develop self-awareness in a sporting context is to keep a mental journal of your performances and training, and video your training sessions and shows to watch back later. The key to using this effectively is to link the emotions of the performance to the actual ride when you are watching it back. For example, when watching your ride from a recent show, think back to how you felt in the moment, and watch how you perform, specifically with the intention of identifying the impact of the emotion (positive or negative) on your overall ride.
IDENTIFYING A STRATEGY FOR EMOTIONAL REGULATION Regulating your emotions is one of the most challenging aspects of developing emotional intelligence. It requires not only the accurate and objective identification of the emotion but also a system that is personalised and works for you in shifting your emotion to a more desired one. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to regulate your emotional
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OUR EXPERT Ryan Tehini (BA, BSocSci (Hons) Psych, MA Research Psychology (cum laude)(UP)). For Psychological Skills Training for sports’ competitions, please get in touch with me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 073 567 7387
state effectively. These include visualisation, mindfulness training, breathing techniques or even something as simple as listening to music and understanding the effect that different types of music have on your emotions. Music is one of the most effective tools in regulating emotions, should you not be practiced in any of psychological techniques that can be used. If you would like a run through of a few techniques that can be used to regulate your emotions, see earlier editions of HQ where visualisation, mindfulness, and breathing techniques were briefly discussed.
UNDERSTANDING THE CONTEXT While the main components of emotional intelligence are the identification and regulation of emotions, in order to effectively translate this into improved performance, one
needs to understand which emotion best suits a situation. For example, you will need to know which situations call for you to be psyched up and which call for you to relax – this gets more complex the deeper into it you get and as you start to attempt to make more minor changes. This skill is one that is largely cultivated through practice but will also prove significantly easier to do once you have mastered the ability to identify and regulate your emotions. The recommendation I would make here is to make use of the mental journal discussed above, and when you are watching the footage of your round begin to identify what you think the ideal emotion would have been in that situation. For example, you may watch yourself ride and think, "I was too stressed". You can then also elaborate on this a bit further and say, "I should have used my techniques to relax; a calmer state was needed in this circumstance." Through this process, you will develop a higher emotional intelligence and become a better rider.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE Emotional intelligence is a relatively complex psychological phenomenon, and the above provides a brief overview of how to cultivate the innate characteristics in this form of intelligence. The regulation of your emotions is the core component of emotional intelligence; master this skill and all other tasks will be far easier for you. HQ|159A
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Marlise Labuschagne and Jakarta are currently enjoying their time in the 1.20m. She says “I would love to compete in the 1.30m by the end of this year with him, but the ultimate dream and goal is to jump in the 1.50m classes one day. PHOTOGRAPHY: MERLYNN TRICHARDT
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WHAT IS FASCIA? AND HOW DO WE KEEP IT HEALTHY? 72
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ascia is a thin casing of connective tissue surrounding, supporting, and holding every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve, and muscle. Yet this tissue does more than just provide structure; it has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin, and it is designed to move with the muscles and tissues. Although fascia looks like one sheet of tissue, it is actually made up of multiple layers with liquid in between called hyaluronan. Hyaluronan occurs between deep fascia and muscle, facilitating gliding between these two structures and within the fascia's loose connective tissue, guaranteeing the smooth sliding of adjacent fibrous fascial layers. It also promotes the functions of the deep fascia. Fascia is designed to stretch and morph with movement. However, certain things can cause fascia to thicken, tighten, and become 'sticky'. When this happens, it can limit mobility and cause painful knots to develop.
Vets increasingly realise the role that fascia plays in many of the aches and pains our horses experience. Many of these issues were originally attributed to sore or stiff muscles, but it appears increasingly from research that fascia is the true culprit.
FASCIA RELATED PAIN AND STIFFNESS Healthy fascia is smooth, slippery and flexible. Factors that cause fascia to become sticky and tight include: • Limited physical activity • Repetitive movement that overworks one part of the body • Trauma such as surgery or injury
STRUCTURE OF SKELETAL MUSCLE Muscle
Blood vessels Sarcomere
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Tight and sticky fascia, regardless of the cause, is painful and compresses and contorts the muscles it surrounds, forming tender knots. However, determining whether pain results from fascia, joints or muscles can be very difficult, particularly with a horse. Your vet is the best port of call when it comes to assessing where the underlying issue lies. As one might imagine, fascial pain and the resultant stiffness significantly impact performance. It is thus important that we do all we can to keep our horses free from pain due to fascia restrictions and adhesions to allow them to perform at their best.
• Stretch: Carrot stretches really can help with loosening up your horse. Similarly, plenty of correct long and low work can be beneficial. • Heat therapy: Applying heat to problem areas can help to improve the mobility of the fascia. • Polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG): PSGAG, as found in Equaan 1000 suppositories, increases the production of hyaluronan, the substance that lies between the layers of fascia and allows smooth sliding motion of the fascia. The latest research shows the benefits of PSGAG on myofascial health and integrity, preventing problems before they arise and treating them when they do.
WAYS TO KEEP FASCIA FLEXIBLE IN HORSES Flexible fascia is the goal for our horses, and there are several ways you can help your horse to achieve this: • More movement: Creating a consistent but varied exercise routine is important for our horses. We also need to ensure that they get as much movement throughout the day as possible.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE Fascia is a complex structure that research suggests has a greater impact on athletes' performance than previously thought. You can help maintain its condition by correct movement, stretching, heat therapy and through the use of polysulfated glycosaminoglycans (PSGAG) like Equaan 1000 suppositories available from EquiProVet.
EQUAAN 1000 - The one to BEAT!
“Keeping performance horses sound, happy and injury free, is a skill on its own. Sport horses are expensive to keep and take years to school and build relationships with. That is why it is so important to preserve them for as long as possible. EQUAAN has been a game changer for me. The horses feel great on it and knowing that I do what I can to preserve their careers, is a comfort for me as a rider. GIVING BACK TO MY HORSES IS IMPORTANT TO ME” - Belinda Martin
NO MESS, NO FUSS, NO WASTAGE - Assists in the prevention of osteoarthritis - Acts as an anti-inflammatory - Protects cartilage - Increases joint metabolism and fluid - Increases quality and viscosity of joint fluid - Only one ovule a week for maintenance - 3 ovules is a pre show boost - 1 ovule aids post show recovery - Safe for ulcer prone horses - Assists with the integrity, nutrition and health of soft tissue and fascia
Alex Cromme (of Pix by Alex fame) and Bon Apart are a multi-skilled partnership. Alex tells us, “For us, riding is all about having fun. Bon and I are currently competing in 1 star eventing and 1.20 showjumping. He absolutely loves cross country and he just naturally knows what to do. Hopefully we will get to 2 star eventing and maybe 1.25 to 1.30 showjumping, but as long as we’re both happy and confident, that’s all that matters to me.
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A horse doesn’t care how much you know until he knows how much you care. — Pat Parelli
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TEXT: NANCY SCHRODING
THE SUMCHI TECHNIQUE THE INTRODUCTION
"Since its original inception, the Sumchi6 massage tool has been demonstrated to have significant effects on deeper tissues of the body, namely layers of fascia. With increasing levels of intensity, the program of strokes appears to generate unique currents of energy capable of reaching distant parts of the body, and probably traveling along prescriptive pathways similar to those used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This opens up the extended possibility of its therapeutic use in equine rehabilitation. Sumchi6 has many purposes and is - quite literally - within every horse owner’s grasp.” Sara Wyche Lochgilphead Scotland 6/9/2021. Retired Veterinary Surgeon and author of numerous titles including “Horses Muscles in Motion” & “Practical Steps in Rehabilitating Your Horse”
eth Shaw spent many months in the company of her muse, the racehorse. Based in Hong Kong and with all travel banned due to the worldwide pandemic, Beth was inspired with the time on her hands to share her revolutionary SUMCHI Technique.
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After twenty years as an ETT Practitioner, working daily with the top equine athletes, Beth lives a life immersed in the health and wellbeing of the horse. Beth opened the BSET Academy where ETT – Equine Transeva Technique, is taught in 2008 (www.bsetacademy.co.za), and with her keen eye, sharp intuition and passion for the horse, a small idea started one day when she lay on the massage table to work out the aches and pains of her demanding job. Inspired by the tool that was being used, simple in design
but highly effective, Beth decided to take the tool and customise it for the horse. Based on the natural act of mutual grooming between horses, the ancient art of meridians and the in-depth connection of the body through the fascia, Beth soon realised that this tool and technique were things that had to be shared. She vowed to make this unique magnetic handheld massager available to the equestrian community worldwide.
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The response to the tool and technique has been overwhelming, with feedback like this: “I immediately saw a change in my horse”; “The yawns went on for ages - he felt so good”; and “I love the physical connection and the way I also feel after a SUMCHI Session.”
SUMCHI6 & SUMCHI STROKE ROUTINE The Sumchi6 is a unique handheld magnetic massager with six prongs. This tool is combined with carefully constructed movements/strokes that cover a large area of the horse’s body, incorporating acupressure points, crossing meridians and moving through fascia lines. This work sends vibrations and opens up the tissue to rehydrate and create space for circulation and energy flow. This technique not only benefits your horse but allows the user to really connect with their horse; there is a deeper understanding of the horse which HQ|159A
develops through using the technique, and you will get a physical workout through following the routine, which is almost like a dance.
HOW DO I USE THE SUMCHI6? Movements along the horse’s body are choreographed and combined to form a routine. The process starts with the Foundation Level 1, which has six strokes and covers a large area of the horse’s body. By gliding and driving the Sumchi6, a user can improve their own horse’s body and movement. The technique is easy to learn and follow with animations, videos and charts available on the website, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. Online coaching is also very popular as users enjoy a personal session with founder Beth Shaw, where they can target any concerns for their own horse and have their questions answered. The SUMCHI Technique progresses to Level 2 Stroke
Routine, which is an intermediate routine. Here, six new strokes are introduced, and new dimensions are added to some of the foundation strokes. The Level 2 Stroke Routine covers more of the horse’s body, allowing for many energy channels to be stimulated. SUMCHI Level 3 and 4 Stroke Routines involve Dual Sumchi6 action and enhancing your intuition.
PROFESSIONAL OR ENTHUSIAST? SUMCHI Technique is for everyone. The professional can incorporate the Sumchi6 as a valuable tool in their toolbox, as it is great for tricky horses or difficult to access areas. The horse enthusiast will also benefit by offering their horses this technique between their regular bodywork sessions. The SUMCHI Technique teaches the user to observe and be aware of the horse; each little twitch and flutter of the skin leads you to look further and explore. HOW TO LEARN MORE We invite you to explore the SUMCHI Technique with us. This revolutionary technique is within reach of every horse enthusiast. To find out more visit our website which
contains all the essential information. We then also have our YouTube Channel – SUMCHI Technique, where you can see what we are about. Finally, you can join our community on Facebook or Instagram and see what other users have to say.
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TEXT: HANNAH BOTHA, MSC EQUINE SCIENCE, EPOL NUTRITIONAL ADVISOR
WINTER WEIGHT LOSS
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DID YOU KNOW?
Shivering helps horses to thermo-regulate by using the muscles to generate heat. However, this process requires increased energy.
KEEPING CONDITION IN THE COLD
oss of weight in winter is a concern with many of our equines, especially those who are older or naturally leaner. The cold weather in winter increases energy demands on our horses, as they need to produce more body heat to keep themselves warm. On top of this, the amount and quality of the grazing in the paddocks during winter is dramatically reduced. All of this means that even if you are feeding a top-ofthe-range ration to your horse, with high-quality forage and concentrate feed, you must not overlook the fact that winter conditions result in horses typically requiring more food (in the form of hay, grazing, and concentrate feed) than usual to maintain body condition and keep up with their workload.
THE EFFECT OF TEMPERATURE All warm-blooded animals, including horses, have a critical temperature. This is the outside temperature below which a horse must produce extra heat to maintain his body temperature. The critical temperature varies, however, depending on the horse’s condition. A mature horse in good condition, where ribs cannot be seen, has a critical temperature of around 0°C. This means that any environmental temperature drop below 0°C will require the horse to produce extra heat. After developing a winter coat, the critical temperature may drop even lower to somewhere around -5°C.
It is estimated that young horses, thinner horses and those who have been stabled and not developed a full winter coat, might only have a critical temperature of between +10°C and +5°C. This is important to note, as horses require about 15-20% more feed for each 10-15°C that the ambient temperature falls below their critical temperature. This is to produce the extra heat required to keep them warm. Therefore, each horse must be considered as an individual when it comes to winter feeding.
IMPACT ON FEEDING Temperatures in South Africa do not commonly reach low enough levels to require the majority of horses to need the extra 15-20% feed. However, most horses will still require some more food in winter than in summer. Another point to note regarding feeding regime changes is that whilst horses exposed to constant chronic cold weather acclimatise to the cold, horses not used to cooler temperatures typically need 10 to 21 days to adapt to the altered temperature. It is, therefore, often helpful to adjust feeding before the cold weather sets in to avoid playing a game of catch-up to maintain condition over the winter period. FEEDING EXTRA CONCENTRATES As concentrates generally provide more calories per kilogram than roughage, this is often the first port of
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call for many owners looking to increase energy intake. However, this is not the optimal choice for most horses, and changes in concentrate should really be reserved for horses whose workload has significantly increased, or who are pregnant, lactating or growing. Even in these cases it is often best not to simply increase the quanitity of the feed, but instead to change to a higher calorie/energy-dense feed, which allows meal sizes to remain small, facilitiating more efficient digestion, yet allowing the horse to get more from the feed. The bottom line is that as much as feeding extra concentrates is often easier and perhaps even cheaper, forage is the key to maintaining condition through winter.
NOTE Ideally, you should also discuss your feeding regime with a trusted equine nutritionist to ensure the diet selected is optimal. Both overfeeding and underfeeding can create a whole host of problems, and an equine nutritionist is best placed to assist you in planning a winter feeding programme.
FEED MORE FORAGE If you want to ensure that your horse remains in good body condition, increasing his amount of forage is likely to be sufficient. Forage is fermented in the gut where HQ|159A
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‘HOT’ HORSES Lots of owners are concerned about feeding more to their horses, as they do not want them to become too ‘hot’ to ride. First and foremost, it is important to be realistic here as over the winter months, there are plenty of other factors that contribute to your horse displaying ‘hot’ behaviour – not just increased food intake. A change in workload and increased stable time, for instance, may well result in your horse being a little ‘fresher’ than usual – do not simply attribute all changes to food! However, if you are concerned that food is making your horse too ‘hot’, there are steps you can take to assist in reducing the risk of over-excitable behaviour. Firstly, introduce the higher energy food slowly. Suddenly providing a horse with more energy/calories in his diet will increase the likelihood of ‘excitability’. Secondly, the type of energy source provided is an important aspect. Feeds based on ‘slowrelease’ energy sources, such as fibre and fat, release energy gradually and are less likely to promote hot behaviour compared to sources of ‘quick-release’ energy, such as starch from cereal grains or sugars from molasses. It is thus important that the feed is high in fat and fibre and low in starch and sugars if behavioural excitability is a concern. The added bonus of this is that fibre and fat are far friendlier on the gut and can help horses prone to colic and gastric ulcers avoid these issues.
bacteria are active. Bacteria produce considerable heat during fermentation that the horse can use to warm himself from the inside out, rather than having to shiver or move to maintain body temperature. This means that more forage provides a heat source in addition
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to the extra calories, making it a very effective way of maintaining condition. Unfortunately, winter forage is often of a reduced quality, which means more hay should be provided than in summer anyway to ensure the same calorie value. Then you will still need to top up the levels even further to maintain warmth. This may all lead to a considerable increase in the amount of forage required, and this can be costly. To reduce this cost, you need to find the best quality forage (highest nutrient value) so that lower amounts can be fed. This is generally cheaper than buying larger volumes of poorer quality hay. In terms of nutrient levels in forage from highest to lowest, green pasture generally tops the list, followed by winter pasture, good quality grass hay and poor-quality grass hay. When selecting hay, look for good quality hay that is clean and dust-free. Consider feeding higher calorie hay like lucerne or teff should there be a need to boost a horse’s calorie intake further. Choose immature hay (characterised by soft stems and a larger portion of leaf matter) rather than overly mature hay (very stalky with little leaf), as this provides better nutritional value. Moreover, immature hay has a water-holding capacity that more mature hay does not have. NOTE: Impaction colic is more common in winter as horses often drink less because the cold weather makes their water cold. Forage with higher moisture content is therefore preferred, particularly in winter.
EXTRA ADDITIONS Keep in mind that poorer quality hay can also have reduced vitamin and mineral content. It, therefore, may be wise to consider adding in a balancer product for younger and older horses to increase their levels of vitamins and minerals without changing their diet hugely. Adding extra oil to the diet can also be beneficial as it allows the increase of calories without adding large amounts of expensive concentrate feed. 250ml (1 cup) of oil has the equivalent calories of around 1-1.5kg of oats. REMEMBER You should monitor your horse’s body condition year-round, but especially before harsher winter weather arrives. You can then determine whether your horse needs extra energy by checking for decreased body weight and condition and noticing these issues as soon as they start to arise. Make sure to feel through the heavy winter coat when checking body condition – are the ribs easily felt? If so, the horse needs more energy. Is the horse shivering a lot? If so, he needs more energy. And don’t wait for temperatures to plummet before you begin these checks and changing of diet. Ideally, you need to begin your winter nutrition programme early enough and give your horse sufficient time to build up the reserves he needs to get him through the winter. Use common sense and regular observation, and your horse should have an uneventful cold season. HQ|159A
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HORSE INSURANCE REMAINS ‘A SOUND INVESTMENT’ DURING TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES W
ith interest rates rising, the petrol price going through the roof and the general cost of living escalating, South Africans may be tempted to cut down on expenses such as insurance. But this is a time when horse owners should really hang on to their equine insurance or risk being financially crippled by high medical bills should their animal get injured or fall ill, says Head of Hollard Equipage Nicole Giraud White. “Even though people are feeling the pinch, now is not the time to cancel your equine policy,” she cautions. “Medical costs for horses are very high, especially for
certain procedures. The fact that we have seen very few policy cancellations during this difficult time when COVID19 and other factors have put the brakes on the economy proves that it gives owners peace of mind to have insurance as a back-up in case of unexpected events.” For example, says Giraud White, Hollard Equipage’s biggest claim category is for colic; essentially, colic, whether caused by gas, impaction due to lack of water consumption, change of weather, stress or even dental problems, if not detected early, can require expensive surgery.
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“Horses have become so domesticated – standing in a paddock or a stable instead of walking in herds and grazing all day – and this places a horse under considerable emotional and physical stress. Although we keep them out of the elements and protect them from predators, the stress of living in a stabled environment takes a considerable toll on a horse. They are big animals and require a lot of medication when things go wrong. Mild colic can quite often cost more than your annual premium.” Besides colic, Giraud White mentions the African Horse Sickness virus. This is just one of the many viruses that cause seasonal equine ailments that are covered by insurance. Without this insurance, veterinary costs to nurse horses back to health can be prohibitively high. “We find that a lot of new horse owners are not always aware of the high hidden costs associated with horse ownership, but these can certainly build up. That’s why finding a good-value policy with great benefits and very few sub-limits is a sound investment so that you can plan your monthly expenses.” Giraud White says that, more often than not, a horse is more than a possession – it’s a member of the family. “Horses are like children to their owners, who form a huge emotional attachment to their animals. For these horse lovers, cancelling their insurance would lead to very difficult emotional decisions like euthanasia should the horse require veterinary treatment that they cannot afford,” she says. “The costs of owning and looking after a horse can be prohibitive, so it makes financial sense to budget properly and make provision for unforeseen and unplanned expenses.” Hollard Equipage provides horse insurance for stud purposes, as well as for competitive and pleasure riding, with customisable packages available according to the owner’s needs. There are a range of benefits on offer, such as Mortality Cover, which protects against financial loss due to the untimely death of a horse because of an accident, illness, disease or theft.
Critical Care Cover is offered for veterinary costs associated with hospitalisation should a horse require life-saving treatment. Equipage’s VIP Equine product is a veterinary insurance policy covering the horse for unexpected accidents and illness at home or in hospital. The policy offers R120 000 cover per year, with only two sub-limits: R10 000 for lameness and R15 000 for dentistry.
INFO These products are underwritten by The Hollard Insurance Company Limited (Reg. No. 1952/003004/06), a Licensed Non-Life Insurer and an authorised Financial Services Provider. For more information about these and other products, visit https://www.hollard.co.za/otherproducts/equipage.
YOUR EQUESTRIAN QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Is it enough to just give my horse a salt block or lick? Answered by Hannah Botha, MSc Equine Science, Epol Nutritional Advisor
Many people rely on salt blocks to supply their horse's daily salt requirements. However, while some horses have a craving for sodium, which will cause them to use a block, few horses lick a block enough to consume their daily salt requirement. Of the five main electrolytes (calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium and chloride), sodium, chloride, and potassium are the three most important, with sodium often considered the principal one as it's the main regulator of thirst. When sodium and chloride combine, they produce sodium chloride. Sodium chloride is more commonly known as salt. It thus makes sense to add
salt to the horse's daily diet to provide two of the most important electrolytes, sodium and chloride. A 500kg horse, in no work at cool temperatures, has a daily requirement of 10 grams of sodium and 40 grams of chloride (NRC, 2007). However, a 500kg horse in medium work has a requirement of 17.8 grams and 53.3 grams, respectively, and this does not allow for any work in high temperatures, such as those we experience here in South Africa. To give some idea, a 500kg horse in no work, at cool temperatures, would need to consume a 1kg block of salt per month to consume their daily maintenance requirements. They would need even more if they worked hard and in hot temperatures. If your horse is consuming 1kg of salt in the form of a salt block per month and doesn't work, you are absolutely fine to keep providing a salt block as a sole source of sodium and chloride. However, for those with higher daily requirements, or where the horse tends to consume less salt than is necessary from a salt block, it's worthwhile to provide 15 grams (1 tablespoon) per 250kg of body weight to their ration every day as a minimum. In the case of a 500kg horse, this would equate to 30g per day, so around two tablespoons of salt. Feeding it with the ration, rather than relying on your horse to ingest it ad-lib, ensures your horse is receiving the correct amounts to perform at his best. Some horses appear to prefer sea salt or Himalayan salt over regular table salt (avoid Lite salt as this usually is potassium chloride and will not assist in maintaining sodium levels). At this time, there is no research on horses to indicate any nutritional benefit of these forms of salt. However, if your horse prefers these forms, then they will be worthwhile as the horse will be more inclined to eat/lick something he enjoys.
What are the signs I need to call a dentist for my horse? Ideally, your horse’s teeth should be checked by a professional at least once a year and, better yet, every six months. In between these appointments, the following signs signify you might need the dentist sooner than your next scheduled appointment: • Quidding: Quidding is when a horse spits out balls of hay he has already chewed. A horse that quids is not swallowing his food properly. This can cause the horse to lose condition as his full nutritional needs are not being met. • Weight loss: If your horse is struggling to chew, he cannot extract all of the nutrition he needs from fibrous feeds such as grass or hay. Bad teeth can therefore contribute to weight loss and also result in your horse being prone to choke and impaction colic. • Slow eating: If your horse has broken teeth, infected gums, sore cheeks or any other pain in the mouth caused by dental problems, he may chew his food very slowly. This can lead to weight loss and poor nutrition, especially if the horse is rushed when eating, by, for example, horses wanting to steal his food. • Spilling food: A horse that eats by spilling or throwing concentrate feed may be anxious about his food and want to prevent it from getting removed or stolen. Alternatively, he may struggle to hold the grain in his mouth and chew. • Bad odour: If there is a foul odour coming from your horse’s mouth or nose, suspect an infection in the mouth.
This odour might be the only sign of a potential problem and is likely to require dental work and/or antibiotics in order to resolve. • Drooling: Horses may drool after having eaten plants containing fungi or other irritating substances, or something might be embedded in the gums or under the tongue. Alternatively, some horses drool because they have a dental problem. • Sinus discharge: A small trickle of clear fluid is normal from your horse’s nose, but a running nose with thicker liquid can be a sign of a sinus or dental infection. • Dehydration: Horses with bad dental problems may be hesitant to drink cold water. A lack of water can lead to choke and impaction colic, and difficulty getting all the necessary nutrition from the food. • Head tossing: There are many reasons why a horse may toss his head, but as dental issues are a common cause, the teeth should always be checked. • Head shy: If your horse is head shy and does not want you to touch or groom his face, then a painful dental problem could be the cause. • Playing with the bit: A horse that fusses with the bit may be reacting to discomfort caused by the bit itself, but in some cases, the issue is actually a dental problem that makes holding onto the bit uncomfortable. Sometimes extra teeth can be a problem, and other times there may be sharp hooks or points that are causing general oral discomfort. • Spooking: Dental pain can cause horses to become spooky and bolt.
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