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BUSINESS december 2012 Issue 129


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Caring for the veteran Let’s Talk Products Retailer Stock Take



Bringing buyers & suppliers together

TEL: +44 (0) 115 942 4265


INSIDE THIS ISSUE 5 NEWS 9 WINTER HEALTHCARE Tackling seasonal complaints

23 SAFETY IN THE SADDLE Successful sales



The industry’s finest


Mike Potter gets down to business

15 CARING FOR THE VETERAN Supporting the elderly equine


Wonderful websites


Bits, tack & training aids

& ASK THE EXPERT Slips & falls


32 STOCK TAKE Retailers’ top selling products

33 SECRET SURFER New websites on show




Front cover image:

Editor: Kirsty Whittle

Advertising Sales & Production: Allison Kemp Tel: +44 (0)1953 852946

Design: Phil Wells Equestrian Business Monthly, The Old Dairy, Watton Road, Hingham, Norwich, Norfolk, NR9 4NN, UK Tel: +44 (0)1953 850678 Fax: +44 (0)1953 851936 Disclaimer Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the information and reviews contained in this magazine are both accurate and up-to-date, neither Equestrian Business Monthly nor its contributors accept any liability to any party for loss or damage incurred by reliance on the information contained in this magazine or through omission or errors, howsoever caused.

If you have a Smart phone, iPhone or Android phone, all you have to do is download a QR code reader app and scan the barcode and it’ll take you directly to the Equestrian Business Monthly website where you can access the latest news stories, features and products on the market.

Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly


Comment EDITOR’S

On the cover This issue we thank cover star Fern and owner Michelle Gray.

2012: What a year

It’s finally here – the last issue before we head off to eat lots of turkey, drink lots of wine and have a well deserved break!


FORWARD FEATURES February BETA preview Spoga preview Equine A&E Marketing the stud feed Let’s Talk Products

March Worming part 1 Competition feeds Laminitis Trade show reviews Born in Britain Let’s Talk Products Our media pack and a full list of forward features for 2013 are now available. To get your hands on either of these email Allison: Allison@ebmonthly. Furthermore, give us a call and see what we can do for you over the next 12 months.


y the time you read this there will be less than a month until Christmas. Although many decorations are already up and the radio has been blasting Band Aid for several weeks, it’s hard to imagine that we are once again drawing to the end of the year – but it’s been a memorable one! For the industry 2012 has been a rather slippery slope of utter euphoria and complete disaster. Spring saw many equestrian events wiped out with riders unable to compete and manufacturers and retailers unable to exhibit. While Badminton and the likes seem a long time ago, the repercussions are still being unearthed. On a more positive note, the Olympic and Paralympic Games brought a sense of unity that hasn’t been seen in the country for a long time. The exceptional success of the equestrian teams has had a fantastic impact on our industry and the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) initiatives Take Back the Reins and Take Up the Reins are doing incredibly well. One thing that is still evident however is that the industry is still a little strapped for cash. While consumers are continuing to purchase goods, additional sales of impulse purchases are sadly at a low. Shoppers simply just don’t have the extra cash to make these types of purchases anymore. With this in mind retailers need to be ready to cash in on the January sales with special offers, discounts and end of line clearances. If managed correctly, sale

Meet Jamie Hall Jamie is a Norfolk based equine and wildlife photographer specialising in 1-1 portrait sessions and studio based photoshoots. To see Jamie’s work visit his Facebook page: Jamie Hall Equine Photography or website:

Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

events can create a real buzz. I know of one retailer who offers a limited number of high end items, such as clippers, at a hugely discounted rate – among all the other sales items – and customers camp, yes camp, outside the night before to get first dibs.

We want you! With the age of technology upon us, retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and customers can trade tips, advice, questions and offers within seconds. New positions are being created solely for social media experts to monitor accounts and ensure that interaction and engagement is at full potential. In the coming months we’ll be looking to expand our reach and increase our social media presence. To help get us going, you can follow us on Twitter @EBMonthly or ‘like’ us on Facebook: Equestrian Business Monthly. We’re always keen to hear from our readers and other interested parties so get commenting! On this note, it is without further ado that I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year. See you on the other side.

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A round-up of the UK’s equestrian trade news

ESMA nominations Open T R

RDA volunteer wins Sunday Times award

he Equestrian Social Media Awards (ESMA) nominations will open on 10th December. Now in its third year, the ESMAs aim to connect the global equestrian community and reward those who enrich the online world for equestrians. This year builds on previous success, with the 2012 awards reaching over 800,000 people. Team ESMA asked voters and enthusiasts what they wanted from the awards in future. As a result, 2013 features a brand new category: Creative Equestrians. This category will include the likes of photographers, event organisers, marketing professionals and

designers specialising in the equestrian sector. An ever-increasing number of grass roots movements make great use of social media, so 2013 also sees the introduction of an award to recognise their efforts: FEI Solidarity ESMA. Open to equestrian development projects that are at the heart of grass roots development of equestrian sport and welfare projects, this category includes local sports programmes, an individual rider or coach or an online community, educational project or welfare campaign that has captured the interest and conversations of the development of the sport in a creative and inclusive manner.

There are also extra regional categories including Scandinavia, Australia & New Zealand, and Benelux. Once nominations have been collected, the ten best are selected as the finalists for each category, with finalists announced mid January. These finalists are given a score which is based 75% on the views of the expert panel and 25% on a public vote. Winners will be announced online in early March. To find out more and see the full list of categories visit: or keep up-to-date on Facebook and Twitter @ESMAwards / #ESMA13

iding for the Disabled (RDA) volunteer, Di Redfern, chairman of South Buckinghamshire RDA has won the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Community Award. In recognition of her outstanding commitment to getting more people with disabilities riding, Di was presented the award by former England women’s cricket captain and Sport England board member, Clare Connor OBE. “I am totally overwhelmed to receive the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Community Award,” says Di. “The joy on the riders’ faces has meant so much to me over the years and this award is the icing on the cake!”

Shoppers enjoy an unexpected treat


ore than 400 shoppers hopped aboard Queenie the mechanical horse when she arrived at the Trafford Centre’s John Lewis store with Take up the Reins, a national campaign to promote horse riding and equestrian sport throughout England. Queenie, named in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, proved a big hit with would-be riders of all ages as mums, dads and children joined the queue to sample a taste of life in the saddle. Trainers from the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA), the organisation responsible for launching the scheme on behalf of the British Equestrian Federation, were there to provide support and advice, and to hand out goody bags, certificates and rosettes to all those who took part. Instructors from Carrington Riding Centre and Mobberley Riding School, Cheshire, joined them to offer guidance. “We were blown away by

the amazing response from everyone,” says Take up the Reins tour co-ordinator Tina Rogers. “People were queuing from first thing in the morning when we set up and there were still rides taking place at 9.30pm as we were getting ready to close. The campaign is designed to show people that riding is for everyone, no matter what their background, whether they live in the country or a town and that you are never too old, or too young, to learn. Our visit to the Trafford Centre certainly allowed us to do this and we met some lovely people along the way.” Moira Roberts, PR and marketing co-ordinator at the John Lewis store adds: “The Take up the Reins event surpassed all our expectations. Our customers loved it and Queenie the horse definitely became their main topic of conversation for two days. There can’t be many large stores where you are given the opportunity to get on a horse and try out a new hobby, but thanks

to Take up the Reins, you could at John Lewis!” The campaign will continue its tour over the months ahead,

appearing at sports outlets, holiday parks, sporting events, colleges, universities and shopping malls.

Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly



Hickstead looking for new sponsor


he All England Jumping Course at Hickstead, is seeking a new title sponsor of its most famous showjumping class, the Hickstead Derby. Following the end of Carpetright Plc’s sponsorship, a new sponsor must be found to ensure the continuation of this historic competition.

The British Jumping Derby, which was first run in 1961, has been sponsored by some major brands over the past 52 years, including Carpetright Plc for the last two years. “Looking to the future, we feel that it is a very exciting time for showjumping in this country, particularly after the success

of Team GB at London 2012, and we very much look forward to welcoming a new sponsor to Hickstead,” says Hickstead director Daisy Bunn. “The Derby itself is famous across the globe, and the title sponsorship offers a unique opportunity for a business to associate itself with an incredibly well supported, quintessentially British event. “Our Sky Sports broadcast

coverage, coupled with the extensive coverage the class commands across the print and digital press, and the large footfall that flock to the showground every year to watch the Derby live, means there really is no better equestrian event to support in the UK.” Interested parties should email: to discuss sponsorship opportunities.


Industry loses a lifelong contributor

Charity attends Animal Remembrance Service


World Horse Welfare (WHW) attended a special remembrance service held at the Animals in War monument on London’s Park Lane. Many of the UK’s animal welfare and advocacy organisations attended, laying wreaths in memory and admiration of all the animals that died whilst serving alongside their human allies. “I was proud to be asked to present a wreath at the Annual Remembrance Service for Animals in War in memory and respect of all the horses, donkeys, ponies, mules and other animals who gave their lives and continue to give their lives in conflict and war for their countries,” says World Horse Welfare field officer Nick White. “It is vitally important to remember the animals lost in war. Their contribution is inestimable. Caring for a horse or having a dog to accompany you in the trenches would have done so much to lift the spirits of the men and give them extra incentive to keep going”. The Animals in War monument was unveiled by HRH the Princess Royal in November 2004, 90 years after the start of World War I. Trustees of the Animals in War Memorial Fund raised the £2 million needed to build the monument through a national appeal and the consequent generosity of many individual donors, charities and companies. Eight million horses and donkeys died in the First World War whilst transporting ammunition and

supplies to the frontline. Many mules also served courageously on the Western Front and in the overwhelming heat of Burma, Eritrea and Tunisia during World War II. They were represented today by Polo the Mule alongside The Irish Draught Horse Society (GB), The Donkey Sanctuary, The Horse Trust, The British Mule Society, World Horse Welfare, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, The Household Cavalry, The Brooke and Blue Cross. The Animals in War Memorial service is organised by Dogs Trust and the Petplan Charitable Trust. Animals in attendance this year include: three horses from the Household Cavalry led by Captain Rupert Hills, Polo the Mule accompanied by The British Mule Society and chocolate Labrador Louie accompanied by Dogs Trust.

New website expected to bump up charity figures, the animal adoption portal is expected to contribute to £250,000 raised for animal charities by Christmas Day. Offering charitable gift ideas for people looking for a distinctive and memorable gift in time for Christmas, the website is setting its sights high. udopt has been created by Venturian Media, the largest online media publisher in the UK charity sector. In 2011, Venturian Media raised £1,500,000 through its charity network, signed up 12,000 direct debit donors and helped to distribute 10,000 charity gifts. udopt also offers, on top of pictures and facts about the animals, a web app called the udopt’r which matches an individual’s character traits with that of their perfect animal alter-ego – a clever tool considering most users are likely to


Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

‘purchase’ animals as gifts for children. There is a wide range of gifts to choose from with packs from WWF and Guide Dogs including cuddly toys and free tickets to see the animals from the Aspinall Foundation. Plus all adoptions come with certificates, fact sheets and updates through the year. “udopt supports the exemplary work done by the animal charities such as WWF, Guide Dogs for the Blind, The Aspinall Foundation and the RSPB through a series of strategic partnerships,” says Ross Travill, co-owner of Venturian Media and udopt. “We saw that important animal welfare issues had fallen out of the limelight and wanted to put people back in touch with the animal kingdom in a fun and interactive way.

ucy Ward of Horsemasters Distribution remembers the company’s longest serving sales rep. Keith Vanstone died peacefully on 11th September aged 82 after a valiant and dignified fight against cancer. Keith worked in the equestrian trade for over 40 years having moved from the luxury motor trade. He worked for Ken LyndonDykes at Kent Leather for five years and then subsequently opened his own saddlery shop in Sussex. In 1982 he joined Hydrophane Laboratories (manufacturers and wholesalers) owned at that time by Nick Ward and the Ward family. He was employed as an agent and enthusiastically set up a wide customer base from Kent to Cornwall. When Hydrophane Laboratories was sold and Horsemasters Distribution Ltd. was set up in 1997 for the exclusive distribution rights of Mountain Horse products, Keith continued as an agent and was inspirational along with Nick in the establishment of the Mountain Horse brand in the UK. Following Nick’s death he continued to work with Lucy Ward and the team at Horsemasters and retired only two years ago at the ripe old age of 80! Everybody who knew him will know that he was a loyal, charming gentleman with a sharp and sensitive wit and who was also imbued with great wisdom. He will be remembered with great fondness for his fierce loyalty to the companies and brands he worked for and we have much to be grateful for due to his hard work, his unfailing spirit and belief in the brands that he represented. He will be very sadly missed and our thoughts and condolences go out to his wife Mary, his children and three grandchildren.

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New Laminitis PhD project underway


he Royal Veterinary College (RVC), together with Waltham, the research group that provides the science behind Spillers, is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Finding, an experienced equine vet, has joined them and the Walthamled International Laminitis Consortium to start her PhD on laminitis. Elizabeth will continue the essential search into why some horses and ponies are more at risk of laminitis than others. Laminitis is well-recognised as a major, global welfare issue, causing pain and suffering in those affected. Understanding why some individuals are more prone to this painful and potentially fatal condition than others has been one of the major goals of the Laminitis Consortium so that

targeted preventative measures can be put in place. Anecdotal information has suggested that there is often an increase in incidence in laminitis following a bout of cold frosty weather. Previous work undertaken at the RVC has suggested that temperature may influence the reactivity of certain blood vessels of the hoof. As part of her four year PhD project Elizabeth will be developing novel methods of assessing blood flow so that she can analyse changes associated with diet and season. In addition, she will be comparing innovative markers of blood vessel health between those that are and are not prone to laminitis. “We hypothesise that ponies prone to laminitis have a dysfunction of the cells lining the blood vessels (endothelial cells),” explains

Elizabeth. “This may make them less effective in generating mediators which normally continuously dilate blood vessels and thus protect against the blood vessel constriction. It is thought that abnormal constriction may be initiated by the ingestion of too much rich grass especially under adverse environmental conditions.’’ The Waltham–initiated International Laminitis Consortium comprises worldleading equine veterinary, nutrition and research experts interested in collaborating on the important topic of laminitis. It includes Dr Nicola Menzies-Gow and professor Jonathan Elliott of the RVC, professor Pat Harris of the Waltham Equine Studies Group, and Clare Barfoot of Mars Horsecare UK Ltd.

Get voting for BETA Business Awards


he search is on to find winners of the 2013 BETA Business Awards. Now in their 10th year, the awards will be presented during the BETA Gala Dinner, at the National Motorcycle Museum, near Birmingham, on Sunday 17th February 2013. The categories are: Export Award, TSM Rider

Award, SEIB Retailer of the Year, BETA Lifetime Achievement Award, Equine Careers Sales Representative of the Year, Harry Hall Retail Employee of the Year, Trade Supplier of the Year, Joules Equestrian Event of the Year and the Haygain Nutritional Helpline of the Year. Members of the trade are invited to

make nominations in all except the SEIB Retailer of the Year category, whose shortlist will be compiled from those businesses nominated by consumers. Both trade and consumers will be able to nominate feed companies for the Haygain Nutritional Helpline of the Year and the Joules Equestrian Event of the Year awards.

Animal Health Trust Award winners announced


ore than 400 people from all walks of the equestrian world attended the Animal Health Trust’s Equestrian Awards on Thursday 2nd November. Held at the Lancaster London, the awards ceremony, hosted by Mike Tucker and Zoey Bird, proudly honoured the fantastic Olympic and Paralympic success of 2012, in both hosting and competing in the games. Awards were presented by HRH The Princess Royal in seven categories – Dressage, Eventing, Show Jumping, Racing, Voluntary Service, Equine Vet of the Year and the Animal Health Trust Special Award. Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin, Zara Phillips, Nicola Wilson, Mary King, Natasha Baker and Sophie Christiansen, as well as owners and trainers, were among the winners.


The Games Makers were also commended, with Sarah Phillips from British Riding Clubs collecting the award on behalf of all that volunteered. The committee supplied the following comments: “With so many outstanding performances throughout London 2012 to celebrate, the awards evening could have spanned a month and we still wouldn’t have enough

Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

time to give everyone their due credit! We really are so proud of our equestrian athletes and it’s a privilege to honour them in this way. “We’re also particularly grateful to all those who sponsored either an award or part of the evening and helped us raise vital funds which will enable the AHT to continue its very important work.”

news in BRIEF TRM launches online brochure

Supplement company, TRM has produced a new online edition of its informative product catalogue. To view the full TRM brochure online, visit http://tinyurl. com/trm-catalogue

Supplement company in demand

Equifeast is currently beating the blues with a 32% increase in profits resulting in the appointment of two new staff. Young equine nutritionist, Eloise Vizor, and biomedical graduate Kerry Curtis are the latest to join the team and will assist with growing demand for the EquiFeast’s free advice line.

KBF99 Win Top Prize

KBF99 has received a prestigious Lord Stafford Award, winning the top prize in the innovation category, which was presented at the awards dinner at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. The awards celebrate and recognise collaborations between business and academia in developing innovative products, processes or services. “This is excellent news and we’re delighted to see the partnership that brought this product to market recognised in this way,” says managing director Peter Wilkes. “Coventry University approached us with the idea of an antimicrobial horse grooming kit and, using their scientific expertise and our manufacturing knowhow, we have managed to develop the KBF99 range.” Lord Stafford, Patron of the Awards was delighted with the partnership. “This is a classic example of how a university, by collaborating with a business, can take a groundbreaking technology from concept to market,” he says.

Winter healthcare

Surviving the

COLD SNAP With harsher winters now a common occurrence, customers are spending more time and money on caring for their horses. Sourcing products that offer effective results against winter complaints such as mud fever and thrush is a worthwhile task for retailers as good results means repeat business. What lies beneath As every customer, retailer and manufacturer knows, winter can be a challenging time for equines. The dark, blustery days spent in waterlogged fields create a breeding ground for bacteria, that seems intent on delving deep into the hooves or scaling the legs. Given the nature of the horse, turnout is essential and despite the range of specialist turnout chaps and barrier creams, some infections are inevitable. “Thrush and hoof abscesses are not uncommon in the winter months as horses generally spend more time standing around in wet and muddy conditions,” says Robert Ibbotson from Robinson Animal Healthcare. “The integrity of the hoof can be compromised as a result, allowing bacteria and fungi to flourish and cause infection. In order to avoid these conditions, hooves should be checked daily and careful management executed e.g. correct nutrition and fencing off very wet and muddy areas.” Hoof complaints can be treated in a variety of ways depending on the severity of the infection. “Topical applications prove extremely beneficial alongside a good basic hoof care regime,” says Claire Brown from Handmade Shoes Ltd, suppliers of Kevin Bacon’s hoofcare products. “We consistently receive good reports from our endorsers, all of whom are equine professionals at the top of their game, and from horse owners and farriers. Kevin’s has an extremely loyal client base – many customers having used the products for years and will consistently recommend it to others.”

Keeping a well-stocked selection of products that assist with hoof ailments will ensure that customers are well served and leave satisfied. “It is a good idea to stock up on Animalintex for the winter months as it can be used to treat numerous injuries and ailments including thrush and foot abscesses,” says Robert. “Animalintex Hoof Treatment from Robinson Animal Healthcare is cut to shape for economy and convenience. Suitable for the rapid treatment of foot conditions it is the only veterinary licensed poultice on the market for equine treatment. It contains an antiseptic to clean and prevent re-infection and natural poulticing agent, Tragacanth, which when it reacts with water, draws out any infection and creates a clean area for healing.” Horses that are constantly standing in wet fields are also likely to suffer from crumbly feet, which may find holding a shoe impossible. Relatively new items such as the Horse-Slip can be glued to the hoof using a modern adhesive. These items not only solve the problem of lost shoes, but also allow the hoof to expand at the heels when the hoof contacts the ground thus imitating the action of the unshod hoof and allowing the frog to do its job – something that is restricted with metal shoes.

Mud fever Mud fever, cracked heels and rain scald are all caused by the bacteria Dermatophilus congolensis. The effects are the same for each condition but the location varies, with cracked heels occurring in the hollows of the pasterns, rain

scald on the back, neck head and rear, and mud fever on the legs and belly. The inflammation, sores and scabs can be very painful and itchy for the horse and need intensive treatment, so as with all ailments, prevention is better than cure. Mud fever is more prevalent in winter but it is a common misconception that it only occurs as a direct result of muddy and wet conditions. The bacteria actually inhabit the soil, whether wet or dry, and also live on the horse’s skin, waiting for an opportunity to invade. Dermatophilus cannot penetrate healthy skin, but when

the skin is compromised in some way, for instance a rub from a dirty brushing boot, the bacterium can enter the dermis and rapidly multiply, causing an infection. Mud fever is more common in winter because the wet conditions can cause the skin to break down, letting the infection in and the cycle of wet-dry-wet-dry that many stabled horses have is particularly bad news for the horse, but good news for the bacteria! There is plenty of good advice to give to your customers alongside treatments. If mud fever is suspected then the horse should

Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly


Winter healthcare

be put into a clean, dry stable or at least on dry ground. The hair will have to be clipped from the area so recommend some lightweight and quiet trimmers that can do this quickly and easily. The area should be washed with warm water and the scabs will need to be gently

removed. There are a number of antibacterial washes and antiseptic scrubs that have been specifically designed to help clean legs and soften the scabs. Grouped products and kits are handy for customers as all the items they need are kept in one handy package and the item is

easily picked off the shelf. Once the area is clean it will be sore and inflamed, so a soothing antiseptic cream or mild antibiotic application can help with healing. The area will also need protecting whilst healing takes place and there are a few different ways to

Better with age Robert Ibbotson from Robinsons Animal Health explains how hoof treatment has changed since its inception. How has scientific research changed the way that hoof complaints are treated? Over the last 25 years science has revealed a great deal about the hoof structure and how it functions. We now have a much better understanding of how management can directly affect hoof health. The structure of horn is designed to be at its strongest and most resilient when it is dry which is why damp bedding or wet muddy fields compromise hooves. We also understand a lot more about how hoof problems develop, so prompt and effective treatment


is a must as the sooner they are dealt with, the easier they will be to treat. A lot of traditional hoof treatments have now been rendered as useless, or in some cases, actually detrimental. Owners can now be confident that products are safe and effective when they have the correct approval from regulatory bodies. How has Animalintex evolved over time? Animalintex first appeared in the mid 1930s and it was first licensed in 1970, when such products needed to be licensed as a result of The Medicines Act

Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

1968. The product has been refined over the last 40 years to keep it at the forefront of high quality treatment, but in essence is largely the same product that was first introduced nearly 80 years ago – a testimony to the high quality and forward-thinking product it has proven to be. We are not aware of any credible competitor to Animalintex; it is still the original and the best poultice available on the market today. Animalintex Hoof Treatment was launched for economy and convenient application to the sole of the foot.

do this. Barrier products provide a protective dressing to the area that seals the epidermis, breaking the wet-dry cycle and allowing the skin to heal. Stable bandages, gamgee and vetwrap or specially designed equine chaps can also protect the skin from moisture and bacteria, but the area will need to get some air if healing is to be effective. If left untreated, the infection can cause the legs to swell and can lead to lameness.

ADDING A SUPPLEMENT Modern day feeds use carefully constructed formulas to provide a blend of required ingredients that allow the busy horse owners to simply add the relevant amount to a bucket and feed without worrying whether their equine is receiving the necessary levels of vitamins, minerals and energy. However, the current market offers a variety of additional support, which can be particularly popular during the colder months as horses are stabled for increased periods and inevitably encounter very wet, muddy conditions. They can also assist in making up the nutrient levels lost from poor grazing.



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Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly


Winter healthcare “A horse in its natural environment would forage over a large area, feeding on a wide range of foods that will supply essential nutrients that cannot be found in average UK grasses or even manufactured feeds,” says Steve Jenkins, Global Herbs IT and marketing manager. “This is especially true in winter when grass quality is even poorer and the harsher environment means the immune system needs more support. It is therefore important to supplement feeds with the essential nutrients that are so vital to ensuring a healthy and happy horse.” Lots of horse owners actively supplement their horse’s diet and often opt for a product that has been recommended. If they are going in blind, they may be attracted to the price, packaging or an alternative method – such as items containing only natural ingredients. Finding the niche can be tricky business. “Stephen Ashdown MRCVS, the Global Herbs vet and managing director, spent many years of post graduate research in India and Africa finding that the non-western world gave their animals (and humans) very effective herbal solutions to aid their health and vitality,” explains Steve [Jenkins]. “He brought this unique experience back and with the aid of modern science, developed the Global Herbs range in a way that no other supplement manufacturer could. We know from the feedback that we get every day that Global Herbs products are not just unique, but they work.” While appealing to the consumer is important, so is appealing to the retailer – after all these are the people that will get those products out in front of the consumer. “As well as having high quality products, the Global Herb’s team offer retailer training and support as they understand the benefits of our extensive range,” says Steve. “Our free helpline is staffed by a team trained by our vet. In special cases Stephen Ashdown will deal with the concern himself.”

trying to find a stable to protect their steeds from the elements or rugging them up and substituting the hidden grass with hay. Large bales of hay vary in price but will help tide horses over until the grass returns. The topic of snow can be a great way to strike up a conversation with a customer, as horses living out will need a suitably warm and waterproof rug. Many rugs nowadays offer removable liners and reflective strips. Equally, extra long tail flaps prevent rain and wind from entering the rug. This might also be a good time to mention things such as field licks. However, be sure to warn customers that purchasing more than one may be a good idea to prevent any arguments from breaking out. This also applies to equines being given a feed. It is always safest to take said horse out of the field, let him eat and then return him. While out of the field, it is also responsible for the owner to remove the horse’s rug and give it a groom. Heavy rugs that are constantly worn can become itchy and

Snow problem Over the last decade Britain has gone from having very little snow to the guarantee of enough snow to bring businesses to a halt. Customers with field-kept horses face the predicament of


Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

Chlorine Dioxide This is an important ingredient in hoof care products. By reacting directly with amino acids and the RNA in the cell, chlorine dioxide kills microorganisms and does not rely on reaction time or concentration. Microorganisms are unable to build up resistance to chlorine dioxide in practical terms however, few bacteria live alone, and they are most often found in water and on surfaces in the form of a ‘biofilm’, which is a close association of many millions of bacteria. Many biocides have particular problems in penetrating this biofilm, due to the polysaccharide ‘glue’ that is secreted by the bacteria to hold the biofilm together. Unlike most biocides, chlorine dioxide

can effectively penetrate biofilm to provide complete protection. One company that uses chloride dioxide in its products is Trus-Steed. “Having experts in chlorine dioxide with over 30 years’ experience, the company has been able to develop a range of products to combat bacteria, fungi, viruses and spores and using their expertise unique application methods have been developed,” says Denise Allan from Trus-Steed. “Developments in science mean that easier application methods using chlorine dioxide have been developed to ensure products are user friendly and safe to use, these application methods are unique to Trus-Steed’s products in the equine industry.”

gather hair in tufts, making them uncomfortable. Icy gateways and paths can be hazardous for both horses and humans so make sure that the ice is either removed or salt is added. Retailers wanting to make a quick sale should consider stocking salt in readily available bags that can be thrown in the boot of a car at a moment’s notice. If the ground is really icy then an attempt to cross it should not be made at all. Once horses have been in a snowy field or across a snowy track the result will be condensed ice that gets wedged within the shoe.

Ensuring that the feet are picked out straight away will prevent any slipping. If the horse is stabled, remembering to break ice on water buckets is a must. Fieldkept horses may also fall victim to frozen water toughs, however the covering of snow will provide water as they forage for the grass beneath. Placing a floating ball such as a tennis ball should prevent the water from freezing, however this may not stand up in conditions any colder than a few degrees below zero.

Herbal relief & freedom...

Excellent for common winter skin problems

Clear breathing

Amazing freedom in the joints The supurb relief suppliment

Crows Hall Farm . Chilgrove Road . Lavant . Chichester. West Sussex. PO18 9HP Fax: 01243 788775 Email: ..................

Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly




New shoes

Helpful herbs

Horse-Slips are revolutionary glue-on plastic horse shoes designed to be used as an aid to treat equine hoof problems. They are easily modified for therapeutic applications such as stabilising cracked, thin or brittle feet and also to alleviate pain caused by laminitis. Horse-Slips are being used with success post-operatively to reduce the risk of injury during recovery and to treat limb deformities in foals. They can also be easily modified for the treatment of specific hoof anomalies. Horse-Slips are produced using a unique patented method of spiral extrusion allowing all shapes and sizes of hoof to be accommodated. HorseSlips are attached using an acrylic adhesive and will stay on for a period of up to 4-6 week. One coil makes 4-6 shoes.

A formula designed to be administered in the feed in order to help maintain and protect skin condition in difficult muddy conditions. Mud-X works quickly in a few days. Use throughout the winter as required. Safe for continuous use. Mud-X will also help support general skin condition and help the horse stay fit and active in moist damp and wet muddy conditions. RRP: 500g: £21.20, 1l: £23.60, 1kg: £39.95

Giltspur Scientific: +44 (0)2893 322040

Global Herbs: +44 (0)8001 694709



Just spray

Healthy hooves

Keratex Hoof & Leg Scrub is an easy to use product for customers whose horses’ legs suffer in muddy conditions. Its simple and quick ‘spray on and leave on’ function enables owners to use it on wet or dry legs and simply leave it to work during the day or overnight. It also has a silent spray trigger feature especially for spooky horses. The long-lasting Byotrol technology will keep hooves and legs clean for hours after application. Hoof & Leg Scrub is often used in combination with Keratex Mud Shield Powder for maximum results 24/7, with customers applying Mud Shield Powder in the morning and Hoof & Leg Scrub in the evening after hosing down legs.

Bacteria thrive in the warm, moist conditions that a stable provides and it is important to be vigilant and check hooves on a daily basis for signs of infection. For horses prone to or suffering from infections of the white line or bacterial problems such as thrush, Kevin Bacon’s Hoof Solution provides an intense antibacterial and fungicidal formula with antiseptic properties. Hoof Solution is excellent for drying out and cleaning infected keratinized tissues and can be applied daily in the treatment of specific problems or periodically for protective applications.

Keratex: +44 (0)1373 827649

Kevin Bacon’s: +44 (0)1296 662473



Quick and easy

Great results

Suitable for the rapid treatment of foot conditions it is the only veterinary licensed poultice on the market for equine treatment. Highly absorbent, it is extremely versatile and can be applied either as a wet, hot or cold poultice, or as a dry dressing, to suit the needs of the injury or condition. It contains an antiseptic to clean and prevent re-infection and natural poulticing agent, Tragacanth, which, when it reacts with water, draws out any infection and creates a clean area for the wound to heal. Animalintex Hoof Treatment is distributed in packs containing convenient Hoof Shaped dressings, ready for foot poulticing, so there is no need for cutting to shape.RRP: £5.50.

Trus-STEED has developed an outstanding product to treat aliments of wet and muddy conditions. Chlorine Dioxide together with other ingredients has the ability to destroy 99.9999% of bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores. Making it an unrivalled product on the market. Equi-Oxcide will penetrate through the spores negating the need to remove the scabs. Equi-Oxcide works extremely quickly with noticeable results within days, which has now been noticed by equine vets using the product throughout the UK. Equi-Diox treatment and barrier spray are for use on hoof problems such as thrush and white line disease again these products use advanced technology in Chlorine Dioxide application.

Robinson Animal Healthcare: +44 (0)1909 735000

Trus-STEED: +44 (0)8444 145439


Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

Caring for the veteran

Older & wiser Caring for an older horse can be a challenging task, however for manufacturers and retailers, the market is healthy and constantly evolving. Equestrian Business Monthly speaks to those running the show to find out how the sector has grown. Spotting earlY signs As the horse starts to age it is likely to show signs of getting older by the grey hairs around the eyes, ears, forehead and muzzle. It may suffer from a certain amount of muscle degeneration and have a hollowed appearance to the face particularly around the eyes. As well as physical signs the horse may also develop specific illnesses. Sue Burton, founder of veteran equine charity, the Remus Sanctuary, believes that it is important to warn new veteran owners of Cushing’s Disease and Equine Metabolic Syndrome as well as various other issues. “The elderly horse tends to drink less yet water, which is vital to maintain gut mobility,” she says. “Using electrolytes in the summer and adding warm water to the feed in the winter can be beneficial.” Heart murmurs, which are caused by blood leaking through the heart valves, become more common in older horses. Many murmurs are of no significance, but a small proportion can have serious consequences, therefore a regular health check should be on the agenda. Older horses will also require regular attention to their feet to ensure that the foot remains balanced and healthy. An unbalanced hoof can put additional strain on the leg joints and exacerbate progressively degenerative conditions.

In or out? Depending on breed, horses, even veterans, can live out for 24 hours a day in the right circumstances. While some may assume that elderly horses should be stabled as much as possible in the cold months, this depends on the horse itself. Horses that are free to roam have the added benefit of

keeping joints supple, while aiding digestion and respiration. While some breeds may not tolerate a British winter too easily, many – given adequate shelter and warmth – are very happy living this way. When considering the level of turnout that a veteran is suited to, customers should consider several factors including the size of the field. A large field with a mixture of flat and undulating ground will ensure that grass remains available and large poached muddy areas are kept to a minimum. However, with a large open field, comes a lack of protection from the elements. Natural shelter such as hedges and trees may be suitable for a younger horse or a hardy pony, however not for an ageing gentleman. A sturdy shelter will provide protection from wind, rain, hot sun and flies, while offering the option to keep moving or pop outside for a bite before returning to cover. A shelter should be large and inviting in order to appeal to the elderly or injured horse that may feel wary of being enclosed. It should also be positioned appropriately in the corner of the field, which will offer further protection from the

weather and won’t get in the way of other horses grazing or playing. In the later years of life, horses may feel the cold more than usual and insufficient rugging will result in shivering and weight loss. Reminding customers that a veteran may need a rug – even if he has never worn one before – is important. As with all living things, bodily processes become less effective as time goes on. With so many rugs on the market, customers won’t struggle to find a suitable option, but may need informing of new technologies or advances in rugs that may be more suitable for veterans.

Common problems Arthritis – This is very common in veteran horses and can come on gradually. The disease can occur in any joint, but is most common in the hocks, knees and lower joints of the legs. Signs of arthritis can include stiffness, especially first thing in the morning after a long night in the stable, slower movements and a reduced level of flexibility. The horse will usually loosen up with time once it begins

walking and will appear at its worst during the colder weather. Providing plenty of bedding when stabled will enable the horse to be comfortable when lying down and make it easier for him to stand up again. Weight loss is a concern for older horses, however many customers focus on this aspect and forget that an overweight horse is just as stressful for the body as an underweight one. Additional weight will put extra strain on the joints. As with humans, arthritis can be managed using various anti-inflammatories, such as phenylbutazone. Joint supplements can also provide an added benefit. “Cortaflex helps to lubricate the joints and keep them healthy,” says Sandra Clacey from Equine America. “Many joint supplements contain glucosamine and chondroitin, which can be large and hard to absorb, however, Cortaflex contains the key active isolates of both which are small and therefore more easily absorbed.” With so many options available, retailers would benefit from taking time to research various products before ordering. “Liquids are sometimes preferred as they mix into feeds more easily but they are no more effective,” says Sandra. Colic – This occurs in all ages of horse but certain types are seen with increasing frequency in aged horses. Small intestinal obstructions caused by benign fatty tumours known as Pedunculated Lipomas often occur in older horses and these require surgical intervention as the colic is often life threatening. There are many reasons for colic to occur such as a high worm burden, inadequate chewing of food as a result of dental problems, dehydration, gas, changes in management routine or feeding and sand accumulation.

Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly


Caring for the veteran in teeth can result in the horse swallowing its food before it’s been crushed enough to allow for a quick decent. Choke refers to the inability to swallow due to an obstruction in the esophagus. In an older horse, improper chewing due to dental abnormalities is a common cause. Customers need to keep an eye out for coughing, salivating and regurgitation of feed and saliva through the nostrils and mouth. These symptoms may

indicate a blockage. In some cases the horse will be able to clear this on his own, however, if not the vet will need to be called and the horse may have to have the item flushed out using a tube that is inserted into the esophagus. Aside from correct dental care, types of feed that can be adequately chewed and swallowed and adding water to dry feeds, especially feeds such as beet pulp will help to avoid the problem.

Feeding the veteran Allen & Page nutritionist Rachel Parrott explains how feeding the elderly horse can differ and summarises key ingredients for a healthy diet. How do you know when a horse needs to be treated as a veteran?

Signs of colic include: pawing, teeth grinding, biting or kicking at the belly, refusing food and water, laying down repeatedly or unwilling to get up, rolling and/or thrashing, and standing stretched out as if to urinate, but not actually urinating. Respiratory – Dusty stables and increased periods without fresh air can de detrimental to all horses but particularly the elderly. “Equimins respiratory products can benefit veterans as they are often prone to infection,” says David Willey from Equimins. “This can happen especially from dusty hay when stabled in the winter. When this happens it is important to keep the airways open and functioning well.” Many manufacturers offer a selection of products in different forms with varying degrees of clout. “It depends on the product as to whether powder, dried or liquid versions are used. For example, with herbs, our liquids come in the form of a tincture. Some other companies sell infusions which is like making tea,” explains David. “A tincture concentrates the herb and makes it much stronger.” With a variety of ingredients, the Equimins range has differing levels of severity. “Very often Air-Way would be the first choice, available in the forms already mentioned, to help keep the airways open,” says David. “The herbs used are Liquorice, Echinacea, Marshmallow, Aniseed, Garlic, Ginkgo, Coltsfoot, Plantain, Nettle, Golden Rod, Peppermint, Plantain


and Clivers. The Air Power Booster with Honey, cider vinegar, Aloe Vera, Menthol, Eucalyptus oil and lemon juice would be used if there is a cough or any congestion, as would the garlic also. If there was a more serious situation with congestion on the lungs, then Clear Breather, containing Hesperadin, vitamin C and MSM will definitely help the horse to bring this up, by expanding the blood capillaries, enabling the lungs to operate more efficiently. It is also used in many hot countries for the problem of bleeders in racing.”

Teeth Spending over half of the day eating – and some even longer – equines require their teeth to be in good working order. Years of wear and tear (and no toothbrush) will inevitably take its toll and result in misshapen and worn teeth. Very old horses may lose teeth completely. However correct dental care can help to reduce the impact that damaged teeth present. “Very often we deal with painfully thin and emaciated horses owned by people who care and put adequate food out but don’t realise that although the horse is eating, it is then being quidded back out,” says Sue. “Short chop feed as a hay replacer for those who cannot manage hay any longer is a great alternative, however dentition is vital. Teeth must be checked regularly. The minimum should be annually.” Aside from poor condition, a loss

Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

Although many veteran feeds are suitable for horses from 15 years of age, this is only a rough figure and every horse’s diet should be based on weight, condition and workload as well as age. Some horses will still compete at three day events into their late teens, whilst others may start to lose condition at 15. As such there is no set age to introduce a veteran feed, although health concerns such as a weakened digestive system, deteriorating dental health and weight loss will mean that it is worth looking at the horse’s nutritional requirements as he reaches his mid-teens. How does feeding differ for an elderly horse? On the whole, the veteran horse’s dietary requirements remain the same, with fibre forming the majority of the horse’s diet. However, age related changes affecting digestion and dental health can mean that some dietary adjustments are needed. Providing pre and probiotics in the diet can help to support fibre and general nutrient absorption, something which can decrease over time. By helping to improve the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, pre and probiotics can help the horse to make the most of the nutrients in his feed which can help with weight maintenance. Horse’s teeth continually

erupt until they are around 15 years of age. After this time they can lose efficiency with any loose or missing teeth dramatically affecting how the horse chews, causing them to drop food. This can lead to loss of condition and increase the risk of colic and gastric ulcers. Regular dental checks by a vet or qualified equine dental technician will help to keep teeth healthy and for those who struggle to chew, feeding soft leafy forages and soaked feeds (or hay replacers if needed), will help to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need. Which nutrients / ingredients are vital for oldies? Fibre is essential for all horses, not just veterans, providing a source of slow release energy as well as heat from fermentation - helping to keep them warm in winter. In addition, pre and probiotics are particularly beneficial to veteran horses in helping to maintain a healthy digestive system. Protein is important for all horses for repair and maintenance of tissue, but for veterans protein digestibility can be reduced. Specific veteran feeds usually have increased protein levels (generally around 12%) although remember it is the quality of protein not quantity that is important. Having said that, it is worth bearing in mind that some older horses are at higher risk of liver and kidney problems and those diagnosed will need a low protein diet.




Veteran Vitality

Easy breathing

Golden oldie

Veteran Vitality has been specially formulated for horses and ponies from the first signs of ageing. Using only the finest non-GM ingredients, Veteran Vitality provides all the nutritional requirements for optimum health in older horses and ponies. Veteran Vitality is high in fibre but low in starch, making it ‘kinder’ on the digestive system. Ceregest GLC 1, a unique pre and probiotic blend, is included to help maintain a healthy digestive system and linseed is added as a source of Omega 3. Veteran Vitality is a highly palatable quick soak feed and has a good calorie level to help with weight maintenance. RRP: £9.10 – £10.90

The New Equissage Red System delivers the ultimate cycloidal massage, enhancing performance, facilitating healing, improving health and helping to prevent performance-related injuries. This essential equine therapy product is used worldwide by vets, trainers, physiotherapists, equestrian competitors and horse owners, all of whom recognise the power of Equissage Red. The unique cycloid action is very beneficial to horses suffering with respiratory problems as it can reduce spasms and help to clear mucous from the respiratory tract. Helping to promote general health and wellbeing, the Equissage Red System also helps to condition the horse’s skin and coat and can be used on top of rugs without losing its effectiveness.

The OldAge formula helps enormously to reenergise and transform digestion and the immune system. In addition to this formula it is always useful to use GlobalVite routinely with any horse. Older horses have often experienced a lifetime of quite inadequate mineral exposure. OldAge will help with suppleness. When stiffness gets too much, customers can use Alphabute to good effect or, in more extreme cases, use MovefreePlus. RRP: 1kg – £19.95, 5kg – £81.95.

Allen & Page: +44 (0)1362 822 900

Equissage: +44 (0)8000 721180

Global Herbs: +44 (0) 8001 694709

Veteran Vitality

From the first signs of ageing… Veteran Vitality has been specially formulated for horses and ponies from the first signs of ageing. Using only the finest Non-GM ingredients and with vitamins and minerals included, Veteran Vitality provides all the nutritional requirements for optimum health at rest or for light to medium work**.

✓ Barley free, low starch* ✓ Molasses free, low sugar* ✓ High in fibre – with a good calorie level to help maintain weight ✓ Quick soak – less than 3 minutes! Ideal for horses and ponies that struggle to chew ✓ Highly palatable and balanced – with essential vitamins and minerals** ✓ Contains Ceregest GLC 1 – a unique pre and probiotic for Gut Loving Care

Quick Soak soaks in under



Contact us today for advice on feeding your veteran 01362 822 902 e-mail or visit When compared to traditional diets with comparative energy levels


When fed at recommended levels


Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly



The World Wide Web

If you’ve just expanded or business is booming we’d love to hear about it:

If you’re not quite sure how to get the best out of your website, then read on to discover how to get the best out of your designer. PagePlay’s Chris Charlton explains. Build a long-term relationship Digital projects range wildly in their scope from the small one offs costing a few hundred pounds to full blown strategic platforms, forming the very bedrock of your business costing many tens of thousands. Some even cost millions. I would argue that in either case it’s always better to find someone you can work with and then stick together. You will always want to evolve what you have and there will always be another project on the horizon. Working with the same people over time means they’ll come to understand what you need and be able to hit the ground running on new work. Of course, you should set objective performance targets and be prepared to ring the changes if things don’t work out, but that should be the last of your thoughts if the relationship is good. If you build the idea of a long term relationship with your designer, then they will reciprocate. The real relationship can then be built on top of that. The work will be of a high quality and you’ll probably get extra effort without even needing to ask for it explicitly.

Kill them with kindness This is probably true of everyone, but perhaps especially so for those with, shall we say, more of a creative temperament. Give praise, encourage pride in the work, push them to deliver things that are even better. Be impressed, recognise progress – however small – and remember that everyone enjoys a compliment.

Acknowledge what others ignore • Specifications • Ongoing support • The impact of changes on delivery schedule So many web projects take a turn for the worst when one of these aspects isn’t dealt with honestly


and with integrity by both parties. Web design can be a process completed in weeks but some large and complex jobs can take over a year. If you’re not clear about what your building, then you cannot complain when your designer fills in the blanks with what they think is best. If you want a thorough specification (and this is often to be recommended) then remember it’s worth paying for it to be created. You can refer back to it when you need to and evolve it with mutual consent as the job progresses. Some projects are best delivered with ongoing specification – working together to hone requirements and decide priorities. This more agile approach is more expensive but shares responsibility and can lead to better results. If you’re using a service like PagePlay where there’s a standard offering and inclusive ongoing support then a full specification might seem heavy handed, but most other projects should have some kind of documentation to serve as that vital point of reference. Don’t trust anyone who refuses to provide the ongoing support for something they have built for you. All digital projects have some kind

Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

of ongoing support requirement. If you’re not paying for support - then understand that at some point in the near future something will happen with your site or app that you’ll need serious help with, and you’ll be all alone. Surely the mark of a good craftsman is someone who is prepared to – in return for fair payment – stand by the work and be there to help you whenever you need it? Once you’ve agreed the project and work begins, you’re bound to have new ideas along the way. It’s really important to understand that what sometimes feels like a simple change can involve more work. Accept that your requests for changes may affect the final delivery date and have an open discussion about the impact.

Don’t break the magic trio I owe this one to Hoss Gifford, and those who’d revealed this seemingly ancient wisdom before him. In any project – not just in the world of web design – there is an old adage that you only ever achieve two of the magic trio of factors: great speed, low cost and

high quality. If you want your project to be delivered at low cost and great speed, then you really cannot expect the quality to be sky high. If you want the project to be delivered at high speed and to a high degree of quality, because it’s a really important piece of work and you’re on a deadline, then guess what? The cost will be correspondingly higher. And finally you’re on a tight budget and you want really high quality work, well, you should expect the project to fit in with the designers’ schedule more than your own. They might be able to use spare time around other projects to deliver it for you but you’ll have less of a right to put pressure on. Of course, we all want all three if possible, but in reality it seldom is possible. So this is a good common sense model to help everyone involved in a project to understand what the real priorities and sacrifices are. Making the right choice when it comes to your new website can be fraught with anxiety. If you choose the wrong designer or agency, you might be stuck with them. You might waste your money. Ask them for examples of previous work and don’t be afraid to contact their customers to see if they are willing to recommend them. This will tell you a lot. Having worked in the roles of designer, project manager, client and strategist around digital projects for just over a decade, PagePlay’s Business Development Director Chris Charlton feels as though he’s picked up some good insights along the way. These are his tips to help clients to get the most from their designers and developers. To find out more about PagePlay visit their exclusive equestrian partner:

Horse equipment


perfect fit Advances in horse equipment have allowed customers to purchase items that offer more than just a good fit. Equestrian Business Monthly finds out why leather can’t be beaten and explores how the industry is changing to keep up with the times. The bare bones Many items of tack such as saddles, bridles and head collars are made from leather. People have been riding and working with horses in harnesses and other forms of leatherwork for centuries, yet still this versatile material remains the number one choice. “Historically leather was the only material that was available to the equestrian industry for bridles and saddles etc,” says Richard Farrow at Sedgwicks. “Although there are many other products, i.e. nylons and synthetics in the market place today at lower prices than even the cheaper leather equipment, today’s leather products are still very appealing, immensely strong, aesthetically pleasing to look at and above all very comfortable for the horse to wear.” Hazel Morley of the Society of Master Saddlers agrees that leather cannot be rivalled. “Without a doubt you can’t beat good quality leather when it comes to producing saddles and bridles,” she says. “Leather has been the preferred choice for many, many years and although new materials have come along, there is little evidence to show that anything new will ever take over as the main material.” A bold but likely statement, Heather explains why the material has continued to dominate the market for so long. “Leather is hardwearing, it lasts for years if it is looked after properly and improves with age. It is also a material that, if required, can be mended, repaired and altered to give many more years’ service.” Leather is available in a variety of forms, all of which vary in price and appeal. A by-product of the meat industry, each hide is different as is the tanning process.

“Leather that is tanned in pits for four to six weeks is far stronger than leather that is drum tanned for six days,” says Hazel. “There are also cheaper ways of dressing and finishing leather. This generally speaking is reflected in the price, so my answer is, when people say to me what is the best leather I always say the best that the customer can afford. As far as quality goes, most leather suppliers have been in the business for years and are very reputable when it comes to supplying the very best leather at the various grades available. Similarly most retailers in the sector have many years’ experience and will be able to tell products that are made using good quality leather and those that are inferior. Good quality leather should not stretch to any large degree and the grain should be tight and firm. The back of the leather should not show any veining or looseness.”

Scrubbing up

and grease and then to feed and condition the leather. There are numerous products available on the market for conditioning leather such as sprays, wipes, soap bars, creams, oils and balms. Always read manufacturer’s instructions carefully to make sure the product is suitable for the particular type of leather. Whether using a sponge, brush or cloth to clean and apply product make sure it is not too abrasive so that the leather isn’t scratched. Do not use any products containing solvents, only natural products i.e. Abbey 1982 Saddle Food.”

Sourcing the materials “When it comes to leather, there are a number of specialist producers and wholesale suppliers in the UK,” says Hazel. “For saddlery tools and equipment SMS members use C S Osborne

Tools and Abbey England, who supply everything from threads, to leather dyes, buckles and studs. Both companies have many years’ experience in the trade and are a great source for all requirements when it comes to saddle and bridle manufacture.” With the recession hitting every industry hard, it would be unsurprising if manufacturers and master saddlers were seeking cheaper alternatives for their products, however the SMS have not noticed such trends. “It is very much up to the individual, but we would like to think that Great Britain remains at the forefront of saddlery leather production and supply, especially when it comes to quality and standards,” explains Hazel. “Buying from a British supplier will always allow British manufacturers to work closely with them, and in partnership, rather than dealing with someone overseas where they are on a

“Steps to maintain leather must be taken to ensure it stays supple and safe, if cared for properly it should last for years,” says Peter Phillips of Abbey England. “Not everyone has time to clean tack every time it has been used, but at the very least, bits should be washed in clean water and dried with a clean cloth. Also if tack gets wet and muddy it should not be left or it is likely to become brittle or may stretch.” While removing dirt is important to increase longevity of products, leather in particular must also be treated. “Remove mud and dirt with a warm damp cloth and allow it to dry at room temperature, and then apply a leather conditioner,” adds Peter. “The aim of thorough cleaning is to remove all dirt

Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly


Horse equipment different time zone and not so easy to build a relationship with.”

Industry developments With new innovations and technologies constantly cropping up, the tack business has seen several new ideas take shape. “Tack design is changing all the time as new ideas come along thanks to research and development,” says Hazel. “The market will also adapt as consumer demands change. New technology is allowing many new techniques to be employed and this will hopefully continue. Yes traditional methods have been around for many years and traditional materials such as billets have always proved popular but we must be open minded and some ideas will be embraced while others will fall by the wayside.” When asked whether the SMS has seen an increase in the purchase of second hand saddles and equipment, Hazel stated that the organisation “had not seen any signs” that people were opting for second hand goods. “There will always be a market for them [second hand saddles] but as horse owner knowledge has increased about the importance of a correctly fitting saddle, many will opt to buy a new saddle that is made to fit the horse and themselves.” The introduction of the adjustable saddle has had a significant impact on the industry, allowing saddlers to achieve an even closer fit. Items such as the Barnsby iTree, which was commended

at last year’s British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) event and EQUIscan’s Topographer PRO and Online platform, which also received commendation at the Spoga autumn fair, are providing saddlers with advanced information. By using technology to take accurate measurements of the horse’s back, saddle fitting has never been so precise. See November’s feature on innovative products for more information on the above.

Training aids Breaking and training horses is hard work by anyone’s expectations and requires lots of time and effort. The introduction of training aids has allowed horse riders to ensure that each session is productive, without having to physically ride the horse. While training aids can be very helpful, they can also have a negative impact when used incorrectly. Ill-fitting equipment that has the potential to restrict the horse can cause panic if fitted too tightly. Retailers should have the knowledge to advise their customers on these items and insist that these items are not for novices or those who are not confident when handling the horse – especially if the horse is a youngster. Offering a selection allows customers with various needs to leave satisfied with product in hand. For expensive items such as the Pessoa, it might be a good idea to have a promotional video on loop to show new buyers how to fit and use it without getting into a tangled web.

All mouth A correctly fitted bit can be the difference between a horse that performs well and an accident. With some horses more sensitive than others, finding the perfect ‘fit’ can be a long process. When entering a shop, customers are often faced with a wall of bits ranging in size, price, colour and material. While some may walk straight in, select a bit and walk out, others may need advice – or further more, professional advice. Part of working in retail is being able to advise on the products, so ensuring that staff are confident when dealing with customers who have been ‘advised’ by those that lack information based on facts, is key. Snazzy new bits can be even more confusing, but often come with a full set of instructions or even a rep to explain each one. Special in their own way, each will have a unique selling point which must be unearthed for profit to be made. One example is the Bombers bits, which are handmade in South Africa. Initially in the showjumping and polo fields, the off the shelf range has been introduced to reach the wider horse owning community. Thinking outside the box, the company also launched the world’s first online ‘bespoke bit’ service to consumers. The website allows customers to choose whatever mouth piece, cheek piece and size they require and customise each bit with personal instructions. An alternative to vulcanite bits, the new ‘Blue’ material is made from a strong,

rubber-nylon compound that promotes salivation and gives the horse a softer mouth. The Bomber Blue material is moulded around a stainless steel core which increases the strength of the mouthpiece and removes the possible weak points created where the cheek pieces attach. “The new Bomber Blue range is ideal for horses with sensitive tongues or horses that are sensitive to metal bits. We are starting to get enquiries from retailers requesting bits for horses that are prone to headshaking, as the new material seems to help with this issue, if caused by sensitivity to certain bit materials,” says Equine Management’s Stephen Biddlecombe.

Effective displays Peter Phillips of Abbey England explains how horse equipment should be displayed for increased sales. As a retailer, your display areas and windows are your primary tools for attracting customers. They are the first impression you make with customers, and the easiest way to draw attention away from your competitors. Eye-catching displays that change regularly inspire customers to part with their cash and keep the product range available looking and feeling fresh. Whether it’s the height of the competition season or the run up to Christmas, a good


display should include a theme to target the current season and increase sales. A random display without a clear message is unlikely to prompt a sale. Before you plan your displays it is important to think about your shop’s image and how you will highlight this. For example are you high end, do you offer great bargains or do you specialise in a particular range/ type of product? Abbey England distribute a range of Stubbs display models, stands and racks which is ideal

Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

for the equestrian retailer and guaranteed to sharpen up any shop display or window. The range includes life size display horses, horse’s heads, horse’s legs and various stands for displaying saddles and bridles. • Keep it Simple – Less can be more, or at least more easily discernible to the eye. A cluttered window loses appeal and featured items can get lost. • Shine a Light – Always accentuate products with

good lighting (excluding leather which should be kept out of direct sunlight/bright lighting to avoid oxidisation). • Stock Up – Don’t draw customers in to buy featured products that you don’t have in stock. • Essential Tools – Invest in versatile, good quality display units and models, which will provide a starting point for all of your displays.

British Quality Since 1982 E







Tel: +44 (0)1543 578 243 Email:

Black Country SADDLES

Equus Overreach Boots Now Available in Any Pantone Colour *

Abbey also distribute Fiebing’s Horse and Leather Care products and quality Stubbs Stable and Yard Equipment.


Abbey England Ltd T: +44 (0)1565 650343 F: +44 (0)1565 633825

*Minimum quantities apply



British Made

Secure seat

Made in the UK and with no minimum order, Abbey is the favoured brand name with leading professional and amateur riders alike, looking for quality and innovation from a supplier specialising in traditional and unusual bits. With over 200 different bit patterns in stock, Abbey has a wide variety of sizes. The vast range includes Snaffles, Gags, Pelhams, Double Bridles, Driving Bits, Hackamores, Sweet Irons and a variety of rubber and vulcanite bits.

The Tex Eventer is a true cross country saddle, the forwardness of the flap and the long sloping seat is designed to give the rider ample room behind to lean back and still feel the security without the cantle interfering. The tree is designed as such that the extra length in the seat is not reflected in the panels. Flocked with wool to help shock absorption through the panels when landing and also allowing the horse freedom to stride out without restriction on the shoulders.

Abbey England: +44 (0)1565 650343

Tel: +44 (0)1543 578 243



A helping hand

Brilliant bits

Designed to promote engagement, topline, balance and self-carriage, EquiAmi training aids are simple to fit and use and give brilliant results. EquiAmi’s lungeing aid can be fitted in less than two minutes. The horse will work in a soft, equal contact needing no adjustment for bend. The kit comes in a hessian bag with illustrated booklet and DVD showing how to fit and use it. EquiAmi aids are patented and used and endorsed by top riders, trainers and therapists. EquiAmi training aids, award winning cavessons and new fleece rollers are all made in England – trade enquiries welcome.

The Bombers Bit range features sweet iron bits and includes hundreds of bitting solutions, incorporating different mouth and cheekpieces. Eight bits from the Bombers range have recently gained approval from British Dressage – they are the BC45 in Loose ring and Full Cheek; the Buster Roller in Loose Ring and Full Cheek; the Snaffle in Loose Ring and Full Cheek, and the Elliptical snaffle in Loose Ring and Full Cheek.

EquiAmi: +44 (0)1584 891049

Equine Management: +44 (0)1825 840002



Piece by piece

Hold on tight

The Padded International Leather Lined Flash Bridle is a great everyday bridle, but is smart enough to use at shows and competitions. The bridle is made using top quality English leather and features a padded noseband and browband, which is raised and lined in leather. The noseband has a pull back fastening and the size and style of the individual pieces can be selected at time of purchase. Available in extra full, full and cob, in black and chestnut, and prices start from £147.50.

The RS-tor rider safety aid, designed to arrest a rider’s fall or allow them to fall in a more controlled manner, is the ideal safety product to stock. It is suitable for all ages and levels of experience. The product is held in the hand like the handle of a whip – the RS-tor’s fall prevention aspect does not come into effect unless the horse spooks, bucks, rears, cat-leaps or stumbles, although its confidence-boosting benefits are always experienced. The RS-tor is manufactured by PolyPads, RRP: £44.99 – available in sizes: childs, S and M/L sizes. (Adults over 5ft usually select M/L).

Kate Negus Saddlery: +44 (0)1249 740590

PolyPads: +44 (0)1842 752020


Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

Playing it safe Safety is a hot lifestyle trend and there are many products out there that can bring a high ROI and genuinely keep customers safe in the saddle. Lee Buck of PolyPads highlights the key factors for successful sales. Purchasers are often influenced by professional riders and there’s also a steady acceptance in the use of high visibility wear for hacking. Store-based retailers can in particular cash-in with items like hats and body protectors, due to the fact that consumers usually choose to have safety items fitted, rather than buying without trying the items on. My current involvement with safety is with the RS-tor rider safety aid, which I manufacture; it is widely used by riders as a fall prevention aid. The product retails at under £44.99, so it has a good price point – it attaches to the saddle via the stirrup bars and is held in the hand – its action only comes into force when the

horse spooks, cat-leaps, bucks or rears, and unseats the rider. I designed the packaging so that the handle is visible through the top of the box, so customers can see how they would hold it, what size it is, and how it suits their dexterity. I would encourage manufacturers to ‘showcase’ products in this way where possible, rather than packaging things up in excessive plastic and cardboard – customers like to ‘have a play’ with products. If you think an item would benefit from a clear window in its box, or a hanging hook to avoid rummaging in a basket, why not chat to the manufacturer? Many are open to packaging suggestions from forward-thinking retailers. Staff that chat to their customers

about their horses are ideally placed to recommend safety products. Chatting (without a sales pitch) while people browse is a great way to build relationships and spread the word about recommendation-based products. Ask the manufacturer if products are available for promotional purposes – could you run an instore competition, for example? This can be a great way to showcase unusual products like safety aids. Larger retailers may have the luxury of creating smart in-store displays, but whatever your outlet size, think about product placement. Consider riding safety products as pieces of tack, and display them alongside saddles,

bridles and protective boots, attracting customers shopping for tack. I advise my retailers to look out for what customers purchase – why not consider launching a loyalty scheme that keeps track of their purchases, and gives cash back or free gifts for loyal, repeat buys? Also, make sure you have a good basic range of high visibility goods available – these may not bring the best ROI, but they sell in high volume, and there are many different types of products available for horse and rider. Finally, why not consider creating some leaflets or a newsletter highlighting your safety range? If you collate customer’s emails, you could contact them monthly via email with your latest products, offering safety tips and perhaps some product testimonials.

Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly


What to stock for Successful Sales

LONG BOOTS With winter in full swing, long boots will be whipping off the shelves rapidly – especially with Christmas on the doorstep.


ellingtons used to be the only option for horse owners looking for boots to drag through muddy winter fields and traditional leather boots were the only footwear to compete in. Now, there are loads of options for long boots to suit all budgets. At the cheaper end of the scale sit the good old Wellington boots. These versatile rubber boots are destined to be popular with horsey people, as they combine waterproofing with an easy fit and now they are available with a host of fancy features and bright colours. Welted soles and buckles on the legs allow for a secure stride and versatile fit and the colour options mean everyone can stand out. Traditional Wellington boots are not recommended for riding in due to the heavily ridged sole, but some new Wellington-style boots are designed to go from stable to saddle and offer a secure non-slip tread and heel that won’t get stuck in the stirrup. Rubber is replaced or enhanced by

Bromont Tall H20 Insulated Ariat

Sizes: 3-8.5 Colours: Black, waxed black, waxed chocolate Materials: Leather RRP: £260.00-275 Description: Combining advanced Ariat ATS technology with traditional field boot styling; the Bromont Tall H2O Insulated women’s features a waterproof membrane and Primaloft insulation to keep feet warm on even the coldest of days. Available in regular and full widths with a full length back zipper and stretch leather back panel to ensure a perfect fit.


the use of newer materials such as neoprene for warmth and fleece linings are popular in winter. The country boot can be seen everywhere from the high street to the supermarket and stable yard. These boots can be expensive but offer style as well as versatility. Made from quality leather and with loads of high-tech features, country boots is a growing market as more brands are bringing out styles that continually sell well. Past are the days of Dubarry and Ariat ruling the market alone. Nowadays, these boots can be found for as little as £70. With most products, the lower the price tag the less the function, so while these styles may not offer bundles of technology to ensure that feet are warm, secure and smelling fresh all in one go, they are a trendy alternative for the new equine enthusiast. Equally, for the veteran rider, style and grandeur is often more important and brands play a big part in distinguish-

Derwent Boots Ariat

Sizes: 3-8.5 Colours: Black, chocolate Materials: Leather, suede RRP: £189.99 The Ariat women’s Derwent Boots provide a practical and robust design along with popular stylish features, including a suede leg, buckle detail and full grain leather foot together with a rubber midsole for durability. The Derwent Boots utilise the ATS technology for comfort and support, the flexible Duratread outsole offers stability and durability, and the stirrup friendly design makes them a practical accessory for both walking and riding.

Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

ing one ‘type’ of rider to another. Cashing in on up to £350.00 for some styles, this business continues to thrive despite tough times. Of course an important part of the long boot market is competition boots. This area too is growing and although it is not necessarily seasonal, good quality and stylish competition boots will always sell well. High tops are still fashionable and the price bands can vary wildly. A wider choice of sizes is now available as manufacturers are cottoning on to the different needs of short, tall and chunky riders. Top of the range boots are available in ostrich leather and embellished with crystals, however there must only be a select few who are prepared to go that far in the pursuit of fashion! There is also a selection of boots that are a cross over between yard boots and competition boots: smart enough for low level competitions yet tough enough to muck out in, these boots offer great versatility.

Dublin Edge Boots Weatherbeeta Ltd

Sizes: 4-8 Colours: Black, brown Materials: Leather, rubber RRP: £99.99 The boots are ideal for the fashion conscious, trendsetting rider with the confidence to express themselves. Fully waterproof, the hand burnished leather boot, offers a breathable mesh insole which aids circulation. The heel and arch supports cradles the foot and keeps it from rolling while the steel shank provides strength and a natural flexibility and springiness for riders out at the yard all day.


Dublin On Air Stretch Field Boots Weatherbeeta Ltd

Sizes: 4-8 Colours: Black Materials: Leather, rubber RRP: £129.99 The women’s boots feature innovative technology with Permair leather and a leather look stretch panel on the back of the calf to perfectly contour the leather to the leg, enabling it to adapt to various calf shapes. The streamlined design allows ankle flexion, removing the requirement to break in the boots. The leather can be wiped clean for easy-care, representing value whilst being scuff resistant and highly flexible.

Horze Parma Thermo boots 39028 Oy Finntack Ltd Sizes: 36-41 Colours: Black Materials: Rubber RRP: £31.90 The tall Thermo Boots are comfortable and warm, perfect for winter footwear. Four hook and loop fastenings allow for an easy fit, while the laces at front add to the fit. The boots have sturdy, non-slip ribbed soles. TPR in the foot makes the bottom waterproof.

Dublin River Boots

Horze Sannina Tallboot 38045

Sizes: 3-11 Colours: Black, dark brown, brown Materials: Redskin leather, rubber RRP: £109.99

Sizes: 37-41 Colours: Black Materials: Leather RRP: £170.00

The unisex boots feature a Rider Comfort System (RCS) footbed with sweat control lining, enhanced cushion layer, padded heel cushion and cupped heel and arch support for comfort. The RCS footbed consists of a Poliyou insole, which is 100% breathable with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, containing active carbon reducing foot odour and a moisture management system. A steel shank board provides extra arch support to the foot.

The high quality Tallboot with zip and elastic at back, laces at the front and a leather lining offers an excellent fit and an elegant look.

Just Togs Montreal Boots

Just Togs Chatham Boot

Sizes: 3-9 Colours: Brown Materials: Rubber, leather RRP: £89.00

Sizes: 3-9 Colours: Black Materials: Rubber, leather RRP: £79.00

The women’s Montreal Boots offer an anti skid sole and waterproof and breathable inner membrane. With Comfort Support Insole (CSI) technology, the boots are great for everyday yard work or country pursuits.

These women’s boots offer Comfort Support Insoles (CMI) and an anti skid sole. Featuring a rear zip fastenings, the boots are ideal for the active equestrian.

Weatherbeeta Ltd

Oy Finntack Ltd

Fieldhouse Riding Equipment Ltd

Fieldhouse Riding Equipment Ltd

Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly



Mountain Horse Eclipse Nubuck Horsemasters Distribution Sizes: 36-42 Colours: Brown Materials: Rubber, leather, faux fur RRP: £93.50 The women’s durable boot has the waterproof footpart of a groom boot, the lace-up upper of a fashion boot and a clever removable fur-trimmed sock that will keep feet warm and snug whatever the temperature. This boot is the perfect combination for all.


Belstane Marketing Sizes: 3-8 Colours: Moss, black, chocolate Materials: Rubber, neoprene RRP: £59.95 The ROK Ayr is a lightweight generalpurpose neoprene welly with 5mm hi-stretch superb neoprene. Featuring a flexible multi-terrain tread and reinforced toecap and instep, the boots have a ventilated insole, which can be removed for washing. The cushioned footbed is contoured for stability and all-day comfort. The wellies also feature a reflective pull on loop.


Mountain Horse Mountain High Rider

Mountain Horse Supreme High Rider

Sizes: 36-46 Colours: Brown, black Materials: Leather, nylon, pigskin RRP: £185.00

Sizes: 36-43 Colours: Black Materials: Leather, suede RRP: £340.00-395.00

The unisex multi-purpose long leather boot has really stood the test of time. It still sells extraordinarily well despite the numerous alternative versions now available on the market. High Rider is renowned among customers for its durability and reliable performance, along with a comfortable, generous fit. The boot has a fullgrain oiled leather upper, robust sole with Mountain Horse’s steel shank and Impact Protection System in the heel.

Supreme is perfect for professionals, regular competitors or everyday riders who want to benefit from the close contact and fantastic feel of these boots. Elastic lacing at the instep allows the boot to flex with the ankle as the wearer is walking or riding. The boots need little or no breaking in, feature gel technology in the heel and ball and are breathable with removable insoles.

ROK Breakthrough Breast Cancer Welly

The Holkham

Horsemasters Distribution

Belstane Marketing Sizes: 3-8 Colours: Pink Materials: Rubber RRP: £49.99

ROK has bought out a welly for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, where £5 +VAT will be donated to the charity for each pair sold. The Breakthrough Welly is designed especially for women in stunning pink with a bow motif and black trim. The Breakthrough is soft, flexible and extremely lightweight, but the high pure rubber content makes it durable as well as comfortable.

Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

Horsemasters Distribution

Taurus Footwear

Sizes: 4-10 Colours: Brown Materials: Leather, rubber RRP: £179.95 The Holkham long boot by Taurus Footwear is a comfortable, functional, and a fashionable countryside boot. It has a straight cut, rather than the ‘wellington boot’ shape that you see in some similar types of boot, which makes the Holkham very flattering. It is ideal for countryside activities and is made from very high quality waxy leather, with a high level of craftsmanship and leather detailing.


Toggi Blenheim

Toggi Calgary

Toggi Keswick

Sizes: 36-43 Colours: Chestnut Materials: Leather RRP: £169.50

Sizes: 36-43 Colours: Black, cheeco Materials: Leather, rubber RRP: £87.50

Sizes: 39-46 Colours: Green Materials: Rubber RRP: £55.00

The exquisite leather Blenheim riding boot from Toggi combines the style and elegance of a high-class country boot with the comfort and performance expected from a riding boot. Featuring a fully waterproof full grain leather upper, a waterproof and breathable hydro-guard membrane, anatomic arch-moulded foot bed with gel bag for comfort and shock absorbency and a double density durable lightweight sole unit, these boots will keep feet dry and comfortable.

The elegantly practical Calgary boots are designed to bring riding to a whole new level of comfort. With a full-length zip and elastic inset for a perfect fit, the Calgary boot features a PU/rubber sole unit for outstanding impact absorption and a water resistant oily leather upper for outstanding weather protection. Also available in wide fit.

This handmade rubber boot is ideal for all country pursuits and offers excellent quality at a great price. Featuring a textile lining and dual density cushioned sole for extra traction and grip.

Toggi Quebec

Toggi Wanderer Classic

Classic Wellingtons

Sizes: 36-48 (pink to 43) Colours: Navy blue matt, dark green matt, pink gloss Materials: Rubber RRP: £63.90

Sizes: 6-11 Colours: Navy, olive Materials: PVC RRP: £29.99

Finest Brands International

Finest Brands International Sizes: 37-46 Colours: Chocolate Materials: Leather RRP: £109.50 Treat your customer’s feet this winter with the Quebec country boot from Toggi. This breathable and waterproof milled leather boot features a Varidex waterproof membrane system, an all terrain thermo rubber sole unit and polyurethane cushioned insock with gel foam inserts for added comfort. The Quebec combines all-day comfort with outstanding durability and performance and, of course, Toggi’s enviable good looks!

Finest Brands International

Finest Brands International

Finest Brands International

Town & Country

The Toggi Wanderer Classic is made from 100% vulcanised natural rubber and is ergonomically designed for improved comfort and fit. Featuring a natural rubber sole, double steel shank for added reinforcement and an EVA cushioned insole for the superb comfort and performance that you would expect from a boot that bears the Toggi brand.

Introduced to bridge the price gap between the Premium and Essentials Wellingtons currently available, these new Classic Wellington Boots provide retailers with a quality boot at exceptional value for money. They offer a full height length and are contoured for an excellent fit. Made from PVC, the boots keep the cost attractive to the consumer. They have a quality textured finish and a ‘kick-off’ heel to make them easy to remove.

Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly



Premium Wellingtons Town & Country

Sizes: 3-12 Colours: Navy, green, raspberry, chocolate Materials: Rubber RRP: £39.99 These superior quality, British designed boots are hand crafted from natural rubber. They are designed to be extremely comfortable to wear, and have a contoured leg and side fastening buckle to give an extra snug fit. The soft lining makes for the ultimate in comfort and the high grip tread pattern will help keep feet firmly on the ground.

Loveson Osprey

Derby Boot Tuffa Boots

Sizes: 3-8 Colours: Black, brown Materials: Leather, rubber RRP: £179.99 The boots are comfortable enough for everyday riding and smart enough for competition. The American waxed Nubuck leather used for the upper is insulated with sponge backed textile ‘Pacifico’ lining, and the rubber combined training sole has stirrup stops and flex lines. The innovative side zip removes issues caused by rear fastening zips and enables the boot to fit around the rider’s leg. Three calf fittings and two leg lengths give additional fitting options.

Upland Wellington Boots Westgate EFI

Sizes: 4-12 depending on colour Colours: Green, navy, aubergine, pink, red Materials: Rubber RRP: £42.50 The unisex, smart and well priced Wellington Boots in a choice of traditional or fashion colours offer a side buckle adjustment and chunky rubber sole. Sizes are available in the following sizes: 4 – 8 in aubergine, pink and red, 4 to 9 in navy, 4 to 12 in green.


Town & Country

Sizes: 3-11 Colours: Navy Materials: Nylon, rubber RRP: £21.95-25.95 The Osprey is the classic mucker boot. In the original style and much requested, with a plain navy nylon padded top, onto a moulded navy foot with a beige rubber sole it is hard-wearing and versatile. The boot is lined with Thermalite by Dupont and has a removable soft fleece lined padded foot bed and three hook and loop fastening straps to secure the ankle.

Ariat Europe +44 (0)8456 003209

Taurus Footwear +44 (0)1328 851432

Belstane Marketing +44 (0)1335 372600

Town & Country +44 (0)1530 830990

Fieldhouse +44 (0)1922 638094

Tuffa +44 (0)1953 880914

Finest Brands International +44 (0)1132 707000

Weatherbeeta Ltd +44 (0)1295 226900

Horsemasters Distribution +44 (0)1462 432596

Westgate EFI +44 (0)1303 872277

Oy Finntack +44 (0)7824 387643


Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012



Wider appeal

Light it up

Due to popular demand the iconic Bromont H20 Tall Boots are now available in an additional calf measurement to cater for fuller sizes. The elegant, traditional Ariat Bromont H20 Tall Boots bring performance and technology together to provide a practical and comfortable item of footwear which looks smart when riding at home or out competing. Chosen by amateur and professional riders around the world, the Bromont H20 Tall Boot collection incorporates the latest revolutionary technologies with a classic appearance. Made from high quality full-grain leather, the boots take virtually no breaking in and mould to the contours of the leg and foot. Available in UK sizes 3 – 7.5 and 8.5. RRP: from £250.

Hooftorch is a hoof pick with a light source incorporated into the pick handle. It has been ergonomically designed to be comfortable and easy to hold. “I first thought of the Hooftorch idea about 12 years ago when I was struggling to pick out my horse’s hooves without decent lighting,” says creator Michela Littewood. “I made a prototype which was a bit clunky but did the job. Then I heard about “designfutures”. This gave me the opportunity to get the Hooftorch professionally designed.” Hooftorch is available in pink, aqua, red and blue. RRP: £6.50.

Ariat Europe: +44 (0)845 600 3209

Hooftorch: +44 (0)1652 657830



A helping hand

Perfect for poultry

Think Mud approaches mud fever from within and will support the horse’s natural defences giving the best chance of effectively fighting off the bacteria present in mud. The complex natural ingredients maintain a healthy immune system, support blood circulation and help to promote skin healing so that the horse is more resistant to further attacks. Think Mud is very fast acting and may also be used to help prevent an outbreak. Available in 1.5kg and 4kg tubs priced £30.95 and £65.95 respectively. A 1.5kg will last a horse for up to 50 days and a 4kg will supply one horse for most of the winter providing over four months of protection.

Global Herbs has developed a brilliant new range of natural supplements for chickens. The company has been at the forefront of natural animal feeds in the UK with supplements that have been on the market for over 25 years. Global Herbs has used its unique veterinary input to produce the herbal supplements for chickens. The product line includes supplements for calming, mites and lice, breathing, droppings, food additives, wellbeing and other common problems. The supplements are also ideal to help give strength and stability to rescued hens that may have suffered in a caged environment. The website provides tips for customers and information on correct diets, introducing new birds, worming and much more.

Brinicombe Equine: +44 (0)8700 606206

Care 4 Chicken: +44 (0)8001 694709



Soothe as you move

Extra quiet

Percutane Joint Action and Sports Action is a clinically developed warming, deep penetrating cream for assisting joint mobility and flexibility. Used regularly by athletes, rugby players and runners throughout the world, Percutane continues to be a safe and popular muscle and pain relief aid. Available in an ideal sized tube (75g) Percutane is mobile and always on hand whenever needed. In addition, smaller sample packs can be carried in a pocket or purse/wallet. Percutane is waterproof and requires only one application per 24 hours. The harder the user works, the harder the Percutane works. Back pain, wrist, knee or joint pain, Percutane helps users to carry on with the day.

The affordable Avalon cordless horse clipper is compact, lightweight and provides 2.5 hours of quiet, low vibration clipping. With no mains cable to worry about, it is powerful enough for full body clips, hogging manes and removing feathers. Fully recharged in just three hours. The Wahl ‘cool running’ Snap-On blade system eliminates the need for blade alignment and tensioning and ensures ease when cleaning, oiling and changing the blades. Thoughtful innovation has positioned the air intake at the rear of the clippers to avoid clipped hair blowing into the face of the operator. RRP: £239.99

Nuexcom: +44 (0)7742 072182

Wahl: +44 (0)1227 740555

Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly


sharp end At the

Mike Potter provides sales & retail on training for equestrian retailers. Contact him


o we come towards the end of another difficult year, one the politicians tell us was a double dip recession which has now ended. Except of course in the real world it wasn’t a double dip because the first dip never ended and it isn’t over, yet. But there are a few signs of increased consumer spending within the trade and certainly most of the outlets I’ve been in recently are knee deep in cartons of new winter stock which they obviously are confident they can sell and pay for or they would not have ordered it. Gone are the heady days of carefree ordering, now orders are carefully thought through, stock levels and buying patterns studied and then orders placed. If you are supplying the

right stock in the right way shops are still buying and increasingly buying strongly. If you are not seeing that then there is something wrong with your offering and/or how you are selling it. Retailers are much more professional now when it comes to buying and that is tough for some of the suppliers who were used to the boom years of un-fettered spending. Of course it’s still very mixed out there, two more retailers went recently and a few others still look vulnerable so it’s not all peaches and cream. Some shops are still behind the curve and many cut stock far too harshly, it’s all very well saving money but a shop is a sales environment and if you have nothing to sell it’s a slippery slope

experts Ask the

EBM seeks out the answers to your questions


I run an equestrian clothing and footwear shop and have many customers in and out all day. With the snow and ice season on its way, I wanted to know where I stand with regards to customers slipping over on the premises. Am I liable for blame if all ice isn’t cleared or does this only count for areas such as doorways? According to… “Slip and fall” is a term used for a personal injury case in which a person slips or trips and falls, and is injured on someone else’s property. These cases usually fall under the broader category of cases known as ‘premises liability’ claims, because slip and fall accidents usually occur on property owned or maintained by someone else, and the owner or possessor of the property may


be held legally responsible. In addition to dangerous conditions such as torn carpeting, changes in flooring, poor lighting, a slip and fall case might arise when someone slips or trips and falls because of rain, ice, snow or a hidden hazard, such as a pothole in the ground. When a small business owner opens his or her doors to the public, potential liability for a slip and fall accident also opens up. Following is an overview of slip and fall accidents, including a look at personal injury cases arising from a slip and fall incident. Proving Fault There is no precise way to determine when a business owner is legally responsible for a

Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012

to the shop being boarded up. So where will it go next year? Raw material prices and labour costs in the far east are rising so it’s likely that prices to retailers and therefore consumers will rise, neither suppliers or retailers are going to be able to absorb these rises forever and I suspect the consumer will come to accept them the same way they used to in the eighties, when prices went up every year. There will be less retail outlets and these will not easily be replaced by the rise in online companies. I wonder if we might lose another supplier or two as well, or at least see some mergers etc. Someone with many years experience in the equestrian trade

said to me before the recession started that ‘there were too many suppliers, bringing in too much stock to too many retailers with not enough consumers’. This still rings true to me except that I reckon it’s moving towards too many suppliers bringing in too much stock for about the right number of retailers and too few consumers. Next year will probably see an increasing divide with a big gap between retailers doing well and those going under with very little middle ground, the days of the ‘lifestyle’ retailer doing it because they loved horses and being nice to people and coming and going as they pleased to fit in the horse and kids, are disappearing fast.

customer’s injuries in a slip and fall accident. Each case turns on whether the business and/or property owner acted carefully so that slipping or tripping was not likely to happen, and whether the customer was careless in not seeing or avoiding the condition that caused the fall. In most cases, a person injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property must prove that the cause of the accident was a ‘dangerous condition’ and that the owner or possessor of the property knew of the dangerous condition. A dangerous condition must present an unreasonable risk to a person on the property, and it must have been a condition that the injured party should not have anticipated under the circumstances. This latter requirement implies that people must be aware of, and avoid, obvious dangers. In order to establish that a business/property owner or possessor knew of a dangerous condition, it must be shown that: • The owner created the condition • The owner knew the condition existed and negligently failed to correct it or • The condition existed for such a length of time that the owner should have discovered and corrected it prior to the slip and fall incident in question.

For a business owner or possessor to be held liable, it must have been foreseeable that his or her negligence would create the danger at issue. For instance, if a can of paint falls to the ground and spills into an aisle in a hardware store and, one day later, the store has not noticed or cleaned up the spill, and someone slips in the paint and is injured, one might argue it was foreseeable that the store’s negligence in failing to inspect its aisles and clean up spills would result in someone slipping and injuring himself on a spilled item. Occasionally, a person injured in a slip and fall case can prove negligence by showing that the property owner violated a relevant statute. For example, building codes often dictate when and where handrails and other similar features must be installed. If a customer falls on a stairway that lacked appropriate handrails, and the lack of the handrail caused the injuries, the customer may have a valid claim against the building owner based on his or her building code violation. If you’ve got a question that you want answering, let us know at:


A bed of roses The bedding industry has continued to operate successfully despite difficult times. In this month’s 5 Minutes With, we spoke to Tim Smalley at Bedmax to find out how this industry leader continues to hold its place in the market. When was the company established? We began producing Bedmax in Northumberland, Northern England in January 2000. When Bedmax was launched it was a bespoke horse bedding based on many years of research. This bedding was developed to improve the welfare of stabled horses. We were the first company in Britain making made-to-measure, high-quality shavings especially for horses. Now with three production plants we are the largest producer of tailor-made shavings for horses in the UK. These tailor-made shavings are dust free, completely natural and made from British Pine, therefore benefiting from the natural antiseptic properties associated with pine. Today, Bedmax is a horse bedding market leader and supplies many of the UK’s leading horse owners, trainers, racecourses and eventers. The shavings are also exported to racing establishments across the globe including Hong Kong, the UAE and Europe.

the company when we were granted a Royal Warrant to Her Majesty The Queen in 2008. Through customer feedback, three years ago we developed Littlemax, a finer smaller shaving with all the Bedmax benefits, designed specifically for those horse owners who prefer a smaller, lighter shaving.

Why has Bedmax become such a cherished brand? At all times our aim has been to create optimum, natural bedding for all types of stabled

Tim Smalley – managing director one of the company’s founders who had previously spent many years developing high quality forage for horses.

horses, so that is why we have produced bedding made primarily from pine, that is dust free, easy to use, resilient, comfortable, absorbent and reliable. Every one of the thousands of horse owners we’ve surveyed over the past 12 years has told us that their absolute priority when choosing bedding is the health and welfare of their horses. That’s why we make Bedmax and Littlemax shavings dust free. The shavings are cut to measure from antibacterial pine timber, dried to a precise moisture content and are supportive, cushioning, durable, tried, tested and proven shavings designed to provide the healthiest and most protective bedding for the horse.

How has the company grown over time?

What’s next for the company?

Bedmax has grown dramatically in the time since the company’s inception. Now there are three production plants; the original factory is based in Northumberland and there are two more in Patchington and Caunton. In addition to being available in all mainland areas of the UK, we also export to countries worldwide including Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, Barbados, Northern Ireland, France and Germany. Bedmax has supplied the Royal Stud at Sandringham with shavings for their stables for the last nine years. It was a great honour for

As a company we will continue to research the science behind horse bedding, and ensure that horse owners are aware that the product a horse is bedded on is as important as the feed in its bucket. Also to keep up with current demands for a greener product, the waste dust from the production process is now being compressed into wood fuel high heat logs to be used on and in fires and wood stoves. Bedmax will continue this bid to become a greener and more carbon friendly product while fulfilling the modern day requirements of a horse bedding.

Who created Bedmax?

Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly




This month customers were all about practicality with country boots and seat savers. Keep reading for retailers’ opinions on their best sellers.

Dragonfly Saddlery


Brand: Kanyon Product: Country Boot Stocked for: Since March Rating: 10/10


Rayleigh Equestrian



These boots are attractive and reasonably priced. They’ve been selling very well recently. They have an elasticated adjustable strap which means they are a good fit and suitable for all. They’re almost the type of boot you could wear on the street. The only thing that’s a bit of a pain with these types of boots, is having to stock so many sizes to ensure that you can fit the needs of all your customers.” Jane Pilgrim

We’ve been selling masses of these! I think these boots are popular because they fit such a wide variety of calf sizes. I can’t think of anything that I would change about the boots, except to maybe introduce black into the range.” Laura Paine

Brand: Toggi Stocked for: Over 2 years

The Horse Works

Product: Calgary Rating: 8/10



These usually sell in fits and starts and I often have customers contacting me asking if I can send items out urgently as they have a young horse, however for the last two weeks I have sold multiple items everyday. I can only assume it is because we are at that time of year where 3-year-olds are being brought in for breaking. Personally I had one for combining with a synthetic saddle as the seat was quite slippery and the youngsters I was jumping would sometimes spook and screw over the fences, leaving me a bit compromised. This is where the seat savers are really good value for money, I feel you would have to add several hundred pounds to your budget to get a saddle with the same softness and security. The only improvement I would make is to the instructions, they can be a bit ambiguous and I often get clients ringing me with questions or claiming that the item is faulty. The only time I think value for money would be questioned is when fitting to a £1500 + saddle. The saddle makers have obviously spent a long time

perfecting that seat and I think this can sometimes interfere. This is following the same logic of why you don’t put half pads under fitted saddles.” Craig Dillon

Brand: Acavallo Product: Gel Out Seat Saver



Equestrian Business Monthly | Dec 2012



If you have a new website and would like to feature on these pages then email:


Equestrian Business Monthly speaks to those who have recently improved their online facilities to find out exactly how.

Kevin Bacon’s Launch date: November What’s new about it? Billy and Lucy Crothers, managing directors of Handmade Shoes wanted to provide an online source of information that not only gave in depth product detail and stockist information but provided an informative and educational site for the horse owner and carer. How will the site benefit the end user more so than before? In addition to a stockist search facility which incorporates Google Map technology and an up-to-date news feed which includes product developments and endorsers successes, the website incorporates a hoof care section. This area provides advice on a good basic hoof care regime, hints and tips on how to get the best from the range of products and also invites visitors to submit suggestions for topics and raise queries. Which areas have been developed? All of it! The pre-existing stockist search facility has been replaced by a simpler, userfriendly version, which provides more accurate search results. The rest of the site is new and aims to be simple and effective to use. SECRET SURFER: The site is vibrant and the red background works well with the brand’s signature red products. The ‘History & Origin’ section is a positive addition as is the ‘Endorsements’ section. Products are displayed clearly and with clear product information.

Fuller fillies

Equestrian Social Media Awards Launch date: October

What’s new about it? The site has had a complete overhaul and now boasts both a Trade Section and direct to consumer sales. A comprehensive fitting guide, as well as product-specific guides that can be downloaded used by trade retailers. How will the new site benefit the end user more so than before? It now takes fewer clicks to make a purchase, the user can choose to shop and purchase in Dollars or Euros as well as Sterling. There is now far more clarity on sizing and a Loyalty Bonus scheme for consumers. Both trade and consumer can now track the progress of orders. Which areas have been developed? The whole site. Within the next few weeks the site will be featuring additional pages of non-Fuller Fillies product that is of particular interest to the average ‘Fuller Filly’, many of these will also be available to the trade. There is also a portal onto Facebook which is essential to link the ‘family’ to all aspects of the company, and latest news items update on a weekly basis. SECRET SURFER: The pink colour scheme works well against the logo and unifies the brand. Social media and interaction is clear on the ‘Home Page’ and imagery identifies the target market. The shopping cart is displayed appropriately as is the message that the company ‘delivers worldwide’.

Launch date: November

What’s new about it? The fresh, new design, which showcases a wealth of information about the ESMA finalists and winners. There is also content created by finalists and winners over the years. How will the new site benefit the end user more so than before? The depth of content is more easily navigable by finalists, the public and press. Which areas have been developed? The news section has been developed to allow finalists’ social media successes to be shared online. The site now allows users to easily browse the finalists and winners from previous years. ESMA finalists’ speech videos, many of which are hilarious Oscar-winning material featuring top riders, brands, talking horses, dogs and cuddly toys, can now be viewed all in one place. The ‘What the industry says’ section on the homepage is new. There is also an area to showcase feedback from equestrian business leaders as well as profile pages for members of the Expert Panel. SECRET SURFER: The design is crisp and the ‘Home Page’ is busy but not distracting. The top right hand corner of the site displays the ways in which information can be received, including a newsletter. Sponsors and relevant organisations are well represented.

Dec 2012 | Equestrian Business Monthly


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Please contact our sales team for further information

December 2012 Issue  
December 2012 Issue  

EBM Decemebr 2012 issue