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EVERYTHING

HORSE THE FREE EQUESTRIAN NEWS AND ARTICLE MAGAZINE

MARCH 2016, ISSUE 30 MARCH 2016, ISSUE 30

M.O.T Your Horse

What should be checked and why

Spring Fashion What will be in your wardrobe this summer....

BUZZ

OFF fly busting must haves

HANDS, LEGS

& SEAT RIDING INTO A NATURAL OUTLINE

Laminitis NEWS, PRODUCTS AND EDUCATION March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

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EQUINE NEWS • MARKETPLACE GOODIES • GIVEAWAY • AND MORE!


Promoting deep relaxation, helping to enable healing and well-being in people, pets and horses

www.puissancereiki.co.uk 2

EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


Everything

HORSE

Magazine

Everything Horse magazine is a free monthly publication featuring the latest equestrian news, rider features and health articles. The magazine is available in print and as a digital publication. Check out our website for more information on subscribing, publication dates and past issues. www.everythinghorsemagazine.co.uk CONTACT INFORMATION

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f you're like us here at Everything Horse you'll be enjoying time next to the radiator with a cup of coffee, allowing your fingers and toes to thaw out after being down to the yard. Yes, the frost has finally hit and we went from sweeping through waves of mud to struggling over frozen uneven ground! From one day to the next the poor horses start and stop their shedding like the wind changes direction, oh the joys of late winter! Spring though is so very close! Laminitis is our main focus this month where we teamed up with the Animal Health Trust (AHT), along with other industry names, to bring our readers a comprehensive overview of current research, information and Laminitis busting products. We are aware that the topic is covered over a variety of publishing platforms but we don't want to miss out on important news, updates and a refresher on the subject can never be a bad thing. Helping set the fashion stage for 2016, we've also taken a look at equestrian wear. The British Equestrian Trade

General Enquiries contact@everythinghorseuk.co.uk Association (BETA) annual trade fair gave a good idea of what to expect this year. Certainly an array of neutral colours dominated the catwalk during the show including top brands such as Equetech and Harry Hall. Both the women's and men's apparel showed little change from past seasonal trends, however we did notice the technology implemented into the latest equestrian clothing certainly is taking a turn for the better. Taking the older 'sticky bum' breeches and replacing solid panels with floral patterns is certainly a nice touch for the ladies along with men's taking a more masculine approach. One of our favourite Dressage riders, Lara Edwards (Dyson), joins us this month with a fabulous riding ‘how-to’ article. The Dyson Stud owner focuses on the natural outline that can be achieved when employing the riders seat, hand and legs in the correct way. As always there are lots of products, a great give-away from NETTEX and other exciting features inside that should give you your horsey fill, for an hour or two at least - we hope you enjoy!

Editor: Suzanne Ashton editor@everythinghorseuk.co.uk Advertising: Rachael Dickson advertising@everythinghorseuk.co.uk News Team: media@everythinghorseuk.co.uk

DISCLAIMER

Everything Horse UK Ltd endeavors to bring the reader accurate and up to date information from the equestrian industry. We may or may not agree with the information provided in this magazine, however we do aim to make sure it is relevant at the time of publishing. Images are provided by the content writers and Everything Horse UK Ltd will not be held liable for the use of images if copyright authentication has not been accurately sourced. Responsibility for Copyright authentication is left solely with the contributor. Should you have a dispute please contact Everything Horse UK, we will then be able to give details for the writer responsible for the issue of the images. Everything Horse UK Ltd strongly recommend you consult a qualified veterinary practitioner should you have any doubts over your horse’s health.

FIND US ON:

March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

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Contents

EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE www.everythinghorsemagazine.co.uk

Laminitis Special pg 18

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. Equestrian News This month we take a look at who won what during BETA, sponsorship news and catch up on what the Everything Horse sponsored riders have been up to. . British Dressage Report Daisy Jackson reports back from Addington, including exclusive interviews with winners.

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. Marketplace A look at what products are new and hot for 2016!

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. NETTEX Giveaway We have 4 Itch Stop Salves to give-away ready for the midge biting season ahead.

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. Laminitis Special Everything Horse magazine teamed up with the Animal Health Trust and other industry brands to bring our readers an eight page special on research, how to learn more and the latest in Laminitis busting products.

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. Pre-Season Equine MOT Lambourn Equine Vets explain what, as owners, we can do to get our horses ready for the season ahead. . Iridology, Part Three: Inside the Nervous System through the Eye Louise Cleland finishes her three part series on Equins Iridology with a piece on the the nervous system; as always another fascinating read!

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. Riding Into A Natural Outline Dyson Dressage Stallions owner, Lara Edwards, joins us for a look at how to get the horse moving forward into a natural outline by using the seat, hands and legs.

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. Spring Fashion We take a look at what equestrian items will be filling wardrobes for spring 2016 and beyond!

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. Fun and ‘Mounted’ Games Learn2Horse founder, Chrissie Mayes, joins us with an introduction to Mounted Games.

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. Buzz Off Sprays, rugs, gels, shampoos and other repellents.

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. Foregien Breeds We take a look at the new society set up to help raise awareness of foreign breeds, at the same time in learning about the exciting new event planned for 2016!!

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. A Day in the Life Of.... Ever wondered what it's like to work with Polo ponies?? learn all about it from the 'pro' himself, James Fielding

EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

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#EverythingHorseMagazine: NEWS ....

Equestrian News For more equestrian news & articles visit our website www.everythinghorseuk.co.uk HORSE AND OWNER RIDE AWAY AS SPRING COVER STARS A horse and owner from Bamford, Derbyshire, have ridden away as the Spring/ Summer 2016 catalogue cover stars for equestrian retailer, Ride-away. Following a nationwide search for pictures of owners demonstrating the unique bond between horse and rider, Becci Harrold, and her horse, Annie took the winners slot! After receiving more than 200 entries Becci and Annie were selected as the winners after the judges agreed that her picture captured the

Horse of the Year Show welcomes new sponsors Horse of the Year Show is pleased to announce new sponsors The British Show Pony Society (BSPS) as a sponsor of the Mountain and Moorland (M&M) Working Hunter Pony of the Year Championship. The M&M WHP classes will take place on the Thursday of the show that runs from Wednesday 5th to Sunday 9th of October 2016. There has been 23 Champions over the years with the first HOYS Mountain and Moorland Working Hunter Pony of the Year introduced back in 1992. The past couple of years has seen a large

increase in numbers competing in the M&M Qualifiers and Championships so there’s no doubt that HOYS 2016 will provide an exciting championship. Excited about the new growth in the M & M showing community Mrs Pattinson Chairman of the BSPS said “We are looking forward to working with Horse of the Year show and promoting rider growth within the Mountain and Moorland Working Hunter Pony classes.” For show information, visit www. hoys.co.uk or call 02476 858205

emotion and friendship between owner and horse perfectly. Becci said: “Annie and I have such a strong partnership; we currently compete all over the country with British Eventing” On winning the competition, Becci and Annie attended a photoshoot with a professional photographer and a stylist, armed with the new and exclusive products from the SS16 collection. To request a catalogue just visit www.rideaway.co.uk.

Also in the NEWS this month... Charlotte and Valegro Lose World No.1 Slot to Kristina Bröring-Sprehe and Desperados FRH BETA Feed Approval Mark for horses that suffer from Ulcers BETA Helmet Bounty Scheme Offers New Voucher for Replacing Hat NEW CrossCountry App to support Mitsubishi Motors Cup Launched Mounting Mate Launch New Invention for Equestrian Market For full news stories and more visit www.everythinghorseuk.co.uk

Photo Credit E.S Photography

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EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


Friars Hill Stables Gains Accessibility Mark Accreditation Friars Hill Stables in North Yorkshire is the latest riding establishment to sign up for the Accessibility Mark scheme, to enable them to offer more riding opportunities to disabled people. Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), in partnership with Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) participation programme launched the Accessibility Mark scheme to encourage those who do not already partake in equestrian activities or would not usually have the opportunity to do so, to experience the many benefits that riding can bring. Friars Hill Stables is a family run business owned by Alison Brown and is situated on the gateway to the North Yorkshire Moors, in close proximity to Scarborough, York and Whitby, perfect surroundings for a countryside hack. A Pony Club approved centre since 1999, Friars Hill has excellent facilities that boasts two indoor schools to be able to provide lessons all year round and in all weathers, with lessons undertaken by qualified British Horse Society instructors. Friars Hill runs a regular RDA group so gaining the accreditation was a natural progression to expand on the sessions already on offer. Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by RDA following training and assessment. There are currently 23 Accessibility Mark approved centres across the country. To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit www.rda.org.uk.

Pugfest Receive Sponsorship from Designer Dog Brand Dogissimo Dogissimo, the designer dog wear brand for Pugs, French Bulldogs, Bulldogs and Boston Terriers is proud to announce that they are to be title sponsors of this year’s Pugfest and FrenchiefestUK. The breed specific festivals, celebrating Pugs and French Bulldogs have grown in size and popularity since their birth back and Pugfest has over 10 events planned for 2016 across the UK.

As well as headline sponsors, Dogissimo will also be sponsoring the ‘Dogissimo Pug Dog Show’ at each event, with a special class for the ‘Dogissimo Best Pug In Show’. Proceeds from the events go towards ‘The French & Pug Dog Foundation’, helping support the rescue and rehabilitation of exbreeding French Bulldogs and Pugs. For further information & dates: www.pug-fest.com.

Eliza Stoddart Joins Aloeride as Sponsored Rider Aloeride, the natural equine aloe vera supplement, are proud to support a brand new rider for 2016 in the guise of young eventer Eliza Stoddart. Stoddart was a member of the silver medal-winning GB Team at the Pony European Championships in 2008 and Under 18 National Champion in 2010 - to name just a few - as well as receiving funded training from the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (2009-2014), the BEF Regional Foundation Squad (now Excel Talent) and the BEF World Class Start Programme. In 2015, Eliza continued to establish herself on the eventing circuit with a number of high profile placings at International level with a string of young horses and is now based at former Badminton and Burghley winner, Oliver Townend’s yard for 2016. Eliza joins other ‘Team Aloeride’ riders who

March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

include top show judge, rider and producer Loraine Homer, international dressage riders Lucy Cartwright and Leah Beckett and top eventer and ex-racehorse trainer Victoria Bax.

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#EverythingHorseMagazine: NEWS ....

Sponsored Rider Update:

Daisy Jackson Lately I have been getting ready for the Regional Championships on Premier Into The Black and Furst Larkshill. Lots of preparation with training has gone into the last few weeks including taking Berry for a lesson with Gareth Hughes. Gareth was very pleased with how we are progressing and I’m very much looking forward to the Regionals. I am also very excited to announce a new sponsor. The fabulous JS Elite Equestrian who are stockists for Montar, have kindly offered to support me on my journey and become part of the team. Here are some photos from our lesson with Gareth showing off Blackberry’s new set from Bespoke Bandages and some of my new Montar wear.

Readers Write In... John Cahill, from Ireland wrote to Everything Horse Magazine during February to share his tribute to the popular Canadian series, Heartland. Inspired by actress Amber Marshall, the star of CBC’s Heartland, as well as by his love of horses John said “Over the last few years I have been an avid fan of the Canadian TV series, Heartland. The show, as well as its talented star, Amber Marshall, have inspired me to devote considerable

time and effort to creating woodwork projects of various kinds. Recently, among these projects, I put together a horse jumping scene. I believe that this project represents the spirit of competition among nations and participants, as well as being a tribute to the fine work that goes into my favourite show” We wanted to share John’s work with our readers. Thanks for getting in touch John!

HorseHage Supports British Showjumping National Championships and Stoneleigh Horse Show HorseHage is proud to announce that it will be continuing its support for the British Showjumping National Championships and Stoneleigh Horse Show (BSNC) this year as the show’s ‘Official Forage Supplier’. HorseHage high quality, dustfree bagged forage will once again be available to all horses and ponies competing at the show that takes 8

place at the National Agricultural and Exhibition Centre (NAEC), Stoneleigh in Warwickshire on 9th – 14th August. Said Chris Tar of HorseHage, “We are very happy to be able to continue our support at these important Championships and hope it offers an opportunity for more horses and ponies to benefit from HorseHage’s dust-free properties.”

Richard Todd show Director at Grandstand Media said: “We’re delighted to welcome back HorseHage as the official forage supplier for the British National Showjumping Championships and Stoneleigh Horse Show for 2016. Making sure the competitors have the highest quality forage is really important to us to enable competitors to compete at the top of their game.”

EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


Sponsored Rider Update:

Sponsored Rider Update:

Stephen Hayes

Steph Gumn

What an amazing start to 2016 I've had in Florida! It's literally been 100mph, my horses are feeling fantastic, and are evolving so much in the show ring. Klouseau and I went into the ring in January to show in the intermediate 1, it was our first time together at this level and looking at the riders and horses in the class I was really feeling the nerves. He gave me so much confidence to ask for expression within the movements, and we managed to pull out from the judges a 67% and on the second day a 70%! I can't tell you how over the moon I was to see that score on my test sheet! I've also been competing a super mare, my little 'pocket rocket' as I like to call her. She has such a powerful feisty character, I decided to take her into the advanced medium and couldn't believe how much she stepped up her game at

the show grounds - it was like she was saying 'alright let's show them what we’ve got'. Being a strong minded mare she can really have an opinion about certain things but she was completely with me right down the centre line and throughout the test, I'm so proud of her journey as she was only working on prelim material when I first start working with her on 7 months ago. Last, but by no means least, I had the opportunity to compete Lome, a 14 year Dutch horse in the Prix St George. He went down the centre line and brought home his highest score to date at that level a 69%! I was thrilled! I can't thank the lovely owners of these fantastic horses enough, Karen Blank, Emma Lesser and Mihal Nahari. Another huge thank you to my trainers, Cesar Parra and Katie Riley, for their amazing coaching!

Well what a month it has been. I almost had a change in jobs and considered moving into ark construction! The rain has been pretty relentless here in the Midlands! Most of the horses have been stuck inside to avoid churning up the fields ready for better weather. Luckily they all seem content in out of the rain! I had a great idea to visit Holland and Belgium in attempt to see some dry weather, that didn't work out, it was wetter there than here! I did have a successful trip though with the purchase of what I consider to be an exciting horse for the future. I aimed to find a 4 year old gelding going under saddle, instead I have gone for a 3 year old unbroken stallion, stable name Nemo!! I couldn't miss out on him though. With worldclass breeding including Non Stop, Darco, Flipper D'ell and Quidam De Revel and also showing to be a super model with all ‘that’ jump, I just couldn't leave him behind! He arrived in the UK on the 24th February. By the end of February I’ll know whether he’s licensed and I’ll be able to update you on that in my next column...so watch this space! I am also still on the hunt for the 4 year old gelding I was meant to be buying! Hopefully the rain stops soon as he head into spring! Steph

Stephen Hayes

As the ‘Official Forage Supplier’ for the British Showjumping National Championships and Stoneleigh Horse Show, HorseHage will offer competitors the opportunity to purchase required forage for their horses at the Show. Forage can be prepurchased at the time of entry or purchased onsite.

For more information on feeding your horse or pony, please contact HorseHage on 01803 527257 or visit www.horsehage. co.uk For more information on the British Showjumping National Championship and Stoneleigh Horse Show please visit www. bsnationalchampionships.co.uk

March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

Steph and Nemo

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#EverythingHorseMagazine: NEWS ....

BETA Best Stand Awards

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ETA International is the leading trade exhibition for equestrian, country clothing, outdoor and pet products. This year’s show was held between annual BETA Trade Show, was held 24th - 26th January at the NEC, Birminham. Companies from across the world gather together for this annual event, displaying the latest in innovative products, stock and more. The event is open to those who own equestrian retailers, online or in a store environment, the press and other industry related individuals. This year’s event failed to disappoint with eager crowds, consisting of retail managers and other visitors to the event contemplating the direction of their forward movement in the industry. The fashion show showcased the latest spring fashion with some of the top industry players displaying their offerings for the season’s ahead. Show sponsor Neue Scheue launched the ‘new look’ Turtle Tactio bit and also kept the press team happy with a hot buffet, a glass of bubbly and a presentation from managing Director , ....... From wholesalers to the very latest in innovation, the stands at BETA showcase everything the Equestrian industry has to offer to the consumer. The following news releases give a sneak peak inside what happens during the BETA trade event.

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High-quality exhibition stands are a hallmark of BETA International and the show’s Best Stand Awards, sponsored by The Wine & Hamper Company, are designed to reward companies that pull out all the stops to create a vibrant, professional and effective commercial environment. Every exhibitor is automatically entered into the awards and placed in the appropriate category – Best Large Stand (32 sq m and over) and Best Small Stand (under 32 sq m). Judges Danny Greenwood and Kim Pengelly, of the show’s chosen charities, The Brooke and Hope Pastures, tracked down the winners. This year, the trophies went to... BEST LARGE STAND Winner

Company: Toggi/Champion Judges’ comments: This stand was fabulous and quickly became our benchmark for judging. There was excellent use of space, with all displays meticulously planned and arranged. Great attention to detail to created a warm, welcoming environment that invited a high volume of footfall. The company had gone to great lengths to flag up its latest new products to retailers and the media – displaying them in the stand entrance to fantastic effect. Staff were extremely helpful, chatty and demonstrated a high level of product knowledge. Highly commended:

Company: Shires Equestrian Products Judges’ comments: An attractive stand both inside and out, with an eye-catching circular-feature product display. Clean and contemporary, this

was an inviting, positive place to go, with staff who were highly attentive and friendly. There was good use of stunning, quality equine imagery to create a vibrant and aesthetically pleasing environment. Clever use of technology scanned stand visitors on entry, providing the company with important data for post-show sales and marketing, which we thought was pretty impressive. BEST SMALL STAND Winner

Company: Stubbs England Judges’ comments: A striking, colourful stand with clear branding and clever displays that were imaginatively created to market functional equipment. We were particularly impressed with a highlevel automated display that served to demonstrate the mechanics of product usage. Staff were clearly branded and demonstrated a high level of product knowledge and we were made to feel extremely welcome from the moment we set foot on the stand. Highly commended:

Equine Productions Judges’ comments: An innovative stand that was clearly the result of a great deal of planning to design and create an environment that was both highly attractive and effective – and gave the perfect view of the end product. This warm, friendly setting encouraged footfall and really made you want to stay to chat to members of the team, who displayed great product knowledge and a high level of expertise. Staff were cheerful and friendly – nice people who had a real passion for their work.

Image: Best Large Stand - Winner - Toggi Champion

EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


A Celebration of Innovation New products highlighting the very best in craftsmanship, design, technology and invention were celebrated in the BETA International 2016 Innovation Awards during this year’s trade fair at the NEC, Birmingham, on Monday 25 January. These prestigious industry awards, sponsored by BETA International media partner and leading trade title Equestrian Trade News, are open to all exhibitors entering products that have not been launched on to the market more than 12 months before the 2016 trade fair. The judges were online retailer Anna Franklin, of Franklin & Billard, veterinary surgeon Peter Wright, of The Yorkshire Vet TV fame, SMS saddle fitter and owner of Buckaroo Equine Nicola Barry, international dressage rider and trainer Michel Assouline, Pony Club CEO Pip Kirkby and independent equine nutritionist Catherine Hale. “This year’s Innovation Awards attracted a large number of entries across each of the eight categories,” said BETA International organiser Claire Thomas. “It was refreshing to see so many truly original products highlighting the strength of the trade. I am sure that our judges had a challenging – and enjoyable – day selecting the winning entries and our thanks go to them for all their hard work. We also send our very best wishes and congratulations to those who have been successful in securing an award.” Those that won a trophy are entitled to use the Innovation Awards winners’ logo in their marketing over the next 12 months.

The 2016 Innovation Awards winners are: COUNTRY CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR

Winner

Company: Zamberlan/Snugbug Product: Goodyear Welted Icona range (footwear) Highly commended

Company: Rockfish Wellies Product: Rockfish Wellies ---------------------------------------------FEED & SUPPLEMENTS Winner

Company: Horseware Ireland Product: Horseware Nutri-Lick GENERAL Winner

Company: Solar Technology International Product: Solar arena light Highly commended

Company: Horseware Ireland Product: Horseware HorsePal temperature and humidity monitor ---------------------------------------------HORSECARE EQUIPMENT & [horse] CLOTHING Joint winners

Company: Matchmakers International Product: Fieldmasta 200g turnout rug with 350g fixed neck Company: Treehouse Product: AeroChill cooling boots ----------------------------------------------

PET PRODUCTS Winner

Company: Absorbine/WF Young Product: ShowSheen Woof Pouf Highly commended

Company: Petface Product: LokTop mealworm bird feeder ---------------------------------------------RIDER CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR Winner

Company: Horseware Ireland Product: AA Platinum Motion Lite jacket Highly commended

Company: Ariat Europe Product: Ariat ladies’ Caldo jacket ---------------------------------------------SADDLERY & TACK Winner

Company: HRP Equestrian & Wing Saddle Pads Product: HRP Pressure Reducing Wing Saddle Pads Highly commended

Company: Neue Schule Product: Turtle Tactio bit ---------------------------------------------SAFETY & SECURITY Winner

Company: Klick and Ride Product: Klick and Ride Highly commended

Company: HackCam (Gizapaw) Product: HackCam horse exercise coat

Saddlery & Tack - Winner - HRP Equestrian & Wing Saddle Pads image credit Bob Hook

March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

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Daisy Jackson: British Dressage Report

Success for Chloe Hunter and Nathalie Kayal at Addington

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he first high profile show of 2016 was held at Addington Manor with great successes from many combinations, including Chloe Hunter riding her own Daylight, a rising 8 year old Dutch gelding by Don Jovi, and Nathalie Kayal on both DHI Bravo and DHI Homerun. Trained by one of the best... Chloe hunter, having just turned 20 years old, topped the Medium 75 with 70.27% along with Advanced Medium 98 with 67.89%. Having had Daylight (aka Don), from the age of five, Chloe explains how, along with her trainer Image right: Nathalie Kayal with Bravo photo credit Kevin Sparrow Image below: Chloe Hunter and Daylight

Charlotte Dujardin, they have been working on Don’s self-carriage this winter. Now training at PSG at home, Chloe told Everything Horse UK ‘‘He is just such a cool horse and always shows us how much he loves and enjoys it (his work)’’. Chloe currently works for Calum Whitworth and Ryan Shannon (Shannon Equestrian) and hopes to compete Daylight at PSG this season. 12

EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


“Addington high profile was his first ever PSG test he came 3rd in the PSG on the first day and won the PSG freestyle on the last day. It’s fair to say I was a bit shocked but over the moon.’’ Nathalie Kayal

First timer success Also doing fantastically well at Addington was full time rider Nathalie Kayal. Nathalie, based in Beaconsfield in Bucks, owns her own yard where her very own DHI Bravo and DHI Homerun are kept. After winning the PSG Freestyle with 71.29% and coming 3rd in the PSG with 68.64% on DHI Bravo, Nathalie tells us the journey she has had

with him and why the win at Addington was a big shock. ‘‘I have owned DHI Bravo since he was 3 years old, he is now 10 and just over 17hh. I have always known he had so much talent but he has never really shown his true potential until now. Over the years he has been consistently placed at regional and national level up to medium but has never really hit the big time!! So I decided last year I would keep him at home and train him more towards the higher levels. So far it seems to have worked!! Addington high profile was his first ever PSG test he came 3rd in the PSG on the first day and won the PSG freestyle on the last day. It’s fair to say I was a bit shocked but over the moon.’’ As well as Bravo, Nathalie’s DHI Homerun also proved himself once again by winning the PSG with 71.93% and coming 2nd in the Inter I scoring 69.21%. ‘‘His (DHI Bravo) success must however also be accredited to DHI Homerun - last year I had never yet competed at PSG and I began my year with Homerun without much expectation and hoping to learn a lot along the way. However my year developed quicker than expected with my winning the PSG freestyle regional championships with him which put us on a road I could only dream of. We ended last year qualifying for the future elite championships at HOYS and finishing 5th. So I am very happy are year started so well again. Homerun is an 11 year old gelding I have owned for 3 years. I train with

March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

Debbie Childs and Carl Hester, both of whom have been amazing at guiding me successfully through my first year at small tour, despite my lack of experience at the level !’’ British Young Rider Dressage Scheme More news, this time from BYRDS, British Young Riders Dressage Scheme. Twelve young aspiring professionals, one or two riders from each region, have been selected to become BYRDS Ambassadors. These talented youngsters have been hand selected to support and promote both BYRDS and the sport as a whole. Those chosen riders are: • Wales: Francesca Bradley and Briony Rose Cutler • Central: Paddy Cush and Sofia Jankiewicz • Northern: Beth Robinson and Jack Wainwright • North West: Samantha Bloor • Scotland: Catrina Leckie • South West: Lizzie Flint • Southern: Izzy Chaplin and Holly Colgate Hardaway • Eastern: Jessica Brown. This is a great way to get more young and aspiring riders to get involved and use BYRDS as the perfect stepping stone to becoming a professional or to develop their potential towards seniors. It is a great way to get involved in the sport, gain access to higher levelled competitions, and thus, a higher standard of training. Those who begin in BYRDS often go on to compete for our country on the Pony, Junior and Young Rider Teams and continue to go on to become successful professional riders.

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Products in the Marketplace

Great New Products from Absorbine New to theAbsorbine family for 2016 includes the Leather Therapy Restorer & Conditioner, excellent for restoring old, dried out leather, Leather Therapy Tack Wash and the Leather Therapy Saddle and Blanket Wash. For more information on these products and other NEW items visit the Absorbine website.

SUPER TASTY TREATS - YUM!

Stud muffins RRP £1.99

LeMieux Bungie Ties RRP £14.95 each Safety first - For the yard or when travelling!

LeMieux Tail Bandages RRP ONLY £2.95 each!! Various colours available

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Double Grand Prix Headpiece, Kate Negus Saddlery RRP £115 Padded headpiece, can be used to ‘double’ up or as a standard caveson bridle. EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


Beautifully crafted bespoke saddles fitted for both horse and rider so you can perform in style competition after competition

NEW FOR Paddock Sports Cut-Away Saddlecloth RRP £57.00 Available exclusively through online retailer Dressage Deluxe, matching items available.

2016

Libby Law Photography

Try us, you won’t be disappointed, Gemma Tattersall wasn’t

SPRING GOODIES

www.childericsaddles.co.uk

Lavender Fresh Wast and Hoof Disinfectant from Equimins....Always fantastic value! Wash priced from £6.25 Disinfectant priced from £7.99

Back on Track® Royal Tendon Boots Priced from £72.99 Soft neoprene inner (perforated for extra ventilation and air flow) and are lined with revolutionary Welltex™ ceramic infused fabric incorporating infra-red technology, to help promote circulation. March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

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GIVEAWAY: Nettex

X4 Itch Stop Salve

GIVEAWAY to Giveaway compliments of NETTEX

Itch Stop from NETTEX Nettex Itch Stop Salve Summer Freedom is an advanced cream which helps repel and protect against insects and biting flies. By applying it before the midges come out in the early spring you can avoid the itch, scratch, rub cycle that becomes a misery for many horses and ponies. However, if midges have already managed to get to your horse then once applied Nettex Itch Stop Salve Summer Freedom provides instant relief to break the itch, scratch and rub cycle. Its soothing action disinfects and sanitises

sores and promotes hair regrowth. Application is only required once a week in most cases making it very cost effective. One 600ml tub should last up to 6 - 8 weeks for one horse. Weather resistant formula, simple to apply and will not mat in the horse’s hair. Nettex Itch Stop Salve Summer Freedom is a patented formulation and is used around the world wherever midges are a problem. HSE approval No. 7833 300ml RRP £12.50/600ml £22.45  www.nettexequine.com

TO ENTER Visit our FACEBOOK page Everything Horse Magazine, LIKE our Page, LIKE our competition post (pinned to the top) and COMMENT with why you should win x1 tub of ITCH STOP SALVE! Entries close 31st March 2016 All three actions must be completed. Winners announced via our Facebook page. Raading the digital issue of the magazine? Click below; Everything Horse Magazine FB

Spring Cleaning Your Yard With spring finally here and the winter behind us, now is the time to start planning ahead for the summer season. It is a great time to give your yard a thorough spring clean and prepare everything for the coming months. The long winter with endless dark nights, meaning less time out on the yard, may have left it needing some care and attention to get it back to looking pristine. Your equipment may need a good sort through as well, so that items that will not be used through summer can be washed and put away ready for next winter. Your stable is a good place to start and a thorough clean is a great way to begin the season and a hygienic environment is healthier for your horse. Start by lifting and removing any rubber matting and thoroughly wash them using a stiff brush, water and disinfectant. Then do the same for the floor of the stable and also the walls and doors. A pressure washer 16

is ideal for lifting dirt and grime and giving a powerful water supply to produce a great finish. Let the floor and mats dry and the stable air thoroughly before replacing the mats. If your stable looks dull and in need of freshening up why not try painting the inside or smartening up the door with wood preservative or paint? Do take care as some products are toxic to animals so they need to be kept away for a certain periods. However other products are safe for animals but can be more expensive. Next look at your tack room and if necessary give it a clean and tidy up. It is a good idea to sort out all of your rugs and send the winter ones for washing and then back them up to put in storage. Take out your lighter rugs and ensure they are all in good working order and ready to use. If you will be competing this summer, check your kit and make sure you have everything you need and all is in good condition. If there is a list of

emergency contact details, make sure that everything is correct and alter if necessary-if you don’t have a list, it is very wise to make one. Feed rooms and hay stores can always do with a good tidy up so give them a good sweep and remove any cobwebs. Check that all feed bins are in good working order and regularly check rodent traps if you have them. If you have any plants or grass around the yard, make sure they look smart by weeding any beds and mowing the grass. When everything is looking neat and tidy, take the opportunity to check the fit of your horse’s saddlery equipment. He may have changed shape over the winter meaning his tack may need adjusting to ensure he stays comfortable. Spring cleaning your yard is a great way to kick off the season and is sure to make you and your horse feel better! For further information visit www. equestrian.com

EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


Put the kettle on .....

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Owners can provide information on daily management, which is important when collecting data that investigates the influence of certain management practices on health.

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EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


Horse Health: Laminitis Research and Findings

FOCUS ON LAMINITIS WITH THE ANIMAL HEALTH TRUST

Reasearch into horses and ponies that suffer from Laminitis in the UK is minimal compared to other countries. Thanks to the Animal Health Trus (AHT) and other organisations such as the World Horse Welfare research is reported on and shared with the public. But that’s not enough! Now more than ever owners are needed to share their experiences and this article tells us exactly why.

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quine laminitis is a lifethreatening disease which affects the structure and correct function of the horse’s foot, resulting in debilitating pain. It is ranked as one of the top health concerns by both owners and vets and is a major welfare concern because previously affected animals are much more likely to have multiple recurrent episodes. Despite this, very few studies in Britain have investigated the frequency with which laminitis occurs. Over the last 30 years, studies in Britain have estimated the frequency of laminitis to range between 0.5% and 23.5%. As it is impossible to obtain information for every single horse and pony in Britain, studies have to rely on selecting a sample of animals from their ideal target population. The population the samples are obtained from will influence the results. In 1986, researchers investigated the frequency of laminitis in horses having undergone colic surgery, and found that 2.4% of the horses developed laminitis. A 2010 study looked at the frequency of laminitis in a group of animals from a rescue charity herd in East Anglia and found approximately 23.5% of the animals had at least one episode of laminitis. Most recently, a study collected information on laminitis cases diagnosed by vets from a sample of national equine veterinary practices,

finding that 0.5% of horses in the study were diagnosed with laminitis. Owners V’s Vets The estimates of laminitis in postoperative colic and rescue animals refer to more specialised populations that may not represent the general national population. The most recent estimate of laminitis from a sample of horses seen by vets seems to most closely represent the national population of horses, although appearing on the lower end of the spectrum. However, vets are not always involved with every episode of laminitis. Therefore reports of veterinary-diagnosed cases of laminitis will not provide an accurate reflection of the burden of disease experienced by the horse owner. Few, if any, studies have investigated ownerrecognition of laminitis and extensively used owner-reported information to estimate laminitis frequency. Using owner-reported information increases the chance that non veterinaryattended laminitis cases are reported and will help obtain a clearer picture of the true frequency of the disease. Owners are able to report subtle changes in their horse’s health that might not result in a veterinary visit or alternatively provide useful recovery progress updates following veterinary treatment. They also know the ins and

March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

A 2010 study looked at the frequency of laminitis in a group of animals from a rescue charity herd in East Anglia and found approximately 23.5% of the animals had at least one episode of laminitis. outs of daily management which is important information to collect when investigating the influence of certain management practices on health. The CARE Study The CARE study, undertaken by the Animal Health Trust and Royal Veterinary College, funded by World Horse Welfare and supported by Rossdales Equine Hospital, aims to help unite the equine community to shed light on laminitis. CARE is the first and largest web-based equine cohort study in Britain and relies on owner-reported information. Studies where a large group of members are recruited and continue to regularly contribute information over time, are called cohort studies. Cohort studies have been extensively used in human medicine and are responsible 19


Horse Health: Laminitis Research and Findings

Weight Does Matter! Image: Obesity and/or rapid weight gain can increase the risk of laminitis (image courtesy of World Horse Welfare).

for important findings that link lifestyle factors to an increased or decreased risk of developing certain diseases. The CARE study aims to determine how common laminitis is in Britain and which equine lifestyle factors affect its development. Participation is open to all ages, sizes and breeds of horses and ponies in Britain, whether or not they have ever had laminitis. This means the results obtained from the CARE study should be representative of, and applicable to, the national equine population. CARE Study Findings One aspect the CARE study investigated

The results obtained from the CARE study should be representative of, and applicable to, the national equine population. if there was agreement between owners and vets as to whether a horse had laminitis. Preliminary findings from 89 veterinary-diagnosed cases of laminitis have given very useful insight into owner-recognition of the disease. Vets from 25 veterinary practices across the country reported if the laminitis cases they diagnosed had been recognised as laminitis by the owners. Approximately half of the owners in the study suspected

their horse had laminitis, in agreement with the veterinary diagnosis. The four most common clinical signs reported by both vets and owners in these cases were: a short, stiff gait in walk, difficulty turning, an increased intensity in the digital pulse and lameness at walk. However, the remaining half of owners, although recognising their horse needed veterinary attention, did not suspect laminitis as the problem.

Keep Track of Your Horse’s Weight with the Visual Weight Tracker

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EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Suspected reasons included lameness in one or more legs, colic, foot abscesses and stiffness/arthritis. Laminitis is a notoriously complex disease and these results support the fact that recognition of the disease is not always straightforward. Although clinical signs that are commonly associated with laminitis have been identified, there are no clinical signs that are present in every case and laminitis can initially masquerade as another clinical problem. It is therefore important that owners, especially those that have not had direct experience of laminitis before or are unsure of their horse’s history, consult professional help when dealing with any health concerns. With lack of a gold standard test for laminitis, vets use a number of factors, in addition to the clinical signs they see, to formulate their diagnosis. These additional factors include the horse’s body condition, previous history of laminitis, management and any underlying conditions such as equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) or pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID also known as Equine Cushing’s

Laminitis is a systemic disease that manifests as pain and lameness in the feet. This image show considerable stretching of the ‘white line’ and crescent-shaped bruising on the sole (image courtesy of Prof Chris Pollitt).

Disease). It’s like putting together pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to make a final picture. In this study, the vets reported that they considered nearly 65% of the horses with laminitis to be overweight or obese while over 80% had either suspected or confirmed EMS or PPID. There is strong evidence that having these endocrine conditions and/or being overweight can increase the risk of laminitis. These findings emphasise that it’s vitally important to arm owners with correct evidence-based information on which factors to take into consideration, thus encouraging earlier detection of laminitis. The earlier that laminitis is diagnosed, the better the prognosis. The second hurdle is to then translate this information to as large an audience as possible, making sure that it is practical and clear, in order to maximise uptake.

March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

It’s impossible to gain evidencebased information without conducting good quality large-scale studies, which in turn requires the support of the entire equine community. You can help us achieve even more by contributing your horse or pony’s information to the CARE study, so we can determine the true frequency of laminitis and identify factors which increase or decrease its risk of developing. CARE members are required to submit information about their equines’ health and management, including any episodes of laminitis during the study period. The initial baseline questionnaire covers all aspects of the horse’s environment, activity, nutrition and daily care. Following this, members are asked to check in on a regular basis and, if required, update these details. They also have access to an online weight tracker to monitor their horse’s weight and body condition. Many existing members have found this routine of reporting information, especially the visual weight tracker (visual on left hand side), invaluable in helping make the right decisions to keep their horses healthy. To learn more about laminitis and sign up to the CARE study, please visit; www.aboutlaminitis.org.uk (click here if reading digital issue)

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Horse Health: Laminitis

Top Tips on Feeding the Laminitic

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s well as assessing which feed to give your laminitic horse or pony, don’t forget to assess what’s in their hay net too! Fibre should provide the vast majority of the horse’s diet, and particularly in the case of the laminitic, so it’s important to ensure you are feeding the most suitable forage possible. Water soluble carbohydrate (sugar) levels in hay can be surprisingly high, especially if it is very soft and green. One option is to soak the hay to try to leach out some of the sugars, although this is a horrible job in the winter, and not always ideal in summer as warmer weather can cause bacteria levels in the water to rocket. Here are our top five tips for feeding the laminitic horse or pony:

REMEMBER: Any horse or pony can get laminitis, it is not a condition limited only to small native ponies! 22

1. Always avoid high starch concentrate feeds, use calorie sources such as fibre and oil if extra condition is needed. 2. Ensure your forage is as clean yet low sugar as possible. Either have your hay analysed, or use a good quality bagged forage which is guaranteed to fall within certain safe parameters. 3. Keep a close eye on your horse’s weight - an overweight or obese horse is much more likely to suffer from an attack. 4. Be vigilant with your grazing. Try not to use very rich, fertilised grazing and always restrict access at high risk times, such as when the grass is growing fast or there has been a frost. HorseHage All products in the HorseHage range of bagged forages are suitable for laminitics as, due to the unique fermentation process that occurs with each bale, the sugar level is guaranteed to be lower than 5%.

EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


“MolliChaff HoofKind

It is essential not to starve a laminitic as this can lead to further, possibly fatal, complications, so HorseHage is produced in a variety of different calorie levels to ensure the requirements of every horse can be met. HorseHage Ryegrass Although relatively unusual, for a laminitic who needs a little extra help with their weight, HorseHage Ryegrass is ideal as not only is it soft, palatable and easy to chew, it also has a good calorie level as the grasses have been cut earlier on in the summer whilst it is at its most nutritious. However, most laminitics tends to be good doers or over weight, so for these, either High Fibre or Timothy HorseHage is most suitable. Both these have a lower calorie level than the Ryegrass, yet are still 100% dust free and tend to be very palatable. Timothy is ideal for any fussier individuals as it is a naturally high fibre, low sugar grass variety but has a slightly different ‘nose’ and taste to traditional Ryegrass-style products. For underweight horses, ideally you should ensure they have ad lib access to a low sugar forage, and whilst those who are overweight will need their access

restricted, it is important that a minimum of 1.5% of bodyweight is supplied daily. HoofKind Mollichaff HoofKind is a complete fibre feed designed for the nutritional support of horses and ponies prone to laminitis. HoofKind is made from a balanced blend of high quality oat straw, dried alfalfa and fibre pellets and is topped with a light dressing of soya oil with added vitamins and minerals, trace elements, including magnesium and natural plant-based antioxidants, as well as added therapeutic levels of biotin. It is low in starch and sugar, high in fibre and does not contain any cereals. It supplies a low level but high quality protein and restricted calories and so provides limited, controlled energy from high quality digestible fibre and oilbased ingredients, making it an excellent feed for fizzy horses and good doers as well as laminitics. If you would like further information or feeding advice, please visit www.horsehage.co.uk or call HorseHage on 01803 527257.

takes the guesswork out of feeding laminitics”

• A complete feed suitable for laminitics • Now contains therapeutic levels of Biotin • Highly Palatable • Suitable for all horses and ponies • Non-heating, Cereal-free • Contains vitamins and minerals

March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

BY APPOINTMENT TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN MARK WESTAWAY AND SON MANUFACTURERS OF HORSE FORAGE

MARK WESTAWAY & SON LOVE LANE FARM, MARLDON, PAIGNTON, DEVON, TQ3 1SP TEL: 01803 527257 www.horsehage.co.uk 23


Horse Health: Laminitis

Be Wise to Laminitis Learn online with Equine-Education.com

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re you keen to learn more about laminitis? Do you need expert advice regarding the correct and effective management of your horse or pony to minimise their susceptibility to laminitis? If so, Equine Education is offering an excellent online course, ‘Nutritional Management of Laminitis’ which offers plentiful information and will help to enhance your knowledge of this equine disease and the practices required for correct management. As feeding can be a major contributor to the development of laminitis, it is essential that owners are aware of and implement the correct dietary management in order to minimise the risk of their animals developing this disease. The ‘Nutritional Management of Laminitis’ course will assess the nutritional causes of laminitis and look at the correct dietary management of animals affected with this condition. It will also cover how careful attention to the diet can reduce the risk of horses and ponies developing laminitis. This richly informative course will cover four main topics.

Equine Education, this course is offered entirely online which enables a flexible approach whereby you can fit your learning experience around your busy schedule, and of course, your horses! All you need is a computer and internet access and everything will be clearly explained to you online. You are able to log in whenever is convenient to you and access the relevant material. The course lasts four weeks and it is recommended that you spend approximately two hours per

week engaging with the material and participating in the topical discussions. The course, which costs £99, will start on 4 April 2016 and you will be awarded a certificate on completion by Equine Education. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn from an expert in the field of equine nutrition and enhance your knowledge of laminitis and its management. For more information on Equine Education and this course visit their website at www.equine-education.com.

The Four main topics covered are: • • • •

Nutritional Causes of Laminitis Dietary Management of Animals with Insulin Resistance Management of Obesity Dietary Management of Animals Affected by Laminitis

The course will be tutored by Dr JoAnne Murray who is Associate Dean of Online Learning at The University of Glasgow and Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Equine Nutrition at the University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Jo-Anne is internationally renowned for her work on equine nutrition and previously ran the much acclaimed online courses at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. Jo-Anne is a registered nutritionist with The British Horse Society and is also a BHS Intermediate Instructor. As with all learning resources from 24

EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


LAMINITIS BUSTING PRODUCTS

Magnetic Therapy Bell Boots Product type: Magnectic Therapy boots RRP: £49.99

Laminator Product type: Supplement RRP: £26.25 for 1.25kg Product information Equimins’ Laminator Supplement works to nutritionally support and maintain hoof health and integrity using a very comprehensive formula. The supplement, which is available in powder and pellet form, contains high levels of a unique source of zinc that’s very available to the horse and supports strong keratin growth in the hoof. The very high levels of biotin also included in the supplement work with the zinc to produce strong new hoof growth. Laminator also contains hesperidin and feverfew to support blood flow to the laminar corum, saccharomyces cerivisiae yeast to support the gut and digestion, and a range of other important vitamins, minerals and ingredients to support the horse’s overall health. Laminator is available in 1.2kg, 2.4kg and 3kg tubs, and prices start from £26.25. Based on suggested feeding amounts, 3kg will last the average horse for 60 days but, if needed, more can be fed to offer additional support. For more information visit www.equimins.com

Product information FMBs’ Magnetic Therapy Bell Boots have been designed to provide maximum magnetic therapy to the hoof and pastern area. Each boot contains 20 circular magnets of 1000 gauss each to deliver the therapy. Magnetic therapy is believed to benefit horses during the treatment of Laminitis. Available in pairs

LaminShield Product type: Salt Lick RRP: £13.24 Product information LaminShield provides magnesium, zinc and more in individual sachets that can be added to a bucket feed. Magnesium is important for many of the body’s processes and a deficiency can cause a range of issues. Supplementing the diet with magnesium can help to support weight loss in overweight animals, which can be a factor in some cases of laminitis.

March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

Prolamin Product type: Supplement RRP: £37.99 (28 days supply) Product information Prolamin is a specially formulated two-pack supplement that is suitable for laminitis-prone horses. One pack contains a blend of four traditional British hedgerow herbs that combine to support capillary strength, circulation and the tissues of the foot. The other consists of a high-specification micronutrient pellet with the essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids required for optimum health. Robust levels of antioxidising vitamins E and A, together with Selenium and Zinc support the immune system, which is particularly important if the horse is on a restricted diet. Prolamin is an excellent way of balancing the diet for those on reduced feed levels or restricted diets. Suitable to feed to laminitisprone horses and ponies.

Happy Hoof Product type: Low Calorie Feed From £11.99 Product information Spillers Happy Hoof is a low calorie fibre feed for horses and ponies prone to Laminitis and weigt gain. Enriched with vitamins, minerals, biotin and key antioxidants this high fibre, low calorie feed is also ideal for those horses and ponies in low work. 25


Horse Health: Pre-Season Equine MOT

Pre-Season Equine MOT Written by Hannah Briggs Bvet med MRCVS

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n the whole, equine clients are great at recognising when a vet is required for an emergency or a lameness issue, but clients don’t always think to utilise their veterinary surgeon as part of the teamto help prepare them for a competition season. Planning and prevention are key areas that we focus on with all our sports horses and your vet’s involvement is just as crucial as the physio, farrier, saddler and trainer. Having a team who work together with you to a common goal and involving us with your plans and aspirations for the season means we can help you achieve these rather than having to pick up the pieces when things perhaps don’t go to plan.

M.O.T your horse Ultimately a fit, healthy, sound horse is a horse that will be easier to train, easier to keep sound and therefore more likely to achieve the goals that his rider is aspiring to. There is a plethora of people willing to give their advice as to the best way to achieve these. Get to know your vet, farrier, physio and trainer and they can offer you knowledgeable practical advice to keep you on this narrow sought after pathway. Ideally these advisors will work together with you as a team to help ensure you are able to set realistic goals and achieve them. As vets we look at the horse as a whole.

Image credit Brian Pye Photography

on the horse will vary significantly between disciplines and levels, not forgetting to take into account what your horse is naturally good at and what he struggles with. Checks should include a full clinical exam this will include your vet palpating your horse to assess any areas of inflammation or tenderness.

What to expect They will listen to your horse’s heart and lungs and then undertake a soundness exam. Depending on your individual circumstances and the expectations for the season your vet may want to see you ride your horse to assess his gait under saddle and also examine him on the

Image credit Brian Pye Photography

What it’s for A preseason check is a great time to discuss what your aspirations are for the season but also any concerns that you may have, be it a skin problem that flares up in the summer or the best way to get your horse fit enough to go eventing. Each check is tailored to the individual horse and rider as the demands placed 26

EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


lunge on a variety of surfaces. This gives us valuable information as to potential problems. For example, a horse that has a slightly sore back now is likely only to get worse. So is this a problem that just needs managing with different training exercises and some strategic physio or is there an underlying problem that needs addressing sooner. The true value in these checks is highlighting potential weaknesses and putting into place management or treatment programmes that are going to limit the potential for further more serious injuries, therefore allowing your horseto perform at his optimum season after season. Vets are trained to look for minor abnormalities before they become a real issue and detecting them at a routine check-up allows your vet to guide you in how to prevent a bigger problem in the future. Your vet will also be able to guide you through routine healthcare, for example, vaccinations required if you are to commence FEI competition. If you regularly compete your horse it is likely you will have enlisted the help of a vet who specialisesin performance horse work.

Post injury care Horses that have sustained an injury may require extra care to prevent recurrence, and your vet will be able to guide you through what exercise is appropriate, for example, clarifying which surfaces are most appropriate to work him on or if it is appropriate to undertake different fitness work such as water treadmill exercise or swimming to avoid concussive forces. We are commonly presented with horses at pre-season checks that have had a low grade lameness issue at the end of the previous event season. Whilst some problems will ‘self-cure’ turned out in the field, they often recur once the horse is brought back into work. As well as thinking about preventative checks, post season checks are also worth a thought as correct management and treatment over the winter months may well mean you not having to miss the first few months of your competition season due to a previous lameness issue recurring. Remember no horse is perfect; the true skill of horse care is to identify the reason why and how you and your team are going to manage this. With thanks to Lambourn Equine Vets, Hungerford, Berks

# in safe hands Unit 9G, Lambourn Business Park, Lambourn Woodlands, Hungerford, Berks RG17 7RU www.lambournequinevets.co.uk

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@LambournVets

info@lev.uk.com

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It’s All downhill from here ... Question: Does your horse struggle going down hill? Written by Louise Napthine

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he usual action of the equine elbow was been largely ignored - until now! I have been lucky enough to do my training with some of the best practitioners in the world. Through my training with Sharon May-Davis I have been introduced to much of her ground breaking research. Sharon is a practicing equine scientist, researcher and practitioner, Sharon is uniquely placed to provide a source of raw data that is uniquely rare. Equine Arthritis and gait abnormality when going down hill Horses sometimes show an unusual action when walking down hill, a 28

If the answer to the question “Does your horse struggle going down hill” is yes then you will find the following article insightful to say the least. Sitting on the edge of scientific discovery and always with a finger on the pulse, Louise Napthine BSc MSc MRSB joins us this month for a look at the connection between Equine Arthritis and gait abnormality when going down hill. ‘wobble’, or ‘jarring’ of the joint. This has always been described as normal. This action is far from normal. It is almost a double action as the joint is in motion downhill. A video link can be found on our website. This action is not classed as a lameness but an anomaly - something that deviates from the normal. After many dissections and ‘videoing’ of the action prior to euthanasia a picture began to form of what was actually happening. It us an unusual form of degeneration in the horse’s elbow joint that involves all three bones, the Humerus, Radius and Ulna (see image opposite). It’s a form of osteoarthritis that strikes the humeroradial joint and the ulna, causing deep and dramatic gouges into the cartilage, and eventually eroding bone.

This condition has been noted in many different breeds, ages and disciplines, however this condition is only found in our equine friends that are in work - it has never been found in our horses that have never worked they are naturally ‘immune’ from this degenerative disease. Arthritis of the Elbow Arthritis of the horse’s elbow is considered to be rare in equine veterinary medicine. But why? Is it because the horse does not appear to be lame with this type of arthritis? Often riders can’t pin point the problem, saying the horse slips, or is slow down hill. It does however change the gait, but it is considered normal. The elbow is a ‘tight’ joint with not much room, therefore when X-rayed

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Humerus Olecranon

Radius

Collateral Ligament Ulna

Image right: Here you can see wear and blood around the joint capsule.

degeneration is not that obvious. To over come this problem some vet’s may choose to inject the joint with a corticosteroid injection (this is the hardest joint to inject). On occasions visible blood can be found in the synovial fluid - the fluid that surrounds the joint capsule; under dissection you can often see wear in the cartilage itself. This joint merges with the shoulder action and is supported by the big shoulder muscles, the triceps muscles which stabilise the joint.

Here you can see wear and blood around the joint capsule. This finding does not necessarily mean the end of the horse’s career once the joint has had a spell of rest, the horse may continue back to work in whatever discipline. Hill work on the other hand may exacerbate the problem if conducted regularly. It is important to have an understanding of this condition - as a body worker I will always take a full case history and examine the horse (static

March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

and dynamic) before treating to try to understand the body condition of each individual horse . If a particular horse suffers from this condition, and the triceps of the shoulder are tense, I would work with caution around the area as the muscle will be acting as a cast-like structure offering support to the joint. For more information please contact me direct on: www.whydohorses.com

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Horse Health: Iridology and the Equine Nervous System

Equine Iridology Part 3

Inside the Nervous System through the Eye Written by Louise Cleland

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n this month's article on Equine Iridology I want to talk about the equine nervous system, how it shows up in your horse's eye and what it may mean. In the picture above you can clearly see a horse's eye with what looks like a series of wiggly lines crudely drawn which are clearly visible to the naked eye. These lines

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are called Nerve Rings and indicate that the horse's nervous system is under a great deal of stress. Nerve rings are indicative of neuro-muscular tension and stress. They are sometimes called "neurovascular cramp rings". Neurovascular cramp rings can appear as complete circles, partial circles or in the form of an arc. When the nerve fibres are pinched or

Image: Equine Nerve Rings

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cramped, the circles are formed. Nerve rings tell us that the horse's nervous system is under a great deal of stress. But what is the horse's nervous system about? The Equine Nervous System is the most complex system in the horse’s body. It controls all of the other equine body systems - consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and sensory and motor nerves. It is also the system that feels pain or other sensations.

Nervous System Functions

The equine nervous system functions through three main groups: Central Nervous System, Peripheral Nervous System and the Autonomic Nervous System. Central Nervous System The Central Nervous System is the center of all nervous control. It consists of the brain and spinal cord.

The brain is located in the cranial cavity. And the spinal cord is located in the vertebral/spinal column. You could say that the Central Nervous System is like the horse's inbuilt computer. Peripheral Nervous System The Peripheral Nervous System governs the nerves that are located outside of (or peripheral to) the Central Nervous System. It consists of the Sensory Nerves and Motor Nerves. Sensory Nerves carry information from the body parts to the Central Nervous System. Motor Nerves carry information from the Central Nervous System to the body parts. The Autonomic Nervous System is part of the Peripheral Nervous System. It controls the involuntary (orautomatic) systems such as the circulatory system (heart), respiratory system (lungs), etc. Autonomic Nervous System The Autonomic Nervous System has two major systems: Sympathetic and

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Parasympathetic. Sympathetic Nervous System: The Sympathetic Nervous System is the one that governs the "Fight or Flight" reaction in a horse. It alerts the horse to danger, stress, or other unpleasant circumstances. The sympathetic nervous system will then send messages to the brain to increase the heart rate, blood pressure, etc to get the horse ready for flight. Parasympathetic Nervous System: The Parasympathetic Nervous System is the one that governs more pleasant times. These are the times when a horse is resting, sleeping, digesting, and it also governs the body's elimination system. When a horse is really relaxed, it is in its parasympathetic state. This is great since being relaxed helps to increase blood flow which helps the horse to have a healthier immune system and increases healing. The Parasympathetic Nervous System is what we are trying to influence by applying massage and other alternative equine therapies. This 31


Horse Health: Iridology and the Equine Nervous System

Nervousness and excitability are probably two of the biggest problems experienced by horse owners.

is the state in which endorphins are released into your horse's brain. The parasympathetic nervous system is the reason why equine therapies help to increase healing. So when nerve rings appear in the horse's eye, this tells us that the stress causes anxiety and a "storage" of tension in the muscle system. Sometimes a rider can sense this anxiety; in fact they could potentially be sitting on a "time bomb". Nerve rings are often associated with physical pain, illnesses or physical or nutritional deficiencies that the horse has experienced. It often depends on the severity of these rings; this condition may have been going on for a very long time. It is possible that the nerve rings are inherited from the horse's parents which may mean that the horse's nervous system is weak and needs help and support. The best way to help improve the horse's nervous system is through good food, and better supportive care. So what are the cause of Nerve Rings? Nervousness and excitability are probably two of the biggest problems experienced by horse owners. This could be caused by many factors such as health, fear, pain, competition, difficult training and travelling etc. However, unless these conditions have 32

been present for a very long time, it is doubtful that they are the cause for nerve rings. Horses do not develop nerve rings overnight. The equine nervous system will show an Equine Iridologist where the stress is affecting the horse; as the horse will have stress lines in that area of his eye. For example, the eye will show stress lines around the lung if there is trouble in the respiratory system, or around the hip, and leg area if it is in the structural system and so forth. The stress lines can indicate where there is an inflammation in the body of the horse, through the nerve rings and where they are seen in the horse's eye. The most important part of an Equine Iridologist's work is to photograph the horse's eye to see on film where the stress or damaged areas are and what stage they are at, and to provide a synopsis to the horse owner, enabling the horse owner to seek

Image: Stress Lines

the best equine medical care possible from their equine vet. Since humans have domesticated the horse and taken it away from its natural habitat and lifestyle, it makes perfect sense that it is our responsibility as owners of these amazing animals to enhance their emotional, mental and physical health at all material times. Through equine iridology I have discovered that the horse's eye, something we owners love to gaze intoseeking that certain something from our horse, is also the window to allowing our horse's health and well-being to be at the forefront of our minds.

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Riding Into A Natural

Outline

The Leg, Seat and Hand Connection

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Riding: Leg, Seat and Hand

A With special thanks to Lara Edwards and the Cyden Dressage Stallions

re you working on improving your horse’s way of going? Are you effective in your ability to influence your horse to work correctly? Do you have a young horse that is just learning the basic aids? Here we take a look at the use of the connection between the rider’s leg, seat and hands when asking the horse to work in a soft and correct outline. With the expert help of international dressage rider, Lara Edwards (née Dyson), we give tips to help you get the basics right when schooling your horse. The Scales of Training are hugely important when training your horse and should underpin the horse’s way of going. If you have a young horse and are an experienced rider, it is usually best to do all the work yourself, as this way the horse learns the correct aids and way of going from the start. Said Lara: “I much prefer to start the horses myself, after the initial sit on and sensitivity training is done by Guy Robertson. This way you know that anything the horse is doing, or trying to do is what you are teaching them. If they are not doing something asked of them, it is likely that they require more explanation and training, rather than them trying to get out of it.” Clear from the start Young horses benefit from small, short training sessions with plenty of praise as a reward. “With any horse if you teach them to do something properly and correctly the first time, they will always do it this way or at least this becomes part of the pathway implanted in their brains as to the route to go,” added Lara.

The correct use of the riders leg, seat and hand can produce a soft and relaxed canter March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

Understanding what’s important When riding, it is crucial to understand that the leg is far more important than the hand. You should always aim to have the feeling that you are pushing the hind legs forward into a soft and supple contact rather than pulling the horse in from the front, which is totally incorrect. “One thing I was taught from a very young age was it is 90% leg and 10% hand. The hand is not there to balance on, or to tell the horse off, but the hand is there to direct the forelegs on the correct path and to keep the soft feeling in the mouth that allows you to push more with the leg.” This theory also applies to when 35


Riding: Leg, Seat and Hand

“It is vital that contact is not forced, but rather develops through the horse learning the correct way of going!” things go wrong, for example when the horse spooks or throws his head. Although it is against your natural instincts, it is important to correct with the legs first so that the horse understands to go forward into a soft contact, as opposed to reacting by grabbing on your rein. “If you use your hands as the first resort, your horse will not be willing to go forward and stay focused,” explained Lara. 90% leg... When schooling your horse you should focus on the horse moving obediently off the leg into an accepting contact. Subtle and soft rein aid can be used to massage the corners of the horse’s mouth to keep him attentive and in a supple and elastic contact. However, it is vital that this contact is not forced, but rather develops through the horse learning the correct way of going, which is to work from behind over a supple back into a steady, elastic contact with the poll at the highest point.

Lara maintains an elastic contact in trot

Using the seat and leg aids correctly will produce a foward supple trot. 36

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Lara points out “It is very important not to force a contact on a young horse and for this reason I don’t like the use of gadgets and training aids in the initial stages. Instead, once a horse learns to go forward off your leg, with the hands keeping the mouth soft, the neck drops and the natural, correct outline is created.” Obtaining the natural outline It is not until the horse reacts to your leg willingly and lets go through his whole body that the natural outline will come. Lara adds: “In some horses I have broken in, it has happened in a matter of weeks rather than months and in others, it is just days. It just depends when they have the confidence and strength to push from behind.” With older horses, who haven’t learned the correct way of going, it may take longer to establish the natural outline as they have become used to going in a certain way which is perhaps not the way they should go. However, when your horse has learnt the correct way of going, it is important that you maintain this through skilful riding. The soft and supple horse, working into an elastic contact should not be interfered with through excessive aids, particularly from the hands. This is where the seat comes in, especially during downwards transitions. 10% hand... Whilst the hand can make the horse go from trot to walk or canter to trot, it will often block him so that his hind legs lose momentum, his back stiffens and he raises his neck and head, causing him to become above the bit. To prevent this from happening, use your seat as an aid. When asking for the downwards transition, drop you weight downwards, but remain supple with your hips following the horse’s movement and also tighten your core muscles to ask for the horse to move down a pace. To start with, it is a good idea to accompany this with a voice aid so your horse understands. When moving up a pace, lighten your seat to allow the horse to raise his back and push his hind legs forward. So follow these simple but effective steps to help your horse work in a correct outline from which his training can progress and remember that the legs are always more important than the hands!

Image: Lara Edwards & Cyden Bodyguard Moorland

Stallion Services

Cyden Bodyguard Moorland (above) will be standing at Stallion AI Services for a limited period in April and June for fresh and chilled semen. Frozen semen is available all year round from Cyden Bodyguard Moorland, Cyden Oostings Amigo and Cyden Cadans M. For further information contact Lara Edwards on 07920 452739, visit www. cydendressage.com or ‘Like’ the Cyden Dressage Facebook page for news of all three Cyden Stallions and other horses and ponies for sale.

March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

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The equestrian’s guide to

Spring Fashion 38

EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


The Equestrian’s Guide to Spring Fashion

Wycombe Polo , Tottie Sizes: 6 - 16 Colour: Magenta or Charcoal RRP: £24.99

Swithun Base Layer, Tottie Sizes: S/M - L/XL Colour: Blue RRP: £17.99

Anzio Ladies Riding Jacket, Toggi Sizes: 8 - 20 Colour: Juniper RRP: £130.00

Bow Competition Shirt, Equetech Sizes: 8 - 18 Colour: White RRP: £40.95

Heart Friendship Bracelets from Hiho Silver Sizes: Adjustable Colour: Pink, purple, black or navy blue RRP: £30.00 Fouganza Argyle Riding Socks Sizes: UK 12-1.5 / 2.5-5 / 5.5 - 8 Colour: Fuchsia Pink or Navy Blue RRP: £7.99

Cloud 9 Jacket, Ariat Sizes: XS - XXL Colour: Classic Black or Flame (pictured) RRP: £79.99 March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

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The Equestrian’s Guide to Spring Fashion

The Spencer, knitwear Sizes: S - XL Colour: Claret, Denim, Regency Green RRP: £189.99

Rowen Jacket, Toggi Sizes: XS - XXL Colour: Basil RRP: £99.99 Bayham Gloves, Toggi Sizes: XS - XL Colour: Tan, Black RRP: £35.00

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Blackburn Men Breeches, HKM Sizes: XS - XL Colour: Black, Deep Brown, Dark Grey or White RRP: £70.00

Edlington Mens Riding Boots, Harry Hall Sizes: 9 - 12 Colour: Black RRP: £160.00

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EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


Penwood Mens Competition Shirt, Dublin Sizes: S - XXL Colour: White RRP: £24.99 March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

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Riding: Mounted Games

Fun & ‘Mounted’

Games credit Photophilia.co.uk

Written by Chrissie Mayes

T

he PA system announces that the gymkhana is starting in Ring 4, so you take your icecream and meander across to watch. On route, you pause for a minute to watch a young rider take a tumble in the show jumping ring, and in the distance you see a selection of riders beaming from ear to ear as they canter around the ring, coloured rosettes blowing gaily from their bridles. It’s the typical scene at village horse shows across the country, and is the introduction for many to the thrills and excitement that surrounds the discipline of mounted games. As young riders on a mixture of ponies from Shetlands, Haflingers and Arabs race through the bending poles on a sunny summer’s afternoon, you can see the determination on their faces, and the delight when they cross the line inches ahead of their rival. For many, the buzz of the village gymkhana doesn’t stop there. The Pony 42

Club Prince Phillip Cup and MGAGB beckons ... do you know what it takes to get involved? Mounted games and the Pony Club The Prince Phillip Cup team competition, which culminates at the prestigious Horse of the Year Show, was designed “for teams of ordinary children on ordinary ponies ... to encourage a higher standard of riding throughout the Pony Club... to stimulate among the future generation a greater interest in riding as a sport and as a recreation... requiring courage, determination and all-round riding ability, and careful and systemic training”. (Taken from the Pony Club Mounted Games Rule book). The team consists of four or five members (with four riding in a race), who have to learn to handle a variety of equipment at speed, deal with different obstacles and racing situations, and work as part of a team. Many teams hone their skills at “friendly” competitions run at Branch level, before entering the Area competition. Qualifiers at this stage go forward to Zone competitions. Winners

of Zone receive direct entry to the Prince Phillip Cup Final at HOYS, and further qualifiers compete again in the PonyClub Championships in the hope of winning the last two spots at the coveted competition. International accolade Not only that, but mounted games riders also have an opportunity to ride for their countries (Wales, Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) in the DAKS International Mounted Games Championships at the Royal Windsor Horse show in front of a capacity crowd. For most mounted games riders this is the ultimate achievement, rivalled only by a selection for the Great British Pony Club Mounted Games team. The GB team competes against Canada, USA and Australia, and each country takes turn playing host. The team members act as ambassadors for their Branch, the Pony Club and their country. Riders are chosen not just for their games ability (although they must be talented riders to be considered), but their Pony club CV as a whole is taken

EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


into account. On to MGAGB As Pony Club members can only compete in mounted games up to the year of their fifteenth birthday, the majority of riders then turn to MGAGB – Mounted Games Association of Great Britain. Open to all ages, it takes mounted games to the next level – it’s about as far removed from the village gymkhana as can be! Home and away With opportunities to ride for your country in European and World Championships at team, pairs and individual level, it’s about as competitive as it gets. Yet it also offers those riders who purely love the thrill of racing, while enjoying the company of their friends and family in a social setting, the chance to compete at friendly and league shows. Open to all One thing you will notice about mounted games is that it is not dominated by female riders. The combination of fast yet skilful riding with a strong social and community spirt that prevails across any MGA competition seems to part of the attraction to all riders. Although the discipline is growing rapidly, there is still a family feel around MGA, where riders and support crews are equally as important to the sport. What makes mounted games so special? There’s no doubt that a top class rider in any equestrian discipline has to put in years of practice and this is certainly true in mounted games. The rider has to have excellent balance, dexterity, hand-eye coordination, as well as being as one with his partner – the pony. The pony itself needs to be fast and keen, but with excellent brakes and turns. He needs to be ultra-responsive to his rider, and be able to read the situation together with his rider.What makes mounted games so special is ultimately the partnerships that evolve between rider and pony. With no whips, spurs or harsh bits allowed, success relies on training and complete cooperation, plus a willingness from both parties to always push themselves forward as a team. If you’ve never watched mounted games, take a look at this video: https://youtu.be/YMvLlEoT15g For more information visit http:// www.pcuk.org/index.php/disciplines/ mounted_games/ and http://mgagb. co.uk/ March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

About Chrissie Chrissie is an equestrian writer, coach and educator, passionate not just about mounted games but all things horses! Her aim is to help people understand the needs of horses more, and hence “be better for your horse.” Head over to www.learn2horse.com/blog to find out more and sign up for her tips, tales and a free online course!

credit Photophilia.co.uk

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EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE • Issue 30 • March 2016


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March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

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Special Feature: Foreign Breeds Showing Society

Under the

Umbrella

Introduing the Foreign Breeds Showing Society

An exciting new horse showing society has recently been set up to promote foreign breed horse showing across the UK. Here, the society gives us an overview of the aims as well as future plans, show rules and what we can expect from the show classes ahead.

T

he society was set up by a group of showing enthusiasts who own a range of different foreign breed horses. They are keen to raise awareness of foreign breeds and show off the unique features of the wide range of foreign breeds that are resident in the UK, to the public. One of the Foreign Breeds Society founders has for many years run several shows in the South East of England that cater to foreign breeds. Along with several friends who have attended these shows with their horses, they all put their enthusiasm and ideas together and the Foreign Breeds Society was conceived.

Aims

The aims of the society are as follows: • To promote Foreign Breeds showing in the UK. • To unite Foreign Breeds under one society to give a stronger voice to all. • To offer annual membership for all foreign breed enthusiasts. • To produce an annual publication for all members, within which a full set of accounts will be printed. • To host and develop a website as an umbrella society for all Foreign Breeds: www.foreignbreeds.org • To develop a unified set of show rules

/ class specifications for shows holding Foreign/ Foreign Breed classes. • To develop a list of judges for Foreign Breeds. • To encourage shows holding foreign breed classes to use our rules. • To host an annual Championship Show for all Foreign Breeds (open to both pure and partbreds), whereby all qualified horses can compete for the initial year qualification is not needed. DATE OF 2016 SHOW IS 19th JUNE. • To encourage shows holding foreign breed classes to host qualifying classes for our Championship show.

Development

The development of the show rules, class specification and list of Foreign Breed judges were key points in the society formation, as existing shows and classes can have a range of different showing

The development of the show rules, class specification and list of Foreign Breed judges were key points in the society formation. 46

rules, and judges can sometimes not be familiar with breed standards, different gaits, or dress and tack requirements. As the society aims to be an umbrella society for all foreign breed showing in the uk, all shows across the UK that hold foreign breed classes are encouraged to use the unified set of rules the Foreign Breeds society has developed to make offering foreign breed classes as straight forward and clear as possible. There are two styles of general foreign

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breed showing class offered by the Foreign Breeds Society: • American Style, where horses are encouraged to be flamboyant and to perform for the crowd as soon as they step into the ring until the minute they leave. For this reason, horses do not undertake individual shows nor stand in the centre of the ring at any point. • English Style, which most UK showing enthusiasts are familiar with, where horses show their different gaits in a

group before each performing an individual display. Qualification Any foreign breed classes held by shows across the UK can also be counted as qualifiers for the Foreign Breeds Society Championship Show - this has no extra

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Special Feature: Foreign Breeds Showing Society cost involved. Membership of the Foreign Breeds Society is not required for exhibitors to qualify for the Foreign Breeds Society Championship show, however membership will be required for exhibitors to take part in the Foreign

Breeds Society Championship from 2017. As it is the inaugural year of the Foreign Breeds Society Championship show, this year show entries will not be required to qualify before entering,

so anyone with any foreign breed purebred or partbred - can come along and take part. There is a reduction in entry fees for members, and membership is only £15 a year. Variety As well as the more serious and traditional showing classes, there are a few other classes that the Foreign Breeds Society offer as options to compete in for something a little bit different. Outside of breed owners, not many people are familiar with gaited horses. These horses have lateral gaits which can have very different characteristics to standard gaits such as trot or canter. The ‘Natural Gaiters’ class offers the chance for riders of gaited horses to demonstrate the natural gaiting ability of their mount on a loose rein. The ‘Champagne’ class is a popular class for spectators and can be open to any foriegn breed, though is more suitable to laterally gaited horses. Horses should be ridden in one hand and a glass of wine (or water) held in the other hand. The judge then calls for frequent changes of gait and direction to test the smoothness of the horses gait. The person with the most wine left is the winner. The ‘Concour’s, Costume and Heritage’ classes are also popular with both exhibitors and the public. Most shows are familiar with Concour and Costume classes. Heritage classes are those where the horse and rider/handler depict their horse breed origins.

The Foreign Breeds Showing Society looks forward to welcoming all new members, exhibitors and spectators at all qualifying shows and the inaugural Foreign Breeds Society Championship in 2016. The society can be found on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/ ForeignBreedsSocUK/ Twitter: @ ForeignBreedsUK and the web: www.foreignbreeds.org 48

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March 2016 • Issue 30 • EVERYTHING HORSE MAGAZINE

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A Day in the Life of…

James Fielding Following on from last month’s editorial on J F Polo Academy founder, James Fielding we asked the international Polo player to let us in to find out what life’s like running a Polo yard.

J

ames Fielding HPA polo instructor and polo professional who is the founder and Director of the J F Polo Academy based in Cheshire. The polo academy was established in 2006 to offer the general public the opportunity to learn and get involved

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in the sport at an affordable price. From doing individual lessons and the occasional group lesson, the academy has expanded significantly, offering regular training sessions, competitive games, a full high-end livery service and large corporate events, just to mention a few.

The daily grind The day would normally start by our horses being brought in from the paddocks and prepped ready for the day of lessons, which are scheduled regularly throughout weekdays. I would normally work from 10am to

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7pm, teaching individuals and groups from the age of 6 years upwards. In between scheduled lessons I bide my time carefully schooling clients horses being kept with us, schooling my own horses including training young horses and developing their experience in polo. Itinerary Items On a typical day at our polo yard, I would be wearing my jeans and polo shirt, along with a polo-specific helmet and riding boots. We teach our students to always ride with a whip and reins in the left hand and a 52” polo mallet in the right, when having a polo lesson or practicing. This is the only setup you are permitted according to the ‘Hurlingham Polo Association’ otherwise known on the circuit as the ‘HPA rules’, meaning that lefthanders must learn to play polo right handed, primarily for safety reasons. The HPA is the governing body in the UK and our polo academy runs strictly inline and according to their guidelines, which are regularly updated. ‘I really do love my job and I find it incredibly rewarding. There is nothing better than to see someone who previously had little or no knowledge about riding or polo, to be competing on horses which I have trained from scratch, myself. We of

course, have our older wiser school horses, which are worth their weight in gold to us to help with beginner lessons but when a player gets up to a good competent standard, invariably they require something a little quicker on the maneuvers and also in a straight line. You could try and compare this to teaching someone to race a car around a circuit; you wouldn’t give them a formula 1 car to learn in, they would end up in the first corner and mostly likely hurt themselves. Like polo, need something safe and steady to learn in and progressively work your way towards something with all the bells and whistles on. Practice makes perfect Aside from teaching and training the horses, it is also important for any professional player to practice their own shots, including penalties. These are normally set in the game from 30 yards, 40 yards and 60 yards from the centre of the goal. There of course, is a big difference between hitting the ball ‘in your own back yard’ and when under pressure in a match but if you’re not hitting your penalties at home, you most likely will be able to when you’re a goal or two down or have a deciding shot that will determine the outcome of your competitive match.

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Everything Horse Magazine, March 2016 Issue 30