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Lucinda Green predicts eventing's next big stars
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Your Horse 377 september 2013
Your top five rides in Britain
As summer’s finally arrived, now’s the perfect time to explore the great British countryside so we asked you to hit Facebook and vote for your favourite UK hacks. These are your top five – prepare to be inspired to box up and explore
With eight miles of beaches and clear waters, it’s no wonder you voted Sandhead beach as your top spot
Great British hacking
1 Sandhead beach, Dumfries & Galloway After counting and verifying your votes, Sandhead in Scotland came out on top, and it’s no surprise. With eight miles of open beaches, this quiet little oasis is perfect for thrill seekers and laid-back plodders alike. Horses are welcome both along the beach itself and in the water – so you can cool off on a hot day with a paddle along the seashore. With a grassy car park, plenty big enough for horseboxes, and lots of different terrain to explore just off the beach, from woods to fields, this hacking hotspot is a must! Emily Singleton says on Facebook: “Dumfries and Galloway, where I live, has plenty of beaches, hills for schooling and it gets all sorts of weather. It also hosts a number of local shows so is perfect for both happy hackers and competitive riders.” Heléna Jasmin Stewart adds: “It’s amazing in
the nice weather because of the hills, which are great for a good gallop!” Amanda’s Ark on Twitter recently took her horse there for a beach ride and described it as “amazing!” For more information about the area, visit www.visitdumfriesandgalloway.co.uk
Turn the page for four more fantastic rides
ur amazing Win a Horsebox competition is back by popular demand. Over the next five months we’re giving you the chance to enter online to win this incredible Equi-Trek Sonic Excel horsebox – honestly, we’re not kidding, this horsebox could be all yours to drive away, absolutely free!
Watch online Take a video tour round this fantastic horsebox to see what a fabulous prize it is
1 lucky reader will win this fantastic horsebox! Then to top it all off we’ve even got some fab prize packages from our sponsors to give away too, so check these pages in the mag every month to see what’s on offer - this month there’s £500 worth of goodies up for grabs from Targeted Equine Nutrition (T.E.N.), the new range of supplements from Spillers, so get entering and good luck!
WORTH A MASSIVE
The prize package This stylish Sonic Excel is new to Equi-Trek’s range of horseboxes and trailers, and it could be yours if you enter our fantastic competition today. The lorry carries two horses in comfort, with luxury touches including an in-built digital camera so you can keep an eye on what’s going on behind closed doors as you’re en route to competitions. Our prize has a package of extras including:
A digital reversing camera A padded partition board, with the option of an extra height ●● ●●
partition if your horse is particularly tall, as well as a head divider for extra security ●● Built-in storage seat, with a lift-up lid for all your travel and competition essentials ●● A vanity mirror (who wants to get out at a competition with a wayward hairnet?) ●● Alloy wheels, and front mud flaps to help protect your lorry’s paintwork when you’re bumping across farmyards and other rough surfaces ●● A year’s road tax
How to enter For your chance to win:
Go to www.winahorsebox.co.uk and follow the instructions. Special terms and conditions apply. The closing date is midday on 2 January 2014 ●● Alternatively, visit Your Horse Live at Stoneleigh Park on 9-10 November. The horsebox will be on show for you to have a nose around, and you can enter while you’re there ●● For more on the Equi-Trek range, call 01484 852121 or visit www.equi-trek.com ●● Our competition is open to UK entrants only, who must be 18 or over and own a horse ●●
Win T.E.N. for a year! This month we’ve teamed up with Win a Horsebox sponsor T.E.N. to give three lucky readers the chance to win a range of goodies, worth over £500 in total Targeted Equine Nutrition (or T.E.N.) is a new range of definitive supplements from Spillers, specially designed to cater for your horse’s every need, whether he wants an electrolyte or joint supplement, support for his hooves or an energy-boosting product. We’re giving you the chance to win a year’s supply of T.E.N., which means you can choose any products from the range, depending on your horse’s nutritional requirements. Our second prize winner will receive a T.E.N. jacket and a £20 money off voucher to spend on the range, while our third place winner will get a T.E.N. saddle cloth and a £10 money off voucher. worth over
To enter, and for full terms and conditions, go to www.yourhorse.co.uk/win – closing date is 4 September, 2013. For more about the T.E.N. range, visit www.tensupplements.co.uk
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september 2013 your horse
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Every month Training Academy coaches Spencer Wilton and Jay Halim help you and your horse improve on the flat and over fences – this month, how to test the effectiveness of your training, and reach your goals
“This month we’re going to be focusing on the basic checks that will test your position and ensure you’re helping, and not hindering, your horse in his training.” Over 6 months your horse you can enjoy....
Free audio lessons download at www. August 2013 yourhorse.co.uk/ta
“It’s vital to set yourself up for success, rather than failure, and this month I’ll be offering commonsense advice to ensure you achieve your jumping goals, whatever your aims.”
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Essential management Access to your coaches tips to keep your horse via getinvolved@ hor se .co.u k happy and healthy w w w.you ryourhorse.co.uk
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Your Horse Training Academy
To stay on track with her training, Jay rides Betty in a nice rhythm, keeping things simple
Assess your training An honest assessment of where you are in your training, and whether you’re on target to achieve your goals, is the key to success on the flat and over jumps. As we near the mid-point of our Training Academy series, there’s no better time to reflect on how you and your horse are progressing – and whether the goals you’ve set are achievable. Whether you’re hoping Spencer and Jay’s advice will give you the edge on the eventing circuit or help to hone your schooling work out on a hack, this month’s exercises will test your position in the saddle, as well as your horse’s way of going. But first it’s time to assess (as honestly as possible!) whether the goals you’ve set yourself are achievable, or whether now’s the time to fine-tune your plans and set yourself up for success, rather than disappointment. “I think it’s good to have standards, and important to have goals to work towards, but in my experience some people expect too much, and set their goals way too high,” says Jay. “I always say Rome wasn’t built in a day, and there are many roads to it. So find a good trainer who can offer lots of support and, most importantly, help you identify what works for your w w w.you r hor se .co.u k
horse. It’s a case of being sensible and setting a series of realistic, bite-sized goals, so you don’t set the bar too high and end up demoralised. “Aiming for your horse to have the right attitude to work and a nice trot rhythm, for example, is far more achievable than saying ‘I want to compete at BE 100 level before the season’s end’, and then feeling disappointed when you don’t manage to get there.” Here, Jay is riding five-year-old Irish mare Betty, a future eventing star he bought as a three-year-old. “For example, today Betty feels nice and relaxed,” he explains. “She’s come out in a great rhythm, is reacting well to my aids and I’m really pleased with her attitude. “At this stage that’s all I want, so I won’t ask much more of her.”
Spencer repeats the ‘tweaks’ vital for his horse Zamboucca
Set schooling goals “All relationships need the occasional tweak to keep them on track, and the one you have with your horse is no different,” adds Spencer. “As soon as I get in the saddle, I’m constantly assessing my horse’s reactions to my aids and fine-tuning those lines of communication. I have a goal in mind for what I want to achieve during each schooling
session, as well as a wider plan for where I want to end up in a week’s time, or a month’s. “There’s no trickery involved in training horses, it’s all down to consistency and repetition – and making sure it’s the right repetition, not the wrong one. And setting small, achievable goals will help you concentrate on this.”
Whether your goals are sky high or basic, riding should be fun so avoid putting yourself under pressure
September 2013 your horse
We all aspire to ride like Mary King but is it possible to have success like hers?
Born to ride? While some riders are born with bags of natural ability, others have to graft for their success – here Charlie Unwin uncovers how you too can achieve your riding goals
atching Mary King breeze round a cross-country course or Carl Hester ride a stunning dressage test inspires us all to be the best riders we can be. But for so many of us there’s a constant worry that, no matter how hard we try, we’ll never succeed in being a great rider. Far too often, however, what we believe is stopping us succeeding is very different to what is actually holding us back. The reason most everyday riders come to me for help in the first place is nearly always different to why they return. Working on issues together opens up a world of options that can positively impact on their performance, giving them a greater sense of control. Witnessing that moment when riders suddenly twig what’s really holding them back is like watching a door being opened. The results can be truly amazing – and everyone can experience that light-bulb moment.
Understand your strengths
OUR EXPERT Charlie Unwin is a top performance psychology coach with plenty of experience in dealing with riders and athletes who believe a particular aspect of their personality or ability is preventing them from getting to the top. Find out more at www. performance legacy.com
Whether the key to achieving your goals or getting to the top of your chosen discipline comes down to natural talent is questionable. I don’t like the word talent because it implies you either have it or you don’t which isn’t the case, because talent’s not measurable. I don’t ever ask if someone’s talented enough, but rather where they feel their particular talents lie. They could be extremely talented in some areas but less so in others. I can identify more than 100 areas where people may have
the potential to be talented, but if they don’t identify and recognise these, they’ll never have the self-belief to make the most of them. These 100 areas can begin before you even get on your horse – you might be great at engaging with trainers and people who support you, or perhaps your skill lies in creating an
“Nobody in the world is as good at being you as you are” environment where you’re more likely to succeed. You may have a talent for planning, sticking to a strategy, a fantastic capacity to take on new information, or simply to learn from other people’s experiences. Or perhaps you can quickly get a feel for a new horse. All of these things can have a major impact on your performance, so while having bags of talent overall can certainly give you a leg up whatever your discipline, all these smaller things can be just as important. While watching how top riders like Mary King ride can give you great ideas, copying your heroes isn’t necessarily the way to go either. We all have weaknesses (even the pros!) which can be dealt with, but it’s vital to understand your own strengths. A lot of people find this difficult because they’re far too focused on their shortfalls. The key thing to remember is that nobody in the world is as good at being you as you are.
Start building on your strengths There’s a big difference between building yourself up from a position of strength and from a position of weakness. To begin with you need to know what it is you want and what it is you enjoy about riding. Ask yourself, what you do well and what you do best? This will help you to build a solid foundation that you can build on. Champions in any sport display
certain traits, but these have still been nurtured and refined through the experiences they‘ve had. Part of my job is to help develop the traits most useful and natural to that particular rider, helping them be themselves with skill in competitive environments. This gives riders permission to truly believe in themselves, their plan and their team.
september 2013 your horse
Join us at
Exclusive reader offer
Don’t miss your chance to wine and dine with eventing’s finest on our exclusive reader weekend at The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
wo nights in a luxury hotel, full weekend passes to The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, the chance to wine and dine with a top rider – what’s not to love about our exclusive reader weekend trip to this world-famous event? We’ve joined forces with specialist tour company Travel Editions to
Stay at the historic Stoke Rochford Hall Hotel
Let the fun begin! Friday 6 September
Check in from 3pm at Stoke Rochford Hall (see www.stoke rochfordhall.co.uk for more on the hotel), in time for a welcome reception and private dinner with wine at 6.30pm. Former eventer and top coach Chris Bartle is your after-dinner speaker.
Saturday 7 September
After breakfast, hop on the coach to Burghley Horse Trials for a full day of cross-country action. Return early evening for a leisurely dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.
provide a complete two-day break. The fun starts on Friday, 6 September, when you’ll check in to the historic Stoke Rochford Hall Hotel in Lincolnshire (just a 30-minute drive from Burghley Park) for a private dinner with our special guest speaker, Burghley veteran and Olympic event team trainer Chris Bartle. He’ll be on hand to entertain you and no doubt pass on some insider tips! Then it’s off to The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in Stamford for two days of eventing action – cross-country on Saturday and show jumping on Sunday, all included in the price - just £299 per person*.
You’ll enjoy: A two-night stay at Stoke Rochford Hall Hotel in Lincolnshire ●● A private three-course dinner with your guest speaker Chris Bartle on the Friday (including wine), and a three-course dinner in the hotel’s restaurant on Saturday evening ●● Entrance to The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, with tickets ●● for Saturday’s cross-country, and reserved undercover grandstand seating for the show jumping on Sunday ●● All luxury coach transfers to and from Burghley Park ●● A full English breakfast ●● The services of a professional tour manager throughout your stay ●●
Francis Whittington competing at Burghley in 2012
Sunday 8 September
After an early breakfast, it’s time to return to Burghley Park, with reserved grandstand seating for the show jumping. Arrive back at the hotel early evening.
The finer points: *Price is based on two people sharing a double room, and you’ll be asked for a £75 deposit, per person, when making your booking. There is a £48 single room supplement, and children sharing their parents’ room pay a special rate (call 020 7251 0045 for details) • A special Sunday night rate of £70pp (sharing a twin room) or £94 for a single room for dinner, bed and breakfast is available for anyone who’d like to extend their stay • Full conditions apply, which will be sent with your confirmation • This tour is operated by Travel Editions, which is a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA No V3120) • As grandstand seating for the show jumping performance is limited, please book early to avoid disappointment
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The price for the weekend is £299 per person* for Your Horse subscribers – non subscribers pay £309.
How to book
Call Travel Editions on 020 7251 0045 and quote ‘Your Horse’ – lines open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Or book online at www.traveleditions.co.uk
Canter conquered If you’re experiencing problems with your canter, dressage rider and trainer Daniel Watson is here to help
Perfect his canter to get him working correctly, listening to, and on, your aids
C OUR EXPERT Daniel Watson is best known for successfully training dressage horses through to FEI levels. He’s represented Great Britain and competed at Grand Prix level, gaining placings at both national and international championships and CDIs. For more on Daniel, visit www.fgstud.co.uk
anter is fast, scary and often causes riders a headache. Many things can go wrong in this tricky gait, but don’t despair – whatever your problem or level of experience, the solution’s here. Daniel Watson’s advice will help you deal with the three main problems – striking off on the wrong leg, losing contact and momentum, and when your horse becomes disunited. He’s got quick and easy exercises for every canter catastrophe – follow them and you’ll be cantering confidently around your arena in no time. However, before you start working on your horse’s canter, it’s important to allow him to establish his own rhythm and balance in the pace. “Every horse has a natural rhythm within him and you must let him find this for himself before you play around with it. Once he’s established his canter for himself, you can then work on making it what you need it to be,” says Daniel.
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Maintain a secure position as you pick up speed down the long side of the arena
“To help him find himself at a canter, send him out large and pick up the pace down the long sides of your arena. Let him canter freely for a few circuits before bringing him back to trot – repeat this exercise intermittently throughout your schooling session.
“Many horses find it easier to balance with their heads flexed to the outside, so let him have the freedom of his head and don’t worry about the carriage until he’s mastered his own rhythm and balance.” Now read on for Daniel’s solutions to your common canter problems. SEPTEMBER 2013 your horse
All the King’s horses Your Horse writer Katy Islip fulfilled a childhood dream by joining the Army for a day when she went behind the scenes with The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery Words Katy Islip Photography Bob Langrish
ike many horse-mad children, I used to dream of a career with horses. Then, when I was about 11, I decided joining one of the Army’s equestrian units would suit me perfectly, allowing me to combine my two favourite things – show jumping and bossing people around. Although my career ended up following a different path, on a bright and crisp morning earlier this year I fulfilled my childhood dream by joining The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery for a day, seeing what military stable life is like, watching the unit’s six-strong driving teams pull their gun carriages and even having a riding lesson Army-style – read on to find out why I spent the day smiling! your horse SEPTEMBER 2013
Katy with her mount Austin in the King’s Troop riding school
I arrived bright and early at King George VI Lines, the Troop’s home at Woolwich Garrison in south-east London, and was welcomed by my guide for the day, Captain Owen Beynon Brown, before we headed to the stables. Called the lines, each stable block houses one of the six Sub-Sections that make up the Troop’s Left, Right and Centre sections – horses are assigned according to colour, from bright bay in A to black in F. It was interesting to see that almost two-thirds of the Troop’s stabling is in fact stalls. These are designed to give the horses plenty of room to lie down and move, as evidenced by straw stuck to bums and rugs. w w w.you r hor se .co.u k
Better Riding The Troop at exercise in London’s Charlton Park
A military operation
Each of the lines has stables and stalls – and a lot of muck to shift
The horses had been fed and the soldiers were in the thick of mucking out, with dirty bedding thrown into the central aisle then swept into giant wheelie bins for disposal. It was like watching a well-oiled machine, accompanied by a pumping soundtrack of dance music – a bit early for me but it certainly seemed to have everyone moving! w w w.you r hor se .co.u k
Once everywhere was spick and span, the soldiers cracked on with preparing for the morning’s Draught Parade, carried out twice a week to allow the teams to practise for ceremonial duties including Royal Salutes, Trooping the Colour, state funerals and its famous Musical Drives, where the teams pull the 1.5ton ‘thirteen pounder’ state saluting guns in complex patterns to music. Each Sub-Section referred to their daily ‘detail’, which lists which horses are doing what and when, and who was riding them. With a clatter of hooves, the horses were hitched up to the guns, which date from the First World War. An out-rider accompanied each team, and a further three horses and riders, called a detachment, followed close behind. Capt Beynon Brown explained: “In battle, the middle rider would take the reins and the others would operate the gun. They’d need to spring into action quickly, so they must stay really close to the gun.” A trumpet called out before a formal inspection, then the whole unit clattered towards the nearby Charlton Park, opened to the Troop when their usual exercise ground on Woolwich Common was developed as an Olympic and Paralympic venue. I hopped into the Land Rover which pulls the Troop’s horse ambulance and followed the procession up the road.
The Troop is presented for inspection before the teams roll out
That’s a lot of harness to carry!
September 2013 your horse
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Eyes on the ground are a huge help when fine-tuning your aids, so ask a good instructor for advice
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The legendary rider reflects on the last 30 years in eventing, talks about her daughterâ€™s ambition to follow in her footsteps and predicts the sportâ€™s next big stars Words Larissa Chapman Photography Matthew Roberts
The Big Interview Back in the day, Lucinda was fearless in the face of even the scariest fences!
venting legend Lucinda Green MBE is a very busy lady and an extremely hard person to pin down. So when we finally managed to get a date in this wonderful horsewoman’s busy schedule, just in time for our 30th birthday issue, we were incredibly excited. With a record six Badminton wins and an abundance of gold medals from both World and European Championships under her belt, we were itching to find out the secrets to her success over the years. Sitting in the glorious sunshine in Lucinda’s back garden with an ice-cold glass of blackcurrant juice and her dog Busby bounding around, I had to keep reminding myself I was actually interviewing her – it felt like I was having a chat with an old friend. It’s fair to say Lucinda is as down to earth as they come, despite her success. I quizzed her on everything from training secrets to her predictions for eventing over the next 30 years. Read on and you’ll find out what made the one and only Lucinda Green who she is today.
Can you share some of your memories of the last 30 years in eventing?
Oh my goodness, there have been so many. 1984 was certainly a very memorable year for me because it was the Los Angeles Olympics. I remember clearly that I was the favourite for gold and I
ended up 6th, which I was really thrilled with. I had lots of sympathy from the people around me, but my horse, Regal Realm, went brilliantly and there were just five other horses better on the day.
How has eventing changed in the last three decades?
There’s been a huge change away from the long, drawn-out stamina work to much shorter, sharper stamina work. Horses and riders still need to be very fit to complete events and I think there’s a little more wear and tear on the horses as they’re asked to run much faster and turn quicker. Attention to detail on the conditions and management of the going is much better than it used to be, though, and I think this is because of our greater knowledge of soundness issues in horses. The dressage and show jumping phases are much more dominant these days and it’s hard for the cross-country to prevail as the core of the sport, which for me – and most people – is what eventing is all about. I think that the obstacles on the cross-country are a little softer in profile, but we’re just starting to see a few ‘rider frighteners’ coming through. We’re learning more about safety in course design, which is a good thing, but horses can have bad falls when there isn’t even a fence in the way so I don’t think we should become obsessed with this. We need to let the sport breathe.
Easy loading – every time! Behaviour pro Michael Peace helps you put an end to travel traumas by teaching your horse to load with ease
t’s the stuff of nightmares – you’re all ready to set off for a competition, only for your horse to flatly refuse to load. As he plants his feet at the bottom of the ramp, your dreams of a successful summer disappear. While it can feel easier to just give up and stay put, OUR EXPERT understanding why your horse Michael Peace fears the lorry or trailer will go a is a specialist long way to helping you relieve trainer who works with young and his travel worries. problem horses at For most horses, the problem all levels and with loading comes about disciplines. His because they’ve had a bad Think Equus experience which has scared philosophy helps them. Loading involves noise, owners improve their horsemanstepping over thresholds at funny ship and maximise heights, negotiating ramps and their relationship entering small, often darkened with their horse. spaces. If a horse has travelled Visit www. before, he’ll know what loading thinkequus.com means, and if he’s been scared it’s for more information. only natural he’ll try to stop it happening again. When you have a problem loader you can find everyone has different advice to give you, and it can all get a bit much – if it’s like Watch Michael in that for us, imagine action by scanning this how confused it QR code or visiting makes your horse. www.yourhorse.co.uk/ easyloading Using force to get a horse to load is not only unfair, it’ll make him look for loopholes to stop it happening again, so if
your horse September 2013
there’s a less determined person trying to load him or no lunge line or broom next time you’ll be back to square one. Whenever you force him, he’ll just find new ways of saying ‘no’.
Understand his fears To get into the right mindset, I get people to think about their biggest fear and how they’d like to be helped – they nearly always say with patience, and they’d hate to be simply forced into their worst nightmare with no explanation or guidance on how to cope. I help solve loading issues by giving the horse clear directions so he understands what I want him to do, then I give him the space to do it. There are three parts to loading – walking in and out of the horsebox, shutting the ramp, and making the actual journey. To make your horse an easy loader, you need to explain the details of each part to him. Many of you will have had one great teacher at school who explained things in a way you easily understood – and your horse needs you to be that great teacher for him. Nothing you ask of horses takes ages if you ask correctly, so I’m going to use our two case studies over the page to explain how to practise this, so your horse becomes easy to load.
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Horse Care Mind
Asking your horse to enter a small, dark space is a big thing for a flight animal
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September 2013 your horse
E V I W T E N AC on R E T IN Secti
We’re here to help!
With exclusive access to the UK’s top experts in equine behaviour, management and vet care, our new interactive Your Horse Open Clinic is at your service
Each month our team of experts answer your problems here in the magazine. You can email your horse care and riding questions to firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit us online at www.yourhorse.co.uk/ openclinic for details of upcoming web chats with our team of experts Plus! If you’re worried about your horse’s health, we’ve teamed up with the free online symptom checker service vethelpdirect.com. This clever service, run by qualified vets, is easy to use and totally free.
To give it a try just visit our website at www.yourhorse.co.uk/symptomchecker for free, on-the-spot expert vet advice. You’ll be asked to select from a drop-down list of symptoms, then given immediate advice on if and when you should call the vet. It only takes seconds and it’s all part of our Open Clinic service!
Meet our experts Vet Gil Riley manages the equine practice at Pool House Equine Clinic
Glyn Trundle is a farrier who runs Equity Shoeing and specialises in remedial work your horse september 2013
More ways to learn Jenny Ellis has been a professional groom for more than 30 years
Nicola Tyler is nutrition director of TopSpec, a leading supplier of horse feeds
Jason Webb is a behaviour expert who runs Australian Horsemanship
James Nash is an experienced farrier who’s based in West Sussex
Join live web chats with our experts.This month Gil Riley will be answering your questions (see page 103 for details) Watch our how-to videos whenever you see this symbol Spot the signs of a problem early with our handy symptom checker Got a question for an expert? Email it to us at getinvolved@ yourhorse.co.uk
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5 steps to settle him somewhere new Take the stress out of pitching up at a different yard or simply when you’re stabling overnight at a show – with top tips from travelling groom Jenny Ellis
rriving at a new yard or taking in the sights and sounds of a big competition where he’s going to be staying overnight can be stressful for your horse. He’s got to deal with leaving his home comforts
Keep his routine consistent when he’s somewhere new
and contend with being surrounded by strange neighbours and smells. But there’s lots you can do to help him settle and relax from the moment he steps off the ramp, and here to explain all is professional groom Jenny Ellis.
Whether he’s moving to a different yard or going into overnight stabling at a competition, investigate your horse’s new stable before you unload him. Make sure it’s safe and secure, ideally with a calm horse next door for him to bond with.
It’s a good idea to turn your horse loose in his new stable as soon as possible. Make sure there’s a good deep bed in place as the first thing your horse is likely to do is roll and have a wee. Some like to do a quick fast circuit when they’re first set loose, which is why it’s so vital the stable’s safe and well bedded down.
Once your horse has had chance to settle and a bite to eat, take him for a walk round the yard in-hand to explore. If the other owners on the yard are happy for you to do it, let him sniff his neighbours over their stable doors.
Whether he’s going to be at his new yard long-term or just overnight it’s vital you keep your horse’s routine consistent. Don’t change the way you handle him or start fussing over him too much. Just stay calm and try to keep to his regular feeding times.
Monitor your horse’s general wellbeing for signs of undue stress. Stand and watch him, or sit and have your lunch by his stable so you can keep an eye on him and check he’s not worried or freaked out by something. I often find a horse will ‘point’ to what’s worrying him if you watch closely enough. This could be a bird’s nest in the eves of the stable or a horse giving him the evil eye next door.
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september 2013 your horse
Expert advice on buying wisely
For us riders, breeches are essential gear so if you’re on the hunt for a new pair, here’s how to find the perfect ones for you
well-fitting pair of breeches or jodhpurs not only makes you feel good in the saddle, they help you stay balanced and allow you to concentrate completely on your riding. If you struggle to find a really comfortable pair, you may have the wrong size or cut for your shape. Read our guide to style, material and patterns to help you make the right choice and don’t be afraid to try different styles to make sure you get the pair that’s just right for you.
your horse SEPTEMBER 2013
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Home is where the horse is
Gear in the shops
Riding gloves put to the test
3 of the best
Jodhpurs vs breeches The main difference between breeches and jodhpurs is the point at which they finish on your leg, and what kind of boots they’re designed to be worn with. Breeches finish around mid-calf and have either a touch-and-close
fastening or close-fitting material to give a snug fit. This is to make sure they’re comfortable to wear with long boots. Jodhpurs finish around the ankle and tend to be worn with jodhpur boots and chaps.
Choose the right materials Cotton combined with synthetic fibres such as Lycra, spandex or elastine is a popular choice with manufacturers. This combination has a good amount of stretch and comes in a variety of weights so you can have lightweight styles for summer riding and heavier materials to help keep you warmer. This type of material has minimal shrinkage, but over time can lose its shape especially at the knees. Manufacturers like Harry Hall, Blaze Clothing and Caldene tend to stick to the cotton/Lycra mix. If this is your choice you can expect to pay from £40 upwards, depending on individual styles. More recently manufacturers have started using technical materials such
as microfibre, 4-way stretch fabric. This is very comfortable to wear, and helps keep you cool when riding by wicking moisture away from your skin. Winter breeches in these materials can be fleece lined with a showerproof outer to keep you warm and dry. Schoeller-prestige is another new material that’s being used primarily in equestrian clothing. This bi-elastic stretch fabric is durable, breathable, retains its shape well and is very comfortable to wear. Manufacturers that use these more technical fabrics include Pikeur, Tredstep, Ariat and Cavallo. Breeches and jodhs in these new fabrics tend to be more expensive, with prices starting from around £100.
Some technical fabrics are showerproof
Self-strapping knees Knee patches can be self-fabric – that is they’re made of the same fabric as the body of the jodhpurs and breeches – or they can be in a dfferent material, such as synthetic suede. Knee patches are designed to give additional protection on the inside of your leg, stopping rubbing.
Knee patches help stop painful rubs
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A full seat can help you feel secure in the saddle
A full seat is an insert that runs from below the waist at the back of the breeches, across the seat and down the inside of both legs. It gives more protection from rubbing than knee patches and many riders claim it helps them feel more secure in the saddle although others find it restrictive. A number of different materials are used – the choice is reflected in the price. Self-fabric seats provide extra protection but little in the way of extra grip and are usually the least expensive option. Other fabrics include synthetic suedes such as Clarino. This is a faux suede which gives you extra protection against rubbing, as well as increased grip in the saddle. Full seats often come in a contrast colour to the breeches, which can be flattering. Always try full breeches on before buying – you may find them restrictive if the fabric at the front is stretchy and moves with you, but the seat doesn’t. September 2013 your horse
Next month in On sale
Better Riding ✦ Up and off the forehand in 30 minutes ✦ How to boost your dressage marks ✦ Developing balance with Sylvia Loch
Horse Care ✦ Caring for your veteran ✦ Joint disease explained ✦ Prepare to clip!
The Your Horse Inspiration Awards!
You tell us who or what has made you the rider you are today Find out how to cast your vote at www.yourhorse.co.uk/inspiration
Buyers’ Guide ✦ Boots and chaps on test ✦ Our guide to buying body protectors ✦ 3 of the best training headcollars