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HORSE DECEMBER 2010 Br itain's best-selling equ estr ia n MOnthly


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we stole a horse




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WINTER GLOVES Tested and rated

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orth £27,000



Your Horse Live, 13-14 Nov at Stoneleigh Park, Warks


Our monthly round-up of what’s going on in the horse world


MINUTES to steal your horse

This is how we got on With an accomplice I chose a yard in south west England with a number of fields, two of which weren’t locked. We watched the activity at the yard and farmhouse. A weekday evening after 7pm seemed like it would be the opportune time so we got everything ready to carry out our fake theft. 7.40pm


In an undercover investigation Your Horse proves just how easy it is to steal from horse owners in the UK


espite new warnings of equine crime in the media, horses owners are failing to be vigilant, making it all too easy for thieves to strike. Your Horse writer Imogen Johnson went undercover to find out how easy we’re making it for those on the wrong side of the law.

Speak to horse owners in your area and each one will have a horror story to tell – whether they’ve been the victims of theft or know someone else who has. I found my tack room emptied out on three

Your Horse DECEMBER 2010

different occasions and only as a result of the distress and expense it caused did I increase my yard security. With this in mind I wanted to see how seriously other horse owners take security, so I went undercover. The first stop was field security. I went on the hunt for field gates without locks and it didn’t take long to find some. Out of 16 fields, containing between one and five horses, 12 weren’t locked. The four gates that were locked had all been secured with padlocks and chains. It didn’t even rouse suspicion if I entered the field for a wander around. Seeing how easy it was to walk in and out of someone’s field, I decided to actually try to remove a horse from hits field.


Two people from the house come outside to walk their dogs. We wait quietly and out of sight. The remaining four horses cause some commotion as we begin to lead the horse but, despite all the noise, the land owner doesn’t come towards the field


We slowly lead the horse out of the gate and take care to keep her on the grass verge along the concrete driveway



We park our Marlborough two-horse lorry down the road and out of sight


Having made our way to the gate situated furthest away from the yard 7.52pm and farmhouse, we find that a new chain and lock has been put in place

Back on the road we continue along the verge to our lorry. A car drives by and despite the fact that we’re both in hooded jackets, leading a rugged horse down the road in the dark, the driver doesn’t stop to check we’re OK or question our actions





We check the second gate and as this remains unlocked we go into the field with our own headcollar and a couple of carrots to catch a horse and continue the theft

We load our stolen horse onto the truck and set off on a circular route leading back to the farm where we unload the horse and put her back in her field

The theft took a total of 22 minutes and proves how easy it is to remove a horse from someone’s land undetected. It doesn’t even require a great deal of effort – all you need is a lorry, an accomplice and no morals

Your Horse | News 09

Inside YH News section Reporting horse-related accidents PAGE 10 What’s been on your mind this month PAGE 13 What we’ve been up to lately PAGE 16 Horse events - more TV coverage? PAGE 18


Marked and secure

Landowner’s response “I wasn’t aware of anything going on in the field – not even when I was outside. The dogs did bark at one point but I didn’t think anything of it. It’s frightening to think that went on right under my nose. If we’d been sleeping it would have been even easier for a thief.”

IT ’s th a t ea s y !


Protect your equine estate Safeguarding your horses and property has never been so heavily supported. With new Horsewatch groups regularly forming and support from police ever growing, help is out there. Furthermore, registering with the newly launched National Equestrian Crime Database ( means that it’s now possible to put precautions in place to deter thefts and make the selling off of stolen goods extremely difficult. We spoke to Tara Heinemann of Hereford Horsewatch who wasn’t at all shocked by the results of our ‘theft’.

“The fact that you were able to steal a horse easily doesn’t surprise me at all. And to be quite honest 22 minutes is slow. I can’t imagine real thieves hanging about for that long,” she said. Tara believes that to make sure thieves are unable to act in the first place, horse owners must make sure that their horses and property are properly marked, secured and monitored. “It’s just so easy for thieves to walk onto your land and take what they want and, if they’re confident in their actions, who’s going to challenge them? It would be a very brave and

Please note that while the land owner on site was not aware of the fake theft taking place the horse’s owner was involved from start to finish unusual individual that would. “What I would say is that if you find yourself in a situation where someone’s actions seem suspicious, take note of what you see and call the police. If the situation can be explained then you’ve lost nothing, if it can’t then you just might be helping to solve a crime.” Over the past two years Tara has seen a number of thefts through the Horsewatch system, but none of these have been ‘true‘ thefts. “In all circumstances the horses have been moved or taken by someone the owner knows as a result of a grudge or

Mary Awre, who introduced freezemarking to the UK 30 years ago, believes that following the onset of microchips and passports people have forgotten the benefits of freezemarking. “For many years horse owners would have freezemarking at the top of their list for security, but not now. That is, until there are local thefts, then we’re inundated by people wanting their horses freezemarked, “ she says. “Freezemarks act as a strong deterrent. Thieves won’t worry about microchips they can’t see and have little interest in passports but they worry about freezemarks as they can be instantly recognised by all.” Over the past 10 years Freezemark has seen 12 horses stolen, but all have been recovered. In most cases, the horses were stolen at night or when rugged. Many were found abandoned special offer within 24 hours Get 10% of probably, says freezemarking Mary, because the – see page 101 thieves found the freezemarks and decided they didn’t want those horses on their hands.

fall out,” explains Tara. “However, it’s vital people mark their horses, rugs and tack as a deterrent. Thieves are knowledgeable and it’s scary to think what they’re able to do without us realising. The more vigilant you can be the better.”

CAN YOU HELP? Two driving horses were stolen from John Myles in 2008 and he’s not seen them since. The circumstances of the theft were unusual causing John to believe that the thieves knew his horses well. To read his story go to

Your Horse DECEMBER 2010


. Ask vet Charlie Briggs for advice at Your Horse Live

Mud fever

Expert advice on how to prevent and treat it



here’s no getting away from mud over the winter months – and with it the risk of mud fever. A bacterial skin infection that can affect any horse, it’s a condition that thrives during our long, wet winters, causing painful scabs and sores, with the heels and lower legs most at risk. Keeping your horse’s legs clean and dry, and protecting

any vulnerable areas with turnout socks or an antiseptic barrier cream, is the first step in the war on mud fever – with antibiotics and painkillers used if your horse is in a lot of discomfort. For owners of horses who are susceptible to the mud fever, winter can be one long fight against the condition. So, to help you win the war, we’ve got the latest help and advice.

Meet the equine vet Charlie Briggs

is an equine vet at Hale Equine Vets in Wiltshire. She has worked at various large equine referral centres and is a keen horse woman herself, having owned and competed horses all her life. Her main areas of interest are equine orthopaedics and breeding.

The veterinary tick list Symptoms

Classic signs of mud fever include matted areas of skin and crusty scabs (usually on the lower legs) that, if picked off, reveal pus. The area will be sore to touch


A bacteria, called Dermatophilus congolensis, which loves wet, muddy conditions and invades the skin when it’s compromised – usually by prolonged wet


STABLE management Being stable-kept does not preclude mud fever – if your horse’s bedding regularly gets very wet, or if he’s on a deep litter bed that doesn’t drain well, then he could still fall victim to the bacteria. Keep bedding dry as much as possible

Close shave Hair will block treatments from getting where needed, so closely shave the affected area. Horse clippers will be too large and coarse to clip pasterns and heels effectively, so use dog clippers or borrow your husband’s shaver! Always disinfect blades thoroughly after clipping an area affected by mud fever

Animal Husbandry As it’s moisture that enables Dermatophilus congolensis to take hold on compromised skin, field-kept horses need to be able to get relief from the mud and rain. If there’s no covered shelter available, keep your horse rugged to protect his back area – and don’t forget to check him thoroughly on a regular basis

The legs should be kept as dry and mud-free as possible. Barrier creams or boots can be used to help protect the skin so the harmful bacteria can’t invade


The scabs should be gently removed and antiseptic applied. The legs must be kept clean and dry and, in severe cases, your vet may prescribe antibiotics

Your Horse DECEMBER 2010

YH Care | Mud fever 29

Back to basics


w V ee is pi ib ng so le re s on ig th n el s eg


Th he is su d pp er or m ts th is ee pi de rm is


Pu f s i ec n th ti ei o nf n ec te da re a


Th e e o ep ut i er d la er ye m ro f s is ki n

The condition can present itself along the horse’s back – tufts of hair are clearly seen, which come out with gentle persuasion, revealing green-grey pus clumped at the ends of the tuft

Remove scabs Don’t waste a fortune by applying all the ointments and drugs you can find without removing every scab first. No therapeutic agent, however good it may be, can penetrate through the scabs to treat the skin underneath

Ba ct er T ia h be e ne c at u h lp th e s ri ca t b

Your Horse DECEMBER 2010


Never miss an issue of your favourite magazine again! See page 90

We just clicked! Add clicker training to your winter survival kit and you and your horse can look forward to a more stimulating winter Words by Justine Harding


ith winter upon us, it’s easy to feel the fun has stopped for the year, as we look ahead to months of mucking out and limited riding. While we bemoan the short days and time pressures to get everything done, our horses frequently face long days in their stables with little to do – a situation that can lead to physical and psychological problems. It’s not surprising, when spring does finally peep around the corner, that our horses frequently make it clear they have no wish to return to their stables, instead playing ‘can’t catch me’. So how can you keep your horse mentally stimulated, improve his suppleness, tackle training issues and somehow enjoy his company, when you only have a spare five minutes a day? The answer: clicker training.

Sarah Fisher explains: “Clicker training can help your horse cope better physically and mentally over the winter, while giving you a quick and simple way to maximise training sessions. Winter’s the ideal time as the stable is the best place to start. Also, our horses tend to be separated from their herd, so it’s a great opportunity to build on your relationship with your horse. “Clicker training can make the stable a much more stimulating place and the owner much more rewarding for a horse to be around. It encourages your horse to become more brain and body aware, which offers wider benefits, so you can look forward to hitting spring with a calmer, better behaved and happier horse.” So why not give clicker training a go – this month we start you off with the basics.

What you need n A clicker Choose one with a lanyard or extending flex that clips to your coat, so that you can let go to reward your horse and not lose it

YH Care | Beating winter stable stress part 1 47

Trainer profile

Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher is the UK’s leading TTeam and TTouch practitioner. She began using clicker training with dogs 15 years ago and found it helped to make profound changes. She has since successfully applied it to horses, especially to build confidence and overcome fear, which is at the root of many problems.




1 02

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Tottie Wellies Tottie Wellies with trendy animal prints. Sizes 3 to 8 Price £16.99

YH Gear | Christmas Gifts 69

Horsetassels Rhythm/Mood beads Price £19.99







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19 96


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Gift Ideas 143

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There’s something to suit every taste and every budget in our fabulous gift guide

14 Boiselle Friesian Horse calendar Price £12.99

Natural grooming products from Chestfields A new range of grooming products made from entirely natural products. Price From £4.95 for Multipurpose Cleaner 750ml to £14.95 for Show & Shine 500ml


Hot Horse Made from supersoft fabric, it contains a microwavable Cotswold wheat filled tummy insert, which is infused with lavender and camomile pure essential oils. Price £19.99

Kate Negus Flicka Brush Colour Festive green and red Price £5

15 16 Equimins Tasty Treats 100% natural ingredients – they contain a mixture of plant fibres, cooked linseed, appetising herbs and apple. Price £2.95


24 Masta Quilted Dog Coat Sizes 8in to 28in Colours Red check, mauve/cherry check, navy/ice blue check or black/brown check Price £11.99 Your Horse DECEMBER 2010


Looking for a Christmas gift? Turn to page 68 for inspiration

Big Test

z New

35 page section


pairs of winter gloves Banish cold hands this winter – we recommend the ones that will keep you warm and comfortable Words by Allison Lowther

Your Horse december 2010

YH Gear | Big Test winter gloves 59

Winter Gloves

The manufacturer says

Yard/ working glove

 Leather gloves with a

comfortable grip and Thinsulate lining for warmth without bulk. The knitted cuff gives added warmth and the spandex gusset a comfortable fit. Colour Black Sizes 5 to 9 Price From £19.99

Our tester says

 These are the best gloves I have ever

had! They’re very comfortable and really soft inside and, despite being a thicker winter glove, they’re close fitting. You can do lots of fiddly things such as buckles without taking them off. They kept my hands warm and dry in heavy rain and snow and were nice to ride in. I wore them constantly and they’re still in great condition. I would definitely buy them again.


Fit/comfort Performance Value for money

What to look out for

2 SSG All

1 SSG Pro

  




 These gloves have an

unlined aquasuede palm and give excellent grip in dry, wet or snowy conditions. Thinsulate lining on the back of the hand and thumb only. Sizes Child’s universal 4/5, ladies’ universal 6/7, ladies’ large 7½/8, Men’s 8/9, Men’s large 10/11 Colour Black with black and white wristband Price £24

Our tester says

 I really like these gloves and have worn

them a lot particularly when I’m jumping – they give fantastic grip. They fit well and are extremely comfortable. They weren’t too thick so I still had a good feel on the reins. I was surprised how warm my hands stayed. I would recommend them.


Fit/comfort Performance Value for money

  



4 Neoprene

Riding Gloves

 Made with Kevlar and Coolmax,

Winter riding glove

The manufacturer says


3 All-Weather The manufacturer says

Weather Winter Gloves

Amara Gloves

Yard/ working glove

these gloves are lightweight, fully waterproof, breathable and windproof. They have fine sheepskin palms and finger reinforcements for comfort, grip and control. Colour Black Sizes S to XL Price £30

The manufacturer says  Stretch weather resistant

Yard/ working glove

neoprene keeps hands warm and dry while the Amara palms and finger edges give excellent grip for rein holding. Touch-andclose wrist fastenings for a snug fit. Colour Black Sizes XS to XL Price £8.99

Our tester says

Our tester says

lining and really comfortable. The elastic around the wrist is comfortable and stops draughts. They’ve kept my hands warm and dry in all the weather conditions we had last winter – I’ve even removed ice from the water trough with no problems. I only used these gloves for hacking. They give a good enough feel on the reins but they are probably too bulky for schooling in but perfect for around the yard. They have worn well. I would definitely recommend them.

– the length is generous so they come well over your wrist providing extra warmth. I used them mainly for working around the yard and found I could carry out most tasks, including doing up buckles, without having to take them off. For riding they gave good grip on the reins but I prefer a glove that gives a better feel. They have washed well and are ready for this winter. They’re very good value for money and I would recommend them as a yard/working winter glove.

 These gloves are lightweight with a nice soft


Fit/comfort Performance Value for money

  



 I really like the fit and design of these gloves

The testers


Fit/comfort Performance Value for money


  


1. Thermal/insulating material will help keep you warm 2. A thinner palm with good grip will give you a better feel on the reins for schooling, etc 3. Gloves that finish well over the wrist will keep draughts out 4. For ultimate comfort choose gloves that are made from a breathable material 5. Gloves with reinforced fingers should be more durable

The test

Members of the YH editorial team and a number of YH readers who keep their horses at DIY livery tested the gloves last winter for riding and general yard work


They assessed the overall fit and comfort of the gloves. They also considered how easy it was to carry out tasks around the yard in the gloves and, when riding, how much feel/grip they gave on the reins


Did the gloves live up to the manufacturers’ claims? Did the gloves keep the testers’ hands warm in cold weather?

Value for money

Our testers evaluated their comments on fit, comfort and performance in relation to price, to decide whether the gloves are good value for money. Would they recommend you to buy a pair?

How we score 10 – Perfect 9 – Excellent 8 – Very good 7 – Good 6 – Fairly good

5 – Average 4 – Below average 3 – Poor 2 – Very poor 1 - Don’t waste your money

Design/idea Performance Value for money

Example verdict

The awards

  


This time, we gave two sets of awards – one for the best gloves for riding in and the other for everyday yard work Winners The pairs of gloves that performed the best in one set of criteria Best Buys The gloves that offer great value for money and performed well in our test Recommended The gloves that performed well in our test

Your Horse december 2010

Rm10 Riding magazine

Riding magazine Competition


Three lucky winners will receive a Christmas goodie bag, as outlined right, and the first winner drawn will also win a complementary set of Kadence rugs!

HOWTO ENTER Complete our entry form on page Rm63 or visit www. to answer the following question How many stores does Countrywide have? a) 44 b) 46 c) 48 Terms and conditions For full terms and conditions go to page Rm63

a Kadence goodie bag for your horse

ountrywide Stores has teamed up with Your Horse to offer you the chance of winning a fantastic goodie bag full of wonderful new Kadence gear. Kadence is a range of equestrian clothing, tack, rugs and accessories – all exclusive to The striped Countrywide Stores – and this fleece has year’s range sports co-ordinating co-ordinating bandages fashions for horse and rider in rich autumnal hues. Kadence is great Countrywide value – it proudly is also offering boasts high quality seven of its most fabrics and fittings, popular products in the Kadence range and a range of on special offer user-friendly throughout a complementary features and December – see set of Kadence rugs benefits, usually the website including a stable found in the most rug, black and gold expensive brands. under rug, combo turnout rug You could win one of three and matching travel boots. Kadence goodie bags comprising Each of Countrywide’s 46 a striped fleece rug, matching stores located across the fleece bandages, acrylic midlands, Wales, south west and bandages, headcollar with fleece south east feature a designated noseband, flash bridle with equestrian section retailing padded headpiece fashioned famous brand names such as from soft continental leather Weatherbeeta, Toggi, Joules, and a leather headcollar. But Natural Animal Feeds, Shires, that’s not all! If you’re the first Dodson & Horrell, Mark Todd winner chosen you’ll also scoop

and Kadence, to name just a few. Countrywide’s equestrian experts are on hand to assist and advise customers on a range of issues from the fitting of body protectors and hats to parasite control or correct feeding. With everything from jodhpurs to saddles, hacking jackets to turnout rugs and shampoo to supplements on offer, Countrywide is a one-stop shop for the well turned out horse and rider.

The first winner drawn will also receive a set of Kadence rugs

To find your local Countrywide store or to shop on line visit Your Horse deceMBER 2010

Riding magazine | Plan your winter schooling Rm03

Riding magazine Winter schooling z New

Plan your

64 page magazine

winter schooling with help from Spencer Wilton and Jay Halim


Get th e pol es out and wor k on rhy th m and bal anc e

Imogen Johnson

Do some simple pole work before introducing a few jumps

Do n’t forget to war m up wel l - kee p him tro tt ing and loos en him up


Sunday Spend time improving your lateral work


After a long day at work, it’s hard to drum up the enthusiasm to give your horse the schooling he needs. Here, Spencer Wilton and Jay Halim suggest a menu of exercises to fill a 35-minute session– all you have to do is pick which ones you fancy! Set up a grid they’re great for all horses


Tuesday Have fun with some jumping exercises to improve your aids and co-ordination

Wednesday Wo rk on straig htn ess

Thursday Your Horse DECEMBER 2010


Riding magazine Prepare to drag hunt

Drag hunting The expert Mark Smith

Mark Smith teaches riders of all levels to ride safely and effectively, whatever their discipline. Having been a jockey for 30 years, and with a love of team chasing and hunting, Mark has years of experience riding at speed. Here he explains how to make your first experience of the field calm, controlled and safe.


Drag hunting is exhilarating and thrilling but, to a first timer, it may seem just one adrenalin rush too far! But you can do it. Here ex-jockey turned instructor Mark Smith helps you to prepare your horse for his first meet and shares his best advice to ensure a happy day of hunting

There is a passion for hunting deeply implanted in the human breast Charles Dickens Your Horse DECEMBER 2010

Riding magazine | How to drag hunt safely Rm37

z New

64 page magazine

Understand your horse

When you work with horses and riders you’re faced with two living creatures, so nothing can ever be guaranteed. The ethos of everything I do is to stack the cards in the horse’s favour – do this and you give yourself and your horse the very best chance of success.

Before you go

The key to hunting is to ensure a settled and happy horse, so here are a few exercises to work through, to determine whether or not your horse is ready to hunt.

Safety in numbers


f your horse won’t settle when hacking with others then he’s definitely not ready to hunt. Drag hunting is meant to be a fun day out for you and your horse, but if you have to spend it fighting for control, you’ll end up exhausted and it definitely won’t be fun. There are a number of ways to teach your horse to settle within a group and the work can start at home. The first rule – don’t always work your horse by himself. If the first time you ask your horse to work in company is when you go hunting with 50 others it’s safe to assume the excitement will go to his head. Horses learn by repetition, so ask a couple of friends to hack out with you, and do this regularly. As soon as your

horse realises that this is normal, he’ll begin to settle. As well as simply riding out in small groups there are drag hunting situations you can

simulate with friends. Once your horse is settled in the group you can try putting him into different situations of pressure to prepare him for the hunting environment.

herd work

Ride out with friends regularly

Your Horse DECEMBER 2010


Riding magazine Suppleness 8

Bend Improve your

Discover simple steps to help you improve your horse’s suppleness

Building bridges The energy to go forwards comes from the hindquarters. Think of the back and neck as a bridge between the hind power and the bridle – without his energy going through the neck, the bridge is out, and you won’t get the best from your horse

Improving his suppleness is the basis for everything from a good dressage test to a clear show jumping round – it’s even important for happy hackers Your Horse December 2010

Riding magazine | Feeling supple Rm43

z New

64 page magazine


Helen Milbank


Bending Your horse should be supple enough to bend equally from left to right, change rhythmically and smoothly in each direction, and to be able to go in a straight line

hatever your riding ambitions, teaching your horse to bend correctly and improving his suppleness is the basis for everything

from a good dressage test to a clear show jumping round. It’s even important groundwork for happy hackers, as a horse who’s supple and moving forward off your leg will be less likely to trip or stumble out on hacks, and will learn to build the correct muscle and carry

himself properly (making him less prone to injury). It’s common for horses to find it easier to bend on one rein than the other, so to iron out your schooling problems and make your horse more supple and forward going, here are four simple exercises from top rider Ruth Edge.

The exercises Four simple exercises to help you bend correctly, with advice from top eventer and dressage rider Ruth Edge

1 Leg-yield 2 Turn on the forehand 3 Flexing at the poll 4 Riding smaller circles

Meet the expert

Ruth Edge Hand to mouth You, the rider, have a huge part to play. You need a good seat to work on bend – if you balance using your hands you won’t achieve the desired results

Ruth is a busy lady, swapping between the worlds of top level eventing and pure dressage with her string of horses, as well as taking time out to train horses and riders at her Cumbriabased yard. A member of the World Class Elite Programme, find out more about her horses and achievements at

Your Horse DecemBER 2010


Riding magazine Winter hacking

A winter of fantastic hacking starts here Words by Helen Milbank

Think lengthy hacks are only for the balmy days of summer? Then think again, as we show you how to enjoy every second you spend in the saddle this winter. From beating the chill to making the best use of limited time and light, we've got all the advice and inspiration you need to get out there, have fun, and stay safe

Your Horse DECEMBER 2010

Riding magazine | Winter hacking Rm21

The last thing you'll want to do after reading this is curl up on your sofa in front of the TV – enjoy your hack!

Your Horse DECEMBER 2010


News Report Photograph getty images

ing on e r e e h c u th Were yo e WEG from ? at th room Britain of your living t comfor

Does our sport

deserve more?

Investigation by Rebecca Gibson

Despite a spectacular performance at the World Equestrian Games, television coverage of the event was dismal. So what does the sport need to do to hold its own in the modern TV ratings war? Your Horse investigates

December Your Horse 341  

View a sample of the December 341 issue of Your Horse magazine

December Your Horse 341  

View a sample of the December 341 issue of Your Horse magazine