What’s On August 2014!

July 28th, 2014 by Sammi

International:

 

14th – 16th – Marks the start of the eleventh leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour, which takes place in London at a new venue - The Horse Guards Parade Ground in the heart of the city. It promises a very exciting event as the world’s top riders gather to compete against each other in this end of season Show Jumping spectacular. On the Thursday evening you can also enjoy the City Polo London International Polo Match. For more information and to book tickets for this amazing event follow the link to the Longines site.    

 

15th – 17th – The FEI European Junior Eventing Championships are being held at Bishop Burton College in East Yorkshire for 2014, where young riders from all over Europe will compete for the title of this prestigious event. This promises to be an exciting event with top junior riders showcasing their excellent riding abilities.

 

23rd August – 7th September – Are the dates for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014, which are being held in Normandy, France. This is the home to 8 FEI official events including Jumping, Eventing, Dressage, Driving as well as Para-Dressage, Vaulting, Reining and Endurance, showcasing the world’s top riders from over 60 nations to create the biggest range of Equestrian disciplines in one event. They also have two extra demonstration events on offer with Horse-Ball and Polo. As well as all the amazing Equestrian events you will have an abundance of places to eat, shop and endless entertainment across the two week spectacular. For more information or to book your tickets visit the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games website.     

 

National:

 

1st – 3rd August – The Festival of British Eventing will be taking place at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire and incorporates the British Open, Intermediate and Novice Championships with top riders in the country competing for the title. As well as all the top-class Eventing action, you can also shop till you drop and enjoy the shopping village as well as the entertainment attractions, with plenty on offer to provide an action packed weekend. For more visit the Festival of British Eventing Website.

 

21st – 24th August – Blair Castle Horse Trials take place in August with numerous classes taking place over the four days at Scotlands leading equestrian event. A wide range of riders and horses compete at the wide range of classes held at Blair Castle Horse Trials, in events such as show jumping, mounted games, in-hand and ridden show classes, providing something for everyone. As well as all the equestrian action you can take a break and visit the many stalls and trade stands for delicious refreshments or a spot of shopping. For more information about Blair Castle Horse Trials follow the link.

 

8th – 24th August – The Pony Club Championships take place throughout August. Take a look at the dates below and visit the Pony Club Website for more details,and if you are not already taking part then maybe you could go along to show your support and watch the event.

The Audi Pony Club Polo Championships - On 8th – 10th August, held at Cowdray Park , West Sussex.

The Weatherbys Private Banking Championships - On 15th – 18th August, held at Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire.

The Pony Club Tetrathlon Championships – On 19th – 21st August, held at Bishop Burton College, Yorkshire.

The NFU Mutual Novice Championships - On 23rd – 24th August, held at Kelsall Hill, Chesire.

 

Local Events:

 

Arena UK, Willow Top Farm, Grantham, Lincolnshire

 

2nd August – UK Riders Event

3rd August – Riding Club Show

8th,9th,10th,11th August – Arena UK Pony Festival of Show Jumping

13th August – British Dressage

20th,21st,22nd,23rd August – British Show Pony Society Summer Championships

28th,29th,30th August – Coloured Horse and Pony Society Championship Show (CHAPS) 

 

Sissons Farm Equestrian Centre, Peterborough 

 

2nd August – Peter Hales Show Jumping Clinic

3rd August – Unaffiliated Show Jumping

6th August – Unaffiliated Evening Show Jumping

13th August – Unaffiliated Evening Show Jumping

16th August – Peter Hales Show Jumping Clinic, Laura Riddlington Dressage Clinic

20th August – Unaffiliated Evening Dressage

23rd August – Unaffiliated and British Dressage

24th August – Laura Riddlington Give it a go Dressage Clinic

30th August – Peter Hales Show Jumping Clinic

31st August – Unaffiliated Show Jumping

 

It looks like August is set to be an action packed month with many equestrian events all over the country and abroad. Hopefully you have seen something you would like to go to or maybe there’s a local event you’d like to take part in, whatever events you go to in August, have fun!

 

Pony Club Camp Essentials!

July 21st, 2014 by Sammi

If you planning on going to Pony Club Camp over the summer holidays, then it may be a good idea to start getting together all the equipment you will need or at least making a plan so that you don’t forget the essentials! Some of the items will be weather dependent, so nearer the time it is a good idea to check what sort of weather you will be having to decide whether you are more likely to need coats and wellies or caps and sun cream, but with the Great British weather you could be as well to plan for both!

 

Take a look at our list of the main things you will need for both horse and rider, even use it as a checklist if you want to and be prepared.

 

For the rider…

 

Day visits!   

 

• A suitable riding helmet - it needs to be approved for pony club use, featuring the CE mark and a quality symbol such as the BSI Kitemark, SAI Global Symbol or the official Snell label and number, and meet one of the main safety standards PAS 015, BS EN 1384, Snell or the AS Australian standard. For all information on riding helmets that are permitted for use at pony club camp visit this link – http://www.pcuk.org/uploads/HAT_RULE_2014_revised_June_2014_v2.pdf

Charles Owen Young Riders Jockey Skull

Charles Owen Young Riders Jockey Skull

A suitable body protector - it is not compulsory to wear a body protector at Pony Club apart from for all cross-country riding and pony racing but it is advised to have one with you should you need it and particularly for mini and juniors when jumping. Ideally the body protector should be approved to BETA level 3 safety standard but for more information on what body protectors are allowed follow this link – http://www.pcuk.org/uploads/BODY_PROTECTOR_RULE_2014.pdf

The Airowear Reiver Body Protector meets BETA level 3 safety standard.

The Airowear Reiver Body Protector meets BETA level 3 safety standard.

 Beige jodhpurs – these are part of the dress code of most Pony Clubs unless stated otherwise, but only very traditional colours will be allowed. Check with your Pony Club’s individual rules.

Smart beige jodhpurs are required.

Smart beige jodhpurs are required.

 Riding boots and chaps - you can choose either long or short riding boots with or without chaps and black or brown boots are acceptable, but again be sure to check with your Pony Club rules. Brightly coloured chaps will NOT be allowed. If you are not using chaps then be sure to bring along your jodhpur clips with your short boots.  

SMart brown or black short boots with or without chaps are ideal.

SMart brown or black short boots with or without chaps are ideal.

Shirt and tie or polo shirt - this will depend on the rules of your individual Pony Club as some are more strict on the dress code and will require a smart white long-sleeved shirt, the pony club sweatshirt and the pony club tie, whereas others do not mind you using their own more casual polo shirt and sweatshirt.  

 

Riding gloves - these are not always a necessary requirement but if you usually wear gloves when riding then it may be a good idea to bring some with you. Make sure they are a traditional colour such as black or navy.

 

Other items you will need…

Hair nets (for girls)
Medical armband
• Named drinking bottle
• Notepad pencil/pen (for taking notes)
• Coats and wellies (depending on the weather)
• Suncream (depending on the weather)
 

 

For camping and staying over!

• Camp bed and sleeping bag – accommodation is normally supplied at most Pony Club Camps in the form of a marquee/tents but a bed and bedding will still be needed.

• Shower things – a pair of flip-flops and trunks or swimming costume is a good idea for showers and don’t forget a towel and shampoo etc.

• Toiletries - that includes all your usual overnight toiletries such as toothpaste and tooth-brush, wash kit and hair brush etc.

• Casual clothes – these will be needed for the evening activities. You will also need pajamas and underwear! 

 

For your horse/pony…

 

Day visits!

 

Horse Passport – you need to bring your horse’s passport with you, it is a necessary requirement whenever you transport your horse and compete.  Make sure all vaccinations are up to date!

Saddle and bridle - make sure your saddle and bridle are complete with the correct girth, bit, numnah etc. You will also need a martingale or neck strap, so makes sure you have one of them with your tack too. Give your tack a clean before hand to make sure it looks good for camp.

Bandages and boots - if your horse requires bandages or boots when travelling or working then you will need to bring those with you. If you are going cross-country then boots are usually required.

Head collar and lead rope – this will be needed to safely tie your horse up between activities. Make sure the lead rope has a spring hook and is in good working order so that your horse will be safe when tied up.

Grooming kit - bring along your full grooming kit for the stable management activities. Your kit should include: Dandy brush, body brush, curry comb, water brush, mane and tail comb, hoof pick, two sponges, 2 stable rubbers and hoof oil with hoof oil brush.

• Tack cleaning products - you will need to bring this with you to take part in the stable management activities so perhaps pop your saddle soap, cloths and conditioner in your grooming kit so that you don’t forget!

Plaiting equipment - make sure you have your plaiting equipment, bands or thread, needle, comb, plaiting gel (if required) and any other equipment you require.

Buckets - make sure you have at least one bucket for tack cleaning and two for offering your horse water, you may also need to have one for washing down your horse after riding.

Hay - if your pony club camp do not supply hay or your horse has specific feeding requirements such as haylage then you will need to bring your own supply with you.

 

For camping and staying over!     

• Feed and feeding buckets – bring with you some pre measured feed for the duration, often best bought in a dustbin to keep it safely stored and free from contamination.

• Mucking out tools – you will need to bring with you either a shavings fork/shovel and any other mucking out tools you require depending on what bedding your horse will be using. To save you bringing everything maybe liaise with your friends and bring different things between you and share them whilst you are there.

• Bedding – this is often provided but if your horse has allergies or specific bedding requirements then you will need to bring your own with you. Check with your pony club to see what bedding they provide.

• Rugs – if your horse requires rugs during the evening/after exercise, then you will need to bring them with you also. This may depend on the weather, which can be very unpredictable in the UK so check closer to the date and if unsure bring them anyway.  

 

These should be most of the items you will need for Pony Club Camp but be sure to check with your individual clubs requirements to make sure you have all the correct equipment! It is very important to clearly name all of your equipments so that you don’t lose anything or get things mixed up, as you may find someone has something the same or similar to you. Most important of all we hope you have fun at camp! 

 

Small Pet Summer Care Tips!

July 18th, 2014 by Emma

With the current warm weather we are having some of our smaller animals, particularly those with thick fur may be struggling with the heat. Animals kept outside or somewhere where a lot of sunshine comes through may suffer the most. It is of vital importance for your pets health that they have adequate shelter and protection from the sunlight. If your pet is too hot, try to bring their body temperature down gradually as rapid changes in temperature can be harmful. Small animals can suffer from heat stroke at this time of year. If you suspect your animal may have heat stroke contact your vet immediately and do everything possible to keep your animal cool as it can be fatal.

 

Fly strike can also affect small animals so it is important to keep them and their cages clean. Flies are attracted to droppings and lay their eggs on the animals. From the eggs maggots hatch and then burrow into them eating their flesh. Regular bathing with an anti-bacterial wash and keeping their enclosures clean and disinfected will help minimise the risk of fly strike. Using pet trimmers to trim long fur can help to keep a range of small animals cooler. Keeping a thermometer in your pet’s enclosure will allow you to monitor the temperature and ensure they are not overheating. AnimAlarm have designed an alarm for dogs to monitor the temperature in the back of a car. This may be suitable for monitoring the temperature of small animal enclosures too.

 

Below we have some tips for Rabbits and Guinea pigs, although a number will be transferable for a range of small pets.

 

Rabbits:

In the wild rabbits live in underground networks or burrows. When they are too hot they can head into these to cool down and regulate their temperature gradually, the depth of the burrows keep them cooler than the outside temperature. In a cage or hutch this is obviously not a possibility. Rabbits do not sweat and therefore unlike people cannot regulate their body temperature this way. In really warm weather consider setting up a fan over their living area. In the early summer months rabbits moult, regular grooming will assist in removing excess hair and help to keep your rabbit cooler. In addition, similarly to cats rabbits groom themselves and can suffer from hairballs, regular grooming will help to minimise this. Your rabbit is likely to drink more in the warm weather therefore it is important to offer them plenty of fresh clean water. Ice cubes can be placed in their water bowl or bottle to keep the water nice and cold. Frozen treats such as peas, carrots and chunks of apple can be another way to keep your rabbit cool.

rabbit

Keep your pet rabbits cool and comfortable this summer!

 

Guinea Pigs:

Guinea pigs naturally have a much higher body temperature than humans, therefore warm for us is hot for them and it is important to keep them cool and comfortable during the summer months. Placing a frozen water bottle in a sock can offer a guinea pig a cool object to lie on. The sock will prevent them from becoming too chilled. Similarly to rabbits ice cubes can be placed in water bottles or bowls to keep the water cold. Chilled plates and ceramic tiles can offer somewhere cool to serve food on and once they have eaten a cool resting place.

guinea pigs

Make sure your small animals are comfortable in the hot weather!

 

Take a little time to make sure your smaller pets are cool and comfortable this summer, as they cannot always easily find a place to cool down and escape the heat. We hope these simple tips and advice have given you a few ideas on how you can help your small animals during the hot weather.

 

Equetech – A Look at Our Products!

July 14th, 2014 by Sammi

History of the brand!

 

Equetech has become synonymous with high quality performance materials and their dedication to superior equestrian clothing, becoming one of the leading suppliers of equestrian apparel in the UK. They were established in 1992 so are a relatively young company in comparison to a number of businesses in the equestrian industry, yet they have achieved a lot in this short time. Equetech have put a lot of time into finding the very best advanced fabric technologies, testing them to ensure they can withstand regular use and outperform other materials on the market.

Equetech now have a wide range of equestrian products and riding accessories including competition jackets, jodhpurs and breeches, shirts, tops, gloves, socks, stocks, ties and much more. They combine quality, style and forward thinking design to create high performing equestrian clothing that enhances comfort and support for the rider. Equetech started and still remain a family run business today, sticking to their core values and dedication to equestrianism, improving the clothing on offer for riders of all levels.

 

Why do we stock Equetech products?

 

Here are some of the keys reasons as to why we stock Equetech products: 

• They offer a wide range of high quality equestrian clothing, for riders at all levels in a range of disciplines.
• Use only high quality performance materials to ensure comfort and durability. 
• A UK-based company that are proud to still make approximately 40% of their products in the UK.
• The products are designed by Liz Hayman (Equetech Director) – a fellow rider who uses her own knowledge and experience to make sure Equetech clothing offers what the rider needs.
• Forward thinking company that concentrate on providing high performing riding wear using high quality performance materials. 

 

Our pick of some Equetech Products!

 

Equetech Grip Seat Breeches - These stretchy and highly comfortable breeches are ideal for everyday riding yet smart enough for competition use too. They feature a rubber spotted grip pattern on the seat designed to help keep your bottom in the saddle and enhance security in your seat. The Grip Seat Breeches are available in a range of classic colours, including beige, navy, black and champagne, to suit a wide range of riding outfits for both general and competition riding. They have a very flattering fit with double-stitched flat seams, a comfortable waistband and contoured seat for a great overall fit. A great value pair of breeches!

The Collection of Grip Seat Breeches!

The Collection of Grip Seat Breeches!

 

Equetech Pearl Stock Pin - This classic simple stock pin comes in either 9ct gold-plated or silver plated with a beautiful faux pearl centrepiece for a timeless look that will complete a wide range of competition outfits perfectly. It features a safety clasp at the back for easy fixing to your stock and looks great in any discipline. The Pearl Stock Pin can come out year after year at competition time, giving your outfit that beautiful finishing touch.

The Equetech Pearl Stock Pin!

The Equetech Pearl Stock Pin!

 

Equetech Stocks - Equetech boast a wide selection of stocks to suit riders in all disciplines and at all levels, from the easy ready-tied stocks to the self-tying designs in a variety of colours and materials. They use only the best cotton and woven jacquard fabrics to ensure all of their stocks will look great for competition after competition. The ready-tied stocks are a one size fits all, featuring a Velcro fastening at the back to provide an instantly smart and classic look that is sure to catch the attention of the judges. We stock some of the Equetech stocks online but to see a more comprehensive range of colours and styles come and visit us in store.

The Equetech High Quality Brocade Stocks!

The Equetech High Quality Brocade Stocks!

 

Equetech Ties – They make a wide selection of ties for adults and children in a variety of colours and designs, from the plain and simple coloured ties to the more detailed designs including, spotted, herringbone, stars, solitaire, stripe and more! If you are looking for a high quality stylish stock for a showing or show jumping outfit then Equetech will have a tie to suit you. We have a selection of ties on our website but why not visit us in store to see all the styles available!

 

Equetech also produce a comprehensive range of competition clothing including shirts, jodhpurs, breeches and jackets, from beautiful tweed jackets to classic competition jackets and dressage tails, made from high quality materials and finished with those extra details to create high performing timeless clothing for all disciplines.  

 

If you are looking for a key item to update your showing outfit or a special accessory to complete the look then take a look at the Equetech collection and find the perfect piece to get you noticed in the show ring!  

 

Keep a look out for these countryside changes!

July 11th, 2014 by Emma

We are well into summer and a number of changes are taking place in the countryside. A lot can be seen from the car, although we recommend you get out for a walk on your own feet or perhaps with your horse to get the most out of the great outdoors!

 

Farming Fields:

With the wet start to the year followed by a lot of sunshine, currently crops are thriving and many are almost ready for harvesting. A number of hay fields have already been cut and baled. Next the rape seed will be harvested followed by the barley and wheat. It is important for farmers to get as much of the harvest in dry conditions to prevent excess drying costs.

Barley field

Look out for harvest time!

 

Wild Flowers:

There are a number of wild flowers that flower throughout the summer – too many to name all of them! However we have spotted a few common ones as you probably have too. Whilst there are plenty of pretty and harmless wild flowers there are also several flowers that are more like weeds. For example cotton thistle seems to be out with a vengeance this summer – it is very good at catching your legs whilst out dog walking. Mature Ragwort plants flower from May to October and when they die and dry out the seeds spread rapidly. Due to this it is important to ensure it is pulled up or sprayed and removed accordingly; particularly as it is poisonous to horses and cattle. A much more pleasant flower to look out for as we come into August is the sunflower.

sunflower picture

Look out for the beautiful flowers this Summer!

  

Fruit and Vegetables:

Keep an eye out on fruit trees. We have spotted and sampled some very tasty cherries and the apples are currently growing and ripening. Blackberries will be ripening as their season runs from June to November. Perhaps you have planted some fruit and veg in your own garden – Strawberries, Raspberries, Courgettes, Carrots and Tomatoes  should all be currently thriving. If you have found some good high up fruit bushes and trees it may be a good idea to take a container so you can pick some and bring them home and make fresh fruit puddings.

Blackberry picture

Look out for those delicious Summer fruits!

 

Birds:

There seem to be a huge number of birds around at the moment. Birds are starting to pair up in preparation for the mating season and babies are leaving or preparing to fledge the nest.

pair of swallows

Look out for young birds and any unusual species!

 

 

We hope you have spotted some changes in the countryside, please let us know of anything interesting you have come across.

 

Choosing a comfortable numnah for Summer!

July 7th, 2014 by Sammi

Your horse is inevitably going to sweat more during the summer months with the warmer temperatures and the heat generated from the saddle and exercising, but you could help by choosing a more suitable type of numnah for Summer. No numnah is going to work miracles and be able to keep your horse completely cool and comfortable, but if you take a little time to think about the material, colour and fit, it could make a difference to the comfort of your horse this Summer.

 

Take a look at these few things you could use to help you choose a more comfortable numnah for those warmer summer days. 

 

Materials

It may seem the obvious choice to go for the thinnest numnah on the market but if your horse requires a little padding under their saddle, then this may not be very practical. If that is the case and I said to you, no problem chose a wool lined numnah for summer, would you think I’d gone mad? Wool for the summer? Yes actually wool has a lot of very beneficial qualities that make it great for use during those warmer summer days. It needs to be wool not sheepskin (the difference being the skin is still attached with sheepskin), as sheepskin doesn’t cope well with getting very wet so would not be ideal when your horse is hot and sweaty. Wool on the other hand can actually help to promote a cooler feel allowing air to circulate between the long fibres and has excellent water absorbing qualities, being able to absorb up to 30% of its weight in water.

Another great material would be cotton, with its natural breathable and comfortable feel to help your horse feel a little cooler. It is also great at wicking away some of the moisture from your horse’s skin, so if choosing a thin lightweight numnah try to choose one with a high percentage of cotton. Sticking to these natural materials is usually best for summer riding, as they have some great natural benefits and feel comfortable next to your horse’s skin.   

 

Colours

It may help if you use a numnah that is white during the summer, as in the laws of science this naturally reflects light including infrared and ultraviolet (heat sources), so will absorb less heat than a darker numnah, which actually absorbs light. White is not the most practical colour around horses but if you chose a good quality hard-wearing lightweight cotton style, it should be easy and quick to wash. Using a white numnah if working on that theory, should help to reflect some of the heat away from your horse helping to keep them a little cooler. Choosing the right colour might not make a huge amount of difference but particularly if using a saddle pad, which has a larger visible surface area, it may just feel a little cooler on your horse’s back, naturally absorbing less heat.  

 

Washing

Keeping your horses numnah clean is very important particularly during warmer temperatures, to prevent dried on sweat and dirt from irritating your horse’s skin, potentially leading to rubs and sores. This may not help to keep your horse cooler, although a clean numnah is going to perform better than a dirty one, but it will help to keep your horse more comfortable. Lightweight cotton numnahs are usually very easy to wash (make sure you check the manufacturers washing instructions), often machine washable at certain temperatures. Simply remove loose hair and dirt with a stiff clean brush, before placing in your machine and use a non-biological liquid detergent on the advised temperature. Once the cycle has finished allow to dry naturally on the washing line in the garden, making the most of those lovely summer days.

Wool is actually machine washable too (unless stated otherwise on washing instructions), so can be washed regularly during the summer to keep it clean and performing at its best. It is recommended not to use powdered washing detergent with wool as it can get trapped in the fibres and irritate your horse’s skin. Regular washing will help to ensure the numnah or saddle pad is comfortable on your horse’s back, helping to prevent irritation and rubbing.  

 

The Style

If your horse does not require a saddle pad for the discipline they are ridden in then it may also help to use a numnah instead of a saddle pad as they of course cover only the necessary parts of your horse under the saddle, so may help to keep them a little cooler. The air will be able to circulate behind the saddle with a numnah and this may help to keep your horse a little cooler, unless they are a dark colour (black, bay etc.) when a white saddle pad may be beneficial in reflecting away some of the heat. Just consider what may be best for your horse and remember to choose the correct style for any competitions you may want to enter, otherwise you may find yourself having to purchase another numnah!

 

Take a look at these numnhas and saddle pads to see if they could be the perfect style for your horse!

 

Griffin Nuumed Half Wool Hi-Wither Pad - This classic and stylish pad is available in white and black, with a half wool lining that would help to wick away moisture from your horse’s skin, adding comfort and allowing air to circulate within the fibres to promote a more comfortable feel that works in harmony with your horse. The great natural features of this Polycotton and half wool saddle pad make it ideal for use in summer, particularly if your horse needs a little padding. Why not opt for the white to reflect the heat and provide further cooling benefits! You could also try the numnah version of this with or without a high wither cut.

The Griffin Nuumed Half Wool Saddle Pad!

The Griffin Nuumed Half Wool Saddle Pad!

 

Roma Grand Prix All Purpose Numnah – This great value lightweight Polycotton slightly quilted numnah comes in a range of great colours and three sizes (cob, full, x-full), ideal for just a slim layer under your saddle. It will help to keep the saddle clean and will wick some of the moisture from your horse. The All-Purpose Numnah is very easy to wash and will dry quickly too, meaning you can keep it clean and hygienic for every ride if you want to (and have the time), or at least give it a regular wash with very little hassle. It is ideal for a wide range of purposes from everyday riding to competition. If you are looking for a lightweight saddle pad then perhaps opt for the Grand Prix All-purpose Saddle Pad instead.    

The Roma Grand Prix All Purpose Numnah!

The Roma Grand Prix All Purpose Numnah!

 

If you already have a numnah or saddle pad that is great for summer riding then please let us know about it and what makes it so good! Thanks for reading, I hope you have a lovely summer and get plenty of opportunities to ride and enjoy the wonderful weather!

 

Stable and Yard Hygiene Tips for Summer!

July 4th, 2014 by Sammi

It is very important to keep your horse’s stable and the yard clean and tidy all year round but even more so during the summer months when warmer and often moist conditions provide the ideal breeding ground for harmful bacteria. If your horse is stabled during the Summer months then keeping their stable environment clean is essential for the overall health and wellbeing of your horse.

Keeping the yard and stables clean is very important.

Keeping the yard and stables clean is very important.

 

Key areas and equipment to keep clean!

You may already have a cleaning routine in place for your yard and stables but during the Summer it may be worth revising and altering this to clean certain areas more regularly, preventing the rapid build up of bacteria. Here are the key areas that you need to pay particular attention to when thinking about good hygiene around the yard and stables:

 

• Stable Floors, Walls and Bedding – Remember to remove soiled bedding and droppings regularly, at least twice a day (morning and evening) if your horse is in all day but more often if possible. Replace the soiled bedding you have removed with clean fresh bedding and also remember to remove left over food. Thoroughly clean the stable once/twice a week with a suitable disinfectant to remove unwanted bacteria and bad smells, ensuring your horse a nice clean and hygienic place to rest.

 

Water Buckets, Containers and Troughs – It is very important for your horse to have access to fresh clean water at all times and during hot summer days water buckets can quickly gather algae and become green, so be sure to check them at least twice a day. Give them a daily rinse and a thorough clean once or twice a week to prevent the build up of that unpleasant green film. Algae will build up quicker in plastic water buckets so make sure they are checked and cleaned on a very regular basis during the summer.     

 

Feed Rooms and Feeding Equipment - If your horse still requires a concentrated/hard feed during the Summer then it is crucial that your horse’s feed is stored in a clean, cool and dry place. If your feed is kept in a plastic bin then it may sweat if subjected to heat, creating the ideal place for mould and bacteria to develop, so ensure it is in a cool shaded place, away from the risk of rodents and wet conditions. Clean all feeding equipment on a regular basis, washing out buckets daily and any stirers/scoops too, also give feed bins a clean each time they become empty and keep a look out for any sign of mould etc. If you see any sign of mould or the feed doesn’t smell right then it should be disposed of and new should be bought.

 

Tack Room and Riding Equipment - In particular any grooming equipment, boots and numnahs all require regular washing as your horse sweats more leaving dried on sweat and dirt, which can lead to rubs and sores. The textile pieces of equipment such as boots and numnahs are usually easy to keep clean, simply remove loose hair and dirt and pop them in your washing machine (check washing instructions first!).  Brushes can also be quite easy to clean particularly if they feature a plastic back and are not made from leather or any materials that does not take kindly to a lot of water – simply pop them in a bucket of warm clean water with a small amount of baby shampoo/washing up liquid or something similar (mild detergent), clean the bristles with another brush or comb and rinse off the suds and debris.   

 

Another problem during the Summer are the flies and bothersome flying insects, which not only affect your horse during turnout but can also be a problem around the yard. If you are struggling to keep the flies at bay it may be worth investing in some of the fly deterrents and traps, to control the fly population and prevent them from spreading germs particularly around feed and feeding equipment.

 

Useful products for a clean stable and yard this Summer!      

 

Here are a few handy products to keep in the store cupboard during Summer.

 

Washing Up Liquid/Mild Shampoo (baby shampoo or similar) – Ideal for cleaning brushes and feeding equipment but always be sure to rinse everything well.

Stable Disinfectant - Choose from the powder style or liquid disinfectants suitable for use around horses and keep your horse’s stable hygienically clean and fresh.

Fly Traps - Keeping one or two in the feed room to prevent flies from getting to the feed and feeding equipment can help to prevent them from spreading germs.

• Buckets and Brushes for Cleaning - Keep a designated cleaning bucket or two and scrubbing-brush especially for soaking your grooming brushes and other equipment.

Spray Disinfectant (one from the super market will be fine!) – This is particularly handy for giving surfaces in the feed or tack room a quick regular wipe down, keeping them free from left over feed or dirt helping to prevent the spread of bacteria.

 

Overall it pays to be vigilant during the Summer checking the most important areas daily such as water buckets, feed/feeding equipment, stables and your horse’s riding equipment, keeping your eyes peeled for any sign of mould, dirt or algae. The most harmful bacteria can’t always be seen so just be sure to give everything a regular clean/wash to help prevent the build up of bad bacteria. I hope you have a fun time with your horse this Summer and don’t get too stuck on cleaning, just keep a little time aside to keep those essential items clean.  

 

Keeping Healthy Hooves – Summer Hoof Care

June 30th, 2014 by Emma

Hoof care often needs to be adapted with the seasons to ensure your horse’s hooves remain healthy and strong after all ‘no foot, no horse’ could not be more true. Some things should remain consistent all year round, such as having regular farrier appointments and picking out your horses feet daily. In addition being aware of what is normal/abnormal for your horse’s feet is important. It is also important to ensure that your horse does not consume too much rich summer grass as this may lead to laminitis particularly if your horse has any underlying problems which may increase their likelihood of suffering from laminitis such as cushings disease or having previously suffered. Diet and overall well-being are both large factors in hoof growth and strength so it is vital to ensure your horse is receiving adequate nutrition and has a consistent daily routine. Some common problems associated with summer hoof care are:

 

Rapid Hoof Growth – In the winter months hoof growth is often slowed due to nutrients being used up elsewhere in the body and a number of calories are burned for keeping warm. In the summer, with the nutritious grass and warmer weather the hoof often receives more nutrients and therefore grows more quickly. If your horse’s hooves grow more quickly in the summer, scheduling more regular farrier appointments may be beneficial.

 

Deficient Regulation of Water – horses’ hooves act like sponges, if they are out in a wet field their feet will absorb a large amount of water causing the foot to swell and if they are then placed on absorbent bedding such as shavings the feet will dry out rapidly and shrink. The rapid moisture absorption and loss can weaken the hoof structure. The often dew soaked grass in the summer can cause this.

 

Brittle Hoof - In dry conditions the hooves can become brittle and more prone to cracking. It is important for the hoof to remain moisturised to prevent this from happening.

NAF Hoof Moist to keep the hooves moisturised.

NAF Hoof Moist to keep the hooves moisturised.

 

Fly Stomping – this greatly increases in the summer as a number of flies pester horses. Repeatedly stomping on hard, dry ground can lead to bruising and/or cracks. The hooves are often not designed or used to the repeated impact on hard ground. Preventative measures can greatly reduce the amount of fly stomping your horse will do, for example using a fly rug and/or fly spray will limit the amount of stomping that your horse does.

Nettex Fly Repellent Advanced!

Nettex Fly Repellent Advanced!

 

Treatments - Diet and exercise tend to have the greatest impact on hoof health. A number of horses live out in the summer and therefore get plenty of grazing. For some horses the grass may provide enough nutrients and for others it will not. If you feel your horse may be lacking some vitamins and minerals but you do not want/ need to feed a lot of hard feed, a balancer may be an ideal solution. They work to balance all the components of the horses diet with a top up of vitamins and minerals. Furthermore if your horse has poor feet adding a supplement such as Biotin may be of added benefit. Whether your horse is living in or out, the weather and subsequently the ground will affect the type of treatments which may be suitable for your horse. Keratex Hoof Hardener has proved a very popular topical treatment product for strengthening the hooves of shod and barefoot horses, it acts as a sealant and regulates the amount of moisture retained by the hoof. Preventing it from becoming too dry or absorbing too much water. Hoof Hardener should not be applied to the coronet band as this needs to be able to breathe. If hooves are dry NAF Hoof Moist can be applied every other day and it works to sustain the moisture levels in the hoof but still allows for the natural fluctuation of moisture levels. Containing tea tree it also has antiseptic qualities.

Keratex Hoof Hardener to help maintain good hoof condition.

Keratex Hoof Hardener to help maintain good hoof condition.

 

Although with the warmer weather riding can become difficult it is vitally important that your horse does some exercise as frog contact with the ground helps circulation and assists in returning the blood back up the leg which is essential for oxygen supply to the tissues.

 

What’s On July 2014

June 27th, 2014 by Emma

Internationally:

 

9th – 13th, European Dressage Championships for Young Riders & Juniors – will take place in Arezzo, Italy. Competing for Great Britain in the junior team will be: Charlotte Fry, Jessica Gale, Maisie Scruton and Erin Williams. The young rider team will be Phillipa Hutton, Olivia Oakeley, Samantha Thurman-Baker and Ryan Todd.

 

29th July – 3rd August, European Pony Championships – will take place at Millstreet Green Glens Arena, County Cork, Ireland. It will host the pony championships for Dressage, Showjumping and Eventing.

 

Nationally:

 

29th – 31st, The New Forest and Hampshire County Show – is a three-day agricultural show and hosts international showjumping on all three days. The theme this year is ‘hands on’ with the chance to try milking a cow and hold a day old chick. There will be a motorbike display by Jamie Squibb and a number of other displays. Over the three days the show hosts between 95,000 and 100,000 visitors with a show and a trade stand for everybody in addition to a number of food and drink stands, it promises to be a good weekend!

 

31st July – 3rd August, The Longines Royal International Horse Show Hickstead - from international Showjumping to champion show horses and ponies in addition to unrivalled shopping opportunities there really is something for everyone at Hickstead.

 

Longines Royal International Horse Show

Longines Royal International Horse Show

 

Locally:

 

Hill House Equestrian Centre, Market Rasen

 

1st – Angus Pimblott Clinic

2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th – Unafilliated Evening Showjumping with Trailblazer qualifiers

3rd – Jo Burns Firth Showjumping clinic

4th – HLMDRC dressage

6th, 20th - Unafilliated Showjumping with BS club

12 – 13th, 27th - Unafilliated Dressage with Trailblazer, David Broome and UK Riders qualifiers & British Dressage

18th – HLMDRC Showjumping

26th – Car boot & Equestrian Table Top Sale

 

Sissons Farm Equestrian Centre, Peterborough

 

2nd, 9th – Unafilliated Evening Showjumping

5th, 19th – Peter Hales Showjumping Clinic

6th – Unafilliated Evening Showjumping

15th – Unafilliated and British Dressage

16th – Unafilliated Evening Dressage

 

We hope in amongst the many events happening throughout July you have seen something you would like to go to! Have a great time out and about during July 2014!

 

Hot weather must-haves!

June 23rd, 2014 by Sammi

As we start to get a few more hot summer days over the next few months it is a good idea to be prepared and get in those essential summer items for you and your horse. If you are unsure on the best things to get in preparation for the hot weather then take a look at our short guide to summer must-haves, and make sure you have exactly what you need to stay well and enjoy this beautiful summer weather.

 

For your horse!

 

Fly Spray, Gels, Roll-ons - As the temperatures rise insects of all shapes and sizes start to come out too, and are not only bothersome to your horse but can spread disease and some may bite your horse leaving horrible raised lumps and bumps. Be prepared for the influx of bugs by getting a bottle of fly spray and perhaps even some gel for those sensitive areas such as the face.

Nettex Fly Repellent Advanced!

Nettex Fly Repellent Advanced!

Fly masks and fly rugs - If your horse is not very fond of sprays, lotion and creams then you could opt for a fly mask and maybe a rug if your horse is sensitive to fly bites, helping to keep them protected from nasty biting and bothersome insects.    

Amigo Bug Rug

Amigo Bug Rug

Sun Cream - Horse’s with white markings and pink skin are at risk of getting sun burnt when out in the sun for long periods of time, so applying a horse sun cream or high factor gentle children’s sun cream will help to protect the delicate areas of skin. Keep a tube handy in your grooming box or tack room, ready for those unexpected hot summer days!    

Hoof Grease/Moisturiser - When the weather is very dry and hot your horse’s hooves will also dry out and can become brittle and crack, particularly if they are unshod. You can maintain your horse’s hoof health by applying a good quality hoof grease/moisturiser regularly to retain the moisture in the hoof and prevent them from cracking and breaking.  

Mineral/Salt lick - Horse’s should have access to salt and minerals at all times, but in the summer horses will sweat more and when they sweat they not only lose water but body salts (electrolytes, such as potassium, magnesium and sodium chloride) as well, so need to replace essential minerals to return the body’s balance.

Electrolyte – If you know that you will be working your horse a lot over the summer months or perhaps are going to be competing then it is a good idea to keep a tub of electrolytes in, to help your horse replenish lost minerals and water after strenuous exercise.

Bucket and Sweat Scraper – Your horse is likely to get very hot and sweaty when being ridden during the warmer summer weather so having a bucket of fresh clean water, sponge and sweat scraper on hand for when you return from your ride, is a very good idea!

 

For you and around the yard! 

 

Sun Cream - A tube of sun cream kept in the tack room is always very handy, you don’t want to return from a long hack with burnt shoulders and arms, and the infamous glove tan lines! It is important to protect your skin and many of us will be outside in the sun for long periods of time over the summer, so take the advice of skin care specialists and keep your skin covered up or smothered in sun cream!

Hat Deodoriser - All of us will get a little hot and sweaty under our riding helmets, so using a hat deodoriser helps to eliminate odours and kill bacteria leaving your hat with a fresh citrus scent and hygienically cleaner.

Cool Riding Clothes - Keeping cool during the summer is always a top priority and choosing suitable clothes will help, such as short-sleeved lightweight jersey t-shirts or technical competition shirts with cooling properties. You need to make sure you are still safe, so remember to still wear those essential pieces of equipment, helmets, body protectors, suitable boots and legwear.

Cleaning equipment/brushes/detergent - It is very important to keep everything clean, particularly during the warmer weather when bacteria can thrive. Make sure clean all feed buckets and feeding equipment regularly to prevent the build up of harmful bacteria, and be sure to wash out the stable regularly (at least once a week) if your horse is still stabled during the summer. Also give numnahs, boots and brushes a good wash to remove unwanted sweat and bacteria, keeping your horse more comfortable and the whole area more hygienically clean and fresh.  

Ventilated Riding Helmet - If you get very hot when riding and struggle during the warm summer temperatures when wearing you riding helmet then a ventilated riding helmet may become a hot weather must-have for you! They help to circulate the air around your head allowing the hot air to escape and cooler air to pass through, promoting an all-round cooler riding experience.

 

These things will help to keep you and your horse cooler and more comfortable during the summer months, so be prepared for those warmer temperatures with a collection of these key summer items!