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Monday, 19 December 2011

Kam Tip of the Week

Here is a great resource from Kam Animal Services. Their Tips of the Week give you snippets of useful information.
Found via Horse and Man

Horse Yoga

Interesting article from Mail Online about Linda Gaunti and her Arab Lewis doing yoga together, take a look at the article
and be sure to read the comments.
What do you think, yoga or carrot stretches, learned or copied?

Sunday, 4 December 2011


Have you discovered Haynet yet?

Haynet is a brand new social friendly blogging network where we aim to bring together the best equine and country life bloggers around. There are many funny and inspirational horse owners and riders who are also talented bloggers, many of whom havent really been heard. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or a plucky newbie, we’re here to help you blog better through our network.

Haynet is a new UK-based site that already has over 400 members. It provides a central location for horse blogs, includes a  forum, categorization of blogs, and direct links to individual blog sites. And there's an “Agony Aunt” who'll answer your schooling problems so if you haven't joined already pop over now to and join now.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Keep Your Horse Healthy - Free Disease Prevention Pack from World Horse Welfare

Last year, the UK horse industry was given a reminder of the increasing threat from infectious disease when Equine Infectious Anaemia was diagnosed in three locations in England for the first time since 1976.  The first case occurred in Wiltshire in January, followed by cases in Northumberland and Devon in September. 

It has never been so important to minimise the risk of serious and contagious diseases from entering or spreading across the country. An outbreak of disease could be catastrophic for the equestrian industry as well as threatening the welfare of horses in general.

Some worrying findings from our 2009 Livery Yard Survey suggest that many people are not aware of the risks or what preventative action should be taken:

• 61% of stables were not cleaned out between occupants
• 48% said there were no isolation facilities
• 38% said there were no procedures to exclude horses with disease

To help UK horse owners protect their horses against the ever-present and increasing threat from a number of infectious diseases, we launched a free disease prevention information pack last summer.  Keep Your Horse Healthy aims to highlight the need for every horse owner to be aware of diseases such as EIA, Strangles and Flu, and offers simple steps to help protect against their entry and spread.

So far, more than 2,000 copies of the pack have been requested and we've had some fantastic feedback from experts in the field.  To request your copy, please click here to complete our online request form or call the Campaigns Team on 01953 497232.

Our Chief Executive, Roly Owers, comments: “The pack has been created to give horse owners and keepers practical advice as to how they can minimise the incursion and spread of disease. Simple, everyday actions such as good hygiene, avoiding mixing with unfamiliar horses, and maintaining good routine health care are essential in the fight against disease.

“Our research has shown that we as an industry are not addressing the current risk of disease. With the growing popularity of horse riding, climate change and the ever-increasing movement of horses, both within the UK and overseas, the threat of disease is on the increase. We're extremely concerned that if we as a horse owning nation do not act now we will have an epidemic situation on our hands. Education is vital to protect our horses. Every horse owner has an obligation not only to their own horse, but to the horses in their yard and across the country.”

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Horses being abandoned in the UK

392 cases of abandoned horses have been reported to Redwings, the largest horse sanctuary in the UK so far this year, they estimate that the total for 2011 will be in the region of 460 as compared to 160 in 2009.
Abandonment is not the answer, warns Redwings, nor are charities an easy solution.
“Abandoning your horse does not necessarily mean it will have a happy ending at a charity or sanctuary because we simply cannot accommodate them all,” comments Senior Welfare Officer Rachel Angell. “We are using all of our limited resources to ‘fire fight’ the number of welfare cases that involve advanced suffering, these have to remain a priority. A charity is unfortunately not the instant answer, as many are already stretched to the limit.”
 “Sadly while many abandonments are the result of dealers and breeders leaving their unwanted stock on a public road or on council or privately owned land we also suspect that some of the abandoned animals are the result of inexperienced people ridding themselves of an expensive problem,” explains Rachel.
Redwings wishes to send out two strong messages: that breeders should think carefully before producing foals and that people stop and think carefully before taking on the cost and responsibility of an equine.
“Abandoning a horse or pony is not only illegal but is extremely cruel”, concludes Rachel. “It is not in any way caring as it puts the animal through a stressful ordeal with very little chance of a good outcome.”
Anyone struggling to care for their horse is welcome to call Redwings Horse Sanctuary for free advice on 01508 481008 or read information about abandonment, including what to do if a horse has been abandoned on your land, see

Sunday, 6 November 2011

How to work out your horses 's body condition score

What's your horse's body condition score?
Is he / she too fat or too thin?
How do you tell?
Here is a very helpful video that explains how to access your horse's body condition score:

Friday, 4 November 2011

Just a quick reminder about fireworks and equines

As we all know  animals are terrified of fireworks and this includes most horses so extra care needs to be taken at times when people are more likely to be having firework displays such as Guy Fawkes and New Year.
Forewarned is forearmed, so keep an eye out in the local press etc for advertisements for firework displays in your area. If you know your horse is very scared of fireworks you might consider sedation, your vet will be able to supply Sedalin which will help to keep your horse calm. Also if you know there is to be a firework display near you you can arrange to stay with the horse while it is going on.
Generally we wouldn't advise that you change your horses routine as this will only cause additional stress. If your horse is stabled an extra thick bed well banked around the sides will help prevent injury or casting, remember to check carefully for anything that the horse could injure itself on. If your horse is out at grass make especially sure that fences and gates are in good repair.
It's always worth talking to the organizers of firework displays or parties to warn them that there are horses in the area and to ask them to enusre that the fireworks are set off in the opposite direction to the horses.
Make sure that you have a fire procedure in place and the telephone numbers of the fire brigade and your vet to hand. Also check you have  third party liability insurance, if your horse does get out and causes damage you will be held liable for compensation.

Found at

Monday, 24 October 2011

Equine Mud Fever

Autumn is here and the weather will turn to rain resulting in muddy fields so now is the time to start preventative measures against mud fever. Mud Fever is a painful and debilitating skin condition, you can find out more about Mud Fever, how to prevent it and how to treat it by visiting Horse Care Courses and reading the article

Friday, 14 October 2011


With November 5th fast approaching some timely advice from the BHS:

Fireworks can frighten even the most sensible horse. Therefore, the BHS has put together a checklist for owners:

  • Look at local press and local shops’ notice boards and listen to the radio to find out where the displays will be in your area.
  • Wherever possible, tell neighbours and local firework display organisers that there are horses nearby, so they can ensure fireworks are set off in the opposite direction and well away from them.
  • Decide whether to stable your horse or leave it in the field. It is sensible to keep your horse in its familiar environment, in its normal routine, with any companions to make it feel secure. If it is usually stabled, keep it stabled. If it is normally out in the field, keep it there as long as it is safe, secure and not close to the firework display area.
  • If stabled, check thoroughly for anything that could cause potential injury such as protruding nails and string.
  • If your horse is to stay in the field, check that fencing is not broken and that there are no foreign objects lying around.
  • Ensure that you, or someone experienced, stays with your horse if you know that fireworks are being set off.
  • If it is absolutely necessary for you to leave your horse in the care of another person during a firework display, then be sure to leave clear instructions and contact details for both you and your vet should any problems arise.
  • If you know your animal will be stressed, talk to your vet about sedation, or perhaps consider moving your horse for the night.
  • Playing music on a radio positioned outside the stable can often mask sudden noise, distract attention and be soothing.
  • Try to remain calm yourself and keep positive, as horses will sense unease in a person and this may make things worse if the horse is startled.
  • It may seem common sense but be aware of your own safety; a startled horse can be dangerous.
  • Whatever you do – don’t risk riding when you think fireworks might be set off.
  • Check if there will be a bonfire near your yard. If there is, make sure you have an emergency fire procedure in place. If you have any doubts, talk to your local fire safety officer.
  • Make sure that you have adequate third party liability insurance. If your horse is frightened and escapes, causing an accident, then you could be held liable for compensation.
By being proactive in planning for fireworks and Bonfire Night, you can make the annual celebrations less stressful for you and your horse.

It is not just horse owners who need to be careful. Anyone organising a firework display should inform local horse owners. It is also a good idea not to let fireworks off anywhere near fields or farms.

Most people don’t realise how much suffering fireworks cause to animals, particularly horses and those who really want to have fireworks in their back garden should think carefully about how it will affect the local animals before they do so.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Funding required for a documentary about horses and the kids they save

Please visit to find more information on Horse Shoes : A Documentary about horses & the kids they save. I've seen the preview video, found via Horse Sense (who found it via ) and the guy needs funding to continue, it's a good cause...

Friday, 30 September 2011

Horse Care Courses

How evolution has made horses the kind of animal they are - social, grazing, running, prey animals     and how this affects our care and management practices.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

How much to feed your horse?

Baileys Horse Feeds has a really useful feed calculator on their website, they help you establish your horse's bodyweight to enable you to work out the amount of feed required according to workload.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Demonstration of How To Do the Tellington TTouch®

Watch Linda Tellington- Jones demonstrate a TTouch circular movement on YouTube, read more about it on Linda's website and blog Linda Tellington-Jones Talks Story 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Spanish Riding School of Vienna at Wembley 2011

The world famous Spanish Riding School Of Vienna will be performing at Wembley on 24th, 25th, 26 & 27th Novemeber tickets start at around £28.00 for more information or to book visit The Spanish Riding School Wembley 2011

Saturday, 17 September 2011

THINK - horse and rider safety on the road

Horse Sense  - Pass horses wide and slow

Car drivers and horse riders both have a right to use the road. By considering each others' needs and following some basic advice, drivers and riders can help avoid accidents involving horses on the road.

THINK! Advice

Advice for motorists
  • Slow down and be ready to stop if necessary
  • Look out for riders' signals to slow down or stop
  • Watch out for sudden movements, horses can be easily frightened and unpredictable
  • Don't sound your horn or rev your engine
  • Pass wide and slow when overtaking; giving the horse plenty of room. Don’t accelerate rapidly once you have passed them.
  • On roundabouts, horse riders will keep to the left within the roundabout until reaching their exit, when they will signal left. They will normally signal right only when approaching exits they don't intend to use
Advice for horse riders
  • Always display fluorescent/reflective clothing on both horse and rider whatever the weather or light conditions
  • If at all avoidable, don't ride in failing light, fog or darkness. Avoid icy or snowy roads
  • If riding a horse that is not used to roads, ask a rider with a horse who is experienced and calm to accompany you
  • Never take a mounted group of more than eight horses on the road
  • If riding two abreast, move into single file as soon as it is safe for the motorist to overtake. Don't ride more than two abreast on the road
  • Always cross major crossings in a group, rather than trickling across one by one
  • Leave details of your intended route and estimated time of return with a responsible person
extract from directgov

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Tape Worms in Horses - Anoplocephala perfoliata, Anoplocephala magna & Anoplocephaloides mamillana

Autumn is upon us and it's now time to treat against tapeworm.

Diagnosing tapeworm in live horses is difficult as not finding tapeworm eggs in faeces does not mean that the horse is free of tapeworms, therefore egg counts are not reliable in the detection of tapeworm. The ELISA blood test for tapeworm antibodies is more reliable but even that isn't 100%.

Horses become infected with tapeworms when grazing or eating hay or bedding that is infected with the orbatid mite (forage mite) which is the intermediate host of the tapeworm. Eggs develop in the orbatid mite into immature tapeworms (cysticercoids) which will develops into an adult tapeworm  in the horses intestine, eggs are spread via the tapeworm segments illustrated above.

Tapeworm infestation is a major cause of spasmodic colic, current research estimates that over 20% of cases of spasmodic colic are related to tapeworm burden, they are also responsible for Ileal Impaction.
Exposure to tapeworms is greater during long periods of grazing eg. summer turnout, which is why we traditionally treat fro tapeworm in the autumn and then again six months later. Control tapeworm by worming with Equitape which treats Tapeworm only and should be used in addtion to your normal wormer or use a combination wormer such as Strongid P, Pyratape P, Equimax, Eqvalan Duo, Equest Pramox etc.

Remember keeping the horses enviroment free of dung is the most effective parasite control measure. Dropings should be removed from the field at least twice a week, stables and feeding untensils should be kept clean.

Photograph source Kleider Veterinary Services

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Feeding Corn Oil to improve the condition of your horse's coat

Did you know that a little corn oil in your horse's feed will improve the condition of his coat? And yes you can use oil from the supermarket. As always make any feeding changes gradual (The Basic Rules of Feeding Horses) and start with only a splash. Some horses won't like the taste at first, mixing with chaff helps, but once your horse is happy with this you can gradually increase the amount fed to around 80ml / 2.7fl ozs a day for a shiny coat.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Colic in Horses : An Owner's Guide - Free iPhone app

A free app from the iTunes store for horse owners -

This application has been developed by an equine veterinarian and walks horse owners through steps to be taken when their horse is colicky. Owners will learn to perform a basic physical exam and what the parameters can mean. They will also learn when to call their vet out versus when to get their horse to the hospital asap.

Dr. Keith Taraba is the owner of Northeast Texas Equine Services in Pittsburg, TX. He has nearly a decade of experience in managing equine colic and has received training at one of the nation's most renowned equine referral centers.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Robert Duncan's "Tribute To The Horse" - Ladies and Gentlemen: The Horse!

Where in this world can man find nobility without pride, friendship
without envy, beauty without vanity?

Here, where grace is laced with muscle, and strength by gentleness confined.
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.

There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent; there is nothing so quick,
nothing more patient.
Our past has been borne on his back.

All our history is his industry:
we are his heirs, he is our inheritance.
Ladies and Gentlemen: The Horse!

Robert Duncan

Robert Duncan's "Tribute To The Horse" is read every year at The Horse Of The Year Show, known as the "World's most famous horse show"  this years HOYS takes place at Birmingham's NEC from 4th - 9th October for further information and to book tickets visit

Monday, 5 September 2011

Your Horse Live 2011 - Win Tickets

 Laura Bechtolsheimer, Geoff Billington and Oliver Townend will be teaming up to share knowledge and experience  at this years Your Horse Live. And that’s not all - International Grand Prix dressage rider Anna Ross Davies will be making her Your Horse Live debut and performing an exclusive dressage to music pas de deux with fellow rider Roland Tong. Anna will be explaining what goes on behind the scenes to bring a beautifully choreographed dressage display to life.

With some 300 trade stands this years Your Horse Live, 12th - 13th Novemeber, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire is bound to be a great day out.

The free magazine Equi-Ads, available from tack shops, feed merchants etc,  has teamed up with Your Horse Live to offer 4 readers a chance of winning a pair of adult tickets to the event. All you have to do is answer a simple question:

Where is Your Horse Live 2011 taking place?

and send the answer along with name, address, telephone number by email to or answer on a poscard and send your entry to: Your Horse Live Competion, Equi-Ads Office, 1 Tayview Industrial Estate, Friarton Road, Perth, PH2 8DG.

Full details of the competion can be found in the September edition of Equi-Ads, for more information on Your Horse Live 2011 and to book tickets in advance visit

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Monty Roberts "From My Hands To Yours" UK tour dates

Monty Roberts returns to the Uk with his "From My Hands To Yours" Tour, How to Create Your OWN Safe & Willin Equine Partner.
Watch Join Up live, and see how it can encourage trust and understnading.
How Western training techniques can help You produce a softer, lighter ridden horse.
Solutions for everyday problems such as napping, loading, spooking, mounting etc.

"An action packed show to Inspire, Eucate & Entertain"

22 Sept - South Staffordshore College, Penkridge, Staffs.
24th Sept - Brook Farm TC, Stapleford Abbots, Essex.
29th Sept - Arena UK, Allington, Lincs.
1st Oct - Gleneagles EC, Auchterader, Perthshire.
3rd Oct - Greenlands Ec, Carlisle, Cumbria.
15th Oct - Hadlow College, Tonbridge, Kent
21st Oct - Bishop Burton, Beverley, Hull.
23rd Oct - Myerscough, Preston, Lancs
2nd Nov - The Grange Ec, Okehampton, Devon.
4th Nov - Hartpury College, Hartpury,Gloucester.

For further information visit or telephone 01488 71300

Friday, 2 September 2011

Saddle Pads

What do you do when you find that your horse has changed shape and your saddle no longer fits perfectly?

 Ideally you'd have a saddler come out and refit the saddle or purchase another that fits correctly. But what if you believe the problem to be due to a temporary change in shape caused eg. due to loss of condition / lack of fitness. Do you invest in another saddle that may not fit in a few months time?

The answer to your problem could be the use of a saddle pad, there are a large variety available to eliviate all sorts of saddle fitting problems on a temporary basis. The one pictured above is the Prolite Wither Pad designed to s lift the front of a saddle and eliminate pressure caused by the points of the saddle tree on high-withered horses or where muscle wastage makes saddle fitting difficult.
The Wintec Front Riser Pad has an extra layer in the front to provide increased lift to saddles sitting to low on the withers and is ideal for fitting horses with a very low wither or minimal muscles across their shoulders.

The Prolite Adjustable Relief Pad has removable inserts which can be adapted to alter the fit of the saddle as muscle tone changes.

The Aerborn Aerolite Combi Riser is relief pad with additional removable shims in both the front and the rear aimed at adjusting the balance and fit of your saddle. Its pressure relieving, impact and friction absorbing properties help to alleviate bruising, saddle sores and dissipates the weight and pressure distribution under the saddle without reducing saddle stability. It's for use on young developing or rehabilitating horses, large yards where one saddle would be used on numerous horses or for just general condition change through the seasons
The Wintec Rear Riser Pad is made from shock absorbing foam which is moulded to fit the chamber of the saddle. It gives an extra layer to provide increased lift to the back of saddles for horses that are changing shape or have a poor top line and is ideal for fitting horses with a very high wither or sway back.

This is just a small selection of saddle pads currently on the market to give you an idea of what is available, they are great as a temporary measure but please remember that you really do need a well fitted saddle for both your horses and your own comfort and the best way to achieve this is with the advice of a qualified saddler.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

7 Signs That Your Horse's Teeth May Be Causing Problems

                                              1. Difficulty in chewing
                                              2. Quidding (dropping food)
                                              3. Loss of appetite
                                              4. Swellings on the jaw
                                              5. Abrasions on the tongue or gums
                                              6. Loss of condition
                                              7. Poor performance

Monday, 29 August 2011

Plants that are poisonous to horses - UK

Oak (& acorns)
Ground Ivy
Deadly Nightshade
lesser Celandine
Greater Celendine
St Johns Wort
Water Dropwort
Purple Milk Vetch
Lesser Periwinkle
Meadow Saffron
Daffodil bulbs
Hyacinth bulbs
Snowdrop bulbs
Bluebell bulbs

Sunday, 28 August 2011

What people say about the BHS Horse Owners Certificate

"I found it very worthwhile"

"for those who are planning on getting a horse of their own it's a pretty good starting place"

"full of practical stuff that you need to know to make the transition between once a week rider and horse owner"

"very informative and taught me a lot that I didn't know"

"a great way fro people to get basic knowledge but can work out rather expensive at over £200 per level"

Have you taken the BHS Horse Owners Certificate courses at any level? If so please feel free to add your own opinion in the comments.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Are you confident you know how to care for your horse - BHS Horse Owners Certificate

Becoming a horse owner is the dream of many once a week riders and pony mad youngsters alike but when that dream comes true it can often turn into confusion, trepidation and even fear. Owning your own horse or pony, being completely responsible for it's well being, is a whole lot different to going to the stables to ride once a week even if you do stay behind to help out after.

It's a good idea to prepare for horse ownership before actually taking the plunge and one way of doing this is to take a horse care course. One such course is the British Horse Societies Horse Owners Certificate:

"The Horse Owner's Certificates are offered at four levels of knowledge with regard to the care and management of the horse and are specifically aimed at the first time horse owner, parent of horse owners or potential owners. Each level will be assessed in the form of a written paper, which should be completed under examination conditions with an adjudicator present.

Courses may be held anywhere, but the person who takes overall responsibility for the training and the course must be a member of the BHS Register of Instructors. During the course the instructor will follow the syllabus appropriate for each of the levels. Candidates can also purchase books to accompany the course through the BHS Bookshop.

The examination papers will be set and marked by the registered instructor in charge of the course. The pass mark for each Level is 60 percent and successful candidates will receive a certificate for each level attained. All certificates will be sent to the instructor, who will forward them. "

Level 1 consists of:

Knowledge of horse types, uses,colours and markings.
Elementary stable management.
Knowledge of care and maintenance required to keep a horse healthy and comfortable in the stable.
Stable routine and safety in the stable. Safe handling of both horse and equipment necessary for his well being.
Identification of items of tack in common use and naming the parts.
Basic care of tack. Ability to take apart, inspect for safety and re-assemble.
Reasons and principles of grooming. Knowledge of the items in a grooming kit and their use.
basic knowledge of shoeing and care of the foot.
Recognition of signs of health and ill health and when to call the vet. Temperature, pulse, respiration and signs of health.
Preventative treatments - worming, flu-vac etc. A basic knowledge of the need to vacinate and worm.
Elementary principles of watering and feeding. Rules of feeding and watering.
A knowledge of buying a horse. Points to look for. The need for a vet to access the horse before purchase.
Elementary rules for preparing ahorse for a ride, riding ot on the roads, returning from a ride, riding dress.

Level 2:

The reasons for shoeing and recognition of when shoeing or re-shoeing is required. A knowledge of the basic structure of the foot. Farrier's tools and how to use. How to remove a shoe in an emergency.
Recognition of common injuries and basic first aid. Arresting bleeding and treatments for different types of wounds.
Knowledge of feeding and watering the stabled horse and the horse at grass. Feeding in all seasons. Feeding for light work.
Care and maintenance of grassland. To include the maintenance of fences, gates, shelter,watering etc. care and improvement of the grassland to include knowledge of harmful weeds and their control.
The care of saddlery, to include inspection for soundness of saddles. Aknowledge of fitting and the use of most items of equipment ie. martingales, breastplates,boots etc.
The necessity of insurance to cover all aspects of the horse and its use.
Stable routine for two horses.To include all the extra jobs that need to be undertaken eg. drains, guttering, paintwork, cleanliness of yard etc.
Bedding. A knowledge of different types of bedding and their management. To include different systems eg. deep litter.
The Highway Code.
The Country Code,including the correct and courteous use of bridleways.

Level 3:

The recognition, treatment and care of commoninjuries and ailments, further to Level 2.
Changes from management in the stable to amnagement at grass and vice-versa.The procedures for getting a horse up from a period at grass eg. teeth, worming etc and the procedures for roughing-off a horse.
Clipping, trimming, plaiting.
Care and maintenance of horse transport, to include both horse boxes and trailers. A knowledge of the law regarding the transit of horses.Weight ratios for trailers and legal requirement with regard to towing. Preparation of the horse for travel. A knowledge of the equipment needed with regard to the length of journey and climatic conditions.
The care of the horse trekking and in competitive events.
Understand fitness and condition and maintenance of both.
Knowlege of good and bad stable construction. Different types of stabling. basic requirements of planning regulations. Layout of stable yard to include handling and disposal of the muck heap.
Knowledge of horse clothing and bandaging.Care and maintenance of both.
Recognition of good and bad forage. Knowledge of different grasses found in hay samples and ability to identify weeds and poor grasses.
Have a working knowledge of the costs involved in keeping a horse.
Have a knowledge of the activities of the:
The British Horse Society
Riding Clubs
The Pony Club

Level 4:

Knowledge of the main systems in a horse.(respiration, reproduction, digetive, immune etc) their function and common problems asscoiated withthese systems (COPD, Colic etc.)
Knowledge of various grasses, conditions of growth and beneficial properties. Procedures for improving pasture ie. drainage, cross-grazing, re-seeding, fertilisers etc. Haymaking, types and methods.
Vitamins / Minerals - difference between them and why they might be deficient in the diet. Name main vitamins / minerals and their uses. Weigts and types of feed available for : Riding School Horses, Hunters, Competion Horses etc.
Knowledge of the structure of the tooth and ageing characteristics.Description of structure of the mouth and common problems that may result from poor conformation of this.
name and structure of different types of remedial shoes.Give description of the condition under which these shoes may be used and the way in which they affect improvement / relief.
List the basic principles of sick nursing and the resons / conditions for implementing these. describe the way in which these principles may help to reduce the severity of a condition / injury and any problems that may arise as a result.
outline the basic principles of fitting varios saddles, (dressage, jumping, cross country, general purpose) and bridles (snaffle, double bridle). Describe the uses of specifc "bits" and gagets, (draw reins, balancing reins, Market Harborough, De Gouge etc) and the way in which they work.
List common stable vices and their possible causes. Also suggest ways to stop such vices and preventative steps that can be taken to limit these.
A general knowledge of The BHS and its Departments, Structure etc. awareness of The BHS qualifications system and the BHS register of Instructors.
Action to be taken in the event of an accident.Aknowledge of RIDDOR and legal obligations of an instructor.

"If you are interested in taking the Horse Owner’s Certificates you can contact an Instructor who is on the Register of Instructors, those running courses are prefixed by (H).

You can also contact a BHS Approved Centre, a local Agricultural College, riding centre or local education authority to see if they are running an evening course.

A candidate’s information pack is available from the BHS Examinations Department on request.
Please contact or call 0844 848 1666 for more information"

Monday, 15 August 2011

How to build your own cavelleti

You'll find detailed instructions on how to build your own classic wooden cross cavalleti on the Texas Horseman's Directory.

For cavelleti that look a bit more like the polyjump multiblock plastic block you'll find full instructions at Home Insight Woodworking with APMonte!

There are also instructions  for making both wooden cavelletti and cavelletti from PVC pipes on ehow but there are no diagrams or photographs.

If you've come across any good instructions for DIY cavelleti or have any good ideas yourself please feel free to share by leaving a comment.

Homemade show jumps - oil barrels

 Empty oil barrels have always made useful jumps, poles can be rested on the barrels or the barrels themselves can be jumped.

Now an innovative design, barrel jump cups, makes them even more useful. The barrel jump cups are a triple jump cup bracket to fit on the lip of oil drums giving seperate heights under pole of 97cm (38"), 71cm (28") and 46cm (18").  They are of solid steel construction with no sharp edges and they come with one wall bracket.

The price seems to vary from around £18.00 up to £25.00 + p & P so it's worth searching online to find the best deal you can.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Hanging Plank Jumps - make your own

Planks for showjumps complete with fittings can cost up to £35.00 (and even more) each, so making your own is a real money saving exercise, especially if you have access to scrap wood but do make sure it hasn't got splinters, nails etc and is sturdy enough not to smash if hit.
These plastic coated metal fittings are called plank brackets and they enable you to make your own showjump planks with timber up to 38mm thick. They are available from a large number of internet retailers but we've found Robinsons to be the cheapest at £6.65 a pair.

Early symptoms of Colic - video

Colic, abdominal pain, is dreaded by all horse owners as it can become severe leading to death. Being able to spot the early symptoms of colic is essential to prevent things escalting and going badly wrong.

There is a useful video on the Petplan Equine website that is well worth a look at, here is the link :

Friday, 12 August 2011

H2Go Barrow Bag

The H2Go Barrow Bag looks like a really useful piece of equipment to have if you have to barrow water any distance. It is designed to carry up to 80 litres of water in a wheelbarrow so it's a real boon to those who don't have easy access to taps, hoses etc.

Lots of tack shops are now stocking the H2Go Barrow Bag and it can also be easily found to purchase online from various sources for around £10.00

Thursday, 11 August 2011

How to find a Farrier

As a new horse owner you'll need to find yourself a farrier, your horse or pony will need to have their hooves trimmed / re-shod every 6 to 8 weeks depending on how quickly they grow.

There are lots of farriers out there to chose from, most have vans and travel to you. A good place to start looking for a farrier who covers your area is The Farriers Registration Council website. Click on Find a Farrier, agree to terms and you'll be sent to a search page where you can enter your town, postcode etc to find a farrier who covers your area.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Basic Rules of Feeding Horses

Feed little and often.
Feed at regular times
Make any feeding changes gradual
Do not feed immediately before work
Water must be available at all times
Keep feeding utensils clean
Do not disturb a horse while feeding
Always dampen feed
No feed should be larger tha 4lb (1.8kg)
Feed good quality feed and forage in the correct proportions

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Ragwort FAQ

Is Ragwort Poisonous?

Yes Ragwort is a poisonous plant. Ragwort contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids compounds that are poisonous to most animals. When Ragwort is eaten it is changed by the intestines and then broken down by the liver, the breakdown products formed in the liver are toxic, it is damage to liver cells that can, if sufficient ragwort is consumed  be cumulative to the point of death.

How toxic is Ragwort?

Ragwort contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are poisonous when eaten, these alkaloids do not accumulate in the body but they do cause liver damage if consumed in very large doses or over a period of time. It is the damage to the liver that kills. Scientific research has shown that a horse or pony would need to consume between 5 % and 25% of it's own body weight in Ragwort to succomb to Ragwort poisioning.

Will my horse die if it has eaten Ragwort?

Eating Ragwort can lead to incurable liver damage and death however a horse would need to eat a considerable amount (see How toxic is Ragwort) before this happened so if you keep your fields free of Ragwort and make sure you feed good quality Ragwort free forage this is unlikely to happen.

Will my horse eat Ragwort?

It doesn't taste good so most equines will avoid eating Ragwort in the field although some do develop a taste for it and they may eat it if there is nothing else to eat. The real danger is when Ragwort is cut and dried, it becomes much more palatable. So always make sure you keep any plants or leaves that you've removed out of reach and make sure your hay / haylage is Ragwort free.

Is Ragwort poisionous to humans?

Not unless you plan on eating it! It's the pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can cause liver damage but these are not toxic unless consumed. Occasionally some people will have an allergic reaction to Ragwort that causes dermatitis so if your're worried about this wear gloves when handling Ragwort.

I've read that there are 6,500 horse deaths a year from Ragwort poisioning is this true?

No there is no evidence to substantiate the claim that 6,500 horses die each year from Ragwort poisioning and  the Advertising Standards Authority who regulate advertisements in the UK have stopped companies selling ragwort related products from using this figure.

How many horses die of Ragwort poisioning?

There have been 10 confirmed deaths by Ragwort poisioning between 2005 and 2010.

Is it true that landowners have to remove Ragwort by law?

No there is no legislation that states that landowners must remove Ragwort from their land this misconception arises from the fact that Ragwort is classed as an "injurious" weed and thus covered by the Weeds Act 1959.

"(1) Where the minister of Agriculture fish and food (in this act referred to as ' the Minister') is satisfied that there are injurious weeds to which this act applies growing upon any land he may serve upon the occupier of the land a notice, to take such action as may be necessary to prevent the weeds from spreading."

My nieghbour has Ragwort on their land and I don't want it spreading to mine what can I do?

Firstly speak to them about your concerns and ask if they will remove it if necessary you could ask for permission to remove it yourself. If this fails you can report the matter to Defra using the following complaint form on the DEFRA website: Weeds Act 1959 - Complaint Form (WEED2/WEED2A). they will then access the risk and decide if it is necessary to issue the landowner with an order to remove the ragwort.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

How to remove Ragwort from your paddock

As responsible horse owners we all need to keep our horse's grazing / turnout free from Ragwort, you'll need a Ragwort fork which can be bought from most tack shops or feed merchants, they are also readily available online for about £20.00, just search ragwort fork.

Ragwort forks are very easy to use they have been specifically developed to remove this pernicious weed quickly and easily, without the use of chemicals, they  remove the whole plant including the roots, reducing the possibility for re-growth

All you need to do is place the fork near to the plant, put your foot on the ragwort fork bar and press down into the rootball of the plant then dig it out.

To dispose of the uprooted plant, put it into a paper sack and leave somewhere safe where your horse / pony or other livestock cannot get to it and leave it for a few days to wilt. It can then be burnt, if you try to burn it whilst it is still fresh it will produce a horrible smoke.


You should always wear gloves when handling ragwort as some people have an allergic reaction to it.


Need help identifying Ragwort, then scroll down to our earlier posts Do you know how to identify Ragwort? and How to Recognise Ragwort.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Do you know how to identify Ragwort?

 Do you know how to identify the poison plant Ragwort?
Here are a few photographs to help aid identification, you can left click on the photographs to enlarge them.


Ragwort flower buds.

 Ragwort flowers.

Ragwort flowers.

Now let's try a little test, look at the following photographs and spot the Ragwort, you'll find the answers at the bottom of the post.

 Fig. 1







Answers: Ragwort can be found in Fig.2, 4 & 6.

Scroll down to the previous post, How to recognise Ragwort, to see more photographs that will aid with the identification of Ragwort.

Monday, 1 August 2011

How to recognise Ragwort

(Photograph courtesy My Equestrian World)

Most of us realise that Ragwort needs to be eliminated from our horse's pasture due to the risk of poisoning . It's a noxious weed that quickly grows from the small "rosette" above to the tall flowering plant pictued below. In this post we're going to show you lots of photographs of the Ragwort plant to help aid in indentification.


Identification can sometimes be hindered when the plant has been stripped by caterpillars

 however if you see these stripey little caterpillars munching their way through a plant it's more than likely Ragwort, the Cinnabar Moth's caterpillars favourite food.

The Ragwort plant grows in a cirular cluster of leaves often described as a rosette,

(Photograph courtesy My Equestrian World)

as the Ragwort grows the leaves become wavier, as you can see in the photographs the adult leaves below are quite different to those of the young plant above.

The daisy like yellow flowers  appear from May to October

and if allowed to go to seed each plant can produce 150,000 seeds, with a 70% germination rate. 

 Ragwort seeds can lie dormant in the ground for as long as 20 years.

So it's importnat to remove Ragwort from your pasture before it goes to seed, ideally at the rosette stage.