Tag Archives: riders

Coronavirus – How it affects equestrians

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It is without question that these are unprecedented times for the whole of society, not to mention the equestrian community. It is increasingly difficult to get clear guidelines when the situation is constantly evolving and changing. So many equestrians are left with questions regarding what we can or can’t do with our horses during the Coronavirus pandemic. Here at Horse Scout, the CEO Lucienne Elms and all the team will endeavour to keep you as updated as possible with this ever-changing series of events.

 

On the 18th March, the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) called to cease all organised equestrian activity which is now more important then ever with the latest government measures to cease all bar essential travel, moving livery yards, taking your horses schooling or to clinics is NOT essential travel, however transporting to the vets for emergency care is allowed.

 

As most will already be aware following recent government advice, British Dressage, British Show Jumping and British Eventing have taken the responsible action to reduce the risk of the virus spreading by cancelling all competitions. This will be for a four week period to begin with however, this will of course be monitored and possibly prolonged if needs be. It is vital that the equestrian community takes the necessary precautions to protect both themselves and others.

 

Following the Government directive last night (Monday 23rd March – 8.30pm) to cease all bar essential travel, the British Horse Society released the following statement this morning (Tuesday 24th March):

“Horse welfare is critical and grooms or the sole carer for a horse should travel to provide care for horses. Where horses are kept in livery the BHS advises that horse owners respect the protocol put in place by the yard owner or manager and work as a team to agree a care plan for your horse(s).

We are getting a lot of questions in relation to riding your horse, for which there are no specific government guidelines at present. We advise that it is not appropriate to put unnecessary pressure on the emergency services and everyone should make their own individual decision as to whether riding is necessary at this time.

The health and welfare of your horse is your priority. If you have any concerns please contact your vet, yard manager or the BHS and we will do our best to assist you.”

 

Current advice for horse owners.

If you have your horse on DIY livery, you are essentially renting a stable and field from the yard, you are therefore the sole care provider for the animal and can visit the yard to care for him as you would do normally whilst ensuring social distancing and good hygiene. It is possible that if the pandemic develops, some larger yards may provide a rota of allocated time slots for individuals to go up and care for their horses to minimise contact. It is important for yards to keep owners updated with what restrictions they will have in place and it is crucial that owners respect their yards protocol.

 

It is also advised that owners have a back-up plan in place should they be unable to attend their horse for some reason. These measures would include, writing a care plan for each horse so that others would know exactly how to care for your horse in your absence, ensure that you have sufficient supplies in the sense of feed, bedding etc (without panic buying) and keeping in touch with other liveries and yard owners.

 

Download a copy of the Horse Scout Emergency Horse Care Notes here.

 

For full and part livery owners, it may well be that your yard is temporarily closed to ensure minimal contact. In this instance, the grooms will be the horses primary carers, please do respect that this may well be an increasingly busy and stressful time for them. Protocol for individual yards may vary so regular communication between yard and owners is very important at this time.

 

Should you be riding? 

There are currently no specific guidelines regarding whether you should be riding your horse, but both the BHS and the British Equestrian Federation have advised for you to take the relevant care should you decide to ride at this time. It may be that you avoid riding a fresh youngster, avoid hacking on busy roads, or any activities that may increase the risk of you injuring yourself. It is vital that we support our NHS at this time and follow the BEF advice by not participating in any organised activity including traveling your horse for lessons or schooling, having a coach to your yard, having a lesson at a riding centre and riding in large groups. Please do remember that this is only a temporary measure, if we are more careful now it will benefit us and the wider community in the long-term.

 

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Current advice for yards / grooms / freelancers.

Employers and yard owners have a duty of care to their staff and liveries, it is important to encourage all staff and owners to follow the governments advice regarding biosecurity. It is advisable to have sufficient access to hand washing facilities and where possible, supply hand sanitiser on the premises, posters are available online to display around the yard to encourage hand washing.

 

It is important to come up with a contingency plan should any member of staff need to self-isolate, this may include looking into freelance cover or training other staff members to be able to cover others work. Should a member of staff become ill / need to self-isolate, the government has announced that it will fund two weeks statutory sick pay. Boris Johnson has announced measures to help those who have been financially impacted by the virus. View the latest government advice here.

 

The Equestrian Employers Association has released some helpful advice which can be found using the following link – https://equestrianemployers.org.uk/news/433/advice-for-employers-on-coronavirus.

 

There is no doubt this is a worrying time for freelancers due to not being entitled to Statutory Sick pay but there may be an increasing amount of work available from yards with staff off work due to the virus. Horse Scout recommend the use of the networking side of the website to reach out to local yards near yourself on the Horse Scout yards page to let them know that you are available to help should they need it. Equally, if you haven’t already, it may be useful to create a freelance groom profile for free on Horsescout.com so that yard owners are able to find you.

 

The government have released measures to help ease financial pressures for freelancers including the possibility for Universal credit and help if you can’t pay your Tax bill. Further help regarding this can be found on the official government site here.

 

Helpful Links:

Gov.uk: COVID-19: support for businesses

GOV.UK: COVID-19: guidance for employees

HM Treasury: How to access government financial support if you or your business has been affected by COVID-19

National Federation of Self Employed and Small Businesses

 

We hope that by providing you with as much relevant information as possible, you can feel assured to take the necessary precautions during this pandemic.

 

Most importantly stay safe.

 

 

Horse Scout Real: Shaun Mandy

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With the summer season quickly approaching, we caught up with Horse Scout Advocate and Dressage rider Shaun Mandy to find out what his plans are for the year ahead. We found out why he says putting the work in at home is so vital to getting the results in the ring and received some useful tips to help you achieve your 2020 goals.

 

Shaun as a coach, offers his clients a bespoke and professional coaching system to work with horses and riders of any level to help them achieve their objectives across multi-disciplines. No two horses or riders are the same, so he works on a flexible approach, tailor-made to suit both horse and rider. He is doing his British Dressage Level 2 in coaching this year followed by Level 3.

 

 

What are your main goals and ambitions for 2020?

My ultimate goal for 2020 would be to get onto the Grand Prix circuit. However, I have yet to sit down with the calendar and plan shows for this year. I will be going to the premiere leagues and high profile shows, but I will be more focused on securing the work and getting the training time in at home. My horse will be stepping up a level this year, so it is important to concentrate on his way of going at home and executing the movements to the best of our ability. This way, we will be able to confidently progress to Grand Prix throughout the year, hopefully resulting in getting the judges scores in the ring. In order to achieve this, I will set lots of shorter term, more achievable goals throughout the year. I will be judging how my horse is coping with these goals, and once I am happy with how he is going, look towards the next.

 

 

Tell us a bit more about your top horse…

My top horse, Euphoria E, is a lovely gelding by Carl Hester’s Uthopia out of a Sandro Hit mare. I acquired the ride on him as a six year old competing at Elementary level before later buying him. I currently have a small syndicate of owners for him and would be looking for a couple of new owners this year. Over the past five years I have produced him through the levels, this year we will be competing at Inter II and hopefully Grand Prix. He is the first horse that I will have produced through the levels and I am so grateful for the experience I have gained through training the horse myself. Yes, it would have been lovely to have been given a ready-made Grand Prix horse to ride, but although it has been challenging, I have come to appreciate the journey for what it has taught me. Saying that, all progress has been solely thanks to the fantastic training I have received from my coaches. Euphoria has been a real learning curve to produce. He is a lovely gentle horse who you would never want to shout at due to his shy character. He is, however, a bit of a silent stressor so I have had to really focus on quietly and confidently bringing him on, knowing that his talent may not have always been reflected in his scores as a young horse. Over the past year or so as he has started to step up to a higher level and has really started to come into his own as if to say, ‘I have arrived, this is what I have been waiting for’.

 

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What would you say your career highlight has been to date?

I’m sure so many riders would have highlights that are purely results based, but for me, my career highlight has to be getting into Carl Hester’s Diary to train! Learning from the best riders possible has always been so important to me and Carl is someone that I have always longed to train with. I am extremely lucky to be able to learn from a rider of his calibre, as I feel that studying other riders and absorbing their knowledge is the only way you can improve, and who better to learn from then Carl himself? I am also incredibly lucky to be based with Matt Hicks and also train with him on a weekly basis, he has been fantastic and has really helped me to get to the level I am at today.

 

 

Do you have any top tips for training your horse?

1 – Patience is key! Never lose your temper with your horse, if he doesn’t understand what you are asking of him, think to yourself ‘How can I re-word this to help him understand what I want.’ If you find yourself getting frustrated, just jump off and put your horse back in his stable, there is no harm in coming back with a fresh approach the following day.

 

2 – Education, find a good trainer and put the work in at home. There is no rush to get out to a show, get your foundations right and build on them.

 

3 – Stay humble. Never think you know it all, there is always something you can improve on or try to work on at home. I remember when I first left home to train in Denmark, I honestly thought I was a decent rider. I had a real shock when I got there and saw how talented the other riders were and thought I can’t ride at all! But I think it was at this point that I realised that these riders that I am looking up to, will have other riders that they aspire to ride as well as and so on. I learnt how important it is to get your head down and keep learning your craft. Training is still so vital to me now, but it’s not only at home you can pick new things up, sometimes I’m in the collecting ring and see another rider warming their horse in and think, I need to try that!

 

 

Is there any horse that you wish you had in your stable?

There are the obvious greats like Valegro, I doubt there is a dressage rider in the world who wouldn’t love to ride a horse like that. But I honestly feel that every horse comes to you exactly the right time for you. I don’t think I would trade my horse for another at all. The journey that we have been on and everything that he has taught me, this has made me the rider I am today.

 

 

How important is training to you?

I can’t stress enough how quality coaching and training is key to progressing as a rider. The training that I have had along the way with Matt and now Carl has really developed and formed me not only into the rider that I am but also the trainer. It’s given me the tools in my kit to use and help others. The more that I can evolve as a rider and understand the sport, the more I can pass my knowledge on to those that I teach. My training hasn’t stopped just because I have got to Grand Prix level, if anything, I am now training harder than I ever have done before, it really is a never-ending cycle. Stay humble, stay focused on your goals and constantly learn from one another.

 

HORSE SCOUT REAL: Harry Charles

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Harry Charles is the teen sensation everyone is talking about in the world of Show Jumping. Those who rate him highly as a rider and a horseman include Performance Manager Di Lampard, Olympic Gold medalist, Nick Skelton and of course his biggest fan is his dad, Peter Charles MBE. Who also happens to be an equestrian legend in his own right. With many team appearances for both Ireland and Britain, Peter was one of the showjumpers who made history, helping Team GB to Olympic gold at London 2012.

 

2018 has been a storming year for 19-year-old Harry. Not only did he win both individual and team gold medals at the Young Rider European Championships, earlier in the year he finished third his very first Grand Prix, beating dad in the process. The dream continued when he jumped at Aachen, considered as one of the most prestigious and challenging venues in the world against all his childhood heroes. Shortly after that, he competed in the London leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour before making his senior team debut at the Nations Cup in Dijon. We are excited to announce that Harry will join the stellar line-up of riders at this year’s Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show. And it sounds like he is excited too…

Photo from hopedeamer1-20

“Last year, Liverpool was the first ever big show I did so for me that was really special,” says Harry who was placed in several big classes. “I had a really good year last year and to top it off, to do well at Liverpool in front of an amazing crowd and some of the best riders in the world was just amazing for me.”

 

Harry explains what riders love about the show “For an indoor arena it is a really good size. Which is good for riders and horses and for course builders too as you can build bigger jumps in there” he explains “I think the crowd love it. They are looking down on the arena so that always creates a really good atmosphere and it drives the riders on to win a class, I think.”

 

Peter, who has also jumped at the show explains what he loves about competing there. “The show brings to the North-West, a different audience and the atmosphere there is really intense. The arena is up, close and personal and I think people really appreciate the art of showjumping” he says.

 

This year the Charles family will be bringing a number of horses and both Harry and his two sisters, Sienna and Scarlett will be competing.

 

“We plan to bring the best horses we can to Liverpool and we are aiming at the big classes like the Grand Prix and the jump-off classes. So we are going to take a team of horses that can be very competitive” he says, highlighting the significance of the show in the equestrian calendar.

 

“It’s one of the few big shows we have in Great Britain and being right at the end of the year, everyone is up for it. It’s always really nice to look forward to. There is a fun atmosphere too. I don’t have any shows or horses to ride on New Years Day so I think if all goes to plan, it will be great to party too.

 

Before Liverpool, Harry is looking forward to spending a Christmas at home with all his family

“We try to have a day off riding but some days we will ride a few horses. The season in showjumping never stops so you have to keep going.”

 

Meeting Harry and Peter at home, it’s clear that their base- Heathcroft Farm, is very much a family operation. Scarlett and Sienna are following closely on their brother’s heels, each winning medals for their country at youth level. Naturally, they live, work and breathe horses and most of the time they all get on. “Me and my sisters have a few disagreements every now and again like everyone does. It’s not always about horses either” smiles Harry. “Even me and my dad, sometimes we can have different opinions on things but we all get on. If we didn’t, it wouldn’t run as smoothly as it does.”

 

“We all have a good work ethic and are usually too tired to argue!” chips in Peter, who along with his son are huge Liverpool FC fans. Peter was born and raised in Liverpool so the city is dear to his heart. “I grew up in Bootle and I have a lot of friends and family up there so it’s very personal to me to go and jump up there with my family. A lot of my wider family will come to watch”

 

Peter trains Harry on a daily basis both at home and at competitions and it is clear, he has huge respect for his father. “Dad is my trainer and of course I would consider other people but for me, I don’t think there would be anyone any better in the world.”

 

To watch Harry and a host of other great riders at the Theraplate UK Liverpool International Horse Show, you can buy tickets from: https://www.liverpoolhorseshow.com

Horse Scout catches up with showjumper Zoe Smith

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Horse Scout selected 19-year old Zoe Smith to become one of our sponsored riders, out of a huge number of talented young showjumpers on the AASE programme. Zoe is an International showjumper based in Lincolnshire and is certainly one to watch.

 

Hi Zoe, great to catch up with you since completing the AASE programme. How’s it all been going?
It has all been going really well, the horses are really benefiting from a much more structured yard and work scheme that was introduced to us at AASE.

How’s your season going so far?
The season has been going very well so far, both my young horse and top horse have come out of the winter premiers jumping very well. This lead nicely into our first international trip to Belgium where we picked up lots of placings in the U25 and 6yo tours.

It sounds like you’ve got off to a great start this Spring. Can you tell us a bit about the horses are you competing this season?
This season I have two main horses to compete;
The first is Que Sera III, 9yo gelding, by Caretino Glory out of a Goodtimes mare. He is quickly progressing up through the ranks, after starting at Newcomers level with us just over a year ago, he is now jumping 2* world ranking classes and double clears and placings at 1m40.

The second horse in my string is Garcia Lente a 6yo by Bodinus out of a Holland mare. He very quickly showed his class this year winning at the winter premiers, picking up numerous placings in Belgium and recently jumping double clear every day at Chepstow international. I’m very excited about this horse’s future, he could be very, very special!

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We noticed on social media that you were posting from Chepstow International recently, tell us about the show…
The show is the first international jumping competing of the year in the UK, it attracts many of Britain’s top riders such as Peter Charles, Keith Shore, Nigel Coupe, as well as American riders Julie Welles and Emma Heise.

The show ran over 5 days with three different heights at 2* level, two heights at 1* and then a 5yo and 6yo international tour with a Grand Prix for each respective tour. A 6yo class is typically around 1m25 and a 6yo Grand Prix is 1m30.
The competition is also used as a youth team trial so the selectors were also attending.

No pressure then! What did you get up to there, when you weren’t riding? If you’re staying over, are there parties or do you opt for an early night?
On the first night, there was a champagne reception to welcome everybody to the show and to give the sponsors and owners of the showground a chance to talk to the riders and their supporters. As this was the first international show of the year it was packed to the rafters! When not competing, most of the time was spent helping and supporting some of my friends with their horses and watching the other classes and riders.

We saw that you did brilliantly throughout the show; how did you choose which classes to enter and how did it go…
I was fortunate enough to jump the biggest of the 2* tours on Que Sera III picking up double clears and placings, leading on to our first world ranking class grand prix on the last day just picking up a couple of poles.

My super consistent 6yo picked up two equal firsts, a 4th in the accumulator and then 3rd in the Grand Prix.

For the international classes, you get to choose which height you would like to jump from the classes on offer the afternoon before, I really like this system as it gives you freedom to set your horse up for the grand prix in the best possible way that suits your horse. It also means that if a certain type of competition doesn’t suit a particular horse such as an accumulator/speed class, then you can jump a different height that day or give them a day off.

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OK so what next – more UK competitions to come or will you be overseas again?
I think we will be staying in the UK for a little while now to contend second round Newcomers and Foxhunter as well as talent seeker HOYS qualifiers. County shows are also starting up so there are more shows available to us these days. I’m also looking to take on a couple of young horses to bring on and build up my string. I am hoping to get back overseas again at the end of summer, as I feel both myself and the horses improved and benefited from the experience.

That sounds like a good plan and you’ve got loads to aim for. Finally, what are your goals for this season and are your horses currently on track?
After the year started a lot better than I ever anticipated, I think it’s time for me to create some new goals as a few of them have already been achieved! But the horses are definitely on track to achieve their individual goals for the season, including the upcoming second rounds and international shows, as well as my top horse almost having enough points to make him Grade B so he can contend for the bigger titles next year and this coming winter season.

Great job Zoe, we are proud to be supporting you and look forward to hearing how the rest of your season goes!

The Rich History of Badminton Horse Trials

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Regardless of your chosen equestrian pursuit, most of you have probably attended Badminton Horse Trials at least once in your life. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people make the trip to Badminton Estate to shop, walk the cross country course, drink Pimms and most importantly watch the eventing itself. But how much do you know about the history of Badminton?

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Badminton was first held in 1949 by the 10th Duke of Beaufort to let British riders train for international events. In that first year, there were just 22 starters from two countries, Britain and Ireland – how things have changed!

The prize money for the inaugural 1949 event was £150 to the winner; by 1975 this had ‘progressed’ to £1,000; in 1995 it was £22,500 and in 2015 it was £80,000. This year the winner will take home the record prize of £100,000! In this professional era of the sport, the winner of the most prestigious event of them all will be properly rewarded. The overall prize pot amounts to nearly £360,000 with prize money going down to 20th place.

The Badminton Estate has been in the possession of the Beaufort family since 1608. The house and parkland date from the 17th and early 18th centuries and the park was modelled by William Kent and Capability Brown.

In 1953 the very first European Championships were staged at Badminton. In 1956, the Steeplechase course was moved from the Didmarton point-to-point course to the site at The Slaits, where it stayed until discontinued in 2006. Since then the Trials have been “Short Format”, without Roads & Tracks or Steeplechase.

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Messrs. Whitbread sponsored Badminton Horse Trials from 1961 until 1991, making it one of the longest sponsorships in sporting history. Mitsubishi-Motors took over the sponsorship in 1992 and the riders compete for the silver Mitsubishi Motors Trophy designed and produced by the Wiltshire-based sculptress, Judy Boyt.

On just four occasions bad weather has forced the cancellation of the Trials– in 1966, 1975, 1987 and 2012. The terrible weather of 1962/63 which continued into the spring, forced Badminton to down-grade to a one day event. The Foot and Mouth epidemic also caused the cancellation of the 2001 Event.

KEY FACTS

  • In 1995 Mark Todd rode over half the cross-country course on Bertie Blunt with only one stirrup! Sadly the horse was eliminated at the final Horse Inspection the next day.
  • The horses with the most Badminton completions are Ballycotton (6 ), Over To You (7), Lenamore (7) and Comanche (7).
  • Most wins goes to Lucinda Green (6 wins), followed by Captain Mark Phillips and Mark Todd (4 wins), followed by Sheila Willcox, Ginny Leng, Ian Stark and Pippa Funnell (3 wins).
  • Just Four Winning Mares: Emily Little ridden by Captain Mark Darley, Bambi V ridden by Margaret Hough, Peggoty ridden by Captain Martin Whiteley and Headley Britannia, ridden by Lucinda Fredericks in 2007.
  • Ian Stark is the only rider to gain first and second places in the same year.
  • Sheila Willcox is the only rider to have achieved a hat-trick of wins in 1957, 1958 and 1959 on the trot.
  • The smallest horses ever to compete have been Our Solo, Our Nobby and Portersize Just a Jiff, all horses registered as 15hh.
  • The biggest horses to compete have been Durlas Eile, Columbus, Custom Made and Word Perfect II. All were believed to be 17 hh+.
  • The youngest rider to win at Badminton is Richard Walker who won in 1969 aged 18.
  • The oldest rider to win at Badminton is Mark Todd aged 55 in 2011.
  • Completed the most times – Andrew Nicholson (NZL) is the holder of this record with 35 times. Previously Lorna Clarke held the record with 22 times. Lorna retired after the 1992 event.

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Together with the four-star rated Rolex Kentucky Three Day and the Burghley Horse Trials, Badminton forms the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. Only two people have ever won the Grand Slam; Pippa Funnell in 1993 and Michael Jung in 2015/16. In 2007 Andrew Hoy nearly took the title but lost out when he had a pole down showjumping at Burghley- a heart-breaking 4 faults!

In 2016 Badminton Horse Trials was the 7th most attended sporting event in the UK, after Wimbledon tennis championships, F1 British Grand Prix, Royal Ascot, Cheltenham Festival, ATP World tennis finals and the Open golf championships. Fast forward to today and the cross-country day at Badminton attracts crowds of up to a quarter of a million and is the second largest for money made in the world.

We look forward to a spectacular event next week and wish all those competing the very best of luck.

NEW: INDUSTRY SERVICES FEATURE

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** BREAKING NEWS **

Horse Scout has just launched its new Industry Services feature!

If you’re a vet, farrier, dentist, chiropractor, osteopath, saddle fitter, physical therapist, horse transporter, sports psychologist or any other equestrian related service provider, then this is for YOU!

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“Horse Scout have provided me a professional and courteous service in advertising and propelling my business to all audiences within equestrianism.

I am already seeing the benefits!”

Aidan Paterson, Paterson Equine Dental

Generate NEW Business

Your profile on Horse Scout will allow you to…

  • Attract new clients
  • Showcase your service(s) or profession
  • Network with other equestrian professionals
  • Follow and connect with top names in the industry

We have thousands of members searching Horse Scout daily…
Create your profile and get yourself known

 

We are supported and endorsed by industry leaders- Oliver Townend, Ibby Macpherson, Giovanni Ugolotti, John Whittaker, William Funnell and the Billy Stud and many more top names. We are proud of our content, customers and their horses.

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The Horse Scout community:

  • Professional riders
  • Coaches/trainers
  • Yard/stud profiles
  • Grooms
  • NEW industry services (physiotherapists, dentists, vets, farriers, saddle fitters etc)

What does it cost?

Your monthly listing is just £35 per month (it will pay for itself in just one booking!)

SPECIAL OFFER to New Customers…
For a limited period of time only we are offering discount of £10 per month for the first three months*. That means for just £25 per month (80p per day) you can get your services seen by 1000’s of equestrian professionals.

*Minimum term is three months

Get going in three easy steps...

1. Choose your sign in details by clicking here

2. Complete your profile

3. Pay to go live and get new customers

Horse Scout invests in star show jumpers

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Horse Scout, which has secured global investment to further develop its innovative equestrian social network platform and help riders boost their professional careers, is to sponsor the next round of young show jumpers on the British Showjumping and Haddon Training Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) programme in its mission to nurture future Olympic stars.

Applications for the 2016/17 AASE programme open at the end of July and those accepted will have the opportunity to be coached and trained by some of the top sporting coaches and experts in the UK including Heike Holstein (flatwork) and Andrew Saywell (jumping).

The programme also gives participants (age 16-19) access to experts that focus on them as an athlete: a physiotherapist to help reduce imbalances and weaknesses, a dietitian to advise on nutrition, and a media trainer who can help develop communication skills.

Aimed at developing and preparing talented young upcoming athletes at the top of their game, the AASE programme provides training and education for those who have a real chance of excelling in their sport and competing at European and Olympic level.

The AASE programme also develops the riders into young professionals within the sport with many progressing to start and run their own businesses.

Haddon Training has delivered AASE for British Showjumping since 2013 with 100 young riders completing the 12-15-month programme which culminates in a Level 3 nationally recognised qualification — equivalent to two A-Levels and 85 UCAS points.

Corinne Bracken, AASE Programme Manager, says: “The programme covers all the core components including technical, tactical, mental and physical skills delivered by industry experts, plus those that are essential to attracting owners and sponsors to the sport. It’s great that global organisations such as Horse Scout recognise the importance of supporting future stars.”

How to apply:Any young rider seeking details on the AASE application process should contact staci.cox@haddontraining.co.uk

 

Be a Brilliant Buyer – And your Professional Trader will find you a perfect partner.

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Be a Brilliant Buyer – And your Professional Trader will find you a perfect partner.

The advantages of buying form a professional Trader is that their reputation rides with you. Top Tips for making right decisions when buying a horse.

Many of Horse Scouts Professional Trainers and riders also sell horses. Generally they buy in or breed horses which they train and compete before selling on. Sometimes they do the same with horses owned by sponsors or clients. This is true across all disciplines, Eventing, Showjumping, Dressage, Showing and Endurance etc. This is part of their business.   Their skill is in being able to make the most of a horse, to optimise its potential at whatever level. You can be sure that a young horse will have had the best start to its training, a horse with competitive potential will have been carefully progressed and given the right opportunities and in the case of rehabilitation or retraining a horse will be back on track and ready to go on to lead a happy useful life.

When horses do well in their competitive arena (or, if they are new to the discipline or young, they will be gaining experience at grass roots level) with a top trainer on board, their successes are a reflection of the trainers skill and reputation. Horses which are bought to the market fit for purpose help a professional trader build a reputation and repeat custom. It is not in the interest of a professional rider to produce horses which are going to fail to support their business by being suitable for purpose.   Professional riders have the skill and experience to ride all sorts of different horses and know how to ensure that each horse is given a prgramme which is right for them.

However as a buyer you also have responsibilities to ensure that a Professional Trader can help you make the right choice when buying a horse.

When you look through the Horses for Sale listings on a site like Horse Scout you certainly have a lot of good horses to choose from.

However, it is fair to say that buyers have an obligation to honestly represent their skill level, the accommodations they can offer a horse, and their intentions to the seller they are contacting.

There are certainly an infinite number of tales that illustrate less than ideal partnerships but to be fair to the sellers it can come down to the failure of the buyers to asses their own situation or communicate honestly with the seller. Remember that no horse is ever “finished.” They are sensitive creatures that continue to learn new behaviors throughout their lives. A novice horse person can inadvertently “undo” professional training faster than a terrier will snatch and swallow the family hamster. Here are some thoughts about buyers responsibilities.

  1. If you make an appointment to go look at a horse, don’t leave the seller hanging by not turning up. If you can’t make it for some reason, or will be later than scheduled, call your seller. It’s the polite thing to do, after all.
  2. If the horse’s price is more than you want to spend, ask the seller whether it’s negotiable before you make an appointment. If the seller says no, you won’t be wasting your time or his.
  3. Bring your hard hat, and wear appropriate clothing and footwear for riding. Do not assume to wear spur of to carry a whip.
  4. You can ask if it’s okay to bring your own saddle. A seller would need to be sure your saddle is in good repair (intact tree, leather not weak or rotten, etc), and that it fits the horse you are trying. This provides two advantages. You’ll be using tack that’s familiar, and you’ll know whether your saddle fits the horse you’re considering.
  5. Turn your cell phone off while you are trying a horse. It’s rude to take the seller’s time with personal calls and a suddenly ringing phone may frighten the horse.
  6. Do not bring your dog. Many farms have their own dogs, and the sellers won’t appreciate the disruption of yours running around. Also, your dog may chase or injure the seller’s horses, or other animals.
  7. If you have small children and plan to include them, bring along someone to mind the kids while you concentrate on the horse. Unattended children with horses can be extremely dangerous.
  8. Be honest about your abilities and level of riding. If you have an ethical seller, he will want to sell you a suitable horse. If your seller is an experienced horse person, he’ll know pretty quickly how adept you are by watching you with his horse, so don’t fudge; it’s not worth it.
  9. A horse is an individual and frequently develops a relationship with the person who rides it most often. If your seller rides the horse first and the horse seems very well trained, don’t be disappointed if the horse doesn’t perform quite as well when you get on. Even subtle differences in riding technique can produce very different responses from the horse. It may just be a matter of time and a little professional help before you and your new horse become a team.
  10. Don’t be surprised if the seller wants you to begin in a small area, like a paddock or round pen. He may want to assess your skills, for your own safety and for that of the horse. However, be wary of a seller who doesn’t offer a larger area (a ring, arena or pasture) once he’s comfortable with your abilities. Dishonest sellers know that a horse may be fine in a round pen but will bolt for the hills in a open pasture.
  11. Ask the seller about the horse’s daily routine and feeding schedule. A horse that is turned out every day and is eating grass or a little hay could turn into an entirely different horse if you buy it, keep it in a stall and feed it grain. Ask your seller about the level of activity the horse is accustomed to; is it ridden every day, every week, once a month? If you buy a horse that has been worked regularly, but you plan to ride once a month, your horse may not be as easy to handle after a month of leisure. Conversely, if the horse goes from being ridden once a month to your enthusiastic regime of five days a week, the horse may become sore (as you probably will). You’ll go home and relax in your hot tub. Your new horse might buck, rear, kick, toss its head, or refuse to move because that’s the only way it has to indicate pain.
  12. Take note of the bridle and bit used by your seller. Consider buying something similar if the horse works well and seems relaxed.
  13. If you are shopping for a horse for your child, its looks, cosmetic blemishes and color should be the least important factors in choosing. Look for an older horse, and plan to spend more.

Your seller might ask you:

Details of your experience with horses

What sort of support you’ll have; for example, a trainer, a very experienced friend, riding lessons, etc

Horse Scouts 6 Top Tips – Warming up from the ground

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What is a warm-up? The term ‘warm-up’ accurately describes what happens when we transition the body from a resting state to a state suitable for activity: the muscles are literally ‘warmed up’, receive increased blood and oxygen supply, gain flexibility and therefore reduce stress on tendons and ligaments.

 

A warm-up will also ensure increased oxygen supply to the blood and the elevation of the heart rate from a resting rate to an activity rate. If you warm up your horse gradually—instead of ‘jump-starting’ his heart-rate—you will also have a calmer, more relaxed, and more willing horse.

 

Sufficient warm up before exercise, training, and competition is essential, in order to avoid injury to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Our bodies-rider’s and horse’s-are made up of mostly fluids! Warming up body fuids inside muscles reduces the internal friction of a muscle and therefore prevents injury. Mobility and elasticity of muscles is increased, which minimises the strain on ligaments and tendons.

Avoid muscle spasms, discomfort, stiff gaits and in extreme cases torn muscles or tendons or anxiety and unwillingness to work by warming your horse up properly at the beginning of every ride.

Before you even get your horse out of the stable you can start a warm up routine as part of his preparation to be ridden.

Here are 6 top tips to get that blood flowing; the bonus is that it will help get you warmed up too!

  1. A warm up should always start gently.  Getting the blood to start flowing around the body and warming up the muscles. You can start by grooming your horse, and this has an added benefit of giving you the chance to check for injuries and to ensure that all sweat and mud is removed so that it cannot irritate your horse as he starts work.
  1. Having brushed you horse all over start to concentrate on the back area using a technique similar to a Swedish massage, long light stokes using the warmth of your palm and flicking up and away at the end of the stroke.  Its called “Effleurage” you can see graphics on the internet if you search the word. Basically think of it as ironing out the (metaphorical) wrinkles by moulding your palm around the muscles, as you stoke away you will feel a warmth in your hand and he will be feeling the same warmth in his muscles.
  1. Before mounting him walk him around in circles and ask him to walk forward and backwards too.  This will really help if you have a horse with a cold back.
  2. As these movements will help to warm his back muscles up and increase the
  3. blood flow around his whole body.
  1. Finally, before bitting him up, use carrot stretches to help stretch his topline muscles and engage his core muscles. Make sure he has had time to finish his mouthful before setting off. More on carrot stretches later. As these are also excellent at the end of a ride and your horse will love you for feeding him carrots.

When viewing a horse for sale this crucial step is often left out or rushed because of the time element perhaps the seller is a busy yard owner and has to move on to the next sale or job or where buying privately the seller feels rushed because they don’t want to hold you up.  However this could be an important factor in your final decision and it really is best to allow the horse to fully warm up before you get your first impression of him. Perhaps if you go for a second viewing you could ask to take the horse through a full warm up and that way you could also asses his temperament, stable manners, etc from a relaxed and quiet moment or two together, I am sure that if the seller knows you are a serious purchaser they will allow you to do this.

If you are having a training session or clinic with a professional rider then make sure you build in time to do this initial warm up when you arrive, so there is plenty of time to get ready for the start of your lesson.

Mandy Frost holds Show Jumping Clinics at The Mullacott Centre – Mandy Frost is a BS Accredited UKCC Level 3 Coach and Coach of the Year 2009 and also lead coach for Devon Junior Academy as well as being part of the Excel Coaching Programme. As well as competing Nationally. Cost – group of 3 – £20 per person: two sharing – £30 per person: individual -£60

Lucinda Fredericks  Clinics can be organised outside of eventing season. The cost is £1,000 + VAT plus travel expenses. Clinics can be a mix of flatwork, jumping skills or cross country skills or can concentrate on one discipline and can be a mix of group work and private lessons. If you book a 3 day clinic one night can include a video/Talk/Q&A Session and dinner with Lucinda on one of the nights. Lucinda can offer private lessons to individuals or groups from complete beginners right up to advanced competition riders. Lessons can be undertaken at either at Rosegarth or at external locations for more people by booking a clinic day – Lucinda often travels to local XC courses and equestrian centres to offer tuition to small groups. For lessons on site at Rosegarth please note you will need to bring your own horse with you.  Lucinda has two sessions in in Dorset 18 & 28th February 2015 – Her charges are: Individual lessons – £80 for a 45 minute session: Group lesson with 4 people – £35 each for 1 hour: Group lesson for 6 people – £25 each for 1.5 hours charges subject to VAT

 

 

 

5 Work riders with profiles on Horse Scout

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Do you need a hand with your horses?

Here are hard working grooms and work riders who have listings on Horse Scout. If you are looking for someone to help at your stables or with your horse have a look at our Grooms & Work Riders pagesSome of Horse Scouts listed Work Riders and Grooms

Steph Farrar – Sandbach, Cheshire I am a kind, patient and sympathetic rider, specialising in problem horses. I have ridden since the age of four, and loaned and owned horses for many years. I worked with problem horses for around ten years and have had some marked success with a number of troublesome horses, some of which had been deemed ‘unrideable’ by their owners or other riders. From loading worries to spookers to bolshy or aggressive horses, to those are simply young and green, I will try and help. I specialise in jumping, both show jumping and cross country, but am also happy to school in dressage, lungeing, groundwork and join-up/natural horsemanship techniques. If you need a horse or horses exercising, breaking, schooling, competing or problem behaviour resolved. I am based in Cheshire, but will happily cover Staffordshire, Manchester, Derbyshire and more. My rates vary with distance travelled. My references are available upon request. Specialist areas – Breaking & Producing, Eventing, Dressage, Hunting, Show Jumping, Rehabilitation,

Lizzie Norton – Henstridge – I am a freelance groom based in henstridge, Somerset. I work in the Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire area but willing to travel. Am available for all groom duties from day to day duties, short or long term cover, competition grooming plus able to travel to competitions with you, hunt preparation. Also available for all riding aspects. Specialise in breaking in youngsters, difficult horses, retraining of ex racehorses. Able to meet any need in which you have. Specialst areas – Breaking & Producing, Eventing, Dealing, Hunting, Livery – All Types, Show Jumping, Point to Point, Pre-Training Race, Racing – Flat, Racing – Jump, Racing – Dual Purpose, Rehabilitation, Riding Schools, ROR,

Fiona Jopling in Hampshire is a professional groom. She is available and looking for work She is an experienced groom with 20 years expertise. She has a Lorry 7.5 tonne driving license and a valid driving license. She has experience in Backing /Breaking/P2P/ Race horses/exercising youngsters and competition riding (Affiliated) She lists her areas of expertise as Breeding & Stud work, Breaking & Producing, Eventing, Dressage, Driving, Pre-Training Race & Rehabilitation

Becky Forte from Bexhill in East Sussex says she has a high standard of turnout and can trim clip etc. she has good client liaison skills and is easy and professional with her clients. In my past life I have worked with horses from the age of 17 including event horses up to Badminton level where I was sole charge groom and show jumpers to international standard. I have BHS Stage II, Pony Club B+ and have XC trained up to Novice level. At home I am competing Novice level dressage and 80cm SJ (I’m not as brave as I was!) I am currently working full time away from horses and have a family. I have been doing the odd weekend/holiday/show week (i.e. Hickstead) cover and really enjoy it. I am happy to travel and hold a full clean UK driving licence. I have not driven a lorry but as I am older (!!) I have the facility on my licence to drive up to 7.5 tonne and would be happy to do this if required. If you are in the South and need occasional help at shows or at home and would like a sensible, experienced animal loving person to help then please feel free to contact me. I can still plait and trim but my clipping is rusty and I would not be confident doing a complicated clip. I feel it is important to be honest about my capabilities. I am not looking for a further career in horses, I just enjoy grooming and would like to attend the odd show/event and/or help someone out if I am able.