Tag Archives: yards

2012_Olympics_-_Dressage_Davison

Richard Davison: Welfare in top level Equestrian Sport

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Part 1: What do our horses really want? 

 

When the words “Equine Welfare” are used, associated with animal cruelty, to me it conjures up images of emaciated, lice-infested horses and ponies. Yet at the recent World Horse Welfare Annual Conference, a number of other “modern” welfare issues were highlighted. Olympic Dressage Rider Richard Davison has been at the top of the sport for many years, having contested four Olympics. He was a founder of the Burghley Young Event Horse series and his yard is made up of dressage horses and his son’s international showjumpers. Therefore he is highly regarded both as a great horseman and spokesperson on Equestrian matters, who is not frightened of sticking his neck out.  At the Conference last week, Richard spoke candidly on the welfare issues seen even at the highest level of Equestrian Sport.

 

In our first blog, Richard raises his concerns over the modern fashion of “humanising” our horses, relaying one example he saw at a show recently.

 

“For those of you have visited international competitions, you will know that horses are confined in relatively small stables for four to five days. I was in Denmark last week and I watched a groom perform surgery on a teddy bear (used as a stable toy) who had lost a limb. The process of sewing up the teddy took half an hour or more. I wondered whether this half an hour would have been better spent, taking the horse out of the stable and giving it a walk in the sunlight or finding some grass for a graze and a stretch. For me, this “humanising” behaviour displayed by owners can skewer the priorities.

 

In my world (Dressage), they’ve all got the bling browbands, the matchy-matchy stuff, and the belly-deep shavings beds but actually what does a horse really want? What is really important, is to get out in the field, not to be kept in a stable, never mind how beautifully decorated it is with toys or anything else. They really want to be outside, stretching their back, being with their mates, sniffing each other’s bottoms and rolling in the mud. Thankfully is not generally something that us humans do, any longer. So I put this to riders and grooms- ditch the teddy bear and take the horse out of the stable and give them fresh air. That is what they really want- to be horses.

 

We are all stakeholders in this. We all feed off equestrian sport, either professionally or just gaining an awful lot of enjoyment from it. We all need to get behind education and spend more time, learning how horses really function. In these days in horse sport, where horses command huge sums of money we must never forget that their natural habits and herd instinct are really essential for both mental and physical welfare.”

 

Job Vacancies – Apprentice Grooms or working Pupils Berkshire

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Farley Hall Equestrian Centre in near Swallowfield  in Berkshire. They are looking for dedicated apprentice grooms (through Merrist Wood College) or working pupils looking to sit BHS qualifications. There will be a small amount of riding and the chance to work with some exceptional competition horses and take part with managing training clinics with top coaches.

Apprentices and working pupils are actively encouraged to help the trainers during clinics and to assist with the running of the British Eventing Horse Trials held on the estate.

These positions are live-in.

Farley Hall Equestrian Centre is situated on the Farley Estate, located in the picturesque village of Swallowfield. The yard was first opened in February 2010. The Livery Yard is home to an array of horses and ponies, from happy hackers to advanced competition horses. All of our four-legged friends have their needs individually catered for.

The BHS have recently awarded the Equestrian Centre with a ‘Highly Commended’ status, quoting “I congratulate you on the High Standards of Stable Management and Horse Care throughout your centre, which I’m confident, will be a credit to the BHS Approval Scheme”.

The Farley Team are passionate about horses and all aspects of their daily care, working to the highest standards and striving to improve and expand their knowledge. We have recently been awarded by “Investors in People”. The Farley Estate is home to many other Enterprises. It is able to offer the Equestrian Centre over 1750 acres of Private Estate Hacking which also connects with a large bridleway network, to include the highly sought after Bramshill Forest.

If you are looking for work elsewhere check through our listings on Horse Scout  and you will see a button on the top right hand corner of the Professional Trainers  or Yards  advertisement that says Staff Required.

 

Stanley Hill Equestrian Centre – A yard that feels like home

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This lovely yard is near Purbright, Surrey

Not only is this yard everything you would want in a livery stable its also set in ideal hacking country, So if you want a fit horse or just to enjoy quiet hacking Stanley Equestrian is definitely the place for you. Stanley Hill Equestrian Centre Livery Yard is situated in an idyllic rural location on the Furzehill Estate, just outside Purbright village in Surrey and is lucky enough to be surrounded by miles of undulating hacking on it’s doorstep.

The yard has wonderful customer reviews praising the personal friendly service in a modern, organised yard, this will surely take the hassle out of owning a horse and allow your precious time to be enjoyed. Quality rather than quantity is the ethos of this well run yard, and with this in mind many of the stables have been used to allow plenty of storage, including 3 indoor hot wash areas, secure tack rooms, rug rooms, laundry rooms, feed rooms and the general office.

Stanley Hill Equestrian Centre has 2 outdoor arenas, a covered area if the weather is grim, a lunge pen as well as a horse walker. Paddocks are mainly post and rail with turnout individual or in agreed pairs.

An added bonus is a very comfortable heated clubroom with a patio to enjoy a cup of tea or sometimes a BBQ when the weather is kind! Plenty of hard standing parking both for cars and lorries/trailers, by arrangement, are available.

Security and supervision of your horse are well catered for as staff live on site so late night check is done 7 days a week, alongside CCTV coverage.  There is no doubt that Stanley Hill Equestrian Centre take pride in the horses (and owners!) under their care.

They offer full, part, competition, schooling and rehab livery, alongside training from Michelle or the clinics which they arrange.

Michelle Bone,

Michelle is the ‘In house’ trainer. She is a British Dressage Listed Judge and accredited trainer. As a child she was a keen competitor at Bisley Hunt Pony Club being on many event and dressage teams obtaining her “A” test while also showing at county level riding WHP, Riding Horse and Side saddle. Her first horse she took from pony club eventing to advanced level and has brought on many more since then. She has also helped develop dressage horses having ridden up to Inter I level.  Michelle is keen to help anyone who wants to improve no matter what their ambition or goal is.

Other trainers who attend the yard are Targa Hammond and Daniel Greenwood

Targa Hammond is a UKCC LEVEL 3 QUALIFIED COACH & International Grand Prix rider. She gives showjumping clinics at Stanley Hill Equestrian Centre to all levels of horses and riders who want to improve. Targa works with pupils to develop detailed and bespoke training programs they can take forward and develop. A previous member of the Young Rider team and with over ten years coaching experience. Targa works with individuals in a comprehensive and considered manner so they can achieve their long and short term goals.

Daniel is an International Dressage rider who has a very calm and positive approach to training. Daniel has ridden at Grand Prix and has an exceptional record for producing young horses. He is enthusiastic and encouraging no matter the type or breed of horse and gives great advice on exercises to improve the horse’s way of going.

Here are a couple of testimonials from Customers:

I’ve found the perfect livery for my ‘sensitive’ type. She’s not the easiest to manage, but Michelle’s 30+ years’ extensive experience and her common sense approach means we usually avoid weight loss or anxiety before they arise. I really value her approach – also using the vast experience of the experts around us – vet, farrier, dentist, chiropractor, equine masseuse, saddler, nutritionist etc.

The atmosphere that Michelle and her team have created is calm and tranquil, resulting in happy horses and happy owners. It is so nice to see owners staying for the day, enjoying time with their horses without feeling they have to rush off after riding.

So if you are looking for the perfect home for your horse in the Purbeck area check out Stanley Hill Equestrian Centre.

Freelance Grooms and Instructors are you covered?

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Freelance grooms are defined as those professionals who work part time for different employers ,, trainer or instructor allows a degree of flexibility to both parties and also on a casual cover basis i.e. when permanent staff are sick or on holiday.

View Horse Scout grooms available here 

For clients looking for training, which is provided by a professional instructor, at home on their own yard the same freelance insurance cover principals would apply.

From the point of view of the professional offering a service to others it is essential that in todays litigious society we must protect ourselves from being sued by a third party and Freelancers are no exception. Whether you are an instructor, trainer or a groom you must protect yourself. Likewise those who employ trainers and outside horse help must make sure they are covered by appropriate insurances. The BHS offer Public Liability cover with their membership. Which for freelance instructors would protect you if the person you are teaching on their own horse was to fall and sustain an injury and you were found to be legally liability for the injury. Furthermore if as an instructor or groom you were to ride or handle someone else’s horse and the horse caused any third party property damage or bodily injury whilst doing so then the policy would protect you should a claim be made against you.

However for the professional freelancer it might be advisable to consider a more compressive policy e.g. SEIB who, unlike the BHS include care, custody and control for horses under your care.

Care Custody and Control cover is an optional extension to the public liability and would protect you as the instructor or groom should a horse whilst in your care, custody or control be injured and the owner of the horse were to claim against you for the injury. For example if a groom was clipping a horse and accidentally cut the horse, the owner of the horse may claim from the groom for the resulting vets fees from the accident.

Also it should be noted that anyone employing members of staff must carry Employers Liability and is essential cover if you were to have a helper or student to assist with your freelance instructing or groom duties. The cover protects you as the ‘employer’ should the helper or assistant get injured whilst carrying out their ‘employed’ duties.

 

 

Livery yards and facilities

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As the rain comes down and winter is finally here, early dark nights, and long wet days the livery yards in the UK struggle on. Horse Scout recommends when you endeavour to select a yard with good facilities. Horse walkers are super for assisting fitness, maintaining movement , and supporting rehabilitation. An indoor school can have huge advantages for training through the winter, enabling both early and late schooling, and a dry environment to train within.

Having professionals live onsite can help ease your mind, knowing the knowledge is there when the vet may not be. Long standing experienced horsemen often know when it is or is not appropriate to call for assistance.

If you are new to being a livery client, always make the yard aware that you may require additional help, to prevent accidents, or breach of yard policy.

Check out our fantastic yards listed with horse scout, view your friends, and there horses connections.