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Horse Welfare

When we know better, we do better!

October 2017

Horses today live longer, healthier lives than ever before. We selectively breed horses to jump higher, run raster, move more flamboyantly... But the question many horse lovers would like to know the answer to is this: Are they happy? Are the domesticated lives we provide our horses fulfilling? How do we know what great quality of life means to the horse, and how can we measure it and, of course, could we do better?

Breeding for the Better

September 2017

Breeding a foal is a decision that requires careful planning and should never be taken lightly. The first question to seriously consider is: Why do you want to breed a foal?  Unfortunately, even with the best intentions and hopes, many breeders worldwide are simply contributing to the horse overpopluation reflected by the large number of horses that are ‘unwanted’ or considered ‘wastage’ of the various horse industries. 

Leadership

September 2017

It may be hard to spend 10 minutes with most horse experts without coming upon the claim “horses need leadership.” This claim is one of many notions about horses that are widely accepted, but simply wrong. The claim is a widespread belief not grounded in observation. Researchers who have spent hundreds of hours studying horses in free-range settings conclude no horse in a herd is better than the others in driving group movements or recruiting mates.  

Finding the Truth in Dogma

August 2017

We all want to understand the things we love. As horse people, we do this by spending time with horses, talking with other horse people, attending clinics, browsing websites and reading books. And, somewhere along the way, we begin to organise all of the information. But, what if the information is not guided by facts? What if all we believe about horses is not actually true? How can we avoid being influenced by others and influencing others in return? How can we identify what’s true and what’s simply hearsay? How can we find the truth within the dogma?  

The Saddle Fit Guide

July 2017

Here is some advice for fitting, using and maintaining your saddle, compiled by the Animal Health Trust, in collaboration with World Horse Welfare.  Their research has highlighted some areas that should be carefully considered when fitting a new saddle, which will help to maintain and develop the horse’s topline, and reduce the likelihood of back pain. It is also important to remember to maintain your saddle properly, and to make sure it fits both yourself and your horse throughout the year.

Aromatherapy

June 2017

Although studies suggest that inhaling certain scents may reduce stress in humans, aromatherapy is relatively unexplored in veterinary medicine. But, new research presented at the American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2017 in Chicago, United States, raises the question of whether aromatherapy may be beneficial to horses as well.

Saddle Design: Breaking New Ground

May 2017

Ron Bates is the man behind some of the equestrian industry’s leading innovations - the CAIR® Cushion System and EASY-CHANGE® Fit Solution. We catch up with Ron on the evolution of saddle design and what’s behind the success of Bates Saddles. The art of saddle making - tradition versus innovation?

Guide to Saddle Fitting Released by The Animal Health Trust

May 2017

Dr Sue Dyson, Veterinary Advisor to the SRT and Head of Clinical Orthopaedics in the Centre for Equine Studies at The Animal Health Trust (AHT) urges: "Don’t saddle your horse with problems" during her recent address at the 2017 National Equine Forum. Dr Dyson was invited as guest speaker to present a recent pilot study, conducted by AHT, which investigated some basic aspects of rider position and saddle fit for the rider.

The Future of Horse Racing

March 2017

One Saturday in February 1966, when horse racing was still a miles and furlongs game, 53-year-old Walter John Hoysted clambered onto Flemington’s course proper with a point to prove and a double-barreled shotgun. A son and brother in a line of pedigreed trainers, Hoysted was a racing man, but this game he’d been born into, this sport of kings, it unsettled him in one special way. Wally Hoysted could not make peace with the whip. 

Researchers Warn About Tight Nosebands

December 2016

At the 2016 International Equitation Science Conference held in Saumur, France, alarming statistics were released showing competition riders are more likely to over-tighten nosebands than adjust them correctly. The traditional standard recommending nosebands are adjusted loose enough to allow two fingers to slide between the nose and the strap is being followed by just 7% of riders.

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