The countdown is on with just two months to go until the Olympics, which run from 5-21 August, and just over three months until the Paralympics, (7-18 September), undoubtedly the biggest sporting events in the world. We know equestrian fans will be hoping not only that the Australians do well in each of the equestrian disciplines, but that all the riders and their horses arrive in Rio safely after flying in from across the world, and, just as importantly, leave Rio safely at the completion of their events.
SPOTLIGHT ON EVENTING
With three deaths in the sport of eventing this year, the spotlight has been turned onto the discipline, highlighting the dangers of cross country, and horse riding in general. The death of young Australian rider Olivia Inglis in March rocked the equestrian community, which responded with a global social media campaign #RideForOlivia. Another young rider, Caitlyn Fischer, a 19 year old Victorian rider, died after falling cross country at the Sydney International Horse Trials in April, her death also making headlines and the photo that she had posted for the #RideForOlivia campaign now sadly being shared in online tributes for her, mere weeks after Olivia’s death. Then in May, a British rider based in the US, Phillipa Humphreys, died from injuries she sustained in a fall cross country at the Jersey Fresh International Three Day Event. The team at Hoofbeats offer their condolences to these riders’ family and friends, and hope that investigations resulting from these tragedies can result in findings that can be learned from to minimise the risks in the sport.
Eventing horses are certainly at risk of soft tissue injuries and this is addressed in the June/July 2016 article Healing Soft Tissue Injuries. Affecting nearly one in five equine athletes, a trauma to the soft tissues can seriously hamper a horse’s training and performance. Dr Kerry Ridgeway explained to Kaye Meynell that upon diagnosis they can be time consuming and challenging to treat, and even prevent the horse meeting its potential for life. As Dr Ridgeway explained, simply turning the horse out will not allow the soft tissue to heal, and stable rest is not rehabilitation either; you have to have movement in order to have rehabilitation.
Counting strides can be useful when riding circles and schooling a horse, suggests EA NCAS Level 2 Dressage Specialist Coach and Coach Educator Liz Tollarzo in the article Counting for Flatwork, as they allow the rider to focus on various transitions and exercises in their training regime.
When the services of a vet are required it’s often at the property where the horse resides. With nearly a third of equine vets registered with the Equine Veterinary Association providing a mobile service, Harriet Leahy points out that there’s a lot more to the role than what you may think. In the article Mobile Vets Dr Andrew Lamont, Dr Olivia James, Dr Greg Sezun and Dr Maxwell Hall share their perspectives on what it takes in a career that was identified in a UK study as the most dangerous civilian occupation.
The most common skin cancer of horses and donkeys, sarcoids are a tumour that is tricky to diagnose, and unpredictable in every aspect of their development. Dr Jennifer Stewart explains the variables that make sarcoids such a challenge for owners and veterinarians and the common sites for sarcoids.
A treatment that’s becoming a regular occurrence in many horses’ overall health regime, massage can identify and prevent problems and improve a horse’s health and wellbeing explains Equine Myofunctional Therapist Anicca Main in Why does my horse need massage? Annica runs though a number of techniques that owners can incorporate into their horse’s maintenance program including effleurage, compressions and cross –fibre raking.
The Worm Has Turned – Are We Worming Effectively? asks Dr Ann Nyland, explaining to Kaye Meynell that worming practices are being questioned as research brings a greater understanding of the worms that pose the most risk to horses, and the consequences of what horse owners could be doing with their worming regime.
Technology Aiding Worm Management
The latest technology is being utilised in many areas of horse keeping with a number of new tools that will allow for more effective deworming programs to be implemented when needed.
Equestrian journalist Sarah Warne explains that success in the saddle requires more than just time spent riding in Ground Work for Riders. She explains that it requires a commitment to work on a range of areas that can influence how well that next dressage test will go and that it’s the ground work that will set you up for success.
There’s no one size fits all approach to horse keeping, and what suits one horse may not suit another. Erika Gough’s guide in the article Five Most Common Feeding Mistakes identifies where it’s easy to go wrong when catering for your horse’s nutritional needs.
Kit Prendergast explains that Horse Hair is more than just a decorative covering on the horse’s body that has to be brushed or clipped, as the hairs of the coat, mane and tail have diverse and important roles.
Queries addressed this issue’s regular Please Explain section include: Should I trim my horse’s whiskers? Clip out the ears? How to tell if you are on the right diagonal and, does it matter if my horse drinks hard or soft water?
Inside The Green Horse – your guide to sustainable horsekeeping.
Greasy heel – Solutions to this condition; and recycling horse manure; Common Horse Pasture Pitfalls; Help Nature Prevent Flooding ; What’s in a Name – Terminology used in sustainable land management ; Making Your Own Poultice – how to use readily available products to make your own cold therapy poultice to reduce pain and minimise swelling ; Processionary Caterpillars – why these pests can be so damaging to the horse industry and Arena Dust – could it be harming your health?
Inside this issue’s 32 page edition of WA Show Scene, which is focussed exclusively on the Western Australian equestrian scene and included FREE in Hoofbeats, here’s just some of the events covered:
WA State Dressage Championships
Margaret River Dressage
Double Chance Show – Progeny on Parade
SHCWA Western Stars
Horsemen’s Hunter Trials
Riders Over East – Sydney 3DE
Plus a SPECIAL FEATURE The Young Horse – The Next Steps in their training!
For more events and photos not in the magazine visit http://www.washowscene.com.au/ for extra coverage.
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Enjoy the June/July issue.
The Hoofbeats Team