F&I Training Day at Moulton College

This day of training was planned with the concept of being interesting and informative with combined theory and practical management sessions.  The focus touched on fittening and training the athlete, both as a horse and rider, and the correct usage of 2 medical technologies that enhances recovery from injury for horse and rider with the use of pain free, non-invasive techniques.  The day was set in the Equine Unit of Moulton College and luckily, the weather, albeit a bit brisk and breezy was kind enough on the day.

The first speaker was Sophie Gent, the MD and owner of Sync Thermology who has been providing thermography screening services to veterinary practices and their clients since 2009. They have developed into a UK national service and are currently expanding throughout Europe.

Sophie provided a thorough explanation and presentation that highlighted the difference between hot and cold areas within an image and that the cold or darker colour regions can be more indicative of problematic concerns and not necessarily the “hot spots”.  Thermography is a useful tool for diagnostics but must be used in perspective in combination with other Veterinary equipment as such.  It is equally very important that the results are created and analysed by a Vet who is trained and specialises in producing these interpretations.

Liz and Charles Clare then presented on MRT – Magnetic Resonance Therapy, an innovative procedure that acts precisely on specific parts of the body, dealing with the generation of body signals that stimulate regeneration. MBST® comprises a highly sophisticated treatment unit that generates electromagnetic fields.  It works by using 3 different electro-magnetic fields to place potential energy in the hydrogen protons of the affected area. This potential energy is released by the protons and using the larmour frequency, this can ensure that this is then absorbed by surrounding tissue.  In relation to the Thermography, this treatment is a pain free technology that works predominantly on any joint damaged areas.


The day then took us on a short walk over to the Sports Therapy & Injury Rehabilitation Centre where Lee Howarth gave us a tour of the facilities and discussed the current sports treatments that are carried out in the centre and how this could also give an increased advantage to equine athletes as well.

This centre is one of the first of its kind in the UK and strives to be acknowledged by its patients, suppliers and regulators as the leader in neuromuscular rehabilitation. The Centre comprises of:

  • Whole body Cryotherapy chamber
  • Six thermal infrared saunas
  • Water therapy pool
  • Hydrotherapy pool
  • 25m swimming pool with movable floor

After lunch, Pippa Hattan and Jessica York started the afternoon with a short introduction to equine hydrotherapy, looking at the advantages and disadvantages of swimming, aqua treadmill, and cold water spa treatments.  Jessica is currently working towards her PhD in the Effects of the

Aqua Treadmill on the Movement of the Horse and so the biomechanics of the horse was discussed, along with the effects that swimming has on the equine cardio vascular and respiratory systems in reality.  It seems that there is little published evidence or research on such topics, but is results driven and this is an area that Jessica and Pippa are looking closely at gaining a more in-depth insight into.

A practical demonstration followed using two very different models; Delilah, a Welsh Section D cob mare and D’Or Win, an Ex-race Thoroughbred gelding, each showing a very different way of going on the treadmill and swimming style.   Dermott, a valued college team horse then joined in and allowed the opportunity to a few members of the group to gain a feel of swimming a horse.

The feedback from the day was very positive and there will be other opportunities to repeat the day with more guest speakers if requested.

Event date – Tuesday March 31st 2015


Jumping Report from the F & I day at Wellington with coach Richard Waygood

I must admit I went to Wellington with a tinge of disappointment having pulled out of my jumping slot, scheduled for the afternoon, only the day before but, I told myself it would still be good for me to go and watch Richard coach and how right I was!!!

With three sessions in the morning and the same in the afternoon there was a great cross section of horses and riders for Richard to work with.

Much praise was given to Wellington’s school horses used by Gemma Porter-Rawlings and Susie Seymour who, by their own admittance, were a little rusty in the jumping department! Both had super confidence boosting sessions on lovely willing horses.

Richard did a great job of involving those spectating which made things run on a little but was much appreciated. Feedback was always delivered in a very positive way and his manner put even the most anxious combinations at ease.

Throughout all his sessions, including the lunge jumping demo over lunch, he stuck to the same key principles, with improving the way of going the main aim. To achieve this, focus was centred around straightness and self carriage. This involved getting horses to “buy in” to the way of going; taking responsibility as they came round the corner to set up for the fence. He repeated at a number of points through the day, that as riders and trainers we should not be afraid to “break a few eggs in order to make an omelette”. I took this to mean that we shouldn’t be afraid of letting mistakes happen in order to improve and advance the way of going.  This was encompassed perfectly in a simple exercise all the groups did to start with. Richard set a fence up on the midline and asked riders for a neat near right angle turn to it off the long side, letting the horse come to the fence then asking for a transition to walk or halt before reaching the indoor wall on the other side and making their turn. Although some struggled to begin with, and at points didn’t look pretty, all combinations managed to master the exercise within a couple of attempts.  From here Richard moved on to jumping short courses. The preparatory exercise really seemed to help improve corner riding and control. He did point out that jumping exercises (like the one described) and gridwork tended to be ridden at a canter speed of approximately 9mph whereas courses should be ridden at a more positive pace of around 12mph.

The concept of the horse “buying in” was carried on through the fantastic loose jumping demo we were treated to over lunch. We watched three very different young horses get to grips with the concept and quickly grow in confidence. Richard stressed the importance of clear instruction to both the horse and to those assisting him (of which there were a further two or three helpers).

The 20x40m indoor was continuously taped at eye level about five metres in from the track. Richard went on to use two fences (approx. 23 feet apart). For all three horses; he built up the first fence from poles on the ground to an upright with groundline and then built a second upright, and made it into a spread to finish.

All horses showed an aptitude for jumping and were rewarded with food each time they were halted. The final horse (supplied by Helen Cole), responded particularly well to the loose jumping, benefitting from firm encouragement through the corner before the fence and the positive reinforcement of the food afterwards.

It was nice to hear Richard stress the importance of not doing too much and that regular repetition was the key to improvement and progression.

The afternoon sessions, with more advanced combinations, also introduced the idea of turning horses into “weightlifters”, especially those with quite open frames. This entailed getting the horses to push off their hocks more.

Tom Searle had a very busy day, admitting in his fifth of six lessons that he was beginning to feel a little tired. Personally, I would have happily put his lovely young grey and Kylie Roddy’s super coloured in my boot and taken them home with me! Much praise was also bestowed on Nette Christey’s beautiful grey campaigner who was a delight to see put through his paces.

Lastly, the final group of the day, Tom, David and Helen Cole were a treat to watch. There was a friendly level of banter both between Richard and the riders and from the stands, which made for a very open, relaxed and interactive atmosphere. Clearly all three had trained with Richard before on these horses. Still, the same principles were upheld and reinforced with the result being three combinations that showed real skill and effortless style. I’m sure they all have very exciting event seasons ahead of them this year and I wish them all well.

Report by Bryony Wilson

Event date 10th March 2015

Flatwork Report from the Wellington training day with coach Jude Murphy FBHS

Jude showed her stamina with a full days teaching at Wellington Riding on 10/3/15.  There was a real variety of types of horses at various stages in training and Jude showed her wealth of experience and versatility in coaching us all through exercises and work that produced results.  It is always interesting to watch and listen to someone you respect and pick up on their eye for detail and ways in which they work.  All horse and rider combinations showed improvements in their overall way of going.

Work on improving the feel and movement in canter with the analogy of imagining you are sitting on an egg and it is rolling along may sound odd but was effective in improving the canter!  An emphasis on incorporating the inside leg in half pass ensured that the movement became stronger with a more secure bend and travel.  It is very easy for that leg to just hang off rather than on during half pass I find.. The exercise turning down the centre line with leg yield towards the track then changing the bend and aids to half pass was particularly effective on one of my boys; creating an improved bend, rhythm and correctness in form.  Flying changes also improved with a much more active presentation and follow through.  The following week my horse scored 68.82% in a Medium his highest mark at that level to date..thanks Jude! ☺

Often difficult, as a trainer, to coach new riders that are established in their work and routine.  But, fresh eyes can be so effective in picking up on areas that need development or rerouting.  This Jude did so well with her calm and approachable style, listening to each rider and then encouraging positive results through a clear and developed eye.

Thank you David for such a well organised day and for providing stabling that ensured we could be there all day.

Report by Lucy Gavrilovic

Event date 10th March 2015

National Equine Forum Report

Lord De Mauley opened proceedings on the Defra View to develop a data base by the end of the year mainly aimed at preventing unsafe meat getting into the food chain. He spoke of the current bill now going through which will enable local authorities to go on to private land to retrieve fly grazing animals and the ability to destroy them after 96 hours.  He talked of the need for a quick response to bio-security measures which will be helped by the data base, the tripartite review and the china export protocol.

Questions were raised about the equine export trade, barefoot shoeing and the difficulty of owners updating passports. How was this to be enforced?  Should it be the owner or keeper who is responsible for this?  The racing world would like the latter but that would be difficult for the rest of the horse world. A question was also raised about riding school rates and it is hoped that their rates can be assessed on the percentage of education / commercial usage to bring them more in line with colleges.

Continuing the welfare theme Jeanette Allen and Louise Kemble talked of the need for higher passport standards. They introduced the Election Equine Manifesto covering improved welfare, British trade and increased participation [see link on BHS website] which has been sent to all government departments. Please ensure your PM know about this and look at the Equine Sector Health and Welfare Strategy website.

Steve Gale, an animal welfare officer talked of the difficulties of implementation and enforcement of the animal welfare act.  It is not a statuary obligation and the 1971 act is not fit for purpose, the new act should improve local authorities’ powers as discussed earlier.  He outlined how the North East Equine Group was dealing with the problems in a coordinated manner, maybe this model could be run out over the rest of the country.

Hopefully the new bill with improved micro chipping and data base will make it easier to trace owners.

The panel discussion continued the theme of ID,location and traceability of horses, that this should be made a statuary requirement. There is an EU requirement that an equine data base must be in place by 2016, but how is this to be done? Passports need to be more owner friendly and vets encouraged to see passports on all visits and record when horses are destroyed, possibly by an app on their phones.  The question of a register of where horses are kept is a difficult one, but is needed as a location indicator, if attached to a license it would be expensive, there were no suggestions as to how this will be achieved.

HRH The Princess Royal concluded the morning session acknowledging the work of the forum. She was struck by the Equine Manifesto. She commented on the difficulties of off road riding provision due to the insurance problems for landowners and the EU regulations which do not allow riding on field margins. She suggested the equine data base should learn lessons from how the agricultural industry deals with animal movements. She posed the questions of whether horse owners should be licensed then went on to talk of the extraordinary successes of the British Equestrians over the last year in such a variety of disciplines. She concluded by presenting the Sir Colin Spedding Award to Paul Richard Grieves for his contribution to the racing industry.

The afternoon session started with two presentations on the topic of young person’s [under 18] education and the complexity of courses, awarding bodies and the terms linked to education. They talked of how the majority of college students were not intending to go into the equine industry, only doing courses to gain points to enter higher education.

Employers are not doing well as these courses do not provide what is required by the industry. It is hoped that the new Equestrian Trailblazer Apprenticeship being led by Trent Park will help resolve this issue. There was discussion why the colleges do not help students find jobs as is done by the racing schools and other college courses.

Then followed short presentations on a variety of topics.

Lyn Peterson talked of the success of the BHS Horse Accident Log, which was set up in 2010 as a new way of capturing data for accidents and incidents from RTA’s to low flying aircraft and was providing useful information to police and other organisations.  .Although only a small number of events are being logged it’s a good beginning. So encourage all to use www.horseaccident.org.uk.

Jane Nixon introduced the British Breeders Network which will be set up by the end of March to cover non racing horses. Visit www.britishbreedersnetwork.org.

Will Lambe talked of the economic impact of British racing which is the second highest attended sport in the UK. He talked of the change from the Levy to the Betting Right which will provide a more sustainable funding mechanism for the industry.

Clare Williams talked of the BETA national Survey, how in store shopping is still popular in the equine world, that the number of riders has declined due to costs access and time, there are about half a million horse owners.

From a safety point of view one in two riders will have an accident at some point and one in seven will have had one in the last year.

Finally,  Andrew Finding talked about the website www. hoof ride.co.uk to encourage increasing participation through social media and the Sport England campaign “This Girl Can”.

It was very much a horse welfare day with a lot of problems to be solved as to how the equine industry can run an effective data base in this economic climate

Ann Bostock and Margie Craib

Training day with Judith Murphy FBHS & Captain Richard Waygood

Wellington Riding is pleased to be hosting a day with these two current coaches. The programme is full with over 35 riders bringing a variety of horses to train in group jumping and private flat sessions. A planned loose jumping demo comparing horses and techniques. Practice lunge jump section from the Fellowship exam. Great viewing and seating arranged within earshot of this insightful day. A range of horses from novice to advanced, 90cms to 1.20m. Programme is as follows:  Read more Training day with Judith Murphy FBHS & Captain Richard Waygood