Author Archives: Editor

How do I know when it’s time for my horse to retire?

Many horses retire due to an injury that dictates a poor or impossible working life post diagnosis. Leg injuries, back injuries and disease are the leading cause for working and competitive horses being retired. However, some horses tick on well into their golden years with no obvious signs of trouble – so how do we know when it’s time to ...

Read More »

How often do horses have twins?

Nature does not favour the birth of equine twins, and many mares will abort within the first 40 days of pregnancy. Of the mares who carry twins longer than six weeks, 80% will abort during the eighth month of pregnancy. Aborting so late in the pregnancy can cause all sorts of complications for the mare, such as trauma, illness, infection ...

Read More »

9 tips to choosing the right coach

All instructors have their own personal style of teaching, which will work for some but not for others. As a rider, you will likely change instructors a few times as you grow up, become more or less competitive, or change disciplines or yards. There are several factors we consider when choosing a coach, and we take a closer look at ...

Read More »

Creating connections: what true contact should feel like

Riding can sometimes be an overwhelming minefield of both terminology and analogy, leaving the rider not entirely sure of what they are meant to be striving for. Here we demystify one of the most basic and yet complex concepts: the contact. We discuss what it means, what it should feel like, and how you can achieve a good hand-holding with your ...

Read More »

Holiday help: peace of mind while you’re away

Whenever we get to this time of year, it’s time to start thinking about putting your horses and yard in safe hands while you’re away. Whether you’re on a smallholding with two or three horses on your property, or run a full-time livery yard, you want someone you can trust to care for your horses as if they were their ...

Read More »

From groom to rider

There are many good reasons to invest in expanding your groom’s skill set. For a start, he is the one spending the most time with your horse, some 10 (or more) hours a day. This intensive care can add to marginal gains in competition horses, adding a few percent to your marks or leaving more poles up, or can quite ...

Read More »

10 signs it’s time to move yards

Horse owners and riders settle on a yard for a variety of reasons, whether it’s for a particular coach, the yard’s facilities and care, its location, or most importantly, its price. All too often, there comes a time when riders feel it’s time to move on for any number of reasons. Horses thrive on routine, so it’s not a simple ...

Read More »

Good grass: types of roughage

There are various roughage options available for the South African horse. The main options include lucerne hay, teff, Eragrostis curvula, Rhodes grass and oat hay. Roughage should be chosen to best suit the horse’s nutrient requirements. AlphaAlfa explains the nutritional value of the different types of grasses in this month’s issue. Legumes In comparison with grasses, legumes have a higher ...

Read More »

Washing your horse in 7 steps

The first step to getting any horse clean and tidy is, of course, a bath. It’s best to bath your horse the day before you plan to give him a total makeover, unless you’ve got the whole day to spare. Your horse is going to need a good scrubbing, so it’s best to wash him in a crush or have ...

Read More »

Work riding: can anybody do it?

Most young and upcoming riders will take on work riding as a part- or full-time job as a means to gain experience and earn a little extra cash. Working a variety of horses can do wonders for your riding as well as teach you to be versatile and adaptable. It’s a first start for most talented South African riders looking ...

Read More »