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10 TIPS for surviving winter with your horse

10 TIPS for surviving winter with your horse (Aloeride)
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1. Win the lottery and put your horse on full livery. Let someone else deal with the misery of winter with horses, while you jet off to somewhere hot and sunny and return in May with a nice suntan and feel refreshed ready for the competition season ahead.

2. Eat lots of chocolate and wear lots of layers. No one is going to judge you (well not us).

3. Appreciate that your ‘yard attire’ is a strong look which generally will look out of place away from the stables or barn. Be prepared to be the focus of everyone’s attention including the security guard should you decide to pop into the supermarket on the way home.

4. Accept that you have a good six months of hellish weather conditions and silly horse season ahead and prepare mentally for the challenge. Sharing titbits of advice with your fellow yard mates can also unite you; ‘Don’t leave the kettle empty when you leave at night’ is one essential which will mean that the first person at the yard in the morning will be able to enjoy a cuppa’. Failure to do this will see you as a stable outcast.

5. Be prepared for the twice-daily work-out that is called rug changing. Designed to help build shoulder, back and upper arm muscles, this routine will ensure you step into spring looking super toned or with a considerable chiro bill and nerve damage.

6. Enjoy the wheelbarrow challenge which is poo-picking the fields. If you can navigate through knee-high mud to tend to your fields without losing your footwear or the wheelbarrow, bask in that moment with pride. It might be shortlived.

7. Celebrate your amazing ability to fix virtually everything with WD40 spray, bailing twine and tape. This sadly does not apply to your horse, but for everything else, there is a way.

8. Enjoy those small moments of winter horsey life such as huddling around one small portable radiator at the yard in minus zero conditions and your horse coming in from the field without another ripped rug/lost shoe/boot/overreach boot.

9. Acknowledge the endless cycle of horse laundry that your home will enjoy as you decorate every available space and radiator with saddlecloths, boots, bandages etc. Embrace that wonderful musty horsey aroma as it impregnates every soft furnishing in the house. Ahh, J’adore Le Horse.

10. Get a wall planner so you can cross off the days until the clocks change again. Get creative; you could even put weather symbols each day to keep a track on the weather. Actually, don’t do that. No one wants to see that kind of negativity.

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How To Prevent Dehydration In Your Horse This Winter

How To Prevent Dehydration In Your Horse This Winter
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Many horse owners believe that hydration is more important during the hotter months, but as we approach the colder winter months, we discuss why ensuring your horse stays hydrated during the winter months is equally as important. Here are tips on how to prevent dehydration in your horse this winter:

Horse Hydration Facts

Did you know that your average horse needs between 20 – 30 litres of water a day, and even more so if they are exercising, to keep them healthy and hydrated. A horse’s body is made up of around 70% water, as an average, so it’s important to keep your horse hydrated, especially as dehydration can have serious health implications for the horse. What more than H2O does your horse need to keep itself hydrated?

Health Implementations

In human Medicine, unrecognised dehydration can presents as TATT… (tired all the time). It is not a bad first check for when a horse’s performance is slightly under par. The most significant risk posed to the horse with dehydration is the risk of colic. The reason for this is that horses store water in their gastric tract and if this dries out it can lead to impaction colic. With longer hours being stabled, and increased fibre uptake, the combination of both can have a detrimental effect on your horse’s digestive system. Fortunately, Aloeride can help support hydration. It does that by providing a raft of very necessary, inorganic minerals that help to secure that the H2O your horse drank, stays inside for long enough to benefit.

Spot The Signs

Signs of dehydration are important to look out for and spotting them early can make a difference in dealing with a problem or an emergency.
Signs that your horse might be dehydrated include, but are not exclusive to,:

* Your horse looks dull and depressed (remember TATT)
* Not passing urine or dark urine
* Gums and eyelids are dark red instead of a healthy pink colour

Pinching your horse’s skin to see how long it takes to ping back is no longer considered a reliable way of assessing your horse’s hydrated state. A blood test taken by your vet will be able to determine what is wrong and we recommend always consulting your vet if you are the slightest bit concerned.

Ice Ice Baby

When the colder weather arrives, it’s even more critical to ensure that your horse has free access to water and some horses do not like drinking freezing cold water, so adding a little hot, to the water to keep it a nice palatable temperature, can encourage fussy drinkers. Also if you give water via buckets, keep an eye on their intake as part of your daily routine so you can spot any sudden changes in their drinking habits. Make sure that your water troughs are clear of ice so that your horse has access to water out in the field and soak hay or feed haylage as opposed to dry hay to increase his moisture levels. If your horse is drinking less, then it might be an idea to add electrolytes or a teaspoon of salt to his feed to encourage him to drink, but again speak to your vet if you are concerned.

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow
If you are working your horse over the winter and he is sweating each time you ride, you should consider clipping him to remove the hair which is causing him to sweat, even if it is just a blanket clip with a neck. This will not only make him feel more comfortable when being ridden but keep him cooler than trying to work out in a heavy winter coat!

If you enjoyed reading this blog, you might enjoy reading Electrolyte Status During Exercise.

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How to get your horse and yard winter proofed

How to get your horse and yard winter proofed
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With winter on the horizon, ensuring that you, your horse and stable are ready for whatever winter will bring. From severe weather to frozen locks to hay shortages, be prepared with our essential guide to getting ready for winter with your horse. How to get your horse and yard winter proofed offers useful tips to get your horse through the colder and wetter months of the year:

Watch The Weather


While the weather forecasters are not always 100% correct, their reports are generally a good indication of what lays ahead for the week. So, if there is a risk of snow, be prepared in the lead-up and if it doesn’t arrive in your area, then great news, but if it does it means you and your horse will be able to cope and manage the situation more effectively.

Frozen

Not only is ice dangerous where horses are concerned but turning up the yard to find that the yard gate padlock is frozen and then your water pipes when you finally get into the yard.  Have some anti-freeze in the car and insulate your water pipes to ensure you aren’t caught out by a cold snap. If your yard pipes freeze no matter what you do, then fill up as many water containers as you can to see you through the cold snap. Don’t forget to check the water buckets and field troughs on arrival and break the ice so your horse can reaccess water. Here is a really handy tip to keep water in troughs and buckets available to horses in the field: fill 2-litre plastic fizzy drink or plastic milk bottles (peel off their label first) with 1 mug of salt. Then add tap water to about 3/4 way up (more water makes it easier for your horses to push the bottle down in a frozen trough/bucket). Screw the top on securely, shake the mixture well, let some more air in if necessary. Now let this bottle float in the water in your trough or a large bucket. The fresh water freezes but the salt water won’t, as it has a lower freezing temperature… animals push the bottle down and gain access to the fresh water below the ice. It’s an old farming trick.

Feed The Right Stuff

Adjusting the amount of feed you give your horse according to his level of exercise is imperative. If a cold snap is forecast with snow and you don’t have the luxury of an indoor school or covered horse walker, slowly cut down on hard feed but maintain a good amount of roughage intake. With snow on the ground, it’s inevitable that you will be decreasing or adapting your horses’ work so plan as best as possible. Feeding Aloeride is also excellent for digestion and healthy gut function. Find out more about how Aloeride can help support a healthy digestive system. Worthwhile you looking at the video of Victoria Bax who – having used Aloeride for over 6 years – knows just how much Aloeride contributes to condition over the winter months.

Stable Mates

Most horses will spend more time in their stable during the winter months, so ensure that you use good quality hay and bedding to keep dust down to a minimum and keep it well ventilated. Boredom busters can help break the monotony ins the stable. If safe to do so, then walking your horse out in hand in the school for 10 x mins a day will get his circulation moving and give him a welcome distraction being cooped up in his stable.

Dressed For The Weather

Make sure that both you and your horses’ winter wardrobe are fit for purpose. That lovely turnout rug you’ve had for years won’t be so lovely when you find that its waterproofness has disappeared and your horse comes in from the field soaking wet and cold. Now is the time to get your rugs repaired, cleaned and re-waterproofed when necessary. Your own wardrobe needs review too. Investing in rugs and clothing that have technical properties that breath, wick and repel water are all key factors that will make winter for both you and your horse a bit more bearable.

Things To Spare

Having a stash of a spare woolly hat, gloves, socks, fleece and a lightweight waterproof jacket in the boot of the car is a good idea. A towel, blanket and some high energy snacks and bottle of water are also worth keeping in your vehicle, especially if you are driving on country lanes and break down. Waiting for recovery to arrive will be a much more pleasant experience in winter if you are prepared.

Fields

If you are lucky enough to have turnout you can use all year round, then placing hardcore or used shavings around the field gates will help prevent poaching. Feeding hay on hard boards rather than directly on the grass will also help save your fields as you head into winter. Most horses given a choice would rather be inside in really cold or wet weather. So, keep an eye on your horse. If he is spending more time standing by the gate calling at you then enjoying his field time, it might be worth cutting down his field time to just a few hours in really rotten weather.

Whatever winter decides to throw at you and your horse preparation is the key to enjoying the season ahead.

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How To Reduce Your Carbon Hoofprint in 7 Easy Steps

Aloeride-aloe-vera-for-Friesian-horse
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Reducing your carbon hoofprint isn’t as difficult as you think horse owners! Follow a few of our tips and you will be galloping to save the planet. How To Reduce Your Carbon Hoofprint in 7 Easy Steps…

1. Recycle & Upcycle
Recycle your plastic and cardboard and think about donating your old boots, bits and tack to a local equestrian charity or putting it online to sell it. Before you throw something away, ask yourself if it could be reused or repaired rather than ending up in a landfill site. A less than waterproof turnout can be re-waterproofed and if it still isn’t standing up to our great British weather you could always use as an outer stable rug as an extra layer of protection for your stable rug against manure! Haynets with holes can be repaired with bailing twine too. Think before you throw!

2. Buy Local
Where possible buy local. From your feed through to your bedding and bits and pieces. Feed which incorporates local ingredients or is manufactured on site is one way you can help reduce your impact on the planet. Our aloe vera supplement is made here in the UK and we pride ourselves in being mindful of our own carbon footprint. Our cartons are made from recycled cardboard and our packaging can all be recycled. Did you know that imported sugar beet pulp is a by-product of sugar, so while it incurs food miles, it’s a fabulous by-product?

3. Sharing Is Caring
Sharing your transport to a show with friends at the yard not only saves money but also emissions. Try and plan your competition outings in the lorry or trailer with friends. You’ll have great company and be saving money too! Organising a riding clinic on site for your yard with a trainer and inviting other horse riders from local yards within hacking distance is another way to cut down on traffic on our roads and bring together your horsey community.

4. Switch Off
Remember to save energy and fuel bills by turning off lights and appliances when not in use. Boiling enough water for a coffee or tea rather than overfilling it just for one drink might seem insignificant but over time that is a lot of energy you are saving just in that one cuppa! Using energy saving bulbs but then leaving phone chargers plugged in that slowly drain energy are aspects you need to think about and simple changes you can make to your yard.

5. Get On Your Bike
Rather than using your other mode of horsepower (car) ride your bike to the shops rather than getting in the car for short journeys. Not only will this help you get riding fit but it’s one less vehicle on the road.

6. Mucks Away
Removal of the muck heap is always a significant consideration for horse owners and an inevitable consequence of horse ownership. However, if your choice of bedding allows, it might be worth contacting your local garden centre and letting their gardening customers know that they are welcome to come to your yard and help themselves to your muck heap for their gardens. You can also look at reducing the size of your muck heap by swapping to a more absorbent type of bedding and fitting rubber matting in stables.

7. Buy In Bulk
Buy your feed and bedding in bulk (where possible) and space allowing. One trip in the lorry or one delivery is better for the environment than several journeys. Aloeride is also available as a multi-purchase and saves you money too. See what offers your local tack shop can do for you when purchasing larger volumes – you might be surprised!

Make a change today and ensure your carbon hoofprint is a lot less!

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Your Guide To Summer Health Problems In Horses

Aloeride aloe vera cooling horse, summer sizzlers!
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Summer might bring welcome warmer temperatures and sunshine, but it can also signal health problems for your horse. Here is your guide to summer health problems in horses, to six summer ailments and how to reduce the risk.

1. Heat Stroke

As temperatures rise so does the risk of heat stroke. Unfit and overweight horses are at risk as are horses undertaking fast and strenuous work in hot and humid conditions. Even standing out in the sun for a prolonged period without shade or being left in a hot trailer or lorry can put your horse at risk. A sudden heatwave can also bring on heat stroke. Keep an eye on rising temperatures, and ensure that your horse always has access to shade with good ventilation. Ensure he keeps his fluids up and isn’t asked to overexert himself in hot weather.

2. Sunburn

Just like human skin, your horse’s skin can burn so protecting your horse in the sunshine is imperative. Unfortunately, pink muzzles can be hard to protect for long, given that your horse is likely to rub off the sunblock. Regular application is advisable. For those horses turned out during the day during the summer, a fly mask with a nose cover is an excellent addition. Providing shade for your horse and keeping an eye on legs and other areas of the body which could burn with exposure to intense sunlight is also essential. You may want to have a peep at how Aloeride offers a sunburn protection buffer and sunburn aftercare… (that page was written for people but how Aloeride helps is the same for horses).

3. Dehydration

Make sure your horse has access to plenty of clean water at all times and that you keep field water troughs clean during the summer months. The implication of dehydration could be life-threatening. Keep your horse cool, allow him or her to take water frequently and ensure that both in the field or at a competition that there is the shade to stand in. You can read more about how Aloeride helps to support hydration SEE https://www.aloeride.com/electrolyte-status-during-exercise/

4. Bruised Feet

The hard ground can take its toll on your horse’s feet, and legs so keep an eye on ground conditions. Keep ridden work to walk or if the ground has some ‘give’ in it, then some trot work. Save anything faster for ground with some ‘spring’ in it. You can’t prevent horses having a jolly in the field, but you can keep an eye on them and stop play if need be. Aloeride is also a superb natural anti-inflammatory properties amongst many other health benefits. SEE https://www.aloeride.com/people/what-does-aloe-vera-do/

5. Cracked Hooves

Dry, cracked hooves will play havoc with shoeing, keeping shoes on and ultimately put play to all those lovely riding plans you had for the summer. Keep your farrier appointments regular and give your horse the nutritional support he or she needs. Aloeride strongly supports healthy hoof growth. SEE https://www.aloeride.com/horses/hoof-health-hoof-strength/

6. Fly Bites

Investing in a good fly bonnet and fly rug and using both in conjunction with a fly spray will help cut down fly bites. Turning your horse out early morning and bringing him or her into the stable when the flies are at their worst will also help. There are a few fly controls that you can use in the stable, but always ensure they are out of reach from your horse’s inquisitive nose! SEE https://www.aloeride.com/horses/the-problem-of-sweet-itch/

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Travelling Your Horse In Safety – 7 Top Tips

Travelling Your Horse In Safety
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On the move in your horse lorry or trailer this summer? Here are our Travelling Your Horse In Safety – 7 Top Tips for travelling your horse in comfort and safety.

1. Keep Cool

As temperatures rise think about your horse’s well-being and comfort by travelling earlier or later in the day and avoiding peak traffic times. Also, remember to maximise ventilation in the lorry by opening windows in the horse compartment.

2. Protection On The Move

Protecting your horses’ legs when you travel is advisable but ensure that they fit correctly, and your horse is comfortable wearing them. The temptation to over rug up your horse on a journey can result is a hot, sweaty, stressed horse. So choose a cooler appropriate to the time of year with wicking and breathable properties to keep your horse comfortable on the move in your lorry or trailer.

3. Be Prepared

Check your lorry or trailer tyres and floor regularly. Urine and manure can seep down underneath your rubber matting and rot a wooden base so check under the lorry and lift up rubber matting if possible to check for any signs of wood rot. Checking the oil and water levels is advisable and getting fuel before your outing (without your horse onboard) also reduces the amount of time he or she will be onboard. Taking out emergency breakdown cover is also a good idea.

4. All The Gear

Make sure you make a comprehensive checklist of all the gear you will need for your lorry trip. Regardless of the length of your trip, it is illegal to travel without your horses’ passport and easy to forget with so much else to think about.

5. Allow Time

Allow plenty of journey time so that you don’t have to rush as soon as you arrive at your show. If time is against you, even with the best intentions, this will affect your driving. Remember the smoother and more consistent the speed in which you drive, the more comfortable the ride for your horse, resulting in a relaxed horse and one which will be just as happy to load for the return journey.

6. Keep Hydrated

If you are travelling on a long journey, stop and offer water at regular intervals. Carrying plenty of water with you is imperative in case of delays and also for your competition, especially as some horses are very fussy about drinking strange water. Soaking hay can also offer another source of hydration. This also encourages your horse to lower his head which also helps decrease the chance of pneumonia.

7. Feed Electrolytes & Aloeride

Feeding your horse electrolytes is also advisable but did you know Aloeride can also help support health and hydration in your horse? Find out more HERE https://www.aloeride.com/electrolyte-status-during-exercise/

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Loraine Homer feeds Aloeride

Loraine Homer feeds Aloeride aloe vera
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Loraine Homer feeds Aloeride to all her horses because it works. It works for her show horses but also for the horses that she brings on for sale. Why spend a fortune on coat shine this season, when your horse or pony can have radiance that comes from within? Aloeride not only helps promote a shiny coat, it also helps promote healthy skin, assists hoof quality and help maintain a healthy immune and digestive system – all in one easy to feed taste-free daily sachet. Loraine Homer feeds Aloeride to all her horses that she competes with or that she brings on for sale.

“Since feeding Aloeride, my horses now have a wonderful, natural bloom to their coats: An essential ingredient for that winning appearance!”

Loraine is the winner of The 2011 HOYS Ladies Hunter Championship, show rider, judge and top show horse producer. Loraine was born into a very horsey family, her mother Barbara Ashby-Jones was a top side-saddle rider, while her father David Tatlow is a renowned showman and a former point-to-point champion. As a child Loraine was keen on hunting, and became involved in showing through a working hunter pony called Cuckoo. After leaving school she set up as a show producer, working alongside her father at his yard in Oxfordshire. Loraine specialises in producing top class show hunters, with all of their horses coming over from Ireland as youngsters. She has won titles at all of the major shows, and in 2011 she was hunter champion at the Royal International with Major Moylam. She also won her first HOYS title in the ladies’ hunter class with Jonas O’Shannon.

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Dressage Divas!

Aloeride aloe vera dressage divas!
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We asked top international dressage rider and Aloeride sponsored rider Leah Beckett for her top 6 top tips for competing this summer. Fantastic advice for all dressage divas!

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farPractise on your square halts and riding accurately to your markers – these can really boost your marks in a test!

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farAsk someone to video you in a test run through at home prior to your competition. Watching it back can help you make improvements in your schooling leading up the test day and even minor tweaks can have a big impact on overall marks.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farLearn your test! Having a caller is all very well, but as a rider, you should be preparing for each movement well ahead of the caller and if you can’t hear your voice you will be in a spot of bother!

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farWhen I am training the horses I try and make myself as interesting a rider as possible. So within their training I try and keep it varied and not do all things everyday – sometimes I will work on basics, some days exercises, some days test riding, some days trot, some days canter. If you think of riding as asking the horses for a percentage of their power, then I will only hit 100% a few times a week and just play in-between the percentages.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farVariety is the spice of life and I love the horses to go out in the field a couple of times a week and if I can mix up hacking and schooling as well, even better!!

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farHaving a happy and well-rounded horse makes for a much happier athlete, which is much more settled and has a much more open mind to training so try to work with your horse and incorporate exercises he or she loves as well as the more difficult stuff in your training sessions.

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Hello and goodbye to Sweet Itch

Hello and goodbye to Sweet Itch
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Spring signals the start of sweet itch for many horses and the battle therefore begins for their owners to beat the midges before they start munching! Here are our 8 top tips for managing your sweet itch sufferer… Hello and goodbye to Sweet Itch.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farBe prepared. If you know your horse is a sweet itch sufferer then keep your midge/fly rug at the ready to put on instantly as soon as the midges come out.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farWhilst feeding with the horses allergic reaction to the midges, as well as helping to promote healthy skin and accelerated healing in cuts and sores caused by the horses’ scratching, we always recommend that you should take a multi-pronged approach to tackling the condition. Using a protective rug and fly/midge spray alongside our supplement is advisable and we recommend the Snuggy Hoods Sweet Itch Anti-Itch Horse Rug & Hood for great nose to tail coverage.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farGood stable management is vital. For example you could try turning your horse out during the middle of the day, rather than at night or early morning when midges are more likely to be more active, especially in fields that are marshy or near rivers or lakes (which midges love). Midges also do not fly in strong wind, heavy rain or bright, clear sunshine, so under these weather conditions your horse shouldn’t be under such strong attack.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farKeeping your horse stabled at ‘high risk’ times will help keep them at bay and you could try using fly strips with citronella in the stable (making sure of course that they cannot be reached) is another option.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farInstalling a strong ceiling fan in the stable will help keep them away (As above midges can’t fly in a strong air current).

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farIf you can turn out your horse on grazing that is well drained and also avoid fields that are next to rotting vegetation, such as leaves or muck heaps this will also help avoid the midges.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farOften it is impossible to avoid the odd midges bite, no matter how careful you are and this is where Aloeride can help support healthy skin. Aloe vera is renown for having anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which alongside additional anti-inflammatory qualities and a range of B vitamins (which again are known to help with allergic skin reactions) it can quickly help tackle the problem inside out.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farClean your field water trough regularly as this can be the ideal breeding ground for midges.

checkmark Aloeride aloe vera - Best British Aloe Vera by farHan van de Braak BSc LicAc MCSP MBAcC (Retd.) wrote an in-depth article about The Problem Of Sweet Itch (click to read).


N.B: This advice is general and we would always recommend that you seek your own vet’s advice concerning your horses’ well-being and management.

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Leah Beckett Dressage photoshoot video

Leah Beckett Dressage photoshoot video
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We go behind the scenes on the latest photoshoot (video below) with top dressage rider and Aloeride ambassador Leah Beckett. Shot on location in Surrey, Leah is photographed by leading equestrian photographer David Miller and rides her string of horses. Leah competes with the gorgeous horses that are owned and bred by Eva and Shaun Measures. Leah trains with both Florian Bacher of the Spanish Riding School and Charlotte Dujardin.

Diluvio’s Mare had been on birth watch for days and nothing happened. So I decided to have a kip and give the Mare some pasture time and shortly after the waters broke… that is, the Heavens opened with absolutely torrential rain. That’s when Diluvio decided to be born (‘diluvio’ in Spanish means ‘flood’). Shortly afterwards I arrived and put my finger in Diluvio’s mouth to mimic a teet and, thus attached, I led her back to the dry stables. Only when both of us were there did the mare bother to follow… there’s horses for you!

Shaun Measures
  • Rimskij Korsakov… 16 yr old Grand Prix Black Stallion by Rubenstein. Currently competing at Inter II.
  • Russki… 10 yr old son of Rimskij. Currently competing at Advanced Medium and qualified for both the Summer and Winter Nationals. Working at home towards Grand Prix and aiming to compete at the Premier League’s at Small tour through the summer.
  • Renoir… 7 yr old full brother to Russki! Currently competing at medium and working towards PSG.
  • Diluvio… 6yr old Dapple Grey Mare by Dimaggio… Working at novice level.