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FIREWORKS AND EXPLOSIVES

Fireworks and explosives
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The month of November might feature fireworks and explosives but that doesn’t mean, as the winter rolls in, that we want to find them under our saddle! Here are our 6 top tips for managing fresh horses

  • If you are feeling the cold, the likelihood is that your horse is too, so get moving as soon as you can.
  • Quarter sheets are great but in windy weather can end up blowing all over the place (Not a great idea on a spooky horse!)
  • Keep your horse’s mind focused on you by incorporating new exercises into your schooling and give plenty of variety.
  • If your horse is looking rather bright in the stable when you turn up to ride, then work him on the ground before you hop on.
  • Don’t take risks with a fresh horse, wearing a hard hat and gloves when leading or handling a horse could save your life.
  • Feed your horse accordingly so that you don’t end up over feeding which could increase the risk of tying up and also add to silly behaviour. Aloeride helps support a healthy digestive system and gut, which in turn can make a meaningful change in mood, cognition and ultimately behaviour. This also means that your horse is more receptive to training and is more likely to be calm during performance.
  • And to help you keep calm about your horse’s health and wellbeing all year, take advantage of our money saving offer here:

N.B: This advice is general and we would always recommend that you professional expert advice on managing your horse.

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Victoria Bax Eventing blog December 2017

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What’s up in the Victoria Bax Eventing blog December 2017… well, November was another month of huge ups and downs. It started very well with a trip out to our new local British Showjumping show at the lovely Beechwood Ec early this month. I had initially planned to take two horses, but one did what they do best and came in a couple of nights before with a cut and a fat leg which is still not better three days later, so she managed to swerve a showjumping trip! However, six-year-old Alberta’s Pride (aka Frankie) went alone and excelled himself yet again by not only producing another double clear in the British Novice but also a super duper double clear in his first Discovery too; is there no end to this boy’s talent.

The following week, Alberta’s Pride was called up to fill a place in a Riding Club Team qualifier where he put in another superb jumping display in the 1m & 1.05m rounds helping the team finish a respectable 2nd.

Some successful clinics have now been completed as after all it is prime training season right now. The course showjumping clinic was lots of fun with a couple of new clients and lots of regulars, all thoroughly enjoying themselves, practising techniques and learning new skills, but two sessions really stood out for me;

One very brave regular of mine brought along her new horse and smashed it by jumping around the whole course! Brilliant! Another who has travelled a very LONG journey over the last eight months with her own horse, who at the start would not even step over a pole on the ground through to jumping beautifully round the course including all the fillers; making it look very easy.

Lastly, later this month I received some utterly devastating news from a phone call late on Friday afternoon to let me know that a lady who started as a regular client but soon turned in a great friend very sadly lost her extremely quick and aggressive fight against cancer and passed away. She learnt of her diagnosis only 4/6 weeks beforehand and simply didn’t have a chance of fighting it as it had really got a hold of her. I am utterly devastated to lose someone who I considered a really good friend. My thoughts go out to her young family and husband at this hugely tragic time. So, please give your loved ones both two-legged, and four-legged an extra hug and kiss today because you never know when it might be their last.

Life does go on for the rest of us, so wishing everyone a happy Christmas and a smashingly successful New Year.

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Victoria Bax Eventing January Blog

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Here is Victoria Bax Eventing Racehorse Retraining October blog post. Those of you who own ex-racehorses may well know of her retraining of racehorses clinics in Essex. Victoria is one of Aloeride’s sponsored riders.

Alberta's Elegance, Victoria Bax feeds Aloeride to RoR horsesOctober saw the last 3 events of my season but the first 3 for Alberta’s Elegance who has had a very quiet year due to one thing and the other. Her first event was Little Downham up in Cambridge so just a mere 180 mile round trip this time! She produced a nice dressage test for 34, then a fair show jump round for her, this time feeling good to start with but then she lost confidence 3 from the end turning away from the collecting ring, causing a stop and then sadly 3 poles down. After a good effort napping at the start, as the start box runs alongside the collecting ring, we actually produced the best cross-country round to date. She felt much more confident and all questions were answered positively and there were some question being that it was a Regional Final course! Somehow, we managed to finally complete our first clear 90 cross-country course so I was over the moon. She still has an awful long way to go but small steps are good for me!

Zippie at Littleton Manor in ReigateThe following week saw us travel down to Littleton Manor in Reigate so a little closer for us. This time I had a new horse to run on behalf of a client of mine who bought a super schoolmaster earlier in the year to show her the ropes in British Eventing and give her some confidence. Unfortunately her first event didn’t quite go to plan as Zippie got rather excited by knowing what was coming next and she didn’t make it through the showjumping so she asked if I would take him to an event so she could see him run. I happily agreed as he really is a class horse! Although I flat school him once a week for her and I’ve show jumped him twice, I hadn’t taken him cross-country, but felt confident as he sure knows his job. Zippie warmed up beautifully for the dressage and performed a gorgeous test so I was a little disappointed to only score 32. We then jumped a nice show jump round sadly just breathing on a rail causing it to fall, but then jumped the most beautiful clear cross-country I think I have ever ridden. He sure is a machine on the cross-country and I thoroughly enjoyed myself! We managed to finish 13th which his owner was over the moon with.

Next up was Alberta’s Elegance, who performed a safe test in the dressage but sadly the judge didn’t agree and scored us very high leaving us towards the end of the section which I was very disappointed with. We then moved onto warm up for the showjumping which is a little awkward at this event as they only allow 5 riders in the warm up at a time due to the size of the arena, so this caused a few problems for some horses, including me! I did the best I could but was clearly not good enough as we managed our worst show jump round to date with 2 stops and a number of poles. The arena was on a surface with banners surrounding and a huge crowd of spectators watching on the surrounding bank, all of which proved a little too much for Alberta’s Elegance to cope with. The decision was made following that to withdraw and save her for another day.

Alberta's Elegance three day eventing at Tweseldown with AloerideThe following and final event of the year was an unaffiliated event at Tweseldown, so quite a trek for us but very worthwhile. Alberta’s Elegance produced a nice test for 31, followed by her best showjumping round to date with no stops but 2 rails down. The cross-country caused us a little problem though, having stormed out of the start box, we were cruising up until both water complexes which were quite spooky, both with fences to jump before and after the water itself. We stopped at both fences in front of the waters so at least we were consistent! We circled round and jumped them both the second time and completed the course. Although obviously disappointed with the stops, I was very pleased with how she dealt with the rest of the course as here were many many fences which were either brightly coloured or very spooky which she really could have stopped at but didn’t.

So plenty to like during the events she has completed this season but still much to work on over the winter too. One last trip onto a cross-country course followed the following week with Alberta’s Pride aka Frankie who has been off games for a little while due to a couple of injuries he has picked up which ended his season a little earlier than I would have liked, but that’s horses! As he has already enjoyed a few weeks off, he has been back in work and is fully fit again so I thought I’d take the opportunity while the weather is still dry to remind him of the cross-country phase before winter. Well, we had no problems there at all. He remembered everything he had already learnt and more including jumping some decent 3 and 4 fence combinations and jumping into and out of water. He is definitely one for next year, I am so excited! So with most of my horses on holiday I have started up my winter training clinics for others which are proving extremely popular and have been selling out within the hour as soon as they are advertised, which I am very grateful to everyone for supporting!

I will have a little time out myself now but will come back stronger next season after a winter of more training.
I can’t wait!

Until next time…
Victoria Bax (Victoria Bax Eventing Racehorse Retraining)

Header image courtesy of Victoria’s very talented husband Jason Bax.

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When aloe vera is only present on the label

When aloe vera is only on the label
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The world is full of trickery. In November 2016 Bloomberg published findings of four ‘gels with aloe vera on the label’ that they had content-analysed. Contrary to label claims, there was no aloe vera content. When aloe vera is only present on the label, the customer is being conned. Unsurprisingly several class-action lawsuits have been filed since, seeking restitution for all the customers. Aloeride always has warned about trickery like this and always has aimed to help you make an informed choice.

“No reasonable person would have purchased or used the products if they knew the products did not contain any aloe vera,’’ attorneys wrote in a complaint filed in September in Illinois on behalf of plaintiffs represented by 10 law firms. The products Bloomberg had analysed were Wal-Mart’s Equate Aloe After Sun Gel with pure aloe vera , Target’s Up & Up Aloe Vera Gel with pure aloe vera , CVS’s Aftersun Aloe Vera Moisturizing Gel and Walgreens’ Alcohol Free Aloe Vera Body Gel .

Aloeride exists because of a need in our family. Because we didn’t know what triggered a condition, Aloeride had to be the purest possible. Because we wanted it to overcome a condition, Aloeride had to be the best, most potent possible. Then in 2004, we took Aloeride to the marketplace and shared surprising, independent laboratory findings to allow ordinary people to see behind the labels… We think informed choice serves you best. We can supply you with a multi-laboratory proven better aloe vera at vastly deflated cost because we don’t have expensive offices, we don’t finance a multilevel marketing pyramid, we don’t transport liquid aloe, and we don’t seek rapacious profit.

Product Batch# MS/TS MeOHPS mg/L PHA ppm Iodine 2.0×106 1.0×106 4.80x5 6.60×104 smaller Da
Aloeride 0104 31.88% 4680 <0.1 Neg 0.36% 0.93% 4.22% 28.87% 65.61%
Product 4f2004 131003A 3.65% 1800 48.2 Neg 0.05% 1.00% 6.41% 7.02% 85.53%
Product 4f2011 1450

The above product comparative test with a Goliath of an aloe vera producer shows that bigger isn’t per se better. A Seal of Approval assures less than is perceived. MS/TS measures purity and 3.65% is a far cry from the advertised 100%. The oomph of aloe vera (MeOHPS) measured 2.6 times fewer beta-linked polysaccharides than in Aloeride. At 48.2 ppm the laboratory noted this would cause diarrhoea at manufacturer recommended dosage. The 2.0×106 and 1.0×106 fractions are immune-modulatory and the difference is obvious. The 6.60×104 fraction is anti-inflammatory and there’s a 4.11 times quantity difference. How does this translate into real life? A trial was done with their aloe vera gel on people with refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Unfortunately those suffering from IBS do so in three catagories: diarrhoea-predominant IBS, constipation-predominant IBS and alternating IBS (flitting from diarrhoea to constipation). Rather predictably, their 48.2 ppm negatively affected the trial outcome (aggravating the diarrhoea and alternating group). In 2011 this product measured poorer than it did in 2004, that can be due to climatic factors (e.g. winter harvest) or be a commercial choice. After all, Toblerone (a Goliath amidst confectionery manufacturers) downsized their iconic chocolate bars with the ‘Grocery Shrink Ray’ which invoked protest because people saw triangles missing. There are no such self-evident pointers for aloe vera gel and sadly some see this as an opportunity. Culminating in aloe vera being only present on the label as Bloomberg discovered.
[tboc_button title=”Enjoy aloe vera that is honest, better and saves you oodles of money” href=”https://www.aloeride.com/shop-aloe-vera/”]

When aloe vera is only present on the label

Product Batch# MS/TS MeOHPS mg/L PHA ppm Iodine 2.0×106 1.0×106 4.80x5 6.60×104 smaller Da
Aloeride 0104 31.88% 4680 <0.1 Neg 0.36% 0.93% 4.22% 28.87% 65.61%
Product RSA sample 6.86% 140 168 Neg

We are approached by growers trying to sell their aloe vera raw material. One from South Africa not just sent us their best quality samples that we asked for, but also their brochure furnishing us with a list of cosmetics manufacturers using their produce. Many of the big names were on that list. What did the independent laboratory make of it? Their methanol precipitated solids tested as 280mg/L with the note that only 140mg/L was aloe vera because cheap methodology (spray drying) had been used. That’s 33.43 times less than the polysaccharides measured in Aloeride! At 168 ppm of polyhydroxyanthraquinones, this produce taken by mouth would have you gallop to the toilet. Fine thing then that it is used only for facial products, shampoo and body lotions. Snag is, one US manufacturer listed makes this into a by-mouth product and their labeling and marketing will blow you away… 140 mg/L and 168 ppm! Caveat Emptor (the principle that the buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality and suitability of goods before a purchase is made) tanks when there’s bollocks on the label. This kind of malpractice is what Wal-Mart, Target, CVS and Walgreens may find themselves in court for. This 140 mg/L is perhaps not quite ‘when aloe vera is only present on the label’ but it is not far off.
[tboc_button title=”Enjoy aloe vera that is honest, better and saves you oodles of money” href=”https://www.aloeride.com/shop-aloe-vera/”]

Knowing your aloe vera onions

Product Batch# MS/TS MeOHPS mg/L PHA ppm Iodine 2.0×106 1.0×106 4.80x5 6.60×104 smaller Da
Aloeride 0104 31.88% 4680 <0.1 Neg 0.36% 0.93% 4.22% 28.87% 65.61%
sample 18.92% 3920 <1.0 Neg 0.06% 0.13% 0.47% 1.46% 97.87%

Knowing good stuff from not-so-good stuff is difficult at the best of times and so it is in aloe vera. At first glance, the above test shows the oomph (MeOHPS) to be almost as good as Aloeride (3,920 compared to 4,680). It only tells one part of the story. Imagine that you want to fry some chips. You buy an opaque 5kg bag labelled ‘potatoes’… only to find out that the potato diameter is 2.54 centimeters (1 inch). Fat lot of use they are for making chips! In aloe vera sizes matter because different fractions have different functions. In a similar vein, this manufacturer used heat drying on heat-sensitive molecules. That is why most of the fractions are low (0.06, 0.13, 0.47, 1.46) whilst the heat-denatured polysaccharides populate the smaller Dalton section (97.87). This product is predictably not going to do what research shows aloe vera can do. Sure, Bloomberg would have found something, the problem is that this product doesn’t serve you nearly as well as well-made aloe vera could do. There’s you thinking aloe vera doesn’t help you when it is the cutting-corners-manufacturing that is letting you down.

Do you get what you pay for?

Aloeride aloe vera powder increased to 426mgNormally I would say you do, but we do things differently. When in 2011 for greater ease of use, we changed our vegetarian capsule content from 180mg to 426mg, we didn’t fully pass on our cost increase to customers. We continued the buy 5 get 1 free offer and we continued the worldwide free shipping despite postage getting ever more expensive. The contrast with other aloe manufacturers became astronomical with Aloeride aloe vera for horses. Horse owners literally save themselves a few hundred Pound Sterling by buying the better product. Stud Farms and Racing yards save themselves thousands a year that way. Ours is completely the opposite scenario to the Bloomberg findings. Aloeride is best British aloe vera by far, which is why we would never so much as consider ‘shrinkflation’.

We believe that the above comparison is a matter of public interest and constitutes fair comment without malice. We believe that empowering people to make an informed choice is good. All measurements within our website are factual and are quoted verbatim from the reports we receive from accredited, independent laboratories and we retain such supporting evidence to justify that the statistics are representative of the characteristics of the products relevant for a proper comparison. Outcomes are masked because of comparative advertising, product disparagement and trademark constraints.

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Communicating With Your Horse

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Every rider knows that when you’re nervous, your horse will pick this up and behave accordingly. You certainly won’t have the leader role, that’s for sure. Much of this can be attributed to pheromones which most animals can smell and know how to react to. Body language as you approach your horse also speaks volumes to the prey animal which in essence your horse still is. All of this is old school, conventional and safely rational.

The video below may take you way out of your comfort zone. I find it interesting though because, whereas ‘modern man’ may have lost its ability to ‘mentally’ communicate with animals, it’s very likely that horses still have that ability between themselves. Many competition riders embrace the principle of visualisation and actively use this in their dressage. Cross country is probably way too ‘wild’ to keep one’s mind still enough for visualisation. In a dressage setting, what is visualisation if not communication, a preview without words. Not unlikely that this type of ‘communication’ helps the rider as well as the horse. You’d be wrong to label all this as wishy washy, there is plenty of proper research to confirm that visualization and mental rehearsal improves athletic performance. [1,2,3]

‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy’.  What Anna Breytenbach -a former Silicon Valley corporate business analist- does in this video is silently forming a sentence in her head or a mental image and ‘simply’ projecting that, and she imagines it landing in the animal’s space. The technique she uses goes back to ‘tracking’ like most indigenous people around the world do. When she gets a response from an animal, it comes in that same universal language, Anna is gifted for being able to receive and interpret it. Top competition riders (pro golfers as well as other top athletes) know that it takes two things to make such communication happen, concentration or rather, emptying and quieting your mind and practicebecause this is a learned skill, a trained brain. You too can learn it, so, next time you see your horse, quiet your mind and land a sentence or mental picture in your horse’s space… Use it for what it is, a tool, not necessarily in the way Anna uses it, but how top equestrians use it.

If that’s not your cup of tea and your life is ‘busy busy busy stress stress stress’, then just for a moment pause to see what those mental sentences or pictures might do for your horse.


By the way, Jurg Olsen still is alive and well as the manager of Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary. So is Spirit.

Sample References:
1- Brouziyne M, Molinaro C. “Mental imagery combined with physical practice of approach shots for golf beginners.” Perceptual and Motor Skills. 2005 Aug;101(1):203-11.
2- Isaac, A. R. (1992). “Mental Practice- Does it Work in the Field?” The Sport Psychologist, 6, 192-198.
3- Martin, K.A., Hall, C. R. (1995). “Using Mental Imagery to Enhance Intrinsic Motivation.” Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 17(1), 54-69.

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Aloe vera plants in a sachet

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Aloeride aloe vera Soil Association certified organicEverything in an aloe vera plant is useful except for water and the molecules that cause diarrhoea. We grow the most nutritious species under the best possible conditions using the cleverest technology to capture the magic of aloe vera into an Aloeride sachet. Uniquely within the horse world, ours is a Soil Association certified organic feed supplement that is made to the same Quality Control as the Aloeride Extra Strong we make for human consumption.

Having grown and harvested the plant, we ‘cherry pick’ our raw material via stringent independent laboratory testing. Of course we use the cleverest way for whole leaf juice (gel) to become a powder. That’s how we know, and you can be assured, that the working molecules remain present in abundance. In Aloeride we sachet the pure powder without adding anything to it other than a minute amount of inert AEROSIL® 200 Pharma which is high purity, amorphous anhydrous colloidal silicon dioxide to optimise the flow of our very hygroscopic Aloeride aloe vera powder. The big advantage of keeping the sachet content pure is that there’s nothing to adversely react to and in powder form our aloe vera is very palatable. Even fussy horses don’t reject it, that’s a big plus over aloe liquid! Everything that optimally grown aloe vera has to offer goes into our sachet, a massive 12 litres per carton (30 sachets is 1 month supply). One sachets delivers the nutritional value from 400 MILLILITRES of original, organic wholeleaf aloe vera barbadensis miller juice.

All manufacturers have the choice what Quality Control they produce to and from the independent laboratory tests on competitor products we know that many take a different view on bottom lines, profit margins and your best interests than we do. We set out to make the absolute best possible aloe vera product for your horse, with independently documented, verifiable Quality Control and we let financial implications be a secondary issue. This may not make the best business sense but it sure makes the best human sense. You want the best possible help for your horse, so that’s what we make for you. We further help you by making Aloeride extremely affordable by comparison.

In case you’re thinking about growing an aloe vera plant on your kitchen window sill… Excellent idea (e.g. for when the oven attacks the chef at home) but for any species of aloe vera plant to develop its spectrum of polysaccharides, it needs a lot of sunshine. Which is the one thing we haven’t got a lot of in Blighty. That’s why there’s Aloeride. There is another thing, all unprocessed aloe vera plants contain laxative anthraquinones – as indeed do other aloe vera products – so, should you eat from the plant on your kitchen sill, you know what to expect…

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Exmoor Golden Horseshoe 2014

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Aloeride is extremely pleased to sponsor the Exmoor Experience 50 Miles Two Day Class Endurance Riding event in the glorious Exmoor National Park. Exmoor’s Golden Horseshoe endurance ride (May 11th – 13th 2014) is considered to be one of the toughest tests of horse and rider in Europe. It’s just you and your horse over hundreds of miles of some of the most challenging terrain in Great Britain. All against the clock and your fellow competitors. Endurance riding (timed riding over long distances) is one of the fastest growing sports in Britain.

Also, please tell Han, and for your information, that my horse on Aloeride has now done 30 and 40 mile rides with no electrolytes and is recovering quickly, with good gut sounds and low pulse rate. We’re doing, hopefully, a 50 miler at the weekend, which will be a good test. This aspect might be something we could explore in the future as we have done with the hooves here. I’d really like to carry on with the Aloeride

 

It’s pure horse heaven as the village of Exford turns into a clip-clopping sea of bay, chestnut and grey. You don’t even need to ride to enjoy the spectacle. The atmosphere is distinctly carnival: crowds spill out of the pubs, while up at the event venue (above the village) there is masses to see and do: you can watch the competition horses being vetted, buy horsey paraphernalia at the stalls and parades of proud Arabians and their doughty distant cousins, the native Exmoor pony. “Horses have to be very fit so only the very best endurance horses in the country can compete,” says Barbara Wigley who heads the organising committee. “Most enthusiasts see a Gold award from Exmoor as having reached the pinnacle of the sport.”

Now that I have cleaned all the mud from my horse, tack and clothes after the 50-mile ride on Sunday, I can tell you that we completed and passed all the vetting. Although it was humid, the horse had no electrolytes or other additives, only Aloeride. It really was a tough ride, so I’m thrilled!

However, there are several other classes (over lesser mileage) that help riders build experience and fitness. And, just for the heck of it, there is a 15 mile Pleasure Ride (in aid of local charities) on the Sunday, a gentler way to enjoy part of the course. What country it is too: picture-postcard villages, wooded coombes, babbling streams, heather-clad moorland. Ten to one you’ll see herds of native ponies and the wild red deer, buzzards wheeling lazily overhead and the larks flying up from under your hooves. Top endurance rider explains the appeal: “It is just you and your horse out there in the countryside. No judges watching you; no jumps to negotiate; no dressage tests to remember or showjumping courses to clear. The birds are singing, the breeze is blowing and the sun shining…” She pauses before adding wryly, ”Or, in some cases, the rain pouring down, the wind blowing a gale and the ground like a quagmire.”

The health of the horses is paramount and each one is vet-checked before, during and after the competitive rides. For me (and a giggling gaggle of pony-mad small girls), this is the secret joy of the Horseshoe: as the vetting is carried out in public you can play that horsey game of “which one I’d like to take home” to your heart’s content. The majority of endurance horses are Arabian or Arabian crossbred because, as Nikki Routledge explains: “They are tough in body, thin-skinned (so heat dissipates) and have a lot of stamina.” However, she points out that any sound horse can compete, including “Thoroughbreds, Welsh cobs, Connemaras, Irish Draughts, even Fjords and Exmoors.”

“It’s like an addiction,” says international endurance rider Nicky Sherry. “The more I do it, the more I want to do it. I have been in the sport for nearly 30 years and I haven’t got over it yet. The challenge of the course and the adrenalin rush compares to nothing else.” Routledge agrees. “As you come into sight of the finish you want to cry with the sheer emotion of getting to this point,” she says. “Your horse has carried you 100 miles – because you asked him to. Not because you are such a brilliant trainer or fantastic rider but because he wanted to. It is very humbling, that an animal will do that simply because you asked. How do you beat that kind of feeling?”

Photographs: by Barbara and Ian Wigley.