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In his third year as Badminton course designer, Eric Winter has kept his philosophy of making his track look as naturally cross country as possible. There is next to no artifice, seen at many other events, in a flowing journey around Badminton Park.As usual the ASX Starter flower bed (1) is in the main arena, then riders hang right this year down to the Keepers Question (2) a table over the ditch. Crossing the road they rise to the Little Badminton Gate (3) reached up quite a steep incline and head for Savills Staircase (4 abc 5), a big log parallel, down the two stone steps and a tight left turn to another log parallel away. A bit of an uphill canter and a right turn to the Worcester Avenue Table (6) then back on track to Joules Corners (7/8) of boxed hedges. Next comes the Countryside Log Piles (9ab), a choice of one large one or a double of smaller ones. A bit of a breather till things start to get serious. The Shogun Sport Hollow (10 ab) has a funnelling pagoda to lead riders to a narrow ‘coffin’ ditch, which actually is coffin shaped, and a left or right choice of chunky, narrow tree trunks out. Now we enter an area of intense action. The KBIS Bridge (11, 12) is a massive parallel over the famous Vicarage Ditch. The double numbering allows for a two jump escape route. The next obstacle has been at Badminton in some form since 1949, the Outlander PHEV Bank (13 ab). Fast route is head on to the top, down, over a narrow brushed roll top. Next up is a photographic favourite, the Rolex Grand Slam Trakehner (14), a massive log slung over a gaping chasm, then up one of the few real inclines in Badminton Park to the Hildon Water Pond (15 ab), perhaps slightly easier this year, with a roll top in and a log in the water. A quick let up with James’s Brush (16) and back along the Vicarage Ditch to the Mirage Water (17 abc 18). Despite several options, the direct route involves a corner on the left of a timber box, a right curve over open water and right to another corner on the left of a final box. Heading back to the deer park the next is the Nyetimber Heights (19 ab). Up a steep slope to an airy brush on the top of the mound, down into the dip and up for a choice of four narrow scrubbing brush skinnies. The Feedmark Haywain (20) has featured all over Badminton Park in recent years and takes riders to this year’s charity fence the YoungMinds Brushes (21,22,23), three asymmetric corners in a row.
There is always a considerable crowd round all the fences on the course, but now comes the cauldron of the lake area. First is the World Horse Welfare Lakeside (24). The actual jump is basically a large parallel, but the design, with a pump station, extends over the lake and creates an attractive waterfall. Then it is along the lake to The Lake with L200s (25 abcd). Eric has pulled the brushed up entry log back, so there is now a grass landing before entering the Lake, then a step up and this time the L200 will have a trailer which hosts the jump, a dome shaped Aintree type fence.Keeping the massive lakeside crowd entertained, the course doubles back to the Wadworth Lower Lake (26) a triple bar approached through the water. The Trade Stands Hedge (27) is a friendly let up before the Voltaire Design Huntsmans Close (28 ab) which involves a birch parallel to a birch spread corner on a right turn. To avoid a flat out gallop Eric has the Eclipse Cross Chicane (29 ab), two open ditch brushes on a U bend out and in of the deer park before the HorseQuest Quarry (30 ab) looms. This is less complicated than in recent years. In over the stone wall to a drop then up and out over a second wall. Nearly home but the Hayracks (31 ab) is a roll top spread to a roll top skinny, then the Rolex Trunk (32) a sculpted log. Back into the arena is the Mitsubishi Final Mount (33), the public competition winning pair of sculpted wooden saddles.
As ever a good completion will be an exhilarating experience for both the old pros and especially for those whose first experience of Badminton this will be.
See www.badminton-horse.co.uk for latest news.
Mare owners and sport horse enthusiasts headed to Addington Equestrian Centre on 16th March to watch the re-scheduled British Breeding Stallion Event. The day was a resounding success with over 65 stallions on display in front of the enthusiastic audience.
The morning session was dedicated to showjumpers, including an evergreen 25-year-old Arko III who is heading into his final stud season but showing no signs of slowing down. Brendon Stud presented a number of stallions, highlighted by a three generation display of 6-year-old Klaris Giddy-Up, his dam – the international showjumper Sussex Caretino – and her sire – the stud’s energetic 21-year-old senior stallion Caretino Glory.
The eventers ranged from two three-year-olds at the very start of their breeding careers presented by Future Sport Horses (Future Prophecy and Future Guilty Pleasure) through to CIC 5-star campaigner Leprince des Bois and the clone of Badminton and Burghley champion Tamarillo – Tomatillo.
In a tribute to the great Ramiro B, who has produced both eventers and show jumpers, Nina Barbour rode one of his offspring, serving as a fitting finale to the eventing section.
The dressage section had a wealth of talent showcasing the strength in depth of British based sires. Woodlander Stud presented six stallions, Suzanne Lavendera brought her 20-year-old Trakehner Grand Prix star Kaiserdom TSF and Caunton Manor Stud brought the whole day to conclusion with a great display from their up and coming Grand Prix horse Dankeschon, shown by Martin Schleicher.
The opportunity to meet the stallions in the stabling area is one of the most popular aspects of this event, allowing mare owners to assess conformation and temperament close up. This social side of the day was also a great networking opportunity for visitors and exhibitors alike. The trade stand area was also busy throughout the day, with a mixture of breed societies, stallion stations, reproduction specialists and supporting industries using the day to meet up with clients old and new. Trade stand exhibitors reported an excellent day with many enquires.
British Breeding, the team behind the event, also launched their new Members Club which offers breeders support and information to support their endeavours. With a free subscription to the British Breeder magazine, discounted entry to events and educational stud visits in the pipeline, the Members Club is an excellent addition to the work of the British Breeding board.
For more information on British Breeding, please visit our website https://british-breeding.com/
Defending Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Champion, Jonelle Price from New Zealand and 3 of the 4 British team gold medal winners from the 2018 World Equestrian Games head the entries for the 2019 Badminton Horse Trials, which takes place on 1st – 5th May. Jonelle’s Burghley winning husband Tim is also among the star studded line up, while absentee World Champion Ros Canter, who is due to have her first baby this summer, will be previewing the course for Horse and Hound and also joining in on site commentary.
There are seven previous winners in the field – three from New Zealand – Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson and Jonelle; one from Australia, Sam Griffiths; and three from Great Britain, Pippa Funnell with a choice of 4 possible rides, William Fox-Pitt who has two entered and Oliver Townend, who will also have to choose two from his four initial entries.
Other notable competitors are the silver and bronze individual medallists from the World Equestrian Games of 2018, Padraig McCarthy from Ireland with Mr Chunky and Ingrid Klimke from Germany with Hale Bob. Ingrid has twice been second at Badminton, in 2006 and 2015, and is keen to add the prestigious Mitsubishi Motors title to her 2017 European Championship and numerous other top finishes around the world.
The victorious British team from 2018 comprises Tom McEwen, Gemma Tattersall and Piggy French, while Tina Cook, who has completed Badminton no less than sixteen times and was highly placed at WEG, has entered three (all riders are restricted to a maximum of two actual starters and must choose their runners before the First Horse Inspection on Wednesday 1st May).
The British challenge is also strengthened by three seasoned competitors at the highest level – Kitty King who rode in the 2016 Olympic team, Harry Meade, part of the 2014 World Championship squad and Nicola Wilson, veteran of countless major Championships.
There were 114 entries in total for this year’s event, resulting in 24 being placed on the Waiting List after allowing for those riders with more than two horses. The Waiting List is determined by points won in top level international events over the past two years.
Eric Winter’s cross country course will be unveiled on the event website, on Cross Country App and to the media on 10th April; while the Draw for starting order is live on Facebook on 15th April. Online advance ticket sales are running at record levels, with the early bird discounts due to expire on 31st March.
The full list of horses and riders entered for Badminton 2019 and the current Waiting List may be found here.
What will the implications of Brexit be on importing or exporting horses and ponies?
Most countries will have import rules for live animals, so if you’re planning to move a horse after 30th March 2019, you will need to talk to your importer, your vet and your transporter or agent. Blood tests will need to be taken in plenty of time and you’ll need to tell the transporter or agent your travel plans allowing more time if necessary to travel through an EU border inspection post.
There may be different implications depending on whether we leave the EU with a deal or with no deal, so to see up to date information on this and the current rules, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-horses-and-ponies-special-rules
There is currently an outbreak of equine flu in the UK and Europe which is a highly contagious virus which spreads rapidly with an incubation period of just one to five days. Even vaccinated horses have been affected and racing has been brought to a halt in the UK while the virus is monitored.Symptoms:
- High Temperature of 39-41C (103-106F)
- A clear watery discharge which can turn thicker and green
- Harsh dry cough
- Enlarged glands under the jaw
- Discharge from the eyes and redness
- Filling of the limbs
- Loss of appetite, dullness and depression
Girl meets Horse. Or guy meets horse. Or gender fluid person meets horse. Sorry, but the last two didn’t quite have the punch I wanted for a headline. Besides which, we all know women make up a disproportionately large proportion of the leisure horse sector. Hey – I’m just playing the numbers here. No bias intended.
Whether we’re looking for a human partner-in-crime or an equine one, let’s face it, what it all boils down to is The Bond. And no matter what sector your search is concentrated on, finding that, building that and maintaining it, is what the journey is all about. Both paths are minefields. After all, when it comes to human partnerships, everyone is (usually) on their best behaviour on the first date. That potential squeeze is unlikely to crib on the bar of your local pub. Lack of personal hygiene is not necessarily off-putting with a horse, but highly likely to be a red flag with a human. Horses are unlikely to spend your first meeting engaged in a monologue about themselves which is a big plus in their favour. However, as they cannot answer your questions, you are left having to rely on the honesty of the seller and then your vet. Many is the time I wish my vet had been on hand to give a prospective date a five stage going over before getting further involved however. Rossdales take note: potential new and limitless income stream identified.
When we talk about the ‘bond’ with our horses, I believe this is shorthand for what we all want to achieve: and that is a better relationship. We’ve all seen or possibly even worked with those people who just seem to have a mystical power. Who can form that bond almost instantly with any horse. The man or woman who within minutes of encountering a so-called ‘problem’ horse, has it following them in the round pen like a enraptured puppy or instantly obeying every aid – Buck Brannaman, Guido Louis Leidelmeyer, Stacy Westfall, Lorenzo de Angelis. This isn’t about what gifts they have that we don’t. I want to talk about an aspect of the ‘bond’ that has most people spooked. And that is knowing when the bond actually doesn’t exist between you and your equine partner of choice. And no matter how hard you try, or how much money you spend, or who you consult, it probably won’t. And what to do about it.
Just as we don’t expect to get on with each and every human being we encounter – including that blind date, we should not expect to get on with every horse we meet – or even end up owning, either. If we’re honest, most of us over dating age, have jumped in with an instant attraction – only to regret it further down the track. And most of us will spend less time trying out that new horse than we do lingering over that coffee or glass of wine with that latest love prospect. The first horse I went to see on my search for an equine partner – a 16.3, 12 year old schoolmaster, showed me quite categorically he was not the one for me by kicking me hard in the small of the back as I led him out of his paddock. Direct, painful and to the point. If he didn’t like me on the ground, there was no way he was going to like me riding him. He saved us both a lot of wasted time, money and unhappiness. Others have not been so lucky.
If you’ve ever faced the ‘Should I stay or should I go’ dilemma with a human partner – and you chose the latter, chances are you never once said in retrospect ‘I left way too soon’. It’s usually the opposite. We cling on longer than those bony headed guys in Star Trek. Same goes for horses. Knowing when to leave is something women especially have a hard time arriving at. So, if you feel you are stuck in a toxic relationship with your horse, when every ride or interaction is ending in frustration, fear and even tears, when do we know when to let go and when it’s worth persevering?
All arguments in human interaction stem from one of two questions: How much do you love me? and Who is in charge? It’s no different between you and your horse. However, the question with horses very often is the who is in charge one. You or the horse? The argument itself will come about via just three scenarios. 1: You are over-horsed and the horse does not match your skill level. As a result you sit there certain you are going to die on every ride. You are certainly not in charge. As Guido Louise Leidelmeyer tells us: You are not just the horse’s leader – you are its protector. It never occurs to the horse it is him you are terrified of. All it picks up from you is there is something to be scared of. The two of you are now trapped in a self-perpetuating downward spiral, where the more nervous you get, the more the horse acts in a way to make you nervous. And so on.
Scenario 2: The horse is just not doing what you ask and you end every interaction frustrated and wondering what you are doing wrong.
Scenario 3: Unrequited equine love. You and the horse are mismatched in terms of your personalities. This is actually ‘How much do you love me?’ You’re doing everything right, but it’s as if you are in a one-sided relationship. You do the giving, not much is coming back.
No matter your situation, there are ways to solve this but first you are going to have to let go of two things. The first, comparing your riding journey to other people’s and the second – your ego. Egos are tricky things and they have no place around horses. It is usually our egos which most get us into trouble with our equine companions. Letting go of it allows us to move into a place of openness, learning and non-attachment. This then frees us to obtain the right outcome for both us – and our horse.
If you are experiencing Scenario 1, be open and honest about the fact your chosen horse is right now, not the right match for your riding skills or perhaps even what you want to be doing. Riding your horse is supposed to be fun – not a white-knuckle rollercoaster. Step back and look holistically at your relationship. Are you confident handling your horse on the ground? If so, this is literally where you build your relationship – from the ground up. Spend time with your horse, try liberty work. Find yourself a good instructor and be honest about the problems you are having. Don’t be afraid to interview several to find the right one for you. Also know that even the most experienced rider has had confidence issues at one time or another. You are not alone. Understand that bonding together is going to take a lot of time, work and money. However, if you are also having problems with your horse on the ground as well as riding – say the horse has become bargy or is showing signs of aggression; it may be time to quit while you are ahead. Again, let go of the ego and be open to professional feedback. Also, look closely at what it is you really want to do with your horse. If your focus is hacking with perhaps some low level showing or dressage, is that 16.3, five year old warmblood really your best partner in crime? Or even if your ultimate aim is Prix St.George, based on your present skillset, is this the horse you need right now to get you there?
You’re asking but the horse isn’t responding and you’re ending every ride angry, frustrated and wondering what you are doing wrong. Women especially see failing to communicate or being understood as a failure at relating. You’re battling both those key questions with this one – the who is in charge and the how much do you love me? Those feelings of frustration, anger and the resulting tears are actually not directed at your horse, but at you. The big, fat failure. The fraud. The bad rider. Consider your horse does not understand what you are asking for – yet. You are lost in translation. What’s its history? Do you have reason to suspect the seller may have not been honest about what the horse has done? It may not be you, but simple lack of training/experience. Or the horse has been trained in a different way and simply is confused by what you are asking it to do? One extreme example of this I came across was a highly bred and expensively imported PRE from Spain who was deemed a ‘problem’ horse and unrideable. The horse was passed from pillar to post until it ended up in a dealer’s yard. Due to be shot, it was saved at the last moment when a Spanish-trained rider turned up, saddled it up in Spanish tack and to the amazement of everyone watching, the horse did not put a foot wrong. Simply put, they spoke the same language. Find the trainer that can translate what you are saying for your horse or teach you to speak in its language. There are no ‘one size fits all’ solutions in life – or with horses. What worked with other horses simply doesn’t with this one. Again, don’t let your ego get in the way of taking a fresh approach – or forming what could be a wonderful partnership. Also, if all else fails, consider the fact that the horse simply isn’t cut out for what you want it to do. Every year thousands of racehorses seek homes because while they are thoroughbreds, this does not necessarily make them racehorses. No amount of training, feeding or force, will get them first past the post. The same goes for any other horse bred for any other discipline. Not every person from Kenya is a marathon runner. Yes, you may have thought you were buying an eventer, but the horse clearly isn’t cut out for it – or happy. So, either change your own focus or let the horse go to the home with the right one.
Finally, it’s purely and simply a personality clash. You just cannot click. You are from Venus and the horse may as well be from a galaxy far, far away. It’s a chemistry thing and often has nothing to do with your level of experience. Even the most seasoned horseman or woman can make a mistake. I have seen this one happen usually when the horse is purchased at a time when the buyer is in a heightened emotional state. You lost your beloved horse and will do anything to assuage the pain. You’ve suffered a human relationship breakdown and want something to love. You’ve given birth and want to get riding again. And now it has all gone horribly wrong. Your timing is off. Out of all three scenarios, this is the one where letting go rather than persisting, is probably going to be best for both of you. No, you are not a failure. You are committing an act of self-love, love for the horse and sanity. Because here it is: one person’s frog is another person’s Prince or Princess Charming. One person’s pantomime horse is another’s Valegro. The horse you cannot connect with no matter how hard you try, is that other rider’s slice of instant and long lasting karma.
If you come to the conclusion you are better off parting, please be honest about any issues you have had with the horse but frame these in a positive way. ‘S/he has taught me so much about my riding and horsemanship’ allows you to come from a place of learning, integrity and also goes a long way to ensuring that the cycle will not repeat with the horse and its new owner – and neither will you with your next equine partner.
The ‘bond’ – that elusive, mystical Avatar-like connection we are all seeking, like every kind of relationship, takes work. There simply are no short cuts with human beings or with anything as complicated as non-verbal communicators like horses. We’ve all met the ‘serial’ horse owner who appears to expect horses to be pretty much like cars – start, point and drive, and who discards the horse at the first sign of needing to put in some work. I am not for one minute advocating we become like this. Just that we talk about what we can do when things don’t work out and that ‘bond’ doesn’t magically appear without anyone feeling guilty or that they have failed. Horses that make us reach deep within ourselves, and make us discover what we are capable of, can turn in to our horse of a lifetime. It’s knowing the difference between these – when it is time to stay and define ourselves as human beings and as riders, and when it is time to let go, that allows both parties to move into a partnership that works – no matter what the ultimate outcome is.
Written by Helen Watts firstname.lastname@example.orgEditor's note: Hereford Equestrian recommends that you always ride wearing a hat. It is highly dangerous to ride without a hat with a significantly raised risk of head injury.
You can change around the schooling with poles, or if your horse needs more x-country schooling you can add it in. Also, if you like you can add some fast work to the cross country. It all depends on your horse and what you need to work on, some horses need more flat work training, and some need a little more jumping.
Also, some people give their horses Sunday off and work through the week. It is all up to the time you have available and which day is better for your life and work. It is better to start with a ride out and then add the stronger work in as it can give a horse chance to get his work in. Also, only jump a couple of times a week and only do fast work two times a week, giving your horse either the day off after or a 20 min school and 40 min ride out.
If you horse is dressage horse, or a show jumping horse, you might find that you do not need to do so much fast work and you can adapt the training sessions to include more pole work and different exercises. Remember, every horse is an individual and working with them to see what makes a happy healthy horse is what is primally important.
|1||Day Off||Road work 20 – 25mins.||Road work 20 – 25mins.||Road work 25 mins.||Road work 25mins.||Road work 30 mins.||Road work 30 mins.|
|2||Day Off||Road work 30 mins||Road work 30 mins||Road work 40 mins||Road work 40 mins||Road work 45 mins||Road work 50 mins.|
|3||Day off||Road work and uphill work in walk 50 mins||Road work and uphill work in walk 50 mins||Road work and uphill work in walk 55 mins||Road work and uphill work in walk 55 mins||Road work and uphill work in walk 60 mins||Road work and uphill work in walk 60 mins|
|4 If you have been riding your horse for 3 – 4 times a week at mainly walk you can start here.||Day off||Road work and up hill work in walk 60 mins. Start building up trot to 2 mins.||Road work and uphill work in walk 60 mins. Start building up trot to 2 mins.||Road work and uphill work in walk 60 mins. Start building up trot to 2 mins.||Road work and uphill work in walk 60 mins. Start building up trot to 2 mins.||Road work and uphill work in walk 60 mins. Start building up trot to 2 mins at a time.||Road work and uphill work in walk 60 mins. Start building up trot to 2 mins.|
|5||Day off||Road work and up hill work in walk 60 mins. Start building up trot to 3 or 4 mins||Introduce 20mins schooling and 40 mins ride out.||Ride out at 60 mins including trot sections of up to 3 – 4 mins.||20mins schooling and 40 mins ride out.||Ride out to 60 mins including trot building the trot sections up||Ride out 30 mins, school 20mins and 10 mins cool down|
|6||Day off||One hour ride out with bursts of trot and canter.||20 mins schooling and 40 mins ride out.||One hour ride out with work trotting and cantering up hill||15 min warm up, 15 min grid work and 30 min ride out||30 min ride out, 20 min schooling and 10 min cool off.||One hour ride out including work in trot and canter up hills.|
|7||Day off||One hour ride out increasing hill work in trot and canter||20 min schooling and 40 mins ride out.||One hour ride out increasing trot and canter work.||10 mins warm up, 20 mins grid or jumping work and ride out for 30 mins||30 mins ride out, 20 mins schooling and 10 mins cool off||One hour ride out, with trot and canter up hill.|
|8||Day off||One hour ride out, start slow canters over undulating ground.||20 mins schooling and 40 mins ride out.||One hour ride out increasing work on the hills||Ride out and some jumping or grid work.||20 mins schooling and 40 mins ride out.||Ride out with more hill work and slow canters up to 4 mins.|
|9 If a horse has been out at different disciplines over the winter start here.||Day off.||Ride out with up to 3 – 4 min canters||20 min schooling our jumping and 40 min ride out.||Evening dressage and our combined training.||Schooling or jumping depending on what you did yesterday and ride out||Ride out with stronger canters up to 4 mins.||One hour ride out with trot and canter.|
|10||Day off||Ride out with hills and trot and canter||20 mins schooling and ride out for 40 mins.||Cross country schooling||Schooling 20 mins and ride out for 40 mins||Ride out with a stronger canter up hills.||Ride out with trots and canters over undulating ground.|
|11||Day off||Ride out with hills, strong trots and canters.||20 mins schooling / or jumping and 40 mins ride out.||Evening competition, dressage or jumping.||20 mins schooling and ride out with hills.||Ride out with faster canters ¾ speed. Into the bridle.||20 mins school and 40 mins ride out.|
|12||Day off||Ride out with canters up hill ¾ speed.||20 mins schooling and ride out for 40 mins.||Possible evening competition or jumping.||20 mins schooling and 40 mins ride out.||First 80 m or 90 m eventing competition.||Day off and check tendons and legs.|
As usual preparations for Badminton Horse Trials, in their 28th and final year under the record breaking sponsorship of Mitsubishi Motors, are well underway. This may be the 70th anniversary of the first competition but innovations are made with each running.
The Event is now providing an E Ticketing service which should speed up entry to the showground and admission can be bought right up to the day of the event (1st May-5th May).
Entries for the Trials are expected from the victorious British world champion squad and the usual contingent of the cream of the rest of the globe.
For spectators, who turned up in unprecedented numbers in 2018 there are further enhancements. The popular Lakeside area has been revitalised along with the Members and Deli enclosures and the 2018 newcomer to the burgeoning shopping village, The World of Food and Wine is expanded.
The camp site, which now has over 1,300 pitches is complemented just up the road in 2019 by a Glamping field as often seen habituated by the A listers at big music events. This will certainly lend extra style to the Badminton experience.
After a successful premiere in 2018 the fans will be able to submit questions to the top three riders each day on a stage by the Media Centre.
For the very knowledgeable, Badminton has, along with the five other top Events of its type, had its rating upgraded by the international federation the FEI from 4* to 5*, though for practical purposes this will have no effect on Eric Winter’s course, of which he has been the designer for the past two years. Badminton remains the dream of riders the world over.
As ever festivities kick off with the amateurs’ championships the Mitsubishi Motors Cup on the Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Box Office opened to existing customers earlier this week and the ticketing kiosk will be available to all comers on Monday 14th January.
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