If you notice your horses are getting restless and calling out to you, it’s because they are sniffing the change in the air! It has been a long and challenging year for many of us, but this festive season gives us all plenty to celebrate.
The sun is shining, the days are warmer and, most importantly, the borders are opening up and we can start marking competition dates on our calendars again! Here at Equestrian Life, we appreciate you riding out the tough times together with us and we promise to continue to bring you all that is best in our world of equestrian sports and lifestyle in the New Year.
Begin the celebrations this issue with some wonderful holiday reads. Admire dynamic dressage competitor and breeder Katina Smith as she shares her story and the principles behind the success of her Bangalow Creek Warmbloods stud. We know you have been lapping up Roger Fitzhardinge’s special tips for dressage riding, and this month he reveals his top 10 tips for riding the Prix St Georges test.
You might find yourself dusting off your old Australia DVD after you read Suzy Jarratt’s inside story on the making of the epic that starred Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman… along with many horses whose names you will recognise – including one of Roger’s! It’s a marvellous instalment in her ongoing Horses in Movies series.
Other holiday reads include the ongoing adventures of Carolyn Lieutenant, who tells as lively a story as that which she lived. Carolyn also pops up again in our My First Pony series, along with recollections from Warwick McLean, Sonja Johnson and Hayley Beresford. Continuing the feel-good theme, join veterinarian partners Kim Johnson and Ben Fell as they discover that the perfect horse can sometimes be found in the most unexpected place.
Newmarket in England is considered the ancestral home of racing in the UK, but there is much more to this heavily storied town. Elli Birch takes us on a virtual tour, rising at 5am to mingle with the thousands of horses and handlers who turn out each day on the 2500-acre training grounds. Speaking of racing, the use of the whip has been heavily restricted in recent years; Kerry Mack explores the ethics and science of using whips on horses in both racing and equestrian sports, and draws some surprising conclusions.
With the competitions in Australia coming back to life, it is time to get your horses back into shape. Barastoc ambassador Greg Mickan can’t wait to get back in the ring and tells how he is returning his horses to show condition post-Covid through good nutrition. In our Health section, veterinarian Dr Maxine Brain looks at the use of medicinal cannabis with horses; the experts at Kohnke’s Own offer hope for horses remaining pain-free and competitive after suffering Navicular Syndrome; and Virbac explains how electrolytes and supplements are important in keeping our horses hydrated over summer.
And, of course, the inimitable Heath Ryan sizes up what’s at stake at Wallaby Hill 3DE… while also relishing the joys of the foaling season.
Enjoy your reading and riding over the festive season, and see you in the New Year! EQ