Equestrian Life – August 2011
With less than a year to go before the 2012 Olympics our star riders are into the final phase of impressing team managers and selectors enough to be able to become an Olympian on their own doorstep. The stakes and the competition are high. Meanwhile, for the rest of us there is still the delight of light evenings and a light hack. The one thing we all have in common is horses and ponies and Lincolnshire Life – what a great combination.
WELL DONE LAUREN!
Congratulations to Louth eventing rider Lauren West who goes to Germany from August 25th to 28th as part of the Great Britain team competing in the Senior European Championships.
Lauren, aged 21, has been training with the British team for more than a year but was still surprised and delighted when told that she and her horse, Royal, would be going.
“It’s amazing to be picked and I am really looking forward to it. The training and support I have been given is brilliant and even if I had not been selected I would still have taken so much from it.”
Before the trip to Germany there is also the CIC two-star European Championship at Aston-le-Walls, Northamptonshire from August 3rd to 7th. So it could be quite a month for Lauren.
FLY, FLY AWAY!
Despite the long balmy evenings, the Pimms and the opportunity to spend much longer with your horse, the summer brings its own share of equine problems. These include flies and allergies which can often go hand-in-hand, as is the case with Sweet Itch.
Although the topic of summer horse care is an extensive one, that we couldn’t possibly cover fully within the space of this article, we can at least look at a few basic ways to keep the flies at bay:
• Muck heaps are like magnets to flies so, where possible, site yours as far away from the stables as is practical.
• Keep wheelbarrows empty and rinsed out.
• Skipping out buckets: for obvious reasons these are usually situated directly outside stables; these should be emptied immediately where possible and rinsed out.
• Midges (responsible for Sweet Itch) find it difficult to fly in wind so having a fan situated in the stable can cause just enough turbulence to deter them.
• Open wounds attract flies and this undoubtedly will start the spread of infection as the flies move from one horse to another.
• Poo pick fields regularly not only will this help to discourage flies but will help in your fight against worms.
• Fly repellent sprays, creams and lotions will go a long way to repel most flies and can be backed up with one of the many feed supplements that are on the market, aimed at keeping your horse free of flying insects.
• Fly rugs and Sweet Itch rugs are also a very good deterrent along with fly masks and fringes. Always make sure these items fit well and don’t rub.
Basically, a routine of good horse husbandry will help to keep your yard and fields more free of flies but we cannot completely eradicate them, they go with the season unfortunately!