Equestrian Life – January 2014

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January 2014

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CLA East are warning landowners to take preventative measures to cut the chances of having to deal with the rising instances of fly grazing and horse abandonment.

This problem has been well publicised in the local media over recent weeks, and the number of cases are likely to increase during the winter months – with unenclosed land likely to be targeted.

Horses deliberately left to graze on land without permission are often left for extended periods of time, leaving the landowner to deal with the issues of ownership, the horse’s welfare, liability, and cost.

CLA East regional surveyor, Tim Woodward said: “People are taking advantage of the fact that trespass is a civil matter and, therefore, not actionable by the police.

“For our members there are concerns for the welfare of the horses, but there are also concerns over who assumes liability for the animals should they cause, or be involved in, an accident. There is also the cost of the grazing and clearing the site after the horses have gone.

“As with many issues involving trespass on land, it is best to try to prevent the problem in the first place. Keeping field gates locked, particularly those with access on to a public highway may help deter fly grazing.

“Pasture is more inviting than a ploughed field, so it may be worth fencing off particularly vulnerable areas – but you should not put up anything likely to cause injury or block a right of way.

“Although it is likely to be considered a civil rather than a criminal matter, it is worth reporting the matter to the police and keeping a note of the incident number. To check if the horse is stolen you can go to www.stolenhorseregister.com to see of the horse can be identified.

“Signs that the horse has been recently cared for, such as being shod, clipped, having a hogged mane, trimmed tail or trimmed whiskers, would indicate that it is more likely that the horse has escaped. If the horse is in poor condition you may wish to report this to the RSPCA.”

Mr Woodward said the CLA would like to see legislation brought forward to tackle this, with local authorities moving to put procedures in place to deal with abandoned horses quickly, with less emphasis placed on the landowner to act. He also said local authorities and the police should work closely to deal with persistent offenders.

The CLA has published a specific guidance note on this subject entitled Dealing with Uninvited Horses, which members can download from the CLA website (http://www.cla.org.uk/Professional_Advice/Guidance_notes/Trespass/Equine/1010098.htm/).

The festivities are behind us and January is upon us, so what are your resolutions for 2014?

My own New Year’s Resolution six years ago was to take up Pilates because I had heard it was beneficial for riders. I had no idea at that time what an amazing journey I was about to start on. So do I practice what I preach? Absolutely! I do a daily routine of Pilates and I couldn’t live without it. So why don’t you begin your Pilates journey now, to start the New Year in the best possible way?

Let’s start at the beginning with some basic principles: relaxation, concentration, alignment and breathing.

It is essential that we are able to release tension in our body, to switch off what we don’t need and to switch on what we do need. Typically the neck and shoulders can hold excessive tension, especially if you lead a hectic and stressful lifestyle.

How often do you try and do three things at once and not really give your full attention to any of them? Once you have relaxed your body you are then in a much better position to be able to focus your mind and feel what each part of your body is doing.

Having achieved relaxation and concentration, the next step is to re-educate your body into good postural alignment. This can be either standing, sitting, lying on your side or when you are moving.

Learning how to breathe efficiently will reward you and your body. Can you breathe so that your ribcage widens and your lungs fill and avoid shrugging your shoulders up to your ears as you do this?

This may all sound fairly simple but the beauty of Pilates is you never stop learning or discovering movements that you hadn’t realised were possible.

I look forward to sharing further principles of Pilates with you in the next issue and then let your new body begin!

The famous quote by Joseph Pilates rings very true: “In ten sessions you will feel the difference, in twenty you will see the difference and in thirty you’ll have a whole new body.”

Sarah Payne

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