Category Archives: Horse

11 unicorn-themed gifts to add a bit of magic to someone’s Christmas

Whether your are old or young, we bring your our pick of the best unicorn themed gifts, all for under £25. What’s not to love?

Kenmont Unicorn Winter Cotton Slippers

Fun slippers in a 3D unicorn shape, designed for keeping your feet warm and cosy. The slippers have a unicorn face with eyes, ears, nose and of course a central horn.
Buy now: Kenmont Unicorn Winter Cotton Slipper from £9.99

Unicorn Hatching Egg

Grow your very own unicorn! Simply submerge in water and within 24 hours, watch as the egg starts to crack. Then within a couple of days your unicorn will hatch and grow.
Buy now: Unicorn Hatching Egg from £4.15

NPW Novelty Shower Cap Hat

Keep your hair as perfect as a unicorn’s mane with this fun shower cap complete with golden horn.
Buy now: NPW Novelty Shower Cap Hat from £9.91

Unicorn String Lights

These little white unicorns require no plug socket, as they can be run off two AA batteries and can be placed anywhere around your home to add light and a touch of unicorn magic.
Buy now: Unicorn String Lights from £9.99

Loungeable Unicorn Ladies Onesie

Cute and cosy, this onesie is super-soft with a 3D unicorn face, horse, mane and tail. Available in both child and adult sizes.
Buy now: Loungeable Ladies Onesie from £13.64

Miri Moo Unicorn Teddy Colour Changing Nightlight

This super cute, soft, cuddly toy is the perfect addition to your teddy collection. For ages 18 months-plus.
Buy now: Miri Moo Unicorn Teddy Colour Changing Nightlight from £12.79

Hello Kitty Unicorn Junior Headphones

These Hello Kitty headphones are extra special as they are illustrated with unicorns and clouds. They are are compatible with most devices and suitable for children aged three to seven.
Buy now: Hello Kitty Unicorn Junior Headphones from £15.95

Unicorn Emoji Power Bank

This Emoji Funny PVC power bank is an excellent gift this Christmas. It can provide enough power to charge an iPad, MP3, MP4, iPhone, Samsung, Nokia and digital cameras.
Buy now: Unicorn Emoji Power Bank from £12.95

Thumbs Up Colour Changing Unicorn Mug

A unicorn-shaped mug with a 3D face and horn. When you add hot water its eyes and mane magically change colour. This is the perfect present for any unicorn and tea lover. It’s made of high-quality ceramic and holds up to 300ml, although it’s not suitable for the microwave or dishwasher.
Buy now: Thumbs Up Colour Changing Unicorn Mug from £17.95

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John Lewis Children’s 3D Unicorn Wellington Boots

These eye-catching Wellington boots from John Lewis have a fun 3D unicorn design that your little one will love — ideal for rainy days and big puddles.
Buy now: John Lewis Children’s 3D Unicorn Wellington Boots from £16

Little Joule Children’s Unicorn Rucksack

Crafted from a wipe clean fabric, this rucksack features plenty of storage space, a flap-over front, 3D horn and ear detailing, a printed unicorn face, woven straps, carry handle and a pocket at the front to create additional space.
Buy now: Little Joule Children’s Unicorn Rucksack from £24.95

For all the latest hunting news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday

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Five Brits in the mix for Olympia dressage title — but who’s missing?

Richard Davison riding BUBBLINGH during the CDI 3* Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle during the Bolesworth International Horse Show near Chester in Cheshire in the UK on 14th May 2017

Olympians Richard Davison and Emile Faurie will spearhead the British attack at this year’s Olympia CDIW4* (12-13 December).

However notable absentees from this year’s line-up are crowd-favourites Carl Hester, freestyle winner in 2015 and 2016 with Nip Tuck, and Charlotte Dujardin, who won with Valegro in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Richard will partner Bubblingh, the 11-year-old Lingh gelding with whom he won the grand prix freestyle at this year’s Hickstead CDI in July. There they posted 74.18%.

Emile will bring forward Elena Knyaginicheva’s 13-year-old breeding stallion Delatio (De Niro x Rubinstein) — a horse he has had the ride on for just four months. The striking black stallion dominated at Vale View’s high profile show in October, claiming the grand prix with over 74%.

He will be joined by Gareth Hughes riding his European Championship team-selected horse Don Carissimo, who sadly had to be withdrawn due to injury after arrival in Gothenburg this summer. This will be the Don Crusador 12-year-old’s first international competition since, but he had already made huge waves in what is his first season of grand prix, with a freestyle personal best of 76.67%.

Gareth Hughes riding DON CARISSIMO during the CDI 3* Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle during the Bolesworth International Horse Show near Chester in Cheshire in the UK on 14th May 2017

World Equestrian Games (WEG) hopefuls Hayley Watson-Greaves and Lara Butler make up the British contingent. Hayley will ride her own 13-year-old Rubin Royal son Rubins Nite, with whom she was crowned British Dressage national champion earlier this year. The pair have already achieved several top 10 placings on the World Cup circuit this autumn.

Lara returns to the Olympia arena with the Becktolsheimers’ 15-year-old Rubin Al Asad, also by Rubin Royal. The pair were named reserves for both the Rio Olympics and the 2017 European Championship team, and recently finished second at Oldenburg CDI4* with a grand prix personal best of plus 74%.

Ireland’s Judy Reynolds will return to the international arena with her popular Jazz gelding Vancouver K – another who was withdrawn from the Europeans due to injury — while British-based Dane Anders Dahl will pilot his consistent performer, the 13-year-old Selten HW.

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Among the international field, from which eight nations will be represented, Sweden’s Patrik Kittel will partner his Gothenburg ride Delaunay OLD, who has posted freestyle scores in the 80s this year. Holland’s Edward Gal will bring forward his talented nine-year-old stallion Glock’s Zonik.

The grand prix will take place on Tuesday 12 December at 7.30pm, with the freestyle on Wednesday 13 December at 7.20pm.

The full list of competitors is as follows:

  • Quartz of Jazz                Marie Emilie Bretenoux (France)
  • Star Wars                        Bertrand Liegard (France)
  • Alcazar                             Katherine Bateson Chadler (US)
  • Bubblingh                       Richard Davison (Great Britain)
  • Don Carissimo               Gareth Hughes (Great Britain)
  • Delatio                             Emile Faurie (Great Britain)
  • Rubins Nite                    Hayley Watson-Greaves (Great Britain)
  • Rubin Al Asad                Lara Butler (Great Britain)
  • Vancouver K                   Judy Reynolds (Ireland)
  • Selten HW                       Anders Dahl (Denmark)
  • Glock’s Zonik                  Edward Gal (the Netherlands)
  • Thriller                             Katja Gevers (the Netherlands)
  • Michigan                          Ulrik Moelgaard (Denmark)
  • Cennin                              Madeleine Witte-Vrees (the Netherlands)
  • Delaunay Old                   Patrik Kittel (Sweden)
  • Roberto Des Frettes       Charlotte Haid Bondergaard (Sweden)
  • Sir Donnerhall II Old     Morgan Barbancon Mestre (Spain)

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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H&H question of the week: Help! My horse hates being clipped — what should I do?

Jason Webb of Australian Horse Training is a renowned UK-based horse trainer with a passion for starting young horses, solving equine problems and teaching riders of all abilities and ambitions develop and strengthen the partnership they have with their horses. Here Jason gives one H&H forum user advice on clipping a horse that hates the process


Q: My horse hates being clipped: “I have left clipping as long as possible but with two native types that both get sweaty walking around the block and a hunter trial coming up, it has to be done. My Welsh is the problem. I’ve had him since he was a youngster — he’s lived a lovely life and he was bought him up with the clippers nicely — they were never was a problem. I used to clip just his belly loose in the stable as a three-year-old to get him used to it. I gave him a few treats, he liked it, then I progressed to a bigger clip the more work he was in.

The older he’s got, the worse he’s become with clipping. He’s now rising six and as soon as I turn the clippers on, he runs back like a wild animal and hus eyes pop out his head. He won’t ever kick or rear but he won’t stand still. They are the same clippers I’ve always used and no other horse has a problem but he’s a down and out drama queen (he’s the same with every aspect of life)

I really don’t want to pay for him to be sedated — do you have any ideas on how I can fix this? I’m a nicey, nicey type offering, treats and praise but I’m wondering if this isn’t the way to go with him.

I’d leave him unclipped, but we have two fun rides coming up and he’ll get far to hot in his winter woollies!”

A: This horse sounds like a natural worrier, this means it might only take the clippers to pinch once or for someone to approach him differently or a little quickly to make him start to become suspicious again. You will have to go back to the start with this horse. This means ensuring your ground work is solid and that they are happy with the desensitising process before you even attempt to bring the clippers near him but it will be time well spent!

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Before introducing the clippers, your basic groundwork must be good enough to enable you to place your horse where you want them to stand. This is key as a horse running all over you and who does not respect your space or have confidence in you will not cope well when you start desensitising work with them. You need to be able to back them up, lead them forward, and move their shoulders, ribs and hindquarters to each side independently of each other. There are some simple exercises you can do to install this basic groundwork and this will help you managing your horse in everyday situations and are worth putting some time into. See the foundation section of Your Horsemanship to view the lessons and I recommend a rope halter and 12ft lead rope for this type of work. Once your groundwork is good enough you will be able to keep repositioning your horse easily and with minimum fuss.

The second process to go through with your horse is desensitising them to the clippers and the noise. I tend to start with other objects such as plastic bags and a bottle with some rocks in it with the aim of being able to move it all over their body. The head, ears and legs are the most sensitive areas of a horse so make sure they are confident with contact on their body before progressing to these parts. Should you find a sensitive area, stop progressing and try to stay where you are until your horse stops moving and relaxes. This rewards your horse for stopping and standing.

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When you have been through the desensitisation process with a range of objects you can try an electric toothbrush or similar device that makes a noise like clippers but on a smaller scale, see the clipper app online if you don’t want to use your partners toothbrush!. You can then move on to the clippers themselves but start with them turned off then move on to them turned on but with your hand between them and your horse. Work progressively until your horse is able to stand relaxed with the clippers making contact with their body.

Here is a video that might help:

For more information on Jason Webb and his online training base Your Horsemanship, where you can learn a foundation in horse training with online lessons in groundwork, starting, and ridden fundamentals, visit his website

Original Source File

Top names to flock to Olympia Horse Show 2017

Getting in the Christmas spirit: Ben and Boomerang in the jump-off for the 2015 Santa Stakes at The London International Horse Show, Olympia

Former Olympic champions Scott Brash and Ben Maher will be among those flying the home flag at Olympia Horse Show next month, it has been announced.

The pair will be joined by legends John and Michael Whitaker, Britain’s first lady of showjumping Laura Renwick and speed merchant Guy Williams at the London International Horse Show (14-18 December), along with US-based Brit Amanda Derbyshire on her Olympia debut.

This year’s show will also welcome some of Europe’s top riders, including reigning Olympia grand prix champion Daniel Deusser and his fellow German showjumpers Christian Ahlmann and Marcus Ehning.

Olympic team champions France will be represented by world number three Kevin Staut, as well as former world number one Simon Delestre, while Belgian hopes rest with current Aachen grand prix champion Gregory Wathelet and twin brothers Olivier and Nicola Philippaerts.

The 2017 European silver medallist and Longines Global Champions Tour champion Harrie Smolders represents the Dutch, along with world number five Maikel van de Vleuten, while world number four Lorenzo de Luca and speedy Emanuele Gaudiano will fly the Italian flag.

Sweden’s individual Olympic silver medallist Peder Fredricson and 2012 Olympic champion, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, will also be among those at the CSI5* competition, all hoping to secure Longines FEI World Cup points as they aim to qualify for next April’s final.

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Show director Simon Brooks-Ward said: “We’ve got a stellar line-up of competitors at Olympia this year, making for an exciting week of action.

“It’s great to be able to provide the fans with an opportunity to see the world’s best compete on British soil and with so much going on throughout the week, 2017 is set to be a fantastic event.”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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Could you handle the Ride of your Life?

Riders are invited to sign up for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of taking part in a Flat race in front of thousands of people at York racecourse next June.

Successful applicants for the 1m1f Ride of their Lives, the finale of the Macmillan Cancer Support charity day on 16 June 2018, will have the chance to benefit from six months’ expert training as they prepare for the event.

The annual race day has raised £7.6m in total for Macmillan and other charities, including £500,000 last year.

Alexandra Schimmel of Macmillan said: “Each year, we’re astounded by the dedication of supporters who train for months for this race while also raising phenomenal amounts for Macmillan.

“Donations make a huge difference to people living with cancer, so we’re extremely grateful. It’s a tough challenge, but all the hard work is rewarded on the day itself. Racing at York in front of a huge crowd will be an unforgettable experience for them all.”

The 12 riders in the race must provide their own horses, and ensure they have attended a one-day training and assessment course at the British Racing School or the Northern Racing College.

Jockey coaches will be found for those who would like help with their preparation and fitness, organised between the rider and the Jockey Club.

Each rider must also pledge to raise at least £3,000 for Macmillan, although last year’s entrants raised more than £130,000 between them.

The 2017 winner, 42-year-old Belinda Keighley, lost three stone in her preparation for her ride, which she described as a “dream come true”.

For more information, visit the racecourse website. Applications close on 4 December.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

Original Source File

Popular horse trials cancels due to fixtures clash

Alice Goring on The Little Frenchman - No 875

Hambleden International Horse Trials will not run in 2018 due to a fixture clash.

The popular event near Henley-on-Thames was due to celebrate its 21st anniversary in 2018, but organiser Lisa Hughes told H&H: “There’s no reason for us not holding our 2018 event other than the fact over recent years we have found ourselves clashing with other events with classes of a similar level, the main one for us being Bicton Horse Trials.

“There were six other events due to be held on the weekend we were meant to be running, which is great for competitors as they have plenty of choice, but it’s also frustrating as they have to pick and choose between their favourite events that might be held at the same time.

“It’s not the other events’ fault, and it has affected Bicton as much as it has ourselves, but as Bicton is a permanent site, they could run pretty much any weekend.”

Lisa believes a lack of competitors riding at the upper levels has exacerbated the situation.

“The intermediate and above membership to British Eventing [BE] hasn’t increased for around the past 10 years, so putting events such as ours, which include that level of competition on at the same time as others only serves to split up entries,” she explains. “In addition there is Kelsall Hill in Cheshire, which also runs on the same weekend.

“Sorting the fixtures calendar is a poisoned chalice, but surely it can’t be too difficult to sort out splitting up some clashes. We don’t want to cut costs, just to make the maths work — we take pride in providing the best event we can. I’ve been warning BE for years.”

Bicton Horse Trials organiser Helen West said: “It’s really sad it has come to this. We’ve been in a similar position with our third event of the year in August with other events running identical classes on the same weekend, and I nearly pulled this event from the calendar last year as a result.

“The intermediate and above membership just isn’t there — BE know they need to do something and I had a horrible feeling this would happen. The fixtures team need to sit down and work out a protocol for scheduling events.

“Bicton could run any time during the season as we have such good ground — we don’t need that particular April weekend, but then we would also have Belton and Burnham Market Horse Trials to contest with [at another time]. I don’t envy anyone the task of scheduling fixtures, but it needs to be sorted.”

Chris Farr, BE’s sport operations manager, said: “It’s a great pity that Hambleden will not run in 2018 — it’s a very popular event, but BE completely supports their decision. We are aware of Hambleden’s concern with regards to intermediate level classes that clash, primarily in north Cheshire and Devon and BE will be looking at the scheduling for 2019.”

Professional event rider Daniele Bizzarro said on Facebook: “This is so sad. One of my absolute favourite events,” while fellow eventer Melissa Joannides said on Twitter: “What a tragedy! One of the best cross-country courses on the circuit!”

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Hambleden, run on land belonging to Urs and Francesca Schwarzenbach, has been a popular spring fixture for many riders. Complete with its beautiful bluebell wood through which the cross-country course runs, the event usually hosts classes ranging between BE100 and advanced intermediate and CIC*.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

Original Source File

Test your dressage knowledge: how many horses can you name correctly?

Carl Hester rides Barolo at the 2017 Royal Windsor Horse Show

Think you know your dressage horses? Test you knowledge to the limits with this quiz — how many can you get right?

Why not share your results with your friends on social media and challenge them to see if they can better your score? Or try one of our other quizzes from the options above…

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

Original Source File

Belly bands: what are they and should I use one on my horse?

You might have seen riders using belly bands on their horses and wondered what they were. Here’s some things you need to know about this piece of equipment…

What is a belly band?

The belly band is a neoprene or Lycra bandage that wraps around the horse’s body, sitting directly on the back underneath the saddle and behind the girth. It prevents rubs and marks from spurs or the rider’s leg and is easy to attach, with a Velcro tab underneath the horse’s belly, Velcro straps that wrap around the girth, and clips attaching to the D rings of the saddle.

How can they help?

“Some horses have such sensitive skin that just your heels rubbing against their sides cause friction burns and sores,” says Liza Oestreich, a prix st georges dressage rider in New York. “It is rare and obviously not always the reason that they are used — but it’s certainly one of the uses. I’ve also seen them used to protect ponies from little kids who can’t control their legs yet. The pony shouldn’t suffer because the kid can’t ride well yet.”

With the FEI blood rules becoming increasingly stringent and top riders being eliminated for having spur marks on their horse’s sides, belly bands look like a practical solution. It would not have stopped Steffan Peters’ elimination at the Reem Acra World Cup Final 2015 in Las Vegas for spur marks on Legolas, because they are illegal in FEI dressage competition (as well as British Dressage), but it might have saved Bertram Allen’s grand prix win at Olympia in 2015, when he was disqualified for a small cut on Quiet Easy’s side. They are legal in British and FEI showjumping, as well as the showjumping and cross-country phases of British Eventing.

Jessica Moore, who has groomed for international Brazilian showjumper Nando de Miranda, says: “It shocks me more riders are not using this tool in showjumping given the recent and not so very recent number of high profile eliminations from spur marks.”

That includes not only Bertram, but also Scott Brash at the Global Champions League competition in Cascais, and Marcus Ehning at the Nations Cup in Hickstead.

Why are some people sceptical?

However helpful it might be for thin-skinned horses or accidental rubs going over big fences, the belly band is piece of tack that’s almost as controversial as the spur marks themselves.

Like many riders, Jenna Calcaterra, the owner of a boarding and training stable in Virginia, thinks they cover up (quite literally) gaps in the education of rider and horse. “If you make a horse bleed with spurs either a) your horse is dead to your leg and that can be fixed with a bit more training, or b) your lower leg is so loose you accidentally make them bleed.”

Eventing champion Lucinda Green says she’s never considered using one, instead she recommends “taking the horse for some fun hacks, then maybe it will start to go forward with a little more lightness and enthusiasm”.

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Where can you buy one?

Belly bands can be bought online from a number of suppliers including American company Equifit and the Scandinavian company Horze.

BUY NOW: Busse Belly Protector Skin Guard via from £60.75

They are also called “spur guards,” sold by manufacturers like LoveHorses in Italy and Beval in the United States.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

Original Source File

1 race ride with one rein and 8 other great bits of horsey social media this week

Enjoy some of our favourite updates from equestrian social media channels during the past week. From a new horse for Charlotte Dujardin to a very helpful dog, it all happened on social media this week.

Apatchy logo highest res may 1Don’t miss the exciting competition on this weekly page. Our favourite tweet each week will win either an Apatchy mini tablet case or an Apatchy cosmetic bag, personalised with your own initials. For more information about the competition and to find out who this week’s winner is, go to the bottom of this page.

Equestrian social media posts of the week

This is no fair weather jockey

Things brings a whole new dimension to the world of matchy matchy

Buckle up — see what it takes to tackle this serious hunt race

A new ride for Charlotte Dujardin

Loads of fun @yourhorse_live I’ve found a new pony!!

A post shared by Charlotte Dujardin (@charlotte_dujardincbe) on Nov 12, 2017 at 5:00am PST

Now this is impressive

That Friday feeling

Someone is very happy today😂❤️

A post shared by Louise Bell (@louiseannebell) on Nov 4, 2017 at 8:27am PDT


Top hunter raring to go

And congratulations to this week’s Social Media Post of the Week winner

Bettina Hoy’s dog is doing his best to be helpful

If you like this, why not follow @horseandhound on twitter today?

Tweet of the week competition

Personalised Mini Tablet CaseThe winner of the Horse & Hound tweet of the week competition can also be found by searching Twitter for #HHTweetOfTheWeek. The winner will receive an Apatchy mini tablet case (pictured left) or an Apatchy cosmetic bag (pictured below right), personalised with their initials.

Apatchy are designers and makers of bespoke lifestyle gifts. Their ranges include wash, cosmetic, Cosmetic bag apatchytravel and sports bags, which can be instantly personalised or customised without the need for sewing, gluing or ironing. To find out more about Apatchy’s unique personalised products and their wonderful gift wrapping service, visit

Original Source File

19 super-fast facts about feeding

Meet Ned — your average healthy, happy but hungry horse, and get the low down on what really goes on inside a horse’s digestive system…

1. Horses have 40 teeth to munch with.

2. In 24 hours, a horse can consume up to 5% of his bodyweight in grass.

3. Grass can be up to 7.5% simple sugars. So a horse could consume up to two bags of sugar in 24 hours…

4. A horse shouldn’t be left for more than six hours without forage — it’s key to digestive health.

5. Horses have a psychological need to chew.

6. The average horse can produce 12 litres of saliva per day from chewing.

7. 60% of a horse’s body is made up of water.

8. A horse needs 20,500 calories per day (compared to just 2,500 calories needed for a man).

9. Horses’ meal sizes should be kept to less than 2kg — this is because a horse’s stomach is the size of a rugby ball, and typically holds eight to 15 litres of food and liquid.

10. Food can pass through a horse’s stomach in as little as 30 minutes.

11. The pH in the lower part of the stomach can be as low as two — the equivalent of battery acid.

12. After leaving the horse’s stomach, the partially digested food continues its journey on to the small intestine.

13. The small intestine is 20 metres long — which is the width of a dressage arena. ‘Small’ therefore refers to its diameter…

14. The large intestine, which is the next stage of the journey, is six-seven meteres long (half the length of a bus!) and is made up of multiple parts — the caecum, large and small colon and the rectum.

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15. The caecum is only one metre long, but houses millions of bacteria that ferment fibre.

16. To maintain these helpful bacteria, you should change feeds slowly — no more than 0.5kg every other day.

17. Up to 72 hours after entering the horse’s mouth the food has reached the end of the digestive tract.

18. A horse will typically produce 10-12 poos a day.

For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday

Original Source File