Equerry Horsefeed


Win Sponsorship from Equerry Horse Feeds

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EQUERRY Horse Feeds, title sponsor of the Bolesworth International Horse Show has launched a search for a new sponsored rider.

The chosen rider will get the chance to enjoy VIP hospitality at the show on Sunday, June 18 for the exciting Equerry Grand Prix, and will also win a year’s supply of Equerry Horse Feed for one horse or pony, an Equerry jacket, polo shirt and saddlecloth.

Are you the next Scott Brash, Charlotte Dujardin or Kitty King – if so Equerry Horse Feeds wants to hear from you!

The Equerry range of top-quality horse feeds contains something for every horse or pony, whether feeding a leisure horse or a competition horse, there is a product to meet their nutritional requirements.

The range provides everything from High Fibre Cubes for horses and ponies at rest or in very light work to Performance Cubes and Sports Mix for competition horses in hard work, as well as Conditioning Mash, Cool Cubes and Mix, and Horse & Pony Cubes and Mix.

The winner will have a monthly ‘blog-spot’ on the Equerry Horse Feeds website so they can share their experiences and progress throughout the year.

To enter email 200 words, your age, address, telephone number and a photograph to chris@equerryhorsefeeds.com  by the closing date May 31, 2017

Equerry Q&A


What do I feed my old horse to keep condition on? James Ward

 Answer by the Equerry Horse Feeds Nutrition Team

 It can often be difficult to know which is the best diet to maintain an elderly horse in good condition all year round. It can very much depend on what type of work they are in. For example, will your veteran be hacked out once a week or will he be competing all season?

Forage is vital in order to maintain a horse’s condition, as good quality hay/haylage/grass should form the largest part of their diet. Forage should be provided on an ad-lib basis so they never stand for long periods of time without fibre available to the hindgut. For very good-doers, we can slow their intake of forage by using trickle-nets and reduce the sugar content by soaking their hay.

Weight loss is a common problem for older horses. If your veteran begins to lose weight on a diet that once kept him in ideal condition, it is important to rule out any underlying clinical conditions such as dental problems, Cushing’s or liver disease, along with appropriate worming and flu/tetanus boosters that your vet will carry out and advise you on.

Age-related deterioration in elderly horse’s dental health is the most common cause of weight-loss. This can make chewing forage difficult for them and even when it may look like they are managing to chew it, they may not be sufficiently breaking their forage down. Teeth should be checked at least annually by a qualified vet or equine dentist. Ways that you can also monitor their dental health yourself, are to look out for them quidding or for larger quantities of longer fibre lengths in your veteran’s droppings. It may be that he is starting to lose the grinding surface on his teeth (i.e. they are becoming smooth). If this is the case, or if he has lost some molars, then a hay replacer, such as Equerry High Fibre Cubes, can be soaked to your horse’s desired consistency, in place of his normal forage.

If your veteran is a very good-doer, then feeding a high fibre, low-calorie feed such as Equerry High Fibre Cubes is advisable. Equerry High Fibre Cubes are ‘Non-Heating’, cereal-grain-free, low in sugar and starch and will provide all his basic vitamins and minerals for rest/light work.

If your horse is in medium to hard work, he will probably need more calories to support his condition and provide more energy. Equerry Veteran Mix could be the ideal choice for him. It contains good quality protein to help maintain muscle and promote topline, and the levels of oil and linseed included will promote condition and a shiny coat.

Equerry Veteran mix has the optimum level of vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Selenium to help maintain a healthy immune system. It also contains added yeast to support the hind-gut and promote digestive efficiency, which can decline with age.

Equerry Veteran Mix is a complete feed and when fed at the recommended rate will provide your horse with the correct levels of vitamins, minerals and trace-elements. As a guide, a horse weighing 500kg would need 2.5-3kg Equerry Veteran Mix daily. This should be divided into at least 2 small meals, fed at least 4 hours apart.

Dressage Goes Global at This Year’s Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show

Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, Nina Barbour at the launch

THE 2017 Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show looks set to stamp its mark on the world of dressage as well as show jumping from June 14 to 18.

Show president Nina Barbour revealed the exciting plans to media and dressage royalty at the official launch of the new Bolesworth CDI*** at Carl Hester’s yard in Gloucestershire.

The dressage legend, famed for his skills as both a rider and trainer is supporting the launch of this exciting new development for the event, which has quickly risen to become a power house in British show jumping circles and aims to do the same in the world of dressage.

Having won the Invitational Grand Prix Freestyle last year during his first visit to Bolesworth, Carl said: “Bolesworth is a true international show. I really love it.

“The venue is stunning, the footing is stunning, and I’m delighted the team is developing the dressage in such an amazing setting.

“The crowds and atmosphere were fantastic last year, so all credit to Nina Barbour for introducing two days of dressage to add to the programme.”

Said Show President Nina Barbour: “We have big ambitions for Dressage at Bolesworth going forwards, and we’re thrilled to have Carl help launch our new CDI*** competition.

“Our aim is for the event to be a huge hit with both competitors and visitors – there will truly be something for everyone at The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show this year!”

The dressage expansion plans mean that the event is now a fully-fledged CDI*** show with international riders able to compete in what has quickly become one of the most sought after arena’s to ride in.

Carl is confirmed to compete in the CDI***, and is set to wow spectators on the first afternoon of the show with a demonstration of his wealth of knowledge as both an internationally-acclaimed rider and trainer.

Following the demonstration there will also be a ‘Question&Answer’ session with Carl in the International Arena with the stunning backdrop of Bolesworth Castle.

Dressage fans can enjoy watching top horses and riders over the first two days of the show, with the competition focus getting underway on Wednesday, June 14 with the CDI*** Grand Prix at 2pm and the Inter 1 Freestyle at 6pm.

Thursday, June 15 promises a full day of thrilling competitions, with the Prix St George invitational event, the 5, 6 & 7-year-old Future Dressage Horse Competitions, which will be viewing trials for the World Breeding Championships, the Grand Prix Special – and then culminating in the early evening Freestyle Final.

On the new young horse classes British Dressage Training Director Paul Hayler said: “We’re delighted to be able to showcase our young horses this year as part of the increased dressage offering at The Equerry Bolesworth International Horse Show and can’t thank Nina enough for making it happen.

“To compete in the fantastic arena against the backdrop of the castle will be an experience the youngsters will relish.   It will be a perfect opportunity to put them through their paces in a bid to potentially select those who’ll travel to the World Championships in Ermelo this August.  Who knows, perhaps our next Valegro will be among them!”

Added Nina: “We really feel that it is important to harness the amazing legacy from the last two Olympics which has really set the Sport of Dressage alight and truly inspired us as a nation, and we can promise a stellar line up of riders in June.”

Get 40% off gate prices if you pre-book your tickets online. General admission tickets are available at a pre-sale price of just £12 for the Thursday and Friday, and £20 for Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Under-12s can enjoy free admission, while a season ticket is at a not-to-be-missed pre-sale price of £40. Tickets can be bought online at www.bolesworthinternational.com

Feeding the Fussy Horse

Equerry Conditioning Mash

The team at Equerry Horse Feeds provide advice on feeding the fussy horse.

Feeding a fussy horse can be incredibly frustrating and result in a lot of wasted feed, time and money. The adage ‘you can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink’ applies to feed too! Try not to simply offer a bit of everything as this will often not help!

It is important to decipher if your horse is simply being fussy or if there is a physical or other underlying reason why he is not eating well e.g. a dental problem.

There are many things we can do that will make a big difference to our horses’ appetite.  Feed size is very important and whilst forage should usually be fed as-lib it is important that hard feeds do not exceed the capacity of the stomach.
Feed, once eaten, enters the stomach via the oesophagus, where the feed is mixed with acid and pre digestion commences. The capacity of the stomach is approximately 2kg for a 500kg horse. A horse should therefore not be fed more that 2kg per feed – which is one Stubbs scoop of cubes! If a horse needs more feed to maintain condition the solution is to feed a higher protein and calorie feed or increase the number of feeds. Feeds should be at least four hours apart.

Horses are creatures of habit and ensuring a consistent routine is key. Suitable forage should usually be fed ad-lib. By maximising the horse’s forage intake we enable the production of B vitamins in the hind gut which supports appetite.

Regular exercise as well as daily turnout will help, settled relaxed horses will have a better appetite.

Appetite is affected by the stress associated with a heavy workload, and it is well understood that horses in hard work will have a reduced appetite compared to when they are in light to medium work.

Many people believe that horses prefer mixes to cubes but that is not often the case. Because all Equerry cubes are formulated using the best quality ingredients without cheap ingredients like straw, they are more palatable than many other cubes. So if there are nutritional reasons why a cube may suit your horse better, for example if a cereal-grain-free, low sugar and starch diet is indicated, do not rule out feeding a cube as they don’t all taste the same!

There are however some horses that prefer a mix and the Equerry mixes are formulated to be very palatable. Equerry Veteran mix is a conditioning mix with high levels of oil to support weight-gain, high levels of yeast to support the digestive system and cooked cereals for improved digestibility.

If you have a horse with a dental problem affecting appetite then feeding a product like Equerry Conditioning Mash is likely to be the answer. A very palatable, quick soak product that is low starch and ‘Non-Heating’ means it is very useful in many scenarios. It is high in fibre so ideal when forage intake is also reduced. Because it is soaked it is useful to help rehydrate horses e.g. after a day’s hunting. With added yeast to support the digestive system Equerry Conditioning Mash is a must have product for everyone’s feedroom.

If you are having problems with your horses’ appetite or simply want to check if your horse is getting a balanced diet ring a reputable feed company and talk to a nutritionist for advice and help. Most companies will send you samples of recommended products to try before you buy!

Alanna Joins Equerry Team

After a brilliant 2016 Alanna Clarke and her lovely horse Katrina has joined the Equerry Horse Feeds team of sponsored riders.

Said Alanna:Katrina and I had the most exciting 2016.  On the dressage front we scored our first British Dressage points, were reserve for the British Dressage – Northern Region BYRDS team, qualified for the PetPlan Area Festivals at Novice, got to the My Quest National finals at Elementary and had a go at Dressage to Music.

“We also tried Le Trec, got an award at the Trakehners UK annual show and gained our first showjumping clear rounds and rosettes which was brilliant.

“Thank you to every single person who has supported me this year, I am so lucky and I appreciate you all and especially my mum who is the best ever.

“We are looking forward to an amazing and exciting 2017 and are delighted to join the Equerry Horse Feeds team.”

How Can I Make Sure My Horse is the Correct Weight and in Good Condition During the Winter?

The Equerry Horse Feeds Nutrition Team answer…

There is a massive choice of what to feed horses which leaves many horse owners in a quandary about what to feed to keep their horse in good condition and in an ideal weight all year-round.

So what is the ideal weight for your horse or pony? That depends! It depends what you are asking that horse to do – a horse’s ideal weight for racing would be much lighter than that if he was doing RC activities perhaps including showing. But both should be fit enough to do their job comfortably and in good condition with a healthy shiny coat.

The first step is to consider a suitable forage, feeding good-quality hay or haylage is important as this makes up the majority of the diet for most horses today. Forage should normally be fed ad-lib, meaning that your horse still has some left in the morning. There are many ways to slow the rate of intake including trickle-nets which are very useful for good-doers.

The second step is to make sure that your horse has had an MOT! Teeth should be checked at least once a year, together with appropriate worming and flu/tetanus boosters are basic things your vet will be happy to advise on to keep your horse fit and healthy.

The third step is to assess how much feed, and how much energy from the feed that your horse will require. If your horse is carrying enough weight i.e. his calorie (energy) requirements are predominantly met by his grazing and forage, Equerry High Fibre Cubes will be ideal. These cubes are ‘Non-Heating’ and will provide all his basic vitamins and minerals for rest/light work. It is important to feed any compound feed at the recommended rate to ensure that your horses daily requirements are met in order to keep him in good condition. If feeding less than the recommended levels you should add a vitamin and mineral supplement or a feed balancer to ensure a healthy balanced diet which will help to keep your horse in good condition.

Horses doing more work will need more calories (energy) to hold condition and provide the energy for work. Depending on the horse, the amount of work he is in, his temperament etc a ‘Non-Heating’, low starch product like Equerry Conditioning Mash may be ideal or you might need a higher energy mix like Equerry Sports Mix.

Older horses often struggle in the winter when easy to chew grass is limited (especially for those stabled overnight). A forage replacer will be vital if your horse struggles to chew his hay or haylage.

Look out for chewed bits of forage that he has spat out (quidding) or a reduced intake both of which indicate feeding a forage replacer is necessary and a dental check is advised. Feeding a high calorie mix like Equerry Veteran Mix will help to provide plenty of calories to keep your horse in ideal weight, good quality to maintain muscle tone and high levels of yeast to support his digestive system.

For some horses their hard feed requirements will change considerably with the seasons as grass quality changes and levels of exercise change, so never hesitate to contact a feed company for some advice from a nutritionist to make sure your horse gets what he needs.


Liverpool Day 3 02.10.17CL 20 winner Millie Allen on Balou Star

Millie Allen made up for an agonising defeat 12 months ago to be crowned Under-25 Grand Prix champion at the Equestrian.com Liverpool International Horse Show.

A year after being pipped at the post by her sister Pippa, who won a thrilling jump-off by just two hundredths of a second in the same ckass, Millie returned with Balou Star – and this time she was not to be denied.

Twelve combinations made it through to the jump-off, and a determined Millie powered home in a time of 32.65 seconds, more than a second clear of Richard Howley and Chinook III, while James Hughes and Bolton Gate Ben finished third.

Millie was able to reflect on collecting a £2,000 winner’s purse in the class, sponsored by Equerry Horse Feeds, and she was understandably delighted with the victory.

“Last year, I was two hundredths of a second behind my sister. I still remember it pretty well!” said Millie, who is from the north-east of England.

“Like today, it was an amazing atmosphere, but I much prefer to be in the winning spot this time around!

“It was a very competitive class. To be honest, I think anyone on that start-list could have won.

“In terms of the jump-off, I think I had to take a lot of risks and be fast from the beginning, but my horse has so much scope and such a big heart.

“He has been an amazing horse for me, and the horse’s owner was here to watch today, so it was perfect.

“This show is incredible. The crowd is amazing, and it makes you feel amazing when you are in that arena.

“It’s a very busy year ahead for me. I have just moved to a new yard, and I am really looking forward to it.”

Success for Amber Major


Our sponsored rider Amber Major tells us about her recent selection for the Nottingham Trent University Rider Development Squad.

Says Amber: “The squad receive free training from some of the best Midlands-area trainers including Sam York (BE U18 trainer and BE accredited coach, BHSI, Senior Lecturer ), Kirsty Hardstaff, Liz Taylor and Andrew Fletcher (4* eventing dressage judge). We’ve also just been lucky enough to have a lesson with Irish Olympic event rider Jonty Evans.

“It all goes to support riders that can use the extra coaching and expertise to further their ridden education alongside their Equine course at Nottingham Trent University. The group of five are a fantastic team and we all get along very well with the horses abilities complimenting each other.

“Personally what I get out of the Rider academy sessions is being able to take away information from both a rider and coaching point of view and the sessions are educational for both of my event horses.

“The consistency of the training helps me keep on top of my riding and provides constructive exercises to take away and work on by myself so that I make sure every time I ride I’m achieving small goals.

“I plan to complete my coaching certificates through the Pony Club before taking my A test after passing my AH with distinction in September 2016. I’d then like to progress to take my BHSAI exam to enable me to teach.

“With my horses the academy is improving both my ability and my horses simultaneously and in 2017 I hope to aim to qualify for the Pony Club Championships again, take my younger horse to the Retrained Racehorse eventing championships at BE100 level and move my more experienced horse up to Advanced level.

“The groundwork and education through winter and added advice from experienced trainers will hopefully set me up well for my next season and I’m grateful to the staff at NTU for all their hard work in enabling this scheme to run and for selecting me.”

For Dave – The Difference is Amazing


Ex-racehorse Dave, belonging to Stephanie Firth is one of the many horses to benefit from Equerry Conditioning Mash.

“I got Dave five-months ago, he is an ex-racehorse and had been turned away for the winter and was very thin, with a very dull coat when I got him. I have been feeding him your Equerry Conditioning Mash which he absolutely loves and the difference in him is amazing, he has put weight on and his coat is so shiny I barely need to brush him.

“I think one of the reasons he does so well on the Conditioning Mash is its really palatable for the horses and they can digest it properly. I also like the fact it’s economical to feed as a little goes a long way, its non-heating which is great as the one thing Dave doesn’t need yet is more energy. I won’t be changing from this feed any time soon.”

Ollie’s A Shining Star


Ollie owned by Carole MacDonald has gained weight and his skin and coat are now glossy and healthy since feeding Equerry Conditioning Mash.

Said Carole: “Equerry Conditioning Mash is such a great feed that I have half the yard on it now! When I contacted the Equerry nutrition team about Ollies feed they were so helpful.