New forum for equine research

Princess Anne chaired a heated debate about behavioural problems at the first Emerging Equine Science conference at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, earlier this week.

Organised by the British Society of Animal Science, the conference was attended by more than 120 delegates from a broad cross-section of the equestrian community including students, vets, researchers and representatives from horse organisations.

Janice Harland of the British Society of Animal Science says: “A lot of new information has come to light during the last few years, both in the UK and overseas but there are few mechanisms for communicating it to a wider forum.

“This conference aimed to broaden the audience for equine science and to get people from different sectors of the horse world talking to each other.”

One of the liveliest discussions was based on the findings of Dr S McBride and Andrew Hemmings on crib-biting.

Janice explains: “The Princess Royal chaired the Health and Welfare session on Monday afternoon, which developed into a very interesting debate about behavioural problems.

“The discussion concluded that behavioural problems are the way certain horses deal with stress. Therefore we should not try to physically stop horses from cribbing as that is their way of coping with a situation, and if they are prevented from using their coping tool they are subjected to the harmful effects of stress.”

Other speakers during the two-day conference included: Dr Meriel Mooere-Colyer of the Institute of Rural Studies on the value of forage foodstuffs; Dr Jimmy Hyslop of ADAS on the relationship between protein and water intake; and Sarah Bottom of Brackenhurst College on the preferences horses show for one side of their feed station.

Karen Dixon visits Wales

Karen Dixon will be hosting a lecture demonstration and clinic at the Lluest Equine Centre, Institute of Rural Sciences, University of Wales Aberystwyth, next month.

The international event rider is the latest equestrian personality to visit the centre, following the success of similar events with Jennie Loriston Clarke and Ernest Dillon.

Rhian Jones of The Lluest Equine Centre says: “Karen will be bringing three of her own horses, although we’re not sure which ones yet, and will be giving a show-jumping demonstration in the evening and a clinic the following day.’

The lecture/demo begins at 7.30pm on 14 October and tickets are priced at £18 on the door or £15 in advance. The clinic will start at 9am on 15 October and tickets cost £25. Tickets can be obtained from Rhian Jones (tel:01970 621680) or e-mail: ruj@aber.ac.uk

New course at Myerscough

Myerscough College’s new Advanced National Certificate in Horse Management course begins this week and still has some places unfilled.

Course tutor Charlotte Brigden explains: “The Advanced National Certificate in Horse Management is a one-year full-time course, which follows on from the National Certificate in Horse Care. It is also open to students with BHS Stage 1 or relevant experience.

“This is a vocational course which is very hands-on. Students study topics such as yard design, yard management, horse health, equine fitness programmes – in short all aspects of practical horse management.”

She continues: “Students study for the BHS Stages 1 and 2 at the same time as the ANC, and although the course could lead on to further study it is really designed for people who want to go out and work in the industry.”

For more information please contact Charlotte on (tel: 01995 642222 ext 2337) or email: cbrigden@myerscough.ac.uk

Myerscough also hopes to be able to help students disappointed by the cancellation of Northumbria University’s BA in Equestrian and Teaching Studies, as reported in a previous NAGS bulletin. The college believes its Foundation Degree in Equine Leisure Management might be of interest to the students.

Course tutor Beverley France says: “This course covers areas such as equitation and teaching, as well as managing equine businesses and enterprises. We do still have a few places left for this year.”

For more information contact (tel: 01995 642222).

Become a member

Membership of NAGS is free to all bona fide grooms and students. Benefits include: Horse & Hound subscription at £1 per copy, £3 discount voucher on a sack of Blue Chip Dynamic, 10% discount on Splash Equestrian equipment and clothing, no P&P charges from Equestrian Vision mail order and eligibility for NAGS-only competitions and offers.

If you are interested in becoming a member, write to: NAGS, Room 2018, Kings Reach Tower, Stamford Street, London SE1 9LS (tel: 020 7261 6993), or e-mail: nags@ipcmedia.com

And remember, the club is open to all students, not just those studying for an equine qualification.

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