3 things the horse world is talking about right now: Wednesday 20 October 2021

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday morning

  • 1. Why a little extra knowledge could be a very useful thing… for vets

    New research suggests that understanding how horses learn could help vets avoid injuries when dealing with “difficult” horses. The lead researcher, veterinary behaviourist Gemma Pearson, told H&H it was concerning how dangerous being an equine vet can be – and how frequently they were coming across difficult horses, but warned that “nobody teaches vets about horse behaviour. It’s assumed they’ll pick it up”. She continued: “It’s perhaps unsurprising that a lot of vets felt they understood equine behaviour really well because they spend a lot of time working with horses, but when we tested them on it, their knowledge of the processes through which horses learn was really poor. It’s disappointing, but probably not surprising. I’ve dealt with lots of vets who say ‘the horse is needle-shy and it’s just stubborn’, but they’re [unwittingly] reinforcing the behaviour.”

    Learn more about the research

    2. Finally, we have a date for the new towing law

    While concerns surrounding the impact of the Government’s decision back in September to abolish the requirement to take a test before towing certain trailers continue, at least we now know when the changes are expected to be introduced. In broad terms, people who passed their car driving test from 1 January 1997 will be allowed to tow trailers up to 3.5T maximum authorised mass (MAM) without undertaking another test from 15 November 2021, subject to parliamentary approval. But the date when drivers passed their car driving test looks set to still have some bearing on the rules, even after the law changes, and there are also specific rules for Northern Ireland. So that’s nice and clear for everyone then…

    Read the latest update

    3. The success of the BSPS Heritage championships

    Now in its 15th year, the native pony championships at Arena UK (16 — 17 October) proved to be as popular – and competitive – as ever, with tickets to the mountain and moorland supreme ridden final, which will be held at Liverpool International for the very first time in the new year, up for grabs. Combinations who placed in the top three in the semi-finals booked a Liverpool pass, while each winner of the 12 separate native breed classes also secured a coveted ticket. There were a host of other championships on offer, ranging from novice to open standard in mini, ridden and working hunter ranks. The show culminated in Sunday’s supreme championship, judged by Allister and Anne Hood, who awarded the title to Karen Johnson’s 10-year-old Welsh section D stallion Menai Eurostar and his rider/producer Adam Forster, who had recently been crowned supreme M&M ridden champions at the 2021 Horse of the Year Show.

    Look out for the full report in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 28 October

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