Placing horse welfare first in competitors: why training and position fashions are key

Placing horse welfare first in competitors: why training and position fashions are key


  • Inspiring individuals to “by no means cease studying” is significant for the way forward for horse sport. That was a key take-home message from World Horse Welfare webinar: “Horse welfare and the pressures of competitors”, with Rolex Grand Slam winner Pippa Funnell and superior occasion rider Ailsa Wates.

    “To compete on the high stage – for my part, at any stage – you’ve obtained to have a contented horse onside that may be very a lot your companion. It’s about partnership,” mentioned Pippa, a patron of World Horse Welfare who has been competing on the high stage for greater than 30 years.



    “The important thing factor is we’ve completely obtained to maintain selling and selling good horsemanship, good administration, and that their welfare comes completely on the high of the record.”

    She added that “educating, and holding on educating individuals” is significant, as is getting throughout to most of the people simply how properly 99% of horses are skilled and cared for – and “throwing the e-book” at anybody who intentionally mistreats horses.

    “It’s discovering the appropriate position fashions that basically do have welfare completely on the forefront of every part they do with horses,” she mentioned.

    The pair lined floor from particular particulars on the administration aspect of competitors horses – turnout, health, journey, settling in at occasions, treating horses as people – to wanting on the larger image, and options to push the game ahead. Throughout all of it was the underpinning theme of training, and the way highly effective inspiration could be in that.

    “I believe it’s vital that we are able to all be taught – all of us,” mentioned Pippa, giving examples of different latest masterclasses and webinars she has been impressed by. “I’m impressed by listening to from different individuals.”

    She added that by way of entry to studying, social media presents a “fantastic alternative”.

    “I believe it’s vital we do encourage individuals, even for those who simply have a horse to hack for pleasure, you’ll be able to nonetheless enhance and set your self little targets,” she mentioned, including that by doing so, you make a distinction to your horse.

    Ailsa pointed to shining a lightweight on the inspirational individuals inside horse sport “and the way they work with their horses” as a means to enhance training on equestrian welfare within the UK.

    “I believe [we need to be] highlighting these iconic and intensely profitable individuals within the sport, who’ve solely obtained the outcomes they’ve obtained by placing welfare first and having comfortable horses actually attempting for them and desirous to do the job – highlighting the connection they’ve with their horses and the way they prioritise welfare,” she mentioned.

    Referring on to the title of the webinar, she added: “Relating welfare to competitors, I believe to get the most effective out of a horse in competitors, it’s important to have the horse feeling at its finest, having the most effective welfare and remedy that it probably can. Then that shines via, as a result of you have got a contented horse working with you at competitions. The 2 simply interlink and you may’t have one with out the opposite.”

    The way to make extra use of the knowledge and experience of our high horsemen at occasions was additionally mentioned.

    One in every of Pippa’s options was to have an “exterior knowledgeable” alongside the bottom jury at main occasions on cross-country day. An identical suggestion was additionally raised in the identical week by Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton for showjumping on the Worldwide Leaping Riders’ Discussion board AGM in Geneva (9 December).

    “The bottom jury has an terrible lot to cowl, why don’t you simply pull in an knowledgeable, or a few specialists? Somebody like Andrew Nicholson. He’s probably the greatest cross-country riders on this planet,” mentioned Pippa.

    “Pull somebody like him in who can actually monitor the cross-country at these large occasions carefully. They will see [occasions] when, ‘really, they want pulling up now’. It doesn’t occur fairly often, however we’ve seen individuals making the unsuitable name and never pulling up a drained horse and that’s the place I believe you want somebody who can actually see that.”

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