This issue

Equine insurance dilemma

We all know how life can throw up all sorts of obstacles, not least with your horse’s health and well-being where things can change so quickly with freak accidents and illness.

So we asked leading equine insurer, Petplan Equine, to explain what happens when you have to make multiple claims on one insurance policy in quick succession, and what you should expect from your insurer.

See August edition for details.

Equine Intuitive, Coach & Author – Rachael Beesley

Rachael Beesley, Equine Intuitive, Coach & Author, and Founder of Equisentient Coaching has an innate ability to communicate with horses and other animals.

In our August edition, Rachael will be explaining what she looks for from the horse with regards to communication.

Ride Like: Developing the Walk with Bert Sheffield

Equithème sponsored rider Bert Sheffield is no stranger to competing at the highest level as she was selected to represent Canada at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and came fourth at the World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. Now she is working towards selection for the World Equestrian Games this year and aiming for the 2020 Paralympics at Tokyo with her young horse Wonky.

In our August edition we catch up with her as she provides us with her top tips on how to develop the walk.

Best Foot Forward

As the old saying goes ‘no foot no horse’, ailments affecting the foot can have severe implications for your horse leading to them being out of action for quite some time.

See our May edition for specialist advice on Abscesses, Bruised Soles, Puncture Wounds and Thrush.

“Just like my dad did…”

In our May issue we talk to rising star of the show jumping world Robert Murphy about his plans for the season and making the sport his chosen career.

With his mother and father, Eleni and Peter Murphy both well known as leading riders and trainers, young Robert Murphy was destined for a career in the world of showjumping – in our May edition we find out more…


Inspiring Equine Showcase launches £2million investment

Writtle University College unveiled its fantastic new equine facilities and resources at an Equine Showcase packed full of inspiring interactive workshops.

The event – on Wednesday 14th March – gave around 300 visitors a taster of the range of exciting equine work at Writtle, and the dynamic equine community on campus.

Following a £2million investment, all of Writtle’s equine facilities have been brought onto one site at its Cow Watering Campus, which is now a central hub for equine teaching and research, boasting the latest in scientific technologies.

The investment enhances the student experience by enabling all practical sessions to be carried out in one extended space, whether it is using breeding horses or youngstock, the therapy units or the riding facilities.

Professor Tim Middleton, Vice-Chancellor of Writtle University College, said: “Our Equine Showcase was a great way to officially open our new horse breeding facilities and our specialist equine therapy and performance suites at our Cow Watering Campus. Our equine industry partners, students and staff presented a rich and varied programme of workshops and demonstrations for the hundreds of visitors to the event.

“Our professional resources, allied to an expert staff team and rich and varied industry networks, provide excellent opportunities for our equine students in both Further and Higher Education to develop the skills and knowledge that the industry needs.”

A Stud facility, extended outdoor menage, a second therapy barn, oval horsewalker, DIY stables and an indoor school have been added to the facilities already on the campus, which include an equine water treadmill, solarium and indoor riding arenas.

Caroline Flanagan, who heads up the Higher Education Equine and Veterinary Physiotherapy courses, said: “At Writtle, we strive to achieve a graduate who can put science into practice. Our facilities are vital to support this very applied approach to education and this £2million investment brings all of our equine activities together onto one campus as an equine centre of excellence.

“This event enabled our students to be involved in something special; I hope they learnt a lot from the experience of being involved and further developed their skills in terms of communicating their specialist knowledge to the general public. I was proud of every single one of them!”

Lauren Hunt, 22, from Rayleigh, who studied a Further Education course at Writtle before progressing onto the Integrated Masters in Veterinary Physiotherapy, said: “My course is designed to develop the key skills required to be an effective, self-employed veterinary physiotherapist. We’re always being offered work experience placements through the National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists, which accredits my course, and established veterinary hydrotherapy or physiotherapy centres.

“The latest technology and facilities we have at Writtle are important as they enable us to carry out our research. If it wasn’t for Writtle having this equipment – and the industry contacts to source different resources as well – I would not have been able to complete my research.”

Sian Murray, from Brentwood, was one of the students taking part in the event. The 21-year-old BSc (Hons) Equine Behavioural Science student said: “The facilities and wide range of horses at Writtle give us the opportunity to apply the behavioural theory we learn about. This not only helps us learn, but prepares us for industry life. By having lecturers with real-life experience, we really get the holistic view on all aspects of retraining and improving the welfare of horses.”

The event marked the official opening of the new Stud area, with the ribbon cut by local vet Chris House, of House and Jackson Veterinary Hospital.

Writtle has a fantastic track record in equine breeding. The Stud won a British Eventing Breeders’ Medal this year for the leading British-bred horse in the Eventing Five Year Old Championships. The Stud also produced the Reserve Champion showjumper at the British Equestrian Federation’s Futurity Championships 2017. The champion Riding Horse at the Horse of the Year Show in 2016 and 2017 was also born at Writtle.

The workshops at the Showcase were enjoyable for visitors with an interest in improving their own human-equine partnership, and were inspirational for those thinking of studying an equine course at Writtle.

They included behaviour displays to demonstrate how horses learn; painted horses to illustrate superficial and deep muscle layers; working horses on the water treadmill; breeding advice; biomechanical analysis of gait; rider ‘MOTs’; massage, stretching and sports taping; feeding hints; the principles of training; and even a lower limb dissection.

There were demonstrations and an exhibitors area featuring several organisations and individuals in the equine industry including House & Jackson veterinary surgeons, Quintic Biomechanics, Egger BESTbox, Emily Jones Saddlery and the farrier Martin Grady.


  • Find out more about studying an Equine or Veterinary Physiotherapy course at

Photo: Boots and Hooves


McNab Ride Like

Leading Australian event riders Kevin and Emma McNab relocated to the UK in 2012 to further their careers. Kevin and Emma are both regularly listed on the Australian National Eventing Squads. Within our April edition they offer their top tips for confident cross-country riding.

Rosehip as a source of vitamins and minerals

If you are looking for herbs to supplement your horse’s diet post-laminitis, our resident herbalist Daisy from Champerene has some suggestions that include rosehip and much more. See our April edition for details.

All About Turmeric

With the recent press interest in turmeric and the associated health benefits, we spoke with The Golden Paste Company to find out more. Read all about it in our March edition.

Winner Announced!

Regular readers may recall that within our recent December/January edition we published a heart-warming story about Absolute Horse Magazine reader, Clair Missen from Suffolk, who decided to donate a bedding prize that she’d won through the magazine to the Remus Horse Sanctuary. The prize was 25-bales of Phillips Brothers Woodshavings.

We were all so touched by not only Clair’s initial gesture, but also the feedback that this kind act generated through Facebook, that we decided to do it again! Said Jane Knapp, Director at Suffolk-based Phillips Brothers, “Seeing the far-reaching positive effect that Clair Missen’s generosity had, we decided we wanted to work with the Absolute Horse Magazine to run a similar competition where readers could nominate an East-Anglian based equine charity that they feel deserves to have 25-bales of our bedding delivered straight to them, as recognition for all the hard work that they do, day after day.”

So via social media we asked readers to nominate a charity. The response was amazing and within just a few short hours there had been hundreds of nominations and nearly 100-shares of the Facebook post.

These nominations were shortlisted to the top-five charities and the voting lines re-opened from 1st February until 19th February where our readers once again voted in their hundreds. The winning charity was then chosen – and massive congratulations go to Barrow Farm RDA who were selected as the winners!