Horse tips that are meant to last lifetime

STANNINGTON Village Hall was packed as members of the public received top equine tips at a special event.

The themes for the evening presentations, organised by the Endurance GB Northumberland & Tyneside Group, were ‘Equine Weight Management’, by vet Colin Mitchell, a partner of Scott Mitchell Associates, Hexham, and ‘Endurance Riding and How to Get Started’, by Diane Holmes, chairwoman of the group.

She gave those in attendance an interesting insight into endurance riding, describing the fun of pleasure rides suitable for all shapes and sizes, and the challenges of the graded endurance rides at varying distances, in which the rider learns to get the best from a horse over different terrain and weather conditions.

To encourage more junior and young riders to the sport, she announced that under 16s go free if accompanied by a paying adult when entering its pleasure/social rides.

During the break for refreshments, guests browsed over several displays, including horsemanship equipment and care products for the barefoot and bitless horse.

Mr Mitchell gave his presentation about equine weight management in a format that everyone could grasp. He included a very positive view on the advances in science, especially relating to stomach acid which can cause ulcers, and teeth that should ideally be checked every six to 12 months, both of which can be linked to weight loss.

Overweight horses are more liable to suffer with diabetes, Azoturia (tying up) and laminitis. He was encouraged to overrun on the time allocated for his talk by the audience.

The Endurance GB Northumberland & Tyneside Group are organising more events and rides during the year.

It has pleasure and training rides running at Alwinton, Tritlington, Hexham, Druridge Bay Beach and Wark Forest throughout the season.

The group has more than 50 full riding members, some of whom travel and compete in a range of events country-wide.

Riders interested in finding out more about membership, competitive events and pleasure rides can send a large stamped addressed envelope to Karen Shotton, Membership Secretary, 2 Millfield Gardens, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 3EG, or visit the website –