Seven years ago Lucinda McAlpine began exploring the fields of alternative therapies for her dressage horses when it seemed that their conventional training and competition regime was causing them stress. With her move to Brackenhill Stud she gradually progressed to developing a system of keeping them closer to nature and now over 35 horses are resident on the Stud all living naturally without shoes or rugs. This ongoing research project aims to find a better working partnership between horse and rider with a view to increasing longevity and eliminating 'problems' and 'problem horses'. This too has a massive impact on the issue of safety in horse management.
Through a series of study discussion days Lucinda would like to share some of her experiences and knowledge so that others may be able to see how easy it is for horses to teach us the way forward.
We have scheduled the following study days for April, May and June 2002.
There has recently been much discussion regarding the question of 'to shoe or not to shoe?' Approximately five years ago Lucinda was forced by circumstance to remove the shoes from her Grand Prix dressage horse Panduc. This was a complete revelation for her, so much so that now not one horse of thirty-five at Brackenhill Stud wear shoes! With all shapes, sizes, ages and breeds of horses here we have been able to observe the benefits and would like to pass some of these experiences on during this study day.
Keeping the horse naturally still remains unconventional and controversial. We aim on this study day to allay some of the fears that people may have about keeping their horses outdoors all year round and yet still being able to ride and compete them. Topics will include feeding, exercising, the coat, skin, circulation and pasture management. You may wish to look at our article in the November issue of Horse and Rider.
'Your horse is your mirror'. If you believe that you have an empathic bond with your horse, it then follows that you intuitively know what is best for him/her. This study day aims to explore this theory and there will be space for two horse/rider combinations to act as guinea pigs. Applications to participate in this demonstration should be mentioned with your booking as we would like these to be horses that are not known to us prior to the day. There will be a separate fee payable for this of an additional £25.
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Updated: October 2005.