Gel-Eze – Taking the Pressure Off!

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In the past limited research had taken place to assess the forces applied, by the rider and the saddle,  to the horse’s back when ridden but in more recent times this issue has been highlighted by scientists and companies alike! Technology has advanced a great deal in the last twenty years, allowing the equestrian industry to develop some outstanding products and to study the equine sports horse in greater detail and research and development has always been high on the list of priorities for World Wide Tack. 

World Wide Tack’s Stephen Biddlecombe was convinced that an innovative gel product had a place in the equestrian marketplace to help protect horses’ backs and offer shock absorption. The Gel-Eze brand began its development in 1999 and launched three years later after significant research. It is now exported to over 35 countries worldwide!

As the range developed by Stephen has been expanded to include products that include strategically-placed cushions of gel helping saddle fit and balance as well as shock absorbing and protecting the horse’s back. This include such as a wither pad, rear riser, non slip pad and anatomically shaped gel pads to name but a few!

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In addition as a trade leader in sheepskin saddle pads, so it was only a matter of time before the two products – gel and sheepskin – were blended! Stephen says… “We have very successfully combined the Gel Eze products with our range of Stephens Saddle pads. The pads are very popular with owners of big moving horses that do a lot of extension at the shoulder, as the Gel-Eze also stops lateral movement of the saddle, and the resulting pressure points.”

Why not visit the website to see the huge range of Gel-Eze products including the best-selling Stephen’s Pads with Sheepskin today at www.worldwidetack.com 

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Composition of Bits and Bitting Materials

With a vast array of bits on the market choosing a bit for your horse or pony can be somewhat daunting. In our latest blog World Wide Tack takes a look at bit materials and how they can influence the bitting choice which is right for our horses. 

Many horse owners will have never considered the bit material but actually the bit metal or material matters to some horses in their acceptance of the bit and the contact.

Stainless steel is a good place to start when considering materials for any type of bit – it’s durable, moderate in price and neutral in taste. The most popular bit material on the market is also fairly light, but depending on where it has been manufactured it’s quality may vary. The best quality steel is made in Europe .

Rubber is a soft material similar to plastic but with more flexibility. It is great for making strong style bits softer or for young horses who have just started work. The young horses generally chew on the material because they are getting used to having something in their mouths.

Combination bits are cutting edge but Trust Equestrian have brought out the Trust range of bits which are composed of plastic which is FDA approved and non-toxic crafted with a Stainless Steel interior core making them reliable and safe. Click on the link here to view the range available currently via World Wide Tack!

Sweet iron is not actually an iron at all, but steel. The  soft metal  rusts somewhat through use and this creates a sweet taste in the horse’s mouth which acts to encourage gentle chewing of the bit and salivation. Made from blue sweet iron, Bombers bits available through World Wide Tack were originally designed for polocrosse, but are becoming increasingly popular among top show jumpers and dressage riders. The blue sweet iron oxidises easily, encouraging the horse to salivate and assisting acceptance of the bit.

Dazzling Grooming Range Joins Stable of Leading Equine Haircare Brands Here at World Wide Tack!

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World Wide Tack is now the exclusive distributor of the Mane ’n Tail equine grooming range in the UK and Ireland. Mane ’n Tail is the flagship brand of the American company Straight Arrow Products Inc, which manufactures equine and human hair and skincare products.

Stephen Biddlecombe, Director of Equine Management and World Wide Tack, is highly regarded for his knowledge of the international equine grooming products market, and is thrilled at the new distribution agreement. “Mane ‘n Tail joins a ‘stable’ of leading brands available from us that includes Cowboy Magic, Absorbine, Quic and more! Mane ‘n Tail is renowned worldwide as a healthy, skin-friendly grooming range that provides proven results. It also includes finishing, first aid and treatment products,” says Stephen of the range, which boasts shampoo, conditioner and detangler as its top-sellers, and is even loved by Hollywood stars that use it on their own flowing tresses. “We look forward to working with UK retailers to meet their customers’ exacting needs for equine grooming products.”

Straight Arrow Products Inc President, Devon Katzev, adds that the products really work. “They make grooming easier, horses healthier and their owners happier.”

Mane n’ Tail will be available to purchase from World Wide Tack soon!

All About Flair Nasal Strips; Available from World Wide Tack

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Many equestrians will have seen the use of Flair Strips in a variety of disciplines. Common in the Eventing world the Flair Strips are veterinarian-developed self-adhesive strips that promote optimum respiratory health of equine athletes at every level of competition. The clever strips reduce airway resistance and improve airflow when your horse needs oxygen most! 

Flair Strips can provide benefits for all horses, including both those competing at top level and leisure horses exerting themselves during occasional weekend competitions or fun, fast hacks!

Let’s take a look at the science behind it! 

Unlike humans, horses can only breathe through their nose.

During exercise when horses begin to breathe hard, the soft tissues overlying the nasal passages are sucked in, reducing the airway diameter. This reduction in diameter causes resistance to airflow into the lungs. The resistance in the nasal passages also causes increased negative pressures within the lung, subjecting the fragile capillary membranes deep in the lungs to the risk of leakage or rupture.

Flair Strips gently support the soft tissues over the nasal passages, the narrowest part of the upper airway, so horses breathe easier and perform at their best.

 Flair Strips were developed by a team of veterinarians interested in protecting the respiratory health of hard-working horses.

The introduction of Flair Strips in 1999 created awareness that supporting the nasal passages could improve horses’ breathing and respiratory health. Significant University and private clinical research has shown that supporting the nasal passages improves air flow, allowing horses to breathe easier and resulting in:

  • reduced fatigue
  • quickened recovery
  • reduced bleeding

Flair Strips are a drug-free, simple, cost effective tool for supporting the long-term respiratory health of all equine athletes that perform, in both training and competition!

Flair Strips are available to purchase from World Wide Tack. Click here to visit the website and purchase this innovative, beneficial product today!

Spruce up for Spring!

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Many horse owners are now turning their attention to equine grooming, and giving their equine partner a spruce-up for spring. This important equestrian management task not only ensures your four-legged partners are looking good, but also that their skin and coat remains in optimum condition, especially important after a wet and muddy winter.

Thorough grooming on a regular basis offers care and maintenance of the skin and coat and allows the horse to remain both clean and healthy, preventing the build up of dirt and bacteria in the coat, and limiting the risk of the owner missing skin conditions.

Here are our top tips for grooming-

Pick the feet out daily and always brush the horse off to remove dirt and debris prior to tacking up; use this opportunity to check for sores and skin issues.

Spring time is an excellent time for a bath. When bathing, we advise that using ‘horse friendly’ products to protect a healthy skin pH is crucial.

Dark coats often fade or bleach in the bright spring sunlight; hair cuticles may become damaged, causing a rough feel and a frizzy, tangled mess. So, we suggest providing plenty of shade in the field. Sweat in the coat accelerates fade, so rinse a sweaty horse before allowing him to bask in the sunshine. Products such as QUIC Screen Coat Sunscreen are revolutionary in avoiding this problem! QUIC Screen boasts zero coat fade for eight or more days. In tests, hair that wasn’t protected by QUIC Screen that was exposed to UVB was dry, weakened, and faded.

The bathing process can sometimes dry out the coat, so we advocate using an equine coat conditioner such as QUIC Condition. The intense protein after-shampoo renewal formula from QUIC rejuvenates and detangles just-cleansed hair with superb, rehydrating conditioner.

For the horses that have stray hairs that are a nuisance when plaiting, we like QUIC Braid’s ‘Mane and tail control spray’ which adds perfect grip to hair when wet and dries to soft, natural feel – it combs out or simply evaporates within days.

Alongside regular grooming with top quality products, remember it is essential to provide a balanced diet containing high levels of fibre and the required levels of carbohydrate, protein, fat and vitamins and minerals including Omega-3 fatty acid, to provide optimum skin and coat health!

To find out more about the grooming products available to purchase, including the Quic Range, visit the website www.worldwidetack.com.

 

Worming your Horse

Worming is a vital part of equine management in order to prevent ill health. There are a number of main internal parasites which can affect horses and ponies including; redworm, roundworm, tapeworm, pinworm and botfly larvae to name the most common. There are two main options regarding worming programmes: regular dosing, or targeted strategic worming using faecal egg counts. Lets take a look…

Worming Programmes

1.) Regular Dosing

  • Regular dosing suits large groups of horses that are wormed at the same time, such as at livery yard, and controls specific worms at key times of the year – ensure you follow the manufacturer’s dosing instructions.
  • Many experts advise using a wormer with the same active ingredient throughout the grazing season (April – September), changing to another wormer with a different active ingredient the following year – this is to avoid resistance. An example would be to use an Ivermectin wormer one year and a Pyrantel wormer the next.
  • In addition, within a regular dosing programme, strategic treatments to control encysted small redworms, tapeworms and bots should be given if these parasites are not covered by products given as routine treatments.
  • Tapeworm should be treated in October and in the Spring.
  • Encysted small redworms are usually treated from November – January: either with a five day course of fenbendazole or a single dose of moxidectin – the latter treat bots as well, so if a five day course of fenbendazole is chosen, you will need to additionally target bots from November to January with a macrocyclic lactone-based product, ie ivermectin or moxidectin, given at the appropriate dosing interval.

2.) Targeted Strategic Worming

Targeted strategic worming involves regularly sending a faecal sample for analysis to count the number of adult eggs per gram (epg) – however, the tests do not detect the immature, non egg-laying stages of worms, so in cases where horses may be infected, an annual dose of a larvicidal wormer may still be recommend by your vet even if the tests are clear. It is also possible to have tapeworm antibody blood test taken – ask your vet for advice.

Top Tips from World Wide Tack for Worming and Worming Related Healthcare

1.) Stable new arrivals – never let a new horse graze in a field used by other equines until a full course of worming treatment has been completed.

2.) Dose according to body weight. Weigh your horse using scales or a weigh tape and read the manufacturer’s recommendations closely before dosing.

3.) Synchronise worming – make sure all the horses on the premises are following the same worm control programme and are wormed on the same day.

4.) Understand seasonal risks – make sure you know what times of year your horse is at the highest risk of infestation, from the different worms. Knowing this allows you to use a targeted wormer at the right time of the year.

5.) Keep records – maintaining accurate notes about your worming procedures will help you remember which system was most effective and when you should change your wormer to help reduce the likelihood of wormer resistance.

6.) Rotate the type of wormer – rotate the summer grazing wormer so you are using a product with a different active ingredient on a yearly basis. This will help prevent worms becoming resistant to wormers.

7.) Get a faecal egg count – this is a valuable and underutilised tool, which allows horse owners to monitor worm load and could help in identifying the most appropriate worming programme for your yard.

8.) Look after pregnant mares and young stock – mares must be wormed on a regular basis, especially in the weeks prior to due date. This will prevent the vulnerable foal picking up larvae in the pasture. Foals should be wormed as soon as they are weaned. However take extra care, particularly with dosages, when worming young stock for the first time.

9.) Manage your pasture – good pasture management is vital. Regularly removing manure from your horse’s field will greatly reduce the chance of contracting and/or spreading worms. Activities such as harrowing, rotating and/or resting pasture will also help.

Worming Safely

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Worming can be a stressful process for some horses so why not invest in the Wormabit available from World Wide Tack to make sure worming is hassle free?

Wormabit is a durable, washable, nylon bit fitted to adjustable webbing straps, complete with a quick release buckle for safety. The bit-like mouth piece is placed in the horse’s mouth, as with a conventional bit, and once in place the syringe is inserted in to the open end of the mouth piece. With one smooth action the full dose is delivered to the horse without the usual mess and fuss.

Not only does Wormabit make worming easier and safer, but most importantly, it relieves the stress for your horse. The syringe never has to enter the horse’s mouth – just the nylon bit, which does not feel alien to the animal. The result is a much calmer horse and a much more relaxed handler.

Now ON SALE from World Wide Tack available for just £14.00+VAT. To purchase today visit the websitewww.worldwidetack.com or Tel: 01825 841 303.

Taking Part in Arena Polo

Arena polo is a fast-paced version of polo played outdoors on an enclosed all-weather surface, or in an indoor arena.

Unlike outdoor polo, which is played on a 10-acre field, arena polo is played in a smaller set up allowing more venues to host matches and adding to the excitement of the thrilling game.

The match is played as usual, consisting of four chukkas of seven and one-half minutes each but the ball used is slightly larger.

Arena polo is typically far more financially accessible than outdoor polo. Arena polo is also played year-round, which is attractive to many players because it makes progress in the sport easier and quicker!

So what equipment do you need for Arena Polo?

Rider Wear

Being safe and protected whilst playing Polo is essential, alongside a riding helmet Riding Boots, Elbow Pads and Knee Guards should be worn. World Wide Tack offer their own range of top quality products. Click here to view!

Bandages and Tendon Boots
Polo is a fast and furious game and so your pony’s legs must be protected. Polo players often apply both soft fleece bandages and supportive tendon boots in order to maximise protection. World Wide Tack offers 18 different coloured polo bandages designed specifically with polo in mind with extra length for support and protection.

Bits
World Wide Tack supplies Bomber Bits, a must-have for any polo player! Designed by polo player Peter Nel every Bomber bit is made from blue sweet iron which oxidises easily, encouraging salivation and acceptance. In addition World Wide Tack offer a bespoke service where you can choose your mouth and cheek piece size and order it to be hand made and delivered directly to you; perfect for polo!

Leather Work
World Wide Tack pride themself on their bridle work including bridles, martingales, breastplates and more being made exclusively in the UK from top quality leather. You need a firm holding when playing polo and the security that your tack is going to stay intact for the duration in all conditions so World Wide Tack has a range of high quality leather work, built to last and offering maximum quality!

For more information about the wide range of equipment for polo and other disciplines visit the website www.worldwidetack.com