March 25, 2021
Dianne Postma (left), Jelle van der Weide and Sietske Veenje from YoungKFPS gave a lecture about preparing horses for inspections.
The theme of the KFPS College Tour on Thursday the 25th of March was the upcoming inspection season. ‘Make a timely start with your preparations, stay critical about your horse and give your horse a custom-made training’, was the advice of YoungKFPS members Jelle van der Weide and Dianne Postma.
Observe your horse
The question: ‘how to get my horses inspection-ready?’ triggered lots of answers from Jelle and Dianne. Before embarking on this course it’s good practice to make an inventory of your chances and expectations, they suggested. ‘Take a good look at your horse so that you know what’s realistic’, was Dianne’s advice. ‘Invite an expert to help and stay critical about your own horse’, Jelle added. There’s no fixed schedule for preparations. ‘Best practice is to tune in to yourself and the needs of your horse’, Dianne went on, giving a brief outline. ‘Everything begins with basic teaching: halter training and learning to stand still. And training for a good condition and correct muscling.’ Take time for lunging. ‘Get the horse used to the bridle and the lunge surcingle. After that start with side reins. Work from a basis of relaxation and use clear voice- and body signals.’
Training on the lunge
Focus on what you wish to improve, Jelle advised. ‘When a horse needs to show more power then you can work with the sledge. Lunging over cross poles teaches a horse more balance’, are some examples he mentioned. Prepping horses for inspection is an art in itself and training stables have developed this specific expertise, Jelle pointed out. ‘Here the horses are trained from four to eight weeks prior to the inspection.’ Jelle has his own training stable Stal de Weidhoeve and gave a sound estimate of what sort of price tag you’re looking at. ‘It will cost you around € 1500, and that includes transport and shoeing.’
In addition to training they also discussed feeding schemes. ‘Line seed oil gives the horses an even and shiny coat.’ And then something about grooming. ‘Rough hairs on the face, ears and legs can be shaved off’, Dianne explained. ‘Leave tactile hairs in place and don’t trim the ears on the inside. These are rules dictated by Inspection Regulations.’ Preparations for the inspection itself also need your detailed attention. Carrying out a dental check and fitting irons (so that studs can be added) must be done well in advance as shoeing usually improves a horse’s movement.’ In the long run all the hard work pays off, Jelle assures. ‘The higher the premium the more valuable the horse is. And besides: people prefer to breed from a predicate-rich line.’
Taking foals to inspection
Taking foals to inspections is less time-consuming. Clipping is not necessary but it is allowed. Obviously, cleaning the foals is important, as Dianne pointed out. ‘Taking part in a foal inspection is not mandatory, but it is free and you can have your foal micro-chipped for free too. Micro-chipping is mandatory between six weeks and six months old.’ At foal inspections there are runners who present the foals. ‘They walk them in-hand on a lead rope but the foals can move freely in trot. For a proper preparation of your foal you can practise in-hand walking at home and do a trial-run in the trailer, just a short drive around the block will do.’
YoungKFPS with 400 members
Jelle and Dianne were introduced by YoungKFPS Chairwoman Sietske Veenje. Prior to the College Tour she announced that this youth organisation is celebrating its 10th anniversary and presently has over 400 members – between the ages 16 and 35 -. ‘We organise all sorts of activities, share our knowledge and make sure the young generation feels represented. Stimulating them to start breeding Friesian horses is another of our focal points.’ From that point of view this College Tour was another successful activity.
Click here for the presentation of the KFPS College Tour about preparations for the inspection season.