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The only plus for lockdown has been managing to do a bit more riding. I have two horses 20 years in age apart! The first one is Filius who is 26yrs,  just over 15h and has been with us for 20yrs.  He has been there, done it, for the t-shirt and written the book.  Now we just skiddle around these days, I sit on top with an idea, and then he does his own thing, he's certainly not one for retiring. My other horse, Rubin, is my homebred and at 16.2h and 6yrs old is quite a bit different from Filius.  Originally intended for my sister, Olivia, to compete with I have been lucky to be able to enjoy him for myself recently.  I fell off Rubin last year having only ridden him a few times that year and ended up with cracked ribs. I had struggled a bit to get to grips with him as having had Filius for so long I had picked up bad habits and Rubin has grown a lot in the last 18months. When Olivia had mentioned FOMO body protectors to me I was intrigued by them after my fall. I’ve been XC schooling a fair bit since the end of lockdown so I’ve worn it quite a few times. It makes me feel secure and protected without being restrictive. My season started with a hunter trial at Strathearn where I was 2nd on Filius and although Rubin had a wobbly start we got round. I had one more xc schooling session with Rubin before Forgandenny BE. It went well and felt I was finally managing to ride a little better.  We were double clear round the BE 80 and would have won without our time penalties. All in all a good day and super proud of my home bred boy. Hopefully more to come before Olivia steals him off me!! Rubin and I have one more SJ and XC training day to end the season which we are both looking forward to. Ailz Haddow...

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been out eventing and showjumping,  starting off with my own produced 8yo mare going clear in her first intermediate. My crazy girl, Tess, jumped her first-ever 1m35 at the Royal Highland Show ground, having the last jump down of the combination, which I was super pleased with as it’s the biggest we have done yet.  I've been taking another horse, Tyson, out and he did a double clear in the BE90 at Forgendenny and a double clear in his first BE100 at Kirriemuir to come 6th !!  My other horse, Orla, also finished 2nd in the open novice which was a fab way to end our season.  We went to Alnwick ford at the end of September where another of my horses, Grace, was double clear finishing on our personal best dressage score of 30.  Orla also finished on a score of 34 and both ended in the top 10 which was a fantastic result. I’ve been wearing my FOMO body protector at all of my events this season, from when it was launched, and I still love it. It has maximum comfort when going round the cross country and I don’t even know it’s there.  I don’t feel restricted by it and can’t wait to use it next year. Rachel Williamson    ...

After a slow start to the season, it’s been all go since July when we were given the all-clear to get back out eventing! As lockdown started to ease we upped the horses’ workload, starting to add in their usual fitness work and travel for some outings/lessons. The main issue was trying to plan where all the horses could and should run, with limited numbers allowed at each event combined with entries only opening a short time beforehand. We tried to make a schedule for each horse’s training towards various competitions, but knew that this was subject to change due to heavy balloting; alongside the risk that eventing was halted once again because of COVID. We have been so privileged to be back out competing at all, as we’d almost completely written off the rest of the season, and in such a difficult period we had the horses to focus on and get us away from our everyday struggles – owners, grooms & rider included – although it’s a shame that no spectators are allowed for this year, as it means that many people cannot enjoy the sport as normal, including many generous sponsors. Firstly we headed to Barbury, with 3 Novice horses – the Barbury team had done an amazing job on the ground and the horses gave me brilliant rides across country, feeling none-the-worse for having been away for an extra few months! Hugo (Hocus Pocus) was the star of the day, claiming 3rd spot in the Intermediate-Novice behind two 4* horses. From there we went to one of my favourite events, Bicton, where my 6yo Billy (Rathnageera Aussie) jumped double clear in his first event to come 6th, Rock Solid came 10th in the Novice and Pink Diamond flew round a beefy Intermediate track to gain our Advanced qualification, ready for 2021. I then had a great run of double clears, with Hugo pulling out a 27 dressage/double clear for 7th at Dauntsey Novice, then easily making the step up to Intermediate level with a 33 dressage and double clear claiming 4th at Aston-le-Walls (qualifying him for Gatcombe Intermediate Championships). Billy jumped double clear over the 100 track at local event Oxstalls, and then at Burgham, the first UK international of the year, Gerry (Carrick Diamond Bard) & Pink Diamond both jumped foot perfect double clears and finished on their dressage scores, for 16th and 8th in the 3*S and 2*S! Our latest events were Cornbury House International & Pontispool. At Cornbury my trio of greys were on great form, with Hugo and Pink Diamond both doing smart dressage tests, good show jumping rounds and flying clears XC over a big and bold Intermediate course, and Gerry completing his second 3*S with an improved test from Burgham, just one frustrating rolled pole in the SJ, and a very smooth XC round – a great prep run for our first Advanced on 6th October! Pontispool gave me an exciting WIN with Hugo in the Open Novice, despite him being pretty wild all day - I survived the dressage with my neckstrap at the ready, then had to let him go at his own speed (very fast!) through the jumping phases, which luckily propelled us into top spot! He is now having a well-deserved holiday, before a winter of dressage and SJ to make ready for his 3* debut in 2021. Pontispool also gave me a first outing on my newest ride, Berry (Ballinamurra Eirrann), owned by Adrian Berry & Victoria Chapman, and he’d obviously got the memo that only double clears and placings were acceptable as he produced a sweet dressage test for 29.8, then only added 0.4 time faults to this to finish 10th in his BE100 section, a great start to our partnership! Billy also had a great run over both tough jumping courses, earning the start to his holiday too. Now at the end of September, there are just 4 events left for us – Dauntsey, Little Downham, Calmsden & Bicton. The 3 horses still in work will all be making upgrades, so no rest just yet – Berry steps up to Novice, Pink Diamond will contest her first 3*S with me, whilst Gerry makes the slightly daunting step up to Advanced at Little Downham (!) followed by our first 3*L at Bicton… Let’s hope he remembers that we finished with a win there in 2019! A big thank you to all of my team for supporting me throughout lockdown and back out competing – let’s hope that we have a successful month ahead, ready to look forward to a more straightforward year in 2021…...

Well unfortunately 2020 is just not working out for us at all and I just want 2021 to hurry up and get here. Just as we were gearing up to finally getting out to our first event of 2020 at the start of August, Trusty has picked up a very mild check ligament strain. We are still early on in terms of injury as he only did it 2 weeks ago but there is always good and bad sides to these injuries although this one is more of a good than a bad sandwich!  The good news is so far it looks to be extremely mild with no sign of a tear or hole, it is just presenting as slightly bigger than the other leg under the scan.  The bad news is this still needs to be treated with ultra caution and proper rehab to prevent any further injury to the leg meaning several months of very strict rehab work which means we are not going to be able to go eventing this year. Not only that, it probably rules all competitions out for the rest of the year The second good news sandwiching it however, is that by taking all these precautions it should mean that he will be back up and running next year and it won't affect his ability to compete in the future. We're not sure how he did it, it could have been jumping the day before it got picked up or even a silly moment in the stable but we're going to be on our best behaviour and do everything the vet tells us to, even if he is already bored of box rest yet again! Sadly being a one horse owner, these events really do bring you down as I don't have anything else to go and play with now we're allowed to compete again after lockdown, and by the time Trusty is in ridden work again it'll be practically Winter so bring on the wind, rain and snow! To add insult to injury I've just invested in a new 3.5t horsebox as I've downgraded from the 7.5t I used to have to try and save some money. The day before Trusty showed an injury it had just come back from the coachworkers all ready to go out on adventures! It'll have to settle with trips to the vets for the foreseeable future sadly. I have to keep positive though and start planning for next year and having a bit of a plan for rehab for the boy helps as well, it's just a shame as 2 years running now we've not quite got off the ground competing wise. But onwards and upwards, we will no doubt keep you entertained with how to keep a fit event horse happy on box rest and me trying to not be trampled when I start hand walking. Jenna Hastings...

This is becoming a much-discussed topic at the moment and I'd like to give you some of my top tips for staying safe when out and about. As someone who is forced to use roads for her own hacking, I try to keep myself and my horse as safe as possible. Always wear high visibility clothing. This may seem like a given; however, a lot of people still don't do this. I would even say it doesn't matter how much or how little you wear - something is better than nothing. It is a well-known fact that drivers can see you much earlier with hi viz on than without. I also always have in the back of my mind that if anything happened to me where I ended up parting company with my horse and hurting myself, I'm far easier to spot in hi viz than without Be courteous to other road users. People are far more likely to be respectful if you are considerate and thankful towards them. Always say thank you, try and give way to traffic when you can and try to avoid areas/times of day where you are going to cause a lot of disruption by being on the road. Sometimes it is unavoidable to not use busy stretches of road but by planning your timing of using them you can keep yourself safer and keep other road users happier Don't be afraid to use your hand signals! If you need someone to slow down or stop and wait for whatever reason, be bold and use your hand signals. It is something all road users need to know and they should be respected. Don't feel like you need to let traffic by whatever the consequences - it is always better for someone to wait a couple of minutes to keep everyone safe If you are involved in an incident or a near miss, please report it. The BHS is working hard to obtain a better understanding of what horse riders face every day when they are using roads. Without your information, they can't do this Use a camera. These are becoming more common place across all areas of road users with dash cams and body cameras used by drivers, cyclists and horse riders. It is something that will help in the event of an incident happening on the road and gives an unbiased view of events - it can greatly help in any claims made by any road user and will assist the police if they need to become involved Get involved in a pass wide and slow campaign. Education is everything when it comes to sharing the roads and the more, we can spread the word of keeping everyone safe and happy the better! Jenna Hastings...

One moment you're happily sitting upright in the saddle, legs on either side, the next, you're headed at speed towards the ground with a half-tonne animal about to land on top of you.  It's every rider's worst nightmare and one of the things that inspired me to found FOMO after seeing many top eventers and friends alike suffer such injuries.  It’s also the type of thing that you don’t really think will happen to you. ‘A freak accident’. There has been a lot of discussion among the eventing community about how to prevent rotational falls — a fall where the horse hits a fence with its front legs or chest and its body somersaults over the fence with the fence acting as a pivot point. In a rotational fall, the rider usually is thrown out of the saddle and goes over the jump before the horse. In a worst-case scenario, the horse can land on the rider.  Another incident that can be traumatic is when a horse falls backwards on top of you, whilst this might not be quite as common in eventing it does happen and is often just as severe. Show jumping or hunting on grass are just two examples of disciplines where slips may occur. The Statistics It was found that 1 in 536 starters at a FEI event had a rotational fall in 2015. That translated to 1 in 16,080 jump approaches, assuming 30 jumps per start. In British Eventing, there were over 68 thousand cross country starters during the 2016 season. On average, there were 118 competitors per course, with BE100 and BE90 courses being the most popular. In 2002 frangible elements were introduced into fences to reduce the chance that a horse somersaults due to the way in which it impacts a cross-country fence. If the impact with the fence is large enough, the frangible element is designed to break, making the fence considerably safer. There were 754 fences with frangible elements in 2016. Twenty-two falls occurred at these fences, only one of which involved the horse somersaulting. Injury Prevention The introduction of safer fences and course building as well as initiatives implemented by BE has meant that there was a 27% reduction in the number of falls per thousand jumps between 2002-03 and 2016, indicating that safety has improved substantially over this time. Safety and injury prevention in sport can be done in one of three ways 1) Better equipment 2) Changes to the rules 3) Relevant safety standards Here at FOMO we can only help influence 2 and 3 but we can do something about 1.  Designing better equipment that puts safety at the forefront is what I have spent the last 5 years working on.  As a sports engineer, I understand the mechanics behind what is involved in designing sports equipment and our body protector FAZE, which is just about to be launched, has been tested over and above the industry standard.  However, at FOMO, we also believe being safe is also about comfort.  If you are comfortable and unrestricted, you are able to move more freely and perform much better. Which is why with FOMO there is no compromise. Carmen Cummiskey...

Our ambassador Jodie Campbell and her husband Fraser tell us of their experiences of accidents they have had and why they believe safety wear is so important. Being an ex point to point jockey I have had many experiences first hand in the importance of safety wear.  I could talk about several situations I have been in but one race that comes to mind that is extremely relevant to talk about during BETA safety week is a fall I had at Warwick. I was riding in a fast paced 2 mile 4 race when the horse I was on took off outside the wings, causing it to land head first on the top of the fence and cause me to have a rotational fall.  This in itself is dangerous enough however I landed heavily under the horse was then  continuously knocked by the other horses in the race. Due to the safety equipment I was wearing I managed to walk away from that fall with only a concussion and bruising, however I was very lucky not to have had more serious injuries and beleive that safety should never be an after thought when it comes to horses, no matter what the activity. It really is a life saver! Fraser    In my 20 plus year's experience I have had my fair share of thrills and spills and safety is something I take really seriously when on the yard and competing. A couple years back when my horse, Lincourt Max, was still showjumping, we took quite a heavy fall at Blair. We were having a really nice round until we met a dodgy stride on the way into a combination. This caused us to well and truly crash the 2nd part. I crashed head first through the poles closely followed by poor Skinny, we both came out unscathed, but my hat took a massive knock! If i hadn't been wearing it, or just as importantly, if it hadn't been fitted correctly I know the outcome would have been much worse! Correctly fitting safety wear is invaluable when your life is so precious! No matter how well you know your horse, accidents can happen and preventing injury is far better than having to cure it. Jodie ...

I think it’s safe to say that during lockdown we have all had a bit of a taste of what stable life must be for our horses and in most cases we have been lucky enough to have a wealth of entertainment at our fingertips from tv, radio, books and internet, some of us may have been fortunate enough to have a garden to sit in and someone to share our confinement. Horses on the other hand are often kept confined to their stables for up to 24 hours a day for a variety of reasons from injury to lack of outdoor space. Now think about that, just imagine being stuck in one room for that length of time with only hay and water for entertainment. People often think that stable toys are just a bit of fun but now we have all had a bit of a taster of isolation, it’s clear how important it is to  provide some variety to your horses’ life once their basic needs have been fulfilled. The Likit Challenge System is a unique range of activity toys, designed to suit a range of different personalities and situations. From the Likit Holder which is the easiest toy to use, ideal for new users to the Boredom Breaker, our most challenging toy, ideal for food motivated horses or those that can’t get enough of playtime. To compliment the toys, we have a variety of different flavoured licks, the core range made from glucose (a simple form of sugar also found in grass), to our new long lasting Likit Granola. For horses on restricted diets we also offer salt based licks that can be used with our range of toys so there really is something to suit every horse. Why not head over to our website and take the Likit Personality Test to see which toy would suit your horse: https://www.likit.co.uk/product-selector/ ...

I joined Forces Equine a fair few year ago now when it was very much in its infancy. It was an organisation that brought together riders and like-minded people from similar backgrounds - armed forces and emergency services.  As a police officer, we did not really have a centralised body where we can all connect with each other as equestrians whereas the armed forces do. FE gave us this opportunity. Through FE I have been able to compete at some amazing venues - Hickstead, Arena UK, Blenheim to name a few. They've also sent teams to Royal Windsor, Bolesworth and Jersey. The opportunities that are presented to members know no bounds, for example, for two years running we've sent one officer to the Longines Global Champions Tour to compete . But more importantly than that, it gives a sense of belonging. I've met people I would never have crossed paths with. I've made connections with people who helped me get to the position I hold today. Most importantly, I've made some amazing friends. FE is open to those that wish to be competitive but also to those who just want to have fun. Our social gatherings are famous - one member even has a self-built bar in a skirt locker of her horsebox that we gather round on stay-aways! Members are also there to help one another, whether it's assisting in moving horses from one end of the country to another, to finding horses to buy, to helping out with a broken-down box on the way to a show. We've grown from a small organisation to a wider membership that welcomes all walks of life - serving members to retirees to friends and family of. We've also become a registered Riding Club which presents even more opportunities for riders. We've joined forces with Arena UK as our base and we've got some amazing ambassadors who help promote our sport. I am proud to wear kit stating I am a member of FE and will continue to support this organisation as long as I can. It's more than being competitive, it's about having a great time whilst doing it. Jenna Hastings...

At the beginning of lockdown, the team at FOMO, like many companies, were wondering what the future would hold.  However, rather than sit back and do nothing, we have been working hard behind the scenes to carry on with finalising our certification for FAZE and progressing well with the development of FLIP, our children’s body protector.  Like many businesses found, social media was a good outlet to keep in contact with our followers and to make sure we kept them up to date with what was going on. However, the team also wanted to have a bit of fun and cheer up as many people as possible and we have been trying to come up with fun and different content.  In late March, we were in touch with The East Lothian Pony Club and through Kim Williams, one of the mother’s and committee members, we decided to run a FOMO Pony Club Olympics for the club.  This involved the club creating teams’ of 4/5 members, varying in ages, who were then set daily challenges over a 14-day period.  These included ‘the best home workout’, ‘best working from home photos’ to ‘the cleanest tack before and after’ as well as the very popular ‘funky fashion’ challenge.  We gave the teams the option of selecting one member to do the challenge due to the fact we were in lockdown, and they couldn’t meet together, however almost all the teams always pulled a video collage together with them all participating.  We created a closed group on Instagram for this and gave access to all the parents so they could see all the entries.  We received some lovely comments and feedback from parents, saying how much the children were enjoying it and how it had helped them connect with fellow club members.  We would like to thank everyone at East Lothian Pony Club, committee members, parents but most of all the teams who took part.  They were all winners and we look forward to coming through to the club as soon as we can and meet them in person. Below are some of the thoughts from the winning team...