We recently caught up with one of the top producers of show horses for over 20 years and HOYS Supreme winner, Justine Armstrong-Small to find out how her career grew from strength to strength and how she keeps her horses looking so well.
“My love of riding started from the age of 7 when I started lessons at Alders Rook Riding School in Forest gate as something to do. We then moved to Loughton and I was so lucky that my dad bought me my first pony. We then joined the local Pony Club and from then on we started to have a variety of ponies which taught me a lot, some good and some not so.
I’ve always loved jumping even as a child, but it was my first horse Friday Knight who got me into show jumping. He was such a handful but would always jump whatever you asked of him.
Alongside the horses I continued to study and completed my A levels before taking a break prior to law school, however I never went back as the love of horses took over. That is when I started our riding school with my Mum who rescued a pony from Exeter sales. Soon after that, we purchased our second pony and it grew from there.
I got into showing when I bought a 3-year-old who I wanted to jump but he wasn’t quite ready, so I took him showing for the experience. That’s when I fell in love with the showing industry and just like my riding school it grew and grew and I quickly owned 5 ponies.
The yard now has 40 stable consisting of a mix of riding school liveries and show horses and ponies.
SPILLERS have been a fundamental part of our nutrition for the horses over the last 25 years and we have used a variety of our products dependant on our horses’ requirements.
SPILLERS HDF Lay Off Cubes and SPILLERS Digest+ Conditioning Cubes are a firm favourite for our show horses and ponies. Whilst our good does are on a mix of the SPILLERS balancers with added SPILLERS Conditioning Fibre or SPILLERS Fibre Lite Molasses Free.
We absolutely love the SPILLERS Conditioning Fibre as it has a bit of body with the added cubes, so acts as a nice taster if not feeding a large quantity.
We also feed the SPILLERS Speedy-Mash Fibre to a lot of our older ponies with poor digestion or poor teeth as they find it super tasty and easy to eat.”
Recently we trialed one of the NEW Performance range, SPILLERS Stamina+ Cubes for some of my working hunter horses. They all ate them up well and provided just the right amount of energy for them, none were fizzy and all felt sufficiently powered for their work. They all looked well on them and maintained a healthy weight.