Feed & nutrition and coaching in Brunei
Mitavite / Equine Nutrition Australasia hosted a nutrition and feed seminar in Brunei last weekend and I was asked to go along to give a small clinic. It was my first time to Brunei and it was a great experience. I got the chance to be featured in an overseas newspaper!
We arrived on the Thursday afternoon and visited the stables at the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Saddle Club. Bakhtiar and Mas of B-Mas Jaya were the organisers of the seminar, with the help of Pengiran Rapae from the RBAFSC.
The stables were by the beach and had a great feel to it. The facilities were good, with about 24 stables, a farrier shop, 2 paddocks, 2 arenas, office and classroom. It was a truly idyllic setting.
On Friday morning, we kicked off with the Nutrition Seminar. I started off with the basic rules and information of feeding a horse and types of feed. Then Gavin Kenna of Mitavite Asia spoke about the rice bran feeds and why it was so beneficial to horses. I was also the translator for the morning, as I spoke both English and Malay, and that allowed the grooms to have a better understanding of what was being said.
In the afternoon, Gavin and Greg McLaren looked at the horses and gave their advice on feeding and general horse management. They also helped the farrier with a tricky case of bad hooves. The grooms and I did some saddle and tack fitting before I gave them a lesson. I also gave them some pointers on coaching, as some of them are grooms and coaches. The grooms were very receptive to the input and we had a good session.
On Saturday morning, we had a session with the Pony Club members. There were 20 kids from age 5 upwards. We did mounted Pony Games, grooming, and pony rides. Again, the session went well and the kids all had a great time. The staff were very good with the kids and with leading the horses.
We finished off the seminar with a riding session for the members in the afternoon. There was both dressage and jumping, and that was when the media was invited to see what we were doing to promote horse riding and better horse welfare in Brunei.
In general, I think the seminar went well. There is a lot of interest and enthusiasm in Brunei and with such facilities added in, there can only be progress in both the horse management and equestrian sport. Throughout the 3 days, Bakhtiar and Mas were amazing hosts and fed us all this amazing food. I do not think we had a long period without food!!
A very big thank you to everyone that made the seminar such a success. On behalf of Gavin, Greg and myself, we had a great time and wish you all the best with your riding and your horses!