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Volume 8<br />

No 1/<strong>2023</strong><br />

Reitsport BRANCHE<br />

SPECIAL: Crops & whips • RETAILER AWARD: preliminary decision • SPOGA HORSE: News<br />

one passion – one voice


”My word for it<br />

Spot-on<br />

Dear Reader,<br />

News<br />

from<br />

SWEET<br />


The new year begins and the first promotional<br />

days are not long<br />

in coming.<br />

When you are in a tight spot, a precise solution is often most helpful – this<br />

applies to a wide variety of life circumstances and situations.<br />

If, for example, you want to send an offer to your customers, your chances of<br />

success improve if you target your clientele precisely, with a spot-on description<br />

of your service or product. Find out how to do this in no more than 10 words,<br />

on page 6.<br />

However, you could also use the help of other people to eliminate any blind<br />

spots in your offer. For example, you could work with influencers to get your<br />

message across to the (equestrian) public. In our monthly survey, we wanted<br />

to know how many of you, i.e. the equestrian retailers, use influencers.<br />

Astonishing result: only a small minority (p. 8).<br />

Spotting the best candidates was the task of our award jury, which met at<br />

Koelnmesse on 1 December to select the TOP 10 candidates from the large<br />

number of applications for the Reitsport BRANCHE Retailer Award <strong>2023</strong><br />

powered by spoga horse. We are going to tell you which shops managed to<br />

secure a spot in the finals (p. 9).<br />

In order to achieve a spot-on result, using the right aids is often a promising<br />

approach. In horse-riding and carriage driving, these aids could be whips and<br />

crops, for example. Read more about this in our Whips and Crops Special<br />

(p. 12).<br />

As the year draws to a close, we wish you a peaceful holiday season and<br />

a happy, healthy new year.<br />

“<br />

On that note,<br />

With kindest regards,<br />

Michael Meenen<br />

In order to shine in<br />

the sign of love on Valentine's<br />

Day, HKM offers the<br />

perfect outfit for the great love of all riders<br />

with the Sweet Valentine collection.<br />

From the head collar, which is padded<br />

with teddy fur at the neck and noseband,<br />

to the softly lined saddle cloth, all<br />

products are in a strong pink colour and<br />

decorated with silver hearts and loving<br />

details. So the horse is definitely being<br />

thought of on Valentine's Day.<br />

Speaking of pink: HKM has dispensed<br />

with playful details in the<br />

Berry collection, but the<br />

collection still lives up<br />

to its name with the<br />

dominance of a<br />

dark berry colour.<br />

Rhinestones, glitter<br />

details, elaborate<br />

quilting and cords<br />

give it a particularly<br />

elegant look. The elastic<br />

functional shirt Berry Lace even<br />

features precious lace and<br />

sparkling buttons and<br />

thus has the potential to<br />

become the new favourite<br />

piece, not only, but<br />

also in the riding stable.<br />

Would you like more<br />

pink-red? Then take a look at the Mellow<br />

Velvet collection, which features enchanting<br />

velvet fabric, among other<br />

things.<br />

Info: www.hkm-sports.com<br />

Reitsport BRANCHE 3


6 NEWS<br />

Survey: influencers - not widely used · IN TEAM: presenting Jürgen Winkler<br />

(Inropharm) · Service: how to describe your offer in no more than 10 words ·<br />

New book: horse training meets physio · Retailer Award <strong>2023</strong>: jury makes<br />

preliminary decision · news brief and much more ...<br />

10 SPOGA HORSE <strong>2023</strong><br />

The right energy management<br />

12 SPECIAL<br />

Crops and whips – the extended arm<br />

16 PROMOTION<br />

FLECK riding crops & whips: progress through innovation<br />

Foto: Fa. FLECK<br />

18 INTERVIEW<br />

Rudi Maisack (FLECK): we are a full-range supplier for special equipment<br />


Companies at a glance<br />


Intriguing novelties<br />

Front cover: EEBA<br />

Mattes‘ match-making<br />

Athletico<br />

for athletes<br />

To avoid chafing and rubbing, it takes individual solutions created by<br />

E.A. Mattes. In the four different versions of the special saddle girths<br />

by Mattes, incorporated cross straps and spreaders provide for an even<br />

distribution of pressure. This prevents contraction or creasing.<br />

Jetzt Neu: Modell 2020<br />

Verstellmax ®<br />

Vario<br />

Special features and possible uses of<br />

crops and whips (top). Influencers –<br />

not particularly popular with equestrian<br />

retailers<br />

The tapered cut of the girths<br />

provides enough room for the<br />

elbows without compromising<br />

stability. Of course, the anatomy<br />

of the respective horse<br />

also determines the choice of<br />

girth.<br />

The “Athletico” version is especially<br />

suitable for horses with an athletic, strongly wedge-shaped physique.<br />

The special cut of the girth prevents the saddle and girth from slipping<br />

backwards in almost all cases.<br />

www.e-a-mattes.com<br />

Ein Gerät. Alles dran.<br />

Art.Nr. 90004<br />

Vario<br />

Everything for<br />

leather workmanship<br />

4 Reitsport BRANCHE

NEWS<br />

1+1+1=4<br />

Ralf ’s Retailing<br />

Reflections<br />



Discussing topical issues, recalling the<br />

nearly forgotten ones, providing new<br />

stimuli – this is what our column “Ralf’s<br />

Retailing Reflections” is all about. This<br />

issue’s topic: negative thinking and true<br />

optimism.<br />

“A person's only real enemies<br />

are his own negative<br />

thoughts.”<br />

This is a quote by Albert<br />

Einstein. And there<br />

is a lot of truth in it. Unfortunately,<br />

it is very difficult<br />

at the moment not to<br />

get stuck in negative circles of<br />

thought. Our media overload us with negative news, catastrophes,<br />

but also a lot of negative speculation.<br />

Speculation instead of facts<br />

Instead of reporting facts, as is to be expected from the<br />

media, a constant disaster scenario is currently being reeled<br />

off: “What if the power fails...? Is there going to be a<br />

recession?” One could just as well play out these scenarios<br />

the other way round. And that would encourage people<br />

more than is currently the case. We all have enough on<br />

our plates dealing with reality, we do not need to be confronted<br />

with pessimism on top of it.<br />

Recharge your batteries<br />

We should banish moaners,<br />

scaremongers and hypochondriacs<br />

from our<br />

sphere of influence and<br />

only consume news in<br />

measured doses. Christmas<br />

is a time for reflection<br />

and family. Good friends,<br />

delicious food and<br />

some rest is good for all of us<br />

and will let us head into <strong>2023</strong> with<br />

new str<strong>eng</strong>th.<br />

Therefore, let us rather look at Friedrich Schiller for inspiration:<br />

“True optimists are not convinced that everything will<br />

work out. But they are convinced that not everything will<br />

go wrong.”<br />

Ralf Mönke, Reitsport Frölich<br />



Ioften get the feeling that entrepreneurs don't really understand<br />

their own product or offer. You have to be able to explain briefly<br />

and precisely what problem your offer solves – 10 words are actually<br />

enough to do this,” says sales psychology expert Julius Kemnitzer.<br />

that offers specific advantages to the individual person. Examples<br />

of meaningful phrases could be: “How you as target group X can<br />

solve problem Y”, or “We help target group X to solve problem<br />

Y”.<br />

1. Explain your offer from the perspective of the target group<br />

Before trying to describe your offer or product in a nutshell,<br />

you first need to know the wishes, problems and ambitions of<br />

your target group. Examples of successful phrasings could be:<br />

“Losing Weight in Eight Weeks for Entrepreneurs and Managing<br />

Directors” or “More Applicants for Medium-Sized Companies<br />

Without the Need for Job Portals”.<br />

2. Provide a clear solution to the problem<br />

Each target group has their own problems. Accordingly, it is<br />

important to provide a clear solution for the different motives<br />

3. Obtain an external neutral opinion<br />

Often it is not so easy to work out the advantages and the<br />

problem solution a product or service offers. This is mainly due<br />

to the fact that as an entrepreneur you are usually very deeply involved<br />

in the topic – and accordingly sometimes have difficulties<br />

seeing the wood for the trees. In such cases it can help to ask<br />

someone from outside the business (...) who has not yet dealt<br />

intensively with the product for a neutral opinion.<br />

Further information:<br />

https://www.juliuskemnitzer.de/<br />

6 Reitsport BRANCHE

Jürgen Winkler, Inropharm<br />

vet. Pharm. Produkte<br />

GmbH & Co. KG<br />

Personal data<br />

Name: Jürgen Winkler<br />

Age: 51 years<br />

Marital status: unmarried,<br />

long-term partner<br />

Favourite rider: is completely<br />

unknown to me<br />

Greatest str<strong>eng</strong>th: cheerful and<br />

motivated<br />

Greatest weakness: coffee, cakes<br />

and Radio BOB<br />

„IN“: classic cars<br />

„OUT“: electric vehicles<br />

in<br />

-TEAM<br />

Motto for life: make “something“<br />

out of “nothing“<br />

Professional life::<br />

Responsibilities:mixing plant supervisor<br />

Company Entry:April 2022<br />

Qualifications: capable of anything<br />

Sense of horses a living organism with<br />

4 legs; very big and always in the way<br />

Personal tip: always stay positive<br />

e-mail: info@inropharm.de<br />

Telefon: 0049 (0)8502 1025<br />


We will be pleased to present<br />

your employees in this section as<br />

well. Contact:<br />

info@meenen-presseservice.de<br />

Spoga spotlights<br />

Florian Ruff,<br />

owner of<br />

Keralit and<br />

hoof<br />

specialist.<br />

Talking to ...≤<br />

Hello Mr Ruff, after a break of several<br />

years, Keralit will be exhibiting again<br />

at spoga horse <strong>2023</strong>. Why is that?<br />

Florian Ruff: In the past two years, demand<br />

for our products has increased significantly,<br />

and from outside Europe as<br />

well. Spoga horse <strong>2023</strong> gives us an opportunity<br />

to offer Keralit products to customers<br />

abroad. Doing this necessarily involves<br />

personal contacts, conversations and<br />

precise explanations. And that can only be<br />

done effectively at an event like spoga.<br />

NEW BOOK:<br />


Finding the right training for a horse is<br />

a chall<strong>eng</strong>e for many horse owners, riders<br />

and trainers, regardless of whether<br />

they want to break a young horse, resume<br />

training after a break, give the best possible<br />

support to a schooled and healthy riding<br />

horse or keep a retired horse fit for as<br />

long as possible. FNverlag author Silke<br />

Kaupp approaches the issue from two perspectives:<br />

as a qualified trainer (Pferdewirt)<br />

for “classical riding” and an equine<br />

physiotherapist. In her book “Pferdetraining<br />

trifft Physio” (Horse Training Meets<br />

Physio, available in German only), she<br />

shows that supple movement, efficient<br />

muscles and an ideal training condition<br />

are vital for keeping the horse healthy and<br />

helping it progress in its training. The German<br />

book costs 25 euros and is available<br />

in bookshops, equestrian retail stores and<br />

directly from the publisher<br />

FNverlag in Warendorf,<br />

telephone 0049 (0)2581/6362-154 or -254,<br />

email<br />

vertrieb-fnverlag@fn-dokr.de<br />

or www.fnverlag.de.<br />

We now offer all products with instructions<br />

for use and multilingual labels<br />

in many different languages. Further languages<br />

can then be found via the QR code<br />

on the label.<br />

What do you hope to achieve at the<br />

fair?<br />

Florian Ruff: We hope to establish new<br />

contacts to the foreign equestrian trade as<br />

well as farrier and veterinary suppliers<br />

and, of course, to refresh our existing<br />

contacts. Even in Germany, not all of the<br />

newer products are sufficiently well known.<br />

That is why we also offer practical<br />

training to the equestrian trade on site.<br />

These trainings are very well received.<br />

Apart from the classics, will you present<br />

any new products at spoga horse?<br />

Florian Ruff: Our company philosophy<br />

remains to develop and manufacture<br />

only products that really serve to protect<br />

and restore skin and hoof health and function.<br />

By now, we have successfully launched<br />

the Hufbad-Vet (more info on p. 23),<br />

which was announced in spring 2022.<br />

Sie wollen die individuellste aller Stalltafeln vertreiben?<br />

Kontakt: mralron@web.de<br />

Fa. Keralit auf der spoga: Halle 8.1,<br />

Stand B 50<br />

Reitsport BRANCHE 7

NEWS<br />

+++ NEWS BRIEFS +++<br />


Show jumping, which will be<br />

dropped as a discipline from the<br />

Olympic Pentathlon after<br />

the Paris 2024<br />

Olympics following<br />

the Tokyo<br />

2021 disaster, now<br />

has a successor discipline.<br />

Instead of getting<br />

into the saddle, athletes will<br />

have to tackle an obstacle course<br />

themselves – some ninja warriors<br />

in the making.<br />


The World Equestrian Federation<br />

FEI is extending its sanctions<br />

against the warring parties Russia<br />

and Belarus into <strong>2023</strong>. This means<br />

that all international equestrian<br />

competitions of both countries<br />

are removed from the FEI calendar.<br />

Furthermore, all riders, officials<br />

and horses from both countries<br />

are banned from international<br />

competition.<br />


To standing ovations from riders,<br />

drivers and vaulters, Dr<br />

Manfred Giensch was awarded<br />

the German Riders' Cross in Gold<br />

at the traditional Champions'<br />

Ball of the German<br />

Olympic Committee<br />

for Equestrian<br />

Sport (DOKR).<br />

From 2006 until the<br />

2022 World Championships,<br />

the Hamburg-based team<br />

doctor accompanied the German<br />

equestrian athletes to Olympic<br />

Games, World and European<br />

Championships.<br />

RURAL<br />

The Global Champions Tour,<br />

which is usually found at glamour<br />

locations such as Paris, Monaco<br />

or New York, will make a stop in<br />

in the tranquil town of Riesenbeck,<br />

Germany, in <strong>2023</strong> (21-23<br />

July). The previous German location<br />

in Hamburg had not been<br />

able to agree on a further cooperation<br />

with the tour organiser.<br />

The Riesenbeck International<br />

Equestrian Centre is run by Ludger<br />

Beerbaum and partners.<br />


MEDALS<br />

Dieter Kröhnert (Ellerhoop),<br />

who turned the horse shoes of the<br />

squad riders into medals for many<br />

years, was awarded the German<br />

Riders' Cross in Silver by the German<br />

Equestrian Federation. For<br />

more than 30 years, the wellknown<br />

farrier<br />

made sure<br />

that the<br />

German<br />

horses were<br />

perfectly<br />

shod at the Olympic<br />

Games, World and European<br />

Championships.<br />


Hamburg Messe und Congress<br />

will discontinue the Hanse-<br />

Pferd Hamburg exhibiton and<br />

fair. According to the management,<br />

this was due to a sharp rise<br />

in costs, especially in the areas of<br />

infrastructure and personnel,<br />

which made it impossible to run<br />

the equestrian fair profitably in<br />

the future. HansePferd Hamburg<br />

was held every two years; a total of<br />

17 times between 1987 and 2018.<br />

In 2020 and 2022, it had to be cancelled<br />

due to Covid19.<br />


According to preliminary calculations<br />

by the Federal Statistical<br />

Office (Destatis), the number of<br />

people in employment in Germany<br />

reached a new historic high<br />

in the 3rd quarter of 2022: the previous<br />

peak (Q4 2019) of also 45.6<br />

million was exceeded by 82,000<br />

persons or 0.2% in the 3rd quarter<br />

of 2022.<br />

ReitsportBRANCHE SURVEY<br />

Every month, Reitsport<br />

BRANCHE exclusively<br />

interviews 100 equestrian<br />

retailers in Germany.<br />



“Influencers” make an almost daily appearance in the<br />

media. In July 2022, the spoga horse therefore invited influencers<br />

to take part in the “Creator Days” to turn the<br />

spotlight on this target group.<br />

As a follow-up, this month’s survey pursued the question<br />

of whether our equestrian retailers work with influencers<br />

and, if so, what kind of influencers. Not surprisingly<br />

for our editorial staff, the result is as follows: only 9 % of<br />

all equestrian retailers surveyed work with professional<br />

equestrian influencers. Even so, 24 per cent use the channels<br />

of non-professional “influencers” who raise awareness<br />

of the equestrian retail business via their social media channels<br />

and promote the shop’s campaigns and products.<br />

On the other hand, two thirds of our equestrian retailers<br />

say they do not use influencers at all.<br />

<strong>RB</strong>-Survey Janine Reichert<br />

9,1 % Yes, we work with professional equestrian influencers<br />

66,7 % No, not at all<br />

24,2 % Yes, but with people who do not do this professionally but promote our<br />

business and products via their social media channels<br />

Question: In your equestrian retail business, do you co-operate with so-called influencers?<br />

8 Reitsport BRANCHE

REITSPORT BRANCHE RETAILER AWARD <strong>2023</strong><br />


After weeks of on-site research at numerous equestrian retail<br />

stores, the jury held their decisive meeting at the premises of<br />

the spoga horse organiser, koelnmesse, on 1 December. The prominent<br />

and competent award jury had the task of filtering out the<br />

candidates who will be honoured during the festive award ceremony<br />

on the spoga horse Stage on 5 February <strong>2023</strong>. The assessment<br />

was made based on criteria such as range, quality of advice, presentation,<br />

POS campaigns, marketing, sustainability or hybrid sales.<br />

The following specialist shops (in alphabetical order) have been nominated<br />

and may hope for the title of “Best Retailer Germany <strong>2023</strong>”:<br />

EquiPassion (Nuthetal, Potsdam/Brandenburg), Helle Kleven<br />

Shop (Hergolding/Bavaria), Hofmeister Pferdesport (Gevelsberg/North<br />

Rhine-Westphalia), Pferdesport Silberhorn (Burgl<strong>eng</strong>enfeld/Bavaria),<br />

Reitsport Dohm (Tensfeld/Schleswig-Holstein),<br />

Reitsport Manski (Güstrow/Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania),<br />

Reitsport Schuldt (Schenefeld/Schleswig-Holstein), Traumpferd<br />

(Lingen/Lower Saxony), Reitsport Wahl (Dietmannsried/Bavaria)<br />

and Zum Hufnagel (Gütersloh/North Rhine-Westphalia).<br />

The eagerly awaited decision as to which international equestrian<br />

retail stores will be honoured at the <strong>2023</strong> edition of the Retailer<br />

Award Europe powered by spoga horse will be communicated at a<br />

later date.<br />

Award-Jury (v.l.n.r.): Frank Hölscher (BSI Vorstand), Stefan Schwanbeck (1. Vorsitzender EEBA /European Equestrian Business Association<br />

e. V.), Georg Ettwig (Deutsche Reiterliche Vereinigung, Leiter Abteilung Marketing und Kommunikation), Beate Schwerte (GF P8 Beratungs GmbH)<br />

Karl-Heinz Turner (GF Ladenbau Turner), Dr. Maria Näther (director spoga horse), Jessica Kaup (Reitsport BRANCHE/ Projektleitung Retailer<br />

Award), Michael Meenen (Reitsport BRANCHE/Herausgeber), Sebastian Reichert (Reitsport BRANCHE/Leitung Büro Leipzig/ Fachhandel Europa)<br />

The international jury of six experts judging the spoga horse TOP<br />

INNOVATIONS <strong>2023</strong> has been selected. The products submitted<br />

for evaluation will be assessed by an independent and interdisciplinary<br />

team from the retail, influencer and professional<br />

sectors. These are the members of the jury:<br />

Lisa Röckener (Germany)<br />

Job title: influencer, teacher, equestrian trainer. Lisa<br />

Röckener: “As a junior rider, I was part of the eventing<br />

squad and, after a fall, I started to incorporate horsemanship<br />

into my daily work. Having written two books<br />

about this I get the chance to present my work at various<br />

galas, shows and also in front of the TV camera.”<br />

Harisson Ashton (Great Britain)<br />

Job title: dressage rider, businessman, creator.<br />

Harisson Ashton also sells sport horses, has hosted<br />

several television shows and the “Evening With”<br />

tour with Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin. He<br />

is the new face of Tommy Hilfiger Equestrian.<br />



Nils Dehner (Germany)<br />

Job title: Managing Director Pferdesporthaus<br />

Loesdau GmbH & Co. KG. Nils Dehner: “I have been<br />

dedicated to equestrian sports from when I was a<br />

child, and, for many years now, my love and passion for horses has<br />

played an important role for my job at Pferdesporthaus Loesdau.<br />

Wilken Treu (Germany)<br />

Job title: Managing Director Hanoverian Breeding<br />

Association. Wilken Treu (40) is a horse, sports<br />

and breeding enthusiast. In active riding, his focus is<br />

on dressage, although, due to his two children, he is<br />

currently more involved in lead rein showing.<br />

Danielle Goldstein Waldman (Israel/United<br />

States)<br />

Job title: former Olympian, entrepreneur. Danielle:<br />

“After a 30-year career as a professional<br />

show jumper, I recently retired from top-level<br />

sport to focus on mentoring young professionals.”<br />

Alice Faggin (Italy)<br />

Job title: owner and manager of the Selleria<br />

Faggin saddlery. What makes innovations special<br />

for you? “For me, innovations are significant when<br />

they strike the right balance between technological<br />

progress and the well-being of horse and rider,<br />

but I also pay attention to environmental and social<br />

sustainability.”<br />

Reitsport BRANCHE 9




Energy costs are rising dramatically. There is no end in sight.<br />

Read here how you can save energy, reduce costs for electricity, gas and water and conserve<br />

resources. Excerpt from a blog article. Source: www.spogahorse.de<br />

Whether on the horse farm, in the<br />

equestrian sports shop or in the<br />

equestrian sports industry in general - a<br />

lot of energy is needed everywhere. This<br />

is especially true now, for the dark, cold<br />

season. Stables, halls or business premises<br />

have to be lit and rooms heated almost<br />

around the clock. An expensive business.<br />

That is why it is enormously important to<br />

check and make full use of energy-saving<br />

opportunities. Whether it is old light<br />

bulbs, machines or small appliances from<br />

yesteryear or the "old-timer" vehicle fleet<br />

- get rid of energy guzzlers and make your<br />

business fit for an economical, cost-effective<br />

and sustainable future.<br />

Energy saving made easy<br />

Even with small improvements, you<br />

can save so much energy that it will have<br />

a positive effect on your wallet. These include,<br />

among others: Replacing light<br />

bulbs, using motion detectors and timers,<br />

or economy control of large lighting segments<br />

such as the indoor riding arena<br />

lighting. In the case of heating systems,<br />

even regular maintenance or the retrofitting<br />

of an automatic heat control system<br />

can help to reduce electricity costs. In the<br />

case of outdated models, on the other<br />

hand, a complete replacement of the radiators<br />

is advisable, because the investment<br />

pays off after only a few years due<br />

to the lower consumption. The insulation<br />

of heated rooms as well as the insulation<br />

of, for example, feeding basin supply<br />

lines also saves heating energy.<br />

Finding<br />

energy traps<br />

In addition, even mini-screws should<br />

be turned: In addition to lighting and air<br />

conditioning, electrical appliances such<br />

as computers, printers or the telephone<br />

system consume energy. It is also worthwhile<br />

to check appliances that are less<br />

noticed in everyday business but also<br />

contribute to electricity consumption:<br />

refrigerators or the ever-popular automatic<br />

coffee machines can prove to be additional<br />

cost drivers. Here, you should invest<br />

in energy-saving models, and everything<br />

should only be in operation and<br />

connected to the power supply when it is<br />

really needed.<br />

Last but not least, check water taps and<br />

hoses: repair leaks as well as dripping caps<br />

and use gun attachments so that the precious<br />

commodity is not wasted.<br />

Let there be light<br />

Compared to conventional light bulbs<br />

or halogen lamps, modern LED lighting<br />

can save up to 50 percent of electricity.<br />

Besides investing in a modern lighting<br />

concept consisting of LED or eco-halogen<br />

lamps, motion detectors, for example,<br />

can be quickly installed in little-used<br />

storage areas.<br />

Given the obvious advantages of LED<br />

lighting, a conversion is worthwhile and<br />

also pays off financially within a very<br />

short time: to ensure that this does not<br />

become too expensive for the individual<br />

company, many energy service providers<br />

offer flexible financing models for businesses<br />

that want to convert their lighting.<br />

In addition, such measures are usually<br />

supported with subsidies. It's worth<br />

doing some research here!<br />

Water march<br />

It doesn't always have to be tap water!<br />

Whether stored rainwater, spring water<br />

or water from your own well, there are<br />

many alternatives that can be used to care<br />

for animals, for cleaning purposes or for<br />

irrigation, among other things. Here, too,<br />

it is important to first seek professional<br />

advice in order to determine the exact<br />

composition as well as the quality of the<br />

water and to derive measures from this -<br />

such as certain treatment tools that need<br />

to be used.<br />

You can find more information about<br />

alternative energies, switching energy<br />

suppliers and expert advice on energy<br />

management on the spoga blog.<br />

www.spogahorse.de<br />

10 Reitsport BRANCHE


Foto: Fa. FLECK<br />

Whips & crops<br />

Foto: Fa. FLECK<br />

The extended arm<br />

A crop or whip can be helpful to support the rider’s calf when riding or as an extended arm<br />

for in-hand work. It also serves as a visual signal to the horse, allowing for finer aids and clearer<br />

communication. For lunging or driving, special whips are used. What types of crop and whip are<br />

there, what materials are they made of and what needs to be considered when using them?<br />

Basically, crops and whips are thin and flexible sticks that<br />

used to be made of wood such as hazelnut or willow. Nowadays,<br />

they are mainly made of fibreglass or/and ultralight<br />

carbon. At the upper end there is a grip that merges into a<br />

stick of varying l<strong>eng</strong>th. Depending on the discipline, the end of<br />

the crop/whip is formed as a short thong made of fabric, plastic<br />

or leather. Driving and lunging whips have long leather or synthetic<br />

thongs. The grips and sticks are either covered with nylon<br />

or leather. Crops that are covered with fabric may be additionally<br />

lacquered to prevent rubbing against the breeches. There are<br />

also variants with a gel knob for a comfortable and fatigue-free<br />

grip. To prevent crops from slipping out of the hand, some models<br />

have a loop, which is placed around the wrist. Driving or lunging<br />

whips have particularly long sticks. They can consist of two<br />

12 Reitsport BRANCHE

parts that can be stuck together or of several segments that are telescoped<br />

in a similar way to a radio antenna. Such poles are easy<br />

to transport and mainly used in groundwork.<br />


Dressage whips<br />

The l<strong>eng</strong>th of the whip depends on the intended use. In dressage,<br />

whips with a l<strong>eng</strong>th of 110 to 130 cm are used. The maximum<br />

l<strong>eng</strong>th allowed for dressage whips at German competitions<br />

is 120 cm including the thong. The dressage whip is always carried<br />

on the side on which it is used, i.e. it always points to the inside<br />

of the riding arena. If the rider wants to change it to the other<br />

hand, both reins are taken in the hand holding the whip. Now,<br />

the whip is slowly pulled upwards with the hand that is going to<br />

hold it. A dressage whip is not grasped at the upper end but rather<br />

near its centre of gravity. It points diagonally downwards over<br />

the rider's thigh. When used, the lower end of the dressage whip<br />

only just touches the horse close to the rider's lower leg. If the horse<br />

is touched at the exact moment it lifts the leg, a forward driving<br />

aid is achieved. Short impulses with the whip prevent the effect of<br />

the rider’s leg to wear off over time. Ineffective squeezing and flapping<br />

of the calves can be avoided when a crop or whip is used. On<br />

curved lines or in lateral movements, the crop/whip has a supporting<br />

effect. Placed behind the rider’s outer leg, the whip will<br />

prevent the horse from swerving its hindquarters to the outside.<br />

A whip placed on the outer shoulder of the horse will prevent it<br />

from falling over the shoulder. Dressage whips can also be used<br />

on the croup to increase flexion in the haunches and, in classic<br />

equitation, to support the Spanish walk. In principle, the well-dosed<br />

use of the whip/crop requires a lot of sensitivity on the part of<br />

the rider so that the horse does not become numb to this kind of<br />

aid. Whip aids should be accepted by horses with respect but entirely<br />

without fear. Correct whip aids work according to learning<br />

theory with positive reinforcement as a signalling effect. The horse<br />

is only lightly touched. At the slightest reaction in the right direction,<br />

the rider stops using the whip/crop and the horse is praised.<br />

If, on the other hand, the crop/whip is used to build up pressure<br />

by increasing the intensity of the touch, the aid acts as negative<br />

reinforcement, i.e. punishment. However, a crop/whip must<br />

never be used in a punitive way. The German Equestrian Federation,<br />

for example, rejects punitive aids: “Any reaction in the sense<br />

of a 'punishment' according to human understanding is to be<br />

clearly rejected, because one cannot assume that a horse can think<br />

abstractly like a human being”, it says in the guidelines for riding<br />

and driving on the topic of “The relationship between horse and<br />

rider”.<br />


For show jumping, either short jumping bats with a wide leather<br />

flap at the end or short jumping crops from about 50 cm of<br />

l<strong>eng</strong>th are used to touch the horse’s shoulder for animation before<br />

the jump. At show jumping competitions in Germany, crops<br />

with a maximum l<strong>eng</strong>th of 75 cm incl. thong are permitted. Jumping<br />

crops in particular are unfortunately often misused for socalled<br />

correction. However, punishing a horse with a strong lash<br />

after it has refused a jump is just as ineffective as thus forcing it<br />

over the jump on account of its flight instinct. This will rather lead<br />

to the horse associating jumping with<br />

negative experiences, which means<br />

it will perform even worse<br />

in the future. This is confirmed<br />

by a study that analysed<br />

the use of crops by<br />

amateur as well as professional<br />

show jumpers<br />

at British show-jumping<br />

competitions from August<br />

2018 to January<br />

2019. For this purpose, 285<br />

horse-rider pairs were recorded<br />

over jumps at a height of<br />

Jumping crops<br />

0.8 to 1.25 metres and statistically<br />

evaluated as to whether a crop was used<br />

and, if so, how often, with what intensity and whether the use had<br />

a positive effect on performance or not. The result showed that 76<br />

per cent of the riders had a crop with them during the class, but<br />

only 14 per cent actually used it. With frequent use of the crop, the<br />

horse's performance decreased significantly (more fences down).<br />

This was most extreme with those riders who used the crop with<br />

great force.<br />


These crops are traditionally used in horse racing. Like the<br />

jumping bat, they consist of a short handle and body with a flap<br />

as a thong, which is supposed to make impact less painful, but<br />

quite loud. Whips have been used for horse racing for centuries,<br />

especially on the home stretch. It is argued that hitting the horses<br />

with the whip only makes them more attentive and motivates<br />

them to run faster and that they hardly feel any pain because of<br />

their supposedly “thicker” skin. A British survey among 3463 riders<br />

actually found that only 30 per cent of the participants believed<br />

that a whip can cause pain at all to the horse. Animal rights<br />

activists have long been suspicious of this line of argument. In<br />

2012, as part of a European initiative, numerous organisations<br />

called for a general ban on whips at horse races, as has been in place<br />

in Norway since 1982, for example. Despite some restrictions<br />

on the use of whips, there has not yet been a European or worldwide<br />

ban.<br />

Reitsport BRANCHE 13


In 2015, the Australian TV science magazine Catalyst wanted<br />

to know whether racehorses really feel hardly any pain from the<br />

use of the crop and commissioned pathologist Dr Lydia Tong to<br />

investigate what differences there are between human and horse<br />

skin in terms of their anatomical structure and pain sensation. For<br />

this purpose, she analysed in the laboratory a piece of skin from<br />

the flank of a horse (where the whip is usually applied) and one<br />

from the corresponding part of the body of a human. Result: horse<br />

skin is only 0.8 mm thicker than human skin. The main difference<br />

is in the deep collagen layer, which lies below the superficial<br />

pain-sensing fibres. “The horse's skin, the top layer of the skin<br />

where the pain receptors are located, is actually thinner than the<br />

human epidermis,” Tong said. This meant that, in the horse, there<br />

are fewer skin cells between a pain trigger such as a whip and<br />

the sensitive nerve endings. “In view of this, one could conclude<br />

that when the horse is exposed to a pain stimulus, it is more thinskinned.”<br />

By means of a special staining technique, the veterinarian<br />

was also able to prove that horses have considerably more<br />

sensory nerve endings in their skin tissue, especially in the epidermis,<br />

where the primary pain sensation is triggered.<br />

“Our small pilot study showed that the horse's skin has no padding<br />

whatsoever, as is often assumed of larger animals. Particularly<br />

revealing is the finding that the skin in the area where a riding<br />

crop is used may even have a greater sense of pain than ours,”<br />

Tong sums up.<br />

metres long. The thong of four to five metres included, the whip<br />

reaches up to eight metres in l<strong>eng</strong>th to always be able to reach<br />

the horse when lunging. Together with the voice, the lunge whip<br />

is a forward driving aid. To achieve this effect, the horse does<br />

not necessarily have to be touched with the thong. Rather, the<br />

whip should be used in as measured a manner as possible by casting<br />

the thong behind the horse without touching it with it. For<br />

example, if the horse is meant to trot, the whip is lowered from<br />

the neutral position behind the horse as a prompt and returned<br />

to the neutral position after the change of gait. If the horse knows<br />

this signal, there is no need to actually use the whip thong.<br />

Lowering the whip is sufficient for driving the horse forward. To<br />

slow the horse down, the whip is lowered parallel to the lunge<br />

so that the horse does not push into the circle.<br />


For driving, whips with a stick l<strong>eng</strong>th of 150 to 180 cm and a<br />

thong of 20 to 30 cm are used, and the stick should be stiff and<br />

straight.<br />

Driving whips<br />


For in-hand work, a long, soft touchier whip can be used. It<br />

acts as an extended arm and supports the lead work by tapping<br />

different areas of the body. A touchier whip can be used as a driving<br />

and a restraining aid for turns or lateral movements, to keep<br />

the horse at a distance or to halt it. At the Spanish Riding School<br />

in Vienna, birch whips are traditionally used for the piaffe and<br />

school jumps in hand. They are between 170 and 190 cm long,<br />

not too heavy and very elastic at the end. Every rider at the<br />

Touchier whip<br />

School cuts their own whips from straight trunks of a six- to<br />

eight-year-old birch tree in January. The branches are cut off<br />

and the trunk is repeatedly split to obtain the whips. For better<br />

durability, the birch whips are placed in water for one day before<br />

use.<br />

Whips are also part of the equipment for lunging. The twopiece<br />

or telescopic stick of the whip is between two and three<br />

Driving whips are available in two designs: the drop lash whip<br />

is used with full collar harnesses. With this whip, the transition<br />

between stick and thong is arched. The driving whip is used with<br />

breast collar harnesses, and in this case the thong is attached to<br />

the stick with an eyelet. While driving, the driver always holds the<br />

whip in his or her hand. In order to not upset the horse(s), unnecessary<br />

waving or cracking of the whip should be avoided. Whip<br />

aids should always be inaudible and may only be given from the<br />

free hand. With a driving whip, forward driving or collecting aids<br />

can be applied to change or maintain gaits and tempi. The effect<br />

of the whip aid depends on the manner of holding the reins. When<br />

the rein is shortened, the whip has a collecting effect, when the<br />

rein is yielded, the effect is forward-driving.<br />

Text and Photos: Birgit van Damsen<br />

14 Reitsport BRANCHE


16 Reitsport BRANCHE




The FLECK family business, based in Schwarzach in the Odenwald region, is the market leader for whips<br />

and crops. The company’s origins date back to the year 1870. Reitsport BRANCHE<br />

spoke to Rudi Maisack, owner and managing director.<br />

When cheap imports from Taiwan flooded the market in the<br />

60s, your company had to go with the flow. What is the situation<br />

like today?<br />

Rudi Maisack: That was the right decision at the time. It was<br />

only by adding cheaper import goods to our portfolio that we managed<br />

to leave these difficult times behind us. Unlike our competitors,<br />

however, we continued to focus on our<br />

know-how and many innovations and consistently<br />

stuck to our very own products<br />

– riding and driving whips made in<br />

Germany. That is why today we can<br />

offer a complete portfolio, ranging<br />

from the simple riding school whip for<br />

six euros through to the exclusive driving<br />

whip for 500 euros and more.<br />

Which and how many of your products<br />

are manufactured in Germany?<br />

Rudi Maisack: In short: riding and driving whips for mass and<br />

competition sport. Meanwhile, approximately 20 % are imported,<br />

always in accordance with our stringent requirements and under<br />

constant on-site quality controls. At least 80 % of all products, which<br />

are divided into the price categories economy, professional and premium,<br />

are manufactured in Schwarzach.<br />

Is wood as a natural material still an option?<br />

Rudi Maisack: In fact, despite all the high-tech materials such as<br />

glass and carbon fibre composites, wood has not been completely<br />

banned from production. Willow wood cut to natural (thorny) whips<br />

and particularly the driving whips made from real firethorn in the<br />

upper price segment are much in demand among carriage drivers<br />

and can cost up to 500 euros and more. From an economic point of<br />

view, however, these absolute premium products are not the “saviour”,<br />

due to their low unit numbers. We make them because we<br />

still know how to do it, because we want to preserve this old manufacturing<br />

tradition and because a certain clientele wishes us to do so.<br />

How are the whips produced, is this a mechanical, automated<br />

process?<br />

Rudi Maisack: That is what most people think. But although fibreglass<br />

and carbon have revolutionised production, the proportion of<br />

manual work is still surprisingly high, accounting for 80 per cent. Even<br />

the most basic whip variety requires at least five working steps, the premium<br />

products easily require 15 to 20. Applying the tip of the whip,<br />

the winding and braiding, the varnishing of the stick and applying of<br />

the grip, all these steps need to be done individually and manually. In<br />

the in-house braiding department, whips and crops are mechanically<br />

braided with coloured nylon threads by modern braiding machines.<br />

But if the traditional white cotton thread is used for quality products,<br />

the whips will need to be coloured individually and by hand before<br />

they are coated with a protective lacquer.Schutzlack versehen werden.<br />

This sounds very labour-intensive.<br />

How many employees<br />

does your company have?<br />

Rudi Maisack: Today,<br />

FLECK employs a staff of 28 in<br />

production and administration.<br />

Although whip-making is no longer<br />

a recognised occupation requiring formal<br />

training, all employees are trained<br />

professionals with a lot of experience and skill. FLECK is an important<br />

employer in the region and we are very much aware of this special<br />

responsibility. Besides, the know-how developed by FLECK stays<br />

within the company and will not be transferred to other countries.<br />

That way, we are in the best position to keep placing innovations and<br />

trends on the market and to be a pioneer in the truest sense of the<br />

word.<br />

Until now, the workflow has been complicated by the fact that<br />

you have to transport raw materials from the 1st to the 2nd floor<br />

for production and then back again. That is about to change<br />

now ...<br />

Rudi Maisack: ... exactly, we will reintegrate parts of our company<br />

buildings that have been rented out back into the business, thus<br />

optimising our warehousing, logistics and distribution processes, and<br />

go back to producing on two floors as before – back to the roots!<br />

That means, despite the current crises, your business is doing<br />

well?<br />

Rudi Maisack: Times have become more difficult, for sure – but<br />

we are very satisfied, our customers know what they have in us ...<br />

... and that is?<br />

Over the past months and years, we have invested heavily in our<br />

warehousing. Accordingly, we have all the necessary raw materials<br />

in stock, and in abundance. That means that our<br />

ability to deliver is guaranteed. Our customers<br />

appreciate this, particularly in<br />

the current situation. On the other<br />

hand, we always manufacture to<br />

order. This is not only due to the<br />

large range of products, the colour<br />

and l<strong>eng</strong>th varieties, but also because<br />

customers know that FLECK<br />

will meet all their individual needs<br />

and wishes. We will always be able to<br />

deliver, even though delivery times will depend<br />

on the effort required. The bottom line is that, in addition to<br />

the special quality of our products, it is the extreme reliability that<br />

our customers honour.<br />

Mr Maisack, thank you for the interview.<br />

18 Reitsport BRANCHE


Trade directory from A - Z<br />






Fahrsport<br />

Lessing GmbH<br />

D-75446 Wiernsheim<br />

info@mlessing.de<br />

www.mlessing.de<br />

Fahrsportkompetenz seit über 20 Jahren<br />

Redderberg 49<br />

24326 Dersau<br />

Telefon<br />

+49(0)4526-33 99 62<br />

Fax: +49(0)4526-18 82<br />

Mobil: 0171-597 893<br />

heroreitsport@t-online.de<br />

www.heroreitsport.de<br />



Then please send your business card<br />

advert (German and English<br />

version) or your company logo and<br />

some text, indicating the desired<br />

category, in an informal email to:<br />

info@meenen-presseservice.de<br />

20 Reitsport BRANCHE


Trade directory from A - Z<br />





Everything for leather<br />

workmanship<br />

www.kappey.de<br />


Holubovsky<br />

Gerberei und Handel GMBH<br />

Division Horse- Equipment<br />

A-3341 Ybbsitz, Alte Poststrasse 22<br />

Telefon 07443/86384-97<br />

Telefax 07443/86384-8<br />

Email: info@holuhorse.com<br />

www.holuhorse.com<br />

Keller’s genuine<br />


cooked / dried<br />

Heinz Keller<br />

Futterspezialitäten GmbH<br />

www.kellersleinsamen.ch /.de /.at<br />

E.A.Mattes GmbH<br />

Birkenweg 2<br />

D-78570 Mühlheim<br />

an der Donau/Germany<br />

Tel. 07463 99518 0<br />

Fax 07463 99518 20<br />

Email: info@e-a-mattes.com<br />

www.e-a-mattes.com<br />




For a perfect Fit!<br />

Inh. Erhard Marschke<br />

Mobil: 0173-49 80 500<br />

info@hemano-sattel.de<br />

www.hemano-sattel.de<br />

Reitsport BRANCHE 21



Trade directory from A - Z<br />




2,200 print copies (German), 4,500 e-paper copies (English), Ad format: 45 mm<br />

wide x 35 mm high, Price: EUR 29 per month when booked for 1 year<br />

VE<strong>RB</strong>INDUNGEN<br />

You are looking for partners in<br />

south-west France? Have a look<br />

to our horsecluster<br />

SO-Horse-Alliances<br />

Feel free to<br />

contcat us:<br />

Babette SCHILY<br />

b-schily@pau.cci.fr<br />

www.so-horse-alliances.com<br />



Then please send your business card<br />

advert (German and English<br />

version) or your company logo and<br />

some text, indicating the desired<br />

category, in an informal email to:<br />

info@meenen-presseservice.de<br />

Triple placement: print edition, e-paper (in English) plus your desired category on the website, including:<br />

accessories – carriage driving – clothing – farrier equipment – feeding – full-range suppliers – gifts – gloves – health – IT –<br />

lambskin products – pasture management supplies – saddles/saddlery equipment – shop fitting – stable supplies –<br />

tall boots and ankle boots – trade fairs<br />

Publication details<br />

8th volume<br />

Reitsport BRANCHE, the magazine for the equestrian trade industry,<br />

is published monthly. German print edition, German-English e-paper<br />

Publishing house and publisher:<br />

Presseservice Meenen, Michael Meenen, Am Mühlenberg 10,<br />

D-47669 Wachtendonk, www.reitsport-branche.com<br />

Editorial team:<br />

Michael Meenen (editor-in-chief, resp.).<br />

Editorial assistant: Heike Neeten, phone +49 (0)2836-1807,<br />

email: info@meenen-presseservice.de.<br />

Janine Reichert (internet and telephone research),<br />

Lukas Meenen (online research), Marcel Tillmanns.<br />

Leipzig office: Sebastian Reichert (qualified journalist),<br />

email: Sebastian-reichert@gmx.de.<br />

Jorinde Buck, translations, state certified translator/<br />

graduated agricultural <strong>eng</strong>ineer.<br />

Florian Reichert, veterinary surgeon, specialist advisor to the editorial staff,<br />

email: info@reitsport-branche.com<br />

Advertising:<br />

The currently valid advertising list is no. 8/2022..<br />

For download at www.reitsport-branche.com<br />

Media Office Meenen, administrative office: Heike Neeten,<br />

Phone: +49-(0)2836-1807, fax +49 (0)2836-8423<br />

Email: info@meenen-presseservice.de, Internet: www.reitsport-branche.com<br />

Production and layout:<br />

Pferdesport Verlag Ehlers GmbH, Rockwinkeler Landstraße 20, D-28355 Bremen<br />

Phone: +49 (0)421-2575544, www.pferdesportverlag.de<br />

Print: Silber Druck, Lohfelden<br />

The magazine Reitsport BRANCHE is published monthly (12x per year).<br />

The annual subscription costs EURO 89 and can be comfortbly ordered at<br />

www.reitsport-branche.com or via mail/<br />

telephone from the publisher.<br />

22 Reitsport BRANCHE




As it is part of Keralit's philosophy to develop and produce only products<br />

that really serve the protection and restoration of skin and hoof health and<br />

function, anticipation was high for the product Hufbad-Vet, which was announced<br />

in spring 2022, to be finally presented. Hufbad-Vet, a concentrate to be<br />

dissolved in water to create a hoof bath, was originally intended for veterinarians<br />

and farriers only, but is also used by horse<br />

owners due to its easy application.<br />

The product is effective for mild to severe<br />

horn damage, white line disease, seedy toes,<br />

hoof abscesses, laminitis, keratoma, thrush<br />

and any type of horn decomposition, even<br />

when extending into higher wall areas. This<br />

means that there is no need to remove large<br />

areas of load-bearing wall horn.<br />

Info: www.keralit.de<br />

w e s t i p ...<br />

For all things elastic<br />

NEW:<br />



The HKM Ultralight telescopic lunge whip with a l<strong>eng</strong>th of 2 m and a<br />

lay l<strong>eng</strong>th of 2.10 m is particularly suitable for lunging during winter<br />

work. Thanks to its light weight and rubberised anti-slip grip, it sits particularly<br />

well in the hand.<br />

Probably the biggest advantage of the lunge whip is the telescopic function.<br />

It can be easily pushed together and thus allows for space-saving<br />

storage in the saddle cupboard or locker. Art. Nr.: 12722<br />

Produktlink: https://www.hkm-sports.com/de/teleskop-longierpeitsche-ultralight-2m.html<br />

Info: www.hkm-sports.com<br />

Saddle girths – made of high-quality,<br />

heavy-elastic polyamide strap (10 cm wide)<br />

• in a Western, dressage or eventing design<br />

• elastic or inelastic<br />

• with stainless steel buckles<br />

• l<strong>eng</strong>th according to your wishes<br />

Elastic training bandages<br />

• fastener with perforated tape and patent<br />

button (with Velcro strip on request)<br />

• strong design offering good support,<br />

well-padded<br />

• stretched l<strong>eng</strong>th 4.5 m<br />

Stable bandages - made of wool acrylic<br />

or pure new wool<br />

• fastener with perforated tape and patent<br />

button (with Velcro strip on request)<br />

• warm and protective with excellent<br />

cushioning effect<br />

• 3, 4, 5 and 6 m in l<strong>eng</strong>th<br />

Elastic surcingles - made of high-quality,<br />

elastic polyamide strap (5 or 8 cm wide)<br />

• adjusting slider and safety clasp made of brass<br />

• non-extended l<strong>eng</strong>th 2 m<br />

Lunges – made of soft band material<br />

• elastic or inelastic<br />

• two different ways of buckling<br />

• 7 m in l<strong>eng</strong>th<br />

Elastic and inelastic straps<br />

for manufacturing and saddlery<br />

• sold by the metre<br />

• or cut to l<strong>eng</strong>th by ultrasound<br />

Wilhelm Westip Textil-Elastic-GmbH<br />

Neuenbaumer Weg 90 • D-42111 Wuppertal<br />

Email: westip@t-online.de<br />

Phone +49 (0) 2 02/ 7 70 67 • Fax +49 (0) 2 02/7 70 66<br />

Reitsport BRANCHE 23

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