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"This page is devoted to the education of Horse People everywhere, in the hope that one small thing learnt will improve the life of their horse.

If I 'get up your nose', ignore it. I say things with a 'glint in the eye' and mean the best for you and your horses."



2nd October, 2011




I hope to never make the wrong judgment call again, as I did a few Years ago. My "Scum Bag' Alarm clearly wasn't working and I let in a couple of Women who made our lives and those of their fellow Agistees, less than peaceful and certainly lacking harmony.

We started receiving threats this Week, not only from the Madam that was asked to leave but from a 'blast from the past', the Owner of Chip reared her Head in support and threatened to harm Donner Bella. They stick together indeed.

 BYE F------- WIT...

Toni Stubing.

Well Darlin.....now you know why I moved to Victor :) None of them are fit enough to kick me out as this is "God's Waiting Room" besides, they couldn't catch me for they all drive at 40k in this Town. 50 is speeding hahahahaha.........

The study of the minds of these alternative People is an interesting one indeed as they have now evolved into a Breed of their Own. Over the Years of Drugs, Welfare, Booze and Violence, they have all evolved into a State where they think that any Organization that is Peaceable, involving Nice People who don't fight, abuse and swear, they have to be a Cult, rather than a fragmented Bunch who are all looking over their Shoulders ready for the next Knife in the back. They carry a culture of Violence and it is even evident in the Female of the Species as their first defense when their things don't go as they wish or People complain about their Feral behavior, is to attack and get violent. Hence the Male members of their Species, the Gangs....but lets examine their behavior that leads up to them being kicked out.

The sum total of the rest of the agistees, have been wanting this latest Feral gone off the property because they just cause Daily bad feelings. They always come with a fragmented Life and time schedule that sees their poor Horses be neglected with feeding at ungodly hours of the day and Night, yards not cleaned because of rushing to the next drama, trashing of 3 different Stable Yards because of a lack of pride, upbringing and true care for Horses, a trashing of the most recent Stable, the bringing onto the property Junk, the leaving of wheel barrows piled high with manure, in front of her Yard where it starts to go mouldy and the breaking of every possible Rule of the Property. The patience one must have with them. You can ask and ask and ask, be nice, plead, but they just systematically trash the Property, break every possible Rule as they follow their Rebellious World and the total disrespect of all decency. Bagging Manure (never been done b4 and not allowed) and left in front of her Yard, almost causing a Buck off of 'Her Georgiousness" the other day. Left behind, plus a wheel barrow tipped in the carpar for good measure. Feral Dogs running amok and the list goes on. Add 50 other things. No one else, just her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The threatening letter that I got from the one we kicked out was so bad I can't put it on here. Nathan had to get the Police involved to prevent a breach of the Peace and they strongly warned us to be careful of them. Both Nurses too so beware who's looking after you :)

So happy Camp once more and I hope to never get caught with another one. I promise to wear my "Scum Bag Alert" Radar in the future. If any of my many Friends happen to run into their Website devoted to the destruction of my reputation (which cannot be damaged!!!!!!!!!!!!) let's know. Too late Girls....I've been through the Magnifyer of Life :) Oh, hope you don't wake up any more and find your Man having Sex with another Women, IN YOUR OWN BED ???????????????????? Such is the World of the other side :( Mad Max isn't far away.

  The Lady has put her Lovely Horse out in a Paddock at One Tree Hill. She applied to the other 3 Equestrian Centres in the District and sadly they were all full ..........I don't think so. Perhaps that may cause her to reflect somewhat? Who pays the price? The wonderful Horse





3rd and 4th December at





Christina Urso-Cale (cursocale@westnet.com.au) to register interest.


Go here for details Tickets and Details.




Australian horse owners being surveyed

Australian horse owners are being surveyed to identify issues, topics, barriers and opportunities within the industry, from the grass roots up.

It is part of the Australian Horse Industry Council project, "Horse Industry Engagement on future of the Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC) Horse Program".

Feedback from the survey will help with providing background for a horse industry leaders workshop in Sydney this November as part of the abovementioned project.

The survey, which closes on October 31

if you don't do this, never complain to me again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   GET AFTER THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


It will be interesting to see who their experts are :)

  True to my word, I just went and filled it out. In short, the Australian Horse Industry Council  must be a Bankrupt and totally Useless Organization, which of course is the reason why the Industry is in a Shambles. That has to be THE MOST PATHETIC survey I have ever seen and obviously put together by some Scientific Type who knows nothing about the Industry. Time for that Organization to go along with the RSPCA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This Body has to be some Semi Govt Group. and they have to be "Yes Minister Types"





HAMPTON FALLS — The condition of an Epping woman involved in a horse-drawn carriage accident on Sunday is improving, according to hospital officials.

Joan Perkins, 51, is still being treated at Beth Israel Medical Center in Boston and her condition has improved from critical to "serious." Perkins was flown from Exeter Hospital on Sunday to the Boston medical center for care.

On Sunday afternoon, police had responded to an accident at Applecrest Farm involving two horse-drawn carriages. Police said one of the carriages malfunctioned, resulting in the operators to lose control of the animals. Each carriage had been traveling in the opposite direction.

Perkins suffered critical injuries, and Gregory Dow, 50, of Nottingham, suffered serious injuries. Both were taken to Exeter Hospital, and Perkins was later transported to Boston. Hospital officials have not released the extent of Perkins' injuries.

As of Monday afternoon, Dow had been released from Exeter hospital.

Four other people involved in the accident were treated at Exeter Hospital for minor injuries.

Perkins and her husband, Lloyd Perkins, own the horses used for Applecrest's hayrides and run the Ledgewood Belgian Farms in Epping.



Dr. James C. Dobson, PhD., well-known Christian psychologist, author and radio broadcaster, has been released from a Colorado hospital where he was recovering from injuries received in a horseback-riding accident two weeks ago in Montana. He sustained a serious back injury while competing in a horse event, sustaining fractures to his clavicle and scapula, but is now recovering sufficiently to be able to go home.

Dr. Dobson will soon be resuming his duties --including daily radio-- at Family Talk, the new communications ministry he founded early last year. In the meantime, he expressed his personal appreciation to the Family Talk staff for maintaining a smooth-running organization in his absence. "They have kept the wheels turning, and I am proud of them," Dr. Dobson stated prior to leaving the hospital.

Since his accident and injuries, personal updates from the Dobson family have been posted on the Family Talk website __Press Releases__.

Broadcast co-hosts, LuAnne Crane and Ryan Dobson, alerted Family Talk radio listeners about the Montana incident, and mention was also made on the organization's Facebook site, resulting in an overwhelming outpouring of concern from a great number of friends and constituents. Dr. and Mrs. Dobson have been touched by these many expressions of love, support and prayers. Facebook

More than 30 years ago, Dr. James C. Dobson, Ph.D., founded Focus on the Family. Undertaking a significant "recalibration" of ministry direction, Dr. Dobson began a transition out of leadership at Focus on the Family in 2003, which ultimately led to the conclusion of that long history with Focus as of February 2010. Confident, however, of God's continued call on his life, Dr. Dobson is continuing to speak to families through an exciting new radio and internet-based family ministry launched in early 2010 called Family Talk. This new organization produces a daily 30-minute radio broadcast, Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson. In articulating the objectives for this new endeavor, Dr. Dobson has reiterated: We will be dealing with child-rearing, marriage, a wide variety of family topics, and of course, cultural and political issues. Our country is facing desperate circumstances now, and the family needs all the help it can get. Thus, we are circling back to 1977, when I left [USC] to address the same concerns. The Family Talk broadcast is already heard on over 700 U.S radio stations.

Dr. Dobson began his "family focus" as an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, serving for 17 years on the Attending Staff of Children's Hospital of Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development.

With that platform of credentialed expertise, Dr. Dobson turned to writing; his first volume (Dare to Discipline) becoming a best-seller -- as did those which followed including The Strong-Willed Child; Love Must Be Tough; Life on the Edge; Night Light for Parents and When God Doesn't Make Sense. In April 2010, Bringing Up Girls (a much-anticipated companion to the popular Bringing Up Boys, 2002) was released.



Hampton Falls, NH — Two horse-drawn carriages collided Sunday afternoon, September 25, 2011, leaving six people with injuries at Applecrest Farm Orchards. The carriage accident occurred at 133 Exeter Road (Route 88) at 1:58 p.m., reported the Nashua Telegraph.
According to the New Hampshire State Police, the two horse-drawn carriages were traveling in the opposite direction when “an apparent malfunction occurred.” The operators of the two carriages subsequently lost control of their horses, which led to six people being injured.
Seacoast online reported that Joan Perkins, 51, of Epping suffered critical injuries, and Gregory Dow, 50, of Nottingham suffered serious injuries in the carriage accident. Four others sustained minor injuries and were transported to Exeter Hospital for medical treatment.
Perkins was later transferred via a Dartmouth-Hitchcock medical helicopter to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston for further treatment.
The New Hampshire State Police, Hampton Falls police, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office are investigating the accident.
Those with information about this accident are asked to contact Locke at 223-8490 or e-mail him at matthew.locke@dos.nh.gov.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for New Hampshire personal injury lawyers



Treasure Valley Community College Rodeo Coach Sonny Hansen, 42, died early this morning after sustaining serious head injuries at rodeo practice Tuesday evening. ONTARIO — Treasure Valley Community College officials confirmed this morning, TVCC Rodeo Coach Sonny Hansen, 42, Ontario, died today following an accident at rodeo practice Tuesday evening. Hansen was bucked off a horse, sustaining serious head injuries.

Abby Lee, TVCC public information director, said the accident occurred at the end of rodeo practice at the Malheur County Fairgrounds. She said college administrators were notified about 7 p.m., shortly after the accident happened.

Emergency services responded, and Hansen was transported by Life Flight to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, where he underwent emergency surgery and was put on life support until family members could arrive. He died shortly after midnight this morning. College officials were notified earlier today of Hansen’s death.

“Right now we’re just dealing with shock and sadness, and our thoughts and prayers are with Sonny’s family right now and with the students who witnessed the accident,” Lee said.

Lee said administrators organized a campus support group gathering Wednesday afternoon to allow students and faculty to provide support, and faculty were also notified students may not be in class because they were in Boise. She said this morning the rodeo team will meet in a private gathering this afternoon, and another counseling support group is likely. Lee said at Wednesday’s volleyball game at TVCC, people wore cowboy hats in show of support for Hansen, who loved all Chukar athletics.

Lee said this morning, funeral service details are still pending.

“Right now we’re trying to do what we can on campus to support each other,” Lee said.

Lee said everybody who knew Hansen loved him. She said he was bright, optimistic and happy and did a tremendous amount for TVCC’s rodeo program, including organizing, running and scheduling events for the annual TVCC rodeo.

“We have a rodeo coming up in a couple of weeks, and (students and supporters) are really committed that the rodeo will continue,” Lee said.

The Chukar Rodeo is slated for Oct. 14 though Oct. 16 and will be dedicated to Hansen. The night before the rodeo, a rodeo kick-off barbecue is hosted, and this year’s barbecue will be expanded Lee said to celebrate Hansen’s life and contributions to the rodeo.

Lee said campus administrators are speaking with witnesses trying to determine what led to Hansen’s accident. She said any time there is an accident on campus OSHA conducts an investigation.

Hansen lived in Ontario with his wife, Jackie, twin boys and stepsons. Lee said Hansen’s twin boys are very well-known on campus. Hansen worked at TVCC for 17 years.



A teenage girl was trampled to death by her horse as she prepared it for riding, an inquest has heard.
Elizabeth Colton, 13, of Garsdale, near Sedbergh, Cumbria, was tacking up her mare when the horse bucked as she tried to fit a headcollar, the hearing was told.
The teenager was left hanging from the horse's neck before she slipped beneath the animal and it trod on her.
Elizabeth's mother, Annette Colton, told the inquest she was with her daughter in the family-owned field, where the accident happened last April 29.

Elizabeth Colton, 13, who was trampled to death by her horse as she tried to fit a headcollar
The schoolgirl had fed the horse carrots to distract it before she moved in to fit the headcollar.
Mrs Colton said the horse became startled and bucked foward, leaving her daughter hanging from its neck by its reins.
She added: 'Elizabeth was on the other side of the horse to me. She was hanging round the neck of the horse. I could see Elizabeth's body, her right arm and leg.

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'She fell backwards and slipped under the horse. The horse trod on her.'
Mrs Colton said the horse then bolted and her daughter was left on the ground complaining of being unable to see and feeling dazed.
'I was concerned she might have been concussed. I helped her to the car,' said Mrs Colton.
'By the time we reached home she had become unconscious. I got really worried and phoned 999 straight away.'
Elizabeth was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary by air ambulance, but later died of her injuries on the operating table.

Idyllic setting: Garsdale near Sedburgh, Cumbria, where the schoolgirl grew up, spending much of her time with horses
Pathologist Dr Nicholas Mapstone, who carried out a post-mortem examination, said Elizabeth died from a traumatic liver laceration.
He said there was also damage to the abdominal wall consistent with it being struck by a hoof.
Mrs Colton said she had always told her children never to hold on to the reins if a horse bucks.
'This is not something Elizabeth has ever done before,' she said.
Elizabeth had grown up with horses, said Mrs Colton, and had started riding the family's gelding, rather than the mare, because it was friendlier.
The hearing was told that the mare, which the Coltons had had since before Elizabeth was born, needed a more experienced rider to stop it becoming 'upset'.
PC Shaun Downing investigated the field after the accident and said that, although it was a dry day, there were hoof marks in the soil near to where the headcollar had been left.
Deputy Coroner Shirley Evans recorded a verdict of accidental death last Thursday at Kendal Magistrates.

The communities of Cameron, Buckholts and Rockdale are coming together to help ease the financial burdens facing a family who's tragic accident has turned young boys into heros and united hundreds from around the world in prayer to support one woman on her road to recovery.

Johnny and Della Mekush live just outside of Cameron in Milam County. Johnny is a native of Buckholts and a graduate of Buckholts High School. He is now retired after 41 years with Alcoa in Rockdale. He enjoys spending his days with his wife of 36 years, Della, and running her business of 15 years Della's Dogs.
Della is the daughter of Corky and Maggie Keen and has spent her life around horses. For the past 14 years she has been teaching horseback riding lessons, to anyone who wanted to learn. The majority of her riders are children and her passion and love for children and horses is evident in every lesson she gives.
On Aug. 19, Della began her morning enjoying three of her passions, children, horseback riding and God's world. Two of her favorite students, her great nephews, Heath Hollas, 9, and JW Hollas 6, arrived for a lesson and they all headed out on a trail ride. Heath and JW are the sons of Gery and Theresa Mekush Hollas, of Cameron. This morning seemed no different than many hundreds before, but it was.
While on the trail ride, something spooked Della's horse, causing her to fall, and incur extensive injuries to her head. Although the exact details of the accident are unclear, the actions leading to her rescue are very clear, and can only be described by one word - miracle.
After the accident Della lay unconscious and bleeding from extensive head and facial trauma, and looking on were the two young boys. Now alone and near 20 minutes by horse away from the house on an unfamiliar path, these two young boys began their journey to becoming heroes. Seeing and knowing that her injuries were life threatening, the boys knew they had to go for help. It was Della's only chance.
Heath knew that Della always carried a phone with her; however, he realized that if he got off the horse to get the phone, he wouldn't be able to get back on his horse to go meet help and guide them to Della. So, the boys turned to ride back to the house to get help.
"Heath told me they turned to go for help and stopped to pray," says Theresa Hollas.
Once they reached the house, Heath called his mother at work.
"He spoke calmly and clear, and said ‘we have trouble'. I told him he had to call 911 and I immediately headed to Della's house."
The 911 call placed by Heath supplied the dispatcher with enough information that a medivac helicopter was dispatched immediately and the efforts to rescue Della began.
Theresa and Della's husband Johnny arrived at the house and met emergency services. Johnny went straight to Heath, knelt down face to face and said "tell me where she is."
Heath proceeded to calmly explain where Della lay. Johnny asked him to repeat it one more time. Johnny quickly assessed that they would not be able to reach her by vehicle on the trail, so he led EMS to search for her from the back side of the property.
Theresa and Heath mounted their horses and he began to lead her back to Della on the trail. Searching from different directions, it was agreed whoever reached her first would call the others. At this point, nearly 45 minutes had passed since the accident and Della still lay in the wilderness bleeding.
With little hesitation or uncertainty, Heath led his mother straight to the area where Della had fallen. She now lay near lifeless from the loss of blood, but a quiet moan alerted Theresa to her exact location. Theresa rushed to her Aunt Della's side and assured her help was on the way.
Almost immediately Johnny reached Della, too. He knelt by her side, brushed ants off of her legs and held her, waiting for help.
The area terrain made it impossible for vehicles to reach Della. Theresa alerted the others of their location, but now EMS would have to begin to hike in to her with all their equipment Then, unexpectedly, a neighbor arrived in the area on a ATV.
Carolyn Salicos had learned of the accident. She and her daughter rushed over to see if they could help. The timing was perfect, and emergency workers used the ATV to move into the area with their equipment to finally get to Della.
Meanwhile, Salicos guided the helicopter to an opening for them to safely land and wait for Della.
Now one and a half hours after the accident, Della was in route to Scott & White Hospital. She had lost 90 percent of her body's blood, and the extent of her injuries was truly unknown.
Emergency personnel on the scene have said if there had been any additional delays, Della would not have made it out of the field.
"The play-by-play of the morning's events unfolded like a well-written script," says Jennifer Mekush Henry, Della's daughter. "Had one detail occurred in a different sequence, my mom wouldn't be here today. From the 911 call to a neighbor arriving on a four-wheeler unexpectedly to help carry EMS equipment to her, the actions of each individual could not have been orchestrated in a more effective manner. And I give God all the Glory for the guidance."
As a result of the loss of blood, Della coded as soon as she reached the emergency room, and the battle began. The odds were stacked against her, the blood loss, bruised kidneys, lung trauma, severed vessels in her throat, her jaw and nose dislocated from her face - the doctors questioned how she was still alive. But Della's family didn't. Facing great tragedy and uncertainty, Della's family was sure of one thing; God had brought her this far and He would see her through.
In the first hours Della coded a second time, and doctors forced all her body's blood to her heart and lungs in an attempt to sustain her. They pieced her face back together and told the family, it was now wait and see.
"The faith and trust in the Lord is what has sustained Della and her family over the past four weeks," says Theresa.
And today, Della is nothing less than a walking miracle.
After surviving bleeding in the field for more than an hour and a half, traumatic injuries, a 12-hour reconstructive surgery, the loss of one eye, 26 days in ICU and optic nerve damage to her remaining eye, Della continues to improve every day.
Della is now receiving care at Scott & White Continuing Care Hospital. She has overcome many obstacles, but has many more to conquer. She has started a rehabilitation program to re-teach her how to walk, talk and eat. She is still waiting for many
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of her extensive wounds to heal and praying for sight in the damaged eye. She is communicating by a message board, beginning to breathe on her own and has even been up and walking.
"We believe that every improvement and milestone Della has made has been a miracle, and we expect and continue to pray for another miracle to return site to her remaining eye." says Theresa. "And on behalf of the Mekush and Keen families, I want to express the extreme gratitude for the love, support and prayers of this community and beyond."
Word of Della's accident spread quickly across the country and around the world, via social networking. A prayer page was set up within days. More than 560 members have posted thousands of prayers since the accident.
"The way so many people have used the power of prayer for Della is amazing," says Theresa. "The entire Mekush and Keen families believe without a doubt, that the Lord was with Heath and JW throughout the ordeal, guiding them to get Della the help she needed, and sustaining her until help arrived."
When Della was told the story of the accident, and actions taken by Heath and JW, she responded by writing on her board... H E R O E S.
Family and friends are now organizing an event to help the Mekushs with the financial burdens they are now facing. A benefit lunch and silent auction has been scheduled for Oct. 9 at the Buckholts ISD Cafeteria. Plates will be $8 each and will include barbecue chicken, beans, sauce, potato salad, dessert and tea. Dine in and take out plates will be available.
Lunch will be prepared by Jeff Kuzel, Larry Orsag and friends, and will be served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m..






Dear Mr O'Leary

I'm looking for some advice on whether there is an authority that monitors safety of both riders and horses in a riding school here in WA. For many years I have stopped and watched the 'lessons' this particular riding school conducts and whilst the instruction is poor (there actually isn't anything constructive said at all) it's the safety concerns that I have observed over even just my three visits in the last two weeks alone that have caused me concern. 

I'm not sure what can actually be done about it, as it's just a whole series of things rather than just one major, isolated issue. The past two times I've sat and watched from the fence the following occured:

1) a dog ran out accross the arena, was picked up by the instructor who then completely ignored the students to cuddle the dog, then gave the dog to one of the mounted riders who wrapped the reins multiple times around her hand to hold the dog, all while 7 other riders cantered and jumped around her

2) a horse that from ongoing observation is lacking in education (straight OTT I believe) repeatedly rearing with one of the students (I thought it was going to flip over it got that high). The girl handled it farily well which suggested to me it's not the first time it's happened

3) they had 8 riders in what is about half the size of a dressage arena (in both length and width) doing walk/trot/canter races, 2 of whom were being lead and had incredibly poor balance (looked about 4yrs old) and were obviously going much slower than the others who were turning almost on top of one another and cantering towards/up behind the other horses whilst the other half of the divided arena remained unused

4) when leaving the arena/coming back from a trail ride it is tradition for the riders to gallop their horses up in a group around a corner towards the stable area where there are kids, dogs and horses running around all over the place

None of the instructors are accredited (some people I know taught there momentarily but left because it was so bad) and are not very good riders themselves (a few are past students), the school has no insurance which they freely admit on their website suggesting that students take out personal insurance through the EFA if they want it. I'm not sure how that would hold up if someone was to get hurt and sue though. 

The ponies are in a variety of I would say needlessly harsh bits as there is usually no contact: pee wees, dutch gags and kimberwicks to name a few. One particular lesson the instructor was teaching the 'advanced group' 'passage': what they were actually doing was leg yeilding so she obviously had a confused idea of what passage actually is and the fact she thought the school horses would be able to do it was in itself confusing! Many of the riders believe that they can also do a wonderful piaffe.  

The shire actually pulled them up for having something like 23 horses, 2 donkeys, sheep, kangaroos etc on less than 5 acres (3 I think?) and not enough toilet facilities for their clients. As I understood it they told them to cut down to 2 horses and a donkey or move somewhere else. The riding school campaigned visciously against this, telling the public that they were supplying a place for kids to go which would stop them from wreaking havoc on the streets. Nevermind that there are many more riding schools out there!

After asking on a WA forum where I could go for help to see if there is anything that could be done several people PM'ed me to say that they used to keep horses their and know of dirty needles being used on the horses and that most of the horses no longer get rest days or proper vet attention. Over the past few years three horses that I know of have died of "colic" there. 

Sorry for the essay, I'm just not sure on what grounds I could lodge a complaint on, and to who. Many of the issues wouldn't be noticed or recognised as dangerous by people who are know nothing about horses so I'm not sure if an organisation such as Worksafe would do anything. I'm more worried about what they are teaching kids as appropriate not just riding but also safety behaviours, and what is scarey is that some of these children may go on to own their own horses one day. The whole place is an insurance nightmare.  

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this email, and if you have any advice even if it's just to tell me that unfortunately there's nothing I can do it would be greatly appreciated. I've attached the website at the bottom if you want to have a look.

Thank you again!



First up Meg, write this letter immediately to the http://www.horsecouncil.org.au/ and tell me what they say. Ask them who handles this within the Industry.

I can tell you however, that this is common place for there are no Controls on the Industry. None at all. In my area, there has been a Riding School running that does not have accredited Coaches and no Insurance that covers the activities. Green Broken Horses have been used for Lessons. That is happening right across the Industry as we speak.

The EA Insurance to make Riders covered, does not work with un-accredited Coaches or with School Horses.

Of those who are accredited, via the National Coaching Accreditation Scheme and Equestrian Australia, Risk Management is poorly taught and sadly lacking. I catch 100% of Coaches and Organizations out in my Mind. They think they are on top of it but they do not realize that they are not. To be on top of Risk Management in the Horse Industry, you need to be an expert in the subject of HORSEMANSHIP. Something that none of them realize or would even agree with it they did.  So it is left to the Old Biddies that are left over from the BHS Teachings and Pony Club. When it comes to Pony Club, once again, they think they have it nailed but they do not. These are accredited Organizations but such Riding Schools that you speak of ARE NOT. Therefore, they come under no Umbrella.

So go now and fill out your survey and write to the Council and tell them what a farce they are running!!!!!!!!!!! Well done.

Yesterday at Gainsborough, "The Stud" wrapped a lunge Rein around his Hands. He was jumped on by Mrs. HP.





Hi John and Linda,
I attended the Sydney Clinic both days, and it was absolutely fantastic! I have emailed you before, I have a now rising 6 year old Arabian Warmblood whom I bought that had his 15th ride. When I saw him he had already disappeared inside himself. He arrived, am sure with a head injury, and having a mental breakdown, as he was petrified of everything, and always stood in a corner on high alert. Anyhow, nearly 2 years on, I am the only one that he will come up to as he panics with people, especially those with cowboy hats :) He panics if he sees a rope, and has little self preservation as he has fallen through a fence when I accidently let go of his 12 foot lead and he took off. He will jump if I swish a fly off my face like I am going to belt him, he will jump if he feels a rope touch him. So to cut a long a story short, I don't want to send him to just anybody, and when I start to ride him he really really needs a lateral mouth!
So what really impressed me at the clinic was how well you read horses, and how much you really care. So many horse trainers/breakers haven't a clue how to read a horse, whether it is sad or happy. The horses truley trusted you, and and when hobbling or remouthing, while initially some paniced a little, none sweated up, and none disappeared inside themselves to cope. AND all the trainers, were cool and calm, they never lost it with the horse, they were teaching.
I also bought the DVD and it is exactly what the horse industry needs, to teach people what to look for, not just a pretty face! Would I have bought my horse after watching this? I don't know! But I certainly cannot sell him, as I think in the wrong hands he is dangerous.
This brings me to my next question, do you still accept horses for assesment, and remouthing, hobble training? If so, how much. As I would also like to send our Shetland, for remouthing who is an absolute darling. He is fantastic as a lead pony, but my daughter wants to ride him by herself, so he needs to be safe.
Once again, well done on such a great clinic. Good luck with the rest of the clinics!
Thanks, Liz
ps, shall I send a video of my 'wild' horse?=

Why didn't you book the Horse in at Sydney Liz?

Hi John, yes I was in two minds about sending --------- to the clinic, but wanted to suss you guys out first!!

Since watching the 'Listen to your horses 'DVD. I wonder whether he has had a fall and seriously hurt himself as a youngster. he has scars on his left right leg, which the breeder said he got tangled up in a fence somehow as a baby. He always stands with one leg stretched out behind, uaually the right, sometimes the left. When I first saw him, on his fifteenth ride, he was standing in a corral with his backside jammed up against the corner, and all his feet close together and head held high. The breeder didn't seem to think it was unusual. He was a little cow-hocky when standing with the breaker on his back, Feet again all close together.
When he arrived to me, he would stand in the corner of his yard on high alert, and it didn't help that the person who ran the agistment, I suspected wasn't feeding him. ( bloody hell!) Moved agistments after 3 weeks to where he is today. It took me 4 months to catch him. but with persistance, I eventually did! I discovered he is pertrified of men in cowboy hats, as one day one of the massage guys turned up to do a horse and saw me trying to catch Avatar and thought he could help. Well Avatar's eyes popped out of his head , and took off and didn't stop running around for close to 3 hours while the guy tried to catch him. He will tolerate my husband, but only over the fence he will not go near him in the paddock.
I also remember that when he would put his head down to eat, if he needed to take a step, he would shoot his head up, adjust all his feet then continue eating. This has stopped in the last year. He does stand better, as in he covers more ground when he stands and can eat while walking!
If you need a better video, I am only too happy to do that.

Anymore info?
Thanks, Liz


Lovely Horse Liz. Given your description of the Horse prior to Purchase, why did you buy it?? I guess that's the big question. Frankly, I can't see too much wrong with the Horse. I can see that the Pasture Management requires attention and that the Coat of the Horse doesn't look as good as the for sale video but that is perhaps the Season. (but could be worms of course at an agistment centre) Once again though, I meet a lot of alleged "Man Hating" Horses but NONE have carried that on with me after the initial meeting so it is  certainly a shame the Horse wasn't at the Sydney Clinic as that would have been a good test for me :) Perhaps get back to me with some ridden Video which shows any issues you may be worried about.

Anyhow, perhaps get back to me as I said for getting Hooked in Fences can and does make Horses not suitable for Dressage, There is one of those on the DVD.

I would be continuing with the riding of this Horse immediately as therein could lie some of the problems.




First of all thank you for the excellent clinic in Sydney, though at times I thought we had brought Tasssie weather to Cobbitty!

I tried to have a word with you at the end of the day on Sunday but you were pulled away to sell gear, I waited until it got too cold to stay so I thought I'd email instead.

I have a 4yr old Quarter horse mare, home bred and broken in by myself, she is trained to hobbles etc as per your DVD'S. She also ties solid with bowline, however she has never been a relaxed horse when tied hence the hobble training, she has now figured how to raise herself on to her hind legs and then jump to her front and kick out behind whilst tied and front leg hobbled. With a horse such as this would you suggest combining front and back hobbles or perhaps a side line? (hope this is what you call it, front hobbles and one back leg conected to front) Shes a intelligent mare and I feel that if I can shut her down she will stop being a circus horse and relax.

You mention a side line ( on your stallion ) on your leg restraint video but don't go into how to go about installing them or training your horse to them, I am aware that this sort of thing is not for every one but I would like your imput and direction.

Cheers and thanks again Beth

Sorry about that Beth. It is never easy.

If the Horse is just a cool trick horse with high intelligence then you can try anything, including the things you speak of….but, is this ‘Separation anxiety’????? Is it emotional??? Frantic? Nutta?


John, could be seperation anxiety, but there are usually at least two horses tied at the same time, yes shes chestnut, sprint bred on dams side and dam was reactive, could slow canter on loose rein through competetors at a big campdraft cool as could be, but tie her up and she would do the same thing never pull back, just jump in the air on the spot. Although to my knowledge the young mare never saw her dam doing this she shows the same inclination. I get the feeling that if I could stop the kicking out that things will settle. Could you give me a few pointers on how to safely set up a side line please.

Cheers Beth

Thanks Beth. Ok, I see it now. Chestnut once more. Finally, there has been a Scientific Study announced, into these Chestnuts, in the hope that we may better understand such behavior as this for this is not unusual. I have met some horrendous cases and to those he think I am Colour Racist, the Vets agree with me.

I have met them where they will shower everyone within 10 Metres with Urine (two of them) Barrier Rogues, Horse Float Rogues, object to everything, touchy, ticklish, will not have anything near their rear end and so on. Only with Chestnuts NOT BAYS!!!!!

In my experience with them, yes, anything goes and you can certainly think outside the Square. I once spent two Weeks on one that had been banned from the Races, sacked by 3 different Race Horse Trainers including Lindsay Park. It couldn't stand Barriers touching it's sides. I rode it with two 12 foot Rails strapped to it's sides for a Week. That got some Heads turning I can tell you. It later Raced successfully.

I would try back leg hobbles first as they are less dangerous than a side line. If I were to use sidelines, I would again, think outside the square and invent a new way to use them (which I just did as I type) Boot the Horse up front and back and put the Sidelines above the hocks and above the knee. OVER BOOTS.  I had a conversation with one of our Clinic attendees at the Sydney Airport on the way home and he had a similar one. Hobbles hadn't worked on that either. Cheers


One needs longer hobble straps for this. 170mm longer in fact. They are on the way to me now and will be on site for sale soon. Installing them this way is far safer and is down the scale of training in case that is all that is needed. Regards



Hi John
Wondering if you could give me some advise on how to overcome my fear of riding, I absolutely turn to water
18 months ago I decided to for fill a dream of mine and bought 2 horses ‘ Ben ‘ 14.2h Welsh and ‘Rusty"’ 16.oh standardbred, it was Ben who was advertised but the former owner said I could have Rusty for free if I took Ben so of course I bought them home. As it turned out Ben is way to much for the inexperienced rider that I am and has developed a wonderful relationship with my husband who can handle him with no problems and Rusty has turned out to be the best horse I could ask for to continue learning. I have a wonderful friend who has trained in dressage nearly her whole life that gives me lessons and is extremely patient and understanding. My horse Rusty is fantastic, he is compliant, has a beautifully soft mouth, response to voice commands and has never done anything that has scared the crap out of me, not to say he couldn’t one day. I have taken your advise and got a half breed saddle that I love and it certainly does give me a sense of security.
I really don't have any problems doing anything with the horses on the ground or saddling them up but when it comes to riding I am a nervous wreck, then of course I worry the horse can sense this and it makes the situation worse. I hope you don't think I am a drama queen, I’m really am just saying the truth. It is so frustrating, some days my husband and I plan a ride, I get my riding gear on, saddle up then butterflies kick in, heart starts beating fast, I start thinking what if’s then you can guantee I’ll come up with some excuse why I cant go. I have read your article about the nervous rider and your absolutely right I am a mum with 3 kids and I think how the hell am I going to control this 500kg or more animal if something goes wrong so I don't get hurt.
I would love to be able to go for a ride with my husband and friends, maybe a little arena work and really enjoy spending time with Rusty , nothing to fancy, baby steps
I have made a promise to myself that I am going to try my hardest to overcome this. Your website has already helped me immensely with so much, now I just need to get on the bloody horse, so any advise would be great
Thankyou so much
Looking forward to hearing from you soon

Hi Kellie. It is such a shame for People who have this affliction. I'll be frank. This is s psychological Problem. Therefore:

  • Consult a Psychiatrist...or
  • A Hypnotherapist....or
  • Take control of your mind.

To do that, go firstly do this: http://www.horseproblems.com.au/testing_the_lateral_mouth_of_your%20horse.htm ...then this if the Horse needs it...


If you are still nervous after that, on that Horse Kellie, time to give up for your Own Safety. Regards


Hi John from Lenore. I wonder have you had much to do with stumbling horses. I have had my standardbred 4 y.old gelding for about 9 months. He has always stumbled amd has been down on his knees with me riding 3 times and he stumbles a lot each time I ride. He stumbles comig down from the trot to walk. He stmbles just walking around. I make sure I have him awake and moving along. I have had a farrier roll his toes. His teeth are done and he has had chiropractor plus massage. He was very poor when I got him so hoped he just needed bulding up and fittening work. He is quite happy to travel with his head down. He seems to move foward but his toe hits a tuft or something and it rolls his foot over. The trouble is I dont know when to call it quits. I have lost confidence in him and I am worried about riding down hills plus pushing him because of this. I know your no vet ( I havent had a vet to him for this as honestly unless a vet is actually performing some sugery or somehting I feel its just hit and miss with them and a waste of money). thanks for any help you may be able to offer. Regards Lenore

Time to quite Lenore. You said it, "I have lost my confidence on him" That means quit and move on. "There are plenty of Fish in the Sea" Regards "Life is not a Dress Rehearsal"


Hi John, I happened upon your site by chance recently when I typed in a search for "bolting horse". And I would like to ask a question if that is okay?
First I need to tell you about my horse. He is an 8yr old QH. We bought him and his half sister unbroken and had them broken in at 2 & 1/2 yrs. My plan was to sell him soon after breaking in as he was very quiet and I thought would be easy to make a little money on. My 12 yr old son took a shine to him and wanted him, so against my better judgement, we allowed him to ride the horse. He came on trail rides with us, had lessons and went to a gymkhana. The horse was perfectly behaved. This went on for several months.
Then one day we were out on a trail ride and my son rode under a tree. The leaves of the tree scraped against the parka he was wearing, making a noise. The horse got a fright and ran. My son was taken by surprise. Although he didn't come off, he didn't attempt to stop the horse until it had gotten about 40 meters away from the rest of us, up a hill as it happened.


We didn't think too much of it. The horse had a small incident in the arena during a lesson, when he got a fright, ran and put in a pigroot or two. Son didn't come off though. I also recall that this horse was really unbalanced in the first 2 yrs of being ridden, and couldn't trot straight for more than a couple of steps and would then veer off through his left shoulder in order to get out of going straight.
Anyway, son lost interest and horse wasn't ridden much for about 12 months. I then started to take riding lessons on him. I realised he really had no stop, especially from walk to halt. During the three years I have ridden him, he has bolted ( and sometimes pigrooted as well) on me approximately 5 times. Initially it was triggered by shying, but then became more of a calculated thing. Got me off twice. I now am quick enough and skilled enough to stop him with a one rein stop before he gets more than a step or two in. I have also gone over and over the downward transitions from each gait with him and they are now what I would call good. I am also able to quickly flex him in the opposite direction when I feel him getting tense and threatening to shy and this diffuses it before it starts. So it was great to read your advice on what to do with a bolter, as I know I am on the right track.
He did have fairly major issues when ridden at a trot with other horses. He would get very excited and try to instigate play with them by kicking etc. So I made a point of riding him in groups at lessons and he is now much better with this. I should add that during the last three years I have also competed on him in jumping and dressage without incident and indeed moderate success.
My question is, will he cease this shying, bolting, pigrooting behaviour? I would really like to sell him as I now need a horse more suited to dressage and jumping as my riding has improved, but I don't want someone to get hurt on him.

Whether he gives up on it Allison will depend only on the quality of Training that he gets. Has he ever experienced a thing called "Fatigue"? Most Horses don't these Days. Have you taken him on a 20k Ride and then ridden his Ass off when he wants to slow up instead of shying and running??? Is he being fed too well for the work like most these Days? I don't know but there are some things to reflect upon. If you can't do those things, send him to a Stock Camp for a Month or two and I bet you he won't want to shy, Bolt or Pig Root :) Regards


Hi John, thanks for the e-book. I started to read it and it actually made me feel a bit like giving up riding altogether! No, not seriously, but there is so much wrong with the horse industry in so many aspects, with so many horses suffering because of it and people in danger due to ignorance. I had come to realise this myself over the last few years and find it very depressing. Was also not happy to hear your views on Phillippe Karl as I have just purchased a DVD of his on recommendation from someone. It hasn't arrived in the post yet. Maybe I won't bother to unwrap it, just return it. Are there any authors you would recommend? What about Reiner Klimke?
The QH I emailed you about doesn't have a soft responsive mouth and leans on your hands when riding (not helped by the fact he is built downhill). He alternates between leaning and then sticking his head up to look around for something to spook at. He also tends to ignore the leg to go forward and also falls in on the left rein. (Pretty sure it is always the left shoulder he goes through when bolting off too!) I have been using a whip consistently to back up my leg when he ignores it. Am I on the right track with this? Is there a better way to reinforce obedience to the leg? I used to have him going a lot better than this when I was taking him to riding lessons regularly with a dressage instructor.
The remouthing would be the way to go as I can see that many of the problems stem from this gap in his education, plus the habit of ignoring the leg. I gather that what I need are the running reins and the DVD on Remouthing to start, then the market harborough to use under saddle?
Can you just tell me the time frame needed to accomplish the remouthing using the running reins? I have about 2 hrs per day (1hr in the morning and 1hr in the afternoon, plus weekends) where I can work on this with him how long would it take to complete the training?
Also a little concerned about using the running reins as the one and only time I used side reins on this horse in a round yard, he took off at a canter when I asked him to go from walk to trot, pigrooted, slipped and did a somersault. Luckily one of the attachments on the roller broke and his mouth was uninjured. My fault though. I should have lunged him around without gear until he got that out of his system first. Actually, just realised this reaction was probably connected to the problem he has with bolting, although I have had other horses do this too on the lunge if they haven't been worked for a while, plus kick out at me as they go! I was told to just let them get it out of their system. Is this correct or does this reflect a problem with them also?
Thanks for your help John

Hi Allison. I'll try and answer those questions.

  • PK....take everyone as you find them. Don't listen to me, I may be wrong or biased.
  • Klimke? Ancient History. They may rave all they like but Horse Training has come Lights Years since then.
  • Spur rather than using Whips but the key is to be hardly using any Leg the rest of the time.
  • Changing the Body of a Horse takes 8 Weeks at 5 days a Week and never at one time a Week
  • Kicking out means disrespect and for that you need to rush inside and look in the Mirror.

You have the DVD. Do you realize you just rattled off some of the many symptoms that are contained within that DVD???? Better go and watch again and then think carefully about your Horse Ally. Head up in Air may have nothing to do with shying. and so on. Regards


Hi there, firstly, i would like to congratulate you guys on a great website. Just discovered it.
Secondly, I grew up with Trevor Jennings playing polocross with him for years – great horseman….

Now I live in Europe (Austria), the idea of owning horses is NOT like is was/is in Oz. unless you spend A LOT OF MONEY, you get nothing here. Advice is non-existent, and real horsemen (I’m not talking about the guys that prance around the pen on a perfect horse) are very few and far between.

Anyway – I’d like to know if you’ve got any info to buy on separation anxiety? I’ve got a 10yr Warmblood, that was bought firstly, and all was fine (while she was on her own)….. Then I purchased a couple of ponies for my kids, but now, I can’t use the ponies on their own, because the warmblood goes absolutely crazy, and I can’t ride her alone either. She’s now become the leader, and to her - that’s that !!!

There’s no way to separate the herd as we’ve got open stall system, and the winter temps here limit us with water supply to other paddocks

So how can I teach her manners again, that she’s not the boss, and to behave when the others are away, and vice versa?

If you’ve got any material to buy, be much appreciated.

Take care, and if you see Trevor again, give him my regards


Trev will read this Nigel. He hangs on my every word hahahahaha  (joshin) My advice???? Sell her tomorrow and buy a Gelding. This is the most frustrating thing in the Horse Industry. If the Gelding did it, Sell the Ponies for they are the cause....then buy the mare back :) I could write reems of advice to you about this but there is not the time or room here for it. Technical, high end, daily, pain in the ass. I am not sure you want that. So I don't want your Money and I am not going to invent some special need for one of our DVD's to suck you in. I love Austria. I must get back there one day before the Ice has gone :( Regards


Hi John,

I have been practising my rhythm today (re-watched Linda's DVDs), and I played this music (MP3 attached) to help me.

I have an image of Linda doing a wonderful dressage 'dance' to this music, so I thought I would send it to you!

It's Hanz Zimmer - theme to True Romance.

Cheers, Phae

That was lovely of you Phae. I downloaded it and listened to it as I wrote this Page. Looking Good! :) Regards


28th September, 2011


I haven't got the time to really go into this but there is more on Facebook for those who may be interested. It was a wonderful Clinic. We have thanked everyone involved.

Basically, wonderful Crowd, Organizers, Horses, Trainers and Venue. No-one hurt, no injuries, all Breakers ridden, all Buck Jumpers stopped and many more improved or got to the bottom of.

What did we deduce? What were the common threads? Well like most Clinics,

  •  Ground Manners not good enough thus leading to Problem behavior,
  • Two Veterinary Problems
  • Two Overweight Horses
  • Several under weight Horses (but most Saved Horses)
  • Horses being ridden 'Hollow' and not 'over the back' amongst the Dressage Horses. All of them.
  • Mouths not good enough
  • Mouths of recently Broken in Horses not good enough

Wonderful Horses, wonderful Organizers, Volunteers, Food Van, Venue, Crowd and atmosphere. Thanks all.

Here are some Pics.

Our Portable Tie Up Rail when needed.                                                          Saved from the Knackers, possible ex Rodeo Horse.

The Common thread of the frame of Dressage Horses.

Trevor Jennings from WA, with his best White Shirt :)

Standardbred that Bucked the Owner off when commencing Leg Yield

One of the lovely Owners                                                          

                                                                                                                                                   One of the Breakers

Fanta who became like my Second Wife after attempting to kick my Head off on the
first Day.

endo on one of the Breakers that he used for his demonstrations

Endo vaulting on a 17 Hand Horse.

Chronic Rearer, wiping the Owner off on Poles etc. Rears from the Canter or trot during Flat Work.

lesson Horse with Daniel warming up for Mrs. HP due to suspect behavior

Nathan holding this Horse "By the Beard" hahahaha

Dressage Lesson for Trevor Jennings on Black Warmbood broken in 7 Weeks ago and unfortunately Spelled (which we would never do) and Owner not Game to get on. Had she, she would have been Buried :)

here she is learning to Leg Yield on first ride back.

Nothing like progress :)

The Rearer, who did rear with Mrs. HP, when changing to the LEFT REIN. Accompanied by quarters in and bent like a Boomerang. Vet investigation required as well as proper Muscle preparation.

Endo warming him up for Mrs. HP. Perfect Horse at Walk, Trot, Canter, Jumping, spinning, and endo leaping off doing Trick Buck Offs for the Camera.


Endo on a Breaker after I had continued with it's Mouthing on Second Day.

My Second Wife Fanta

The Field Shy Mare who tries to Savage and Kick any Horse that comes within 10 Metres. on the second day.

The lovely Michelle Abramovic from Canberra

Day One, 5 Minutes into an Unbroken Horse. Endo.


Cementing my relationship with the Wife                                                                    Daniel Gorman Planking

Rescue Horse number 5

rescue Horse :(


Hi john,
It was a fantastic clinic ...thank you..my only regret... I didn’t get to meet you...you see I’m a ‘Nathan’... a quiet achiever who doesn’t seek attention!!! Too many fans,,,

My boys said to me when I got home...”So did you met the WHOA man!!!”

Very funny! MY boys are witnessing their mother go through a mid life crisis......Save me!!! ANYONE!!

Well done on breaking your Horse in Jo. Cheers





Anvers Equestrian Centre presents
Dressage Information Evening with
Carlos De Cleermaker
QLD State Dressage coach
Fri 30th September
$20 pp includes dinner (home made wood oven pizza)
Bookings & enquieries to Myriam
Or 0412 516 671


Well known local horse trainer formally charged with animal cruelty and neglect

Santa Rosa native, Gwen Stockebrand, a dressage competitor and 'so called' trainer and instructor, was investigated (again!), and this time formally charged.
Gwen will be facing criminal charges for animal cruelty and neglect, Penal Code 597, which is considered a felony, and for which she could be facing jail time.

The case has officially been turned over the DA, who will decide how to proceed.

Gwen had received the first formal warning by Sonoma County Animal Care and Control back in October of 2010. At that point, she had been reported for horses in miserable condition living in her pasture. Horrifically, these were her 'show horses', that had been retired, and were now barely surviving in starvation conditions in her field.

Both were officially given a '3' on the weight scale by Animal Control, a scale that goes from 1 to 9, 1 being starving to death, 9 being hugely obese.

At a score of 3, Animal Control can legally impound a horse.

Sonoma County Animal Care and Control chose instead to give Gwen a warning, which, evidently, she paid no attention to.

Last week, Gwen was busted again, except this time the horses were in even worst condition, "Valerie", the horse that was given a score of 3 in October, was now a 1! That means that she was literally starving to death!

This time, the situation that Gwen Stockebrand was reported in, appears as if she was trying to hide the horses with an unwitting family in Willits, Ca.


Motorist Might Be Charged For Accident That Killed Horse

The 2 horses were ordered impounded by Animal Control, and were immediately rescued by Betsy Bueno of "Lost Hearts and Souls Horse Rescue":  where they are fighting for their lives.

At the time of the rescue, Gwen was at a horse show, proving that she was perfectly sound enough in body and mind to have taken care of these 'retired' horses.

When confronted by animal control, Gwen admitted that they were her horses, but stated, and I quote, "They aren't that skinny!"
Resident State Trooper David Merriam said he believes charges would be filed against the motorist who hit and killed a horse Friday night on Fairwood Road.

The official report was not yet completed, but based on the information that was available, Merriam said, the accident took place at 9:55 p.m. on Sept. 16 when Claude Errera, 45, of 56 Deerfield Lane, Bethany, crossed the center line on a curve on Fairwood Road and struck a horse ridden by a 15-year-old Bethany girl.

Police did not release the name of the girl because of her age. She was riding with two other teenage girls at the time of the accident.

The girls were reportedly headed east. Merriam said it appears that Errera had just pulled out of Deerfield Lane when the accident happened.

The girl suffered a concussion, a sprained ankle and a sprained wrist and was treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Merriam said.

The horse, which was named Honey, was struck head-on and died at the scene from internal injuries, according to police.

Merriam said the horse was kept in riding stables near the scene of the accident owned by Lucy Caruso, but he didn’t know if Caruso owns the horse or was boarding it for someone else.

Although Merriam did not expect charges to be filed against the horse riders, he said the accident report might hold them partially at fault for the accident.

He said riders are not supposed to ride three abreast as the three girls were riding at the time of the accident. "You’re supposed to ride single file," Merriam said.

Also, he said, the girls did not have safety reflectors and lights on the horses, which are required at night.

Merriam said he did not know why the girls were riding horses on a town road so late after sunset. "That’s the million dollar question," he said.


and an Australian Case, the details I am not sure about.



MANHATTAN'S West Side turned into the Wild West today - after a horse got loose from a cowgirl during a parade and took off down the street.

The jittery animal was finally corralled about six blocks away, after bolting at about 5pm (local time) during a parade organised by the Federation of Black Cowboys event, the New York Post said.

"It must have scared the hell out of a jogger or two ... One lady told me she heard some screaming before they found the horse," said Ragu Kanimalla, 22, a Columbia University student who was walking along with a pal when he saw about two dozen cops coming out of the park with the horse.

Responding cops initially wanted to keep the animal to check it out, but the group's trainers convinced them to just let them lead it away, sources said.

"Our horses are trained, but this horse was wild, and it got away from us," admitted Mike Davis, 24, a member of the Black Cowboys.

"I don't know what happened," he said. "We just want to educate people about the black West and teach people how to ride horses. No one got hurt. That's the most important thing."


JOHN DAY, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police are trying to determine whether the shooting that injured an Eastern Oregon horse so badly the mare had to be euthanized was an accident or a malicious act.

Police say the 8-year-old quarter horse mare was shot from the road with a high velocity bullet as she grazed in a fenced pasture near John Day. The horse was shot Sunday night or early Monday.

Sgt. Gordon Larson tells The Oregonian that no other similar horse shootings have been reported.

Larson says no dollar loss has been estimated but the mare was used for roping cattle and "had a significant pedigree."



Date set for inquest into man’s death on Heath

AN INQUEST into the death of a retired businessman, who was involved in a fatal accident while riding out on Newmarket Heath, will be held in November – almost a year after he died.

Police and the Health and Safety Executive launched a joint investigation into the death of 61-year-old Christopher Watson who is thought to have been killed when he was thrown against a a tree.

According to investigators it appeared Mr Watson had lost control of the horse he was riding, a six-year-old gelding called Kadouchski, and fallen off on the Side Hill gallop at around 11.16am on November 17.

A full inquest into Mr Watson’s death will be held at The Athenaeum, Bury St Edmunds, on November 11 at 10am.

Mr Watson, who came from Sapcote in Leicestershire, had retired in 2009 and had been riding out for Newmarket trainer John Berry about once a week for about two years before the accident.

Speaking at the time, Mr Berry told how the death of Mr Watson had left the racing community shaken.

“We used to look forward to the day he came down to ride. He was a breath of fresh air.

“He had ridden a lot as a young man but, as is often the case, his profession was not his passion. Riding was his passion and he returned to that in retirement.

“If I can say anything positive at all about what has happened, it is that he died among friends doing what he enjoyed. He came over here once a week at his own expense.

“It has shaken up the whole community and myself and everybody in the stable have been overwhelmed by the way the community has rallied around.”

Mr Watson, rode out using his own saddle and it is thought that his stirrup iron might have become detached from his saddle while he was riding causing him to fall from his horse.

His partner Ausma Pilgrim, 57, said he had died doing what he loved most.

“I try to think that at least he was doing something he loved when he died,” she said.

“I know that if he had survived the accident with bad injuries he wouldn’t have coped with life because he was always happiest outdoors.”

She said they had dreamed of moving to Suffolk together so that Mr Watsons could get a full-time job working with horses.

“He wanted us to move to Newmarket together and we’d been looking at the villages in the area and planning it.

“He never really made plans for the future but he was set on being in Newmarket so he could ride all the time – it was an addiction for him.

“Riding was his life and I’ve never known anyone with such a passion. Chris was a lovely person.”

Mr Watson had held an amateur jockey’s licence since 1995, but did not ride a winner in 17 mounts under rules in bumpers and on the Flat



AN animal lover who missed out on years of family holidays rather than be ­separated from her pet rabbit has died after a riding ­accident on an overseas trip.
Louise Carolan, 26, suffered what was thought to be a minor injury when she fell from the horse while holidaying with parents Gary and Christine in Turkey.
But five days after the accident, having returned to Scotland, Ms Carolan collapsed while shopping and was taken to hospital.
Ms Carolan, of Edinburgh, lay desperately ill in intensive care before losing her fight for life.
The charity worker for St Columba’s Hospice died from a blood clot resulting in a cardiac arrest on Friday, September 9.
Her parents yesterday paid tribute to their “loving and giving” daughter, who had been devoted to her pet rabbit, Buster.
During the 10 years he was alive, she refused to go on family holidays because she didn’t want to leave him.
Louise Carolan suffered what was thought to be a minor injury when she fell from the horse in Turkey
It was only after Buster’s recent death that she finally agreed to go away with her parents on holiday to Turkey in August, where her love of animals led her to take a horse-riding trip.
Mr Carolan said: “She took a fall from the horse and hurt her knee. She was hobbling around for a couple of days and when we got home, I took her to the A&E department, where they said she had torn ligaments and to strap it up and use ibuprofen.
“On the Sunday, we got a phone call when she was shopping with her friend at the Gyle. She had collapsed and the paramedics said they didn’t like the sound of her heart.”
Her parents dashed to the Western General, thinking their daughter might have picked up a bug on holiday, but the news was worse than they could have anticipated.

Mr Carolan said: “When they got to the Western they found a blood clot on her lung, induced by the fall, and this caused a cardiac arrest. When they came into the room and told us to expect the worst it was a phenomenal shock. They asked us to come and say our goodbyes.”
The Army was informed and arranged for her soldier brother, Graeme, to return immediately from Afghanistan, where he was serving with 4 SCOTS.
The family were told she might have suffered brain damage because of lack of oxygen to her brain. After 72 hours with no response, doctors carried out a brain scan and broke the news that there was nothing more they could do. Her mother said: “She just had a sort of magnetism for animals and kids. She could communicate on all levels – she knew how to speak to them.”




Hi John

I hope you don't mind me e-mailing you with this problem - but I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do.

I have a 6 yo Hanoverian Gelding called Jammer that I bought a year ago and then gelded (he's lovely, but not good enough to stay entire in my opinion, and I'm not set up for a stallion).

We do dressage (well we try!). In the stable he is lovely - he has never laid his ears back at me nor threatened to kick, and after working and before being turned back out, he has a cuddle with me and goes to sleep with his head in my arms. I never feed titbits from my hands, always from a feed bowl.

I had to trot him up the other day for the vet and then the physio, and both times he opened his mouth very wide and snapped at me and then cantered and half reared and went over my line. I then lunged him for the vet and physio instead and as always he was as good as gold.

When I turn him out, he is usually fine to lead, except when I change his routine, or something strange or exciting is happening, when he again will trot, snap at me and then rear. I decided this needed to be addressed last week, so took him in the arena for some in hand work (yes, I know, why did it take me a year to address this?). Anyway, he was quite savage, fine at the walk, although when going towards the gate he would speed up and then cross in front of me. But when I ran and asked him to trot, he arched his neck, opened his mouth and snapped at me and then, when I shouted at him, stopped and reared. I thought that the fact I started running seemed to be some of the problem, and when we got back in the stable, I jumped up and down on the spot next to him. Sure enough he did the same thing to me - arching his neck, tried to bite and then reared - he even turned his neck and bit himself on the shoulder!! Anyway, I kept running on the spot until he habituated and stood there quietly and I scratched his neck while I did it.

So I went back into the arena today. I put a tight flash noseband on for my protection - he could still nip me if he wanted to, but couldn't take my nose off! I addressed his stopping and starting in hand, and it is improving. After he has done a trot transition and is back in walk, he becomes insensitive to the stop commands and runs through me, but when he is calm he is getting better at stopping from a light pressure. But he is still opening his mouth, arching his neck and threatening to bite at the time of the trot transition. I have to confess, I tried giving him a sharp tug with the reins each time he threatened to bit me, and leaving the bit totally alone when he trotted quietly, but this didn't stop him trying to bite every time we trotted. So then when he tried to bite me again I gave him a smack with the whip, which gave him a big shock. He got away from me. When I caught him and we started again, he was better, but still doing a small nipping action at the point of the transition.

When on the lunge he trots quietly and with no fuss, so I don't think he has any pain when asked to trot?

What would your verdict be John? Jammer is not head shy, but he HATES me touching his ears, so I'm wondering if he was ear twitched as a stallion. He seems to totally change in personality when trotted in hand. I really don't know what to do.



This is a highly technical one Mel!! Only experimentation will get to the bottom of it. It would appear that it is linked to the fact that he was a Stallion. He may be perceiving you as his personal property or even in a Sexual Way. It happens. Some of the Big Studs have signs on them for Females to not visit during their Menstruation. It may be just to dominate you too. The key is what is it?

You have to be careful how you tread with these as they can easily turn into a Man Eater. I know plenty of cases where Owners have played chasy Games and getting them to rear up and the Stallions have become Man Eaters.

The key may be in the fact that he did run away when you hit him. That was a good sign. Therefore, I would be persevering with the 7 Games perhaps, get him operating out of your space and out of Danger too and then he may not feel so obliged to be snapping the Teeth. Be playing the Circling Game with him and you then run along with him BUT WITH HIM OUT ON THE END OF A 20 FOOT ROPE to start with. Then graduate to a 12 foot Rope. It is the excitement of you suddenly acting exuberantly that is triggering him. Get him used to it 'from afar'.

Side Reins can also be used but with preparation and submission first as they are dangerous without but that is the English way which isn't as good as the NH ways.

 Best of Luck.





Hi I read your article on NH. http://www.horseproblems.com.au/natural_horsemanship_explained.htm

In fact Monty Roberts does not claim a horse is broken in after Join-Up. He never uses the phrase or concept of breaking in either.

The concept is that a horse has BEGUN a conversation with you, after join-up just as a mare and foal might in the wild, for example. After the join-up, carried out in a VERY specific way using very specific gestures/body language, then you can begin to ask a horse to work with you and learn specific things, like bitting and dual long lining, saddling and so on.

If you would like to learn some horsemanship I can recommend Monty's Equus Online University, which will teach you some of these core principles, which you have misreported, to some extent, in your article.



Hi Austen. Thanks for your letter. “Breaking in” is my term, for my Audience. It is an Australian term from the History here as Horse ‘starters’ were called ‘Breakers’ as with “Breaker Morant” the Movie.

I traveled 1,000 K and worked 7 Hours to bring Monties UNTOUCHED Horses to his Adelaide Clinic Years ago but they were too wild for him. I was of the opinion that he wanted “Proper Horses” like I work with. I had to Break them in later. Alas, he picked quiet Show Horses, one of which was at a Halter Show the Week Before and  ‘Tied Up’ at the Clinic. I have had enough Horses through my hands and they have taught me all the Horsemanship I need to know but thanks anyway 



Hi John

I now have the halter on the weanling, I hadn't had a chance to do anything with him, until today.

I didn't put him up the race, but in the holding pen leading to the race, I had his Mum in another pen next to the narrowest part of the pen I had the weanling in.

By standing on walkway and using my lunge whip I could touch him without having to get in the pen, he kept going and standing next to his Mum, once he was standing quietly without moving off, I hung the rope over his neck, that took a few goes but in the end he let me reach down and get the end, which I threaded through the small noose, until I got it tight enough around his neck, I did all this from outside the pen.

Once I had got that done, I moved him into a bigger pen, then we had a little bit of fun nothing major, just rearing each time I gave the rope a bit of a pull, no major panic attacks, he went right over once, that gave him a bit of a fright, he settled down a bit after that, at no time did I fight with him as strength wise he is much stronger than me, I talked to him all the time, and when he was standing quietly I would give him a bit of a rub, just to reassure him, then back off and give the rope a bit of a pull again just to get him to move again.

He wouldn't let me touch his face, so I used the Lunge whip again to rib his face until he was happy with me doing that, then worked on putting the halter on, after a couple of goes he just stood quietly for me to put it on. Once I got him use to me pulling on the halter, there was another lot of rearing, I left him, with the rope on, while I went and had lunch. I am really pleased that he is like his parents and is quite laid back, don't worry I am still careful around him.

I have a rope attached to his halter while in the paddock he shares with his mum, it is next to our house and has nothing that he can get caught up in. I know that not everyone likes the idea of a short rope dragging, but years ago I used it on another young horse, and found that it worked well, also everytime I go out there to feed them, or to do other things, I will just pick up the rope and give it a pull, and tell him he is a good boy when he walks forward, most likely it will be one step forward and several back for a start. Anyway thank you for your advice, it helped a lot. I really like how you go about training your horses and also that you are happy to give so much advice on your website.


Well done Cherry but this proves why Young Stock should be handles properly in the early stages. For both Horse and Handler. The Rope trick is of course a necessity. Best of Luck


Hi John, I thought your readers would enjoy reading about my near miss mini horse adventure today. I was recently offered free agistment on 10 acres for my old mare by a mate of mine . To show my appreciation i offered to do paddock maintenance and trim his 2 horses ; one an arab mare the other a mini gelding. The day got off to a good start , my rasp was lost in the move. So up ended everything out of my van , no go so off to the local produce store to buy another. Paddock 400m deep and my old girl is right out the back , she has a new best friend so does;nt come running when I call . So off I go with feed, trimming tools sand colic mix and worming syringe; ( because old girl only eats now if she can share with new friend . Limited safe tie up options so tie up high on a large tree strainer post in an open gate way. Trimmed old mare then drenched her with your sand coiic remedy; I lost count at 30 something syringe fulls of mix; ants came running from miles around. Now for the little gelding who was right there licking up the dreggs. Tied up with make shift yachting rope halter and trimmed fronts no worries. Bit of a fight with near hind advance/ retreat and hang on;" bloody strong little bugger" finally got it done all good. Time for a pat and a short break before round 2. Then he just decided he;d had enough and exploded like a fire cracker. To anyone who has never seen the raw power of a horse pulling back , it's a scary site I've seen a fair few and this was the most violent. After 5 or 10 seconds he just stood there hanging on the lead rope. Talked to him calmly patted gently still hanging . Patted on the arse and he shot foward then swung sideways straight through a 9 wire ; plain and barb tightly strained fence . The wires stretched but didn't break he thrashed for a second then stepped out and walked calmly over to me . He luckily didn't have a mark on him. I had only strained and repaired that fence the week before blaming cattle for the damage but I suspect the mini with no respect for fences or self preservation. So off side hoof 30ml longer than the other do I finish the job? Ok gotta be at work in an hour and a half on holidays next week can't afford to get hurt; Bugger it found a tree 200m away with a strong 2m high branch lots of pats goooood boy advance/retreats hang ons latter job done and he's still my friend. I know I should'nt have been near a fence but the rope knotts height and length were all to HP specks, and sometimes your've just gotta make do , besides he is used to lead children and I assesed him as dog quiet. Another poorly trained horse ,I suppose I'll have to fix him if I'm gunna keep trimming him ; hobbles etc. So folks remember a lot of horses are only quiet safe and friendly until you ask them to do something they don't want to do. PS I now know wy farriers don't charge less for little horses. cheers Mark

Lucky to get away with that one Mark but yes, they can be feisty little Buggas :) Nothing beats facilities! Be interesting to see how he goes next time around :) I have always been going to start a Business called "Dwarfs R Us" and train them to be Farriers. I would take over the Pony Market in no time as Farriers don't want to do them as you said



Hi there,
My name is Grace. I'm emailing EVERY BITLESS horse person I know. I realise your not bitless, but thought you could help!
There has been a discussion between my Mum and I about riding Leo bitted. So I'll give you the highlights on why:
About a month ago, my Mum(riding Leo), Sister(riding Choise) and I(riding Mharli) were out Trail Riding(ALL bitless),
and everything was very all, until... around 5 push-bike riders and a dog came along, Leo just looked around and happily
walked on(he's encountered many push-bike riders before with NO problem!), but as we rode ahead, the push-bike riders
came up beside Leo on a wide 2-car track, and Narelle and I had cantered ahead(so were out of site for Leo). Leo freaked
and unfortunately my Mum had been doubling Brooke on Leo as well. So my Mum re-assured and calmed him, and as Leo
had just about settled down, the dog got excited and approached Leo's hind legs, scaring Leo again(but far worse) and pigrooted
FULL-ON! He wanted to bolt, but my Mum steered him into the bush and eventually got him to stop and Mum quickly dropped Brooke
down, so Mum could calm Leo. Leo was OK for the rest of the trail and Mum led him for a little while after the incident.

We had gone on more trails after that with NO accidents, until one day... we were Trail Riding(Mum, sister and I) and came across
a low branch lying on the ground and Leo was in front, he has ALWAYS just walked over/through ANYTHING my Mum asked, but
when the branch touched his back legs, he bottled downhill, and at the bottom, my Mum could finally pull him around in a tight
circle to stop him, but he didn't want to STOP! Again, he was fine to ride for the rest of the Trail. Leo had NEVER EVER even slightly
felt like he wanted to bolt and/or be uncontrollable! My Mum said that she felt like she was riding at Liberty, and had NO control!
Force is what brang Leo around to a halt! The next day, my Mum rode Leo and I threw balls all around/over him(gym balls) and even
got branches to tangle him in, and rode a push-bike dragging branches and coming up from his blind spot, etc.. and he was SO GREAT!

We haven't gone Trail Riding with Leo since the last bolting session! I've ridden him MANY times in the paddock bareback, and saddled,
in a halter or Bitless Bridle, with not a problem ever! It's only happend on the Trail! My Mum has had over 30 years experience with
horses, and has had EVERY kind of horse, from bolters to rearers and could ALWAYS stop a horse BEFORE it bolted(with a bit) because
my Mum would NEVER pull on their mouth and was always SOFT on their mouths, but when they were about to bolt, my Mum would use
their mouth(as she never did) to bring them around in a circle, and they NEVER bolted again! So that's Negative Reinforcement, because
my Mum used pain to teach a horse not to bolt, but with a Bitless Bridle, no matter how hard you pull, the horse doesn't want to GIVE
as much(but I've never had that!)!!

Mum thinks that Leo had lost ALL the respect he had when we first got him and was riding him in a Sweet Iron(thin) Bit. He trusts us,
just doesn't respect Mum on the Trail. My Mum wishes to ride him bitted today to see how he performs, just in the paddock(although
he has always been great in the paddock or at Team Penning! So I think that's pointless!)! We have ridden Leo bitless for over 2 years
and I only rode him Bitted about 6 times, before going Bitless with him! I remember Leo NOT been soft with a Bit, but much softer without
a Bit! Also, my Mum say's that Leo's had started pulling when Trail Riding and wanting to go faster than the pace he's doing, and Mum has
difficulty pulling him up, or getting him to slow down to a walk, trot or halt!! Leo is a 7yo QH X ASH Gelding. He was abused a bit before we got him and had trust issues, but we've fixed those problems and now he trusts us well! Leo also is highly used to dogs, as we own lots of them! So it wasn't the dog!!

I don't want Leo to be Bitted!!!! He's such a good horse and I FEEL that he'll not trust us as much if we betray him with a Bit! My Mum won't let me ride Leo on the Trail at the moment! :( She doesn't trust that we have enough control on the trail with him! Leo HATES the Bit just like ANY horse!!!!!! I will REFUSE to ride Leo in a Bit, and if it means NOT Trail Riding on him, than that's a risk I will take! I wil ONLY ride him Bitless, which I'm allowd to do in a controlled environment!

That's the BEST I can describe to you in one emial! Suggest anything?!?!?
PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kind Regards, Grace

Well Grace, as you said, I am not a Bitless Man and this is precisely why. I have seen too many Bitless Horses run away with their Owners :) If you don't mind me saying, I think you are being a bit "Pentecostal" about it and that you also should be respecting your Mother's wishes. She has ultimate responsibility for your safety and that is all she is looking out for. Providing a Horse is kept Light Laterally and that the Rider operates on only one rein at a time, the Bit simply pulls against the outside of the face of the Horse. Seeing this Horse go backwards in lightness is typical of Bitless on some occasions. Best of Luck with it.


Hi John,
I have owned barney since middle April, it’s been raining flat out for months, barney has had July off and has been brought back into work, it’s been a little sporadic with the rain being on and off, he has been getting a few days of work then a few days off while it rains, it’s been lunging and ridden, I have been doing mainly flatwork with him and I thought a grid would be a nice change, the grid was already up so I change the spacing to the last jump to make it an easy canter stride for him. I guess I should have done flat work instead. I guess he was over faced and I couldn’t see it as he has been over grids, I guess he doesn’t handle them all too well. I had a second session of Bowen therapy done on him the week before as he was really sore he was perfect the second time around. I saw that he was sore when I was lunging him in the running reins and was throwing his head around when asked to canter. He’s been all sorted now.
Yes you where right, I’m unbalanced, he gets me unblalanced in flat work too occasionally going from a nice even trot to a few strides of slower trot after a haft halt him. I will get unblalanced. Back to lessons when it’s stops raining or I will have to tough it out in the rain and get my balance on him. I had most part of a year off before I got him, my other horse (ozzie) decided that he’s had enough of eventing and I wanted a break too so I just lightly started riding Marco (the kicker that double barrelled me in the face in April). I’ve lost all my muscle memory and balance. :( back to no stirrup work *cringe*
I will forget grid work and work on my balance and get my jump saddle fitted and stop riding in that all purpose saddle.
Thanks for opening my eyes, I was a little blind as to what was going on there.

An unrelated question, have you heard of Double Dan?? No idea what they do, sort of natural horsemanship I think, I only know of the way they lunge because that’s how Barney’s previous owner lunged him, I agist at the same place as her. One of the Dan’s have come to the property a few times and did some restraint training on one of the horses O.O i think they mainly teach tricks to the horses. They were on Australia’s got talent. I missed it.

Thanks for the help :) ozzie says hi 

Best of Luck with it. I hadn't realized that the Kick had affected you so much. Poor you! Yes, Double Dan are Trick Trainers and very good young Operators. One of them is teaming up with Guy McLean for the American "Way of the Horse" where they should kick ass from my viewing of the Yanks :) Regards



Good evening John (and Linda),

am hoping you may have some insight into a minor but very annoying problem. you’ve no doubt seen more horses in herds than I and am wondering how i can go about reducing a kicking behaviour in a new horse.

have recently purchased a new 5 yr old gelding, who after a 4 week “getting to know you over the fence” period with my 4 other horses, has entered the herd and their paddock, and proceeded to double barrel each horse one by one, even the large and feisty young mare who is scared of no-one.

my original 4 consist of : 27yr gelding, 25yr mare, 28yr old mare, and 9 yr old mare. all get on well, some ears back between the 9 year old and the 28yr old, but no violence, just a bigger personal space with those 2. all other combinations of interactions are calm, loving and very respectful. will all stand very close together in the paddock when resting with no issues at all.

when i put the 5 year old in i introduced each horse to him in a smaller yard area rather than putting him straight into the mob....didnt want any racing around as my oldies are stiff and do not run well. i think this is where i made the problem worse. each horse he met he kicked.

he has been in 4 weeks now and whilst all is well in the paddock whilst they are grazing ( paddocks are 30 acres and 10 acres), whenever he gets too near one of them his ears flatten back and he turns his hind end to them.

He is very human friendly and has been well handled as a youngster ( too well handled i feel as he enters my personal space often with no regard....am working on this with good results). have managed to give him a tap with the whip when i have been close enough to do so, and hurled a small rock at his arse when he gets an inclination, effectively halting any attempt.

can u tell me what you think this behaviour stems from? is this his insecurity? is he just a ratbag? overhandled and pushy? or is he just fighting for his life? he chases our dogs out of the paddocks too. is this just his personality? have always had soft gentle horses so he is confronting to me. am thinking dressage will NOT be his forte and perhaps campdrafting might be the go. way to good a horse to sell, and not all that keen to keep him paddocked alone all the time.

i do remove him into the smaller paddock when i need to ( every feedtime, attending to other horses, riding the 9 yr old).

he came from the stud he was bred at, mostly paddocked with a pony or a few fillies. my old team were so settled i feel like ive put a tiger into their world, especially the older gelding who looks at me as if to say “ what have the hell have you done?”

any tips on reducing this behaviour will be gratefully accepted!!!


Poor others :( Who knows, without meeting him? He probably needs bringing down off his pedestal a bit though. Are you sure he is not 'Riggy"? Is his behavior Mare orientated?? Anyhow, something needs doing. You could tune him up in the round pen  or just throw a set of hobbles on him in the Paddock now and again as well as often going into the Paddock with something special in feed (treats)  and personally banning him from the Mob for a while. You may need a Halter on the others so they don't rush off when you send him out of the space of the Mob and I mean 50 Metres at least. They will soon work out what you are up to. You would need a couple of Helpers with Lunge Whips. Only once they have eaten and he has stopped circling and trying to manipulate his way back to the Herd and stands to attention, should you walk out to him, give him a pat and a Carrot and turn to walk back to the Mob. This has a great effect upon them, the same system used by the Alpha Mare during indiscretions by the Young Colts.  It does change their personality. See how you go.


Thank you

Used your recommended Myler bit on a sometimes oversensitive stockhorse I ride at a friends property, mustering.
Well what an improvement, she didn’t throw her head around, was more responsive it was money well spent. (not that I doubted you I bought the bit to use on my newly broken in Arab which I’m using your mouthing system on) but didn’t think there would be such a difference on a already seasoned horse, with just a couple of issues. Now I have to order in another bit for my Arab.....lol

Have a great day
Kindest regards,

Sorry about that Nat :) Cost you money :) As I say, the only People who know about Bits are the Horses and if they tell you, you have to listen :) Well done.



Thanks for your reply.

It really says nothing more to me than kids should not ride horses until they are perfect, they should not be left alone to ride alone unless they have had what you would consider "proper " instruction and possibly be lunging for a long time.

I will watch your clinic with interest.
The main difference I see with the dressage clip is the lightness of the feet of the horse, but the head is still IMHO behind the vertical and being pulled in on a number of occasions, the horse is certainly not downhill or on the forhand, but again this takes years of training for a horse too.

So again- I have not got an answer to how to deal with kids and beginners on horses, in pony club situation.
Could they all perhaps ride in the market harborough, that you feel is good?


You may need to change your Glasses if you can't see the differences between the Dressage Horse and the Hack Jenny for the Hack is appalling. Hollow, Stiff, Choppy Sowing Machine Steps, no Suppleness, terrible. The difference was Graphic.

I thought I had given the question a good go but I will put it another way then. Kids should ride on "Pleasure Reins" and never be allowed to take up a Contact until they have been taught first an "independent Seat' and that they are of the Age to be able to understand and execute "Riding Proper English" under the supervision of "Proper Coaches" When that happens, they should be achieving some softness and submission, not going around swinging off the Mouths of Horses for no Reason as done now. Cheers


received the running reins today! perfect! thankyou. hopefully moving into another agistment with a proper safer round yard to finish her off.

most of the things you do under saddle, i have been strong enough to teach my girl... she has learnt so well,,, tried it on my older tb gelding and cos hes so used to going around with his head like a lama he took ages to get what i was asking from him. he ended up getting it and giving his mouth but not as fast as my girl. i have only done the one rein stop (a year ago) and ttought that to her, tried it on her, did the long rein stopping thingo you do on your DVD and voila! was sweet. took her out onto the road area and practised... waas a super star! then the next day i gave her a lil join up, lunge and then hopped on, to find myself riding the lightest horse ive ever ridden!!!!!! one little touch on her mouth and she gives her jaw and moves off... even into walk to trot transitions she isnt even putting her head up anymore! gonna stick with this for the next week, then once she has builded more muscles will incorporate the canter transition into everything all i have to do is get the scary bags etc on the end of a pole and teach her that, and then yeah finish the on ground work.. if you have a look at my display picture... that is the result of your methods so far.. and my brain teaching her right

Im VERY HAPPY so far! She doesnt run thru my hands anymore... shes only been in training for 2 days. 2 days and i already have most of her mouth on her!!!!!! So so excited John!!

Thanks, Ill message you in a couple of weeks and let you know how she's gone with everything


Well done Sam. You must have done it well. Regards



Hi John,

I saw your comment about Michael from the Horse Taxi, and I would also like to put in a good word about him. My friend used him to move her retiree. He was cheaper than float hire, on time, and very good with Loui. Loui arrived at his destination without ANY sweat, and his owner says that he always sweats when transported. Michael was patient while loading and kind to the horse.


Thanks Sarah. Good to hear. Thanks for taking the time.


The Horse Taxi. Phone 0447801992. 3 Horse Angle Float, personal attention, Door to Door Service. Adelaide Hills and Region. michael@thehorsetaxi.com.au



Hi John,
I have only just recently stumbled across your website and i am so impressed!! Finally someone that teaches without all the fluff!! Your explanations are clear and easy to follow.
I have purchased your running rein system for a tbred broody who i brought back into work ,but she has no topline and has no muscle in her backend,so im looking forward to testing it out.
Also i have purchased your remouthing dvd for a problem tbred mare.
Your website is addictive ...i love it


Thanks Laura. Regards


Hi John and Linda,

I'm at my wit's end with my horse and am in desperate need of help.

I've owned my  for near 4 years now, and in the past six or so months he's been giving me a few issues, and in recent weeks he's become almost unrecognisable from the horse he was. When I got him, he was known for aggressive behaviour on the ground and under saddle would be anywhere between ignorant to plain uncontrollable. In the time since, he's been discovered to be a rig, as well as having many, many physical issues with his hooves, back, neck, and saddle fit issues that were a cause for most of his behaviours.

With patience, care and hard work, he became a very kind, willing horse who was a just a joy to deal with and could be handled and ridden by a number of people in any environment and was well known for his reliability and safety. He was training to compete official ---------------, as well as working in rope halter and lead, mountain riding and at liberty. I then moved and he's done very little work in the past 18 months, and has been moved from the family property to a private paddock on an agistment less than 5 minutes drive from my new house.

Since early this year, he's been getting more difficult to lead and handle. Over a few rides during summer, he'd started bucking me off, so I organised to have his saddle refitted (and discovered it needed it desperately) and got him massaged every 6 weeks to help with the soreness that arose from the few rides in an ill fitting saddle. He did very little over winter, just some free lunging either with no equipment or in running reins. In the dozen or so rides he's had, he's been calm and quiet, and the only issues have been decreased reaction to leg, seat and hand to the standard he was previously working. However, when he is being led and handled he's becoming increasingly difficult, particularly going to the arena, roundyard or just generally leaving his paddock beyond the point of the yards I feed him in. He'll starting dancing around on the end of the lead, pinning his ears back, snapping/nipping, refusing to walk, spin around me and threaten me, pull back and try and take off and has succeeded a few times in each behaviour. It's when he's saddled and bridled, in lunging gear or just in rope halter and lead.

He was having massages 6 weekly up until 4 months ago, has had his teeth done in the past 6 months, his hooves are done every 6 weeks by a very highly trained trimmer, and his saddle has been refitted. He's ridden in a myler bit and wormed every 2 months. He knows to lower his head when pressure is placed on the headcollar, yields his hindquarters, shoulders and backs up on verbal command. Noone has been able to find anything wrong with him, but I'm still not sure if it's pain based or something else. I'm getting him worked on by a different equine bodyworker again in a few weeks, but I'm reaching my end of my patience with him and know it- I understand that his behaviour in the last week has probably been exarcerbated even more by me losing my temper with him too easily in comparison to a previously high level of patience and tolerance, but when he's thrown himself at me and pinned me against a wall because he wouldn't stand still whilst he's tied, and then again while I was leading him into the roundyard, I just can't seem to keep it under control anymore. I know he's a simple learner, but I'm frustrated.

He was the horse of my dreams, even when he was out of control whenn I first got him, and then even more so when he became so beautiful and willing. However, I'm now at the point of thinking of selling him, but refuse to sell him as dangerous as he can be until I can figure out what's causing this as I don't want to pass on this behaviour, especially as he's regressed in many ways to the level he was when I got him.

Please, if you have any advice that will help me get my horse back, or at least him get him to a standard where I feel safe selling him on, anything at all, I just need help.

Thankyou in advance,

First of all, it is illegal to sell such a Horse.

The Horse appears to be communicating to you that he has a problem, found by his change in attitude when he passes the line of his Yard. This is not unusual, we meet them all the time. Do a Youtube Vid and show us you working the Horse on the Flat. Walk, trot and canter, both ways. Then we can tell you. Kind Regards



18th September, 2011




Book on the Sydney Clinic Page off the Home Page





See you all there.




Mrs. HP's new Young Horsee, Green Broke 10 Weeks ago and here he is on arrival.

and this Week. You may notice a change in the Horse :)

Today he went for a look around at the Dressage and Linda got to ride him in the Warm up Arena after the Show.

She competed the lovely Cappo today also, his second start and he ran second with 69.95% in the first Test and Won the second with 68. something. He was a very good Boy indeed.

With his Blonde Mane and Tail :) Pretty Boy.

Wonderful Day Weather wise. At Aldinga, lovely Club, near the Sea, good atmosphere. o what did I see? To the observant, there are always things to see at the dressage and it isn't necessarily "like watching Paint Dry" :)


Both Judges commented about Young Cappo here, that he was "Over the Poll" and yet he was one of the very few Horses at the entire Competition that was "Over the Back"

I happen to think that this pre-occupation by Dressage Judges with such, first of all comes from the Old Days with Bolt and Klimke when clearly they were "above the Bit" and even a Horse that put it's Head "on the vertical" in those Days would have been accused of being totally wrong. Fashions and Era's and that it is a left over from the Ages.

I am of the opinion that this obsession with 'over the Poll" is the main cause of the Horses going around "Above the Bit"...."Hollow" and thus having to endure Riders crashing on their backs as a result, because Horses that are ' above the Bit' can NOT be "Over the Back" Horses that are not "Over the Back" can not be sat trot on because they have rigid Backs and do not give their backs. No 'elasticity'

Hence the many tormented Horses at the Dressage Today for the Horses are the one's that suffer within the English Disciplines when they are 'HOLLOW"

There is a very important ingredient that should come with the Dressage Horse imho. A thing called 'SUBMISSION" but I can tell you that a pre-occupation with "over the Poll" is the main cause why in excess of 50% of Horses at the Dressage Today were being Tormented and were very Sad Horses indeed, because of a "lack of submission" Is that Dressage Ladies and Gentlemen?????....but most don't see these things. Anyhow, Mrs. HP won't be changing, because she is more interested in 'elasticity' and softness of the back of her Horses, than the position of their Heads. If there were more Horses "Over the Poll" at the Dressage Today, there would have been many more Happy Horses. I actually saw Horses looking around over their Shoulders and desperately pleading with Riders to lift their game. :(






G'day John,

The last email I sent you should have read dressage saddle.

Well to further the story, the same top model saddle being the Wintec Isabell (Werth) is only $1060 in Germany as no VAT is paid and the same in a Bates leather is $1760 approx there and $3495 here.

I have decided to put the word out wherever I can and ask every one to pass it on. This way we can collectively put the pressure on Bates to stop exploiting riders in their home country.

So please do pass it on and help horse riding be more affordable to all.



It sure has become a Global Market Place Chris and well done for highlighting that. Harvey Norman and Myer Bitch and complain about online Sales and yet they only found the Internet in 2011 hashahaha. Go figure that for the brightest Brains and the biggest Pay Packets in the Business :) Shop Online Folks. We have Public Hospitals in Adelaide putting Parking Metres in Hospital Car Parks, Major Shopping Centres charging to Park OMG!!!!!!!!!!. Once again showing their ignorance of Businesses. We don't need them. Shop Online and Save!!!!! Regards




Hi John,

With all the rain this winter we are going to have a huge spring here in Tassie, if not a fair chunk of the rest of Australia. I am already seeing cases of laminitis popping up now.

I am a barefoot trimmer here in tassie, I have a couple of youtube videos re a laminitis case from last year, its a story from start to end about a Pali cob named Pearl. From being considered for euthanasia, her rehab and returning to competition.....its a happy story!

Thought it might be something your readers would be interested in....if not a timely reminder to keep an eye on horses this year.

Part one



Thanks Folks. Well done. That should be most helpful to People.




Dear friends,

I have to admit that I was shocked when one of our members emailed me a link in which W. Brett Wilson, a Canadian entrepeneur and millionaire, talked in an interview about his upcoming television series "Risky Business" in which he stated that "We've got a guy who's been a standard bred horse trainer and he is a hustler. This guy knows how to buy horses, run them and then flip them. So we'll probably buy a race horse, run it in four of five races, and then we'll see if we can make money by flipping it."


Slice.ca is airing the television show and they have a page on Facebook on which I have already posted that in our club view it is horse exploitation for profit and unsuitable for national television.

I would like to get the word out to as many horse lovers as possible. If enough horse lovers believe, as I do, that this is going too far, we might make our voices heard on behalf of the innocent Standardbred horse that will be 'flipped for entertainment'.

In standieship,


Felicia Allen
Standardbred Fan Club



Hi All,

Please find attached our new and exciting Riding Pony Pageant Show Program.

This year we have gone for something very different..

Full day Riding Pony Ring - including Appendix RP and Best presented and Handler events for something extra!!!
Topsy Events - L and P Events

Something for everyone!!!!

Any queires please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please forward to anyone you think maybe interested in competing.


Amy Cockburn
SARPSBS Show Secretary



OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Omaha police have put down a horse that fell from a trailer barreling along Interstate 80 in Omaha.

Omaha television station KMTV (http://bit.ly/p8mLI4) reports that drivers on the interstate stopped after the accident Thursday evening and rushed to help the horse. The motorists prevented the injured animal from wandering onto the highway and comforted it until its owner could return to the scene.

The owner determined that the horse was in too much pain, and police euthanized it.



A BOYFRIEND could only watch in horror as his teenage girlfriend was flung from her bolting horse and suffered a fatal brain injury, an inquest has heard

Zoe Leigh Belfield was trying to mount the animal when it bolted down a road.

Her boyfriend Joe Astley told a hearing in Wrexham he could only watch helplessly as she fell off backwards and suffered a major skull fracture.

The tragedy struck the day after Zoe’s 18th birthday in April. She’d been out riding 15-year-old cob Jay, while Joe walked alongside her. Joe said the horse had bucked up during their outing after getting spooked by a passing car.

The pair took it to a nearby field to calm it down and give it some grass before walking it towards Zoe’s home in Llanrhos Road, Penrhyn Bay.

“The horse seemed fine after that and so Zoe went to get back on it,” he said. “She got on and had her left hand on one of the reins and her left foot in one of the stirrups – her right arm and leg were not attached to anything.

“Then the horse just bolted out of the blue and there was nothing she could do to regain control, she couldn’t hold onto it either because it had recently had its mane shaved.”

He added: “There was not much I could do to help because I couldn’t run as fast as the horse. When it got to about 25 yards away, I saw Zoe fall off backwards as the horse carried on running towards the field.

“When I got to Zoe I realised something was seriously wrong, she was breathing heavily and was unconscious.”

Ambulance crews rushed to the scene near Ysgol y Creuddyn and airlifted Zoe to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, where she was later pronounced dead.

A post-mortem examination later revealed she had suffered severe trauma to the head despite wearing a helmet.

Dr Andrew Dalton said Zoe had a bleed on the brain caused by a major skull fracture and said her death would have been “instantaneous”.

Zoe’s devastated mum Angela forced back tears as she revealed the horse had belonged to a family friend up until three weeks prior to the accident.

“Horses were the love of Zoe’s life, she’d been riding them since the age of two,” she said. “She loved Jay to bits”. Dad David said: “Zoe didn’t have a bad word to say about anybody. She was very happy and had a lovely boyfriend Joe – she adored him and he adored her.”

Zoe, a former Ysgol John Bright, Llandudno pupil, was studying A-levels at Coleg Llandrillo as well as holding down a part-time job in McDonalds. She was hoping to qualify for a place on an equine course at ReaseHeath College in Nantwich.

Since her death, hundreds of tributes have been left on a Facebook memorial page dedicated to her memory.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, assistant deputy coroner for North East Wales, Bharti Gittins, said: “This was nothing but an absolutely tragic and catastrophic accident.”



A 17-year-old Mason County teen remains in a coma after a freak accident on September 4 when the horse she was showing crushed her. The accident happened at the Alexandria Fair Grounds and Horse Show. Chrissy Tull, a senior at Mason County High School, ...




EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado — A rollover accident on Highway 6 in Eagle-Vail on Tuesday left one pony dead, but dozens of other ponies were rescued.

The driver of the truck and his passenger were not hurt in the accident, which occurred at the westbound Interstate 70 off ramp at about 7 pm.

A pickup truck towing a horse trailer with about 30 Shetland ponies rolled over while coming down the off ramp. Firefighters discovered about 30 animals trapped inside the horse trailer.

Firefighters from the Eagle River Fire Protection District called for the assistance of two local veterinarians to evaluate the animals once they were able to free them.

Chris Estes, of Gypsum, also assisted the firefighters, mobilizing several horse trailers and corral gates so that the animals could be removed safely and transported to the Eagle County Fairgrounds.

“We are very grateful for the help of our local veterinarians, Mr. Estes and his friends who rendered assistance,” said Chief Charlie Moore with the fire district.




The Horse Taxi. Phone 0447801992. 3 Horse Angle Float, personal attention, Door to Door Service. Adelaide Hills and Region. michael@thehorsetaxi.com.au

This Bloke came to our Place the other Day and I was quite impressed.





Hi Guys,

I love your videos, and always recommend them when someone is having a problem with their horse. Especially the "Dangers at Feed Time" video. It has helped many people I know. No nonsense - so many "gurus" complicate simple things.

I do have a question regarding your warning page. Why do you say that "cotton leads cause ignorant horses"? I use one, and haven't had any problems with my horse's behaviour. I especially love that I am able to get a firm grip on the rope and therefore can maintain a better hold should she decide to be a goof. Just curious is all. What type of lead rope material do you prefer?

And if you have the time? I'd love to know your feelings on using a sidepull versus a bit when starting a young horse.

Thanks, and hope all is well.


Cotton Lead Ropes are normally Universally 6 foot long. That equals too up close and personal, the British Horse Society way. That equals ignorant Horses, purely because of the Handler not being able to get out of the space of the Horse, let alone visa versa. So without any other argument, that stands alone. However, of course it depends upon the Individual and you happen to be one that doesn't cause negative training. However, most People who use Cotton Lead Ropes normally come with the old bad habits of Ground Training and it all becomes part of the Uniform. It is a FACT and cannot be proved or argued against, that NH People have better ground mannered Horses than the others. Therefore they have Horses that are less in turmoil, normally lighter in every way. Now for some Physical attributes. The Cotton lead Rope comes with an elasticity to it that does not allow shock waves to travel from the Hand to the Head of the Horse if needed. It is therefore any training. Due to it's length, it does not allow flexibility, due to it's weight it doesn't allow sophisticated training and due to it's weakness, it doesn't allow re-education. Hope I convinced you :)




My horse George is on loan until I get my confidence back. He is 17 with a beautiful nature. When he was at his original
property he was laid back and hardly any spook, this was on a large farm. When I brought him to my place, 5 acres on
the edge of town, he was very spooky and tense. If we go out riding, all he wants to do is head back to the gate, and get
jig-joggy. There is a lot more going on where we live than what he is used to, so I wondered if he has anxious or would he
pick up on me being a little nervous. I read your article about loosening the reins which I will try next time. I am not really one
for going round in circles and just want a leisurely ride.
Any ideas please


Hi Joanne. It is not unusual for Horses that are taken to a new Home, especially if they are aged, to react this way. Home means a lot to a Horse for he would have spent Years Mapping and recording every safe or fearful thing in your District and now he has to go through the entire procedure again. Yes, of course they pick up on your Nervousness


What great reading, came across this website tonight.
Would you be kind enough to advise on a 17.2 hh Holstein Mare, foal weaned off her July this year, she has been back in work ( just light walking around the property and some hill work ) for the past five weeks.
I have been feeding her two feeds per day plus 2 x lucerne hay biscuits, she has a large paddock with good pasture.
My ration:
2 x lucerne chaff
2 x oaten chaff
1 kilo Economic
1 kilo Gumnuts
This is fed 2 x daily, she is so uptight and nervy so have decided tonight to take away all the Mitavite products and just feed her chaffs, sunflower seeds and carrots plus 2 x lucerne hay
Thought I would do this for the next two weeks and assess her mental state.
Would love some further information re the soybean meal and how to feed this.
I do not need energy just to put a little more weight on her….
Look forward to hearing from you.

The best advice I can give you Helen is to match the Work with the Feed and you will NEVER get energy problems. No matter what you feed basically. Light Riding and things like that is not what we would ever do. Waste of time. Get in the Round Pen and put Muscle on the Horse, together with the Feeding up and you will achieve greater results. Mrs. HP Feeds Oaten Chaff, Lucerne, Unlimited Oaten Hay, Kilo's of Pellets, Rice Bran and what ever additives., but it is the Work that is required to trigger the Body to Build. Go to the Top of the Page Tonight and look at the 10 Week Job of Mrs. HP's new Young One.



John, I took on a lovely SB a couple of years ago who was infested with well over 60 ticks. The vets advice was to pick them off with tweezers, making sure the heads are removed.
He was riddled with rainscald as well so couldn’t use an insecticide. However, I have used two products Permetrol and Brute on another very sensitive itchy horse without any irritation. Both products control insects and ticks. Unfortunately, we are in a high sand fly and tick area too. I’m sure there are lots of other treatments out there but these two are probably worth Ness looking at.

Thanks Lara  Most kind and hopefully helpful to the Lady who asked the other Night.


Dear Mr HP

Thank you SO much for your time, I really did not expect to get a reply let alone be put on your website!!!! I had not even seen this page before only the podcasts!

Many Thanks for your kinds words, OK so I will not take him to the tournament next weekend as yes all Polocrosse positions are this demanding & exciting unless I just play C-Div with the kids.... this weekend I did not take him to club practise but because I was worried I was putting too much pressure with my hands, I rode him at home in a halter with two side ropes only, he was amazing!! I rode him in the arena first with the kids and their ponies and he was just mind blowingly responsive, stopping and turning like the A-Div pony he is, exactly as if he was wearing a bitted bridle! I have not ridden in a halter only since I was a kid and I was amazed at the results... I then took him up to the polo field and tried some fast work to see if we still had breaks, and Yes we did 100% perfect, a little head shaking though, I then tried to do some fast work stopping and spinning which I now know was stupid of me as it was now his diner time and he was worried about were the ponies were (Still back in the arena) within a split second of me realising this he started fretting and reared just while I was doing some lateral work on the way home, I now think I am creating this bad habit by causing more excitement.

I hear what you say about “up wardly thinking horses” but he is not one of these generally, he has an amazing head carriage and is always head down even behind the bit! However you are correct when I put brakes on he puts his head up not down so I will try the lunging method and get a market harbourer to train him better to keep head down when we are stopping and reversing.

Thanks so much!

Sam and Tugela

Cheers Sam. Nice Horse. Sometimes they will rear (if accompanied by Striking) because of Bit Problems, Teeth Problems or even Pain from a Rope Halter, but we don't think it is any of those, do we? The key is this, re that Mouth, if during a desire to go up, you can't make the Head go down, then that front Mouth isn't tuned up enough FOR SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES.

Best of Luck




I have one question to ask you.

If you were to teach a pony club child, who had an independent seat, to ride their horse in a contact , or accepting the bit as some people may say. How would you do this?
Explanation etc.. One example that of course you may just hate, but I have heard them all, over the past 40 years, I may have even been taught them.
Clamp your legs on and see saw your hands, til the head comes down, then stop.. ( of course I feel this is horrid) But its just an example of one way someone may teach a kid.


If I were in charge of a Pony Club Jenny, they wouldn't be allowed to pull on the Mouth of a Horse at all, until they had a completely "independent Seat" and had grown up sufficiently that they had the strength required to indeed cope with such training AND that they were then only Taught by a Dressage Coach incorporating the German Training Scale, like they are in Europe (not England) The proposition you put is laughable :) Hence the difference between Hacking and Dressage.

So what you speak of is the simple reason why those that come with a reputation as the best or a "Name" look like this versus this :) I rest my Case.







Dear John,
I have a foal (8 mths) which gets very impatient at feed time and when taken out of stable in the morning to go in paddock.
As he hear me approach the stable he will start scraping and pawing. He has gotten his hoof/leg caught in the fence and gate a couple of times, but lucky it has not resulted in any injury – yet. This has been going on for a couple of weeks, and I would like to “nip it in the butt” as quickly as possible. I have a couple of other horses that I usually take out in the paddock first. I am sure that if I put him out first, it would eliminate the problem sometimes, however, I don’t believe he should decide who goes out in what order.
I have tried to wave my arms to get him away from the gate and say “no”. I have been standing near the gate (take ownership over the gate) until he stopped. I have then tried to move further and further away from the gate, but I am not sure it is working and if this is the right approach. I was wondering if you have any suggestions.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Hi Charlotte. I don't know which Country you are but if not in the Snow but Australia, I can't understand why one would ever Stable a Foal? I can completely understand the behavior of the Foal and agree with it completely. I also think that there is no point making an issue about controlling a Foal in a Stable, who's only Sin is to get out in the Paddock. To attempt to train such seems to me to be not a priority. Rather, I would be understanding, take the Foal out first if it for as it matures and isn't so frantic at the demands put by us Humans, it will stop doing it anyway. Sorry about that. Not a pet subject of mine :)


Hi John,

Hope all is well with you and Linda and all the horses.

I have encountered a problem with Barney. He has been a little unsure at times when riding him, he would shy by basically jumping a little on the spot. He shies violently now. he will shy at his shadow in the arena, the change of colour/pattern of the sand in the arena, when the pump turns on, the pile of jumps pn the side of the arena, a jump in the arena, a puddle of pee in the arena. He would see a tyre in the paddock next to the arena and shy violently, I will fall off (damn them self emptying saddles) and he will be another 3 or 4 meters from the “object”. I will go through a jump grid and he will be ok and get use to it, but change the smallest thing in it and he will shy or refuse. Like I would have him going through a grid fine, pole to pole canter stride, 20cm x rail stride bigger x rail with 1 pole down, ( | | x \ ) changed the last half cross to a straight bar half the size, refused the first cross, dropped the first cross to just a pole, refused the pole that use to be a jump, had to make him walk through the poles and was very hesitant, once he had gone through it once at a walk he was fine. I’m not sure what happened, it’s very frustrating.
I don’t understand what all the shying is about and the refusal of going near anything that is different. He’s the same on the ground, on his back, doesn’t seem to make any difference.
Is he manipulating me??

I REALLY need help on this, I never had a horse like this. Also, I don’t have access to trails where I am so I can’t ride him out :( but I might start organising on going to a trail area and take him out. I’m skipping the gymkhana this weekend so I can work on him some way or another. I’m gonna lose my confidence with him soon

I wish I knew how long you had owned him or been riding him and whether this is something knew or not? From what you say, either the Horse is reacting to a most nervous and unsuporting Rider or the Horse has developed some latent Veterinary Problem and is manufacturing excuses to get out of Flat Work. The other thing that can cause this is that the Rider is so inadequate or confusing to the Horse or their balance is such that the Horse see's Flatwork as Terror of indeed what I saw today at Dressage, Riders banging and crashing on the Backs of Horses whilst simultaneously cracking them in the Mouth that the Horse just start manufacturing any tactic to get out of the work or to get the Rider off the back, sell the Horse or other. Present Company accepted of course but I merely throw things in for you to reflect upon. See how you go. One such Horse today was at then stage of threatening to Buck the Rider off in the Test and a Judge got out and gave them a mini lesson before retirement. The Rider and other onlookers wouldn't have seen it but I saw the Horse outside the arena later, subtly trying to tell the Rider that it didn't want to go back there again,. Cheers Andrea.



Hi John,

I'm sure you are very busy and I'm not sure I will get a response but I thought it was worth a try.

9 months ago I helped a friend sell her green(broken in for approx 5mths) 4yr old (now 5) Irish Sport Horse gelding, I had him at home for appox 6weeks - I have known him since he was 2 and I just adored him, very compliant, willing horse and he was working happily in the arena - relaxed outline, forward and balanced for a youngster, on trails and we did one small combined training and a riding club rally which he took in his stride completely.

He was sold to a competent horsey family for their teenager to event - she had competed at 1* so was quite capable. 3 weeks later he had started rearing(I could not believe it!) in the arena so I went to ride him and he had zoned out and was looking for escape routes.
Suggested a short spell, everything checked and less time in the arena more varied work. He had gone from 15-20min arena work 2 - 3x a week mixed with trail riding and outings to 5- 6 days a week in the arena for 40mins - an hour at a time.

No word, so I assumed all was well. Recently heard he had gone back to a 'breaker' was still rearing and is at a large dressage yard(same owner) focussing on arena work.

I offered to buy him back considering the connection I felt we had had(sounds silly I know and I'm not a sappy type!) Just watched some video footage of this absolutely sweetest genuine horse launching himself around on his hind legs - I feel devastated. Apparently he is behaving 95% of the time and this problem has ONLY occured in the arena doing flatwork. Pain has been eliminated in every way.

Am I being really naive to think this horse will return to the horse I knew with completely avoiding arena work for a good amount of time, I am thinking spell then trail riding mixed with outings to riding club, xc schooling etc...I event as well so would like to do this with him eventually - he is quite a good little jumper.
Will this habit be ingrained in him after 9mths and in your opinion is it worth attempting to try myself - is it completely ridiculous to think he will remember me and the enviroment that he was relaxed in -
obviously not in a 'he loves me!' way but just in a positive memory way?

The breaker labelled it as Attitude, whereas I feel it is complete sourness towards the arena. How can this happen to such a generous little horse?

Sorry for the novel, I'm just hoping you might be able to give me a little bit of guidence on this...should I just walk away or give him the opportunity to be the horse I hope he still is somewhere underneath the rearing?

Thanks Kindly

Very disappointing Karen. Empathy and understanding cures everything. How do you think we fix the Thousands of "Problem Horses"? Take him Home, take him slow. I'll bet you can do it.  You know the Horse, you know what caused it (maybe a Teenager involved) easy :)




Firstly i would like to say a big thank you for the recipe which instantly solved my haflingers10 weeks of scouring. The vet drenched him twice though he had no other signs of colic and said he would need 1 - 2 more drenches and i thought enough was enough.

My Fathers QH is 17 and seems to get colic on a regular basis and each time it seems to be worse. Do you think doing your receipe on him once a month would be over doing it? the last owners where going to but him down as he was costing them a fortune in drenching. I gave him your receipe and repeated it 14 days later and he seems fine now.

Also if you have any secrets on the treatment of proud flesh I would be eager to learn

Kind regard
Caroline WA

Hi Caroline. Not a problem with treating the Horse Monthly and the Proud Flesh is on my VETERINARY TIPS PAGE Check it out.

Hi John

Just wanted to write & say ‘I am gobsmacked’!

Gave your colic mixture to a mare who has been scouring for a while. I have tried large doses of psyllium, bran, controlling qty of water consumed etc. Also wondered whether hormones were to blame as she recently had a phantom pregnancy. Within about 6 hrs of dosing her (lots of 60ml syringe-fulls & a bit of mess, wasn’t too bad ) her poo became normal and has remained such for over a week.

Do you know what it is in the------------------ that works/helps? I’m fascinated to understand WHY/HOW it works.

Thanks so much – best $10 I’ve spent in a long time!




Hi John,I've picked up a lot of helpfull advice from your website and would like your opinion on something.I have a Rodeo(saddlebronc) and Campdraft background and not a novice.I read your article on shying horses and have had trouble with several young horses myself.In my case,I've found the problem to be the ''Mate Happy'' syndrome and it takes some fixing.I've had young two year olds outside on their third or so ride that have come along nicely and then become bad about shying after a couple of months.Swapping pairings and paddocks seems to do the trick and was keen to hear your experiences with this,

Cheers Mick ................ .PS,I have bought and use some of your gear,good stuff!


I must say Mick I have only seen that once and that was when a different Rider rode the Horse out once and gave it a ride too hard. Apart from that, never. In my experience, (talking my Breakers here) that once they are started, they don't change later. So I buggered if I know what's going on there. Sorry about that Mate. Best of Luck



12TH September, 2011


Spring has sprung and all is happening at 'Gainsborough' The Paddocks are two foot high, against the odds I managed to fight the Annual Good Fight against a couple of 'Rogue Agistees' who make it their Life's aim to wreck them by sneaking Horses into them during the Wet but they came through it well. The Horses are the Winners and are now in Seventh Heaven for the next few Months, not to mention the savings of buying Feed.


We have another saved Race Horse who has won $150,000 and bowed a Tendon at Morphetville last Saturday and was heading for the Doggers :( and a new Agistee coming with the Horse and interestingly, the Lady is the Office in Charge of "Ban Jumps Racing' in SA Well, as they say in the Bush, at least she is "Putting Her Money where her Mouth is" and well done indeed.

As I have been saying for at least 10 Years on here, those who run Racing have been asleep at the Wheel when it comes to being ahead of the Game when it comes to the new Age more Militant Animal Liberationists and that surprises me much. Billions of Dollars and Wall to Wall Millionaires running the Show but they have been substandard indeed. They deserve the Flak that they have been getting and will get and they only have themselves to Blame. Here is Hint number about 20 that I have put up for these Administrators over the Years and I guess they won't listen to this one either.

When a Horse is Sold at the Sales, there should be a Fee placed and invested, to fund the future retirement or rehab of the Horses that serve them so Well and that they are supposed to Love so Much. Then they could be seen to be more genuine.

Anyhow, look forward to seeing the rehab of the second lucky Race Horse in two Weeks at Gainsborough and I shall be watching with particular interest at the quality of care given


I would have bored you with the number of times that I have tried to explain that People leading a Breaker CANNOT STOP it Bucking or SAVE A RIDER if things go wrong. A complete falacy.

Well .........Nathan and my Son were there the other Night and a proud new Owner of an unbroken Horse was seen in the Round Pen, in the Company of "Officer" Ryan and Nathan left for a few Minutes and when they returned they saw the Horse Saddled up and the Owner on board, being led by 'Officer'. ........yep, you know the rest.................Girl hit the dirt and Breaker set on the path of 'suspect'. "Ya Can't Bloody Tell em" hahahahahaha



I have mentioned many times about the success we have had with my Running Reins system, with Horses with minor Veterinary twinges. You may also remember this Horse that was purchased by Shannon here now.

Day One

Well guess what? :) The old Owner purchased him back this Week and so the Circle is complete :) She rode him and even jumped him and no signs of problems.

Well done Shannon. You are the Ace of preparation Girl!!!! and many could take a " Leaf out of Your Book" for the under prepared Horses running a





You will remember the Vet who sold the Horse, on time payment, but kept possession of the Horse, at an Agistment Property?

Horse got injured in Paddock, seriously. 18 Days Later, Vet puts Horse down after prior supplying Bute to the Owner of the Property. Sent the Buyer a big Invoice Grrrr..

Broken Leg :( Vet sends big Account to Buyer, who wasn't consulted prior to putting Horse Down. I have spoken about the arrogance of some Vets previously but those Bloke sure is. He withdrew his services from the Local Endurance Club because my Client fought him and then influenced another Vet in the same District to also Ban the Club, just because the Lady was a Member.

He took over the Court the other Day and thought it was a laid down mezere but alas, got told off by the Judge a number of times. His argument was that the Horse was the responsibility of the Buyer, even though she hadn't paid fully and that he was in care and control of it.

Wrong!!!!!!!!!! The Court found that he was joint Ownership of the Horse and was ordered to pay my Client certain Funds

Another one for the Victim and the 'Little People"



A Client Purchased a Warmblood. Horse not responding to Training. Vet 1 diagnosed 'Knocked Down Hip' Vendor refuses to do the right thing. Second Vet Check and X-Rays. Point of the Hip found within Scar Tissue and long term. Horse cannot be ridden again. Vendor refuses to do the right thing. Vendor now becomes a Defandant in the Courts and sends the Letter to her Lawyer Surprise Madam.....your Lawyer won't be allowed to attend   It pays to do the right thing Folks.

What was it? "Honesty is the best Policy?" a Phrase that was invented in another Era??



Razor Wormer is for 1200kg so don't think you can just work your Hose with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There should be a big Warning sign on the packet re this!!!




Horse’s Age:          8       Horse’s Height: 17hh    Mare or Gelding: Gelding

Breed: Thoroughbred                                  Colour: Chestnut

How Long have you owned Horse: 3 years

How Long Ridden: ridden by me, first 1 ˝ years (not ridden since August ’10, not in full work since January ’10), spelled for 8months prior, race training prior to that

How Long Broken In: 6/7years

Competition or Pleasure: Competition

Discipline:   Dressage/Jump/Eventing                 Level: Prelim/Novice Dr, 80cm jump, newcomers eventing

Currently Riding/Training:  0     hours per week

Date Last Done:    *Farrier- 5/8/11 (to be done prior to clinic)

                             *Teeth- 5/7/11

Wormed- August

What problems are you experiencing with your Horse? (Include all minor/major problems both on the ground and/or in the saddle - give as much detail as possible)

-      Rears under saddle when put under pressure or asked to do something he doesn’t want to do (ie will even rear on trail when asked to go down a track he doesn’t want to). Will rear drag to where he wants to go (out of arena, to stable, will pick a random pole or post to continuously try to drag to), will try to wipe you off on fences, gates, buildings as he rears. Has never flipped over. Was deemed too dangerous to ride and turned out into a paddock,
Has been difficult to load on a float in the past, sometimes will walk straight on, when locked in will throw himself around, try and get his legs over the chest bar.




Horse Details

Horse History/Problems






 Australian Stock Horse





·         Broken in at 2yo.

·         Breaker lunged in short side reins and rode in draw reins.

·         Horse bucked breaker off J

·         Horse also been trained by Natural Horseman and knows 7 games.

·         Horse carries head on chest.

·         When you take a contact, he drops his poll, falls behind the vertical and stops!

·         No brakes or steering.







Standardbred Gelding





·         Green broke to saddle - only had 6 rides

·         Quiet

·         Wants assessment & some training done.

·         Will be re-homed.





Quarter horse Mare



·         Unbroken / Unknown history - possibly ex rodeo bronco

·         Trust issues – doesn’t like people

·         Very Difficult to handle

·         Barely halter broken

·         Needs to be sedated to have feet done













Welsh Gelding





·         Green broke March 2011 before we bought him at auction

·         Had rope burns to back of front legs & hind ns fetlock, raw around girth, sore on wither, pinched corners of mouth

·         Head Shy - difficult to bridle and worm

·         Frightened of being rugged, spooks easily and takes off

·         Trust Issues but very sweet nature

·         Would like full assessment, hobble trained, ridden out etc







Pinto Gelding




·         Rescue horse

·         Bucked owner off - went into a bucking frenzy when he mounted

·         Had ridden safely previous to this

·         Has good ground manners but shy of people







Solid Appaloosa Mare




·         Ridden and lightly shown in Western Pleasure

·         Aggressive behaviour to other horses – on the ground and ridden

·         Cow kicks if horses come near her – problem if trying to show

·         Will back start backing up and fussing if doesn’t want to go somewhere

·         Bad mannered (worse) when in season

·         Owner is mature lady







Thoroughbred Mare



·         Rescue Horse

·         Prepared as race horse & then left out in paddock for 5 years

·         Acts frightened and has trust issues

·         Difficult to Lead – tries to race off

·         Otherwise good ground manners







Standardbred Gelding




·         Broken to saddle 3 months

·         Ridden 6 times

·         Would not walk – only trotted

·         Owner attempted leg yield with spurs to keep horse straight – horse reared and bucked her off

·         Girthy and Nippy

·         Pushy on the ground

·         Owner doing Parelli 7 games

·         Bad manners at feed time







Thoroughbred Mare



·         Bred by Owner

·         Broken in at 2yo

·         Very spoilt – brave – no respect for owner or others

·         Does what it wants, when it wants

·         Issues moving off leg and lateral work

·         Bucks / rears

·         Has gone OK for two other trainers, but has it all over mature owner








Warm blood Mare




·         Green broken 3 weeks ago

·         Owner wants to compete in dressage

·         Currently spelling – owner not game to get on

·         Owner had bad fall and lost confidence

·         Wants you and Linda to do a full assessment before having lesson with Linda







Australian Stock Horse Gelding



·         Ridden for 7 years

·         Pleasure & low level dressage

·         Problem cantering on the right lead (left is good)

·         Counter Canters

·         Did not have any formal training when broken in

·         Horse constantly looking for things to shy at when out riding






Riding Pony x Arab



·         Broken in 3 ˝ years  but very green – little ridden experience

·         Wants to compete – pony club

·         Difficult to bridle – used to rear. Sometimes hangs onto bit when unbridling.

·         Difficult to worm and clip – can’t get near her

·         Girthy, reactive, spooks easily and evasive








Arabian Warmblood (50:50)



·         Broken in January 2009

·         Competing Prelim and Novice, plus Breed hack

·         Resists being worked in frame. Previously had well developed under-neck.

·         Upward thinking but has not reared for over 12 months

·         Head shy

·         Very sensitive horse

·         Owner has re-mouthed (HP’s system) and lunged (HP gear) to build topline

·         Would like to restraint train, but not confident

·         Has been spelled over winter






Thoroughbred Mare



·         OTTB at 3yo and then brood mare for 5 years

·         Owner has had for 2 years and is used for pleasure riding

·         Very girthy and has flipped over or thrown herself on the ground even when girth done up slowly and walked around between

·         Good ground manners







Thoroughbred Gelding



·         OTTB

·         Owned for 3 years, but only ridden by owner for first 1 ˝ years

·         Horse is chronic Rearer

·         Tries to wipe rider off on anything it can find

·         Horse deemed too dangerous to ride and turned out over 1 year ago

·         Quiet and affectionate on the ground





3 ˝ yo


Welsh x Riding Pony mare



·         Owner currently breaking in using HP DVD’s J

·         Horse Mouthed (HP DVD) & will be backed prior to clinic

·         Showing – dressage - unbitted led classes

·         Head shy – bridling can be an issue

·         Sensitive with legs being handled

·         History of Sacroiliac Joint issues but vet thinks can be managed with light exercise






Australian Stock Horse Gelding



·         Wanting to show in led classes

·         How to do Walk-trot-halt on command for led classes

·         Horse runs ahead of young owner – too strong

·         Major floating problem – horse used to self load and float really well, but now all of a sudden, he bolts off the float.

·         Doesn’t like having mane hogged

·         Had major shoulder/knee injury when being loaded onto truck to be taken away from mother – was very lame for 4 months, but ok now.

·         Owner worried about how to handle horse – ‘too strong for me’




13 to 15yo


Standardbred Mare




·         Pleasure riding

·         Horse walks off when he tries to mount

·         Trots off when he wants her to walk

·         Always anxious to get back home when out riding


No                Owner

Horse Details

General Information & History




     1          J






Bay Warmblood








·         Owned since birth

·         Will be competed in Dressage

·         Ties up and has had a lunging Surcingle on, but nothing more

·         Some NH training/imprinting earlier, not much for last year

·         Doesn’t like clipper or scissors near her ears, or Parelli training string near her face

·         Will rear and plant feet when doesn’t want to go somewhere

·         Mouthy, paws the ground, reactive.

·         Used to float very well, but not now.

·         Had bad experience with impatient farrier who hit her with a rasp multiple times and backed her up until she hit stable door and fell down L



No problems






Thoroughbred Mare


Name:   Super

Owned for 18 months

Not Ridden, but believed would have been broken in as a young one

Not raced - Been used as a Brood mare for the racing industry

Very quiet, but very green

Was head / ear shy

Owner would like to be able to quiet ride her

Owner has a back injury


Had hoof abscess but now ok






Height unknown

Thoroughbred Mare


Name:   Jewles



·         Owned since 8 months old

·         Wants for English Pleasure / Dressage

·         Has had fair amount of ground work, desensitizing, tarps, ropes, voice commands, flexing, yielding and clicker training

·         Lunged in Surcingle

·         Bridled, but not mouthed






No                Owner

Horse Details

General Information & History







Height unknown

Black Warmblood



Name:   The shadow



·         Owned 2 ˝ months – not much work was done with her before being purchased

·         Wants for English Pleasure / Dressage / Breeding

·         Owner has done a fair amount of ground work, desensitizing, tarps, ropes, voice commands, flexing, yielding and clicker training

·         Has Lunged in Surcingle

·         Been bridled, but not mouthed

·         Needs Hobble Training – has had previous accident with leg being caught causing her to panic and has scar.  Has since caught leg in round yard.











I must say the SA EA are evolving. Here is a good one for you all.

Dressage Monday Night – Reminder!

Everyone welcome – bring a friend.

Monday 12th Sep - DVD Discussion Night
Robin Hood Hotel, Portrush Rd, Norwood. 6.30 pm meal, 7.30 pm DVD & discussion. Entry $5 donation

DVD "The Development of the Dressage Horse"
with Christoph Hess, Scott Hassler and Steffen Peters.

Steffen Peters discusses conformation and temperament as they relate to trainability and movement. Scott Hassler and Christoph Hess demonstrate how the horses' conformation influences the quality of training. They demonstrate the correct basics for starting young horses, an analysis of gaits, and the
training scale. Steffen Peters then demonstrates the continued training of young horses, moving toward such advanced concepts as collection and

General enquiries to Liz on 8389 7455, or e-mail: sadressagejwp@yahoo.com.au or check the Dressage link on the Equestrian SA


You would have all seen lately on my Friday Night Quiz on Facebook you may have realized that the majority of Horse participants are not seeing enough when it comes to choosing Horses. I of course see it daily with the Horselaw Cases. See you there.


Mr Gregory Stratton of Balgownie appeared at Wollongong Local Court for a hearing of animal cruelty charges yesterday, Wednesday 31 August 2011.

The charges comprised three counts of aggravated cruelty and four counts of failureto provide veterinary treatment to two horses. At the Court Mr Stratton changed hisplea to guilty of aggravated cruelty with the three counts incorporated into a singlecharge. On the basis of his guilty plea to aggravated cruelty, the veterinary chargeswere withdrawn.

The two horses were seized by RSPCA Inspectors on 9 May 2011. Both had severe chroniclaminitis due to long term neglect of hoof care. This had resulted in irreversibledeformities to their feet with serious disablement. One of the horses, a thin mare,had a very painful condition known as 'wavemouth' with extreme hooks on her molarteeth. These were cutting into her cheeks causing marked scarring, and she was unableto close her mouth without piercing her lower gums. She had developed an extremelyabnormal bite and will require special feeding for the remainder of her life.

The other horse, a gelding, had teeth with extremely sharp edges causing ulcerationinside his mouth. The examining equine veterinarian estimated there had been afailure to provide treatment for the horses' laminitis for at least two years. Themare's untreated wavemouth would have progressively developed over several years withan equine dentist concluding the mare had not received any dental care for at leastten years, and the gelding for at least four years.

Mr Stratton was convicted and placed on a Section 9 good behaviour bond for twelvemonths. The bond has conditions allowing the RSPCA to inspect his animals. MrStratton must inform the Chief Inspector of all animals in his care, includingnotifying any change of an animal's location within seven days. Mr Stratton was fined$1,500 and ordered to pay $81 Court costs, $15,426.60 veterinary/agistment costs and$4000 professional costs.

Mr Stratton surrendered both horses to the RSPCA at the Court.




I am so impressed by your pod casts, I which I could down load them faster! I do not know if you have time to assist but....

I have a beautiful 6 year old of the race track thoroughbred. He has Never put a foot wrong until the last tournament.

Amazingly he is the lightest horse I have ever ridden with a fantastic mouth.
We do lots of 50% bush rides with the kids and ponies, 20% free lunging in the round pen, 5%flat work in the arena and some 10%stick and ball practise on the field
He has had his teeth done 6 months ago
He does not have a back issue.
His tack is fine.

We attend club practise ever Sunday and play hard, and alternate is with a kids chukka inbetween.
He played two tournaments last season in B division and did brilliantly
He played one A division tournament 4 weeks ago and did fantastically but started rearing under pressure.

1) In the line up when I bring him to the halt then ask him to spin and go, if I ask to hard he will rear..
2) In the goal area when I am defending strongly, I have blocked the other horse coming into score, we are almost at a standstill and we are waiting to see which way he breaks, I am holding Tugela in position but with the anticipation of which way to break and the speed of breaking he rears.
3) Coming in to take a throw off the back line, if I ask him to stop to wait for the whistle to play he will rear.

Depending on how my pressure I put on him he would rear twice within a 7 min chukka.
I then was away on holiday for 3 weeks.
I returned and he was fine on bushrides at home even schooling & Stick and balling.
But at Polocrosse practise this Sunday as soon as we played harder the rearing started again...in the same situations 1-3 above.

I have read about the market harbourer
I have listened about the power of the speed and timing of release of pressure (I think this is the most important thing)
Keep the horse going forward, head down,...

The problem is this happens in a high pressure game, in that split second of the stop, anticipate, turn and go...
He is a very showy horse and loves to show off at every available moment, and he is very capable and super athletic, and super generous and tries hard at everything
The only other problem I can think of is we are not 100% accurate getting the right lead when we canter to the right.
But I honestly do not know if he is doing it because I am putting too much pressure on him and not releasing my hands quick enough or it is just the anticipation and excitement. (I get very excited too!)
I am really trying to use my hands less, and it is fine when I am schooling him, but in a game when you have to outstop, outturn and outrun the other horse I am finding it tough. But it is getting dangerous now as he is getting too upright and could easily go over.

Do I leave it for a season (it is nearly the end of the season now anyway) and avoid totally that situation, or do I school him and put him into a gentle anticipation situation but build up the pressure slowly to desensitise him to it? Or ignore his fuss and try to just push him forward every time he rears?

I have not beaten him ( I am usually too unbalanced afterwards anyway to get the timing right).
And I have got a new 2K bit (he was in a normal eggbutt snaffle before)
I know I have to be softer on my hands...anything else?

Hope you can help

Sam and Tugela
South Africa

Hi Sam. Lovely Pics, lovely Horse and you are a very good Rider who has the right attitude,

In my opinion, the pressure and excitement of the moment is getting to this Horse, because of his Racing Career. This is not unusual so you have to take the steam out of him for sure. It may be that this Game is too much for him and his fragile mind as they do get but time will tell.

Meanwhile, you need to get him thinking down rather than up. This should include getting him to the stage whereby if you pull on the Reins, his Head goes down and never up and that requires the assessment of his "Underlying Mouth" the one that comes to the surface in moments of pressure or excitement. That is different to the Day to Day Mouth that you are feeling.

Therefore, you should be lunging him in some sort of equipment that gets him more submissive and thinking down and in fact building the Muscles that support and promote thinking Down. ie.




That would include if he were mine, when prepared and ready, lunging in this frame

I would also be removing him from the difficult positions on the Field (if that is possible for I don't play it) or be spelling him and going to Pony Club for less aggressive Games for his Mind meanwhile.

There is nothing about him rearing like this. He is just trying to hard. Lovely Horse.

Best of Luck




Thanks John I will be contacting NP’s and the local council to see if someone has any sense and can see the danger the barriers present. Your website will no doubt warn others of the danger as riders new to horses may not realise the risk. I think pigs might fly before I would have any success with the government on this one but will give it a good go. I have a non horsey husband but even he could see straight away how unsafe these things were.
Cheers Deb

Well of course this is typical of Local Govt and State Govt and no doubt advised by Committee type Horse People who haven't been there done that. This is highly dangerous and a 'risk management' problem. The mind boggles with the possibilities Be careful!



Hi HP,
I wanted to thank you for your training DVD’s, particularly in regard to hobble training and halter breaking the foal. My youngster who is an 11 month old Warmblood and pushing 14 hands, got stuck under the wooden railing of a fence today when he thought it would be a good idea to have a roll beside it. He rolled towards it and got his front feet underneath and his back feet resting against it. He couldn’t work out how to roll the other way to free himself. He just laid there for a while contemplating the view of the sky, while I waited for him to roll back away from it. Time went on and he stayed where he was then went to get up with his head going under the railing and me trying to push it back.

The only one getting worked up over this situation was me. He was happy just to lie there and even had a munch on some grass that he managed to reach. He then got his back feet under the railing...so now all feet under the railing and his head pointing the same way. I pushed and pulled and put his rope halter on (the wrong side so I could do it up) to keep him from putting his head further under.

Anyway to cut a long story short I managed to pull his head back away from the fence and then he was able to push with his front legs and cleared himself enough to get up.

He remained calm and composed the whole time, never lashed out once, thrashed or panicked. I have to say his previous owner did a great job with him before I bought him, and taught him well. Put that together with hobble training and it goes to prove they can think their way out of trouble with a bit of help. My thanks again!


Thanks Sal and well done for supporting and protecting your Horse with such Training. There are hundreds of instances of this and quite clearly those who raise their eyebrows at such training are letting their Horses down.

Reggie the Wonder Horse Galloping in them :)




I have a great amount of repect for your mind set and horse training methods, and I think you might dealw ith this sort of thing quite a bit, so I thought I would ask you for some advice about my horse. If you could take 5 minutes to read and reply to this email with any advice I would greatly appreciate that.

Nearly 2 years ago I purchased an OTT tb mare. When I first got her she was fairly typical for those horses I suppose you could say, and had quite a few issues that needed work. Most of these resolved fairly quickly as I worked with her, but it soon became apparent that some problems would not go away, and it was then that I realised that they were due to back pain, that she had been carrying all that time. Like many nieve purchasers I had bought an unsound horse.

I have since had bowen therapists, saddle fitter, chiros, vets, and accupuncture on her. Each saying things like " I'll fix that in one or two sessions" and providing different reasons why she was in pain, but each with little to no results. I am now at the very difficult stage of deciding what I should do with her. I have given her nearly 3 months spell, and also a couple weeks of intense massaging nearly every day, but I dont think she has imporved. I am now leaning towards the idea that I may never be able to make her sound, and if so what to do with her.

I am not luckily enough to have my own property, so used to agist her, but then moved to a granny flat on a property, it is all very expensive and time consuming and not really worth if I can't ride or train my mare. This is difficult as I have developed a strong bond with her and think 6 yrs old is too young to retire a good horse....

Basiucally I am wondering if you have any advice for me in giving her away to home where she will be well cared for? Being unsound she does not have much going for her other than; she is friendly, but not desperate for human attention, paddocks well with other horses but does not get too attached to them, and is a fairly good doer, no fuss horse, no fence walking, cribbing etc, goes well unrugged and unshod. I think she could still be lightly ridden out on trails. There were times when I was able to canter her bareback out and about, and she was ok with traffic and dogs, etc. She is up to date with her worming/feet/vaccinations.

Do you know of a good place to start, in looking for a home for her? Or do you know of anyone who wants a friend for their retired horse? Do you havve advice to help me?

Thanks so much for your time and help.


Difficult one Heather. Bad Luck :( I would like to have seen Photos of her. You can only really advertise her as a give away but be very careful on where she goes, with investigation into the Person and their property first.!! There are plenty of Mongrels out there. Best of Luck



Hi John,

A small update...there’s a bit more to the story now. I took her to the vet this week as I was starting to suspect a stomach ulcer. Turns out I was right, so she’s being treated. She was acting girthy, but checked out fine with the chiro. But I was also worried about her extreme reaction to my leg aids. I know it was too soon and I was confusing her, but it was kind of a different reaction to her normal “I’m confused” behaviour and I was worried there was more to it. Sometimes you just kind of “know” and you can’t be too careful!

The good news is that they are happy with her sacro.


Well done Kath. Great result. Now for the green grass!!!



hoping you can help. whats the best treatment to treat grass tick infestation on horses bearing in mind that arab pony now shares paddock with cattle . she suffers badly from qld itch every summer and now this is a new environment for her i dont need the added stress of ticks as well. please help


Sorry Ness. Not my area. We don't get much of those things here so am am not familiar.  Regards



4th September, 2011

Took Bella to the Vet's for scanning in readiness to put in Foal to Vivaldi (Holland) via frozen semen (which of course is a Gamble on the stats) All her reproductive parts seem to be working well and so she will be put in Foal in October when it gets a little warmer. Lovely environment at the Vet's place so it should be good for her mood.

Mrs. HP's young Horses are going fine, working away every day  :)

Welcome to Gainsborough this lovely Pony that we picked up the other day to Float down for the Owners and the Coach. He has a Floating Problem whereby he explodes out of the Float from being left tied up when the back ramp and bum bar were released. (The number one mistake in Horse Floating) Miraculously, with the loading at Mt. Compass, unloading and loading at the Vet's on the way through and then unloading at Gainsborough, my wonderful Horse Float had already half cured him without any intervention from me. A very happy young Lady greeted us at Gainsborough and is going well.

Lookin Good :)



On the subject of Europe, I want to warn you that things are not all Roses when it comes to expecting honesty.

I would love to show it to you but I have been asked not to but I have just watched a Video of a German Coach selling a Horse to a Rider and the 'dribble' and spin is something to behold. He sold the Horse alright, to America and it hasn't turned out. The quality of this Horse was such that Mrs. HP wouldn't ride it.

Don't think you will be necessarily told all the Truth by the Germans and Dutch as there are many cases of Australians, Americans and others, being ripped off in Europe. A quick perusal of Youtube, with a trained eye for the job, soon shows things of concern and in need of further questioning. Take these two Clips.


Highly edited and particularly when it comes to the flying changes. Note that most of the changes are out of Half Pass.


  Here, the fact that the Horse is 'above the Bit' throughout and especially for Dutch standards, coupled with conformational matters.


  Here, the changes should be carefully looked at.


Now I am not suggesting that any of these Vendors are going "the raw prawn' but merely pointing out that just because Horses are in EU, doesn't mean they are any better than other Countries. They have just as many unsound, suspect and poor moving Horses there as we do here.

Australian breeding has come a long way and all of the Dutch and German Frozen Products are available in this Country.

The reality of the matter is though that there are just as many EY Shysters as Australian one's and if you are thinking of buying in Europe, be highly viiglant.





Tommy our shetland our much loved pet and companion to our other horse has gone missing sometime on Monday night the 29 August. It is looking very suspicious. Went missing along Northern Rd Mugloa.

Tommy is very aged and was now in his forever home getting a lot of love from his young ower, not only was Tommy a loved pet but he was more than that for our daughter, he was therapy pony for her and her speech problem. Someone has taken my daughters pony from her and that is what upsetting our family the most. Very missed already..... Please keep an eye out for him and call the police if you see him. Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000
or please call me on 0412 453 982
Thank you for taking the time to look and if you have Facebook please share my link.


FOUND. Possibly hit by Car?



Damien Oliver wins 2011 Balaklava Cup on Magical Pearl

My Brother had a good Day last Wednesday, winning the $80,000 Balaklava Cup against some very good Horses from InterState.

Champion jockey Damien Oliver rides Magical Pearl past the post to win the 2011 Balaklava Cup. Pic: Calum Robertson
Source: AdelaideNow
A TERRIFIC ride from gun hoop Damien Oliver has helped Magical Pearl claim the 2011 Balaklava Cup in an incident-packed race.

Magical Pearl, trained at Normanville by Dennis O'Leary, sat just off the pace before bursting clear in the straight to take out the $80,000 Listed event, with Candle and Silent Surround filling the minor placings.

The race was marred by a fall in the straight, with Homicide Hank breaking a leg and sending jockey Jeff Maund to the turf, while interfering surrounding runners.

Lloyd Williams' Melbourne Cups hope Base, the $3.50 favourite, did enough, running on to finish better than midfield after getting too far back.

Magical Pearl paid $7.50 on Tattsbet.

She 'put the writing on the wall the Week before with this.




There has been quite a bit of drama over this, some of the stories here from the local Paper.



it would appear that all is not what it seems with this Story. The Horse dies of Laminitis, not Greasy Heel.


Last Week, I had a Skype Chat with this lovely Young Lady, about this nice Horse that she had just broken in.  There were some confusion issues and frustrations rising, caused by the environment of her facilities and relationship with her Paddocks and Paddock Mates. I advised her to do the following.


Hi John,

We went for our trail ride today and I think it was quite successful. We couldn’t go to the cross country course but instead went to a really bushy trail and behind a quiet horse experienced on this trail. So we didn’t have any trouble with forward and she was at times trying to overtake the lead horse. So we practised stopping and backing, and a few ORSs and negotiated our way around trees and ditches etc. Everything you said made perfect sense 

So my next question is how long is it okay to keep riding her out like this before it becomes an issue of her becoming too reliant on having another horse?

I watched the Podcast on the one rein stop too, as usual very clear and informative instruction 



Well done Kath. Great result. You should go riding at least 3 more times with another Horse before tackling it on your own and during those rides, you will hit the front now and again, build upon it, and certainly lead all the way home on the last ride. Now you are ready. Remember though, to take the Green Horse out the Gate on it's own, is completely different challenge to riding with another Horse. In my opinion, the young Horse was getting frustrated with the Round Pen and then having to ride in it's own Paddock. This is a very big No No in the game of Breaking in Horses and one that should perhaps be remembered


Well done Kath!!




At least he won't talk back :)


A product that allows you to start a young horse without venturing on to its back has been launched in Ireland.
The Ardall is designed to resemble a human torso and is placed on the back of an untrained horse — or one that hasn't been ridden in a while — to accustom the animal to the sensation of being ridden.

Showjumper and trainer Paul Murphy of Co Kerry, launched the Ardall at the Dublin Horse Show (3-7 August).

Paul, who starts around 30-40 horses a year, told H&H: "Breaking is a main part of our business. I originally created it to make our lives here easier, but decided to market it.

"I've had a few near misses with young horses — it's dangerous — and as a showjumper I couldn't afford to be injured.

"This [the Ardall] gets horses accustomed to a rider, without the risk of someone falling off."

The dummy, which weighs 35-40kg, fits all standard saddles and can be used during long-reining and lungeing.

Paul said it speeds up the backing process, but the aim was safety.

"It stays on — the first rule of breaking a horse is not to come off it, as if you come off today, he'll try again tomorrow. And if you come off again tomorrow — then you're in trouble," he added. "It doesn't matter how good a rider you are — horses can still be unpredictable."

I might get one of those :) Call it Nathan hahahahaha


Spring is my favourite time of year when everything in my world just begins to feel right again. But it can also be a time of great concern for horse owners, with the spring grass potentially hazardous to so many ponies and horses. Do you know that the number one reason people contact us looking to surrender horses is because of laminitis, founder and abscesses? This is a great time to brush up on our knowledge of equine nutrition and grass and put an action plan in place.

And Spring came early for us with the arrival of a baby horse! What a surprise we got on Friday 12th August with the arrival of Bojangles! It was just as well we'd had such a good fundraising month just before this because that's exactly why we need to have reserves in the bank--so we can mobilise at a moment's notice to rescue a horse in need, in this case a two-day-old abandoned foal (and then support his critical care). Bo (and his foster family) have been on an intense journey, but one that is incredibly rewarding. (More on that below.)

Keep up the great work, Angels :)

Charlies Angels Horse Rescue. Queensland

I want that one :)




Entry fees $4.00 per horse-per class (Riding Pony and Topsy Events)
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Entries close 5pm FRIDAY 14TH OCTOBER 2011

Send ENTRIES to:

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DRESSAGE: Emily Sired – 0402 766 487.



  HANOVER COUNTY, VA (WTVR)-- Eleven year old Arianna Cox was lending a helping hand at a Hanover horse stable last Friday, trying to prepare for Hurricane Irene.

Around 1 o’clock is when her dad says the “freak accident” happened. Douglas Cox says, the horse got caught up in a gate and when my daughter went to help it out-she got hit in the face and died.”

Arianna, a rising sixth grader at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Hanover loved horses, her family, friends and God. Her dad tells CBS 6 reporter Jon Burkett that her peers going through hardships often looked to her for comfort and advice.






Hi Mr HP
Thankyou for the prompt supply of saddle and gear ordered; am very happy with the service and quality(& price!). Sadly haven't had the saddle on my horse as he just been diagnosed with ulcers:(...Although I have owned horses for many years, had never actually come accross it, though now having done a bit of research I realise how perhaps underdiagnosed/unrecognised this may be. Was also sad to see on your site that Mrs HP's beautiful dressage horse has been retired for this reason...given your experience wondered if you had any tips on treatment/ongoing management? Of course I have a vet giving me advice(a good one I think!) However, in hindsight a different vet told me during a severe bout of colic(6 yeras ago) with this horse that "all older geldings get this malabsorbtion thing.."(Lets not get too scientifc
eh?!) In ignorance I spose I took that for what it was and simply managed his diet...no sudden changes, lots of pasture/hay, no molasses(instant runs) etc etc. Have owned this gelding(17h grey thoroughbred now 21 year old) for 10 years, and had no problems apart from that colic...in fact at his last well horse check at the vet comments all round on how good he looked, and had a clean bill of
health(4 months ago). Then in the last four weeks, he lost topline, developed a pointy rump and poverty lines, tucked up and tender in the flank and personality transplant..didn't want to be caught, generally grumpy, ears back and laying down every night(not rolling). All signs that my previous best buddy was not well! Normally a very people oriented horse, very good on the ground etc, but VERY stressy when paddocked away from other horses/stabled, but fine when being ridden or handled. Needless to say I keep him near/with other horses and not in a stable! I am a lets say middle aged woman who has gone back to riding after having children and a back injury(not horse related) so he doesn't get exercised more than 3 times a week,(no olympic stardom for me I'm afraid) and has been back being ridden since January. Any comment or insight would be appreciated.

Thanks for your efforts and sharing your experiences.
Kind regards

Bad Luck Sally. Well out of every diversity, one should learn and gain knowledge. We have learnt a bit. The most important thing we are fairly sure about is that the Ulcers that Donner Bella ended up with were caused by pain and not stress. A first we thought it was stress but after examining the entire saga, and knowing that she was never stressed during her work and certainly never unfairly ridden, that it was the pain from the Veterinary condition, that caused the Ulcers. In the case of your Horse, the loss of topline, the pointy rump and other indicators, suggest that it is pain that has caused them in your Horse. First priority, fix the pain or don't ride the Horse, turn it onto Grass and you shouldn't need medication, which is extremely expensive. First up Omoguard for a Month and then a maintenance dose or Dr. kohnke's Gastrazol but there are Herbel assists, Slippery Elm and other things. Google will throw up mega information. Best of Luck




thanks ... very much looking forward too it ... esp now u got a new dvd sounds amazing have just watched your perth clinic dvd and got masses out of it ... very diff than the structured ones ... i want to be u do one day !!!hahahhahahaa im 32 so i got a bit of time on my side !hahahahaa and your sure making it easier .... im the one who asked months ago about the arab with the blown brain during breaking ... i am lacking some factilites just trails , paddock and grass round yard but was able to adapt and do things a bit diff with correct knowledge and still got the same results.... diff horse now long and low( hes not built for dressage so am reluctant to bring him up is that the right thing do do encourage long and low (if i let him he practically drags his nose on the ground)?? , leg yeilding , turn on forhand and counter bend, great by himself or alone ( have done 90% training on the trails ), staring to neck rein, insane one rein stop (has become is comfort
zone) and best bit is a 10/10 mouth :)
Q when training this horse i have choosen to make him a bit deader rather than super responisve .... i choose to do this to make him more of an everyday riding horse ... theres no kick involved but you have to squeeze rather than just brush as he was before ....would love your opinion on this decision?? ... better the horse better chance they have a being well looked after through life rather than being in a tin of pal which was where he was head before So thanks John am very much looking to the huge learning exp the clinic will be and for sharing your knowledge rather than hoarding it like some poeple think is the way to go ... funnily enough they r the ones usually doing the wrong thing!!!

Well done indeed Nic and well done to even think about such things as 'Custom Making' a Horse for the masses :) You are right. The greater the selection of Human that can ride it and the less responsive, indeed the less chance of some fast moves that could start the Horse onto the Road to nowhere. Hell, 32 Years you will certainly outdo me :) Keep up the good work!



Hi John / Linda

I am currently riding a 20 year old mare who has not been ridden in some time, been in medium work since last November. She half collapses in the hind quarters for a step like something has locked or pinched, she may do this 3 or 4 times over a 30 minute session. Only at the walk, trot and canter are fine. Any ideas?
thanks, Melissa

Yes Mel. She is suffering from 'upward fixation of the patella' or temporary of it. A lack of fitness and Muscle tone would most likely be the cause. It is not fair to ride such Horses unless you support their muscular systems with much athletic preparation. There are a number of articles about these subjects for you on my Problems Index. Get working :)



Hi john,just wanted your opinion on vitamin suppliments?? The guy at the fodder store suggested it was a good idea as pasture and hay doesnt have all they need in it.He said to get enough out of pellets,I would have to give dancer alot more than I give her and being the tubs she is I cleary dont want to do that.thanks for your reply

Nothing wrong with that Rachel and MIneral Bricks. The Australian Soils are often lacking in Minerals that are required. Go here for more help. http://www.ker.com/consultation/HorseOwners/



Hi Mr HP

Purchased a second hand Sprenger Ultra KK loose ring snaffle. The Ultra having a slightly rotated centre piece. I didnt know that at the time.
Have just fitted it to the horse. Was previously riding him in just a Sprenger KK, with no arrow at the side, ie the bit could be used either way around, there was no right way to have it. The reason for seeking change was that the old bit was a little too big and fat. Was seeking a little refinement when out thundering around after cattle. What is your opinion on this newer 'rotation'. My thoughts were that the KK was supposed to reduce the nutcracker action and make it a kinder bit? why introduce a rotation that acts down on the tounge? Have also read in a forum that you can reverse the ultra bits (by putting the arrow on the right facing forward not the left), and instead of acting down on the tounge, its supposed to have no pressure, but wouldnt this apply slight pressure to the palate?

Have also noticed that his top tushes are set quite far back, so far that with the bit fitted with a slight crinkle at the side of the mouth, the bit almost touches the tooth, not quite, and I havent had any issues (that I am aware of) with it hitting it. Perhaps I should have included a pic. Is this common??? many thanks Veronica

Veronica, this is a Minefield and there has not been enough Research on the subject in my opinion. The problem is too, with questions like this, is the differing design of the Mouths of Horses and the state of their Teeth and Mouth. 12 Months ago in fact, I invented a new Weymouth Bit because I am a thinker and investigator. I told no-one. Recently, Sprenger announced a new Bit :)


Note the angle forward.

So, I really shouldn't comment as every case is an individual and should be treated as such. I would be doing your Horse a diservice to proclaim to know about your problem. Best of Luck


Hi Mr HP

In your experience with horses’ teeth, have you come across examples of severe decay in horses’ molars?
My reason for asking is that I have recently had six horses’ teeth done by their regular dentist (vet), and within a 12 month period, four of them have now got severe decay in their back molars. All six are on varying amounts of the same diet. The only variable this last twelve months is that the next door property was sprayed with Methyl Bromide for a beetle infestation.

The teeth issue is devastating as you can imagine, and I can only think its diet that causing the problem, hence my fault.

The vet was amazed at the level of decay and is investigating this further for me.....

Just wondered if you had seen much decay, and if so, what some of the causes were?


Yes Dany, it does occur of course but you should be contacting the DPI or Dept of Environment and asking for an investigation. Perhaps your Local Polly. Horrendous story!!! :( Has your Vet been using electric Power Tools on those Horses???


Dear John

Sorry to hear that Bella is still feeling unwell - hope she loves her new paddock. Can I ask - If a horse is afflicted with ulcers is this for life? What I am trying to say is that if Bella is spelled is there the possibility that she may recover completely with the chance to return to dressage?

The Vet's said that she should be on medication for the rest of her Life. Another said that you should attempt to wean her off it. Without work and with Dr. Green though, they settle down. However, it was not the Ulcers that triggered her retirement, it was unsoundness caused by an accident Years ago, compounded by the high levels of Dressage.

I thought I would write and share my story of last weeks trip to the vet. As you know I feed my horses wheaten hay – NEVER AGAIN. There are quite a few varieties of wheaten hay, in particular you can purchase beardless or wheaten hay with the beards left on. The last round roll of wheaten hay I got was not beardless, hence my story. In fact, whilst I was at the vets it was commented that the vets house was probably paid for by all the call outs related to wheaten hay!!! After scoping the mare the vet found that she had a reaction to the hay which had gradually built up and looking down the scope revealed that her oesophagus was red, inflamed and pus pocketed. She was having trouble eating, choking and her breathing was very ‘darth vader’. These symptoms came on in one day, however, I can now link watery eyes which she had been having for quite a while as a reaction which stupidly I thought was just flies or an external issue. Now I know better – it would be just the same as when we have a dry sore throat and when we have a coughing fit it brings tears to our eyes. Problem was I had never heard her coughing! I was listening to my horse, but came up with the wrong diagnosis – I am not happy with myself. Also, this would explain why my gelding was coughing every time I asked for trot – I did have this checked out, but was told from numerous people that it was normal and that all horses cough. Again should have listened to my gut instinct. I am very angry with myself, but have to admit that I have learnt a very valuable lesson - one which you drum into us constantly - If you think something is wrong, then it usually is. I have now sourced some lovely new season oaten hay which has been shedded and recommended by my vet and I would like your opinion on what sort of roughage you would recommend. I am thinking that my other option would be meadow hay, but from past experience most of this just gets wasted.

Your opinion would be appreciated.

Thank you for your time and please send my regards to Linda

All our love, Mel & ponies XX

Hi Mel. Bad Luck. Yes, we have never used it and in fact Horses do not prefer it. You would have always noticed that at Gainsborough, Oaten is the order of the Day.

You would also have known that we NEVER feed Meadow Hay. To do so is fraught with Weed  infestation danger and especially around the Perimeter of the Metropolitan area. You would need to go further out to the 'proper Farmers' to find anything reasonable and clean. However, you only need Oaten, Lucerne and the Hard Feed and supplements Mel. Regards



Hi John, I have been on your website over the last few days, and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Thankyou for a great informative site. I was looking at the veterinary photo's and came across the cancer riddled horse, I have one my self, an Arabian derivative, I bred her, broke and educated her, with help from instuctors, to training med advanced level dressage, at the age of 7 yrs she started weird behaviour changes, both being led and ridden. After spending $1000's on vets, chiro's, and theropists of all kinds, I decided to put her in the paddock to just be a horse, as nothing I did seemed to settle her. Then one day I noticed a lump starting to protrude from her head, the vet confirmed it as Gutteral Pouch Melonoma, I asked could it have been the cause of her behaviour change, and he said deffinately . It took about three years to surface, but the tumors must have been internal causing her distress when asked to come on the bit. She is 14 this year, and starting to not hold her weight as easily, I'm not looking forward to the day I might need to make a very hard decission. I had hoped to breed from her, but that of course won't be happening. I went through hell, when I didn't know what the problem was, blaming myself for for her behaviour, others telling me she was just a bitchy mare, ( I knew her better than that ), get stuck into her, they would say, and unfortunately I did on more than 1 occasion, poor little girl, it didn't help, nothing did. I will always give the horse the benefit of the doubt when things are out of character. So now I'm looking for another partner, and you are so right when you say there are a lot of horses out there with problems, I've been looking for a year now and have seen many, hopefully the right one is just around the corner. I look forward to new things on your web site, and thank you once again for the wonderful information and podcasts, they are great. Wishing you good health and great riding, Julie

Thanks Julie. Poor Girl :( Unfortunately, it is a common occurrence, mainly with Greys.

Owning or looking for Horses is a Minefield. Best of luck with your search Julie. Regards





28th August 2011


Spent the Day poisoning Weeds and other stuff at Gainsborough yesterday whilst Mrs HP taught a heap of Pupils. Got home 10.30 last Night.


I have been waiting a while to be able to compliment the EA but I sure must Tonight. There is a fantastic new initiative where the National Selectors go around the Country, looking at what Owners think are the best young Horses between 4 and 8 Years, in their respective States. On Friday, Mrs. HP went for a look as her Young Horse was still too 'Green' to participate this time around.

I asked her what she thought of the Parade of Horses and were there any that were not correct. She had noticed only seen 6 and 50% of them (just bad luck of the draw no doubt) were in fact suspect in soundness. One Lame and two short.

Which got me thinking as usual, I wonder if the EA have thought this through? They have got Years of funding to support the selected Horses in each State and to provide Coaching by top Coaches, maybe from OS. So how do they best utilize and protect those funds? Do they investigate the Veterinary of the selected Horses? Do they see lameness and other stuff??? Do they understand what conformation cannot make the Olympics even? Do they remove the Bandages and the Bell Boots and take a real look at these Horses? I hope so. Any rate, fantastic thing.


Not much changes at Gainsborough and it pays to have a Camera close by : You'll remember this from when Nathan caught on Fire?

On that occasion, his Horse went looking for him :)

Last Night, my Star in my latest Disc 2 of the Halter Breaking the Foal DVD (feral/untouched) for some reason also joined the Camp Fire :)

I hope there is no Fire in Sydney lol

New Horse has arrived for Re-education. She is a 5 Year old, had 10 Races and is exhibiting some strange Traits, like Bucking being triggered via unusual circumstances and bucking on the spot in her yard periodically. Here are some Pics of her Yesterday.


I don't have to tell you Blokes any more. You all should be well enough educated by now. Let's say we have three Professionals booked for her this Week. Teeth today, Chiro and Farrier. We shall see.

Nathan has 4 on the go at the moment and another one coming from Tasmania.



You would be well aware of the accent on 'Risk Management' at Gainsborough, especially in view of the fact that there is no front Gate onto an 80k Suburban Road. Hence two Gates on Show Jumping arena.

Here we have one of my lovely agistees with both Gates open and her Horse standing loose on the arena while she builds Jumps. What do you do Folks????

I am told the other Blonde, decided to ride her Horse with no Bridle and maybe no Saddle. Anyhow, the Boyfriend got zapped on the electric Fence and transferred the Jolt to the Horse. You know the rest. Broken Collar Bone :(


Those of you who are not Friends of mine on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/horseproblems would not know about a Quiz I have been running every Friday Night for a DVD as a prize. Last Friday Night, I posed a question about this Horse, which had been communicated to me by perhaps the now Owner?

The Horse had previously been the subject of one of my Court Cases where he was sold but was basically a Man Eater. (Note the side reins during Halter) 4 Years have gone by and suddenly he has appeared on the scene after being purchased from the under $1,000 section of Horse Deals a few Months ago. Well done to whoever has quietened him but back to the subject.

The question was "What would have been the cause of the major deterioration in the back half of this Horse?"

The 260 odd answers are on the NOTES of my Wall.


Hi John, (Trev report on the Dalwallinu Show W.A.)
I have still got my joddies on,
My white shirt is dirty
An my red tie is gone..
All the animals fed
Refreshments have arrived
Just had my first show in years..
I took four hay burners: Two Dressage Babies, One stock horse Mare (who 10 days ago bucked Kate off due to: 'mechanics car syndrome') she won everything that me the pilot could remember the pattern for.
A rather messy four dressage tests on two babies who did'nt knock the Ferris Wheel over once, but struggled with Old McDonald's Farm
Afternoon, I got to ride my hero in the 80 -90 show jumping, killed the pig... Then got whopped by a 10 yr old girl in the 6 bar at 1m 15,
it was great to see the future show the way
Many thanks to my baby sitter Karen who has been holding my hand for a while and who inspired me to have a go in the first place : )
Also many thanks to 'The Hay Burner Boss' 'Bree Franz' for a very well organized event : )
Regards Trevor
edited by Kate.

Well done. I'll get Endo to bring a spare set of Pink Jods for you :)





A RETIRED dentist from Sheffield was killed in a freak riding accident - when her horse was spooked by a noisy motorbike on a country road.

Mary Chapman, aged 58, of Dobcroft Road, Ecclesall, was out riding in Derbyshire when her horse, Lucy, bolted.

An inquest heard Lucy had been scared by two other horses galloping past after they were frightened by a motorbike near the Parkgate Equine Centre in Eckington, north Derbyshire. The rider of the motorcycle has never been traced.

The inquest into the death heard Mrs Chapman had been waiting for automatic gates to open, so she could take Lucy out onto the roads, when a motorcycle sped past and started the tragic chain of events.

The former dentist managed to cling onto her horse as it spun around and bolted, but then her saddle slipped to one side and she fell.

Her death came only months after her husband Paul, also a dentist, died following a battle with cancer. Witness Sara Mason, a fellow rider, told the inquest: “The horse was galloping flat out, close to a fence. She was fighting to keep her balance. She tried to gain control through the reins.

“She was able to stay seated for another 20 metres and then she fell under the horse and became trampled by its legs.

“She was kicked up the driveway for 14 metres, there was a loud thud, and she hit the car park area face down.”

Mrs Chapman died in the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield eight days later on February 28, 2010, after suffering severe head injuries and developing pneumonia.

Ms Mason said the motorbike was louder than most.

“You could hear it rather than see it. It went by so quickly. The exhaust definitely didn’t sound legal,” she added.

“The area is frequented by a tremendous number of motorcycles and I tended not to ride my horse on the roads for that reason.

“Every rider has had their horse spooked by a motorcycle at one time or another. It’s a problem, without a doubt.

“That road is deemed a bit of a race-track locally because it’s a very straight uphill road for quite a long distance.”

North East Derbyshire Council environmental health officer Peter Lazenby said it might be possible to prevent a repeat incident by keeping horses further back from the road, but that would restrict use of the land.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Deputy North Derbyshire Coroner Nigel Anderson said: “The stumbling block here is we don’t know if the motorcycle and its exhaust were legal. Police never found who the rider was.”

He recommended that police make regular checks on noisy motorcycles and that a sign be erected warning road-users of horses


A dressage horse rider who had hopes of competing in the Olympics is seeking personal injury compensation after he was badly hurt in a car crash.

Sonnar Murray-Brown, now 23, had been a passenger in a car driven by Lee Harris, also 23, when the accident occurred in January 2009, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The driver lost control of the Renault and was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle, seriously injuring Mr Murray-Brown.

His legs were trapped and his right thigh and knee were effectively shattered, with damage also done to his left leg.

The victim has been left with one leg shorter than the other, meaning he will need further surgery and is unlikely to be able to return to top level horse riding.

It is also not known if he will be able to pursue a back-up career as a trainer.

Mr Murray-Brown is taking legal action against Mr Harris, claiming in a High court writ that he had been driving too fast.

According to the writ, the motorist was convicted of driving without due care and attention following the accident.

The victim hopes to secure personal injury compensation of GBP 300,000 for the pain and suffering he was caused.

A common misconception when it comes to claiming compensation after an accident is that a person who was in the car that caused the accident cannot make a claim for injuries suffered.

This is untrue, as long as the person making the claim was not the one behind the wheel at the time of the accident.

It is perfectly legitimate to claim against the driver, as it is their responsibility to drive safely.



Provincial authorities are investigating the death of a woman who was thrown from a horse while working at a group home in central Alberta.

The accident happened Tuesday afternoon at a home for disabled clients on an acreage near Bowden, about 35 kilometres south of Red Deer.

The residents are clients of PROS, a central Alberta agency that offers support to disabled people living in the community. The agency's name stands for Providing Residential Options and Service.

The 43-year-old victim owned a horse pastured on a neighbouring property and decided to show it to the residents about 3: 30 p.m.

"The idea, as I understand it, was that it would be nice for the residents to watch and pet the horse," Alberta Occupational Health and Safety spokesman Barrie Harrison said.

At some point during the encounter the horse bucked and threw the woman, Harrison said.

Other staff members performed first aid until paramedics arrived and took the woman to hospital in Innisfail, where she died later that afternoon.

Occupational Health and Safety is investigating the accident, but hasn't issued any orders in relation to the incident.

PROS declined to comment due to the ongoing investigation.




 Hollywood native thrown from horse shortly after finishing a quarter race Richard Gilliard, a 27-year-old jockey from Hollywood, remains in critical condition after being thrown from his horse Tuesday night at Hoosier Park in Anderson, Ind.

Gilliard's sister, Regina Gilliard of Summerville, was with him at St. Vincent's Hospital in Indianapolis on Thursday.

She said their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Gilliard Sr. of Hollywood, are making plans to travel to Indianapolis.

Jockey Richard Gilliard, of Hollywood, is in critical condition following a horse racing accident on Tuesday night in Indianapolis.
"The doctors said it's still too early," Regina said when asked about her brother's prognosis.

The atmosphere at the track has been somber.

"Everybody is down now. Richard is a well-liked guy. He is always in a good mood," fellow jockey Rodney Prescott told the Anderson (Ind.) Herald Bulletin.

The jockeys held a moment of silence for Gilliard prior to Wednesday's races.

Brian Elmore, vice president and general manager of racing at Hoosier Park, located about 40 miles northeast of Indianapolis, said Gilliard had won the previous race, a 350-yard sprint for quarter horses, before being injured. Elmore said quarter horses reach speeds of 45 mph and being thrown from a horse would be like jumping out of an automobile at the same speed. The most common jockey injuries are broken collarbones, broken legs and broken arms.

"Unfortunately, there are times when you have injuries that are of a serious nature like Richard's," Elmore said.

"He was in the winner's circle getting his picture taken, so he was trying to do a double that night, win back-to-back. In the race he was injured, he actually finished second. He was thrown from his mount about 30 yards past the finish line."

Witnesses said the 115-pound Gilliard was dislodged from his mount when the horse, MCM He Be Azoomin, veered to the right and tried to jump a gate leading to the paddock. The horse landed on its side, got up and was corralled in the paddock.

Medical personnel quickly got to Gilliard, who was first transported to a local hospital before being flown to St. Vincent's.

Gilliard's love for horses began when his father bought him a horse before he was in high school. After graduating from Baptist Hill, Gilliard went to Virginia to get his license as a horse trainer, Regina said.

"He trained for a few years and after being a trainer he started to ride," she said.

"He's done real well. He's in the top 100 (riders) as far as quarter horses go. He won a stakes race two years ago at Indiana Downs. He's done real well."





I love your wonderful website and especially the podcasts—I have been reading and watching for several years and have learned so much! Especially grateful for the podcasts on rein handling and the one-rein stop; it’s not possible to learn these from books! So in asking the following question I don’t mean any disrespect or to be second-guessing you both, and if you don’t want to reply to this question or put it on your website I don’t mind. However I’m just wondering, in deciding to breed Donner Bella, how did you balance her obvious talent with the possibility that she will also pass her psychological make-up along to her offspring, especially since you noted that her dam also could not make it in dressage due to her temperament?

I’ve just become so sensitive to the risks of breeding horses, given that we seem to be swamped with unwanted horses here in the U.S., including many who are abandoned because of behavioral problems (some just created by incompetent owners, I realize). Again, I’m not asking with the intention of being critical, but just interested in how to weigh the possibilities.



Fair question Deb and I'll give you a fair answer. Conformation and Physical attributes are difficult to improve within Breeding but we have found that Temperament can be drastically altered. Our Stallion was the classic example of that.  His first Foal was out of a Mare that was given to me because she was a renegade and had Bucked a Horseman off and into the next Paddock, more than once. We used her just to prove the Semen first up. Here is her Foal.

Winning the NZ Championship. We have had many of such instances. Hope you accept that answer :)






Hi John,

Just thought you would like this pic (taken locally) of how NOT to unload a horse! She wouldn't be laughing if the ensuing seconds saw her face down on the ramp and with rope burns on the hand eh? Winking smile  Words fail me at the stupidity and lack of sufficient knowledge!  Regards, Dianne Scotland UK

My fav The wonderful webbing Halter and the 'Puppy Dog Lead Rope" How bout a Kick in the Head for good measure and we would have another British Horse Death to add to the many Thanks Dianne. Good one  :)


Hello Mr. and Mrs. HP,

I notice on one of your videos that you have a 'spooky' corner of your arena and don't know why?

I have just had a riding holiday in Slovenia, where there are wild brown bears and wild boar. These animals leave 'holes' in the undergrowth where their tracks join the trail and almost every horse spooks at them and is reluctant to go near them, I suppose in case of attack.

On return from holiday, I was viewing your DVD again (excellent by the way)and automatically, subconsiously thought 'beware bear' at the spooky corner because it has a hole in the bushes just like those in Slovenia. Could this be why the horses find that corner spooky and if so, you could fill the hole to stop the problem?

Maureen UK

Yep Maureen, I reckon you are right. The other reason for it is that Horses want an un-interrupted view of the surrounding, so in fact they can watch our for the Bears and when they get a confused visionary concept, their suspicion is heightened and so is their 'flight from fear' Therefore, evasion being the better part of valour :) Good point!.  You yourself have many these Days as well. They are called 'Thugs" Regards


What is a weed?
Most of the points you make are I guess to the point and one can learn a lot from you, what to do and vice versa. Horses for courses and owners too I guess.
In regard to plants, their nutritional value and soils you use a fairly broad brush to paint the picture with respect to most horse owners and feed growers. A good agronomist could take you to task over much of what you have to say but to the audience it is intended I guess they would get value from your advice. In regard to professional cereal hay growers, there are shonks and the ignorant out there too, the quality of the last few bales of hay that has landed here in the middle of whoop whoop is testimony to that.
Keep up the good advice, I have discovered most horse owners sure do need it when they are being told things like if the blue lead rope doesn't work a pink one will!
Richard Woolley
Say G'day to Endo for me and I know where I would like to stick all the barley grass that comes in my hay but the grower would probably find that reasonably uncomfortable.=

Thanks Richard. Yes, I write at a level that is suited to the Novice People. I don't therefore try to impress the Pants of People like the Scientific Types do. Like this of this Week :)

Ofthese 4 categories, 3 reflected degrees of perceived positive assurance and the fourth contained covert
warning (negative) descriptors. Data on price, descriptors, and other characteristics (age, height, gender,
color, breed, registration, experience) were gathered for 875 advertisements. A linear regression
model analysis revealed that price significantly increased with factors such as height and stated experience

I'll say Hello to Endo for you :) Regards




It was enlightening to read your arena building experience. We have built a 20 x 60 indoor arena and have been trying to get the base and footing done by contractors in our area. We have had a number of estimates all much more than we can afford. I truly believe my husband, son and myself can accomplish this ourselves with a little information regarding the use of equipment for application of materials. Apparently stone dust, possibly know as limestone screenings in your area is the majority choice in this area for base material. After watching your video I realize we would not be able to maneuver a normal size grader in our building and found that there is such a thing as a mini grader. Do you think a mini grader could handle spreading the stone dust effectively? We are looking to end up with 4" after compaction. How would I figure out how much material I needed to arrive at the final 4" depth? I know a deeper base is preferred but cost is an issue considering we will need the purchase the sand footing as well.

I would really appreciate any help you could offer. It has been a year now that we have been trying to get this done and hiring a contractor isn't an option.

Lorelei in the US

Hi Lorelei,

I take it your Building is already up normally the Base is done prior. Yes, you won't get a Grader in and even a small one will leave both ends not done, whereby you would need a BobCat.

Therefore, I would maybe ditch the Grader altogether and go with the Bobcat.

(American :)

Then Drag a Railway Iron or RSJ around which will level it pretty well, finishing off with Bobcat here and there. I did my new one entirely with Bobcat.

I have never been a Fan of Crusher Dust. Yes, I know many use it because it is the Metropolitan Persons flavor of the Month but I prefer far cheaper Road base Rubble at a third of the price and therefore you can have it higher too. You need to be aware whether your 100mm (4 inches) will indeed have your base higher than your surrounding Land, for water run off away from your Building. Best of Luck.



Hi John,
I have a rising 3 year old part bred Andalusian gelding. Some days I lead him walking 3 ft behind, he is relaxed chewing on the lead rope. Other days, he is a surge, anxious, and wanting to charge ahead, then getting VERY pushy as if I don’t exist. I have a 2 km walk to the round yard which is a great training opportunity, I know. Today he was quiet going to the round yard. Once in the round yard I began lunging on short rope, he was invading my space.. I could sense he needed a little grounding so we did some free lunge work...the little shit was so insolent he bucked and kicked towards me when I asked him to do something he didn’t want to do!! After 20 minutes, I reckon I got this sorted, then he became full of it when time to leave the round yard...He pawed the ground so I made the little darling wait a few minutes longer... When I opened the round yard gate, he walked through sensibly, as I asked him to then he turned into a “stallion”. Just after the round yard we have a challenging creek crossing. Some days are easy, today was a handful! He wanted to charge ahead of me, so I stopped, moved his ‘hiney’ and did a 360 (scary when on an incline, I give you the tip!)....kept doing this, (took me twice as long and had to organise someone to pick the kids up from school!) so I think he got the hint. He continued to challenge me by getting on the wrong side, so the whip helped to prevent this...and I just moved my feet more to position myself safely. He is so pushy when anxious...ended up giving him a whack with whip near the ear (his decision)..this is dangerous stuff, so he can deal with a whack to the ear, rather than me getting stomped on cause I know he wouldn’t think twice at this stage!!!

Am I going alright John? Any other tips...keeping in mind my horse is an intelligent, cheeky, rising 3 year old gelding!!


Jo and Indy (from Bathurst)

Just generally Jo, your Horse is 'out of it's Box' and he needs putting back in it, immediately. This is really a commentary on us Jo. If we have such problems, we need to look in the mirror for it is our fault. Nathan has one of these as we speak. Short ropes are not the order of the Day for such Horses Jo :) Have a read of the article. Regards


Hi John,

I bought a set of running reins last week and tried them today on my boy. He has been worked in them before I got him and OMG what an effect they had.

He had started going around with his head a bit high for my liking, unbalanced and just out of practise (I’m in the final stages of my PhD so not a lot of time for regular riding ).

I started out long as you said and as I shortened them he melted into a great outline and worked really well.

Then I thought I would try the Dutch(?) setting with the reins through a lower loop and the effect was even MORE amazing. I can see these are going to do exactly what I need with him.

He tested them a few times and worked out that dropping his head was the only answer to the question.

We have another STB coming in next week who has NEVER been asked to work in an outline, trial riding horse, so I think they will be really useful there too :D

Thanks, they are a fantastic tool


Thanks Sam. I am a convert due to the obvious results. Thanks but start slowly and progressively.


Hi Mr HP
I have been having major floating problems with my horse after hitting her head real hard on the roof of my old rattler float. I have just bought a new float with extra height, extra big windows and safety features as per your recomendations in the website .Tried your floating method and all working beautifully- my trouble is that she will now load well but wont stay on- just touches the chest bar and straight back out.It has turned into a game and I don't know what to do next.We might do this 20 times. Can you please help me with a suggestion.I know you are very busy but I would be very grateful.
I am a big fan of yours.
Many thanks

This is normal. This is just your Horse being good, against all the fears and odds. How nice of her to go back in? Now you have to train her to stay in. You do that with either the Jeffreys Method or the Parelli Method have a read of that big article. Don't tie the Horse in until the back ramp is up and secure. Regards




21ST August, 2011


Well, despite all our best efforts and Thousands of Dollars in the last 12 Months, today Mrs. HP retired her spectacular Mare due to a relapse in her condition and Donner Bella telling us Today at the Adelaide Royal Show Dressage that she had had enough :( All the Thousands of Hours of work and within a few Months of the Olympic Level but alas, you can't overcome Health.


You will see from the Photo on the left, taken Today upon arrival, the terrible Colour of her Coat and in the last Week losing many Kilo's, due to the flaring up of them again and that caused by being left Home last Weekend when we took the two Young Horses for their first outing. All too much for her.

Note the loss of Neck and top line just of late against the Piaffe shot b4 Ulcers.

She was always going to be a candidate, being such a high strung individual who's Mother couldn't make it to the Dressage due to her Temperament. Very Hormonal where basically every new Dressage Judge that marked her, called her "He" and she will bring any Mare into Season as good as a Stallion. Things all went fine until the shift to Victor Harbor and that was the "straw that broke the Camels back" so to speak. (Photo above at Gainsborough before coming here) She couldn't control the many Horses that she used to control at Gainsborough and suddenly was stuck with Dulce who would not succumb to her vibes.

It's a tough Sport and made tougher due to the time factors involved in getting Horses to the level of training and the Years go by. One doesn't get many shots at in a viable Life Time of riding. She will go in Foal to Vivaldi (Holland), this Season and I just know she will be a very proud Mum. Now for the Saddest of parts which we have never mentioned before.

One Day when she was approaching 'Medium Level - 4th) she was about to be Drenched by a Vet who was often a bit stressy and rushy. Bella was tied up solid which was fine and normal and up on a 150mm Cement Slab at one of our Tie Up Rails. I said to the Vet, "This is one of the most reactive Horses you will ever meet so go quiet around her" He tubed her and then to our surprise, forgot himself and suddenly blew into Tube with a loud noise. Bella lost it and started kicking, almost killing the Vet and Mrs. HP and then launched over the Tie up Rail and landed on her Hip on the Bluestone on the other side, still tied up.  She got up walking like a Crab and from that Day forward she was never the same. We think she may have cracked her Pelvis or Hip.

She pretty soon started to stick on one hind hoof during her walk pirouettes and then late changes to the same side. She tried her Heart out to do it right but just couldn't bring each back Leg through fully. Of late, she has graduated to One time changes (3 of) on the progression and amazingly, that has considerable helped in the process with several Today to the difficult size, several in fact clean. However, she told us today that she had difficulty in weight bearing on it with her Canter Pirouette to that side and simply refused to do it.

She was telling us with her Body Language, she was depressed and she was even giving us the message Mentally. Enjoy your Paddock Girl.


Magnificent Day Weather wise and the Venue was wonderful. Here are the two opposites of the Dressage Horses of Today with the lovely Black Stallion doing a wonderful job, as has done his Rider.

Great organization and well run.



My Thanks to Sydney for booking out the Problem Horses part of the Clinic and Mrs. HP's Lessons. Fence Sitting can still be booked. 25 Problem and Unbroken Horses booked.



I got in trouble last Year when I alluded to the fact that Horses were telling me that they weren't Fans of a French Training system. I then saw a SA Top Rider playing around with it and could see that the Horse wasn't far off becoming a rearer. I don't see it at the Dressage now.

I have seen the French Trainer rail against the Germans and Dutch but I disagree with him completely and side with the Germans and Dutch.

I always knew that the system was anti Muscle Development and Positive to "Upwardly Mobile Minds" Now I have this Letter and I will let the Photos talk for themselves.

Hi John & Linda,

Thank you for your great website and I have had a chance to watch several DVD’s including the young horse one and hobbles, all were fantastic.

I just ordered via your website the re-mouthing dvd and Market Harborough. ---------is going well but has had fair bit of time off but before going on holidays I have taken many of your suggestions on including the rein back and also the Ingrid Klimke clinic inspired me some more and I think you will agree with me he has changed shape.

Interestingly enough after your suggestions I decided to do a photographic diary of my horse to see if I could see the changes as I wanted to see the improvements... I then became concern about my riding instructor when -------- started to look upside down in shape. I had thought she was improving my horse . Here few pics and I think you will agree the instructor (who is a ---------- follower) was not helping not... and to make matters worse lightness was happening via your suggestions not hers. Hence I am now on look out for decent instructor in Melbourne area that is close to me. I think she just confused me and the horse

2008 – before recent  instructor

Make note of the Topline of the Neck in front of the wither.


April this year – whilst training with the -------- Instructor see how the neck and back end has changed shape

Make note of the degenerated Rump, Back and Centre of top of Neck.

  The system.

Last Weekend – not built up like he was in 2008 but at least looks rounder again in his shape (need to work on his fitness again as certainly does not look as fit as 2008

Rehabilitation with Running Rein system. Note the rump and the top of Neck.

So I rest my case. The system is anti Muscle Development and over rated. It does not produce athletic Horses or prepare them for Dressage in a manner that they should be.





Cedarberg dies after trackwork

Caulfield and Melbourne Cup hopeful Cedarberg died suddenly after trackwork at Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning.

The five-year-old gelding finished a regulation gallop over 1,600 metres before collapsing through the running rail and dying instantly.

Cedarberg, which won the Group One BMW Stakes at Rosehill in April, was rated as a $26 chance for the Caulfield Cup and at $51 for the Melbourne Cup.

His jockey Rhys McLeod was not hurt.

Cedarberg was a lightly raced stayer who entered the spring picture with a breakthrough Group One win in the weight-for-age BMW at Rosehill on Golden Slipper day.

A $26 chance to win the Caulfield Cup and rated a $51 hope for the Melbourne Cup, Cedarberg was nominated to


Death in horse crash 'unavoidable'

NHS driver William Seeney was killed when a black racehorse galloped out of the darkness and hit his lorry on a main road, an inquest heard.

The 49-year-old from Dovehouse Close, Eynsham, died instantly from the injuries he suffered in the head-on crash on the A40 at Andoversford, near Cheltenham, on April 7 last year.

Gloucestershire assistant deputy coroner Katy Skerrett said it would never be known how the pregnant mare called Mistress Cool managed to escape from her field and get on to the busy main road.

Recording a verdict of accidental death she said Mr Seeney, who was married with two children, was in good health. She said: “This collision was absolutely unavoidable.”

Such was the force of the impact that Mistress Cool’s unborn foal was later found on the verge, leading police to wrongly assume it had been born prior to the accident.

Crash investigator PC Dave Holland said that, assuming that Mr Seeney had dipped headlights, he would only have been able to see for about 50 metres.

The coroner said: “We will probably never know how she got on to the A40.

“On the face of it there is no clear error by the owners.”



Ashlyn Beth Buelow was at home on horseback, a champion pole bender preparing to compete in the State Finals 4-H rodeo.

The 13-year-old participated in basketball, volleyball, track and band and was a strong student at the Castlewood school.

Buelow died Tuesday at the Hamlin County 4-H horse arena while practicing for an upcoming competition.

Hamlin County Sheriff Dan Mack said witnesses saw Buelow's horse rear up and fall backward, striking Buelow in the chest with the saddle horn. Chief Deputy Chad Schlotterbeck administered first aid before Buelow was transported to Prairie Lakes Hospital in Watertown, where she was pronounced dead.

"It hit the guys real hard," said Mack when the sheriff's office learned Buelow died from her injuries.

"There are no words," he said. "She was just a very energetic, athletic young lady.

Buelow was one of only 13 students in her class in a school of 280 kindergartners through 12th-graders. She would have started her eighth-grade year Wednesday at Castlewood.

Castlewood Superintendent Keith Fodness said school counselors, psychologists and clergy members will be on hand next week to help students grieve their shared loss.

"The kids let you know what they need, and we'll do our best to provide it," Fodness said.

Buelow was active academically, earning the Presidential Academic Award and Honor Roll of Excellency status. She also was the student manager when the Castlewood Warriors won the 2010 girls state Class B basketball championship.

Services for Buelow will are 10:30 a.m. today at the Castlewood High School gym. She is survived by her parents, Chris and Shannon Buelow of Castlewood, and her sister, Camryn.


Young woman dies after horse riding accident

ERIN TOWNSHIP A woman has died after an accident while riding her horse.

Just before 7 p.m. on Thursday, the County of Wellington OPP responded to a call on Wellington Road 124.

Kassaundra Davis, 18, had taken her horse out for a ride while visiting a farm.

The investigation revealed Davis was not wearing a helmet and was riding bareback when the horse rode away from the barn, turned suddenly and bolted.

Davis lost control of the animal and fell off.

She hit her head on the ground, and was unconscious and unresponsive.

Emergency crews could not revive her.

Davis was taken to Guelph General Hospital and pronounced dead.

The coroner was called in and has requested an autopsy.


Woman Airlifted To Hospital After Fall From Horse

A Milam County woman has been airlifted by PHI Air Medical to Scott & White Hospital in Temple with serious head injuries following a fall from a horse.

Chief Deputy Chris White says the accident happened off Highway 36 around 9:30 Friday morning.

Officials say the woman was riding with another person in a heavily wooded area in Central Milam County when she fell. White says emergency workers on four-wheelers received guidance from the chopper pilot flying overhead, in order to reach the woman.

The woman's name has not yet been released.




Hi! Hopefully you will be able to help me figure what to do with a seven month foal that rears when tied and in his stall. He is ok while walking, but he rears up when he is tied and he rears up in his stall when no one is around. I have seen him rear up in his stall through a little window that was installed in the office/stall so a person can watch a mare ready to foal.

A thought is to put him in a smaller stall and see if that would help, but I worry of him rearing and falling back into another wall... Well lets say it works, that still does not help the rearing when tied. I use the shortest ties as possible but that does not seem to help (bungee ties). Tomorrow I will use a short tie that is not a bungee type, I am not comfortable with this because they tend to break and then I would really get a problem.

Another concern is that his dad is a horrible rearer, so bad that he hit the ceiling at my barn and broke two fluorescent lights (those really long ones) in the barn aisle... When he came he used to reared from the barn to the pasture but I was able to correct that. He also reared up when tied and he was scared of everything, but the foal is not scared of anything because of the work I have done with him.

Thank you for reading my note and I hope you have time to provide me with some suggestion to correct this problem as soon possible.

Thank you!!!

Mt. Ulla, North Carolina USA

HI Christine. He sounds like a very intelligent and athletic little one :)

Of course you are right, he is in danger of making it through Life unscathed and should be re-directed. For starters, I am dead against anything 'Bungee' or stretchy in Horse Training. I could argue for some time and for many reasons, why this is anti productive. With your Horse, it is also Dangerous and could even be teaching 'Non Tying Up" because of the learned experience of pulling and yet stretching. "Learned resistance" Further, if you now tie him properly solid, you may want to be prepared for a fistful of a Fight and exposure to danger, caused by the Bungey.

I would be immediately training this Young Horse, for control and for his safety going forward plus to give other options to stop rearing in the future, with "leg Restraints" Then, there a number of options available to you for he may even rise the tempo down the track and with size. Yes, certainly he should be trained to tie SOLID but with a Neck Strap on. You should be equipping yourself ready to be able to change tactics with the Horse but as I said, to put training on him that will protect him should he get hung up, tangled up or stuck in something in the future, but also to put 'lightness' on him and to take control and probably change his growing personality and to steer him away from his Dad's side of things. Regards





Dear Sir

thankyou for your well written, helpful, honest and potentially LIFE-SAVING website. You are generous indeed with your time and knowledge.

One thought keeps popping up - as Linda is a classically trained equestrienne, how did Linda come to know the one-rein stop? Was it ever mentioned in Holland or whilst training here in Aus? Or did you teach it to Linda? Do other dressage riders at Linda's level ever apply/learn the one-rein stop?

Also, why do BHSI folks feign willfull ignorance of the one-rein stop, considering it could save injuries and lives? I don't get it. As a nurse, I am obliged to know and understand the latest procedures/medications, because it is dangerous to be an ignorant nurse, so why don't the vast majority of instructors kept up with the latest methods? I thought they were professionally obliged to 'keep up'. Or have they just misapplied the knowledge, and then 'junked it' because it 'didnt work'?

Many thanks


You are right of course Jo but Australian Coaching and the NCAS is geared to the British Horse Society and HORSEMANSHIP does not come near their Curriculum. I hear this all the time. We recently had a Pony Club Pupil shouted at by a Coach when the Kid did it to control a Horse. "The most disgusting thing I have ever seen" or words to that effect. They just don't get it Jo. As you said, frozen in time and stuck in the Dark Ages of Tradition. Well spotted.



Hi there,

Just wanted to give you the heads up on a woman writing about you on Horses for sale NSW on facebook. I have copied and pasted the post below.
Love your blog...keep up the good work

• Facebook
• Dianne Larkins

Well you wouldn't be, would you Madam :) Be honest in Life and you will reap the rewards. You've all got your spies on my Facebook but I have them on yours hahahaha.


Hi John,
I've been reading your blogs and just about every other bit of information on your site for the last 6months. I started about the time I decided to get back into horses, and since it's been years I wanted to find out as much as I could about doing the right thing.
Your website has been great. I bought a horse about a month after I started looking. I let him settle in for a few days before I started riding him in his new home. I had ridden him in the arena few times, then took him out into the big bad world. As soon as I got him out of the property gate he broke into a sweat. Started looking at everything, shying and trying to spin around to go back home (He's 7 y.o mind you)
I had luckily watched your video on rein control in the green horse and kept it in my mind to just guide him forward and keep him walking until I was ready to go home. It worked great! It worked again when he decided a particular house was too scary to walk past. By the third ride he just walked past without any hassles.

I actually have few a questions I'd like to ask too....

1. What's the difference between the action/feel of an eggbutt bit vs a loose ring snaffle? I'm riding him an eggbutt sweetiron snaffle right now. I tried a double jointed loose ring sweet iron snaffle that has the 'bean' in the middle. He didn't seem to like it, and I also think it wasn't wide enough for him (5 1/2inch). So then I ended up with the eggbutt in a 6 inch which he's going ok with.
I'm asking as I'm thinking of trying out a Myler bit in the MB02, but not sure if I should try the loose ring or stick with eggbutt? Any ideas, or should I just try them and see what he likes?

The best advice I can give you there is that if it isn't broke, don't fix it. If the Horse is going ok, leave it but make SURE you have a chin strap on

2. Riding in the arena he pretty much has air brakes 99% of the time. Walk, trot, canter, I can just stop riding him and he stops dead. When I'm out and about, I've ended up using the ORS, especially when we're trotting or cantering, and he just wants to keep going. He pops his head up in the air, and that's when I know I've lost him, so I ORS him, make him stand then walk on. I also have trouble getting him to give his head out of the arena too. At the trot he gets along with his head up in the air, ears pricked forward and seems to be greatly interested in everything in front of him. I really don't want an upside-down neck on him, he's too pretty :)

I'm wondering if the Market Harbourer would be of any help with his head set?

Yes it would but first your should prepare the Horse by lunging in running reins and the accompanying 135 Page e-book.

But I hope you have some pointers on how to get him stopping/ slow down better for me? I was at he Brisbane Ekka this week and caught a performance by Frank Green. In part of his presentation he said that when we go to stop our horse, alot of us will look at the horse's poll, and what we should be doing is looking at the horizon instead as it helps us to keep our butt in the saddle. What do you think? I was going to give it a go when it stops raining, see if it helps :)

Statements like that do not impress me and immediately I would be suspicious of such a Trainer. Besides the fact that such a statement is "eby geby' and Poetic, and imho, are dangerous. There is a Coach here who says "Look left and the Horse will go Left" Yea Right, especially when there is a Big Old Man Kangaroo behind the Bush on the left.

I'm riding for pleasure, no intentions of competing, but I just want to know that I have control when I need it.

Thankyou for your help, and hopefully I can get to a clinic in the future :)

Regards, Tanika

Let me leave you with this Photo Tanika. This young Lass died 5 Minutes Later. :(



Hi Horseproblems,

I recently read your article about the AP saddle. I can relate to this in a big way as I was always taught to ride in an AP saddle. I now have a dressage saddle which I love and keeps me in a much better position.

However I also have an AP saddle for jumping. Are there any saddles with do put you in a good position for jumping?



Jumping Saddles are designed to do that Sefronia but ask a Jumping expert as we are out of date on them. Mrs. HP tells me that if you ride too much in those too, it ruins your position for Dressage as she was an Eventer in another Life :) Best of Luck



Hi John-

If you have a minute, I'd love to run a question by you. I've been working a 12 year old QH gelding for a client on and off for several years now - the owner is an "ever-green" novice, rides only a handful of times a year, and just really likes to get on and go for a walk out on the trails. She started having me work this gelding back when she first got him several years ago - I was campaigning him in hunter flat classes for her. Since then, I've just been tuning him up a few times a year. She had me start working him again last week as she really wants to get back into riding him.

So, first, a little background on the horse. This is a 12 year old, 15.3-16 hand gelding. I'm suspicious he may have been nerve blocked somewhere in the front legs at some point, although no previous owners will own up to it (he just tends to stumble a lot, even on his own out in a flat paddock. It's pretty bad, to the point where he will go down on his knees or even fall over completely. When this horse was first purchased, he actually did go all the way down - I was hacking him out, loping along, when he stumbled, went down on his knees, and flipped clear over in a somersault. Mind you, this was on flat, groomed sand footing.

He always moves like he is just a little off in the shoulder. Legs are constantly covered in flies and he doesn't even make any attempt to stomp and get them off, it's like he doesn't know they are there). With the previous owner, he was used as a team roping horse and ran some barrels. When I work him, he's very heavy on the forehand, strung out behind, and doesn't like to soften to the bridle. All that aside, the biggest problem I'm having with him lately is his dropping his shoulder. I've never had a horse drop so severely with me; if I pick up on the rein, he braces his neck, and drops the shoulder so quickly and sharply that he makes himself loose his balance. He tries nearly always recovers from his stumble with a little buck. It's mostly when going to the right. He has beautiful soft lateral flexion at a stand still, but as soon as we move off, the shoulder falls in.

With just about any other horse, I'd simply push their shoulder out with my leg, block them a bit with the rein, maybe practice some spiraling out on a circle. The response is so sudden with this horse that I cannot be so passive about it. What I've been doing is, as soon as he stiffens the neck, I flex him clear around, bump on his face a bit and make him give me his head and hold it there on a small circle while maintaining his forward motion. I then get him to give me a few steps of a leg yield in a counter bend to try and stand up his shoulders. If I'm a bit late, and he gets to stumbling before I can catch his shoulders, I flex his neck around, make him yield his hips (with some hustle in his step!) for a few turns, then start over. My only worry with this is that fact that this horse will fall over - he's done it on several occasions with me; so I have to be conscious of that when making him hustle his feet a bit. Other drills I've been working him on for this issue are lots riding squares with quarter turn-on-the haunches in each corner, trying to simply get lateral flexion left and right while moving forward, and lots of transitions to try and get him on his hind end. I'm figuring this is going to be a bit of a drawn out process; I'm assuming there is some muscle memory that has to be corrected and rebuilt as well as some mental blocks that are involved here.

So, does this sound like I'm on the right track with him? Are there any other movements you'd recommend adding into his training? I don't like being stumped by a horse like this! I'm determined to try and correct this problem - I've even offered to fit the horse into my schedule three times a week at no extra charge to simply see if I can figure this out! I was hoping to get a bit of video for you, but we've now had four straight days of rain... with another three on the horizon, I'm not sure when that will happen! So, until then, there are a few photos of him on the flat.

Sorry for the long winded email and thanks for providing a sounding board!


I wouldn’t be looking for training moves at all. I would be focussing upon the priority here, that of finding out what is wrong with the Horse for without that, anything you do or any advice you take, will be all based upon guess work.

Therefore a full Veterinary investigation, starting with finding out if he has any feeling in his Legs at all.

I, as a responsible Trainer, put the Horse first before the importance or not of any training opinion that I may have.

Best of Luck with it. Get back to me if you find out.

Kind regards


Hi John,

First, I loved the youtube clip of the cob doing freestyle. Did a fantastic test but did you see the cheeky bugger's near side back leg in the final halt? He had it cocked with the toe resting on the ground. Still, I shouldn't blame the horse for that, just the rider.
I have a shetland broodmare who is due to foal in the end of November. I bought her over a month ago I think. Lovely nature but her poos are too loose for my liking- sometimes runny and sometimes just very soft. Occasionally there is a very small normal one. Does pregnancy do this to mares? She was wormed with Equest before I got her and I followed up with Panacur this week (have never used it before but someone suggested I try it). I had her teeth done when she came here and they were long overdue -she is nine and never had her teeth done- she had some mouth ulcers but was an absolute doll through the procedure. That was a couple of weeks ago now. After I wormed her I started her on a horse compatible probiotic and she has had it for three days so far. Poo was still very loose yesterday. Can you think of anything else I could try. She is a lovely mare but I think she's the kind that keeps her anxiety inside and is perhaps sometimes more anxious than she appears. I would like to give her your sand colic prevention too sometime. I did buy the recipe from you over a year ago I think but haven't used it yet. Now I can't find it. Do you have a record of the sale to me and can you resend it of will I have to pay again?

Kind Regards,

I'll resend it Viv but Sand would most likely be your problem. Treat her and I think you will see a change for the better. Regards (in case I have deleted the email and not answered you for I have only just read the bit about Colic. Cheers


Hi John i purchased your recipe several years ago and found it invaluable for my horses although i am keen to get your opinion on my current problem I havea 6year old Clydesdale who although not showng any signs of discomfort or rolling has had bouts of diarreah it seemed to come good and then has reverted back again i did discover sand through one of his droppings but not the others and our property is very sandy.I administered your recipe yesterday but my desire is to get him some help before becomes a problem or develops into colic he has been fine all theses years but has recently been on a diet so probably scabbing more,My problem is know people who have had the local vets out before for colic issues and i have not rated any of them they basically tried every kind of remedy until the horses died so please i know you are not a vet but what would you recommend my next step be as i dont want to wait until too late thank you Kim

Hi Kim

Yes, get the sand out of the horse so the Vets don't have to come. Did you up the does on the weight?? If not do so and retreat the horse within 14 days of the last time or now. You can't do it too much and it can be that you don't see much sand on one occasion but mega on another.


All the Vet can do is get your horse through a Colic attack and administer oil. That helps of course but never completely effective.







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