Horse Problems Australia
Post Office Box 1361,
Victor Harbor, SA. 5211


25,000 letters answered and counting




Hi Folks. How are You all? Hope You had a great Week.

We 45mm of Rain, just in time for Mrs. HP Dad and Lady from Holland, to have Showers It came two Days before their arrival so we were lucky as we were basically out.


I hadn't ridden the lovely Girl since the ride on the Beach over a Week ago, because I could feel things were not right on the RIGHT REIN. I asked the Owner to get a second opinion on them and sure enough, Greg Rodder announced and fixed, that she was sharp on the RIGHT and that the last Dentist must have missed the fact.

Anyhow, Yesterday, prior to Her first ride out on the Roads, I quickly re-tuned Her in the Round Pen and away we went.


Now normally, the Breaker on the first ride out should always follow other quiet Horses, to gain confidence, but that depends upon the Boldness Score of the Young Horse and the Boldness Score of the Rider.

This lovely Filly is high on the score and so she hit the front before getting out the front Gate and basically led the ride for it's entirety, including Bush Bashing.

It never ceases to amaze me how much Horses can learn in such a short time and how intelligent they really are.....if You allow them.




Job done. She's an Old Hand :).........

Incidentally, see the Neck Carriage on the Horse with CORRECT front end conformation!!! That's why Dressage is easy to these one's!! against .......




and meanwhile, Mrs. HP was teaching the Young Bloke on his Event Horse.




Mrs HP has been Judging there Today, as part of Her duties as a Member. The South Vales Dressage Club has steadily risen up to be now the BEST Club in the State. Well done to Gerry Wellington, Ray Waller and all the Committee People and Volunteers.




These are on this Frid, Sat and Sunday and Mrs. HP has been working Hard with Cappo and Snip. Cappo is in the Freestyle, Intermediate 2 and Grand Prix and Snip Elementary and Medium, after which he goes to Advanced :)



I have been mentoring Dave Garland again. On two Horses this Week.



A Victorian Horse Dealer that had taken advantage of a number of my Clients over the Years, has died, apparently falling off a Roof.




"Looked at a Clydie Cross for sale, as a educated 7yr. Advertised by a Dressage Rider, After it tried to chuck me off I noticed the hind end wasn't right. Asked the owner anywhere els to ride it other than this round yard. No all paddocks are slippery and limestone drive way to hard for her feet..(smooth limestone) The horse had hind end problems. The owner sounded suss to me, only had a strip of 20mtrs to ride her on.. Got home and googled there property and wam, nice big arena behind the house, the other end were we couldnt see.. So tried to sell me a horse that uneducated, lame, and had a arena but didn't want me to ride horse in it?? So maybe google properties before viewing.. "



Google Map a Property that You are going to look at a Horse. You never know what You may find" :)





Mr. Van Dort from WA, in the Anzac Day Parade. "Hang onto Him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"



This one is a bit different......

I was asked by a Client, to assess a Two Year Old Warmblood for Sale, for $10,000, near where we live. I looked at the Vids and Photos etc and recommended the Horse to Her.

She rang the Seller and booked a Vet check with Greg Rodder, for the following Day. Meanwhile, the Seller contacted Her to say that she had such a lot of interest in the Horse and that she wanted to let others look at it, mainly InterState People.

I don't know how many paid for Airfares, Taxi's and so on but I do know of one other who did just that, thinking that she could buy the Horse. She came but was told she couldn't have it because others were looking.

Meanwhile, I advised my first Client to cancel the Vet Check, which she did. A few Days later, she got a call from the Owner, asking Her to Vet check the Horse and if she didn't get the Horse, she would refund the money, so she in fact did have the Vet check done and the Horse passed, although the Vet couldn't properly handle the back Legs of the Horse due to a lack of training.

Then, I guess all got an email to say that she had decided to sell the Horse to an F.E.I. Rider in New Zealand and indeed refunded the Vet Check money to my Client.

However, a couple of Days ago, my Client got a Phone Call from THE BUYER of the Horse and she WASN'T from New Zealand either. She was from Melbourne, asking to be given privi to the results o the Vet Check, which she graciously was, together with the proviso that the Vet couldn't check the back Legs due to kicking, to which the Buyer indicated she may now not even buy the Horse.

Anyhow, the point about this is, apart from the lack of integrity shown, the ruthlessness to People who wasted hard earned Money, is the Law on the Matter and of course is "Contract Law' and whether or not the Horse was in fact sold to the first Client, verbally, due to the acceptance of price, a willingness to sell, a willingness to buy and a Vet Check booked. The Court would decide.

Meanwhile, at least one of the potential Buyers has written an demanded compensation for expenses as the Seller was really running a Dutch Auction.

So the advice is......if You are flying to look at an InterState Horse, demand a $50 deposit be direct Banked into their account, subject to Vet Check. That way you won't be caught out by Ruthless Sellers who lack integrity.



Have gone to Number One Hit in Google UK, just a few Weeks after launch of

Here is the above, on a FIRST RIDE on a "Breaker' by the Owner Kim Van Dort

I'll have to get Lessons from Her I reckon :)



In the search for knowledge, there is one pre-requisite that sets one percentage of the Industry, from the other. That is.......whether You lay the Blame at Your own Feet or that of the Horse.

Those Folk who first 'Blame Horses" can never reach the Goals they may passionately hope and dream for.










Carl Chapman said he rushed out after hearing a “loud bang” near the home he was working on near Shifnal.

He told a jury at Shrewsbury Crown Court he saw a white Fiat embedded in a hedge and a horse in the middle of the road.

The court had earlier heard the Fiat had been driven by Armands Ozolins, who lost control on a bend on Stump Lane.

He was killed in the crash along with the horse. Horse rider Wendy Garrett was seriously injured.

Eyewitnesses say Ozolins was taking part in a “high-speed race” on rural roads with disqualified motorist Helmuts Punovskis.

Mr Ozolins, 26, of Great Chatwell near Newport, hit Mrs Garrett and her horse and sent them both flying, prosecutor Mr Hugh O’Brien Quinn said. The court heard how Mr Ozolins crashed into the grass verge and a hedge by Damson Lane and suffered severe injuries. He died in hospital the next day.

Punovskis claims he was not driving on the day of the smash. The 31-year-old, of Turreff Avenue in Donnington, is accused of one count of death by dangerous driving and another of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He denies both charges.

Mr Chapman told the court: “I heard a loud bang, and somebody came in and said there had been a serious accident. I went out.

“On half the road there was almost a river of blood running down it. There was a horse in the middle of the road, and I noticed there was a car embedded in the hedge.”

Mr Chapman said when he got to the car Mr Ozolins was conscious but not speaking, and Punovskis was also in the car cradling his head and trying to take his pulse.

“He (Punovskis) seemed very shook up, he seemed in shock,” Mr Chapman said. “Me and a colleague were able to take over so we pointed out the stables and suggested he go and clean himself up, as he was covered in blood.”

Mr Chapman said “less than a minute” later he heard a car wheel spinning and “screeching” and looked to see Punovskis speeding off into the distance in a green Volkswagen Passat.

Punovskis was later discovered nearby at Chadwell Farm by police after Mr Chapman pointed out the car to them, the jury heard.

A woman – Liga Jaskova – with a one-month-old baby was seen sitting in the driver’s seat. Punovskis claims it was Jaskova who had been driving. The trial continues.





A runaway horse almost caused chaos at a fast food restaurant. Police in Consett were flagged down by a motorist at around 1.30pm on Thursday after a man was thrown from a horse in the town. The man was left with minor injuries and his horse bolted.

Police were told the horse was on the loose in the McDonalds area. Police, responding to a separate call, headed to the scene where the found the horse had been caught and tied up by another driver. A spokesman for Durham police said the rider did not require medical treatment.




We English like to think that the other nations are watching in breathless admiration, but they're actually doing so in spirit of Asterix the Gaul, whose friend Obelix so often points out: "Ils sont fous, ces anglais [They are crazy, those English]!."

Trenton Oldfield was right. Oldfield was the attention-seeker in the wet-suit who plunged into the Thames to halt the 2012 Boat Race because he objected to elitism. Of course the Boat Race is about elitism: there would be no point in watching them suffer if they were just like you and me. They used to sacrifice the king to ensure a good harvest: now it's enough to make elite students suffer.

"There's something wonderful and something dreadful about both events. There's something deeply cruel about them, and also something oddly defiant and life-affirming."

Simon Barnes
The Boat Race was famously described by the magistrates in one of PG Wodehouse's Jeeves stories as "The annual aquatic contest between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge". Essentially aristocrats and rich foreigners, then. Even if the demographics have changed a bit over the years, it's still about elitism. And every time spring comes the English put these people through hell.

In Olympic rowing events they race two kilometres over about six minutes and at the finish they look close to death. In the Boat Race they row flat out for 6.8km and damn near 20 minutes. What's more they do it on the crazy wind-lashed Thames which winds its demented way through London, with a flooding tide behind them and Lord knows what waves ahead.

Only last week the Oxford women's boat sank in the Thames when caught by a mild tsunami. They were rescued by a lifeboat. Their boat was rescued as well, so they too will race on that lethal course at the weekend. What a race.

It's bad enough for the winners: once they cross the line they collapse into eight heaps of mortal agony, showing no hint of pleasure. The only way you can tell who won is that the losers look even worse. And of course, there's no money it: just a terrible all-consuming distraction from the studies that are supposed to shape their lives.

It's a great atavistic challenge for those who do the rowing: and a glorious spectacle of lunatic suffering for everyone else. In 2012 one of the losing Oxford rowers collapsed in the boat and went to hospital. He later apologised to Cambridge for spoiling their celebrations. That's the spirit.

The Grand National is similarly mad in conception, but it has been forced to embrace at least comparative sanity in recent years. In its heyday it was a massive cavalry charge featuring any amount of horses, mounted by riders who believed they had a spare neck in their pockets, flinging themselves at an unending series of vast and complex obstacles.

The tradition of ritual license continued deep into the television era, but over the last couple of decades things have changed. The number of dead horses became something of an issue. True, horses die in plenty of other events in jump-racing but the Grand National, being a rite of spring as well as a horse race, must cope with the fascination of the non-racing public.

As a result, the number of runners has been restricted, they are required to have proven jumping ability, the obstacles have been made safer. The most dangerous fence, Becher's Brook, in particular, has been changed: the drop and steep slope on the landing side have been levelled. But still horses fall in great numbers and jockeys are still catapulted across the grass as if their horses were equipped with a Martin-Baker ejector seat.

Last year no horse died; 22 of the 40 starters failed to finish, either falling or being pulled up. For all the reforms the Grand National is still a terrifying spectacle. It begins with the madness of the 40-strong gallop at the first fence: every year the jockeys are told to take it easy - after all there are four and a half miles to go - and every year they head for the first as if it was the Olympic 100 metres.

Horses get in each other's way and bring each other down. Some horses lose their riders and gallop gallantly along with the rest, causing yet more mayhem. And the people of England dip into their pockets and fling money at the race, not so much in hope of vast gains as in the compulsion to be a part of the great madness of the Grand National and the greater madness of the English spring.

There's something wonderful and something dreadful about both events. There's something deeply cruel about them, and also something oddly defiant and life-affirming. It's all about the mad contradictions of being English: so let's finish with another bit of French. Here's a French general, Pierre Bosquet, on the charge of the Light Brigade. Though I've tweaked it a bit. "Cest magnifique, mais ce n'est pas le sport. C'est de la folie [This is beautiful, but it is not sport. This is madness]."

But that's spring for you.





AN 11-year-old Blayney girl remains in The Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney with serious head injuries after she fell from a horse yesterday morning. Paramedics were called to a private property in Blayney at 10am after the girl fell from a horse. Ambulance Service of NSW duty officer Inspector Ron Gavin has praised the quick-thinking actions of her 13-year-old brother who witnessed her fall.

 "He went to her aid and then called for help and then directed the ambulance [when it arrived]," he said. Inspector Gavin said it was a "relatively minor fall" however it did render her unconscious for a short period of time. The girl was treated by paramedics at the scene and then airlifted by rescue helicopter to The Children's Hospital at Westmead in a serious but stable condition.



A woman has been airlifted to hospital with serious injuries following a horse riding accident in Luddenden Foot. The incident, in which the woman suffered chest and spinal injuries, happened before 12.30pm today (Wednesday).

The woman, who is in her 30s, was taken to Leeds General Infirmary by a Yorkshire Air Ambulance and is said to have suffered serious injuries. Ambulance crews were also in attendance.




The death of a popular show hunter pony (SHP) cast a shadow over the British Show Pony Society (BSPS) Winter Championship show at Arena UK, Grantham, at the weekend (Sunday 4 April).

The Elliott-Grooby family’s prolific-winning 153cm contender Vaguely Venture is believed to have suffered a heart attack, triggered by a ruptured aneurysm.

The nine-year-old became unwell while competing in the ring and was taken back to the lorry park. Despite prompt veterinary attention, he collapsed and died 10 minutes later.

“We are all devastated,” said Leicestershire-based Charlotte Elliott-Grooby, 15, who campaigned him mostly in 153cm SHP ranks but had recently started to contest intermediate show hunter classes.

“We were told it was probably an aneurysm in his brain which triggered the heart attack. It could have formed at any stage in his life — possibly even as a result of worm damage when he was a youngster — but we cannot be 100 per cent sure as we have not had an autopsy.

“We only had him for one season but I have never known a kinder, more stunning horse and I was so lucky to have owned him. He took every show in his stride and I am heartbroken.”

Working at speed calls for a healthy, well-trained heart. Andrea Oakes discovers how technology can help us track heart performance …Continue reading »
The Grooby family acquired Vaguely Venture from Katie White after he competed at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in 2013 — where he was fifth — and he was produced by Katy Carter.

Since joining Charlotte, he was seventh at the Royal International (RIHS) and qualified for HOYS last year, winning at Lincoln County and The Great Yorkshire Show.

He was third with Charlotte in his RIHS qualifier at Arena UK the previous day, and had booked his return ticket to Hickstead.

Vaguely Venture was also fifth at HOYS in 2011 with Katie, who campaigned him for three seasons.

“We qualified and were placed at RIHS and HOYS every year, as well as standing champion at BSPS championships, Ponies (UK), Kent County, Three Counties and Suffolk,” said Katie. “He’s the horse that will always be my favourite and the bond I had with him was so special.”




Jordan McDonald riding Glencento at Belton 2014

On a harrowing day for the sport of eventing, it has been confirmed that a 2nd rider has died.

Jordan McDonald (pictured riding Glencento at Belton earlier this year), a 30-year-old Canadian based in Leicestershire, was riding in a novice section at Nunney International Horse Trials in Somerset when he suffered a fatal accident.

His horse, Only Me, a 7-year-old gelding, was not injured. No information has been released about the exact circumstances surrounding the accident which lead to the rider’s death.

The rest of the day’s competition was abandoned, although tomorrow’s classes are expected to go ahead.

British Eventing released the following statement:

“It is with the deepest regret that we announce that Mr Jordan McDonald died today as a result of a fatal accident whilst competing at Nunney British Eventing Affiliated One Day Event in Somerset at 13.29pm on Saturday 14th June 2014.

“Jordan was aged 30 and based in Leicestershire, but is Canadian by nationality. He had been married to Shandiss for one year.”

Earlier today it was confirmed that German rider Benjamin Winter had also been killed. He suffered a rotational fall in the CCI4* cross-country in Luhmuhlen.









Is your horse cleverer than you think? New research suggests we might have been underestimating our horses’ brainpower. Researchers from the University of Pisa, Italy, have found that horses can read human actions and change the way they respond. In a study recently published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 24 horses were trained to overturn a bucket to find a carrot hidden under it. The horses were then split into two groups — those in the first had to find the carrot under one of three buckets after watching a person hide it; those in the second were left to their own devices.

The study was designed to “analyse the ability of horses to understand, remember and use human-given cues in a delayed (10 seconds) three-choice task”. The first group of horses more frequently found the carrot on a first attempt, although they took more time to do so. When the test was repeated without either group of horses seeing the carrots being hidden, the first group was less accurate at finding the carrot on the first attempt, but found it faster.

They initially returned to the buckets under which they had seen human place the carrot, suggesting they can remember where the food was hidden. “Our findings indicate that horses are capable of remembering the location of food hidden by the experimenter after a delay,” states the study. “The same horses are also capable of changing their decision-making strategy by shifting from the accuracy inferred from human-given cues, to speed.” Horses therefore can choose to use human cues or not — depending on time, cost, experience and reward. H&H vet Karen Coumbe said this was “very interesting work, which merits further investigation”. “My feeling is that ponies in particular are more intelligent than many larger horses, and are much more knowing than many people would think,” she added.






Most owners quickly learn that horses communicate through body language: the warning lift of a hoof or chomp of the teeth that says, “I don’t like that,” for instance. And now, a study from the United Kingdom is offering insight into how horses also use their faces to communicate with herdmates.

Jennifer Wathan, a PhD student, and Karen McComb, BCs, PhD, a professor of animal behavior and cognition at the University of Sussex, in England, designed a study in which horses viewed life-sized photos of two different “model” horses. The model horses were pictured with their heads turned toward food with either their eyes covered, their ears covered, or nothing covered. Researchers then studied which facial features appeared to direct the study horses' food choices.

The team found that study horses chose the bucket that the models with uncovered faces were looking at 75% of the time. The researchers said that when the model horses' eyes or ears were covered, the study horses' bucket choices were random.

Wathan said that because of the side placement of the equine eye, her team was surprised to find that gaze was important. More surprising was that horses were using their ears to communicate, she said.

“We found that in horses, their ear position was a crucial visual signal that other horses respond to,” she explained. “In fact, horses needed to see the detailed facial features of both eyes and ears before they would use another horse’s head direction to guide their choice.

“Sensitivity to the attentional state of others is one of the fundamental skills in communication,” Wathan added. “Being quick to pick up on what another individual is paying attention to can give you advantages that might improve your chances of survival.”

This is just the basic foundation to more complex communication and socialization.

So what does this mean for domestic horses? Wathan said owners could be affecting equine communication when they put on equipment that covers the horse's face.

“It is worth taking this into consideration when making management decisions,” said Wathan. “For example, how bad is the horse's allergy to flies, and do they really need the mask? In future it will be interesting to further investigate the extent to which these masks might have any influence on their ability to communicate with other horses in the field, or even humans.”

Sarah Evers Conrad has a bachelor’s of arts in journalism and equine science from Western Kentucky University. As a lifelong horse lover and equestrian, Conrad started her career at The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care magazine. She has also worked for the United States Equestrian Federation as the managing editor of Equestrian magazine and director of e-communications and served as content manager/travel writer for a Caribbean travel agency. When she isn’t freelancing, Conrad spends her free time enjoying her family, reading, practicing photography, traveling, crocheting, and being around animals in her Lexington, Kentucky, home.




NEW laws to tackle the 'fly-grazing' of horses on grassland without permission have been welcomed in East Lancashire., The Briercliffe-based Horses and Ponies Protection Association (HAPPA) said the new legislation, due to get Royal Assent before the May 7 General Election, was 'a huge step forward'.

Tony Bork of Bacup's 'Animal Quackers' petting zoo said the move would help tackle and growing problem.

Blackburn with Darwen regeneration and highways boss Maureen Bateson also welcomed the new powers and said there had been problems with fly-grazing in the Ewood ward she is fighting to retain for Labour in the local council elections, also on May 7.

The Control of Horses Bill aims to deter and help to swiftly resolve cases of ‘fly-grazing’, placing horses on private and public land without permission.

It was a Private Members’ Bill tabled by Julian Sturdy MP for York Outer and makes changes to the Animals Act 1971 The updated law will require landowners to keep any horses placed on their land for only four working days, as opposed to the current two weeks.

It will allow more options to dispose of the horses besides public sale, such as gifting them to a charity, selling them privately or humane euthanasia.





Protesters claim the Victorian government refuses to address animal cruelty in the jumps racing industry.

Debate over the sport has been reignited after two horses were put down following serious falls during race trials in Cranbourne on Wednesday.

The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses say the state government has acted on puppy farms and greyhound racing but refuses to acknowledge jumps racing as animal cruelty.

"The government rode to victory with animal welfare policies but are being selective about the battles they choose," spokesman Ward Young told AAP on Friday.

"They flatly ignore jumps racing because it's only a small industry."

The group says the failure to act has resulted in the death of two horses, and more will follow unless the sport is banned.

More than 50 demonstrators gathered in central Melbourne on Friday, chanting that one in 30 horses die on the racetrack while jumps racing, and calling on Racing Minister Martin Pakula to take immediate action.

Jumps racing is illegal in NSW and has been discontinued in most states except Victoria and South Australia.

"South Australia is looking into banning jumps racing, so Victoria could very well be the last state to be holding on to the cruel tradition for no reason," Mr Young said.





“The defendant systematically starved those 17 horses,” prosecutor Rosie Semnar said.
Deutsch, however, blamed the weight loss on illness and accused authorities of bullying her. Defense attorney Joshua Hanks said Deutsch had spent her life around horses and was a licensed trainer.
Initially, Deutsch was charged with one count of felony animal cruelty but a previous judge reduced the charge to a misdemeanor. Before Deutsch’s trial began, prosecutors filed 16 additional misdemeanor animal cruelty counts.
Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said the horses were in the county’s care for a year and fully recovered. After a ruling from the court, 16 of the 17 horses were adopted or rescued. One horse was claimed by a former business partner of Deutsch.
Deutsch has been in custody in connection with a separate criminal case.
In Oct. 2012, Deutsch was charged with felony elder abuse against her mother, then 86. She was sentenced in May 2014 to seven years in prison.
Deutsch had brought her mother, covered in urine and feces, to a hospital in Mission Viejo in September 2012. The woman had bleeding bedsores and her legs were locked in a bent position, according to arrest warrant documents. The mother also was dehydrated, sunburned and had feces under her fingernails, court records stated.
Judge Block ordered that Deutsch begin serving her sentence in the animal cruelty case after she completes her state prison term in the elder abuse case.
Semnar, speaking at the sentencing, drew a parallel between the two cases.
“It’s very clear that the defendant preys on the vulnerable,” she said.




 Most owners ensure that their horses are protected for a journey by bandaging limbs, supplying haynets, making sure they are safely tied up and checking that the lorry is roadworthy. Yet few think about the potential danger to the horse’s lungs, which is probably the most crucial point. Transporting horses for long distances is recognised as an important contributing factor in the development of respiratory disease, which can be a major, and potentially fatal, problem. Shipping fever (pleuropneumonia), is essentially a combined infection involving the lungs (pneumonia) and the pleural cavity (pleuritis). There is minimal danger involved in a short trip to a local show, but increasingly large numbers of animals are now transported worldwide. Competition horses, family cobs and ponies are being flown across continents, while lorry loads regularly go back and forth between the UK and Europe.

There are also animals doing lengthy domestic journeys. The risk of the horse suffering from shipping fever increases with the duration of transport, but the length of the journey is not the only contributing factor. Horses are trickle feeders and need to nibble continuously. When travelling they will consume less hay and water, so on a lengthy journey they run a risk of becoming dehydrated. Dehydration will impair lung defence mechanisms that normally help to clear infectious material. If ventilation is inadequate, the horse may also be exposed to a higher concentration of irritants or allergens from the hay and bedding. In addition, ammonia from urine acts as an irritant to the airways, as do temperature extremes and overcrowding. One of the biggest problems is that by being tied-up for the duration of the journey, the horse is stuck in an unnatural, head-high posture.

Unable to put their head down, this will affect the clearance of mucus from the airways and cause bacteria to spread to the lower airways, causing infection. The stress of travel also contributes to disease. Cortisol, the hormone produced by the body under stress, decreases immunity and the ability to combat infection, making the horse more susceptible to the bugs heading into the lungs. Preventing problems It may help to drain mucus from the airways by encouraging horses to lower their heads occasionally during travel, for example by feeding them titbits at floor level. This is one reason why it is important to ensure that the horses have rest breaks and are unloaded and allowed to move.

 The air quality when travelling by road can be improved by good ventilation, but this is not so simple on a plane, where windows cannot be opened or dirty bedding easily offloaded. It will help to use a low-dust bedding material such as paper or cardboard on rubber matting and feed well-soaked hay or haylage. It is important to ensure that horses are fit for the journey and do not have any ongoing respiratory problems. It is also advisable to check their temperatures before they travel. Consider delaying the trip if they have a high temperature before they start, as they could already be incubating an infection. Warning signs Signs of shipping fever include: Lethargy, depression and loss of appetite Cough A nasal discharge, which may smell foul A high temperature If the pneumonia is severe, it is very painful for horses to breathe, so they take shallow breaths The chest may be so sore that they do not want to move, pass dung or lie down.

 This can be mistaken for laminitis, colic or other illness Diagnosis relies on the clinical signs, especially if recent travelling is reported, with an ultrasound scan used to detect fluid in the chest. If significant amounts of fluid are found, this may need to be drained and analysed to ensure appropriate treatment is prescribed. Chest drains may be inserted and washing through sterile saline (pleural lavage) may help remove infection. Occasionally, the chest has to be opened to drain abscesses. The likelihood of any affected horse returning to normal function depends on the severity of the disease. Survival rates range from 30% to more than 90%, and the chance of a full recovery is improved with early diagnosis and prompt and aggressive therapy.

 Any case is likely to need lengthy antibiotic therapy. Other causes While the majority of cases are associated with the stress of long-distance transport, pleuropneumonia can also occur: After strenuous exercise, particularly in racehorses After general anaesthesia and surgery After infections such as strangles As a follow on from inhalation pneumonia due to choke or other problems such




Owners, riders and trainers are warned to be extra vigilant with biosecurity after several high-profile cases of strangles during the past few weeks.

Vets told H&H “anecdotally” there often “seems to be an increase in cases towards the end of winter”.

The highly contagious respiratory infection is spread easily by direct contact, or passed on through handling and contaminated equipment.

The incubation period varies from three to 14 days — but may be longer — and the disease is diagnosed through clinical signs together with swabs, scopes and blood tests.

Last week the owner of The Cabin EC in Aberdeenshire told H&H she was “devastated” after being forced to cancel all events in April following a strangles outbreak.

Fiona Quennell said she immediately called off all April shows — which included British Dressage and British Showjumping events.

“We had one case of strangles confirmed and immediately afterwards put the yard into temporary shut down. We have taken vets’ advice and can assure everyone we will not reopen until we are clear,” she said.

Strangles was also a focus of national media attention last week when an unnamed horse trained by Newmarket trainer Marco Botti returned from the Dubai World Cup Carnival with the infection.

The horse didn’t enter Mr Botti’s main yard, and was taken to a pre-training yard outside the town, which was placed into isolation.

It was the first reported case in Newmarket since 2009.

On 3 April the trainer said all horses had returned clear tests and they were able to “return to a normal routine”.

“We have high biosecurity measures in place. All staff are vigilant and we will continue to keep a close eye on all horses within the yard,” he added.

Although strangles is not a notifiable disease, if it is detected in racing yards trainers must report it to the British Horseracing Authority.

Newmarket Equine Hospital has reassured owners: “While there is no cause for alarm it is prudent for all owners to be vigilant for the clinical signs of the disease.”








Hi John, Right I’ve got a problem and any advice would be greatly appreciated. Leo has quite bad separation anxiety at times, when he is left in his stable in the morning and his friends go out he gets very wound up, shouting, rearing in stable even if there is are horses in stables near him (in perfect view, just a metre or so away). I thought he was over this until this morning when a stable staff member told me he was going crazy. He used to get out his stable as a weanling by jumping the door so obviously he has memories of successful escape I am thinking that, I have the next 2 weeks off so if I go to the yard each morning and hobble leo in his stable (now that he is hobble trained) when his friends go out, will this help to ‘put him back in his box’ physically and mentally? Any advice would be great, as I fear he will also turn into a nightmare at shows when left by his travelling companion etc. Best wishes, Katy x

Hi Katy

First of all Katy, Stables cause all sorts of problems like this. They are BAD IDEA and they are also not natural to Horses. They are Herd Animals and Grazers.

Given that You are stuck with what you have got perhaps, that doesn't mean You don't always be a pro-active Owner. I would have changed the settings and arrangements on DAY ONE. I am an EXTREME reactionary when it comes to perceived Dangers for Horse Comfort, including having the whole top off a Horse Float inside 5 Minutes, when Donner Bella Hit Her Head as a two Year old.

I don't know what You do but You have to do something. Ok, yes, hobble training, properly used in an "Advanced and Retreat" way may assist but the bottom line is 'Psychological Measures" are best. Alter Paddock Friends, alter exit of various horses, work out who the Horse is besotted with and leave that one in until he is ready and much much more.

Yes, given this, it is highly likely You will have Holes dug at Shows but this is the nature of Stables LIfe. It is a pain in the Ass to me. Best of Luck

Thank you it is his pal next door he is in love with, ive been working away with him and some days are better than others, I appreciate your advice! Katy x


Split the Pals






Hi John

I have moved to a leased property that has a neglected 60m x20 m snad and rubber crumb arena.

We have it to rideable now but the arena has quite a camber that is hard as the cover has washed to the sides but that could be because it was not maintained for over two years  and had knee high weeds all over it.

We would like to re top as it is hard in the middle  _ we cant do much in the way of anything structural.  Would straight sand be ok on top of the existing cover which is a coarse sand and rubber bit or do we mix it with something? . We have to work with what we have. Water issues




Hi Lorni

Straight washed Sand with low CLAY CONTENT IS FINE. Pity You couldn't push half of it across and lift the camber. Plant Hedge to stop Wind







Hi there,
I brought a 4yr old standardbred gelding who I have had under saddle since January 2015.  He didn’t race as his trainers were unable to get him to pace so he didn’t make it to trials. The owner decided to sell him on then.
My problem is when I load him on the float he stands quietly while I put up the ramp and then tie him but the moment I close the little door to leave on our journey he starts pawing, serious enough that I have now bolted the mat to the floor. When tied up to a hitching post he can stand for 45 to 60 mins then may have a little paw  to which I ignore and carry on with my business when he is relaxed and standing quiet I will then untie him. I float him by himself, and consider myself to be a very careful driver especially slow around corners so I feel confident that I’m giving him a good ride. So there is a big difference in his pawing behaviour in the float than when he is tied to the hitching post. He is obviously more fearful while travelling or just being in the float.
May I have suggestions for training this little horse to get a lid on his pawing.  Should I use your pawing chain and have you had good results with them?. Or should I look at the ‘general use hobbles’ I don’t really want to use hobbles in the float but would like to try and get on top of this problem quick smart.
I am looking at your Barrel snaffle bits and would appreciate your suggestion as to whether to go for the loose ring, eggbutt or dring.
Thanking you for your time.


Hi there Ruth,

I would be going for the Stockmens hobbles (fence walkers) It is always better to add training to Horses, via the 'reward and relief' systems, than just shoving a "Dummy in the Mouth of the Baby" You can always go to Plan B later.

You would then get other add on effects, like making the Horse more safe in Fences, etc.

The key however, is that the Clinician, uses absolute tact, in removing them for a try, a job well done, ceasing pawing and then only putting them back on for regression. The Dummy always gets spat in the end.

Regarding the Bits, it is just personal preference. It is the Centres that count.





Hi HP,

Hope you and Mrs HP are well :)

I used your mouthing system to mouth my mare, as well as your running reins system to build up her muscles to prepare her for breaking into harness.
I've had her home from the breaker for a few weeks now and she is an absolute star with a fantastic set of brakes and barely needs any rein pressure to get her to turn!
Stops on voice 90% of the time, but the 10% when I've needed to use the reins she is super responsive and if I'm not careful we end up backing up :)

I've included a couple of pictures of her, one the day I picked her up from the breakers and the other one of us practicing our halt and wait at home.

It surprises me how people can not notice when their horse/pony isn't right.  My mare, Trinny was difficult with her hinds when being shod and also was pinning her ears at me when I was doing up her leg straps, something she has never ever done before.  Got the vet out and it turns out she has strained the muscles on the inside of her hind legs, the vet thinks she may have done the splits in the paddock while hooning around.  Trinny wasn't off her food, still cantered up to the gate when I got the cart out, was keen as mustard to work and didn't show any signs of lameness - and isn't lame, but possibly could have become quite sore if I had of ignored what she was trying to tell me.
A week later of treatment and she's no longer pinning her ears and couldn't care less about her leg straps being done up :)

Lisa and Trinny.


Well done to both of You!!!!










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