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



25,000 letters answered and counting





Hi Folks. Hope You are well and had a good Week. Even if You didn't, it will get better soon.! We feel like the Schoolies Capital with 10,000 Kids in Town and the Music thumping at the end of the Bed, even though it is 5k away :)

Had a ride out on my Mare this Week and also on Cappo, as Mrs. HP mixes it up.


We are always living with Pain in the Horse Industry and it becomes second nature. Some may think that is bad but actually it is Good because You get used to fighting through the pain more easily with practice.

We have a Pupil of Mrs. HP been riding around with a fracture to a Leg for the last few Weeks, Mrs. HP and her injuries, me breaking in the last two Horses with a Broken Rib and now yesterday, a 50 x 50mm piece of Steel, 2 Metres long, plunged down onto the top of my left foot and broke yet another bone :) Never mind, we go on and will continue this Week with my jobs. I had better or the Boss will Kill me. Perhaps living in fear helps with the Pain Adelinde Cornellisen also competed with broken Bones the other Day, and won. :) Mad Horse People ey?



I had been doing pretty well too, getting ready to run Power to our Security Gates and Cameras. The place is a mess Folks......



New Video of 2 Hours 4 Minutes, on my Video Portal ( let it load if you have weak Internet)

It is often said that this is a 'Cold backed' problem, I attempt to prove it is a Mental problem.

Thanks to Clint James who contributes with a second Horse and completely consolidating the fact that the problem was MENTAL




Yes, cracked record but I won't give up on it. Like a Dog with a Bone :)

This Week in the News. Yep, check em out at the Walk, prior to the rest Folks. Stay off their Mouths!!!!!!!!!! at the Walk and let them have fun too!!!!!






Hi john, I love your advice and website. I have a question that I hope you can help me with. I have a 17 year old QH mare which I have owned for 4 years. My first horse at 68 Shes a lovely mare and was already nearly level 2 parelli trained when I got her and I continued for maybe 2 years with a tutor and continue 3/4 days a week with basic horsemanship before I ride her. ----- is great on the property where she lives in a paddock with 12 horses. She is a bossy lead mare and has wolf teeth which the dentists confirmed her personality just from her mouth.

 I love her and she even has let me get to novice classes in dressage(on the property as I m too nervous to compete outside lol) I feel intimidated by people with warm bloods and thoroughbreds ha ha. I have had dressage lessons with top trainers like ====== You know -------- confirmation isnt typical for a dressage horse and she has a very long body and probably not the correct neck carraige but shes learning slowly with a home made market harborough. Although as soon as I take it off she pulls hard against my hands to lift her head. Anyway my problem is when I take her off the property with an athra organisation group rides. The last ride I hated it was a 26 kilometre ride with about 12 horses. ======definately doesnt want to listen to me on these rides its as if Im not on her. I feel horrible as she is soo hard mouthed. I can normally ride her on the property where she lives and on their bush trails only with a parelli hackamore which she is very responsive but on the athra ride I have tried 2 and three piece bits and the hackamore only to come home with the sorest hands and lat muscles ever from her constant pulling to be in the front.

 Mind you the leaders of these rides love to ride very fast(not galloping) -- is 14.3 h and has very short legs so consequently when the standard bred ands and thoroughbreds in front trott she has to canter so when they go faster its way too fast for me for the whole 26 ks. Every ride there are accidents as they are very inconsiderate to the groups needs I think. Anyway the group leaders generally have american chunky style quarter horses and they actually drug them with a muscle relaxant from a vet and reckon ==== needs this as well. I have tried natural stuff but to no avail. Once adrenalin kicks in there is no stopping her jig jogging impatient behaviour. I have done soo many of these ride and cant find the answer. I know you dont like drugs or maybe even herbs like valerian, kava, hops and even brewers yeast(which I try daily to calm her) ==== doesnt like floating but she will load for me. She wont eat or drink for the day and wont relax until we on her property. So she must be quiet sensitive. Never eats on the float like many horses do. I read your article re floats and my float is open at the back with big windows as you suggest. Anyway I have had ======= take her on bush trails with friends to see if shed try to control her in a group but the dynamics were wrong and they all ride slowly together so the opportunity wasnt there(wast of $85) =====has very strong hands and just held her on the bit for the 45 minutes bush ride. My hands arent that strong plus I hate to force her like this. Its ok to say she needs to be trained to listen to me on trail but how can you stop herd behaviour in a lead mare of 19 whos had her way for a long time. ===== is totally different on the property and in the dressage arena(working on getting her on the bit a lot better, shes getting there which would be hard for an older horse thats not been taught this before). She listen to my seat as well quite well and in the bush when Im alone or with another calm rider. I trust her completely until Im in these large group rides and then i hat it lol. Thanks again cheers Pam 


Hi Pam. This is the second Letter I have had that alleges the use of Drugs during those rides. A worry indeed and surely against their 'Code of Ethics"

The bottom line is that in such Group Rides, People are simply not responsible or caring enough for other People's Horses and that goes for Pony Club Rides as well. They are an absolute disaster for denigrating the Training of Horses and something that I learnt from when Young and absolutely would never do, ever.

Apart from ruining the training of Your Horse, it is unhealthy, especially for an Aged Horse and simply not fair on them as well. I would strongly recommend riding with Friends who ride for You. Only then can You train Your Horse. The bottom line is that you CANNOT re-train Your Horse on those rides










A few Years ago, a "Scum Bag' driving at excessive speed and with a Dog on Her Lap, hit the Golden Grove Fodder Store Truck as he entered our driveway and as Scum Bags do, in their eternal drive to suck off the Financial Boob of the Good Folk in Society, she claimed Insurance from the system. Blaming the Fodder Store (as they do,,,,never their fault, always the World)

At the time, I thought to myself, "Yea Baby, I know just what You will be getting up to in a few Years time so I will take copious Photographs of the scene and even put Paint on the Road, showing the commencement of the Skid Marks to the point of Impact. The Skid Marks were 40 odd metres long and Blow me down, 5 Years after the accident, my Paint was faded but still there , resulting recently, with this. .........from the Lawyers


Dear John We advise that the claim of Ms Williams has been resolved. Thank you for your assistance it was appreciated. Your markings at the site formed the basis for establishing that her vehicle was travelling well in excess of the speed limit for the area. Regards

Sucked in Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




I often comment about the International Clinicians, swooning into this Country with the "Ya Ya", the Head tilted to one side and the uniform and often notice that many of them don't give the Clients their best. They just go through the motions, rely upon their Name and fly out with Pockets full of cash.

Which is why we offer the Service of assessments to where You are at, or a second opinion. He would have charged $200 for the Hour and we spent 2 Hours on it for $50.

The bottom line is that the Value for money given by the Coach was a 4/10 and interesting to see yet another one keep the Horse on a Circle throughout, direct Traffic a lot and miss some of the really important things like controlling the outside Shoulder of this Horse At the end, He got on and did control the outside Shoulder but forgot to tell the Pupil......but the thing that really gets up my Skirt is comments like this......


Regarding the question of how much Seat do You need........."how much seat You need is like assessing how much Pepper and Salt You need when cooking Soup" Sorry, wrong answer.

So again Folks, don't get blinded by the Bling and the Accents. There are many great Australian Coaches who do have performance records on their Websites, unlike too many visiting Internationals who come here.




The story is going around the Traps, that two Mega Dressage Queens have had a major Bust Up over the pinching of a Staff Member by of, from the other. Queen 2 was being most kind Queen 1, by assisting in times of difficulty but was not impressed when the Staff Member walked.




Western Australia :)



" When attempting to Canter the Standardbred, one needs to keep their rear end to the outside as they tend to want to go around in Traverse"






A pair of horses are still standing after a float crashed on a Sydney motorway, while the driver also walked away unharmed. A car with a float on the back carrying two horses rolled on the M7 at Cecil Hills just before 10am. An Ambulance NSW spokeswoman said paramedics were on site, but nobody had needed to be treated for injuries.

RSPCA staff are also en route, but aerial footage of the accident showed both horses still standing and drinking some water. One southbound lane has been reopened as emergency workers clear the road. A NSW Police spokeswoman said one of the horses had been freed instantly from the crash, but the other had been trapped for a short while.



DAMASCUS, Ore. - A 13-year-old Oregon mare has been euthanized after the pit bulls that lived across the street got loose and attacked the horse.

Alissa Read owned the mare named Paisley and says she hopes last Friday's heartbreaking loss "will bring awareness to proper dog control."

The Oregonian reports that Anna Deaton-Zaayer, who owns one dog now held at the Clackamas County dog shelter, says she's stunned that the pit bulls that had been so gentle with cats and babies could attack a horse.

A pit bull puppy not involved in the attack was returned to Deaton-Zaayer by county Dog Services officers while a second puppy was returned on condition it be taken to another location.

Deaton-Zaayer says a fourth dog belonging to her ex-boyfriend was kicked by the horse and is at a vet clinic. She says none of the dogs had any history of aggression.

Read and Deaton-Zaayer are awaiting a hearing, tentatively scheduled for next month, that could determine the fate of the two adult pit bulls.

The horse was boarded in a rural area near Damascus, southeast of Portland.




A California man is facing multiple animal cruelty charges for allegedly maltreating dozens of horses residing on two of his properties. In a written statement, Steve Lowney, supervising deputy district attorney for the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office, said the office received several complaints in September about the condition of horses residing on a pair of properties in Morgan Hill and Gilroy, California. The district attorney's office and animal control personnel subsequently investigated the animals' condition, the statement said. On Nov. 14, personnel from the Santa Clara County Animal Control Department seized 38 allegedly emaciated and neglected horses from the properties, Lowney's statement said. Subsequently, the district attorney’s office charged the animal's owner, Humberto Rivas Uribe, with felony cruelty to animals, Lowney's statement said. If convicted, Uribe could face a jail sentence. Uribe is in custody in San Mateo County, California, on an unrelated charge. He is facing a $250,000 warrant. At a later date, he will be arraigned in Morgan Hill on the animal cruelty charges, Lowney's statement said. Meanwhile, the seized horses have been placed with animal rescue agencies or at individual ranches, Lowney said.





Two horses have been freed following an accident involving a car and horse float near Elizabeth Drive, Cecil Hills today.

The horses are believed to be uninjured. A Transport Management Centre Spokeswoman said both horses were in the float when it tipped. "No-one was injured during the incident," she said. One M7 southbound lane is closed at the site, with traffic queued 5km. Motorists are urged to exit the M7 at the M4 and travel via Mamre Road, Elizabeth Drive and Cowpasture Road before rejoining the motorway.





Twelve horses were killed in last night’s train crash near Cambridge, police have said. The animals were struck near to the Fen Road level crossing in Milton by two trains travelling in opposite directions. Experienced inspectors from the RSPCA described the scene as “one of the worst things they had ever seen”. British Transport Police, which received reports of horses hit on the tracks at 5.15pm yesterday, are trying to determine who the animals belonged to and how they came to be on the track.





Family and friends of 24-year-old Dallin Hunt are trying to raise funds after Hunt was injured in a horrible accident.

On Nov. 8, while herding cows in Kanab, his horse collapsed and rolled on top of Hunt, who is from West Haven. The weight of the horse collapsed Hunt’s lungs and left him with a serious head and brain injury. The accident was in a remote area, so medical help response was delayed. Hunt was in a medically induced coma at Dixie Regional Hospital. Doctors were concerned with the deep bruising on Hunt’s brain stem and said this may cause him never wake from his coma. In the possibility he regains consciousness, it may be a very long road to recovery, according to the fundraising website.

Dallin and his wife Carissa are expecting their first baby in January.




A HORSE was struck by two vehicles so violently it was decapitated in an accident on a rural road.

The animal is thought to have got out of a nearby field when the accident happened.

A police spokesman said the black horse was struck by a grey BMW estate car and another car travelling in the same direction.

“The 51-year-old man driving the BMW was treated for shock at the scene and was also taken to hospital to be treated for cuts. There was debris all over the road,” he said.

The accident happened on Moor Side Lane, Oxenhope.





To prevent overuse of the whip, jockeys in California will no longer be allowed to strike a horse more than three consecutive times without giving the animal a chance to respond. The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), meeting at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club satellite wagering facility Nov. 19, passed the rule unanimously.

Coming after several months of meetings and discussions between riders, owners, and trainers, the new rule has the support of the Jockeys' Guild, said the guild's western regional manager, Darrell Haire. The change, which follows passage of an initial rule in April, will take effect in the coming weeks for both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing.

A jockey found in violation of the new rule would be fined, but would not be disqualified. Haire said jockeys at Del Mar during the current fall meet have been testing the change and that riders "have adapted. "We feel comfortable with what we have come up with. It's really all about perception," he said. "It looks bad when a rider keeps after a horse. It's for the good of the game." He noted that jockeys assented to an industry request in 2010 when the board changed the rules on the design of riding crop tips to a softer material. Commissioner Bo Derek noted that track veterinarians say horses are no longer getting marks as the result of being hit. Chairman Chuck Winner said he was pleased that various parts of the racing industry were able to work together to make the latest change. "It's a long time coming, and it's a big step, in my view," Winner said. California is not the first state to restrict use of the riding croup. The CHRB staff said Kentucky requires that a jockey show the horse the whip and give it time to respond before striking the horse, and then must give the horse time to respond before striking it again. New York also requires jockeys to show the crop to the horse before striking again. All three states are in accordance with the Association of Racing Commissioners International model rule governing use of the whip.








“We all want to keep our horses healthy,” says Mikki Shatosky, the equestrian federation’s project manager for its equine biosecurity outreach program. “Disease outbreaks not only risk the health and lives of individual horses, but also cost owners emotional and financial stress. Horse events have high-traffic areas, which mean steps need to be taken to reduce the chances of an infectious disease being carried onto the grounds or spread within the facility and beyond.” Horse Events: Biosecurity guidelines for organizers and competitors provides practical recommendations for both competitors and event organizers.

By following some simple steps, the horse community can reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as strangles, equine herpes virus, and ringworm. “As veterinarians, we often treat horses that have diseases that are preventable,” said Dr. Krista Howden of the veterinary medical association’s equine committee. “By following the basic principles of biosecurity that are outlined in the guidelines, we can not only reduce the potential for spread of common equine infectious diseases during our day-to-day activities, but also do our part to prevent an outbreak occurring during an event in our province.” The free guide, courtesy of the Alberta Equestrian Federation, can be found here.





Evidence that probiotics can be used to control gastrointestinal diseases in horses is currently weak, according to researchers. Scientists from Switzerland, Denmark and Canada have carried out a review of evidence relating to their effectiveness, the findings of which have been published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. Angelika Schoster, Scott Weese and Luca Guardabassi said they considered the aim of developing one probiotic to aid in the prevention or treatment of all diseases in horses was unrealistic. “Each bacterial strain has different effects,” they said. “The choice and combination of strains for a therapeutic formulation needs to be specific for each disease and should be based on the in vitro properties of the strains.

 “Randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials under controlled conditions then are necessary to provide evidence for each probiotic formulation in horses.” Use of over-the-counter products was questionable, they concluded, based on what they assessed as a lack of regulation regarding quality control of commercial products. This was particularly so in the absence of scientific information on safety and clinical effectiveness. “Efficacy trials should be conducted and published in peer-reviewed journals before recommending use,” the trio suggested. “These products also should be carefully evaluated for their composition and concentration by the investigators of the clinical trials to ensure efficacy and reproducibility of results.” Despite these limitations, probiotics were generally regarded as safe, cost effective and easy to administer, they said.

However, some evidence for potential negative effects in foals exist. “Therefore, additional research is warranted to test possible applications in equine veterinary practice.” The focus of probiotic research should shift from currently used agents to species that were more abundant in the intestinal microbiota (the gut microbes) of the horse, they said. Such research should exploit new knowledge of the composition of the equine microbiota, and particular emphasis should be given to bacterial species associated with the microbiota of healthy horses, they suggested. The approach of administering one, or a few strains together, should be rethought, they said, based on the background on the vast microbiota. “Given the promising results of fecal microbiota transplantation in humans, the clinical efficacy of this approach should be tested for prevention and treatment of enterocolitis in horses,” the trio suggested. Schoster, who is with the Clinic for Equine Internal Medicine at the University of Zurich, and her colleagues said gastrointestinal microbiota was extremely important for human and animal health, with investigations into its composition and therapeutic modification receiving growing interest in human and veterinary medicine.

 Probiotics, they said, were a way of modifying the microbiota and have been tested to prevent and treat diseases. But, despite their widespread availability and use, scientific, peer-reviewed evidence behind commercial probiotic formulations in horses was limited. They said that although promising results had been achieved in laboratory-based studies, benefits in horses themselves have been more difficult to prove. “Whether the ambiguous results are caused by strain selection, dosage selection or true lack of efficacy remains to be answered.” Although these limitations existed, probiotics were increasingly being used because of their lack of severe adverse effects, ease of administration, and low cost, they said. However, they concluded: “Although probiotics have shown promise in the treatment of selected diseases in humans, the evidence that they can be used to control gastrointestinal diseases in horses so far is weak.” Weese is based at the Department for Pathobiology at University of Guelph in Canada, and Guardabassi at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.



Researchers have determined that epistaxis—the most severe form of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in which blood runs from the horse’s nostrils—has a genetic basis. And, according to a group from Australia, a combination of genes as well as exterior influences can lead to epistaxis.

 “Epistaxis is most likely influenced by multiple genes that each contribute a little bit to its occurrence,” said Brandon D. Velie, PhD candidate in equine genetics at the University of Sydney. “For epistaxis to be expressed, a horse would not only need these genes, but it would also have to be exposed to the right environmental risk factors.” In their recent study on epistaxis, Velie and his fellow researchers investigated more than 117,000 racehorses. "We analyzed epistaxis because of the readily accessible records pertaining to horses that had exhibited epistaxis during racing," he explained. "We would have preferred to explore all grades of EIPH, but this would require the scoping of every horse involved in the study and was not feasible."

 Still, the team was able to both disprove common theories that claim epistaxis has no genetic link and determine that the condition has a complex hereditary basis. While genes are not the only factors involved in epistaxis, they are a strong influence, Velie said. In fact, their research indicates that genetics have a stronger influence on epistaxis development than they do on the development of several other common conditions found in Thoroughbreds, including osteochondrosis and superficial digital flexor tendon injury. They also found that epistaxis risk is related to a horse’s sex, age, and birth year (although the reasons for this are not yet known). In their study epistaxis did not seem to be related to the horse's trainer or jockey, race distance, track footing or condition, number of starts, or year or month of race, Velie said. In light of this finding it’s important for breeders to make informed decisions about their breeding stock, said Velie. While there’s no need to exclude animals exhibiting epistaxis from the gene pool completely, people should assess their risk when selecting a breeding animal that carries epistaxis-related genes.

 “When we consider that the Thoroughbred (racing) population is closed (no out-crossing to other breeds), we must remain conscious of the fact that the breed may not be able to afford the loss of a large number of horses from the gene pool because this may also result in a loss of a number of good traits as well as genes for epistaxis,” Velie said. “Long-term, a far better approach would be to instead monitor the environment for those horses that we know are at a high risk and manage our breeding decisions accordingly," he continued. "Matings can be managed to prevent the breeding of individuals that are highly susceptible. This way we maintain genetic diversity and reduce the risk of producing gene combinations that result in an elevated risk of epistaxis.” Knowing that epistaxis is hereditary could also eventually lead to better treatments, he added: “This is a vital step towards prevention and reduction of epistaxis occurrence. The next step is to identify markers of the genes that are involved. This will give us a clearer picture of the actual physiological cause. Knowing more about the mechanisms that cause a bleeding attack may then lead to the identification of novel therapies.”





At a stakeholder summit being held at Defra’s headquarters today, attended by Lord De Mauley, The British Horse Society revealed their recommendations for tackling concern about ragwort, a plant that can cause serious, and sometimes fatal harm, to horses. The British Horse Society, will be working with Defra to produce, a toolkit for local equine groups to give people clear and targeted advice about the best practice and effective mechanisms for both control on own land and legal responsibilities in connection with ragwort.

 Additionally, The British Horse Society is calling for the establishment of local Ragwort Action Partnerships between local authorities, public and private landowners, and local equine groups. The aim of these partnerships is to help improve communication between these groups and ensure ragwort is controlled in areas used by horses.

These plans come after The British Horse Society, supported by Defra, conducted the largest survey of the English equine population to assess levels of awareness and concern about ragwort. It received 13,963 responses and showed a high awareness of ragwort, both in terms of its appearance and the affect it can have on livestock. The key findings of the survey in Devon were: - 16% of the respondents knew personally of instances where horses had been suspected or confirmed as having been harmed by ragwort poisoning. - 86% said that they take preventative measures to reduce the risk of ragwort on the land that they own, rent or manage. - 52% of respondents had taken no action when they had seen ragwort growing on land that they did not themselves own – the main reasons being that they did not know who to contact and they did not think they would be listened to. - 79% of respondents have not sought advice about ragwort from organisations - 60% of respondents reported having seen ragwort on land that is used by horses in the seven days prior to them completing the survey. - 92%-95% of respondents believed that more activity is needed with joint public / sector policy responses, including improving knowledge, the enforcement of ragwort control regulations and improving local councils’ monitoring of ragwort

The British Horse Society is confident that the introduction of a toolkit and local Ragwort Action Partnerships will help raise awareness of mechanisms to control the spread of ragwort where there is a risk and improve communication between the individuals and bodies involved in order to ensure that horses’ wellbeing is maintained and other interests protected. The British Horse Society recognises ragwort’s value as a plant for pollinators. The BHS are keen to find the best way forward for everyone who cares about horses and biodiversity. It is important that the BHS have explored, through their survey, the extent to which ragwort is a problem for horses so that they can deal with it appropriately. The BHS do not want to destroy all ragwort but it is imperative to protect our animals from its deadly effects by controlling it where it poses a risk to livestock, such as horses. Julie Garbutt, British Horse Society Development Officer for the South West, said: "We are really pleased to have received such an overwhelming response to our survey and we would like to thank all of those who took the time to take part, both in Devon and across England.

 "Our survey enabled us to better understand the extent of the problem that ragwort causes in Devon as well as on a national scale. These findings will inform our actions going forward. "Introducing a toolkit and local Ragwort Action Partnerships will be important in raising awareness of the best practice and effective mechanisms for both controlling ragwort on their own land and respective legal responsibilities, as well as improving communication between the individuals and organisations who are affected by ragwort and involved in the control of the weed." She added: "This is a very important project and one which will make a real difference to Devon and England as a whole, and we are extremely grateful to Defra for their support of this work."








Hi John. I have a horse that has a tendency to get a little "hot". I am trying to work him in the paddock but he is leaning on my hands terribly and not as soft as I'd like. I know this is an evasion but what do you suggest I do to fix it. After getting really jacked off with him hollowing in the back, sticking his head in the air, and speeding off when I tried to straighten him off the circle, I reversed him hard several times, each time that he did it, which seemed to help. Is this the correct action as I've had instructors tell me this is a big "no no" if you want to calm down a hot horse? Regards, Stephanie.


Hi Steph,

No doubt "English" Instructors Steph, not Western, for they are the least qualified to comment on the subject because they are the worst rein back exponents going around. They also have the hottest Horses with the worst Mouths whilst the Western Trainers have the Coolest Horses with the best Mouths :) I suspect 'English' because this type of comment is symptomatic of the British Horse Society teachings down through the system to the EA. I hear it all the time and it is damm ridiculous. Besides the fact that the backup is introduced in the 3rd Level of Dressage ( which they obviously forget) the back up is introduced on the first day of the first ride of most of their Horses, by the Breakers :)

So You go right ahead and back that Horse all you like (within the training scales) for not only will it assist with Your problem, it will improve the Mouth via the Mind. The Rein back is a very important Tool for taking the steam out of Horses and therefore calming them. A Horse cannot be balanced in the Mind and only have 'Race Horse Syndrome" if they only ever go forwards. The Rein back puts the expectation within their Minds, that at any time, there is a possibility that the Rider may want to go backwards rather than forwards and this tempers the will to run.

From Day One of their Life, they are taught to run, escape, accelerate and "flee from fear' If we are to train them to be suitable for Humans to sit on top without frustration, then the Rein back is a necessary part of their training.

Besides that however, Your Horse sounds tense. Therefore, make sure it is

  • Fit for Purpose for the English Discipline

  • That it is Supple, and

  • Balanced, for Horses lacking those two ingredients want to run.










Hi John Hope you like the photo of my mare and I; your saddle, saddle pad (under my saddle cloth), breast plate and bit. We are both very happy with the purchases and very useful when she morphs into the shying witch! Regards Suzanne

Thanks Suzanne. Wonderful Photo!!!! Nice Leg position :)







Hi, I discovered your website while looking for some answers to my questions. I am involved with a charity, Calisto Park Equestrian Centre, based in Thornlands, Queensland.  (CPEC) is a horse riding school for people with disabilities.  We need to resurface the old dirty dusty indoor arena.  I am applying for a grant to do this.  We have very kindly been donated the use of these facilities by the private owners.  I wonder if you could offer your advice on our plans please? We simply want to add fresh coarse river sand (not fine river sand, as this is too fine and too soft apparently), and mixed with soiltex onto the existing surface.  The arena size is 72 x 33m.  The suppliers of the soiltex have quoted 4.5 tonnes to cover the arena.  How much sand do you consider would be sufficient to top up the surface?  285 tonne was quoted from one supplier. Further down the track, we will apply for an irrigation system but in the meantime we will have to hand water.  thanking you in advance. Janet.

The trick is to not order too much and to top up later, after assessing the arena. Therefore, based on our 60 metre by 20 metre, 120 Tonne. You do the sums but you certainly wouldn't want 285 Tonne. The other query I have is regarding the Soiltex ( a Product I don't understand or use ) but 4.5 Tonne must be thinly spread like a Super Spreader, like half an inch thick and then mixed into the Sand for that amount is small indeed.

Hope that assists





Hi John
Got a back cinch from you some time back.
Use it on 3 of my horses the 2 older ones seem to have no problems but I have a 6 yr old gelding that will not stop bucking if the cinch is flush, have lunged him for ever he just keeps bucking, even just walking with him he will go off. If i drop the cinch down an inch theres no problem but half an inch look out.
Just thought i would let you know and would appreciate your feed back in your own time.

Hi Mark. The key to those Mark, is to NOT allow them to Buck. They can even form the view that You want them to Buck, depending upon how they relate signs and logic.

Use my Re-Mouthing system to stop the Horse Bucking when lunging, until it gives up on the idea and with that, You will have a far better Mouth and a belief in the Mind of the Horse that You have supreme control. Regards









16th November, 2014


Hi Folks. Hope You all had a good Week.

I have been back onto the Shovel, re-building the entire long side of Mrs. HP's arena, which we always knew would need to be done because of settling of the Clean Fill (which always happens and You must expect) The Fence which may have been put in straight at the outset, will always start to lean outwards as things settle. So now, all re-done and all the Queens are happy and looking wonderful again

I've also been spending more time with Her, in the run up to the Victorian Dressage Festival and can indeed pass on to those wondering about who Mrs. HP has lessons with, that I have assisted Her all the way through and still do. For the info of some of Her Peers here, yes, the Cowboy is the Master of Piaffe and Passage So for the record, she has had ONE Lesson, in Melbourne, during DWTS. That's it. One in 15 Years.

Meanwhile, we have been hosting one of Mrs. HP's Star Streaming Internet Pupils, from North Queensland and Today, she cooled Cappo down after his ride. :)

Young Nikki Skillington.



Our congratulations to the outstanding service and performance provided by Bloomfield Stud in Victoria and Dr. Greg Rodda and his Wife Viv, for performing miracles Yesterday.

The Mare arrived at the Vets at 12am on Friday and was Home Saturday evening, served with the Semen from Victoria, of Versace, a Son of Vivaldi.

Such is the wonderful temperament of Dulce, we didn't know she was in season :)

Mrs. HP will now train her, whilst Pregnant.



An interesting musing for me. The thing called "Horsemanship" is the ticket to be able to teach anything. Just because they wear the uniform of Joddies and skinny Legs, doesn't mean a thing when it comes to being a Dressage Trainer. We well remember the disasters that have swept through this Country, including a National Coach of the past. One can know all the technical Dressage Moves and Grooves but that is meaningless if there are unhappy Horses going around. Then, when the Dressage Coach has to suddenly confront some real demand of Horsemanship when a Horse plays up and stops looking pretty, if they don't have the Horsemanship Tools, then they are useless. One of the most classic cases of this was when we watched Stephan Peters totally ruin Shiraz Black at Equitana, because of simply....a lack of knowledge of horsemanship.

Horsemanship is the thing that provides HAPPY, Calm, Partners who enjoy doing Dressage, that want to be caught, that can't wait to go to the arena, for they know they are part of a Team and are proud to be so. Horses that grow when they enter an Competition arena because they are proud to represent their Rider and Horses that try so hard and give their all that they head towards mental and physical exhaustion within a mere 8 Minutes of a Test. Horsemanship is to be able to read the Minds of the Horse and to know if it has any Veterinary issues.

So don't get sucked in by the "Tilted Head', the Hand on one Hip, the Tweed Jacket, the Leather Top Boots or the " Ya Ya Ya" Go ask the Horses who the best Coaches are and You won't be far off the mark.


The next major project for me, started this Week, is for that of Security Gates and Cameras for our entrance. So that I may be able to finish the front Fence and then finally get a Dog to be able to welcome Folks after Hours, should they feel the urge :)

As I predicted a short 18 Months ago, the SA State Labor Government, supported by Local Councils, exporting Losers from the Metropolis to the Regional Jewels in the Crown of the State, has come true. 4 Murders, Sawn Off Shotguns seized and this Week, 7 Class Rooms of the Victor Harbor Primary School burnt to the ground. You see Folks, Locals don't burn down Schools. Only Imports do and despite the Official Hush Hush from the Authorities and the pathetic Victor Harbor Times, we are not stupid. So yes, the good Folk pay the price and we have to spend to improve the security of Home. Pretty good ey?




I have long sniped at Pony Club and other British Horse Training systems, because of their lack of Horsemanship but after a Life time of meeting and speaking with Horses that live in the English Disciplines, I have now come to the firm conclusion, without any doubt whatsoever, that the FOUNDATIONS backed by the CURRICULI of the British/English disciplines, are indeed the root cause for a lot of the turmoil that Horses go through in their lives, Daily.

In short, the teaching relating to:

  • Ground Manners

  • Ridden Habits

  • The Bigger Bit approach, and the

  • Blame Horses before Humans,

 One of the biggest Welfare issues facing Horses everywhere, is these ingredients and traditions that come from the English Disciplines. Those include :

  • The turmoil Horses go through on the ground. The constant pulling and fighting against the Mouth of the Horse, via the Bit, resulting in a complete lack of direction and therefore happiness of Life for Horses, is astounding and yet it is taught across the systems. 25 Years after Pat Parelli and all of his efforts since, they remain stringent in cling onto the past.

  • The pain and turmoil to Horses, Daily, caused by the incessant habits of having to pull, rip and tear endlessly, against the Mouths of Horses, WHEN NOT WORKING, is something that simply makes me shake my Head. It is simply Mind Boggling that Humans that are supposed to be smart, cannot see what they are doing to the so called Friends and that they simply will not change.

So the MOST UNHAPPY Horses live within the British/English sytems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The reason why Parelli, Natural Horsemanship Trainers of the World, Western Trainers, Horse Men and Women, have basically FAILED dismally, to influence those within the British systems, is quite shocking. The sum total of the hundreds of Thousands of these Trainers around the World have had limited effect upon changing things to be better for Horses, in the face of the Brain Washing like a Cult, of simply Peer Pressure and Tradition.

It isn't even as if there has been a lot of Official Teaching of......

 "Leading by the Beard" and endlessly hanging off the Mouth of their Horses for no reason at all......

Almost every Photo You see of the English Horses, shows unhappiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When the Hell will they learn?




Nice shot Steve. Re the reins, even these are a little short for this Horse, this discipline, this Trail ride. Here You go

and even my left rein is too short. Regards

Hi John and Linda

We went for another trail ride today and had a great ride with Drover being just perfect but getting a good work out as Steve was finding all the scary things and making me very nervous.  We were just heading past the round yard back to the hitching rails when the horses spotted an exercise ball left at the gate about to be used by another lady. Steve was just telling me that he had seen the ball and is just concentrating on what Drover might do.  My horse decided to shy and Drover decided that was as good an excuse as any and attempted to turn and head in the opposite direction.  Steve made me very proud and shut him down very quickly as you have taught him and then went to point him back at it but Drover decided to back up and spin rather than face the nasty ball and ended up hitting the electric fence and lurched forward.  I was at this point needing a change of undies but Steve cool as a cucumber just did another one rein stop and shut him down again.  Turned him around again and Drover did the same backed up and spun and hit the electric fence again and lurched forward and attempted to spin.  Poor baby did not know what was worse the zap from the fence behind him or the ball in front of him, but again Steve shut him down and on attempt three (and after a minute just to allow Drover to breath and stay facing the ball, and on no rein and nice and calm) with Steve working the reins as you have shown him he made the decision to walk up to it with no fear and very calm.

I was absolutely staggered, this is a beginner rider on a green horse but with your expert training (for both horse and rider), remouthing and teaching him and the horse one rein stops a very dangerous situation was very controlled.

I was yelling, one rein stop!, let the other rein go!, get off the horse! You are going to hit the fence! In quite hysterics and all Steve was doing was working Drover and saying yep, got it, no I’m not getting off and I know, without the slightest bit of panic at all!!!!

The lady who’s ball it was said when it was all over “Oh my god that was amazing! That is why one rein stops are so important!”  To which Steve replied “Yep and I have the best trainer in the world.”  Then he said to me imagine how well I would have done if I had John’s saddle……………. I think he was hinting to me what he wants for Christmas.  LOL

Seriously though John this just showed me how much Steve and Drover have learnt with your expert guidance.  Myself and I dare say many riders I know would have had a very different outcome in the same situation.

Thanks again and a million times over!!!!!!!!




The Boy makes me proud he does :) Well done Steve!!!! Wonderful presence of Mind and reactions.


Thanks to Holly and Boo for this



Yes, he finally went Home to his Mummy, after a rather long stay on my standards but he had 20 Days off during his stay, such was his fragility on being away from his Mummy :)

Probably one of the most difficult Horses of my Career which is fitting but he must have learnt something during his stay as Mummy went chasing Trucks on her second ride




Hi HP, Another super ride this morning with Will. Very different from yesterday....a lot to look at, wide grass verge (30m+) along the highway(not here) with lots of trucks and milk tankers doing 100K's....breezy, noisy, long grass, short grass, leaping cows, barking dogs, ditches and culverts to go in and out of, drains to cross, scary plastic bags on fences LOL. Couldn't care less about the traffic! Had a few little shys but got over himself stress or tension. He even put himself out the front a few times. Very happy with him.




English Neoprene Girth.


Loving my Dressage girth John. It's awesome so glad I bough it from you xxxx thanks so much


Spanish influence plus English Leg padding.




Hi Mr HP. I tried to email the breeders, but they are still denying a reduction in the purchase price. I have sold the horse for less 50% of original purchase due to the congenital faults (also discovered OCD in x-rays prior selling the horse), as I have been told I had to suffer a significant loss. Can you recommend me a lawyer who won't break the bank? Kind regards,

Sorry, but no. All Lawyers 'Break the Bank" :)


Case 2


Hi Mr HP I contacted you in June about George a horse I purchased for $2500 in February that was advertised as a beginners horse but beginners and experienced riders had issues riding him as he didn't like to leave the other horses and was suffering from separation anxiety. You told me to video a beginner and an experienced person riding him which I did and I posted them on youtube for you to see and then I sent her a letter of demand. I had no response to my letter of demand so my solicitor sent her a letter of demand in August which we also received no response from so I lodged a claim in the small claims court in early September for the purchase price, hendra vaccination and claim cost. We had mediation in October and she offered me $500 (which I said no to) saying I had ruined him. I said how do I ruin a horse that was already ruined as he couldn't be ridden. We had tried to ride him 11 times in 5 months and tried to take him out once. Anyway, I am now letting you know that my hearing was on Tuesday and she has been told to pay me the money and take George back within 14 days. After watching the videos of us riding him and other videos I had taken of him when I put him in the yards 100m away from the other horses she admitted that he was suffering from separation anxiety just like the other horse she had that George had been in the paddock with for 12 months who used to bite him all the time. She gave lots of reasons why I was to blame including taking him 25 mins in an angle load float when he had only ever been in a straight load float. She said I should have taken him for a few minutes a few times first. I told the magistrate that the last horse I bought in April fell over in a straight load float and we drove her home 5 hours in an angle load float the next day with no issues. She also said I shouldn't have taken him to Pony Club to have a look 4 weeks after I got him as he hadn't settled in. I told the magistrate I had taken all my other 3 new horses (all advertised for experienced riders) to the beach within a couple of weeks of getting them and they had never been to the beach and I had no issues with them. She told the magistrate she can't afford to pay me and hasn't got anywhere to put him (she had him agisted across the road). He told her that wasn't his problem. She can lodge an appeal within 28 days but that will cost her $300 to lodge. So I would like to say thank you for your help and I hope your wife has recovered from her broken leg. Diane


Well done Diane. One small one for the Good People. Kind Regards





" One of the secrets of Training is to go out of a training exercise BEFORE the Horse falters. That comes from judgement and timing is of the essence"








Harrowing video footage of a horse being relentlessly beaten and flogged by the intoxicated driver of a sulky on a city street has been seen by the Kilkenny People. The innocent animal was brutally lashed and repeatedly hit with a stick, which was almost three metres in length. The horse spins around in circles in terror and fear as the driver continues to beat him indifferent to the pain he is causing. The shocking video has again served to highlight the problem of how horses are treated in this county. At a meeting of the Kilkenny Joint Policing Committee on Monday, Garda Superintendent Padraig Dunne told councillors that, in general terms, gardai in Kilkenny have made arrests where people driving sulkies had alcohol taken. In an unrelated incident on Tuesday morning, another horse was killed after being hit by a car on the city’s Waterford Road. The driver was shaken but uninjured. It’s the second traffic accident on the stretch of road in which a horse was killed in five months. In June, a horse had to be euthanized after being hit by a car while being used in a sulky race.








Michigan fire authorities are probing the cause of a barn fire that killed 17 horses. Chief Bruce Stack of the Edwardsburg, Michigan, Fire Department, said personnel responded to a 911 call about a barn fire at the Smithfield Stables on the afternoon of Nov. 11.

Smithfield Stables' website said the farm offered boarding as well as saddle seat riding and driving lessons. Stack said the barn containing the horses was fully involved in fire when firefighters arrived at the scene. “A 911 call from across the street and (it took) seven minutes to get there,” Stack said. “When (crews) arrived there was nothing left.” Stack said some of the horses that died in the blaze belonged to stable owners while others were boarded animals. He said he did not know if any of the horses in the barn were insured. In addition, Stack said he did not know if the sprinkler system described on the stable's website was a barn system or a ground system. “It's a rural area with no access to municipal water, so we don't know if it was a ground system or what,” he said. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, Stack said.






PLACITAS, N.M. (KRQE) - What Kathy McNulty found in a storage room on her property stopped her dead in her boots. “Oh, my God! Shock, just pure shock,” she said after making the discovery. McNulty owns a nine-acre horse ranch in Placitas, northeast of Albuquerque, that’s been in her family for more than 60 years. Seven years ago she opened Diamante Equestrian Center with James Turpin, which Turpin later took over. “They board horses and they teach riding lessons to children and adults and, in the summer, they provide horse camps for children,” McNulty said. But Turpin wanted out. So this September, he paid out the remaining three years of the lease and left.

As McNulty was checking her property after Turpin and his staff moved out, she said she found something disturbing in a small storage room on the property. “We have no answers, we’re just stunned,” McNulty said. It was a dead horse. Mostly the skeleton was left, but there was some fur around the horse’s hooves. There was also a leg with fur from another, unidentifiable animal next to the horse body. “At first I thought, this is a sick joke, but it’s not funny… at all,” McNulty said. There was something odd about the grim discovery, too: The horse’s head was missing.

“This is just freaky,” McNulty said. McNulty says Turpin also caused more than $100,000 in damage to her property. She says he installed two poorly constructed retaining walls that diverted rain water right into her horse stalls. Sand bags are now piled up around the outside. “Every time it rains, my barn stalls flood,” McNulty said. She also said rain water washed sand away in the horse arenas and left deep ruts in the land. She says that could hurt a horse. “This is not safe to work horses in,” McNulty said. “Look at all the rocks … they will damage the horses’ feet. A horse could stumble, it could break a leg.” Turpin refused to sit down with KRQE News 13 for an on-camera interview. Outside his Albuquerque office, he said someone found the horse “someplace on the mesa, up there, close to the property.”  


WASHINGTON – The debate on Capitol Hill over soring show horses, now entangled in an ethics investigation of a Kentucky congressman, will return with full force when the new Congress takes office in January.

The CEO of the Humane Society of the United States said Friday the ethics inquiry into Rep. Ed Whitfield, the lead House sponsor of anti-soring legislation, won’t affect his organization’s efforts to ban the practice used by some in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. “This is our top legislative priority,” said Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society. “We consider horse soring in the same category as cock fighting.

What the industry is doing to horses is a form of torture, and just about the entire equine community sees it as that.” Whitfield, a Kentucky Republican, was the lead sponsor of the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, which had wide bipartisan support in the House but never came up for a vote. Soring is when trainers use harsh chemicals or painful devices on horses’ legs and hooves to create an artificially high step. Whitfield’s bill would ban the practice. But the Office of Congressional Ethics has found “substantial reason to believe” that Whitfield and his staff had improper dealings about the bill with his wife, who is senior policy adviser for the Humane Society Legislative Fund and a key advocate of the anti-soring legislation. The independent ethics office referred its findings to the House Ethics Committee, which announced Monday it would extend its inquiry into whether Whitfield violated ethics rules against congressional spouses lobbying the member’s staff.



A teenager has denied masturbating with a stuffed horse at a branch of Walmart.

Sean Johnson, 19, is alleged to have taken the toy from a shelf of the store in Brooksville, near Tampa, a month ago.

He is facing charges of misdemeanour indecent exposure and criminal mischief.

He denied the charges at Hernando County Court.

According to police files Johnson was seen on CCTV cameras where he ‘selected a brown, tan, and red stuffed horse from the clearance shelf in the garden department’.

Johnson is then claimed to have taken it to another section of the shop, pulled out his penis and ‘proceeded to hump the stuffed horse utilizing short fast movements.’

He then ‘achieved an orgasm and ejaculated on the stuffed horse’s chest area’, according to the report, before he put the ‘soiled horse on top of a bed in a bag.’

He will attend a pretrial hearing on December 11.

Sick Puppy??????





To pat, or not to pat. That is the question we horse people have been asking ourselves, and it’s also one that a group of British equitation scientists recently aimed to resolve.

And their study's results lead them to believe that it seems better to scratch, not pat, to reward a horse, said Emily Hancock, MSc, under the supervision of Sarah Redgate, PhD, both of Nottingham Trent University in Nottingham, the United Kingdom. Hancock presented the research at the 2014 International Society for Equitation Science conference, held Aug. 6-9 in Bredsten, Denmark.

“Wither scratching could potentially increase horse/human bonding and act as a more effective reward,” Hancock said, adding that scratching is a natural behavior among horses, whereas patting is not. “Riders and handlers should be encouraged to scratch rather than pat their horses as a reward.”

The issue of patting versus scratching had not previously been addressed in scientific studies, she said. In her study Hancock and her fellow researchers observed 16 horse/rider combinations in the Grand Prix Special dressage test of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Overall, pats dominated any other type of non-aid contact: Riders issued 350 pats throughout the Grand Prix competition and only three strokes.

Of the 16 riders, 15 patted their horses when they finished the test, and 12 of these patted for at least a full minute. As a result, 34% of the horses displayed visible behavioral reactions, mainly speeding up their movements when they received the pats, Hancock said. However, it’s possible that this acceleration was the result of the rider moving forward in the seat, she conceded.

The research group then investigated the effects of patting and wither-scratching in five riding school horses as well as five rescue horses that had never been victims of abuse or adverse handling. The riding horses were accustomed to being handled, patted, scratched, and brushed, but the rescue horses were not.

In the study handlers patted each horse for 30 seconds four times, with 15-second breaks between each patting session. They also scratched the horses on the withers four times for the same intervals. As a control, handlers just stood quietly next to the horses for the same amount of time. The team recorded heart rate and behavior for all three parts of the experiment.

The researchers found that horses moved their ears around more when they were patted. When they were scratched on the withers, they tended to put their heads down, Hancock said. Even more remarkable, she said, was the fact that wither-scratching seemed to prompt behaviors that weren’t seen at all in patting or during the control phase.

“We noted a lot of mutual grooming and especially upper lip movement during the scratching phases, but there was just none of this at all when the horses were being patted,” Hancock said.

Interestingly, the riding school horses showed more positive behaviors than the rescue horses did, perhaps because of their isolated housing situations, Hancock said. “Obviously when these horses are individually housed, they can’t participate in this mutual grooming,” she said. “I think they appreciated it more.”

Patting, by contrast, resulted in “much more movement, more head-shaking, more moving back and forwards, slightly more raised heads, and more pawing,” Hancock said. “But we saw no pawing at all during scratching.”

A 4-year-old rescue horse, the youngest in the study, had the most extreme reaction to patting, raising his head high and taking seven steps back, she said.

Heart rate, though, did not vary significantly between the groups. Although previous research on wither-scratching alone (not compared to patting) has consistently revealed lowered heart rates during the scratching, Hancock’s study did not show this, she said. “But their behavior still made it clear that they enjoyed the scratching,” she said.

take if from me Folks. HORSES DO NOT LIKE PATTING!!! and You don't need a study to find that out!!!


Close proximity at events Keep an animal that isn’t feeling well at home ‘for the greater good of the horse community,’ says veterinarian The need for preventive measures became clear to horse owners and veterinarians when 28 horses be-came ill with the equine herpesvirus at a horse show in Utah. Alberta’s horse owners now have a new guide available to do just that. The guide, which was developed by the Equine Industry Biosecurity Outreach Program, focuses on what organizers and horse owners should do to protect their horses from disease at horse events. The free, eight page document can be found online. Dr. Krista Howden, a veterinarian who treats horses, said the suggestions are simple, inexpensive ways for horse owners to keep diseases from spreading at events. The easiest way to do that is to keep any animal that isn’t feeling well at home, she added. “It does limit that individual person’s participation (in an event), but they’re doing it for the greater good of the horse community,” she said. Howden said a large equine herpesvirus outbreak in Utah in 2011 showed how hard it is to stop a disease from spreading once it starts.


British researchers are to develop a laboratory model of the horse’s hindgut in an important step toward unravelling the mysteries of the millions of bacteria that inhabit it. The scientists have been awarded £100,000 in funding to build the model. Despite their importance to health and performance, little is known about the horse’s gut bacteria and how this vital microbial community varies in health and disease.

Disturbances in gut bacterial populations are known to affect not just digestion but immunity, risk of cancer, bodyweight and even behaviour. University of Surrey researchers will be collaborating with colleagues from Reading and Liverpool universities in the project, which has received the funding from the Petplan Charitable Trust, one of Britain’s largest animal welfare charities.

The laboratory model will be developed at the University of Surrey in the two-year project. The research team will employ nuclear magnetic resonance technology at the University of Reading to evaluate changes in the bacterial metabolites, and next-generation gene sequencing at the University of Liverpool to characterise bacterial populations. “Bringing the horse’s gut into the laboratory will allow us to characterise gut bacterial populations and to measure how these change in response to changes in diet and to medication such as antibiotics,” said the lead researcher, Professor Chris Proudman, who heads the University of Surrey’s School of Veterinary Medicine. “Intestinal disease [colic] is the single biggest cause of death in horses. This work will allow us to identify novel ways of maintaining a healthy gut through dietary intervention,” said Proudman, who is a specialist in equine gastroenterology.








Dear HP My new horse is difficult on the lunge. I don’t have a round yard so I’m lunging in a paddock. He used to turn in all the time and stop - I’ve been flicking him on the shoulder smartly and he’s now much better at staying out. The worse things are:

 1. He rushes. I start him at a wolk on a small circle, let him out bit by bit. He’ll decide he’s going to trot and basically pisses off. He often breaks into canter even gallop. He’s also had a sideways kick at me before. I now realsie this is just rude. But I’ve only been using a dressage whip not a lunge whip due to his MAJOR over-reaction to the lunge whip. Hence if he’s kicking, bucking and carrying on I can’t reach his bum to smack it. So I use my voice to slow him plus pullingon the rein as hard as necessary.

 He IS improving but it means that working him in a frame is impossible at the moment. My goal is to improve his balance in the trot and slow it in hand as well as under saddle. the horse very green. Last note - I’m using a market harborough - similar to running reins, and the lunge line is clipped over his head to the offside bit cheek picece. Hope you can help - some advice would be much appreciated Regards Cate

This is a very difficult one Cate, mostly caused by Your lack of facilities combined with the 'Greenness' of the Horse. It is a shame You can't move to a better Property, with facilities or afford Your own Round Pen, even starting off with a small one and adding to it as you go.

Personally, no matter where I lived (and I have been there done that) I would not tolerate this situation and I would go find a Corner of a Paddock, get a few 44 Drums, some show jumping rails or whatever, go buy  some Borderline, one post and there you have it. However,......

I would be changing Your configuration of your Lunge Rein (things I think are anti training because of their Fairy Floss blow in the Wind action) which I why I use Ropes, as in my Mouthing Ropes)

but put your rein from Yourself, out to the Horse, through the side ring of Your roller and to the near side Bit. Use the increased or decreased flexion to control the Horse better and if it tries the running, crank it up and do a One Rein Stop, thus stopping the thoughts of evasion (which is being learned evasion) right now.







9th November, 2014


Hi Folks. How are You all? Hope You had a good Week. Dry as a Chip.


Well my 'Breakers' have all gone Home and haven't killed any of their Owners' which is always Good and I spent some time this Week, repairing damages and getting back to normal. Thanks to Sal for this pic of Gummy, back in Victoria.



Hi HP, I know you are absolutely dying to know how Will and I went on our first trail ride together. Well he was a real little champion and I am completely over the moon with this boy. He had a few little moments in the first ten minutes but hardly worth a mention! (I'm only telling you cause you'd want to know. ORS and it was all over). Rode on the buckle and I think he was sleeping most of the way home (when pics were taken). My second only ride on him and I was completely confident the whole time...amazing horse. I was in great company with seasoned trail horses and riders but it was like Will had done it all his life. We are going out again with same tomorrow morning along the highway just to consolidate after today. Thank you again for the wonderful job you have done with him for me. Regards Sal x

Caption..."Yea alright, enough with the Reins now" .....He's probably thinking "Where the Hell is the Cowboy?"


I hear the Gray Horse has enticed the Husband to relive his Memories, when he used to be a **** Eventer before he became a Vet and drag out the Joddies. Hell I'd have loved to have seen that


Have had some lovely rides on Dulcie and Cappo has moved onto other aspects of improving his Grand Prix with the never ending foundation stones like 'suppleness' etc.


The Snipster has been accepted as well, in the Elementary and the Medium.




I keep getting asked about some half Price Bridles that I never found the time to even put on my Website, in two Years, such is my damm Life. Here they are.



I have 4 x full and 8 x Cob




The Worksafe Rules have been released and if You are in anyway a Professional or receiving income from the Industry, as a Coach, Riding School, Coach, Dentist, Farrier and the rest, BE WARNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Work Cover debarcle of Years gone by now has to be paid for and the Government aims to get it from

Go read


To assist, I am putting Together a new Service, for Risk Management Assessment of Properties, via Visit if close or Video and Photo presentations.

Remember........Intellectuals CANNOT see what we see!!!!!!

Here is Your Proof......from Worksafe own Document....and small plastic mounting blocks are dangerous.


with the Tie Up Rail designed to break in Half and break the leg of the Handler with the Horse Galloping off smashing it's Legs, if the twine didn't break or if the Pupil tied solid by mistake or intention.

and the slippery Track Dackies....not a good look Folks....

"HORSEMANSHIP - the Art of reading the future - with Risk Management in Mind"






Mrs. HP attended a compulsory Coaching update, with Andrew McLean last Week. She reports that it is refreshing that he has changed his entire system and that on at least 12 subjects, he shows more Horsemanship thinking and openness to Old Time systems :) (albeit a way to go yet)

Even saying that Leg Restraints (although not used by Him) can be effective. Well done Andrew.

However, we disagree completely, on the subject of "Leading the Horse" Andrew says (roughly)

"That he leads them with their Head at his Shoulder, not out the back, because they can suddenly run over the top of You"

Well that sums up the clash of the Old and new Worlds of Horsemanship, with Pat Parelli and I, both violently disagreeing of course...and right on cue, comes a Real World example.

I am a 45 year old mum and lost a bit of confidence and I hate it but I do get heavy handed sometimes! steering is not great but am working on softening myself and him. Great on trails but of course we are going the same way.. An instructor has said that he has a small palate but she also had me leading him pc style – bugger that he ran over the top of me when he got a fright so went back to distance between us when she wasn’t looking.

Andrew wouldn't know this because he could not have experienced the alternative like I and Parelli have, but as a pure extension of Horses operating on a Longer Rope, amongst many other things including stress, their Ground Manners are heightened, their need to jump on Peoples Heads is diminished and their pure RESPECT shows us that HORSES DO NOT RUN OVER YOU, they RUN AROUND YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So the Clash of the BHS and NH goes on. Choose what You like but I have money to bet on the subject!





The Case of the 15 Year Old sold as the 10 Year Old and the loss of memory that there were back problems in the past, which could be the reason why the Horse is Pig Rooting and Rearing and why the Vet found a 150mm drop in the back when palpitated.


Case 2


The Case of the NSW Dealer who purchased a 12 Year Old unbroken Broodmare and sold it two Weeks later to a 13 Year old Learner Kid.




" Horses do not like the Breed of Oats called Winteroo  = they do like 'Brusher"









The race that stops the nation is meant to be the celebration of a great sporting event, not a time to be talking about animals suffering.

 But the deaths of two racehorses after Tuesday's Melbourne Cup switched the national conversation.


and to my observation, this Horse was telling all that he did not want to Race that Day, long before reaching the barriers.


Meanwhile, the Idiot with the Flag caused the Death of the 7th Place Getter when he shied and broke his Leg in a Fence


I have been warning them for Years but they are always playing 'Catch Up'. Again here, comments from an insider on duty with Security at the Course throughout the Carnival, reports that unless it is in the "Risk Management Book' that it won't be looked at and Risk Management is all about People, not Horses.


Millions of $$$$$ are loaded and unloaded out the back but what do I see on TV? Yep, bitumen Parking. Out of Sight out of Mind. Dumb!



All Horses should wear them and a Vet at the Barriers looking at the read outs, looking for the warning signs of anything excessive.

Meanwhile......this Photo caught my eye......

The clash of Lead them by the Beard and the Pony Club Lead Rope lol




The racing industry in New Zealand and Australia takes care of its horses but tragic accidents do happen, the Royal New Zealand Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RNZSPCA) says. It comes after two horses died after the Melbourne Cup yesterday, Australasian horse racing's showpiece event. Seventh-placegetter Araldo was put down after he broke a pastern in his right hind leg when he kicked a fence returning to his stall. The grim news followed the post-race collapse and death of favourite Admire Rakti, who died of heart failure due to a rare heart condition. The condition was so rare it accounted for just 0.0075 per cent of racehorse deaths in Victoria. RNZSPCA Auckland executive director Bob Kerridge said the racing industry on both sides of the Tasman went to great lengths to ensure the safety of horses. Some people did not know about the amount of checks and precautions in place in both Australia and New Zealand aimed at preventing deaths such as Admire Ratki's, he said. "There are a lot of precautions before a horse can race, if there are any issues it has to pass a vet check before it can race. "Then after the race it is inspected and constantly monitored." All of the horses which ran in the Melbourne Cup underwent a mandatory vet examination before they were allowed to run, regardless of whether they had any problems. Kerridge said the industry in New Zealand had come a long way in the past few decades in its treatment of horses. "There was a time, some 30 or 40 years ago, when we used to go to every horse race because the treatment was so poor. "But we don't ever need to do that now as the industry looks after their horses so well."

The introduction of strict rules about whipping horses had also added to this, he said. "Race officials are very strict on the use of the whip or excessive force on a horse. "It's a pretty good industry but some of these deaths are inevitable." Some had said Admire Rakti was forced to run the race and that was cruel but Kerridge disagreed. "It was clear the jockey was aware of a problem and started to pull it up quite early on." Simon Cooper, senior manager for New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, put the deaths into perspective when he said more runners had died in a marathon in New York than in an entire season here. ''When an athlete exerts to the maximum there is always a degree of risk. A zero death policy is simply not realistic given the size of this industry.'' New Zealand Racing Board spokeswoman Lenska Papich said the industry takes animal welfare very seriously and works hard to minimise harm to horses and greyhounds. "Horses and Greyhounds must be deemed fit to race with vets on site for checks prior to all races commencing. "In terms of horses, our industry has a rate of below 0.5 per 1000 starters for serious injuries." In the 2013 flat racing season, there were four fatalities from more than 30,000 flat race starters, she said. The board's Racing Integrity Unit spends more than $1 million per year on funding vets for race meetings as well as conducting drug testing on site, she said. It also conducts more 700 kennel and stable visits throughout the year to ensure conditions were fit for purpose.





An amazing rescue of a Horse down a hole in Britain this Week

 Incredible photos of Foxy the horse being rescued after falling backwards down the water-filled hole in Leicestershire. Firefighters attached a strap to get her out. It happened in May and Foxy is now almost recovered. She still needs a knee fracture dressing but her other, superficial, injuries, are all cleared up.



A cancer patient has died after a final farewell to her favourite horse outside the hospital where she was treated. Staff at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan granted Sheila Marsh's last wish, by arranging a visit from two of her horses on Monday afternoon. The hospital said the 77-year-old, unable to speak properly due to illness, "gently called" her favourite horse, who then nuzzled her cheek. Mrs Marsh, who used to work at Haydock Park Racecourse, died early on Tuesday. The grandmother from Wigan had six horses, three dogs, three cats and other animals. But after a farewell visit from one of her dogs last weekend, she told hospital staff of her wish to see her favourite horse Bronwen, who she had looked after for the previous 25 years. They arranged for Bronwen and another horse to come to the hospital car park, where nurses wheeled Mrs Marsh in her bed. Infirmary nurse Gail Taylor said: "The horse, Bronwen, walked steadily towards Sheila. "Sheila gently called to Bronwen and the horse bent down tenderly and kissed her on the cheek as they said their last goodbyes."

Mrs Marsh's daughter Tina said: "It was very important for my mum. She was one of the most hard-working people that you could meet and she would do anything for anyone." Pauline Law, deputy director of nursing, said staff felt privileged to have been involved. "This was obviously extremely important to [Mrs Marsh] and her family and we feel privileged to have been able to provide this support at this crucial stage of her care," she said. "It is absolutely right that we should pull out all the stops to ensure that our patients and their families receive personalised, compassionate and dignified care at the end of their life and this is what we will always strive to achieve."




Police were called at 2.45am this morning when the horse was running loose after escaping from London Road in Downham Market. But the distressed animal got into difficulty when it went behind a disused cinema on Church Road and became trapped. Appliances from Downham Market and King’s Lynn, including an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) crew arrived at the scene at around 4.20am. A spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “They were there until just after 8am which was quite a long time. It was tricky as they needed to knock a wall down to get to the horse.” But despite all the emergency crew’s efforts, the horse had to be put down because of severe injuries to it’s front quarters.






If you've seen this picture pop up on your social media accounts recently, you're not alone. Hundreds of people have been sharing the photo, which many people believed was a picture of two men sitting on top of a dead horse, hoisting beers and laughing. Acadiana residents believed the horse in the photo was the same horse that escaped from its owner and was killed by a vehicle during last weekend's Step-N-Strut in St. Landry Parish. But after an extensive investigation KLFY conducted with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Department, we've determined the photo is anything but what its being depicted as. St. Landry deputies have confirmed to KLFY that the horse is not dead, in fact, he's very much alive, and is seen obeying a command from his owner to lie down. According to the St. Landry deputies' investigation,

 "The horse lies down on command and the owner lets people pose for a picture, then the owner says something to the horse and he stands up again." The investigation also revealed that "...the deputy stated he watched the performance himself and the horse was fine, well cared for, and appeared quite happy to perform." In addition, St. Landry Animal Control has confirmed that the horse killed following Step-N-Strut was not the same horse pictured in the photo. We'll continue to follow the other story involving the horse that was hit by a vehicle following this weekend's trail ride, and we'll let you know if any charges will be filed in the case.




HARDIN COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - The decision has been made by Hardin County Animal County officials to euthanize a mixed-breed dog they said mauled a miniature horse to death. WAVE 3 News first reported the story on October 27. Melissa Howard who owned the horse, named Baby Girl, said the family pet was so badly hurt, it died.

 Miniature horse mauled to death by dog] Jerry Foley, the Hardin County Animal Control director, said they had no other choice than to opt to euthanize the dog because of the attack. It had also failed several aggression tests. He said he believed it would be a danger if the animal were to be adopted out. Foley said it would take about 12 days for the animal to be put down, depending on the availability of the personnel necessary for the procedure. Foley also said the dog was never claimed by an owner.








Head injury a danger for young female horse riders Young girls aged 10 - 14 are four to five times more likely than other people to end up in hospital with injuries due to horse riding, according to a recent study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The study, published today in the AIHW National Injury Surveillance Units Australian Injury Prevention Bulletin (Issue 24), found that although death and injury from horse-riding is a small fraction of all death and injury cases, the injuries that did occur tended to be serious. Broken arms and head injuries were most common. This was particularly so for young riders, and especially so for girls. Author of the study, Dr Raymond Cripps, said that the relatively high injury rate in young girls was probably more a result of the numbers of young girls riding horses often, rather than a result of their youth or gender.

 Nevertheless, no good rider would ever be complacent the chance of severe injury is always there, with head injury being potentially the most serious. This is because of the unpredictability, size and weight of the horse, combined with the height of the rider above the ground. Approximately 20 Australians are killed as a result of horse-riding activities each year, with 3000 being admitted to hospital with horse-related injuries. One in five of these admissions are due to head injury as a result of falling from the horse. For those of us interested in quirky facts, the number of horse-related hospital admissions is double the number for dog bites, Dr Cripps said. Other findings of the study include: Queensland has the highest incidence of horse-related injuries and deaths in Australia. The death rate in Queensland (0.25 horse-related deaths per 100,000 population) is almost twice the national rate. More than one-third of hospital cases involving horse-related injuries occurred in capital cities and suburbs, with the highest number in New South Wales (403 cases). Women aged over 34 years were less likely to have a horse-related accident than their male counterparts.




Three companies have received warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for marketing equine ulcer products without that agency's approval. Omeprazole is the only FDA-approved equine ulcer treatment. The FDA website states that on Oct. 29 Tri-Star Equine Marketing LLC, HorsePreRace, and Horse Gold, Inc. all received warning letters relative to their marketing of various equine ulcer products deemed by the FDA to be “intended for use in the mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in animals, which makes (them) drugs under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” Under the act drugs intended for use in animals “require an approved new animal drug application unless they are generally recognized as safe and effective,”

the warning letters said. Horse Gold and HorsePreRace were both warned against the marketing of CastroMax3, while Tri-Star Equine Marketing and HorsePreRace were warned against internet marketing of Gastrotec. HorsePreRace was also warned against the internet sales of omeprazole oral paste, omegrazole/ranitidine oral paste, flunixin, Synedem, toltrazuril paste, and Super Tie Up. No one from HorsePreRace was available for comment. A woman who answered the telephone at Tri-Star Equine Marketing declined comment. Attorney J. Clark Baird, counsel for Horse Gold, said the firm, is aware of the FDA warning letter and that it disputes the allegations. “We maintain that this is an over-the-counter product and that it has the same ingredients and the same dosage as in other over-the-counter products used in the industry,” Baird said. “We will vigorously defend this company and this product.” The warning letters state that the firms have 15 working days to respond in writing.





A Mifflin County man was found guilty of nine counts of animal cruelty leading to the death of two horses and leaving a third in sickly condition. Charles Fisher of 900 Lockport Road, Lewistown, was charged in connection with an incident July 27 outside a New Holland auction house. His wife, Lori Fisher, and Patty Sherwood of 100 Tigger Lane,

( Has to be Britain - Hang on to Him Idiot)

 McClure, also were charged. Assistant District Attorney Christine Wilson, who prosecuted the case, said charges were withdrawn against Sherwood, and Lori Fisher was found not guilty on all nine counts. Wilson said Charles Fisher was will pay a $900 fine, court costs and restitution in the amount $1,390, payable to the Lancaster County SPCA. He was tried Wednesday morning before District Judge Jene Wilwerth. He has the option to appeal.

Besides a count of animal cruelty attached to each of the horses, Fisher was charged with additional charges for depriving the horses of necessary food and veterinary care, and for arranging the sale of animals in poor condition. According to a report Sept. 8, Fisher was involved with transporting or arranging transport to New Holland of three Arabian-type horses — a roan-colored, a dark bay-colored and a chestnut-colored mare — in “an inhumane manner.” Because of the “severely dilapidated condition” of the horses, they were unable to sustain their own weight during transport, according to citations filed before DJ Rodney Hartman. All three horses were described in the documents as emaciated and lethargic. The roan horse sustained nerve damage to its leg when it fell, and the bay suffered “further stress and deterioration,” the citations said. Both had to be euthanized. The 17-year-old chestnut mare survived.




WELLINGTON, Fla. - Wellington officials are exploring whether to get into the business of facilitating horse waste disposal, but the village is "many, many months away" from any final decision. Council members received an update on the village's horse waste issues during a workshop Wednesday -- a discussion that sets the ground for future meetings with village committees and private stakeholders. Horse waste has long been a discussion topic in Wellington. The village bills itself as the "winter equestrian capital of the world" and is home to as many as 12,000 horses during the peak season. In recent years, the village has spent millions of dollars re-routing its plumbing system to reduce manure-laden run-off into the Everglades, and it enacted tighter regulations for horse owners to better comply with state and federal water-quality standards and to combat illegal dumping.

Problems now revolve around rising costs for haulers to dispose of the village's estimated 100,000 tons of horse waste every year, village officials said. Although the problem itself is a private-sector one, village staff proposes that Wellington could take a "proactive role" in ensuring the waste continues to be disposed of properly in the long term. One such option could be for the village to build and operate a central collection facility in Wellington, where haulers could drop off daily loads from some 600 farms in the village and private companies with a use for the waste -- such as sugar farms in the Glades -- could pick up the waste and take it away in bulk. Village staff estimated it could cost about $3.7 million to build such a facility. Annual operations costs of about $820,000 could be covered through hauler and tipping fees, staff proposed.













Here are the photos of the float I sent to your phone this morning.  It is a trail boss.
Kind regards


Hi Roz

Well, the normal old things.

  • The dangerous Handles sticking up (Hell dangerous)
  • The back Leg for the centre division (tripping horse on way out)
  • No running boards at front or back of Mudguards (horses getting cut Legs, ropes getting stuck)
  • Tyre on side near tie up points, waiting for rope to get around and strangle Horse
  • Back Ramp latch, ala 1970


All pretty easily fixed though.







Hi Linda & John,

You will see from the following photos of Disco’s mouth this was probably a good thing. From about the end of May every time I went in to feed, check or pat the horses Disco would be playing with my hair in his mouth, walk away from his feed to follow me to the gate, or if I was looking at one of the others, he would come and put his lower jaw on top of my head. Over autumn/winter there was literally no riding (therefore no putting the bridle on) and In August I finally took the hint and looked in his mouth…. This sight made me call Denis straight away as he said it may be split below the gum line which would need an anaesthetic.

The result of the operation is below, and I now have a horse who is now more than happy to take up a contact (whenever I get the chance to ride!). Poor bugger was so obliging for all those dressage tests I did, but can now see why he didn’t want his mouth closed and always wanted to stick his tongue up to provide some relief!!!

Greg thinks an old trauma had caused the tooth to shatter below the gum-line and it took possibly 5-6 years for it to fracture the whole way up before anything could be seen without an X-ray. All in all an interesting exercise in ‘listening to your horse’

Glad you’re both keeping well and look forward to getting back into competitions in the New Year.

Kind regards,
Emma Vercoe.




Hi there John,

Perhaps a blonde question but I'd rather ask once too many than once too less and create damage:

Got your running reins and working horse in them 5 days per week. Does this work replace my flat work sessions with her or can i do running reins, then carry on with 20 minutes flat work straight after?

At the moment all i do is running reins and then the days she doesn't get worked in them i ride her out on loose reins.

Last weekend running reins got replaced with a dressage clinic and i would like to carry on at home with what I've learned around improving my seat and feel of the horse.

She doesn't seem particularly tired after working in them, breathing a bit but that stops within 30 -45 secs. We have just increased to 6 minutes and reins are farily short, still trot work only.

thanks heaps,


I doesn't matter Pernille. You can do whatever You like, Plus Running Reins work, depending upon fitness and attitude. regards






Hi John,

Hope all is going well for you and Linda.

Just had to share the antics of my OTTB yesterday. He is such a scally wag! He was very unimpressed with me attending to the retired horse before going to him. When I got to his paddock he was about 30m away. As soon as I came in the gate he canters up swinging his bum from side to side like a kid skipping along going "you're here! You're here!!!" It was hilarious. Of course laughing just encourages him more. You would have thought I hadn't seen him for a week the way he was carrying on. I see him every day LOL

He is doing really well in his work. I have a lot to be very happy about and he keeps improving.

Have a great week


Well done K.






Hi John.. Interesting read of article on 'Separation Anxiety in the Horse)....I work with children with anxiety!! Some things have hit home for mare I brought as a rising 4yo? Broke in slowly and surely which went fairly smooth- no vices really- just not great with shoeing back feet....also very stubborn and would put up a good fight if something she didnt wanna do- go past something scary etc..

 Have had big issues with floating- big mistake was her initial transporting where at wits end was transported by a friend in his cattle truck and sliced the back of her hock. Dosent like enclosed areas- stables an anxious horse- freaks when a bird flies out of bush etc- but so very engaging and likes to learn and can jump and lots of potential.. Now 10 and have had major issues floating! Goes totally nuts on her own and will sometimes be OK with a mate..have had some actually good trips and the latest a disaster! After getting the vet out for advice (yes i know- was at my wits end) she suggested sedation paste and a short positive trip...attempted this over the weekend and was not good- sedation paste assisted with getting her on calmly, was squealing with a new mate but seemed semi settled, went nice and slow and a short way but on the way home she just totally spun out! Stopped and I took her off and lead her (half sedated approx 5kms home.....

 SO, got in touch with someone you may well have heard of- Tauriki TeWhata?? He has said it will most likely be to do with her back legs and being confined?? I NEVER hobbled he is coming to help me out and will prob start from scratch with her. She is not being naughty at all (well possibly some learnt behaviours now) is just scared!! Does this sound about right to you? Am hopeful as I have this lovely big mare that can jump and move that i cant get anywhere!! When she HAS travelled shes anxious and unsettled when there for a long time, wont stand still and wait and paws at the side of the float most of the time!! I feel like an amateur now and blame myself but i have broken in horses before with no hobbling and have had no issues!

Pam. New Zealand.

Hi Pam. A sad story indeed. What a shame. Yes, they sure can take things seriously when mishaps occur. It is a fact of course that Horses that are started INCLUDING Leg Restraints Training, are far safer in their Life and this Morning, I had yet another show of proof of this, with a 20 Month Old Horse that I had done a little bit with, put his Leg over a Rope and was trapped. Tied Solid. He put his Head down to his Foot and waited for me to go and lift his Leg Out. ....anyhow.....

Your Mare is a far more difficult Case of course and is in fact high end. Did the Vet test for Hormone imbalance, Problems with Ovaries, etc? Blood Test to check Her out?

There is no doubt that "Leg Restraint Training could only help the Horse but the Trainer would want to be well prepared with knowledge, facilities, right equipment and Booted up to the Max. All 4 Legs. Hence my Breaking in Boots.


as although only 1 in 100 will 'Lose it" this Mare could be the one.

Then, it is not just a matter of do it one Day. You need to regularly have the Horse wear Jewelry and for extended periods of time, to get 'Miles on the Clock' and so it all becomes 'Ho Hum' Only then can you begin to use the new found skills, to solve the various list of problems, like pawing. Incidentally, new Product


Best of is another one......


Hi John,
Firstly, thanks for the mouthing DVD. Really well explained and the system makes a whole of sense to me. I'm looking forward to getting started. Before I do, I was hoping you could give some advice.
The horse in question is a 4yo paint mare. She came straight out of a paddock from a guy who had meant to do something with her but never got around to it, then was forced to sell all his horses due a messy divorce. I know the guy wuite well and no reason to disbelieve him. I got her home and tought her to catch and tie up etc, then started working on her legs. She didn't like me touching her front legs, but in a morning I had them up and strapped. I've watched your leg retraints dvd and I have done of this in the past, including working weekends with a farrier when I was in school (20 years ago now). I've also had her front hobbled with no problems.
The back legs are a different story however. I can stand at her hip and rub them with a whip or polypipe, even tap her hooves, no problem. The minute I bend over even the slightest bit to touch below her hock, she turns away to keep me in sight. I'm quite sure the problem is me being out of her sight. I tried putting her against fence and she ran straight over the top of me. (I did get out of the way.)
We then spent a couple of sessions with a long piece of 2" polypipe learing not to move into pressure, which all went well. I've collar roped her, and she's fine with that, you can do anyhting with the feet as she can see you.
I can think of two possible next steps: either put her against the fence again now she's learned not to move into pressure, but that puts me in a dangerous position if the lesson isn't well enough learned, or work on tying her around (as in mouthing dvd) to teach her to turn her head to watch, rather having to turn her whole body. Would you suggest one of these, or something different altogether. I believe you don't really have the horse until you have it's feet, so I'm reluctant to move on until I've got this sorted. I've been advised by others to call a farrier, but I don;t believe it's hte farrier's job to teach horses. It's my job to provide a horse who can be trimmed / shod.


PS I bought one of your saddles (second hand) recently and its certainly the best saddle I've ridden in. After years in stock saddles, my body feels a little stiff from the new position, but the horses love it, and it's really comfortable and my muscles will adjust soon enough.







Hi, my name is Bianca and i have a Brumby filly who is 2yrs and 2months old. I have had her since she was 11 weeks old (she was orphaned at 4 days) and she is about 14hh. So far she knows her walk, trot and canter commands by voice when being led, and walk trot while free lunging. She has been saddled and trotted with the saddle on, but had no weight on her back apart from me messing around and putting my little dog on her back which she didn't care about. I can touch her all over, pick up all her feet and pretty much do whatever I want with her. My question is, what would be the ideal age to mouth her and back her? I have done all the work myself so far with the exception of float training, I halter broke her at 11 weeks and taught her to lead from 11 to 12 weeks and she leads perfectly and gives to pressure. I have done carrot stretches with her and she can reach all the way to her hips, so she's pretty flexible :)

Hi Georgia

I always say 3 Year old at the minimum but can tell You that Breeds like German Warmbloods are still maturing at 6 Years. Have a look at the attached Chart though. This question comes up all the time and this is the second Today. In reality, 4 Years is the smartest. Regards


Thank you for the advise and info! Where I live (outback QLD) it's a pretty rough lifestyle and everyone does it the old way so I'm glad I looked for a second opinion! 
I've decided to wait another year and a half just to make sure she's defiantly ready and developed. 
Just on another note though, I was lungeing her the other day off-lead in a round yard (walking), and she pretty much became a different horse- with sudden outbursts of violence.  She'd come charging at me with teeth bared, ears back then at the last minute flick her body around and try to double barrel me. I continued the session (even though it happened about 5 times) until I got one good lap so we could end on a positive note. Anyway, I was wondering if this sounds like play behaviour? All the other horses are 14+ so she doesn't really get to "frolic and play" like a normal yearling. But it did seem very aggressive. Would it be best to bush her for 6 months or so to give her a chance to grow up a bit more?
Anyway sorry for taking your time again, I'm guessing you have a lot of clients and emails etc. to get through!
Thanks, Georgia







Hi John,

I have received this letter today and when you have two minutes just your thoughts on this little fella....owner is miles from a city here. Cheers Amber WA

Dear Amber
Dude our 7yr old pony is not well his been losing weight over a couple of weeks and when you look at him his belly is fat on one side and he's got the poverty line showing on the other side up till this morning his been eating well as I've been feeding him up (2 hard feeds a day plus hay) his is fine and normal looking but he's lethargic and not his normal self. I've started feeding him wet feeds in case his got a build up in his gut, we don't have a vet around here, and the one in Merredin is mainly small animals, I can stomach drench horses but I think my tube is too big for him as it a horse tube.Do you have any ideas? He's not dehydrated and his coat looks fine

Thanks Jenny


Yes Amber, the Horses are living in a Play Pitt over there and should be treated at a minimum of 12 Weeks, regardless. This one is at risk of Death and should be done immediately and then again in 14 Days. The Photos after, down the track a bit will be telling. Regards







Hi John and Linda Hope this finds you both well. Honey and I achieved our goal this season and qualified as yellow (open) book Endurance Horse and Rider. Not bad for our first full season. So proud of her, she has a huge heart and is maturing beautifully. We have come a long way together since leaving Gainsborough and moving up to NSW. Loving the endurance riding and making so many friends from all walks of life. The photo is from last weekend at the end of our qualifying 80klm at the Eldorado Gold Cup Victoria heading towards the time keeper. Love Karyn


Amazing Karyn. Who would have thought when I rode Her out for the first time, that she would rise to these Heights. Lovely Girl!!!! and well done to You.






Hi Folks. Hope You are all well. Lovely Week here, 29 Degrees most Days and up to 13 degrees cooler than Roseworthy and one Day, 16 Degrees Cooler. Hard to believe but easy living compared to the North these Days.

My 'Starters have both gone Home and Gus is being flat worked by his Owners and going well. Here he is prior to leaving, getting his flatwork going with the help of Leanne (Mrs. HP's Cousin from Holland)

and then

out the Gate with His Owner, who lived to tell the Tail :)


meanwhile.......Young 'Gummy Shark' has also arrived back in Victoria and I had a Phone call from the Owner of how impressed she was with his Floating for the Horse Transport had to abort bringing Him to me on the first Trip. Couldn't load Him. He just didn't want to leave 'Mummy' :)

Well he would have lost 100kg of weight in the first two Weeks, such was his stress level with being away from Home but we managed to get it back on Him once we got his brain and he left here looking gleaming as You can see in the Photo. Prior to that, he was 10kg from People thinking we had neglected a Horse.

I spent Yesterday repairing his damages and his Owner sent me this telling Photo of a Rock Fence he pulled to pieces so he could play smooch with a Herd of Cows :)

Anyhow, most interesting Horse who would probably have died of Colic had to gone to some Trainers. I won't miss Him but won't forget Him.



Young Jess had a lucky escape this Week, having been badly dumped on one of our hard gravel bluestone Car Parks, of a 'Re-Educator" Now I want to make some educative observations about this.

Good Young Female Dressage Trainers should NOT be taking on 'Re-Educators' or Problem Horses. That is the job for Males and Horsemen. Females lack the strength and often the Balls, to get away with surviving this most dangerous occupation where Your Life is on the line every is the other thing.

  • Don't ever get on such Horses, any suspect Horse, on an arena or a Car Park when You have a Round Pen. ALWAYS IN THE ROUND PEN, walk and at least trot. Mrs. HP has often been guilty of this too over the Years.

  • Don't ever ride such Horses in SELF EMTYING SADDLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! which is what Dressage Gals always want to do. Ridiculous!!!!!  If they must, ride Green Horses, which is different to a "Problem Horse" own a Half Breed but own one that puts You in a Dressage Position and remember MOST DON'T. I was out riding Today, here.........


and the Winteck You see here is a damm Shocker!!!!!!! where my Pupil cannot Balance like I can, can't ride a shy like I can and can't learn to ride properly either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Had a lovely ride around the District Today, with Steve who purchased the 'Green Horse' but was a Learner and here is the wonderful Dulce, looking after Him.

here you see the great difficulty there is in "Letting the Reins go" for I am on the Leaper :)


anyhow, we survived and all Happy :)



and listen to Your Coaches.....

Congratulations to the Pupil who listened to both. A $20 odd Thousand Dollar Purchase could not be got on the Float by the Pupil, to come to a Lesson. Why???????

When the Horse got here, it escaped and ran around our Property.....why?????

Well Good Owner did the right thing and got in the Vets as per our advice. The Horse had a bad case of Ulcers, caused by the WORSE CASE OF BOTT INFESTATION that he had ever seen. He instructed the Owner to pick up all manure on the Property and BURN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So Folks, the Pupil is better than the Owners who sold the Horse were, for they sure as Hell would have sold it as a Problem. It is now a wonderful Horse and worth twice what she paid.

now let's "Listen to some more Horses".............or try and teach the EA how to........



In what would appear to be a good initiative to get Young People into the Horse Industry, is obviously destined to product the next Generation of British Horse Society "Fighters with Horses".

I cannot believe, that after 25 Years of work by Trainers around the World, started by Pat Parelli, that in 2014, People will not let go of Ancient History.


Here is how the EA are teaching Kids to lead Horses


and of course with BHS systems, along comes the Terror inflicted upon Horses every Minute they are under control of Humans and guess what....I have never seen an English Rider NOTICE what their Horse is doing the whole time they are on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

   So along with this type of Training, comes the complete and total failure of Pupils, to ever "Listen to a Horse" into the future as they are destined to be just Tools for Fun!!!


These Kids and all that will come after them, are destined to be 'Terror' to Horses and substandard Horse Owners. Why, even the Coach here is a Natural Horsemanship user so what in the Hell is going on here?????








But worse is the constant turmoil a Horse goes through when not being trained or shown, just standing around.

I had a Lady telling me that Her Horse was stressed at the Dressage the other Day and at the same time Her Daughter was sitting there fighting with the Face of the Horse who must have communicated 10 times to say "For God's sake, I just took You safely around the Dressage Arena, got a Ribbon so will You now get off my Teeth??????

It is a fact that Horses that are handled like Ready Steady Trot are NOT HAPPY HORSES in their Lives. They are never settled and always in turmoil. They don't enjoy their Lives and interaction with Humans and hold a level of Stress that causes behavioral Problems.

Every Professional Trainer sees them every Week. Every Horse I have had this Year fits the category. NOT ONE Horse through my Hands in Years, have any resemblance to our Horses.

So well done EA. Stay in the Dark Ages and produce little Terrors of Horses in the name of Fun fun fun. At a time where Horse Welfare should be at the very top of everyone's Minds, something is wrong here.

 "Who's looking after the Horses?"

Yes Mate....I know You are unhappy!! Someone in the World Tonight agrees!





Young Nikki from North Queensland doing well again this Year :)









Went to our first Show in 7yrs with our Stallion, just for some fun, ended up wining Supreme.. And out of 24 top showies, got 2nd best presented lol..


at least You didn't have wear those 'Joddies" with the Footy Soxs down the Jocks hahahahaha
Well done Mr. Smooth

You wouldn't recognize Him of course - Clint James. WA


As I reported, the Horse was sacked by the other Trainer, after 5 Rides, because it was rearing.

The Horse went to Clint James who "Listened' to the Horse and deduced through experiments, that it was most unhappy being Mounted via a Saddle but happy to be mounted bareback. He found a fresh injury mark on the Horse and called in a Physio who found the Horse to be very sore. The Horse then went to the Vet who declared that the Horse required 3 Months off as it had injured itself prior to arrival at Clints. The Vet complimented Clint for finding the issues.

Meanwhile......another WA Trainer and Mate of, that I had previously sacked for being too vicious towards Horses and who turned out to be an Alco, has been serving it up to me on Facebook and attempting to damage my Saddlery Sales. I have his words thanks to his so called Friends forwarding them to me.

If he doesn't tone down, we shall see if he can take it as good as he gives it and I may relate some stories for entertainment, on here, about some of his disgusting exploits which, caused by drunkenness, with injuries to Young Horses being viewed as the norm. Then I may go further, to do with the Toilet habits of the dirty Bastard, caused by Alcoholism. Over to You smart Ass! There's more and your problem would be that You don't know what it is because you would have been too pissed at the time :)





Hi John My son recently purchased a horse which was adverised on Facebook. I had spoke to the bloke selling the horse to make sure it was suitable for my son who is 13yrs old and a beginner rider. He assured me that the horse was suitable. He explained to me that the horse had been a Polo x horse, that hadnt been ridden for awhile and needed a bit of work. During the course of the week, while waiting for transport company to collect the horse i asked again wether he was sure it would suit a beginner he said yes,it just needs a little bit of work. He then offered me another horse a thoroughbred, which i said no to because, thoroughbreds are not a good breed for beginner riders. Upon recieving horse, transport man warns me about the horse, being a rearer while being led.

The horse was branded,so i tracked down the breeder who in turn gave me the previous owner who had sent the horse to Camden sales 2wks prior to me purchasing her, as an unbroken broodmare. For the past 15yrs this horse had ran free with a stallion, because the last few years she hadnt falling pregnant they took her to the sales. I have tried to talk to this bloke on the phone who was rude and abusive and also to my husband who tried to talk to him also. Have also sent email requesting a refund. Just after some advise on what my legal rights are as he has seriously lied about this horse. He has deleted the videos of her being ridden on Facebook, but did manage to record the last one he made describing the sale of the horse to young boy who had saved his money. I also have messages from breeder and previous owner verifying brands and markings. Regards



A horse trainer, who had to give up her outdoors way of making a living for clerical work in a village post office because of a car accident, has been awarded over €30,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court. SHARE Barrister Noel Cosgrove told the court that an injury to the right wrist of Denise Murray (49) of St Martins, Lyons Road, Newcastle, Co Dublin, had changed her life completely. Murray, a former stud groom, said she was unable to continue her previous full-time business of running a small stables and rearing and training horses. She would buy young horses and bring them on to dressage and three-day-eventer level before selling them. She said strong hands were vital to riding, schooling, grooming, even leading a horse, and she had found the slightest twitch could cause excruciating pain. The right hand dominant Murray told Circuit Court President, Mr Justice Raymond Groarke, that she had unsuccessful steroid injections to the base of her thumb and was due another one next Monday. She had been given the option of what she described as “rather gruesome” surgery involving the insertion of pins in three bones yet without any guarantee of success. “I don’t look forward to having pain for the rest of my life and pain killers don’t agree with me,” Ms Murray said. “Turning the key in a door and cleaning tack all cause pain and I just can’t take the lid off a jar.” She said she used to do a lot of show jumping but had not tried it since the December 2011 accident at Lucan, Co Dublin, in which she had injured her wrist and right heel which had since cleared up. Ms Murray said she had been a keen DIY enthusiast but had to give it up. A hammer in the left hand was out of the question. Judge Groarke said Ms Murray accepted she had a previously asymptomatic underlying arthritic condition which had been aggravated rather than caused by the accident. Awarding her €30,500 damages he said she would have had an ongoing good quality of life for a number of years if she had not suffered trauma as a result of the accident.




A buyer has been forced to settle for libel after she posted videos online of a pony bucking and called the seller’s practices a “scandal”. The case involved a polo pony named Lady Gaga, who Kate Gibbons bought for her son in September 2012 from Oxfordshire dealer Louisa Donovan. Judge Richard Parkes heard in High Court in London last week (21 October) that less than six months after buying the pony, Mrs Gibbons was unhappy and claimed that it was “unsuitable” for her children to ride. The situation reached a stalemate — with Mrs Donovan refusing to take the pony back — and in February 2013 Mrs Gibbons arranged for her husband to upload two videos that showed a polo pony bucking while being lunged.

 The caption named Mrs Donovan’s company and read: “Louisa Donovan sold this polo pony as being suitable for children. Downright dangerous and a scandal they get away with this.” Four months later, a third video was uploaded with the same footage and caption. All remained on the YouTube site until February this year. Mrs Donovan only found out about the videos when a friend discovered them online, and she told H&H it was “shocking”. She began libel proceedings as she felt the videos were “slurring” her business. 

Mrs Gibbons denied the claim arguing the videos were just “honest opinion”. Last Tuesday the judge found in favour of Mrs Donovan on the preliminary issue of whether the words were defamatory under common law.......

 “The ordinary, reasonable person watching the video will have concluded that the claimant had sold the defendant a dangerous pony as being suitable for children, even though she must have known that it was in fact wholly unsuitable for them,”

 Judge Parkes said. As a result of the preliminary decision the rest of the case was settled out of court for an unrevealed sum. Mrs Donovan told H&H that she was “relieved” that the situation had been resolved. “For people nowadays selling horses it is a minefield,” she said. “We were in a fortunate position that we could pursue the defamatory claim, but many people would find it financially restrictive.” Mrs Donovan bought the now 11-year-old pony back, in December last year, and has not had any problems with her. “She has been fine and has never done anything wrong,” she said. “I have been playing 2-goal to 12-goal with her all summer.”





HI Pam,

Well, we have both viewed the Video's and in a Nutshell, here is the position:

  • The Horse is not "Inside Leg to Outside Rein"
  • The Horse is not
  • The Horse is not 'On the Bit'
  • Not forward enough in the Trot work but notice the difference after the Canter!
  • and Not 'Off the Leg enough' regardless of the exercises at the Halt with forehand turns.
  • The Horse does not stay stretching towards the Bit, because it loses 'suppleness' (at times, when changing Rein, You are even 'flexed off' slightly.


You will note in the side on shot that the Horse is WEAK BEHIND and particularly in the Topline over the back and Rump. You will note the Sacro slightly obvious.

This is the result of the list above and the way of riding.


The Horse is also 'above the bit' during ALL of the walking and braced in the jaw. It also needs lunging to build those missing muscles and turn the Horse around, to be able to better carry You.

You will see that at times, You are unsteady in the Saddle. That is because the Horse is not 'GIVING IT'S BACK" because of all the points above. This equals Bounce.

and on more than one occasion, the Horse is 'Bridle Lame' proving once again that it is not 'on the Bit' and 'inside Leg to Outside Rein'

Core strength is difficult to maintain once Kids come along so work on the sit ups :)



Hi John & Linda, Thank you, that all makes sense and I'm not surprised by any of it. We have had regular enough lessons with one main coach (EA accredited) and a few others through riding club, through all the conflicting advice not much has changed with this mare, except draining my $$) I'm looking forward to making some changes. She is lovely most of the time, though in different places she can get worried. So going forward, I already have the running reins, in the ebook you talk about different setting ect for different horses, what do you suggest for ------? Obviously once I get her used to them. I also have the above the bit and inside leg to outside rein DVDs, already so I will start working through these. Any others for now? How relaxed is she with the hobbles!! I first had them on her over 6mths ago and hadn't had them out again since. As I have only used them in the yard should I put them on her outside the yard at all? Many thanks Pam

Well done Pam. Forget the Above the Bit DVD, You are past that. The addition to Your "Inside Leg to Outside Rein" DVD's should be the "German Training Scale one.

Horses that get tense are often so because of a lack of submission. Relaxation won't come when she flies above the Bit, hence my advise earlier.


We see it all the time. People who attend Schools and Lessons from Multiple Coaches only hinders the progress of Horses and in my opinion, serves to make them frustrated. Imagine every time a new Coach tells You to change this and that. Imagine what the Horse must be thinking????? Find a Good/proven and PERFORMED Coach and stick with them.





Convenience and dollar savings are often cited as two major advantages when feeding round baled hay, especially when feeding groups of horses. At first glance these advantages may seem obvious, but for actual economic benefit certain conditions need to be met and the inherent health risks to the horses being fed round bales need to be considered. The preferred forage of choice for most classes of horses is grass hay, even more so when feeding round bales. As the percentage of alfalfa climbs in round bales, health problems become more frequent. As the horses burrow through the bale, the bale collapses, sifting delicate leaves out of the hay, leaving them to settle in pockets at the bottom of the feeder. These pockets of rich, dense leaves are high in proteins and sugars. When consumed in excess by susceptible horses, atypical and unseasonal episodes of laminitis can be triggered. In groups of weanlings these pockets of leaves will spur on non-productive growth spurts and in all groups of horses these pockets of rich leaves can induce colic and digestive upsets.

 If round bales are not stored properly or managed appropriately while being fed to the horses, weathering and/or spoiling of hay can substantially whittle away any price-per-pound advantage round baled hay may offer over square baled hay. If enough horses have access to and consume a round bale in a reasonable time of four to seven days, there may be little concern for spoilage. However, once the twine or plastic covering is removed from the bale, it begins to collapse, losing its resiliency to moisture and spoilage. Warming trends in combination with wet weather begin to take their toll, diminishing the nutritional content of the hay and setting the stage for mouldy patches and caramelization of proteins and sugars.

As the hay quality deteriorates, the risk of digestive and respiratory disorders to the horse rises. Digestive upsets, colic and respiratory conditions such as (COPD), also known as heaves become prevalent. Round baled hay is typically associated with a higher incidence of dust and mould. Therefore horses with respiratory problems are not good candidates in round bale feeding systems. A certain percentage of hay spoilage is often inherent in the manner in which round bales are fed. It is important to maintain hay quality as the horses feed in order to maximize the nutritional content of the hay.

Dangers for groups

Round bale feeders designed specifically for horses limit waste by containing the hay, preventing the horses from trampling and rendering the hay unpalatable. Although round bale feeders offer advantages when feeding round bales, they also can become problematic in certain groupings of horses. Head, neck, and back injuries are not uncommon. Horses that are startled while feeding or unexpectedly bullied by a pen mate are positioned vulnerably while feeding. For this reason it will be important to recognize the social workings within groups of horses. In addition to becoming targets for bullying, timid horses can become outliers unable to consume their daily requirement of feed, losing weight. When round baled hay is used, horse owners forfeit the ability to closely monitor intake. Although free-choice forage is a great idea for horses, it can be disadvantageous for the non-stop eater. Slow feed nets designed specifically for round bales can be a useful tool to limit the daily intake of some horses. It may be necessary to separate particular individuals from the feeding group during the day to offset their gluttonous tendency.

 Slow feed netting will slow down the greedy eaters, but hard keepers may need to be separated and offered a little extra hay. Monitoring weight gain Supervision of individual horse’s body condition can identify how individual horses are responding to the round bale feeding system. Unfortunately round bale feeding methods do little to engage the horses in foraging activity and movement. It is not uncommon for horses with unlimited access to round bales within enclosed wintering grounds to consume 40 to 45 pounds of hay a day when 20 to 25 pounds would suffice. Left unsupervised the majority of horses tends to gain weight over the winter season consuming more calories than are spent. Limited exercise in combination with excessive forage intake sets the stage for metabolic disease and obesity. Weight gain in the winter season is an unnatural phenomena stressing the horse’s internal hormonal and metabolic environment. Acknowledging the inherent limitations and health risks of feeding round bales of hay will identify whether it is suitable for the individual horse.




HERE is racing’s problem. The whip. The industry and the sport do not have the courage to ban it. Those who run the thoroughbred business know that the padded ­instrument hurts horses when a jockey hits his mount with all his strength. That is why the use of the whip is restricted. There are limits to how many times you can get stuck into your horse before a race reaches its last 100m. After that, though, you can do your darndest then. Whack. Whack. Whack. Oh, and whack again. Whackety, whack, whack.

 The industry will claim all of this is a misrepresentation of its position. The men and few women who run racing will argue that the whip is restricted more on the grounds of public perception. The whip does not hurt a horse but encourages it. Yet it is restricted because the public is not capable of understanding that significant but fine distinction between pain and praise. So the industry bets each-way. It does not ban the whip but rules where the whip can be used and how many times. So a jockey can use the whip on his mount five times before the final 100m but not in consecutive strides. After that the jockey is free to hit the horse as often as he likes. This feeble and equivocal position is reflected in the punishment for abuse of the whip rules.

On Saturday Zac Purton rode a heady race to win the Caulfield Cup on Japan’s Admire Rakti. He slipped back towards the rear of the field and had a huge job of ­reeling in runaway leader Rising Romance in the home straight. Purton hit the horse 13 times in a forehand action before he reached the 100m marker, eight times more than the rules allow. The stewards also reported that he hit Admire Rakti on three consecutive strides once and two consecutive strides twice before the 100m. The penalty? $1500 for striking the horse eight times more than allowed and $1500 for whipping in consecutive strides. That’s $3000 all up. Purton’s cut of the $1,750,000 prizemoney: a mere $87,500. Of course, of equal if not more value to the money is the honour and prestige that goes with winning one of the most significant races not just in Australia but the world. Presumably, too, the grateful owner Riichi Kondo would have topped up Purton’s earnings.

There is no deterrent to Purton or any jockey in a race of such ­substance. The illegal whip use raises the question of Admire Rakti’s right to retain the cup. It was raised with head steward Terry Bailey who told Fairfax media: “Admiral Rakti would have won anyway.” The winning margin was just a long neck. But if Purton was allowed to “encourage” his horse considerably more than James McDonald could on his mount Rising Romance isn’t there a case to be made for the race result to be overturned? Or if, as Bailey contends, the whipping did not account for the long neck winning margin then Purton was gratuitously striking his horse. It would be good to know just when whipping does impact on a race result. Because if it did not cause any difference to the result of Saturday’s Caulfield Cup it is hard to think of a scenario when it would. So why would you use it? ­Admire Rakti was well back in the field and chasing a clear and strongly running leader yet the continual whipping was ruled of no account.

It begs the question: why do we allow whipping if it is of no effect? The very issue of the whip is corrupted and confused because officials seek to serve two masters. The whip causes no pain yet its use is restricted. The whip is harmless yet its use encourages the horse. How? What is the stimulation that makes the horse try harder? It can only be pain. If it is encouragement and not pain why are you not allowed to encourage a disgruntled horse when and where you like? It is needed for control yet what horse in the Caulfield Cup was out of control? Jockeys will tell you the whip is nothing but a “feather duster” and wouldn’t bruise an apple. That is one strike. But horses in contention are often struck furiously and continuously for 100m in the same spot. That wouldn’t hurt? Apple puree.

There is no scientific proof that the whip hurts horses. So far it has proved impossible to measure. But equally there is no considered scientific research that shows horses do not suffer pain when whipped. So we are whipping in the hope that horses are not being mistreated. We do not have the right to do that. Use of the whip is restricted as a sop to the greater community. Beat a horse in the street as a jockey does on the track and there would be public outrage. The use of the whip is allowed as a sop to the punters. They want to believe everything will be done to ensure their bet has the best chance of winning. Punters and jockeys alike think the whip is their ATM. The window on racing this time of year is as big as it gets. People outside the racing community get to peer in. All of them should watch the number of times horses are struck with the whip. They should ask themselves if what they see is sport.




The Indiana Horse Racing Commission recommended an unprecedented 20-year suspension as well as a $20,000 fine for a veterinarian accused of providing unauthorized drugs for horses racing at Indiana Grand Race Course. The recommended suspension is the commission’s longest ever from a single investigation. Ross Russell, 31, is alleged to have provided injectable bottles and full syringes of various drugs for use on race day; altered treatment records and billing statements; and lied to the commission during its investigation. “He embodies the worst stereotypes of a race track practitioner,” according to the administrative complaint. Peter Sacopulos, Russell’s lawyer, said he will request a hearing before an administrative law judge to dispute the charges.

He said the administrative complaint relies heavily on a veterinarian who was fired by Russell. He added that a central event in the complaint is inaccurate, “based solely on a ‘barn-walker’ ... quasi-security.” Russell was suspended in September when, according to the complaint, track security personnel saw him inject a horse scheduled to race that night with a prohibited medication. The report contains extensive testimony by trainer Ron Raper and an affidavit from veterinarian Libby Rees, the former employee of Russell’s. Rees’s affidavit said Russell used unauthorized drugs and potentially dangerous levels of cobalt before Indiana became the first state to restrict levels of cobalt given to thoroughbreds.

Rees quoted Russell as saying cobalt “makes them run like a beast, but you only get one or two races out of them, and then they’re done.” Rees said that one time after she administered cobalt, at the direction of Russell, the horse “struggled for breath, as indicated by her flaring nostrils and respiration rate,” and was sweating profusely. “I was very alarmed and concerned the horse would die,” Rees said. The reaction lasted three to five minutes. The report redacted names of horses, citing state law. “One of racing’s dirty little secrets is the administration of forbidden drugs, medications, or other foreign substances — often by injection — to horses on race day,” the report said. “This is something that the press and the general public are not typically aware of, but is common knowledge among the industry insiders in the stable area.” Indiana, the report said, has “always taken a strong stance against forbidden race day administrations.”


Robert Gruntz, 70, was led off to jail after the half-hour sentencing hearing. He had been convicted in June by a Crook County Circuit Court jury on 10 of 11 counts of second-degree animal neglect, a Class B misdemeanor. The jury deliberated for about two hours after 2 ½ days of testimony. Jurors rejected the argument by Gruntz and his lawyers that he was in Los Angeles and did not know (nor should he have been expected to know) the poor condition of the horses, among 80 found at the ranch under ownership of the Arlington Group. But special animal-abuse prosecutor Jake Kamins disputed that and said Gruntz should have known about the condition of the horses, and the jury agreed.

Kamins said he requested the maximum six-month sentence, but was pleased by the outcome of the sentence by Circuit Judge Daniel Ahern. A $300,000, three-year grant from the Animal Legal Defense Fund to the Oregon District Attorney’s Association is paying for Kamin’s work around the state, prosecuting animal abuse and neglect cases. Kamins said there was a joint agreement with Gruntz’s attorney Geoffrey Gokey, on $5,3,00 restitution to care for the animals from the day they were seized to the time they were forfeited to authorities. Kamins said Gruntz’s lawyer had again asked the judge to dismiss the case due to concerns over lack of a “speedy trial.” Ahern denied that, as well as a request that the sentence be stayed pending an appeal of the conviction. Ahern sentenced Gruntz to 60 days in jail on one count of the conviction, and on the others placed him on five years probation, making “findings that each conviction was a separate criminal incident,” Kamins said. In court Monday, Gruntz again maintained his innocence, saying he wasn’t aware of or responsible for the horses’ care. One reason the case took so long, Kamins noted, was when the judge granted a defense motion to suppress evidence obtained during the raid on the Arlington Group Ranch off Hwy. 126 (where more horses were seized after a 2012 raid). District Attorney Daina Vitolins appealed the evidence ruling to the state Court of Appeals, which ultimately reversed the judge’s decision; her office appointed Kamins to oversee the Gruntz case as it came to trial.

 “It’s an interesting set of facts, but it’s clear the jury believed he had the requisite custody and control of the animals,” the special prosecutor said. “At the very least, he failed to be aware of the negligence.” Kamins acknowledged that it can be hard to enforce conditions such as not owning any animals, especially if a person is living in another state. He said Gruntz can perform his community service in California, under Crook County probation oversight, and has the standard conditions of keeping the court up to date on his address and that he obey all laws. “The age of the case made it a little difficult,” he said, as memories fade over time. “It was a very complicated case from the beginning, and the age of the case made it more so.” But he said the veterinarians and others involved in the horse seizure had strong memories of what they’d seen and experienced.

“I’m pleased that there was a custody sentence imposed,” Kamins said. “I’m pleased there was a maximum probation imposed.” Kamins said he believes the conviction and sentence “sends a strong message” to horse owners that they are responsible for their proper care, no matter where they are located. “The number of animals involved in the case, and the lack of minimum care given to the, was a real deciding factor, I believe, in coming to that sentence,” he said. Two former ranch employees reached plea agreements on neglect charges against them and testified for the prosecution during the trial. After the jury conviction earlier this year, DA Vitolins said Gruntz’s claims that Crook County residents didn’t know thoroughbred race horses – that they were just thin, not starving – rang hollow, and were part of an “investment scheme” he engaged in “all over the place.” “This is the first time he’s been held accountable,” she said.








 horse had to be rescued from a backyard swimming pool in Mesa, AZ over the weekend, the second such incident in as many weeks. According to, a veterinarian was called in to sedate the horse after it exhibited signs of distress. Once sedated, firefighters were able to lift the horse from the pool and into the yard where he reportedly awoke from his slumber no worse for the wear.




KENSINGTON — A horse died and its owner was sent to the hospital with a leg injury Wednesday morning after the horse fell over and landed on its neck, authorities said. Emergency personnel were called to Flying Colour Farms at 22 Lamprey Road around 10:30 a.m. for a report of a 70-year-old woman who was thrown off a horse. Fire Chief Charles LeBlanc said the woman, who owned the horse, was riding the horse when it suddenly reared back and fell over. The woman’s right leg became pinned underneath the horse, which died after landing on its neck, LeBlanc said. Others at the farm managed to pull the horse off the woman before emergency crews arrived, LeBlanc said. The extent of the woman’s injuries was not known, but LeBlanc said it appears she suffered leg and hip injuries. He said they were not considered life threatening. She was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital. “At first it sounded like it could be a lot worse,” LeBlanc said. Flying Colour Farms is a horse riding, boarding and training facility. Kensington has several horses in town, LeBlanc said. Because the fire department has responded to other incidents in the past, LeBlanc said two firefighters have received large animal training to help them when responding to emergencies. “They’re pretty knowledgeable with that and how to deal with them,” he said.




JEROME • A 9-year-old Jerome girl died early Oct. 25 after sustaining a head injury when a horse kicked her, Jerome County Sheriff Doug McFall said. A service for Kinsey Mae Smith is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Lighthouse Christian Fellowship,...




A woman and a horse had a lucky escape when they were involved in a serious road accident which saw the car and horsebox overturn. Judy Preston was travelling back to Middlesbrough from Liverpool in a Land Rover,towing a horsebox carrying 15-year-old Noah when they were involved in the terrifying accident. Noah is a horse from the Riding for the Disabled Association’s Unicorn Centre, in Hemlington where Ms Preston is a trustee. Ms Preston said: “All I could think was, don’t brake or we’ll jackknife but before I knew what was happening we had toppled over and were facing the wrong way on the dual carriageway. “It was eerily quiet but then I had a whinny and knew that Noah had survived.”

Both the Land Rover and the horse trailer overturned and ended up in the central reservation. Noah had to be sedated while the trailer’s rear doors were cut away but he was soon grazing on the grass verge none too worse for wear. Both he and Judy miraculously only suffered minor cuts and bruises but unfortunately, the Land Rover and trailer were in much worse shape and have since been written off by the insurers. Noah had recovered from three day’s sedation at Leahurst, the teaching hospital of the University of Liverpool Veterinary School, after a difficult tooth extraction and was returning home to Middlesbrough when the accident happened on the A1 near Boroughbridge.

Centre manager, Claire Pitt said: “It was such a shock when we got the call about the accident but we were so thankful that Judy and Noah were okay. “Now we have no transport at all for our horses, our students and our volunteers, so there’ll be no more trips to the beach, to horse shows or to the feed merchants for now. “We will probably replace the vehicle and trailer with a horse box and a smaller 4 x 4 as although we were insured, the insurance money won’t cover the entire cost. “Funding from our great friends at Santander paid for them originally but we don’t know if they’ll be able to make another contribution. “I just hope we can get some donations elsewhere to help us get back on the road.”




LUMBERTON — Marion Rice, a former Robeson County commissioner and school board member, is being remembered as a man with a zest for life and a strong love for horses — an affection that led to an accident and his death. “He was a real cowboy,” said Betty Ann Horne Rice, his wife of 40 years. “He developed a love for horses as a young boy. He especially loved and trained quarter horses.” Rice, 62, of Lovette Road, died Monday at Wake Forest Baptist Medical in Winston Salem from injuries suffered when he fell from a horse on Sept. 27. He was riding in the Uwharrie National Forest near Asheboro where for the past seven years he was the camp host at Canebrake Horse Camp. A lifelong resident of Robeson County, Rice was a 1969 graduate of Orrum High School and a 1973 graduate of the University of North Carolina, where he double majored in psychology and recreational administration. He worked for 32 years with the N.C. Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, serving as a court counselor, intake officer, and area administrator for the department.




WHO'S ARE THE BEST? Toss Up I reckon :)

Nope, that's really Chelsea Handler on that horse, and those really are her tatas roaming freely. The 39-year-old gave anyone and everyone who was scrolling through their Instagram feed tonight a titilating (if you will) surprise after posting a photo of herself completely topless while riding on a horse. The split photo was put next to Vladimir Putin's famous shot of him baring his chest on a horse, clearly mocking the Russian president. "Anything a man can do, a woman has the right to do better #kremlin," Handler captioned the picture, which was then taken down by the Instagram police. That didn't stop her, though.




HARDIN COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - A family's beloved miniature horse was mauled to death by a dog in Hardin County. Now, the horse's owner is fighting to make sure that dog doesn't attack again. "From the moment we laid eyes on her, we knew she was special," the horse's owner, Melissa Howard, said Monday. The 2-year-old miniature horse named Baby Girl stood less than 3-feet-tall, but managed to walk her way into Howard and her grandson's hearts.

 "This is me hugging her and this is me kissing her," Patrick Waggoner said as he looked at pictures of his pet. Howard was out of town on Oct. 19 when she got the call Baby Girl had been attacked by a mixed-breed dog. Her neighbor had beaten the dog off with a pole, the animal control whisked the dog away. Howard rushed Baby Girl to the vet. The pony fought to stay alive for a few more days, but didn't make it. She's now buried on a family lot. "No other dog, no other animal can dig her up, nothing else can bother her. She's safe now," Howard cried. It's Howard's concern for her grandson and other children that's still has her on edge. Animal control has not yet decided if the dog will be put down. "We are at this point just weighing our options and looking to see what our options are," Hardin County Animal Control Director Jerry Foley explained. The shelter gave the dog a week for an owner to turn up, but no one did. Foley said the dog failed three of seven tests, proving its aggressiveness towards other animals. Foley doesn't believe the dog could be adopted out but said its future will be decided later this week. "That is not a good enough answer," Howard said. "Nobody needs to suffer like we've suffered." Foley did provide the dog's picture, but he denied our request to get video of the dog stating it is in quarantine. He also stated that should the dog's owner turn up, they could be charged with harboring a vicious animal.









Thanks, John. I will look over everything carefully. If you don't mind I have a couple more questions and I may already know the answer to the first one but just wanted to check: 1. Re the older foal in round yard with rope on: the "release" they learn to give is what I would term "down and back" since the rope is trailing behind and when they step on it, they have to lower their head and back up. This is a different response to a human standing in front asking for "forward and up". How do you translate the give from the trailing rope to the forward response for leading?  I may have read the answer in your written work already so I will put it here to see if I am correct: (I assume you don't let it "fight it out" like the younger foal)

Don;t get 'paralysis of the analysis" A give Your face is a give. Doesn't matter where or in what direction.. They have to learn simply to 'give not fight'

 We just must use that give and fashion it to suit us. On the disc two of the halter breaking foal dvd, you have it all but yes, you are right, You don't 'fight it out with them" You move their feet but have given the reward, even before their feet hits the ground again so fight is gone but win is taken. The dwell and rest (reward) is the key to all sophisticated training of Horses. There is nothing more difficult that Halter breaking one of these. It is high end. Over time (dictated by Your skills) the diminished of the angle, heading to no angle and leading forward, is the key to these.

The Bum Rope is Hell Dangerous to Foals this Age and will get you in a lot of trouble. Already, You can't control the Foal anyway so why would you ever try and frighten it? Keep dragging the rope and by the time You get the DVD/s, Your Foundation Stone will be there waiting. Regards Thanks a lot for your help! I am looking forward to the DVDs and think I will need to add some more to the collection too. Regards





21 YEARS and with Balls of Steel


My name is Alexandra I am 21 years old and I use to have balls of steel when it came to horse riding ( well anything for that matter riding bulls, standing on a horse, cantering without holding on, bare back riding, riding without any gear at all) I had a really bad car accident when I was 17, the person driving the car I was in rolled 6-7 after the driver decided to fishtail for some unknown reason, I ended up in ICU and was cms away from dying and copped multiple bad injuries... I have been crying watching my sister ride while I am petrified to even wash a horse now let alone ride one, I miss riding feeling free and becoming one with one of the most magnificent creature in the world, I miss going to competitions and my favourite barrel racing, I need my confidence back, I want to be back to how I was it breaks my heart I really need help I live in Brooman, new south wales Australia, if you or anyone you know of can help me please let me know! Please and thank you AlexandraSent from my iPhone

I reckon You might be having a Lend Little Darlin :) forgive me for not responding. If You are not, my appols and write again but at this stage, You should become a Writer of Thriller Novels :)





Hi Mr H.P., Wanted to send you a photo of my first ride on Libby, my Lipizzaner partbred mare. I systematically followed through with your mouthing system and am pleased to tell you that I finally mounted her today and all went well. She is pretty quiet, but still I am glad to have the ‘tools’ to be able to give her a good mouth. Regards, Wendy. (Gympie, Qld).




Well done Wendy!! Looking Good. I am glad he was a good Boy....that Round Pen looks too hard for me :)






Hi John, I had a good ride in my new saddle today. It's really comfortable and puts me in a great position. I'm very happy with it so far. Thanks very much Tabitha :-)



Hi just wanted to let you know we love the saddle and I am definitely going to get one for my gelding when he is started next year.. It's a perfect fit on our Trouble. Just one question... Do you have any footage on how you do up the girth, I think we are doing it wrong but can't find anything to copy :) I love this saddle so much that I'm planning on stealing the horse and the saddle for my lessons next week :) Kate


Thanks, can not wait to throw these marsh Carney cotton reins in the bin they have been driving me nuts for years and I reckon wreaking havoc on the horses mouths. re the saddle I have always had a hard time rising on the right diagonal first go without checking by looking down. I have been taking my lessons with a dressage saddle and while my seat and hands have improved out of site, I was still unable to feel the back leg moving forward under me. My coach (Wayne Caslick) thought i might have had a tilted pelvis because of the way I was collapsing on one side all the time (i thought it was because I'm weak as a newborn baby, lol) and almost completely unable to get the right diagonal. NO JOKE the FIRST TIME I ride in your saddle (on Wayne's horse, which the saddle also fits very well) its like a miracle has happened and I can get the right diagonal first go every time on Both sides?????? WHY? I am new to riding correctly and have only ever mustered and trailed with a few "formative" years in pony club. So this big leap means so much to me. so thank YOU very much! And I hope that Mr Gummy Shark is Starting to get used to his terrifying shadow *:) happy




Hi John, I had a good ride in my new saddle today. It's really comfortable and puts me in a great position. I'm very happy with it so far. Thanks very much Tabitha :-)


AND a new one for Leslie in Canada this Week




Hi Linda and John, Just thought I would send you a photo of the new surprise addition! Little filly born this morning, Rob spotted her on his way up the drive. Kate and Rob xx


Now that's cute :) You keep it under control now Kate :)





Thank you for the advise and info! Where I live (outback QLD) it's a pretty rough lifestyle and everyone does it the old way so I'm glad I looked for a second opinion! I've decided to wait another year and a half just to make sure she's defiantly ready and developed. Just on another note though, I was lungeing her the other day off-lead in a round yard (walking), and she pretty much became a different horse- with sudden outbursts of violence. She'd come charging at me with teeth bared, ears back then at the last minute flick her body around and try to double barrel me. I continued the session (even though it happened about 5 times) until I got one good lap so we could end on a positive note. Anyway, I was wondering if this sounds like play behaviour? All the other horses are 14+ so she doesn't really get to "frolic and play" like a normal yearling. But it did seem very aggressive. Would it be best to bush her for 6 months or so to give her a chance to grow up a bit more? Anyway sorry for taking your time again, I'm guessing you have a lot of clients and emails etc. to get through! Thanks, Georgia

Well done Georgia. The right Call!




Hi, I have a young 13 month olf Arab colt who had a bad experience with his old owner with rope been around his back legs when the ladies boyfriend was loading him up in the float at the age of 7 months old and almost killed him by the rope when he pulled back the rope strangled him to a point he eyes almost popped out and togune sticking out I rescued him from her he never had full on human contact until I got him and he has came along way but is very jumpy at his been lifted up and we need some ideas on what to do to get him to over come this fear. I live in WA and I am finding it hard to get some help My husband and I are also at our witts end in trying to find some help all our other horses has been handled from the day they was born and have no probs but with this one he didn't have that and is been hard to handle with his feet manners. Can you help us in any way?Kevin Thanks in Advance

Hi Kevin. This of course is now the deep distrust and has psychologically affected this Young Horse. In my experience, the softly approach doesn't win these one's back as they lack trust and the softly approach (whilst perhaps helping) doesn't PROVE IT to the sceptic. This is why I have had much success over the Years, fixing these Horses with various systems involving Leg Restraints and have invented many tricks. Once this Horse has been taken control of and comes out the other end realizing that his Head didn't get cut off in the process, only then will it start to lose the paranoia. Regards







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