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



25,000 letters answered and counting



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







Problem Horse World Archives



mail to: horseproblems at