the Thought prompting resource for many Scientists around the World


Hi Folks. Hope You had a wonderful Week and everything is good in Your World.

Victor Harbor was thumping this Weekend, with the 'Rock and Roll Festival', and I do like the Trophies.

Mrs. HP is back on all of the Horses this Week and I have been assisting Her with Cappo. I have been getting ready for the Summer, with the Irrigation and Pump servicing, with Bush Fires in the back of my Mind. All the Tanks are full!!!


I was saying last Week, how wonderful Mrs. HP's Horses are. You saw Snip for 20 Minutes with his Foot in a Bucket of Water. (which has fixed Him with another O'Leary Family Miracle Cure for a Stone Bruise, as he was Lame.

I was reminded the following Day, of my Words. He is a Legend. Being Clipped whilst not restrained, not tied up.

and congratulations to some of my Facebook Friends for fingering it early on. Unfortunately, there was so much advice and relying on the Vets' and conducting manyt tests, we haven't got to the bottom of it until the last couple of Weeks.

We did suspect, very early in the peace, that Cappo had reacted most favorably to a Food Supplement but then we went with a Nutritionist's advice, to start again at the bottom with Feeding and work up from there, but nothing changed. So we thought we would try what we had suspected could have helped Him early on and blow me down the Horse changed over Night. We have since tested by withdrawing it and re-introducing it and are now fully confident we have found the cure.

Thanks all for their help.





I was commenting last Week, on how wonderful Mrs. HP's Horses are. How perfectly behaved they are in all ways and showed a Photo of Snip with his foot in a Bucket for 20 Minutes, due to a Stone Bruise that had made Him Lame. (now cured by an old O'Leary Family Trick which was in the Bucket)

Here he is being clipped at Liberty this Week :)



Horses are wonderful Judges of Humans. They know instinctively, who is worthy of being labeled 'a Leader'. The Human doesn't have to do a thing, the Horses knows regardless.

Such was the case as reported to me last Night, by Mrs. HP, after Her Day of Coaching at 'Gainsborough', when she met a Horse that instantly knew that she was worthy of such a label. It began by sniffing Her and showing a heightened interest and then acting just like 'Snip', standing to attention as a Foot Soldier would do for the Queen. Have You got that relationshipn with Your Horses??



Hi John, I find myself in a bit on a situation. A couple of years ago a person I only knew on facebook approached me about a young horse I had bred who had a broken pedal bone and we were keeping as a pet. I gave her the horse as a pet, she paid for his gelding and transport from Qld to Vic. Fast forward a couple of years and the woman I gave the horse to asked me about a mare she had found for sale. I told her I liked the look of her, the mare was related to my top mare I had recently lost in a paddock accident. A couple of days later the woman announced she would purchase the mare and give her to me, it was 'fate', to pay me back for giving her the young horse. I tried to talk her out of it but she was firm. I drove from Qld to Wellington in NSW and picked the mare up. When I got her home the woman asked about a foal from one of my stallions and the mare, and I told her, yes I would breed her a foal. Fast forward about 13 months and the woman suddenly demanded photos of the mare and accused me of selling the foal already to someone else and announced she was taking the mare back. She was extremely abusive over a period of days, late into the night and early morning. After advising her that she had given me the mare, publicly and in writing and I was not giving her back, I blocked her on facebook, email, phone and text. I have better things to do in my life. I have numerous emails and messages from her stating she has given me the horse, but now the foal has arrived and I'm not sure what I should do, she seems to think I am going to 'give' her the foal. I don't normally 'give' our horses away. I don't want her to have one of our horses. I don't think she will give it a good home and as we know a foal raised by an inexperienced horse person (which I have since found her out to be - once she started bad mouthing me people in her local area contacted me and told me what they thought of her and how sorry they were I was a victim of her abuse). She has phoned our vet and told them I am dishonest and a bad representative for our breed of horse. Where do I stand? Thank you for your advice,


Hi John, A client of mine has a property in Bendigo & he has a few select agistment clients. One is a 54 year old woman who had a very quiet and reliable SB that she sent to a local trainer to get a little more forward - she was bucked off at the "trainers" and broke a few ribs - completely Not what her horse had been like. After she recovered she decided to have a ride on her horse and my friend ===== suggested he put her on a lead line in an enclosed area as she was understandably nervous. Long story short, the horse exploded as soon as she was mounted and went absolutely ballistic. ---- was unable to have any control much from the ground and she ended up crushed into rails with a broken spine. Fortunately, immobilized her until the ambulance came or she would have ended up with a severed spinal cord. Sam has since been told that this has happened to other horses that have been sent to this chap and that also he is an ice user (just hearsay that part)

========daughter has also started teaching a few local children and has had their mothers remark re this man's cruelty and harsh training methods.
Can ===== just report what happened somewhere so that people can be warned?. ===== notified the trainer of what had happened and there has been no response nor has he enquired about the wellbeing of the lady who was injured. I have rescued and re-homed a few SB horses in my time and have found them to be incredibly sane, honest and forgiving horses so I cannot imagine how he could have so dramatically changed a reliable horse into a dangerous animal.



The Case of the Vet Check where the Vet reported they couldn't examine the back Legs of the Horse as it wouldn't give them......but passed the Horse.

It was transported from Victoria to South Australia. The Horse was noticeably suspect upon arrival and in poor condition. The SA Vet was called. Wobblers Disease and diagnosis recommendation was to put the horse down.

The Vet says "Go Jump' and won't hear of a refund for the Vet check.

The Seller finally agrees to take the Horse back and pay HALF the transport back to Melbourne.

Just after the Horse is loaded, THE SELLER ISSUES THREATS TO SUE THE BUYER FOR DAMAGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Be careful out there Folks.




Have you got underneath Your Float lately???? Checked the Floor from where it counts?????  You should....


This Week in Australia and I thank the People who shared it for education.


Hi John Just wanted to give you a quick update on Haydon and I (from Dubbo) - we finally did our first 20km social (endurance) ride on the weekend. Haydon (Standardbred) was an absolute star on the ride including helping out another horse and rider even though it was his first ride! We weren't as prepared as we should have been however in a testament to your fantastic saddle, I was comfortable for the whole 4 hours and so was my horse. He had all As and 1s for his final vet check for back, withers, gait etc. The only mark that was a bit down was gut sounds (a C) but everything else was top marks. It was a huge achievement with everything we have been through - I finally got my big girl pants on and just did it thanks to your advice and assistance over the last few years! Attached is a photo of us out on track taken by Jo Arblaster of Animal Focus. Hope you and Linda are well. Cheers Karen

Wonderful achievement Karen. You must be very excited......well I know You are :) Congrats to Hayden.




 This Cinch is dangerously Low and could trap a back Leg. That is a scene to behold let me tell You. When adjusting one up, make it FLUSH on the Guts, before mounting. Then get someone to tell You how far it had dropped. (normally 50mm) If so, get off and adjust it tighter.) 

Hello Mr HP,

Today was my first ride on my breaker. And first ride in my saddle I got from you. Just wanted to tell you that I am thrilled with the fit and security. And even more the natural position it puts my legs in. This was exactly what I was looking for in a saddle for the beginning on my horses career. 
Thank you so much.
Wendy Jones





Under Testing now.






Hello Mr. O'Leary, I need to do another colic recipe for my older mare, 21yrs. I can't open this file regarding the recipe...Could you send it to me again? I know that back in 2011 I did manage to get ahold of your recipe and I included some extra ingredients like ------- and mixed it with the loose all-in-one and got literally buckets of sand out of her!! Her belly hangs down now and I believe it to be the weight of the sand in her belly. I can't find my recipe/notes and need it fast...Thanks in advance! Blessings, Susan  Califonia.

Hi Susan
Files attached

If I may say, on behalf of the Horse, if You read my files back then, You would have seen that you need to routinely treat Her, REGULARLY. She relies upon You :(








Daisy Hill location - Gold Coast Australia





Passengers were quick to take photos of the horse and its owner who were intending to travel towards the city centre.

However, the driver intervened and the horse was put off before the tram departed.

A spokesperson for the Luas said they do not allow horses on trams.

She said the only animals allowed are guide dogs and other dogs that are in appropriate sized carriers.






BATON ROUGE - A horse was killed while trying to jump out of a moving trailer Monday.

Police said the trailer, being pulled by a pick-up, was around the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge when the horse tried to jump from an open window on the side of the trailer. The horse got stuck, and it's head dangled out the trailer as the driver exited the interstate and stopped in a parking lot at the intersection of Highland Road and Terrace in Old South Baton Rouge.

Numerous police responded to the scene.

People on the scene said the horse died and Animal Control agents arrived on scene, too.

Police did not release information on the driver.




The horse's face has been blurred, because of the graphic nature of the photo.

The disturbing photos are being used to help solve a possible animal cruelty case. In the photos posted online by Beaufort County Animal Control, a horse is shown, shot and killed, chained to a tree on the side of a Seabrook road. Investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office hope someone can recognize the horse and identify its owner.

“Definitely, it’s very disturbing,” Above Standard Equestrian stables owner and horse trainer Gini Quade says of the photos. “You know, obviously somebody didn’t care for the horse or just had no consideration for that horse’s life and value.”

The pictures stir anger in some. “If it was malnourished, then I would consider that animal cruelty,” Quade says.

However, Quade hopes the circumstances around the horse’s death have no malicious intent.

“I guess it could have been a case, too, where the horse was in distress and they decided maybe just to dispatch the horse on their own rather than call out a vet and left the vet come out and do that,” she says.

A passerby reported seeing the horse on Wimbee Landing Road on Tuesday. A veterinarian was dispatched, finding the 12-year-old mare with symptoms of malnourishment.

“We feel strongly the horse was shot in another location driven to Wimbee Landing Road in Seabrook, tied to a tree, and that was used to pull it out of the trailer or truck used to transport it,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Capt. Bob Bromage says.

Quade urges people to turnover the horses they feel they can no longer care for to horse rescue centers, if that’s the case here.

“There’s a lot of people out there that would either take the horse in, or help in some way,” she says, “but I certainly hope that they get to the bottom of it, and that if it is a case of animal cruelty, that that person is prosecuted.”




A horse was rescued from a burning tractor-trailer after an accident along Interstate 40 in Buncombe County Tuesday.

WLOS in Asheville reports the accident happened around 3:30 p.m. near a weigh station close to mile marker 40.

The TV station said the fire was described as "very large," but no injures were reported, according the Asheville Fire Department.




The sale of Nathan Tinkler's once lucrative Hunter Valley horse breeding empire is on hold, with administrators looking at restructuring his Patinack Farm group of companies.

Nathan Tinkler's old Patinack Farm stud now goes by the name Richmond Grove Stud.

It started haemorrhaging money several years ago and staff and suppliers went unpaid.

It has been on the market since 2013 but it did not sell despite interest from local and overseas buyers.

But the sale is on hold, after Deloitte was appointed voluntary administrator.

Two of Deloitte's partners have taken charge of nine companies, relating to the horse agistment and property business, Patinack Farm Group.

The ABC's been told the business is trading as normal under a licensing agreement implemented by the administrators who are investigating a financial restructure of the group.

A second creditors meeting is scheduled for next week.





A horse rider is calling for a dangerous bridge to be blocked off after she nearly plummeted from it to her death.

Elizabeth Rowe was about to use the crossing on the former rail line in Ashton Heath near Haydock oblivious to the perilous state of the structure.

She was only saved when a passing walker alerted her to the gaping holes in the bridge.

Now the 53-year-old is calling for safety measures to be put in place to prevent a tragedy.

She said: “I was moving my horses from Lowton to Ashton but there was a barrier by the side of Haydock’s racecourse, so I had to go another way, which I had never been before.

“I was riding Grace and heading towards the bridge. There was a massive drop at one side and she slipped a bit, but luckily I carried on and got back on track but I had to get off Grace and lead her away.

“I would have carried on, but luckily a walker who lives in the area appeared from nowhere and stopped me as there was a really big drop. If I had gone any further, I could have died. He was my guardian angel.”

Edward Forsyth, the walker who came to Elizabeth’s aid, said: “This route is a well trodden footpath and heavily used by Golborne’s school children en-route to schools in Ashton. The bridge has been in this dilapidated condition for decades.

The pathway runs on the route of a former railway line between Golborne and Haydock and was later sold by British Rail to a private company.

Wigan Council said it had contacted the land owners urging them to implement safety measures.



The south-east showjumping circuit has been paying tribute to popular amateur rider, Russell Pearson, who died in a car accident over the August Bank Holiday weekend and whose funeral will take place this Friday (18 September).

Russell, 44, ran Gleniffer Stables, a riding school and livery yard near Maidenhead, Berkshire. He was a familiar face on the local show scene and a huge supporter of his son, international showjumper Tony Pearson.

Caz Light, secretary at Pyecombe in West Sussex, one of Russell’s favourite venues, said: “Russell was such a cheeky chappie; he was always doing something to make us laugh. When we built a fence around our new arena we covered it in signs saying, ‘Do not sit on the fence’. Russell promptly hopped up onto the railings, took a picture of himself and sent it to me with a note saying, ‘Uh oh, I’m in trouble!’ He got away with it, though, because he always had a grin on his face and he was a gentleman through and through.

“As a secretary, he was one of the riders you always looked forward to seeing in the mornings.”

Russell sponsored a veterans’ class at Pyecombe’s annual four-day show in August.

“He’d always said that the adults needed a class of their own, without the young ones whizzing round,” added Caz. “This year’s winner, Emma Hinkley, has kindly agreed to sponsor the class for next year and there will be a new trophy, the Russell Pearson memorial trophy, awarded to the winner.”

A minute’s silence took place at Yateley’s end-of-season show on 6 September where, according to the showground’s Facebook page: “You could have heard a pin drop, such was the respect held by so many for Russell.”

Russell’s funeral will take place at 11.15am on Friday at Easthampstead Park Cemetery and Crematorium in Wokingham,



GERMANY SAYS MISTAKE TO SELECT TOTILAS - Yea Yea...give us your Spin..........


German team selectors have been criticised for failing to apply rigorous fitness tests to Totilas before naming him for their FEI European Dressage Championship team.

Making only his second championship appearance with Matthias Rath since 2011, Totilas showed irregularity in the grand prix team test last month (14 August) and finished sixth with 75.971% — far below his best.

The stallion was withdrawn from the rest of the competition. Connections later revealed that a bone infection had been diagnosed in his near hind fetlock joint and announced his retirement, aged 15.

Now, in a statement published by the German federation, its equestrian Olympic committee (DOKR) says it was a “mistake” to select him without assessing his health, and insists on stronger pre-championship fitness tests for German horses in all disciplines.

“We already knew, with the nomination of the horse, that he is susceptible to injury because of what we have seen in previous years. Therefore, we should still have paid attention to his current state of health. That was, in retrospect, a mistake, “said DOKR director Dr Dennis Peiler.

The DOKR also regretted that Totilas’s Aachen appearance was still a “talking point.”

The sad end to the super-stallion’s career follows a catalogue of injury-related absences from major competitions since he was sold in 2010, after winning triple World Equestrian Games gold under Edward Gal, to Paul Schockemohle and Ann-Katrin Linsenhoff. Her stepson, Matthias Alexander Rath, got the ride.

In nearly five years together they have started at only 11 FEI shows and championships and have not attempted all three tests (grand prix, special and kur) since the Europeans at Rotterdam in 2011. They beat a below-par Valegro in the Aachen CDIO in July 2014, but did not compete internationally again till Hagen, a month before the Europeans, and were controversially excused from the German selection trial at Balve.

Global dressage website has a picture of the European Championship ground jury apparently in deep discussion before passing Totilas at the first horse inspection.

DOKR has previously expressed misgivings about Totilas’ long absences from the ring. They removed him from the German A-Team in December 2012 — he had not competed since June that year and missed London 2012.

At the time, Klaus Roeser, chairman of the DOKR Dressage Committee, stated that “of course we regret this very much, but we have to treat all team members equally. Naturally this pair will become a member of the championship team again as soon as we get a perspective on the first concrete show starts for the 2013 European Championships.”

and Pig's may's all Politics and about the German Judge who Caned Him.





A horse was put down on the motorway after it panicked in its trailer at the weekend (Saturday, 12 September).

The rescue horse was being towed by Amy Cooper on the M5 near Taunton when it became “distraught”.

The animal had been fine when it was picked up but as soon as it was on the motorway it became very agitated.

It reportedly broke some of its teeth smashing its head against the inside of the trailer.

“It was horrific. I have never been through something like this in my life,” Ms Cooper told local press.

“The horse was nearly rocking the trailer over, it managed to rip the partition off and had turned around in the box while we drove on the M5.”

She stopped several times on the motorway to try and calm the horse down but it became so dangerous she had no choice but to pull over onto the hard shoulder.

The police and Highways Agency were called out just before 5pm and shut the M5 in both directions.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall police told H&H: “We were called out at 4.45pm on Saturday 12 September a mile south before the junction 26 turnoff on the M5.

“The horse was agitated so a vet was called out and the road was shut in both directions and reopened shortly after 6pm.”

The horse was calmed by the vet before being put down.

During the delay a group of musicians on the way home from a wedding performed an impromptu concert on the carriageway.

The four professional musicians performed Pachelbel’s Canon on the central reservation for those standing outside their cars.

The roadside concert was filmed motorists on phones and viewed by thousands when posted on social media.

The concert hit the headlines on the Radio Four six o’clock news and was broadcast on local television.




A jockey club executive has defended the decision of officials to run a race during a storm on the NSW north coast yesterday, after heavy hail led to the death of a horse and injuries to several men.

A horse had to be put down, while a jockey and a clerk were taken to hospital after the storm struck Grafton racecourse.

It was one of a string of severe thunderstorms which hit New South Wales yesterday afternoon, with parts of the Central Coast blanketed in hail.

At Grafton, a number of riders were thrown from their horses following Race 4, which was run in blinding rain.

Jockeys Jasen Watkins and Darren Jones were both dislodged from their horses, along with a clerk of the course.

The racehorse Beau Brock, which finished second, took fright and had to be put down after being injured on a fence.

Watkins was taken to hospital with an arm injury, while the clerk was also taken to hospital for observation with a cut to his forehead.

Jones reported having slight back pain but has been cleared by the club's doctor.

Clarence River Jockey Club chief executive Michael Beattie said the storm arrived unexpectedly and he did not blame the race officials for going ahead with the event.

There was no indication that this particular part of the storm was going to make the late turn and come to Grafton.
Clarence River Jockey Club CEO Michael Beattie

He said there was no thunder or lightning, so there did not appear to be any danger.

"I've got no criticism of the officials that made that decision," he said.

"What you have to understand is that there had been a storm cell just to the south of Grafton for probably two hours that the officials had been monitoring.

"There was no indication that this particular part of the storm was going to make the late turn and come to Grafton."

Mr Beattie said the club vet was forced to euthanise Beau Brock.

"He slipped over on once occasion, managed to get to his feet again," he said.

"A bit disorientated, he slipped over on a second occasion.

"My understanding is that ... one of his legs went underneath the fence and when he attempted to stand up he caused significant damage to his leg resulting in him being euthanised shortly afterwards by the club veterinary surgeon."




An animal rights charity is offering a £2,500 reward to help catch the person who hacked a horse to death.

Earlier this month, two-year-old Honey was killed in her field in Syston with fatal wounds to her head and rest of her body.

Peta, an international animal rights charity, warned the “sadistic” attacker is a threat to the whole area and their violent behaviour is “likely to escalate” if they are not caught.

Peta spokesperson, Elisa Allen said: “It is imperative that any community faced with a sadistic and violent act such as this take measures to find the culprit or culprits and bring them to justice.

“Animal abusers are a danger to everyone – they take their issues out on whoever is available to them, human or non-human, and must be caught before they act again.

“History shows that past incidents involving cruelty to animals regularly appear in the records of serial rapists and murderers.

“Young killers Mary Bell, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables as well as serial murderers Ian Huntley, Thomas Hamilton (the Dunblane massacre), Fred West, Dennis Nilsen, Ian Brady and Raoul Moat all started out by deliberately harming animals.”

Honey was left for dead in a field off Potters Lane, close to the busy Fosse Way, between 6.15pm on Sunday September 6 and 10.30am the following day.

Police arrested a man in connection with the incident on September 9, but he was release with no further action.

A Leicestershire Police spokesman said: “The distraught owner discovered the two-year-old filly chestnut cob which had sustained multiple injuries and called officers shortly afterwards.

“There were three other horses in the field that remained unhurt.

“Officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the horse.”

Peta has offered to pay £2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.

Anyone with information is urged to call the police on 101 or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111.




DENHAM SPRINGS, La. —A Louisiana man is accused of riding his horse drunk down a stretch of highway and told authorities his choices were safe because "the horse knows the way home," television WBRZ reported.

Authorities said Jake Williams drove his vehicle and horse trailer to a daiquiri shop in Denham Springs, Louisiana, and decided to ride the horse rather than drive home early morning on Tuesday.

Williams was stopped by authorities while riding the horse, named Sugar, on the side of Highway 16.The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office cited Williams for disturbing the peace by public intoxication. The sheriff's office said riding a horse would not qualify Williams for a driving while intoxicated offense.

Williams said he thought riding the horse home was a good idea.

"When you get a little too much to drink, why not ride a horse?" he told WBRZ-TV. "It's safer that way. The horse knows the way home."

Williams said he will refrain from riding while intoxicated in the future. A family member was contacted to take Williams and Sugar home.



Australia: The use of a 'spy' in the Peter Moody stable to pass on information about the trainer was considered Racing Victoria's chief steward Terry Bailey revealed on Wednesday.

Leading trainer Moody has threatened to quit racing saying he feels victimised and is fed up with some of the rules and rulemakers in Australian racing.

Among the allegations made by Moody in an explosive interview was that Racing Victoria had attempted to put a "spy" into his stable to pass on information about him.

Chief steward Terry Bailey confimed the option had been considered for Moody and a number of other individuals, but no further action had been taken.

He said: "With respect to Mr Moody's comments regarding the proposed engagement of an individual to assist in surveillance across stables, I can confirm that the stewards considered the concept a few years ago, however, we decided not to proceed."

Cobalt investigation

Moody, trainer of the legendary mare Black Caviar, was speaking out after his horse was withdrawn by stewards on Wednesday after they found the horse had been given a medicated poultice. Raceday medication is banned in Australia and carries the potential for a three-month ban.

Moody, who accepted responsibilty for the poultice placed in the horse in error by a staff member, already faces charges of administering the performance-enhancing drug cobalt to a horse in his care and has had his prize-money won from Group and Listed race frozen until the cobalt investigation is over.

A downbeat Moody believes the situation is now getting personal and said: "We broke the [raceday medication] rule as it stands, but should the rule be there, no. It's stupid, it's ridiculous.

"This is the same integrity department that found no evidence of administration, source or motive in relation to the cobalt saga regarding Lidari but have still seen fit to charge me with administration. Is it personal? I am starting to think so. Is it personal? Yes, it has got to be."

Moody added that the constant scrutiny was "affecting my business, my mentality and my ability to train my horses" and ruled out moving states or abroad to continue his career saying he would be "unemployable" as a result of what is going on at the moment.

'Beyond a joke'

However, the thought of walking away from racing is growing for the trainer, who when asked on if he could leave the sport said: "Comfortably. I hope I don't have to walk away from the industry but I'm in a situation where I can. They can take my licence off me tomorrow and it's not going to change my lifestyle. I've nearly reached the situation where I've had enough.

"It's gone beyond a joke. I will just throw my licence across the desk when the time is right. It's a pretty thin piece of glass I'm looking through now."

Of course they woujldn't have to worry if they didn't poke Chemist Shops down the Throats of Horses Daily.



FRIEDMAN HAS NO ISSUE - "If you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide."

Hall of Fame trainer Lee Freedman says he has no problem with Racing Victoria using ‘spies’ within stables after revelations that stewards considered using a plant to monitor the activity of champion trainer Peter Moody.

The revelations that Michael Healy had been approached by RV chief steward Terry Bailey and head of integrity Dayle Brown to ‘spy’ on Moody’s operations 18 months ago has prompted an outcry from the trainer base with Moody himself saying he felt ‘victimised’ by such actions.

But speaking on’s Racing Ahead on RSN, five-time Melbourne Cup winner Freedman said he had no misgivings about the investigative tactics used by Bailey and Brown, if it meant having a cleaner sport.

“I’m not offended at all by that. I mean if you are not doing anything, you haven’t got anything to hide and I think surveillance is an important part of any policing whether it be in the wider community or within racing,” he said.

“If they consider that at some stage to be an adequate measure, in a serious case where someone’s come into question ... they would have serious concerns about whoever, and whether they are founded or not, I personally don’t see it as any sort of insult.

“Anything we can do to keep people betting on racing is important.”

Freedman said the solution to the current issue between trainers and those charged with formulating and implementing the laws of racing lay in better communication.






An animal-advocacy organization is suing to halt any future gathers of wild horses in northwest Colorado.

Friends of Animals, a Connecticut-based international advocacy organization, sued in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to halt what it called the Bureau of Land Management’s “extinction plan” for the West Douglas Herd Area south of Rangely.

A gather that began Wednesday has collected at least 77 horses so far, according to the BLM.

The BLM said it is seeking to reduce, but not eliminate, the herd on the 128,000-acre area because of the lack of appropriate habitat for the animals, and is committed to “maintaining healthy, viable wild horse herds in appropriate areas.”

Critics have said, and the BLM denies, that the agency wants to “zero-out” the herd.

Horse gathers, or roundups, threaten the well-being of the horses that are driven into traps by helicopters, the suit contends.

The BLM has never examined the “emotional, physical or social impacts to wild horses subjected to helicopter roundups on federal public lands,” said Michael Harris, director of Friends of Animals’ Wildlife Law Program.

“Coloradans should demand they do so before some of our last wild horses are subjected to such devastating physical and emotional pain.”

The agency is responsible for managing healthy wild horse herds, “but also for the health of the public’s lands,” BLM spokesman Steven Hall said. “... And to minimize the impacts to private property owners from wild horses. We’ve seen impacts to the health of public lands and to the health of wild horses in this area due to the population of horses outstripping the land’s ability to provide water and forage.”

Once the public understands the trauma and pain of the affected horses, “there will be stronger public support for wild horses and for their protection on public lands like there was back in 1971 when the Wild Horse and Burro Act was passed,” Harris said.

The Friends of Animals suit doesn’t seek an injunction halting the gather, which is scheduled to end Friday.

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., rejected a plea by other organizations this week to halt the gather.

The gather is intended to collect 167 horses — the number of spaces available in a long-term holding facility in Cañon City — and some could be gathered in the nearby Piceance East Douglas Herd Management Area nearby.

Information about the gather, including photographs of the horses, can be found at Click on the “Wild Horse Program” button.









John/Linda, I have recently been given a sensible 9 y/o STB pacer gelding as a project to see if I can learn to re-educate him to saddle. He was bred, broken, trained and raced by the one owner all his life. I guess both he and I have nothing to lose as he is saved from a one way trip to the meatworks and has cost me nothing.... so I figure in-lieu, I can invest some of my savings in some info (your DVD) and some HP gear and see if we can both succeed! Having recently purchased your excellent re-mouthing DVD and studied it indepth, I plan to start with him in about a months time. I have a couple of questions I am hoping you might be happy to answer for me and perhaps steer me in the right direction first off. I have a roller (an adapted harness saddle) and tack/ropes/leads/rope halters/FM bit etc but was just wondering if a set of HP running reins and market harborough is all I will need? Obviously I intend purchasing these from you but just wanted to check if these were all I need before doing so. Look forward to hearing from you and genuinely welcome any advice you are happy to give. Kind regards,




Hi John, Thank you for the sand colic recipe. I'm grasping at straws with my almost four year old palomino gelding. He is From Cow horse QH lines. I got him at 2 1/2. I waited till he was 3 1/2 before mouthing and starting him. In the meantime I let him develop and work at ground work and get to know him. He has a strong personality and tried to dominate the older horse his paddock mate, but the old boy held his own and was the boss. In the starting process I became aware that he had some hind end issues (first time on board beginning of May). Cantering mostly counter canter to the left with a weakness in the off hind. This was on the lunge after the first few times on board. Up to that point I did not do much cantering In the yards because the surface is very hard. I had to choose between working yard or rehab yard.

As I have very moist paddocks in the tropics, had to choose a place that helped keep feet conditioned. He is Very unbalanced going left and unhappy, Compared to right rein, tossing head and looking to offside hind hip/flank area. In the paddock he also tosses his head when trotting and cantering and turns his head to offside hip/flank. On my fifth time on board we left the yard and ventured out for our first little trail ride with another quiet mare. All went very well. That was in mid June, and I even had a few short rides out on my own. I was feeling very pleased with myself. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get in a lot of rides and to date have only had 16 rides. So we have no great finess yet, but are nicely two rein stopping, backing up and reasonable up ward transitions to trot. He has a lovely trott.

My first canter under saddle was on a gravel road, slightly up hill. He did that nicely. The wheels have all fallen off since the beginning of July, when I had to put to rest the old paddock companion. I was consumed with dealing with his death and organising his burial, that I did not think to remove the young horse out of sight. He is a very friendly and curious little guy and watched the whole process and burial by Backhoe. Since that time, he has become very aggressive at times with the mare that returned to baby sit him and has become very unsettled and spooky. He has become the dominant horse and calls the shots with her. He is Reacting to the most mundane things like a flock of birds flying over head, sprinklers, cars etc. and out on rides with the mare he has become a bundle of nerves. I have been nearly unseated with him reacting to passing car. He's not trying to bolt, but jumps sideways - very quickly, or becomes all legs not sure which way to dart. Even in all this I have only ridden him on a pleasure rein and address each event with a ORS to regain control, then promptly move on with loose rein without making a big deal. In in own environment his fist instinct is to flee, but then very quickly turns to face his fear approaching the object of fear

 He is looking at his hip/flank area more and more often, and pig rooted a couple of times when transitioning into canter. He feels really awkward in the canter. I felt I had to continue until I got a couple of steps without pig rooting, then quit. I have suspended his training until I can assess if this is a vet issue. I've had some investigations, and there is a restriction in his offside hip/stiffle area not moving as freely, but so far nothing glaringly obvious. He is yawning an awful lot, In lots of different circumstances. Sometimes when you might think he is very relaxed and a pleasurable experience of standing around getting a scratch. Really a lot of yawning. In your opinion can fear and nervousness manifest itself with pain being the root cause? Is this a physiological issue with the loss of the calming influence and he has all this power, but lacks confidence to be the leader? I'm trying to keep an open mind, and want first address if there could be ulcers, continue investigating the hind end issues, Or could this all be shitty dominant teen syndrome, or combination of all things. I need to address the nervousness issues, because I don't feel safe on him at the present time, and till I know more about the hind end issues, am walking him in hand outside the paddock trying to build confidence. He is genuinely fearful. His paddock is right on a small country road with farming equipment travelling past a few times a day. I can not leave the paddock without being on this little road. I want to set him up for success and diminish his fear of cars etc. Any thoughts? Thanks, Mandy

HI Mandy. Ulcers would be my bet, caused by Pain from the injury, which he certainly does have. Then, the shying is caused by the Ulcers. He shouldn;t be ridden, You are right. Get Him scoped while they are checking the rear end but he has big problems. Bad Luck. Regards







Hi Folks,

Hope You are all well. Spring has sprung, the Baby Crows are out of the Pencil Pine, the Maggies are walking in the Middle of the Road and the Wood Ducks are still acting like Nut Cases :)

Mrs. HP is happy because she can work longer Hours :) and the arena is nice. Here Horses have all been through the Veterinary experiences and now Snip. He pulled up Lame last Week and has a Week off as well.


Mrs. HP's Horses are such Perfect Horses. It is amazing how good they are. Snip here, has his Foot in a Hot Bucket of Water, for 20 Minutes and do You think he will take it out???? way in the World. What a pleasure????



Meanwile, Dulcie has been off for a couple for Weeks and got infected. 

but Today is nearly right again.

The thing to worry about when Horses crash through Trees or Wooden Rails, is the big Splinter. Sometimes, infection will not go away or will re-occur, due to there being a lump of Wood inside the injury. Remember that. I once Purchased a Horse that had Puss from the wither to the Hoof (good owners those one's) and I remember cutting the area open and retrieved a 5 inch lump of Red Gum out of it. Healed basically in a Week.


Mrs. HP drove to Mt. Barker Today, to meet with the National Co-ordinator of such things and to discuss the appointment of a new Coach, amongst other things.

One thing that surprised Her, was the warning that A.S.A.R.D.A is now Testing Horse Riders for Drugs and raided  a Team in the EU where they must give a Urine Sample, whilst a Witness watches. Such things that can trigger trouble are even Cold and Flue Tablets!!!!!!!!




When You can't afford expensive things,  try and build them. Price to have supplied and built $150,000, actual cost less than some of these half broken down Horses that some of my Girls buy

Now poor Mrs. HP just has to paint it, with 3 Coats, equaling 720 Metres all up hahahaha



Here is the Scum Bag, leaving

 the House across the Road, having just broken into their Shed.




HP Tying Up Lead Ropes.

There is a Race to the bottom, around the World, on Metal Products. Sadly, I have had 3 TYING UP LEAD ROPE CLIPS fail.

Months of work later and I now finally have STAINLESS STEEL 'Tying Up' Lead Ropes, that come with Strength Tests conducted.

around 1600kg.

End of Problem. My appols.




THANKS Jen. That's lovely of You. x  Hi John, > > Just to say thank you for the wind sucking collar. This boy isn't a chronic sucker, and his previous collar worked when we bought him, but I hated the collar that went both sides of the ears, and of course he was rubbed. > > Your collar is beautifully made (as with all your products) , and stops him sucking after a quick try only. It's nowhere near as tight as his previous collar..... and doesn't rub!! > > Thank you so much!! > > Jen

THANKS Jen. That's lovely of You. x




"  Automatic Watering Systems in Stables, need cleaning regularly. Go check Your one and see if it stinks!"




For those who think that Horses are safe in Paddocks alongside the Road any more, think again. This is just another example of this Week




Hi John
I purchased a horse sight unseen (yeah I know) from someone I thought was trustworthy (yeah I know).----called you recently about the transaction.
In short horse was vet checked in Vic and deemed low in muscle tone but all ok.

 Upon receipt to SA horse showed uncoordinated movement and palsy like movement in head.

I have the Horse Vet checked here in South Australia. The Vet has advised to put the Horse down as it has Wobblers Disease.

I have undertaken written correspondence with owner. As attached. Can you please advise as to where I should go next. I believe the vet examining was slack but that is hard to prove. I believe that owner was aware of pre existing condition.



NORTH VANCOUVER — A Fraser Valley horseback riding outfit will have to pony up $8,000 to a North Vancouver fitness instructor who was injured while mounting one of their horses.

Sandra Starrett was seeking $250,000 in damages from Langley-based Back in the Saddle Again after a 2009 horseback ride went awry and, according to her, caused injuries that impacted her job as an aquatic fitness instructor.

Starrett claimed Back in the Saddle owner Kenneth Darcy Campbell, the defendant in the case, was negligent in allowing her to rent "Douggy."

Before setting off on the trail, Starrett, who said she had considerable riding experience, looked "nervous" once she mounted the "cutting" horse that Starrett herself chose — according to Campbell's testimony during a four-day trial in B.C. Supreme Court in mid-June.

Campbell said he was surprised at how "sloppy" Starrett's technique was, and that it took her two or three attempts to get seated on Douggy. Nonetheless, Starrett set off with the group but struggled once again while trying to remount the horse after a mid-ride break.

Starrett testified the group's guide tried to help her by providing counterbalance on one of the stirrups, but inexplicably let go and the horse bolted forward at a gallop while Starrett was mid-mount.

Justice Susan Griffin said Starrett's story seems "embellished," when she described herself as standing on her left leg only while the horse was galloping, but still being able to swing her right leg over and then falling to the right.

However, Griffin concluded Campbell was negligent in: allowing Starrett to rent a horse that was too sensitive and unsafe for her to mount, given the difficulties she demonstrated to him; not warning Starrett to avoid dismounting during the ride, and failing to ensure his guide knew how to provide proper assistance to Starrett if she needed to remount.

In terms of her injuries, which are backed by doctors' reports, Starrett claimed after the accident she was in immediate pain, in her right hip and sacroiliac joint area, and required crutches to get around for two weeks. Some instability in her right hip, Starrett said, prevents her from jumping or standing on one leg like she could before the accident.

A couple of Starrett's fitness instructor colleagues from Hollyburn Country Club and the West Vancouver Aquatic Centre who were called as witnesses testified that she was more active and fit before the horseback riding accident.

The reality is Starrett can perform as an aquatics instructor, concluded Griffin, who said the witness testimony convinced her of this.

Griffin said Starrett, 49, blamed her loss of function and subsequent income loss solely on the horseback riding injures while failing to disclose how other mishaps prior to 2009 may have affected her.

Starrett was involved in two motor vehicle accidents prior to the horseback riding accident, and a tear to her right ACL in 2008 took over a half a year to heal. She was also hospitalized in 2011 for an appendectomy.

However, Griffin did accept that Starrett suffered some pain and soreness for two months after the horseback riding accident, which is why she did not return to teaching four classes a week at the aquatic centre for the remainder of 2009, amounting to $1,187 in lost wages.

Griffin found Starrett was entitled to $855 in special damages, for years of physiotherapy and massage treatments, as part of the overall $8,042 awarded to her.



  • The Buyer was warned
  • The injury needed a n operation
  • The Vet was warned
  • The Horse reacted badly
  • The Horse is no longer useful
  • The Buyer wants the Money back.....2 Years after Purchase.






Hi John, I am looking at buying a second horse. How much do you charge for online assessments? And what do you need from me i.e. photos (from what angles etc), video etc.. Horse is a 5 year old Morgan gelding. Was broken in at 3yrs and then taken on a ride down in the Snowy’s for a week but since then has pretty much been a paddock ornament. He is a very sensible horse with a good temperament especially for a 5 year old. I intend to do trail riding, mounted archery and working equitation moving forward and am only considering this horse because 1. my current quarter horse is 22 and limited in how far I can take him (despite the fact he is my perfect horse in every way) with the equitation as it involves a bit of jumping. I am not willing to sacrifice my current horses comfort in this regard. 2. This horse has an excellent temperament and I had a feeling about him when I met him. This young horse had an injury to the bulb above the back of the hoof approx. a year ago – I saw the injury at the time as the horse spent some time where I agist my current horse as a paddock mate for a colt while healing.. It has healed now but my concern is that this is a crucial area and even if the horse passed a vet check now, he may break down early in life as a result. I have talked to my bare foot trimmer who also has concerns that this is a potential. Hence my query re a horse assessment. Is it worth pursuing or should I walk away based on the injury – your thoughts would be appreciated. If you think it is worth going for I will get a vet check and appropriate photos and video as required. Attached photo of the young Morgan. Thanks J Kind Regards

HI Sarah The assessment is onl a token service. Here purchasing_a_horse.htm You can nail this decision down to one thing and one thing only. The injury. Normally these injuries don'w bother Horses but to make Your decision perfect, simply now get a Vet opinion on the injury and have it tested. Only then go ahead with the rest of it. Therefore, to save Money, always pay a deposit ($50) first, Sale subject to Vet Check and assessment) and get the Vet to do that. Then, if that passes, complete the Vet check. If it is suspect, NO VET CHECK!!! The Disciplines You are wanting to do don't ask Horses for much, it is not Dressage or Eventing. Walk in the Park for Horses :) Have a think.









 TRAFFIC is starting to flow slowly as the scene clears after a crash near Aussie World this afternoon.

A four-wheel-drive towing a horse float and a truck were involved in the crash near Frizzo Rd and the Bruce Hwy northbound.

There were no injuries reported from either of the drivers and the two horses in the float also appeared to have avoided injury, as they were reloaded into another float.

TRAFFIC is reportedly banked up past Caloundra Rd after a crash near Aussie World this morning.

Reports of a car and trailer coming off the road northbound on the Bruce Hwy near Frizzo Rd have filtered through, with traffic reportedly heavily delayed as a result.

Police and emergency services are currently attending the scene.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible until the scene is cleared.







A photo of Kenny — Boskenwyn Lad — merrily relaxing in the living, was a hit on social media.

Nineteen-year-old Abbie has been riding Kenny for two years and the pair were competing in a BE100 at Larkhill on Saturday (11 April) when the alarm was raised.

“We were watching the showjumping when we had a call from Jemma Rees, who was in the neighbouring lorry, saying she could see Kenny was inside,” Abbie told H&H.

“So we ran back and there he was, just looking out of the window. He saw us and pricked his ears. He was very chilled out in there and not bothered at all, he must have been in there around 20 minutes.”

The 11-year-old, who is by Mohill Cavalier Clover and out of Mandy Cibroja, had freed himself from his tie. He’d then broken through the door of the living and managed to get in.

“He was happy as Larry in there,” added Abbie. “He’d dragged all the cushions of the seats and everything off the luton and even eaten the dog’s biscuits.

“He did no damage at all to the lorry, thankfully, just pulled everything on the floor looking for his favourite, cheesy chips and ketchup!

“I don’t think our two Jack Russells that were in the front even noticed him.”

Abbie added that Kenny, who is owned by Sarah Bawden, is quite a character.

“We saw him and just thought, ‘typical Kenny’,” she said.

At 16hh it was quite a squeeze to get Kenny out again.

“He knew exactly what we were asking him to do, he just calmly reversed back through the jockey door and down the ramp and started eating,” added Abbie.

“He was completely unfazed by it all. Sarah arrived 20 minutes later and we just laughed about the whole thing.”




A senior public prosecutor has confirmed that she will investigate allegations dressage superstar Totilas is being ill-treated.

The German branch of the extremist animal rights group, PETA, filed charges against Totilas’ owners, Paul Schockemöhle and Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff, in October.

It claims the stallion is being trained in the controversial rolkur method, is kept in isolation from other horses and is not given turnout.

A spokesman for Totilas’ connections had told H&H that the allegations “did not merit comment”.

But on 6 December, Frankfurt prosecutor Doris Möller-Scheu told German newspaper Die Welt that she would investigate the claims.

“Based on the assessment of the [state] animal welfare officer, we decided not to drop the case,” she said.

An investigator will visit Totilas’ yard in Kronberg and inspect the stable management there.

Totilas has not enjoyed the record-breaking scores he achieved with the Netherlands’ Edward Gal since being ridden by Ms Linsenhoff’s stepson, Matthias Rath.

The pair were recently dropped from the German Olympic “A” team.

They have not competed since June and missed London 2012 because Matthias was suffering from glandular fever.

No date has been set for their return to competition and it is thought unlikely they will contest any of the World Cup qualifiers this winter.

Paul Schockemöhle has announced that Totilas will have reduced stud duties this season, in order to focus on competition.

Klaus Martin Rath, Matthias’ father and co-trainer, said Totilas was “doing well” and he was “totally calm” about the investigation.

Matthias’ trainer Sjef Janssen told a Dutch news website he was surprised prosecutors were pursuing the case.

PETA is not even taken seriously by the biggest detractors of the training programmes in the horseworld,” he said.

“These people have nothing to do with professional horse sport, of which they have no knowledge.”

A German magazine, FOCUS, has claimed that the Frankfurt prosecutor is examining a secretly filmed video showing Totilas weaving in his box.

Additional reporting by Astrid Appels




How rich. Embezzler extraordinaire Rita Crundwell wants to keep the hundreds of trophies she won with the horses she bought with the money she stole.

The awards are roughly 700 deep and came from years of showing high-dollar quarter horses. About 400 members of Crundwell's decorated horse herd were auctioned off in 2012, and federal authorities late last year asked a judge to let them sell the trophies, too.

Crundwell still owes the city of Dixon, Ill., about $45 million, and officials from the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Marshals Service are doing their best to collect.

But the sticky-fingered former comptroller argued that the feds took too long to ask for the trophies. Besides, she objected, Dixon already is collecting about $30 million in an out-of-court settlement with the bank and auditor that didn't catch on to her scheme. The horse auction and sale of her properties, vehicles and jewelry added up to just over $9 million.

She has been ordered by a federal judge to make restitution to her victims in Dixon to the tune of $53.7 million, and she evidently thinks she's just about square.

Her attorney is arguing the trophies are "unlikely to contribute to the restitution."

Nice try.

"The Government has admittedly taken two and a half years to process forfeiture in this case up to this point," attorneys for the Justice Department responded. "But Ms. Crundwell was engaged in her massive fraud for over twenty years."

In other words, it takes time to gain custody, take inventory, market and sell millions and millions in ill-gotten gains, especially when hundreds of the assets were horses that required considerable care throughout the process. To suggest the feds have some deadline for recovering two decades' worth of stolen goods is lame.

"Ms. Crundwell argues the City of Dixon has been made whole based on a civil judgment against a third party," the Justice Department attorneys replied. "Any monies the City of Dixon may have received from civil judgments from third parties (bank/auditor) does not reduce the amount of forfeiture this court has ordered Ms. Crundwell to pay."

In other words, she's not getting out of it just because somebody else got caught up in the case, too.

Besides, Crundwell clearly is attempting to minimize the value of all those trophies.

Mike Jennings was co-owner of Professional Auction Services, which ran the big horse auction at Crundwell's Dixon ranch a couple of years ago. He said the trophies and show clothing are likely to fetch more than Crundwell is letting on.

"People have actually contacted us, asking about those trophies," Jennings said Monday. "Those who purchased horses (including one stallion for $775,000) are interested in the trophies that are connected to them.

"It's hard to say how much they might bring over all, because it's unprecedented. Nobody's ever disposed of this volume of trophies. I can tell you, with some of the (her) clothes, some of the show coats can go for $3,000 to $4,000 each."

And then there's the notoriety. Infamy breeds demand.

"There were people buying things (at the auctions) that had her brand or her initials so they would have something associated with her," Jennings reminded.

And, as the feds pointed out, crime-driven profiteering is a no-no.

"Allowing Ms. Crundwell to keep these particular assets because they have more sentimental than tangible value is allowing Ms. Crundwell to benefit from her crime," according to the feds' written reply from Friday. "This is especially true for Ms. Crundwell's substantial trophy collection as these awards represent the primary motivation of her massive fraud."

Is the horse hardware rightfully hers? Nay!




ELMONT, N.Y. – While Lady Eli continues to make great progress in her battle against laminitis – with the possibility of returning to training early next year – one of the podiatrists instrumental in her recovery was killed this week in a vehicular accident.

Robert Agne, a veterinarian with the Rood & Riddle Equine Clinic in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was riding his bicycle Monday in Pawlet, Vt., when he was struck by a car, whose driver had fallen asleep at the wheel, according to published reports. Agne, 54, was declared dead at the scene, according to police.

Agne and Bryan Fraley, a podiatrist from Lexington, Ky., were the first two called to work on Lady Eli when she developed laminitis shortly after her victory in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational on July 4.

“When this filly developed laminitis and was in trouble, between Bob and Bryan, they were instrumental in not only saving her life but possibly preserving her racing career,” Chad Brown, Lady Eli’s trainer, said Thursday. “In recent weeks, Bob’s the one who has come down and graduated her into her new shoes and has been really overseeing the case locally until we can get her to Kentucky, where Bryan takes over. They really worked well as a team.”

Brown admired the dedication and compassion Agne displayed for Lady Eli, driving down weekly from his home in Vermont to work on the filly.

“For him to drop what he’s doing and come down and try to first save this filly and then continue to check on her and be available whenever you needed him to come down, I can just tell for a guy like him it was never about the accolades or the money, it was about trying to help this horse,” Brown said. “For the short time I knew him, it seemed like that’s what he was all about, the horse.”

Lady Eli, based at Belmont, has shown improvement all summer and could soon ship to Dell Ridge Farm in Lexington and get turned out in a paddock. Depending on how that goes, she could then rejoin Brown at Palm Meadows later this year or early next year and be put in light training for a possible return to the races in 2016.

“Right now, she acts, walks, and looks completely normal,” Brown said. “We’ll see how she responds to the pressure of training.”

Lady Eli, a daughter of Divine Park owned by Sheep Pond Partners, is undefeated in six career starts.




British trainer and amateur jockey Paula Angel Terase, 52, suffered serious head injuries when a horse she was riding at a Milan racetrack stepped in a hole and fell. Officials at San Siro Racecourse suspect that it may not have been an accident

A source told The Telegraph that the hole was extremely deep, so much so that San Siro investigators believe it was made deliberately rather than by the hooves of a horse. They also believe that if it was an act of sabotage, it was aimed at the track, rather than at an individual rider or trainer, since the morning workout schedule is constantly changing. Terase underwent emergency surgery on Wednesday and was reportedly in stable condition. Madiam, the horse she was riding, was uninjured.

Detectives said that it’s possible the hole was made by a faulty irrigation tube; the racetrack has struggled financially, according to the Telegraph report, and horsemen have complained that it is not keeping up with regular maintenance. A similar accident occurred eight months ago when another horse stumbled in a hole and suffered injuries enough that it had to be retired.




The M23 between junction 8 for the M25 and junction 9 for Gatwick Airport was shut both ways at one point
This loose horse on the M23 forced highway officials to close part of the motorway on Thursday evening.

The animal escaped onto the carriageway at around 4.40pm impacting traffic between junctions 9 for Gatwick Airport and junction 8 for the M25.

It is believed the horse re-appeared after an initial period of absence.

Two lanes were closed in both directions first before both roads were closed completely when the animal was being placed into transport.

A spokesman from Highways England said motorists faced delays of up to 90 minutes northbound and ten minutes southbound as a result.

He said: "We stopped both carriageways with no traffic flowing at the moment.

"We had to get the horse into the transport."

On Twitter, the roads agency said a vet had been called to assist at the scene.




In addition to the two people injured in a Sept. 7 crash near Packwood, three horses were also hurt, said owner Randall L. Meyn.

One horse hit the front of the trailer so hard during the accident that it bent a metal retaining wall. That horse had extensive cuts to its face and legs. The other two horses slammed into the first, Meyn said.

“All three of them were bumped and bruised,” he said.

None had broken bones.

The Washington State Patrol initially reported that the horse trailer was “unoccupied.”

Amber T. Cuff, 39, of Glenoma, the driver of the Buick that caused the accident, made her first appearance in Lewis County Superior Court Tuesday on charges of possession of methamphetamine and driving under the influence of alcohol.

She had previously posted bail and appeared out of custody. Judge Nelson Hunt agreed to keep her bail at $10,000 cash or bond.

At 9:19 a.m. on Saturday, Cuff was driving a 1992 Buick LeSabre west on state Route 12 at milepost 129, 1 mile west of Packwood, when she made a left turn and her vehicle struck by a Green 2002 Chevrolet truck driven by Meyn, 56, of Curtis, according to the State Patrol.

Cuff caused the accident by failing to yield, according to the State Patrol.

Cuff was reportedly injured and transported to Morton General Hospital. The driver of the truck, which was towing a horse trailer, was not injured, but his passenger, Nicole J. Marsyla, 19, of Winlock, was injured and transported to Morton General Hosptal.

Meyn said his wife, Alison Meyn, 50, was also in the truck, although the initial State Patrol report didn’t list her as a passenger.

The Buick was totaled. The truck and trailer were both totaled, Meyn said.

Cuff’s next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.




In addition to the two people injured in a Sept. 7 crash near Packwood, three horses were also hurt, said owner Randall L. Meyn.
Providence Wellness Event

One horse hit the front of the trailer so hard during the accident that it bent a metal retaining wall. That horse had extensive cuts to its face and legs. The other two horses slammed into the first, Meyn said.

“All three of them were bumped and bruised,” he said.

None had broken bones.

The Washington State Patrol initially reported that the horse trailer was “unoccupied.”

Amber T. Cuff, 39, of Glenoma, the driver of the Buick that caused the accident, made her first appearance in Lewis County Superior Court Tuesday on charges of possession of methamphetamine and driving under the influence of alcohol.

She had previously posted bail and appeared out of custody. Judge Nelson Hunt agreed to keep her bail at $10,000 cash or bond.

At 9:19 a.m. on Saturday, Cuff was driving a 1992 Buick LeSabre west on state Route 12 at milepost 129, 1 mile west of Packwood, when she made a left turn and her vehicle struck by a Green 2002 Chevrolet truck driven by Meyn, 56, of Curtis, according to the State Patrol.

Cuff caused the accident by failing to yield, according to the State Patrol.

Cuff was reportedly injured and transported to Morton General Hospital. The driver of the truck, which was towing a horse trailer, was not injured, but his passenger, Nicole J. Marsyla, 19, of Winlock, was injured and transported to Morton General Hosptal.

Meyn said his wife, Alison Meyn, 50, was also in the truck, although the initial State Patrol report didn’t list her as a passenger.

The Buick was totaled. The truck and trailer were both totaled, Meyn said.

Cuff’s next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.




"Death by quicksand" has become a cliche' in Hollywood Westerns set in Arizona. But in reality, it's practically unheard of. One of the state's only known quicksand deaths happened in 1872 in Paria Canyon. About 130 years later - in the exact same place - commentator Scott Thybony almost became Arizona's second quicksand fatality.

The chance of death by quicksand triggers a primordial fear. We take for granted the solid ground beneath our feet, and when it suddenly gives way the world is no longer what it appears to be. Usually only a nuisance, quicksand can turn dangerous in an instant. And the more you struggle, the deeper you sink.

When animals get trapped the consequences can be fatal. Hoofed animals bog down easily, sometimes struggling until too exhausted to hold their heads up, then they drown. And animals can die by hypothermia unless they get rescued or struggle free. My horse hit a pocket of quicksand in Canyon de Chelly once, and I immediately rolled off into the shallow water. Without my weight the mare made a couple of frantic lunges and got out. We were lucky. I've seen a photo of a Jeep Cherokee caught in quicksand at the same spot. Only its rooftop was visible.
The roof of a jeep is barely visible after being swallowed up by quicksand near Canyon de Chelly

On a backpack trip down Paria Canyon to Lees Ferry I found myself crossing sandbars turning more rubbery with each step. Suddenly I was knee-deep, and with a lurch sank nearly to my waist. Checking the impulse to struggle, I remembered some counter-intuitive advice. I ditched my pack and leaned slowly forward to break the suction. And then, going against all instinct for self preservation, I stretched out on top of the liquefied sand as flat as possible. This dispersed my weight and with a few dog-paddle strokes I reached solid ground.

The only quicksand fatality I know about occurred on one of the earliest explorations of Paria Canyon. In 1872, ten men from the Wheeler Expedition left the Colorado River and rode up the Paria River. On a bitter cold day they found themselves in the depths of a narrow gorge. Without warning a mule sank belly-deep in quicksand and rolled on its side, trapping the rider. The explorers spent half an hour digging out their companion and freeing the animal. Bruised by the thrashing mule, the expedition cook was described as being "stupid from cold and excitement". Mr. Kettleman, in fact, was suffering from hypothermia.

He mounted a horse this time, and the party continued up canyon as the cliffs pressed in. Soldiers went ahead to break the ice using the butts of their carbines. When the party reached a deep pool, the mules refused to enter. Sensing danger, and with a disposition to think for themselves, they balked. By now Kettleman was shivering and only semi-conscious, but he insisted on riding through the icy pool. Half-way across, the horse and rider hit quicksand and sank below the surface. Twenty long seconds later, their heads emerged for an instant before disappearing again.
A drawing marks the spot of Paria Canyon's only known quicksand death in 1872

Desperate to help, Lieutenant William Marshall plunged in headfirst, still wearing a heavy overcoat. The horse soon struggled free and reached the rocks, followed by the lieutenant with his arm around the cook. They placed the unconscious man on a pile of blankets, but it was too late. Kettleman, gasped a few times and died. Quicksand had precipitated the incident, and already suffering from hypothermia he likely drowned.

At Lees Ferry I asked the ranger about his most serious quicksand incident. A backpacker in Paria Canyon, he told me, once sank just above her waist. She remained trapped for 17 hours before they could helicopter in rescuers, who laid out boards and rigged ropes to extricate her. "If she had only taken off her pack...," he said, letting the thought trail off.






Every horse owner knows the proverb, ‘no foot, no horse’, but the 2015 National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) has revealed we may need to rethink lameness.

Limb lameness

The survey, which looked at 15,000 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in the UK, discovered lameness is three times more likely to be caused by the limb than the hoof, as previously thought.

Results found 13.5 percent suffered lameness due to conditions such as osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, while foot lameness accounted for just 4.5 percent.

Josh Slater from the Royal Veterinary College, who is member of British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) Health & Medicines Committee, analysed the data.

NEHS is now producing important evidence that is replacing subjective opinion,” said Josh. “While the lameness figures were initially surprising, given that the foot has been generally regarded as the main problem area, the fact that these figures have remained consistent over the past three years gives constructive credibility to the data.”

Health problems

Lamness was one of the six biggest health problems identified in the 2015 NEHS, which are consistent with findings in previous years. The other five are:

Skin diseases: 17.2 percent (sweet itch, mud fever and external parasites)

Back problems: 7 percent

Recurrent Airway Obstruction: 6.7 percent – this was the most common respiratory problem.

Laminitis: 6.4 percent

PPID (equine cushing’s disease): 6.4 percent confirmed or suspected.

Obesity on the rise

Obesity in horses is still on the rise with 23.2 percent of horses reported having a body condition score of 3.5-5. In 2014 just 16.9 percent of horses had the same score and this dropped to 7.8% in 2013.

Next year’s survey will look at the diseases associated with obesity such as equine metabolic syndrome and laminitis.

Blue Cross runs NEHS in May each year, in partnership with the BEVA. This year saw a 35 percent increase in participation compared to 2014.

Gastric ulcers

The survey also gives horse owners the chance to flag up health problems not already covered in the questionnaire.

“This year 11 percent of our free text answers mentioned gastric ulcers giving a valuable insight into the prevalence gastric ulcer syndrome in the principally leisure horse NEHS population,” said Gemma Taylor, education officer at Blue Cross. “As a result we will be adding new questions to the 2016 survey to help us find out more.”




An analysis of the results from the 2015 Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration – the top event of the performance walking horse industry’s show circuit – demonstrates that owners and trainers continue to be rewarded for using abusive methods to achieve the high-stepping “big lick” gait.

Eight of the horses competing in the Celebration were sored at ThorSport Farm, according to a recent undercover investigation conducted by The Humane Society of the United States. During the investigation, wrapping samples taken directly from these horses tested positive for substances banned from the show ring under the federal Horse Protection Act, which prohibits the showing of sored horses. The HSUS presented all the evidence gathered during the investigation to the Rutherford County, Tenn., Sheriff’s Department on Aug. 3 for possible action under the Tennessee cruelty to animals statue, but to date local authorities have taken no action.

Keith Dane, vice president of equine protection for The HSUS, said: “In our investigation, a horse named Play Something Country is seen moaning in pain on his stall floor after having illegal chemicals slathered on his legs. Weeks later, he was winning ribbons at the Celebration. This is outrageous and speaks volumes about the systematic and ingrained cruelty involved in the big lick; it is far from an isolated incident. The state law in Tennessee is scarcely enforced, and is inadequate in preventing this horse abuse. The only way to stop it is for Congress to act and strengthen enforcement and penalties.”

Another ThorSport Farm-trained horse, He’s Vida Blue, was sored during the investigation and was later awarded high honors as the Reserve Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Champion.

The following is a breakdown of the horses and placements:

Play Something Country – Elite Owner Amateur Gentleman Riders on Stallions, 2nd place; Susan Gordon Memorial Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses World Grand Championship, 2nd place;
He’s Vida Blue – Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Stallions Five & Over SEC A/Walking Horse Trainers’ Association 2015 Riders Cup 2nd place; Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship – 2nd place (Reserve);
He’s Unleashed - Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Stallions Five & Over SEC B/Walking Horse Trainers’ Association 2015 Riders Cup - 2nd place;
Gin Rio – Fine Harness – 5th place; Owner-Amateur Lady drivers, Fine Harness – 5th place;
Lord Stanley – Owner Amateur Riders on Mares/Geldings Five Years & Over – 1st ; Owner-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses World Grand Championship – 2nd place;
Heza Warhorse – Young Trainers 35 & Under Mares/Geldings/WHTA 2015 Riders Cup – 4th place; Amateur-Amateur Riders on Walking Horses – 4th place;

The HSUS urges Congress to pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act (H.R. 3268/S. 1121), which would bolster the Horse Protection Act by finally putting an end to the corrupt, ineffective system of industry self-regulation, banning the tall stacks and chains that are an integral part of the soring process, and strengthening penalties for violations of the law.





Being a horse vet may be the riskiest civilian occupation in Britain and key veterinary organisations intend to do something about it.

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has confirmed it is working with other major veterinary bodies in Britain to address the injury risks posed to equine vets.

The move follows the shocking results of the 2013 survey on work-related injuries among equine practitioners in Britain.

A total of 620 equine vets completed the work-related injuries questionnaire between September and November 2013.

The results indicated that an equine vet could expect to sustain between seven and eight work-related injuries that impeded them from practicing, during a 30-year working life.

This may well represent the highest injury risk among civilian jobs – even greater than those faced by firefighters.

Representatives from BEVA, the British Veterinary Association, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Veterinary Defence Society (an insurer) were joined by vet school equine department heads, major equine veterinary practices, together with the survey authors, for round-table discussions on the findings.

They have subsequently drawn up a consensus statement to pinpoint the major obstacles and key objectives to minimise the risk of workplace injuries to equine vets.

The next phase will explore how reporting can be improved to help with the development of practical measures to reduce the risk of serious or fatal injuries.

The British thoroughbred industry’s recent work to implement safer working practices may be followed to help draw up realistic guidelines.

“There is a clear need to establish safer systems of work, and education of the profession and other animal handlers,” BEVA’s new president, Mark Bowen, said.

“A key for longevity of future safety is the training of veterinary students and newly qualified equine veterinary surgeons. This will help ensure they are aware of the most risky procedures and the methods they should employ to remain safe as reasonably practicable while working with horses.”

The study which revealed the level of risk to equine vets was co-funded by the British Equine Veterinary Association and the Veterinary Defence Society. It was led by veterinary epidemiologist Tim Parkin of the University of Glasgow Veterinary School and supported by medical professionals at Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow.









Hi John

It's so sad to read about the Victor Harbour clydies. I agree about the barefoot extremists not helping horses. I get into a few barnies on horse sires over the "all horses should be barefoot" rubbish. In my opinion, horses should be shod or not depending on their individual  feet and work requirements. Trimming a horse ridden on bitumen every three weeks just sounds silly. My OTTB had his shoes pulled when I got him. His feet are dreadfully flat. The first thing I did was shoe him. The vet has suggested if I want to take him out on the shale tracks around agistment  that he gets boots on over his shoes. We ride on grass instead.  On the other hand my arab never had shoes and the local surface didn't bother him in the slightest. The OTTB is shod 4 weekly, the arab was trimmed 5 weekly. One year, we did a bit too much work and the arabs feet wore a bit much. If that level of work had of kept up, he would have been shod, as he would have needed it to be comfortable. That is always my test. What does the HORSE need to be comfortable?

As an interesting aside, I found out recently that my farrier, in his early years, learned his skills from farriers who had been in the light horse.


And don't get me started on the collars vs breastplate. Obviously a specially designed collar for a horse to lean into (note in your pictures the dip in front for the windpipe) is going to be significantly more comfortable to pull in than a strap would feel akin to a taught seatbelt. I always think there is a reason equipment has evolved to the form it has. Collars are no different. In the times when horses had to work, obviously a lot of trial and error went into designing something that would enable the horses to keep working. If that could have been achieved by a simple leather breastplate then I'm sure collars would never have been invented.


Also read the pawing article you had this week. Scientists can be a full of themselves. I found this very offensive. "While the researchers considered the experiment a success, they said it was time-consuming and complicated, especially for the average horse person without an equine science background. " What is complicated about training? You certainly do not need an equine science degree to train a horse. My OTTB  paws on two occasions when tied. Both are post ride, both are due to anticipation (or mum has forgotten). First is for his molasses water, which is after unsaddling. Stands like a rock before then. Easily stopped by walking away from the bucket every time he paws. Then he'll stand like a rock until change of halter and I pick up the purple bag that holds the carrots. Both are yummy things and he wants them NOW!

The OTTB is still going really well. We're seeing a new instructor at the moment and doing a lot of work on me. He's such a good boy and is doing a great job putting up with me working on a better position. When I get it right he really engages his hocks and is so beautifully soft. But it's  hard work and hard to know when I get a bit of tension so we're doing weekly lessons until I can make it habit.


Hi K. Good comments throughout. Called Common Sense.

Scientists have one thing in common, they use the Big Words to Boggle the Mind and mesmerize their Victims. They thrive on "Paralysis of the Analysis' am all need to learn the K.I.S.S. Principle , They make Horse Training sound much more difficult than it is, to impress. You are right. It ain't 'Rocket Science' . Read the Story on the Vet injuries Tonight. I bet they have a Committee as well. The Kiss Principle ( Keep it simple stupid) simply says that if You stop doing stupid things and learn Horsemanship Skills in Vet School, problem solved :)

Glad the Neddie is still doing well








Hi Mr HP. Sorry gonna be a long one. I have had a lot of trouble today. I have tied my mare (15hh solid arab) to my tie up pole (picture supplied) and she showed me another way I didn't know a horse could try to kill themselves. Basicly she pulled back, reared then launched herself sideways into a roll and landed smack on the ground with her head hanging in the air due to still being tied up. She did this twice. Yes I know I am a lucky girl. After the first time, I changed my knot to a half hitch because the last one had slipped and I thought that was the cause. Well the second time it barely slipped and I had her tied with about a foot and a half of rope to the ring. It was still too much rope. I ended up cutting the rope with my pocket knife to free her as the collar was cutting of her wind pipe. So what do I do now? I am not going to tie her back up to repeat that performance, because a third time might not end well. Should I do mostly natural horsemanship for a while to try to reduce the panic? I want to do the leg restraints but at the moment I haven't got a sandy enough area (My dad has been helping me set up my horsie area and he has been diagnosed with cancer so horsie area has been put on hold.) What are my options? Or is it the tie up pole? It does swivel at the top like you recommended. So do I just get out of horses and give up or is there hope for me yet? Yours sincerely, Hayley West. (PS. Sorry for my ignorance/stupidity if that is the cause)

HI Hayley

These things happen. So long as she was 'booted up well' and had a 'Tie Up Collar' on, no damage done. She didn't get a victory, despite the worrisome scene.

You know I am always on about 'the correct equipment' and the 'correct facilities' so it's a shame You don't have the swivel or the Sand. In that case, using this system, I would abort now.

I will give You another system for now but no, NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP has no bearing on Tying Up but LEG RESTRAINTS Training has EVERY bearing on it. It prepares Horses to give and not fight, to think and not panic, to remove the 'Flight Response" and much more  So you should complete that first. Then Your job will become easy. Regards





Mr HP, Danee here from Kununurra, WA. Been a while. Just got your running rein system in the mail. Since I bought your re mouthing and colt starting DVDs years ago now, I've been using your running reins system....but made out of yachting rope. Thanks for the new version. It looks a lot more professional. I've just been given a mature aged 'green' quarter horse- stock horse paint mare. Not my normal type of animal, but she was a give away and I love her attitude. She stubborn, intelligent, sensitive and doesn't trust easily. Spookily, a bit too much like myself. Anyhow.....she's got a full white unpigmented muzzle and sunburns in our extreme heat. Making her mouth very sore. Her previous owner refused to put a sun visor on her as it was all just too hard (.???) ! ........Also her teeth haven't been done and desperately need it and I can't get the vet for months. So, I plan to re start her with your new running rein but in my Steve jefferies bit less bridle. So decided to familiarise myself with the new gear and try out the running rein -bit less combo on my medium level dressage horse. Well after he stopped leaping in the air & striking at his nose ( not used to nose pressure) and then stopped bucking out (I like to leave flaps hanging and swinging and moving about to desensitise them as they go around) as the end of the reins touched him up under the belly......OMG....did he do some nice work. Elevated in front, up thru his back, tracking thru from behind, soft in his eye. I love ya work and ya gear and the fact that you share so freely. I'll keep ya posted on the paint mare. Much appreciated.

Well done Girl!! Not a bad effort....a Medium Horse up in that Country without much help. Well done!!!! Sounds promising. This is a first for me. I have never had a story related about the use of our system, with a Bitless Bridle :) Glad it worked out and thanks for relating it. You and I go back a long way :)  Ya still can't bloody spell though x






Hi HP,
Hope you, Mrs HP and everyone else are all well.
Thought you'd like to hear an update on my gelding who liked to kick at me to show his displeasure at pretty much everything I did with him.
He has had the leg restraint training and while it didn't improve his grumpy demeanor, it did stop him from kicking out at me while lunging and grooming.  There were also multiple sessions required to get the message through to him that if he was going to kick out at me, the front leg strap was going on (or back leg strap if it was a hind leg).
Every now and then he will lift a leg in protest when being groomed or washed but all I have to do is just say "no!" and he will put it down again without trying to kick.

His attitude towards me was still pretty crappy, he would still have his ears back and entire body language of an unhappy pony even after the restraint training, but I'm pleased to say that after taking him out to his first scary show he has decided that I'm actually pretty good and I've got my sweet little boy back :)
I guess he needed to learn that I'm actually his friend and will keep him safe.


Well done Lisa. Great effort.





Hi John,

May I please get a copy of your 145page stifle book?

I watch your video,the first horse that would bunny hop and change leads behind, did you diagnose what was wrong with him/her?

I have a 10yr old WB mare that I've had for 3years, most of that time has had on going lameness issues from poor hoof angles/ farrier work. She is very difficult to pick her hind legs up (I have no problem) but with vets, farriers etc most are terrified of being kicked- she has never actually kicked out but gets very upset and frantic, snatches her leg and moves away. The right hind she will actually lean all her body weight on over on it and plant it. Despite many vet trips, massage, chiro we can't get anywhere which is incredibly frustrating.

She is now bunny hopping behind in canter on the right rein (only the right rein) with Violent swishy tail and pigrooting. On the left rein she is nearly normal gait wise, but a severe shoulder budge and wants to keep quarters in, the very second you straighten her/outside rein- she immediately drops behind the leg and aggressively canters on the spot nearly.

Sorry to bore you with my problem, I seem to have exhausted all avenues and desperately looking for solutions.

Many thanks


Hi Nicole, the Horse is certainly communicating to You. There would be no doubt at all that she has a problem. I had a Case this Week only, where another Mare would not give Her Leg to be Shod and a 20kg Ovarian Cyst was removed from Her. The Book is attached. Regards

Many thanks John, I will read through it all- thank you!!
Yes I also suspected ovarian cysts, and had her at the vet on Wednesday for it to be assessed but they said her ovaries were all good.

I did have her a an old horseman/chiro this morning and he said her Poll was so badly misaligned it was nearly out of joint altogether and he suspected it had been that way for a long time. The lower right back/hip pain disappeared as soon as he adjusted the poll!
Fingers crossed


Well done Girl






Good afternoon, My name is Tiya and i am having some troubles with my 4yo QH x TB mare Emjay. I purchased Emjay 1 and half years ago as a dressage/ show prospect. She was broken in western by W ======r and he said she had no buck or rear in her...(she does). To begin i didn't ride her much at all just did a lot of ground work to build our trust together and i also though she was very small and young to be a ridden horse just yet.  She is great on the ground a real smoochy horse that thrives on attention but is well mannered and will stay in her space until she is told she can have a smooch. I bought her from the breeder and she had a few months off after being broken in when i started to rider her she was great. walk trot and canter just very green. as time went on by she started to get "arena sour" so i took her on more outings that just weekly riding club. I started taking her to Kuipo, Belair nat. Park parts of our local Tom Roberts trail ect and she was great. I also started doing different things in the arena like pole work (not jumping) and bending in and out on obstetrical. After a few more months she was getting better and i was starting to win our battles i think her problem is not wanting to go forward ie into trot of if i dear canter. I put her in a little encourage show and she did great we did 2 led class and smarted on parade (just walking) and we placed 1st and 2 2nds i was thrilled. In April I turned her out until end of June when i brought her back she was not herself. She was still smoochy but she was very pushy and thought everything was spooky (she had never been a spooky horse). I was not prepared to get on her back until she was perfect on the round. Only in the last couple of weeks have i started riding her... slowly. She has been okay so far but still having issues with going forward i robe her bare back and in a halter (just walking) and she was great the next week i popped on  her bridle saddle (which i had fitted only 2 months ago) and started okay and as soon as i asked for more impulsion our came the rearing. I am stuck at a cross road and would love some advice. I'm not in a financial position for re-education at the moment but would love some tips. I have thought about selling her but i don't feel she is a terrible horse as she is such a calm sweet little mare but its seems like she has 2 complement different personalities.  In desperate need of help as i don't want to become a horse rider that doesn't ride. Kindest Regards

Have You been back to the Trainer to ask for help?? That should be Your first Port of Call. Obviously, he knows the Horse well and put the various buttons on it. I can only surmise.......

The Trainer is a Western Person and there would have been a lot of Western influence on the Horse. You should like an 'English Person" and unless the Horse is shown the way to transition from Western to knowing what a Contact is, You get these problems.

If You are riding this Horse on the Trail, with ANY sort of CONTACT, there will be Your Problem. You have to be the Person on the left here, not those on the right.....

  In other words, You should be riding that Horse like this, UNTIL, You formally teach the Horse about the 'English Discipline'

You would therefore need to prepare the horse in the round Pen, to know what going forward is, at the same time as being restricted in the Mouth. Regards






HI Folks. Hope You are all well. Still getting a few Mil of Rain, with 18mm this Week, which apart from being good for the Tanks, wonderful for the finish of the Oat Crops which are vitally important for the Horse Industry as You know, and prices for the coming Year.


It was obviously very serious, with the Broken Rail puncturing Her Face. Infection came and we have been working hard to control that.

The Good News is that we have beaten it and she is coming good now, having lost weight because of not eating.


I have been working on my latest project, an exuberant Young and very big Warmblood, who I have ridden 3 times now. Very athletic Young Chap and will make a nice Dressage Horse.




It is with much trepidation, that I enter this debacle, which is completely against our interests, having spent the last and first 6 Years with my Head down Low in this District, not wanting to be involved in anything Horse or Politics. Been there done that, got the T Shirt, but for those Non Horsie People who will no doubt read this, I feel I have the right to comment now, both as a Horseman and having paid my dues to the Region.

  • I named the "Southern Fleurieu" in 1979 and gifted the registered Business Name to the Victor Harbor Council 15 Years ago. A name that is now being widely used.
  • I formed the 'Southern Fleurieu Peninsula Tourist Association
  • Past Chairman of the 'Fleurieu Regional Tourist Association'

For Months, I have been contacted by various Players and vested interests to do with the Victor Clydesdales and listened to all sides. I have even spoken to 'Whistle Blowers' within Council itself. Approached by the Victor Harbor Times, spoken to Staff, Vets'  (Multiple) and more.....

At the end of the Day, despite the great angst caused and probably pay back by some in Power, here are the facts:

Humans on all sides do not have the Guts to speak their piece for the good of the Horses (which for God's sake this should be about)

  1. The Horses are directly being negatively impacted by Human frailties. On one side a Pentecostal and biased stance taken by Barefoot Trimming Disciples, both inside Council and outside of it

  2. and a failed and proven failed Bureaucratic Committee system of Management of the Horses, involving Multiple Bosses within the Staff of the Council (non of who know enough about Horses to be passing comment at all) and such interference in to the Day to Day running of the Operation, that makes it impossible for any Horse Trainer to do their job in the best interests of the Horses. That includes all who have been in charge. People coming before Horses and the History of the District.

There is only one Good Committee. "A Committee of 2 with one permanently on Long Service Leave'

Horses can only be successfully managed by Horse Trainers, given their job and left alone unless failing and then sacked and replaced. Having a Committee and 4 Bosses above that is a joke and a main part of the problem.

the horses have been operating for quite some time, WITH SORE FEET.........

caused by BAREFOOT TRIMMING!!!!!!!!!!!! - this is actually a 'Horse Welfare' Matter!!! and probably qualifies for a R.S.P.C.A. Complaint.

That the immediate Past Horse Trainer in charge, has been gone for Months. and bears no responsibility for recent events.



  • The Shoes were removed from the Horses a couple of Years ago, despite 200 Years of Shod Working Horses that built this Country.

  • They have been trimmed EVERY 3 WEEKS

  • They do not have enough Hoof, with little distance between the Frog and the Toe, and

  • They are being ridden at least 4 Kilometers each Day, to their working Base at the Jetty, ON BITUMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I have taken a close look at them lately and they are foot sore.

I have spoken to a Rider of one of them and they could feel the soreness

A Local Vet has examined them and DECLARED THEM sore and losing condition.


Humans are weird creatures. From time to time, new ideas sweep across the Horse Community and two of the notables have been "Barefoot Trimming' and 'Natural Horsemanship. Both took on a Pentecostal Reverence about them and the Converts became Disciples. I'll never forget Pat saying to the Crowd at Equitana, as he rode along in front of them 10 deep, "If I could anoint You and You and You"

There is one thing that sets aside Conventional Farrier and 'Barefoot Trimmers' and that is the 'Open Mind' I have never Met a Farrier (myself included, that won't agree that if you can get away without Shoes, go for it but to think that you can get away with no Shoes on all Horses and conditions is insanity........whereas the 'Barefoot Trimmers' will general show no mercy to conventional and historic Farrier ideas.

and so it is that this Religious point of view has proven to be to the detriment of the Victor Harbor Horse Drawn Tram Clydesdales.


As I said, there is a 'Management Committee' and then at least 4 levels of Bosses up the Chain of Command of the City Council. It's laughable Folks. 'Yes Minister ' at it's worst. None of them are Horse Professionals

One particular Boss is obviously a 'Barefoot Trimming' convert and very active in demanding the keeping of the status all costs.

There is much more to the story but I don't want to identify any of the Multiple Informants'

The 'bottom line however, is that the system does not suit the Business and the Horses are being let down.



Are all great. The support Girls and Drivers, all great!!!!!



Multiple People have been adversely affected by these Saga's. The cost inflicted upon Humans has been much. My sympathies, but at the end of the Day, it is time that Castle Building, protecting positions, arguing over to shoe or not, must be put to the rear and the HORSES MUST BE PUT FIRST. This is about the Horses. They are the Victims here.


Well if I may now use my area of expertise, in observing this Horse. I am sure, that the Horse went down due to a combination of or one of 4 things.

  • Driven in the Rain on slippery Wet Rubber

  • Barefoot and with less grip than Shoes Nail Heads protruding

  • The REMOVAL OF THE COLLAR AND HAMES and replacement by a Breastplate across the top of the Wind Pipe, and

  • SORE FEET!!!!

This Photo was taken shortly before the fall (noting the Horse would not get up)

Note the Breastplate pressure and the form and attitude of the Horse


This one taken with Collar and Hames

Note the ease and relaxation. The normal Head and Neck Carriage the Face of the Horse.

the Happiness, not helplessness

easily up in the stance and enjoying the work.


  1. I wonder if having two Horses Teamed has ever been given thought, for Political Reasons, attractiveness to the overall look and for the good of the Horses.
  2.  I wonder if the Tram has ever been Weighed?
  3. Have investigations and Tests been conducted to assess the Truth about Barefoot versus Shod in terms of Grip?


Would You believe, this is the easy part and it doesn't need a Committee and 4 Bosses to arrive at......

  1. Get the Council Staff out of the equation, other than the Accountant.
  2. Put Shoes back on the Horses
  3. Put the proper Harness back on the Horses
  4. Get rid of the Committee and all the Bosses (doing the Rate Payers the World of good in the process)
  5. Let a recognized Horse Trainer do their thing and stay out of their Face unless they ask for help.

Apart from all of the above, the whole Operation needs a Giant kick up the Bum. There should be:

  • No running during inclement Weather 
  • Security implications should be looked at and steps taken to protect the Horses better. This is the Day of 'Ice'
  • The Stables are a Disgrace
  • The Paddocks are un-acceptable, Fencing is sub standard and other serious questions need looking into
  • The Stables should be turned into an attraction with a Historic Museum located there and Tours Via Mini Bus, from the Jetty, should be conducted to them, especially when Weather is un-acceptable for more

 but at the end of the Day, the Buck Stops with the Council. They keep Managing via interference, Red Tape, intimidation and something has to give.

"Who's looking after the Horses?"

The previous Operator has been on stress leave for Months and doesn't look like returning to the Post. He too suffered the continual interference but did a good job under the circumstances.






HANDS - I have often spoken of the top Riders having the softest Hands. Here is one I just saw on the Net. Clinton Anderson.

I was glad to see I replicate it, this Week on a Young one.






 A Russian stunt rider was killed after being dragged along by her horse at an acrobatic show.

Anastasiya Maximova, 24, died after getting her right foot caught in the stirrups as she performed in front of a shocked crowd.

Distressed spectators shrieked in horror and tried to shield the eyes of children as the horse galloped on.

The panicked animal raced out of control while Maximova clung on, unable to free herself, the Daily Mirror reports.
Stunt horse rider Anastasiya Maximova was fatally dragged by her horse after getting her foot caught in a stirrup.

Her terrified colleagues desperately tried to help, but were unable to stop the horse from running wild. Maximova was alive when the horse was finally halted, but died on the way to hospital after suffering multiple injuries.

She had fallen less than one minute into her appearance in a display of Cossack horsemanship at the arena in Abrau-Durso village in Russia's southwestern Krasnodar region.

"It is a naughty, beautiful and bright sport. It gives me shivers,” Maximova had previously said of her performances.




7 News Sydney Horse Accident: A 16 year old girl was left unconscious after falling off a horse in South Maroota this afternoon. Careflight statement: "The CareFlight rapid response trauma team were called to the pony club at 15:43 and were first on the scene, landing approximately 100 metres from the location. The girl’s helmet cracked during her fall however, she regained consciousness and was responsive by the time medical crews arrived. CareFlight’s emergency response doctor and intensive care paramedic were joined by NSW Ambulance and together initiated spinal precautions to stabilise the injured teenager. The girl was then airlifted to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in stable condition."




The accident happened about 8:30 p.m. in the area of The White Silo Farm & Winery. The car that struck the equine was totaled, eyewitnesses report.

The horse was struck by a 2006 Chevy Aveo LT driven by Keren Arielle, of Chminey Hill Road, Sherman. Areille was traveling southbound on Route 37 when she went off the road in an attempt to avoid colliding with the horse which was in the roadway, State Police said.

The Chevy hit the horse and continued straight about 100 feet before coming to a stop. The car sustained heavy damage to its front end, windshield and the rooftop was pushed toward the back seat. The horse was killed, police said. Due to the heavy damage and airbag deployment, Areille was taken to New Milford Hospital by ambulance for observation. No charges were brought in the accident.

The horse belonged to Gary and Jane Conrad whose farm is across Route 37 from The White Silo Farm & Winery. The horse had apparently jumped the fence at its field.





A horse has died of the Hendra virus near Lismore on the NSW North Coast.

The Department of Primary Industries said the horse had been buried and the property would be placed in quarantine.

The horse had not been vaccinated for the virus, the department said, adding that NSW Health had been informed and would be following up the horse owner and the veterinarian.

"The eight-year-old gelding was observed to be unwell on Wednesday and was off its food before it collapsed," DPI chief veterinary officer Ian Roth said in a statement.

"A private vet collected samples for formal analysis, and the horse was euthanased yesterday.

"Laboratory tests at Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Unit (EMAI) have confirmed the Hendra virus in the horse."

It is the second case of Hendra in NSW this year, following the death in June of a horse on a property at Murwillumbah.

Mr Roth said veterinarians and other people around horses needed to practice good hygiene, even if a horse had been vaccinated against the disease.

"The colder months are usually the time of year when horses have become infected with Hendra in NSW in the past, however, it's important to note that Hendra virus can be seen at any time of year," Mr Roth said.

"Vaccination is the single most effective way of reducing the risk of Hendra virus infection in horses."


Danish dressage rider Andreas Helgstrand has come under fire once again after photos posted of him riding sparked welfare complaints online.

Danish equestrian website published a complete series of photos (one pictured above) of the rider warming up grand prix mare Torveslettens Stamina at the CDI in Falsterbo in July.

The position of the horse’s head and neck has caused anger among dressage fans.

However, Andreas said he was not contacted “during warm-up nor at any other time during the entire show in Falsterbo” by a steward, official, technical delegated or ground jury.

“Force, violence or other types of abuse are contra-productive to our goal and against our fundamental values,” he added.

Copy on the site alongside the photos reads: “No yellow cards were given out in Falsterbo this year. Chief Steward Eva Wiklund saw no reason for it.

“She must have found this riding unforced and non-aggressive, since forced and aggressive use of the reins to induce hyperflexion is banned by the FEI and should cause the steward to intervene.

“We’ll ask Eva Wiklund how she distinguishes between what we see in the photos and the banned kind of hyperflexion which relies on harsh rein aids.”
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Andreas countered that with modern cameras it is “very easy to take so many pictures in a second that you get still photographs where a horse, a rider or an equipage looks either fantastic or hopeless, simply because the photograph only shows a tiny part of a continuing movement”.

He added: “At Helgstrand Dressage, we strive to educate and ride all our horses in a way that enables each individual horse to reach the highest possible level. We train and compete according to the rules and assessments of the judges in our sport.

“Stamina is an incredibly supple horse, and with a rider in the saddle, she naturally bends into dressage posture.

“The horse can easily be ridden in a snaffle bridle or with completely loose curb rein. Consequently, I use a baby double bridle for training and shows.

“If it was allowed to ride the higher classes without a double bridle, I would be happy to show Stamina in a snaffle bridle, also the high level exercises.”

A spokesman for the FEI told H&H the organisation and the Danish National Federation were both investigating the matter.

“We have already contacted the chief steward at Falsterbo to ask for a full report specifically on this episode, in addition to the normal event report that has already been sent to the FEI,” said a spokesman.

“The FEI dressage committee is also looking at ways to ensure that the rules work more effectively to protect horse welfare and that they are enforced more strenuously by our officials.

“The FEI has horse welfare at the core of everything we do, and we cannot allow misinterpretation of the rules — whether deliberate or inadvertent — by any member of our community.”

This is the second time that Andreas’ training techniques has come under scrutiny.

Earlier this year an investigation by the Danish Equestrian Federation found him guilty of “improper use of bit and bridle.”

He had been under fire since April 2013 after social media users accused the rider of abusing his top ride Akeem Foldager.

Andreas was warned not to repeat the offence within the next two year’s otherwise it will be considered “aggravated circumstance”.

The case was started after pictures of Andreas riding Akeem Foldager at an open day last year (12 April) were released by



For some, their whole worlds revolve around eagle hunting - riding out in bitter winds and harsh conditions to help ensure the bird captures its prey.

In 2010, an area in Western Mongolia where eagle hunting is still prevalent was listed as a UNESCO site of intangible cultural heritage, helping to protect the eagle hunters.

Tariq added: 'Eagle hunting engulfs their lives fully and is what makes their hearts beat.

'With eagles having a life expectancy of up to forty years, they essentially become a member of the family.

'It is said that if an eagle hunter has died, you will still find him hunting in the mountains, and not at the funeral, as nothing keeps an eagle hunter at home.

'They live together in this life, and, according to the hunter's tradition, after death master and eagle will meet again.'

A photographer has captured a stunning set of images displaying the 4,000-year-old art of eagle hunting.

The images were taken by Tariq Zaidi, who travelled to the desolate Altai Mountains, which run from Siberia to Mongolia's Gobi Desert.

Only around 70 Kyrgyz and Kazakh eagle hunters remain in the world.




SPEARFISH | In the pre-dawn darkness Saturday, a 22-year-old Casper, Wyo., man driving a late-model Lexus sedan hit and killed a horse roaming Interstate 90 in Lawrence County.

In a second accident in the same vicinity of I-90 Saturday morning, another horse was killed by an unknown vehicle, according to the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office.

In the first accident, the impact broke the driver’s jaw and sent his car into a ditch, through a fence and into a pond, Chief Deputy Paul Hansen said Wednesday afternoon. The 5 a.m. collision sent the driver, Branndon Marker, by ambulance to Spearfish Regional Hospital. He was later transported to Rapid City Regional Hospital, Hansen said.

A source at the hospital said Marker was not listed as a patient Wednesday night.

Hitting the horse caused extensive damage to the Lexus, said Hansen, who has worked in law enforcement for more than 32 years. “We’ve seen about every kind of animal hit by a vehicle. It doesn’t happen often, thank goodness.”

A short distance from the first accident scene, deputies discovered a second dead horse, believed to have been struck by a semitrailer shortly after the first collision, Hansen said.





 A pawing horse could be at risk of a number of things—digging holes, pulling shoes, or even injuring himself or his handlers. But instead of yelling, “Stop it!” or giving him a smack, researchers have determined that you could effectively help him reduce pawing behavior through positive reinforcement. It’s all about teaching him that if he does something else—even just standing still—he’ll get a food reward, the team said.

With a process called differential reinforcement of other behavior (or DRO), horses can learn to choose to partake in a different activity besides pawing and get rewarded for that other behavior. The “other behavior” could be waiting patiently, exploring the handler, or anything at all besides pawing. It’s “differential” because the training reinforces the horse when it’s not engaged in a specific behavior. In other words, it differentially reinforces the absence of a behavior, said Adam Fox, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at St. Lawrence University, in Canton, New York.

While many people use punishment to stop a horse from pawing, Fox said this technique could cause safety concerns. Horses can try to avoid aversive stimuli (a whip, for example) through conflict behavior such as rearing, biting, and kicking. In the process, he can injure himself or others. “Positive reinforcement techniques are more effective and much less dangerous,” he said.

In their study, Fox and Devon Belding, BSc, also of St. Lawrence University, tested three horses known to paw consistently when cross-tied.

The researchers adapted the DRO technique for each individual horse according to its initial pawing frequency. For example, the first horse—a 17-year-old Thoroughbred mare—pawed an average of 783 times in a 20-minute session. By contrast, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding pawed only 15 times per 20-minute session, on average. So, the initial delay before reward was five seconds for the first horse and 60 seconds for the second. In other words, if the Thoroughbred mare waited five seconds without pawing, she received a food reward, while the Irish Sport Horse had to wait a full minute because his pawing was less frequent.

As the experiment progressed, they adjusted DRO times gradually, said Fox. In some cases they extended the DRO times as the horse showed more ability to stand patiently. In other cases—such as with the Irish Sport Horse—they reduced the DRO times, as the horse did not appear to associate the waiting with the food reward and actually appeared to increase pawing frequency.

Still, the researchers determined that after 25 to 40 training sessions, all horses displayed significantly reduced pawing. The results revealed that three horses only pawed 1.5%, 2.7%, and 13.8% as much as they pawed during baseline (no behavior training yet) at the beginning of the experiment.

While the researchers considered the experiment a success, they said it was time-consuming and complicated, especially for the average horse person without an equine science background. “Currently, it would be difficult for trainers and owners to implement (this training procedure) because it requires precise implementation and a great deal of time and resources,” Fox said. “We are interested in conducting future research aimed at developing a simpler intervention that could be implemented more easily and quickly.”

At a time when some equine researchers are presenting the notion that it might be better to let horses perform stereotypical behavior, Fox said he isn’t convinced pawing is a stereotypy we should allow—if it’s in fact a stereotypy at all. “If a behavior is harmful to a horse, and possibly humans, the idea that it is more ethical to allow the behavior to continue because the ‘animal needs to’ rather than reducing and preventing it, is troubling,” he said.

It is better, then, to stop the dangerous behavior while looking into what leads horses to do it in the first place, he added. “If we can understand the causes of these behaviors by conducting functional analyses and empirically looking for what the horse is getting from the behavior, we can develop more effective interventions and foster better horse-human relationships,” he said.




 On Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m., Emilie Setlakwe, DVM, MSc, Dipl. ACVIM, will present “A Cough, a Wheeze, Could it be Heaves?” at Tryon Equine Hospital in Columbus, North Carolina.

During her lecture, Setlakwe will discuss recurrent airway obstruction (RAO, or heaves), a condition that can limit a horse’s performance and significantly decrease quality of life. She will address clinical signs of disease, diagnostic methods, treatment and management options, preventing relapse, prognosis, the differences between RAO and inflammatory airway disease and their possible relationship, and some of the latest research findings.

Setlakwe is a board-certified internist who recently joined the Tryon Equine team in August 2015, following completion of a three-year internal medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. Prior to that, she performed a large animal internship in medicine and surgery at the University of Guelph and obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Montreal in Clinical Sciences. The subject of her research was respiratory disease in horses, most specifically looking at RAO in horses and its similarities with human asthma.




SERDANG: The Department of Veterinary Services has prohibited the transfer of horses from one stable to another following the outbreak of Equine Influenza (EI) or horse flu.

Its deputy director-general Dr Kamarudin Md Isa (pix) said following the rapid spread of the disease, several racing clubs including the Selangor Turf Club (STC), Perak Turf Club (PTC) and Penang Turf Club were asked to tighten control and ensure that no horses and equipment were taken out of the clubs.

"The results of the sample tests carried out by the Veterinary Research Institute (VRI) in Ipoh and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) confirmed the infection was caused by EI.

"The source of infection could have originated from four horses imported from New Zealand via Singapore on July 31," he said at a press conference here Friday.

The disease was detected after the horses, two of which were transferred to STC and one each to PTC and Penang Turf Club on Aug 14, had influenza-like nasal discharges.

He said the horses did not show any signs of infection while undergoing a 14-day quarantine period at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport's Animals Quarantine Station.

"Now more than 100 horses have been infected from the four imported horses but the situation is still under control. We are taking this problem seriously," he said.

Dr Kamarudin said any equestrian activities were advised to be temporarily postponed and he was confident that the disease could be controlled within the next one-and-a-half months.

Meanwhile, Malayan Racing Association secretary Krishna Kumar said all horse races scheduled to be held this month have been cancelled. - Bernama



Breast pain and bra fitting issues are prevalent among female horse riders, an investigation has found.

Such problems were more pronounced in those with larger breasts, British researchers told delegates to the recent International Equitation Science Conference in Vancouver, Canada.

Dr Jenny Burbage, from the breast health research group at Portsmouth University, told delegates that the research had identified a need for educational initiatives in the area to reduce barriers to participation.

Further research was also warranted to understand whether breast health issues can negatively affect the horse-rider combination, she said.

Burbage, who carried out an initial investigation into breast health issues with Lorna Cameron, from Britain’s Sparsholt College, characterised breast health issues such as breast pain and a poor bra as important concerns which had yet to be considered.

It was, Burbage said, important to establish the prevalence, severity and impact of breast health issues in female horse riders, as research suggested that riders who were stiff, unbalanced and in pain may have a negative impact on the training and welfare of the horse.

For their study, a six-part, 32-question online survey was completed by 1324 female horse riders, assessing bra fit, physical activity, breast pain, breast history and demographics, among other things.

It was found that nearly half of the riders surveyed – 47% – competed in affiliated, regional, national or international level events and 51% were classified as being large-breasted (a D cup size or larger).

Breast pain was reportedly experienced by 40% of all participants and this was found to be significantly related to cup size.

For those who experienced breast pain, the sitting trot was rated the most painful activity (58%), followed by vigorous riding at the canter, gallop or jumping, rated as the most painful by 39% of respondents.

In all, 21% of riders reported that breast pain affected their performance.

Only 27% exclusively wore a sports bra when participating in horse riding.

At least one bra fitting issue was reported by 59% of participants when horse riding.

The researchers found that upper body muscle pain and poor posture were experienced significantly more by riders with larger breasts (31% and 26% respectively) compared to those with smaller breasts (12%, 9%).

Breasts were reportedly a barrier to participation in horse riding for a quarter of the respondents and accounted for 17% of the total barriers reported.

For larger-breasted participants, the fourth highest barrier to participation in horse riding was related to their breast size (25%).

Burbage and Cameron noted that breast pain and upper body muscle pain as a result of bra issues were prevalent in female riders, especially those with larger breasts.

“It is unknown what effect this pain and discomfort may have on horse-rider interaction, but warrants further investigation,” Burbage told delegates.

The results demonstrated that educational initiatives were needed to ensure female horse riders were informed about appropriate bra fit and breast support during horse riding, she concluded. Such initiatives had the potential to reduce barriers to participation and the potential negative effect on riding performance.

Meanwhile, in other research in the field, Sparsholt College masters student Felicity Goater is working alongside the breast health research group at the University of Portsmouth to explore the biomechanics of riders’ breasts during riding.

She hopes to find out whether there is a link between good support and good riding.

The findings may ultimately help females riders choose what to wear.

Their study will involve riding analysis of at least 12 female riders using a variety of support options.





WASHINGTON — The pictures and video of a severe case of horse neglect from our area, featuring one animal with overgrown, 3-foot hooves, were shared around the world last month.

Now the local rescue taking care of the animals say they are doing much better.

While one of the three severely mistreated equines had to be euthanized at the Washington County property where they were found due to ligament damage, the other two — Quest and Rio — are recovering after years of neglect.

Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Woodbine, Maryland, says this is the worst, most extreme case of hoof neglect the organization has ever seen in its 26-year history, after more 2,170 horse rescues.

Quest, they say, has been trotting and rolling comfortably in his paddock each day after his hooves were trimmed. His overgrown teeth have also been addressed and he now chews much more comfortably. He still needs to gain weight, get through deworming, and continue with many more corrective trims, “but we have been very pleased with his progress thus far,” Days End officials wrote on Facebook.

Rio is now the horse they are more worried about, due to internal parasites, joint issues and a jaw fracture in addition to his overgrown hooves and emaciated frame.

The average cost for critical rehabilitative care for horses is $1,900 to $2,400 per horse per month, and Quest and Rio will be on the higher end of that scale, Days End says.

The Humane Society of Washington County officially filed 15 charges of animal cruelty against the previous owners of the horses on Aug. 27.

After Quest and Rio were rescued and the third severely neglected horse was euthanized on Aug. 21, three more horses were surrendered by the owners a few days later.








Hi I purchased a thoroughbred gelding at the sales 4mths ago. He was skin and bones He hasn't put a foot wrong. He was and still tries ti br bit pushy in the ground bit it has improved greatly My problem is taking him on trail rides. He gets nervous and can feel him shaking. He started rearing tiny at first bigger now Having another horse present helped at first but that is not always possible I know he raced but no idea of what he did after. He is 12. Any advice would be appreciated Thankyou

When I read a Letter like this, I feel almost helpless. These Horses are such challenges and the fact that he is 12 Year Old now just goes to show You what tough cases they are and how out of the capability of lot's of Folk, they are, to re-educate.

These Horses need the WHOLE PACKAGE. Nothing short of it will fix them. They are Psychologically afflicted People.

1 Teach the Horse all the Natural Horsemanship moves. Get it out of Your Space. Fighting with these Horses on the Ground, will ensure their stress continues, not dissipates.

2 Remouth them all. They always come Mouths ranked at between Zero and 6 if lucky. Remouthing will ensure safety and build foundations to work with

3 Leg Restraints Training. These Horses are generally badly broken in and only know ‘flight response’, fight, pull, rip, tear. Get rid of the “Flight Response’ via Leg Restraints Training and you will save much work.

4. Ridden Natural Horsemanship (standing on no reins, walking on no reins and so on) To remove stress and fight from these Horses, incorporate these Ridden systems and stop fighting with them

5. Weeks of Lunging (see our lunging article that comes

and we won't talk about the Veterinary :(  Best of Luck









Hi John and Linda,

Thank you.

I know my hands are bad!  Sadly it’s been something I have always struggled with, it seems to be the first thing I let go when I’m concentrating on something else or get a bit tense.  I have read your article before on bad hands and have again. 

I know I tend to let the reins creep through my fingers, then I turn my hands in to compensate for the too long reins.  Any tips to get the hands better

You know, this is obviously a very deep subject and a Psychological one at that. I see Ladies who do it and almost all of them have this "Bum out of the Saddle" thing happening and slightly leaning forward, as you were, which tells me that they have a Mental Block about simply how to achieve longer Reins and Necks down, WITHOUT tipping forward. You are not an extreme Case at all. You are low on the Scale of the problem.

So You should devise exercises to enforce a change in Your Mind, like a Golf (thinking on Feet as I type, ) get a Mirror to watch Your upper Body, Train Your Horse to go like this for 10 Minutes at the start of every ride and during the ride as relief after Collected work.

Note my forearms, the direct Line and see my Fingers open, soft as Butter. and Ass in the Saddle.

Your Horse in fact does not do this well enough and actually, none do with Riders who have the Hands/Bum Problem. REASON?......they offer relief to the Rider, 10,000 times and it never came. The Softness never came, therefore distrust, and NO HEAD SET.

On the other subjects

Linda, on the riding, I understand what you mean about running the horse, I feel that at times especially on the long side when Jill wants to go (but she always comes back easily)  I find it really hard without eyes on the ground to know how we are going. 

I think I have focused too much on g.oing forward, after your last assessment I was right let’s get forward! 

Any more ideas on exercises or things to work on?

Yes, it is time You started Lateral work. Shoulder in, Renverse, Traverse etc. Plenty of Leg Yield exercises You can do to prepare for that. Zig Zags, Shoulder in off the wall, Quarters in off the Wall and ride more 10 Metre Circles. You have to start doing more with the Horse.

This will help with any rushing and to get more control over the whole body fo the Horse, to enable Collection.

John on the running reins,

How is Jill’s muscle over the back end looking?  Conformation?  Do I need to spend some time concentrating on the running reins? 

I know she is a little on the round side, a three week turned out holiday didn’t help and she is just a good doer. 

Body is pretty good. Nothing wrong with the Horse.


Is there anything else I can try or do to help?  Or just fix my hands and the rest will come together?



Yes, fix the Hands and You will go to the next Level immediately.


Thanks John,


I completely agree with you that it’s a mental block problem.  So would my mum after many years of telling me to sit up straight!

Lots to work on, I appreciate your time.  Jill will be glad to hear she looks ok J






Good morning, I am thinking of growing some Tagasate trees for a wind break and fodder for my boer goats. I live in the Onkaparinga Hills, at the back of Hackham, and we have biscay soil. Do you have any tips on growing in this type of soil? Do you know where I could purchase seedlings? Thanks and have a great day. Melissa


HI Mel

I simply go pull them up during Winter, on the sides of the Roads in the Hills.

I have also started harvesting and planting Baby Olive Trees. (Govt and Local Govt are behind in Global Warming) and they make a magnificent Hedge when trimmed up. They will be the last Tree standing at the end.






Q: what do I do about a horse who gets excited when turning for home? In certain spots he jumps up and down and runs sideways and crashes into other horses.

Goodness. A tough case, ruined over long period. Not easy Sarah. Two first thoughts come to mind. One is to be riding Him complete dressage whenever you trot or canter.

Second, have this Horse completely Leg Yielding, so He cannot run against Your Leg an go sideways but You can do Leg Yield, Shoulder in or whatever you want, as you go along. That will give you control and him responsibility.




Hi Just wondering in 'The weird things horses do' If you or any others have seen a mature gelding spend a good 5 minutes licking another mature gelding from it's pastern around it's fetlock up the back of it's cannon bone to it's hock leaving the entire area wet? They are in 25 acres with 15 total geldings. The lickee eventually squealed and pigrooted but was motionless for ages prior. I'm at a loss as to 'What the?' Is that about. Need minerals? Bonding? I don't know if there is an answer just thought I'd ask, thank you.


Minerals Simone. I'd bet on it. The Lickee however, has other motives :) The lack of Minerals in Horses across the Land is widespread. It would be salt based probably, but so many of them miss copper, magnesium and more. Regards







30 August, 2015

First Day of Spring Tomorrow. The Birds are going Nuts and the Foals are about to drop. Tanks are Full and Fire Breaks sprayed. How are You going?

Not a bad Moon this Evening either...



We keep having bad Luck. In a Storm the other NIght, a Big Tree Branch came crashing to the Ground in Her Yard, causing Her to violently shy away, hitting the 150mm x 50mm Creosote Rails with Her Jaw and ending up outside Her facility. Then, through the Neighbors Fence and spent the Night in there.

The Vet was called as she had ' blown up like a Balloon, X-Rays conducted but thankfully, not broken. Just ruptured a major Blood Vessel which has caused massive swelling all Week and only just now starting to come under control.

Meanwhile, Mrs. HP has been in Bed all Week, very ill with the Flue and only just contemplating getting out but staying inside the House. Had Her first Flue jab as well. That didn't work, did it?

So I have been running a bit, doing my work, Breaking in a Horse, looking after Hers, caring, and looking after Auntie Loyla's Horses at Inman Valley.





Us stacking, after having successfully mastered the confounded Machine called the Binder. Grown on the Birthplace of Comic Court where the Locals laughed at us. Said it couldn't be done :)


Legendary horse trainer Bart Cummings, who won an unprecedented 12 Melbourne Cups, has died aged 87.

Cummings has been suffering ill health for some time and passed away in the early hours of Sunday at his homestead at Princes Farm, Castlereagh in Sydney's north-west.

"His final moments were spent with his family and wife of 61 years, Valmae, with whom he celebrated their anniversary on Friday," said grandson and training partner James Cummings. "For Bart, 87, this was a fitting end. A husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather; a master trainer and larger than life figure."

Cummings was simply the most successful horse trainer in the country and one of the biggest and most popular identities in Australian sports history.

His Melbourne Cup success earned him the nickname of the "Cups King". He also won seven Caulfield Cups, five Cox Plates and four Golden Slippers in a career that featured almost 7000 race wins and 268 Group One winners.

Born and raised in Adelaide, Cummings almost drowned at the age of 12. He entered the horse racing industry and was at the age of 23 the strapper of 1950 Melbourne Cup winner Comic Court, trained by his father Jim.

Cummings gained his trainers licence in 1953 and trained his first Melbourne Cup winner, Light Fingers, in 1965, seven years after winning his first Group One race with Stormy Passage in the SAJC Derby.

His 12 Melbourne Cup wins would come with 11 horses, with Think Big winning consecutive Cups in 1974 and 1975. His last Cup win was in 2008 with Viewed, on the 50th anniversary of his first entry in Australia's most popular horse race.

Cummings was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1982 and was an inaugural member of the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2001.

Two year ago, Cummings joined grandson James, the son of fellow trainer Anthony Cummings, in a training partnership. The duo had a winner on Saturday at Sydney's Rosehill, Sultry Feeling, in the TAB Plate Multi Handicap.

His last Melbourne Cup involvement was 2014, training the sixth-place getter Precedence with grandson James.

You will notice in the Breeding, "Powers Court and Witty Maid"

They were both Shot, Together, at a Grave Site to the right of Blue Line I drew in 1979, where I decided I would build a Caravan Park. They fell into the Grave with Front Legs wrapped around each other

Their first Foal made History and made Bart Cummings. He was Born on our Property at Normanville.




THE DAY I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO BUILD A CARAVAN PARK DOWN THE BACK PADDOCK. We had to use Gelignite for all the Power Trenches as the Coral Reef was 6 inches under the dirt. The Septic Tank was interesting. We built it on site as it was enormous and thee Day the Park opened, we got caught out with by early arrivals........we were still inside it trying to get the formwork out when things started happening ......we ended up leaving $3,000 worth of Form Work inside it



with Comic Court Lodge adjacent where you see the Round Pen etc. and where I took the Photo from


Seen in the background "Fergussons Mill"

From 1855 until 1861 the Yankalilla district was humming with settlement and agricultural production in a way that would have given the theorists of South Australian settlement the belief that their theory of bringing ‘a middle class amongst the cultivators of. the soil’ was fulfilled. Ferguson had built his Normanville mill in 1856 to cater for the district’s abundant harvests. Lush, an astute local historian has remarked that

From 1855 until 1861 the Yankalilla district was humming with settlement and agricultural production in a way that would have given the theorists of South Australian settlement the belief that their theory of bringing ‘a middle class amongst the cultivators of. the soil’ was fulfilled. Ferguson had built his Normanville mill in 1856 to cater for the district’s abundant harvests. Lush, an astute local historian has remarked that The migrants in England found Normanville and hinterland with its comparatively high and reliable rainfall somewhat similar to their homeland and they quickly set to work growing wheat. This they did most successfully and profitably, with flour in the early boom years selling at £12 per bag, a considerable quantity being shipped from Normanville to Adelaide and Melbourne.

and in keeping with Barts Legacy, I re-built it as a Premier Racing Centre and hosted the Worlds Richest Quarter Horse Race there in 1982, where the American World Record got broken



" There is nothing You can't do if You keep having a Crack. Don't enter Your Nursing Home, wondering what it was You did all Your Life"



Yes, I have met Hundreds of these Folk and many linger in the Memory. One in particular was this Gentleman......

During the time of running 'Holidays on Horseback', I always had all Horses for Sale, all of the time, to keep them fresh. People could ride a Horse for 3 Days, get on well with it and then buy it. I sold around 3,000 of them through those Years.

One Day, a Grand Pappy from Cape Jervis, walked in the Gate, wanting to buy a Horse for His Learner Rider Kid. We showed him one for the enormous sum of $700 and advised Him on the subject. He came back several times over the next two Weeks but never purchased the Horse.

At the end of the Month, we visited the Gepps Cross Horse Sales where we used to buy a Truck Load each Sale. Bidding started in the Couldron and during the Auction, I glanced across the Ring to the other Side and there he was, bidding on a Horse which was knocked down to Him.

At the end of the Day, everyone collected their Horses and the Carpark was made of Cobble Stones. He got His new Horse, walked it to the Float, whereby it completely flipped at the speed of Light, smashing it's Head on the Stones and wityh Blood pouring out of it's Nose. We thought he would walk it back into the Doggers but no, he proceeded. Again the Horse threw itself over backwards and smashed it's Head. People came to help and a Mob pushed it into the Float, bound for Cape Jervis ....we never heard from Him again and always wondered how the Grand Daughter went???







In July, the traditional Falsterbo International Horseshow took place as usual. These photos are of Tørveslettens Stamina who has replaced Akeem Foldager as Andreas Helgstrand's premier Grand Prix horse. The pair took part in the FEI Longines Nations Cup dressage and the Danish team came 4th. These photos (scroll down to see them all) were taken over two days in Falsterbo and sent to us by photographer Crispin Johannessen.

Why is it necessary to publish these photos? We think it's because they tell us something about where horses find themselves in relation to equestrian federations, the legal systems, animal protection charities and other people and entities who have taken it upon themselves to be guardians of equine welfare. Are they really up to the task? And are they happy with the new normal represented by these photos?

Andreas H-------

No yellow cards were given out in Falsterbo this year. Chief Steward Eva Wiklund (Corrected: Jaana Alvespaar was the chief steward for jumping) saw no reason for it. She must have found this riding unforced and non-aggressive, since forced and aggressive use of the reins to induce hyperflexion is banned by the FEI and should cause the steward to intervene. We'll ask Eva Wiklund how she distinguishes between what we see in the photos and the banned kind of hyperflexion which relies on harsh rein aids.

We'll also ask the FEI whether this is really what it looks like when the horse's welfare is paramount as the federation's code of conduct demands.




An Olympic equestrian rider is one of a number of Hunter horse owners who say their horses have had negative reactions after being vaccinated for a deadly virus.

Hendra is a zoonotic virus – one that can be transferred from bats to horses then to humans. Little is known about how it’s transmitted.

The Hendra vaccination was registered in August with Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority after it underwent a limited release program from December 2012.

Olympian Heath Ryan, from Raymond Terrace, initially vaccinated all his 300 horses, an exercise that cost $80,000 to $90,000 each round of immunisations.

Immunisation consists of the initial dose, followed six weeks later by another dose, then biannually for the rest of the horse’s life.

Ryan has stopped immunising because he said the vaccinations were wicked.

He said the vaccine resulted in his horses experiencing significant side effects, including raised temperatures, inability to eat, severe swelling around the injection site and inability to put their necks down, which can be fatal.

“We experienced very unpleasant reactions, raised temperatures, suffering at the site of injection and couldn’t put their necks down,” Ryan said.

“Horses have died, horses haven’t been able to go [compete] again, and the Hendra vaccination has caused that reaction.
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“These horses probably had pre-existing conditions.”

He said owners would probably not even notice these pre-existing conditions because they would not normally affect the horse.

Ryan said he believed that many side effects had not been reported.

“No one reports it,” he said.

“It’s a vaccination to save human lives, not horses.

“If you do it [vaccinate] to a stallion it could affect their sperm, which will affect people’s livelihood.”

In early 2014, Equestrian Australia announced from July, horses would not be allowed to compete unless they had been vaccinated.

To date this has not been enforced because of the many complaints EA received from horse owners, but it is not off the table.

Australian champion and active member of Hunter Valley Show Jumping Club Gail Hunter said she was opposed to the vaccination.

She said all her competition horses had been vaccinated because she believed they wouldn’t be able to compete without it, a decision she regretted.

“We had three horses with severe reactions ... very swollen necks, couldn’t walk or eat for about three to five days,” Hunter said.

She also explained that one champion horse, Oh I Say, was severely affected and went from jumping 1.4 metres to not being able to jump 90cm.

“Her winning showjumping career ended, for she couldn’t jump any more,” Hunter said.

“Oh I Say became unco-ordinated and fell over small jumps, after winning at Sydney Royal Easter Show [she then] couldn’t jump 90cm after the Hendra vaccines.”

The champion mare was her son Jake Hunter’s horse, a Youth Olympic bronze medallist.

The horse was expected to have a successful career, a dream Hunter said was long gone.

Hunter has stopped giving her horses the vaccines and later found out that her young stock would no longer have been Olympic prospects if had they finished the full course, because of international quarantine laws.

Indonesia, Malaysia and China are among the countries that don’t allow Hendra vaccinated horses into the country, another reason Hunter regarded the drug as dangerous.
No side-effects reported to me: vet

The Hendra vaccination has come under scrutiny among the Hunter’s equestrian community with some horse owners complaining of severe side effects.

Maitland Greencross large animal veterinarian Rod Starr said that in the three or four years he had been administering the vaccine there had been no side-effects reported to him.

However, Dr Starr said the vaccination had only just been fully registered this August for use through the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and before that it had been a limited release vaccination.

He said it was important to keep in mind that illness 24 hours after the vaccination was potentially not a side-effect.

“A side-effect is what happens 12 to 24 hours after the vaccine is given,” Dr Starr said.

He emphasised the importance of vaccination, even though there had been no reported cases of Hendra in the Hunter Valley.

The virus was very dangerous to humans, he said.

“The virus is shed from the horse at least a day before they display sickness,” Dr Starr said.

Equestrian Australia introduced a by-law in July 2014, which meant horses could not compete unless they had been vaccinated.

EA revoked the by-law on February 2, 2015, but it is still under review.

“The panel responsible for this review is looking at all available data, as well as concerns raised by our members and clubs through the public submission period,” an EA spokesperson said.

“Individual horse owners are strongly urged to discuss vaccination with their vets to determine the best course of action for their situation.”

EA wanted to ensure the equestrian community that the welfare of horses and riders were at the centre of their decision-making process.


Two horse-drawn hay carts figured into a gruesome farming accident that took the life of a 6-year-old Amish boy in Chester County, Pa., on Wednesday, reports.

It happened in Honey Brook, Pa., as the boy was positioned between the two carts and became pinned as they passed each other along North Birdell Road, the website writes, adding:

When state police and emergency medical personnel arrived, the boy was alert and conscious. He was taken to Paoli Hospital, where his heart stopped in the operating room.

The boy had suffered massive internal injuries in the accident, and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The death has been ruled accidental.




The driver, a man in his 40s, was taken to The Alfred hospital in a stable condition with back injuries. Advertisement A tram driver, who witnessed the aftermath from route 67, said he saw the carriage on the footpath and a "huge" crowd gathered around the horse. "There was a horse being comforted," he said. "It was hard to see because I was in motion, but I saw a person lying on the footpath being attended to." The driver, who didn't want to be named, said the "dangerous" carriages caused him and other drivers "a lot of grief".

 "They are pretty much a law unto themselves, these carriage drivers," he said. "No one seems to police them." His complaints included drivers U-turning in front of trams, driving through super stops at night and talking on their mobile phones. Campaign manager at lobby group Melbourne Against Horse-Drawn Carriages, Kristin Leigh, said it was lucky the situation wasn't worse. "The horse could have killed a pedestrian very easily," she said. "A bolting horse is very dangerous in the CBD." Ms Leigh said that once a horse was spooked, its flight instinct kicked in and all its training went out the window. "So when you're in a city with horns and loud noises, it's quite amazing that it doesn't happen more often," she said. "This is not the first time something like this has happened and it won't be the last." The group, connected to the Animal Justice Party, is lobbying the Melbourne City Council to ban the carriages. It lists the horses' welfare, pedestrian safety and claimed breaches of the industry's code of practice among concerns The tram driver backed the group's call for a ban. However, Dean Crichton from Unique Carriage Hire, whose carriage was not involved in the incident, strongly denied the claims, calling the group "extremists". "The people from that group are uneducated with opinions - they know nothing about the industry," he said. Mr Crichton said the injured driver had been X-rayed and was not badly hurt, while all passengers on board were unharmed. He said the horses were also uninjured and were back working on Sunday. Instead of focusing on the horse-drawn carriage industry, Mr Crichton said tram drivers should look at their own practices. "I can count on one hand the number of incidents in the whole industry in 30 years," he said. "We have survived in the city for this long with an unblemished record because all our drivers are well trained and uphold common sense." Ms Leigh said the Animals Justice Party planned to run a candidate at the next Melbourne City Council elections. New York City's mayor Bill de Blasio has run into trouble with his animal activist backers after his promise to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city failed to eventuate almost two years into the job. He admitted this week he did not have the numbers at the council to impose the ban. The carriages were banned in Salt Lake City last year after the death of a horse.






Two horses used for carriage rides at Queen Victoria's former summer house have been seized by police over fears they were being mistreated.

The RSPCA is now caring for the horses which were formerly based at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, and which were said to be so thin they nearly had to be put down.

The animals were used to pull carriages around the estate, which was built in the 19th century as a private home for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Although the house is now under the care of English Heritage, the horses were owned by an independent contractor.

When English Heritage staff noticed the poor health of the horses, they called the RSPCA, and the contractor has now been sacked.

Osborne House is the former royal summer home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Inspectors found the seven animals living "in unsuitable conditions in stables that had not been cleaned out for months".

Two Clydesdale horses from the herd, named Claude and Reilly, were also underweight and covered in mites that had not been treated.

RSPCA inspector Mark Buggie said: "These horses had been left to suffer living in awful conditions. One of the horses was even standing on top of a pile of muck so high that his head was in the rafters.

"The defendant cooperated fully with our investigation and obviously regrets that the situation got as bad as it did."

Knight pleaded guilty to charges under section 4 and section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act, of failing to treat problems with the legs and feet of two horses and leaving the group of horses in unsanitary conditions.

She was also banned from keeping horses for life and received an order to complete 100 hours of unpaid work as well as a £250 fine alongside an £80 court surcharge.

All seven horses have now made a good recovery and been re-homed.



The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) received a call at just after 7am today to a track off the A605.

An ambulance crew, Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and Magpas Helimedix Air Ambulance attended to a report of a woman who had fallen off a horse.

They treated a woman in her late 20s who had a suspected broken leg. She was given pain relief before being taken to Peterborough City Hospital by land ambulance.

Magpas Helimedix (Doctor Raluca Ionescu and paramedic Chris Hawkins) also attended the incident.

Her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.







You are right, it does seem odd to see your horse trying to crib when you have never seen him do it before. Without a detailed description, I would wonder if it was, in fact, cribbing. If your horse truly was trying to crib, I would guess that he had cribbed at some time before this event. I agree that braiding the mane in the wash stall in and of itself should not be stressful, and if it were so stressful I would expect him to show other behavioral indications of discomfort with the situation before or along with the cribbing attempts. Believe it or not, sometimes behaviors go on for a long time without anyone noticing. We find that to be the case with horses in our hospital that are videotaped or monitored. That’s likely because horses can—and many do—behave very differently when people are present. When they’re alone, it’s clear they are uncomfortable or doing a stereotypy, but as soon as people are nearby, they look perfectly content and normal. The people go away, and the horse is back at it. If your horse was, in fact, cribbing, I bet if you set up a video to record his behavior when you are not there, you will see some cribbing.




Lameness is three times more likely to be caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis than problems in the foot, the findings of a major British survey show.

The horse’s foot is fundamental to soundness and performance but results from Britain’s annual National Equine Survey (NEHS) have shown consistently that limb lameness, as opposed to foot lameness, is the biggest syndrome affecting horses.

Results from the latest survey, conducted in May, showed a total of 18 percent of horses were recorded as lame. It found that 13.5 percent of horses were recorded as suffering with lameness such as osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease. This compares to 13.9 percent in 2014 and 14.8 percent in 2013. By comparison, foot lameness was recorded in 4.5 percent of returns, a similar figure to previous years.




The US Trotting Association is funding research to evaluate whether cobalt is a performance-enhancing substance. In doing so, it will assess its effects on red blood cell production.

The use of cobalt is worrying racing jurisdictions across the globe, with high-profile trainers in several countries under scrutiny after horses tested positive for levels of the substance in their blood or urine above thresholds imposed by administrators.

The fresh research will be carried out by Dr George Maylin, from Morrisville State College in New York, and Dr Karyn Malinowski and Dr Ken McKeever, both from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Maylin anticipates the study will start early in September.

“The purpose is to study the effects of cobalt on racehorses with the exercise physiology model used by Dr McKeever to study drugs such as EPO,” Maylin said.

“It’s the only way to assess the pharmacological effects with this type of compound. It will be a dose-response study to see if some level of cobalt has an effect on performance.”

The three scientists, in previous research backed by the association, determined a baseline for normal levels of cobalt in Standardbred horses.

“Most of the research has established that the naturally occurring levels in a horse are below 25 parts per billion, but occasionally can range as high as 70 parts per billion,” association president Phil Langley said.

“The problem remains that, other than establishing the natural levels, little is really known about the effects of cobalt on horses when it is given in excessive amounts.”

Racing jurisdictions have set thresholds to regulate the use of cobalt because it is known to be toxic in humans. However, there is currently no scientific evidence to determine an appropriate threshold for horses because dose-response studies have not been reported.

Langley described the recent action of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on cobalt as typical of many racing jurisdictions. The prevailing thought is a warning at readings above 25 parts per billion and a more severe penalty when the results exceed twice that.

In addition, there have been no controlled studies to document the purported performance-enhancing effects of cobalt. The new study aims to test the hypothesis that cobalt administration alters biochemical parameters relating to red blood cell production as well as markers of exercise performance.

Langley continued: “The important questions are whether cobalt can dramatically improve a horse’s performance or is detrimental to the horse’s health. That’s what this research aims to discover.”

Eight healthy, trained Standardbred mares will be used for the study. Before receiving any drug treatment, all animals will complete a series of baseline testing.

Testing will comprise measurements of maximal aerobic capacity and markers of performance, measurement of plasma volume and blood volume as well as lactate, erythropoietin (EPO), thyroid hormones and various blood hematological factors after dosing with cobalt.

Cobalt toxicity and its ability to increase red blood cell production in humans have been known for more than 50 years.+






Dear John,

I am writing to you for advice.

My goal is to be able to clearly and humanely communicate with my horse. 

I have so far been following academic horse training principles on the ground and under saddle with some success.

He shows some conflict/resistance behaviors such as grinding the bit, jogging, and can shy, and I know I am causing this tension as he is a totally chilled out personality on the ground. He always ends up more tense at the end of the ride compared to the start so I know something is going wrong. I feel that traditional English approaches to these issues do not work and I need a more clear-cut system. I have tried some of Warwick schillers training methods also which he responds well to.

I would love to be able to walk, trot, canter, stop, rein back, legyield on a loose rein but also be able to do this with contact without causing tension. Currently-  on a loose rein- he will jog at the walk.

I am in SA so would be willing to have a lesson for you to see first hand.

Thanks in anticipation,



Hi Amelia

I don't know what Academic Horse Training is????? The use of the word 'Academic' straight away tells me it has nothing to do with True Horsemanship.

You are not causing the tensions, the system is.

Where are you.?  Close by??????

I have a Breaker here at the moment (and not many more) so if you want to visit, let me know...............a reply to this question explained that this is the 'McLean system" (Tom Roberts system)

I explained to the Lady the aggrieved Horses I have met at the Hands of the system..........she never answed.







Thanks, yes, I kept that in mind (only collect in trot and canter) on the trail and did my best to get her to just lower and then released. Trot, we collected. Didn't do much canter at all. Was just wanting her to chill....what is it about the conformation?

  • Rump High

  • The Customary Poverty Lines caused by discomfort

  • Shoulder too straight,

  • Neck coming out of Body 6/10

  • Sacro starting to show wear. All caused by conformation




Hi John,
I had a windsucker (Montana) who is now deceased. I will try to review the details to the best my memory serves me.
He started Windsucking much later in life, perhaps around 7 or 8. At first it was only sporadic. Then became a real habit.
Montana was bred by myself & was a warmblood. Never stabled, spent his entire life roaming free in a very large paddock with more grass than any horse needed.

However, he was born a roarer, grade 4/5.
At the age of about 4, he had a tieback procedure, which failed. Then a second tieback procedure which again failed.
He eventually developed quite a huge mass on his neck in the gullet area to the left. The vet who had performed the 2 surgeries stated it was just scarring, there was nothing more that could be done.
I then took him to another vet at about the age of 5. He performed quite a risky procedure known as a subtotal arytenoidectomy. He also had his vocal chords removed.
The surgery was successful, but the vet explained to me, that the previous vet had really botched the tieback procedure & the mass in his neck was a mass of puss etc, as the first vet had stitched into the larynx.
This then resulted in a constant draining of pus externally via a naturally formed duct at the gullet site. This pus was minimal & manageable. Other management areas included, always feeding the horse on the ground. Always wetting his feed down. Always allowing the horse the ability to stretch down during floating. Never riding while the horse had any residual food in his mouth.
The risk was inhalation pneumonia.
Now, at some stage, years down the track, the pus stopped draining externally. As to whether it just healed or started draining internally, I do not know.
Then as I said, he just started Windsucking.
Was it around the same time the pus stopped? I can't remember any correlation.
I do remember that Montana's desire to windsuck was exponential directly after eating.

My experience with this has always made me question the cause of Windsucking in some horses.
As for some, I've always thought that the catalyst into the Windsucking habit is an irritation in the throat or larynx or oesophagus etc & could be allergy related or some other irritant.

I hope my story helps shed more light into the Windsucking phenomenon. As it certainly dispels the theory of boredom being the only catalyst.


Thanks Simone. Interesting Story. Yes, I never rule anything in or out and learn from all Life's events. I don't doubt Your hypothesis at all. Glad to Hear the Horse pulled through and has a lovely thinking Owner. Regards



Hi John and Linda! Thought I would send you a wee email to say hi I took part in a dressage clinic yesterday with an irish coach and I had a great time. She gave me some good pointers for improving our walk and commented on the Leo's nice canter (Which I can 100% say is thanks to the help of HP’s running reins and Linda’s DVD’s and advice from you both!!) She was surprised when I said that he didn’t have much of a canter a few months ago! We have been given work to make our walk much more purposeful so we shall see... I wanted to let you know that my new job in Edinburgh is going well, however, I won’t get 2 weeks off in October as Edinburgh only have 1 week holiday at this time - This was a surprise for me!! So I won’t be able to come over and visit you guys until next year, is that okay? Have been following you (that sounds creepy…) over Facebook and the blog and hope that Dulce is okay after her accident, and that you are getting to the bottom of Cappo’s mysterious problem. I hope you’re both well and Linda is enjoying riding again without the bolt sticking into her leg. All the best, Katyx  Scotland.


Well done Katy. You have done a mighty job since breaking Him in Yourself. Yes, Leg all better now, working non the crooked Muscles and one sided Body. Catch You in 2016





Hi John I have two lovely ponies, that both load beautifully. The younger of the two (3yo) mare Anzac QH/TB 14/2 – 15hh (Biccy), which has just been taught about the bridle, reins and mounting for me by Portland Jones in WA (Equine Insight). A knowledgeable and caring horse person. My problem is Biccy starts to paw, moments/minutes after I start driving. Portland suggested driving real slow (20-35kph) and crawling around corners, which I have tried along quiet streets, but after a couple of minutes she will start off again. As she is a clean slate, I do not want to make floating an ongoing problem for her, can you help?? I am a pleasure rider who does Adult Riding and trail rides, so floating is a necessity. I have done Parelli etc over the years, and take what works for me and mine from various sources, always for the benefit of my equine pals. I have read about hobbling, but as not a professional, am wary about trying it. I am currently not working, so I have plenty of time on my hands to try anything you can advise, to give my lovely girl the highest chance of success, without stress. My aim is to mould her into the same confident pony as my other one, Blaze. Who was raised on Parelli. (Cheeky and adorable and careful for his rider). Regards Lynne

Hi Lynne, I hear Your concern.

The system of training the Horse to accept 'Leg Restraints' and then the 30 or so future benefits from it, can be a worrisome thing for Horse Owners and I can understand completely, however, this is why I go to such lengths to teach for the Novice and to protect the Horses.  I do not get skin off, hair off and it is an all round Big Fat none event, due to training, facilities and the right equipment.

Hobbles are NOT to be used as a Dummy that You shove in the Mouth of a Kid and think that'll do it, they are to be used in a sophisticated manner of "advance and retreat' and 'reward and relief' To send training messages.

Pawing in the Float is one of those things, however, if You want to go the easy route first, first decide which Leg the Horse uses and then do this. You never know.







23rd August, 2015

Hi Folks. How are You all? Hope You had a good Week. Still Raining here, off and on, a few mill here and there and the Tanks are almost full now so ready for Summer.


Been a very busy Weekend, with the Victorian Dressage Queens and a lovely Young Royal Hit Gelding to be started. They first starting conspiring together at Dressage with the Stars and it took them this long to work behind the scenes to Corral me

I was going to write about this one Day, regardless, but WARMBLOODS are not simple Horses to Break in. They are higher on the degree of difficulty and should go to Professional Trainers. Most of them are arrogant, they know their own strength and size, they are Hell athletic and often think BUCK first when things get exciting. Take them seriously. Many have failed starts and end up heading in the wrong direction.


No two Horses are the same and they ALL should have an individual approach, to cater for their psychological needs at the time. Systems should not be set in stone, but constantly evolving and even Today, I am inventing new tweeks on almost every Horse. Here is this Young Man, on Day Two, after an easy Day Yesterday due to his 800k Float ride.

This one is a more re-active Young Horse.





Meanwhile, Mrs. HP and the Girls were off to an Indoor for Lessons with Cynthia ( Mrs. HP's Cousin from Holland) and so a fun time for all. There is no limit to the Horse Games these Dressage Girls will endure :)

Cynthia is now based in Melbourne and is Teaching and running Clinics full time.

Now why is it that everyone want's to get on "MY HORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

The Girl is coming along nicely, in both Body and technique..........the Horse I mean



Very disappointing, despite lal the efforts and much expense, the Boy is still not right and we can't put our Finger on the Problem yet. The Mission continues, with Vets' and others. Maybe Melbourne next for an MRI. Such a shame as Mrs. HP wanted to ride at the Adelaide International.




To Whom it may concern,

Hello my name is ---------and I need some serious help .

It was complicated by the woman(-------) who let me use her bank account to purchase him as she had online banking and was already buying horses from an organisation called depot horses in transit .

There is another women(--------) (maiden name -------) involved in this. Both these 2 women  worked hard to convince me to buy another horse saying it would help with my extreme complex post traumatic stress disorder to which my clinical forensic psychologist agreed as I had owned horses before I wasn’t exactly willing to buy another horse as I had had my last horse stolen someone had exchanged my horse for their dead horse my horse was branded  and a live the night before . These 2 woman had even selected a filly even though I wanted another horse number 411 2yr old. I had finally agreed and gave Helen the money to where she hand me a print out of bank receipt . My renewed friendship with Ms ----- didn’t last long as she was still up to old tricks . ---- went on holiday with her husband and i looked after her dog birds and cat whilst she was away now the filly’s id number for the depot was 360 a 3yr old quater horse filly taught to lead and tie and was $440 in price .

Whilst Helen was away I had refused to renew the friendship with ------ again as 2 times was enough. In the first week into ------ holiday my horse had been shipped to a trainer D------- , whilst I was organizing with a worker for the depot Pauline to get jack to write up a waiver disclaimer for me to sign so I could go see the filly and name her on his property this was a Tuesday and she wouldn’t be seeing jack until Thursday Friday and when we next spoke she said jack had laughed and said I could cuddle and do what I liked it had nothing to do with him my horse was at ------ there were only 3 of us that new my horse’s id number myself and the other 2 women, another horse was shipped out the same day belonging to a Toni thrum which was now over the other side of Melbourne to which Toni had no knowledge of the only thing in common was that Sheryl new both horse’s ids and new before us that our horses were gone both horses were thankfully returned to the depot I organised a name for her with Pauline and that was Saphire for security . I called it attempted theft then and still do because who ever had done this could have sent my horse anywhere . ------- continually blocked me when I wanted to report it to police then convinced me to wait until she returned from holiday and then her attitude was I got my horse back whats my problem .helen still had a horse at the depot with my filly they were both shipped from the depot when she got home as we had agreed to mine for handling and the same for hers and Helen without my knowledge or consent organised for Danny to break the filly in as a supprise for me so that I could go ridding with her. Helen and I went over in my car shortly after they had arrived and my filly turned into a 9 to 10 yr old mare that had recently had a foal removed and Helens horse was not a gelding but an entire boy she phoned the depot and traded him for a mare and I personally had to send txt msgs threatening legal action to get them to even speak or do anything I spoke to jack and he finely agreed to trade the mare for 411 2yr old gelding liver chestnut 4 white socks conjoining star stripe and snip with white bottom lip. My horse head to stay an extra week nearly 2 because her horses weren’t ready and she wasn’t going over to pick up just one. When we did get the horses home Danny boy was what I needed any way things went from bad to worse I didn’t want Sheryl anywhere near my horse as as kids she was violent to the horses she rode and had since being back in my life had bragged how she and a partner had trained thoroughbreds and had had a problem with a horse jumping out of a float so they had backed the trailer up a pier to the very end in Melbourne dropped the tailgate and let the horse jump into the ocean to teach it a lesson .I still wanted to go to the police over the attempted theft Helen was un willing to support this and as far as she was concerned she could do what she wanted no matter what I said anyway our friendship ended and as I had a separate personal loan with her before I bought my horse to which I have never missed a payment even uping the amount being paid to get it paid quicker she tried to take possession of aride on mower to which was bought out of personal loan and wouldn’t let her have she then locked me out of my horses paddock with the help of Sheryl d----- -- ----------- and a ------ I was onto the police straight away now I own Danny boy I paid for him and his training feed and payed her the agistment  fees she asked for  can you please call me on ------- I am having to take a break as it is hard typing through tears I will send another email with the rest of what has happened yours thankfully-----------



The Case of the Thoroughbred Racehorse sold as a Warmblood. Victoria. Update/

The Vendors' deny misleading the Purchaser, alleging that they told Her it was a Thoroughbred (and yet is was advertised as a Warmblood) The Purchaser has done Her Homework however and found the original Seller and the ADVERT for when it was sold to the now Vendor. It was advertised as a Thoroughbred and sold as a Thoroughbred. So I wonder why it is now advertised as a Warmblood Folks?????? The Case will proceed to Court.



Anky wins the Reining at the EU Champs.



" Pace Your Young Horses to only what they can absorb. Don't ever have work become pressure. Take Your time, take mini time outs and never have one sweat badly. Knock off prior to that state"





TOTILAS RETIRED - what was the real reason?????????????

The leading dressage stallion Totilas has been retired from competition after it was revealed the horse has an edema in the bone of one of his hind legs, according to a statement from the German Equestrian Federation .

The 15-year-old was withdrawn from the individual competition last week, following the team’s bronze medal performance.
A statement from Totilas’s owners revealed the horse was to be retired.

They said that an examination revealed the edema, which was being treated by a team of veterinarians “and as a result we collectively came to the decision, Totilas will not come back into competitive sport in the future.”

They added “How much the international dressage sport owes to this horse is almost impossible to put into words.”

It was expected Totilas would still be available for breeding.

Totilas' first sons have been licensed, and his progeny continues to sell for record prices, according to the German equestrian federation.



A woman is suing a police force after an officer's horse bit her finger off.

Pernilla Ekberg was petting the police horse outside a New York bar when the horrific incident happened.

The 28-year-old had been socialising with friends at Max Fish bar, in Manhattan's Lower East Side, when she stopped the animal, the New York Daily News reported.

The Swedish national approached the NYPD officer and asked for permission to pet the horse, according to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

But when she reached out, the animal "chomped down on her hand, bit off the tip and spit it out on the floor", Ekberg's lawyer said.

Pernilla Ekberg had the top of her finger bitten off by a NYPD police horse
Injury: The horse bit her finger off and spat it out

Ekberg claims the police officer panicked and fled without offering any help.

Her boyfriend retrieved the tip of her right ring finger and put it on ice but doctors at Bellevue hospital were unable to save it.

Lawyer Eliot Bickoff said the injury is a "significant disfigurement" because Ekberg is right handed.

According to the lawsuit, as an analyst of marketing campaigns, she needs her full right hand to type, hold a pen, interact with people, all of which has been affected by the injury.

She has nerve damage and spent months in intensive rehab working to restore her fine motor skills which are still impaired, her lawyer said.

A city Law Department spokesman said the case was being examined, the Daily News reported.




A Canterbury family is in "utter shock" after a mother-of-two died after a horse riding accident.

Nicola Pellett, 47, suffered a head injury and never regained consciousness after the accident at North Canterbury's Mandeville sports grounds, near her Swannanoa home, on August 6.

Nicky Begg said her sister-in-law was riding with a friend when the horse reared. The friend, who is a nurse, did CPR before Pellett was flown to Christchurch Hospital in a Westpac rescue helicopter.

She was placed into an induced coma and died five days later, on August 11. A funeral would be held on Monday afternoon.

Pellett's husband Willie and their sons Cameron, 13, and Joshua, 19, were in "utter shock". Family and horses were central to Pellett's life, Begg said.

"Everyone is in complete shock.

"This woman was so central to the community and the horse riding community here, you wouldn't believe the flowers and food flowing into this house, the kindness of people is incredible."

Pellett was involved in her sons' rugby, swimming and judo, but horse riding was her passion, she said.

"Horse riding was central to her life, she competed in dressage to a highly competitive level, she was doing really well with that."

In 2013, Pellett helped save neighbour James Glen after he was pinned under an 800kg horse in a freak accident.
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Pellett arrived and tried to lift the horse, but it was too heavy. They used a piece of 4x2 timber to lever the animal's neck so it could sit up, releasing enough pressure for Pellett to drag her neighbour to safety.

Figures within the horse riding community have taken to Facebook page to pay tribute.

"So so sad that this happened to such a lovely lady. I so appreciated Nickys friendship at school and at the Rangiora dressage. My thoughts are with the boys and husband and her close family," one friend wrote.

Another said Pellett was "a much loved woman" and "Swannanoa won't be the same without her".

Pellett, who worked as an accounts administrator for her husband's engineering company, was a member of the Eyreton horse riding club. She had seven of her own horses.




Horses have nerves removed so they feel no pain racing on hard streets

As the sun rises over Palermo, a stretch of asphalt is transformed into a racetrack where yet another clandestine horse race is set to begin. The early hour, with its quiet roads and shuttered shops, provides a haven from passersby and, most importantly, the police. Horses paw the ground, moving nervously, spooked by the shouts of spectators and the sound of car horns.

Welcome to Fast and Furious, Sicilian-style, where horses are the cars that are exploited, abused, doped, forced to run to exhaustion and then thrown away. The past three years have seen a dramatic rise in illegal horse racing on the streets of Sicily, according to police. Illegal racing has spread around the island and spawned its own own Internet sites, photos, YouTube videos, fan pages and songs dedicated to champions.

The latest report by the Italian Anti-Vivisection League, one of the country’s largest animal welfare associations, offers a grim tally: over the last 18 years in Southern Italy, police stopped 111 illegal races, confiscated 1,238 horses and reported 3,344 people to the judicial authorities (46 so far in 2015). The most recent police operation was on July 22 last year when authorities stopped a race at 7 a.m. in a suburb of Palermo. The following day, the body of a horse was found near the motorway, a few hours after another illegal race in the Sicilian capital.

“Unfortunately, police forces are barely scratching the surface of the illegal racing iceberg, which in this city is seen by many as a normal part of everyday life,” Ciro Troiano, a manager at the Anti-Vivisection League told TIME. “Since 2013 there has been a dangerous decline in operations against illegal racing. And yet during the same year there was a massive increase of reports from citizens and of videos uploaded to YouTube by participants.”

The races’ early start times are deliberate. “That’s when policemen go home after the night shift,” says Giovanni Guadagna, founder of Geapress, a Sicilian press agency for news on the protection of animals. A delay of several minutes in police response is enough time for organizers to stage a race, where, according to police, the value of a single bet ranges from $100 to $5,000, with sweepstakes of up to $25,000. Riders on scooters and motorbikes pursue the horses, goading them to the finish line by sounding their horns and shouting. Races are held on an uphill slope to avoid injuries to horses that have already had their foot nerves surgically severed so they feel no pain racing fast on hard asphalt.

For years, illegal horse racing has been the prize business of the ruthless Sicilian mafia, the Cosa Nostra. “It’s palpable that races are managed by the criminal underworld,” says state prosecutor Amedeo Bertone in an interview with TIME. “Individuals reported to the authorities are often part of the criminal system. Some have previous convictions for mafia association. However, racing is not just about the money, it’s also a hobby for Sicily’s wise guys who have always had an avid interest in horse racing and betting.”

Historically, horse racing was the most popular sport in Italy’s gambling industry. But, according to Snai, the leading Italian gambling business, over the last four years, 40 percent of legal stables have shut down. Former racing champions have been bumped from the glory of the track to the shadows of asphalt — and worse. On the morning of Sept. 30, 2012, in Palermo the body of a horse was found sprawled on the roadside in a pool of blood, its head smashed in. A label around its neck bore its name: It’s A Dream. The horse was the son of Varenne, a celebrated racer in harness. An investigation concluded It’s A Dream died in an accident while being exercised for an illegal race.

Keeping horses in legal stables is expensive — around $2,000 a month — so horses are kept in cheap, illicit stables. Police estimate there are more than 300 underground stables in Palermo alone, usually small units inside garages hidden in the labyrinth of alleys and courtyards. Conditions are grim in the stables, which are dark and devoid of drainage; horses are typically immobilized by ropes attached to their bit rings, anchored to the walls on each side. A dilapidated stable discovered last year was filled with an array of doping agents and antiinflammatories, injected into the animals to enhance their run.

If their life is awful, their end is abysmal. In 2013, three miles outside Palermo in the Pezzingoli countryside, the charred remains of a horse were found. Investigators say it had been butchered when it could no longer compete.

But there’s money to be made from death too. In March 2013, authorities discovered an illegal slaughterhouse in Ballarò in Palermo specializing in horsemeat, a delicacy in the area. Authorities believe criminals coerced local businesses into purchasing the racehorse meat for food. “It’s a business within the business,” Troiano says. “And I don’t think Ballarò is an isolated case. The health risk is extremely serious as doping substances injected into horses are harmful to people.”

The health of the horses and humans is a minor concern for the mafia. But under the cover of each night, horse owners and gamblers continue to prepare for the next short and explosive race, which will probably finish before the authorites become aware that it started.



Lauren De Gruchy stripped off to launch Slow Down For My Horse earlier this month - and it has since made headlines around the world

Slow Down For My Horse Campaign Lydia Jade, 19, from Pontypool, stripped off for the Slow Down For My Horse Campaign
Naked rider: Lydia Jade, 19, is one of those who have stripped off for the Slow Down For My Horse Campaign

The woman behind the nude horse riding phenomenon has revealed the reasons behind her clothes-off campaign.

Lauren De Gruchy stripped off to launch Slow Down For My Horse earlier this month - and it has since made headlines around the world.

The campaign has been featured in publications as diverse as the US version of playboy to UK equestrian magazine Horse and Hound.

But it all started when Lauren posted a picture of herself in her underwear next to her horse Starlight.

Since then pictures have been flooding in, from both men and women across the world, including a number of people from Wales who are stripping off to support the cause.

She told Wales Online: "I decided to take part in the campaign to try raise awareness towards drivers and other people when horses are out on the roads.

"Due to a bad experience in the past with riding my horse on the roads I find this subject overly under looked within the community and understand it's an even bigger matter worldwide.

Slow Down For My Horse Campaign Sophie Westerman, 23 and from Wrexham got involved with the Slow Down For My Horse Campaign due to her job as a horse riding instructor
Safety first: Campaigners like Sophie Westerman hope drivers will slow down

"I really don't understand how sparing just a little longer on your journey by passing SLOW and WIDE could be such a hassle for some people.

"They would rather risk not only the horse and the riders lives but their own life too by not slowing down.

"I think the more awareness we make the more people may understand the actual risks they may be taking when not slowing down.

"Horses were here way before cars and are living breathing animals with their own minds.

"I remember once my old horse Casper and I were hacking along a road when a car came zooming up behind us causing us to swerve to avoid hitting us and clipped the front end of a parked car on the other side of the road.

"Another time a car came really close to my horses back end causing him to become spooked and kicking their wing mirror off and they sped off.

"It was luckily nobody got hurt.
"My boyfriend had a shoot done too and he isn't horsey at all which I think is fab."

Sophie Westerman, 23 and from Wrexham, got involved due to her job as a horse riding instructor.

She said: "It's vital to keep my lessons as safe as possible when we go on the road.

"Also, as a mother, my own daughter will be riding on her pony soon and I want her to be safe on the roads.

Slow Down For My Horse Campaign Lydia Jade, 19, from Pontypool stripped off for a picture with her boyfriend Gareth Blanks for the Slow Down For My Horse Campaign.

Cute couple: Lydia managed to get her fella Gareth Blanks to strip off

"I think the campaign is a fantastic idea, it has got so much coverage already, even Playboy has covered a small story on it and that's in America.

"So it's just getting the word out there to the drivers who think 'horses shouldn't be on the road'.

"I've had some very close calls in the past, but luckily none where my horse has been hit.

"The worst was probably when I was around 14.

"I was on a quiet village road with my pony, wearing a high viz jacket, and a car came through with music blasting.

"I pulled over to let him past and he must have easily been going 80 mph.

"He then decided to hold his horn when he was going past, which caused my pony to bolt into a post and throw me off so I was knocked out for a few seconds.

"Luckily the pony is greedy so when I was passed out he just ate grass.

"But if she hadn’t been eating and she ran off, the road can get quite busy, so heaven forbid what would have happened."

Lorry driver Paul Jenkins, 51, from Neath, has also taken part in the campaign after his wife Jacqueline and daughter, 19-year-old Bethan, persuaded him to.

Jacqueline said: "My daughter has a horse named Juke and she has been riding since she was 13 and she often rides through country lanes and main roads to go to her pony club.

"A lot of local people around by us are respectful and drive slow through the lanes because they know a horse could be around every corner, but other people can be very heavy footed and it can be quite frightening.

"It's quite a tricky situation because people tend to beep their horn when they're going around sharp bends but this is the direct opposite of what they should do if there is horses around.

Slow Down For My Horse Campaign Lorry driver Paul Jenkins, 51, from Neath, was persuaded by his wife and daughter to take part in the Slow Down For My Horse Campaign
Joining in: Lorry driver Paul Jenkins persuaded by his wife and daughter to take part

"My daughter has been quite lucky because she hasn’t had any bad accidents but she has had to ask people to slow down with hand signals many times.

"My husband is quite shy so it took a little bit of persuading to get him to do it.

"But you'd do anything for your children and he was more than happy to do it in the end.

"He's a lorry driver so he sees a lot of things on the roads and that's a big part of why he wanted to get involved."

Jen Petrie, 29 from Holywell, took part because she thinks it is important to raise awareness to road users.

She said: "I've been riding since I was 11 years of age and have witnessed several road users who have been very inconsiderate towards us horse riders.

"About eight years ago my horse was spooked by a wagon driver who refused to slow down.

"When I signalled to ask him, he beeped his horn and revved faster, frightening my horse and causing him to bolt off without me on the side of a very busy road.

"I struggled to collect him back up while the wagon driver found it funny to race me startling my horse even more.

"This resulted in my horse falling over and landing on me before getting up and galloping off and leaving me on the road side.

"The driver disappeared but luckily a passer by came to my aid.

"As a result, I slipped a disc and my horse twisted his pelvis.

"It took me years of hard work and patience to get my horse back hacking on the roads without him being spooked.

"I feel today that more and more road users are less cautious around horses and forget what danger they can be putting themselves into as well as the horse riders.

"I therefore think road users need to be more alert and cautious when they see us horse riders on the roads."




SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Humane Society of the United States has purchased three billboards in Shelbyville to raise awareness about illegal horse soring.

Soring occurs when a horse’s legs are intentionally injured to make the animal have a higher gait.
Horse soring billboard
Courtesy: WKRN

The billboards have been put up in advance of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration scheduled for Aug. 26 through Sept. 5.

A federal Department of Agriculture report showed almost double the number of soring violations at the Shelbyville competition last year compared with 2013.

Accusations of soring flared in 2011 when the Humane Society released a secretly filmed video. It showed trainers applying caustic substances to horses’ legs and hooves, then beating them to make them stand.

Officials have taken strides to restore confidence in the industry, but critics say soring is still a problem.




A horsebox crash near Stansted Airport caused traffic chaos on Sunday (16 August).

A silver horsebox was traveling southbound on the M11 at 9.10am when it struck the central reservation between Junction 8 (Bishop’s Stortford) and Junction 9 (Saffron Waldon).

Police closed one lane of the motorway in both directions while the road was cleared.

There were lengthy delays in both directions.

Officers believe those travelling inside the horsebox were not hurt in the accident.

“The horsebox had struck the central reservation, blocking one lane,” a spokesman for Essex Police told H&H.

“No other vehicle was involved in the collision and no animals or people are thought to have been injured.

“One lane was closed northbound and one lane was closed southbound while the scene was cleared.

“Officers from Highways England took over the situation at about 10.45am.”
Loose horses

The accident occurred on the anticlockwise carriageway at Junction 9 at Leatherhead.

The two horses travelling inside the trailer escaped when it fell onto its side and ran loose on the motorway.

Surrey Police arrived at 9.40am and one of the horses was caught close to the trailer.

The second horse was captured almost a mile away after running loose up the carriageway.

Traffic was at a standstill as two lanes were closed between Junction 9 and Junction 8 and the motorway was blocked between Junction 8 and Junction 7.

The owners of the horses, who were travelling in the 4×4 that had been pulling the trailer, were not hurt. The horses were treated by vets.




Revered British actor Terence Stamp escaped with his life on the set of his new film Bitter Harvest after a horse lost its balance and fell directly on top of him.

The Superman star, 77, reveals he was wrapping up filming on the George Mendeluk drama in Ukraine when the accident happened, leaving him crushed under the weight of the beast.

He tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, "My horse had a habit, when I brought it to a stop, of lifting its front legs up.

"On my last day, I brought it to a stop but slid off the back... I looked up and saw that this horse, which weighed half a ton, had lost its balance and was going to fall directly on me.

"It fell on my chest and pelvis. If it had landed any further up, it would have killed me. It broke my pelvis in six places, two ribs and ripped a tendon in my arm."

Stamp was convinced he would die as the terrifying incident unfolded before his eyes, and the only thing he was worried about was the headlines in the tabloids the next day.

He says, "I always imagined that my last thoughts would be somehow profound, but what went through my mind was, 'Distinguished actor killed by horse's a**e'."

Stamp goes on to admit he declined to take legal action over the near-death accident, quipping, "If I was American I might have taken this further, but I just couldn't be bothered."



A horse-rider found in a Horley stream had died from drowning, an inquest has heard.

Sandra Jane Underhill, 50, who lived in the town, was found unresponsive in a stream near Smallfield Road, on March 7.

The inquest into her death at Woking Coroner's Court on Monday learned she was found face down in the stream by a walker.

Her horse was loose nearby and in an agitated state but there were no suspicious circumstances.

Emergency services were called shortly before 11am and attempts were made to resuscitate her at the scene.

Ms Underhill, who was known for riding on her own horse, was then taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting, but she could not be resuscitated, the inquest heard.

Coroner Dr Karin Englehart said: “We don't know what exactly happened but it has been suggested her horse had slipped and she had fallen off.

“Nobody will ever know because there were no witnesses.”

Ms Underhill managed the yard and stables at Brickhouse Farm in Blindley Heath, and was described by friends as a “beautiful lady” who would be “sadly missed”.

The inquest heard Ms Underhill died from drowning, but Dr Englehart recorded an open verdict as it was unknown what happened in her final hours.






With grit and determination, the men used the quad, ropes and ladders. They managed to get straps securely around the horse and pulled with quad and muscle power until the horse was finally on solid ground. The men believe that the only reason the horse lived was because his front legs remained on ground outside of the sinkhole. This prevented the entire horse from sinking and submerging into the hole.

One of the men, Ken Drinkall, 33, fell into the dangerous quagmire, getting stuck up to his shoulders, and it became necessary for the group to save him, too. That hole was so deep and troublesome that both horse and man could easily have disappeared without a trace.

After everyone was safe and on solid ground, they put a stick into the sinkhole and measured the depth at 10 feet. They all agreed that they could not think of a worse way for an animal to die.

Bolstered by success in their first large animal rescue, they understand the importance of knowing how to save trapped animals. In fact, they are collectively considering the formation of a rescue service for trapped animals. There is a real need in their area, especially with the existence of all the marshes and bogs. They plan to hold an appeal to secure necessary equipment. Given proper gear, they could fill in some of the sinkholes and stop “70-80 percent of these things happening.”



A horse brought in from Sudbury is dead after it was hit by a car near the Ancaster Fairgrounds Friday morning. According to police, the collision happened just after 6 a.m. in the area of Trinity Road South and Highway 52 South. The horse – which had kicked through its stable overnight – wandered into the roadway into the path of an oncoming Volkswagen. The driver couldn't avoid it, and slammed into the horse, which died shortly after being struck, police say. "The horse died shortly after the impact and did not appear to suffer in pain," Hamilton police said in a statement. "It's a very unfortunate accident for all involved." The driver of the car wasn't injured. Police say a woman from the Sudbury area had brought in the horse for a horse show at the Ancaster Fairgrounds.






 Horses could be more “sustainable” athletes if we prepare them better for competitions and monitor their health and fitness regularly, one German equitation scientist said. And we can improve their sustainability even more we rode better, he said.

Average “operational life”—meaning the time horses are actively competing—hovers around three to six years for many sport horses, said Arno Lindner, PhD, of Arbeitsgruppe Pferd in Jülich, at the 2014 International Society for Equitation Science Conference. And considering that horses will live 25 to 30 years, that operational life represents a surprisingly small percentage of the total lifespan.

Horses’ operational life, according to discipline, is an average of:

Four years for dressage horses;
Three years for Thoroughbred racehorses;
Three-and-a-half years for show jumpers; and
Six years for eventing horses—but 30% of eventers don’t compete two years in a row.

To improve these rates, Lindner suggested improved conditioning programs based on reliable scientific studies. “We need to always be questioning ourselves, ‘Is this conditioning program I’m using actually doing anything positive for my horse?’ ” he said. Good conditioning programs should last six to eight weeks prior to competitions, and horses should go through conditioning programs two or three times per year.

Owners can get information about good-quality conditioning programs from reputable sources such as recognized trainers who rely on scientific data, he said. However, owners should be aware that not all trainers and riding instructors are up-to-date on what’s best for the horse.

“It’s a known problem,” he said. “If we want to improve the rider’s knowledge, we first need to improve the knowledge of the riding instructors.” Instructors and trainers who follow science-based education programs are most likely to be able to help owners develop conditioning programs that encourage sustainability.

Lindner stressed that, even if a conditioning program comes from a reliable source, it’s still best to monitor horses’ fitness and response to training using specific physical and laboratory tests. The physical testing can be learned through the same science-based instructors or qualified veterinarians who know how to look for appropriate muscle development and bone strength, he said. Laboratory testing includes primarily analyses of blood lactate levels, which should gradually increase during workouts. If they’re increasing too fast, it means the horse isn’t fit enough.

Standardization in testing is key, Lindner added. “You’ve always got to be testing under exactly the same conditions, or your results won’t mean anything,” he said. “And always compare your results to standardized results from exactly the same kind of test so you can have a proper reading to go from.”

But it’s not just the horse we need to make sustainable. Riders, too, should go through a proper conditioning program, Lindner said. And if they can’t (or won’t) do it for themselves, they should do it for their horses’ health.

“Riders are the athletes with the least endurance, and many have muscular imbalances,” he said. “They have to do some gymnastics to get better muscular strength, better reflexes, and more controlled strength, as well as improved flexibility and coordination. They also need better endurance. These exercises will help relieve the horse of a lot of problems coming from the rider, like asymmetry.”

Additionally, Lindner recommended that horses be kept on science-based feeding programs and in science-based housing structures that improve welfare and health, noting that horses kept at pasture tend to have better fitness levels and fewer airway problems than their stalled counterparts.

Horses that are well-prepared for competitions are those that will be most sustainable, Lindner said.

“People are often worried about overtraining their horses,” he said. “But most horses are not overtrained. Most horses are undertrained. Then they go to competitions without enough preparation, and then at the competition they have to give it their all, and they don’t always have it. And this is how they get injured.”

While having a more sustainable athlete clearly makes sense, the horse industry itself doesn’t necessarily encourage sustainability, said Lindner.

“New horses have to come into the sport, so older horses have to move out through retirement,” he said. “It seems almost cynical, but it’s just business.”

One solution he suggested would be a new competition circuit for seasoned horses. “We could have a kind of special, ‘elite’ category for horses that have competed for at least five years, for example, to encourage the sustainability of the individual horse.”

By following a reliable training program (and verifying that it’s working through testing), keeping ourselves fit as riders, and ensuring good veterinary care and husbandry, we can hope to have equine athletes that last far beyond the averages, Lindner said.



The owner of a horse which died after being stabbed and sexually violated has made an emotional appeal for information.

Zoe Wright says her 'beautiful' horse Blaze was stabbed twice in the chest.

In an emotional Facebook post, she also says the animal - which had been in her family for 18 years - was sexually violated.

Ms Wright has now offered a £1,000 reward to help catch the "low life scum" who carried out the sickening attack in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Zoe Wright Zoe Wright

Blaze had been in Ms Wright's family for 18 years

Writing on Facebook, she said: "On the 16th / 17th of August between the hours of 9pm and 6am someone came into my horse's field and stabbed my beautiful old girl Blaze twice in the chest before sexually violating her.

"Blaze was put to sleep after succumbing to her injuries. Anyone in the area (New Pitsligo) please check you horses, if they have any suspicious cuts or you see anyone acting oddly please contact the police.

The horrific attack took place in New Pitsligo in Aberdeenshire

"My lovely Blaze was the nicest pony, she has been part of our family for 18 years, the complete low life scum who did this to her needs to face justice for what they have done. "

Police have now launched an investigation into the incident in the New Pitsligo area which took place between 9pm on Sunday night or Monday morning.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: "We have received a complaint about an injury to a horse in New Pitsligo and we are investigating."




More than 50 animals were removed from a Clark County, Wisconsin, farm over the weekend after the animals were found in filthy conditions.

Six horses and 43 dogs were taken from the property after the Clark County Sheriff’s Office investigated a complaint that the animals had no water, food or shelter at the Pine Valley farm, WEAU reports.

After obtaining a search warrant, officials found the dogs were living in a residence that had feces and urine covering the floor, and had an “overwhelming smell of ammonia,” KARE 11 notes. Six of the horses on the property were found to be in poor health.

The dogs were brought to the Clark County Humane Society, reports note, while the Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation was called to take care of the horses.

The organization described the condition of the horses on its Facebook page, noting they were thin and in “really tough shape.”

One horse – a 20-year-old mare – was found in “horrible condition,” the organization said. The animal was “a skeleton stretched over a frame of bones, feet in bad shape and she is covered in lice and has almost no hair left on her body.”

An update on the organization’s Facebook page Thursday said the horses are “doing well” and starting to “look a little better,” noting they are “appreciative of having food and water.” All the horses have “eaten every bite of every meal we have put in front of them and they are drinking tons of water,” the update says.

The sheriff’s office is recommending the 53-year-old property owner face criminal charges, WEAU notes.

“We’ve had sort of an ongoing problem relating to dogs and horses with this particular person. I don’t know that we’ve come across, in this county, this type of case, to this magnitude,” Clark County Humane officer Steven Struensee told the news station.







Hi John

Just wondering if you can help.

I have one of your market harbourers (which I used when I had a Standy and it was great);  I now have a young TB and an older TB (both mares

3yr old is a lovely wee thing, with a gentle and loving nature…..but of late has started using her play time (rearing and kicking out) in riding time! J

There is no intended maliciousness that I can see and I have had her feet, teeth and back checked and saddle re-fitted so I don’t believe it it medical… I think she is just being a teenager!  I have also changed her bit from a nut-cracker snaffle to a roller (imitation myler type) bit as she was prone to getting her tongue over the bit at one point.  We seem to have stopped that at least.  She has not had much training, but is soft in the mouth and I have been doing lateral movement with her, both in saddle and on the ground.  She can, and does hold her head beautifully, but tends to be over the top of the bit at times – I guess learnt with her previous owner…. I have not had her for too long (seven months) and of the time I have had her, she has been recovering from a rather severe leg cut (now all healed and does not appear tender on palpation).

Ok – so my question is.. for the 3yr old chestnut,  if I start using the market harbourer – how long do you think it might be needed for.  ie. Is this something I should resign myself to using for a year or more before being confident the rearing will be out-learnt….. or just a short-term thing?  Will it in fact teach her to be a head-down horse instead of a rearer?….. She only seems to rear when she stresses and THINKS she doesn’t have a way out… so she goes up.   I am working on the ground with her and teaching her that there are other ways to release (if she is feeling stressed)…..  She only tends to stress when she is cramped for room – ie. Another horse crowds her, or she comes into a tight space when out on a ride.  The other time she has reared is when she didn’t get her own way….

I have dealt with each time (five in total) – by getting back on (came off twice!) – and riding her through the next attempt.  When I stayed in the saddle, I used one reign stop until she yielded and stood and then released her for forward movement only.  Each time she displayed the desire to go up again, I would one-reign stop her until she settled.  She did not rear again on those rides, however it does appear to be her default stress escape!  Any suggestions?

Also, for use on my older mare (15 year old), who seems to be battling to build top line despite good feed (extra protein etc), feet – now shod, teeth being checked, saddle being re-fitted, exercise increased including a lot more hill work….. (I am working on my riding and instructor is making sure that I am doing the right thing…. J - so I don’t believe it is all me, although some might be).  I am wondering  how long before I might notice a difference – if there is going to be one, in her top line?  What would you usually expect in say two weeks if she is being ridden and trained in it 3 times per week.  1 x round yard work (approx. 1 hour), 1 x dressage lesson (1 hour) and one times out-ride (usually 1.5 – 2.5 hours) mostly in sand (our location).

Kind regards and I hope Cappo is over his health issues now.


HI There. The Naughty little One :)

These are such big questions and a Photo of Her would have been helpful. If one is serious, and the Horse has a Neck anything like this......


then the time should be taken to turn that Neck around, in the Round Pen, via out Running Reins System and the accompanying 45 Page E-Book

Results should look like this with the serious Owner who puts in the hard Yards

Turn the Neck around and the Mind will start thinking lower. The Muscle Tone will dictate lower and the Market Harborough is Your backup Tool, should the Rider not quite be ready to get round 100% of the time asked. x

6 Weeks should show you obvious improvement. Here is one at 3 Weeks


Check the rear and back end 3 Weeks before, on the left and after 3 weeks on the right. 







Good morning Mr & Mrs Hp I hope you are both well. This is the newest member of my family Gunsmoke born early Thursday morning. He is about to begin the HP system of halter breaking. It was a dramatic start for this guy my mare was maiden & she had some trouble. Lucky one of my horses woke me up the sack didn't break & he needed some assistance. My mare didn't know what to do & she wouldn't let him behind her to feed. My dad & a friend managed to get him feeding but it took a few hours lucky the mare let dad milk her. He learnt restraint from the beginning. The mares after birth didn't release & we got the vet in so again baby restrained while mum in the crush. We have touched him all over & yesterday I rubbed his ears inside & out without holding him. Today I will put the halter on & away we go first lesson. He also got his first lesson about being wormed I use apple sauce & a small syringe & he takes it like a trooper because of the restraining on the first day I didn't even have to hold him. Dad has picked his legs up & he is happy to stand a give. I will need to order some more equipment please. Thank you for your assistance. Kath



HI Kate. Well done indeed. He is a real beauty!!!!!!






Hi John , I'm after son advice . Would you be kind enough to give it to me . My girlfriend and I are both in our mid fifties . Been riding all our lives . We have recently decided that we are both over our horses . I have a Thoroughbred , she has an Arab . Both great horses but true to type and a little too forward and busy for us these days . We would like to get something quieter and we're looking at Gypsy Cobs but they are sooooo expensive . Then I thought of Standardbreds . You speak so highly of them . Would they be a good option for us ? If so , where would you recommend getting a retrained one from ? Thanks for your time on this . We really only wNt to trail ride these days although we are both dressage trained ourselves .

Thanks , 

HI Susan Well, they are wonderful Horses but becoming more difficult to get. I have another client on the go at the moment and she has had problems too,. By default,i have an aversion about buying them from those who have already purchased them and trained them. I have always prefered to go to the Track on Training Days, talk to the Trainers, ask them to keep a special one aside when they are ready to go to Doggers, which they will gladly do. $300. Then start the horse yourself. They are pretty well always easy as and well within reach of amateurs. You don't want them TOO TALL, TOO NARROW GUTTED, MARES, You should get QUARTER HORSE TYPES, no more than 16 Hands, less is preferable. Email me for a file at the end of the day, after going through all the fun of getting them going, if not suitable, sell them and lose nothing

Here is a Photo of my Client, Today, first Testing his Mouth :)

and being pulled off Her Feet with what she found :)




Thanks for your very prompt reply John…I actually feel a bit relieved to know that I have not been imagining this and making "excuses" for my horse's behaviour.  Everyone is always quick to tell you that your horse is being naughty and that you are letting them get away with it.  My instructor referred to Alli as "not very trainable" and that she really makes everything very hard for me (and no, my instructor has never ridden Alli, Ian Leighton in Tassie did, but otherwise I am the only rider she has had since I purchased her in 2011).  I constantly feel bad for Alli and am always trying to work out what she is trying to tell me!  I have read your e-book now plus some of your other articles and videos and can very much recognise some behaviours and body language.  

Did I understand you correctly… recommend that I work Alli with the running reins and then use the Market Harborough and see how she goes.  If she improves then great, keep it up, but if she becomes worse, then have a vet work out the cause and treat her accordingly?

If the latter occurs, I biggest issue I have is how to access a "good" vet!!  

I am considering retiring Alli whilst I am in Kununurra and once I am back in the eastern states, perhaps then I can then access a suitable vet.  

She is a beautiful kind horse and I am eternally grateful for the way she looks after me as her rider…I owe it to her to give her the best possible chance at a pain free life.

By the way, Danee Finckh is the lady I ride with here in Kununurra and who trims Alli's hoofs - she has had quite a bit of contact with you in the past and almost convinced you to come up one year to join our 3 day ride!  Danee has been a wonderful friend and support person and is equally frustrated (and fascinated) by Alli.

Well done Alli. Regards to Danee.  Yes, the great thing about the Running Reins and indeed riding 'Deep and Round' is that it brings to the surface hidden Veterinary Problems. without a Rider on the Back, so that You can definitely point the Vet to the Spot. saving money, time and helping less experienced Vets.






16th August, 2015


HI Folks. How are You all/.

Terribly Sad Day on Wednesday when we attended the Funeral of Karina Laduado (sp). Massive Funeral held at Centennial Park. Karina was Born with the love of Horses and owned the famous "Jet' at Gainsborough for a number of Years. He used to remove his and other Horse's Fly Veils and what's more, bury them so they couldn't be found.

Here he is here :)

R.I.P. Karina



It was a very wet Week although here, not a lot of Rain. Just drizzle for the whole Week but nothing heavy. Mrs. HP is beside Herself and has been going to Indoor Arena's even though she could ride on Her own but she wants it looking nice :) She taught some of the Girls.



Was it "Beware of Greeks bearing GIfts?"........

Next Weekend, we have the Victorian Dressage Queens coming with a Boot load of Red Wine (called Bribery) and an unbroken Warmblood that they want to get to know me a bit :) Here's hoping we get on well.




They are both being fined the $1000 but no ban on competing or judging, just have to pay the fine + the cost for the drug testing. And I don't think it was ever supposed to be made public that they are not being suspended

WONDER IF they will receive a competition and judging ban as well as the fine??









Seven judges are officiating in Aachen this week and for the Grand Prix they were positioned as following: K: Susanne Baarup, E: Katrina Wüst, H: Annette Fransén-Iacobaeus, C: Eduard de Wolff van Westerrode, M: Jean-Michel Roudier, B: Anne Gribbons and at F: Andrew Ralph Gardner.

It is difficult to say whether the judging in Aachen has been really good and ground breaking, or appalling and erratic. Most top combinations made atypical mistakes and were unable to bring their absolute A-game to the arena, so scores slightly lower than expected flashed on the board. For a few pairs the marks were irrational.

The emotions after the conclusion of the Grand Prix class late Thursday evening ranged between states of euphoria, disbelief, schizophrenia, disappointment, anger and justice .

The day of reckoning had come for one pair but then immediately following another was so highly scored that it left this reporter flabbergasted. What do they want to see? The judging has made giant leaps of improvement the past three to four years but there is still no unity amongst judges. They are the absolute and only trendsetters in the sport; they are the barometers and decision makers on what high performance dressage supposed to look like. So far at the 2015 European Dressage Championships they are only giving mixed messages, leaving huge amounts of spectators clueless on the direction of the sport.


and now, we have the scratching and he is sore.....

TOTILAS SCRATCHED and may be retired

AACHEN, Germany, Aug, 15, 2015–Totilas has been found by a veterinary examination to have an infection called periostitis and could mark the end of the 15-year-old black stallion’s competition career.

The medical findings after a detailed examination at a Belgian clinic were reported Saturday by Sjef Janssen, who has been the trainer of Totilas and his German rider Matthias Alexander Rath.

Totilas was taken to the clinic Friday after he was withdrawn from the European Championships following the Nations Cup Grand Prix when the horse was seen to be irregular.

The German team reviewed a video of the competition and ordered a veterinary examination then withdrew the horse that has sustained injuries throughout the five years since he was bought from the Netherlands.

Sjef said Totilas needs at least four to five months break, and he told a television interviewer that he could not rule out that this could be the end of the horse’s competition career.

Periostitis, according to a veterinarian, is generally chronic and is marked by tenderness and swelling of the bone and aching, sometimes severe, pain. According to vets, it can be caused by excessive physical activity and other factors but did not speculate abut this case.

So the best Vets check the Horse before the Test and pass Him, the Rider and all connections were joyous as One, the International Rider did not feel any soreness otherwise, how come he was in the Test at all??????????????????


Politics Folks.

The Bottom Line is that those at the top of the Industry and with it's future in their Hands, are "asleep at the Wheel"

  A Storm has erupted over this....Gal




" Believe nothing of what You read coming from International Dressage Officials, Riders', Coaches, Vets' or anyone else. Only time will give the Truth"





Tongue over the Bot He says, I can't see any evidence of that on the High Def Video but, benefit of the doubt.









Top New Zealand equestrian rider Andrew Nicholson is walking unaided after successful neck surgery following his fall from a horse while competing in Britain.

There were grave concerns for the 54-year-old six-time Olympian after his ugly tumble from Cillnabradden Evo at the Festival of British Eventing last weekend.

But a promising reports following surgery continue to get better.

His family released a statement on Saturday morning, suggesting he would soon be able to return home from hospital.

"Andrew is indebted to Mr Jeremy Reynolds, consultant spinal surgeon, and the rest of his surgical team at the John Radcliffe Hospital, for their incredible skill in his treatment," the statement read.

"He would also like to thank the nurses in the trauma unit for the fantastic care he has received. He is continuing to make good progress after surgery and is able to walk unaided.

"He is looking forward to returning home to continue his recovery and would like to thank everyone for their messages of support and goodwill, which have been much appreciated."

Nicholson, who lives in Marlborough, is among the most successful riders in eventing history.

He has helped New Zealand win three Olympic team medals and three World Championship medals, highlighted by a team gold in 1990 in Stockholm.

Nicholson's plans had been to ride at the famous Burghley Horse Trials that start on September 3 but that now appears remote. Nicholson has won the last three titles there.

He is in mediation with Equestrian Sports New Zealand over his Rio Olympics prospects after falling out of favour following a spat at last year's world championships.



Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Rio de Janeiro began holding equestrian test events Thursday ahead of the 2016 Olympics despite concerns over an outbreak of the deadly, highly contagious horse disease glanders at nearby stables.

Officials pressed ahead with the test events despite a statement from Brazil's agriculture ministry saying at least one horse diagnosed with glanders had spent several months at the army equestrian complex that will host the Olympic riding events.

The horse has been killed to stop the disease from spreading.

"The International Federation for Equestrian Sports approved the test events here. Its position is that they are completely safe," said Rio Olympic committee president Carlos Arthur Nuzman.

Everyone attending Thursday's events was required to wash their hands with antiseptic gel and dip their feet in buckets of disinfectant to prevent the spread of glanders, a rare bacterial disease that can also infect humans.

Riders were not using their valuable Olympic horses, which can cost upwards of $100,000 and are not typically ensured for glanders.

Instead, they used 20 Brazilian horses that were off limits from contact with anyone but the athletes and their support teams.

"We're being cautious. The best way to avoid the disease is not to have horses here. We're installing a health cordon and for the past six months we have not had (Olympic) horses here," said the head of veterinary services for the Rio Olympics, Juliana Freitas.

The equestrian complex is located in Deodoro, about an hour's drive from central Rio.

The stables where the infected horse were kept are just a few hundred meters (yards) from the Olympic site.

Glanders causes ulcers in the respiratory tract and spreads through cuts, sneezing or contaminated food and equipment.

A total of 17 infected horses from around Brazil are currently in quarantine in Sao Paulo state and will also be killed to stop the outbreak, the agriculture ministry said.

A German lab has been commissioned to carry out tests on samples taken from 584 other horses that were also stabled at the army complex in Deodoro.

But the test results will only come back in October.

The head of the World Organisation for Animal Health, Bernard Vallat, said the body was awaiting the test results but "does not believe there is any particular risk for the horses" taking part in the Olympic test events, a warm-up to gauge the city's readiness a year out from the Games.




Police are still looking for witnesses to a crash in which a horse suffered fatal injuries.

The collision happened at around 3.50pm on 3 August on the A710 at the entrance to Ardwall Mains, New Abbey, Dumfries.

It involved a silver Peugot 306 and a horse and rider.

The rider was thrown from the horse and suffered minor scrapes and bruising.

However, the horse had a serious leg injury and had to be put down.

Constable Allister Queen, of Police Scotland in Dumfries, said: “We are appealing for anyone who may have been using the A701 near to Ardwall Mains to call us if they either witnessed the collision or indeed saw either the horse or the car prior to the crash.”

Last week (Thursday 6 August), a man died and five others were injured when a horse and cart and a van collided near South Milford in North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire Police are also appealing for information over the accident.

In 2011-12, Hospital Episode Statistics Online (HES) recorded 4,199 riding or driving “injured in transport accidents” that required hospital treatment.

In May, riders took part in a march through Wokingham in Berkshire to call for more safe, off-road hacking.

Forty riders marched or rode through the town to promote the “Routes for All” petition.

The petition calls for off-road access to be increased to 30% of the rights of way network.

Currently it is around 22%.



Firefighters in Concepción, Chile, have rescued a horse which fell into a well.
The horse, named Dreamer, was frightened by a passing vehicle which caused it to jump and lose its balance.
Once it had fallen into the well firefighters used a sling and machinery to help pull the animal out.

It took around an hour to bring the horse to safety.

It's reported the horse suffered some injuries but it is expected to make a full recovery.



NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — Residents in a metro Atlanta community are outraged after a possible prank nearly killed a horse.

The incident occurred in Newton County, which is about 40 miles southeast of Atlanta.

The horse had to be rescued Sunday in Social Circle after it was found in a muddy creek. Three-quarters of the horse’s body was stuck and residents think it struggled for hours to get freed.

It took rescue crews two hours to save the horse.

“Five more minutes, 10 more minutes, I don’t think this story would have the same ending,” John Zwemer, who heard the horse’s cries for help, told CBS46.

Neighbors said they believe someone intentionally let the horse free from its stable because it was first spotted in a gated pool facility. The horse then wandered across the street and fell into the creek.

“The problem with a prank or a joke is you really never know how it’s going to turn out,” Zwemer said. “It could be a, ‘Hahaha! Your horses are across the street’ type of thing, or it could’ve been, very easily, ‘Well you had two horses and now you have one.'”

Rescue crews had to use several tools on the farm to save the horse.

“We don’t train for this every day, it’s not our routine calls,” fire Chief Kevin O’Brien said. “I’ve been here eight years and I think this is the first large animal rescue we’ve had.”

The horse was checked out by a veterinarian and is doing OK.




A 28 year-old wife and mother of two is defying the odds after being told she would never walk again after an accident last December. Katie Muller was riding a horse in Elk Lake Park when it bolted towards a busy road. She attempted to dismount the horse but fell hard and hit her head on a tree. Even though she was wearing a helmet she fractured one vertebra and dislocated two others. Her spinal cord was also compressed. She spent the next eight months at a rehabilitation centre in Vancouver where she slowly regained feeling in her hands and feet. “That was kind of the start and then from there it’s just been taking a really, really long time but at this point every single muscle works. It’s just getting strength and endurance” Muller told CHEK News. She says her doctors are shocked and excited by her progress. Her balance is off and she has a long way to go, but she is even taking on stairs now, one careful step at a time. “We actually had arguments over it because she’d say if I don’t walk does that mean I’m not going to be ok in your eyes you know and it’s like no but I know you’re going to, I know it, I just never let it be a question” said her mother Kelly. “There have definitely been moments when I’ve been off the rocker crazy and really sad and really negative but all around I try really hard to be positive” added Katie.








Off-the-track horses probably have many common behavior tendencies that, contrary to our perception, are actually not unique to racehorses. One that makes perfect sense for a horse coming straight off the track or from training stables is the tendency to get wound up whenever taken out for work. We can attribute this to some racing programs’ rigid and/or rushed daily training schedules, where the emphasis is on going fast for short periods.

Another interesting behavior stems from these horses being allowed to circle around the handler when excited—usually to the left or counterclockwise. We commonly see this in young stallions transitioning from racing to breeding.

Many young Thoroughbreds are allowed to circle around their handler when excited--a behavior that's undesirable once these horses move into second careers.

Similarly, they tend to not turn to the right or to back up well. They also might initially have trouble working clockwise or up and down hills or doing much of anything at the walk. And many racehorses, especially those living for long periods without turnout and/or in the track environment, have a high incidence of the classic equine behavior problems related to the stress of confinement and poor socialization, including stereotypies (e.g., cribbing, weaving, etc.), panic disorders, and wood chewing.

On the positive side, in my experience I’ve observed that racehorses have fewer behavior problems than other similar-aged horses during everyday activities, such as loading and transporting, having their legs wrapped and feet lifted, being groomed or bathed, as well as being injected or medicated. Keep in mind, however, that these are all gross generalizations, and there are plenty of exceptions. I hear from as many folks who are pleasantly surprised as are challenged by OTTB projects.

Now let's talk about the Riding and the Veterinary Sue????



 It is no surprise that weight loss has important health benefits for fat horse and ponies, but now there’s proof that conscientious owners really can help reduce the risks posed by obesity.

Photo: Courtesy BEVA/EVJ

A study of horses with equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) showed that weight loss, managed by their owners at home, reduced both insulin resistance and susceptibility to laminitis.

Previous clinical studies have identified that calorie restriction and increased exercise are the mainstays of EMS treatment. But in the field there is always potential for poor owner compliance, which has historically made it difficult to monitor effects of owner-managed weight loss accurately. The new study, published in the Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) has shown that owners of ponies with equine metabolic syndrome were able, with veterinary support, to implement highly effective weight loss programs and, thus, improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of laminitis.

The study is one of the topics in this month’s EVJ podcast, aimed at helping vets to help their clients. The other topic on the podcast compares the benefits of oral glucose and sugar tests as effective and convenient ways for vets to monitor insulin sensitivity in the field, further helping home management of weight-related risks.

Equine metabolic syndrome is a complex condition, defined by clinical consensus as obesity, insulin resistance and an increased susceptibility to laminitis. Insulin resistance or dysregulation is the underlying symptom, probably underpinned by genetic predisposition and driven by obesity, ultimately resulting in laminitis.

The study was conducted by veterinarians at the Universities of Liverpool and Edinburgh to determine whether significant weight loss and improvements in insulin sensitivity can be achieved in horses and ponies with EMS, managed by their owners at home under veterinary guidance.

A total of 19 horses and ponies with suspected EMS and/or a history of laminitis were included in the study. They underwent a clinical examination, plus basal and dynamic endocrine testing. Owners then received individually tailored diet and exercise programs to follow for between three and six months, and they were given daily support from veterinarians throughout the period.

After the treatment, clinical examination and endocrine tests were repeated and results compared to the initial assessment. All but one equine participant showed a significant reduction in weight, accompanying reductions in insulin levels and a reduced susceptibility to laminitis.

“Our weight loss work shows that if owners are educated, informed, and encouraged by their vets they can effectively induce weight loss and improve insulin resistance,” said researcher Ruth Morgan, MA, VetMB, MRCVS. “We found that the key to compliance is the individual tailoring of a weight loss programme for each horse.”

Morgan, the project’s coordinator, is based at the University of Edinburgh. Her team used the combined glucose-insulin test to monitor horses in her study. This is a very accurate way to assess insulin function, but it does require intravenous catheter placement and multiple blood samples. As alternatives to help to identify ponies at risk of laminitis and monitor and manage them more effectively at home, veterinarians can also use the in-feed oral glucose and oral sugar tests. These relatively new tests can be used to assess insulin sensitivity, simply by feeding a specified level of glucose or corn syrup and then taking a single blood test. Recent research, also published in EVJ and discussed in the podcast by Sarah Smith, MA, VetMB, MVetMed, Dipl. ACVIM, MRCVS, of the Royal Veterinary College, indicates that the two tests agreed in most cases but further research is required to identify the most appropriate test.

“Our work will help provide vets and owners with simple and practical methods to assess horses’ insulin function and monitor the impact of diet and exercise programs,” said Smith. “At the moment, we cannot say one oral test is more appropriate than the other, the key thing is to use the same test repeatedly if an individual horse is monitored over time.”

Celia Marr, BVMS, MVM, PhD, DEIM, Dipl. ECEIM, MRCVS, editor of the EVJ, added, “We know that most owners are keen to do the best for their horses, but sometimes they lack the knowledge or facilities to implement a weight loss program easily. This study has shown how consistent, responsive support from a vet, coupled with innovative individual methods for weight loss can make all the difference.”

Morgan’s study, “Treatment of equine metabolic syndrome: a clinical case series,” will appear in an upcoming issue of EVJ.






An Ohio woman fighting to keep a miniature horse on her property scored a big win on Friday when a federal appeals court reversed a trial judge and revived her lawsuit against her city.

The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said Blue Ash, Ohio resident Ingrid Anderson may continue to pursue her claim that the city discriminated against her by forbidding her to keep the little horse, which she said is a service animal for her disabled teenage daughter.

The equine feud began in 2012 when the local county health department received a complaint about goats, chickens, pigs and two miniature horses living on Ms. Anderson’s property, which was covered “with excessive animal waste,” according to a subsequent health inspector investigation cited in court papers.

After the local City Council ordered the animals off her property, she swapped the two horses for Ellie, a blue-eyed Palomino miniature horse, who would become the focus of the case before the Sixth Circuit.

The Blue Ash City Council in 2013 amended its municipal code “to prohibit keeping of farm animals at residences within the city,” after which point she was cited for violating the new ordinance. An alpaca and a pig were also still living on her property.

After losing her case in municipal court, she sued in federal court last year, claiming that the city was violating federal laws barring discrimination against the disabled, specifically the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act.

Ms. Anderson said in court papers that she learned of the benefits of “equine therapy” from a doctor at a Cincinnati children’s hospital whom she said prescribed the horse for her daughter, a 15-year-old who suffers from seizures and chronic lung disease. Ms. Anderson also said she took classes on how to train the animal.

Housing Opportunities Made Equal, a nonprofit civil-rights group that joined her as plaintiffs, argued that federal law entitled the mother to a “reasonable accommodation” to keep the miniature horse for her daughter.

While Blue Ash officials said they sympathized with the family, they argued that the horse was merely a farm animal, not a service animal, and as such the mother wasn’t protected by anti-discrimination laws. The trial judge agreed, dismissing the case last year, at which point the mother appealed to the Sixth Circuit.

In a unanimous ruling, the three-judge panel said too many major facts in the case were genuinely disputed for her lawsuit to be tossed before a trial. Wrote Sixth Circuit Chief Judge R. Guy Cole Jr., author of the opinion:

While protecting public health and property values are central to the City’s interests, Anderson has produced evidence that the presence of one miniature horse at her house will not create unsanitary conditions or devalue her neighbors’ property, supported not only by her own testimony but by signed letters of support from her current neighbors. She also testified that she has retained a service to clean up animal waste, and ensure that unsanitary conditions will not reappear.

As such, the judge wrote, it couldn’t be determined at this point whether Ms. Anderson’s “requested accommodation is reasonable and necessary to afford her and [her daughter] an equal opportunity to use and enjoy their dwelling.”

Lawyers for Ms. Anderson and the city weren’t immediately reachable for comment.




 An Oklahoma man has been charged with animal cruelty after allegedly dragging his horse behind his all-terrain vehicle.

Rogers County, Oklahoma, Sheriff's Department documents indicate that deputies responded to a call on Aug. 11 reporting that horse owner John Spencer had allegedly tied his horse to an ATV and drove the vehicle at high speed for about 30 feet until the animal fell either by accident of from exhaustion.

PHOTO OF MR. HP dragging Horses behind ATV hahahahaha......hang on...he should be charged, he is dragging me

Further investigation revealed that the mare had multiple injuries, including bleeding wounds on her lower right abdomen and at the top of her right leg. Skin on the animal's lower jaw was also raw and the horse was wet from sweat, the documents said.

“There was also no water nearby for the horse to drink,” the report said. “The horse was tied to a short lead and wouldn't have been able to reach water had it been brought to her.”

The report indicates that Spencer said he was frustrated with the horse for not being obedient, was trying to break her bad habits, and didn't intend to injure her.

A second allegedly maltreated horse was also found on the property. Both animals were relocated for veterinary and rehabilitative care.

Spencer was subsequently arrested and charged with one count of cruelty to animals. He is free on $5,000 bond, and was unavailable for comment.

The case remains pending.




 Sugar can play a role in horse behavior. Have you ever skipped lunch, then grabbed a candy bar in the middle of the afternoon for a quick snack? Perhaps, then, you have experienced a sugar rush, then a crash.

Sugars (carbohydrates) are metabolized quickly as a fast source of energy, which can be a very good thing in certain circumstances (think bursting out of the starting gate, or racing around a cloverleaf pattern). However, the energy produced from sugar is not long lasting.

Comparatively, fat takes a long time to metabolize and the release of energy is slow and sustaining. Therefore, you avoid the “rush” and “crash” from a high-starch, high-sugar diet.

Horses that are spooky, nervous, or excitable often benefit from a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet to help level out the overall release of energy from the diet. A diet change isn’t necessarily a guaranteed behavior fix for a high-energy horse, but it’s definitely a good place to start.





 If you’re happy and you know it clap your … hooves?

While horses might not be clapping in tune to that emotionally expressive song, it does seem that if they’re happy and they know it, their faces will surely show it. Recent study results suggest horses are capable of a wide range of facial expressions that aren’t so different from those of humans and chimpanzees.

And though the horses probably won’t be “smiling,” per se, they do still have a “rich repertoire of complex facial movements,” many of which are surprisingly similar to humans, said lead study author Jennifer Wathan, PhD candidate, researcher in the Mammal Vocal Communication and Cognition Research at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.

However, just because horses have similar facial expressions doesn’t mean those expressions necessarily represent the same emotions that they do for people, she added. Determining the association between expressions and feelings is an upcoming project for Wathan and her team. But first it was essential to determine exactly what expressions horses are capable of making.

“The thing about facial expressions is that they are really difficult to describe accurately,” Wathan told The Horse. “This is partly because we perceive facial expressions as whole pictures, where numerous images are assigned to a category--for example, an emotion like anger.

“However, facial expressions are not given as such clear signals, but instead they can be composed of numerous different movements, which overlap in a complicated sequence, like language,” she said. “This makes them really challenging to accurately describe and record.”

But record them she did. Her team’s work resulted in the first “EquiFACS”—developed based on the facial action coding system (FACS) that already exists for humans, primates, and dogs. The FACS and EquiFACS describe very precise, often subtle facial muscle movements that, when combined with other movements, can create what we know as an “expression.”

We already know that horses exhibit specific facial expressions to express their taste preferences and pain levels, but Wathan’s study was the first to document the full scale of possible equine facial movements. She published her EquiFACS research report, along with multiple photos and videos as examples, as a free-access online resource.

Getting an accurate equine FACS required an innovative muscle dissection method the researchers called the “face mask.” Whereas previous dissection methods called for removing the skin from the muscles, Wathan and her professor Karen McComb, PhD, also of the University of Sussex, determined that separating the skin would be detrimental to their purposes. Instead, they separated the superficial facial muscles from the deeper muscles of the head, keeping that superficial network attached to the skin. That way, they were able to not only maintain the integrity of these smaller muscles, but also able to see how they were connected—in particular with the skin—and how they could interact with each other.

After carrying out a “face mask” dissection of one horse head, the research team then closely observed 15 hours of video footage of 86 horses in a variety of natural settings interacting with other horses, humans, and some other species such as dogs. Based on the dissection results and observations, they developed a complete list of specific facial actions (17 “action units”) that could make up various equine facial expressions. (For comparison’s sake, researchers have found 27 action units in FACS for humans, but only 13 for chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys. For dogs, they’ve found 16, and in cats—with extensive whisker and ear movements—they’ve found 21.)

With that list—the EquiFACS prototype—the researchers then asked four people to watch videos of the horses and record what they saw using the EquiFACS. Three of these people had no experience with any kind of FACS, and one of them had never even had any experience with horses. But despite this inexperience, the researchers judged their average accuracy rate at 86%, suggesting that the EquiFACS is not only a reliable tool but one that’s easy to use, as well.

What does that mean for the horse? The researchers said—once they’ve determined what sentiments those expressions actually represent—the EquiFACS could lead to better health care, welfare, and management of their social and working lives as humans learn to better read the expressions on their horses’ faces.

“Training (people) is a large element of what we would like to do with EquiFACS, as it does offer us the opportunity to make sense of these complex expressions that are otherwise difficult to describe,” Wathan said.

She said the research could even lead to better depictions of horses in art. “We’ve even had a computer animator speak to us, and he is using EquiFACS to inform a horse animation that he is currently producing,” she said.

Wathan’s group’s next goals are to better understand what these facial movements mean, without projecting our own human readings into the interpretation. How are they going to do that? They’ll ask the horses. Cautioning that the ongoing research is still too confidential for giving out details, she told The Horse that they’re essentially “asking horses to judge the faces of other horses, rather than us making human-based observations/judgements.”





and I'm so relieved he has Him under complete and total Control


Sovereign was once neglected and underweight before he was rescued by his new owner Paul Evans. As a result, he grew bigger and is now hailed as Britain's tallest horse, as he stands 10 feet tall.

Despite its sad condition four years ago, Sovereign continues to grow taller and taller! The previous owner of the horse kept him inside a small shed and neglected to feed him, which resulted in him being malnourished.

Since the horse is now well taken care of, he is in good health and turned into a giant horse. Sovereign is now set to overtake the current world record of the world's tallest horse.

The six-year-old shire horse measures just under 21 hands from his hoof to the withers at the bottom of his neck – the equivalent of just under seven ft- but the top of his head stands at a staggering 10 ft above the ground, according to the YouTube video's description.

“I never believed he would grow into such a monster – and he’s still growing. He’s wonderful and I’m delighted I bought him. Because he’s still young he’s still got years of growth in front of him,” Evans said, Yahoo! News reported.

Sovereign currently lives at Green Farm in Caverswall, Staffordshire, where Evans’ two other shire horses, Poppy and Sovereign’s half-sister Ruby, also reside.
The six-year-old shire horse measures just under 21 hands from his hoof to the withers at the bottom of his neck – the equivalent of just under seven ft- but the top of his head stands at a staggering 10 ft above the ground, according to the YouTube video's description.

“I never believed he would grow into such a monster – and he’s still growing. He’s wonderful and I’m delighted I bought him. Because he’s still young he’s still got years of growth in front of him,” Evans said, Yahoo! News reported.

Sovereign currently lives at Green Farm in Caverswall, Staffordshire, where Evans’ two other shire horses, Poppy and Sovereign’s half-sister Ruby, also reside.



DOESN'T MATTER WHERE THE FRIGHT COMES FROM (We all knew that one....right????)


 You’re trail riding your horse through the forest, and a tree falls. Knowing your horse, will he react differently if the tree falls behind you, in front of you, or to your left or right? Does the fallen tree’s distance away from your horse matter?

Belgian scientists recently looked into the effects of direction and distance on horses’ fear reactions, and they’ve determined that, overall, it doesn’t really matter where the fright comes from or how far away it is. Essentially, if it’s going to scare the horse, it’s going to scare the horse, said Marc Pierard, PhD candidate, researcher at KU Leuven University, in Belgium. Pierard presented the results of his team’s study at the 2014 International Society for Equitation Science conference, held in Bredsten, Denmark.

“This could mean that direction and distance of a startling event are not crucial to the reaction of a trained horse,” Pierard said.

In their study, Pierard and his supervisor Rony Geers, PhD, also of KU Leuven, investigated the behavioral fear reactions of 43 Warmblood horses used by the Belgian mounted police. Carrying out their initial study on fear reactions in police horses provides a standard reference for the test and allows the researchers to validate their tests’ accuracy, Pierard said.

The team led each horse individually into an arena, turned it loose, and allowed it to habituate to the area for a few minutes. Then, the team dropped an open umbrella from the ceiling, either in front, behind, or to either side of the horse. They also dropped the umbrella varying different distances from the horse. Afterward, the team lifted the umbrella up suddenly.

In a second part of the study, the team exposed the individual horses in the arena to a sudden noise: a loud recording of a firing machine gun. The noises were presented from either the front, the back, or the side of the horse, as well as from three different distances (equally divided in a large arena).

The researchers found very few differences in the horses’ reactions to either part of the test, regardless of direction or distance, Pierard said. There were a few minor differences, however. For example, horses tended to move around more when the umbrella fell close to them versus farther away. In the sound test, horses spent more time walking, trotting, and cantering as the noise neared them, but these variations were “inconsistent” and not particularly relevant, he said.

“In these tests with police horses, distance and direction of sudden objects and noises seemed to have little impact on the locomotion response,” Pierard said.

However, the police horses’ extensive habituation training probably influenced the results, he added. Further research on candidate horses for the police force—the next step in Peirard’s research—could provide further insight into the effects of distance and direction on fear reactions.








Dear Mr O'Leary, It's been a while since I last wrote having been busy putting your advice into practice. Thanks to you my QH and I now have a great relationship & time with all bad attitude evaporated. Reason I'm writing today is my helplessness I encountered attempting a join up with a friends horse. Her SH had just arrived recently and she couldn't get near him to feed/rug. So we popped him into the round yard (11m) after we finally got a hold of him. He is exceptionally nervous, even in the paddock on his own running back and forward all day, getting spooked by the noises around him. After observing him for a while I believe he's lonely as he's been on his own, being the new horse and all he's interested in is how to get to be with the other horses. Anyways, I successfully joined up with a number of horses before but this one was past my level. This is what happened: Once in the round yard all he did was staring out the yard looking for horses (there were none nearby at the time). Keeping in mind he was hot and high spirited I used little energy asking him to walk only. When asking a change of direction he turned facing me and moved on in the new direction looking out. I didn't get an ear or eye of attention but he turned correctly. So I asked him to trot. All went well at first, however he continued to face the outsides. For the first turn I used calm body language and he turned facing me but then run of in a mad canter. As he was shoveling around the yard I could see loads of fear and anxiety and simply didn't know how to go from there. I thought I'd better stop him running after a few rounds waiting for him to calm. He 'run through me' twice before I cracked the whip when blocking him which send him scrambling through the yard panels in panic.... Once he had his legs again he stood facing me, shaking, sweating, licking and chewing and his head sky high like he had for the entire duration in the round yard. He tried to back away slowly even after his bum touched the yard rail. Now I had all his attention but he was very fearful. I dropped the whip, grabbed the halter calmly approached talking to him, gave him a shower of gently pats, put the halter on and walked him around the yard. Once we started walking his head finally dropped. Now, I thought this horse would never want to see/talk to me again. But I can catch him now and change his rugs, however he still is very fearful yet doesn't seem to be distrusting. I would like to know what I should have done with his horse to have a better outcome? How can I ask for attention without dumping too harsh energy on a scared possum like this? And how can I purchase your Join up Video (I found it mentioned in your Video Problems Library)? Looking very much forward to your reply. Kind Regards, Sam

Very big Subject Sam. The generally known 'Join Up' from America, first seen by myself in 1975 with John Lyons and then popularized by Monty but I have since added my main system, plus at least 2 others.

Every Horse is different and should be treated as such, WITHIN every system. The particular Horse that You are working on there will need lightness and subtleness, with whatever system You use.

You ended well though so don't blame Yourself for the tension.  You must concrete the system though, whereby when Breaking this Horse in, I wouldn't even be using a Lead Rope. That's how entrenched it would be.


Best of Luck







I went to view a horse recently- standy- broken to ride and drive but wasting in paddock for a few years. Was said to be a bit nervy and could be hard to do his feet. What I saw next left me gobsmacked- though you probably see it all the time. After a brush the owner went to pick up front foot. Horse was not tied as he was in a paddock with no facilities. Horse just yanked foot away, and started to walk off- dragging owner who was dangling off the webbing halter. WTF??? Owner had absolutely no control, and from what I saw, was hardly even trying, being more concerned about not upsetting her precious baby!! I grabbed the lead rope and reefed the horse around. He came fairly easily which confirmed my suspicion that the owner wasn't trying very hard. After half an hour working some NH ground work with this horse he was happy for me to pick up his feet- and was fairly relaxed as I did so. Poor bugger, all he wants is someone he can put his faith into. I have never seen such gross incompetence by a 'horse person'. 'Simone'

That's the one Simone. It's all over :) There is nothing more entertaining than a Day going around looking at Horses for Sale. Many Years ago, I had a Doctor used to ask to come as he could see the funny side of each visit and we would chuckle all the way to the next Property :) Regards






Hi Mr HP My order arrived yesterday - thank you very much. I really appreciate the great service. I've been following your website and youtube videos for a while and really like your common sense, no nonsense approach. I'm not sure if this is something you can assist with, but do you have an opinion on male/female dressage saddles? I'm looking to move on from the (cheap and nasty) all purpose saddle (your article on AP saddles confirmed my thoughts) but am starting to be a little overwhelmed by the sales talk and (sponsored) riders' endorsements. So, I've been researching and reading lots of articles and websites and there seems to be valid points raised about most saddles being designed/more suited to male riders. I think I understand the theory well enough but I am wondering if it is just another sales pitch. I'm not an experienced rider, having only just returned to horses after a more than 30 year absence, so I really am reliant on the experience of others. I'm also mindful of the importance of making the right choice so as to not cause discomfort, or worse still, pain to my horse (ASH/TB) Any guidance or thoughts you can offer will be greatly appreciated. Regards

The Keiffer are more for Men in my opinion but basically, you need to go try different Brands and see what suits You best. It is a bit of a personalized thing. I ride in an Anky. Don't for goodness sake buy anything without riding in it though. Regards. Mr. HP




Hi John, I have just been reading your webpage on hind end veterinary management and I am interested in the e-book you mentioned.

I have a lovely arab mare who I am certain has body issues but unfortunately I live in  remote WA and have no easy access to anyone who can assess or treat her. We have two vets in town (one whom I work for) but neither know much about equines and are the first to say so! Katherine is 5 hours away and Darwin is 9 hours drive but no one has been able to recommend anyone who may be able to help in those areas. I am trying to learn as much as I can and desperately want to help her but really don't know the best way to proceed. Is there anyone you could recommend in the NT whether it be a vet, chiro or equine therapist who may be able to help us. If you are interested in her story at all, I have written up some notes and added some photos…

 --- - DOB 2003, purebred arab mare, broken to saddle at 6yo, put back out to pasture for 2 years at which time I bought her and brought her back into work. I lived in Tasmania at the time, had lessons 2-3 times a week and fortnightly trail rides on her but she became progressively resistant to work and eventually shut down to the point where I could not even get her to walk under saddle. I spelled her for 6 months and started again but only rode her occasionally (2-3 hour trail ride on the beach every couple of weeks). We were relocating to ----so I sent her to Ian Leighton for 3 weeks training (1hr daily) before she was trucked to --------

 After 2 weeks of settling in, I started taking her out on short rides from home slowly building up to longer rides. We have an instructor who comes up from Perth monthly during the winter months, so I started having lessons as well. Currently I ride -------2-4 times a week for approximately 1-2 hours and have 3-4 lessons with the instructor on her monthly visits between May and September. Issues. Over the last year, === has started walking off when she sees me coming with the halter and lead rope and tries to bite me when tacking up (even when I just put the saddle pad on!). She corkscrews at trot, travels crooked intermittently at canter, I feel twisted in the saddle and even more so when the mare is travelling straight (perhaps I am so used to her travelling crooked that it feels strange??), she is reluctant to work in the arena especially the right canter leads and trot diagonals, she feels very unbalanced and makes me feel twisted, she is reluctant to travel with her head down and is not happy with me if I use a martingale.

 When we are out trail riding, it often feels like one of her back legs has dropped in a hole or mud but there is no evidence of anything there, she sometimes will suddenly react with a jump/head pull up/sideways twist - sometimes it is hard to work out what she does - I have thought that she put her tongue over the bit or lost her boot etc but upon investigation, there is nothing wrong…she has just suddenly reacted as if in pain but for no "obvious" reason. She will toe first land unless I use boots or easy shoes (polymer shoe) and rarely stands square - she wants to pull her front and back legs in under her. She is very unbalanced when you lift one foot off the ground and will constantly shuffle around trying to get comfortable, usually pulling her legs underneath her. In the last year, after riding or if she runs around the paddock, her off fore dorsal fetlock area becomes inflamed (not painful to touch or hot and doesn't cause any obvious lameness) - the only way we have been able to resolve this is by using the easy shoes and using tendon wraps on trail rides (interestingly,she still swells up if I use boots and wraps rather than 24/7 shoes).

 I first noticed this swelling about 6 weeks after her arrival in Knx. The only other physical thing I can see is that her right shoulder area has less muscling than her left. I have been working closely with my barefoot trimmer to try to rectify any hoof problems - this trimmer also rides with me every week and she is quite skilled with horse training/breaking etc so she has plenty of opportunity to assess ---- and also my riding position etc whilst we are out on trails. I have attached photos that may be of interest to you. Any help, advice or recommendations of practitioners who may be able to help will be so very much appreciated. It is very frustrating being so far away from anyone who can help and I really want to help me horse. She is a lovely girl and incredibly stoic but I know she is desperately trying to tell me something…I am listening to her but just don't know how to help her considering where we live! Thank you in advance, even if only for the e-book :) :) Kind regards, Pam


Some story Pam. I feel for both of You. I have sent the E-Book.

Basically, to keep it brief, this is a job for real good Vets', the Horse is definitely unsound, showing basically every symptom ever exhibited by a Horse in the quest to have You 'Listen", which You have, to Your great Credit. I don't know what Your Coaches are saying but the Horse wouldn't be Coached at our Place, past a one time 30 Minute Veterinary investigation under Saddle, for the good of the Horse. I wish thee had have been squared up standing shots from all Angles.

I strongly suspect either Stifle, a Bone Chip in a Hock or Sacro. I have felt the 'drop in the hole' many times, with One Horse Bucking as a result of it. Lucky You own the wonderful Arab!!! By the Way, the Martingale won't help You. Regards




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