appols Folks. I simply ran out of time tonight. No news or any of
the usual. Catch you soon.
LETTER OF THE DAY
I need a horsemans opinion on mounting..a simple question really but
a debate that seems to be going around in circles with other riding
members.. I have been mounting horses ever since I can remember by
using the right hand on the cantle( I find it much easier) OK
the rule books states that
the right hand must be placed on the pommell because it prevents
twisting of the tree and prevents unwanted pressure on the horses
back.. This is my argument.. If a horses stands still while
rider climbs aboard & the horse has the right attitude isn't that
the important factor?? Not where a hand is placed. And to add to my
argument I own a saddle that was given to me in 1985 has been ridden
in, broken horses in with, bitten by horses, dropped on the ground &
besides from numerous repackings and the odd job done to maintain
it. The tree is in still perfect working condition...
Very good question LD. The Rule Book you speak
of would be written by the British Horse Society I suspect and like
most things that come from that Document, Horsemanship was
forgotten. Imho, you are therefore completely correct for what is
more important, a Kid in a Wheel Chair because of a Rule Book or
some perceived slight discomfort to the back of a Horse. Yet there
are no Rules for Obese people to rip the whither off Horses during
mounting. So the number one priority should be safety and control,
equaling 'Risk Management' I would submit. Therefore, hold onto
whatever you like, back of saddle, front of saddle, knee roll or in
my case, off side monkey strap in readiness. Well done :)
LETTERS OF THE DAY
ELECTRIC DENTAL EQUIPMENT USE
Just thought I would post a little response to my mate Steve about
power tools used in horses mouths. I'm glad to hear that his horses
did OK with their experience but I thought I would have a little
look around the web and find out what others in the equine dentistry
business across the world have to say.
I didn't have to look far, read the following excerpts and websites,
2 of the first things I googled up.
Bob Livock is one of the most experienced and respected equine
dentists. He learnt equine dentistry whilst in the army. After
leaving the army he continued working as a professional equine
dentist and was one of the founding people of this profession in the
UK. He frequently travels abroad to routinely rasp horse's teeth for
many of the world's top riders. He has been used by vets on numerous
occasions to help sort out dentistry problems.
He has expanded the skill of rasping teeth beyond the point of
simply removing sharp points to enable the teeth to be shaped
according to the work required of the horse. Bob does all rasping by
hand tools and will not routinely use power tools because over the
past two or three years he has noticed the damage that power tools
can physically do to the teeth and the problems they frequently
cause to the horse in it's ability to eat and work. Power tools
cannot be used to shape the teeth properly and can cause additional
sharp edges to form. In Bob's professional opinion the use of power
tools for routine rasping constitutes a welfare issue.
Question: Most of the vets in my area use the power dental tools and
have stopped the traditional floating of teeth. However, I remember
reading research articles that suggested the power tools could
seriously damage teeth, killing the roots. The article suggested
this would happen unless water was sprayed on the teeth as they were
being filed. None of our local vets use water but just say they work
quickly so I should not be concerned.
I'd love to have an answer as to the safety of the power tools.
Answer: Click To View
Concerns have been raised about the possibility of heat damage if
dental/power equipment is used indiscriminately. The research that I
am familiar with was performed with a cadaver tooth in a vice and
may not accurately represent the situation in the live horse.
However, caution is definitely advised.
So yes Steve, my experience with a power float is single based but
was with 5 horses, all had problems. The vet was power tool trained!
You reckon I should get out more, funny your the one saying you
don't feel compelled to write on horsey forums, who is it that is
not getting out. I'm glad it has ignited some debate because it
needs to be looked into much more than it has been and people who
pay for a service deserve to have that service completed in a way
that helps your horse not damages it, be it the tooth or
I have a couple of little sayings in life Steve, one is where theres
smoke theres fire, and the second one is I only get burnt once.
If I remember correctly I recommended Vets do their research, I'll
up it to owners to do their research, I just did, and it confirmed
exactly what I found out the hard way.
P.S - Another interesting snippet is that power floating reduces
wear and tear on Vets and users, didn't I mention laziness in their
Thanks for the right of reply :) I only
operate on one principle, which is why I agreed with you. If I meet
One Horse that has adversely been effected by anything, then I
listen to them, not Humans and act accordingly. Regards
You have got me curious on the amount of food a horse should get.
When you say a biscuit of hay, there would be a size difference with
each biscuit as to each horse. My daughter has a 14.2 quarter horse
who puts on the weight just looking at hay. Then there's a 16.3
standardbred who would starve on that biscuit if it was fed the same
amount. Could you please, when you have the time, to podcast or put
photos on your site what is the right size biscuit for each horse in
work and the paddock ornaments. Also, could you show what else a
horse should have each day to feed on. I think it will take away a
lot of confusion with others horse owners who read your site. Thanks
you for being there for us novices.
Hi Barbara, Shall do. There are roughly 10
Biscuits in a Bale. That depends of course on the weight of the Bale
and of course the closer to the Metro area you buy your Hay, the
less the weight an if you buy from Mediterranean type people, more
often than not it will be weeds and half weight. Not being Racist.
That is a fact that I have learnt many times, the hard way. You
should have hanging scale in your Shed. I have, to catch out my
Staff as few people can judge weight (City Folk). We feed most
Horses 8kg a day plus pellets and incl Lucerne. We shall look at
putting a more comprehensive data article together for you though.
REARING PONY ON THE
GROUND FROM THE OTHER NIGHT
Thanks very much John, for the quick reply. I have now looked
further into your Adelaide website, and am so pleased that I have
Will be going thru from top to bottom. Just watched your
podcast on feeding time, and
am off to lock pony up, stockwhip in hand. As I said, she has
little respect for me, and just watching that then made me realise
HOW BADLY I have handled it to date. She does swing at me,
grunts and squeals, knocks me out of the way
with her back end, and has looked to double barrel several times. Am
wondering if you can recommend a DVD or similar of yours, on the
whole getting respect subject? I have ridden since I was 10, done
pony club,etc, then had a TB gelding who I dressaged and evented for
10 years, a perfect gentleman on the ground.
Am not really familiar with rude, pushy young horses, so need some
direction please! Many thanks, Elsa.
As Horse Trainers around the World say
every day Elsa, "What you Manufacture on the Ground, you inherit
under Saddle" So obviously, according to your letter here, your
Horse is out of Control. In brief, do this....it is all my my site.
leg restraints training
Feeding time rules
learn and teach the 7 Games
Do the hide your bum
Problem solved immediately. Regards
John, Thank you so much for sending the DVDs.
We are really looking forward to using your system. We've
watched your YouTube and Podcast presentations and we think very
highly of your techniques. We rescued three horses about 7
months ago, a yearling filly, an OTTB, and a previously unridden
8 year old Appaloosa brood mare (rescued from Falconridge Equine
Rescue, http://falconridgerescuenews.blogspot.com/). I (Steve)
have been working the mare. I had about 20 rides on her, both
out on the trail and in the round ring and arena. Around
Thanksgiving I uttered the fateful words,
"I think I'll take her
up to a lope, I haven't had her at a lope before (under
saddle)." Well, the keeper broke as she stretched out and she
started bucking. I was thrown after about 6 seconds and
broke my elbow on
This mare uses lots of evasions. After the first couple of
rides, it was acting head shy and throwing her head when I tried
to bridle her. I gently worked showing her that her head
throwing didn't help. Then it was walking off when I would try
to mount (fixed). Then the bucking started. She bucks really
hard, often getting all four feet off the ground. Unfortunately,
that worked to some extent, so now it is a learned behavior. She
has recently added acting like saddles and blankets are the
scariest thing ever and trying to avoid getting saddled (we are
working on this one because it just appeared).
During my recovery we had a local trainer (who had worked with
our Thoroughbred) start working her. I'm not sure if it is just
two "alpha" mares not getting along, but the two of them really
had problems. On the trainers first ride, my mare
pitched a fit and threw
her. She landed on her feet, and went right up in the
mare's face ("showing her that I'm much scarier on the ground
than on her back"). Since then the trainer tried several times
to work her, but the mare would brace and look like she was just
waiting for an excuse to explode. After about two weeks, we
pulled her back from the trainer.
I'm have gone back to the basics (fundamentals). Working her on
the ground a bunch. She is really, really good on the ground
(even the trainer admitted that). I've read and studied the
various pieces you have about stifle and sacroiliac injuries and
think that may be a component of her problems. The trainer feels
that she wasn't sore, but if I press on her pins, or just above
the sacrum, she moves off as if it is not comfortable. She has
had three falls since I've had her. The first happened when
walking to the arena, we came up the driveway as a bike was
passing and she spun and fell on her left side (fully saddled,
of course); the next one happened while dressing her,
I cinched her up and she
exploded, running off in the stall and falling; the last
happened after I broke my arm, I was working her on the driveway
(just getting her to give her hip) and she
got excited, slipped on
the concrete and went down. Also, right after the trainer
said she wasn't trainable, I was free training her in the
Trainer's arena and she jumped the 4.5' arena fence. When she
did, she banged her left knee badly on the concrete wall (cut,
slightly infected, now healed).
I've had Debera up on her since we took her back (about 4 weeks
ago) and she didn't seem to have the same brace/fear reaction.
Deb weighs about 58kg. I've done a little on her back, and she
seems nervous, but not explosive (I weigh about 90kg).
The trainer probably weighs 140kg.
I'm planning to re-mouth her using your techniques (so I can get
air brakes), and study your leg restraints training. I will add
the restraints if she is still cranky, but regardless I want to
teach her to hobble. If none of this works, I'll probably be
sending you a video to get your assessment.:-)
Thanks again for being such a strong advocate for appropriate
horse training. We are looking forward to her next trick and
trying to figure out how to redirect it.
All the best from Sunny California,
Steve and Debera
Hi Steve and Deb. Bad Luck with this Horse. As I
go through some of the few yellow parts, I can see small
problems that may have compounded the various building issues
with this Horse. Firstly, you cannot be a 'Trainer' at 140kg and
further, putting such a person on anything short an
English Shire is 'Cruelty to Horses' So well done Horse. We
should never cinch one up full and never in a large area. I
NEVER back cinch such a Horse until in the Round Pen, having
girthed up 70% at the tie up rail. The slipping on the concrete
could tell me that the integrity of the lateral Mouth is not
good enough for that is what makes Horses loose their footing. I
would not be riding this Horse in an arena or a round pen, other
than Mount up and short feel to see what mood she is in on the
The other comment I would make is that
allowing a young Horse to have a victory (especially a suspect
one) is a disaster but to have more than one is a worse. Hence
my long term aim of showing people a better way to have safer
Horses and to protect themselves. My latest Podcast shows this
and proves it. He had bucked 4 straight off prior to that day.
If you have a good eye, you an see that I commenced successful
re-education of that Horse, within minutes and you could further
see the Horse start to relax. So best of Luck. I will bet that
none of this is the fault of this Horse. Regards
John & Linda
Hope you are both fit and well.
Just a query regarding your re-mouthing DVD – I have a 7 yr old
mare that I purchased last year that I am having some difficulty
with. I have been very spoilt by first Jaylo and then Robbie who
came home from you with excellent mouths. The mare is quite
resistant when I ask for downward transitions. It is much worse
when we are out at competitions. To get a good stop is very
difficult as she resists strongly and comes above the bit. Using
body weight etc to cue the downward transitions and stop doesn’t
seem to do much. The back up is not terrific either due to the
resistance. I am obviously failing to achieve softness and
submission and Im not sure if my cues aren’t right or if she
doesn’t have a good mouth to start with? Her last rider was a
ten yr old. Teeth etc have all been done. Do you think
re-mouthing her would be worth considering? Mare is a sweetheart
Absolutely Katrina, that is why I made
THE BREAKER IN ENGLAND OF THE OTHER NIGHT
what you can learn on the internet!!!
OK Good, I'm glad you said that! Owners assured me teeth/back
have been checked so I got fed up with the mare fannying around
& did exactly as you said - got after it! It doesn't half make a
difference when you get on with the job! It tried to buck on
it's first canter, not bothered about being ridden, just
objecting to being asked something, it was as athletic as a fat
brick so I just pushed on & kept going! Owners are coming to see
it tomorrow - I think they will be a bit surprised I'm actually
Thanks John xxx
P.S Hat in size large please
Well done Lou. I think we have him worked
out so just get after him but control any attempt at bucking.
Well done. Send me a pic of the face of the Owners :) I think
you just earnt that Hat :)
In need of help please, I found out on Wednesday that our mare
was in foal, I was not expecting or prepared for it, we bought
27th March last year. Whilst I noticed that her belly was
getting larger I stupidly put it down to being "grass belly" and
had been increasing her food to help with getting her a better
backline! Can't believe I was so ignorant, I even had her teeth
done last Friday week hoping thinking that might have been her
problem, dentist didn't notice and commented that it would help
her improve her condition, also had her feet done he didn't
Anyway Thursday morning we had a new little colt in paddock,
unfortunately yesterday he wasn't sucking, I call the vet
(couldn't get our normal vet, away for a week) they suggested I
milk the mare to see how her milk was and then feed him via a
bottle, I did this (never milked a horse before) and was able to
get a good amount for him, he still refused to drink. Once again
requested vet to come out, they arrived on dusk, where I keep
them has no night lights, mare was flushed with iodine and give
our little colt had problems with block bowel so he was flushed
that end, as well as give antibiotics.
I now have to injected them both twice a day for next week, I
have never given injections before, I'm terrified I will do it
wrong, told the vet this and was told it's easy just do it!
There is no other vet to ring till my own gets back next week.
Also she told me to put mare straight on to suitable feed for
feeding mums, my own vet said to change it over slowly as not to
cause her problems with suddenly changing her diet.
Help please, I have been up most of the night searching the web
for solutions to changing her diet and giving needles, so far it
has me even more confused as what to do.
Go to me latest Podcast Robyn, It is about
injections. Also, add new feed progressively over a week.
I have been searching the net for some answers and found your
site am very impressed. I have acquired a 3year old gelding who
shows some stallion tendencies. When he came back from being
broken in I was able to ride him & to lunge him quite well. I
have had him about a month now. Yes he would try a few silly
things but I would just ride them out.
A couple of days ago he started to get a bit toey under the bit
so I decided to stop riding him & to lunge him. Normally this is
no problem he picks up the paces I want & stops on command. Not
this time he went nuts I gave up trying to control him & just
let him run, When he quietened down I did manage to get some
sense out of him but not to the level we normally do. I tried
him again the following day & again he decided he would just do
his own thing although not for as long. And yes I am one of
those who lunge with a lunge rope although having seen your
video will try without however not as young as I was not sure if
I can move that fast, also do not have the pleasure of sand
arena. Just have a round yard in the paddock.
Normally he is a good horse, ties up easily etc & I certainly
expect him to learn manners but he has some traits I do not know
how to correct.
1. He is continually mouthing things, anything he can will do.
He pulls on the mares coat he will pull my socks and has even
had a go at my knee(I am getting the dentist out to check his
Of course He shouldn't have been broken
in or even ridden without the Teeth being done and therefore,
this entire sequence of events may in fact be a non event but
only that we didn't listen to the Horse who may have been
communicating that the Mouth was getting sore.
2. He loves to be in your space & you continually have to tell
him to back up. He will if you let him hang over you, which I do
not like & I make him move away although sometimes I admit I
I can tell that you need to
improve in your Ground Manners Jenny and that will fix all of
these problems. Go learn and do
3. I read with interest your section on respect & I believe that
is part of the problem I certainly strive to be the dominate one
as I have been working animals for years & know that even with
dogs you have to be top.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Read the letter up higher tonight and go do the 4 things
immediately Jenny. Your Horse is not in it's Box. Further, it
may be riggy but plus, a high IQ. That being identical to the
Horse in this video.
I have met you a number of times and I really appreciate 'good
horsemanship' as opposed to the now quite popular natural
horsemanship. My horse and I spend a lot of time together, but
often, it is spent doing 'nothing much'. Stuff like walking out
in hand, then I ride him home . . . grooming, washing, going out
for a greener grass pick, taking him over to the local nursing
home for pet therapy. I treat him as I would my best friend
(which he is), politely, with requests rather than absolutes. I
even respect his opinion sometimes ('I don't really want to do
that just now' he says . . . and if it is not a health or safety
issue, I might say 'ok'). However, he is a very biddable horse
(one chosen with care as I did not want to be over-horsed) and
once he knows 'yes, I do mean that I would like you to walk here
NOW please' he will. He is excellent with the older people we go
to visit. He is very polite in my company and there is nothing
that I could fault him over when we are together.
So, you say, what then is the problem? Here it is. In my horse's
world, there are horse which are above him and horses which are
below him, and then there are humans . . . all of whom, except
me and those who prove otherwise, are below him. He is pretty
much a one person horse (mine of course) and tells anyone else
in varying degrees of 'tick off, you are not my person, so what
are you doing trying to touch me'. even this, in the right
context could not really be called a fault, because he is just
acting like a horse.
However, he lives on a very public stretch of land, running with
a herd of about another 20 or so horses. The public have access
to it (it is Breakout Creek at the river Torrens where it runs
out to sea at West Beach) and often, instead of using the linear
pathway, outside the fence, decide to run along the riverbank.
(almost) perfect horse is more of a 'go slow horse' rather than
a 'go fast horse' and in all honesty, if you are outside his
personal bubble (about 3 feet) then he likely would not even
lift his head to see you run by. However, if anyone does run
inside his personal space, it has been reported to me that he
will lunge at the person, just missing them (my thoughts are,
not 'just missing' cos he could get them if he wanted to but
does not because he is not a biter).
I was devastated when this was reported to me, enlisted the help
of a friend to confirm the behaviour and sure enough, he does do
this. She did it while I was not there, as I suspect he would
not do that if I were there. On the first run past, she made a
big aaaarrrrggghhhh noise and grew big . . . he looked surprised
and stopped. The second time she did it, same thing, but lesser
degree with lesser reprimand on her part, until the fourth time,
she ran past, he made a move to come and she just went 'ahah'
and he walked off! Went straight over to his buddy horse and
told him that there was a mad woman on the river!!
I would like you to tell me if I am on the right track and how
big an issue that you see this as being (he was never like this
when he first came down to live at the river about four years
ago - I suspect that over the years the public have 'done things
to him' which has created this. He is a very sensitive horse,
though does not act out his worries but internalises them.
You helped my friend Jade Watson re-train her horse Hank from a
bad floating experience, and I know her friend Karina who either
still boards her horse with you or did at one time. If you think
it necessary, I would be pleased to pay for some assistnace from
you, though I imagine it would have to be down here at the
river. I doubt he would exhibit the behaviour at your place
(only on 'his' home
territory) but also I do not have a float or car to tow it to
bring him to you.
What are your thoughts please?
P.S I am 60 next year and have had spinal fusion, total knee
replacement but trust my horse to mainly ride him bareback by
hopping on from the fence post as I find that easier. Our main
pace is walk, with a little bit of trot. He is safe be be on
even if the herd are running, and I have never known him not to
check in with me when I am on his back and ask me should he run
if he does get a scare. I say this just to let you know how safe
a horse I have and what sort of person I am. I came to riding
very late in life, looked after other peoples' horses for many
years (Jade's included) before I got my own.
Had huge fear issues (being led around the round yard on an aged
horse, saying don't let go, don't let go he is moving!!) of my
own to overcome, still would consider myself a little
unconfident, but not on my own horse. He is ridden bitless
barefoot and usually bareback though I do have a lovely treeless
Hi Jan, Thanks. This is not a problem that can be
trained out of the Horse as clearly, he is only reacting to Louts
that have tormented him. Therefore, you don't want another Lout to
make him uncomfortable. This one is outside of the normal Training
requirements or reasons for re-training as the problem is with
Humans here. I know this is difficult for you but I would be
shifting the Horse immediately. Away from the Public. Both for the
undoubted Peace of the Horse and protection from a possible Court
Case which could take your House from you. Regards