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< border="0" src="images/My%20images/hp%20logo.jpg" width="116" height="86"> Horseproblems Australia
Post Office Box Victor Harbor
SA. 5211
(61) 0418814029




John O'Leary

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I am going to try to issue warnings on product faults that have been observed and proven on this page. Your help would be appreciated.

If you have instances of this, could you email the story and a photo if possible.  Equestrian Consumers' have the same rights at Law that other Consumers' have. If you have purchased product that contains design, performance or quality faults, return it to the store and request your money back. If they do not offer a refund, report to the matter to your State Consumer Affairs Dept, who will make representations on your behalf, providing they are convinced of your allegations.

Below are some photo's of examples of problems people have had with brand new items.   Other real life instances as well as will be reported in words on this page.

Click on the photo's to enlarge





P.S. I contacted you a while ago re Bates and Wintec saddle prices here in Australia as compared to Europe and the USA.

My daughter has just purchase a Bates Isabell Werth, fully mounted with the padded transport saddle bag, saddle blanket, the full Easy Change gullet system and gauge delivered to her from the USA for AU$2595. The saddle unmounted here in Australia is AU$3495. Bates excuse is that there are "import duties" that don't exist and GST (10% $317.73). Sigh! They're no better than the float builders.

That is unreal Chris and something that all should know. Thanks


17th February, 2009

< align="justify"> Kincade Stick Saddle

The Lady was riding a buck jumper well as as per my warnings about such equipment, the monkey strap ripped clean out of the saddle and drove her into the ground. They are still heaping crap on you Folks. One day........

--Hi there John,
Ahhhhhh I have just been doing some brush ups on knowlege. I was watching your pod cast evasions. Bear (my horse I just sold and left for a nice home in KI to a great new owner with loads more experience.) Well from the day I got him he tried may evasions I saw them for what they were. I corrected him and he grew out of these evasion. such as riding you against the fence, jig jogging and parking. lol I had spelled him for a while ( a few months) although he was still being handled and groomed. So I decided time to ride again. he firstly did everything asked of him, then the parking started. I backed him up and I firmly believe this is the next evasion as none of his others have worked on me he cut 180 and bucked and bucked til I was off and hit the deck. I only realised this after watching the pod cast. I was so busy looking for answers but there it is. nothing else has worked so I will turn to bucking. he got me off alright but brave me jumped straight back on concussed and injured and made him go round again til he behaved. I hopped off after that and I don't have a death wish so I decided to pass him on to more capable hands. I stayed on thanks to the monkey strap I got from you but the screws came clean out the saddle. here are the photos. The monkey strap was completely in tact but the screws were not up to the job(the ones that hold the shackle in place). the shackle next to it was not screwed in, in one of the points at all. this is a stock saddle and it was my first time to attach and ride with the monkey strap to the shackles. This saddle is only used from time to time and I have used the saddle 12 times in its life since I bought it brand new!
from Cindy and Wayno

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5th May, 2008

G'Day John,
Here is a picture of a Navaho girth purchased from Goodwoods.You should be able to see from the image that there is a serious design flaw in that the buckle twists sideways allowing the girth pionts to slide off.
Im sure most readers will understand my horror when after only 5 minutes of riding the girth fell off !!!
The lack of quality in the manufacture of the girth illustrates their lack of safety concerns clearly indicating that profit outweighs safety.
Lucky to be alive

Yes, highly dangerous, substandard crap girth. How much money was that Nat?

 Take it back and demand your money. That is your legal right.


Wintec Girth.

I was saddling up a Horse the other morning and luckily noticed this. The same Horse bucked with me 4 times that morning. Can you imagine the trouble I would have been in with this girth breaking and the back cinch still attached? 6 Months old brand new. So, once again, not enough attention paid to quality or safety by the Manufacturer. 6 months is just not good enough, sorry.  Be Careful.



Bates Innova Dressage Saddle.

At a recent Clinic run by the EFA, the National Dressage Coach commented on the Bates Innova Dressage Saddle saying that it was not suitable as it restricted the free movement of the Rider. Mrs. HP has ridden in one as a Trial and found that it is most unsuitable if riding any horse that may throw in a Buck as you get launched out over the front. A client who has one has been in fact bucked off several times out of one.


The continual battle that Horse Trainers fight in order to teach correct training methods and so protect the lives of Horses, is very often made more difficult by Saddlery inventions that emerge via the National Saddlery Chains. In the latest catalogue of Horseland, there is a 'breakaway Halter' that is 'designed to break under pressure' and good for horses that pull back. From a Trainers point of view, I find this product potentially dangerous to horses and owners. It sends the wrong message to the young and inexperienced and once again fosters the ignorance that horses gain when led around in leather or webbing Halters. What is most concerning is this. If a suspect horse, one that we know will NOT tie up and WILL pull back, is tied up solid using this Halter, something that the young and innocent are likely to now do because of the claims and the key/buzz word of GOOD, such horses will increase their level of violent reaction, have that energy level temporarily hesitated up to the breaking strain of the weakest point of the Halter and then 'ping' backwards' with the strong likelihood of going completely over backwards with the whiplash effect smashing the back of the head of the horse on the ground, injuring it or possibly killing it. Not only is the principal of the claims of this halter dangerous imho but I know from experience that such horses will immediately deteriorate further in their propensity to pull back and add a Mental factor to the process, rendering them more dangerous to themselves and to Humans. Saddlery Shops have a responsibility to Horses imho but I often see dangerous things sold. This can be one of them and I strongly urge you to steer right away from it. Either tie to twine or re-train your horse. There are no in betweens.

This rug is 2 weeks old. The neck has stretched
This rug is 2 weeks old. The Velcro will not keep the neck rug in place.

Euro Hunter Set. Great rug and hood, brainless fittings

The result of hoods that don't fit and fittings that would be better holding your jocks up



30th July

Purchased a new GG Rug set. The rug had to go back within a week. The horse that wore it is yarded and all he did was half of one roll over. The leg strap and belly bands came away as they were stitched to the silk lining, not through the rug. Today, the Saddlery confirmed that more are starting to be returned.

It is my opinion, that the reliance on Velcro as the only manner of fixing of neck rugs or hoods, is dangerous to horses and often does not work in reality. I recommend that when purchasing these products, you should demand clips or straps as fasteners. I don't know who designs such potentially dangerous products.

When purchasing stockmans' or chain hobbles, do not buy the so called 'Lambswool' ones as they severely rub horses. Leather ones do not.

I am sad to say that the last few set's of R.M .Williams Hobbles that I have purchased, have been substandard. 


24th October, 2003

The photo shows a Euro Hunter Rug and Neck rug set. This product is great in quality but those responsible for the location of the fixtures are brain dead. Dangerous to horses, causing injuries and possible death.


21st November, 2003

Danger warning regarding the use of the new, thicker types of Poly electric Fencing wire. It is advertised as being safe to horses but it is highly dangerous. Photo's of injuries will be put up soon.


27th November, 2003

I am yet to use an Asian Leather Hole Punch that is not substandard, faulty, too weak and doesn't collapse at the strength of one of my hands. The Saddle Stores having been selling these for years and are doing the wrong thing by you, their client. Buy the Brittish made one.


16th October, 2005

Last thing - Mesh Flyveils.
Horseland Mesh Flyveils are cheap and nasty- they have no real shape (does that make sense) - so the mesh would sit too close to the horses eyes (I have brought this type before and they are useless) - if you buy the ones with the nose attachment they don't really fit to the horses nose.

Saddleword Sell 'Flyveils By Design' brand -.flyveilsbydesign.com.au/ - they are the best I have ever used!!!! the horses love them - the shape doesn't change, sits high off the horses eyes and doesn't move around to much, really well made. And it is only $3 more then the horseland brand. And they are an Australian product!



16th October, 2005

I wish I had read your site earlier, Consumer Watch. I have purchased a GG rug for my elderly horse after being told by the "sales person" that of all the rugs on display that this would be the most durable for my paddocked horse. It has lasted only a short time before ripping along the bottom and the cross straps coming off. This problem was fixed and the next day it had happened again, and again. It appears to be a fault in the canvas. Needless to say I was told that as the horse had worn the rug it could not be returned


I advised the client to go buy a Parelli Lead rope as the Parelli lead rope that she had was a 6 foot long substandard waste of time. Off she goes to Allingtons Saddlery as you will remember that Saddleworld and Horseland are suddenly selling  training equipment that I would find inaffective.

Back she comes with this:

It didn't come with a clip. The Saddlery put that clip on. So what is my point? This design is NOT Pat Parelli's design and if he thought that is what was needed to train then he would have designed it like that. I can tell you definitively that such a design interferes with the proper training of the horse and ruins feel and weight distribution for the horse and handler. Yet another clone product that is leaping into Pat's wallet whilst not even doing him the justice of following the correct design. So now, my client has to traipse back and return it. Now there would appear that none of the Saddlery shops that I know of will sell correct products. I urge you not to buy them. Here is a properly designed rope:

Pat Parelli Rope


A major Saddlery player is attempting to do just what Coles and Woolworths are doing as we speak. Take over and kill every known brand name and to replace product with generic and often product of a lesser quality or from Countries that know no health regulations.  Bankrupting Australian Companies in the process. It is now happening with Saddlery and it is about to get worse. I have highlighted certain cases and warned you about the effect upon training. They don't care for horses, only the bottom line. Now there is pressure being placed upon certain other Saddle businesses, to tow the line and comply with rules, policies and product. Please stand up against them or in 10 years time you will no longer buy anything decent. Then, as evolution of our race takes place, crap will become normal. That is how they work. If any smart entrepreneur out there is ready to earn mega, start looking at an internet based mail order saddlery business that delivers quality and won't burn their soul.!!!!!!!!

Hi John,

Have you had any talk on your site lately of the 'new' design rugs which some manufacturers have brought out this season? I think they are a bit ridiculous. Check out the photo attached of a Eurohunter Light new seasons neck rug purchased from Bonnets. As soon as the horse puts it's head down there is a gap between wither and neck rug and when horse puts it's head up the neck rug 'bunches' in front of the wither of the rug, not to mention very weak/ poor quality attachments. Anyway, i don't like them, other people may have other opinions.

The straps need to attach back further on the rug!


The latest substandard fitting. Two broken off on this rug. Not only that but the push, spring loaded button that belongs in a racing car not on a horse, can come undone and that is dangerous for horses. This one is on the belly band.

Now on the chest straps. Broken again.

 My horse has been out of work due to a sore back for the past few weeks. I eliminated veterinary first, hooves are done regularly & teeth were also done recently, horse is relatively fit and in healthy condition. I was riding him with a thick saddle blanket & eventually purchased a “gel pad” but to no avail. My next step was to get out a massage therapist who is also a saddle fitter. She checked out my saddle (Just for info my saddle was NOT purchased from the well known retailers & does not have the CAIR system) It is brand new and maybe ridden in 5 times if lucky & we found to have numerous faults from the manufacturer. It is overstuffed on one side, gullet appears to be slightly twisted & is different widths etc. Massage lady gets out big ball bearing & puts it in the gel pad. “Feel this” she says & hands it to me. The gel simply dispersed around the bearing, therefore causing pressure points on horse’s back. Bad for horse, & lots of money for a useless product. Here’s a bigger shock. Massage lady had to ‘dissect’ a saddle as part of her course and showed me a CAIR panel. What do you think is inside those CAIR panels? Do you think they are really panels full of air? I don’t think so!!! It is nothing but cheap, nasty FOAM (& in very cheap and nasty ‘plastic’ packaging) that compress with feather-light touch! More pressure points! The retailers charge an extra $300 to option your saddles with this, & it is nothing but a farce & obviously NOT good for horses! Really disappointing, now I scrutinize every product I consider purchasing for my horse as nothing seems to be made with the horse in mind but rather, profit in mind. Anyway John, that is my whinge of the week, I hope it helps one of your readers make a more informed decision when purchasing their next saddle. Keep up your great work on the site and hi to Mrs HP, I am looking forward to getting some of her dressage DVD’s soon!
Kind regards



Hey you! John, before I bought Red, as you know I tried out a few other horses. My Treeless saddle got broken by a very excitable Bucking Gelding. Both Stirrup Bars were ripped off. I have only picked it up from the Saddlery and this is what he said. Now please remember ( I am not giving out it's brand name for suing purposes lol) this is NOT an cheap Ebay item. It cost me just on $2000.

The 'leather' if you can call it that is actually Synthetic Leather. It is only stitched once inside and out by a machine, so there is no way it could have taken the Buck with Human in it or no, There is only one thin strap of cotton strip from one stirrup bar to the other Single Machine Stitched. It is fine for a horse that doesn't. buck, shy,basically do any sort of jerky violent move. It is advertised for Endurance riding allot, and as you know there is allot of shying/bucking on those rides.

But now that my Saddler had been at it for nearly 6mths (on and off) he opened it up repaired the inside, replaced the piece of material with a double piece of car seatbelt hand stitched 3 times, them doubled stitched anything else that needed strength. He said it does the Job it is advertised to do, that is, giving rider and horse very good comfort , which I can agree on, but there is no security,craftsmanship in the saddle at all. Before buying this saddle I really researched it as a saddle to be ridden in, it was recommended in the Endurance mags a fair bit, but unfortunately you can not get one to 'try' and take it to someone to look at 'engine' can you.

No matter, It is all fixed now, it can take a fairly rough ride now and I feel much safer, bugger. So just a warning for those looking at one, look at the stitching it is a good sign of if it can withstand you type of riding.




I noted that the Mature Aged Lady Rider on the Young Horse above here, was wearing these, which I questioned her about. Ariet Riding Boots.

Now it is amazing these Days, how Businesses can 'Spin Doctor' Marketing Talk to make People believe anything. I am sorry but don't tell me that these are Safe for Riding. They are downright Dangerous in my opinion and I warn against them. Don't be fooled by the New Age smooth words Folks. Watch out for your Lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Mail: horseproblems@horseproblems.com.au