Horseproblems Australia
Post Office Box Victor Harbor
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This is where you can have your say. You can have a 'Rave On'  I'll select  articles that can be hard hitting but not slanderous or identifying anyone.


19th June, 2011



The Neglect is rampant, the over Breeding is too and basically the Industry is out of control. It is out of control during a revolutionary time that will be fashioned by Social Networking.

The advent of the Internet has given every one a say and what is reported is a complete lack of uniformity across the organization of the Horse Industry, something that I can predict will eventually bit it right on the Ass.

We already see the Jumps Racing in the sights of the Liberationists, now Whips in Racing and there is even a petition on the Net to ban Dressage. Meanwhile, the Industry in it's fragmented form lurches onward with no Captain. As I have asked for Years now, "Who's looking after the Horses?"

So who should be? The Australian Horse Council, the EA or a Body like Horsesa? One thing for sure, none of them are and such an Organization that encompasses all is urgently needed so as to beat the 'Tree Huggers' to the punch and to protect the Industry, as well of course to ensure the Health and Welfare of our Horses that are in such urgent need.

We shall see. Will it ever happen? or will the Govt Public Servants and 'Faceless Men" suddenly write Laws that will be to the detriment of all? Do nothing and this is the fate of the Industry.



13th March, 2011


The Sights and Sounds at Gainsborough are ever changing and you never know what you may see next but I have to admit that this one saddened most who were present on the property yesterday. What oh what do you do? It was 20 Degrees and Humid, the Humans Strappers were dressed for the Weather but not the Horses. They were prepared for a big Hack Show today and had been prepared. Completed with 3 Rugs, a Skinny Hood and another Hood :(

Now I can hear the Hackies Poo Hoo me and completely not understand what my position is. Here he goes again with his biased views.  I will be a Villain and they are doing what they think is natural. When you move in Circles of Humans that all do the same thing and have a culture  unilateral behaviour, they cannot have any understanding of what they are inflicting upon their precious Horses. They just cannot have for why would so many People inflict pain upon those that they profess to Love?

Uncle Pat says that 'Normal' is what everyone else does around you and normal changes every 100k across the World, dependant upon what everyone is doing at the time in that area. This is true of course, but normal in this Sport extends right across the Land we live in. There were a couple of British Ladies there at the time and I asked them whether this was the norm in the Land where the Sport came from. They assured me it wasn't so how come?

Imho, this is a Human sickness of the mind. They know not what they do. A sickness that sees Racking and the pouring of Caustic Soda and other things on their Pasterns, a Western Sports Fashion where Horses are being Bred like Porka Pigs and much more. The Humans involved know not what they do because everyone does it. So they think feeding arsenic to Hacks is normal, chronic over rugging is normal, lunging Horses for 7 Hours over Night in shift work because the Humans inviolved can't sustain what the Horse must, putting Horses under Lights like Battery Hens is normal, having thick hot Boots around Tendons 24/7 is normal and Drugging to the Max is normal.

It is a Sad World Folks and your personal beliefs often get compromised for how many People are you going to upset in the defence of Horses? The one thing I know is this. Just like the Sport of Jumps Racing and now Flat Racing with whips, this Sport of Saddle Horse is going to come under the microscope sooner rather than later. When that happens, they will only have themselves to blame.






I was discussing the other Night, about the crookedness that goes on in all of the sides of the Horse Industry and how not only in this Industry but in Society in general, the Crooks are getting on top of the people who retain morals. Take Ben Cousins for instance.  Well not for me.

Society has turned around to where the Victim runs and hides and the thugs walk around as if nothing has happened. In the Horse Industry, I continually see those who are ripped off by Criminals...yes Fraud is Criminal, cop it sweet and keep their silence apart from complaining bitterly about the matter amongst their close Friends. There is this increasing fashion that when a 'Name' in the Industry sells you a crooked Horse that you don't dare complain, you just bend over and cop it sweet, because you think you are not going to progress in that discipline of the Sport because the influence of the 'name' will get you beat and stop your dream.

The reason why those up and coming think that is because in today's Jungle, such is true but it is only allowed to be true and perpetuated, by latent but hidden percentage of those at the top who go along with such activities as they too are Crooks. I could recite cases that would make your Hair Curl and keep your Face Books melting down for weeks.

It is the weakness of the aggrieved though, that ensure such despicable behaviour will remain alive and well with Victims hiding behind their walls of silence and the bare faced Crooks walking around bigger than ever and as large as life itself because they become more financially powerful and can afford better Trucks, better Horses, more expensive Stallions and so on. Al very impressionable to the next crop of Christians that are entering the Industry at the time.

And so it was that today, the Lady who was complaining about just that sort of behaviour, that prompted my piece the other Night, cancelled her Daughters Lesson with Mrs. HP for this Thursday. So be it, no skin off our nose but thereby completely proving my point. Incidentally, Mrs. HP was the only one that had the decency and the Guts to get her money back but that one will be lost in the process.

Do these Victims think these Sellers of known Crooked Horses are the Mafia, that are going to put a contract out on them, fire bomb their Houses and the like? I don't think so but what is it? What is the intimidation that allows People to freely empty the Bank Accounts of innocent People and put their Daughters at grave risk of death or a wheel chair? This is not a Game, this is Hell serious.

 So what is the intimidation that allows this to go free? It can only then be Peer pressure or the love of a piece of felt and if that is the case, the shallowness of Industry maybe so that they all deserve each other. That may be fact because I note that these Horses go around and around and the Victims sell them and sell them and sell them, just as readily as the original Crook.

So some of the custodians of the Sport that they got their name within, will glide right along, raiding peoples Credit Cards and Bank Accounts just like common Criminals and putting young Kids on Buck Jumping Horses, risking their lives and with Mothers being kicked. Until the Victims grow some Balls, it will be same old and the Families Bread Winners who slave to earn a dollar and support the dreams of their Kids will continue to pay in silence. It is a shame that this Lady chooses to side with the Crooks :(


25th June, 2008

I love this site. I read it daily looking for any tidbits that may assist me. However it is very tiresome reading the multitude of letters that criticize pony club and or EFA. They are not perfect by any means, but then who can claim that they are. We are all reading this web site and searching for other sources of information because we do love our horses and therefore want to improve our knowledge. My daughter takes her pony to pony club and loves it. Sometimes she is told to do things that I donít agree with so I have told her to say thank you politely and then ignore it. If I see anything I donít agree with I tell the person concerned then and there. What they do with that is up to them.
My daughter rides on a loose rein and when she is told to take up contact I just tell them she is fine and that is the end of it. No drama or bitching required.
Everyone is just trying to do their best with the information that they have. If you are not prepared to deal with a situation when you see it then bitching about it afterwards is not going to help, only add to the demise of the industry all together as we all become divided.
Isnít it time we learnt to help one another? At the end of it all, you can only be responsible for your own actions and you can only change yourself not someone else.
If pony club or EFA really annoys you and you cannot stand up for yourself or your horse, then donít go. Otherwise, go and enjoy, but always stand firm in what you believe is in the best interest of your horse.

Fair enough. Well said and thanks for your input.


18th July, 2007

I also agree with your ranting page- the lack of basic horse mastership
skills taught at PC is frightening these days. I think though that a lot
of the problems are the dressage superstar house wives who are
instructors, that have no knowledge themselves- except to have husbands
who can supply them with the biggest 4x4 and triple horse floats!!
together with mothers who always wanted to ride and live through their
kids- Most people on the committees are parents who have never ridden.
Cathy from Tasmania

30th July, 2003

This week my beef is Horse Committee members/ administrators. Not Pony Club but, here is our State it is the E.F.A.and the Eventing committees that seem to attract FAILED/INCOMPETENT RIDERS / OR THOSE WHO NEVER ACTUALLY SAT ON A HORSE people to their ranks. These people have plenty of time to be on these committees, because they actually don't have any animals to feed and look after and compete on, in between working and looking after family members etc. These type of people love the POWER they wield( so they think!!) and give the rest of poor buggers who are trying to have ago the shits.

When interstate trips( junkets- fully paid for by the members of course) they flit around the country hobnobbing, while the members are left to face the ever increasing cost of membership and entry fees as the clubs never have enough money!!!

Going for a ride to the beach or through the bush instead of competing is looking more and more attractive every day ( we do this any way) and we wouldn't have to pay several lots of insurance as we do now!!!

Cathy from Tasmania

19th September

My family is involved in the rodeo world and I cant agree with you more, when you talk about pony clubbers and the rest of the "gentleman " horse sports. I see some disturbing things "behind the scenes" at rodeo but the majority of competitors are true horse people with a deep love and respect for their fellow equine friends. I find it sad when people talk about "cowboys" it nearly always means something derogatory and while sometimes it is true it is not always the case. The same goes for pony clubbers, people tend to think they are great, but sadly a lot of them aren't. They are exactly what you write, either looking for prestige or just have no idea. Keep up the good work




29th September, 2003

Hi there
    I am just writing to you to say thank you for saying something about the cruelty caused to standard reds. I used to work in the industry. I have seen many a horse treated very poorly buy trainers. One horse I saw sweating and trembling in it's stable (you know the ones they have for SB at the races) and the owner calling it a Sl*t and B***H etc. he wondered why the horse ran like a dog, she left everything at the stable poor thing made me sick.
another time I saw a certain man training a yearling. it had a head check ( a necessity for a young sb) a harsh bit cant remember exactly what it was, a complete waste of time, poor thing) spreaders of course a young horse might hit they are growing, why not knee boots and tendon boots) and an underhead check (poor thing couldn't move it's head at all) this young horse ran a really nice time once (he had a lot of potential) much to his own demise, as the man who owned him the spent the next three months working him everyday, for at least 30-40 mins in hopples and pace working to try and get that speed again he never gave it as in the beginning he was growing, and was out of balance etc, in the end he was just plain exhautsted). He used to pull the horse up and try to make him stand for 5mins or so, he was a yearling and he just didn't have the patience for it(derr does a 12 yr old child stand still) he would move, man would fight, and oneday the horse reared over. The man tried to kick the horse etc to get it to get up, but of course he had both his head checks on, that is the one and only time I have seen someone have a go at him, someone abused him and told him that the horse can't get up as the head checks restrict his head to much, he undid the head checks and the horse got straight up.
I used to go down the track with my trainer and if that man was there with his young horse, he would always say come on time to leave, it would break my heart to see this little young horse go out on the track exusted before it had even begun.
one day we went down and i noticed that the little horse wans't in it's stable, made an off hand comment to my trainer that the gentle man must have finally woke up to his self and but the horse to pasture (where it belinged, the horse only need to  be broken, driven, taught to pace and sent out again asap and he was a gangly looking thing that was never going to make a 2yr old) my trainer told me no, apparently the day before it had got it's head caught in the rails of his yard and snapped his neck.
I think the saddest thing is that I ended up thinking to my self, that the horse was so much better off, it made me sick to think how glad I was that the little feller was dead.
*sigh* if only people would realise SB for the gems they are, I have never meet horses with bigger hearts. My mother made me realise that everyone genuinely thought I had a good hand with SBs on the ground and on the track, what they didn't realise was that I cared about them, treated them as well as I could and I guess they respected me for that, as I never had a problem with them, of the 25 r 30 horses that came throught the stables I worked at in the 6yrs i worked there ( it was a small one, mostly their own) there was only one horse i couldn't drive (it would pull it's self down, he had some serious problems that I think he would never have recovered from enough to race, we only had him for a little while as he was to dangerous and we couldn't get any weight on him).
well I am sure I am boring you. to get to the point, thanks for standing up for my fav breed even if it was only in your Day in the life, and only reaches a few people. I wish I had of had the guts to stand up for that yearling, I should have rung the RSPCA, but I was scared to I was only 14, but I know now and would not hesitate in a heart beat. If only some of the adults had of had the heart.

1st October

Just caught up with your comments on the treatment of Standardbreds. I have owned a OTT STB for the last 5 months and am a total convert to the breed. Luckily for her she was bred and trained by a local horseman who is very well respected in our area for his years of experience and his calm kind way with horses. As a consequence I have a beautifully mannered, honest horse with loads of horsy personality - found my partner for life!  (brag picture below) It hurts to think about the thousands of this gorgeous breed that end up at abattoirs each year - an unbelievable heartbreaking waste.

Damn if I can understand the logic of so call trainers that are cruel to their racehorses - surely they must know it will affect a horse's performance! These people must be mentally deficient in some way. The person ------ talked about in your soapbox page wasn't a professional trainer in any sense - it was nothing more than sanctioned cruelty - it can be dressed up any way the racing industry likes but the basic fact is that torturing horses was this sickos outlet. God only knows what he did to his wife and kids.

I totally support your idea of a licence requirement for horse owners - and it should only come after a horse management knowledge test and a sign declaration that they will uphold basic animal welfare standards. Anyone that disagrees has got something to be worried about. It would be great if the horse industry could develop an animal welfare "seal of approval" system - where people would know that businesses /trainers that had the logo had signed up to stick to basic horse welfare standards of handling, housing, transport, feeding, health management, etc. Probably not a foolproof system but at least it would help increase awareness.

2nd October

I'd like to add my opinion to the issue with Standardbreds...
Firstly, they are not the only horses which get the rough end of the deal. It happens. I wish it didn't. You only have to look at some gallopers, Dressage horses, Pony Clubbers, campdrafters etc etc etc... you name it. And their owners. There are going to be people out there who do unspeakable things to horses in any discipline, as much as it pains me to think of it.
You have only to visit the local sales... Here, the majority of horses being sold for dog meat are either ill/unsound (why can't people have them put down caringly?) or horses that PEOPLE don't need or don't get on with. Sometimes that's an outgrown child's pony, one that doesn't suit someone or horses surplus to the racing industries. Ultimately, people are the reason why horses have come to end up being sold as meat.
Yes, I transgress. In the wild, survival of the fitness etc...
Where money comes into the equation, horses HAVE to produce. And not all owners/trainers take the long view. I wish they would, but that's how it is, sadly. I would like to think that the majority of owners/trainers have their horses' welfare at heart.
Some, or I might say the majority of trainers/handlers/owners are pressured to produce money from their horses. Add to that personal issues and you have a recipe for some dreadful things happening to horses. I would like to think that the majority of trainers do care for their horses.
I have to say that thinking of things like this happening to Standardbreds is utterly repugnant. I have found STBs, without exception so far, (and I've owned a lot of them and trained many more) to be the outstanding breed which has a truly genuine work ethic and great temperament as well as being athletic individuals.
I am not by an means excusing the behaviour described in the previous post! I sincerely wish that more people could get to know Standardbreds at first hand and offer more good homes for Standardbreds after racing! They are very much worthwhile working with and the myths currently extant of them being "ugly", "clumsy" etc are easily dispelled when you see some of the fabulous Standardbreds who have had the opportunity to have a life after racing.  



3rd October


Hi, he was raced from 2 1/2yrs for 6 months around the nsw country pace races. He was last in nearly all his 7 starts. This is from his freeze brand info. I also have his breeders name but can't find anything on the net about him. .......... has been flogged with a halter or bridle and a rope. He shows me this went I pick up or hang on his fence either one. He is also very ear shy on the right side that I haven't been able to work through. I gather it was twisted to restrain him at some point. He has some leading manners but will try for dominant horse. It's subtle most of the time, but having raised horses from foals in a herd environment, I see it, it only takes one reminder though, in the situation. When I am leading, he stops with me, walks slow or fast, trots, turns with me, left or right , lowers and raises his head with little pressure. BUT as soon as someone or something else comes into the area, he'll spin away to face them/it up or bolt away. I can pick up his feet after a battle of wills (he try's to sit down), I guess the farrier wasn't kind. He ties whilst I'm there, but if I walk away he panics and pulls back, he broke a fence paling doing this, so I dont leave him alone tied now. If I leave him untied in the roundyard, he'll pace the fence till I'm back insight. Once he even started calling out. This doesn't happen when he's free in the paddock. I have found that if I don't talk to him whilst working with him he works things out quicker and more relaxed. I guess he was yelled at a lot. I have never ridden him, I would not have control enough. I can tell from the ground. The woman I got him from hadn't, she could never catch him. She got him from the sales, his pen gate had "doggers" marked on it. She was told he was in a paddock for 10yrs after being raced. I put a bridle on him once. He was calm till I went to take it off. He started shaking his head like a dog does when it's wet. It traumatized ME to much to try again. I don't mind if he's just a lawn mower, we have a sort of bond. He has a home for life, I just thought maybe there was something else I should be doing. I spend a lot of time sitting in the paddock reading or watching him and I think he might even like my company, as long as I don't invade his space too much. I'm hoping one day something will click, but I guess the damage is too deep. Thanks for listening to me. Sorry it's so long winded. Your the first person who hasn't said "what did you buy a dud horse for" "you should send him to be canned". In --------- defense, he has NEVER struck, bit, kicked, reared, charged or run over me. He's not that way, thank God for him. If you have any advice, I would appreciate it. Again, thank you. Kylie



To utter the immortal words of Slim Dusty.....

"Well he's lookin kind of jaded and his sight is not the best and the hair around his muzzle is turning grey.

He has seen a 100 musters and I think it's only fair, that we leave him in the long yard here today."

You are a very nice horse owner and your horse is lucky to have you.

John O'Leary


15th October, 2003

I have ridden most of my life (38) and I still feel like I know nothing. My Father bred/rode/trained/campdrafted etc.(A million years ago.) He was a quiet unassuming small gentle man, I hope I am the same, except for the man part. I have a bit of trouble with the old know it all's at Pony Club,(kids) Adult Riding Club (me) etc. An example: My Daughter rides a beautiful conformed and well behaved 14.2 quarter horse mare. someone rode up her backside at a hundred miles an hour at pony club and she made it clear she was'nt happy, now she has an unjustified reputation, I've even been told by an aged old bag to tie beer cans to her tail and leave them there untill she stops kicking.

The Point! I will get there!!! I like your style, I am always scared to speak up and more than likely let people behaving badly walk all over me I really enjoy your soapbox and "A day in the life of"



Madge, ignore the old bags. Every Pony Club has at least one. Anyway, from a training point of view, wouldn't the 'old bag' be better off teaching the kids to stay away from the rear end of every horse instead of just selected ones?  The ones with red ribbons for instance? They all have their days and they can all kick given the right circumstance. Perhaps you may dress all the other Pony Club horses up as beer cans after the re-education. That aughta fix her!

name: sue



comments: Hey HP i fully agree with your statements on pony club i have had experience with such incompetence and entirerly agree on instructors who have never sat on a horses back and only want to bother us riders who just want to have fun!
I have been bothered by this by an instructer trying to teach us KIDS for the state champs team of four dressage. I was TOLD that i was going to let the team down (she told me this in front of the whole team) if i didnt keep MY HEELS DOWN and when we had finished the dresage test and the results came back i had the best rider there and good use of legs. I couldn't wait ti show her ''p
sue SA


comments: Hi HP  (18/1/04)

Always enjoy reading the information you have on your site and learn something new on here all the time! Can I request a description of what you consider to be the correct way to un-bridle a horse? You have a really great description of putting the bridle on but not taking it off. I am like the lady you put up the email from - a product of pony club and in the past bridled a horse just as described with the bridle bunched in my right hand .....

Have returned to riding after a long break I now get regular lessons from a dressage instructor and every lesson I realise just how little I know!

Cheers & Thanks

Katherine. SA



I love your site, it is wonderful to see some good old fashioned horse
sense again. Having been brought up in the north of WA and spent a fair
amount of time on the local stations, we were lucky enough to have exposure
to some horsemanship (more as a matter of having to to survive). Now
living in Tasmania and having children attending pony club, it amazes me
the lack of horsemanship that is taught. Having trained a lovely mare that
I bought off ----------------------------and took her up to advanced in
dressage, it further amazes me that the Pony Club system often chooses to
ignore basic training guidelines which come from the recognized olympic
disciplines. It is no wonder that the sometimes agricultural (but to the
large degree extremely effective) methods of horsemanship don't get a look
in. I suspect we would all be that little bit better of if most horses
even had just rudimentary ground manners and some respect for their owners.

Thankfully, nowadays we have the choice of attending clinics being run by
horsemen who demonstrate horsemanship skills, regardless of the discipline
you are interested in, to complement the clinics we attend to improve our
dressage, showjumping etc.

Keep up the good work.



2nd September, 2004

I am responding to all those people regarding pony club committees.
I am pleased to say that every one on the committee of the pony club of which I attend all own and ride horses at all different levels. It makes the club alot more interesting and fun for everyone. Not just beguinners or those at such a high level you know the only reason they attend is to get enough quallies so as to attend at state level shows.
The comradery at our club is exceptional.
I was a breed shower years ago and up until recently felt the same way about pony club. People were bitchy, never helpful and flat out SNOBS! I flat out refused to go, until a friend of mine kept telling me about her pony club. It's only been around for a few years and is still relatively small. The best part is that the bickering and backstabbing found in some of the older clubs is non existant in ours. Well, it took her about 3 months until I finally caved in.  Now I am on the committee!!
We are active in Zone events and participate in alot of fun activities. We were also selected to go to the State Champs this year! Sure there are mothers on our commitee, but they all ride and so do thier kids. Northern Hills began by a few people who got sick of all the bull found in other clubs, so the left and began their own.
If you want to have some fun, further your instruction (we get alot of guest instruction too!), go on a few trail rides amongst some fantastic scenery (rolling hills, grass, creek etc etc) and we also have our end of year party. No boring presentation night for us. Get the DJ, pump out the music and have a barn dance!!! YEA!
No Northern Hills Pony Club is not your average pony club. And you know what? We are all very glad about that.
Contact me via email at for more details.



Dear Mr. O'Leary:

I am a Bridle Horseman of the California Vaquero Tradition: like Ray Hunt, the late Tom and Bill Dorrance and others that many "Natural Horseman" (NH) including Pat Parelli claim to have learned what they are teaching from. I live in Sacramento, CA which is only about a 2 hour drive from each of the late Dorrance brothers ranches were located and I was blessed to have spent time working with and learning from both of them several times at their ranches. Iíve also learned from Ray and other great Traditional California horseman and I can tell you what Pat Parelli and other ďNatural HorsemanĒ teach is not even vaguely close.
The only similarity is that some of what they sound similar, but quickly departs in the way it is practiced. Pat Parelli used to live less then 20 miles from where I live in California. Before he left his first wife for current wife Linda (who was successful high powered marketing expert before they married) he did not practice all the non-sense he does now. Nevertheless he was always a mediocre Horse Trainer at best. Well that is not the reason for me writing to you.

First I want to say I am glad to see that Iím not the only one that is bold enough to speak candidly regarding NH. I congratulate and thank you for doing so and especially for your article on hobbling. I surely wish you lived in the U.S. I think I know nearly all the right-minded Horseman and Trainers with any genuine Horse Sense in the State I live in and that total comes to about 200. From what Iíve read on your web-site it sounds like everyone else in California is just like horse owners in your part of Australia in that we are the ones they quietly bring their horse to when they have problems. In reality the horse that has owner Ė rider problems. Like you, Iím simply amazed at the stupidity and non-sense that NH has so successfully made widespread and are disgusted by the lack of good horsemanship and care given mostly by those claiming to be NH. Around here it is to the point that we have to start our horses in hobbles and give other foundational lessons hidden from where some radical NH or ďAnimal RightsĒ activist who does not have a clue might see us or we might end up fined or in prison. I also have a web-site where I sell Saddles, Tack, etc. and provide no-nonsense information and rant a little about Horses, Horsemanship, etc. through a newsletter and blog I recently started. I have been intending on writing a article on hobbling and frankly Iím amazed in that what yours says is nearly to the word what I would write.
Therefore I would like to know if I may with the pictures included, use your Article and of course give you credit for it. I simply could not say it any better then you and if I did not see your name at the top I would think it was written about and from my personnel experience. In case you are interested my web-site is at and my blog is at .

Thanks for that. Very interesting. I guess the difference is in the number of games that people learn and how they are restricted within them. There are the 7 games, good ones of course and then Ray Hunt and the like would have about 10,007 different games . I am still inventing new games, every day and on every horse. I'll catch up with you one day soon.


I am new to your website and have just read the soap box. I believe it is great that you allow a place for horse owners to vent their frustration at the equine industry.
However, while reading I came across the horse licensing idea and how some agree with it. Firstly I have experience with how people can abuse their horses. When I was twelve my family was given a Paint mare who had been neglected and abused, suffice to say she became a wonderful pony club horse, show horse and often placed in the top 10 in endurance rides, and she loves to run. She is now retired living in the paddock at almost 30 years of age.
Secondly, I don't see how the licensing could be regulated, if through the RSPCA, I suggest not. I don't know if many of your readers have actually been on the wrong end of the RSPCA, but I have. Before you judge me and my family, let me give you the story. A couple years ago we had a drought, now we have sixteen horses ranging in ages. Any responsible horse owner knows that an elderly horse can be difficult at the best of times to keep weight on, but in a drought it can be exceedingly difficult. Suffice to say, that as a fodder source we have several Fodder Salt Bush plants, which our horses can't get enough of (they would eat them to the ground if they could).
Anyway we had two of our horses in at the time. One an Arab who had lost several teeth, another a mare who had a rough time with her foal the previous year and was taking time getting back. The mare also had a leg injury (it happens. Another horse kicked her in the paddock) it wasn't major a slight limp but was healing. Both these horses were both the front grazing when the RSPCA came to visit. The reason, a concerned citizen said that they were being abused. Little did I know at the time that the Officer had been on the property for approx 10 minutes before I realised. He never came to the door.
After I had explained what had happened, why they were at the front, what they were being fed, etc. he told me that they would be taken from the property in 24 hours if something wasn't done. Now at this time the other horses where in the next paddock, if you had seen those horses you would have gone on your merry way. Suffice to say in a bare paddock with nothing but rocks they would put on weight. However, why he was speaking to me I don't know, I had informed him that it was not my property, but my parents, asked for his supervisors number and promptly rang my father.
Now our local vet knows us well, he has looked after our horse for 20 years or more. But he came out, per RSPCA instructions, looked at the horses all sixteen of them, even though only two were named ( this officer couldn't tell a gelding from a mare, an Arab from a Clydesdale) and promptly said I don't know why I am here. Anyway for the injured mare he gave me a jar of butemoyl, to be given every day. The first day was fine, too fine the mare not feeling any pain moved wrong and I ended up having to splint the leg because she could not walk on it at all, but we persevered. A week later the officer was back, however this time with back up, they walked directly on to the property and proceeded to walk to the stables, now if I was a malicious sort of person the cops would have been called. "Yes the horses look good" "we will be back to have a look again" "we've talked to the vet" and off they went. The mare was put down that week, I don't know if you have ever looked into a horses eyes and seen a pain so great, that they ask you. I have four times in my life, it is not a look that you can ignore.
Her leg would never had healed and the butemoyl wasn't working. The Arab picked up but come the next summer he was put down too. We never seen the RSPCA again. Never came back to check up. Suffice to say his supervisor came and saw and decided that the officer was a little gunho. Hey I'm sure that there are some good RSPCA officers out there. But more often than not there aren't. Look at the rodeos. I have seen the officers there go after people who aren't doing anything wrong. But they do think that they are cops and their word is law and they can go onto anyone's property. I can tell you they can't. if you see an RSPCA officer walking on to your property and they haven't even attempted to knock on the door. call the cops.

HEy I'm against animal cruelty as much as the next person. I love horses, have owned and ridden since I was 2 1/2 years of aged. My grandparents owned a riding school. I went to pony club, I have competed, hell I even did dressage (a big thing for me). I even have an Associate Diploma in Applied Science in Equine Studies from the University of Queensland. Every time I meet a new horse, every time I get on one of my own I learn something new every day. And as far as the suggestion of licensing, think of this even the biggest breeders the best trainers do something that will rub someone the wrong way, that someone will say is abuse/neglect and licensing does nothing, look at car licences, the racing industry, any equine industry.
You can get a licence, doesn't mean you are going to abide by it.

With regards



Dear Mr and Mrs HP,
Just a short letter to say about my experiences with pony club, my son decided this year to take our mare to pony club she is 8yrs old and has been ridden in a bosal for that time. So now because of pony club I mouthed her as she had to be ridden in a bridle with a dropped nose band, she was cool with that, what she can't handle is the contact all the time on her mouth, she is a responsive horse and is getting confused when my son is told to gather her up as she then goes back or to the side as she doesn't know what he's asking, the more she does this the more he is told to gather her up. It just doesn't figure I say let her have a looser rein and she goes well but they wont allow it. So I am thinking of taking him out of pony club as she is now going along with her head stuck up in the air. Its a really shame that they cant ride their horses and do the stuff required on a looser rein instead of being collected all the time. He really is enjoying pony club but the horse isn't..

This letter, makes me think about Pony Club in yet another way and brings the reality of the problems within it, into the realm of simplicity. You have put it perfectly. My motivation has always been to make things better for the horses of Pony Club and for the Riders' of Pony Club. What you have described is reality. That is what happens. Exactly. So how bad is that? It borders on the terrorization and almost cruelty of the one we are supposed to love the most. The horse. We want them all to hang off the mouths of these poor unfortunate animals, for hours on end and yet we won't teach the kids why, how, to thus bring relief to the horses. You are dead right. They should all ride on loopy reins until such time as proper, qualified, proven and experienced Instructors attend. That means NCAS, EFA Instructors, NOT PONY CLUB INSTRUCTORS with the phony accreditation that means nothing. It is an appalling state of affairs and just another reason why I get so frustrated about it. Pull rank on them or leave.

17th May, 2005

In response to your ranting page, I'd just like to add my 2 bobs worth just recently had and new outside mare and foal arrive from a very respectable stud. The foal had a very wonky for use of better term hind leg, hock swivelled to 90 degrees from body when he walked and his hoof on that side was half the size of his other hind hoof. Hence after advising new client his foal was stuffed we had it exrayed and scanned to reveal the poor little bugger had had a crushed and dislocated pelvis which had healed suprise suprise incorrectly.
On his arrival at my place i had rang the stud to see what had happened to this little feeler and they had not noticed anything wrong with him.

Anyway it really pisses me off that the stud feels/felt no responsiblity or due of care and now I am faced with putting the poor little bugger down tomorrow.

17th August, 2005

I have read some of the stories about the pony clubbers in the world.
Well I found out the hard way if you say to much they give you a hard job to try and shut you up (made me Chief Instructor), but I am glad to say that I am now very proud of our club, we do lots of different things, we introduce ground skills, presentation, in hand showing, care of the pony and horse all hands on, some theory thrown in for good measure, we also pride ourselves in being a club were all instructors still ride (in some form or other) and some even compete against their children in jumping and hacking. To say that some even have to lift their game and jump a little higher to be in front of the 11 and 13 year old competing on ponies and already jumping 85cm. We also have a great club when traveling and share our uniforms if they are in short supply for events. When I took over Chief instructor (with much input from the outgoing one) and advice from the parents who ride through their kids, I have developed a system for lessons from one rally to the other, I encourage the children to watch other people having lessons, even their average mum or instructor learning new ways, I also find that our instructors are always passing on what they have learnt from another person.
I went to pony club with my instructor never having even sat on a horse (and good thing to a 19hh Shire would have been the only horse to carry her) and I believe that text book instructors are not the best at times, there is no fear factor if a pony bolts past they donít know what is going through the childís mind. I like the idea that all Level 1 trainees (EFA) have to pass a riding test which includes dressage scores and jumping 90cm. At our club we also include other horse industry people (being parents mostly) race horse trainers, camp drafting people, harness drivers etc to give these children a broad view of the horses in general.
But mostly we do need to educate the owners and parents of the good feeding and care of the ponies they buy, I have also invited the local RSPCA person (who happens to be my good friend) to talk to kids and show them the horrid things that some uncaring and uneducated animal owners do to their charges, that did shake a few kids up but they also learnt a very important lesson about feeding and care. I as a horse owner spend more on horse feed each week than the family meals, we donít go without but buy cheaper and grow our own, I was always taught to feed my horse first as he cant go shopping for the things he wants and cut back on the luxury we donít need. My children would rather go to a horse event and compete than the movies or have a lunch order each week, and funny enough the movies is nearly the same price as the entry fee to a horse event. We love doing things as a family having 4 out of 5 that ride (partner has a boat and keeps us in fresh fish). I believe that the pony club is the cheapest form of instruction we provide and is the one day a month we (hopefully) have the attention of the little dears so lets try and make the best of it and teach them the life skills they need to enjoy their ponies/horses until their old age.


I was wondering if you could post this on your soap box.

My partner and I race, breed and show standardbreds and I have just finished reading some of the entries in relation to STBs and am left feeling a bit upset. I certainly can relate to all those who get labelled as "cow boys".
Prior to becoming involved in Harness Racing i stupidly believed after hearing a few horry stories about how horses are treated that all trainer/drivers were bad and thus boycotted the trots. So I am going to shed a bit of light onto an otherwise misunderstood industry.
There are no more nasty STB trainer/owner/drivers than there are hackie's.
This is the reality of the world of harness racing... Some are worked from the paddock, some are boxed at night and are able to run with their stable mates during the day, and some are kept in large walk-in-walk out boxes alternatively going out into the paddock.
Some drivers and trainers get frustrated and yes, I have seen it being taken out on the horse. But having shown for 20 years, I am yet to see a hackie congratulate their horse for coming 5th.

People have commented on the use of headchecks, spreaders and tounge ties and the alike. So here is the truth... Headchecks are ONLY used if necessary. If people actually WENT to the trots instead of going by what 1 idiot does, they would realise that many horses race with no headcheck.
Spreaders or Go Straights are used to stop horses from hitting their knees when they race. The difference between racing/rodeo padding (I friend of mine does rodeos) is that its just that PROTECTION. These horses are not bandaged merely for show, it is essential for their protection.

Are double bridles used for the horses protection??? What about spurs?? IS dying your horses coat for the ring REALLY helping the HORSE?? What about shaving his whiskers??

Trainers may be different in other states but in SA our horses come first.
When they retire, many trainers over the years have GIVEN (not sold for $$$$$ like the TBs) to hackie people in the promise that they will get a "better" home. You ask any trainer now and they will all tell you a horror story of hackies which have completely and utterly neglected their horse, which ultimately have led to the untimely death of their beloved race horse.

How many hackies really understand the horses hoof? What about balance? Many people give up on the STB because they are "dreamers". They want a horse to "re-educate" but don't know what that means. How can you re-educate if you don't understand the horse first? I have re-educated many STBs and am always amazed how quicky they learn, but knowing about their hooves, how they were shod and why, and their balance has played a very major part in the success of this. Did you know that many STB owners actually shoe their own horses?
How many hackies even know how to take off a shoe?

Anyway, that's finally off my chest. (it been brewing for ages).

Any idiot can own a horse unfortunately. People should have a license to own a horse. Do a short course on how to worm, rug, float etc. before they can get one. I have seen so many horses that are also neglected not due to creulty as such but due to ignorance irrespective of the disipline.


One of my pet hates is seeing aged horses to give away or for sale, as a QH breeder and often looking to purchase mares I come across this often. Why can't people do the right thing by theses animals and look after them in there twilight years instead of dumping them onto somebody else because they are too selfish to consider these animals. Too often I see adds for 20+ broodmares for sale, generally they may have a few good years left in them, mostly they have been flogged out as baby making factories and then when they are more "at risk" in years they are dumped. Thank god I am not aged horse living out of a packed suitcase until finally I depart this earth. We retire and keep our aged mares until it is time to make a more serious decision for them, and then only when it is in their best interest. Often we have to drive many kms in a day checking and hand feeding these old loves which we find financially hitting on the pocket, but they have served us well, now it is our turn to serve them well. Our old loves range from 25-35 and still going strong, no more babies for them just some gentle old mates to live their days out with. Please if you can't care for the old souls of our industry don't dump them onto anybody who happens along. Do the right thing by them.