Post Office Box Victor Harbor
You don't have to read this page of course and please forgive me. Here, I think out aloud about the short comings of the Horse Industry in Australia. The route cause of the problems that I meet at the 'Coalface' on a daily basis.
You may not like it but I hope it prompts debate and makes people think. There is not enough of that in our Industry.
14th September, 2009
HORSE CRUELTY CAUSED BY THE HORSE INDUSTRY
Excuse me for sounding passionate when I talk about subjects such as this, but about the only thing that brings my Blood up these days is the 'cruelty to Horses' and it is still about at plague proportions via a lack of education. Once again, Pony Club has to have a bashing for this and the next subject as well.
There is a Horse and I had to go in it's yard. (something I would not be doing normally) Always rugged and always looking depressed when I drive past.
It has been manuring into it's water trough and I was asked to rectify the situation. I walked into the Stable and reeled back for two reasons. 6 inches of 'Barley Grass' seeds stacked upon each other was my first observation and as a result, having undone the rug to investigate condition, saw the back bone sticking up like 'the last of the razor backs" Well of course he would be, wouldn't he? You can only starve on 'pure weeds"
So how can a young Lass with all the gear and plenty of years under her belt, be starving a wonderful Horse and causing me thousands in damage re weed control on the pristine property? How can that be??? Go figure that???? The mind boggles.!!!
Well once again, no education in the Horse Industry about THE THINGS THAT BLOODY COUNT@%^&*(+_|+*(&^%%#*+|_ Number one 'Cab off the Rank' has to be Pony Club and number to is Equestrian Australia who are responsible for the fate of this Horse. They just don't get it Folks. They are big on Cocktail Parties in the South of France but small on Horse Welfare. Their Curriculums are a joke and that is the sum total of the cause why this poor Horse with the depressed Look and the razor back inherits his fate. We may talk about the Racing Industry and the flogging of Horses with Whips for trying harder, we may talk about Rodeo but I can tell you Folks, the rampant Cruelty caused by the disorganization of the Equestrian Australia, the Horse Industry Council and Pony Club pales that into insignificance. Isn't ironic though, how the Bodies who are 'Holier than thou' are inadvertently to blame for more cruelty than the Sports with the worst reputations.
So tell me this Folks???? How on God's Earth can anyone in the Horse Industry, not see that a Bale of Hay is 100% pure Weed???????? What is that? and now some corroberation about my comments re the Royal Halter the other day
I saw her too and clearly the Horse hadn't been prepared to be at a Show. The Jaw Jagger with the Standardbred was worse though. The Educational systems are big on teaching the things that matter not to Horses, like make up in their eyes, Chemicals that burn their Tails out as happened to one of our clients recently, terrorizing Horses with lights on and off all night, feeding arsenic to thin the coat, over rugging to a cruel extent but they absolutely fail in teaching about the things that are important to Horses.....like feeding, veterinary, trough cleaning, stable management, fodder selection, working, teeth and riding.....so here is another one for the weekend.......
A Royal Show Competitor was housed at our place from the Country. It was then shifted to an another agistment facility for about 4 days last week, during the 30 degrees heat. It was picked up by another one of our clients yesterday and brought back here for a trial. It had not been given any water and was in severe danger of kidney failure and death........the things that matter most???????
14th July, 2008
EDUCATING HORSE OWNERS
14th July, 2003
What a wonderful institution it is, but I see some terrible deficiencies in the management of it. In South Australia at least, which is where I come from and from where I have watched things very closely over the years both as a father of a Pony Clubber, as a husband of a Coach of kids and as a sponsor. I deal with the horses of Pony Club kids every day. Other States may differ. Here are some areas that those in charge should urgently take on board.
Imho, one of the major reasons why people reach for the needle, which is most predominant in the extension of Pony Club, the Hacking World, is their lack of knowledge of how to handle the tough asks of horse ownership. That of controlling horses when horses do not want to be controlled or the training of horses rather than taking the edge off them with a drug or the all night lunge at the Royal.
If your Club is on top of those subjects, congratulations.
In short, the big issues of horse ownership are not tackled. What a missed opportunity? What a shame?
THE CARE OF HORSES IN AUSTRALIA
I must admit that I only observe the state of care for horses within the State of South Australia but here at least, I have to say that it is rather appalling. I have carefully watched for years. There are a number of reasons for this sad phenomenon
What we see on a daily basis is simply disgusting. The surprising thing is that they all act as if they love their horses so much but it is a fake, selfish love. So let me attempt to break this down into percentages.
In so far as true proper care of a horse goes, the percentages would be very low indeed. I don't mean enough feed or a rug, I mean true, proper care. Worming, Feet, teeth, grooming, exercise, riding, time out in paddock and so on.
What prompted me to write this was a rider I saw today. They are at State level and yet their horse was 50kg under weight, the tail had been trodden out because it was never trimmed and the feet were so bloody long it just wasn't funny. Oh, and mother drives the float too fast. How on earth can Pony Club allow these riders to come and go and no-one says a thing about the horse.
So, the romantic Horse Industry is not so. It is a worry indeed and the horses are the losers'
We live in an age of the 'throw away product' The purchaser has been nicely brainwashed to this by stealth. It has been accepted. However, when it comes to rather expensive items which are purchased by the Equestrian Community, 'throw away' is becoming a little unfair.
In Australia, we are going through a drought. The price of horse feed has gone through the roof, fees and charges of the various Associations and the EFA have risen dramatically, not to mention the Insurance crisis. The last thing horse owners need is to be ripped off by substandard products or a negation of their Consumer Rights under the Law.
I have watched the status of the Equestrian World for a lot of years. It has always been obvious to me that the numbers of participants' in it remains pretty well stagnant and that the size of the cake does not increase.
The reasons for this is the constant rate of attrition and one of the main causes for this is the expense. Young people cannot afford to carry the increasing financial burden to be able to remain horse owners. They certainly cannot afford to be paying good money for quite expensive Saddlery items, only to have them break down, be faulty or become throw away within weeks.
The large Saddlery Chains have quite a responsibility imho. In some cases and for some products, they don't appear to be accepting this responsibility all of the time. They are allowing obvious faulty and substandard items to be sold and in doing so are doing a grave injustice to their clients, their 'bread and butter' I had a lady tell us this week that she had a new horse rug give away in the stitching around the shoulder area. When she took it back she was told by the attendant at Horseland that she must have a heavy rolling horse.
Even the Elite Riders' who put their names on product should conduct quality control investigation into those products prior to putting their names on them. There are horse rugs being promoted right now, with Elite Riders' names on them but those rugs are faulty in certain areas. Not good. That in turn, must reflect upon the reputation of the rider.
The Consumer Laws aims to protect the consumer in as much as the product must be fit for the use that it was purchased for. In quite a disturbing number of instances right now, this is not happening.
If you have horse rugs that stretch around the neck in a week, take it back. If you have Velcro not doing the job that it was designed for, take it back. Make the Importers' take notice by hitting them in the pocket where it will get attention. You deserve better and your horses deserve the extra funds at your disposal for their care. Not in some sweat shop owner's pocket.
HORSEMAN IS NOT A DIRTY WORD
Here in Australia, (probably not in America) it is surprising how many people knock the 'Tall Poppies' meaning people who achieve from their hard work. This is brought upon by what we call, 'The Cultural Cringe' left over from being sent out here as Convicts from England when Australia was first Colonized.
Anyhow, it has always amazed me and I must say, hurt me, how many people make the comment, "I heard he is a bit rough" when asked about the ability of any Horse Breaker. It doesn't matter whether they have ever laid eyes on him, the fact that they heard it is enough. On the other hand however, most think that anyone who wears a set of jodhpurs, must be 'as gentle as the driven snow'.
Surprisingly though, the moment they run into a real problem with a horse, they can't wait to shoot it off to the nearest Breaker and in fact, they try to choose the most Cowboy one they can. I get to know of all of the seriously naughty horses that get secretly sent out Bush for a good 'tune up' and it is all done on the sly.
I can tell you that roughness on horses comes from every corner of the Equestrian Community and some of the most severe that I have seen has been dished out by people who wear joddies. So please judge people as you find them and more importantly, as your horses find them. They are the best judge of all.
2nd October, 2003
THE PLIGHT OF THE STANDARD BRED HORSES
There has been much said on here about the plight of the Standard Bred horse. All horses deserve a second chance at life but I think that this breed deserves special attention due to their magnificent temperament, honesty and obedience no matter what.
Many more could be sold into the Equestrian World if only the Harness Racing Control Authorities would show some leadership and get with the times by removing the rule that installs that ugly and defacing identification mark they call a brand.
In this day of technology that knows no bounds, I just wish that they would find a better way like a microchip. Then, a large part of the current buyer resistance would be removed, thus giving these horses an improved chance at a life they so richly deserve.
SEDATIVES AT THE SHOW
16th October, 2005
HORSE INDUSTRY EDUCATION