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Horseproblems Australia
Post Office Box Victor Harbor
SA. 5211
(61) 0885521418
horseproblems@horseproblems.com.au

 

 

 

LISTEN TO YOUR HORSE

by

John O'Leary
Horseman
© 2006

www.horseproblems.com.au

 

 


 

 

 

Hi Folks. During my Career as a Problem Horse Trainer 25,000 or so Horses have told me the following, which I would like to pass onto you.
 

  • Horses can read your mind 100% of the time

  • There are no naughty horses, only dumb Trainers

  • Buck Jumping Horses don't want to be.

  • Horses only want to try until they are not heard.

  • So called 'naughty horses' are only communicating with you in an effort to make you listen.

  • Horses that Buck or Rear have only graduated to screaming through not being heard prior

  • Horses know if you care. They also know if you REALLY CARE.

  • Horses all want to please, until they are mistreated or confused.

  • Horses know if you genuinely have their interests at Heart

  • Horses know if you have a genuine respect for them

  • and depending upon your ranking amongst all of those points, will the Horse decide how to score you and react accordingly towards you

You may remember the Movie 'City Slickers' where Billy Chrystal and the others kept asking Jack Pallance "How did you do that?" and throughout the Movie, he kept answering them "The 'One Thing'" ......well I never thought I would get it but thankfully, I have and I did because I 'Listened to the Horses"

 

 

These Days, my Wife and I have been taken even further by Horses and it is truly magical. I can therefore pass onto you the following also:

  • That Horses understand what we are saying

  • Horses know if we 'truly care' or only pay lip service to the words......and now, at least once per Week.....

  • That Horses will Role Play their Pain whilst we speak upon their behalf and in their support.

Your Life with Horses will be eternally enriched if you take on board some of what I have just said. Read my Lips Folks!!

 

LETTER

Here is a documented account of why it pays for you to "Listen to Your Horses" and to do the hard Yards for your Vets.
 

Hi John

I have some good news for you and some bad news for me.  After a year of many vets failing to diagnose my mare’s problems, I came across your website (from googling head tossing I think) and saw a youtube clip that made a light go on for me.  I thought - “THAT looks like what Charlie does!”

I went back to the vets and told them that I thought my horse had sacroiliac pain and they did what they needed to do, nerve blocking the other joints to rule them out and then focusing on SI.  After two very long, large needles into the area we had our answer.

I could tell you so much more about the journey getting there and I will do if you think it would be useful for your page.  What the constant wild diagnostic goose chases we went on taught me is – nobody knows your horse better than you.  a vet cannot get the full picture with a short or even extended consult at times as you tend to forget ALL the details (and the details are often contradictory or confusing).  This was especially the case for my mare as she showed no lameness for a long time.  Eventually, I sent my vet an email prior to my final appointment (I have copied it below for you and removed any references to the vets names).  By the time I wrote this email it was around 12 months of problems…. so the detailed instructions on Charlie’s behaviour only eventuated after much trial and tribulation.

My lesson on this is – never expect somebody to find the answers for you (even those far more qualified than you and you are paying a LOT of money too).  You need to be thorough and keep a diary of all the signs.  Educate yourself and get involved in helping find the answers!  It’s a joint effort sometimes.  If I’d kept a diary sooner we might have had a diagnosis sooner.

Thanks again for the wonderful educational website you have put together and thank goodness somebody took the time to write it as I might still be scratching my head!! Unfortunately, googling ‘bad behaviour’ does not return the diagnosis as it can be anything from a tooth ache to a ill fitting saddle.  However your site was a major breakthrough for all concerned (especially poor Charlie).

Thanks again

Melinda 

 an Letter to the Vet then......

Hi xxx
 
What has happened since we last met.
 
HOCK INJECTION/STEROID


·         Took Charlie home post hock injection

·         Worked her for further 10 days

·         Her behaviour got much WORSE not better

·         Safely, I think we can rule out that hock!


BUTE
·         Then, we put her on bute (10ml twice a day for 2 days, then 5ml twice a day each day after)

·         She was a completely changed horse.  After months of not even being able to canter around the arena, we went straight back to shoulder in, traverse, counter canter, etc.

·         Tried a lower dose of bute (5ml a day) and behaviour returned.


OVARIES
·         Note, I started keeping a diary on her behaviour and worked out she was in season every week!  Pretty much has been in season all of October

·         My coach suggested she might be spring heating, but I wanted to check anything more potentially sinister (such as a teratoma or something along those lines)

·         So I took her to xxxx to scan her ovaries.   Nothing showed up.


A recap of Charlie’s signs is below….
 
Charlie’s signs include:
 
·         Usually ok to work in walk and trot

·         NOT ok in canter.  This includes swinging her quarters in, throwing her head up, backing away, going sideways.  Sometimes (but not always) she disunites in canter.

·         When in pain, cannot get left canter lead.

·         When in pain, rushes in right canter.

·         Has always been on forehand

·         Has always had bit/contact issues


[on bute, all the above signs disappeared and she was more uphill, more together (stepping through, more collected) and much better in contact]

Other signs:
 
·         Can sometimes stand in wash bays with hind legs out wide behind her

·         The other day she did not like her tail being washed (would raise hind legs).  This is a new thing.  Perhaps the extra weight of her wet tail causing more discomfort?

·         Chronic tail swisher

·         Under-developed hind quarters (compared to shoulders)

·         She pushes me off to the right hand side while riding (I thought that was my bad habit until I rode another horse and it did not happen)


What we’ve ruled out:
 
·         Ulcers

·         Teeth

·         Temperament

·         mare tendencies (I’m 90% sure on this)

·         hock


For reasons above, I suspect it may be her back (and perhaps hard for xxxx (equine chiro) to diagnose as she did not see Charlie under saddle …. which is when it hurts her).  
 
I’m not sure if you can watch this video, but the horse 5 minutes in (fast forward to that point) is worse than Charlie but certainly very similar in terms of behaviour  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5TdgH5XNTk&feature=player_embedded <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5TdgH5XNTk&amp;feature=player_embedded>  
 
What I do suspect (only from reading google so feel free to roll your eyes me being a google vet
J)…. But I’ve read that sacroiliac pain results in a lot of the same behavioural things as Charlie is showing.
 
What I would like to do is first get your thoughts on where to start.  Then, if I can bring her to xxxxx a few days before any procedures, then she can settle in and not be so ‘amped’ when I ride her.  I need her calm so I can ride her properly and you can see what is going on.  If I ride her for you first, make sure she’s displaying signs as per usual, then we start injecting (wherever you recommend) until we have our answer.  I ride again, we see if it works.  What do you think?  Very much open to other ideas from you also.
 
Sorry for the long winded email but I think it’s the first time I’ve had a really cohesive look at all the elements and they may or may not be important to you - but at least they are there if you deem them significant.
 
Thanks so much xxxxx, look forward to your recommendations.
M

++++++++

 

 

VETERINARY STUDY

31st March, 2011

During the last two Years, we have been conducting a systematic study involving 50 Horses, all of which came to us with varying degrees of Training or Behavioral problems and all of which were found to be unsound in various ways. Predominantly issues of the Hind end but fitted three categories:

  1. Horses that had a genuine Veterinary affliction

  2. Horses that were made to appear unsound due to incorrect Riding, ill fitting Saddles, bad Coaching and the Like, and...

  3. A combination of both.

 

Now this is a highly technical area and of course demands that the Trainers have the ability to "Listen to the Horses" and to in fact be able to read precisely what they are talking about, complaining about or shouting about. I believe the Holy Grail of Horsemanship.

You see, "Horses never Lie" and they are never wrong. If you can decipher what they are saying, they will tell you everything about their problems, where their problems lie and even everything about the previous Riders, even though we do not know them.

Throughout, we have been more and more blown away at what we were discovering and how we were forever being taught and developed as Trainers, by the Horses. The most satisfying feeling.  Here are just some of the findings:

  • That in the majority of Pre Purchase Vet checks, Vet's have failed to diagnose rear end Veterinary unsoundness. There are many reasons for this but essentially, the Vet University Courses Curriculum does not equip Vets' with enough information and options for diagnosis of these problems. Stifle, mis-aligned pelvises, Sacroiliac problems and other stuff. They do not advise and promote Vets' to demand to see Horses lunged, ridden and even view Video Tape of them. Rather, they historically just walk up and examine the Horse, trot it up 15 metres for a stress test and 'Bob's your Uncle'. Owners should also be educated to take a more pro-active role in the selection or investigation of their prospective or current Horses and to arm the Vet with as much information as possible, rather than relying on them. Vet's do need our help.
     

  • The vast majority of Horses that we have found to be in fact unsound and proven such, have been prior Vet checked, Physio checked, Chiro checked and by others. 3 in the Last two Weeks in fact. One that was purchased by a Mrs. HP Pupil, with a Vet check and unable to do the Dressage. Mrs. HP advised the Girl to get rid of the Horse. She did last Week, with another Vet check. Passed sound :)
     

  • That majority Vets' are not exposed to Horsemanship or even more important, the knowledge that such skills as letting the Horse tell you things even exists. You have all seen the Vets walk up and go "Wham, Bam , Thank you Maam", without any appreciation of Horse Communication and the like. This is because of an ingrained snobbery that somehow gets instilled into Professional People who have Letters after their Names. They have not got a Mortgage on knowledge however and should all be sent to Horsemen for Work Experience.
     

  • Rear end problems are not obvious and often very deep. I have seen dozens of Vets check stifles and not one has picked a problem found later. Twisted Pelvis and Sacroiliac Problems are also beyond current Vet Check regimes as are knocked down Hips, bone chips, ripped muscles off ribs or Hips and other.

Here is just one that was flogged for 12 Months by a Hack Rider. Note the degenerated left Rump and the back end give away momentarily.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15C25xVOwhU

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Alh-sER1tp8

 

SUITABLE FOR THE USE (English Disciplines)

It is a fact that the vast majority of Horses within Australia are not built suitable for the use that they are ridden and this is the main cause of so much pain in Horses. Australians have always and still do, look at Temperament Movement, the flick of the front Legs and how pretty the Head is when they buy a Horse. THEY DO NOT LOOK AT CONFORMATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...and therein lies 50% of the problem.

The other 50% is caused by the rampant and out of control Feral Breeding of Horses in this Country. They Breed from anything, by anything and if a Mare acts up, it is "Put her in Foal" when clearly they should be just retired, never to be able to Breed. There are no breeding rules or Laws in Australia and so unlike Europe, the majority of Horses Bred in this Country DO NOT SUIT THE ENGLISH DISCIPLINES!!!

It is no accident therefore, that the Dutch and Germans win the Medals in Dressage at the Olympics. Very smart People.. They must have known and went and bred purpose built Horses for Dressage, one's that could actually do the movements without pain.

 

WHAT CAUSES SO MUCH DISCOMFORT

I can tell you that if a proper Scientifically based Study was conducted into the ability or not of Horses to be able to even do the 'English Disciplines", it would be shown that most can't....or....

That they only could if the amount of collection equalled the ability of the Horse to produce.

It could be worked out Mathematically and with pure Engineering principles. Conformation v Collection equals comfort to be able to do it. We see it every Day now and we saw it yesterday with another terrorized Horse.

Thankfully, that is why the Quarter Horses go around with Low Necks for they CANNOT COLLECT!!!! Thankfully, but accidentally, the Hacks go around "Hollow" for if they were asked "Over the Back", most would break down due to the Fence Post back Legs that are Bred in Riding Ponies.

 

SYMPTOMS

During this time and via these Horses, we have been able to considerably add to the list of communicatory indicators that Horses always exhibit and it would be wonderful if the Australian Horse Public could remember some of these and to dispel the myth that Horses are 'naughty or being a problem"

There are no Problem Horses, only Problem People and of 1,000 Buck Jumpers that I have met, 999 did not want to Buck. (Two this Week) So here are some classic indicators for you. They all do all of these or some.

  • They attempt to Tell Riders that they don't want to go to the Arena

  • They Jig Jog upon arrival at the arena.

  • Their Respiration Rate increases

  • Rushing or running in one or more Paces, depending upon the injury type.

  • The Vast majority of Horses with rear end Veterinary Problems NEVER SHOW LAMENESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Coming behind the Leg and especially just prior to the Canter aid

  • They absolutely hate having a Head Set and will go down to please and come back up for relief. 100% of all Horses that fear a HEAD SET have been unsound.

  • They are almost always 'Crooked' and that crookedness tells us which side the Problem is.

  • Straighten them and they can become frantic.

  • Being put "Over the Back" and "truly round" makes them more unsound fast.

  • They almost always do not have a rhythm.

  • They often have irregular muscle development.

  • They are often degenerated in the hind end and have way large front end and weak back ends.

  • They pull themselves along by the front legs at the Canter

  • They want to go 'hollow' and 'above the Bit'

  • They often have shorter front Legs than the back

  • They are often 'Rump High'

  • They are often 'straight behind' (Legs)

  • Their Neck is often set on their Body incorrectly.

  • There Rump often falls away downhill

  • They do not like sitting trot

  • They all go through a check list of evasions and add new one's when Mrs. HP rides and negates each.

  • They threaten to rear when most other evasions fail

  • They want to run away if the pressure keeps coming

  • They sweat more than they should. PAIN CAUSES SWEAT!!!!!!!!!!

  • and much more..............................

  • AND THEY GET ULCERS. We have found that Pain caused Ulcers, not the other way around. Ulcers are a sign of unsoundness!!

  • Their Teeth are often appalling.

Here then is today's effort. Again, Vet checked and Chiro checked. Mrs. HP's correct work brought fluid to the surface and exposed the true injury.

So, in essence:

" The ability to collect, engage, be round and engage, is completely dependent upon the conformation of the Horse and directly as well as mathematically able to be graphed dependently upon some of the indicators that I have listed above"

Here is another for you to chew on.....

The majority of Horses are NOT suitable for the "English Disciplines"

I could go on but I won't bore you. Just remember, that you must "listen to your Horses", you must lead your Vet by the Hand, you must be ever mindful that there are no "Naughty Horses" but just Human afflicted Horses and that whenever there is trouble, we should get off the Horse, go inside and look in the Mirror.

I wonder if the many Dressage Judges who continually write "Not over the back or no engagement shown" have ever wondered about these things????. I can bet that it has never been mentioned in Judges Clinics because this subject has never been spoken about before and is definitely not in any Curriculum.

 

THE RUMP

It has become obvious to us that the conformation dictates soundness for the 'English Disciplines' Many things go towards a negative outcome  but the RUMP is a major one. Horses with Rumps like this

versus this

The Black Horse is a Breaker, who went sore within the first 10 Minutes of attempted Flat Work.

and that the driving muscles that are connected to the Legs have difficulty in traveling over the Rump via the Sacroiliac. This causes pain (hence the reticence to give a 'head set' ) and forms the Bump they obviously call the 'Hunters Bump', which is caused by pain, inflammation and fluid loss over time.  I wonder if they thought about this? The Black Horse here was freighted 2,000k to us last Week and Mrs,. HP had to sack the Horse after 5 Minutes of Riding. The pain in his Face said enough, together with the visible and progressive deterioration in his attitude over that 5 Minutes. "Listen to your Horses" Folks. ...and unfortunately, we have NEVER been proven wrong. We wish we were. It may take Years but if we label the Horse, wait for the result.

 

REHABILITATION and PREPARATION

This is a massive subject which amazingly has never been really tackled before but I feel I need to warn you about some of the things that I have found. This e-book covers:

  1. Conformation
  2. Breeding
  3. Bit History and fashion
  4. Veterinary
  5. Rehabilitation
  6. Listening to our Horses
  7. Rider induced Veterinary Problems
  8. Equipment induced Veterinary Problems
  9. Dressage - correct and incorrect and the affect upon Veterinary symptoms
  10. Running Reins Rehabilitation systems (in full e-book that comes with DVD - 130 Pages)
  11. and much more

 

  •  Please Note:  Many of the explanations and comments here are mainly to do with the "English Competition Horses" but the rules of proper and sustained preparation to enable the athletic ability of the Horse to handle a Rider is all important. In other words, all Horse People should operate according to the 'German Training Scale'
     
  • If Horses have true Veterinary Problems or Rider caused, you must understand that riding or training "English" Discipline Horses, 'OVER THE BACK" and truly 'ROUND" WILL bring these to the surface. You must identify them. Only then can you fix them and so the systems spoken about in this E-Book are prime investigatory Tools and rehabilitation systems. 50% are fixable,  however, you can only fix them by RIDING THEM CORRECT.
     
  • When you start to remouth Horses, you will often bring out hidden Veterinary Problems. Make sure you "Listen to your Horses"
     
  •  The running Reins system and Market Harborough shown here, can assist or fix many of these cases but know what you are dealing with before rehabilitation!!!!
     
  •  Over 50% of Horses that I meet are unsound in one way or another (John O'Leary) and 86% of ex Racehorses are unsound in some way or another. (Dr. John Kohnke)

14th February, 2012 (https://www.facebook.com/horseproblems)

If you put the hard yards in and adopt the right training systems, under 3 Months is eminently possible. Mrs. HP's new Green Horse. 17th Sept. 2011

10 WEEKS FROM GREEN BROKEN AND THIS

to THIS

 

PHILIP KARL

Philip Karl has aimed a sustained attack on the German Dressage Federation for it's systems and promotes his way as being better. By chance, I have been able to take a look at his system, as it relates to the well being of the Dressage Horse and I have found the following.

  1. That it promotes some Horses to think 'upwardly' and indeed become Rearers and
     
  2. That it negatively impacts against the Muscular preparation of the Dressage Horse and indeed, degenerates the required supportive Muscle Groups and could even promote Veterinary unsoundness.

Here are some Photos from a Client of mine.

Prior to Philip Karl system being used.

During and after.

Then, after a few Months of my Running Reins system.

http://youtu.be/m6EcaWmgqOI

I subscribe to the theory that the greater the Muscle Development of the Horse, the more they are able to cope with the excruciating Sport called Dressage both I and my Wife disagree completely with the system.

 

THE McLean SYSTEM

For the record, I have met at least 6 Horses that have been turned into Rearers via this system and this system is anti correct Muscle Development. I also think it is an Animal Welfare issue to be smacking Horses in the Mouth with a Bit.


TEETH

If anyone rides a Horse that the Teeth haven't been regularly attended to by competent People, they are both irresponsible and FOOLS!

Read my Lips. Never try and remouth a Horse that the Teeth haven't been done.

Here is a Horse that I intervened on behalf of, ridden 6 Weeks by a Dutch Olympic Team Member and doing this:

Here were his Teeth

Cost me 700EU.

15/2/12  For those of you with the "Listen to the Horses" DVD and see the above Horse ridden in Holland by Mrs. HP, you can now know that 3 Years later, ridden by another Male top Dutch Rider, he has not progressed from the 4th Level Z and is now Lame. "I wonder if they thought he had a Clue?"

 

RIDDEN VERSUS LUNGING

I get asked if horses are not built for the job, then should we lunge them in equipment. Good question. The answer is that lunging without a Rider is vastly different to these Horses than having to carry one. Therefore, lunging can better prepare many for the job (providing common sense is used)

All Horses should be prepared for ridden Work or ridden in a preparatory and progressive way.

This is yet another area that differentiates us from Europe. It is not in the Educational psyche of this Country, to PREPARE HORSES prior to ridden work. Just get them out of the Paddock the Week b4 a Show and away you go. Put the Head down and compete.

 

HORSES ARE NOT DESIGNED TO DO DRESSAGE

What the vast majority of the English World do not get is that Horses are not designed to do Dressage and that Dressage is the most punishing Discipline of the all imho.

Therefore, I have come to note that there is a direct correlation between resistance and 'Head Set' to the conformation of the Horse. It is no accident therefore, that the Dutch and Germans have purpose bred Horses that go along 'uphill' and can 'sit' on their hind end, in order to be able to perform the high skills of Dressage. In Australia, we don't get that. Well some may and plenty have tried to Breed Warmbloods like that but they pail into insignificance compared to Europe. That is because they do not sell us their good stock. They are not stupid. More about this later.

 

This versus

 

 

The other reason why we expose so many unsound Horses is that we of course, demand that Horses travel 'correctly'. That means:

In other words, correct in terms of Dressage.

It has always been and still is, fashionable in Australia to ride Horses around like this:

Versus this shot taken one one circle later.

Not the vast difference in stride and the Horse being "Over the Back" and "Swinging"

The above Horse is here (16/9/11) because the Owner cannot get him 'Forward'

He couldn't go forward because of a 'HOLLOW BACK". Mrs. HP has had NO PROBLEMS with forward, since Day 1!!

Now  read

THE GERMAN TRAINING SCALE


These are the six building blocks of the German Training Scale. The German words in brackets have a more encompassing meaning than their vague English counterparts. They are interdependent and interwoven each stage should be achieved before moving on to the next. They are not, however, a checklist of success. The lower rungs should always be revisited to check that progress is genuine and that the horse is fulfilling all the preceding requirements.


The elements can be further subdivided into three other categories:


Relaxation, Rhythm and Contact are part of the “familiarisation phase” when a horse is encouraged to rediscover his natural balance when carrying a rider. He is encouraged to relax, to find his natural rhythm and to seek an elastic connection to the rider via the rein

The second phase is the development of the thrust from the hindquarters an takes in impulsion and straightness.

The third phase develops the carrying power of the hind legs; collection.


Because Balance and Flexion are inextricably linked in dressage some believe these should be included in the Training Scale. Balance is connected to Rhythm and Straightness and without straightness there is no Relaxation, the horse cannot come into self carriage through accepting the bit evenly -on a Contact- neither can there be any true Impulsion unless the horse moves in a relaxed, straight manner.

Flexion is entwined with Straightness as you can’t straighten a horse if you can’t bend him. If, during your ride you think to work on the elements of rhythm, balance and straightness, you should find yourself achieving relaxation, impulsion and collection as a matter of course.


Looking in more detail at the elements; the following is taken from "The Principles of Riding", which is part of the "Official Instruction Handbook of the German National Equestrian Federation".


Relaxation (Losgelassenheit)

Looseness is a prerequisite for all further training and, along with rhythm, is and essential aim of the preliminary training phase. Even if the rhythm is maintained, the movement cannot be considered correct unless the horse is working through its back, and the muscles are free from tension. Only if the horse is physically and mentally free from tension or constraint can it work with looseness and can it use itself to the full. The horse's joints should bend and straighten equally on each side of its body and with each step or stride, and the horse should convey the impression that it is putting its whole mind and body into it's work. Indications of looseness are a swinging back, snorting, and a closed but not immobile mouth. Looseness had been achieved when the horse will stretch its head and neck forwards and downwards in all three gaits.

Rhythm (Takt)

The term "rhythm" refers to the regularity of the steps or strides in each gait: They should cover equal distances and also be of equal duration. The rhythm should be maintained through transitions and turns as well as on straight lines. No exercise or movement can be good if the rhythm falters; and the training is incorrect if it results in loss of rhythm.

Contact (Anlehnung)

Contact is the soft, steady connection between the rider's hand and the horse's mouth. The horse should go rhythmically forward from the rider's driving aids and "seek" a contact with the rider's hand, thus "going onto" the contact. A correct, steady contact allows the horse to find its balance under the rider and find a rhythm in each of the gaits. The poll should always be the highest point of the neck, except when the horse is being ridden forwards and downwards. The contact should never be achieved through a backward action of the hands; it should result from the correctly delivered forward thrust of the hind legs. The horse should go forward confidently onto the contact in response to the rider's driving aids.

Impulsion (Schwung)

A horse is said to have impulsion when the energy created by the hind legs is being transmitted into the gait and into every aspect of the forward movement. A horse can be said to be working with impulsion when it pushes off energetically from the ground and swings its feet well forward. Impulsion is created by training. The rider makes use of the horse's natural paces, but "adds" to them looseness, forward thrust (originating in the hindquarters) and suppleness (Durchlässigkeit).

Straightness (Geraderichten)

A horse is said to be straight when its forehand is in line with its hindquarters, that is, when its longitudinal axis is in line with the straight or curved track it is following. Straightness is necessary in order for the weight to be evenly distributed over the two halves of the body. It is developed through systematically training and suppling both sides of the body equally. Most horses are crooked. Like right and left-handed people, this crookedness has its origins in the brain and is something the horse is born with. If the horse is straight, the hind legs will push exactly in the direction of the centre of gravity. The restraining aids will then also pass through the horse correctly, via the moth, poll, neck and back to the hindquarters, and they will act on both hind legs equally.

Collection (Versammlung)

The aim of all gymnastic training is to create a horse which is useful and ready and willing to perform. For the horse to meet these conditions, its weight, plus that of its rider, must be distributed as evenly as possible over all four legs. This means reducing the amount of weight on the forelegs, which naturally carry more of the load than the hind legs, and increasing by the same amount the weight on the hind legs, which were originally intended mainly to create the forward movement. By training and developing the relevant muscles, it is possible to increase the carrying capacity of the hindquarters. On the other hand, the forelegs, which support rather than push, can only be strengthened to a very limited degree through training. It is therefore more sensible, and indeed necessary, to transfer some of the weight to the hindquarters. The increased flexion of the hind legs results in the neck being raised. The horse is then in a position, if the carrying capacity of the hindquarters is sufficiently developed, to move in balance and self-carriage in all three gaits.

 

Don't pick on the young Lass, this is a Breaker pic I grabbed.

This, meaning half in a frame but not ROUND,  then causes 'hollowness' and constant 'resistance', two of the main causes of Veterinary Problems or at least cripple Dressage pain and incorrect muscle development.

IF YOU INSIST UPON RIDING 'ENGLISH' RIDE THEM ROUND OR YOU ARE BREAKING THEM DOWN.

 

 

REMOUTHING THE HORSE

Remouthing the Horse with my systems, either.....
 

  • Proves suspect and unsuitable Horses to be so
  • Brings out Veterinary afflictions
  • or fixes many.
  • or saves them from a Life of torment

UNSOUND OR JUST SORE

Before you embark on the Road to Re-Mouthing, you must promise yourself that you will NEVER blame the Horse and that you will "listen to it" You would die if you knew of the Stories and cases that I meet Weekly

Then......if you see problems arising, like:

  • Change in Personality
  • Stress
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Stifle locking
  • Not wanting to enter the arena or running out of it
  • Bouncing on rear end
  • and so on, then you must make a decision.
  1. Is the Horse just finding it difficult or getting slighting sore.
  2. Is it just objective to the new 'Correct Way' of traveling (which always takes place) or
  3. Is it Veterinary indicators caused by the previous Rider, or
  4. Are their minor Veterinary Problems like stifle/patella etc (a lot being fixable)
  5. Or indeed is the Horse properly unsound. (Fixable or not)

These systems therefore, will give you a result and at least free a Horse from long term turmoil by those who don't listen. All win win.

Re-educating the Horse to go CORRECTLY, first causes resistance and can cause soreness because you are changing the Muscle Groups way of going. Normal. Work through this to look further later.

 

MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT

In order for a Horse to perform the Sport of Dressage which I think is like acting like a Brain Surgeon whilst doubled up, the Horse has to not only be all of the other things that I mention in this article but be 'FIT FOR THE TASK'

Here we have another lost subject within Australia. Buy them, get them off the Track or whatever, put them in a frame and away you go. Bugga preparing the Horse and making it an athlete before doing so. No wonder there are so many Horses that are objecting out there. Dressage Horses should be prepared for 3 Months before even seeing an arena imho.

       

 

CONFORMATION VERSUS SACROILIAC PAIN

I have come to learn and observe that Neck Set directly impacts upon the difficulties a Horse may have when it comes to being asked to Collect versus Saco Pain. If the Neck is not coming out of the Body correctly, there will be a high degree of chance that the Horse will suffer from Sacroiliac Pain.

 

CONFORMATION VERSUS HEADSET

Conformation directly affects the Headset. The set of the Neck has a direct affect upon the ease or not of the Horse keeping a 'Head Set'. I will go so far to say that unless the Neck comes out of the Body of the Horse like Donner Cappo here, they are NOT SUITED to Dressage. It is no accident that Cappo can go from Preliminary Dressage in October 2011 to winning Prix St. George in October 2012.

 

 

CONFORMATION V ENGLISH RIDING

The English Disciplines require correctly designed Horses  to be able to successfully participate in these Disciplines, they must be sound. The English Sports bring out unsoundness and in many ways, cause unsoundness.

The Majority of Horses in Australia are not built for Dressage/English

 

CONFORMATION V COLLECTION

The Rules of the Sport of Dressage are designed through levels. From Preliminary to Grand Prix. When Horses start out, they are required to collect in a lower outline and gradually 'Collect' as they go up the Scales.

In Europe, as I said, Horses are purpose designed and hand picked to be indeed able to go up through the scales and increase collection and sitting as they go.

    Prelim to Grand Prix    

A Horse can only 'collect' therefore, to the level that it's Veterinary condition, Muscular condition and Conformation will allow. Go figure then that thousands of Horses are going around in Australia ill prepared or with blind Riders'.

THE DRESSAGE CAREER

Ever wondered how many thousands of Hours are lost training horses day in and out that will never make it to the F.E.I. Levels??? What about the latently unsound Horses that I see in droves at the Dressage but no-one else does???? Have you ever thought about the mark downs across your Career due to "resistance shown"??? Could it be to do with my words in this article??? Be sure it is.

CONFORMATION V COLLECTION V RESISTANCE

As you walk around the Park in the future, I want you to be able to see things with open eyes. Something that few do. I want you to be able to pick conformation problems, see Horses that are struggling, objecting, trying to communicate to their dumb Owners, not fit for the task and not built for the task.

The amount of resistance and consequential failure to gain a constant 'head set' is directly connected to all of the above but more particularly to the 'conformation of the Horse.

THE HORSE CAN ONLY 'COLLECT' TO THE LEVEL OF IT'S PHYSICAL DESIGN!!!!!!!! Remember my words before "100% of Horses that won't give a Head Set" have been unsound.

They cannot collect if they are:

  • Too Long in the Barrel
  • Too short in the neck
  • Too thick in the neck
  • Rump high
  • Standing out the back
  • Born 'on the forehand'
  • Straight Shoulders
  • Camped over on the front
  • Rear end Problems

and so on. Incidentally, ask yourself why this Horse is standing like this?????? 

The Internet....Today and every Day, is full of Horses for Sale where they stand like this. Read my Lips. They stand like this, they struggle with the 'English Disciplines"

 

FIT FOR THE WORK

Unless the selected Horse is properly conformed for the task, and especially where the mentioned 'collection' is required, it simply cannot do the job. When a Horse simply cannot do the job that it is not 'cut out for', it begins to send signals of complaint to the Rider, in the hope that they will "Listen" As most People in the Horse Industry do not 'listen' (I haven't yet got to them :) Horses gradually raise the level of their communication and signals by an ever expanding list of evasions to the point where most end up having to 'SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' at them, meaning bucking, rearing or bolting. Only then do they have a chance of someone actually listening but more often than not they get branded 'naughty' and sent off for a  'tune up' :(

The problem and sad part is that many of them have the Temperament of a Saint and they never SCREAM

 

OFF THE TRACK RACE HORSES

I have now seen too much. I have had enough and I now completely recommend that you NEVER buy one of these Horses. Don't get me wrong, they are as good as any Horse (PROVIDING THEY DON'T RACE)

You can go to my Blog and read about these Horses EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK and particularly, here:

http://www.horseproblems.com.au/horseproblems_problem_index_page2.htm

MOST OF THESE HORSES ARE UNSOUND IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER and if not in Body, they are in Mind.

Most have rear end Veterinary issues that are RARELY found in pre purchase Vet checks and I mean RARE!!!!!!!!!!!!

 http://www.horseproblems.com.au/The%20Off%20the%20Track%20Thoroughbred.htm

 

HOW MANY NAUGHTY HORSES ARE THERE?

On my figures, 1 in a thousand and then I may be wrong. Of all the Buck Jumpers I have met, NONE were wanting to do it. Of all of the 'Problem Horses' I meet, they are all trying to communicate to us. When I listen, they are fixed. It is little wonder why some of the Great Horse Trainers of the World say "There are no problem Horses - only problem Owners" That is true of course.

 

THE SUBTLETY OF VETERINARY

I couldn't begin to list the myriads of variables that Horses use to communicate their pain to us but having said all of the above, It was all about forewarning you to "Listen to your Horses" if you start to use the Market Harborough for it is the single most important Tool of Diagnosis that I have and if your Horse is at all not right, heed the signs for this will bring them to the surface,

The Market Harborough, gives the Rider the Power to insist upon roundness and to negate evasion, upward mobility, which will later bring out the hidden unsoundness, for the good of the Horse.

In   Dennis v KATHRYN & STEPHEN HIGGS in the Mt. Gambier Court in 2009, my observations of a Horse which was communicating it's unsoundness was accepted by the Court and I wasn't even there. The Plaintiff won the case on my evidence. I 'Listened to the Horse'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7nfXVwF3s4  Tell me how I could lead the Vets to the unsoundness????

 

EU V OZ

This is a highly technical area and one not thought much about in the past. Having watched the Australian Horse Community for many Years and then spending 2 Months within the inner sanctum of the Dutch Olympic scene, gave me a more balanced view and answered a lot of questions. I'll briefly list them:

  • That the 'English Disciplines' are a highly difficult thing for Horses to endure.
  • Horses were not made to do the 'English Disciplines'
  • The English Disciplines break down suspect Horses if done right. (Truly Round)
  • Riding in the Australian way of going (slightly above the Bit and hollow) causes 'Rider induced unsoundness'
  • Riding in the Australian way can never rehabilitate a Horse with minor problems.
  • Riding in the Dutch Way fixes Horses with minor problems.
  • Riding in the Dutch way ejects Horses out of the Industry at a very early stage if at all unsound rather than them being ridden for Years in Pain.
  • Suspect Horses never get Bred from, they get eaten.
  • and that "deep and round" is beneficial to sound Horses and exposes unsound horses. (I don't agree with Rollkur)

 

A RECENT REAL LIFE EXAMPLE

QUIZ FOR THE WEEK

Now of late, you have been reading the Biblical accounts by an Owner, about her Horse with rear end problems, stifles, Chiro People and the worx. Well this is the Horse and blow me down it turned up at Gainsborough on the Weekend. Not only that, but Mrs. HP's Pupil purchased it

So we have The Owner first, then Mrs HP's Pupil (the buyer) and then Mrs. HP. Now....

bear in mind that this Horse has had a long History of has rear end problems.

So tell me what you see in these three photos. Tell me about the style of Riding, the Muscles of the Horse and anything else you may pick up. Let's see how good you really are. Come on all you Forum and Face Book experts :)

I can tell you this. You will not find a more poignant set of Pics to do with Dressage.

 

 

 

 

 

from my website http://www.horseproblems.com.au/PROBLEM_HORSE_WORLD.htm

Hi John,

My answers to today’s homework are:

I think the chestnut was bucking because although Nathan had deprogrammed her in the round pen, she still thought it was required in “normal” riding. So he hobbled her to “reboot” her mind and deprogram her.

That is true and it was caused by being accidentally getting to bucking at the start. Wouldn't matter with most Horses but it matters with this Horse.

In the 3 pics

1. With the owner, the horse is on the forehand (even though in that phase of the canter the forehand his high, he will land on the forehand). He is hollow and bracing but due to his head position looks OK to the casual observer. He is also a bit blocked by the inside rein. Muscles in the neck look a bit flat. Rider is standing in the stirrups and bracing against the mouth slightly perhaps for balance or because he is a bit heavy on the forehand.
2. With the new owner, the horse is much more though the back, as shown by the bulging neck muscle, but he is still just a tiny bit on the forehand. Much softer through the neck and relaxed in his outlook.
3. With Linda he is completely through in the back, showing a shape like the Sydney Harbour Bridge from nose to tail. Hind leg stepping right under and he is off the forehand. Also not blocked in the reins, as Linda also demonstrates by giving the inside one forward. The inside shoulder isn’t blocked any more and can swing forward and up. The muscles in the neck (the top ones) are bulging nicely and the bottom ones are slack. Linda’s position is secure and she is riding him from her seat therefore not bracing against his mouth. The stomach muscles of the horse are engaged.

This horse could also naturally travel with its hocks a bit “out behind” which coupled with a hollow back would cause rear end problems (and/or jar the area just behind the saddle).

By the way I’m not bagging anyone’s riding here, as I am no legend myself!!

Love from

Jo
The Hoff’s mum.

ROFLAO...Hoff's Mum hahahaha. I already have 'Maxwell Smarts Mum" and now Hoff :) Thanks for the input.

 

Hi John,


OK the horse in the three pics – (nice type) in the first pic the horse is above the bit, it isn’t soft and round and there is no break at the poll. It’s hollow and all the wrong muscles are in use, which would no doubt be making it difficult and painful for the horse to go around. The owner would benefit from having some lessons to learn how to put the horse in a frame, in the meantime she would benefit from riding in a Market Harborough. The ears and facial expression of the horse tell me it’s tense due to pain.

Pic two – Mrs HP’s pupil - the horse is engaged and there is a nice break at the poll, nicely rounded and moving into the contact from behind. Ears and facial expression have softened, the rider has put the horse in a happy spot and the horse is feeling better.

Pic three – Mrs HP – is teaching the horse inside leg to outside rein, so maybe it was bridle lame??? (No, just what she does on all of them, including 'The Hoff' :) Nice break at the poll working forward into the contact using its hind end and is free in the shoulder. The canter stride is much bigger in this pic compared to the first pic. Ears and facial expression are now very soft, doey eyes….displaying relief.

How did I go?? 

Joyce

 

Thanks to the gracious previous Owner and other Ladies from Inter-State ;)

You have hit the Nail on the Head. Many Judges only see, the head position and outline of the Horse and cannot recognize when a Horse is truly 'through and over the back'. This is typical Australian and what Judges are trained to look for at least in this State. Therefore, Riders' reflect this as they constantly get pilloried for 'Behind the Bit' as if it were the Crime of the Century. This then is why there are so many Horses running around with Veterinary issues as Riders' attempt to please Judges, Coach Educators and others. Meanwhile, so many Horses are going around 'stiff and hollow in the back. This is what causes the injuries for Horses are not prepared to be able to carry Humans whilst they go around in frames. It is interesting that these two sentences appeared in letters above.

 The top photo of me (taken on Sunday after the assessment on Saturday) might be what we are looking for in competition

but due to his head position looks OK to the casual observer.

The top statement is complete proof of what many Riders think their Peers expect of them, in order to get a Ribbon, where the second one (from a Victorian Dressage Queen with much experience of sipping Champas in the Gold Section , has experienced the awakening :)

So in essence, without getting 'paralysis of the analysis' like some will, when it comes to VETERINARY, riding like a 'Hackie' is counter productive to Horses and that there are more aspects to Dressage than simply the Rules of and a Horse being in a correct Show outline, as they can only hold that posture when they are truly strong and fit. I could go on but won't.  Thanks all.

This Day was a pre-Sale Purchase test and after, Mrs. HP's Pupil was recommended to buy the Horse and did.

 

+++++++++++

 

HP RUNNING REIN SYSTEM

I have designed this system after many Years of using and observing all manner of lunging equipment and hanging out with some of the World's Top Dressage Riders.


Adelinde Cornelissen and Parcival

So it has been from a Mix of "Listening to my Horses" and Dressage, that I speak in this document.

 

Here are a selection of Horses that passed through our Hands in the last few Weeks. (8/12/10)

Such equipment should not just be thrown on as a one size fits all. I designed the adjustment of this system to deal with:

  • Conformational challenged Horses and to turn that around

  • Veterinary Problems

  • Upwardly mobile minds of certain Horses.

  • For remouthing

  • For the proper preparation of Horses for Saddle and competition.

 

Dec, 2010


  • B4                                                                                        
     

3 Months of work in our Running Reins and his back rises one inch of top line muscle

Don't ever buy this conformation.

Same Horse

 

 

LETTER

Hi Mr and Mrs HP,

Your training methods have helped me and my young pinto so very much that I wanted to send you a few photos.

I have had my 4yr old gelding for 7 months now, bought last winter, for a pittance ($700) from a young girl who had been in a terrible car accident and could not ride anymore.

The first pic (48346-2-x) is the pic of him on the advertisement I saw (obviously the girl had been using side reins yuk!).

The second pic (27062010147) is the day I brought him home looking pretty much worse for wear i.e. like a donkey! after being put out for more than 6 months and not handled at all.

Prior to that he had only had a few months riding after being broken – I have no idea how he was broken or by whom.

The last 3 pics (3377, 3381, 3387) were taken 2 weeks ago.

I just wanted to send them and let u know that your methods work and this is proof – only 7 months work once a week has produced a fantastic result and anyone can do it!!!! :

From the last few pics you can see how happy me and my pony are and its all thanks to watching your DVDs and reading your stories.

Am so looking forward to your NSW workshop in Wagga Wagga!!

P.S. my pony was the one with the “Pigroot Button” that I emailed you about last year. Got that sorted too!! 


Kind Regards,
Sarah McMillan

 


 

Don't ever buy a Horse with this Shape

Don't EVER buy a Horse that stands like this!!!!!!!!

 

Welcome to the “Horseproblems Running Reins System” (In conjunction with my re-mouthing the Horse DVD's)

You will notice that the design allows for all sorts of adjustments. This takes into account, the conformational and other factors as mentioned above in my research.

 

This is system and the relevant adjustments are designed to cater for and rehabilitate the individual needs of the various conformational designs and in particular, the various neck lengths, thicknesses or design and join to the Body.

Whilst working on thousands of horses and fiddling around with string and systems from shops that had no adjustment, I invented this. I am privileged to share it with you.”

If you have to lunge in roller and reins, use running reins for the following reasons. 

http://www.horseproblems.com.au/saddlery_sales.htm

  • Running reins allow horses to find their own reward and relief.

  •   They allow horses to travel long and low and still have reward and relief. Warm up and down.

  •  They allow horses to move their heads and necks from side to side and flex while traveling.

  •  They allow young horses to choose their own neck set as per the various settings.

  •  They do not ruin the mouth of a young horse. Running reins should however, only be used on the green horse after about two weeks riding in the breaking in process and then only enough to give the message as to what collection means and that going forward and with a contact can actually be ok and not confuse the hell out of the horse. Running reins eliminate the baulk and refuse to go forward that so often causes the rearer in the green horse on the day that the Rider first asks for collection.

 

RIDDEN BEHAVIOR shying etc.

I mentioned Ridden behavior. Such as Rearing and Shying. One of the fixes for such ridden vices is to ride those Horses 'deep and round' as well for with the shyer, that makes them concentrate better, takes away their 'flight from fear' observation and 'Lama looking mode' and diminishes their eye sight to find trouble.

THE REARER

With the Rearer, they all come with an 'upwardly mobile brain' as I say and the key to them is to make them reverse that and think down. Not only that but such Horse, when you pull on both reins, resist upwardly via the Mouth. 'Deep and Round' turns that around and when you pull on the reins, their head goes down where good heads should go.!

SIDE REINS

 Go Here for my argument on the Damage done by them to any Horse below established Elementary Dressage.... or just take a look at this Horse.

 

compared to this

 

MARKET HARBOROUGH

Thank you for purchasing the HP Market Harborough. The best quality on the Planet and with more options than any.

http://www.horseproblems.com.au/Saddlery%20Sales%20Page/market_harborough.htm

  The Horse should be prepared for the Market Harborough via the use of prior preparation with Running Reins.

Because the Horse is most likely resistant and will need to be shown the way to continue forward, not UP, but with the head down. Prior to this Day, such Horses do not know how to keep going and put their Heads down!!!!! They need help and hints.

The martingale Rings are detachable and can be left off unless required. Should you use them, clip the MH Running Reins around the neck of the Horse. The running reins are detachable or interchangeable.

The adjustment is not only via the 5 rings on the reins  and with the further adjustment between the legs of the Horse where the equipment can be shortened all the way up to fit Cobs etc. (others with 3)

You will need to give more loop when walking on the pleasure ride.

Providing the Horse is not resistant, the can be engaged during lunging by placing the looped reins behind the back of the saddle and then adjusting the running reins accordingly. Flexion is gained by just sliding the ----------around the saddle further, one way or the other, depending on direction of travel.

FITTING

  • Just install like a normal martingale. Around the neck and the loop between the front legs where the girth goes through it.

  • The running rein part goes from the inside of the ring on the Bit to the outside of the reins and onto a clip. (START LONG)!!!!!

SAFETY

  • When introducing this equipment (like anything new) start low on the adjustment and work up as you identify the acceptance and the giving. (especially if lunging)

  • ALWAYS lunge in RUNNING reins first, a few times, to prepare the Horse for submission, whilst continuing to move forward and not putting the brakes on. (in the round pen)

  • Under Saddle, always introduce at the trot and really forward. NOT THE WALK and not plodding.

  •  If riding with it, “above the Bit’ is simply not acceptable.

  • When the Horse is ‘in the frame’ and soft, make sure the Rider is returning the soft feel rather than just using the equipment as a crutch.

  • When the Horse is ‘in a frame’ and the running rein disengages (as it does) attempt to concentrate on learning how to ride ‘on the bit’ without the use of the running reins, thereby improving your Riding the training of the Horse

 

SADDLE FIT

I simply cannot encourage you enough, to think 'Saddle Fit" I'll simply let these pictures tell the story.

 

 

BITS

 

After extensive testing on the Green Horse and Mature Horses, I have changed from the Sweat Iron Loose Ring Snaffle to the following

 

After testing the Barrel Centers Bits and the Lozenge Centered Bits, Horses have overwhelmingly told me that they prefer these over the old Jointed Snaffles.

 

 

As a Result, I am currently having Manufactured my own Bits for Breaking in, Re-Education and Green Horses. They will be here

 

 

WITH CHIN STRAP!!!!!!!!!!! http://horseproblems.com.au/Saddlery%20Sales%20Page/chin_strap.htm

A KK Training Bit without a Chin Strap teaching bad habits to a Horse.

 

 

 

The bottom line is this. The selection and fitting of Bits to Horses has been a complete Lottery in the past and the "Blind Leading the Blind"

 

Produce to me an expert on Mouth construction and Bit fitting. They don't exist BUT SHOULD BE EVERYWHERE. I intend to do something about that. Therefore...........

 

I can only tell you Bits I have been testing and using with success. I can also tell you that the JOINTED SNAFFLE must be passed into History.

 

  • I have extensively tested the following Bits on 'Green Horses', Mature and experienced Horses and Breakers over the last 12 months. With complete success.

  • I have not used Ported Bits AND can see no reason for them.

  • I fixed a bad rearer last week with the Full Cheek J

  • I have fixed F.E.I. Dressage Horses with the Barrel Ports and the Losenge Centre

  • FE.I. Horses with the new design Snaffles are far happier than with jointed snaffles.

 

 

 

BIT FASHIONS

 

I am the first to admit that I too have used whatever the market has offered in terms of Bits on my Horses over the years but was always searching, observing and experimenting

Hopefully, everything evolves. Including Horse Training and in particular, the design of Horse Bits. We all do our best with what is available but that is often not good enough and so it has been with Horse Bits, throughout the ages.

 

 

 

I have said for years, including in my opening spiel on my Mouthing DVD that Man has designed thousands of Bits and they are still doing so. Bit design has been largely motivated by a need for more control where control was lacking but as we now know, we have all the controls we need in a simple snaffle Bit.

For years, I have used and recommended the 'loose ring sweet iron jointed snaffle' I no longer do. The Industry has evolved and for the better, as I try to do daily.  In fact, I go so far as to say now that no jointed snaffle Bit can be the best for Horses and that ALL Horses that wear one suffer a disadvantage. Please now read the following new research:

I have now released my own range of BITS

ICE CREAM

For years, I have heard the Dressage Experts Lord that the Foam that falls out of the Mouth of the ridden Horse as 'Ice Cream' and that it is a sign of softness. I disagree that it is a positive and declare it to be a worry if seen and to be investigated.

in fact it has often been a sign of the Horse not being able to swallow the saliva and thus chocking.
 

DRESSAGE 'RELAXATION'

I spend a lot of time at the Dressage as my wife competes up to the Olympic Level.

 I see many Horses that clearly struggle with their Bits. Here we have another anomaly.

Judges around the World are taught to mark down the opening and closing of the Mouth and definitely jaw chattering'. It is called 'tension' or 'resistance'.

How unfair is that when you consider that hundreds of thousands of Dressage Horses around the World are doing so because of the incorrect design of Bits or the fact that the 'fitting of Bits' to Horses has basically never been thought of. Go figure that? . However I guess the point I want to make here is that imho, the teaching of Dressage Judges is tunnel visioned and doesn't take into account pain. Further, nor does the subject of 'Tail Swishing' where Judges leap to penalize when they see it. Have they ever wondered if it was simply pain caused by Bit design or fit???? The system isn't perfect Folks and is long over due for a revamp. Here, the Scientists and I do agree.

 

THE FAT BITS ERA

For many years, I have known and said, that Horses hate 'fat bits' Why? Because there is not enough room in their mouths for them. In fact, at the intro to my Mouthing DVD, I talk about it and show the Bits of the 'Fat Bit Era' where fat was "ever so comfortable" and the 'kindest bits of all' As I said earlier, thank goodness the Sport evolves and that eventually, people change

Horsemen can 'rabbit on' for years about such things but nothing ever happens until 'Scientific types' suddenly come out with the magnificent discoveries, as has recently occurred. Ok, lets humor them for the sake of the Horse but for the record, it was the Horse Trainers of the World who always know years before them.

From one of the studies: " Traditionally, a thicker bit was assumed to have a milder action than a thinner one, as the force is spread over a larger area and therefore produces less pressure. However, as I discussed in my previous article, our research suggests that many horses’ oral cavities are too small to accommodate thick bits, and that such horses are more comfortable with thinner mouthpieces. "

 
 

I remember years ago when I started promoting the thinner snaffle bits. The head of Dressage here said to my wife, " Everyone is now starting to ride in thin Bits but they are so much harsher"

 

LISTEN TO YOUR HORSES

I realize this is precautious of me but one of the luxuries of being at the end of one's career ( if one has listened to Horses that is) and in my case 25,000 or so, one arrives at that magnificent place of being able to read the minds of Horses completely and in real time. Just as they have always read mine.

I therefore say, "read my lips", Horses are telling me that they do not want the 'joined snaffle Bit', the Bit that most of the Horses on the Planet wear. Go figure that for a minute.

I just walked inside from my first assessment of a so called 'Problem Horse' which 'had no Mouth' according to the Owner. I went to Bridle her and she pulled a face like my Mother in Law Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.  and then reared over backwards. I checked her Mouth and she had been bruised from riding with a jointed snaffle. I changed the Bit and half an hour later, she accepted the Bridle with her ears pricked. "Listen to our Horses"

 

F.E.I HORSES

Many Horses tell me that they simply cannot handle a double Bridle. In fact most. I happen to think that this part of the Industry should also come out of the dark ages as well and toss the whole requirement for 'double bridles' after a certain level, for Horses hate them, many cannot physically fit the Bits in their Mouths and if ever a Rider dares to use the bottom rein, they get immediately jumped on by Dressage Judges for doing so. "AAgh, the bottom shank was parallel with the ground!!! they shriek. (unless it is Anky of course)

I submit this. Given the fact that most mouths of Horses differ from one to the other, but that the allowable Double Bridle Bits do not as they are strictly regimented by the F.E.I. that the Sport of Dressage at the high levels is simply unfair. It has to be. Given that some of those Bit set ups may be comfortable to some Horses but not to others, which is a dead set fact, Dressage is not a 'level playing field' It is therefore unfair and cannot throw up the true winners.

I happen to know for a fact that the Double Bridle does not and cannot suit many Horses because I have them tell me so. I have listened to those Horses and thoroughly investigated as a result. I recently found one that had been chocking for the past three years and yet it had still risen through the grades from Advanced to Prix St. Georges. The Horse was telling me at the point of Bridling. Video examination proved the chocking. The Bit was changed and the Bridling evasion stopped. The long suffering but ever forgiving Horse. Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. This is what they are invariably doing.

 


(Equitana 2010
)

 

REAR END VETERINARY ISSUES

 

We meet a lot of 'Problem Horses', caused by rear end Veterinary issues. We rehabilitate many of them. There are varying views about how to rectify these Horses and believe me, I have tried them all. There are varying Schools of thought in this Country regarding what may help and 'Long and Low' is often the only answer thrown up. Of course we were brainwashed here by a procession of European Dressage Coaches about the benefits of 'Long and Low' and we too have been there done that. Thank goodness we did or I would not have been able to make the comparisons here.

 So this is how we go about it.

There has been a World wide flaming debate on the Internet, with partitions, against the use of 'Rollkur', invented by Anky's Husband. I make the point straight up that I am not commenting on the use of it from the point of view of 'Dressage Training', but my interest happens to be about the Veterinary benefits that I have noted.

It happens to be the case, that the Dutch have been dominating the Germans and International Dressage in recent years. It is no accident therefore, that the principal of "Deep and Round: is the secret of their success, but having been  more interested in looking for Veterinary and rehabilitation, but noticing their success and thinking about it, I noticed certain things going on with their Horses. Predominately, that their muscle tone was superior to that of Horses from other Countries and where Australia was concerned, there was no comparison. Have you ever wondered why their Horses 'Dance" and ours do not? That comes from strength and athleticism. There is none of that here. So why.

Because we follow their propaganda of 'Long and Low' while they have been merrily going about "Deep and Round" and whilst the 'Rollkur' debate has been flaming around them. Of course the assembled Internet Debaters have been carried away with the 'Cruelty' side of things and have completely missed the considerable positive effects of the Dutch system, which has turned their Horses into the Worlds best Athletes...and that is what makes Winning Dressage Horses or Olympic Humans.

Having been lucky to spend 5 Weeks within the 'Inner Sanctum' of the top of Dutch Dressage last year, I carefully studied their systems and their Horses. I also worked with and investigated Veterinary afflicted Horses whilst there. I have therefore found that:

  • Side Reins deteriorate Horses that are suspect in any way

  • That Draw Reins do likewise

  • but that running reins, given the varying adjustments required for a variety of problems, do have a positive effect.

TYPES OF PROBLEM  & HORSE CONFORMATION

The type of adjustment may be selected for a combination of Veterinary Problem and the particular conformation of the Horse. There are many such permutations, like:

  • short necked horses

  • upwardly mobile thinking horses

  • born on the forehand horses (short front legs or rump high)

  • Straight behind

and then behavioral problems like rearers, shyers and so on.

I haven't got the time here to cover the dozens of different combinations but merely so that 'Deep & Round' and 'Behind the Bit", the much harangued head sets that Judges like to hate, HAVE A POSITIVE EFFECT upon Veterinary weaknesses in Horses OR aid in the proper and final diagnosis of previously un diagnosed problems in a Horse. The running reins therefore, do easily achieve 'Deep and Round' either in a higher head carriage or a lower one and anywhere in between.

PROGRESSIVE TRAINING

Physical problems with Horses take time to improve or fix and I mean Months. 5 Months at least and with vigilant effort by the Owner, like lunging or Riding 5 days a week minimum and with proper work. Performance work, built up progressively.

It is no accident, that during the recent furor over ROLLKUR, that Anky explained in her Press Conference that such systems should only be used after long term progressively built fitness and muscle stretching to enable coping. To strengthen Horses where it counts, the top line and driving muscles, those required to both carry a Rider and to perform amazing feats, unnatural to the Horse. So therefore, it is progressive in fitness, time lunged and ridden and in demand of frame.

CORRECTNESS

There are at least 4 types of soundness issue.

Therefore, the rehabilitation of any of them, relies not only on lunging work but also CORRECTNESS under Saddle and this is the area where many fail simply because they do not have the experience. We genuinely try very hard to produce educational material to help in this area but it is not easy. The bottom line is that unless you both lunge and ride correctly, you will not completely succeed. This includes:

Horses that have subtle Veterinary problems, always compensate for it and con their Rider. As time goes on, the affliction grows worse and more ingrained.

When a competent Rider gets on and identifies such compensation in going and seeks to 'straighten' the Horse, there is ALWAYS an argument.

Many Riders wimp out and the Horse wins but the Veterinary problem...all of them, can only be fixed by going the hard yards and MAKING the Horse go CORRECTLY.

RIDER CAUSED VETERINARY PROBLEMS

Due to my www.horselaw.com.au duties and experiences, and life in general, having been a 'Problem Horse' Trainer forever, I have seen many so called 'naughty horses', (Most like to blame the Horse), but almost all were Horses with problems.

What drives me is the fact that basically every Problem Horse that comes through my hands, still today, are blameless and just crying out for help

They indeed have either Psychological or Veterinary problems. 98% of Horses that I have met, that Buck, do not do it because they want to.

Of the Veterinary problems with Horses, the vast majority of them come in the rear end. Stifle and Sacroiliac issues being the majority and caused by a variety of things:

  • Poor conformation.

  • Poor Feeding when Youngsters.

  • As a result of accidents, falls etc.

  • Te Racing Industry and the enormous wear and tear that comes with that, and....

  • Rider induced Veterinary Problems.

This article is about the latter:

It is a fact, that Riders' cause Veterinary problems in Horses. I see it all the time. It is not their fault but the fault of the Educational systems that do not adequately teach Horse Training, they mainly focus on Rider training and position.

The British Horse Society and the Pony Club systems are the main Culprits and here is why:

  • They live in their own Cocoon, their own insular World and all of those within their Disciplines and their Sports are generally taught by Coaches within their World. Most Pony Club Members end up Hackies (Saddle Horse)
     

  • Europe is the World of Dressage which is why it is an Olympic Discipline whilst Britain is the World of Hacking/Show Horse and that is why that is not an Olympic Discipline
     

  • Those who come through the BHS/Pony Club systems are mostly exposed to Show Horse (Beauty Competition) and are allowed to ride their Horses around, running like sowing machines, leaning like motor bikes, jammed up in Pelham's and Double Bridles, with little Sowing Machine steps. They still get the Blue Ribbon, the Championship and the Big Name and the cycle is completed. They then become Coaches and most know little about 'correct training'
     

  • In Europe, the young are taught 'correctly' and in Britain, many are taught 'incorrectly. This is passed down through Pony Club, Mounted Police an Military, to Australian Kids.

To now put it in a more technical way, they are allowed to and the majority do:

  • Ride their Horses around 'flexed off'           http://youtu.be/Wg5_BJyut80

  • Ride their Horses 'hollow' and not 'over the back'

  • They ride their Horses, 'crooked'

  • They are not flexed or bent in the way of travel

  • They are not 'supple'

  • They are often resistant and 'above the Bit' ....and above all,

  • They do not have their Horses 'straight'

It is a fact, that unless a Horse is 'Balanced' when carrying a Rider, it cannot be 'relaxed', the number one step in the 'German Training Scale'

It is also a fact that, unless a Horse is 'Balanced' it is tense and then it runs, all compounding a fight between Horse and Rider......but

and back to the point f this article, the ENTIRE TIME a Horse is ridden in this style or manner, it's athletic and muscle conditioning is being weakened and the road to 'Rider induced Veterinary Problems' starts and builds. You see, here is what happens......

COMPENSATION FOR PAIN

If you go and put a plastic wedge in your shoe, within a day, you will be stiff in the ligaments etc. You will immediately begin compensating for the pain, right? Walk like that for a Year and your Body will change. If I allow you to walk like that for a week and you didn't know you had a wedge in your shoe, and I asked you to walk normal and straight, you would refuse? If I then tried to make you, you would get upset and fight that direction? Right? Horses are the same.

Even more so. Horses don't know what is causing their pain and why. They just know that they have discomfort. The longer the Horse gets ridden incorrectly then, the more the ligaments and muscles start building incorrectly or abnormally from their original state and the more set in their ways they become. They choose to travel then, 'incorrectly'. What's more, they blame the Rider!

INCORRECTLY

Horses travel incorrectly, in the following ways:

  • Above the Bit'

  • Quarters in

  • Quarters out

  • Crooked

  • behind the leg

  • Not 'over the back' or 'hollow' and so on.

FIGHTS WITH RIDER

The longer they get ridden incorrectly, the worse their Muscle problems get. So then, if a 'Proper Rider' comes along and then asks the Horse to again travel as it used to, 'correctly', according to the Rules of Dressage, there is always a big fight which is only limited by the individual temperament of the Horse. From mere evasion to Bucking the Rider off. This is why when a so called 'Problem Horse' gets sent to a Professional Trainer (Dressage) they always get worse before they get better or always kick up a fight. If they get sent to most 'Hack Trainers', the Veterinary Problems will not be so evident, if at all. Due to the fact that the Horse gets it's way to travel 'incorrectly' and to be compensating the whole time, where the Rider and e Coaches are oblivious to the issue.

Here is real time video of just two. I meet them every Week.

 
  This Horse, although having bad conformation (straight behind) is not unsound. What you see here, is simply the objection that Horses put up when a good Rider tries to start them back to going 'correctly'. A Day later, the Horse was going happily. This Horse is one of your classic Pony Club Rider compounded problems.

 This Horse however, did have an underlying Veterinary Problem but not so bad as you are seeing here. It was able to be sold for $18000 to the Client and ridden through at the point of sale. without obvious incident. This performance, which ended in one step short of full on Bucking, was again, only caused by Mrs. HP demanding the Horse travel 'correct' and to carry it's weight on the inside hind. (an assessment for a frustrated Owner) However, proving that Ridden style can both cause problems, compound them or even cover them up.  To the point where an Olympic Rider sold an unsound Horse by riding it incorrectly and then Teaching the Buyer incorrectly                  

REHABILITATION

Over the many years now and the thousands of Problem Horses and due to my Luck that my lovely Wife is a Grand Prix Dressage Rider and we compliment each other, we have now devised systems to be able to fix SOME of the minor real Veterinary Problems and ALL of the ridden one's. How to pass that experience onto my Clients is not going to be easy but we have decided to do a major DVD Production on the matter. Using the real Veterinary afflicted Horses.

DRAW REINS however, cause and cover Veterinary Problems

The Market Harborough however, is my number one diagnosis Tool for deeply delving to find where a Horse is hurt. Meanwhile, the e-book that comes with my Remouthing DVD, touches on some of it.

 
 

 

 

Post Office Box 1361
Victor Harbor,
South Australia, 5211
0418814029

 

 

CONFORMATION V DRESSAGE

BY
John O'Leary
Horseman
© 200
9

 

 

 

CONFORMATION INDUCED MISBEHAVIOR

Have you ever wondered if getting into fights with your Horse on the flat, that your Friend is most likely attempting to communicate the fact that it just can't do the work?

I have noticed a direct link between the conformation of the Horse and their ability or not to excel at flatwork. The more challenged they are in their conformation, the more they object and of course we see many cases of stress, fighting, resistance, sweating and the like. In fact, there are thousands of such events every day of the year around this Country.....and they call them 'naughty horses'

In Australia, conformation is largely the last thing that people look at when buying a Horse whereas in Europe, it is one of the first. I guess that's what sets us apart but this is not about who is better or winning, this is about the pain caused to Horses that are not built for the job. So it is that the following Horses have the most difficulty and shouldn't even be asked to perform such tasks.

  • Rump Higher than the wither
  • Front legs shorter than the back legs
  • barrel too long for the rest of the Horse
  • neck too short compared to the rest of the Horse
  • Neck coming out of the Body incorrectly.....and.......
  • TOO STRAIGHT in the hind legs.

The Horse Deals Magazine is wall to wall with poorly conformed Horses. The habit here is to breed the Horse when it can't be ridden successfully. Little thought is given to whether they are going to Breed another problem....and they do. Time and time again.

These Horses simply physically cannot do the job asked of them and the more that is demanded of them, past the extent to which their Body will just allow, the more they object, resist and stress. When is it the most evident?

Most Horses, regardless of their build, have little trouble collecting at the walk and the trot but it is at the Canter when things begin to get difficult. The more built challenged the Horse, the less it can SIT, COLLECT and ENGAGE. Therefore, the more you demand of it, the more the fight or lets say 'communication' where the Horse attempts to tell the Owner about the things that I have just mentioned. Most Owners don't listen for they don't know. Not their fault of course, again, Industry shortfall in teaching about the things that matter.

Ever wonder why you can't keep your Horses head down???? Why it is up and down all the time???? The worse they are build, the more it hurts them to have a 'head set'

The more incorrectly built, the less ability to COLLECT, the more the Sacroiliac pain comes into play. I have noticed that Horses do not have to be 'unsound' to feel the pain and act up, they simply need to be asked for a level of 'collection' for which their Body cannot give.

So if you are fighting with your Horse, doesn't want to collect, go into a frame, come off the forehand, sit or engage, tie the Horse up, go get a cuppa, pull up a chair side on and take a real hard look at it's conformation. It may save you both a lot of grief in the future. In the future, stop looking at the heads of Horses when buying. Look at the rear end!!!!!!!!

See if you can see this?

 

Too straight behind and yes, this Horse has problems. (2010 $15000 purchase still can't do the Dressage)

Rump High and too long. No way could he sit.

All Horses with rear end problems

So if you truly care for Horses, as most people profess, don't ask them to do 'flat work' unless they are equipped to do it.

+++++++++

8/1/10

Hello John,

I just came across your site while searching for information on rehabilitating sore stifles. My 10 yr. old gelding, DJ, has sore stifles…the left one not very bad at all but the right one is quite sore and shows up when doing certain maneuvers. The elevated soreness of the right stifle is causing him to put more weight on his left hind which in turn has caused some separation of the hoof wall on the near side. Not really bad yet, but I want to do what I can to help him.

He appears too long in the barrel ???

Hello Mr. HP,

Here I am bothering you again. I hope I’m not being too much of a pest. I was in a terrible wreck this last April and I had a long recovery period, so DJ has not been ridden in many months. I was able to start doing ground work with him again recently and am really looking forward to riding again. BUT, I want to do right by him and I want to do whatever I can from the ground to make sure he’s as physically strong as he can be before I start working him from saddle…especially with the sore stifles and his slightly longer back.

You have a very good eye…his back is about 4.5cm longer than ideal. His loins are also slightly longer than ideal.

 

"Wear your Heart in your Hands"

 

 

VETERINARY AND RACE HORSES

by John O'Leary
Horseman
© 2007

 

 

This is a warning. A warning to anyone who is of the mind to purchase a new horse and is considering an 'OTTB' (Off the track Thoroughbred) horse.

Yes, I know, there are some nice one's but the percentage of nice one's is miniscule. In my experience, based across a sample of say 1,000 of them, that less than 5% will suit Novice Riders'.

I don't enjoy writing this article because of the possible impact on horses of the future but I take heart in the fact that I have saved lot's of Standard Bred Race Horses due to me recommendations towards them. They have not let me down.

One of Australia's leading Vet's, Dr. John Kohnke, puts the percentage of these horses that are unsound when they leave the Racing Industry at least 60% and I put it higher because we ride them. This is typical of the problem:

It is not only the present and real Veterinary problems with them however, it is the mental breakdown and the state of their minds that completely rule them out of any successful re-education by average riders'. I have to admit that if you tried to give one of these horses to my wife she would refuse, no matter how beautiful it may be.

PRE-PURCHASE EXAMINATIONS

When we examine the Veterinary soundness of these horses, after taking the above figures into account, I have to tell you that the Vets', miss a lot of problems during the Vet checks of these horses for sale. We have lost count of the number of horses that have successfully passed Vet checks, only to be found immediately unsound when we ride them. That is not the fault of the Vets' however as they don't ride them and they don't really focus too much on the rear end of the horse either, apart from the stress tests of hocks down. One of the purposes of this article is to get them thinking too. Not that they can anyhow, without X-Rays that is and even then, the deep injuries in the engine location of the horse cannot show a lot of the conditions that we encounter and which you see in the video's here. The Veterinary Colleges need to change their policies to take into account the viewing of ridden or lunging tests of horses which would help, but unless the Rider was trained in the identification of the problems, that would not help either.

Holland has just gone to Vet checks for horses before breaking in and what a great idea. There you are Vets, happy now?

NORMAL INJURIES

By far the most prevalent are

  • the problems with 'stifles' or 'patella locking' problems.
     
  • Then there is the Sacroiliac tears.
     
  • Pelvic fractures
     
  •  Bone Chips
     
  • Calcification of the spine and other parts.
     
  • Tendon and ligament damage, thickening or enlargements.

and so many times, the problems are not recognized by Riders' and that is a tragedy caused by the inadequacies or the Curriculums of the various Equine teaching Organizations in this Country.

This has probably never been advanced before in the World of Equine Veterinary investigation but we can tell that the act of requesting a horse to put it's head down (call it whatever you like) triggers pain that increases with the advancement of the paces. The canter becomes the most difficult, that when the horse has to engage the rear end more and we can feel that there is a direct correlation between submissiveness and pain. Something happens to the Race Horse, something that has never been studies, questioned or investigated. Don't doubt me as it is such a shame to say that we are yet to be proven wrong when we label a horse.

Are there good ones?...of course there are but take a look at who is riding most of them. Don't kid yourself, they mostly aren't 'Novices.'

TERROR

Think about this. Thousands of horses per day around my Country, are terrorized, flogged with whips, hit with spurs, jagged in the mouth and sent off to Horsemen for the good old 'tune up' translated into a good 'flogging'. Why? because they are "NAUGHTY HORSES"

I see it weekly, almost daily. I saw it at the Dressage last Sunday. Horses crying out for help, desperately trying to communicate to their owners through various means and because of the kindness of such horses, rarely dump their owners onto their sweet asses as they should. They just don't 'listen to their horses' They don't understand the 'language of eques'

THE SIGNS

It is a tragedy that people are not taught about the signs, how to read the horses, to even think about it. To consider that it may be a problem that the horse has rather than the horse being a problem. So for those of you who read this, here are some signs for you.

  • The horse doesn't want to weight bare on one of the hind legs.
  • The horse carries it's hind end to the inside or the outside, regardless of which way it is traveling
  • You cannot get the horse straight
  • The hind legs do not track through and are short in action.
  • Standing behind the squared up horse, you see muscle de-generation on one side of the rump
  • Temporarily locking of the stifle and up the scale
  • Bouncing on the back legs like a Kangaroo
  • Kicking up during canter transitions
  • A breaking from trot to canter on the spot when ridden round.
  • Difficult to keep the head down in a frame with the horse often and for no real reason, reefing it's head up, normally associated with a break to canter
  • Difficulty in walking down Hills and the horse wanting to zig zag to diminish the steepness.
  • A refusal or unwillingness to back up
  • Difficulty or unwillingness to flex
  • Walking off during the mounting process.
  • Excessive sweating in short time which exhibits pain
  • A fear of the Dressage arena and a marked reticence to enter into it.
  • Running away.
  • Difficulty in bending or leg yielding.
  • Stress.
  • 'Jig Jogging' for no reason
  • Bouncing or kicking up during flying changes.
  • Bolting when all else fails at telling the owner.
  • Rearing.
  • Stopping dead as they enter a canter pirouette.
  • Increasing speed and threatening to run during lines of flying changes.
  • Not showing any signs of problems when on a loose rein with the head in the face of the rider.
  • An unusual neck height, higher than normal.
  • Calcification of the lower back bone.
  • Clicking in the rear legs.
  • Marked incorrectness of wear on the rear hooves.
  • Bucking
  • Running backwards
  • Failure to go forward and coming behind the leg
  • A high percentage have stomach ulcers.
  • Continually changing leads on the back legs only during canter.
  • After video of the horse walking away, you see one side of the rump drop further than the other

Have you ever squared your horse up on cement and stood behind it to see if it's body is the same on both sides? Have you ever videoed your horse as it walks straight away from you and checked to see if one Rump goes lower than the other?


 

and the list goes on. How did you go, do you think about those things with your horse?. Is your Coach saying the horse is naughty? Has your Coach got on and given it a flogging over the jumps for a few weeks as one of these? Has the horse been sent to a Thug Trainer as one of these?  Congratulations if you have an open mine, an investigatory mind, given the horse the benefit of the doubt or finally come to the conclusion that the horse should ride off into the Sunset with a pleasure Rider? Congratulations.

DRUGS IN SPORT

Then you have the veritable "Chemist Shop' that often goes down their throat as they say in the Industry. Who knows what damage that may cause. The future arthritis and many other conditions caused by the stress, impact, and often force feeding and hormones prior to the Yearling Sales and the possible deleterious affects that may come later.

PSYCHOLOGICAL

This is the sad area and the one that makes it so difficult for most Riders' to manage them. These include:

  • Wind Sucking
     
  • Weaving
     
  • Float wall climbers
     
  • Pull back tie up horses
     
  • Running, ever increasing speed, racing, failing to walk and even trot.
     
  • Terrible mouths
     
  • Can't put 'leg on' them without rocket eventualities.
     
  • Fear of loud noises, especially metallic, caused by the starting gates and often clapped out horse floats.

SEPARATION ANXIETY

A huge percentage of these horses suffer from this debilitating disease of the mind which can extend to akin to the Human locked in the Mental Institution and smashing it's head against the wall all day. You can't see it when you buy them and it is often Masked or not mentioned at Point of Sale as was the case with this one.

 

FLOATING ACCIDENTS

Many have had floating accidents of various degrees of intensity and/or suffer from separation anxiety in the float. Many climb the walls of floats, paw incessantly and travel badly, arriving in a lather of sweat. This is caused by the lack of care during Racing and Training, terrible Horse Floats, bad drivers who are normally late and who only think of one thing. The Million Dollar paycheck.! :(

STOMACH ULCERS

An extremely high percentage of these horses suffer from stomach ulcers and it is said by the Veterinary Community that this can cause a lot of their problems. Investigate that and it is treatable. I disagree that this is the singular cause however.

the frustrations are too many too list and I had better shut up about it.

The thing is, I strongly warn everyone to steer clear of them unless they are 'thrill seekers', a 'hectare short in the top paddock', have money to burn or  they just want to prove themselves against all the odds. "Don't Bother" as few have succeeded.

POINT OF SALE RIDE

Rarely can you replicate the true horse on the owners premises. Highly dangerous to take on face value the behavior of the horse there. I would never consider one of these horses without a trial on your property, to have floated it AND taken it to a Show to tie up at the float.

VETERINARY & THE X RACE HORSE   and if you don't believe the Horseman, then read this:

 Dr. JOHN KOHNKE IMPORTANT HINTS  one of (Australias top Vets.)

 

Take care

 

 

RIDER INDUCED VETERINARY PROBLEMS

by John O'Leary
Horseman
2010

 

Due to my www.horselaw.com.au duties and experiences, and life in general, having been a 'Problem Horse' Trainer forever, I have seen many so called 'naughty horses', (Most like to blame the Horse), but almost all were Horses with problems.

What drives me is the fact that basically every Problem Horse that comes through my hands, still today, are blameless and just crying out for help

They indeed have either Psychological or Veterinary problems. 98% of Horses that I have met, that Buck, do not do it because they want to.

Of the Veterinary problems with Horses, the vast majority of them come in the rear end. Stifle and Sacroiliac issues being the majority and caused by a variety of things:

  • Poor conformation.

  • Poor Feeding when Youngsters.

  • As a result of accidents, falls etc.

  • Te Racing Industry and the enormous wear and tear that comes with that, and....

  • Rider induced Veterinary Problems.

 

This article is about the latter:

It is a fact, that Riders' cause Veterinary problems in Horses. I see it all the time. It is not their fault but the fault of the Educational systems that do not adequately teach Horse Training, they mainly focus on Rider training and position.

The British Horse Society and the Pony Club systems are the main Culprits and here is why:

  • They live in their own Cocoon, their own insular World and all of those within their Disciplines and their Sports are generally taught by Coaches within their World. Most Pony Club Members end up Hackies (Saddle Horse)
     

  • Europe is the World of Dressage which is why it is an Olympic Discipline whilst Britain is the World of Hacking/Show Horse and that is why that is not an Olympic Discipline
     

  • Those who come through the BHS/Pony Club systems are mostly exposed to Show Horse (Beauty Competition) and are allowed to ride their Horses around, running like sowing machines, leaning like motor bikes, jammed up in Pelham's and Double Bridles, with little Sowing Machine steps. They still get the Blue Ribbon, the Championship and the Big Name and the cycle is completed. They then become Coaches and most know little about 'correct training'
     

  • In Europe, the young are taught 'correctly' and in Britain, many are taught 'incorrectly. This is passed down through Pony Club, Mounted Police an Military, to Australian Kids.

To now put it in a more technical way, they are allowed to and the majority do:

  • Ride their Horses around 'flexed off'

  • Ride their Horses 'hollow' and not 'over the back' (see video above)

  • They ride their Horses, 'crooked'

  • They are not flexed or bent in the way of travel

  • They are not 'supple'

  • They are often resistant and 'above the Bit' ....and above all,

  • They do not have their Horses 'straight'

It is a fact, that unless a Horse is 'Balanced' when carrying a Rider, it cannot be 'relaxed', the number one step in the 'German Training Scale'

It is also a fact that, unless a Horse is 'Balanced' it is tense and then it runs, all compounding a fight between Horse and Rider......but

and back to the point f this article, the ENTIRE TIME a Horse is ridden in this style or manner, it's athletic and muscle conditioning is being weakened and the road to 'Rider induced Veterinary Problems' starts and builds. You see, here is what happens......

COMPENSATION FOR PAIN

If you go and put a plastic wedge in your shoe, within a day, you will be stiff in the ligaments etc. You will immediately begin compensating for the pain, right? Walk like that for a Year and your Body will change. If I allow you to walk like that for a week and you didn't know you had a wedge in your shoe, and I asked you to walk normal and straight, you would refuse? If I then tried to make you, you would get upset and fight that direction? Right? Horses are the same.

Even more so. Horses don't know what is causing their pain and why. They just know that they have discomfort. The longer the Horse gets ridden incorrectly then, the more the ligaments and muscles start building incorrectly or abnormally from their original state and the more set in their ways they become. They choose to travel then, 'incorrectly'. What's more, they blame the Rider!

INCORRECTLY

Horses travel incorrectly, in the following ways:

  • Above the Bit'

  • Quarters in

  • Quarters out

  • Crooked

  • behind the leg

  • Not 'over the back' or 'hollow' and so on.

FIGHTS WITH RIDER

The longer they get ridden incorrectly, the worse their Muscle problems get. So then, if a 'Proper Rider' comes along and then asks the Horse to again travel as it used to, 'correctly', according to the Rules of Dressage, there is always a big fight which is only limited by the individual temperament of the Horse. From mere evasion to Bucking the Rider off. This is why when a so called 'Problem Horse' gets sent to a Professional Trainer (Dressage) they always get worse before they get better or always kick up a fight. If they get sent to most 'Hack Trainers', the Veterinary Problems will not be so evident, if at all. Due to the fact that the Horse gets it's way to travel 'incorrectly' and to be compensating the whole time, where the Rider and e Coaches are oblivious to the issue.

Here is real time video of just two. I meet them every Week.

 
 

This Horse, although having bad conformation (straight behind) is not unsound. What you see here, is simply the objection that Horses put up when a good Rider tries to start them back to going 'correctly'. A Day later, the Horse was going happily. This Horse is one of your classic Pony Club Rider compounded problems.

 This Horse however, did have an underlying Veterinary Problem but not so bad as you are seeing here. It was able to be sold for $18000 to the Client and ridden through at the point of sale. without obvious incident. This performance, which ended in one step short of full on Bucking, was again, only caused by Mrs. HP demanding the Horse travel 'correct' and to carry it's weight on the inside hind. (an assessment for a frustrated Owner) However, proving that Ridden style can both cause problems, compound them or even cover them up.  To the point where an Olympic Rider sold an unsound Horse by riding it incorrectly and then Teaching the Buyer incorrectly                  

REHABILITATION

Over the many years now and the thousands of Problem Horses and due to my Luck that my lovely Wife is a Grand Prix Dressage Rider and we compliment each other, we have now devised systems to be able to fix SOME of the minor real Veterinary Problems and ALL of the ridden one's. How to pass that experience onto my Clients is not going to be easy but we have decided to do a major DVD Production on the matter. Using the real Veterinary afflicted Horses.

DRAW REINS however, cause and cover Veterinary Problems

The Market Harborough however, is my number one diagnosis Tool for deeply delving to find where a Horse is hurt. Meanwhile, the e-book that comes with my Remouthing DVD, touches on some of it.

 
 

You may like to read these.

Fixing Hind End Lameness in the Performance Horse

 STIFLE AND SACROILIAC REPAIR SYSTEMS

SACROILIAC PROBLEMS AND BEHAVIOR.

 

http://horseproblems.com.au/Saddlery%20Sales%20Page/Running%20Reins.htm

http://horseproblems.com.au/saddlery_sales.htm

A week later:


Hi John

Last week I had a new coach assess Gabby and Basil. After lengthy chats we've concluded that Basil's issues are largely rider-induced, unintentional of course. Gabby's previous coach was a jumping coach who rarely concentrated on flatwork. She didn't bother about teaching Gabby to rise to the correct diagonal and leg yielding and as such, Basil-who is left footed-has become very stiff and weak on his right side, constantly flexing Gabby to his left to help alleviate having to bear weight on his weaker side. Gabby feels awful as she believes she's let her best mate suffer. I encouraged her by saying it was through ignorance, not deliberate.

After reading your web pages, in particular weakness in the hind legs, I chatted to Gabby's new coach (Kim Thomas, an EFA Level 1 general coach, on the national dressage committee, judge mentor and educator and level A dressage judge) and she concurs with Mrs HPs diagnosis and remedial exercises ie lots of trotting pole work to build up his back end and rising to the correct diagonal to encourage Basil to use his right side muscles. She also recommended (surprise! surprise!) leg yielding exercises to help him flex and become more supple. She was very impressed that your website offered such nuggets of information.

I would like to thank you as always for your assistance and for being a sounding board to bounce ideas off. Kim has said that Basil will need weeks-months of work to slowly build up his right side as she doesn't want him becoming sore or sour. After watching Gabby ride, she conclude that Basil's issues are largely due to rider error which has caused veterinary issues and we're confident they can be rectified.

Once again, thank you so much for your assistance and support. I look forward to keeping you informed of Basil's progress and purchasing more of your products to help us become better horse owners.

On a separate note, I'm looking at purchasing a horse in the not-too-distant future to accompany Gabby on rides. Something rock solid in nature, sound as a breed (in general terms) that can keep me safe but also be used for low level dressage. Would you recommend a Standardbred or a Quarter Horse? Could a Standie do basic Western maneuvers or would it be asking too much due to their size?

Keep up the brilliant work.

Suzie

There you go Suzie, another one of the tens of thousands of Horse in this Country, that suffer in silence. I am pleased that my writing that article has triggered thought and awareness in a few at least. Thanks the Coach for us and tell her well done for the "Months" comment. Regards

 

 

 

http://horseproblems.com.au/Saddlery%20Sales%20Page/Running%20Reins.htm

http://horseproblems.com.au/saddlery_sales.htm

Please now read these:

Fixing Hind End Lameness in the Performance Horse

SACROILIAC PROBLEMS AND BEHAVIOR.

 VETERINARY & THE X RACE HORSE

 VETERINARY & THE X RACE HORSE

++++++++++++++

VIDEOS

GO HERE FOR LINDA'S NEW RANGE OF IMPORTANT SUBJECTS, LIKE Suppleness, Crookedness, etc.

https://www.horseproblems.com.au/Video%20Problems%20Library.htm

 

23/9/11

'LISTEN TO YOUR HORSES'

7 HOURS AND FEATURING 27 HORSES CRYING OUT FOR HELP. An in depth look at what not to buy and why, what Horses are pre-disposed to unsoundness and why.

If you ever consider Buying a Performance Horse, watch this Production and it may save you Thousands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Do you know that horses talk? They do but not necessarily with their voice. The important stuff they try to tell us Humans is via their body language, moods, subtle faces and most of all, evasions.

Not many people do 'listen to their horses' because I watch them all day long and every day. Probably 100,000 by now. Sad really as they have missed out on such an important thing in their life with horses.

What is more sad is the detrimental affect that not 'listening to horses' has on the poor horses. It generally always causes negative results to the horse, gets them hurt, adds discomfort to their lives, injures them and even can take their lives......and yet we love them so much.

Of course it is not our fault as no education system teaches such things and such systems are therefore responsible for most of what I have been explaining. So that is why Horsemen sometimes attempt to pass on some knowledge of such things before they go to the 'big Round Pen in the Sky', perhaps as a legacy to horses.

So rather than go on and get emotional, I will simply relate some instances of horses attempting to communicate to owners who haven't listened and some that do. You can then have a think about this article and take what you like out of it. If one horse has an improved life from it, I am a happy Man:

  • There was a Standard Bred horse being ridden around on an adjoining property. Hooning by a Man in a 'Slim Dusty Hat' For weeks. The horse was uneasy about being saddled. Some time later I had to take the horse to the abattoirs. A piece of steel had cut through between two vertebrae.

  • Horses that suddenly don't want to go into a float are often telling you that the driver stinks.

  • A perfect rugging horse starts walking off at rugging time. It is often telling you that it is too hot in that selection of rugs.

  • A horse shows irritation about being rugged. The type of rug is causing static electricity throughout the day and night.

  • A young horse here recently, followed me up and down the fence a lot. It was telling me it wanted to be broken in and have fun like the others on the place.

  • The horse that kicks up and bounces on the back legs during flying changes or has trouble doing walk pirouettes or canter pirouettes is telling you it has stifle problems.

  • A horse that objects violently to having it's head put down and round and starts swishing the tail aggressively can be telling you that it has sacroiliac problems

  • The horse that tilts it's head whilst being ridden or lunged is often telling you it has teeth problems and even if they were done recently like one by a Vet here last week, that the job was appalling.

  • A horse that can't balance on the back legs for shoeing or snatches the front legs can have anything from arthritis to rear and problems, pulled shoulder muscles and the like.

  • A horse here recently would not enter the arena and changed personality drastically. Cause? Sacroiliac problems.

  • A horse starts leaving it's hay all of a sudden. Mice, chooks in haystack of Farmer, mould????

  • My own horse, got poisoned in his water trough and nearly died, killing the kangaroos and the pigeons. Would not drink from a trough again.

  • Worried about Men? Guess why?

  • Mrs. HP jumps off a problem horse because she dropped her whip. The horse scooted sideways violently, telling her that the previous owner used to get off to bash him.

  • The so called Breaker opens his mouth like he is at the Dentist when first presented with a bit. He tells us that he has worn a bridle plenty and the owner is a liar.

  • The unbroken horse goes into a frame when lunged. It tells us that it has been lunged with side reins on and plenty.
     

and the list could go on.

 

If you want to know more, email me for the free 145 Page E-Book

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Mail: horseproblems@horseproblems.com.au