Horseproblems Australia
Post Office Box Victor Harbor
SA. 5211
(61) 0885521418





John O'Leary


There is no doubt, amongst the greatest lovers' of horses are the Teenage Females who make up the majority of the Horse World and yet this combination provides some of the greatest clashes with horses.

All sorts of things influence the Teenagers'. Hormones spinning around, a lack of patience, peer pressure and pressure from Mums' and Dads' when they ride through their siblings.  There is little wonder that a large percentage of them end up clashing with their horses, clashing with their Parents failing in their desired Discipline and in lots of cases, leaving the Equine Industry. I meet Families who lose thousands of dollars, regularly, due to such frictions.

 I see lots of 'Ugly' Teenage tantrums on horseback. I see highly expensive  pre-trained horses that were purchased  and ruined.  I see out and out cruelty to horses and emotionally broken kids as well. So to all of you Teenagers' riding horses out there, here are a few facts of life.

  • Losing your temper on horseback is anti training and will probably see you fail.

  • Mouthing off to horses will serve only to see your failure in the Sport. It does not assist, it sends bad vibes to horses, it makes horses not like you and not want to try for you. To be successful, you need a partnership based upon respect.
    Having the wrong attitude on horseback will never set up a partnership between you and your horse. You may think you have one but the horse will not.

  • In the Disciplines of Show Jumping and Eventing, I see many failures of combinations and ruined horses due to 'Over Facing' the horses with height and a failure to observe the rules of correct striding when setting up jumps. This is almost always caused by ego based upon Peer pressure. Trying to impress the friends and to keep up to top riders' in the club. It doesn't work.

  • Being pushed by pushy Parents' who are widespread throughout the Pony Club World, all trying to ride through their own kids because they couldn't do it when they were young. In the last 10 years in South Australia, almost all of the brightest Stars amongst our  young Riders' have left the Industry because of Parents who push.

  • Being pushed up too quick by Pony Club Secretaries or Presidents' because they want to beat the other Pony Club at the Zone Finals.

  • Incorrect teaching which is rife throughout the Pony Club system. Wrong striding between jumps causing horses to lose confidence, poor judgment as to when a horse is ready to go up and the classic mistake that I see regularly, putting all sizes and classes of horses and riders in the same grid lines and courses. One size cannot and does not fit all. This is bad teaching.

  • Competing horses that are not fit enough for the chosen job. I see it all of the time. Grab the horse on Friday night and set off for the One Day Event having not ridden all week. Not willing to put the required effort into training and fitness preparation. Horses are not machines like computers. More attention paid to SMS messages, ICQ and other Chat Rooms with not enough true effort put in, does not impress the horse.

  • A lack of true empathy given to the horse. Too much demand and 'Me want it now" which is so symptomatic of the World today.

Believe this. Horses are assessing you constantly. They know if you truly care and react accordingly. Throwing money at horses doesn't mean you care. It is the little things that count. They will only give back equal to what they judge as being honestly and empathetically asked of them.

"Hurry up slowly" This is a saying that is so true with horses. Get the foundations right, don't progress to the next level until the horse is ready and all of a sudden your other levels will come and go so much quicker. Start fighting and losing it with horses and you will suffer the consequences.

Do as the Tortoise did to the Hare.

If you are blessed with the privilege to sit astride a Horse, treat it as an honour and act as a friend. You will be rewarded in ways you never thought possible.

Love is in the way that you ride not the way that you rug and leave your ego at the gate!


"An ordinary Trainer cannot hear a Horse speak, a Good Trainer can, a Great Trainer can hear them whisper and a Top Trainer can HEAR THEM THINK"

"Wear your Heart in your Hands"




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