Peer Review – Evidence based Horse Training

Over the last 10 Years, driven by 2 Australian Scientists, there has been a concerted effort to hijack the Starting of Horses skills, as honed over hundreds of Years by Horse Men and Women who earned their stripes, like Tom Dorrence, Ray Hunt, Jim Wilton, Kel Jeffreys, Professor McGillveray and others. 

friends

  LIFE’S STORIES   THE GOLDEN GROVE HORSE TRAILS The late Jeanette Fletcher of the Pegasus Pony Club, Secretary of the first Pony Club in Australia to be,  formed and by none other than RM Williams, Tom Roberts and Margaret Clarke, at Golden Grove in Adelaide, worked tirelessly to talk the Tea Tree Gully Council into designating a Horse Trail, that extended from the Pony Club, all the way around Seaview Road, down One Tree Hill Road, around Golden Grove Road and then to finish the loop down Greenwith Road, back to the Pony Club, in the hope that more Riders who didn’t have Hose Floats and who kept their Horses at the major Equestrian Centres on One Tree Hill Road, could ride there. Egon Shaw was his name. The Council ‘Yes Minister’ and he played Jeanette for a fool, daily, for 10 Years and when she went to Her Grave, she still didn’t have a Horse Trail. Then I came to the District. A lovely Bloke called James Thompson, (ex league footballer) became President and we teamed up for the next 15 Years of Hell, lies, deceit, crookery and more, to try and complete Jeanette’s work. Try 10,000 Emails????? Egon Shaw carried on with his games, with me but of course I saw through Him in 5 Minutes, having met hundreds of them in prior Life and besides, I knew, as a Risk Assessor and Horseman, that to get Novice Horse Owners around that route in the future deteriorating traffic, was going to be too dangerous. I didn’t tell Him that though. We had bigger Plans. At the time, there was a rabid Greenie, living at the top of One Tree Hill Road and she had taken it upon Herself, to Tree Plant all the Council Verges, not just in front of Her own 10 acres, but she not only Planted the Horse Trails, but both sides of the Road and extending 300 Metres down further, from Her property. I complained to Egon Shaw, regularly but of course nothing ever happened. Of course it wouldn’t for this was his gleeful out and so it was that that was the end of Jeanette Fletchers dream.   GOLDEN GROVE DEVELOPMENT Delphin Properties and the City, commenced the construction of Golden Grove and of course as they do, wanted to use Horses as the oh so wonderful dream for selling blocks of Land and so it was that we even supplied the Horses and Riders, down Cobbers Creek, for their TV Adverts. Of course, I knew that they were conning the Public for Developers and Local Government had been doing that since 1836 in King William Street and now we were all

Scientists and Monty Robert’s Dually Halter

  10th December, 2018   The Horse Scientists have have just released a study into the ‘Dually Halter’, designed and patented by Monty Roberts. They had previously studied his ‘join up’ system.   THE RESULTS ” Use of a Dually pressure headcollar does not result in more compliant behaviour by horses that have not worn it before, recent research has found. “ ” the Dually did not result in more compliant behaviour compared to the control group. “ ” but did not result in a stressed response, measured by infrared thermograpy “ As I have often said, Scientists are simply not qualified to study such things, because they are not Professional Horse Trainers. So my advice is to listen to them if you like but don’t take their findings as Gospel, about anything Horse Training.   SO WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON HERE? ” Use of a Dually pressure headcollar does not result in more compliant behaviour by horses that have not worn it before, recent research has found. “ This is completely true but they won’t understand why that is. 100% of all Horses, that You place a ‘War Bridle’ or ‘Dually Halter’ on the face of, immediately feel their Snout being tightened upon and constricted. Scientists should know that the natural response to such events is for the Horse to go upwards and backwards. Let me go find a Video for You, proving this.   Therefore, on every one of the Horses used in this Study, would have reacted the same as this one. Add to that, You can bet the Handlers were Amateurs and the rest is elementary.  ” the Dually did not result in more compliant behaviour compared to the control group. “ Of course they didn’t, for the reasons above. First You have to train a Horse to this foreign equipment and You can just imagine in Britain, with their Wall to Wall Webbing Halters, those Horses ( all ignorant in the Head) would be even more confronted than the Western Horse above ( already being light as Western Horses are) ” but did not result in a stressed response, measured by infrared thermograpy “ This is interesting, for 100% of Horses become confronted, concerned and even stressed, when such equipment is suddenly installed upon them. The Scientists should now go and study why their equipment isn’t showing this.   SO HERE IS THE POINT Due to the design and nature of the equipment and the fact that virtually no Horses are familiar with it and that in order to use it one must TRAIN the Horse to it, get it through the shock etc, then the so called Scientific Study is Null and Void. It

THE AUSTRALIAN HORSE FLOAT DESIGN EVOLUTION

    THE HISTORY OF BADLY DESIGNED HORSE FLOATS IN AUSTRALIA    2002 – 2018    I am proud that the Horsemen’ of Australia, were completely responsible in driving all design improvements of Horse Floats/Trailers, in this Country, starting in 1999. Congrats to John Chatteton for his work on the sloped walls.   from this    to this       THE TRIGGER It all started this Day   Due to our prize 2 Year Old Warmblood, hitting Her Head on the first every trip in her Coachman here, to Her first ever Show, I grabbed a Cut Off Saw and the Roof was completely cut off within 30 Minutes and I began thinking about the future of Float height in this Country. The Coachman was 2150mm high. The Week Later, a Horse being delivered to me for starting, arrived like this.      I came up with this for our Mare, otherwise, Her Career would have been over, by raising the roof Height 300mm from what it was. Now to 2350mm, meaning prior it was 2150mm…30mm shorter than the highest Float in Australia. This Mare’s Float ( a Holdfast, was 2050mm and she was 15.3hh)   This meant that I had the opportunity of testing hundreds of Horses in this Float. They all voted with their Hooves. Even re-educators that they couldn’t get on Horse Floats, would walk on this one after taking a look for a minute or two. I soon learnt, that no Horse over 16 Hands, should be in any less tall. Over the next 10 Years, a Hand full of Float Companies went to 2200mm then a few went to so called “extended Floats’  …. being 2250mm but then my Clients started driving them and demanding more. A couple went to the Buyers request, 2350mm and a couple to 2400mm, but the majority did not.. Then………. Here is my work in progress, parked to the right of Floats of the Day ( on the far left) with the Blue Olympic having just been raised 150mm and even then, way lower than my alteration.       YARN I attended an engagement Party one Night and was introduced to a Bloke who immediately started talking about Horse Floats. I couldn’t get rid of Him, it went for hours. Shortly after, that bloke started up a Company called  Unicorn Horse Floats 🙂 Shortly after, I reviewed his Float and reminded Him that he mustn’t have been listening well enough that Night….. although full Credit to   Him for thinking for the Horse and inventing the first Back Ramp fixing that went a fair way to protecting Horses from being hooked in the eye. At that stage, he was the

The use of Whips and Spurs explained

  “WHIPS ARE TO BE USED SO THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE WHIPS” “SPURS ARE TO BE WORN SO THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO USE SPURS”   I think that about explains how I feel about the use of both of these aids. In other words, if you have your horse listening and respectful to your leg aids, you should not have to use a whip or a spur. They should be carried or worn but only ‘In case of ‘ In case your horse has an ignorant attack and needs a reminder, but never for constant use. Long legged riders’ are lucky in that they can wear spurs all of the time but they only come in contact with the horse when required. Shorter people have to learn to keep their feet in such a perfect position that the spur is not always touching the horse. If you ride with spurs continually touching a horse, it is not only going to become dead to leg but it will also become dead to spur I have seen people literally wear the rowels off spurs on horses that have become dead to the leg. KIDS AND PONY CLUB This is where I see spurs and whips abused most. Imho, kids should never be given anything but ‘dummy’ spurs and only little short whips. The most common problem that I see is ponies getting constantly spurred or whipped and for no good reason. They become browned off, it is not fair to horses and it is not teaching kids good riding skills. THE LEVEL OF USE As with anything to do with the training of horses, I am a firm believer that aids and pressure of all description should be put on horses by using the scale zero to ten. The golden rule of ‘starting with the minimum and only increasing pressure to the point where the horse responds is absolutely crucial when talking about artificial aids. Even more important is the realization that if one gets a horse to move off a spur at a level of 4 that the very next time the same exercise is requested, that the rider start with a level of one, not a 4. This way, the horse is always given the opportunity to lighten, down the scale. Remember, if you use them with my opening remarks in mind, you will come to fully understand what subtleties should be given. The lightest of light horses are always ridden by the riders who understand the above principals the best. The worst, most ignorant and heavy horses are always ridden by riders’ who understand these principals the least. These riders lack sophistication and pass

My Horse lacks forward

    LETTER Hey Mr O…..I have a curly one for you. You know how everyone usually only talked about problem horses? ? ? Well what about horses that are too compliant? What I mean is – this new T/B mare is sooooo bloody quiet, she just does everything. It is really hard to increase any kind of pressure with her because she just doesn’t react. Have I made any sense at ?   Hi There. I have read the occasional article on this and one Today, written by a Vet, advising the ‘Tom Dorrence’ teachings of ‘moving the feet’ All well and good. However, the Vet forgot the Veterinary. As You know, I always teach “Listen to the Horses” and unless this is done as a first step, all the Worldly training advice won’t work…..for instance……   What if the Horse has Ulcers?….would You want to move????? I see it is a T/B Mare, well You know what percentage of those have Ulcers, almost all. What if it has a Bone Spur on a Hock?…..I could go on and on and on.   So my advise, is always, “Eliminate the Veterinary’ before every going to ‘training fixes’ and even then, to always have the Veterinary firmly in the back of the Mind, in case of.   Let me give You an example.   A quite Horse that shies. She has always done it. I rode Her around a familiar area, on NO REIN, time and time again, but regardless of being familiar with the area and repetitive trips, with no Wind, the Horse will startle,   The next observation ( Listen) is that it didn’t startle at the same spots, they were varied, with each lap.   So Training fixes????……get after it, put the spurs on, fix the Leg Yielding, put it’s Head down…bla bla?????   No, get the Vet to check the Eye Sight!   Regards   Why is it that you always have the right bloody advice. I thought I was switched on but then I hear what you have to say and I feel like a fool. I’m onto it. Thanks again cause I am bloody Old

The Back Cinch – dangers and benefits

  I got this letter today and contained very good questions. Hence this article:   LETTER Hi John, I reckon my saddle may be due soon as its been about 3 weeks,  so i got a couple of questions to ask whilst im thinking of ’em. 1. My horses (and I) have only ever  ridden in english saddles, so I presume the chances are they may buck??? as not used to back ‘cinch’ (got the name of it right i hope) They will get used to it pretty quickly will they?? 2. How firm are they done up? 3. What is the purpose of them? Is it just to keep the back of the saddle securely down? Cheers Judy   BACK CINCH   The ‘Back Cinch’ or second girth must be done up just flush with the gut of the Horse. Not tight!. (See photo)   It MUST be attached to the front Girth normally by a loop or a clip, which is why most girths and mine have clips front and back. If you don’t clip it on, the back cinch will slide back and ‘Flank Rope’ your Horse as in the Rodeo and get you bucked off.   When you sit in the Saddle, the Cinch will drop down about 3 inches so you needn’t worry.   Allowing the back cinch to drop and hang too low can cause a Horse to hook a back hoof inside the back cinch and you should then watch the results (preferably from the side lines)   Therefore, the back cinch, especially once the Horse is used to it (which takes no time) should be up nice and snug when saddling up, to take this loosening into account. NOT Girthed up like a Girth but snug…touching the Gut all around.   IMPORTANCE It is highly beneficial to wear one! For these reasons: That they stop the Saddle from ‘Rock n Rolling’ and shifting you around on top of a ‘Green Horse’ Young Horses will begin to bucking if you wobble around too much on them.   Horses that are used to a ‘back cinch’ are better equipped to handle other things and all round better broken in. Further, when some Fool suddenly puts a Western Saddle on down the track, they won’t get bucked off   🙂   The back cinch stops the Rider being thrown forward should a Horse ‘pig root’ or Buck.   It stops the Saddle from going over the front end of the Horse.   SADDLING When using a Saddle with a back cinch fitted, the Rider needs to listen up to this. Never girth up a back cinch at the tie up rail. Wait until you have walked to

Why would You buy an ‘unsuitable’ Dressage Horse?

    The Career of a serious Dressage Rider, probably only allows enough time for less than 10 Horses…..how many Years have You got to waste????   I see it at every competition and at those competitions, over 50% of all Horses….are unsuitable!!   FROM THE MORPHETVILLE EQUINE CLINIC Did You know?……. That over 70% of Jumping and Equestrian Horses have Stomach Ulcers during periods of training and competition 2 out of 3 Endurance Horses have Ulcers immediately after competition Over 58% of competitive Horses have Ulcers after 3 Days of Travel and competition 90% of Racehorses have Ulcers 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 equaled 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

Training the Leg Yield

      “If your Horse can’t ‘Leg Yield’, you can’t ride Dressage”   The “Leg Yield’ would have to be the most important skill that a Horse can learn. Don’t teach it and:   You can never ride proper Dressage.   You can never succeed in competition that requires Dressage or Western.   You can never prepare a Horse to properly carry you in an athletic way.   You will probably be gradually causing impending ridden Veterinary problems such as sacroiliac pain.   You will never get your Horse properly ‘flexed, bent, supple or straight’   You will be riding flexed off’, and…..   Above the Bit   In addition, you may gain these problems.   A failure to stop your Horse from shying.   A failure to keep a Horse on a Jump.   You certainly won’t be able to open a gate properly.   Get out of the way of a kicking horse.   Keep your Horse safer on the Trail by avoiding rabbit burrows and the like rather   than swinging necks around and getting nowhere,   You won’t be able to ride your corners on an arena, at home or in front of a Judge.Your Horse will certainly not like you as it goes around like a crab and builds the   incorrect muscles and the pain that comes with it. Just like an arthritic old Man.   You will never have a happy Horse on an arena.   In other words, you are doomed to mediocrity forever and you will never fully appreciate Horse Riding for it’s technical merit and wonderful possibilities. Also, your Horse will pay the price forever.   The Leg Yield forms the foundation stone for every single piece of Lateral Training that one can do with a Horse. Right up to and including the Olympic Dressage Test. The Canter Pirouette is an extension of the ‘Leg Yield’ as is everything else.   For your interest, I teach the ‘leg yield’ to my young ‘starters’, within two weeks of the first ride in their lives. Why? Because I simply cannot stand riding unsophisticated Horses and I know that I owe it to them. If I am going to expect them to carry my 82kg and perform like a Brain Surgeon, the least I can do is give them the tools to be able to do it.  They CANNOT do it without the ‘leg yield’ It takes me around 10 minutes to teach it to any Horse. It will take you two days. Go here for the DVD’s if you need help. “Training the Leg Yield in Two Days”

Learned Helpless in the Horse

This is ‘Learned Helplessness’ in Horse training. It comes in many forms and is really, a Welfare issue. This article will explain it:     SOME OTHER EXAMPLES   The Ground Handling teachings of the British Horse Society, passed down through all of the Equestrian Bodies and Pony Club, produce “Learned Helplessness’ the majority of cases. This is because they are designed to cause “Fighting or wrestling with Horses” For clarity, here are the two basic Ground Handling systems and I want you to pay particular attention to the Faces of all the Horses!!   The British way   Natural Horsemanship   Of course, the Horse with the Young Lad, has “Learned Helplessness. So why is it so? Learned Helplessness equals depression     Horses do nothing but try, until they can try no more. They have tired and failed because they have offered and offered, answered and answered, endlessly, to the Push and Pull, giving subtle tries all the while but receiving nothing but more push and pull. In the end, they just shut down and pretend they are not here.   So please Folks, look for a better way and do think about the Mental happiness of Your Horses. Regards  

Lameness in the Performance Horse

    The Vast majority of Unsound Horses DO NOT SHOW LAMENESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!…….contrary to what most Vets’ are taught. I have met hundreds of them in my Life time and could walk You out the door here this instant and show You one. I could sell that Horse Today, obtain a ‘Pre-Purchase Vet Check’ and the Horse will pass!   This article is written on behalf of all Horses that cry out for help but are often not heard.   One must of course realize that such horses have got unsoundness problems. Despite their physical discomforts or mental fragility, these horses can often be rehabilitated to a level of normality and even competitive careers. My Wife is the best I have ever seen at this. This article is designed to give horse owners the ammunition, to give their horses a sporting chance to becoming much improved in their way of going and well being. Remember however that not every case is fixable! All too often horses with rear end problems will exhibit “attitude” whilst being ridden. This is horses trying to communicate with their owners saying they are uncomfortable or even in pain. Remember horses do talk but we often do not listen, they can only act out defiance in a response to our demands. They will often have  muscle degeneration on their rumps, being an indicator of ‘ lack of use ‘of certain muscles. This can  point us, the owner, in the right direction of where the problem is. We must learn to observe our horses closely both physically and behaviorally to aid in our assessment .     Yes, they didn’t listen and attempted to compete Her for a couple of Years but soon after, she was in Foal, at 7.   Horses attempt to show us in many different ways that they are hurting or unhappy. Of course each horse is different and therefore will exhibit different evasions. Some are more subtle than others. For instance tail swishing and chomping on the bit are mild attributes, but bear in mind it would also depend on the individual horse’s level of discomfort and their pain threshold. The horse may just flick his tail at the moment when he feels a slight catch of the stifle. More distinctive resistances might be the throwing of their heads  in defiance of the bit or being so above the bit that the head is in the rider’s face, often placing the ears back on the head whilst doing so. THE GERMAN TRAINING SCALE It is no accident that one of the elements of this ( the most influential training system of them all) is STRAIGHTNESS and we know, that a lack of ‘Straightness’

If we can’t ‘listen’ – we can’t diagnoze

  Hi Folks, There is no doubt at all, that my successful Career has been largely attributable to the ability to “Listen to the Horse” You will see a lot about this on this Website” The Horse is the ultimate Judge, is never wrong, never lies, just a good communicator……..IF You can ‘Listen”   As a result, we have diagnosed the Veterinary problems of a large number of Horses…..where Vets’ and other Health Professionals have not and there are 27 of them on our “Listen to the Horses” DVD or Video portal set.    for instance………go to the high end now, watch the Video below (unrehearsed) and tell me what the Horse was TELLING ME during my pre-occupation with speaking with You!!!!! Work it out and I shall give You a copy of the DVD’s     Here are a couple of examples for You. Think about it   So remember my Friends, find the ‘Holy Grail’ and You will ‘Praise the Lord’ forever, for as You will see ( as You shed a Tear) at the end of the Vids, this is just as appropriate to the Olympic Level Horses as the off the Horse in the Kill Yard…..and God knows how many go there that weren’t listened to   Regards    

Protecting the Mouth of the Horse

  As I write, hundreds of Thousands of People are riding their Horses around, ‘on a contact’ for reasons only detrimental to the Horse, the one they think they love.   THE POINT The point of this article is simply this……if You want to take up a contact on the mouth of Your Horse, for reasons of looking pretty…..’in a frame’, then You had better be doing it right or You are simply terrorizing it. If You don’t know how to properly do it, stop it and go and learn on a School Horse!…and… If You dare take hold of the Mouth of Your Horse, there is no excuse for inflicting discomfort.   SOFTNESS The only acceptable way to hold a ‘Contact’ on the Mouth of a Horse, is when it is truly ’round’, not ‘above the Bit‘ and that it is soft, supple and correct. All other ways inflict negative Veterinary outcomes upon the Horse……and therefore discomfort. You should now read this   THE RULES THEN   If and when riding and training on any of the disciplines that require ‘collection’, it has to be done RIGHT or not at all. If just standing around gossiping, we MUST be on NO REINS!!!!…..Hell, why would we have the Handbrake on for no reason at all? and when on a ‘Pleasure Ride’…..at the WALK, we should be on a ‘pleasure rein’, however, at the Trot and Canter, we are free to ride correct Dressage……NOT half baked Dressage. So if it is not done right….STAY OFF THEIR MOUTHS!!!!!   That then will retain the Mouths and Sanity of Your Horses. An admirable persuit indeed!     3 Year Old being started       So why is the practice of incessantly swinging off the Mouth of the Horse as if it were a ‘Human Dummy’, ‘Par for the Course’? Why is that the VAST MAJORITY of Horse Riders from the ‘English Disciplines’ insist upon riding ‘above the Bit’? Think about the Horse Industry systems when MOST PEOPLE cannot ride a Horse soft and in a place where Horses can cope?         YOUR DECISION Think about it, do You do it? Are You one of the majority? Are You contributing to the hidden sadness of Your Horse? If in doubt, stop it and get help or RIDE ON A PLEASURE REIN!!!!   READ MY LIPS After many Thousands of Horses across my 50 Year Career, most being so called ‘Problem Horses’, I know this for a fact…… If You are going to participate in ‘English Training’ of a Horse on an Arena or Competition, it HAS TO BE CORRECT. For if it is not: Round Supple Flexed correctly Holding the

Steer clear of the Stable Expert

  THE STABLE EXPERT      There is one in every equestrian centre, stable block or agistment property.     THEIR PROFILE   They are always “Would bee’s if they could bee’s” They have a burning passion to be at the top of the tree in the horse world but never had the ability to make it. They almost always have a giant “Chip on their Shoulder” They love to knock all of the true “Tall Poppies” in the Horse Industry like horseman, veterinary surgeons, farriers and the like They rarely ever ride their own horse and when they do they do it badly. They keep a horse for the one reason. The social interaction and the stable relationships. They love to knock, back stab and white ant all accredited Riding Instructors.   WHAT DO THEY DO?   They attach themselves to the hip of any learner, novice or amateur horse person and force their worldly views and advice upon them about subjects such as Horse Breaking, Farriering, and Veterinary. They prescribe medicines and treatments and Lord knows what else to the unsuspecting. Oh, especially their Riding Instruction. DURING YOUR CAREER, USE ONLY FULL TIME ACCREDITED OR ” BEEN THERE DONE THAT” PROFESSIONALS. If you are going to pay for advice, get the best. It doesn’t cost any more!!! Regards

Meadow Hay and Weeds

    MEADOW HAY I recently walked into a Stable on my property and saw 150mm thick of pure ‘Barley Grass’ Seeds lying on the Floor. I looked in the Tack Shed and there were 30 Bales of pure ‘Barley Grass’, a weed that has no nutrition, destroys established pastures and the seeds of which bury themselves into the gums of the Horse and can even come all the way through and burst outside the face. I immediately banned the Owner of the Horse from feeding it and asked her to remove it from the Property. She advertised it and it was purchased by the ‘Blair Athol Fodder Store’ No need to mention that the Horse was under weight and with no sparkle. Here is the result of Meadow Hay with Salvation Jane (Patterson’s Curse)         WARNING   ‘City Folk’ don’t get taught anything Rural. They don’t know how to select Hay, check for mould that kills Horses and they certainly have zero idea about checking Fodder for Weeds. They are also not taught about Pasture Management and yet large numbers of them, when they buy a Horse, make the Pilgrimage to the outer fringes of the Capital Cities of Australia, to buy discounted Hay from the so called Farmer. None of this their fault of course for there is no teaching about important things to new Horse Owners in my Country. READ MY LIPS The chance of buying quality Hay on the fringes of the Cities is fanciful for it doesn’t get grown there. What you do get is ‘Back Yard Farmers’ playing Hay Grower and Baling nothing but pure CRAP Hay that is almost 100% Weed infested!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is no goodness in it, Horses starve on it and worst of all, the poor Soul that owns the Equestrian Centre is going to have to pay hundreds of dollars a year to repair the damage caused by the Buyer of this Hay who just brought back millions of Weed Seeds that are going to be put into the compost heap and later spread on my $100,000 paddocks. Another warning…..in all my years of buying Hay and Farming, I have never once met a person of Mediterranean Origin who has sold quality Hay. They always own a lot of the small Farms on the inner fringes as you know. Smart, aren’t they? If they are not full of Weeds, they are under weight markedly. You are being ripped off. WEEDS CAN KILL There are certain Weeds that are Toxic to Horses and they all reside on the fringes of the Metropolis. They vary with the States but Patterson’s Curse destroys the Kidneys of the Horse, Dandelion http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/pattersons-curse.html

Pasture Management for the Horse

  This is a practical guide to pasture management. Not out of the books! This is my property which had lost every ounce of top soil down the creeks and was wall to wall Salvation Jane. Why is it that everything you feed your horse comes out the other end?      This was our property. Nothing but Clay and Salvation Jane. Click on photo’s to enlarge Have you ever noticed that what you put in one end comes out the other end and actually grows? Yes, the horse has only one stomach and if you put sun flower seed in one end you get flowers growing  from the manure. This brings me to one of the major problems in trying to be a responsible horse owner. There wouldn’t be a Public Servant, National Parks Officer, Greeny or Local Govt person who doesn’t have a most negative opinion of the horse and I can tell you that this comes from the fact that where ever horses go, weeds follow.  So when the National Parks Ranger finds Salvation Jane flowering beautifully in the National Park, of course they want to ban horses. Hell, they know who the culprit is because the car park is full of it. Right where the horses were tied up. Just like at the Dressage Club. This is the number one reason why horses have a bad reputation throughout every walk of life other than the Horse Community. Isn’t it funny though, how the Govt Lands like SA Water and various Councils, are covered in thistles etc and that each year, the seeds blow on to all of the nearby horse properties. Specifically the ‘Father Xmas’ wind born seeds. Then you have the feral suburban pigeon populations who eat the weed seeds and then visit the horse properties for the oats and leave the weed seeds via their manure. Who’s fault is this then. The fault lies directly at the feet of Federal, State and Local Government. It is their fault that horses drop weeds. Why? Because of their lack of uniform controls on weed eradication across the farms of Australia and in particular, the hay and grain growers. One Council will have a weed a ‘Declared Weed’ and the next door Council won’t. What ever weed your friendly hay supplier grows so do you grow the next year. You feed hay or chaff in your paddocks and you are sowing weeds. More and more horse property owners try like hell to run a good weed eradication plan. They have no hope so long as there are no controls. Read my lips. No weeds in fodder equals horses not spreading weeds. Here is a photo of a paddock on

Starting Horses – how long should it take?

  MOUTHING DVD PURCHASE   LETTER I bought a young horse a year ago had a well known trainer breaker him in, had him for 12 weeks breaking him in. The trainer only rode him in the round yard, which I thought was a bad sign at end of breaking. I could not ride him, I could feel he was going to explode when I got on him.  I do believe the trainer did not do enough ground work. I sold him to another trainer for 1500 told them he was not broken properly. I paid double for horse, paid more again for 12 weeks of breaking. I told the new buyer trainer to do ground work 3 weeks before riding him as the horse was untouched until 4 yrs old. They rode horse at end of the week, he ran thru a fence and bucked them off. The horse found a new owner, who spent time on ground and he is now doing well in endurance.   I have broken in 3 skidish horses before, but was not allowed to break in a horse where I was a agisted a year ago. Now I have bought an Anglo, have better agistment place   Thank you. For sending me the extra video, I really do appreciate it.   Thank you kindly   Samantha         Hi Samantha……I have always heard about the Trainers who have Horses for 12 Weeks and more. I have never had the luxury. Whilst ‘Ground Work’ is important, contrary to what the Marketers of the last 20 Years have lead You all to believe, the “Float the Rope’ groundwork has no bearing on the finished Horse, other than the fact that of course, 100% Horses should be trained Natural Horsemanship but that can all be done later. It has no bearing on whether a Horse Bucks. Here is my last one, 3rd ride and 7 Days Starting process (Jan 2017) What make the difference is PROPER GROUNDWORK Here is the 3rd Day of the starting of this lovely Boy.               NH Training Stock Whip Training Leg Restraints Training and the Mouth of the Century Traffic Training Bush Bashing Beaches Tying up Solid Leg Yielding Cantering 20 Metre Circles Round   That’s it……….   So well done and welcome to my Mouthing systems and safety for Your Body going forward.    well known trainer had him for 12 weeks breaking him in.   12 Weeks equals either incompetence, ripping off Customers or the Trainer has run into a genuinely suspect Horse. If the latter, the Trainer should have immediately consulted the Owner, stopped working the Horse and warned them

Peer Review – South Australian Mounted Police

Far be it for anyone to comment on a Mounted Cadre however, in 2018, Horses have to start getting a fair deal. 2018 is my Year of provoking thought and re-flexion.   These Photos ( which I took off the TV News recently) depict a continuing pattern of a style of Riding that comes directly form the British Horse Society and bring with it ‘Learned helplessness‘ and ‘sadness’ to Horses. This is no ‘one of’ for I see it 100% of the time I see these Folk. These shots show Officers scouring the OUTBACK!!!! during a Murder investigation ( looking for Bodies) and makes the scene even more confronting to me. For God’s sake, LET GO OF THEIR MOUTHS!!!!!…they are not Bolting!!!!!!     Once again and to prove a point, I have to ‘Photo Bomb You with Young Horses being started and having their FIRST RIDES out in the World. Check the Reins and Check the Faces.   The Mounted Police would serve their ‘Bombproof’ Horses well, if they just let go of the Reins!!…. don’t follow the most unhappy Horses of all…your peers! Please find a better way Folks. Your Horses will love You for it and You will reap rewards You never thought possible!               Regards

Peer Review – Pony Club Association of Australia

  Don’t get me wrong. Pony Club is a wonderful institution but it let’s down Horses badly. It could be so much  better!   Pony Club is a direct clone of the British Horse Society, with all of the teachings and systems passed on, to it, the Military and the Police. The British Horse Society is a complete fail when it comes to ‘Horsemanship’ which translates to several things, all of which are missing form PC. Risk Management and yet, the teachings that come via this and the ‘Peer pressure’ within the movement, is the MOST potent and effective teaching that I have ever seen. Far more persuasive than anything I can attempt to influence People with, or any other Guru on the Planet. It always puzzles me.   Horse Welfare Rider Safety Horse happiness   Why??? because the Curriculum has never evolved with the progressive times as dictated by thinking Horse Trainers, and ‘Horsemanship’ is sadly lacking in the teachings. So what is my Beef with the movement?? Well the word ‘why’ would be more appropriate. Across my Career of handling more than 50,000 Clients, picking up the pieces, I simply feel sorry for the People and the Horses.   A lot of the Pony Club teachings simply insure a diminished degree of happiness for the Horses…..and   A definite increase in ‘risk’ for the Riders’   and yet, the teachings that come via this and the ‘Peer pressure’ within the movement, is the MOST potent and effective teaching that I have ever seen. Far more persuasive than anything I can attempt to influence People with, or any other Guru on the Planet. It always puzzles me. One of the most concerning thing, that directly makes the lives of Horses Sad, is the default and accidental way that they learn and copy, to ride with their Arms and Hands like this     You can see the pain that these Horses are going through????? The movement is often devoid of the correct teaching that allows Horses to soften and come down on the Bit, with roundness. So Kids, join it and have fun but please realize that the ‘Holy Grail’ is waiting for You outside of Pony Club, not within. Your Horses will love You for seeking it.   regards    

Peer Review – Equestrian Australia Code of Ethics

  http://www.equestrian.org.au/sites/default/files/Equestrian_Australia_Code_of_Conduct.pdf ………   marvelous desires but sadly, only words.   At the twilight of my Career, forgive me for writing Articles to give those entering the Industry, an opposing view to the norm. I have been thinking of writing such an article, to inject into Google, to warn the vulnerable, for some time, now decided by the results of a Court Case that ended just recently.   THE CASE   A Lady ( approaching retirement Age) decided to “give it one last shot” and came up with a Plan that “if she spends big money, she will get a good Horse”….and so it was that she paid $50,000 for a Horse from Interstate.   It arrived but turned out to be not suitable and two Coaches advised Her to get a Horse Dealer to sell it. The Owner decides to send the Horse to Canberra Performance Horses, the Owner asked how much this would cost and how long to sell the Horse? 3 Weeks assessment of suitability to sell and then,   The Dealer advised that it would be $550 per Week, plus 10% of the Sale Price and when asked how long it would take to sell the Horse, she replied that no Horse had ever taken more than 3 Months. The Owner therefore, decided to go ahead and even if it took 3 Months, she would have lost 12 x $550….. + 10%, however…….the Dealer (in Her wisdom) decides to put $70,000 on the Horse………..the Owner wants $50,000. and so the Months Roll on………….…….. 5 Months out ( THE HORSE STILL HASN’T BEEN ADVERTISED – other than a Facebook mention of an outing with Riders using the Horse as a ‘School Master’ and the Cash Register is ringing. The Owner starts Messaging the Dealer. This goes on for Months but still the Horse isn’t advertised.   12 Months out and lot’s of excuses,   Finally, the Owner complains more strongly and wants the Horse back, to which the Dealer sends Her the following Invoices   Invoice No. 2723 dated   2 /12/2015   – 10/8/2015 to 5/12/2015   total amount $13,224.20 Invoice No. 2861 dated   12/12/2016   – 5/12/2015 to 17/12/206   total amount $47,190.00   THE CASE PROCEEDS TO COURT   The Dealer, ignored the Court Documents, the Owner wins by default. The Dealer enlists a Barrister and goes to the Supreme Court. The case re-opens. The hard bargaining takes place. A second Invoice and then a Third are sent to the Owner,   The Final settlement, the Owner gets $25,000 and the Dealer got the Horse  ( could have cost $100,000) and pays their own Lawyer Fees. It’s a sad World. I saw the Owner at the Dressage recently. Sitting,

Peer Review – Phillip Karl Training systems

  HI Folks. I am a Career Horseman, not a Scientist. After a Career of helping Thousands of aggrieved Horses, my response to them this Year has been to write a handful of reviews of systems, as complained about to me by those Horses.  It is ironic indeed that those systems all have come from Scientific types of little or no ridden and competitive Dressage experience.   THE PHILIPPE KARL SYSTEM   Across the many Thousands of so called ‘Problem Horses’ that I have handled in my Career, Veterinary issues have been front and Centre as to their reasons for acting up. The psychological and physical study of these Horses has often brought me to the realization that ‘ridden’ training systems, have such an enormous effect upon their behavioral state. The list of reasons why ridden Horses exhibit evasion and more, is quite simply extensive but to name a few:   Bone Chips Sacroiliac damage Stifle locking Sore backs Ulcers,,,,any about 50 more……… but then there are the ridden reasons…….so it on this subject that I am now willing to pass onto You, our real time experience, on real Horses, from the ‘Coal Face’ of the Industry. The place where Horses scream for help daily. RIDDEN SYSTEMS   There are dozens of variations of core systems but essentially, the main one’s are……… The British Horse Society sponsored systems to the masses. The Dutch Dressage Federation systems The German The Spanish The French and I won’t include Western or Natural Horsemanship here.   Karl has widely attacked the Dutch systems on the Internet. THE BRITISH   I don’t know what the Curriculum is but on the ground, through every Week of our Lives, we have met Horses that suffer at the Hands of the BHS systems. In general, the main causes are found in: Horses ‘above the Bit’ Horses ‘flexed off’ Horses with ‘learned helplessness’ Crooked Horses Horses that lack ‘straightness‘ suppleness   THE DUTCH   This system is most successful in building Muscle to prepare Horses for Dressage, a highly essential thing and something not done by enough Riders’ It has been highly contentious with the word ‘Rolkur’ being thrown around the Web (which we have closely observed in high level Camps in Holland) and indeed tested in that Country a number of Years ago. Then ” Low Deep and Round’ being the next most used style in the Nederland’s and it is rare to see a Horse ‘above the Bit’, even at the Junior Levels the equivalent of Pony Club. As another observation about the Dutch systems, they also bring to the surface, any hidden Veterinary weaknesses in Horses, EARLY in their Career, so that they may be taken

Peer Review – Equestrian Australia – Ready Set Trot

To carry on with my 2017 New Year Resolution….to attempt to ‘level up the playing Field’ in Horse Training, here is another assault on the Day to Day Lives of Horses.   http://www.equestrian.org.au/Readysettrot   LISTEN TO YOUR HORSES   There are ‘Crack Pots’ all over the Internet and I might be one of them, but don’t listen to me, get a second opinion from the Horses in this Story.   “The Horse is never wrong and never lies” https://www.horseproblems.com.au/listen_to_your_horse.htm   There are articles all over my Website, about ‘Leading the Horse’ and yes, I may have a mental thing about it but the reason for my obsession is that the VAST MAJORITY of the Thousands of Horses that have come through my Hands as so called “Problem Horses’ ( of which there are none) have been caused by the British Horse Society as handed down through the Ages to Pony Club Australia and Equestrian Australia, leading systems, which are a fail!       and now we have the next adventure in forming the future of the Young in this Country The irony of this is that all of these lovely Young passionate Kids will dream Horses as they lay on their Pillow but little do they know that their Love is going to progress to an unhappy outcome for their Pony. So let’s watch a short Video I have thrown together for this Article.     SPECIFICS   You pull – they pull – force meets force. They are stronger – we are weaker. We weigh less than 20% of their weight. Why ‘Mini Me’ invite ‘Arny’ for a match of strength? That’s what this invites. This is the text Book teaching. They have sensitive Faces with thin skin over Bone – we should stay away from it as much as possible You pull on the Face of a Horse – it reacts, it offers a ‘give’ or it becomes resistant. If You pull on the face of a Horse 1,000 times a Day (which is what is going on here) and Horses are attempting to give 1,000 times a Day ( which they do at the start) but NO relief, no training, no softening, no offering comes, they shut down in all things pulling on their Head. Sadness, depression and generally, just putting up with Life. Here….watch the Face on this Promo Pony. All of this ensures hard mouthed, resistant Ponies as resistance is a frame of Mind. It effects all things, including the Mouth. Now look into the Face of this Horse….   See the helpless Face?????..the sadness????? So in the Year 2017, when the enlightened Horse Trainers of the World have now been operating for 30+

Gaining Respect from Your Horse

  Handed down through the Ages, has been the principal and belief, that to gain the respect from the Horse, you needed to beat it into submission, break it in by throwing it on the Ground, put on a ‘Bigger Bit’ or bigger Spurs. It is incredible how such a falsehood could perpetuate so long.     However, we now know that all along, the Horse was the most forgiving and co-operative Animal in God’s Kingdom and that all we had to do was to ask nicely. So what are the ways to gain respect from your Horse? Leadership   Consistancy in Training   Empathy in Training   Being a knowledgeable Owner and not confusing the Horse, having timing, feel and Savvy.   Being an assertive Leader but always within the Scales of Training.   All of these things have been spoken of many times before, but let me introduce a new one and one that I have discovered since finding the ‘Holy Grail’   RESPECT FROM MEANING About 5 Years ago, after having approx 25,000 Horses through my Hands, I finally gained ‘The One Thing’….which proves how dumb I had been .  Suddenly, every Horse I ever handled….all of them, immediately moved past just respecting me and begun showing true affection. Here are some since: So why is it so? Like ‘Curley in City Slickers’, I can’t show you how to get it but I can give you more information than he did…. It is about a ‘trueness of the Heart’ in how you Train. A genuine respect for the Horse. A true belief that no matter what they may do wrong in your Eyes, that it is not their fault but ours, but it even goes deeper than that. Watch this Video closely, turn the Volume up and don’t take your eye off the Horse. There are no tricks in play here…..     First up, this Horse knows I ‘truly care’, that I care more then most, that I have the ‘best interests’ of the Horse at Heart, that I am inside the Mind of the Horse and they mine and above all, that I ‘listen‘ to them. They know that is why I save so many of them from Humans. So if you want ‘respect from Horses’ dare to rise above the norm, to open your Mind and your Heart, way above the Facebook Likes and Hearts but ‘truly’.  

The Scales of Training

  You have all seen the Kids kicking their Fat Ponies to Go but nothing happening? That perfectly typifies the failure in Horse Training when we start any Aid up the scale.   It has been found and proven by Horse Trainers through the Ages, that the most successful way to train a Horse is using the application of ‘pressure and release’ This accompanied by “Advance and Retreat’ and Reward and Relief’.   To be the most successful you can be with Training or Riding Horses, I recommend you follow what I call the ‘Scales of Training’. Have a look at this     Put simply, this is what you should be trying to achieve:   Every time you ask for anything from a Horse, start at a Zero and work up, but working up means going to 1, then 2 and so on. Not Zero, 4, 7!! Then, the next time you ask the same thing or anything, start at a Zero again, then 1, then 2 etc. For the common mistake made by the vast majority of Horse Riders is to START at a 7. As explanation then……   NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP   Across the Planet, People mimick the words “an ounce of pressure”, ‘lightness’, ‘softness’ and the like, but few practice it. They try but they don’t follow the ‘Scales of Training’. Virtually every Person that I have met, who have been learning Natural Horsemanship and the majority being from the previous ‘English Roots’, stuff it up by NOT starting at a Zero but a 5,6,or 7.   When training this Game of sending a Horse away backwards from you and then reeling it back in, Pat says “Start on a Zero and then .5, not even 1, then upwards. However, the most ingrained habit of the People from the ‘English Discipline, is that of ‘heaviness’ and this is deeply ingrained in them all by the foundation stones of the British Horse Society systems of training that has been handed down through the Ages, via Military, Mounted Police and Pony Club. Everything about it is to wrestle with the Horse and so when they attempt to convert to ‘Natural Horsemanship’ whicH is based upon ‘lightness’, they only get mediocrity.   To use this as an example then, if you send a Horse out, no matter where on the Scale it moved back and don’t start at a Zero but start say on 6, you will never get the Horse lighter than a 6. So, I see almost all People operating where their Horse will go to walk in and invade their space and they will waggle the Rope, immediately at a 6,7,8 or above. So not starting each

The Crooked Horse

    There are two basic reasons for the ‘Crooked Horse’   Veterinary issues Ridden Issues For the latter, go here and read about ‘Rider induced Veterinary Problems.   VETERINARY ISSUES   These come with any twinge that provides discomfort to the Horse, such that it will evade ‘straightness‘ and go ‘crooked’. This compounds matters however, for over time, the Horse builds uneven Muscles and support systems.   These normally include:   Sacroiliac issues   Stifle Issues   Pelvis   Uneven Hips caused at Birth   Bone Chips   They DON’T normally include Chiropractic issues and whilst I am on that subject, Horses cannot put shoulders, Hips and the like, OUT!   ** Crookedness normally comes from REAR END issues, NOT Front end issues.   CROOKEDNESS OF THE RIDER   Crookednes, can be caused by CROOKEDNESS in the Rider or SADDLE FIT as well. Such Crookedness compounds as I said and causes uneven Muscle Tone, which makes the Horse stay Crooked in the way of going and over time, develope other issues of discomfort.    CORRECT DRESSAGE   If ridden in the ‘English Disipline way’ and not being ridden correct Dressage or ‘Inside Leg to Outside Rein’, Crookedness will grow. The longer the Horse goes around incorrectly, the more crooked it becomes. This is because the Horse needs to go around ‘straight’ to maintain Body well being. It is uncumbant upon all of us therefore, to get up to the mark and ride properly, if we are to insist upon the Horse supposedly looking Good. COMPENSATION   Most ‘Crooked Horses’ have uneven Muscle Tone and the Tell Tail signs of a problem, as they compensate in their way of going or movement. They generally have uneven Rumps and/or down the rear of the Rump adjacent to the Tail.   WEAR AND TEAR & CALCIFICATION   As time wears on and Riders’ fail to ‘listen’ the signs become more obvious of course but can you imagine the Hell on Earth that such Horses endure Daily, across the entire Planet????       SIGNS   Look for the Signs. Swishing Tails   Excessive Sweating too early on a Ride, taking into acount the Temperature   Crabbing.   Quarters in or Out.   Preferred Leads   and much more   So please Folks, keep Your Mind Open, for the Horses everywhere, depend upon you!! He went Home but endured many more Months to prove us wrong, finally meeting his fate and released from his Hell.  

Leading Your Horse to Ulcers

Fairly outrageous proposition?…….yes, it may be but trust me, I see it all the time. You will find numerous articles on this Website and You may wonder why? The fact is that I and probably every other Professional Horse Trainer in the World, owes at least 75% of their work and income, to the substandard ‘ground manners’ of the Horse. ( Ground Manners meaning the Human simply doesn’t know how to achieve it) If I may pass on to You, that the Horse is the most co-operating of Animals and really only wants to please us Humans.  How many times have You heard People talk about Horses in a disparaging way? We all have of course but across my long career, my happy experience has always been, that the only negative behavior perceived by Humans, about a Horse, has ALWAYS been wrongly judged. So in another attempt to get through to Owners’ that “Leading the Horse’ has such enormous ramifications, I can attest to You right now, that substandard so called ‘Ground Manners’ causes much stress to the Horse.   INTERNALIZES   Horses are internalizes. They try hard and worry a lot……on the inside. They take things to hard and they take things seriously. Horses, being Wild Animals, have a heightened set of sensory preceptors and are ‘Light Years’ ahead of Humans in terms of reacting to touch, noise, feel, smell, etc., so with all of the aforesaid in Mind, let me explain what happens when THE MAJORITY, yes, the majority, of Humans, lead Horses. I see it every Day and I saw it multiple times Today…..this is why….. When a Horse is lead in the ‘English Style’, meaning a Mindset of controlling the hugely powerful Animal via strength, even if strength is not being used, things are happening at the 1/10th of a Second, hundreds of times per leading occurrence. Simply getting a Horse out of it’s Stable and leading it out of the Barn to the Tie up Rail say, multiple touches, pulls, jags, pushes, can take place against the sensitive Head of a Horse, with thin Skin over Jaw Bones, Facial Bones, etc. Each time the slightest touch comes against the Head of the Horse, it reacts, it tries to give, as it was taught, it gives or it pulls BUT…..every time it does, the Human (English Discipline Trained as against Western trained) doesn’t notice, has no idea. This goes on Thousands upon Thousands of times through the Daily Life of these Horses and fairly early on, they start to ‘throw in the towel’ and succumb to a thing called ‘Learned Helplessness’, which leads sooner or later, to ‘stress and even depression’, unhappiness and then Ulcers.  

To take the Contact or not?

  Horses are Born resisters!…..if I Hand a Horse over to an Owner, with a 10/10 Mouth and that Owner is an Amateur, the Mouth will be down to a 6/10 in 7 Days.   Did You know that Racehorses go around with an average of 80kg on their Mouths?   I often get asked about light hands when referring to the rein control of horses.  This has to the most confused subject in the Horse Industry, the one subject that is largely kept back from pupils imho and the one that causes the most failed training scenarios of all. Video, Trainers, Coaches and experts everywhere, are most often very politically correct these days and will rarely let the plebs’ see what happens in the ‘real world’, how they themselves ride (behind closed doors) and why those at the top have so much success. The other problem is that a lot of Coaches do not know the correct rein control techniques and   therefore cannot pass it on and of course, no article would be complete without saying the Pony Club System completely fails in this area. So there has to be confusion. There are varying reasons but the predominant one is found in the much confused comment. quote,   “People have commented that I have light hands, so what would be causing my horse to be ignorant?” “As soon as my horse gave, I gave” Put simply, the ‘light hands’ must only be evident when a horse is ‘being light’. Yes, we are all looking to ride with ‘light hands’ and a ‘light contact’ but only in return for a ‘light horse’. When a horse gets ‘resistant or ignorant’ our hands become likewise, backed up with an increased amount of ‘leg on’ commensurate to the increase in the hand. The moment the horse gives to the increased hand which has gone to .1% above the increased ignorance, we lighten leg and hand, thus rewarding the horse for lightening. Therefore, this confused state of “I have light hands all of the time” will always be exploited by horses and is the one thing that actually causes ‘ignorance and resistance’, ever increasing as time goes on and with a progressive deterioration of the quality of the mouth of the horse and more importantly, an increased heaviness in the mind, which transfers to the mouth.   HORSES ARE BORN RESISTERS Resistance is a state of mind, transferred to the mouth. To train the mind will see the training of the mouth. Train a light mind and you will get a lighter mouth. Horses do not want to travel with arched necks. They don’t do that in the wild except briefly during sexual games,

Peer Review – Dr. Andrew McLean

      Horsemen don’t do Peer Reviews, they haven’t got time but after many Years and a lot of thought, noting that the Scientists often review Horsemen (Monty Roberts, Pat Parelli and myself) the time has come. I write this also, on behalf of the many Horses I meet, that have been Victims to this and other systems.   The Trigger for my writing this piece, is the fact that over the Years, I have met and had to fix, at least 20 ‘Rearing Horses’, several Bolters and seen many distressed and unhappy Horses, victims of the well meaning Folk who use these systems and are swept away with big words and slick phrases. These numbers are rising as the system spreads, with 3 in a Week recently. The McLean system (which started off as the ‘Tom Roberts’ system and build upon as time went on), more about that later, has been the cause of an increasing regularity in my seeing cases of aggrieved Horses via email complaints and directly but more regularly of late, watching too many Dressage Horses behaving badly and even a number of F.E.I. Horses, all the way up to Grand Prix Horses, having to be retired or cunningly slid out the back door to save embarrassment and even sold on via slick tactics. I have watched the progress or not of a lot of Dressage Horses in the last 20 Years and always have the Camera handy. Because of my ability to read the Minds of Horses, that Camera always gets the shot as the Horses always report to me, often Months in advance.       taken from 200 Metres.               LET THE HORSES BE THE JUDGE   Yes, they are the best Judges of all and are never wrong. Almost without exception, Horses trained via this system have: Lost their Soul   Are Sad in the eyes.   The majority suffering a McLean Term ‘Learned helplessness’   Have ruined Mouths   Exhibit their frustrations in Life via two of the highest forms of communication, that of rearing or bolting, and   are inevitably ‘above the Bit’   don’t like their Handler.These symptoms are universal across them all. So what is the system??     Well like Tom Roberts, Monty Roberts, Parelli and others, The ‘McLean System’ is just a system of ‘Ground Manners’ It is not a ‘Horse Starting’ system. Sold with the power of the Phd and the use of very big words that many don’t understand.   ‘ Response landscape graphs conceptualizing the effects of arousal and effective state on training outcomes of operant conditioning in animal training “   ANY TRAINING SYSTEM IS

Peer Review – Dr. Paul McGreevy

    N.S.W. University of Equine Science – Professor Dr. Paul McGreevy. Take a look at this Video that popped up on my YouTube News.   With the advent of the Internet, everyone can be an overnight sensation and those who may have harbored the romantic notion of being a Horse Trainer, can have their wish granted with the flick of a switch. It has been a concern of mine for some Years now, that Scientist are often Peer reviewing Horse Trainers like Monty Roberts and others but no one has ever Peer reviewed a Scientist. Scientists are presently taking over the education of so called ‘Horsemanship’ and yet they are not qualified to do so. They are giving dangerous advice which is a huge ‘Risk Management’ issue and not only will the Pupils learn incorrectly but they may well be injured or killed. The Horses will suffer. So let me be the first ‘Horseman’ to review a Scientist. This Video is a ‘Risk Management’ Nightmare. https://youtu.be/ZsBjRwv04c0 and it is a good example of the dangers of very Credible People from the Research side of the Horse Industry, trying to make the transformation to Horsemanship.   The Horse is portrayed as unbroken and having stuff done on Day 1 of it’s starting. (although I can and You probably will also, see that this is certainly not the case) but the Young and those entering the Industry and learning, WILL NOT. They will go and copy!!!!!!!!!!!….with a feral.   WARNING FOR THOSE WATCHING – follow none of the advice!!   Don’t lead a Young Horse like this. You are training the following: To be heavy in the Head due to the battle of force To be constantly invading Your space into the future That standing upon Humans is the comfort zone going forward and such Horses ALL become addicted to being ‘in Your Face and actually think they must.   To be learning to manipulate You with their Body mass and strength.   To jump on Your Body the moment it shies. (Horses lead like this are mentally captured that they must be on top of You and are the one’s that ALWAYS Jump on You. Natural Horsemanship Trained Horses JUMP AWAY from You)   and there is something strange about the habit that comes from the British side of Training, that get’s People who lead a Horse, to “Glare’ at the Horse. I cannot explain that. I advise You to make love to your Horse.       Happiness is…but wait….virtually everyone who is British Trained, will Yell in unison “but she has no control, she will get killed”…….in fact, as i said, Natural Horsemanship Trained Horses simply run away

IMPULSION IN THE DRESSAGE HORSE

  Impulsion in the horse, is controlled power. It is fourth on the “German Training Scale”. It is the desire to go forward but not running with speed but under the control of the rider, at any desired tempo. Impulsion is the amount of activity created to cause more energy and thus expression in the paces.   A horse can only “engage” by coming more on his haunches and therefore showing collection, if the first ingredients of the scale are achieved (relaxation, rhythm,contact) before adding impulsion. If we try and ride the horse forward in an attempt to create impulsion but the horse isn’t relaxed, swinging over it’s back and going into a good contact to the riders hand, it will just run quicker with shorter steps and no cadence will be evident. This is not correct impulsion.   not engaged compared to engaged…….                                 A horses paces should become more elastic and expressive with impulsion. Appearing light on his feet, with big open steps. A horse that has good impulsion is in front of the riders leg. It travels freely forward without the rider having to push it to keep it going. It should appear like it is traveling on its own whilst waiting for the riders next command with anticipation and attentiveness. Impulsion is created from the riders leg aids. It is the responsiveness to go when asked. A good rider only asks the horse to go with an almost invisible aid and then sits still allowing the horse to carry him without interfering with his horse and giving conflicting other aids with seat or hand. He will adjust the horses forwardness with the seat and hand aids according to what he is asking for. Like transitions from extended to collected and passage to piaffe etc. In order to get a light horse to the leg, you need to give a single soft aid first. If the response isn’t sufficient then a strong abrupt leg aid needs to follow immediately to enforce the ask. If still an adverse response is given by the horse, the rider must correct with a negative aid like a spur or whip. If consistent and quick in your response you can train the horse to be in front of your leg. But only if you are in balance and not giving restrictive aids by hand and seat at the same time as the leg aid. A horse can only react to one aid at a time. If consecutive aids are given, confusion sets in and will result in either a horse rushing due to tension or shutting down.

Roundness in the Dressage Horse

  What is roundness in a horse??? It is when a horse stretches it’s top line longitudinally from the poll to it’s dock over it’s back in an arc. By extending its muscles in this way over it’s back, the horse is better equipped to carry a rider. Creating more muscle build up and strength whilst staying relaxed. When a horse is worked ‘over the back’, it is asked to stretch the back muscles in an arc in order to lift it’s back in an upwards movement under the saddle. In order to do this correctly ,the horse needs to engage it’s core and lift it’s abdominal muscles too. It’s much like a person doing core strength exercises. Strengthening core muscles makes physical activities easier.It also builds the muscles that support the back and pelvis making the horse stronger and able to carry us without the risk of injury.   The more we can lengthen the horses back muscles this way, the more ‘swing’ is created. Swing is the elasticity within the horses body. This in turn results in relaxation for the horse. With relaxation comes a well adjusted mind for training.It is evident if a horse is truly swinging in it’s back when you watch it’s tail. A horse’s tail will swing from side to side in the rhythm of its steps when ‘Round”. It is also comfortable to sit on. Whilst the horses back muscles are relaxing and swinging it has a cushioning effect for the rider. Whilst a horse that isn’t ’round’ will feel jarring and hard to sit on. A horse should always be warmed up in a stretching ’round’ frame. This ensures the first step of the German training scale of relaxation and rhythm. Once warmed up, we can bring the horse up and start to ask for more engagement and collection. However even though the horse may be able to collect well, you need to keep assessing the tension and tightness of the horse during it’s training session. Returning to the stretching ‘long and low’ whenever the horse has offered some good work or starts to tense up. So the horse will determine when the ‘long and low’ work is necessary and for what duration. Asking the horse to stretch longitudinally will release the tension in the horses back muscles. At the conclusion of a session, we should also return to stretching in order to finish with a relaxed frame of mind and eliminate physical tension. The alteration of the horses frame whilst maintaining roundness builds strength. It is a slow process which takes years to develop enough to do FEI level dressage. The horses strength is an absolute must, if it is to

THE CROOKED HORSE – Toll on Horse and Rider

  When a horse travels crooked, it affects it’s physical well being, relaxation and more.  Most horses are one sided, as we are left or right handed too. With good instruction, you need to work on strengthening the weaker side and be made aware of which one that is. Usually horses are weaker on the right rein but there are exceptions.   CAUSES   Natural one sidedness Rider induced Crookedness leading to unsoundness Real Veterinary Problems such as Pelvis Damage from Birthing.   THE LITTLE KNOWN HUGE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TRAINER   Have had many Thousands of ‘Green Horses’ through our Hands, it is indeed surprising just how many have problems. It is not known by most Trainers around the World but they should be taught how to feel ‘Crookedness’ however subtle and to advise the Owner: How to fix it Set about fixing it it themselves, and Provide a Plan for the future of how to ride such a Horse, to ‘straighten’ it and stop the onset of further deterioration as the Horse starts to compensate further, with the new weight of a Rider on board.   The Crooked Horse from Horseproblems Australia on Vimeo.     THE FOOT FALLS We can tell a crooked horse by watching it’s footfalls. If it’s hind feet don’t follow directly behind the footfalls of it’s front feet it is crooked.   THE TIPS OF THE EARS Another way to identify crookedness is by watching the tips of it’s ears. If one ear tip is higher than the other, it is crooked too.   THE BLAZE If we watch it’s blaze down the face and it isn’t straight down from the forehead to the nose ,the Horse is also crooked ( provided it has a straight blaze of course). Sometimes this can be caused by sharp teeth as well. As a rider it can be hard to tell true straightness or crookedness. When sitting in the saddle, you need to feel comfortable and be able to sit ‘central’. Crooked horses push you crooked in the saddle, usually to the outside. Resulting in shortening of your inside leg and making it hard to keep your inside heel down and sitting on your inside seat bone. This is especially evident on circles and turns. If we are not sitting central the horse can’t be balanced either. It would therefore hold tension in the muscles in the back as a result. When muscles are tight for a prolonged period of time, pain develops. Pain often leads to lameness or bad behaviour.   THE VETERINARY   Please read this   LINK Over time if horses are ridden crooked, they become one sided. They build more muscle tone on

TRAINING THE FIELD SHY HORSE

      I often get asked about ‘Field Shy Horses’, meaning those that won’t go near other Horses when being ridden or jump and shy away if another Horse comes near them. This can be caused by a number of things:   Poorly broken in whereby the Trainer didn’t expose the young Horse enough or never rode it in the opposite direction of travel to other Horses on the same arena or Trail.  The use of ‘Blinkers’ when starting, breaking in or training Horses which takes away their overall view of the World and actually compounds this and many other problems.  Poor Eye Sight problems in which case get the Horse looked at by your Veterinary Officer.  A wimpy personality in a Horse. One that will always be low in the ‘pecking order’ of the Herd.  A lack of boldness put on the Horse by the Trainer who stared it and not having ridden and exposed the Horse to the real World but kept it cocooned in yards and an arena.  A young Horse getting kicked and hurt by another Horse during riding.  Horse getting bullied in the Herd situation.   Over the years, I have been asked to try and fix many such Horses and especially in the Race Horses. During experimentation, I have found that throwing them in the deep end so to speak, is the best and most effective fix. I have had Horses that will not take  split in the final 200 metres of a Race, who just put the brakes on and go backwards or who lug way wide to the outside running rail, all getting beat of course. With the pleasure or equestrian Horses, I meet them that will violently stop and spin away if a Horse comes from the other direction at them as well as the other symptoms of the Race Horse. I throw them in the deep end for in order to fix this psychological problem, we have to first be able to prove to the Horse that in fact it can get up close and personal with a mob of others and yet not get hurt. To survive. Further, I actually attempt to turn these Horses into ‘Bullies’ themselves and prove to them (with my assistance and presence) that they can be brave and more importantly, make others get out of their way instead the other way around. There are two ways to go about this:   Find your local Western Training Night being held in an Indoor Arena somewhere, where Cowboys will not raise their eye brows at the fact that you have an unwieldy Horse. In fact, they are highly likely to see the fun in assisting

MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OF THE GIRTHY HORSE

See the Video here   I regularly get letters about Horses that attempt to bite, lay their ears back, snake their heads, cow kick and so on, whilst being girthed up. There have been many a proposition put as to the cause but as usual, I like to “listen to the horses“ There are plenty of ‘Girthy Horses’ in this World and I reckon I would meet about 10% that are. They are born that way and I am yet to meet one that has Veterinary induced touchiness. Regardless of the Problem, such Horses need to be given understanding, empathy and saddled up in such a way that they need and that normally involves plenty of time and procedure. Of course we do meet girth problems caused by girth galling, skin off, swelling and fluid build up caused by over girthing, grass seeds and so on but on the whole, the vast majority are born that way as I said.   During the last couple of years, I have been experimenting with varying types of girths, then getting them manufactured and testing them on such Horses. I noticed a vast improvement in attitude upon the second instillation of the saddle and recently, met two aged biting horses that gave it up totally when they realized that the saddling process may not be as bad as they once thought. It took one saddling and they both changed completely.   Here are the reasons.   The comfort neoprene girth has more width, dissipates the pressure across a wider area, is more comfortable, softer, more giving and has air flow.   It can be hosed down after use and does not harbor fungicidal rashes.It does not retain sand, grit, gum nuts, sticks, grass seeds and so on……..   has a far smoother girthing and tightening operation than English Saddles.   and tightens up on a straight angle right across the girth itself rather than being screwed one side and then the other by generally Ladies standing on Tip Toes and often doing a ‘Hammy’ in the Process. The girth points, one, two or three with the English or traditional stock saddles, simply by design, cause the handler to turn themselves inside out in an effort to get the saddle girthed up tight enough. In the process, they may be pulling one strap, then another and screwing and twisting the skin of the Horse in many ways. All causing discomfort. Further, there can be no gradual and smooth adjustment of the girth, to take into account the wants and needs of the varying Horses. From the thin skinned to the plain girthy.    There are no sudden shocks, pinches or reefing as with the

THE CAUSES AND FIX OF THE JIG JOGGING HORSE

  We have all seen the horse that won’t walk whilst out on the trail ride or pleasure riding as we call it. Highly frustrating and usually ends up with the horse doing Piaffe and the rider being Pi-offed. Here’s why it happens and here’s how to fix it.   THE CAUSE The material following hereafter relates to the horse at the walk, not at the trot or canter. A rider may ride on the bit or off at those two gaits. It does not matter. What does matter is how the rider rides the horse at the WALK. To be relaxed, a horse must be able to lower its neck and just “mosy along”. It cannot lower its neck if you are sitting there with a contact, as to do that it actually needs a longer rein because the neck must be allowed to stretch out further. Tense horses have their heads and necks up, relaxed ones lower the front end.     A majority of people like to keep a contact on their horse’s mouth when on a trail ride. These are almost always the people who end up with jig jogging horses. They do so because they think that if they do not the horse will bolt off. I also think that it gives them a comfort zone, particularly those people who were taught to ride in the ‘English’ way of going. In fact, all horses and especially young or freshly broken in horses should be walked everywhere on a loopy rein and only be “On the Bit and Round” when doing flat work. This will keep the horse seine and much more accepting of the hard boring grind of the circle work that flat work includes. A horse cannot see the rhyme nor reason in going endlessly around an arena because in the horse’s mind there is no beginning or end. Nothing to focus on, no completion, no arrival. This is where you will always get your misbehavior, tension, stress and un-happiness. NORMAL PEOPLE They hold onto the reins and pull on a horses mouth “IN CASE THE HORSE JOGS” and if it does, they hold on tighter and tighter until the horse not only jogs but also runs sideways, canters on the spot, caprioles and then even rears. The horse is locked in a box and has no where to go, so it chooses one of the available escapes.   NATURAL HORSEMEN They refuse to hang onto the reins and if the horse breaks gait from the walk  they punish the horse by sending it precisely in the opposite direction that it wants to go and then say, “I dare you to do it again”

PLEASURE RIDING – THE TRAPS AND TACTICS TO STAY ALIVE

In another life, I escorted about 50,000 people on ‘Holidays on Horseback’ (Pack Horse Tours). I learnt a few safety tips during that time and am happy to say that I didn’t lose a customer. I’ll try to remember a few of them in case they may help you.       Never get  any closer than a full horse length from the rear end of a horse or from the side of one unless you totally know that it is trustworthy and not a kicker. I have seen a few broken legs in my time. The horse goes to kick your horse but gets your leg instead.   Be in complete charge of the behavior of your horse. Do not accept kicking, biting or even threatening. Discipline the horse before your friend gets kicked and ends up in Hospital.   One in Twenty Drivers now have Drugs in their system!!!!! Always ride to the ability of the most inexperienced rider in your company. You must ride within their limits to not get them hurt. Young people often forget this and I have seen some falls as a result of people racing off in front of a learner rider.   It is your responsibility to plot the course of every footfall of your horse for the entire ride. You are there to keep your horse out of trouble and to not get it hurt. You must take particular notice where you are asking your horse to place it’s hooves. Watch for snakes, animal burrows, holes, big rocks, fencing wire, soft ground etc. Managing the Girthy Horse and stopping the Buck If your horse is not shod, look after it and dodge the rough ground and rocks where possible.   When there is traffic around, ride no more than two abreast and have the more experienced horse shield the other where possible.   Do not ride in traffic on horses that are not trained to it.   Do not trot or canter on sealed roads. Falls are a regular occurrence. I have been down myself 6 times in the last 7 years. I didn’t ask them to trot mind you. They were breakers and they were normally bucking or shying.   hen faced with things that frighten your horse, keep the horse forward and allow it to go past the object at a distance that the horse is comfortable with. Each time thereafter, it will improve and get closer.   Never try to force a horse to go up to an object and make it sniff it. You are buying on a problem that you may not win and this is an unfair ask of an obviously young, green or worried

THE GREEN HORSE AND THE DANGER OF THE ARENA

  Hi Folks Let me pass onto You, that the Arena is ‘your worst nightmare’ when it comes to ‘Green Horses’ and yet, this is the place that the vast majority of People insist upon staying….why??? The answer is a few things: Fear and the opinion that the Arena is their ‘Comfort Zone’ A vast lack of knowledge and indeed, experience, in how ‘Green Horses’ should be ridden A lack of knowledge of how to ‘pleasure ride’ Horses The thought that they have a lack of control on the Trail and more in the Arena……. all of which is false.   The ‘Green Horse’ can see no logic in an Arena, no learning, just around and around with no starting point and no discernible ending to the journey. They get sick of the Arena in one ride!! It has little by way of controls and it sets up ‘evasions‘ by default. Here is a first ride on an arena.               Trust me……’Green Horses’ learn 10 times as much on the Trail than they ever can on an arena and retain happiness, attitude and bond with You, the Owner. Here are some other benfits If they are not Trail ridden, they are never a complete Horse and You will always be vulnerable in the future   They always lack boldness unless exposed to the ‘real world’   The Trail ridden ‘Green Horse’ has a far better Walk than those on the arena   Zero risk of rearing versus a high risk on an arena   The building of ‘True Unity’ between the Horse and Rider on the Trail rather than perceptions that the Rider isn’t being fair  and giving no fun in riding, on the Arena….and much more……   I could show You the Faces of hundreds of Horses, Sad and frustrated, versus the same number of gleeful ‘Green Horses’ even if it were their first ride out of a Round Pen, but I won’t photo bomb You….just a couple 🙂 GREEN HORSES     THE ARENA ‘Green Horses’ have NO CLUE about ‘Contact’ and think that any feel on the Mouth is the BRAKES. That’s what they have been brain washed with by the Horse Trainer. Give them a huge break and show them on the Trail where they are naturally FORWARD, happy, have a place to get to, understand the reasons and much more.                             So Folks, I do hope You consider all of this. Trust me, it is a ‘Holy Grail’ of training ‘Green Horses’ Regards

BUILDING THE TOP-LINE OF THE HORSE

    Hi Folks. I want to introduce my lovely Wife….who…..has the most astounding success with BUILDING THE TOPLINE, on Horse and I have seen Her do it countless times. She wouldn’t tell You that. HP   Hi Folks, Linda here. Across the Thousands of Horses that I have been fortunate enough to ride, I have gradually learnt and developed systems that at this point in time, I find impossible to replace. I can’t provide systems here but will simply put some points. You may Book a Lesson with me, Live, via Facetime. I teach Ladies around the World.   To follow the ‘German Training Scale’ is absolutely crucial.   To ride ‘Inside Leg to Outside Rein is essential.   That any system that relies upon two Hands contact cannot achieve Topline To progress in Dressage, Horses have to have the carrying Muscles.   To ‘Collect’, Horses have to have the enabling Muscles….and..   To ride in any way incorrect, is to diminish the ability of the Horse and often send it unsound.     Here are just some of my Pupils Horses.     and some of mine. Regards

BEWARE OF THE OFF THE TRACK THOROUGHBRED

    This article is written for those entering the Industry for there are high dangers present. A simple check of my Blog will soon show you the proof of my words here below, stories of problems in their Thousands, now dated back to 2001 within the 25,000 Letters I have answered.     None of any of this is the fault of the lovely Horses, of which I have broken in hundreds and they are all just normal Horses   86% OF EX RACE HORSES ARE UNSOUND TO SOME DEGREE WHEN LEAVING THE TRACK   it matters not that they only Trialed, further…….  (These stats are from one of Australia’s Leading vets’) I completely agree with them though, across a sample of Thousands of these Horses during my Life time.   Because they are cheap, they become the Bread and Butter of many Ruthless and Crooked Horse Dealers around the Country, spawned by the Internet, where everyone is a Horse Dealer over Night and so these cheap and plentiful Horses get sold to the unsuspecting.   POLITICS   Due to the surprise attacks on the Racing Industry by “Racing Kills” there has been a strong push back from the Racing Organization to fool the Pubic.    This has spawned countless Re-homing Organizations, Dealers in Thoroughbreds and Re-educating services, most of who won’t have a clue about the underlying Veterinary that awaits. This article has promoted furor from vested interests, but I wrote it to even up the debate and to save Novices from being conned and to ‘level the Playing Field’   CROOKED HORSE SALES   Since pioneering Horselaw in this Country, I have consulted to many Cases involving ex Race Horses, being sold by Crooks, as Australian Stock Horses.   SEE THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR THE REAL WORLD   AFFLICTIONS   Almost all suffer Psychological issues from very minor to major like Windsucking, Weaving and other things. (4 collars sent to One Trainer in Hong Kong this Week   100% of have substandard and therefore dangerous Mouths and braking systems, rated at the max of 4/10. Even if they were broken in well (which most are not) the Mouths are soon ruined during Racing because Riders can only just hang against the Mouths but not use Legs and at up to 200kg when galloping.   Of course it is NOT the fault of the Horses, it is the systems they endure but I have to still warn you.   Many are ‘High Maintenance’   They are highly expensive due to the many detrimental issues that arise.   They cannot compete any more, in conventional Dressage because of their movement and Veterinary issues that are often not

THE WIND SUCKING HORSE

  Wind Sucking is a vice and it is also a legal trigger for a Veterinary Surgeon to reject a horse during an inspection for sale. The wind sucker is often under weight and I have even seen them so bad that they have died of mal nutrition because of their incessant desire to be carrying on their habit.     Wind Sucking becomes a drug addiction with horses. They are addicts. Each time they suck and gulp air they receive a hit of endorphins which is similar to a drug, hence it’s addiction.   The habit is generally caused by boredom in the stables environment and/or copying other horses that do it. Such boredom can be increased by the lack of opportunity for the horse to graze, which they do for around 16 hours in their paddock environment. The feeding of lot’s of hay keeps horses occupied whereas in the Racing Industry where small hard feeds are fed, the chances of boredom and eventual wind sucking is drastically increased and in real life this is where I meet most of them.   To carry out this nasty habit, they usually need to be able to grab on to a door, log, wooden rail or whatever else with their front teeth and then to gulp air down into their gut. Some do not however.   When purchasing a horse, you should take a look at it’s front teeth to see if they have any unusual wear from wind sucking. Their front teeth gradually get worn down on an angle because of the horse grabbing on to wooden rails, tree stumps, doors or whatever else they can find to achieve their addiction. I have even seen a horse wind suck on it’s own front leg. So you own one and what do you do to manage it? They rarely give it up. We have found that using electric fencing to the point where the horse cannot get hold of an object with it’s teeth, does stop them in the stable environment. We paint any other target points with creosote and are ever vigilant. If we see a new location being invented by the horse, we will immediately paint that too.   It does not pay to allow a wind sucker to be in the company of your other good horses, unless it cannot do it. The Saddlery Shops sell a collar that is called either a ‘wind sucking collar’ or a ‘Miracle Collar’ as they are sometimes called. These have some success but not on all horses so do not just fit one and not observe your horse after. It works on the basis of stopping the esophagus from  radically expanding

ULCERS IN THE PERFORMANCE HORSE

    FROM THE MORPHETVILLE EQUINE CLINIC- Adelaide, South Australia   Did You know?……. That over 70% of Jumping and Equestrian Horses have Stomach Ulcers during periods of training and competition   2 out of 3 Endurance Horses have Ulcers immediately after competition   Over 58% of competitive Horses have Ulcers after 3 Days of Travel and competition   90% of Racehorses have Ulcers     To add to the Worlds knowledge base on this Subject, most of it Veterinary based, let us relate out personal learning’s, most of which will  not appear in that info. Reason?…because Vets’ ride Lecterns and not generally  Horses.   As Horses start to get Ulcers, their Coat deteriorates.   Horses Tell you when they are getting Ulcers, you only have to   listen to them.   They start to worry more about their environment and are much more alert as they look around for Predators.   They Shy more, both under Saddle and in Hand.   They Sweat far more and far sooner into a session than normal   They stop wanting Cereal Hay and yearn for Green Grass…….’Dr. Green’ as we say.   They do improve with the known S4 Drugs that you administer orally.   There are no doubt other Natural remedies that can help them.     CAUSES Now here is the area that you won’t find information about on the Internet:   It is our opinion that the proliferation of processed Foods as in Pellets and the like is contributing to the exposition in cases and especially one particular Company in Australia.   Incessantly fighting with the Head of the Horse, as taught by the Brtish Horse Society and then Pony Club, causes Ulcers through ‘learned helplessness’. These Horses can NEVER be relaxed and this causes Ulcers.   That the Chemicals that they are putting in those Pellets etc, are part of the cause. (Men in White Coats work in Laboratories at Food Companies   Genetic Modification of Grains will not help and would not have been considered as yet.   The chosen Discipline for the Horse will affect this.   The Conformation of the Horse affects it   The choosing of the wrongly conformed Horse for the chosen Discipline.   and the ‘English Disciplines” affect susceptible Horses the most and that relates to ‘Collection’, and   Trainers that don’t use empathy.     COLLECTION   We find that it is NOT the ‘Collection’ that is the problem within the ‘English Disciplines’ but ‘Collection’ versus CONFORMATION. Horses that are Born and formed to do it have no trouble. Here we get to the ‘Conformation of Horses’ and if one is choosing a future Dressage Star, they should think carefully about

CONFORMATION AND THE DRESSAGE HORSE

    Over 50% of Dressage Horses that I see ARE NOT suitable for the purpose”     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? 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.  The Further out the back they Camp their Legs, the less they can ‘collect’   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

THE CLUB HOOF AND IT’S DOWNSIDE

    Club Hooves on Performance Horses is a serious concern! Something that experience has shown us, comes with many downsides and we highly recommend you don’t flirt with them. Particularly in the ‘Performance Horse’. They detrimentally affect many aspects of Horse Ownership:     CAUSES   They are normally Born with the condition, which can be brought on by all manner of things, from Feeding of Mares to hireditary. This article is only a general warning to you so we won’t get into the technical issues of this.   FLYING CHANGES   We all know it takes a lot of work and a long time to reach the stage of flying changes. Club Hooves or a Club Hoof can and does often waste all of the effort.   A Horse with a Club Hoof is like a Car with a different Brand of Rim and Tyre on one Corner, normally a front. Not only is the Horse not perfectly balanced but it faces more wear and tear as time goes on. Club Hooves affect Dressage, can produce one sides Horses, evasive Horses and more. Certainly ‘late changes’ is on the Cards.   THE VETERINARY IMPLICATIONS   All manner of unwanted symptoms can arise in such Horses, like:   Tenderness in the Hoof   Propensity to Abscesses   Ringbone, and more   Lameness and more..     SHOEING   There can be much more management required and much more expense, to keep a Club Footed Horse working soundly. They can require special shoes, protective Boots, protective Tips, Wedges and all manner of other gimiks to keep them from going lame.   In my experience, as a Farrier and a Problem Horse Trainer, is that if they are going to be managed properly, they need attention every 3 Weeks when other Horses are probably being Shod normally at 6 or 8 Weeks. The key is 3 Weeks!   They normally need a shoe kept on them for you cannot afford wear of the toe. The Heels have to continually be knocked down.   FARRIERS Many DO NOT cut them back viciously enough on the Heels. That is the secret. You have to be brutal. Continually knock the heels down and hardly touch the toes. They can be managed this way. BREEDING   Sorry to have to say this but the Breeding Industry is like ‘Dad’s Army’ in this Country. The can’t ride a Horse, they Breed it, horse goes Lame, they Breed it, Club Hoofs or not!!!! It happens from the Back Yarders to the Most Well known Studs in the Industry. It would boggle Your Mind if I could relate some of the things that I have seen.   You

CONFORMATION VERSUS SOUNDNESS

    In the Performance Horse World, ‘Conformation’ is everything and yet largely ignored by those buying for their chosen Sport. Let’s talk about Dressage…….   If a Horse is not ‘Built for Purpose’, it cannot adequately complete the task.   Behavior will then be affected, as the Horse struggles to do what it wasn’t built for.   This removes ‘relaxation’, the first level of the ‘German Training Scale’ and without it, forget Dressage.   and yet, at every Comp I attend, I see OVER 50% of all Horses, being not ‘built to cope’   CONFORMATION INDUCED MISBEHAVIOR   So here is a range of Photos, of Horses so called mis-behaving,     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. The Further out the back they Camp their Legs, the less they can ‘collect’   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

HOW TO RIDE AND FIX THE BOLTING HORSE

Dedicated to Jane Goodwin……   BRITISH HORSEMANSHIP CLAIMS ANOTHER LIFE A teacher was killed when she was thrown from her beloved horse A school teacher died in a freak accident when she was thrown off her horse – described as the “love of her life.” Animal lover Jayne Goodwin, 44, was heard shouting “she’s going” before falling from her “flighty” six-year-old Friesian Kali on January 9 last year. However, coroner David Hinchliff said the mare had developed a habit of suddenly setting off before her rider was properly mounted. “She put her leg into the stirrup, but as she went to lift her right leg over, Kali raised her head and set off at a fast canter.” Ms Goodwin was heard shouting “Oh Christ, she’s going” as the horse bolted. Well of course, NO HORSE we ever ride would even think about it let alone do it.!!! ++++++++++++++++++   God knows how Horsemen around the World can ever influence the traditions of Britain, perhaps only shock tactics, so I apologize. So much about their teaching equals Bolting……… Read here   The failure to teach how to Mount Horses WITH CONTROL   The substandard Mouthing systems   The lack of knowledge of how to Re-Mouth Horses and to RETAIN THE INTEGRITY OF THE MOUTH   The ‘Learned Helplessness’ inflicted upon their Horses, and   The priority being Lovely Uniforms, wonderful Grooming, expensive Crops rather than HORSEMANSHIP!!!!!     The origins of the bolting horse are always found in the “foundation stones” put on the horse by the “Horse Breaker” or in the education process that shortly follows. If a horse never ever gets a victory, it will never think it could ever remotely be successful at an attempt. This is why “The One Rein Stop” is so important during this imprinting process. The true bolting horse is rarely seen. Most are really not bolting but running through a rider’s hands, bad brakes, major resistance, rider too weak, evasion etc. The true bolter is the horse that goes flat out in a straight line, brakes totally failed and no possibility of turning the head or neck of the horse to circle it. It also may run through fences whereas horses that are not truly bolting will turn or stop at the last minute.   MOST BRITISH BOLTING HORSES are only ‘run aways’ or lack of control, fast Canters etc. Many British Horses, suffer from LEARNED HELPLESSNESS because they are NEVER ‘off the Bit’ and so never ENJOY their Life or ride. They don’t know what a PLEASURE ride is!!!! Regardless of which category you may be experiencing, there are certain things you can do to protect your safety somewhat. These are:  

LUNGING THE HORSE

  Lot’s of horse owners lunge really well. The horse trains them that way.   Just watch them where ever you go. The horse runs around at the end of the stiff lunge rein whilst the owner runs around a smaller circle but lunges just as well. The whole time fighting against the pull of the horse. Well I suppose it is good for their health at least. Seriously though, it is your choice how your horses is trained to lunge so here are a few basic rules to go by.   “The lunging process is the time when the young, green or newly owned horses examine, probe, test and label us as the owner. Their decision will then directly impact upon their behavior, ridden and ground, going forward. Ignore lunging rules at your peril and have your horse assess you as a ‘Bunny’, for you are making a ‘Rod for your own back’ in the future”   Lunging endlessly to control behavior of a horse is a complete waste of time and all you achieve is a much fitter horse that has more energy to misbehave in the future.   Lunging to exhaust horses before show competition is idiotic and cruel. It is a scam that ‘hackies pull here in Australia and I have heard of people lunging horses an entire night to quieten them for the next days comp.   If you do lunge, gain some benefit out of it by having the horse wear your chosen equipment to ensure it works ‘Round’ somewhat. Improve muscle tone as well as exercise the horse.   If you lunge in a round yard, there is no point using a rope or a lunge rein. Train your horse to stop or turn via the use of your voice and body language.   If you do use a rein or rope, never use a webbing halter. These train horses to lean and pull on the handler. A rope halter gains much more respect and will assist you to keep the horse light.   Lunging Caveson also will heavy a horse up in the head department as well as give you little control should something go wrong should you be out in the open.   If you use a rein, never let the horse go around leaning on it. This teaches resistance and causes the handler to be fighting with the horse. Check release to maintain the desired circle for your horse. Of course, if it is in a Round Yard, the wall should be the direction and position of travel.   From the point of view of ruining the lightness of a horse, the lunging rein does just that as it is

the anti-rearing bit – necessary or gimmick?

Go here for Bits   I was at a Vet Clinic the other day and saw the Vet Nurse install an anti rearing bit on a fairly drugged two year old horse. Obviously, it is Company Policy to use them on all unbroken horses at the minimum. The particular Clinic was near a Race Course and I know that it is the policy of all Racing Clubs throughout Australia at least, to install anti rearing bits or a bridle which has a similar bit, on every horse that is being led. I am totally against the use of the Anti-Rearing bit and the principal behind it’s use. (Other than for Stallions out in public) Even then we don’t need them. The Racing Industry in Australia, is desperately lacking in imagination with regards to Horsemanship and the welfare of horses. It is pretty much still stuck in the 1800’s and closed minded about some of these subjects. The anti-rearing bit is one example. Here are some reasons why I am against them: They ruin the potential of any unbroken mouth. They are often used in a cruel manner I note that they are normally attached to people who lead horses by the beard and six foot lead ropes. Therefore, when the horse rears, it often escapes. If you hurt the mouth of a horse, it will fight against that pain, thus increasing the very behavior that the bit was designed to prevent.   They give young horses a bad experience when it comes to bits. and above all, when it comes right down to it, a rope halter has far more control so why bother? What really amuses me is the dancing that Racehorse Strappers’ do with all of these horses equipped with Anti-Rearing Bits. Just like a Square Dance. Walk 5 metres, take hold of yur pardner and do a small circle b4 continuing en-route. The lack of control is worth watching indeed.     If you go and look on any Saddlery Shop wall, you will see weird and wonderful tools of torture called bits. They were all invented by incompetent horse handlers’ and the Anti Rearing Bit belongs on the same wall.                

The British Horse Society – a Peer Review

  I can hear Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrence cheering me from their Grave   This article has been triggered by this Photo Today. (in Britain)         After attending to many thousands of so called ‘problem Horses’ in my long career and nearing the end of it, at the risk of shock and dismay and more, I have decided to review the foundational systems of the British Horse Society, that impact upon Horses across the World. At least 90% of all the thousands of aggrieved Horses that have come through my Hands, have been triggered by these British systems. I have come to realize that these systems are actually the sleeper Horse Welfare issue of 2017 and thought it only fair to review them, for the good of Horses and Humans everywhere, just as the British Horse Society has been reviewing other systems such as Rolkur. I could go on for Hours but let me keep it simple and break it down to two basic areas that diminish the lives of Horses and place Humans in such serious Risk of injury and Death. **read Bolting Horse   The 24/7 Rein contact for no good reason, and The ground handling systems, both of which constantly see Horses in turmoil, unhappy, stressed and with ‘learned helplessness’, as well as much more. In short, the systems seriously deteriorate the Welfare of 100% of Horses that succumb to them. So first let the Horses explain their feelings to You.   THE BRITISH SYSTEM HORSES   Now obviously these are extreme examples but look into the eyes of these Horses to get the point. Happy Partners versus the unhappy Horses up the top. LEADING Why would You want to inflict Pain inside the Mouth of Your Horse, with half a Kilo of Steel? Where is the logic in that? We are supposed to love our Horses, many profess to but think about it, do You really love Your Horse if You are inflicting discomfort every moment You handle it??? Well this is what happens, the World over and it all stems from Britain, via the Military, Racing and God forbid, Pony Club in this Country and right now, ‘Ready Steady Trot’, the new Equestrian Australia initiative to attract more People into the Industry. Check out the thoughts of the poor Horses in their Publicity Photo   I am not going to go on for there are ample other educative articles on this Website but warn all People entering the Industry that such leading and so called ‘control systems’, contribute to these things and more:   THE ALTERNATIVE The             Now obviously these are extreme examples but look

The ‘Pleasure Rein’ – making of the happy Horse

  ** Go here for all sorts of EXTENDED REINS THE PLEASURE REIN I am convinced that I must be the only one on the Planet that see’s the pain of Horses that are ridden in the British Horse Society fashion, a system that is handed down across the World, via Pony Club, Military and Mounted Police. The ridden Rein handling fashion is the culprit for the terrorization of Horses everywhere and is a disgrace. As a prolific ‘Problem Horse’ Trainer of 50 Years, I find it quite incredible that People cannot see the damage done to Horses everywhere by People hanging onto Reins like a ‘Dummy’ or ‘Worry Beads’. This failed habit without logic is responsible for nothing but negativity in Horse Training with some of those being:   Unhappiness on each and every occasion they are ridden Learned helplessness. The teaching of ridden vices such as Head chucking, reefing and more The progressive diminishing of the integrity of the Mouth (brakes) An obvious judgment by the Horse that the Owner is not worthy of respect or friendship….     would You like someone who incessantly pulling inside Your Mouth with a Lump of Steel……FOR NO REASON???   AND of course all of the ridden evasions that Horses dream up to attempt to communicate to the non listening Human.   …I have a couple of questions to You…….   If standing around chatting to Friends, waiting for the next Class, resting or other, why would anyone be constantly pulling against the Mouth of a Horse??????…….it has already parked!!                 If on a ‘Pleasure Ride’, warming down, riding to or from an arena or more, why would anyone be pulling against the Mouth of a Horse THAT IS ALREADY WALKING?????????????????       Did I mention rearing Horses?   NOW…DON’T GET ME WRONG   I am not a rabid ‘Greenie’ when it comes to the training of Horses but have learnt that if You want the very best relationship with Your Horses, like our Horses, you should ride as we do and that being………..   “When training or competing in the ‘English Disciplines’, RIDE THE HORSE COMPLETE AND PROPER DRESSAGE. Round, On the Bit, Supple, Straight and all the rest. Accept no incorrectness…….BUT at all other times, ‘RIDE ON THE PLEASURE REIN’, so what is a ‘Pleasure Rein’?… There is no in-between. Do it right or not at all   WHAT IS A PLEASURE REIN?   ** For a Horse to be relaxed on a ‘Pleasure Ride’ it has to lower it’s Neck. Horses ridden on the British Rein, cannot do so and therefore can never be relaxed. (which of course is one

Pony Club Hands

        I realize that many of you accuse me of ‘Pony Club Bashing’ but remember, everything I say is for the Good of Horses and the good of the Kids. Every Day, around the World, countless combinations suffer needlessly. Virtually every Week and this Week twice (which has prompted this) I get cases of so called PROBLEM HORSES. Read this……..   Case 1. Mrs. HP assessed a lovely Bay Horse that was being horrendous to ride for the Pony Club Rider, despite them being to two Hacking Coaches in the past few Months. The Horse was kicking up in the rear end, completely frustrating, throwing it’s Head in the air and generally being a Nightmare for the Young Lady. Mrs. HP rode the Horse and advised Jed to ride it along certain lines, which he has been this Week and there has been a complete turn around in the happiness of the Horse and she is going lovely. Well done Jed. The Young Lady is having two rides this Week, under instruction of Jed and then Weekly Lessons thereafter, to re-jig her and to remind her what she learnt from a couple of Years of Mrs. HP Lessons prior to us shifting to Victor. We do understand the Peer pressure influence at Pony Club though and the incessant chanting of Pony Club Coaches to “TAKE UP A CONTACT” and the ‘ STRAIGHT ARM RIDING’ that is the fashion and with habits like this ingrained.   A Week Later after work done From the Owner   Hi Linda Just wanted to say thank you to you and Jed !! wow Holly has come so far in that short week, It’s amazing to watch the videos of the first day you rode her to yesterday with Emily having her first ride,, I have to say Jed is fantastic, really stoked with how he has been with holly and helping Emily, even just helping her at feed time the other day he saw holly (as holly would always invade Emily space and she just let her) Jed saw this and said to me lets try that again went and got a whip and showed Emily how to get holly out of her space, it was great! Explains if you don’t have respect at feed times it all stems from there !! Emilys first ride yesterday went so well, he explained things to Emily that she understood and I could see she understood it, she had her working with her head down in walk and trot and you could see she got what he was saying and how to keep her down, she said to me after the lesson with the

Collection in the Horse and how to attain it

    A horse is in true collection when it is able to transfer it’s weight sufficiently to his hind quarters whilst staying in balance and self carriage. This enables the horse to increase the flexion of his hind legs and lift his neck. The higher the poll whilst remaining round and over the back ,the more degree of collection is achieved. The rider will feel like the horses shoulders lift as the horse ‘sits’ ,creating a soft connection in the rein whereby the rider can give away the reins completely and the horse remains in a frame, otherwise known as self carriage.   Horses are born and move naturally with more weight on their front legs than hinds. Therefore with gymnastic training the rider needs to develop the muscles over the back, top line and hind quarters ,to enable the horse to transfer more of it’s weight to the rear in order to balance the weight over it’s entire body. This done over time, ensures the horse is strong enough to do the higher dressage movements. Hopefully ensuring a long and sound life for the horse.   It takes years to develop a horses strength required to do moves like pirouettes, passage and piaffe. On average between five and eight years of constant training with a good rider. In order to build muscle, one needs to load the muscle a little more each day. By loading the muscles, you cause damaged muscles fibres. The body then repairs the muscles by fusing muscle fibres which increase in thickness and number to create muscle growth. So exercise with rest periods is the key!   I like to vary my horses work not only for their physical benefit but also mental. My horses do on average three days a week arena work, with one or two days riding out down roads, the beach or a lunge.   They have some sort of exercise five days a week with one to two rest days. It is important to consider weather conditions and work load when deciding what activity the horse needs the following day.Whenever possible, especially on rest days, the horse gets time out in the paddock to stretch his own legs.   The longest spell I like to give my horses is a maximum of four weeks. As after three weeks muscle starts to diminish. Muscle does however have “memory”. This means when a horse has reached a certain type of fitness previously , it is in fact easier to bring it’s fitness level back and at a faster rate than it’s initial training program. Sometimes due to the rider or horses injuries ,spelling time is significantly longer than we had previously

Lunging Systems for the Horse

    Lot’s of horse owners lunge really well. The horse trains them that way.   Just watch them where ever you go. The horse runs around at the end of the stiff lunge rein whilst the owner runs around a smaller circle but lunges just as well. The whole time fighting against the pull of the horse. Well I suppose it is good for their health at least. Seriously though, it is your choice how your horses is trained to lunge so here are a few basic rules to go by. Here is a recent ‘Tip of the Week’ that I sent out to my mailing list: “The lunging process is the time when the young, green or newly owned horses examine, probe, test and label us as the owner. Their decision will then directly impact upon their behavior, ridden and ground, going forward. Ignore lunging rules at your peril and have your horse assess you as a ‘Bunny’, for you are making a ‘Rod for your own back’ in the future”   Lunging endlessly to control behavior of a horse is a complete waste of time and all you achieve is a much fitter horse that has more energy to misbehave in the future.   Lunging to exhaust horses before show competition is idiotic and cruel. It is a scam that ‘hackies pull here in Australia and I have heard of people lunging horses an entire night to quieten them for the next days comp.   If you do lunge, gain some benefit out of it by having the horse wear your chosen equipment to ensure it works ‘Round’ somewhat. Improve muscle tone as well as exercise the horse.   If you lunge in a round yard, there is no point using a rope or a lunge rein. Train your horse to stop or turn via the use of your voice and body language.   If you do use a rein or rope, never use a webbing halter. These train horses to lean and pull on the handler. A rope halter gains much more respect and will assist you to keep the horse light.   Lunging Caveson also will heavy a horse up in the head department as well as give you little control should something go wrong should you be out in the open.   If you use a rein, never let the horse go around leaning on it. This teaches resistance and causes the handler to be fighting with the horse. Check release to maintain the desired circle for your horse. Of course, if it is in a Round Yard, the wall should be the direction and position of travel.   From the point of view

The Causes, consequences and fixes of the Upside Down Neck

  Preview (opens in a new window)   This is one of the worst examples of a man made ‘Upside Down Neck’ on a horse and if you look at the tools of torture in this horse’s mouth, a number of things should become very evident to you. If this photo doesn’t bring home to you that the bigger the bit the bigger the damage then I don’t know what will. This idiot has still got very little control over this poor horse. What does he put in next…a chain saw?? An upside down neck pretty well explains itself. It is the over development of the under muscle of the neck and the degeneration of the top line muscle. Thus causing the look that the neck of the horse is put on its body, upside down. Generally, horses are not born that way, although some are.   During my entire career, I have not heard it explained in a way that kids could understand, why such a high percentage of their horses have “Upside-down Necks”. You know, the funny little horses that go around looking like Lamas.   Now before I go totally blaming riders for this affliction, I have to say that a percentage of horses are born with this pre-disposition and the older they go without re-training, the worse their necks become. So what causes upside down necks in a lot of horses and worsens those with bad conformation?   In a word, “RESISTANCE” Resistance is almost always caused by in-experience or a lack of knowledge of the rider. It is rarely ever the fault of horses. So, what happens and why? Due to the fact that most people in the Equestrian world don’t think about subjects such as this in a technical way, very little thought is given to why it happens. The proof of this assertion is out there for all to witness, it’s just that those in charge of the Industry, either choose to ignore it or fail to see it. So as riders go around trying but failing to put their horses head down, year after year, they are continually working the under muscle of the neck just like taking it to a gymnasium. The more the horse resists, the longer it refuses to get a head set and give to the riders contact, the larger the muscle becomes and the more the top-line muscle deteriorates.     EXAMPLES OF RESISTANCE   Did you know that you can build under muscle at the halt? You can and I see it happening with over 90% of riders. Whilst standing around on your horse, just chatting or resting, most riders sit with a slight contact against

The Flexed Off Horse and reprocussions

  No Leg Yield – no Dressage! No Leg Yield – Veterinary implications!   I have often complained about the lack of Pony Club teaching. Especially the failure to teach to fix the most senseless fault of allowing riders to go around with their horses ‘flexed off’ in order to keep them on the circle and from dropping the shoulder and ending up joining the Coach in the centre. Pony Club have always said to me that the subject is above Pony Club teaching and I guess therefore, Pony Club Curriculum. In excess of 90% of Pony Club horses go around like that. This means that the same number are learning the completely incorrect basics of riding and it also happens that the Problems that you hear about on this site are being manifested by that foundation. I watched Mrs. HP teach a Pony Club kid. I saw the horse change before our eyes, the kid get a grin as big as Texas on her face and the Mum muttering things like, “that they had never been told this” (roughly interpreted)……the Kid went on to represent Australia in Aachen, 2015. That Day, the Horse went from, this               to this          and the reason why the Mare had gone to protecting Herself by putting the Head way in the Air, was because she had started to suffer ‘Bridle Lameness’ and knew it was the wrong way to go.   Mrs. HP joined the head of the EFA Coaching, during a Clinic where the Zones best Pony Club Dressage Riders were being prepared for the State Championships. It was noticed that the Level 3 continually taught flexion and inside leg to outside rein, to these riders’, as is correct.  Mrs. HP then discussed the downfall in Coaching within PC and that in her opinion, this issue should be addressed. The Level 3 agreed and said that they had in fact made the exact same point to a Pony Club Judging Clinic, where the answer was along the lines of that, in the Pony Club Dressage Tests, there are no collective marks at the bottom of the sheet, ie. for submission etc. It was pointed out by the Coach that perhaps they should change as with the explosion of Pony Dressage, riders will have to know it. Mrs. HP then said that, “yes, in fact the same Dressage Judges that judge the big kids, will be in fact judging the little kids in Pony Dressage. Interestingly, there is always plenty of pressure about to have the kids go to the Pony Club Grade 1 Show Jumping, 1.20m I think. How is that possible?

Resistance in the Mouth of the Horse

    There are many reasons why Horses are resistant to the Bit but I will also rank them in order of the reason for cause. The most prolific at the top. As I write, I shall take the occasional Photo out of the window of the F-Truck 🙂             Conformation The ability to ‘collect’ is directly influenced by the design of the Body and as such, the majority of Horses don’t suit the ‘English Disciplines’. Therefore, they have to resist….for    they just can’t do it.         Veterinary issues with the Horse In my experience, over 50% of Horses are unsound in some way. That can be directly unsound or ridden unsoundness, caused by Riders.   Bad Hands Horses that cope with Riders’ with ‘Bad Hands’ have to resist to protect themselves.  Substandard Coaching Such Coaching in Australia is rife and is caused by the failed design of the Coaching systems in Pony Club and the EA, that gains it’s Roots from the BHS A failure to understand the principles of ‘reward and relief” Still, the majority of Horse Riders’ still do not understand the essence of non resistant Riding is found in the principals of ‘reward and relief’   Bits the use of the ‘Nut Cracker affect Old fashioned Bits” The World has moved on from the ‘Nut Cracker Bits’ which clang the Horse in the Roof of the Mouth and squeeze the Bars when the Reins are pulled. Go here for the next Generation. Bits         Teeth not attended to         Sore Mouths equal ‘resistance’ Tight Nose Bands how would you like it? Would you resist? Obesity of Riders (the ever growing new Age problem)   This is becoming an increasing problem for Horses. Bit Fat People, many of who are picking Smaller Horses so they don’t have to fall as far. Such Riders make Horses ‘brace’ their backs from the Pain of it all. Braced Backs equals resistance via the Bit.   A lack of ‘suppleness’ The ‘Supple Horse’ is the one that wants to ‘lighten and soften to a lower frame’ Not ‘inside Leg to Outside Rein”   and the MAJORITY of Horse Riders plus many Coaches, don’t understand this Principal, which unless used, cannot achieve ‘lightness’ and ‘softness’ Go here for the Video   The vast majority of ridden Horses from the ‘English Disciplines” are ‘above the Bit’ . Horses do this for all of the reasons above. They do so largely, to protect themselves from pain, discomfort, caused by all of the above. Many of them translate their worry into unhappy Faces for Life is not a Happy time when being ridden. Along with

Are You Training a Leg Climber?

     Leading a Horse like this is one of the contributing causes of Ulcers in the Horse   Hence the Face on this Horse Of all the Problem Horses that I have met, there has been a predominant common link to that of various forms of ignorance and resistance in the ground manners. Of the various forms of ignorance in ground manners, the cause has been the manner in which the owner has simply led the horse. I have NEVER MET an Owner who comes with a WEBBING HALTER that has acceptable Ground Manners on their Horse When a horse learns to pull, lean, push, fail to give to pressure, climb up the owner’s legs, invade the space of the handler without permission, fail to get out of the handler’s way, fail to tie up, refuse to come forward, knock your hat off your head and so on, they build up an attitude of ignorance, which translates to the whole pecking order thing that gets back to the foundations of respect within the herd. Quite frankly, this subject is my pet one and I cringe every day of my life when I see horses being made ignorant after the Breaker has made them light. Why should it matter how we lead a horse? If the horse gets from point A to B with you, arrives safely, despite any battle or ignorance en-route, then that is good enough. Right?Well that depends on what you want out of your  life with horses, how successful you want to be and whether you want to be a “normal” person or to set higher boundaries and strive for excellence in horse ownership and training. The choice is simple, you can be a part of the majority of around 80% in this country who spend their lives “skull dragging” horses around on the end of lead ropes or you can join the growing trend of understanding and implementing a sophistication of ground handling and leading that has an effect upon the whole of your relationship with your horse. From the ground to the saddle!Now, lets look at the history of teaching in Australia, that has brought about the current situation of at least 80% of people leading horses the old fashioned way and 20% of people following the “New Age” of understanding, that of “Natural Horsemanship.The old fashioned way came to Australia from England and was largely brought about by the influence of the Racing Industry and the Mounted Police. That then, influenced Pony Club and Instructors down through time have carried the same teachings forward, right up to this day. So we have a situation where the spin off from Pony Club teaching and

Webbing Halters and ignorant Horses

    “I have never felt a light headed, responsive headed horse that normally wears a webbing halter.” Webbing halters cause ignorant headed horses and they are Sad Horses!   WEBBING HALTERS traditionally and almost always come with…….. The English Way – inviting the Fight You can’t win! This almost always insures ‘Ignorant Headed Horses of unhappiness and confusion’ VERSUS THE ROPE HALTERS which almost always is accompanied with Light Horses of happiness and direction.   THE UNHAPPY HORSE VERSUS THE HAPPY HORSE very day of my working life, I take hold and lead, horses that arrive for breaking or re-education. Still, 15 years after I introduced rope halters to the Saddlery Shops of Adelaide, I meet only about 30% of horses that wear them.    Of those 70% of horses that wear webbing halters, 100% of them are heavy and ignorant in the head. I have never met one that is truly light. The reasons: People who use webbing halters have rarely heard about Natural Horsemanship.   People who use webbing halters rarely own a rope halter.   People who use webbing halters rarely know how to ask for lightness in a horse on the ground.   People who use webbing halters almost always have been taught to lead horses ‘Pony Club Style’ or as I call it, “by the beard”, thus causing the ignorant horse and a constant fight which the handler must lose.   Webbing halters are too wide, too comfortable, too stretchy, don’t put pressure on pressure points and never cause a horse to give to pressure if asked.   Webbing halters cause horses to resist them, they cause fights of ignorance. If you tie a horse up in one and the horse pulls back, the halter will break, training the horse to not tie up and to become more ignorant.   Webbing halter people are normally, ‘twine people’. Twine horses are ignorant to start with.   People who use webbing halters almost always have a 6 feet long cotton lead rope which makes up the package.   Cotton lead ropes are 6 feet too short. Cotton lead ropes are too light, fluffy, elastic, do not send signals down to a halter and break when a horse sneezes.   Cotton lead ropes cannot be swung through the air, they cannot send signals, they do not allow horses to get out of your space.     Ignorant headed horses have ignorant minds. Ignorant minded horses have an ignorant attitude. Ignorant attitude can diminish the quality of the mouth. Given that webbing, leather and plastic halters promote the learning of ignorance in the horse, it is the root cause for the commencement of most of the normal vices

To Tie to Twine ……or not?

    Should horse owners demand that their horses tie up solid no matter what or tie to twine and err on the safe side? A hotly debated topic that’s for sure. Unfortunately, the question can not be answered with a ‘yes or no’.   In a perfect world, every horse should tie solid and we will not own one that doesn’t. If we inherit a horse that doesn’t, we train it to do so. Just today, 3 of them. The best horses tie up solid. They are far better broken in, they are less resistant than other horses and there are many other benefits as well. RISK MANAGEMENT AND THE LAW Today, the Lawyers are ever ready to take Your Home. I consult to Lawyers regularly, on such Cases. Horses that Tie up Solidly, never break away, never try to break away and never end up in ‘Risk Management’ situations, like these of an Australian Olympian, at the Dressage. The problem however, is the lack of a good  knowledge base in matters of horsemanship among horse owners and the available facilities for tying a horse to. Horses get injured on a regular basis due to the inadequacies of these two factors. Up until about 15 years ago when the rope halter arrived on the scene in Australia, the dangers were not as great because if a handler made a mistake and the horse pulled back violently, the halter would break. Not any more! Parelli style lead ropes and rope halters do not break! What is more, they do not come with instructions and they bloody well should. So while I personally will accept nothing less than the perfect tying up horse, I have to admit that tying to twine should be the procedure for amateur owners, kids and where ever there is a lack of proper safe tying up facilities. Which is about every where according to my observations of the Horse World. Until subjects such as this actually get into the Equestrian Training curriculum, people should not risk horse’s lives with their inabilities or experiments. However…… if You do want the best trained and most well adjusted Horses, take a look at my Tying Up Video. here        

Feeding time Rules and their EXTREME importance

  Feeding time can be one of the most dangerous times for horse owners and I have to warn that the lack of rules causes many horses to be sent to me for re-education. I include buck jumping. Feed time is when horses fight for their position in the pecking order. You are being sized up as to whether you are number one or number two.   Fail in this test of assertiveness and you are destined have a horse that doesn’t respect you. Lack of respect equals problems for you in the future. At Feed time, You are immediately being included in their Herd, with their Rules, not ours.”   There are two main venues where the horse puts the amateur owner through the assessment phase. To decide whether you are worthy of being the boss or just second in charge. They are, feed time and lunging. If you are not up to the job, the horse will assume the role and immediately lose respect for you. That loss of respect, quite frankly means that the horse doesn’t really like you any more. How do you feel about that then? This behavior starts in foals at about 5 weeks old and in fact, they are the dangerous ones. Would you believe that I have horses sent to me that are bucking their owners off and this is primarily caused by a lack of respect and associated rules at feeding time? Here are some rules that always should be adhered to:   Never let a horse crowd you during feeding. Never let a horse get within three horse lengths until you are finished feeding mixing the feed. Never let a horse even crowd the gate when you enter the yard. It should stand way back out of the way and show you the respect you deserve.   I have a horse here today that bucked her lady owner off twice. It was caused through a lack of respect during the feeding regime. I have a pony here at the moment that has become so feral due to bad feeding rules that it rears and strikes, spins and kicks the feeding person with both back hooves. I had this one yesterday: Read about it here and know that there are thousands of these out there.   From 29th June, 2006 Day in the Life of me. Well, if I ever needed any more proof about the Pony Club taught system of how to lead a horse, I got it today. There is no doubt that it is so bad and it does so much damage to the training of horse and people that it would even be responsible for sending horses

Leading the Horse with Control and Relaxation

     Go here for the Online Video of Natural Horsemanship on REAL Horses in the REAL World or here for the DVD’s Firstly read the other articles on this site. The ones that tell you what causes leg climbing horses.   WHICH IS THE BEST WAY TO LEAD A HORSE? I have had a request for another article on leading, this time the correct way to lead the horse. I suppose that is fair enough as I am always raving on about ignorant horses that tread all over you. Here goes then: Horses become brain washed from the style in which individual handlers’ lead them or how close they may allow them at halt. It takes me only 10 seconds with any horse and I can tell how the owner operates. I had one here this week. I could tell precisely how the owner led the horse, and how close the horse was allowed to be to that owner, when at halt. Because I have been writing this article for a few days, I can tell you that I went back to visit that horse tonight and I could instantly tell that the owner had allowed the horse to park back close when just standing around. She admitted it as well so I confirmed what the horse told me.   THE SYSTEMS – ENGLISH VERSUS NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP   You have a choice, the old system or the Natural Horsemanship way ( 30 Years old only and invented by Pat Parelli),  I have to recommend that everyone learns this system. I warn you however, horses learn this system far quicker than humans and I guess that this proves that it comes from the way horses interact with other horses and that is exactly what it is.   The majority of horses that I meet have been trained by people who are the product of the old English system of leading while holding the rope about 6 inches from the halter. These are the ignorant horses or is it the owners? 16 years after NH swept the world, the percentages of badly haltered horses versus good ones would be around 85% to 15%, on the wrong side of the ledger.   How close you want a horse to you while leading depends a bit upon what you are going to be doing with it, although not to a huge extent. More so the position you want a horse in relationship to yourself.   Are you training a horse for showing in halter events? If so, you may want the horse to be up along side of you with your shoulder at their head and the horse maybe a little closer to

Draw Reins

  LETTER “So sorry to ask 2 questions of you in one day… this one is quick! I went to get a market harborough today, and saw some Draw Reins. (Page 8 of the catalogue attached in case you need picture. It buckles to the girth then goes straight through the bit and to my hands. As I do not trust my hands totally, is this better or worse than the Market Harborough when you take into consideration that:  He Trips up a lot and needs his head free when this happens.   ANSWER BY HORSEPROBLEMS Firstly, I NEVER use Draw Reins and completely disagree with them….unless perhaps for some Western Training Horses. Never for an English trained Horse or normal every day Riding Horses. There is too much down side. Draw Reins put Horses ‘On the forehand’, hence your tripping. They make the outline of the Horse too long and too low. (under Saddle)   They encourage Horses to slide along them, behind them and not come on the Bit.   They tend to discourage Horses from being ‘Over the Back’ and to develop ‘swing’   They discourage true ‘engagement’   The Riders’ hands and co-ordination have to impeccable.   They can be dangerous and cause a Horse to flip over.   You can’t get true ‘collection’ in draw reins.   When in Draw Reins, the Horse can be ever so subtly behind the collection and to ‘hollow’ the back.   Draw Reins diminish the Muscle building of the top line and longitudinal muscles of the Horse.   Draw Reins can allow Veterinary suspect Horses (generally in the back or rear end) to compensate for the affliction, thus masking the problem and detrimentally affecting the Scientific diagnosis of the problem.   Draw Reins tend to block Riders’ from progressing on to their own hands and contact.   Draw Reins stop one from progressing a Horse to a higher frame.     THE MARKET HARBOROUGH/GERMAN MARTINGALE     is a fantastic tool with many benefits for the Horse and Rider   ….such as The Market Harborough achieves a similar ease for an inexperienced Rider, to achieve some sort of frame rather than ‘above the bit’ and building under muscles and upside down necks.   The Running Rein dis-engages the moment the Horse gives any type of required Head position   That allows a ‘Green Rider’ to experience, practice and learn to achieve and maintain a ‘frame’, on their own hands.   The Market Harborough has 3 levels of adjustment ( mine have 4), for various amounts of collection.   It can be totally dis-engaged for Pleasure Riding   It allows riding ‘Long and Low’ or up to the various levels

Above the Bit

  Are You an ‘English Discipline Rider’? Is your Horse ‘on the bit’? Correctly ‘on the bit’?    I write this to make you think. To think about your adequacy in putting a horse ‘on the bit’, in a frame, head down, round or anything else you want to call it. I speak generally. I include all those people who ride the ‘English’ discipline and who do attempt to ride with a contact in order to achieve putting their horse ‘into a frame’   Through my observations, the percentage of Australian Horse Riders’ who cannot achieve this task would roughly be say, 70% Those who cannot get a horse to travel properly ’round’ and giving it’s back would be 90%, and……….. The those who can achieve ‘engagement’ would be less than 5%   Why is it so? Many of these people have regular Riding Lessons from Coaches. So why the problem? Does this mean that the vast majority of lessons on the subject have just not worked? Obviously. So it must be a Coaching problem then? I think so. ABOVE THE BIT   By the way, none of this is the fault of the Riders’ or anyone else in Australia, it is the Coaching system that lets them down……well…..Pony Club too of course. This is typical of the majority of Pony Club people around the Country, under instruction or not.     SOUNDNESS   Horses that are not ridden correct, develop “Rider induced Veterinary unsoundness”   For a horse to adequately carry a rider, it must be fit for the task and the riding style dictates whether the correct or incorrect muscles are being developed in the horse. Obviously, it is the top line muscles that need strengthening so that the horse can carry the Rider and still perform as an athlete but in the photo and video above, the horses are being made progressively unsound for the task. They are being ridden opposite to the recommendations of the ‘German Training Scale’ which is at the heart of the success of the German Dressage Team.   Horses that go around like this are called ‘hollow backed’, ‘above the bit’, ‘resistant’ and ‘choppy’ in their action. They cannot ‘swing’ in their paces, they can never ‘engage’ they can never be ‘through’ and they can never be ‘over the back’. All of the correct things that Judges are looking for. They therefore go around like ‘sewing machines’, like most Hacks.   So with the millions of riding lessons that have been conducted throughout this Country over time, the success rate on this most important subject has been appalling and that has to come back to grass roots Coaching.   I fully realize

On the Bit

FOR LEARNERS’     Above the Bit On the Bit   As you go through your time in the Horse World, you will most likely hear people talking about a term called “ABOVE THE BIT”  Without getting technical which is what a lot of people do, I will attempt to simply explain it.   Most Learner Riders’ are not capable of such Riding and shouldn’t really be trying it either, unless with Professional help. Otherwise, it is one of the Horse Welfare issues in my opinion. It basically means that the horse is going around with it’s head in a normal head carriage as seen when running around the paddock rather than as you see the good horses carrying themselves in competition or the photo’s in the magazines. They would much rather carry themselves ala-natural and for that reason, we have to train them and make them carry themselves as we want, should we desire that type of look. If you are a pleasure rider it doesn’t matter a hoot where your horse is looking or how it carries it’s head so long as it is well under control and relaxed. In fact, if you are a Pleasure Rider, it should have it’s Head unrestricted by Rein.   When a horse is carrying itself with it’s for-head basically perpendicular to the ground and with the top of the neck arched, it could be “On the Bit” which it must be in English competition but in Western competition, the horse must have a head set as they call it but whilst not being “On the Bit” This is because of the judging rules of that type of competition.   Now most dressage riders or Instructors’ love to get highly technical about this subject and they get most passionate indeed. Everyone has their own particular spin on it but all the Novice rider needs to know is that if the horse has it’s head perpendicular to the ground and the rider has a constant feel of both sides of the horses mouth on an equal and light pressure, that will do. This is achieved by riding the horse from behind by using your legs and seat and generating power and capturing that power in your hands so that the horse is “On the Bit” The other thing that is going on underneath it all as you watch a good rider is that they have the whole body of the horse bent around their inside leg in the direction of travel and that the horse does listen well and also knows how to leg yield and to be balanced during circle work, not  going around leaning like a motor bike. This provides balance

The Great Debate – ‘Starter’ on the Bit or not?

      Go here for the Video THE MOST CRUCIAL THING I HAVE LEARNT   “We should only ever ride a GREEN HORSE, “On the Bit and Round’ or on a complete ‘Pleasure Rein’ THERE ARE NO IN BETWEENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Historically, due to the fact that Breakers were of the Western or Stock Horse influence, the instruction to the owner upon picking up the newly broken in horse was often, “There ya go, stay off his mouth for 6 months and you’ll be right” I think I may be partly responsible for the debate that I see raging of late, on Forums around the Country, on the subject of whether the ‘Breaker’ should have it’s head down, (in a frame) and/or ‘On the Bit’ God Forbid.   I note that many people demand and get 6 weeks to break in a horse, I am hearing 12 as well ( I wish) …but I have to declare right here and now that ALL of our Breakers leave here on 3 weeks, either ‘coming onto the bit’ or ‘on the bit’, forward, leg yielding, bent, flexed, long and low, relaxed and with impulsion. Ready for a Prelim Dressage Test. So it puzzles me why there is such a debate. Is it that we are breaking convention? I don’t know, but I’ll tell you this. I cannot stand riding unsophisticated horses, every young horse I meet takes to it as ‘normal’ and like ‘ducks to water’ and have no difficulty whatsoever in progressing with ease. So why shouldn’t we turn out such horses?   The recent Pod Cast called, ‘Listen to Seat’, was made during filming of a piece for our ‘Green to Dressage’ DVD and this horse was used because we couldn’t find a Breaker on the property that hadn’t progressed too far for Mrs. HP to show teaching that she needed to but it was interesting that this young horse on his 6th only ride in his life was showing some form already, even with 20 year old fishing line as reins. So I am completely at ease with our processes and would like to think that it is a bench mark for the rest of the Breaking Industry to aspire to 🙂 What is the secret? the mouthing   A LETTER   I read the article on breakers…I could not agree with you more…..However I believe people especially novices get confused with “stay of the mouth and use of the bit” ….lets take the breaker I have seen two types. I can tell, without even seeing your method that you don’t use this one that’s for sure… A so called breaker is in our local area ties his horses heads

Building the Topline

    A combined 60 Years experience and 35,000, mostly horses with issues, we have the now proven over and over again, our evolved system, the intellectual property and the specifically designed equipment. This includes:   The 7.5 Hour long ‘Re-Mouthing the Horse’ DVD’s. here The 100 Page E-Book showing the Years of research and Photos (free) The 40 Page lunging E-Book that comes with our specially designed and manufactured ‘system’ here and the extensive resource of Thousands of Pages of our ‘Problems Index’ here   and   VETERINARY CHALLENGES   This system continually properly diagnosis issues and fixes many. In particular, Stifle issues and Sacroiliac problems in the Horse the off the track throughbred   the Standardbred, from Lice to this     THE PAINT   and the unsound horse WARMBLOOD   and 2017…   5th outing in the Career of the Horse… winning the Advanced 5.2  the Muscle tone   Regards

Re-Mouthing the Horse

  Hi Folks I believe and indeed am willing to bet, that I have the most effective re-mouthing system on the Planet. It is the number one reason by I am still fit and not crippled or dead, after Thousands of so called ‘Problem Horses’ The DVD Set for this runs for 7 Hours and 24 Minutes so grab the Popcorn if you decide to watch.     I re-mouth every single Horse that I am asked to work on       HOW DO I RANK THE MOUTHS OF HORSES TESTING THE MOUTH OF YOUR HORSE     Out of Zero to 10. The ranking of the vast majority of Horses that I meet, is about a 5-6. When I start a Young Horse, it has a Mouth of 10 If an Ameteur Person then rides that ‘Green Horse’, it will have a Mouth of 6/10 inside one Week RETENTION OF THE MOUTH   That is all over this Site and indeed a part of the DVD’s.  

Mouthing the Horse

Go here for the DVD’s   Frankly Folks. This has been the secret to my success, career and the protection of my Bones. It has saved the Careers of hundreds of Horses, that otherwise would have been Buck Jumpers   This is also why Hundreds of People around the World have been able to start their own Horses. Look here, Scotland, first ride, the Horse would have Bucked 3 times and probably ended it’s career and/or injured the Lady, instead, they are off into the Yonder.   and a Lady in Queensland ( following) Horse training Online                   I am also very proud to have saved Thousands of People from being injured off Horses. Go here for the Bits the Mouthing Ropes The Roller Regards  

NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP EXPLAINED

Natural Horsemanship has always been around, probably since the time man first interacted with the horse.  Years ago however, it was packaged by a run of American Trainers with marketing hype, buzz words, ‘touchy feely’ speak and in some cases, an almost Pentecostal delivery. Good on them as so called ‘Natural Horsemanship’ (NH) is a fantastic principal and has enlightened multitudes of closed minded people.   However, lost in the euphoria has been the reality that ‘Natural Horsemanship’ as People have come to know it in these times, is only a system of Ground Manners Training. IT IS NOT a system of the Starting or Breaking in of Horses.!  THE OLD SCHOOL Prior to those who brought ‘Natural Horsemanship’ to the World, the old methods can best be described by these two Photos. A lot of money has been made and a number of Trainers have become household names as a result but in essence, they are no better or worse than other good Trainers, the world over. Many are not as good as conventional Trainers’. Luckily, I have been around as long or longer than most of the NH preachers’ and have been able to take a long hard objective look at what they say, via their clinics, video’s and books and have watched a lot of their disciples. Even more fortunate, I have been able to ride and handle the product of every one of these systems, both before NH and since it’s inception which was about 20 years ago. I was there the day that Parelli first showed his wares in this Country. You will notice a heavy dose of NH type talk throughout my writings but I was doing that long before NH was ever invented and so was Lyons, Dorrence, Hunt and other top class Trainers’. Good Trainers’ the World over, have always operated as “Natural Horse Persons” Of the many observations about all of the various spins that each Trainer has put on their particular brand of NH, I feel that two stand out: So who invented it? That horses are capable of learning the various teachings way faster than humans and that this is one of the weaknesses in the system, and AMERICA MR – RAREYS SYSTEM (1800’s) He was from America and electrified the British Public who noted that he had “an extraordinary Power over Horses” but he would have for the British were used to caressing domesticated Horses for around 3 Weeks and then leading with a dummy Man on top. PROFESSOR SAMPLE (1800’s) ‘Professor’ Sample and his ”Marvelous Horse Taming Machine”. Sample arrived in London in 1885 but was discredited. However when he ventured to Australia where in Melbourne, he

HOSING A HORSE DOWN WITH CONTROL & SAFETY

 Horses hate being hosed down. Especially around the head area and for a good reason. Often people squirt water into their ears and the horse can’t get rid of it. How would you like that?   Go to the Video Portal for the Video Then you have the young horse that has never been hosed down before and this can be both a drama and dangerous. Here are a few tips to help:   Never do it on cement   Don’t have your horse tied up   Hold the lead rope down about 900mm from the head   Stand directly in front of the horse   Start training the hose upon the front hooves   Try to keep the horse stationary and facing directly towards you. Don’t let it get side on.   If it goes backwards just go with it. At no time must you cease hosing.     Use the hose to keep the horse in the position that you want it whilst also continuing to introduce the water stream upon the horse. If the horse moves left, switch the hose down that side of the horse and it will move right and so on. Pretty soon it will stand square and facing you: gradually move up the horses front legs, bit by bit and as the horse accepts each move. Then to the chest and stay awhile there.   Gradually creep the stream around the corner along the shoulder area. The horse will move sideways away, so switch it to the other shoulder and so on.   Bit by bit you will end up doing the whole of each side of the horse and along the back area. Now comes the legs.   Do not walk around the side of the horse to achieve this. This will allow it to escape around in circles, gain momentum and may even escape from you.   Get down on your haunches and shoot the water between the front legs and onto the lower part of the back legs. The horse will kick, so what, it will get used to it. This way you can keep the horse controlled by keeping it faced up.   If it walks backwards, stay with it and stay hosing. If you run out of hose, go back to square one and halter break your horse properly.     HOSING THE HEAD all incorrect and with a high risk of putting Water inside the Ear Drum of the Horse. They can’t remove it. They don’t have Cotton Buds!!       Stand back near the end of the lead rope.   Make your water stream into a spray with your finger, not a jet.   You

HOW TO BRIDLE THE PROBLEM HORSE

  Horses inherit psychological problems with the bridling process. They inherit this in a number of ways. I rank them in order of importance hereunder: Incompetent bridling techniques. 80%   Ear twitching 15%   veterinary reasons 5%       Let’s deal with them one by one…….   THESE ARE INCORRECT       INCOMPETENT BRIDLING TECHNIQUE   I do not apologize for continuing to point out the inadequacy of the teaching of Pony Clubs in Australia. (it is not their fault – it is their Curriculum from the British Horse Society) They teach a bridling technique that in some cases, given the greenness of the horse, that actually causes unsuccessful bridling or a mental problem with the event. In fact the system they do teach goes some way to the problems a lot of horses are taught regarding major bridling evasion, followed by mental problems. Pony Club teaches kids to hold the bridle bunched up in the right hand with the arm around the off side of the horses face whilst trying to jam the bit into the horses mouth. ( it is not their fault, they only do what they are taught) If the horse happens to open its mouth and swallow the bit, they quickly change hands so that their right hand is free to place the ear piece over the head.  This is a system that has little  control and whilst they get away with it a lot of the time, it doesn’t assist in-experienced horses, nor does it  mean that it is the best system imho. My reason for that comment is found in the statistics above and in the fact that the re-education success mechanism for problem bridling horses is found in a more competent system with more control.   Having said that I must say in fairness that Pony Club is limited somewhat as it is mainly dealing with small people who are not high enough to use the system that follows below but this does not excuse them for not teaching the alternatives. So why do “stuff ups” in the bridling process cause varying degrees of problems with the bridling process? Especially in the formative times of the young horses education, any mistakes made in the bridling process can and do cause varying degrees of bridling evasion. These can go from mere hiding of the face by the horse, raising it too high for the handler to reach to the complete a complete mental condition where the horse becomes impossible to bridle for the mere mortal.  Any failed attempt to bridle, ranging from just missing the mouth a few times to the horse flinging its head up and throwing the bridle across

UN-BRIDLING YOUR HORSE WITH CONTROL

  I have often spoken about the relationship between ear shy horses and incorrect or incompetent bridling practices. Now I want to give you a method of un-bridling the horse so that you have control and can eliminate the chance of failure, which is one of the main causes to the ear shy horse. Especially with the newly broken in horse , as everything must be imprinted with success, for this is when problems can easily occur.   Pony Club and Coaches in Australia, teach virtually every new horse owner to unbridle in the following manner. ( not the fualt of the Kids but the British Horse Society that writes the Curriculum) That is because that’s all they know because that is all they were taught. Horsemen rarely, if ever,  get invited to Pony Club or Coaching Clinics. Here is how they do it. Get it wrong and You can invite:   Accidents   Injuries to Horse and Owner   Psychological Problems in the Horse   A Horse that can’t be bridled at all, like the one in the Video was a Day earlier.     Take the bridle in the right hand between the ears, pull the bridle over the ears, take their hand outwards from the front of the head in a vain attempt to assist the horse to spit the bit out of it’s mouth. This is exactly what prevents the bit from dropping downwards safely and this is exactly what causes the head to rise. Meanwhile, there is no control of the head of the horse and it can raise the head all it likes, hook the bit on the teeth and fling the bridle across the yard in the process. It is this occurrence that commences a paranoia of the un-bridling process and it happens through a lack of horsemanship and control knowledge.   Due to the attempt of the handler to assist the horse to remove the bridle by holding the bridle up in the air out front of the face, the bit cannot fall straight downwards when the mouth opens and it is promoted to raise up, thus hooking the teeth. I have watched thousands of them and the left hand normally travels outwards and level with the eyes of the horse. Think about that for a minute. Here is an alternative method.   GREEN AND UNBROKEN HORSES   Make a mistake in the unbridling process with one of these Horses and pretty soon you have a Horse that has a mental condition about it, throwing the head up and around and flinging the Bridle across the Park. Pulling back and breaking string if used in the process, thereby ruining the tying up

CONSTRUCTING THE ROUND PEN

    I and many other Trainers around the World, believe that you can’t do the job to it’s best, without a Round Pen. I continually get asked how to build one and so here is what I have learnt. Hope it helps. I am a Fan of the Portable Round Pen and so we will deal with that here: They are relatively cheap compared to constructing in ground yourself. They offer greater flexibility of location and can be shifted around if you want. They can be taken elsewhere for a job if you like They are generally safer They only take 10 Minutes to put up. You can start small if finances are tight and buy extra panels as you get money. You can use the Panels for other temporary things You can change the shape of it. They are normally 1.8 – 2metres tall. Panels are normally between 2200mm and 2400mm long The bottom Rail should be 600mm from the Ground to stop Legs getting injured as unbalanced Horses spin around on the angle. Not like this   with injuries to Legs. The Base should be raised above ground level and can be anything really. Bricks, rock, clay, rubble, shale, limestone but NOT LOAM. Hose down and drive over it. The Sub Base should be 300mm of 20mm Rubble with fines, watered and driven over. Then 300mm of Washed Sand for breakers and 150mm for the rest. Fall should be .6 -1 Degree in the direction of the downhill lay of the Land. To retain Sand, use 2 x 200mm x 100mm sleepers chosen to the length of your panels. Drill 3 Holes quiidistant through the edge, in both so you can sit one on top of the other one and hit 5/8th Reo through both and 600mm into the Ground. So your two Panels will be 400mm High to retain the Sand that Horses kick continually outwards. Gate 2400mm HIgh I prefer Rounded tops, and 4 Rails. (which saves money. STEEL Galvanized. 40mm Diameter 2mm Wall Thickness     DIAMETER For Untouched Feral Horses – 8 Metres My Clinics – 12 Metres square pipe is more dangerous for horses! My Home – 15 metres for Breaking in and a bit of Riding or for starting City Horses and Riding – 16 Metres Pins should be round, on the outside of the yard and with round smooth Heads, not right angle bends and definitely not pointing into the round pen.   THE LATEST 11/3/12 To vividly highlight the fact that base aggregate can be any size, check out my new one that I am building Today.   Now I am not recommending that you go to a Demolition

SELF EMPTYING SADDLES

    Go here for Saddles I get thousands of letters regarding people falling off Horses and getting severely injured. In my opinion, part of the problem here is that people ride ‘suspect, young or Green Horses’ in ‘SELF EMPTYING SADDLES I speak of the “English Saddle’ as opposed to the Western, Stock or Half Breed Saddles that are on the Market. Now there is nothing whatsoever wrong with English Saddles. They are completely necessary for their use but the point I make is that far too many people risk themselves by riding suspect Horses in them. The chances of falling out of these Saddles is huge compared to the other types that are more for the purpose of riding rough Horses.   HP HALF BREEDS   INJURY I also see many ‘Mature Aged’ people (mostly Ladies) and we all know that as we get older we don’t bounce any more. We break. We also do not mend as well as the young and with Females, we have the added problem of ‘bone density’ So this article is about getting people to think about adding a more appropriate Saddle to their Tack Shed, for use on: Trail Rides ‘Green Horses’ Suspect Horses.   Not only are they safer but they are far more comfortable for both Horse and Rider.   LOSS OF HORSE It never ceases to amaze me how people can take a new ‘Breaker’ home from me and ride straight off in an English Saddle. That presents a risk that I would not take during the initial building of trust and relationship between young Horse and Owner. Let’s face it, the vast majority of people who ride ‘Green Horses’ are not trained in riding such. They may only have one or two in a life time. Fall off one and you risk throwing both the career of the Horse away and turning it into a buck jumper or worse and losing the $$$$$$ that you invested in the starting of the young Horse. Once again, I say protect your investment if not your life. You cannot afford to make mistakes on young Horses. You really only get one shot at most of them. If you do ever consider what I recommend (Half Breed Australian Stock Saddle with swinging fenders for Dressage Position) you should now read this: USE OF THE BACK CINCH at the bottom of the Page   POSITION If You ever do, get one that puts You in the CORRECT position, otherwise: You will be putting unfair weight on the rear of the Horse You will be ruining your riding You will have bad Hands. here are some…….   BAD POSITION SADDLES IN AUSTRALIA    

TOP 10 REASONS WHY GREEN HORSES BUCK

    TOP12 REASONS   Girthiness not taken in account enough Learned Helplessness   Because the horse did not respect the breaker or the owner   Because “Green on Green don’t go”   Because the owner thought that riding on the arena was safer than on the trail   Because of a lack of proper warm up in the saddling process   Because the owner insisted upon mainly walking the horse rather trotting and cantering, boring it into rebellion.   Because the horse never felt exhaustion during the breaking in process. (especially at the canter)   Because the owner jammed the horse up during flatwork and didn’t get it forward and free through the front end.   Not enough variation in the work. (Too much flat work and not enough Trail Riding)   A lack in observation of and empathy for the horse by the owner. (Veterinary reasons)   Weak riding leading to a lack of respect. Lack of commitment.   Because the horse wasn’t broken in well enough   LEARNED HELPLESSNESS Here is the perfect example of a lovely Young Horse that was never going to Buck, but in the end, despite many warnings, did, due to the fixation on ‘Head Carriage’ when such is an absolute irrelevancy with a ‘Green Horse’ for they don’t yet even know what Leg, forward, carrying a Rider or Brakes are.     Go here for the Video of how You can easily do it with perfect relaxation, harmony   Horses that are not ‘listened to‘ often ending up Screaming and that means their last resort, Bucking, Bolting or Rearing. So if you want to learn more about this and   listen to 27 such Horses over 7 hours and 24 Minutes, check it out.    Regards

THE WAR BRIDLE/DUALLY/FEEL GOOD HALTER

    Hi John, Heard about this on a web-forum: Not sure what to think of it…. One of those things that at first glance you might say “oh neat” and then think about it some more and be a little concerned! The Dually Halter Cheers Wendy REARING This is a very interesting subject Wendy. In essence, this is a ‘WAR BRIDLE’ dressed up as a rope Halter and with a quaint name for marketing purposes. The War Bridle as invented and used by Old Australian Horsemen of the past, is a very vicious piece of work and makes virtually 100% of Horses rear. The Monty Roberts Dually Halter is of a similar design and imho, is also a War Bridle which is why at his Adelaide visit, his floating Horse reared over backwards onto it’s head. Thus proving my assertion. So let’s examine the training messages behind this versus the rope Halter. First up, this Halter should NEVER be let near an Amateur, nor should the Dually Halter and definitely never the War Bridle. The reason why you see this piece of equipment ‘half work’ during the Stage Shows is that given the strength of the handler and the few rips around that the Horse gets, it actually does tweek up some lost lightness in the head of the Horse and gets their attention to where they half listen to walk near a Float, so that the Yards can come into play. Nothing more than that. If that piece of equipment was an effective training Tool, YARDS would not be required. When one takes up a feel on a rope Halter, the pressure is placed across the back of the head of the Horse and the handler has the available options of maintaining that feel if the Horse doesn’t come forward, give or try or start reversing backwards. It has one request, go forwards and it has one directional request. Come, from the back of the head. If it tries, the subsequent ‘reward and relief’ soon signals to the Horse what is required and it learns via a reasonably efficient pointer. With this Halter in the Photo, “Feel Good” hahahaha I love that 🙂 if you pull on the lead rope, the Halter closes as a vice on the face of the Horse and gives pressure from front and back. Telling or asking the Horse to go forwards and backwards at the same time, not to mention the available ‘pulley system’ and fulcrum affect to empower the Human to become super strong, a dangerous thing to have. So this piece of equipment has zero training qualities and is an unjust tool of training as well as cruel in a

LUCERNE TREES AND THE OZONE LAYER

  2017 My new preferred alternative. Much longer Age and tough as Hell, with FAST growth. 2 Years Growth and been trimmed 3 times       http://vro.agriculture.vic.gov.au/dpi/vro/vrosite.nsf/pages/invasive_mirror_bush           It throws a few Babies around the Place though, which I just spray during Weed Spraying. Small price to pay for Wind Breaks, privacy, Horse protection and Pasture protection.   OLIVES Yes, they are all viewed by some Councils, as Pests but they forget about Global Warming         They are the toughest of all, longest lasting and all of these Plants will end up being accepted as the Planet dies 🙁       LUCERNE TREES   TAGASASTE Chamaecystisus proliferu     Hi – I am thinking of growing some Lucerne trees for my thoroughbred horse as very little grows on my land. I googled your site and wondered if you had any knowledge and or success with these? Pauline My property. For 5 years now, I have been recommending these magnificent Trees via my e-books and have warned about the impending Droughts. Now of course, I can say that these Trees may be the Salvation of the Horse Industry and if you take my advice, you will not only save a fortune, but it is like winning in a blackjack online! supplement your feeding regimes, assist the Environment and much more. These Trees feed horses and have a 30 percent Protein Level. They grow in anything and without water. You simply go pull up the babies, do not have to dig a hole but just drive the spade in for a slit and give them a whack with the heel of your boot (at the start of Winter) and then forget about them./ They seed prolifically and you can go pick them in about 3 weeks time here. Bird life and Bees love them, they look great and the flowers smell beautiful. What more would you want. Wind Break did I hear you say? No problems.!! The more they are eaten, the more they hedge up. Grow them on the fence lines like in my photos and the horses will do the rest. I often have a laugh here and sometimes  here on the University Graduates who make up our Councils. The Experts who know everything and we wouldn’t know a thing. Just look at their Certificates and Books. These Trees here in South Australia come under the Pest Plants and Weeds Bi-Laws and in the past they have almost become Suicidal if you ever mentioned you were going to plant them and were always spraying Roundup[ on the Road Reserves to kill them. Guess what? Get ready for one of the Experts

CONSTRUCTION OF THE DRESSAGE ARENA WHILE SAVING THOUSANDS $$$$$

        This article is taken from experience, not from books etc. It is written to save you money. Like thousands I have done the ‘hard yards’ so hope this will benefit you.   A LETTER   Hi there, I’m in Tassie we are getting quotes for a 60 x 20m arena. We are at the confused point with several quotes all around the same price with very different things in them. The area for the arena needs building up at one end and cutting out at the other. Would appreciate some advice on what is what… below are the quotes and some info we have received so far…. Quote 1: Includes: Excavator hire Bobcat hire Roller Hire Truck Hire Ash FCR 20mm clean metal 240m 90 slotted pipe Sock for 90mm pipe 240m of Geo cloth top of drainage trenches With sand $26 818 (Including GST) (Ok background… this bloke came recommended … but they all seem too! he wanted to put drainage around the outside … underneath and the 3 levels of base). Quote 2: Excavate marked out area to form levels Supply & lay ag drain on top side of arena Supply & lay 100mm road base, grade and level surface Supply & lay 100mm red gravel, grade and level surface Roll & compact surface in preparation for arena sand Supply & lay arena sand grade and level surface $23 880 (Including GST) (Highly recommended and has done arenas at our local state equestrian centre.. the best ones according to coaches… sand he quoted was a cheaper sort more likely to blow away so I need to check up with him whether its washed river sand.. he said it was an arena mix sand but just not as heavy as some people have windy areas… we are quite sheltered where we are) Quote 3: Removal of 4 large trees 20 tonne excavator hire 40 hours $6400 Bob cat hire 16hours $1200 Roller hire 24hours $1312 4 tonne excavator hire 24hours $1880 Supply of Culvert pipe x1 $350 sub total $12256.20 (including GST) Sub base gravel 152m3 @ 100mm thick before compaction $4864 Crushed red gravel 152m3 @ 100mm thick before compaction $4864 APPROX TOTAL QUOTE 3: $26984.20 (Told Sand approx $6000 but he was still waiting to hear back at this stage, I presume removal of trees is included in the previous quotes but this is a point I will be confirming) I tried to get 4 quotes but never heard back from one despite much “nagging” so gave up. I have several more numbers I can call for additional quotes but am keen to make start before Chrissy. Best Wishes Thank you for your

PROBLEM HORSE OR PROBLEM TEENAGER?

  Don’t worry, I am well aware of the ‘Problem Parents’ who often drive Teenagers too hard as they live their Dreams through the Kid   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

SHARED RESPONSIBILITIES OF HORSE TRAINING

    When a professional Horse Trainer accepts a horse from a client, they take on a huge responsibility, well I treat it that way anyhow. Responsibility for the physical and mental welfare of the horse, care, feeding and the awesome task of fixing whatever the training problem was or to start the young horse. Our name depends upon it and we are being judged by the owner and spoken about down through the gossip channels, either in glowing  or derogatory terms. Reputations are everything to the Horseman and much hangs on the overall success of the work and the behavior of the subject horse going forward. So does the owner share any of that responsibility?   I firmly believe that they do but a lot don’t share that opinion. Often, the owner is the root cause of the problems in the first place and we all know that we have to change the owner by educating them, if we are to succeed. So it is not only the horse that we have to fix but mostly the owner. In fact, horses are often the easiest parts of the equation and in general, far smarter and receptive than the Humans. It is far easier and quicker to teach a horse than it is to teach a Human.   In most cases, the Horse Trainer cannot do it alone and needs the help and backup of the owner. Needs the owner to take the matter seriously and to put in the hard yards to complete the package. To LISTEN to the training recommendations of the Breaker and to take them seriously. If requiring further knowledge or abilities, to seek out that knowledge and take the necessary actions to gain those improved abilities.   To ‘wear my heart on the sleeve’ for a moment then, can I tell you how much it means to the Breaker, to be successful with a horse. That the Breaker owes it to the horse to do their best, to find every means possible to get the key to what works with individual horses and to hopefully send the horse home to an improved owner who will perhaps give the horse a better deal in life. It saddens me when that doesn’t happen. So to the point.   You meet owners who certainly don’t take it seriously and go through life expecting everyone else to fix their problems and that of their horses. More and more these Days for everyone’s a Victim and the strength of our Society is weakening fast. They just want, the Breaker’ to fix the horse and send it back perfect while they go on their merry way of ignorance and bugga it

DISCIPLINE OF THE HORSE EXPLAINED FULLY

  If I may start by explaining how horses interact in their world and how the foal is imprinted by its mother.   Horses do not love anything including you. They may respect you or other horses but there is no love involved. Respect could probably be described as “Horse Love” and it is only gained by respect. Respect gained from strength and leadership. This translates directly to you the owner and so if you want good horses, do as the horses do.   In the “World of horses”, this is how it works. Perhaps you should go and sit in a paddock containing a few horses and watch it at work. If there are 10 horses in a paddock there will be the boss horse, 2nd boss and so on down to the 9th boss who is only boss over number 10. Number one is boss over the other nine and all nine respect that horse completely. The boss horse will get the best feed, stop other horses eating if there is only enough for it, and on a hot day, stand over the water trough after drinking for an extra ten minutes, just to show they are boss. Only then can number two drink. The boss will threaten with body language and if it is not heeded will bite or kick. The boss uses the up and down the scale on the psychological and physical discipline just the same as we should. If required, the boss will even injure or cripple an offender. Introduce a new horse into the paddock and depending upon the profile of that horse, there may be fights to find who will be the leader going forward.   Over 90% of faults in horses are caused by people. Very often, the difference between a horse described as bad from good is a small amount of discipline. CARROTS   The Horse Industry and the “My first Pony books” teach people to get along with horses using ‘bribery and corruption’ as I call it but better known as carrots and sugar lumps. These are the cause of most of the Discipline problems with Novice owners and it is not the answer. Those who teach this are setting all those people up for a fall.   THE LAST RESORT   Discipline should be the ‘last resort’. Remember, it is basically never the fault of the Horse. It is virtually always the fault of the Human, confusion or Veterinary matters. If however, discipline is required, it must be balanced between the different personalities in horses versus the seriousness of the crime. i.e.. “Dennis the Menace”, the bold type, will think that most discipline is “water of a duck’s

CATCHING THE HORSE

      Horses that are difficult to catch, soon learn that it is easy to tire a human out and we can’t run like they can. They learn that they are faster than us, fitter than us and end up thinking that they are smarter than us. The trick is to make them think otherwise.   So, what are the options? There are a few                                          ·        Walk in the paddock with a small container of your horse’s favorite food. Try to get your horse to come and eat a handful from the bucket and then immediately walk out of the paddock. Do not touch it. Repeat this a few times each day and the horse will start to understand that it is not always going to be caught and flogged around an arena.  ·        Leave a webbing halter on your horse. An old weak one. Even with a short piece of rope hanging off it, just to give you something to take hold of as the slippery little sucker tries to move away. (do not leave a rope halter on a horse as they do not break should the horse get caught up) Never carry the lead rope in your hand. This is advertising the fact that you are going to catch the horse and perhaps ride it too hard. Hang the rope over your shoulder, not around your shoulder. The lead rope and the halter should be sitting towards the front so that you can slip the lead around the neck of the horse as the first move. Never attempt to put a halter on a horse in a paddock until you have slipped the rope around it’s neck, taken hold of it on both sides of the neck and have dragged the horse forward a couple of steps. This cements in the horse’s mind that it is caught. Then put the halter on. Never try to put a halter on a horse from in front of its head. Always stand to the side. Hold the halter in your left hand and the long strap in your right hand, with your right arm over the neck of the horse. This way, if the horse goes to move away, you can pull on both head piece and long strap, restraining the horse a little and confirming to it that it is caught, even before you put the head part on. If you carry a bucket of feed and the horse is particularly cagy, have your feed in say your left hand with your right hand beneath the bucket, out of sight of the horse so that you can slowly and quietly grab the small piece of rope. Never snatch

MAN MADE STRESS IN HORSES

      I meet so many horses with stress problems. Almost all of those problems are caused by man. I will try to graple with this most complex of subjects in a form that you may understand. At the end, I will be stressed.  The causes are endless but first I will deal with a couple that are not man made. Pain causes stress Ulcers cause stress Pain causes ulcers    Man made stress includes: High stress levels by Humans Confusion. An inability to do the work that the Horse was chosen for. (wrong conformation) Teeth hurting Crooked Riders Poor Fitting Saddles Bad Hoof angles Worms Sand Breathing issues (Throat) Not ridden according to the German Training Scale. (in fairness and with relief) Endlessly riding on the arena Riding incorrect Dressage. (above the bit, flexed off, not straight, not supple, not over the back, incorrect flexion.)     and much more In general, horses are the most relaxed with the confident, knowledgeable and assertive rider who leads with confidence. Horses like clear signals, clear rules, boundaries set and a firm foundation of knowledge to back it up. Confusion can lead to stress. Mood swings in the rider, such as with the teenagers’, passes on to the horse. So, I hope you think more about this type of subject when interacting with your friends in the future. They sure will appreciate it. Learn to “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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go to the Purchase of a Dressage Horse article      

SEPARATION ANXIETY IN THE HORSE

  This has to be the most frustrating experience possible. Owning a Horse that has the mental condition known as ‘separation anxiety’ and yet it is rife within the domesticated Horse World. While a person can has several options to better their mental condition, it is not so easy for a horse. Attending meditation classes or enrolling at a yoga training center may be useful for handling your stree or anxieties but we don’t have that option for the horse.   Yes it is a ‘mental condition’ just as Humans suffer from schizoid conditions, so the horse that suffers this finds itself in a similar Mental State, the only difference being perhaps is that the Horse doesn’t have the option of Suicide. You may have seen in a person or in the Movies then, the Human who has ‘lost it’ totally and someone will slap them right across the face in an attempt to snap them out of it. In a similar way, such a mechanism offers one of the very few chances of remedial work being performed upon the horse with an aim to improve their mental condition. For it is the act of slapping the face and shocking the Human that can bring them around and out of the state of helplessness, for that is what it is. When the horse snaps or is triggered, it is a mental state of helplessness that they descend into. The other is to sell the Horse to a Home that suits the Horse, where it is in a Paddock situation, in a Herd and that when one Horse is taken out of the Paddock, the afflicted still has another Mate to calm it somewhat.   CAUSES   So what are the causes? Well, horses are inherently Herd Animals and even in the Wild, if suddenly separated from their Friends, they will become frantic as the Herd is the most important thing in their lives. So here are a couple of things that I find can make horses more or less predisposed to the fragile state:   The Breeder not being mindful of fostering independence in the young horse by not ‘biting the Bullet’ and placing young stock alone in paddocks and insisting upon it from an early stage.   Not rotating young stock amongst different friends and neighbors on a regular basis which fosters more independence in them.   The inheritance of the lack of independence in the young horse, passed down from usually the Mare. This then gets down to Breeding controls of course. If I see a Mare that exhibits any kind of suspect mental behavior or teaching a Foal bad habits like not being caught, I will wean

LISTEN TO YOUR HORSES

  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!! 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: Horses that had a genuine Veterinary affliction Horses that were made to appear unsound due to incorrect Riding, ill fitting Saddles, bad Coaching and the Like, and… 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.

THE OXYGEN OF TRAINING

      I will now attempt to simply explain what is behind all successful training of horses. Brave, aren’t I? Here is an example of what works, what doesn’t,  what is correct and what is incorrect.   Little Johnny brings his horse up to the back of the horse float because he wants to go to Pony Club. Horsy doesn’t really want to go cause he knows he is in for a tough day if he does. He baulks at the back of the float and Johnny produces a carrot from his back pocket. Horsy eats the carrot but refuses to go in the float. Half a bag of carrots later, Johnny and Horsy Bribery and corruption can work but not often. It is not a recognized system of training horses and is not used by professionals in the Industry, no matter which Country it is.   Now, I get a phone call to go to little Johnnie’s house. I bring my trusty long whip with me and ask commence tap, tap, tapping on horse’s rump. He doesn’t like this of course and tries all the usual evasions, swinging left, swinging right, a little rear, running backwards or just pretending that I don’t exist and may go away. I don’t go away however, I stay with him all the way, tap, tap, tapping. In the end, horsy makes a slight move forward, licks his lips in submission at me and I do possible the most important thing available in the Horse Industry. GIVE THE HORSE “REWARD & RELIEF” FOR GIVING TO PRESSURE At that very point and from there onwards, the re-education of little Johnnies horse commences and more importantly, the horse has identified the start of the principal of such training.   So, everything that we achieve in the training of horses involves three main things:   We apply pressure   The horse gives to that pressure   We give reward and relief   If you follow those principals throughout your career with horses, you will never be far off the mark. Here then are some other examples : Your horse keeps cutting the corner on your circle work. You put inside leg on but horse refuses to move out. You apply spur, it moves off you leg, you give reward and relief by reverting back to just leg on, your horse has given to pressure and you have given “Reward & Relief”   You are leading your horse and it refuses to come through the puddle. You hang on the end of the lead rope and apply pressure to the back of the horses head. In the end the horse will give by moving a little, you

LEARNED EVASIONS

  Just about every problem that a rider gets with horses is caused by a slow progression of “Learned Evasions”   These evasions are what causes all of the resistances that horses give riders’ and are the prime driving force towards the learning of how and why to resist. Evasion can give a horse relief from the incompetence of a rider or just plain simply get them out of working properly. Horse ‘go to school’ on everything You do. They are always willing to learn, but behind the scenes, negative Lessons are often happening, without the Rider knowing. If I start a new Horse and it has a Mouth of 10/10 when I hand it to the Owner, it will be a 6/10 inside a Week just by doing things like this     LEARNED EVASIONS I call these “Learned” as if a newly broken in horse stayed with a professional, it probably wouldn’t learn many of them. It would stay soft, round, easy of the leg, responsive and keep all the nice attributes which make a good horse. Problem is though, that most green horses go to riders who may not be professionals’ and this is why these horses go through the process of learning how to get out of things. Just like kids. This is one of the reasons I produced my ‘Green Horse’ DVD.   So what are some of these “Learned Evasions” and how do horses pick them up? Here are some examples:   A handler leads a horse up to a horse float for the very first loading. The handler isn’t watching the horse’s head and it is allowed to look around the side of the float instead of in it. It learns there and then that it can evade by walking around the side of the float as so many do. I have see thousands of these.   A handler leads a horse up to a float and the horse baulks, standing slightly off the side of the back ramp. The handler turns the horse away from the float, leads it around a small circle to line up straight and re-approaches the float. The horse has been taught to evade because it was given “Reward and Relief” for not going in the float. The horse should have been loaded up over the side of the ramp.   A person goes into a paddock to catch the little darling. Horsy runs away for an hour and the owner continually follows it around. The horse lunges the owner who is getting mighty frustrated and the horse knows it. The owner then goes and gets a feed bucket and rewards the horse for lapping the owner.  The

WHY IS MY HORSE MIS-BEHAVING?

  I have been prompted to write this article because in the last month, December, 2003, virtually every horse that was sent to us for re-education, in other words (Problem Horses), had various Veterinary problems which were the reason for their behavior. How unfair on horses is this? The mind boggles at what horses have to go through in this Country and it is mainly caused due to a lack of education about the things that matter most. How cruel?   Almost daily, I meet people who tell me how much they love their horses and that no-one can look after them as well as they can. They lecture me on the needs of the horse when they drop them off and I often tell them that I look after horses better than the owners’. They look at me with a dis-believing stare and we go about proving the point with every horse that comes on to this property, in a way that counts. Listening to the cries for help of these much loved steeds, not with a brush or another rug   Horses can read your mind 100% of the time There are no naughty horses, only dumb Trainers 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   You can arrive at a place where I am. To be able to read the mind of the Horse 100% of the time Horses know if you care. They also know if you REALLY CARE. Horses all want to please, until they are mistreated or confused. Here are 27 of such Horses   .   The ultimate example of what I say in this article, appears at the end of the above DVD. In case you ever get to see it (have the tissues ready) you need to know this: The Mare had never once in 9 Years, “stretched out like a Grey Hound” The Mare had never pawed in 9 Years The Mare had never failed to stand in 9 Years The Mare had never grunted in 9 Years   The list goes on and on. Please think about it. Try to hold your emotion whilst training and to think about these things first before getting all frustrated or shitty like most do. Especially you teenagers’.  If 100% of the last 20 horses that have come through our hands have had varying degrees of Veterinary problems, what do you think the percentage around the Country would be? So, when your horse plays up, think Veterinary, un-happiness and confusion

QUESTIONS OF CONSCIENCE

    Here are a few questions that I have asked myself over the years and encourage you to do so too:   Do we worm our horse on the recommended due dates?   Do we have our horses teeth checked every six months?   Do we treat our horse for sand?   Do we ensure there is a dry area for our horse to stand on in wet times?   Do we clean the stable of urine and manure regularly?   Do we use lunging as a behavioral fix? I hope not!   Do we have our horse’s hooves attended to when due or do we wait until finances allow?   Do we groom our horse enough?   Do we keep the tail trimmed so that it doesn’t get trodden and pulled out?   Do we treat parasites or rashes instantly and fully?   Do we use a fly veil if needed?   Do we clean the water trough at least once a week?   If our horse is stabled and yarded, do we exercise it at least 5 times per week?   Do we at least lunge if we haven’t got the energy to ride?   Are we cruel to our horse with over rugging?   Do we use drugs on our horse to enhance or control performance? I hope not.   Do we lunge endlessly before a competition? I hope not.   Are we cruel to our horse by using light control to enhance the coat rather than clipping or brushing?   Do we feed our horse drugs to enhance or thin coat? Are we cruel if we do?   Do we check to see if our horse has a sore back before we ride?   Does all of our saddlery fit perfectly? Are we sure? Do we know?   If our horse is stabled, do we send it out in the paddock for a holiday at least once a year?   Is our horse inoculated appropriately?   Do the rugs leak? Do they fit, Do they rub?   Is our horse float a rattle trap of a thing?   Have we checked under the floor of the float for soundness?   Does our bridle fit, the bit or is the brow band pressing against the back of our horse’s ears?   Are a feeding regimes correct and balanced?   Does the horse require a mineral or salt block?   Are the fences and stables perfectly safe against injury?   Has our horse got a shady tree, if not, a shelter?   Has it got a wind break?   Has it got a friend?   Do we tow the horse slowly when floating?   Do we hose

THE NERVOUS RIDER. WHAT TO DO?

      I have met my share of Nervous Riders’ in my day and have fixed a few too. (escorting over 50,000 of them on Holidays on Horseback)..we never lost one of them As a matter of interest, they are almost always female and mostly have had kids, suffered bad experiences, got hurt, bucked off, although falls off horses when starting out does see kids suffer from it too. To qualify the ‘female’ point, two things. The majority of the Horse World are female and it is a fact that male riders’ get less worried and are more ‘gung ho’   WHAT MAKES THEM NERVOUS ( 3 things) A fear of getting injured A fear of a lack of control, horse bolting, bucking etc. Vibes why….here’s one right now hahahahaha   It is simply NOT POSSIBLE for our Horses to even think Bolt!!!!!!!!!!!!   Lateral thinking tells me then that if you give CONTROL back to the Rider, the fear has to dissipate. I want to give you some ideas of what to do to overcome it and some other ways of looking at the problem   Fix the Controls and put “Air Brakes” on your Horse and surely the fear should dissipate for danger is virtually eliminated!! ** Remember, I have ridden THOUSANDS of suspect Horses and still athletic at old age!    READ MY LIPS –  there is no such thing as Bolting Horses in our Life!!!!!!!!!!!!! SADDLES It stands to reason that if one is a Nervous Rider which probably comes from the fear of falling off and getting injured, then such people should not be riding in in “English Saddles” Here is a good letter I received recently about the subject:   SELF EMPTYING SADDLES     Go here to read the article   Hi John, Just a quick comment that may or may not be helpful for nervous riders. A common thread seems to be that every nervous rider I’ve never met insists on riding around in English style saddles, which could often only be described as virtual ‘ejector seats’.   All, without exception, reel back in horror when it’s suggested they might like to try my stock or western saddle, almost as if it was a heresy.   It often takes a great deal of bribing and coaxing, but those that do eventually climb aboard on of these saddles come back from a ride with a liberated smile on their face that hasn’t been there for years.   While it would be poor horsemanship to rely on physical ‘tools’ to cover up psychological riding issues, it seems the security provided by the stock saddle allows them to focus back on their balance in

HORSE ASSESSING THE RIDER AND THE GAMES THEY PLAY

  We think that we are the only ones doing the assessing during the relationship with the horse but I can assure you that there is just as much assessing being done by the horse as that being done by us. They carry on this procedure in silence and make assumptions about us and decide how to deal with us as a result.   When people enter the Horse Industry, they find out somehow that horses are pretty much perfectly behaved and don’t have many faults. Ok, we are to blame for most of the ridden faults in horses but they must take a share of the blame and I don’t feel that they do.   Watch any Learner Rider horse and most Shetland Ponies and see how they soon work out how to exploit their rider. There is nothing as cunning and calculating and they weave their devious plans with quite some ability. It is not restricted to these types of horses however. I see most horses assessing their owners and riders in varying degrees of intensity and the difference in their reactive behaviour is only limited by their temperament imho.   Just like Humans, horses temperaments and personalities span the entire gamut and therein lies the difference between a lot of bucking horses and those that merely carry out harmless types of evasions.   TYPES OF ASSESSMENTS   There is no doubt in my mind that the feeding regime and the enforcement of respect and rules or the lack of them is the number one venue for horses assessing us. They suddenly loose their manners and yet when in the heard, just yesterday, they behaved impeccably in front of the bosses. So they test us out and pigeon hole us as weak, medium or an assertive leader that deserves respect. The lunging game is the second most important area of assessment. Cutting corners on the circle, changing direction without permission, stopping behind our back if we just stand there and all the way up to the regular charging of the owner whilst having their ears back as they pass by. Oh, then the little side kick on the way through. The subtle veering in or out of the circle on the arena. Just testing your steering. >Laying against your leg and ignoring it. Zig Zagging whilst you are  trying to ride them in a straight line while they watch where they want to be out the back of their eyes. Checking your steering all the while. The ‘go slow campaign’ in the arena, on the lunge or out on the trail. Putting it over you without you really knowing. and of course……ground manners, especially leading.   These and

LACKING COMMITTMENT??

  Every Coach and Professional would experience dealings with people who have a dear passion for the Horse Industry and horses but who just don’t cut it, are not of the profile necessary to achieve success and who go on year after year in failure, often with horse after horse. Some in my experience, for decades.   If You don’t have commitment, You can never be seriously successful   Rarely do they get told because in this enlightened World of ‘Politically correctness’ which I call ‘speaking with a forked tongue’, people just continue to take their money, mouth the same old things to them year after year but knowing all the time that it is a waste of time teaching them. You can imagine the lack of incentive and boredom the Coach goes through knowing that there will never be an outcome or any work job satisfaction out of it. However, in our case, where Mrs. HP meets the same people, I do go to the enth degree to endeavor to motivate them, massage their mind, get down and straight with them, go out of our way to persevere with them, working on their horses and fixing them week after week and equipping them with the tools to be able to take control of horses to a point where we know that if they were ever going to ‘get over it’ it would be then, but they don’t. UPBRINGING To be successful in the Horse Industry, your profile plays a big part The days, a lot of lot of City Folk are being brought up more and more softly and often too soft to win the respect of a horse, let alone a Coach. On the other hand, Coaches are losing patience with such people because they are becoming what appears the majority and they just know that it is going to be a lost cause. Children scream like Babies when they fall off even if uninjured and the Parents run to their aid and perpetuate their grief which compounds the inability for them to handle the task. It used to be that Parents would just ask, “Are you injured?” and when the answer was ‘No”, it was “Then get back on and off you go.” 20 falls later, the Kid could ride, had the ‘right stuff’ to make a horse Rider and above all, knew that Mother wasn’t going to turn into an Ambulance Officer and Social Worker at the instant. These days, a couple of fall offs and out of the Industry they go with their tails between their legs. TOUGH SPORT Horse Riding is a tough and dangerous Sport and not for the faint hearted. Horses are

DO HORSES LOVE US?

    Well I don’t think they do. I certainly love them but I am fairly sure they only respect me. Respect to them is probably Love anyway. However, this is not about me, it is about others……   I often notice that when people enter the Horse Industry, they try desperately to win the love of their new horse. I feel that their belief that one can achieve this is brought about by the thousands of horse books that have come onto the market, mostly from England, where horse ownership is talked about in “touchy feely”, almost fairy tale terms. I have rarely seen a book that tells it like it really is.   Among the large number of “Problem Horses” that come through my hands, I notice that many of them just have a lack of respect for their owner. When that respect is gained by re-educating the owner a lot and the horse a little, behavioral problems seem to disappear.   I feel the answer lies within the world of horses and if you go and sit in a paddock and watch them for a reasonable period of time, you will see what I mean. Yes, Horses may love other Horses but I don’t think they love Humans. I will stand corrected of course. You may love your horse all you want providing you have a set of rules that govern it. You may reward your horse all you like but again, have a set of rules. Here are some suggestions:   Never reward your horse when working unless it is for a job well done. Whilst working your horse, be it under saddle or on the ground, only ever reward with voice or stroking once or “reward and relief” as in taking the pressure off the horse because it completed the task set satisfactorily. Verbal and stroking reward for a try is good Horse Training.   Food rewards should only ever be given after riding. Never during.   Never allow a horse to be searching your pockets for carrots. This is bad behavior that may lead to very bad behavior.   Never use bribery and corruption to get your horse to do anything.   You may reward with food if the horse is tied up and cannot invade you, after you finish working it.   You may reward with a feed in its yard or stable but never sit next to the feed bin or interfere with the horse whilst eating. That is the horse’s quality time and nothing to do with you ever. I know of a buck jumper down the road caused by that sort of behaviour by the owner   Don’t reward your

UNDERSTAND THE MIND OF YOUR HORSE

    When you are young, you probably really don’t think about things like this. I didn’t. I just rode em. The more that I have, the more that I have got out of horses and the more that I have been able to fix the major problems that I encounter. Unfortunately they cannot speak. Well, they can, but rarely can a human understand what they are saying. What a plaintiff thought that is? There have been many worthwhile Quotes made by ‘Horse Whisperers’ over the Years. Here is one of them:   “A good rider can hear his horse speak, a great rider can hear his horse whisper, but a bad rider will not hear his horse even if it screams” I would have added the following:   I a blessed to have had in excess of 25,000 Trainers through my Career. None of them ever lied and they always told the truth. They were all Horses.   I am so lucky to now be able to read their minds and to know what they are thinking. I haven’t tried to do this, it has just happened. Maybe that’s what ‘Curley’ was talking about in City Slickers One. When ever he was asked how he did that or how did he know that, he would say, when you get “The One Thing” They would ask, “When will that be?” and he would answer, “You’ll know when you have it” You have no idea how good it is to know what the “One thing” is. The Horse therefore must be smarter than I for I didn’t get “the one thing” until after roughly 20,000 Horses where they have me worked out inside a Minute.  I also know that horses can read my mind. I can think a horse to stop in the lunge ring. I can emit energy from my fingers and get a horse to move. Above all though, I start my relationship with every horse with a firm opinion that it is as smart or smarter than I. Sadly, so many people start with the belief that the horse is a dumb animal so it is little wonder why they can never progress.  Perhaps I can put it this way. If you treat your horse as if it is a deaf and dumb person and imagine that you are on their back with whip and spurs, would you look at life differently? Perhaps. If you did hit them with a whip, blame them, spur them, scream at them or give your other half a hard time that night, would you want to be real sure that the deaf and dumb person knew what you were trying to tell

THE HALF HALT

  What is a half halt? It is the aids a rider uses to communicate with their horse. It is used to prepare a horse for a transition, or a change in direction. It is used to engage the hind legs. It is used to balance a horse. It is used to control tempo. The half halt is a tool that enhances the effectiveness of the rider. Makes the horse more responsive and concentrated on what is being asked of it.   What are the aids?   To ride a correct half halt there are a sequence of commands given by the rider in a short succession of time. Now most people are mystified by the term “half halt” and make it far more complex and difficult then it needs to be. Firstly the horse is asked to go forward from a leg aid (more often than not inside leg) to encourage it to step more forward. Then the energy that is created, is captured into the outside rein and the contact is supported there.  The outside rein feels like it holds more contact and for as long as it takes to get a response from the horse, be it to slow and engage or round more in its top line, whilst softening its jaw. Only when the horse responds correctly and this may be after a split second or anything up to several strides, do we ride the horse forward again from another leg aid as we soften the feel in our rein and allow the horse forward again. So it is leg ,hand,leg ,in that order. Now I haven’t discussed the “seat” of the rider yet. The seat is also part of the aid of the half halt. This can only be effective if the horse is “round,” over the back and the rider has a good independent seat. Hence it can only be used by an accomplished rider and more educated horse. When using the seat during the half halt, the rider needs to momentarily stop riding the movement at whatever pace the horse is in. The rider holds their core firm and no longer goes with the feel of the horse, making them tall. This part of the aid should happen whilst the hand comes into play. Once the horse feels like it comes “back” to the rider, he applies leg and goes along with the movement of the horse once more. Once very educated, a horse will respond to the seat so well, that often this becomes enough rather than the bracing hand aid. A half halt often looks invisible to the spectator. If ridden correctly, it goes through the whole body of the horse,

ENGAGEMENT

  Engagement This is when a horse uses their hind legs with activity. The horse pushes its movement forward by bending its joints more in the hind legs. This has the effect of the horse shifting its centre of balance to more underneath it self thus lifting the forehand and the lowering of its haunches. The horse will appear more uphill. This will free the horses’ shoulders and allow it to move with ‘freer’ paces. The horse will have more expression as a result in its movement. The horse goes forward with purpose! How do we achieve it? Firstly we need to ride the horse forward by asking with our leg. Then we capture the energy with a soft but firm hand. Initially in a horses training we need to achieve a regular rhythm with energetic steps into a consistent contact until the horse comes into a good outline and frame. Transitions within the paces and from one pace to the next, helps to create the activity and responsiveness to the leg. The horse needs to be kept supple and flexible. So circles and lateral work are also important. Then transitions ridden during the lateral work, say in shoulder in, going on and coming back within the trot, will teach the horse to push with its inside hind leg. The more it pushes the more engagement possible. The’ half halt’ is also an important part of achieving engagement. When ridden correctly it controls the forward propulsion, shifting the weight of the horse onto its haunches and therefore helping the balance of the horse. It helps to achieve collection and helps to create cadence in its steps as the movement becomes more lifted rather than faster. A correct half halt goes through the entire body of the horse and it feels as if the hind legs are braking as opposed to the mouth, as the horse steadies. Now it is the combination of the activity and the half halts that create engagement. It takes strength and agility for the horse to be able to engage. Training (following the German Training Scale) allows the horse to build and develop to enable it to become more collected. True collection is necessary for the horse to be able to perform the more difficult movements of dressage. The German Training Scale   comprised of the following six elements in that particular order: Rhythm Suppleness Contact Impulsion Straightness Collection Finally, here is a Video of a wonderful Horse and Rider Combination $125,000, but a good example of a lack of ‘suppleness’, restricting the potential.   https://www.horseproblems.com.au/Horse%20Coaching%20Online.htm

STRAIGHTNESS

    Straightness is when the horse travels on a designated line with its hind legs in line with its front legs. That means on straight lines and on curved lines.  In order for a horse to be in balance it needs to have the hind legs directly in the foot falls of the front legs. If a horse is stiff, which becomes obvious on a circle line, it will swing the hind legs either to the inside or outside of that circle. Without suppleness, straightness on circles is not achievable. Hence on the German Training Scale straightness comes after relaxation and suppleness. When a horse brings its hind legs to the inside of its front legs on a circle, it needs to bend less and be made straighter throughout its body, this is called “hollowing”. If the hind legs swing outside of the circle more bend is required to correct the balance of the horse. It can be seen from the ground, if you watch the legs alone and where they land. Even on straight lines like down the long sides of the arena or across the diagonals you can see if the horse is traveling with its legs lined up. When they travel with the hind legs to the inside it is called “two tracking”. A fault that needs to be corrected as when this occurs the horse is not stepping under himself and this causes a lack of engagement. It will never be able to collect if it is allowed to travel on two tracks. You will often see a horse come down the centre line straight but then swing to one side at the halt. I think this is because they find it hard to stand in balance with their hind legs under themselves and hence they put their hind legs out the side to make it easier for themselves. This can be attributed to conformation. When hind legs are correctly under their bodies they will naturally come “uphill” which is the result of collection. So the stronger and more athletically developed the horse is, the easier it is for it to be straight. So let’s look at conformation. If the horse is bum high it makes it impossible for the horse to bring its hind legs under himself and lift the forehand to achieve collection. If the hind legs are too straight the horse can’t bend the hocks sufficiently to truly engage. These type of horses avoid straightness as it is simply uncomfortable for them to travel as a dressage horse. These horses should be pleasure horses and not tormented in arenas as prospective performance horses.   Veterinary Issues   Horses that have veterinary issues

SUPPLENESS

      Suppleness is the ability for the horse to be able to bend its’ lateral and longitudinal muscles. If a horse is supple it is flexible and gymnastically strong, enabling him to swing in his back. This allows the horse to travel free of tension with cadence in the movement. There are two muscle groups which need to be developed. The lateral muscles allow the horse to bend from side to side. These are responsible for the amount of bend a horse can give through the body and neck and flexion. If a horse is supple, it will travel on a circle line with correct flexion without falling in or out of the circle. Hence it will be in balance. When in balance it can hold a good rhythm   The longitudinal muscles run from the horse’s poll to the top of the tail along its top line. These muscles need to be developed to enable the horse to hold a frame (roundness). A good top line gives the horse strength to be able to collect which is necessary to be able to do the more difficult dressage moves. Now horses need to be ridden correctly to make them supple. They need to develop muscles much the same as we do in the gym. “Use it or lose it”, sums it up. Horses need to be prepared and worked daily to keep flexible and athletically sound.   Tension plays a big part in the horse becoming “stiff”. Therefore mental soundness is also a contributing factor to a horse remaining supple. If the horse gets stressed during training it will start to hold its muscles tight and this stops the horse moving with looseness. Looseness or being over the back is what gives the horse “cadence” in its movement. It moves with big even and open steps with “swing”. Appearing like it is dancing. That is what dressage is all about. It should look effortless and enjoyable for both horse and rider. How do we develop suppleness?   I like to ask the horse to stretch its neck to my stirrup whilst standing at halt in both directions at the commencement of a session. Then it is important to ride lots of changes of direction meaning serpentines, circles ,figure of 8’s and loops. Making sure you ask for the same amount of bend in both directions. This can be done at all paces. I vary the amount of bend on each occasion. Sometimes asking for the required amount as is necessary in a dressage test and other times more than is expected. I want to be able to ask the horse to put its head and neck wherever I

THE AFFECT OF HORSE FLOAT DESIGN ON LOADING

  Have you ever wondered why your Horse won’t go on your Float or other Floats? Do you think it’s all Training?…….well it isn’t. Horses often refuse to enter Horse Floats because of design or maintenance deficiencies.   Inadequate Horse Float Design directly makes it more difficult for an Owner to load their Horse!!!! I’ll deal with a number of these one by one and give you the reasons behind the thinking of Horses “Listen to Your Horse” for they are very good Judges and are rarely wrong. Horses are “Panicaholics and Claustrophobics” …….so why should they enter a “Tin Can on Wheels?” So here is a list of some of the things that affect loadability. he angle of the back Ramp The existence or not of a back Leg to the Centre Division The View The Height of the Roof The Noise level of the Float The openness or lightness of the interior The footing   BACK RAMP ANGLE   When a Horse approaches the back Ramp of a Horse Float, it immediately assesses the Float but more particularly, whether it can fit in the Hole. The Angle of the Ramp dictates the decision of the Horse for the steeper the angle, the more the “Optical Illusion” that the Horse receives, relevant to whether it can fit inside, is going to hit it’s Head, or not. For the steeper the angle of the Ramp, the more the eye sight of the Horse makes it think it can’t fit in. It is made to focus on the Roof. Add to that, the eye sight of a Horse and the fact that it has a blind spot directly in front of it, steep ramps and the pre-occupation with the Roof, immediately creates Horse Float Loading resistances. The steepness of the Ramp also promotes slipping and loss of grip by a Horse attempting to climb it and therefore a loss of confidence. Any such loss directly impounds upon the willingness or not to then enter a Float and resistances begin. If this is not balanced by an ability of an Owner to take remedial Training action, major float loading fights can ensue, thus compounding further, the dislike for Floating.   ROOF HEIGHT   Of course, the Lower the Roof Height, the more difficult it is to load your Horse. The reasons are obvious. Many have hit their Heads in the past of course but the majority worry about hitting their Heads. Before I came along in 2000, the maximum Height of Horse Float Rooves was 2150mm. As I commenced terrorizing Horse Float Manufacturers on this Website, I gradually dragged some kicking and screaming to 2170mm up to 2005 and then since, some

SAFE TOWING OF HORSE FLOATS

    put video portal vid   This is the forgotten subject of Equestrian Industry teaching. It is one of the most important and your horse relies upon you knowing it off by heart. How people can be allowed to tow horses around without a Towing License is beyond me.   Rather than advise how you should tow a horse float, I will tell you how I do it as I break every rule in the book to give my horses a safe and comfortable ride. I am not advising you to break the road rules. Perish the thought. KNOW THE LIMITS OF YOUR HORSE I know the speed limit of every horse that I float, within the first couple of kilometers. You must know the limits to your horse and you must drive beneath thresh hold. Different horses have differing limits. This depends on which ‘Super Goose” has floated the horse in the past, whether they have had bad experiences or not and if they are ‘Scramblers or Climbers’ or not. Believe it or not but unbroken horses never have floating problems, never move around in floats and can withstand speeds around corners etc higher than any seasoned horse. Humans and bad floats ruin good horses. SPEED You can literally go as fast as all safety factors will allow….as long as you are driving in a straight line. It matters not to horses. Traveling around bends is the all important subject. I cannot explain here how to take every single corner however a good rough guide is to be at least 10k slower than the Dept of Road Transport recommended speed sign for individual corners. There are other conditions that dictate speed around certain corners however. ROAD CAMBER A corner that has a camber running away from it must be taken slower than a corner that is built like a race track, with the camber sloping down to the inside. The camber of the road is a major enemy of the horse being floated and drivers’ should be taking total notice of the camber of each and every corner or bend, prior to reaching them and taking the appropriate action. The steeper the sideways fall in the road, the slower you must go. If  I am driving down a straight road and I notice a particularly steep camber, I will sit right up against the white line and in some cases, with my right hand wheels to the right of the centre line. Providing conditions and traffic is safe, I will do what ever it takes to provide a smooth ride for the horse. If I am driving along a two or three lane highway and even though I

HORSE FLOAT WALL CLIMBERS

    There is nothing more frustrating than to experience and witness, the frantic actions of the horse that climbs the walls of a horse float. Over the years, I have floated many unbroken horses and have always noticed that they are ‘rock solid’ inside the float and are not easily upset. The same with foals, weanling and yearlings. Having a horse climb the wall is the least of my worries with these horses. In fact, I have deliberately tested a few of them, just to see how easily they can be upset or even worse, turned into ‘wall climbers’ I have never really been able to extract much of a reaction from them. 5 weanlings in one float. Not a problem   THE CAUSES   Bad Drivers’, caused by the zero training via Pony Club or other avenues. Traveling too fast around bends or braking too abruptly causing the horse to lose it’s footing. Often Males who will not listen to their wives or daughters and are basic petrol heads at heart. No matter how slow they go, they are going too fast!! Centre divisions that extend all the way to the floor. These guarantee the ruination of horses.   Centre Divisions that extend down too low. A common design fault these days. Stopping the horse from spreading the legs. New floats are being made in South Australia, with this design fault.     Rough Horse Floats. Rattle Traps with high noise levels or even new floats with high noise levels. Dark and dingy horse floats with poor lighting and small windows.Storm Doors closed can trigger them through panic and chostrophia. This float arrived here with the horse climbing the walls and shoes ripped off. It only had the little window near the front door. I advised the people to lift the roof and leave the front and side gaps open. The horse was cured on the trip home and has never done it since. Thus proving my point yet again.   A lack of viewing options that the Horse needs to cater for the ‘flight response’ and the natural wants and needs. It has always been noted by me that Horse Floats only have windows positioned in the blond spot of the Horse when their eyes are actually on the sides of the heads   New and unusual noises like the wheel bearings on the way out.     VIEW Where are the eyes of a Horse? ( on the sides of their head) Where are the blind spots in the field of view of a Horse? (dead in front and behind  them) Then why is every Float window in the front and about 2 foot below their

LOADING AND FLOATING OF THE HORSE (Thousands of words)

      The loading and floating of horses is the stuff that divorces are made of. If you are a horse husband and the wife’s horse isn’t wanting to go in the float, get out of there fast!! Kids and dogs have been known to get into major drama if within range when things go wrong. Horse Floats are called Horse Trailers in the US.   If this happens whilst you are at a Show, you will quickly inherit a dozen other experts as well as onlookers. The experts will be all trying their pet system out on your horse and the onlookers will all be hoping like hell that the horse doesn’t go in and that the embarrassment goes on for as long as possible. Each year, horses all over Australia get severely injured and killed by floating accidents of varying degrees. From Float rollovers to horses getting down because they have lost their footing from either slippery surfaces, too much speed around bends by the driver, over braking because of a lack of concentration or horses with psychological disorders caused by all of the above and other reasons. Climbers or scramblers being the most common. Then there are the injuries caused outside the float. Since the invention of the rope halter and the Parelli lead rope in this country, 13 years ago, and due to the fact that they are not sold with instructions, many severe accidents happen during the dangerous tying up procedures coupled with the ill designed horse floats in this country. Each combine to make the outside of horse floats as well as the inside, death traps waiting to happen. Here are just a few examples that I see in my everyday work as a horseman and re-educator I have never seen a float with a tie up point that is set at the correct height. This causes horses to get a front leg over  the lead rope, lift its head and flip over on the ground still tied up with the front leg over the rope. It also causes lead ropes to get hooked beneath the mudguard, causing horse to reef its head up violently, bending the mudguard and often cutting horses legs.   Horse getting hooked around the spare wheel with the resultant “all hell breaking loose”    Horse getting rope halter caught around the incredibly dangerous and poorly designed back ramp handle and hook and hanging the horse during violent pulling back with resultant head cuts or neck injuries.     THE TEACHING OF HORSE OWNERS So, who teaches all of the existing horse owners and those born into or entering the Industry Well the answer is basically, no-one!! Pony Club

PURCHASING THE DRESSAGE HORSE

  I have to a lot of Dressage Days, Club, State and National and the one thing that I notice and wonder about, is that the majority of all Riders are sitting on Horses that are less than SUITABLE for Dressage and many that can’t go on in Dressage. Further, this lack of education within the Industry, on how to buy Horses that are ‘fit for purpose’ condemns many of our Friends to a Life of Hell and of course the Owners to disappointment and frustration. How would you like being made to enter the Sydney to Surf if you weren’t up to the task?   Dressage is probably the most difficult of Horse Sports with Years involved in getting up the Grades and probably at least 7 Years to get to the top. People don’t get many chances during their Career as time goes fast and before you know it, you are starting to get Arthritic, especially if you are a serious Player. Hips or Knees going early on for many. So what should you not buy or what should you???……….     CONFORMATION   Basically, conformation is everything. It starts and ends with it and the build of the Horse dictates many things. TEMPERAMENT   This will influence your experience, your frustration levels, your progress, your scores and much more. SEX   There is no doubt that Geldings are more reliable and LESS RESISTANT than Mares AGE If you are serious, buy them Young for they get Old quickly and soon pass their optimum effective Age. BREEDING   Breeding is a complete Lottery. You can never guarantee getting what you want no matter how good you are at the Game. It is far better to buy Young Stock that are on the Ground and let the Breeders lose all the money, besides, you can see precisely what you are getting and what you want, but now, back to CONFORMATION Frozen Semen and Chilled is the Stuff of Gamblers and in the majority of Cases, it fails. Buy on the Ground.   BREEDS   Don’t buy: Quarter Horses (are built for getting down and dirty with cattle, have horrible movement and bounce on back Legs)   Frieshians   Arabs (wrong build – rump high – straight back Legs – can’t sit)   Thoroughbreds. (not the brain for the job plus unsoundness issues)   WHAT TO BUY?   If you have serious Plans for Dressage, you have to be riding a Warmblood. If you are a Casual Dressage Rider however, consider the following: Australian Stock Horse or Cross   Percheron Cross   Clydie Cross   Cleveland Bay (although can be ‘behind the Leg’   Cob Breeds (normal Dressage and Pony

CROOKED VIDEO PRODUCTION

    HORSES FOR SALE VIDEO CLIPS Yes, they are all the rage and everyone’s a Hollywood Producer. Billy Joel in ‘Piano Man’ said something like “There’s Paul at the Bar, he is a ‘REAL ESTATE NOVELIST” and so it is that many of the Horse Sales Video’s have become Hollywood Productions, with many interesting yet not seen by the Multitudes, techniques.   I recently started Horse Purchase Assessments…..after attempting to educate through Facebook with my Quiz of the Week and getting attacked. We have now assessed 6 Potential Purchases, ranging from $$5,500 to $25,000 and found 5 out of the 6 suspect, by just watching the Video. One Client, 15 Horses, all suspect in some way. Then this Week, I had a quite an experienced Victorian Lady who watches all of the Stallions and Dressage with the Stars, with vengeance and she sent me a Video of a Gelding, asking could we give an opinion as she was just practicing to “Get her eye in” We found a number of things that raised concern in the Production of the Video.   ASSESS THE SELLER FIRST – The Horse second   It is my advice to you, to learn about reading the Seller, not the Horse, for it is the Seller that is your worst enemy. Judge the Seller, on their honesty and the best way to do that is to carefully examine the Video for Sale. What Tricks have been used? Have they run the Horse like a Dog and then very subtly slowed the speed of the Video down to show bigger movement like in Holland?   Have they filmed it on the same Day?   Is the Video Edited and Cut?   Is the format of the Video the same all the way through??? 16.9 or 4.3???   Is it Sunny one Day and Rainy in another part of the Video?   Are the Shadows around the Arena different throughout the Video, showing different times of filming of the Horse???     Do they ride walk, trot and canter on BOTH REINS??? or equally on BOTH REINS???   DO THEY SHOW THE DOWNWARD TRANSITIONS???????????????   Do they show Bend, Suppleness, Straightness?   Do you see any technically incorrect ridden moves? Like incorrect flexion for a Traverse? Incorrect flexion for a Counter Canter?   Do you see an Olympic Rider Counter Cantering a 4 Year old, with incorrect flexion, to cover up unsoundness in one Corner of the Horse?   Do you fall for the Slow Mo effect and the Mr. Whippy or Flags on Sticks frightening the Bejeezuz out of Young Horses?     and much more????   Do they Show the Changes both ways??? or do

BUYING A HORSE. EVERY SCAM, EVERY TRICK

  2017 It has become very dangerous to buy from Professional Riders’, Coaches, Olympic People, EA Officials and others. To many of them have been found to not do the right thing   It’s a sad Day when one has to say that but 2017 saw People ripped off by dozens of Professional Equestrian Australia Coaches and Olympic Representatives. Don’t You be one!! and   DON’T BUY AT AUCTIONS. You have only a 10% CHANCE OF a genuine Horse!!! Go here 20/12/17           I appologize for the length of this and it could run for 100 Pages. Things are getting worse and the Internet has driven the flush of ‘Crooked Horse Dealers’ around the Country where every ‘Scum Bag’ can get a quid…your quid!!!! Go here the latest Online tactics   March, 2012 She was 5 in this Vid and I see she has just had her 2nd Foal. This is written for those entering the Industry The purchase of your first horse will be probably the most crucial decision that you will make in your riding career.   A substantial percentage of the general horse community handle the truth a little carelessly shall we say, when they sell horses. There are outright crooks and then the many others  who will tell the white lie or simply omit to tell you the negative. The following is information and hard lessons learnt over 40 years, being a Government assessor for Consumer Affairs, Consultant and Court witness. It is information designed and aimed at the amateur or those entering the Industry. CATEGORIES OF RIDERS.   There are five categories of riders and there are also five categories of horses. Lucky for us!! 1. Learner Rider 2. Novice Rider 3. Average Rider 4. Good Rider 5. Excellent Rider. The trick is to buy the horse that fits your category.   LEARNER RIDER HORSE Normally bombproof or as close to it that they come. (Incidentally, there are no bombproof horses.) The ‘Learner Rider horse’ normally has a bad mouth and this is one area that most amateur advisors’ do not understand. ‘Learner Rider Horses’ by their description have Learner Riders’ on them all of the time. Learner Riders’ have bad hands and this gives the horses they ride, bad mouths. I have ridden and purchased hundreds of them and the fact that they have bad mouths does not preclude them from being good Learner horses. They all can be tuned up and given new brake pads later by professional riders.   OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER   Try to lease or get the horse on trial.   Always consult experts in the Industry. Have them assess the short list of horses

RISK MANAGEMENT & THE LAW

    Since this Site Pioneered Horselaw in this Country, 18Years ago, many things have improved but they still have a long way to go.   I coined this quote.   “Horsemanship – the Art of reading the future, with ‘Risk Management’ in Mind”   25th Nov, 2017   Here we are, last Saturday, Dressage……     The Trailer Car Park is not the place to re-educate an 18 Hands Warmblood that is threating to Bolt!!!!!   Equestrian Australia has failed in Risk Management Education and failed on upholding the worthless ‘Code of Ethics” Since September 11th, Risk Management Insurance has been basically impossible to obtain for the Horse Industry and has decimated a fair portion of the businesses in it.   Historically, the Australian Horse Industry has been a Risk Management nightmare and in some ways, they had it coming to them. Now, the Insurance Companies are trading off guarantees for improved practices, in return for the supply of limited Insurance risk. I note that very little has changed. Individuals and Clubs are not getting the message. This is a small attempt at warning you in actual real world scenario’s, how and why you could be sued during your life as a horse person. I am not a Lawyer and advise that you seek Legal Advice if required, however I have studied Law and consulted in many Court Cases involving horses and Risk Management issues. Moreover, as a Horseman, I deal with and think about such issues every day and in reality, can see dangers and risks far before others.     REASONS FOR GUILT   Remember, to be found guilty, they have to prove Negligence on your part, however, it can cost you big $$$ to defend any matter. You are best off protecting yourself before hand. Think safety and risk. If you are found Negligent by the Court, your Insurance Company will most likely refuse to pay out. Here are some possibilities:   You sell a horse and it bucks the buyer off a week later, injuring them. They can sue you and if I, as an investigator, can prove that during that hors’s past history, that it had behaved in a similar manner, you could well be found guilty.   You use drugs to mask an injury or say arthritis. A blood test or X-Rays can find you responsible at Law.   You advertise a horse and you allow the potential buyers’ to ride it without the appropriate safety gear and they injure themselves, they can sue you and probably win.   You are selling a horse, it is classed as a good rider’s horse. A Learner Rider comes and you allow them to ride it.

MOUNTING THE PROBLEM HORSE

    A LETTER FROM ENGLAND…   MOUNTING PROBLEMS CAUSED BY MOUNTING MISTAKES   Dear Mr John O`leary, I would like to ask for you advice: I have been starting a young horse just 4 in June and I did follow your video instruction ` Mouthing The Horse`. The horse stops as soon as the long lines (trough the roller) touch he bit,on his mouth, turning and looking at you. It was going absolutely fine as I sat on him following the one rein stop but unfortunately lounging another horse in the round pen I twisted my knee and pulled the middle cartilage ligament. To cut the story short an army chap  offered to sat on the horse (obviously it convinced my wife that he was very experience in braking horses,etc the usual `bla,bla) as I am enable to do riding for the time being I agreed.   The horse was perfect twice when he sat on him (I was holding the long lines and helping to get him up and down of the horse) but the last time when he tried to dismount for himself (after telling this guy to hold onto one rein and he did not) the horse panic and buck him off (nothing rodeo like) and now I have a problem where I have to restart the process and tried to teach him to allow getting up and off without panicking. My question is if there a solution to the problem without resorting to `heavy` tactics. I would not mind pay for your advice (as long as is reasonable) as I just got scared of sending my horse away as there is not many `breakers` that I could trust. The horse is a well bred Warm Blood that came from Germany and he was not handled at all as a foal. He does accept the saddle and I brought one `Ardal` (dummy jockey with boots) and does join up,ect.) but he is `worried` type. If you can help and advice I would be very grateful.   Hi Carol Incidentally, it is not my system that You are using Long Lines whilst Mounting, however…… I always remember this poor Lady …she was heard to shout’ “Oh Christ, she’s going” There is nothing worse than this happening as Horses get a Psycho Problem about it, that if not fixed, lasts forever. I don’t know what Your definition of (to quote You) ” heavy` tactics.” but I can assure You, I have fixed dozens of these, but You must embrace “Leg Restraints” Now I don’t call this ‘Heavy Tactics’ for I have saved the Lives of Thousands of Horses, with them and never hurt one. The thing with Your

Riding the horse that shy’s

  “A bold rider makes a bold horse and a nervous rider makes a nervous horse”   Horses with Ulcers shy way more than if they haven’t got such   Without doubt,  more riders fall off horses due to the horse shying than from horses bucking. Shying is a description for the horse unexpectedly, suddenly and violently jumping one way or the other and is caused by the horse exhibiting fear of something that it has seen come into it’s surroundings. This fear of whatever, and the resultant leap to escape is caused by the natural inbred flight response, which forms part of the makeup of the horse and stems from their evolution as a hunted animal. Their eyes are set on the size of their heads in order to have a field of vision measuring almost 360 degrees and they are ever vigilant. Some horses shy only because of this natural instinct and yet I have met others that purposely manufacture things to shy at. Others do it to get out of flat work. I have met more than one budding ‘Dressage Queen’ who has been chopping down the odd spooky tree. Horses shy far less in company than when ridden alone. The lead horse will shy far more than the rest of the following horses and normally they don’t at all. Reason? That the lead horse has to be the total leader. It’s head is one meter in front of the rider’s and therefore, in it’s mind, it is doing all the leading. The trick is to convert the horse’s thinking that you are the one doing the leading and it is only the vehicle. To have it be totally confident in your leadership. It doesn’t want to lead, it wants you to. Certain types of rider’s can suppress or enhance shying, depending upon their attitude, personality and riding style. I have a saying, which I think is one of the truisms of riding horses.   HORSE STARTING The quality of the Horse starting is crucial. Those who do not ‘Bush Bash’ and ‘Road/Traffic Train’ expose the Horse to a less confidence career. All of mine have gained much boldness from this. The effect that a nervous rider has on a horse is amazing. It happens immediately and has a lasting effect; increasing in intensity the longer that nervous rider is aboard. It is so evident to me, that I could send a lone nervous rider around the 5 kilometer block on a horse today and tomorrow I could ride the same horse, around the same course and write down the location and describe the events that happened the day before. It is therefore evident that failure by

TRAFFIC TRAINING THE YOUNG HORSE

    Today’s drivers’ have little to no regard for the safety of horses or the result that excessive speed can have upon a ridden trail horse. It is dangerous out there and if one is to safely ride in traffic, the horse must be basically bombproof.    Traffic training the horse is a dangerous game and should really be undertaken by a professional, however many pleasure riders’ undertake the job themselves.     Drugs are now in 1 in 20 Drivers so remember that.!!!!!!!!!!   I traffic train every horse that I break in and they are all out in the traffic within the first ten days of the process. Over the years and of the thousands of horses, I have noticed that almost all of them have successfully made the transition to be able to handle the various frightening events that occur in traffic. It has been interesting to me that it has never mattered what the breed has been and that the young or green ‘breaker’ is far easier to train than the more seasoned horse that is introduced later in it’s career. There are a couple of reasons why. By far the most important reason for my success is that I never transfer a negative vibe to any horse. I have a saying that completely sums up what ensures success or failure. “A bold rider makes a bold horse – A nervous rider makes a nervous horse”   It follows therefore, that if a rider is nervous in any way, they simply should never attempt to traffic train any horse as they are a danger to themselves. Success comes from the rider being a strong leader and that is exactly what the horse is looking for. If the rider is in control, is an assertive confident type, the horse will be happy to place its life in their hands. There are a few rules that one must follow however:    Obviously the young horse should be led out by an older, seasoned horse for the first few rides. It should then hit the front now and again and dropping back in the pack relevant to fear.   The young horse should be shielded as much as possible by the older horse.   The rider must never ride with a contact, grab the reins up just because a car is coming or tense up in any way. THAT FRIGHTENS Horses.   The rider on the seasoned horse must ride totally for and as a servant to the young horse. The Rider of the Young Horse calls every move, every gait, every speed.   The rider of the young horse must never allow it to look away from

TRAINING A HORSE TO STAND DURING MOUNTING

  I get a lot of requests for this subject. How do we train a horse to keep still while we mount it? The answer is in the Lateral Mouth and with the use of one rein only. You cannot make or train a horse to stand by using two reins. It is simply not possible. What are you going to do, pull harder? The horse will reverse, do piaffe, rear, dance sideways, passage, spin, the options are endless. The answer is in using one rein only and when I say ‘one rein’, I mean just that. I mean with a giant loop in the other rein which means zero contact on the outside rein. Please remember I said that…..but first, here is how You don’t do it… This is called ‘Fighting with Horses’ LATERAL MOUTH   Most horses that I mean have poor lateral mouths. That is the mouth that you are using when you pull on one rein only and ask the horse to flex. If you do this with most horses, they will spin around in circles because they think you want them to spin around in circles. If you get a newly delivered ‘Breaker’ from a Trainer who is not big on the lateral mouthing of horses or is not into flexing exercises, the horse will definitely walk around in circles if you pull on one rein. The more pressure that you have to use on one rein to get the horse to ‘kiss your boot’ the less the Class of the mouth. Go read ‘The Power of the One Rein Stop’ or go watch these: REIN HANDLING DURING MOUNTING   Most people are taught to bunch the reins up on the top of the neck in front of the saddle and get. This system has NO control. Horsemen get on suspect horse like this:   If you are mounting a safe horse, you may just use the inside rein and let the outside rein hang there, doesn’t matter. You will only be using the inside rein.   Take up the rein grip and mount your horse. Regardless of which grip, as the horse goes to move off, shorten the inside rein to make the horse flex around towards you and to walk around a small circle on a dime. You will do this by twisting your wrist in the case of the photo above or simple taking the inside rien as you rise through the air on the way up to the saddle. Now do not get carried away with trying to fix the horse right here and now. Before going on, go and read this: Problem Horses and Making a Horse Stand   You

RE-TRAINING THE STANDARD BRED HORSE

    PACING AND AMBLING   WHY DO THEY?   See the Video here They are Bred to do it.   They are hobbled to do it   They are built to do it   They are muscle developed to do it   They are tense to do it   They are often belted if they do it.     PRIORITY CHECK LIST   There are many things that you must work through and to eliminate in order to successfully re-train the Pacer.   Re-build the muscle groupings by relaxing the longitudinal muscles and strengthening the under muscles.   Relax the lateral muscles   re-correct the neck and top line.   Attempt to lift the back and to tighten the belly   Gain more engagement from the hind legs and get them beneath the horse more.   Teach the horse that it is ok to canter or trot.   Relax the horse by being empathetic, understanding and to guide with softness.       VETERINARY Eliminate all Veterinary issues. Make sure there is no injuries and pain within the horse. Sore horses are tense horses and tense horses will Pace.   THE MOUTH   The first thing that I do with one of these most lovely horses, is to check out the mouth. Surprisingly, they generally have a far better mouth than the Thoroughbreds off the track but they can all be improved. You have to check the ‘Lateral Mouth’ and the ‘Front Wheel Brakes’to check the Lateral Mouth as you are going to be using this a lot.   Standard Bred Horses are often stiff laterally and you will be needing to improve this for many reasons. for one exercise that you should train and establish. Go for another exercise that you need to teach your horse. Go here for another and if you want the best re-mouthing system on the Planet.   To check out the front brakes, simply put a bridle and roller on the horse, attach two lunge reins, one to each side of the bit, pass them back through the rings of the roller, get behind the horse and prepare to long rein it, but don’t.   Stand still and wait for it to go to walk forward of it’s own accord. Set your hands in concrete and allow the horse the decision to run into the contact and for it to choose how much force that it will be wanting to apply to it’s own mouth before giving, stopping and backing off the pressure that it has established. Right there and then, you will have felt the ‘Front Wheel Brakes’ and can rate them out of 10. You will want to improve that mouth

KICKING OR BITING WHILST RIDDEN

    I was promoted to write this as a horse kicked one of our staff this week. She was on one horse, but another one kicked her in the leg. Such behavior by a horse, whilst under the control of a rider or even in hand, is simply un-acceptable and it just means that the ground rules have not been set and the horse does not respect the rider enough. Horses should behave themselves whilst under saddle. They should not even pull a face at another horse, let alone try to bite one or kick. For whenever this occurs, the rider of both horses are in danger of serious injury or even death. The horse being attacked could also kick to protect itself, thereby getting the rider of the original offending horse. The number of serious injuries that I have seen and heard about are many The offending horse is always trying to kick the other horse, but they invariably make contact with the leg of the rider instead or as well as the other horse. Such was the case this week. So what should we do to ensure it doesn’t happen? Well, the horse breaker should never accept it and most will not. That should be the end of it but horses soon learn that they can stretch the boundaries and the rules when with weak owners. Put quite simply, the horse should be quite aware of the consequences for such bad behavior and for that reason, never think about doing it. There are no magical fixes to this problem, no technical procedures or mind blowing training techniques. Simply, enough discipline at the first sign of problems will put an end to it. The horse must know why it is being disciplined of course but that is only a matter of judgment. The moment a horse lays their ears back at an accompanying horse, the rider should react with some form of negative re-enforcement. That can be any of the following:   A verbal growl A sharp kick A slap with the whip A slap with the end of the reins any of the above and at whatever strength that is required for the particular personality of the horse or the severity of the crime. The discipline must be at the instant of course. The later, the least effect it will have and the more possible confusion there will be.   VETERINARY Such Horses are invariably attempting to Communicate with you.   COMMUNICATION I want you to understand that Horses are communicating with you 100% of the time. They are reading your Mind and your Vibes and they are TRYING TO PLEASE!!! Not “Listening to Horses” has been

TRAINING A HORSE TO STAND

    This system works on every horse….providing you follow it to the millisecond.   How many times have you been to a hack show and watched the finalists in the line up. Now, I thought they were supposed to be lined up for the judge and to remain stationary, but a lot of them keep doing little walk around circles, normally while the judge isn’t looking. Although the failure to be able to make the horse halt has reached epidemic proportions allowing horses to have their own way has become an accepted thing now. The horses are not trained to stand and the owners’ know it. So it’s just like the parent in the Restaurant with the ‘brat’ of a child. They know that if they try to correct the kid in public they have no hope and so they surrender all control in return for the second worst scenario. So what is the answer for this horse?.   Preparation and training is the key and it should start with the very first ride by the breaker. It doesn’t matter though, what age the horse is or how little training it has had. You can change them all and the key to this system is simply that you are making the good things easy and the bad things hard. Letting the horse work out what it prefers, which will be the good thing as you have designed it that way.   Getting back to the breaker or the young green horse for a bit. Every time you mount up, the most important thing you can do is to just sit there for a few minutes. Do nothing and if the horse tries to move, stop it. Do the training in the formative years of the young horse and it will be there forever. So why do people allow horses to fidget and walk off without permission? Especially in competition? They do it because they know their horse will play up if told ‘No’. They know their training is not established enough to say no.   How do we train it then? Natural horsemanship of course. Dare yourself to rise above what is normal. Stop fighting with horses. Learn to make them fight with themselves. Turn yourself into a bystander, not a participant.   HOW DO NORMAL PEOPLE DO IT?   They always have the false belief that they can keep a horse standing by using more and more force on it’s mouth. By putting the brakes on.<   The result of this is that the horse pulls against the rider who is also pulling. Force meets force. How can that make the horse stand. You cannot. The horse can

THE REARING HORSE

    I rank the rearing horse as the most dangerous of the vices that can face a rider during their career. Give me the buck jumper, shyer, bolter any day as I believe the danger of serious injury is far more acute with the rearer. Riders’ are the predominant cause of rearing in horses under saddle. Horses rear as an evasion and they evade because of either a lack of riding with justice or that the Owner hasn’t “Listened” to them. You see, Horses are communicating to us the whole time and when we don’t listen, the top of the range, “screaming’ can mean Bucking or rearing. There are few horses that are just plain naughty. THE CAUSES Veterinary Problems and a Communication from the Horse to the Rider. (Listen to your Horse) (read Sacroilliac artic   Ulcers   Ill fitting Saddle   A failure to answer leg, a failure to go forward and a failure of the rider to have the horse forward.   Frustration and confusion in the horse   Learned evasions (caused by Humans)   Upward mobility of the mind   Too much riding on the arena   Teeth   Incorrect Bit   and much more, none of it the fault of the Horse   Hi Mr and Mrs HP, Just wanted to write to say how happy I am with the barrel D bit I purchased. My 4yo Arabian had been acting like he’d never been mouthed lately, complete and utter resistance in running reins, ridden, or even putting the bridle on. He was rearing, panicking and generally unhappy with my old loose ring snaffle that I had. I put it down to pain and pinching. The first day with his new bit from you, he was a different horse. Not a single protest, no rearing, no trying to flip over and evade, completely calm and relaxed. I was able to lunge him with running reins on for the first time without him slamming the brakes on and trying to rear, or spin and evade. 5 days in and he is letting me bridle him and is just so soft and relaxed. Best bit I’ve ever bought. Thank you! Regards Vanessa Resonance Endurance   Owner not listening to Horse   Just plain naughty (rarely)   A failure of the Rider to train the Horse to think down and to be down   A lack of trained submissiveness.   Allowing Horses to travel ‘above the Bit’   in other words, almost always not to do with attitude from the Horse     So let’s examine them one by one: A lack of forwardness and a failure to answer leg is probably the most common cause. It

REVERSING YOUR HORSE

    YES WE SHOULD You will hear some English Riding Instructors’  say that you should never reverse an English trained competition horse because it will stop the horse halting square or even worse STEP BACK. Heaven forbid. The funny thing is though, that as soon as you get to the  Elementary or third level dressage, you have to reverse up to five steps and most do it very badly. All Western competition horses have to reverse. It is part of their every day training and a movement in every event. With your general pleasure horse…it matters not. So which way should we go? What are the pros and cons?   WHY SHOULD WE The reasons why we should reverse our horses far outweigh the reasons why we shouldn’t. Here are the reasons why we should.     If the young horse learns to reverse on command, it always does it well  Trying to teach ‘old dogs new tricks’ never gets the perfect result.    If the young horse can reverse, it will always have a better mouth.   WHY? Because horses with reverse gear included in  their mind will always have better mouths. That’s because they have a balanced expectation of where they may be going next or what gear they may be put into rather than only thinking the forward and faster to overdrive gears. It puts balance into a horses mind. I call it ‘speed rating’   The horse that reverses almost always has better brakes.   If you are a Trail Rider, you may want to reverse back rather than hurt your horse in the rabbit burrows or the from the brown snake just in front of you. You may want to open a gate even.     Most riders do not back their horses correctly and as a result, most horses do not back correctly. Even some Australian Olympic riders, so don’t feel bad.   THE GREEN HORSE OR BREAKER With the Breaker or ‘Green Breaker’, you will NOT be using leg!!!!! The greener the young horse is the more hand and less leg you will be able to use. As the horse progressively understands leg better, you can start to introduce a little as you ask for the back up and increase it over time until the hand is totally eliminated as with the trained horse. For the mature horse however, do this:  HOW YOU DO IT?   Bring your horse to the halt.   Stand for five seconds at least.   Pick up your contact to the point where you have “Shut the front gate” In other words, if the horse attempts to move forward it cannot.    Fix your hands in concrete at

STOPPING THE BUCKING/BOLTING HORSE

  I get these letters almost every week so Hence this article: Greetings, I found your website (and lots of great information) and, yes, I hang on the reins. I realize it’s an issue. My issue is rooted in my horse’s ability to take the bit and run away With me. I’ve had this horse for only six months, and he has run off with me three times. The first time, I was riding him on a loose rein and a very relaxed walk just warming up. The hay Truck had pulled up next to the arena, and when the driver let off the air brakes, it frightened him and off he went bucking & Bolting. I fell off and got pretty banged up. About a month later, I was walking in another grassy arena during a Lesson. At one end of the arena, it is very overgrown with weed trees. Something in the trees frightened him and off he went again  bucking & then bolting. He ran around the arena about 10 times at full speed before I could finally gain my balance and grab an outside rein to stop him. These two incidents were during the first two months I owned him.   THE SYSTEM   I use, retrain and recommend the following system to stop bucking and bolting Horses. There may be gimmicks like ‘Buck Stoppers’ but I believe they are only masking the problem. First eliminate the Veterinary however! Most Horses buck because they can but triggered by fear or Human mistakes when they are at the ‘green’ stage.  Generally at mounting. It is often a ‘learned skill’ and if they weren’t allowed to do it in the first place, a lot wouldn’t even get good at it. I have Horses Buck on the lunge or in the Round Pen every day including today. It matters not at all, providing they do not have a Rider on their back. In fact it does them good to have a go and fail to get rid of a saddle or other equipment because I can go to School on their style and tactics and as I said, they get over it and learn that it is a pointless exercise. A lot of young Horses do not know how to buck well and some not at all. I have one of these here right now. Allowing them to Buck, even on the lunge, can give them a look at possible improvements through practice and so with those one’s, I normally discourage them by interfering with their head via the lead. My new ‘Re-Mouthing the Horse’ DVD’s run 7 hours and 24 minutes and yes, I did surpass ‘Gone with

WORMING YOUR HORSE WITH CONTROL & SUCCESS

    The absolute Fool Proof way to ensure success, is to ‘Leg Restraints Train’ Your Horses. End of problem!   Stock Whip training the unbroken Horse with Knee Hobbles   How important is it to worm your horse. Very!! Here are some reasons:    Worms can kill a horse by perforating the stomach lining. Worms can cause death by causing Colic, which can lead to death. A wormy horse never has a nice coat. Worms affect the color of your horse. A wormy steel grey horse will turn lighter grey as do the Australian Blue Heeler Dogs when they need worming. In fact, I can tell if the brand of wormer that I am using at the time has even worked properly. Within 2 weeks, the grey horse should start to noticeably darken. Worms can make a horse hurt inside and this can lead to behavioral problems, even buck jumping.   OTHER IMPORTANT FACTORS Change your wormer brands regularly. Use wormers that do different worm groups. Granules are a poor alternative to proper worming product and have limited effect. Use a wormer that includes botiside during that season Some wormers do not kill certain worms of concern. ie. Tape Worm, Bots, etc.   I CAN’T WORM MY HORSE Horses hate being wormed and soon learn evasion tactics to avoid it. We, as owners, must force our horses to be wormed and to swallow the wormer. It doesn’t all happen by accident. This is why a fair percentage of negligent horse owners’ do not worm their horses. Others go for the easy way out, granules and of late, flavored wormers are appearing on the market. However, nothing can replace good horsemanship and control over your horse. I have never met a horse that I cannot worm or that I cannot influence to improve next time. Why then, do so many people fail with this procedure?   A lack of horsemanship skill and knowledge, caused by a negligent educational system The fact that so many horses do not tie up properly to a solid hitching rail. (See: Training horses to tie up & Halter Breaking the Foal.) That once a horse learns to evade and gets a victory over its owner, it gets progressively worse from that day on. Worm your horse regularly with molasses, not wormer. If you do not want to waste your expensive wormer, get taught how to pull a horses tongue out of it’s mouth so that you can squirt the wormer behind the large bulge in the tongue. This is what the horse uses to get spit the wormer out. As you inject the wormer, let the tongue go, which slides backwards, taking the wormer down

STIFLE PROBLEMS, THEIR RESULTS & TREATMENT

    I would dearly love a $ for every horse that I have to assess due to stifle problems. The simple Veterinary description for this is something like the momentary locking of the patella or knee bone as it crosses back and forth over the joint. This gives horses some discomfort although Veterinary opinion says that there is little or no pain associated with it. I find that a little hard to accept.   This problem can come in varying severity and this can dictate what actions a horse will take in an attempt to rectify the problem. Some just try to work through it with out much affect upon the riders and others actually buck riders off, although in my experience, rarely are they trying to dislodge them. Moreover, they are kicking from the rear end in an attempt to free the locked patella. The causes: A bone chip due to an old knock, fall or other injury.   lack of muscle development in the rear end of the horse. Horses can have the problem in one or both of the hind legs.   An incorrect angle of the back hooves by the Farrier   Being ridden constantly ‘flexed off’ or lacking ‘straightness’   Poor Conformation (straight behind – riding Ponies, Arabs, etc.)   Racing Industry.   Poor feeding of young stock   OCD, especially in Warm Blood Horses in Australia   Broken in too young       HERE ARE THE INDICATORS     CAUSES OF MUSCLE DEGENERATION   Stallions working through the breeding season   A general lack of exercise in horses, usually stabled.   A general lack of correct exercise in horses. ( correctly ridden from behind and round )   Not enough work given when horses are ridden.   Diet? Poor Feeding in their formative Years and not getting the right Feed.   SYMPTOMS   Dis-uniting at the canter.   A refusal to go straight.   Crooked on one rein   Not wanting to take a certain lead.   Changing back onto the preferred lead all the time.   Briefly dragging a back leg.   Locking up the back leg totally   Kicking up in the rear end whilst being ridden.   Bucking people off.   A marked resistance to being backed up   A dislike of walking down steep inclines   Bouncing on back legs at canter   Causing a rider to be on the incorrect diagonal.   Traveling with the Rump in the Air.   carrying the quarters in or out in both directions   Behind the Leg   Trouble with Flying Changes training, including bouncing in the air to get free one side.   Stiff to one side and a lack

CLIPPING THE PROBLEM HORSE

  See the Video here     Clipping horses is a dangerous job at the best of times. The prices these people charge is way too cheap. They deserve a medal.   Most of those that end up doing this valuable job, do so with very little or no knowledge of ‘Horsemanship’ and the use of ‘Restraints’ and it is a wonder more people aren’t severely hurt.   DRUGS These days, I note that some are resorting to drugs. This is a highly questionable practice as their possession of such jobs without Veterinary prescription is illegal, they are administering those drugs without Veterinary accreditation and run a very high risk of things going wrong. Like a lethal reaction to a drug by any horse. The following litigation would without doubt, succeed and any Insurance that the clipping person had would of course be negated due to the illegality. ARE DRUGS GUARANTEED TO WORK? There is then the question of  whether drugs work, what reactions they cause and what sort of training opportunity is being lost due to the use of them. I have noticed over the years, that a drugged horse can explode far more violently than one without the effects of sedation. They also strike with the front legs far higher and without aim. I have also learnt that no matter what the drug is, unless the horse has a general aesthetic, they can suddenly come out of it given the fear ratio. I do believe that drugging for control, in any matter relating to training, is completely counter productive and is in fact a shame as the successful training message is completely missed due to the psychological state of the horse throughout the procedure. LEG RESTRAINTS SOLVES ALL!! On the other hand, restraints such as twitches or leg straps to stop striking or kicking not only achieve success, even more than drugs but retains the message of training and re-educates the horse at the same time. The horse is conscious enough to soak up the fact that the clippers did not kill it during the procedure and an acceptance of them builds for the next occasion when clipping season comes around again. My wife clips each season and she is a 50kg lady. She successfully clips horses that have men have failed to do. She has only required my help on one occasion. She uses the minimum to get the job done but is very cunning in the way that she goes about them. If a horse is suspect, which lot’s are, she will start on their shoulder and do the centre section of the horse first. Then, as the horse gains confidence she goes around the rump

WARNING RE VETERINARY CHECKS FOR PURCHASE

  RESEARCH This article passes on a small snapshot of our Research conducted over the past few Years and promoted by us meeting more and more Horses in Turmoil but Horses being blamed for their behavior Historically and still today around the World, Horses are first blamed for any negative behavior, disciplined, fitted with ‘Bigger Bits’ or even flogged as being ‘naughty horses’ Let me tell you that there are basically NO naughty Horses. Only Confused Horses and Horses crying out for help. 99% of the Cases I have met across my 25,000 sample, have been the fault of Humans.   COMMUNICATION I want you to understand that Horses are communicating with you 100% of the time. They are reading your Mind and your Vibes and they are TRYING TO PLEASE!!! Not “Listening to Horses” has been handed down through the Ages and still is today. This E-Book and the up coming DVD’s which show dozens of Horses in turmoil and communicating to us, hopes to handle this massively important subject, for what may be the first time in the World. I intend to send them to every Veterinary University on the Planet. Any studies by Vet’s in the past have been restricted to ridiculous things such as “Rein Gauges’,     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 and these fitted three categories:   Horses that had a genuine Veterinary affliction   Horses that were made to appear unsound due to incorrect Riding, ill fitting Saddles and the Like, and…   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. We are putting together a major DVD Production of this, to educate, to jolt, to frighten, worry and enlighten Horse Owners everywhere

RIDER INDUCED 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. 99% 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.   The Racing Industry and the enormous wear and tear that comes with that, running Horses too young, hormones, over Battery Hen feeding and….   Rider induced Veterinary Problems.   This article is about the latter: RIDER INDUCED VETERINARY PROBLEMS 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)   The systems are old, have not adapted with the Horse Trainers of the World and are stuck in the dark Ages.   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. Those “Big Names’ then become Coaches and most know little about ‘correct training’ Around and around it goes.   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. In short, the Curriculum of the Pony Club and the

SAND COLIC (A HIGHLY IMPORTANT READ FOR ALL)

      People…and Website Owners,  with a lack of integrity, are distributing, without knowledge, our Recipe, WITHOUT the important information needed to NOT put Horses Lives at risk. Things like dosage, Weight ratio’s of Horses, prior Clinical diagnosis and more. It is NOT AS SIMPLE as they dangerously write on Internet Forums!!!!!!   FOR THE RECORD This was invented by my Uncle, Jo O’Leary,  a highly regarded Country Vet, 60 Years ago. in Naracoorte. South Australia. He had Racing Stables, housed on Sand Hills in the Town. It was placed on the Internet, by me, in the Year 2001 and has helped Thousands of lovely Horses and saved hundreds of lives.   LATEST CASE. 2017 – OUTBACK SOUTH AUSTRALIA   Morphetville Equine Clinic use our Product when other attempts failed on a Horse from Victor Harbor. Success! – Well done brave Vet 🙂 14/3/16 Victor Harbor Vet recommends our Product and advises on Dose Rates. 4 Hours Later, the Life of the Horse is saved (in the Bush)   I think Sand Colic may be the biggest killer of horses in Australia. It has long concerned me, but I wonder how much it concerns the Veterinary Community, here or Internationally. I also think that Sand Colic has become a bit of a “Cash Cow” for the Veterinary Industry and this may be the reason why I cannot find any definitive studies that assist with the prevention or cure of this dangerous horse affliction, which in my observation, is way too prevalent. After conducting exhaustive investigations into the available studies, I am left with the opinion that not enough has been done by the Research Community. I make the following points: Here and in other Countries, Vets’ prescribe paraffin oil as a treatment, cure, prevention. I do not believe that this treatment removes sand. Further, I cannot find any documented studies that proves it works and worst still, we have proven time and time again that it does not work. A big statement coming from a lay person but we have saved the lives of horses, 7 days after being treated by well respected Vet’s. Many times. They had treated with paraffin oil and common additives. (See cases)   Psillium is held aloft as the wonder treatment for the prevention of Sand Colic.  I cannot find any definitive documented proof that this works? Why is it that businesses all over the world sell it and label it as a prevention to Sand Colic when they have no proof? I have contacted many of them. Likewise, ‘Sand Lube’ named products….no documented proof. I don’t doubt that it could work however.   There is a Fodder sold in the Eastern States (name

THE DEBATE – HALTER TRAINING THE FOAL

    The Debate “Do we do it when they are really young, wait until they are weaned or when they are ready to be broken in?…there is my system and “let them grow up and be a Horse” If You had seen the trauma and injuries ( including broken Legs and ruptured Guttural Pouch, that I have seen, You would quickly understand why I have written this and attempted to turn Halter Training around in our Country   Go here for the DVD’s – http://www.horseproblems.com.au/DVD%20Sales.htm#Halter I often hear and read the debate about when we should be halter breaking the foal. Being a very analytical type, I examine with great interest, every system of Horse Training that anyone likes to invent, re-invent and these days, even the systems of ‘Days gone by’ I therefore base this article upon a number of years of experimentation and observation of the career of the foals going forward, particularly looking for the positives or negatives that impact upon their lives and those of their owners’. This is what I have found and these are my arguments to back those opinions up.   THE SYSTEMS   The ‘Natural Horsemanship’ systems of taking a feel, focus, savvy, passive persistence and so on or     The battle of strength system as in, reefing the horse around from side to side until it starts to give, get the message and hopefully follow.   The Rump Rope system.     Here are three basic time frames where Studs or individual owner’s halter break their young stock.     As a foal     As a weanling     Never, until the ‘Breaker’ gets involved’     I shall examine these in reverse order:     TWO YEAR OLD AND UP   I have had the unfortunate experience of having to halter break 2, 3 and up to 8 year old horses on many occasions. The unfortunate experience and a highly dangerous one, is unfortunate on the horse and the Breaker. It is a disaster in terms of Horse Management and verging on cruelty. Such people shouldn’t be in the breeding business.   These horses can never be truly halter broken with a lightness and responsiveness that is consolidated and stays with them through their life. Yes, they will lead but only ever on their terms. Given the right circumstance, they will run through the hand of a handler and make up their own minds.   The only hope that these horses have of almost meeting the quality of true lightness found in option one is that they are halter broken and broken in by a career Horseman of the ‘Good Horsemanship School’ and never by Natural Horsemanship.

LEG RESTRAINTS TRAINING EXPLAINED

      I finally have the time to explain why I train all of my Horses to ‘Leg Restraints’. Here are some of the reasons:   Accidentally, I was there the very first Clinic that Pat Parelli conducted in Australia, all those Years ago. Prior to that Day, virtually every Horseman in the Country, used Leg Restraints within the training of their Horses…..they all went and hid them and they didn’t appear again until about 10 Years later, when I promoted it again via this Website and started selling all the equipment and DVD’s. The Pentecostal NH movement had taken over. There are at least 30 flow on benefits in this training of Horses, via adding these systems to that of the NH, including saving the lives of 100’s of Horses, which we have done   REASONS AND USES   Disc 1 of the Set takes You through the safe use of every type Disc 2 shows the many “Problem Horses’ being fixed easily.   YOUNG STOCK   My Foals are trained from 14 days old and it is to protect them from injury in fences for the rest of their lives. To protect the investment and to save massive Veterinary costs if caught in a fence as so many are.   To put calmness on them and to take away the ‘flight response’ which is the biggest danger that faces them in their domesticated World these days.   To teach them to think things through rather than panic, rip and tear.   To get them used to worst scenarios and to make them good all around safe Horses of the future.     GREEN HORSES   To take a look at the true underlying personality as an assessment. This let’s me know what I am truly dealing with. The personality beneath the surface. Is the Horse prone to ‘lose it’? Is it a panicky type, is it cool, calm and collected. Is it a thinker? Would it kill you if you got hung up?   To teach all Horses that I handle, to stand on 3 legs for unless they are taught, they can never be the best shoeing Horse. because they use the Farrier as their 4th leg and some will drop them, thereby commence the ruination of the shoeing routine.   To be able to handle the back legs of dangerous Horses and to make them safe for Owners   To remove the danger from when a Rider may come off in the future, to save them being dragged and kicked.   PROBLEM HORSES To fix ear shy Horses   To fix kickers   To fix Float scrambles   To fix pawers and hole diggers  

HANDLING OUR FOALS WITH RESPONSIBILITY

2006 I cringe when I am asked to go and halter break a foal, weanling, yearling, 2 yr old or upwards. Two years ago, 20 year old, 25 year old Brood Mares, never halter broken and you know what means to Horse and Handler alike 🙁 Not only is this highly unfair on the poor horses but also the Horse Trainer. High risk for both but it is the horses that I feel for. I have seen them receive everything from broken legs to broken vertebrae whilst fighting against the simple first ask on a lead rope. Blind panic and the natural fight erupts with almost every un-halter broken horse that is older than 7 days. Day 4 To be quite honest with you, I think that people who breed horses and do not handle the young ones early are irresponsible to say the least. When you halter break a foal on about Day 7 of it’s Life, danger is eliminated. Stress is lessened and you have a horse that can be treated, controlled, floated, tied up, hoof trimmed, wormed, teeth and God knows what else.   BUSH FIRES How do they transport a Foal to safety when it isn’t even Halter broken and is totally feral????? You can imagine what those horses that are not halter broken get! I often wonder how many years come off their life span due to missing out on the important things that require control in the young ones. Are they the horses that get more colic later? More worm damage? Crooked legs through a complete lack of corrective trimming?…..and the list goes on and on! So, if you breed a horse, please do the right thing by it. Be a responsible breeder, not like around 60% of all that I have met. Here are a few photo’s of wonderful, healthy, happy, relaxed babies The photo taken today is the result of all of that responsible Breeder behavior, not one of the young horses attempting to jump over the chest rail as happens all around Australia every year.   Halter breaking foals with the bum rope system or with a whip does not produce ‘truly light’ or properly halter broken horses. Yes they lead….only until they say ‘No’. Believe me, I feel them every day. They drive me ‘Bananas’ Take a look at the weanling on the left in the photo. It has it’s head stuck beneath the chest bar. What sort of blind panic would confront 99% of horses under that situation? These ones think, stay cool and just work it out. No drama! Later, when they get hooked in a fence on a new owners property…..no injury. What security for their safe

MY HORSE IS OUT OF IT’S BOX!!!

    Horsemen and Women all over the World, make their living out of correcting out of control horses for owners’. Mostly they succeed easily but often, the horses revert back to their original state. Every week I get letters like this with two today:   LETTER “My 15 yr old daughter needs to read this one! She got the shock of her life last night when her lazy, dead quiet 12 yr old appy came to life during feed time and kicked out at her. He just connected, not serious but he certainly meant it from where I was standing! Maybe now she’ll listen about being too soft on him – I’ve told her from day one (we’ve had him for 5mths) not to let her guard down just because he’s soooo quiet, he usually wouldn’t canter more than 4 paces in the paddock to save himself but he had a bee in his bonnet last night. He’s western trained and slow is what he does best J. Just the subtle body language such as ears back when she goes near him and he will try and stand on top of her at the feed bin – not physically pushy although he’s in her space, he seems to play mind games. A typical cranky old man look!”   Hello, maybe you can advise? I recently acquired a 2.5 year old filly and started working on the ground with her. I can lead her at a walk and trot nicely from either side, groom, and started longeing with a longe line and whip. She was getting good at it, learning to trot, walk, or stop at my signals in both directions. I upped the ante and added a surcingle and she was still improving. However, this is only in the round pen. In the arena she does not get it. The real problem is now that, after I was away for 4 days and she was just turned out the whole time, she has been surly when I longe, clean her hooves, or ask her to do any work. I spent an afternoon with her just hanging out and grooming so she would like me, and she followed me around like a friendly dog. But she is bad when longeing now; even charged me once. I think I had her respect and some how lost it. I am afraid of being kicked or charged at in the pen now, but she needs some work so I had her jog in hand with me for awhile.”   I have the systems to fix these Horses in one session   This article attempts to point out the most common causes of horses

UN-RUGGING THE HORSE

    See the Video here   TRAIN FOR THE PEOPLE….OR THE HORSE? The English Training and Coaching systems and Curriculums, teach that the front strap of a Horse Rug should be undone before the Back Leg Straps. I have always disagreed with this for I always have the Welfare and safety of the Horse in mind over Humans, for your Letter completely highlights the many disturbing cases I meed in the ‘Real World’…the Coal Face of the Industry. I have indeed, had to re-educate, many psychologically ruined Horses that have accidents with the Rugs around the back Legs.   Hi John Hope you are well. I have a question for you about a childs pony. He has a fear with things behind the saddle. If the girls legs go back he will run, she has come off many times from this as he practically bolts she has managed to stop him a couple of times with a ORS.  If her legs go out wide the same thing can happen and if she goes to get off quick such as doing games at PC. When I questioned them about things that have scared him, they said that one day when they were taking a rug off he ran off with the leg straps done up. Thanks again for your time. L   Hi L. It was only recently that I discussed this subject and put forward my views, which were that I prefer to protect the future psychological well being of Horses rather than designing systems to protect People. The English Systems teach that if the Front Strap is undone first, the Handler is far safer if the Horse suddenly moves and the Horse gets a fright and runs. Well of course, that is precisely what the system is designed to achieve, for they do move and they do run and especially with English Discipline People who don’t know how to go down a Rope and will ensure the Horse does move as they pull on it’s Head and make it spin.       Having said that, I have been contacted by others with experience in the British system, who say that they teach the release of the rear straps first, the front straps second and the BELLY straps last. To leave the Belly Bands or Straps to last will see the Horse ‘Flank Roped’ as in a Rodeo, given the slightest movement of the Horse which causes the Rug to start sliding and the Horse start reacting. This too will put the Humans in more serious Danger of severe injury and ensure that the Hose will suffer immediate and ongoing psychological Problems as a result of the Rug

THE CAUSE & FIX OF THE ‘REIN SNATCHER’

  These horses frustrate the hell out of me and no doubt the rider’s aboard them, but we can never blame the Horse. Why does it happen and how can we fix it? It isn’t easy.   The term ‘Resistance‘ sure describes this habit but what causes it?  There are all sorts of forms of resistance and this is yet another one. When the young horse is broken in, hopefully it knows not to be resistant and only gradually, due to the inexperience of riders’ does it learn the various forms of it. The more I think about this subject the more technical I could get but I shall try not to. Perhaps I can start by asking you this question. Why don’t horses with side reins fixed on chuck and reef their heads in an attempt to gain a longer rein? You would think that they would do it more as they are restricted more whereas the worst culprits seem to be the kid horse/pony clubber or mom’s trail horse. Perhaps the key lies here. Certainly there is a common thread of inexperience in a lot of these riders’ and a kindness that is taken a little too far with regard to the assertiveness and rule setting with rein control. To answer the previous question re the side reins then, it is my humble opinion that the horse knows the guidelines when side reins are set, it knows the boundaries, it knows that there is no profit in reefing soft or hard as they are not going to move and above all, they learn that if they stay soft they get ‘reward and relief’ and find a more comfortable place to be. It is their decision. They gain the benefit of the best ‘timing and release’ that there is, themselves. So how and why do we train the rein reefer? To start the answer to that question, let me ask another one. Why do people insist upon holding a contact against the mouth of a horse when it is not under the Judge’s eye in competition or in training mode for whatever discipline one engages in? This is where the problem starts as horses are not stupid. They are great judges’ of riders’ who do not have empathy or treat them without justice. So a couple of classic examples: Riders’ giving Horses ‘learned helplessness Riders’ are just standing around having a gossip. Their horses are trying to be asleep but the rider insists upon holding a slight contact on the mouth of their horse. Why in hell would you? The horse sure knows they shouldn’t and so they soon learn that a little reef of the head gives them

REIN CONTACT. SOFT HANDS OR NOT?

The Confusion in the Industry   I often get asked about light hands when referring to the rein control of horses.  This has to the most confused subject in the Horse Industry, the one subject that is largely kept back from pupils imho and the one that causes the most failed training scenarios of all. Video, Trainers, Coaches and experts everywhere, are most often very politically correct these days and will rarely let the plebs’ see what happens in the ‘real world’, how they themselves ride (behind closed doors) and why those at the top have so much success. Did You know that Racehorses operate with around 85kg against their Mouths? whilst World ‘Guru’s’ are often saying things like……” an ounce of pressure’   The other problem is that a lot of Coaches do not know the correct rein control techniques and therefore cannot pass it on and of course, no article would be complete without saying the Pony Club System completely fails in this area. So there has to be confusion. This article hopes to clear that, for the horses. There are varying reasons but the predominant one is found in the much confused comment. quote,   “People have commented that I have light hands, so what would be causing my horse to be ignorant?” “As soon as my horse gave, I gave”   Put simply, the ‘light hands’ must only be evident when a horse is ‘being light’. Yes, we are all looking to ride with ‘light hands’ and a ‘light contact’ but only in return for a ‘light horse’. When a horse gets ‘resistant or ignorant’ our hands become likewise, backed up with an increased amount of ‘leg on’ commensurate to the increase in the hand. The moment the horse gives to the increased hand which has gone to .1% above the increased ignorance, we lighten leg and hand, thus rewarding the horse for lightening. Horses are Born resisters. They are always searching for ways to be ignorant (to use a Human expression) and they do it from the very first Mount up during the starting process If I start a Horse with a 10/10 Mouth and send it to an Amateur Owner Home, it’s Mouth will be a 6 or less within a Week.   Therefore, this confused state of “I have light hands all of the time” will always be exploited by horses and is the one thing that actually causes ‘ignorance and resistance’, ever increasing as time goes on and with a progressive deterioration of the quality of the mouth of the horse and more importantly, an increased heaviness in the mind, which transfers to the mouth. Those with Truly ‘Light Hands’ are those who

THE POWER OF THE ONE REIN STOP

Do you like broken Bones? I don’t, which is why I am hot on this subject!!   Are You one of the Millions who get on suspect Horses WITHOUT MOUTHS and without Rein Control Australian Horsemanship style???? Are You going to be one of these statistics????? read ‘Bolting Horse‘ The Power of the “One Rein Stop” is rarely taught and therefore rarely understood. I cannot recommend your understanding of this subject highly enough and should you heed the following advice, you will be far better equipped to protect your safety in the years ahead. Update 5th June, 2016 No matter how much effort Horse Trainers put into getting the message across, the British systems, down through Pony Club and Equestrian Australia, negate the good and in particular now, People like Doctor Andrew McLean who is actively Lecturing against it. I have personally had around 20 Bolters and Rearers, caused by his system, through my Hands                         Re=Mouthing the Horse   Here is one of my Young Clients ( Scotland) have the first ride on Her ‘Starter’ ….which would have bucked most People off and would have been the end of the career of the horse and possibly an injured Lassie.     3 Weeks later           Has your horse got a top ‘Lateral Mouth’? You should know. Here is the test, go do it?     Go to the Round Pen and put a bridle and roller on. Rung the lunge rein clip from the bit, though the side D ring of the roller and back to you in the centre of the yard. Lunge the horse at the trot, briskly. Without warning, haul the horse up and demand a ‘One Rein Stop’. Not with softness, with assertiveness. 20 kg. You will instantly know what you are feeling. If you see what appears in the photo’s below, be careful and release or the horse will rear. You would be a ‘Mug’ for riding such a horse. When the ‘breaker” starts a young horse, he should be mindful of putting a top “Lateral Mouth” on the horse in order to facilitate the “One Rein Stop” For the purposes of this article, “Lateral Mouth” means the ease in which a horse will give it’s head around to the side when a rider pulls on one rein or the other. The “Front Brakes” are when a rider does the conventional and just pulls on both reins to stop the horse. So, no matter how good the “Front Brakes” are, during the first few rides and even later in the career of the young horse, should things come unstuck,

TESTING THE LATERAL MOUTH OF YOUR HORSE

  The reason I am still able to ride rough Horses at my age, is because of this Mouthing system and the One Rein Stop. Trust me Folks, don’t listen to anyone who says “Ride Him through it!”      Go to the Round Pen.   Install a good quality Roller and have a bridle with an FM Bit fitted.  Clip your lunge rein through the side D-Ring of the Roller and onto the bit.   Without warning, haul the horse to a ‘One Rein Stop’ Use at least 20 kilo of weight. Demand it. NOW!!!  Take particular notice of the reaction of the horse. Did it open the mouth wide, set the jaw. Did it feel like having a ‘white pointer’ shark on the end of the line.  Did it threaten to rear? or  Did it give it’s face lightly, flex around to it’s shoulder and stop?  If your horse starts to spin around, drop the rope so that you do not wrap the horse up. Only do this test in a yard. If you saw anything like this: Your horse does not have a Lateral Mouth and you shouldn’t be riding such an animal! Here are some photo’s of how they should react to the ground test and for interest, the mouth under saddle. My current breaker.     and, when you pull on the reins, the head should go n this direction: If you don’t want to BURIED on young, Green or Problem Horses, you need to be able to do this and if you can’t….Good Luck    Go here for the best mouthing and re-educating system in the World.   THE FRONT BRAKES   Put a Roller on your Horse and a set of long reins or ropes. Drive the Horse around the yard and without warning, set your hands in concrete and your feet planted on the ground to be not moved by the Horse. Feel what you feel and rate it out of 10. If you get pulled off your feet, you have a substandard Mouth. Then, dwell, relax the Horse and the reins, then pick the reins up and demand a back up. Not ask, demand. Feel what you feel and rate it out of 10.   You now know what the integrity of the REAL or TRUE Mouth is. The one that lays beneath the surface. The one that comes out and finds the Horse run with you when frightened. Not the 2 ounces of pressure Mouth.! Then decide if you are safe in riding such a Horse and go re-mouth it with my Mouthing system. The only one on the Planet that can re-mouth a Horse.  

HELP….I CAN’T LET THE REINS GO!!

  At a recent Equine Science Symposium, mention was made of the affects of incorrect riding, training or teaching upon the ultimate deaths in horses. I can attest that this is in fact true and prevalent.   It is a constant mystery to me why virtually no horse rider of the ‘English’ persuasion or learning can ‘let the reins go’ If only these riders’ knew the great benefits that they could inherit, if only they could.   I have to admit that this subject is the cause of me grimacing daily and thinking thoughts of what might have been. If only. So where does it come from and why is it so?   It is deeply embedded within the Pony Club system. Here he goes again, Pony Club bashing. I must admit that I am aware that it must certainly look like that to any reader of my site these days but I simply must speak up for horses and for the clients of the Pony Club system. The culture does not only come from PC of course. I am yet to see or hear an EFA Coach who has ever told a pupil to ‘let the reins go’ ‘Turn a horse loose’. Ultimately however, I lay the blame at the feet of the  British Horse Society, who in Horsemanship terms are still locked in the dark ages.   So, have you ever heard this? “Keep a contact” For God sake, don’t ever a allow a loop to get in your reins. Heaven forbid As a result, in excess of 75% of Pony Club Horses in this fair Country, are being ridden around like this.   and as a result, they end up looking like this…. and why? Because riders are taught to go around all day, hanging off the mouths of their poor horses, for the sake of hanging off the mouths of their poor horses. No other reason, just that. Thousands every day with Coaches standing in the middle of an arena, yelling, “Change rein across the diagonal, circle here, figure of 8 there, yikes little Suzy, DON’T LET THE CONTACT GO.” God horses must like that. So what does this achieve? Correct training? An improved horse? No, it just progressively deteriorates the mouths of every single one of them and builds a plague of ‘upside down necked horses’ and riders’ who can never learn to have an independent seat and real balance because they are hanging off the mouth of their horse endlessly, as a crutch or balance aid,  just like the jockeys at the races. At lease they have an excuse. 🙁   Why then are these countless riders’ told to ‘have a contact’? You tell

WHY MOUTHS DETERIORATE

  What are the reasons for the mouths of horses to progressively deteriorate after being handed over to the owner by the ‘Breaker’? They almost always do, some more than others and some, totally. Lets say the mouth of the horse is finished at a 9-10 when it is handed back to the owner. From that day forward, unless the owner is a professional rider, the mouth of that horse will diminish for various reasons and end anywhere between zero and about 6.5. I rarely meet one over that mark. So what are the causes of this?   Having a contact against the mouth of the horse at any time other than when actual rein aids are being employed. Put another way, holding a feel of the mouth of the horse, via the reins, of any type, when the horse is not correctly ‘on the bit, round and soft’ Leading a horse ‘Pony Club style’ and allowing ignorance.  Standing still on a horse, with any contact, even a gram, unless the horse is under the Judges eye and/or ’round and submissive’  Having ANY contact against the mouth of a horse at the walk whilst on a trail, pleasure ride or even walking from the tack up area to a dressage arena or back.  Working any horse under training and allowing it to be ‘above the bit’ and therefore not truly or completely submissive.  Allowing horses to break away whilst tied up (twine)  Whilst lunging, allowing a horse to hang on the end of the lunge line.  Whilst leading a horse, regardless of the style or technique, allowing the horse to hang against the rope, no matter how subtly. Put another way, leading without a loop in the rope at all times.  Allowing a horse to invade your space on the ground, push you, pull you, head butt you or make you move instead of it moving…….and  Not understanding that ‘reward and relief’ for lightness doesn’t come from the rider UNTIL the horse does it first!!!!!  Never being told that it is not always about feel, savvy, an ounce, give to the lightest give and so on.  Knowing when to give or soften and the timing associated with that.  Not having consistency in the hands.  Having un-forgiving hands due to hand and arm position.  Never having been truthfully told the secret to keeping a good mouth on a horse. and………..  The most senseless thing that I ever see in the Horse Industry. Hanging on to the lead rope of a horse that is tied up and poking it’s head this way and that way. Tugging, attempting to influence, horse pulling, handler pulling, all for what? For a complete lesson in ignorance

LONG REINING AND MOUTH DAMAGE

  I have two points that I would like to make about the use of ‘Long Reins” in the breaking in process of the young horse.   That of the thousands of previously long reined horses that I have ridden, I have never felt a mouth higher than 6 out of 10, and… That each year, around 15 horses come to me for re-education, caused by the long reining process in one way or another.   Of those horses in point 2, their problems vary between being turned into bolters, just having bad mouths or being seriously frightened about anything towards the rear end of their body. Be it being touched or handled there or of things that may happen behind them. Psychologically damaged.   The cause of these things is normally the horse escaping from the handler and galloping away with the long reins trailing around their legs. Often this includes injury in fences or any manner of other possibilities. During the last two years for instance, I have had one that bolted on a number of occasions with the owner on top, one that bucked a Rodeo rider over the round pen fence on to his face, another that would run or buck at the slightest touch behind the saddle and others with mouths worst than a zero.   NO HUMAN CAN HOLD A HORSE IF IT DECIDES TO LEAVE     There are various reasons why Long Reining does not achieve the best results, apart from the accidents that happen. All of these subjects are dealt with in “Mouthing the Horse”   Now, having said all of that, I admit that I too use them but it is the way in which they are used that I find makes all of the difference. The vast majority of people, throughout history, have used them in a way that I find does not produce top mouths and in fact, sets up the first ‘learned evasion’ experiences, thereby providing the Horse with the window of opportunity to explore ‘evasion’ and ‘resistance’ more into the future.   The other thing I find is that simply driving a Horse here, there and everywhere, around this bush, that log and back home, has no relationship with putting a top mouth on a Horse but merely provides the Handler with a ‘warm inner glow’ that the Horse can be pointed in directions, turned around and may listen to voice commands and a slight feel on the mouth. I find this a complete waste of time and often ends with major drama where the Horse gets a fright and runs away dragging the reins or the Handler who is ‘gut skiing’ at the time. Use

THE DANGERS & DAMAGE CAUSED BY SIDE REINS

    A LETTER (25,000 and counting) Hi I am hoping that you can help me. I have a lovely little Arabian who has been under saddle for 12 months he is rising 5. His natural head carriage is quite arched. He works lovely under saddle but has the tendency to over bend. Everyone has said take up the contact and push him forward, problem being he is forward and the more you push the more he over bends he even does this on a long rein. He tracks up nicely and is soft through his back. If you take up to much contact he chucks a lama neck and tosses the head around, there must be a simple solution to this. thanks in anticipation Sharon and…..   Hello, I’d like to know what you think of the picture of the horse attached to this email. To me his neck muscles seem quite under-developed. Do you have any suggestions on how to build up these muscles? He’s not my horse, but I am thinking of purchasing. Would working him in a “long and low” frame help build his top line? and what causes his neck to look this way? Thank you for any advice you can offer! Kate   Yes, another regular problem caused by Side Reins on ‘young, green or formative’ horses.’   THE BASIS OF MY ARGUMENT   I read Equestrian Forums a lot. They often argue the for and against of the use of side reins and other artificial aids. They never agree and they will never agree. Depends on which side of the Industry you come from. I have never really got into these debates as it would be rare to find anyone who has ridden the cross section of horses and felt their mouths.  They are therefore not qualified to debate the matter imho. I am simply sounding the warning that   side reins damage the mouths of young, green, inexperienced and newly broken in horses.   They do not however, affect horses that are established in collection. My wife uses them on all of her established Dressage horses and I have never witnessed any harm. I have however, just this week, had a feel of the mouths of her two younger ones (Novice Dressage Level) and have found diminished mouths and an increased ignorance and resistance, caused once again, by Side Reins. The use of side reins as an artificial aid in training is a widely accepted thing. I have no problems with that but I do have some warnings, based upon the twenty or so ruined horses that are sent to me each year, caused directly by the use of side reins. I

THE CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES & FIXES FOR THE UPSIDE DOWN NECK

  An upside down neck pretty well explains itself. It is the over development of the under muscle of the neck and the degeneration of the top line muscle. Thus causing the look that the neck of the horse is put on its body, upside down. Generally, horses are not born that way, although some are.   During my entire career, I have not heard it explained in a way that kids could understand, why such a high percentage of their horses have “Upside-down Necks”. You know, the funny little horses that go around looking like Lamas.   BORN WITH THE INCORRECT NECK FOR DRESSAGE Now before I go totally blaming riders for this affliction, I have to say that a percentage of horses are born with this pre-disposition and the older they go without re-training, the worse their necks become. So what causes upside down necks in a lot of horses and worsens those with bad conformation?     TAKING THE NECK TO THE GYM DAILY In a word, “RESISTANCE” Resistance is almost always caused by in-experience or a lack of knowledge of the rider. It is rarely ever the fault of horses. So, what happens and why?       Due to the fact that most people in the Equestrian world don’t think about subjects such as this in a technical way, very little thought is given to why it happens. The proof of this assertion is out there for all to witness, it’s just that those in charge of the Industry, either choose to ignore it or fail to see it……here are some of the Ridden systems that cause Upside Down Necks.     So as riders go around trying but failing to put their horses head down, year after year, they are continually working the under muscle of the neck just like taking it to a gymnasium. The more the horse resists, the longer it refuses to get a head set and give to the riders contact, the larger the muscle becomes and the more the top-line muscle deteriorates.       EXAMPLES OF RESISTANCE Did you know that you can build under muscle at the halt? You can and I see it happening with over 90% of riders. Whilst standing around on your horse, just chatting or resting, most riders sit with a slight contact against the horse’s mouth via the reins. They seem brainwashed by the traditional teaching that if they don’t keep a contact on that human comfort zone, their horse will gallop away with them. Without knowing it, the horse is subtly working the under muscle of the neck, just whilst standing around. So I suggest you teach your horse to stand

Don’t Mouth the Horse if you haven’t done the Teeth

  You cannot successfully start or break in a Horse if the Teeth aren’t in top shape. If you try, you will NEVER get a top Mouth due to the pain attached to the Mouthing process and the learned resistance taught. Horses do not trust the Bit or the hands of a Rider if they are hurting.   CHECKING TEETH There is no point in putting the hand up the side of the jaw and having a feel of the front half of the Teeth. No point at all. Horse Dentists and Vet’s often only get the front half of the Molars and miss the rear one’s where the most pain is caused. This can be through degree of difficulty, resistance caused by pain or incompetence.   To check the Mouth of a Horse, the practitioner MUST install a ‘Gag’ on the Horse and use a POWERFUL LIGHT. If one cannot see every millimetre of every Tooth, then the checking is not good enough.   otherwise……         all manner of terrible things may be hiding.       Horses with suspect Teeth can exhibit all manner of indicators as they cry out for help!   INDICATIONS   1. Bad attitudes 2. Tossing of head under bridle 3. Pushing on bit 4. Bucking 5. Rearing 6. Flipping over 7. Running off 8. Dropping shoulder 9. Left and Right resistance 10. Collection and flexibility resistance 11. Refusing to take a bit 12. Pinning of ears 13. Body soreness (back, shoulders, hocks, stifles, etc) 14. Lead difficulties 15. Loss of speed 16. Not stopping squarely 17. Running backwards 18. Frequent opening of the mouth (gapping mouth) 19. Constant head or face rubbing 20. Unexplainable lameness 21. Excessive tail swishing   This Horse was doing this for 7 Years in Holland             “Horses can only communicate through behaviour. The worse the behaviour the dumber the Owner”                          

Just Behavioural, Veterinary & Psychological Outcomes Guaranteed!!

Just Behavioural, Veterinary &  Psychological Outcomes Guaranteed!!

No Whip Training to deceive

No Whip Training to deceive

No Trick Horse Training to impress

No Trick Horse Training to impress

No Glitz, Razzmatazz or hype

No Glitz, Razzmatazz or hype

Twitching horses with sophistication and training

    I have watched hundreds of people install a twitch upon horses during my career but I have never seen one use the twitch as a training tool. They just put it on, crank it up and hold it until the job is done. If they alter the pressure at all, it is only ever tighter. Not softer. We use twitches regularly and I found, that  if used smarter not harder, that it can not only assist in getting the job done but can be a valuable training tool as well.   DRUGS VERSUS THE TWITCH What prompted me to write this article tonight is a post I saw on a forum which explained that a Vet had injected a foal to brand it. I found that to be way over the top, not fair on the foal, a lost training opportunity and opening the possibility of a reaction to the drug. Not to mention that horses can jump or strike, drugged or not. The Veterinary Education system in Australia teaches little or no ‘Horsemanship’  If they do at all, they must be doing it badly. It is my opinion that Vet’s drug horses way too quickly and they do it because they are frightened. This is unfair on horses and it is unfair on the bank balance of horse owners. As so many of us are battler’s, it is one more financial pressure that the Industry just doesn’t need. I see too many people chased out of the Industry because of high Vet charges, as it isI have seen horses drugged to the eyeballs, go ‘crackers’ and be highly dangerous. In fact, when they do, they are far more dangerous than an un-drugged horse. As a horseman, I disagree with drugging for most jobs and prefer to improve the training of the horse so that it improves next time and gains more confidence. They do…believe me. THE TWITCH The twitch consists of a loop of string on the end of a stick. You put the loop around the top lip of the horse and twist the handle around until the loop has grabbed tight on the lip causing it to look like a ball with whiskers on it.   This has the effect of  tranquilizing the horse, subduing it and enabling the handler increased control and safety from injury. (although not guaranteed) On the vast number of occasions, this control device does the job.Obviously, the twitch should be used as a last resort and kept for occasions such as helping the horse through treating a wound or some other injury, dispensing medication, worming or clipping. (I don’t include clipping in the helping the horse. )   TO THE

Over the back

  When a horse is “over the back” it is stretching its top line from poll to dock with its back being the highest point. This gives the rider the feeling that the horse raises it’s back up to meet your seat. You can literally feel the horse growing underneath you. So why ask the horse to be over the back? When over the back, the horse uses it’s top line (coming). Working a horse, over the back, creates a strong and well developed top line. This enables it to carry the rider more effectively without risking injury to itself. So we do it to keep the horse sound. Horses weren’t born to carry humans around on their backs. Especially, doing dancing steps as is required in dressage.   Here is my new Young Horse on arrival and 12 Weeks later.   We also ride, over the back, as the horse relaxes it’s back muscles and this makes it more “elastic” to sit on. Making it a comfortable feel for the rider. When a horse is soft to sit on, it is easier to follow its movement without bouncing and jarring us about. When the horse is over the back it’s paces improve. It becomes looser in it’s joints. Thus traveling with cadence. coming The horse will find it easier to keep its rhythm. It will appear like it is dancing and the flow in the movements stays constant. How do we achieve getting a horse over the back? SUPPLENESS We need to stretch the horse laterally and make it supple (see suppleness). By using the lateral muscles the horse naturally will stretch its longitudinal muscles in a long and low frame.   RYTHM The rhythm is very important, if ridden too quick the horse will become tense and this has the effect of tightening the back muscles. Tight back muscles can be evident by short small steps. The horse needs to be relaxed in order for it to “Swing”. No physical or mental tension can be present  if you are to attain  this. Although “running” stops swing, the horse does need to be active as activity helps to drive the horse to look for a contact.   LONG AND LOW The rider’s hands must follow the contact down as the horse starts to stretch its nose in the direction of the ground. If we miss the opportunity, it will have the effect of the horse thinking it was the wrong answer and thus it will stop looking for the relief of the rider’s hand that allows. So to train the horse to come over the back the rider must have good balance, independent hands and seat and have very

Biting when girthing up

        I regularly get letters about Horses that attempt to bite, lay their ears back, snake their heads, cow kick and so on, whilst being girthed up. There have been many a proposition put as to the cause but as usual, I like to “listen to the horses“ There are plenty of ‘Girthy Horses’ in this World and I reckon I would meet about 10% that are. They are born that way and I am yet to meet one that has Veterinary induced touchiness. Regardless of the Problem, such Horses need to be given understanding, empathy and saddled up in such a way that they need and that normally involves plenty of time and procedure.   Of course we do meet girth problems caused by girth galling, skin off, swelling and fluid build up caused by over girthing, grass seeds and so on but on the whole, the vast majority are born that way as I said. During the last couple of years, I have been experimenting with varying types of girths, then getting them manufactured and testing them on such Horses. I noticed a vast improvement in attitude upon the second instillation of the saddle and recently, met two aged biting horses that gave it up totally when they realized that the saddling process may not be as bad as they once thought. It took one saddling and they both changed completely.                 Here are the reasons. The comfort neoprene girth has more width, dissipates the pressure across a wider area, is more comfortable, softer, more giving and has air flow.   It can be hosed down after use and does not harbor fungicidal rashes.   It does not retain sand, grit, gum nuts, sticks, grass seeds and so on……..and   has a far smoother girthing and tightening operation than English Saddles. and tightens up on a straight angle right across the girth itself rather than being screwed one side and then the other by generally Ladies standing on Tip Toes and often doing a ‘Hammy’ in the Process.     The girth points, one, two or three with the English or traditional stock saddles, simply by design, cause the handler to turn themselves inside out in an effort to get the saddle girthed up tight enough. In the process, they may be pulling one strap, then another and screwing and twisting the skin of the Horse in many ways. All causing discomfort. Further, there can be no gradual and smooth adjustment of the girth, to take into account the wants and needs of the varying Horses. From the thin skinned to the plain girthy.  There are no sudden

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“This Website will teach you that there are no ‘Problem Horses’, no Buck Jumpers, Bolters’, Rearers and such….only Horses crying out for Help! Above all, it will teach you how to “Listen to Your Horses for they are communicating to you constantly – Horses always tell the Truth, we just need to understand what they are saying”

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