BH Dressage - Issue 32

Page 1

Dr e s s a g e BA R O Q U E H O R SE


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2 Baroque Horse DRESSAGE |

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Fit is Everything.

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Editor-In-Chief Danielle Skerman


Patty Taylor


Design & Production Manager: Danielle Skerman


beauty strength power


Kasia Misiukanis-Celińska






Katarzyna Okrzesik-Mikołajek ,Catia Castra, Danielle Skerman, Carol Froment, Patti Bose, Zsolt Venezel.


Patty Tayor, Danielle Skerman,Ute Raabe, Margaret Henkels, Dominique Barbier, Patra Marz, Dr John Kohnke, Georgia Leva, Cath McDowell, The Nude Horse, Jochen Schleese, Patty Taylor & KER.

PUBLISHER: Baroque Horse PTY LTD ACN: 159 279 848 PO Box 236 Millthorpe NSW, Australia 2798 ©Baroque Horse Magazine AU. 2011 All Rigths Reserved. No part of this publication, editorial or advertisement, may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The content of the advertisements within this publication is the responsibility of the advertiser. Although due care is taken in the preparation and publication for all advertising material, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors or for any consequential effects. Opinions and statements made by others in submitted text may not be the same as those held by either the publisher or the editor.

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photo: ALIZÉE FROMENT AND 'MISTRAL' using the Equitrense® side pull bridle -

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editors note A

t Equitana this year you will have the absolute pleasure of seeing Pedro Torres. Upon learning that Pedro was coming out to Australia, it made me reflect on the time I met Pedro in Portugal. I went to his stables, and he introduced me to his horses which are his pride and joy - each one got a kiss and a cuddle from him, and it was evident of the genuine love he feels for them. To watch Pedro ride is just enthralling and it is like he was born in a saddle. He is such an elegant and natural rider that I could watch him all day long. Pedro has many YouTube videos so you can go and see his expertise in all aspects of riding. We have the highest respect for Pedro here at Baroque Horse and how lucky are we to have him at Equitana!


n this issue, we are delighted to have interviewed Alizée Froment as she is another rider like Pedro that we admire immensely. Her talent and gentle training are second to none. She rides her Lusitano stallion Mistral (GP) without a bit and is easily able to demonstrate that a horse can be responsive without the harness or the heavy hands that we see too many times today - even with many top riders. Alizée has continuously wowed the crowds at her international shows with her relaxed riding

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skills and watching her you will be sure to be lost in not only how beautifully she rides but also see her ability for the horse and rider to become one. Serenity is the word that comes to mind when describing Alizee and her horses.


e love learning and discovering the history behind anything horse related, so this issue we have looked at the evolution of the side saddle; why it started and its place today. I am sure many see this as old fashioned, however, many enjoy this way of riding today and done correctly it is fantastic to watch. There is a growing interest in the side saddle, and maybe this is due to great shows like Downton Abbey, or it is due to a craving for glamour and tradition? It is a challenge not only from the riding aspect but also many will need to build up different muscles to ride effectively. Not only does the evolution of the side saddle tell about the need for riding safely, but also how females have grown in their own right too. Hopefully, this article will inspire many to learn a different form of riding.

Until next time...

/ Editor-In-Chief / Baroque Horse DRESSAGE /

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w h a t

32 i s

i n s i d e

01 Interviews 10 20

Pedro Torres Alizée Froment

02 Health Horse Health Management Drought Feeding in Australia by Catherine McDowell 5 Handy Hints by Kohnke’s Own Protecting the Hindgut The Sense of Touch by Jochen Schleese Base Feeds for the ‘Keep It Simple’ Diet by the nude horse

We Recommend page:

54 60 64 68 72 76

On the cover: Pedro Torres riding 'Csar JGR' Photo: Katarzyna Okrzesik-Mikołajek

Understanding the Side Saddle The Lipizzaner Installing Wooden Fence Posts Crystal Mt Xodó

04 Education Bodywork by Margaret Henkels Riding with Oliveira by Dominique Barbier


26 32


38 46 62 80


03 Of Interest

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Baroque Horse DRESSAGE |

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A –



UTE RAABE e s e n





– Pedro Torres – Riding is a dance; however, horse and rider have to listen to the same music — These are the words of Portuguese rider, trainer and horseman Pedro Torres, whose name has become synonymous with the world of Working Equitation(WE). With multiple World, European and National Championship titlesunder his belt, he is the most successful rider and a living legend in the history of the sport. After much success with WE, Pedro is now making waves in the Dressage world and is heading to Australia this November as the Dressage Star Presenter of EQUITANA Melbourne.

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edro Torres started riding WE in 2000 and quickly became addicted to the sport. He remembers, I was thinking about it all the time, how I could improve and become faster. He won his first Portuguese title and European Championship in the same year and continued to dominate the sport for over a decade. His rides on the imposing grey Lusitano stallion 'Oxidado' have become an internet and YouTube favourite and are watched by hundreds of thousands of equestrians worldwide. Pedro Torres life with horses started at the tender age of five when a little pony was given to him. His father, Antonio, had a great love for horses and continued to support Pedro with them after his separation with Pedro's mother. Throughout Pedros younger years he learned the fundamentals from the Portuguese Equestrian Society and kept working with horses in his teenage years. Unfortunately, at the age of 18, Pedro was forced to take a break from horses due to financial reasons. He

fun facts Pedro keeps his competition gear at this mother’s house. He explains: This is a bit of a tradition, my mother also makes all my costumes. Even now, before a competition, I go to her house first, pick up the costumes and drop them off after. She takes care of everything. For my mother, it really is an honour, and I feel the same. It keeps us in contact and with my work it is not so easy to be close to the family.

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be ridden with the reins in one hand. All horses can do Working Equitation, but if you want to excel at the highest level of the sport, you need a horse with a very good canter, a horse that is easy to turn and has strong hind legs. If you have a good canter, you normally have good flying changes, and you will be able to achieve a good time in the speed tests. You can always teach the horse confidence. Even if the horse is a little bit afraid, with some training, you can create good self-confidence. Some horses are warriors, they cross the bridge at full speed and are not scared. If you have a horse like that, it’s perfect, but I remember that even Oxidado was very afraid of the (wooden) bull in the beginning. I had to put the bull in the field, put some carrots on top and ride him to the bull two or three times every day and let him get the carrots. If you create confidence in the horse and let him understand that he can cross or overcome this obstacle in a good way, then it’s easy. 

I started with my first horse at 7am, ride until 9am and then drive to the Portuguese School. I worked there until 1pm, and afterwards go with João Pedro Rodrigues to other places until 7pm. Later I returned to the first stable and worked there until 10pm. I did this for seven years! No holidays, just working, working, working… But it’s wrong to say working when you really love what you do. For me, it was not difficult, because I just wanted to learn more and more and more. I have a big passion, and that is horses. During that time Pedro would ride up to 18 horses a day, but despite his never-ending passion and eagerness to learn, the considerable workload soon took its toll and forced him to re-think his entire riding philosophy. I was exhausted at the end of the day. For my body, it wasn’t possible to work so much, but I had to keep going. So I started to appreciate how the old masters can ride. They don’t have more physical strength, but they have lots of knowledge and developed a great seat. So I really started to develop new techniques for myself. I would close my eyes to feel the balance




orking Equitation (WE) was conceived from the style of working riders in the South of Europe and became a competitive sport in 1996 with the first European Championships taking place in the same year. WE is now a recognised sport in two continents, Europe and South America, but is winning more and more fans in North America and also Australia. There are three levels of WE, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced. The sport is designed to test horse and rider over a range of obstacles first at working pace and then against the clock, simulating the work in the fields and with cattle. In the dressage phase marks are given for the accuracy and execution of movements, which are not dissimilar to those found in an elementary or medium test. WE is a combination of horsemanship, submission and control of the horse. At the advanced level, all movements are to


began working for a large commercial cleaning company, where he soon progressed to leading his own team. It really taught me a lot, how to deal with people and how to understand people. It was a long time without horses, but it was a big education for me and established the way I communicate now with my team, Pedro says. An invitation from a friend sparked his return to the horse world. He knew me from my first job with horses when I was 16. He said, ‘Pedro, I need someone like you working for my school, you are very good with kids, and you have great patience’. I worked there for nearly two years, but I felt that it wasn’t enough, I needed to learn more things. I went to a big riding centre as a groom, riding horses for clients and preparing them for competition. During that time I met a very important horse, which was to change my career and open a lot of doors for me. Although his talent as a rider and trainer was widely recognised Pedro still felt that his technique was not advanced enough, the evolution and progress of his horses were not as good as he would have liked them to be. He contacted the Director of the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art and received permission to sit on the balcony and watch the daily training. Armed with the new-found inspiration, he would go to work his own horses in the afternoons. Not long after the Director asked Pedro if he wanted to help with the older horses of the Portuguese School, and that marked the beginning of a seven-year education period at one of the four elite classical riding academies in the world, where riders are taught to preserve Portugal’s long and renowned heritage of classical horsemanship and equestrian art. Pedro reflects on his time as a rider at the School, For my career, it was really really important. I have been so lucky with the people I have met in my life. When I joined the School, my Master was João Pedro Rodrigues, who has been with the School for over 35 years and is an establishment in the Lusitano breeding industry as well. I worked alongside him every day, and this was very important for me, I met lots of people because I was close to him.

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I N T E R V I E W because if you help the horse in the correct balance, you need much less force. You feel the horse, and you can do less if you find the perfect moment of touch. I changed my riding completely. When I was young, I was a very strong rider, and I would use that strength to force the horses. But if you find the right balance and relax the muscles, then the horse’s body can move freely, and you can have the movement you want. Also it’s very important that you start slowly; first you have to create the coordination of the movement with the horse — it’s a little bit like a dance. When

He continues, If the balance is not right, the coordination of the body is not good, and the horse cannot do what you asked for. You have to ask yourself, why didn’t my horse do the flying change? Think! And if you are busy thinking why, you are also a little more optimistic. A rider once told me that you only go to battle when you are out of arguments. It means you only fight with another person when you finish the dialogue, and you have nothing left to say. With horses, it’s exactly the same. It’s important to create a dialogue, and if you are busy with keeping up the dialogue, you are never going to fight with the horse. Developing that partnership with his horses is very important to Pedro. He wants his horses to be themselves



edro talks about Oxidado: Oxidado is 23 years old, and he looks like a young horse. It’s the way you treat the horses; in Working Equitation you will find horses that have been doing it for a long time. Oxidado competed for a long time, he started at six and participated in his last World Championship when he was 17yrs. I thought, okay, you did it a lot, you had a long career, I want to keep you healthy for the rest of your days. I don’t want to push you. I am very happy with this decision because now I can go to the stables and see him and he’s healthy and happy and fresh. 

you learn to dance, you always start slowly to get the coordination right. When you go slowly, you don’t need so much strength and force from your body. With balance and coordination in place, you can introduce a little bit more power. Power comes when you have achieved good coordination. But you need to spend lots of hours at a slow pace, thinking, counting and relaxing the body. In time I started to develop more and more techniques. It has become my passion and the basis of my training philosophy, he declares. And always try to understand the ‘why’. My horse is not turning so well to the right — why? He doesn’t do the lateral movements — why? The flying change is delayed — why? My main goal is to understand more of the why because then you can build a solution to that problem. You can ride a gymnastic exercise, create a better position or improve the muscles before you can improve the movement.

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and show their personalities, and that approach is what makes horses like Oxidado stand out. João Rodrigues was Pedro’s Master at the Portuguese School, but they also became close friends, and Pedro continues to work with many horses of João’s own Lusitano stud. Pedro says, I met Oxidado through João, and he influenced my riding a lot. When I met Oxidado, my training techniques were about strength and repetition. But with Oxidado it didn’t work like that. He is a very strong horse with a very strong character, but also very sensitive. It was important to find ways, agreements, and not force him to do things. Oxidado really taught me that approach. I now have an excellent partnership with the stallions Ahoto and Csar, because I have the experience and knowledge from Oxidado. These days Pedro has his own




hat the audience can expect of Pedro at EQUITANA : I will show my philosophy. Everything is about the why, and this is what I want to explain. The horse doesn’t do this? Why? This reaction? Why? The horse kicks at the leg. Why? And from the Why you can develop the training techniques. It’s always around this word — why. 

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your signals and also stay balanced. Pedro is now trainer to the Portuguese WE team and oversees the Academy Pedro Torres teaching riders the art of WE, yet his own competition focus has shifted a little more to straight dressage lately. With the Lusitanos Ahoto and Csar, he has two very talented prospects under the saddle, which put his name back on the FEI Dressage ranking lists. Several top ten placings in CDI2* and 3* Grand Prix competitions speak for themselves. In the past, he has spent some time training with German dressage rider Martina Hannöver and more recently in a clinic with international judge Leif Törnblad. It is nice to hear their advice, especially on how to do it in the test and what the judge wants to see. It’s not about the training techniques, I like my techniques very much, and I want to keep them, but it’s really good to have the feedback from the judge’s view. I also work sometimes with Kyra Kyrklund or her husband, Richard White, when they are in Portugal for a clinic. Kyra tells me, ‘Pedro here you have to go a little bit more fast, here you have to go a little bit slower’. For me it’s

training and competition stable within the Quinta da Penha Longa Country Club, a luxurious hotel resort and 14th-century monastery just 30 minutes from Lisbon. My stable is close to the sea and the mountains, it’s a fantastic place. Here we found really good energy for my horses and my students. I have 26 boxes, and we currently have 25 horses and a pony here, the waiting list is quite long. I have three students, so with me, we have four riders, he informs. What many people don’t know is that Pedro is also very much at home in other equestrian disciplines, not just WE. He represented Portugal in straight dressage at the 2007 European Championships, and his Instagram shows a video of him and Ahoto training over jumps. He nods, Before I started Working Equitation I tried other disciplines. I like

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jumping, I like dressage and classical riding. I rode the capriole, the levade – all the classical movements. In WE you have lots of things to work on — turns, jumps, gates, a speed test — it is very complete physically, and you really feel you have to use your horse. In WE I felt close to the jumping and dressage. I always try to be better than better in WE, and I have to go to other disciplines in order to be better in my discipline. He would like to see Working Equitation become an official FEI discipline one day, I think it is a very nice sport for FEI. To do it well is really difficult. I can tell you it is more difficult than Grand Prix dressage. It is more complete and technically more challenging. When you can only use one hand, when you have to do a good flying change every four strides in the slalom, in the same spot… And after that, you have the speed test, where the horse has to really follow

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really good to have a little bit of this help, he admits And is there anyone on the current competition circuit whom he likes to watch? The answer comes quickly, I like to watch Carl Hester, he’s my favourite. His philosophy of the horses and also the way he does dressage, it’s a little bit more my style. I like horses with power, but I don’t like horses being forced or having their power limited. He really keeps that natural power and shows the horses with nice energy. Pedro himself is in high demand as a trainer. After two lessons with riders from Russia and Holland, he will be off to the airport. He laughs, Every week I have something to do. I am going to teach in France next, then Mexico and Sweden. I don’t even have time to think about jet lag!

When he sees a horse and rider for the first time, he is careful to look at both. I look at the muscles of the horse; if they are in the correct place and if they are built well. And if they are not, I look to the rider and see if they somehow changed the muscles of the horse a little bit. I watch how the horse moves and how the rider sits, how he helps the horse. And then I start to develop my training techniques from that. I analyse both horse and rider from the ground, and then I say, okay, the horse needs more this or that, the rider needs to sit more in this position, this part of the horse is very tense, relaxing this part of the shoulder will immediately give it more freedom of movement. Every horse is different, every rider is different. You have to be patient as well. A student is not likely to understand you better if you are more strict. For me, it’s always communication. Sometimes you raise your voice to wake up the rider, but if

you push the rider too much, you lose his attention. Many people come to me and say they are a dressage rider. But in the end, you just work about what is riding. Dressage is some movements, it’s the basics that are important to master before you can develop new steps for dressage. He adds, I have a lot of requests to go to Germany because the riding techniques there started to change. They have a new type of horse, lighter and smaller than naturally has more energy and needs to be trained differently. The Warmbloods are now closer to the Lusitano in temperament. The Lusitano horse is a flash horse and sensitive from the beginning. Could he see the launch of an Academy Pedro Torres in Australia? It’s possible, I like to have more people teaching the philosophy of trying to understand the horse and the rider, feeling the limits of both and what is possible to

fun facts I have one superstition. In my life, I do everything from the left side. If it’s the boot or a glove, I always have to put on the left one first. If it’s a jacket, I have to put my arm in the left sleeve first.

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improve. This is very important. Many times you give a lesson and you look to the rider and you look to the horse and they want to do the best they can, but they have to be ready for that. The right training prepares horses and riders slowly for the next step in their education. If you force too much in the beginning, it just becomes frustrating when they don’t do what you ask, because they are not ready. The most important advice is to be patient and to try to understand. People






lying changes are one exercise I love to do. One part is coordination, one part is mechanics, one part is balance. You really have to analyse what is happening. In Working Equitation you have lots of situations where you have to do a good flying change. How to teach the flying change? It’s a movement, and normally it’s in the canter. Canter has strides. To do a good flying change, you have to find the correct moment to ask for it. But if you count, 1, 2, 3… you are in the rhythm of the horse, and you can ask him in the perfect position. Many people don’t think about the position or the rhythm, they put their leg back and then wait, hoping that maybe the horse will do it. You have to count when you feel your body being really deep in the saddle. Count 1, 2, 3 and you will be in the rhythm. 

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often want to resolve problems too fast, they don’t have the patience and the calmness needed. I say, don’t try to make big steps, try to make solid steps, he cautions. His own riding goals are simple, To ride better. This is what I want to do. Ride better, understand the horses better, find better techniques. Sometimes these can be so basic, and I’m thinking, why haven’t you tried this before, it’s so simple and so logical. And this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. I don’t have the goal to go to the Olympics, I want to spend my days developing new techniques and understand the movement, the muscles, the tendons — this really is my passion. He adds, The most important thing in my life is to be happy. Happiness is everything to me. I like to see my team and my horses happy, and I want to keep it like that every day. The horses give me

a lot of happiness and of course my family. Pedro has two daughters, aged five and six, and he tries to spend as much time with them as possible when he is home in Portugal. And outside of horses? He replies, I like speed, I like racing cars and fast bikes. It’s my hobby, when I have a little bit of time I go to motorsport events. I really like the sensation of the speed, of the power and control in high speed. But if I can go to paradise sitting on the back of a horse, I’d be smiling all the time. And I like every horse, not just the Grand Prix horses. I don’t care, it’s just about the movement of the horse. Pedro reveals that he also likes Australia and the famous laid-back approach of Australian people. I was in Australia a few years ago, I went on holidays in Melbourne and Queensland. What I like about the culture and the people is that they are so relaxed. And this for me was really nice to see. You come to Europe, and the people are too fast, every day they are stressed, and they don’t know how to be patient. Australia is different. Also, the people in Australia want to learn new things, they want to be more close to this kind of philosophy. I really look forward to going back to Australia and feel the feedback from the audience at EQUITANA. 

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Baroque Horse DRESSAGE |

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Alizée Baroque Horse talks to

FROMENT Danielle Skerman by

In the south of France, you can find the delightful Alizée Froment training in her very special way where she combines the art of classical dressage with the magic of liberty work. Her international success is a result of her immense passion and consistent training on her property with her many different horses. Her training consists of working with love and trust and no pressure this results in high-level dressage team. It is essential that her horses love being with the rider rather than being constrained as she trains with a bit-less bridle. Alizee is very gentle, and it is very evident the love and pleasure she gets from her horses and their return of love is heartwarming. At Baroque Horse, we have been a fan of Alizee and her training for a long time and was such a pleasure to be able to chat with her.

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BHD: How did life with horses begin for you? AF: I started riding when I was only a few months old. My mum always said that I was kicking to be able to get on the ponies. I attended pony club that my mother ran in the south of France during vacations. My mother too was a keen rider and taught me all the basics from my riding with weekly lessons from the age of nine. I think my first memory is when I was literally climbing 'Pil Pil' (Alizée's pony) in the garden, using a bucket to reach his back while my mother was working in her office. During my childhood, I did just about everything; jumping, eventing, dressage, pony games, horseball, Amazon, treck, endurance ... I was curious to discover as much as I could. BH: I understand that you had quite the competition career when you were younger? AF: Yes, it all started when I was nine my mother entered me into my first jumping competition. I didn't really wish to do it; however, I did it and actually enjoyed it. I kept at it, and when I was ten, I received a bronze

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shows with my horses. We had two years of incredible journey, always on the roads, until I fell pregnant and had a break after Equitana 2017. BHD: As a competitive Grand Prix rider, with much success at World Championships, what was it that made you step away from this and re-evaluate your goals as a rider? AF: Sometimes your life takes another direction, and you follow it, waiting for what will happen next. I was not getting the enjoyment or fulfilment anymore in the competition’s world. In the meantime, the artistic world started to beckon me more and more, until the moment I had no time anymore for competitions and had to make a choice … LIFE.

medal in the 110cm jumping French championships. At 13 I met the trainer from the French pony team and started three years of international competitions, being the reserve of the European 2003. After that, I took a break to focus on acting which is my second passion. In 2006 I met, by coincidence, the trainer from the French juniors dressage team. He encouraged me to come back to horses, and after a lot of arguing and discussion, I joined the dressage's competition's world. Life pushed me in this direction even if though this was never my project. In 2008 I was selected as European young rider with 'Mistral'. He was only 8yrs old and the youngest horse from the championships that year. We ended 4th with the team. We also won the bronze medal of the French championships the same year and started the shows one week after Azeitao competition. We progressed to Grand Prix at the nation's cup and 5*. In the meantime

I was able to bring other horses into competitions (we won the small final of Verden world championships 2012 and finished 9th of the big final with Di Magic OLD), small tour and big tour (Naxos and Germanicus from the same breeder than 'Mistral', and Ehrendorf with whom I was in the nominatives for the WEG 2014). In parallel, I was performing shows all over Europe and Hong Kong with 'Mistral' and then his son, 'Sultan', that I had ridden since he was three. In 2011 I decided to try to ride Mistral and Naxos with the halter and bareback to reconnect with my exhilaration I felt when I was young by just having fun and playing with

my pony. 2014 was a dark time of my life, so I decided to try the neck rope and go bridleless, and that's how it all began. It was a conscious thing it was just a deep inner feeling. From 2015 I concluded my competition career and also my job as the French pony team trainer/selector to focus on the artistic

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BHD: Where did the dream of riding in freedom first begin? Can you describe the first moment you made the change? AF: I had already done this with my pony when I was a small child, and as I was going through a difficult period of my life I needed to find that pleasure I had riding as a child; the happiness and innocence. It just came naturally to me as I was enjoying the connection and the way we felt together. The pressure was gone, it just felt right, and I just followed my instinct. It was in spring 2014 and when it changed me and my destiny.

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I N T E R V I E W / 1 / Alizée riding bridless using the Equizügel® (by Equiteam) on 'Sultan' lizée riding with the bitless bridle /2/A Equitrense® that was developed for 'Mistral' with Equiteam lizée and her daughter riding 'Mistral'. /3/A 'Mistral' is wearing the FRA bitless bridle.

1 BHD: What is a typical day like for you? AF: That is hard as no one day is the same. Actually, I'm taking care of my little princess, working my horses, writing my books, handling my contracts, interviews, messages, travelling very often, waking up early, and going to sleeping late. Constantly on the go every day. BHD: Your exceptional Lusitano Mistral, tell us about him? How did you find him? AF: By destiny also. The horse I was riding was retired, the rider of Mistral was pregnant. A friend put the owner, and I contacted them. The agreement was that I had him for one year, however, things changed, and he was able to stay with me. Catherine Vaisse left him with me for ten years, and I was finally able to buy him last year. He's an amazing horse - a once in a lifetime. A special horse, smarter than others, more generous, more brilliant and softer. To me, he is everything more than the others. That’s why having him retired for the past few months is already very painful, but we will continue our journey together, just differently. BHD: You also have his very talented son, Sultan? It must be quite sentimental to have him in your stable and of course heart. AF: Of course it is. I’m riding him since he is 3 and I now have his half-brother, son of Mistral out of a Quarterback's mare since his two yr. We are just starting to ride him. The family story continues ;-)

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BHD: How do you find the Lusitanos and PREs to work with? They have such characters and big hearts. How do you keep their spirit and encourage their personalities while still achieving good results under saddle? AF: They are maybe less talented from nature in their gates than German or Dutch breeds, but they are

BHD: What is your training philosophy? AF: Working hard on myself. Trying to be better every day. Always looking for new things to develop and improve myself as much as possible. 2

3 BHD: What is in the future for you? What can we expect to see? AF: At the moment I don’t really know to be honest. I think retiring Mistral is going to be a tough time in my life. Of course, he will stay by my side, but going to shows without him will never be the same. He will leave a huge empty space. So I don't know more generous, smarter and brilliant, how I will handle this and only time so they have a HUGE potential for will tell. It's the biggest page of my life improvement and transformation. They that I will turn. I'm starting to miss a are, to me, absolutely incredible horses lot of acting, theatre, cinema and I was I love them a lot. thinking about maybe going in this direction ...or perhaps dressage rings BHD: What would you say is your will call me again. I can't say it today. favourite moment with horses? Everything is blurred at the moment, AF: At the moment it is walking on but I think, hopefully, life will show Mistral with my ten-month daughter me the way. sitting in front of me, laughing and enjoying. That’s my most amazing BHD: Even when working moment of the day. in the bitless bridle your always checking the horse BHD: How do you create that is in rhythm, balance and work/life balance? on the aids. It is essential AF: That is not always so easy, and always to keep the precision sometimes I feel a bit tired, even more and softness and how do you as we are living in a hard world with achieve this? people getting more and more crazy AF: By working every day on the basic with the internet and social media. and gymnastic work with my horses.

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BHD: Together with a friend you developed a bitless bridle without the pressure on the neck and nose. Tell us more about this concept and where is it available for purchase? AF: I have been part of developing two actually - The 'Alizée Mistral' distributed by FRA (Freedom Riding Articles) and recently I have worked with the Equiteam to develop a more sporty one and (pic 2). It was designed especially with a thought for Mistral and his retirement. It is really nice and has amazing comfort for horses. BHD: You have the DVD - 'The Spirit of the Horse' can you tell us about this? AF: That DVD was filmed a long time ago, and I watched it today, and now I feel that we need to make a new one as I have improved and grown so much since then. It is apart of our life, and for three days Pferdia came to follow and film us. I would like to make a new one to show the improvements we all have made in our journey.

AF: I’m using it, but once again, it depends on the horses. Sultan, for example, has no problem and is respectful with it. Jericault and Pirate, on the other hand, are less so, as they are then always asking for a treat and sometimes not respecting me anymore as they are only waiting for the carrots or candies. It has to be used with cautiousness. Sometimes more (especially with new exercises) and sometimes less (when they are asking too much for it). BHD: Now that you are a mum of a beautiful daughter, has that changed how you approach your training and horses? AF: The training hasn't changed, however, the time I now have has. Before I was spending my whole days and time with them. Now it’s not possible anymore, and sometimes I see that it’s hard for Mistral, Sultan and Pirate. They were used to it. So I’m trying to give them as much care as possible, and I have the chance to my whole team.

BHD: how do you develop the training plan for each horse? AF: Each horse is different, so I always have to adapt myself according to the way they are growing physically but also mentally. It changes every day. Sometimes you have something in mind, and it goes completely opposite. Staying open and listening is for me is the key.

BHD: Do you hope that your daughter will follow in your footsteps and have a life around horses? AF: I hope happiness for her, wherever it is. But when I see how much she is already focussed on horses and the dramas we have every day when she has to go down from Mistral, I guess she will probably ride.

BHD: What is your thoughts or opinion on food rewards in training?

BHD: Do you follow any particular training methods or trainer in how you approach

your liberty work? AF: I’ve been starting all the basics with a Spanish man called Ismael Arroyo - he is a real horseman. Then I’m doing things on my own, but I always like to work with him once a year to keep on going and see what we can improve, having some new challenges, new approaches. He is an amazing person. BHD: What do you think is the most important thing people need to understand about horses? And what do you think is the most miss-understood thing about horses and training? AF: I think people from the horse world must stop judging others all the times, assuming they have the best knowledge and giving lessons to the whole world on the internet. These stupid fights are putting the horse world in a sad and gloomy time. I hope in the future people will recover with open minds, modesty and quietness. Then everybody will be able again to discuss, share opinions and to grow together instead of criticising without ever knowing anything about what they are talking. Jealousy, judgement and stupidity are not helping the equestrian world to go forward. It sends all of us backwards.

We thank Alizee for her time to chat with us. Do yourself a treat and go an have a look of one of Alizee's YouTubes, and we can assure you that you will also fall in love with her love and dedication. a


® From passion to product.

Handmade in Germany

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Margret Henkels

photographs by

Patti Bose


Baroque Horse DRESSAGE |

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Clients often ask me how I got into horse myofascial bodywork. A passion for horses, and my own personal experienceof being completely healed, brought me to this work — Conformation Balancing. A riding fall at 28 brought chronic injuries lasting years. I knew nothing about fascia (connective tissue) and its role in organizing the entire body. A synchronicity at a horse show introduced me to Steve Evans, a Heller Work practitioner. Heller Work is an off shoot of Rolfing and trains people in its particular approach to fascia. Each week, for 15 weeks, I drove to Taos where Steve lived and returned feeling better. I loved the changes I felt and the work itself.

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his table, I talked about my horses often and told him stories of my rides. Steve suggested I consider getting into the horse bodywork field. “Just what I need, another startup, ” I said with a laugh. His suggestion seed grew. The changes I felt in my own body transformed my goals. I felt amazingly better and fit enough to work with horses. He referred me to Equine Natural Movement, Heller for Horses, in Battle Ground, Washington, where I took a module of training, before certifying.

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ascia or myofascia is the gossamerwhite tissue in the body that connects all the horse’s body’s parts, including bones, muscles, and all the different body systems. Its unique properties are almost unknown to us, despite its central role in the healthy functioning of all bodies, including humans. As the “internet” of the body, fascia communicates with all parts instantly, while also giving the horse structure and organization. Fascia is primarily composed of collagen, elastin, and a polysaccharide gel complex. This combination creates an independent, three-dimensional network of elastic, extremely strong support for the athletic stresses of the horse’s body. The collagen has the ability to stiffen and “melt.” The elastin allows fascia to both stretch and contract. Fascia is also self-intelligent and self-organizing. Its own fascial

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layer surrounds every individual organ and muscle inside the horse. Fascia looks sheer and flimsy, yet it has a very high tensile strength of over 2,000 pounds per inch. This paradox of fragility yet extreme strength is part of the fascia miracle. The internet-like aspects of fascia conduct bioelectric signals to every part of the body in the web. Fascia is a shock absorber due to its collagen, elastic, and gel composition. It is a tension sensor as it conducts micro-currents throughout the body. It also stores water and functions in hydration for the body, which prevents fatigue and toxin buildup. Fascia can organize into scar tissue, knots, or other structural “compensations” for injury. It also participates in the circulatory system’s flow of nourishment and fluids. Finally, it is involved with maintaining proper muscle fitness so that all muscles can slide and move freely. Strain of the fascia affects all these functions: muscle development;

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lymphatic function; digestion; meridians; the nervous system; internal organs; and hair quality. The self-intelligent fascia organizes itself without intent or conscious direction. A person’s warm hand invites the fascia to respond in its own manner. Unlike most approaches to body therapy, fascial change acts independently of patterns. This is an amazingly important detail. Since fascia responds immediately to resolve issues throughout the entire body with self-direction and self-intelligence, we don’t control its process. In fact, you can be sure that hand contact on fascia will surpass results you planned, as well as accomplishing changes that you don’t imagine. The elusive properties of fascia allow it to slip through the cracks of science, but it is now a health and fitness frontier. Myofascial work is one of the myriad holistic ways to progress body health and fitness, along with massage, chiropractic, meridian work, acupuncture, and acupressure. The unique internet-like structure of fascia means that your work with fascia is actually much easier, since you are not


searching for tiny points or meridians, or other small areas on the horse. It is an ever-present, organizing tissue that connects all the parts. USING FASCIAL WORK WITH HORSES


n myofascial-release training, I learned something completely new:


how hidden feelings surface when myofascial cells open as they release compression, and in the process, release trauma that has been held in the body. The emotional and spiritual transformations that occurred during myofascial change fascinated me: this clearing of trauma by bodywork is part of the amazing miracle of myofascial change. In sessions with horses, I watched horses change emotionally and come to trust me. Horses in pain wanted help. I focused on solving long-term problems for horses. Horses with elusive, painful disabilities arrived to advance my experience. These talented horses with difficult imbalances challenged me in each session as the horses and I explored their blockages to fitness. Since I knew it was possible to regain 100 percent fitness (it had happened with me, after all), I communicated this understanding

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to them. An anxious horse is a fearful horse, and if we take no notice of his anxiety, or call it laziness or a bad attitude, a horse acts out to save his life, and the dance of dangerous dysfunction begins for the rider—or anyone else working with the horse. I became very interested in why so many horses didn’t “look fit.” Patterns revealing how these horses became 4

/ 1 / A light touch creates huge change, thanks to the interconnectivity of fascia. / 2 / Beau enjoys a Still Point as his poll change gives him relief from head imbalance. This is a common area of stress and deserves frequent check-ins. Being longed, wearing sidereins, and collection at a young age create poll strain. /3/B eau cocks one ear forward and one back as he intently receives this poll change. Notice how soft my hand looks, as if it is just draped over his poll. Less is more; no pressure or pushing works here. / 4 / Beau models a Still Point as my hand finds the grooves around his ears.

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E D U C AT I O N limited and miserable emerged. Digital photos became part of my work and I designed body maps to record the progress. I enjoyed the transformation these horses showed as they returned to fitness and productive lives. The riders were delighted. Since efficiency in this process is vital, I studied the patterns and the appearances of the horses. Over time, the body limits matched up with certain physical looks, despite the breed, age, or work. My form of bodywork, which I call Conformation Balancing, developed from this process of looking at the horse’s conformation and finding his imbalances. It was a major discovery to realize how little genetics or perfect situations could prevent a horse’s decline when he had a strain and an accident. The horses were well bred and well trained, but their conformation was unbalanced. The decline in these injured horses mystified their rider. The painful “softtissue” problem forces many welltrained and talented horses into a state of idleness, a great loss for both horse and rider. Like humans, horses are joyful when expressing their gifts and talent. Horses need help for loss of fitness, for when a horse isn’t fit, he’s caught in a primal, cellular panic, fearful that a predator will get him. A numbed state of resistant fear is not a happy life for a horse. Conformation Balancing was developed to offer tools that any motivated rider can learn to end this cycle of limitation and eruptions of fear by the horse. Our lives as riders depend upon our horses’ mental balance and cooperation. Conformation Balancing emphasizes the “Still Point” change for this reason: the Still Point occurs when the horse turns his attention inward as we work with his body to follow his body’s myofascial changes. His eye looks very focused and intense as he feels change happening in his tissue. These Still Point changes bring emotional and physical relief. He feels the change and recognizes it as an improvement. These cellular changes are unique to the myofascial-change process.

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As riders know well, the horse’s emotional experience often rules the day; the importance of the change for the horse in a Still Point is beyond words. Best of all, the myofascialrelease methods bring effective, lasting progress and relief. As with humans, this relief from pain lifts the horse’s spirits. The inner change of emotional, physical, and spiritual progress brings him into a new fitness. Since we are offering him relief, a new trust grows. THE TWO BALANCE POINTS


he horse’s head and the tail are the two balance points holding the “internet” or network of the horse’s fascia. The head changes offered with Conformation Balancing are essential since horses continually wear bits and halters. We can only dimly imagine the head imbalances that the average horse lives with daily. Head balancing brings a great relief of anxiety. Imagine the wear and tear on the horse’s head and neck from the moment of being started in the halter. Single-line longeing, a widely used practice when starting the young horse, is extremely stressful on the horse’s balance. The real problem is the tension placed on his poll and jaw, as well as the neck. This common training method may compromise the horse for the rest of his life with anxiety and inability to focus. Horses crave fascial work when their head isn’t balanced. Highly oral horses that cannot stand still without continually chewing on something always have an unbalanced head. There are many common causes of head imbalance, including: •T railer injury and ceiling impact. •T ying accident with a pullback incident. • Single-line longeing. •A birth accident (landing on the head, for example). •K ick in the head from rough social behavior. •H ead injury from fencing or other grazing accident.

The forehead, or frontal bones, can be misaligned by a kick, head impact, birth event, or accident. The horse’s eyes appear strained. The forehead may be uneven or there may be a mound or a dent. Your palm on the forehead balances it. This area may feel quiet, but it brings impressive change to the horse, and it often requires more than a few sessions. Short sessions are perfect for these fascia changes. Poll structure is unique for each horse. Some polls are flat and feel like a solid single bone. Others have two peaks. Still other polls have one large peak in the center. As you learn to feel your horse—and other horses—you’ll see how the poll moves and changes. Variations for horses are infinite: you may feel the poll move forward, backward, then up or down. This is all good. Your hand should always be soft— there is no pushing down on the horse. When the horse “flicks” you off the spot, he’s not interested—you can ask again later. Practice feeling the horse’s poll and sinking your fingers gently into the areas around his ears. Watch as the horse goes into an internally focused awareness. He is paying complete attention to his inner changes and his eye is inward. As the horse becomes conscious of the fascial changes he is experiencing, and as he accepts feeling those changes, the changes deepen. Along with the tail, working with the horse’s head changes offer prompt progress to the horse’s appearance. Dramatic changes in head shape, eye shape, and muzzle are common with myofascial work in this area. Try offering your soft hand on the poll or forehead frequently, perhaps three times weekly, at first, wait for the Still Point, and watch what happens. 

This excerpt from Is Your Horse 100%? by Margret Henkels is reprinted with permission from Trafalgar Square Books. TSB equestrian books and DVDs are available in Australia and New Zealand at

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For the good of the horse




f o r

c o n f o r m ation


- TWIN RIVERS FRIESIAN HORSE STUD Located Warrnambool, South West Victoria

Helping YOUR FRIESIAN DREAM BECOME Reality issue 32 V2.indd 31

web: e-mail:

0402 206 641 (please text as bad reception area)

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Riding with

Oliveira by Dominique



was born in France in 1950, and it was while at a Jesuit school in Poitiers that I discovered horses were my calling. At the age of fifteen, I attended Crabbett Park Equestrian Centre in West Sussex, England, and I would return to England in my twenties to attend the renowned Talland School of Equitation in Cirencester before exploring horsemanship and various disciplines—including show jumping, eventing, dressage, and steeplechase —at a number of highly regarded facilities throughout Europe. At some point I knew that I wanted to finish my equestrian education with


Baroque Horse DRESSAGE |

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to avoid the destructive side of PERFECTION – Dominique Barbier  Photo by Keron Psillas

Mestre Nuno Oliveira in Portugal. For all the time I was in England, I dreamed of it. Everyone said he was the man to be with, who taught in the style in which I already knew I wanted to learn—that of the Baroque or classical way, based on the teachings of great riding masters such as François Robichon de La Guérinière, Gustav Steinbrecht, and François Baucher. This was during the time the Mestre went to the renowned Cadre Noir in Saumur, France—the first foreign écuyer (riding instructor) to be invited to teach there. In Portugal, I discovered that the Mestre did not have fond memories of the British influence early in his life so my having trained so long in England was not a “plus.” He said to me, “Ah! You come from England! ” I was twenty-two; the Mestre was forty-seven. I was young and unknown; he was famous worldwide and very impressive. And there I was, too properly dressed, and the Mestre said to me sarcastically, “I like your British jacket.” I arrived in Portugal in the winter. As a southern European country, the Portuguese pretend that winter does not exist. The houses are not built for winter, nor the rains that come in January and the damp and cold that sets into the stone and masonry and stays until May! COLD MORNINGS


earning that the Mestre started riding at half past four each morning, of course I went the very first day. The wooden stairs up to the gallery overlooking the picadeiro squeaked, and the door was even worse..

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/ 1 / Dominique Barbier riding Dom Pasquale at Quinta do Brejo.  Photo courtesy of Dominique Barbier / 2 / The Mestre at home in the picadeiro.  Photo courtesy of Dominique Barbier / 3 / Dominique Barbier on Sargento Do Top  Photo by Davi Carrano

There was no way to be invisible. I will remember all my life the big eyes he turned on me—a mixture of, “What are you doing? ” and “I am happy someone is here.” He loved an audience, and I can relate to that. At 11:00 a.m. the students rode, then we had lunch, then the Mestre rode three more horses in the afternoon, after which we had a group lesson. But my favorite time by far was half past four in the morning, cold, silent, and alone. Just the Mestre, a horse, and me in a very small place. It was delicious. I could not wait for each morning. Watching Mestre Oliveira was surreal. He was a big man. Meeting him in the street you could not know that he was the finest écuyer in the world. He reminded me of Jean-Pierre Rampal, the famous French flautist—a very large man playing the lightest flute in the world. Oliveira’s teaching was minimal and personally given. Watching was the only way for me to absorb all I craved to know… watching him over and over again. I recall living (and learning) by being him many times over. Not watching but being him. Riding and living through him almost “molecularly.”

This instinct was so strong it fascinated me. Many times I thought about it and concentrated on making it work for me even better. The more I practiced this technique of watching and learning by being, the sooner I found refinement of my objective—improvement of my ability on horseback. Over the years I have developed many techniques based on this understanding and practice. My hours and hours of watching the Mestre at work have become even more important to me, if that is possible. Then I was absolutely

2 1

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intent on observing and using every nuance I could discern. And the more I watched that big man on a horse, the more I saw, and the more I felt. And the more I felt, the more I could transmit to my own horses. Ten days after my arrival in Póvoa Santo Adrião, the Mestre gave me the experience of my life. It was early in the morning, and I had my notebook in my pocket (what would one day become my book Dressage for the New Age). The Mestre was riding a great big gray horse belonging to a banker. The horse had sinking hips because of an accident early in his life, and only the Mestre rode him. Halfway through the session he stopped and called out, looking up at me, alone in the gallery, “You! Come down! ” My heart was pounding as I very quickly went down the creaky stairs in my street clothes: English jacket (you

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Over the years I have developed many techniques based on this UNDERSTANDING AND PRACTICE. My hours and hours of watching the Mestre at work have become even more important to me, if that is possible. Then I was absolutely intent on observing and using every nuance I could discern.

cannot ride without it in England) and Italian shoes. He asked me to mount the gray and canter on the circle to the right. You must understand, the picadeiro was very small, just the size of two longeing circles. So this horse was cantering around, and the Mestre said, “Descente de main, descente de jambes.” I knew: lower my hands and legs. Then he said, “Reins at the buckle.” I could do that, too. Next he instructed: “Lengthen the canter down the long side and circle again.” I loosened my back to lengthen the stride and the horse lengthened five or six strides. But then he announced, “Collect your horse! ” The gray was already going too fast and I had no contact with his mouth; therefore, I instinctually went to pick up the reins.

“Oh no! ” the Mestre bellowed Panic! What should I do? I thought about leaning back and “growing taller” in the saddle, and as I did I felt that incredible moment when the big horse came back to me, just with my brain sending him an image and my back growing taller. He rounded and collected beneath me without the reins. It was the epiphany of my life. I knew at that moment what I wanted to do with my horses and what I had to teach to others. It was a very powerful lesson. Mestre Oliveira told me to dismount and that was it. But it was one very early morning in Portugal that has never been forgotten and instead formed the very foundation for my riding and teaching in my lifetime ahead.



hen I was seven years old we lived in a little town in southwestern France called Cognac. My parents had a high-end deli-grocery that would create my taste for food for the rest of my life. It ruined me, really. Chocolate, truffles, foie gras—the best of everything. Anyway, I was a sickly child. My father was dedicated to making me stronger and more confident. My brother and I began to study judo. My teacher Mr. Durand was seventy years old and the only Westerner to achieve the rank of 7-dan, based on the system out of 10 formed in Japan. A higher dan indicates more leadership ability,


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E D U C AT I O N teaching experience, and service to the art. I could not have had a better beginning to the discipline. During my study of judo I learned respect for yourself, for your opponent, for the tatami—the traditional mat upon which we practiced. The emblem of judo is the flower of the cherry tree because the blossom falls from the tree un-wilted. In this way you can understand that you can lose a fight but retain your honor. I did not participate in matches until after a year of training. Always in a respectful way, following the best of the traditions of the martial art. At that time, there was no force in judo. We learned to exploit the areas of unbalance in our opponents. Much of this teaching of the differences in balance would later help me a great deal in my understanding and practice of work in-hand with horses. You must use the same kind of thinking: how to change the balance by redistributing weight and directing movement. I started riding horses when we moved to Poitiers and I began to attend the Jesuit school there. I was about twelve or thirteen at the time. Happily, the school was located just next door to the riding center—only a wall separated the two institutions. Very soon I informed the Jesuit Brothers that if I was thought to be missing, they could find me at the riding school. Perhaps it was my persistence at jumping the wall between the two (daily), but soon the instructors at the riding school just let me ride with very little supervision. They were kind to me. Some time later, my parents arranged for me to go on Thursdays and Saturdays for lessons at another riding center run by ex-military instructors. This was at the time when it was fashionable in France to import big Irish horses….by the trainload! I began to ride four-year-old, unbroken, enormously strong horses. And because I was so afraid of the proprietor, I found it was easier for me to “stay on” than to face his screaming if I didn’t. My next two summers, when I was fifteen and sixteen, were spent in England at Crabbett Park, and it was

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during this time that I met Brian Young (FBHS). I told him I wanted to join his lessons as the lessons I was having at the time at a sort of “Pony Club level” were not so interesting to me. I didn’t know that his lessons were for the candidates for their Fellowship of the British Horse Society certification! But for some reason, he let me join. I was the seventh in line, at the back. He was probably thinking, “Well, if I put this boy at the back he won’t interrupt too much, and he doesn’t speak English so he won’t understand anyhow.” So there I was in the lesson at the end of the line on an uneducated horse. But every time my instructor asked us to do something, I did it, and at the end of the course, the administrator talked to my father, asking if I could return to carry on with the professional course. I completed my British Horse Society Assistant Instructor (BHSAI) qualification when I was seventeenand-a-half years old. After those two summers in England I returned to France to ride in Limoges with Philippe Jouy, an international level jumper who was a great friend of Nelson Pessoa. Observing Mr. Jouy with his famous mare Stella taught me something very important. Stella was grand champion many times at her age level, but in her training, Mr. Jouy never practiced jumping. He would ride all the basics, work on rhythm, suppleness, flexibility, and balance. He rarely jumped her outside of the competition ring. This opened my eyes to a new concept: that the constant drilling of something, of an exercise, of endless practice, was completely superfluous. To this day, when something has been done well, or the horse achieves a greater refinement in a movement, I stop and reward. There is no reason to bore and frustrate your horse with constant repetition. It is destructive to his spirit and you will not gain brilliance and expression that way. While in Limoges, I experienced racing trotters, flat racing, and steeplechase horses. Mornings at the racecourse were enough to show me that I did not want to make my life in that world—one that exists to exploit horses. With the drugs, the broken

horses, and the harsh training, that world was too ugly for me. In the afternoons I studied with Adjudant Peyrat, a man who was given horses that were unable to race and those with bad training that had destroyed their tendons. He would pin fire (a method of counterirritation to speed healing) the legs of the horses and then only walk them for six months. Just walk. After that, within ten days he could do anything with the horse—even high school dressage movements. He put such a quality into the rhythm and suppleness at the walk that the horses were completely prepared, in their minds and in their bodies, to respond when he asked for different movements at the end of their rehabilitation. It was spectacular to see. Again, the lesson became clear: endless drilling of flying changes or of piaffe and passage was superfluous. And then it was time to return to England to achieve my British Horse Society Instructor (BHSI) qualification at the Talland School of Equitation with Mrs. Molly Sivewright, FBHS, the renowned institution’s founder, who the British Horse Society (BHS) later said was “one of the greatest instructors” England had ever seen. I enjoyed Mrs. Sivewright very much. I was jumping and exploring hunting, as well as learning to be a British Horse Society Instructor. It was Mrs. Sivewright who gave me the gift of listening when she asked me to ride her horse, Golden Caledon. This would bring me one step closer to riding with Mestre Oliveira. 

This excerpt from Riding with Oliveira by Dominique Barbier and Keron Psillas is reprinted with permission from Trafalgar Square Books. TSB equestrian books and DVDs are available in Australia and New Zealand at

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OVER SEVERAL YEARS Dominique Barbier had the unique opportunity to form an intimate relationship with Mestre Nuno Oliveira, and in this deeply personal book he chronicles their time together. Beginning in a tiny, dimly lit riding hall in Portugal, it also explores what came later when Barbier studied with the Mestre in Avessada and traveled with him to Belgium, France, and Spain. The result is a remarkable and insightful retrospective of one of the most extraordinary horsemen of all time.

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Side Saddle With PETRA MARZ

When you mention side saddles, it's hard not to instantly picture an elegant lady with a sinched small waist, long dress and a defined tall hat. It's an image we have seen time and time again in literature and on the silver screens.

38 Baroque Horse DRESSAGE |

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ide saddles have been around for thousands of years and have been seen in ancient Greek vases, sculptures, and Celtic stones. The design of the saddles naturally evolved over the years, and in medieval days then there was less control and stability in the saddle for the lady and were often pictured with a man leading the horse, and she was more of a passenger. In around 1300 more of a seat saddle was developed with a small footrest, however with the rider fully facing sideways it was difficult for the lady to control the horse, so she was generally led by another rider

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or by a person on the ground. Not until the 16th century did the single pommel (now known as the fixed head) first get introduced in order for the lady can sit facing forward, hooking her right knee over the pommel which would enable the lady to have more control over the horse. Side saddles these days were very limiting and could be very dangerous, and some women did take to riding astride. One such famous person was Marie Antoinette and Catherine the Great. The single pommel was successful however if the lady was to go any faster than a walk or comfortable slow trot or any upward movement

of the horse would easily unseat a lady and could be deadly if she was caught in the saddle and dragged to her death. In the 1830's, Jules Pellier designed the two pommel side saddle. With this design a second curved pommel (the leaping head) was added below the first one, enabling the lady to sit more securely, allowing her to ride the canter or gallop and even jump. This opened up for nearly all equestrian pursuits for lady riders. This design has fundamentally not changed over the years and has had only minor adjustments for the comfort of the rider and horse.

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I feel very safe riding and jumping side saddle. The leaping and fixed heads that we place our legs around, enable the rider to be secure and in a safe position in the saddle even if your horse may have a bunny buck here or there

I had a chat with Side Saddle instructor Petra Marz from Ridge View Equestrian near Canberra, Australia. BHM: How is side saddle riding in comparison to riding astride, do you feel unsafe? PM: Over the years I have found that riders either love it or hate it, however mostly it all starts with the saddle needing to fit right. You see, unlike an astride saddle a side saddle is asymmetrical and if the padding/ stuffing isn't correct the saddle will slide and not be balanced no matter how tight the girth. So if the first ride isn’t a pleasant ride, then most people won’t come back for a second go.

in the astride fashion and then place themselves aside, so it’s not a big adjustment if at all for the horse. Scrambling up a horse, be it astride or aside, is never a good option, as the saddle will shift and for side saddle, this is a definite no-no as the saddle will then not sit correctly. BHM: Does a horse need specialised training to be ridden in a side saddle? PM: 95% of side saddle riding is the fit of the saddle, so that is the MUST starting point for anybody looking to ride their horse in a side saddle. If the

I feel very safe riding and jumping side saddle. The leaping and fixed heads that we place our legs around, enable the rider to be secure and in a safe position in the saddle even if your horse may have a bunny buck here or there. BHM: Is it hard to get on and off.. does a horse need special training PM: Getting on and off when you have the right mounting block, box, step ladder or a person to "put you up" enables the rider to get on comfortably. Most people mount

saddle doesn’t fit then the horse will have problems as will the rider. A good side saddle horse should be athletic, intelligent, have sustainability in the field and most importantly have the best of temperaments (after all nobody wants to ride side saddle or hunt side saddle for a whole day on a bad mannered horse). I always recommend to people that they should start with a horse that is already well established in the three paces aside. This will make the change to side saddle for the horse and rider easier. BHM: How did you get into riding side saddle and how long have you been riding side saddle for?

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Far left: A medievil side saddle. Left: Side Saddle with one pommel. Right: An old painting of a gentleman helping a lady into the saddle.


etra gained her ‘A” level instructors qualifications and Side Saddle judges’ qualifications in the UK through the Side Saddle Association UK (a qualification recognised by the British Horse Society).

She runs side saddle, dressage and show riding lessons at her establishment Ridge View Equestrian situation at Carwoola NSW (just across the border from Canberra – 20 min from Canberra airport). You can find the details for Ridge View Equestrian on Facebook site Ridge View Equestrian. Ph 0417 068 985 www.


Petra is also a qualified Equestrian Australia (EA) Level 1 Dressage & Show Horse Coach, EA Show Horse Judge, Australian Hunter Horse Association judge and holds both a B.A./ Education and Cert IV in Training and Assessment with over 26 years as a professional educator to her credit.

BHM: Can beginners ride side saddle or do you need astride experience first? PM: You need to remember that there was a time where ladies and girls only ever rode side saddle. They were all beginners when they started, as astride riding was not

considered appropriate for the genteel female rider. The vast majority (there is always a minority) of rider’s these days tend to have already had some experience riding astride before they begin their side saddle journey. BHM: Can you perform all the same manoeuvres in side saddle as in astride? e.g. highlevel dressage? PM: Yes you certainly can. As with anything, it will greatly depend on how well-educated both horse and rider are in the discipline and the use of the aids. We tend to use a side saddle cane as our “other” leg so your horse will need to be trained to recognise this aid the same way as the leg aid it replaces.


PM: As I used to drive a fair distance to compete in just a few Open classes to gain Royal show qualifiers, I started looking at the show programs to see what other options there might be that could be fun to compete in. Quite a lot of the Ag shows back then offered side saddle classes. I knew a few people that had side saddles that I could borrow so I decided to try it out to see firstly if my horse and I would actually like it. It turns out we took to it like a duck to water, and I have competed side saddle ever since –a total of 16 years now.


BHM: Can you compete in side saddle?


A N C H O R B A R TA F I R O Standing at stud for his first season Pre Andalusian stallion


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Unfortunately you can't just go into a saddlery and buy a side saddle off the rack. Each side saddle was and still is MADE SPECIFICALLY to the rider’s measurements AS WELL AS THE HORSES.

PM: Many of the agricultural shows still feature side saddle classes, also some of the Royals, such as Canberra Royal. There are also breed societies, such as the Arabian Horse Society Australia and associations, such as the Australian Hunter Horse Association, that promote side saddle riding. Unfortunately, you are no longer able to compete in dressage competitions run under EA rules as the saddle criteria are now very specific as to the type of saddle you can use (we used to sneak it in when the EA still had “English type saddle” as a specification). However, some clubs do allow you to ride side saddle dressage at their club days. BHM: How do you get started in side saddle when you don't have the equipment? PM: Unfortunately you can't just go into a saddlery and buy a side saddle off the rack. Each side saddle was and still is made specifically to the rider’s measurements as well as the horses. A side saddle is constructed on an ‘asymmetrical’ tree, which takes into account the balance of the riders' legs to the one side of

the saddle (astride saddles are constructed on symmetrical trees). Hence the price tag is not a small one when you want to purchase a decent made side saddle. The best way to start before you begin parting with your hard earned coin is to have a go on an established side saddle horse to see if you like this way of riding. At Ridge View Equestrian, we teach side saddle riding on an experienced well-trained side saddle schoolmaster, and we get many first timers who come for a lesson just to have a go and see what it actually is all about. CAUTION: There are side saddles available on-line for around the AUS$600 mark that are very poorly made, constructed on astride and NOT proper aside saddle trees. Please avoid purchasing one of these. Even though they might seem a bargain these are terrible saddles which will cause back injuries to your horse and will put you in a very unsafe position making side saddle riding dangerous.

PM: We are fortunate to have in Australia some excellent side saddle makers. So if you are looking for a new side saddle made to your specifications, there are two side saddle makers which I can personally recommend; Ian Landcaster of Red Back Saddlery in Crockwell NSW (he also makes fantastic astride saddles and saddlery), and the other is Maree Rudd of The Saddlers Workshop Wangaratta VIC. Another option is to join some of the wonderful FB side saddle groups, which also let members sell their gear including second-hand side saddles. However, before you buy, make sure you know what you and your horses’ measurement are so that you go looking for the right size side saddle.

BHM: Where do you buy a side saddle from?

Above: Lounging your horse can help your horse get used to the feeling of the Side Saddle. Far Left: Petra at a competition. Left: Petra is showing that you can do many traditional equestrain pursuits in a side saddle including Jumping!

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Baroque Horse Festival

1ST - 2ND

Kryal Castle 2018 DECEMBER


The event is growing each year with plenty to do and see for the whole family. Including the annual parade, a range of Baroque themed displays such as Joust Of War, Horse Archery, Long reigning, Garrocha, Harness and different breed displays, market stalls and Kryal Castles full program of activities.

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The Baroque Horse Festival will be back again for its 5th year running in December 2018 so be sure not to miss this amazing event.

The festival is all about celebrating the Baroque horses with Friesian, Andalusian, Warlander, Lusitano, and derivate breeds on display.

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BHM: What do you wear for side saddle classes? PM: The type of outfit you wear will depend on whether you are a junior or senior rider, the time of day you are riding and the type of show you are at. However, the standard outfit will consist of:

BHM: How much does a side saddle cost? PM: A good second-hand side saddle starts at around the AUS$2000 mark and will go upwards from there depending on the quality and model.

a habit (jacket and apron (this is a type of safety skirt))



side saddle cane (this is the other leg)

short boots for juniors and long boots with one spur usually a Prince of Wales type for senior riders (the spur is on the foot that is not tucked under the apron)

rat-catcher shirt with stock and pin or collared shirt with a tie and pin

vest – woollen tattersall style or plain solid colour

velvet hard hat matching the habit colour or if allowed a silk top hat with a veil

hair is worn in a bun with a hairnet by senior riders while juniors may have their hair neatly plaited with a nice ribbon to finish.

senior riders should always wear minimal makeup if any.

There is NO BLING on either the horse or the rider, as the gear is plain - very much in line with the hunter standards. When put together correctly it looks very elegant, tasteful and regal.

BHM: What should you watch out for when you buy a side saddle? PM: Check that the tree is sound and not broken – you need to keep in mind that some of these second-hand side saddles are well over a hundred years old and have seen a lot of use. 1.

Make sure that all the strapping and stitching is in good condition.


Check if the stuffing needs replacing as it might still be the original from over a 100 years ago. Stuffing must be adjusted to give your horse a correct fit and will also stop the saddle from sliding.


Make sure that you have the correct balance strap, girth and safety stirrup for your side saddle model as these are not all the same, e.g. the stirrup safety fitting of a Champion & Wilton side saddle will be different to an Owen side saddle.


Check the integrity of the overall leather and/or doeskin seat as it can cost a lot of money to have these restored.

We would like to thank Petra for talking with us and explaining a few things about the Side Saddle. Petra gives side saddle lessons and you can check out her web for more information.

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Established in 1972 and the only Association in Australia to hold the stud books for the Purebred Spanish Andalusian, the Australian Andalusian, the Partbred Andalusian, the Hispano-Arabe and the Purebred Iberian (this registry is shared with the Lusitano Horse Association of Australia)


Contact Andalusian Horse Association of Australasia (inc) PO Box 266, Torquay, Victoria, Australia 3228. Telephone: 61 5263 3402 Email:

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Lipizzaner L






In Australia, we are fortunate to have some very good Lipizzaners due to the quality of breeders around the county. In the Britannica encyclopedia, it states that the spelling is Lipizzaner or Lippizaner - a name that is derived from the Austrian imperial stud at Lipizza, near Trieste formerly a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


owever you prefer to spell it this is a breed that is known for its exceptional characteristics such as their noble physique, elegant movements, trainability, energy, good nature, courage, toughness and stamina. Today they are most famous as being the white dancing horses of the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and as majestic and a highly intelligent breed that was also bred for Royalty. As are a very rare breed with approximately only 10,000 Lipizzaners on four continents being Europe, America, Africa and Australia this inspired me to write about this often overlooked breed. If you are looking for your next horse, I would like to encourage you to take a moment to consider the Lipizzaner as they have many, many endearing qualities.

But first, let's have a quick look at a brief bit of history on the breed. The Lipizzan or Lipizzaner breed as we call them in Australia has been around for over 450 years and is one of the oldest breeds in Europe. They were selectively bred for the mountainous conditions in the Karst region as they needed a horse that had endurance and longevity. The Napoleonic war (1798) and onward were difficult times for the Lippizaner. They had to be relocated many times, and the horses faced a lot of hardships and due to this very few foals were born. The climate was also different from the Karst region, and the horses did not do well. In World War II (1939-1945) they nearly became extinct during bombing raids, but with some hard work, the love for the breed

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03 O F

I N T E R E S T and careful breeding the Lipizzaner population began to grow again. Now that we have some history which is always nice to know let's look at their personalities. I spoke to a trusted friend about the Lipizzaner Katie Tullia and her thoughts of the character of the Lipizzaner after spending so much time with them in Hungry under the training of Edit Kappel and now owning a beautiful stallion of her own. Katie has given us a great insight into the breed. "In my experience of the Lipizzaner breed, I have found them to be of almost human intelligence and incredible sensitivity. They are strong-minded, strong-bodied and have greatness and nobleness of character. Their presence is enormous and as such; they feel bigger than they physically are. The Hungarian stallions of Szilvasvarad were hugely impressive with wide, intelligent eyes, broad foreheads, full of strength, presence and bone. They are tough, and they are workhorses. They need to be stimulated and are not for the lazy owner. Lipizzaners are not content to be left alone for days. Interested, intuitive and demanding of your attention, they are incredible teachers. You will learn more from a Lipizzaner than from any other breed I believe.

Hungarians have produced world-class teams of Lipizzaners for the sport of carriage driving; utilising their strength, stamina and athleticism. They embody a nobility of ancient times and carry with them a sense of wisdom that can be felt when in their presence. I have known and felt no joy quite like the magic found atop a Lipizzaner." SOME LIPIZZANER FACTS Height: 14.2 - 16.2 hands Physique: Strong and muscular Lifespan: 30-35 years Temperament: Highly intelligent and trainable but can also be stubborn



Way before the story that the Disney movie tells, the Lipizzaner breed dates clear back to the 16th century, where they were first bred as

They will not tolerate rough treatment and excel only with caring, sensitive and intuitive training. They require strong leadership and will return your strength and guidance with immeasurable joy and learning. Lipizzaners possess a natural physical ability and a mental aptitude for collection. Through select breeding, the Above drawing: From top to bottom the typical head shapes per the stallion line. Pluto, Neapolitano, Conversano, Maestoso, Favory, Siglavy. Photo top right: Kaite and her stallion ' 235 Favory Szuzi III' Photo right: Painting by johann georg de hamilton of Lipizzaner "Scarramuie" showing the breed in history for the weatly and important person.

the personal mounts of the Hapsburg monarchy, part of the Holy Roman Empire.



While the breed is closely associated with Vienna, Austria (which was the capital of the Hapsburg monarch for most of its existence), the horse is actually named for one of the earliest stud farms that were located in the village Lipizza (Lipica), in what is now Slovenia.

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517 Favory Saturn 111 Lipizzaner Stallion 16.12.2012 ~ 145 cm

contact: Lucy Mostert phone: 0410 810 702

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As many may know, the Lipizzan is grey, not white. What many don’t know is that they are born dark and gradually lighten with age, not achieving the “white” coat for which they are known until around 6-10 years of age. 1 is still, however, recommended to have any prospective purchase checked by a vet. Occasionally horses of Arabian, Andalusian, Lusitanian of Kladrubian origin can be recognised in a pedigree of a Lipizzaner, provided that traditionally accepted studs have crossed in those horses.




The pedigrees of 565 Lipizzan horses from eight European studs were traced back to the individuals considered as the founding population of the breed. The length of pedigrees was up to 32 generations, with an average of 15.2 complete generations. The pedigrees were also used to calculate 3

Just 200 years ago, according to the Lipizzan Association of North America, you could find black, brown, chestnut, dun, piebald and skewbald Lipizzans. Today, they still get a black or a brown every once in a while. (



There are eight foundation stallions (CONVERSANO, FAVORY, INCITATO, MAESTOSO, NEAPOLITANO, PLUTO, SIGLAVY, TULIPAN) that the various registries recognise. They do not all recognise all eight. Six of them are from the original Lipizza stud farm lines. Those six stallions were not all grey. Pluto, one of the most famous, Maestoso, and Siglavy were indeed grey. However, Conversano was black, Favory was dun, and Neapolitano was bay. The other two came from outside lines from other Eastern European countries (



Lipizzaner have very specific registration guidelines when it comes to their names. Male horses (stallions or geldings) must have the name of the foundation stallion as the first word in their name. For the second, the name of the dam. For mares, names should end in “a.” And what happens with duplicates? Roman Numerals are assigned to distinguish between horses. Half-Lipizzan mares are not allowed to use traditional Lippizan names or roman numerals. (www.lipizzan. org) A study of Lipizzaner DNA showed a high level of genetic diversity, which helps to keep the breed healthy. There are no genetic health issues commonly associated with Lipizzaners. It


gene proportions of founder breeds and individual founders. About 52% of the current genes are of Spanish or Italian origin, 21% Arabian, 8% Fredriksborg, 4% Kladruby, 3% English and 2% Shagya-Arab. The most important founder individual was Toscanello Hedera, followed by Napolitano, one of the founders of the classical stallion lines, each contributing more than 6% of the current gene pool. This is just a snapshot of the beautiful and talented Lipizzaner, and I hope this has given you an insight into this baroque breed and owning such a horse is sure to stand out from the crowd! /1/B ay Lipizzaner at the Spanish Riding School. Photo- Brauner Lipizzaner_c Spanische Hofreitschule_René van Bakel - Kopie /2/P iber meets Vienna - c Spanish Riding School_ Herbert Graf.2 /3/B eautiful head of a young Lipizzaner References:

Baroque Horse DRESSAGE |

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Zaldi saddles A world beaang service – delivered to your door from stock or made-to-measure within 10 days.

Zaldi’s saddles are developed in conjunccon with Olympic riders and are the choice of the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre and the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art.

Fast despatch all items in Zaldi’s range Please contact us for any Zaldi items not shown on our website.

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Cell-Perform is also a great choice to supplement daily bone mineral, trace-mineral and vitamin requirements when choosing a more natural ration of roughage (hay, chaff) and grazing for horses which are sensitive to grain, or when price and economy is paramount.

Recovery after exercise and competition…

Balance your horse’s nutrition… Many performance horses can suffer from nutrient deficiencies of important-trace minerals and vitamins, even when their diet adequately meets energy and protein levels. Meeting the trace-mineral and vitamin needs relative to your horse’s weight and exercise workload is essential for athletic performance, health, the immune system and overall physiological function. Another reason why supplements are important for our Aussie horses is that our soils, grass and hay are often deficient in minerals such as selenium, copper, iodine, zinc and calcium. This can have a big impact on how your horse feels, looks and performs. A washed out, dull or dry coat, irritable, tired and lack lustre performance, are the common signs of low or inadequate micronutrient intake. Even other symptoms, such as repeated bouts of skin infection, colds or lameness may indicate a problem with the nutritional balance in your horse’s daily feed. Boost your horse’s coat condition, gloss and skin plus improve stamina and strength by selecting a quality Kohnke’s Own supplement, specially formulated for Australian conditions. Meeting the daily recommended requirements of all trace-minerals and vitamins will help ensure optimum nutrition for competitive performance. The daily requirements of nutrients increase as training and workload increases, so a specially tailored performance supplement is essential for upper level competition horses and ponies. A top-up supplement containing a comprehensive nutrient formulation, such as Kohnke’s Own® Cell-Perform™, can help to balance and fully meet the elevated needs of horses in regular training and competition. Cell-Perform contains higher levels of important muscle antioxidants for robust strength, stamina and impulsion in competitive horses. issue 32 V2.indd 52

Many owners overlook the importance of recovery of their horse’s muscles after training and competition. Optimising the process of muscle recovery assists fitness and improves performance on subsequent days, which is especially important for competitions with multiple events. After each training or competition session, a fascinating chain of events takes place in the muscles of a horse. As soon as exercise stops, recovery processes begin with glucose being loaded back into the muscles to restore muscle sugar or energy stores and the amino acid glutamine triggers branched chain amino acid uptake and protein synthesis in the recovering muscles. As muscle energy, blood sugar and circulating fats are depleted during exercise, providing a targeted muscle food can optimise refuelling of tired muscles after training or competition. Protein replenishment is required to maintain muscle mass and tone during training and repeated hard exercise. Often, rations for performance horses do not provide enough good quality and essential amino acids, leading to poor top-line, lack of muscle bulk or reduced exercise response in horses. If your horse requires better top-line and muscle tone, a supplement of amino acids, especially glutamine and branched chain amino acids, can boost muscle development and help re-build top-line. The best aid to recovery would be to provide a ‘muscle food’ directly after hard training or competition, with high concentrations of glutamine and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). Kohnke’s Own Muscle XL is the ultimate muscle food, formulated to help improve post-exercise recovery and build better top-line and muscle bulk quickly and easily. This easy to use supplement combines the major muscle nutrients, such as quality protein sources containing naturally high levels of BCAAs and glutamine, plus other nutrients which assist in further recovery processes, such as high potency vitamin E and organic sulfur with antioxidant and natural anti-inflammatory effects in fatigued and depleted muscle cells.

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Cell-Perform: Step up to the next level of performance with this comprehensive bone mineral, trace-mineral and vitamin formulation with extra nutrient levels specific for improved muscle function, strength and stamina. Perfect for performance horses in all levels of competition for robust movement and impulsion. Available in 1.4 kg (35 doses), 4 kg (100 doses), 10 kg (250 doses)

Muscle XL: Top-line and muscle building supplement with high quality protein and branched chain amino acids for improved muscle development, strength and stamina. Contains extra MSM and high potency vitamin E for muscle health and recovery after hard training. See the difference with improved top-line quickly and easily. Available in 800 gram (13 doses, 1 course), 2 kg (33 doses), 6 kg (100 doses), 10 kg (166 doses)

Gastro-Coat: Natural supplement for gastro-intestinal health, with multiple actions to reduce stomach lining irritation from gastric acid. Gastro-Coat is an ideal supplement to help support optimum digestive function and reduce gastric irritation in horses regularly working and travelling to competitions. Compatible with medications for gastric ulcers, such as omeprazole. Available in 1 kg (17 doses), 3 kg (50 doses), 6 kg (100 doses), 10 kg (167 doses), 20 kg (333 doses)

Mag-E: The most popular supplement for calm performance in Australia, with organic chelated magnesium, high potency vitamin E and vitamin B1 for optimum results. The magnesium chelate allows flexible dosage options and doesn’t unbalance the diet, compared to supplements of plain inorganic magnesium oxide, chloride or sulfate. Suitable for anxious and nervous horses or those stressed by travelling and busy competitions. Does not swab or affect performance. Available in 425 gram (28 doses), 1 kg (66 doses), 2.5 kg (166 doses)

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02 H E A LT H



by Dr. John Kohnke BVSc RDA and Ms. Georgia Leva BSc (Zoology) Even with the best of care, the latest feeds and horse management practices, our equine counterparts can still suffer from a range of health issues. Three of the most commonly reported health issues horse owners face are colic, gastric ulcers and laminitis. Whilst the incidence and severity of these issues may vary between individual horses, it is vital that horse owners understand these conditions that can affect a horse’s health and well-being and have an effective management plan to reduce the risk of such problems and respond to any ill-health issues that may arise.


Baroque Horse DRESSAGE |

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he experience of having a horse go down with acute colic can be one of the most alarming and sometimes difficult predicaments for any horse owner. On average, a horse will suffer from a painful colic about 3 times during its lifetime. Up until 30 years ago, 90% of colic cases were caused by heavy burdens of Bloodworm larvae, but nowadays, with effective worming programs to target these worms, the incidence of worm related colic has dropped to 2% on well managed horse properties. Colic is a general term that has been used for hundreds of years to describe any cause or degree of pain in the abdomen of the horse. Unfortunately, a horse’s digestive layout predisposes it to digestive disturbances. These can be caused by changes in feed, resulting in gas production that expands the large bowel to cause pain, increased motility of the intestines and blockages due to food mass compaction. Roughly 30% of colic cases are caused by impaction in the large intestine due to over feeding of grains and/or dry roughages or the digesting mass drying out due to lack of adequate water intake or excessive

it in a clean, polywoven chaff bag and allowing it to absorb moisture for 10 minutes prior to feeding it to ponies and miniatures under cold early morning or wintery conditions. Providing luke-warm water to drink in buckets on frosty mornings also encourages horses, ponies and miniatures to drink more water to maintain hindgut hydration. Accidental ingestion of sand with food is often a problem in horses when pasture is sparse. Horses which are eating feed off the ground in overgrazed or drought affected paddocks and in coastal areas where soil is naturally sandy, will ingest sand as they graze on sandy soils. Fine beach-like sand is more likely to mix with feed residues and consolidate in the hindgut. Coarse sand, such as river sand is less likely to compact. Sand can be ingested with grass which is contaminated with flood water sediment or rain splash of sand particles on sparse grass after a heavy shower of rain. Often an increase in the number of sand related colic incidences occur between 2 -3 weeks after flooding or heavy rain showers on sandy soil paddocks. It is well known that young foals will dig into and ingest sand as an inherent habit if confined to a sandy yard or paddock. Sand that is ingested does not

When it comes to your horse’s health, PREVENTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN CURE. Good management practices, in conjunction with a well-balanced diet, ARE ESSENTIAL to help maintain your horse’s health and vitality.

loss due to heavy sweating in exercising horses. Impaction colic most commonly occurs in winter when a horse quickly eats a large amount of dry hay without drinking adequate water due to the freezing temperature of the water or reduced thirst under winter conditions. Impaction colic is particularly common if the horse doesn’t chew its food properly or has poor teeth that cause reduced chewing efficiency. Ponies and miniature horses are highly susceptible to this type of impaction colic. It is important to dampen dry hay by dunking a biscuit in clean water, or hosing

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break down within the digestive system and because of the sack-like structure of the caecum and the 2 sharp and narrow bends in the hindgut, sand can continue to accumulate over time, with large amounts causing bowel blockage which is commonly referred to as ‘Sand Colic’. Horse’s who have ingested considerable amounts of sand may also develop low grade diarrhoea, gut discomfort and a reduced appetite, cases of sand colic can be fatal due to the weight of sand which devitalises the hindgut wall and it ruptures to contaminate the abdominal cavity with digestive bacteria which result in acute peritonitis.

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02 H E A LT H

Sand intake can be easily monitored by inspecting your horse’s manure. Place about 500 grams of fresh manure in a bucket, and add 1 litre of water, stir thoroughly to break up the manure balls with a stick and then let stand for a few hours overnight. If there is more than one tablespoon or more than 1 mm of sand that has settled out, then this is an indication of excessive sand ingestion. The symptoms of colic can range in severity from a mild discomfort, to an extremely intense, localised and painful form, which can be life threatening. Studies indicate that about 10% of colic’s are fatal, often associated with extreme distress and physical injury. A horse with intense abdominal pain appears to lose all awareness and self-preservation instincts by going down, rolling and knocking its legs in an attempt to relieve the pain. This is a RED ALERT- you must summon the vet immediately. A silent ‘belly’ sound is often the worst sign associated with colic and is an indication of a grave to serious condition. Historically, there has been a number of ‘colic’ drenches or ‘treatments’ available, often as potions containing plant extracts with sedative and often relaxant properties to ease pain and muscle spasm. However, these preparations are only effective in the types of colic related to bowel spasm and low-grade blockages. Colic caused by heavy Bloodworm infestations, sand accumulation, intestinal infections, bowel twists and digestive upsets may not respond to simple ‘colic’ drenches, and these can be fatal if not properly diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian. There are a few simple steps that horse owners can take to reduce the risk of colic. Always feed only a good

quality horse food at all times, avoiding mouldy or poorly cured hay and chaff in particular. Finely cut cereal chaff has been associated with a risk of impaction colic in horses. A long cut, ‘rough cut’ or coarsely shredded white chaff stimulates more chewing and increases moisture from salivation and better prepares the fibre for digestion. To reduce the risk of impaction colic, particularly in winter, hay should be fed slightly dampened especially for older horses, ponies and minis, as well as ‘hoovers’ or those which eat quickly due to competition for food. Dampened hay does not reduce the chewing action and salivation, in fact, it may actually increase the chewing as the horse is more comfortable munching on the softened hay. The best way found to remove sand from the hindgut and to prevent sand related colic is to feed psyllium husks mixed in a coarse feed for two consecutive days, once a month. The psyllium husks can be mixed into a dry feed containing coarse cut chaff or sunflower hulls at a ratio of 100g psyllium husk per 1 litre of coarse feed, at a rate of approximately 70 – 100g psyllium husks per 100 kg body weight. As molasses water will activate the mucilages in psyllium husk, to help ensure acceptance, you can mix in 20ml of Kohnke’s Own garlic flavoured Energy Gold per litre of the feed mix. The psyllium husk mucilage forms a sticky, gluggy substance when mixed with water in the digestive system and helps to adhere to and collect the sand for removal in the droppings. Ensure that feed bins and hay racks are provided and placed away from sandy soils to reduce the risk of sand ingestion on soils containing fine sand. Regularly worm with a broad spectrum paste or liquid formulation every

6 – 8 weeks to control the major internal parasites. Two worming’s, three weeks apart will help to break the Small Strongyle lifecycle. Rigorous pasture and stable hygiene to reduce manure contamination improves the effectiveness of worming alone by 5 -10 times in controlling worm burdens. If you are worried your horse may be displaying symptoms of colic, it is important that you call your vet immediately. GASTRIC ULCERS ARE MORE COMMON THAN YOU THINK


tudies indicate that up to 63% of performance horses suffer from Gastric Ulcers (EGUS). After race horses, dressage horses have the highest incidence of EGUS of any equestrian discipline which may be reflected by the type of training dressage horses are asked to perform. Dressage horses are required to develop impulsion and collection enabling the two hind limbs and lower back to take on more of the horse’s weight combined with tensing the lower abdominal muscles. These exercises can ‘squish’ the stomach, forcing gastric acid onto the non-protected upper lining of the stomach and result in ‘gastric reflux’ burns around the border of the stomach wall lining and the oesophageal (gullet tube) entrance into the stomach. The non-secretory upper areas of the stomach lining, especially around the entrance from the oesophagus or gullet, do not have a glandular area to secrete viscous mucus to provide acid protection. This area of the stomach wall relies solely on the thick mucus and alkaline saliva swallowed as a horse chews its feed to buffer the acid produced in a continuous flow by the acid-secreting glandular, but well protected, lower gastric lining.

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EGUS is graded into 5 grades (0–4) relative to the number, position, type and depth of the ulceration, with Grade 4 being the worst form. Acid irritation is regarded as an early stage of EGUS in competitive horses and studies have shown that 90% of horses in training have acid ‘reflux’ irritation and reddening, with symptoms of discomfort when eating. Young foals have been shown to have up to a 50% risk of ulcers, and those subjected to the stress of transport, injury or separation from their mothers, may have up to 100% incidence of developing ulcers in the glandular lining of the stomach. Horses at rest spend the majority of their day standing or walking around, with grazing providing regular stomach fill and copious quantities of alkaline, mucus buffering saliva, alkaline grass and hay to help shield the non-glandular lining of the upper stomach and avoid highly acidic gastric acid reflux irritation. Modern management practices, especially among performance horses, in full training, often limit foraging and provide high starch-based concentrates as the basis of the feed ration. Many elite level performance horses are stabled for a large proportion of the day and turned out into small yards, to help minimise the risk of injury. A proportion of performance horses are also exercised early in the morning on an empty stomach, which increases the risk of acid reflux and stomach acid burn. Gastric ulcers can also occur in response to stress, long distance travelling and a strenuous competition schedule, especially in the more ‘nervy’ types of horses. The most common signs of EGUS include a loss of appetite which develops as a horse progresses in training, especially cantering exercise or fast work in race horses, slow feed consumption and ‘picky eating’ habits and a change to agitated, anxious ‘nervy’ unsettled behaviour due to gastric acid reflux and its associated discomfort. Many horses will readily eat hay and pasture because it provides an alkaline buffering action to limit gastric acid attack on ulcerated areas, but ‘pick’ or leave a more acid producing grain-based feed. Some horses ‘slobber’ more and ‘chew the bit’ during or following exercise, presum-

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IT IS IMPORTANT AS A HORSE OWNER, to be aware of the different health issues your horses

can suffer so as we ensure that we are able to manage and handle any health situations they may face.

ably to salivate and buffer the gastric acid which accumulates and irritates an ulcerated area. Many horses suffer from anxiety during travelling and develop acid ‘reflux’ heartburn, especially when travelling long distances. A horse may arrive at its destination restless, anxious, agitated, fidgety, non-cooperative and appear ‘nervy’ due to stomach acid burn. Some horses have even been reported to be unwilling to reload onto the float or truck after long distance travel, due to the discomfort and anxiety associated with travelling. Observations over a 5 year period suggest that providing natural mucilage compounds which are reduced and destroyed by feed processing, such as boiling, pelleting, micronisation and extrusion, by supplementing a natural product such as Kohnke’s Own® GastroCoat®, containing natural food phospholipids and mucilages, helps to maintain the chewing action and natural salivation. It also helps to maintain the appetite, which is important for horses in high levels of work or those that are regularly travelling. Gastro-Coat can be mixed with oil and given as a paste before each training session or before travelling. Feeding 4 litres of slightly dampened lucerne chaff which has a high stomach buffering action and reduces gastric acid ‘splash’, with 2 scoops of Gastro-Coat roughly 30 minutes before training or travelling and on arrival before competition, helps to ensure natural salivation, gastric buffering and maintain the appetite. Gastro-Coat is compatible and can be used in conjunction with other ulcer treatments including Omeprazole.

It is wise to avoid working a horse within 30 minutes of providing a full hard feed as it is likely to cause stomach weight discomfort. However, feeding a small feed of lucerne chaff (500 g) and Kohnke’s Own® Gastro-Coat® roughly 30 minutes prior to exercise and travelling can help reduce the risk of gastric ulcers and associated colic. LAMINITIS WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT


aminitis, or inflammation and fluid build-up within the hoof, is a painful and debilitating problem which can have long term crippling effects in horses, ponies and miniatures. Although there are a number of causes of laminitis, it has been estimated that 80 – 85% of laminitis is seasonal and related to the excess consumption of fructan and soluble sugars, as well as non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs) from good quality pasture and hay in grazing horses and ponies, especially those which are ‘good doers’ or ‘hooverers’. Many well-fed horses and ponies have a metabolically -induced risk of developing laminitis if they are over-weight with underlying Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) or Insulin Resistance (IR) as they age over 10 – 12 years of age or develop Cushing’s Disease in old age. Other less common causes include severe toxic founder due to infection from hoof abscesses; retained membranes in a newly foaled mare or a septicaemia form of colic or travel sickness; stress founder resulting from dehydration and stress, or when standing for long periods during transport; concussion founder when worked at speed on a hard surface and ‘weight transfer founder’ due to excessive weight bearing on a ‘good’ limb for more than 9 – 10 minutes at a time to take the weight off an adjacent, severely painful injured limb as a result of a bone fracture, a severe tendon injury or a wound, such as a deep wire cut from a fence. If you are the owner of an overweight, ‘cresty’ horse, or a horse which is sensitive to laminitis, it is important to ensure that you plan and adapt an adequate feeding and manage-

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02 H E A LT H

ment plan. The management goals in preventing feed related ‘founder’ are most commonly implemented from the start of spring or following late summer rains, when lush, rapidly growing plants with new shoots are likely to provide high amounts of soluble sugars and Non-Structural Carbohydrates (NSCs). However, it is important to remember that laminitis can occur at any time of the year. Even frost damaged pasture grasses during winter and early spring, as well as dried standing grass which has not seeded in a drought, can all contain high levels of soluble sugars stored in the leaves, stems, plant base and roots. Stress from frost causes wilting and triggers the transfer of sugars and NSCs from the leaves and stems into the bases of the plants so that they can survive. If allowed access to dying or dead dried off grass, horses will selectively graze to seek the sweet, sugary roughage. Restricting the grazing hours of your horse is extremely effective in the management of laminitis. Studies show that in horses and ponies susceptible to sugar-induced laminitis, grazing should be restricted to 1 ½ hours early to mid-morning (to 10 am) and again for a short time of a maximum of 1 hour in the mid to late afternoon. This is

because the peak production of fructan and other water soluble and NSCs in the leaves of plants synthesised by photosynthesis, occurs during the hours of the late morning to mid-afternoon period. These sugars in the grasses will peak during sunny days and be at their highest during these times and high levels extend into the early evening and until after midnight. Therefore, allowing horses and ponies to graze after midnight will help to ensure they are grazing grasses when they are at their lowest NSC levels, as the sugars are converted to structural fibres, such as cellulose in the stems and leaves overnight. However, it is most convenient to confine them to a yard or stable overnight to prevent them consuming the high sugar ‘sweet’ grass during the first 4 hours after sunset (refer to Sugar Storage of Cereal Grasses graph). Another effective way to reduce sugar intake in horses and ponies which are overweight or ‘cresty’ or susceptible to laminitis or suffer from Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) or Insulin Resistance (IR), is to soak some or all of the hay they consume daily. Studies have shown that the ideal method for soaking hay is to soak it for 30 minutes in double its volume of luke-warm water. Soaking for periods longer than 60 minutes removes very few additional sugars and increases


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the risk of microbial growth. Longer soaking periods also reduce the level of other important water-soluble nutrients, such as magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and sulphur, as well as water-soluble vitamins. After soaking, take the hay out to drain and air dry for 10–15 minutes before feeding to your horse or pony. Do not feed the soaking water – it is high in released sugars! Soaking the hay in this way can remove up to 60% of the water-soluble sugars. It is very important to soak ryegrass, fescue, mixed grass and good quality cereal hay as these varieties of hay, are higher in soluble sugars compared to lucerne hay. If you are feeding soaked hay each day for a period longer than 7 days to reduce your horse’s calorie intake, then you should add a daily supplement of trace-minerals and vitamins, such as Kohnke’s Own® Cell-Provide®, to help ensure that the recommended intake of important soluble nutrients (traceminerals and vitamins) is met to replace a portion of these important nutrients which are leached out of the hay along with the sugars, by soaking. Although, protein does not trigger a laminitic episode alone, excess protein can be converted to blood sugars in the liver, which can result in an insulin ‘surge’ and risk laminitis. During recovery from laminitis, it is important to provide nutrients for hoof growth and repair. A half cupful of cracked lupins or canola meal (33% crude protein) or one third of a cupful of full fat soya bean meal (30% crude protein) in a 400-500 kg horse, will help contribute essential amino acids for hoof wall regrowth. This rate of supplementation with half a biscuit of lucerne hay (soaked) will also contribute good quality protein and calcium for hoof growth and repair. When it comes to your horse’s health, prevention is always better than cure. Good management practices, in conjunction with a well-balanced diet, are essential to help maintain your horse’s health and vitality. It is important as a horse owner, to be aware of the different health issues your horses can suffer so as we ensure that we are able to manage and handle any health situations they may face. a

17/7/18 10:39

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17/7/18 10:39

02 H E A LT H


Feeding f o r

t h e


By Catherine McDowell – H e r b a l i s t

It is becoming very difficult in many parts of Australia to access adequate feed for horses and many people are doing their very best to keep their animals as healthy possible. Lack of access to good quality hays is causing problems for many, and I have had several clients who inadvertently were feeding out only TEFF hay -a high oxalate hay- unbeknownst to them. High Oxalate feeds cause the condition known as bighead and is a common feature of Queensland and coastal environments. Oxalates rob Mg and Ca from the system so supplementation of both Ca and Mg is advised. Many owners or old-time farmers are feeding out Bran pellets, oats or wheat depending what they can find. This kind of feeding is disastrous longterm for horses due to the calcium/phosphorus ratio imbalance and it is important that if you are feeding in drought conditions you try your best to provide 24/7 hay or forage that can supply the calcium as well as the phosphorus. This ratio can be calculated at 2-3 parts calcium to 1-part phosphorus. A good general guide is that Green feeds and herbs (including beet pulp) is the Ca and the P is usually white or brown feeds. The safe calcium:phosphorus ratio in the diet of a mature horse is a range of 1:1 to 6:1, though the ideal is generally recognized to be 2:1. If the calcium:phosphorus ratio of your entire ration, including hay, grass, seeds, and herbs and minerals,

is between 1.5:1 and 2.5:1, that is a very appropriate ration (Sonntag et al., 1996). A big concern of under feeding horses is ulceration of the GIT. Watch out for personality changes, tight gut or kicking up, manure changes or starry coat- all signs of discomfort in the gut and possible ulcers. Herbs can be used to mimic the grazing habits of horses by providing the much-needed nutritional variation and will be of medicinal value as well. Let us consider some of the vitamins and minerals one at a time. Vitamin A: Is found in Carrots and Lucerne and is therefore much better supplied in feed, rather than in processed supplements. Vitamin B: Vitamin B12 is a little harder to get and is best found in the herb Comfrey which can be offered OCASIONALLY AND IN SMALL QUANTITES and in these doses is a valuable supplement. Bioflavinoids: Can be supplied by carrots, Maritime Pine bark extract and Rue extract which contains Rutin.

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There are many sources of bioflavonoids in the world, the above are some that are easily available for your horse. Vitamin C: Is found in fresh greens .If a horse is kept away from green pick then half a cup of whole dried Rosehips in boiling water and allowed to cool will provide all Vitamin C and Iron that is missing. Choline: Is found in bitter vegetables and the leaves of Dandelions and a few fresh leaves can be offered a stabled horse from time to time. Otherwise let a

few dandelions grow around the yard and the Horse will chose them for itself. Vitamin D: Is synthesized by the action of Sunlight on Skin and found in Fish Oils. Not needed as a supplement for grazing animals. Always consider Vitamin D when rugging horse for long periods. Vitamin E: is found in abundance in green fresh feeds. It is also found in abundance in almond meal, Hemp seed and sunflower seed. Hemp seeds are rich in healthy fats and essential fatty acids. They are also a great protein source

and contain high amounts of vitamin Phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulphur, calcium, iron and zinc. Calcium: Is found in Leafy Greens and in Molasses (along with Sulfur) Iron: Is found in Rosehips, in Green Feed and in Molasses and Kelp. Silica: Is found in dried feed in abundance. Trace Elements: Are all found in Kelp.

If feeding the average horse, I like to give the following feeds with herbs – I have weighted the calcium phosphorus ratio in each element as a basic guide.


was first introduced to the concept of Herbal Lore when I was very young. I think one of the earliest influences I can remember was from my grandparents, who were very traditional Bathurst farmers of the well known Cox family. My grandfather had the “people’s home library” which was a compendium of all kinds of home cures. Herbal Medicine is, at its core, studying nature and the humanities. It’s about observing our diet, our environment and how we respond. Keeping a balance is difficult in the modern era as we are no longer interacting with our environment in the same way as we may have done even as little as a 100 years ago. As a Dorothy Hall graduate working along side the well known Robert McDowell for many years and furthering my education with Dennis Stewart, I have developed my own unique application of herbal remedies. Working primarily with animals (Horses and Dogs) has been the most rewarding. Having seen herbs work so well in so many cases has proven to me time and again the under-utilised power of herbal medicine. It is heartening to see now Vets, and some Medical Doctors seeing the traditional application of herbs as useful. My comprehensive service includes free animal consultations 24/7 via my web site, and face to face consultation in Bathurst – ■

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03 O F



How can we install timber fence posts so as to have a long-lasting fence

post and the concrete block. Over time the post will move within this space. This will happen with any formed of strained fence, the post will tend to lean in the direction of the strain. One tip to reduce any movement in concrete is to use some very large nails in the area of the post that will be covered in concrete. Simply lay the post down as shown on the picture below (left), and hammer in the nails around the post in the area to be set into the concrete. Please note many fencers prefer rammed in rock or sight soil at the immediate base of the post. It is not necessary to concrete to the full depth of the post, and in fact it is beneficial to use other materials also. This technique will prevent the post being pulled up when it contracts by the strained rail, horse impact or movement above. The post may be able to move laterally slightly, but it can never move far because the steel

All fences have different requirements and soil conditions vary widely. Therefore there is not one single answer. However there are some universal tips and principles that those taking on DIY fencing should keep in mind. First lets deal with a couple of common myths Install timber fence posts – The big Myth “If I use concrete the post can’t ever move”


is a common misconception that if concrete is used to secure a post, than the concrete will prevent the post moving in the ground. Many customers are mistaken that concrete fixes anything and don’t really understand its role in securing posts. They do not understand that the ground itself moves, and that the concrete

merely makes the base of the post larger and heavier. This weight and larger girth does make the post more secure but if there is either soft soil surrounding the concrete or continual pressure upon the post the whole concrete base will move over time. Such pressure is common in strained fences, like our poly fence, and is over come by bracing the post see horse fence post bracing. To install timber fence posts to prevent movement consider that the timber will shrink over time. Timber posts are often sold “green” or “wet” and will dry in the weeks after installation. When timber dries it reduces in size. However the concrete you set the post in will not change creating a space between the


nails will not contract and will forever be in contact with the concrete. Installers of shade sails are often reluctant to use timber posts because of the contraction issue. Shade sales create a lot of upwards force on the post, literally pulling posts out of the ground. As such they often used steel posts, but this method is often used as well to accommodate timber posts. A similar force is created with our strained horse fence rail. 

For other general information on installing posts see our pdf manuals end post installations for horse fencing, and interim fence posts for horses: http://fencing4horses.

Baroque Horse DRESSAGE |

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02 H E A LT H

H Five Handy


P O P U L A R H A N D Y H I N T S A N D P R A C T I C A L A D V I C E F R O M K O H N K E ’ S O W N

TIPS BY DR JOHN KOHNKE BVSC RDA, D R P H I L I P P A K O H N K E (Kohnke’s Own Information Manager) & K A R E N S T E R N B E C K (Kohnke’s Own Nutritional Advisor)

Check out some great tips from one of Australia’s most popular and knowledgeable veterinarians! You can also find more great advice on his Facebook page



Horses will ingest sand and dirt as they forage around on limited pasture or sandy areas, or often when they are fed their hay on the ground. Fine beach-like sand mixes with digestive particles and compacts more readily as compared to coarse river type sand. The sand ingested that is accumulated within the digestive system is not digested and tends to settle out in the lower segments and corners of the bowels of the hind gut. Often, over time, a large amount of sand builds up, mixed with digestive particles and can lead to damage of the digestive lining as it is very abrasive, its weight can devitalise the hind gut ling causing it to die and rupture and the restriction within the bowels can also increase the risk of impaction colic from hay and other dry feeds. An easy and simple way to measure your horse’s sand accumulation is to take a few pieces of fresh manure and place into a bucket of fresh water. Break the manure up as much as possible by mixing it with a stick and then let the mixture settle overnight. Any sand that is present will settle out into the bottom of the bucket. Tip out the contents of the bucket slowly to reveal the sand remaining at the bottom. This will provide an indication of how much sand is present in your horse’s manure, thus the amount of sand your horse is ingesting. In most cases, a layer of more than 2-3 mm thick is an indication that a significant amount of sand is being ingested. Sand removal is best achieved by feeding 70 – 100 g of

psyllium husks per 100 kg body weight, mixed with coarse roughage such as wheaten chaff or sunflower hulls. This should be fed for two consecutive days for best results and can be repeated monthly if necessary.



Roughage is an important part of a horse’s diet and is not only essential for a healthy, properly functioning hind gut, but it also plays an essential role in the prevention of stomach or gastric ulcers. Horses are known as ‘trickle feeders’ which means they have evolved to graze for the majority of the day. As a result, gastric acid is continually secreted into the horse’s stomach, whether they are eating or not. As a horse chews, saliva flows into the oral cavity, providing a lubrication effect to swallow the chewed-up feed and is essential for buffering against gastric acid. Daily provision of a sufficient hay is therefore important for horses that do not have continual access to grazing. Hay and pasture requires more chewing compared chaff and other concentrate feeds, so is more effective in producing saliva to dampen the food mass as well. A reduction in saliva production results in the stomach environment becoming more acidic, making it ideal for ulcer development. A horse that is stabled overnight should have sufficient hay to consume throughout the night. Ideally, a

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horse should not go longer than six hours in between meals as a part of gastric ulcer prevention.



New spring pasture growth is often a cause of laminitis, or severely painful acute fluid swelling within the hard hoof capsule, and the more severe condition of internal hoof damage referred to as horses and ponies. As the growing season slows down, grasses will begin to store large amounts of concentrated sugars in their leaves, stems and roots to help provide sugars to fuel fast growth when the growing conditions improve in early spring. Under warm sunny daytime conditions, the rapidly growing grass is therefore very high in these sugars as the plants start to re-sprout after a dormant winter season. Once the plant has begun to grow and produce a reasonable amount of leaf, the storage of these concentrated sugars is reduced, as they have been consumed by the plant for growth over the day and under warm night-time conditions. The process of photosynthesis allows the plant to produce and store sugars for growth, but as the plant grows through the spring season it becomes much safer to graze during the early the morning, as the sugar content will be at its lowest. Horses and ponies that are prone to laminitis or have a prior history of laminitis, or are Insulin resistant, or just ‘good doers’, should be monitored carefully

during this time and restricted from grazing as necessary. Check your horse or pony each day for fatty deposits developing, such as a cresty neck, or fat deposited over the withers and around the tail butt area, as this can be an indication that your horse is not able to metabolise the increased levels of sugars and starches and is at a greater risk of developing laminitis very quickly due to metabolic changes which limit sugar utilisation and underlying insulin resistance.



Newly growing spring pasture can certainly have an affect on your horse’s behaviour. Horse owners with horses grazing fresh spring pastures have reported behavioural changes including spooky behaviour, extra energy as well as a lack of focus. These changes of behaviour can often be very out of character for many horses and will suddenly appear with the new spring growth in the pasture. Fresh spring pasture contains high levels of non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs) which are mostly digested in the small intestine to produce glucose, this is absorbed directly into the blood stream and gives horse a surge of extra energy, leading to uncharacteristic changes in overly energetic behaviour. Horses require magnesium for proper nerve and muscle function, and magnesium deficiencies can result in uncharacteristic, spooky and tense behaviour. Newly growing pasture generally contains higher levels of nutrients required for plant establishment and growth, unfortunately, some of these nutrients compete with magnesium for uptake within the digestive system, which can result

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in low magnesium levels. Supplementing with Kohnke’s Own® Mag-E® during this time aids to reduce unsettled, fizzy behaviour. Mag-E contains a special ‘organic chelated’ magnesium that allows optimum absorption in the digestive system and therefore avoids the competition from other nutrients.



If you haven’t already started, now is a great time to start preparing your horse for the upcoming competition season. Some horses take a little longer to shed their long winter coat, but regular brushing after exercise with a curry comb, or similar will help to shed that stubborn winter coat. Keep the coat nice and clean with regular washing and daily brushing as will rugging with a light rug to help to keep the coat clean, sleek and free from insect bites. Rugging early in the day will also help to reduce the risk of sun bleaching. A balanced diet is essential in providing optimum coat health and shine. If you are not feeding a suitable commercial pre-mixed feed at the full recommended rate, then you can add a vitamin and mineral supplement to help top up the nutrient levels. Adding oil to the diet is also helpful for maximum coat shine, supplementing with 15mL of oil per 100kg of body weight a polyunsaturated vegetable oil, or preferably an Omega-3 and Omega-6 balanced formulation, such as Kohnke’s Own® Energy Gold™ is perfect for coat conditioning and at this rate will not significantly increase the energy in the diet to encourage weight gain or overly energic behaviour as it is a ‘cool’ energy source. a

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EQUINE JOINT SUPPORT FORMULA TWO Quite simply – our joint health supplements provide the optimal blend of Glucosamine and Chondroitin for your horse or dog. Joint support supplements can be thought of as nutrients or ‘food’ for joint health. Our joint health supplements address the most important issue for your horse’s joint health and that is maintenance and repair. Joint Performance products do this by providing quality glucosamine sulphate which is utilised by the joint to increase cartilage and fluid surrounding joints thereby improving joint function and slowing the progression of osteoarthritis. Our carefully blended chondroitin sulphate directly protect joints from damage. Both these actives have the added benefit



he joint requires particular substrates to meet normal daily repair and maintenance requirements. The key building block is Glucosamine Sulphate which is a GAG (glucosaminoglycan) precursor and a substrate for the biochemical pathway responsible for the production of macromolecules involved in joint articulation including chondroitin sulfate (CS) and hyaluronic acid (HA). The rate-limiting step in the synthesis of these macromolecules is the level of glucosamine sulphate substrate available for incorporation into this biochemical pathway. By providing glucosamine sulphate we can push the biochemical pathway forward and in effect increases the synthesis of GAG’s and thereby provide a means for repair of articular cartilage. Glucosamine Sulphate: Glucosamine Sulphate is a key building block used for the production of cartilage. Joint Performance Equine Joint Support Formula Two uses Glucosamine Sulphate as it is the only form of Glucosamine found naturally in healthy joints rather than the most commonly used Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCL). Studies suggest that the sulphated glucosamine increases synovial sulphate concentrations, which is very important for cartilage maintenance and repair, and low sulphate levels can slow this process. Notably this is not corrected by sampling supplementing sulphate alone. Chondroitin-4-Sulphate: Chondroitin-4Sulphate is the major form of Chondroitin found in young healthy joints. It is one of the key components that gives cartilage its ability to absorb impact and resist wear. Joint Performance Equine Joint Support Formula Two uses a high purity bovine derived Chondroitin-4-Sulphate due to its low molecular weight (small particle size) which is essential for efficient absorption, as opposed to the commonly used Chondroitin6-Sulphate that is shark or marine-derived with a larger molecular weight. Research studies suggest that Chondroitin-4-Sulphate plays a role in preventing destructive enzymes associated with cartilage breakdown as well as having a general anti-inflammatory action

of impacting the inflammation cascade at specific points and this too helps your horse’s joints feel better and move better. Equine supplements have come a long way and our horse arthritis supplements provide the highest quality of joint therapy and just as importantly the best return on investment for you. Joint Performance is Australia’s leading equine and canine joint health company since 2003. We are proudly Australian owned and are based in the Hawkesbury region of NSW. We practice what we know best – joint health and providing the best supplement for joint health.

Performance Equine Joint Support Formula 2 comes it to play by providing quality glucosamine sulphate which is utilised by the joint to increase cartilage and fluid surrounding joints thereby improving joint function and slowing the progression of osteoarthritis. Our carefully blended chondroitin sulphate directly protect joints from damage. Both these actives have the added benefit of impacting the inflammation cascade at specific points and this too helps your horse’s joints feel better and move better.



oints are a relatively simple structures composed of articular surfaces (moving surfaces) that come together within a capsule called a joint capsule. It should be noted that there are no blood vessels, lymphatic channels, or nerves that enter or pass through joints. Why is this important …? It informs how joints get their nutrition. It is through the process of loading and unloading (unstressed movement) of joints that creates changes in pressure within the joint capsule and facilitates the entry of nutrients across the synovial membrane. Glucosamine Sulphate and Chondroitin sulphate move across the synovial membrane in the same way nutrients flow in and out of joints. This is not as simple as it sounds because for this process to work you need to have the right type of molecule and it must be small enough to cross the membrane





here are huge volumes of research that span over 3 decades investigating the role of oral glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate. These studies are in humans and animals. The most interesting thing is that we keep learning more about the fundamental role of oral glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate in joint health. What we have learnt is that these oral products are a safe and effective step in caring for joints no matter what stage of



he key aspect to joint health maintenance is the idea is not to wait until you have a problem. It’s about PREVENTION and trying to stop/delay the onset of joint degeneration. What does that look like in practice? It means you need to consider a number of factors and Joint Performance Equine Joint Support Formula 2 is one very important part proactive joint health. Other considerations include: weight; varied exercise (cross training); fitness; shoeing/trimming; stabling vs paddock



oint Performance Equine Joint Support Formula 2 can be fed at any age, and the earlier the better. The equine joint closes off when the horse reaches maturity, the cells responsible for making new healthy cartilage also decrease in number at this stage. It makes sense to supplement with Joint Performance Equine Joint Support Formula 2 whilst there are as many cells as possible able to utilise this substrate and give the joint the best starting point. That said, anything to do with horses is expensive and we all want the best for them so starting your horse on Joint Performance Equine Joint Support Formula 2 is always going to be beneficial no matter what age or stage of life you horse is at.

oint Performance - Equine Joint Support Formula 2 is a highly palatable product that can simply be fed daily in a single feed. It’s so palatable that horses will eat out our product from your hand …dogs too! Initial loading Dose: (2 Level Scoops) 50g per for the first 4- 6 wks Daily Maintenance Dose: 25g (1 Level Scoop) per day WHAT TO DO WHEN THINGS GO Higher maintenance doses should be WRONG? considered for horses in higher levels of work, he action you take will depend on the significant joint health history, or advanced circumstances around what ‘clincally’ you aging. are seeing. Your first port of call for you or your For additional dosage recommendations horse should be professional medical advice, contact Joint Performance on 1300 105 104 IS IT AN ANTI-INFL AMMATORY? more so in the setting of an acute trauma. It's or email – nti-inflammatories are only part of both important to understand that when there is Joint Performance products provide superior acute and chronic management joint trauma that involves laceration or puncture of joint protection, maintenance and repair health. Important considerations are that the joint capsules, acute management will be the effect when used daily, and can be safely and anti-inflammatories only treat inflammation most important factor in avoiding infection and effectively combined with polysulphated and do not provide active substrate that we more specifically joint sepsis, thereby ensuring a pentosan injection schedules to further the joint needs to utilise for the benefit good A L L J Oknow I N T P E R F O R M A N C E P R O D U C T S C A N B E P U R C H A S E D O N L I N E ~ W E O Fprognosis. FER FREE SHIPPING stimulate the protection and repair process. of maintenance and repair. That’s where Joint








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This article was brought to you by






It is no secret among informed horse owners that the horse’s gastrointestinal tract can be a fragile. When working at full capacity, the tract is able to efficiently convert forage and grains to energy. When things go awry with the gastrointestinal tract, however, a horse’s life might hang in the balance.


ur demands on the domesticated horse have pushed them to run faster, jump higher and generally perform harder at an elite level than ever before. To match our changing needs, we have changed the eating patterns of horses, meaning that what was once a free-ranging herbivore, with a diet naturally high in fibre, is now a confined athlete consuming a diet that is often low in fibre and high in nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC). As with any alteration in the natural order of things, these changes have brought their own consequences to bear

for horse owners and managers. A brief summary of the equine gastrointestinal tract In order to understand the causes and management strategies to prevent hindgut acidosis or indeed manage a horse with hindgut acidosis, it’s important to understand the basic anatomy of the horse’s gastrointestinal system. The first part of the gastrointestinal system includes the mouth and its many components, esophagus, stomach and small intestine, and accounts for about 35 to 40% of the capacity of the gastrointestinal tract. The hindgut includes the cecum,

large colon, small colon and rectum. Because of the limited size of the horse’s stomach, digesta (swallowed food as it undergoes digestion) spends little time there when compared to the hours it spends progressing through the hindgut. One core feature of the hindgut is the fragile population of microorganisms that inhabit it. Anaerobic bacteria, fungi and protozoa coexist contentedly in the hindgut when the system is working proficiently. Together the microbes’ primary responsibility is to digest fiber. The breakdown of fiber in the hindgut results

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in the production of volatile fatty acids (VFA), which permeate the walls of the cecum and colon, hitch a ride in the bloodstream, and end up in the liver, where they are used by the horse to fuel athletic or reproductive endeavors. Causes of Subclinical Acidosis Certain situations trigger the pH of the hindgut to drop sharply. The two most common causes are the overconsumption of high-starch concentrates and overeating pasture grasses rich in fructan. The demands placed on horses—as athletes and as breeding animals—dictate that substantial quantities of energy-rich feeds be consumed. When either of these feeding scenarios occurs, it is impossible for the stomach and small intestine to sufficiently digest and absorb the massive onslaught of starch. Accordingly, some starch moves into the hindgut without being adequately digested. As digestion of easilyfermentable starch progresses in the hindgut, the production of VFA and lactic acid increases, causing a significant decrease in the pH. When the hindgut endures insults such as this several times a day, it teeters on becoming overwhelmed with acid. Additionally, because lactic acid is stronger than VFA, it can cause serious damage to the intestinal mucosa. In severe cases, lactate may contribute between 50 and 90% of the total acids in the hindgut. The shift in pH provides an unfavorable environment for some of the many microorganisms that inhabit the hindgut and aid in digestion. In particular, fiber-digesting bacteria such as Ruminococcus albus and Fibrobacter succinogenes are sensitive to precipitous decreases in pH. For optimal performance, these bacteria favor an environment with a pH between 6.5 and 7.0. When pH drops below 6.0, which is often the case with subclinical acidosis, fiber-digesting bacteria become less efficient and begin to die off. In contrast to fiber-digesting bacteria, lactate-producing and lactate-utilizing bacteria thrive in an

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environment with a low pH. Certain microorganisms such as Streptococcus bovis actually shift their metabolism and produce lactic acid rather than VFA when exposed to acidic conditions, serving only to compound the problem. Changes in the pH of the hindgut due to alterations in the microbial populations and acid profiles cause a condition known as subclinical acidosis. Signs of Subclinical Acidosis Horses at risk of hindgut acidosis often express one or more signs that can derail athletic performance as well as reduced growth or reproductive potential. Signs of subclinical acidosis may include: • Decreased feed intake or complete inappetence in severe cases, • Mild to moderate colic signs of unexplained origin, • Poor feed efficiency and subsequent weight loss, and • Development of stereotypies such as wood-chewing, weaving, or box-walking.

Changes in the pH of the hindgut due to alterations in the microbial populations and acid profiles cause a condition known as subclinical acidosis.

One of the primary signs of subclinical acidosis is inappetence or decreased appetite. A horse is often reported to be “off his feed.” Because the hindgut is overwhelmed with lactic acid when a horse is experiencing acidosis, the intestinal lining becomes inflamed and irritated, causing the horse discomfort. The irritation may be severe enough to induce behavior

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characteristic of colic. Furthermore, and perhaps most detrimental to equine athletes, is a reduction of feed efficiency. Long-term exposure of the intestinal lining to a low-pH environment may negatively affect the absorptive capacities of these structures, limiting the amount of energy available for performance. In addition to these health concerns, a link between subclinical acidosis and stereotypies such as wood-chewing and stall-weaving has been suggested by researchers. Because of the precarious nature of the hindgut of a horse afflicted with subclinical acidosis, it is less able to handle metabolic crises that healthy horses may be able to fend off. Therefore, horses with subclinical acidosis are more susceptible to colic and laminitis. Managing Acidosis A well-planned feeding program is the key to managing hindgut acidosis. Ensuring that you feed your horse the way that its gastrointestinal tract is designed to work with small, frequent meals, appropriate starch levels and adequate forage intake will all manage hindgut acidosis going forward. A hindgut balancer, such as KER’s unique product EquiShure, may also

assist in helping to maintain optimal hindgut pH. The horse’s fermentation vat, collectively composed of the cecum and colon, is located at the end of the gastrointestinal tract. In order to reach the horse’s hindgut, EquiShure must withstand passage through the stomach and small intestine and be timed to release in the hindgut where it is required. Research supports the use of a hindgut balancer in cases of high grain and high fructan intake. As an end product of fibre digestion, volatile fatty acids (VFAs) are absorbed by the hindgut to enable their use as an energy source. When high concentrations of fructans are found in pasture and horses are processing these highly fermentable carbohydrates in the hindgut, EquiShure helps moderate pH by preventing the drastic drop, thus encouraging fibre-digesting bacteria to thrive. Using scientific studies conducted at Kentucky Equine Research and other research institutions, Kentucky Equine Research has produced EquiShure, a timereleased balancer designed especially for the horse. When EquiShure is fed, only a minimal decrease in hindgut pH occurs, allowing for optimal absorption of all

feedstuffs and optimal production and absorption of VFA so horses have sufficient energy to perform. How to feed to prevent hindgut acidosis Of course, prevention is always preferred! Consumption of large amounts of starch or fructans may lead to hindgut starch fermentation and acidosis. Studies have also shown that as meal size and starch intake increase, there will be a rise in the amount of undigested starch reaching the hindgut. Therefore, providing your horse with a diet that derives its energy from fat and fibre sources can be the cornerstone of a healthy equine digestive tract. There are times of the year when lush, spring grass can wreak havoc on the gastrointestinal system. If you are concerned and want to protect your horse, EquiShure may be a suitable addition to your feeding program. EquiShure should be used with general management strategies like using a grazing muzzle for horses at high risk of hindgut acidosis from spring pasture. Equally, for good doers or those requiring less feed to maintain an optimal body condition score, spring may pose the problem of having to lock horses off pasture. It is important to remember that the health of the hindgut relies on adequate forage intake and restricting access to forage can have a similar detrimental effect on the microbial population of the hindgut. In this instance, appropriate quality hay should be available in a hay net or slow feeder to ensure adequate intake to maintain gastrointestinal health. If you suspect your horse is suffering from hindgut acidosis or would like more information about EquiShure or general nutrition advice regarding dietary management to help prevent hindgut acidosis, contact Kentucky Equine Research’s FREE nutrition consultation service on 1800 772 198, email or submit a diet analysis through our website a

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The New Look of Targeted Nutrition Our KER research proven products have a bold new look. Look out for the new packaging arriving soon!



Time-released hindgut balancer

Research Proven Inner Health Balancer Maintain normal hindgut pH to reduce the risk of abnormal hindgut function. Encapsulation technology allows for targeted delivery to the hindgut. Maintains normal digestive efficiency.

Questions? Talk to a KER Nutrition Advisor today for a customised feeding recommendation.

Official Equine Nutritionist of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018

Kentucky Equine Research 03 8562 7000 Nutrition Consultation Service 1800 772 198 |

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AUTHOR: Jochen Schleese, CMS, CSFT, CEE©2018 Saddlefit 4 Life® All Rights Reserved PHOTOS:


The ofsense

TOUCH by Jochen Schleese

Baroque horses are already (in many eyes) the “beauty queens” of the equine world (even the stallions and geldings are often among the most stunning and eye-catching animals at any event). As our thoughts turn to the upcoming show season, we will be looking at getting our horses ready to perform – both physiologically by getting them and ourselves into top shape, but also visually – by polishing their hooves and coats to a fine sheen. There is one aspect of ‘sprucing up our horses’ for the show season that really troubles me personally – and is thankfully becoming more of a conscious issue in the equestrian world. Unfortunately, somehow especially “western civilized” society and culture has always had a thing about being as hairless as possible. Women shave (or wax) as much hair off their bodies as possible; men have also started waxing their chests and backs. When did hair become such an undesirable attribute? In Europe there are still many cultures who consider hair a sign of virility (for men) or beauty (in women). Wasn’t it Samson who had his hair cut off at Delilah’s request and thereby lost his strength (and ended up blind?). But now we have taken this aversion to excess hair even to our animals – specifically our horses.


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ost people are aware of the five senses they need to determine their environment – sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. Horses are equipped with these same five senses, but horses use mainly their lips and whiskers to explore and identify things. A horse’s brain contains cells that receive information from these whiskers. Each time the horses’ whiskers touch something, the nerves fire off an electrical impulse to the brain to help determine what it is that is being touched. Horses breathe through their noses. When a horse curls its top lip up to help in smelling something, it’s known as “Flehmen”. This happens when the nose traps pheromonal scents in the vomeronasal organs so they can be analysed more closely. Horse’s upper lips are prehensile – which means they can be used for grasping, touching or feeling something. Horses cannot see right below their noses because of the position of their eyes, which means that they use their whiskers to help them



/ 1 / Muriel Chestnut and Soberbio depicting a North American preference to trim a show horse’s whiskers.  Photo by Wendy Webb / 2/ Upon a close up, a German Friesen horse sporting his full whiskers.  Photo courtesy

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/ 3 / Horses with their natural whiskers depicting a natural ‘Flehmen’ response to trapping pheromonal scents of horses or other pleasurable scents.  Photo courtesy



/ 4 / European trend is to maintain the natural growth of horses’ whiskers whether for pleasure or competitive riding.  Photo courtesy

determine edible objects and stay away from hazardous ones. The consensus seems to be that it’s acceptable to cut/shave the whiskers, the ear hair, and sometimes even the eyelashes on horses when getting ready to show. Some over-zealous owners clip constantly without a second thought. It seems timely to discuss this topic now as we start gearing up for show season. This really isn’t okay at all - for the following reasons, with thanks to Wikipedia, the International Association of Equine Behaviour Consultants, and Paul McGreavy as references. Whiskers or vibrissae are actually a type of mammalian hair that are typically larger in size than normal hairs, have a large and well-innervated hair follicle, and have an identifiable representation in the somatosensory cortex of the brain. The horse is a highly perceptive prey animal, and needs to rely on the information he receives from all of its senses to survive – especially the sense of touch. Horses make quick decisions with fast reactions when something unexpected touches them. The sensitivity along their sides is even greater than that of our own fingertips. Nature tends to not create superfluous items on animals, but to many people, those wiry, long hairs that protrude from around the horse’s eyelids and muzzles are considered an eyesore or a nui-

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sance. Much as cats use their whiskers as sensory organs, the horse uses them in a variety of ways: He investigates novel objects by touching them with the vibrissae to gather more information. They act as a pre-warning device when the horse’s face or muzzle is getting close to touching an object he may want to avoid. They assist him with depth perception in the blind spot under his muzzle; even if the horse can’t see what’s literally right under his nose, he can still feel it, and make decisions

THE HORSE’S SENSE OF TOUCH is the primary communication tool between humans and horses. THINK

ABOUT how sensitive a horse’s tactile sensation really is – they can feel a fly on a single hair!

based on the information he receives from touching it. Newborn foals also use them to help find the dam’s teats shortly after birth. The horse doesn’t react when the vibrissae are trimmed, because the nerves they contain aren’t attached to pain receptors. If they did hurt, we would probably be less likely to have started trimming them in the first place. Trimming of vibrissae is outlawed in Germany, where it is understood that they play the role of sensory organ, and not just merely an untidy disruption on a clean profile. Horses that have them trimmed are more likely to suffer eye, ear, and facial injuries or lacerations, due to the lack of pre-warning they would receive when their head gets too near an object. Picture a freshly clipped horse in a trailer, who needs those whiskers to tell him when the wall of the rocking trailer is too close to his face as he bounces down the highway on the way to a show. The horse’s sense of touch is the primary communication tool between humans and horses. Think about how sensitive a horse’s tactile sensation really is – they can feel a fly on a single hair! If you remove these sensory organs, it is almost as though you were cutting off your fingertips. You would lose all sense of touch. I hope people will reconsider their personal vanities and do what’s right for the horse. 

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Schleese together with Saddlefit 4 Life® p r o u d l y

p r e s e n t

A Series of Events, Lectures, and Business Opportunities with

Jochen Schleese

•G erman Certified Master Saddler and Saddle Ergonomist. •A uthor of bestselling books “Suffering in Silence” and “The Silent Killer” •W orld renowned speaker and expert clinician on saddle fit and the link to physical and psychological trauma in horses •C linician at veterinary schools, trade shows, and equine symposiums


re you a horse person interested in saddle fit for English or Western saddles? Are you a rider in search of the perfect saddle designed for the physiology of male and female anatomy? Are you looking for a saddle that can be infinitely adjusted? Perhaps you are

rider anatomy and biomechanics. •N OVEMBER 20–27, 2018: Jochen and his team will be hosting an intensive Certified Equine Ergonomics (CEE) training course at the Equine Behaviour Center, Clonbinane Victoria, Australia.



Train with world renowned Jochen Schleese and work toward becoming a Certified Equine Ergonomist. Upon completion of this course and an externship of 30 student evaluations you will be able to assess the fit all English and Western saddles, and make recommendations for solutions to your clients. • November 20–23, 2018 • $2,395.00 USD • This course is a prerequisite to course B and course C To register for Course A or for more information visit 

a saddle fitter who would like to add Schleese saddles to your inventory? Or an equine body worker who would like to be able to properly evaluate the fit of any saddle? Due to an extremely high demand from the Australian market, Saddlefit 4 Life® (S4L) and Schleese have joined forces to bring some great opportunities to Australia. From November 15th to November 27th join us as we present our expertise to the Australian equestrian market! • NOVEMBER 15–18, 2018: Come visit our Schleese booth (#208) at Equitana and have a look at the beautiful handcrafted saddles and tack that will now be available for purchase in Australia. •N OVEMBER 15 AND 17, 2018: Jochen Schleese will be an educational speaker at Equitana, discussing the myths of saddle fit,

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learning how to adjust the fit to both horse and rider • Qualify to fit and sell the Schleese Western saddle. (optional CEE designation on completion of your externship) • $800.00 USD To register for course B or for more information visit 


ISF COURSE C (Authorized Independent Schleese Fitter)

* This course is mandatory for certification of all English Independent Schleese Fitters.

• November 26–27, 2018 • Prerequisite: CEE (Course A) and ISWF (Course B) and • Prerequisite: Must be currently working as a saddle fitter •B ecome an Authorized Independent Schleese Fitter. Join our team of highly qualified and sought after fitters after this intense 2-day training course which focuses on tree adjustments and flocking and all adjustments for the English saddle line made by Scheese. • $600.00 USD (discounted rate for completion of all 3 segments) To apply for course C email your resume to 


ISWF COURSE B (Authorized Independent Schleese Western Fitter) Qualify to fit and sell the Schleese Western saddle. (Optional CEE designation on completion of your externship) • November 24–25, 2018 • Train to evaluate western Saddles, while

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Base feeds for the

Keep It Simple Diet Finding economic, safe feed types is simple once you know what they are and why they are your best choice.


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Your priority:


Supply a calorie controlled base feed, high in fibre and low in starch and sugars – no grain if possible.


Add a high quality, balanced and preferably chelated and organic mineral supplement along with important vitamins, we recommend FLOWERS GOLD by Wattlelane Stables as the most bio available and scientifically balanced feed supplement. You should easily achieve weight gain, quality coat lustre and strong hooves when the diet is sustained with the right nutrients. THE TRUTH ABOUT CARBOHYDRATES


ost grains are high in the polysaccharide carbohydrates of sugar and starch (NSC). This type is connected with metabolic disorders. Feeds such as beet-pulp, lupin and copra by com-parison are high in the fibre type polysaccharide carbohydrates. ISSUES WITH FEEDING GRAINS


uring the digestive process, both sugars and starches are turned into the sugars. Horses have a limited capacity to digest substantial amounts of sugar and starch in the stomach and small intestine. The excess supply of sugar and starch travels through the small intestines and on into the hindgut where the trouble begins. An increase of sugar fermentation creates lactic acid. Lactic acid lowers the pH causing an acidic environment, this in turn kills off the good microbes. The dead microbes give off endotoxins that now enter the blood stream, this chain reaction often culminates in poor gut health, ill thrift (or obesity) and potentially laminitis. BENEFITS OF FEEDING COPRA, BEET-PULP AND LUPINS


opra, Beet pulp and Lupins are rich sources of ‘super fibre’ type of polysaccharides. These super fibres have a high water-binding capacity (viscosity increases from the presence of fibrous polysaccharides). The fibres

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02 H E A LT H

During the digestive process, both sugars

and starches are turned into the sugars. Horses

have a limited capacity to digest substantial amounts of sugar and starch in the stomach and small intestine.


carry volumes of water and nutrients un-digested through the small intestines and on into the hindgut (large intestine) to release their nutrients and feed the good microbes such as Clostridium, Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Enterobacter and Escherichia hence stimulating colonization of intestinal microflora. Fibre types of Polysaccharides




/1/S oaked Cracked Lupins

hydrates or NSC of alternative chaff types. Carbohydrates also include starch, water-soluble sugar, and fructan. Of note Lucerne hay does not contain appreciable levels of fructan carbohydrate when compared to other types of hay. It has been shown when lucerne is baled later in the growing season with a stalkier appearance, the sugar content will be at its lowest. Common NSC levels in hay/chaff:


/2/S oaked Beet Pulp / 3/ C haff / 4 / Copra / 5/ Flowers Gold / 6 / Add Plenty of Water

provide sustainable energy (slow release energy) and help stabilize blood sugar levels (reduction in glycaemic response). Polysaccharides fibre have also been claimed to increase the amount of feel-good chemicals in the brain, decrease gastric emptying, increase satiety, improve immune system health and assist liver function. Lucerne Chaff has been recommended as preferable after comparing the content of non-structural carbo-

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• Grass hays average of 13.8% • Lucerne average of 11.3% • Oat hay average of 22% • Rye grass average 39.1% • Clover hay average 11–18% MINERALS AND VITAMINS


y adjusting the volume of the base feeds to meet calorie needs, you can still guarantee the exact mineral

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and vitamin supply to meet daily dietary needs. How so? We recommend adding ‘Flowers Gold’ by Wattlelane Stables, as it offers superior bio-availability (organic & chelated) of both macro and micro nutrients needed daily and each delivered in co-dependent proportions for the most beneficial uptake and utilization. Watch the video on how to make the ‘Keep It Simple Diet’: OF FURTHER INTEREST:


upins contain around 40% proteins, great for building muscle.

• Copra: The nutritional composition reveals that the fibre fractions are like those of pasture grasses. Copra is approximately 8–10% coconut oil supply which is a cool low gL – sustainable energy source. • Beet Pulp: The digestible energy content of beet pulp is greater than most hay and less than most grain ingredients, making its reputation as a weight building feed supplement. It also contains about 7% protein and a nice low 0.07% Phosphorus. Soaked beet pulp is an efficient way to increase a horse’s water consumption (soak fully to maximum size 1 hour at least before feeding in 5X volume of added water). The fibre in beet pulp is mostly soluble fibre, so it is more readily digestible than pasture, hay or chaff. RESERVATIONS SOME HAVE REGARDING COPRA


eeding copra solely on its own is an unbalanced feed source. For example, it has a calcium: phosphorus ratio of 0.25:1. A balanced feed should be 4:1. The other observation is copra's zinc to copper ratio is 2:1, yet ideally it should be 4:1. However rarely is copra fed as a sole feed, so usually these issues are resolved easily by adding a fortified balanced feed supplement (such as Flowers Gold). Although copra is recognized as being high in protein, 40% of the protein is bound in the fibrous fraction of the copra, thus reducing its bio availability. If copra is used as a major component of the diet for young, growing horses, additional lysine, threonine, and methionine supplementation should be a consideration. Again, Flowers Gold compensates for these deficiencies. 

Mindfulness Hair in for Horses

a Bucket Brand New - A unique blend of balanced minerals, amino is acids, Hair in A bucket plant extracts and a specialized feed Vitamin B's. Trial suppliment made from results available at chelated organic zinc, manganese, selenium, mindfulnessforhorses/

methionine and biotin.

Flowers Gold Flower’s Gold Flower’s Gold is our superior quality macro and micro nutrients daily supply of Flower’s Gold for is our superior minerals andmicro vitamins for quality macro and horses. Withsupply addedofBoron nutrients for daily andand Chromium. Safe for minerals vitamins for breeding mares, stallions horses. With added Baron and and young foals, Ratios Chromium. Safe for breeding offered in NRC mares, stallions andrecoomended young codependent proportions (i.e foals, Ratios offered in NRC recoomended codependent Calcium:Magnesium:Boron, proportionsCopper:Zinc). (i.e calcium, magnesium, boron, copper, zinc).

Gut QICentric Ease

Contains broad spectrum


A specialized feed probiotics species, suppliment madeprebiotics, concentrated from a blend of root yeast marshmallow powder, extracts, prebiotics, kaolinite clay, MOS, beta glucan and and diatomaceous toxin binders earth. Trial results nutrients suitable for available at https://m. horses.

Facebook: Stables Faceb ook: Wattlelane Wat t lelane S ta ble s Distributor Trade, Retail & Wholesale

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03 O F



/ ▼ / Crystal Mt Xodó doing a demonstration with Greg Smith at Equidays N.Z. 2016


Sport Elite by Sandy


New Zealand bred, Friesian Stallion Crystal Mt Xodó (Sport Elite) teamed up with N.S.W Grand Prix dressage rider Jeremy Janjic in July 2017. In just under a year he has advanced from FEI Intermediate Champion (NZ) to Grand Prix in Australia; and to date has won or placed in most of his FEI Inter 2 and Grand Prix starts. This is a great achievement for a young horse of 10 years old, and a great testament to both Jeremy and Xodó.


odó is a Modern/Classical Friesian; with the athleticism of the modern Friesian, but with true classical Friesian type and temperament, produced by some of the best old bloodlines. He also has an extremely low inbreeding percentage of less than 1%.

/ ▼ / Xodó with Fiona Craig at Equidays 2015 P.S.G

/ ▲ / Friesian Sporthorse – Crystal Mt Cruzeiro (xTB) by Crystal Mt Xodó 6 Yr old level 3 Dressage Champion also free jumps to 1.60m

/ ▲ / Friesian – Crystal Mt Rafaela (x Teora T.K) rider Ebba Anderrson. Nth Island Dressage Champs. 4yr old Young Dressage Horse 2018 (71.8%)

DID YOU KNOW: Xodo is Portuguese for precious and the X is pronounced Sh

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Xodó’s sire Wabe was imported into N.Z. from England, and immediately stirred up great interest in the Friesian breed, by competing in dressage, and performing in movies being filmed in NZ. Xodó’s grandsire on his sire line is Doeke 287. Although not used as prolifically as other studbook stallions, Doeke 287 produced two Studbook sons Nikolaas 310 and Karst 362. Xodó’s grandsire on his dam’s side was the fabulous, prepotent sire Teunis 332 (sport/pref.) Teunis 332 produced more than 66 Ster mares, 117 Studbook mares, 5 Foalbook Ster stallions, 9 Ster geldings and 4 Studbook stallions: Nanning 374, Monte 378, Harmen 424 (sport) & Fridse 423 (sport). Contrary to popular belief that Friesians are slow developers; Xodo was quick to mature both physically and mentally; at 5yrs old he became a level 2 dressage champion; and also achieved

XODÓ is a Modern/ Classical Friesian;

with the athleticism of the MODERN FRIESIAN, but with true CLASSICAL FRIESIAN TYPE

and temperament,

produced by some of the best old bloodlines.

the highest overall ridden IBOP score (78.5%) at the ANZFHS Keuring 2013. It is true however, that Friesians often have their last little growth spurt in their 7th year. At eight years old, Xodó became a FEI Intermediate Champion and won

Reserve Champion FEI Intermediate Horse of the Year 2016. In 2017 he was awarded the KFPS Sport Elite predicate for dressage. Following in his footsteps. All three of Xodo’s purebred foals out of Teora T.K (Django of Cacheral Sport Elite) were awarded premies at the last Keuring. Like his grandsire, Xodó is also proving to be a prepotent sire; consistently stamping his progeny with very distinctive type, excellent trainability, and laidback temperament to a variety of different breeds. Xodó is also registered in the Friesian Sporthorse Association “Foundation Book”; and has Gold Elite status with a provisional Breeding Permit. He already has a good number offspring competing successfully in dressage, many of them with scores of over 70%.  Follow Crystal Mt Xodó and his offspring on fb @crystalmtstud



K.F.P.S. BBII - Sport Elite

(Sport Elite)

Imp. N.Z.

F.S.A. Foundation Book - Gold Elite + Provisional Breeding Permit

 Australia & N.Z.’s only (competing) Friesian Grand Prix Dressage Horse  Top Dutch bloodlines – Teunis 332 / Doeke 287  Modern/Classical type, Presence, Energy, Stamina & Trainability  Many of Xodós offspring are competing successfully in dressage (often with scores of +70%)  Xodó is one of only a few Friesian stallions in Australia & N.Z. that are DNA tested clear of hydrocephalus, dwarfism & the chestnut genes  Foals from all registered breeds can be registered with F.S.A Top quality semen available – Fresh, chilled or frozen

Service Fee: $1,600 (L.F.G) - Standing at Stud in N.S.W

Doeke 287 Altruida Ster + Pref Teunis 332 Id’reil TK Tsjallinkje


Dark Horse Photography

D.O.B: 2007

Contact: Sandy Nogueira, Ph: +64(0)21 755592,,

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Fresians, Fresians, Fresians, Warmbloods, Warmbloods, Warmbloods, Dressage, Arabs, Dressage, Arabs, Dressage, Arabs, Showjumpers, Showjumpers, Showjumpers, Thoroughbreds, Thoroughbreds, Thoroughbreds, Shires, Eventers, Shires, Eventers, Shires, Eventers, Ponies. Ponies. Ponies. We fly them all. We flyfly them all.all. We them been flying horses around IRT has been flying horses around thearound IRTIRT hashas been flying horses thethe globe for over matter globe for over 40 years. But noyears. matter globe for over 4040 years. ButBut nono matter how much things change, one thing how muchhow things change, one thing much things change, one thing always stays the same – the world class, always stays the same –the the world always stays same – class, the world class, personal service clients receive when personal service clients receive when personal service clients receive when flying their horse with IRT. flying theirflying horse with IRT. their horse with IRT. With the recent a German With the recent acquisition ofacquisition a German With the recent acquisition of of a German office and Quarantine Facility in Haren, office andoffice Quarantine Facility in Haren, and Quarantine Facility in Haren, IRT Australia: 3 9643 3000 IRT Australia: Tel +61 3 9643 3000 IRT Australia: TelTel +61+61 3 9643 3000 IRT is well equipped to connect IRT is wellIRT equipped to connect the Email: is well equipped to connect thethe Email: Email: world with offices in the USA, world withworld offices in the USA,inUK, with offices the USA, UK,UK, IRT Germany: +49 784 7447 IRT Germany: +49 171 784 7447 IRTTel Germany: TelTel +49 171171 784 7447 Australia and New Zealand. Australia and New Zealand. Australia and New Zealand.

UK & Europe: Tel +44 1638 668 003 IRT UK & Europe: +44 1638Tel 668 003 IRTIRT UKTel & Europe: +44 1638 668 003

To find more about and how weZealand: To find out about IRT and how we New Zealand: Tel +64 9297 2022 IRT New TelZealand: +64 9297Tel 2022 Tomore find outout more about IRTIRT and how we IRTIRT New +64 9297 2022 can help you and your horse contact can help you and your horse contact IRT North America: IRT North America: can help you and your horse contact IRT North America: Chris Burke at IRT Australia. Chris Burke at IRT Australia. +1 630 377 2300 Chicago: Tel +1Chicago: 630 377 Tel 2300 Chris Burke at IRT Australia. Chicago: Tel +1 630 377 2300 LA: Tel +1 310 306 0262 LA: Tel +1 310 306 LA: Tel0262 +1 310 306 0262

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IRT1120 - Baroque Magazine Feb2016_FA.indd 1 Baroque Magazine Feb2016_FA.indd 1 issue -32 V2.inddMagazine 82 IRT1120 Baroque Feb2016_FA.indd 1

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