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November 2018

EQUITANA'S TURNING 20! Robert Palm and his love of Thoroughbreds

Giving the Invictus Spirit Meaning BERNI SAUNDERS ON FLEXION & BEND The Surprising World of Stirrups

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FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH

PRODUCT REVIEW

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MORE THAN JUST A MANE EVENT

YOUNG RIDER OF THE MONTH

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FOR THEIR SAKES GIVE THOROUGHBREDS A JOB

YOUR CLUB IN PROFILE

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THE HORSE LISTENER

GIVING WOUNDED WARRIORS A REASON TO THRIVE

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AUSTRALIAN DRESSAGE CHAMPIONSHIPS

THE IMPORTANCE OF CORRECT FLEXION AND BEND

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SADDLE REVIEW

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HUB HERO - HEATHER ROBERTS

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TECHNOLOGY IN TACK

THE UNIQUE ART OF RIDING SIDE SADDLE!

56 PENNY'S PLACE

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BREED SPOTLIGHT STARS BY EPONA THE CONNEMARA Cover image: Stacy Westfall with Popcorn.

NEWS & VIEWS FROM EQUESTRIAN HUB HorseVibes Editorial: candida@equestrianhub.com.au Advertising Enquiries: promote@equestrianhub.com.au The Saddle Hub Sales Enquiries: Fiona Todd - 0414 760 067 Graphic Design: marketing@equestrianhub.com.au Published by Equestrian Hub PO Box 13 • Tintenbar NSW 2478 Phone: 0414 760 067 • Email: info@equestrianhub.com.au www.equestrianhub.com.au

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So just as the runners in the Melbourne Cup head towards a well-earned rest, Equitana comes towards us at a flat out gallop. In deference to the Thoroughbred we’ve included several stories on that fabulous breed in this month’s HorseVibes.

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ane Camens chats to eventer Rob Palm and discovers why he is such a fan of Thoroughbreds for eventing, and our Young Rider, Molly Barry rides only Thoroughbreds. Candy’s Horse Listener column this month looks into the cardiovascular system of the horse - it’s excellent reading and the ideas can be applied to any horse in any discipline.

Every month we bring you a Hero, and this month’s Hero is a little different. Jane brings

Penny gives us a humorous (well mostly) insight into the joys of living in the beautiful northern rivers area of NSW – now I understand why we are bereft of massive horse events, even though we live in one of the most picturesque places in Australia! (On a personal note Penny, you are a total inspiration.) Dannii demystifys stirrups for us. Today’s stirrups are made from many different materials, they come in a myriad of colours and they serve many purposes other than just supporting your feet and allowing you to balance. Dannii also takes a look at the elegant art of riding Side Saddle and her breed spotlight is on the hardy all-rounder – the Connamara pony. Candy writes about the Charity Reason to Thrive and their

amazing trip to the Invictus games where they presented Equine Facilitated Learning demonstrations to the veterans and their families; and Berni Saunders give us the low down on flexion, a must read for all our dressage riders. Of course there’s more, so pour your favourite tipple, put your feet up and enjoy.

This month’s prize draw is a the game, Horseplay. See page 60. Winner from last month is Richelle Giltrap is the winner. Subscribe now to win!

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

We’re counting down the sleeps until Equitana celebrates its 20th anniversary, Ute Raabe talks with Rod Lockwood, one of the key organizers behind this enormous event. Equestrian Hub – plus numerous saddles - will be at Equitana, plus, of course, our fabulous subscriber prize will be drawn. We also still have two tickets to give away via a lucky draw for anyone donating to our charity, Hub Help. See inside for details.

us the story of the remarkable Heather Roberts, an endurance rider and breeder who does not let MS hold her back – she is an absolute inspiration.

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MORE THAN JUST A MANE EVENT

Equitana’s turning 20! Ute Raabe takes a peak behind Australia’s favourite horse festival to find out who is responsible for the much-loved event…

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here’s no question that Equitana is a must-attend on every horse lover’s calendar, but few people know the story of how the event came into existence as an idea from a dedicated and passionate group of people.

Equitana actually started in Europe, in 1972. Worried about the fact that horses seemed to falling out of fashion, entrepreneur Wolf Kröber startled the then still somewhat sedate equestrian world by presenting the first edition of Equitana, complete with different disciplines, hundreds of breeds, liberty demonstrations and more. More than 40 years later the event has become a European institution, held bi-annually over nine

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

Rod Lockwood is Managing Director of Definitive Events and Equine Productions, the two companies behind the Equitana brand. Definitive Events are known as

one of the leading event organising companies in Australia – just as an example, they are the event services provider for the Anzac Day Commemorations in Gallipoli. But while their portfolio of events has changed much over the years, Equitana’s been a steady cornerstone. “It’s like an old friend,” Rod Lockwood muses. “Events are like that; they are living, breathing things and they have to be treated as such.”

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days and attended by over 200,000 people. It was a few decades later in Australia when Victoria in particular felt the need to demonstrate that the State was not just seen as supporting Thoroughbred racing and the Melbourne Cup Carnival. The Government wanted to support the equine industry in a broader sense and approached Definitive Events who had already established a great relationship with the Victorian government through other successful events and were one of the few organisations that specialised in

“We did our homework and worked out that the model of Equitana Germany was absolutely perfect for what they were wanting to do.” outdoor major events, for help. Did they know anyone who could possibly stage an event with an equine focus?

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

Rod Lockwood and Definitive Events CEO, Daryl Herbert became the ‘Wolf Kröbers’ of Australia, so to speak – believing that they could create a viable multi-discipline horse event that would be appeal to a broad range of people.

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State Government and Tourism Victoria set three main criteria: they wanted an event that would showcase equestrian sport, bring the industry together — so it needed an expo and education component — and would be able to attract a broader community through a shopping and entertainment part. Rod recalls, “We did our homework and worked out that the model of Equitana


Germany was absolutely perfect for what they were wanting to do.” A call to Equitana Germany followed, Daryl Herbert and Tourism Victoria’s Brendan Downey jumped on a plane and met with organisers Reed Exhibitions in Germany. Shortly after a deal was sealed over a few beers at an Irish pub with Reed Exhibitions agreeing to a 20-year license for the ‘Equitana Asia-Pacific’ brand. The first Equitana Asia-Pacific was held in 1999, but despite using the proven German concept the early years were far from smooth sailing. Rod admits that the event had its fair share of doubters. People said it couldn’t be done, because many of the disciplines didn’t speak to one another, let alone like each other. The old cliché of Western riding versus the Olympic disciplines came to the fore. “Overcoming that negativity was probably the hardest thing,” he says. “We were naive in thinking that everyone would embrace the idea of a great big international showcase of equestrian sport, what could possibly go wrong? Turned out, just getting people in the same room together was a challenge, let alone getting them to talk and recognise each other and once we’d managed that we had to prove to the retail businesses that there was a reason to showcase products and services and that it would be a good business investment.”

“We realised then that if we did a high-level European-style competition in a very nice environment with comfortable seating and

These first six editions of Equitana AsiaPacific were held at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre. The arrangement worked well, until a number of logistical and specific ‘equine-related’ issues made it unpractical. The temporary stables had always been a cause for concern. They were erected in the loading dock area, a less than ideal environment for horses, with freeways and train lines so close by. Building the arenas was also a very expensive undertaking and complaints about leftover sand and lingering horsey odours increased. Then the ‘pièce de résistance’ — horse urine got into the underground pits for cabling and supply lines and seeped through into the car park below. One particular car affected belonged to the boss of the Exhibition and Convention Centre, which didn’t go down well. A new home had to be found. Equitana was in one of the tender groups for refurbishment of the Melbourne Showgrounds, and while they didn’t win, the venue did undergo a major upgrade by 2006 that revitalised the 19-hectare site and broadened its appeal as a place for major events. In 2008 Equitana Asia Pacific was held at the renovated Showgrounds and the new venue gave the event significantly more scope. The economic value for the

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

For the first few years Definitive Events tried to apply a carbon-copy of the German formula. One of the highlights of Equitana Germany is the hugely popular Hop Top Show, a colourful entertainment night showcasing horses, riders, sport, liberty acts, breeds, music and more, but in Australia it was too theatrical for horse people and too horsey for the broader community!

professional arenas and surfaces, we could attract the horse people,” Rod remembers. “It took six years and a huge amount of personal and financial commitment to refine and polish the event. Our accountant said we were nuts, but Daryl and I really believed in it,” Rod adds.

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that they actually have a lot in common. They have the same issues with their horses and when they are brought together they realise that even some of their techniques are similar. These two people had never met before, but our event had brought them together — for me that was a golden moment.”

Victoria is staggering - in its best year the event generated 23 million dollars in economic impact. The inaugural event reported 30,000 spectators through its doors, and in recent years that figure has reached 50,000.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

“The thing that Tourism Victoria loves about us is that more than 50% of attendants are from overseas or interstate, not many other events can boast that sort of statistic,” says Rod. “It is a great success story for Tourism Victoria, and they can point to the fact that their idea of a horse industry showcase has grown into an organic event.”

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Rod has many favourite moments but one sticks in his mind vividly: “I was backstage during one of our Mane Event nights. A cowboy and a dressage rider were standing together, waiting for their turn to perform,” he says, “I thought to myself, this could go either way, when they started talking and comparing notes. They were clearly enjoying each other’s company. There was this dressage rider in top hat and tails chatting to this cowboy complete with cowboy hat and boots. I thought this was fantastic, this is exactly what this event should be doing, horse people realising

The people aspect is key to what keeps the Equitana team going year after year. Friendships are formed and strong relationships built, networking is such a major component of the event. This year Equitana is almost going back to its roots, having secured a sponsor from Germany in premium saddlery and clothing brand Schockemöhle Sports, and the 20-year anniversary will also include a one-off comeback of the famous Mane Event night to commemorate the inaugural years. Also this year the McDowells Australian Brumby Challenge is back in a bigger and better format, as is the IRT All-Star Way of the Horse, Equitana's prestigious horsemanship challenge. Then there’s the ConneXion Challenge, a new training competition incorporating all disciplines from dressage and showjumping to liberty and horsemanship. Rod’s philosophy behind this is clear: “If you don’t grow the event every year, if you don’t refresh it and innovate, then it will die. If you serve up the same offering to people year after year they stop coming. They say, I did that two years ago, I don’t need to come again. We are always experimenting and moving and trying. Some of the time we get it completely wrong,” he says cheerfully, “but we are trying.” A new 99-year license for Equitana Australia and New Zealand has recently been signed with Germany’s Reed Exhibitions. That should see you and me through for a many more hours of shopping, Masterclasses and everything horsey under the Southern sun.


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For Their Sakes Give Thoroughbreds a Job

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

Koko Story, an 11-year-old former racehorse, is one of Australia’s elite 4* eventing horses. When Jane Camens caught up with his rider, Rob Palm, the two had returned only recently from competing in Europe.

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adly, Koko Story had to be withdrawn from the Australian Eventing Team at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon because of a virus he contracted in France. But, treated early, he’s fully fit again now, and Rob plans their next big challenge: selection for 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Koko Story (‘Woody’) had left quarantine only days before I interviewed Rob who spoke to

Koko Story was considered ‘a bit naughty’ by those who first rode him after he came off the track, and he’s probably a classic example of Rob’s belief that the more work a thoroughbred has, the better. However, before Rob started riding Koko Story his wife, Cassie Lowe, also an eventer, had forged a successful relationship with the horse before handing the reins to Rob when she was heavily pregnant with their first child.

Rob Palm on Woody. photo courtesy

Samantha Clark

me while he was in a round yard breaking one of the 30 horses he trains for clients at his stables, Regulator Thoroughbreds and Performance Horses. His conversation is punctuated with the occasional gee-up click and instruction to his horse.

Opposite page Top: Woody with Rob, Cassie and their babies. Far Left: Koko Story. Left: In the UK.

Rob, now 33, can’t remember a time he wasn’t riding. Rose, an accomplished horse woman, had both her children in the saddle before they could walk. Each of Rob’s early ponies took him ever higher in competition in various disciplines. Notable among his early mounts was a little showjumping Arab called Flight, and Haydon Relic, a stock horse. Robert took his stock horse to pony club,

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

‘I like thoroughbreds because of their will to work,’ said Rob. ‘Give them a job and they want to do it for you. There’s not really anything a thoroughbred can’t do. I find people get into trouble with their thoroughbreds when they don’t give the horses a job to keep their minds stimulated. They are such athletes.’

Regulator Thoroughbreds, Rob and Cassie’s breaking, training and re-educating business, is named after a grey galloper Rob’s mother Rose bought in 1998. The Regulator (‘Fred’) and Rob had a brilliant eventing career together, starting when Rob was just 14-yearsold and culminating when he was 21 when they competed successfully at the prestigious 4* star event at Burghley, in the UK, in 2006.

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competed in polocrosse and at the Sydney Royal, in stock horse classes, and won numerous show jumping and eventing competitions. In 2002 Rob rode for Australia in the Young Rider Eventing Championships in Taupo, New Zealand, where he competed successfully on his sister’s thoroughbred mare, Sofala Star. ‘I’m a competitive person,’ Rob says. ‘That’s a big part of the passion for me.’ After finishing school in 2003, Rob worked for racing trainer Gerald Ryan for three years Woody on his way to a competition.

broke in horses, did their pre-training, and rode numerous eventers. When Shane went to China to compete at the Beijing Olympics, where he won silver, Rob managed Bimbadeen Park.

Koko Story doing cross-country. photo courtesy

Tazzie Eggins

Back home, he began his own business, riding other people’s horses as well as riding his own. Then, for two years, he worked for Australian Olympic eventing champion Shane Rose at his thoroughbred and performance horse facility, Bimbadeen Park. There, Rob

Last November, Koko Story was the leading ‘Off The Track’ horse at the Adelaide 4* CCI, with the pair finishing sixth overall. This November Rob will ride another horse while Woody recovers from his world tour before they start their long-term preparation for Tokyo. Regulator Thoroughbred and Performance Horses enable Rob and Cassie to continue to afford to compete internationally. They buy, train and then sell some of the horses they work with at their facilities. It’s a demanding business. There were 30 horses in work at their facilities the day we spoke, and before lunch Rob will have ridden at least 15 of them. It’s not just his horses that like a job.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

riding track work. Further down the track he spent three months in Germany, training with dressage trainer, Martina Hanover near Hamburg. ‘A lot of people in Australia work on how their horse is going and not necessarily improving their riding,’ Rob says. In Germany, without a horse of his own, he found he had the time to concentrate on his riding – a period of time, which, he says, has stood him in good stead.

In 2010 Rob moved to Victoria to be with Cassie. In the town of Bunyip, outside Melbourne, they established their own facility to break in, pre-train and re-educate horses, as well as riding and competing eventers.

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magine this – you’re a member of an extraordinary elite, the service personnel of Australia. The men and women who, whether in active service, or in the running of essential services such as hospitals, see over and over again things those of us leading our daily lives back home can’t even possibly comprehend. Gradually, little by little, stress builds up in your body and your brain. If you’re lucky you’ll get home to your family and loved ones

Binz and Reason to Thrive Programs Manager, describing the games as: “A competition that was not competitive and that was incredible to witness. Everybody always says that competitions are about participation and being there, but with Invictus they really meant it!” Reason to Thrive’s presence at the games, came about through a contact recommending Cathy (who is also an EA Level 1 coach) and her EFL work to EquiCenter in New York, who

Giving Wounded Warriors a Reason to Thrive

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

before too much trauma hits home. If you’re unlucky part of the legacy of being on the front line can be stress, anxiety and depression, often all bundled up into that most scary and unwelcome of visitors - Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

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On a recent visit to Sydney Candida Baker got a chance to understand the full meaning of the Invictus Spirit when she caught up with Reason to Thrive, a Brisbane-based equine facilitated learning Charity, giving EFL demonstrations at the Invictus Games.

then asked Thrive to partner with them to provide the demonstrations, which are designed to increase self-esteem, confidence, communication and relationship building, through interaction with a horse.

But there are ways through this tangle of emotions that can adversely affect so many parts of a veteran’s daily life and despite the logistics of travelling six horses 1,000 km each way from Brisbane to Sydney, plus a week away in the middle of the city, at the end of the Invictus week, the Reason to Thrive team were over the moon at everything they’d witnessed during the week of the games.

After some planning, the Thrive team consisting of Cathy, Michelle Beatty, Amanda Arnell-Smith and Julie Lowson headed down to Sydney with six horses in tow – three minis Morris Minor, a 7hh rescue pony, Girl Friday, a brown Shetland, and Chocolate (also a rescue re-named Penfold) - Sunny, Cathy’s Arabian; Usher, Michelle’s Arabian Stock Horse Cross, and last but by absolutely no means least, Clippy, the giant Clydie cross.

“It was the single most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done, and the most meaningful event I’ve ever attended,” says EFL facilitator Cathy

Equine Facilitated Learning is an experiential approach, guided by an accredited facilitator. Contemporary clinical research shows that


Army Reserve's Ryan Whanslow, with Morris Minor at Invictus. Top right: Reason to Thrive's Michelle Beatty with Usher. close proximity to horses causes positive change to human brain wave patterns and heart rate – something the Reason to Thrive team witnessed for themselves.

Army Reserve's Steve Barbuto with Clippy the Clydesdale-cross.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

There was one moment etched into Clippy’s owner Michelle Beatty’s heart forever. “When we were doing the EFL sessions we were in a roundyard outside the ANZ arena,” she says, “but one day when I was taking Clippy back to the stables, a veteran followed me back there, and asked if he could go into Clippy’s stable with him. He literally cuddled Clippy around his neck, burst into tears, and buried himself into Clippy’s mane. It was a truly ex-

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traordinary moment, and it really demonstrated the healing power of horses. We also saw a soldier who had a session with us, win Gold Medals during the week, and that was such an uplifting experience.”

equine-assisted therapy had achieved in tackling post traumatic stress and other mental health issues. To me, being sponsoring a Charity that is increasing public awareness of this approach by Reason to Thrive’s presence at the Games was a proud moment,” he says. “I saw our brave defence personnel overcoming their mental and physical scars to

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

What all equine therapists understand is that in the right circumstances, putting a person of any age with a horse, can produce magic. Horses, says Cathy, are not interested in the ‘story’. “I think what was also magical for us was that at Invictus what struck me was that the veterans had a space where they didn’t have to explain themselves to anyone. They didn’t need to talk about what had happened to them, because it had happened to all of them – so it was simply get on with life, with your family and friends and talk about that. And this is what is so valuable with EFL because what you are providing Above: Cathy Binz demonstration EFL to Trudy Lines from the is a space for someone in which to Above right: Spellbrook Director and Reason to Thrive sponso feel safe. They can speak, or not, it doesn’t matter. The horse provides an unconditional support. It’s not concerned with your story, your trauma, or your disabilities, it just sees you.” “I think what really

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There are a few inherent planning issues in taking six horses (even if three of them are teeny-weeny) 1,000 kms and back for an entire week – and it’s not cheap. Right from the start Reason to Thrive knew they would have to fundraise, and they were thrilled by the community support they received from local organizations, as well as from Pryde’s feed, and from their Platinum sponsor, Gary Stafford, director of the Spellbrook Foundation. Taking Gary to meet the gang so he could experience his own EFL session was exciting. Watching the horses and their gentle approach to kids and adults alike was an eye-opener for him. “I’ve been impressed in the past by the positive results that

struck us was the sense of community spirit – how nice people were to each other.” demonstrate that personal disability is not an obstacle to team participation and achievement in the sporting fields and personally learning about the benefits horses can specifically provide to people – particularly young people - with anxiety or depression or PTSD - was fascinating.” Morris, the 7hh mini, is one little pony who


knows about the difficulties of life post-trauma. Originally a neglect case, he was rescued by Save a Horse Australia, and had to have an eye removed due to an infection. Despite this setback Morris has learned to navigate his world – and in the process has become Cathy Binz’s latest little recruit to her therapy team. It was profoundly moving to see a pony

e Australian Wheelchair Rugby Team. or Gary Stafford meets Clippy.

“I’m always amazed that an animal trusts you enough to allow you to put it in a tin can, travel 1000kms and then trust you enough to know that you are looking after them no matter what and behave themselves impeccably in an environment that is totally foreign,” says Michelle. It’s been my personal experience that there is

Top: Reason to Thrive team Cathy Binz, Julie Lowson, Michelle Beatty and Amanda Arnell-Smith.

who had been in danger of being euthanized, providing friendship and comfort to veterans and their families, and over the week the team saw plenty of people with plenty of different problems.

The biggest relief was how well the horses coped with the trip – allowing the possibility of attendance at similar events in the future.

Finally, after several weeks back home, Amanda’s take on the Games was simple. “I think Prince Harry has left an incredible legacy for the world,” she says. For more information on Reason to Thrive visit their Facebook page.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

“I think what really struck us was the sense of community spirit – how nice people were to each other,” Committee Secretary Amanda Arnell-Smith says. “I used to know a lot of people in the ADF, and I think that mateship is the thing they miss most when they leave the services. Seeing some of them – particularly the more physically disabled of them – compete was really emotional for us all. There was a huge sense of camaraderie and it was wonderful to be a part of that.”

a space of deep limbic resonance in which a healing can occur when you put a horse and a person together. Horses are non-judgmental, they live in the moment, they have no preconceived idea of what will happen in a session, and it’s exactly that ‘go with the flow’ ability which allows them to lead the participant into a truly magical state where the fog of traumatic experience can lift – and when it does, lives can dramatically change for the better.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF

CORRECT FLEXION AND BEND Berni Saunders examines the ideal way to create an harmonious relationship with your horse…

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ressage is a sport that relies on the communication between two living beings…the rider and the horse. From the time the horse first becomes acquainted with carrying the weight of a rider, training is structured to progressively strengthen the equine physique and to develop a state of confidence and understanding that minimises resistance and fear, thus creating a positive and productive training relationship.

able to work for many years in a way that adheres to the most exacting ideals of animal welfare.

It can be rather humbling to take a step back from the awe and wonder of a beautifully executed Grand Prix dressage test and consider that soon after a foal has taken its first steps, it will demonstrate an instinctive ability to perform the movements seen at the highest level of the sport. It takes many years of hard work and a patient trainer who respects the German Riding Pony foal intricacies of engaging the The elements of the Training showing natural elevation and horse’s amazing energy to self-carriage. Scale (Rhythm, Suppleness, recreate the beauty and exContact, Impulsion, Straightpression that comes with nature’s abundance. ness and Collection) monitor and measure the success of training strategies, and guide dressage judges in their assessment of the horse’s work, acting as the overarching reference point at every level and stage of training.

The early training exercises focus on what the Germans call ‘Losgelassenheit’. In English we need a few more words to explain, so we

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Longitudinal and lateral flexion are the basis for all training. Without unrestrained movement, loose joints and a soft swinging back the horse will be stiff and stilted, and a worstcase scenario sees the jarring movement caused by stiffness and a lack of flexion and bend leading to injuries. Correct dressage training helps the horse to become strong and sound, capable and confident, and therefore

The objective of correct training is the development of compliance and understanding that will allow the rider to achieve flexion and bend - qualities that are manifested in the horse’s ability to show lateral and longitudinal suppleness, without restraint or resistance. Each level of dressage gives cohesion and structure to the horse’s training program and also provides a valuable assessment criteria for judges.

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Illustration showing soft collection and engagement as a wave of energy throughout the horse's body.

The German Master Hubertus Schmidt shows his skill in a demonstration on Lady Susannah Clarke’s imported gelding, Come To Me. The horse is demonstrating his good training, obedience and ease to the aids that influence flexion. photos courtesy of:

Berni Saunders

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describe this early requirement as ‘loose and unrestrained’. For the young or uneducated horse, this way of going is manifested in a soft, regular rhythm, with energetic forward reaching steps that are free of resistance and tension.

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Lateral Flexion is what we identify as the horse’s willingness to show side to side bend in the neck to follow the prescribed line of travel, allowing the rider to make smooth and balanced changes of direction without falling in or becoming crooked or the horse showing resistance by way of tilting the head, crossing the jaw, mouth or tongue resistance, coming above the bit or dropping behind the vertical. Longitudinal Flexion is the development of thrust emanating from engaged and energetic hind legs and this energy is then contained by

‘catching’ (not pulling) hands. The horse will continue to develop bend and elasticity in the joints, which will have the effect of lowering the croup and raising the forehand. This ‘collecting’ of energy allows the horse to move with a soft, springy back, carrying the rider’s weight in a balanced manner that is referred to as self-carriage and ‘gymnastically correct’ posture. A balanced horse in the latter stages of training will work with the poll the highest point of the neck and balance that does not rely on the reins for support. The horse shows freedom of movement with ease and harmony that is more akin to an artistic performance. The next stage in the German Training Scale is referred to as ‘Durchlässigkeit’, which translates as ‘through and on the aids’, meaning that the horse accepts the rider’s driving legs, which create energy that is contained by the restraining/gathering hands. The horse will progressively show more engagement and acceptance of the containing aids, a state which is evidenced by a rounded swinging back, lively engagement of the hindquarters, and the horse stepping forward under the centre of gravity (a little in advance of where the rider sits) to create lift and energy that raises and lightens the horse’s forehand. As the horse becomes more balanced, there is greater freedom of the shoulders and this allows the


leg, which is the main weight bearing leg on circles and turns. Conceptualizing the horse’s body length on a given size circle and then consider the amount of bend/flexion that is required to maintain the shape of the movement is important. When the length of the horse - nose to tail - is marked out in the sand on a 20-metre circle and a line is drawn in the sand between the impressions of the two front legs and the hind legs, it is surprising how straight this line is.

Stallion Fishermans Friend and Tor Van Den Berge in a collected canter, re-capturing the expression of the 10-day-old foal. Freedom of the horse’s forehand and shoulders allows for optimum expression and harmony with the rider. photos courtesy of:

Berni Saunders

Warmblood colt at 10 days old already showing engagement, self-carriage and lightness of the forehand. photos courtesy of:

Case Wientjens

Unfortunately riders often ask for too much inside bend in the false belief that this is correct lateral flexion. Holding rigidly or pulling on the inside rein unbalances the horse, blocking the energy and engagement of the inside hind

A common error is seen if there is inadequate ongitudinal flexion when the test calls for a few lengthened strides or a medium/extended trot. In such cases, the horse’s balance moves on to the forehand when the rider drops the reins in a mistaken attempt to lengthen the frame. The horse becomes tight and straight in the shoulder and cannot show self carriage, this in turn puts weight on the

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forearm to reach up and out, enhancing the ground covering steps that define the quality of lengthened paces.

In order to show softness to the inside, the amount of inside rein used to guide the horse around the circle line must be checked and monitored by the outside rein. This action is similar to a bike rider pulling the inside of the handlebar around, with no check from the outside hand to measure the turn of the handlebar causing the bike to overbalance or overturn. The same principals apply to the use of the outside rein as it applies to controlling the degree of a turn and the influence of the inside rein. Correct use of both reins will keep the horse on the track or line of travel appropriate to the bend, circle or turn. The outside rein also acts to deliver the half halts that aid the longitudinal flexion and roundness and also act as a balancing aid. Riders must always reference the line of travel, the corners and outer circumference of circles and turns, in order to keep the horse upright and straight, and to minimise the natural inclination for horses to lean and tilt their body and fall out through the shoulders.

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UK dressage star Carl Hester performing piaffe with Nip and Tuck.

Rozzie Ryan and the stallion Jive Magic show an excellent trot half pass right at Grand Prix level illustrating an understanding of the combined influences of lateral and longitudinal flexion. photos courtesy of:

Berni Saunders

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forehand, resulting in shortened steps that lack quality and expression. The horse needs to maintain an uphill inclination, which will free the shoulders and allow longer more reaching steps.

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The successful development of engagement, self-carriage and lightness and ease always comes back to the horse’s early training and a mastery of the combined aids for lateral and longitudinal flexion. As the requirements of each level increases, the horse will be expected to move in balance, around smaller circles, turn in correct longitudinal and lateral flexion and correctly execute shapes and figures that require a uniform bend through the whole length of the horse’s body. Movements such

Danish combination Blue Horse Martine and Andreas Helgstrand show the loose engaged power that is created and contained through progressive training. The mare burst onto the international scene and stole the show with her wonderful expression, gaining very high marks in the Piaffe/Passage sequences. photos courtesy of:

Berni Saunders

as a volte (6 - 8 metre circle), corners at FEI level, half passes and canter pirouettes, rely on a uniform bend of the spine, which comes from the horse’s soft obedience to the


influences of the inside driving leg into outside supporting rein, the softness and bend indicated by the inside rein, and an outside supporting leg which keeps the horse from falling out through the outside shoulder, or moving off the line of travel. Around the 4th year of training the horse will be working at, or approaching Medium level dressage, where the lateral movements including half passes are established. The horse should now be capable of showing clear differences in and out of the collected and extended paces with enhanced selfcarriage, suppleness, obedience and a confidence, which enables the rider to use lighter, more harmonious aids. At medium level the horse is considered to be competent and secure in the formative lessons and ready to go on to develop the refined understanding and accurate responses that enable progression to the FEI levels. When the horse reaches Intermediate ll and Grand Prix, the development of the horse’s willing and compliant response to the lateral and longitudinal flexion, as indicated by the

rider’s subtle and almost imperceptible aids. The horse works cooperatively, allowing the rider to access the suppleness and strength required to perform extended and collected paces, counter changes of hand at the canter and fluent flying changes in a prescribed sequence with the horse changing canter lead at the split second that all legs are off the ground. The majesty of the passage and piaffe sequences is recognised as the ultimate expression of refined communication and understanding between horse and rider and this drives a world-wide interest in the sport of dressage. As we look at the interplay of engagement, containing the energy, suppleness and expression we must always look back to the role of lateral and longitudinal flexion, as these lessons develop softness and bend that gives the performance ease of movement and turns the horse and rider into a cooperative partnership. It is only a special partnership that allows dressage to become an expression of art. Happy riding.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

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Heather Roberts Doing it Tough, with Humour Multiple Sclerosis has not stopped Heather Roberts from achieving her horse dreams, writes Jane Camens. And Heather has no intention of stopping anytime soon, despite her debilitating and crippling disease.

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t was no problem for Heather Roberts that I rang her an hour earlier than arranged, forgetting that Queensland doesn’t have daylight saving. By 8.00am she had already “hit the ground running, doing the horses”. Her words. Heather has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), so ‘running’ is a light-hearted exaggeration, typical of her. Her strength, positivity, and amusing anecdotes about her life with horses left me in awe of what she has achieved and still plans to in the future.

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Heather is now in her early 60s. I first met her on a recent ATHRA camp in southeast Queensland where many remarkable people did the week-long ride - including a six-year old girl, a guy in his forties who’d been riding for only three months, and several people in their late seventies or older. But the rider who struck me as the most remarkable was Heather. She sat a dancing little Arab and was fine until the breaks. Only then she faced a challenge. “When I dismount I have trouble with my foot

Heather on Michaela.

staying straight on the ground and not twisting,” she explains. “I have to really concentrate and ideally I need someone to take my foot out of the stirrup.” A couple of times when she’s been alone on her property Heather hasn’t been able to dismount. “I’ve literally had to throw myself off the horse. It was awful,” she says. Since then, she’s designed and had build a mounting/dismounting ramp. Heather has packed in a heck of a lot of hard riding since she learnt to ride at the age of 35. She’d grown up in suburban Brisbane,


in Toowong and later, when she married, she and her husband Vyv lived in the nearby suburb of Mount Gravatt where Vyv had a bread run. But she’d always loved horses. She thanks her son Aaron for starting her riding. He was 13-years-old and experiencing learning difficulties when she and Vyv struck a deal with him. If he agreed to remedial schooling he could take lessons in something he wanted to do. He chose horse riding.

Chester, the pony that started it all. When his parents told him they were buying him a pony (Chester), he thought, Heather tells me, “Bring it on. Let the oldies spend all their money.”

‘One day Paul asked Aaron why I always had a cranky look on my face when we were riding,’ Heather recalls. “I told him ‘That’s my Prepare to Die face.’ Aaron suggested to me that I yell out to them to slow down. ‘Are you kidding?’ Heather said. ‘I’m not going to be the kid’s whinging neurotic mother! Not on your life!’” Heather’s idea was that it would be a good bonding opportunity for Aaron and Vyv to participate in an Endurance ride while she and the girls stayed at camp “doing girl things”. Vyv did just one camp and said “no more”. Heather was the one who ended up driving the two horses, the three kids and two dogs to the weekend rides. And she was the one who rode, which hadn’t been her plan. She recalls one Endurance ride with her youngest girl Hayley, who was then only about seven years old. As is customary, the ride began in the dark. Hayley, riding Chester, was veering awfully close to the edge of a cliff. A couple of times Heather asked her to move Chester across to the other side.

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Heather laughs. "I used to say we bought a $500 pony that cost over $300,000. But the fact is that Chester changed our lives.” Heather started riding too and not long afterwards bought Archie, a standard bred. Her daughters Renee and Hayley also became infected with the horse-riding bug. Eventually, Heather and Vyv sold their suburban house and moved to acreage. And more horses entered their lives.

Chester was a quarter horse-Arab cross who, according to Heather, ‘looked like a keg on legs’, at least next to the Arabs on the property where he and Archie were initially agisted. Chester wasn’t much good at pony club (“Aaron went over more jumps than Chester,” says Heather) so Heather and Aaron took to riding their ponies through the state forest with the owner of their agistment property, Paul, who was training for Endurance.

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Suddenly, Hayley announced that in the moonlight she could see fields of broccoli. In alarm, Heather told her, ‘Sweetie, that’s not broccoli, they’re tree tops.’ Hayley woke up for the rest of the ride. Heather completed her first Tom Quilty ride (taking the full 18 hours) in 1997 on the

as an Endurance rider, twice completing the 400-kilometre Shahzada Endurance ride – covering 80 kilometres for each of five days. She also entered the Tom Quilty three times, completing two successfully. ‘My last Endurance ride was the 2007 Quilty. I only got around the second leg and I was cactus,’ she said. ‘That’s when I knew I needed to give Endurance the flick.’

Heather Roberts on her 14-year-old Arabian mare, Michaela. Right: Heather's first horse, Archie, on whom she did the 1997 Tom Quilty.

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wonderful Archie. Aaron and her eldest daughter Renee’ were there for her at the finish line at 10 pm. In that same year it had become clear that Chester, now stiff with arthritis, had earned the right to retire. She also realised that if she was going to continue Endurance riding she needed to let Archie have an easier life too. So, at the age of 43, she decided to breed Arabs.

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When her marriage broke up in 1999 Heather bought 120 acres where Chester and Archie could live forever, and where she could invest her time in the Arabs. Chester lived with her for 10 more years and died after a final goodbye with Aaron. Heather was living on the property in a shed. “You know how horse people tend to do it tough?” she says. “Well, I had a chemical loo, but the horses had 120 acres.” Heather ended up having a high-profile career

She spoke about the slow onset of MS and how, for at least a decade before it was diagnosed, strange things happened to her body. ‘I woke up one morning and my jaw was dislocated. The doctor thought I’d done it grinding my teeth in my sleep. I did several Endurance rides with a brace holding my jaw in place.’ There were other signs. The side of Heather’s face and her lips would go numb, which the doctor initially said was stress. But then


Hayley’s horse cow-kicked her. It brought on a major attack that got her to a chiropractor. The chiropractor wrote a referral to neurologist, which Heather somewhat stubbornly didn’t see the point of - so she missed the appointment. But her pain got worse. Her doctor eventually sent her for a full body MRI. ‘” was thinking I had a brain tumour,’ she says. ‘When the results came in, I went in after work. He told me I had MS and did I know what it was? I knew only that it involved wheelchairs down the track. But at the time for me, the diagnosis was liberating. At last I had an explanation of why those things were happening.” Although she can’t ride Endurance any longer, Heather isn’t planning to quit horses any time soon. ‘If I get overheated or severally fatigued, the MS flares up,” she says. “I push through. I’m a very very determined person. As long as I can throw my leg over, I’m going to ride my horse.’ In Southeast Queensland’s 2011 floods Heather got flooded in on her property for 22 days. There were nine creek crossings to get to the farm and all of them were flooded. She was up on the farm along without a phone, because all mobile towers were diverted to

emergency services. She had power only because she’d “girl- proofed” her place and had her own generator. “I knew I was in trouble, I was having an MS attack and having all this trouble with vision,” she says. “When I finally got out I had to spend a week in hospital having massive doses of steroids.” The Arab Heather rode at the ATHRA camp was her now 14-year-old mare Michaela, home bred from a mare she owned called Tutaman Mystika, with whom Heather twice did the Shahzada. “I know Michaela so well and I find her easy to ride,” she says, “I’m hoping she’ll last me until I can’t ride any more.” She pauses. “Actually, I’ve bought a little paint colt. I’m going to break him to harness. When I can’t ride anymore I’ll drive. I’m going to be that crazy granny who takes the horse and cart to Woolworths. I don’t pretend the MS is not happening, but I suck it up.” And as a sidenote Aaron is now 38 years old, with a wife and child of his own. He works as a farrier and in his wallet he still carries a crumpled picture of Chester – the pony that started it all.

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H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E


The Unique Art of Riding

Side Saddle!

It’s hard to imagine flinging yourself over a jump on a side-saddle, or galloping across the countryside, but Dannii Cunnane finds that it’s safer than it looks – and it’s far from going out of style…

It’s not often that you see side-saddle riding and the main reason that most people do it is to actually keep the art alive.

Firstly, it’s important to point out that you don't actually ride sideways. The rider sits absolutely straight and square in the saddle – from the back it should look the same is if you were astride. The saddle used is special as it has two pommels sticking up at the front of the saddle. Your right leg goes around the top one, and then hangs down. Your left leg will be in the usual position, and with the second or lower pommel – the leaping head, curved over the top of your thigh, but not touching. Your left foot will be in a stirrup as usual. To replace your right leg aids you carry a whip on that side to tap the horse if needed.

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eeing ladies ride side-saddle conjures up ideas of the good old days – where roads were cobblestones, horses were the main mode of transportation and women wore long dresses with beautiful corsets. But while this way of riding is traditional, it’s far from old fashioned – and it’s also not easy!

So how is it done?

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Most of the time, your right leg should be quite relaxed, and your left in the usual position. But, in times of dire need, you can use the pommels to create an emergency grip with both legs - clamp your legs together around the pommels and then – apparently it really is very difficult to fall off. Riding side-saddle feels strange at first – as a rider you are quite a bit higher than in a normal saddle, and using very different muscles. You should not feel too uncomfortable though. If you do, is probably because the saddle does not fit you or the horse – or possibly both.

How to Start

Firstly, find a qualified instructor with a horse that you can start off on safely. Your level of riding experience may dictate how long it will take you to learn how to ride side-saddle. If you’re an experienced rider you can learn very quickly on a well-schooled horse. You can expect to walk, trot and possibly canter on the right rein in your first lesson. You might be a bit stiff afterwards because you will be using different muscles to the normal riding muscles, but this will improve the more you ride. Less experienced riders should expect to take longer to learn the basics. In the past few years side-saddle clinics have started up around Australia, so do some research and keep your eyes peeled.

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The Basics About Riding

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Mounting might be the most daunting part of riding aside. Back in the day it was a groom’s job to give the rider a leg up so she could reach the saddle and have a proper position. In common practice, most riders use a mounting block of some sort, and straddle the saddle first. Then, without moving the seat bones, swing the right leg around the fixed head, and find their stirrup with the left foot.

The Queen has always ridden side-saddle for ceremonies. Using a mounting block is preferable to the stirrup, as you are likely to tip and move the saddle. Even a slight straightening of the saddle is difficult, as there is no offside stirrup to use to wrench it over. The most important thing about mounting is to keep your seat and saddle square. A whip can be used as a substitute for your missing right leg, but may not be required depending on your horse. New side-saddle riders often find holding a whip one thing too many as they adjust to their new seat. Unless you have a particularly stubborn horse, you may find it unnecessary for now. If you chose to use one, you should only tap it lightly near the girth where your leg would be. When not in use, hold it quietly against the horse's shoulder, or diagonally across the offside flap. Dismounting is a simple task. Turn so you are sitting sideways, on the near or left side, swinging your right leg over the pommels. Then slide straight down, taking care to not catch the pommels. There is no need to push away from the horse, and he might wander off if you do. If you wish assistance, a ground


Clamping down like this is uncomfortable to both your horse and you as a normal way to ride. Yet for an emergency, such as a bucking horse, or an unexpected jump across a creek, you can secure your seat.

What to Wear

Side-Saddle riding lesson.

You can begin riding side-saddle with your normal riding clothes, but if you want to compete or hunt, you will need a habit which is a jacket with matching apron (the large piece of material that looks like a skirt, but is actually open backed, and covers your legs) and the correct hat. Habits tend to be second-hand, but there are some excellent ready-made ones now available, and they can sometimes be hired. You can also buy or hire some of the more theatrical and historical costumes.

Equipment

If you enjoy riding side-saddle and want to take it up yourself, the most obvious item you’ll need is an actual side saddle to ride in. These saddles are not easy to come by and like all other saddles, must fit your horse perfectly. In 2013 Ireland’s Susan Oakes broke the side saddle high jump world record, clearing a 6’8” (2.03m) puissance wall on her stallion SIEC Atla. In this photo she is clearing a 6' 5" triple bar on her horse SIEC Oberon.

Emergency Grip

In an emergency, side-saddle riders have an advantage called the emergency grip. By pressing your right calf against the saddle, and the left thigh into the leaping head, you are locked into the saddle.

There are a few specialists who make new side-saddles, but they are rare and can be costly. The majority of side-saddle riders use saddles that were made before 1950. You have to really know what you are doing before buying a side-saddle and it is best to ask your Instructor or specialist saddler for advice. The saddle must fit both horse and rider in length and width. Many saddles made by the well-known old names such as Owen, Champion and Wilton, or Martin and Martin are relatively narrow and best suited for Thoroughbreds or gaited horses.

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person can hold your mount with the left hand, while extending you their right to aid your descent.

If buying a pre-loved saddle, check the girthing system and tree. The best option is to take it to a specialist saddler to have it made absolutely safe.

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Many of today's horses are broader than their counterparts of yesteryear, especially with the growing popularity of drafts and Warmbloods. However, wide older saddles are sometimes found, and saddles made today are of course intended for today's horses.

conformation traits. However, there is no real requirement for a side saddle horse.

Very old saddles with dipped seats and without safety stirrup fittings are better kept for historical interest rather than used for riding, because even if made safe, they usually put the rider in a bad position. A good rule of thumb to remember is that a well-fitting, safe saddle is so important for both horse and rider.

Truly, any equine can make a suitable side saddle horse. Before throwing a side-saddle on your own horse though, speak to a knowledgeable side saddle instructor who can help with what you need to do and how to train your horse.

Can my horse be trained?

There is no required breed for riding astride – it’s all about the saddle fitting properly. Historically it was recommended that the perfect side-saddle mount has a nice sloping shoulder, pretty head and other pleasant

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There are a few side-saddle associations so you might have to do a bit of research to find your states representative. Most associations will have lists of instructors who will be able to get you started on your side-saddle journey. For more information go to: https:// sidesaddlesa.webs.com/.

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One with smooth gaits will be more comfortable, but that’s across the board with any discipline. Ideally the horse should be patient and stand quietly.

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BREED SPOTLIGHT the small but mighty

CONNEMARA

What the Connemara pony lacks in stature it makes up for in strength, courage and intelligence, writes Dannii Cunnane.

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was formed, bringing with it some of the best qualities of the two parent breeds. These days the Connemara is considered to be native to the West of the country of the town with the same name. The Irish are proud of the Connemara, and rightly so, the breed may be small but it is mighty and known for its ability to be an all-rounder. It wasn’t until 1926 that the Connemara was recognised officially. With further cross-breeding to Arabian horses in the 1700’s along with Hackneys and Thoroughbreds after this,

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hile the Connemara is an Irish breed, its origins are actually mainly from Scandinavia and Spain. In 795 AD, an earlier version of the breed was among the many things the Vikings brought with them when they invaded Ireland. Centuries later when the Spanish Armada ran aground in 1588 the Spanish sailors let their Andalusian horses loose into the Galway countryside, and these, much larger horses, began to breed with the wild Scandinavian ponies in the Connemara mountains. From there the Connemara breed

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there were fears the bloodline was in danger of being diluted too much, and, as a result, the Connemara Pony Breeders Society was founded in 1923 in Clifden, County Galway, with the aim of protecting and further developing the breed.

The Backbone of a Nation The Connemara was widely used and celebrated in Ireland long before the time of modern day farm yard machinery because the ponies were strong enough for hard labour. Families within the region relied heavily on their Connemara pony to do much of the heavy field work and because the breed was strong they often only required one to do the work – which was also a bonus economically because the breed is known for being a good doer.

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As the Irish travelled overseas, so too did the pony. Once on American soil it was put to work and used within mines and for agricultural purposes where they also liked the ponies work ethic, good nature and ability to work like a large horse in a small body.

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According to the American Connemara Pony Society, “The Irish have contributed much to this country, and any owner will tell you the Connemara Pony is the greatest Irish contribution. For along with great athleticism and versatility, the Connemara has a special kindness, a huge heart, and an ability to bond with their human handlers that is unique to this breed.” Australia also shares a massive love for the breed. In 1963, Dr Fred Wilshire imported the first Connemara pony, Island King, into the country, and since then the Connemara has grown in popularity as a perfect family all-rounder.

Marion Coakes on Stroller

Breed characteristics The Connemara is very versatile, a veritable jack-of-all-trades. It is a great working and performance horse, renowned for its toughness, endurance, resilience and strength. • Height: The height of the Breeding Connemara Pony is 128cms to 148cms. (12.2 to 14.2 Hands High). • Colours: Grey, black, Bay, Brown, Dun with occasional Roan & Chestnut, Palomino, & Dark Eyed Cream. • Type: Compact, well-balanced riding type with good depth and substance and good heart room, standing on short legs, covering a lot of ground. • Head: Well-balanced pony head of medium length with good width between large kind eyes. Pony ears, well-defined cheekbone jaw relatively deep but not coarse. • Front: Head well-set onto neck. Crest should not be over developed. Neck not set too low. Good length of rein. Well-defined withers, good sloping shoulders. • Body: Body should be deep, with strong back, some length permissible but should be well-ribbed up and with strong loin.


Clockwise: Bandings Beamish, Toni Oberhauser with her Champion Connemara Mare, ‘Tylani Cadence’, Curragh Blossom.

and fast and could also jump the ditches and fences that surrounded the area.

• Limbs: Good length and strength in forearm, well-defined knees and short cannons, with flat bone measuring 18 centimetres to 21centimeters. Elbows should be free. Pasterns of medium length, feet well shaped, of medium size, hard and level. • Hind quarters: Strong and Muscular with some length, well-developed second thighs (Gaskin) and strong low-set hocks.

Uses of the pony While well known for its ability to work in the fields all day, the Connemara was also well known for its ability to tackle whatever the owner wanted it to do. It was staunch, agile

In a truly amazing feat, In the 1968 Olympics, a 14.1 hand high half-breed Connemara named Stroller was one of only two horses to jump a clear round with English showjumper Marion Coakes. The Connemara today is still used for jumping and eventing, but is also used in dressage, endurance, showing and as a trail riding horse. Its kind and forgiving nature make it a pleasurable all-rounder.

Further information More information about the breed can be found on the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society of Australia Incorporated webpage.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

• Movement: Active, without undue knee action, but active and covering ground.

It didn’t take long for people to enjoy riding their horse as a past time and in the 1930s, a 22 year old, 15 hand high Connemara gelding called The Nugget, cleared a 7' 2" jump and went on to win more than 300 international jumping prizes.

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PRODUCT REVIEW

by Dannii Cunnane

SHAKTI MAT T H E P R I C K LY WAY T O PA I N R E L I E F

T

he Shakti Mat is a mat about the size of a bathmat, and is covered in plastic spines. It works on acupressure points to stimulate blood to the area, relaxing tired, sore and aching muscles. Each mat is made by hand, using organic cotton, plant-based dyes and first class, non-toxic ABS Plastic.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

The first thing I did was to lie on it. The spines are quite pokey so I placed the mat on my bed and lay on it while wearing a t-shirt, which takes the bite out of the spines. I spent 15 minutes relaxing into it and I felt great afterwards.

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Another test was my feet. I have to wear heels every day. What a difference the Shakti Mat made! After 10 minutes pushing gently into the mat while sitting down, (not game enough to stand yet), my tired, painful feet were cured. I now use the Shakti Mat whenever I can; it’s perfect to sit, lie or stand on and can be used on the back, neck, legs, feet, arms and hands – basically whatever body part is sore. It’s also great for Shavasana. I have it next to me in yoga class and whip it out when it’s time to relax. It actually works. For more info, visit the Shakti Mat website.


NOVEMBER YOUNG RIDER OF THE MONTH

Molly Barry – Thoroughbreds All The Way At 21 Molly Barry is already taking the eventing world by storm, writes Dannii Cunnane.

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iving in Kardella, Victoria, Molly Barry has been riding since she was eighteen months old and is currently in the Australian Young Riders Eventing squad. “It was actually my mother’s show jumping horse Ralph that got me started in my horse career,” Molly explains. “Mum competed him up to 1.30 meters and I took over from her as I got older.”

Molly only trains and competes on Off The Track Thoroughbreds. “I have four horses,” she says. “My most successful is La

When working towards her success, Molly takes a holistic approach. “I’m a big believer of your own success,” she says. “You can do anything you put your mind to - just believe in your own ambitions and journey.” When she’s not working with horses Molly is also studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Federation University, and would like to become a rural doctor. We wish her every success with her wonderful team of horses.

If you are a young competition rider and would like to be considered for HorseVibes Young Rider of the Month, email us for a questionnaire to complete: promote@equestrianhub.com.au.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

Molly is no stranger to success, this year alone she was the only rider to complete the course at the Lakes and Craters CCR 3* event and she won the Wandin International Horse Trials 2* event.

Muso who is 11; Shinakuma is also eleven and is currently competing 2* - we’re aiming for 3* next year. Mr Fahrenheit is an eight-year-old I recently started riding - he’s really something special and we aim to be competing 1* soon. He’s only 15.3hh and I’m six foot, but he has a huge heart. My last horse is Geologist who is four and recently came fourth in the recent Melbourne Young Horse event - he’s the best horse I’ve ever sat on.”

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Your Club IN PROFILE

BRISBANE RACING CLUB

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

As well as running numerous race meetings, Brisbane Racing Club has an ongoing commitment to rehoming ex-racehorses.

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A

s the leading metropolitan race club in Queensland, the Brisbane Racing Club conducts 98 race meetings and hosts over 200,000 patrons each year. Race meetings are conducted at the club’s two racecourses, Eagle Farm and Doomben. The Brisbane Racing Club also hosts many other feature racing events including Girls Day Out (February), Mekka Wednesday (August), Country Music Raceday (September) and Melbourne Cup Day (November).

Brisbane Racing Club’s commitment to the rehoming and re-education of retired thoroughbreds will continue in to 2019 through its successful partnership with Triequithon events. Now in its third year, the Brisbane Triequiton is a prestigious event held annually at Doomben Racecourse promoting the suitability of off-the-track thoroughbreds for eventing. The event is conducted during a race meeting so audiences can watch the ex-racehorses compete in dressage, crosscountry and show jumping in between races. Triequithon’s event director Paul Chow says the event continues to grow every year: “We’ve used upwards of 30 re-trained race-


horses in this event at Doomben since its inception. The more we can make people aware of how wonderful ex racehorses are for eventing, the more we can get retrained once they’ve finished racing.�

The major events on the racing calendar are the KIRIN Doomben 10,000, Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup, Treasury Brisbane Qld Oaks, and Queensland's most prestigious race meet, UBET Stradbroke Day.

Triequithon at Doomben Racecourse is currently the richest 1* event in Queensland with $10,000 in prizemoney on offer with the next Triequithon race day being held in April 2019 The Channel Seven Brisbane Racing Carnival consists of five feature meetings from May to June. Each year this racing extravaganza brings some outstanding proven racehorses from all states and New Zealand to compete with the very best Queensland horses.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

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THE HORSE LISTENER

The Beating Heart of the Horse

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

It seems appropriate, particularly during this Spring Racing Carnival season, to stop and think a minute about how a horse’s cardiovascular system actually works, writes Candida Baker.

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W

e watch a thoroughbred stretched out in a gallop, or a carriage horse being driven at high-speed through a series of cones, or a polo-pony on the field, racing up and down, or any of the other sports that we’ve created for our equine friends, and there’s no doubt that it’s as exciting as watching any Olympic athlete. (Well, for us horse lovers at least!) Competition riders stress that to them the horse is THE athlete, and whilst, they as riders,

need to be fit, it's the horses’ bodies that need to be in absolute peak condition. But for those of us who are more everyday owners, thinking of our horses cardiovascular systems and how they actually work, is not probably top of mind - as they say in the advertising trade. One of the reasons that the horse is such a magnificent athlete is because of its incredibly efficient heart and spleen – the two major organs in its circulatory system that accommodate the large oxygen demands of the muscles when a horse is exercising. The heart and spleen are connected by a vast array of vessels that serve to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells of the body and to remove the wastes and toxins those cells produce. The size of the average horse’s heart is


approximately 1% of its body weight, meaning a 500kg horse will have roughly a 5kg heart. Thoroughbreds are known to have slightly larger hearts in relation to their body size – one of the reasons that racing suits their body types, while draft breeds (much slower movers) have hearts that weigh only 0.6% of their body weight. Not surprisingly, heart size is associated with athletic ability and our own famous racehorse Phar Lap was reported to have a heart (now on display at the National Museum of Australia) weighing close to 7kgs – well above the average.

short bursts of high intensity canter, followed by a period of walk. (A bit like the running program for us of 30 seconds running followed by a minute’s walking.) There’s no reason though, why it couldn’t be used in other disciplines – with the added bonus that if you’re trying to gain riding fitness yourself, this can be very helpful. The other benefit to interval training is to help prevent the build-up of lactic acid – the absolute no-no for any horse is for it to work hard,

Adult horses have a resting heart rate between 28 and 44 beats per minute (bpm) which increases steadily as the level of exercise increases. A horse averages 80 bpm at the walk, 130 bpm at the trot, 180 bpm at the canter, and up to 240 bpm while galloping – rates that can also be increased by anxiety, pain, dehydration, anaemia, and fever. The spleen plays an important role in the horse’s immune system by removing damaged or diseased white blood cells from the circulation and it is its participation in the cardiovascular system that helps horses become the tremendous athletes they are.

The form of training, known as interval training, is generally used by eventers, and the idea is to replace long, low intensity work with

and then stop without a cool-down period. When too much lactic acid builds up, muscles become fatigued and sore. Fat, when used as an energy source (as compared to starches and protein), contributes to a decrease in lactic acid build-up in the muscle. Horses conditioned to use fat as energy have more stamina and recover faster after exercise. Under the influences of stress and excitement (in a race, before the jump-off, or when the ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in) the spleen can contract, expelling up to 25 litres of the stored blood into the vessels, which can nearly double the oxygen-carrying capacity of the bloodstream and improves the aerobic capabilities and athletic efficiency of the horse within seconds.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

So what can you do help improve your horse’s cardiovascular fitness? One of the best possible ways is to ride your horse up hills – preferably trotting or cantering up, and then walking down. Walk and trot uphill will improve muscle tone and strength, cantering and galloping aerobic fitness. And although walking downhill might not seem a major factor in fitness, the fact is that horses have to use a lot of strength and balance to work correctly downhill. (All of this presupposing of course that your horse’s back is strong enough for this work.)

Equine circulatory System

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H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

And as for the actual blood making its way around a horse’s body -amazingly, over 30 different blood factors have been identified in the horse, with seven of these groups being widely recognized, but only two blood types, Aa and Qa, are relevant when vets are checking compatibility for blood transfusions.

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A horse's blood pressure is on average 120/70, similar to humans but unlike humans, horses rarely become hypertensive (only in cases of severe kidney disease), and they don’t develop hardening of the arteries or plaques in the vessels. Because of this, horses don’t suffer heart attacks (myocardial infarction) in the same way humans do, but while hypertension is rare, hypotension is commonly seen in cases of dehydration, colic, blood loss, and other illnesses associated with sepsis. If you want an immediate indication as to the health of your horse’s circulatory system, their mucous membranes – gums - are a reliable aid, and they should be pink and moist. Pale membranes reflect anaemia, and hyperaemic

(bright pink to red) membranes occur with sepsis and severe inflammation. Place your finger firmly on the gum, push the blood out of the capillaries and leave a blanched print. The time it takes for the pink colour to return to that area is the CRT. Normal CRT is between 1.5 and 2.5 seconds. Prolonged CRT is an indication of dehydration. So the next time you are performing a dressage test, completing a cross-country course, or just going for a trail ride, think of the complex cycle of the heart, the miles of veins and arteries traveling through your horse’s system, providing the energy and oxygen needed for every step of the way. (Acknowledgment: Some of the information in this column came from Dr. Joan Norton VMD DACVIM. Dr Norton founded the Norton Veterinary Consulting and Education Resources to promote equine veterinary education to horse owners, professionals and veterinarians.) Candida Baker is the editor of HorseVibes and runs a Facebook page – The Horse Listeners.


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AUSTRALIAN DRESSAGE CHAMPIONSHIPS Boneo Park 2018

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

Talking about the importance of bend and flexion, what about these beautiful photos from the recent Australian Dressage Championships at Boneo Park in October? Competitors strutted their stuff over five days that included demonstrations and master classes as well.

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photos courtesy

Stephen Moybraw


H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

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HUB SADDLE REVIEW

Saddle r e v i e w : Michelle Gibbs

"M

y friend who is a dressage rider recommended the Albion as a good option for me to use on my horse,” says Michelle. “The Albion is very comfortable for me to ride in as well as for fitting my horse who is a Clydesdale cross – so he is a bit wider than the average horse. I used a qualified saddle fitter to do this and had no issues with it. The leather quality is great and I absolutely love my purchase. I recommend the Albion to anyone competing in dressage as the fit is amazing and allows my horse to have freedom in his shoulders. My Equestrian Hub experience when enquiring about and purchasing the saddle was fantastic and Fiona and her team were very helpful which made the process really easy. I can't recommend them highly enough.” Visit www.equestranhub.com.au to browse our saddles. Saddles come with a two week trial, finance options and "flat fee" shipping.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

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Technology in Tack

STIRRUPS LEAD THE WAY have them. Riders were much less likely to fall off when fighting and had the ability to balance themselves in order to deliver a heavier blow with a weapon that could use the momentum of the horse and rider at speed. Nowadays, of course, it’s not about the importance of stirrups in warfare, but the importance of how they can support the rider and keep them safe. We’ve come a long way from the crude stirrups of bone and wood – and although metal stirrups enjoyed centuries of popularity, we’ve entered a new phase where safety is king, and the creation of a correct seat position for every individual can be taken into account. We take a look at a few of the latest stirrups on the market…

FREEJUMP

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

Not too many people fist pump the air when it comes to riding with no stirrups, but being No Stirrup November (yes, it’s a thing) we thought it would visit one of the most vital parts of our equipment to see what it actually does. Dannii Cunnane gives us the leg-up on stirrups…

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T

he humble stirrup has come a long way since it was first used in the second century BC. Evidence suggests that the original stirrup was invented in China and quickly spread throughout the horse-riding world. The stirrup was a significant invention because a rider using stirrups in warfare had a massive advantage over those who did not

Freejump stirrups took the world by storm with their advancement in technology and unique look – the stirrups don’t actually join together under the stirrup leather ‘eye’ like traditional stirrups. They have an open side. The weight bearing area of a Freejump stirrup is made from a spring steel branch that reduces the shock and impact of the horse’s movement on the rider’s feet and legs. The branch also helps to keep the stirrup balanced and in the correct position without twisting or moving. The less ability to twist or move means more stability for the rider’s footing stable and less chance of losing a stirrup.


The foot bed is non-slip and quite wide which gives the rider a secure leg position as well as taking the pressure off the ball of the foot. The side of the stirrup that points away from the horse is flexible, and will click out should a fall occur so that the rider can free the foot and remove the risk of a rider being dragged. Not only are these stirrups the latest design, they are a good quality plastic which comes in funky colours so you can individualise your look.

TECH STIRRUPS Tech Stirrups are safety stirrups that stand out in a range of bright eye catching colours. Made of aluminium, they have the look of a traditional stirrup but without the heavy weight of the iron. Tech Stirrups have a safety mechanism that allows a section of the stirrup facing away from the horse to open slightly due to applied pressure which will release the rider’s foot should they fall. The open section will also close itself with a spring mechanism, so it can return back to its original state by itself if the rider has fallen or if the rider accidentally put pressure on the area without falling.

LORENZINI Unlike the other stirrups previously mentioned, the Lorenzini stirrup does not have any moving parts to free a rider’s boot should

The shape of the stirrup reduces stress on the rider’s body and increases shock absorption, the design also allows a rider to quickly recover their stirrup and balance if required. The foot bed is wide which takes the pressure off the ball of rider’s foot, allowing secure footing and better rider balance. Not to be left out, the Lorenzini stirrups are made of titanium and aluminium so that they are strong but they are also lightweight and come in a range of colours with either high gloss, shimmer or matt finishes.

MDC MDC stirrups are very much like the traditional stirrup irons, they look almost identical and they aren’t made of a lightweight material. Their point of difference lies in their multipivot point, which is where the stirrup leather can be threaded through. This pivot point does exactly that, a rider can turn their stirrup iron to a pre-set angle of normal, 45 and 90 degrees which helps stop a rider losing their stirrups, as well as the ability to quickly retrieve a lost stirrup should

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

These stirrups have a number of design options to choose from depending on discipline, which includes a wide foot bed with patterned grip. The design also incorporates shock absorption in the foot bed, so the rider has increased performance in their legs without the added jarring of the horse’s movement.

they fall. Instead it relies upon its unique ergonomic triangular design that widens at the foot bed. The emphasis of this stirrup is on a quick foot release in case of a fall.

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Stirrups from left: Ace Arena, Security Jumping, Equitaly Brush Edaluminium Double Arch, Rose Gold Platinum. the foot become dislodged. MDC stirrups do not turn back against the horse’s side as aggressively as traditional stirrups when lost, which is the primary reason a rider’s foot can get caught during a fall with the potential of being dragged. The stirrups also have shock absorbing sides that reduce concussion on the foot and legs as well as relieve pain in the ankle, knees, hips and back. The wide foot bed also assists in balance was well as relieving pain on the ball of the riders foot. While the MDC options don’t have many colour options, they do come in traditional silver and a limited edition black.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

Do I need the high tech option?

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There are a number of technical stirrups on the market; the ones listed above are just a small sample of what you can purchase for your hardearned dollar. Most riders don’t need a high-tech stirrup to develop and maintain a good position. A plain stirrup will do just fine most of the time, but for those who compete at a high level, a small

adjustment in equipment can often make a significant difference in results. The technical part comes to the safety area, that either the angle of the stirrup or a mechanism will snap out and allow the foot to become free should a fall occur. The larger foot beds and ma-


terial that acts as a shock absorber also bring comfort to the table, which is welcome when you’re spending a lot of the time riding horses and want to take some of the jarring out of the ankle, knees and back.

Do technical stirrups actually help you rider better? This really does vary from rider to rider. All of these stirrups depend on the rider’s personal needs, so one type may suit one equestrian but may not be perfect for another. When it comes down to the stirrup technology, it is thought that the more the stirrup can ‘help’ the rider, the more benefits will be seen in the results. An example of the stirrup helping a rider is the material from which it is weight. Lightweight means no added pressure and weight to the leg so the rider can move their leg and ankle around the horse’s side without too much restriction. This would benefit a dressage rider due to the fact that their legs need to move freely to issue subtle cues and aides.

Which ones should I choose? Like saddles, stirrups are a very personal choice. Not all stirrups will be the perfect fit for you, so it’s a matter of trying them to

Some companies allow a period to purchase and try the stirrups within a set time frame and if the rider doesn’t like them, they can return them. Not all companies offer this option, but it is peace of mind if you’re dropping a few hundred on some stirrups that you’re unsure will make a difference to your riding. Another option is to read the reviews of the stirrups that you’re interested in and do your own homework. These can be a big investment, so shop wisely. Choose the stirrups that best suit your budget and are comfortable – also remember that not all stirrups are legal in competition so read your rulebook to ensure your stirrups can be used for their intended purpose.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

Another example is the shock absorbency of the stirrup, which would be beneficial to a cross country or jumping rider who may retain perfect balance even though the movement of the horse may be jarring to their leg, back and ankle – less jarring means the rider has better control over their body which helps their riding. It will also help balance, so ,for example, if a long spot was taken over a large fence it may not mean the shock of hooves hitting the other side will jar the rider and increase the chance of them being thrown out of their saddle.

see what works for your body. The advancements of technology don’t make the technical stirrups a budget friendly choice as a lot of money is spent on their design and ongoing studies into improvements.

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PENNY'S PLACE Down on Penny Newbold’s farm you’ll find her family and animals, and of course, horses… The green and pleasant rolling hills of the Northern Rivers may be a paradise for humans but they can be a nightmare for horses....

"I

A Subtropical Paradise!

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

t’s beautiful in the Northern Rivers,” they said. “A subtropical paradise,” they said. At no time did anyone say to me: “Oh yes, by the way, the reason it’s so green is because it rains copious amounts while the rest of the country is in drought.” And if they had, I might have been naïve enough to think that was a good thing!

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No one told me that to a Northern Rivers horse owner faces endless challenges of the all-too-literally named rain scald, greasy heel, hoof abscesses, seedy toe, mud fever and Queensland itch. Throw in the dietary nightmare of the various ‘horse unfriendly’ grass types, such as setaria, which leaches calcium from their bones and cause ‘big head’ (a condition I’d never even heard about until I lived in this area); plus the high sugar content in the grass that leads to every pony’s worst enemy laminitis and its best friend, founder, and you might well wonder why we even bother to own a horse! There is no doubt, that this time of the year is enough to seriously test even the most dedicated sub-tropical horse owner’s commitment to the whole equine pathway. (Horses, of course originally hail from Mongolia, where there’s not a lot of rain. Just saying.)

And, of course, on top of all of that there’s the endless rug dilemma. Do I rug? But it’s too hot and muggy for them. But it’s too wet to leave them without. But if I leave them naked in the muggy rain they’ll inevitably end up with rain scald. And so it goes and you lie awake with ‘rug insomnia’, safe in the knowledge that you made absolutely the wrong decision, and short of getting up in the driving rain with a torch at 1.00am there’s nothing you can do about it. And you can also guarantee that whatever you carefully choose for them at 7am the next morning will also be completely wrong by 2pm that day. Dedicated horse owners all throughout the region can be easily identified by the squealing tyres at lunchtime, evidence of a mad dash home to change the rugs because of a spike in temperature or a hail storm warning. Trying (always unsuccessfully) to predict how the weather will turn out, means they end up in rugs when it’s too warm and become hot and sweaty, or alternatively, they shiver miserably in the endless and heavy rain, with an inevitable cold to follow! And leaving them in either condition is not a good thing for either the rain scald or the Queensland itch. Both of these lovely afflictions can lead to broken skin and infections which can be a


massive challenge to successfully manage (not to mention hugely uncomfortable for your faithful friend!) on warm sweaty horses that are so desperate to scratch themselves that even an expensive, insect proof, mesh rug can end up in a muddy ball of ripped chaos in the corner of the paddock. In less than a couple of hours. Just time to drive back from your nearest horse rug emporium, put the brand-new rug on your beloved equine friend, have a cup of tea, congratulate yourself on your good choice, and excellent horse

husbandry, and look out of the window to see your recent purchase now completely worthless. And as for keeping an abscess dry and mud free while it heals and the horses are swimming in mud, with more rain on the way? Good luck. Ah… he joys of living and keeping horses in what the brochures describe as ‘the subtropical paradise of the beautiful Northern Rivers’ in springtime. Sigh.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

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Taurus

Gemini

Cancer

Leo

A heavy-duty focus in your opposite sign of Scorpio places the emphasis smack-dab on your personal, one-to-one, socially significant relationships. This is about commitment to friends, lovers, partners – artistic, business or otherwise. The question you want to ask is, am I engaging completely with my whole heart? If you don’t get a yes, then it is a no.

November is full of action with surprise results, though think slow build not mad dash. Excitement arrives on the wings of Jupiter after the 8th where the New Moon greets the king of the gods in the sign of Sagittarius for the first time in twelve years. Make the most of this vibe via mega optimism and generosity, with one caveat - Mercury, the messenger of the gods, turns retrograde mid-month. Expect some delays, but not denials.

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

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Aries

Events in your house of new horizons coincide with an intense desire to explore the unknown. Consider expansion, if you are willing to take risks, engage your power, and try new things. It’s likely you’ll have a trip planned, and with it comes all the buoyancy that a change of scenery brings. Just keep an eye out. Items can go astray when you least expect, and no one wants to year ‘loose horse’ shouted over the loudspeaker!

Sometimes the energetic, high wired sign of the Twins can become so busy, so full of thoughts and ideas, that the body is perceived only as a vehicle, and perhaps a neglected one. This month is different, bringing the chance to connect with your physicality, setting into motion a new health, fitness, exercise routine. You may feel the vibration of mind-body-spirit in a completely fresh way.

With zany Jupiter in your house of ritual routines, you might find yourself breaking old, no longer useful habit patterns from the past. For example, the habit of pleasing others to the degree that your own personal well-being suffers. Set intentions around honouring yourself, doing what you want and having fun!

Much of your sunny nature is expressed outwardly, in the domain of public performance and on stage, but not this month. Now an inner journey calls, one that takes you to the depths of your most secret, intimate desires. Where you crave intensity is in the roots of your being, private, domestic, introspective. As you retreat, expect family members, close friends and workmates to be all up in your business, a sign that they care.


Virgo

With Mercury turning retrograde, any project you’re working on, especially if it involves the written or spoken word, is put on pause. This is incredibly frustrating, until you surrender to the rhythm of the season, trusting that it’s time to consolidate more than expand. A sudden urge for intensity can come out in conversation and power struggles ensue. This is the time to be fair but firm, and generous of heart.

Libra

Your ruler in Libra finally turning direct is cause for celebration. It’s like coming out of the woods, ready to make better choices around large purchases, business decisions and relationships that might be teetering on the edge. Intentions set around the authentic expression of your core values and sense of self-worth serve you better than anything tangible right now. Notice what lights you up, and ask if you are allowing it in.

Scorpio

Sagittarius

As much as you like a crowd, and even with your ruler Jupiter going into the home sign of Sagittarius, this month is about spending some time in quiet reflection. That doesn’t

Capricorn

Aquarius

Pisces

Restless ambition stirs the pot putting it on the boil. Your leadership clout longs for a challenge, the growth and the testing of your own metal. Questions arise such as, are you utilizing your talents to the max? Engage with the ‘group’, leading the way, pushing past fears? Your connection to others calls, as do your hopes and wishes for the future. Own your strength and set your sights higher than you ever have before.

Your potential success is warped up in actions this month, but just know, whatever you are up to, it won’t stay private for long. All the intensity and opportunity is happening fast, and on public display where you are recognized, talked about, reviewed for your past efforts and future potential. To work with this energy, put the focus on social media, career and your mission in life. Redefine and then think bigger.

The spiritual warrior in you may want to strike out on your own, but the density of planets in Scorpio have another thing in mind, ie. contact, connection, exchange of power and action. That’s 'inspired action', not the superficial, metaphorical ‘one-night stand’ MO. Be in it for the long haul. If you find yourself picking fights, ask: Where am I resisting creative change and openness with another?

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

This month is your annual new moon, in orb of your solar return and cause for celebration. You'll be absorbing power like a black shirt on a hot day. Think: chomping at the bit to launch new ideas. Your only caution is to be patient. Results aren’t returning at the speed of light, so don’t expect them to. Step by step wins the race. You can meet contrast face on, in a warrior stance, ready to engage. Remember, intensity is your ally.

mean you’re inactive. Even a retreat into the realms of the unconscious, a journey of dreams and inner horizons can be spectacular. Turn on your inner eye via meditation, helping others and your connection with all life. Risk something to make a difference.

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Wcom O N e.

E Ygam L B A

PL e LA s I A hor V A OM FR

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sale of HorsePLAY donated to Hub Help!

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

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HorsePlay

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NEWS & VIEWS FROM EQUESTRIAN HUB


WINNING TONGUE PLATE BIT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

WINNING AND LOSING! EP

Extended Plate

Amazing for any breathing problems and the only bit in the world to stop displacement of the soft palate.

NP

Normal Plate

Rated by riders and trainers as like having power steering! Riders say it’s the best bit in the world - the bit of the future!

DAVID HAYES Champion Trainer Major breakthrough. I recommend it.

TROY PALMER Champion Drafter I highly recommend them

MEGAN JONES Olympic Champion Works great. You must try it.

Prevents the tongue over the bit and soft palate displacement.

Joint and arms do not hinge downward thereby preventing pain to the roof, tongue and bars.

11mm low profile gear casing prevents roof rubbing. The flat plate prevents bit pinching and reduces bit pressure by 85%.

The bit arms have limited travel to prevent outer ring pressure and pain to the cheek and lips.

P ictu re s 1 & 2 sh ow a Sn af fl e

1

F Stops the bit pinching the tongue F Stops the tongue getting over the bit F Stops roof rubbing and lip pinching F Stops the tongue hanging out of the mouth F Stops the horse headshaking, pulling & bolting F Stops the horse hanging, rearing & bucking

Pi ct ure 3 : T h e am az in g

3

WINNING TONGUE PLATE BIT

preven ts it !

H O R S E V I B ES M AG A Z I N E

b it ro of ru b b in g an d b it pi n ch in g.

2

F Stops displacement of the soft palate F Stops mouth opening and respiratory noise F Better oxygen supply, therefore better speed F Amazing soft and responsive bit contact F Improves performance & stops leaning on one rein F Riders comment it’s ‘like having power steering’

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ORDER NOW! Contact your saddlery or phone 0413 898 128 www.iiwinners.com


NEWS & VIEWS FROM EQUESTRIAN HUB

Published by Equestrian Hub • PO Box 13 • Tintenbar NSW 2478 Phone: 0414 760067 • Email: info@equestrianhub.com.au www.equestrianhub.com.au

HorseVibes November 2018  

News and views from Equestrian Hub

HorseVibes November 2018  

News and views from Equestrian Hub