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Tamworth & District



The Magazine on the Scene Image & cover art by Mel Spittall

Wow, I can’t believe it’s the end of the year already! What a MA SSIVE year it has been too! This month marks our 10 th edition of the Tamworth & District Local Horse Magaz ine and i would dearly love to thank all of the wonderful peop le who have helped out thi s year. From delivering mags, sou rcing and writing article s or supplying beautiful image s, well, there’s to much an d to many to mention indivi dually but you know wh o you are. Your continued suppo rt has been fantastic and i can’t thank you enough! I really hope that you are all enjoying your magazine and i wish you all a very Merry Christmas & a happy New Year! See you in the new year!! Take care over the holidays ! Cheers, Mel

Front Cover:

‘I’ma Hollywood Freckle’ Cover Images & Artwork By Mel Spittall


“Great feed— My horses love and go well on it.”

Sit back and enjoy the Ride


We cannot make them win— but we can sure help them win

1300 732 267


By Donna Morton ~ Gold Coast & Logan Local Horse Magazine So, it’s 4am on the Wednesday morning (sounds like a song to me!), its wake up, get up and get going … all bags packed the night before, heading down the Mundoolun Connection Road to collect the missing link at Canungra. All bright and bushy tailed, Kristi is ready with bags packed and all the kids there to say good-bye. We are off! On our way to the Gold Coast to catch our flight to Equitana, Sydney, in the meantime drop we off the car at EZY Park, catch a shuttle transfer and we’re onboard and flying ONTIME for a change!!!! We land in Sydney, collect our bags and then head off to our accommodation at Summer Hill. is an expedition (to say the least) to get to Summer Hill, with the taxi driver and both of the passengers trying to find 42 Parramatta Road… “there it is!”. Well, in hindsight maybe we should of driven past and found somewhere else to stay but never mind. We checked in left our bags and headed off to Equitana (which by the way we were told was only approx 7kms away)…Well 1 and a 1/2 hrs later we finally arrive! Yes, no one mentioned that you had to catch a specific train and then transfer to another train!!! Although as Lady Luck was on our side the “Double Dans” also had problems with getting to Sydney - so we didn’t miss their rehearsals! With our little neon jackets on we trekked around the Sydney showgrounds & i mean ‘TREKKED” miles! I think we walked till we actually found the stables! Now the trip home…. hmmm, now how hard could it be, we had already spent most of the day trying to get to Olympic Park, homeward should be a piece of cake! Well I suppose the Ipads did come in handy when we needed to find out the timetables. Only problem was we managed to race from one train to the next, didn’t look at where the train was going and managed to end up back in Central Sydney!!!! Ooops! So once again we had to clamber up flights of stairs, find platform 19 and once again try to get on the wrong train, yes we attempted to board several trains, only to find out that they were not the correct ones either! By the time the actual correct train came our way I think everyone in Sydney on Platform 19 was barracking for us to get it right! On a good note we did manage to find our way back to Summer Hill Station, find a fairly reasonable pub and had a very yummy counter tea and a beer that didn’t even touch the sides. That was Wednesday, now I think we should move onto Thursday. Thursday - up and at em at 6 am (daylight saving time mind you!)...Packed camera bags, the essentials, water, sunscreen, ipad and whatever! Off we trek to the train station… there we come across a few LOST Queenslanders!!!! Now because we have taken the Wednesday 1 and a 1/2 hour trek to Olympic Park we are the experts on Sydney train travel … so with many in tow we suggest “follow us! we know where we are going!” thank God we actually remembered!!! LOL! All arriving safely at Olympic Park, everyone goes off on their own missions, ours was to first check all our camera equipment had arrive safely, check the Double Dans schedule and then work out what we could snap in between….. oh and of course find the best food & coffee outlet! A quick overview of the areas, we sit down to go through the schedule to make sure that we can cover all of the events… we have Mel from Tamworth Local Horse Mag arriving soon and she will be staying with us over the weekend. Mel was also a rider for the winning NSW Horseball Team. What a fantastic spectator and rider event that is! Riders and horses are extremely athletic, and the game is quite action packed. The evening entertainment in the Dome was the Reining Championships - with $60,000 first prize the riders were focused and up to the task… well, what can I say, the audience was pumped and they let it rip when their heros hit their straps! Friday was another day of racing from one event to the next … catching all the action in all the arenas was not the easiest thing to do but we managed to cover many a discipline. Friday night was the pinnacle of the showjumping with massive jumps and super horse/rider combinations. An awesome event and spectacular jumping. Have you noticed that I have not mentioned getting lost again! We now have a chauffeur, Mel has come to our rescue. NO MORE TRAIN RIDES! Weehee!.....Mels note: How we managed to find the hotel every night is beyond me! Three very tired ladies with 6 GPS devices between us all and NONE of them worked! Miracle lol!... Saturday was a huge day with massive crowds coming from all directions, we covered the horseball, polocrosse, driving, mounted games, the mounted police quadrille, trick riding, autograph signing and then in the evening the Dressage Spectacular. Yep, up in the VIP area we were seated with an absolutely spectacular view! Full house and atmosphere to die for! Congratulations to all the dressage riders who did such amazing freestyle displays. Well, Sunday came way too fast, it was sort of like a catch up day, but there was still so much to see and do! Events running, demonstrations galore....and shopping! Well lucky I was doing pics cause I would of probably spent way TOOO MUCH! Mel was onto getting as many pics as she could of the Trick Riding Champs (and got some awesome shots) whilst Kristi & I were out doing our little bit to save the nation….yes retail therapy!!! Don’t tell ssssshoooosh!!! Finally it was time to head for home. Mel treked off on her eye drooping, 5 hr, tuneless, souless drive home and as much as we wanted to stay till the end, the plane said if you don’t get here on time you miss out! So off we trundled to catch our flights back to the Gold Coast, bye to Sydney! back to reality and work!!! Anyway, hope you will all visit our webpage to view our images from the few days we spent at Equitana and for those who did not manage to get there.. I reckon we organise a huge event for Melbourne next year!!! GO EQUITANA MELBOURNE!!!!


Out & About

Equitana ~ Syndney 2011


What’s on calendar Breeds Section January 2012

AG SHOWS NSW For more information on any of the Ag Shows listed below, please visit

ALBION PARK A H & I ASSN INC Where: ALBION PARK When: 14 January 2012 - 15 January 2012 PAMBULA A H & P SOCIETY INC Where: PAMBULA When: 14 January 2012 CANDELO AH & DF ASSOCIATION INC Where: CANDELO When: 15 January 2012 DAPTO A & H SOC INC Where: DAPTO When: 20 January 2012 - 21 January 2012

KIAMA SHOW SOC INC Where: KIAMA When: 27 January 2012 28 January 2012 BUNDARRA PA & RODEO SOC INC Where: BUNDARRA When: 27 January 2012 - 28 January 2012 TENTERFIELD SHOW SOCIETY INC Where: TENTERFIELD When: 27 January 2012 - 29 January 2012 BUNGENDORE PA & H SOC INC Where: BUNGENDORE When: 29 January 2012

EUROBODALLA DIST SHOW SOC INC Where: EUROBODALLA When: 20 January 2012 - 21 January 2012

B r e e d s

S e c t i o n

BOWRAL SHOW SOC INC Where: BOWRAL When: 7 January 2012 - 8 January 2012


The ...The Breed for Every Need... The origins of this quintessentially Australian breed stretch back to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, when the first horses of the colony landed in Australia. Later importations included Barb, Timor Pony, Welsh Mountain Ponies, Arabs, English Thoroughbred and Spanish stock. All horses sent to the Colony needed strength and stamina - not only to survive the long sea journey, but also to work in the foreign, untamed environment that had become their home. In the 1830s, knowledgeable horse breeders imported a steady stream of Thoroughbreds to improve the local horse strains. The settlers had a keen interest in horse racing, so Thoroughbreds became very popular at the beginning of the 19th century. The use of Thoroughbred stallions over the condition-hardened local mares produced the beautiful strain of tough but stylish animal exemplified by today’s Australian Stock Horse. Australian horses had been selectively bred for strength and stamina, reliability and versatility. The strongest were retained for breeding and despite their mixed origins they developed into a strong and handsome type. The horses that developed had a good temperament, were tough and reliable, and able to work under saddle and in harness. Explorers, stockmen, settlers, bushrangers and troopers all relied on horses that could travel long distances, day after day. They were used to clear timber, plough the land and herd sheep and cattle. From this base the breed was refined and developed, using the outstanding sires of the day. Thoroughbreds had a considerable influence, even though the breed carried bloodlines from other breeds. Exploits of the explorers and stockmen and their reliable horses in the Australian bush became Australian folklore, and stories such as The Man from Snowy River and Clancy of the Overflow depict the character of these pioneers and their horses. The growing reputation of the horses that came to thrive in the Australian environment would later spread as their ability and attributes became legendary in the great wars. After the First World War, despite the recognition Australian Horses had won, there was no Stud Book or Registry. Mechanisation of primary industries reduced the need for working horses and it was not until the 1960s that an interest in horses was revived due to the increasing leisure time available to society. The Australian Stock Horse Society was formed in 1971 to preserve and promote the bloodlines of the Australian Stock Horse, recognised for its versatility and superior performance amongst work and leisure breeds. The following Standard of Excellence is based on the original ASHS description of ‘The Australian Stock Horse’ from 1971. Head alert and intelligent with broad forehead, full, well-set eyes, wide nostrils. A fine, clean gullet, allowing plenty of breathing room. A good length of rein, well set into the shoulder. Sloping shoulder, not too heavily muscled, a well-defined wither

slightly higher than the croup. Deep chest, not too wide in proportion, but showing plenty of heart room. Ribs well sprung and back strong and of medium length in proportion. In forelegs, forearms well developed, cannon bones slightly flat, pasterns short and slightly sloping. Hindquarters strong, rounded and well muscled, nicely sloping to give a full line from croup to hock. Hocks broad, flat and clean, the cannon relatively short with well-defined tendons. The hind legs well under when standing. The Hooves hard and in proportion to the size of the horse, with a wide heel and feet straight. The whole of these component parts to be in balance according to the size. Preferred heights between 14 and 16 hands. An artist’s impression of the Australian Stock Horse Standard of Excellence is attached. (Artist: Deidre Hunt) The Australian Stock Horse Society celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2011, and today is the largest pleasure horse organization in Australia. Interest in Australian Stock Horses as ideal mounts for pleasure and competition continues to grow. This is no small part due to the dedication and passion of the Society’s more than 9,000 Members, whom are organised into 66 Branches throughout Australia. Three new International Branches have opened this year in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. Branches conduct competitions and activities for Members in their local area and assist in promoting the breed within the horse industry. Australian Stock Horse classes at royal and agricultural shows attract strong entries across the board, and the Society conducts an annual Championships to highlight and record the success of the breed. The 2011 40th Anniversary World Championship Show was held from 9-15th May in Tamworth, New South Wales, and attracted over 700 entries from around Australia. The quality of the horses and their riders was outstanding, and judging by the enthusiasm of the participants and spectators, the future of the Society is in safe hands. The successful performance of the Australian Stock Horse has not only been recognised throughout Australia, but exports to United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Africa, New Zealand and Asia have given them worldwide recognition. Australian Stock Horses are excelling on the world stage in disciplines such as cutting, eventing, polo and polocrosse. Membership to the Society and registration of eligible horses is open to anyone interested in the Society’s activities. We enjoy a loyal and growing Membership of more than 9,000 individuals and have in excess of 180,000 registered horses. Members receive a free bi-monthly Journal and a range of other Member benefits. A selection of Membership categories is available, from Full and Participant, to a range of options for Youth. For more information on the Australian Stock Horse Society or to become a Member, visit


Northern Branch Australian Stock Horse Society News NEXT MEETING - Wed 7TH DEC 2011 AT West Diggers - Kable Avenue Tamworth - 7 pm President – Bruce Robson 6761 6004 Secretary – Tania Alderton 0429 772746

SOPHIE CLIFT AND “WALDENS TAKE TWO” Following their earlier success at Bathhurst Royal Show where Sophie Clift and “ Waldens Take Two” won Champion Novice Hunter Galloway and Champions Working Hunter Galloway. They have continued on into the recent spring shows winning at Grafton’s Hunter Championships where the pair won Supreme Working Hunter – Supreme Hunter Hack – Champion Led Hunter and Champion Stock horse Hack. At the NSW Country Hack Championships, they won Champion Working Hunter Galloway and at the recent National Hunter Show at Castle Hill they won Champion National Working Hack Galloway and Supreme National Working Hack!

Filly owned by Tony and Erin McCarthy Called “ Erinton Suzi Q” By “Voodoo” out of “Chilli Haze”


Gary and Debbie Craig’s - “Boronia Duchess” ridden by Mandy Smith ( in the NSW colours ) at the National Polocross Championships

"Cleo" owned by Ross and Lesley Andrews. By 'Our Rivoli Wrangler' and out of Kirkbys Stud Lillian

One of our younger members - Kayla MacBeth - from the rocking horse to the real thing.......if only we all had such a big smile when we were riding.........

Foals owned by Mark and Tania Alderton, both foals by “Watagan Regal Jackaroo” filly called “ Jacelle” colt called “Jazztyme”

ABCRA Dec 2011_Breast Cancer Trailer.indd 1

17/11/11 10:51 AM


Campdraft/Team Penning/Cutting 12

What’s on calendar Campdrafting/Team Penning/Cutting Australian Bushmans Campdraft & Rodeo Association Australian Campdraft Association

Team Penning Australia Inc Tamworth Team Penning National Cutting Horse Association

December 2011 Cutting


December 2011 Campdraft NSW 02-Dec TUMUT CAMPDRAFT BRUCE MC GRUER (02) 6944 9194




17-Dec-11 INVERELL JUNIOR CAMPDRAFT JILLIAN OAKENFULL (04) 2822 4867 For information on Campdrafting events in NSW, please visit


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The Australian Stock Saddle is a saddle in popular use all over the world for activities that require long hours in the saddle and a secure seat. The saddle is suitable for cattle work, starting Australian Bushmans Campdraft young horses, everyday pleasure riding, trail riding, & Rodeo Association endurance riding, polocrosse and is also used in Australian campdrafting competitions and stockman challenges.

Australian Campdraft Association The traditional stock saddle was designed for security and comfort in the saddle no Penning matter howAustralia harsh the conditions. Team Inc While having stylistic roots from the English saddle in the design of the seat, panels, fenders, and stirrups, it has a much Tamworth Team Penning deeper seat, higher cantle, and knee pads in the front to create a very secure for riders who ride in rough conditions or spend long hours on a horse.

The saddle is kept on with a girth attached to billets under the flaps, similar to those on a dressage saddle. A surcingle passing over the seat of the saddle is also used to provide additional safety. The rear of the saddle is sometimes secured by a crupper. A breastplate is sometimes added. A saddle blanket or numnah is used under the saddle to absorb sweat and to protect the back of the horse.

History Initially the stock saddle was a “park” style saddle similar to the modern English showing saddle, with low set knee rolls and short flaps. However, this style of saddle did not suit the rugged Australian terrain and did little protect the rider’s legs from sweat. Thus the flaps were lengthened, thigh and knee pads added, the seat deepened and the cantle raised. A saddlemaker named Jack Wieneke developed a design that was popular for a number of years, but the design over time became too extreme and lost favour to more conservative styles. During the early days of buckjumping in Australian rodeos, riders rode in a modified stock saddle using a crupper instead of the “flank cinch” used in the USA. Ladies stock saddles were traditionally made with a pigskin seat and with longer, pigskin covered knee and thigh pads.

Current design Modern styles range from traditional models through to a newer “half breed” that incorporates the independent swinging fender and stirrup style of the western saddle with the traditional Australian tree and seat style. There are also “cross breed” saddles that combine other western saddle elements, such as a saddle horn or a western cantle design, with traditional Australian elements, such as the pommel swells and deep seat.


Out & About

Tony Ernst Cutting Development Day


Beaudesert Based Servicing South East QLD

ng i c i v r e S Weekleyw England t h e N a re a



What’s on calendar Dressage Dressage NSW Tamworth Dressage Club

Dressage NSW December/January 2011 Young Horse Qualifier 3 Dec 2011 Entries Close 14 Nov 2011 Organised by Dressage New South Wales Hawkesbury Showground, Clarendon Contact Karen Lever Mobile 0405 384 201 Email Young Horse Qualifier 28 Jan 2012 Entries Close 9 Jan 2012 Organised by Dressage New South Wales Clarendon Contact name Karen Lever Phone 02 4576 7996 Email address: Event website:


CODE: CH: Championship; O: Official; A: Associate; YH: Young Horse; P:Pony; F: Freestyle; S: Seminar; M: Members day; T: Training day. Levels: Pr:Preliminary N: Novice etc...


Coaches & Trainers Lesa Medlock 02 67656828 0488935058

When you drive a car do you look at the dashboard or at the road? Have you ever noticed that your horse tends to go where you look.


did an exercise with a group of kids at a Pony Club camp. They all had to line up on one end of the arena and then I asked one by one to come out and trot a circle in front and going past the lined up riders. Now most ponies as soon as they got to where the group was they ran back to the other ponies and stoped. What do you think the kids did as soon as they felt there ponies drift? That’s right, they looked at the group of ponies too and so that’s where they were going.


he riders were losing their own focus and follow their ponies focus. That told the ponies that it was ok to run back to the group and very soon that developed into a pattern, for the ponies and the kids.

fter watching this for a while and repeatedly reminding the kids to keep their focus to where they wanted to go I realised that I could talk until the cows come home and nothing would change as the riders had developed that habit and it had become an unconscious response to them without realising what they were doing. So I placed myself around the corner from the group of ponies in the direction where I wanted the individual rider to go, I held up both hands and told the rider they had to look at my hands and count the fingers I was holding up. Next time the rider came even close to the group of ponies I yelled out to them to look and count the fingers and by changing the number over and over again and the rider having to tell me how many fingers they could see the ponies trotted passed the group without even looking at the other ponies.


ow that showed very clearly that it is not the riding skill that had to be improved, all the riders knew how to steer their ponies, what they needed to learn was that they have to look where they want to go. If you are quietly holding up your hand saying “yep, that’s me, I do the same thing” Let me assure you that you are not alone. Now that you have identified the problem let’s see how we can correct it. The mistake many riding instructors or parents make is that they tell the rider to “Look up.” And then they repeat it over and over again until they and the rider get tired of it and both give up because nothing has changed.


he best way to get someone to change a habit is to give them a task to do that requires constant feedback. If I have a rider who needs to learn to look up I stop them and physically bring the head into the position where it has to be. Then I ask the rider to tell me what they can see and they might say “I can see the top rail of the arena” or “the treetops in the distance” or “my horses’ ears”.


ow they have a focus point and they know what they are looking for. Throughout the lesson I then ask them whenever they look down “What do you see?” Instantly they lift up their head and search for the focus point before they answer. his is a great way to change a bad habit because you make the rider conscious of what he/she is doing and they require them to change their action. We now know that neurologically it takes about 28 days to change a habit and to replace it with another one. The key is to get the riders conscious awareness of what he/she is doing and then replacing that behaviour with another conscious action that if it is practised daily over a 28 day period will become a new and better habit.


ow I know not everyone can ride every day but the good thing is that you can practise off the horse as well. You will find that if you have a tendency to look down when you are on the horse you most likely have the same tendency of looking down when you for example walk down the street or when you stand still whilst waiting for a friend. These are things that can be practised daily and it will improve your horse riding enormously. Have fun practising these simple steps and remember to always follow your dreams. Next Month will discuss “The key ingredient to goal setting” Article By: Tanja Mitton 2011© Equestrian Success & Mindset Coach and Author of ‘THE SEVEN STEPS TO THE MINDSET OF AN EQUESTRIAN CHAMPION’ Ph: (07) 54467339 / 0419891319


Photo courtesy Kieron Power Action Photos

What’s on calendar

NSW Endurance Riders Association Tamworth & District Endurance Club

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1276 Artwork by AQUA [PD] -



Vet checks (aka “Holds”) made easy... T h e various vet checks also known as Gates into Holds, or just “Holds” - are located at various points along the trail throughout the ride. The vet check is no big deal as long as you understand the protocol. Just having your rider card ready and in your hand is 90% of the requirements. The only other one is to make sure your horse reaches the HR (heart rate) parameter as told to you at the pre-ride Briefing the night before. The pulse requirement will be anywhere from 60 to 68 bpm (beats per minute). Every hold has a specified minimum time in which you must wait until you can take your horse back out onto the trail. If you are running for the front you will want to spend only the minimum amount of time in the Hold so you will want to make sure your horse’s pulse is already low BEFORE you reach the In-Timer. This is best accomplished by dismounting well before you reach the hold, loosening your horse’s girth, and hand walking the horse to the In-Timer. Step by Step Through The Vet Check: Step 1. The In/Out Timer - this is the first person you will see as you finish each leg of the ride. They will call out asking you for your horse’s number. They will write this information on their sheet, as well as the time you entered the Hold. Have your rider card out and ready for them to mark your in-time. At this point the clock starts ticking for your designated time to have your horse pulsed down to parameters. The In-Timer will direct you to the pulse takers as your next step. Step 2. Getting the pulse down - Before you can take your horse into the Pulse and Respiration gate, your horse’s pulse must be down to, or close to, the ride parameters as set by the ride’s Head Vet and announced to the riders at the Ride Briefing the night before. The rules allow the horse 30 minutes to reach the stated HR (heart rate) parameter beginning from the time it was recorded as having come in to InTimer. The horse’s pulse must come down to parameter within that 30 minutes or the horse will be pulled from competition. For horses that are slow to drop their HR, or for high HR due to cooling in hot weather,

it is smart to take a few minutes to sponge down the horse. This helps it to cool faster, and drop the HR quicker. Step 3. Pulse & Respiration - also know as P/R. Once your horse has reached the pulse parameters (as announced by the Head Vet at the Ride Briefing) this is the next place you go. It is generally staffed by volunteers who will use a stethoscope to listen to your horse’s heart rate, and verify that it has reached the proper parameter. The time they verified the pulse at parameter will be recorded on your rider card. Once your horse’s pulse has been recorded at parameter the clock for the designated Hold Time starts ticking. Many riders chose to go directly from the P/R to the vetting to get everything done while their horses are still warm and limber. Some chose to let their horses rest and eat uninterrupted until it is near time to go out on the trail again. Some chose to wait until the lines at the vetting are thin or nonexistent. Either way, vet now or vet later, is entirely up to the rider. Step 4. - Vetting - bring your horse up to the vet area when you are ready. If it is busy you will generally stand in line for the next available vet. Always wait until you are waved forward to a free vet, then hand your card to that vet’s scribe who will mark down the vet’s comments and scores for your horse. The vet will listen and record the horse’s pulse, then have you trot it out and back (in a straight line) to a specified distance of 30 meters to determine soundness and to start the 1-minute clock for the CRI check. Once the horse has come back, the vet will check the horse’s vital signs - guts, lungs, capillary refill -- check the legs and back for any impending problems, then conduct a one minute CRI (Cardiac Recovery Index) to determine your horse’s level of fitness. A good CRI is an equal or lower pulse one minute after the trot out compared to the initial pulse taken by the vet. A poor CRI is one where the second pulse is appreciably higher than the first, indicating the onset of exhaustion. If the CRI indicates severe exhaustion is taking place, the horse can be pulled by the vets. Step 5. - Getting Your Out Time - Once your horse has passed the vet exam you will take your card to the In/Out-Timer to have them mark it with the time you are allowed to leave the hold and go back out on trail. The out time is based upon:

the time your horse was recorded at pulse + the total pre-designated hold time. You are free to stay in the hold as long as you like past your out time, except for holds that having closing times, or if it prevents you from reaching the next hold before closing. No rider is allowed to leave the hold ahead of their out time. To do so will result in disqualification from the ride. Step 6. Waiting out the hold - The hold time is for you and your horse to rest, relax, eat, drink, pee, and cool out before it is time to go out on the trail again. Set out your horse’s feed and hay and water, put on a cooler if the weather calls for it, and let the horse relax and eat. If the hold did not call for saddles to be off for the vetting, take the time now to remove the saddle and inspect the horse’s back. Don’t forget to fuel yourself -- you are every bit as important to the team effort. Refill your water bottles, stock your saddle bags with carrots and apples -- food that you and your horse can both eat on trail -- and mix up your horse’s electrolytes to give before going back out onto the trail. Check the horse’s shoes, or boots, to make sure everything is on tight and no nails are loose. Switch to a clean saddle pad for the next leg of the trail -your horse will love you for it. If your horse is still eating well, or napping, you are free to stay as long as you want at any hold EXCEPT at holds that have a closing time, or if you are cutting it so close that you will fail to complete within the time allotted. As the time comes close to your out-time, saddle your horse, check to see that all your equipment is on straight and properly adjusted. Put away your coolers, but let your horse keep eating. About 2 minutes before your out-time, give your horse it’s electrolytes, make sure you have your rider card stashed in a safe place on you or your saddle, walk your horse around to loosen up any stiff muscles, then mount up. Step 7. Back out on Trail - About 30 seconds before your hold time is up, ride over to the In/Out Timer, give them your number so they can checkmark you on their in/out sheets, and then wait there until the final seconds of your hold time are up. There should be an official clock at the Timer location for you to watch and wait for your time to be up. Once the clock reaches your out time, thank the Timer (so they know you are leaving), and head back out onto the trails at an easy trot.

Article courtesy of 19


What’s on calendar Eventing Eventing NSW Quirindi Eventing Inc Tamworth International Eventing

Off Season Please go to for more information on events:

Coaches & Trainers Norm Hindmarsh Southern Cross Warmbloods PH: 02 6767 1404 M: 0429 862 854


Sharmayne Spencer Heritage Hill PH: 02 6760 5554 M: 0414 577 273 - Sharmayne M: 0447 328 608


Cnr Barnes & Lockheed Streets Taminda (Tamworth) NSW Ph: 02 6765 5066

Preparing a Young horse for its first competition Frostys first outing....

By Donna Woods

This month covers Frostys first outing at Tamworth Dressage on an unofficial club day….perfect. The draw is out and I have entered 2 walk trot tests and 1 prelim test, my times are good with my first walk trot just after 9am and my last around 1pm, I have entered 3 but I am quite prepared to leave after the first two tests if I am happy that we have achieved all we need to. My goal isn’t to win but to end the day with a relaxed and confident horse and hopefully with my gooseneck still in one piece. Its always good to have an extra set of hands in case your horse is a little cheeky on his first outing, this in mind I’ve asked my hard working other half to come with me. I planned to arrive with plenty of time as I had little clue as to how he was going to react to this environment and when I arrived at Moonbi there were a few trucks there already and I parked as close to the action as I could. When Frosty hopped off the gooseneck his little eyes were on stalks and his robust 16hh had grown considerably but he didn’t turn into a lunatic, as the competition hadn’t started I decided to lead him around the arena for a bit of a look before tying him up, this appeared to help and when I tied him up he behaved quite well. I left him for 10 minutes or so and just observed his behaviour to be sure he wasn’t going to start striking the gooseneck, as has seemed a popular activity by my previous young horses on first outings, but he seemed ok and when I gave him a brush and tacked him up he was quite content. Now I know that a lot of people prefer to lunge their horses before getting on and this is definitely sensible if your horse is exhibiting a heightened level of excitement but I was confident that Frosty was going to handle this situation quite well, so I girthed him up and led him away from the float, hopped on and progressed to the warm up area. To be expected he felt a bit tight through his back so I just walked him around keeping a safe distance from the other horses and being completely aware of them cantering up behind me, after ten minutes or so Frosty began to relax and I commenced my warm up, sure he wasn’t as loose as usual and was quite distracted but nothing terrible and I was quite happy when I went over for my first test…happy though that I didn’t have to worry about canter at this stage. I made sure that I was ready to trot around the arena the minute the previous competitor had finished their test and was glad that I had as there were definitely something scary lurking in the scrub near K and the car parked at C was clearly terrifying but we kept it together and while not quite so forward as I would have liked due to the tightness in his back, he did well and I was very happy with his first test so back to the gooseneck for a carrot and a bit of a break. I always find that once you have ridden them and tied them back up they start to relax properly and usually when you hop on them again they are much improved on the first ride. This was definitely true of Frosty he was heaps better and just as well because next was the prelim test and our canter transitions were still far from perfect sometimes adding a little capriole but again he kept it together well and while a long way from a winning test he did everything I asked, his frame wasn’t always perfect and he wasn’t through enough to want to stretch but there’s plenty of time for that to improve, he did get a little worried about the canter and because of this I decided to stay and do the last walk trot test with the plan of ending the day on a really good note. Plan executed, he was a little tired but much more forward as he had let go of his back now but by far his best test for the day and we left with a third place ribbon for that test. More important than ribbons or winning, the horse had an outing where nothing bad happened and he gained confidence from this and this alone will make him a better horse the next time out. Sadly this month we have had to say goodbye to Frostys mum Maganey she has been with me for a long while and will be missed terribly, she leaves me with several more exciting young horses and a month old orphan to raise. Next month Frosty has a Show Jump lesson with Jenelle Waters.

Tips For First Outings With Your Horse

12 34 56 78

: Do not expect to win : Don’t park to close to anyone in case your horse is naughty : Keep you warm up the same as it would be at home : If possible take someone competent with you : Hobbles can be handy, in case of striking the float, but only if your horse has worn them before. : Take a spare rope/halter, in case of breakages. : Take lunge gear in case . Make sure you have allowed enough time for your young horse to settle, if you rush it is likely to become worse.


What’s on calendar Horse Drawn

Australian Carriage Driving Society Carriage Driving NSW Tamworth Regional Horse Drawn Club

D r aw n

Monthly news from

I can’t believe it is almost the end of another year, where did 2011 go. We have had such a busy and full driving year, with everything from lovely social drives to the more adventurous ones competing in CDE’s and shows locally as well as away. But before we get to carried away with reminiscing we still have several things to report on before the of end of the driving year. Firstly we had quite a few members compete at the Australian Pony Stud Book show at Manilla in the harness classes. Dee Hillard took out the Champion Miniature class with Karl Olsson taking out the Champion Horse class and Racheal Bryce (Liverpool Plains club) taking out the Champion Turnout class. A great time was had by all with everyone coming out with ribbons from various classes. Congratulations everyone. Amanda See competed at the ACDS NSW CDE Championships and was placed 4th in her class. From there Amanda went to Equinta the following weekend and was placed 3rd overall in the Single Horse or Pony Obstathon class. Then the following day Amanda and her New Zealand billet Dawn Mallar drove to Manilla to enjoy a more relaxed drive with the club, it gave Dawn an opportunity to see a bit more of Australia. Next weekend they are both off to Lockwood where Dawn will be driving Amanda’s Horse Teamwork in the annual Lockwood CDE. Dawn is from the North Island of New Zealand near Taupo. Our club drive at Manilla was well supported with 13 horses and 19 members attending from as far away as Merriwa, Walcha, Mullaley, Murrurundi and Gunnedah as well as our more local members. It was wonderful to see so many come out for a social drive and fun cones day. We all headed off from my place out towards the Tamworth Rd with several members opting for the shorter course due to their horse’s fitness and most going on for a much longer drive. Everyone ended up back at the start after thoroughly enjoying the drive with a relaxed and casual atmosphere. After lunch and a good chinwag we again harnessed up and tackled the non competitive cones course set up in the back paddock. With the rain threatening in between sun coming and going we were lucky to get the day in as less then hour after the last person left the heavens opened up and in no time we received 3” (75ml) of rain, a stark contrast to the rest of the day.


Our Christmas lunch will be held at the Bendermeer Hotel on Sunday 4th December. Also the date has been set for our Combined Driving Event it will be 26th/27th May 2012, with the fantastic support we have received so far it promises to be a great event. Look forward to seeing you all there as competitors or spectators.For further details please contact the secretary Liz O’Brien on 0427766726 or or check out our website and face book page.


IMHR MESA Show Results

The Manilla Equine Sporting Association held its first show of the season, catering for as many different horse breeds as possible with a great line up of classes the organisers need to be congratulated. Although Mother Nature had other ideas they did get to complete the ring classes before the heavens opened up with a storm. The IMHR classes were completed with the following results and photos. Congratulations to all competitors the standard of entries was fantastic. MANILLA EQUINE SPORTING ASSOCIATION OCTOBER SHOW Independent Miniature Horse Registry Tamworth Area - Results IMHR Miniature Horse n.e. 34.5” Filly under 4yrs 1st ‘New fields I’m a Supermodel’ - Peter Baldwin Mare 4yrs and over 1st ‘Byways Little Manda - Margaret Broadbent Champion ‘Byways Little Manda ‘- Margaret Broadbent Reserve Champion ‘Newfields I’m a Supermodel’ – Peter Baldwin Stallion 4yrs and over 1st ‘Tiny Town Time Bandit’ – Peter Baldwin Champion ‘Tiny Town Time Bandit’ – Peter Baldwin Gelding under 4yrs 1st Wangatar I’m A Legend – Peter Baldwin Champion Wangatar I’m A Legend – Peter Baldwin IMHR Small Horse n.e. 38.5” Filly u 4yrs 1st ‘Warrington Poly Anna’ – Kim Kelsall 2nd ‘Ripplee Glimps of Gold’ – Margaret Broadbent 3rd ‘Three Oaks Snipped Doir’ - Cathy Law Mare 4yrs and over 1st ‘Fairlea Libby’ - Margaret Neely Champion Warrington Polyanna – Kim Kelsall Reserve Champion Ripplee Glimps of Gold – Margaret Broadbent Gelding over 4yrs 1st ‘Fairlea Larry’ – Margaret Neely 2nd ‘Tiny Town Flight of the Phantom’ -Margaret Broadbent 3rd ‘Prince Rebel’ – Elizabeth O’Brien Champion ‘Fairlea Larry’ – Margaret Neely Reserve Champion ‘Tiny Toy Flight of the Phantom’ – Margaret Broadbent IMHR LED SUPREME CHAMPION ‘TINY TOWN TIME BANDIT’ – PETER BALDWIN Report from Independent Miniature Horse Registry Tamworth Area Co-ordinator Elizabeth O’Brien.


What’s on calendar Horsemanship

Ho rsemans hip

New England Natural Horsemanship Club Horse Agility Australia Parelli Mel Fleming

January 2012 14th-15th Jan Advanced Course Armidale, NSW David Stuart

14th-16th Jan Colt Starting & Horsemanship Clinic Jindabyne, NSW Buck Brannaman Wayne or Tess ph 0418538812

Double Dan Horsemanship ~ Equitana


Ponies or Polar Bears..... These days there are many different methods of training animals, some good and some not so good. The better methods are more enlightened and understanding of the animals breed specific and individual needs. As humans we tend to stay with what we understand and are most comfortable with. As trainers we are no different, when we feel comfortable with a method we tend to use it to best affect. Horses are predominately trained using negative reinforcement; we apply pressure (a negative) and release the pressure (to reinforce) when the animal complies with the movement we require. As a trainer of exotic animals I have spent a good deal of my life working with positive reinforcement to train, this is what I am most comfortable using. I know that many horse folks don’t like the use of food when training horses and if it is used as a lure or bribe I would fully agree. I use food to reward but I set the animal up to succeed at a given task then reward. I think of training as language, both trainer and animal need a common language to communicate. This lessens confusion and frustration for both trainer and animal. I start to build my language by using a conditioned reinforcer (bridge). We call it a “bridge” because it bridges the gap between the correct response given by the animal and the reward. Most people know this as clicker training. Let me say that this name really annoys me because I don’t use a clicker. I use a silent dog whistle or the word “yep”. The point of using a bridge is to be able to pinpoint for the animal the exact part of the behaviour that is correct and that they will be rewarded. Using the bridge allows me to reward baby steps towards the end result. I find the method particularly helpful when working with nervous animals, animals with an unknown background that have fear issues, for training on ground behaviours and for agility or trail work. I start with no equipment, halters or ropes, just my reward pouch and my whistle. You need to condition the bridge (whistle) by blowing the whistle and rewarding the animal. They need to understand that the sound is a promise of reward. Once the animal is responding to the bridge; looking for the reward, I start on the desensitization process. For nervous or frightened animals this may just be moving your hand towards them without having them move away from you. I do work in a round yard with these animals; however, I don’t make them move out if they don’t give me the response I want. This comes from working with animals that are more likely to give you an aggressive (fight) response rather than a flight response. I don’t want animals to practice fight or flight, they get better at it when they do. I understand the reasons for making horses “uncomfortable” but as I said earlier we work with what we are most comfortable, and I prefer to wait for them to make the decision to turn or move towards me so I have something I can reward. I pretty much ignore what I don’t want and try to set them up succeed so I can reward what I want. The initial steps are usually very small baby steps but as the animal becomes more confident the steps can be bigger and more complex. I know what I’m working towards but it is the animal’s story and I gauge the speed of the training depending on what they are telling me. When I get to the point where I’m going to halter the horse, I only ask that they accept the nose band on their face, reward then remove. We work up to putting the strap behind their ears, then tying it in place. When I start on getting feet lifted I put pressure on the shoulder and watch the hoof to see when the pressure comes off and reward. I do this on all four “corners” of the horse, at this stage I am just teaching the horse that it can stand with its weight on three legs. Once they feel comfortable with this I can then start to lift the hoof off the ground. To move the horse towards novel objects I use a target. The target can be my hand or target stick if I need more arm length. There is no food in my hand, it is how I present the target that gets them to touch and eventually follow. Once they understand the target concept you can use it for any number of movements or behaviours; getting flexion and other ground exercises, guiding the horse to walk over objects, or any of the trail and agility exercises. The target is faded out, usually to a visual or verbal cue, once the horse can complete the exercise comfortably. If your horse understands how you want them to move without using pressure when you do start using equipment the pressure required is very light and the confusion much less.

However you train your animals remember it is their story, you just need to look and listen to know what you need to do next. - Smart Ass Productions

Delta Australia - Opernat conditioning teacher, BNIT Animal Science department - Teacher Polar Bears International - Advisory Board Australia Cert IV in Captive Animals, Cert III in Companion Animal Services, Cert IV in workplace assessment & training, Lecturer


A Tale of Two

W ild Br umbies

Part 4.... (cont’d from October)

By Lynn Mitchell, Monty Roberts Instructor...... Well, as they say, all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, this is the end of the wonderful experience I have had gentling these 2 beautiful Bogong High Plains Brumbies, Cruiser and Princess. Since my last article, Cruiser and Princess have gone through the last stages of gentling before being ready to go off to new homes. This included being able to be tied up and float loading. The training to be tied up began in the round yard to ensure safety for them and me. Although both Princess and Cruiser are used to coming off pressure its simply common sense to set up a safe environment for teaching anything new. I used strong bungy ropes with quick release clips to tie the Brumbies to posts in the round yard. These bungy ropes allow the horse some ability to stretch them but they very quickly realise it is much more comfortable not to. Princess was hardly even interested in testing the rope attaching her to the side of the round pen. She gave it a little tug and then decided to just stand quietly. Cruiser, being the personality he is, decided to give it quite a good test to see if he could just wander off. On finding out this was not an option he too just stood quietly. The next day we moved into the stalls in front of the stables. We tied the Brumbies here and just hung out together for a while. The next day, whilst the Brumbies were tied, we spent time grooming them. They relaxed into it and this created a pleasant association for them being tied up.

nice green grass. When something scary does come along, like walking past the ride on lawnmower, after a bit of snorting and investigation they are both happy to follow their herd leader (yours truly) and continue along the path. In final preparation for the Brumbies going to new homes we taught them to load onto a float. Of course, they arrived on my float, however at that stage they were unhandled so had to be herded on. We commenced training by having them experience some different surfaces under their feet. This included the wooden bridge they have been on before and a plastic tarpaulin on the ground. The bridge had already been conquered so we quickly moved along to the tarp. We started off by having it folded into a narrow strip, allowing the Brumbies to basically step over it.


We have also spent time taking the Brumbies for walks all over the property, allowing them to feel comfortable and safe being in the company of a human whilst experiencing new environments and objects. Both Cruiser and Princess love going for walks, especially when we stop somewhere for some

We then gradually unfolded the tarp so they were walking over a larger area each time. It’s a bit scary when they first touch the tarp with their feet as it makes a crackling sound. Once they realised it was quite solid and wont hurt them they walked back and forth over it and happily stood still in the middle of it without a care. See photo of Princess. It was now time to move onto the float. I didn’t expect any problems as neither of them had suffered a bad experience with a float, as some remedial loading horses have. It was simply a matter of learning to accept another new experience. Cruiser has not had the opportunity to do the float loading yet as the night before, he knocked his leg on a concrete trough in the paddock leaving him a little lame. Therefore he got the day off and enjoyed munching on the grass whilst watching Princess from the sidelines (see photo). The whole process literally took minutes. Princess has definitely decided that being a domestic horse is easy and generally pretty luxurious. Both Princess and Cruiser have put on bags of weight and the benefits of good nutrition and health care can clearly be seen in their coats, condition and even some new hair growth in their manes. It is with both a heavy heart but also one filled with joy as I prepare to say goodbye to my two wild foster Brumbies. They have amazed me with their willingness to try anything I asked of them and their ability to adapt to a new way of life so foreign to everything they knew. I have totally fallen in love with both of them and will be sad to let them go but also very happy that I have been able to teach them the value of a trust based relationship with humans. If you have fallen in love with Princess or Cruiser or both of them and are interested in adopting a Brumby, please contact Colleen O’Brien on 0408 201 107 at the Victorian Brumby Association.

Monty Roberts Introductory Course Victoria With Lynn Mitchell Saturday 25th February to Sunday 5th March 2012 Join-Up Clinic January 21st & 22nd 2012 Places Limited Course Location: Magpie Ridge Farm, 17 Two Hills Road, Glenburn, Victoria

If you are interested in adopting a Brumby or finding out more about the Victorian Brumby Association contact Colleen O’Brien on 0408 201 107 or visit the website at http://www.victorianbrumbyassociation. org/welcome. If you would like to find out more about Lynn Mitchell, or attend a course, see the advertisement for School of Equus in this edition.


Po l o / Po l o c r o s s e / H o r s eb a l l

What’s on calendar Polo/Polocrosse/Horseball


NSW Polocrosse Association NSW Polo Association

Australian Horseball Association

Off season

Horseball...... Get amongst it! Only two years ago Australia discovered the sport of Horseball t h r o u g h the magic of Internet. Since then the Horseball wave continues to spread throughout the country, with the hub being currently in Tamworth in New South Wales.

Australians are determined to make the sport grow. For now, training days are held once a month in varying places and with different players. The main purpose of these training days is to show, share, and above all unite as many people, to obtain enough participants and build a true National Championships. Today there are approximately 80 Australian Horseballers, with a level often disparate. The level of play has of course improved immensely from when it first started out and will continue to do so into the future! There is already a significant technical basis established. This is especially due to most players originating from a Polocross background, one of the most popular horse sports here in Australia. The Australian Horseball Association (www. has therefore set an exciting challenge, namely to make the game of Horseball as practiced and as popular as Polocross! The Australian Horseball Championships are held in October each year at AELEC in Tamworth. The latest was a real success. The audience loved it and the press showed great interest. The Northern Daily Leader devoted three articles, with Prime 7 and NBN television turning out to cover the event. Horseball International can now count on Australia and It would not be surprising to see the land of the Kangaroos participate soon in a future international event.

Horseball at Equitana! Three games were played in the outdoor arena at the recent Equitana event, Olympic Park, Sydney. The State of Origin Tournament involved two teams comprising of the best Australian players. Players for the Equitana event were selected in the Australian Horseball Championships held in Tamworth in mid-October.

New South Wales came out on top winning the Horseball State of Origin Equitana Series 2011 with two wins to one. Thursday 10th November - Queensland wins 6 - 5. In front of a nice crowd, both teams started the game timidly. Players had a few difficulties putting their game up. Despite this, a great battle ensued between the two teams as they went blow for blow. The game was very tight. Finally at the very last second Queensland scores the winning goal! Friday, November 11- South Wales wins 9 - 4. Both teams showed a different face in this second game. The combos were more fluid, and the team from New South Wales showed a nice sense of community. New South Wales took the lead quickly. At half time the score was 6-1. Queensland was slow to respond but rebelled early in the second period. Despite a relaxation, New South Wales maintained the lead and won the game 9-4. Saturday, November 12. Victory of the New South Wales 7 - 4. The best match of the three days of competition. Both teams were concentrated in attack despite the scorching sun. New South Wales achieved a good start from the previous match and demonstrated their collective superiority leading 5 -2 at halftime. Queensland was a little absent in defence. In the second half, the levels were balanced but New South Wales maintained their lead and won 7 - 4. For the Equitana games, an international player in each team were present to assist and support our Aussie players in the event. Three days of competition were also highlighted by two Horseball education/demonstration sessions in one of the indoor arenas. A real opportunity to highlight and present the sport to many people. Many questions were asked and the public has shown a real interest. Equitana 2011 was a great success. With many thanks going to the support provided by our visiting French Players and the Federation Internationale de Horse-Ball the sport seems set to soar in the land downunder!

For more information on Horseball Australia, please visit Compiled from articles courtesy of Camille de Laitre

R i d i n g G r o u p s / Po n y C lub

Contacts Riding Groups/Pony



Pony Club NSW

CURRABUBULA PONY CLUB Currabubula Rec Grounds Judith Ann Alston - (02) 6744 5714 BENDEMEER PONY CLUB Rodeo recreation grounds Faith Dixon - 02 6769 6530 GUNNEDAH PONY CLUB Gunnedah Show Grounds Donna Hall - (02) 6742 5633 KOOTINGAL PONY CLUB Moonbi Sports Grounds Joanne Roberts - 02 6760 3249 ARMIDALE RIDING CLUB INC 02 6771 5322 MANILLA EQUINE SPORTING ASSOC INC Vanessa Gibson - 0428 782 973 Alison McCarthy - 0447 437 876


MANILLA PONY CLUB Manilla Show Grounds Colin Donlan - 02 6785 7365 NUNDLE PONY CLUB Taylors Lane Wally Whatmore – 0267691692 QUIRINDI PONY CLUB Quirindi Show Grounds Rachel Hope Coward - Secretary TAMWORTH PONY CLUB Cnr Bournes Lane & Meldorn Lane Jim Kolokotas - 02 6760 8172 QUIRINDI & DISTRICT EQUITATION CLUB INC (02) 6767 0284

ATT: If you would like your Pony/Riding Club or event listed for free here please send all information to:

Taylor is a 14yr old Manilla resident and student of Calrossy Anglican School. Taylor is a horse lover and says she was fortunate enough to be born with one hand (no left hand) and that one out of 60,000 people are born like her every year. There is no medical reason for this. She was born with a wrist but her finger bones did not form. Taylor is quick to state that “Having one hand does not stop me from doing the things I love. I ride horses, swim, play touch and also danced. I have many friends who say they don’t see the difference in fact I remember moving to Manilla central and hardly anyone noticed I had no left hand”. “Sometimes I have the trouble of feeling confident around new people but as I have moved on to high school I have faced my fears and no longer hide in the sleeve of a jumper. My family have always treated me like I am no different to others. They have supported and guided me always. I attend Westmead hospital from time to time to gain confidence with some issues I have but mostly my visits help other children and families cope and find ways to do what they can’t. My friends are supportive and treat me as if I have two hands. As a teenager I felt nervous to be around boys where now most of my friends are boys. I face new challenges every day and I find my way through with no trouble at all. A message to people like me, being different isn’t unusual. Everyone has things in life they need to deal with. I enjoy the sports and activities I accomplish without thinking I am different to any-one else taking part with me”.

Clubs: Manilla pony club and the Australian Horse Ball Ass. Horses: 1st Pony was Bo, a Welsh Mountain Pony, My second Pony was Rosie pony mare,

my first horse was an Appaloosa Mare that was fully western trained so riding one handed was very easy and she gave me confidence and plenty of fun. This mare due to injury became a brood mare only and at this stage my confidence lacked to ride another horse.3yrs ago Mum and Mike’s good friend Kylie Fowler was kind enough to offer me her old Jumping horse Max’s Gift. He is a chestnut ASH and now 28yrs old. He has taken me from being an insecure rider to a confident rider. Max took me to Pony club and Horse ball along with being able to just go for a family ride at home. Due to his age we are going to retire him. Thanks to Max I now enjoy riding most horses we have to help out Mum and Mike as they are both very busy. The horse I am now moving onto is Clovelly Onslow ASH gelding. Onslow is my Mum’s horse and he is experienced with cattle, tent pegging, showing, pony club and horse ball (but this is not his favourite he is quite scared of the ball). I am looking forward to the challenge of riding him.

Interests: Horse Riding, Touch Footy, Swimming and spending time with friends and family.

When did you start riding: 3yrs old People you look up to / inspirations: I would have to say my Mum and Mike as they are always there to encourage me and teach

me. My Dad (Shane Thrupp) he had a natural way with horses. My special memories with him were him teaching me to ride and spending time with me when he was home. He was a helicopter pilot and was away a lot. He was killed Feb 2006 in a chopper crash. I also look up to my brother Adam as he is always there for me. I find him an inspiration because no matter what happens he never lets anything put him down.

Dreams/goal in life: I want to represent Australia in horseball in Europe one day, first

as a junior and then as a senior in the Australian team. I also would like to become a Journalist focusing mainly on sport.

Highlights: Australian horseball championships 2011/ captain of Haden’s Electrical team. Playing horseball at the Manilla equine and farming expo and riding at Manilla pony club with my best friends. Riding at Pony Club Jamboree held at Wee Waa 2011 (the first time I felt confident to do so). The opportunity to work and train and also live with international horseball players.

What do you love about horse riding: - The friendships you form and the experiences that come with it. The opportunities to compete at different levels and it’s also a fun way to keep fit! Great way to spend time with friends and family.


12yrs old

: Nundle Pony Club

I ride a 14.3hh riding pony mare. She is so sweet and is always eager to please. Her name is Fencourt Sophia, also known as Fee. I have been riding her for 1.5 years and I love her!! She loves her food and will dig a hole if you don’t hurry up and give it to her.   I got my first pony, Gidget,  when I was 6, but I used to go up to my Aunties farm in Walcha and go riding on her big property. I rode Muffett and she was like a woolly mammoth.


When I got my first champion ribbon and when I won my first rider class on my first (naughty) pony! Another highlight was winning the pas de deux with my friend at Gunnedah show. We had to get dressed up and ride to music. It was so much fun.   To one day do freestyle dressage at AELEC, become an eventer and ride at a Royal show.  I hope I will always have something to do with horses.   My two mares are so sweet and I love just going playing with them.  They look forward to their carrot treats (Gidget even tore my pocket off) and I love mucking around on them with my friends. I especially like swimming them in the river on our farm! One day I got a shock to realise there was a snake swimming in the river with us!!



End of Year Grand Final PHOTO COMPETITION

And the winner is...

Cherie Hannan with 14 votes!

Congratulations Cherie!

Cutest Photo

With many thanks to our genorous sponsors Cherie takes home:

2.2kg box of PowerStance

Hay bag & set of Braided Reins donated by Wynmah Pony Stud

...proudly sponsored by



Q: A:

A cowboy rode into town on Thursday. Stayed three days and rode out on Thursday. How is this possible?

Q: A:

What breeds of horses can jump higher than a house?

His horses name was Thursday!

All breeds. Houses don’t jump!

Arlene Hailstone NCAS, Level 1 CAD Equestrian Coach Emily age 8

When I ride my pony Sebastian he will pull the reins from my hands and eat grass. How do I stop him? Hi Emily, it sounds like Sebastian is in the weight training business! He would certainly be helping to develop muscles in your arms. Grass snatching ponies are annoying along with their bad manners. There is an aid for this complaint commonly called a ‘Grass Rein’ (or Anti-grazing Rein). This aid helps to stop the pony from lowering his head to eat grass. You will require some experienced assistance with fitting the grass rein and someone with you when you first ride Sebastian in an enclosed area with this aid. He may decide to try another trick not yet discovered. If you know an experienced rider who is willing to assist- awesome! The grass rein is a length of leather or cord (hay band works OK) There are different ways of attaching the grass rein. I find this way works best for me • • • • • • • •

Tie or clip the grass rein to the dee on the front of the saddle (level with the stirrup bars) Run under the ring of the bit, over the headpiece and under the ring of the bit on the opposite side Tie or clip onto the dee on the opposite side of the saddle. (The normal reins should not be restricted of movement where fixed to the ring of the bit) Care should be taken not to have the tension too tight. The pony should be able to drop his head to about just below his chest before tension increases. This aid is not to hold his head in. Make sure the girth is tight as when the pony reaches down with the grass rein, the pressure will be taken by the saddle.

If Sebastian’s saddle normally slips forward due to low withers then you will require someone with experience to fit a crupper to your saddle. This is a fitted leather piece that attaches to the back of the saddle and a padded loop goes under the pony’s tail. To fit a crupper your saddle will require a dee attachment. Some saddles may not have this fitting. Depending on the pony’s temperament your pony may object to a crupper under his tail. This is why someone with experience is required to help. Hopefully with this aid fitted correctly you will be able to enjoy riding Sebastian who will soon learn it is uncomfortable for him to snatch grass snacks. Happy saddles! :)

Emily’s mum Cathie

Sebastian is a Welsh Pony and has large eyes compared to other ponies and horses. Why is this so? This is a characteristic of the breed. It has been said by an experienced Welsh breeder “the bigger the eye, the better; the deeper through the heart, the stronger the prouder the lift of the head, the more courageous; the swifter the action, the more fearless.”

Send your questions to - Ask the Coach 35





What’s on calendar Rodeo/Barrel Horse

Australian Barrel Horse Association Australian Bushmans Campdraft & Rodeo Association Australasian Team Roping Association

Barrel Horse December/January 2011/12 3 - 4 Dec Cloverleaf Cruisers 2011 Finals Murrarundi Showgrounds SEE PG 38 for more information! 10 Dec FINALS Moonbi Magic Barrel Rac-ing Inc Moonbi Western Arena Susan Worgan 02 6767 1204 or 0427 010 688 MMBRI 11 Dec CWBHC FINALS Central West Barrel Horse Club Inc Susan Coggan 02 6887 2490 or 0408 827 660 Email:

Team Roping December/January 2011/12 !st Jan 24th Jan

Kootingal, Kootingal

For more information on the above Roping events please visit:

NSW Rodeo December/January 2011/12 04-Dec-11 DIAMOND D ARENA JPOT TEAM ROPE & BREAKAWAY DAVID HALLAM 0417 651 534



For more information on Rodeo events in NSW please visit:



Right or left-Competitors may go either to the right or the left barrel first, but must take one right and two left turns or one left and two right turns.

2. 3.

Knocking a drum – A five second penalty will apply for knocking over a barrel

Illegal pattern – Competitors will be disqualified for not following the pattern or not being ready when name is called. Touching the barrel is permitted.

4. 5.

Barrel penalty – Should a barrel be knocked over and is set up again on opposite side five second penalty will apply.

Score line – The starting and finishing line and the position for the barrels must be marked permanently for the entire contest. The time starts when horses’ nose passes the score line both ways.

6. 7.

Line position – The starting and finishing line must be in line with the first and second drums.

Re-runs – Should for any reason the barrels not be placed on the markers or timers are not in correct position the whole event must be re-run with everything in order.


Barrel marker positions – Judges and Directors must take the decision that the barrels are not on correct markers at time of event before barrels are moved from position.


Time set for re-run – Should this happen competitors and judges should be notified, judges and arena directors will set time for re-run.

10 11

. Drums – Drums must be 44 gallon size (empty) and at least closed at one end.

. Vet/Visual out – If a competitor desires to withdraw for any reason, e.g.: veterinary certificate, the decision will be left to the discretion of the Board of Directors.


. Turning down a run – When a competitor turns down a run they will be disqualified on that horse for the entire event (ie: no round money paid out) except in case of a veterinary certificate or the sighting of an unhealthy horse.


. Completing the course – Timers are to be informed that clocks are not to be stopped until the competitor has completed the course or in the event of an accident.


. Number of entries – A contestant may compete on as many horses as desired in any event, but each horse is restricted to one run per round.


. Exercising in the arena – Before commencement of competition horses may be exercised in arena until specified time with the approval of the committee or arena director. No circling around markers once course is marked. Any member abusing this privilege may be removed from the arena by committee or arena director. Further disciplinary action may be taken.

16 17 18

. Difference between clocks – If there is a .5 second difference between clocks, competitors to have option of re-run. Only if a clear round is run. . Hat – To be cleared from Arena before next run.

. Full course – Where a full course can be fitted in the arena it must be marked, but cannot exceed maximum measurements. See diagram of Barrel Diagram on Page 12.Where distance must be reduced to suit the arena, barrels must be at least 5 meters from the fence.


. Animal abuse – Hitting horses around head, or excessive use of whip, over and under in Barrel Race competition will result in disqualification for the duration of the competition. Ruled by judges and/or disputes committee. There will be no refund of entry fees.


. Whipping – More than two whips between entry and 1st drum, more then two whips between barrels and four whips coming home, or more then two contacts between entry and first drum, more then two contacts between drums and four contacts coming home with an over and under will result in disqualification. Ruled by Judge.


. Records - To record an official ABHA record, measurements, rules, equipment, must be checked recorded and confirmed by at least three ABHA members.


. Electronic timer failure – If electric eye fails to work for more than one half of the contest in an entire go-round, the back up (manual) recorded times will be the official times for all contestants in that go round. When manual clocks are used the times should be to the hundredth of a second. Two clocks must be used. If one clock fails, time will be taken from the remaining clock, a back up clock is to be used where possible. Average time from two clocks to be official judges’ time.


. Dress rules – Members competing at classic events must wear suitable long sleeved shirt, hat, boots and jeans in arena at all times. They must be neat and presentable.


. Safety helmets – Junior or juvenile competitors under 18 years of age, must wear an Australian Standards Association approved helmet with the chin strap securely fastened when competing in all events. 37

What’s on calendar Showjumping

Ju m p i n g

Showjumping NSW North & North West Showjumping Club

December 2011 North & North West Showjumping Club hold practice days 3rd Sunday of every month - Tamworth Show Grounds SSJC End of Year Championships 3rd - 4th Dec SSJC Clarendon Summer Showjumping Classic CSI-W. Sydney SIEC Contact Jane Frankum Phone 0246531063 Email

8th - 11th Dec

ACT Showjumping Cup Equestrian Park, Cotter Road, Curtin ACT

17th - 18th Dec

Bega Cup 29th - 31st Dec Bega Showgroud


Please see pg 42 for a full list of NSW Agricultural Show dates...


The idea behind a training grid is that the horse learns to do the exercise itself. If the grid is introduced progressively and used correctly, the horse will do the exercise in the correct way because it will find it to be the easiest way. The first grid is a basic trot grid:






Step 1: Start with trot poles. Using 3 trot poles (4 for a more advanced horse), ride the horse in a straight line with an even rhythm from one end of the arena to the other. The rider’s job is to put the horse on an even 1.2m trot stride, keep the rhythm and not interfere with the exercise. Step 2: Introduce the first element. Begin with a simple vertical, about 75cm. Keeping the same pace and line as used for the trot poles, the horse should take 2 steps before the jump. This is a good exercise for the rider to focus on their own position – secure and steady lower leg, eyes up, stay in the middle. If the horse rushes away on landing, quietly halt before the turn. Step 3: Introduce the second element. Add an oxer. The horse should take two canter strides to the second element. Step 4: Introduce the final element. This should be a vertical. A horse with a naturally long stride should learn to look at element 2 and 3 and shorten its stride on its own. If this exercise is performed correctly the horse’s rhythm should stay the same throughout. This will encourage the horse to jump with good technique, both in front and behind, and land and travel straight without any pushing or pulling by the rider. This grid can be made more challenging by raising the jumps and widening the oxer. However I would not recommend going higher than 1.2m in a grid. The next grid assists in developing the horse’s eye for where to take off through the use of shorter distances. Some horses seem to have a naturally good eye for distances and will actually increase their stride out of a corner to take you to the right take off. Some others seem to have a less developed eye and will run too deep to the jump. Grids help to develop the horse’s eye by encouraging the horse to look at the jumps and try to judge the distance where they should take off.







Continues next page.....


Training the Show Jumper using Grids Continued.....

Step 1: Start with trot poles. Using four trot poles, the horse should travel in a straight line on an even 1.2m trot step, landing in the centre between the poles. Step 2: Introduce the first element. Start with a 75cm vertical, stay on the same rhythm and line as for the trot poles. The horse should take two trot steps before the jump with the rider focusing on correct position. If an experienced horse tends to rush the first element, it can be raised. Once the horse is waiting for the first jump, lower it before continuing with the exercise. Step 3: Introduce the second element. At one canter stride from the vertical, the oxer in this grid comes up more quickly than in the first grid and will require a greater effort from the horse. Step 4: Introduce the final element. With two strides to the final vertical, focus on holding your position and allow the horse to back up naturally; the horse should think about shortening its stride as soon as it lands from the oxer. As with any training grid, once the horse completes the exercise successfully – holding an even pace and using correct technique – end the lesson. The idea with any training exercise is to challenge the horse, have it complete the exercise correctly and then reward (give it a pat and stop jumping). The final grid in this article is designed to build power in the horse’s jump.







Step 1: As in the previous grids, start with four trot poles. For a more experienced horse use raised trot poles or cavelletti. Step 2: Introduce the first element. Start with an oxer instead of the vertical used in the two previous grids. This requires a greater effort from the horse, putting more power into the jump. Start with a square oxer about 75cm. The wider the oxer the more effort required from the horse. Step 3: Introduce the second element. This can be an oxer or a vertical but for an experienced horse an oxer is generally used. This encourages the horse to really use his hindquarters to make a powerful jump. If you widen an oxer, be sure to check and readjust the distances between elements. Step 4: Introduce the final vertical. A vertical or an oxer can be used as the final element. If the second element is an oxer then end on a vertical, if the second element is a vertical end on an oxer. Remember, if your horse is getting confused or upset by any exercise, stop the exercise and re-assess. Are the jumps too big or the exercise too difficult for the skill level of horse or rider? If so, lower the jumps or make the exercise less complex, complete it calmly and correctly and end the lesson. Always ensure your horse is calm and confident before increasing the height or difficulty of any exercise.


About the Authors Don and Karen Sullivan own River Downs Equestrian Centre, They train and compete their home bred warm blood horses in show jumping and dressage. They also start and train outside horses for clients as well as coaching and conducting clinics.

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What’s on calendar Show Horse/Agricultural For more information on any of the shows listed below, please visit the website above...

NSW Agricultual Shows January 2012 BOWRAL SHOW SOC INC Where: BOWRAL When: 7 January 2012 - 8 January 2012

EUROBODALLA DIST SHOW SOC INC Where: EUROBODALLA When: 20 January 2012 - 21 January 2012

ALBION PARK A H & I ASSN INC Where: ALBION PARK When: 14 January 2012 - 15 January 2012

KIAMA SHOW SOC INC Where: KIAMA When: 27 January 2012 - 28 January 2012

PAMBULA A H & P SOCIETY INC Where: PAMBULA When: 14 January 2012

BUNDARRA PA & RODEO SOC INC Where: BUNDARRA When: 27 January 2012 - 28 January 2012


TENTERFIELD SHOW SOCIETY INC Where: TENTERFIELD When: 27 January 2012 - 29 January 2012

DAPTO A & H SOC INC Where: DAPTO When: 20 January 2012 - 21 January 2012

BUNGENDORE PA & H SOC INC Where: BUNGENDORE When: 29 January 2012

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Makeup! How, What & Wear? M

a k e u p is used to enhance a horse’s natural features or disguise scars and scrapes, or uneven markings. Most breed associations allow the use of makeup as long as it is not obvious. There are however, a few classes that prohibit the use of makeup or artificial enhancement. It takes a while to become adept at applying makeup to horses.


e sure to practice (a lot) prior to starting your show season. You may have to mix colors to get the right shade for your horse. Opt for a lighter color rather than darker as the lighter color reflects as a highlight when you apply your last minute silicone shining spray. And just like with people, remember less is more. You are showcasing your horse, his beauty and athletic ability not your prowess with makeup.


xperiment with different products and colors until you have the ones that best match your horse’s color. Do this several times before you intend to show as some products may stain or dye your horse’s coat. You may have to mix colors to get your horse’s exact shade.


heck with the show organizers or a showw to make sure makeup for horses is allowed in the classes you will be showing in. There are some breed associations that ban makeup or artificial enhancement of horses.


lip, bathe and groom your horse as usual in anticipation of the show. Groom your horse thoroughly before applying horse makeup. Using a horse vacuum can reduce the time this takes.


over scabs the morning of the horse show with a thick (1/2- to 1 inch) layer of petroleum jelly. Leave it on for 30 minutes. Gently remove the petroleum jelly and test the scab. If it comes up easily you are ready for the next step. If the scab doesn’t come up, apply another coat of petroleum jelly and wait for another 30 minutes before removing it.


se disposable gloves when applying makeup as some products may stain.


ix the colors prior to getting your horse out. Set everything within easy reach or have an assistant ready to hand you supplies as you need them.


pply makeup to a clean cloth, cotton ball or cotton square. Wipe it over the area on your horse you wish to enhance or disguise (scars and scabs). Apply a thin coat working the cloth against the horse’s coat to get the color to the skin and completely cover the hair follicle. It may take several applications before you have the correct coverage.


un a clean cloth lightly over the areas you applied makeup to to remove any excess. Use a blotting motion rather than a circular scrubbing motion.


emove makeup that has run or spread beyond the area you want it with a barely moist (wring out as much water as you can) small sponge or cotton ball.


nhance white socks with baby powder or chalk (the kind made for horses not the kind used on chalkboards). Dampen the existing white markings with water using a small sponge. Dust white socks with the powder using your fingers to work the powder to the skin. Apply a little at a time until you have the coverage you want.


se a soft finishing brush to flick off excess powder. Wipe the hooves clean of powder and apply hoof blacking or polish now.


Makeup! How, What & Wear? M

ake or cover up white markings using white, black or other color creams or gels. Spread a thin layer of the appropriate color onto the bristles of a toothbrush. Form or cover the spot by applying the cream or gel against the horse’s hair. This works the color into the skin and covers the underside of the hair follicle. It may take several applications to get the coverage you need.


se the toothbrush to brush the coat in the right direction. Apply another layer of color to the now flatten coat.

se a hairdryer to dry the cream or gel when the marking has been made or covered to your satisfaction. Hold the hairdryer at least 12 inches from the marking. It should take 3 or 4 minutes for the cream or gel to dry fully.


se a silicone highlighter or baby oil to enhance the muzzle, around the eyes and inside the ears of your horse. Apply to a cotton ball or cotton square and gently wipe onto the horse. Use a clean cloth to blot up excess oil or highlighter.


emove makeup with warm water and a sponge.

Reference: Grooming to Win, Susan E. Harris

THINGS YOU WILL NEED • Horse vacuum (optional) • Petroleum jelly • Disposable gloves • Clean lint free cotton cloths • Cotton balls or cotton squares • Small (should fit easily in your hand) natural or synthetic sponges • Bucket • Warm water • Horse makeup that matches the color of your horse • Small plastic container if you need to mix colors • Baby powder and/or white chalk for horses • Hoof black • White, black or other color cream or gel • Toothbrush • Hairdryer • Silicone highlighter or baby oil 44

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NSW Reining Horse Association Tamworth District Western Performance & Appaloosa Club New England Quarter Horse Association

WESTERN PERFORMANCE December/January 2011/12 STOP PRESS!!!!!!!!!!! NEW ENGLAND QUARTER HORSE ASSOCIATION have secured the services of two of Australia’s leading Western Performance trainers, Holly Johnson and Kane Skopp who have very kindly donated their services as a Fund-Raiser for the NEQHA. The horsemanship clinic will be held on Saturday 21st January 2012 commencing at 9.00 am. Cost is $100 per rider and numbers will be limited. Bookings please contact NEQHA Secretary on 0447 054721 or check out the website This will be followed by a “B” class show on Sunday 22nd January 2012 where participants can have the opportunity to put into practice the things they learnt the day before. Catering available. Everyone welcome. NEQHA “B” Western & Hack Show - Come along & practice what you learnt at the clinic ! Sunday January 22, 2012 All Day Moonbi Western Arena and Hack Grounds, Moonbi

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Western Performance/Reining 46

What’s on calendar Western Performance/Reining

WESTERN?… I need to reinforce to our readers that riding in western events does not mean that you have to OWN A QUARTER HORSE. Most of our shows are OPEN TO ALL BREEDS, so please do not hesitate to come along to your local shows and give some of the events a try – you never know, you might really enjoy it ! So far we have covered how you go about starting to ride in western events and the description of some of these events. I will continue with the descriptions:

when called for. When asked to extend, he should move out with the same flowing motion. Maximum credit should be given to the flowing, balanced and willing horse which gives the appearance of being fit and a pleasure to ride. HUNTER UNDER SADDLE Firstly, the name is a little misleading as there IS NO JUMPING in this event! It is a class judged on the flat and the horse is judged through walk, trot and canter both ways of the arena. The judge should be looking for a good length of stride through all paces with a long level top line and a willing and pleasant disposition. In the hack ring they could be similar to a “Pleasure Hack” class. The horses need to cover ground with a relaxed free-flowing movement and can be asked to extend the trot or had-gallop. The poll should be level with the withers or just slightly above. The class is judged on performance, condition and conformation. Horses should back easily and stand quietly. Maximum credit will be given to the flowing, willing and balanced horse.

WESTERN PLEASURE This event is probably one of the most controversial events on the western program. Because the horses travel so slowly at all paces, there are those that are unfortunately dreadful movers and many times made that way through incorrect training due to lack of collection and impulsion with the result that they look like hip-hoppy four-beating unattractive individuals. The true pleasure horse should be a pleasure to ride with a pleasant and willing disposition. The class is judged through all three paces, walk, jog, lope (canter) both ways of the arena finishing with a back up. HUNTER HACK This event is judged on style over fences, Sounds easy? Not really. The western even hunting pace, flat work, manners and pleasure horse is the end result of a lot of way of going. Horses are firstly required time, training and conditioning with the to jump two fences between 60cm – 85 horse learning to ‘self-carry’, collected cm. Judged 70% on jumping style and but on a loose rein. I will quote from the ability and 30% on the flat work. Faults are AQHA Rule book : “A good pleasure horse recorded according to the AQHA rule book has a free-flowing stride of reasonable in the Working Hunter section. length in keeping with his conformation. He should cover a reasonable amount of WORKING HUNTER ground with little effort. Ideally, he should This is a jumping class and is judged on have a balanced flowing motion. He should manners, style of jumping and way of going. carry his head and neck in a relaxed, natural There are 8 obstacles to be jumped, 4 in each position, with his poll level with or slightly direction both ways of the arena. I won’t go above the level of the withers. He should not into the scoring system here but faults are carry his head behind the vertical, giving the recorded for knock downs, refusals, unsafe appearance of intimidation, or e excessively jumping and bad form. nosed out, giving a resistant appearance. His head should be level with his nose slightly TRAIL CLASS in front of the vertical, having a bright This is an event that lots of people enjoy expression with his ears alert. He should competing in as they have to negotiate be shown on a reasonably loose rein, but a minimum of 6 obstacles. Judged on with light contact and control. He should manners, performance over obstacles, be responsive, yet smooth, in transitions quality of movement and response to the

PART 3 By Sue Farrell

rider. Some obstacles might be: walk over a bridge, open and close a gate, jog/canter over logs, back through logs, side pass over a log, put on a slicker and remove it, jog around cones, 360 turns in a square plus other obstacles considered safe by the judge. This event needs a horse that is well-trained, placid and willing to be guided anywhere the rider directs. These days the trail classes are designed to challenge the manoeuvrability of the horse in, over and around a variety of obstacles, some in a very tight formation. This is one of the more challenging classes in the western program. DID YOU KNOW???????????????? The AQHA have awards for anyone owning a Registered Quarter Horse in the PONY CLUB AWARDS…….The owner must be a financial member of the AQHA and be ridden by a financial Youth member. A total of 20 points must be gained and a points sheet must be filled in and returned to the AQHA within 14 days of the show. Points result books are available at the AQHA office. Register of Merit Awards (ROM) : Presented to Pony Club Rider, Pony Club Horse, Handy Mount (Rider in Action), Pairs and Teams of Pony Club Horses or Riders. Also available are Pony Club Eventing ROM, Pony Club Dressage ROM, Pony Club Mounted Games ROM and Pony Club Sporting ROM. There is also a Horseback Riding Program which is an “honour system” which allows riders to log hours spent riding registered Quarter Horses. Awards are given for 50 hours, 100 hours, 250 hours, 500 hours, 1000 hours, 1500 hours, 2000 hours and 5000 hours. Next month I will describe some more classes for you, but also I will explain to you the various terminology and age categories for both horse and rider. It’s always difficult to understand a new discipline and its Rules and Regulations and terminology, so I will hopefully guide you through the various categories. Until then, enjoy your horses and stay safe.

Sue has been training and showing Quarter Horses, Paints and Appaloosas over the past 35 years with great success. She has won State and National titles in Halter, Western Pleasure, Trail, Hunter Under Saddle and Reining. She specialises in training Amateur and Youth competitors and in 1990 was chosen as the Team Trainer for the Youth World Cup which was held at Spruce Meadows, Calgary. Many of her Amateur and Youth customers have also gone on to win many State and National Titles over the years as have many of the horses she has trained. Sue was also actively involved in the Australian Quarter Horse Association as a Director for many years, holding the positions at various times of Vice-President and Convenor of Youth, National Judging, Show & Performance and International Director. Now retired from judging, Sue was an Accredited AQHA Judge for over 30 years together with holding judging tickets with the National Reining Horse Association and Horse Show Association of Australia. Sue has judged Championships in every State in Australia,New Zealand and New Caledonia, as well as conducting clinics throughout these Countries. She was invited to travel to South Africa in 1998 to give instructional horsemanship seminars in KwaZulu Natal, Capetown, Johannesburg, East London and Richmond in both Western and English styles of riding. After a 12 year break from showing, Sue now lives with her husband in Tamworth New South Wales, where they enjoy breeding, training and showing Quarter Horses. 47

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Will my mare foal tonight? Article by Tamworth Equine Veterinary Centre The duration of normal pregnancy is variable foaling typically exceed 10 mmol/L. These (320 to 365 days) but averages 335 to 342 kits are most useful in determining fetal days. More than 70% of mares foal between maturation before induction, rather than 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.. Male foals may predicting the exact day of foaling. have gestational durations 2 to 3 days longer than female foals. Because of the extreme Late in pregnancy, the sacrosciatic ligaments variability in duration of normal gestation, (perineal region) relax. Usually, the is it convenient to know when your pregnant relaxation is not visible. You have to palpate mare is foaling. the ligaments to detect the softening. These changes may be more obvious in older mares. The most reliable indicators of approaching De elongation, swelling and relaxation of the foaling are changes in mammary size and vulva are subtle in the mare, the most obvious secretion. Udder growth begins around 1 changes occur a few hours before birth. A month before parturition, with the major slight amount of blood-tinged mucus may be increase in size occurring during the last 2 seen in some mares associated with cervical weeks. Distention of the teats with colostrums dilation, but it is uncommon. usually occurs 24-48 h before foaling. Waxing Foaling has been divided into three stages. is observed in many mares within 24 h of The start of Stage I is difficult to ascertain as foaling, but may occur 1 to 2 weeks before no overt signs signal the increase in uterus parturition or not at all. Mares may leak milk activity which begins hours before delivery a week or more before foaling and colostrums and marks the onset of foaling. Although no may need to be harvested and kept frozen if visible signs of straining occur during Stage this leakage is excessive. I, patchy sweating is often noted behind the elbows, in the flank, and along the neck as Prefoaling mammary secretions may be early as 4 h before birth of the foal. Other used to help predict the time of foaling. signs that may be noted during include Mammary secretion changes are variable but increased restlessness with the mare pacing typically change from a honey-like clear fluid the stall, lying down and getting up frequently, to a gray, or straw-colored thin, milk-like switching her tail, stretching as if to urinate, fluid near parturition and finally to a thick, and looking at her flanks. Frequent passage white milk (colostrums). Changes occur in of small amounts of feces and yawning are the concentrations of ions in the mammary also seen. If the mare is disturbed or becomes secretion as foaling approaches. Commercial excited, Stage I sings can occasionally be kits are available which detect changes in interrupted and foaling may be delayed for the calcium and/ or magnesium ions in the several hours or even days. secretion. Magnesium ion concentrations begin increasing (12 days prepartum) in The increased uterus activity stimulates the milk first with calcium ion concentrations fetus to reposition itself with its front legs rising steeply over the last 2 to 4 days before and head extended. The cervix dilates so that parturition. Calcium ion concentrations in the fetus passes through the cervix into the a large proportion of mares spontaneously birth canal. The placenta ruptures and there

is passage of allantoic fluid from the vulva. Stage II has begun. As the fetus e n t e r s birth canal you see powerful contractions of the abdominal muscles and diaphragm. Most mares get up and change position during this Stage. During a normal delivery, the foal usually presents with one foreleg preceding the other by 10 to 15 cm. the most forceful contractions occur when the head and then the shoulders pass through the pelvis. When the foal’s hips clear the vagina, straining stops and Stage II ends. Although Stage II can be completed in less than 10 min, it usually averages about 20 min and may rarely proceed for up to 60 min. Following delivery of the foal, the mare usually lies quietly for 10 to 15 min, often resting with the foal’s rear legs still within the vagina. During this time blood flows from the placenta to the foal’s circulatory system. When the mare stand up, the umbilical cord will break. Stage III involves the passage of the placental membranes caused by invisible uterus contractions. The mare frequently shows mild signs of colic during passage of the placenta, this can include uneasiness, pawing, lying down and rolling. The placenta is normally passed within 0.5 to 3 h after delivery of the foal. It is important to examine the entire placenta. Both horn tips must be present.



Dr Stuart Keller BVSc MACVSc

& Associates


CONCEPTION EQUINE C smarter breeding

Contact. Tamworth Equine Veterinary Centre • Ph. (02) 6766 4333 • Email.

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Tamworth Local Horse - Dec/Jan  
Tamworth Local Horse - Dec/Jan  

2011-2012....Merry Christmas!