free advice

Hi Folks,

Horse Problems Advice is free and here to help all. We have always sought to assist those wanting to be successful in the Industry and will continue with this new Site

No matter the issue, we should have no difficulty in immediately assisting You.

A combined 60 Years of experience, Thousands of Horses and over 50,000 Humans, gives us some clue.

email Linda on
and John on

Remember……Your Horse is depending upon You.

Kind Regards



Bucked off…again 🙂


“Never lean down to put your foot in the stirrup, on a Breaker ” 

apart from the fact that it is dangerous, because you are already disorientated.
How come You let Him have his Face then….so he could Buck?? What’s his Lateral Mouth like??? You got  “Air Brakes” ?
Watch this
It is surprising how many “Green Horses” don’t ever experience being pushed down on the Neck and do Buck. I have met several of them.
Yes the Buck Stopper works.
Have you got any Video of the Trainer riding this Horse??? or you riding it????
You need this by the sound of it.
Go do this, video it and show me……
Talk later

30th April, 2020

Hi John

Just need a bit of advice if you have time. I have been given an off the track race horse which I rode in a round yard before agreeing to have him. The bridle used had a dexter ring bit which I know nothing about. I’ve tried to research on the internet but most are promoting this equipment rather explaining the need for it. I note the horse was tongue tied when raced but I suspect this means he could be difficult to manage if he gets his tongue over the bit, thus the need for the ring bit. I did ask about the choice of this equipment and the tongue tie and was told he has a soft pallet what ever that means.

My intention is to do some work on his mouth and responsiveness before committing myself to the great open spaces.

Any suggestions or things to keep in mind would be gratefully received.

I have your DVD on remouthing which I intend to watch again.

Bush horsewoman.

Hi Kylie,

The Off the Track Thoroughbred required much support, both physically and mentally. Almost all have Ulcers, Teeth sometimes haven’t been done, Sand Treatment never done, Worming, so you will save a lot of time if You give the Horse a full service 🙂

With regards to the Bit, the only true expert on this is the Horse. All You can do is to keep it simple and experiment. Stay away from exotic descriptions and Bits, like one I was reading about this Week “Happy Mouth” because whenever You read such descriptions, You know You are dealing with ‘Spin Doctors’ who only think about the $$$. I use a simple FM but as You also need to RE-MOUTH all of them (like I did this Week) you should perhaps go for this

and You can remove the Plastic if You want, for later use on other Horses and You have the FM Bit ( which you always should have on these Horses, especially when You are introducing them to the scarey World on the Trail (which almost all have never seen)

Having my re-mouthing DVD’s, You would know about all of the other Ridden Natural Horsemanship systems, to keep Ulcers at Bay. These Horses need much love, much encouragement and much reward and indeed, the last thing they need is the controls as taught via Pony Club or other British systems, for they ALL cause Mental and Veterinary negatives. Watch this from last Week………

Behind the Leg

2nd May

Hi John,   Firstly thank you for all the wonderful information you provide on line.   I have a stock horse who seems to be sound and reasonably willing when I ride on the road or on a bush track. However, if I ride him on an arena I feel that I need too much leg and whip to maintain a forward walk or trot. The canter is not too bad.   He is barefoot and sometimes seems a bit tender footed on stony ground, especially in wet weather. The arena I ride on has a good sandy surface that is not too deep, but he is very reluctant to maintain a good forward pace.   I often wonder if he is sore or if the saddle is uncomfortable on him. I have had him to a body worker many times, but it does not seem to effect his way of going. His conformation is not so good and he rarely stands square. He is a bit camped out in front and sickle hocked. (See photo) In the photo I took yesterday he looks to me like his front feet are sore, yet he happily gave me a strong canter up a steep hill when I rode him. Today I rode on the arena and even with the whip I could not get an active trot.   If you have any suggestions I would be very grateful.   Many thanks Robyn

HI Robyn,

This is the type of issue that one would need to see Video of but in the Photo, I notice a couple of things worth investigation.

You have different angles on the front Hooves and that should be looked at.


and, the Horse is wanting to ‘stretch out’ to relieve something, but I don’t know if this is before work or after. Check the stance both prior and after work. If there is an issue, it could be Sacroiliac


The other thing of course, is what system of Riding is being used for this Horse. Watch the Video above to hear reference to that. You will see this Horse also not forward and this is normally a reflexion of the difference between Dressage Riding styles of predominant Australian Riders where they continually support Horses, pushing at every stride and working hard to achieve forward, versus the European (and my Wife) whereby the Legs just hang down the side of the Horse, doing nothing unless they need to send a signal and then doing nothing again. With regards to using the whip, again, if the system used with that whip is that of a niggle rather than a DEMAND, then whips and spurs also do not work. Horses aren’t silly 🙂

Further, what style of Flatwork do you ride? Look at the above Video and reflect?? Unless Horses doing ‘Flatwork’ are travelling PROPERLY, technically PROPERLY, they cannot be forward. You could avail yourself of a one off assessment via Video Link, with Mrs. HP.

Have a think about all of that.


Arena Advice

Good morning!

I’ve read all your advice on arena bases, and I’m not sure if you answer questions like this, but I’d be very grateful for your thoughts. We have a part of our property that is lower than the surrounding area and gets very wet from water running down the slope behind. Currently it’s useless for 6 months of the year. We’ve only just bought the property and the previous owner said that in winter a water course develops across the low spots. We’re wondering if you think we could make use of that area which is hopeless for horses by putting down a very thick rock base over that area (e.g.450mm) to create a raised arena (higher than the surrounding area) or whether that is just stupidity.

Thanks and regards

Maggie Bruce

Hi Maggie,

Yes, that is precisely your only option. You can use material “as rough as guts” and cheap or free if you want, remembering that it is only up on the top 100mm or so that you will cover it with your sub base of the 20mm rubble or fines or whatever you choose.

I once did a completely successful arena and beneath that are rocks the size of Mini Minors 🙂

There is only one proviso to this. Should that low spot turn out to be an actual SPRING, where Water rises to the surface from the Aquifer, then you may be in trouble no matter what you choose to do but it doesn’t sound like it.

Best of Luck.

You’re amazing- thank you!!!!!!!! We’re gonna do it i reckon 👍
Best regards

Sand Colic

Hello John, I hope you and Linda are keeping well and safe down there in beautiful Victor Harbor!

I have a question regarding your sand colic recipe.

My daughters paint mare has had intermittent diarrhoea for a few weeks, I treated her with psyllium with limited results.

At 5pm last night I gave her your recipe (that was fun! 😉) and was astounded that at 8pm and overnight she was back to normal manures!

However today the diarrhoea has returned. I am hoping this is a normal part of the clearing process?

I will follow up with another treatment in 2 weeks time unless there is something else you suggest.

Thank you 🙂


Hi Jess. We have never seen any success with Psillium and never seen any studies to prove it.

This is not unusual and would indicate that the horse has much more Sand. I suspect that You squirted it down the throat, with Wormers, making a big mess of yourself and probably wasting some I would suggest that you stomach tube the Horse with it next time.

Check also for Ulcers. Watch this……..

however long term Sand causes much damage and that can’t be repaired over Night of course.

Do the Horse again in 14 Days and preferably via a Vet. They will most shy away but tell them that both Morphetville and Roseworthy Hospitals here, last Year, secretly used it on Horses they couldn’t save and then did 🙂 Regards

60 Years and counting

Unsound Horse

Good evening Mr and Mrs HP
I have purchased some of your videos and find them amazing. The approach of inside led to outside rein is how my boy was started and how I have continued to work with him.  I have an issue with my STB horse which I think maybe more physiological than behavioral and would really appreciate some general advice. 
He is progressively becoming less willing to move forward and has lately developed a lateral 2 beat walk as well as 4 beat canter disuniting etc. He hasn’t always been like this and was never raced. I feel like when we began to insist on more roundedness and less above the bit, things did get lots harder for him as the resistance appeared.  He is a Stock Horse x STB and is 5 years old. I have recently had out the chiropractor who said he was out in his poll (RHS), withers bilaterally, mid-back, and SI Joint (RHS).  The body massage lady also mentioned need to build up his hind lots of hills and poles and he is very reactive front end. I followed the advice provided by the experts and after his chiro session gave him 3 days off then lunged gently for 3 days then rode today. Lunging I did notice he seemed to be able to better maintain a 4 beat walk, but canter was still a bit all over the place (generally better though). 
The ride today was just awful; walk 2 beat, canter everywhere, heavy on the fore, and just hard work. My biggest concern is that he is in pain or has something physically wrong as he has the loveliest nature and is so willing to please ordinarily. He wasn’t naughty just hasn’t been himself under saddle for about 3 months and his gaits are getting worse and worse. 
I am happy to consider vet, etc, but don’t even know what to ask them to check out. Do I get X-rays, ultrasounds, spell him for a bit, continue with chiro. I ask because I respect your knowledge with STB and also the wisdom that comes from your experience with horses over many years. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  
regards Meagan

Hi Megan,

This sounds like a difficult case and one that we personally would not refer to second level practitioners’.

Indeed, when it comes to investigation of any unknown affliction, we only use the Vets’. The Physio’s and so on, do a good job but are not geared for diagnosis and remember, they have zero chance of finding Bone Chips and so on.

Having said that, the reason why we started offering this service…..

because if You can lead the Vets’to the general area, first up, You save a lot of money. You may consider that.

Regarding your particular Horse, as I said, this may not be straight forward but nothing beats Video, like this that we found Yesterday, for a Client who has spent Thousands.

2 thoughts on “Horse Problems Advice

  1. Thank you John for your insight. This horse has had sacroiliac issues in the past. Unfortunately, the gentleman who normally treats him is not working during Covid 19.
    Thank you also for the offer of an assessment with Mrs HP. I am not very good with technology. Perhaps she could guide me through the process in an email.

    1. We have found Robyn, that such treatment has little use. The only truly effective treatment found in the technical proper lunging using our running reins system (which comes with the 45 Page E-Book with all the Photos of the proof and the systems) and PROPER RIDING, as found here and fixed this Horse among many others.

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