Horseproblems Australia – 5th December, 2019

Horse Hay

This Week’s work

Sprinklers fitted to House Roof

Tack Room is finished

Happy Wife – Happy Life 😂

Hay Season is done


Victor Harbor Pensioner Colt Breaking Comp

It makes You proud indeed and with much Professional satisfaction, to have had a Para Rider come Today, to ride the Young Green Horse who has had 2 weeks off and with both going wonderfully well. She purchased Him too, for Pony Dressage. He was a Doll.


an Hour earlier, another Buyer came and sh, from a Classical Dressage backround and she had terrible Hands. She frightened the Hell out of the Pony and Mrs. HP ( much to the Owners shock) said to the Buyer….” This Horse doesn’t suit You” Thank God…..for the Horse………


The Young Lass told us that she was buying a Pony, because she comes out of Youth Classes soon and if she goes in normal Dressage, she cannot win against the two F.E.I. Ribbon and Rug Hunters of South Australia, caused by the EA still not getting the message fully, that lower level Riders need protecting from this and you saw on my Blog a few Weeks back, the State Squad Member riding against the ‘small fry”, for the purposed of Horse Dealing.

So here is the lovely Young Lass who rode well.

and a subject dear to my Hear but oh so scarce………

Well done Young Lady. Rewarded Horse for the Trust shown!

The Rearing Horse

There is basically only one way to re-train such a Horse ( at least that I have found successful over the Years) and that is the open Hander across the side of the Ear Hole, BUT with perfect timing whereby the Horse thinks IT HAS HIT IT’S HEAD on Your Hand, not yo HITTING IT IN THE HEAD, for as you know, it is the last resort, but the “last resort” with Rearers, is often to save them from their “last trip”.

However, here is a system that I developed, to pre-programme a Horse, to the understanding, that they aught to keep their Head down, not up.

The Key of course, is timing, relief, consistency, dwelling, calmness.

Brett Parbury

Mrs. HP attended a Clinic this Week, with the National Dressage Coach, at Verdun. Unfortunately, the Indoor wasn’t designed to cater for Crowds of People, . so they held it outside. Such a shame and a Lesson, that if you are going to build such a facility, do it right.

Unfortunately, the highest level work did not turn out, with Coach telling the Rider…..”what ever You have been doing……stop” The Horse was extremely tense and with continuous and not requested Piaffe. Poor Rider, in front of so many People. These Clinics are dangerous things for Riders’.

30 Years of failed administration

30 Years after still not having proper facilities in this State and they schedule the National Coach, in the Rain, outside of a New Indoor, because it can’t fit the Visitors!!!!! Unbelievable!!!

and on that note, I had the pleasure of addressing the full Council last Week, about the need to have an International class facility here, with Restaurants and more.

It has been received extremely favorably and only 5 minutes ago, a Councillor phoning me to take my advice as to whether the Horse drawn Tram needs to be shut down next Year, during the construction of the new Causeway, alongside the old one. Could the Clydesdales continue to run, alongside the construction of the new Causeway???

I pointed out that if one Clydesdale decided to leave, it will just spin it’s wheels for the Tram, with the Obese new Generation, would now weigh over 6 tonne. 😴which also should have been rectified 20 Years ago.

Anyhow, we have the Council fully supportive.

Horse Training Online


The value of timing

Victor Harbor Christmas Pageant

Mrs. HP and I have been asked to ride in the Float Parade. We never really ever get any fun so we said yes. We are just behind the leading Float, a Historic Coach restored and pulled by 2 Clydesdale. Pics next Week

Bella Vista of the Week


Boof of the Week


Rose of the Week



My Daughter is 22 and fell off a Dressage Horse at work in January. We live in Western Australia.  She was covered by WC as she had been riding / training / competing the young (tricky) horses there for a long period. Normally this could have been a blessing but has turned out awful for her.  I know it sounds young for a trainer / rider to be but she is beyond her years and had been picked in talent squads etc on not so flash horses and grew up on cheap horses with money spent on lessons,  we have perused your pages for many years. Completed her NCAS INTRO AND LEVEL ONE GENERAL RIDING AND HORSEMASTERSHIP.  She has had some amazing Mentors in training and horsemastership.  She went to Megan Jones stables as a 14 year old (work experience and then to Gail Hunter in NSW  as a 17 yo and after some time in the stables she worked at she was asked to go to Germany and went there to ride as a 19 year old for 6 months.  She loves young horses and has always had a knack with difficult horses.  That was how she started the riding position at her last job.  Workers Compensation Lawyer has no idea about Horses and although my daughter has never intended to sue for Negligence she is quite angry with her employer.  She was in hospital initially treated as a “Elite Sports Person” and had Referrals to the best foot and Knee surgeons.  Then things got weird.  I should probably mention here that her employer and the husband are both lawyers.

Bessie had her own insurance to cover her side “hobby riding” or if she should fall off her own horse.  They were happy to pay out if her boss would supply a job description.  After months of stalling (with lawyer etc) the insurer said her policy was up and she would either need to renew (at a higher cost because of her claim) or let the claim go – she was injured and not riding in the final moments the Employer basically wrote a job description saying that Bessie was a stable hand she let “sit “ on her horses.
Bessie has fought the pay calculations etc and every time it gets worse with The employer  providing documents where she is saying that Bessie is not a rider / trainer and she couldn’t even employ her under the Racing and wagering award because she isn’t qualified to pick up shit.
It is one thing for an employee to think they are capable etc but if an Employer believe that someone is only qualified to “sit on” and cool down horses.  Is it then Negligent to put them on horses that are known to be difficult and usually only have breakers ride.
I obviously have much more information including about others that had been hurt on her horses,  and horses that were sent out of WA because no one would ride them only to arrive in NSW and damage the young trainer there so badly she had to sell her competition horses to pay for her rehab and keep her business afloat.
Bessie is just at the point where she is able to ride for 10 min 3 x a week  on a quiet horse.  She hads fractured her tibial plateau pulling the ACL attached to bon out of the centre.  She also traumatically fractured her navicular bone in to 15 pieces,  she is currently fighting WC to have the Hardware removed in hope that the pain will improve.  She works hard to get better but mentally the undermining of her skills and ability has had an impact.
PS  Nadine Merewether the best instructor in WA has openly said that Bessie could ride young horses anywhere in the world.

Hi Janetta
Sad story

Would You mind just paying my token fee for this one will take quite some time.

Could you tell me what happened the day of the injury what was the horse, what was it there for was it someone else’s, etc.

What were the injuries that day?
How long had she worked there
How many clients horses did she work on, were they there for re-education? Did the Owner  see her riding them.

Have you got video of her working?
Have Owners go video of her riding their horses?

and much more

Give Her my best wishes.

I thought I would send you this that bessie wrote to send to her lawyer.  I am not sure if she sent it yet
When I was first in Hospital in January, I was contacted by Ron Fleming (RAWA) who I knew from dressage.  It was him that inferred that I was employed under Racing and Wagering.  He was concerned when he heard the extent of my injuries and made contact with Heidi and Subiaco Sports Medical and was able to source a referral to the “top Knee and Foot Surgeons” as he felt that as an elite sportswoman/equestrian I needed the best to ensure my return to sport.  Ron manages injured jockeys and dealt with Heidi.  In less than an hour he had Specialists ringing me and I was then transferred to SJOG Subiaco.  (Note: when I got to Subiaco Heidi messaged me to ask if I would like to return to RPH!)
I have considered myself a trainer and rider of Hermitage Dressage Horses and was also riding other horses as a trainer of young horses.  Heidi had previously recommended my skills as a trainer to Danielle Cottier to break in and school her young unbroken horse.   

The relationship with Heidi started to diminish when she sent me a tenancy agreement in hospital before my first operation (within days of my accident).  I had been living on her property for a couple of years, Included in the agreement was a rise in costs, meaning that I would now have to pay for electricity for the first time (at a time that I was going to be in the house and being cared for requiring air conditioning etc that I never previously used).  I was on a lot of pain killers and refused to sign it saying that I wouldn’t sign it until I was off the medication.  When I moved home she continued to message me putting pressure on me to sign the paperwork. I gave in my notice as  I could no longer afford to live at the property and had to leave to move into my grandmother’s house.
Then my insurance broker advised me that I could make a claim to help with the costs of my horses,  All I needed was a list of duties saying that I was riding and training the hermitage horses at the time of my fall.  Heidi refused to provide me with list of duties for my employment over a number of months,  she kept saying it was with her lawyer, her husband, back with the lawyer, she had sent it and I didn’t get it.  I was worried at this time as to why she would need a lawyer to write a job description for someone who had worked for her for a number of years. 
In the end my personal insurance claim never came through as by the time Heidi wrote a very vague letter in regard to my duties, my insurance 12 months was up and I was required to sign up for another year at a much higher cost, knowing I wouldn’t be riding for a while.  I missed out on claiming funds that would have helped my family  look after me and my horses.
At this time I was concerned that Heidi needed a Lawyer and sought out the services of Slater and Gordon feeling that I obviously need one too. 
I have had nothing but trouble with GIO (although I am hoping this will change with a new case manager) and for a long time it seemed to revolve around the issue of me calling myself a trainer.
During the process I feel like I have been personally and professionally slaughtered by comments and continual references to my “NOT” being the rider/trainer of the horses at Hermitage.  I KNOW I can get evidence that these horses are difficult and tricky to ride, I can also get an expert witness who is a professional that travels the world to stable and can clarify the duties that I undertook.
Heidi bought saddles for her horses specifically for me.  That is a lot of money to spend on a stable hand.
I always felt that I was a competent rider until recently.  Now I wonder what sort of person would put someone that they didn’t feel was competent on their Valuable and difficult horses?  If she truly felt that way then surely she has been negligent as an Employer.  See Below:
Heidi’s Comments to GIO this year:
·         “preparing the horses for riding, cooling them down as appropriate post ride”,
·         “At all times during her employment I considered Bessie my stable hand/rider.  She completed tasks and rode horses at my direction and on my instruction – albeit often in consultation together as in any normal employer/employee relationship.  I did not and do not, in any way, consider Bessie to be the ‘trainer’ of my horses nor would I feel comfortable considering her as such”.
·         “ I do, however, consider that Bessie’s has the ability and talent to develop her riding skills beyond their current capacity with  time and instruction and I do so hope that the injury she sustained here will not ultimately prejudice that development long term.”  
·         “To the best of my knowledge and understanding, Bessie holds no formal qualifications under this Award or any other as a stable hand, rider or trainer and certainly none that she postulated to me at any time during her employment.”
In relation to Hermitage Dressage and Heidi being negligent in my Workplace accident I would like to query her description of my abilities as an employee.
·         I certainly believed that as a rider of young and difficult horses (and as per the general way that stables run) I was confident that I was a capable trainer in my role.  With that confidence in my ability, I hopped on these tricky horses day after day and although Heidi suggest that this was with supervision it was only usually with the stable hands nearby working in the stables.  I would never ride any of these horses without having another person on the property.  I was not supervised often and at this time I would ask Heidi often to come and be eyes on the ground as even the best trainers require this.  I was in fact also eyes on the ground for Heidi working her own horses. 
·         If Heidi truly believed the above comments that she made then surely she is negligent in placing an “unskilled rider”  on her tricky and difficult horses.  If I was not skilled enough to ride them why was I?
·         If I was a rigger and working in a dangerous environment without my employer checking out my qualifications and ‘giving me rigging tasks’, placing me in dangerous positions, who is responsible or being negligent. 
·         I can tell you that I had told Heidi that Finn had a sore back and I had asked for a saddle fit  numerous times but no I didn’t write this down,  I was 19 when I started there and I certainly never expected to not only be injured, but discredited for the work I had undertaken for a number of years.
·         I can tell you that even though there were no dogs involved in this incident I had asked Heidi for years to not let her dogs run through the arena whilst I was riding as this was dangerous but was ignored. 
·         I could tell you that Heidi had previously fallen off this horse and prior to me riding him she had a breaker ride him when he was in work.  He would also ride him before I did initially, get the bad behaviors out then put the dressage rider (me) on him.   When I first fell off Heidi made a point of telling everyone that she was riding him now (she wasn’t).  It is obvious through her social media comments that the only person riding this horse again is the breaker or buck rider. 
·         Stately another horse I rode had a similar story,  I started to ride him because Heidi had also had a big fall off him.  He was also considered to be a tricky and difficult horse.  Heidi would tell me that NO ONE else could ride him but me and that if I ever left she would have to give him to me.  Nadine Merewether (top WA Coach) also told Heidi that this horse should only have me on him.  This is not what you say to someone that is not qualified to pick up this horses shit.
·         I have a witness willing to testify that  she “witnessed Bessie basically re-breaking of Finn and even lead them both around for the confidence of the horse. Myself or Kath would sometimes sit and watch Bessie when she was on the more unpredictable horses just in case anything happened to her”.  As well as other appropriate information.
·         I know of another that was hurt that would support me and although I know her story I don’t believe it is mine to tell.
·         It can also be proven that a previous Hermitage horse (Latin Lover –Oolio) was extremely difficult and had hurt people.  No one in Western Australia would ride the horse after riders had come off and / or been injured.  I was too tall/big for him and “just in case this was a back issue” I never rode the horse.  He was sent to NSW for a professional rider to train and compete.  He bucked off the rider on her second or third ride and she was badly hurt causing her to have to sell some quality competition horses to fund her rehabilitation and pay for her business to continue to run.  I have heard Heidi blame this rider for a problem that was obviously there for a long period of time.
·         Many of Hermitage horses I realise now are dangerous to ride and I do not want to pursue negligence unless I have a right to. This was never an intention but  I really believe that if she has placed someone on a horse that SHE doesn’t acknowledge being a rider / trainer and not having any “formal qualifications” – her own words, knowing the horses are difficult and tricky – IT IS NEGLIGENT.
·         Any time I stood up to Heidi in regard to management of the horses or changing anything to make it more safe she would say that she “didn’t want to talk to me until I am in a better head space”  so I have been reluctant to react and challenge things  as  Heidi  actually had me believing that I was not stable if I complained.
·         I think I owe it to the women before me, that have been broken at these stables (I only heard about after being hurt) and the young women that will follow me believing that they have a unique opportunity when it clearly isn’t to open this up and stop it happening to anyone else unnecessarily.   
I know I really need to think about what I want to get out of this process.  The main thing I want is to get better. I want to ride.  I want to compete.  I want Heidi to know that she has a right to believe that I am not a effective rider and trainer but she does not have a right to place people at risk on difficult horses if she does not believe in their skill level.  I want Heidi to know (and I know she is actually aware) that I do have certificates in Horsemastership and Riding and that they are Nationally recognised.  I am also now qualified as a Coach (awaiting certification).
What I don’t want is to make myself sick over the process of negligence unnecessarily.  I will never pretend to not be getting better and I will not let the comments she has made define me.
Is there any way that she can be brought to task?  Surely this borders on Bullying?  In the community she is only talking about how guilty she feels for what has happened to me and behind closed doors she is undermining and condemning  everything I have done whilst working for her.  I was an asset and she knows this and yet….

I have seen and heard a lot of these types of Stories and Your Mum has told me that you have a highly acclaimed Firm of Lawyers and yet they don’t see any Negligence. That would be because they are not a Horsy Firm. I have seen these types of Employers, all over the Country and indeed wrote about one of the big one’s ( maybe where the Horse went to be sold.)

I can sense plenty of Negligence within the operation there. Best of Luck


Horse cruelty charges

GRAND LAKE, Colo. (CBS4) – Two Colorado residents are now facing animal cruelty charges following the release of a video that shows their horse tied to a pickup truck and being pulled against his will. Grand County authorities announced the filing of charges against John Saldate, 59 and Amber Saldate, 33, on Tuesday afternoon. Both people face a single count of animal cruelty, a Class I misdemeanor.


The Grand County Sheriff’s Office launched its investigation on Sunday after the disturbing video began making the rounds on social media. In it, you can hear a woman’s voice — the person shooting the video on a phone — yelling at the animal. The horse, named Trigger, is standing in the snow and a rope is tied to its halter. The rope is tied on the other end to the truck. The driver of the pickup then drives forward and the horse is thrown off balance and nearly falls over as it tries to keep up with the truck as it pulls away down a snowy road in the Grand Lake area.

The video can be seen below, but please be warned that it may be difficult to watch for some people.

The sheriff’s office said Tuesday that Trigger was seized by officials and “is now safe” at an animal welfare center located on Colorado’s Front Range. It was checked out at a veterinary clinic before being taken there.

CBS4 interviewed the female horse owner off camera on Monday. She said her family owns several horses and bought Trigger recently for a cheap sum from a previous owner because it had been giving the previous owner problems. She now recognizes she upset a lot of people with the video and is apologetic about it, saying she and her family “made our horse go through something that he shouldn’t have.”

A Grand County resident who lives in the area told CBS4 seeing the video made her “sick to my stomach.”

“I don’t believe they should have horses if they’re going to do that to them. It’s not appropriate. That’s not how you train a horse,” she said.

(credit: Grand County)

The Saldates are scheduled to appear in Grand County Court for an arraignment on Jan. 28. Those court proceedings will take place in Hot Sulfur Springs at the Grand County Courthouse.

Sheriff’s spokesman Matt Karzen said the case is drawing a large amount of interest, likely partially due to the fact that CBS4’s initial story was featured on the heavily-visited website Drudge Report.

“Our phone lines and email accounts are getting covered up with inquiries from people interested in the case. Because these events are now the subject of an active prosecution, our ethical obligations prohibit us from discussing it, but interested persons can attend the public court proceedings if they choose,” Karzen said.

2 thoughts on “Horseproblems Australia – 5th December, 2019

  1. HP, in regard to the Morgan dressage pony that was sold, what was it about the classical dressage rider’s hands that were so “bad”?

    1. Hi Jo,

      They were just fixed, stiff Arms, no understanding of softness or sophistication of communication with the Mouth. The Horse would have progressed to be a Rearer, within a Week 🙁

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