Horseproblems Australia Blog – 26th Nov, 2019

Gainsborough Equestrian Centre

HI Folks……… Lovely Week of Weather here, 22 Degrees and a hint of Rain but was none. Threatening enough though, to generate me to go and pick up another 10 Round Bales, out fo the Paddock this time, just below us here, because I had advised the Old Fulla when to cut it and what Day to Bale it, planted real late and with fine stalks. The Horses think it is wonderful 🤗


I should know better by now but I simply can’t stand missed opportunities and because just this Year, via our Family alone, we have had around 12 People contact us, saying they can’t find anywhere to agist their Horse or no place has a decent Arena.

I have been aware that we had influenced at least 6 People to head down this Way this Year and that 6 new private Arenas had been built by a local Company here, but nothing of an agistment type,

So I was asked to address the full Council last Week, the Lord Mayor came up for Coffee and Today, Coffee with a Councillor. All very interested and can see the logic. Global warming will see the entire Industry move down South and now ( as predicted) the Prime Minister stumped up with the Millions needed for the Victor Harbor Road duplication.

So I have advised Council that over the Christmas break, I will draw up the designs of the whole facility. Council is looking for Land at the moment. 70 x 50m indoor, 4 outside arenas, round Pens, 100 Stables and more. Victor Clydesdales, Victor Pony Club and much more. We shall see.

Victor Clydesdales

They have never been so happy. One of our Friends and a pupil of Mrs. HP, is in charge of them now. It shows 🙂

They have been on and off again, caused by the deterioration of the Causeway that they use to go to Granite Island.


New Causeway being built in the Winter of 2010.


as we speak, another one 🙂

Spoilt Rotten 🤣🤣

Dressage Coaching Online

Young Katy in Scotland this Week ( on a horse she started)


well done! big improvement. Can do next weekend. what day suits you? Be careful not to do too many walk canter transitions without doing some forward canter in between. As he could start to get a little tense and anticipate. Also watch straightness of walk before departing on next canter. Also do shorter bits of different trots like 5 steps medium then 5 steps collected etc. The more transitions within the pace the more you will develop the trot. His lateral work is good but now a little more outside rein to bring him more onto his hind legs. Can work on all this next weekend. Well done great effort. like the wave too.xx

Horse Starting Online

Well done Chris. Feedback as follows

  • 9 seconds – unless a Horse Bucks, don’t back off, keep jumping until he gives. No reward for the wrong answer.
  • 14 Seconds – you rewarded the Horse for evasion. Horse 1 – Chris 0 🙄
  • 25 seconds, never step backwards or away. Stay up close and personal
  • 33 Seconds – Hoss starts warning You, because it went to School at 14 Seconds
  • 43 seconds – discipline required
  • 55 seconds – the step outwards and staring at the Horse for little reason, cemented the training of evasion, proving to the horse that it’s learnt system is working well
  • 55 seconds – at this point it was game over – horse 1 – Chris 0 😑😑

It’s not easy, don’t worry. Many Years break causes us to lose the knack. Better results next week.

Veterinary Assessment Online


Hi Mr HP

yo TB gelding OTT since Aug 2017, Syd metro racehorse 16 starts Quite horse shy in warm ups and gets a bit stressed at events Spelled for a while then started low level eventing. Had a few okay dressage tests, rest pretty/very average Early on great clear SJing but with recent issues pulling a few rails Has gone from 60cm eventing to 105cm classes with only one career cross country stop so promising eventer Issue is his mouth/head. In Apr this year was elim from dressage for prolonged disobedience Snippet of test video will be sent Trying to work out if issues are behavioural as work is getting harder In last 2 months has started pulling away from float when being tacked up Lots of broken halters and lead ropes Ulcers?Something else?Will send through some photos and video now. Let me know if you need more info. Regards Cathy

HI Cathy,

The Horse is a lovely Horse but poorly conformed. Conformation is everything in performance Horses.

Look at the above photo and that gives you the possibilities.

There is no doubt that this Horse is unsound. It is telling us that and they are never wrong.

100% of Ulcers when leaving the Track but that is not the main problem here. This Horse is simply fearful of being COLLECTED, whilst doing athletic things. That is hurting it’s rear end half and in this case, I suspect the Sacro. We have seen dozens of these Horses and all with the same symptoms. Indeed, 2 weeks ago


This is particularly shown on the Dressage arena. The Horse is simply communicating to you, that COLLECTION hurts.  The exact same as the Horse above.

She has a similar poor conformation as your horse.

Don’t ever buy Bum high horses, horses that are shallow through the Gaskin, horses that stand in or out. Only buy  this


The reason the Horse goes well Cross Country is that it is not COLLECTED

Take a look at this

Give me your reaction



Rope Halter Mouthing

Hi John, Are you familiar with the Clinton Anderson method of starting horses in a rope halter? I’ve been looking for info on the mouthing technique that goes along with this and can’t seem to find anything? I think one has to purchase the training dvds but I’m just after a basic rundown on the theory of starting in a rope halter and show this produces any kind of mouth on a young horse. I use what is pretty much your mouthing method so it’s all quite foreign to me from what little I’ve been able to research! Thoughts? Regards Rebecca

HI Rebecca. I don’t believe that I don’t watch and study others but that is interesting for he sure as Hell didn’t start out that way. They have got to Him , in the States lol.

I have $10,000 any time anywhere against any Rope Halter Mouthing Person, with my system and they would not have a Prayer. Even though I am almost retired, I have had to re-educate 3 of such Horses this year alone. All Pupils of my Wife who got a local rope halter man to start their warmbloods.

Trust me, it’s a failed system and DOES NOT suit anyone who may go on and ride English Disciplines.

and indeed, when things go wrong especially with Green Horses……like the Old Man Roo suddenly appearing or the push bike rider sneaking from behind, rope halter mouthing instantly FAILS and the Brakes are gone. Indeed, it is even a Risk Management issue.
Flung off, simply by the non existent Lateral Mouth

Thanks John, Yes I absolutely agree it sets a horse up to fail with no proper brakes installed! I know nothing about Clinton Anderson’s methods at all, just that starting with a halter seems to be part of his system. It scares me the possibilities that go along with starting in a rope halter, and I can’t imagine the horse would be as mentally stable in themselves in comparison to a horse that’s been started using the worlds best mouthing system!

I have plenty of proof 🤣🤣

How not to Lead a Horse

Pat Parelli and I, completely disagree with this teaching. You know why. I don’t have to go into it but it just shows You the other side of the Coin. No wonder People are so confused!!!!!

Dressage Judging Bias????


Perhaps the Judge should be made to explain??? The other Judge is an Inter-State Judge. It’s hardly worth going these Days Folks 🙄….it could not have anything to do with Wendy being the new Chair I hope……….

QUESTION…….why is the Chair’ riding unofficial???? 🥴

Super Flighty

Hi John, A friend has recommended you to me regarding an Arab mare I have that is 11yo and hardly been handled. She is hard to catch because she doesn’t want to be near you, she super flighty and highly strung – it is an effort just to worm her! You cannot touch her legs so I can’t get her feet trimmed. – I believe this is all only due to no handling and aside from to be branded and ran off a truck into a sale, I think she has spent most of her life just eating grass in a paddock. – Is this something you may be able to help with? and if so, roughly what would the charges be?

I have all the Video and equipment you would need. Do you have a round Pen???

No, I don’t have facilities which is my biggest problem. I have worked with many unhandled horses in my life and have been with all of my life
My biggest problem now is being a much heavier person, and only 5 feet tall, I don’t have the strength to stay balanced enough with a horse that is so nervy and set in her way. Just to worm her took 2 hours and 20 minutes, plus she reared twice and smashed 2 rails on my holding yard for the walk in/out stable. I had to get my husband helping who is a fit 6 foot 1. We won, she did not end up with anything going her way of course, but what a painful exercise it was
– I normally work with things like pressure on/pressure off and that type of thing. I haven’t been well so that hasn’t helped me doing things with her. She doesn’t seem to have any dirt in her… no kick and no bite or ears laid back when under pressure (thankfully
) – and if she is spinning around to escape you and you end up caught behind her, she tucks her bum right down and clamps the tail so no nasty at all. – I will have a read of what you have sent me later and see what I think from there. I don’t mind paying you to help me via messaging if that works, or I can send her to you on transport – she will not have a bar of a float at all. I believe this mare has been dragged in as a weanling and branded, then dragged back in to be chased onto a truck and sent to market with others
. Chased off and yarded with all the yelling Echuca has to offer. Then onto a truck and put in a paddock for a few weeks. Then caught and 2 hours apparently of trying to get her on a double float. Then I sent a transport truck to her. I have actually managed to teach her to lead to where she will come with you without dragging and etc, but she walks as if she is looking for a sniper with her name in his pocket! I know when she was at the market, I was home and only saw her pics and write up on who she is, but many people were complaining on line about the whip marks she had – and when I got her home a few weeks later, it did look like old whip marks that had not finished healing – about 30 or more over the whole back end and some up her shoulder. They went in a few different directions too.

Ok then. Poor Horse. She’s been through Hell 😰😰

It is long past the conventional Motherhood systems with this Horse. She needs re-education first and get back to those later.
I have all the Vids and equipment and can easily help You.

First up you need “Join Up” and then a range of conventional systems, to remove the ‘flight from fear” and to put some proper controls, tying up, leading, etc.

Sacroiliac Problems

Hi John, A while back I purchased the running reins system and was sent this video “SACRO REPAIR SYSTEM”, but it doesn’t actually talk about sacroiliac problems, just how to introduce the system to the horse.

I have long suspected my 7 year old ASH to have sacroiliac damage or a fractured pelvis despite my vet saying he doesn’t just because “he’s seen way worse on OTTB, this is nothing in comparison”. I have witnessed him have a nasty fall in the paddock which I believe started all these problems. 

This is a very stoic horse who is naturally sweet natured, and Im almost certain in my gut that the cause of subtle ‘naughty’ behaviour is from sore hind end. He is very chompy on the bit when asked to work in a frame (Teeth done regularly), struggles walking down hills, pigroots or bucks when asked to trot or canter. He is very well conformed for a stock horse, built reasonably uphill and assessed by a top dressage trainer so I highly doubt its a conformational issue and he’s only to do asked basic work.

My question is, in these cases, can horses return to being sound? 
I have only used the running rein system on and off,  should I give him a break from riding and just lunge for a couple of months to strengthen the sacroiliac area? Is there any special way to use this system for sacroiliac repair?

Hi Ruby,

First off unless the hard yards are put in with any system, one cannot expect any results or the system to work. Further more, with these possible Vet problems, you have to go there to bring out the unsoundness, to then prove it to the Vet. You have to try to break the Horse, for it’s own good.

So my first answer is for you to indeed adjourn to the Round Pen and follow the system, ( at least 5 days a week and 6 preferable)

What could it be?????……..many things and it could be caused be many things.

These include ridden problems of the past, as well as Veterinary.

I can also pass on that there are two systems of training Dressage, as I call it the “Two Fisted” contact on both Reins style and “Inside Leg to outside Rein”. The former causes negative Veterinary symtoms in the Horse and the latter fixes many of those. ( as seen by the number of unsound Horses my Wife has fixed, including Her current Younger one ( just starting Tempi changes successfully.)


Playing up in the Float


Hi John

I’ve got a customer who has a lot of issues with her horse kicking and playing up in the float. Wondering if you had any insights.

Trucks fine. Used to be fine to float then started as scrabbling in a borrowed float (same make/model as theirs/no obvious event to give it cause), then kicking the back door in hers (travels fine if she’s in there with it to tell it to knock it off), got to the point where she contacted me for hobbles, but has now escalated to throwing itself around and has even gone down in the float and injured itself. She’s now afraid to float it. 

She’s been around the block and no beginner (her other half has a successful showjump hardware business) but the horse has now frightened her and she’s run out of ideas—would have to get her HT license to truck it around everywhere. It’s half arab
Any suggestions?
All the best

Horseproblems Saddlery NZ
m 0210 223 7891
fb Horseproblems Saddlery NZ

Hi Katherine,

Please get them to show me the Photos of the Float, side on and from the rear, with the back down, so I can see inside of it.

I suspect that they may have been putting Stockmans’ hobbles on the Horse ( which you can’t do unless the horse has been trained to them and spent hours in a round Pen getting “Miles on the Clock” and to become proficient with them)

The equipment here would be the rear Leg Hobbles ( but again plenty of training in the Round Pen first. These go over Boots, half way up the Cannon Bone and vastly limit any change of damage.

If they are having a division in the Float, then that has to immediately go.


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