Premium Members Blog – 10th December, 2018

10th December, 2018 The Horse Scientists have have just released a study into the ‘Dually Halter’, designed and patented by Monty Roberts. They had previously studied his ‘join up’ system. THE RESULTS ” Use of a Dually pressure headcollar does not result in more compliant behaviour by horses that have not worn it before, recent research has found. ” ” the Dually did not result in more compliant behaviour compared to the control group. ” ” but did not result in a stressed response, measured by infrared thermograpy ” As I have often said, Scientists are simply not qualified to study such things, because they are not Professional Horse Trainers. So my advice is to listen to them if you like but don’t take their findings as Gospel, about anything Horse

10th December, 2018

Hi Folks, how are You all. Well I hope. We are fine.
Hard work still, almost finished the Reno job, completed tiling the new Shower Today.
Mrs. HP has been working hard, got Her back fixed thank God, took one session with a Bowen Therapist on our Road which was real handy and she performed a miracle that the physio’s hadn’t achieved., so the Horses have been getting heaps 🙂
I have been helping a couple of Ladies with assessments, to find out what’s up with their Horses and that has gone fine. Thank God they can talk English 🙂


One of Cat’s has been killed by a Snake. There are plenty around this Year!!
I have also been , busy helping a number of Ladies around the Planet, with their Horses, one in America, a Standardbred would You believe and that’s been fun. My favs 🙂


Never Trust a Grinning Christian. They often have perpetual Smiles on their Faces but in our experience, have to be watched more closely than Heathens. Don’t buy this Horse!!!!!


Mrs. HP got this Horse Vet checked and it failed really badly. One of the worst stress test fails Sandy Harbison the Vet, had seen.
No mention of such issues in the Advert Folks, but a price drop of Thousands. It was for Sale with Anne Smith but not now. You can bet it was Vet checked a second time.
Beware of Grinning Christians and in this case a Preacher Man at the Victory Church on Sundays 🙂



A Client tied a Young Horse up to a Post, because he had started running through Her Hands and escaping and could no longer be lead. One of the most difficult things to fix in Horse Training.
I have warned somewhere on my Site, to never tie Young Horses up, when untrained or have a problem, suspect, without a Neck Protector, because you can do injuries to the Nerves or the Guttural pouch. In fact, just the mere Pain, can produce the explosive pull back merchant of the future, through flashback.

Tying up Collar

Case Report
Guttural pouch leiomyosarcoma causing nasopharyngeal
compression in a pony
Equine Hospital, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and Roslin Institute,
The University of Edinburgh, Roslin, Midlothian, UK.
horse; guttural pouch; nasopharyngeal compression; computed tomography; leiomyosarcoma
A 14-year-old Connemara cross gelding presented with
abnormal respiratory noise and exercise intolerance. Upper
airway endoscopy, ultrasonography, radiography and
computed tomography revealed a large mass within the left
guttural pouch causing marked left dorsal nasopharyngeal
collapse and displacement and compression of the right
guttural pouch. The horse was subjected to euthanasia and a
post-mortem examination confirmed.
but it is the Horse escaping from You that I want to talk about.


Now this Youngster, who wouldn’t lead all of a sudden, is an unbroken Young one. Don’t listen to the Guru’s or the Studs who preach leaving Young Horses in the Paddock Folks. They are talking out of their Asses. I could give You hundreds of examples.

This is a proper handled Weanling

Horseproblems Australia

and last Night, I had to do the feet of Celeste, who is now 9 Months Old and suddenly becoming a Brat Teenager, because she hasnt had any real handling, other than feet, working, rugging and feeding, for the past few Months, since work


So she is in for it this Week. Reminder time.
Now last Night, I tied Her to a Tree, to finish cut back and trim, which of course did the trick for you see the job was done in the photo above. It won’t pull back. SHE CAN BE TIED UP IN A ROPE HALTER and will always be. She won;’t have a Neck strap she doesn’t need one.
So remember, Neck Straps for SUSPECT, NOT TRAINED, PROBLEM Horses. Not the others.


Thanks John,
Just a quick query re the next step, the lunging with forwardness you talk about below- is that on the mouthing DVD? I don’t think I can find it….
Hi Sarah,
I mean this as the next proving and tuning step. To pr-programme the Horse, in readiness for urgent one rein stops, in case of the Buck early on.
Now take no notice of Dianne getting tangled up here, it happens to all of us. See below for the key.

Practice it at the walk if you need. THROW A BIG LOOP on the outside rein. Don’t be pulling on the outside Mouth.


*** Note the Head throwing up as the outside rein blocks the Horse. This is counter productive, confusing and will diminish what you are aiming for.

Look at 3 Seconds. See how the rope hits the rump and doesn’t fly high through the air? 9 Seconds getting better with practice. Not easy. Now Dianne is an Old Hand, starting Her 4th Horse.

Well done all.


True Sarah but I think perhaps there was still some room to crank Her up a bit more than You did. You are obviously a very good Rider as You show all the “knee jerk” tendencies to soften and fast, so great for the ridden training but that too can be a “double edged sword.” You only want to be softening, AFTER the Horse TRULY gives.

Ok, looking good, one last thing and this one is designed to take the release away from You and to ensure it is done by the Horse. To also simulate, the spinning and giving the Face, under circumstances that might mirror a Bucking fit, where maximum resistance will come to the surface, regardless of the Mouth, which is why I make such a point of all this. I am ever mindful of what can be down the track. Yes, it’s all romantic but let’s never forget the thing called  a Wheel Chair. Have I got Your attention??


So now tie Her around, nice and short ( within the boundaries and tolerance of your previous work) and get your long Poly Pipe with a Plastic Bag or something frightening hanging off it.
Go to my Re-Mouthing DVD and check this out. REARING IS YOUR ENEMY and rearing can only happen with the mistake of a Handler in the wrong position.
Show us a Minute of that first, as an assessment.

  • At 3 Seconds, I would have gone to the left, not the right. Right is trapping the Horse, left is sending Zone 2 away in a further spin.
  • and 9.5 Seconds would be precisely the time others would have reared over backwards.
  • at 15 second, spot on, you went the right way, assisting the horse and not trapping it.
  • at 57 seconds, same problem, asking for rear, I would have gone left, giving the horse an escape route where you are not blocking
  • 31 and you see the horse having to back ( rearing dangers) to get out of your space, to be able to turn and not knock you, thus horse showing up Human 🙂

Ok, this was Homework, with my asking You to be more assertive. Answer, still to soft.


In my experience, the difference between them is simply confidence, ok, experience, but also DEMAND. All of the Ladies who I help, can all start Horse as good or better than Professionals, with the only think lacking is a little more assertiveness..
So that turn on the fence, does not represent the strength and shock one would have to put on the lateral Mouth of a Horse about to Bury You. Too soft Sarah..
However, You are one day from riding Her.

  • Tie Her around more short as you correctly pointed out ( but NOT making any position mistakes.
  • Get a more frightening Flag.
  • Stay further away from the Horse as you are too lose sometimes.
  • add fear to the equation, to get more violent spins ( thus mirroring the Buck Off and proving it to the horse they cannot.)

Turning on the fence one last time, with more shock and more demand.
Well done. We look forward to your Mounting. You should go well. Simples. 🙂


Horses are Born to resist and the moment You Mount them for the first time, they are testing the boundaries and training the Owner. This is why the attention to detail on the Mouth, on the Ground, during the Mouthing process and why I speak of not softening  as a default position, unlike when training, You do. First get the Mouth.

So as I said, they are continually testing the boundaries, the moment You ride them and so it is even more important, to COMPLETE THE MOUTHING SYSTEM, under Saddle but I warn You, for the rest of the Life of the Horse, they will need reminding and You will want to follow all the rules, daily, minute by minute, if you are going to keep a great Mouth.


I have started a lot of Dressage Horses and they have had good Mouths. When ever I get on one later and have a feel, they have CRAP Mouths. Why so?…..simple…..Dressage runs Mouths.
So get ready for that next step of Your journey Sarah. 🙂 Well done.


Submitted by Jacqui Lang on Fri, 07/12/2018 – 12:46pm
Dear Member,
The Board wish to update you on ESA activities relating to the office, staff and some concerns which have been circulated in the print media, on social media and of course the gossip and chat behind the floats.
As of 3rd December, Janeth Flowers has taken up her role of Executive Officer. Unfortunately, the week she commenced coincided with some of our staff out of the office on scheduled/personal leave commitments. We currently have Prim Cromwell helping Janeth out with general administrative duties until our staff can return to their usual positions.
The staff have not “quit en-masse” as rumour suggests. They are currently taking personal leave and will return in due course. In the meantime, we ask that you respect their privacy.
Following our recent Board Meeting, we wish to address the following issues:
• Rumours are getting out of hand and impacting negatively on ESA’s ability to move forward,attract and retain members and sponsors, gain new sponsorships and therefore our ability to provide excellent customer service and value to our Members
• We are aware that a small group of individuals, who seem intent on making false accusations,are engaging with the media to perpetuate rumours and inaccuracies, with the intent to cause unrest within the membership group and to undermine the efforts of the Board to get on with the task of governing our organisation.
This, of course, is despite a majority of you who we know are supportive of the Board and our staff of ESA, and who just want to get on with riding and competing your beloved horses and ponies in a friendly, cohesive and inclusive environment.
So, to that end, we wish to put those rumours to rest…..
Potential legal action
The Advertiser recently reported that the previous EO was summarily sacked for “misconduct” and is seeking her job back and/or seeking compensation, both from the organisation and 3 of the Directors personally. The facts are:
• The Board at all times followed Fair Work processes, acting under expert legal advice.
• Legal action instigated against ESA pertaining NOT to unfair dismissal, but to alleged breaches of ‘General Protections’ provisions of the Fair Work Act. This is now before the Courts and ESA will make no further comment.
• The actions against three current Board members on a personal level have been discontinued.
Equestrian Australia (EA National)
Recently, The Australian reported on the National scene. The facts are:
• A representative from each State attended the AGM, and voted for the new Directors of EA.
• There was also a motion introduced to hold a Special General Meeting to remove and replace three National Board members, which has been supported by five of the six states. This is currently under consideration.
Board vacancies
There have been allegations about various Board members and ESA in general, including the approach to several members for the purposes of co-opting a member of the Board to a casual vacancy was not done according to constitutional requirements and that the Board is trying to manipulate various individuals and outcomes.
The fact is that we have co-opted a high-profile person, Wendy Schaeffer, to the Board. This was done in accordance with S15.4 of the constitution in order to take advantage of having a member who is fully conversant with High Performance processes.
There are now two remaining casual vacancies on the Board and the invitation for expressions of interest for these positions has been renewed. There is an advertisement on the ESA website. If any Member is truly interested in working with the Board and the new EO to make a positive contribution to our sport, we encourage you to contact Peter Graham in the first instance.
Conflicts of interest
There are allegations that a Board Member had a conflict of Interest, in the recruitment and appointment of the new Executive Officer and had unduly influenced the Board to appoint a “friend”.
Strictly from an HR point of view, selection panel members declare a conflict of interest if they are friends with an applicant and may be required to withdraw. (This would be usual if an applicant was a relative or had a mutual business interest.)
In this case, the Board was advised, up front after applications were received, that several of the applicants were known to members of the Board and/or panel, however, ideal HR practices were unable to be followed in this instance.
As a mitigating factor, the difficulty of smaller sports such as Equestrian is having the funding to attract many likely EOs from outside the industry. This then means that a panel member is more likely to know an applicant socially. Whilst not procedurally ideal, this was the operational reality. However, the Board is emphatic in its position that the successful applicant, Ms Janeth Flowers, was the best candidate and that this unfortunate HR situation did not affect the outcome of the selection process.
Peter Graham
Equestrian South Australia Inc



Magnesium may not be the wonder supplement that many horse owners believe it to be, results from a new Australian study suggest.
Although the calming properties of magnesium have been well documented anecdotally, the latest science suggests it may not reliably slow reaction speed responses after all.
The horse is a prey animal and a creature of flight. When the flight reaction is felt to be excessive some owners opt to use calming supplements, usually containing magnesium.


A previous study of a small number of Standardbreds, published in 2015, showed that magnesium aspartate (a very   available source of magnesium) could significantly reduce their average reaction speed response. However, there was a question over whether this would be seen in other animals and even whether the aspartate might have been responsible for this effect because of its action as an amino acid neurotransmitter.
The latest study Does oral magnesium aspartate supplementation affect reaction speed in horses of different breeds? was conducted by Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia in collaboration with Waltham Equine Studies Group which provides the science behind the Spillers feed brand. It aimed to check whether the magnesium or the aspartate was responsible for the 2015 study results and whether these original findings were repeatable.
The 18 animals in the study (6 ponies, 6 Arabians and 6 Thoroughbreds) were fed three different diets over seven days in a random order. The diets comprised a control hay-based diet (providing the National Research Council’s recommendations for Magnesium); this control diet plus the same amount of supplementary magnesium (10g/500kg horse); or aspartate, as was fed in the original study (provided as magnesium aspartate or sodium aspartate respectively).
Some animals decreased their reaction speed and others increased it when fed the magnesium aspartate or the sodium aspartate, compared to showing no significant effects when fed the control diet.  At no time did the horses demonstrate any characteristics of being either sedated or more excited when being fed the diets. This indicates that neither the magnesium nor the aspartate had a consistent effect.
Spillers research and development manager Clare Barfoot said: “As it stands these results suggest that magnesium supplementation cannot be relied on to modify horses’ reaction speeds. It may be wiser to focus on training and habituation to stressful situations to help manage reactive behaviour, rather than to rely solely on magnesium-based products.”
They don’t get it Folks! They are taking over and the more they do the more the Industry is doomed.


Use of a Dually pressure headcollar does not result in more compliant behaviour by horses that have not worn it before, recent research has found. But the headcollar’s designer and founder of Intelligent Horsemanship, Monty Roberts, has hit back saying the halter it has helped him to train some 4,000 horses “labeled impossible to load” to do so.


The study, Dually noted: the effects of a pressure headcollar on compliance, discomfort and stresses in horses during handling by Carrie Ijichi, Shelby Tunstall, Ella Putt and Keith Squibb, published in August 2018, was conducted on 20 privately-owned horses in the UK who had not previously worn a Dually headcollar. The study aimed to determine whether the use of the headcollar improves compliance during handling in horses that had not worn one before, and whether it increases stress or discomfort.

The Dually is a patented training halter, which is described as “effectively rewarding horses for acting in partnership with their handler”.

The study involved horses completing two three-minute handling sessions: one walking over a pole and obstacle and a second walking through hanging streamers. In both tests horses were recorded wearing the Dually with a line attached to the pressure mechanism and with the line attached to the standard ring of the Dually acting as a control test. All 20 horses undertook both tests.
In both handling tests the horse’s crossing time over the obstacle was recorded and the horse’s movement away from the obstacle were recorded as indicators of compliance. Based on this, the study showed that the Dually did not result in more compliant behaviour compared to the control group.
The study found use of the Dually did result in significantly higher horse grimace scale (HGS) scores (used to measure discomfort when pressure was applied), but did not result in a stressed response, measured by infrared thermograpy (a stress measurement indicator which records the core temperature and discrepancy in temperature between a horse’s eyes).
Study author Dr Ijichi, a senior lecturer in equine science at Nottingham Trent University, told H&H the results were surprising.
“I’ve used the headcollar myself for years, I think it’s a very interesting design and potentially a good product. My interest was to measure how effective it was in helping the horse understand what it is what we want them to do and looking at how it effects them emotionally,” said Dr Ijichi.
“We can say it didn’t improve their behaviour on their very first exposure to it, but it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work in a horse who has previously been trained in how to respond to it.
“With the Dually the HGS scores didn’t indicate the horses were in pain, but it did indicate they were experiencing some discomfort compared to a normal headcollar. The interesting thing is increased discomfort didn’t appear to be enough to cause a stressed response in the horse, which is a good thing.”
Monty Roberts told H&H he would accept a chance to engage with the scientists in a “fair and just test” of the Dually halter.


“The fact is these people have done their best to cast my Dually halter in a negative fashion. However when one completes the findings, the only negative they attempt to justify comes down to subjective equine facial expressions,” said Monty.
“In 30 years I have done approximately 4000 horses which come to me labelled impossible to load. Many are ridden to my venues with stories that would chill one.
“Each owner is told that if I can’t load their horse I have to ride it home. I have not ridden one home and the Dually halter has been the centrepiece of the equipment I use to accomplish the task. Each horse has been worked with for less than 30 minutes and then, when asked, loads in less than five minutes.”

Monty, they don’t know how to fit Your Halter 🙂


And to those who don’t like hobble training. Here is one of my young horses found her half way into pig yards. Been there awhile not one mark on her
Christine USA


Hi John
Peoria Sygnify (aka Ziggy) (grey) 2 years.
Bred by us, reared here using your methods. Sold as a yearling to Belinda, Victoria, whose doing a great job taking him on.
Best. Rosemary.





A rider lost both her legs after her horse ran in front of a moving train when it got spooked. Clarice Sykes, 23, was thrown from Comanche, a ten- year-old Arabian horse, and into the side of the locomotive. The horse was killed instantly.


When Ms Sykes, from California, was found shortly afterwards she was missing her left leg. Two weeks later her right leg needed to be amputated due to an infection she had contracted. She described waking up in hospital after the freak accident in the Jurupa Valley on July 1. She said: ‘I didn’t really have any bad reactions to the accident when I woke up, but I do remember asking my mum why one leg was shorter than the other. ‘I also had a broken nose, and my left eye was so swollen shut that the doctors didn’t even know if I had an eye at first. ‘ The army reservist, who had been riding horses since she was five years old, started riding Comanche in January.


Ms Sykes is seen as an inspiration in many people’s eyes after she managed to make quick progress in her rehabilitation. She added: ‘I feel like the hardest part of all of this for me was losing my independence and not being able to work, drive or ride horses. ‘Everyone I know, even my prosthetist, say that I’ve recovered extremely fast. ‘I think because I’m in good spirits and I always try to be as positive as I can be, that really helps me. I’ve always been driven and motivated to achieve what I want. ‘Since my accident, I no longer take anything for granted anymore.’



A Redmond motorist struck and killed a horse wandering on SW Helmholtz Way just before midnight Monday. The driver, 23-year-old Haley Jo Shaw, was not seriously injured, but her car, a Subaru Forester, suffered heavy damage.


The dark-colored horse had escaped a nearby pasture and begun walking southbound on SW Helmholtz Way near SW Elkhorn Avenue in Redmond, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. Shaw hit the animal broadside as she was driving north on SW Helmholtz Way. The horse rolled onto her hood and broke her windshield before falling, seriously injured, to the road, where it was later euthanized.
Shaw, the car’s only occupant, complained of minor injuries and was examined by Redmond Fire Department paramedics.
The area in which the accident occurred is a closed-range livestock district, according to police. The accident remains under investigation, and Shaw was not cited.


Nineteen recommendations have been made to the FEI by its Dressage Judging Working Group (DJWG)  following an evaluation of the current dressage judging system.


In a just-published report, the DJWG looked at judging systems, judge education, scoring, and the cognitive efficiency of judges. It outlined five main principles to underpin the judging system: Transparency, fairness, ease of use for judges, ease of understanding, and the flexibility to review and adjust judging protocols.
In considering the cognitive demands placed on FEI judges, a group from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) reviewed video footage showing several consecutive dressage movements from the FEI Grand Prix test. They concluded that repeated and sustained attentional level was required by dressage judges and that the number of decisions and movements presented in a test created a complex and demanding cognitive processing load.
The NTU group also cited research evidencing factors which can negatively influence perceptual cognitive consistency. These included, among other things, the timing of the dressage class, the length, number and duration of breaks and the judge’s physical and cognitive activity within the breaks. It said that consideration should also be given to judging in different time zones, the potential impact of jet lag, sleep deficiency, diet and hydration. Existing medical conditions, the use of some medications, eyesight conditions and limitations and the use of stimulants may also have an effect on cognitive ability and consistency.
Nineteen recommendations have been made to the FEI by its Dressage Judging Working Group (DJWG)  following an evaluation of the current dressage judging system.
In a just-published report, the DJWG looked at judging systems, judge education, scoring, and the cognitive efficiency of judges. It outlined five main principles to underpin the judging system: Transparency, fairness, ease of use for judges, ease of understanding, and the flexibility to review and adjust judging protocols.
In considering the cognitive demands placed on FEI judges, a group from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) reviewed video footage showing several consecutive dressage movements from the FEI Grand Prix test. They concluded that repeated and sustained attentional level was required by dressage judges and that the number of decisions and movements presented in a test created a complex and demanding cognitive processing load.
The NTU group also cited research evidencing factors which can negatively influence perceptual cognitive consistency. These included, among other things, the timing of the dressage class, the length, number and duration of breaks and the judge’s physical and cognitive activity within the breaks. It said that consideration should also be given to judging in different time zones, the potential impact of jet lag, sleep deficiency, diet and hydration. Existing medical conditions, the use of some medications, eyesight conditions and limitations and the use of stimulants may also have an effect on cognitive ability and consistency.


A rider was thrown from her horse after she was caught across the neck by a dangerous wire strung across a bridleway.
Laura Gribble had been cantering along a path between two fields when the cable, which was strung from two posts around two metres high, catapulted her backwards.


A court heard there were no warning signs or indicators on the wire at Lancarrow Farm, near Four Lanes, Redruth.
The farm’s owner, Philip Care of auctioneer firm Care and Company, said the line had been put up in a hurry to power an electric fence to prevent cows escaping into the road.
Appearing at Truro Magistrates’ Court, Care, 60, of Carthew, Wendron, pleaded guilty to placing a wire across a highway in a manner likely to cause danger.


“She knows this piece of land and has ridden and walked it before,” she said. “She is aware there is a wire which has been there for a number of years. You duck under it.”
However, she said Ms Gribble, 35, was not aware of a second wire being placed across the bridleway.
She said she was riding on July 13 when, passing under the first wire, she put her horse into a canter. In her personal impact statement, Ms Gribble said: “I believed the rest of the path was clear. A few steps into the canter I found myself being ripped backwards off the horse having being hit by something.”
Ms May said the wire struck Ms Gribble in the throat and then pulled up across her face, cutting her lip and nose. Mr Gribble fell off the back of her horse, landing on her back, while her mount carried on down the bridleway.
Ms Gribble told Cornwall Live: “I was in absolute agony. I was in a great deal of pain and I was stunned and confused.”
The horse, which was distressed, was stopped after a short distance by other people, who called for an ambulance to treat Ms Gribble.
After six hours in hospital, Ms Gribble was sent home in considerable pain. It later emerged she had broken two bones in her back. Ms May said that for a time she could not drive and was off work.
Ms May said police and an officer from Cornwall Council attended, who attempted to remove the wire but received an electric shock. Both wires were later removed.
Representing himself at court, Care said: “On the 11th, two days before the incident, we had a phone call to say there were about 24 cattle in the hedge looking to get out. It’s a very busy road at Four Lanes and if cattle get out into the road it could be very serious.
“We decided on a quick fix without thinking it through. We decided to do what my father had done 20 years ago, which was to put a wire over the hedge. Unfortunately, that’s the accident which happened which is, I suppose, our fault.
“We had no intention whatsoever to cause anybody harm and we’ve never done anything like this before. We are extremely sorry.”


Horse racing: a favorite sport of the royal family, but otherwise not a top draw for spectators. Of course, if said horse race looped around some of London’s largest landmarks, the audience would likely increase manifold—whether by choice or by accident. And that’s just what Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, Peter Phillips, hopes to make a reality.


Phillips watches a race at Royal Ascot in 2015.Getty ImagesMax Mumby/Indigo
Phillips announced his plan at the Aintree racecourse in Liverpool. An example of the laid track—a layer of wax, sand, and fiber atop an existing road—was on view. There, the 41-year-old royal expressed his hopes to bring it to London’s city center, on a route right past Buckingham Palace.
“The Mall and Constitution Hill will not be the first venue but it is somewhere we have looked at as an option,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “We are talking to a number of different cities both here in the UK and overseas.”
Phillips reportedly plans to propose his plan to cities worldwide, in the hopes of scheduling the first urban horse race for 2019. Representatives from Dubai, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Saudi Arabia, and Las Vegas were on hand to observe the demonstration.
For those considering hosting an event, it’s no small commitment. The track takes three days to complete, and requires 3,000 tons of material. All this would be for one short race. Still, conversations have been had with the office of London Mayor Sadiq Khan—and Phillips said he had run the idea past the Queen herself.
While some might raise their eyebrows at the plan, Phillips himself shows no signs of doubt. As he said during the announcement, “This is a bloody good idea.”


Riders in Denmark have been wearing progressively heavier weighted vests in a study exploring the effects of rider weight on horse welfare.
Twenty horses and their regular riders spent four days in October and November, spread across two weekends, being weighed and measured before, during and after riding.
Data analysis is now under way in the Danish study.


The research is a collaborative effort between Associate Professor Janne Winther Christensen, of the Department of Animal Science at Aarhus University, and Mette Uldahl, of the Vejle Equine Practice.
On the first test day, a clinical examination of the horses was performed and their baseline fitness was assessed. Their size, conformation and body condition scores were then recorded. They were weighed in a trailer positioned on load cells.
Riders were also examined to assess their balance, coordination and movement patterns.


For the next three test days, the horses were ridden by their regular rider without additional weight, with 15% and 25% additional weight relative to the rider’s weight in a balanced order.


Each rider was given the extra weight by wearing an adjustable weighted vest. The horses were equipped with heart-rate monitors and worked in a dressage program corresponding to mid level.
After that, the horses were equipped with an electronic saddle pressure monitor and objective gait analysis sensors to measure regularity and potential changes in gait symmetry in trot, while being ridden in a straight line, left circle and right circle.


A mother whose family has “been to hell and back” since her son was kicked in the head by a horse five years ago wants to use her experience to help others in a similar situation.


Nicola Leyland’s then-eight-year-old son Isaac suffered a fractured skull in the incident, in November 2013. But his brain injury was not officially diagnosed until 10 months later.
Mrs Leyland told H&H Isaac was spending the day with his grandmother, and had been feeding the horse when he was kicked.
“It was just a freak accident,” she said. “I’ll never know how it went from an idyllic scene, of a boy and his friend feeding a horse to him being kicked by it and needing rescuing.”
Isaac was taken to hospital, where he spent three days in a high dependency unit, and three days in a children’s ward. He was speaking again within 24 hours of the accident, and was allowed home after the six days, and told he could return to school the next week.
“But when we got him home, we realised how different he was,” Mrs Leyland said.
“He could only access about 50% of his vocabulary, and his emotions were all over the place.
“At first it was laughter; if he found something funny, he’d laugh hysterically and not stop – but then more aggressive emotions came out, like anger, and he couldn’t control them.”
Isaac was back at school part-time until the end of the summer term the next year, but has been home-schooled since September 2014 as he could not cope.
Thanks to the Children’s Trust, a charity supporting children with brain injuries, his injury was diagnosed that autumn.
“It took 10 months for him to be diagnosed, which was really tough,” Mrs Leyland said. “We needed that diagnosis to understand what was going on, and give Isaac the care he needed.”


Australian Grand Prix rider Simone Pearce severly injured herself in a freak riding accident in Australia on Saturday 30 November 2018. Her mount suffered and died from an aortic rupture, crushing Pearce in its fall.


Exactly one week ago Pearce presented licensed stallin Bernay at the 2018 Oldenburg Althengstparade in Vechta, Germany, after which she flew back home to Australia for a short training and competition stint.
“Yesterday was undoubtedly the most devastating and horrific day of my entire equestrian career,” Pearce took to Instagram. “While riding one very kind and generous horse in a training session ahead of today’s show here in Sydney, the horse suddenly suffered a suspected aneurism and fell to his untimely death whilst I was on top.”
Pearce sustained a string of injuries in the fall but is fortunately conscious and in good medical care.
Unfortunately when he fell he crushed me under him and has left me in the intensive care unit of the Liverpool hospital with a broken collar bone, six broken ribs in my chest, a punctured lung and a hematoma in my abdomen,” she explained. “I am completely shocked and devastated by this freak event and my heart goes out to this very special horse’s owners. (…) I am very grateful to have escaped this horrific accident without even more serious injuries and I hope for a speedy and uncomplicated recovery.”
Pearce recently moved from having worked at Helgstrand Dressage in Denmark for eight years to Sabine Rueben’s yard in North Germany where she became part of the Gestut Sprehe dressage team. Last February Pearce also fractured her arm falling off a young horse.


A horse was hit by a train near Alorton on Tuesday morning, but appeared to be OK.
Kathy Firkins, a nearby resident, said the horse belonged to a neighbor. Railroad police had yet to locate the owner Tuesday afternoon.


”He told me it was cut pretty bad on the front — I asked if he was dead. He said no, the officer told me he was up but was just standing there,” Firkins said.
The accident occurred between 10:30 and 11 a.m. Tuesday. The railroad officer tied the horse up.


LEXINGTON, Ky. A police horse is now safe after being trapped in a hole.
Our sister station WKYT reports, a mounted police horse was trapped in an open hole Tuesday near Lexington’s E 6th Street.


Fire officials said they had to work to remove the concrete around the trapped horse to free it.
It is still not clear if the horse has any injuries due to the accident.
Police said the officer riding the horse was not injured.
Officials are taking the horse to an equine hospital to be checked out

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