Premium Members Blog – 13th May, 2018


Hi Folks. How are You all? We hope great.



I am going to change them to Monday Night as it becomes very difficult on the Weekends, particularly when Mrs. HP is competing.



We have been very busy, nothing new. Mrs. HP teaching People, training Her Horses and assisting People around the place, be their best.

I have completed Her Two Horse Shelters and the Horses are wrapped, spending a lot of time in them. We have had the Winter start, right on cue, with 2 inches of Rain for the Week and so Yesterday, I installed the Gutters on them, ready to capture more Rain Water and feed the troughs directly from their own Roofs. It’s a valuable asset now, especially when You don’t have Mains Water.





The vast majority of Horses, at every Equestrian Centre in the Country, are not content, due to a lack of real fatigue in their work. No chance of that with anything that Mrs. HP has ever ridden 2laughing-smilies



3pm and an hour after Riding. First the hard Feed of Oats, Corn, Lupins 🙂 and then a lovely little ‘Nanny Nap’….Oooooooo…smacks Hand…..You can’t say Nanny any more…Grandpappy Nap. Howz that. Make the ABC viewers happy indeed 🙂



Check out the Ass on Mamma 🙂





Hi John,
I stumbled on you by Googling.
I have a 4 1/2 year old warmblood who has been in professional dressage training for 12 months.
I myself have only had a handful of rides on him.  I have been told he is not suitable for my standard and I should sell him.  That is not an option as I love him dearly.
He has a neck that is long and he is prone to putting it high in the air like a Lama at times when I ride him.  He also tried to test me by being reluctant to trot when I am on him.
I would love your advice and assistance.

Hi Tania.

The best shot would be for you to go here……

and lets do the job properly.

Give us a range of photos from all angles, and video of you riding and others if you have it.

The full story from prior to purchase, the advert even, price, seller and so on. Then we can tell you all you need to know, definitively.

If it is a case of ‘confusion’ between the two of you, my wife can help you completely.



Hi John,
That’s exactly what happened.  I was almost pressured into selling him.
I will complete the assessment form and send to you in the next few days.




Hi John,

I have purchased a couple of your downloadable DVDs and I wanted to say thanks for a great training resource. Particularly the DVD from Linda about riding Inside leg to outside rein. She is a joy to watch ride and one of the most sympathetic and effective riders I have ever seen. (you’re great too but she blew me away ;).
Thanks again,


Lol Mara. I’m Her biggest Fan so don’t worry 🙂 You know, I taught Her everything that I know over the 29 Years…..and she still knows nothing 🙂







U always get sent horror vids … so here is something beautiful

Hi Nic. Yes. Lovely combination but often in the Horse Industry, “all is not what it seems” Only the Horse tells all.

In the Grand Prix, the double Marks are for all the piaffe and passage.Did You notice that in ALL transitions between  those movements, there was tension and irregularity. You will also notice, than in all Halts, the Horse stepped back into it., not forward.

I make these observations because of my interest in the objectivity of Judging. 78%. Linda wins with 67% last Week, so 11% higher and with technical errors in all double point movements.

Linda would get a 5.5. My point being that 78% is too high….one on 81%…..but back to the Horse…….

The Horse tells You things about it’s training…………



therefore, is to correctly decipher what the Horse is telling You about it’s training and about one particular part of it’s training.



Downloadable Video – 





Interested to know about that dressage horse being ‘blocked’…def not happy and smooth/swinging like Mrs HP’s horses!

Really enjoyed viewing the warmblood starter ‘first ride’ video…great opportunity for Clare too she would have learnt a lot..I can’t believe the footage of the ‘learned helplessness’ of that other starter…I just can’t believe that stuff happens with so called ‘horse trainers’!!!

I also couldn’t believe that ‘buckity buck’ video from previous blog of the English girl rider and the obvious ridden unsoudness of her horse and her complete ignorance and the harm she’s causing it…can see your passion in educating about these issues now!!



Thanks Sal. Blocking is a style of Dressage Riding adopted by many well known dressage Coaches and F.E.I. Riders. As You correctly point out, with Your keen powers of observation, the difference is shown between Cappo and Linda and this Horse for Sale.

Now go and read this ( which I wrote for the Premium Members) ( I know You probably have)

Now back to the difference. The Male Rider is utilizing the system of TWO REINS, TWO HANDS, CONTACT ON BOTH SIDES of the Mouth.

Linda Rides “Inside Leg to Outside Rein” So now You have the two systems. and our reasons.

So ‘Blocking’ is failing to give the Horse the option of gaining relief, trapping it between two contacts. “Inside Leg to outside Rein” gives Horses somewhere to go, somewhere to meet ‘softening’ and promotes ‘suppleness’, without such, don’t bother doing Dressage.

So now to the changes, you already know the answer, don’t you? If You have no freedom, how can You complete flying changes with engagement and freedom????

So back to the Horse, $55,000

It may well be sound, it may well not have issues with changes, but my lesson to You all is that as a Buyer ( especially with a life’s savings at stake) don’t wonder. You have to know the whole truth and on that basis, this Horse is an immediate reject.





 DIANNE GIRVEN starts Her third Horse!

This time, a Warmblood from South Australia and Dianne has done a magnificent job. Becoming an ‘Old Hand’ 2laughing-smilies

Note the relaxation, the TRUST and the MOUTH!!! Well done Dianne. smiley_with_thumbs_up

 I am very proud of Dianne. Hard working Single Mum and indeed an achiever. She overcomes all the challenges and comes out winning.




Taking Her second started Horse ( Warmblood) out to the Hunt last Week. This Horse would have Bucked most off and almost all in the United Kingdom without Katy’s knowledge and speed of Rein Handling.








Looking at it from the perspective of the Horse………..what must a Horse think when it is suddenly send off to a strange place, away from Home, it is unbroken and it immediately goes to ‘Boot Camp’ It must be a traumatic thing.

The Horse that stays at Home and gets started by the Owner, progressively, taking all the time in the World, is a ‘Bonding event’, building Trust, removing all risks of selecting a questionable Trainer and giving the Owner such pride, knowledge and fun.

At this point, there is absolutely no doubt that the Owners can do it……and do it well!!







The Case of the $120,000 Queensland F.E.I. Horse for Sale. Sold with Deposit held.

Vet check performed with about 100 x-Rays taken. All good. Hooves had been checked and found to be good.

One x-Ray showed a possible keratoma. in one Hoof, near the Pedal Bone. ( Horse has never been Lame)

So without Permission, the Vet goes digging in the Hoof, VERY DEEP, looking for it, but can’t find it. DOESN’T treat it, DOESN’T protect it, DOESN’T advise Owner on after care. Drops the Hoof into the dirt and Horse turned out.

Vet takes advice from others, regarding VALUE OF HORSE.

Purchaser contacts Vendor and says the Sale is off, sighting the Vet putting two values on the Horse. $45,000 and an advisor, $28,500.


“So is it fine to sell it at $45,000? It’s sound enough for $45,000 but not sound enough for $120,000?

Vets’ should not be going near putting values on Horses. They are entering dangerous territory.

The Matter is likely to proceed to Court now,



The Case of the Mini Horse Breeder. The Farrier comes to do ‘Cut back and Trims’….lol…I like that term. More like bring out Your Nail File. Anyhow, $45 a pop would You mind. I could do one in 5 Minutes tops!!!!! Not bad Money.

Anyhow, it is alleged that the Farrier was called back as the Owner was not happy with the jobs. It is alleged He was in a bad Mood.

A 10 Month Old Colt ( weighing 60kg) was struggling with a back Leg and the Farrier ( standing up) during the struggle, completely locked the Stifle whereby it can no longer be made operational again, without an operation.

The Case will proceed to Court.





Thanks Rosemary Howe from NSW. She is one of the many who have attended Lectures by Dr. Andrew McLean, who warns People not to use the ‘One Rein Stop

Here is yet another example of how he is dead wrong…but he wouldn’t know that of course.







The Bit the Nut Cases of the American “Big Lick’ People, whilst they are traveling at 5k an hour, riding a Cripple. smiley-smokin





Don’t buy one Folks. They all have downside, in many ways, including to your Dressage!









MORE ATTEMPTS TO EDUCATE CAR DRIVERS ( give up…it is not possible)


A GROUP of equestrians will converge on the village of Binsted, near Alton, to raise awareness of how to pass horses safely on the road.

The pass wide and slow ride takes place on Sunday, May 20.

idi Organiser Sue Vincent, who lives in Binsted, said: “Although many drivers are safe and courteous when passing there are many who still don’t understand the need to be slow and wide when passing horses and ponies.”

It is a nationwide problem and the subject of an online petition, urging the government to make it law to pass by a horse wide and slow, and abide by riders’ hand signals.

Launched by Cornish rider Debbie Smith in 2015, the petition has more than 138,000 signatures and is aiming for 150,000 before it is delivered to the House of Lords.

Debbie said: “Horses are easily scared by cars that don’t take care when passing them. When they get scared they can spook or rear, throwing riders off. This can lead to someone falling through a windscreen. Until there is a law neither the driver, the riders nor the horses are safe.

“The roads are becoming busier and faster and there is heavier traffic on rural roads, tractors are getting bigger all the time. The roads are getting more and more dangerous.”

Statistics show that more than 4,000 horse riders and carriage drivers were admitted to hospital between April 1, 2011, and March 31, 2012, from injury in a transport accident.

As a result, Debbie launched her campaign in a bid to make passing wide and slow a legal requirement.

Her message is simple – she is asking drivers to slow down to no more than 15mph and to give horses a two-metre wide berth.

Supporting the petition, a growing network of campaign rides are held across the country on an annual basis, and this year Mrs Vincent has decided to join in.

Having taken up riding just two years ago to accompany her 11-year-old son, Ben, on hacks, Mrs Vincent is sure a lot of the problem is that drivers do not know how best to pass horses on the road and, while many are sensible, some feel the best way is to get past as quickly as possible.

But, she says, they perhaps don’t understand that “if an empty crisp packet (or similar) were to blow up in front of the horse’s feet he may suddenly spook and go into the car.”

If the driver is travelling slowly and giving the animal a wide berth, it will, she says, give both the rider and the driver more time to react, to prevent an accident.

On May 20, Mrs Vincent is aiming for a peaceful, good humoured and well-controlled ride. The intention is definitely not, she says, to be confrontational but to work with drivers to get the ‘pass wide and slow’ message across.

The riders will meet in The Cedars car park in Binsted at 10.30am and will be riding to The Bluebell in Dockenfield and back, passing through Isington, Blacknest, Bucks Horn Oak, and Frith End.





Owners of horses and ponies ridden in bitless showing bridles will have the opportunity to compete for £500 in their very own classes this summer, as show Equifest (8-12 August) becomes the first UK championships to provide bitless-only flat and working hunter classes.

Sheffield-based Rachel Stock, owner and found of Bitless Showing UK, has been in talks with several showing societies about the possibility of allowing bitless competitors and is delighted that Equifest has agreed to add two bitless ridden classes to their 2018 schedule.

Rachel’s own bitless journey began several years ago, when she had a string of horses who were unable to take a bit.

“I had an Arab who developed a benign lump on his tongue which meant he couldn’t be bitted, so I decided to try a bitless bridle and it solved our problem,” she said. “We then had a hack who had bad teeth, and also preferred the bitless approach.

“We had managed to get permissions from smaller shows and in 2014, we approached Equifest to see if we could take compete our hack there, and they agreed.”

“In 2015, I started Bitless Showing UK and ever since I’ve been working with show societies to try and get bitless combinations the necessary permissions to compete — it’s been a struggle as it’s hard to cement the thinking that we’re not about hackamores or rope halters at all — it’s traditional showing, just with no bit.

“We use traditional leather bridles, which from a distance, look like normal cavessons and blend in with the rest of the tack.”

The classes will run on the Friday (10 August) at the annual show, on the East of England showground and each winner will receive £500. Both are to be judged like normal open showing classes, and will be run under the Bitless Showing UK rules, as below:

dre-300x188 No English or German hackamores
No Bosals
No rope halters/rope bridles
No chains, spikes, or pulley systems
No crank nosebands
No long shanks
No bridles with rings on the front of the noseband
No Micklems (for 2018)
No bulky leather/synthetic treeless saddles that aren’t intended for showing
Thorn, Zoe Snape etc pads acceptable as are other traditional-looking treeless saddles
No hoof boots. Either barefoot or shod
No remedial shoes
The same tack to be used in the class as used in the warm-up
No training aids or gadgets to be used on the showground
Traditional turnout of horse and rider, to breed or type
Traditional looking tack only
Rachel added: “We’ve had to provide good prize money and sashes to try and drum up the interest — we want top quality show horses to come forward and compete.

“The reason behind these classes is to provide an outlet for show horses who don’t like a bit — lots of super horses end up turned away if they can’t go in one, but sponsorship will hopefully get some established show riders and top-class horses on board, who will compete bitless for the prizes. We hope this will prove we’re not about hoof boots, treeless saddles and clunky tack.”



When Belinda Duncombe told her three young sons she was treating them to a surprise in the city of ­Melbourne, the boys had their adrenal glands juiced for the Eureka Skydeck — the highest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere — or maybe the giant Melbourne Star Observation Wheel. They might have twigged to a gentler experience when their grandparents were invited along on a glorious autumn day that had brought throngs of visitors into town. The elegant horse-drawn carriage in crimson and black waiting for them outside the entrance to the CBD was not quite the galactic space ship they’d hoped for yet here was a chance to travel backwards through time in a plush ­diamond-button leather interior originally designed in the 18th century for wealthy occupants to parade their sartorial finery.


As the family clip-clopped around the Royal Botanic Gardens and across the Princes Bridge into the city, the boys’ grandfather told stories of his father — their great-grandfather — delivering bread in a horse-drawn cart to Sydney households in 1950. “Remember this,” their grandmother instructed wisely, suggesting their iPads would one day seem as obsolete as this stately vehicle gliding through Melbourne’s boulevards on the muscular shoulders of two sturdy Percheron horses — Ally, a 15-year-old, and Bobby, a part thoroughbred.

“Walk up, walk up … Come on ponies,” urged owner-driver Alex MacDonald, flicking the reins to remind the horses of their mission in a lane of cars crawling at the same speed, his ­continuous ­comforting patter setting the horses at ease while keeping them focused. Reminiscent of clatter over cobblestones, the sound of their hoofs on bitumen and the ­tinkle of ­bridle and harness could still be heard above the noise of cars and jack­hammers.

Today’s journey was spared the noisy disruption of animal rights activists. They often descend, chanting ­slogans and waving their mobile phones like ­airport security wands in the hope of filming girth rot or any other perceived cruelty that can be uploaded on social media in the ­campaign to ban MacDonald and a handful of horse carriage ­drivers from the city forever. Tactics range from threatening phone calls and texts — “Dad’s SAS, Mum’s a millionaire. There’s only a very short time frame before your operation will be sabotaged and you’ll have a tarnished name to take with you to your grave” — to graffiti around the parking bay where his passengers alight, accusing him of “animal cruelty”. Recently the carriage was surrounded by four women, apparently animal activists, taunting two young female patrons as they disembarked.

The unwanted attention didn’t faze Ally or Bobby, who stood patiently, blinking occasionally, oblivious to those protesting concern for their shelter and care in a city where about 250 homeless sleep rough on the footpath night after night. Women and men huddle in doorways or sit cross-legged behind handwritten cardboard signs, their scrawled pleas for spare coins quieter than the shrill calls to “free the horse”.

I grew up watching Mr Ed, an equine star who nattered volubly with an opinion on everything from his stall in a television studio. Every morning the unmistakeable clop of the local dairy’s draught horse delivering bottled milk to our front gate drew me from my bed to catch a glimpse of this almost mythical beast plodding through his rounds. We ate meat for dinner most nights. On weekends an uncle took my brothers and me to a riding school on the rural fringe, which is now overrun by tiled roofs and freeways as the city’s suburban sprawl pushes further into the fields to accommodate a booming population: with almost 2000 newcomers a week it is nudging 5 million, with estimates we will double our size in 10 years.

Caught in the pincers of the animal welfare lobby, rampant development and increasingly ­chaotic congestion, the carriages that connect us with our heritage are facing extinction. ­

Alex MacDonald and wife Dream Soingoen in Melbourne. Picture: Julian Kingma512077a1cc8b0531135c490e361b5e74
MacDonald grew up riding horses. His father drove carriages for weddings. When he took over the reins of A Classic Carriage Hire 30 years ago, the Southbank site where Eureka Tower now punches 300m ­skywards was occupied by stables. The city has transformed on his watch. So has society. Cars made carriages redundant in the last half of the 20th century but a ­cultural lurch will strike their final death blow in the new millennium. “I care for my animals. I’ve based my whole life around horses,” MacDonald says, days after tossing his black Akubra into the race for a new lord mayor in a desperate pitch to secure the ­carriages’ future. In a sneaky administrative stroke that dodged public debate, Melbourne City Council last year scrapped the permits that provided oversight of operators. Now activists are pushing to get carriages banned as vehicles under state road laws, finishing them altogether.

Extremists condemn the tradition as a form of abuse or torture; others deride these gracious horse-drawn conveyances as urban kitsch. From my perch on the driver’s box I watch pedestrians lift their eyes at the sound of the hoofs, mesmerised by this rare sight as children stop to point. Old fools like me welcome their presence, ­puzzled by a perverse preoccupation with the welfare of four-legged beasts (MacDonald fusses over his lovingly) while averting our eyes from legions of homeless scrounging for food. MacDonald has given one of the street guys ­shelter, work and most of all a sense of purpose as groom and rouseabout at his inner-city stables, but is nervous that my mentioning this will cause problems under some bylaw or other.

An honest broker with weathered hands from outdoor work plying a trade out of kilter with modern First World sensibilities, he steers Ally and Bobby towards one of the old cast iron water troughs that stand on a street corner. Both horses lower their muzzles for a decent slurp and I can’t help wondering what they make of their predicament. Are they happy or not?

Lord Mayoral candidate Sally Capp. Picture: Jason Edwards

On a Thursday night in Melbourne’s China town,the downstairs tables at the Shark Fin Inn spun with plates of spring rolls and Peking duck as restaurateur Eng Lim shepherded candidates in the city’s mayoral election up the stairs to prowl the political catwalk. This historic precinct with its mock pagoda-style arches and tasselled lanterns faces many of the same challenges clouding the future of the Queen Victoria Market several blocks away as the city struggles to reconcile ­rampant growth with its touchstone institutions. A multiplex-style facelift for the market was ­former lord mayor Robert Doyle’s pet project before his alleged lecherous conduct brought him undone, ­triggering the poll for a successor.

MacDonald, who has swapped his Cuban-heeled riding boots and black hat for a suit and tie and spectacles, is among the handful of serious contenders that include a beauty queen with a shock of dark curls in Gary Glitter platform pumps exposing an ankle tattoo; an artist representing creative capital; and the Animal Justice Party’s Bruce Poon, who risks biting the hand that’s fed him with his plea to force shark fin soup off the menu once he has run the carriage drivers out of town. Given three minutes each, the ­speakers revealed more about themselves than the policies they’d implement but in the question and answer session the fate of the Queen Victoria Market dominated debate. An attempt to crack open the momentous problem of rapid population growth bursting the city’s seams was taken as a comment and the complex challenge of homeless adrift in the streets eluded serious attention. Greens candidate Rohan Leppert, who opposes the carriages, traded preferences with Poon, ­putting MacDonald last. Frontrunner Sally Capp, former head of a developer lobby group, also wants the horse carriages gone because “they do not meet modern animal welfare standards”. On the morning after the event, MacDonald was greeted by chalk slogans writ large on the footpath near where he parks: Horses should be in a feild (sic).

Protesters in Melbourne, 2016. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

Animal welfare activists insist they raise their voices on behalf of horses because, Mr Ed aside, beasts of burden can’t speak for themselves. ­Kristin Leigh set up a Facebook page called ­Melbourne Against Horse-Drawn Carriages four years ago after viewing “social media outrage” showing the horses on a sweltering hot day. Her site boasts 7600 followers and a petition with 25,000 signatories calling for an end to this whimsy. An activist for seven years, she acknowledges her enthusiasm has been stoked largely by exposure to footage of animal abuse in factory farming and agriculture. She hasn’t lived in the country and has “a little bit” of experience with horses. “I’ve always had compassion for animals. My passion comes from a desire to see them free from harm. They should not be used as commodities.”

She’s anxious that horses stabled close to the city have nowhere to graze or run, and worries their shelter is inadequate. “They are on hard ­surfaces often doing 12-hour days with constant jarring on their body.” The viral nature of social media campaigns means allegations are often ­circulated as facts with very little follow-through to substantiate or verify video images of a single incident that stains the reputation of all.

Leigh’s claim that complaints against horse-drawn carriages outnumber every other blowback to council is not borne out by a council spokeswoman, who confirms they do not even rank in the top 20 issues prickling public grief. But the sight of an animal in apparent distress lights a ­furious fire. Since monitoring carriage operators she’s posted pictures of a horse that stumbled and fell, pulling its pair down onto the road; a horse that bolted into a pile of bins; girth rot on the underside of a horse; and a collision between a horse and a tram. A window was broken but the horse mercifully sustained no serious injury. “Every spare moment that I have I put into this issue,” she says of her ongoing efforts to get them banned.

None of these accidents involved MacDonald, who has stepped up to represent this niche cottage industry on a small business platform promising stricter scrutiny of his own patch. He knows that several outliers fall short of best practice. “The main problem is council has abandoned regulatory oversight,” he says. Though banned from the city’s Swanston Street thoroughfare, where they once picked up customers, the carriages can continue to operate through online bookings as long as they park outside the CBD, but there is no code of ­practice governing them since the permits which forbid rides on days over 37 degrees and set rules such as use of manure bags were scrapped. “We’re in a no man’s land,” MacDonald says. He self-regulates. When summer temperatures hit 35 degrees he gives clients the option of cancelling or shifting to the evening; if the thermometer rises any higher he stays home. His horses work eight hours maximum. “My feeling is the council got out of this space in the hope that a serious ­accident will force the government to step in.” Classified as a vehicle under the state’s road law, this protection is the last defence of their existence.

Veterinarian Ian Church, who looks after ­MacDonald’s horses, argues the Percherons that pull his carriages are robust animals that have been bred to work and can withstand the impact of bitumen surfaces. “They don’t go lame. They’re tough, they’re solid, and they cop the work. A hundred years ago before we became a first-world country these horses were bloody fit and doing a lot heavier work. The perception of what they are capable of doing has changed,” he says of the anthropomorphic angst driving public opposition to the working horse. “It’s not good for them, and short-sighted of us. The last thing these carriage guys would ever want is to drive a horse that is not 100 per cent because it would be visible to the public. Alex is very proactive. He looks after his horses very well. I’ve got a lot of time for him. He loves them and he loves doing this work.”

The Victorian RSPCA’s head of prevention programs, Sophie Buchanan, says animal inspectors have not been called out to investigate reports of harm to the carriage horses and there have been no prosecutions on cruelty grounds. The RSCPA, a calmer voice of authority, is driven by light not heat, adopting an evidence-based policy that does not oppose the use of horses for sport, work or entertainment as long as the welfare of the animal is paramount. While there has been no study of carriage horses in an urban environment, Buchanan shares activists’ concerns about the ­hazards of city traffic, noise and hard surfaces and believes the regulatory framework has lagged behind community expectations. “The passion has unequivocally increased,” she concedes, ­flagging her organisation’s desire to toughen the state’s animal welfare legis­lation. Inspectors ­currently have to demonstrate an ­animal has ­suffered harm, a proof she wants flipped in the animal’s favour, so that the potential for harm becomes the trigger for prosecution.

“Where do you set the dial?” she sensibly wonders, balancing the risks of operating horses in a hazardous unregulated environment against the pluses of a heritage tradition that brings animals among people who are increasingly isolated from creatures of nature. Australian Elise Coroneos wrote recently in The New York Times of her Dominican-born, Bronx-raised New Yorker husband’s reaction to seeing a white cockatoo swoop from a tree in suburban Sydney. As someone who had only experienced animals in the controlled environments of apartment fish tanks and zoo cages he was convinced someone’s pet had escaped until a flock of the birds flew by. The less we have to do with animals, the more we worship them.

Not in my lifetime has there been such agonising over the conditions of sheep shipped off for slaughter while the suffering of people without housing doesn’t incite such agitated frenzy. Buchanan has a theory. “As a society it seems as if there is less human connection and as a result the desire for connectedness focuses on animals, who feel emotions just as humans do.”

While researching this story I was told several times that the carriage horses “must not be happy”. Clydesdale trainer Glen Pate, who cared for a team of 16-handers for Carlton & United Breweries until they were retired last month, in part because their use at public events has become fraught, brings different insights even though he’s wise to a generational shift towards animal rights. “The ­bottom line with horses is that if they don’t want to do something they won’t do it,” he laughs of the Clydesdales, which were originally sourced from Scotland. “They are a man-made breed. We’ve bred natural instinct out of them. If we tipped them into the wild they wouldn’t survive.”

Carlton Clydesdales. Picture: Nicole Cleary

His great-grandfather was a Scot who emigrated to Australia in the early 1900s as a breeder on Australian stud farms when horses performed all of our heavy lifting. We exported them, we rode them, they pulled omnibuses, Melbourne stabled 20,000 of them in the city during the 1880s with many saddle horses kept at the rear of suburban properties. In 1921, there were half a ­million horses in Victoria. Pate’s grandmother raised Clydesdales at Werribee, on the road to Geelong. He inherited her passion, spending the past 30 years managing the brewery’s workhorses which went from heaving wagonloads of kegs to promotional appearances at public events such as ­Melbourne’s Grand Final parade. “Horses are the best work mates you could ever have,” he says. “We appreciated the horse for what they did. We understood they had a good life. We’re going to die out,” he says, naming the horse-related trades in decline. Blacksmiths are gone, farriers are few, horse breakers hard to find. “I’m the link between those people and their knowledge. Younger people are going to have a different view without ever having been involved with horses and sharing the comfort they give.”

Pate’s rare outings with the CUB team meant he copped less of the ire thrown at carriage drivers such as MacDonald. Both men are in their 50s with a philosophy forged over years of handling horses at a time when public perceptions accommodated the idea of working animals kindly and respectfully.

MacDonald’s Thai-born wife, Dream Soingoen, brings a different perspective to the carriage horses she has learnt to drive. Her grandfather laboured with an elephant; her father harnessed a water buffalo to work the fields. She’s flummoxed by accusations of cruelty, for in her mother ­country an animal’s worth is calibrated by the imperative of putting food on the table.

“Adjacent to dog park” brags a giant billboard flogging apartments in a new high-rise development on the city’s northern flank. The notion this pocket handkerchief of green amounts to a park is masterful dissembling. One can only hope the pets here are lap dogs. MacDonald stables his horses on top of a hill nearby, above a snarl of freight yards and depots, between spells at the 20ha ­property he owns near Kyneton, several hours’ drive from the city, where he grows the hay that cushions their stalls and feeds them. These premises are rough but there is room for them to sprawl and a solid tin roof to protect them from the vagaries of weather. His carriages are parked in shipping containers among sheds hung with ropes, tackle, brushes and buckets of feed.

He once employed more staff but demand has ebbed as activists leverage moral authority. “The problem in Australia is we’re getting a lot of inner-city people who have no connection with animals. They’re sitting in apartment blocks and they hear things on social media. They come and protest and harass our customers. To them it’s their religion. This is their philosophy. They don’t eat honey or milk or use animals for entertainment. That is their right. But why should they infringe on my right to do what I can legally do?”

Dream Soingoen with one of the team. Picture: Julian Kingma

He and Dream make do with help from Johnny, who slept rough in the city until ­MacDonald gave him a hand because he’d worked as a strapper in Toowoomba. “I love being here,” Johnny told me. “I’ve got peace and quiet and I watch the horses. I love horses. I always have.” Bobby the 18-year-old nuggety brown steed washed up here similarly unloved. “When I got him he had bite marks all over him because every other horse picked on him. I put him in a paddock, ran him with the right horses. You couldn’t touch his ears once,” MacDonald says as Johnny effortlessly lifts the bridle over Bobby’s head.

How do we know these horses enjoy their day job? “Have you told her about Dougy?” Dream asks her husband, who laughs. Dougy was an old horse who they retired to the farm when he began to creak from arthritis. “Every day when we left the property he’d run to the fence and neigh at us as if to say, ‘Take me, take me.’ He wanted to be around people,” Dream says. The couple contacted a group that teaches kids with disabilities how to ride. Dougy is now occupied, his steady temperament suited to carrying children with intellectual or physical challenges.

Alex MacDonald. Picture: Julian Kingma

If MacDonald were a rogue operator he wouldn’t survive the forensic oversight of Kristin Leigh’s activist squad. It infuriates him when any of the four carriage drivers still in business let down their guard with traffic infringements or incidents of girth rot that flash through the Twittersphere, goading public unease. “In my country this wouldn’t happen,” says Dream. Her interest in the horses she used to watch from the retail shop where she worked in the city drew the couple together. “I was very angry at the start,” she says of the protests. “This is Alex’s livelihood and it’s become my livelihood now and we work so hard at the farm to keep them going; even if we don’t have jobs coming in we still have to feed them and they don’t care about that. They say, ‘Let the horse run free’ but they don’t understand what the word ‘free’ means. Even a paddock is man-made. We grow the grass for them.”

MacDonald blames the council’s refusal to properly police what he regards as legitimate trade. “The council’s governance and transparency has been woeful. We weren’t told when they were discussing the permits. It didn’t go before a meeting because it was politically too hot. I’ve called for measures to improve safety with disc brakes on all carriage wheels — I’ve got them — but they ignored me. Now they’ve thrown us all under the bus. There are no permits and no regulation. Any Joe Blow can run a carriage and make the industry look bad.”

Fed up by the vacuum, he campaigned for the job of mayor with the slimmest prospect of ­victory since he’ll lose either way. Whoever leads city hall will buckle to mounting pressure to rid the streets of horse-drawn carriages. Since city traffic is already at a crawl I can’t see the risks of a ­carriage accident being greater or lesser or more dangerous than the prospect of a mentally ill driver mowing down innocent pedestrians. Despite campaigns to ban them from centres around the world, they continue to transport tourists on tours of Vienna, Paris, Dublin, Quebec and New York.

Their disappearance from the streets of ­Melbourne is a prospect that saddens me. I’d not focused on the fate of these carriages until I moved from the east of the city to the north where I heard them clopping home late one night, striking a nostalgic chord of childhood memory. “This is a different city from the one we grew up in. That is just the way it is,” MacDonald acknowledges. He used to working late on weekends but says the influx of liquored-up teenagers after 10pm in streets where so many sleep rough turns him homeward early. “You can’t go back to the way we were but we can make it more liveable and safe for everyone,” he pleads. His horses could say ‘neigh’ to that but for now Bobby and Ally stand quietly, their molasses brown eyes inscrutable to the furore over their fate.





A woman was thrown from her horse after it was spooked by a herd of cows and bolted over a nearby wall.

The accident happened on an isolated bridleway in Greetland yesterday when the horse was panicked by cattle in an adjacent field.


Emergency services assist an injured woman thrown from her horse in Greetland
Yorkshire Ambulance Service were called to help the woman who suffered potential back injuries. They were assisted in the evacuation of the casualty by 15 team members from Calder Valley Search and Rescue (CVSRT) and one from Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association (UWFRA).


Emergency services assist an injured woman thrown from her horse in Greetland
Despite the warm weather, the injured rider became cold so emergency services wrapped her up to help raise her body temperature.

To ensure her comfort she was placed on a vacuum mattress before being carried on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance at a nearby farm.


Emergency services assist an injured woman thrown from her horse in Greetland
The casualty’s mother later thanked the emergency services for their help, calling them “heroes”.

It is thought both rider and horse escaped without serious injuries.





Kentucky State Police said two Pike County women died following a wreck in Letcher County in which the driver is facing manslaughter charges.

Barbara Newsome, 61, of Pikeville died Saturday and Kathleen Tackett, 90, of Belcher died Wednesday, according to a news release from State Police.

Trooper said it happened Saturday afternoon on U.S. 119 North in the Payne Gap community of Letcher County. Troopers said the driver of a pickup truck pulling a horse trailer lost control and crossed the center line. Troopers said it collided with an oncoming vehicle driven by a woman and her two passengers, Newsome and Tackett. Troopers said Newsome died at the hospital from her injuries, and Tackett died Wednesday from her injuries.

The driver of the pickup, Franklin Helbert, 37, of Appalachia, Va., was charged with second-offense DUI, manslaughter, two counts of assault and possession of marijuana. It is unclear if Helbert’s charges will be upgraded following the death of Tackett.

Toxicology results are pending for both drivers.

The investigation is ongoing.





Three separate crashes involving a school bus, a horse and cart and a lamp post kept police busy yesterday.

The first of the crashes was on a gravel road near Waipu where a car and school bus collided. The driver of the car and one student were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

sos Van Pomeren said he was yet to speak to both drivers and investigations continued.

A vehicle involved in a different kind of accident near Kerikeri left the scene at a quiet plod about 11.20am.

A woman suffered leg injuries after apparently falling off a 100-year wagon being towed by shire horses along Inlet Rd yesterday morning. She was taken to Bay of Islands Hospital by ambulance.The often-admired horses and cart are familiar sights along the road and at local events but the owner did not want to talk about how the accident happened.






A horse has died following a police chase involving a stolen car and horse float in Hamilton. (File photo)

A horse has died after a drunk driver in a stolen vehicle with a horse float had to be stopped with road spikes when he fled from the police in Hamilton.

Police said the 26-year-old man was towing the float carrying two horses when a complaint was received about his driving at 6.37pm.

The man was located a short time later on Killarney Rd but ignored requests to stop, leading to a police chase.

When he was eventually stopped by road spikes which were deployed in Te Rapa, about seven kilometres north of central Hamilton, one of the horses was found to be badly injured.

READ MORE:* Arrest after Lower Hutt police chase

Despite being freed from the float by the fire service and a local vet, the horse later died.

A police spokeswoman said it was unclear what led to the animal’s injuries.

The other horse, who was not injured, was freed from the float by police and taken to a neighbouring paddock.

“This was a tragic and unforeseen outcome, due to the driver choosing not to stop,” police said in a statement.

During the pursuit, the man rammed the side of one of the police vehicles involved in the chase, which had slowed down to go through an intersection.

The car was significantly damaged.

The man has been arrested and is facing several charges relating to theft, treatment and care of animals, and various driving offences.

He has been held in custody and will appear in Hamilton District Court on Friday.

Police thanked the local resident who made his paddock available for them to use, and the vet who tried to save the horse’s life.

No one else was injured in the incident.





A teenage girl was knocked unconscious and lost five teeth after being kicked in the face by a horse.


Shocking pictures show battered Georgia Hull, 14, lying in the hospital after she suffered horrific injuries in the freak accident while out trail hunting with friends and family.

Hull was knocked out cold when a horse in front of her kicked out on private land near Wadebridge, Cornwall.

She had to spit her teeth out, while her swollen mouth left her unable to breathe.

She also sustained multiple facial fractures, including severe damage to her jaw, and cuts to her face that have required stitches.

ksk-300x175 But two weeks on from the incident – and just days after being released from hospital – Hull is already out riding her pony again.

Her horrified mother, Julie Hull, was just ahead of the teen on her own horse when she heard the screams coming from behind.

The air ambulance flew Hull to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where she spent five days after undergoing four-hour surgery to pin and plate her jaw.

She is still unable to eat solids and has lost five teeth as a result of the kick, and may have to wait until she finishes growing before she can have new ones fixed.

“I was in front and didn’t see it happen, but we were basically just going up a track and the horse in front stopped and double-barrelled her, and caught her in the face. It was pretty scary and traumatic,” the teen’s 48-year-old mom said. “She was transported up to a field and the Cornwall Air Ambulance took her to Derriford for surgery.”

ees-300x169 “She’s had a four-hour operation already, and she’s got more to come. She’s lost her teeth at the top but can’t have permanent surgery for implants yet,” she said.

Initially, Hull could only eat through a syringe, but now she is eating pureed foods.

While most teenagers would be left traumatized by such an incident, brave Hull was riding her pony again just days after being discharged from hospital.

“She is really brave, I’m struggling to ride again myself but her pony is her best friend and I think it’s her love of that pony which has got her through this,” her mom said. “She is embarrassed about the teeth missing and she’s still got a big lump on her lip and scars where she was stitched, but she never complains.”

“She’s happy with her ponies and not like a typical teenager obsessed with make-up and designer clothes,” she said. “She can’t chew, and she’s eating mashed up foods and drinking through a straw. But we’re getting there.”

Hull said she wanted to praise the Cornwall Air Ambulance for what they did for her daughter on the day.

“They are absolutely amazing and we can’t manage without them,” she said. “It saved an awful lot of time for us that day in getting her to hospital. We’ve got a lot of fundraising going on for the air ambulance as a result of this. The guy who drove Georgia from the track to meet the air ambulance, he has had a long beard for 20 years and at the Royal Cornwall Show he is shaving it off to raise funds.”

“Also, there are a lot of people who experienced the accident who are already doing things differently on the safety side,” she said.

In the meantime, Georgia’s hunting friends have set up a fundraising page to raise cash to cover the costs of the dental work she needs.

So far nearly £3,400 of the £4,000 target has been raised.





ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — A carriage driver was injured after a motorcycle reportedly startled horses pulling the carriage, causing them to run off the road.

ss.dJPG_ The accident happened Thursday evening during the Western Heritage Classic Parade in downtown Abilene.

State Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, was on the carriage but was unhurt.

The driver was reportedly thrown from her carriage into the street while the horses ran up a curb and onto a hill. She was taken to the hospital with injuries of unknown severity.

BREAKING: In Abilene for the Western Heritage Classic Parade. My carriage was driven by Evadean Owen from Bellview, Tx. Midway through, a motorcycle apparently spooked our horse causing a wild runaway ride. The frightened horse ran our carriage up on a curb throwing Ms Owen into the street. My policy aide Adrian Piloto and I jumped out for safety and ran to her aid. We’re fine but our driver was taken to the hospital. Prayers.





PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla., May 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The electrocution of a 20-year-old horse this past Monday due to a contact voltage hazard in Lake View Terrace, CA, is a rare but not unheard-of event.


UTGIS Contact Voltage Confirmation Process

“Horse electrocutions due to contact voltages are uncommon.  However, we have identified seven other instances over the past 20 years where contact voltage has killed a horse,” said Mark Voigtsberger, President of Utility Testing and Geographic Information Systems LLC (UTGIS). “Unique to Monday’s incident is that the contact voltage appears to have been caused by a transformer fire, energizing a nearby puddle of water.”

The seven previous horse electrocutions all took place in urban areas- locations where the electrical system is buried underground.  Three of those deaths involved police horses, while working in the line of duty, after stepping on electrically charged metal junction box lids.

Contact voltage is defined as any publicly accessible object with a fault voltage on it- more often than not, street light poles, traffic signals and of course junction boxes.

According to Voigtsberger, all seven previous cases could have been prevented with an active contact voltage testing program.  Too, all these events could have easily involved humans rather than horses.

“Contact voltage testing today is much like the mobile gas leak detection industry from 30 years ago.  Municipalities and utilities back then were not aware of many gas leaks on their system until an accident or injury occurred, and that is where we are today with these electric ‘leaks’.  Cases like Monday’s incident are making the general public and electric system owners/operators aware that these hazards are out there,” continued Voigtsberger.

UTGIS uses mobile technology and procedures to test urban areas for contact voltages following a new Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) publication: IEEE 1695™- “Guide to Understanding, Diagnosing and Mitigating Stray and Contact Voltages.”  Survey data compiled by UTGIS shows 1 in every 337 light poles has a contact voltage fault on it- a significant number considering a medium size town may have 10,000 or more street lights.





SHADOW HILLS, CA (CBS LOCAL) – Los Angeles County Fire first responders rescued a horse from a construction trench Tuesday afternoon in Shadow Hills, California.

The horse named Misty was uninjured after a fall into the trench but had to lifted with the aid of a LA County Fire helicopter.


The hours long rescue began after the horse strayed from nearby ranch property near Clybourne Avenue according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Officials told the paper they were unclear how the horse ended up in the trench which was constructed with cinder blocks and iron bars.

Los Angeles Animal Services said in a Facebook post Tuesday they were in Shadow Hills helping Misty at the time of the incident. They were called in soon after the horse was found in the trench. “Our SMART team has been giving her water and food as they await the air rescue on its way,” they posted on Facebook along with pictures of Misty.

Officials were concerned the noise that would be created while trying to dig the horse out could be detrimental to the horse so fire and animal rescue officials both determined that an air rescue was the safest.

“We’ve talked about digging a trench to walk the horse out, but she isn’t doing very well with people,” said Officer Armando Navarette, an official with the animal rescue team.

The horse was given a sedative then hoisted into the air. Misty was set down nearby to walk off the medication that was used to calm her down.






BAZAAR, Kan. (AP) — Chase County officials say a man died after a horse rolled over him during a ranching accident.
Sheriff Rich Dorneker says emergency responders were called Monday night to a ranch south of Bazaar, an unincorporated town near Emporia.
The Emporia Gazette reports responders found 58-year-old Clifford Cole injured after an accident while working with cattle on horseback.
Dorneker says Cole and another person were moving the cattle when a calf ran in front of Cole’s horse. The horse hit the calf and Cole was thrown off. Dorneker says the horse rolled over Cole twice.
Dorneker says the other person attempted to give Cole medical attention. Cole was taken to Newman Regional Health, where he was later pronounced dead.





A search is underway in Victoria’s alpine region for an experienced horse rider who hasn’t been seen in three days.

Narelle Davies, 52, rode out on her horse from a campsite at Howqua Hills, near Mt Buller, on Saturday and hasn’t been seen since.

Her family raised the alarm when she didn’t return to her Mansfield home as planned on Monday.

She last made contact with a friend via her mobile phone about 5pm on Saturday.

Police conducted a ground and air search on Monday and were joined on Tuesday by SES volunteers and members of the local horse riding community.

The mounted branch is also on its way to help search the rugged terrain.

Senior Sergeant Damian Keegan said Ms Davies is a frequent, long-distance horse rider.

“Narelle is quite an accomplished endurance horse rider and the horse that she was riding as well, she rides regularly,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

He said search efforts had been ramped up in an effort to beat forecast bad weather.

“It is quite a big search, we’ve got inclement weather predicted for later in the week, it’s been three nights she’s been up in the mountains, so we’re concerned about her welfare,” he said.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts showers, possible thunder, small hail and snow down to 900 metes on Thursday.





A soldier from the King’s Troop who risked her life to stop a gun carriage and a unit of runaway horses has been rewarded with a commendation for bravery.

Lance Bombardier Grace Gostelow was praised for taking the initiative “in a series of unfortunate events” which could have ended fatally for her and her team last February in Charlton Park, London.

During a routine practice for the musical drive with two other soldiers, each controlling  a pair of horses, the 30-year-old found herself in charge of a runaway carriage after one of the horses bucked and unseated her fellow troops.


Instead of jumping clear of the upcoming tonne-and-a-half 1903 gun, the mounted gunner managed to regain control and steer the team to safety onto the edge of the training ground.

L/Bdr Gostelow told The Telegraph: “It would have been more dangerous for me to fall off and if I fell off there would have been a runaway horse carriage with no one controlling it.

9d9  “If you had six horses completely out of control they could have run into the public or crashed into the rest of the gun team, it could have been carnage.”

L/Bdr Gostelow broke her neck and has had to go through extensive recovery as a result of the freak accident, while the horses remained relatively unscathed.

She was taken to hospital by the emergency services, but was more anxious to reunite with her gun team than about her injuries.

The soldier was sent to Headley Court in Epsom,Surrey for rehabilitation treatment at the end of April 2017.

She added: “The biggest thing that got me through and made me recover was being with the other patients, some had catastrophic injuries from being in Afghanistan which makes you appreciate what you do have.”

Accidents are rare among the soldiers in the King’s Troop Royal Artillery, who are required to partake in four to five years of training before being allowed to ride in the gun team.


A talented horsewoman who is a qualified riding instructor, L/Bdr Gostelow has big plans for the future.

“My ambition this year is to renew my licence and I really want to compete in the Royal Artillery Gold Cup and grand military races at Sandown next year.”

L/Bdr Gostelow has since returned to some of her regular duties but not as a part of the gun team. She has a medical on May 9 to examine whether or not she is fit to rejoin.





Yvonne Connolly’s youngest child Ali Keating was taken to hospital after she sustained an injury after falling off her horse.

Ali is a huge fan of horses and even received a horse from her mother for her confirmation just recently.

Unfortunately, a riding accident meant that Ali now has to take some time off from horse riding so she can heal.

Yvonne revealed on Instagram that Ali ended up in hospital earlier this week after her fall and the youngster is “devastated.”

She wrote: “Last weekend Ali had her first show on her new pony, Red.

“After a cruel turn of events Ali ended up in hospital on Tuesday after a fall from him. (Not his fault) Just home today.

“She’s now out of the saddle for 8-10 weeks and missing lots of competitions we had coming up.

dds “To say she is devastated is an understatement. After hours of surgery to repair broken bones she hopes to come back stronger.”

People sent their well wishes to Ali and hoped she has a speedy recovery.








Hey John/Linda

Its been a while since I have spoken with you and I’m looking for some advice re my mare. Without writing an essay, I was just wondering what the cost would be if I sent her to you for some additional training. I’m based in SE QLD? The information is below…

Basic facts: Andalusian/Warmblood cross. Rising 9 and 15.3hands mare. Broken in at 3, ridden spasmodically till 5 when real work started. She does hacking/low level dressage/jumping/trail riding/working cattle (low level etc). I wanted her to be well rounded. I also study classical dressage under Belinda Bolsenbroek. I did years of Buck Branaman training with her and this has helped enormously.

The mare: I have had the mare since she was 18 months old and she has never been easy. She is very stubborn, opinionated and throws tantrums. She gets extremely anxious and mentally checks out and becomes dangerous and will go through fences, etc. She really only grew up last year when she turned eight. She has always been with my gelding and when I take him away she gets quite anxious and will run around like a ninny and try to go through fences.

Out riding: She doesn’t mix well with other horses and will lunge at them, try to bite and kick them… I reprimand her every time and she is definitely improving but it is really slow going. Standing around in a group situation, I can now position her next to a horse and she wont try to get them, so it is a lot less than it was before, but I’ve been working diligently on her behaviour in public for about a year now.  She is very herd bound (a bit of a contradiction hey) and I’ve been working on that slowly over the years and at times I get a good outcome and then she reverts.

Under saddle: generally quite steady, very sensitive, but doesn’t really work with me… there is very little give through the back or her body really. She will ignore the aids and I need to keep them on and continue the pressure until she gives and then I go soft. I may get nice strides for a bit and then we start again. My favourite term for her is ‘it just doesn’t suit me’. Will bite my foot if she is not happy with me. Has been known to rear but less as the years go on.

Diet:  on grass 24/7, one hard feed a day with chaff and minerals, when she is in full work, I add alfalfa pellets and may give two hard feeds but only when in full work. She has ulcers which I manage with supplements. The ulcers are from the anxiousness, whenever she is nervous, she constantly chomps the bit, if your teaching her a new aid or asking her to do something that ‘doesn’t suit her’ she will chomp a lot.

Herd behaviour: she is out with 2 other horses and she is boss no 2 horse. If I take boss horse away, she loses it and will go through fences to get to him. I have been working on this slowly and we have had improvements but she is quick to revert. Essentially steel is the only thing that will keep her in and it has to be high and low rails. If we go away for a weekend riding, she will ‘hook’ into another horse but not as bad.

Handling: Generally she is pretty steady but I am also careful.. she will bite me when it suits her. Eg i went to catch her in the paddock 4 weeks ago and as I went to put halter on she bit me on the chest, threw her head up and backed up (yep she clearly knows that she has done the wrong thing) I managed to hit her on the shoulder and then she took off. All 3 horses ran around as I went after her and she continued to hide behind them. I eventually got her and worked her in the round yard for 10 minutes till she listened.. I was almost ready to let her out and then she nipped me again, so around we went again.. No more bites then yesterday exactly the same situation, she bit me on the chest again….Hid behind the horses etc, I eventually caught her and have just left her in the round yard this time.

I write all of this and I feel bad but I know she is a good horse underneath the anxiety and the way that she uses her bad behaviour to try to get the outcome she wants. I have seen solid improvement in her over the last year with the work that I have done; and my friends also comment on the improvement in her that they have seen so I know it can be done. My goal this year was to up the anti again, so that she continues to improve but I’m just at a loss at to what to do next. I believe the key is somewhere between she needs to be more confident in me as the leader and she needs to be okay with being on her own but I’m at a loss as to how to address the ‘tantrum’ behaviour and her unwillingness to ‘work’ with me to get nice work without the sour behaviour.


I’m sorry for the short/long email, I just wanted to present the facts, good, bad and ugly to you.

Thanks heaps


Quite an involved story. This Horse would require much more than just an answer to Your Letter, with more investigation done. Video’s, Photos, all about the Horse, Veterinary History and more.

If You wouldn’t mind going and buying our Token service aimed at helping People on the cheap, we can take a good look at this Horse


Thanks john. I have found a Friend nearby, who has a Stud and she will do it.







G’day John How are you ? Have no idea what it is with the RSPCA when It comes to horses but recently my neighbours dog had a litter of pups all infested with Parvo I took one of then prior to getting ill .. Pup ended up being PTS RSPCA were notified ..they acted promptly inspected property & police were involved.. not a dog left on the premises Yet a horse can be starving & close to death before they even consider it
Because they are CITY PEOPLE Lorraine. Bloody useless.
I did mention to them I was surprised at how quickly they acted .. after I spent months trying to get a group of horses saved ..They couldn’t answer me to their reasons


3 thoughts on “Premium Members Blog – 13th May, 2018

  1. diannegirven says:

    Thanks John for all the lovely comments. What the peeps need to know is that you have been there the whole way through the process of starting the 3 horses with unbelievable online support – to the point we started with a standardbred, worked our way up to a gypsy cobb x and now finally breaking in a warmblood with another 16 month warmblood sitting in the paddock to be next in line. Also invaluable help from you and Linda with choosing the horses and from Linda afterwards with dressage support. Feel blessed to have stumbled upon you to when I needed advise about horse law which also was top notch support in that area. John and linda are a multi talented and amazing couple. Also incredible value for money.

    1. sally.dowdell says:

      Congratulations Dianne…a credit to you!! Very inspiring!! A great and unique service offered by John & Linda. I’ll give it a go one day!

  2. sally.dowdell says:

    Great blog – thanks always lots of interesting snippets of info!
    I Just had a good laugh watching the little kid barrel race…wow what a gutsy little rider and yes 1 rein stops save the day!! I can attest to the benefits of 1 rein stops having been in a potentially serious injury situation out mustering on a station the pressures of trying to contain a mob of cattle with others on horses and bikes and a helicopter metres above my head stirring up the dust and without realising (due to the mayhem) my horse stepped in some old wire (wire about the property everywhere!!) and seriously panicked (obviously had no leg restraint training during the breaking-in period) but the 1 rein stop saved me (and horse) I believe!!

    The video of the dressage horse is a hard one for me to pick but I’m really keen to know the answers! Could the training involve the use of ‘gimmicks’??To me the horses’ neck seems very jammed up but again I’m a complete ‘novice’ with this!!

    Congratulations to Katy Mackay from Scotland too with what she’s achieved starting her own horses and no doubt maybe going ‘against the grain’ in some respects compared to the majority of hunt riders. Her horse looks very relaxed standing.

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