"Hi Cynthia. I have
said it before and I am definitely going to repeat myself. This latest
newsletter is fantastic. Horse folk in this country are very fortunate
to have you within their reach. The work and preparation you spend on
this must be really extensive. My mind boggles with the depth and variety
you print in the newsletter and what benefit it must prove to be for
our four legged friends." Alan G. Western Australia.
Bulletin - March 2010
Autumn is my favourite time
of year and no doubt those in the northern hemisphere are pleased
spring has started too. With the crisp mornings and bright sunny days,
the light enhances the colours as deciduous trees turn from green
to gold and red.
On the other hand, it can be a tough
transitional time for older horses who are more vulnerable to the
cold and wet. My 28yo lady was looking pretty miserable after a night
of rain that combined with a cold southerly wind, got me hauling out
the Coolheat Rugs. I am so impressed
with these – they can be put on a wet horse (I scraped the water
off then towel dried as best I could in the rain!) and on went the
rug with no worries about it getting wet inside. The rubber fingers
inside hold the material off the horse’s coat, allowing air
to circulate which dries and also warms them up very quickly. Within
minutes she stopped her full body shiver and looked very happy.
As soon as the sun came out later in the day, I took the rug off as
I want her to still grow a nice thick winter coat for protection and
By rugging overnight before winter truly sets in, you reduce the amount
of coat a horse will grow, so let them be free and then the rug really
makes a difference when its needed in the truly cold and wet.
If you didn’t get to Equus Inspiration
(and I’m sure quite a few people didn’t come due to the
ominous looking weather which didn’t eventuate to much) then
you missed my mini - workshop on ‘How to Select, Fit and Use
a Bitless Bridle’.
It was nice to see the large groups of people gathered at the arena
during the demos and a big thanks to Freya Colvin who is now planning
to compete at the State eventing championships in the LightRider Bridle,
and to Libby Franz with Merlin who were my demo horse/rider for each
Talking to everyone afterwards helped inspire me, Scilla Sayer and
Melissa O’Rourke (southern bitless bridle instructors) to proceed
with more educational sessions.
Because bitless bridles are a relatively unknown piece of equipment
in the general horse world, problems can crop up due to in-experience
in fitting and using them correctly. We hope these workshops help
riders get to know bitless bridles better and to select the right
one for their horse.
If you’re interested in attending one, please
and I’ll forward the details when the dates in April are confirmed.
We plan to hold one at Sandford, Leslie Vale and Westbury to start
I'll leave you with a funny video -
This is how horse racing should be! Click
here to view.
Teaching Old Ponies New Tricks:
Positive Reinforcement More Effective
What's best for teaching an old pony
new tricks? The carrot or the whip?
New equine behavior research is pointing us to the carrot. According
to results from a recent study in France, awarding horses for correct
moves during training is more effective and has longer lasting results
than coercing them with negative influences. It also strengthens the
horse-human relationship generally.
The study, led by equine behaviorist Carol Sankey, MSc, a PhD candidate
in ethology (the study of animal behavior) at the University of Rennes,
involved 21 riding club ponies, aged 10 to 16. Sankey taught the ponies
to back up on a vocal command ("Back") without the use of
reins or lead lines. The ponies were free-standing in an arena with
Sankey, who stood in front of them.
If the ponies did not step backwards
on the first try, she would tap her foot. One group of ponies received
positive reinforcement (grain pellets) when they took a step backwards.
The other group received negative reinforcement (a whip shaken in
front of their heads) until they did not take a step backwards. Each
pony was trained for one to three minutes each day for five days.
At the end of the five days, all the ponies had learned the command,
but it took much longer for the negative reinforcement group to respond
to the command. Every pony in the positive reinforcement group stepped
backward by the second try, but that was only true for half the ponies
in the negative reinforcement group.
Cardiac assessments of the ponies showed that the negative reinforcement
ponies had significantly increased heart rates during and even before
training, revealing anxiety. "It's clear that the ponies were
anticipating a negative influence even before the training session
started," Sankey said.
True to Sankey's other studies on equine behavior, the effects of
positive and negative reinforcement during those five days stretched
beyond than the training ring. When the ponies were loose in an open
paddock at the end of the training period, the positive reinforcement
ponies were much more likely to approach Sankey. They stayed close
by her eight times longer than the negative reinforcement ponies did,
even though before the training period started, all the ponies were
equally friendly with people. Even five months later, the negative
reinforcement ponies stayed away farther and longer, not only from
Sankey but from other humans as well.
"Through these experiments it's obvious that there's no real
advantage to using negative reinforcement when training horses and
ponies," Sankey said. "But with positive reinforcement,
there is much to be gained for everyone."
Article from www.thehorse.com by: Christa Lesté-Lasserre, February
14 2010, Article # 15813
The animal training profession has seen great changes in recent years.
Coercive training techniques are giving way to kinder more gentle
approaches that empower animals to be willing participants in performing
the behaviors in our shows. This paper will explore several key components
that form the foundation of successful animal training practices.
to www.naturalencounters.com -
the article is on the Secret of Training Birds but is absolutely applicable
to any animal including horses.
Stormy May, the maker of The Path
of the Horse documentary
has just begun her new blog, which is following her journey with her
horses. I loved all the pics and musings of a woman who is truly ‘in
the moment’ with her horses and dogs, and we get to share in
that too. http://pathofthehorse.blogspot.com
There is Movie in the Making based around
Long distance racing called “FIGURE OF EIGHT” who are
looking for participants to be part of their production.
”We are looking for Horse Endurance Riders with their Horses
/ Trailers and support groups .Our Base camp is the center of the
Race and provides for the atmosphere.
On the trail we need Riders and Horses to be extras and compete with
our cast. A professional consultant will overlook the endurance race
at all times. It will be authentic and true to the sport.
We are planning to shoot this feature film in July/August of 2010
in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Once the perfect location is chosen,
the production of “FIGURE OF EIGHT” would like to invite
you to participate in this production.
We provide the space for your rig and horses. Credit / food / make
up and professional footage will be provided.
If you are interested , please be able to commit to at least a six
day stay with your rig / horse / support group / and of course yourself.
Please provide pictures of your rig / horse / yourself and your support
staff for consideration.
Event Organizers : The production needs your skills to organize such
It is official from the
"Federation Equestrian Internationale" – “any
form of aggressive riding is unacceptable” and such activity will
Please visit this link and watch the short video clip --- www.dressagedaily.com/
Here is an opportunity to be true to your horse and the sport ……..
Learn the skills to obtain softness, lightness, rhythm and balance without
Develop an understanding of your horse and how he thinks to obtain a
Learn how to dance with your horse, not force him to perform.
Ride the dressage movements with grace and ease…. Its not meant
to be a battle!
Develop collection without force & by being kind to your horse's
mouth, thru simple exercises.
Available for private tuition and clinics
Tuition is also available with a bitless bridle.
A bitless bridle is available for your use during a lesson…. I
am more than happy to ride your horse in it first to demonstrate how
this can help you as a rider, and also help your horse during training.
“ Dressage Naturally ” with Leonie Tainsh Phone 03 58622787
/ mobile 0438 262509
Contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit my website – www.lusciousleather.com.au/docs/DressageNaturally.html
Bits & Pieces
Brian Hampson from The University
of Queensland Presents a
must see seminar for all horse industry professionals: farriers, trimmers,
vets, horse trainers, and horse owners.
On Monday 15th March
10.30am – til approx 5pm.
Cost (pay on day): $50 General Public - $20 Hoof Trimming Students
from previous TAFE/Polytechnic Hoofcare courses.
Coffee, Tea provided – BYO lunch/afternoon tea.
At Mountainside Nature Retreat 13185
Lake Highway, Golden Valley – 40 Mins from Devonport, Launceston
and approx 3hrs from Hobart through the Lakes Highway.
Bookings essential with Marg Richardson and leave message:
(03) 64 272255 0419 572255 or Email: email@example.com
Brian will also present a full
day seminar in QLD on Sunday the 25th April 9am-5pm at the
Gracemere Sale Yard Complex, near Rockhampton. $75 per person, with
Morning Tea, Afternoon Tea, Lunch, Tea and Coffee provided. Contact
Tracy Dunn to book. Ph.0418153331
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
new Safety Hoof Stand featured
on the ABC New Inventors program recently. If you missed it and would
like to watch it go to
I am currently testing it out and so far, so good. I've added some
foam padding to make the cradle more comfortable and so now are the
manufacturers. they are also testing an aluminium model which will
be available sometime in the future - making it the ultimate hoofstand
There is even a canvas carry bag designed for them.
You can purchase one from the manufacturer
or the inventor at http://www.thebarefoothoofsmith.com/
I am currently compiling a list of
Instructors, clubs and associations that accept bitless bridles and
so far have the following listed:
Tasmania - Dodges Ferry Riding Club
Clifton Riding Club Tasmania
St Helens Pony Club
Northern Adult Riding Club
Tasmanian Mountain Cattlemen Rides & Muster
Victoria - Huntly
Social Riding Club (also known as the Bendigo Bitless Branch of ATHRA
Carlos Tabernaberri - Whispering Acres
Leonie Tainsch - Dressage Naturally
Australia Wide - Australian
Equine Endurance Riders Association (AERA)
Australian Trail Horse Riders Association (ATHRA)
If you can help add to this list, please
the details and they will ultimately be published on my new website
being developed - www.bitlessequine.com so that people wishing to
use a bitless bridle in a club or instructional situation are able
to choose a place to do so.
Standard English Bridle ON SALE
Comes in black only in Standard Biothane
with stainless steel or brass fittings. Available with or without
LightRider rope reins starting at $79.
Ideal for shows, pony club, jumping,
dressage, hunters and adult riding clubs.Sizes:
Cob, Full & Warmblood/Draught.
More Great Feedback on LightRider
“I just received my LightRider
Bitless Noseband last week and have used it twice on my mare. Once,
just playing with her on the ground and the second time riding in
the arena. I really liked the way it worked. She was already used
to a sidepull since I don't normally use a bit on her. It was very
well made and I am very pleased with not only the quality but also
how easy it is to use. And my mare likes it too. Thank you."
Sandy Plancich OR, USA
used the bitless bridle for the first time… my horse responded
extremely well as if he had always ridden in a bitless bridle. In
fact, his transitions were smoother and he also went to halt much
quicker. So, great success overall!!" Birthe G. NSW
"Thankyou so much for this great
Bitless Noseband! My horse Leo used to go backwards with the bit when
you put it on and when you took it off, he would grab it with his
mouth and go backwards. But as soon as I put the Bitless Noseband
on him, he was so relaxed and I was so happy! Thankyou very much!
Leo says Thankyou too.
Ratings= Quality-10/10 Cleaning-10/10 Look-10/10 Movement-10/10 Price-9/10
Design 9half/10 overall: 10/10." Grace, Macksville NSW (pictured
More LightRider Bridle Feedback –
read it all on the LightRider
"PETITION TO FEI TO ALLOW CROSSUNDER
BITLESS BRIDLES IN ALL COMPETITIONS" Click
here to sign the petition now.
The Art of Horsemanship: Xenephon
and other classical writers by Dr. Ann Nyland
This is a new english translation by Dr. Nyland who is a classical
greek scholar at the University of New England, Australia. Xenephon
was an ancient Greek soldier who lived from around 430-354 BC. His
'Art of Horsemanship' is his work on selecting and educating horses
when there were no iron shoes or treed saddles (sadly bits were already
His writings document the simple philosophies we could all do to remember,
and he is known as one of the first 'natural' horsemen who was gentle
in his ways.
He wrote about 40 books in all.
I found it an interesting read - showing where horsemanship came from
in relation to the use of horses for war primarily, and how Xenephon's
observations of horses caused him to develop a skilled and respectful
method of training.
You can purchase The Art of Horsemanship
from the for $25 plus postage.
Horses on Small Properties
by Jane Myers
Although first published in 2005, this comprehensive horse and land
management book is an excellent reference for setting up and maintaining
small to medium sized horse properties.
It covers the basics of horse care
for Australian and New Zealand horse owners with a good guide to property
selection, design and management with an excellent section on fencing,
trees and plants.
It also has some very useful info on yards, arena and stable designs.
The grazing systems suggested could be updated to include the track
system which if used correctly (such as for a firebreak, surfaced
laneway or sacrifice area, would fit in with the principles of good
land and horse management the author aims to educate people in.
This book is a handy reference for working towards having a sustainable
property that provides for your horses and looks after the environment.
Having heard Jane Myers speak on this
topic recently at the Equus Inspiration event, I was happy to hear
her concern for keeping horses in herds and how that relates to good
land management too.
You can purchase Managing Horses on Small Properties from the Natural
Horse World Store
New Slow Feeder haynets
are available in the web shop – these tough nets are made to
last from durable, pre stretched UV stabilised, heavy duty ply, polyethylene
netting. The holes are just large enough for the horse to get the
hay through without gorging – making it last much longer. The
small holes also suit little ponies - but not reccommended to be left
on the ground or tied low for shod horses.
The small size fits 4-6 biscuits of hay and the large fits a whole
small square bale.
Generally, these slow feeder
haynets will double or treble the time it takes for the horses to
finish the quantity of hay compared to when fed loose.
The nets are Australian made - at the
introductory special of $19.90 for small and $25.90 for large + postage.
Horse World Store
is a USA site that has some good info on slow feeding and shows the
haynets in action and buyers from the USA can get their haynets there
If you are in Europe you can get your haynets from the Slowfeeding.com
gives a comprehensive overview of what works and what doesn’t
with slow feeding systems. Good Lind (site owner) says:
“I have been experimenting with Slow Feeders for some 13 years
but the first 9 or so nothing really worked. Today, however, I believe
we have come quite far and discovered miracles I absolutely did not
expect when I started out.
in the Provide It product range -
Daily natural supplement
to promote gut health in horses.
Prebiotic non-digestible food ingredients that promotes healthy gut
Binds mycotoxins present in feed for grazing animals.
Helps produce well formed manure.
Helps maintain a healthy immune system.
A blend of natural yeast cell extracts with vitamin E, plus a unique
yeast culture and psyllium husk with added essential Amino Acids.
In-Health is produced under strict quality guide lines and only the
highest quality pre-biotic ingredients are used.
Horses that are suspected of having digestive problems could benefit
Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that stimulate the
growth and/or activity of bacteria in the digestive system which are
beneficial to the health of the body.
Full Dose = 1 months supply -
Maintenance Dose = 2 months supply – comes in a 4kg tub for
$121 from the Natural
Horse World Store and other Provide It product stockists
what are Prebiotics? Read this article from Thehorse.com - here
is the beginning:
Prebiotics and probiotics are different
types of supplements that have unique
mechanisms of action. In the simplest terms, probiotics are a source
microbes and bacteria, and prebiotics are the foods used to feed those
good microbes and bacteria.
Microbes in the horse’s hindgut (large intestineand cecum) help
the GI tract break
down and ferment the fibrous portions of grass and hay. This process
results in volatile fatty acids that provide a significant energy
source to the horse.
Microbes also create B vitamins and other nutrients essential to the
health of the
horse, and the “good” microbes (such as yeasts, bacteria,
protozoa, and fungi) keep
the “bad” microbes (such as the bacteria Salmonella and
Clostridium difficile) from
overpopulating the gut and causing illness.
In the equine industry, prebiotics
and probiotics are primarily administered for
GI-related concerns (such as diarrhea), to encourage the growth of
the good microbes, and to minimize the invasion and growth of disease-causing
For example, antibiotic administration, stress, transport, abrupt
changes in feeding,
and infection with Clostridium spp. or Salmonella spp. can potentially
populations of the normal microbes in a horse’s large intestine.
Some owners therefore elect to administer prebiotics and/or probiotics
to horses that are being treated with systemic antibiotics, have developed
diarrhea, are off feed, and prior to shipping or some other stressful
Owners also elect to feed prebiotics and probiotics to “hard
keepers,” geriatric and older horses, or high-end performance
horses. These products are inexpensive,
easy to administer, and can potentially have a profound beneficial
Unfortunately, the lovely
green grass at this time of year can become a problem for sugar sensitive
horses as being shortened from summer grazing (or over grazing) it
becomes stressed and therefore toxic as it starts to grow. This is
usually when we see an increase in laminitis again, along with stringhalt
(from eating weeds such as capeweed and false dandelion or catsear)
and sometimes rye grass staggers.
So be aware of the pasture your horses are on – longer, more
mature pasture can be better, although even that may cause some problems
such as greasy heel if 24 hour access is allowed. Some horses just
can’t handle the sugar and toxin load the mature seed heads
Photo: if your horses are carrying too much weight
and need to have their grass access restricted, you can strip graze
them so they only get enough to fill their gut in the first 2 hours
of the morning - the rest of the time they should be provided with
grass hay preferably in a slow feeder.
Fungi Toxins can also affect horses
when we get those autumn rains and a flush of fresh grass, and see
the mushrooms sprouting up, you can be sure toxins are there. Some
horses may benefit from being fed a toxin binder such as Tox-Defy
The best pasture to have your horses on is well fertilised (with natural
products, not super phosphate) watered, and in the second stage of
growth (about 5-8cm high) with the seed heads mowed off. This probably
means a pasture that was cut for hay and has been rested and allowed
to re-grow following some rain or irrigation.
Growing, non stressed (drought, cutting, frosts all stress plants)
grass is the healthiest to feed to horses so this has got me investigating
the ‘Foddertech’ systems that are being sold to produce
‘fast grass’ from barley and other grains.
If anyone has a full analysis (preferably from Dairy One Forage Lab)
of the sprouted grass these produce, I would love to see it. More
on this in the next newsletter.
Web sites recently added to the
- has a great range of regular
and alternative horse and pet products.
This website was created with Horsepeople, Caregivers, Veterinarians
and Farriers in mind. Created to provide Ideas for examination, exploration
and discussion. Equine Alternatives; A through Z with lots of articles
to get you thinking.
- Cass is an animal communicator and therapist in NSW and her site
has some nice articles. (energy healing and aromatherapy).
Teeth Troubles and a Positive Outcome
by Vanessa McDonald
I have owned Missy now for five years. The sad truth is that during
those five years I have not got her teeth done. It was not meant to
be neglect! I thought I was doing her a favour, protecting her from
the stress of a dentist visit. Missy was given to me as an unstarted
eight year old Arab that had been rescued from starvation and bad
handling, to a woman who thought with good intensions to send her
to a breaker, she was sent back worse and her experience with being
mouthed had resulted in a comment that she was unsafe and tried to
Shortly after I was given Missy I met Cynthia and she introduced me
to natural horsemanship. I was able to form a relationship with this
beautiful sensitive mare. Yet her scars remained and I just accepted
her as she was. I had my gelding’s teeth done but still was
too scared to do Missy, because of the stress it would cause her.
Then a few weeks ago I noticed swelling down her jaw, I was horrified
at the pain that Missy was in.
called the vet and arranged for him to do her teeth. Recently I had
discovered Clicker training through Natural horse world and was using
the technique to get Missy to worm easier, I was having great results
and in a conversation with Cynthia she recommended desensitizing Missy
in readiness for the dentist using clicker training. Over the week
I was able to place the handle of a plastic hoof pick all over her
teeth without her being upset. I also did target training, which is
getting the horse to respond to a manmade object, like a wooden handle
with a ball taped to it, so the horse can focus on the target. All
this helped in her preparation for the vet.
Photo: The lump
in the side of the jaw alerted Vanessa to her horse's teeth troubles.
The Vet arrived and sedated her and began the procedure as well as
a pregnancy test. She was amazing as she coped with all the rasping
without hardly any resistance. I have watched horses being sedated
and still fighting the whole procedure. I can say that having formed
a trusting relationship with the help of many great natural horsemanship
techniques and love as well as desensitising her in readiness for
the experience has made the whole experience stress free for both
of us.. The great feeling is that evening when I walked out to check
on them they all came trotting up and I was able to rub and kiss Missy’s
face and she stood there loving every moment of it.
I realise the commitment in looking after a horse’s health.
When I first got her she would fall over when I touched her legs,
yet over time I was able to bare foot trim her and now she stands
with no halter or rope as I trim her sitting down.
I guess I also think teeth fall into the category “what you
can’t see won’t hurt you.” I have learnt my lesson
in thinking that I was being kind. I was actually being neglectful.
What I love about this journey of natural horsemanship, is that there
is a huge tool box of knowledge waiting and when we need a solution
we just rummage around and find a tool to help us, it may not be the
first one but I have learnt that eventually an answer will come. And
I thank Cynthia Cooper for all her wonderful articles and now I am
just waiting for her book!
Helen in Saudi Arabia
practising for the Spring Show cross-country.
Bitless, treeless, shoeless and having fun - they won the eventing
Eliza from Galgowen
Performance Horses is very pleased with her new colt, Echo pictued
above at 1 day old and below at 3 weeks old with his mum, Lulu.
does it have to be this way? By Danielle Coleman
A few events have led
me to write this article, but I am just going to share the most influential
event with you.
I recently read a discussion on an online forum. The chat forum had
a discussion started by someone regarding their naughty horse. This
person was reaching out for help and advice about what to do about
her horse that bucks, rears, and now refuses to load on a float.
Most people's advice was to be tough on this horse as he is trying
to put it over his human handler. The comment that drew me in, was
by one person who stated in her very last sentence "Wouldnt
it be nice if they could just talk to us and tell us what is wrong!".
I thought to myself, why does it have to be this way? It
actually does not have to be this way. You can talk to your animals.
You can simply just ASK what is wrong, why are you acting like this
all of a sudden? It really is that simple.
Why is it so hard for us humans to accept that our animals can talk?
Or that any living thing on this earth can talk?
Do our animals feel pain? Yes
Do our animals show love towards us and other species? Yes
Do our animals have their own individual personalities just like us?
Do our animals show intelligence? Yes
The list could go on and on and on! So after the few pointers stated
above, why do we find it so hard to believe that our animals can talk
and understand us? Not only can they talk to us and understand us,
but talking to an animal, is like talking to another person (yes you
can have a full conversation with them just like we do to each other
- I would actually prefer a conversation with an animal than a human!).
Animals are very wise, spiritual beings who are here to help us. They
want nothing more than for us to live in harmony with them.
If we could just open our minds up and accept that we can talk to
animals, and not only our domestic animals, we can talk to any species
on this earth, wouldn't the world be a more harmonious place? Instead
of putting down an animal for its extreme dangerous behaviour, we
could just ask what is wrong and how we can help.
My main reasons for writing this article, is to hopefully awaken some
peoples minds to the world of animal communication (just believe it
- whats the worst that can happen?), and to also find those people
that want help, but are not sure where to turn to - just like the
person writing on a public forum for help and advice.
Our animals are being misunderstood, abused, neglected and are dying
for reasons they should not have to.
Our animals do not just wake up one morning and simply think to themselves
that they are going to play up and be as naughty as they can be -
they are not like that. They have opinions just like you, they have
likes and dislikes just like you. Sometimes they probably do not want
to do something that you are asking of them, sometimes they just need
a break like we do.
Would we prefer our animals
do things with us because they enjoy doing it, or because we force
them to do it? I know for myself, that I do not want to be my animals
leader or boss, i simply want to be their friend and to work as team
together in any activity that myself and them would like to do. In
saying that, animals do need a leader, but not in the way that humans
try to be their leaders by putting them back in their place when they
do something "naughty".
There is always a reason for the way your animal behaves
- even if it is a horse trying to kick you all the time, or a dog
biting a human. I am not saying that this behaviour is acceptable
at all, because it is not. But there is always a reason for an animal
to be behaving so out of character .
Instead of labelling the animal useless, naughty, dangerous etc, how
about we ask the animal what is wrong, why is it behaving in this
manner, and what we could do to help. Calling an animal nasty names
is just as bad as using violence towards them.
I am sure everyone has wanted to know at some stage what is wrong
with their animal, or why they are behaving differently, and many
other questions. You can know the answers to these questions. If you
do not feel confident enough to start communicating with your animal
straight away, then do not hesitate to contact an animal communicator,
we are always willing to help you, and especially your animals. Every
single human already is communicating with their animals, they are
just not aware of it yet. Ever had a niggly feeling that something
just is not right with your animal? Only to walk outside and find
something actually is wrong with them? Communication is done telepathically.
It can be anything from an exchange of words, images, feelings and
just pure knowing of what they want.
Just remember, no question is a silly question. It is only a silly
question if you do not ask it.
Danielle is an Animal Communicator and you can contact her on 0429706412
Newsletter - February
News from Cynthia
This year is shaping up
to be a busy one, and my main focus will be on researching and putting
together information about bitless bridles. This will then be available
to anyone who wants to present a case to their club or organization
to allow bitless bridles to be used.
I feel if clubs have all the facts about bitless they will be better
able to make a decision.
Currently I’m in the process of collecting information from
insurance companies worldwide, to see if they have any exclusions
for bitless bridles – so far, none have which is encouraging
as I feel many people worry they will not be covered in case of an
accident if they are using one.
I have also been working on a new website
for the LightRider Bitless bridles and would appreciate your feedback:
www.lightriderbridle.com There is a blog that has up-to-date
news on the bridles and all the info and articles are easier to access.
Please email me or leave a comment on the blog page to let me know
if there’s anything else you’d like to see on the site.
This is the test site for the official one I’m in the process
of developing that will have a new and improved shopping cart along
with some other exciting new features I will announce soon.
Come and see me at Equus Inspiration
on the 27 & 28th of this month.
I’ll be selling and demonstrating the LightRider Bitless Bridle
range in the ‘How To choose, fit and use a Bitless bridle’
All the other great products from the Natural Horse World store will
also be available.
There will be some great specials, some of these are already available
Find out more about Equus Inspiration
in the Events news below.
Well I hope you enjoy reading this
bumper News Bulletin and that wherever you are in the world, you’re
enjoying your journey with horses and the personal growth it brings
Keep it Natural, Cynthia.
Article - The
Best Start for your Young Horse by
Over the years I’ve heard many distressing stories about the
experiences people have had by sending their horse to be ‘broken
in’ (I prefer to say ‘started’). I have also witnessed
young horses in colt starting courses and spectator events designed
to see who is the best ‘horseman’, shut down and submit
to the overload they are receiving instead of learning to become confident
horses proud to carry a person on their backs.
There is a better way to start young
horses under saddle that breaks from tradition but gives the owner
a horse who has their spirit intact and a whole lot more knowledge
and hopefully confidence in themselves. Read
the whole article here.
Cynthia and Manny:
This month is the 3rd anniversary of the last ride I had on my special
boy, Manny. I have finally put together a page to remember him by
that includes a video and a slide show, so I hope it inspires you
to take your own journey of horsemanship as far as you can, and enjoy
it all along the way as I did.
Click here to go to the Manny’s
girl - 16-year-old Lina Brandt from Sweden sent us this inspiring
video. Lina says: "I've been playing with my pony, Kiki, since
2001. I got my official Level 3 with her this spring, and am now heading
for Level 4. My real goal is to become a Parelli Professional because
Parelli is my life!"
out this Horse Agility course
– wow they’re having fun.
WILD EQUID CONFERENCE
The Australian Brumby Research Unit have finalised the academic and
supporting activities program for the June 2010 desert conference.
The conference is a must for serious wild horse enthusiasts and will
be a mix of knowledge exchange, hands-on wild horse experience and
fun in the central Australian desert.
We are hosting the conference in the centre of the team's main brumby
research location and intend sharing our knowledge, skills and experiences
with conference participants.
This will be a truly international experience with speakers and participants
from all over the world. It is set in a great location in the heart
of the Australian desert in the middle of winter.
It may get down as low as zero degrees at night but the days will
be a lovely 25 degrees Celsius, perfect for desert walking and wild
horse and camel watching.
Numbers are limited to 50 so don't delay if you want to participate
in this conference.
for a registration form giving full details of the program.
Wild Horses In Winds of Change
This mini series focuses on silver linings for today's wild horses
and burros, even as thousands are rounded up and held in long-term
corrals. We'll explore reasons this has happened and what to do now
from a broad perspective. I hope you enjoy these trailers, forward
them, and are inspired to help Save America’s Wild Horses and
Burros. - Mara LeGrand. Click
here for good reading and viewing on the plight of America's
'Quest' was established by the original founders of the association
'Triple R Equine Welfare', along with the support of many of the long
term members, supporters, and sponsors of TREW.
Striving to make a meaningful difference in the lives of as many Equines
as we can reach, whether that be directly through hands on rehabilitation,
through our Australia-wide 'Quest Equine Welfare Network', or through
the raising of awareness, and education.
You are invited to join our discussions in our Equine Forum. The Quest
Forum is made up of a friendly and welcoming membership of horse lovers
from all backgrounds, from all over Australia.
General chat, equine welfare discussions, equine health/care, advertising
- (for sale, free to good home, wanted), and general sharing of information
Generally speaking, Quest rehabilitated equines are re-homed through
New members very welcome!
Horses and Bushfires – good recommendations and questions
you should ask yourself to be prepared by Horse
TO FEI TO ALLOW CROSSUNDER BITLESS BRIDLES IN ALL COMPETITIONS"
Please sign this if you haven’t already. It’s a step in
the right direction, even though it specifies just one type of bitless
Here is why the instigator of the petition (Tracy from New Zealand)
says she has just asked for the Dr Cook Crossunder to be accepted
to start with:
“Whilst I agree completely with you the reasons I have only
asked for crossunder to be considered at this stage because the authorities
have wriggled out of previous rule changes due to the technicality
of exactly what is a bitless bridle and I don't want that to happen
this time. I personally use a side pull myself and find both styles
to be excellent. Also the research and current comparisons that have
been done has primarily come from Dr Cook on his own crossunder and
I want to quote this scientific and biological evidence so again another
I'm hoping if we can make the powers that be see sense that the floodgates
will open for all bitless bridles but most of all-rider choice.”
here to sign the petition.
forum to debate this further has just been set up and we'd love for
update on the use of bitless bridles in dressage competitions can
be read here.
More Great Feedback on the LightRider
"Last year I leased an Anglo Arab
mare, an ex-endurance horse, as a riding horse. Although quiet by
nature, she liked to hoon around and was very forward going.
This mare had never been ridden bitless. I thought I might have trouble
introducing her to the LightRider Bitless Bridle, but I
had no problem whatsoever from the first moment I put it on her. In
fact, she was noticeably more relaxed in the Bitless Bridle
right from the beginning.
Soon she was a calm and relaxed horse and was not looking for the
bit to lean on, and she is now far more enjoyable and relaxing to
It is also easier for her to drink from dams and creeks when we are
out for a ride.
Before the Bitless Bridle, she did not like having her head patted
at any time, and would put her ears back every time her head was touched.
Now she drops her head for a pat and her ears are always forward.
There is a marked difference in her.
Now she is very responsive and light to ride. A different horse! I
wouldn't have said she had any problems as such before, but now she
is noticeably so much happier, and far more relaxing to ride.
I must add that the LightRider Bitless Bridle is of beautiful
Thanks, Cynthia!" Ann Nyland, NSW. (International Author who’s
new book – Xenophon’s Art of Horsemanshop has just been
released and will be available soon from the Natural Horse World shop).
Look out for the review in the next news bulletin.
Standard Stockhorse Bridle ON SALE
This is the style Ann gave Feedback
Ideal for endurance, working, camp-drafting,
sporting, starting young horses and trail riding.
Comes in black only in the Standard
Biothane with brass fittings. Available with or without LightRider
rope reins starting at $79.
here for more info or to Buy Now
“I wanted to let you
know how well the light rider noseband is working with my horse.
If you recall, I was unhappy with the crossunder bitless because it
was not releasing and it was making it uncomfortable for my horse
to canter or do any work that required a shorter rein. The problem
has been solved with my new noseband.
In case you have other switchovers
from a crossunder bitless, they should be aware that it will take
a few days for the horse to adjust because the crossunder moves the
horse from opposite pressure and yours is direct, like a bit would
be. My horse is very smart (and I'm not just saying that because I'm
his mother). He's very quick to pick up new skills, but after five
years in the crossunder, it took a few weird days for him to adjust.
He was bending opposite, and I know he was trying to readjust to the
new feeling. He's got it now and we are doing great--no more strap
marks on his cheeks, no more stopping to rub his head to loosen the
cheek crossovers (during which time he would twist the straps), no
more hesitancy to canter. He just seems so much happier in his work.
I am so thankful I found your website—the LightRider
Bridle has really solved our problem.” Joanne A. NJ,
More LightRider Bridle Feedback –
read it all on the LightRider
Bits & Pieces
A new collapsible Safety Hoof Stand will
feature on the ABC New Inventors program on February 17th at 8pm.
I am currently testing it out and so far, so good. It folds up flat
when it's knocked over so it no longer poses a hazard for horse or
trimmer. A full product review and details for purchasing one will
feature in the next news bulletin.
might find this Horsekeeping book from 1894
an interesting read. It advocates keeping horses barefoot (from page
You can read it online or print it out free, and it contains lots
of info on stabling and blanketing, and how they contribute to the
ill-health of the horse.
to Belinda Taylor from Western Australia (pictured with her Clydie)
and Kylie Graham from Victoria for completing the Polytechnic Cert.
3 in Equine Hoofcare. You can find more Australian Certified Equine
Hoofcare Practitioners at www.australianhooftrimmers.webs.com
Here's what Belinda says about the
“The Certificate 3 in Equine Hoofcare is a fantastic, well rounded
course. Trimming is just one part of successful hoofcare. This course
covers it all, diet, environment, movement, trimming technique, tools,
horse handling and business set up, just to name a few of the subjects
covered. The instructors are knowledgeable and extremely approachable
and the after course support via phone, email or the online forum
means you are never short of backup when needed. The course has given
me a fantastic grounding and knowledge for a successful trimming business.”
The next Polytechnic Hoof Care Course
still has a few spaces available:
If you'd like to learn more about hoofcare and horse care, this certificate
3 course provides a great foundation. Whether you want to trim your
own horses or become an Equine Hoof Care professional, the course
will get you started with the intensive 2 week block - live and breathe
horses and hooves in March 2010 (15th to the 26th) with like minded
students of all ages. Be quick to enrol - only 3 positions left.
Email email@example.com for more details and an
The Desert Brumby DVD
Brian from Wild Horse Research says "The big news this month
is the commercial release of our first research documentary on DVD
"The Desert Brumby". Following a limited pre-viewing of
the DVD over the past 2 months we are now releasing the DVD to the
The DVD attracted a great deal of attention from those who purchased
the introductory edition copies. It will be a great teaching resource
as well as being fascinating viewing for horse people. If you support
this research the please send this to all your friends or anyone that
may be interested asking them to do the same. All proceeds from the
sales of the DVD go back into the Brumby research. Here
is the link to the new DVD promo.
You can now view a promo here and copies of the DVD can be purchased
from our site www.wildhorseresearch.com
or persons residing in the USA can purchase the DVD online from Hoof
Watch web site. "
The book I reviewed in the last
newsletter – 'Feet
First, Barefoot Performance and Rehabilitation' is now available
with Michelle Dennis
This is a DVD that challenges
us to think about what we do with horses, and why, and poses the question
'What's in it for the horse?'
Michelle and her team of horses, ponies and donkeys give you more
than a glimpse at the possibilities when you take the time to really
listen to what the horses want.
Horses are capable of understanding and doing much more if given the
opportunity. With a little imagination, a few verbal and visual cues,
and a few minutes a day with a heart-mind connection, the possibilities
This is a beautifully and professionally
presented DVD with over 100 minutes of inspiration and insight into
how much fun you can have with horses. It is introduced and interspersed
with thought provoking philosphies and questions from Michelle - my
favourite being "Horses are masters at discerning energy
and thoughts - all we have to do is master our energy and thoughts".
The footage was filmed over the changing seasons at Michelles property,
showing you how healthy equines share herd life and time with Michelle.
When you get your copy, remember to watch the 'Exceptional extras'
available at the end. It shows the horses at play, grooming, feeding
and resting, giving insights into herd behaviour with a diverse bunch
This is a DVD for those who want to
blaze their own trails..... with happy horses.
Every copy you purchase goes towards the
upkeep of rescued equines and educating people about the possibilities
with horses. They are now available from the Natural
Horse World Store-
watch a Youtube preview of the DVD
Web sites recently added to the
-Darren Robertson’s site is a work in progress but already has
some detailed information, especially on laminitis.
- Para-Olympian Georgia Bruce’s website with lots of great articles
and info on training horses for all disciplines. Specialising in clicker
The Oct & Dec issues of Horses
Naturally magazine are available on Barb
Fenwick's Blog and Magazine There will also be a pre-view
version of the upcoming February issue available by Feb. 15. Subscriptions
for 2010 Horses Naturally are available at 20.00 for the 4 issues.
Regular subscribers will get a private email telling them how to access
the full issues of the magazine.
On the Laminitis page an in-depth presentation
on laminitis can be found here on the BarefootHoofsmith.com
Scientific Consciousness Interface Operations System
Dr Abby Robinson was a pure scientist
that studied human then animal chiropractic in England. This led her
to Reiki, kinesiology and homeopathy.
Her Natural therapy business uses the Quantum SCIO biofeedback
machine as it is wonderful for non verbal clients and long
distance healing is her speciality.
also a member of the Holistic Animal Therapies Organization.
You can read the full article and all the details about how Biofeedback
machines can help your animals on the Alternative
Is it really bad behaviour?
Cindy from Horses Just Wanna Have Fun writes about her experience
with solving a behavioural problem with her mare.
Trainer Clinton Anderson says "Any problem that a horse could
possibly have comes from either a lack of respect or fear, or in some
cases both". (source Midwest Horse Digest Jan/Feb 2010)
There is a another reason - maybe she really can't do what you ask.
Read the story of Lucy, the dream quarter horse mare who over a period
of months turned into Lucifer, the night-MARE. You will gain some
understanding into that other reason and maybe head off problems of
your own. Click
here to read the whole story.
Equine Colic Relief
Equine Colic Relief (ECR) will STOP a normal bout of colic!
THE NUMBER ONE KILLER OF HORSES
ECR takes the fear out of colic – and is your first line of
defence! Use ECR with confidence to STOP your horse’s pain in
There are 4 consistent causes, which work in unison to continue a
normal bout of colic. They are: Dehydration, Gas/Distension, loss
of Ionic Solutions for Motility and in 75% + of cases an Impaction.
The Formula within ECR as its ingested divides into 4 parts to produce
an effect process, which gently eliminates each cause, then in unison
integrate with the horse’s body to end the bout gently.
Part 1 – Softens and Quickly
reduce an impaction to a pudding like consistency
Part 2 – Hydrates dehydrated bowel tissue
Part 3 – Replace Ionic Solutions necessary to Restore Motility
within the muscles lining the bowels.
Part 4 – Dissipate Methane Gas and Relieve the pressure on gorged
bowels and trapped organs.
· All natural active ingredients
are: Irish Sea Moss, Magnesium, Kelp, Peppermint Oil, Phosphorous,
Vegetable Glycerine, Calcium, Vitamin D3, Potassium, Purified Water,
Molasses for flavour and Sorbitol to soften and sweeten the formula.
· Safe to use in any age equine, foals, pregnant mares, stallions
· It has no shelf life – no expiration date (will work
when needed to)!
· Tests clean if you’re at a show or race – taken
MUST HAVE PRODUCT FOR EVERY HORSE OWNER
“This is an amazing product.
Unfortunately for me I have had several bouts of colic in horses over
10 years. Two horses where operated on and cost me mega bucks.
Then when Rob and Maree first imported this product I asked to purchase
a couple of bottles.
I have just had a pregnant Miniature Mare with colic and brought her
down into the stable after she was rolling around the paddock. I administered
to her half a bottle and left her in the stable. I kept on checking
on her and within 4 hours she was poo-ing normal and next morning
was back in the paddock - and still pregnant.
If this was the first time I had used it I would wonder, but I have
used it very successfully 3 times now and think it’s the best
product. I would never be without this on my shelf in the stable.
Well done for importing it and you have saved me heaps of Vet bills.”
TPH Stud, Diane Mayes
“Just wanted to let you know
how grateful I am for your product Equine Colic
Relief. My thoroughbred had dehydrated himself on a very hot day to
lying in the paddock with quite severe colic. I rang my friend who
horse which suffers from colic a lot and she brought around your Equine
Relief product, which she had on hand. I gave him the Equine Colic
Relief with the hope to help relieve him until we could get a vet
Within half an hour his spasms seemed to be a lot more controlled
shorter, which we were able to walk him through. Within the hour there
noticeable improvement in his temperature and alertness and more active
stomach movement. Then by 90 minutes he was eating, drinking and passing
manure and back to himself, not to mention not needing a vet out after
did not have any reoccurrence or symptoms of colic throughout the
except being a bit washed out the next day he was back to normal.
I would fully recommend this product
to any horse owner to have on hand,
after seeing how it worked and having such a long shelf life it is
worth it.” Thanks Natalie - December 2009
Equine Colic Relief Australia website
Call Rob and Maree on (03) 59 97 5377 Mobile: 0429 174117
One bottle of Equine Colic Relief including 60cc syringe, instructions
to administer and information flyer is $125 plus $10 postage/handling.
Contact: Pam Schroeder, ECR Exclusive
Distributor FL. USA.
Phone: (888) 327-0327 Toll Free or (352) 459-4178
For more detailed information go to www.equinecolicreliefamerica.com
Haswell, Eds proud owner and rider
writes: I thought you might like to see
this photo of me and my horse Ed.
He is The ex-racehorse that I do dressage with.....and Natural horsemanship
I have just started riding him bridleless and its so much fun. I have
actually found it is actually easier to control him without a bit
than with one ! Everyone thinks Im a bit weird I think, but its true
! He is so much softer in the head and listens to me a lot more. Here
is his story:
Ed ('Galogowen Top Of The Range' )Is a 6 y,o TB gelding who was bred
in Victoria. He was then sold at the yearling sales and topped the
auction, selling for over $100,000. He raced in Victoria, both in
gallops and steeple chasing and had 9 starts for $10,900 prize money.
He was then leased to Tasmania and was trained here but injured his
tendon and could nolonger be raced. He was then sold to someone who
was planning on selling him as dog meat.
Ed is one of the sweetest horses ever born. He is easily ridden by
young children right up to experienced riders. Ed is currently doing
dressage and natural horsemanship and can be ridden bridleless. He
jumps, does dressage, swims, trail rides and flying changes all in
a halter. He was brilliant at making the transition from a bit to
no bit and I find it easier to ride him and he seems a lot softer
and more responsive to me. I can also easily tell that Ed is much
happier. Every day Ed is worked in a halter he seems to improve.
Ed is an amazing horse to work with and has been educated completely
by his 14 year old rider.
Ed is an amazing horse and it just shows that race horses do deserve
a second chance. He is the perfect ambassador for his kind, being
such a special friend.
For more pictures of Ed visit www.galogowenhorses.weebly.com
Thanks Eddie for being the best horse ever.
from Majestic Tiers Miniature Horses writes about her stallion,
Southern Star Flamenco: “Just have to brag here :o) another
show today and my man did SO well yet again! I absolutely love doing
He won his 3rd Novice Performance Champion, which means he is now
in the Open class, with the big boys. www.majestictiers.webs.com
Tara in Tassie writes:
Just thought I would let you know what another great time we had on
the Tassie trail. This year we finished it off riding from Dover back
to Ouse, (last year we rode Sheffield to Ouse). I can’t recommend
doing this trip enough - it is a great way to expose your horse to
just about everything. With some very interesting challenges along
the way that you just have to overcome as there is no going back.
Spending 24/7 time with your horse and friends and family is good
for all. You stay in beautiful campsites most nights and see some
of the best of Tassie as the trail keeps you off roads as much as
- January 2010
Farewell Sara (Belbowrie
Serenata)– On January the 4th, I farewelled my Arabian mare
Sara who is dam of my stallion, Finn – now the only representative
of the combined bloodlines of his deceased sire and dam. (for Arabian
enthusiasts – Crabbet related descendants of Ralvon Pilgrim,
Bremervale Emperor, Greylight, Stefan and Sala)
Sara lived happily until the age of 31 when in the space of a couple
of days she showed signs of losing her balance, but not her desire
to eat. Eventually, she could no longer stand and she was peacefully
released from her body by the vet who thought she may have had an
age related brain tumour.
She was a serene, gentle broodmare - mother to 11 foals and spent
her last 8 years with me, giving me Finn (at the age of 25) and showing
me that older mares still have much to contribute.
Caring for Sara and three other over 20yo horses I have, has spurred
me on to see that my dream of a retirement home for aged, abused and
neglected equines, and my ‘Horses For The Soul' project, becomes
So, driving back home from a family Christmas visit I wrote the following
Expressions of Interest Invited:
Are you, or do you know a philanthropic investor with a property (or
would like to invest in one), that would be suitable for an Equine
Retirement and Educational Centre?
The property needs to be in Tasmania, and somewhere between 200 and
2,000 acres (depending on pasture), with or without infrastructure.
My vision is to provide a not-for-profit venture that provides a lifelong
home for retired, abused or neglected horses.
Some of these horses once healthy and if suited, would then become
teachers and guides in the education and rehabilitation of people
from all sorts of backgrounds.
'Horses For The Soul' will offer an equine experience to suit everyone
from school children learning about animals, adults seeking a retreat
experience, to anyone with issues wanting to recover or improve their
The horses will benefit from the gentle interaction with people, and
the people will benefit from the feedback given by the horses and
insights gained while in group or individual sessions.
If you can help, or know someone who may be interested in learning
more about the development of this unique to Australia venture, please
contact Cynthia Cooper (details at the bottom of this page).
Happy New Year to you all and may your
dreams and resolutions also come true.
What is Natural Horsemanship?
The term 'Natural Horsemanship' has
almost become over-used these days because 'going natural' is the
thing to do! While there are some true practitioners around keeping
it as close to natural as they can for the horse, there are just as
many professing to practice natural horsemanship but not coming close
So what does it really mean?
The dictionary defines 'Natural' as 'existing in or produced by nature',
and 'Horsemanship' as 'the art or skill of caring for and riding horses'.
So accordingly, I would define natural horsemanship as the care, training
and riding of horses in harmony with their natural behaviour, diet,
movement and physical being.
This means that someone truly practicing
natural horsemanship will be doing the following things:
Understand or be learning about horse
psychology and social systems.
Provide a herd situation for the
horse to live in - other equine company they can touch (no isolation
from others), with natural breeding and weaning practices.
Keeping the horse in as large an
area as possible for most of the time with access to shelter from
all types of weather - no stabling, small paddocks or confinement
to yards for more than a couple of hours at a time unless absolutely
necessary (eg. injury).
Feeding a varied diet of horse suitable
(low sugar) grass, hay and grain (when required) with correct mineral
supplementation to balance any deficiencies - includes providing
salt at all times.
Caring for their hooves with barefoot
trimming and/or enough movement to self trim, and using hoof boots
when protection is needed - no metal/plastic horse shoes!
Providing appropriate veterinary
treatment, including worming on a regular basis as required for
the man-made environment they must live in.
Training/educating the horse in a
compassionate, respectful way that gives them confidence and allows
them to move freely as nature intended - no bits, spurs, other equipment
or methods that compromise the horse's ability to perform at their
When natural horsemanship
practitioners meet these needs for horses, they provide a good example
for others to follow.
Bitless Bridle News
Photo Competition Winners
It was very hard to choose from more
than 50 entries received but I finally narrowed it down to the top
5 and the winner was chosen with the help of three accomplished photographer
friends (thanks Nadeen, Lisa and Suz!).
I chose these for the way the bridle was fitted and suited the horse,
the background, the horse’s looks and how well the photo showed
off the LightRider Bridle.
We came up with a unanimous winner for the Head Shot section –
Jodi Smith’s photo of Storm wearing the LightRider English Biothane
to the others who made it into the top five.
Tammy Nicholas’ Dana (pictured left), Judy Walter’s Solange
(photo on the LightRider Feedback page), Rebecca Dudman’s Monte
(pictured below) and Sue Mitchell’s Feather (photo on the LightRider
Feedback page) .
The winner of the Riding in a LightRider Bitless Bridle is Pauline
Goodwin on Royale Cola (below right) although it was a very close
decision between the top 4 action shots.
Eva Thaler’s Bondi (photo on the LightRider Feedback page),
Jenni deGroot’s Colhaven Zaheera (below left) and Vanessa McDonald’s
Echo (photo on the LightRider Feedback page and below).
winners each receive a LightRider Bitless Noseband
of their choice in size and colour.
Thanks to all those who took the time
to send in their photos and feedback on the bridles - I welcome more
when you get that lovely photo or want to share your experiences.
The other competition for a Photo of your horse in any bitless bridle
has been extended into the New Year as more entries are needed. So
please get those in to me by the end of January to win a LightRider
Bitless Noseband too.
Here is a selection of the entries
in each section.
LightRider Bitless Bridles are being
used exclusively for the
trail riding horses at the new Horse Resort in Margaret River, WA.
Manager, Sam Watson from Horses and Horsemen, wanted a bridle that
looked the part, but would enable his naturally educated horses to
The Horse Resort can offer you trail rides to suit your level of experience,
from beginners to competent riders and anyone in-between. All rides
are escorted though our farm, the forest or to the local brewery and
vineyards by our well trained guides allowing you to relax and enjoy
Some examples of rides available (all rides escorted by a trained
· Stock Check Ride
· Eco Tour
· Brewery or Vineyard Ride
· Led Rides (lead on a lead rope) for all ages
· Custom Tours
If you’re looking for a horsey holiday in Western Australia,
have a look at what’s on offer at The
Horse Resort. The website is worth visiting just for its lovely
More Happy Horses in their LightRider
"The bitless noseband arrived
yesterday and I changed my old Parelli bridle into a bitless bridle
today and put it on my horse. It looks great. It was easy to insert
the noseband into the bridle cheek straps. I did manage to go riding
for a half hour with the new bridle and River and I both loved it.
He was as responsive as usual and it left no marks on his nose - the
previous side pull bridle did leave marks and I always felt guilty
about that. I also love it because it's so easy to lead him with it
and the snap-on reins I already had work great." Mariette in
"I just received the light
rider noseband today and tried it out with my new freeform saddle,
and I wanted to thank you as well! It's much nicer than riding in
the parelli halter or hackamore and my horse is much happier in it.
He used to get annoyed with the swinging weight under his head. And
it's nice to be able to use my old bridle again. I have just ordered
some reins to go with it. Thanks heaps!" Karen S. NSW
"The light rider bitless bridle has given me the opportunity
to have a real conversation while riding my horse, due to the absence
of pain, which otherwise is caused by a bit. When a bitted bridle
is put on my horse he becomes stressed and tense. Even before I place
the bit in his mouth his whole body tenses and his head goes up.
Now using the LightRider bitless bridle he lowers his head and waits
for me to slip it on. He is also not afraid of being accidentally
jabbed in the mouth and with his new barefoot treeless saddle the
combination is beautiful. He is more willing to tune into me and concentrate
on what I am asking.
The LightRider bitless bridle also
looks like a normal bridle which I love. Thanks Cynthia for a wonderful
product." Vanessa and Echo, Tasmania.
– read more on the LightRider
Barefoot Bits &
The following photos show why you should
look after your horses and never allow them to founder.
The owners of this purebred Arabian mare (pictured here after her
recovery) were not aware that the spring flush would have such an
impact on their beloved horse.
But to their credit, rather than give up and put her to sleep as the
vet advised, they sought help, read and learned lots about trimming
and committed to her rehabilitation.
It took over a year, lots of stress and care with feeding, careful
trimming and it was almost a 24 hour a day job.
Living on an island complicated the sourcing of feed, alternative
vet care and hoof trimmers for the owner, but via email, advice was
provided (by myself) and followed which has enabled this horse to
now become a future trusted partner for her daughter.
Photo above: Foundered right front during rehab trimming.
Photos above: Right Sole (left pic)
and after recovery due for a trim (right pic).
Healthy front hooves again.
For more information on laminitis and
founder click here – there
are lots of further links to follow from there.
Feet First: Barefoot Performance
and Hoof Rehabilitation
by Nic Barker and Sarah Braithwaite
This is a well written and easy to understand book that is perfect
for all those learning about barefoot hoofcare, especially in relation
Written by the founders of the UK Natural Hoof Care Practitioners
who compete in eventing, hunting, endurance and showjumping, it is
based on their years of experience as trimmers and riders. The hundreds
of horses they have rehabilitated have provided the personal accounts
of issues most likely experienced by many readers too.
I like this book because of the holistic approach taken. Diet is addressed
first, then environment/work to stimulate the hoof and finally the
“Hoof problems: holistic, not simplistic
The common theme here is that hoof problems are not normally caused
by a single disease or failure. Hoof function is grounded on a good
diet which allows a hoof to grow and maintain its integrity, and an
environment that stimulates and strengthens the whole hoof. Healthy
hooves and correct biomechanical function are intrinsically linked
to each other and interdependent.”
The authors suggest that the concept
of an iceberg explains how it all relates with the top 10% being the
trim that we see, to the middle 25% being the exercise and environment,
with the bottom 65% being the diet – the part we don’t
see when we just look at the hoof.
Therefore this is not a ‘how
to trim’ book but a how to feed, exercise and understand the
hoof to achieve maximum function for performance.
It has lots of clear colour photos and diagrams, and defines what
a healthy hoof looks like and what it can achieve.
The Chapter on ‘How hooves work’ is helpful, but the most
important advice is the chapter on ‘diet and feeding for the
I would highly recommend this book
to all horse owners who care for their own horse’s hooves, and
I will be suggesting it as a reference book for the Polytechnic Equine
Hoof Care Course students.
Feet First: Barefoot Performance and
Rehabilitation is published by JA Allen and available direct from
A new helpful website from the Australian
distributor of Provide It products (a supreme quality
range developed in New Zealand) is now up and running. It has lots
of great articles such as 'Aspects of Pasture and Feeding
that can Adversely Affect your Horse' by Jenny Paterson,
along with many case studies and helpful FAQ's about horse behaviour
and its link to feeding and minerals.
There are more features being developed and added as the site is completed,
such as a Symptom Tool, Forum, info on grasses, paddocks and yards.
And of course if you would like to try the Provide It products, you
the Natural Horse World Store
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UlcerAids' primary ingredients form a nutritious, fully digestible
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Approximately 52% of other performance horses have ulcers
Approximately 57% of foals have stomach ulcers, particularly during
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Approximately 50% of horses with ulcers show no outward signs of gastrointestinal
To read more about stomach ulcers in
to the Ulceraid website here.
Paolo and Jessica Cadoni report: “Our
new website is now up and online at www.chiantitrails.com
We have moved to a new base in Iano (a small Medieval village between
San Gimignano and Volterra, on the south west side of Florence.
60 hectares of free land for them..they couldn’t be happier.
have some great rides available for 2010, including a Etruscan inn
to inn ride that will be running through Spring and Autumn. Its a
up from our Medieval Monasteries ride, with better accommodation,
fantastic riding, great food (including fabulous buffet breakfasts)
and of course...great horses.
If you cant make it over for a full
week, why not come on over for a
weekend or mid week break, up until this weeks snowfall, we have had
sunny warm weather, so it might be the perfect "mid winter escape"
the UK or elsewhere in Europe.
Hosts of the Tassie
Parelli Savvy Club, Karen and Paul Lockwood get into some action at
the Christmas Playday.