Hoofbeats April/May – Out Now!


As cooler conditions arrive this Autumn it will be a welcome relief for horse owners after periods of extreme heat and above average temperatures over many areas on the east and south-east coast that was followed by torrential rains, and a record wet summer on the west coast this summer. Dubbed the ‘angry summer’ by climate scientists, the summer of 16/17 was off the charts. Professor Will Steffen, a scientist with the Climate Council of Australia says,“If you look at the east of Australia, particularly New South Wales and Queensland, the records that have really been tumbling there are high temperatures, heatwave type records. Here in the west in Perth, and up in the Kimberley in the northwest, we’ve seen extreme rainfall breaking records; so we’ve seen extremes of all types across the continent in the past three months. Challenging many aspects of horse keeping, the end of summer and the associated weather allows for ample opportunity to now ride in pleasant weather conditions and to tackle jobs around the property in preparation for the colder and wetter months ahead.


Spending time with horses is satisfying on so many levels, and while there are times that the associated responsibilities, and financial commitment, can be daunting, most people wouldn’t trade it for anything and know full well the recognised physical, emotional and social benefits that come with owning and riding horses. The positives are far reaching and extend beyond each individual too, in fact they extend to their families, communities and society as a whole. Highlighting this in detail is Equestrian Australia’s community impact study, released late February. It’s now clear that the Australian economy benefits significantly from our efforts too, with the finding that the economic contribution of equestrian (excluding racing, polo/polocrosse, rodeo, western and tent pegging) is over $1.143 Billion! Visit Equestrian Australia’s site to read the report http://www.equestrian.org.au/news/equestrian-brings-more-1billion-economy

It’s heartening to learn that organisations like Equestrian Australia, along with other stakeholders, are implementing changes to grow the sport and encourage an increase in participation. However you’re spending your time with your horses, next time you’re paying one of the many costs that you incur, whether that be at your local feed store, saddlery, veterinarian, farrier, instructor, buying Hoofbeats, and so on, or simply filling the car before heading to your next event, know that your time is being well spent, your physical and mental health are reaping the benefits, and your spending is helping the economy.

So what’s in the April/May issue of Hoofbeats magazine:

GRANT WILSON  – NZ to Belgium 

With five of his students, from five different countries, competing at the Rio Games, New Zealander Grant Wilson’s coaching skills are in demand from riders in Europe, the UK, the USA and Australia. Based in Belgium, Sarah Warne discovers in this  profile piece why Grant has been quietly making a name for  himself among the elite riders of the world, both as a rider and a coach. 


Competing in equestrian sport can have little allure for those whose aims are perfect harmony and communication with their horse and seek the joys and challenges of riding for its own sake. Wendy Elks explains that riding for your own enjoyment and development doesn’t mean that competing is irrelevant in the article Riding for Yourself and hears from well known trainers and riders Carlos Tabernaberri and Manolo Mendez. 


Looked down on for many years, the humble ‘Standie’ has had an image makeover in recent years, with many now appreciating and seeking them out for their desirable traits, especially their excellent temperament and versatility. With pro-active pleasure Standardbred organisations and the modern Standardbred accepted as a legitimate recreational and competition  horse, HERO Program Manager Tanya McDermott and a number of Standie owners highlight their many positives in Rehoming the Standardbred. 


Achieving perfect plaits was covered in the last edition. Professional plaiter Nicole Groves now demonstrates how to complete the winning look with a French Braid for the forelock and tail, one of the trickiest techniques in the ‘art’ of dressing the horse’s mane and tail.


The condition of a horse’s coat can provide an indication as to their overall health, with a range of factors that can impact its appearance. In Healthy Horse, Healthy Coat, Dr Jennifer Stewart explains that a healthy coat is created through the  combination of skin, coat and condition; the degree of shine depending on the time of  year, feed and grooming practices, with no amount of grooming or care that can help if the skin and hair aren’t healthy. 

SAFETY TIPS – Holding Horses for Equine Professionals

Riding can be a risky activity, but so can handling horses on the ground. Safety awareness and good handling skills are important for yourself, and when handling your horse for others in attendance. When reading Safety Tips- Holding Horses for Equine Professionals, consider if you’re taking necessary precautions or if you’ve become a bit complacent with safety when handling your horses on the ground. 


The final in the series of saddle design focuses on the saddle seat, which sits over the weakest part of the horse’s back: the rear of the ribcage,  and carries much of the rider’s weight. Design features that enhance the comfort in this region can be hugely advantageous to the welfare, forward movement and behaviour of the horse. Dr Ian Bidstrup also addresses girths in The Underbelly of the Saddle Seat article. 


A partnership between horse and rider is established over time, and requires achieving the balance between giving the horse freedom while maintaining a connection. Sarah Warne explains Freedom to Perform, a way to explain a difficult element of the sport of dressage. 


Many horse owners prefer a gelding over a mare, mares often gaining a reputation as being temperamental and less reliable, their behaviour affected to varying degrees by their hormones. There are options available, however, explains Dr Angus McKinnon to author Kaye Meynell in Spaying the Mare, to manage oestrus with careful consideration required as to the reasons why an owner may choose to consider them. These include a flank laparotomy, colpotomy  or with an incision through the midline. Other management techniques include oral progesterone and uterine glass marbles. 


Not for the novice rider, equipment such as a double bridle and draw reins, and even a bitless bridle in harsh hands, requires correct usage and care. In The Double Bridle and Other Tools  Sophie Warren speaks with Ricky Macmillan, Heath Ryan, Patrik Kittel and Alizee Froment for some of their thoughts on the use of the double bridle. 


A build up of dirt and excretions inside a horse’s sheath can lead to problems like infections and urinary problems. There are those that question should this area be cleaned, and how best and often to do it. As a body worker for horses Mary Hitchcock sees horses with dirty sheaths and believes it’s advisable for horses’ sheaths to be cleaned once a year to prevent problems from occurring. She explains why in To Clean or Not to Clean the Horse’s Sheath?

The Green Horse

The Life Threatening Sycamore Tree – ingestion of sycamore tree seeds can be life threatening for horses.

Super Immunity – The Horse Herbalist  Angela Davison explains which immune boosting preventative herbs can be helpful for your horse. 

Creating a Dry Spot for Wet Weather – now is the time to consider your property’s drainage and create a dry spot for your horse before winter.

Inside this issue’s FREE WA Show Scene – 28 pages dedicated to shows, news, events, profiles and content from around WA. 

*  SPECIAL FEATURE: CHANGE OF SEASON – how best to prepare your horse and property  from summer through Autumn and into winter

*  Extreme Cowboy Racing   *  All Breeds Spectacular   *  WA SES Mounted Section   *  Welsh Youngstock Showcase    *  900km to Pony Club *   APSB Show   *   PCAWA Coaching School 

*  WASJA      *     Albany PC ODE   *   Riders Over East – Kenya Wilson    *   Yalambi Showjumping   *   Focus on Clinics   *   Southern Solstice – Dressage in Albany    *   West Plantagenet    *   Stock Horse Challenge 

Subscribe for your chance to win! 

Four subscribers will each win a prize pack from Kelato Animal Health containing 1litre HoofPRIME premium Hoof Oil, 2.25kg SwellDOWN Clay poultice, Evolve Broad Spectrum Wormer, Revolve Rotational Wormer and 1litre AminoGLOSS Shampoo. 

To subscribe in print or to the App to read Hoofbeats on your favourite digital device head to http://www.hoofbeats.com.au/

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