Finally updated!

I have finally faced the fact that I don’t have time to do the blog regularly. It will just have to be something I do whenever I can get a chance, like now…….instead of helping Fred weld the new stable roof thingies that he’s working on today. I’ve already done the bit of painting in the new shed that I wanted to get done so stuff it!

Fabi doing a great job as lead horse.

LOVE this photo! Bike training with Noah.

Last time I did the blog I was going on about the ‘failed by other trainers’ horses we had in for training at the time. Well I’m pleased to say that we successfully started and rehabilitated all of them! The saddest thing was that in Fred’s opinion not one of them would have even been a particularly challenging horse as a blank canvas. I think the fact that all were able to be re educated here shows that they had the temperament and willingness to respond to a good trainer that was very fair on them.

Everyone's dream horse...big, black and WB!

To go into more detail; Bobby, the chestnut horse I featured in the last blog went home about 10 days after that blog entry. His owner was fantastic and took on all Fred’s advice. Given she was about ready to put the horse to sleep as per the other trainers advice, she was just so happy to have her lovely horse back with his confidence restored and going so well. She bought a swinging fender saddle that we recommended and she and Fred worked out a bit of a training programme for Bobby so he would continue on as he left us. I’m pleased to say that I’ve spoken to Bobby’s owner since he left us and all is going to plan. He was a genuinely lovely boy with a huge heart, given what he had been through at the other trainers, and we absolutely loved having him here and being able to save him.

Bobby's owner having her first ride. Love the smile :).

I didn’t go into detail about 2 of the other horses we had here at the time except to mention their shocking mouths and also the lack of any basic work that had been covered by the last trainer before declaring them as ‘no good and unrideable’. They were both what we would call fairly easy and again would have been straight forward horses to start as blank canvasses in our opinion. Both re educated beautifully, again the owners took on all Fred’s advice and we hear the horses attended Pony Club last week and were angels. That’s so good to hear and their owner has booked in another two of their very nice horses to come to us next year for starting.

Prenti Downs Nemo.

I mentioned a gorgeous horse called Scotty in my last blog as another horse that had been failed by a trainer and deemed as no good. I included some photos of him and mentioned what in our opinion had gone wrong with the other trainer and how Fred went about fixing it and gaining the horses confidence again. I also mentioned that after Fred did successfully start him and get his confidence back, we recommended to his owner that he go out for a spell for a few months before coming back to us to be finished off. Fred felt it was important for Scotty to have break, both physically and mentally given that he had been at the last trainer for 4 fairly stressful weeks then to us for 2 weeks to be rehabilitated. Fred basically wanted to relieve Scotty of his ‘bogeymen’ then let him have a break. His owner did exactly that and now Scotty is back with us. He’s actually been back with us for 2 weeks now and is ready to go home again. What a fantastic horse! The spell was perfect for him as he came back fat, relaxed and far happier and more confident. He’s a different horse under saddle now and is ready to start his new ridden career next week.

Scotty having a hoon.

We’ve had many horses come and go as always since the last blog. We’re meant to be winding down this week as we have the O’Leary clinic at Brookleigh next weekend over the Fri, Sat and Sun, yet somehow we have fuller yards then ever out there!! We will have a few horses going home during the week though so might get one or two light days around the clinic….as in light days to work on fencing or yards or painting. It never ends! Oh, and there’s hay season too. Marilyn and Kat will be looking after the horses while we’re away and we’ll be back here at night. It should be an interesting clinic as always and I know we’ll be seeing lots of familiar faces there as so many of our clients will be coming along to watch.

Spiders owner having her first ride on him.

Lovely Lana back for a refresher.

We’ve had some lovely horses come and go and I so love when clients take the time to update on how they’re going once they leave. I try and keep in touch with as many people as I can but with the 1000’s of clients we have it can be hard. Fred’s currently working on 8 horses here now but 4 are ready to go home as I said. I’m trying to think if any have been particularly interesting lately…….

Glamour breaker :).

We have a very beautiful Arab filly here at the moment that’s been quite interesting, and her owner will know who I’m talking about. She’s been a real challenge for Fred, mainly because she’s one of the first horses he’s ever worked with that he just couldn’t make happy initially. I know that sounds weird but we always find that if you’re fair and kind to horses, give them good firm leadership and boundaries, lots of variety in their work and lots of good food, generally they will enjoy their life and be a happy animal.

This little miss is a super dominant girl and since being under saddle, has basically argued with Fred about absolutely everything. Fred is quite well known for his ability to work with the more complicated horses, particularly mares, but this girl really did have him stumped for a few days last week. She responded well with her ground work but once she was under saddle she just didn’t want to do the work. She would strike and swish her tail, argue with him about gait, direction, what she was going to shy at and so on and so on…….Fred has always said that with stallions and dominant mares you almost have to let them think that it’s their idea to work and if you fight with them they will put more effort into fighting back then just doing what they’re being asked to do. He had to work out a way to improve this filly’s work ethic without compromising her training or allowing her to become evasive and disrespectful.

To cut a long story short, he lowered his expectations of her for one ride while still making sure she behaved and did as she was asked…….and it worked! It’s early days but just letting her think things were more ‘her way’ has really improved her attitude and willingness in general. That may not make total sense but is an example of how often you have think outside the box with horses to achieve good results.

Fred on Shakila, a breaker.

We also have what I believe to be another failed breaker here at the moment. I can’t go into detail as this horse belongs to a ‘name’ but this horse basically tried to kill Fred every which way she could for the first week she here was here which wasn’t much fun at all. Fred persisted and has finally got the horse working well and with a much nicer attitude. He still feels that the horse will be a challenge but the owner is very capable so it should be ok.

Fred sometimes talks about horses becoming ‘The Terminator’ due to bad and dangerous behaviour being allowed to escalate out of control and this horse fits that bill perfectly as she was quite dangerous. At least Fred was able to turn her around without either of them being injured. In situations like this you need to make the call when things become too dangerous and Fred was nearly there with this one which doesn’t often happen around here if ever. I’m glad he persisted but I always worry about injuries.

Not much other news actually. I have my lovely horse Kenny on the market as some people may have seen. He’s actually sold now subject to a vet check next week and has gone to a lovely BEATS squad member who really ‘gets’ him. It was a sad decision but my ‘riding big warmblood’ days are well and truly over (if they ever existed) and he is such a talented horse, it’s great to see him go to a worthy home.

Just to give a heads up, Fred and I have been getting requests to do clinics for a few years now so we’ve decided to start next year. We’re planning on beginning with the first one in late January and will be looking at maybe combining with Robyn Cottman from Riding Straight for the Perth ones. Fred will assess and improve the horse on the first day then Robyn can assess and improve the rider on the second day and the two of them advise from there as to future training plan. Where there isn’t a rider issue, Fred will work with the horse and owner on both days. We’ve had a lot of interest, particularly from our more remote country clients who have to travel so far and we’re looking forward to getting started with them

Robyn from Riding Straight on her lovely boy.

Spiders amazing walk pirouettes!

I’ll try and report on the Horseproblems Australia clinic next week….we’ll see how we go.

Bondie and Tigger enjoying the view.

Posted in Uncategorized

Fix Ups….

Warning: this is a loooong post.

I’ve been working on this blog entry here and there over the last few days. I had it all finished last night and was just putting in the photos when bang….whole computer shut down and I lost the whole lot. It normally auto saves for me so that had never happened before. I nearly cried; so much work and writing. So, I slept on it and here we go again. Maybe it will be more interesting the second time around:).

I had started by saying that I wasn’t going to even bother apologising for being so late as I was pretty disgusted in myself for it being so long, and I am but honestly, it’s not like I don’t enjoy doing the blog. I would say it’s something I consider more of a ‘fun’ thing than actual work and of course work has to come first. Since Karla left I’ve just found that every hour is full and I so rarely get time for anything like this. I’m getting up with Fred in the dark now though so that should give me an extra hour so we’ll see how we go.

Flynn learning his leg yielding.

We normally have around 8 to 9 horses in work all the time so of course we’ve had many come and go since May the last time I updated. As usual we’ve had some lovely ones and some challenging ones. The biggest standout though has been how many horses we’ve had come to us that have been ‘failed’ by other horse breakers. We have had 7 horses booked in over the last two months, 4 that have been labelled dangerous, utterly untrainable and only worthy of being put down by other trainers and the others labelled as too hard.

Can I just say that I am so glad that people seek a second opinion most of the time and especially in these particular cases, as we’ve had some lovely, very misunderstood horses come to us. We’ve only had 4 come so far so we may well find that the other three yet to come have serious issues, yet somehow I doubt it, going what their owners have said to me about what’s happened. Anyway, that’s what I’m going to focus on with this blog as I think it’s very sad.

Morning fog

Before that though I need to update on Spirit. She had a 5 week spell then came back to be finished off here. While she was out, her owner had some Bowen done and kept up with her groundwork but she had a rest from ridden work. It was actually quite funny as when Spirit came back she was so much more confident, almost to the point of being a bit cocky about a few things :). Fred got that sorted though, just by re-establishing the respect under saddle (her owner had done a great job with her groundwork) and home she went after another week or so here. Her owner has since been doing really well with her. Spirit was never going to be the easiest, quietest horse but her owner spent lots of time here and was a great pupil. Fred and I were very impressed with her dedication to her horse and her riding. She emails us regularly to let us know how Spirit is going which is great. In fact Spirit attended her first Adult Riders last weekend and Jo said she was a very good girl.

As I said above, so far we have had 4 horses come out of the 7 booked that have all been to other trainers and not been a success. Having watched Fred work with these guys, it makes me wish that there were some qualifications for horse breaking as these horses had mostly been very poorly handled with some huge, integral parts of their training totally missed or put in the too hard basket. Two had been beaten and all had been frightened, rushed and been through some awful stuff. Can I just state the obvious in saying that every horse is an individual. A good trainer will be constantly adjusting his/her training methods and levels of pressure to suit the horse. Any trainer that thinks every horse will fit into his little box needs to be shot and honestly, one of these horses was so badly abused I would have liked to go and put this particular guy in a box myself..…just kidding but what the horse had been through was just awful and talk about traumatised.

Kat with a breaker 'Beau' at Muresk for an outing.

Can I also just say again to everyone out here that’s considering having some training done; GO AND WATCH THE TRAINER WORK. Watch how the horses interact with him/her. The horses will tell you nearly everything you need to know. And, there’s never any need, excuse or justification for physical abuse of an animal. I’m sure there are some fantastic breakers/trainers around the place but do your research always.

Having said all that, we’ve had horses come in the past for re education due to bad training and actually the horses have been very well trained and the problem has been with the work that’s been done once the horse leaves the trainer. In another case, the trainer was at fault for not communicating with the owner properly but again, the training of the horse was at a good level. We’re always very quick to defend a trainer that’s done a good job because frankly, this job isn’t easy.

Don't forget to worm your horses!

Back to the horses now though, we have a new horse here at the moment that came on Tuesday. His owner has very kindly allowed me to have him be my new ‘case study’ horse for the blog. He is yet another one that’s been failed by another trainer. His lovely owner contacted us about starting him last year but as usual we were booked up. He was booked in anyway but she had to cancel as he had a minor issue that meant he couldn’t come. Rather than book him in again with us and have to wait for ages, she decided to go on a friend’s recommendation to another trainer who was also just up the road from her so nice and close.

I won’t go into massive detail about it but basically the horse was there for about 3 months and had 6 weeks ‘training’ plus some time off on (very expensive) agistment for various reasons. According to his owner, there was never a good session. The horse constantly resisted and fought with the trainer and every session ended on a bad note. There were issues with teeth and soreness (not the owners fault) and basically the horse was labelled as a bucker, dangerous, stubborn, volatile and in need of being shot as he was no good. He was “physically reprimanded” on several occasions including in front of his owner and constantly bucked with all his work. The trainer apparently tried to mouth him but couldn’t so attempted to ride him in a head collar and was bucked of several times. His partner was also bucked off when attempting to ride him (yay horse!).

His owner rang me to talk about it and I immediately said, get the horse out of there as quickly as you can!!! My opinion from the information she gave me was that the horse had been let down badly by the training and I told her we would be happy to take him on. She went ahead and let the trainer know not to continue on with him, picked him up then gave him a short spell at our request while waiting for a cancellation spot here. The trainer had already suggested quitting the horse as he was no good yet the day the owner told him she was taking the horse away and to someone else, he offered her two weeks free training as he suddenly felt he could fix the horse after all:).

The horse arrived to us on Tuesday and has been in work here all week. The first day he arrived he seemed a bit nervy but settled in great and was very responsive to the feed rules and everything else we needed to do such as catching and rugging.

Nasty, horrible horse....:) (NOT)

So, to session one which was Wednesday. Fred brought him in to the roundyard and began with some basic groundwork, the 7 games and lunging and so on. The first thing we noticed with this boy was how very focussed and switched on he was. Having been described as highly dangerous and extremely stubborn, I don’t know what we were expecting but what we got was a slightly nervy but very willing horse with a great attitude. Fred noticed that when confused the horse would be the type to panic, but given time to work things out as he was, he couldn’t try hard enough for us.

Fred then tested his mouth and that basically let us know what the problem was. NO mouth at all as in no steering and no brakes, but resistance which told us that something has been attempted. No mouth equals no control, particularly with nervy horses that may react more than average. Fred began the re mouthing process, the horse had a great session and by the end of it was following Fred around like a puppy dog.

Second session and more progress. The horse was 150% better than the day before. We had no hiccups and again a calm, willing, try hard boy and a very nice horse to work with.

Third session and more of the same. Calm, happy, accepting of everything and trying very hard. No resistance, no disrespect or any problems at all. More re mouthing plus some running reins to ensure the horse understands ‘down‘with contact and stopping.

All good.

Forth session and first ride day. He was fine to saddle and mount and a very good boy. As Fred put leg on to ask for forward, he exploded into bucking as he must have been doing all along. Because Fred had put all the preparation into his mouth and other work, Fred shut the bucking down straight away with a one rein stop then asked the horse forward again. The horse did not buck again and went on to be ridden for the first time in his life. Walk and trot on both reins, lovely and forward and calm.

Doing what he had been 'taught', poor boy.

Shutting down the buck with a ors.

About 3 minutes later...

Fifth day was Monday after a day off for us and the horses on Sunday. Again, the horse saddled and warmed up fine with no hiccups and went on to have another great ride with no issues.

Today Fred took the horse out for his first bush ride with Fabi for company and he was great. Hit the lead straight away and had a lovely ride out and about in the sunshine.

First bush ride problems.

So, it took Fred four days to sort out the issues this other guy had caused the horse over three months, and to also get him going successfully under saddle, happy and confident in himself again. It’s early days and the horse still has a lot of work to do but so far so good. What went wrong? No mouth. That’s pretty much it. The horse was set up to fail as he was a nervy type that needed confidence yet instead was allowed to frighten the hell out of himself by bucking each time someone tried to ride him. He had in fact been taught to buck. I’ll continue to update on his next few weeks with us here.

As I said, we’ve had four of these guys come and go already and I will say that the lack of a good mouth has been the main issue with each one. We have two others here at the moment that Fred’s only just started on that had all sorts of issues at the last trainer and were pretty much unrideable and didn’t progress past the roundyard. One of them has already taken the award for worse mouth ever and the other wasn’t far behind:).

I’ll show photos of another one that we had here a few months ago in early May, a lovely Welsh Cob/Clydesdale cross called Scotty. Scotty had been with another trainer in Perth for about four weeks. Same story; bucked, volatile, couldn’t be ridden and so on and so on. To the very day his owner picked him up to come to us, the trainer was trying different things. On the last day at the other trainers we were horrified to hear that the horse had had his leg tied up or something and the trainer still couldn’t get on him. Now there’s an example of the wrong way to use leg restraints and why they have a bad name.

Testing the mouth...violent reaction and explanation of what's gone wrong at the other trainers.

Same story, no mouth, no confidence and poor Scotty had been able to frighten himself more and more as the trainer couldn’t shut the reactions he was having down and gain his confidence. He was also extremely girthy but again, all very fixable with the right training. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

3 days later

A week later

I probably sound like a broken record this week but 7 ‘failed’ horses in two months is pretty shocking to me, and Fred and I have been absolutely blown away by the lack of basic work and education that’s been put into these horses and especially that people have paid good money to basically have their horses seriously compromised. As Fred said to me yesterday, do trainers expect the horses to desensitise and mouth themselves??? Pretty upsetting but I’m very pleased we’ve been able to rehabilitate 4 so far and will hopefully send all 7 home successfully.

Spider the 'glamour breaker'.

On a happier note, we’ve had plenty of lovely and also fairly straight forward horses here to work on. Several very nice standies and lots of OTTB to work on. Plenty of lovely young horses here for starting which has been a pleasure. A few issues here and there but everything’s been going very well.

Cold mornings with plenty of frost and frozen poo.

We had a very bad month in June. Firstly, my old dog Davey had a stroke and had to be put to sleep. I had had him for 15 years and he was a fantastic dog. All our clients loved him and he was a real character and such a sweet boy. He was put to sleep in my arms with his whole family around him and I guess 15 wasn’t a bad innings but still, it was awful. Then, not two weeks later, Sammy our Jack Russell was hit by a car on the road and killed instantly. This was particularly hard as he was only 8 and the kid’s constant companion. I still can’t think about it without feeling very sad and we miss him terribly, especially Tommy.

The good news is, Schnitzel was lonely so we decided to take on an older dog called Frankie. Frankie is 6 and has been producing puppies all of her life but not anymore. She’s now a much loved pet and she and Schnitty get along really well. They’re very sweet together.

New member of the family, Frankie.

The only other real news is that we have a fantastic new lead horse called Fabi. Poor old Roy was diagnosed with a knee splint a few months ago and is on rest in the paddock. My friend Robyn has very kindly lent us her retired dressage horse Fabi who is absolutely ideal for the job. So far he’s been perfect and is actually even quieter than Roy if that’s possible! We are very grateful to have him and he’s a gorgeous boy with a very sweet personality.

Fabi doing an excellent job.

Fred and the kids and I managed to squeeze in a short break at the beach last month. Very relaxing Fred got to do lots of fishing and actually caught a few for the first time in years 🙂 .

On a mini break at the beach last month.

Kids having fun at the beach on holidays.

Beach cricket!

Young Archie is also going well with his mates in York.

Archie and his gang in York.

Posted in Uncategorized

Another update

Actually written last week sorry:

A few days on and all’s well. Spirit has been progressing really well along with all the other horses. We have 8 in work at the moment and have been a bit amused as we seem to be doing a run on Cobs and Cobby looking horses. We have four here now, some clyde crosses and one lovely pure bred but all stocky, feathered boys and all so handsome :). It certainly does make us look flash when we have such flash horses here.

Lovely SH mare breaker

The lovely Spirit is continuing to progress well. She’s on her forth ride tomorow and has been coming along well. Yesterday she went out for her first ride out of the roundyard with her owner on her other horse and ended up leading for most of the ride. She’s a very forward horse and Fred will never adjust a horses natural gait while they are being started, so as long as they don’t jig jog he will always allow a nice forward walk. It did look funny watching poor Max trying to keep up!

Beautiful Spirit

Fred had a minor issue with Spirit on her second ride actually, nothing out if the ordinary but still worth mentioning. Often horses will have a fantastic first ride and will then have a little test or question on the second ride when they feel a bit more confidenet with what’s going on. Spirit is a pretty honest horse, but on her second ride she decided to protest a bit about going forward past the shed in one direction. Fred gave her a bit of a tap with the whip (he will always use whip if the horse is not responding to leg as he never wants the horse to become dull to leg aids). Anyway, Spirit decided that wasn’t on and decided to put on a bit of a buck jump show in protest! Fred used the lateral mouth to shut her down but not before I caught one on camera. Once the bucking was stopped, Fred gave her another tap and off they went. The behaviour needed to be nipped in the bud, both the original stop and also the bucking afterwards, as we never want a horse thinking that behaviour is acceptable.


As I said, we have some lovely horses in at the moment and all are coming along really well. The horse that I mentioned a while ago that went home as he had some mouth ulcers is back now after being given the all clear by the vet. It will be very interesting to see how he comes along but I’m sure he’ll be fine now. he had the perfect excuse to be resisting and Fred was convinced it was a soreness, not a behavioural issue.

LB, one of the Cobs and stunning!!


Sunday, 23rd May.
I should of gone ahead and posted what’s written above but we’ve had one of those weeks, plus my computer didn’t want to upload any photos to here for a bit so it got put in the too hard basket.

To update, Spirit has actually gone home now which shows how slack I am! She will be back in a month or so though to be finished off. Everything went fine, Fred and Spirit’s owner just felt she had been through so much, given her start, and that she would benefit from a bit of a break. Mentally, she’s learnt so much and we felt it would be better to give her a spell now and then bring her back to finish her leg yielding and have her owner ride her and be able to continue on with her riding without her needing a spell straight away. Her owner tells us that she’s having a lovely break and has been great to catch and rug and so on. So, all good and what a lovely horse.

Spirit coming home from a bush ride

Fred and I have had a crap week health wise this week. I had to have dental surgery early in the week under a general and it took me a few days to get back to normal so poor Fred and Kat had to do everything. Fred also had a nasty fall last weekend and has been carrying around a very sore thumb and back. The back is now better but he has his wrist and thumb in a plaster cast as he’s torn all the ligaments in it. He’s still working and riding fine, it just gives the thumb more support and stops him from catching it on things all the time. Even so, I don’t know if the cast will survive the month it’s meant to be on for :).

We are absolutely full up with horses at the moment so we’ll both have to get over any soreness for this week! The lovely horse that had the mouth ulcers has come along really well and will be going home on Thursday. He was amazing; you would understand if he had lost a bit of confidence with what happened but he didn’t miss a beat and went on to break in beautifully. We also have a yearling here for the DDA (driving for the disabled) that we have donated a weeks work to. He’s a sweety but was another totally unhandled feral who used to like to push through fences if he didn’t want to be caught!

Archie, four months old now.

All the ‘Cobs’ went great and we still have the most stunning one of them all, LB, here although he’s just about ready to go home. If I owned him I could have sold him 50 times in the three weeks he’s been here. Everyone wants him, unfortunately for them including his lovely owner who can’t wait to get him back to Albany I’m sure :).

Gorgeous LB

Tira went home after a very light start. He’s such a magnificent looking colt and I love telling people his background as a rescue. He’s so different to the skinny little foal that arrived here in the night a few years ago. Speaking of Clayton Station horses, we have the most amazing one that came yesterday. He is drop dead stunning, seriously one of the nicest horses I’ve ever seen and we do get some very nice ones here. I’ll post some photos of him this week. He’s here for some general work as he’s a bit green. Seems lovely though, shy but sweet.

We have a few new horses in for re mouthing, one who apparently had no steering at all but who also had the sharpest teeth we’ve seen in a while. Don’t think I would want to steer either with those in my mouth! He’s coming along very well which again shows what an impact teeth have on the horse and how important they are.

First professional trim

I remembered a few things I meant to say months and months ago and keep forgetting about. To all those that asked me, yes, Rob Cook from Horse Taxi did end up paying us our account in full plus another $1000 for our legal costs, thanks very much. What an absolute tosser. He was also evicted from his rental for non payment of rent. I see he’s back advertising his Horse Taxi business in the West Aus. Wonder how much tax he pays………
Also, our lovely client and friend won her court case about her very dangerous horse that was totally misrepresented at sale. Fred was the star witness at the trial and the judge commented on the great job he did which was nice. It was me that encouraged her to pursue the seller all those years ago and it took alot out of her to go for it, both financially and mentally. I’m so glad she won although I never had any doubt she would. No more of this buyer beware crap, sellers! Good on you Tanya.

Fred and seeded all the paddocks today. Lovely rain at last and it’s all turning green. I’m enjoying watching the ground turn green again, especially as it’s our first winter here.

Posted in Uncategorized

More on Spirit

I started this last week but naughty me has only sat down and finnished it tonight….sorry. So, from last week:

True to my word (but admittedly a few days late), I’m starting the new ‘shorter but more often blog’. Hopefully I will find this more doable so I can get on here a bit more regularly. I’m actually waiting for a horse to be dropped off right now so thought it was a good time to get on here.

Schnitty and Sammy helping with feed up

So, onto the lovely Spirit. She’s had a great first week and is now everyone’s best friend around here. I’ve actually had to ask her out of my space the last few nights with mucking out, she’s that friendly and wanting to help with all the jobs.

Spirit's stunning trot.

From a training point of view, Spirit is now ready to start her mouthing. We’re waiting for Dr Rachel Stone who’s coming tomorow to do Spirit’s teeth as of course we can’t start any mouthing until they are done so Spirit is having a day off in the paddock today.

Fred has completed Spirit’s leg restraint training and she’s now getting really confident with having her legs and feet picked up and handled and being touched everywhere else. Fred also hopped on her from both sides last week while she was collar roped to consolidate the training and she coped really well with this.

Fred started the Parelli 7 games with Spirit last week and she has learnt lots of those now and is amazingly light and responsive and quick. Trainers talk about horses being able to ‘move their feet’, often trainers that are anti leg restraints actually :). It’s very important that a horse be able to move their feet in any training situation…duh…. but with a previously wild horse, and in Fred’s opinion any horse, you need to know that you can also stop those feet from moving and that the horse has an understanding of stopping and moving off again with no panic and with full, calm focus on the trainer. Well, Spirit has that and some now and has learnt the yo yo game, the driving game, the porcipine game and a few others will full confidence. She’s a very good pupil!

Learning some groundwork games

I’ve included a photo of Spirit having the bridle on for the first time. This is purely to let her feel the sensation of having a bit in her mouth to make Rachel’s job easier tomorow when she puts a dental gag in Spirit’s mouth for the first time, just incase anyone was wondering.

Bridle on for the first time


Just to quickly update on other things around here it’s been pretty business as usual. All the horses are going really well with 3 ready to go home this weekend. We have three new horses arriving this week too, a lovely Welsh Cob for starting, an unraced Standy for starting and the new one coming today.

Archie having his morning gallop

Update again tonight (3/05) as I didn’t get a chance to post the above yet…sorry :). Spirit has now finnished the mouthing process and is having her first ride tomorow. She’s been coming along so well and the only set back Fred had was when he started to put her ‘front brakes’ on where he needs to get behind her. She found it very hard to accept him behind her and not being able to really see him all the time. They worked away at it with small efforts and big rewards, and Spirit was far more confident today with it and is now ready for her first ride. I’ll post on how she goes but she should be fine.

'Front brakes'

The lovely Tira is back today too which is exciting. He was featured in earlier blogs as Clayton Station Tirawa (his full name) and is a stunner. I’ll mention him more next time and some of the others as we have some interesting horses in now.

Barney, here for re mouthing.

Posted in Uncategorized

HUGE blog to make up for being late…….


Fred and Tom out for a ride

No excuse, just busy as always. The things is, I really like doing the blog, but it’s kind of like my personal emails in that it gets put off if I run out of time with all the work stuff. I have had many emails lately asking if I’ve stopped the blog all together and the answer to that is a big NO…I have decided I am going to change the format a bit though so I can get on to it more. I will do a big catch up this time and then I’m going to have a go at just doing a smaller update every few days, a bit like John’s blog on Horseproblems. That way I should be able to keep up and keep it interesting. So, that’s the plan from now.

Karla's handsome Toby back from a spell

More Archie...

Speaking of John O’Leary, the Perth clinic has been announced for October this year. For dates and the programme please go here:
It should be lots of fun and very informative as usual and Fred is very much looking forward to working with John and Linda again and also to meeting John’s offsider Nathan. Hope to see lots of the regulars and also some new faces there.

Archie and Joanna

Well, as I said up at the top, it’s been very busy around here both with working horses and with trying to get the new yards and sheds completed before the rain starts. The biggest news though is that Karla has left us to go up north on the mines again. She claims she needed to earn some more serious money but I reckon she just got tired of picking up all the poo. I’ve been doing her job minus the riding for the last week and I would totally sympathise with her if that were the reason. My back and shoulders are killing me :).

Archie 2 and a bit months

No, seriously, she needs to earn some bigger bucks so has left us for now but hopefully will one day be back. We miss her very much but the up side to her leaving is that we now have Kat back! Kat, our old worker from Margaret River who featured in earlier blogs before we employed Karla, is now at Muresk studying so is back doing part time riding for us. She’s a brilliant rider and also keeps Fred well in line so we’re thrilled to have her back helping. It has softened the blow of losing Karla a bit although it’s definately not the same around here. I’m not entirely sure husbands and wives should be allowed to live, work a business and raise children together, especially when they both start at 5.30am. Just kidding Fred…….I absolutely adore being with you 24 hours a day as you do me :).

Archie at 3 months

Ok, to the important stuff, being horseys. The biggest request I’ve had is for more Archie info and photos. Archie is great and both he and mum are looking amazing. Archie is almost entirely black now, darker than mum and with his four socks and big blaze, is quite a sight. I still can’t get over our luck with that foal. With all the possible colours and markings with horses and a totally unknown dad, he comes out looking like everyone’s dream horse. He’s also a lovely little man and his handling has progressed well. He was getting a bit cheeky there for a bit so he now lives in a herd with mum, Uncle Roy, Jack the pony and the sheep and he’s had to pull his head in a bit. We have such laughs over him as he and Jack play the funniest games. Their latest one is for Archie to burn around in a big circle with Jack in the middle, and then Jack darts out after him at various points on the circle, making Archie run even faster.

Archie with Jack

They also love the dam in their paddock and at least three times a day Joanna goes for a swim with Archie watching on. He then rubs himself all over mums wet sides, they both have a huge roll in the mud and come back looking like absolute ferals. What’s that saying about something sticking like something to a blanket?? That’s what they look like when they come back fully plastered with mud.

Mum and bub

Training wise, we’ve consistently had 8 to 9 horses in work as always. Now that Karla has gone we will most likely stick to 8 which will push the waiting list out again a bit but I think people are getting much more organised about their bookings now and I’ve only had a few calls lately with people wanting to know if their horse can come next week for work :). Infact at the moment we have more bookings for Oct/Nov then we do for July/ Aug as people are really being organised and getting in early.

Frankie, a favourite breaker

Dodgy Rog, the breaker with the best uphill canter

We’ve had a fairly even mix of horses for starting lately plus lots of horses for handling and also re educators. It’s great as there’s always a good mix of breeds and so on in the yards so Fred always has different challenges to work on. Interestingly, we’ve sent three horses home in the last fortnight that had all come to us with behavioural issues, but that were all unsound or sore. Obviously the soreness was causing the behaviour and I’m always so glad when horses like this are sent to us as their owners are wanting an answer and are willing to do the right thing and get the horse the correct treatment. It makes me sad to think of how many horses that are maybe going around sore, reacting to their soreness and being punnished for it. Sometimes it can be so subtle too and it’s so much easier to blame the horse and say it’s being ‘naughty’ rather then really looking at what else might be causing the issue. Having said that, none of the owners of these horses had said that at all but were simply looking for some help and advice and have all taken Fred’s advice to get their horses sound and well again before continuing on with any re education.

More stunning Rodger

I’m trying to think of a few more ‘interesting’ cases that we’ve had here over the last few months but really, most of the horses we’ve had in have been fairly straight foward with some absolute standouts too, especially with breakers. I won’t go on about them as I’ve been told they are boring to read about 🙂 but will stick some photos on of some of my favourites.

Lovely Layla here for a re mouth

Diedi, being about as small as Fred will start them

We had the most gorgeous Clyde in last week for some handling and confidence building and I nearly cried when he left us. He was like a big teddy bear and I got told off a few times from Fred for giving him big cuddles around his neck. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, only when it’s 10am and I haven’t finished the yards because I’m still in playing with Georgy :). George had a great week and his confidence grew so much with the work he had.The leg restraint training improved his confidence so much, not just with having his legs and feet handled but also with reducing his flight from fear instinct and teaching him to stop and think rather than panic. George was also gelded while he was here with us and Fred taught him to pony off Roy so that we could keep him moving around to keep the wound draining well. It was quite a sight watching them all trot down the road, Roy being dwarfed by this huge Clyde!

Roy and Georgy

One thing I’ve really noticed in a quite a few horses we’ve had come to us for various problems is just how much a general lack of respect can create quite serious and often dangerous behavioural issues. Fred always says that evasion breeds evasion, (in fact I’m thinking of getting T shirts printed) and he is so right. We’ve had four horses come to us just in the last month or so that have been bucking, two that have bucked numerous riders off. I fed one of them about an hour after he arrived one night. The horse always lets you know what’s been going on at home and as I went to go in with the feed I was met with a snarly ears back, in your face horse trying to push over the gate at me. Absolute lack of respect and you can just about bet right there that that horse has been bucking because he’s been getting away with all sorts of behaviour and it’s escalated to the bucking. As it says on our website, we have very strict feed rules here and that horse got the shock of his life about 2 seconds later as he was made to back off and go and wait to be invited in to feed with no bums being turned or nasty faces being pulled. The next morning at breakfast we had a respectful horse waiting back in the corner of his yard for Fred to tell him when he could come and eat. And he never once bucked while he was here as all the disrespect issues were sorted out long before Fred’s bum even got in the saddle. He went home a far happier and more secure horse and his owner now knows that every little thing has to be nipped in the bud or things may well escalate again.
Horses are by nature evasive and they are always testing to make sure they are safe. They’re not being ‘naughty’ or ‘nasty’ but are simply testing their boundaries to make sure the boundaries are there to keep them safe and secure. In the wild the boundaries would be their herd with a strong stallion and/or lead mare in place and when we domesticate horses, we have to take over this role. If we fail at the first test then the behaviour will escalate to the next level, we fail to address that and all of a sudden we’ve got a horse that’s bucking people off.

Lillie, awarded prettiest breaker, doing walk pirouettes on the driveway :).

And leg yield down the road

Same with floating issues. We rarely see actual floating issues but see plenty of horses that aren’t truly light and respectful off the halter, have no respect for their handler and will happily run over the top of them, don’t tie up solid ect ect. There is so often an underlying reason for behavioural issues and if that is addressed, often the behaviour doesn’t ever appear again.

Lorna and Schnitty having a play

We had one horse come for starting this month that had to come on a truck as he has never been able to be floated and had never left his home before, despite numerous attempts trying different methods and two proffesional ‘float trainers’. He was in for two weeks before Fred even started his float training as Fred wanted to make sure the horse had a full understanding off coming off pressure, respect for his handler and was super light and responsive. We started the float training today and the horse literally walked in like he’d been doing it all his life, no hesitation, no problem what so ever…..the point being that this horse didn’t actually have a floating issue but intead had underlying groundwork issues that needed to be addressed first.

We had one lovely new owner comment that he doesn’t tie up solid at home as he believes it’s dangerous. He has two horses that pull back fairly regularly and one has now decided he won’t have the bridle on but instead will throw his head up and pull back. Gee, I wonder why??? The horses have learnt to evade by pulling back and getting away and now it’s escalating and will continue to escalate until the horses are taught to tie solid and that evasion is removed. Yes, you need to eliminate soreness, teeth and so on but I would just about bet that it’s behavioural. Both are coming for solid tie up training soon and he’s busy putting in a Fred designed tie up post and rail at his house :).

Noula, a lovely Connemara breaker

Just another point about listening to your horses with regards to soreness, we’ve had some teeth issues here recently. We are absolute Nazi’s about teeth around here and Fred even has his own rubber dental gag so he can double check horses if he feels something isn’t quite right, plus I put our clients through the third degree about their horses dental history ect. The thing with young horses is that their teeth go through so many changes and often just at the age that they’re most likely being sent to a breaker for starting. We’ve had two lovely horses with us recently for work, both of whom lost caps while they were actually here with us and needed further dental attention, even though both were up to date with their dentals. Fred can tell straight away if something has changed in a horses mouth but again, it’s about feeling that change and being confident that it’s not a resistance but is a physical problem that’s causing the horse pain. Always give the horse the benefit of the doubt is his opinion and he’s right.
I had a very well known Perth rider book a horse in last month for some work and when I asked about the horses dental history I was told that the horse is only three so hasn’t needed to have her teeth done yet. Plus she’s been mouthed and ridden already!!

We have some very interesting horses in at the moment. Another OTTB that’s being resistant and doing lots of head shaking and was sent for some re education work. Fred being Fred has already noticed an unevenness in the horses neck and today under saddle confirmed that the horse is very sore in the neck and is resisting because of that. If a horse is only displaying an unwanted behaviour on one rein, that’s usually a very good clue that there’s something physical going on.This one will be sent home for some treatment.

Speaking of listening to your horses and teeth, we had a lovely warmblood in for starting recently. The horse was progressing really well with everything but was showing some unusual resistance with the mouthing. This horse could be a little resistant with new things which is fairly normal however Fred felt the resistance just didn’t go along with his general temperament and how he was dealing with all the other work he was doing with him. We double checked his teeth which were up to date but Fred still wanted to check, so asked the horses very nice owners if we could have Tanya the vet have a look. They agreed so Tanya sedated the horse, popped in a gag and had a good look with the torch. The horse has heaps of ulcers all around the back of his mouth from some sort of feed reaction and of course was objecting to the mouthing as it was hurting! This isn’t something that would have been picked up just with a feel as they were really quite high up, plus it’s highly unusual. It just goes to show that a good trainer will have a gut feeling about a horses reaction and a good owner will always want the best for their horse. The horse has now gone home to have a month off to heal up and will be back after that.

To go along with the new blog format I plan to do now, I thought I would choose a horse each month to be a bit of a ‘case study’ and go through the starting or re education process with this horse in more detail. Not sure if it will be all that interesting but I’m sure I’ll get some feedback if it’s not.

I thought I would focus on ‘Spirit’ this month, a lovely Pinto mare who’s rising four as far as we know and is virtually unhandled which makes her a little different to the average horse :).

Beautiful Spirit

One of our neighbours bought Spirit and her mother, who also has a young colt at foot, and all were totally unhandled, having run ‘wild’ but in a domestic situation all their lives. The horses lived nearby so were run onto the property safely in order to move them. The new owners have done a fantastic job with getting mum and the foal handled and desensitised but found that Spirit was a bit more of a handful. They had managed to get a webbing halter on her and were able to pat her on her terms but that is as far as they had gone. Just to mention though, that’s actually a huge achievement with a previously wild horse and they have done very well with her and the others.

Spirits owner contacted us a few months back about having Spirit handled and started and we booked her in. Closer to the date she was due, Fred went out to the owners to do some halter breaking with a view to getting Spirit floatable so she could come to us. The only other option would have been to truck her but we felt she would be too sensitive and unhandled to cope with that.
Fred went and did two sessions with Spirit prior to picking her up this week and the sessions showed what a wonderful intelligent and willing to please mare Spirit is. Fred was able to slowly approach Spirit, swap her webbing halter for a rope halter and halter break her, mostly using the Jefferies method which is to take her to the side to unbalance her then reward her for the resulting forward movement off pressure. She picked up the leading very well but still had a real ‘flight from fear’ instinct which Fred felt he wouldn’t be able to resolve until we got her back here to proper training facilities.

On Monday we went with Jack the pony and the float and were able to load Spirit safely with no setbacks. Ideally we would have preffered to use the brumby trailer but it’s down south at the moment and Fred felt the mare was sensible enough to manage the very short trip home with Jack for company. She travelled beautifully home and has settled in well here with us.
Yesterday, Spirit had her first training session in the roundyard here. Fred’s very first priority was to reduce her flight from fear response as she had developed a habit of racing off the minute she got worried or distressed. He also wanted to focus on starting to gain her trust and respect, plus start to get her used to being touched everywhere and desensitized to all her boogeymen.

Spirit being blindfolded

Having worked for a quite a few years now with wild horses through the OHHAWA, Fred has found leg restraint training to be fantastic at reducing stress and trauma with wild and/or feral unhandled horses. They are usually so quick to learn and have such strong instincts, you can’t ‘pussyfoot’ around with them in our opinion and the ‘softly softly’ approach usually results in them becoming more suspicious and worried about human contact, and can also result in a far less light and responsive horse in the end. Fred feels it’s far kinder to have the horse get over all that fear and begin to trust as soon as possible so you can move on with them.
Fred began the session by blindfolding one of Spirits eyes so he could safely get some work boots on her to protect her legs. We use boots on all the horses here and Spirit is no exception and needed to be wearing them for support and protection. In the wild, horses will disarm each other by grabbing hold of lower legs, so most unhandled horses will usually retain this instinct when you go to handle their legs. Using half a blindfold pacifies the horse and can help make it safer to handle their legs.
Fred then decided to collar rope Spirit as she is very sensitive about her hind end and things being behind her and has a pretty lethal kick. Once the collar rope was on, Spirit did have a struggle initially which is completely normal but once she gave to the pressure, Fred was able to get in and handle her hind legs and her front legs plus touch her everywhere and she soon relaxed and worked out he didn’t want to hurt her. When he took the collar rope off, he then used a front leg strap so Spirit was still restrained but was able to move around more. Fred then did some desensitizing work with some rope throwing around Spirits hind end and she coped beautifully and was quite comfortable with being touched around her hind end due to the earlier collar roping session.

Happy to have hind legs touched now

The session ended with lots of scratches and cuddles. I noticed a huge difference in Spirit last night when I mucked her out and fed her, in that she was so much more friendly and I was able to aproach and pat her and had her following me around the yard.

Rope desensitizing

Todays session followed on from yesterday with some more leg restraint training which Spirit coped with beautifully. Due to the desensitizing, Fred was able to put a rug on Spirit for the first time which is great as it’s freezing here at the moment! He then took the rug off and Spirit had her first proper hose off. Her owner had commented that she loved water so she actually accepted the hosing far better than we were expecting and also coped with the scraping down afterwards very well.

First ever hose

Lots of pats

I’ll continue to update regularly on Spirits progress but she’s coming along extremely well so far and we’re very pleased with her progress. She’s already a far happier and more relaxed horse after just two session as she now understands that we’re ok :).

Rug on and dinner

Posted in Uncategorized

A New Foal

As usual, so much has happened around here since my last post and it’s my fault as I don’t get on this blog often enough!

The biggest news, as per the title, is that Prenti Downs Joanna had her foal two weeks ago!! A few days before she foaled, she started dripping milk so we got very excited. I had checked Jo hourly on the first night she started dripping milk but decided to borrow a foaling alarm off a friend the next day, just so I could sleep a bit :).
That evening, Fred and I went down to put the alarm on her. She was really sweaty and when Fred noticed that, he said he thought she would foal that night. As he was climbing back through the rails, Jo literally went down and started to foal! I raced up to ring Tanya the vet, just incase we needed her, and then went straight back down to check Jo. It took me 6 minutes in total yet when I got back down there was this gorgeous little foal sitting up.

Archie, one day old

Our biggest fear was that, being a recently rescued wild horse, Jo wouldn’t necessarily accept the foal, given what she had been through, how young she is and especially because she had lost her herd. A few rescued mares have foaled and then just walked away from the baby in the past and we were very worried about this and had a foster mare on standby, just incase. We turned the torches off and sat very quietly and soon could hear lots of licking and nickering. Then we knew it would be ok and were able to relax.

Beautiful mum and bub

So…introducing Prenti Downs Archie, the most beautiful little colt. He’s got the most perfect markings, a lovely blaze and four white socks, and I can’t fault his conformation. He’s kind of silver coloured at the moment but he’ll go dark like his mum. I think he’ll be a wonderful ambassador for the brumbies and if we can bare to part with him, we have a special person in mind who will definately get him out and promote him for us.

What is this?...I'll just stomp on it!

Archie is now two weeks old and is so funny. He was in a big yard with Jo for the first week and he was starting to get really cheeky with any horses next door and would put his ears back at them like mum and run at the fence then race away kicking. We put him and mum out into a big paddock last week and have put Jack, the kids pony, in with them for company and so Jack can teach him some manners. Jack is great as he comands respect but won’t actually touch Archie, as in kick or bite him. Plus they do play which is so good for Archie.

Clever Jo helping teach Archie to be light off the halter

Fred strongly believes in early handling with foals and I think Archie is a great example of how easy it can be. Fred has just done 5 to 10 minutes a day with him, starting out at about a minute on the first day he was born and building up. Archie is now catchable, halter broken and very light to lead. He picks up all his feet happily, has had the hobbles on and ties up. Now he’s just being a foal in the paddock and we’re not doing the daily handling with him, but we know that we can go and catch him if we need to, such as if he needs veterinary treatment, and he’ll be fine and won’t be stressed about it. Basically, he’s safe and he has the basics down. For example, Fred had to catch him yesterday to check his eye for a grass seed and he was great to catch and stood quietly while we had a look at his eye and put some ointment in. I can’t imagine how stressful it would be for both mare and foal if he hadn’t had the handling he’s had and we needed to do something like this.

Halter breaking Archie

Archie and the kids

Ok, enough about Archie although I could go on about him for ages :). We’ve settled in really well at the new place and Fred and Karla have all the riding trails well sussed. Karla was funny yesterday. She was out riding Lillie, a lovely warmblood breaker on her last week here, and when she came back she said they had had the biggest adventure. One of the neighbours has a new pet donkey who is super friendly and he had seen Karla and Lillie and came running over saying “Well Hi!!! How are yooooooooo???” Karla said Lillie was completely freaked out but was an angel and stood there with her eyes out about a foot from her head. Once they got past the donkey in an orderly fashion, the next neighbour along had two new emus so they had to deal with that, then on the way home they met three camels in a paddock. Plenty of wildlife around here anyway! Great for desensitising and makes for interesting riding for sure.

Dylan and Oakley, two very nice breakers out for a bush ride

The bush next door to us is so handy and I love it as I can just walk down to the fence and take lots of photos, plus Fred has been riding the horses on our property itself as we have a winter creek which makes for some interesting gullys and bridges at this time of year.

Fred and Tanna

Horsey wise, we’ve been super busy and are fully back into the swing of things. We’ve had some lovely horses come and go, nothing super interesting training wise, which is a good thing as it’s means they’re all going well :). I’ll add a few photos, just because.

Cappe, a lovely warmblood here for a light start

Bully and Matilda going past on the road

Actually, we do have one horse here at the moment that came to us about 6 months ago for starting. Fred felt there were some hormonal issues, which there were, and after some treatment and time off, the horse is back with us being started again. We’ve noticed a huge difference in the horses attitude, although some of the aggressive behaviour was still there initially. It’s interesting as the behaviour was caused by a hormonal imbalance yet now that that has been resolved, you have to conclude that the behaviour had also become a learned response. Anyway, the horse is now Fred’s absolute favourite and has been a big challenge but is going so well. A very rewarding scenario as at one point, we (and the owner) weren’t sure there was a future for the horse. It’s that old saying ‘Listen to your Horses’ that John O’Leary says all the time and he’s so right. So many people would have had the horse PTS, going on the behaviour, so good on the owner for listening to Fred and taking his advice on. She’ll have a bloody good horse out of it now.

The only other thing I wanted to write about is something I noticed this morning that I see a lot around here. Fred was riding an ‘OTTB’ (off the track thoroughbred) that has been with us for nearly two weeks. The owner was having trouble with the horse bucking, not wanting to go forward and also the occasional rear. Fred re mouthed the horse as the mouth was shocking, taught the horse to leg yield and has since been working through the issues, mostly there due to a lack of confidence from the horse and the owner having no real control due to the terrible mouth. Same as leg restraint training, if you can’t shut the behaviour down when it arises, the horse only increases it’s own fear in what it’s objecting too and loses more confidence over it all and so on and on. A bit of a vicious circle.
Anyway, the horse has been going really well for quite a few days now and the confidence level has been building up, so all going great. Today when Fred was warming the horse up he was a bit full of himself. I then watched Fred work him out the back and when Fred went to canter him, he tried to buck. Fred immediately did a one rein stop to shut him down then asked for the transition again. The next time, the horse grunted and tried again to buck so Fred decided to take him on and ride him through it. The horse copped a crack on the bum, popped his head down and went on to do a lovely canter, all over in about 5 seconds. It just makes me think of all the times where this sort of behaviour arises but people are too afraid to take their horses on and reprimand them for it. The horse was fit and well, knew exactly what was being asked of him but decided to have a go, and I know that most riders would back off at this very crucial moment, therefore making the problem worse. Obviously you need to be a good judge of what is going on but so many people are afraid to take their horses on, including me which is why Karla has my horse :). Just an obsevation anyway; the horse went on to finish a lovely session and couldn’t have behaved better.

Fred's full shade roundyard which he loves!

We are constantly working on setting up the new property and Fred is currently building four more yards off a sea container we have here. They will be full steel yards so more suited to some of the unhandled horses we get here and the brumbies and so on. Fred is cementing poles in this weekend and I will help by watching him from the house :). Not really, I do help when I have too but HATE this heat with a passion. Infact, Fred reckons I whinge so much, it’s not worth my help which is fine by me. I’m very talented at other jobs around the place :).

Some photos of stuff….

Some of the yards

Kiwi and Roy having a canter next door

Fred and Elijah..such a cool horse!

I have to comment on this photo though as it’s one of my favourites! This is Merrick, a gorgeous connemara gelding we had with us just before we moved house. Merrick was lacking a bit of confidence with water when he came. He must have decided it would be better to try and jump the water and I manged to get this great shot of him. How’s his style????

What a jump!!

Posted in Uncategorized

Open Day!! (and moving house…)


This will be a quick one, purely to let people know we are still alive :). I started a blog entry a couple of weeks ago after the Open Day and just haven’t had a chance to finish it yet and post it. I’ll include it below anyway as it was a such a good day.

The reason Fred and I have been so busy is in the title….yes, we’re moving house! I’ve given more detail in my old post below, but we’ve bought our own little farm 5 mins down the road from here. Actually, we’ve pretty much moved now and I’m sitting in an empty house, bar a couch, a bed, a few mattresses and my computer. Fred has been hard at work putting in new yards at the new place and fencing some great paddocks for clients horses and our own. It’s all looking really good and we will be moving the horses over this week some time and then be living there. Still a lot to clean up here too but we’re getting there.

We’ve kept a few clients horses in work while moving which has worked well as we’re in horse mode till about 10am, then we go over and work at the new place or clean up around here. We also still have Milo and Charlie here, the two last Prenti Downs colts that Fred started last. Both are now ready to go home, I’m just waiting on their new owners to tell me when……hint hint!!

Karla on Trader

Fred on Caddy

Prenti Downs Joanna STILL hasn’t foaled. Karla has decided she’s just taking the piss now and it’s all the hay we’ve been feeding her :). Not really, there’s definately a foal in there and she’s enormous! She’s been waxed up again the last few days and has that whole ‘pointy belly’ thing going on plus her udder is huge, so hopfully it will happen soon. I would prefer she foal before we move her but we’ll just have to deal with whatever happens. She’s very friendly and domesticated now which makes life easier.

First touch with Prenti Downs Jesse

We’ve had some lovely horses here lately, a whole mix of breeds and also reasons for being with us. Nothing unusual or out of the ordinary so I won’t mention any individually this time. Right now we have Luke, the most stunning QH from Tom Price, Kiwi, a young horse Fred gave a light start to a year ago when he was a ‘lassoo job’. His owner did the right thing and stuck him out and he’s come back much quieter and more settled. Mind you, Karla still refuses to ride him :). We also have Banjo here, a lovely Arab being started.

Sammy helping on the tractor

Diik being lead horse with Jess

Anyway, here’s my older entry from two weeks ago after the Open Day ~

So much news and so little time to get on here and tell it……I’ll start about the OHHAWA Open Day we held here last Saturday as it was such a great day and I can’t wait to show some of the photos off

Joey having his first trim

Sheila and Roy

The Open Day was a ‘spur of the moment’ idea I had in response to the huge amount of interest in the Prenti Downs horses rescue. I’m not sure if it’s because we are now based in Perth and often the horses end up down south, but over the week of the rescue and the following weeks, I dealt with well over 100 enquiries about purchasing the horses and so many more, just about the horses and rescue in general. I thought it would be great to harness that interest while we still had the horses here in training, so we went aheadI had an idea to get members and owners to bring up their Heritage Horses from previous rescues, and on the day I think we had 12 or so older, previously rescued horses on display which was great as people were able to see the huge diversity in shapes, sizes and colours in these horses for themselves. Plus, with the recent rescues still looking a bit skinny, it was great to have these lovely, healthy, shiny horses on display that would have looked similarily skinny to the new horses when rescued themselves.

Maren and the gorgeous Clayton Station Tirawah

Gunnadorah Desert Jewel showing off her incredible movement

Megan and Earaheedy Roscoe

The gorgeous stallion Earaheedy Pope

We didn’t have a real schedule for the day but there was so much to see and show people, there was never a dull moment! Fred would work a few Prenti Downs horses, then we would have some of the older horses in the round yard and Sheila would talk about their rescue and what happened and why, then Fred would work another horse, then we would have a display like Sheila’s amazing one with Roy. Funny Roy, he hadn’t done any Liberty with Sheila for two and a half years but he was amazing and was so clever. Sheila also jumped on him bareback and did some lovely piaffe in a halter which was very impressive!

Sheila and Roy doing Liberty work

Roy doing his own Liberty display!

We had the gorgeous Kimberly King Leo here for the day, a Waler stallion from the same rescue as Roy, and he was great to watch and hear about. Actually, we had 5 colts and stallions here on the day and they were all pretty much impeccably behaved, making a great example of their lovely temperaments.

Tommy bring a typical feral brumby

Fred with brumby colt after his first ever session

It got to 41 degrees on the day and at one point we counted well over 150 people here all at once. We had a big crowd which was just fantastic and I know we really opened a lot of people’s eyes up about the horses, their plight and how special they really are and what wonderful horses we have in our own backyard. The horses all did us proud, looked amazing and were just so beautiful. I had a lady come up to me in tears at one point, saying she had read about Australian wild horses and their plight, but it hadn’t actually been real for her until she was able to touch them and look at them as individual animals. Given that every horse there on the day should have been long dead, they made a strong point.

The girls doing an Equine Touch display on Earaheedy Darraby

Hutch, Ros and their stallion, Kimberly King Leo

On that, the OHHAWA supports humane culling where necessary – of both modern and old bloodline brumbies if required. Of course culling in some instances is a neccesity and the OHHAWA isn’t againt culling, but is looking at promoting more humane methods of culling and also putting some breed management plans in place. We very much want people to realise that sometimes, what is being culled is an important part of our Australian history and heritage. Also, with all the horses that are being imported into Australia currently, we want people to recognise that we have some incredible horses out there running wild and at risk, with all the attributes people look for in a top performance horses for every discipline. On that, it’s great to have support from the likes of Dr Victoria Hamilton, who attended on the day with one of her lovely pupils.

The OHHAWA info stand with Robyn doing a great job!

Beautiful brumbies PD Charlie and Jesse

Anyway, it was a wonderful day, we had lots of laughs, raised some money for the charity and got some great new members. We definately raised awareness about the horses which was my biggest goal for the day. A big thanks to everyone that attended and to all those that helped on the day and leading up to the day.

Prenti Downs Joey and Tooloo being cute

Sheila and Megan posing

It’s a week on now and we still haven’t packed away the barbie and chairs!! The other big news around here is that we’ve bought a property, a lovely 12 acre place with a little cottage and heaps of potential. It’s not far at all from here, only about 7km’s down the road, and of course I will be changing the website and updating all our clients with our new address and details in another few weeks.

Prenti Downs horses, now all sold to lovely homes.

We’re working less horses this month so we have time to get the new place set up, and I’ve also been busy renovating the house as it was fairly ordinary. We’ve removed 20 tonne of concrete from the back yard, I’ve painted the whole house, and yesterday we finished polishing the lovely old wooden floorboards, so it’s starting to look like ‘our house’ now :). We also had a pool installed last night which got the kids very excited! Fred is busy pulling down the timber yards here and starting to build day paddocks over there so it’s all go. The property ajoins some great riding and trails so it will be fantastic for the business and horses. We just can’t wait to get in!!

PD Mabel in the orchard

Fred is still working on the Prenti Downs horses but Tooloo and Jess are just about ready to go home to their new owners…..always very exciting! Mabel, the black mare with the big white blaze, has gone down to Sheila’s purely because she was in the worse condition and she will fatten up better in that environment. Plus, she’s actually abouyt 4 years old so Fred will start her once she is a healthy weight.
The big news is that Joanna, the lovely black/brown mare with the star, is very pregnant and looks to be about to foal anyday.

Brave PD Mabel having her teeth done with Rach Stone

~ So, that was nearly three weeks ago. I can’t belive how time flies around here! We have a full book of horses due in again this weekend so I’m off to help Fred with putting the shelters up. I’ll do another entry from the new place soon with photos as it’s looking so nice. It will take a while to get all the fences up to scratch but the client’s horses facilities are looking great, plus we’re putting in a dressage arena and the round yard is bigger and in full shade this time, not full bloody sun from 10am like the one here! Stupid us.

First touch with PD Joanna. Can't belive there is a fola hiding in there!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and thanks to all for the lovely cards and messages we recieved :).

Trev doing some 'walking up steps training' as all young breakers should!

Posted in Uncategorized