In my recently published book, I lamented that I owed two dollars to a friend from over 30 years ago. The story in brief was that I had a horrific horse accident when in my twenties, cutting short my ambition to ride my way into history. After years of recuperation, I dreamed of working with horses back in the bush. It was then in the early 1970’s that my accountant had bet me two dollars that if I put an ad in the local paper, I would find enough horses to shoe in the Adelaide Hills to keep me busy 24 hours a day. He was right, but I lost contact with him, and the two dollars that I owed him was the centrepiece of my silver belt buckle.
After the book was published, I found him again less than 100km away, and it was great to renew the friendship over the phone. I dropped in unannounced to his property one day and finding no-one at home, strolled over to the horse paddock to see what horses he had.There in retirement was an aged … Continue Reading ››
In management courses, the first step is often to train the trainer. I run ABC Hoof Care Courses for horse owners, enabling them to recognise a balanced hoof and, if they wish, to trim or even shoe their own horses. Sometimes I think I should go back a step or two, and teach horse owners some basic horse sense too. Maybe I could call it Train the Owner. At a recent course, all the participants were trimming the hoof in preparation for the shoe. One participant was having trouble with her horse, and repeatedly belted it with a rasp. “If you do that again, I will start crying,” I said. “But she is a bitch,” said the owner in indignation.I preach total non-violence in shoeing horses, and will not tolerate it from any of my pupils. In these modern times it is no longer acceptable practice to smack a child and it should be equally unacceptable to hit an animal. On seeing new horses, I am often told by my clients that their horse doesn’t … Continue Reading ››