Welcome to the latest edition of HorseVibes. It’s beautiful, of course, and naturally it’s packed with great content, plus some interesting little twists to keep you on your toes!
Since our last edition, the very first obvious change in all our lives is the emergence of COVID-19. As a result we’ve been in lockdown, which hasn’t been easy for any of us. Life is different now, and we’ll have to wait to see what the new normal is when we emerge on the other side of this dreadful pandemic. We do hope that you are all safe, well, and looking after yourselves, your loved ones and your equine companions.
The second big change is that, sadly for all of us here at HorseVibes HQ, Candida Baker, our long standing editor, has left us to take up some exciting new writing and publishing opportunities. Candy, we miss you, we love you, and we wish you every success going forward. But however difficult the circumstances, the show must go on – so thank you Amanda Mac for stepping up and taking the reins.
In need of a little pick-me-up inspiration? Then you can’t go past this edition’s spotlight on Boyd Exell. Boyd has achieved an astonishing nine straight FEI World Cup Driving Championships and his story is motivational to say the very least!
In celebration of Mother’s Day, we introduce you to mother and daughter team Catherine and Lucy Alati. And let’s just take a minute to salute our lovely mums. We hope you all had a super Mother’s Day – one you’ll have deserved more than ever. With the additional
COVID-19 induced home schooling, washing, cleaning and disinfecting tasks, your already busy lives have become much busier. Where would we be without you! And to my own wonderful mum, a very happy Mother’s Day.
Resident columnist Charlie Brister shares how he’s making good use of lockdown to improve his equestrian knowledge and physical fitness. He also offers some great ideas on creating a training plan that will keep your equine partner interested, happy and ready to roll once the show season restarts.
Talking of returning to competition, we all need that special sparkle to stand out from the crowd. So if pretty plaits elude you and your quarter markings don’t quite cut the mustard, turn to our Training Tips feature for all you need to know about achieving show ring perfection. Obviously, there’s no better time to be practicing your grooming skills – and please do take some pics of your hard work and send them in to us. We’d love to see them.
Returning to the subject of taking care of you, mindset coach and trainer Tanja Mitton climbs onto the Tackbox to address the problem of mental stress and pressure, and offers some coping strategies that can help to create a more positive, content outlook on life.
Looking for a great book to read during lockdown? Then our Culture Corner feature – in which Caron Krauth discusses Karin P. Schaefer’s recently published Blue Buckle, a can’t-put-it-down look at the way horses influence our lives and how we influence theirs – is perfectly timed!
And for another exciting lockdown activity, why not plan your next holiday? Jane Camens explores some fabulous horse riding holiday options – and to really feed that travel bug, download the PicTrax app and check out some of the great images other travellers have been sharing.
There are some intriguing insights into the biggest horses on earth in Amanda Mac’s musings on the sensational Shire, N. G. Quinlan tells the amazing story of Bill the Bastard war horse, plus there’s 20 Questions with the one and only Vicki Roycroft, as well as all your favourites including our Young Rider, Saddle Review, and Around the Traps.
And finally, we are very proud to announce the arrival of the Equestrian Marketplace, your all-things-equine online store (you’ll find it at equestrianhub.com.au). We firmly believe that together we are stronger, so please support the businesses that make our equestrian community so special.
As usual, get yourself comfortable, pour your favourite tipple and enjoy.
I’m pretty sure I heard a collective sigh of relief across the nation as lockdown rules slowly relaxed and we started getting out and about again with our ponies. I can’t wait to see everyone’s Facebook feed with competition photos and smiling faces. As we all know – it’s been a while!
In this edition, Equestrian Hub launches its new member platform: look for magazines, training tips, prize draws, and loyalty points, with much more to be added as we follow our vision for making the Equestrian Hub your virtual equestrian hang out.
To help you get back into the swing of things – and to make sure you and your mounts enjoy the experience – resident coach Charlie Brister offers his top 10 tips for making your journey back to post-COVID life as smooth as possible. And while we’re on the subject, best grab the opportunity afforded by the transition period to up the game on your own fitness! Champion eventer Amanda Ross has all you need to know to lift your riding to the next level.
Candida Baker has been down in the Snowy Mountains to investigate the plight of our beautiful Brumbies. Let’s do all we can to support our national treasure – and thank you, Carol Hancock, for our gorgeous cover image.
Editor Amanda Mac talks to internationally recognised artist Lyn Beaumont in Culture Corner – and stay tuned, because we have some seriously amazing creatives lined up for future issues.
Those of us who float horses between Queensland and NSW will be well aware of the truly dreadful stop at the Kirra Tick Gate. Journalist Sonia Caeiro Alvarez investigates the many facets of this problem and speaks to some of those affected, including change spokesperson Melinda Rechichi.
On the subject of our horse’s feet, the Horse Listener looks at Palmer angles and Master Farrier David Farmilo hops onto this issue’s Tackbox to talk about horse’s legs and, you guessed it, their hooves. What should you be looking for when buying a new horse? Here’s a clue: no hoof, no horse!
With the breeding season approaching, equine nutritionist Leisa Hofstetter explains how your mare’s fertility can be supported with correct nutrition, and we talk to Agnes Banks Equine Vets about insemination.
New Zealand’s Mount View Stud is renowned for breeding internationally successful show jumping champions. Geoff McLean takes a look at the story behind that success story, while new columnist Francine Pullman writes about the magnificent Anglo-Arabian in our regular Breed feature.
Kristen Fleet keeps her head firmly on her shoulders with this issue’s equipment piece on all things helmet, and also explains why she’s added an Icelandic riding holiday to her bucket list … just wait till you see the photos!
In her regular Life After Racing column, Jo McKinnon talks to Queenslander Jane Gollan to find out more about the journey a Thoroughbred makes as it transitions into civilian life. She also reveals a brand new initiative designed to maximise the successful re-homing of our OTT friends.
Training Tips is all about Western presentation – which is pretty spectacular by anyone’s standards – and our Young Rider is the high flying Amelia Douglass. And this issue’s Horse in History offers a bit of a mystery! Neil Quinlan has written a fascinating article on Picasso, America’s most famous wild mustang. But is Picasso really a horse in history, or is he still roaming the wide open spaces of the Colorado plains?
Then to close HorseVibes’ jam-packed July/August issue, Charlie asks champion eventer Boyd Martin twenty very interesting questions, and gets some equally interesting answers!
So as usual, pour your favourite tipple, sit back and enjoy!
In this issue - july / August 2020
Brumbies are a beloved national icon, but they are also considered a feral pest by some, writes CANDIDA BAKER of the troubled future facing the horses that carry so much of Australia’s cultural heritage.
She’s an equestrian coach, world class eventer, and she rides for Australia. Amanda Ross’ career has been extraordinary, and her commitment to fitness absolute. AMANDA MAC asked her for tips on how to up your fitness game to help take your riding to the next level.
You’ve decided to breed a foal! But before you do, there are a few important basics to consider. To help you on your way, we sourced the expert advice of Mark Wiggett and Jenny Watts, veterinarians at the Agnes Banks Equine Clinic.
Have you ever wondered how an off the track Thoroughbred is transitioned into ‘civilian’ life? As you may have guessed, it’s quite a process. JO MCKINNON spoke to Jane Gollan to find out more.
With her work hanging in the homes of HRH Princess Anne and the Duchess of Bedford, Lyn Beaumont is clearly an equine artist of considerable repute. AMANDA MAC spoke to Lyn recently about her remarkable equine portraiture.
If you compete in either Western Reining or Western Pleasure riding, this is the article for you! CAROL BACKHOUSE and NATASHA HUMPHRIES are experts in creating a show-stopping look and kindly took the time to share some of their top tips.
Songs have been written about him, photographers adore him, and horse lovers travel long distances in the hope of catching a glimpse of him. N.J. QUINLAN brings us the remarkable story of Picasso, a living legend and America’s most famous wild mustang.
With a career that’s spanned several continents and includes an impressive list of three day event successes, we were curious to know what makes the remarkable Boyd Martin tick.
With a stellar year behind her, showjumper Amelia Douglass has no intention of slowing the pace. She spoke to AMANDA MAC about the story so far and her plans for the future.
Never were there truer words spoken. Accredited Master Farrier DAVID FARMILO is on a mission to encourage horse owners to gain a better understanding of the horse’s hoof as an essential part of its well-being and performance.
From the grandeur of Grand Prix dressage to the stamina of endurance and eventing, the Anglo-Arabian has been a shining star in the equestrian world, as FRANCINE PULLMAN discovered.
It is not by chance that Wendy Keddell has developed a breeding formula that’s producing internationally successful show jumping champions. GEOFF McLEAN of Gone Riding Media spoke to Wendy and dug deep to discover more.
Around the traps - July-August 2020
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Meet Our Team
HorseVibes publisher Fiona Todd grew up on the North Coast of NSW on a dairy farm and developed a love for animals from a young age. “I spent hours playing with my dad’s trusty stock horse, Smokey,” she says, “and I eventually got my own horse when I was 12. She was the first in a long line of ...
UK-born Amanda McWhinnie’s love affair with horses began when she was four-years-old. “I was with my parents at a show jumping event when a dappled grey horse caught my eye as it cleared jump after jump with a carefree swish of its luxuriant tail. I was entranced,” she says, “and it started a lifetime ...
Nicky has been involved with horses her entire life having been raised on, and actively involved in, her parents highly successful Standardbred breeding establishment ‘Banner Lodge’ in Christchurch, NZ. “I started competing when I very young,” she says, “and I’ve always loved eventing, although I’ve also ...
Jo Mckinnon is a multi-award winning horse racing and equestrian broadcaster and documentary maker. She is the host of a popular radio programme & podcast 'Talking Horses' and is a former top-level show rider, who has competed all over Australia with her hacks. “As someone who has been a racing commentator for many years I love the positive life after racing stories,” she says.
Candida travelled from Byron to Ballarat in search of answers for her Spotlight feature on Australia’s iconic Brumbies, and the complex issue of whether we can manage their populations humanely. In her Horse Listener column, she explains why negative palmar angles can cause joint issues, and looks at possible solutions.
If Charlie Brister was to advertise himself for sale, he says he’d put himself in the ‘All Rounder’ category. A bush-bred boy, he grew up riding pre-track racehorses. “I’d gallop through the bush with no idea of what a rising diagonal, or a correct distance was,” says this now NCAS Level 2 Eventing Coach...