Informative, Inspirational & Aspirational

Informative, Inspirational & Aspirational

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May / June 2020 Edition

From the

Horse's Mouth

With Fiona Todd

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 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.

In this issue - May / June 2020

HorseVibes Charlie Brister

Hitting your stride during lockdown

No matter if you’re social distancing, self-isolating
or are even in quarantine, if you are at home with your horse this is the perfect time to add some spice and variety to your training, writes CHARLIE BRISTER.

HorseVibes Larissa Bilston

Nutritional strategies for a shiny show horse

Nutritionist LARISSA BILSTON on
keeping your horse cool, calm and collected
through the show season.

HorseVibes Boyd Exell

of Champions

Earlier this year Boyd Exell won his ninth FEI World Cup Driving Championship in a row. The media described it as an ‘easy’ win, but behind the scenes it was a different story writes CANDIDA BAKER.

Book Review

An exploration of the way in which horses influence our lives and how we influence theirs, CARON KRAUTH shares her musings on Karin P. Schaefer’s recently published Blue Buckle.

From Brazil, to
Brisbane and beyond

JANE CAMENS talks to Bruna Duraes de Oliveira, the founder of Ride Away, about her lifelong passion for horses, and the business it’s spawned.

Life is better
in boots

For a number of excellent reasons, good quality
riding boots are essential items in every equestrian wardrobe. But there are boots, and then there are boots - so which ones to buy? AMANDA MAC explores some of the many options.

Road testing the
rides less travelled

Kate Pilcher, founder of Globetrotting, one of
Australia’s leading horse riding holiday travel agencies, talks to JANE CAMENS about making people’s riding dreams come true.

When the race is over

The focus on Thoroughbreds’ well-being once their racing career ends has never been more intense.
JO MCKINNON spoke to Fiona McIntyre, winner of the 2020 Victorian Lady of Racing Award, on her considerable success in transitioning Thoroughbreds from the track to the show ring.

Mother’s Day duo: Catherine & Lucy Alati

Is there a secret gene that can be passed down from horse-mad parents to their children? JANE CAMENS spoke to mother and daughter Catherine and Lucy Alati and discovered that it’s a little bit nature, and a little bit nurture.

Taking the pressure off

The equestrian industry has its fair share of pressure, writes mindset coach and trainer TANJA MITTON, who says that it is often our inability to cope with our environment that can rock our mental stability.

The Sensational Shire

It’s not that long since the Shire Horse was teetering on the brink of extinction. But thanks to a timely revival, these magnificent horses have made a significant comeback, writes AMANDA MAC.

Pretty in Plaits

It’s show time! But in the highly competitive confines of the show ring, you’ll need a cutting edge. AMANDA MAC asked Madeleine Leva for some tips on achieving that all important stand-out sparkle.

Working her way to the top

There’s no doubt about it, Working Equitation is on the up and up in Australia, and at the forefront is this month’s Young Rider Poppy Douglas, who spoke to AMANDA MAC about her love of the sport.

Bill the Bastard War Horse

The huge Waler stood just over 17hh and nobody could ride him. He was wild, cantankerous and stubborn. Which is why, writes N.G. QUINLAN, in typical Aussie style, they called him Bill the Bastard. 

20 Questions with Vicki Roycroft

She’s a legend - no doubt about it, but now it’s our turn to get show jumper Vicki Roycroft jumping through some hoops. about her love of the sport.

Around the traps - May-June 2020

See what the HorseVibes community did during past few months!

HorseVibes May-June 2020


Around the traps - March 2020

See what the HorseVibes community did during past month!

What our columnists had to say - March 2020

Our engaging feature articles include ...

Past Issues

HorseVibes - Sample issue

Take a look at the great content HorseVibes delivers each month ...

Meet Our Team


Fiona Todd
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 ...

Amanda McWinnie - HorseVibes Deputy Editor

Acting Editor

Amanda McWhinnie
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 Richman headshot

Marketing Manager

Nicky Richman
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 ...

Lainie Towner - HorseVibes Advertising Manager

Advertising Manager

Lainie Bracher-Towner
Lainie Bracher-Towner’s career in magazine advertising spans over two decades with roles across various brands ranging from Vogue, Marie Claire, CLEO and Australian Good Taste right through to the Australian Women's Weekly. In 2014 Lainie took a huge leap of faith and moved to Byron Bay...

Jane Camens - writer for HorseVibes

Feature Writer

Jane Camens
Jane Camens, who grew up in Brisbane, was horse-obsessed from an early age, with most of her lessons learnt from her iron-mouthed horse Ben! Graduating from the University of Queensland with an Arts degree, she was offered a job as a cadet journalist on The Women’s Weekly by Ita Buttrose...

Charlie Brister - HorseVibes Columnist


Charlie Brister
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...

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