Horse info & SA blogs

With a generally interesting international / local section under Lifestyle which may not have anything to do with equestrian at all.

AskHQ: Smile rings

Q: Is it true that you need to see two ‘smile rings’ in the corners of your horse’s mouth to know that the bit

AskHQ: Racing diet

Q: What is the typical racing diet? Answered by Jassy MacKenzie A: In order to meet the extreme physical demands of racing, racehorses are

AskHQ: Stretching out

Q: My horse tosses his head when he comes up from a stretch? Why is this? Asked by Kath Harrison A: A stretch is

AskHQ: Blind spot

Q: Where is a horse’s blind spot? Asked by Liza de Beer A: Horses have nearly 360-degree vision, with their only blind spots being

AskHQ: How can I deal with my horse refusing jumps?

Q: How can I deal with my horse refusing jumps? A: To avoid refusals or deal with them when they happen, try the following:

Trailer tips

By Hayley Kruger Boxing already has a degree of risk involved, so as responsible horse owners we should make every effort to make the

AskHQ: Cow hocks

[Q] My instructor says that my horse has cow hocks. Should I be concerned? Will this affect his sale-ability in the future? Asked anonymously

AskHQ: Photography

[Q] My vet has asked for photographs of my horse’s feet, but she has asked me to retake them twice as they aren’t showing

AskHQ: Stirrup length

Q: What is a good guideline for jumping stirrup length for heights between 70cm and 1.20m? Asked by Laura Paschini A: As a rule

AskHQ: Treeless quandry

Q: Should I go treeless? A: The tree of a saddle is generally considered pretty fundamental in that it helps to balance the rider

AskHQ: Growing horses

Q: People say horses don’t stop growing until they’re seven years old. If this is true, should we be riding them when they’re four?

AskHQ: Teaching a horse to spin

Q: How do you teach a horse to spin? A: A spin is a forward trot manoeuvre. The best way to teach the spin

AskHQ: Left behind

Q: How can I make box rest easier for my horse? He is so stressed when the other horses go out in the morning? 

AskHQ: Grackle noseband

Q: What is a grackle noseband? A: The grackle noseband is also known as the figure-of-eight noseband. The grackle is designed with a main

AskHQ: Western spurs

Q: Western spurs look so different. Do they hurt the horse more than conventional spurs and how are they used? A: Western spurs may

AskHQ: Conformation

Q: Which conformational factors are considered important to look for in a riding horse? A: When looking at the conformation of the horse to

AskHQ: Uphill or downhill

Q: Is my horse built ‘uphill’ or ‘downhill’? A: Body balance is partly determined by the relative height of the croup and withers of

AskHQ: Pastern bone

Q: When is a pastern considered too short? Q: The pastern is the area between the fetlock joint and the top of the hoof,



AskHQ: The sitting trot

Q: I just can’t sit the sitting trot. How can I improve this? Answered by Elena Jankowitz A: The sitting trot is challenging for

AskHQ: Fresh

Q: What is the longest I can leave my horse unworked without him getting fresh? A: This is a difficult question to answer, because

AskHQ: Hydrophobia

Q: How can I get my horse to overcome his fear of water? A: Fear of water is a very common issue in horses.

AskHQ: Test-driving a bit

Q: Why is ‘test driving’ a bit such an important part of the process?  A: When you have an idea of the horse’s anatomy,

The locking stifle

By Dr Luke Poore A locking stifle is caused by upward fixation of the patella in the stifle joint of the horse. The patella

AskHQ: Do Miniature Horses wear shoes?

Q: Do Miniature Horses wear shoes? A: Miniature Horses have no need for shoes. They have very hardy hooves and with correct trimming they

Solarium therapy

All over the world and more and more in South Africa, equestrians are seeing the benefits of solarium therapy for their horses. Many professional

AskHQ: Is a horse smarter than a dog?

Q: Is a horse smarter than a dog?  Asked by Eve Exley Horses and dogs are very different animals. People often judge the intelligence

AskHQ: Placing poles

Q: What’s the point of a placing pole? A: Placing poles help to control a horse who speeds and are also excellent for creating

AskHQ: Riding a circle

Q: How can you keep a horse straight and balanced on a circle? A: Oddly enough a circle is actually a very good tool

AskHQ: Breaking into downward transitions

Q: How can you stop a horse from breaking into downward transitions? A: All too often riders experience that feeling of the horse collapsing



andrew barlow fine art

Born 1970, Harare, Zimbabwe. Studied Fine Art at University of Stellenbosch, graduating in 1992 with a degree in Fine Arts (Painting). website: andrew barlow fine art

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Caryn Bowie

I know horses intimately as an art subject, the musculoskeletal system, the way the coat shines over the muscles and the facial expressions. Pastel drawings of African animals and Racehorses. Digital Photographic Art of African Animals printed on canvas. Mosaic rocks and frames. I live on a wildlife estate in

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Horse Training Beginners

Horse Training - A Beginners Guide

5 Mistakes Horse Owners Often Make When Loading Their Horse

Mistake #1 – Thinking your horse is like a dog or a cat.

Unless the new horse owner has been educated, they may think their horse is like a cat or dog.  The new horse owner may pat his thigh and say, “C’mon” a few times and the horse will just leap into the trailer like a happy dog.

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Horse Training - A Beginners Guide

Another Method of Loading a Horse in a Trailer

Since there is no one right way or one wrong way to train a horse, you may want to change the method you are using to train your horse.  You have several different ways to choose from.  If you are not having any luck with one method you can always try another.

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Horse Training - A Beginners Guide

Bit vs Bitless


When it comes to the welfare of the horse, riders and trainers do their best to ensure that the horse is not subject to pain under saddle. One of the most common debates is about training horses to be ridden with a bit and training them to be ridden without a bit. There are many advantages to both methods. For certain situations, a bit may be more efficient than not using one. In other situations, riding without a bit may be more comfortable to the horse than using a bit. It depends on the situation, the training level of the horse, the rider’s abilities, and the goals that you are trying to achieve with your horse as to which method will work best.  

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Horse Training - A Beginners Guide

Horse Training – A Beginners Guide

If you are either looking to buy a horse or maybe you have already acquired a horse.  Either way the will need to be trained.  Whether you do it yourself or hire a trainer to train the horse for you.

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Horse Training - A Beginners Guide

Horse training, food for thought for beginners

You should practice things your horse already knows before introducing something new. New skills should be introduced on something your horse already knows. Building on previously learnt skills is the key to being successful in horse training.

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