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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in dressage





Pictured above is Fern Wright riding Ferrero Red Onyx

Even under current renovations Boneo Park still looked amazing as was the atmosphere. Boneo Park held yet another brilliant dressage event over the weekend. 

All riders were offered a complimentary stable due to works being completed to the grounds to minimise the damage to the newly seeded areas and levelled ground that is being prepared for the new stable blocks - yes blocks!

What a great way to manage their facilities and also to provide a hassle free place for their competitors which meant riders were able to concentrate on what lay ahead of them - well done Boneo Park for the gesture I am sure it won't be forgotten.

The Big Tour is always impressive to see, the wining combination to take out the Grand Prix event was Pauline Carnovale riding Urestan. In the FEI Intermediate I Georgina Foot took out the honours here with her gelding Bellaire Cannavaro followed closely in second place by Georgia Haythorpe on her lovely mare Letizia. Georgia and Letizia just missed out by a narrow 2% on the winning score. 

On the Sunday the riding continued and Justine Greer won the Advanced 5.1 on Jaybee Angelina scoring almost 73% in one of her scores - what an amazing ride!

Well done to all riders over the weekend and thank you to all the staff at Boneo Park for making it such a great place to be.

For photos captured over the weekend please click on the link http://lnsp.smugmug.com/Winter-Dressage-Championships-/






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Posted by on in Equestrian

Bianca Souter... some of you may have heard of her and some may not. For those who have not I am sure you will hear more soon enough.

I met with Bianca on the weekend at Boneo Park's Combined Training Day August 10th. We got to talking about her riding aspirations and her horse beautiful Thoroughbred horse Jett.

How did you come to find Jett? We came across Jett in August 2011 through Megan Joyce. We were originally looking at another horse she had who was also off the track, but was a bit too small. Megan mentioned she had Jett but he was recently retired form racing so he knew next to nothing.

What education had Jett had before you got him if any? Jett barely had anything really as he was fresh off the track. He was 3 years old when I gave him his new home. He is a rising 4 year old now and we are making terrific progress. Jett and I placed second at Boneo Park the weekend gone in the Combined Training Day in the Pre Novice events.

What sort of riding do you do with Jet? We mainly do eventing. I couldn't be more pleased with him. Jett loves to do Cross Country. I am truly fortunate though as he's good at all phases of eventing. It's almost too good to be true.


Have you had many setbacks within regards to training such a young horse in particular one that had raced? Fortunately nothing to dramatic, just the occasional upset stomach and a torn peck muscle recently. Jett can be quite a nervous anxious type horse so we're constantly working on that.

How has Jett's attitude been in regards to his new life after racing. Does he think he is still a racehorse? I swear its still on sometimes! I guess that's just a perk with owning a TB that has come off the track. Jett is defiantly a different horse from when we got him! Bonding and creating a relationship with your horse is the best way to over come that and I believe we have a great partnership.

Bianca, what are your goals from here, where do you want to Jett off too? My current goal is to compete at Melbourne International 3 Day Event 2014 (no pressure) at 1 star level, but aside from that I just want to get the horse up and running competitively above pre novice, that's the goal.

Can you see yourself owning another Thoroughbred to compete with in the future? Definitely!

Jett's race name was SnapJack and his show alias is "High Demand" I think in future both Jett and Bianca will be in High Demand.

Congratulations to them both and I wish them every success together in achieving their dreams and goals.


If you are considering owning a Thoroughbred this story is proof that commitment and hard work pays off and furthermore they're a breed of horse well worth investing your time in to. 



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Well it has been a very busy time at Winmallee. We have had a lot of new students starting with us in the last few weeks, so this has been keeping me busy teaching.

Our new colt "Bon Braxton" will be starting his new journey to Australia from Germany. He will be picked up from Germany on the 5th August to start his quarantine in the UK on the 7th August. He will be in quarantine until the 29th August and will fly to Australia and do quarantine here till the 21st September. IRT have let me know that quarantine laws will be changing and now only needing 2 weeks quarantine and this is meant to be starting in September this year. So our Bon Braxton may be leaving quarantine on September 14th. This would be amazing as he would be at Winmallee on the 16th September which happens to be by birthday. Only problem is I will be doing the below school, well we will just have to fit it all in.

Menola Mendez is holding a clinic on the 14th, 15th, 16th and I will be taking  Winmallee Mojo. We will be  starting Piaffe and Passage with him, which will be exciting as this wonderful horse has only been 1 year OTT. Mojo has been such an amazing horse to train and has such a great trainable personality it has made life so easy for me. He has gone from racing to medium level dressage in 1 year. This is a horse that just try's so hard to please.

 Then on the 24th we are expecting a lovely De Niro foal from Winmallee Emerald. Plenty going on to keep us extremely busy. Then we will be putting her back in foal to De Niro again and Winmallee Royal Reine will be going in foal for the first time to Ampere. She is by Royal Hit who sadly put down last week with a broken leg.

Show season has started again and our first show with Winmallee Mojo will be on this weekend. Shows will be nearly every weekend now.

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Since qualifying as an H level judge I have judged the Dressage phase at quite a few One Day Events in our area, but was blown away when Vicki Burgess asked if I would be interested I being on the Ground Jury for the 80 cm class at the Quirindi 3DE. I evented locally as a child with not a great deal of success, and then participated in my first ODE for 24 years about 18 months ago- the 45 cm class at Nyngan where I managed to get the princess eliminated at the last jump, the water. So I’m not totally ignorant about eventing, but definitely not what you would call an expert.

 So it was with trepidation that I set off last week, not knowing what I was in for. Well I shouldn’t have been concerned. What a great bunch of people to work with. The Ground Jury for this class consisted of Winks Armstrong and myself with Rebecca Moxam as the Technical Delegate. The Ground Jury makes the decisions on fitness, rule interpretations and appeals/protests in conjunction with Vets, stewards and other officials.


So what is the process for a 3DE ? On the Thursday afternoon, all horses were inspected by an FEI Steward and a Vet to make sure they were who they were supposed to be… no Fine Cotton here.


And then the fun began.


Friday morning started with an official Trot Up, where all horses were inspected by an FEI vet, Celina Sylvester in this case and the rest of the Ground Jury for that class. It’s a very formal process with riders and horses dolled up, each combination called up by the marshall, then an announcement made at the completion.


 Horses were required to stand for a quick visual inspection, then walk approximately 10m, then trot about 30, turn around a marker clockwise and trot all the way back. If all members of the Ground Jury were happy with the soundness of the horse, then it was accepted and off they went. If there were any concerns regarding the fitness of the horse to complete the three phases, then they were “held”, and fully inspected by another vet, and another FEI Steward. The horse was then represented.


If a horse is still not quite right, the Ground Jury, in consultation with the FEI Vet and the TD may eliminate the combination, the rider may withdraw the horse, or the horse may be accepted pending another inspection, possibly under saddle prior to the dressage phase. It may also be that the horse is allowed to complete the dressage, but must be inspected again before being allowed to present for the Cross Country.


My class was a huge class, with 32 combinations presenting to the vet. Being the lowest class, we had quite a few young horses with experienced riders, and some quite experienced horses with juniors or inexperienced riders. A number of the horses in my class were a bit scratchy, mostly due to age.  I found it a really difficult thing to balance the principles of encouraging inexperienced riders on experienced horses and helping them enjoy the sport with the principles of welfare of the horse. We ended up with one horse that needed to represent before its’ dressage, and 3 that the vet watched their dressage to make sure they were ok and definitely safe and sound enough to go cross country.


In the end, all were deemed ok to continue through the dressage and cross country.


So what does the Ground Jury do for Cross Country ?


We had to inspect the Cross Country course, observe all our class cross country and deal with any appeals that arose from XC in consultation with jump judges, XC control and the TD.


 Its quite a long walk around a long format 3DE course. At least our course was simple enough with no options to consider but we did have one tricky bit, a pipe bounce. Apparently this is a legal fence but quite unusual.


Sue Gunn, Darryl Burgess and Ming Thompson had done a brilliant job on the XC course. Each fence had clear ground lines and hundreds of  potplants were used as fill and colour. To top it off, the entire course and surrounds had been mown.


The Ground Jury for each class stays the same, but in practice the GJ’s for all the classes shared the duties across all classes;


 One person ( for my class, this was me) stayed with Control, who is the person who keeps a tally of refusals and incidents on course and makes the call if someone needs to be pulled off the course and walk home. In this case, control was up on a hill, and could see most of the course.


Another went to the finish, and if someone missed a fence on course or there were questions that  needed to be dealt with, this person  informed the rider immediately. This is a relatively new idea, and it worked brilliantly and ended up saving quite a lot of time trying to find riders after the fact, and reduced the number of appeals as the riders knew straight away while it was fresh in anyone’s mind if there had been an issue.


There were 2 GJ members that roamed around each part of the course, and if there were queries raised by control, they went straight to the jump judges and investigated immediately, again, while it was fresh in everyone’s mind.


I got to spend a bit of time with each of these positions, and then did the 1* and 2* classes at the finish with the FEI Stewards and vets. This was a really interesting facet of the event. Facial expressions at the end are quite special…jubilation of those who got around that didn’t expect to, exhaustion on the faces of those who had a hard ride and some interesting expressions on the faces of those who had to walk home as a result of elimination due to rider error.

 Each horse is visually assessed for injuries, has its temperature taken and heart rate as soon as the rider finishes.


Horses are then iced, scraped, walked, hosed….to get their temps down as quickly as possible. This is a really busy area and the Quirindi committee had great finishes, right near wash bays with ample running water and ice on hand.


All horses were checked  again at 10 minutes. Many horses’ temp increased at 10 minutes, but their heart rate dropped. If the vets were happy at 10 minutes, then they were cleared to go. If not, they were checked again at 20 minutes.


Only a couple of issues in the 80cm XC. No falls, a few missed jumps, a couple of refusals at the bounce pipes. Funnily enough, it wasn’t the actual bounce that was the problem, but rather, the lairy, shiny paint.


Another trot up before  the showjumping, and only one issue. The horse did look a little sore in front, and the vets suggested a farrier check the horse as it looked like a minor issue that could be easily fixed, however the rider decided to with draw. Horses that were eliminated XC were allowed to complete the showjumping if they wished, subject to the trot up and a few took this option.


As a member of the GJ, we had to inspect the course for distance, height, marking, ground suitability, quality of the jumps and safety of individual fences. As expected, no issues and everything with the jumping went off without a hitch.


So from a newby, it was great to be involved with an event from start to finish.  The weather was great, and in my class, I think the best horses floated to the top. Will I do it again ? In a heartbeat.  As I said, I was nervous about taking on such a big and unknown task .  Luckily, the rest of the team had a huge amount of experience and happily answered my multitude of questions.


I took a heap of photographs over the course of the weekend and you can see all of these at ***


Full results for all classes can be found at ****


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Well it has been a very busy time for Winmallee over the last few weeks. We have been out to a couple of shows with the youngsters with great success. Stars of the Future show results were:

Winmallee De Nisha (De Niro)

1st - Open filly foal (Judge 1)


1st - Open filly foal (Judge 2)


Winmallee Roya Reine (Royal Hit) and for sale

1st - Open filly 2yld (Judge 1)


1st - Open filly 2yld (Judge 2)


Winmallee Furst Class (Furst Love) owned by Lisa Hosking

1st - Open male foal (Judge 1)


1st - Open male foal (Judge 2)


Winmallee Royal Rufino (Royal Hit) owned by Lisa Hosking

1st - Open male yearling (Judge 1)


1st - Open male yearling (judge 2)


The following weekend (23/6/2013) went to another show just with my younstock:

Winmallee De Nisha

1st - Warmblood filly foal


1st - Open filly foal



Winmallee Royal Reine

1st - Warmblood Junior filly


1st - Open Junior filly


I am so proud of my foals and young horses. They were all on their best behaviour and they do enjoy going out. It is very important when showing very young horses that you do not put too much pressure on them. I will never stable my young horses, actually I never stable any of my show horses as I do want to keep them mentally happy and physically well. If you stable your young horses you will face problems with their joints as they are growing. They really need to be able to run around the paddocks and be horses. As you can see from my horses that they look extremely healthy and happy.

I will only show the foals if yards are available for them as I will not tie them up all day to the float or keep them in the float like I see others do. I do not shave every hair off their body, or shave their eyebrows (which I see all the time), shave their whiskers off around their muzzle or eyes. This to me is cruel and should not happen. You will see in my pictures that the horses are plaited up and have a little makeup on but that is as fare as I am going to go with them. The horse at breed shows are being judge on their breed not how pretty you can make them. The horse has its own natural beauty and why destroy that.

The other thing that must be thought about is the handling of the youngster. Allowances should be made for these babies as it is all a lot to take in. Yes they are allowed to jump around (but not on top of you) when they see something they don't know. Yes they are allowed to be silly (with in reason). Always remember they are babies and should not be asked to behave like mature horses. I have seen too many babies been punished harshly as shows for not standing correctly or leading how the owner wants them too.

I have seen on other pages that people were asking why you show youngster? They thought it is not a good idea? What are other people opinions on this? Always nice to have a thread going about topics.

I personally do not see a problem with it as long as the horse is kept in their natural environment as much as possible. It is great education for them for later in life as long as you do not show too often that they become bored and nasty.

True horsemanship demands time, patience and a, sometimes painful honesty. As our horses start to mirror our traits, we may come face to face with the reflection of behaviour which shows that we might be lacking in kindness, confidence and a desire to please.


You have to be disciplined enough to master your own personality otherwise you will not successfully master a horse. This is why the art of classical horsemanship takes a lifetime to achieve. The classical path is sound and all who follow this route can learn more of the fundamental qualities missing from today’s way of life.
If you would like to see more about showing and the horses at Winmallee please visit my face book page "Winmallee Classical Riding" and go to "Winmallee Warmbloods" and 'Like the Page'. For contact details go to my website - www.winmallee.com.au



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Winmallee Classical Riding Due to a lot of thought I am very sad to say that Winmallee Royal Reine (Royal Hit) will be coming up for sale. I will be looking for the perfect home for this very special girl. She is only coming up for sale due to having too much going on at Winmallee Classical Riding. We have the new colt arriving from Germany in September and foals due. We also have quiet a few horses booked in for training so there is only so much we can fit it all in. Please only contact my if you are seriously interested in her. Give me a call or email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or go to my website: www.winmallee.com.au
Breed: Warmblood.
Breeding: Royal Hit x Winmallee Emerald
DOB: 23/9/2010
Colour: Liver Chestnut
2012 - AWHA Led Filly of the Year SA
2012 - AWHA Over all Led Horse of the year SA
Many champions and supremes
She is broken in and had a hand full of rides and now continuing with in hand work for her training as she is too young to be ridden. In hand her two track work is there and starting Piaffe. When she is ready to continue her riding career she will have everything learnt from the ground. She has been scanned at the vet and is ready to breed with.

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This is Winmallee Coolari (Scolari IFS) colt.

 This is his amazing story on his ruff start in life. When he was born he was stuck in mum for 1.5 hours. Mum started to progress giving birth and just the bubble appeared and then after 10 minutes there was no progress. I then rang the vet and no answer so I then proceeded to ring another 5 vets. A vet came out 1.5 hours later and the mare was very stressed and I just wanted to save her as I new the foal was not going to be alive. We then pulled the foal out and "Wow he was alive". The reason was the mare retained her placenta and then the following day (9hours later) my vet came and slowly removed the placenta which took about half an hour.

Then his story continues. He has such a will to live this little guy.

The Big two Surgeries on his c2 & c3 vertebra from a displacement.

My fella did this when he was 4 months old. He had a virus and then we think because is was wobbly he tipped on his nose. He was very wobbly behind and could not coordinate back legs and then front legs. The vet did lots of bloods and he did have the virus but the wobbly stuff made no sense. He did not have wobblers as this happened basically over night. So took him down for xrays and we nearly died when we saw his neck. The vet did not understand how he was still alive. His spinal cored was really crushed. It should be at 16mls and it was 7mls. So we were going to put him down. The vet said he was the nicest looking and behaved colt he has come across and could not bear to put him down. Se he spent the weekend doing research on this. This surgery had been done in France but not on c2 & c3 but the horses made a full recovery and went on the be world cup show jumpers. So we went a head and tried it. He did the first surgery and did not expect him to get up and he did. He then x-rayed and was not happy with the plate as it was a little too big. 11 days later he went in again and changed the plate and put the six screws back in. Because he was such a quiet horse he could recover, but most horses would not have been able to cope. We then xrayed 2 months later and it looked great. So I have been doing physio with him by lunging him in the arena to get him moving and using himself. Everything has paid off as now he has the most amazing movement and balance. Gallops and plays in the paddock with my other foal. From a foal who could not even walk now to a normal foal running, bucking rearing. So I am looking forward to breaking him in down the track and riding.

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The evolution of the English Thoroughbred may have been an accident of fate, but to the racing and hunting world, it was the coup de grace to the bad old days of expensive importation.  English nobility and commoner alike were now able to enjoy their own hot blood.  National breeding allowed small provincial studs to exist alongside those of the great country houses.  All that mattered was the propagation of a race of stamina and great speed which bred true.  Aesthetically beautiful with fine limbs and delicate head, sensitive, exciting to ride, hotheaded and brave, the Thoroughbred had come to stay.


With the Thoroughbred came a complete change of riding style.  Academic study had no place in the lives of most sporting gentlemen. There was a real need to return to a proper study of riding technique since ‘the many fatal accidents which daily happen, sufficiently prove the necessity of acquiring some knowledge of equestrian education, of which a pliability and command of the body on horseback, certainly forms a most essential part.’


Frenchmen shook their heads and called this resistance to discipline Anglo-mania, but they also could find no fault with the English horse.  English horses more than any other European have this quality . . .(they) are often out for a whole day without being unbridled, and always they are on the tail of the hounds in their foxhunting, jumping hedges and ditches . . .


Those more academic horsemen, who were able to see the value of classical training prior to riding across country, were mostly disregarded or ignored in England.  The balanced, classical set of the manage so necessary for achieving collection, was fast becoming outdated.  Saddles changed drastically to complement a new position; the English hunting saddle was lengthened in the seat to accommodate a shortened stirrup which afforded riders an easy passenger seat when walking or standing at a cover, but gave upward mobility for the faster gaits.


The thinking behind the new hunting saddle was basically good.  In 1805 an advocate fist and foremost of manage riding, recognized that for hunting a completely different balance was required.  Riders wedged themselves against the cantle, too close to the horse’s loins.  They were leaning backward rather than forwards, drawing support from the reins, their feet rammed home in the stirrups and Jove help if you broke leather!  Years later, came the ‘the old gentleman’s seat in which the body was back and the feet forward at the canter . . .however pleasurable to the rider, it is very much the reverse to the horse.  It is in fact a travesty of riding, it is not horsemanship.’


‘A raw man is much easier taught to do well than one who has learnt ever so long on bad principles for it is much more difficult to undo that to do, and the in respect to horses.


Whilst the snaffle bit was recommended for novices, it was important that ‘men use their snaffles delicately; otherwise, as a snaffle has not the power, which a (full) bridle has upon a horse’s mouth, they will use themselves to take such liberties with it, as will quite spoil their hands and teach the horses to pull, be dead in hand, and quite upon their shoulders, entirely deprived of good action.’

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Blog Update - 17th June 2013

Kapu Star is coming along well in his re-training and is pleasing us with everything he does.

Here is a short video of him trotting up the road during a recent ride out.

We went for 12km on that ride and he didn't cause a moments worry.

Apart from traffic, he had to contend with dogs rushing out, overturned rubbish bins and wind chimes dangling from letter boxes.

Not to mention horses charging up to the fence in paddocks along the road to see who the visitors were.

All in all a very sensible horse with good dressage movement and a nice jumping style.

Kapu Star is an ideal candidate for anyone looking for a quality equestrian thoroughbred.

Go here to view his profile on the Racehorse Outplacement Program web site.

Kapu Star On the RoadKapu Star On the Road

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The Cyberhorse Racehorse Outplacement Program blog features stories about ex-racehorses undergoing training or graduates which have made the transition to the equestrian world.

Tania Twaits purchased Chocolate Jade (Choco) last October. Here is his page on the Racehorse Outplacement Program site.

Here is Tania's story of how Choco became an important part of her family.

There are a couple of tests a new horse must pass at our place:

  1. The children test
    We have two active boys aged 6 and 8 who love horses and want to be involved in all elements and;
  2. The adaptable test
    I want to be able to ride anywhere and in any conditions and enjoy it.


On his first day in a new environment, Chocolate Jade (Choco) was confronted by two border collies, two excited boys, Alpacas and a gorgeous 17hh thoroughbred and he settled in amazingly well. He just took everything in his stride, nothing seemed to faze him. The boys thought he was a pony when he came off the float (as they are so used to our other giant) and wanted to lead him, feed him, and cuddle him.

They used his lead rope as a skipping rope while it was still attached to his halter on his head and literally threw hay at him and he didn't spook, he just stood there. So by the end of day one, it was clear that he had passed the children test. And to this day, the boys continue to lead him to the paddock, load him on the float, brush him, change his covers, feed him and have the occasional ride.

He has a wonderful temperament. In the first 6 weeks I rode Choco in many different environments. From bush riding in the Macedon Ranges to country road riding (with rubbish trucks going past) to Adult Riding classes and dressage lessons in an indoor arena. We rode in torrential rain (not by choice!), windy conditions and had horses taking off in front of us and he literally didn't put a foot wrong.

He took a little time to adjust to a new environment in some instances, but once he had he was relatively relaxed. All my experienced horse friends, as was I, were very impressed with how he handled himself. He passed the second test.


I have focussed our efforts on dressage but mixing it up by riding in the bush and paddock (changing the setting). To begin with, Choco was unbalanced and very stiff, particularly on the right rein with head in the air, was short in his stride with uneven paces and didn't always want to move forward.

For the last six months, I have been working with Regina Banninger. I have a weekly lesson and her approach with Choco was to take care of his issues of a very tight hindquarter and back. She explains why we do specific exercises and takes a lot of care of the horses conformation and ability.

We discuss work on the ground to help with his issues as well as diet and supplements. We made the decision to take things slowly due to his young age, lack of experience and my need to gain confidence and build his trust.

We initially spent a lot of time walking and trotting and a little cantering. We focused on getting leg response and looking for a light contact, while getting him to think forward and find his balance and rhythm with the aim to get him more supple. We didn't worry so much about his head. In this early stage he was sometimes showing for a few strides how nice he will be to ride when he lets go of the back and is able to push from behind.

Outside the arena, I spent a lot of time walking and trotting on a long rein to stretch him out. We then began working on exercises to move away from the leg at a walk, leg yielding and shoulder in on a circle. We encouraged more forward movement in the trot and worked on the trot canter transitions to build strength. We also worked on my aids to get the correct canter lead. Outside the arena I continued the exercises and a lot of trail riding.

As time has progressed we have increased the amount of trot, while still working on the fundamentals. Choco has begun using his hindquarters properly and his stride is improving nicely. He is moving forward more willingly. We have increased the canter work and his right canter lead in particular has improved. Outside the arena I have been reinforcing what was learnt in the lesson while still working on a long rein in the paddock/bush to stretch out and increase fitness.

With competition in mind we are now working on key elements within level 4 dressage tests - upward and downward transitions, correct bend through all paces and continuing to ensure he is coming from behind to get the suppleness. The contact gets more steady too.

Choco is willing and has surprised us on how quickly he has picked things up. He now responds to the aids, shows willingness to stretch and uses his body more efficiently. We still have a long way to go and he does tell you in his own way when he has had enough. But he is an absolute pleasure. I can take him anywhere and enjoy our rides together.

The whole family is enjoying the horses. The boys have begun to having riding lessons in the school holidays and my husband has been reading about horsemanship and is very eager to start his own horse ownership journey. As a confident beginner he has just started riding lessons so we may have another horse in the paddock in the not so distant future. Everyone participates in feeding and looking after the horses and Choco is very much part of the family.

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