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Posted by on in Equestrian

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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RIP my beautiful Cooli we tried so hard to get you better from your injury. Unfortunately he had gone for another fall and broke a screw in the plate which was holding to joint between c2 & c3 together. This had cause too much trauma and the pain was unbearable for the poor boy. Thankyou so much Andrew Loose for giving this boy a chance. He has been such a little fighter and we have enjoyed every moment with him.

It is so heartbreaking when you breed horses. So many things can go wrong and no matter how hard you try, sometimes we loose then. This colt was 10 months old and very special to me and others. He has touched a lot of hearts out there and will be missed.

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Training Blog - 30th June 2013

Make The Cut has grown into a lovely big good moving horse. He still needs some work on his head carriage but he is obedient most of the time. MTC has proven quite unflappable in strong winds and provides a calming influence for other inexperienced horses working with him.

He is recommended as a dressage or eventing prospect. Would be ideal for adult riders or pony club.

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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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Posted by on in Equestrian





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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