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Horses – worlds apart – by Anna Thompson

I have had a big, big learning curve after break in horses and moving to Australia, I used to own, pre Uni back in UK, and now live on a farm in Regional Australia, so one of the first things we got were horses, I seem to have ended up with 4!!

Over here, everything has a different name and lots of American influences, for example saddles, there is of course the English saddle, but a lot of owners choose Stock Saddles or western Saddles, especially for station work.

Here is the learning curve that little English me had

One of the horses we got was Polly, a buckskin (dun)  Quarter Horse x Australian Stock Horse, we have her  on loan, (or lease as it’s called here) and she came with a western saddle, I had not tacked up with one of these before but I thought I would give it a go, if I get stuck, I’ll YouTube it. Carried on and didn’t seem to get stuck, or so I thought!!! It turns out the back cinch shouldn’t be tight like a girth or it acts like a bucking strap, she went ok, a bit hoppity until I asked for canter, well that was it, me on the floor, which was a bit of a shock as first time off since the equestrian team at uni! A little YouTubing later and a discussion with her owner, who just couldn’t believe it, we discovered I had put a bucking strap on her, Rodeo here we come! I have since ridden her in my English saddle. By the way, Western saddles are extremely heavy and not that comfy!

Another learning curve (coincidentally with the same horse)  is that we to have to get the vet out this last week as she had bacterial infection causing severe diarrhoea, I was so paranoid about colic but fluids and TLC got her through with something called bio sponge to help her poop be better. The weirdest thing for me to get my head around, was that she was allowed to lie down (as long as she wasn’t thrashing around) which goes against everything I knew and then was so paranoid about colic setting in after as she started to eat normally again!

We are not sure what caused this as of yet but we think its something to do with the water and the rains/floods we have had and the rain over the ground or coming up. Clearly a bacterial thing but I had my main man Rio on the field the week before, changed fields up, clean everyone’s drinking waters and refilled  on the Saturday morning, it did rain Saturday night then Sunday the neighbours goat, our piglets and Polly were all ill, but the other 3 horses, calves and Mummy and Daddy Pig were fine and they seem to be on a different run off. 

We have only lived at the farm since Sept 2021 so still learning as to how the place goes through the seasons. 

The other thing I have had to learn is how to tie a rope halter!! But again YouTube helped me out! We don’t do nose bands and Polly’s bridle doesn’t even have a throat lash…. all just plain weird. 

Anna on Instagram – www.instagram.com/homestead_in_the_sun

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