Why do dressage?

why do dresssage?Dressage is the true art of horsemanship and there are many benefits for horses and riders that do dressage. Unfortunately many people are put of by dressage and the connotations they have with the term. I often hear “my horse is not good enough”  or “ I don’t ride well enough” or my favorite saying I hear is “ its so boring”. The reality is that all horses can do basic introductory level dressage, even the fattest round stock pony will benefit from doing the basics. However not all horses and riders have the ability or talent to go to the top of the sport.


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Some Frequently asked Questions


I have bought a miniature horse for my 4 year old daughter. Some people have told me miniature horses cannot be ridden and other people have told me that these little horses are very strong and can be ridden by bigger children. Know I don’t know what to do, the pony was ridden by the previous owners child and seemed fine?

The standard rule of thumb is that a miniature horse should not be expected to carry more than 20% of its body weight, this includes its tack. However one must be reasonable and consider what is expected of the little horse, how far is it expected to carry weight, how fit is it, how fast do you expect it to work etc. Miniature horses that are slightly over the recommended size usually make the better option for riding and only small children up to 25 - 30kg should ride them.  They are perfect for short rides when they are on a lead line and if suitably trained will happily follow along with the other horses on a short trail. However the young age of the riders at the stage usually dictates short sessions being led by someone. They are fantastic for teaching children how to care for a horse, tack up, groom and lead. Also as a parent you have the added peace of mind that if they get stood one, kicked or fall off it is likely to be a lot less serious than if it was a big horse that hurt them. But the really small minnie horses should rather not be ridden, they are just too small to carry the weight. Also miniature horses usually don’t need a bit, and a good fitting halter will do just fine. Most of the miniature horses have very tiny mouths and even a small bit can be painful for them. Miniature horses live a long time so if you plan to add one to your family be prepared. They make excellent companions for people and horses alike.

NB Stallions even miniature ones, are not recommended for little children.


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Turtle rehabilitation at Bayworld - A case study – The Story of Ms Green

Green turtle
Robyn Greyling



Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are one of eight species worldwide and the future of all turtle species is considered threatened, despite active conservation programmes in some parts of the world (Marquez 1990). They are highly valued commercially and are exploited for their meat and eggs. Almost all species are considered threatened or endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and their commerce is prohibited in those countries that have signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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“Don’t train when you not on your game!”

This is a mantra I often preach to my team of trainers but just this week I didn’t heed my own advice and surprise surprise – I paid the price! A double barrel kick in my chest, fortunately I was very lucky; the injuries were not as serious as they could have been. So why wasn’t I sharp enough to avoid this! Well if I look back over the last two weeks prior to this, I had been exceptionally hectic with admin at work and busy at home. Sleep was scarce and I had been battling with migraines. The result of pretending I was fine and getting on with my job resulted in me getting bitten by a seal, bitten by a fish, kicked flying by a horse and swatted hard by a cat all in one week. After being a professional animal trainer for 25years I was so clearly not on my game! Had I been, I would have been sharp enough to read the animals intuitively and from experience to have avoided all of these situations. You can always trust animals to be totally honest, especially horses and wild animals. There is no room for half hearted or vague reflexes and responses in their world.

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The Benefits of Clicker Training your Horse and other animals

clicker trainingThe benefits of clicker training your horse and other animalsThere is so much skepticism and misunderstanding regarding this positive reinforcement training method. However those that have used it correctly and patiently will all agree the benefits far outweigh the initial time outlay and frustrations of changing the way one thinks.

Unfortunately the vast majority of people are inclined to view the clicker as an animal remote control – point, click, and end of bad behaviour. If only it were this simple! Especially with kids. However it is simple and fun and it will most defiantly change the way you interact with your horse. When one starts clicker training with your horse you are changing the way your horse thinks about working for you. The following points are just a few of the benefits of applying this training method

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