SANZ TIMES Newsletter of Whispering Sanz Horsemanship Centre – Issue 10, March 2010 HELLO! DATES TO DIARISE This edition sees the completion of the Trailer Regulations feature started in the last newsletter. We Upcoming events at Whispering Sanz (weather permitting): also have some fabulous photos from the February Groundwork Clinic: Saturday 27 March (cost: R750) Play Day at Whispering Sanz. I hope you also enjoy Saturday 24 April (cost R750) the thought-provoking piece called “can you do the Balanced Riding Clinic: Sunday 28 March (cost: R750) unusual”, which is aimed at inspiring all of us to think Sunday 25 April (cost R750) more broadly when around our horses. Play Day: Sunday 11 April. Come and enjoy a day of Articles, classifieds, photos and comments for the next fun challenges, and an opportunity to learn from each Sanz Times should be sent to email@example.com other. Bring & braai; 10am onwards. Visiting horses welcome - R75 to cover water and camp. FEBRUARY PLAY DAY REPORT BACK Western Riding Clinics: After battling the wind at the December Christmas Michael Weber: possibly 20&21 March (tbc). Cost: Party, we were blessed with PERFECT weather for the R600 per day. Spaces available; book with Sandi. February Play Day at Whispering Sanz. A light breeze came up in the afternoon, which cooled off the hot, Please remember that Whispering Sanz is very open sunny day. The play arena contained loads of fun to all types of clinics or events and welcomes external challenges, including a pole labyrinth and star, two instructors/practitioners - please contact Sandi if you tarpaulins, two pedestals, numerous jumps, Sandi’s have an idea for an event. horse trailer and the big green ball! EQUIPMENT EXPLANATION Chris (Parelli Level 4 student Halter sizes from Switzerland) coaxes Salem onto the large The Whispering Sanz equipment list has recently been pedestal augmented by a new halter size. Traditionally there have been Extra-Large-, Large-, Medium-, Pony- and Foal-sized rope halters, but Bonte and Sandi realised that there are many horses that have a large-sized head (i.e. long cheek), but the circumference of their noses is smaller than the traditional Large halter. This Justine and Skyla bravely tackle the tarpaulin leads to either the horses being squeezed into a Medium halter that then pulls incorrectly on their faces or wearing a Large halter and having too much space under their chins to the Fiador knot (where the leadrope is attached). The new halter size (called Visitors Friedrun and Ashir Cob) has the same length to the cheek pieces as the have fun with the ball traditional Large, but has more of a Medium-sized noseband. Whispering Sanz’s halters have a small coloured string in the throat area to distinguish sizes: Blue = X-Large; White = Large; Orange = Medium; Black&White = Pony; Grey = Foal. The new Cob size has a silver string. Bonte led an outride over the road during the midday Halters are R120 heat, while others lazed under the shade at the braai each and are area. After lunch, a number of people went to the dam available in a to watch Carol and visitor Fiona swim their horses variety of colours - Asher and Honey. All in all a super day - please join even more than in us for the next Play Day! the picture! Bonte also recently found some pink rope WHISPERING SANZ CONTACT DETAILS (see pink halter at Whispering Sanz Horsemanship Centre right of picture) that www.whisperingsanz.com was in limited supply and more expensive than the P.O. Box 46045, Durbanville, 7551 other colours - please check availability and price with Tel: 082 777 9922 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Sandi if you would like a pink halter. Note: Sandi McFarlin is an independent, unaffiliated instructor. CAN YOU DO THE UNUSUAL? COACH’S CORNER Towing regulations - Part 2 I was paying attention to the patterns in my day recently - from how I put my underwear on in the After discussing legal towing weights in the last edition morning (always standing on my left leg first and lifting (remember to check your vehicle’s legal towing weight, my right leg, then standing on right leg, etc) to my as many vehicles are not legally able to tow a horse patterns when I fetch my horse (lead to tying rail, then trailer), here we cover the other regulations about groom, then session, etc). By just paying attention to towing horses in South Africa. what I was doing, I realised how many patterns I have In terms of licenses, you need a drivers license in my life and how I pass these patterns on to my (obviously!) to tow, and your trailer needs a license. If horse. Now, horses are pattern animals too - there are you received your driver’s license AFTER the new card certain rhythms in their day and herd life that are very system was in place, you are not allowed to tow a important. So the question that we should ask trailer heavier than 750kg and therefore you will need ourselves as our horse’s partner and trainer is how to to do another driving test. Your trailer license needs to balance things and use their love of patterns without be renewed annually, just like your vehicle license. teaching assumptions. Can our communication with our horses be so good that even if we do not follow the Other important legal regulations include that you must “normal” pattern of things, our horses still “get it”? For carry warning triangles for both the trailer and the example, can you do the following unusual “patterns”: towing vehicle; and that human passengers are − Ask your horse to face you in the field and perhaps prohibited in the trailer. even approach you to be haltered? Despite my attempts to find out, on-the-road law − Walk at your horse’s speed when bringing him in enforcement in South Africa seems to depend on the from the field, not at your speed? officer and/or situation. For example, I did hear of a − Go for a stroll after haltering away from where you person who was prevented from leaving a show normally groom and tack up? ground until they were able to find a vehicle that could − “Lead” your horse from legally tow their horse and trailer. On the other hand, behind (i.e. you walk one daily sees vehicles towing that are definitely not behind and still have him legally able to tow! heading where you want So although the actual regulations seem quite few and to go)? Leading from their enforcement may be haphazard, there are many behind GOOD PRACTICES that all towers of horses should adhere to. − Back your horse up softly and responsively in a It is good practice to consider the insurance of your straight line for at least 5m with you standing in vehicle and trailer (and perhaps even horses!). front, beside and behind? Remember to check your insurance policy as any − Yield your horse’s hind quarters (i.e. ask him to step modifications to your trailer or vehicle may void your under and move his bum away from you) from policy unless previously discussed with your insurance further and further away (perhaps using longer and broker (this may include adding vacuum brakes to your longer lead ropes)? vehicle/trailer combo). − Not tie your horse for grooming, but have him stand Good practices for your trailer include: nicely anyway? − Ensure that your trailer is checked at least twice per − Pick up a back foot first for cleaning, and/or pick up year, including removing the wheels and the four feet from one side? rebalancing them, and checking the tow hitch, − Place your saddle on the rail or ground and send bearings, brakes, all lights and wiring; your horse to put his nose on the saddle? − Preferably carry two puncture repair cans (such as − Put your saddle on from the right side of the horse “tyre weld”) with you so that you can at least reach and do your girth up (if possible) on the right side? the nearest safe place to unload the horses and − Mount from the right side (as easily as the left)? change a tyre; − Stand still for at least 2min after mounting? − Ensure your mirrors are adequate so that you can − ...etc… use your imagination! see behind the trailer as well as its wheels. The point is not to suddenly do everything differently to Good driving practices are essential, as many trailer- how you have always done it, and definitely not to then friendly/easy-loading horses have become reluctant to repeat the new thing to the point where that becomes load just from one bad traveling experience that could the pattern! The point is to pay attention to what have been prevented by better driving. Good driving assumptions you are teaching your horse through the practices include: various patterns you do without thinking… and then − Accelerate slowly and never drive faster than slowly and gently un-train these assumptions. 100km/h when towing horses; It is also important to note that patterns or a routine − Ensure a very generous following distance (>8sec) can be very useful - for example: when taking your as you will take longer to slow than other vehicles; horse to a show or unfamiliar place, your old grooming − Only accelerate once the whole trailer is around a routine or a familiar groundwork session may help to corner and in line with your towing vehicle; calm your horse. As said above, the trick is to balance − Brake very gently, giving yourself plenty of time to the use of patterns in our lives, and most importantly - come to a gradual halt; be aware of them! − Concentrate completely and be aware at all times.