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Sanz Times - issue 10_ March


									SANZ                                                                       TIMES
          Newsletter of Whispering Sanz Horsemanship Centre – Issue 10, March 2010

                                                                                      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                   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
                                     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:                 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.

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