Horse Stories


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Behavioural Problems


Amazing Results!William is Back

By Kim Todd


Three years ago I bought my schoolmaster William, it was spring when I got him, he was a bit stubborn and evasive, but I thought he was just testing me as he was new, summer came and he was great, then Autumn and then later Spring hit in that year and I began having a lot of difficult rides, with even quite a few rears thrown in.


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Story of Fancy

By Kellie Thackeray


After moving from NT to Qld I made a change in the feed by swapping Speedi Beet to a soy based feed. Then the rain cam and the grass grew, along with some changes in my horses behaviour. My super quiet party girl had turned into the She-devil and my other horse Sprocket became more arrogant.


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Amazing Results!Amazing Results.

By Sue Palermo.



I was assured he was very quiet and would suit me well. He had come from fairly drought conditions and he was fine for a short while until my green pasture hit his system. He then became unmanageable for me, both to handle and ride, shying violently and becoming highly reactive to stimuli in his surroundings. I couldn't believe it was the horse that was assured to be very quiet and gentle! He then became very uneven in the front foreleg, so even if I had wanted to sell him I couldn't have.


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Grass and Toxin Affected


Balanced Inside and Out

By Lorraine Porter



One of my goals had been to find a product that was nutritionally sound and would provide all that my horse needed to be healthy and sound BUT one that I could adjust to suit the ever changing variables of pasture, season, stress (competitions, travel, paddock changes etc), work load, and a red head Alpha mare!


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Summer Detox

By Olivia Callahan



Summer (dry period) provides an opportunity to address both diet and nutrition. Since there is less green grass around it is easier to limit lush grass intake. The mineral imbalances caused by the excesses of spring can be addressed by supplementing appropriately. This gives us time to prepare before the autumn rain (wet season), when the grass comes on again prior to winter. 


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Challenge of Keeping HorsesChallenge of Keeping Horses

By Julie Nicoll



Our family have had horses on this property for fifteen years. We never had any problems with rye grass until about ten years ago when the children started on larger horses and the small pony paddocks weren’t big enough. It was then, on the larger farm paddocks that had been sown down with rye and clover, that we started to notice problems, with horses hair falling out and leaving itchy bald patches, misbehaviour and one of our horses had trouble putting on weight, no matter how much hard feed we fed him.


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Work in ProgressWork in Progress

By Des Miller



I made sure I had Pru on a balanced diet with the correct supplements and I was always getting help with her training from people whom I trusted and who understood her. I also had to be more mindful about supporting her more and allowing her to become more confident in me also. I referred to her as my 'work in progress'. I chipped away at the groundwork, the ridden work and trying to help her to be 'less sensitive' about things. I had her on a magnesium supplement and on a diet which was fairly low energy, but I always felt that I was missing something somewhere.


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From 'Work in Progress' to NowFrom 'Work in Progress' to Now.

By Des Miller.



When I was asked to do a follow-up story by Gotcha Equine on my horse Prudence, I was happy to oblige as I have so much to tell from the last time I did a story back in October, 2010. If the results from using the Gotcha Equine supplements were positive back then after some months of use, they are even more evident now ten months later. As most of you will know from reading her story, Pru has not been the easiest horse to own. Very sensitive, quick on her feet, herd bound, spooky, and always tense in her gaits and work. After speaking with Lucy last year, I put Pru on the Gotcha Equine supplements, and she has been on them religiously and without fail.


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Founder, Feed and Fat HorsesFounder, Feed and Fat Horses.

By Sue Hocking.



I would like to tell Horse Riding Clubs Association of Victoria (HRCAV) members all about the problems with my horses and how the Gotcha Feed Plan has helped. I have a Riding Pony Thoroughbred cross and my daughter has a Percheron Clydie cross. They both are very good doers and over the years I have had to learn very quickly on how to prevent a laminitic episode, etc. About three years ago in the middle of winter my Galloway could not walk or move so I called the vet and he told me he had foundered. I could not believe a horse could founder in the middle of winter.


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Duke - A New HorseDuke - A New Horse.

By Darcy Nicoll.



I bought Duke in early January, 2010. When I went to try him he was a calm, unflappable horse who seemed to take everything in his stride. My mother and I brought him home and put him in a large paddock with lots of feed because he was a little skinny. The first few times I rode him, he was just as good as when I looked at him but he soon deteriorated and every time I caught him, he would try to bite me. One time he even reared up and started lashing out at me with his front legs. It was like he thought I was a ghost.


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Lucky's Story - Time to Retire a Gentleman?Lucky's Story - Time to Retire a Gentleman?

By Sharyn Kennedy.



I have owned him for nearly four years now and in that time we have had our issues (big time). Most of our troubles have been with his body, joints and lameness mostly. Also the nervousness was a little unsettling at times, things that he had seen one hundred times before, became like the big bad monster all over again. We also went through a period where he would take off through his paddock gate, kicking up his legs which was becoming very dangerous. He would nearly knock you over to get through the gate. I couldn't understand it as he was normally quiet, only having the occasional outburst but it was getting worse and happening more frequently.


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Off Rye Grass and Winning Classes!Off Rye Grass and Winning Classes!

By Alison Stavenuiter.



As a current member of the Horse Riding Clubs Association of Victoria (HRCAV) I'd like to thank Gotcha Equine for all their help as it has been invaluable to me. I'm just sorry I didn't hear about all this information before I had my Thoroughbred euthanised as he was on the same pasture. I'd like to share my story in the hope it can help another horse owner to shortcut the road I have been down with my mare as it was certainly no fun. As a matter of fact I was ready to give up on her.

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Grass and Toxin Affected / Head Flicking


Ten Years Turned Out - Now Back Under SaddleTen Years Turned Out - Now Back Under Saddle.

By Lisa Catherwood.



We had begun canter work and it seemed a constant battle to get left canter lead from him. For a while I just put it down to him not being balanced and continued on with his schooling. At around the age of five, Vander had started to do this annoying head flicking and it was much worse on the arena when it was dusty. There were times when he became so agitated that he would strike out at his nose with a foreleg or stop all of a sudden to itch his nose on his leg and he became unpleasant to ride.


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Casper Couldn't CanterCasper Couldn't Canter (Can Safely Canter Now).

By Leanne Aarts.



All went well for the first three months then one day out of the blue he started biting at himself whilst being ridden. The first time he did it I thought he had been bitten by something as it was so violent. I got off to inspect gear and see if there were any insect bites. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary so I got back on and asked him forward, he did it again and this time it was so bad I thought he would rear if I asked him forward.


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BJ is Back! The Story of Annette and BJBJ is Back! The Story of Annette and BJ.

By Annette Hatherley.



BJ started head tossing again and the odd time of trying to bite at the girth while I was riding. He would also plunge his head down to rub on his legs and not bend or relax at all, never mind the constant flapping of his gums! At one stage I could not even get him to trot without really upsetting him. After one such non-lesson where he was drenched in sweat, I took him home and put him on the lunge to see if he could relax, however he just head tossed incessantly and was quite upset, particularly if we tried anything other than a walk.


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Demineralised Bone / Lame / Splints



Barry's Back Competing!Barry's Back Competing!

By Nirelle Somerville.



Barry was broken-in in March, 2009, at four years of age and quietly worked through the winter, attending some winter clinics. After shedding the winter woollies and going from the ugly duck to a beautiful swan, he was shown three times in August for a promising start with three Champions and one Supreme. Things looked good for his newcomer season. On the 1st of September things started to crash with Barry starting to get a bit scratchy, a subtle lameness that would seem worse on corners and not real evident which leg it was.


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Big Head 100% ReversedBig Head 100% Reversed.

By Belinda Bass.



In December 2010 my horse was diagnosed with signs of big head disease. The swellings on each side of her head were extremely large and appeared over a matter of weeks. She was reluctant to go forward and spent hours each day standing around with an extremely depressed look in her eye. Her coat was dull. When she was ridden it was almost impossible to get her to canter and when she did she had very short, choppy strides. Apart from the facial swellings the other signs I mentioned appeared twelve months before she was diagnosed, however, as I was unaware of the early signs of big head disease I thought that she was just being difficult to ride and not wanting to go forward.


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Millie's Great Reversal!

By Chris Sanderson



Millie is a 13yo Quarter Horse mare, on the third day of Millie arriving she bit me quite severely on my waist. This escalated to the point I so frightened and believe me many a tear was shed. I was not happy with the way she was traveling - her offside hind seemed to be short stepping, quite stiff and she would stumble when asked to canter.  The vet came and examined Millie - she did flexion tests that confirmed an issue in her hock. 


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Digestive and Mineral Imbalance


A Journey Together

By Wendy Jesson



 I first saw Jasmine in a drought-affected paddock in 2003, a 3month old Arab foal with her mother, sister and a number of very skinny cows and a handful of brood mares. I chose to keep Jasmine for myself as a project and found good homes for both the mare and Jasmine’s sister. Fortunately this happened just before my personal world turned upside down. My husband and I separated at this time which started a three year long messy divorce and then, not long after that followed my diagnosis of breast cancer. This story is our journey together!


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Juno the Fussy EaterJuno the Fussy Eater.


By Shauleen Rooney.



I started hard feeding Juno as he came to me in the winter. I was giving him lots of feed, mainly bulk, however he was not putting on any weight, if anything he was losing weight. What to do? If I increased his Lucerne, he would lose even more weight so I started playing around with his feed. I quickly realised I could not feed him big feeds as he just would not eat it all. I went on to processed feed and if it was too sweet he would not eat it, pellets he just did not like and cubes were a no go. So I decided just to go plain feeds such as oaten chaff, barley and a little Lucerne and made up my own combination of feed, specifically tailored for him.


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Other mineral imbalance issues


Anhydrosis (Puffing or Dry Coat)Anhydrosis (Puffing or Dry Coat).

By Belinda Palmer.



Rocky was foaled in Victoria but moved to Darwin at the age of three. We purchased Rocky in May, 2009, at the age of six. His previous owner hadn't worked him a great deal but in the time she did, she noticed that he did 'puff' quite a bit. She said she had tried various remedies but to no avail. Toward the end of 2009, as we worked him more and the weather became hotter, it became clear that Rocky had anhydrosis. At one point at the end of 2009 he stopped sweating all together.

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