Saddles are very important, you need to keep riding in them until you find the one that firstly fits you and then equally as important fits the horse. They usually come mounted with stirrups and girth.
Pete Comiskey in conjunction with Little Bit Country have created the “Pete Comiskey Drafter” an Australian made, first grade herman oak leather saddle available in a range of sizes to suit. Click here for more information
We use Aerofelt Saddle Pads . We believe any pad needs to be of good quality felt, cleaned regularly, and relevant to the individual horse/saddle/application. So if you are competing; a thinner pad will keep you close to the horse and help aid in correct position. Whilst mustering or during long hours a thicker pad may assist with pressure points and heat. During training where there is a lot of pressure on the saddle and in maneuvers a thicker and longer pad may help aid against pressure and soreness through the wither and loins.
We prefer thicker, smooth, well made snaffles or 3 piece bits. We aim to have the softest mouth piece as possible and even softer for competition, We believe this helps to keep your horse enjoying the competition, even if it can get a little rough. The less offensive the bit, the less fright a horse will get especially at speed.
We use a poly web bridle as they are good quality and last longer against water and sweat in our hot climate.
We prefer rope reins, as they are economical and wear well and handle water and sweat without slipping.
Horse Leg Protection
In a sport that has so many changes of direction, speed, and surface, it pays to have sufficient support during competition to support against knocks and injury and accidents. We use Iconolast Orthopedic Support Boots on all of our horses for both front and hind. We have noticed that our horses would pull up sore after a weekend running on particularly uneven surfaces, but, these boots seem to have helped them a lot with avoiding soreness.
Something to note in our climate is that the legs can get too hot causing other health issues if the boots are left on too long in the heat.
Spurs are quite a personal preference, we prefer a dull spur for much the same reasons as a kind bit, we don’t want to frighten our horses. A spur should be used as an extension of your leg. Often a shorter shank is required for short legs, and a longer shank for longer legs.
Just Country have great Ariat clothing, shirts, jeans, boots, belts and most riding gear and Helmets.
Thanks Ariat and Just Country – You’re continued support is very much appreciated over the past 20yrs. The clothing, boots, hats, bags are great for quality and style, and your ongoing support of the ACA, is I’m sure, appreciated greatly by all ACA members.
We feed our horses twice daily, when in work, to keep them conditioned. They usually get a small amount of hard feed, Easi Oil, and Hay.
Thanks Prydes Easifeed – your feed is ‘easi’, good quality, and affordable. There is something for every requirement, we have had a long association and great support from your team, and we look forward to an ongoing fruitful relationship.
Supplements for horses we think a lot of, as it helps to aid against injury and support any health issues or imbalances. We feed Hiform Supplements tailored to our horses individual needs, especially when Australian soils are deficient of nutrition.
Having a truck load of mature horses means they have earned a little more support and special treatment. Hiform supplements are easy, affordable and results are noticeable within a short period of time. They have a solution for any complaint and great advice over the phone.
General Health & Maintenance
We use the EQUIVIBE massage machine, this is a machine which aids in circulation, warming up and cooling down, and many other applications. It definitely helps travelling competition horses.
We haven’t had many injuries since having the Equivibe (that is an endorsement in itself!!) but, when we have had them, it does seem to take the pain and swelling away very quickly. Before having the Equivibe we did get a bit of leg swelling in horses when standing around in small areas all weekend or on the truck, which has mostly been eliminated.
Other therapies such as Massage, Chiropractic, Magnetic Pulse etc all have their benefits for our animals, just as they do for people. They do need to be supported by a healthy diet and exercise regime.
Annual Health Requirements
Before competition each year, we have all our horses teeth/mouth/jaw action looked at to make sure there is nothing astray. Poor mouth health often causes problems during competition as well as in the way a horse processes their feed.
During Competition we will have our horses shod, we believe it helps with their traction on most surfaces. We have our shoes reset every 5 to 7 weeks. Some arena horses can get away without shoes and often this is a healthier option for the horse, depending on personal situations and preference.
Every horse on our property is drenched seasonally, as part of our annual routine, and vaccinated at the beginning of the competition year.
We run our horses as a small mob in the paddock at home. They come in twice a day for a morning feed and evening feed. They are fed separately. At a competition we use electric tape and partition every horse separately. Often at feed time horses will act differently and often kick or chase. We believe prevention is better than cure for these types of situations and easily avoided injuries.
Wazz-A-Cow Cutter Mechanical Cow
The Wazz-A-Cow Cutter Mechanical Cow is an excellent tool. If you have one it is great to keep your horse correct. This should be mixed in with the training program, as with overuse, or incorrect use, a horse can learn to hate this tool. The Wazz-A-Cow Cutter Mechanical Cow, as with real cows needs to be a positive place of confidence building for the horse. Ask advice from a trusted source when starting with one.
Walker; is an excellent tool! As with all tools it can be used incorrectly. It is great for getting horses fit, but, if they get too fit, this creates more work when riding. Also with overuse, horses may become sore. We use ours mostly with young horses, getting them used to the saddle before riding. Our preferred way to trot/exercise horses as a group is behind the motorbike or being chased up a laneway.
Swimming; is excellent also for fitness. This is a non impact form of exercise which we find helps our horses a lot before and after competition, both for fitness and recovery. We are hoping it will help us keep our older horses performing for longer. Our purpose built dam is approximately 70m long and the horses work up to swimming 4 laps for a routine exercise.