Corroboree Equus 2014 Cancelled :-(

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Hello All
Re Corroboree Equus 2014.
Sadly it seems that this year – for some totally unfathomable reason – there has literally been no firm interest, other than from one person, in coming to Corroboree Equus.
Because of this, we have decided to officially cancel the weekend.
We are not sure why there has been so little interest in CE this year, especially when there was so much enthusiasm for it last year, and early on general expressions of “oh we’ll definitely be there in 2014”. But perhaps distance, busy lives, other focuses and priorities have all played a part.
We believe the universe unfolds in the way it needs to, and if Corroboree Equus was an amazing, vibrant and powerful one off, then that is what it was.
Perhaps someone will be inspired to breathe new life into a version of it somewhere in 2015? If you are that person and wish to contact us to pick our brains, we would be very happy to chat and offer you our experiences of organising this type of gathering.
May each of your individual horse journeys continue to be fulfilling, inspiring and treasured.
All the best for now.
Glenn and Kelly
Horse Retirement and Boarding | Barehoof Care | Transition to Bitless Riding | Horse Connection | Country Guest House
P: 02 6071 0210

Corroboree Equus 2014 – A WHOLE NEW FORMAT AND LOCATION

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Corroboree Equus 2014

A WHOLE NEW FORMAT AND LOCATION

Tallangatta Valley – North East Victoria

Friday 26th of September to Monday 29th of September 2014

Hello Everyone

We have found this year that there has been a lack of interest expressed by people to attend, and there has only been one offer – by Sue McKibbin – to run an activity during the weekend.

For this reason, we have made the decision to change Corroboree Equus 2014 from its current format.

In its place we are offering an unstructured version of Corroboree Equus 2014, and are locating it at our property “Waterfall Creek” in Tallangatta Valley (www.waterfallcreek.com.au) over the same weekend.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

If you would like to come and spend a weekend of relaxing, spending time interacting with any other likeminded horse people present, chilling out with a herd of 12 sociable horses, and just enjoying the serenity of a peaceful rural setting, we are happy to offer the following new format of Corroboree Equus 2014.

Dates: Sat 27th – Sun 28th Sept (arrive Friday 26th and/or leave Monday 29th if desired).

Location: Waterfall Creek Country Guest House and Horse Retirement and Boarding facility www.waterfallcreek.com.au, Tallangatta Valley NE Vic, just an hour’s drive east of Albury-Wodonga.

What is the weekend about?

It is about you giving yourself time away from the hectic world, unwinding, relaxing, rediscovering yourself, horses, and spending time with other like-minded horse people.

What will happen over the weekend?

Who knows – we are providing the venue, but not necessarily organising anything specific. So it might be a weekend of sleeping in, reading, relaxing, spending time wandering the property investigating the waterfall walk or appreciating the view from the top of the hill. Or chilling and interacting with the resident horse herd of 12 in their paddock. Going for a ride on your horse on one of the local bush trails. Bird watching or catching a glimpse of the resident platypus. Swimming in the spring fed dam. A time for conversation and coffee with whoever else turns up. Perhaps perusing the Waterfall Creek library of horse books and our horse DVD collection. If anyone present is inspired to offer something it might take on the form of guided/facilitated sessions.

Can I bring my horse/s:

Absolutely! We have plenty of large paddocks with lots of grass available to house your four legged friend.

DSCF7654Salute to the Sun by Sonnet

Meals:

Self-cater, other than Saturday night when we will have a communal meal for those present which we will prepare (any help appreciated). This will be an extra cost of $15/head, and we can cater for specific dietary needs.

Day Visit:

If you would like to just pop in for single days cost will be $10 to cover use of facilities and tea/coffees.

Accommodation Costs:

  • Camping, unpowered, with use of bathrooms, living area and kitchen $15/night
  • Single Room with QS bed and linen $90/night
  • Double or shared room with QS bed, and single bed if required, with linen $120/night
  • All accommodation includes shared use of use of showers, toilets, living areas, kitchen and property. There is fridge space, but it is limited
  • Horses stay free🙂

What now:

Email or ring Kell or Glenn and book yourself (and your horse?) a bed or a camping spot. waterfallcreek@westnet.com.au, 02 6071 0210 (evenings are best for catching us inside),

Dates: Sat 27th – Sun 28th Sept (arrive Friday 26th and/or leave Monday 29th if desired)

Hope to see some of you at our place over the course of the weekend

Kelly and Glenn

 

Corroboree Equus 2014 – Information #2

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Corroboree Equus 2014

Tallangatta – North East Victoria

Friday 26th of September to Monday 29th of September 2014

Following on from the last blog post of 1st June (which we encourage you to read if you have not done so as it give a good overview of Corroboree Equus) , here is some more detailed info.

When

Afternoon of Friday 26th to afternoon of Monday 29th September 2014 (with the option to stay on Monday night and travel home on the Tuesday).

Join us for all or some of the time, whatever works for you.

Where

Tallangatta, a town located on the banks of the expansive Hume Weir and nestled in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in North East Victoria. As per last year, the gathering will be at the Tallangatta Showground.

How much will it cost me?

Corroboree Equus is not a commercial or money making event for anyone, it is just about providing an opportunity for getting together like minded people and enjoying each other’s company….so really all you need to budget for are your own food and accommodation costs.

If you are bringing a horse, or two, you will need to provide feed for them as well as yourself.

If there are any unexpected organisational costs we may whip the hat around to help cover these.

People Facilities

Camping is available at the Tallangatta showground under large elmsand oaks, as well as open space.  Powered sites are available (no extra cost).  There are two showers and plenty of toilets for campers.  Extra showers can be found at the local caravan park, but there may be a cost involved to use them (TBC).

For participants who are camping at the showgrounds the cost is:

  • $15 per night no horse
  • $20 per night with horse
  • $30 per couple per night with or without a horse.

We have access to a large enclosed building for gatherings/undercover events /hot water urn/movies etc. In this building there is a large fridge with plenty of room if people want cold storage for food.

We will also bring a TV, DVD player and CD player to be available for use.

We can also arrange extra items like butchers paper, white board or projector if anyone wants these for a session they might like to run for the group.

If you do not wish to camp, there are two hotels and a caravan park in Tallangatta. See list below for phone numbers. Please contact these businesses direct for rates.

  • Tallangatta Hotel – 02 6071 2513
  • Victoria Hotel – 02 6071 2672
  • Lakelands Caravan Park – 0409 938 247

There is a motel, but it is generally fully booked out with group tours over springtime. You could ring, but the indication was not favourable when I enquired about availability on these dates.

  • Tallangatta Motor Inn – 02 6071 2208

Horse Facilities

At the showground there is a moderate sized paddock with ok fencing and some pasture. The paddock can probably hold about 8 horses comfortably.

We are negotiating with the showground committee to be able to erect a temporary fence to create another decent sized shared paddock to house horses if needed.

If you would like to use the shared paddock, your horse will need to be barefoot for the safety of other horses. You must make the decision that you are happy with the paddock and fencing and you accept full responsibility for your horse if you choose to put him/her in the shared paddock.

The above paddock/s will offer free space and some pick, but you will need to provide appropriate supplementary food for your horse. There are also plenty of grassed areas to take your horse for a wander and a graze.

Because of the Showground’s insurance, unfortunately temporary single strand and tread-in electric fencing is not allowed unless within a secure fenced paddock. I believe that 2-3 strand electric fencing using steel fence posts would be suitable. There is plenty of space to set up your own paddock/yard using this method if you wish to do so.

There are also small day yards available if you want to use them.

Those who bring a horse will be responsible for picking up poo and keeping things tidy/clean.

If you are planning to bring a horse/s, it is essential you let us know how many, and how you would prefer to house them. This will help us with the organisation of the weekend. Thanks.

How to Get There

Tallangatta is 42 km from Albury Wodonga via the Murray Valley Highway (B400).

Tallangatta exits off the Hume Freeway are well signposted for northbound and southbound traffic (although south bound traffic, note that the lead up signs to the exit say “Tallangatta”, but the actual exit sign only says “Beechworth”…go figure…).

Once you are on the Murray Valley Highway, take the western end entrance (first one you come to if you are coming from Wodonga) into Tallangatta township, and then the first left for the showgrounds (there is a small finger sign saying “showgrounds”).

For those who might want to fly, bus or train, each of these have regular itineraries to Albury and Wodonga, and rental car facilities are available in Albury.

And for those arriving by horse…….well……

If you are interested in sharing transport of some description (either from your home location or from Albury-Wodonga), let us know the details and your contact info. We will distribute it to those who are coming.

What to Bring 

  • Clothing for mild, cool and maybe wet weather, as well as sunny days.
  • All your own food and supplies (available at the local shops too)
  • All your horse’s needs for a long weekend – food, tack, toys etc
  • Camping and cooking gear (if you are camping J)
  • Camp chair
  • Beanbag/blanket (for star gazing, relaxing or keeping warm in the evening)
  • Camera
  • Musical instrument/s if you play
  • Favourite music to share
  • Favourite horse photos to share with the group
  • Books or DVDs that have inspired you. The idea is to have a table where these are all left so others can browse at the table and be inspired by what’s out there. Please put your name on your items. (There will be a data projector and screen available if we would like to watch any of the DVDs)
  • Business cards/brochures if you have them. (We will have a table for you to pop them on so people can have a look, have a chat, and take one if they are interested)
  • Anything else you think would be worthwhile for the gathering
  • Canoe/kayak/sailing craft – A full Lake Hume lends itself for a paddle or sail
  • Golf clubs. The venue is next door to a lakeside 9 hole course

What’s the Weather Like in Tallangatta Mid Spring

Generally this time of year is superb.  Mild days and cool nights.  But you never know…..so be prepared for rain events.  Daytime temps are low to mid 20s, and nights about 4°-10°C.

Food For Your Horse

Although there is usually plenty of grass around Tallangatta at that time of year please factor in a ‘less than better season’.  Bring hay or hard feed to supplement the “pick”.

If you don’t want to transport hay/feed all the way, contact us for local fodder and horse feed supplier options you can stop at on your way through Albury/Wodonga (or Corryong if you are coming that way).

We will have a water trough in the shared paddock, but bring something for your horse’s water too.

Food For You

Corroboree Equus is a fully self catered event.  With that in mind we are hopeful that people will gather and share space and conversation at meal times.

We might try and organise a ‘pot luck’ meal (stay tuned for details closer to the date), or perhaps that will just happen naturally.  Maybe there are some gourmet campfire cooks amongst participants?

You might even get inspired in the kitchen and bring something to share with the group at a morning tea?

Local Medical Facilities 

Tallangatta hasa hospital, medical clinic and pharmacy.

Albury-Wodonga, ½ hr drive, has major hospitals and medical facilities as well.

Local Veterinary Facilities

Tallangatta Veterinary Clinic has vets who are experienced with horses.

Dogs

 If you are bringing a dog please ensure that it is well behaved and quiet, people and horse friendly, and is securely on a lead or tied up at ALL times in the showgrounds. There are plenty of nice off lead walks nearby.

You also need to be responsible for picking up and disposing of all of your dog’s poo. Thanks.

More Info about Tallangatta

Known as “the town that moved” Tallangatta was relocated during the 1950s due to the raising of Lake Hume dam wall.  The population is about 1500 and it is a self sufficient small township.  It services the valleys and farming communities of the Mitta, Tallangatta Valley and Old Tallangatta areas.  It has two pubs, two takeaways, a bakery, butcher, supermarket, pharmacy, hardware, a couple of hairdressers, handybank, bank agencies and credit unions.  For more info on Tallangatta check out the internet.

For more information not covered above

See older blog entries at https://corroboreeequus.wordpress.com/ (if you are getting this via email, otherwise you are already at the blog!).

Allow the page to load up (it takes a minute) and then start scrolling down through the older entries.

 

Re iterating some key points from the last blog entry:

Is there something you could offer or contribute to Corroboree Equus?

Last year, a great part of the success of the gathering was that individuals volunteered to facilitate a discussion, run an activity, or share some knowledge or expertise.

Many of these people were just “everyday” people, certainly not necessarily experts in running activities or discussions, but people who were excited about something they had learnt, experienced, or discovered and were prepared to share it with a group of friendly, supportive, like minded and interested individuals.

Is there something you could offer the group for Corroboree Equus 2014?

          eg,

  • Facilitate a discussion on a subject of interest or expertise that you have
  • Facilitate or lead a group activity such as star gazing, yoga, meditation, animal communication, knot tying, horse art, music, something else…
  • Campfire cooking, camp scones, morning tea
  • Bring your musical instrument and share some music
  • Run an art session
  • Demo something horse orientated
  • Something else
  • It is only limited by your imagination…………

Please let us know if you could contribute something to the gathering to help us plan the weekend.

We would sincerely appreciate it if people offered to share or run something over the weekend. Don’t be shy, put your hand up, or contact us to discuss you idea if you are not feeling sure about it🙂

 What now?

  •  Let us know if you are intending on coming (this doesn’t lock you in, just helps us plan).
    • This is not essential, but it will certainly help with planning
  • Let us know if you are bringing a horse.
    • This is essential, so we can be prepared to accommodate the number of horses coming
  • Let us know ASAP if there is something you are willing to offer or contribute to Corroboree Equus 2014.
    • This is essential so that we can start creating a draft program.
  • Contact us if you have questions, suggestions or ideas.
    • We are always happy to answer questions, and are very open to ideas and suggestions.

Know someone who might be interested in coming along?

Please send them this blog entry (assuming you are reading this on your email), but let them know they MUST subscribe to the blog to be kept informed, as the blog is the only place info is being put up.

The person can subscribe by going to https://corroboreeequus.wordpress.com and clicking on the “follow this blog” at the bottom of the right hand column.

Contact details

Unfortunately due to personal circumstances Suzanne Bellette is no longer able to co-ordinate Corroboree Equus 2014. As such, Kelly Bick and Glenn Wilson have stepped in to fill the gap.

We can be contacted via:

This blog – add a comment

Our emailwaterallcreek@westnet.com.au

Phone – 02 6071 0210 (after dark is the best time to catch us inside, or leave a landline number – not mobile number – and we will call you back. You can leave a mobile number, but we will call you and ask you to phone back, as making calls to mobiles is very costly on our phone bill)

 

Hope you can make it to Corroboree Equus 2014

……and remember, let us know ASAP if there is something you are willing to offer or contribute to this year’s gathering.

Following are a selection of photos from last years gathering to inspire and tantalise you

IMG_0748 (2)  IMG_0700 (2) IMG_0698 (2) IMG_0605 (2) IMG_0726 (2)IMG_0620 (2) DSCF8874 (2) DSCF8940

 

Corroboree Equus 2014 – Information #1 (correction)

Don’t you love it when you hit “send” and then see a mistake!!

The contact email address should read: waterfallcreek@westnet.com.au (I missed the ‘f’ in the last one)

Cheers

Kelly

Corroboree Equus 2014 – Information #1

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Corroboree Equus 2014

Tallangatta – North East Victoria

Friday 26th of September to Monday 29th of September 2014

You are invited to Corroboree Equus 2014 – A place to gather with others of similar ‘horse philosophy’ for a long weekend of interaction and sharing.

The gathering is about connecting and sharing space, conversations and ideas with like minded people – with or without your horse.

What is that ‘horse philosophy’?

Some people call it “beyond horsemanship”:  Perhaps it could also be called “another facet of horsemanship”.

It is of course still horsemanship. As well, it’s about the relationships we discover with horses and it’s the horse journey/life journey that some of us find ourselves on. It is very exciting. It opens up our mind to just what is possible. It also allows us to grow and develop as human beings.

The person who understands this type of horsemanship and philosophy respects the dignity of the horse. They have the horse’s welfare – emotional, spiritual and physical – at the forefront of their thoughts and actions. They are a person whose relationship with their horse is not driven by ego, winning, blue ribbons and status. They see the horse as a companion and friend to travel with on this journey; not as a piece of sporting equipment.

They/we are exploring a way with horses that respects their dignity and acknowledges them as soul beings walking this earth with us.

Why have a Corroboree Equus?

One very good reason is to actually meet each other – in person. Some people call it ‘networking’, but in this particular case, it is much more than that overworked corporate cliché.

There are more and more horse people exploring beyond the traditional understanding of horsemanship. Often this exploration happens in isolation and can feel quite lonely, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

The cyberspace thing is very convenient, but meeting face to face is real and tangible. Meeting face to face embodies two of the important things about being with horses and that is ‘being authentic’ and ‘being present’.

There are some really wonderful people exploring this type of journey with their horses – and there are probably many more in the wings quietly doing their own special thing.

There is an element of “feeling less alone” by gathering together, and there is most certainlya “family” or “tribe” aspect in getting together as well. All those elements were very central to the elated feeling everyone left with from the 2013 Corroboree Equus.

Is this a formal event?

No. The idea is that we are gathering as a group of friends would for a weekend away, to enjoy each other’s company, share a common interest, exchange ideas and thoughts and discussions, and enjoy time in like-minded company.

Corroboree Equus 2014 will be more of a social event rather than a formal, structured program. Although we hope people will offer to run sessions or facilitate a discussion or activity, the gathering isn’t envisioned as a clinic/workshop type of event.

Whilst it is not a formal structured gathering, it is quite likely that we will all come away from meeting with others with a great deal more than when we arrived.

What are we going to do?

As with last year, that is completely open to evolving as the days go by.

It worked well last year to have a draft program up for each day, and a “menu” of possible things we could do. But then it was up to those there to make the decisions each day, or the day before, to do what felt right. Everyone is welcome to add activity ideas to the menu.

Corroboree Equus is for and about the people present. It is a group driven gathering that will have the capacity to evolve as the days unfold.

We might go for a walk and take the horses present along, do some meditation or connecting in with the horses; someone might offer to do a talk or presentation on an area of interest to them; we could go for a ride somewhere (there are some lovely easy trail rides in the area); set up some obstacles for us and our horses to play around with;  we could meet a local horse herd on their own turf, spend time (formally or informally) talking with each other, horse art workshop, star gaze for an evening, watch an appropriate horse documentary or movie, practice some animal communication or yoga. The options are limited only by our imagination.

Past experiences have shown that we will spend a lot of time talking with each other, having engaging, stimulating and reaffirming conversations. Perhaps the discussions will be more formal revolving around a given topic; perhaps they will be ad hoc and organic as people naturally gather together at meal times or cuppa time or around the camp fire or while strolling around the lakeshore together.

Why should you make the effort to come?

It will be a big effort, and a long way for many people (last year people came from as far as Queensland and Europe!), but to gather together once a year with like minds creates an energetic resonance that is powerful and uplifting to be part of and present in.

There are more and more horse people exploring a way with horses that respects their dignity and acknowledges them as soul beings walking this earth with us. Rarely do we have the opportunity to share this journey with like minded people who really understand, participate in and support this way of thinking.

Do I bring my horse?

That is entirely up to you. If you want to bring your equine friend we would love him/her to come along, but if you can’t or it is too difficult that is ok. The weekend is about tapping into and connecting with like minded people – with or without your horse.

What is important to know?

We all come as individuals and friends, to support each other, share ideas and thoughts, and be invigorated to spend time with like minded people.

Please leave any agendas, negativity or sales spiels at home J

This is an informally facilitated gathering. It is not a formal event that comes with insurance, first aid facilities and the like.

Please understand that as much care as possible goes into the planning, but that you are entirely responsible for yourself and your horse’s wellbeing, care and safety – just like when you are out with friends.

Where and when?

Tallangatta, a town located on the banks of the expansive Hume Weir and nestled in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range in North East Victoria. As per last year, the gathering will be at the Tallangatta Showground.

Afternoon of Friday 26th to afternoon of Monday 29th September 2014 (with the option to stay on Monday night and travel home on the Tuesday).

Join us for all or some of the time, whatever works for you.

How much will it cost me?

Corroboree Equus is not a commercial or money making event for anyone, it is just about providing an opportunity for getting together like minded people and enjoying each other’s company….so really all you need to budget for are your own food and accommodation costs.

For participants who are camping at the showgrounds the cost is:

  • $15 per night no horse
  • $20 per night with horse
  • $30 per couple per night with or without a horse.

Offsite accommodation varies but is quite reasonable. More information on this in the next blog post.

You will also need to provide food/meals for you and your horse.

If there are any unexpected organisational costs we may whip the hat around to help cover these.

Is there something you could offer or contribute to Corroboree Equus?

Last year, a part of the success of the gathering was that individuals volunteered to facilitate a discussion, run an activity, or share some knowledge or expertise.

Many of these people were just “everyday” people, certainly not experts in running activities, but people who were excited about something they had learnt, experienced, or discovered and were prepared to share it with a group of supportive, like minded and interested individuals.

Is there something you could offer the group for Corroboree Equus 2014?

eg,

  • Facilitate a discussion on a subject of interest or expertise that you have
  • Facilitate or lead a group activity such as star gazing, yoga, meditation, animal communication, knot tying, horse art, music, something else…
  • Campfire cooking, camp scones, morning tea
  • Bring your musical instrument and share some music
  • Run an art session
  • Demo something horse orientated
  • Something else
  • Anything you would like to offer…………

Please let us know if you could contribute something to the gathering to help us plan the weekend.

We would love and appreciate it if people offered to share something J

Details of the venue and town

We will send out another information blog in the next fortnight with more info on

  • Venue facilities for people
  • Venue facilities for horses
  • The town
  • Food options (it will all be BYO)
  • What to bring
  • And anything else we think of

What now?

  • Let us know if you are coming.
    • This is not essential, but it will help with planning
  • Let us know if you are bringing a horse.
    • This is essential, so we can be prepared to accommodate the number of horses coming
  • Let us know ASAP if there is something you are willing to offer or contribute to Corroboree Equus 2014.
    • This is essential so that we can start creating a draft program.
  • Contact us if you have questions, suggestions or ideas.
    • We are always happy to answer questions, and are very open to ideas and suggestions.

Know someone who might be interested in coming along?

Please send them this blog entry (assuming you are reading this on your email), but let them know they MUST subscribe to the blog to be kept informed, as the blog is the only place info is being put up.

The person can subscribe by going to https://corroboreeequus.wordpress.com and clicking on the “follow this blog” at the bottom of the right hand column.

Do you have a blog page or newsletter you send out?

We would love you to promote Corroboree Equus 2014, if you felt inclined to do so. The more people that know about it and come along, the merrier the gathering!

Contact details

Unfortunately due to personal circumstances Suzanne Bellette is no longer able to co-ordinate Corroboree Equus 2014. As such, Kelly Bick and Glenn Wilson have stepped in to fill the gap.

We can be contacted via:

  • This blog – add a comment
  • Our emailwaterfallcreek@westnet.com.au
  • Phone – 02 6071 0210 (after dark is the best time to catch us inside, or leave a landline number – not mobile number – and we will call you back. You can leave a mobile number, but we will call you and ask you to phone back, as making calls to mobiles is very costly on our phone bill)

Hope you can make it to Corroboree Equus 2014

Cheers

Kelly and Glenn

 ……and remember, please let us know ASAP if there is something you are willing to offer or contribute to this year’s gathering.

The Four ‘R’s

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The Four ‘R’s

Inspired by a lively and thought provoking discussion on Andrew and Vikki’s blog http://horsesandhumans.com/blog/  and Andrew’s most recent post on that complex question, riding the horse http://horsesandhumans.com/blog/2014/04/16/towards-riding-2-to-ride-or-not-to-ride/ this Corroboree Equus blog post will hopefully continue to open up our minds and our empathy towards the horses in our lives.

The four ‘R’s referred to are:

·        Riding (of course)

·        Relationship

·        Rights, and

·        Responsibilities

Nowadays more people are declaring that they do not and will not ride horses any more.  Many of these ex horse riders come from a background of high level competition and training in one equine form or another and have personally come to the realisation that riding a horse is physically, and in many cases, emotionally damaging for a horse.

But there is riding and there is riding.  A top level polo horse, cutting horse, dressage horse, eventing horse or endurance horse, for example, gets ridden very differently from the weekend trail riding horse or the RDA horse, or the family pet horse who has the grandkids plonked on its back every now and then.  All of the above examples may or may not be damaging to the horse.  But often horses are damaged and injured more as the level of intensity of the riding activity, and training, increases.  And the higher the frequency, more often than not, the higher the wear and tear on the horse’s body.

If one has to come up with a definitive answer to the question, “Does riding horses damage or injure them?” one would first have to clarify what type of riding are we talking about.  Also, “damage and injury” need to be quantified as well.  Not so easy when we drill down to the core matter here.  All activity has a physical consequence on a horse’s body.  Same as us really.  Some of that consequential physical result may be naturally healed, may cause long and lasting effects, both negative and positive, may need some sort of intervention to rectify or may irreparably injure the horse and even kill it.  Think ‘jumps racing’.

One thing that might be missing or be misunderstood by some who ride is the second ‘R’, relationship.

I find it difficult to believe that a jockey has much of a relationship with any of his or her mounts.  Or if they do then it is probably very different from the relationship you blog readers have with your horses.  What sort of relationship do many so called ‘elite’ dressage competitors have with their horses when clearly the horse is forced to perform unnatural and unrelenting manoeuvres round and round a small sand arena while having their heads pulled in by harsh bits and hands and their flanks jabbed by spurs?  And what of the barrel racing horse that is flogged around (literally) a few drums so the rider can win a prize.  Yes spurs are used here, as well as whips.

You get the picture, I hope.

A few blog posts back one commenter gave us her insight into her realisation that her much loved horse just accepted and tolerated the activity that was being carried out. Not enjoyed, just tolerated..  What sort of relationship is one based on ‘tolerating’?  Maybe that’s what our horses do.  Tolerate us.  Sometimes they don’t even do that and eject us, kick out at us, walk away from us or ignore us.  But we (some of us then) still ride them. I know my main riding (and driving) horse somedays just tolerates me.  Other days and times our relationship is better. And then there are the precious moments when we are as one – both riding and not riding.  It seems to hinge on what we do and how we do it.  When we ride lots, the relationship goes south.  When we mix the riding with some games and some adventures and quality “just being” time, things are much, much better.  Sound familiar to anyone?

Some of us have a better relationship with our horses than others, but I feel that there is always room for improvement, every day, every horse and every human.

And what of our ‘rights’?  What right does anyone have to harm a horse?  We own them so we have all the rights in the world, right?  Hmmmmm.  I don’t think anyone has a right to harm a horse – but is riding harmful? And what type of riding is harmful?

I think ‘rights’ have to be finely balanced with ‘responsibilities’.  One doesn’t come without the other.  We therefore have a responsibility to NOT harm our horses, if we are to have any rights as to what we do with them.  Do we harm our horses by compromising on their health and wellbeing by how we keep them?  How often do we hear from horse owners that they can’t afford to have another horse to keep their solo horse company?  In these cases then the horse’s mental and emotional health is being compromised because the person responsible for the horse doesn’t understand or believe that horses need other horses for their emotional, physical, social and mental wellbeing.  Do we intervene?  Do we feel sorry for the horse?  Do we speak out?  Do we stay silent?

Are any of us in a position to cast black and white judgement? Or do we say to ourselves, “Y’know what, things can probably be improved in my home paddock before I cast a critical eye on the neighbours”.  There is always room for improvement!

And do we harm our horses in a different, subtle way by not riding them? Are there times when the mental stimulation of time “out and about” from the paddock are the only opportunity for the horse to really “open up” and go for a canter or a gallop? An activity very natural for the horse but unavailable in the confined space of the horse’s living arrangements. Are there times that the mental benefit of this outweighs the possible negative physical consequences of riding?

Do we have rights to ride our horses? Or do the horses have rights not to be ridden?

And the discussion goes forth.

Michael Bevilacqua, in his usual inimitable form put it so succinctly with this comment on Andrew and Vikki’s blog – “If riding is all that is left to question, then we have made a huge advance in a very short time.”

If only that were true, if only.

See you in September at the second Corroboree Equus, I hope. Perhaps this discussion will continue then?

(More information from Suzanne, who is co-ordinating Corroboree Equus 2014, to follow soon)

Glenn

 

Corroboree Equus 2014

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Yes it is happening again.  So get out your pens and mark the date in your diaries.

Corroboree Equus 2014

Tallangatta – North East Victoria

Friday 26th of September to Monday 29th of September 2014

Are you a horse person who respects the dignity of the horse?  Who has the horse’s welfare – emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing at the forefront of your thoughts? Who sees the horse as a companion and friend, not a piece of sporting equipment?

You are invited to Corroboree Equus 2014 – A place to gather with others of similar ‘horse philosophy’ for a long weekend of interaction and sharing.

The gathering is about connecting and sharing space with like minded people – with or without your horse.

It is an informal gathering of SKITTEing – Sharing Knowledge, Ideas, Thoughts, Tips and Experiences.

The gathering will be held at the showground in Tallangatta (The same venue as last year), a town in North East Victoria, 30 minutes drive from the twin cities of Albury-Wodonga.

The dates: Afternoon/evening of Friday 26th September through to the afternoon of Monday 29th of September, then head home or stay on Monday evening for a leisurely return home on Tuesday 30th.

The Cost: Nil! You just need to cover your own accommodation and food expenses.

Join us for all or some of the time; whatever works for you.

There will be more information coming soon, but the gathering will be very similar to last year’s. If you want to see the details about what went on then, go to this post at the Corroboree Equus blog. https://corroboreeequus.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/more-info-on-corroboree-equus/. Read through, and then at the bottom click on “next post” to keep working your way through.

There is also this post about what happened in particular at the 2013 Corroboree https://corroboreeequus.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/how-it-all-went/

If you are thinking of coming, please consider if there is a session, presentation or discussion topic you could contribute. Much of the success of last year’s event was because individuals offered to share something with the group. You do not have to be an expert presenter, just willing to share something of yourself with a supportive and like-minded group of people.

If you know anyone who might interested in the Corroboree Equus gathering, let them know. To keep informed about the upcoming Corroboree, they will need to sign up to the Corroboree Equus blog by going to https://corroboreeequus.wordpress.com and clicking on the “follow this blog” at the bottom of the right hand column.

Stay tuned……more information to come soon!