Category Archives: Horse care at HPRA

Kenneth Butler – Equine Chiropractor

Kenneth Butler, equine chiropractor
Kenneth Butler, equine chiropractor. © Irma Havlicek
Just as humans benefit from treatment by a specialist if they have mobility restrictions or pain, so too, horses can benefit from chiropractic treatment: manipulation of the neck, lumbar spine, pelvis, hips and legs to take pressure off joints and relieve soreness and stiffness.

Kenneth Butler has been an equine chiropractor for 35 years. He treats Sandie’s horses at HorsePower Riding Academy as well as agisted horses there and many other horses, including racehorses, if they develop problems in movement or flexibility or exhibit signs of pain. It is his years of training and experience that enables him to treat equine mobility issues with such success. He has extensive knowledge of equine anatomy and medical issues that chiropractic treatments may or may not help. Please don’t try to copy anything you see Ken doing in the photos here. To do so without appropriate training and experience could cause injury to the horse and also to yourself.

Ken Butler feeling a horse's neck to try to determine the problem.
Ken Butler feeling a horse’s neck to try to determine the problem. © Irma Havlicek

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Horse clipping by Lehan Britten at HPRA

A shot of the clipping from the front
A shot of the clipping from the front. © Irma Havlicek.
In preparation for an upcoming show, a yearling agisted at HorsePower Riding Academy was clipped by equine clipping and presentation specialist, Lehan Britten.

Lehan’s work includes equine body clipping, show clipping, mane and tail plaiting, and mane-pulling.

Louise Bransby holds Puppet while Lehan Britten is clipping her
Louise Bransby holds Puppet while Lehan is clipping her. © Irma Havlicek

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Alana Weir – equine dentist

Alana after a productive day of equine dentistry at HorsePower Riding Academy
Alana after a productive day of equine dentistry at HorsePower Riding Academy. Photo © Irma Havlicek
Alana Weir has been an equine dentist for nine years. She was the first woman to graduate as an equine dentist after completing the course at TAFE in New South Wales. Just like Shannon Smith, the farrier, Alana regularly visits HorsePower Riding Academy to treat both Sandie’s HorsePower Riding Academy (HPRA) and agistees’ horses and ponies.

Horses have teeth at the front, which you have probably seen. It is possible to estimate the age of a horse from its teeth. Then there is a gap – where the bit of a bridle goes. Behind that are the molar teeth, which go quite a long way back into the jaw. The front teeth tear off grass, and the teeth at the back chew and grind the feed the horses eat.

Alana feeling the teeth of a horse to diagnose what dental work needs to be done
Alana feeling the teeth of Evie, one of the HPRA agistees, to see what work needs to be done to keep Evie’s teeth and mouth comfortable and in good shape. Photo © Irma Havlicek

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Shannon Smith – farrier

Shannon Smith, farrier for HPRA horses.
Shannon Smith, farrier for HPRA horses.
Sandie Gleeson arranges for farrier Shannon Smith to make regular visits to HorsePower Riding Academy to care for the hoofs of riding school and agisted horses. This may mean just trimming and inspection of hoof health but usually also includes shoeing the horses.

The farrier's anvil and mallet.
The farrier’s anvil and mallet.
I’ve watched Shannon work at HPRA a few times now and I admire how calmly and efficiently he works.

Parts of a horse’s feet are very sensitive but the hoof walls are not sensitive to pain and the horses feel no pain when they are being shod by a skilled and experienced farrier like Shannon. In the following photos, notice how calm and relaxed the horses are as Shannon works with them.

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Horse care at HPRA

Alana filing the teeth of Evie, one of the agistees
Alana Weir, equine dentist, filing the teeth of Evie, one of the agistees at HPRA. Photo © Irma Havlicek.
In this section of the HorsePower Riding Academy (HPRA) website, from time to time we will show examples of horse care as they happen at HPRA.

There are many books and web articles which offer a comprehensive guide to horse care. We will not endeavour to do that here. But we do want to share with you some examples of horse care as they happen at HPRA.

There may be posts about the general work that goes into ensuring horses’ good health and wellbeing, and about keeping the property in optimal condition for horses. We will also show you the work of some of the experts who provide services at HPRA: farrier, equine dentist, chiropractor and equine presentation specialist.