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THE HORSE GAZETTE By Ingrid Edisen entertaining austrailian horsemanship

way Guy explained how he got to where he is. The current show he does is designed for visual and emotional appeal in a big way because he is performing these days in large venues. But the quality of focus he maintains comes from a

old Guy McLean work with his well trained horses, most of us should be ashamed of ourselves. Guy McLean, and elite trainers like him, are head and shoulders above us when refining our horses. In a frank, matter-of-fact

After watching 35-year-

honed his training skills on his own and others’ horses. One impasse he came to was the question as to whether he could manage/ride a horse without any tack. That was a question he wanted to answer. And answer it he did. “I’m a perfectionist,”

perfectly still while another person races a four-wheeler near them, criss-crossing the arena from all directions. Or his mount might lie down with him center court as assistants lightly drape a tarp the size of four parachutes over them. Then there is the “fire

he said. “I try to do less and accomplish more.” He did not want to pull and fight with his horses--with or without “the gear,” he said. So, patiently, step by step, he taught the tough Australian bush horses specific cues that appear to

trained and although she could be difficult, it is that same heart and dedication that will be valuable when put to use through careful and thoughtful training. Guy offers a few

act.” For this Guy uses a special little horse who “never puts a hoof out of place,” while cantering forwards, backwards, sideways in and among fire mounds that are laid out like a gigantic version of the tire-stepping agility drill football players use. Guy tips his hat to the crowd and the crowd appreciatively responds loudly with respectful hoots and hollers. A spectacular part of

his performance entails asking one solo horse to lie down. Then he side passes over it while riding another; stops his mount and asks the other two horses to join them. By the end three of the horses are all lined up, proudly straddling their prone, calm compatriot.

quieter place—the rugged bushland of Australia.

in the McLean household and Guy, as it turns out, was the youngest of the five boys. He describes himself as a “nervous, shy country boy.” His parents ran a resort and maintained a string of fifty horses. One of the family jobs was to lead the guests on trail rides. Guy noticed he had confidence whenever he was on or working with the horses. Later, when he informed his father he wanted to make a living working with them, his dad confessed that he had concerns for his son’s future monetary well-being. “It was not a money

There were six children

be seamless and invisible. In the process of doing

my act because that’s how big the trailer is that I’m using to haul them with. If I had had a six-horse trailer, then I would have used six,” Guy admitted.

this, as a horse might give him a wrong response, what he would do is send the horse around the round pen a few times and then start anew. Or if he was doing astride work, he would wait for the moment of softness, reward the horse and then proceed.

thing for me,” Guy admitted. “When I was on a horse’s back, I felt equal to anybody.” He noticed too that his brothers all had a certain confidence that had came from working so much with the horses--whether it be in sports or working with machinery, etc. Soon he was taking in outside horses for training. During the day he would work for his parents and at night he

U.S. on a tour after having made a name for himself back home. Germany and other European countries are already calling for him as well. For the foreseeable future he will be based in Allen, Texas, near Dallas. He brought with him four of his horses to do a crowd-pleasing act. None of the horses are for sale although audience members keep asking him if they are.

is composed of roughly 40-50 different feats, one can only marvel at the level of quiet composure he and his horses exhibit. Parts of the act are like “sacking out extreme” as Guy’s horse stands

To see the act which Currently he is in the

marvels at Guy’s riding one horse and then having the others merge with them at a gallop as they go four-abreast about the ring--all without headgear. Guy has noticed some

The audience also “I use four horses in

conducted clinics in Australia and many people have asked if they could apprentice under him but he declines and does not do clinics any longer. “I would be too hard on folks as my expectations of myself are so high’ he explained as to why he won’t allow for apprentices to carry his name as trainers. And he was dismayed to do clinics with rogue horses, improve those animals and then just hand the animals back to the owner. He considers his entertaining performances as his calling card and an invite to people to explore their own relationships with their horses. Back home he has had some audience members admit that after watching him

differences between Australians and Americans. “You have such well bred horses here,” he said. “The other day I was working with a local trainer and I told him I was amazed at how malleable and well bred his horses were.” Guy noticed that the American trainer was steadily working with a string of youngsters but had kept one young mare sequestered in a separate pen. “What’s the story on her?” Guy asked. “She’s difficult,” the trainer explained. “I save her for last. But all these others are easy.” Guy then had the opportunity to work with the filly and found that under her scared and reactive exterior lay a dedicated and talented young mare that was looking for a leader to show her the way. She reminded Guy of many of the Australian stockhorses he has

reoccuring stall latch wound ask the vet

There is a significant lapse in the time between when these questions are sent in and when the answers appear in the Gazette newspaper and online. If you feel your horse needs to be seen by a veterinarian do not wait for a response. Call a reputable equine veterinarian in your area and let him/her examine the horse! You can contact Retama Equine Hospital at 210-651-6375 for your large & small animal needs.

very strange skin problem. Her skin is pealing and she is los- ing her hair. At first I thought it was rain rot so I treated her for that. But that did not work, so I waited a few days to see what it was going to do. After a few days it was worse, it is now all over her body and looks horrible. She also does not like me messing in the areas that seem to be worse! What do you think this is? I have no clue what to do for it! – Thanks, Sierra, submitted via

getting resolution and deter- mining what is causing your horse’s problems is to have your local veterinarian exam- ine her. Your veterinarian will likely recommend skin scrap- ing, biopsy and possibly blood work. – Dr. Symm

Dear Sierra, Your best chance of

Pealing Skin & Hair Loss My horse Blue has a

old gelding Thoroughbred. Sincerely, Bob Brady, submit- ted via

Dear Bob,

possible causes for a pustule under a horse’s jaw. A veteri- nary exam would definitely be indicated in this case to try and determine what is actually causing the drainage. Lymph nodes underneath the jaw of, particularly young horses can abscess and burst when the horse has upper respiratory infections. These types of infec- tions generally do not go on for several months though. Your veterinarian will likely want to rule out other secondary causes of drainage underneath the jaw, such as a foreign body or tooth root abscess for example. – Dr. Symm

Stall Latch Wound My horse had a large

Reoccurring Pustule My horse has had

a pustule under his jaw, off and on, for several months. It will almost go away, and then come back inflamed and itchy for him. It will squeeze like a huge zit. The horse has been with other horses and none of them have it. He is a 3-year-

neck wound from falling on his stall latch. The vet stitched the wound within 30 minutes of the occurrence. The stitches were removed 14 days later. The next morning the entire wound was reopened. The vet had to start the entire process over again and stitch up the entire wound. Is this a common oc- currence? Is there something you can suggest to keep this

There are numerous

from happening again? – Kelly, submitted via horsegazette. com.

scenario is far too common. A recent study that was pub- lished in a veterinary journal showed that a large percentage of wounds that were sutured did not heal by first intention heal- ing, or without complication. We can only speculate as to the cause of why such a large num- ber of wounds that are appro- priately treated fall apart, but I would suspect that a good deal of it is caused by the inherent damage that is done by the ini- tial trauma and contamination. All veterinarians are taught in veterinary school the basic principles of wound care that apply to all living tissue and most veterinarians that work on horses get vast experience deal- ing with wounds as horses get hurt not infrequently. The good thing about most wounds is that eventually they heal. However, there are circumstances that ad- vanced wound care techniques are needed to stimulate and manage a wound for the best cosmetic and functional out- come. Your local veterinarian would be your best source of information, as each wound is different. – Dr. Symm

Extraordinary Horse Equine Talent Search Looking for YOUR Special Horse

Dear Kelly, Unfortunately this

training videos on his website and has found that the Australians don’t mind taking from the videos which are more broad based, then working out situations on their own. Americans prefer the videos to be more specific, and to address training issues in a more concentrated format. Guy will address these issues as he becomes aware of the demand. Previously Guy has

“Sometimes one of my horses may screw up during a performance and I just work it into the act.” So, he is constantly refining. The four horses on tour with him right now just require light maintenance, with refresher work three days out from an event. He knows their personalities inside and out and even does all of their farrier work and grooming himself while the animals stand quietly sans tack. When he made the

decision to visit the States, he had to form a team of horses. Some of his mounts back home were unable to come so he has Australian friends watching over them. In six weeks, he was able to bring up to speed the young four-year- old mare that is on tour with him today. Granted they may not be as perfect as his favourite and famous sixteen-year-old stallion Nugget

work with his horses, they made life-changing decisions; sold their urban houses and sought out a more rural existence. Many are in awe of his relationship with his horses. “I’m lucky,” he said.

who waits for him in Australia but they are an amazing team more than capable of holding the public’s eye in Las Vegas where he performed in front of the Thomas and Mack Center crowd as part of the NFR Rodeo Finals or at the World Equestrian Games held this past summer at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Guy bel ieves that

the best tools in horsemanship are “Knowledge, Compassion, Patience and Imagination” and through a burning desire to always improve and ‘Find a Better Way’ Guy continues to refine his method to allow the best results for horses and humans alike. He doesn’t just work with horses to make a living but instead lives to work with these amazing creatures which he calls his finest teachers and dearest friends.

website at www.guymcleanusatour. com look him up on You Tube. You can contact his USA rep Emily at To learn more visit his

And on Saturday, be- tween challenges, Sue DeLaurentis and Allen Pogue of www.imagin- will pro- vide exciting demon- strations and skills to teach your horse future tricks. You won’t want to miss a minute and it is FREE to watch! Go to www.extraordinary- for entry forms and don’t wait as there are only a few spots left. We are also accepting a few vendor applications.

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their skills. Most people know someone with a horse that does something fun and special and should be seen by the public for potential use in TV, commercials, or entertainment at public venues. On March 12 the fun begins at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth with a panel of judges who will watch horses compete either in hand or riding showing their skills going through “movie type” obstacles. If your horse also does tricks, show the judges and increase your score. And finally, the best way to show off your horse is through the freestyle divisions, again, in hand or riding, to music. There will be cash and prizes and a 100% paid back jackpot for cash also. But the very best part is that the top six winners will be invited to perform at the Stockyards Championship Rodeo in the His- toric Fort Worth Stockyards. The top two will compete for the final People’s Choice award as decided by rodeo fans. What a way to add to your portfolio for potential future


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