A tribute to the Australian Warhorse – As If He Knows – by Eric Bogle

Here are the lyrics of a song by Eric Bogle. It is about the horses of the Australian Light Horse in World War 1. The below is about the song as Eric Bogle describes.

The story is as follows:

The song is of course about the horses sent overseas during WW1 to serve in the various theatres of war. Of the approximately 53000 horses Australia sent overseas during WW1, only one ever returned to Australia after the war (see this article about Sandy). At the end of the war the Anzacs were ordered to get rid of their horses, the authorities did not want them returning to Australia and perhaps bringing in anthrax or TB or suchlike back into the country. Most of the horses were sold or given away, but in Palestine the Light Horsemen refused to give or sell their horses to the Arab  population of Palestine, and chose instead to shoot them  all. I based the song on an actual Light Horseman called Elijah Conn who had a horse in Palestine called Banjo. Elijah never forgot Banjo and for the rest of his life  could not talk about him without tears coming to his eyes.

AS IF HE KNOWS

It’s as if he knows
He’s standing close to me
His breath warm on my sleeve
His head hung low
It’s as if he knows
What the dawn will bring
The end of everything
For my old Banjo
And all along the picket lines beneath the desert sky
The Light Horsemen move amongst their mates to say one last goodbye
And the horses stand so quietly
Row on silent row
It’s as if they know

Time after time
We rode  through shot and shell
We rode  in and out of Hell
On their strong backs
Time after time
They brought us safely through
By their swift sure hooves
And their brave hearts
Tomorrow we will form up ranks and march down to the quay
And sail back to our loved ones in that dear land across the sea
While our loyal and true companions
Who asked so little and gave so much
Will lie dead in the dust.

For the orders came
No horses to return
We were to abandon them
To be slaves
After all we’d shared
And all that we’d been through
A Nation’s gratitude
Was a dusty grave
For we can’t leave them to the people here, we’d rather see them dead
So each man will take his best mate’s horse with a bullet through the head
For the people here are like their land
Wild and cruel and hard
So Banjo, here’s your reward.

It’s as if he knows, he standing close to me,
His breath warm on my sleeve, his head hung low.
As he if he knew.

Copyright Eric Bogle July 2001

Image from the ANZAC Centenary site – www.anzaccentenary.vic.gov.au

The lyrics here have been reproduced with permission of Eric Bogle.
The song is from the Album Colour of Dreams

Eric Bogle Home Page

Unique Training Buddies – How to Keep Fit with Your Horse

The Australian National Health Survey of 2015 reported that over 63.4% of the adults in Australia were overweight. We need exercise to get in shape, but sometimes you just don’t want to go to the gym, and finding a dedicated training partner can be hard. In comparison, horses are the epitome of fitness, with their lean bodies and proud muscular frames. So, why not train with your horse?

The American Horse Council estimates that there are 221,000 horses in Australia. There are enough to go around. The good thing about training with a horse is that the animals are built for greater physical exertion than human beings can handle. Horses can do 20 miles at between 15 and 20 mph, without rest. Here are ideas on how to keep fit with your horse.

Photo by David Dibert

Jogging

Walking your horse is a good way to warm him or her up for runs which is both fun and also fosters natural bonding between you. However, jogging with your horse is also useful when you want to challenge your limits and endurance.  If your typical run is 3 kilometres, jog for four or five when you’re with your horse. That is because the horse will carry you back home if you get too exhausted. For adventure, you can jog for short distances with the horse as you backpack along a hiking trail in a wild and scenic location such as the Gold Rush Trail in South Australia or in the Victoria Country Trails.

Swimming

Horses are good swimmers because their body structure makes it easy for them to stay afloat. However, according to Equus Magazine, swimming with horses should only be done in pools that allow it and in natural water bodies where safety can be observed.  The horse can drown if it is overwhelmed, especially in fast moving rivers. The horse should be leashed when swimming, regardless of the apparent safety of the swimming pool or water body. It should be noted that if you choose to go swimming with your horse you have to know how to swim. The horse will not save you if you drop into the water and cannot swim to safety itself. Horses get dehydrated fast when engaged in intense physical activity. If you’re swimming in the salty waters of the Indian Ocean or a swimming pool, do not keep your horse in the water for too long without letting him or her drink water.

by Jenny Holt

Equestrian brings more than $1Billion to the Economy | Equestrian Australia

In October, 2016, Equestrian Australia (EA) commissioned Sports Business Partners and Street Ryan to conduct a community impact study on Equestrian sport in Australia. We are pleased to now provide you detail with the outcomes of the report and what it all means. It’s the first report of its kind ever commissioned by EA, in partnership with all state branches, and is a significant investment towards better understanding our sport, its stakeholders and the potential for future growth and development.

Source: Equestrian brings more than $1Billion to the Economy | Equestrian Australia

Discover the new Therapy with horses for Cancer Patients and how it helps

In recent years, there has been evidence suggesting that horses can provide therapy to cancer patients. Studies have been conducted by Cerulli et al, which prove that equine therapy is a technique that does show improvements, both to the body and the mind, in people who have cancer or who have completed their treatment. Even simple contact with a horse can bring benefits to people who are suffering from this terrible disease.

How Horses Help:  In this study, breast cancer patients who’d completed their treatment, spent 2 hours a week with the horses over a 16-week period. It was found that after spending this amount of time with the horses, the patients had increased their fitness levels and gained strength. The patients also found that their state of mind improved, too.

To read more about the new therapy that is helping cancer patients, check out this article – Horses Helping Cancer Patients.

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William Micklem: Safety and Reality | Eventing Nation – Three-Day Eventing News, Results, Videos, and Commentary

The Saturday morning family explosion! Wake up calls, sock hunts, caffeine lifelines. Children and animals to be fed, hockey for Lara, piano for Jack, granny to be collected, shopping and dental hygienist … and of

Source: William Micklem: Safety and Reality | Eventing Nation – Three-Day Eventing News, Results, Videos, and Commentary

Watch CNN’s Full Recap of the 2016 Global Champions Tour and League – Jumper Nation

The Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League are some of the most valuable and prestigious events you could hope to witness – not just in show jumping, but in any sport. With millions of dollars in prize money at stake, the best riders in the world are frequently on hand throughout the season […]

Source: Watch CNN’s Full Recap of the 2016 Global Champions Tour and League – Jumper Nation

FEI General Assembly votes in favour of Olympic and Paralympic rule changes | FEI

The FEI General Assembly has today voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proposed format changes for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020, which will now go to the IOC Executive Board for final approval in 2017. Under the new proposals, the number of athletes in national teams will be reduced to three, and the drop score, which previously allowed for a team’s worst score to be discarded, will be removed. The use of a reserve combination for teams will remain in place, but will be even more important and will be a key element in ensuring horse welfare.

Source: FEI General Assembly votes in favour of Olympic and Paralympic rule changes | FEI