ACA bucks the trend for horses!
Horse keeping has a very long history in Australia, with our first horses arriving with the First Fleet. Our country was built on the backs of working horses in agriculture, transport and war, and it’s no surprise that horses hold a unique place in the hearts of most Australians.
Today, horses continue to work in trail riding centres, racing, rodeos, tourism, entertainment and many are still crucial to farming and rural activities. The horse industry is the 3rd largest employment industry in Australia, not just people who look after, train and ride horses, but those who provide feed, health care, training, breeding, agistment, tack and equipment.
But the “average horse” is the recreational horse or pony, privately owned, and more companion than working animal. Horses and their owners are involved in pony clubs, competitions ranging from showing to carriage driving to polocrosse, and casual riding on local community bridleways and trails.
Hundreds of breed societies and competitive Clubs now exist in Australia, yet horse keeping guidelines are derived from 19th century horse racing and pony club standards, and are long overdue for an overhaul to meet the changing needs of the horse industry, increasing numbers of recreational horse keeping, and to be brought up to the standards of our companion animals.
Horses and ponies are often the target of campaigns by animal rights activists to prevent them working in tourism, entertainment or living in the wild, which can have serious repercussions to our modern recreational horse owners, as we see horses anthropomorphised, and unsuitable conditions are proposed as alternatives to keeping horses.
With horse industry representation focused firmly on the racing industry, private horse owners have few places to turn to for knowledgeable advice and support regarding issues that affect them. ACA aims to change this and we offer representation and a collective voice for the 170,000+ horse owners involved in the hundreds of breed societies and competitive clubs across Australia.
Karri Nadazdy is the inaugural and current Horse Representative for ACA. Karri is the Secretary of Bitless Inc, Australia’s first National Higher Welfare Equestrian Association, formed for modern horse owners. She is also the coordinator for Dural Hoof Sports, a club that run events to challenge the human, more than the horse, and welcomes other prey animals such as alpacas and goats.
Karri has industry experience as a saddle fitter, equine rehabilitation therapist and horse trainer. She has competed successfully with her own horses in Showing, Carriage Driving and Horse Agility with breeds from heavy horses to miniatures.
ACA invites all private horse owners as well as horse Clubs and Societies to join us and have your voice heard.