Progressive Equine Services was started by Wayne Turner in 2012,
and the business has continued to develop over the last 7 years as
demand for their services continues to grow. Progressive Equine use some of the latest technologies available anywhere in the world, to evaluate both horse and rider, with the information acquired used for lameness prevention, treatment monitoring, product testing and performance enhancement
Wayne has worked in the horse industry for the last 30 years.
Although a late starter, for horse industry standards anyway, he
began his interest with horses in his early 20's. Not long after, he
met some horsemen that would ultimately change the direction
of his life. Even to this day, Wayne believes his early mentors are
among the best horsemen he's seen anywhere in the world.
He learnt to break horses in, spent plenty of days mustering cattle,
he rode a couple of broncs and even tried his hand at bull riding,
once! But he found his passion for horses was in starting the young
ones under saddle, and he was soon trying to juggle full time work
with the consistent flow of breakers through his property.
Wayne & Cassie at their home in Torquay
There's not much he hasn't done in the horse industry, from starting horses under saddle, re-education, selling horses overseas, building horse floats, conducting clinics & giving lessons and competing on his Arabian bred horses in endurance events. He has worked in most states of Australia and has also been lucky enough to work in numerous countries overseas including India, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Europe and New Zealand.
Wayne's introduction into farriery began early on in his career in horses and he was lucky enough to train and ride his endurance horses with a qualified farrier who offered to teach him the skills needed to shoe his own horses. This began an education that is still continuing nearly 20yrs later. Being in his early 30's, running hotels and always having a couple of horses to start under saddle meant completing a farriery apprenticeship was simply not an option for him. But he spent nearly every weekend shoeing horses under the strict supervision of his friend for more than 3yrs before starting to shoe for a few other people. Even then, he continued to work for his friend for a number of years before moving to Victoria to live. Although not a qualification as such, the time spent shoeing horses on his weekends gave him a solid foundation to build upon, which he has done through continued professional development both in Australia and overseas.
Due to his sporting background, Wayne regularly questioned the lack of 'sports science' in the horse world. Sports science and sports medicine are important and well established areas within human sport, and athletes of all disciplines were able to access any number of technologies and utilize quantifiable data for performance enhancement, injury prevention and equipment testing. This was not the case in the horse industry where evaluations were completed visually and based more around tradition and convention. Unfortunately, this only ensured a lack of accurate, reliable and objective data to work from, especially in the areas of lameness detection, farriery, equipment testing and equine performance. The more Wayne worked with his clients, the more he could see how frustrated and disheartened many had become at the methods and attitudes of many that worked with their horses.
A number of years ago Wayne spent some time with Russell Guire, of Centaur Biomechanics, in the United Kingdom. After attending his course on Equine Biomechanics, Wayne was inspired to learn that there was equipment available that had been developed specifically for Equine Biomechanics. This equipment allowed for the collection of usable and quantifiable data, which could add a level of accuracy and objectivity to the industry. Just as importantly, this technology was non-invasive to the horse, could be completed in the field and was reliable and repeatable. On returning to Australia, Wayne added gait analysis assessments to his farrier business and was inundated by owners wanting help with their horses. People were actually wanting quantifiable 'report based data' for the reasons of soundness, product testing and/or performance.
When studies tell us that trimming and shoeing have an enormous influence on the soundness of the horse, and that a large proportion of lameness seen today could be prevented through improved farriery, at what point do we question the conventional protocols of an industry? Wayne was often frustrated at the expectation that farriers must use the 'best guess' approach when trimming and shoeing horses, especially knowing the importance of hoof care to the welfare of the horse. And due to the expense of getting vet radiographs, which were rarely marked up with the important measures required for podiatry evaluation, this was seldom an option. He was also often asked his opinion on the condition of a horses feet or the quality of its hoof care. With very little in the way of quantifiable data to work from, he was rarely able to give a definitive or objective opinion.
Wayne felt things needed to change and he spent the next 2&1/2 years going through the long, arduous and expensive process of getting licensed to own and operate digital x-ray equipment. Wayne has now HoofScanned 800+ horses and used radiographs to shoe many more. He attributes much of the success in his Hoof Care business to the data obtained from accurately marked radiographs and HoofScan reports.
Another person Wayne credits for having a very positive influence over his career is Sylvia Nemeth-Kornherr from EPC Solutions in Canada. A number of years ago Wayne sourced Sylvia's assistance to further his knowledge in some areas of his farrier work, and working with radiographs for equine podiatry purposes, Wayne credits his time spent with Sylvia as one of the best decision he's made. Sylvia remains a good friend and mentor to Wayne and they still communicate regularly.
The most important person in Wayne's life, and arguably his biggest supporter, is his partner Cassie. Cassie is an integral part of their Equine Services business, fulfilling many of the behind the scenes roles, as well as assisting in numerous ways on days in the field and workshops. Cassie has a great love for horses and is fully supportive of the direction Progressive Equine is heading. Cassie has a Welsh Cob named Cooper and has recently purchased a beautiful Warmblood x Friesian dressage horse named DJ that she is looking forward to competing on in Dressage.
As the demands upon our performance horses continue to increase, riders are now looking towards alternate methods and techniques to further boost performance, maintain soundness and stay ahead of the competition. The use of technology and sports science to appraise equine locomotion for lameness detection, assess rider position and its influence upon equine movement, and quantify the effect equipment and hoof care has on performance, is a necessity if we are to meet the growing needs and expectations of the horse industry and that of the modern sport horse.
Wayne riding his 4yr old Stockhorse, Maximus
Wayne working with a breaker
Cassie riding her 6yr old Welsh Cob, Cooper