Horse Around New Mexico Holiday Issue 2014

Page 1

Clubs & Associations • Events Calendar • Trainer Directory

November / December 2014


Cowgirl Christmas Wishlist A Horse for the Holidays?! Fox Hunting in New Mexico

New Mexico lots more

Cowgirl Christmas





Read Eva Gulin’s story, page 18. Here she poses with Punchy*, a foal bought at an auction. *Punchy is for sale to a great home. Call Triple Threat Feed, 505-293-5113.



Got a Cowgirl in the family? Need some gift ideas? Horse Around New Mexico asked five cowgirls what they are wishing for this Christmas in five price categories. Most answers were horse related, but some will surprise you. And what they are wishing for that money can’t buy will touch your heart...


06 A Horse for the Holidays?! Choosing the right horse for you

10 Halloo, Away and Tally-Ho


14 Equine Compass Radio Helping NM equestrians find the right path

20 Directory

16 Cowgirl Christmas Wishlist

24 Events Calendar

22 Wanna Horse Around? HorseAroundOnline, for the connected equestrian

30 The Tail End photo by Cecilia Kayano

"Fox" hunting in Albuquerque and Santa Fe

Trainers, Clubs and Associations

November & December

26 Gelding your Colt

Procedures & What to Expect

Submissions are Welcome

All the opinions expressed herein are the sole opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect bias or belief on the part of the editor, publisher, distributors, printer, advertisers or other contributors.

See our web site for submission standards:

As we wrap up another year at Horse Around, we're feeling a deep sense of gratitude for our community. Huge "thank yous" go out to the advertisers who make it all possible and to Dennis Shartz, the dynamite ad sales guy, who makes sure the ads happen every issue. Copious amounts of bowing and scraping for our esteemed writers, photographers and other artists. Your contributions of words, images and ideas make it all happen, and we are in awe of how much of your heart and spirit you lay on the line with each article, essay, poem, story, photo, painting and cartoon you share. Those of you who read the magazine owe it to these folks to go to the website and check out their contributors' pages! The quality of work and experience revealed there is quite extraordinary. Special thanks to our staff writers and regular contributors: Stacie Boswell, Vikki Chavez, Peggy Conger, Cecilia Kayano, Lynne Maguire, Ozana Photography and Evalyn Bemis. We're so grateful for the beautiful 2014 cover art from Daniel Quat, Helene Asmis, Nance McManus, Ozana Photography and Cecilia Kayano. To our readers, the greater community with whom we share that common denominator of love for horses and the equestrian lifestyle: imagine yourselves hugged! You're the beating heart at the center of each issue; as we reach out with our ads, photos, cartoons, articles, poems and essays - what a joy to know you are there to receive our gifts!

Happy HolidaysKaren (and Lacy)



505-926-1555 Subscriptions $24/YR MAIL REQUEST TO: HANM * PO BOX 202* SANDIA PARK * NM 87047 ON THE COVER "Cinco" by Ozana Photography

Horse Around New Mexico©2014 All rights reserved. Horse Around New Mexico is a publication of Horse Around USA™.™ and™ are also copyrighted, trademarked, and the sole property of Karen Lehmann,. All rights reserved. Individual content copyright belongs to the author or artist.



And I will start stocking Western Boots. 7 Caliente Road, SF at Barn Dogs 505-474-7795 Where will you ride this winter?

Winter means wind, snow, mud and generally difficult riding conditions. Most of us do little more that feed, scoop and groom during these cold and blustery months, especially when our horse time is limited by jobs and family needs. This year there’s an alternative to get you back in the saddle and maximize your riding time!

4-Winds Equestrian Center Winter Boarding Special  $380/month

Large stall w/oversized pipe fenced run, 2x/day timothy/grass (or alfalfa) hay & vitamin/mineral supplement Top-notch equestrian center facilities including indoor & outdoor arenas, round pen, hot walker, kitchen facilities, bathrooms & arena seating Wonderful trails with incredible views & plenty of trees to break the wind Monthly potluck lunch and equine games day for all boarders and members. Socialize, set up dates for rides or working horses together in the arena and keep up to date on the latest training clinics coming to 4 Winds! Take the worry out of riding and hauling your horse in the winter, sign up for our Winter Boarding Package!

Space is limited Call today 505-384-1831

A Horse for the Holidays ...bring home the best horse for you! by Vikki Chavez

One person's perfect mount can be someone else's disappointment, through no fault of the seller, the buyer or the horse. A better horseman will get better results,

and the opposite is true. Looking for a horse is not unlike dating; each partner brings their own set of expectations, energy, communication style and skill set to the relationship. What happens next varies based on the pairing. The purpose of this article is to help you fine tune what you are looking for, so you can find the best horse for you. Without identifying your wants and needs, it is easy to look endlessly to no avail, or contemplate horses that realistically will not work out.

Your Level of Expertise Your new horse needs to be manageable, safe and enjoyable. Do you really have the skill and physical ability to ride a green horse? Can you afford a trainer? How about training fees in addition to monthly board? Maybe you want to compete this show season, or have outgrown your current horse. Maybe you love project horses. The level of training you require should define your shopping guidelines. Look for a horse that matches your equestrian abilities so you will be satisfied with your purchase.

Your Budget Most everyone wants more horse than they can afford to purchase. By knowing exactly what your priorities are, you can identify where you can make compromises and still be pleased.


| November / December 2014|

Consider Your Lifestyle If that dream horse you test rode gets an hour warm up on the hot walker before riding, plus daily pasture turnout on rolling green acres, you will have a much different under saddle experience when s(he) stands in a box stall waiting for you to get off work. If you ride hours on end, will the horse you are looking at have the work ethic and physical ability to do so? How much time do you have to ride? How much exercise does the horse you are considering buying require?

First Impressions Bring a friend to remind you of any initial thoughts or concerns. If you think the horse is too green, too buddy sour, off in the hind, too forward, or too laid back for what you need, then s(he) probably is.

Observe Everything Does the horse you are looking at have a fresh trim, while all the others have 8 month long hooves? Consistent care matters! Check teeth and hooves. Is that 9 year old actually 16, have an overbite, or a cracked hoof?

Vices, Scars And Special Requirements Cribbing, hard to bridle, cold-backed, stall kicking, special diets, custom shoes, rope burns and other such things may bother one person and be fine with another. You may find more horse for less money if you are willing to accept a vice. What are some things you can and can’t tolerate? Ask specific questions to make

sure your new horse is free of them, or is priced accordingly. Don't be shy. Ask about the things that matter to you!

Medical History Ask if you can call the seller's vet and farrier. You need enough information to make the best choice for you. A healed hip injury may be something you don’t want to chance in a young dressage horse, but is no concern for that sound, old trail horse that loves riding out alone as much as you do.

Pre-Purchase Exam Many people skip this step, but it is strongly advised to have your vet examine the horse before you buy. While it will not tell you everything, combined with the above steps it adds another layer of information to help you select the best horse for you.

The Internet Horse Your perfect horse could be out of state. If you choose not to fly out, you could hire a local trainer to go ride for you, or buy sight unseen. You will need lots of current videos, pictures; ask questions both on the phone and via e-mail, speak with their vet and farrier, pay close attention to your gut feelings, and ask for references. Always do a pre-purchase exam, and select a vet that is not associated with the seller.

The Registered Horse Look at the papers. Did you check foal date and markings? Did you make sure the name of the seller is listed on the registration as the Current Registered Owner? The legal transfer has to come from the last owner listed on the papers. If that is not the seller, you may never have use of those papers. That means you forfeit the breeding, showing or resale value of a registered horse. Check with the breed

association to know exactly what they require for you to get the horse in your name, and then make sure the seller has everything current and in-hand before you purchase.

The Free Horse Rescuing can be a rewarding experience, and without the efforts of generous people, many wonderful horses would not be here today. If you have the space, money, time and option to keep multiple horses, you may choose to save a life. If you only own one horse or have limited horsemanship skills, it may not be a good choice for you. That free horse can turn out to be everything you hoped for, or a dangerous and expensive project. Paying board or vet bills on a horse that

is too damaged to ride is not fun. Don't let availability or beauty lure you into taking a risk that you are not up for.

The Horse Trader A pretty riding horse under $1,000 can sound appealing. If you follow all the above steps, you can come away happy. Keep in mind many traders do not know much about the individual horse, may embellish (ex: ‘bombproof trail horse’ = 'took a short jaunt up the road yesterday without issue'), do not have medical history, horses might be years older than you think they are, they might not have answers to your questions, may redirect (ex: Question “Does he buck?” Answer “You should see the papers on this guy!”), and you may not be advised about known negative traits and soundness issues. They | November / December 2014


are in the business of selling horses, provide low prices you won’t find elsewhere, and often give horses a second chance at a new home. It is up to you to be a savvy buyer.

The Seller You will be asking a lot of a seller, many of whom are reading this and cringing at the herculean effort of making videos, taking endless pictures, answering lists of questions and having you haunt their vet or return multiple times. Be respectful by doing the following:

seller has no idea if their horse could be a good match for you without the right information. If you have only ridden lesson horses, took the last five years off from riding, or just recovered from hip surgery, let them know. Be on time. Call if you are running late. If you choose to do something else instead of keep your appointment, tell them you will not be there! Keep it short if you are not interested. Don't ask them to ride, if you can ride, or take up their time asking questions about a horse you have no intention of buying.

Do the above steps to determine A Perfect Match: Vikki & Night Sky  what you want, don’t want, and can Don't let your kids go into paddocks afford. If 16.3 is too tall for you, the and tack rooms, pet unknown dogs, horse will not be any shorter when you get go look because they are close by where crawl on fences, or run around. It is there. you live. Only make appointments when distracting, dangerous, and disrespectful. you are ready to buy, the horses are in your Don't go 'check it out' to see what a Hopefully, you now have enough price range, and they look and sound like information to shop to your heart’s $30,000 horse feels like under saddle, or a potential match for you. content. Good luck finding your shop when you know you can’t purchase dream horse, and happy holidays! until after your barn is built next year, or Be honest about your riding ability. The

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joyhope freedom


assisted therapy

when dealing with

grief loss

stress | November / December 2014



Founded in 1970, Juan Tomรกs Hounds meets every Friday afternoon and Sunday morning from October through March to enjoy a great ride, following the Huntsman and his hounds. Hunt Country is varied, with desert to mountains and everything in between a part of the hunt. Juan Tomรกs runs multiple fields so that everyone from the beginning rider to the experienced hunter/jumper can enjoy the glorious chase. For those who are not confident jumpers, a path around the obstacles is provided. Guests are encouraged to join the group for a hunt. One of the most inexpensive hunts to join in the US, JTH believes hunting to be a sport that can be enjoyed by all ages and levels. For more information about Juan Tomรกs Hounds please contact the membership director: Jackie Cronenberg, 505-797-8092


Tally-Ho! Photos this page: Ozana Photography

Two New Mexico Hunt Clubs are on the

chase from October through March. by Emily Esterson


lbuquerque's Juan Tomas Hunt (left page) and Santa Fe's Caza Ladron (right page) ride out regularly in hot pursuit of, not foxes, but coyotes.


| November / December 2014|

Riders seek to stay with the hounds as they trail the winding route the quarry has taken as it moves through its own home territory. Hounds rarely make visual contact with the fox or coyote. The coyote, fundamentally an elusive, predatory creature, most often eludes the hounds by cleverly taking a path difficult for the hounds

Photo: Nancy Ambrosiano


Away! Photo: Lexie MacKenzie

Photo: Lexie MacKenzie

Photo: Nancy Ambrosiano

to follow. The hunt ends when the hounds can no longer find the scent, the coyote has “gone to ground” in a den or the huntsman and riders are ready to call it a day. Few breeds of dogs get to do what they were actually bred to do. In hunting, foxhounds get to follow scent, and the music of their

collective voices when they are on the trail of quarry is thrilling. The horses, too, get to move together in a herd as they do in a pasture so it’s a natural activity to them. And families and friends enjoy riding together across natural terrain, following the unscripted path of hounds and quarry.

At Caza Ladron, a 14-year-old foxhunting club in Santa Fe, hounds, horses and riders love the thrill of the chase, the fellowship of riding out in nature, and communal hunt breakfasts (which take place around lunch time) that rival Thanksgiving in the care taken to provide an excellent post-ride meal. Caza Ladron hunts coyote with a type of American foxhound called Crossbred, and the “fixtures”—areas where we follow the hounds— have spectacular views of the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountains. After a few hours of hard riding, we gather for a potluck meal, a taste of champagne and a recounting of the morning’s adventures. Guests are invited to join Caza Ladron any time. The club meets Saturday mornings from November to the end of March. You need only a good pair of boots and a helmet with a safety harness, and guest horses can be provided with advanced notice and a fee. Contact the secretary, Phyllis Gonzales, for information., 505-470-3952. | November / December 2014 11

We brought you six great issues in 2014 ...and with your input, 2015 will be even better! Submit your articles, stories, essays, photos, art & poems Send us your events for the Events Calendar Update your Club or Association Listing Get listed in the Trainer Directory

All for Free, as a Community Service! Submissions Deadlines 2015:

Issue 1 January/February Sporting Issue : deadline Nov. 24 - 2014 Issue 2 March/April Gear Up! Issue: deadline Jan. 23, 2015 Issue 3 May/June Events Issue: deadline March 27, 2015 Issue 4 July/August Trail Issue deadline May 22, 2015 Issue 5 September/October Horse & Rider Health Issue deadline July 24, 2015 Issue 6 November/December Holiday Issue deadline Sept. 25, 2015 please send your submissions to:


| November / December 2014|

Photo: Ozana Photography

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Find Your Path with Equine Compass Radio by Kay Louise New Mexico equestrians now have a radio show specifically tailored to their needs and interests. On the dial at KXNM 88.7 FM, the Equine Compass radio show is a discussion forum for all things equine. Colleen Novotny, Ta-Willow Romero and the newest member of the team, Loal Tucker, co-host discussions and interviews for the show. We recently caught up with Colleen and asked her some questions.

up the Bosque Trail of the Manzano Mountains. A story of an early pioneering family goes along with the ride. On the top of the mountain there is Bosque Flats, which was homesteaded in 1890 by Archie and Alice Rae. The story of their 27 years on Bosque Flats is remarkable and enduring. It is indeed, so far, my very favorite interview and trail ride.

HANM: What is Equine Compass radio? What sort of programming do you do, and where/when can we hear it?

HANM: We understand that what you do for EQC radio is on a volunteer basis. What personally draws you to it, to doing this kind of work?

CN: Equine Compass was developed to help equine owners find the “right direction” to follow in their journey with their equine, be it a horse, mule or donkey. As each owner and equine is different, each journey is different, and sometimes it's hard to find the right path. Equine Compass is there to help. We also offer a calendar of events each month (provided by Horse Around New Mexico) so that owners can choose a fun, educational or inspirational event to share with their equine.

CN: I have always loved radio, I spent several years as a salesperson for a radio station in Colorado. This radio station, KXNM 88.7 FM, is the voice of Central NM, better yet the voice of the East Mountains. We needed local news of the area, and their ability to provide live coverage of events in this area is a big advantage. For example, during fire season we all want to know what is happening and where! What better way to find out than with live coverage from your local radio station?

HANM: How do you find the people that you interview?

HANM: How does the radio show get support financially? How can the NM horse lovers community get involved?

CN: We try to find out what the needs of our listeners are, and then find the information that they want to hear. We're also interested in making sure NM equine owners are aware of the many volunteer equine groups that serve NM on horseback, such as the NMMSAR group and the NM Back Country organization. We want to promote the many non-profit equine organizations such as rescues and therapeutic riding groups. Listeners can email us with questions or request interviews at equinecompass@gmail. com.

CN: KXNM is a NPR station, which means it is a non-profit station - therefore each program must be supported financially by a business or other entity. At this time Equine Compass is supported by Tillery Chevrolet, and of course we are very grateful. All NPR stations need community support and if there is anyone out there interested in helping our local station please let them know.

HANM: What's been your favorite interview so far?

HANM: If we miss a broadcast, is there a way to get caught up, to hear the show after it has aired?

CN: Another of our goals is to talk about equine trails systems that cover a very large part of our state,and give our listeners the information they need to do a safe fun trail ride on these wonderful trails. My favorite so far has been the interview/ride

CN: All past broadcasts from Equine Compass can be heard on the 4 Winds Equestrian Center website. Go to and there on the first page is a place to click on KXNM broadcast.

     Your Hosts at Equine Compass Radio     

Loal Tucker photo: Cecilia Kayano


Colleen Novotny photo courtesy 4 Winds EC

| November / December 2014|

Ta-Willow Romero photo: Ozana Photograhy

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Cowgirl Christmas



Read Eva Gulin’s story, page 18. Here she poses with Punchy*, a foal bought at an auction. *Punchy is for sale to a great home. Call Triple Threat Feed, 505-293-5113.


Got a Cowgirl in the family? Need some gift ideas? Horse Around New Mexico asked five cowgirls what they are wishing for this Christmas in five price categories. Most answers were horse related, but some will surprise you. And what they are wishing for that money can’t buy will touch your heart...

Kelly Gifford is 45 years old, and got into horses only five months ago. She bought and started riding Rohan, an Icelandic gelding. Kelly is a Registered Nurse, and co-owns Albuquerque Pet Memorial Service with her husband, Dave. She describes herself as “a rider wanting to feel a connection with my horse, so we can ride as one.” $10: Fly mask for riding $100: Rope looped reins, or a mohair saddle pad $1,000: Custom made trail saddle for an Icelandic $10,000: Used 2-horse gooseneck trailer with living quarters Priceless: “That I could become an expert rider and horsewoman, and would know how to take care of my horse, and encourage him to take care of me, so that we would have mutual love and respect.”

Brandi Lucero is 21 years old and a student at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, studying Public Health. She hails from Isleta, and is frequently there visiting family. She doesn’t own a horse, but is horse crazy, and rides whenever she gets the chance. She describes herself as “outdoorsy, active and busy.” $10: Horse shampoo, mane brush $100: Miss Me jeans and a straw cowgirl hat $1,000: Trail riding saddle

$10,000: Paint gelding that is athletic, has a ton of speed, but is controllable Priceless: “That I could feel more confidence when I’m horseback riding, and carry that confidence into other areas of my life.”

Leah Maguire is a 22-year-old entrepreneur, who co-owns Triple Threat Feed, Boarding and Rodeo Company in Carnuel with her husband, Jarad Martinez. She wouldn’t describe herself, so we did it for her: “Kindhearted, positive go-getter who can ride like the wind.” $10: A bunch of things she often misplaces like main comb, hoof pick, hair ties for herself

Brandi $1,000: New or used roping chute, or a Billy Cook saddle, or a nice, dependable trail horse $10,000: Indoor arena, or a finished reining horse, or a few more acres to grow hay Priceless: “That foals, including PMU foals would never go to auction, but would go to good homes.”

$100: A couple of performance bits



Photo by John Novotny


Colleen Novotny is a been-there-done-that cowgirl. She is the manager of 4 Winds Equestrian Center, located a few miles west of Estancia. She started her riding career even before she had a pony, riding anything in sight, including mops and propane tanks. She describes herself as “an old cowgirl who will never give up horses.” $10: Starbucks gift card so she can drink coffee while riding $100: Donation to a family in need, would match it with her own $100 $1,000: Repairs for her horse trailer, so she can continue to introduce friends and clients to amazing trails

$10,000: Down payment on a little Zenith aircraft for her husband, John Priceless: “I would like to set up a foundation to start a program to help more children avoid drug and alcohol addiction through involvement with horses.”


Eva Gulin is a 13-year-old barrel racer and pole bender, who is learning to rope. She has been riding since she was three, and competing since nine. She describes herself as a person who “tries new things and likes speed.” $10: Horse brush, halter, lead rope $100: Breast collar or bridle $1,000: New roping saddle or lots of bales of hay $10,000: Used 2-horse gooseneck trailer with living quarters Priceless: “That nobody would ever abuse animals.” Author Cecilia Kayano is a professional writer and photographer. She owns two gaited horses and rides mountain trails. She can be reached at

HAPPY HOLIDAYS START AT DAN’S Serving the New Mexico Equestrian Community for 61 Years Open Monday through Saturday 9 - 6 Special Sunday Holiday Hours Thanksgiving until Christmas

Season’s greetings and happy trails to you and yours,

Lynn & Dandi Horses & Living

...from the inside

Your Authentic Life Coaching The Ride of Your Life for Equestrians Photo Tony Stromberg

For information call 505.231.5353 or email | November / December 2014 19

TrainerDIRECTORY Dennis Brazeal * Bosque Farms 505.400.5492  Eric Bravo * ABQ+ surrounding areas 505.293.4652 *  Petra Christensen * 971.731.2200  Michelle DeCanditis * 505.615.7016  JT Jones * 314.686.1754 Corrales, ABQ & surrounding areas  John & Cat Parks * Santa Fe 505.466.3849 * www.johnandcatparks. com  Erlene Seybold-Smythe * Espanola 505.603.6016 erlene@roy-elmorgans. com  Total Horse Training * East Mountains Laurie Boultinghouse 505.974.7317 & Kirsten Clegg 505.250.3185  Toby Orona *Albuquerque * 505-5739440 Bill Manns & friends: on the trail near Tres Piedras. More trail adventures from Bill coming in 2015!


The Ride of Your Life Life Coaching, Clinics and Consulting

Santa Fe & by arrangement 505.231.5353 20

Clubs&ASSOCIATIONS Arabian Horse Association of New Mexico

New Mexico Paint Horse Club

Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico

NM Palomino Exhibitors Association

Buffalo Range Riders Mounted

New Mexico Quarter Horse Association

CHAMP - Corrales Horse & Mule People

Northern NM Horsemen’s Association

Enchantment Driving Society

Rio Grande Mule and Donkey Association

Equine Protection Fund

San Juan Valley Trail Riders

High Desert Riders

Santa Fe County Horse Coalition

Jicarilla Mustang Heritage Alliance

Santa Fe County Sheriff 's Posse

Listening Horse Therapeutic Riding Gus Jolley 505-469-4022

Santa Fe Pony Club

New Mexico Bucksin Horse Association 505-869-9198

Single Action Shooting Society

New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding 55-471-2000

Taos Saddle Club Saddle Club

New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association

The Horse Shelter 505-471-6179

New Mexico Horse Council 505-603-6016

Tularosa Nat’l Horsemanship Fellowship

NM Mustang and Burro Association

Walkin in Circles NM Horse Rescue

JANE DAVIS, LMSW ***The horse is our guide***

Combining humans and horses, on the ground, for experiential work in communication, contact, congruency and authenticity. Meditation practice, team building, stress management, trauma/grief


| November / December 2014|

For the Heart of the Horse Sanctuary Connecting Horses and Humans through the Arts of Liberty Training, Horsemanship and Dressage

Erica Hess and Joost Lammers

Please visit our website or call us for info 505-474-5480 Santa Fe, NM

Connecting Horses and Humans through the Arts of Liberty Training, Horsemanship and Dressage

All Winter Long! We have a few spots open and welcome you and your horse for winter training! Please visit our website or give us a call! 505-474-5480 26 Sundog Drive, Santa Fe, NM | November / December 2014 21

HorseAroundOnline How will you horse around today?

New Mexico's coolest new website and how you can put it to use


HorseAroundOnline is coming right 'atcha - Fresh, local & connected

hether you’re in search of funny horse videos, relevant articles or looking for a horse to buy, you’ll find what you seek at the new HorseAroundOnline website.


he eagerly anticipated November launch of this premiere interactive equestrian web resource brings services listings, shopping, buy/sell/trade classifieds, events calendar and much more to your favorite electronic device.



ross-platform compatibility means the site will work as well on your iPad or Android phone as it does on your laptop or the desktop PCs at your local library.


resh, up-to-the-minute content and social media presence make the site interactive and relevant, ready to canter right along with your connected lifestyle!


egister at the site, and you can list and publicize your club’s events, create a classified ad, or


list your service. Make sure that your local equestrian community can find you! Biz & Services listings are free for a limited time.


usinesses, clubs, associations and individuals alike can participate for free, or choose paid upgrades for banner advertising or enhanced classified ads. The higher your level of participation, the more community involvement and feedback you will receive!


here’s no need to sign up in order to read and share entertaining and informative articles, browse the classifieds or find an event on the calendar. You can even shop for equestrian apparel and gear! HorseAroundOnline’s


and ma ke

sure to share y our


mission is to be an all-around resource, your one-stop cyberspot for all things fresh, local and horse-related.


re you a Social Media Butterfly? HorseAroundOnline offers ample opportunity for posting, liking, sharing, tweeting, linking, pinning and plussing; all through our connected Social Media pages. You can simply hit one of the share buttons and let your friends know about the cool article you just read at the site, or share a link to a horse for sale , an event or a great busness or service provider.

Look for this photo icon to find informative and entertaining articles on all your favorite equine interests


o how will YOU horse around (online) today? Come check out some of the many options we've provided. Hop up into the cyber-saddle and enhance your connected equestrian lifestlye with HorseAroundOnline today.

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How will you horse around today?

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Contact us at: 32



1-2 2 8 29

Integrative Equestrian Experience w/ Trainer & Equestrian Life Coach Lynn Clifford * 4 Winds Equestrian Center* or 505.231.5353 NMDA Schooling Show at Cherry Tree Farm, Albuquerque. Managers: Dj & John Collins,, 453-0267 Trail Riding Confidence Clinic with Loal Tucker * 4 Winds Equestrian Center* Lateral Work 101. Lynn Clifford Ride of Your Life Clinics for All Disciplines. Arrowhead Ranch, Santa Fe 505.231.5353

Where's YOUR event?! We'd love to list it (for free), but you've GOT to send it! ....or register and list at

december 6 10

Cowgirl Christmas @ La Tienda Mall 7 Calient Rd Santa Fe 10 am - 4 pm Taos Saddle Club Saddle Club Club meets monthly on the second Wednesday of the month at a local Taos restaurant for dinner and club business. Monthly tril rides on the third Saturday of the month from March to October.

Coming in January:

The Horse Shelter EQ-Wine Fundraising Dinner 1/19/15


FEED STORE HayHardwareFeed We stock the area’s largest selection of Farrier Supplies

Enjoy a special wine dinner generously donated by Restaurant Martin from which ALL proceeds benefit The Horse Shelter.

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Geldingyour colt What to expect: procedure, after-care and complications by Stacie G. Boswell, DVM 'Tis the season…for

gelding your colts. Gelding is the horseman’s term for castration, and is also known as “cutting” or “emasculating”. The medical term for the procedure is an orchidectomy: orchid = testis, and –ectomy = remove. It is the surgical removal of testis and has been used for hundreds of years to prevent undesired masculine behavior and reproduction. Occasionally, horses can develop medical problems associated with the testis, such as testicular neoplasia (tumors), scrotal hernias (where intestine escapes from the abdomen and falls into the scrotum), orchitis (inflammation of the testis), or trauma to the area. Any of these problems can require removal of the testis as treatment. In addition to removing the testis, associated structures such as the epididymis and a portion of the spermatic cord are also removed (see Figure 1).

Why castrate now? The weather is cooling, and the flies are flying away for the winter. There will be fewer

pests bugging your boy about his incision. Also, show season is gearing down, so if you have a stallion prospect that you have decided to cull, this is the perfect time. He will have a good period of adjustment before the spring season gears up for showing or selling him. And, the show season break gives you enough extra time to schedule the surgery and care for him properly afterwards. Management of young colts is variable with different facilities and various sports. I prefer to castrate horses in the late fall after weaning, and find that this works well for most owners. Some complications, such as excessive bleeding, are less likely when the testis are removed while they are still small. Colts in smaller facilities or kept at home may need to be castrated prior to puberty, which typically occurs during their yearling year, in order to prevent accidental impregnation of mares.

Figure 1: Left: normal testis, epididymis, and spermatic cord (including vas deferens and cremaster muscle). Right: Inflamed testis (orchitis).

Figure 3 (A-D): Castration procedure.

A. The first of two incisions into the scrotum for a castration procedure.

C. After surgery, still under the influence of general anesthesia.

Editor's Note: Animal Protection League of New Mexico offers a Gelding Assistance program, helping needy individuals with vouchers and clinics for sterilization of stallions and colts. See for details, or call APNM at 505-265-2322

What to expect Before Castration:

Figure 2: The author assisting a veterinary student with a standing castration. This picture shows the way a veterinarian must bend to perform the procedure.

Prior to castrating your colt, he should be halter-broke and handled, and he should have an examination to determine that he is healthy and both testis have descended into the scrotum. Occasionally a horse will ‘retain’ a testis, and will need a more involved procedure (see “Cryptorchid Castration” below). Your horse should also be up to date on vaccines, including having a Tetanus booster within the last 6 months. What to expect: Routine Castration A routine castration takes 1015 minutes. Oftentimes it is done under “field anesthesia”, which is an injectable, shortduration anesthetic dose. It is occasionally done while the horse is standing and sedated, with the addition of local anesthetic that blocks nerve sensation to the area.

B. Application of emasculators that crush and cut the spermatic cord.

D. This horse has just recovered from anesthesia for castration.

In order to castrate a standing horse, he must be tall enough for a veterinarian to reach under the belly to perform the procedure, and the horse must be trained well enough to be restrained properly (see Figure 2). Doing this surgery while the horse is standing clearly carries an extra risk for the veterinarian, but it can also carry an increased risk of some complications (for example, contamination or infection) for the horse. Also, if intraoperative complications (such as significant bleeding or evisceration) occur, the horse will have to be anesthetized to correct the problem. It should

is nearly impossible to correct these complications with the horse standing. At the time of surgery, some veterinarians choose to give the colt a dose of antibiotics and/or a dose of anti-inflammatory pain medication. Your veterinarian may also administer a Tetanus booster at the time of surgery. The most common approach is two incisions directly into the scrotum over each testis (see Figure 3A). Blood flow to each testis is eliminated, usually through crushing the spermatic cord with the emasculator (a surgical instrument, see Figure 4). The emasculators are left in place for several minutes, depending on the size of the testis (see Figure 3B). The testis is then removed, and the stump of the spermatic cord is inspected for any bleeding before being returned to the horse’s abdomen. The process is repeated for the second testis. Some veterinarians remove the skin between the two incisions, and some will stretch the incision to help facilitate drainage of the area during the healing process. I always wait for the horse to recover before I leave the farm – usually less than 20 minutes (Figure 3C). In the field, horses typically recover from the short anesthetic episode quite well (Figure 3D). What to expect: Routine After Care Ordinarily, the incisions remain open and heal secondarily (there is no surgical closure or “stitches” as they heal from the inside to the outside). The colt | November / December 2014 27

stay in a confined area overnight and be observed for any complications (see below). After that time, he should be exercised daily. Depending on how the surgical procedure went, and your veterinarian’s emphasis, you may be asked to exercise him up to several times daily, and with fairly fast work. Exercise is important for helping decrease swelling that often occurs after castration. Swelling is usually greatest at the 4th or 5th day post-operatively. The drainage and swelling will continue for about two weeks as the surgical site heals by second intention. Some people will cold-hose the horse during this time, although I prefer to wait at least 24 hours and never recommend high-pressure.

What to expect: Long-term Behaviorally, it takes about 6 weeks for all of the testosterone (the main hormone produced by the testis) to be excreted by the body. Testosterone is responsible for masculine behavior, so when it is absent, stallion-like behaviors are diminished or disappear. However, 20-30% of geldings will exhibit stallion-like behavior from time to time. This behavior is not due to hormonal influences. It is innate, psychic behavior that is not affected by castration. Horses that are castrated at a late age may also exhibit masculine behaviors that are learned. Because semen – just enough for one ejaculate – can be stored in the internal accessory sex glands, it is possible for a gelded horse to inseminate a mare for up to 4 weeks post-operatively. A new, mature gelding should be kept away from mares during this time in order to prevent accidental impregnations. Many experts postulate that horses castrated at a very young age are more likely to achieve a taller growth potential. In general, geldings are taller than stallions because testosterone causes growth plates to thicken or widen the bone, and closes the growth lengthening process sooner. Early geldings will


Figure 4: A. The surgical instrument used for castration – emasculators – in closed position. B. A close-up of the open head of the emasculators. Both the cutting and crushing edge are visible.

continue to experience limb growth for a longer period of time.

Castration Complications Castration is probably the most common surgery performed by equine veterinarians. We have talked about it being “routine,” but any surgery can result in complications. About 10% of horses develop complications in addition to the expected swelling. Some of the complications with castration can be serious and follow-up care is very important. [Kilcoyne I, Watson JL, Kass, PH, et al. (2013) Incidence, management, and outcome of complications of castration in equids: 324 cases (1998– 2008). J of the Am. Veterinary Med. Assn. 242:6 (822-825)] Swelling Nearly all colts that are castrated and do not have the skin sutured closed will have some degree of swelling. The larger the testes that are removed, the more the area seems to swell. Usually, the incision site is the only area that swells, but the swelling can extend into the prepuce (sheath), or to the hind legs. Some horses can be very sore from swelling and may show signs of colic or lameness. What to do about swelling Exercise! Although some pastured colts will move around enough to keep the tissue in the area well-drained, there are individuals that will simply stand around feeling sorry for themselves and, of course, horses in stalls do not have as much opportunity to self-exercise.

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The best way to reduce the swelling is to exercise the horse. At a minimum, I recommend 15 minutes of trotting, loping, or galloping twice daily as long as swelling is visible. If the horse has extreme swelling that persists, there is a problem and the horse should be reevaluated by a veterinarian. Hemorrhage Hemorrhage, or bleeding, is always going to occur in surgery, but it should be minimal. A slow drip of blood from incised skin and nearby tissues is expected. If a steady drip or stream is visible, it is too much. What to do about bleeding Keep the horse confined and as quiet as possible. Call your veterinarian immediately. This is one reason why I like to stay until the horse is recovered from anesthesia. Some bleeding vessels may not be apparent under anesthesia during the procedure, but will become obvious after the horse stands up. This is also one of the reasons why I recommend having the horse in a stall for 24 hours after the procedure. He should be checked up-close several times to ensure that bleeding has stopped completely before starting his daily exercise program.

There are several things that can be done to address the bleeding vessel. The blood vessel may be clamped temporarily, or the area may be packed with gauze. In extreme cases, the horse may need to be anesthetized again in order to identify and ligate (tie) the vessel. Rarely, a horse may need a transfusion because of extreme blood loss. Infection This complication is not common, but does occur from time to time. You may notice the horse is extremely sore or has severe swelling. Infection will not be immediately apparent, but will probably take several days to develop postoperatively. It happens when the skin heals first, instead of the castration sites healing from the inside out. What to do about infection Drainage of the area is key to preventing and treating infection. Call your veterinarian. Although antibiotics can be useful, what usually is done is re-opening of the surgical site. You will need to increase the exercise plan to facilitate drainage after the site has been reopened. Rarely, the infection can ascend the remainder of the spermatic cord (“schirrous cord”) and more extensive surgery should be performed to remove the infected tissue. Other Complications A rare, but life-threatening complication is eventration or evisceration; this is protrusion of the abdominal viscera through an opening in the abdominal wall – which manifests as intestines hanging out of the surgical site. Penile trauma can also occur intra-operatively. Peritonitis (inflammation within the abdominal cavity) may occur postoperatively as a result of contamination.

Special Considerations Other Equines Donkeys and mules require a bit of

special consideration for castration. Some references say that they are more resistant to the effects of sedation and anesthetic drugs, and thus, require higher doses. In my personal experience, I find that the attitude and degree of handling these equids have experienced influences their response to sedation more than anything else. Also, these species (especially the donkeys!) are more “well-endowed” than a horse. These larger testis are more likely to have problems with bleeding post-operatively, and donkeys often bleed more from the surrounding tissues than horses do. Cryptorchid Castration The latin meaning of crypt is “hidden”. These are individuals in which a testis fails to descend into the scrotum, and it remains “hidden” within the abdomen or inguinal canal (the path the spermatic cord takes from the abdomen to the scrotum). The horseman’s term for this is a “rig,” a “ridgling,” or a “high flanker.” University studies have found that 17-28% of horses that were presented to veterinary teaching hospitals for castration were cryptorchid [Marshall JF, Moorman VJ, Moll HD. (2007) Comparison of the diagnosis and management of unilaterally castrated and cryptorchid horses at a referral hospital: 60 cases (2002–2006). J. of the Am. Veterinary Med. Assn. 231:6 (931-934)]. These numbers are likely a high estimate of the true prevalence as a cryptorchid colt is much more likely to be castrated at a hospital than a colt that has both testes descended. Why cryptorchidism happens Genetics certainly influence the development of cryptorchidism, although specific genes have not been identified. Some breeds are predisposed to being cryptorchid including Percherons, Saddlebreds, and Quarter Horses. In general, Thoroughbreds have the lowest prevalence of cryptorchidism, but some successful racing lines are known to have a higher incidence of cryptorchidism than the remainder of the breed.

Tumors can occur in the testis embryologically while the fetus is developing, and these will make the affected testis larger than normal, thus preventing normal testicular descent. Horses are unique in that the gonads are important for maintenance of pregnancy. A retained testis will not later descend, no matter how long you wait! These horses should be castrated.

The "Proud-Cut" Myth As stated earlier, a percentage of horses will continue to have unruly or undesired masculine behavior after castration. Many of these are termed a “proud cut” horse with an implication that incomplete castration has occurred. In the historical past, this was blamed on a portion of the epididymis remaining in the horse and continuing to produce testosterone, but we now know that the epididymis does not produce testosterone. (Schumacher J. Testis. Chapter 59 in Equine Surgery, 4th ed.) A second possibility is that an apparent gelding exhibiting undesired masculine behavior may have been an improperly castrated cryptorchid stallion. If this is the case, hormone testing can determine if testosterone-producing testicular tissue is present or not. Now that you know how the procedure is usually performed, the unusual complications that can occur, and special considerations that may be necessary for some individuals, it’s time to make that phone call to schedule your colt’s appointment! Dr. Boswell is an equine veterinarian at Western Trails Veterinary Hospital in Edgewood, New Mexico. She recently completed a Large Animal Surgery Residency at the University of Tennessee. She may be reached at stacie@ | November / December 2014 29

The Tail End

Gil John Tafoya (left) and Robert Garcia conclude an elk hunting/pack trip in the Valle Vidal. Just before this photo was taken, they had packed up a horse, covering the load with a "mantie", a canvas sheet, and securing it with a lash rope tied in a double diamond hitch pattern. Joining them on their excursion was Molly, Robert's Red Heeler. Photo by Cecilia Kayano,

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