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Dec/Jan. 2009/2010 Vol 1, No 4

A Horse, Of Course with Don Blazer


Thoughts For the “Slow Season” Keeping You Cutting Horse Fit Through Winter PREPARE Your Horse for Winter How To Fit A Horse Blanket Mission Gone South with Rider Recovery Turn Your Barn Isle Into a Practice Pen Arabian Horse Assoc. Scholarship in Honor of Patick Swayze

Directions for Home Made Bridle Racks Getting It Right: A Close Look at Equine Flooring And MORE!

Letter From The Editor Hello and Happy Holidays. With the close of Thanksgiving, my mind immediately turns to Christmas trees, presents, fresh baked cookies, snow….frozen water buckets, ice, and weeks without riding. Every year I to wage the battle of the snow, struggling to find ways to keep active in my barn and spend time with my horses. This year as early as July I started making a list of barn projects that I hated to waste a good riding day doing, with the idea of staying busy this winter. I have been making my list and checking it twice, and two weeks ago I started what I have

been calling Operation Cold Barn! 1st on my list was to put a tack shed out by my arena. I purchased a shed from a local dealer, and was on my way! Once the shed was in place I needed walls, shelves, saddle racks, bridle holders, whip holders, etc. With the economy being what it is, my goal with all of my projects this winter was to be as cost effective as possible. I took a look at what I wanted done, and began to think outside the box on how to accomplish it without breaking the bank. I have completed some great projects that can be done within the warmth of your own home or garage, for very low cost! Within this issue of Mane Connection, you will find many articles that we hope will keep you active in your barn, and with the Missouri equine community. Winter is a great time to organize your tack room or create a new one, a

time to get creative and exercise your horse in a barn isle, build your own bridle and saddle racks, make a great piece of training equipment, get your barns insurance needs in order, and more. Don’t let the winter weather keep you out of the barn, you’ll regret it come spring! We hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season! Merry Christmas! Jennifer Kruse Editor/Publisher Mane Connection

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Mane Connection is designed to serve the Missouri equine industry as an information source and a communication tool for locating horses, products, services, organizations, and events.

Mane Connection Mane Connection is an all-breed publication available for FREE at horse related businesses and events. Mane Connection is also available through the mail with a paid subscription. Mane Connection and staff do not endorse, and are not responsible for the content of any advertisements in this publication. Neither that information or any opinion which may be expressed here constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities. Opinions expressed in any form are not necessarily those of Mane Connection. All copy is subject to the publisher’s approval. The publisher is not responsible for slight changes, or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement or for errors due to phoned, faxed, or handwritten copy. The publisher’s liability for errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement or listing is strictly limited to publication of the corrected advertisement in any subsequent issue. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. ©2009 Mane Connection Mane Connection is designed to serve the Missouri equine industry as an information source and a communication tool for locating horses, products, services, organizations, and events.

Mane Connection Editor/Publisher: Jennifer Financial/Development: Susan Mane Connection PO Box 252 Tipton Mo 65081

A Horse, of Course


BY Don Blazer

If you are experiencing the wonders of power and grace and responses to thoughts, then your intentions and desires are accepting the uncertainty of “letting go” knowing that it is the only way to attain your dream.


ecurity is a myth.

There is no such thing. Unfortunately most young riders are encouraged to “hang on.” Hold onto the saddle horn, grab the mane, grip with your legs, pull on the reins; all things that are actually the wrong thing to do! Doing any of those things creates fear in the rider and encourages the rider to seek security in physical contact. Seeking security by physical contact is always wrong. The search for security invariable results in a loss of balance, followed by a loss of confidence, a loss of belief in “self”, and finally a loss of any natural riding skills. The key to perfection in horsemanship is “letting go.” Just as the horse learns his responses not from the cue, but from the “release” of the cue, so we perfect our riding and training skills by the reduction of our physical contact. Perfect horsemanship is only possible when the connection between rider and horse is centered in the minds of both. The eighth secret of perfect horsemanship is therefore the “acceptance of uncertainty and giving up the search for security.” Perfect horsemanship is possible because you have the power to achieve whatever you can conceive. As long as you follow your heart, you will never be misled and you can accept all things without judgment. If you give instead of take, you will not be seeking security for yourself, but will be removing any block to the horse’s freedom to perform. Your intentions and desires will manifest themselves in your reality, so if you are experiencing frustration, difficulties and setbacks, your intentions and desires were to force compliance and establish dominance…

Mane Connection Classifieds will return in the spring Have a great winter!

Reaching perfect horsemanship involves many steps. The path is sometimes long, with many turns and obstacles. You may never know how each of the events along the way teach the lessons you must learn. Do not be concerned; simply accept that things are as they should be. When you begin the journey, you may wish to set goals. Goals are a good way to measure your progress, but goals must never be expectations. Setting a goal is saying, “I’d like my horse to be able to do this exercise by early next spring.” Such a goal is acceptable. Expecting your horse to be able to do that exercise by early next spring is another matter. Expectations lead to demands and demands lead to an attempt to force compliance.

will soon want something in return for your efforts. When you want something in return for your efforts you will only receive frustration at not having expectations met. To demand the fulfillment of expectations is to demand security. It is self defeating. To do the work of training and riding, while accepting the uncertainty of the outcome is to approach perfection. When you are willing to accept the uncertainty of all that you do, you will be secure in yourself and your horsemanship. When you are willing to accept whatever happens as a part of the learning, you will have no fear, and without fear you can “let go.” When you “let go”, you become a master horseman. Don Blazer is the author of 6 horse training/health care books, including Nine Secrets of Perfect Horsemanship, available at

Cold Weather Tip If you attach yourself to your expectations you

Does your horse get ice stuck on their hooves? Smear a bit of Vaseline , or cooking spray on the bottoms of the hoof to keep ice at bay!

New Equestrian Product Four Footed Essentials in Midway, KY has developed Temporary Tack, a kit that includes sized, color-coded sections that can be used to repair broken halters in emergency situations. Designed for use on all types of livestock, Temporary Tack comprises, the crown strap, throat latch, cheek piece, nose band, and chin strap for both English and adjustable chins. Straps are adjustable and infinitely reusable. This easy-to-use kit fits easily in glove compartments or tack boxes, and provides an immediate and safe solution for those in danger of losing control of their animal. For more information www.temporarytack. com.

Thank You Kristen Caldwell for the Front Page Cover photo. This is a truly beautiful photo!

Some Thoughts for the “Slow Season” BY Jim Brown


ith the cooler weather arriving for Fall & Winter, many horse owners are winding down their busy show seasons and using the extra time in preparation for next year’s campaigns. There’s equipment that needs repair or replacement, horses that need rest or rehab and lots of other items that need attention so that next year, your horse activities can go smoothly with no surprises. We all know however that it’s difficult to think of everything and surprises can come along no matter how well we prepare. So, it may also be a very good time to be sure your exposures to financial loss are recognized. Mortality Insurance can protect you against financial loss should your horse die or have to be euthanized due to injury or illness. Adding Major Medical coverage to a mortality policy can protect against financial loss due to medical costs above a deductible amount. Horse owners Liability Insurance can protect you against financial loss if your horse causes bodily injury to someone else or damages someone else’s property. We at Segundo Insurance do business with insurance companies that have specialty insurance products that provide this type of protection against financial loss for horse owners. But what about horse trainers or riding instructors? We also have Commercial Equine Liability coverages for trainers. lessons instructors and coaches who derive income for their horse activities. Training/Lessons can be given on the trainer’s own farm property, or on someone else’s property and coverage can be arranged for most any situation. A farmowner may require you to have this type of insurance before being allowed to train or instruct on their property. If you board horses while they are being trained, the property owner and the trainer/ instructor have exposures for the care, custody & control of horses belonging to others. Since there are many different activities involving horses, there are many different exposures to financial loss. Each case seems to be unique in some way or another. Because of this, each of our products is quoted individually and the premium costs are determined based on those specific exposures applied for. The Equine Limited Liability Laws in most States provide some protection for Equine professionals, but you can still be sued and if you are, Liability insurance can provide defense costs and judgement costs for covered activities up to the Limits purchased. No matter what your level of activity in the horse world, you do have exposure to financial loss. While you’re preparing for next year’s horse activities, would it not be a good idea to call a horse insurance specialist? With knowing the exposures you have you can then make an informed decision on which ones you may wish to self-insure and perhaps some that you want covered by insurance. In closing, we at Segundo wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy and successful New Year.

MO Emergency Response Service BY Roger Vincent


ERS received a request from a veterinarian to respond to a call for a Belgian Draft horse that was stuck up to its neck in mud. It was believed that something frightened the horse into the muddy area overnight. Prior to our arrival, the horse had been thrashing for some time, so the horse was completely exhausted. We immediately hooked up our special webbing around the horse’s torso, placed a head protector on the horse, and safely pulled the horse out of the mud. The horse was too exhausted to make any attempt to get up, so we placed our short webbing around the front and back torso of the horse, and with the use of the owner’s tractor, we lifted the horse into an upright position. (We do not use ropes on horses when performing these types of rescues.) With the lifeless horse suspended in our equipment, we began rubbing and massaging the horse’s muscles to get the blood circulating once again. After about 20 minutes, the horse was showing rapid signs of improvement. At the direction of the veterinarian, we then released our equipment from the horse, walked the horse out, and this beautiful horse is doing great today. For more information on MERS, go to

Cold Weather Tip Do your water troughs freeze over? Put a football or soccer ball in the trough, it will help prevent freezing.

Keeping Your Cutting Horse Fit during the Winter Months By Scott and Marsha McKinsey


any articles focus on the fitness of the rider during the winter, due to the challenges of keeping horses show ready in the cold winter months. However, with a little bit of creativity, your horse can enjoy some winter recreation, and some quality time with you, throughout the year. Many serious competitors own or have access to an indoor arena for riding in inclement weather. If you do not, contact facilities in your area – some arena owners will allow you to trailer your horses to their facility at designated times to ride inside for an hour, for the evening, or all day, for a nominal fee. If you compete in cattle events, you will want to do some research in your area to find out who is offering the use of cattle. Although it will cost substantially more than dry work, having the ability to work cattle away from home may save you the expense and labor of keeping cattle at your place for the winter. Most cattle-working facilities will also have a mechanical cow available for use too, which is an invaluable tool in the winter for keeping your horse sharp. What about the days when time or money constraints will not allow you to haul? There are several things you can do at home, in a small space, to squeeze in some valuable training time.

Loping ring A safe place to lope is important when considering the fitness needs of your horse. After all, horses enjoy the cool weather probably a lot more than most of us humans do, and their attitude on a crisp, sunny, breezy January day will reflect their exuberance! If an enclosed round pen is not at hand, then at least try to allow yourself a flat circular area on which to long trot and lope your horse before working him or taking a trail ride. One idea which Scott learned long ago was to use soiled bedding from the stalls to make a small loping track outside the barn, one that can be built up / and or widened by continually adding to it all winter long. The manure in the mix tends to stay warmer than the ground due to composting, and keeps snow and ice from building up as easily. The new, added bedding, of course, is warmer too. The other nice thing about this method is it keeps you from having to haul your wheelbarrow-loads all the way to your manure pile. If you do have an enclosed round pen with sand or other footing material already in place, you can add salt to the mix, in small amounts, to help keep it from freezing. Mechanical Cow The aforementioned mechanical cow is an indispensable tool for any cutting horse training facility. Useful for everything from starting 2-year olds to tuning show horses, to schooling ranch horses, the ‘flag’ (as it is generally referred to) can set you back thousands of dollars for a top-ofthe-line remote control model. However, anyone can put together a pedalpowered unit for less than twenty bucks. Using a garage-sale or thrift store exercise bike, a pulley, 100 + ft. of line, and a piece of cloth or trash bag, you can have yourself a perfectly serviceable flag. Granted, this type requires the buddy system (after all, someone has to pedal!) but it’s easy to put together, maintain, needs no external power source, and it’s so inexpensive that you can build a second one to keep in the trailer to take to shows. A horse can actually be worked on the flag in a very small space. Most riders use a length of 50 – 75 feet, and a width of approximately 25 feet. Smaller dimensions can be used if necessary. A generous amount of sand, especially in the middle and on the ends, will allow for better stopping and turning around. An available width of 25 feet will also allow you to work on small circles, turnarounds, and counter bending before, during and after your flag work.

Other activities Winter is the perfect time to review video, both of you and your horse, and also of professional riders which you admire. Take the time to check out RFD-TV and some of the amazing cutting horse programs they now offer, such as Rode to the Winner’s Circle, plus coverage of the NCHA Futurity. On the days when just being outside is uncomfortable, use the down time for goal setting and visualizing a plan for you and your horses for the coming show season. The time will no doubt be well spent.

Directions for putting together a pedal-powered mechanical cow: 1)Find a used exercise bike which allows for pedaling backward and forward. 2)Remove tire if necessary. 3)Purchase 100 to 200 feet of line – nylon works well. Remember your working area will be half as long as your line, since it will be doubled. 4)Purchase a plastic pulley, with the wheel approximately 4 - 6” across 5)Run the line around the bike wheel and the pulley, tie it together at the ends to make one long loop, and stretch the doubled line all the way out. You will need to tie the end with the pulley to something secure such as a fencepost, horse trailer or vehicle; we just use baling string to tie it off but many other types of string, rope or fasteners will work. 6)Affix a piece of cloth, feed sack or trash bag to the line. Previously we tied our cloth directly to the line; however, we found that using a small piece of rubber hosing (approximately the width of the flag you plan to use), plus small hooks to hang the flag from, allows for less tangling when the flag moves fast. Make sure you place the rubber onto the line before tying it together. 7)Please use caution when putting your horse on the flag for the first time. Any new piece of equipment may frighten him initially, and the bike has its own noise and look, so even if he has worked the flag elsewhere he could jump or back up quickly when your helper begins pedaling. Start slowly; loping your horse beforehand will help too.

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Glade Top Trail BY Laura Vonk


lade Top Trail is a scenic byway in Southeast Missouri. Although I prefer trails, this road offers loads of scenery and is a superb alternative to riding trails during the rainy season when you run the risk of injury or trail destruction. When travelling along from one scenic overlook to the next, it is not uncommon to see Road Runners and Armadillos. I didn’t know they had Road Runners here in Missouri until I rode here and I had never seen an Armadillo that was still alive. Also, when we were there, the fire tower seemed to be a Turkey Vulture aviary, of sorts. When the vultures all scatter at once, it’s somewhat like a scene out of Alfred Hitchcocks’s movie, “The Birds”. Therefore, such an experience will be either interesting to some or downright frightful to others It’s a great place to ride in the Spring or Fall, but I wouldn’t advise riding there in the heat of summer. The road follows the top of a ridge where it gets the full summer sun and there is no water available for the horses anywhere along

the road. There are a lot of side roads to explore, all of which go downhill, so you might find some water down at the bottom of them. I don’t know for sure since I didn’t have the time to explore. They can, however, add many more miles to your ride. If you want to camp, there is a parking/camping lot at the north end of the road, but I prefer to camp at a place called Willie Lee Farmstead because it’s the only place we found water. Willie Lee Farm is located farther south along the road and there is a sign marking it’s location. The watering pond is above the campsite just the other side of the hilltop. However, be sure to visit the north end, as there is a place to stop and rest with benches and picnic table. There is, also, a plaque there and if you look towards the south you can see approximately 35 miles over the ranges and clear into Arkansas, to a point that was once Cherokee Indian grounds. Near the fire tower, about midway on the trail, there is a picnic area with a pavilion, firepits, tables and a large vault toilet. You can’t camp here, but it makes a great lunch or rest stop location…. Excellent view of almost 180 degrees

and spanning several ranges, you get a true sense of the topography and “desolate nature” of this part of the state. Very quiet, little to no traffic or homes, you do feel you are “out there”! The whole trail is this way. Early spring is a wonderful time to enjoy this trail. There are a lot of native wildflowers and the Ozark Sundrops throw yellow color all over the place. When the leaves are just budding out you can see farther than when the trees are at their fullest in Summer. Definitely worth a trip if you want to see the Missouri Ozark Mountains from up high. For more information, maps and a lot of pictures, visit my website at

Cold Weather Tip Do you have a constant problem in you feed and tack room? Contact your local feed and tack store. Not only do they have a wealth of product knowledge, they also talk with other horse owners about their stable mgmt. solutions.

Prepare Your Horse For Winter Courtsey of the AQHA


inter can be a tough time for horses and horse owners alike. Make sure you’re ready for the coming cold months. Here are a few helpful tips to help keep you and your equine friend safe and happy this winter: • Horses drink an average of 10-12 gallons of water per day. Fresh water should be available at all times. In the winter, if heated tanks are unavailable, ice should be broken several times a day. If a horse goes off feed, check his water. Horses will not eat if they are thirsty.

Horses Like To Snuggle, Too!

• A horse’s energy requirements increase by 1 percent for every degree below 16 F. Digesting forage creates more heat than digesting grain, so ample hay should be provided when conditions are harsh.

By Susan Miller, Mane Connection

• If horses are on pasture, provide hay if the grass is low-quality or snow-covered.


• If a horse tends to lose weight in the winter, increasing his body condition score by one point could be beneficial. Monitor your horse in the fall and spring to establish your plan of action to maintain his winter BCS. • Always float teeth and deworm several weeks before winter • Exercise tends to be limited in the winter. Watch easy-keepers to make sure they don’t reach an unhealthy body condition score.

o, of course you can’t spend the Winter snuggling up to your horse, but you can provide your equine friend with a nice blanket for not much expense. Your local feed or tack store will have various blankets, in various sizes. However, all require measurement of your horse for proper fit and durability. The measurement that is required for sizing a blanket is the length of your horse from chest center to around the hindquarter. You may accomplish this measurement with one of those rolling measuring wheels, if one is handy; otherwise, the measuring tape from the sewing kit will do just fine. Have your horse standing square on level ground (any sprawl of the legs will affect the measurement). Begin measuring from the center of your horse’s chest, where the neck meets the chest, and continue around the left shoulder, along the left side and around the left hindquarter, to just where the tail naturally hangs. Keep in mind that whether using a wheel or tape, it is important to maintain contact with the skin when taking this measurement. Now, write down this measurement and get to your feed or tack store to find that perfect blanket!

Mission Gone South BY Patricia Titchenal


ur neighbor gave us Trevor after the loss of his job forced him into foreclosure. I remember thinking “how is it that a horse that is so beautiful that cost this man so much be worth nothing”?! I know that Mark tried everything to find Trevor a home before he came to us with tears in his eyes asking us if we would please take him. My husband and I thought long and hard before we made the decision to take him on. We are new to these parts and actually moved here because we inherited our twenty acre homestead, which was set up for horses when we got here. I always thought horses were beautiful but really knew nothing about them. I would watch Trevor and our neighbor Mark ride off together and he would give the neighborhood kids rides and it seemed like they did everything together. I knew this had to be a terribly painful decision for him as he and his wife Stacy had no children and no other pets. My husband and I felt so sorry for him and we figured that although we didn’t ride, it would be fun to have a horse that our friends and eventually our own kids could ride. Mark gave us some details about feeding and such so we cleaned out the barn and got the fence ready for the horse. At first I really enjoyed watching Trevor run around like a big black streak while I was having my breakfast each day. Mark said it may take him a few days to settle in so the running didn’t really bother me. But after a few days passed, Trevor seemed more anxious than ever and would stand at the very end of out pasture looking over the fence towards his old homestead. I tried everything I could to make Trevor feel at home, I would have to trick him with an apple to catch him so I started just leaving his halter on. Next I would try tying him up and although he stood like a statue for his former owner all he would do was paw the ground and call in the direction of his old house. Eventually he did make friends with our dog “ Buddie” and the two of them became pretty inseparable. It seemed that he was finally settling in and then one day he got his halter caught on a tree. I had no idea that the halter had become so stiff, we actually had to cut it off to set him free which exposed lots of missing hair where the halter once was. Now we keep his halter off but Trevor has become almost impossible to catch. Last week we had the shoer out, (this was the one that Mark always used for Trevor) and it took nearly 20 minutes to catch him. After he tied Trevor he began to really act up and no matter what I did to soothe him, it seemed that he got worse and worse. The shoer eventually took hold of Trevor and smacked him, yelled at him and then told me to go in the house! It seemed to take him a very long time and when he was done the shoer was very stern to me. He told me that if I did not have Trevor caught and in his stall when he came the next time I would have to find a different shoer. I wonder how it is that he used to work on Trevor while Mark wasn’t there. Now I feel guilty and embarrassed and I am not at all sure we can keep Trevor even if he is just a pet. Why does he act like this and is there anything I can do to fix this situation? I would like to keep Trevor but I’m afraid of him and my husband sees no point in having a pet we cannot handle. 1) Let’s look at the situation as a whole: Horses are herd animals and do not feel safe outside of a herd. Since Trevor was the only animal and the only child at Mark’s house Trevor and Mark had an awesome bond. That bond has been broken and when he first moved to your house Trevor was actually grieving the loss of his herd member and felt pretty unsafe until he was able to develop a bond with Buddie. Your inability to catch him started

as a result of Trevor’s longing anxiety and has now developed into a bad habit. I am sorry that you found out the hard way why it is important to leave the halter off while Trevor is out. The behavior on the ground that Trevor is displaying is likely due to a lack of confidence that you have in handling Trevor. This is expected since you have no former experience. The bad behavior that he displayed for the shoer is simply a lack of being handled and as painful as it was for you to watch, the shoer is there on limited time and really had no choice but to correct Trevor. While it is not the shoers job to catch or correct the horse, he was left with few options because, if the horse was allowed not to be caught then the habit of not being able to be caught gets reinforced, and so does the bad behavior. Your shoer has limited time as he has other clients and it is quite likely since he has already established a relationship with the horse and since he usually behaves, the shoer was less patient than he may have been had it been the first encounter with him. 2) The good in what happened: I commend you for taking Trevor on in the first place. Due to the economic situation as well as anti-slaughter laws in this country, there are simply not enough good homes for the horses that we have produced, regardless of how well bred or trained the horse may be. You and your husband were very kind to help your neighbor and Trevor out so let’s not loose sight of that. It is also quite evident that while you may be in over your head, you have learned some lessons along the way and you are continuing to provide the best care that you can for Trevor which is evident by you removing the halter and having the farrier tend to his feet. 3) The Human factor: It is more and more common to see people in your situation with Trevor. Your case moves me a little more than most as it was not really your desire to have a horse in the first place. While you may feel embarrassed and ashamed, which is pretty common due to the lack of understanding, please remember that this was more or less a rescue mission. Your feelings are understandable as it must feel like your mission must look impossible to you at this point. 4) The Equine Factor: Trevor is developing poor habits as a result of a lack of handling, not a lack of your commitment. He has come unraveled as a result of this. When he lived with Mark, he and Mark were a herd, and Mark was the alpha or the leader in their situation. Now, when you do get him caught and try to brush him or hold him for the farrier, Trevor feels insecure because the two of you don’t have a bond and that makes him feel unsafe and causes him to call and become anxious. 5) Finding the solution: I would first ask myself if I really wanted to keep Trevor and if I do just what do I want to do with him. If you decide you are in over your head it might be a good idea to try to track down Mark and see if his situation has changed. Maybe at this time he may want Trevor back or if not maybe he could at least come and work with him and help you rehome Trevor. If you have found that you would like to keep Trevor then you should decide what goals you want to set with Trevor. It does not sound as if you have much of a desire to ride him but it would not be a bad idea to take some lessons to see if that is something you may want to do in the future. In the mean time, there is nothing wrong with keeping Trevor as a pet. But, if this is what you would like to do, I highly recommend you enroll in some ground manner lessons and a

body language class. Remember that if Buddie was kept on a chain all the time or in a kennel it would be necessary for him to have manners so you could take him on walks or to the vet. There is not anything much more miserable than having a unmanageable pet, it is even worse to have one that weighs close to 1000 pounds! By dedicating yourself to some lessons, you and Trevor will also develop a bond which in turn will make him a much safer and far more enjoyable pet to have around. Be sure to call the shoer and let him know that you are enrolling in classes so as to be sure he will come back, good farriers are difficult to find. Please write me again and let me know how you and Trevor are getting along. I appreciate learning about you and your kindness. Good luck to you and may your goodness be returned to you 10 FOLD! The Rider Recovery program is a faith based program dedicated to helping horses and riders reconnect and rebuild their confidence in the each other. Each month we will present solutions to some of the most common situations horses and riders face. If you would like more information, log on to our site @ www. by e-mail at or contact us by phone at 1.618.372.8968.

If You Are a High School Senior...


nd an active 4-H or FFA member; have participated in the Missouri State Fair as a 4-H or FFA exhibitor; have plans to enroll in an accredited Missouri college or university with a major in agriculture; have not sold livestock in any past Missouri State Fair Sale of Champions; THIS IS A SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU! (November 23, 2009, SEDALIA, MO) –Applications for a Missouri State Fair Youth in Agriculture Scholarship are now available online at Applications submitted to the Missouri State Fair must be postmarked by February 1, 2010. For more info call the MO State Fair at 1-800-422 FAIR (3247) or E-mail your questions to mostatefair@mda.

Cold Weather Tip Ventilation is extremely important in the winter, to reduce the risk of respiratory ailments. Resist the temptation to close every window and door in the barn. Better to put an extra blanket on than to keep horses in a completely closed barn.

When the weather’s bad, turn the barn aisle into a practice pen Article By Brent Graef Photos by Holly Clanahan Courtsey of the AQHA


OME PARTS OF THE WORLD MIGHT NOT HAVE BAD WEATHER, but in the Texas Panhandle, sometimes it gets nasty. The wind blows, the winters are cold, the summers are hot, and our horses still need to be worked. But you can get a lot of work done without braving the elements by using the barn aisle. You’ll want to do short sessions, and when I do work like this, I’m not working on the horse; I’m working to improve my timing – both the timing of my request and the timing of my release. Don’t just go through the motions while you’re doing the exercises we’ll discuss below. Think about:What is the horse’s understanding? Is the horse thinking, is he feeling, is he trying for you? Because you’ll be in a confined space, that almost forces you to move in slow motion. And that’s a good thing. Notice your horse’s expression – is he focused on you, or is he gawking in the other direction? – and how he moves his body, how he has to prepare his body (by shifting his weight, for example) to move a certain way. These little pieces will have big payoffs. And one other note: When I do work inside the barn, I never go into it with a set agenda. I might have an outline of what I’d like to accomplish, but I always stay flexible. See what the horse is offering and then flow with that. Give the horse what he needs at the moment and what he can handle and then build on it. We can build on little things, and we’ll have a good deal going. Hurry It Up, Slow It Down THE DAY WE SHOT THESE PHOTOS, IT WAS COLD AND THE WIND was blowing about 40 mph, so the barn roof was flapping and my mare, Miss Fancy Maiden, had a lot of distractions.

So a good place to start was to simply lead her and get in time with her feet. I’ll concentrate on one front foot, recognizing the instant it’s about to leave the ground. If I want to influence a foot, the time to do so is just before it lifts off. That’s the point in time when, if my timing is good, I can speed that foot up, slow it down or move it sideways or backward. Let’s say I want to slow “Fancy’s” pace. I’ll focus on the right front foot, and just as it is about to leave the ground, I will put some “feel” down the lead rope, squeezing the rope and lifting it lightly, with soft hands. I’m asking that right front to take a little shorter stride. I’ll squeeze and lift the lead rope as she lifts that foot, and I’ll hold the lead rope roughly where the reins would fall. You’ll hear people talk about getting the reins connected to the feet? Well, here, your reins are the lead rope, and you can use it to directly influence the feet. If you’ve never paid a lot of attention to your horse’s footfall, this is a good place to start practicing that. It takes practice, and it takes awareness. Then, as you progress in your horsemanship, you can time your riding aids to the horse’s footfall. He will appreciate that and be much more responsive. I might slow Fancy’s stride down for a few steps and then ask her to speed up. I’ll do that by putting some energy down the lead rope, maybe swinging it forward a little bit, as her right front foot is about to leave the ground. You’re asking that foot to reach a little farther with each stride. Experiment to see how little it takes to influence that foot. You don’t have to do much. You Put the Right Foot In …

AS YOU AND YOUR HORSE GET MORE TUNED IN TO ONE ANOTHer, you can start asking your horse to do a little more. If your horse is calm and you’re sure he won’t run over you, you can turn around and walk backward slowly. Just as an example, we’ll stay focused on the right front. As your horse begins to pick that foot up, lift your lead rope out to the horse’s right side, asking him to move that foot over to the side. How little does it take? How good is your timing? As you’re asking your horse to reach his foot to the side, watch what he does with the rest of his body. The more he shifts his weight to his hindquarters, the farther he’ll be able to reach with that front foot. When you’re riding, you want your horse to shift his weight to the hind end, and this exercise helps him figure out how to do it himself. It’s a more solid deal than if I tried to make him shift his weight back. If I set things up to where he has to think, if I allow him to think, he’s liable to be more responsive because he’ll start searching for the answer. When he finds the answer, he really found it if he has been able to think through it. If I just make him do it, make him, make him, make him, then we’re just going through the motions. I want to have my horse real sensitive and working with me, rather than going through the motions and not enjoying his job. If I can ask for a movement when he can do it – when his feet are in the right position to respond to my request –he’ll start feeling back to me more, and he’ll start searching. One Step Forward, One Step Back IT’S GOOD TO MIX THINGS UP, SO YOU’RE not drilling on one thing. I’ll do leading, I’ll adjust the stride, I’ll move the foot over here, move the foot over there, get in time with the other foot. And we’ll also work on backing a little bit. In backing up, I’ll look for correctness in his movements. I will grasp the halter knot under the horse’s chin lightly, with my thumb pointed down. If I’m on the right-hand side of the horse, I’ll use my right hand; if I’m on his left, I’ll use my left hand. There are a couple of reasons for that. If a horse was to try to bite me, with my hand in this position, I can easily block him with my elbow. If my thumb’s pointed up, my face is the first thing in his way. Also, if my thumb is pointed up, I’m more likely to pull on my horse if we were to have a disagreement, and I don’t want to do that. If he acts up, it’s better that I push him away from me, not pull him toward me. Another safety consideration: I won’t stand directly in front of him. If he gets worried and strikes or paws, I want to be standing to the side of the horse. If it’s a horse that tends to be “snaky” or dangerous anyway, I’m probably not going to work with him like this in a barn aisle; he needs room to move, so we’d just wait for better weather. I’ll put very little pressure on the halter knot – really just a touch – to ask him to move backward. Again, see how little it can take. I am looking for him to step back with correct cadence (diagonal legs moving at the same time, like a trot cadence), for him to break at the poll and be smooth, light and responsive. When he’s backing nicely, I’ll start to “pyramid.” I’ll ask him to take five steps back, five forward; four back, four forward; three back, three forward; two back, two forward; one back, one forward; pick up a foot and start it

back, then bring it forward; hang it in the air. Then you know the lead rope is connected to the foot. You want those changes in direction to be smooth, like a swing swinging back and forth. If there’s any hesitation there, that means the horse has a brace that needs to be worked out – and you do that by improving your timing, asking the horse to move a foot just as it’s about to leave the ground, then giving him a small release as soon as he is committed to move that foot. By doing this, you can get a good “ride” in, never leaving the barn aisle. AQHA Professional Horseman Brent Graef of Canyon, Texas, offers horsemanship clinics across the country, as well as a Yahoo online discussion group that deals with training issues. Visit to learn more.

Cold Weather Tip Use rubber buckets for your horse’s water instead of plastic ones. Plastic buckets can freeze and shatter.

Scholarship Established in Honor of Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi


scholarship in honor of Patrick Swayze and his wife Lisa Niemi has been established by the Arabian Horse Foundation (AHF), based in Denver, Colorado. Swayze and Niemi have had close ties to the Arabian horse breed and owned Arabian horses for many years. The Foundation is the charitable arm of the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), also based in Denver. The scholarship will be awarded annually in the spring to a youth who is involved with Arabian horses and aspires to a career in the performing arts. Scholarship applications are available online. The scholarship was launched with an initial pledge by Iron Horse Farms and Trisha Phelan of Canton, Georgia. “The establishment of the Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi Scholarship was a natural fit for the foundation and the association,” explained AHF President Larry Kinneer. “Establishment of the scholarship creates a lasting testimony to their careers in dancing, theatre and movies, love of the Arabian breed and contributions over the years to AHA youth programs.” “Now, we have established a very special scholarship for people to direct their contribution to. Donations are needed to assure the scholarship will be there for deserving students in the future.” Kinneer added, “We are looking not only at the Arabian horse community to lend financial support to this scholarship, but to the public who admired the work of both Patrick and Lisa over the years and want to honor them in a special way. A generous amount of funding will assure the scholarship’s longevity and could lead to more than one youth being awarded the scholarship per year.” Donations to the Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi Scholarship can be made by sending a check to the Arabian Horse Foundation, 10805 E. Bethany Rd., Aurora, CO., 80014-2605. Be sure to indicate the donation is for the Swayze/Niemi Scholarship. It is also possible to make a donation on line by

Cold Weather Tip Remember to disconnect hoses and drain them. It’s getting cold out, and they will freeze!

Pony Club and Miniature Horse Registry Donate Driving Pony to Young Cancer Survivor


hanks to the power of the Internet and the passion of dressage legend Robert Dover, a 16-year-old cancer survivor in New Jersey has a new best friend and confidant – an American Shetland Pony named Ranger. When a request went out to the equestrian community from the sharingVillage Driving for Surviving group to help find a pony for a young man named Gary, Dover joined forces with the American Shetland Pony Club and American Miniature Horse Registry (ASPC/AMHR) and found the perfect match. Dover met Gary while at the National Championships at Gladstone and knew immediately he wanted to help with the search for a new pony. Dover used his voice by writing on his popular website about Gary and his quest for a driving pony. “Every once in a while someone comes into your life and reminds you of just how all of us were meant to be – loving, caring, giving, compassionate, resilient and forgiving,” Robert wrote about Gary. “Nothing in Gary’s demeanor makes one believe he spends even a minute feeling sorry for himself, though I would have thought it more than reasonable. This wonderful kid just wants to look for everything good in people and especially takes pride in his huge accomplishments as a driver.” Dover shared the story that Gary had lost his most recent pony to Cushing’s disease, a pony named Boxcar Willy that Jim and Robin Fairclogh had donated to the program. With the setback of Willy’s death and Gary’s need for a new pony, Dover sent out a plea to the equestrian community. “I am absolutely positive we can all put our heads and hearts together and accomplish this goal in record time,” Dover wrote on his website. In short order the ASPC/AMHR stepped up to help, donating a 13-yearold bay and white pinto Shetland gelding named Kid Rocket Ranger to Gary. Ranger already knew how to ride and drive and had been High Point pinto pony for his area in halter and driving. “Robert conducted his own national and international campaign to find the right pony or mini for Gary. We received calls from Europe and Canada due to Robert’s efforts,” said Shelley Zlotkin of sharingVillage Groups. “When Robert reached out to Mary Phelps, a member of the ASPC/AMHR, and Johnny Robb, Director of Marketing for the ASPC/ AMHR, the rest was history. Robert has been our angel. He walked the walk when it came to his promise to this young man.” Thanks to the generosity of the ASPC/AMHR, and the dedication of Dover, Gary and Ranger are now a team and getting to know each other. “They are doing great,” Zlotkin said. “The first day was smiles and a tentative approach as Gary was concerned Ranger would be afraid of his crutches. Of course Ranger could have cared less. Now they are best buds. Ranger is being ground driven by Sharon Chesson, coach of the USET Women’s Pairs Team, and our Equestrian Director Ellen Mitchel. We are saving for a cart so we can start driving Ranger as soon as possible.” Zlotkin said sharingVillage’s Driving For Surviving program has 35 children and a long waiting list. “We are hope during the holiday season that the community will help us secure funding, equipment and other ‘special pony therapists’. This is our way of healing a child with a life threatening diagnosis.” For more information on Shetland Ponies, visit their website at www. or call (309) 263-4044. For more information on Driving for Surviving, a Pediatric Equestrian Carriage Driving Program for Life, visit or call 908-234-0334.

Directions For Home Made Bridle Racks By Jennifer Kruse, Mane Connection


or these bridle holders, my goal was to create a nice uniformed look at a cost effective price. My first stop was “Hobby Lobby” where I found these 4 inch wood circles, priced at two for a dollar! These wood circles have nice detail on them. It will take you two circles for each bridle holder. At “Home Depot” or “Lowes”: • small container of wood stain $3.00-$5.00, or do what I did and use what you have at home. • wash cloth or kitchen hooks (the two screw type) you will need one hook per holder. My holders were $1.00 for two hooks. • bottle of wood glue $2.50, or use what you have at home. • saw tooth picture hangers $1.98 for a package of 3. Directions: My project was to make 10 bridle holders, the first thing I did was unpack my goodies in my nice warm garage and set up a small work space. I then stained all 20 of my wood circles and let them dry. This was the most time consuming part and did not take more than 15 min. After your stain dries, take your wood glue and glue two of the wood circles

together. I glued the front of one circle to the back of another to create a ledge for the bridles to sit on. Lay them on a level surface and let set, I set mine over night. After your glue sets, mount your hooks to the bottom part of your circle. Mount your picture hanger to the back of your bridle holder. Hang And Enjoy!

Cold Weather Tip Make sure your tack room door shuts properly. A loose door can usher rain and snow inside. Also check for a leaky roof, You don’t want a drip, drip onto your expensive saddle.

Horse Shows Dec. 18 - 20 Appaloosa Show National Equestrian Center, Lake St. Louis, MO 636-561-8080 Dec. 19 Fun & Frolic Show National Equestrian Center, Lake St. Louis, MO 636-561-8080 Jan 15 & 16 Cutting Horse Show Boone County Fairgrounds, Columbia, MO 800-748-7837 Jan. 16 Winter Buckle Series 13800 State Highway 38, Marshfield, Mo. contact Missy at 417.425.8103 Jan. 30 Winter Buckle Series 13800 State Highway 38, Marshfield, Mo. contact Missy at 417.425.8103 Feb. 6 Winter Buckle Series 13800 State Highway 38, Marshfield, Mo. contact Missy at 417.425.8103

Sales Dec. 19 Puxico Horse Sale Puxico, MO 573-222-6229 Dec. 19 Rolla Horse Sale St. James, MO 573-265-8813

Dec. 26 Farmington Horse Sale Farmington, MO 573-756-5769 Dec. 26 Owensville Horse Auction Owensville, MO 573-437-5360 Jan. 1 & 2 Sho-Me Classic Horse Sale Boone County Fairgrounds, Columbia, MO 800-748-7837 Jan. 2 Lolli Brothers Horse Auction Macon, MO 660-385-2516 Jan. 2 Puxico Horse Sale Puxico, MO 573-222-6229 Jan. 2 Rolla Horse Sale St. James, MO 573-265-8813 Jan. 7 Wright County Horse Auction Mountain Grove, MO 417-926-4136 Jan. 9 Farmington Horse Sale Farmington, MO 573-756-5769 Jan. 9 Owensville Horse Auction Owensville, MO 573-437-5360 Jan. 16 Puxico Horse Sale Puxico, MO

573-222-6229 Jan. 16 Rolla Horse Sale St. James, MO 573-265-8813 Jan. 22 Springfield Livestock Auction Springfield, MO or 417-869-9500 Jan. 23 Farmington Horse Sale Farmington, MO 573-756-5769 Jan. 23 Owensville Horse Auction Owensville, MO 573-437-5360 Feb. 4 Wright County Horse Auction Mountain Grove, MO 417-926-4136 Feb. 6 Lolli Brothers Horse Auction Macon, MO 660-385-2516 Feb. 6 Puxico Horse Sale Puxico, MO 573-222-6229 Feb. 6 Rolla Horse Sale St. James, MO Feb. 13 Farmington Horse Sale Farmington, MO 573-756-5769 Feb. 13

Owensville Horse Auction Owensville, MO 573-437-5360 Feb. 10-13 Boone County Draft Horse & Mule Sale Boone County Fairgrounds, Columbia, MO or 573474-5991

Trail Rides

Lucky J Arena, Carthage, MO 417-540-4852

Clinics Oct. 10-11 Richard Shrake Weekend (2 day) Riding Clinic. The Due West Ranch Arena 12001 Donohoo Road Kansas City, KS Contact: Linda Wright

None Listed


Barrel Races

Dec. 15 Team Roping Practice Lucky J Arena, Carthage, MO 417-358-2370

None Listed

Dec. 18 Team Roping Winter Series Lucky J Arena, Carthage, MO 417-358-2370 Dec. 21 Team Roping Pick and Draw Lucky J Arena, Carthage, MO 417-358-2370 Dec. 22 Team Roping Practice Lucky J Arena, Carthage, MO 417-358-2370 Dec. 28 Team Roping Pick and Draw Lucky J Arena, Carthage, MO 417-358-2370 Dec. 29 Team Roping Practice Lucky J Arena, Carthage, MO 417-358-2370

Rodeos Dec. 19 - Ranch Rodeo

Events Dec. 17 Mounted Cowboy Shooting Lucky J Arena, Carthage, MO 417-860-0871 Jan. 16 & 17 Clinton Anderson Kansas City, MO Jan. 22 - 24 Missouri Equine Council’s Equine Celebration Boone County Fairgrounds, Columbia, MO 800-313-3327

To add your event to the Mane Connection Calendar of Events, please e-mail Missouri Horse World webmaster@

Horse Transport Local/Long distance, reasonable rates, and good equipment. Custom transport for the owner that wants there horse right away. Call 573.364.8737 Rolla, MO Larry Harrison Cold Weather Tip Vets attend more calls for impaction colic in the winter months, the major reason? Lack of available water. Make sure that your horses have access to plenty of water.

Getting It Right: A Close Look at Equine Flooring BY Lyn Walker


s a child, I had the great joy of growing up with horses and a father who thought that horse flooring was as important to the horses’ health as the food they ate. My father concluded that the only way to find the best flooring was to try each possibility over the course of a year, recording its performance in winter and in summer, as well as his observations of the horses’ reactions to the flooring. At around age five, I became his helper and apprentice. Not able to outgrow this obsession, my husband and I have continued the search for the perfect flooring and our findings along with the decades of research by my father have resulted in GETTING IT RIGHT: A CLOSE LOOK AT EQUINE FLOORING, a book that is recommended by Trainers, Richard Shrake, and Karen Scholl, and also by Kevin Hankins DVM, MBA , Equine Field Veterinary Consultant, and Eileen Wheeler, Professor of Biological Engineering, Penn State University. This book is a comprehensive guide to selecting the flooring that is best for you and your horse. The book is an analysis of what you can expect from each generic type of flooring beginning with stalls and bedding; it is not a promotional or endorsement for any one product. Other barn areas such as aisle ways and wash bays are examined, also. These discussions, as well as those for areas outside the barn, such as turnouts, corrals, watering trough areas and As a As a child, I had the great joy of growing up with horses and a father who thought that horse flooring was as important to the horses’ health as the food they ate. While most people were content with whatever flooring was in their barn, my father concluded that the only way to find the best flooring was to try each possibility over the course of a year, recording its performance in winter and in summer, as well as his observations of the horses’ reactions to the flooring. As a child from about age five, I became his helper and I have vivid memories of January days spent pulling up flooring that he thought had become dangerous. Not able to outgrow this obsession, my husband and I continued this search for the perfect flooring, trying over fifty types and brands. Understanding the differences in horse flooring is now even more important than ever because many more people are stalling their horses. Unfortunately, most of them are unaware of the flooring options, and of what particular flooring might, or might not do to or for their horses. So I decided that perhaps a book that would summarize our years of research would be helpful. GETTING IT RIGHT: A CLOSE LOOK AT EQUINE FLOORING is a comprehensive guide to selecting the flooring that is best for you and your horse. The section on stall flooring begins with dirt floors and concludes with new possibilities that can provide just the right amount support and flexibility for your horse. This book is not a promotion for any one product. Instead, the book is an analysis of what you can expect from each generic type of flooring beginning with stalls and bedding. Other barn areas such as aisle ways and wash bays are examined. These discussions, as well as those for areas outside the barn, such as turnouts, corrals and round pens are designed to offer new ideas and ways to make these areas safer for your horse and easier and less costly to maintain. Areas beyond the barn, such as gateways, water troughs and feeding stations are also included because these high traffic areas can become quagmires when it rains. There are reasonable solutions to these problems. The final section of the book, Twelve Guidelines for Selecting the Right Stall Flooring THE FIRST TIME, is perhaps the most helpful. Think of it as being your treasure map to get you through the confusion and difficulties of purchasing stall flooring. I am honored that this book is recommended by Trainers, Richard Shrake, and Karen Scholl, and also by Kevin Hankins DVM, MBA , Equine Field Veterinary Consultant, and Eileen Wheeler, Professor of Biological Engineering, Penn State University. For more information contact lynwoodequine at

Nov/Dec Issue  

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