2 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
* $0 down, 0% A.P.R. nancing for terms up to 60 months on purchases of select new Kubota ZG, ZD, ZP, BX, B, L, M and TLB Series from available inventory at participating dealers. “No payments until April 2013” does not mean any payments are waived. Contract balance will spread over the remaining months in the term following the deferral period, and payments will vary depending on contract start date. Example: A 60-month contract term at 0% A.P.R. will require between 54-55 payments ranging from a minimum of $18.18 to a maximum of $18.52 per $1,000 borrowed. 0% A.P.R. interest is available to customers if no dealer documentation preparation fee is charged. Dealer charge for document preparation fee shall be in accordance with state laws. Only select Kubota and select Kubota performance-matched Land Pride equipment is eligible. Inclusion of ineligible equipment may result in a higher blended A.P.R. Not available for Rental, National Accounts or Governmental customer. 0% A.P.R. and low rate nancing may not be available with customer instant rebate (C.I.R.) oﬀers. Financing is available through Kubota Credit Corporation, U.S.A., 3401 Del Amo Blvd., Torance, Ca 90503; subject to credit approval. Some exceptions apply. See us for details on these and other low-rate options or go to www.kubota.com for more information.
November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
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November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
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November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
7 10/15/12 11:01 AM
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK Heading Towards Our 20th!
We are moving into our most exciting time of year as horse shows spotlight the very best and most beautiful horses and riders from across the globe. Rodeo goes into four glorious months with the NFR, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Denver, Houston, and Austin. And at least down south, we enjoy year round riding for most of the winter.. January will be a very special time for us By Steven Long around the Horseback offices. It was 20 years ago that the predecessor publications, Horse Talk, and Texas Horse Talk, opened the doors for what you will be reading soon, the 2013 editions of Horseback Magazine. Nobody ever said it would be easy, and it darned sure hasn’t been. The difficulty of bringing fresh, provocative, and even innovative journalism to the horse world has been nothing short of revolutionary. Simply stated, we do stories that others won’t touch – and we do that as a matter of routine. It shows. While we remain relatively small, we are now in four states and can boast close to 70,000 readers. Horseback Online is another matter altogether. Not only do our readers get a digital version of the print magazine, but they can read a daily newspaper crafted exclusively for the horse world. We are well on our way to 260,000 unique visitors on www.horsebackmagazine.com. Whew! The paper is created from scratch and is ready for our readers by 11 P.M. CST each and every day. So we just thought it was about time to say thanks to the folks whose hands on work make Horseback possible. It’s their passion for quality that makes us the fastest growing horse publication on the continent. Thank you: Shweiki Media, our printer, Carol Hollaway, Diane Holt, Margaret Pirtle, Crystal Shell, and Mari Crabtree, our independent sales team. Our stalwart writers are Cathy Strobel, with us from the beginning, Jessica Jahiel, Pat Parelli, Kelley Kaminski, Lew Pewterbaugh, Diane Lindig, Jim Hubbard, and Cory Johnson. Also thanks to our calendar editor, Leslie Greco, and our New Mexico Distributor Laurie Hammer. An incredible help to us is our Chicago based National Editor, Cary Gobernatz, who rides heard on national news on the wires 365 days a year. Finally, there is a very special person we want to think who contributes in so many unseen ways. Vicki’s sister, Roni Nordquist has been there with us from the beginning. We don’t know what we would do without her. Come January when the calendar rolls over and Horseback turns 20, we don’t know how we are going to celebrate, but you can bet on one thing. It will be on the back of a horse. Steve and Vicki
On the Cover: Mr. Bing Crosby during the 1930’s.
8 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
November 2012 10 Horse Bites 14 Parelli 16 Dream BIG & Believe - Kelly Kaminski 36 Whole Horsemansip - Dianne Lindig 38 TACK TALK - Lew Pewterbaugh 40 On The English Front - Cathy Strobel 42 Horse Sense - Dr. Jessica Jahiel 44 The Cowboy Way- Corey Johnson 46 COWBOY CORNER - Jim Hubbard Cover Story: 20 The Sport of Bings & Del Mar - Steven Long
Lifestyle Feature: 32 The King of Bling - Steven Long
Special Sections: 28 Holiday Gift Guide
PUBLISHER Vicki Long
CORPORATE OFFICE 281-447-0772 281-591-1519 Fax Advertising@horsebackmagazine.com
EDITOR Steven Long NORTH TEXAS Mari Crabtree NATIONAL NEWS EDITOR 216-702-4520 Carrie Gobernatz Mari@horsebackmagazine.com LIFESTYLE EDITOR Margaret Pirtle NEW MEXICO BUREAU GULF COAST BUREAU 832-349-1427 Carol Holloway Laurie Hammer Horsebackmag@gmail.com 832-607-8264 Cell 505-315-7842 EVENTS EDITOR Carol@horsebackmagazine.com Goldenhorses7@hotmail.com Leslie Greco Crystal Shell 832-602-7929 Horsebackmag@gmail.com BRAZOS VALUE BUREAU Diane Holt 936-878-2678 Ranch 713-408-8114 Cell Diane@horsebackmagazine.com
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jim Hubbard, Steven Long, Vicki Long, Dianne Lindig, Roni Norquist, Pat Parelli, Lew Pewterbaugh, Cothy Strobel, Dr. Jessica Jahiel, Cory Johnson, Margaret Pirtle Volume 20, No. 11 Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397, (281) 447-0772. The entire contents of the magazine are copyrighted November 2012 by Horseback Magazine. All rights reserved. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Horseback Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other material unless accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope. Horseback Magazine is not responsible for any claims made by advertisers. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or management. Subscription rate is $25.00 for one year.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397. Fax: (281) 893-1029 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
Texas Thoroughbred Racing Sees New Stakes Races NEW $400,000 HOUSTON LADIES CLASSIC TOPS $1.7 MILLION SHRP STAKES PROGRAM Kudos to Andrea Young, president of Sam Houston Race Park, and Eric Johnston, vice president of racing, for thinking out of the box and making an effort to put the track in the national limelight in late January, a time between the Breeders’ Cup and Triple Crown, when interest in racing is relatively dormant. They have done so by creating a major new stakes, the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic at 1 1/16 miles
for fillies and mares on January 26 to one or more horses for the other three be the centerpiece of the 4-stakes stakes on the card. For any owner with Connally Racing Festival. The a starter in the Ladies and at least one stellar card will include the renewal other horse in one of the other three of the Grade stakes, SHRP will “Horse Bites is compiled from 3 $200,000 waive the owner’s Connally Turf Press Releases sent to Horseback original pre-entry Magazine. Original reporting is Cup at 1 1/8 fee or $2,000 done as circumstances warrant. miles, plus two Content is edited for length & style.” of the $10,000 supporting supplemental sprint stakes, the nomination fee. $75,000 Champion Energy Services The restructured stakes at five furlongs on turf and the program is the richest in track history, $50,000 Allen’s Landing Stakes at six totaling $1.7 million. The schedule furlongs on the main track. includes one or more stakes every The debut of the $400,000 Saturday night, with multiple stakes on Houston Ladies Classic, the richest six of the nine Saturday programs plus race in the track’s history, has caught three stakes to kick off the season on both national and local television opening night, Friday, January 18, to interest. Young has advised that start Texas Champions Weekend. Four negotiations are close to being more stakes for Texas-breds headline finalized with HRTV and Fox Sports the next card on Saturday, January 19. in Houston to televise the Ladies and Texas Stallion Stakes Weekend Connally live on January 26. finds the Jim’s Orbit and Two The Connally Racing Festival Altazano, both $75,000-guaranteed will include a fund-raising event stakes for Texas-sired runners, being to benefit the Houston affiliate of renewed at one mile on a night when the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Texas Thoroughbred Association will Foundation. be holding its Annual Awards Banquet Sam Houston officials are also honoring the owners and breeders of introducing a “Ship Assist Program” the 2012 Texas Champions of each to encourage owners shipping a filly or division and the Texas Horse of the mare for the Ladies Classic to also bring Year.
Texas Thoroughbred Racing Sees New Stakes Races 10 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
Horse Bites - Conâ€™t. on pg. 18
The 1 1/8-mile $100,000 MAXXAM Gold Cup heads the March 2 program with three $50,000 supporting stakes.
Makeover Founder Hailed by Cowtown Business Press The Fort Worth Business Press has named Patti Colbert of Bertram,
Texas, as the 2012 recipient of the Legacy Award. Colbert was honored at the Great Women of Texas Award Ceremony at the Fort Worth Club on November 7. Each year the Fort Worth Business Press honors several women from the area and around the state as Great Women of Texas. The nominated women have made great contributions to the community, either through their business skills, philanthropy or
other avenues that contribute to Fort Worth, Tarrant County and Texas. Colbert is the executive director of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and a member of the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame board of directors. She is credited with creating the concept for the popular Extreme Mustang Makeovers that have revolutionized wild horse adoptions. She also helped to create the Cowgirl Hall of Fameâ€™s popular Cowgirl U
November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
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November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
“Remember, The Horse is a Prey Animal” By Pat Parelli with Steven Long
back. First of all, we must remember that a boy spooked her and she took most of the horse is a prey animal. They are born a fence with the rope. So we all know the skeptics, cowards, claustrophobic and ramifications of a horse that will pull back. panic-aholics. HOR SEBACK : They pull back, So what is the jump forward, background and again pull of this trait in HORSEBACK MAGAZINE: It’s back, something “horsenality?” maddening when you have a horse tied to a breaks and they PARELLI: Just hitching ring and all of a sudden, he gets that flip over on their remember, you are crazed look in his eye and pulls back in sheer back. People tying a prey animal. terror, sitting down on his haunches putting have gotten hurt. Again, never forget a thousand pounds of pressure on the post, We all know that it’s a coward, ring, and rope. I’ve had horses straighten out the trauma and c laustrop h o b i c , perfectly round stainless steel rings, break the danger. I, and a panic-aholic. halters, tear ropes, and even pull boards myself, when I What we have off of fences in order to get away. A reader was 19-years-old to realize is what apparently suffered the same problem and was tying a horse nature puts inside wants to know how to fix it, the Parelli way. at a rodeo and the “Horses tend to be Panic-aholics” of a horse’s DNA PAT PARFELLI: To the human brain we horse pulled back. is the response that think this behavior is illogical. All of a sudden I was tying her says whenever you HorseBack_0912:7.5 x 4.88 10/18/12 4:10 1 he is standing there and then he starts toPM pullPagewith a bowline knot for somebody and feel something apply pressure suddenly you
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push against it. You react against it so you can survive. This is a survival mechanism. Over the last few generation, humans have bred the prey animal instincts out of some of them. Through genetic engineering we often breed one gentle horse to another gentle horse resulting in yet another gentle horse – we breed a fast horse to another fast horse sometimes resulting in a faster horse. HORSEBACK: So this bad behavior can be bred out of them? PARELLI: We can make them tractable and trainable and make that bred into them. This is one thing we learn, and
we know that some horses may be more claustrophobic. The real trick is confidence, and the ability to sort through situations. HORSEBACK: And those who can’t? PARELLI: Here’s what I would suggest. Number one, I would work on my horse’s confidence. Secondly, I would teach it to learn how to figure out the puzzle by thought. The exercise I would suggest is to train a horse around lots of things that move such as tarps, big green balls, a stick with a bag on it, anything you can think of that is going to help your horse become more confident because he is exposed to
things he normally wouldn’t be. Also, most horses that pull back really don’t follow the halter and lead rope well. I would teach them to back up about 20 feet, and then I would turn around and have them follow me. Again, back up the horse because every time he backs up he’s responding the halter. It becomes a cool thing. Next, I would ask someone to find an umbrella to open and close it while I’m asking the horse to come to me on the halter. These are things they can think their way through and feel rather than react.
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November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
“Changing Your State of Mind”
ou are heading to the competition, driving the truck, mentally going over the list of what should be in the trailer, (besides your horse!) and your stomach hurts, you have shallow breaths and feel like snapping at everyone around you because you are trying to stay focused. After arriving at the arena, you nervously saddle your horse, get on to warm up and everything seems to be making you grumpy and your horse jumpy. The music is wrong, the parking
is crazy, your neighbor brought a dog that won’t stop barking or they have a few kids hanging around running and screaming while you try to keep your horse quiet. Mounting up, you head toward the warm up area, then on to the arena to wait your turn. You can’t seem to concentrate and your name is called. Making your way down the alley you are in such a state mentally, you most likely are not going to win. Years ago, I attended a personal growth seminar. I sometimes will go back and coach others to help them and to remind me what tools for life I may have forgotten. One such tool is “changing your state of mind.” I’m going to use this for the purpose of competing. We all get nervous or have the adrenaline rush of nerves before we make our competition. That is normal. It
16 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
means you care about how you and your horse perform. You put a lot of time, energy and money into your sport and should try to make everything count. Sometimes it could be a new horse, or dealing with a trauma from a previous competition, or a young horse that is green, etc. Whatever the case may be, you have to focus. Most of us are worried about embarrassing ourselves in front of our peers or competition. Here’s a piece of advice, get over it. You cannot take yourself too seriously. You should be as prepared as you can be, but it’s supposed to be fun, not make you sick! Take deep breaths and hold them in then letting out slowly. Focus by making your competition run in your head. You can’t worry about Betty Barrel Racer or Randy the Handy Roper who seem to win everything. You can only concentrate on yourself and your horse. Haul or hang around with folks
that really care about you, not play the “one up” game. Those folks will drive you crazy and pretty soon you feel “less than” when you are near them. It’s always about them, which is something to remember when you have a conflict with someone else or they don’t like you for whatever reasons. It’s about them, not about you. Don’t give your power away. Listen to music that will pump you up or calm your nerves. Move your body, keep it in motion so that you don’t freeze up for competition, in other words, stay loose. I will do jumping jacks at times. Your horse feels your nerves as well. While you are focusing, think of a time when you were victorious and remember that feeling, then use your power move at the same time. My power move is putting my fist up and yelling “YES!” If you have ever attended a sporting event with me, you have seen this move. One of my favorite victorious moments came during the 2004 NFR. It was round 10 and all we had to do was make a clean run to win the World Championship. First, I was a bundle of
nerves that morning as we packed and got ready to leave after the rodeo. I clean when I am upset, nervous or trying to focus, so the trailer and truck were spotless! I always pin my number on my shirt so I don’t forget when I’m getting dressed. I went through the Grand Entry and warm up without knowing I was missing my back number, which could be a disqualification if not wearing it to compete. We were standing in the holding alley ready to compete, when I heard one of the girls yell to me that I didn’t have my number. Luckily Jerry was back in the warm up area and started running back to the trailer. Someone gave him a ride on a golf cart and he made it back before I was to run. We were moving down each time someone entered to make their run. Three people were in front of me now and Jerry made it to me and was desperately trying to safety pin my number on. I focused on my breathing trying not to panic or feel the pins as he stuck me several times. I’m sure I had blood running down my back. Finally, it was on and I asked Rocky to move up and it was our turn. We came down the alley to the roar of Bob Tallman’s voice introducing us, the theme
to the movie, “Rocky” was playing and all I heard from Bob was, “Rockem Sockem Go! Go Rocky!” We took off and were around the first clean, I was encouraging Rocky to keep going , we rounded the second barrel and on to the third where I told him I loved him and we did it! We won the World! I don’t remember fist pumping and yelling on the way out of the arena, but it is there on the video. When I get nervous, that is one of the runs or the times that I felt successful. I focus on everything that was in my power and block everything else out. Now you take your moment and make it work for you! You can do it, I believe in you! hB
Kelly Kaminski has twice won the WPRA World Barrel Racing Championship, and has also won the Reserve Championship twice at the National Finals Rodeo. This great American horsewoman continues to compete, hold clinics, and train worthy horses. She is currently accepting a limited number of horses for training. www.Kellykaminski.com
November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
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program and has long been an advocate for many horserelated non-profit organizations such as the Ride on Center for Kids (R.O.C.K) in Georgetown, Texas. As the executive director of the Mustang Heritage Foundation, Colbert has helped the organization in adopting more than 3,500 of America’s iconic wild horses. Always a supporter of America’s next generation, Colbert often hosts rides, camps and other events for youth groups at Colbert Ranch in the Texas Hill Country. She has also hosted events for veterans and their families at the ranch, which also offers programs for juvenile detainees and horseback riding experiences for the public. With more than 45,000 American Mustangs waiting to be adopted in BLM facilities, the Mustang Heritage Foundation is stepping up its efforts to help these American legends find adoptive homes. Since the first Extreme Mustang Makeover event was held in 2007, the Mustang Heritage Foundation has facilitated the adoptions of more than 3,500 gentled American Mustangs. The Foundation in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management continues to increase its efforts to raise awareness of America’s Mustangs. For more information, visit www.mustangheritagefoundation.org.
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November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
The Sport of “Bings”
& The Horseman’s Playground 20 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
n anniversary of some significance passed quietly this past spring. Seventy years ago, superstar crooner Bing Crosby walked into a recording studio, stood before the John Scott Trotter Orchestra and the K e n Darby Singers a n d made history in 18 minutes flat. In those brief moments he recorded the most beloved and largest selling single record of all time, Irving Berlinâ€™s White Christmas. While Crosby will forever be remembered for his music, his horsemanship and love of racing were almost immediately forgotten after his death in 1977 but had equal prominence for him while he lived. Yet his love of a good horse race is remembered to this day at a sun drenched stretch of turf next to the Pacific Ocean. It is called, Del Mar. www.horsebackmagazine.com
Crosby would host children from an orphanâ€™s home at his Rancho Santa Fe Residence nearby Del Mar November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
Bing Crosby, President of Del Mar with pal and Vice President, Pat e f o r e O’Brien, set a tone and style for the track in the early days. E l v i s , before the Beatles, and on the shores of the Pacific just north the 22 day meet. In fact, some of Del before Michael Jackson, of the city. The crooner jumped at the Mar’s paint was still wet as the opening there was a superstar. His name was chance and summoned film buddies day crowd of 15,000 streamed into the Bing Crosby, and from 1934 until Pat O’Brien and Oliver Hardy to a building of architecture patterned after his death, the crooner’s popularity,( meeting at the Burbank studio of some of California’s Spanish missions. according to polls), out did baseball Warner Brothers and the Del Mar Turf At 2:24 PM horses charged out of the star Jackie Robinson and even the Club as born with Crosby as president. gate and racing was underway. A twoPope in Rome. And with that popularity Other stars at the initial organizational year-old gelding, owned by Crosby came immense wealth from personal meeting included Joe E. Brown and himself won, it’s name was High Strike appearances, movies, and above all Gary Cooper. and it was piloted by jockey Jackie records. The track was to be built as a Burrill. The following day the crowd During the 1930s, horse racing Works Progress Administration project surged to 18,000 with bets totaling a was also immensely popular, rivaling (WPA), but soon funds dwindled and quarter million. baseball as the national pastime. Many Crosby and O’Brien borrowed against Racing at Del Mar settled into Hollywood stars made the plunge into their life insurance to finish the project. a slow paced casual atmosphere, a the sport of kings. Crosby and his pals Del Mar was born, and the boys had reward that required a 100 mile trip were no exception. a place to play. The legendary track by train or over rough roads from Los When the crooner moved his opened its gates July 3, 1937. Angeles. The atmosphere was more family to the San Diego area, local With the crooner’s typical refined than at other tracks in California civic boosters, knowing his love of casual bravado, Crosby was at the and across the country prompting horse racing, quietly suggested he front gate with his movie star pal Pat one wag to state its patrons “…liked contribute toward putting on a meet O’Brien to greet his first patrons for something a little classier than a crap at the fairgrounds being constructed
22 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
Crosby with his horse “High Strike” winning on opening day of Del Mar in 1937. game.” That tony atmosphere has never left. That atmosphere included trainers working their horses on a nearby beach with the unlikely claim that the salt water was good for the horse’s legs. Crosby, O’Brien, and their families were regular fixtures at the track. And their activities weren’t limited to betting on horses. Bing loved to ride as well. And then there were the stars. Hollywood legends were regulars at the track and Del Mar press conferences would feature such luminaries as Jimmy Durante, who lore has it, would dismantle a trick piano as part of his act. But at one such party, “The Schnoz” forgot to bring the bogus piano and dismantled an upright owned by the bar. Del Mar happily reimbursed. More often than not Durante, www.horsebackmagazine.com
like Crosby pal W.C. Fields, was immersed in the Daily Racing Form planning the wager for the next race. Alcohol flowed freely. San Diego Sun reporter recalled the preopening press party vividly in the track’s commemorative book, Del Mar
– It’s Life and Good Times.
“I walked around with a hangover for two days.” In the early days of the track, Crosby often closed the days racing and singing with John Scott Trotter’s band late into the night. Del Mar press parties were more like a Fryer’s Club Roast with legendary toastmaster George Jessel at the microphone. It was a grand time, worthy of a Busby Berkley musical in its own right as Hollywood royalty, all racing fans and friends of Bing and O’Brien converged on the track. Then,
Del Mar was feted with the likes of Al Jolson, Pat O’Brien, Danny Thomas, the Ritz Brothers, Tony Martin, Donald O’connor, and even Bob Hope when the comedian paired with the crooner to make their historic “Road” movies – sometimes all of them were at the track at the same time. Legend has it that Al Jolson, then the biggest star in Hollywood, let Pat O’Brien get under his skin. The big Irishman was riding high in Hollywood after starring in his memorable 1940 film, “Knute Rockne All American”, with Ronald Reagan, and needled Jolson about his age. The legendary hoofer finally had enough and tore a tablecloth off a setting of china and crystal. Paraphrasing his line from The Jazz Singer (the first sound spoken in talking pictures), the sometime black minstrel performer shouted, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet,” as elegant glasses and plates went flying. He then jumped the 28 inches (standard table height) from a standing position onto the surface and started to tap dance. (The actual line that changed movie history was “You ain’t heard nothing yet) Bing, the impresario, was a savvy marketer. He knew stars would draw the sophisticated Los Angeles gamblers to his track in the sleepy town of San Diego which was just a stone’s throw from the Mexican border. And the stars kept coming as the years went by. On any weekend patrons could see the likes of glamorous Ava Gardner, or Hoagy Carmichael, composer of the beloved “Stardust” pouring over the form or dining in the restaurant next to the likes of Walt Disney or a young television star and her husband, Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnez. Crosby, a natural at packaging and promotion, hosted the Kraft Music Hall for NBC. It was the nation’s number one program on radio, so using that clout, he persuaded the network to allow him to do a half hour from the track on Saturday mornings as he wandered around asking startled patrons tricky racing questions such as “How high is a hand?” At the end of each program he would retire to the Jockey Club where he crooned a couple of numbers with his velvet baritone voice. Crosby - Con’t. on pg. 26
November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
Lew explaining how to do a set of templates of your horses back to take saddle shopping. Lew Pewterbaugh • Bandera, TX (830) 328 0321 • (830) 522 6613 saddlerlew@ gmail.com • Available for individual or group saddle tting & clinics. Will gladly work with trainers, stables & other clinicians to help with saddle tting issues.
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Del Mar’s arichitecture favored the popular California Mission Style.
1930s – 50s were a much more formal time, and patrons “dressed up” to go to the track more than we see today at a horse racing venue. Women, especially movie stars such as June Haver and dancer Ann Miller, wore their Sunday best to Del Mar, ever ready for the paparazzi, a presence even in those long ago days. A trip to San Diego might bring in some much needed revenue for a photographer if he caught a photo of Mickey Rooney, Jackie Cooper, Paulette Goddard, or Edward G. Robinson, all frequent patrons in the club house. The actor and actual gangster George Raft once escorted celebrity columnist Louella Parsons across the track to the infield, the photo was naturally caught
Del Mar and surrounding countryside from the southeast view.
by Hollywood photo journalists. The Del Mar archives show pix of Dorothy Lamour and Gloria Swanson willingly posing and holding roses for a wouldbe winner. By 1938 Del Mar was becoming well established but Crosby wanted more for his track, the lure of a superstar horse in a match race. A horse owned by Del Mar partner Charles S. Howard fit the bill. He would bring Seabiscuit to the track by the sea “where the surf meets the turf,” as the venue’s theme song proclaimed. Crosby had bought a South American horse named Ligaroti in partnership with Lin Howard, son of Seabiscuit’s owner. The Argentine distance runner “The Biscuit” who had won 29 of 79 races over a four
High Strike, a 2 year old Gelding, Owned by Crosby, won the first race on Del Mar’s Opening Day
26 HORSEBACK ORSEBACK MAGAZINE AGAZINE -- November November 2012 2012
year period and had twice lost the Santa Anita Handicap by a nose. Del Mar general manager, Bill Quigley, proposed a match race between the elder Howard’s Seabiscuit and Crosby’s horse, Ligaroti with a purse of $25,000, a staggering sum during the late Depression. The race would cover a mile and an eighth. Seabiscuit was assigned the weight of 130 pounds with legendary jockey, George Woolf aboard, while Ligaroti carried 115 pounds with Noel (Spec) Richardson guiding the Crosby horse into the clubhouse turn and down the stretch. When the race day, Friday, August 12, came the stands were full and the match race was carried live on the radio before a national audience. At the mike were two veteran broadcasters and owners of Del Mar, Bing Crosby and Pat O’Brien announcing the race from the roof of the grandstand. www.horsebackmagazine.com www.horsebackmagazine.com
A fixture at Del Mar during those early days, Crosby could often be found astride a horse riding the grounds or hanging out trackside smoking his pipe. Breaking from the gate, Seabiscuit came out first and was ahead of Ligaroti by a length at the first turn but the game Argentine Thoroughbred immediately rallied and drew within a head of The Biscuit all the way around the track and into the clubhouse turn. At the stretch, Woolf and Richardson went to war!
“That was as rough a race as I’ve ever seen in my whole life,” track announcer Oscar Otis remembered later. “They were hitting themselves over the head with their whips and Richardson had Woolf in a leg lock. ‘Never seen so much trouble in one race and there was a hell of a stink about it.” Seabiscuit won by a nose and broke the track record by four seconds Later that year, Ligaroti won the Del Mar Handicap while Seabiscuit upset War Admiral in the greatest match race of all time at Pimlico. Crosby’s horse was retired to stud where Ligorati was a dismal failure, but the horse had heart- as much heart at breeding as he did running races for the crooner and founder of Del Mar, Bing Crosby. In one great final effort the horse that almost beat Seabiscuit collapsed and died while covering a mare. Yet the breeding took.
Crosby named the foal, “Last Bang.”
South American import Ligaroti went head-to-head with the legendary Seabiscuit during a highly publicised 1938 Match Race at Del Mar. www.horsebackmagazine.com
November November 2012 2012 -- HORSEBACK ORSEBACK MAGAZINE AGAZINE
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30 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
Hail to the King
a s h i o n ’s unchalleng ed “King of Bling” is a scruffy Kenny Rogers lookalike. He has decades behind him with a lineage as a rag merchant to match. He lives and works in the fashionable environment of San Diego’s Coronado Island. And instead of becoming the the king of an accessory market that reaps millions worldwide, he could just as easily have remained an upscale shopkeeper working in the shadows of one of the world’s
Fashion Icon, Bob Kipperman, turned a family business and a personal tragedy into a gilded fashion empire.
32 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
grand hotels, The Hotel del Coronado. Kippy’s (www. kippys.com) began on Coronado Island as an uppity women’s shop catering to movie stars and their fans. Nearby, at Del Mar Race Track, the old crooner himself, Bing Crosby, played the ponies. It was a magic time in 1948 when the store was opened. Regulars in San Diego and on the island were Dorothy Lamour, W. C. Fields, Paulette Goddard, Edgar Bergen, June Haver, Ann Miller, Don Ameche, Ava Gardner, www.horsebackmagazine.com
Red Skelton and, of course, everybody’s two favorite movie priests, Pat O’Brian and Crosby. It was a heady time for young Bob Kipperman to inherit a top retail store. By 1964, his parents were ready to turn over the reins of the store to their son and his brothers when they finished school. “My dad said, ‘You can make this anything you want,” he remembers. “I wanted to travel, liked good food and pretty women.” In short, Bob began to change everything bringing the store into the ever so hip ‘60s fashion scene specializing in pants with long legs. “And to do that I had to make my own stuff,” he laughs. “We started manufacturing only for our own store.” www.horsebackmagazine.com
The business quickly became international. “I did all my buying in Europe for about 25 years,” he said. “My brothers came into the business with me and we opened six retail stores. During that time I was making things for our own stores. We were carrying people like Roberto Cavalli, all the big European names. We were all over Southern California. When the economy went downhill we started closing stores but we were doing more manufacturing.” Kipperman’s brothers left the business and his own life took a
turn for the worse when he was hit by a car. “As a therapy I started making belts,” he remembers. “About a year later I was sitting there upside down with no money, making these belts, and went to a friend on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles who had the Theodore store there and I asked him for $1,200 bucks. I told him I was making these belts. I offered to pay him back in belts with a guaranteed mark-up or I could pay him $100 a month. He humored me and said come on up, and when I got to Beverly Hills he Kippy’s - Con’t. on pg. 34 November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
Kippy’s - Con’t. from pg. 31
Originally known for their belts, Kippy’s produces everything from purses & accessories, through guitar straps.
“We began seeing rodeo cowboys coming in and buying crystal belts!” wrote a $12,000 order.” “I said, I’m making these in my kitchen,” Kipperman laughs. “He said, ‘Kipperman, you’re in business, or you’re not in business. Do you want the order?” Thus, the cottage industry of Kippy’s was born and the kitchen suddenly got crowded. Kipperman brought in his mother, his mother in law, and a few friends, and one of America’s great fashion accessory creations was born. He has kept the business small despite its prestige in the world of fashion. Kippy’s employs only 30 people at its headquarters, still on the island. “We filled that first order in two weeks,” he said. “I delivered the belts and he gave me a check for $10,800. It didn’t even register to me that I was in business. He came back to me a week later with an $8,000 re-order. All of a sudden a light went off in my head, and I don’t think there had been any lights in there for a year, and before I knew it, my stuff was in all the big stores in Europe.” Today, the Kippy’s brand
Men’s rodeo and bull riders crosses all styles but has had a profound influence on western have also embraced the fashions of the King of Bling. The first to take wear. “I hadn’t even thought of a pair of Wranglers and a Resistol to western wear,” he told Horseback the next level was Texas bulldogger Magazine in a conversation from Sid Steiner, ever on the cutting edge of men’s fashion. his Coronado Island “All of a sudden we office. A winning began seeing rodeo It was a cowboys start coming natural connection for Queen pays Rodeo in buying crystal Kipperman. belts,” Kipperman “I love between remembers. Now western,” he says. “I had always done $2,000 & $5,000 Kippy’s rodeo market has expanded to jeans, t-shirts, and cowboy mounted jackets. I was making for a shooting. this stuff for a lot of entertainers because coronation dress. A winning rodeo queen pays between that’s who they sold $2,000 and $5,000 for to on Rodeo Drive. I was making stuff for people in the a coronation dress, Kipperman says. “They’re buying jackets from horse show world, making belts for dancers, and it went from swing $400 to a couple thousand dollars.” “In ’99 when Madonna dance, to country dance, to line dance. Once it hit that the western wore one of my belts in one of her world picked up on it. From there it shows, that just made it explode,” he just spread and I was doing clothes remembers. Kipperman calls himself a for rodeo queens. Kipperman has been dressing rodeo’s queens for 15 non-competitor. “The way to not compete is years.
34 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
Kipp have every hous celeb Mad
Kippy’s fashions have adorned everyone from housewives to celebrities, including Madonna & ZZ Top.
to make it so difficult that they don’t bother to copy you,” he says. The way we keep people from copying here or in China is by working with mixed materials and stuff that people aren’t going to bother with because it’s either expensive, or it’s difficult to work with. For example, on a jacket I’ll use several different leathers, not just one. I work with metals or crystals that nobody is going to bother with. Right now we think pearls are going to be very strong.” “I also guarantee everything I do, so if somebody bought something 25 years ago, I fix it,” Kipperman said.
Belts, purses, intricate jackets & more can be found at Kippy’s.
November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
Striking A Balance
Thanksgiving approaches, I am reminded of Thanksgiving 2011, when many of us looked back with both relief and gratitude, at what we and others had endured previously that year. Across the nation, lost homes, jobs, and savings, had left lives destabilized , with little to fall back on. Floods in the Northeast, tornadoes in Missouri, and fires in Texas had taken lives, destroyed homes, and damaged many of the places we loved, beyond recognition. The severest drought since the 1950’s had taken its toll across much of Texas, and had left many of us exhausted, struggling to save crops and plants, and to care for our animals. Yet, as I wrote my November 2011 article, in the midst of this great hardship and loss, we witnessed gratitude all around us. When the smoke cleared after the fires East of Austin in early September 2011, State Parks Director, Brent Leisure, sent out an email in which he emphasized, not the loss of his home, and the homes of many who had fought the fires, but rather the gratitude and pride that he felt for the State Park division staff, Wildlife division staff, and volunteers whose courage, professional preparedness, and tireless work had helped to save the Civilian Conservation
Corps buildings of Bastrop State Park. “And more important than all of these great accomplishments,” he wrote, “our staff that worked the incident and those colleagues that live in the community can celebrate that they and their families are safe and unharmed.” In the October 2011 Horseback Magazine, writers Kelly Kaminski and Lee Ann Johnson, told how they, and many others, had come together to help horses, (and their owners), endangered by the Texas wildfires last September. Their articles told of the selflessness of those who helped, and the unconditional gratitude of those who received it, expressed by words, yard signs, and any other expressions they could muster under their difficult circumstances. Earlier in 2011, and several of my dear friends and I, myself, had lost beloved family members and friends (some human, some animal). We were drawn together, through the sharing of our losses, as well as the amazing memories of our loved ones. Though difficult, this experience connected and reconnected us in a rich and profound way that I had not felt before. For this, I am forever grateful, and these friends have expressed their gratitude for this connection to me. What all of these examples have in common, is that they are situations in which hardship, and emotion, born of empathy, brought people together. In each situation, people had a common desire. The firefighters near Austin wanted to save the historic Works Progress buildings. Kelly and Lee Ann’s volunteers wanted to save endangered horses and help their owners. My friends
and I wanted to comfort each other, and to share one another’s losses. We didn’t all have to agree on everything- just one common need and goal at a time. Unfortunately, all too often these days, hardship and emotion are used to divide us. When we’re each encouraged to focus just on our own difficulties, it is easy to manipulate us into thinking that we have no common ground with others. When we’re angry, we’re quick to think there’s no room for compromise. And with all of us having to do more and more to keep our heads above financial water, it’s easy to use the excuse that we don’t have time to research sources of information, (or disinformation), and to ask such basic questions as, “What’s the source of this person’s information?”, “Who do they work for?”, or “What do they have at stake in reporting it this way?” When this happens, emotion drives us apart, instead of encouraging us to see the common needs and emotions that bind us together, much less the paths of compromise that will help us to reach our common ground. Our horses, and our relationships with them, always teach us about life. For most of us, our emotional connection to our horses is a vital part of what makes those relationships fulfilling. However, emotion alone, cannot form the basis of a successful human to equine to human relationship. Emotion and reason must be balanced. Just as affection for the horse must be accompanied by consistent, disciplined training, the training must be tempered with emotional empathy for the horse. Before we give a knee-jerk reaction to our horse’s behavior, born of our own emotions of frustration or anger, we
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should step back, think, and reason, before responding. The best horsewomen and men strike a balance between emotion and reason. So do the best citizens. The next time any of us starts to take another person’s opinion as our own, we should take a step back, and make sure we’re not reacting solely out of the fear, anger, or frustration that the “source” has ignited in us. We must apply our own critical thinking, consider the source of information, (or disinformation), ask the obvious questions, and do our own research before forming and expressing our opinions. Instead of letting our differences divide us, our empathy for others can unite us through our many common needs and goals, just as it united so many in the face of adversity in the Summer and Fall of 2011. I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving, full of love, empathy, and gratitude. This November, and always, remember to enjoy the ride. hB
Dianne can be reached at Hill Country Equestrian Lodge where she teaches Whole Horsemanship year-round. www.hillcountryequestlodge.com, or (830) 796-7950
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November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
“Driving for Dummies”
Horseback Magazine’s Saddle & Tack Editor
riving a horse to a cart or buggy is a lot of fun. You get a lot more looks from non-horse people when you’re driving than when you are horseback. Training a horse to drive can be fun and exciting. It’s also a lot of walking and can be very frustrating. Mostly, you do a lot of ground driving, or walking behind the horse holding long lines, getting your horse to move ahead, stop, turn left and right, stop, back up, and then you put him in some shafts, could be PVC or something light. The horse cannot make a bending turn in the shafts, so they have to learn to cross over, especially in the front, to make a turn. This can cause the horse a lot of confusion, and they can panic the first few times they try to turn. You can actually do most of your ground driving without even having a harness. A pair of long lead ropes running behind the horse will work fine to get started. You can get a good nylon harness for basic driving for about $250.00 in horse size, or you can buy a made in India nylon horse size harness for about $150.00 A good driving harness made of leather will start about $600.00, or you can find a nylon , leather combination, or nylon and vinyl, or many other combinations. We all know that leather is great, but harness is hard to clean and oil. Nylon gets stiff with sweat and age. Biothane, a rubber like coated nylon, give the look of leather, and ease of maintenance. It looks good, doesn’t get stiff, wipes with a damp cloth, and is strong. Again, you can go with an Indian made harness, made from urine tanned
water buffalo. I found a really nice used harness from a carriage company. It’s black nylon with a shiny black surface. Very shiny, very pretty, very strong. So I spent 2 weeks ground driving a 12 year old recycled race horse. He took to it really well, after his initial confusion of wanting to turn and face me. I put a “single tree” in the traces and walked behind him, letting him pull my weight. I drove him with one hand while pulling a “meadowbrook cart” in my other hand, so he wouldn’t be afraid of hearing the wheels rolling behind him, thinking something was about to run him over. I left the cart in the round pen while I worked him around it. He was as unconcerned as a horse could be. This is a really laid back thoroughbred. He stands 16.1 hands and weighs 1250 pounds. My average horse size harness fit at the very end of everything. Most horse size harness is to fit 900 to 1200 pounds. The shafts on the meadowbrook cart are pretty far apart, so when I ran the shafts up along each side of him, I had to try to
38 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
let the shaft loops, which are part of the driving saddle, out to the very end. As my horse stepped into the shaft on one side, he swung to get away from the strange restriction, found another on the other side, and the next thing you know, the cart is upside down with a broken shaft, the harness is sideways with the driving saddle torn apart, and the horse needs to start over in training. I am not going into the business of training driving horses. Because of this horse’s age and easy way, I skipped a few steps. Hence the Driving for Dummies headline. As far as wrecks go, this wasn’t a very exciting one. Now years ago, when I was training a team of driving ponies, I had some real exciting rides. The first wreck was the very first time we hitched these two full sisters to a really cute wagon that my wife’s uncle had built. My father was still alive back then and I invited him to come along on our initiation ride. The ponies struck up a fancy trot and we started
up a hill, got to the top, and as soon as we started down the hill, the holdback yoke broke and the wagon was trying to run over the ponies, so they were trying to outrun the wagon. We were headed down hill with the ponies’ legs going faster than they could keep up with, and I knew they’d go down if I didn’t do something like a minute ago. There was a stone bluff on one side of the road that I might have been able to crowd it and scrub off a little speed, but that would wreck that pretty new wagon, so I decide to jump them off the road into a field that was fairly level, but about 5 feet below the road’s elevation. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Here, hold my beer and watch this. There was a little rise just before the drop off and the wagon hit that rise and did a flip, as the pin came out of the tongue, fortunately, and the ponies took off across the field, unhindered by the weight of the wagon. My Dad had asthma and a bad heart. He was wearing my white and green high school sweater. He landed on his hands and knees and lost his false teeth and his glass eye. As I got to him, he had just found his false teeth,
wiped them out and popped them back in his mouth, then he found his glass eye and dropped it in his pocket. I thought maybe I’d killed him, but instead, he had the best time he’d had in years. He was laughing so hard, tears were running down his face. I had several runaways with that team, because one pony always wanted to run, the other had to follow. The last wreck was a doozy, and we did wreck the wagon. We were enjoying the third runaway of the day, down a long steep hill, in the middle of which, was my driveway. I broke the splash wall off of the wagon bracing my feet against it, so I’m standing in the wagon with my feet braced against nothing but the traction of the floor, pulling back on the reins as hard as I can, thinking, “Surely they won’t try to make the 90 degree turn in the drive at this speed!” They did. I heard someone scream. In retrospect, I think it might have been me. The wagon stayed upright, the ponies ran right between my car and my truck, I got them turned behind the house where I was relaying a stone patio, and they jumped a wheelbarrow full of stone that I had hauled from the field. Ponies and horses
can jump in harness, but a wagon can’t jump very well. The handles and the undercarriage and the wheelbarrow tub and the rocks got all tangled up underneath the wagon and the twisted wreckage continued on until it got wedged between a utility pole and an apple tree. There the ponies stopped and I devised a way to put an end to the runaway ponies’ careers. It was simple really. I took a small dog collar and put a wool fleece liner on it, ran a rope from the collar, which I placed around the ponies pastern, ran it up through the ring on the driving saddle and back to the seat. Whenever she would start to run, I’d just pull her foot out from under her. Never had another problem with that one. Someday I’ll tell the story about my Arab stallion and the one horse cutter on ice. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. hB Bandera’s Lew Pewterbaugh has been called the most knowledgeable saddle and tack authority in the Southwest. For private fitting consultation call (830) 328-0321 or (830) 522-6613 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
aren had a wonderful horse. She rode him nearly every day and frequently competed on him. He was talented, well trained, willing and fun to ride. Then, she noticed his performance and attitude were deteriorating. She called a friend and told her how he was balking, pinning his ears and refusing jumps. As she was talking, it suddenly occurred to her that this behavior was becoming habitual. Before, it had been showing up in smaller doses that were easier to overlook. But what had changed? What would make him so sour? Lots of things can cause a horse’s attitude to change. Horses are very sensitive physically and emotionally. Let’s start by checking your tack. Look at your bridle and make sure the adjustments have not sure the bit is long enough and doesn’t been changed. Your bit should be pinch the corners of his mouth. adjusted to hang comfortably in his Could your bit be more severe than mouth. It should fit snugly against you need? Are there any sores inside the corners of his mouth, making a his mouth? When was the last time wrinkle on each side of his mouth. you gave him a good performance If it hangs too loosely, it 4could clank2:02 float on his teeth? If it has been over Detering1-2Page.pdf 9/21/12 PM against his teeth, causing pain. Make a year, you might want to have his
“Why is My Horse Acting Sour?”
teeth checked. Take a look at the saddle. Just like people, horses can change their shape, causing the saddle fit to change. The flocking may need to be addressed by a saddle expert. Flocking can even compress over time and become thinner. If the fit has changed, it could pinch your horse’s withers or shoulders. If the panel over his back has lost its cushion, the horse could have a sore back from a heavy seat. You can run your hand firmly across his back to check for soreness. Look at his withers and make sure there are no sores or rub spots and check for pain by pressing on him. Any evidence of pain should be further investigated by a vet or saddle fitter. If you use a martingale, make sure it is not restricting the normal range of motion. Then check his legs and any boots you might be using in case they are rubbing him. Take a look at his feet. Consult with your vet or farrier to make sure he isn’t dealing with sore feet. Do his shoes fit properly? Could his soles be bruised or is he heel sore?
FOUNDATION GROUNDWORK WITH
herman detering W WW .H E R M A N D E T E R I N G . C O M
FOR OVER TEN YEARS, I have been demonstrating, teaching, and writing about non-coercive methods of handling horses and cattle at my ranch near Bellville, Texas.
text of my Published Articles, visit my website, www.HermanDetering.com or email
me at Herman@HermanDetering.com.
My work follows in the low-stress tradition of natural horsemanship established by Tom Dorrance and spread to the world by Ray Hunt, Buck Brannaman, and Pat Parelli. Currently, I am influenced by the work of Ron Wall of Australia and Frederic and Jean-Francoise Pignon of France. CRE EK F Y E For more information and to see the complete
40 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
Are his angles where they need to be? Take a general look at his body. If he holds his head slightly off to one side, he might be sore in his neck. Watch him walk and trot. Is he moving straight and evenly? If not, it could be a lameness issue or he may be out of alignment. Perhaps a chiropractor or masseuse could help him feel better. It’s even possible that a good lameness vet might be needed. Don’t hesitate to ask your local professionals for help in determining if physical problems could be the cause of your horse’s unhappiness. If you don’t find anything suspicious, take a look at how you are managing and riding your horse. Rough hands will take the joy out of a ride for any horse. Make sure your aids are clear and you aren’t just pounding on your horse. Could your patience be an issue? If you are ever riding and find you are on a short fuse that day, you might be wise to cut your ride short before you find yourself blaming your mount for your own short-comings. Take a look at his daily routine. Is he getting enough turnout?
Most horses do best with at least several hours of turnout daily. They need to be able to run freely and get the bucks out. Grazing is important for them physically and emotionally. Contact with other horses can also make a difference. Sometimes we separate them with their best interest in mind so they don’t get hurt by other horses or end up with their coats looking marked up. While they do tend to look better with solo turnout, you need to remember that these are social animals who need physical contact with other horses. If your horse has anxiety or any emotional difficulties, he could have ulcers that could be giving him a sour attitude. Think about your riding routine. If you ride a lot and never change your routine, your horse can get bored. Make sure you change the scenery as often as you can. Ride outside of the arena periodically or switch to a different arena if you can. That doesn’t mean you can’t ride in the arena, just shake it up a bit and vary your routine. If you like to jump, don’t jump every day. He will
get bored and you could make him sore. If you jump high, school him over low jumps more often to work on any issues and only occasionally over big jumps to keep him in practice. Throw in plenty of days to only hack and work on moving him off your leg better. Take him on an occasional trail ride, even if you only ride around your property outside of in the arena. Horses are generally happy animals. If yours is well trained and fit but seems to be experiencing a change in attitude, you need to take a serious look at what could be causing it. It could take a bit of effort and you may need to enlist the help of professionals but don’t forget that he is relying on you to help him and you owe it to him. Make sure you are not the cause of the problem and do everything you can to help him. Riding should be fun for both of you! hB
Cathy Strobel has over 30 years of experience as a trainer, judge and clinician she can be reached at Southern Breeze Eq. Ctr. at (281) 431-4868 or www.sbreeze.com
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November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
“My Child’s First Trail Ride.”
My daughter is 9. She has had some big health problems but is now doing a lot better and can’t wait to start trail riding. She started in English riding lessons when she was 7 years old, but she hasn’t been on a horse in the last six months, so she has never ridden Western or been on a trail ride before. I want her first time on the trail to be safe and fun for her. I’ve leased a great pony for a year. He is very experienced on trails but he is for sure a Western pony. How can I make this work?
. Since your daughter already has some riding skills, I would begin by making sure that all of her riding clothes fit! Six months is a long time, and at her age she could easily have outgrown everything from her boots to her helmet. Be sure that she has and wears an equestrian safety helmet that meets or exceeds the current ASTM/SEI standards, and be sure that she knows how to position and adjust it, how snugly the harness should be fastened, etc. Six months is also enough time to grow quite a lot of hair, and hair length can have a big effect on helmet fit, so that’s something else to check before she mounts up. If she does need new boots, she might enjoy owning a comfortable pair of cowboy boots designed for riding. Just be sure that they have a one-piece sole, a safe heel, and are truly comfortable. It sounds as if she’ll be riding her “Western pony” in Western tack, so give her a few sessions in the arena first – or get her a few lessons in Western-style riding. Before going out on the trails, she’ll need to learn how to mount and dismount, how to sit comfortably in a Western saddle, what cues to give her pony and how to give them, how to hold her reins (and why to keep them loose) , and how to neck-rein. Let her get acquainted with her pony and tack quite a while before you venture out onto the trails. Ride with her, even participate in those lessons if you can –
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42 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
you probably know it all, but the refresher course won’t hurt you, and children really do learn wonderfully well if they can see their parents doing the same things that they are being told to do. Which reminds me – be sure that you wear your own properly-fitted, properly-adjusted, ASTM/ SEI helmet whenever you ride. “Monkey see, monkey do” is so very true: Children typically adore and imitate their parents, and you want your daughter to get a good message about safety from you and imitate you in a way that helps her develop potentially life-saving safety habits. “You’re just a child so you have to wear a helmet, but I don’t” is the message you send when you don’t wear yours. To a child, this says “Helmets are for babies and bad riders, when you’re older and a better rider you won’t need a helmet.” But if you always wear your own helmet, the message your daughter will receive is simply “Riders wear helmets” in the same way that you wearing your seatbelt in the car tells her “People in cars wear seatbelts” instead of “Little kids wear seatbelts, grownups don’t.” The last thing any parent wants is a child drawing the wrong conclusions from watching Mom and Dad’s habits, and then looking forward to taking unnecessary
risks – “I can’t wait until I’m old enough to do without my helmet/seatbelt!” So, now you’re in the arena with your daughter and she’s had a few lessons and is now comfortable with Western tack and cues. It’s time for the two of you to play a variation on an old trail-training game, Follow the Leader. (Once she’s acquired some real mileage on the trail, you’ll be able to introduce her to some of the more complex and demanding versions of this game.) In this, the most basic version, you and your daughter take turns following one another around the arena, maintaining a two-horse-length distance. Don’t just go around and around, do half-turns, half-turns in reverse, large circles and wavy lines, stop and halt for a few seconds or half a minute or a minute or two at a time, then start off again. In other words, pay attention, use your cues, and don’t depend on that rail to keep you straight or give you direction. When you’re on the trail, that rail won’t be there. Let your daughter spend part of her time in the lead, but most of her time should be spent following you and maintaining her distance, because that’s what she’ll be doing on the trail. Spend a week or two doing these exercises,
especially since your daughter hasn’t been on a horse in six months. Any kind of riding is likely to make her sore, and even though her health is improving, be extracareful and give her all the time she needs. Remember that for your daughter, being out on the trails is an adventure. Riding on different footing, riding up and down gently sloping hills (show her how), all of this will be new and exciting. More importantly, all of this – especially in combination with new tack and perhaps new clothing – is going to require thought and effort on her part, and will also put new demands on her muscles. When you take her out of that arena and go out on the trail for the first time, make it a short, happy trail ride. If she comes back from a forty-five minute trail ride complaining that she wanted to stay out longer and could have ridden all day, that’s good! You can make the next ride a little – not much – longer, say an hour or an hour and a quarter – because she’ll be happy and eager to go out again. hB
Dr. Jessica Jahiel is the best selling author of Riding For The Rest Of Us.
November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
“Peekin’ Through the Gate”
hen I started writing this column, I was also going to write some stories about my Dad, his family and my Grandpa. There are some wild, sometimes unbelievable, tales that come out when my family gets together. So in the interest of family history, I decided to write some of them down. When my Dad was probably between 9 and 12, my Grandpa was trying to catch a horse in a pen that did not have a gate. So he had my Dad stand in the gate. Of course the horse ran at Dad and Dad moved out of the way! I
think this went on a couple of times with my Dad moving and my Grandpa hollering at him for “heading for the hills” every time that horse headed out through the gate hole! Finally my Dad told him, “you stand here and I’ll try to catch him”. (This surprises me because it was bordering on back talk! I guess he got so tired of being run over that he did talk back!!) So Grandpa stood in the gate and Dad went in the pen. Dad said as the horse headed out the gate hole, Grandpa stood his ground and that horse ran the length of him. It knocked him to the ground and headed out into the big pasture! Grandpa didn’t say a word, got up, dusted himself off and headed over to a pile of cedar posts. He picked one out and stood behind one of the gate posts and said, “Run him by again”. As soon as Dad was able to run the horse back into the corral, the horse saw the open hole
and headed for the gate at a run. Grandpa stepped out and hit him between the eyes as hard as he could as he yelled, “whoa!” Dad said the horse went to his knees and fell over. He thought Grandpa had killed the horse! Grandpa calmly walked over, reached down and put a halter on the horse. Once the horse came to, he staggered up and Grandpa had him caught! Dad said every time that horse went through a gate after that, he would stop before he got there and peek around at the posts to be sure no one was standing there! I was thinking of this as I sat in the stands watching Pat Parelli on October 13th and 14th. About how much horsemanship was changing, mostly for the better and how it was for my Dad growing up. It was a different generation, and it didn’t make us any better than them, just different. They were offering
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44 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
the horse what they knew. I’m sure if Grandpa Johnson had known a different way, he would have done it differently. My Dad made the statement to me one time that “I offered something better for the horse than he did and he offered something better than my Grandpa did”. It was a different generation and a whole different way of handling a horse for most of the public back then. There were a few, the really good ones that were natural horsemen. But, in general, horses
were treated as tools to get a job done. Grandpa Johnson was a horse trader and for him, and other working cowboys the horse was just that, a tool, and that’s all they were. Nowadays, the general population of horse owners are recreational owners. They want something different from a horse. They are not working cows and doing ranch work for 14-15 hours per day (on a bad day they might work 18-20 hours per day). They want a horse that
will walk down the road on a trail ride, or do some specific arena event. There are still small portions that use them for ranch work, but even they are changing some of the ways they use and train a horse. Like I said, my Grandpa’s generation were training the way they were taught. They were not wrong, for what they knew, just different. And like anything else, with time some things get better. hB
November 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE
owdy, welcome to Cowboy Corner. The 2012 Elk hunt is over and Ol’ bugle cheated death. That’s why it’s called hunting and not killing. However, did see some really good bulls come out of the mountains and just made the desire to return even greater. Due to the regulations regarding wheeled vehicles in the wilderness areas within the National Parks, hunting using horses and mules is very popular. Met lots of horseback hunters and most were from Texas. Guess Texans just don’t like to walk, especially at higher elevations. Flat land fat boys just don’t make good hikers up around the timber line. Next year when you think summer will never end try the mountains in early October. Warm days, cold nights, low humidity and not a cloud in the sky is a welcome change from the Gulf Coast. Lots of publicity about the turning of the leaves in New England, but the Aspen trees in the mountains are beautiful the first part of October. Lots of wildlife adds to the spectacular scenery. Love these annual trips to the mountains for lots of reasons, but really enjoy the time in the mountains on horseback. Have had
lots of conversations about being in the mountains horseback with a pack string from amateurs like me, to professional outfitters. All agree that to be safe and comfortable in the event of sudden bad weather you must be dry and warm. Dry may mean carrying a small tarp and some hay string in addition to your slicker or rain gear. Small tarps rigged against a cliff or in an evergreen thicket can keep you dry and out of the wind. Warm usually means some type of fire or heater. Prior to the 2012 trip, got to thinkin’ about some type of portable heat source that could be easily carried in saddle bags or a pack. After a little head scratching, I decided on chafing dish fuel, used in the catering business. The fuel cans are round with a diameter of about 3 ¼” and about 2 ¾” high. A screw off cap exposes the wick to light and serves as a snuffer. These cans weigh about 9 ¼ ounces and will burn for 6 hours. Cost of the fuel is just over a dollar per can and cases of a dozen are available from the restaurant supply stores or discounters like Sam’s. After foolin’ around with the fuel cans I decided I needed a wind break or chimney, which would also
46 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2012
serve as a heater. Fruit juice cans, the ounce size were just right. With a diameter of 4 1/8” and 7” tall the fuel cans easily fit in to the juice can with a 4” chimney. Good thing is that two fuel cans can fit into a juice can with extra room for matches or a butane lighter. The can of fuel burning in the juice can puts off a surprising amount of heat. To my knowledge the chafing fuel is safe and usable in the small areas such as a tent or tack room of a livestock trailer. Think these heaters might work good in enclosed wagons during trail ride season. Might be good to put the juice can in a small metal bucket in the wagon for stability and safety. Some of our hunters also used the heater to warm some water for coffee in a metal cup. If the heater was used regularly for warming water then probably holes would have to be punched in the juice can about even with the flame so the fire could breath. This heater might also work good in a hunting blind, give it a try. The price is right. Happy Trails! hB
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Vol.20 Number 11