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An Equine Living & Lifestyle Magazine

Volume 20, No. 3 March 2013 Priceless

Kristi Schiller’s

Lifestyle & More: A Horseback Exclusive With The Man Who Made Texas Music: Gary P. Nunn

Introducing: Pete Ramey and the Horse’s Hoof, Only in Horseback Magazine

Join Us at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

Jim Hubbard • Pat Parelli • Jessica Jahiel • Cathy Strobel • Dianne Lindig • Lew Pewterbaugh • Kelly Kaminski • Corey Johnson

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March 2013


Texas is one of the most healthy markets for horse racing in the land. The major tracks routinely pack their meets with standing room only crowds to watch live racing. But that success needs a boost. Moreover, the state boasts some of the finest racing facilities and By Steven Long surfaces anywhere. The Brazos sand of Houston’s Sam Houston Race Park is the safest track in the nation resulting in fewer accidents than anywhere else. Yet the three major Texas tracks are surrounded by venues in Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, that siphon away its horses, trainers, and gamblers leaving the home grown industry to struggle. Worse still, were losing our racing industry to second rate venues that don’t hold a candle to the facilities of the Lone Star State. That has to change. The Texas Legislature is currently meeting in Austin where a bill will come before it that will attempt to secure the right to vote in referendum by citizens on whether we want casino type gambling here. At issue are slots, or video lottery terminals as the gambling industry prefers we call them. These machines would be an enormous boost to horses and their owners throughout the state. It would produce much needed revenue to government struggling to pay its bills. For example, it’s a crying shame that the crown jewel of Texas, its fabulous parks system, has to beg each biannual session just to keep the doors open to the very places most beloved by Texans. It is high time a vocal minority stopped opposing allowing Texans to vote either for or against something so many want. More important, it is high time the politicians in Austin represent what their constituents want rather than being intimidated by minorities opposing casino gambling. If you live in Texas, call your legislator now and urge them to bring a referendum to the people for a vote once and for all.

On the Cover:

Kristi Schiller & Insane For Fame


10 Horse Bites 12 Parelli 16 Dream BIG & Believe - Kelly Kaminski 44 Whole Horsemansip - Dianne Lindig 46 TACK TALK - Lew Pewterbaugh 48 On The English Front - Cathy Strobel 50 Horse Sense - Dr. Jessica Jahiel 52 The Cowboy Way - Corey Johnson 54 COWBOY CORNER - Jim Hubbard Cover Story: 20 28

Diamonds & Dirt - Margaret Pirtle Gary P. Nunn - Connie Strong

Lifestyle & Feature: 34 Birds of a Feather 40 Barn & Garden


• CORPORATE OFFICE (281) 447-0772 Phone & (281) 893-1029 Fax • BRAZOS VALUE BUREAU Diane Holt (936) 878-2678 Ranch & (713) 408-8114 Cell • GULF COAST BUREAU Carol Holloway - (832) 607-8264 Cell • NORTH TEXAS Mari Crabtree - (216) 702-4520 • NEW MEXICO BUREAU Laurie Hammer - (505)315-7842

Staff PUBLISHER Vicki Long

EDITOR Steven Long

NATIONAL NEWS EDITOR Carrie Gobernatz LIFESTYLE EDITOR Margaret Pirtle 832-349-1427 EVENTS EDITOR Leslie Greco SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Crystal Shell 832-602-7929

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jim Hubbard, Steven Long, Vicki Long, Dianne Lindig, Roni Norquist, Pat Parelli, Lew Pewterbaugh, Cathy Strobel, Dr. Jessica Jahiel, Cory Johnson, Margaret Pirtle Volume 20, No. 2 Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397, (281) 447-0772. The entire contents of the magazine are copyrighted March 2013 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


Phone: (281)




Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 27

Wild Horse Freedom of Press Case Gets Another Day in Court

RENO, (Wild Horse Education) - Wild Horse Education, (WHE) a Nevada organization devoted to the protection of Mustangs and Burros on public lands, continued a landmark legal challenge in federal court in Reno in mid February. The organization founder and Plaintiff, photojournalist Laura Leigh originally filed this case, now known as the Press Freedom Case, in 2010 against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the federal agency, tasked with the care and management of these heritage animals and the Department of the Interior. Leigh is credentialed by Horseback Magazine to cover and photograph the wild horses of the American West. The case created a published opinion in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals supporting press freedoms. “When the government announces it is excluding the press for reasons such as administrative convenience, preservation of evidence, or protection of a reporter’s safety, its real motive may be to prevent the gathering of information about government abuses or incompetence,” the lawsuit stated. Leigh filed because she was continually and consistently denied access, given discriminatory access compared to other members of the press and experienced arbitrary restraints to the horses and burros during BLM roundups, in effect denying a First Amendment right and access of the public to BLM operations. The Reporters Committee for Free Press and National Press Photographers


“Wild horse and Association has burro populations “Horse Bites is compiled from filed friend of increase rapidly Press Releases sent to Horseback the court briefs and their numbers Magazine. Original reporting is in the case. c o m m o n l y done as circumstances warrant. Content is edited for length & style.” expand beyond herd management During court areas and exceed proceedings, carrying capacity Leigh’s attorney, unless excess animals are regularly Gordon Cowan, presented arguments removed.” With this in mind, the demonstrating that historically, access SRM – Arizona Section’s Winter to wild horses during roundups has been Meeting, organized one of four halfprovided, that there is a serious public day sessions on – “Excess Horses on interest in wild horses, and that BLM Arizona Rangelands – A Manager’s and has been increasing restrictions over the Rancher’s Concern” last three years. “There is just a ton of Children’s author Terri Farley, emotion…” acknowledged Dave Smith, testified for the Plaintiff. Asked why Bureau of Indian Affairs Western she got involved in this case, Farley, Regional Office. “How can we bring all responded, “Years ago, I wrote my first these varying viewpoints together and Phantom Stallion book. I included work towards removing excess horses dedications to BLM for all the help they from rangelands that are detrimental to the long-term health of the ecosystems gave me in being able to see wild horses at that we manage?” roundups. I would not do that today. Alvin Medina, Ecologist and Another individual who offered Restoration Specialist, one of the four testimony was Elyse Gardner, author of presenters of this session, explained that the blog “Humane Observer.” After the in 2011 the Native Range Committee hearing she said, “I must acknowledge was formed to promote stewardship of Laura Leigh’s tremendous effort and range land resources and the Arizona sacrifice, intelligence and perseverance, Section of the SRM took a lead role in in making this stand for all of us. I was this effort because approximately 27 profoundly honored to be a part of the percent of land in Arizona is devoted to testimony supporting the effort to keep its 21 federally recognized Tribes. According to Mr. Smith, “If we watchful eyes informing the public on the can reduce wild/feral horse populations treatment of our wild horses and burros.” – excess horse populations in our range Attorney Gordon Cowan quoted units, then more forage is available for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals saying our tribal producers (cattle/sheep). “The free press is the guardian of the public So there is some incentive there to do interest, and the independent judiciary is something.” This is just what the Bureau of the guardian of the free press. Thus, courts have a duty to conduct a thorough and Indian Aaffairs Eastern Navajo Agency searching review of any attempt to restrict is doing with their five-year action plan; removing unauthorized horses from public access.” the rangelands they manage. Several Federal District Court Judge decades ago, the horse was needed so the Larry Hicks said he does not expect to government allowed them on grazing rule on the case until after March. lands. Today, this is no longer the case so the Bureau of Indian Affairs has since prohibited horses from Eastern Navajo Special to Horseback: Agency regulated grazing lands. This It’s Not Feral, It’s Not Wild – It’s Excess means, “…any horse they have up on the By Becky Standridge range is unauthorized; they can pick up PRESCOTT, (Horseback) – What’s the branded or unbranded horses,” stated latest term describing horses roaming Effie Delmar, Bureau of Indian Affairs on federal, state and Tribal land? It ENA. Sale of unclaimed horses is… Excess This term is now being is strictly limited to the Tribe’s sole used by some groups to avoid the legal bonded-buyer who resells them to definitions of words such as feral and Mexico for slaughter. wild. The Forest Service sets the According to their policy Appropriate Management Level statement, the Society of Range (AML), or number of wild horses and Management (SRM) believes the…



“Linda Talks Fluidity” By Linda Parelli with Steven Long

HORSEBACK MAGAZINE: I have attended many, many, Parelli clinics and one term you use frequently is fluidity. When I think of fluidity, I think of running water, or even the gravy trickling down the side of my mashed potatoes and onto the plate. What I decidedly don’t think of is a horse. Let’e review, for Horseback readers, what exactly it is we are talking about here and I’ll bet its not about country cooking. LINDA PARELLI: Fluidity is simply that you learn to be part of the horse while you are riding him. HORSEBACK: That’s the part about relaxing into the seat and then moving when the horse moves? PARELLI: Right. A lot of riders tend to be quite rigid in parts of their bodies. HORSEBACK: Like me, when I get on “Killer.” PARELLI: They were told a certain way to ride that wasn’t necessarily correct. They were told to have their heels down and to sit upright. HORSEBACK: That’s sure what my daddy told me. PARELLI: When you put your heels down, you brace on the stirrups and lock your joints. You lock the ankle joint, the knee joint, the hip joint, and the lower back. HORSEBACK: So what’s wrong with that. Isn’t that a part of having a healthy amount of fear? PARELLI: What this does to the horse is that it causes him to stiffen


his joints and to hollow out his back. HORSEBACK: Okay. So I throw out everything I was taught about riding and start over. What do I do, just slump down in the saddle? PARELLI: The first thing that happens is you don’t lock your joints. I tell people to sit on their cheeks. Then they are sitting on the fleshy part of their anatomy – the part that is designed to be sat on. The balance area around that point is the base of the tail bone. Then the joints function, and the

lower back gets round instead of hollow, and the effect on your horse is the same. HORSEBACK: So we really do kind of melt into the horse. PARELLI: Basically we are learning to ride in a way that enhances a horse’s ability to move. My research has shown me that problems linked to impulsiveness, bucking, ears back, crabbiness, tail twitching – those problems change immediately when you learn how to sit. hB

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“Hitching a Ride to the “Mothership” A Kaminski Replay by Popular Demand


or anyone who thinks chivalry is dead, they just plain wrong. A few years ago I entered the Liberty County Rodeo, in Texas. I had been driving a big two-ton truck at the time, which I will never mistake getting another of that particular brand, (I have since gone back to a dually) and pulling my 36 foot long, 4 horse trailer with full living quarters. One of my friends has dubbed this trailer “the mothership.” I know it’s big, but when you live in it more

than your own house, you want room. This is most especially true when you have a couple of kids and 4 dogs that travel along. Back to my story, I was met at the gate by a seemingly nervous, but kind fellow who first apologized and then asked me if I had my mud boots with me. I was surprised by the apology, and then I noticed a large tractor backing toward the front of my truck as he spoke to me. I observed that the tractor driver had chains in his hand and started to fasten them somewhere on the front of my truck when he got into position. “What is going on?” I asked. The gate man apologized again and told me that my rig had to be pulled into a parking spot since it was so muddy.

Let me back up here on the story. There had been several inches of rain that had fallen all week before the fair and rodeo was to take place. I want to say it was around 21 inches, but then someone will tell me it was less. I just know it was a lot. “What?” I asked in shock. He began to tell me that the parking was so muddy, that I’d get my rig stuck. Needless to say, I was not happy. I have traveled all over this country driving and have been in some really rough places, this was one of the two times I had to be pulled into park and both times were in Texas less than 100 miles from home! I was really annoyed with myself that I had just taken my mud boots out of the trailer earlier that week when I was cleaning it out from my long summer trip. “Just put your truck in neutral.” he said as he and jumped down and apologized once

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again. The tractor strained a little and then began to pull my rig into the fairground lot. I just steered my truck in the right direction praying that nothing important would get pulled off of it. When I was parked, a man came over, climbed up the side step, rapped on my window and introduced himself. He told me that his family were fans of mine and apologized for the muddy parking lot. He then jumped down turned around and offered me a piggy back ride to the living quarters of my trailer so I wouldn’t get my good boots muddy as he had mud boots on. Now, we live where it’s sandy and when it rains, the sand sticks to your boots and when it dries, it falls right off. It’s never too wet to ride in our arena because of this. I know I’m spoiled when it comes to this, so when I am somewhere where the mud is the sticky gumbo type, I am out of my element. I will say I’ve gotten better at remembering my mud boots. Especially since they make the cute ones nowadays instead of the plain old black ones you get at Wal-Mart. It’s a girl thing. I wasn’t sure if he was serious, but he seemed to know what I was thinking, so he reassured me that indeed he was. Laughing, I

climbed on his back and got a “ride” to the door of my trailer. “I’ll wait for you and give you a ride to the back when you are ready to saddle.” My knight in shining armor told me. I quickly changed into my rodeo shirt with all my sponsor patches, while he waited outside. I couldn’t believe someone would actually care about me getting my feet muddy. I will tell you that I had on my brand-new Justin black ostrich boots, so I was very thankful for my new hero. I opened the door, and sure enough there he was waiting for me. Once again I climbed aboard and he took me to the back of my trailer where we let the ramp down. He told me that when I was finished with my run, he would once again help me. I saddled my horse in the trailer and backed her out, then I mounted up from the ramp. I warmed-up as best I could with the conditions being what they were, made my run, and returned to my trailer. My “ride” waited for me to

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take care of my horse as I unsaddled her in the trailer. When I was finished, he turned around and gave me a ride once again to the living quarters so I could change my shirt, etc. He put the ramp up for me and then waited for me to open the door and gave me a ride to my truck. The tractor again backed up and the man got out and hooked the chains to my truck. This time I was pulled from the lot to the pavement where I was free to drive after he unhooked. I never got the man’s name who gave me all the piggy back rides, but I will never forget him and his kindness, or the kindness of the rest of the committee at the Liberty County Fair for making sure I didn’t get my brand-new boots muddy. 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.

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Horseback Magazine

Welcomes Pete Ramey


orseback is delighted to welcome Pete Ramey as a regular columnist to our pages starting in our April issue. As readers probably know, we are exceedingly careful in selecting writers who grace our pages with their wit and wisdom, particularly when it comes to something as critical as horse health. And there is nothing more important to horse health than the hoof. The four hooves of a horse

have often been called the animal’s second heart – and rightly so. Pete is one of the world’s foremost authorities on rehabilitative trimming and shoeing. He has traveled the world taking on the hardest cases and has brought horses given up for lost back to a healthy and horse happy life. Pete Ramey began his farrier training in 1994 through a two-year local apprenticeship. He also shod his own herd (25 horses in work as mountain trail horses) before officially going into business in ‘96. From the beginning, he was inherently drawn to laminitis and caudal foot pain (navicular syndrome) cases— immersing himself in the study of rehabilitative trimming and shoeing techniques. But it wasn’t until 1998, when he began informal training by Cindy Sullivan, that things really started falling into place. She introduced him to a whole-horse way of thinking about hoof problems. Over the course of the next two years, he bought some 30 horses with hoof problems from the “killer pens” to advance his skills and give the horses a second chance. He became forever addicted to the study of equine soundness and rehabilitation. Today, he specializes full-time, in laminitis and caudal foot pain cases. Aside from his local practice, he has traveled the world working on “hard cases” and teaching, written numerous articles for magazines and for his website Hoof , produced a very popular series of instructional DVDs dedicated to the rehabilitation and prevention of hoof problems, assembled the instructional textbook Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot, and co-founded the American Hoof Association (AHA). Pete Ramey lives in the Georgia mountains with the love of his life and 4 great kids. For more informationon Pete Ramey visit: Hoof ~The Editor




Kristi Schiller’s

Diamonds & Dirt Barrel Racing Futurity Adds a New Twist to Rodeo’s Fastest Sport


risti Schiller is like a royally bred

thoroughbred dashing for the finish line. The Houston philanthropist has rounded the back stretch, reached the quarter pole, and is heading for the finish line to launch an event that will carve a notch in Texas equestrian history. The second annual Diamonds and Dirt Barrel Horse Classic is slated to draw thousands of the top barrel racers in the country, and scores of racing champion shooting stars. To Kristi, the founder of Diamonds and Dirt Barrel Horse Classic, this six day event is only a prelude of more equine endeavourers to come. Her desire to be the best at what ever she does springs from her 7th generation roots along the Texas Gulf Coast. After graduating from the University of Houston, Kristi took her training in Broadcast Journalism applying her knowledge first on radio with the syndicated “Stevens and Pruett Show”, and then headed for a larger audience in Television. In a few short years she was covering ground as a reporter on E! Entertainment to Hard Copy, In 2002, Kristi married Houston oilman John Schiller, and in 2006 their daughter Sinclair made her debut. Kristi’s love for new adventures brought her out the gates of River Oaks and into the rolling hills of Central Texas.


The Schiller Ranch, where Kristi and family now hang their hats most weekends is located near the small scenic enclave of Millican just twelve miles from the Texas A&M campus. The rugged terrain, matched with Kristi’s eye for design and detail produced a “built from the ground up” state of the art horse breeding and training facility. Breeding racehorses to barrel horses is a step most horse enthusiasts find hard to breech but Kristi eagerly took the leap. Kristi sees every project she takes on as an opportunity to evolve and change the

landscape around her. It was while in the middle of this new paragraph in her life that Kristi looked up one day and asked, “Why aren’t there any really big Barrel Racing Futurity shows in Texas? I am always taking horses to Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, so why can’t I show right here in Texas?” Not receiving an answer that suited her, Kristi just decided to put on a Texas size show herself. “Why would you not logistically keep the potential money that the contests generate for Texas and our horse industry and economy in the state? I didn’t care about it being the biggest show around, but I was certain that it had to be a quality show. Here in the Brazos Valley area we have great bluebonnet weather in March; we have the Texas A&M campus, The George Bush Library, loads of fabulous antique stores and tons of things for families to do and see within a short drive. It just made sense that this was the perfect place and the perfect time to make it happen.” The Brazos Valley will never be the same. It was a confluence of events and a simple ad on Craig’s List for a horse that lead her to the starting line of putting what promises to be a double barreled Texas barrel racing extravaganza. “In a nutshell, I always wanted a Dash to Fame filly”, Kristi said, “So

Diamonds & Dirt - Con’t. on pg. 24

out of boredom, I was searching the web and I ran across this ad for a two year old just off the race track that was for sale. I called the number and told the owner that I wanted to purchase his mare. I didn’t even know what she looked like. The gentleman assured me she was beautiful and I bought her sight unseen. A few days later he delivered the young mare, (now

known as Insane For Fame), and I immediately knew she would be a winner.” The road to fame for the daughter of Dash Ta Fame and Kristi wasn’t a smooth one. A chance meeting in Abilene with worldrenowned trainer, Latricia Dukes was where fate and destiny crossed paths. As Kristi reiterated the story of how

she acquired “J-Lo”, the intuitive trainer quickly enlightened the fresh owner that her young horse would never be considered a top contender. Kristi recalls that Latricia said “Even in a Disney movie that fairytale would never come to light.” Schiller admits that she literally started from square one: there was no trainer on the horizon and the horse she purchased March 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE



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Diamonds & Dirt - Con’t. from pg. 21

wasn’t broken. She continued to face small obstacles, but in typical Kristi fashion the more she was told “no” the harder she worked to move a racehorse to the performance arena, and on a legendary scale. “Latricia asked me what her bloodlines were on the bottom, and I didn’t even know, Kristi laughed. In fact, at that time I was speaking with Duke, I didn’t even know she was a renowned trainer” After several months of their new friendship that was compiled of moments begging and pleading, LaTricia finally agreed to work with Kristi’s mare. Under Duke’s guidance, J Lo soon began showing promise in barrel racing and out-distancing the competitors “There is no doubt that God gave me this horse,” Kristi explained, “I just had to convince everyone else that it was her destiny to be a winner. Kristi’s faith did not let her down. Insane for Fame was named Futurity Horse for 2012. While Insane for Fame was training, Kristi was having a learning


experience of her own. She wanted a premier barrel racing event in Texas, but putting it together, much like training a green horse, is a work in progress. Never one to let anything stand in her way, she began checking off all the things she wanted to see in a quality show. Slowly with the support of her husband, and the help of her team of women who work with her, the dream of this event became reality. “My goal is to make everyone that attends feel special and make this week a memorable experience both in and out of the arena. I envisioned a concierge to greet riders checking in who had driven great distances to make them comfortable upon arrival. These people assist riders with stall shavings; help them unload and make the end of the trip enjoyable and something to remember. It’s all about making a Texas-sized impression and making everyone feel at home. If riders are going to invest time and effort to compete, then there should be a sizable monetary reward. Diamonds and Dirt will be giving out over $450,000 in cash and prizes

making it one of the most lucrative purses in barrel racing today. Finally, I want it to be fun and family-friendly. We have vendors from around the country For great shopping. . For evening entertainment we have some of the top performers in the music industry including AJ Croce, Red Steagall and Brazos Valley’s favorite Aggie, Robert Earl Keen. In addition, we have wine tasting with some of the areas top chefs” she told Horseback Magazine. One of the newest and finest equestrian facilities in the country, The Brazos County Expo Complex will once again be home to this years Diamond and Dirt. Two-time NFR World Champion, Brittany Pozzi will leave the Houston Rodeo and make the short distance to Bryan to compete again this year. Other notable riders include Jackie Ganter, Talmadge Green, Angie Meadors, Jolene Stewart Montgomery, Kassie Mowry, Pete Owen, Bo Hill, Kebo Almond, Brett Monroe, Jordan Briggs and Troy Crumrine. Diamonds & Dirt is more

than a barrel racing event to Kristi, known as “KK” to her friends. It is her passion and her purpose. “I have an all woman support staff working with me and I refer to us as “Team Ovary”, she laughingly admits. “But through everything I have only one major rule: family first, work second.” Latricia and her husband J.O Duke, now both work and live at the Schiller Ranch. “Working here is like being on vacation every day. We have our own little reality show going on here but it is one that no one watches”, she tells Horseback. People assume that because Kristi has the financial means to make things happen that she doesn’t work hard, which is far from the truth. Kristi is the first one to roll up her sleeves, get in the dirt, and work as hard as any laborer to achieve what is needed. You will rarely see Kristi without a dog by her side. So just as Diamonds and Dirt honors the horse and rider, it is also a platform for raising awareness of K9s4Cops, a nonprofit charitable organization that Kristi founded in 2010. All funds raised go to purchase and place highly trained dogs with law enforcement agencies across the country. Proceeds from Diamonds & Dirt provide additional funding to this extremely worthy cause. With a dash of comedian Lucille Ball, and a large helping of old- Hollywood glamour, Kristi Schiller moves from the elite social world to being a ranch hand with ease. She will happily trade her couture fashion for rubber boots and blue jeans, and can go from fashionista to farm girl in the blink of an eye. She always turns heads whether walking on a runway or a rural road.

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Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 10

burros that are allowed to occupy a Territory. Medina stated Removing horses and burros is expensive. The Forest Service receives $2,2 million annually for their Wild Horse and Burro Program. The biggest chunk of this, $1.75 million, goes to the BLM as part of their national agreement for their assistance. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has received funding for the removal of horses from: the tribal coffer, Emergency Stabilization (ES) and Burned Area Rehabilitation (BAR) funds, Trespass Action funds and Year End funds and EPA Clean Water Act Section 319 funds. “There has been a huge push by the [wild] horse advocates to go to bait trapping and kind of forgo helicopter gathers – and, that is not going to happen but the BLM has agreed to use them much more extensively.” Explained Frolli, “The cost of bait trapping is about $1000 per animal per head plus shipping costs – where as helicopter gathers are around $300. Frolli added, “Unfortunately we don’t have any room for these animals when we take them off.” And, according to Dave Smith, BIA Western Regional Office, “We have no viable market for the disposal of unclaimed stock.” There are advocates, horse rescues and kill

Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 38

buyers. Since the only slaughter plants accessible from the United States are in Canada and Mexico, there is a major move to put a processing plant on Tribal lands, outside the purview of the USDA.

National Park Service in Local Outreach Program

WASHINGTON, (USNPS) – The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) helps to connect communities to parks and natural areas by assisting local leaders in protecting special places and creating close-to-home opportunities for the public to enjoy the outdoors. We work together with local partners to develop and carry out a locally led process that encourages developing a common vision, creative planning, and collaborative action from all the participants. The National Park Service’s Intermountain Region, is currently working on 42 projects region-wide for 2013 ranging from neighborhood parks and trails to large regional conservation efforts.

Protective Headgear Rule Change for Dressage to Go into Effect April 1, 2013

LEXINGTON, (USEF) - The United States Equestrian Federation reminded all dressage competitors of the rule change to DR120. This change goes into effect on April 1, 2013 and necessitates the usage of protective headgear by anyone mounted on the grounds at all USEF dressage competitions. DR120 has been amended to require protective headgear as follows: From the time horses are officially admitted to the competition grounds by competition management, anyone mounted on a horse at any time on the competition grounds including non-competing riders, riders on noncompeting horses, and those competing in all classes and tests, including Para-Equestrian tests must wear protective headgear as defined by this rule and otherwise in compliance with GR801. Any rider violating this rule at any time must immediately be prohibited from further riding until such headgear is properly in place. Protective headgear is defined as a riding helmet which meets or exceeds ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials)/ SEI(Safety Equipment Institute) standards for equestrian use and carries the SEI tag. The harness must be secured and properly fitted.




you’re looking for Gary P. Nunn, you might have a hard time tracking him down. He might be playing at a Texas rodeo. You might want to check a country dance hall, maybe a Colorado music fest or drive down the little country road that leads to Luckenbach. Then again, he may be “across the pond” or performing on the Normandy coast or at the Equiblues International Music Festival. After four decades in the business, he’s still constantly on the move with no slow-down in sight. Nunn is Texan to the core, and then some. His anthem, “What I Like About Texas,” has had more than a million views on You Tube, and that’s just the newest version. Probably only two other songs in the state are venerated as much as his iconic “London Homesick Blues.” They are “The Eyes of Texas” and “The Aggie War Hymn.” Armadillos haven’t been the same since. You might also find Nunn on a trail ride with the Tejas Vaqueros—a quiet, “almost private” organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Texas cowboy. Nunn has been active in the group of 350-plus for 18 years. “Tejas Vaqueros is a group of ranchers, livestock breeders, businessmen, doctors, lawyers and successful self-made men from all walks of life who share their love of horses and the cowboy way of life,” explains Nunn. The country music legend is proud to be a part of the organization. In addition to preserving the cowboy heritage, the Vaqueros are


actively involved in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Many of its members head up committees involved in producing the event. Vaqueros are among the top bidders at the livestock auction of championship show animals. Gary P. Nunn is a bona fide icon, a pioneer and a Texas Music institution, but he doesn’t see it that way. If he’s asked to describe his career, he just flashes a wide grin and says, “I’m still the greatest undiscovered artist— after 40 years.” “London Homesick Blues” placed Gary P. Nunn on the musical map in 1972 and was the theme song for

the PBS series “Austin City Limits” for over 30 years. Along with Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Steve Fromholz, B.W. Stevenson, Alvin Crow and Michael Martin Murphey, he blazed the trail in the 70s for what is now known as Texas Music— spawned in the legendary Austin venues like the Armadillo World Headquarters, the Broken Spoke and Threadgill’s. Nunn was one of the first artists to create an independent record label and to start his own publishing company. He was determined to keep the new genre alive during the 80s when stations refused to play music not generated by a major record label. Inducted into Lubbock’s West Texas Walk of Fame in 1995 and the Texas Hall of Fame in 2004, Nunn was given the title “Official Ambassador to the World for Texas Music” by Governor Rick Perry in 2007. Of equal importance, he has performed at three U.S. Presidential inaugurations (two for President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama in 2008), crossing political party lines to do so. He says he was never serious about becoming a star. He just wanted to “be successful in the music business.”

Throughout his career, many artists have collaborated with Gary P. Nunn, including Jerry Jeff Walker, David Allan Coe, Roseanne Cash, and Michael Martin Murphy. Willie Nelson took the #2 spot on “Billboard’s Hot Country Singles” with his 1982 rendition of Nunn’s “The Last Thing I Needed,” from the album “Always on My Mind.” Earning the respect of “Red Dirt” singers like Kevin Fowler, Cody Canada, Roger Creager, and Jack Ingram, Nunn manages to bypass the age-gap issue by staying young­at-heart and keeping current with music trends. He feels right at home with the latest successes in the music field, partly because he’s earned acceptance the hard way. It’s been said many times that he “paved the road that today’s Red Dirt guys are riding their buses down.” After recently playing at MusicFest in Steamboat Springs with some of today’s major hit-makers, Nunn says he feels honored by their recognition. “It’s just incredible- the amount of respect they expressed to me. It was very gratifying.” For certain, when he’s not on the road Nunn can be found at home— nestled in the Texas Hill Country between Lago Vista and Marble Falls— with his bride of 28 years, Ruth. Gary P. met “Ruthie” in a little music venue in Zurich, Switzerland. She worked at “The Hirschen” where he was playing during an extended tour. He jokes about the fact that she paid no attention to him at all—until one night, when he was “braggin’ and lyin’.” Nunn recalls extending a grandiose, Lone-Star-State-size invitation. “I wanna invite y’all to come to Texas to ride cowboy horses and sleep in Indian teepees.” According to him, “She saunters right up to me and gets right in my face and says, ‘I need an American passport. Why don’t you marry me and take me back to Texas?’ “I said, ‘Oooo-kay! Let’s get goin’!” And the rest, as they say, is history. Today, Ruth and Gary P. work side-by-side in his music business. In September, Nunn released his fifteenth successful album, “One Way or Another,” but it won’t be his latest recording for long— he’s already



Photos courtesy David W. Clements planning a new release for later this year. Armed with quick wit and southern charm, Nunn knows when he’s got a hit on his hands. “When the check comes in! There’s just no substitute for that; that’s the scorekeeper, right there.” What’s next? Nunn says he’s got a long list of “life projects” and would like to put together a TV show— a live performance of Gary P. Nunn that would be enjoyed now and saved for posterity’s sake, as well. He’s also building a guest


house/studio (aka: his “man-cave”) on their ranch. His life is lived according to simple beliefs. “Everybody has choices in life and there are a few basic things that make it easier. Things like, you can’t fret about things that you can’t do anything about. You just do the best you can.” Simple rules and a good dose of humor keep Gary P. Nunn at the top of his game. His music stands the test of

time and he continues to gain new fans with each year that passes. He plans to keep making music, with no end on the horizon, but jokes, “Y’all better hurry up and get behind me cause my window of opportunity won’t be open forever!” So get out your GPS and try to track down a show by the “undiscovered” GPN. The options are endless; his schedule is full. Good luck! He moves pretty fast for a legend. hB






Birds of a Feather


omputers, ipads, and mobile phones, are all the devices which dominate most of our lives. No doubt they are wonderful, but they can never take the place of what happens in nature. You can watch a bird nesting on television, and you can download a picture of a humming bird on your cell phone, but no website or digital picture can capture the sights and sounds of your own backyard habitat for our feathered friends. Placing something as simple as a couple of bird houses or feeders in your yard helps not only attract birds, but gives them a place to nest and feed. Every time a piece of raw land is paved over for a parking lot, some birds loses it’s home. We can’t stop progress, but we can help replace these homes and feeding stations. Kathy Coward, owner of “Just for the Birds,” in Spring, Tx. is doing her part to help homeowners find the right backyard home for wild birds. In her small shop she carries hundreds of different sizes and shapes houses that can add a whimsical décor to any backyard area. “One of our best sellers is the


boot birdhouse, which is a big seller in Texas, Kathy stated. “We also have houses that can be personalized with anything you would like from college insignia’s to your the color of your favorite football team and mascot.” Kathy, who is also the 2013 President of the Piney Woods Wildlife Society is knowledgeable in all aspects of what wild birds need to make your backyard their home. In her shop you can find a wide line of accessories including feeders, bird calls and posters. She is always ready to stop and talk, to help you find the perfect house to make the birds feel comfortable at your home. While the world of technology continues to grow, it is vital that we also stand in touch with the natural world around us. What could be more basic than enjoying the world of birds from your deck chair? Visit Kathy for yourself and see what she has to offer you. 209 Main St. Spring, TX 77373 (281) 288-9019

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Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 27

Game Reaches High Stakes Level for Meat Producers in Euro Meat Scandal BRUSSELS, (Humane Society Int’l) – Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States delivered a petition with more than 9,000 signatures from European Union citizens who are calling on European Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner Tonio Borg to implement a moratorium on the sale of horsemeat that does not meet EU food safety standards. HSI/EU Director Joanna Swabe, Ph.D., presented the petition during a meeting with members of Borg’s private office regarding concerns about the safety of horsemeat imports from North America.

Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 43

“Humane Society International has repeatedly raised serious concerns about the safety of horsemeat sourced from North America, particularly with regard to horses of U.S. origin; this is due to the ubiquitous use of veterinary drugs, such as phenylbutazone, which are banned for use in food producing animals and are supposed to be excluded from the EU food chain,” Swabe said. “With consumer confidence at such a low ebb, the European Commission runs the risk of further public outcry should it fail to take action to prevent horsemeat from entering the market that clearly does not meet EU food safety standards.” A survey conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of HSI in 2012 shows that most European consumers want


a ban on the sale of horsemeat from countries whose food safety regulations do not meet EU standards. The majority of people surveyed in Belgium, France and Italy – the biggest EU importers and consumers of horsemeat – support such a ban (84, 73 and 85 percent respectively). The poll also indicated a lack of consumer awareness about the origins of horsemeat. Most people across the three countries polled mistakenly assumed that horsemeat sold in their country originates either locally or from elsewhere in Europe. Horse slaughter, too, is an inhumane and cruel practice, as horses endure horrific, long-distance transports and grisly deaths at abattoirs. The horsemeat scandal has left

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“There is something about riding on a prancing horse that makes you feel like something, even when you ain’t a thing.”

-Will Rogers

Barn & Your Second Home: The Barn


Photo Courtesy of Boyd Brothers Contracting


Through a

Dirty Job!


So, do you spend a great deal of time in a barn? hen you’re a horse owner the answer is generally a resounding, “YES!”. Then it’s important to make sure your barn is not only sturdy, but comfortable, as well as a healthy place to house horses.

Barns need to be easy to maintain, offer good lighting, flooring, ventilation and useful traffic patterns. A dark and dingy barn doesn’t only affect you, it affects your horse, too! Maybe it’s time to take a look and see what you can improve in your home away from home.

hy is it, that the harder you try and keep your horse clean, the more they roll in the dirt, find a mud hole, or just plain kick up enough dirt to fill the bed of a pick up truck. I really wish I could give you a good answer to this question, but honestly I haven’t a clue.

With that in mind, most of us have spent way too many hours washing our horses than we would like to think about. Yes, they need it, but there must be a better and quicker way to get the job done. There is ! It’s called a Power Water Rake. Carlos Ariss, is the brains behind this wonderful tool. “Several year ago,” he told Horseback, I purchased a washing tool that I really liked at first, but then I discovered that it was made of all PVC and didn’t hold up to the use and abuse that cleaning horses can take. Looking at all the things that were wrong with the tool I had purchased, I made my own designs and used the highest quality materials to create the Power Water Rake.” The Water Rake has a contoured design and a unique spray pattern, which is ideal for thoroughly cleaning your horse in less than five minutes. With a focused power spray, you can place the cleaning power where you need it. Designed with heavy duty brass fittings and extra thick seals, the Water Rake assures you a lifetime of usability and reliability. Clean horses - No longer a problem! It is also great for any animals in your family, including dogs, cows, pigs, llamas and more. For more information on this great cleaning tool, contact Power Water Rake at 760-898-4698 or visit their website at:


Garden The Treasure

of Rags

Don’t sit there scratching your head trying to decide whether to throw out an old shirt or jeans. The answer is don’t. Discover instead the many uses for rages. From rugs, to cleaning clothes, a rag is one of the most valuable pieces of cloth you can have in your home or barn. You can even braid a designer styled lead rope from just a few old pairs of jeans and a decorated print cotten or polyester material.

By: Margaret Pirtle, Lifestyle Editor

It’s A Keeper


he devilishly simple contraption called the wheelbarrow that is used by backyard gardners and constructions workers alike also played an important role in building the United States. It helped carry loads from town to town and some men even try to push their

Braided Rag Lead Rope: (Step 1.) Cut fabric into strips. (Step 2.) Sew the strips of your fabric together, end to end. (Step 3.) Use three long strands of fabric, each at least 7’ long (Step 4.) Braid your fabric strips together using the same braid techniques that you would use to braid hair. (Step 5.) Add a bolt or panic snap.

The Antique Rose


vershadowed by modern hybrids, old roses have been overlooked in this century, but now there is a renaissance afoot to restore the old varieties to their rightful place in the garden. Their historic interest, color, fragrance and form make old roses as indispensible to gardens today as those of centuries past. And, as many gardeners will attest, the best thing about old roses is that they provide all these landscape values with very little maintenance. The Ultimate Garden Plant. Long before its extensive hybridization, the rose survived cheerfully in the garden of history. Today’s modern roses were developed primarily for showy blooms, but they grow poorly without hours of devoted attention. Then three cheers for the old rose who will give today’s busy gardener an appreciated respit from much of the heavy fertilizing, spraying and nurturing demanded by their modern cousins. Imagine a rose from a cutting taken from the actual plant, possibly admired by Pliny, cultivated by a Chinese emperor, grown at Mainmaison by Empress Josephine, or carried West by a American pioneer woman. It is this tie with the events of human history that makes the old rose ultimately unique. Unlike a painting or piece of furniture, the old rose is a living testament to history and to man’s quest for beauty.

belongings across the country on the way to California. J.M. Studebaker, who founded the Studebaker Corporation made his fortune in California, not by mining gold, but by making and selling Wheelbarrows. Today we take the wheelbarrow for granted and we know that it can most any outdoor job that requires hauling anything heavy a piece of cake. It can also be used a a fun toy ride by kids who love to be scooted around the yard by dad or mom as they hand on to the sides and squeel with glee. But when the day comes that your old wheelbarrow needs to retire, when the bottom of the cart is wearing out, you can always turn your old friend into a great piece of garden art or a planter. March March 2013 2013 -- H HORSEBACK ORSEBACK M MAGAZINE AGAZINE

41 41

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Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 38

many EU Member States, the European Commission and the food industry reeling. Given the sheer volume of horsemeat sourced from Canada and Mexico (about 20 percent of the EU market), it could just as easily have been meat of North American origin that was implicated in this disgraceful consumer fraud, with the added negative that such meat should never be allowed into the EU in the first place. HSI and The HSUS believe that EU consumers would be outraged to learn that the European Commission has not yet taken adequate action with respect to North American horsemeat, despite the fact that audits by its own Food and Veterinary Office have consistently highlighted that the systems put in place by Canada and Mexico to meet EU import requirements are fundamentally flawed, specifically with respect to meat from horses of U.S. origin. This is because, unlike in the EU, there is no mandatory requirement in the U.S. for horse owners to keep lifetime medical treatment records for their animals and no reliable identification system for horses.

AHC Seeks Nominations for Outstanding Trail Projects

The Jockey Club Amends Rule Book with “Retired from Racing” Clause

WASHINGTON, (American Horse Council) – The Coalition for Recreational NEW YORK, (The Jockey Club) - The Jockey Trails (CRT), is currently seeking Club has amended Rule 18 of the Principal nominations for its 2013 achievement Rules and Requirements of The American Stud awards to recognize outstanding trail Book from Sold Without Pedigree to Sold as projects funded by the Recreational Trails Retired from Racing so that an owner can retire Program (RTP). CRT is a group of national a Thoroughbred from racing without affecting its and regional trail-related organizations breeding privileges. dedicated to preserving and supporting • 2 Cups Dry UnderOatmeal the previous Rule 18, the Certificate RTP. The AHC is a member of the CRT. of Foal Registration for a horse sold without pedigree Since its inception RTP has • 1/2 was returned to The Jockey Club and cancelled, and Cup Grated Carrots provided money for thousands of state the horse was no longer considered a Thoroughbred and local trail projects across the country, for breeding or racing purposes. Molasses including many that benefit equestrians. • 3 Tablespoons Under the amended Rule 18, the owner of RTP provides funding directly to the states a Thoroughbred can request that The Jockey Club for recreational trails and trail-related • 1/2 attachCup a special notation to the Certificate of Foal Brown Sugar facilities for all recreational trail users. It is Registration to indicate the horse should no longer funded with a portion of the gas taxes paid be considered a Thoroughbred for racing purposes. into the Highway Trust Fund by recreational Unlike the previous Sold Without Pedigree, horses Combine all above ingredients. off-highway vehicle users. that are Retired from Racing are still considered The CRT awards are intended for breeding purposes. Add Thoroughbreds enough water to make into soft to highlight the positive impact of RTP. To sell a horse as retired from racing, the dough. well. These awards are also a great opportunity owner must sendStir a signed and notarized Sold as to educate lawmakers about the projects Retired from Racing form, a set of photographs happening in their states and districts. the horse, Certificate Placeofinto ovenand on the 365horse’s degrees untilof Foal All nominated projects must have been Registration The Jockey Club within 60 days of golden to brown & crisp. undertaken with at least some RTP funds. the sale. The Jockey Club will stamp the certificate The awards will be presented in Washington, “Retired from Racing” and forward it to the D.C.during Great Outdoors Week in June. purchaser. A copy of such stamped certificates Deadline for submission is March 29. will be made available Your horses will atlove them! for interested industry stakeholders. .

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Training on the Trail this Spring!


February comes to a close, and the first redbuds begin to bloom, we fortunate Texans look forward to another great Spring of trail riding through wildflowers, streams, hills, and valleys. Spring trail riding in the Texas Hill Country is, indeed, a feast for the senses, and more - the “more” being a great opportunity to take to the trail, all those skills and techniques that you’ve been practicing in the arena all winter. After all, few of us can

say that we have enough training time with our horses, so why not make use of our time in the wide open spaces, not just for sightseeing, but for reinforcing the communication that we begin to establish with our horses in the arena, as well. There are many ways in which you can do just that, starting with the simple awareness that you are constantly training your horse, simply by riding them, whether on the trail or in the training pen. Stay relaxed, but alert, and maintain a consistent connection with your horse through your seat, legs, reins, body language, and breath, throughout your ride. Enjoy your ride, but be consistent with the signals you are giving your horse from the moment you mount up, till you


have dismounted and put your horse away. For example, be aware of how you are holding your reins when mounting. If you sling and pull the reins over their horse’s neck before mounting, with no regard to what signals you are sending your horse’s mouth, (via the bit), or nose, (via a bosal), in the process, you are expecting your horse to ignore these unintentional signals to his or her sensitive mouth or nose. Yet, you expect your horses to respond readily and alertly to your intentional rein aids and cues when astride your horse on the trail. When you’re ready to begin your ride, pick up your reins gently, adjust them to the right length carefully, and notice exactly how your movements are affecting your horse, just like you would for any other riding and training session. Don’t forget, in you excitement to get out onto the trail, to use your body language and breath to prepare your horse and to move them forward. Don’t curl up in a ball and kick your horse’s sides. Sit tall as you bring your lower legs in, inhale, maintain your tall, centered position, and exhale. Make smooth, balanced transitions to the trot in the same manner, and set your horse up to canter on a

specific lead each time you ask for a canter on the trail. (See my Step By Step Article in May 2011, for help with your transitions to canter.) Likewise, remember to soften you hips, soften your leg pressure, and put slightly more weight in your feet, every time you want to stop or transition to a lower gait. For a balanced stop time your “whoa” to fall just at the end of this set of body language signals, every time, no matter where you are on the trail. As the trail changes direction or footing, make specific choices about how you want to negotiate those changes, as you approach them. Use the bends in the trail to practice correct, forward bending turns , left or right. (See my Horseback November 2010 article, “The Value of the Circle” for doing a perfect forward, bending turn.) Or, choose to do a leg yield, or half-pass, in order to avid a tree branch, boulder, or other obstacle.(See my December 2012 Horseback article, “It’s Not Just Where You’re Going...”.) Think 2:02 ahead, andDetering1-2Page.pdf prepare your horse4 for9/21/12 each skill

or change of direction before getting to the point where the response is needed. (not after you are already there.) Insist that your horse respond to your signals, just as he or she would in the arena, or in any other training situation. Opening and closing gates offers a great opportunity to practice your sidepass. Give your horse time PM to settle before starting to push the


gate open, and after the gate is closed. Take it one step at a time, releasing your leg pressure briefly, each time your horse takes a step the right direction. Make sure your own weight stays centered and neutral throughout the process. Don’t rush your horse, and give him or her a nice rub on the neck for a job well done. By staying aware and connected to your horse throughout each trail ride, you’ll soon find that your communication so fined-tuned, that you feel you simply have to think of your next request in order for your horse to respond. That’s when the pleasure of trail riding far exceeds its sight-seeing

Happy Spring to you all, and Always, Remember to Enjoy the Ride!

hB Dianne can be reached at Hill Country Equestrian Lodge where she teaches Whole Horsemanship year-round., or (830) 796-7950


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




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


website, or email O


me at











“Caveat Emptor eBay Shoppers!”


Horseback Magazine’s Saddle & Tack Editor

friend of mine just asked me to help her find a 17” seat saddle for the larger “guests” at her ranch. I love to help folks find stuff that is a good deal, and a good value. Was that redundant? It might have been from the “Department of Redundancy Department”. Anyway, I was going through eBay, and went through 10 pages of “17” Western Saddles”. My apologies to any company I misinterpreted, but most appeared to be Indian Imports, with a few questionable Mexican imports, with a

few more known Mexican imports, with some that seem to claim to be American made, but I’ll explain why that would be unlikely, with an out for legal reasons, and my opinion of the unethical practice of using names that “sound like” the name of a reputable company. O.k., after looking at 10 pages of saddles under “17” western saddle” , I found a few – four if I remember correctly, “Blue River” saddles. Blue River saddles are made in Nuevo Laredo, and are made, mostly, to U.S. standards, and as a rule are really pretty good saddles. I have seen a couple that have a lower quality Mexican tree in them, but generally they are a real good saddle for the money. I always recommend that when you buy a saddle, you look under the side jockey (that is the part of the seat where the fender comes under) where you can usually see part of the tree. The tree should be covered with a varnished rawhide, which will look tan and smooth. If it is rough and white, I would make the sign of the cross and step

away. So, after 50 saddles per page, and 10 pages, I looked at 500 saddles. Not one would I recommend any of my customers to put their name to. The reasons why? A good rawhide covered tree costs approximately $185.00 from a reputable U.S. tree maker. Most saddle makers do not make their own trees. So, your first expense as a saddle maker is the tree. If you use good leather, or great leather, the cost will run from $200.00 to $400.00 for the leather. Barrel saddles will use less leather, roping saddles use the most. The finest saddle leather, Either Wickett and Craig, or Hermann Oak, runs about $175.00 per side and it takes a minimum of 2 sides of leather to make a saddle. Custom saddlers usually figure 2 & ½ sides per saddle. Add to that your hardware; stainless steel rings, conchos, stirrup leather buckles, a minimum of $25.00, for a custom saddle, probably much more. Stirrups, no one makes their own stirrups. They might cover the stirrups, but all saddle makers buy their stirrups. If they buy a pair of






steam bent wood stirrups with a metal cover, they’re about $40.00, wholesale. When you cover them to match your saddle - that’s more leather and time. Oh, yeah, time. It takes an experienced saddle maker about 40 hours to assemble a saddle. Hand tooling? A truly hand tooled saddle, one that someone actually sits down, works up a pattern, or uses an existing one as in multiple saddles, can take another 40 hours. Many companies today use an embossing plate to stamp the pattern on the leather, and then go over it with a few hand tools to create a few accents and call them hand finished! You would think there would be less chicanery going on in something as American as building western saddles, but I think you can see the reason for the title, “Caveat Emptor”! Unfortunately, there is so much misrepresentation, so much greed for the dollar, so much misinformation, that it is very difficult for a person to buy anything online without having someone watch their back. There are some outstanding deals available on eBay. I am currently watching a few exceptional buys, if no one else realizes the value of what I see, I could make a good deal. Most of the time, the good deals I see, someone else, with a little more money, or a little more desire for that item, will snatch it.

I won’t mention any details, but I’m watching one right now, that my hope is, the sellers don’t know what they have, and because of the lack of description, no one else will recognize it. It is just like going to a live auction and hoping to find a steal. It is not unethical if the person selling something gets what they want, and the person buying gets what they want. What is unethical is people trying to pass off junk, with or without their knowledge of it being junk, as something worthwhile. If you do the math on what it takes to build a good saddle, one with a decent tree, good leather, and reliable workmanship, you will see you can’t buy a new saddle, adding in a minimum for labor, for less than $800.00. That gives no mark up to a retail store, no profit above the actual cost of material and labor, and no business will survive without profit. The proliferation of inferior imports will probably do as much to harm our beloved industry as anything else will do to harm it. Horses have almost no resale value, there are thousands available to good homes, people can’t afford to feed their loved ones let alone buy expensive new tack for them, and then greedy people with no concept of fit, value, balance, integrity, design, or probably even the eventual use, are trying to sell inferior merchandise to people who really don’t

know any better, but you, dear Reader, now know to bypass the poorly designed, inferior quality, merchandise that is being so blatantly displayed as quality merchandise. O.K. I’m going to get off my soapbox. There are a lot of fine older saddles on eBay. Some are a great buy, some are worth what the sellers are asking, and some are a little high. A very few are ridiculous. They won’t sell. When I had my auctioneer’s license in Tennessee, we always figured the best indicator of an items value was to put it up for auction. If an item has lots of bids, and you end up the high bidder, you probably got a real good deal, because everyone bidding was close to the real value of the item. You want to be the winning bidder, you don’t usually want to be the only bidder, except in the case of the un-described saddle I’m looking at that I really hope no collector sees! Feel free to call with questions. I’ll be happy to give my opinion, and then you can decide for yourself if it’s a good deal . 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:




ooks are wonderful tools for expanding your knowledge in the world of horsemanship. They can give you great insight into the theories behind developing a good seat and getting a great performance out of your horse. In riding, there is no substitute for physical practice. However, reading to supplement your riding can help develop an in-depth understanding of what you are trying to accomplish and pave the way to success in the saddle. Peter Leone’s Show Jumping Clinic is one of those books that can make a difference in how you approach the sport. Born into a family of horsemen, Leone came up through the ranks to become an accomplished horseman with international recognition as a rider, trainer and coach. As an Olympic silver medalist with over three decades of show jumping experience, Leone shares some of the key elements of his success through very clear and simple strategies. Openly divided into three sections, this book takes a tactical approach to the fundamentals of good riding and jumping. If you are learning as a novice rider, sharpening your jumping skills or looking for new exercises to use for training horses or riders, you will find this book to be a great


“A Must Read for Successful Riding” resource. Leone’s methodical approach to riding is comprehensive yet simple enough for everyone. For beginner to intermediate riders, the first section lays out a basic view of how to communicate with your horse. The importance of sitting correctly and generating clear aids to influence your horse is emphasized in the first section, covering the

fundamentals of good riding. Leone explains how the individual aids (legs, seat, hands, voice, stick and/or spurs) work together to manage the emotions, mind and energy of the horse. He points out how form and function tie in together to be an effective rider. Principles such as riding the horse from back to front and riding the whole horse are discussed here and resonate throughout the book. The importance of managing the emotions of the horse and being in harmony with him is highlighted. Understanding how the horse thinks is a large part of bringing out the best performance in any horse. Leone makes a point of reminding every rider that you need to have a relationship with your horse. These animals are emotional and respond to people and their surroundings based on their level of trust and confidence. Emotions can change quickly. Horsemen need to recognize these changes and react in a positive way. Choosing the right equipment is also deliberated. Going with the theory that less is best, he encourages the reader to explore whether all of the equipment used is really necessary or possibly even too harsh for your horse. He points out that

“tack and equipment can help or hinder the communication and connection with our horses.” The importance of flatwork, whether referred to as flatting, dressage or hacking, is emphasized as a crucial element to the training and development of your horse. He states, “The better the quality of your flatwork, the better the quality of your jumping performance.” By helping you to design specific goals and guiding you with a wide variety of exercises, the thinking rider is given plentiful tools to help tailor an individualized training program. Moving on to the next section entitled Foundations over Fences, he talks about commitment and decision-making when you are riding. In order to be effective, the rider has to be decisive and not give instructions halfway. Jumping is emotional for horses and they can be nervous or worried. You need to have confidence in yourself for the horse to have confidence in you. Listen to what your horse is telling you and react accordingly. Be patient and wait for the takeoff spot. “Closer is better, almost always”, he says. Using gymnastics for improving balance and timing for the rider and the

horse, he gives a variety of exercises to practice. Using the gymnastics to focus on your position, you’ll find your balance, release and eye for distances will all have the opportunity to improve. Meanwhile, as the horse learns to balance himself, his arc over the fence and adjustability on the approach will also sharpen. As you move on to riding the lines, the geometry of the track is broached. Learning to ride straight lines, bending lines and jumping at angles are all critical to jumping courses whether you ride hunters, show jumpers or equitation. Each line has a point of origin and point of conclusion that must connect with the next line. Strategies and exercises are explained for learning to plan ahead to ride the connecting lines and find the striding. Moving on, he breaks down the building blocks of today’s courses. Explaining that each course has several elements that can be posed as questions for the horse to answer, he points out the need to isolate the pieces of the course and take them one at a time. Leone suggests that you examine the course on paper and break it down into three to six simple pieces and then sense the flow to ride the prime jumping questions.

In the final section of this book, Leone focuses on competitions. Some of the more prestigious competitions are mentioned or described along with a bit of advice. He suggests that by using exercises you have done as homework, you can create déjà vu moments to be pulled from to prepare autoscripts in your head for riding the courses. Suggesting that you never try something new at a competition and draw only on the tried and true, plain vanilla basics, he emphasizes that you should draw from your training and focus on your strengths. Throughout this book, you’ll find numerous mental and physical exercises to challenge yourself with. Using “spotchecks”, the reader is given various concepts for selfexamination to test your own understanding of what you are reading. There is a wide variety of exercises with simple diagrams for clarity to try. At times, I found the numerous boxes that are generously placed throughout the book like a magazine article, to be a bit confusing to the flow of the read. However, the information in them is largely useful. hB

Cathy Strobel has over 30 years of experience as a trainer, judge & clinician she can be reached at Southern Breeze Eq. Ctr. at (281) 431-4868 or

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“Summer Camp & Riding Safety”


My nine-year-old son wants to go to overnight camp. Evan is excited about horseback riding, but I was shocked by the information packet. The photos show adult leaders riding without helmets, and the text was scary: “Protective head gear/helmets are mandatory for campers ring riding and trail rides, except protective head gear/helmets are optional for walking trail rides where the owners of the camp have raised their own horses, know the history and temperament of the horses, and are directly involved in the horseback riding program.” I’ve ridden a lot; my best friend runs a small stable a few miles from here. She agrees that this just isn’t safe. All riders at Katie’s barn wear helmets; they can’t get on a horse for one second without a helmet. Katie never gets on a horse without her helmet. My husband and I are separated. He doesn’t like the way I’m raising Evan (I’m the custodial parent). When Evan visits him, they do whatever Evan wants even if it’s not safe. I know they ride without helmets because he brags about how Evan won’t be a “sissy” if he can do anything about it. Now he’s on my case about this camp. Did you ever go to overnight camp when you were a kid? I did, and all of us kids just worshipped theHorsebackAd_Layout riding counselors. 1We tried 12:14 to talk and FF 9/20/12 PM like Pagethem 1

ride like them, one of them used to drop the reins on the horse’s neck and twist his arms and his neck around, so we all did that too. Probably he just had a stiff neck. You know how your mother always said “If your best friend jumped off a cliff would you do that too?” Well, if the question was “If the riding counselor jumped off a cliff would you do it too” then all of us kids would have sald “Yes.” I want my son to enjoy riding. But I want him safe, not at a camp where the adult role models don’t have to wear helmets, and the children wear them only sometimes. My ex told me that I’m a “safety nazi”. I need some support here! Katie is supportive but she’s just a local instructor. My husband doesn’t ride much, I think he just does it with Evan. He knows who you are and has some respect for you so if you say this is the wrong camp, he’ll listen.


: Your perception is accurate: This is not a safe place. The people may be nice and well-meaning, but they’re neither realistic nor sensible. Their unwise policy ignores the reality of horse-riding injuries and the influence of adults on children. Children will imitate the adults around them, whether they are drinking, smoking, handling firearms casually, driving without seatbelts, or riding without helmets. “Seatbelts (or riding helmets) are for little children – not for adults!” is a bad message, and leads to bad conclusions: Since grown-ups don’t need seatbelts (or helmets), and children must use them, leaving the seatbelt unfastened or the helmet in the barn is somehow “proof of maturity.” Photos and text matter because camp brochures are advertisements for facilities and programs. Some camps may be more relaxed than their lists of rules and policies would seem to indicate, but it’s unlikely that any camp will be more regulated, more safety-oriented, more careful, and more sensible than the policies they specify in their brochure. That paragraph is worrisome. Let’s analyze it: I’ll underline the camp’s words and follow with my comments. “Protective head gear/helmets are mandatory for campers ring riding and trail rides, ...” • and, one would hope, whenever campers are on horseback... but that’s not what it says. • You should be told whether the camp or the parents provide the protective headgear.






• The type of headgear should be specified, so that you can know that no matter who provides the headgear, your child must wear a helmet designed for equestrians, meeting or exceeding the current ASTM/ SEI standards, and properly adjusted and fastened. “...except protective head gear/helmets are optional for walking trail rides...” • Oh dear. The damage that riders sustain in falls is typically caused because the fall is from a height. Horses don’t become shorter just because they are walking. Also, most falls happen at a walk or a standstill. This is simple, important, readily-available information, yet the owners of a summer camp don’t have it? That’s worrisome. “...where the owners of the camp have raised their own horses, know the history and temperament of the horses, and are directly involved in the horseback riding program.” • This makes no sense; it also demonstrates a lack of understanding of horses – and a lack of commitment to camper safety. • I’ve raised my own horses, and know their history and temperament - but I would never ride them or let anyone else ride them without a proper helmet. They’re lovely horses, but they’re horses. Horses can become hurt, startled, or frightened. Horses can spook, horses can trip, and riders can fall off for reasons that have nothing to do with the horses’ history or temperament. When your child rides in someone else’s car, what would you think if the driver announced “Riders must wear seatbelts except during slow drives on country roads, where the owners of the car know their car’s history”? How would any of that make the car accidentproof and promote the children’s safety? Your husband is wrong, but arguing with you is unlikely to convince him. Send him to the HORSE-SENSE archives; encourage him to read the “Helmet Stories” section. He needs to understand the risks and implications of riding without a helmet. Don’t lecture him – let him read and reach his own conclusions. Perhaps he will “get it.” Meanwhile, ask Katie to help you find a camp with a safety-oriented riding program run by qualified, certified instructors. I recommend the American Riding Instructors Association (ARIA) as a source of information: hB

Dr. Jessica Jahiel is the best selling author of Riding For The Rest Of Us.



“Building a Kentucky Derby Winner”


some of my other stories I have mentioned the wild things that we used to do in college; most of them involve a practical joke or two. Some were of the horse wreck variety. But I can honestly say, for the group I ran around with in college, we abused each other….but still had a whoppin’ good time. I attended Lamar Community College, in Lamar Colorado. The course was called Horse Training and Management. During our freshman year

we were all assigned a colt to ride, some turned out better than others. It was a learning experience, and I suspect that some of us learned better than others! During my sophomore year a couple of buddies (Guy and Marc) and I had some extra time during the day. Looking back I just cannot imagine how that could have been possible! I mean we were serious academic scholars! There wasn’t a night we didn’t spend studying and aspiring to be academeans. See there? I learnt enough to make up my own word (Microsoft word does not recognize it, so it surely is not a word yet!)m (editor’s note – Google does). Academeans, I haven’t decided what this means yet….something about a person being smart and studying…. need to think on this for a while. I will need to submit it to Webster’s as soon as possible. I wouldn’t want anyone else to take credit for my word. HA! Anyway, back to the story. During this free time we were offered a quarter

credit extra to ride some extra freshman colts. Of course we jumped at the chance! The only caveat was that the instructor (McBee was his name and I would think there would be some stories about him sometime in the future.) would not let us ride them in the arena with the freshman. He said we could start out in the round pen, but we had to ride them outside. We all hesitated at this…..for about as long as it takes to blink and said “ok”. We were sophomores and our training skill was far and above the need to ride in the arena. We only would need the round pen for the first couple of rides anyway. Wasn’t that the way God intended for cowboys to ride horses anyway? Out in the open, with plenty of space? With nothing to stop or slow down forward progress? The horses were another story. One was a pony, which Guy and I voted for Marc to have. They were built a lot alike. Low, wide and close to the ground! That pony was hilarious. Marc was pretty close to the ground anyway, but even his legs got him almost to the ground when he sat on its back. Of course being the loving, respectful guys that we were….we waited the proper

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amount of time before we started harassing Marc about the size of his horse. By that I mean as soon as he got on the pony’s back, we started harassing. If you have never seen a pony lope, you should…especially a two year old! That pony moved like he couldn’t bend his legs and bounced Marc all over the saddle! He loped around the round pen like he was on the side of a hill, always leaning to the inside! But Marc persevered and eventually the pony started traveling upright; actually having a pretty good handle! Guy and I flipped for the others and I got a little sorrel filly. Mine was pretty uneventful. We rode in the round pen for about three days and turned ourselves out on the trails. We got pretty fast at times but, by the end of two weeks all three of the colts were handling pretty nice (a further testament to the vast horse training skill we had at the time). When things are going pretty well, you tend to get a little lax (or cocky in our case). You remember I said my colt was pretty uneventful? This is where it got eventful! We were riding down a trail one day and we noticed a plastic grocery type bag on the ground. And being the good stewards of the land that we were, we drew straws to see who would pick it up. I lost. No problem, I was very confident (I think

that meant that I was overconfident) in the colt I was riding. So I just stepped off, dropped the reins and picked up the bag. If you’ve ever been to Lamar, then you know the wind blows….a lot! About that time a particularly hard gust blew up and rattled that bag in my hands. I did not have time to see if that scared Guy and Marc’s colts because mine was leaving the area at a very high rate of speed. At this point, my ego kicked in. I knew one of the things that would bring a considerable amount of grief was getting bucked off your horse. I also knew that my fine upstanding friends would lie like crazy and say that I had been bucked off and no amount of explanation would be considered as the truth. So, I just grabbed the saddle horn and swung onto that sorrel colt. I am now sitting on this colts back, trying to get my feet in the stirrups and gather my reins in at the same time. To compound all of this, the sorrel was running like her tail was on fire and she was trying out for the Kentucky Derby! The handles of the bag had slipped up my arm, past my elbow and was a floppin’ and poppin’ behind my shoulder….adding to the excitement of me scrambling with my feet and hands. I felt like I was trying to lower a sail on a boat, during a hurricane. I didn’t know which one of these things to address first. Should I concentrate on

getting my feet in the stirrups first, to help me stay on top of this ducking and dodging coyote I was riding….or should I gather up my reins so I could pull this run-away locomotive in a circle….or get rid of the bag that was flanging around behind my back. We went for what seemed like miles….well ok, only couple hundred yards or so; before I gathered enough reins to pull her into a circle. As soon as I had her slowed down to light speed, I shucked that bag like I was letting go of a snake! Needless to say, there was considerable harassing going on at the barn. But, I was not bucked off…just ran away with. This in turn saved my friends virtue; they did not have to tell lies about why I might have had to walk back to the barn. There’s a statement that I bet was never said when it comes to my friends…. saving their virtue! This whole story leads to this thought…..I have never once in my life thought about training anything for the Kentucky Derby. But if I ever get the opportunity I now know the perfect tool to make a horse run faster! And the good news for the entire world to know is that it is relatively cheap…or not! Guess it depends on what you carry out in that plastic grocery bag! hB

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Hay Feeder! Howdy,

welcome to Cowboy Corner. March is the big time rodeo month in Texas, and hope all is going well. ‘Have already got Fort Worth and San Antonio behind us, and now we get to enjoy Houston and Austin. The February trail rides went well and think they do a good job of promoting the rodeos they are affiliated with. Some traditions are worth keeping alive for future generations, and in my neck of the woods, rodeo and trail rides are at the top of the list. ‘Have written before, about my spring of the year trips to New Mexico, and about bringing back alfalfa hay. ‘Am buying off a large, irrigated farm, in southern New Mexico, and hauling in my largest cattle trailer – now just a comment about cattle trailers. ‘Have always admired the allaluminum, gooseneck-type, trailers. Large steel trailers really get heavy, but the aluminum trailers are much easier to handle and pull. Tow truck fuel consumption is lower and trailer maintenance is less. Yes, trailer cost is more, but in my judgment advantages outweigh the cost. In West Texas on the interstate highways the speed limit is 80 mph. Now folks, you can cover some country driving 80 in an area with no traffic. Until I started feeding alfalfa on a daily basis, didn’t realize the waste involved with real high quality, leafy hay. The nutrition is in the leaves, and the leaves were falling through the racks on other types of hay feeders.


Now some horse hay racks are made with a trough at the bottom, but most of these either won’t hold enough hay, or are too large to be portable. Alfalfa hay costs too much to waste, whether in New Mexico or the Brazos bottom, so I looked around for a hay feeder. Must hold a full bale of hay; be strong, portable and affordable. Found a 50 gallon, all poly plastic water tank made by Rubbermaid that fits my need. The tank is easy to handle and strong with dimensions of 4 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 1 foot high. Just fits a bale of alfalfa with no waste and has probably paid for itself long ago in saved hay. On our elk hunting trip to Colorado last fall I used the water trough hay feeder to feed the horses in route. My gooseneck aluminum cattle trailer will accommodate three horses standing abreast. To use the hay feeders, I closed the trailer division gate, tied three 55 gallon barrels on end against the gate, then tied the hay feeder/water trough on top of the barrels and to the trailer gate. The hay feeder height was just right for the horses. Since

I as hauling six horses, three in the middle compartment with the hay and three in the back compartment at fuel stops I swapped the horses so they all got to eat during the daily ten hour two day trip. Swapping the horses also allowed for watering from a 55 gallon water barrel carried in the front compartment. The front compartment is another story, and the great thing about my trailer is the three separate 8 foot compartments. ‘Mentioned putting the hay feeder on top of 55 gallon water barrels on end to keep the feeder off the trailer floor. Well, the plastic barrels with removable tops are a great place to carry horse gear and feed. Can put a lotta’ stuff in three barrels and the tops keep everything secure, clean and dry. I am a big fan of Rubbermaid water troughs with their attached float valves in the 150 gallon size and the 50 gallon tank is great to have on a trip for hay feeding and will hold a barrel of water for watering.

Happy Trails!




Horseback Magazine March 2013