Horseback Magazine May 2013

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May 2013

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK A Brief History of West We first fell in love with West, Texas one day when we took a break on the long drive from Houston to Cowtown. Since then, the small Czech town, population, about 2,000, has been a mandatory stop coming or going. It wasn’t just the By Steven Long food at that service station on the side if I-35 with it cornucopia of baked goods (none the least of which were kolaches (also spelled kolace, kolach, or kolacky, from the Czech and Slovak plural koláče, sg. Koláč),but nowhere in Texas can you find country sausage as good as you will find in West. Our love of this tiny town was cemented when we took the time to leave the service station/bakery along the interstate and actually drive the few blocks into the downtown. Nowhere in Texas have we seen so many restaurants in such a small place. The people of West know how to eat. We were by no means the first to discover West. The iconic Willie Nelson, who just turned 80 and just got himself on the cover of Texas Monthly for the umpteenth time, grew up in Abbot about seven miles up the road. He so loved the town that he held a benefit concert in Bee Cave, near Austin, dedicating the proceeds to West’s fire department that was decimated during the recent tragic explosion. The present town site was settled in 1881 near Bould Springs which came into being thirty years before. The new village was named for the ambitious Thomas M. West, a businessman on a mission who was the town’s first postmaster. He then opened a general store on a quarter section of land two years later, and by 1889, he had a hotel, and four years after that, a bank. Business really took off when the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad came through town. At one time, West boasted three newspapers. The great Czech migration of 1900 forever changed the face of West, just north of Waco And despite recent events, West is as nice as ever, and the people of West deserve our support and patronage. We at Horseback Magazine give a hearty group hug to the wonderful people of West. We love you, and it’s clear the rest of America does as well. God bless.

On the Cover: “Saddle Up” by R.T. & Terry Fitch

8 Horse Bites 10 Foot Form Function - Pete Ramey 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: 16

A Quest for the Takhi - R.T. Fitch

Lifestyle & Feature: 32 Barn & Garden -

Margaret Pirtle

24 Pioneering

Natural Horsemanship Jerrilyn Caldwell

30 Unstoppable - Mari Crabtree


• 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

EDITOR Steven Long

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jim Hubbard, Steven Long, Vicki Long, Dianne Lindig, Roni Norquist, Pat Parelli, Pete Ramey, Lew Pewterbaugh, Cathy Strobel, Dr. Jessica Jahiel, Cory Johnson, Margaret Pirtle Volume 20, No. 5 Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397, (281) 447-0772. The entire contents of the magazine are copyrighted May 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



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sustainability of agriculture, natural “Horse Bites is compiled from resources, and rural communities. Press Releases sent to Horseback Magazine. Original reporting is done as circumstances warrant. Content is edited for length & style.” NERN Castration Clinics Continue to Help Horse Owners in the West

USDA Launches Conservation Stewardship Program WASHINGTON, (NRCS) – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will very shortly begin the 2013 enrollment process for farmers and ranchers who want to participate in the Conservation Stewardship Program. Over 12 million acres of farm and ranch land will be enrolled this year. Producers compete to get into the program, with those offering the highest conservation and environmental benefits being enrolled. National Sustainable The Agriculture Coalition, which helped develop the program and has followed its progress closely, has issued a five-page Information Alert on the 2013 sign-up. The document is available free online at In addition to providing the timeline for the sign-up and enrollment process, the Alert includes basic sign-up information and describes changes made to the program for this sign-up, including new conservation enhancements being offered. This year’s enrollment was delayed for six months while Congress negotiated and finally passed a final “continuing resolution” for the funding of government programs. The delay means this year’s cut-off date for applications is much later in the year than usual. It also means the agency will have to move very quickly through the enrollment process in order to finish on time. “Many farmers have already submitted applications at their NRCS State Conservationist office,” said NSAC Policy Associate Greg Fogel. “But others


understandably may have been reluctant to apply without more detailed information on the sign-up and date on which NRCS will start accepting applications. With NRCS very close to making the announcement of the cut-off date for applications for this year, which will likely be 30 days from the date of the announcement, now is the time for farmer to get their applications submitted.” CSP is an innovative working lands conservation program that rewards farmer and ranchers for the conservation and environmental benefits they produce. CSP is administered by NRCS and available on a nationwide basis. CSP offers technical and financial assistance to farmers for adopting and maintaining high standards of resource conservation and environmental stewardship. Assistance is geared to both the active management of existing conservation systems and for implementing new conservation activities on land in agricultural production. In the first four enrollment years for CSP (2009-2012), more than 39,000 farmers and ranchers have enrolled over 50 million acres of farm and ranch land, land that is now under five-year, renewable CSP conservation contracts valued at $680 million a year. In addition to the newly released Information Alert, producers will find more detailed information about CSP in NSAC’s Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program available for free download at http:// The Guide provides clear information on conservation activities eligible for CSP payments to improve conservation performance and environmental benefits. It also includes step-by-step enrollment guidance, key definitions, and helpful hints. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental

ENCINITAS, CA, (NERN) – The National Equine Resource Network’s (NERN) low-cost castration clinics have reduced the number of stallions by a total of 142 in the last two months, according to Shirley Puga, head of the nonprofit organization. In March, a series of seven (7) low-cost gelding clinics were completed in various CA locations by NERN, in conjunction with R-VETS (www.r-vets. org), local venues, and volunteers. • The series began with a clinic in Red Bluff at the Tehama County Fair, where 25 stallions were gelded. The clinic was supported by volunteers from P.E.T.S and Safe Haven Horse Rescue. • The following day found the team at the Santa Rosa Equestrian Center, where 24 horses were castrated, with the help of Sonoma County CHANGE Program. • Next on the schedule was Elk Grove, and a stop at Hoofbeats Equestrian to create 20 new geldings. • A private ranch in Lathrop followed, where 22 stallions were gelded, with the help of Oakdale Equine Rescue. • Salinas Valley Fair was the venue for 14 castrations, supported by volunteers from Valley View Ranch Equine Rescue. • Creek Hollow Ranch in Ramona became the setting for the team, supported by Tearsong’s Equine Athletes, Rescue, and Sanctuary, to create 11 new geldings. • The multi city tour ended at Laughing Stock Farm in Sky Valley, where with the help of Coachella Valley Mounted Rangers, the team castrated 14 more studs. The total result of the March clinics was 130 new geldings. On April 6th, a team of veterinarians, interns and vet techs at Pioneer Equine Hospital collaborated with NERN in Oakdale, where 12 more horses were gelded. “Reception by local horse owners has been overwhelmingly positive to these clinics,” Ms. Puga said. “There are a lot of responsible people out there who want to do the right thing by their

Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 26

horses, they are just struggling financially. In fact, we are getting calls and emails daily from desperate horse owners and rescuers, asking us to host a clinic in their community. We are working diligently to expand the program to address as many areas as possible.” Gelding services are offered to the public at a fraction of the usual cost. Horse owners pay $75 towards the procedure, which can typically run $150$325. Another benefit of the clinics is providing training for interns, vet students, vet techs and vet tech students. Under careful, direct supervision of a veterinarian, interns and vet students

get valuable hands on experience administering medications/vaccines, inserting IVs and performing routine castrations. Techs and tech students provide assistance to keep things flowing more smoothly for the vets. Additional castration clinics are scheduled for Arizona and Colorado in May. Oregon is in the works for June. NERN will be back in California late Summer/early Fall to host clinics in the Central and Northern parts of the state. “The bottom line is that there are more horses in this country right now than there are adequate homes for them. A goal for the castration clinics is to decrease the numbers of horses by

castrating stallions from rescues and/or those owned by people facing financial challenges. This helps because the number of stallions is directly correlated with the number of mares bred. Reducing the number of foals being born over the next few years will be a major factor in alleviating this problem,” Ms. Puga said. NERN is dedicated to improving equine welfare nationwide. To help NERN continue to expand the gelding clinics and other proactive programs, please consider making a donation through their website at www.





This is a very common (but serious) problem. You should get lateral radiographs to confirm this, but I think you should instead be trimming the heel and leaving the sole alone at the toe. Look at your horse’s hoof from the side with your chin at ground-level. Do you see that the upper wall growth close to the coronet (hairline) is steeper than the wall growth at ground level? The wall growth at the hairline is probably better-connected and more parallel to the coffin bone—with the lower wall growth separated or rotated away from the bone (see figure 2). Most of the time, when people feel the need to “stand a horse up” they have encountered a problem like this.

Hello Pete, I wonder if you can help with a problem we have? My horse had laminitis in the past and we have him on a lowsugar diet, but we are still having issues with the hooves. He seems to have such a long toe, but we just FIGURE 1 can’t trim it any shorter (we trim the sole as much as we dare and back up the toe to the white line). His heels seem too high, but if we trimmed them the toe would seem even longer. I have sent a picture ( figure 1) of one of his front hooves, any help would be appreciated. When hoof capsules are flared or rotated away FIGURE 2 from the bone, the tip (front or apex) of the frog will appear to be too far away from the toe because the frog grows from the under-side of the bone. The white line may appear normal, even with significant rotation present. This is because the material produced between the coffin bone and the hoof wall (lamellar wedge) can look much like the sole. Drawing by Karen Sullivan from the book Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot, P. Ramey, Hoof Rehab Publishing, 2011.

The dashed line in figure 3 represents a normal hoof as it should surround the coffin bone. By studying this drawing, you should be able to see why I suggested that you might be going about this backwards (by trimming sole at the toe and leaving the heels alone). In the drawing, the heels are higher than they should be, while the sole at the toe is dangerously thin. Since there is too much material in the back of the foot, and not enough in the front, this also means there is one area in-between that is just right. Be careful not to trim the area that is already correct. This means that as you lower the heels, there will be a rockered appearance to the back of the foot. Caution: If the sole is as thin as these drawings suggest, special care must be taken not to bruise the sensitive tissues. Don’t let the


horse walk barefoot on hard terrain. For horses in this condition, I tend to use hoof boots with foam-rubber insoles, but many devices will work—from elaborate shoeing packages to simple taped-on padding.


Lowering the heels must be done with care and consideration. Flexor muscles (and their tendons) may be in excess tension and ligaments may have adapted to the upright conformation. Take measurements and try to gain 1/4 inch per month while monitoring the horse’s stride and comfort. Slow down the heel-lowering if the horse is standing very upright and impacting toe-first at the walk. Speed up heel-lowering if the horse is rocking back on its heels (founder stance). This is a delicate matter that cannot be learned from a magazine article—be sure you have very competent professionals (vet and farrier) on the job. FIGURE 4

A typical rotated hoof capsule. The dashed line represents the location of a normal hoof capsule surrounding the bone. If this idealized foot were cultivated, the frog would be much closer to the toe, the sole at the toe would be thicker, the heels would be low, yet the toe angle would be steeper and more compact. Caution: This does not mean that the foot should be trimmed to mimic the dashed line. Instead, this should be thought of as an eventual goal— acquired gradually with new growth. Drawing by Karen Sullivan from the book Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot, P. Ramey, Hoof Rehab Publishing, 2011.

This drawing represents what the same foot could look like in several months as the rotation is growing out. New growth at the toe has made it halfway to the ground—the lamellar wedge is almost gone. The sole has thickened at the toe, and the heels are at a more normal height. Drawing by Karen Sullivan from the book Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot, P. Ramey, Hoof Rehab Publishing, 2011.

Looking at the picture of your horse’s hoof, I see another very likely factor. When the overall hoof capsule seems too long, yet the sole is also thin, you can bet that the coffin bone has sunk to a lowerthan-normal position within the hoof capsule (or more accurately, the coronet has migrated too far upward). If this is the case, above all else, be sure that you leave enough sole to protect the internal Ramey - Con’t. on pg. 22






By R.T. Fitch, President, Wild Horse Freedom Federation Photography by Terry Fitch


the sun began to slip behind the distant mountain range and turn the vast Mongolian plain into a shimmering sea of golden grass I turned to our guide and simply asked; “Six men, five horses, one woman and not a bathroom on the plains, where should by wife tend to her private needs?” Our guide paused from pulling his saddle off his horse and surveyed the area in a 360 sweep. He stopped, nodded, pointed off to the south and said; “I would recommend that she do her business behind that herd of Yak. The yaks are taller and slower than the goats and sheep nearby and will afford her privacy for a few moments.”


And so began our horseback trek across Outer Mongolia in quest of not only photographing the reintroduced, prehistoric Takhi (Przewalski’s horse) but to find answers to questions that had long weighed upon our western minds and had rarely been posed to the nomadic horse people of the Mongolian plains. With both myself, and my award winning photographer wife, Terry, deeply embroiled in the battle to save the last of America’s free roaming wild horses and burros from capture by our federal Bureau of Land Management, the concept of a country returning a species of wild horse to the wild was something we wanted to take a first hand look at. Outer Mongolia is a small emerging democratic country sandwiched

between Russia and China. It is in partnership with an international consortium of conservation agencies that are attempting to reintroduce their native wild horses to their rightful home in an effort to reinvigorate the wild lands, increase tourism, and reclaim their national heritage – a heritage that had been plundered and destroyed by past governments and agencies. With Outer Mongolia being the largest horse culture on earth, Terry and I believed that the best method to find the answers to our questions was to immerse ourselves in the people, their culture and their relationships with animals so our trip broadened from simply taking in the images of the free wild horses, to include participating in their annual Nadaam Festival where the heritage of the horse is the centerpiece

Before the Race

of the celebration. Likewise, we wanted to live and eat with the nomadic tribes, which make up 80 percent of the nation’s population. These people move their Ger, a round canvas covered igloo lodging, four times a year along with their herds of horses, goats, sheep, cattle and yaks. The only way to pull that off would be to trek across the plains and steppes ourselves on horseback and live as the nomads do. This was how we spent the month of July, 2012 The prehistoric Takhi boast an additional chromosome bringing with it a primitive appearance that has always fascinated Terry. They disappeared from Mongolia several decades ago but in 1992 fifteen horses were brought over from a European zoo and the reintroduction process began.

The Finish Line

Several countries and conservation groups banded together and today there are, we are told, about 275 living free in the largest concentration at Hustai National Park just west of the Mongolian capitol city of Ulaan Bataar.

often park the vehicle and hike. We spent much of the day going up steep mountain slopes and often caught glimpses of distant horses far off only to try to slowly drive to a closer vantage point and then spooked them over a ridge.

After two days of experiencing the world famous Nadaam Festival in Ulaan Bataar Terry, myself and our Mongolian guide and driver, headed west to put down roots at a Ger encampment in Hustai so that we could observe, first hand, the reintroduced Takhi.

Later in the day Terry, trained by our friend, veteran PBS videographer Ginger Kathrens, in observing the horses of the Pryor Mountains of Montana, asked where the local water source was located. As the day waned we drove off into areas that even a four wheel drive should never attempt and came upon a small valley with a trickling brook and ample fresh, green grass that even made me want to run down and nibble on it.

Our first day in Hustai was spent traversing the vast steppes and mountains in an effort to locate the bands of Takhi. Our driver and guide were well experienced in this and since we were not on horseback we would

We had found the wild equine “sweet spot,” miles, away from humanity. We Takhi - Con’t. on pg. 18


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Heading home after the race

Takhi - Con’t. fm pg. 15

selected several individual observation spots and waited. We did not have to wait long. Almost as if the mountain rocks above came alive we could see the perfectly camouflaged Takhi making their way down the slopes in multiple bands coming from all directions; it was stunning. First one band would arrive, then another, and often a few rogue stallions would try to steal another’s mares and a fight would ensue. But as a rule, once down on the valley floor all attention was given to the refreshing cool water and the lush green grass. It was spellbinding and I became absorbed in not only shooting video of the horses but of Terry photographing the Takhi. We lost track of time and the sun began to slip behind the mountains and the buzz of conversation became apparent around us. I paused for a second from filming Terry who was down close to a band of


horses who had no fear of her. Unlike in the United States, they were not being chased by roaring helicopters. Likewise, we were not being ushered by the BLM to an observation point a mile away because “we” would “scare” the horses…it was all very surreal, so I paused and looked around. It was special, the observation of wild horses as it was meant to be. We were totally alone in the valley when we first arrived. Now we were surrounded by people; lots of people. I had not heard them arrive for they were just as quite and respectful as we were. And as I watched, the horses moved, and with them so did the people. Quietly with cameras in hand, the multi-national crowd slowly followed the herd over a small knoll and continued to photograph the horses as they ate their evening meal. I was stunned and sat mesmerized by the mixture of multiple languages,

different forms of dress all being overridden and pulled together by one, singular bonding force; the spiritual lure of the free roaming wild horse. Epiphany number one, respectfully noted. The next day we met with a nomadic tribesman who leased us our horses. Normally he would ride with and tend to the horses as we trekked across the plains but they had issues to tend to with their herds of horses and yak so he sent with us his 14 year old son and his 14 year old nephew, both of whom were mesmerized and just a little bit afraid of these strange appearing westerners. Terry and I rode with our two junior nomads and our English speaking guides while our contracted 4 wheel drive support van carried our equipment, food and a cook for our lunch and overnight camp sites. hB

Three Enthusiastic Racers

Our steeds were from the hearty stock that Genghis Khan rode from Mongolia to conquer China and lands west all the way to Europe. These horses are small and stout but were able to carry the weight of a warrior and full armor for both rider and horse for thousands of miles centuries ago. These small but muscular horses were strong enough to carry me, but I might add that I was not noted for being the first horse into camp at night. We rode for days through the grassy plains while sleeping on the ground in a tent that was not build for my 6’2” frame. There was not a night that went by when a horse, goat, sheep or dog did not wake me by sniffing on the bump, which was my head, that protruded from the end of the tent. Many nights we stayed in Ger camps with local nomads who welcomed us with open arms. We slept amongst the herds of horses, yak, sheep and goats that out numbered us five hundred

to one. Dreams are made of this and then some. We relive the moments constantly in our mind’s eye.

Always a perplexed look would appear followed by a rushed answer that would be either,

Most nights we would all sit around a fire of dried yak droppings, (there are no trees so hence there is no wood). We would chat among ourselves and ask questions of our different cultures. Through our guide the nomads would ask questions of us and then we in return asked questions of them. We asked about their horses that are in all respects wild as they are loose on the plains and never corralled. The band stallion is never approached but the mares are milked and once a year their manes are sheared.

“We only eat the mares,” or “We only eat them in the winter.”

They were curious about our horses so we shared pictures from our iPhones and my laptop (solar charged) and when the translated conversions would become relaxed I would ask, “If the horse is central to your culture, why do you eat them (Which they do)?”

But I would press further only to find out that no one had ever asked such a question nor had they ever considered the topic, as it was something that they had always done and had never considered doing otherwise. Contemplating such a question was perplexing since they simply knew nothing different. Epiphany number two, noted and registered. And as we rode on for days we become one with the people, the horses and the land. Finally, upon the last day of the trek, with the distant Ger camp just a series of white dots on the horizon, I took May 2013 2013 -- HORSEBACK ORSEBACK MAGAZINE AGAZINE May


Trail riding in search of the Takhi

one final look around me and soaked in the beauty, with the click of my mental camera, only to have a thought race across my mind. There came to me an image, a realization of something that was missing and it rattled me to such an extent that I nearly fell off my horse. I rode up to Terry and asked, “We have ridden across this country for days and days and have seen many wondrous things but has it ever dawned upon you of what we have NOT seen?” This could have been Terry’s cue to launch off into a litany of modern conveniences such as toilets, hot showers, cold beer and other things but she kept it in the upper loop and simply replied: “No, I have been enjoying the moment and the peace without pondering what is not.” (She drives me nuts at moments like


that, but I pressed on).

four legged inhabitants.

“We have ridden untold miles while crossing streams, a river, climbing bluffs and traversing huge plains and never, not even once have we ever encountered…a fence.”

Are parallels to be drawn and lessons to be learned by the United States from this small, emerging democracy?

She smiled, nodded and called over our guide so that we could clarify; why no fences? Our guide proudly proclaimed; “Mongolia is owned by Mongolians. All this is ours, all that you see is public and all that you travel on is cherished. Mongolia is public land.” Epiphany number three recorded. Outer Mongolia is fighting to do the right thing for their native horses and environment. It is held hostage by tribal customs and cultural norms while considering their public lands to be of free use for both its citizens and

I think so and we don’t have much time left to debate the issues for our wild horses and burros are almost gone. Polls indicate year after year that we do not want horse slaughter brought to this country, and public lands should not be squandered and spoiled by special interests. I am thankful for the insights granted to me by my Mongolian hosts, but I walk away with the bittersweet thought that perhaps we are not the best example to this newborn democracy, but instead perhaps we should look back at our own humble beginnings and learn to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. hB

End of the day



Ramey - Con’t. from pg. 10

structures from impact. This condition can often be reversed, but not if someone is removing excess sole trying to make the hoof capsule appear to be a normal length. You mentioned that you have already cut sugars from the horse’s diet, but I must stress that this is a key factor. This probably began as a nutritional problem, so can probably not be fixed with hoof care alone. If the diet and hoof care have been adequately improved, in 3 or 4 months the hoof will look strange (see figure 4). The new wall growth below the hairline will appear steeper and more compact than the old growth near ground level, as if the new growth doesn’t match the rest of the foot. This can be alarming unless you understand what is truly happening. It will look much better when the new growth reaches ground-level.


Eventually—if the diet and hoof care are correct—the steeper new wall growth will reach the ground, allowing the sole at the toe to reach full thickness. At that point, even though the heels are much lower than they were, the toe wall will be steeper. Overall, the foot will be more compact, more comfortable and more useful for the horse. Drawing by Karen Sullivan from the book Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot, P. Ramey, Hoof Rehab Publishing, 2011. hB



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Pioneering Natural Horsemanship To The Next Level By Jerilyn Caldwell, 3 Star Parelli Instructor


atural horseman Pat Parelli is both inspiring and visionary in his creation of the Parelli Education Institute. He has turned his now infamous saying “making the world a better place for horses and humans” into a reality. “The primary purpose of the Parelli Education Institute is to provide an advanced natural horsemanship education for students with the skills and aptitude to become extraordinary horsemen, educators, or both. The secondary purpose is to offer educational and improvement opportunities to organizations and individuals dedicated to youth programs, therapeutic horsemanship, and equine welfare,” states A “White Paper” by Pat Parelli, which can be found in its entirety on www. During Pat’s early years as a student he was fortunate enough to mentor under great horseman such as Troy Henry, Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt and Ronnie Willis, and this set him on the education trail that he still


rides today. He is more than generous in sharing his mastery of horsemanship with countless numbers of Natural Horsemanship followers. Pat believes the Parelli Education Institute, which has taken the place of Parelli Horsemanship Fund that has been offering student scholarships for the past five years, is the next step in the growth of the worldwide Parelli community. He depicts it as the education pathway that will take us into a new world of horse-human partnerships, everywhere that horses and humans work and play together, across all horsemanship disciplines and specialties. A true Utopia, the idea of all disciplines sharing, understanding and developing a unity which puts the relationship first and both horse and riders succeed in all endeavors. A recent release from the Education Institute supports this

idea through a hopeful Olympian. The “Horsemanship to the Gold” Scholarship was created by a generous Parelli Education Institute supporter. The selection criteria ideal was met by Brent Logan Kraniski, who aspires to compete in the Olympics in Dressage and 3-Day Eventing. He will be attending a Fast Track course this summer in Pagosa Springs, Colorado to further his horsemanship foundation. In Texas alone there are hundreds of youth groups from pony clubs, 4-H, and riding clubs. Path International, the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, supports 66 therapeutic facilities here in Lone Star State, along with horse welfare facilities such as the Doris Day Rescue Center. Additional excerpts from Pat’s white paper detail offering assistance to the following groups: • Youth horsemanship. Kids are initially so natural with horses. But, often, as time goes on and the drive

for the next ribbon evolves, things change for the worse. This doesn’t have to happen. The Institute will foster the innate savvy of children by making Parelli Natural Horsemanship easily accessible to kids and teens who love horses. • Therapeutic horsemanship. The Institute will provide and fund education and opportunities for therapeutic horsemanship program staff and volunteers, and allow disabled individuals to build their horsemanship skills. • Equine welfare. The Institute will concentrate on horse welfare issues where education will make a significant difference. This includes (but is not limited to) reducing over-breeding of horses, preventing horse abuses and breakdowns in the competitive world, improving horse lifestyles management, and offering educational opportunities to rescue organizations. The Institute will support and fund

initiatives that provide education and inspiration for improved horse welfare. Nine Texas Licensed Parelli Professionals are teaming up for a spectacular event, the Texas Rally Roundup. 3-Star Instructor Jerilyn Caldwell and 1-Star Junior Instructor Debbie Adcock have come together to co-chair the first annual event along with fellow Licensed Parelli Instructors Christi Rains, Kerri April, Grady Carter, and Junior Instructors Julie Payne, Isabella Farmer, Jennifer Durant and Jody Newell. This spectacular 2-day event will be held July 13-14, 2013 at Diamond T Arena in Denton, Texas. All proceeds support the Parelli Education Institute. Come join the fun with or without your horse! Demos and sessions during the weekend include a Horsenality class, spotlights, individual horseplay, veterinary basics, saddle fitting, obstacles, carnival games, savvy stations, red light class, and several additional workshops.

Special guest Kristyn Harris will perform Saturday evening at the instructor dinner. Kristyn is the winner of the 2012 Western Music Association Crescendo Award. To learn more about her, visit “This is only the beginning. We hope to see these Rally events across the nation!” says Adcock. To learn more about the Texas Rally Roundup, find us on Facebook at or email Debbie Adcock at Debbie@absmt. com or Jerilyn Caldwell at jerilyn_c@ or by calling 817-946-9730. Debbie Adcock is the Event Fundraiser Coordinator for the Parelli Education Institute. Jerilyn Caldwell is the Texas State Representative. With 100 or more participants we will give away a Parelli saddle and two dinner plates to the

Parelli Fundraiser dinner in Texas (the same weekend as the tour stop in Mesquite). hB May 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 9

Westmont Men and UVA Women Win USPA National Intercollegiate Polo Championship

WELLINGTON, (USPA) – After a week of intense competition, the Westmont College men’s and UVA women’s polo teams emerged victorious in the U.S. Polo Association (USPA) National Intercollegiate Championship with title victories on Saturday. The tournaments took place just outside of Houston in Brookshire, Texas, and featured the top university polo programs and some of the best up-and-coming talents in the nation. The underdog Westmont College men’s team came into the tournament as the fourth seed and went on a three-game run to win the title. The team took down defending champion UVA in the semifinals before facing a strong Colorado State team in the championship. The final match was tied going into the fourth and final chukker, but Westmont proved to be too much for Colorado State and prevailed with a 19-16 victory. On the women’s side, rivals UVA and Cornell showed off their talents in the tournament and met up for a memorable championship finale. Down four goals early, the UVA squad battled back to make it 6-4 at halftime and eventually caught up with Cornell in the fourth chukker to force an overtime shootout. UVA won the shootout and took home the title with a 10-9 victory over Cornell. The win marked their second straight national championship.

American Wins at the Bird Nest Beijing, (LBEM) – In the end Christian Ahlmann from Marl (Germany) reached the finish line a second too late: The victory at the third “Longines Beijing Equestrian Masters” went to America. Laura Kraut won at the “Bird’s Nest” national stadium in Peking in front of a crowd of approximately 10,000 spectators on Saturday. Nine of the 35 equestrian athletes, including five Chinese riders, had jumped clear over the course designed by Frank Rothenberger to reach the jumpoff. The speedy lady rider triumphed with U-Prova, whom she steered round the course at breakneck speed. Last year’s winner, Jos Lansink, from Belgium didn’t make the jump-off having picked up eight faults in the first round. The international riders competed on borrowed mounts due to the quarantine regulations in China (horses can enter the country,


but are not allowed to leave again). The co-organiser, Michael Mronz, from the Aachener Reitturnier GmbH was extremely satisfied: “In the meantime this event at this spectacular location has become something exceptional. The acceptance is continually growing among the spectators and the media.” In addition to numerous Chinese media, Eurosport also broadcasted live from Peking. Mronz’s colleague, Frank Kemperman, was particularly impressed by the high standard of the Chinese riders: “We have noticed a great development here over the past years, we will no doubt be seeing a few of them again soon at the big international equestrian events.”

Terry Fitch Captures 11 Equine Photo Awards, Sometimes Shoots for Horseback Three years running, Terry Fitch rides home with ribbons, this year she captured 11

MAGNOLIA, TX (Wild Horse Freedom Federation) – Long time Wild Horse and Equine advocate Terry Fitch, co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, has garnered 11 awards for her photographic artistry in the prestigious Equine Photographers Network‘s International 2013 Winter Photography Contest. Ms. Fitch’s artistic subjects ranged from her own horses, Mongolian wild horses to the Royal Outer Mongolian Mounted Guard. With an eye for the emotion evoked by an equine, Fitch captured images that likewise capture not only the eye, but the heart of the viewer. Horseback readers may view her work in our cover story.

USA’s Beezie Madden takes the 2013 Rolex crown in three-round thriller

GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN (FEI) – America’s Beezie Madden and Simon claimed the 2013 Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping title at the end of an epic battle in the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg, Sweden today. It was a back-to-back win for the USA following last year’s victory of Rich Fellers and Flexible who ended a 25-year drought for his country in 2012, and Madden is only the fifth woman ever to hold the coveted trophy in her hands. Fellow-Americans Melanie Smith (1982), Leslie Burr Lenehan (1986) and Katharine Burdsall (1987) succeeded over the early years of this prestigious tournament, while Californian-born Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum flew the German flag to register a hat-trick of successes in 2005, 2008 and 2009. This was a tough day of jumping and a cliff-hanger of a competition right to very end. Not one of the 23 starters managed to complete Uliano Vezzani’s first-round track without penalty, and only three left all the fences up in the second round and one of those – Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson – collected just a single time fault. Madden went into a third-round head-to-head with Olympic champion Steve Guerdat, but the 30-year-old Swiss rider had to settle for runner-up spot for the second year in a row while it was the strains of the Star Spangled Banner that rang out around the arena during the emotional prizegiving ceremony as 49-year-old Madden claimed the spoils.

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BB Business Bits

Purina Animal Nutrition Continues Feed Contributions to Horses in Need with A Home for Every Horse Purina Asks Horse Owners to Help Reach its $150,000 Feed Contribution Goal Purina Animal Nutrition has pledged up to $150,000 in free feed to rescue shelters through its continuing partnership with A Home for Every Horse, a program dedicated to finding homes for horses in need of adoption or fostering. For the second year in a row, Purina has pledged a base donation of $125,000. From April 16, 2013 to August 21, 2013, Purina will donate an additional $1 for every new “Like”

or “Share” it receives through Facebook, up to and help more horses looking for their forever $25,000, for a potential total of $150,000 in homes.” free feed. The campaign builds on the success Many equine rescue shelters of last year’s program, highlighted by a struggle to give adoptable horses the resources $125,000 donation of free feed by Purina to they need to thrive, including veterinary help horses in need of care and shelter. With care, shelter, training and proper nutrition. A participation from Purina, more than 400 Home for Every Horse helps these rescue rescue shelters across the country received shelters meet the demands of fostering and support during the program’s inaugural year. rehabilitating rescue horses by providing “The Unwanted Horse Coalition assistance and much-needed resources. Horse is proud partner with A Home for • 2 Cups DrytoOatmeal lovers are encouraged to spread the news about Every Horse to find homes for our nation’s the program to their communities through adoptable equines,” said Ericka Caslin, Cup Grated Carrots Horse Coalition. Facebook – just “Like” or “Share” news •of 1/2director of the Unwanted the charitable donation from the Purina A “We have received so many letters of gratitude • 3 Tablespoons Home for Every Horse Facebook tab. New and so manyMolasses fantastic stories of rescue Facebook “Likes” as of April 16, 2013 and one horses that benefitted from the program and “Share” per Facebook visitor are eligible for made Sugar by Purina. We look forward • 1/2donations Cup Brown the donation. To support the program, visit to continuing this program and helping ensure no horse goes unwanted.” “Providing care for horses in need Participating rescue shelters can is a critical issue across the equine industry choose from a varietyingredients. of Purina® horse feeds to Combine all above and is at the very core of our commitment to match the nutritional needs into of their horses. Add enough water to make soft For instructions on joining A Home animal excellence,” said Brant Gilbert, director dough. Stirrescue well.shelters should visit Horse, of marketing, Purina Animal Nutrition. for Every “Through our ongoing partnership with A The simple Home for Every Horse, we’ve been able to into registration process only 501(c)(3) Place oven on 365requires degrees until make a big difference in the lives of hundreds verification and benefits rescue shelters by golden brown & crisp. of rescue horses, providing premium nutrition providing free feed from Purina as well as to aid in their recoveries. This year, we’re free listings of horses for adoption on Equine. expecting to reach even more ambitious goals com.

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UNSTOPPABLE When d r e a m s t a k e h o l d by Mari Crabtree


here is a 15 year old girl that lives outside of Austin, Texas that can identify with triumph over tragedy. She is a girl with full blown drive and determination but she didn’t get there without paying a huge price. Torri Fain is no stranger to desire, passion, endurance and the love of horses. Torri is no ordinary girl with just an ordinary desire to accomplish her dreams, she is an example of true dauntlessness in the rawest form. She lives and breathes the dreams she is aiming toward and


there is nothing that can stop this girl. Not long ago, Torri was in the face of uncertainty, and expected to be unable to participate in any kind of sport related activity after a serious go-cart accident that had left her clinging to life. A broken back, a severed carotid artery, fractured skull and several broken bones throughout her body defined the prognosis that her doctors delivered. Torri was faced with the possibility of being paralyzed from the neck down if she endured any

further trauma to her spinal cord. This meant that her riding days should be over and her team of doctors strongly suggested she make the final decision. This was not an option for Torri and her family knew that. A burning fire of pure horse passion that started from early childhood would change her direction in recovery and allow a miracle to be witnessed. You see, there was a very special interest waiting for her, it was her barrel horse Roaney. He was her friend, constant companion and partner

and she knew she had to carry on and was going to do exactly that no matter what medical advice was given. Hearing she could not ride again was not going to be her reality. Five short months, and a back brace later, Torri was in the saddle and a month following, competing again. Roaney and Torri were a perfect fit, they hit the pattern with perfection and Torri was exactly where she knew she had to be, running barrels with Roaney. Her fears were set aside because she knew she had a horse that not only would take her to winning, but she also had a horse that would protect her. Aside from all the advice and warnings, Torri just knew that it would be ok and it was then she continued to pursue her dreams. It was her and Roaney against the world and the world seemed to be all theirs, until tragedy struck again. It was in front of a roaring crowd, turning the third barrel, on January 15, 2012 during a NBHA competition in Pleasanton, Texas when Roaney went down. Roaney suffered a seizure and landed on top of Torri. The fears of her doctors and her family were unfolding right in front of a shocked audience. Roaney had suffered a massive heart attack and was taking his last breaths. Always known by Torri how Roaney would protect her, he managed to raise his back just enough so that Torri could be removed from underneath his heaviness, then a few breaths later Roaney passed on. Just the thought of what this girl has witnessed would have been enough to stop the dreaming

and head down a different direction for most, but that was not in Torri Fain’s passionate heart, which was now broken beyond what any young, horse loving girl should ever endure. There is enormous grief, unrelenting sadness and unanswered reasoning, but Torri knows that life does go on and she also knows that Roaney would not want her to give up her dreams. Torri feels the presence of Roaney every day. Most of us that have ever owned a beloved, trusting horse companion can testify that this is truth beyond words. Our horse counterparts are ever present, even after they leave this earth for greener pastures. Physically, Torri has recovered and did not have any devastating setbacks from her barrel racing tragedy. It was that horse that she knew who would protect her that made that all possible by grabbing enough strength as he lied dying to allow just a small window of opportunity to save her from further physical harm. We can appropriately call Roaney, a hero. How does one continue on and press forward after experiencing such disappointment that is emotionally altering? I guess you have to ask Torri, the girl from just outside of Austin, Texas that question! Today, Torri is back in the saddle again, on a different horse that is destined to be the caliber of protection she had in Roaney. It takes the heart of a lion and the courage of unmeasured depths to be the miracle that this girl has become. She now rides her new horse, Smokin Lucky

Reno, aka. Carlos, and the picture demonstrates another unbreakable bond in the making between horse and rider. Torri’s dreams are to attend Sam Houston State University with a major in Ranch Management, and a minor in Equine Science. Of course let us not forget that she also has an “unstoppable” burning desire to become a professional barrel racer and if I had to bet my cards, I think the odds of that are remarkable. May Roaney be ever frolicking in the greenest pastures in the heavens above, for it was he that took Torri places only she and he would know. Let us hope that “Carlos” can protect and serve in that same capacity and accompany his new dedicated, fearless owner that is bound and determined to be remembered for years to come. So barrel racers from near and far, don’t be surprised if you witness Torri Fain do something amazing. We have a young lady that has already proven that the impossible is possible. We have a beloved horse in heaven still giving momentum to a dream, and we have a new horse running barrels paving the way for endless possibilities. If you are ever fortunate enough to see Torri in action, cheer a little louder, jump a little higher, for she is driven by the love of a departed horse, and the blessing of being able to carry on in ways unknown to most human kind. Keep on riding Torri,

just keep on riding. hB


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“I was so naive as a kid I used to sneak behind the barn and do nothing.”

-Johnny Carson

Barn &

Barn Security Cameras

Preventing Moldy Berries!

There are many reasons why horse owners should invest in quality portable hidden security cameras both inside and outside of their barns. Horses no matter what their breed are incredibly valuable animals. Being normally docile in a barn can make your horse a target for people to steal.

When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part white or apple cider vinegar and 10 parts water. Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around. Drain and rinse, however the mixture is so diluted you can’t taste the vinegar. I rinse the original plastic container and place a paper towel in the bottom. Pop it into the fridge. The vinegar kills any spores and other bacteria. Raspberries will last a week or more and strawberries can last as long as two weeks without getting moldy or soft.

Along with your favorite ride, most barns have thousands of dollars worth of tack. Don’t let all that money sit in a barn without security. A few well placed cameras in high places that cover most of the barn will help deter criminals and help protect your horse. Once you have these camera installed, you can rest much easiler knowing you can view what is happeneing in your barn at all times.

Shoo Fly! The days are getting longer and hotter which means that flies are looking at your barn as their favorite new home. With a assortment on chemicals on the market to deal with these pesty creatures, we would like to toss in something that is as easy to find as your home pantry. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has a very long history of use as a health tonic and natural medical treatment for horses (and cows). Vinegar natural fly spray recipe for your horse: • 2 cups white vinegar • 1 cup water • 1 cup Avon® Skin So Soft • You can also add a tablespoon or two of citronella oil to the mixture • Shake well and place in a sprayer bottle You can also add some apple cider vinegar to your horse’s drinking water: Add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to your horses grain OR mix 1 ½ cups white vinegar for every 75 gallons of water in your horses water tub. Start one of these procedures about a week before fly season begins and continue throughout the season.



By: Margaret Pirtle, Lifestyle Editor

Memorial Day Parfaits Need some Red, White and Blue for your Memorial Day Cookout? Well Kristi at has the easiest and way to serve your treats. Now all you have to find is the barbecue or hamburgers to round out the meal. • 2 cups strawberries or raspberries • 2 cups blueberries • 1 cup heavy cream • 1/4 cup sugar • 1/4 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • pinch of salt In a medium bowl, beat cream. Add in sugar, beans from 1/4 vanilla bean, and a pinch of salt. Beat until stiff peaks form. In a short mason jar, layer 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/2 cup vanilla whipped cream, and 1/2 cup blueberries. Repeat in each jar.

Mr. Toad Lives Here! We have barns for our horses: houses for our birds and dogs and a nice compy pillow for the cat. But what do you have for the cute little toad that can help keep your garden looking great as he eats the insects that could bring havoc to your plants? It is very easy to incourage him to hang around and help keep your garden looking great and at the same time let the kids in the family have fun building a house just for him. All you need is a clay flower pot - and a nice shady flower bed.

Sun Dried Spring Herbs When all those great herbs come in and you have too much to use now. Don’t let them go to waste - dry them quickly and easily to use all year long. Simply lay a sheet of newspaper on the seat of your car, arrange the herbs in a single layer, then roll up the car windows and close the doors. The sun and heat will do the rest. Your herbs will be quickly dried to perfection and your car will smell great.

Dig a hole that is large enough to accommodate your pot lying on its side. Break out the botton of the pot and put it in the hole. Add some leaves and dirt to the inside of the pot, toads love to burrow so they want dirt to lay on. Put a small container of water near your new toad house. Now just wait for the toad to find the new home you have given him.


33 33

BB Business Bits

Fifth Annual Bluebonnet Rescue Horse Training Challenge Offers $5,000 in Prize Money Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society (BEHS) launched the first Bluebonnet Rescue Horse Training Challenge in 2009 to introduce the public to rescue horses while showcasing the horses’ talents. “Far too often people look down on rescue horses, seeing them as unwanted or useless,” says BEHS Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Williams. “Our goal with the Challenge is to prove that assumption false, and our horses and the Training Challenge participants have made us proud each year! Some of our Challenge horses have gone on to be kids’ horses, competitive trail and endurance horses, and show horses.” The Bluebonnet Rescue Horse Training Challenge


(the Challenge) is a training competition open to anyone in Texas or a surrounding state who is willing to become an approved foster home for Bluebonnet. It includes five divisions: Professional Trainer, Foster Home/Amateur Showing Under Saddle, Foster Home/Amateur Showing in Hand, Youth, and Senior Foster Home/Amateur Showing in Hand (new for this year). Contestants spend three months (July-October) working with a horse from the rescue and then demonstrate the horse’s skills in a freestyle competition and over an obstacle course at the Bluebonnet Horse Expo on October 19, 2013 in Austin, Texas. In addition to the new Senior Foster Horse/Amateur division, this year’s event offers several other improvements including increased prize money, extra points for those horses shown under saddle, and a Difficulty Score which is used

to rate the horse’s behavior or training prior to the beginning of the Challenge (so that the judges can better rate each horse’s progress). Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society is accepting applications for participants until July 1 for the 2012 Rescue Horse Training Challenge. Each participant will be assigned a horse in July and will pick up his or her horse around July 15. The organization is also seeking sponsors in order to offer even more competitive awards to participants. Sponsorship benefits include complimentary admission, advertising privileges, vendor space and more. Anyone wishing to participate in or sponsor the Challenge can get more information at under “Challenge” or by emailing or calling (888) 542 5163.

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A Square Peg in A Round Hole


n my early 20’s, I had a lovely seal brown gelding named Steady Senor, or “Lonesome”. Although he was a registered Quarter Horse, Lonesome heavily reflected the infusion of the Thoroughbred bloodlines into the Quarter Horse breed. Standing 16’2”, he had long, elegant lines- with fine, long legs, and a thin, graceful neck, and only a moderately broad chest. Lonesome had lots of speed, so I thought he’d make a good barrel racing horse. Soon into his training, it was apparent that he had a great deal of trouble balancing in his turns. My wonderful friend and mentor, Carol Rambo, saw the trouble I was having, and offered to help me improve his training. Carol’s favorite event was reining, but she also competed for all-around titles at all-day shows, so she trained her mare to do everything from Western Pleasure ,to Western Riding, to Reining. She slowed Lonesome and me down, and had us do a lot of very collected straight lines, circles, and bending turns at very low speed. I worked Lonesome very hard in this way, and his balance and athleticism did improve. However, he never mastered a balanced, tight, bending turn at high speed. So I tried Western judged events, since that was what Carol was mostly into. He usually placed in trail class, but struggled in the pleasure and pattern classes. With his naturally long stride, and his elevated, floating movement, he simply wasn’t made for these types of events. As the years have gone by, I have had many regrets over the long hours of practice that I put Lonesome through, in hopes of fitting his square peg athleticism into a round hole. He was infinitely patient and willingthe only reason that I could ask him over and over again to try harder to do things he wasn’t naturally good at. Looking back on it, and knowing more about English disciplines now than I did then, I realize that he would have made a smashing Hunter-Jumper. He was, actually, very athletic, just not in the grounded type of movements that Western events require.


He was very flexible, light in my hands, but loved to go with light contact on the bit. He was incredibly good-minded, taking every situation I ever put him in right in stride. His height and lean, lanky build made it very easy for him to clear obstacles, although I never asked him to jump very high, because I didn’t know anything about jumping at the time. As my horsemanship knowledge has broadened over the years, I have asked myself over and over again, “What the heck was I thinking?” I now realize and appreciate that horses, like humans, are each good at something, Some of them are good at more than one thing. Nevertheless, each individual horse will have his or her best type of movement and/ or discipline. There are, indeed, fundamental skills that any well-trained horse should be able to do. That said, not every horse should be expected to do every skill or maneuver at speed, or in a highly stylized way. For instance, here at the ranch, we train all of our horses to do quiet transitions between all gaits, balanced stops, balanced bending turns and circles, basic lateral movements, and how to take either lead quietly, when asked for it. As their training progresses, our horses are taught flying changes of lead, and turns on the haunches. (All of this is assuming that the horse is not physically impaired by age, or a chronic condition or injury.) Nevertheless, not every horse is expected to master a reining spin, (a continuous turn on the haunches at speed), to do an extremely slow Western Pleasure style of lope, or to fly over 3-foot jumps without hesitation. Instead, we look at each horse’s conformation, breeding, disposition, and, more importantly, their natural “way of going”, both at liberty, and under saddle. As the horse develops, we feel whether the horse likes to balance with more bit contact, as in English styles, or with less, as in Western riding. We also take note of whether the horse is naturally more forward, or more laid back, physically and mentally. As their training progresses, we either

encourage each individual horse to self carry with less bit contact, (as in Western riding), or we allow them to use more support from the bit in order to balance, with slight constant contact, (as in English riding). Sometimes we find that a horse will go “on the bit” if wearing a snaffle, (and with the rider using more leg), but will also work with only intermittent bit contact when wearing a leverage bit. Likewise, we’ll occasionally find a horse that will work at speed when asked, yet stay calm enough to quietly do judged events, or to be a great trail horse. Such a versatile horse is an awful lot of fun to own and to ride, (my favorite kind, actually),yet, it would be unfair and frustrating for such a horse, were you to push it to the extreme in a highly specialized discipline. Each of us has our own reasons for owning or riding a horse. Whether professional or recreational riders, we must be honest with ourselves, when choosing a horse for a particular purpose. While breeding, comformation, and disposition are all important considerations in making that choice, we must ultimately remember that horses, like humans, are individuals, each with a unique set of qualities that makes them who they are. Asking one continually to be something that they are not, is miserable for both horse and rider, and represents a missed opportunity in discovering and enjoying a particular horse’s gift. If a horse doesn’t turn out to be talented in the way that you expected it to be when you acquired it, look for what it is good at. Learn to appreciate each horse for its own unique set of talents, or find a new owner for it who will.

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


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“Where did the United States Go?”


Horseback Magazine’s Saddle & Tack Editor

bought a saddle on eBay last month. It is a Wyeth saddle from St. Joseph, Mo. It is one of the most incredible saddles I have ever seen. Wyeth went out of the saddle business in the 1950’s, but continued in the hardware business for several years. Their big claim to fame was that they made the “mochillas” (sometimes spelled with one l) for the Pony Express saddles in 1859. A mochilla is a cover that goes over a saddle tree. The Pony Express saddles were nothing

more than a bare tree with rigging dees, and stirrup leathers. No fenders, no skirts, no padding. When a Pony Express rider came in to a station, his new pony would be saddled and ready, he grabbed the mochilla off of his rig, transferred it to the new horse, grabbed whatever mail needed to go on, swung into the saddle and was gone. There was a pocket at each corner of the mochilla, three were locked, and one was left unlocked to add or deliver mail to the stations on the way. The locked pouches went all the way to San Francisco or St Joseph, depending on which way the riders were headed. The Wyeth saddle I bought was a long time gone from the Pony Express days, but it is still one of the most amazing saddles I have ever seen. The leather is superb, the tooling is outstanding. Most saddles use a repetitive pattern of tooling, with one style of flower or oak leaf or whatever. This saddle has at least 8 different flowers in the tooling pattern, along with a cross hatch pattern that

flows nicely into the overall pattern. The “Al-Ray” buckles on the stirrup leathers tell me the saddle was made after 1956, when the Al-Ray Quick Change Buckle was patented. The buckles are like new with no rust, and show an anchor, but not the same anchor brand of North and Judd. No, this is a different anchor. The story I heard is that 2 guys from the West were in the Navy during the Korean War. They were both welders working at the Naval Yard in New York. They were discussing the difficulty of changing stirrup leather length with laced leathers, and came up with the design for the “Al-Ray” buckle. When they got out of the service, they patented their design, and it was introduced in 1956. Since then, almost every decent saddle has had quick change buckles. In 1961, the “Blevins Quick Change Buckle” was introduced. Al and Ray had made a significant improvement in adjusting stirrup leathers, but there were shortcomings. The Blevins buckle soon

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eclipsed the Al-Ray, especially in better quality saddles. I’m not sure of the reason, but Blevins patent ran out, and there have been a myriad of copies of the Blevins buckles. There is one that is actually better, as it is all stainless steel, but most are “made in China” copies, which I refuse to use. Several years ago, a friend of mine by the name of Ben Veach, son of Monroe Veach, of Trenton, Missouri designed a one piece buckle that I dearly love. It is the most innovative, easy to use, practical buckle on the market today. They are a little pricey, so have not been adapted by the mass produced saddle makers. They are made to use the same hole pattern as the Blevins buckles, and with just one piece, are easy to put on your good old saddle when replacing stirrup leathers. They are available from Walsall Hardware in Arizona, and I love them! I’m sure, in the near future, someone will take the design to China and copy it. What started this whole column is my continued vexation about the loss of quality in all of our mass produced saddles. In the 1950’s, 60’s, and even into the 70’s, U.S. companies built saddles that were good leather, decent trees, and actually fit horses pretty well. In the

early 70’s Tandy started buying up saddle companies, and really putting the pencil to the manufacturing. If 5 screws were good, maybe 3 screws were just as good. Quality started going down. Then we started going overseas. People who had never seen an American horse started building saddles. Lousy leather, poor fit, poor design, and really cheap prices. But the thing is this; the companies that export the work, don’t pass all the savings along to you, the consumer. I don’t know what the figure is now, but years ago, Ariat boots cost about $7.50 to be made in China. They sold here in the U.S. at retail for about $150.00. The companies that export our heritage,

making western saddles and boots in foreign lands, are screwing us royally. Sure, they make money, but where is the integrity, and the honor? As for me, I will buy the old stuff that was made with integrity and pride here in the U.S.A., or I will have a custom maker that deals with U.S. manufacturers as much as possible for his supplies, make what I need. The EPA has driven most of the tanneries out of the U.S. The government pays low information voters to be on welfare, so there is no point in working at lowly labor jobs. We are in an awful state of decline. And I don’t know if we can ever come back. What I do know is, those of us in the horse world still have heroes to look up to. The American Cowboy probably wasn’t all that great a guy in reality, but the legend is so big it lives on. We all need to stand up for Freedom, Truth, Justice, Independence, and taking care of ourselves. 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:




iding is a sport that comes with inherent risk. If you are going to ride, you are going to fall. Just like the child who learns to ride a bike, you need to be willing to take a spill and get back on again if you are going to improve your skills. But what do you do when you have had one too many falls, refusals or runaways? How do you get back in the saddle after you have had a layup from an injury that came from a riding mishap? Sometimes it’s hard to muster up the courage to keep going when you have lost your confidence. But those of you who are passionate about this sport will find that it’s also very hard to just give it up. Success is a major confidence builder. The more you succeed, the more you have confidence that you will succeed again. We’ve all heard the saying; if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. What if every time you try again, you fail again? The need to rebuild your confidence usually comes from some sort of failure. When that happens, you need to create situations that set you up for success. Start by doing something with your horse that you have already mastered and give yourself a chance to focus on what you are doing well. Try to identify

that point where you feel like you could lose control. Then pause for a moment to do a little self-evaluation. Have you checked to make sure that all equipment fits properly and is appropriate? Are you sure there are no physical reasons for the horse to not want to cooperate such as soreness or lameness? If you can rule these things out, start looking at your horse a bit more carefully. Are you asking your horse to do something that he has not been properly prepared for physically or mentally? Is he fearful of something? If you can find no apparent reason for the misbehavior, look at your own skills more carefully. Is it possible that you are sending your horse mixed messages through poor balance or position? Are you being clear with your aids? Go back to your basics and break down the factors that preceded the problem. If you can’t solve the problem or figure out the reason, seek the help of a knowledgeable horseman or professional trainer. Sometimes it can take a while to figure out a solution if you have to base it on trial and error. The longer it takes to figure it out, the more patience and strength you will need to hold onto whatever confidence you have left. As you gather more information to figure out your problem, understand that you are also getting closer to a solution. There is nothing like success to build confidence.

“Confidence Can Be So Fragile”


Meanwhile, here are a few basic rules about what not to do when your horse isn’t cooperating. Don’t get angry. Don’t cast blame on your horse, trainer, another rider or any object. Don’t try things you have not yet developed the skills to do. Don’t shake your head as if to say “no” every time you don’t like how your horse went. Don’t get so wrapped up in the problem that you can’t focus on a solution. Remember, it may not be your fault, but it is your problem. Now think about things you can and should do. Look for what you are doing right and build on it. Identify the problem and focus on a solution. Breathe calmly, relax your jaw and sit up. Step down in your heels and check your position. Look where you intend to take your horse. Ride to prevent the problem before it happens. Make small successes your goal. Most importantly, forgive yourself for mistakes that you make. Make sure you are trying to succeed for yourself. Never ride strictly to impress someone else. Keep the pressure to a minimum. A positive attitude makes

a tremendous difference. Repeat affirmations out loud to yourself such as: I can do this! I’m having fun! I like my horse! This is easy! Look for and recognize small successes such as a steady pace, a low course with no stops, riding past a scary spot with no stopping, spooking or bolting. When you start realizing all the small successes you have, the failures that caused you to doubt yourself will diminish in importance until you are left with nothing but confidence. Make sure you surround yourself with positive people. They can keep you from second guessing yourself. Keep your own thoughts positive. Think about how you want things to turn out and not about all the things that could go wrong. Observe other people who are confident and try to mimic them. Notice they walk tall, hold eye contact, have a spring in their step and talk about their successes. You don’t hear them complaining and they are usually quite willing to help others. Confidence is earned, not purchased and it takes time to develop. It comes from knowledge and skill. A false confidence derived from thinking that you

know more than you actually do will soon hit a wall and shatter. Horses are the first to recognize confidence in a horseman. Confidence changes you physically. It is visible in your posture, energy level and demeanor. Your body language is easily read by your horse and it clearly affects his level of trust in you. When a horse trusts you and believes in you, he will typically do his best for you unless there are other contributing issues. Make sure you carry yourself in a manner that exudes confidence so he can read your body language. Riding should be fun, not scary, but never be afraid of failing. You will sometimes fail. It’s a fact of life. We all have issues and so will you. It isn’t whether or not you have a problem; it’s what you do with the problem. However, when you turn a failure around to become a success, you will have learned more and your confidence will soar! 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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“Reading for New Riders”


We’re retired, we’re moving, and we’re going to learn to ride! My husband and I have been waiting for this moment for years and years. I’m so excited! We’re both big readers and we love your books. I have most of the books you’ve recommended in the past, and enjoyed them a lot so I’m hoping that there’s something recent out there that you can recommend. I rode as a child. My husband hasn’t ever had lessons. I like to read about riding theory and principles; Ed prefers practical, “how-to,” cookbook-style books. I don’t care anything about pictures (probably because I’m not built like the skinny teenagers in most riding books, so I just don’t relate to them) but Ed always looks at photos and drawings and says it’s easier for him to learn from looking. I know a lot of things have changed since I rode as a child (oh my, that was 54 years ago!). We’ve been talking about this plan for such a long time and now that it’s really happening, I’d like us both to start off right. I don’t know if we’ll ride Western or English or both, but we want to learn to ride well and be kind to the horses we’ll probably get after a year or two of lessons. Is there a book that would work for both of us, or are there two different books you think would be better?


Congratulations on the retirement, the move, and your plan to learn to ride! All of that is exciting. I’m so glad to know that you are wise enough to think about taking lessons for a year or two before you buy your horses – that way, you’re far more likely to know what you really want when the time comes, and you’ll both be much better riders and horse owners when you’re ready to have horses of your own. I do so enjoy getting questions from people who love both horses and books. You are in luck, because one of the most useful books I’ve seen in years has just landed on my desk. The title is The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding; the author is Gincy Self Bucklin. I think this book is exactly what you and your husband are looking for. Theory and principles of riding? Yes. Practical, how-to, step-by-step advice? Yes. You’ll learn everything from how (and how often) to take lessons, to how to prepare for your first canter (this is often intimidating to new riders) – and how to adjust a flank cinch if your Western saddle is double-rigged. Your husband will find plenty of illustrations – line drawings, photographs, and tables. I think that you, too, will enjoy looking at those. The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding is a grand book for people who want to learn to ride well. It’s also a grand book for people who want to be kind to their horses – and it’s a book that will, indeed, help you understand how to be kind to horses. Good, correct, balanced, considerate riding is the very essence of kindness to horses! Follow the principles and practices laid out here and you’ll treat your horses well, handle and ride them competently, and make

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them your friends. You mentioned that you had difficulty identifying with skinny teenagers. Frequently, adult riders are dealing with specific issues that are rarely seen in much younger riders. There are some key differences. Adults can claim life experience. Most – thanks to years of interacting with co-workers – have learned to cooperate and compromise. Years of participating in different sports and activities have provided knowledge and basic skills that are helpful on horseback. Experience with children is also useful preparation for dealing with horses. Adults tend to be more patient, and realize that sometimes the best reaction is to breathe deeply and count to ten – this is another useful skill! Of course, there is a downside too. Adults are often dealing with the effects of medical conditions, previous injuries, and just plain wearand-tear on their older bodies – and, quite often, they are also dealing with the effects of various prescription and OTC medications. A fit, young

teenager might appreciate advice on, say, how to vault into the saddle of a cantering horse. For most adults, advice on how to use a mounting block and suggestions about comfortable clothing would be much more useful… and much more appreciated. especially adult Adults, beginners, tend to have more fear issues: Fear of the unknown, fear of injury, and fear of failure. Many adults have discovered, sometimes painfully, that the ground is hard and that older humans just don’t bounce very well when they hit it. Fear is not restricted to fear of falling off – many adult beginners are afraid to lead or groom or tack up a horse. This is usually because no one has ever taken the time to explain these activities thoroughly. This book will tell (and show) you what to do, why to do it, how a fearful human acts and reacts - and how horses are likely to act and react. Human and equine comfort are top priorities here, and Gincy clearly understands that a well-informed human is likely to be more secure and less fearful.

The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding is a wonderful book for adults, but it’s by no means “for adults only.” I wouldn’t hesitate to give this book to any thoughtful beginner rider – or, for that matter, intermediate rider – of any age. It will quickly become an essential “keep next to your bed” reference book. You may have read Gincy’s other titles – if not, look them up! I promise you will enjoy them all and learn a great deal from them. But for you and your husband, I think that this particular book is a must-have. In the interest of maintaining what sounds like a very happy marriage, I’ll suggest that you purchase two copies, one for each of you! The Gentle Art of Horseback Riding Author: Gincy Self Bucklin Publisher: Human Kinetics Good luck! hB

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“Guinea Hens and Hot Little Balls”


fter college and before marriage I worked for a cutting horse trainer in Pattison, Texas. I got to ride a lot of good horses and learned quite a bit. But I was just the hired hand and that job description is an all encompassing one. It ranged from riding two year olds and loping the older horses down for the head trainer, to fixing plumbing and doing some welding. Now my skill level

when it came to the last two was pretty limited, but I was passable. My preferred title was the colt breaker and being young, ten feet tall and might near bullet proof…I did my best to make sure I was riding colts when the jobs that were beneath my skill level came up. But, until we hired Newt, I was the guy that did the plumbing/welding jobs. Now Newt was a different story. That wasn’t his real name, of course, and to protect him a little… we’ll just call him Bob. Bob showed up to work in a big floppy black felt hat. It looked sorta like his dog had some time with it, because the edges had that chewed on look. He was tall and lanky,

kind of had that look of almost being starved to death (which I recognized because I was in that almost starved to death category myself !). “Lonesome Dove” was on TV at the time and I think everyone in the country was watching it. One of our customers took one look at Bob’s dog chewed hat and started calling him Newt for one of the characters in the book. Nicknames are a funny thing, the ones we despise the most are the ones that stick, because from that moment on….Bob became Newt. Newt was a pretty good kid (I called him a kid because my Dad said anybody younger than you is a kid and after all he was a couple of years younger than me!). He tried hard and always put forth a good effort. No matter how he did the job, good or bad, he just looked

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like he was a day late and a dollar short. He also became the guy who did all of the derogatory jobs, which was all of the jobs that were beneath my vast skill level. He became the plumber/welder, which of course was just above the stall cleaner. Once when we were getting ready for a weekend cutting that we always had in Pattison, Texas, Newt was doing some welding on the pipe fence in the arena. He had the welding truck pulled in, using all the tools that went along with being a welder. On this particular truck the vise was always a source of consternation; the little balls on either end of the handle were always falling off, it could drive you crazy digging around in the dirt for the dadgum things. After watching Newt dig around in the dirt for a

while, the boss must have thought he was playing…so he headed over to do a little multi tasking. One he needed to use the vise and second find out why this kid was still playing in the dirt. At the same time, Newt had enough of those little balls. So as the boss walked up, Newt grabbed his welding thingy (technical term there for anyone who is uninformed) and quick as a whistle… welded those little balls on either end of the handle, to the handle. No more digging in the dirt for him! If you know anything about welding…well it makes metal hot! The boss, who had waited patiently for Newt to finish welding, almost immediately started toward the vise in order to use it. I honestly don’t know what he was thinking, because he grabbed one of those little balls and discovered that it

does not take long to look at hot iron! You never heard such a fit of cussing and carrying on. He discussed Newts heritage and for good measure started on mine. The only reason I could see for him starting on me, must have been guilt by association. My first thought was “you watched him weld it up and it was red when you touched it…why are you mad at us?” You notice I said first thought, I liked my job and didn’t want (at that time) to get fired for pointing out how idiotic all of this was! Once he calmed down, a little, his only statement was about birds….guinea’s to be exact. He said, “like working around a bunch of guinea hens, you never knew what ya’ll are going to do next!” That of course is like the pot calling the kettle black….he was the one who touched those hot little balls! hB

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Truck Hook! Howdy,

welcome to Cowboy Corner. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. The unusually cool spring has been interesting, even had a little frost the middle of April in the Brazos bottom. While we had frost, our friends in the panhandle had snow. The ol’ sayin’ about Texas weather is true, “if you don’t like the weather, just wait a little, cause it’s gonna change”. On the frosty morning described above, I was hookin’ up a gooseneck hitch cattle trailer and employing assistance from a long-time friend. Now hitchin’ up for one person can be a real chore, especially if you are drivin’ a crew cab, extended, or long bed pickup. ‘Hard to see the trailer ball in the truck bed and line up the trailer-hitch. Employing a helper, particularly one with experience, is a big help. Hand signals from the helper to the driver save the driver from having to get out of the truck and come back to look at the alignment of the ball on the truck and the hitch on the trailer. One of my pet peeves is the automatic door locks standard on all crew cab trucks. Every time the driver needs to check the hookup alignment the door is locked. Got


to unlock the door, open the door, check the hitches, and then close the door to use the mirror and the door locks. Move the truck a little this way, or that way and recheck the alignment again. Often times with bumper pull trailers, the hitch can be moved a little to drop down on the trailer ball, however most gooseneck hitches must be right on the ball, due to trailer weight. Have learned that a well lubricated hitch really helps, along with some “Slick-um” on the ball. Spray lubricants work well on all trailer hitches, and should be included in your towing list. The scissor type hitch on gooseneck trailers really needs some juice along with the spring loaded pin which locks the hitch on the ball. Several manufacturers use a cable type attachment to work the locking pin, and hopefully save the truck driver from having to crawl up in the truck bed. Well, I have never found the cable pull very satisfactory to activate the locking pin so use a truck hook.

Most of us have heard of boat hooks, useful for all types of tasks on a boat. Boat hooks are usually made from tubular aluminum, some even telescope to shorten or lengthen depending on the task, and have a cast aluminum hook on the end. Some may be strong enough for ranch truck use, but my truck hook is a 54 inch hoe handle with the flat portion of the hoe broken off. The curved portion of the hoe extending from the handle makes a good hook and plenty strong for trailer work. Also the truck hook is great for dropping the tail gate and pulling items to the rear and in reach. So “hook um”. My hi-tech helper mentioned before, was impressed with my truck hook and just happened to have a broken hoe, with the handle and hook intact. “Going in my dually this afternoon” was his last words. Sure beats crawling up in the truck bed.

Happy Trails!




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