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Volume 21, No. 6 July 2013 Priceless

An Equine Living & Lifestyle Magazine

Romantic! Isn’t It

Lifestyle & More: Horsewoman to Horsewoman: Horseback's Cathy Strobel Talks with Dressage's Janet Foy

The Palomino... Why America Loves the Horse with the Golden Coat

Jim Hubbard • Dianne Lindig • Lew Pewterbaugh • Pete Ramey • Corey Johnson • Pat Parreli


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July 2013

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK Thank God it was a Hoax. An idyllic summer afternoon was disrupted at the Reno Rodeo with the words nobody wants to hear – a bomb threat had been called in. The threat centered on a stock barn at the Livestock Events Center. Rodeo officials and security were already tense in the wake of By Steven Long the Boston Marathon bombing. The concern was exacerbated by the ever present threat of radical animal rights group, SHARK, who had earlier released a video of a bucking horse event purporting to show an employee of stock contractor Cotton Rosser shocking a horse with an electric cattle prod. Horseback viewed the video and never saw a device; however, cowboys in the chutes did touch the horses. SHARK has a history of overstating its case. Thankfully, after a two hour search by police and Homeland Security agents, the all clear signal was given and fun at the rodeo returned to normal. The bomb threat was a hoax. The fact is, making bomb threats is not a smart or effective way to protest perceived animal cruelty in the sport so many Americans love. If you don’t like rodeo, we respect that. Make your feelings known by all means. But do it outside the gates. While we profoundly disagree with the tactics of SHARK, we commend them by not disrupting the Reno Rodeo, even though their ever present cameras were banned from the grounds. The group is presumably savvy enough to know that phoning in a phony bomb threat is just plain dumb. It is also criminal. Horseback wants to thank the Reno rodeo for accommodating our photographer, Laura Leigh who takes pictures of their events that we use throughout the year with our PRCA stories. And thanks also to former Reno Rodeo President, Gordon Cowan for all he does. Shooting some of the best rodeo still shots we have ever seen for a couple of weeks each year is Laura’s idea of fun. In real life, she is President of Wild Horse Education, an organization that takes its beliefs to court on behalf of wild horses. Gordon Cowan is their lead counsel.

On the Cover: It’s always romantic when you’re with your special horse!


Cover Story:

28 Women Writers Who Ride - Steven Long


10 Spotlight on the Palomino 12 Elvis’ Palomino 22 Janet Foy on the Changing Face of Dressage - Kathy Strobel 50 Hay Nitrates - Monique Warren

Lifestyle: 16 34 36 38

Barn & Garden Gruene Mansion - Margaret Pirtle Baby Boomers in the Saddle - Margaret Pirtle Summer Buying Guide

Columns: 8 18 20 40 48 52 54

Horse Bites Parelli - Pat Parelli with Steven Long The Cowboy Way - Corey Johnson Foot Form Function - Pete Ramey Whole Horsemansip - Dianne Lindig Tack Talk - Lew Pewterbaugh Cowboy Corner - Jim Hubbard


• 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, Pete Ramey, Lew Pewterbaugh, Cathy Strobel, Dr. Jessica Jahiel, Cory Johnson, Margaret Pirtle Volume 20, No. 7 Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397, (281) 447-0772. The entire contents of the magazine are copyrighted July 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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Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 42

“Horse Bites is compiled from Press Releases sent to Horseback Magazine. Original reporting is done as circumstances warrant. Content is edited for length & style.”

IHSA Announces Western Riders for AQHA Horsemanship Challenge The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association announced eight IHSA Western Horsemanship riders have been selected to participate in the 2013 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horsemanship Challenge, November 20-21, during the AQHA World Championship Show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The IHSA riders selected include the 2013 IHSA National Championships’ AQHA High Point Rider (Austin Griffith,

Ohio State University) and reserve AQHA High Point Rider (Ashley Winters, University of Findlay, who continued her season despite the grief of losing her AQHA show horse to cancer), and a member of the 2013 IHSA National Championships High Point Western Team, Julia Roberts, of West Texas A&M University, who was also selected in 2012 but was competing in collegiate judging (she and her WTAMU team went on to become reserve champions). Emily Honey, of Oregon State University, represents the second (Elizabeth Whitman, 2012) consecutive time OSU riders have earned a slot in the AQHA Horsemanship Challenge. The complete list of IHSA riders selected for the AQHA Horsemanship Challenge is as follows: • Julia Roberts, West Texas A&M University • Austin Griffith, Ohio State University • Douglas Mohr, Ball State University • Emily Honey, Oregon State University

• Alissa Frederick, Black Hawk College • Rebecca Strunk, Clemson University • Ashley Winters, University of Findlay • Kodi Anderson, North Central Texas College Austin Griffith, a business and marketing major at Ohio State, cited both hard work and the IHSA as integral to the path leading him to OKC. The newlyminted AQHA High Point Rider from the 2013 IHSA National Championships is also a two-time (2008, 2009) winner at AQHA Congress. 2013 IHSA AQHA High Point Rider, Austin Griffith riding Little Bill “I was so excited when I received the invitation,” says the IHSA National’s 2013 reserve AQHA High Point Rider, Ashley Winters, a freshman majoring in Environmental Safety and Occupational Health and Western Equestrian Studies at The University of Findlay. “During the show season I lost my AQHA show horse to cancer. This was an extremely hard time for me and the only way to cope was to keep riding. I knew the open level was going to be really tough and worked really hard, practicing five times a week for reining and horsemanship. The Findlay IHSA Team has wonderful coaches. At Nationals, their advice was to go out there and show them what a

Rebecca Strunk is also among the IHSA 8

2013 IHSA AQHA High Point Rider, Austin Griffith riding Little Bill


Photo credits: Rich Ormanowski


















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Breed Spotlight...


Palomino T

he Palomino has come through the pages of history. There are stories of golden colored horses linked to the Crusades; the Crusaders saw them on the battlefield when they fought the desert chiefs of Saladin who rode them. You will find stories about them among the Arabs and the Moors. During the days of the Crusades the Emir Saladin presented Richard-Coeur-de-Lion with two splendid war horses, one was a Gray and the other a Golden Palomino. The place of origin of the Palomino probably never will be conclusively determined. Myths and legends of various countries shroud the beginnings of the golden horse which is no modern phenomenon. The golden horse with ivory-colored mane and tail appears in ancient tapestries and paintings of Europe and Asia, as well in Japanese and Chinese art of past centuries. Nowhere has the history of the Palomino been recorded, but most horsemen agree that all light bodied horses have descended from the Arab and the Barb.

These splendid golden horses were favored by her Majesty Ysabella deBourbon, that beloved queen who pawned

her jewels so the expenses of the expedition which discovered the New World might be paid. In the Remuda Real of Spain, Queen Ysabella kept a full hundred of these animals and as the chosen favor-

The PHBA – Palomino Horse Breeders Association 2013 World Show Tunica, MS July 10 – 20, 2013 The Palomino Horse Breeders of America, Tulsa, OK was formed in 1941 as a member owned, non-profit organization to register and improve horses standing between 14 and 17 hands tall, and exhibiting body color, with variations from light to dark, of a newly minted U S fourteen karat gold coin. There are over 38 Affiliate Palomino Associations network associations on the state or local basis which host horse shows, fundraising projects, clinics, futurities and family activities.


ites of the crown, only the members of the royal family and the nobles of the household were permitted to ride them. A commoner might not even own one. It is on record that the Queen Ysabella sent a Palomino stallion and five mares to her Viceroy in New Spain, which is to say Mexico, to perpetuate the Golden Horse in the New World. From this nucleus, the blood spread to the Texas plains, and from Texas to California. The word “Palomino” is a Spanish surname. Many feel that Palomino is only a color and not a breed, which is true that the color of Palomino comes in all breeds, but the Palomino of Spanish times the Golden Dorado, was as close to being a breed as any strain of horse. The Dorado was of Arabic-Moorish-Spanish blood and breeding, closely akin to the Arabian and the Moorish Barb. The Palomino of Spanish times was not bred by being crossed with sorrels. The Spanish had many shades of golden horses, and when they did use “Corral Breeding” a light color Palomino

Palomino horses registered with American Quarter Horse, American Paint Horse Association, American Holsteiner Horse Association, Pinto Horse Association of America, Appaloosa Horse Club, Jockey Club (Thoroughbreds) American Saddle Horses, Arabians, Half Arabs, Morgans, Tennessee Walking Horses, Mountain Pleasure Horses, Morabs, Quarabs, Missouri Fox Trotters and Rocky Mountain Horse are eligible for registration with PHBA provided the horse meet color and white rules. PHBA maintains records on horses, owners and shows while providing recreational, financial, and competitive rewards for members. Classes range from halter to jumping, horsemanship to driving, cutting to saddle seat, pole bending to reining, and barrel racing.

Colors often confused with Palomino Many non-Palominos may also have a gold or tan coat and a light mane and tail: Chestnut with flaxen: Lighter chestnuts with a light cream mane and tail carry a flaxen gene, but not a cream dilution. For example, the Haflinger breed has many light chestnuts with flaxen that may superficially resemble dark Palomino, but there is no cream gene in the breed. Cremello: Cremellos carry two copies of the cream gene and have a light mane and tail but also a cream-colored hair coat, rosy pink skin and blue eyes. Champagne: The champagne gene is the most similar Palomino mimic, as it creates a golden-colored coat on some horses, but golden champagnes have light skin with mottling, blue eyes at birth, and amber or hazel eyes in adulthood.

Photo’s by Cheryl Stephens, Courtesy of Double J Horse Ranch, Whitesboro, Texas:

mare would be mated with a very dark-colored Palomino stallion. This point has been noted in an old book and printed in Barcelona in 1774. The Palomino is a multi-purpose horse. They are admired not only for their beauty but for their versatility, maneuverability, and endurance. They are to be found in ranching, racing, rodeos, pleasure riding, parades, shows, fiestas, jumping, trail rides, and all other equine activities. The Color & Genetics Palomino is a coat color in horses, consisting of a gold coat and white mane and tail. Genetically, the Palomino color is created by a single allele of a dilution gene called the cream gene working on a “red” (chestnut) base coat. However, most color breed registries that record Palomino horses were founded before equine coat color genetics were understood as well as they are today, and hence the standard definition of a Palomino is based on the coat color visible, not the underlying presence of the dilution gene. Due to their unusual color, Palominos stand out in a show ring, and are much sought after as parade horses. They were PHBA’s PRINCIPLE ACTIVITIES: • Record Keeping • Association Sanctioned Shows • World Championship Show held in Tunica MS, every July • Golden Trails Recreational Riding Program • Palomino Breeders Incentive Program

Chocolate: Horses with a very dark brown hair coat but a flaxen mane and tail are sometimes called “Chocolate Palomino,” and some Palomino color registries accept horses of such color. However, this coloring is not genetically Palomino. There are two primary ways the color is created. The best-known is a liver chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail. The genetics that create light flaxen manes and tails on otherwise chestnut horses are World Champion Halter Mare: JMK Ms Yella Maid not yet fully understood, but they are not the same as the cream dilution. The other exhibits the classic Chocolate Palomino traits. genetic mechanism is derived from the silver dapple


Buckskin Halter Mare, Art Of Gold with her Palomino which lightens Colt by Chestnut Stallion, Enquest a black coat to

dark brown, and affects the mane and tail even more strongly, diluting to cream or near-white. Buckskin: Buckskins have a golden body coat but a black mane and tail. Buckskin is also created by the action of a single cream gene, but on a Bay coat. Dun: Dun horses have a tan body with a darker mane and tail plus primitive markings such as a dorsal stripe down the spine and horizontal striping on the upper back of the forearm. Pearl: The pearl gene in a homozygous state creates a somewhat apricot-colored coat with pale skin. When crossed with a single cream gene, the resulting horse, often called a “pseudodouble-dilute”, appears visually to be a Cremello.

Red Dun APHA Mare, Shez Hustlin Gold, with her Dun Colt by Chestnut Stallion, Enquest - Con’t. on pg.M14 July Palominos 2013 - HORSEBACK AGAZINE


Breed Spotlight...

The Palomino Palomino Chronicles: Chronicles: When Elvis Owned a Palomino


lvis Presley was obsessed of many things, but his desire to own a Golden Palomino topped them all. His passion for horses began shortly after buying his wife Priscilla a black mare named Domino. But “The King’s” passion was to own a horse like Trigger. Priscilla related in a 2005 documentary that Presley was so driven to own his dream horse that the two “would get up at three o’clock in the morning, go to certain farms and ranches, we’d knock on the doors and say, ‘Do you have a golden Palomino for sale?” The country folks in Tennessee and Kentucky would be speechless to see Elvis Presley standing at their door. Word spread that Elvis was looking for a Palomino and he was eventually approached by Robert Boyd, about a large registered American Quarter Horse Palomino who also possessed a snowy white mane and tail and beautiful blaze that was currently being shown by Boyd’s 12 year

The renown Breyer™ Company have made a series of Elvis and Rising Sun replicas.

old daughter. Elvis purchased the horse immediately and renamed him Rising Sun. Rising Sun became Elvis’ favorite horse, and the Elvis Presley Stables soon became known as the Rising Sun Stables. Frequently Elvis would saddle up Rising Sun and ride his Civil War era estate stopping to greet visitors and sign autographs along the way.

Elvis spared no expense on his barn to assure the comfort of his favorite horse. When the beloved Palomino finally died in 1986 he was buried at Graceland, facing east, forever towards the rising sun. Today, with Rising Sun and Domino long gone, but with identical replacements having taken their place. And Graceland’s barn and pasture are now home to rescue horses Priscilla Presley has saved from slaughter. Graceland mansion is open year round. Check the website at www.elvis. com/graceland/tours/hours.aspx for times and ticket information.



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Breed Spotlight...

Palominos - Con’t. from pg. 11

particularly popular in movies and television during the 1940s and 1950s. One of the most famous Palomino horses was Trigger, known as “the smartest horse in movies,” the faithful mount of the Hollywood Cowboy star Roy Rogers. Another famous Palomino was Mr. Ed (real name Bamboo Harvester) who starred on his own TV show in the 1960s. Palomino horses have a yellow or gold coat, with a white or light cream mane and tail. The shades of the body coat color range from cream to a dark gold. Unless also affected by other, unrelated genes, Palominos have dark skin and brown eyes, though some may be born with pinkish skin that darkens with age. Some have slightly lighter brown or amber eyes. A heterozygous cream dilute (CR) such as the Palomino must not be confused with a horse carrying champagne dilut i o n . Champ a g n e (CH) dilutes are born with pumpkinpink skin THE PHA - The Palomino Horse Association Inc The Palomino Horse Association is the Original Palomino Registry incorporated in 1936. Today’s Palomino Horse Association is the continuation of the registry which officially began in California in 1935, when Dick Halliday registered the golden stallion El Rey de los Reyes. Mr. Halliday researched the golden horse for many years and wrote a several articles bringing the Palomino into public attention. His articles created a great deal of interest in the Palomino, and within a few years, hundreds of breeders were specializing in the production of this color. The Palomino Horse Association is a registry that does not discriminate against any breed. We recognize all breeds based on color and conformation. If a particular horse is not registered with a breed registry


and blue eyes, which darken within days to amber, green or light brown, and their skin acquires a darker mottled complexion around the eyes, muzzle, and genitalia as the animal matures. A horse with rosy-pink skin and blue eyes in adulthood is most often a Cremello or a Perlino, a horse carrying two cream dilution genes. The presence of the sooty gene may result in a Palomino having darker hairs in the mane, tail and coat. The summer coat of a Palomino is usually a slightly darker shade than the winter coat. The lighter brown or amber eye of a singlecream dilute buckskin (top) compared to the darker brown eye of a bay. In the United States, some Palomino horses are classified as a color breed. However, unlike the Appaloosa or the Friesian, which are distinct breeds that also happen to have a unique color or coat pattern preference, Palomino color breed registries often accept a wide range of breed or type if the animals are properly golden-colored. The Palomino cannot be a true horse breed, however, because Palomino color is an incomplete dominant gene and does not breed “true”. A Palomino crossed with a Palomino may result in a Palomino about 50% of the time, but could also produce a chestnut (25% probability) or a Cremello (25% probability). Thus, Palomino is simply a partially expressed color allele and not a set of characteristics that make up a “breed.” Because registration as a Palomino with a color breed registry is based primarily on coat color, horses from many breeds or combination of breeds may qualand the color proves to be Palomino we will register on color. The ideal color is that of a gold coin, but the shade can vary from light, medium, to dark gold. The mane and tail should be white, ivory, or silver, but we allow 15% dark or sorrel hair mixed in. In the last few years the PHA has included creme colored horse with blue eyes - it has been researched and proven that these light colored Palominos always produce a Palomino. Therefore, they are definite breeding stock for the Palomino. The Palomino Horse Association has many sanctioned shows and members throughout the US, Canada, and around the world, with horses registered in different countries. PHA’s PRINCIPLE ACTIVITIES: • Record Keeping • Association Sanctioned Shows

ify. Some breeds that have Palomino representatives are the American Saddlebred, Tennessee Walking Horse, Morgan and Quarter Horse. The color is fairly rare in the Thoroughbred, but does in fact occur and is recognized by The Jockey Club. Some breeds, such as the Haflinger and Arabian, may appear to be Palomino, but are genetically chestnuts with flaxen manes and tails, as neither breed carries the cream dilution gene. However, in spite of their lack of cream DNA, some Palomino color registries have registered such horses if their coat color falls within the acceptable range of shades. While the color standard used by Palomino organizations usually describe the ideal body color as that of a “newly minted gold coin” (sometimes mistakenly claimed to be a penny), a wider a body color range is often accepted, ranging from a cream-white color to a deep, dark, chocolate color (“chocolate Palomino”), that may actually be silver dapple or liver chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail. Sources: Wikipedia, PHBA, PHA

A special Thank You to Ramona Caldwell & JJ Caldwell-Tyson of Double J Horse Ranch, in Whitesboro Texas, for the use of their beautiful horses as models, and their photos by Cheryl Stephens.

Famous PALOMINO Fun Stuff! MR ED: Bamboo Harvester was the name of the Palomino horse that portrayed Mister Ed on the 1961–1966 comedy series of the same name. Foaled in 1949 in El Monte, California, the gelding was trained by Will Rogers’ protégé, Les Hilton. With Hilton’s help, Bamboo Harvester showcased Ed’s remarkable intelligence. In 1968, two years after the cancellation of Mister Ed, at the age of 19, Bamboo began to suffer from a variety of age related ailments, including kidney problems and arthritis. He was euthanized in 1970. A second Palomino horse, which had posed for still pictures used in press kits for the show, survived until 1979. After Bamboo Harvester’s death in 1970, the second horse was unofficially known as Mister Ed. Bamboo Harvester was sired by as Saddlebred named The Harvester and is out of a Half Arabian Mare named Zetna. Zetna’s sire was a pure Arabian named Antez, but her Dam remains unknown. TRIGGER: Trigger (originally named Golden Cloud, 1932–3 July 1965) was a 15.3 hands Palomino horse, made famous in Western films with Roy Rogers. Though often mistaken for a Tennessee Walker, his sire was a Thoroughbred and his dam an unregistered Palomino mare. Movie director William Witney, who directed many of their movies, claimed a slightly different lineage; that his sire was a “registered” Palomino stallion, though no known Palomino registry existed at the time of Trigger’s birth, and his dam was by a Thoroughbred and out of a “cold-blood” mare. Other horses portrayed “Trigger” over the years, none of which were related, the two most prominent of which were Palominos known as “Little Trigger” and “Trigger Jr.” (who was a Tennessee Walker listed as “Allen’s Gold Zephyr” in the TWH registry). Though Trigger remained a stallion his entire life, he was never bred and has no descendants. On the other hand, Roy Rogers used “Trigger Jr.” at stud for many years, and the horse named “Triggerson” that actor Val Kilmer led on stage as a tribute to Rogers and his cowboy peers during the Academy Awards show in March 1999 was reportedly a grandson of “Trigger Jr.” RISING SUN: Favorite mount and pet of Elvis Presley (see more on page 12) hB


15 15

“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.”

-Mark Twain

Barn &

Foods That Can Be Regrown From Scraps Did you know that there are a ton of plants that you can grow from scraps? Plants, that will in turn, produce more food. Let’s count them out – from 1 to 12… 1, 2, 3, & 4. Spring Onions, Leeks, Scallions, & Fennel All you need is a mason jar and the technique is quite simple. Once you are done with them (any of the above four), simply place the root end in a jar of water & it will begin to regrow within just a few days. Just make sure to replace the water with fresh as need be. 5. Ginger Plant a small chunk off of your piece of ginger in potting soil with the newest buds facing up. Ginger enjoys non-direct sunlight in a warm moist environment. Before long, it will begin to regrow shoots and roots. Once the plant is established and you’re ready to harvest, pull up the whole plant, including the roots. Remove a piece of the ginger, and re-plant it to repeat the growing process. 6. Potatoes Pick a potato that has a lot of good formed eyes, and cut it into 2-3 inch pieces, taking care to be sure that each piece has at least 1-2 eyes on it. Leave the cut pieces to sit at room temperature for a day or two, which allows the cut areas to dry. Potato plants thrive on a high-nutrient environment, so it is best to flip compost into your soil before you plant. Plant your potato pieces about 8


The Most Efficient Irrigation System in the World

It’s a simple, low-cost technology that works for you, around the clock. Specifically, it’s an ancient bit of technology from Northern Africa/China that may be the most efficient irrigation system in the world. It’s simply a clay pot called an Olla (pronounced oy-yah). To put it to use, bury the pot next to the plants: fill it with water and cap it with a fitted cap or a stone to prevent mosquitoes from using it. After that, just keep it filled. The pot then slowly releases the water to the plant over time. Very simple.

inches deep with the eye facing up. Cover it with 4 inches of soil, leaving the other 4 inches empty. As your plant begins to grow and more roots appear, add more soil. 7, 8, 9 & 10. Romaine Lettuce, Celery, Bok Choy, & Cabbage These all are regrown by placing the roots in a dish of water. Cut the leaves or stalks off to about an inch above the roots. Place the root end in a dish of water. Make sure that the roots are inside of the water, but do not submerge the rest of the plant. Place in a sunny window & spray with water 1-2 times a week to keep the top of the plant moist. 11. Onions Onions are one of the easiest vegetables to regrow from scraps. Just cut off the root end of your onion, leaving a 1’2 inch of onion on the roots. Place it in a sunny location in

your garden and cover the top with soil. Make sure to keep the soil moist by watering when needed. As you use your home-grown regenerated onions, keep replanting the root ends you cut off, and you’ll never have to purchase onions at the store again. 12. Garlic You can re-grow a plant from a single clove. Simply plant it with the root-end down. Sit the plant in a sunny window. Once established, cut back the shoots and the plant will put all it’s forces into producing a nice garlic bulb – full of flavor & capable of repelling sparkly vampires. You can repeat this process with a clove from the new bulb you have just grown


By: Margaret Pirtle, Lifestyle Editor

Ice Cream Bread This two-ingredient bread is terrific any time of day. Pop it in the oven while you’re preparing supper, or serve it for afternoon tea. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, toast a few slices for breakfast and serve with butter and jam. Ingredients: • 1 pint (2 cups) ice cream softened • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour Directions: Stir together ice cream and flour, stirring just until flour is moistened. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 8- x 4-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of bread comes out clean. Remove from pan, and cool on a wire rack. Note: Batter may also be divided evenly between 2 greased and floured 5- x 3-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of bread comes out clean. You can also add mini-chocolates chips or nuts to this loaf and sprinkles to the top for a kid’s treat.


Horace Greeley and Today’s Concrete Barn

he crusading editor of the New York Tribune and intellectual literary man was also a very successful building hobbyist. During 1856 Greeley threw all his energy, enthusiasm and skill into the erection of a great stone barn made entirely of a crude sort of concrete. People laughed and said it would never with stand the temperature changes and house animals and feed comfortably. He ignored them and make the sturcture and today the walls are as solid as the concrete of which they were made. With great concrete products today, a concrete barn can give horse owners and farmers one of the best structures for the money. Jerry Myers, with JM Building, one of the premier concrete barn builders today, helped shed some light on what you can expect with a concrete barn. Below are some of the advantages:

1. Cooler in Summer: Made with 3” concrete walls, concrete walls repel the heat of the sun and keep the barn cooler during the hot summer months. 2. Fire Resistant: Steel construction and a metal roof, give these barns little substance for a spreading fire 3. Easy Maintenance: Just power wash out and you concrete is like new again. No soggy wood, and mats on floor keep slipping at a minimum. 4. Cost Comparable: The price of a concrete barn is very comparable with wood, and any designs you like can be built in easily. Want to know if a concrete barn is in your future. Please check JM Building out at their website and see if a concrete barn is in your future. 281-793-2663


17 17


Round and Round the Horse Goes - NOT! By Pat Parelli with Steven Long

HORSEBACK MAGAZINE: I’ve watched you make magic with a horse, a perfect stranger, in the arena of a coliseum more times than I can count. But I’ve never seen you work a horse in a round pen. Do you use one? PAT PARELLI: Sure, I do. HORSEBACK: We’ve never spoken about this. Tell Horseback’s readers your thoughts about the ideal round pen, or round corral as you call it, and how it should be used. PARELLI: The round corral, or round pen, has a lot of mystique about it. In this article I hope to prove to you that round pen training has ruined more horses than helped. HORSEBACK: Wow! I sure hadn’t expected that. PARELLI: Step one. The round pen is a place that psychologically boggles your horse. We put him in round circles to wear him out, which is what most people do. HORSEBACK: Well, not surprised you say that. Let’s start with the fundamentals here. How should it be built? What should it look like? PARELLI: The ideal size is about 50 feet (in diameter). If it’s less than 40 it’s too small, if it’s bigger than 60, it’s too big. HORSEBACK: Okay, got it. I guess I’ve been lucky so far. All of the ones I’ve used have been about 50 feet across. PARELLI: Fifty’s just about right. I think Priefert panels are the best and cheapest solution for most people. But they may want something bigger and stronger, with solid walls. But what you’ve just got to understand, and be careful of, is that that you will put a lot of pressure at the bottom, so you need to put a ring around the bottom. I’ve had just about as much luck with Priefert panels as anything.


HORSEBACK: Now we know. Next? PARELLI: Part two is how not to ruin your horse in the round pen. Your horse needs to be calm, connected, and responsive. This is the place to teach him to connect to you in a responsive but calm way. So connection is the number one thing.

ters away from you – every time he goes around the round corral three or four laps, and then turns and faces you, this is the connection I’m talking about. The idea is that the round pen is like a little classroom, or a little playpen. The idea is to play the psychological games, but reward him with the release from the pressure we put on him by going around while he’s wanting to rest, or just the uncomfortable feeling we create by asking him to keep moving. We make him feel like a prey animal. HOR SEBACK : As always, pressure then release. PARELLI: That’s right. You act like a partner and I’ll stand still. You act like a prey animal, then I’ll act like a predator. When you act like a partner, then I’ll relax again. The idea is to train the horse to act like a partner. Keep it natural.

HORSEBACK: I sure understand that. Every time I’ve taken a horse into a round pen they have been entirely focused on me. It seems to take away some of the distractions. PARELLI: He’s connected to you every time he turns his hindquar-

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Western... driving did. He just didn’t put a lot of thought in the stopping part. As with any wild young cowboy, he wasn’t figuring much past the end of his nose. He thought, “I’ll just drag my feet to slow down…I wasn’t planning on going that fast, a n y way” S o


all of my Grandpa’s horse tradin’ he owned some really nice horses and some not so nice ones. One of the nice ones was a little sorrel mare. He bred her and she had a colt that my Dad named Brandy. Grandpa gave that colt to my Dad and told Dad, he could have him if he could break him. Of course for a young buckaroo like my Dad, it took an eternity before Brandy ever grew old enough to ride. When he could stand it no longer (Brandy was a long yearling), Dad decided he could at least start this colt. So he caught him up and went to messing with him. The plan was to hitch him to a wagon and drive him first and break him to ride him later! The first thing he did with Brandy, we would now call pre-ride training. You know, saddle, drive, and desensitize him. This went off without a hitch. The next step was the harness and Dad got to thinking about his mule driving days (Teen Aged Ben Hur – Horseback Oct 2012). He decided he DID NOT want a repeat of that (The mule driving didn’t go well at all.). Being the ever resourceful youngster, (Dad was about 13 or 14), he figured to smooth out the ride some. So, off he went to find something that had wheels. After a long and careful search, he found his old red Radio Flyer wagon and thought, “this is exactly what the doctor ordered!” Also, being a little wiser this time around, he drove Brandy from the ground, with that wagon clanking and banging around behind with him so he would get used to all the noise and commotion. Ole’ Brandy took it pretty good! Since he had wheels, he figured this would go much smoother than the mule


into the wagon he climbed and away they went. Things were actually going pretty good. Brandy never made a bobble. (Heck, this was going a lot better than the mule driving). With all of the confidence that comes from being young and bullet proof, Dad clucked Brandy up into a trot. Ol’ Brandy decided at that moment that they needed to lope, so for a short period there…it got rather exciting! Dad hauled back on his lines and managed to pull him back down to a trot. He thought things were looking up because Brandy had slowed down so easy, but in slow motion he could see that Radio Flyer still traveling at a trot. It seemed to take forever as it kept moving forward and only came to a stop when it struck Brandy in the back legs. When that wagon hit Brandy’s legs he spooked and, in my Dad’s words, “we really left out of there” Being the experienced and wild buckaroo that he was, he had never really given much thought to the idea that he was in the danger zone and might get his head kicked off !

And remember me saying he didn’t put a lot of thought into the stopping part? As Brandy was running’ from the horse eating’ monster behind him, Dad started thinking about his brakes…or lack thereof. A Radio Flyer was never designed to pull a load at speed; Dad said the best part of the whole ride was when the tongue of that wagon broke! He stuck his legs over the sides and commenced to dragging them to try to stop. But since he was careening along at a pretty good clip, he thought he was going to wear the soles out of his boots getting that wagon stopped. Even as he was dragging his feet he was thinking about his boots, “if I do wear the soles out, I will be in a lot of trouble” My grandparents had just gotten them for him and had paid the whole sum of $18 for them, a vast fortune in those days. Grandpa had looked him in the eye and reminded to take care of them, because they needed to last until school started. After the little run off, Dad caught Brandy, took the harness off, and turned him out. Later, when he told Grandpa about what had transpired, Grandpa just looked at him and shook his head. He said “from now on, you are to wait to ride or work with colts until me or Mom gets home. If you’re going to be the first to graduate from high school in our family, I would like for you to live long enough to do it.”

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on the Changing Face of the



By Cathy Strobel

n every sport there is a core group of professionals who influence and mold the future of the sport. Janet Foy has been making a difference in the sport of dressage on many levels for decades. Passionate about contributing to the betterment of dressage in the United States, Janet has sat on several National committees that have shaped the sport. On a more personal level, she has been traveling the country with Olympians Steffan Peters and Debbie McDonald, educating riders, trainers and judges on the finer points of dressage. Their symposiums can be viewed online at


oming from Colorado with a background of what she calls “cowboy riding”, Janet grew up having fun with western riding and reining. She discovered that western pleasure wasn’t exciting enough and the adrenaline rush of speed events like barrel racing was a bit too exciting for her. As luck would have it, Hilda Gurney, an Olympic dressage rider, would haul her famous dressage horse Keene, back and forth from California to Gladstone, NJ. She would stop along the way to let Keene rest. While stopped, she’d do demos and clinics in Denver. It was Hilda who opened the door to the sport for young Janet who sub-


sequently followed her to California to train. A few years down the road, Janet found herself married at twentyfive and living in

Oxford, England. With her husband working, she needed something to do. Joining the Oxford Riding Club, she immersed herself in dressage and rode as much as she could while preparing for the British Horse Society exams. In order to pass she had to do some eventing so she fulfilled the requirements.

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Janet Foy - Con’t. from pg. 22

Janet Foy

ping turned out to be another cause of too much adrenaline for her comfort level so dressage once again became her focus. Since then, Janet has moved back to Colorado where she has enjoyed her many roles as a teacher, judge, show organizer and Chair or committee member of several national committees. Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with Janet to get her views on the current issues and future developments in the dressage world. Strobel: You have made a big difference in the dressage world. Can you tell us specifically what areas you are involved in? Foy: My life is full of lots of volunteer work. It’s like a full time job. I was on the Technical National Dressage Committee for 22 years. The committee writes the national tests, addresses and makes rule changes, runs the Young Horse and Young Rider programs,


writes riders’ tests, oversees the judges’ training programs and judging clinics, develops Technical Delegate training programs and more. I have also been on the High Performance Committee since its inception. Originally, there was only one dressage committee but when the Ted Stevens’ American Sports Act passed Congress in 1998, it created havoc in the horse world. The USET & AHSA had a war about who would be governing the Olympics. Up until then the AHSA was recognized by the Olympic committee as the governing body and USET did the fundraising for the high performance needs. When the act passed, there were lots of changes. Specific

committees for each Olympic discipline were created and a certain percentage of Olympic athletes were required to be on those committees. These changes led to a total restructuring in the AHSA, which evolved into the USEF. Too much money was spent on lawyers instead of athletes. Now the USEF is the governing body, recognized by the Olympic Committee. The high performance committee covers all equestrian Olympic sports such as jumping, driving, dressage, etc. and approves everything. National technical committees have also been added. This has been difficult for dressage since now some national committees are handling what should be high performance issues. There needs to be some control over juniors, ponies, Young Riders and Young Horses who could become USET riders. We are trying to resolve this in the next year or two. I am also on USDF committees where we approve regional changes. In the past, I was the Region 5 director. I’ve also been on the USDF judge’s committee as well as the sport

horse committee. Strobel: What would you like to change about the sport? Foy: I would love to make it more user friendly. Get rid of some of the formality. We don’t need black coats and white breeches for “normal” shows. Save it for the championships. It would be nice to allow polo shirts, vests and colored breeches, making it more like athletic attire. The Young Riders looked so cute when they took their coats off at the Young Riders Championships and wore their team shirts. I’d like to make the shows more informal, interesting and fun. I’d like to make everything cheaper, too. The cost of showing is high for competitors and show managers. I want to find ways to help Regional riders raise funds for competing. As a show manager of a CDI in Colorado, I know what it costs to run a show, bring judges in, buy awards and rent a facility. It’s a lot of work to raise money and find sponsors. Last year we still lost around $2500 on the show when it was finished. You have to be in it because you love the sport. You have to

“We need to figure out how to get kids interested in horses and keep them interested.” have CDI’s that exhibit the quality of judging and the level of competition that brings out the level of dressage for the high performance. To keep the level up, you need someone like Kathy Jones of the Houston Dressage Society who is willing to work hard and lose money to raise the level of the sport. Strobel: Are we bringing enough children & young riders into this sport to keep it going? Foy: No. The US is so different from Europe. The everyday riders’ names are in the papers and everyone knows who they are. Families go to the horse shows for the weekend for entertainment. The horses are such a big part of their culture over there. Here it is considered more elitist. And the other thing is, when you talk to any mother here who has kids, you find they are doing piano lessons, ballet, soccer and 10 different things. As a kid, I only did

one thing and I had to walk or ride my bike to get there. It’s crazy how kids are so overscheduled now. It’s no wonder why they have ADD. They are never left alone long enough to figure out how to entertain themselves. I’d love to go to the pony hunter rings in Florida to see the hundreds of little kids with ponies jumping around and try to entice them over to the other side – to our side. We need to figure out how to get kids interested in horses and keep them interested. This year and last year have been especially tough. The economy is tough and show managers are losing money from small shows. People are making choices on how to spend. They’re going to schooling shows instead of nationally recognized shows. Hopefully the economy will improve soon, getting back to normal. The cost of riding is a big factor. In Europe evJanet Foy - Con’t. on pg. 26 July July2013 2013--H HORSEBACK ORSEBACKM MAGAZINE AGAZINE

25 25

English... ery town has a riding school where kids can get a lesson. There is always a little social thing going on too, where parents can enjoy a little wine and cheese while the kids ride. Very few places here have lesson horses. We need those because not everyone can afford to have a horse. Different culture – different world. Strobel: What part of your work do you enjoy the most? Foy: I enjoy teaching a lot, it’s my passion. I enjoy anything that involves teaching ; my clinics, judge training, symposiums. I also enjoy judging the bigger shows – the CDIs with 4 other colleagues are fun, very fun! You can talk to them after the classes, discuss the horses and scores. Judging is always a learning experience and there are not many judges at that level. It’s a small community. We all know each other and even though we see each other only a couple of times a year; it’s like a little family.


Janet Foy - Con’t. from pg. 25

Strobel: What advice do you have for working adult riders who can’t ride every day? Foy: There are a lot of things you can do to improve your balance and strength. You have to work out. At the end of the day, your horse will only be as good as you are. You need lunge lessons and fitness training. I rode 10 horses a day and still did weight lifting at the gym. At 2nd level and above, you need a higher level of fitness. Some riders are offended if a judge comments on their seat or skills. It’s just like some horses don’t have the ability to be a fourth level horse and are miserable trying, but they might be thrilled to be a second level horse forever. Riders need to be reasonable about their own physical limitations and time constraints and be happy with what they have. Strobel: Where do you see the future

of the sport going? Foy: I would love to see the US back on the medal podium. We’re working very hard to that end. As soon as that happens and the excitement builds it all trickles down to the lower levels of getting people excited. It’s like when all the little girls see the gymnasts or figure skaters doing well, they all want to try it too. It all starts at the bottom. We, in this country have too many lawyers, and too many people anxious to sue. We have a problem with a very regimented training program for judges. In Europe, you can fast track people to become judges. Some of our Grand Prix riders should be fast tracked, but we can’t because we would be sued by those who could not be fast tracked. Logically, the person who has been on a national team shouldn’t have to go through the whole L (Learner Judge) program. The base of knowledge is totally different. However we have no solution. It’s very expensive and takes a minimum of ten years to go through

the L, to “r”, to “R”, to “S”, into the FEI ranks, even if you go straight through with no delays. It also takes several years to make the money back that you spent on your education. When I went through the S program, we had to apprentice and then take an exam. There was no program. On the other hand, the US has a reputation of having the best training program for judges in the world. Strobel: Do you feel the schooling shows are necessary? Foy: Yes! Absolutely! And that’s sort of the philosophy behind the L program. Schooling shows are necessary and not everyone needs to go to a recognized show but there needs to be qualified judging, not just someone’s mother from down the street. People get false impressions as to what the standards are. Then they go to a recognized show and get their hearts broken. The reality is the judges have to have the same standards for schooling shows as for the Olympics. People need to understand that most judges are passionate about the sport and want to help the riders. They are there to do a good job but riders need to understand that judges are human and we can also make mistakes. Sometimes in an eight hour day with a panel of 5 judges, you will find that every judge, at one point in the day has a wild score that you wonder where it came from. That’s where the other 4 judges will protect that mistake with their scores. For the most part, judges want to see the riders do well. They want to help and educate the riders. We all want to see the sport expanding and developing. That’s why I enjoy judging and teaching so much! Cathy Strobel has over 30 years of experience as a trainer, judge and clinician and can be reached at Southern Breeze Equestrian Center at (281) 431-4868 or or email hB



Writers Who Ride Or the pen is mightier than the crop.


here is perhaps nothing more daunting than an author signing a contract which was accompanied by a substantial publisher’s advance check, and then sitting before a blank computer screen. Stark reality comes home when that author faces the reality that he/she must fill that blank screen with about 500 pages of hopefully compelling prose, all within a seemingly impossible deadline. I can speak from experience. I write books. By Steven Long


hree bestselling authors Horseback interviewed have faced that intimidating reality again and again with considerable success. Their books catalog an impressive lineup of New York Times bestsellers and smash hit e-books on the web. Somehow, in their spare time they have been able horsewomen, actively riding, caring for their horses and families, and even winning the gold on the back of their steed. What could be more romantic than that? The most famous of them is author and dressage champion Tami Hoag. Her just released, The 9th Girl, follows 15 consecutive New York Times bestsellers that have thus far topped sales of more than 35 million books in 20 languages. As if that’s not enough she’s had a long, successful career in the dressage arena, including numerous US Dressage Federation year end championships at Grand Prix, Intermediare 1 and 2, and Prix St Georges, and championships at individual shows, the California Dressage Society championships and regional California events. A couple of her more


TAMI HOAG prestigious wins at top shows are the Grand Prix Sweepstakes at the Del Mar National in the Golden State, High Score Grand Prix of the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, and winning the $10,000 Dressage Under The Stars Freestyle championship at the Player’s Club in Wellington, FL. Whew! Hoag began writing at the age of nine. By 1988, she had her first pub-

lished novel, and the pace hasn’t slackened since. Hoag began her career writing for Bantam’s “Loveswept” line of romance novels, penning sixteen titles in five years. Then Tami abruptly left romance writing, refusing to be pigeon holed in the genre and moved to the suspense/thriller category. She is a versatile storyteller who easily moves from suspense to romantic comedy. Changing genres from romance to suspense/thrillers “was a natural progression for me. ”I experimented with a whole lot of different things. I wrote comedy, I threw a little suspense in there, and I just kept playing with a lot of different things. I was then ready to step up to a bigger kind of book and suspense was what I felt comfortable with.” Hoag is one of America’s most prolific authors with more than 100 titles under her belt. She is now at book 18 in the suspense category. “I’ve quit counting.” Hoag writes big fat manuscripts. For example, my own books generally run 300-400 pages before typesetting.

LINDA LAEL MILLER Tami’s are massive at 600700 pages. The creative spark is never far from Hoag and a huge part of that voltage is character development. “They really just appear when I need them,” she laughed. ���When I start a book I know the central theme, and I know some of the key players,” she says. “With the main character, I have an idea of the arc they are going to go through, but other than that, they develop on the fly. “ Often male authors have difficulty writing women characters and vice versa. Not Hoag. “I have no difficulty whatsoever. It never occurred to me that I shouldn’t be able to do that. In fact, I was on a plane next to a fellow who told me, ‘That was a damned good book. I couldn’t believe a woman wrote it.”

“Why wouldn’t a woman be able to do that?” she wonders. “I feel a little bit like a conduit when I write. I’m

just the scribe. I’m just describing what’s going on, I’m just writing down what happened.” Hoag says she has known she would be an author since childhood, “from the first time I started writing stories. That’s what I wanted to do, and that’s what I found myself doing.” Hoag remembers that as a child, even before she could read, she would carry books around, turn the pages, and look at them, such was her fascination. “I was a voracious reader as a child,” she remembers. Her reading tastes are eclectic. “Now, I read all over the place,” she says. “I don’t have a favorite of anything. That isn’t the same when it comes to horses. Hoag presently owns five. “Right now I’ve got two that I’m rid-

Big Thank You to Johnny Robb of JRPR for your assistance with Tammy Hoag’s Photos.

ing, and I’ve got two that are retired,” she says. “One is with a trainer. I’ve got my two competition horses that I ride.” Tamy Hoag started out riding western, “because that was the only thing available to me. That was what everybody did,” she says. “I did a little hunter/ jumper, then I moved to dressage, and then the career took over and I had no time for anything. I was just working constantly for about five years. Then I came back to dressage in 1998, and that’s where I’ve been.” She now competes at the top level in her sport and is as much at home at Wellington on the back of a horse as she is behind the keyboard of her computer.” And she wins. “When I say I’m going to do something, I do it,” she laughs. Yet the writing career still bumps her horse habit to the side from time to time. “I did not show this past winter because of deadlines,” she laments. “And I had an injury, so I’ve been out of the show ring now for a year, but I’ll be back. I blew out my knee doing martial arts.” “I don’t do anything normal,” she chuckles. “There’s nothing ordinary about me. I train in martial arts.” Hoag acknowledges she has always been athletically inclined. But writing and riding compete for Hoag’s time. “For a long time now I’ve just considered that I have two full time jobs,” That requires strict work habits. “I ride mornings, then after lunch I sit at the desk and do busy work and check email, Then I get myself set up to write.” she says. “Then about 4:00 P.M. I go to my trainer’s and do my workout Writers - Con’t. on pg. 30 July 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


Writers - Con’t. from pg. 29

and then I write at night.” Authors often budget their energy when writing a book. Hoag shoots for four to five pages a day in the beginning of a book, “but the deeper I get into the book I write more pages and it just builds momentum. By the middle of the book I want to be doing 10 pages a day. By the end of the book I can be doing, for sure, 20 pages a day. By that time it’s just coming to me.” Hoag’s personal record is about 30 pages written in one day. Such a feat is exhausting. “I love it when that’s going on,” she says. “I get a little high from the experience. It seems like your fingers are just flying as the story goes from your brain to the page. It’s really cool.” The only comparison to an author writing a book is to run a marathon. It is a singular feat accomplished by one person, on their own. The author, no matter how many researchers or editors he employs, ultimately writes the book alone. At the end of the process upon completion of the manuscript, many writers such as Hoag experience an emotional upheaval. “It’s very emotional at the ending,” she says. “I want it to be emotional for the reader, but it needs to be emotional for me also.


Hoag isn’t the only woman publishing books of romance and suspense who has a deep relationship with the horse. Bestselling Harlequin Romance author Linda Lael Miller is also one of America’s most prolific writers. Since she began publishing 30 years ago with the publication of Fletcher’s Woman, she has carved out more than 100 novels. She is so revered in her genre that Romance Writers of America awarded the prestigious Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Past authors who influenced writers all play a part in the skills any writer develops. Miller lists among her favorites, Margaret Mitchell,’ Gone With the Wind, nineteenth century author Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, and contemporary thriller writer Anne Rice’s The Vampire Lestart. Her latest release, a part of Miller’s successful Big Sky series, Big Sky Wedding, follows the lives of residents of Parable, Montana. Horseback spoke to the prolific author from her home in Eastern Washington’s horse and cattle country near the Idaho border, where she lives on 30 acres with her horses, cats, and a dog. “I’ve written 100 – 120 of them,” she said when prompted about her astonishing achievement. “I’ve stopped counti n g

now. The only reason I know is because they gave me some kind of special award for having written over 100 books. It’s mind boggling.” Even more astonishing is the fact the books Miller writes are not small, averaging 85,000 words. Many of the current crop of online romances are around 30,000 words. “I’m fast, but a lot of us are,” she says. “Not as fast as I used to be. When I was younger, you made hardly anything from a book, so you had to hustle to feed the family or whatever. You had to write three or four books (each year) to make a decent living. So most of us are still writing fast; I average three a year, usually.” Miller drafts a brief outline for the publisher so Harlequin’s art department can begin designing the cover. She then turns into a writing machine, delivering a manuscript three to four months later. “It’s very organic,” she says of her writing process. “I usually have a place, a situation and a couple of people (characters), then once it gets going it is in my head and I write down what I see, so it’s kind of like a mental movie.” When she writes, Miller puts herself into the most comfortable environment possible. “I’m no spring chicken, so I like a good office chair and some support,” she says. “I have an office upstairs and a window where I can look out and see the horses. I’m an animal lover, big time.” Besides her horses, Miller lives with two cats and a dog. She has one quarter horse, “and an Arabian, but most of them are just knot heads.” In particular, she cares for a geriatric horse that was abused by Mexican cowboys in Arizona. “They’re pretty rough,” she said. “I told him, you just get to retire. He’s basically a pet.” Unlike many authors, Miller has had the same agent for most of her career. According to the author, romance novels contain “certain kinds of parameters” but her latest may not fit the mold. “I’d like to think it’s different,” she said.

She says writing about horses and the West comes from “growing up around that stuff.” Miller grew up in a rodeo family. “My dad was a town marshal and a former bull rider, and my uncle was a bronc rider. I like rock solid values, and I think that’s what is appealing in these books.” Not surprisingly, bull riding is Miller’s favorite rodeo sport. “They save that for the end,” she laughs. “Everybody is getting up to go and I say, ‘Hey, sit down, bull riding’s coming up.’ My least favorite event is calf roping. Nobody loves animals more than western people do, or have more respect for them. These animals weigh over 300-400 pounds, and as it was explained to me, it’s not roping a dog or a person. Out on the range that’s what you have to do. As one of my cowboy friends says, they’re not going to come to you if you say, ‘come here calfie, calfie.” But despite the fact that roping is her least favorite of all the rodeo sports, she defends it. “Look, these animals are athletes,” she says. “I’ve been back there by the pens and stuff. These are not like regular saddle horses, they’re big suckers, and the bulls too.” “We were just talking about this horse, Reno, who we were watching practice his moves out in the pasture,” she continued. “This is an animal that clearly loves what he’s doing. And most of them are athletic. You just don’t put any old horse, cow, or bull out there.” Yet Miller points out that many animal advocates are ignorant of how rodeo works behind the chutes. “Most of the rodeos have a vet at all times as well as an animal rights person too,” she says. “If they think an

animal is troubled, they just pull it out of the competition.” The author is critical of animal rights groups who would attempt to disrupt rodeo, or get the sport banned. “They just don’t know country people, they don’t know rodeo fans, and they don’t know cowboys,” she said. “There’s ethics, and there’s a code.” She acknowledges that rodeo is an im-

C. SHELL perfect sport. “But it’s way better than it was when I was a kid,” she said. “It has cleaned up a lot.” Miller says the characters in her book are “usually rodeo people because that’s what I know growing up going to small town rodeos. Now going to Pendleton, Reno, or Calgary, that’s a whole ‘nother ball game. The rules have changed a lot”. Miller no longer rides after being injured in an accident. “But I still need to interact with them,” she said. “I need the energy from them. They are just smarter than all get out. There’s something about being on the back of a horse that is hard to define. It’s magical. They’re charac-

ters. They’re all different. Horses are a part of everyday life for online romance sensation C. Shell. The tiny author who has captivated the online romance genre this year has been riding since age 14, when she fell in love with a 16 hh Thoroughbred named Dillon. Now 34, she is teaching her two children to ride the family Morgan Horse, Jezzy. And the 34-year-old suburban mother is totally astonished that she is an author at all. “We were on vacation in Florida and I brought my Kindle with me while we were at the beach,” she recalls. “I finished a book and I hated the ending. I made a comment to my husband about what type of ending I would prefer that would have made it better and he laughed at me, which did not sit well with me at all, so during the rest of the trip while we were at the beach, I started writing.” A cliché often used goes, the rest is history. However, in the case of the newly spawned author, the history is all gospel truth. Handsome royalty checks now augment the family income. Her books are potboiler hot sheet romance novels and the online public is lapping them up. “I just started writing and I put it on Kindle and I thought I might make $50,” she remembers. “That was fine with me. I just wanted to show I could do it.” Shell says making money from writing books was the farthest thing from her mind in the beginning. “It was pretty much just to say I could do it,” she says. “I didn’t make money off the first one I wrote. I made a little, but nothing major. I figured, ‘It doesn’t cost me anything to write a book, it gives me something to do in my spare time, and so I kept doing it. Each one did better than the other.” “I love being able to take a conWriters - Con’t. on pg. 32 July 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


Writers - Con’t. from pg. 31

cept and be able to make it anything I want,” she says. “I normally start with a story in mind, but by the time I’ve finished the book it turned out completely different from when I started it. During the process Ideas will come to me and it will take its own journey as I go.” Shell targets a goal of writing five to ten pages a day. She gets up in the morning; get’s the kids off to school, and then writes and doesn’t stop until the coffee pot is empty. She has no formal workspace beyond sitting a laptop in the kitchen table. Shell’s biggest sellers have been the four books of her “Harlow Series”, Embracing Him, My Tessa, Completing Him, and Beneath Him. Each sell online only, priced cheap, at the bargain price of $.99 to $2.99. She writes under a pseudonym because as a self admitted PTA mom, she doesn’t want her work to reflect on the kids. Thus far she has turned out seven books, all online in the Kindle format. Since the Harlow Series began, her sales have been explosive. The books are edited by a librarian who was one of her first fans. While she would like to be in print, Shell believes Kindle and Nook have changed American’s reading habits. “Most people don’t like print as much anymore,” she says. Her unexpected career is living proof of that. “I can control them this way,” she says. “I don’t have to wait for them to

be printed.” Shell is unabashedly a Texas based author who sets her books in the locale she is most familiar with, East Texas. Because of her lifelong relationship with horses, she is now developing stories around them. “I definitely want to do some based on some of my childhood memories of horses that we were around,” she says. Most of those memories center on that big horse she got when she was a mere snip of a girl. “The first time I saw him, he was beautiful,” The horse was as black as the farthest depth of a cavern, standing tall and majestic. Yet her riding instructor told her to stay away from the horse saying, “He is dangerous.” Shell was bullet proof and fearless, and those were two maladies that immediately trumped good sense. Nobody else could control the big guy. “When I got on him he was a gentle, loving, thing. You couldn’t ask for a better horse.” Dillon was an off the track Thoroughbred who had been pasture boarded for two years after a lackluster career under his Jockey Club name, Fleeter Algonquin. He had won a couple of races, lost just as many, and had never been in any real money at the track. Luckily, his owners didn’t send the Canadian horse to slaughter as happens to so many mediocre race horses.

Shell talked her parents into buying him and turned him into a jumper. Dillon had a bad mouth, ruined by rough treatment from jockeys and trainers. Shell trained the horse to respond to verbal commands only. “He hated jumping,” she remembers. “He rushed the jumps and just wanted to get the competition over with.” But as much as the horse hated competition, he loved play, and he got plenty of that with Shell riding him over low jumps with the other girls at the boarding stable where he was kept. As time went by, the other girls went on to bigger and bigger jumps with their horses and the girl who would become the author C. Shell decided to try a four foot jump on her horse. “That was way above my skill level,” she remembered. “I didn’t think Dillon could do wrong on anything, so we went up to it. Those horses, on that jump, would have to really get going. He stopped right before I got to that, looked at it, and just sailed over it (from a standing start). It was gorgeous, everybody was clapping, it was beautiful.” There is little doubt Shell will use the story in one of her future works. And what of her friend Dillon? He lived long enough to carry Shell’s tiny daughters around on his back. We’re betting that will be immortalized in print as well. hB

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Nights & Days to Remember


by: Margaret Pirtle

To Cecil and Judi Eager, owners of the Gruene Mansion Inn: Thank you. I love your bed and breakfast and I bet your other guests love it too!


his year skip the Hilton or the Holiday Inn and head to Gruene Mansion Inn located just outside New Braunfels in the old German town of Gruene Texas on the Guadalupe River. With thirtyone rooms in six buildings, this rustic Victorian bed and breakfast charms you from morning till night. B r e a k f a s t begins in the original mansion which was the home of Henry Gruene, founder of the town. Next you will be hard pressed to decide what activity to do next. Shopping is just a block away in the Gruene Historical District or drive down the road a piece to check out all the German culture of New Braunfels. There are

literally hundreds of attractions and things to do all within a short drive of Gruene. Your hardest decision is where to start first. Save the afternoon for floating down the cool waters of the Guadalupe in a large inner tube, while letting all your cares drift away. The river runs along the back of the inn and cooling off from the Texas heat as you relax in its clear water is a ritual around there. As night falls there is only one place to be and that is Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas. All you have to do is step right next door and get ready for a Shiner Bock and some twostepping on board floors to the sounds of some of the best country

As night falls, there’s only one place to be...

music bands Texas has to offer. Gruene Mansion Inn has all of Texas hospitality covered, from the time you check in, until you leave. With a map of the property, and great tips on shopping, and other area attractions, you will find that your stay here is never long enough. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Gruene Masiion Inn is also designated as a Texas Historical Landmark. So the only question left is this: Why stay in a hotel when you can sleep in Texas history?

Your hardest decision is where to start first...

TOP LEFT: Gruene Mansion TOP RIGHT: Gruene Dance Hall BOTTOM LEFT: Gruene Historical District BOTTOM RIGHT: Gruene Dance Hall interior


Come Ride With Us this Fall Midwest Trail Ride, Norman Indiana


all is the time when the summer heat has been lulled to sleep, when mosquitos have ceased their nighty visits and the woods are aflame with color. Everything comes alive in the fall, as the air is freshened by traces of cold and the warmth from your horse is now welcome. Autumn and trail rides are natures partners. If in the middle of this hot July, this is what you are dreaming about, then now is the time to plan this trip and make your dream a reality. Step into the timeless beauty of Hoosier National Forest with Midwest Trail Ride and ride through some of the

most spectacular scenery Indiana has to offer. Red, golds and russet colors line the banks of cool clear streams and rolling hills invite you to explore what is beyond the ridge. Load up your favorite horse and head to Indiana were the temperatures in October are always in the 70’s! Midwest Trail Ride has 108 camp sites with water and electrical hookups, 12 rustic cabins and the coffee is always on. Spend a week or a few days with us on an organized trail ride with your own horse or rent one of ours. No cooking, no cleaning, no city noise, just

the soothing peace of the forest as it gives forth bounty before it sheds its leaves and slips into the silence of winter. Enjoy the splendor of Indiana from a different vantage point - on horseback with Midwest Trail Ride. For information on how you can join us this fall or for trail rides 2014, please contact: Reservations at Midwest Trail Ride: (812) 834-6686 or visit

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Baby Boomers

AT HOME on the RANGE by: Margaret Pirtle


t wasn’t that many years ago, that is run out and buy a horse,” Ramon The baby-boomer years are once your kids left the nest, you told Horseback. “You need to take the perfect time to climb back in the found yourself sitting quietly at some lessons first, to help find out saddle. Just remember that like any home, and playing bridge for what type of horse and temperament other kind of sport, it takes practice entertainment. Those days are long is best for you. Also discuss your fears and training. Call Ramon, or find gone as today’s Baby Boomers yourself a are finding lots of fun things to trainer who can “The do, including horseback riding. guide you to To take on the challenge confidence a horse that is of what was once considered perfect for you. of youth is a young persons sport, they Take lessons are hiring experienced trainers replaced by they aren’t just like Ramon Arizmendi to help “what if ’s” for you but for guide them through the maze the horse too. of finding the right horse and re- with a trainer. They teach you training their body for the physical They can help to work out all rigors of riding. you over come the “what ifs” For most people over thirty, them and be and reward you the main concern is breaking a c o m f o r t a b l e with some of bone as they see themselves flying riding again.” the best rides of “...the worst thing you can do your off a horse who’s at a dead run. The R i d ing life. confidence of youth is replaced is much more is run out and buy a horse, you with “what ifs? It is totally natural than great need to take some lessons first” For more to worry about a horse bucking, p h y s i c a l information on spooking and generally not being exercise. It is a chance to bond with starting to ride again please contact: able to control him. But that exactly a horse, a chance to ride across fields Ramon Arizmendi why finding someone to guide you and mountains and to take in the (713) 545-7921 back into the saddle is so important. great outdoors in a way that is fun “The worst thing you can do and exhilarating.


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Summer Buying Guide


ummer is here, which means sun, vacations, and longer days. It’s also time to buy a special gift for you or your favorite ride. Make the most of this summer and choose one or more of the special selections we have found to meet all of your needs.





Why Does My Horse Have a Thin Sole?

possible to reverse this “sunken” condition, but meanwhile it is a serious mistake to shorten the hoof from the bottom so that the sole is less than 1/2 to 5/8 inches-thick. (see figure 1).


In last month’s article, I discussed methods of estimating sole thickness. If you find that your horse has a thin sole, the next obvious question will be “why?”


OVER-TRIMMING: First, be sure that no one is excessively trimming the sole. Sure, there is a time and place to remove or exfoliate excess sole tissue, but not on a horse with a thin sole—seems obvious, yet this is a very common problem. In domestic horses, the coffin bone often sinks to a lower-than-normal position within the hoof capsule over time. When this has occurred, the overall hoof capsule-length will seem “too long.” This leads many people to over-thin the sole in an attempt to make the hoof capsule-length seem more normal. It is

GENERAL NUTRITION: Most horses are (and should be) getting most of their nutrition from grass and hay. Nutrient levels in this forage vary, depending on many factors—region, season, growing conditions, etc. Horses living on free-choice grass and hay are usually getting inadequate levels of some nutrients, ideal levels of some nutrients, and an excess of some nutrients. To make up for this problem, horse owners tend to throw salt and mineral blocks out for the horses, provide daily feed concentrates, and perhaps additional mineral supplements. The tradition is perhaps “good enough” for most horses, but often leaves holes in the nutrition profile or dangerous excesses in some nutrients. When the horse is “missing something,” the body wisely provides for the most important functions first—the ones that sustain life and fight disease. The skin gets the leftovers. This means that nutritional deficiency or imbalances can lead to thin soles (and most other problems with skin, coat and hooves). So the first thing I do when I see these problems in client horses is start trying to more-scientifically balance the diet. This often means testing the forage and providing supplements that balance the individual horse’s nutrition profile (see figure 2).

PAST OR PRESENT LAMINITIS: When the laminae are compromised,

usually because of excess sugars in the diet, the outer perimeter of the sole suffers from reduced blood flow. This can significantly slow down the growth of the sole. Additionally, the hoof walls in laminitic horses tend to separate from the bone, bending outward from their protective position around the sole. This loss of protection causes increased wear to the sole. The result of these two simultaneous factors: most laminitic horses, even mild cases, have dangerously thin soles. If this condition is quickly reversed by veterinary intervention, competent farrier work and adequate changes to the diet, the horse can usually re-grow a perfect foot including a thick sole. However, if the situation is allowed to continue, over time, the coffin bone will remodel—losing mass around the outer perimeter and often developing a “ski-tip”-shape to the profile of the bone. Once this remodeling occurs, it is very common for horses to develop a permanent reduction of sole growth. This is just one more reason why “mild” laminitic symptoms—wall flare, rippled walls, shelly walls, red streaks, mild seasonal lameness—should never be ignored.


This horse moves well, but has suffered from long-term “subclinical” laminitis from excess pasture and feed—the walls are flared and the sole is thin. Many practitioners were taught to always remove the layer of “dead” or exfoliating sole visible in the photo, leaving a clean, smooth post-trim finish. But since this horse has a thin sole—even with the crusty layer of dead sole present—it should not be “cleaned up,” as this would make the situation more dangerous for the horse. Photo reprinted from the book Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot, P. Ramey.


Flared or “bell-shaped” walls, ripples in the wall, red stripes or spots in the wall—these are all possible signs of laminitis and should be taken seriously. These are much more than “cosmetic flaws.” Photo reprinted from the book Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot, P. Ramey.


An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure (see figure3). ENVIRONMENT: The ground the horse lives and works on has a significant effect on sole quality and thus thickness. If a horse lives in a soft, wet stall most of the time, the sole will be soft and weak. This is simple adaptation that would allow the sole to wear and exfoliate naturally under these conditions. If, however, this horse is suddenly thrust into a more abrasive environment and asked to perform, the sole can wear away too quickly. So it is best for the horse to, 1) dry up and add abrasion to the living environment, and 2) protect the soles (boots, shoes, etc.) during work and/or increases in activity or load. It really helps the sole (and the horse’s feet in general) to vary the living terrain as much as possible. Add coarse gravel to hightraffic or muddy areas, add pea gravel to shady hangout spots, provide hard-packed areas, soft areas—just “mix it up” the best you can on your property. The resulting stimulation grows a better sole and packs it into dense callus. GENETICS: As I have discussed in previous articles, genetics are always a factor to some extent. But they are too often used as a scapegoat—they give people an excuse for not doing everything they can to optimize the situation. For instance, thoroughbreds may inherently tend to have a thinner sole than working-stock quarter horses, but fewer

FIGURE 3 This is a radiograph of a horse with long-term “sub-clinical” laminitis (this means that, for years, no one noticed except the horse). When the outer perimeter of the coffin bone loses mass and/or becomes wavy or fuzzy, it is common that the horse will have a difficult time growing a healthy sole—permanently. This is why it is so important to take action (dietary changes) when you first notice the slightest indicators of laminitis. Photo reprinted from the book Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot, P. Ramey.

thoroughbreds have a chance to grow the very-best sole they could grow—their genetics are only one of many factors. I have seen thoroughbreds raised outdoors in abrasive terrain, and they tend to grow very nice feet in these conditions—and the flip-side—I have seen nice working-stock quarter horses that were pampered indoors. Guess what their feet tend to look like? In my experience, the most important genetic factor affecting sole thickness is the “thrifty gene.” The most efficient “easy keeper” in the herd is most likely to be the one that gets laminitis, and thus the long- or shortterm thin sole problems already discussed. But again, it is not the horse’s fault if he is fed more than he needs.

HOOF PROTECTION: Whatever the cause of the thin soles,

it is critical that you protect the thin-soled horse from bruising and excess abrasion during work, exercise and from hard or rocky terrain. Sole health is one of the reasons I like hoof boots so much. They allow barefoot turnout to optimize stimulation, growth and callusing of the sole, and then you can boot the horse for complete protection during work and trips to harsher terrain. But whatever you use—synthetic or traditional shoes, clogs, casts, epoxies—protecting thin soles is essential. You should never expect a thin sole to do the job of protecting the sensitive internal structures of the foot. At the same time, though, don’t get so caught up in “protection” that you forget that you may be able to really fix the situation with simple changes to the horse’s care. hB



Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 8

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freshman can do.” Now she gets her Daniel Kamen conducted his first chance to show them at AQHA of four hundred animal chiropractic Worlds. technique seminars that was not just for licensed chiropractors and 2013 IHSA AQHA High Point veterinarians, but also for regular Rider, horse and dog owners. Each Austin Griffith is among the seminar quickly sold out. Kamen, eight selected to compete at the an animal chiropractic pioneer and Challenge author of three bestselling books For Douglas Mohr, on animal chiropractic technique, who will represent Ball State, it’s The Well Adjusted Dog, The Well a dream come true. “Ever since Adjusted Horse, and The Well hearing of the AQHA Collegiate Adjusted Cat, was swiftly served Challenge, it’s been a dream to with cease and desist letters from be selected and represent my several states claiming he violated university, and now that dream is a their veterinary laws by teaching reality. It’s a huge honor to be one non-professionals to manipulate of eight IHSA riders picked, and I Spot, Seabiscuit, and Fluffy. am very grateful. To be surrounded “Soon after I conducted by the best collegiate riders will my first few seminars I heard be a humbling and rewarding from a lot of states warning me to experience.” Mohr will pursue a stay out. Minnesota, Oklahoma, masters in Occupational Therapy, Arkansas, Georgia, Washington, having just earned his bachelor’s in Ohio, Louisiana, and Nevada all Exercise Science. sent me cease and desist letters. Animal and Veterinary Nevada! They allow gambling and Science major, Rebecca Strunk prostitution but they’ll lock you up (’15) adds, “I was honestly shocked for cracking a horse’s tuchus.” to be invited to this prestigious Nevada even threatened event. It makes all the long hours Kamen with legal action if of practice worth it. It’s an honor he didn’t remove seminar to represent Clemson University announcements from his website, and hope to do so to the best of my . abilities.” “It’s all about money,” The eight collegiate Kamen said. “Dog owners won’t equestrian athletes representing spend five grand for hip dysplasia their educational institutions in the surgery when a simple, almost free Challenge were selected based on chiropractic technique can help their 2012-13 individual statistics prevent its onset.” for horsemanship. Preliminary Aside from the hip AQHA Horsemanship Challenge dysplasia technique, dog owners competition will take place paid close attention when Kamen Wednesday, November 20, demonstrated the bladder control from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the move. “It just takes four minutes AQHA Horsemanship Challenge a day,” Kamen said. “And no more finals will be held the evening soiled carpets.” of November 21. Three IHSA By far, the most popular alternates have also been identified, chiropractic technique among pending availability of the original Thoroughbred trainers and barrel eight candidates. racers is the “Pre-Race Adjusting Sequence,” which, according to Kamen, “increases efficiency and can shave fractions off the time.” Practitioners from as far away as Hong Kong, Australia, Animal Chiropractor South Africa, and England flew in to learn these techniques. “My BUFFALO GROVE, Ill., (PR seminars attracted people from Newswire) - In 1995 chiropractor all over the world,” said Kamen,

Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 44

57, who is mostly retired and now conducts only one seminar a year. “A Saudi prince once flew his personal chiropractor to my Philadelphia seminar so he could adjust his prized Arabians.” State laws regulating the practice of animal chiropractic haven’t changed much in 18 years. Even though there is a national veterinary chiropractic association certifying licensed practitioners, there are still less than two hundred full time professional animal chiropractors nationwide. Additionally, most veterinary boards have shut out licensed human chiropractors who are also certified in animal chiropractic. It’s no wonder horse and dog owners who want their animals adjusted have to fend for themselves. Equine Welfare Alliance Releases Equine Abuse Study With Surprising Findings CHICAGO, (Equine Welfare Alliance) The Equine Welfare Alliance has released a statistical study on the rates of equine abuse and neglect across the US since 2000. The research examined equine abuse statistics from Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maine and Oregon. Historical records of the number of cases of equine abuse and neglect from these states was correlated with three potential causes; the rate of equine slaughter (or lack of it), unemployment and the cost of hay. Surprisingly, the researchers found that the rate of abuse has been in decline in four of the six states since 2008. Five of the six states had shown a spike in abuse and neglect around 2008 and two have shown a significant increase in the past two years. The dominant factor the analysis produced in every state was the price of hay. “My assumption was always that unemployment was the dominant factor,” admitted EWA president John Holland. “In fact, the analysis showed that the rate of unemployment in the state was the least important predictor of the level of abuse and neglect.” The analysis showed the second most important correlation was the rate of slaughter, but the analysis found more slaughter consistently correlated with more abuse and neglect. “Correlation is not proof of causation,” explained Holland, “but it certainly contradicts the theory that slaughter decreases neglect by culling “unwanted horses.” The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Quarter Horse

Association (AQHA) have long urged Congress not to ban horse slaughter on the basis that to do so would increase abandonment, abuse and neglect. This study follows on the heels of a peer reviewed paper in the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Law by Holland (EWA) and Laura Allen (Animal Law Coalition). That paper documented enormous increases in the cost of horse ownership between 2000 and 2011. The paper demonstrates, among other pressures, that a shift of land use from hay to corn for ethanol has reduced the hay available to horse owners, cattlemen and dairy farmers. Severe drought in some states has made an already insufficient supply of hay all but collapse. In 2011, Congress ended the long standing subsidy for ethanol in gasoline and removed tariffs on sugar cane. EWA hopes this will put a downward pressure on hay prices in coming years.

New Book from Pete Ramey Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot

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Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 43

told on film the viewers will be amazed. It’s a perfect story.” In order to create the archival aspect of the film, Docutainment Films is seeking help from the equestrian world to help locate old film footage, stills and newspaper or magazine articles from the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’’s which will be included in the film. Please visit for a complete list of what information the filmmakers are seeking and how you can help, as well as a trailer for the film. Harry & Snowman caught the attention of Documentary Educational Resources, a 501(c)3 organization devoted to furthering the development of documentaries. The organization has stepped up to sponsor the film by allowing interested individuals to make tax-deductible donations toward its creation. Davis encourages those who love de Leyer, Snowman or the story to get involved and be a part of its development. All donors and contributors will be listed in the closing credits of the film and on the movie website. Ron Davis is an award winning documentary Director and Producer who assembles Emmy and OSCAR nominated teams to develop and produce his films. His first feature documentary, PAGEANT, went


Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 47

on to garner 10 major film festival awards before premiering on The Sundance Channel in 2010. Davis recently completed his first Documentary Film which premiered on HBO.

Isla Animals: Giving Stray Dogs A Second Chance At A Better Life Boulder, CO, – It would have been so easy for Alison Sawyer Current to visit the house she owns with her husband in Isla Mujares, Mexico, and not get involved – but that was never an option. From her very first visit to the island, she was shocked by the number of dogs that were abused, left to starve, die of disease, or be instantly eliminated by the local government when they did their periodic roundup of any animal found in the street. When Alison discovered there is no local help for animals in Mexico she knew she must do something. That was in 1999; today, Alison and her trusty volunteers have rescued, nursed back to health, and found loving homes for 5,372 dogs! Isla Animals, an organization started by Alison and her husband, Jeff, is dedicated to cutting down the population of unwanted animals in Mexico through spay and neuter, and improving the lives of the animals that already exist until they can get things under control. Some of the dogs dropped off at Isla Animals are in such pathetic shape it’s a miracle they survive. They are given that miracle by Alison and her husband who have used their own resources to provide whatever was needed; surgery, medications, food – and, of course, lots of love. ‘Puppy Camp’ at the Current house was created out of necessity for the many puppies that were born in the streets and abandoned by the owners of the mother. When the numbers of litters grew and homes couldn’t be found for them, the Current house was adapted to accommodate the pups and ‘Puppy Camp’ became a whole new place – one that also included full grown dogs that started showing up at their door in dire need of help. No dog was ever turned away. After fostering up to forty dogs at a time, Alison created the Dog Gone Foundation; an adoption program that works with rescue shelters throughout the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico to place these animals in loving homes. Alison and her volunteers work diligently with pet rescue groups on the mainland to fund spray and neuter clinics, make visits with a wellness veterinarian, and provide vaccines and flea/tick medications. Alison even goes door-todoor, checking on dogs and handing out food, vitamins and supplies. She cleans and shaves dogs that are horribly dirty and matted in hopes that

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the owners will be so pleased with how they look they will be encouraged to keep them that way. Alison ventures into very poor neighborhoods where she gets local children to help her find and care for dogs in need - all part of her efforts to educate the people on controlling and caring for the animal population. Now a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization, Alison invites everyone to visit her website at and check out each animal’s story, with the before and after pictures, to fully understand the extent of the wonderful work being done here. Isla Animals is always in need of funding and they run strictly on donations – which are tax deductible. Please also follow Alison on her main Facebook page as well as the newest Facebook page called Isla Animals Furever Alumni where people can post their own stories about the dogs they have adopted from her and how they are doing in their forever homes.

Todd Minikus Dominates the $25K Landgero Cup Grand Prix During Week II of the Skidmore College Saratoga Classic Horse Show Saratoga Springs, NY. - At the Saratoga Race Course, a historic equestrian setting celebrating its one hundred fiftieth anniversary, some of the country’s top professionals, amateurs, and

juniors competed in the Skidmore College Saratoga Classic Horse Show (SCHS) between June 11 and 23. The premiere classes included the $25,000 Landgero Cup Grand Prix, $15,000 Gochman Family USHJA International Hunter Derby, $12,000 TAKE 2 Thoroughbred Hunter & Jumper divisions, and the $10,000 Yaddo Jumper Classic. The highlight of week II of SCHS was the $25,000 Landgero Cup Grand Prix. Todd Minikus clinched both first and second place aboard Quality Girl and Udonnay Z respectively. Out of the nine horses in the jump off, Todd and Quality Girl were the first to go and set the pace with a time of 35.234, followed by his time of 37.040 on Udonnay Z. Sloane Coles placed third on Chantilly. Minikus also received fifth place on Catch Me and ninth on Donnafee. “The course was great to ride. It was straightforward but technical,” said Minikus. “Skidmore provides the ideal competition to bring along horses that need to be challenged but not overwhelmed. It is a perfect place where junior, amateur, and professional riders can compete in the same arena.” Bobby Braswell’s Terrapin Hill Farm junior riders commanded the equitation classes. Lauren Fabiano brought home the blue in the Skidmore President’s Cup, while Gabriella Collins grabbed the honor of the

new Terrapin Hill Excellence in Equitation Award, given to the rider with the most points in the big eq. classes during the two weeks. Molly Braswell, aboard Jean Bickley’s Felton, took the championship ribbons both weeks in the TAKE2 Thoroughbred Hunter Division. It was Molly’s first time competing on a Thoroughbred. Additionally, Molly was champion in the High Performance Hunter 3’3” both weeks riding Frontier. Laugh Out Loud and Weebiscuit, piloted by Sophie Gochman, were awarded tri-color ribbons in Pony Hunters. Laugh Out Loud was champion in the Medium Pony Hunter Division, and Weebiscuit was reserve in the Small Pony Hunters. Kristy McCormack-Herrera won the $15,000 Gochman Family USHJA International Hunter Derby in the first week of competition and had a repeat performance in week II, winning the USHJA National Hunter Derby riding Fifty Shades. “I am thankful and grateful for the many world-class riders who competed these past two weeks and made the 16th annual Skidmore College Saratoga Classic Horse Show a huge success,” said Adele Einhorn, Executive Director of SCHS.

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Variety the Spice of your horse’s life!


ith the evolution of training techniques, and the popularization of natural horsemanship and related philosophies in recent years, the idea that horses are both thinking and feeling creatures has become widely accepted. It follows, then, that horsemen and women, professional and recreational, must employ both technical skill and creativity in order to succeed in their horsemanship endeavors. Yet, we sometimes forget the creative part of this equation; drilling our horses ad infinitum on a single skill that we need to perfect, in order to win a class. Or by following the exact same routine, in the exact same environment, day after day even when the

horse is clearly bored with it. You’d think we’d know better, since, even those of us who like our jobs, don’t enjoy facing the exact same task or routine, every day of our lives. Yet, in our efforts to advance or win in competition, we sometimes neglect to consider our horse’s point of view. It doesn’t help any that, in today’s horse world, competitive specialists are the most highly rewarded financially. The American Quarter Horse, once prized for its versatile individuals, now has separate and

Pleasure, and Halter, with no economic incentive for horses that can bridge the gap from one discipline to another. (Ranch Versatility competitions were introduced, with some success, to address this issue, but their economic rewards are still well below those of the more specialized disciplines.) I can see why, when you have a large investment in your own, or a client’s horse, and a limited schedule in which to prepare it for competition, it is easy to forget that the horse is not a machine. Whereas structured schooling and thorough preparation are

distinct lines of breeding for disciplines such as Cutting, Reining, Barrel Racing, Western

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take those skills being taught in schooling sessions, and allow the horse to use them in a more practical, intuitive situation. For example, when your Reining horse doesn’t see the need to push off with power and energy into his roll-back, why not let him work a cow on the fence for a while? He may not be the next great reined cow horse, but he’ll most likely understand the purpose in the movement, and start showing more energy and style in this maneuver. Then take him out on a trail, and use the bends and turns in it to work his flying lead changes. He can relax, and feel there’s more of a reason for what he’s being asked to do. Take your Western Pleasure horse out on the trail, too, (a smooth trail, with good footing, on a nice day), and let him do his transitions in some open space, on some real grass. Feel the stiffness leave his body as he remembers the fluidity of his natural way of going. And for goodness sake, get your barrel horse out of the arena, and do something besides run barrels on him. Take him up and down some hills, asking him to shift his weight back into his haunches, and to watch his footing for a reason. Then take him back into the arena, and do some quiet, slow trail obstacles, or, even work him on the rail for a few minutes at a quiet lope, with some lateral movement and balanced circles thrown in here and there. You may be surprised how quietly and composed he enters the arena for your next barrel racing run. (I advise you ropers to do the same, in the off-chance any of you are reading this!) In English disciplines, time away from the competitive environment is equally important. My friend, Lucy Chalcraft, an accomplished eventer, has brought her competition horses here over the years for nice gallops over the trails in the state park next door and on our ranch, jumping only a few, relatively easy obstacles. She goes out on walk/ trot rides with her family along, on their, (and our), riding horses. She considers the relaxed, inviting experience an important part of her horse’s training both physically and psychologically. Her horses leave rejuvenated, strong, and confident for their next competitions. On the flip side, I see many recreational riders who think that trail riding or ground games alone will produce a well-conditioned, well-trained, respectful mount. As enjoyable and beneficial as trail riding can be, it is equally important that your horse spend some time with just

in an environment without other influences or distractions, learning or performing skills that solidify the fine-tuned communication and discipline that an excellent horse and rider team should have. In my book, any good riding horse should know how to balance his or her rider’s weight in a straight path, perform smooth, quiet transitions from and to all gaits, do a balanced stop, back easily, travel in a collected frame when asked to, do basic lateral movements such as leg yield and side pass, and, unless physically impaired, do flying changes of lead. Furthermore, when your body and mind are quiet, so should your horse be. When your body and mind ask for energy, your horse should offer it. If any of these are not present, your horse is not really trained, and you need to spend more time doing creative, yet consistent exercises in the arena, round pen, or training area, which solidify the communication, trust, and respect between

you and your horse. When you return to the trail, don’t just sit and let your horse make all the choices about where to do what. Ask for smooth gait changes at specific points along the way. Move your horse laterally to avoid an upcoming branch, and insist that your horse stay focused on their job, and engaged with you, regardless of what other horses are doing nearby, especially when cantering in flat, open areas. Whatever your horsemanship goals may be- from excelling competitively, to strengthening your relationship with your horse, adding variety to your horse’s routine can help you to accomplish them, and to Enjoy the Ride in the process! 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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by: Monique Warren


Nitrates in Hay


he purpose of this article is to inform equine guardians of the potential for unhealthy levels of nitrates in hay to increase awareness that will lead to change. You can’t see smell or taste nitrates. They can lurk in the prettiest, greenest best smelling bale of hay. The only way to know the levels you are feeding is to test your forage. It is optimum to test prior to purchase. After being introduced to the practice of testing hay prior to purchase ensuring low sugars and starches and formulate a custom supplement to balance the major and trace minerals, I thought I had all bases covered nutritionally. I would buy enough hay to last a year. During the second year of this practice, my horses were not doing well. My mare was out of breath on a 20 minute hike; her allergies were the worst they had ever been. My gelding had old scars reappearing from years previous that the hair had fully regrown back in after healed. When my vet came out for annual dental work and drew back the syringe to administer an IV sedative, his blood was dark and brownish. When s e a rc h in g for answers, it was suggested that I test my hay for nitrates. The results came back 4,700ppm and they had been ingesting


the same hay for 7 months. Nitrogen is one of the main chemical elements required for plant growth and reproduction second to water. When more soil nitrogen is present than needed for optimum growth, the plant can store what it does not utilize. Nitrate levels can increase to toxic levels in forages any time the nitrogen supply in the soil exceeds the nitrogen needs of the plant. Nitrates can be present in high levels due to over fertilization or triggered by environmental stress such as drought, freeze or even cloudiness, where plant growth is restricted but absorption of nitrate from soil continues. Irrigation by water high in nitrates, run off from other water sources, certain herbicides and deficiencies of essential nutrients like phosphorus, sulfur and molybdenum can also contribute. Improp erly cured or stored bales of hay with too much moisture; bacterial action can convert available nitrate to nitrite which is 7 to 10 times more toxic

than nitrate. Never assume that organic equates to low levels, over fertilization from any nitrogen source and poor field management can occur in any crop. Nitrate is converted to nitrite in the large intestine of the horse. Nitrites in blood oxidize the iron atoms in hemoglobin from ferrous iron (2+) to ferric iron (3+), thus compromising the ability to supply oxygen to tissues in the body. Nitrite converts to ammonia, if there is more nitrite than can be converted it leads to hypoxia (deprivation of oxygen supply). The result is Acquired Methemog lobinemia ; a blood disorder in which an abnormal amount of methemoglobin (a form of hemoglobin) is produced. Hemoglobin is the molecule in red blood cells that distributes oxygen to the tissues. Methemoglobin cannot release oxygen. It occurs after exposure to certain chemicals and drugs, including nitrates. In simpler terms, your horse’s tissues are being suffocated to some extent depending on exposure. Clinical signs from sudden ingestion of highly toxic levels may include difficulty breathing, weakness, tremors, ataxia, rapid heartbeat, foaming at the mouth, grey/blue or brown discoloration of blood and tissues, seizures, and rapid death. Abortion can occur in animals that survive the initial clinical signs. Chronic exposure to lower levels of nitrate has not been well researched in horses. Associations between chronic nitrate exposure and infertility, poor growth, hypothyroidism, frequent urination and other disorders have been claimed. Minimizing nitrates in the diet is the most logical “cure” to

“Test results can be confusing and difficult to decipher...”

feeds. Would you buy a bag of feed or supplement without a label? A nutritional analysis should accompany the hay you purchase for a multitude of reasons including but not limited to nitrates, sugars, starch and protein, major and trace minerals. Monique Warren is the owner of Hay Pillow Inc. (www. and has been an equine guardian for forty years. Studying equine nutrition and horses feet is her passion. She resides in Southern California. References: A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia. Methemoglobinemia. Whittier J.C. (2011). Nitrate Poisoning. hB

these symptoms. We want our horses to thrive, not just survive. Knowing that nitrates deprive the tissues of oxygen affirms they are of no benefit. “Safe” levels of nitrates are certainly debatable and published within a variety of ranges. For unadapted animals averaging 2,500ppm, slight risk (feed as 50% maximum of total forage for pregnant animals) with 2,500-5,000ppm, moderate risk (feed as no more than 50% of diet, not safe for pregnant animals). These levels are not necessary. In fairness to the growers, it would be impossible to produce crops at less than 1ppm on a consistent basis. I don’t think it unreasonable to require less than 1,000ppm to send any crop to market. The growers I purchase from are consistently less than 500ppm. The test results also indicate well balanced soil with ideal calcium; magnesium and phosphorus ratios. Some plants are known accumulators of nitrates such as Fescue and Johnson grass, Barley, Flax, Sudan grass, Sorghum, Sugar beets, Soybean and Wheat. Non-accumulators include Bermuda, Rye, Fescue, and Orchard grasses. None though are immune to high levels of nitrates. Fields that are flood irrigated tend to be more risky in regards to pre-purchase tests. The lower lying areas in the field can be especially high in concentrations while the higher parts of the field are at acceptable limits. I tested 12 bales of hay from the top of a block of 82, the results were 800ppm prior to purchase, bought 60 bales from the same block and re-tested. It was 4,500ppm. The only way to know is by testing the actual hay you are buying, even if it the same field or stack. Test results can be very confusing and difficult to decipher. For simplicity purposes use the % nitrate number. If results show % of nitrate at .30, multiply by 10,000 to convert to ppm (.30 X 10,000 = 3,000ppm). I have tested my hay for 5 years and reviewed numerous results from other sources. Nitrate test results have been as high as 6,500ppm and less than 1ppm. Which one would you choose if you had the choice? You as the consumer do have a choice. Ask your grower or feed store for a hay test including nitrates or test it yourself prior to purchase. The majority of horse owners take great pride in reading nutritional analysis labels of supplements and bagged

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Horseback Magazine’s Saddle & Tack Editor

everal months ago, I mentioned that there were trunks full of tack in our tack room that were in desperate need of cleaning and oiling. I’ve been really busy doing things for other people, trying to keep the wolf from the door, and the tack has been getting drier and dirtier. While washing winter blankets, I had an inspiration. I usually wash tack and saddles with Murphy’s Soap and water, let it dry, then oil it, then put a protective top coat on it. Well, I figured

“Discovery Born of Necessity”

why not try washing it in the big washing machine! I threw in about 4 English bridles, 4 English breast collars, some reins, and some miscellaneous straps, added Murphy’s, and set the machine for heavy duty and let her rip. It came out pretty nice. The laced English reins still had some dirt in the crevices, and should have been cleaned with a toothbrush and more soap, but my interest here was preservation rather than immediate use. We hung the tack along the yard fence to dry. The next morning, I dug up a couple of old refrigerator drawers and cleaned them up. I hung a tack hook from a rafter and set the one on a stool under the hook,

the other one I filled with pure neatsfoot oil. The tack got dipped in the neatsfoot oil, held over the drawer for a few moments while the bulk of the excess oil drained back into the drawer, then the tack was hung on the tack hook to continue draining into the drawer beneath. When the tack stopped dripping, it was taken back out to hang on the fence to continue drying in. I poured the oil from the drip pan back into the dip pan, and when I was done, poured it all back into the oil container. After oiling about 40 pieces of tack, I only used about ½ gallon of oil! I know this goes against what I’ve preached in the past about several light coats of oil after proper cleaning, but this was a

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case of either finding a shortcut or throwing everything away. There were brand new Courbette bridles of fine German leather and craftsmanship, along with breast collars that had never been used, as well as training devices, grab straps, English stirrup leathers, and more, amounting to probably $2,000 replacement value. The important thing is, now, that they have been preserved for a time, if we need a particular item, we can pull it out later and do a thorough clean, oil, and polish. At least one bridle had been covered with mildew, and when it came out, there were raised black irregularities in the leather like black acne. This is caused by the mildew spores getting into the grain of the leather, and it causes a permanent blemish in the leather. It’s still usable, but is forever scarred. The black exoskeletons of the mold spores are a permanent stain even after the pores are dead. Oddly enough, the leather gets moldy because it is well oiled, as the mold grows not on the leather itself, but on the oil in the leather. When leather stays dry, it tends to dry rot from not having lubricity in the fibers. When it has lubricity, it tends to get moldy in high humidity. If you just wipe the mold off, it will often come back, so you can kill the mold



spores by spraying a solution of white vinegar and distilled water, let it set for a while, then clean, oil, and topdress your leather as usual. A good wax finish after you’ve oiled your leather will help keep the mildew at bay. I’ve repeated this many times in the past, and you are welcome to make up your own mind, but I prefer pure neatsfoot oil as a conditioner. Vegetable oils attract rodents and porcupines, and many will turn rancid. Peanut oil is good if you don’t have rodent problems, and olive oil does not seem to get rancid like other vegetable oils. In a pinch, any of them are better than nothing. I’ve even seen people use burnt motor oil. The problem with petroleum based oil is that it will dissolve nylon stitching over time, and that is not good. Neatsfoot oil compound is O.K. if it is from a known company like Fiebing, but the stuff you often find at horse auctions, selling for $5 to $10 a gallon, is often less than 10% neatsfoot oil, blended with reprocessed motor oil. Not the best stuff for your good leather. The tack I washed and oiled is not going to get a top dressing right now. There’s too much tack and too little time. I don’t like doing things that way, but it actually seemed to work well. Of course with my old saddles,

I will do everything right, a good thorough cleaning, light coats of oil until the oil stays on the surface for 10 to 12 seconds, then a coat of Blackrock Leather-N-Rich. I have also used Williams Saddle Dressing, Fiebing’s Aussie Saddle Dressing, Bickmore’s 4-Way, and others. As I’ve said in the past, the best conditioner is the one you use. It doesn’t do any good sitting on the shelf ! I hope this gives some folks with lots of tack and little time an idea of how to preserve their investment. I would also like to Thank Jim Hubbard for the kind words, and also the folks who called and emailed about my feelings and opinions on “Made in the U.S.A.” Putting up with mediocrity or less in our products and our politicians is why we are in this mess today. Stand up and be heard and let not only the companies exporting our heritage know how you feel, but let the politicians know they will be held accountable at the next election! God Bless the U.S.A., again. 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:

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Brush Burner! Howdy

,Well last month guess I was kinda on a soap box preachin’ and wavin’ the flag. Think that’s good for the soul, and am glad to see ol’ Lew (Horseback columnist Lew Pewterbaugh) leading the band. Thanks again Lew for your patriotism and what I like to call the “brutal truth”. Guess I better get back to the Brazos bottom. My part of the bottom is still suffering from the drought of 2011. Dead trees are still standing and falling and giving our fences a hard time. Spent almost all week in a pasture down on the creek shredding weeds and cleaning up around the cattle pens. By Friday just after lunch things were looking pretty good. Just a few more things to do, which can be done Monday morning, when I come to get the tractor and shredder. Sometime over the weekend the neighbor’s dead trees fell over our fence, and the fence was down enough for the yearlin’s to get out. Bad thing about big dead trees, can’t just walk up and lift or pull them off the fence. Typically the tree has to be cut in sections, and carefully gotten off the fence. Naturally some fence work is going to have to be done after the tree is removed. Better get the tree removed and the fence fixed in one day ‘cause a hole left in the fence overnight means cattle out next morning. Years ago wrote about using temporary, plastic fencing in these


situations and I practice what I preach. Keep a 100 feet roll plus some smaller pieces in the barn all the time for short term patches until the fence can be properly repaired. Like to do some brush clearing every winter while the leaves are off the woody plants, weather permitting. Some years are just too wet in winter to get much clearing done. Not so during 2011- 12 and 2012-13. After the brush is removed we push it into big piles for burning. After a couple of months of drying, and hopefully after a spring shower, and on a day of light wind, it is time to burn. Now before you start, make a call to the fire department servicing your area. Check to see if a “burn ban” is in effect, or if any other restrictions affect your location. Leave the department your name, location of the fire, and phone number, burn date, and time of day. I am talking about burning brush, not garbage or trash. After burning, our sites are disk and cross disk, leveled, and go back to pasture. Potassium or “potash” is an essential plant nutrient, and can be returned to the soil from burn sites. The spooky thing about burning brush is getting it lit, safely. First, start on the upwind

side, so the fire will blow into the pile. Secondly, use the right starter. My preference is a mixture of 75% diesel fuel and 25% gasoline. After mixing, like to soak a roll of toilet tissue in a one gallon vegetable can. Fill the can half full of starter and soak the toilet tissue overnight. To start the brush pile fire, place the soaked tissue under the brush. Thirdly, to light, use long matches made for fireplaces, or make a match fire lighter from rolled up newspaper. Charcoal lighter is also good as well as kerosene to help get the fire lit. Please under any circumstance, do not use just gasoline. To light the big fireplace at the ranch when I was growing up, used corn cobs soaked in kerosene or “coal oil” as called in those days. Well not many corn cobs or coal oil around anymore so try the gas/diesel mix, but be careful. Roll of toilet tissue soaked in the mixture will burn long enough to get even a damp brush pile goin’.

Happy Trails!

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Horseback Magazine July 2013