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July 2012

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK No Matter How High a Horse Steps

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Tennessee federal prosecutors blew it when they let Tennessee Walking Horse trainer Jackie McConnell off by allowing him to plead guilty to only one count of 52 in a cruelty indictment under the United States Horse Protection Act. However, the man will forever be branded as the very image of cruelty to horses after ABC aired a video of his brutal training techniques. Perhaps that’s enough. Yet McConnell faced five years in prison and a quarter million dollar By Steven Long fine. He had either a good lawyer, soft hearted prosecutor, or inept judge. He was allowed to walk with a slap on the wrist. Money talks, and in late June the Humane Society of the United States, the group who brought McConnell and four others to justice, didn’t sit still after McConnell was sentenced to little more than humiliating public embarrassment (and we don’t even know if he is embarrassed by his acts). In the wake of the Obama Justice Department’s plea deal, HSUS announced it is offering a substantial incentive to turn people in for the practice of “soring” a horse. Soring is the practice many, if not most, Tennessee Walking Horse trainers use to produce the “Big Lick” exaggerated gait seen in shows such as the national Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee, July 12-14. Last year at the Celebration, USDA investigators, with the help of the Humane Society, tested every horse for painful gait altering chemicals. Every single one of them tested positive demonstrating corruption throughout the Tennessee Walking Horse show world. The evidence was just overwhelming and it was clear to everybody except possibly the residents of Shelbyville, pop. 16,105 something had to change. The economy of this tiny rural county swells each year come celebration time as fans contribute to the county’s economy. In the wake of the bad publicity the McConnell incident brought to the town, local Celebration sponsors remained despite the withdrawal of Pepsi, the main national supporter. Moreover, in press reports they called McConnell’s actions an isolated incident. Now, in the wake of the disappointing plea deal out of Tennessee in the McConnell case, the Humane Society of the United States has upped the ante. It is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for every sored horse reported to authorities. This will almost certainly bring the shameful practice of soring to a halt. Throughout history we have seen that human greed almost always trumps the most carefully hidden secret practices. The $10,000 reward will be tempting indeed to the poorly paid grooms and stable boys working in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry who will inevitably now turn in their employers. These back barn workers have seen it all. Hopefully, those convicted will not get off with a slap on the wrist as did McConnell, but will face real jail time – hard time. Horseback Magazine applauds the Humane Society of the United States in its move to take justice beyond splashy lip service to the level of real prosecutions and convictions. Inflicting pain on an animal is not sport, it is cruelty, and there is no pretty face that can be put on it no matter how high a horse steps.


10 HORSE BITES 14 PARELLI - Pat Parelli with Steven Long 16 Dream BIG & Believe - Kelly Kaminski 36 Whole Horsemansip - Dianne Lindig 40 TACK TALK - Lew Pewterbaugh 44 On The English Front - Cathy Strobel 46 Horse Sense - Dr. Jessica Jahiel 48 The Cowboy Way - Corey Johnson 50 COWBOY CORNER - Jim Hubbard Cover Story:

20 Craig Cameron - Steven Long

Lifestyle: 24 26 32 38

Food & Beverage - Blackened Redfish Made in America - Margaret Pirtle Another Sweltering Summer - Margaret Pirtle A Cowgirl in the Desert - Steven Long




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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jim Hubbard, Steven Long, Vicki Long, Dianne Lindig, Roni Norquist, Pat Parelli, Lew Pewterbaugh, Cothy Strobel, Dr. Jessica Jahiel,Cory Johnson, Margaret Pirtle Volume 20, No 7. Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397, (281) 447-0772. The entire contents of the magazine are copyrighted July 2012 by Horseback Magazine. All rights reserved. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Horseback Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other material unless accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope. Horseback Magazine is not responsible for any claims made by advertisers. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or management. Subscription rate is $25.00 for one year.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397. Fax: (281) 893-1029 Email:

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

Leigh Issue Wild Horse Report After Another Courthouse Victory RENO, (Wild Horse Education) – On June 20,2012 in Federal District Court in Reno, Hon. Judge Howard J. McKibben granted part of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) sought against the Bureau of Land Management. A roundup began June 8, 2012 under the management of BLM’s Winnemucca District manager Gene Seidlitz. Within the supporting documents justification process BLM cited a water emergency in the south west portion of the area and utilized that to begin a removal operation in the entire area of wild horses during foaling season as defined by the agency. The federal government prohibits this activity during foaling season according to BLM’s own protocol in all but emergent situations. “The ruling reflects that Judge McKibben understands that the agency justified an action and then broadened their discretion to take actions that they had not justified,” said Gordon Cowan, Reno based attorney for Leigh after the hearing. “I understand the positive importance of the ruling and recognition of distinct language in the system to begin to attain any accountability within the agency but I am still gravely concerned,” Leigh said. She is founder of Wild Horse Education. The agency is limited to using helicopters to roundup wild horses to the scope of the documented emergency in the south of Jackson. “The BLM has targeted 630 animals for removal,” stated Leigh. “If they push in


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Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 18

the south they will imbalance an area. The right thing to do would be to stop for now as more than 315 horses have been removed from the South and monitor to see if enough pressure has been removed from the range. But is that what we can expect?” Currently there are no formal use restrictions anywhere within the Jackson Mountain Herd area for any users. The area had livestock grazing and considerable extractive industry. “If the concept here, according to the law is fair and equitable use,” Leigh said, “How can there be an emergency of

such magnitude that it requires running newborn foals in the desert heat during the most fragile time of their lives, if no other use has a restriction?” In late June Horseback also learned that the same judge issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the BLM from flying its stampede helicopters dangerously close to wild horses after it witnessed the skid from an aircraft hitting and causing a horse to stumble and fall as it ran at breakneck speed to escape the roaring machine.

New Mexico Reports More Cases of Vesicular Stomatitis AUSTIN, (TAHC) – In May, Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) was detected in two horses in Otero County in New Mexico. The horses were sampled after vesicular lesions were observed on both animals. To date, 11 premises are now under quarantine. The counties of Otero, Valencia, Socorro and San Miguel have confirmed positive VS cases. The counties of Dona Ana and Roosevelt have also had suspect cases. The counties of Bernalillo and Santa Fe are considered

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Three Kinds of Bits

By Pat Parelli with Steven Long

does not mean it has a broken mouthpiece. The word snaffle does not mean it has any leverage. There are straight bar snaffles that are used in driving horses. A lot of people misconceive that the word snaffle means broken. HORSEBACK: As long as I’ve been around horses, that’s what I thought. Thanks for the enlightenment. It’s just amazing how HORSEBACK MAGAZINE: I’ve seen you horsemanship is a lifetime learning experience. ride with different bits on your different PARELLI: Here’s more. The non-leveraged horses. When is it appropriate to move from bit is best used with lateral flexion. We a snaffle or training bit to a different type of bend the horse right or left to keep his hind quarters out of gear, or as we call apparatus? PARELLI: Basically, there are three kinds of it disengaged. The next kind of bit is a bits. There are non-leveraged bits, leveraged leveraged bit. That is a bit that is intended bits, and then there are torture devices. for refinement, helping the horse elevate in We want to make sure that we understand front and therefore putting more weight on that bits are a tool of communication. A the hindquarters giving more engagement. non-leveraged bit is a great teaching bit The major thing we need to understand is for young horses depending on being able that the snaffle is made for disengagement to teach, control, reinforce, and refine. To and directing the horse’s line of travel, and teach, control, and reinforce means the the leveraged bit is designed to put more horse behaves while being ridden. The engagement in the hind quarters. There’s more, I’m sure. name for the common bit people use is a HORSEBACK: HorseBack_0412_7.5 x 4.88 5/23/12 8:16 PM PagePARELLI: 1 If there is a behavior problem, snaffle bit. It is a non-leveraged bit, but that

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for example, oftentimes a leveraged bit gives the horse the ability to engage more, rear quicker, faster, and higher, and oftentimes he can buck harder. Most people make mistakes by using leveraged bits at the wrong time. HORSEBACK: So? PARELLI: I see your question coming. When is the right time to go to a leveraged bit? We again think of four things I first mentioned. Pretty simple - teach, control, reinforce, and refine. The time to refine is the time to go to the leveraged bit. HORSEBACK: And now about those torture devices. PARELLI: If you want to know what a torture device is, it’s pretty simple. All you have to do is look at your heart. If you were to lead your horse into a tack store, I’ll bet you most horses would have a cardiac arrest on the spot looking at the torture devices that were designed to control them. A lot of times, the most misunderstood horse is the one that has a lot of go. The thing to keep in mind is whatever you are doing with a horse, do it with him, and for him - not to him. It doesn’t take long to discover that a bit was designed for communication. All you have to do is look in your heart. hB

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“Memories of Rocky Part 4”


was August and I had entered a few rodeos I had never been to. I was working on getting qualified for the NFR and Rocky and I had some catching up to do. I made a little tour of a few rodeos in Montana and some in Idaho that week. The plan was to make our run in Great Falls, Montana and then stay with my friend’s, Flint and Katie Rasmussen at their place in Choteau about an hour away, for a few days. Their daughters, Shelby and Paige

are some of Kenna’s dearest friends from when they were almost toddlers. They still text and get together every year at the NFR. We drove thru town and found the fairgrounds. This rodeo is held on a race track and there are numerous stall barns and shed rows in laid out in no particular neat order. It’s sort of chaotic. We parked and unloaded near one and tied the horses. Between the race horse people’s trailers and rodeo contestant’s trailers it was a catacomb of craziness. I walked up to pay my fees and to find Flint and Katie. I wasn’t up until slack after the performance so it would be a long night. It was a nice cool night for us Texans. The performance ended and I was getting Rocky ready. We had

to wait for some of the other event’s slack before they set up the barrels. By the time they did, it was late, almost midnight. Have I ever mentioned that I HATE running that late? The arena is on the track and I don’t remember there being a gate. The barrel pattern was a little off set, so I was checking my angles from which to run, while keeping an eye on my competition. Some of the horses were slipping and a few fell completely down at the first barrel. The judge called my name and off Rocky and I went. I remember cueing him to turn and as we came around the first barrel and I felt the propulsion of Rocky pushing off to go to the next barrel, the world fell out from under me. He rolled and I got one foot out of the stirrup. One was still stuck as he jumped up from the shock of the fall.

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I knew there was no gate to stop him and feared being dragged around the large fairgrounds with no help. It felt like a lifetime, but I finally managed to get my foot out. Rocky took off like the Kentucky Derby winner that he descended from. He ran out of the arena and was gone. I immediately ran after him crying his name. My mom and Kenna were in the trailer and had no idea of the drama that was going on. The barrel race was stopped due to unsafe ground. The PRCA/ WPRA judges will do this after so many slips and falls. Rocky had a reputation of never having trouble with the ground, so I guess I was the lucky one they deemed it unsafe on. They will have the tractor come in and rework the ground and give the contestants who have already run a second chance to make things fair. In the meantime, I was unaware of the arena actions. I was searching for my precious Rocky terrified he might get out on the road. I had one horse die on the road getting hit by a car. I certainly didn’t want to repeat that, especially with Rocky. Several people were helping me. We searched the areas and asked questions if anyone had seen him. This was the longest 45 minutes of my life. I looked up and saw a young cowboy leading Rocky toward me. I didn’t know him. He asked if the horse he had was the famous World Champion, Rocky. I replied in a thankful tone that indeed he was! He told me how he and another cowboy were visiting when this saddled white horse came streaking by. He stopped a little ways past them, and one of the cowboys grabbed the reins. They saw the keeper on the breast collar with NFR and my initials and they couldn’t believe they had Rocky. They talked about him as if they were in the presence of Elvis. I was so appreciative, I gave them both a hug and promised to fix or buy them dinner sometime. Flint had stayed behind to ride in the truck to help me get to their ranch in Choteau. He found me and let me know that the judges had offered me a re-run. I declined,

and we loaded up and left. You know, I have never seen those young cowboys since that night. I will always be grateful to them. By the way, I have not been back to Great Falls, Montana. Maybe one day…. hB

Kelly Kaminski has twice won the WPRA World Barrel Racing Championship, and has also won the Reserve Championship twice at the National Finals Rodeo. This great American horsewoman continues to compete, hold clinics, and train worthy horses. She is currently accepting a limited number of horses for training.

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Horse Bites - Con’t. fm pg. 11

high risk for cases of VS. According to the New Mexico State Veterinarian, based on the current findings of VS in the area: Where out of state livestock are a part of a public event such as roping, racing, breeding or other forms of public exhibition or traveling interstate, a health certificate (CVI) written within five days of entering the show will be required for all New Mexico origin livestock. The following statement is to appear on the CVI: “The animals represented on this certificate have not originated from a premises or area under quarantine for Vesicular Stomatitis (VS), or a premises on which VS has been diagnosed in the past 21 days. I have examined these animals and have not observed lesions or clinical signs of VS”. The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) prohibits entry of animals from VS quarantined premises, and also requires livestock to be accompanied by a valid certificate of veterinary inspection. VS can cause blisters and sores in the mouth and on the tongue, muzzle, teats or hooves of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, llamas and a number of other animals. Lesions usually will heal in two or three weeks. Because the signs of VS mimic those of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), animal health officials strongly urge livestock owners and caretakers to report potential cases of VS to their private veterinary practitioner or state livestock health officials.

Aggie Vets Issue Hurricane Guidelines COLLEGE STATION, (TAMU) – Evacuating when a hurricane hits the coast is a stressful and scary experience, especially when evacuating with horses. While tornadoes give little warning for evacuation, hurricanes can give enough lead time to actually move people and horses out of the storm’s expected path. But even with that time, preparing for equine evacuations can be crucial to the survival of horses. Dr. William Moyer, professor and special assistant to the dean at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, offered a series of suggestions for evacuating with horses. “Take the threat seriously. You need to make the decision to leave as


soon as you can. If you wait until the last minute, you’re placing yourself and your horse in harm’s way. Over 100,000 animals were lost during Hurricane Ike,” Moyer said. He suggested that owners make sure their trailers are roadworthy before hurricane season begins or identify someone with reliable trucks and trailers who can transport horses for them. Another important aspect of evacuating horses is ensuring that your horses are comfortable with loading. Working with your horses ahead of time is particularly important if a neighbor or friend will be transporting your horse because ill-behaved horses can waste valuable evacuation time or refusal of transport. Evacuation traffic is often slow and crowded, creating a dangerous situation for trailered horses. “You are often forced to move quite slowly. Filling up on gas or diesel before entering traffic is imperative and can keep you out of situations where your animal might overheat or become dehydrated should you run out of fuel,” Moyer said. Moyer advised identifying evacuation destinations. “While moving inland during a hurricane is important, finding a specific place to go is best. During hurricane Ike we sheltered 166 horses through a cooperative agreement with a local livestock arena operation. The degree of planning for resources, personnel, and scheduling regular care can be daunting. The State of Texas recognizes that prior planning and implementation is

live saving for both animals and people.” He suggested creating an evacuation “kit” with a brief and well documented health history, a list of behavior peculiarities (if applicable), a first aid kit, cash, appropriate health documentation, enough food and adequate, safe water supplies for about four days, and any necessary medicine for chronic or preexisting illnesses. Owners also need to ensure the appropriate health documentation accompanies the horse. An up-to-date Coggins test is necessary, particularly if crossing state lines. Moyer suggested making sure you have these papers organized before hurricane season. In addition to required documentation, vaccinations are also suggested. “Because evacuating can be a stressful time, vaccinations can help decrease the likelihood of several

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Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 34

diseases,” said Moyer. “Mosquitos can be a huge problem during hurricane season, and moving them around coastal areas can expose them to new areas of infestation and diseases.” Also, prepare current paper and electronic copies of pictures of your horse for reclaiming purposes, particularly if the horse isn’t tattooed or branded. “Ideally, these would include a picture of the owner and the horse together to insure ownership,” Moyer said. If you cannot evacuate your horse, or are forced to leave part of your herd behind, there are also some

precautions that can help you reunite with your horse. Keeping photographs can help, but also attaching identification information to the horse’s body can be useful. “Braiding information wrapped in plastic to horses manes and tails can help. Livestock paint works well to put identification information on the body, and it’s waterproof. Or even taking a pair of clippers and shaving your contact information into the animal’s hair can help you reunite with your horse when you return.” In addition to preparing your horse for evacuation, Moyer also

suggested preparing yourself. “Have a personal evacuation plan, too. You have to take care of yourself first to be able to take care of your horse.”

HSUS Posts Rewards for Tips on Horse Soring Offenders WASHINGTON, (HSUS) — As awareness spreads about the abusive treatment of Tennessee Walking Horses in the top levels of show competition, The Humane Society of the United States is continuing its commitment to help bring



From the Depths of the Big City to the Back of a Horse


COWBOY By Steven Long, photo’s courtesy of Craig Cameron


bout the closest thing to the back of a horse near Craig Cameron’s old high school in Houston is a small shop at Richmond and Chimney Rock where legendary Texas hatter Gary Cohen shapes hats for cowboys and superstars at The Hat Store. It’s a land of concrete and steel, not corrals and pastures. In the world where Cameron grew up the closest place you could buy a taste of the west was glitzy shops in the Galleria area where finery sports enough bling to illuminate a headlight. The famed clinician, now 63, was typical of teenagers in the Bayou City at Lee High School. What was atypical about him was his near obsession with horses from an early age. Now, as he enters a period of well seasoned maturity,


the former PRCA bull rider is one of the equestrian world’s most beloved figures, and rightly so. Cameron’s smile flashes bright, and often, as he brings Texas charm and good humor to the up close encounters he is known for. It is no secret that well healed horsemen and women flock to his beautiful Ranch near Bluff Dale, Texas for intensive one on one encounters with the master – and that’s when the

diminutive cowboy isn’t traveling. “I do a clinic almost every day,” he told Horseback Magazine during a stop-over at the venerable Will Rogers complex in Fort Worth during the AmerEquine extravaganza. “We’ve even gone international with clinics in Europe and Canada.” Not bad for a Texas boy who has ranching in his roots, despite his city upbringing.“We always had ranches in my family,” he says. Each week, as soon as he was able Cameron would travel from the Bayou City to the family’s 1,000 acre spread, or to the 1,700 acres between Giddings, Texas and the tiny town of Old Dime Box which is located in a pastoral setting deep in the heart of bluebonnet country.

“When Hell freezes over, I’ll ride on ice.” Craig Cameron

“I did everything you could do there,” he said. “I grew up ranching and I love the working cow horse. I love Quarter Horses, and that’s what we use today.” It didn’t take long for Cameron to enter rodeos in and around the ethnically German speaking towns of Central Texas. “I rode in every little rodeo you can name,” he says. And as his career progressed and he got his PRCA card, “I rode in every big rodeo. I was an active PRCA cowboy for 12 years.” Cameron paid his dues, and then some. “I rode ‘them old bulls for a long time, and I got my gold card,” he says proud of his well established roots in America’s beloved cowboy sport. “As a traveling rodeo cowboy, every day is not a bed of roses.” That bed often includes sleeping in the seat of a

up truck or trailer, staying in cheap motels, or just landing face first and eating arena dirt under the heels of a raging 2,000 pound mass of bull flesh. It gets old. As the road got old, and the body told Cameron that taking a weekly pounding in a rodeo arena was not the highway to a long and healthy life, he learned along the way that he is a natural teacher. He began translating what he had learned on the back of a horse into a show of sorts. “He could ride anything you could put him on,” says Rick Prince, a former record company executive, who was Cameron’s first college roommate at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. “We were at rodeos every weekend and he was just great,” Prince remembers. “He could do anything.” There is no university course that propels America’s great equestrian clinicians July 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


to the point where they can fill a coliseum where the audience sits on the edge of their seats soaking up every word. Superstars such as Craig Cameron, his pal Pat Parelli, Monti Roberts, Chris Cox, and Clinton Anderson all learned their craft on the back of a horse doing the things that were developed on a working ranch. What looks great in the arena has practical roots in the real world. Last year Cameron and Parelli teamed up to perform in Tootie Bland’s “Road to the Horse,” now a decade old. “I enjoyed being with Pat,” he told Horseback. Parelli has done an exclusive column in the magazine for almost


ten years now. Parelli is also a former PRCA cowboy and bronc rider, and maybe that’s what made the two rough stock athletes click as they worked together. The relationship was magic, says everybody, including Craig Cameron. “He’s a really laid back guy, and you wouldn’t believe that,” Cameron says. Craig is also immodest about their performance at the event. “We did the best job,” he said without hesitation. Ironically, the two never met when they were traveling the rodeo circuit. “He was on the West Coast, and I was working more to the East,”

he says. Both made the transition from rodeo arena to clinicians at about the same time. “We’ve both been doing it for 20 years, maybe 25,” he said. Not all of the elite clinicians get along. In fact, some despise others in the field. But the two old cowboys pride themselves at their professionalism and cherish their friendship. “I can get along with just about anybody,” he says. Besides Parelli he respects other near legendary clinicians such as Monty Roberts and Ray Hunt. “Monty’s really got some knowledge, and look at some of the things he’s done,” Cameron says. “Ray was a great cowboy and a great horseman,” Craig says of the


late godfather of the natural horsemanship movement. Vast knowledge and an ever present, easy going smile is why horsemen flock to his clinics from coast to coast and from abroad. They also come to the ranch he calls home in Bluff Dale, a postage stamp dot not even acknowledged on most Texas maps. Many of those horsemen ride with the seat of their pants and little else. “I ride with my head, I ride with passion, and passion is power,” he says, repeating the mantra that has made him, along with Parelli, Anderson, and Roberts, a thinking man’s clinician. That relationship with his students applies whether Cameron is working a coliseum show, a “Road to the Horse” or “Equine Affaire” extravaganza, or at the ranch at home with just a few folks. “I try to have a one on one relationship with everybody,” he says. “In the 1980s I said that if one person shows up I give a hundred percent,” he says. “That hasn’t changed, and when you are working with a horse, you want to have fun.” The fun part is what makes Cameron so appealing, and that includes straightening out problems for and with his clients, always with that gleaming smile on his face. “Correction and good encouragement is the better way to teach somebody,” he laughs.”I try to see the good in the horse, the good in people, but I ain’t no pushover.” Cameron has made a career of assessing other people’s riding skills, but it doesn’t stop there. He takes an equally analytical look at himself and likes what he sees. “Every year I just keep getting better,” he says. “To be great at anything you have to do it every day.” And the small town boy from Houston loves the fame that has come with being one of the nation’s top horsemen. “It’s fun,” he says, that smile constantly lighting up the room as he sat in a vendor’s booth at the Will Rogers for the interview. “It’s rewarding that everywhere I go people know me. It happens when I stop in a small town, and I’ll talk to them and stop over for a while with them,” he said as perfect strangers formed a half moon shaped circle to grasp every word he said to Horseback. And the subject then always goes back to riding horses.



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Blackened Redfish with Red Beans and Dirty Rice Red Beans 1 pound dry kidney beans 1 whole serrano pepper 1/3 cup celery (fine chop) 1/4 cup green onion bottoms (fine chop) 1 tbsp garlic (fine chop) 6 cups of water to cover beans 1/2 cup free range chicken stock 1 1/4 cup (or 1 link) andouille sausage (fine cubed) 1-2 bay leaves 1 tbsp TSS Herbal red 1 tsp sea salt


inse and cull beans. In a stock pot add beans, sea salt and six cups of water or enough to cover for boiling. Boil for 20 minutes then reduce heat to medium. add another cup of water if needed along with all ingredients except andouille and chicken stock. Cook 15 minutes and reduce heat to low. add sausage and chicken stock. Continue to cook until beans render down then cover and cook on lowest setting until beans are tender (1520 minutes) and adjust sea salt to taste. remove from heat, leave covered and let beans rest while the rice is made.

Dirty Rice 1 lb ground pork 1/2cup bell pepper (fine chop) 1/4 cup shallots (fine chop) 1 tbsp garlic (fine chop) 1/3 cup green onion tops (fine chop) 1/2cup free range chicken stock 4 cups cooked white rice 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp TSS Cajun Pequin 1 tsp sea salt 1/2 tsp granulated garlic 1 tsp dried oregano leaves 1 tsp lemon juice


eat a cast iron skillet on medium high then add the olive oil, bell pepper, shallots, fresh garlic and green onion. Cook stirring often until vegetables are soft. add the pork and TSS Cajun Pequin seasoning. Brown meat and continue to cook until the fat is rendered down. remove excess grease if any. reduce heat to medium low and add remaining ingredients. Cook down until most of the liquid is gone and adjust sea salt to taste. remove from heat.

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15 minutes South of Historic Fredericksburg, Texas – This amazing Hill Country estate is nestled into the picturesque countryside. First class amenities are included in the main house with over 8,000 square feet of high-ceiling, open- concept, ranch-style architecture. This dream home has expansive patios for views and entertaining. Guest house and ranch office of 8500 +/square feet with outside activity area for basketball, softball, volley ball, horseshoes and BBQ functions. 2 stall horse barn with second floor cottage. 2000′ paved strip with hanger, plus a regulation trap andskeet range with lounge. Varied terrain from improved grass fields to spring-fed creek bottom with huge elms and oaks. An ideal corporate or family retreat – or move your business to the ranch. Call for a showing soon!


This beautiful Hill Country Equestrian property is one of the finest that the Texas Hill County has to offer. The high quality and superior improvements will make this stand out in any crowd. There is a custom nine stall horse barn with roping arena. The beautiful 4200 SF main house has 4 bed & bath’s, with additional rooms such as the private office and a trophy room. The home has high ceilings, hand troweled walls, heated bathroom floors, commercial kitchen appliances, and many more unique details. The open and spacious floor plan has large windows with great hill country views. There is a guest house, foreman’s quarters, swimming pool, hay and equipment barn and multiple RV hookups. The ranch has all of the necessities of a horse ranch and includes many of the luxuries that you can’t find in today’s market.



“Made In America”

Back in Style By Margaret Pirtle


whether we like their product or not but products made by people in states across this great nation that can help our country get back its financial edge.

very once in a while, I actually turn over something I am about to purchase to see where it is made. I know we all should buy American to help each other out in these financially stressful times, but I am a bargain hunter, and most of the bargains tend to be made in China, Mexico or some other nation. Then something happened last month. I bought a toy for my grandson, one of those great bargains I found on sale. He hadn’t played with it for ten minutes before the thing fell apart. My great bargain ended up in the trash and the money I thought I had saved - well let’s just say, I could have tossed it away before I purchased the toy and I would have had the same results. I remember my mother’s old pink- yes I said pink - refrigerator. It was during the early sixties and she was so proud of her new appliance. That refrigerator lasted until 1987 and it was still running fine when she gave it away during a move to a new home. I can’t remember anything I have purchased lately that I expect to last for any length of time. We have become so use to things breaking that we take for granted they are suppose to be tossed away immediately after the new has worn off.


So to get you started on this quest-we at Horseback can recommend many great companies with American made products you can buy now.


ow I am not naive enough to believe that we will all start buying only American made. But there are great products that are made by American companies who take pride in their workmanship. Yes, you may be paying a little more for a higher quality and craftsmanship, but it’s time for us to pull up our boot straps and buy them. Not something made in a country whose workers care little

We challenge you to pick two or three of these exceptional companies -not tomorrow-but today. Call or email them and purchase something. All it takes to turn this economy around is for each of us to buy one or two things and help these companies stay in business making quality wares. So pick up a pencil, review the ads and write-upscircle the product you want and buy. God Bless You for keeping America Great!

Made in USA!

ROSIE’S WORKWEAR FOR WOMEN Rosies Workwear for Women offers work clothes that allow women to feel stylish! Women can still be “one of the boys” without having to look like one. Rosies come in a range of flattering colors and patterns in soft 100% cotton. But don’t let their girlish good looks fool you, Rosies are tough and made to hold up to whatever you can dish out. Now Rosies offers Made in the USA overalls in classic denim, with just a touch of pink. VISIT US AT: (805) 541-2443 ♦ www. ♦

Amish Market celebrated 9 years in business in June. We offer handcrafted Amish furniture for every room in your home. We work almost daily with anywhere from 90 to 95 Amish craftsman. They have invited us into their homes, gatherings and weddings. The Amish typically conduct business with a handshake and a smile, they are honest and dependable and they expect the same from us. All of the quality furniture at the Amish Market is made here in America. We also carry Amish-made wagons and buggies, outdoor furniture, along with a wide variety of Amish and Mennonite made butter, cheese, preserved fruits and vegetables and noodles. VISIT US AT: 410 West Main St., Fredericksburg, TX ♦ (830) 990-2977 ♦



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The best light weight, breathable mat to roll out for picnics & relaxing at horse shows or trail rides. This attractive, washable mat with grommets along hem, allow the grass beneath it to survive. Best of all, the Magic Mat™ is made from Americanmade lawn furniture scrap pieces then further manufactured in our US factory. Only available on-line: • Size 8 ft. x 10 ft. • Available for $65 plus shipping ♦ VISIT US AT: www. ♦



The Juicy Pig™ from Texas Select Seasonings™ is an all natural sweet & slightly spicy Texas BBQ rub perfect for pork shoulders, ribs and chicken. Countless awards have been won by competitive cooking teams across the states using TSS spices and rubs. TSS produces 51 award winning, and all natural rubs, spice blends, salsa, pepper jelly, wild game blends and fish fry. Texas Select Seasonings ™ company retail store is located in La Marque, Texas just south of Houston. ♦ VISIT US AT: 3407 Gulf Freeway, La Marque, TX (409) 392-8199 ♦ www. ♦


Love stuffed jalapeno peppers but can’t stand the “heat” of preparation? We have just the setup for you! The Jalapeno Griller was designed to keep ingredients inside, with peppers grilling upright and secure, capturing all the spice and flavor. Jalapeno chefs can choose from all shapes and sizes to meet cooking demands, making our grillers their “new best friends” by preparing the best chili peppers on the planet! Check out our griller and accessories on our website, along with instructions for preparing the best peppers to hit your palate. ♦ VISIT US AT: (972) 938-0073 www. ♦

Made in USA!

EQUI-SPIRIT BALL “Throw Away” Orphan Foal is Inspiration for World Famous Equi-Spirit Ball!

He can’t answer phones or sign official business documents, but Riley a rescued orphan foal is credited for creating the cornerstone for the Equi-Spirit Toys business. The spunky colt had a knack for breaking every play ball ever tossed at him, so Kenny Williams and Lisa RossWilliams decided to develop a large play ball durable enough for rough horseplay.

The key to the durability is a heavy-duty pvcbased bladder with an anti-burst additive which is then covered by a tough fabric. The 25” and 40” balls come in different colors and patterns. In addition to being a lot of fun, the Equi-Spirit balls offer great physical and mental stimulation which equates to improved health and lowered stress. Working out of their ranch in Arizona, the couple donates hundreds of ball to charitable organizations including rescues and therapeutic riding programs. ♦ FIND US AT: ♦


The M-Pact Stealth boot is made from Maxigrip, unbroken loop neoprene with Sorbothane protective inserts along the strike plates that dissipate 95% of impact shock, converting very little to the horse’s leg. The main advantage of the Bar-F SMB boots over competitors is the fit and the bilateral strap, which offers equal vertical support to the horse’s fetlock versus one-sided support like most other designs. • Bar-F boots are known for their durability and quality, lasting years longer than many other brands of leg boots on the market. • For a limited time, boots available with “Made in America” on front-show your patriotism! • The M-Pact Stealth boots MSRP at $69.95/pair. Now through July while supplies last, “Made in America” model for $59.95. ♦ VISIT US AT: (800) 372-8899 www.♦



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Company Description: Made in the USA, Barranada offers unequaled elegance in shirts for Men and Women. The exquisite tailoring of Barranada shirts makes them perfect as both performance wear and lifestyle apparel. Products & Services: Keys to the Barranada fit include longer sleeves and shirttails, plus critical ease through the shoulder area for an arena look that does not pull or bind. Top-notch construction, distinctive fabrics and exciting colors are our trademarks. Mother of pearl buttons etched with the Barranada logo add an upscale touch. Please check out our web site for prompt customer service and monthly specials. ORDER DIRECTLY FROM US AT Company: Barranada Address: 1711 S. Stuhr Road Grand Island, NE 68801 Phone: 866-693-2323 or 308-382-2920 Email: Web:

BA3065-6 HorseBackMag.indd 1


6/19/12 10:16 AM

Made in USA!

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The Stress of Heat

Last year the months of June through August were the hottest three months ever recorded in the history of the United States. The record was formerly held by Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl of 1934. Now we are once again in the middle of the summer months and while we have this year been lucky to have rain, the scorching summer temperatures are once again zapping the energy out of both humans and animals. The main problem with the heat of summer is what your body absorbs from the environment, as well as the heat that your body produces itself, The way we normally eliminate this heat is through sweat, but your body can only lose so much liquid before it goes into shock. Hence the reason that everyone is warned to drink lots of liquids if doing outside activities and sometimes even drinking a lot of water may not be enough to replace the water loss. Standing in front of a fan has its limits too when it comes to cooling off. To receive the best results from one your skin must be moist. Unfortunately most fans in a hot situation act more like a hairdryer set on high heat. One of the best ways to cool yourself down is through an external cooling product. They can’t cool the air around you, but they can cool your body down and allow it time to evaporate the heat.

Welcome To Another Sweltering Summer


ith summer in full swing and the mercury heading north, the heat of the day makes just staying cool the object of most day to day life. When the temperature soars above 95 on a good day and the sun never seems to set, both human and animals need to find ways to ensure a cool existence. 32 32 H HORSEBACK ORSEBACKM MAGAZINE AGAZINE--July July2012 2012

There are some great products on the market which help to cool the body down. Some are like cooling scarves which when chilled in a freezer or refrigerator and hung around the neck, lower the body’s heat and allow you to be more comfortable and safer while in summer outdoor conditions. Other are a full vest, that can be chilled and worn to help negate the heat.

Animals & Summer Heat

How many untold numbers of animals die as a result of summer heat we may never know. We hear about pets being left in cars where the temperature can quickly rise to 130 degrees, but what about those who are outside: horses, dogs, cats, chickens, and other farm animals. All animals can become just as sick as humans in the summer heat. There is not anything more vital than a fresh water source for animals in the summer’s heat. Fresh, cool running streams are ideal for cattle, horses and many other livestock. For dogs, cats, water containers should be kept clean and full of cool fresh water and for animals that depend on water bottles, such as rabbits and chickens, they need to have their water filled and refreshed at least twice daily. All animals need a place to get out of the sun’s intensity. Be it a grove of trees, a shed, or a barn, escaping the sun is vital to staying cool. The movement of the hot summer’s air can be a

blessing to your animals. Those kept up in barns or closed in houses need fans to move the air about, failure to do so can easily result in suffocation and heat exhaustion. Water or gel-filled cooling mats, cooling vests and cooling collars are great for animals that are kept outside. Just like humans, extreme heat can overpower your animal’s ability to cool himself. Add excessive sweating into the mix, which also causes a loss of fluids and the results can be disastrous. These cooling devices act the same on animals as humans, to cool the body to protect against too much heat. So whether your animal is in a yard, standing in a stuffy stall or trailer, cooling him down is the most important thing you can do for your friend this summer.

Have a Safe & Fun Summer

The heat is here and it won’t be going away for a while. Instead of confining yourself indoors, there are simple products that can make you and your animals time in the sun fun. Instead of hiding until fall, just use the four simple things that can make summer one of your favorite times of the year.

1. Water 2. Shade, 3. Air Circulation 4. Body Cooling Product With just these four things, you can spend time in the sun, play with your pet, ride your horse, and both of you can enjoy the long days together in comfort.



Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 19

violators to justice through the offering of a reward to crack down on abuse of these animals. The standing reward of up to $10,000 will be paid for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any violator of the Horse Protection Act or any state law which prohibits horse “soring,” the deliberate infliction of pain to force horses to perform an artificially high-stepping gait for the show ring. Tennessee’s animal cruelty statute specifically prohibits soring, and was recently amended to create a felony offense of animal cruelty for applying acid or other caustic substance or chemical to any exposed area of an animal, which is a common method for soring horses. The HSUS is encouraging the reporting of these crimes in light of the recent guilty plea by well-known Tennessee Walking Horse trainer Jackie McConnell for violations related to the federal Horse Protection Act. New data also indicates the prevalence of soring throughout the “Big-Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse industry despite the federal Horse Protection Act, which outlawed the practice in 1970.

He has the mind



“This gross abuse to horses cannot be allowed to continue unabated,” said Keith Dane, director of equine protection for The HSUS. “It is vital that witnesses to these crimes come forward and report them so that offenders can be brought to justice and this vile practice finally ended.” Earlier this year, The HSUS paid a $10,000 reward for information that led to the arrest and conviction of Barney Davis, a Tennessee horse trainer, for violations of the Horse Protection Act. Davis testified during his sentencing hearing that soring is a common practice. “They’ve got to be sored to walk,” Davis said at the Feb. 17 hearing. “I mean, that’s the bottom line. It ain’t no good way to put it, but that’s it.” Anyone with information on this cruel practice should call 301258-1488 or email equineprotection@ The HSUS will protect the identity of all callers.

Board of Directors has elected Gearald Farris, a chiropractor by profession in Longview and long time owner/breeder including two Texas champions, as the breed organization’s new president. Farris, TTA’s former secretary-treasurer, succeeds David Stephens, DVM, who completed his one-year term, but will automatically be one of the seven members of the TTA Executive Committee. The other newly elected officers are: Danny Shifflett, 1st Vice President; Hal Wiggins, 2nd Vice President; Ken Carson, Secretary-Treasurer; and Jacquelyn Rich, DVM, and Phil Leckinger, At Large members of the Executive Committee. The Board also voted to name Central Texas owner/breeder Jack Cook, the next highest vote recipient in the 2012 election of at large directors, to fill the unexpired term of Tod Wojciechowski who will be moving his family to Florida following the end of the school year.

Farris Named to Thoroughbred Post The Texas Thoroughbred Association

Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 42

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“The Sweet Spot”

In golf, it’s the exact spot on the club head, which, when it strikes the ball, generates the greatest force and results in the longest ball flight. In ballet, it is the exact degree of hip rotation, which allows the dancer’s leg to swing up high and freely, with minimal effort. In high jumping, it’s an exact take-off point and angle of the foot and leg, which allows the jumper to flow into one’s highest possible jump. You horse has a sweet spot, too. It’s the optimum position of its mouth, jaw, head, and neck, which allows it to move comfortably and athletically in a collected frame. This position varies


from horse to horse, depending on each horse’s individual anatomy, and unique way of responding to specific signals from its rider. The sweet spot is not the only element necessary for achieving collection, but it is a vital piece of the whole picture. Before we continue, it’s important to note that, while not all work is done in a collected frame in all disciplines, it is nevertheless an imperative part of any riding horse’s training and conditioning. It is a necessary part of developing any horse’s core strength, and its ability to shift its weight into its haunches, in order to execute, or to prepare to execute skills or maneuvers, no matter what its specialty. For example, a reining horse must collect, while extending stride, to prepare for and deliver a deep, balanced, stop. A barrel racing horse must shift its weight back into its haunches to prepare for and execute a good turn at speed. A hunter-jumper must collect slightly, and

shift its weight back in order to negotiate a tight bend or lead change in a course, or to compress its stride on the approach to certain jumps. A dressage horse does most of its competitive work in a collected frame. In all of these situations, your horse’s athletic success relies heavily on its ability and willingness to collect immediately when asked. In order to develop this connection and response from your horse, you must be able to find his or her sweet spot. This is a process that cannot be described in strictly mechanical terms. You must learn to feel and observe your horse’s responses to your rein and leg signals, and to adapt your exact hand position, the amount of pressure applied with each rein, and the timing of application and release of your signals, as your horse responds. This will take time, patience, and sensitivity on your part, and the ability to recognize, and to adapt to your individual horse’s reactions.

When first training your horse, it is usually easier to help one find it’s sweet spot as it moves forward into the bridle, with slight leg pressure. As one rein is engaged, with a finger squeezing, wrist tipping, down and back action, the horse should begin to “look for” a comfortable position, with a soft pool, relaxed jaw, and a slight, low, arch in its neck. The other rein is added intermittently, then steadily, to center the horse’s head while maintaining the relaxed, vertically flexed neck and vertical forehead position. (I say usually, because the exact combination of these aids, to achieve the optimum result, varies from horse to horse. It may take a creative combination of using one rein first, then switching to the other, or each rein applied separately, then both together, in order to help your horse find his or her sweet spot. ) Your hands are typically held fairly low. As the horse continues to move forward from your leg contact, while softening it’s jaw, poll, and neck, you should be able to lessen or release the pressure on the reins, while the horse maintains its collected position. You may also have to try lowering your hands more, or moving them forward or back slightly, or adding a little lateral bend by opening one or both reins away from the horse’s midline in order to accomplish this. Once again, because each horse is an individual, there is no exact formula for this, but be observant, and respond to what you feel your horse doing. It is also imperative that the moment your horse finds the sweet spot position , your rein pressure is lessened or released, as a reward for their efforts. When he or she is comfortable and collected, there is an elastic feel in their neck and body, and a lightness to the rein contact. Eventually, you should be able to ask your horse to find its sweet spot, even when you are not moving forward. The following photographs demonstrate this, as well as the individual differences in their sweet spot positions, and in the placement of the riders’ hands in order to help the horses find and maintain them comfortably. In Photo 1, I’m showing you what not to do. Don’t start by pulling up and back with your hands high. You get a high head, a stiff jaw, and a hollow back- the antithesis of collection! Photo 2 shows me lowering my hands a lot, in order to help Jack find his sweet spot. Once he has found his sweet spot, in Photo 3, I can quietly raise my hands to a slightly higher position, and still maintain his collected frame. Photo 4 shows how Lillith’s natural sweet spot is a little higher than Jack’s. That’s fine with Shannon, who has adapted her hand position to accommodate it. Photo 5 shows how Molly has been trained to maintain her collected position when wearing a leverage bit, with just slight contact with the reins, and a higher hand position. However, a much lower hand position is required when first training, or reminding your horse how to find its sweet spot. Remember, helping your horse find his or her sweet spot, and comfortable, collected position, is a process that takes time, patience, and sensitivity on your part. Ask first for progress, then later for perfection, as your horse and you work through it together. And always, remember to enjoy the ride!

1 2 3




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



Cowgirl in the Desert Ambassador’s Wife Rides with Arabian Royals

By Steven Long with Photo’s by Henry Dallal


hen my friend Diana Untermeyer climbed on the back of Bruja at our urban stable it was evident she is an exquisite rider. My little horse, though Wes White trained, has a will of her own if she has even half a sense that the person on her back is a novice. Diana took off on my mare across the well manicured pasture of Houston’s old Spring Branch Stables and rode like a Comanche. It was a delight to see – a superb horse ridden by a journeyman rider with both having the time of their lives. Diana and her husband Chase, my friend of 35 years, had just returned from a stint serving as Ambassador to the tiny Arabian Peninsula monarchy of Qatar, one of the wealthiest spots on the planet. Her riding ability was no surprise. Diana C.K. Untermeyer grew up near her family’s little 350,000 acre spread in Wyoming’s cowboy capital, Sheridan where her great grandfather drove cattle up from Texas and served as both governor and U.S. Senator. Now, after stints in the White House, Doha, and as a Houston homemaker, the Ambassador’s wife has written a book. Diana Untermeyer take the reader there as describes growing mere words could never up in the shadow do. For anyone with an of the legacy of her interest in emerging great grandfather nations of the Middle in Wyoming. “He East, the book is a must was a cowboy,” and a preview of what she recalls with we can expect as the pride. Her roots nation hosts soccer’s in rural Wyoming World Cup ten years are a long way from now, and makes from Pennsylvania its third Olympic bid Avenue, yet her for the 2024 games. smarts carried Unlike some of the her into the very region’s closed societies, Diane Untermeyer & her book, along with photographer bowels of power Qatar, one of America’s Henry Dallal, “Qatar, Sand, Sea and Sky” serving in the Bush closest allies, is wide open went on to head Voice of America and White House. Early on in the Reagan then landed an ambassadorship to and welcoming. Administration, she met a youngish Qatar during the Bush administration. Each chapter of the book George Bush assistant who soon begins with a verse from the Koran. Now, the Wyoming cowgirl became an Assistant Secretary of the has written a book with photographer When she came to Qatar Diana read Navy. He was native Houstonian Chase Henry Dallal, Qatar, Sand, Sea, and it from cover to cover in order to Untermeyer. He was a former member Sky (Bright Sky Press, $64.95). It understand the Arab people. of the Texas Legislature and GOP is lavishly illustrated by page upon According to Untermeyer, stalwart. Romance flowered along with page of glorious photographs. While the transformation from a country of Washington’s cherry blossoms and the Untermeyer’s prose tells the country’s Bedouin desert dwellers to a modern two were married. Her husband later story in terms of facts, Dallal’s photos mineral kingdom and with the largest


per capita income in the world is astonishing. Much of that is due to the enlightened leadership of Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the nation’s monarch and devoted horseman. The enlightenment goes well beyond statecraft to education, business, and preserving the historic places of Qatar. The Sheikh, like men with deep roots in desert culture has not forgotten his family’s Bedouin history. “His highness loves animals and really wants to preserve the heritage of the country,” she says. When the Untermeyers arrived in Doha, the capital, it didn’t take long for Diana to be able to indulge her lifelong passion for riding. And as a foreign VIP, she had some of the nation’s top horseflesh to borrow. “I rode the Emir’s brother’s horses.” The horses were Arabians, of course. “I love Arabians,” she says. “I love their movement and relationship with humans.” Now back home in Houston

with her family, Untermeyer has kept up her love of riding. Today she rides with Emmett Ross, Chief d Equip of the U.S. Endurance Team at the beautiful 7IL Ranch in Cat Springs, Texas, a little more than an hour’s drive from downtown Houston. Untermeyer is an endurance rider with 25 races under her belt “I’ve done 25 races, with one of 75 miles being the longest,” she says. “I’ve done the training ride for Tevis, and the ride was two days. Parts of that ride were so scary.” Untermeyer’s riding companions were young members of prominent Qatar families. “Those families are still my best friends,” she says. “These are friends I met through the horse world, not the political world. Most of the kids who were riding with me were youngsters, teenage boys.” The former ambassador does not share his wife’s passion for getting on the back of a horse and riding for hours. “When we used to race in Qatar, he would come out with the motorcade

and wait for me,” she laughs. “Chase calls what I did ‘equine diplomacy. In Saudi Arabia I could never have done this.” Riding brought Untermeyer to the photographer, Henry Dallal, through her husband. “Chase met him and when he found out I loved horses he sent me the book, Pageant and Royalty, that he had done for the royal family in Britain. The two developed a friendship. His other books include The Household Cavalry in a Celebration of Pictures, and Horse Warriors: India’s 61st Cavalry, His work has been exhibited at Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace, Blenheim Palace, and the Smithsonian. He is a native of Iran and lives in London. hB July 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


“Hot & Dry AGAIN!”

Horseback Magazine’s Saddle & Tack Editor


t’s officially summer and it’s hot and getting hotter. Too hot to ride? How about cleaning and oiling your tack! You’ve all heard me talk about Pat, my POSSLQ (Person of opposite sex sharing living Quarters). As a riding instructor, she has hundreds of pieces of tack. Good German bridles, one for each horse she has, had, or will have, plus enough for her students so they don’t have to go buy one right away - plus training devices, such as German martingales, Vienna reins, chambons, I could go on and on. I have told her for some time she needs to get busy cleaning and oiling that tack before it dries out, so I set up a work area in the breezeway between the house and screen house. Two tables, a hanging tack hook, buckets, a water hose with a new nozzle, soap, “Mean Green”, “Kali Leather Life”,

neatsfoot oil, “Blackrock Leather N Rich”, towels, and toothbrushes. Since I had it all set up and she wasn’t using it, after a couple weeks, I started cleaning my bridles. I still have bridles I got when I had a store in Tennessee almost 30 years ago. So, I cleaned my bridles on Thursday. Murphy oil soap, toothbrushes, srubbed ‘em all good. Had them all apart, cleaned the bits, did a real nice job. A few light coats of oil, Blackrock, buff, and then reassembled everything. The reins feel great, the leather looks good, I even

used Kali on the rawhide trim and on my 16 plait bosal. I washed my mecate in cool water, woolite, and fabric softener. I thought my diligent work and handsome results might inspire Pat. Nope I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday cleaning and oiling English bridles. I hate those hook fasteners that so many of the English bridles have, but a pair of needle nose pliers just ahead of the hook, and a little forward twist will usually bring the leather right off the hook. The really good thing about that is, if the leather is dry rotted, it will break and then you can throw that piece away and not have to worry about cleaning it. A good German made English bridle costs between three and four hundred dollars. I threw two of them away. I managed to save several, even some that I didn’t think I would. Good leather will take a lot of abuse, but at some point you have to take care of

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it. I still have several bridles to clean and oil, not to mention saddles and girths. I clean my saddles in the winter when I can spread out on the living room floor. What do you bet I end up cleaning all of Pat’s saddles in the heat? So, if you’re getting the idea you should check your tack, believe me, this heat will dry the oils out of your leather in a hurry. If you put oil on your leather, make sure your leather is clean or you make a mess. Any oil will help lubricate the fibers in your leather. What oil is best? The tried and true PURE neatsfoot oil is still the best in my book, which incidentally is in the U.S. Army Field Manual, which specifically says to clean your leather with castile soap, then lightly oil with pure neatsfoot oil and then finish with a paste wax, buffing to a hard finish. Well I find that Murphy oil soap is an excellent saddle soap, so I use that instead of castile soap. If the leather is sticky or nasty, I use Mean Green to clean it. My Army instructions say ammonia won’t hurt leather and it increases the soap’s action so Mean Green fits the bill. It really loosens

caked on dirt and sweat. Sorry back to the oil. The reason neatsfoot oil gets a bad rap is because for years horse auctions would sell ”neatsfoot oil” by the gallon for three or four dollars. This is no pure neatsfoot but neatsfoot compound, meaning it’s blended with other ingredients. Most of the cheap oil is blended with vegetable oil or, yikes, reconditioned motor oil! Being as most stitching today is nylon or poly, petroleum oil will actually dissolve the threads! Pure neatsfoot oil will not harm any known stitching. A lot of people use olive oil and have good luck with it. Olive oil is very stable and will not get rancid like corn oil will. The problem with food grade oil is that it attracts rodents! One company I used to deal with uses salad oil on their straps, and the mice say “yummy, yummy”. I say this every year but it’s a good line so here goes again. What is the best leather conditioner? The one you use. Lexol is good. Fiebings Aussie dressing is good . Ray Holes Saddle Butter is good. They’re all good if you put them on the leather rather

than leaving them in their containers. Remember, saddle soap is soap. It is a cleaner. It’s just your first step in a good job. Clean, oil, and then use some kind of dressing to seal the top grain. This will help prevent evaporation of your oil, seal the leather from dust and moisture, and keep the oil from getting on your clothes. The wholesale cost of leather has gone up about 30% so far this year. Everything made from leather is going to be going up accordingly. Leather will last several lifetimes if cared for. I love my old Heiser saddle and my fancy western bridles too much to let them go to waste. Who knows? Maybe someday my granddaughter will say, “This was my Papaws favorite saddle. It’s over a hundred years old and still in great shape, unlike Papaw who can’t even pull his boots on any more”. 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:



Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 34

House Committee Deals Possible Death Blow to Domestic Slaughterhouses By Steven Long HOUSTON, (Horseback) An amendment to the federal agriculture bill has passed a House committee and will now become part of the House version of the Agriculture budget. Passage of the measure is the first step in again prohibiting the use of federal meat inspectors in horse slaughterhouses. It could be a possible death blow to efforts to again legalize the slaughter of horses inside U.S. borders. The Moran Amendment passed last year, however, when Senators failed to put the language into their version of the budget. It was sent to conference committee where at the eleventh hour


Senators Roy Blunt, Herb Kohl, and Congressman Jack Kingston, voted to drop the language. Sources close to the legislation say it would have likely passed had the full Senate been able to vote on it. The possibility of equine slaughter became a reality when President Obama had no choice but to sign the bill, or veto the entire agriculture budget. The Moran Amendment was introduced by longtime animal welfare supporter Rep. Jim Moran, (D) Virginia. The agriculture budget bill will now likely pass the House and move on to the Senate. The upper house may use the House version or hobble together a bill of its own. Passage of the amendment out of the House

committee is a severe blow to the meat industry which had launched a vigorous and expensive lobbying campaign to reopen slaughterhouses, despite a decade of polling that indicates consistently that 70- 80 percent of all Americans oppose the slaughter of horses. Many believe that any effort to open slaughterhouses for American horse meat is wishful thinking because of the habit of American horsemen who use drugs prohibited in food animals by the federal Food and Drug Administration. One such drug is the common phenalbutazone, or bute, also known as “horse aspirin.” The drug remains in the horse’s body forever and is dangerous to pregnant women and is a carcinogen for humans. Other drugs such as wormers and fly sprays are also prohibited, and the European Union prohibits import of such meat. Wyoming State Representative Sue Wallis has mounted a tireless effort for years to re-open slaughterhouses in the United State. She recently said her firm would open one in a small

Missouri community. It is believed she has substantial backing from several national breed associations and others in the horse industry who like to sell off unwanted culls to recover the cost of their birth, veterinary bills, and maintenance. Wallis has not responded to a request for comment from Horseback Online.

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nce upon a time, when you were a small child, you discovered something magical about horses. They were beautiful, mysterious and exciting. Maybe you were lucky enough to have horses in your family. Maybe you could only see them from afar as your parents drove you down the road, passing by pastures filled with these amazing creatures. Whatever your early memories are, I’m sure you will also remember someone older than you who helped you learn your way around them. Helping young children to appreciate the joy of horses may launch the beginning of someone’s lifelong passion for horses. Summertime is a great time to look for opportunities to broaden the horizons of youngsters. Perhaps you know of a young child that you could share your horse knowledge with. If you do, challenge yourself to find innovative ways to make learning about horses fun, safe and age appropriate for the child. You can start with reading books about horses aloud to her. Coloring books with horses and ponies are fun for teaching about colors and markings. You might want to create your own workbook about a special horse. It could be a horse from a book or a


“Horses Through A Child’s Eyes” movie. It could be a real horse that you both know or it could even be an imaginary horse. To make a workbook, include a fact page with the name, age, color, height, weight, shoeing facts and any other details you think would be fun to include. Make as many pages as you would like with plenty of blanks to fill in. You can have parts of the horse and tack, grooming equipment, types of jumps, stable equipment, types of bits, teeth charts for aging and any number of topics regarding horses.

The important thing is to keep it age appropriate and be prepared to help your young horseman fill it out. You can make up quiz questions, flash cards or find horse games for the computer. Use your imagination and keep your ideas coming. It might be fun to get some fabric paint and make “horsey” t-shirts together. You could buy wooden letters that spell “horse” or the name of her favorite horse and paint or decorate them. There are always watercolor paint books and paint by numbers kits with horses in them. Visit the local craft shop together to get more ideas for related crafts. If she likes to bake, find recipes for horse treats and make them together. Talk about what horses eat and what is good for them. You could teach her about dressage by laying out a dressage arena indoors with the letters on pieces of paper in the appropriate places. Let her find the letters and teach her how to make school figures by letting her walk the patterns. Read her a training level dressage test and let her walk, “trot”, and “canter” the test. Let her make a “jump course” in the backyard. Help her find things to make obstacles out of. After you set them up, give her courses to do. She can pretend she is riding her

horse as she jumps over them. You can use this opportunity to teach her about leads, flying changes and counting strides. Meanwhile, she’ll get some great exercise! If you are fortunate enough to have a real horse or pony for the child to play with, make sure it is safe for a child to be around. Show her the feet and help her pick them by holding the hooves up for her. Talk about the parts of the horse and let her point them out to you. Teach her how to give him treats. You might want to buy some non-toxic washable paints to paint the pony. Then teach her how to give the pony a bubble bath. If she wants to, let her wear her bathing suit and get all wet, too. Just make sure she has shoes on that will protect her feet. Braiding is always a fascination for kids and it’s a great activity for a hot day. Show her how to braid a mane or tail. Let her try it and help her if she is struggling. There are several different ways to braid manes that are fun to learn. If braiding is too difficult, let her comb out a tail with some detangler. Make sure you are blocking her from the horse’s back legs in case it kicks at a fly. Cleaning tack, picking a stall and feeding the horse are also fun activities to try. You might chase the horse around the pasture or lunge it to show her the gaits and listen for the hoof beats. If it is a quiet horse, let her get on it and feel the horse move under her while you lead her around. Do you remember the first time you rode a horse? Do you remember the awesome feeling of being a part of that magnificent animal? Share those feelings with her. If she is old enough, let her experience a bit of trotting or even cantering on a lunge line if it is appropriate. How much you do with her on the horse will depend on how old she is, how much exposure she has previously had and how quiet the horse is. Safety is of utmost importance. You wouldn’t want to end her love for horses with a bad fall. If it’s an older child, teach her how to get a leg-up and also how to give one. Learning the emergency

dismount at a standstill or a walk could also be fun. There’s no need to try it at a faster gait and it could be dangerous, so keep it slow. If she’s big enough, teach her to lunge a horse at the walk, trot and canter. Teach her how to stop it or lunge it over a jump. Listen to her and let her give you her ideas about what she wants to learn. You might be surprised by her insight. The most important thing is to give her your time, show her you care by keeping her safe and

help her develop her love of horses. With a little bit of coaching and a good imagination, you could be a great influence in the life of this young equestrian. The future of equestrian sports lies in the hands of today’s horsemen. Don’t miss your opportunities! hB

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




“Stallion vs. Gelding” Should I Geld my Stallion?


I am wondering about gelding my 5 1/2 year old Paint stallion. I bought him from an old man who was getting out of the breeding business after 40+ years, and wanted good homes for his breeding stock. I fell in love with this extreme white sabino stallion with blue eyes and awesome conformation. I won’t be offering him for stud service. His owner (I’m still making payments) doesn’t care - he is just happy we are so perfect together. He is on a private pasture 24/7 with two old mares to keep him happy. He practically catches himself - if I hold out his halter he will walk over and stick his nose in it. I can ride him bareback with a hackamore. He is starting to steer with just a shift in weight and light leg pressure. He is a perfect gentleman; he doesn’t rear, buck, kick or do any other “stallion” behavior. Is there really any reason to geld him? Don’t humans basically do that for safety and the economy of keeping a gelding? This horse has more charisma than I have seen in any gelding in my 11 years with horses. He fears nothing. I treasure everything about him- don’t want anything to change. You’ve said they lose some curves. I love that arched-not cresty–neck. He knows he is a stud and shows it off. I think everyone just has this fear of stallions (with good reason in many cases) because so many are dangerous and not handled properly.



If you own a lovely stallion and can keep him in the way you’ve described - in a big field, with stallion-safe fencing and two mares for his “herd”, then there’s no urgent reason to geld him. But I’m curious to know how long you have owned him. If you’ve never been around him when nature turns up the hormonal thermostat - late spring and all summer - then you haven’t had a chance to see your stallion as a stallion. If he expresses no real interest in mares even when they are showing strong heats in mid-June, I’ll be very surprised. Most stallions aren’t lucky enough to have your horse’s safe setup. If he were at a boarding stable, or at home without the big field, the stallion fence, and the mares, I would advise you to geld him so that he could enjoy a more normal life. Many stallions are kept as stallions only because of their owners’ egos. Stallions locked in stalls or kept in tiny runs, isolated from other horses, unable to do anything that would be normal for any horse, have a sad life. The “economy” of keeping a gelding means that the horses can enjoy playing and eating in the field with other geldings. It also means that they can go to shows and clinics without any special arrangements having to be made - and their owners don’t have to put up special fencing at home or elsewhere. You seem to have a lovely stallion with a great personality I’ll bet that he would make a wonderful gelding. The muscles that you admire can be developed in geldings - and to some extent in mares - through correct work. Upper level dressage horses, even mares and geldings, can have very stallion-like contours because

“Stallions, like all other herd animals, require socialization with other equines to enjoy any quality of life”

of their muscular development. “Showing off” can last a lifetime, even after a stallion is gelded. For many years, I owned a blind gelding. At 28, he was still “strutting his stuff”, arching his neck, dancing in place, and basically showing the other horses just how wonderful and important he was. If you do keep your stallion entire, be aware that his behavior in spring and summer may be less controllable if there are mares in heat anywhere near - and since horses have a keen sense of smell, “near” may mean “a mile or two away”. When hormones take over, even the gentlest, sweetest stallion is still a stallion. Be alert at all times. Liability may be an issue – talk to your insurance agent, and perhaps an equine law specialist as well. Be sure that your insurance coverage is in force even if you’re keeping a stallion, and be sure that you understand the terms and conditions, and that you meet any special requirements your

insurer may have regarding fencing and/or management. I think that the qualities you like most in your stallion are there not because he is a stallion, but because he is a healthy, energetic young horse. If you own a stallion that isn’t part of a well-thought-out breeding program, you must ask yourself why he is still a stallion, and whether keeping him entire is really to his advantage. In most cases, the honest answers to those questions are “because owning a stallion is really cool”, and “no”. The vices that young stallions develop are usually caused by mishandling. The mishandling is often done by kind, loving owners who simply don’t understand what it means for a stallion to be a stallion. Gelding a stallion isn’t a punishment, it’s usually a good decision made by a knowledgeable, caring owner whose priority is the good of the horse. Gelding is usually done for the horse’s convenience, so that he can be physically comfortable and

mentally stable, and enjoy more social interaction and freedom of movement. There’s a difference between fear of stallions and respect for stallions. Someone who says “stallions are unpredictable” is not necessarily fearful, ignorant, and unaware of how sweet stallions can be. A carefully-managed, well-trained breeding stallion can be a gentleman at most times, but experienced stud grooms will tell you that it is never safe to sit back and take those nice manners for granted. Ask your veterinarian for his advice. Then sit down with him and make two lists: “Advantages of Gelding” and “Advantages of Not Gelding”. The length of the first list may surprise you. hB

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



“Don’t Do Anything That I Didn’t Do”


y nephew went off to college, last year, and I told him not to do anything I wouldn’t do. Then I thought better of that, there wasn’t much that I didn’t do! So I told him to be safe instead! It did bring to mind some more stories of my college years, looking back it is pretty funny …but my buddy Matt probably didn’t think so at the time. Matt, Rod and I ran around together

a lot. Matt being the oldest, he was the designated purchaser. He collected the cash we had (if we had any!) and went to the liquor store. He generally led Rod and I down a path of destruction by contributing to the delinquency of us minors. Well, ok, we were already a couple of delinquents before we me Matt. But once Matt was involved in the mix, it was Katy bar the door! There are a lot of stories I could tell on the three of us, and I will tell some more in the future (statute of limitations and all). Once we were cruising around trying to come up with enough cash to have a party and we saw this girl that Rod was sweet on (well ok, we thought she might have some money to contribute to the cause). She boarded her horses

just down from Rod’s house so we stopped in. The guy that owned the place had Shetland ponies, and if I remember right he drove them as teams, but did not ride them. So when we got there Rod very subtly started talking to the girl about a party. By subtly, I mean, he said “do you want to come to a party?” She told him to take a flying leap so we started disparaging the ponies. I think the owner got a little miffed and the girl started egging us on to ride one of them. (Looking back, I can see an evil process going on that I missed then). She told us she would buy a case of beer for each one that we rode. Boy, the lights went on for us. I, mean, come on! How hard could these little rascals buck? Heck, we were so confident that we decided to make it a little more fair and wouldn’t even saddle

“There are rumors that a spaceship came and zapped that pony with some kind of raygun...” 48 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - July 2012

them! Well her eyes lit up and she thanked us for being fair minded. (Good golly, I believe we were set up!) Catching them was fairly easy, the owner had 8 or 9 of them and we were giddy with the thought of that much liquid pleasure. We thought we would ride these dinky little things within a couple hours and back at Rod’s before night fall! (Oh, I laugh now….) We caught the first one and Matt jumped up and said he would go first. Now looking back that was probably fortuitous for Rod and I, but at the time we were a little bummed. But we thought we should all be able to ride three each, what the heck….let him go first. Matt was about 6’4”, so he had a lot more leg than he had pony underneath him. But he was game, so he stepped over that Shetland and sat down. What happened next is hard to say. There are rumors that a spaceship came and zapped that pony with some kind of ray gun. It turned that seemingly gentle little

critter into a jumping, pitching, snapping, snarling buckin’ machine! He bucked so hard and fast that when Matt went off over his head, he pulled the bridle off with him. He was slammed into the V between the ground and a big wooden feeder. At that moment we got a lesson in physics….cowboy physics anyway! When a moving object comes into contact with two immovable objects, something has to give. Unfortunately for Matt, it turned out to be his shoulder. All of this happened so fast that we did not know Matt had messed up his shoulder; Rod and I were involved with the time honored cowboy tradition of raggin’ Matt about getting bucked off this little tiny horse! We were hootin’ and hollerin’, just carrying on like a couple of idiots. Of course the girl was right there with us, giving it to Matt for all she was worth. He had not hardly stopped moving before we were right there, trying to get the bridle from him so that we could have our turn. When Matt got up,

he couldn’t lift one arm and he had a big bulge on top of his shoulder. Of course that sobered us up pretty quick, we decided that it would probably be in his best interest to get him back to the dorms and doctored up with some aspirin. Aspirin, that’s right…I said aspirin. Turns out Matt had torn his rotator cuff (I think I remember that right…). He had surgery that next summer. Of course riding the ponies again was out of the question; the owner was worried about a lawsuit and wouldn’t let us back on the place. We were willing and able (the prize was still on our minds), but the opportunity passed. So no party happened that night and Matt did a considerable amount of whining. I mean come on, we gave him aspirin! Like I said, it was fortuitous that Matt rode first. It probably saved Rod and I from some form of injury. Fortuitous is a big old word and if you look up the definition, it fits well. Fortuitous: happening by lucky chance



Water Tanks!


owdy, welcome to Cowboy Corner. Summer is here, the sun gets up hot with afternoons of 100 degrees plus heat index. Remember the ol’ 180 rule, when the outside temperature and humidity add to 180, then it’s time to slack off, stay out of the sun, and drink lots of water. Same for ol’ Dobbin, Elsie, Elmer and any other animal. Due to a new pasture, have been working on additional watering

facilities, and thought I might share what I have learned over the years. The following comments reflect my preferences, but may or may not fit your operation. Let’s start with tanks, have used about everything available, rubber, concrete, steel, and plastic, and plastic works best for us. I like the poly tanks made by Rubbermaid which come in 50, 100, 150 and 300 gallon sizes. The tanks are tough, and the three smaller sizes are easily handled by one man. All but the smaller tanks are fitted with a 1 ½ inch pipe fitting drain plug, which makes the tanks easy to drain and clean. Also, the pipe fittings make the tank easy to plumb together. Have found for our outfit the 150 gallon tanks are best, easy to handle, clean, hook together and install float valves. I’d rather have two 150 gallon tanks plumbed together through the drain, than one 300 gallon tank. Since water seeks it’s own level, one float valve will serve two tanks and it’s easier to have one tank in each pasture than trying to serve two pastures with one tank. If you plumb tanks together

be sure to include a pipe T and valve, to drain the tanks or two T’s and valves to drain the tanks separately. One more thought about tanks, the 50 gallon tanks are great for smaller animals and calves, and I often use a 50 gallon tank along with a 150 gallon tank. In the ranching business, electric fences, windmills, and float valves are called employment contracts, ‘cause you can’t stop working if you have one or all. Might retire, but you can’t quit. Like tanks, I have used everything on the market, and think that the float valves made by Rubbermaid, which attach to their tanks are the best. The valves fit on the side of the oval tank and are secured by two quarter inch machine screws. The valve to tank attachment is strong, and much better than other brands of float valves. When attaching the valve to the tank, use either stainless or brass fasteners rather than carbon steel. After some time of service, if the valve has to be removed, the stainless or brass fasteners are worth the extra effort. The float valve intake accepts a three quarter inch garden hose, however, to make the valve easier to service and remove, I use a short piece of hose with a female fitting on one end and a male fitting on the other for attachment to the float valve. Another way to attach the supply hose is to screw a male fitting into the float valve, then slip on a piece of hose and secure with a hose clamp. Either attachment method works, but to tighten the hose to the valve, something has to swivel. Turning to tighten is easier, with a short piece of hose. Using garden hose as supply, allows slip-on foam insulation to be used in freezing weather. If a short piece of hose is used between the supply line and float valve a “Y” can be installed along with a valve for draining. And last, have found that if possible use a 4’X8’ sheet of plywood to block the float valve from the north wind. Floating water heaters can be used in these poly tanks, but must have a guard to keep the heating element off the tank. hB





Horseback Magazine July 2012  
Horseback Magazine July 2012  

Vol.20 Number 7