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May 2012

Horseback Endorses Slots at Texas Horse Tracks

10 HORSE BITES 14 PARELLI - Pat Parelli with Steven Long 16 Cutting Edge Horse Health - Lynn Criner DVM 18 Dream BIG & Believe - Kelly Kaminski 32 Whole Horsemansip - Diane Lindig 34 Horse Feed & Supplements - Judith Reynolds, PhD. 36 TACK TALK - Lew Pewterbaugh 40 On The English Front - Kathy Strobel 42 Ride-By Grazing - Dr. Jessica Jahiel 44 The Cowboy Way - Corey Johnson 46 COWBOY CORNER - Jim Hubbard

H By Steven Long

OUSTON, (Horseback) – Horseback Magazine gets reports from the Jockey Club, the AQHA, the NTRA, and a host of other associations tied to horse racing. For the first time in years, economic indicators from the industry have been upbeat – a welcome note for sure after a long slide downward going back to before the death of Barbaro. That event put the spotlight on a sport that combines beauty, speed, and color like no other. The trend can only be associated with one thing, the acceptance of casinos adjacent to horse tracks.

Let’s face it, horseracing is largely about gambling, and an aversion to the slot machines that have driven this revenue upsurge is just plain silly. Something like 38 states now offer some form of casino gambling. Probably more than any other enterprise, horse racing is friendly to the person on a limited income who would like an evening of play but is unwilling to endanger the family’s household budget. For as little as a $2.40 cent wager a better can play a 10 cent superfecta of four horses, “box it” where the horses can come in in any order, and win as much as the $800 pot we saw taken recently at Sam Houston Race Park. That’s right, $800 won on an expenditure of $2.40. Sure, high rollers spend millions, but local tracks across the country are family friendly in terms of posing little risk of the loss of grocery money That brings us to the backward attitude in Texas and a few other states whose legislatures are intimidated by a vocal minority who shout “no gambling at any cost,” posing the risk of destruction of an incredibly vibrant industry if it is given half a chance. Next year, the Texas Legislature will meet again, and before it a bill will be filed that would legalize casino gambling, or at the very least, slot machines at Texas tracks. We urge you to ask the politicians who are running for state office about their position on this issue so important to the horse industry. You see, it isn’t just horse racing that will benefit from “racinos.” Part of the revenue generated by slots at tracks will be directed to non gambling equestrian activities and venues. It will help provide jobs for a whole bunch of folks in an economy where jobs need to be our number one priority. Politicians want your vote, so get in their face and demand they support what a clear majority of the voters want – slot machines at our racing venues. If they oppose helping this industry, Horseback Magazine urges you to vote them out of office, be they Democrat, or Republican, and support someone who has the interests of the majority of Texans in mind. Volume 21, No 4. Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397, (281) 447-0772. The entire contents of the magazine are copyrighted April 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:


Phone: (281)


Cover Story:

24 Hot Times in Cowtown - Steven Long

Lifestyle: 22 26 27

The Art of Listening - Margaret Pirtle Fashion Watch - Come As You Are Food & Beverage - Recipe Roundup

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Staff PUBLISHER Vicki Long EDITOR Steven Long NATIONAL NEWS EDITOR Carrie Gobernatz LIFESTYLE EDITOR Margaret Pirtl 832-349-1427 EVENTS EDITOR Leslie Greco CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jim Hubbard Steven Long Vicki Long Dianne Lindig Roni Norquist Pat Parelli Lew Pewterbaugh Cothy Strobel Dr. Jessica Jahiel Cory Johnson Dr. Judith A. Reynolds Lynn Criner, DVM Margaret Pirtle Crystal Shell

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Horseback learned of the Management’s (BLM) petition for court’s denial of a petition for rehearing in the ongoing saga to gain a re-hearing of a case that sets access to the Agencies handling of wild government wild horse policy horses. on its rump from a press release filed late Monday, April 16, by The original Appeal began with a notice plaintiff Laura Leigh. It is a major filed on February 14, 2011 by attorney development Gordon Cowan in the on behalf of Wild “Horse Bites is compiled from press and Horse Education public’s First Press Releases sent to Horseback founder Laura Magazine. Original reporting is Amendment Leigh. done as circumstances warrant. rights to Content is edited for length & style.” observe a On February 14, government 2012, exactly one agency at year later, the work. The BLM has consistently Ninth Circuit published an opinion in kept its treatment and holding of Leigh’s favor. wild horses under wraps, raising the question of what they are hiding with As James Madison wrote in 1822, “a Appellate Court Ruling in Leigh Case Sends BLM press and public. popular Government, without popular Observation Policy Reeling information, or the means of acquiring it, By Steven Long BLM Chief Washington Spokesman Tom is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; Ninth Circuit upholds Wild Horse “Win” Gorey refused comment to Horseback or, perhaps both.”’9 WRITINGS OF after news of the Ninth Circuit ruling JAMES MADISON 103 (G. Hunt ed. HOUSTON, (Horseback) – In a broke saying, “We have no comment.” 1910)” body blow to federal land managers, Leigh is credentialed as a reporter and California’s Ninth Circuit Court of photographer by Horseback Magazine The Ninth Circuit added language to Appeals refused to overturn a ruling that and Horseback Online. The release said: the Opinion after BLM made a petition grants access to the press during Bureau On Monday, April 16, 2012, the Ninth for rehearing. The additional language of Land Management “Gathers.” Circuit denied the Bureau of Land notes that the Agency is not only held HorseBack_0412_7.5 x 4.88 4/19/12 1:46 PM Page 1

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to the mandate to remove excess horses insuring that another roundup would occur, but that the Record of Decision on file for the “Silver King” roundup allows horses to be removed through 2013. The Amended opinion also states “With this amendment, the panel has voted to deny the petition for rehearing. Subsequent petitions for rehearing or rehearing en banc may not be filed.” In another matter involving the lack of a Humane Care Standard before the federal District Court Leigh filed a

Motion based on the decision granted in the Ninth Circuit. The BLM asked that the decision to deny relief stand as they were asking for a rehearing in the Ninth. In late April Leigh filed a Supplemental Brief to the “Humane Care” case. The newly filed Brief notes that the Record of Decision for the “Triple B” gather, associated with the case, allows for removals through 2014. It also restates that according to BLM’s own calculations the original scheduled operation was never completed. A

Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) granted to Leigh in August of last year, after a hearing in Federal District Court in Reno by Honorable District Court Judge Howard McKibben stopped the Triple B roundup due to inappropriate conduct at the roundup. “Maybe after two years of trying to get to a conversation that actually deals with the issues at hand,” said Leigh “We have finally gotten there.” Leigh has attempted initiate HorsetoBites - Con’t.dialogue on pg. 12

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with the BLM on the implementation of a Humane Care Standard. To date the Agency has not responded. B o t h cases, a n d t h e documentation required to carry them forward, are supported by Wild Horse Education.

Unwanted Horse Coalition’ Vaunted “ Operation Gelding” Program Posts Tiny Numbers. Unwanted Horse Coalition’s Operation Gelding Program Assists Only 32 Horses in March WASHINGTON, DC (UHC) – The Unwanted Horse Coalition’s (UHC) Operation Gelding program starts the year with three Operation Gelding clinics completed in March. With the help of the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC), the Santa Rosa County Horse Assistance Council (SRCHAC), and the All American Miniature Horse Club (AAMHC), the UHC was able to assist 32 stallions in just 15 days. The UHC’s



Operation Gelding program has aided in the gelding of 406 stallions to date.

excited about the success of our first clinic,” said Dalsing.

The program, which was first launched in late August 2010, is able to continue into 2012 thanks to a generous donation from Pfizer Animal Health. Operation Gelding is designed to offer funding assistance to organizations, associations, and events that wish to conduct a public gelding clinic under the name and guidelines of Operation Gelding. An organization that has completed an Operation Gelding clinic will receive funding of $50 per horse, $1,000 maximum, to aid in the costs associated with the clinic.

Cindy Rullman and the KHC were able to perform 16 castrations on March 10th at the Kentucky Horse Park. Their well advertised clinic even attracted a slew of spectators and a few media outlets. Rullman said, “Thank you so much to the UHC for making this possible. The owners, as well as the KHC, are very appreciative!”

Operation Gelding’s busy month started with a clinic hosted by the AAMC and club secretary, Amy Dalsing. On March 3rd, the AAMC was able to arrange a successful clinic in their home state of Iowa, aiding in the castration of 5 horses. “The clinic went very well. This was the AAMHC and our vet’s first time putting together a gelding clinic. Since things went so well, we would very much like to continue hosting clinics. The AAMHC, our vet, and the participants were very

The SRCHAC, located in Bagdad, FL, was pleased with the results of their first Operation Gelding clinic. Jennifer Boone, SRCHAC treasurer, said, “With the joint sponsorship of UHC, ASPCA, SRCHAC, Dr. David Henderson of Village Veterinarian, Inc, and the support of our generous equine community, a truly successful effort was made to reduce the number of unwanted horses in Northwest Florida. The clinic was also attended by six members, aged from 8 to 16, of the Santa Rosa County Bockin’ N Eggs 4-H Club. We were pleased with the turnout and the success of our first Operation Gelding Clinic. Thank you so much to the UHC Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 15

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The Importance of Pedigree for Some Things By Pat Parelli with Steven Long

your goal to have fun and have a recreational mount, ride occasionally, or is your goal to do something in a performance line.

HORSEBACK MAGAZINE: We’ve bought horses from equine rescues that were clearly high pedigreed horses. Others we have seen the papers, and they have turned out to be under performers. I’d like to know your thinking on the importance of pedigree to the average horse owner. PAT PARELLI: There’s an old saying that every good horse had a good dam, and every good mom raised a good man. This is something I believe in, and we can talk all day long about breed and pedigree, but the most important thing is that we all start off with a goal in mind. If I could ask everybody right now, what is your goal? Is


If you are going to do something in the performance line, pedigree is one of the surest ways to start – even though that said, here’s what I do with performance horses. I look at the individual first, and then I go find out what his papers look like. I allow a horse to impress me first as an individual and then I find if added value comes from his pedigree. For example, we all know that full brothers and sisters of certain champions never went on and became anything special – could have been because of training and a lot of other factors – they just didn’t have that special “it” factor the performance world is looking for. Whether it’s racing, jumping, dressage, cutting, reining, cow horse, roping, these are the things that make pedigree a great indicator – but I still look at the individual.

If you’re going to buy a recreational horse, most highly pedigreed horses in my opinion are horses that are bred for performance and oftentimes that’s not the thing to look for. What you should be looking for is a horse that has “Horsenality” and the looks that I’m looking for, again, back to the individual. There are certain lines of horses that are very tractable; a lot of reining horses for example, have been bred generation after generation to be very willing, tractable, horses. So these are the kind of things I think about when it comes to picking a horse. HORSEBACK: Okay, then I’ve got a concrete question for you. Taking this a step further, when you first looked at Casper, or when Linda bought Remmer, did you have any idea of their pedigree to begin with? PARELLI: Zero HORSEBACK: So you liked the horse first, and looked at the pedigree second. PARELLI: Exactly. I waited until the horse impressed me or astonished me as an individual, and then I looked at his pedigree and went, “no wonder.”

Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 12

and the much appreciated funds that made this possible!” Ericka Caslin, UHC Director, said “Thanks to Pfizer and their generous donation, we are able to continue funding Operation Gelding clinics through the summer. With two additional clinics on the schedule for March, we anticipate another successful year for the program. The UHC continues to seek public support, via tax-deductible donations, to extend the program year round. Each generous donation of $50 goes entirely

toward funding the gelding of a stallion. We hope to gain assistance from the equine industry in order to offer more grant money for Operation Gelding clinics, to help tackle the problem of indiscriminate breeding.”

Ericka Caslin, UHC director, at ecaslin@ or 202-296-4031.

Actor Ernest Borgnine and Wyatt McCrea to Host Museum’s 51st Western Heritage Awards

Upcoming Operation Gelding clinics will be held in Minnesota and Oklahoma. For more information about Operation Gelding, how to conduct a clinic, the schedule and location of Operation Gelding clinics, or how you can help continue this program, please contact

OKLAHOMA CITY, (NCWHM) — With spring comes the excitement of celebrities, writers, Western musicians, directors, producers, actors and photographers who travel to Oklahoma City to accept the prestigious “Wrangler Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 23

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of the infectious agent such as the nasal discharge from a horse with the “snots” or a discharge of pus from a wound or even body fluids including urine, blood, milk or genital discharges. The sample is spread over a plate that promotes growth of bacteria. Bacteria usually grow in 24 to 48 hours. Some other organisms such as fungus can take up to 10 days to grow.


ntibiotics are the drugs used to treat the various infections caused by bacteria. The word antibiotic originates from the Greek words anti meaning against and bios meaning life and in this case the life of bacteria. Of the 70 or so antibiotics typically used in veterinary medicine, only handfuls are used regularly in horses. The indiscriminate use of antibiotics is leading to more resistant strains of bacteria. The most appropriate and often most successful management of bacterial infections in the horse is to start with a culture and sensitivity with an MIC. A culture is a diagnostic test on a sample


coated discs. If the bacteria are susceptible to one of the antibiotics an area of clearing surrounds the disc called the zone of inhibition. This is where the bacteria are not capable of growing. The MIC is the minimum inhibitory concentration. This is the lowest concentration of an antimicrobial agent (antibiotic) that will inhibit the growth of an infectious agent (bacteria). The MIC is important in determining whether an infectious organism is resistant or sensitive to the antibiotics available to use in a particular horse – or any animal. The lower the MIC for a specific antibiotic, the more likely that antibiotic will work for the infectious agent tested from the horse.

“The Rising c i t o i b i t n A ” a m m e l i D

“sensitivity” or sensitivity testing evaluates which antibiotic the particular bacteria cultured are susceptible to. The bacteria are grown up in the presence of antibiotic

This basic information helps veterinarians choose the most appropriate antibiotic for the infection in question. Without this information choosing an antibiotic to treat an infection is a guessing game. Just because a powdered antibiotic that went in the food cleared up a snotty nose in January does not mean it will work again in June. In fact, the use of the antibiotic with out knowing what type of bacterial agent was causing the problem may have set the horse up for resistant bacteria that needs more expensive medications that are more time consuming to administer. As an example, let’s say your horse has a snotty nose. You ask your veterinarian for the new long acting injectable antibiotic Excede which is ceftiofur crystalline free acid a 3rd generation cephalosporin. You decline a culture and sensitivity because it looks like strangles caused by Streptococcus equi and you have seen strangles many times before. Three weeks later your horse still has a snotty nose. A culture and sensitivity with an MIC is performed and you discover the snotty nose is caused by E. coli with an MIC of 0.5ug/ml for the antibiotic ceftiofur. This means that the minimum amount of medication in the blood stream required to successfully treat the infection is 0.5ug/ml of


ceftiofur. Excede, the long acting ceftiofur, works wonderfully for Strep equi which has an MIC of 0.2 ug/ml. However, at that blood level you have under dosed your horse resulting in a possible recrudescence of the bacteria E. coli if this indeed was the original offending bacteria. Now the horse needs to be treated with Naxcel, the daily injectable ceftiofur. But because a culture was not done initially there is no way of knowing what the initial bacterial problem was. It may have been a mixed infection with two or more bacteria

requiring treatment with two antibiotics simultaneously. Now, horse with an E. coli infection resistant to ceftiofur and need a antibiotic class altogether.

different the next may be different

This scenario plays out everyday in barns and on farms everywhere. Sometimes the first antibiotic choice works. Occasionally it takes a second round of something different. More and more, veterinarians are finding antibiotic resistance is limiting the choices available for treatment of many bacterial infections.

Your veterinarian’s diagnostic tests and evaluation of the results can save time as well as money in the long run and preserve the few antibiotics available for use in horses in the treatment of bacterial infections. hB

Dr. Lynn Criner is a large animal veterinarian specializing in horses with a mobile practice in the greater Houston area. She may be reached at 832-264-6444.

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the media department and thought I might get to combine a rest stop and a quick visit with her. I asked if we could get permission to turn the horses out in the arena on the premises. “Of course!” was the answer after she called back, so we pulled the “Mothership,” as I call my big trailer, around back of the PRCA headquarters where the arena is located along I-25. Rocky and Shine (Kenna’s old horse) were happy to get out and roll in the sand of the arena. They played like a couple of kids playing tag on the school grounds. We hung a couple of buckets of water on the fence for them, and went back to the trailer to take showers, nap, and get ready for lunch.

“Memories of Rocky” PART 3

and come out for the concert. It was Julie’s birthday, and we had an extra day on the trip to get to Reno, so after much painful arm twisting, we stayed.


e were starting our summer run, so it was June and I had a race in East Texas at the Gladewater RoundUp and was on my way to Reno, Nevada for the big rodeo there. I had my friend, Julie from Washington state fly out to help me drive. We stopped in Amarillo to spend the night when I found out that a friend of mine that plays in a band had a gig the next night in town. We decided to run over and visit during the sound check, during which we were convinced by the band to stay the night


When we returned that evening, we had VIP seats. I try not to draw attention to myself, but my friend, the lead singer called me out, made a toast and sang a song off his new album for me. I will just say that Julie and I had a lot of fun hanging out with our 400 plus new friends. I think it was the most fun birthday she ever had! The next afternoon, on what seemed to be the longest road trip ever, we decided to stop in Colorado Springs. I called my friend, Ann that worked for the PRCA in

While I was in the middle of my shower, Julie knocked on the door and said Ann was calling. I told her to go ahead and answer my phone. The next thing I knew she was banging on the door frantically telling me that the horses were NOT in the arena and that they were missing! I couldn’t get dressed fast enough. I was still pulling on my shorts and slipped on my sneakers doing little hop steps all the way to the arena. We looked and sure enough, the horses were gone.

This set the PRCA office staff in motion since they were the ones who noticed the absence of the horses while having a meeting, someone had made the observation. Now we were all looking for two horses running loose, one being my precious, Rocky and the other my precious daughter’s horse, Shine. We looked everywhere frantically. I ran over behind the Hall of Fame, where there are statues of some of rodeos great cowboys and livestock. Ironically, lurking underneath the statue of Charmayne James’ horse Scamper, was the escape artist, Rocky. I scolded him, relieved that he was okay. He looked at me as if to ask, “What’s going on?” I sank to my knees after putting his halter on. I said a prayer thanking God that both horses were found safe. Then walked back to the trailer leading both horses, loaded them and departed the parking lot and headed toward Reno. This story could have had a much different ending, but I’m so thankful it didn’t. I don’t think the PRCA has let anyone stop and turn their horses out in the arena since, of course, I haven’t asked.


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.






“The Art Of Listening”


By Margaret Pirtle

all me old fashioned and take away my iPod, but when I go out for an evening of live music, it’s with the intention of hearing the music and not the latest gossip from a room full of strangers.

Luckily for me and others who want to hear the music, there is a venue in LaGrange, Texas that alleviates the problem of noisy guests. It’s called The Bugle Boy Listening Room. Here you’ll

find a dedicated room where all eyes and ears are tuned to the musicians on stage. It’s great for both performers and serious music lovers alike.


he cozy 80 seat room is open only on Friday and Saturday nights. Outside the Bugle Boy is a sign that reads, “Loose Lips Sink Ships.” It means just what it says. There is no

talking allowed during a song and the priority here is the undivided attention that is given to the musicians. You may bring a drink in with you, but don’t even think about a crackling bag of chips.

The Bugle Boy takes its name from the Andrew Sisters’ 1940’s hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”: The actual barracks now housing the Bugle Boy, originated from the WWII Camp Swift Infantry Base in Bastrop, Texas. In 1948, the LaGrange Sons of Hermann Lodge purchased the building from the U.S. Army and had it relocated to LaGrange,

where they conducted their meetings until 2004, when the Bugle Boy took over the old building and opened. Owner and founder, Lane Gossett has a passion for music and the artists who perform here. The venue gives budding artists a chance to prove themselves, and for seasoned musicians it is a place to showcase their many talents. From Jazz to Blue Grass and everything in between, there is a musical treat for everyone. Different musical acts come from all over the country to liven up the night and remind us of what a real live musical performance can do for the senses. With the support of the city of LaGrange, the Bugle Boy has begun a foundation for new artists, which helps with financial backing for studio recordings. In keeping with the spirit of the project, each recipient will mentor the next, thus helping to create a nurturing and sustainable business model. To hear some great musicians for yourself, please check out the upcoming events at their website: hB

Horse People.... “Sometimes, when we’re not sitting on horses, we like to sit on couches, eat & watch TV!” Advertise in Horseback’s Lifestyle Section! 22 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - May 2012


Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 27

Award” at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s annual Western Heritage Awards. This year’s show was held on April 21 in the Sam Noble Special Events Center. Academy Award winning actor Ernest Borgnine and Wyatt McCrea, grandson of the late actor Joel McCrea, will host the gala. Borgnine’s career has spanned more than six decades with leads in many 1950s films, including his Academy Award winning role in the 1955 film “Marty.” With nearly 200 titles to his credit, he is probably best known as Quinton McHale in the 1962-66 television series “McHale’s Navy” in addition to a wide variety of other roles including “Mermaid Man” in the animated television series Sponge Bob Square Pants. At age 92, he earned an Emmy Award nomination for his role in the final episode of the legendary NBC series “ER.” In 1996, he was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers. In his multitalented career, he has played in several Westerns throughout the years. In 2002 he celebrated his good health by mounting a horse to ride in the Western feature, “Long Ride Home.” In 2004, at age 87, Borgnine guest starred on a Hallmark Channel Western, “Trail of Hope Rose,” in which he drove a team of horses and the role earned him a Wrangler that year. This year, in another Hallmark Western, “Love’s Christmas Journey”, he wins another Wrangler for his involvement with the production. McCrea is the oldest grandchild of the late actor Joel McCrea and his actress wife Frances Dee. He is the co-owner of the Third Point Productions, which produces primarily television content, commercials and music videos. He is an associate producer on the television series “Gen’s Guiltless Gourmet.” He serves as executive producer for several television projects currently under development include, “Shootin’ the Breeze”, “Cars Undercover”, “A Racer’s Life” and “The Joel McCrea Story.”


Food Beverage! RECIPE ROUND-UP Cocktails to Dessert


• Fill tall glass with ice • 2 oz Vodka or Peppered Vodka • 1 oz Steak Sauce • tsp. Horseradish • 3 dashes Tobasco Sauce © • 3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce © • Dash Lime Juice • 3 dashes Celery Salt • 3 dashes Pepper • Fill with Tomato Juice

Optional: Garnish with Celery Stalk, Olives & Pickled Peppers

• Shake & Enjoy!

McCrea has been featured in both print and internet advertising for Uberti/ Benelli USA, appeared in the cable series “Call 911” and portrayed various Western characters in a variety of reenactment productions. Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 27



Hot Times in Cowtown By: Steven Long

AmerEquine Extravaganza Takes Over the Will Rogers

Texas hosts the largest rodeos in the world, two of the globe’s premier horse shows, and an equine tradition that goes back to the conquistadors. The state boasts about a million horses, and 300,000 horse owners. It’s high time the Lone Star State had a world class equine exposition. That time has finally come when AmerEquine invades Fort Worth’s venerable Will Rogers complex with clinicians, entertainment, and incredible shopping. In short, the people putting on this expo know how to do it.


OUSTON, (Horseback) – Ron Thomason speaks with a easy drawl, his baritone voice exudes warmth and charm. There is a confidence there that comes, we suppose, from being a successful musician, impresario, and generally happy man of the mountains. When he comes down from his 8,000 foot high home in the Rockies, it is to play bluegrass music or to oversee a horse expo that could draw a hundred thousand people. The next trip to the lowlands from his perch five miles from Cotopaxi, Colorado (pop. 12) will be to watch over the debut of AmerEquine in Fort Worth. The event is patterned, in part, after the famed Equine Affaire, a spectacular gathering of horse lovers that drew nearly 100,000 to its venue in Lebanon (pop. 20,013), nestled between Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio – not exactly horse country by Texas standards.

Horseman: Craig Cameron 24 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - May 2012

Big horse expos such as Equine Affaire have been around a couple of decades according to Thomason. The shows follow a specific pattern, education, trade shows, breed pavilions, demos, horse and rider competitions, and big riding extravaganzas under the lights. He and his partners, three of whom are former Equine Affaire executives, wanted to do something different. AmerEquine is their first stab at being

big time equine promoters on their own. “We wanted to try to change the formula,” he told Horseback Magazine. “We wanted to have not only the equine component, but to bring in top notch entertainment as well. We have the top equine specialists in the country, as well as top notch performers such as EmmyLou Harris. We will either sink or swim with this event.” AmerEquine had its genesis when Thomason reflected upon the fact that Equine Affaire’s Event Producer Terri Sharp had left the big show and wasn’t working.“Terri was the backbone of Equine Affaire,” he said. Program Director Heidi Clare agreed, and the two reached out to her after realizing, “That’s a really talented person with not very much to do right now,” she recalled. Clare and Thomason’s partnership go far beyond the show to their relationship in private life. He also has profound respect for her as a musician who he calls “the best fiddler in country music today.” According to AmerEquine’s program notes, “Heidi’s fiddling forces you to hold tight to your seat to keep yourself from dancing. She cleanses your palate with sweet vocals that are drawn from a deep well of songs that were done before there were recordings. Though she is classically trained, she bears down on the fiddle like the best of the early 20th century, deep South fiddlers.” The three were soon joined in November 2010 by Rousby Quesenburry, described as “the best site manager in the country,” at

Ron and Heidi’s 10,000 sq. ft. Rocky Mountain home (complete with a theater) for the organizational meeting, and AmerEquine was born. A little later, an investor was brought in for a 20 percent stake in the business. Thomason is also producer of the Gray Fox Bluegrass Festival (July 19 -22) in the Catskill Mountains hamlet of Oak Hill, NY. (pop. 376). The four agreed that the concept of bringing two of their first loves, horses and music, together was sound. The next thing was to find a site. Enter Cowtown, Texas, a.k.a. Fort Worth. “We fell in love with the (1936) Will Rogers Center, it’s the right place to do it both esthetically, and for business reasons,” Thomason said. “I had gone to Texas a couple of years ago and bought one of the state championship horses and I fell in love with that part of the country,” “When people are born, they ought to be issued a horse,” he quipped. Thomason’s official AmerEquine biography reads: “Ron started out as a child and never got over it. He has been an educator, a horse trainer and competitor, a producer of shows and events, a farmer, and an entertainer— and not always at different times. His has had many multiple-champion Arabian horses in his life, and can truthfully say that he’s never met an Equine American that he didn’t like.” Both Thomason and Clare are accomplished horse trainers in their own right. They will be joined by some headliner names from the demonstration arena. Hot Times in Cowtown - Con’t. on pg. 28

12 Time Grammy Winner: EmmyLou Harris May 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


s A e m o C . . . e r A You


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Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 39

Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 23

For many years he has been active in the family ranching business. In an ongoing effort to preserve the history of his film making grandparents, he gives presentations on the subject around the country. McCrea is a founding member and Board President of the Joel and Frances McCrea Ranch Foundation; serves on the Board of the Directors for the National Cowboy Museum; past member of the Executive Committee of the Gold Boot Awards; is a Board Member of the Will Rogers Ranch Foundation; a Board Members and past Board President of RideOn Therapeutic Horsemanship; a member of the Rodeo Historical Society; the American Quarter Horse Association (Life Member); New Mexico Military Institute Alumni Association (Life Member); and a member of the Advisory Board for the Boys and Girls Club of Camarillo, Calif.

also are observed. The Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award is presented to a living person for a special contribution to the West.

Western Heritage Awards honors the best Western movies, television, literature and music. Inductions into the Hall of Great Westerners and the Hall of Great Western Performers

USDA Show Stats Cited in Warning Tell Tale of Wholesale Animal Cruelty Despite Denials By Walking Horse Officials, Owners, and Trainers

The National Cowboy Museum, America’s Premier Western Heritage Museum™, is supported through memberships and private and corporate donations. The 2012 Western Heritage Awards is underwritten by the generous support of corporations and individuals.*

Vet Organizations Issue Stunning Blow to Tennessee Walking Horse Groups at Beginning of Show Season – Don’t Do It! Start of Gaited Horse Show Season Heightens Commitment by AVMA, AAEP and USDA to End Abusive Practice of Soring

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (PR Newswire) —

Soring, illegal for more than 40 years, is the abusive act of intentionally inflicting pain on gaited horses through the use of chemical irritants, broken glass wedged in between a horse’s shoe pads and sole, or overly tightened metal hoof bands. The extreme pain caused by these abuses forces the horse to lift its legs faster and higher, perhaps increasing its chance of winning in show rings across the country. “It’s time for this egregious form of animal cruelty to end,” says Dr. Rene Carlson, President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors are doing everything possible to detect evidence of soring before horses are allowed to compete. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints, USDA inspectors are only able to attend a small number of the shows being held. It is going to take a team effort to put an end to the inhumane practice of soring horses, so America’s veterinarians stand in support of government regulators and the walking horse industry in their horse protection efforts,” said Carlson.

Shrimp Creole This recipe will take about 3 hours from prep to plate but is worth every ounce of effort and will feed 10-12 people. 3 fresh serrano chilies seeded and minced 1 cup white onion minced 8 fresh garlic pods minced 1 lemon juiced 2 sticks of real butter 3 cans of tomato sauce (14.5 oz) 2 cups of green onions minced 3 cans of natural chicken stock (14.5 oz) 2 cups of green bell pepper minced 1 can chopped tomatoes (14.5 oz) 3 cups celery minced 4 lbs shrimp peeled, deveined and seasoned with

Herbal Red (can use combo of shrimp and crawfish tail meat) 4-6 tbsp Herbal Red all purpose seasoning Sea salt & pepper to taste 6-8 bay leaves 1/4 cup of flour

tart by melting the butter in a large cast iron pot and sauté all vegetables with the 1/4 cup of flour. When the vegetables are soft add liquids, reduce heat to Sanother medium, add all dry seasonings then simmer for one hour stirring often until sauce starts to reduce. Reduce heat again to low, adjust seasoning and cook 30 minutes. When the sauces thickens up stir in your shrimp, cover and cook 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off, leave covered and let the shrimp continue to pull in flavor from the sauce while you cook some white rice. For a spicy version use TSS Cajun Pequin in place of Herbal Red. Serve over rice and enjoy!

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(409)-392-8199 May 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


Hot Times in Cowtown - Con’t. from pg. 25

FROM THE ENTERTAINMENT WORLD • EmmyLou Harris - The 12-time Grammy winner and celebrated interpreter of unique and expressive songs is also noted for her own songwriting and her collaborations with other noteworthy vocalists. Her concerts are famous for tugging at the full spectrum of emotions. She is well known for her versatility, and widely respected by her peers as a singer’s singer. A less known aspect of her character is her activism on behalf of animals; she runs a shelter for dogs. • Marty Stewart - The four-time Grammy winner, platinum recording artist, “Grand Ole Opry” star, country music memorabilia preservationist, stylist, designer, photographer, and songwriter has covered more bases than Ty Cobb. As leader of his touring band, The Fabulous Superlatives, Marty excites audiences with his showman’s zest for every conceivable flavor of country music. • Riders in the Sky – are simply America’s favorite cowboys. This quartet of massively talented singers, musicians, and comedians are best known for being “the keepers-of-the-flame” of the classic cowboy-singers of a bygone era. They are without peers in the field of C & W; that is, Comedy and Western. • Jesse Winchester - Jesse Winchester is the man that Bob Dylan called “the best of his generation.” You could easily stock a crowd-pleasing jukebox with the songs Jesse has written and recorded. And you might need an additional jukebox if you were to include the “hit” versions of these songs that have been recorded by the likes of Joan Baez, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffett, Ralph Stanley, and a whole host of other well-known artists. • Don Edwards - America’s favorite cowboy balladeer. Don Edwards is the supreme interpreter and preservationist of authentic cowboy music played and sung in the sparse tradition that engenders an around-the-campfire spirit of the working cowboy. He is a noted historian and musicologist with the soul of a poet, and all that comes out when he sings. If the prairie had a voice, it would sound exactly like Don. • Jimmy Dale Gilmore - is widely known for his clever, illuminating songwriting and his unique central Texas approach to his vocal interpretations. The Wronglers are one of California’s most recognized old-time bands, especially known for their humor and originality. When these two combine forces, as they did on their most recent recording collaboration, the effect is at once surprising and compelling. • Dry Branch Fire Squad – has played aggressively traditional bluegrass for 36 years. From breakdowns to ballads, their harmonies and musicianship are masterful, and their songs are at once melodic and metaphorical in the style that became known as primitive Appalachian. They are widely acknowledged for keeping the culture of horses in their songs and raps. Pictured Left: Top-EmmyLou Harris, Center-Marty Suart, Bottom-Riders in the Sky


• Other name performers include - Salt Creek; Scott and Lee Ann Matthews, Sons and Brothers; The Powell Sisters, and a possible appearance by Lonesome Cowboy Hobo Wyoming Slim with Heidi Clare.

FROM THE EQUINE WORLD • Craig Cameron - a world champion whose clarity and comprehensiveness in clinics effectively relate the importance of mastering a casual, relaxed approach in horse training brings both the excitement of his patented “Extreme Cowboy Race” and the proficiency he is known for in his RFD TV show “Ride Smart” to AmerEquine. He will also demonstrate these techniques as part of the entertainment portions of the event. • Sylvia Zerbini - Sylvia is the person responsible for the utterly magnificent performances of literally dancing horses at liberty that were a recent hallmark of the touring show, Cavalia and will be showing the magic of having them perform without any direct aids. • Tim McQuay - The legendary, nearly three-million dollar rider and NRHA Hall-of-Famer, along with his wife, Colleen, have played an integral part in shaping the reining horse as well as made exceeding contributions to the “world” of Hunters & Jumpers. He will be joined by reining’s Tom and Mandy McCutcheon. • Becky Hart – Won Tevis twice, a stunning achievement for any horseman. That’s not all. She also won three consecutive World Endurance Championships. She is an expert in such topics as TTeam work, natural horsemanship, and Centered Riding. • Tyler Magnus - World Champion Roper is well known as one of the world's best horsemen. His unique style and patience has resulted in producing many great PRCA, AQHA, and APHA performance horses. Tyler has competed nine times at the National Rodeo Finals and won at NFR in 1995. He has also won the PRCA Texas Circuit Championship and the George Strait Team Roping Classic. Tyler is equally competitive as a header or a heeler. • Alan Pogue - While much of what he accomplishes and presents with his horses might well be called “tricks” or “circus training”, one of his goals is to show horse people how to accomplish what they want with their own horses. He not only focuses on the historical and practical purposes of what his horses do, but he shows how knowing these things and having the tools (and patience, manners, and respect) to accomplish them can lead to fulfillment and joy in working with horses at any level. • Ginger Kathrens – is a famed documentary filmmaker whose three specials on the Pryor Mountain Mustang Cloud and his family have generated a worldwide interest in the breed after airing on PBS’ “Nature.” • Other presenters include - Charles Wilhelm; Chase Dodd; Bob Jeffries and Suzanne Sheppard; Rick Meyers; Mari Monda Zdunic;Dr. Suzanne Meyers, Brooke Meyers; Teddy Johnson; Chad Brinlee; Frank Pace; Brad Lieser; Doug Smith; Joe Bertone; Kate Tweedy; Wayne Williams; Debi Metcalf; Kent Sundling; Lore Hemsell; Carole Herder; Steve O' Neill; Danny Kroetch ; Debra Racheter; Jennifer Williams, Ph.D ; Bruce Voyles; Tina Anderson, Ph.D; Melinda Folse. Hot Times in Cowtown - Con’t. on pg. 30

Pictured Right: Top-Craig Cameron, Center-Tom McCuteheon, Bottom-Sylvia Zerbini May 2012 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


Hot Times in Cowtown - Con’t. from pg. 29

Ticket Information... There will be FIVE MAJOR COLISEUM SHOWS during the festival. ALL SHOW TICKETS include admission to show plus general admission to Horse Expo, which includes clinics, presentations, special events, and marketplace. All SHOW seats are reserved. The best seats will be sold to the earliest buyers, but excellent views of the stage are accessible from all seats. Note: Tickets will not be mailed. Please pick up your tickets at Will Call beginning Friday, June 1 at 8:30am.

Ticket Types, Shows & Badges... LIMITED COMMEMORATIVE BADGES

• AmerEquine is proud to offer a limited number of badges which are good for admission to every event for the entire festival.

FRIDAY EVENING SHOW (7:30-3:30) Balcony: $45 / Box: $60 • Starring Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives, Don Edwards, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and the Wronglers, Sylvia Zerbini, and The McQuays.

WORLD RIDER BADGE (only 96 available) Box: $225 • Entitles you to one of the best seats in the house for all Shows.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON SHOW (1:30-3:30) Balcony: $35 / Box: $50 • Starring Jesse Winchester, Heidi Clare and AtaGallop, Doug Smith, Aaron Ralston, and Allen Pogue.

SUNDAY EVEVING SHOW (6:00-8:00) Balcony: $35 / Box: $50 • Starring Riders in the Sky, Don Edwards, Heidi Clare and AtaGallop, The McQuays, Aaron Ralston, and Sylvia Zerbini.


NATIONAL RIDER BADGE (only 212 available) Balcony: $175 • Entitles you to a prime reserved balcony seat for all Shows.


SATURDAY EVENING SHOW (7:30-3:30) Balcony: $45 / Box: $60 • Starring Emmylou Harris, Jesse Winchester, Dry Branch Fire Squad, The McQuays, and Sylvia Zerbini.

• ADULTS $15 • STUDENTS $10 Friday 8:30am-7:00pm Saturday 8:30am-7:00pm Sunday 8:30am-6:00pm SATURDAY AFTERNOON SHOW (1:30-3:30) Balcony: $35 / Box: $50 • Starring Riders in the Sky, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and the Wronglers, Heidi Clare & Lonesome Cowboy Hobo Wyoming Slim, Aaron Ralston, and Allen Pogue.

• Includes admission to Horse Expo only (marketplace, clinics, seminars & special events. • Concerts ticketed separately. • Children age 5 and under FREE. • Student ID required for ages 18-24.

For more information go to: hB


He has the mind



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“R-E-S-P-E-C-T Respect Without Fear!”

fear, the juxtaposition of the two implies a relationship between them.

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find out what it means to me! “Respect, without fear!”


rom R & B icon, Aretha Franklin to horsemanship celebrity Clinton Anderson, all kinds of people tell us how important respect is... between people, between horses, between people and horses. Respect is unquestionably important in all kinds of successful, fulfilling relationships.

Indeed, there is a fine line, as well as a close relationship, between respect and fear, in human to human, and horse to human relationships alike. So where do we draw that fine line? The best way I can describe a relationship of true respect is like that of a loving parent and child. As the child develops and grows, the parent influences them to behave and to make choices according to a consistent set of

standards and expectations. If the child varies from these standards, they know that there will be negative consequences with which they will have to deal. If the child modifies his or her behavior, is it because they are afraid of the negative consequences if they don’t, or because they return their parents’ love, and care about pleasing them? Possibly, some of both. The key to making it a fair, healthy relationship of respect, is that the parent, (or horseman), must make any corrections from a calm, non-violent starting point, and with a loving, or at least caring, intention. Also, their expectations and standards must be applied with the utmost consistency.

My old-fashioned, hard copy of Webster’s “New” Universal, (1994!), Unabridged Dictionary, defines respect, in this context, as “esteem for or the sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or trait, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or trait.” That definition seems fairly straight forward to us verbal humans, but how do we define and recognize respect from our non-verbal equine partners?

A healthy relationship of respect also contains an element of trust. Trust is built over time, through the memories of two beings having positive, or at least predictable, interactions with each other. A child learns to trust a loving parent, because the parent has consistently cared for and protected the child, in the past. It is this underlying trust, created by memories of their past positive experiences together, coupled with the consistency of the parent’s expectations and standards, that allows the child to have healthy respect for the parent.

Let’s examine the second part of Mr. Anderson’s slogan... “without fear”. Interesting, because, although it warns about “mixing” respect and

A starting point for engendering our horses’ trust is by simply putting them at ease and giving them a sense of familiarity and comfort


each time they are in our presence. By moving in a rhythmic, relaxed way, and by breathing deep, regular breaths whenever we approach, groom, or handle our horses, we can mimic the inviting demeanor of a friendly horse in the herd, and let our horses know that we speak at least a bit of their language. (We must also be careful not to betray our horse’s trust by asking our horse to do something , that subsequently causes them pain or discomfort, as a result of responding to our request, i.e. asking them to walk through a gate, then letting the gate bang against their leg or haunch.) If we are consistent, ( and therefor predictable), in our expectations, and in how we reward or correct our horses for specific responses or behaviors, we have a good chance of building both trust and respect in our horsemanship relationships. If a horse’s specific behavior or a response to the horseman’s specific request is consistently answered with a reward, (via praise and/ or release of a signal), or, conversely, a correction, it makes the horseman’s expectations predictable to the horse. In the horse’s world, predictability is arguably as important to a horse as the sense of being loved is to a human. The predictable behavior of its herd mates gives a horse a profound sense of wellbeing, no matter how many, or few, close companions the horse has within the group, and regardless of where the horse ranks within the herd’s hierarchy. Conversely, inconsistent, unpredictable behavior of its herd mates toward a particular horse leaves it no peace, as it is continually having to guess who is friend, and who is foe, in its instinctual quest for social acceptance within the herd.

balanced and successfully complete those skills, your horse will trust your signals and stay sensitive to them. If you are uncertain of how a balanced, athletic horse should be positioned and move in order to execute the maneuvers for which you are asking, take the time and effort to do the research or to get the instruction needed to educate yourself. Likewise, if you don’t know how to develop your horse’s athletic ability step by step, take the time and effort to learn how. Your horse will respect you as a knowledgeable leader, whose judgement and abilities can be trusted to help him or her succeed, and

whose companionship can be trusted and enjoyed. Always- Remember to Enjoy the Ride.


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

inlaid with

Finally, we must earn our horse’s trust and respect through our technique and skill. If your aids and cues are inaccurate, sloppy, or inconsistent, your horse will soon learn to ignore at least some of them, since he or she cannot trust you to help him or her succeed at the skills for which you are asking. This is true for ground work and handling, as well as mounted work. If, on the other hand, your horse learns that, by following your aids precisely, he or she can stay




orse feeds and supplements are divided into four categories according to feed form and feeding rate – complete feeds, texturized concentrates, pelleted and extruded concentrates and comprehensive and targeted nutritional supplements. Deciphering these terminologies is the first step towards making informed choices for your horses’ nutritional needs. NOTE: I use the term “ration” in reference to the total amount of all forage, feed and supplements fed on a daily basis.

Complete Feeds (concentrate and forage together with a 16-20 pound daily feeding rate):

“Horse Feed & Supplement CategoriesKnow the Terms!”

when using texturized feed. I do not recommend texturized feed for horses under 18 months of age since the grain starch and molasses content of these feeds can result in blood sugar highs and lows that, in turn, may lead to chronically high insulin, a condition that can cause growth deformities in young horses.

Pelleted & Extruded Concentrates (concentrate only with a 3-10 pound daily feeding rate):

By Judith A. Reynolds, Ph.D., P.A.S., Dipl. A.C.A.N.

Equine Nutritionist, Equine Product & Technical Manager, ADM Alliance Nutrition

Formulated with concentrates and forages together in one product, complete feeds should have a high-fiber content (20-30 percent), since they contain the forage portion of the ration. However, these products can be obtained with a range of energy content due to the inclusion of varying amounts of fat (fat has 2.25 times the energy of carbohydrates and proteins). Complete feeds are available in texturized, pelleted and extruded forms (see definitions below). Horses benefiting from the use of complete feeds include those with dust allergies that may be heightened with the use of long-stemmed hays, those with certain medical conditions and senior horses with dental issues. The use of a complete feed is also beneficial when traveling, since these feeds require less storage space than long-stemmed hay. Complete feeds can be fed at a higher rate without metabolic danger or behavioral changes when compared with other types of feed. Since complete feeds are more digestible than hays, the typical daily ration of 2-3 percent of body weight may be reduced to about 1.75-2.5 percent.


Texturized feeds or “sweet feeds” (concentrate only with a 3-6 pound daily feeding rate): Mixed grains, whether whole or processed (cracked, rolled, crimped, flaked), are combined with molasses for a high degree of palatability, and are presented in a more natural form which allows one to examine the individual ingredients. This type of feed should also contain a pelleted source of vitamins and minerals needed by horses, since plain grains are poor sources of vitamins and minerals, except for phosphorus. Protein, forage or roughage products, (beet pulp, alfalfa meal, soybean hulls) and fats (stabilized rice bran, ground flax and vegetable oils) may also be included in texturized feeds. Texturized feeds should be fed at a maximum of 0.5 percent of body weight daily, in at least two meals, since whole grains are less digestible than pelleted feeds. Feed at least 1.5-2.5 percent of body weight of good-quality forage daily

Pelleted Concentrates: Ingredients used in pelleted concentrates have been ground up, mixed thoroughly, heated and forced through a pellet dye which results in greater digestibility. They can be fed dry or mixed with water to create a soft feed for horses with dental problems. Pelleted concentrates eliminate the opportunity for horses to choose certain ingredients while dismissing others.

Extruded Concentrates: The ingredients are “cooked” and expanded instead of pelleted. As with pellets they are highly digestible and come in many size options. They resemble dry dog food and are more expensive than pelleted feeds. Both pelleted and extruded feeds are easier to handle in cold weather, keep flies at bay during the summer and have a longer shelf life compared to sweet feeds due to their lower molasses content. They can contain mostly ground grains or no grain at all in order to lower the starch content that is linked to a number of metabolic and excitability conditions known collectively as Equine Grain-Associated Disorders. To determine the grain-starch content of a pelleted or extruded feed, look at the crude fiber content (lower fiber usually means higher starch content). Also, any grain included will be listed in the ingredients or the term “grain products” will be used. Another option is to contact the feed manufacturer and

request the starch and sugar content. Low-starch feeds should contain 1216 percent starch. For comparison, corn, barley and oats have 71, 60 and 53 percent starch, respectively. Many traditional grain-based feeds contain 30-50 percent starch and sugar.

Nutritional Supplements (2 ounce to 2 pound daily feeding rate) Comprehensive Nutritional Supplements Comprehensive nutritional supplements are meant to fill in the nutrient deficiencies in forages. When the forage provides all of the energy, fiber and protein mature horses need, a comprehensive salt/ vitamin/mineral supplement replaces the typical concentrate. This is an ideal solution for over- weight horses and easykeepers who don’t need the extra calories found in concentrates. The majority of mature horses fall into this category. A similar supplement with protein added is used when the forage is lower in protein.

Targeted Nutritional Supplements (target a specific deficiency with a less than 1 pound daily feeding rate): Supplements containing one nutrient or a group of nutrients are used to provide extra support for a specific purpose, such as extra vitamin E for horses with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) or neurological disorders or a hoof supplement containing a group of nutrients targeted at hoof health and growth. These supplements should be used when a deficiency of the nutrient(s) in the ration has been identified. A good, balanced feeding program should provide all of the necessary nutrients for most horses in most situations without the need for targeted nutritional supplements. However, they are crucial for horses with specific medical conditions or extreme or unusual performance requirements. hB

For more information about the feeding and care of horses, visit ADM Alliance Nutrition’s online equine library at www. For free feeding suggestions for your horses, call the Equine Nutrition HELPLINE at 800-680-8254.



“What to Look For in a Good Used Saddle”

cover is rough and white looking, it could very well be a low end Mexican made saddle. A lot of newer saddles have synthetic trees.

Horseback Magazine’s Saddle & Tack Editor


ast month, I had a suggestion from a reader to do an article on how to tell a good used saddle from all the junk out there. It was a great suggestion so here are some thoughts on the subject. I’m fairly sure makers of low end saddles and importers of Indian made saddles will take exception. Tough... There are saddles that are inexpensive that are still pretty well made. There are expensive saddles that are poorly made for the price. You can’t always tell by the price. Let’s assume for right now that we’re talking about leather saddles, not synthetics . The foundation of any saddle is the tree. The traditional western saddle tree is a wooden


structure covered with rawhide. The easiest place to see the tree is under the side jockey, the part of the side that drops under your thigh, and above the fender. The stirrup leather will go from behind the fender over the top of the tree. You can see the edge of the saddle tree at that point. A good rawhide covered tree will appear to be a hard varnished cover with a wide kind of stitching along the upper edge of the saddle tree. If that rawhide

One of the oldest synthetic trees is called a “Ralide” tree. This is actually an excellent tree, available in a huge assortment of sizes, styles, and widths. The only problem with Ralide trees is the saddle makers that put the saddle together using those trees. Most production saddles are made using pneumatic staplers and nailers. When a nail or staple is driven into the synthetic tree, it fractures the tree material. Every broken Ralide tree I have ever replaced followed a line of nails or staples where the break occurred. When the saddle is screwed together, the trees are almost indestructible under normal use. Let me underscore that point of normal use. If you rope out of a Ralide tree saddle that was designed for pleasure, you will tear the horn out or break the fork. This is also true, though, of any saddle. You don’t want to use a barrel saddle to rope a bull!

I looked at a real nice looking used saddle the other day. It was a typical number 1530 Ralide tree. I’ve seen a thousand of them so recognized the style immediately. There was a rope burn around the horn so I set the saddle on the ground, resting on the back skirts, with the gullet between my knees. I spread my knees outward, and the bars moved and I could feel the gullet under the horn flex. Broken tree, expensive fix. Always good to check the tree on any used saddle. The same test works for any type of tree. Another place the tree breaks is right behind the stirrup leather. If you lift the front of the saddle and press on the seat and feel more give on one side of the saddle than the other, a bar is probably broken. That broken bar will put pressure on the horses back and cause pain or discomfort. The leather should feel pliable, not real soft and spongy, nor stiff and boardy. You should be able to bend the leather fairly sharply without cracking or breaking. Especially check the stirrup leathers where they lay against the horse’s side collecting sweat and dirt. Older saddles with the old horizontal buckles made of galvanized steel called AlRay

buckles tend to collect moisture, allowing the leather underneath the buckle to dry rot. Many times, I’ve seen a perfectly good stirrup leather above and below the buckle break in two as soon as you moved the buckle. If you encounter that type of buckle, move it up or down to expose the leather beneath it to make sure it is still flexible. One of the easy indications of a better saddle is the type of rivet used in connecting parts like the fender and stirrup leather. A good saddle will have solid copper rivets with copper washers, or burrs. A lot of low end Mexican saddles and even American made saddles have cheap hollow tube rivets. When you see a big shiny rivet on the stirrup leather or on the quick change buckle, it’s a cheap saddle. Let me say something about Mexican made saddles. Some of the cheap saddles are as bad as anything you can set on a horse’s back, but there are more and more Mexican made saddles that are as good as any of the finest custom saddles made in the U.S. today. If you go into any saddle manufacturing shop in this part of the country, you will find plenty of Mexican or Mexican American workers.

Leather craft has been a tradition with them for centuries. The problem with a lot of older Mexican saddles was that they didn’t have decent materials to work with. Also the economics were that people wanted cheap saddles, so they built them down to a price, not up to a standard. When you think about bringing workers in and paying them 8 to 10 dollars per hour, versus taking the materials to Mexico and paying the workforce 1.25 to 2 dollars per hour, it stands to reason that you can achieve the same quality at a lower price. You would be surprised at the number of 2 to 3 thousand dollar saddles coming north to big name stores out of places like Chihuahua, Mexico City, and Musquiz. The worst thing coming into this country now is coming from India. There are several companies that have no regard for anything but profit. Most of the Indian made saddles are built on a hollow fiberglass tree, some with a very light rawhide cover. These saddles are extremely light weight. Some are very pretty, with decent looking tooling. The silver is almost always inferior engraving, the leather is really lightweight, and the trees seem to be made to fit waterbuffalo. With Tack Talk - Con’t. on pg. 38



Tack Talk - Con’t. from pg. 37 time, they will probably improve somewhat, as competition will demand it. I’m not sure what the average wage is in India right now, but a few years ago when someone wanted me to manage a winter blanket company with manufacturing in India, the standard working wage was .17 cents per hour. I guess, there’s still a lot to say about what to look for in a good used saddle. Part of the criteria needs to be based on what you are going to use the saddle for, but basically look for good firm, flexible leather, a solid

tree, and no dry rotted, cracked, stiff leather. Fit is a whole ‘nuther bag of worms. Keep in mind, really old saddles are often too narrow for today’s horses, but then there are still some horses that are too narrow for today’s saddles. Use your judgment, shop carefully, do a lot of comparison shopping, and ask if you can have the saddle checked over by a competent saddler that you can trust. I’ll try to answer all emails and phone calls if anyone has questions. 830 328 0321,

Bandera’s Lew Pewterbaugh has been called the most knowledgeable saddle and tack authority in the Southwest. He will soon be taking clients for private fitting consultation.



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Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 27

In 2011, the USDA documented 587 violations of the Horse Protection Act while attending only 62 of the 650 or so gaited horse events held that year. The USDA cited participants in the 2011 National Trainers’ Show with 49 violations of the Horse Protection Act — the third highest number of violations for a single USDA-inspected show that year. Prosecution of violators has met strong political opposition, challenging USDA’s efforts at enforcement and creating an environment where recidivism is the norm. “For that reason, America’s veterinarians are standing right beside USDA inspectors in urging the strengthening of the Horse Protection Act. Everyone — inspectors, judges, trainers, riders and even spectators at these shows must take responsibility for ending soring. A zerotolerance policy being promoted by these shows would set a significant tenor for the entire show season,” Dr. Carlson added. To assist in the return of the walking horse gait back to its natural beauty, the AVMA has created an educational

video, produced in cooperation with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and the USDA, to provide an overview of the issue of soring and highlight the tell-tale signs of when a horse has been sored. The video includes an interview with Elizabeth Graves, a licensed Tennessee Walking Horse judge and gaited horse trainer and Dr. Nat Messer, a member of both the AVMA’s and the AAEP’s Animal Welfare Committees. Additional materials, including a factsheet, backgrounder, reporting procedures, and the formal AVMA policy are available for general use. The AVMA is confident that with appropriate recognition of the inhumane nature of soring; increased reporting of abuse; and stronger legislative and regulatory action, including adequate funding for inspections, the offspring of today’s sored horses won’t have to suffer tomorrow.

BLM Agrees to Madeleine Pickens Sanctuary Proposal BLM Selects Proposed Wild Horse Ecosanctuary on Private and Public Land in Nevada for Environmental Analysis WASHINGTON, (BLM) – The Bureau of Land Management announced April 19 that it has selected for environmental analysis a public-private land wild horse ecosanctuary proposal submitted by Saving America’s Mustangs (SAM), a nonprofit organization formed by Madeleine Pickens. The BLM will conduct an environmental analysis of the proposal under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 to assess the environmental, economic, social, and other effects of the proposed ecosanctuary. The BLM expects its NEPA analysis – which will include extensive public input – to be completed in approximately two years, after which the agency will make a decision about whether to enter into a formal partnership with SAM. SAM’s



Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 43




ood, experienced horsemen appreciate the value of a calm mount that will allow you to take control and will to the aids. Less experienced horsemen sometimes confuse calm with lazy. A nervous horse may appear more exciting to the novice rider, but is often too full of adrenaline or distrust to accept the aids and focus on the rider’s commands. Nervousness can be spawned from fear, improper training, poor communication, poor nutrition, pain or memories of a bad experience. Nervous horses can be identified with behavioral issues such as grinding or chomping the teeth, wringing the tail, pinning the ears or carrying the head high. That anxious feeling could also be reflected in gaits that are quick or more explosive and dangerous behavior such as shying, bolting, bucking and rearing. Most of the time, a nervous horse can be calmed, but it requires some retraining along with a great deal of time and patience. Some horses however, have such deeply rooted issues that changing the behavior can become too difficult and

Begin by checking a nervous horse to rule out pain in his back, mouth, legs and feet. Also check his diet to make sure he is not consuming too much feed, protein, sugar or supplements. Next, check for equipment issues such as an improperly fitted saddle or bridle or a bit that is too severe. You may need the help of a good vet or trainer to help you rule out any of these physical problems.

“Calm is not Lazy” even unsafe for most riders. It is important to assess your own abilities along with the horse’s responsiveness and progress when attempting to retrain a horse. Seek professional help immediately if you are not confident that you are experienced and knowledgeable enough to recognize an unsafe situation.

Once you establish that there are no physical causes, you can move on to retraining the horse. Start with some groundwork to determine where the nervous behavior is coming from. Note if the horse is uneasy when being led. Does he have good ground manners and respect your personal space? A variety of methods can be used to assess him while centering his attention on you. Grooming will tell you if he has sensitive spots on his body that worry him. If he exhibits ill behavior or trust issues, spend some time quietly working with him to develop a relationship and gain both his trust and attention. Leading while frequently stopping, starting and turning and using voice commands along with body language will help you relax and focus him in on you while gaining his trust. Longeing can burn off extra energy as you look for soundness issues. If he wants to run like a maniac at the end of the longe line, keep shortening the line and slowing him down until he can calmly hold the walk and trot on command. Longe him with tack on to reduce his anxiety just before you transfer your weight from the ground to the saddle. Allow the stirrups to dangle as you lunge him so he learns to accept minor distractions while focusing on a task and your commands. When he appears calm from the ground, go ahead and mount. Make sure you have your reins organized and mount calmly. Gently place your weight on his back. A heavy plop in the saddle will irritate most horses. Make him stand quietly for several seconds before moving off. As you walk forward, check your position to make sure that you are centered and balanced. Make sure you have contact on the bit and your hands are steady enough to avoid hitting him in the mouth. Start out on a circle and


gradually increase the size as he remains calm. Reduce the size of the circle when he tenses up. Most nervous horses will carry their heads very high which allows them to use their long distance vision for self-preservation while evading the bit. The flight or fight mentality is instinctual to equines. When threatened, horses will run from danger. If they cannot run, they will strike with the hind legs, forelegs or teeth. Encouraging your horse to lower his head and stretch down into the bit will help him shift his concentration to the immediate area. Flexing at the poll also allows endorphins to be naturally released into the bloodstream and consequently calm the horse. Repeated and soft half-halts that are held until the head begins to drop can be very effective for lowering the head.

shying, turn his head to the inside, lift your inside hand and squeeze your inside leg to push him into your outside rein to steady him. For rearing, lean forward and turn him onto a circle. For bucking, lift his head with your reins. These recommendations can help in tough situations but there is no substitute for skill and experience.

when he gives you the proper response. Never yank his mouth or hit him to punish for nervous behavior. Be firm and develop his confidence in you. Spend time on the basic skill of relaxing your horse as you stretch him downward in a calm fashion. It will be time well spent for both of you.

Regardless of how the nervous tension surfaces, the main thing to remember is to interrupt the behavior, slow the horse down and give him positive reinforcement. Speak softly and gently stroke him on the neck

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


Teaching the horse to travel in a long and low frame while quietly praising him will calm him and encourage his trust. Work at the walk for as long as it takes to accomplish this. Then take the horse to a trot and continue in a long and low frame. Keep him from traveling with quick steps. When he seems relaxed at the trot and can make transitions without tensing up, you are ready for the canter. Make sure the canter is slow and soft. If he still travels with tension, slow him down, soften and repeat until he stops fighting you. If he still seems tense, make circles or do some lateral exercises such as shoulder-in and leg yield to supple him. If the flat work is good and your problems don’t show up until you jump, try a very slow trot over ground poles before the jump. Most nervous horses will get quicker and higher headed as they get closer to the jump. Send a message to him that the closer you get to the jump, the slower you will go. Combine that with half-halts to lower his head. Calmly release the hold when you get to the jump. Hold the mane if there is any chance you will hit him in the mouth. If he exhibits tension after the jump, bring him to a walk and lower his head as soon as he lands. If he resists, take him onto a circle and walk over the next jump. Make sure any jump that you walk over is no higher than twelve inches. Wait until he can go calmly before approaching at a faster gait. If his nerves show up through bolting or




“Ride-By Grazing”

works with the horse’s nature, and it doesn’t leave either the horse or the rider confused, frustrated, or upset.

You just need to teach your horse some clear signals so that he will know (a) exactly when he is allowed to drop his head and graze, and (b) exactly when he must bring his head up again and focus on you. By “signals” I mean actions and words that correspond only to the specific behaviors you request (or permit). If you just let the reins slide and allow the horse to cruise slowly to a stop wherever he perceives the grass or leaves to be especially tasty, you are handing your authority to the horse. Instead, take charge: Tell your horse that the moment he may graze is NOW. That way, you will both understand that the horse is grazing by permission only.

Help Me Make It STOP!


My horse drops his head and grabs grass all the time on the trail, and pulls leaves off trees when we ride past them. How do I make him quit? A couple people have suggested a bigger bit and a major bump in the mouth, a real powerful jerk whenever he does it, so he’ll leave the grass and leaves alone. I don’t want to use a bigger bit unless I have to. He’s a good horse most of the time and I consider him a friend. He just needs to lose this bad habit so we can enjoy the trails.


Horses on short trail rides can eat a lot, eat a little, or not eat during the ride, but horses are always going to notice the grass and leaves – that’s just horse nature! Horses are hard-wired to eat all the time. When they reach for food on the trail, it can be okay, or it can be a disaster, depending on how and when they do it, and what their riders think and do about it. I’m glad that you’re unwilling to reach for a bigger bit. Good for you – you’re thinking like a horseman. Some riders wrongly believe that hardware is the answer to every problem, but applying sudden, strong pressure on a harsh bit can injure your horse’s mouth and ruin his trust in you. To me, the term “powerful jerk” describes any rider whose motto is “Just get a bigger bit” or “No pain, no train.” Here’s my suggestion for you. Begin by thinking about what you want to achieve, and why you want to achieve it. You have choices. Grazing is natural for horses, even on the trail. Some trail


riders don’t object to their horses grabbing a mouthful of grass here and there, or a few leaves. Others will allow their horses to snack in this way as long as the horses never stop or break stride, and I’ve seen horses that can walk or trot for hours at a time and snatch grass and leaves all the way down the trail without ever slowing down or missing a beat. Endurance riders, who often ride for days at a time under challenging conditions, generally allow – even encourage! – grazing on the trail, and even stop when their horses want to eat or drink. Of course, in endurance riding it’s essential for horses to learn to pace themselves, eat when they find grass, and drink when they find water. This isn’t necessarily true in the case of ordinary, pleasure-type trail rides.

In your case, I can see several options. The first three are all bad. You can let your horse stop and start, graze, and pull leaves off trees whenever he wants to, but you’re right – that’s not going to enhance your enjoyment of the ride. You can forbid all grazing and all leaf-grabbing, and punish the horse for attempting to do those things, but your horse will be frustrated and unhappy with you and you’ll be annoyed and frustrated with him, so that won’t enhance your (or his) enjoyment either. You can ignore and punish randomly, according to your mood of the moment; riders who do this invariably end up with unhappy, confused, perpetually anxious horses. Here’s what I recommend: Teach your horse that although grass and leaves are on his menu, he can’t grab them without your permission, and unless you ask him to stop, he has to eat his snacks on the fly – he’s not allowed to change his speed or direction, or to break gait. Train your horse to drop his head and graze when you give him permission to do so. To my mind, this is the simplest, easiest, and most pleasant choice. It

Combine a physical signal (e.g., a tap or multiple taps, on some part of the horse’s neck that you don’t usually touch during a ride) with a verbal signal (e.g.,“Okay, X (horse’s name), graze now!”). It helps to perform your physical signal (mine is three taps on top of the mane, halfway up the horse’s neck) and your verbal signal (mine is “Go ahead, graze!”) simultaneously. Since horses are highly motivated to eat, they usually figure out those signals very quickly. Then you’ll need other signals for “Right, that’s enough grazing, head up, let’s GO!” Mine are a squeeze with both legs, and the words “Okay, X, move out!” You won’t need to pull your horse’s head up – it will come up when he begins to move forward with energy, which should be immediately. Establish your signals, then keep them consistent forever after. This is much better than letting a horse do whatever it wants whenever it wants, forbidding all grazing, or punishing the horse at random. If your signals are consistent and clear, your horse will no longer be anxious and preoccupied, perpetually asking “Now? Now? Is now an okay time? Can I graze now? How about now? Now?” Instead of constantly making desperate grabs at grass and leaves, he will wait for the specific signal that tells him “Okay, you may graze NOW.” hB

Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 39

900-head ecosanctuary would help the BLM care for the horses while ensuring healthy rangeland conditions. Under the proposal, SAM would improve and maintain fencing and water wells and oversee management of the ecosanctuary horses, which would remain under Federal ownership. SAM would also provide Western history- and wild horse-related education and promote ecotourism. The BLM-managed public lands that would be part of the proposed ecosanctuary – 530,000 acres known as the Spruce grazing allotment – would continue to be publicly accessible for a variety of outdoor activities, such as big game hunting. The proposed ecosanctuary also includes SAM’s private land, approximately 14,000 acres located in northeastern Nevada (south of Wells), that serves as “base property” for the Spruce grazing allotment, which overlays portions of three wild horse Herd Management Areas. (Base property is private land to which preference for obtaining a BLM grazing permit is attached; the base property is required for a permit, which authorizes grazing on public land.) SAM holds the allotment’s livestock grazing privileges, which it would relinquish to the BLM for intended use by wild horses. SAM was the only party that submitted a potentially viable proposal to the BLM in response to the agency’s Request for Applications posted on on March 25, 2011. Other proposals were not selected for environmental review because they did not meet the BLM’s minimum requirements, including ownership or control of the necessary private land and a proven ability to provide humane care for at least 200 wild horses. If a partnership agreement with SAM were to be finalized, the BLM would sponsor the ecosanctuary with funding sufficient to cover the cost of managing the horses – an expense that is anticipated to be less than the BLM’s existing cost for holding horses in long-term pastures in the Midwest. The potential partnership agreement for the ecosanctuary envisions a fundraising role by SAM to cover educational and tourist-related costs. “The selection of SAM’s proposal for environmental analysis furthers our

overall effort to improve management and control costs of the Wild Horse and Burro Program,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey, who noted that the BLM is preparing to publish a new wild horse and burro management strategy in the coming weeks. The strategy, among other things, calls for the establishment of ecosanctuary partnerships. The decision to begin NEPA analysis of SAM’s proposal follows the agency’s February 24 announcement of its selection of a Wyoming-based, private land-only sanctuary proposal for environmental review. The BLM plans to announce another Request for Applications for more private land-only ecosanctuaries. The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estates throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

Pinnacle Entertainment Acquires Majority Interest in Retama Park By David Hooper, CEO Texas Thoroughbred Association Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 45



have much of that. Our best feature was probably that we were young, limber and bounced when we hit the ground. Anyway, before they were assigned we had to get them out of the stalls to exercise them. Well Ol’ Red was a little on the wild side....he was brought in an open top stock trailer and ran down the alley to a stall. He was pretty much untouched. My buddy Guy, drew the short straw to exercise him and when he opened the stall, Red reached out with his front foot and removed some buttons from Guys jacket! Guy shut the stall door, with saucer like eyes and said, “I do believe he is exercised!”

“It’s Funny When it Happens to Someone Else!”


got an email from an old friend about the story in the March 2011 issue of Horseback. We laughed remembering how that mare was not supposed to buck. He said anytime someone brings him a horse to ride and says “it never bucks”, he thinks about that day. It got me to thinking about some of the (funny now) wrecks that we had back then. I specifically remember a horse that we called Ol’ Red (even though he was only a two-year-old). When the horses were brought in for us to start, they were unassigned. Meaning you didn’t know which one you would get. Our instructors would assign them based on our abilities as riders. I would say horsemanship abilities, but thinking back...we didn’t

Well that right there meant he was a little broncy! Yee haw! Almost all of us guys started lobbying our instructors right then to get assigned to Red. You never saw better lobbyists, not even in Washington! I was the best lobbyist of all, I drew him. Looking back...Kenny, one of the instructors, was probably giggling like crazy! We had to put him in the bucking chute to get a halter on him, then I led him around with a 30’ lariat (couldn’t get any closer). This should have been a clue....apparently I was clueless! After

about a week of leading him around with the lariat, he finally started trusting me enough to lead like a somewhat normal horse. All this before we put the saddle on him! Being young, limber, bouncy and stupid; I just knew he was going to buck. Oh the joy, I couldn’t wait! What a bummer, the actually saddling was anticlimactic...didn’t even hump his back. What a disappointment...but, he was brought in to be started and I did know the owners. So I settled down to starting a two year old. After about a month of riding it started to get cold (gets that way in southeastern Colorado). Being 10 feet tall and bullet proof, I tended not to spend anytime warming my horses up before I got on. And I suppose this would be the funny part..... I was in the round pen and Kenny told me I needed to warm him up a little before getting on. What did he know, he was old and afraid....right? Well we made about two rounds and Red started bucking, I don’t mean little crow

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Horse Bites - Con’t. from pg. 43

hops! It seemed he was pretty serious about getting me off! He made about 10 jumps, my friends told me later it was only 2 or 3....they were all liars anyway. I choose to believe 10 jumps! Somewhere around the 10th jump (my story, I’ll believe what I want), I came loose and went flying over the top rail of the round pen. I lay there a little bit, Kenny came running over....sure was nice of the crusty old rascal! He asked if I was hurt and all I could say was “did anybody see me?” He laughed pretty hard over that and about that time all of my friends came over, trying to hide their laughter. I would like to believe they were trying....but some were outright laughing! The nerve, I could have been hurt.....they were my friends, did they not care? I was not hurt (best features bit), but I could have been! Later that night, after doing what most all college kids do when they are away from home, Guy pointed out to me that it is always funny when it happens to someone else. I thought about that for a minute, well that’s true....if it had been one of them....I’d have laughed so hard, that I would have fallen off my horse! By they way, Red never bucked again and turned into a pretty solid colt.... hB

AUSTIN, (TTA) - Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. has announced that a wholly owned subsidiary has entered into agreements to acquire a 75.5% majority interest in Retama Partners Ltd. (RPL), the owner of the racing license for Retama Park. The announcement ended months of negotiations and speculation about the future of Retama Park. The Pinnacle press release states, “Under the terms of the agreements, the Company will pay $22.8 million to acquire the 75.5% stake in RPL, comprising a purchase of debt securities and other interests related to Retama Park for $7.8 million and cash consideration of $15 million that will be used primarily to refinance Retama Development Corporation’s existing indebtedness and to provide working capital.”

investment significantly improves the outlook for Retama Park and we will undoubtedly benefit from Pinnacle’s resources and long track record as a developer, marketer and operator of gaming entertainment facilities throughout the U.S.” Pinnacle’s complete press release appears on TTA’s website, and TTA’s Facebook page. hB

Bryan Brown, CEO of Retama Entertainment Group, commented, “We are very excited at the prospect of having Pinnacle Entertainment as operator and majority partner of Retama Park. Pinnacle E n t e r t a i n m e n t ’s

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the other side. The problem can be lessened if you shred the grass on the other side of the fence. However, after all the rain the prior month, we weren’t doing much shredding. Also, before you start shredding you should have an understanding with the owner of the other side of the fence. If you adjoin a county road or state highway, I wouldn’t worry about permission. Kinda’ like running around on your girlfriend, it’s easier to beg forgiveness than get permission.



owdy, welcome to Cowboy Corner. Well, spring has sprung, let’s all enjoy the cool mornings and not too hot days while they last, ‘cause summer is coming. Mentioned last month about the fence problems resulting from one of the wettest February’s on record. When the grass came out early, due to moisture in February and warm temperatures in March, my ol’ cows started pushing on the fence to get what’s greener on

Another way to handle the weeds and grass along the fence is to spray with a broad spectrum herbicide. Several really good products are available and can be handled with a hand held or backpack rig. Tractor or ATV rigs are also available for large acreage. When the drought started to moderate late last fall, we started fencing a lease pasture. This pasture was originally to be a hay field, but we all know what happened to hay fields last year. Fencing will allow us to hay or graze, so we started fencing. Due to the location, and multiple ownerships, the fencing project required several gates. Now as we all know gates are expensive to put in a fence row, and expensive to buy.

No matter what type, gates require good “H” brace supports on either side, and if possible a header really strengthens the fence. However, equipment today is so large and tall that sometimes a header is too expensive for a lease pasture without owner contribution. Don’t even have a fancy entrance with a header gate on my own place, much less some leased cow pasture. Now on the other end of the spectrum is the gap gate. Gates made from wire, with several stays to keep them upright, and hard to close, and keep tight without a “cheater”. More about cheaters later. As I have said before, I know gap gates have a place, just not on my place. So our gate building is in between fancy and gaps. The gates made from 1 5/8”, or 2” tubing are great. Like to use the lighter weight gates for road access and between pastures and, the heavier gates around cattle working facilities and pens. The 2” gates are much more costly, and require a lot stronger bracing, however, the gates are available in 20 feet lengths. Will visit about 20 feet gates later. Biggest mistake I see the want-to-be cowmen make is gate size. Have found the light weight sixteen feet gates to be just right for pastures and the minimum for road access. Trying to turn a twenty feet plus long trailer off of a county road into a pasture with less than a sixteen foot gate will make you a believer. Another thing I like about the lighter gates is the hardware. Have a choice of “J” bolts, 5/8” diameter, in either lag or thru bolt. If you are dealing with brace posts of 12” or less, then either “J” bolt can be used. If larger posts are used, a lag type is needed. When installing lag bolts 5/8” diameter, use a 9/16” wood bit for the post, and oil the bolt well before installing. Like to use a lag bolt for the bottom gate hinge and a thru bolt “J” for the top gate hinge. Using a 12” thru bolt on an 8” post allows about 4” of adjustment, at the top of the gate. If you want a spacer for the threaded “J” bolt use a ½” pipe coupling drilled to 5/8” inside diameter. Like to point the “J” bolts up, because the gates are easier to hang but need to install a “lock” for the gate hinge on the bolt. Drill a 1/8” hole in the “J” bolt above the hinge; use a 5/8” washer and a piece of galvanized wire thru the hinge pin. The lock prevents the gate from being lifted off the hinge pin.

Happy Trails! hB





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Horseback Magazine May 2012  

Vol.19 Number 4

Horseback Magazine May 2012  

Vol.19 Number 4