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2 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013

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ORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013 ©4 2013 H Purina Animal Nutrition LLC. All rights reserved.

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK Buffalo, There’s Nothing Better on the Plate! North Texas rancher Charles Goodnight did one of the state’s great pieces of public service when during the late 1800s he saved the last herd of native buffalo from almost certain extinction. Now they, and his good work, are being honored at the herd’s home in the majestic By Steven Long Palo Duro Canyon. Horseback is proud to join with other bison lovers across America in honoring this wonderful animal sacred to Native Americans in this issue. All we can say is, it’s about time. The buffalo has staged resurgence of late as a money crop. After the Civil War the animals were hunted almost to extinction for their hides while their meat was left to rot in the wild. This was the great American tragedy that drove the Indian from the plains to the reservation. For the unaware, their culture revered the animal and used every part of it to sustain life itself. Hide, bone, even teeth, were used in a practical way. But eventually, even the last Comanche chief, the great Quanah Parker gave up his Indian ways, donned a Western suit, and became a cattle rancher becoming fast friends with Goodnight and rancher Burke Burnett. Once considered a savage, President Theodore Roosevelt even dined at his table at the “Star House” he built near Lawton, Oklahoma. Tears must have come to Qunah’s eyes when he saw the small herd of native Texas buffalo that continued to graze and breed in the Palo Duro as Goodnight and those who came after him quietly protected them. The buffalo is now taking its rightful place on supermarket counters competing with the finest beef as a meat animal, and rightly so. Our hats go off to this nascent industry. We eat buffalo and like it as much as the very best beef. Producers have done some very savvy marketing of the Angus breed inducing consumers to believe its beef is better than that of all of the other beef cattle, and at a higher price. It’s not, but they’ve convinced the public to think it is. Frankly, buffalo meat could give it a run for its money, or even eclipse it. In short, if Horseback readers haven’t tasted this fine meat, it’s high time they did so.

On the Cover:

American Bison of Caprock Canyon, photo’s courtesy Daniel Baeza.

6 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013

Cover Story:

34 Saving Texas’ Bison - Le’Ann Pigg


12 Cutting Horse Training on Buffalo - Steven Long 38 Star Day Foundation - Margaret Pirtle

Lifestyle: 14 16 28 30

The Trading Post Barn & Garden (at the Fair) Real Estate Roundup Treasures Under the Dirt - Steven Long

Columns: 8 18 20 22 26 40 46

Horse Bites Motivating the Lazy Horse - Pat Parelli The Cowboy Way - Corey Johnson On the English Front - Cathy Strobel Tack Talk - Lew Pewterbaugh Foot Form Function - Pete Ramey Cowboy Corner - Jim Hubbard


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

Staff PUBLISHER Vicki Long

EDITOR Steven Long

NATIONAL NEWS EDITOR Carrie Gobernatz LIFESTYLE EDITOR Margaret Pirtle 832-349-1427 EVENTS EDITOR Leslie Greco

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jim Hubbard, Steven Long, Vicki Long, Dianne Lindig, Roni Norquist, Pat Parelli, Pete Ramey, Lew Pewterbaugh, Cathy Strobel, Dr. Jessica Jahiel, Cory Johnson, Margaret Pirtle Volume 20, No. 9 Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397, (281) 447-0772. The entire contents of the magazine are copyrighted September 2013 by Horseback Magazine. All rights reserved. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. Horseback Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other material unless accompanied by a stamped, self addressed envelope. Horseback Magazine is not responsible for any claims made by advertisers. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or management. Subscription rate is $25.00 for one year. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397. Fax: (281) 893-1029


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After Format Change Last Year, Pat Parelli Again in the Arena for Horse and Soul Tour by Pat Parelli When we head to Texas September 28-29 for our Horse and Soul Tour, I just want to remind everyone to bring an extra pair of socks…the reason is, we’re intending to blow the first pair off. There are only two kinds of people in this whole wide world, horse lovers – and the other kind, you know, people who love horses. It doesn’t matter if it is Tony the Pony, or Danny the Draft Horse, these animals are something special. There’s a gene we have that matches up with the horse. It is Linda and my desire for horse lovers to be safe, have fun, get handy, and be proficient. No matter what your goals are, our seminar is intended to unlock all the secrets that only the greatest horsemen have ever held. My secret to success is that I’ve always studied with the best or as the old say-

Pat Parelli doing what he loves best- instructing!, photo courtesy Parelli

8 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013

12-yr old Warren and her friends began the petition in response to recent “Horse Bites is compiled from events. In Cold Creek, Nevada just miles Press Releases sent to Horseback from Las Vegas the BLM and the US Forrest Magazine. Original reporting is Service announced plans to cooperatively done as circumstances warrant. roundup the herd of Southern Nevada local Content is edited for length & style.” youths enjoy. And a little farther away, in the Seaman Herd Area, Warren had an opportunity to witness a helicopter roundup first-hand – an experience that strengthened ing goes, study with the best and forget the her resolve to save the animals from cruelty. rest. I’ll be there to share something that’s The timing of the petition also corresponds very old called Horse Man Ship. The idea with an opportunity to present the signatures is to be able to reach an understanding of to the BLM. psychology instead of intimidation. Every- At press time there were more than thing we do is done with our horses, and for 22,000 signatures but the 12-year old student our horses instead of to our horses. knows it will take more signatures than that to Linda and I are bringing our super- get the attention of the BLM. Recently, a stack star horses, riding students from the local of over 100,000 signatures Warren collected area, we’ve got problem horses, trailer load- on a previous petition, “Save Wild Horses ing - we’re going to start a colt on Saturday from Slaughter” was featured in a special and end it on Sunday with the final ride. report by NBC News, “Horses Are Wild – But Linda will be teaching applying horseman- Not Free” after they had been presented to ship naturally to English disciplines. BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board Again for a reminder, bring that extra pair of during a public comment session last October. socks. – and just one more reminder, keep it The petition ended in victory when the agency natural. (allegedly) changed their policies to help ensure that kill-buyers aren’t able to purchase BLM horses and burros. Students Launch “Helicopters Are Student Warren hopes to present the Monsters” Petition To Stop Roundups signatures from her group’s current petition 12-yr old Robin Warren and her friends “Helicopters are Monsters” to the BLM’s Wild inspire over 12,000 supporters to join Horse & Burro Advisory Board when they campaign in 12 hours accept public comments on September 10th. LAS Vegas, (YEA) – Young advocate Robin To go along with the petition, Warren and her friends at YEA! – Youths’ the 7th grade student enlisted the voices of Equine Alliance posted a petition on Change. her parents to create an animated musical org asking for people to join a social campaign “Monsters” on YouTube that has inspired to stop helicopter roundups of wild horses and over 4,000 hits. In the musical, Warren tells burros. Supporters rapidly began responding the story of helicopter roundups through a to the youths’ plea and petitioning Secretary of collection of songs she wrote. She includes her the Interior Sally Jewell. Then, over a 12-hour interpretation of the different characters in the period, 12,000 joined the cause. helicopter roundups from a lost foal, to the battle cry of young advocates. The Youth’s Equine Alliance (YEA!) was introduced in 2012 by Robin Warren at the International Equine Conference. Our youth advocates raise awareness about horses and burros, both wild and domestic in order to inspire other people to also speak up for equines. Through education, activities and joining together as teams, the youth hope to encourage children’s admiration of horses and burros and motivate people of all ages to be a voice for equines. Normandy Games Set to Debut in One Year LAUSANNE, SWI (FEI) – It is now less than one-year countdown to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. In just 12 months, some 900 riders, drivers and vaulters and their horses from over 60 countries, 500,000 visitors, at least 1,500 media representatives, and thousands of volunteers will gather in Normandy for the world’s greatest equestrian event and the largest sporting event in France in 2014. World championships in Jumping, Dressage and Para-Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Vaulting, Endurance and Reining will be held from 23 August to 7 September

Horse Bites - Con’t. on pg. 38

2014 at venues in Caen, the prefecture of the Calvados department in north-western France, the country’s oldest national stud farm at Haras du Pin, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mont Saint-Michel. To celebrate the one-year countdown, the FEI launched an online history hub dedicated to the FEI World Equestrian Games which contains detailed information about each of the previous Games, starting with the inaugural edition in Stockholm in 1990, through to Kentucky 2010 and looking forward to 2014. Along with a summary of the Games’ most memorable moments, the website features key facts and figures, complete results, and extensive photo galleries. “The FEI is working very closely with the Organising Committee of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy to ensure the best possible conditions for the athletes – both human and equine – the officials, numerous spectators, volunteers, and the media,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said. “Two successful test events in Endurance and Eventing were organised just last week, and there is another one in Driving currently being held, followed by a chef de mission meeting next week. Preparations are on track as we enter the last organisational phase. We are confident that France, one of the world’s leading equestrian nations, will stage truly memorable Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy.” New Report Reveals “A Modern Day Trail of Tears” for Tribal Horses LOS ANGELES, (Saving America’s Horses) – A Powerful new report: “In Truth of Wild Horses on Native Land and Tongue” just published by Wild for Life Foundation – It’s the first in a series of insights based on excerpts from the documentary film, SAVING AMERICA’S HORSES: A NATION BETRAYED. Why would some Native Americans go against their indigenous cultural beliefs and values to label the horse, a species that many tribal people consider sacred and as family; to instead label them as “feral” and sell them for their meat? The report entitled ” In Truth of Wild Horses on Native Lands and Tongue” answers this question and tells the story of how the governmental genocide that nearly wiped out America’s indigenous people now seems to have come full circle. The report is authored by Katia Louise, of Sioux descent, and exposes the distribution of misinformation provided to tribes by U.S. government agencies. The report also includes clear substantiated facts with links and references to government issued data revealing persuasive agency tactics, such as threats, or creative forms of bribery or misrepresentation. “The information about horse slaughter and the wild horses as provided by the USDA APHIS has been grossly misrepresented to American tribes and the

falsifications are stacked one on top of the other,” says Katia Louise, Director, SAVING AMERICA’S HORSES, and president, the Wild for Life Foundation. “U.S. policymakers are also being duped and they need hear from our American tribal people to better understand the truth.” As found by PEER and brought to light through SAVING AMERICA’S HORSES, the movie, “The livestock industry creates a powerful institutional incentive within the BLM to remove wild horses from the range whenever and however possible.” And, in light of the recent flurry of media articles touting a need for round ups and slaughter, it’s important to consider that professors and scientists

from many universities are actually allies to the livestock industry, providing testimony and scientific data for the agencies like the BLM. Consistent with some recent articles about what they call excess horses on public lands; these allies are known to oftentimes get involved on the BLM’s behalf. “It’s a modern day “Trail of Tears” for America’s horses and burros which are being zeroed out from their native lands whether for the sale of their meat, or to make room for foreign lands sales and leasing or for livestock grazing,” adds Ms Louise. Link to the report: In Truth of Wild Horses on Native Land and Tongue



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10 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013


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Breed Spotlight... Cutting Horse Training using BUFFALO? by Steven Long


att and Chardean Gillispie settled their TripleAC-Ranch in the parched desert at Buckeye, Arizona 40 miles west of Phoenix 19 years ago. The two moved there from the Seattle area and have raised a brood of four kids, a bunch or horses, developed a dog business (Queensland Heelers), established a top notch equine transport business, and then did the unthinkable. The family bought a buffalo to train their cutting horses. After moving to Arizona, the Gillispies started with roping and barrel racing, however, soon moved

to the de “I use heifmanding ers,” Todd sport of Gillispie told cutting. Ho r s e b a c k . Eventu“I use ally, the yearlings cutting and two Fun with Buffalo h o r s e year olds, and training then I rotate moved them back.” from us Gillispie is a ing cattle non pro and to ustrains only his ing young buffalo calves. Today, own horses for competition. the couple work three to five head “We do okay,” he continued. which they rotate out each year. “We pretty much just show local.” Todd says the advantage of training cutting horses using buffalo instead of cattle is, “you don’t have to have as many head, they stay fresh and you can use them for as long as you want. For example, we use them until they get too large.” The Arizona ranchers prefers females because of the ever present testosterone factor in mammals saying, “If you’ve got males they kind of get to the crazy teenager years.” Importantly, buffalo heifers are easy keepers. “A buffalo essentially eats what a horse eats,” he said. “You throw ‘em a couple of flakes of hay, and they are very good in terms of the amount of feed you have to give them to maintain their body weight.” When Gillispie gets a new buffalo, a period of adjustment is required. “They have to settle in,” he Free pick up & delivery says. “Once they get comfortable in the San Antonio area, with their environment, they are with 3 blankets or more! very quiet. When introduced to a new environment, they get very Send To: BANDERA EQUINE VALET flighty.” 2687 Winans Creek Road, Prices for buffalo on the Bandera, TX 78003 hoof range from $800 to $4,000.



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14 H HORSEBACK ORSEBACK M MAGAZINE AGAZINE -- September September 2013 2013 14



Barn & Garden GOES TO...

Mark your calendars - Here are a few of the hundreds to head toward:

Good, Old-Fashioned Fun at the County Fair! Livestock, agricultural exhibits, rides, carnival games, food and more combine for good old-fashioned fun at County Fairs across Texas during the month of September. One of the best things about county fairs, is that it’s hard to imagine anything less subject to the whims of politics or correctness than pumpkin funnel cake or a blue ribbon for the best cow.

16 16 H HORSEBACK ORSEBACK M MAGAZINE AGAZINE -- September September 2013 2013

• West Texas Fair September 5-14 - Abiline, Texas • Brazos Valley September 5-8 - Bryan, Texas • Washington County Fair September 13-21 - Brenham, Texas • Tri-State Fair September 13-21 - Amarillo, Texas • Texas Oklahoma Fair September 17-21 - Wichita Fall, Texas • East Texas State Fair September 20-29 - Tyler, Texas • Red River Valley State Fair September 24-28 - Paris, Texas • Colorado County Fair September 26-29 Columbus, Texas • Howard County Fair September 26-28 - Big Springs, Texas • State Fair of Texas September 27-October 20th - Dallas, Texas • Waller County Fair September 28-October 5 - Waller, Texas

THE FAIR By: Margaret Pirtle, Lifestyle Editor

What is the oldest County Fair in Texas?

The 5 Best New Fair Food... ...have you tried them yet? 1. Shrimp Corndogs 2. Chicken Fried Bacon 3. Beer Donuts 4. Deep Fried Short Cake 5. Deep-Fried Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes On-A-Stick (the name says it all)

The 4 Top Rides at the Fair... 1. Tilt-A-Whirl 2. Ferris Wheel 3. The Zipper 4. Bumper Cars


wo counties both claim this honored distinction: Washington County and Gillespie County. While the longest, continuously running county fair in Texas may belong to Gillespie County, which has been holding their event for 118 years, there isn’t an older fair in the Lone Star State than the historic Washington County Fair in Brenham, which was established in 1868. September 2013 2013 -- H HORSEBACK ORSEBACK M MAGAZINE AGAZINE

17 17

Western... Motivating the Lazy Horse By Pat Parelli


ou see it all over the place: some horses have a lot more “go” (forward motion) than “whoa” (minimal forward motion), and others who’ve got way more “whoa” than “go.” Obviously the ideal situation is to have a horse with equal amounts “go” and “whoa,” but achieving that is usually a lot easier said than done. The horse that appears to be lazy is really just the horse that has a lot more “whoa” and less “go.” We’ve probably all ridden this horse at one point or another, and yes, it can be a little frustrating, especially for all you extroverts out there. But before we jump into strategies for overcoming these tendencies, I want to touch on a subject that sometimes gets overlooked, but actually has a lot to do with this topic. In nature, all prey animals have what’s called a “flight distance.” A flight distance is the distance that every species subconsciously understands that they need to run if they become started and/or chased, before they can turn, face, and reassess the situation. You may have seen a National Geographic show where zebras are being chased by lions. As a herd, they run a certain distance before they turn back around – often to see their Uncle Zeb is back there, being eaten. Within a few moments, they realize the danger has passed and they get back to eating like they were before. This is something that nature has installed so animals can be efficient with their energy. If a zebra ran a mile every time he was startled, he’d end up exhausted, and he would be more likely to be caught by the very predators he was trying to avoid. Keeping that in mind, the second thing we need to understand is that humans have been selectively breeding horses to bring out certain traits. This has been going on for centuries upon centuries. We’ve bred horses that had a little more “go” – a little longer flight distance – which resulted in horses like Thoroughbreds and Arabians. Conversely, we’ve bred horses like drafts, whose flight distances are many a couple hundred feet. Now,

18 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013

of course that doesn’t mean that all Arabians will run forever or that all draft horses are “lazy,” but it’s important to understand that flight distance is an innate characteristic, and that it dictates a lot of horses’ behavior. So, knowing that, we can now talk about motivating the lazy horse. No matter what type of horses we have, we want them to be confident, curious, sensitive and responsive. If you have a horse who appears lazy, it’s essential that you avoid pecking at him and micromanaging him. Rather than improving his energy, this will just make him dull and unresponsive. One of the most effective strategies I’ve found for adding “go” to lazy horses is a game I call “Increasing the Horse’s Horizons.” You do this using straight lines. I’ve had horses and mules that were fairly extreme with this characteristic, to the point that moving 100 feet in a straight line was a difficult task to accomplish with them. In those situations, use rest and/or a treat once you’ve reached the end of the task.

Let’s say you’ve got a horse who doesn’t want to move very much. Put a small bucket of grain at the opposite end of the arena, and ride him there at whatever pace he’s willing to go. Once he reaches the stopping point, let him eat a little bit of grain – not the entire bucket. Then, have someone put a small bucket of grain at the other end of the arena, and have your horse head back there. You might be surprised that, after doing that a couple times a day for a few days in a row and moving the bucket around, your horse starts to understand. “Huh, every time my rider says ‘let’s go’ and I walk in a straight line, there’s a goodie at the end!” Pretty soon, they become interested in where you want to go, and pretty soon they start to hurry to where you want to go! This type of horse often lacks motivation, so when he starts to realize there’s something in it for him, he’ll pick up his energy. *A little side note here: if you’ve got the opposite, a horse with more “go” than “whoa,” do the opposite of this game. Rather than using straight lines, use increasingly tight circles. Oftentimes, I’ll apply the idea of comfort & discomfort to this game. For instance, have the horse trot or can-

ter to a certain point, then allow him to stop and rest. A lot of people ride horses like they were cruising around on a sailboat, just going around and around and around, without any actual objective. The horse doesn’t see the point of this, and with a “whoa” horse, he needs a destination. Once you’ve gotten this game down, it’s time to be progressive. If you started with 100 feet, now get him to go 200 before offering a treat or a rest. Let him stay there longer as well; he needs to think, “Yeah, that was a long enough rest to make that trip worth the effort.” Then, go somewhere else, and give him a rest. Always be progressive. If you’ve got this game down, it’s time to move beyond going Point

A to Point B, and start employing a pattern called the Cloverleaf. This simply involves always turning toward the center of the arena, marked X. If you’ve got a rectangle arena, just visualize these five points: A, B, C and D are along the outside of the arena, and X is the center. A and C are located at the centers of the two short sides of the arena, while B and D are located at the centers of the two long sides. X is in the center of the arena. First, we can lope our horses around the pattern, stopping at X, as the horse begins to understand that he’s always turning towards X. Once he understands that, we can add what I call “positive pattern integration.” Instead of stopping at X, stop at A, B, C or D.

And once he gets good at that, stop in one of the corners. This way, he’s always heading towards one of the 9 important spots in the arena. You’ve added variety, and he still feels he has a destination. As he learns to understand your goal, his energy and motivation will continue to improve. There are other patterns, games and strategies for motivating the lazy horse; as you become familiar with your horse’s psychology, the possibilities are truly endless. But for now, become proficient with these games, and watch as your horse’s laziness evolves into motivation and two-way communication.


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Me- “Grog” Caveman Cowboy


nce you start writing things down, it is pretty funny what begins to come back into your mind. There are just little statements that have a lot of meaning as time goes on. This leads to the thought that there are some things I am comfortable talking about - and there are some that I am not. For example I am comfortable talking about



horses, starting colts, my kids and especially my bride. The things I am most uncomfortable talking about have mainly to do with being in mixed company and bodily functions, the natural acts that man does. If you didn’t understand that…I am talking about the “s” word. Now when my kids were about age 5, and as most kids that age do, they asked a lot of questions. I once asked Faith why she asked so many questions, she said “Daddy, I just want to know lots of stuff ”. It’s hard to argue with that logic. I think they struggled mostly with words that sounded the same, were spelled different and had a different meanings. Words like bread and bred. One particular time I had taken a mare to be bred and as we were driving down the driveway the girls

were asking a lot of questions and I, like a good father, was answering them…. which means there had been so many questions that I was on autopilot with my answers. Questions like: Faith: “Where are we taking Shady?” Me: “…To the Kelley’s”. Alicia: “How long will she be there?” Me: “…About a month.” Now I knew this was heading down a road that I wasn’t sure I wanted to explain to a 5 year old yet. But, I let the questions run on. There were plenty of interruptions as something beside the road would distract them and another round of questions, about that distraction, would commence. As we arrived at Kicking K Ranch, the questions about the mare were brought back to the fore front. Alicia: “Why are we taking Shady here?” Me: “To get bred.”

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I could see this had gotten Faith’s attention. You could see the little gears just clicking in her head as she pondered on that statement. I knew a question was coming and when she finally asked it was a doozy! “Daddy, what is Shady going to do with a loaf of bread?” Needless to say, I got hysterical with laughter. In her mind there was no difference and she could not figure out what Shady was going to do with a loaf of the white bread we use around the house! Once I collected myself enough to talk again, I knew I had a hard job in front of me. Trying to explain to a 5- year-old what the difference was, between bread and bred. As I matriculated in my mind about the best way to explain to two little girls the difference between the two, it suddenly got really hot in the truck. Had my AC suddenly stopped

working? No, still blowing cold. Why then am I suddenly sweating and breathing like a dying man in the desert? I consider myself a responsible father and want my girls to be informed, but all of a sudden I have turned into a hot, sweaty, nervous mess. I really believe that country kids handle this talk better than most because they are around it all the time. Animals breed,

babies are born and so on….ya know, the circle of life. But here I am with my two little 5 year old girls struggling to find words to explain the difference between bread and bred…..aaaarrrrgghhhh! It’s like my brain has locked up like an engine that has run out of oil! I was a caveman who only spoke in monosyllables, “me, grog…only know few words…” So I attempted to start… “…Ya see, male horses have a…” No, not really comfortable with that line of thought, so let’s try a different one… “Mare’s…” Aaaarrrrgghhh! Why can’t I think of any other words? So I did the only thing I knew to do at the time……I told them to ask their mother. I am convinced I married up above my intelligence level. My wife is the smartest woman I know. She told them that it means the mare was going to have a baby. AAARRRGGGGHHH! Brain lock, how simple is that, no need to go into all that detail! Five year olds don’t need or want it! hB 10 miles south of Reliant Stadium 6215 FM 521 • Arcola,TX 77583


Trade For A Difference Day!

October 26, 2013

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Vendor fees will be $25. All vendors will receive a limited edition tee shirt. All vendor fees and a portion of the proceeds from the sell of the tees will go to breast cancer research. September 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE



“Fit to Ride”


you view horseback riding as anything more than an activity, you’re going to need a fitness plan. Riding recreationally requires strength and stamina. Riding hunters and jumpers competitively is even more physically demanding. Horses are big strong animals that generate a lot of force and as riders, we need to be strong enough and have enough stamina to stay with the horse and control it on the ground and in the saddle. Your fitness level has a lot to do with how easy your horse’s job is. When you are overweight, you are topheavy. If you jump your horse and lose your balance, you’ll fall on its neck or hit hard on the back of the saddle. Your extra weight makes you and your horse both carry excess baggage and is more than a matter of comfort. It’s a matter of safety. Any shift of your balance will cause the horse to shift balance also. You can actually make a horse stumble and fall down after a jump if you fall hard on its neck when it lands. When you carry extra weight, your mount has to push harder in the hind end and lands harder on the front feet. Horses are affected by wear and tear on the joints just like we are. So if you are carrying more weight than you should, start by examining what you are really eating. Stop making excuses for yourself like how it’s a genetic problem or diets just don’t work for you. Try writing down every little morsel of food you eat in a day including snacks, drinks and leftover crumbs. View your food as fuel and plan your meals so you are getting plenty of protein and vegetables. I

am not a doctor or nutritionist but there are hundreds of books out there about how to eat right if you are at a loss. Pay attention to your diet and make sure you are drinking plenty of water while you limit your sugars, fats and starches. Riding at gaits other than a walk requires a certain degree of stamina that comes from your cardio-vascular fitness. If you are one of those riders who doesn’t have several extra hours a week to spend in the gym working out, start looking around for ways you can challenge yourself to raise your heart rate one or more times a day for at least several minutes. It’s best if you can raise your heart rate for 20 minutes or more at least once a day, 3-5 times a week. Interval training, where you work with intensity for several minutes and alternate with lowering the intensity for a couple of minutes has been proven to help burn calories efficiently and improve your heart health. While you can do this on your horse to help condition both of you, on days when you can’t ride, you can find any number of ways to accomplish this. Try jogging, swimming, rowing, biking, jumping rope, running in place, jumping on a trampoline, power

22 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013

walking, dancing; use a treadmill or elliptical machine or anything else that sounds fun to you. Use your imagination and get your body moving. When you think about how strong a horse is and look at his muscle mass compared to yours, it’s quite obvious that strength training should be a part of your regimen. Think about the muscle groups that you use when you ride and try to target each one of them in your workouts. A proper workout is best where you have time to stretch and warm up your muscles before you get serious but if you are short on time, you can still do something. If you don’t have time for a full blown workout at the gym, look around you and get creative with a few 5 minute mini-workouts each day. Make each one target a specific area.

Arms and shoulders –

you need to be able to pull when you ride. Try a heavy duty workout band or bungee cords anchored to a stationary object and pull from t h e

backs of your arms. Begin with arms extended, chest lifted and pull your elbows back under your shoulders using your triceps (backs of your arms). Repeat several times, resting as needed. To balance the pulling muscles, try modified pushups on a heavy, stationary object such as your vanity, desk or kitchen table. Place your palms on the edge of the object with your legs behind you so you are leaning laterally against the object and push your chest up. Core and abdominal muscles – These muscles are needed for stability and for leverage against a strong horse. Crunches (mini sit-ups) are always good!

Legs –

You need a lot of strength in your legs when you are jumping. Try mini squats, bending your knees to fold your body and then straightening them. It’s very similar to 2-point, used for jumping. Make sure your feet, knees and shoulders line up to keep from straining your joints. To make it harder, do single squats using one leg at a time. You don’t have to squat very

low to get results and your knees will appreciate it. For quads and abs – You simply can’t function over jumps without these muscles! Sitting on the edge of a chair, lean back slightly, lift your feet off the ground slightly and make a pedaling motion while keeping your stomach muscles tight. Rest and repeat. One more is to sit on the floor, lean back on your elbows and draw your knees towards your chest using your abs. Then extend them out and repeat. The farther you extend your legs, the harder this exercise is. Straight leg lifts in this position are also good. There are hundreds of exercises you can do to keep yourself fit for riding. These are only a few suggestions to get you thinking about what will work for you. Keep in mind that if something hurts (and I’m not talking about muscles getting tired) you should stop doing it. If you need more help with developing a fitness routine that works for you, consider hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions. Try to think about ways to

help yourself such as improving your posture, stretching before riding or exercising, burning a few extra calories by taking a flight of stairs or walking faster. Keep in mind your goal of riding better. If you are fit, you will be able to help your horse more by keeping your own balance and not forcing him to drag you around. If you are going to ride, you are going to fall at some point. Remember; the better your fitness level, the better your chances of falling safely. Take yourself seriously. Get rid of the excuses. Be realistic about what you are eating. Make it your goal to improve your balance, flexibility, strength, stamina and body awareness. Use your common sense to develop a routine that works for you and get help from a professional nutritionist or personal trainer if you need it. Take responsibility for your fitness and get started today. Your horse will appreciate it! hB Cathy Strobel has over 30 years of experience as a trainer, judge & clinician she can be reached at Southern Breeze Eq. Ctr. at (281) 431-4868 or September 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


EXPERIENCE A TIMELESS EVENT The Alltech National Horse Show


at the Kentucky Horse Park

oin us for the 2013 130th Annual Alltech National Horse Show in its third spectacular year at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. The revered horse show with its storied past at Madison Square Garden lives up to its historic grandeur in its new Kentucky home. Two-time winner of the Horse Show of the Year Award from the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame and voted in the top four horse

shows for two years in a row by the North American Riders Group, the Alltech National Horse Show will make history again in 2013. From the International Puissance Wall class to the Three and Five-Gaited Saddlebreds, from the FEI World Cup Qualifying Grand Prix to the ASPCA Maclay Finals and so much more—the best of the best of the equestrian world will be in Lexington, Kentucky.



24 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013


Saddle Up! for SIRE

Ride-a-thon & Family Carnival Supporting special needs riders & therapy horses

Trail Riders $60 entry ($75 after Oct. 15) 40 miles of trails ♦ BBQ ♦ Live music T-shirt ♦ Family carnival ♦ Petting zoo


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“English Lesson Continued” Dressage saddles have longer, straighter flaps, deeper seats, often have large knee rolls, and long billets. Dressage saddles usually use a 24”, 26”, or 28” girth, keeping the buckles out of the way of your leg when cueing the horse. Dressage riders ride with a much longer stirrup and are more upright in their riding position.


Horseback Magazine’s Saddle & Tack Editor

ecently, I had a conversation with someone who had missed one of my columns years ago about different types of English saddles. Now those of you who ride English know there is significant difference b e t we en the English saddles used in different disciplines, h owe ver to the un i n i ti at e d , ALL PURPOSE who tend to not pay close attention to such things, all English saddles look alike. So, for those of you who are interested in rounding out your saddle education, the following is a partial breakdown of types of English saddles. Close Contact Saddle The close contact saddle is primarily a stadium jumping saddle, nearly always identified by a square cantle. The panels, the parts underneath the saddle distributing pressure along either side of the spine, are usually filled with a type of foam, and they sit closer on the horses back than a saddle with wool flocked panels. Close contact saddles are often used by Quarter and Paint horse show people for English flat classes as well as for jumping. Dressage Saddle

Jump Saddle Jump saddles have the flap more forward, usually have a decent sized knee roll, and often have a thigh block. Most will have wool flocked panels that can be re-stuffed as your horse’s conformation changes or as

JUMPING the flocking shifts from pressure. They look a lot like the close contact saddle but the cantle is rounded, the seat is usually deeper, and the panels are often, but not always, gusseted. A gusseted panel allows the saddler to get more stuffing in the back of the panel to better support the area beneath the cantle. Lane Fox Cutback SaddleThis style usually has a 19” or 21” seat, and has a 4” cutback at the “head” or pommel of the saddle. In some ways, it looks like a dressage saddle, but it is designed to be used on American Saddlebreds, Tennessee Walkers, Arabian park horses, and gaited Morgans. The flaps are generally flat, without padding or knee rolls, and the seat is usually pretty flat. Okay, that covers some of the basic styles. Inside each of those styles

26 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013

there is a plethora of variables. Some close contact saddles today, most in fact, have some kind of knee roll, some have thigh blocks. It’s the same with jump saddles. Jump saddles usually have a deeper seat, and they always have a round cantle. Of course, to confuse the issue, the close contact saddle with the square cantle, is also a jump saddle. It might be less confusing if we called the jump saddle an eventing saddle. As I mentioned in the paragraph about the close contact saddle, it is usually considered a stadium jumping saddle, where the jump saddle is more secure for the more difficult cross country type of jumping. There are several types of crossover saddles, like the VSD all purpose s a d d l e , which is an all purpose saddle with dressage ten d en c y, meaning it DRESSAGE has straighter flaps and can be used for lower levels of dressage, but your stirrup leathers can be shortened enough to allow you take small jumps, and is an excellent saddle for trail riding. For someone who rides western and wants to switch to English for some reason, this is an excellent choice. The seat and position is very similar to a proper western seat. A VSS saddle is an all purpose with jump tendency, meaning you can get the stirrup leathers up far enough and get your knees forward enough to take bigger jumps but is still a good saddle for trail riding or anything else you want to do not of a specialized nature. Many English saddles today have a changeable gullet system, where you can change the configuration of the front of the saddle to fit a wider or narrower horse. When you do this, you

also have to check the fit on the rest of the panel to make sure you get good weight distribution. The wool flocked panels are relatively easy to re-stuff if you are near a competent English saddler. The close contact saddles are quite a bit harder to adjust, but it can be done. My friends at Smith-Worthington saddler have a press that they use to change the angle on traditional English saddles with a wooden tree with a steel head. The owner told me they have trouble with adjusting German made saddles, because the steel they use is much better, and it won’t bend, just springs back. One of those rare instances when better isn’t necessarily good. Anyway, a lot of poor fit can be corrected with an English saddle by a competent saddler who can move the stuffing to different areas. There are many variations in each type of saddle, but if you look at a Dover Saddlery catalog, you can see several different saddle types. Each one has a place, and a reason for being. In addition, there are specialized saddles for endurance, police, and therapeutic riding.

One of the other differences is the sizing on English saddles. Typically if you ride a 15” western saddle, you will ride a 17 or 17&1/2 English saddle. It’s just a different way of measuring. English saddles are measured from the button at the front of the saddle, often incorporating the company logo, diagonally to the center of the cantle. I have one English saddle, A Courbette Luxor VSD, with an 18” seat. My western saddles have a 14&1/2, 15&1/2 and 16” seat. The funny thing is, they all fit me about the same. I have always said, ”There is really no such thing as English riding or western riding, there is only proper riding, and improper riding”. If you are riding balanced, you can ride any style of saddle you like. hB Bandera’s Lew Pewterbaugh has been called the most knowledgeable saddle and tack authority in the Southwest. For private fitting consultation call (830) 328-0321 or (830) 522-6613 or email: September 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


REALTOR Roundup DEITRA ROBERTSON REALTOR Deitra Robertson Real Estate, Inc. 38351 FM 1736 Hempstead, TX (O): (832) 642-6789 (C): (832) 642-6789

TAMMY FOREMAN REALTOR Hodde Real Estate Co. 112 W. Main Street, Brenham, TX

DEE ANN BOUDREAUXREALTOR Texas First Real Estate 1116 FM 109 New Ulm, TX (O): (903) 322-3379 (C): (979) 583-7305

(O): (979) 836-8532 (C): (979) 451-2945 (E) (W): Tours:

(E): (W):

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SPECIALTIES: Farms/Ranches, Residential, Country Homes, Land, Commercial. TERRITORY: South Central Texas

SPECIALTIES: Farms/Ranches, Horse Properties, Land TERRITORY: Texas

SPECIALTIES: Residential, Equestrian, Farm/ Ranch, Country Property TERRITORY: Texas

TIM PHELAN OWNER Waller County Land 40040 Hempstead Hwy. Waller, TX

VICKY ROGERS REALTOR Keller Williams, The Woodlands/Magnolia 33035 Tamina Road Magnolia, TX

(O): (936) 372-9181 (O): (979) 826-4133

(O): (281) 364-1588 (C): (281) 794-4133

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SPECIALTIES: Acreage, Homes, Horse Property TERRITORY: Waller County & surrounding areas.

SPECIALTIES: Residential, Equestrian, Commercial TERRITORY: Texas

ANGIE FRANKS REALTOR Elite Texas Properties 12320 Barker Cypress Rd Suite 600-224 Cypress, TX

TOOTIE LYONS RIXMANREALTOR, ASSOCIATE Heritage Texas Country Properties 605 S. Austin Brenham, TX

LARRY JACOBS REALTOR Jacob’s Properties 14372 Liberty Street Montgomery, TX (O): (936) 597-3301 (O): (979) 597-3317 (E): (W): SPECIALTIES: Ranches, Hunting & Horse Properties, Acreage TERRITORY: Texas BOB BORDERS ABR, SFRC, LHMS Keller Williams Realty 1595 S. Main St, Ste. 101 Boerne, TX

(O): (800) 563-6003 (C): (979) 877-5822 (E): (W):

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WENDY CLINE BROKER ASSOCIATE RE/Max Realty Center 13611 Skinner Rd., #100 Cypress, TX (O): (281) 213-6200 (C): (281) 460-9360 (E): (W): SPECIALTIES: Residential, Land, Commercial TERRITORY: Texas

28 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013

Attention Realtors & Brokers! JOIN HORSEBACK’S ROUNDUP! Only $35/month includes both online & in print!

YOUR NAME HERE!REALTOR/BROKER The Best Real Estate Co. 1234 Main Street Houston, TX (O): (123) 456-7890 (C): (123) 456-7890 (E): (W): SPECIALTIES: Ranches, Hunting & Horse Properties, Acreage TERRITORY: Texas

35ac horse facility with 2 homes. Main home 4300 sq ft 3/3.5 remodeled with upscale amenities, granite & marble, separate climate controlled wine room with 100+ capacity and wine cooler. All counter tops granite or marble. Kitchen boasts Dacor appliances. Mother in Law suite, oversized master bath, 2 vanities, tub w/fp, exercise area, large master closet with built ins. Master bedroom sitting area with frig & coffee bar. Pool with slide & wooden deck wraps house on 3 sides. Irrigation system and alarm system-owned by Sellers. 6 stall pipe barn with automatic waterers, vet stocks & hot/cold wash rack, 4 horse walker, 125' lighted arena, 75x200 lighted roping pen with return alley. 30 x 60 workshop on slab with roll up doors. Over 2 miles of pipe fencing. 12 separate paddocks, 9 loafing sheds with concrete floors. 3/2 rental bringing in $1000/month income. Has been continually rented for last 4 years. Double carport and deck with wheel chair accessibility.

43.92 acres Leon County horse training property, minutes off I-45 and a short haul to either Houston or Fort Worth. Charming 2/1 country home with separate guest house. Two barns; (1) 26 stalls with 15’ alleyway, automatic waters, 2 wash bays with hot and cold water, vet area, stocks and half bath. (1) 21 stalls with vet area and wash rack, washer and dryer connections and large storage. 50’ round pen, 150’ square, lighted arena, 175’ lighted, round pen, cattle holding pens, chute and alleyways, 150’ x 250’ roping pen and (7) 20’ x 25’ traps with covered stalls at one end. Equipment barn, fuel tanks and permanent dog kennels all on rolling coastal pastures, two tanks and all fenced and cross fenced. Several bunkhouses could be used for extra guests. Just add horses!

Offered at $589,000

Offered at $425,000

Warren Ranch located just miles from Lake Whitney boasts 220 rolling acres of pastures, ponds and woods. It has a 2 bedroom 2 bath home situated atop a hill for spectacular view of entire ranch. This property has 17 stall horse barn with tack room, shop and additional hay barn. There is also a 4 stall horse barn, lighted arena, pens and separate guest house. Nearby Lake Whitney of offers 35 square miles of clear blue water and over 3000 acres of winding equestrian trails. Whether trainer, breeder or merely weekend horse enthusiast, this ranch awaits you and your horse or cattle operation minutes from town of Whitney and 58 miles south of Fort Worth.

43ac horse ranch in Madison County, 3 bed 2.5 bath 2650sf home with heated pool, 3 car carport w office, 1000 sf apartment, pool dressing room and bath. All pipe fencing with horse wire. 9 stall show barn w/2 runs, office vet room and bath, tack room, rubber mats, ceiling fans, cross ventilation, waterers and feeders. Hot & cold wash rack. (8)12 x 20 Stallion Sheds w 20 x70 runs, (9) paddocks w loafing sheds each w pipe gates to create 22 stalls. 6 horse hot walker and pro cutter flag system. 40x100 hay barn on slab w bunkhouse apartment. 2009 Oakcreek 3/2 mobile home. 150x300 lighted pipe arena w/Priefert “Score” fully automatic roping chute, electric eye, heading/heeling box, concrete walkway to chute and 20’ return alley. Heat and Air announcers box, w PA system and bleachers Drainage by engineer to insure dry ground. Two lighted 100’ round arenas w/holding pens.

Offered at $737,400

Offered at $799,000

Dee Ann Boudreaux

TEXAS FIRST REAL ESTATE, LLC. (979) 583-7305 CELL • (903) 322-3379 OFFICE September 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


Real Estate

Finding Treasure Under the Dirt By Steven Long


or most of the last 500 years people of European and Asian descent have been tromping around what is now the rich ranchland of the Southwest. And long before that, the great Indian cultures settled the land and lived both peacefully and warlike along its rivers, on its prairies, and under the rich forests that cover vast areas larger than some countries. They have all left their mark. Long ago, and even more so today, this heritage is being divided up into latter day farms, ranches, and yes, even, “ranchettes.” Yet there is something missing. All too often buyers aren’t told details of what they are buying because sellers either don’t know, don’t care, or simply don’t see the value of history. Realtors can’t be blamed because if they know anything, they know history sells. In many cases, new farm and ranch owners find a happy surprise when they move onto their land. I grew up in such a place. My parents bought what amounts to a city block. On it were some ruins. It turns out that during the early 1830s, one of the Texas founders, Gail Borden, built a sugar refining plant in Galveston County. By the time my parents bought the land where it once sat (next to our house), the facility had been reduced to only its

Texas Archeoloogical Society: Texas Archeological Research Laboratory: Texas Historical Commission: Louisiana Archeology: aspx New Mexico Archeology: Oklahoma Archeology:

Vicky Rogers Realty 281.794.4133 Keller Williams The Woodlands/Magnolia

Live the Dream! $449,900. MLS#84488738 on

30 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013

giant sandstone foundations. It was useless as a sugar mill, but marvelous to play on as a kid. Neighborhood boys and I fought imaginary battles behind this old “fortress.” Needless to say, we hadn’t a clue that our ramparts were in fact a historical site dating to before the Texas Revolution. Occasionally, I would find artifacts on the property; a spoon, a pre-Civil War brass Army spur, and glass medicine containers from almost 150 years before. We were finding history but didn’t know it. Sadly, after our family sold the property, the unknowing owners destroyed this wonderful pre-revolutionary historical site and architecturally insignificant houses were built there. Today’s rural land buyers often find history on the piece of heaven they just bought. Texas and Louisiana are particularly rich in still hidden historical treasures. History isn’t confined to the land but also in our rivers and lakes that border these farms and ranches. A prime example happened along the Oklahoma, Texas border a couple of decades ago. According to the National Park Service, “In 1991, the remains of a mid-19th century steamboat were discovered by local landowners in the Red River following a major flood. The Oklahoma Historical Society began a multi-year study of the shipwreck in 1999 with the assistance of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University. The vessel is thought to be the Heroine, which sank in 1838 when it hit a snag two miles downstream from its destination of Fort Towson.” Kathy Parker lives in history rich Washington County, Texas near historic Chappell Hill. “We found an old civil war era rifle bullet in the back part of the ranch. The site of our barn was an Indian camp and has lots of chert used as skinning knives and one had a nice point. But the point is not the same chert so might have been brought in with some gravel. One of the workers digging trenches for the beam foundation of the barn found a big spear point but would not let me see it for fear I would take it.” Chert is sedimentary rock often embedded with fossils. Nearby, Lauren Sarlya near the village of Old Independence, found fossils and petrified wood as well as lots of old tools. Such discoveries are made virtually every day as owners truly discover their land. A rich source of artifacts are the sites of long ago abandoned privies, or outdoor toilets. They were often used as a dumping ground for kitchen waste, and occasionally pots and pans were accidentally dropped into the noxious pile below the seat. Often nobody with any sensitivity or frontier hygiene would retrieve these everyday things. Today,

Realtor Roundup

profile... WENDY CLINE


ot all Realtors are equipped with the knowledge of what can make a great place for horse or other livestock. Available water and good pastures might not be an issue when purchasing a home in a city but they become paramount when searching for a homestead with land. You need to call on a professional farm and ranch specialist like Wendy Cline to make sure that your investment will be the perfect purchase for you lifestyle. Wendy specializes in Harris, Waller, Ft Bend, Montgomery and Grimes counties. She is also licensed to go state-wide to find the perfect property! Wendy’s team was just ranked top 13th in Texas by RE/MAX and has been awarded Hall of Fame status in 2012 & 2013. If you ask Wendy what makes her the best in her field, she is quick to point out that her three horses: Buckshot, Tequila, and High C remind her daily of what’s important in life. When not searching for property, you can find Wendy at competitions including reining, working cowhorse, trail, western pleasure and barrel racing. So, if land is in your future, don’t use just ANY Realtor, call a farm and ranch expert, Wendy Cline.

Mound Creek - MLS#54226441 5.3 acres in Waller, bring your horses! Great 2 story home with front & rear porch to enjoy the view of mature trees with deer & wildlife nearby. Close to golf course. Property is Fenced and Cross Fenced with a small storage shed, has a gas fireplace, and newly paved road/ driveway. Don’t wait to see this gem!

Adams Flat - MLS#42903124 Exquisite Custom Ranch home on 11+ acres in gated community in Brookshire area features covered back porch which extends the length of the home, spacious horse barn in immaculate condition with tack room, RV barn or workshop that is fully finished with full bathroom, private office off the main house on a fully fenced tract of land. Interior details include soaring wood ceilings with custom wood trusses, architectural windows, custom cabinetry with granite counter tops, stone fireplaces and gourmet western kitchen. Wow!

Wendy Cline, Broker Associate

RE/Max Realty Center 13611 Skinner Rd. #100 - Cypress, TX 77429 (281) 213-6271 September 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


Real Estate Trails End Ranch Sealy, Texas

Beautiful 20 acre ranch with pond located just 1.5 miles off of I-10. Great location within 30 minutes of Katy, 4/3/2.5 in a 3300 sf brick home that was completely renovated in 2006. Features a 60X62 Barnmaster building that includes 4-12X12 stalls with water, 12X24 feed & tackroom, plus a co covered and lighted arena.

Angela Franks, Realtor Dedicated to nding your dream! Trust-Focus-Dedication

Cell 979-877-5822

Back of property borders Nature Preserve providing permanent peace and tranquility on this property!

cleaned by age, they are a wonderful find for archeologists long after the poop and pee evaporated and were covered by dirt when the privy was moved to a new spot. These sites litter rural homesteads by the thousands across America. Horseback’s Diane Holt has found many pieces of petrified wood on her 300 acre ranch near Old Washington. One, from

millions of years ago, even looks like an stay away from serious historical prospecting, alligator head. and study this to the professionals. Long forgotten battles often took Archeology is science, every bit place where Horseback readers’ horse and as much as biology, botany, chemistry, and cattle graze. It is not unusual for landowners astronomy. While it’s fine to innocently even today find things left behind when the gather historic items lying around the dead were gathered and buried. ranch, if a significant discovery, for example Virtually the entire United States is a dinosaur bones, are found on your place, call treasure trove for arrow heads as well. a major university’s anthropology department Yet academic immediately. Reconstructing history is serious archeologists derisively business, and the potential for research is lost call their armature when a historic site is plundered just to find a brethren “pot hunters.” few items to adorn the living room mantel. Over 25 years experience in custom • FARM & RANCH They seek to hoard the On the previous page you’ll find designs & high quality gates, using the • COMMERCIAL world’s vast hidden some useful sites for those interested in finding best products available! • RESIDENTIAL treasures for themselves what is on their land. • Apollo & Ramset operators, known for alone. Yet land owners durability, performance, & longevity hB should be cautioned to • Linear(TM) & CareFree(TM) entry systems • We provide the security you require YEARS with products p you can trust FOR 60 EXANS

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The Texas State Bison Herd By: Le’Ann Pigg Photo’s: Daniel Baeza


he roar of hooves on the plains of Texas was a common occurrence centuries ago. The creature responsible the North American bison. The buffalo no longer dominates the prairies in huge numbers as it did historically. Today, to hear the rumble of this historic sound is still possible in the Texas Panhandle at Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway. For years, this historic and genetically pure herd roamed the Texas Panhandle-Plains, saved for posterity but nearly forgotten. One of America’s greatest conservation successes, the North American bison now numbers

around half-a-million thanks to the painstaking efforts of a few concerned individuals who helped save the animal that is perhaps the greatest symbol of the American West. Still, it is a number that is a far cry from the 30-60 million now estimated to have roamed North America during first European contact. Bison had been hunted throughout history by many different cultures providing them with the necessities for life out on the plains. But to many a pioneer, the creatures were a huge obstacle in the way of their destiny making farming and ranching nearly impossible and supplying the lifeline to a people who stood in their way. However,

34 34 H HORSEBACK ORSEBACKM MAGAZINE AGAZINE--September September2013 2013

commercial hunting of the bison nearly brought about its demise. Bison hides were in high demand and one could make a considerable profit by hunting bison day after day. Relentless gunfire could be heard ringing throughout the Southern Plains at its peak around the year 1878. Legendary cattleman Charles Goodnight, at the concerned urging of his wife Mary Ann, captured a few bison calves that were starving from the loss of their mothers due to the great slaughter in order to start a herd that became known as the Official Bison Herd of Texas. The herd later grew to 250 head and is now one of five other foundation herds which form today’s bison

population. It has been a rough road for the descendants of the Goodnight animals. Left to roam on the rolling plains of the historic JA Ranch after the passing of Charles and Mary Ann, the bison herd was almost completely forgotten by the general public. In addition, years of inbreeding put the herd in danger of absolute extinction. But, in 1997 the historic herd was donated to the state of Texas at the earnest plea of conservationist Wolfgang Frey and Texas Parks and Wildlife transferred them to Caprock Canyons State Park. The herd is important not just historically, but also in its

genetics. Amazingly, no other bison from other parts of the country were ever introduced in the Goodnight herd. As a result, the herd displays unique genetic markers not found among any other bison herd indicating that they could be the last example of Southern Plains bison. The division of the once great bison herd occurred as a result of bison hunting along the Kansas and Platte rivers which split it into two smaller herds, the Northern and the Southern. Later, the construction of the transcontinental railroad made this split even more permanent. The Southern herd now consisted of bison from areas in

Texas, eastern New Mexico, eastern Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and southern Nebraska. The Texas State Bison Herd is now the only known surviving example from the Great Southern Herd. Inbreeding, the result of a lack of genetic variation of the herd, was remedied by the introduction of a few bison bulls donated by Ted Turner with both the desirable variation and a historical link that would still preserve the unique DNA makeup of the herd. Today, the herd is doing well and producing new and healthy additions to Texas’ State Herd. Nearing 100 head, the herd is closely monitored and all bison are weighed, vaccinated, wormed, September 2013 2013--H HORSEBACK ORSEBACKM MAGAZINE AGAZINE

35 35

Lifestyle... and given an overall wellness check during the annual bison gathering each year. DNA tests are also conducted to ensure that the unique genetics of the herd are still being preserved. Dr. James Derr, professor of Ve t e r i n a r y Pathobiology at Texas A&M U n i v e r s i t y, ov e r s e e s the genetic attributes of the herd ensuring its survival and preserving its unique genetics. The combination of annual genetic testing on the herd and a closely monitored breeding program continue to promote a healthy herd that has the potential

to live on for years to come. The goal of Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway is to restore areas of the park to its once native state prior to European settlement, giving visitors a glimpse into the past. Specific areas of the park will soon be restored by treating many invasive species such as mesquite and juniper in order to enable beneficial native plant communities to thrive. It is the hope of the department that restoration of the mixed-grass prairie areas of Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway, along with educating

The Texas State Bison Herd is considered the last genetic example of Southern Plains Bison.

WHERE THE BISON ROAM: Beneath the scenic canyon landscape at Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway, the Texas State Bison Herd leisurely graze as a semi-free ranging herd in approximately 1,000 acres of the prairie ecosystem.

36 36 H HORSEBACK ORSEBACKM MAGAZINE AGAZINE--September September2013 2013

visitors about the importance of sound land management practices, will motivate the public about the need to properly manage Texas lands. The Texas State Bison herd is truly a magnificent sight to see as they graze in the restored mixedgrass prairie environment at Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway. The restoration of specific keystone species of the prairie such as the bison will continue to be at the forefront of the project goals. These goals, similar to those of Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight, are to preserve this irreplaceable resource for future generations. About the Author: Le’Ann Pigg is the interpretive ranger and volunteer coordinator for Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway. Conducting educational programs for park visitors and area schools, she is an acting Advisor for the Texas State Bison Herd Student Study Group under the direction of the StarDay Foundation.

FURRY FRIENDS EVERYWHERE: Surrounded by nature, you’ll meet more than just the famed Texas State Buffalo Herd at Caprock Canyon State Park.

HOME ON THE RANGE: One of the newest members of the Texas State Bison Herd. Bison calves are born red and begin to turn the brownish-black coloration of their parents after the first 2-3 months of life.

MAKING A COME-BACK: Despite facing near extinction from inbreeding in past years, the Texas State Bison Herd is now growing and continuing to do well as a result of the introduction of bison bulls donated by Ted Turner, helping to increase the genetic variation of the herd.

Visit us online and learn about raising Bison & how you can get involved!


37 37


Texas Silver Meets Native Bison The Star Day Foundation

By Margaret Pirtle


rare in Texas history when two historic Texas symbols have the chance to move from out from the shadow of the past to join together on today’s stage of current events. But that is exactly what is about to occur when the silver from the Shafter Mine and the Texas Native Bison Herd join together to help preserve our Texas heritage. The Star Day Foundation has launched a “Public Service Business Plan” to design and mint the “Texas Silver Bison” donation coin of 99.9% pure silver, at the legendary Shafter Silver Mine. The donation coin will feature the Official State Bison Herd of Texas Fund on the front side and the Seal of the State of Texas on the back side. This fund was originally proposed by the Texas Student Bison Study group from Lucy Rede Franco Middle School in Persidio, Texas. Students had formed the group to honor Mary Goodnight, the woman who saved the Texas bison. When you give a donation to the Official State Bison Herd of Texas Fund, through the Star Day Foundation, you will be given a coin of your own mined from the silver mine to keep as a reminder of our history and heritage. Different sizes of coins will be available depending on different levels of support donated to the fund.

38 38 H HORSEBACK ORSEBACKM MAGAZINE AGAZINE--September September2013 2013

To learn more about this great program, please go online at to see how you can give money to help preserve our native bison. hB

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hen looking at a lateral radiograph of a horse’s foot, if the exact location of the top of the hoof wall (hairline) has been marked with a radiopaque paste or object, there is a measurable distance between the “elevation” of the top of the hoof capsule and the top of the coffin bone. Veterinarians and farriers typically refer to this measurement as the CE (coronet-to-extensor process distance). (see figures A, B & C) In newborn horses, and in the healthiest examples of adult horses, the CE measurement will be near zero. In other words, the top of the coffin bone will be level with (or within 1/2-inch of ) the top of the hoof capsule (hairline). This “high” (actually normal) bone position allows the overall hoof length to be very short and compact (usually around 3-3 ½-inches long at the toe), while still having room for a thick, strong, robust sole beneath the bone and sensitive tissues. Over time, many domestic horses literally sink through their hoof capsule. The

Sinking Coffin Bones- Part 1

CE measurement can grow to an inch or more in horses that are not extremely lame (though they will not be “right,” either). When the CE measurement becomes abnormally high (more than 1/2-inch), this means—among other things—that if the horse is to have an adequately-thick sole, he must also have a longer-than-normal overall hoof wall length. This, of course, leads to all sorts of locomotive and performance problems, whether the farrier chooses to, a) thin the soles to achieve normal wall lengths, or b) leave adequate sole thickness at the expense of leaving the extra wall length along with it. Which is correct? Neither. The right choice is to maintain the CE of your horse between zero and 1/2-inch. Then you can have a thick sole and a short, compact hoof capsule. (see figures D & E) UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM To understand how to reverse or prevent the sinking, you must first understand how and why it occurs. The coffin bone is shaped like a miniature hoof, creating the foundation for the front-half of the horse’s foot. The bone is surrounded by a 1/8-to-1/4-inch “sock” of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. The hoof wall, around the perimeter, and the sole underneath forms a tough outer shell—like a boot—about 1/2-inch-thick. In a natural and healthy situation, the hoof wall and the sole share the load of the horse’s weight. In this situation, the laminae—the bonds between the hoof wall and the coffin bone—have little or no shear stress forces applied to them. However, if the hoof wall is allowed to overgrow well-past the sole, or if a shoe is lifting the sole off the ground, the forces change dramatically—the horse’s entire weight is literally hanging from the laminae. These forces set up two possible scenarios:

1) If the diet is correctly balanced and the horse is generally healthy, so that no additional stressors are placed on the integrity of the laminae, the additional vertical forces applied to the laminae may allow the horse to slowly sink through the hoof capsule over time. This can occur without a lot of pain, and can be fairly easy to reverse. 2) If the horse’s health is compromised, or if an improper diet is weakening the laminae, the horse may suddenly fall through the hoof capsule, essentially until the sole reaches the ground. This may destroy connective tissue and blood supply to a point that the foot could never be fully healed. In either case, I feel that the sinking was caused by the unloading of the horse’s sole to begin with—by placing the laminae in the solitary support role, without the aid of the rest of the foot (sole, bars, frogs). This brings us to the concept of the sole penetration. In the most extreme laminitis cases, the coffin bone supposedly pierces through the sole of the horse. Since the sole is skin that literally grows from the bottom of the coffin bone, I do not understand why people believe that this “piercing” can occur—the sole is attached to the bone, and moves around with it wherever it goes. If the bone sinks, so must the sole. So instead, I consider the CE as one issue, and the sole thickness as a completely separate-but-important issue. In cases that people believe the bone penetrated the sole; I would, instead, be asking why the sole is missing. Did the corium abscess and allow the sole to fall off? Did someone cut it off? Did it wear away? Has it failed to grow? This may seem like a simple semantics game, but if we ask the right questions, we are more likely to find the right answers. Luckily, most cases of coffin bone sinking aren’t quite so dramatic. Instead, all you will notice over time is that the toes (and/ or heels) seem to be getting longer, or the soles seem to be getting thinner, or both. The horse is not quite as sound as he used to be—or is not an easy-mover anymore. If radiographs verify that the CE is ½- to ¾-inch or more, your horse will benefit from a conscious effort to reverse the situation. To do this, we basically set up the opposite of the forces that caused the situation to begin with. We try to reduce the load on the walls, while increasing the load on the rest of the foot. This means frequent trimming of the walls, conservation of the sole and frog tissue, and using hoof boots with padded insoles to compensate for the reduced support that would normally be provided by longer hoof walls. Since the laminae are weakened by sugar overload and/or mineral imbalances, we also carefully balance the diet. This gives the best chance of success by helping the wall connection be the best it can be. Next Month: How to Reverse Coffin Bone Sinking (part 2 of 2) hB

40 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013



The markers (taped-on wires) were placed contouring the hoof wall and stopping precisely at the base of the hairs at the coronet. In figure A, the CE is more than one inch, with most of the short pastern bone (P2) buried within the hoof capsule. In figure B, the same hoof six-months-later, the CE is almost within a normal range (post-treatment). In both photos, the sole thickness is roughly the same, yet the overall wall length in figure A is dramatically longer than in the healthier situation of figure B. Photo reprinted from the book Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot , P. Ramey.




Cross-section of a stillborn foal’s foot. The CE is near zero—the hairline is almost level with the top of the coffin bone. Photo reprinted from the book Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot, P. Ramey.

In figure D, the toes (and heels) would be considered too long by any hoof professional, yet the soles are paper-thin. If this hoof was to be cut shorter— thus thinning the sole more—it would be severely damaging for the horse. By, instead, focusing on reversing the coffin bone sinking, the same foot (shown in figure E) now has a thick sole and a normal heel and toe length (four months duration between photos). Photo reprinted from the book Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot, P. Ramey.



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owdy, welcome to Cowboy Corner! Read an article the other day about a lady in the Brazos bottom wishing for the end of August. Had to laugh, ‘cause I felt the same way. Don’t want any more cheese if I can just get out of the trap. Come on Jack Frost, know it’s going to take a long time to get here so why don’t you go ahead and start our way. A little relief from the heat would be welcome. Was at a big benefit put on by one of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Trail Rides over the weekend, and my response to how are you doin”, “hot and dry”. The dry conditions only add insult to injury. Went to the annual Beef Cattle Short Course at Texas A&M University the first week in August, which was attended by about 1,400 cattlemen from all over Texas and our neighboring states. ‘Did not visit with one person that didn’t need a rain. The long term fearless forecaster of the weather through the winter didn’t make my day either. The current dry conditions are going to be around a while. Hate to hope for a hurricane, but a Gulf of Mexico storm with some rain seems the only road to much needed moisture. Livestock watering from stock tanks always get to be an issue in dry weather. If your water level is way down, now might be a good time to clean the accumulated silt from the tank or pond. Takes a back hoe or grade all to do a good job, but the cost is money well spent.

Accumulated silt, as ponds dry up is a death trap to livestock. The cow that gets bogged down trying to get water and then dies in the pond can ruin the water supply. Cowman’s worst nightmare is a dead cow in the stock tank or pond, no rain, and no other watering source in the pasture. Either got to move the cows or haul water, neither one a good option with a 100 degree plus heat index. Water has always been in a cowman’s prayers, and different parts of the cow world handle the problem in various ways. Have always liked windmills, but acknowledge that when electrical pumps can be used, due to the availability of electricity is a good option. Conversion is a good move. Electricity in the middle of the pasture powering a water well brings the benefit of power not just for the well. Should we put the water well at the cattle pens or the cattle pens at the well. Electricity and water at the cattle pens are big issues and provide lots of flexibility. Electricity brings all kinds of benefits such as lighting, use of electric tools, cattle handling equipment, such as squeeze chutes, and other devices such as branding irons and dehorners. Water at the pens allow operators to

46 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - September 2013

hold livestock for days if needed and can serve as primary water for a pasture or trip. ‘Like the “West Texas” water system, where the well powered by wind, electricity, or solar, pumps water into a tank or cistern which flows to water troughs with float valves. The tank can be steel, concrete, or plastic, but needs to hold several days supply of water. Open cisterns also work and some are large concrete above ground storage, holding lots of water. Water storage is insurance in the event of light wind for a windmill or electrical power shortage for a submersible pump. Solar powered pumps are available and I am hearing good things. Have been using solar powered electric fence chargers for years so why not solar powered water wells? ‘Plenty of sunshine in summer when water demand is highest. Remember folks we’re one day closer to a rain, just hope I’m here to see it.

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Horseback Magazine September 2013  

Volume 20 No.9

Horseback Magazine September 2013  

Volume 20 No.9