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2 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2013

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November 2013

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK We call ourselves “Horsebackers” We are well into the finest time of the year for Horseback riding, at least in the part of the world where we live. More importantly, that parallels the finest time of the year for going to a horse show, rodeo, or equine sporting event such as polo. Owning a By Steven Long horse means that, by definition, we love an active lifestyle. Even feeding a horse involves physical activity. Horseback just completed our third year as a media sponsor of the Washington International Horse Show in the nation’s capital. By the time you read this we will have also have had magazines at the National Horse Show in Lexington. We papered the house with our magazine at Horseback columnists Pat and Linda Parelli’s event near Dallas. Coming close on the heels of that, we will have a presence at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. In a few months, you’ll see us at the prestigious Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in Houston, and the exciting new Diamonds and Dirt barrel horse extravaganza in Bryan, Texas. Horseback is actively involved in communities across the nation. That is a part of the stewardship that we deeply feel as one of the nation’s leading equine journals. It’s a matter of being in the mix. That’s what our Carol Hollaway does. She’s a former banker who has a severe horse habit. Folks caught onto that and three terms ago persuaded her to serve as president of the Texas State Horse Council, formerly the Greater Houston Horse Council. Our other reps, the fabulous Diane Holt, and Margaret Pirtle have equally deep roots and experience in equine public service – not to mention unparalleled savvy in marketing your product. At Horseback, we are community minded, and sorry if we blow our own horn a bit, but we’ve been around a couple of decades now digging our boots into the good dirt of our communities. You see, that’s why we call ourselves “Horsebackers.”

On the Cover:

Horses helped build a grateful Nation!

6 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2013

Cover Story:

12 Giving Thanks to Horses - Steven Long


10 Breed Spotlight: the Draft - Kelsey Hellmann 38 Peter Max

Lifestyle: 16 Holiday Gift Guide 30 Real Estate Roundup 36 Barn & Garden

Columns: 8 22 24 26 28 42 46

Horse Bites Parting Ways - Pat Parelli with Steven Long On the English Front - Cathy Strobel Whole Horsemanship - Dianne Lindig 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. 11 Horseback Magazine, P.O. Box 681397, Houston, TX 77268-1397, (281) 447-0772. The entire contents of the magazine are copyrighted November 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


Phone: (281)



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Brits Withdraw From Bidding ‘18 Games LAUSANNE, (FEI) – The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) has confirmed to the Federacion Equestre Internationale (FEI) that it is withdrawing from the bid process for the World Equestrian Games™ 2018 and will not now be putting in a formal bid. The FEI had received four formal Expressions of Interest by the 30 September deadline, one from Britain, two from the USA – Wellington and Kentucky – and a repeat bid from Bromont/Montreal in Canada. However, BEF Secretary General Andrew Finding has now informed the FEI that Britain will not be going any further in the bid process. In a letter to FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos, Andrew Finding wrote of his “considerable regret” at the withdrawal, stating that there was insufficient time under the terms of the new bidding process for the British Federation to secure the necessary funding and identify a host venue by 15 November, the deadline for receipt of formal Bid Applications. Host city candidates will be announced on 2 December 2013. Formal presentations will be made by these candidates to the FEI Bureau at its spring 2014 meeting, prior to the announcement of the host city for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018. Merck Animal Health and Purina Animal Nutrition Introduce Horse Care for Life TM DE SOTO, Kansas (Merck) – Recognizing the need for more tailored equine healthcare information, Merck Animal Health and Purina Animal Nutrition have joined together to bring horse owners Horse Care for Life. This premier online program, available only through participating veterinarians, provides horse owners with free access to information tailored to the health needs of their horse based on its age and use. Click here to see a public preview or visit “There were two objectives in mind with Horse Care for Life – provide more credible information to the horse owner and improve the level of care horses receive,” says Wendy

8 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2013

mation so they can ask the right questions of their veterinarian and detect potential “Horse Bites is compiled from problems earlier.” Press Releases sent to Horseback “Springhill Equine is always looking Magazine. Original reporting is for ways to better connect with our clients,” done as circumstances warrant. says Erica Lacher, D.V.M., owner of SpringContent is edited for length & style.” hill Equine Veterinary Clinic in Newberry, Fla. “Horse Care for Life lets us do that in a professional way. We learn more about client’s horses and, in turn, can offer them Vaala, V.M.D., Dipl. ACVIM, Merck Aniservices targeted to their needs. We also look mal Health senior equine technical services at their healthcare interests to help us decide veterinarian. “We feel strongly that the vetif an investment in new services or technology erinarian is the lynch pin to meeting both of may benefit those same clients.” these objectives, which is why horse owner To learn more enrollment is only available through particiWhether you have broodmares and pating veterinarians.” foals, professional performance horses or the Horse Care for Life provides a wealth beloved senior companion, Horse Care for of online tools and resources that make it Life gives you free access to credible, vetereasy to manage the health of a horse in partinarian-directed educational content and nership with a veterinarian. Once a horse healthcare tools in one central location. Talk owner gains access to, to your veterinarian today about the Horse he or she can create custom profiles for each of their horses. The program will send timely Care for Life program, or visit HorseCareforelectronic notifications and reminders based to learn more. on each horse’s age and activity profile so that important healthcare milestones aren’t missed. Use the custom health records to easA Report From the Field: ily track from any device a horse’s growth, Wild Horse Visitation a Disappointment vaccinations, deworming, shoeing and dental SHELDON “OBSERVATION DAY” exams. “Purina Animal Nutrition and Merck SHELDON WILD HORSE PENS (Wild Animal Health are two companies that are Horse Education) – I saw less than 25% of grounded in science,” says the horses capKatie Young, Ph.D., Purina Laura Liegh for Horseback Magazine tured from the Animal Nutrition technirange,” stated cal equine nutritionist. field observer “This partnership is the first Laura Leigh. to combine science-based “ T h e healthcare and nutritional area where I was information for each life allowed to obstage of the horse, providing serve from easowners a better understandily could have ing of the many factors that been afforded work together to achieve true immediately equine wellness.” after capture, As a Horse Care for Life during sorting member, an owner will have or loading. All I free access to extensive educan assess is that cational content co-authored horses were eatby the veterinarians and nuing and drinktritionists from Merck Aniing on October mal Health and Purina Ani24th,” she said. mal Nutrition. Organized “ I f by life stage – mare and foal, this type of obyoung horse, performance, servation were pleasure and senior horse – the educational allowed after capture there would be a lot content covers key areas of equine health. less questions left over about how Sheldon • Nutrition handles horses and many of the horses would • Breeding have been seen by the public already assist• Immunology (vaccinations/diseases) ing contractors with adoptions,” Leigh con• Parasitology tinued. “It is a real shame that such limited • Dentistry access was afforded when it does not have to • Hoof care be such a fight. If what we are all concerned • Other special health considerations for about is appropriate care and placement, each life stage, such as colic and lameness then why is there so little transparency?” “There are numerous equine web- Leigh has litigation demanding sites but very few have information that is press and public access in the federal courts. endorsed by both equine veterinarians and She is credentialed by Horseback Magazine. nutritionists and none are customized by life stage,” says Dr. Vaala. “Through Horse Care for Life, owners gain access to essential

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of giving and Horseback will direct you to the top rescues and charities in the nation. • Peter Max - Original cover by renowned artist, Peter Max, this issue of Horseback will become a classic collectable. • World Caliber English & Western Shows From the dusty grounds of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, NV to the Top Christmas English Classic in Waco, TX we’ll put your business in front of clients that can give your business a successful launch into the New Year!

Ft. Worth area residents pulled on their boots and headed to the Ft. Worth Rodeo! Advertising spaces go so fast in this issue, you don’t even need spurs. Reserve you space now or be left out in the cold January weather. • Grand Entry Gala - Sponsored by the Ft. Worth Junior League • Gypsy World Show - Featuring Gypsy Horses from across the Nation • Chisholm Challenge – Horseback is helping promote these special needs riders in their special event open to the physically and mentally handicapped from across North Texas. • Added Distribution! - 300+ Retail Locations across the Ft. Worth area

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Livestock Show & Rodeo - a.k.a. the largest rodeo in the World! From the Pits of the World Championship BBQ Cook-Off to the chutes of the arena, we’re there! 2 Million+ attended the rodeo last year & over 200,000 were at the tasty BBQ Cook Off. Plus this year boasts even more exciting places to showcase your business! A perfect “one-two punch” to a wide audience with cost effective display advertising, combined with digital and social media attention. Special 2 month issue so we can make sure you don’t miss a minute of “Go Texan” fever! • World BBQ Cook Off • Rodeo Fans - from Feb thru March • Fried Chicken Gala - Hilton Galleria Feb 28th • SIRE - Top Hands Show - Approximately 12,000 expected to attend • Online Digital Issue - 100,000 Readers Monthly • ALL Cavender’s Stores • Hundreds of High-Traffic Houston Locations - equestrian & metropolitan November 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


Breed Spotlight...

DRAFT Thank the BIG horses with even BIGGER hearts for helping build America! by Kelsey Hellmann, Photo’s courtesy Jeanne Williams, Sargent Equestrian Center, Lodi, CA.


native United States draft 2013 an estimated Horse. This line was 111.3 million developed in Iowa in Americans 1900’s. from a mare watched the of undetermined Super Bowl and the commercials are always the breed named biggest hit regardless “Old Granny.” of which teams are These horses are playing. Budweiser’s unusual, with Clydesdale draft their creamhorses have been colored coat and a part of that TV amber eyes. They tradition for a long were recognized time. as their own breed in 1950. The Anheuser-Bush Brewing There are many Company has been different breeds using this iconic anibut they all share mal since 1933, when a some common traits: hitched team was used to strength, patience and a carry the first case of postdocile temperament. These Prohibition beer. Since then the horses are generally used for famous tall bay horses with a flashy hard or heavy tasks, such as pullwhite face and legs have been Bud’s masing carts or plows. Their gentleness cot. The company’s commercials featuring the is what kept them around for so long, prebreed during the Super Bowl have industrial farmers found them to made Clydesdales one of the most be indispensable. widely known breeds in America. 4-in Hand Clydesdales struttin’ Drafts have been regularly used their stuff between shows! Many people refer to them as the for farming, but they have had Photo courtesy Jeanne Williams, “Budweiser Horses.” their place in many other indusSargent Equestrian Center, tries throughout time. They were While they might be the Lodi, CA used to haul freight and passenmost recognized breed of draft gers before the railroad was dehorse in America, there are over veloped. Over half a million were twenty other breeds of these large used to support the military in World War I. And, equines. The American Cream Draft horse is the only


American Cream practicing for Cross Country Driving Competition. Photo courtesy Jeanne Williams, Sargent Equestrian Center, Lodi, CA

prior to motorized freight hauling, they were used to build virtually all of the monumental buildings in American cities. Draft horses can range in height from 16 to 19 hands and can weight from 1,400 - 2,000 lb. They are noted most often by their tall stature and heavy bone structure. These large animals tend to have an upright shoulder, allowing them to pull a load easier than a standardbodied horse. Another type of smaller Draft horse that has been increasing in popularity over the years is the Gypsy Horse, also called Gypsy Vanner. Up until 1996 Gypsies had no official studbook or breed registry. They are now considered a breed and even recognized by the United States Equestrian Federation. The Roma, (called Gypsies over the centuries), developed the

breed. These travelers used the horses to pull their vardoes, also known as living wagons. The distinct color and look of the breed was refined in the period following World War II. While these little Drafts can be any color, they are well known for being black and white with an abundant amount of leg feathering. They typically stand between 13 and 16 hands, which is smaller than a standard Draft. These gentle giants are not used as much for working purposes these days. Many Amish communities still use the Draft horse for agricultural

purposes. Also, organic farmers have taken to using horses in preference to modern day farm equipment. And you may see them pulling carriages in some of America’s greatest cities. Today, the public can also see the draft horse at shows or pulling competitions. Several “hitches” of Budweiser Clydesdales tour America year round.

Gypsy Horse rests besides its Vardoe. These little horses are small, sturdy and incredibly docile. Stock Photo


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avid McCullough begins his Pulitzer Prize young age surveying the frontier as far west as Ohio, George winning biography, John Adams, with the Washington charted more than two hundred tracts of land portly future president on horseback. He and held title to more than sixty-five thousand acres in thirends the book with Adams, now well into his ty-seven different locations. Virtually all of that lonely work in the wilderness was done with the help of 80’s on the back of a horse, as his horse. Later, as the wealthiest landowner well. For most of his life the Yankee presiin the colonies and as General, then later dent was what we call an endurance rider. President, the founder owned fine horses, his He traveled vast distances riding the trial cirfavorites, were Roger Leo, Nelson, Blueskin, cuit as a lawyer, and several times rode the and an Arabian named Magnolia. 328 mile trip from Boston to Philadelphia History tells us that in 1788, Washingas a delegate to the Continental Congress. ton traded one of his prize horses for 5,000 Adams, the revolutionary, also made a hair acres of land owned by Revolutionary War raising escape on horseback from Boston to hero “Light Horse” Harry Lee. At the time evade capture and certain hanging by the of his death in late 1799, the first president British. Like anybody who lived to an adowned 21 horses. Adams, the second president, was vanced age during the 18th and 19th cenfollowed into the new White House by his turies, Adams, as a small farmer and lawyer, old friend and later bitter rival, Thomas owned many horses, but his favorite was Jefferson. As a Virginia planter, the sage of named Cleopatra. America was a nation of horsemen, Monticello owned hundreds of horses. In By Steven Long as was virtually the entire world, until the meticulous fashion, he recorded the day to last hundred years or so. day happenings at his plantation, as well as Adams, of course, wasn’t the only a detailed inventory of horses he bought and founder who it could be said “rode endurance.” From a rode throughout his life there:

Isn’t it Time for America to Give Thanks for its Horses?

Horses Name Foaled or Purchased & Status Allycroker DOB: 1758 Gustavus DOB: 1763; Purchased from Francis Willis ca. 1773, Given away date unknown Cucullin DOB: 1764 The General DOB: 1769; Purchased from Alexander Spotswood in 1775 Crab DOB: 1771 Everallyn Purchased 1774 Alfred DOB: 1774 The inventory Caractacus DOB: 1775 Ethelinda DOB: 1776 of horses Silvertail DOB: 1773 Orra Moor DOB: 1778 Thomas Peggy Waffington DOB: 1778 Zanga DOB: 1778 Jefferson Odin DOB: 1778 Polly Peachum DOB: 1778 personally Silveret DOB: 1780 Assaragoa DOB: 1779 owned Raleigh DOB: 1777 Tarquin purchased DOB: 1790 Brimmer Purchased 1790 Remus & Romulus Unknown Carriage Horses Matchless Purchased 1791 Fitzpartner Purchased 1799 Wildair Purchased 1801 Castor unknown Diomede unknown Bremo Spring 1806; purchased in 1814 THOMAS JEFFERSON Wellington Purchased 1815 Jefferson age 78 by Thomas Sully. Tecumseh Purchased 1815 Oil on canvas. Peacemaker Purchased 1819 Courtesy Thomas Jefferson Foundation The Eagle Purchased 1820

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WASHINGTON CROSSING THE DELAWARE, Oil on Canvas, Thomas Sully Courtesy Boston Museum of Fine Art

By the time Jefferson bought The Eagle in 1820, he was 77-yearsold and had another six years to live. During that time he and Adams had mended fences and carried on an active correspondence. The nation’s seventh president, Andrew Jackson, is the most identified with a horse. He is almost always depicted in paintings and equestrian statues often rearing on the back of a horse. His horses were Sam Patch, his famous white horse, and Lady Nashville, Buck, Bolivia and Truxton and others who grazed at his Tennessee plantation, The Hermitage. Jackson’s protégé, Sam Houston, had the distinction of performing one of American history’s bravest acts. At San Jacinto, he rode a stout dapple grey into battle. A big man himself, the general and his mount drew fire from the Mexican Army, directing it away from his 910 “Texians” as they advanced up a low incline against 1,360 Mexicans. The gray was killed under Houston, and then another died beneath the Tennessee born soldier. He continued his charge, mounting a third horse even though he had been hit by a musket ball in the leg as his troops decimated the Mexican Army. He

cepted the surrender of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna wounded and on a blanket under an oak tree. Half of American presidents have stood over six feet tall, including Jackson at 6’1”. The two tallest were Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson, both imposing politicians at 6’4”. Both men were wartime presidents, and both were superb horsemen. Johnson rode Tennessee Walking Horses, while photos of Lincoln’s horse, Old Bob, depict a stout gelding with the conformation of an American Quarter Horse. General Ulysses S. Grant wrote of Lincoln’s horsemanship. “Lincoln spent the latter days of his life with me. He came to City Point in the last month of the war and was with me all the time. He was a fine horseman and rode my horse ‘Cincinnati’ every day.” Grant, or “Ules,” as his wife Julia called him, was the greatest horseman to ever occupy the White House. Of average height at 5’8”, it is said that the Civil War hero could mount a horse by standing at its side without ever putting a foot in the stirrup. The victorious general had several horses throughout his war years including one that was shot out from under him at

the Battle of Belmont in late 1861. He replaced the horse with his son Fred’s pony but quickly decided an army general needed something more imposing. He purchased the spirited and powerful roan, “Fox” who served him through the battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh. Grant rode a Thoroughbred named Kangaroo during the Vicksburg campaign. Grant kept two horses, Jeff Davis, and the aforementioned Cincinnati, until the end of the war and into retirement from his White House years. Both war horses were honored by Union veterans. The other great horse of the war was Traveler, the iron gray mount of Gen. Robert E. Lee. The horse stood 16 hands high and was used throughout the war. He is buried near Lee at Washington and Lee University. Lee’s tomb is inside the University chapel. His horse is interred just outside the building. Civil War generals tended to name their horses after historic American people or places. General George B. McClelland’s horse was Daniel Webster. Some were singularly unlucky in war. Gen. William T. Sherman lost three mounts to being shot out from under him. Gen. Phil Sheridan’s horse November 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


Reinzi fought throughout the war, and of all the civil war horses, his stuffed body remains on display in a museum on Governor’s Island, New York almost 150 years after the war ended. With the passing of Grant, American entered its Gilded Age. The carriage horse largely replaced the saddle horse among the gentry. But at the dawn of that age the nation relentlessly settled the West displacing Indians from their homelands. Settlers still had need of not only saddle horses but work horses as well. In the cities the great buildings could not have been constructed without the brawn of horses, donkeys, and mules. The great Comanche Chief Quanah Parker is photographed on several horses, a white, dapple gray, and sorrel. None of the names of these horses, as with most Indian horses, have come down in history. With the transition of American transportation to steam, the sport horse grew in importance. Fair Grounds, the great New Orleans’ race track had its origin in 1852, a decade before Saratoga in upstate New York. Named for a victorious horse at Maryland’s Pimlico, the Preakness States was first run in 1873 for the honor of placing a black eyed susan wreath placed around the winner’s neck. But while the horse Preakness was immortalized by a stakes race that continues to this day, America’s first superstar horse was a pacer named Dan Patch. Foaled in 1896, the harness horse presaged the fame of America’s greatest Thoroughbred, Man ‘O War who was only topped by perhaps the greatest race horse who ever lived, Secretariat. Finally, the American war horse lives on today where horses were most recently used by the Army in the mountains of hB Afghanistan.


a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

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Western... When It’s Time to Move On By Pat Parelli with Steven Long

HORSEBACK MAGAZINE: I suspect most of us have reached a point where a horse has been unable to reach the level of accomplishment we desire. Some are lucky enough to be perfectly satisfied with the same horse for years, maybe even the lifetime of the horse. Let’s talk a bit about when it is time to let go and move on. PAT PARELLI: For the last five decades that I’ve been involved in horses, like

many people, I’ve owned a lot of them. The question always comes, one horse, two horse, new horse, what do I do? My advice is to know that as we grow with our horses we understand that more and more today, people are looking for companion animals for life. HORSEBACK: That has certainly been the case with our Bruja, our magnificent little black mare with a great pedi-

gree but no papers. She is the product of one of those cases in which the stud horse jumped t h e fence a n d made a baby. PARELLI: Understood. This is a good concept, especially if you have a family. And remember that family can mean extended family including friends. One of the

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22 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2013

things that I’ve thought about over the years is what to do is to make sure that a dream horse doesn’t turn into a nightmare. The thing is, when people first go look at buying a horse, to make sure the spirit level is low enough when they get started, have a good enough disposition, the right horsonality, and the right amount of training or experience. HORSEBACK; So there is a fundamental criteria? Is there more? PARELLI: When we start off with horses we want to make sure they are safe, and we want to have fun. Then, what most people do is they get interested in some other endeavor or sport, and then they get handy. When they get handy, they want to become proficient enough to become competitive. So then we oftentimes want to trade up in our horses. HORSEBACK: It’s the American way. PARELLI: There’s no set patten or advice about what to do with our horses when it’s time to trade up. The thing I always think about and advise is when you are buying a horse, think about exit strategy. What are you going to do when it gets older? What are you going to do when it’s got more spirit or more ability, more potential? The most principled thing to do is to make sure that horse goes to a home that the re-homing situation is somebody that wants a companion animal for life. Even if it gets passed (around) a couple of times, if more and more people have that attitude, more and more horses will have great lives for the rest of their life, and fewer horses will end up in rescue centers. It’s a part of our symbiotic relationship with horses - and keeping it natural. To learn more visit hB




“I’m Thankful for...”


hen I think of November, I can’t help but think of Thanksgiving. As a child, I took for granted that it was a time for families and friends to gather for a big meal and share in our gratitude for what we have been given. As an adult, the meaning of giving thanks has deepened. I feel like I have so much more to be grateful for now and I thank God for all the wonderful experiences and possessions I have received in my life. But what really stands out in my mind, once I get past family and friends, is the horses in my life and how they have enriched it. I am thankful for the many things horses have taught me about life and the opportunities they have given me to enrich other people’s lives. I wondered how other people felt. So, I started asking, “What, about horses, are you thankful for?” I had some wonderful responses and I wanted to share them with you: •

The truthfulness and honesty of

their emotions. • The wonderful feeling I get when I’m riding my horse in harmony and feeling that we are of one body and mind. • The fitness they give me and the inspiration to stay strong. • I am so thankful that the barn has been a part of my life. It has taught me the value of hard work and perseverance. I don’t think I would be the person I am today without so many life lessons that come from horses. Being a “barn brat” has taught me about responsibility. You have to be responsible in taking care of the horse like picking his feet, properly cooling him down, keeping him walking so blood can pump through the body, etc. Not only do you take care of the horse, you have to take care of the equipment, too! The friendships (human and horse). I have met so many wonderful people in my life through riding. I have also learned so much from my horses. The family I have made at the barn. Some of my closest friends are at the barn where I can always share things with them. They have seen me through hard times. It’s one

“When I count my blessings, I count my horse twice!”


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24 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2013

of the first places I turn to in time of need. And the horses seem to know when something is wrong. Many times I’ve gone into a stall to wrap my arms around their necks and just breathe. I’m so glad to have the barn there just for good emotional health!! They don’t judge you or try to label you in some social group/category. They just like you for you. My pony/best friend since I was 4 years old. I’m now married for 3 years and 1,500 miles from home. She’s still with me. Without her I don’t think I could have made it through all the hard times and bad days. She’s helped make every day better! I love her and know she loves me too! • I can spend all day talking to my horse and feel that not a moment was wasted! • My horse got me through some major break ups and a serious depression. She was the only one I could talk to. She’d wiggle her bottom lip; half close her eyes and nod her head when I was pouring my heart out to her. I know my horse understood every word. • Patience. A horse stops learning the moment we get emotional and that taught me self-control. • The life lessons I have learned from riding, caring for my horse and the responsibilities that come with it. They have given me confidence. Independence. You learn to do things yourself. I think all little girls (and boys) should be involved with horses. Our society is becoming so dependent on others and people don’t realize how great it feels to achieve a task on your own! The patience and perseverance I have learned from horses. Courage. I have more courage to try things that are a little scary.

• •

• •

• • • •

My special needs granddaughter with CP, started therapeutic horseback riding over 8 years ago. She was nonverbal and needed motor skills. She learned how to say ‘walk on’ and through the motion of the horse it has made a world of difference. It is amazing and I am truly thankful for the horse. They brought my special needs daughter into the “real” world! They build self –confidence; especially for people with special needs. The joy they bring my daughter every week. Horses have had taught me life’s most important lessons; patience, communication, courage, perseverance, the list goes on! My passion for horses enters into

• • •

every aspect of my life, time spent at the barn, the clothes I wear, and how I decorate my home. That love influenced how I raised my children and relate to my grandchildren. It introduced me to wonderful people and lasting friendships. That passion has taught me patience, perseverance, and the ability to reach out of my comfort zone and embrace life. Horses are a vital part of my past, present and future. I thank God I inherited these “horsey” genes from my grandmother!!!!! That at 77, I can still have my horses to ride. I am thankful for the peace of horses, their gentle natures and quiet munching...their liquid eyes. The relationship of mutual respect and trust between humans and

• • • • •

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! 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



horses. How a little time on a horse can make a BIG difference in your stress level. Just five minutes in the saddle releases my stress level! The way I feel when I first see my horse and she picks her head up to greet me. My horse is the only reason I am still here today. She gave me my sanity and life back! Everything. Horses salvaged my life.

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“Aha Moments”


he 4-beat cadence of her walk echoes through your own body, as she carries you forward with smooth, even energy. Your horse’s back legs could be your own, as they step up beneath her body and yours, and you imagine what it would be like if your arms were, instead, your horse’s front legs, each one lifting and swinging forward, as its hind partner strikes and pushes off of the ground; lifting, balancing, driving your bodies steadily forward, together, as one. As your outside leg slides down and back, your hands remain breathe, and she steps smoothly into the first stride of her canter. Without interruption, your momentum continues forward, your hips following the slight lifting of her shoulders, and the oval-esque movement of her back. Your lower back stays soft, and long, so there’s no “lurching” on the first stride, and the magical connection between you and your horse continues into the 2nd, 3rd, 4th stride... You just had an “Aha!” moment! You moved though space, as through an opening door, and into the light on the other side; where you discovered the synergy and connection with your horse you’d been seeking all along.

“Aha!” moments can happen during the practice of any skill; the canter transition described above; a perfectly collected, yet freely flowing trot; or as you float effortlessly over an obstacle, your hips closing, opening, closing, in perfect timing with your horse’s movements. They can happen during a movement as complex as a rollback, or within a skill as fundamental as following your horse’s first step forward in a perfect departure at the walk. “Aha!” moments are a very important part of learning and progressing as a horseman. In the beginning, they may be rather short, but, over time, they become longer, and longer, until they are more than just moments. In fact, they will eventually link together, and form a steady, intuitive stream of relaxed, yet alert awareness. It is a quiet, ever-present awareness that all the best horsemen possess. In order to benefit from the “Aha!” moment experience, a rider must acknowledge it as such. When your instructor tells you, “That’s it! Beautiful! Go on!”,

don’t deny it by thinking or saying, “Oh, the horse just did it on their own”, or “It’s just because you were walking beside me”, etc.. I can’t speak for every other instructor, but when I tell someone they’re doing something well, it’s not just because I want them to feel good about themselves, (which I do, of course.) I also want them to use that “Aha!” moment as an opportunity to progress as a horseman. Instead of interrupting the flow of your newfound synergy with a negative thought

or remark, accept your instructor’s comment, and acknowledge the moment as a successful execution of that skill. There may be times when you don’t recognize that you’ve performed a skill correctly, simply because the sensations that go with it are unfamiliar to you. It may even seem awkward at first, since it feels different than the way you were try-

“I could go faster if you fed me Finger Farms Hay!” 26 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2013


ing to do it in the past. In this case, it is doubly important that you trust your instructor’s positive comment, and accept what you are feeling as the way it should feel each time you perform that particular skill or maneuver. Once you’ve acknowledged your “Aha! Moment, take note immediately of how it feels. Memorize the set of sensations that you have at that moment, then combine them into a moving image that reflects the preparation and progression of how you and your horse are moving together through space. Link the image with the feeling. Each time you prepare to perform that same skill or maneuver, bring the image and feeling back into your mind, and do your best to maintain them as you move through it and on to the next one. In short: • Acknowledge your instructor’s comment as true and accurate. • Take note of how it feels, and acknowledge that this is how it feels to perform that given skill correctly. • Put that feeling, (that set of sensations), into the form of an image of yourself and your horse moving athletically and in balance, through the skill or maneuver. Link the feeling and the image together. • When preparing to perform a given skill or maneuver, remember the image, visualize you and your horse performing the skill or maneuver successfully, then feel your way back to the sensations you felt when you previously performed the skill well. • Take joy in the moment! • Praise your horse.

I can’t emphasize the penultimate point, “Take Joy in the Moment”, enough. Not just because riding should be enjoyable, but also because associating a positive emotional experience with a successful technical execution will help you to repeat it. Your conscious and subconscious minds both crave positive reinforcement. Give yourself credit for playing your role in the successful experience shared by you and your horse, and feel your skill move forward in leaps and bounds. Finally, let your horse share in that positive experience. Don’t act like her or his good performance was “an accident”. Praise her for connecting with you, and for trusting your aids and cues to help her to succeed at your joint endeavor. Your horse will want to repeat the positive experience too, and will do her or his best to repeat it, when asked to perform that skill again. You and your horse will gain confidence, as your instructor encourages you, and as you praise your horse. Your confidence improves your performance as a horse and rider team, and enriches the horsemanship experience for all. The next time you instructor says, “That was a lovely transition from walk to canter!”, sit up, smile, breath, and say “Yes, it was!” Contact Dianne with questions or comments any time at Hill Country Equestrian Lodge, Bandera, TX, where she teaches Whole Horsemanship year-round. (830) 796-7950, info@,





“Leather or Synthetic (Or Both)”

Horseback Magazine’s Saddle & Tack Editor


hen I owned Bunkhouse Leather, I sold a lot of synthetic saddles. Well, they were called synthetic but the ones I sold were actually a combination of synthetic and leather. A lot of people were shocked that I actually liked some of the composite saddles. Now, don’t get me wrong. There is not much that thrills me more than a really good leather saddle, with supple leather, beautiful carving, a really comfortable seat, and a good fit on a horse’s back. That having been said, I’m getting older, time is more precious, and looks don’t mean as much. I picked up a used Big Horn Cordura saddle from a gal that I sold the saddle to originally. She wanted a fair price for it, so I could resell it, and make a little money. I cleaned it up and put it in the barn. We have a thoroughbred with a wide back that I ride occasionally, and I tried the saddle on him and it fit so I went for a ride. When I found my old Heiser Form-Fitter, I thought it was the most comfortable saddle I ever sat in, still do. When I rode that cordura saddle, I was amazed at how comfortable it was. Now it is my main go-to saddle. When I ride around the ranch for an hour, what do I care if someone sees me riding a nylon saddle. It’s light, comfortable and easy to care for and it fits my horse. Are all synthetic saddles the same? Definitely not. Some are neoprene, some are nylon that is not cordura nylon, and most have synthetic trees. Most were put together with staples that not only pull out of synthetic trees, but they also

break the tree when they are put in under power. Ralide synthetic trees come in a huge assortment of fits, and are actually real strong when the leather or rigging is screwed to the tree, rather than stapled. Not all synthetic trees are Ralide brand. There are imitations that aren’t as good. However, most synthetic saddles are made to be cheap rather than good, so shortcuts are almost always taken. What you really have to watch out for are the Indian imports, which are not only cheaply made of inferior materials, they won’t fit a horse either! The reason I sold Big Horn Cordura saddles over all others was because they used full grain leather for the swell cover, side jockeys, and Cheyenne roll, with suede or full grain chap leather for the seat. The rigging was screwed to the tree rather than stapled, and they sat really good with either a Ralide or fiberglass covered wood tree, available in semi quarter horse, regular quarter horse,

28 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2013

and full quarter horse bars, as well as Arabian, gaited and mule bars. There was seldom a horse we

couldn’t fit. Since Big Horn was acquired by another company, and I am no longer

in the retail business, I don’t really know if the quality and the versatility is still there. But at least, you have some info to work with; tree selection, quality material, and comfort. I do not recommend neoprene in a saddle. It doesn’t breathe, it gets really hot, it pills up in the heat. The very best thing about a good quality synthetic saddle is the weight, about 20 pounds. So, I have both, all leather saddles and a synthetic and leather saddle. I turned down $5,000 for my old Heiser several years ago, unfortunately, with the downturn in collectables, it’s not nearly worth that today. Still, it’s not for sale at any price. I do feel like I need to ride it less to preserve it, although I will never quit riding it. Something can only be a joy if you use it. If someone offered me $500.00 for my cordura saddle, I’d sell it and buy 2 more. I have not bought any good vintage saddles recently because money has just been too short, but a good old saddle is still my thrill. Most of the new saddles I sit in just don’t have the leather work in the ground seat, the part of the saddle under the seat. I want a seat where you can get your legs directly under you, where you can’t see your toes when you are sitting straight in the saddle. I don’t want that seat to be so wide it pulls your groin muscles. Wide seats put you back on your pockets with your legs forward where you are out of balance. A good saddle will let you sit so if the horse moved out from under you, you would be standing squarely on your feet. Many of the old time saddle makers understood the need for a good groundseat since working riders were in the saddle all day. A thick padded seat just isn’t the same. I rode a saddle with a 1 & ½” thick memory foam seat the other day. It was soft and it was the most uncomfortable ride I’ve had in years. The thick pad in the back of the seat rolled me forward, the rigging was directly under my legs, and my groin muscles were screaming at me. High technology is not a place for me to ever be happy, especially when it comes to saddles, but I do like my cordura nylon and leather saddle.

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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

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

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

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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

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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

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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 loaang sheds each w pipe gates to create 22 stalls. 6 horse hot walker and pro cutter ag 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 ensure dry ground. Two lighted 100’ round arenas w/holding pens.

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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. ex 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 lig workshop on slab with roll up doors. Over 2 miles of pipe fencing. 12 separate paddocks, 9 loaang sheds with concrete oors. 3/2 rental bringing in $1000/month income. Has been continually rented for last 4 years. Double carport and deck with wheel chair accessibility.

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


Real Estate

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Rustics is locally owned and operated by Debra and Rafael Rodriguez. Let Rafael create a custom piece of hand carved furniture for either your home-office or business today. Rafael and RND’s staff can create a unique piece of furniture from in-house designs, or bring in your own-anything is possible and you’re only limited by your imagination. In addition to their own line of furniture, RND Rustics also carries other lines including; Mesquite, Copper and Primitive pieces of furniture, along with office and living room groups. Debra runs the storefront with assistance from their friendly staff. RND Rustics offers more than just furniture, come in for friendly service and look around for a gift, art or decor. They offer canvas wall hangings, framed art including works by artists G Harvey, Robert Dawson and many others. Find both kitchen and bath decor, numerous gifts, as well as cowhide products. RND Rustics offers delivery service, layaway options, and loves custom orders. They are located only 11 miles from I-45 and only 6 miles outside of Magnolia, TX.

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32 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2013

Mineola 498 Ranch is a well diversified ranch, providing activities for all, with the focal point of the ranch being a state-of-the-art Equestrian facility. The ranch also features an 8+/- & 12+/acre lake, approximately 1+/- mile of Lake Fork Creek frontage and spring fed creeks. It’s hard to find this many amenities all in one ranch of this size. The property is located just east of the quaint East Texas town of Mineola, TX located on FM49. Featured ranch activities include fishing, horseback riding, duck hunting, deer hunting, and relaxing walks on the miles of manicured trails through the mature pine and hardwood forest. 498+/- ACRES - Asking $3,350,000 - Equestrian Facility could be divisible.

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illow Mortgage M a r k e t p l a c e ’s current mortgage rates in Texas for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped 1 basis points from 3.96% to 3.95% on Tuesday. State mortgage rates today ranged from the lowest rate of 3.92% (NJ, PA) to the highest rate of 4.05% (HI). Texas mortgage rates today are 2 basis points lower than the national average of 3.97%. The Texas mortgage interest rate on October 29, 2013, is down 3 basis points from last week’s average Texas rate of 3.98%. hB

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By: Margaret Pirtle, Lifestyle Editor

“I can make a General in five minutes but a good horse is hard to replace” - Abraham Lincoln

Barn &

Potato Stacks

Think Spring Wildflowers This Month


he color may have faded from your flower beds but November is the month to sow some spring wildflowers from seeds including: • Bluebonnets; bright rosered, pink, or white. • Drummond Phlox • Rudbeckia – best know as Black-Eyed Susans and • Coreopis with their Daisy-like blooms in yellow, orange, or pink Sow into a bare, prepared soil, very lightly cover and water immediately to initiate germination.

36 36 H HORSEBACK ORSEBACK M MAGAZINE AGAZINE -- November November 2013 2013

Ingredients: (Makes 6 potato stacks) • 2 medium Russett potatoes • Salt and ground pepper • 6 tablespoons heavy cream 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 2. Thinly slice each potato. Place 2 pieces in each cup of a greased muffin pan. Season the 2 slices with salt and pepper. Continue to add potato slices, seasoning every couple of slices. Add the potato slices until the muffin cups are filled. 3. Pour 1 tablespoon of cream over each potato stack. Bake the potato stacks for 30-35 minutes are until the potatoes are golden brown and tender. To remove from pan, run a knife around each potato stack. Then place a plate over the muffin pan and invert to release the potato stacks. If desired, you can add some cheese to the top of the potatoes once they’re out of the oven.

Garden Christmas is coming fast!

And, along with it worry over what to buy and keeping in your budget. Here are a few ideas, and not one of them makes you shop night and day on Black Friday. Re-gift. Yup, I said it! - I re-gift and from a survey I read not long ago, I’m not the only one. 69% of people polled believe it’s now socially acceptable! Hand-make something. No, I’m not talking macaroni cards that we made as kids. But there are plenty of things out there that can be made cheaply and look great. Try an easy bean bag game for kids or something pre-made from your kitchen. Check out the internet for thousands of craft ideas and easy kitchen mixes. Hit the Drugstore - While you might think of it for medicine and Band-Aids, it’s a treasure trove of cheap, easy-to-get gifts like perfume, candy, small toys and cosmetics. Groupon & More - Instead of a normal gift card, check out the specials on Groupon. From swedish massages, to heavily discounted meals at fine restaurants, this will save you lots of money. Also check out the web for other sites that offer special coupons for entertainment events.

Going to the Dogs! Just when I thought that I had seen every gadget and dog product on the market, I am proved wrong. Look at these great finds: Antler Chews Organic antlers shed by elk. which do not stain carpeting. Antlers offer less risk of splintering and breakage than regular bones. Find them at www.scoutandzoes. com - and check out the antler cookies. Udder Tugs What is an Udder Tug? It’s a dog toy made from recycled rubber liners used in machines to milk real cows. Contact with all those cows leaves an irresistible cow-smell that us dogs udderly love! They call it “Eau de Bovine”! Find them at: Doggie Fork Who hasn’t let their dog lick off a spoon. Now they can have their own special fork that is safety molded so it can’t be swallowed if Fido gets more than a lick. It comes bejeweled with a Swarovski crystal and in a gift box. Find it at: November 2013 2013 -- H HORSEBACK ORSEBACK M MAGAZINE AGAZINE

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PETER MAX Donates to Texas Rescue, Hails NYC Carriage Horse


movie” Peter Max has used his fame to champion Legendary Pop animal rights, Artist Peter Max and he and his donated the wife Mary often image of BOBBY host events in 11 FREEDOM, a Max’s New York New York Carriage 24,000-squareHorse that was foot studio days from slaughter space to raise in Pennsylvania awareness for before Equine e n v i r o n m e n t al Advocates brought causes and him to sanctuary. animal rights. Peter Max was so Mary Max is quite moved by the story active in her of the NYC carriage efforts, and sits horse that he on the national painted Bobby and board of the auctioned off the Humane Society painting at the Park of America. Avenue Amory, Peter Max with the proceeds and Houston’s benefitting the premier fine Equine Farm art gallery, Sanctuary. The Off The Wall image of the Gallery at the portrait was forever BOBBY 11 FREEDOM Galleria, continue immortalized through Peter Max this tradition of the 2011 film “Saving championing the America’s Horses: A cause on Saturday evening, November 9th, National Betrayed. Max, a well-known animal welfare activist 2013 when they jointly host an invitation only had this to say about his contributions: “I am benefit for Black Beauty Ranch. A portion of so thankful that my art could be used in saving proceeds from the evening’s sales of artwork even one horse from any kind of cruelty. I am will be donated back to the ranch and to the sincerely proud to have been a part of this great Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center. 2 0 11 ,

38 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2013

The evening is being held in conjunction with the gallery’s presentation of the new exhibition: Peter Max A Retrospective 1960-2013, a Collection of the Artists’ greatest and most-revered artworks spanning four decades, and including Bobby II Freedom in mixed-media on paper as well as mixed media on canvas. Ben Callison, Director of the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch said: “It is an honor for the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch to partner with celebrated artist and animal-lover, Peter Max, for this unique art show and

exhibit. The funds we are able to raise through this event will help us provide the greatest standard of care for more than 1,000 animals that live at our sanctuary and we are most grateful for his generosity and passion for animal welfare.” hB

TOP: The iconic Pop Artist, Peter Max, today. BOTTOM: Peter Max back in the 60’s November 2013 - HORSEBACK MAGAZINE


Lifestyle... in Bandera, TX

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Horseback Magazine! Go to or call 920-550-4061 to order or find a dealer near you.




Hoof Boots vs. Barefoot vs. Traditional Shoes


n previous articles, I have mentioned that I usually prefer to use hoof boots when attempting to rehabilitate horses with hoof problems. In this article, I will further explain some of the reasons why. MY PERSPECTIVE First, let me say that while I do specialize in custom-fitting hoof boots and glue-on boots/shoes, I am not married to any particular hoof care or hoof protection method. I am 100% in favor of whatever works. Some barefoot horses are sound, happy, and comfortable—and they are a wonderful sight to behold. Other horses are just dandy in their metal shoes—this is okay, too. But shod or bare, when a horse isn’t sound, or if the feet seem to be gradually developing problems, hoof boots (or glue-on synthetic shoes) are often perfect for turning things around. NEW HOOF BOOT DESIGNS Hoof boots have come a long way in recent years—no longer just a “spare tire”—their use in competition is rapidly increasing. Last month, five of the top ten horses in the AERC 100-Mile Endurance National Championship, including the 1st, 2nd and 3rd spots wore hoof boots. At the Tevis Cup, widely known as the world’s toughest 100-mile endurance race, the coveted Haggin Cup (best condition) has been won 3 of the last 4 years by booted horses. The overall Tevis Cup (1st place) winners in the last three years were wearing hoof boots, as were 6 of the top ten last year, and 7 of the top 10 this year. Why this shift? The

rubber-like tread material provides better traction and energy dissipation on the hard roads and trails—and any little edge really adds up over the course of a 100-mile race. At the 2012 Tevis Cup, 69% of the booted starters finished the entire race, compared to only 41% of the rest of the field. Another reason for increased boot use is that in recent years, hoof boot designs have improved dramatically, becoming more compact, more durable, and more user-friendly with each new design. (see figures 1 & 2) REHAB AND PREVENTION Generally speaking—there are exceptions, of course—if a horse is turned out barefoot and receives routine, competent trims, the hooves tend to improve over time; frogs improve, soles get hardened and callused, the coffin bone moves higher in the hoof capsule, and wall flares tend to grow out. But often the horse needs extra protection for riding. Using hoof boots for riding allows you to “have your cake and eat it, too.” You can take full advantage of this natural healing process while also having solid protection during work. Horses managed this way tend to have above-average feet, and I feel that they are


This hoof boot was heat-fit to accommodate a horse with a 20-degree coffin bone rotation—note the distorted toe. The tread was then rasped to bring the breakover back into a correct position relative to the coffin bone. This brought tremendous relief to a horse that would have been very difficult to shoe otherwise, as there was no viable or connected hoof wall at the ground surface to nail to. This is just one example of how modern hoof boots can be modified if you put your imagination in gear. Photo reprinted from the book Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot , P. Ramey.

42 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2013

better-protected from injury. I also like to use hoof boots for treating laminitic horses. When a horse is being supported only by the hoof walls (with the sole, bars and frog off the ground), he is literally hanging his entire weight from the laminae (which connect the hoof wall to the bone like living VelcroTM). When a horses suffers from laminitis, this attachment is severely weakened, often allowing the hoof wall to separate from the bone, or the whole horse may sink through the hoof capsule until the sole settles to the ground. To treat (or prevent) this catastrophe, the hoof walls can be shortened so that the sole bears more weight, relieving sheer stress on the laminae. This seems simple enough on the surface, but while the sole is a weightbearing structure, it was not designed to bear all of the horse’s weight. Hoof boots allow the vet or farrier to trim the walls slightly shorter than the sole to take the stress off the laminae, while protecting the sole from the resulting excess pressure. And since the boot is not rigidly attached, all pressure is released from the sole during hoof flight, allowing adequate circulation and thus avoiding the pitfalls This is a glue-on boot FIGURE 2 application for a horse that was too lame to be turned out barefoot. The medial heel and lateral cartilage (top of photo) were contracted & collapsed underneath the horse’s foot. This setup leaves room for the heel to expand, while cushioning the sensitive foot. As the frog expanded and grew stronger, a pour-in pad was injected into the boot from the back. This same setup is also being used in top-level Dressage competition, where no part of the boot is allowed to extend above the hairline. Pete Ramey files. Pete Ramey - Con’t. on pg. 44



Pete Ramey - Con’t. from pg. 42

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

typically associated with sole pressure and nailed-on metal shoes. This was a real breakthrough in laminitis treatment. Hoof boots are also excellent for horses with pain in the soft tissue of the back of the foot (often dubbed navicular syndrome). For these horses, I usually use padded insoles to dampen vibration and to stimulate development of the internal structures of the foot. Often the boots will allow these horses to impact the ground heel-first and be comfortably ridden when nothing else works, and these are important first steps to healing these horses. LIVING WITH HOOF BOOTS Now for the bad news—every silver lining has a cloud, right? Hoof boots require more work by the horse owner. Like brushing the horse, saddling, and cleaning up manure, it adds one more thing you have to do before you ride. The boots must fit correctly, and this may require some tinkering at first. Few horse owners would expect some random horseshoe to fit their horse, but it is amazing how many people have “tried” hoof boots without even considering whether they fit correctly. Additionally, some boot models may not be right for your horse or your event. I carry every size of 4 different models of boots in my truck. And still, I heat-fit or otherwise modify almost every boot I sell. Every foot is different, and so must be any shoe, if properly applied. This brings up the cause of most failures with modern hoof boots: there is a learning curve to using them. No one is surprised that it takes a while to learn

how to shoe a horse with iron. But people seem to think they fell off the turnip truck knowing all there is to know about using hoof boots. They do work very well, but you have to learn how to use them— mostly, this means learning to fit them properly and choosing the right boot for the job at hand. ECONOMICS Prices vary from model-to-model, as do traditional shoeing prices, depending on where you live. But generally speaking, four hoof boots cost about as much as getting a horse shod 1-2 times. Depending on terrain, most boot treads last between 300-500 miles. Since you generally only use the boots while riding, this means a set of boots will last several years for most horse owners, although an endurance rider may wear them out in a few months. Add to this, a little extra for replacing padded insoles and hardware along the way, as parts sometimes break or wear out. Also, you still have to get your horse trimmed on a routine schedule; this is critical for healthy hooves no matter what type of protection you apply. All things considered, I think booting vs. shod costs are pretty equal if you ride high-mileage on rough terrain, but booting is the muchcheaper option if you are a only ride 4-5 hours per week—as always, it depends. Are hoof boots right for you and your horse? That is for you both to decide. But if you haven’t given them a fair look lately, you may be missing out on a good thing. I certainly came to like them—and I’m a sooty old horseshoer.

44 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2013


Go to

Hoof for Detailed Outline

Featuring Chapters from the Contributing Authors: Robert M. Bowker, VMD, PhD Hilary M. Clayton, BVMS, PhD, Dipl ACVSMR, MRCVS Brian Hampson, PhD Eleanor Kellon, VMD Kerry Ridgway, DVM Debra R. Taylor, DVM, MS, DACVIM Kathryn Watts, BS Pete Ramey

Practical Instruction for the Equine Veterinarian, Farrier and Trimmer. Details Internal Anatomy and Development, Caudal Foot Pain and Laminitis Treatment, plus help for countless other hoof problems.

Order Information Order and see more details at or write to PO Box 232 Lakemont, Ga. 30552 Product Customer Service Line (706) 212-8604




Water, yeah! Howdy!

Welcome to Cowboy Corner.

As promised, the rains finally came. Some got tenths, some got inches, and some got feet, but everybody got some. Was on a trip the middle of October and had rain all the way from Arizona. A little too late for some folks, but sure put a smile on faces in the Brazos Bottom. Thank you Lord. Last September, I wrote about water, the lack of it, and watering systems at the source of supply. By September, lots of folks were having to deal with tanks drying up to soupy silt and no water in the cracks. Was a lot of Brazos bottom engineering going on with the water troughs and I was in the group. Had a situation with a pond drying up on one side of the pasture, and an electric well available on property adjoining the pasture on the other side. Water in the stock tank was not only declining daily, but had become pretty sorry lookin’ with no rain for months. Since I knew that the rain would come as soon as the dry spell was over, a temporary quick fix was in order. Started with a garden hose. Found 120 feet of commercial grade hose at an affordable price. Measured the distance from the well to the tank site and needed two lengths of hose. For a well to tank delivery, I liked the black roll pipe. The roll pipe comes

in long lengths and can be easily cut to size. Plastic pipe can also be used but requires more labor. More about roll pipe and plastic pipe next year. If you treat new garden hose like a lariat rope, it won’t tangle or kink. If you don’t know how to treat a lariat rope, then you might consider farming mushrooms. Now, back to the hose. Thread the hose between the water source and tank. Be sure the rubber hose washers are in the female end of the hose. I like to wrap the hose threads on the male end with Teflon tape. My preference of water tanks is either the 100 or 150 gallon tank made by Rubbermaid. The tanks are portable, durable, and easy to attach a Rubbermaid float valve (part No. 4248-06). The folks at Rubbermaid Commercial Products are very helpful and the toll free number is (800) 3479800. For cattle I like the 150 gallon tank, but for horses the 100 gallon tank works great for me. What I really like about this setup is the float valve can be easily attached to the tank, and the tank and valve go together and become one

46 HORSEBACK MAGAZINE - November 2013

unit. Livestock aren’t going to break the float valve off the tank. Now that the hose is extended from the water source and the valve is on the tank, attachment is the next step. The valve is made to accept hose with US ¾ inch NHRANSI hose coupling. However, in order to attach the valve and hose something has to swivel. Either the hose has to turn, or the valve has to turn. All hose attachments are made for the female end to turn in order to attach to the hose. A cast brass 45 degree coupling with male garden hose thread on one end, and a swivel female fitting on the other end, can be found at your local garden supply store. Attach the bent coupling to the valve using Teflon tape to seal, and then to the water hose, again using the tape, attach to the valve. The angle of the coupling keeps the hose from kinking and makes hose attachment much easier. This watering system fits our ranch requirements of simple, durable, and affordable.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Horseback Magazine November 2013  

Volume 20 Issue 11

Horseback Magazine November 2013  

Volume 20 Issue 11