Our August Buckle Bunny
Wild Eyes An Open Letter Cheyenne Fever
Photo courtesy of Bristol MacDonald
FEATURES 8 Herd roun’ the waterin’ trough...Calamity 10 Wild Eyes...Terry Fitch 20 An open letter from James Anaquad Kleinert 26 Viva Las Vega, Serengeti in Nevada...Arlene Gawne 34 Our August Buckle Bunny…Jessie Danielson 44 Texas Cattle Queen...Buckaroo John Brand 46 Mustang Hoofbeats...Judy Wrangler 48 Mustang #95459777...Amy Dedafoe 54 Cheyenne Fever...Cindy Murphree 58 Good Reads...Carol Upton 59 A Fish Story...Jeff Hildebrandt 60 Mercantile Madness
Publisher Equine Angle Marketing & Publicity California, USA
Editor in Chief ~ Director “Calamity” Cate Crismani
Contributing “Wriders” Buckaroo John Brand * Cate Crismani * Cindy Murphree Amy Dedafoe* James Anaquad Kleinert * RT Fitch Arlene Gawne * Jeff Hildebrandt * Carol Upton * Judy Wrangler
Buckle Bunny Cover/Pictorial Photographer Bristol MacDonald www.bristolmacdonaldequinephotography.com Contributing Photographers Christopher Ameruoso * Arlene Gawne Terry Fitch
Advertising Posse Rich Richardson 760.696.6304 “Calamity” Cate Crismani 818.642.4764
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herd roun’ the waterin’ trough From the desk of Calamity Cate Howdy Amigos, Another month, another issue, some new stories and some newsworthy enough reemphasize. The slaughter war on horses is burning hot as Texas jumps in to support opening slaughter plants for horses there. Can you believe it? The state with the most horses and horse owners takes this route? Yeah, I can believe it too cause the horse industry is a big money maker and if you can’t pull it out of one live horse, maybe you can from one dead horse. Si-no? NO! When will the day come that humans realize we are part of the planet and the living creatures on it. Heck we kill enough animals to eat: pigs, cows, calves, chickens, hens, cats, dogs and the list goes on and on. Don’t we have enough to eat and enough blood on our hands? Are we not intelligent enough in our collective effort and reasoning to figure out a solution that doesn’t include the almighty dollar? Or murder? Apparently not. My heart is heavy. My disgust deep. My shame more so. And the battles continue to save wild mustangs and all horses from persecution and slaughter. In this issue meet some of the people who are making a difference to one horse. If we all made a difference for one horse, that would be millions of horses lives saved to live safely. We can not simply murder living things because they no longer pay there way or fit into our “budget”...you made a commitment when you got your horse to give him a good, loving, healthy life. Don’t fail him. Because in doing so you fail yourself and the human race. Besos Calamity
Wild eyes ...Terry Fitch Terry Fitch is the sort of gifted artist that visualizes a full range of beauty in almost all that surrounds her and, from behind the lens of her camera, there is little that escapes her itchy shutter finger. In most recent years, Fitch’s photographic fervor has turned towards the desperate plight of American wild horses and burros. No stranger to equine advocacy, Fitch and her husband, author R.T. Fitch, began rescuing horses while they lived on assignment down in Brazil during the late ‘90s. She made a promise to a little Mangalarga Marchador cart horse to bring him home with her and to this day “Apache” lives a life of leisure on their Texas farm. Fitch has been busy snapping pictures of rescued horses since she was an officer for Habitat for Horses and instrumental in organizing the Equine Rescue relief for both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It is the movement, grace and language of the wild horse that has pulled both her to the western deserts to photograph the last of our swiftly vanishing wild horses and burros. To photograph the wild equines in their natural habitat is a compelling passion for Fitch. “They speak to me so clearly,” says Fitch, “It’s in their eyes calling out to me”. Terry’s work speaks to the soul of the viewer as the horses project their thoughts and emotion through the lens of her camera and directly into the heart of all who view her work. Terry captures the icy reality of their current plight, helicopter round ups and gathers into long and short term BLM holding pens, with absolute clarity and focus.
While photographs of wild horses running free in their natural environment ca documentation and end result of our Federal governmentâ€™s agenda of removing to view our majestic, American icons held in concentration camp type surround behind one of the biggest crimes being committed right before our very public e
aptures the souls of all who view them, Fitch is currently focused on the visual all wild equids from public land. “It pains me beyond all possible description dings,” says Fitch, “but the American public needs to know and see the truth eyes.”
Copyright 2010 Terry Fitch. All rights reserved.
Once a creative endeavor, Terry’s photography now possess a documentary and legal evidential theme. “It’s a scary proposition laying your entire life’s savings on the line for litigation against the federal government but my husband, R.T., and I can go to sleep at night knowing that we are doing what is the best for the wild ones," confides Fitch, “That in its own right gives us peace.” The beauty of the horses running free and the squandering of that beauty makes up the crux of Terry Fitch’s portfolio. It is her most sincere wish that the paradox speaks volumes to the hearts and souls of every free spirited human being that views her work.
from Director/Film Maker/Wild Hor This is a time of great challenges for us all. It is a time where many of us struggle to make ends meet, to make a difference – or simply to make sense of the times we live in. The American Wild Horse, however, is fighting for its actual survival as a species. Like the canary in the coal mine, their plight has implications for our own survival, linked to the health of our public land, and the accountability of a government that has been entrusted to be its steward. As you read this letter, approximately 45,000 wild horses sit in BLM “holding facilities” awaiting their fate, which, if large corporate interests have their way, is to end up in the slaughterhouse and ultimately extinct – or at least completely removed from the wild. Some of these horses are likely already on their way to the Mexican border… Mass roundups and removals have reached epic proportions. The housing of these captured and confined animals alone currently costs American taxpayers $120,000/day! Of the 2 million horses that once roamed the lands of the West in the late 1700’s, approximately 15,000 – or just 1% actually remain on our public lands. Removals (roundups) have increased dramatically in the past 2 years, partly due to the sneaky Burns Amendment, which allowed the slaughter of horses that have either reached their 10th birthday or attended their third unsuccessful adoption. Aggressive helicopter-driven roundups result in premature deaths due to stress, heat exhaustion, dehydration, unsafe holding pens or the heartbreak of the destruction of their family unit. The methods used in their removal are strikingly similar to methods of human extermination used during the holocaust. And this beautiful, resilient creature, who has carried humans on its back, fought wars, plowed fields and transported goods and humans across vast territories, has been reduced to imprisonment in a dry, crowded shade-less holding pen. Although the Wild Horse is often labeled as an “exotic” by its enemies, the exhaustive collection of scientific research compiled in Craig Downer’s recent book The Wild Horse Conspiracy documents scientific proof
rse Advocate James Anaquad Kleinert that not only did all horses originate from a species in North America 58 million years ago, but that it has existed here nearly continuously ever since. Downer’s book also documents the numerous ways in which the horse, when allowed to exist in viable herd numbers on appropriate acreage, has the potential to improve the health of the land, reduce fire hazard and support a multitude of other plants and wildlife species. The Wild Horse is the quintessential symbol of the American spirit of freedom, beauty and independence. But “big business” doesn’t see it this way. To them, the horse is a “nuisance”, an obstacle to massive energy and mineral extraction, transcontinental pipelines, deadly uranium mines and grazing allotments for an elite minority of large scale ranching interests. The case may seem overwhelming, and yet there is so much we can do! First, we can educate the public: Wild Horses and Renegades, now airing on the Documentary Chanel (www.DocumentaryChannel.com). It is a documentary that exposes the plight of the American Wild Horse and our public lands, following the story of “Traveler” and the persecution of his herd in ‘Disappointment Valley”. Backed by interviews with noted celebrities, elected officials, authors and activists, it tells a story of betrayal – not just of the Wild Horse, but of the American People through the corruption of the very system that is supposed to serve them. As a message of hope, Horse Medicine is a new and transformative film currently in production that takes viewers on a remarkable journey of mystery, beauty and profound love. The experiences of a variety of individuals from Hollywood celebrities to American Indian elders illustrate the powerful and healing alliance of man and horse since ancient times. Less controversial in nature, Horse Medicine can reach an even wider audience with its message of hope, and will strengthen the case for the preservation and protection of these magnificent creatures.
Second, we can stand up for our rights and the rights of the Wild Horse: We can hold our government accountable for the very laws its officials are elected to uphold. We can assert the belief that our government is in place to serve the people at large, not elite profit-driven corporate interests. The recently filed lawsuit, Kleinert v. Salazar, builds a strong case for such a cause, charging our Secretary of the Interior with violation of the Wild Horse and Burro Act and violation of constitutional rights of the public to view and document its activities in BLM roundups. As a Wild Horse supporter, you are undoubtedly outraged at the recent surge of roundups and inhumane treatment of the horses – and the corruption and greed that are at their root. I ask you to transform this outrage into support for the documentaries, Wild Horses and Renegades and Horse Medicine and the legal battle of Kleinert v. Salazar. We cannot do this without you. Funding is needed to cover legal costs, increase the exposure of Wild Horses and Renegades and complete filming and final production of Horse Medicine. This is not a time to sit by and watch the devastation. This is a time for action. Please join us in our efforts to get these horses out of the holding pens and back on the range where they belong and support our ongoing educational films. To help, please go to either Creative Visions ( http:// www.creativevisions.org/2012/03/james-arnaquad-kleinert-wild-horsesand-renegades/) or www.TheAmericanWildHorse.com and click “Donate”. Our educational films are sponsored by Creative Visions Foundation, a publicly supported 501 (c)(3), which supports Creative Activists who use the power of media and the arts to affect positive change in the world. All donations are tax deductible. Let us promote integrity and accountability in our government and honor the spirit of the Wild Horse with a home on our lands where they can continue to live in their natural state, roaming freely in the American West. With deepest gratitude, James Anaquad Kleinert Creative Visions www.TheAmericanWildHorse.com www.CreativeVisions.org
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Viva Las Vegas…Se
By Arlen Near the Las Vegas Strip, there’s a virtually undiscovered tourist attraction that could generate thousands of new jobs for struggling Nevada. Unfortunately, this Serengeti-like experience will not survive if the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest Service (USFS) have their way. As gaming moves around the globe, economists advise Las Vegas to diversify its tourist draw. Shows, restaurants and glitter can be duplicated anywhere but no world city offers wild horses & burros in beautiful, iconic Western landscapes like Las Vegas has just 20 to 50 minutes from the Strip. If wild burros on Route 66 attract a half million people a year to tiny Oatman, Arizona, imagine the thousands of jobs that will be created by safari-style tours from Las Vegas where nearly 40 Million tourists visit each year. European, Asian, Latin and North American tourists will love seeing wild horses and burros exhibiting distinctly wild behaviors so close to the Strip, the world capital of indoor adventure. But our Federal agencies insist they are not in the ‘jobs business’ so BLM plans to remove over 80% of the horses and burros roaming near Las Vegas.
erengeti in Nevada
ne Gawne In late winter 2012/early 2013, they’ll spend over $300,000 on a helicopter roundup and leave only 63 to 93 horses and 101-192 burros in the 626,000 acres of the Spring Mountain Complex. How can a tour guide find only 1 horse per 6,946 to 10,254 acres of wilderness? That’s not good business for Las Vegas. Nor is it fair to thousands of American and International visitors who want the thrill of viewing freeroaming wild horses & burros. But there is an innovative solution to job creation versus the BLM/USFS management protocol. After years of protesting roundups, members of the Las Vegas group, America’s Wild Horse Advocates (AWHA), felt it was time for positive change by working with the BLM. In early 2012, they created the Spring Mountain Alliance, a 501(c) (3) non-profit, volunteer organization of concerned citizens, businesses and professionals to answer then BLM Director Bob Abbey’s 2011 challenge to volunteer groups “to help manage and sustain wild horse herds”.
No livestock graze on public land in the Spring Mountains east of Pahrump and west of Las Vegas, so the BLM and the Spring Mountain Alliance have a unique opportunity to experiment with innovative wild horse & burro management and tourism development. Using volunteer labor and expertise, the Allianceâ€™s 6-point plan can be implemented at little or no cost to taxpayers. This public/private initiative will provide quality jobs by leveraging the existing resources of Vegas tourism stakeholders like hotels, tour companies, airlines, etc. BLM will be aided in its effort to perform its land management mission in a period of dwindling resources. The wild horses and burros will be sustained in natural family and bachelor groups in their native habitat. Over 1300 Alliance supporters â€“ and growing â€“ have asked the BLM to put a 3-year hold on removals of Wild Horses & Burros from the Spring Mountain Complex west of Las Vegas, so the Alliance volunteers can develop the following 6-point plan: Preserve stable family and bachelor bands that offer the most interesting behaviors for tourists yet control population growth by:
Identifying wild horses & burros by gender, age, birth, relationships and movement patterns to know what bands to protect and where BLM and the U.S. Forest Service currently do not allocate funds to this essential scientific work. Alliance volunteers have already identified 65% of Spring Mountain wild horses based on models from other states. Alliance volunteers will dart old and young mares and jennies with the 1year contraceptive PZP but mature mares ages 5-12 will be allowed to breed. PZP application costs are estimated to be $15,000- $17,000 the first year (including initial training, certification and equipment) and declining to 25% of that cost by the third year. A team of volunteers are ready for certification training by Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick of Billings Montana. If removal of some horses is necessary, Alliance volunteers will bait-trap a family band with food or water, remove some of the 1 to 2-year-olds that can be most easily trained and adopted locally, dart age-appropriate mares with PZP and release the rest of the family without much stress. Alliance volunteers will encourage local adoption of young horses through public awareness programs in local schools, equine newsletters, adoption festivals, etc. Alliance volunteers will conduct follow-up documentation of adopted wild horses & burros and share training experience via their website. The Alliance has already documented 25 local area adoptions mostly from the Red Rock Canyon roundups of 2002-2004.
Alliance volunteer work parties can improve public viewing and protect habitat by: Increasing and maintaining wildlife guzzlers throughout the Spring Mountain Complex just as hunter groups do for elk and deer; Fencing horses & burros from ecologically sensitive areas if identified as problem areas by biologists; Patrolling roads to teach tourists the correct ways of interacting with the wild ones. Currently Alliance volunteers monitor Cold Creek human/horse interaction on weekends to discourage illegal feeding and onroad photography. Enhancing prime horse & burro viewing areas with safe parking areas, interpretive boards and viewing hides where visitors can watch herd behavior above the reach of horses and burros. Tour companies, hotels, airlines, etc. may invest in the construction materials while Alliance volunteers contribute the labor. Work with BLM to improve the tour application and operation process by: Reducing the cost, difficulty and length of time that it takes for a tour company to obtain a permit; Develop reasonable standards for visitor distance from horses/burros, visitor areas of movement, and the general conduct of tour operators and the public. Assist private businesses to develop tours for overseas visitors and American families by: *Developing content for brochures on wild horse & burro behaviors that tour companies can print at their cost; *Maintain a tourist-friendly website, www.springmountainalliance.org,
that educates the public about interesting behaviors of Spring Mountain horses & burros; *Develop articles for domestic and international in-flight magazines, tourism magazines, travel boards, etc. that promote horse & burro tourism; *Training tour guides where to find wild bands of horses & burros as well as spotting birds and other local wildlife that will interest tourists. *Assist government agencies in developing stateof-the-art, multi-spectral camera census of the actual number of Wild Horses & Burros through private/ public partnerships with Homeland Security, NASA, or Department of Defense. For example, USFS has partnered with NASA using unmanned aircraft to spot forest fires. The unmanned drone center at Creech Air Force base, located just east of the Spring Mountains, may be able to help with financial assistance from prominent airlines like Southwest, Virgin Atlantic or British Airways. *Support regular, scientific analysis of the carrying capacity for all Spring Mountain wildlife including wild horses, burros, deer, elk, bighorn sheep, etc. because BLM/ USFS criteria for local water and forage use appear to be developed for different conditions in other states. A percentage of user fees charged to tour companies and donations from private stakeholders can be applied to scientific range analysis. Scholarships could be offered to graduate students from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) to conduct detailed behavioral studies of wild horses and burros just as zebra have been studied in Africa. The Allianceâ€™s 6-point plan is a win-win alternative: hundreds of thousands of visitors will be attracted to our â€˜Serengeti in Las Vegasâ€™ at little cost to taxpayers. However, BLM/USFS must be willing to experiment with an unconventional approach to wild horse & burro preservation. Otherwise the next BLM roundup will destroy potentially thousands of tourism jobs at a time of great need in Nevada. go to page 52
The real deal...Our August Buckle Bunny
Jessie Danielson Born in Oregon our August Buckle Bunny, Jessie Danielson, was in a saddle before she was in diapers. “My dad was a bull rider and my mom was a barrel racer”, says Jessie, “Mom would put me in a backpack as an infant and we’d go off for a ride.” “I grew up with horses and all kinds of animals. I got my first pony at the age of three.”, Jessie says, “ Now I ride a Quarter Horse, a Paint and a Mustang. I am a Reserve World Champion in the APHA and have been fortunate to have won many state titles,” she smiles. “I love everything about horses and the sport of horseback riding”, she says, “from cattle sorting and barrel racing to riding in the mountains of Oregon, the fields of Spain and the beaches of Israel.” “Horses built this nation to what it is and without them we would not have so many of the things we have today; like our freedom. People forget how important horses were in battle as well as transportation and farming, plowing, in turn making it possible to feed humans.” “Mustangs represent freedom, love and respect to me. Without horses I would not want to be here. My connection with horses is a deep spiritual one. Words cannot describe the love I have for these beautiful animals. I want to help horses, all animals, anyway I can which is why I posed for trueCOWBOYmagazine. I wanted to be able to represent their mission to raise awareness of the plight of these magnificent wild horses.” “I hope to achieve a world championship at the NFR sometime soon. I would like to use my God given talents to give back to these wonderful creatures. Right now I spend my days with all sorts of animals like sheep, ponies, piglets as I have a business that supplies animals for kids parties, TV shows and movies. Jessie’s Party Animals. The name always gets a laugh”, laughs Jessie. We have a feeling we’ll be hearing, and seeing, more of our smokin’ Buckle Bunny, Jessie Danielson, real soon! But for now, enjoy!
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hot on location at Wildwood questrian Center, Newhall, CA. hotographer: Bristol MacDonald hotog Asst: Mardgie Paradao ake-up: Kate Chavez ative American Head Dress urtesy of David Spellerberg welry: Dakini Designs s. Danielsonâ€™s Asst: Ben
TEXAS CATT by Buckaroo
Lizzie Johnson Williams was a â€œpioneerâ€? of the old west in every sense of the word. She was smart, hardworking, a businesswoman and she loved the finer things in life. Lizzie Johnson Williams was the first and only woman in Texas history to accompany her own herd of Texas longhorns up the Chisolm Trail. Elizabeth E. Johnson was born in Missouri in 1843. Lizzie moved to Hays County, Texas where her father started the Johnson Institute in 1852. At sixteen she started to teacher at her fathers school. She moved to teach at other schools in Texas all the while saving her money. She was smart with her money and invested it in stocks. She purchased $2,500 worth of stock in the Evans, Snider, Bewell Cattle Company of Chicago. She earned 100 percent dividends for three years straight and then sold her stock for $20,000! On June 1, 1871, Lizzie invested her money in cattle and registered her own brand , CY, in the Travis County brand book along with her mark. She was an official cattle woman. In the summer of 1879, at the age of thirty-six, she married Hezkiah G Williams. Hezkiah was a preacher and widower who had several children. After her marriage, Lizzie continued to teach and invest in cattle. Lizzie was a smart businesswoman, even after her marriage she continued to maintain control over her wealth and cattle business. A progressive thinker, she had her husband sign a paper agreeing that all of her property remained hers. Hezkiah did not have the same "head" for business that his wife possessed. In 1881, on his own, he entered into the cattle business. Along with poor business skills, Hezkiah also liked to drink. Lizzie had to constantly help her husband out of financial trouble.
TLE QUEEN John Brand Lizzie and Hezkiah traveled up the Chisholm Trail to Kansas at least twice. They rode behind the herd in a buggy drawn by a team of horses. For several years she and her husband, after coming up the Chisholm Trail, spent the fall and winter months in St. Louis, where Lizzie made extra money by keeping books for other cattlemen. While in St. Louis, she also liked to "treat" herself to some finer things, like current dress fashions, fine clothes and jewels. During the Civil War, Lizzie was able to grow her cattle herd by overseeing a process called "brushpopping". Since so many men were away at war and there were few fences to keep the cattle contained, the numbers of "unbranded" cattle in the brush of South Texas began to grow. At that time "unbranded" cattle were fair game- you found them - you kept them. Lizzie had her cowboys comb the thickets for cattle -"brushpopping" round them up and transport them to her growing ranch. Hezkiah passed away in 1914 in El Paso. It is rumored that Lizzie purchased a $600 top-of-the-line coffin for her husband. When she signed the bill of payment, she wrote across it "I loved this old buzzard this much." Lizzie eventually became somewhat of a recluse. She lived meagerly, wearing frugal dresses and just living on a diet of soup and crackers. On October 9, 1924 Lizzie Johnson Williams passed away at the age of 81. Her estate totaled $250,000. Family members found thousands of dollars in diamonds locked away in her basement and she had large holdings in Austin real estate. Lizzie was a true "pioneer" of her time and a great inspiration to women of the old west..and today! Visit us at www.buckarooleather.com for more stories of the Old West and thanks for reading our monthly contribution to tCmagazine.
Mustang Hoofbeats By Judy Wrangler
I remember the day I ran with them Red Rock’s most amazing feature. O’er the hill we came, and there they stood. These incredibly magnificent creatures. My sweet ole Arab ran into that herd Of palominos, buckskins, and bays. They scattered and scampered as we hung on, And ran with them quite a ways. Their hoof beats echoed off red sand walls, As the dust curled into the air. Their muscles tightened, their manes unfurled And their nostrils began to fl are. Now, this is their home after all, It was we who invaded their space. So is it any wonder that My ole Arab and I lost that race? The herd gathered up on a nearby hill, The stallion, his foals and mares. As my Arab and I walked quietly away, We were followed by their inquisitive stares.
I have returned to this spot many times since. In search of this remarkable breed Who for many centuries have been roaming this land, And running these hillsides so free. So, before it’s too late and they’re all gone Go out and watch the dance Of a foal at play and the smile within Which you might observe by chance. We humans could learn a valuable lesson About living with such dignity and grace. They show us no violence, prejudice or contempt As we trespass through this place. These are God’s creatures, not ours to control A gentle lot, proud and strong. And if you think that they don’t care You couldn’t be more wrong. They must stay free and majestic Not gathered up and put into stalls So the future can witness God’s miracle. Hoof beats echoed off red sand walls. Copyright 1999 Judy Wrangler. All rights reserved.
MUSTANG #95459777 By Amy Dedafoe I was very new to equines and had just met this horse, a wild mustang, a week earlier at the rescue where I volunteer, Save The Horses.org. He was rescued on July 1 2009 from the Bureau of Land Management. (BLM) He was brought in because he was found running loose in Floyd County in north Georgia. No one could catch him, and animal control considered shooting him, as he was getting hit by cars when he came out at night grazing along the road side. The devoted volunteers were able to safely capture him and bring him to the rescue barn and found him a stall, but so scared and quick, you could not catch or touch him in that stall. I met his eyes through the stall door as he peered through the boards. He was too short to get his head over the door, so all I could see were soft brown eyes that told me he needed someone in his life. I needed him in my life too. We were both scared, and well, a little lost. I spent time with him and he watched me. He watched every move I made and paid attention to every sound. I watched him move, and noticed that he had a nice little gait to his step. Someone told me he was a mustang and showed me the freeze mark on the left side of his neck. I had heard of mustangs before, but I really didn't know what they were or where they came from. I was intrigued, so I went home and got on the computer right away and Googled '"mustang". It sounded like mustangs were a hearty bunch with tough feet and an strong spirit. They were real survivors. I could learn a thing or two about surviving in this world too, so maybe we could help each other out.
I called the owner of the rescue, Cheryl Flanagan, and asked her if I could adopt this little mustang. She said "Sure! What are you going to call him?" I didn't hesitate when I said "Maverick". After all he had been through, that was the name for my tough little survivor. We started our journey together. He learned to trust me and I learned how to earn his trust. I recruited the help of a trainer, Ed Dabney. Ed had just picked up a mustang himself for the Extreme Mustang Makeover competition. He gave me some insight on mustangs and watched as I climbed aboard mine wondering when he would have to dial 911. Maverick was becoming a one-person horse and Ed helped me through our first rides together. When out on the trail I found that Maverick liked to run away with me. Actually, I think he completely forgot that I was on his back, and he just wanted to run...very fast. I will never forget the words from my veteran trainer "I guess you are going to have to learn how to ride a fast horse". That was an understatement as he watched me gallop around a field or his arena as I tried to get comfortable with this recently wild horse. I spent the next three months trying to slow Maverick down, and learned not to be in a hurry all the time. He has a very strong work ethic and is always looking for the next adventure to take. I talked to Ed about his personality and he thought an endurance ride would be a good job for Maverick. He recommended I prepare by completing the local trail - twice, and then we would be ready for a 25 miler. Twice! Good grief, it was all I could do to get through it once! go to page 62
Serengeti From page 31
We have extraordinary wilderness in America and our Mustangs are the American equivalent of lions and elephants. If Third World Africa can save their wildlife for tourism and earn billions doing that, why can’t the American government preserve our wild Mustangs and historic burros for tourism? The public must turn these government agencies around. Want to help? Join the Alliance at http://springmountainalliance.org ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thoughts from the author and Spring Mountain Alliance Director, Arlene Gawne. “I spent 12 years in the African bush photographing wildlife. Each year I returned from Africa and wondered why Americans were busy removing their wild horses and burros instead of driving tourism to them on the iconic Western landscapes? Visitors pay high tour prices in Africa to see zebra stallions fighting for dominance, lead females disciplining youngsters and a stallion fending off unsuitable suitors for his daughters. We once had the same fascinating behavior in Red Rock Canyon, just 20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. Then the family and bachelor bands were virtually zeroed-out by a 2002 BLM roundup. Several years of drought weakened the horses but in Africa parks, wells provide year-around water for wildlife. The BLM said it couldn’t be done. Why not? When you look at these beautiful wild horses, you have to ask yourself why was this stunning tourist draw taken from Southern Nevada? BLM/ USFS’s management approach just doesn’t make sense. We can’t afford their 1900’s thinking. Will we let them do this again in 2012?
by Cindy M Sometimes when you take in a horse that has a shattered soul, you can't put them back together again. You can't push a horse like that to come back, nor is there a specific date that they will come back. It can be a long, hard, and risky project. Not all of these horses have the will, support, or means, to make it back to a whole horse. Lucky for one such horse, Cheyenne, he has a huge support system with California Coastal Horse Rescue, (CCHR), at our facility in beautiful Ojai, California. Cheyenne is one such shattered soul that is finding his way back with the help of his volunteers who love him, his volunteers who lead him, his volunteers who push him past his comfort zone, his volunteers who stand by him, no matter what. I took a chance on this traumatized horse back in 2008. A local boarding stable had notified me of a horse that was bought at auction by a boarder. The boarder tried to work with this horse, could not do anything with him safely, so abandoned him at the stable. Our local animal control picked him up, and since we place their horses, I picked him up from them a couple of days later and brought him to the facility. I knew that the horse had some decent training by the way he went into the trailer so I was hopeful that we could find a way to help him.
Murphree Cheyenne, a big beautiful black and white Saddlebred, turned out to be a very tuned out, defensive, emotional wreck of a horse. He would charge across the corral at people, keep from being haltered, and kick out to defend his space. This was all due to fear. Fear of what was done to him in his prior life before finding CCHR. He did not want to hurt anyone, but wanted us all to know that he did not feel safe close to us. We do not know what his prior history was or what had happened to traumatize him so badly. We did know that we would need to limit the number of volunteers that would be able to be near him. We also knew that this was going to take a lot of time. A horse as shattered as he was needs to go forward, and backwards at their own pace. It took two years turned out in a pasture with his new best friend JoJo, a nice quiet, easy going retired roping horse, to show Cheyenne that it was okay to come up to people, take treats, and just be a horse. That was a big improvement from his earlier behavior, but he needed so much more. At this point, we could not ask to much of him because he could not handle it. Back then we could not brush him past his shoulder without him becoming defensive and afraid for his life. Cheyenne needed to feel safe before he could let himself interact with us humans. This is one area where the CCHR volunteers exceed. They come in day after day and week after week, just to shower the horses with love. At any given time, we have about twenty two horses on site. Our volunteers give carrots, read books, and just hang out and talk to the horses. It does wonders for abused horses to have that each day. Over time the fear is replaced with the excitement of seeing their favorite treat lady, or the little girl that reads to them. Even Cheyenne with all of his issues learned that it was ok to come up and say hi. At first he would stand back behind JoJo. Little by little he got a bit braver and after a five or six months he was right up there with the others asking for his carrot. go to page 68
The “Freedom Collection” from
GOOD READS Reviewed by Carol Upton www.dreamsaloud.ca Charmayne James became a World Champion Barrel Racer when she won her first title in 1984 at the age of 14, a title she continued to win for the next 10 years. She earned National Finals Rodeo qualifications for 19 consecutive years, also beginning in 1984. Charmayne has been heralded by professionals across the world as “one of the greatest horse people of all times.” James is the All Time Leading Money Earner in Barrel Racing. She conducts clinics that are booked years in advance and she has developed the unique approaches outlined in her book, “Charmayne James on Barrel Racing” by Charmayne James with Cheryl Magoteaux
Very few books have been written on the topic of barrel racing. This one is thorough, motivating and shares Charmayne’s years of proven experience. “Becoming a winner,” she says, “ is in your grasp if you want to work hard enough at it.” Keep her book handy on your barn shelf and you too can become unbeatable in the barrel racing ring. Solving problems through slow work and bonding with the horse is a hallmark of Charmayne’s training philosophy. In her section on Common Problems, she uses case studies to demonstrate workable solutions. She has found that many difficulties, such as a horse that doesn’t want to enter the arena or one who displays lack of control nearing the barrels, can be resolved by improvement in riding skills. “Much of what you’ll read in this book goes against popular barrel racing theory and technique, but I ask you to give it chance. Take the time to learn the techniques and I know they’ll help you”. ~ Charmayne James Whether you are a long-time competitor or just starting out, James can make your road a whole lot easier. “Charmayne James on Barrel Racing” by Charmayne James with Cheryl Magoteaux A Western Horseman Book. Available through tack stores and Chapters/Indigo
A Fish Story By Jeff Hildebrandt Give a man a fish; you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you know what they say; He’ll learn to lie, drink lots of beer and buy a big old boat. Then he and all his buddies will go some place remote to spend the weekend goofing off; not working in the yard. And his wife will just get even with her well used credit card. She’ll buy more kitchen gadgets, at least one pair of shoes with matching purse and sweater set. And since it’s hard to choose she’ll meet her friends for lattes and ask what they suggest. Then they’ll go off together, suddenly obsessed with searching for the perfect blouse and frilly lingerie. So when it comes to fishing, all he has to say is never mind, he’s staying home to help around the house. Besides, it’s so much cheaper to spend time with his spouse. http://cowboyupamerica.blogspot.com/
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From page 48â€”Mustang #94549777
So we rode and rode and rode some more. We practiced every obstacle that I could think of going over, under, through and around. I wanted to find a job that we both enjoyed, so we attended a cow clinic. Maverick really liked herding cows, he would stare them down and chase them all over the arena, turning on a dime; leaving me to hang on for dear life. It was fun. We both loved being out in the woods exploring a new trail and the confines of an arena made us both grumpy and bored. I started watching for endurance riders at our local trail head. They were pretty easy to spot: big, athletic horses, with tiny little riders that wore tights. They all had bright colored tack and for some reason, a sponge tied to their funny looking saddles without horns. I didn't know anything about all of that stuff, but I did know that these ladies could ride the pants off most of the men on our Sunday morning ride. Their horses weren't even breathing heavy as we topped the big hills. But, then, neither was Maverick. He was getting fit and stronger every day. I wondered if we had what it takes? In the world of endurance riding, you will typically see a plethora of Arabian horses. Arabians excel at this sport, they were made to run long distances, and have an amazing capacity for eating up the miles at a high rate of speed. They dance effortlessly up the steepest of climbs then saunter down the other side while looking elegant and noble. When they come in for the vet check, their DNA allows their heart rate to drop like a rock, thus giving them a decisive advantage against any non-Arabian competitor. I decided I was gong to find the courage to start an endurance ride. I consulted my trusted vet again, and he asked me about our mileage and how fast we travel. We needed to pick up our speed a little, but he thought we could cover the distance. Dr. Marcella looked over Maverick and patiently allowed him to get comfortable with being handled and assessed as he would at a vet check. He gave me a couple of names and numbers of local endurance riders who he thought might help mentor me in preparing for our first ride. I called one of the names he gave me, and wondered if they would have the patience for such a newbie in the sport. Endurance riders are the friendliest, most helpful people in the horse world. I was soon joining my new friend on my first endurance-training ride.
More words I will never forget from Catherine Capps, "Now, when you can keep up this pace for five and a half hours, you will be ready for a fifty mile endurance ride!". I didn't think I could maintain this pace for twenty minutes, you are kidding, right? My horse, had a different opinion, however, and he trotted, cantered on with his new Arabian friends. He ate and drank when we stopped for breaks and he picked up the pace again eager to succeed at this new challenge. My new friend showed me how to listen to his heart beat after a speedy lap and found his heart rate was just a few beats higher than her horse, "But, he's not an Arabian", more words not to forget. Catherine instructed me on how to prepare, and what to expect. Her daughter ran me through a typical ride, explaining, gates, holds, timers, negative splits, CRI, BCAAs, electrolytes and all the new terminology I would soon learn. The day arrived. It was time to find a ride to enter! I found the information for the Skymont Endurance Ride, and off I went. I packed everything I could think of and then some. When I showed up after dark, due to a wreck on the highway, I was a wreck. And it was raining. Where do I park, where do I put my horse? How come everyone has these little pens for their horses?
No, I don't have a "crew". I unloaded and tied Maverick to the side of my trailer, his usual and customary camping spot. He was unfazed by all the commotion and movement around him, ready for his next adventure with me. We had just come back from a month out west riding in Sedona, Arizona, Bryce Canyon, Utah, the Grand Canyon and Fish Lake, Utah. He tackled those rough areas barefoot, but I opted to ride with boots for his first endurance ride. He was ready for Tennessee! I awoke before dawn to the sound of generators and high pitched squeals of horses all around. I have been horse camping quite a bit, but have never heard so many strongly verbose horses as I heard that morning before the ride. I tacked up and got ready to go, watching as a loose horse tore through camp like a cannon. My 17 year-old BLM mustang remained calm and steady. We got warmed up as daylight was filtering through the clouds and mist. I can see the other horses now. They are strong, lean and full of unbounding energy. My little guy just didnâ€™t seem to fit in here. I was worried that he might get a little eager at the start, so I opted for my worn in western saddle, knowing that I have survived a few rodeos on his back in this seat. I followed Joe Shoech's advice from the new rider meeting and allowed the crowd to go out first. We started and Maverick opted to gait through the start area throwing his knees up high giving me a very smooth ride racking down the trail. Now he really didn't fit in here. The timers looked at me with their knowing smiles. They knew I was a first timer and maybe even a lasttimer by the end of the first loop. Those Arabians can cover some ground fast and I'm not sure what a rump rug is, but they sure look fancy from the back as they fluttered down the foggy road. We trailed behind a group of them and watched them leave us in the thick morning air. Maverick didnâ€™t seem to be able to keep the same speed as these long legged athletes. He trotted for awhile, hit a canter, then back to a trot. Okay, a little walking too. We found another rider on a TWH that we kept up with for awhile and I was grateful for her kind words to me, "What is he? He's cute!"
As the trail turned technical, roots and rocks were abundant. Now this was Maverick's style, as he quickly got ahead of the TWH while they stumbled a bit. Maverick continued snaking his way around trees. The tight turns seem to bend under him with ease as we follow the ribbons around. He may not float up a hill, but he can make his way down a steep grade in good time and a sure foot, often times gaining ground on his fellow Arabians. We made it in from the first lap. I find the P&R station and asked for a courtesy check as I had no idea where Maverickâ€™s heart rate was. But I knew that mine was red-lined. He is almost down and in another minute hits his mark of 64 beats. I waited in line for the vet. He is soft spoken. He walks me through all the things I need to do, listening and looking, poking and prodding my "other" horse. Maverick was unsure and worried and looked to me for reassurance. We trot out and I wondered if I would make it back to the vet without falling down as I circled the orange cones. Happily, we passed. I watched the other riders going out on their beautiful Arabian horses, still so full of energy and enthusiasm! Mav and I headed back to my trailer, I tied him next to a hay bag and he nibbled on some carrots and apples. He ate and drank, then dozed a little. I leave the saddle on, as it is chilly and I don't want him to think that we are done yet. Maverick quickly finds another group to fall in with. They are trotting at an uncomfortable pace for us, and we fall back. Another rider catches us and passes by asking "What is he?" but moving too fast to hear my answer.
Maverick wanted to follow, but quickly realized theses Arabians have a very airy, lofty trot that my little gaited mustang just cannot match. That's okay, Mav, we are going to ride our own ride at our own little mustang pace. When we did, finally, find our own rhythm, things started to get much smoother for both of us. We finished within the time limits and Maverickâ€™s heart rate dropped in a few more minutes. The vet gave us our first completion and we were thrilled! It was time to prepare for our next day's ride and do it all again! We were ready to go again at the starting line the next morning. The timers knew my number without having to tell them. I was perplexed, how do they know me? Apparently, there are not a lot of other mustangs in this sport. And even fewer mustangs that are gaited. Maverick had a few fans cheering for him that day as we passed the timers. We had much more fun the second day as we fell into a nice group that matched our stride. We spent a few miles riding with seasoned veteran Joe Schoech and his wife Tamra. They were patient and tolerant as we tried to follow along. A few more miles and we had our second completion and our fist 50 miles in AERC! The next ride was another learning experience for us, just as every "next" ride had been. We are developing our own pace and our own strategy. We still hear the same question, "What is he?" as we arrive at a water stop. No one seemed sure what to think of this little horse that gaits and gallops along side them barefoot.
My â€œnon-Arabianâ€? horse, my mustang, is learning that he can keep going and going; and can sometimes even keep up with the efficient Arabians with their lofty trot. He is learning not to waste energy getting upset at the start. I am learning how to manage his energy and keep it moving forward, safely. Our sprint finish isn't pretty or record breaking, but Mav is willing to show other horses how to cross a bridge they are scared of, or get through a rocky stream or manage a drop-off with confidence. We are not always able to ride with the same horses at their speed, but we are managing to find what works for us I enjoy the camaraderie during the ride, but I know that allowing Maverick to keep his own, unique pace is more important to his well being. Maverick and I have completed quite a few 50 milers by now and we are often in the top ten, maybe even the top three. We are also practicing many tricks in the arena at liberty. When I take the halter off him and ask him to trot around freely, he shakes his head letting his mane flow and throws his tail up in the air. He gaits at first to show how elegantly he can throw his knees in the air, then launches into a beautiful canter before leaping gracefully over his double barrel obstacle. Mav is an anxious and willing partner. He gets very excited when he learns the new maneuver. I continue to seek better ways to communicate with him, often times we both get confused about our language, but we are sorting it out day by day. Our bond grows stronger every day and we know our partnership will never end. We have each other. Maverick and I cherish our journey, one hoof beat at a time.
From page 55 Cheyenne Fever
It took another year for Cheyenne to begin to trust a couple of volunteers to do more than halter and lead him. He chose Joe, our gruff looking but sensitive Equipment Manager, to buddy up to. Joe could halter him and take him out for walks or go to a favorite grazing area. Cheyenne felt safe with Joe. Joe did not ask much of Cheyenne and was ‘just there’ with him. We then had Lea and the Reiki ladie’s come in and give Cheyenne an emotionally healing Reiki treatment. Reiki is a form of massage and is calming to horses (and people) and they seem to look forward to their turn. I always feel that if it is hands on and does not hurt the horse then it is good for them. It took the ladie’s over one hour to get close to Cheyenne. Volunteer Adri was there at the time holding the lead rope during the Reiki session. It seemed that once Cheyenne had let the ladies get close he did seem to accept what they were doing. During the session, Cheyenne started looking to Adri for safety and courage. Since that day, Cheyenne has picked Adri as his own person. Adri had very little experience with a horse like Cheyenne, but she has had help from those of us at the rescue with more hands on experience with horses of this precarious nature. Then it was time to put Cheyenne in his own stall and give him his safe place. Only Adri, Joe, and I were allowed to go into the stall. Cheyenne had to learn to be haltered without swinging his hind end towards us. He is not the type of horse that you can reprimand. He needs to be redirected and praised when he gets it right. There were months and months of hand walking him thru the maze, laid out with cavaletties. We make patterns for him to walk through or to walk over. That is a very good tool to get a horse to keep his mind on what he is being asked to do.
Months and months of progressing with ground work, under full tack, utilizing the combined natural horsemanship methods of Parelli, Anderson, and Adri. For Cheyenne, if he gets stuck, he can become defensive. It has been a learning experience for Adri to find out when she needs to let him recompose himself or when she can push him a little past where he sticks. When pushed he gets defensive and looks to see what you are going to do to him. He is looking to see if you strike out at him, or hurt him in some way. It is like he is expecting it to happen and surprised when it does not. When Adri is the same person as always and treats him the way that she always has, he feels safe and then does what he is asked. We have had, ‘experts’ tell us that we need to put this dangerous horse down. They think that a rescue should not have a dangerous horse like that and someone will get hurt. While I do agree that some rescues maybe should not have a horse like this due to inexperienced volunteers, and that there is a potential risk if he is handled wrong, CCHR’s highly trained volunteers are knowledgeable and trustworthy I also would not suggest that just anyone could or should work with a horse like Cheyenne. California Coastal Horse Rescue has been in this business for over 12 years. We have worked with a lot of horses like Cheyenne that others have given up on and we know what we are doing. I asked Adri to add how she feels about Cheyenne, our dangerous horse, and what working with him has meant to her and this is what she had to say, “There is nothing more beautiful than any spirit or soul that can come back from complete adversity and really triumph. Cheyenne is one such beautiful spirit and I have been so lucky to be able to join him on this part of his journey. go to next page
What has Cheyenne taught me during our on-going journey? Take time to be still and just listen. We have spent countless hours alone together hanging out in the turnout or in his pen, just being around each other. It is incredible how much you can hear during 'silent' afternoons. The things that matter in life cannot be rushed and they sometimes just need time; be gentle, respectful and balanced in your actions and interactions; accept that you may not always immediately hear a â€œyesâ€? in response to a request you might make; accept individual personalities and learn to work with them; and let humor and fun be a big part of your interactions.â€? What do I hope that I am able to show Cheyenne as we move together on this path? That even though life has been sad and painful for him, things can and do get better. People can be trusted. That the bottom won't drop out from underneath him and he is loved and cared for. He is safe. Adri has gone the three steps forward and two steps back with Cheyenne for the last two years. It has been a long journey for the both of them. Cheyenne trust Adri and does his best to do what she asks of him, even if it is a little scary. But as the days progress, Cheyenne steps up, cautiously at first and then with confidence and trust. Here at California Coastal Horse rescue we specialize in the more difficult horses it seems. What we learn together, from each horse, from each other, the teamwork, care and compassion, I believe, makes us all better humans. We are rewarded by giving these shattered souls a chance to heal, live, and get back what they have lost.
Come out and visit us live or on our website for more info and events: www.calcoastalhorserescue.com Cindy Murphree, California Coastal Horse Rescue, Oak View, CA 93022, 805649-1090 Like us on Facebook @ California Coastal Horse Rescue.
Published on Oct 9, 2012