“Over 40 Riders Rock!” WILD HORSES OF NEW MEXICO
THE OLD ONE A special Christmas Fa b le
Attention 40 Plus Riders!! Looking to improve your riding skills? Do you and your horse need a tune-up? Have some confidence issues? Looking for a new challenge such as showing or western dressage? Just beginning your journey with horses?
We specialize in 40 plus riders. Private Lessons Clinics
When you want positive results-experience matters! Lead instructor Cheryl Childs offers: • 24 Years Experience as Riding Instructor • 38 Years Experience with Horses • 8 Years Experience as Horse Show Judge • Horse Expo Clinician • Member American Riding Instructor Association • Member Western Dressage Association of America For more information about lessons/coaching: 417-619-8962 www.winningcolorsequinecenter.com firstname.lastname@example.org Like us on:
Cynthia Spalding Dressage Clinics and Lessons
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“Over 40 Riders Rock” Publisher: Winning Colors Media Editor: Cheryl Childs E-Mail: Editor@seasonedrider.com Associate Editor/Art Director: Cathy Childs E-Mail: Marketing@seasonedrider.com Associate Art Director: Judith Evans E-Mail: PrePress@seasonedrider.com
On our cover: Photographer Steve Simmons of New Mexico Horse Adventures has spent years tracking, watching and photographing a group of wild horses in New Mexico.
Contributing Writers: Cheryl Childs Jane Moorman Steve Simmons Senior Marketing Consultant Cathy Childs E-Mail: Marketing@seasonedrider.com Advertising/Marketing Consultants Western United States (California, Oregon, Washington Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico)
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Seasoned RiderTM Magazine is published bi-monthly by Winning Colors Media. Seasoned RiderTM does not endorse the content of any advertisement in this publication, nor does it warrant the accuracy of any advertisement. All photographs and copy are subject to publisher’s approval. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising for any reason. At no time shall the publisher’s liability exceed the cost of the advertising space involved. © Seasoned RiderTM. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
8 THE WILD HORSES OF NEW MEXICO By Steve Simmons
11 PIONEERING RESEARCH Collaborating with horses to develop emotional intelligence University of Kentucky
12 TIPS FOR FUEL ECONOMY
14 THE HEALING POWER OF HORSES Professor Wanda Whittlesey-Jerome by Jane Moorman
17 UC DAVIS DISCOVERS EPM TO BE MORE WIDESPREAD THAN EXPECTED 18 LETTER TO CONGRESS
Chief David Bald Eagle’s letter
22 PROPER RIDING POSITION by Cheryl Childs
Departments 6 FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK 20 HEALTHY HORSE Caring for the Senior Horse 21 LEGENDARY HORSES
Read our special Christmas fable on page 34. THE OLD ONE
24-26 HORSE PROPERTIES FOR SALE 30 HEART AND SOUL The Budweiser Clydesdales Wept
Reprinted by permission of Roy Exum
From The Editorâ€™s Desk: There has been a lot of conversation this past year on the topic of horse abuse, whether it was soring of Tennessee Walking Horses, Rollkur training methods for Dressage or the how the Bureau of Land Management has been dealing with and treating the Wild Mustang herds lately. Horse abuse, sadly, is not just limited to a certain breed or certain discipline of riding it can be found across the board. Soring is a process of intentionally causing pain to a horse's front legs and hoofs to enhance a gaited horse's gait for the show ring. Soring is illegal and inhumane, but for many, many years people looked the other way. Luckily for the horses involved there were people out there willing to stand up and fight against soring of these horses. Friends Of Sound Horses (FOSH) has done so much to bring this problem to light and are working to strength the laws to put an end to this cruel method of training. With FOSH and others who are behind stopping this cruel practice of training we might see an end to the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses sometime in the future. (See the article by Roy Exum on page 30)
The Rollkur method of training Dressage horses has just recently come to light outside the Dressage world. What is Rollkur? The term originated in Germany, and refers to the technique of working a horse with an excessively rounded neck, so that the horse's head is brought down and back towards it's chest (often called 'hyperflexion', or 'low, deep and roundâ€? ). The horse is held in this position by means of an extremely forceful use of the bit, using the double bridle whose considerable leverage on the horse's jaw and poll permits the rider to use it to position the head down and greatly behind the vertical. The breathing, blood circulation and cervical spine is effected by this method. There are photographs and videos of horses being ridden with this method with their tongues sticking out and it is a blue grey color. The movement of the animal may be permanently impaired by this method. Itâ€™s not only used by dressage riders/trainers, but also is used by Western Pleasure rider/trainers as well. I have seen some methods of training that I would most definitely call horse abuse. I have seen abuse at Arabian, Quarter Horse, Morgan and Saddlebred shows. I have seen it in both Western and English disciplines. The one simple answer to abuse in the show ring is for judges to stop placing people who use those abusive methods. That would end those abuses very quickly. I have seen horse abuse outside the horse show ring as well, abuse is not confined to the show ring. I seen some horse trainers who conduct clinics who, I believe, use rather abusive methods and are teaching others to use those methods. We need to speak out against horse abuse - no matter who is doing it. Why the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has resorted back to cruel techniques in rounding up Wild Mustangs is beyond me. The Wild Mustangs are a living history of the American West and what makes our country so unique. Herding them with helicopters and four wheel all terrain vehicles is inhumane and cruel and should be stopped. Leaving horses without shade or shelter in the hot summer sun with little water is even more inhumane. Allowing horses to be herded in such a
The cruel Rollkur method of Dressage training.
Proper, humane dressage training.
A cruelly trained, sored Tennessee Walking Horse.
A lovely, naturally gaited Tennessee Walking Horse.
manner that they are injured is cruel. We need to step up again and voice our concerns, as people in the past have done, to stop this cruelty to these magnificent horses. (See the letter written by Chief David Bald Eagle on page 18 )
In closing I would like to say that sometimes people will condemn a certain breed or discipline when they hear about abusive training methods, but we shouldn’t do that. It’s not the horse’s or discipline’s fault but rather humans who use the abusive training methods who should be condemned. Tennessee Walking horses are lovely horses and there are many, many people who would never sore their Walking Horse. There are many, many Dressage riders who are against the Rollkur methods and would never use that method on their horses. Not everyone showing their horses use abusive training methods. Not everyone shows just for the glory of the win, but because they enjoying being with their horse and enjoy the challenge of showing. Let’s not paint everyone with same brush. We need speak out about horse abuse and do whatever we can to stop it, no matter where it takes place, for the good of our horses and the equine industry.
Cheryl Childs - Editor
The Wild Horses of New Mexico by Steve Simmons New Mexico Horse Adventures For years I admired and revered many of the wild horse photos I’d seen in books, magazines, and art galleries. Stallions locked in combat, herds running at full gallop across the landscape, etc. You all probably know the types of images I am thinking about. I knew that someday I would want to do the same types of photographs, it was only a matter of time. Well, eleven years ago I bought my first horse.Then suddenly, or so it seemed, I had eight. But this is another story. Three years ago I was invited to begin a photo project of a group of horses out on a private ranch here in New Mexico. They’ve been out there for generations, at least of horses if not of people. They are supposed to be direct descendents of the horses brought by the Spanish in the 1600s. I’ve since learned that this is a frequent claim made to give additional legitimacy to each group of wild horses all over the country. As direct descendents, they deserve more protection than horses who are not so directly connected, or so it seems to the listener of stories and tales of wild horses in America. But, no matter. I had my project and I was anxious to get started. My first introduction to the area and the horses was on horseback as we had to ride a huge valley in search of the horses. We did see several small groups on that first trip. Now, I knew how to get out there and I was given a key to the locked gate. Hurrah, I was on my way. Now, after three years of tracking, watching and photographing I have learned many things. First, I love tracking and photographing them with my own horse. I love to ride and being on a horse looking for other horses just seems to be the way to do things. But that is just the beginning. Doing this from horseback has made me a real student of horse behavior. The next thing I learned is that those moments of brutal battles between stallions are few and far between. I have seen stallions with their mares come into a watering area, leave their mares behind, and walk over to a small group of bachelor stallions and actually quietly and peacefully hang out with them for several minutes. With my camera up at my eye I was all set for the photo of a lifetime. Instead it was a quiet and peaceful scene. It was 8
Photo by Steve Simmons
Spring time, breeding season, and there was a 3 week or so old foal with the stallion’s mares. Still, no excitement. I was not so much disappointed as curious, so I watched for awhile. None of the bachelor stallions challenged the herd stallion. Everyone accepted the social structure of the moment. In fact, I have never seen one of these epic battles between stallions in the three years I have been visiting and riding in this valley. I certainly can’t say a battle never happens, but it is not the norm at all. Horses are peaceful, social animals, who depend on each other for comfort and cover. They are often the hunted and
Photo by Steve Simmons
Seasoned Rider Steve Simmons and his Morgan horse Cambridge Heritage their strength comes in numbers, and numbers come in peaceful co-existence, not in epic herd splitting battles. Iâ€™ve also learned that groups of horses are very territorial. A few weeks ago we saw and tracked a stallion and 9 mares west through this valley. Because they seemed so wary of us, we kept a small hill between us and them as we both moved west. As we came to the end of the hill we saw that the horses had circled around ahead of us and moved south. We continued to watch them and ride parallel to them for about a mile. As we rode south we noticed that, without intending to, either we were getting closer to them or they were approaching us. We never rode towards them, we just tried to keep a parallel path, but just as I learned in high school math, our parallel paths were coming together. We stayed the course for several hundred yards and then suddenly, this group reversed direction and headed north at a dead run. We initially thought weâ€™d inadvertently gotten ahead of them and turned them back. A few moments later we looked up and saw another group to the south of us. This was their territory and the first group did not want to
encroach. As it was getting late in the day we turned and headed back to the trailer. The first stallion and his band is a group I have watched all three years Iâ€™ve been riding in the valley. I was not surprised to find them just west of where I parked as this seems to be there stomping grounds. I have also been aware that there are multiple groups in the valley,but I had not seen their territorial divisions so firmly entrenched. Tracking and watching wild horses from horseback has been a very interesting exercise. I was told never to ride at them as that would be perceived as a threat. Unfortunately, many horses out in the wild have been chased by people on horseback as a thrill seeking adventure. Fools, who think that a momentary adrenaline rush counts as a real activity. A mounted horse can never catch a wild horse at freedom. However, if you ride along with them, even at a great distance, you will not be seen as a threat, and they may move towards you as we experienced the other day. Early in my visits, I spent a lot of time with the first group I mentioned above. I never rode at or towards them. Over time and several visits they became curious about this new horse and they began to approach me. On more than one occasion, they came within 75-100 yards of us. To photograph, I frequently dismounted and placed myself on the far side of my horse. The group would approach, always led by the stallion. At times they would circle me at a full gallop to try and get down wind of us to get a scent. They are very curious animals. The stallion might stomp his feet and snort a little but I never felt threatened. This is how I got some of my best shots. I rode quietly and peacefully and did nothing that could be perceived as an active threat. Continued on page 10 Seasoned Rider
The Wild Horses of New Mexico completely unrealistic. I am a lover of horses, and watching them, either in the wild or in a domestic situation, has taught me a great deal about how they think and feel. This has helped me work with my own horses much more effectively. There was a period of about a year when I did not visit the valley. I did go back in mid-February 2011 and was
Photo by Steve Simmons Photo by Steve Simmons There is a risk in going out to this valley alone and tracking these horses. We are outsiders to these groups of horses and 50-75 yards is about as close as I would want them to come to us. Herd stallions are very possessive and I do not want to be perceived as a challenge to their dominence. There are also predators that do keep the total number of horses down - mountain lions and maybe an occasional group of wolves that do pick off young foals. I do alert friends everytime I go and when I get back and I carry a gun and a cell phone. I do not encourage others to take on a project like this without a lot of thought and a rock solid horse. Cambridge Heritage and I have been together for ten years. The old blood Morgans are a special horse, tough as nails but with a heart of gold. If you are a Morgan enthusiast, his breeding would be called strong Brunk and old government. Regardless of the breed, a horse for this type of project has to be absolutely loyal and as bomb proof as possible. In the last few months I have been approached by horse photographers asking if I know a place where horses could be chased around so their workshop students could get some photos. I have learned, or decided. to duck these requests because it just seems disrespectful of the horse. It is not how they live at all, and the photos are
immediately reminded how much I love riding out there. I will go back soon, and will make many more trips in the coming months. There are multiple groups of horses in this valley, and no one knows just how many horses there are in the area. In the coming months I will ride north and south and find and study some of the other groups.
Photo by Steve Simmons
The camera I used was a Nikon D200 with a 70-200mm f2.8 zoom. At times I also used a 1.4 converter.
Pioneering Research: Collaborating With Horses to Develop Emotional Intelligence Source: University of Kentucky Researchers in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture recently completed one of the first studies to explore how working with horses can develop emotional intelligence in humans. UK Center for Leadership Development researchers, Patricia Dyk and Lissa Pohl, collaborated with UK HealthCare nurse researchers, Carol Noriega, Janine Lindgreen and Robyn Cheung on the two-year study, titled “The Effectiveness of Equine Guided Leadership Education to Develop Emotional Intelligence in Expert Nurses.” “With Lexington being known as the Horse Capital of the World, it is only fitting that the University of Kentucky is conducting pioneering research in the emerging field of equine assisted learning,” said Patricia Dyk, director of the Center for Leadership Development. The project included a control group of 10 nurses from the Neuroscience Surgery Service Line and an intervention group consisting of 11 nurses from the Trauma and Acute Care Surgical Service Line at UK Chandler Hospital. At the start of the study and again six months later, both groups took the online assessment appraising emotional intelligence. Nurses in the intervention group participated in a one-day workshop that involved experiential learning with horses.
“Each exercise in the workshop was designed to develop the four emotional intelligence competency areas of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management,” said Lissa Pohl, research project manager and workshop facilitator. Nurses from the intervention group filled out qualitative surveys immediately after their experience with the horses and again three months after the workshop. The before and after survey results showed there was an increase in the scores of the intervention group in all four competency areas when compared to the control group. The researchers admitted, though, that the small number of participants in the study makes it difficult to conclude that working with the horses was the cause of the intervention group’s increase. Marie-Claude Stockl was the co-facilitator for the workshop with the nurses. She owns the Horse Institute, and as such, facilitates equine-assisted learning workshops for corporate groups in central New York state. “We are thrilled to get this research completed, because it builds the credibility of all organizations offering this type of learning experience,” she said. According to Pohl, the initial results are encouraging and they lay the groundwork for subsequent studies of larger and more diverse populations of nurses. “If horses can increase our ability to understand ourselves and others better, then the healthcare industry is a perfect place for studies like these,” she said. “When nurses and doctors benefit from collaborating with horses then ultimately their patients also benefit.”
USRider Promotes Fuel Economy for Horse Owners Lexington, Ky. – Crude oil prices continue to rise with resulting gasoline prices reaching higher and higher. It will be more important than ever to conserve energy and save fuel costs. You can improve your fuel economy – as well as your safety and the safety of your horses – by following these simple tips: •Drive more efficiently. •Keep your vehicle properly tuned. •Plan and combine trips. •Choose a more efficient vehicle. Horse owners can do their part to reduce their fuel consumption with practical travel tips that actually work. USRider offers these suggestions for conserving fuel while traveling. These tips work for most vehicles: Vehicle Maintenance • Keep Engine Properly Tuned – Depending upon the kind of repair done, this can result in an average 4 percent increase in fuel efficiency. Replacing a faulty oxygen sensor can improve fuel mileage as much as 40 percent. • Check & Replace Air Filter – Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your vehicle's mileage up to 10 percent. • Keep Tires Properly Inflated – Proper inflation can increase your mileage by around 3 percent. An added benefit is that properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.† • Use Recommended Grade of Motor Oil – Using 12
the incorrect weight can increase fuel consumption by 1-2 percent. Look for motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives. • Drive Sensibly – Aggressive driving can lower your fuel mileage by one-third. Sensible driving is also safer for your horse(s). • Observe the Speed Limit – The Department of Energy says that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.21 for each gallon of fuel. An added benefit is that observing the speed limit is also safer for your horse(s). • Avoid Excessive Idling – Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. • Use Cruise Control – Using cruise control (where applicable) helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save fuel. Do not use cruise control if you are tired or fatigued. In fact, if you are tired or fatigued, you shouldn’t be trailering horses. • Use Overdrive Gears – When your engine speed goes down, your mileage goes up. An added benefit is that using overdrive gears reduces engine wear. Vehicle maintenance and safe operation also helps the environment. A properly tuned vehicle with correct tire inflation, driven at the correct speed reduces the detrimental impacts automobiles have on the environment.
Numerous Internet resources are available to help in the hunt for cheaper fuel: • www.gaspricewatch.com This website uses volunteers to report prices at over 100,000 fuel prices all over the country. Simply enter your ZIP code. •www.gasbuddy.com The website also works with ZIP codes and compiles information from other websites that track local prices. Additional fuel economy tips are posted on www.fueleconomy.gov. USRider recommends carrying two mounted spares for your horse trailer. For trailer tires, the recommended air pressure is stamped on the side of each tire. For vehicles, air pressure recommendations are stamped on the vehicle door edge, doorpost, glove box or fuel door – and owner’s manual. Check the pressure when tires are cool – before you drive. For more information about USRider and more equine trailer safety tips, visit the USRider website at http://www.usrider.org online or call (800) 844-1409.
Not only is this saddle easy on the rider, it is easy on the horse as well.
WHAT MAKES OUR SADDLES DIFFERENT? THE LEATHER We use only English bridle leather to construct the entire saddle. English bridle leather is very strong and soft so there is very little break-in time needed if any
THE DESIGN Our fenders are cut and mounted in a special way to reduce strain on the knees and ankles. They also have a wide range of motion to allow you to move your legs all the way forward or all the way back.
THE SEAT Our seat is designed from the tree up to be close contact and have a deep pocket to keep your body weight where it belongs for maximum comfort on long rides. Our seats allow you to ride for hours without feeling tired or sore.
THE TREE Our trees are custom made for us by Steele Saddle Tree. We have 9 different bar combinations to insure proper fit on any horse or mule. Proper fit and weight distribution are the keys to comfort for the horse.
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Social Work Profes Research
For Wanda Whittlesey-Jerome horses are more than an animal to ride or pull a wagon. They are a way to help people with emotional problems and physical disabilities. mhittlesey-Jerome, New Mexico State University assistant professor in the School of Social Work, combines her love of horses with her desire to understand ways animals can help people heal. Wanda Whittlesey-Jerome “As a teenager, I was fortunate to have my own horse,” she said of her life growing up in a rural community north of Dallas, Texas. “I have always had a special place in my heart for horses. I don’t know what it was. I couldn’t put it into words, but I knew I had a connection. I wasn’t a lonely teenager. My mare was always glad to see me in the morning and after school. Having a horse helped me meet other kids through equine activities, as well as people who also loved horses.” As her life progressed to young adulthood, Whittlesey-Jerome’s interaction with horses ceased as other interests occupied her time. Later, as her life path moved her
toward a profession as a social worker and eventually a college professor on the subject, in the back of her mind she knew she wanted to someday have horses back in her life. That day came when she and her husband, Ric, moved to Corrales, New Mexico. “While I enjoy my personal horses, Eli and Lady, I wanted to explore the use of horses in therapeutic settings,” she said. Through the National Association of Social Workers New Mexico Chapter, WhittleseyJerome is networking with other social workers in the state using horses in therapy with their clients. Therapies with horses can be either on the ground, known as equine-assisted psychotherapy, or while riding, vaulting or driving, known as therapeutic riding. The prefix “Equus” is Latin for horse; in Greek, the prefix “Hippo” means horse; and while hippotherapy typically uses riding to strengthen gross and fine motor skills, as well as communication skills, equine-assisted psychotherapy rarely uses riding as part of the
therapeutic intervention. “A number of years ago, I became aware of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association’s model which was created by a clinical social worker as an intervention for behavioral health and mental health,” she said. The EAGALA model has clients working either individually or in groups with horses. While not riding the animals, the people work the horse through obstacle courses within an arena. The work is often done without touching the horse or talking to the team members. “The teams come up with some really unique problem-solving and the individual members learn about themselves through the way the horses react to them,” Whittlesey-Jerome said. “Since horses are prey animals they are very aware of everything in their environment. They know if a person has self-confidence and is in control of the situation, or if they are afraid. “A teenager hiding behind a tough attitude soon learns that the horse is not impressed by his or her
ssor Combines Love of Horses with A university expert in social work knows the healing power of horses. Jane Moorman reports on the work being done by Wanda Whittlesey-Jerome, who is assistant professor in the School of Social Work at New Mexico State University.
baggy pants and blue hairdo. Horses act as mirrors and are not judgmental. They approach these kids just the way they are and they usually open up and are more like their real ‘selves’ around the horses. She adds that horses are curious, precocious, social and like being with people and other horses. Horses like contributing and being busy, so they enjoy being part of a therapeutic exercise. “I have also been involved with the Cloud Dancers Therapeutic Horsemanship Program in the greater Albuquerque area. While EAGALA is an equine-assisted psychotherapy model, Cloud Dancers has offered both EAGALA and therapeutic horsemanship – where clients have an opportunity for a unique therapeutic, recreational experience in a fun, safe environment,” she said of the organization, of which she had served on its board of directors until September 2012. As a social work professional and professor at the university’s Albuquerque Center’s master’s of social work program, Whittlesey-
Jerome wanted to quantify the impact equine assisted therapy has on clients through research studies in order to help build an evidencebase for its utility. “Clinical social workers have been using companion animals, such as dogs, in the therapeutic setting for a number of years,” said Whittlesey-Jerome, the current president of NASW’s New Mexico Chapter. “So using horses seems like a logical progression to that. We have established a network of clinical social workers with horses across the state.” To date, Whittlesey-Jerome has conducted several studies to quantify the impact of equine-assisted psychotherapy on at-risk adolescent resilience, and hippotherapy and therapeutic riding on the gross and fine motor skills, communication skills and behaviors for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum.
HORSE Natural Hoof Trimming
The specialised "barefoot" trim allows optimal hoof mechanism (expansion of the hoof), superior circulation, traction, shock absorption, and much more for your horse. It also allows healing of any damage caused by lack of hoofcare, incorrect hoof trimming, or shoeing of any horse, irrespective of background, current condition or breed. Effects of Shoeing Shoes do not allow your horse's hooves to properly expand when weightbearing. This impaired expansion of the hoof reduces circulation and shock absorption, and promotes incorrect hoof form, causing many hoof and general health problems. Unshod vs Barefoot - there's a big difference Simply removing the shoes or applying a conventional pasture trim is often not enough to allow horses to be restored to optimal health and ridden without shoes successfully and to their full potential. This is because conventional ideas about hoof form are not based on the natural hoof form of a wild horse. Conformation Natural hoof form is essential for optimal equine health and performance. Hoof problems,
such as cracks, brittleness, seedy toe, thrush and navicular are the result of incorrect hoof form. Horses that don't have natural hoof form will not be able to perform to their full potential and often have problems such as poor health and condition, poor conformation muscle tightness and back and joint pain. Transition To Barefoot All horses can be ridden as usual without shoes once the hoof is returned to it's natural form. Depending on the condition of the hooves, some horses will need special management during transition to barefoot. This includes a programme of regular correct barefoot trimming, use of hoof boots while riding to prevent incorrect wear, and possibly some form of natural therapy. Once the hooves have returned to their natural form, (which can take weeks to years), the horse can be ridden over any terrain it is conditioned for with superior balance, traction and performance. Can Horses Really Perform Barefoot? Most horse owners understand that metal horse shoes are damaging to the hooves and the rest of the horse - horseshoes are traditionally considered a "Necessary Evil".
However, as many horse owners around the world are discovering, there is a way to successfully go without horseshoes and have your horse perform in any discipline - usually with much better results than when shod. Horses Can Perform Without Shoes In the past, it was traditionally thought that horses could not manage the work we asked of them without horse shoes because their hooves would wear excessively. Hence the theory that "if a horse is in work, it needs to be shod". This is probably true in many cases if you keep your horse traditionally and give it a hoof trim meant for the application of a shoe. If, however, you give your horse a barefoot trim by a natural hoofcare professional, and provide correct living conditions that meet the basic biological needs of the horse, you can successfully return your horse to full health, and go barefoot over any terrain that you condition your horse for, with improved overall health, traction, movement and performance.
UC Davis Discovers EPM to be More Widespread Than Expected October 15, 2013 A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine revealed that equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), caused by two different parasites, is widespread throughout the United States. The single-celled protozoal parasite Sarcocystis neurona which is shed in the feces of opossums is the most commonly recognized cause of this neurological disease in horses. However, this study found evidence that Neospora hughesi, the other EPM-causing parasite, first identified in California, is now being identified in horses across the United States. After obtaining a total of 3,123 diagnostic submissions from 49 states, UC Davis determined that horses from 42 states were affected by parasites causing EPM. Horses in 24 states tested positive for antibodies against Neospora hughesi and Sarcocystis neurona. Horses from 17 states tested positive for antibodies against Sarcocystis neurona only, while horses in one state tested positive for antibodies against Neospora hughesi only. As these results show a widespread distribution of the parasites causing EPM, horse owners and practitioners should test EPM-suspect horses for antibodies against both parasites. “This study returned positive results from more states than we originally thought,” said UC Davis’ Dr. Nicola Pusterla, lead researcher on the study. “As the recognized geographic spread of Neospora hughesi infections expands, we are encouraging horse owners about the benefits of the advanced tests available at UC Davis to more accurately diagnose the disease. Overall, we had not been satisfied with the standard testing available, so we have spent the past decade developing and successfully validating an improved diagnostic tool for EPM.” The SarcoFluor™ and NeoFluor™ tests created by UC Davis are immunofluorescent antibody tests for both of the known causative agents of EPM (Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi). These tests provide a quantitative indication of EPM infection and provide greater sensitivity and specificity than the Western immunoblot test on serum samples. UC Davis’ tests also reduce the necessity to obtain cerebrospinal fluid in order to screen for antibodies against the two protozoal agents.
“UC Davis has a rich history and culture of combining rigorous peer-reviewed research with cutting edge medicine,” said Dr. Patricia Conrad, professor and head of the laboratory at UC Davis that developed the tests. “The resources and EPM team of clinicians and scientists available at UC Davis have allowed us to validate these more effective tests. We are committed to improving the reliability of EPM testing, and are pleased to offer this service to our clients at a reasonable cost.” More than a decade ago, researchers at UC Davis were determined to create better testing for EPM. To that end, the School of Veterinary Medicine started an investigative effort to develop a better diagnostic tool, and has been offering the tests to clients with tremendous success for several years. “Since its discovery in horses, EPM has posed a significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenge,” said Dr. Claudia Sonder, director of the Center for Equine Health at UC Davis. “These new diagnostic tools are a product of the team science that changes clinical outcomes for horses treated at UC Davis. For the first time, veterinarians can associate probability of EPM infection with positive tests results, and can rule out both organisms known to cause EPM with negative tests. This advancement in diagnostic capability is much welcomed by all faced with this complicated disease.”
To Members of Congress, all Indigenous Nations of the Americas and the American People,
I am Chief David Bald Eagle. I have lived 94 years and hold the titles of Chief of the Minikoju Band of the Cheyenne River Tribe Lakota Indians. Also, I am the First Chief of the United Indigenous Nations of The Americas. The Lakota are known as The Horse People. The Lakota way of life lives in deep respect and harmony with nature. The Traditional Government is the original Sovereign government. Our law is not man made, it is the law of nature, and so we live in harmony with nature. This includes the wildlife and the animals that would be our food. We perform ceremonies to pray for them before a hunt. When we hunt, we only kill what we need and use every part of the animal. We do not waste; we do not take this life for granted. We do not use poisons or hunt them with ATVs, or helicopters. We only eat the meat of animals that are vegetarian. All except the horse. We have always held a special feeling for the horse. The horse is sacred to our people. We have never eaten the horse. In Lakota, the horse is called Sunka Wakan. Sunka means dog, Wakan means Sacred or holy, â€œSacred dog.â€? The horse did not abandon us in Little Big Horn. The Horse did not abandon the Cherokee and Choctaw tribes in the Trails of Tears. The horse did not abandon us in our hunting. We will not abandon the horse now.
Photo courtesy: www.returntofreedom.org We hold great respect for the wild horses today. Like the Native American people, they have been persecuted for hundreds of years, and yet, like our people, the wild horses, the wolves and the Buffalo have survived against all odds, political, environmental and social. The Horse, like the Buffalo and the wolf are hunted and pushed off the land by the livestock industry because they do not profit from them. The sheep and cattle have caused so much damage and outnumber the horse herds in the millions, and yet the horse is blamed for damaging the lands. This is a lie. We have always lived with the horses and the buffalo. They do not pull the grasses out by the roots like the cattle and sheep. It is the fences from the cattle ranching that have caused problems with the wild horse herds and all wildlife. We believe all wildlife; the wild horses, buffalo, deer, antelope, elk should range free without corrals or boundaries. The wolves, lions, bears and other predators of the Americas control each other. This is natural law. But humans have destroyed that balance. It is time for us to do the right thing. Bit by bit we can restore the land, the water, the air and the wildlife including our sacred horse. We can restore our way of life. The horse has and always will be a sacred animal to the Traditional Lakota people. We cannot abuse him or kill him for human consumption. In fact the Lakota people themselves know that to do so will bring misfortune and even death to anyone who does. In these times we need the Native American people to wake up. It is easy to be misled by money, greed and false power. The Native American people are easily influenced as they have strayed from our traditional values and Way of Life. If the Native American people allow the horse slaughterhouses on Indian lands, it opens the door for Government and other special interest groups to control our lands and our way of life. We condemn the slaughter of horses and the plans to create horse slaughterhouses on Indian Lands. It is a slap in the face, an insult to our people, our lands, and our way of life. Mitakuye Oyasin (All my relations),
â€”Chief David Bald Eagle Chief of the Minikoju Band of the Cheyenne River Tribe Lakota Indians First Chief of the United Indigenous Nations of The Americas Seasoned Rider
HEALTHY HORSE Caring For The Senior Horse
As horses age the care they require changes and owners find themselves concerned about keeping their horse healthy, but with the proper care your senior horse can live a heathly happy life. As horses age their hormonal and metabolic changes affect their ability to digest, absorb and utilize essential nutrients, especially protein, phosphorus and fiber. This often leads to weight lost so you need to feed your horse a diet designed for the older horse. Special complete rations formulated to address the nutritional needs of older horses are available. Older horses should get 12 to 16 percent protein in their diet and additional fat to help keep weight up. Have your senior horse checked out regularly by your Veterinarian. Have your Veterinarian check for dental problems. They say the teeth should be checked twice a year in horses over 20 . Some people will also want to do a blood test to screen for kidney and liver problems, etc. in their senior horses. Keep up with regular worming and vaccinations, of course. Senior horses need their hooves cared for as well. If your horse is shod perhaps you should think about pulling the shoes and keeping him barefoot, since he will be on a lighter exercise regimen. Be sure to keep his hooves trimmed properly and to the correct angle to lessen the pressure on aging joints. If you keep your horse shod make sure you have your farrier out to reset the shoes on a regular schedule. Make sure you provide plenty of protection from the elements. If a stall is not available then be sure your horse has a place to get out of the wind and cold in the winter months and shade in the summer months. Your senior horse may require a warm blanket in the win-
ter and perhaps a fan in the summer. It’s important to keep him warm and dry in the winter and cool in the summer. Do your best to keep your horse in a clean, dust-free environment to prevent or lessen the impact of allergies or lung disease. Regular exercise is good for your senior horse, but don’t over do it -those days of all day trail rides and competing at the show are mostly like over. A little light exercise, be it riding or in hand, is good for the older horse. If you turn him out don’t turn him out with younger ambitious horses who might challenge him or chase him around a lot. He has earned a nice peaceable turn out time. Grooming is a great way to increase your horse’s circualtion and keep his skin healthy as well. It’s a great time to evaluate your horse’s overall health as well and he will love the attention you are giving him, too. Consider talking to your Veterinarian about giving your horse supplements to improve his overall health. There are a lot of good supplements out there that can help with any digestive problems or joint issues he may have. Giving your horse essential vitamins and minerals will help him, too. Always consult your Vet before introducing supplements, minerals or vitamins to your horse. With proper care and lots of TLC your horse will have happy and healthy life ahead of him. The mare pictured above was 23 when this photo was taken in 2008 - she lived another 4 years. She was still being ridden (very lightly) in 2011.
Legendary Horses Barrel Horse Scamper P r o - R o d e o H a l l Fa m e H o r s e ( First Barrle Horse Inducted )
Rodeo fans know the legend of a smooth-running gelding named Scamper. He bore a shy 14-year-old Charmayne James, from a small town in New Mexico, to the glory of world championship barrel racing across the United States and to the Calgary Stampede. Scamper died of old age at 35 on the Fourth of July 2012. That seemed fitting as July 4th is called “Cowboy Christmas,” because rodeo contestants can win their biggest payday of the year. From 1984 to 1993, Charmayne James,won 10 consecutive world championships in the Women's Professional Rodeo Association. She was known as the first “milliondollar cowgirl,” but she always credited Scamper, the first barrelracing horse inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. She retired from competition in 2003, with 11 world championships, to concentrate on breeding horses. “He loved me right from the getgo,” Charmayne said. “He was a gift
and I was lucky to have the talent to take him where we went. There's no horse on this Earth as tough as that horse.” Charmayne was 11 years old when she and Scamper became a team. Scamper had a reputation for bucking, but that didn’t bother Charmayne. Out of view of her father’s sight she asked Scamper to canter and he bucked, but she just laughed and the rest was history The San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo was the turning point. At previous rodeos she had felt intimidated, but that night she was determined to show the world how good she and her horse were. Scamper had a great run that night and they won the race, beginning a decade of breaking records and collecting championship buckles. It was her first pro win on Scamper, with whom she had won several amateur competitions. Charmayne said she was driven by the love of her horse and being able
to earn her way.“I knew how he was going to run every day,” she said. “He knew he was loved, but he wasn't spoiled. He knew he had a purpose.” After traveling hundreds of thousands of miles to compete at rodeo arenas, Scamper was retired in 1993. His legacy lives on in a 6year-old stallion named Clayton — Scamper's clone. Charmayne, who breeds horses, paid $150,000 to an Austin animal genetics company to clone an identical twin to be used as breeding stock. In his final days, Charmayne would watch Scamper walk the shaded green pastures on her ranch, where he is buried. And sometimes, every so often, he'd break into a trot.
Proper Riding Position
by Cheryl Childs
“It may be old school, but it’s still valid today” When I learned to ride over 30 years ago I was taught how to sit correctly on the horse when riding so that I was seated correctly and so that I was balanced in the saddle. This may be “Old School”, but it’s still valid today and more riders need to learn this method. Riders need to sit up straight and tall in the saddle. Sit centrally in your saddle looking ahead into the direction you are moving. Heels pushed downward with the ball of your foot in the stirrup/iron. Your toes should be pointing forward and higher than your heel with the inner leg wrapped around the horse. Your hands should be held level above the wither of the horse while your wrists should be straight with the thumb uppermost. The upper arm relaxed with the elbows held into the side. There should be an imaginary line that runs from the rider’s ear, through the shoulder, through the hip, and through to the heel. A second imaginary line runs from the bit in the horses mouth, through the rein, through the wrist, through the upper arm, and through to the elbow. Here is breakdown of the rider’s postion: • Eyes - need to be looking ahead into the direction that you are moving. • Head - needs to be mobile and able to turn into the direction you are moving. • Shoulders - care must be taken not to round the shoulders, but to keep them relaxed and mobile. This way, when the shoulders are closed, for example, when riding a half halt, the instruction will be understood by the horse. • Elbows - should be relaxed to allow the horses movement to flow through. The elbow should also hang loosely at the side of the rider’s upper body. • Wrists - need to be straight and not curved inwards or outwards, with the thumb 22
This rider shows the proper riding position.
uppermost and on top of the rein. • Fingers - need to be closed around the rein in order for a contact to be held, but mobile enough to allow the rider to squeeze and play with the rein to aid in turning and softening of the rein. • Back - needs to be held tall, straight and relaxed to allow all of the horse’s movement to flow through the rider without jarring. • Hips - need to be mobile and non restrictive to allow the horses movement to freely flow through the rider’s body. • Seat Bones - the rider’s weight is channeled equally through both of the seat bones. When riding lateral exercises slightly more weight can be placed into the inside seat bone. • Waist - needs to be able to turn through, in order to follow the horse’s movement, care must be taken not to tip in and col-
This rider has her stirrups too short, shoulders are rounded, and she is not sitting centered on the saddle.
This rider has her stirrups too short, shoulders are rounded, heels not pointed down, foot too far into stirrup, elbows in wrong position and is sitting too far back in the saddle.
lapse through the waist when riding a turn or lateral work. • Thighs - the inner thighs need to be held in close contact with the horse, as this gives a secure upper leg. • Knees - need to be flexible and have the inner aspect in close contact with the horse. • Calfs - need to have the inner aspect wrapped around the horse, and it is from the calf downwards that the lower leg nudges the horse forwards. • Ankles - should be mobile and facing forwards. • Heels - the rider’s weight needs to be pushed downwards into the heels, this helps the lower leg to wrap around the horse. • Toes - should be pointing up and positioned to face forwards. • Ball Of The Foot - the ball of each foot should be positioned onto the stirrup iron, to help to keep the foot in the correct position. I see so many riders today, riders of all ages and levels, who don’t follow this method. It’s important to have a balanced proper seat for your safety in the saddle. Many people today have their stirrups/irons too short or too long - not at the proper length - and their foot positioned too far into the stirrups/irons. I see riders who aren’t sitting centrally in the saddle but are off to the left or the right. It’s important for your safety that you keep the balls of your feet in the stirrups, your heels down and sit in the center of the saddle so if the horse does spook or stumble you won’t be unseated as easily. It may be “ old school”, but it’s the proper and safe way to ride.
This rider has her stirrups too short, her back is stiff and she is leaning backwards slightly, and her foot is not far enough into the stirrup.
Cheryl Childs is a third generation horsewoman with 30+ years of experience. Cheryl is certified in equine safety, equine psychology and equine behavior. She began her career as a riding instructor in 1989. She is a qualified instructor in both the Western and English disciplines as well as in Show Coaching. She is a member of Equine Assisted Learning Association, Western Dressage Association of America, North American Western Dressage and American Riding Instructors Association. She has appeared as a Clinician at several Horse Expos and judged several all breed horse shows in Missouri and Oklahoma.
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Natural native landscaping and abundant wildlife compliment the rustic elegance of this one-of-a-kind estate. This home offers a peaceful retreat and boasts nearly 5000 square feet of custom detail and architectural design throughout and includes ground source heat. Relax outside on the covered deck spanning the entire length of the home with big sky vistas.
For your horses -75 acres of gently rolling meadows, pasture and woodland all fenced and cross fenced. Exquisite horse facility offers: • Barn with 5 Custom Tongue & Groove Stalls • Tack and Feed Rooms • Office with Bath • Wash Bay • Run Out Pens • Hay Storage & Much More!
Contact: Carrie Beason 417-880-7391 www.carriebeason.com firstname.lastname@example.org 417-887-6664 24
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A Seasoned Rider Asks for Support in Her Efforts to Stop Horse Slaughter by Making a Cross Country Trail Ride For more information about her plans, contact Robynne Catheron on her FACEBOOK - www.facebook.com/rcatheron Hi, fellow seasoned riders! I'm writing to ask for your moral support, and maybe a post or two when the time comes, in May when I start my 1150-mile ride to help end horse slaughter and the transportation to slaughter. I'll be riding the eastern section of the American Discovery Trail from Ohio to Delaware, sharing facts and distributing information. I'm also hoping to raise funds for Equine Welfare Alliance so they can continue to fight to end this horrific treatment. The American Discovery Trail Society has been a wealth of information and logistic support, and they are very excited about the media coverage. My plan is to ride alone, meeting up with my truck and trailer each afternoon for feed and hay, and my own dinner and bed, after riding 20 miles or so. Although I'm riding alone, anyone and everyone is more than welcome to ride with me, whether it's for a day ride or across a state. I'm really hoping to have riders all along the ADT in every state the trail crosses, wouldn't that be fantastic? I truly believe we can help end this horrific treatment of our unwanted horses, but I need help. Can The Seasoned Rider provide emotional and moral support during my ride? I was thinking maybe a post or two a week about my progress, maybe with a photo? Btw, I'm pretty "seasoned," I'll be 60 when I start the ride.
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IN-HAND TRAIL PROVIDES LOTS OF CHALLENGES By SUSAN DUDASIK Looking for a new challenge for you and your horse? What about in-hand obstacle work? Like riding over obstacles, leading your horse over them is very challenging and rewarding. Creating practice courses and mastering new obstacles adds a whole new dimension to one's training program and understanding of their horse. Though most often used to teach young horses, in-hand work also provides a good change of pace for older riders and horses and if the weather is bad or the horse is unable to be ridden because of an injury, there's still plenty to do. Though in-hand work looks easy, it’s actually quite demanding and requires the handler to really think about communicating with the horse. He needs to know where all four hooves are when negotiating a tight obstacle, anticipate when to give halt cues so the horse can hit his mark and how much pressure to apply so he can control each step for a sidepass, turn on forehand or haunches. Calmness, communication, patience and subtle control are the goals of good in-hand training. Being successful at working obstacles in hand requires a lot of thinking and planning on the handler’s part. If you want the horse to stop at marker X. you need to cue him before you get there so he has time to figure out what you want him to do, then do it. Often folks get to X and say “Whoa!”, then wonder why the horse overshot the marker. In-hand work develops a handler’s timing and feel. Although specific training methods vary, basic in-hand training consists of the same maneuvers performed under saddle; willingly going forward, backing up, turning on the haunches and forehand and sidepassing. Your horse doesn’t need to know all this before starting obstacle work; there are plenty of things he can simply be led over, like ground poles, a sheet of plywood or tarps. Begin with simple things; working a mailbox, opening a gate, weaving through cones or stopping at a specific spot. For some horses just
stopping on cue can be a challenge. Start simple and let your horse tell you when he’s ready to advance. Many horses can be ridden over something, but have issues being led over the same thing. Start looking at things from your horse’s point of view. Why step on a tarp when there’s good solid ground beside it. This is where trust comes in. You want to encourage your horse to trust you enough that he will do things his instincts tell him not to do. An important part of in-hand work is having the horse go forward willingly. If you’re working something like a tarp and the horse doesn’t want to go over it, don’t force the issue as it will turn into a big fight with the horse jumping the tarp or running backwards. Here’s where persistence comes in. For something like this, I’d fold the tarp down so it’s about a foot wide and put it next to a fence then lead the horse toward it. Right now the goal is just to get the horse to walk past it without jumping on me. I’ll let him look at and sniff it then ask him to walk close to it. I’ll do this several times until he relaxes. Then, I’ll ask him to maybe put one hoof on it as we pass by it. He may put a hoof on it then move off or back off, that’s ok. We just keep circling and going over it until he relaxes. Then we advance to him putting two hooves, then walking calmly over the narrow tarp. It may take several sessions to get this far with a really nervous horse. Don’t push it. The goal is to build trust and confidence not cross the tarp. As the horse becomes more comfortable, make the tarp wider. Keep slowly advancing like this until he’s walking over the full tarp with no concerns. Now, just because he’ll go over a blue tarp don’t assume he’ll do a black tarp or plywood. Think like a horse. To them, each one is a new obstacle. Working in-hand obstacles is a continuing challenge. First you start with simple, widely spaced obstacles and as the horse progresses, you can make the obstacles harder by making tighter turns,
Through patience and teamwork, this pair has moved on to more advanced obstacles,like ground driving over them.
raising stepovers or narrowing backthrough spacing. At first the horse is led over the obstacles, then if he works on a lungeline or longer lead, he can be sent over them. The third advancement is to ground drive the horse over and through the obstacles. The secret to successfully competing in in-hand trail is patience. Go slow and break each obstacle down into simple steps.
Itâ€™s the handlerâ€™s responsibility to properly position the equine so it can successfully maneuver an obstacle.
In-hand obstacle work encourages handlers to spend more time on ground work which in turn results in better understanding, communication, trust, confidence and teamwork.
Susan Dudasik is an equine journalist, PATH Intl. Certified riding instructor and a mule enthusiast. She's competed in numerous trail class events, holds clinics and teaches groundwork and trail classes at Misfit Farm in Salmon, Idaho. The advice given here is meant only as a guide. A professional trainer should handle any serious horse training problems.
The Budweiser Clydesdales Wept!
This article is reprinted from Chattanoogan.com with the permission of Roy Exum. Although Seasoned Rider did not go to press prior to the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration the editorial board felt it still contains valid information for our readers. By Roy Exum Budweiser’s magnificent Clydesdales, splendid dray horses that weigh over 2,000 pounds apiece and have thrilled cheering crowds all over the world, surely wept and their Dalmatian buddy was none too pleased either when the sad news made its way to the gorgeous stables on Grant’s Farm in St. Louis. It has just been announced that Budweiser will be an official sponsor of the 75th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration in Shelbyville later this month. Even the Clydesdales know that Shelbyville is the epicenter of the worst horse abuse in the world; at last year’s show 190 horses were chosen at random by U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors and 145 of them tested positive for caustic substances that had been used to “sore” the forelegs of the animals. Soring is illegal in the United States, prohibited by the federal Horse Protection Act. But until badly-needed reforms make way through Congress and the Senate, the scofflaws within the Walking Horse racket receive little more than a warning for the rampant abuse. An outraged public and an army of dedicated horse advocates are pushing for help in both the House and the Senate, but the USDA has neither the resources nor the manpower to police the deceitful “Big Lick” faction of the Walking Horse industry. Budweiser’s involvement with the National Celebration comes as a huge shock, but it seems that L&H Distributing Co., located in Tullahoma, has cut a deal with the cash-strapped
show to provide alcoholic beverages for the first time ever at what has been previously billed as “a family event.” Many recall when Pepsi immediately jerked its sponsorship away from the Celebration last year after an undercover tape showed a Hall of Fame trainer, Jackie McConnell, clubbing horses and abusing one’s lips with an electric prod. The Big Lickers soon worked a deal with Coca Cola Bottling Works of Tullahoma, a small independent distributor, and, while “Big Coke” was said to be incensed with the Tullahoma decision to sell Coca-Cola product, a spokesman said they were unable to intercede on behalf of horse lovers around the country. “Big Coke” did demand there be no signage at the Celebration, knowing such publicity could tarnish the corporate brand. Now most will agree that the late “Augie” Busch would roll over in his grave if he knew what the Tullahoma Budweiser distributor has just done. The Big Lickers suffered a big loss in a U.S. District Court in Fort Worth, Tex., on June 30, when a judge upheld federal regulations to prevent the practice of "soring." The federal rules were challenged by a group of Big Lickers called S.H.O.W., which has fought the USDA, the Humane Society of the United States, and every other animal welfare group calling for the vile practice to stop. S.H.O.W. stands for “Sound horses, Honest judging, Objective Inspections, Winning Fairly” but has become the biggest joke in the horse industry after taking the Department of Agriculture to court and promptly losing. It is expected that SHOW will soon be decertified by
WHERE THE PREVENT ALL SORING TACTICS ACT STANDS TODAY: H.R.1518 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)PAST Act Sponsor: Rep. Whitfield, Ed [R-KY-1] (Introduced 04/11/2013) Cosponsors: 189 Latest Action: 04/12/2013 Referred to the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade.
the USDA, but, due to an appeals process, this won’t occur until after this year’s celebration. The USDA has made no comment on the ruling and has not indicated what role its investigators and veterinarians will take in Shelbyville Aug. 21-31. Due to last year’s overwhelming evidence of soring, there will undoubtedly be a government presence and, after USDA investigators joined state agents in a raid against trainer Larry Wheelon in Maryville, the crackdown against the equine criminals will continue. It has been reported 19 horses in Wheelon’s barn had been sored, some so badly the horses could barely walk. Wheelon, two of his helpers, and a loathsome farrier have been charged with one count each of “aggravated animal abuse” and will appear before Sessions Court Judge Robert L. Headrick in Maryville on Aug. 14. The high-profile case is expected to go to the Blount County Grand Jury. Pending the outcome, additional charges will be filed and all four men could be charged with felonies on each count. Under new Tennessee law, each count calls for “no less than one and not more than five years” in prison. American Veterinary Medical Association CEO Ron DeHaven met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week to discuss the rampant soring and said afterwards, “The Secretary is sympathetic to the cause and supportive of the effort. He also understands concerns given the current budget climate. Any additional requirement has to come with funding.” DeHaven suggested that S.H.O.W. inspectors be replaced with USDA-certified veterinarians. “Currently, horse show management is paying the cost of (their inspectors,)” DeHaven said. “There’s no reason a similar arrangement couldn’t be made where inspectors trained by USDA could be reimbursed by show management.”
DeHaven told reporters on Capitol Hill that the Big Lick’s resistance is “because that has become part of the culture.” He also said some Walking Horse judges reward the violators. “They have a judging system based on rewarding that ‘Big Lick’ gait and arguably the only way to get that is through soring a horse,” DeHaven said. “Judges tend to turn a blind eye …” At least one of this year’s judges at The Celebration has a notorious record of USDA “tickets” – Rollie Beard of Lewisburg – and many of the top trainers who will bring horses to Shelbyville have sordid histories as well. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Mark Warner (DVA) introduced a bill to amend the Horse Protection Act in the Senate last week to accompany a similar bill already in the House that now has 137 cosponsors. Both bills are called the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013. Tennessee’s delegation in Washington has been curiously silent regarding the new soring legislation, but one Congressman, Scott DesJarlais (R-Jasper), was given a reception at last year’s National Celebration and is known to have met with the USDA’s Vilsak in support of the Big Lickers. The Humane Society is urging horsemen and horsewomen all across America to contact their representatives in Washington, urging swift and decisive action on the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act. The Budweiser Clydesdales, despite the Tullahoma distributor, are adamant foes of horse abuse and if you watched the dog’s reaction in the sickening Jackie McConnell video, you can be assured the Dalmatian that rides with the driver, when the Clydesdales make your heart nearly jump through your throat as the proud hitch prances down the street, is so mad that noble dog is ready to go to Tullahoma itself and bite somebody. Real hard, too.
Tips for Winter Riding
“Riding in in a winter wonderland can be beautiful and fun”
Winter is not the easiest time to ride, but if you make the right preparations, take precautions and warm down, riding in a winter wonderland can be beautiful and fun. Consider these tips and enjoy your winter ride.
gloves are must, of course, and a warm jacket. You should make sure the boots you are wearing will slip out of the stirrups/irons easily.
It's harder work for your horse to ride in the cold and or snow - just like it is for you. Riding time should be adjusted for the cold and adjust your speed to the environment, meaning you will mostly be walking, or only trotting, on safe level terrain. Make certain you have checked the terrain and that it isn’t too icy or that the snow is not too deep . Remember a horse can get stuck in a drift. If you walk and just trot a little your horse doesn't sweat as much. If you ride a lot during the winter, ask your farrier about shoes with pads and ice caulks. Choose where you ride carefully and choose the safest places to ride. Remember there could be unseen hazards under that snow. Wearing brightly colored clothes will help people see you if you are riding on or near a road.
Be sure your horse is fit and healthy for the ride in the cold weather. Be sure to check your tack and make sure it doesn’t need any repair, that it is clean and oiled. You want to warm your horse’s bit before placing it in your horse’s mouth. This can be done by rubbing it between your hands, placing it under your coat or your arm or putting a warm, but not hot, gel pack around it. You can give your horse's hooves a coating of petroleum jelly to prevent snowballs from forming and you should carry a hoof pick. Your horse will need extra time to warm his muscles up and so will you. Some people will put a quarter sheet on their horse to keep his muscles warmer. You should make sure you dress warmly, as well, and in layers, but make certain you can move easily too. Hat and 32
For the Ride
Warm Down After the Ride A wet horse can catch a cold, so take extra time for your warm down. Dry your horse thoroughly after riding. You can towel him off. Be sure to clean the horse's hooves so you can check for cracks or loose shoes. You may want to cover him with a blanket for extra warmth. Stable Care Make sure your horse has fresh, clean, ice-free water. Install water heaters in troughs. Horses drink less if the water is too cold and this can lead to colic. Consider bedding stalls a bit deeper so horses are not standing on cold floors. Blanketing for extra warmth doesn’t hurt either, especially if the temperature really drops. Senior horses often need a blanket during the winter months. If you live someplace where it gets cold and rainy remember a horse will be much wetter from rain than from snow and a wet horse can’t stay warm, so a water proof blanket may be in needed. Be sure to give your horse lots of good hay during those cold months.
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If you decide you don’t want to ride in the cold weather just give your horse a treat then head back to the house and have a cup of hot chocolate or tea, sit by the fire and dream about spring (or a warmer climate).
The Old One This lovely fable is worth reading every Christmas!
The young couple had made their usual hurried, preChristmas visit to the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents with their small herd of horses. The farm had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine which topped the hill behind the farm, and through the years had become a talisman to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside. The old folks no longer showed their horses, for the years had taken their toll, but they sold a few foals each year, and the horses were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day's end. Crossly, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the old folks. "Why do you not at least dispose of "The Old One". She is no longer of use to you. It's been years since you've had foals from her. You should cut corners and save where you can. Why do you keep her anyway?" The old man looked down as his worn boot, scuffed at the barn floor, and his arm stole defensively about the Old One's neck as he drew her to him and rubbed her gently behind the ears. He replied softly, "We keep her because of love. Only because of love." Baffled and irritated, the young folks wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through the valley. So it was, that because of the leave-taking, no one noticed the insulation smoldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. None saw the first spark fall. None but the "Old One". In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced to the barn to save their beloved horses. But the flames were roaring now, and the blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the ground helpless before the fire's fury. By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins were left, and the old man and his wife. They thanked those who had come to their aid, and the old man turned to his wife, resting 34
her white head upon his shoulders as he clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana. Brokenly he whispered, "We have lost much, but God has spared our home on this eve of Christmas. Let us, therefore, climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared." And so, he took her by the hand and helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his hand. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of the hill, they looked up and gasped in amazement at the incredible beauty before them. Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their beloved pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And poised on its top most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun glass. Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy as he pulled his wife forward. There, beneath the tree, was their Christmas gift. Bedded down about the "Old One" close to the trunk of the tree, was the entire herd, safe. At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar with her muzzle and had led the horses through it. Slowly and with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping daintily through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The mares pressed uneasily against the "Old One" as she moved calmly up the hill and to safety beneath the pine. And now, she lay among them and gazed at the faces of those she loved. Her body was brittle with years, but the golden eyes were filled with devotion as she offered her giftBecause of love. Only Because of love.
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