Samwise is my 10 year old Appaloosa gelding. In 2004, he lost his sight to uveities, also known as moonblindness. According to my vet, many people would not have suffered Sam's blindness and the expensive treatment he needs to keep his eyes comfortable. True, they cannot see--but without the meds he could suffer infections and terrible headaches.
But Sam was lucky. I believe every animal has a right to quality treatment and a shot at living. I didn't see his blindness as a hindrance or obstacle to overcome. It was merely something we needed to work on, just like lead changes and collections.
I've now owned Sam for 7 years and we've got quite the trusting relationship. Not only do I continue to ride him, but we go on trail rides, gallop across fields, and teach riding lessons. I have also worked with him to develop an unbridled relationship. I find it truly astonishing that a blind horse will allow me to direct him using nothing more than a neck rope and my seat. We work in the arena this way, we gallop across fields this way. He is an amazing horse.
Now, our unbridled partnership is a bit rusty these days--Sam currently lives 1 hour away and it's difficult for me to see him regularly. Still, I thought this weekend I might give it a try. We haven't practiced this in over two years, and he's out of shape besides. But I think he did pretty darn good. *grin*
Is the barn I board at the only barn that seems to have horses completely misbehave when we ride the trails that are actually on the property? It's like the distraction of the barn is just too much for the horses to take.
My husband's mare is a GREAT trail horse when you put her on the trailer and take her away from home. Take the trails at the barn, however and there are frequent arguments about when it is time to go back to the gate. It also seems that no matter where you are out there her head is constantly pulled in the direction of the barn and god forbid you relax a little and it's off you go back to the barn.
The barn owner's horse...another horse that does OK on the trail away from home will pull through pressure and run off with her as fast as she can back to the barn.
Another horse at the barn that is also ridden without issue on trails away from home will spook up and down when you ride her at the barn on the trails.
Are we the only ones with this problem? Am I missing something?
I took this brief excerpt from my horse journal to share with the community. It got me thinking about how amazing the horse and human bond can be given all the obstacles put in our way. It also gave me the reality check that our horses can always use a little more patience and understanding on our part.
"My husband and I had a conversation where there was a misunderstanding in the message he was trying to send and the message I was hearing. Lance noted how hard communication can be between two humans and how sometimes the same message can be understood so completely different. He then went on to point out that it is no wonder sometimes horse and human just don't get each other. If two humans that are the same species, relatively close in age, live in the same house, see each other everyday, and have spoken the same language since they knew how to speak can jumble a message up, then it is amazing that a horse and a person can ever get on the same page about anything. I guess we should all remember that when we are working with our horses...if the message gets a little mixed up...there is no wonder."
I do not have the particulars at this time other than Amigo has a few barbed wire cuts. Thank you everyone for your care and concern. Dawn sends her absolute appreciation for putting out the information as quickly as possible.
Dawn Simas needs our help!!
This is the email we got from her this morning at 3AM. Poor lady is no doubt beside herself. If anyone can help her or knows of anyone in the Tonopah area please contact her at:
"I have my phone/blackberry. It' 3:30am so I don't want to call you. I
went to Vegas to get Amigo. We camped at this rest area on the way back
at Tonapah. About 3 hrs ago, he got loose and headed down the hiway 95
south. Sheriff helped track him for 3-4 miles and lost tracks. He could
be 30 miles away on the hwy, in the town, our out on open range BLM land
anywhere. I can track him off and on, my problem is I need a horse, ATV,
jeep, dirt bike...I can't walk after him in my flip flops for 50 miles.
Can you post ridecamp for me? Call anyone in NV you think could help? I
am stuck just sitting at this rest area while the trail is getting cold."
I will post Amigo's picture on www.my-endurance.net (Ranelle Rubin's page). I have a copy of his Tevis Cougar Rock pic that I will scan and post. He is a paint with black mane and tail. If anyone wants a copy sent to them to post elsewhere contact me before 8:30am
Thank you for anything you can do, endurance family!
Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. ~ John Wayne
Ranelle Rubin, Business Consultant
Independent Dynamite Distributor
530-885-3510 home office
A bit of an update, Jazz my gorgeous big red TB mare is now with a friend who will be using her as a pleasure/bush hack and then foundation mare for her new stud.
I am now owned by a lovely big bay 16.2hh Holsteiner Gelding named Harry aka Boofhead, I have only had him in my life for about 4 weeks and am really looking forward to our future.
Harry and I went for a walk down the road today, we were doing fine until a bus went past, his reaction was interesting. He freaks/shies in the most unusual manner he goes spreadeagled with his head right up and you can see he is just holding himself together before he explodes. Apart from the bus he was fine on our short walk, afterwards I lunged him and he worked beautifully.
I took off the roller, the chambon and bridle and let him loose in the round yard and just walked around randomly wanting to see what he did. He followed me everywhere, where I turned he turned it was as if there was an invisible string between us. Everyso often I would stop and scratch his shoulder, telling him he was a good boy. Toward the end of our session he was licking and chewing, and even poking his tongue right out and wiggling his top lip and much snorting and a few yawns; at the very end he did a huge big body shake and then nudged me gently with his nose. Now I am not a natural horsemanship follower by any means but from the little I have read and from what [info]blitzen_has taught me the actions that Harry was doing were good signs. I called it a day there and put him back into his paddock with his mates with a hug and a kiss.
It was a few weeks ago, but it was still an amusing incident. I had to rinse off one of the tarps due to an unfortunate incident with the cat (he thought it was part of his territory ...). For lack of a better place to dry it off I hung it on the fence to the arena and then went about the rest of the chores.
All of our stalls turn out into the arena and I let the horses loose while I much the stalls. This provided and interesting opportunity to watch the horses react to the novel stimulus. Chewy, our little Haflinger mare was the first. As soon as I let her out of her stall Chewy spotted it and made a b-line to the tarp, stuck her nose in it, and then wandered off.
Kash, my Arab gelding investigated it more thoroughly, nosing it, nibbling at it, and pawing it before being satisfied and moving on.
Panda and Ruby were last and released at the same time. Ruby, the Belgian, didn't seem too terribly concerned, nor interested in exploring it, but she stood by Panda as the smaller, younger pinto Draft walked cautiously up, drawn and uncertain at the same time. Panda pawed at it and was slightly startled at the noise it made, pawed a bit more and then nipped at it. As she grabbed it in her mouth she went to pull away, became startled at the noise, but failed to realize she was the one making it move, scaring both herself and Ruby as the tarp came after them. I readjusted the tarp on the fence and Panda cautiously explored it again, nibbling and pawing until she realized it wasn't out to get her.
It's interesting to see how these little reactions to a novel object speaks so loudly of their individual personalities. Chewy is brave and willing, and with age has "been there and done that." Kash is curious and mostly fearless. Ruby isn't as driven by her curiosity, but she does like attention and social interaction. Panda is curious and is drawn to things by it, but she is also cautious and weary, unsure of what will happen, but willing to give it a chance. I think these two forces battle inside her and with reassurance and confidence building, she will become just as bold and sure as Chewy.
I know not all of you are in the U.S. so please forgive me for posting something that's not all that relevant elsewhere. But I thought it was important to post about the fact that the Bureau of Land Management is really cracking down on the Mustangs. According to people I know in the Mustang community, the BLM is planning on destroying all Mustangs in holding facilities that are not adopted out soon. I cannot comprehend the sheer awfulness of killing thousands and thousands of healthy horses that were once wild. There is no reason for it, no way for me to understand why right now.
Very few are left on the range now, and it seems the plan is to make them go away entirely. The BLM has more Mustangs in holding facilities than out on the range, but it seems they are all destined for the same fate; destruction if not adopted.
Cloud is the famous Mustang stallion that appeared in the PBS documentary a few years ago, and even his fame does not appear to be saving him. His entire herd and Cloud himself are scheduled to be destroyed on July 11th. A petition is being circulated on the internet to save Cloud. Petition to Save Cloud
Click on "View whole petition" to see more details about recent events.
I've checked on snopes etc. and this is NOT a JOKE!! The BLM really does plan to 'remove' the entire herd. I don't think Cloud deserves to be saved any more or less than any other Mustang, but he is a symbol, and it is a good place to take a stand.
So please follow the link and at least read more details on the situation. Cloud and herd are located in the Pryor Mountain Range in Montana.
For more info on the latest events and legal issues surrounding Mustangs, check out the links at the bottom of the Wikipedia Mustang Page
Thanks everyone. Cross-posted to equestrian
If you all live in Northern Kentucky or south western Ohio, keep this place in mind. It was a great place to ride. Camp sites are $20, weekend trail tags are $5 per day. It was a super nice place to ride!
I joined my friend Yvette and her granddaughter G for a weekend of trail riding around Deam Lake in southern Indiana. It hooks up with the Clark-Jackson State Forest and it very close to Louisville and probably about 1 or 2 hours from Cincinnati. Deam Lake Horseman's Camp is brand new, with Class A campground and hitching post for the ponies. It's really nice. They're even building stalls so a limited number of folks can put their horses up and go places if they want.
Yvette invited me to go because there was a large dedication ceremony at one of the shelters. Our governor, Mitch Daniels, was there to give a speech and open the whole thing. It was really exciting and neat to see how dedicated Daniels is to environmental issues and keeping parks open to people like trail riders and their horses.
The whole weekend was a bit of an ordeal actually. We got off almost two hours later than we planned, and none of the horses we were taking had seen the farrier as originally scheduled. But we were armed with easy boots and hoping for the best. We didn't make it to the camp grounds until 11 p.m. in the pouring rain. We were then lost in the camp grounds for an hour! I think they need to mark the sites a little better. *grin*
We finally found our site and the rain had let up, so we unloaded the horses and I pitched my tent. Yvette thought I was a little crazy, but didn't put up a fuss, so into my tent I went. But then...BAM! BIG ol' lightning bolt strikes somewhere in camp and the rain starts POURING down. Into the trailer I went. *sigh* oh well, I stayed dry and no more lightning worries.
Saturday, we rode in the morning, finding the lay of the land and deciding that the trails need better markers too, but enjoying ourselves none the less. Yvette rode a borrowed buckskin named Scotch, I rode her mare Star, and G rode the very reliable JB.
We only had a few hours out in the morning before we needed to return for the dedication ceremony and lunch. But then we headed back out on the trails in the afternoon. That's when things got a little harry. JB and Star were both missing one shoe, so each had on one easy boot. But the trail we were out on the afternoon got super muddy half way through and JB lost another shoe. Star nearly did, and she did loose her easy boot because the mud was so bad. Scotch's boots were already torn up from the week before and so had been duct taped onto her feet, but she stepped out of them in the mud. *sigh* JB and Star became pretty tender and I finally got off and walked star home, her poor feet were just so sore. But, we managed to get back to camp. Of course, all that meant we weren't able to ride on Sunday. We took care of their feet and then loaded up Sunday morning and came home. But it was still a very good trip. ( a few pictures for your enjoyment.Collapse )
16.3hh Holsteiner Gelding (possibly 17hh - last time he was measured he was about 6 1/2 years old and his former owners think he has grown).
8 years old, show jumper.( HarryCollapse )
I've been riding Xena for awhile - not sure if I have shown pix of her.
She is about 15.2hh Stb Mare, that I ride for her owner.
She is gorgeous and I adore her.( XenaCollapse )
N.B. Critiques re my weight, my arms, or anything similar are not needed. I know my flaws and I don't need reminders :P
Some of you (probably most of you) may not realize that last week the decision was made to go (temporarily) to moderated membership, due to lurkers trying to start trouble.
As part of an effort to keep spammers and lurkers away, we also changed the community setting so that only members can post or comment. I was concerned about doing this, as I know many frequent poster/commenters only "watch" the community.
As expected, I've had several messages asking "Why I have I been deleted???"
NO ONE HAS BEEN DELETED =) We Promise!
If you are unable to post comments or entries, check to be sure you are a member (not just watching).
We didnt' want to do this, but it has become necessary.
I sincerely hope everyone stays in backyardhorse
We have a nice, friendly group here, and all are welcome to join.
Hopefully in the future we will again have open membership, and allow anyone to post, but right now, to keep drama away, it's not possible.
If anyone has any problems, feel free to contact me.
EDITED TO ADD:
This does NOT mean we do not want to encourage discussion, and debate -this means we just want to keep it reasonably polite!
Keep the discussions coming =)
I watched a program today about horse breeding and it really got me thinking.
I don't see a lot of "public service" education going on about the responsibility of breeding horses. It seems that in this day of rising hay costs, increased horse abandonment, the ever popular fugly horse, the numerous horse rescues out there, the amount of horses going through auction and potentially on to slaughter that there should be some awareness before another horse it brought into the world.
This does not even touch on one of my personal peeves of people buying horses that are over-bred for the discipline they want to participate in. IMHO there are way more high level event/dressage/jumpers out there than there are skilled people to ride them. These horses end up in the wrong hands and then the owner thinks they have a problem horse on their hands when in reality the horse is just behaving the way it was bred to.
With the horse market being what it is and horses are getting harder and harder to sell it seems like things are only going to get tougher.
We are reminded that all dogs and cats should be spayed and neutered and I see so much that tries to educate the public about "fixing" their house pets and I just feel that there should be more out there about the responsible breeding of horses. Something to make people think twice before they go out and pay to get their beloved mare pregnant.
Bah, Peggy Sue has been sold! :( I'm happy for them, and for her, but I'll miss riding her. The up side is that I was driving about 1/2 hour to ride her, when it only takes me about an hour to get home to ride my own horses. I think I'll drive the extra bit to spend quality time with MY boys now. :)
Anyone know of/ willing to recommend any good equine vets, farriers, dentists, tack/feed/equipment shops in the Northeastern PA area and surrounding?
I am located in Susquehanna county also if that helps.
I guess hay too in case my other connections ever fail.
Names, addresses & phone numbers are very much appreciated =]
My sister is coming for a visit and bringing my nephew. I know they will want to spend some time with the horses while they are here.
We are a no helmet...no ride family.
The question is can my nephew use his current bicycle helmet or do you think we should go buy him a specific riding helmet? I am not sure what the differences and standards for approval between the two are.
Okay so I know there is darkening coat supplements, but what about supplements [homemade or to buy], to lighten the coat?? Is it even possible to do and still have a healthy horse?
All my sorrels are turning into chestnuts/bays this year! >=[
I work at the racetrack during the summer, with, as many of you know, "high strung" horses. (I put high strung in quotations because there are as many calm, level-headed TB's as there are wacky ones.. and some it truly depends on the day!)
so my question is, where does everyone stand on the use of lipshanks to control unruly horses? The reason I ask is because the issue of using equipment (be it tack or otherwise) to inflict pain to a horse in order to gain some form of "control" has come up in a couple different places, and the whole topic of conversation got me thinking...
Of course, having said I work at a racetrack how could I NOT post pictures of the cuties I work with every day? ETA: I should also add, that if anyone has ANY suggestions on how to correct this behaviour, keeping in mind that I have MAYBE 20 minutes with the horse at any given time and DON'T have the time to work over any particular area slowly (i.e. a horse that spooks at a corner doesn't have the option of circling in the same spot to become desensitized to whatever simulus is bothering them), I would LOVE to hear them, or likewise what do YOU do in these situations with YOUR horses, that I may be able to steal and adapt to my working situation!?