ANOTHER MONTH TO COMMENT ON WILD HORSE PLAN
Posted July 31
Bureau of Land Management has announced it will extend for one month — until Sept. 3 — the time period to comment
on its proposed wild horse management plan for the entire country.
of Interior Ken Salazar announced the proposal earlier this year, but it immediately drew criticism from wild horse advocates.
The official BLM Strategy Development Document was released June 3, with a 60-day comment period. Click on the link BLM to
see the BLM announcement about the extension.
BLM news release on comment period extension
CALGARY STAMPED ON HOT SEAT
Posted July 31
I meant to link to this earlier. Several news sources say the Vancouver Humane Society and PETA are both demanding
the Calgary Stampede end its annual chuckwagon race after five horses died durning the race this year. PETA is going even
further and demanding an end to rodeos in general. But that's not unusual for that group.
Below is a link to the online magazine Examiner story about the effort.
Examiner story on fight over Calgary Stamped
DOES THIS SADDLE MAKE ME LOOK FAT?
Posted July 30, 2010
More to the point,
does your saddle fit your horse properly? According to a recently released study from New Mexico State University, there is
a good chance it doesn't.
The study looked at 200 horse-and-rider
combinations from competitive ropers and barrel racers. It found that nearly half the saddles in both categories created excessive
pressure on the horse's back as a result of poor fitting. This photo is from the NMS website about the study.
One surprising discovery to me, and probably lots of other horse folks, is the fact
that thicker saddle pads don't necessarily alleviate the problems. In fact, they often make it worse.
Read the article at Horse Channel.com by clicking on the link below. At the end of the article are
two links, one that will take you to the full report from New Mexico State, and one to an earlier article on saddle fitting.
Horse Channel.com story on saddle-fit study
THE QUEEN, ON AND OFF THE TRACK
Posted July 29
who pays attention to horse racing knows Zenyatta is royalty at the race track. Seventeen wins in 17 starts, including the
Breeder's Cup Classic last year, make her an undisputed champion. This photo shows her winning a race this year. She is expected
to race several more times this year, including another shot at the Breeder's Cup, before retiring.
However, unlike so many other champions — human and equine — is also
regal off the track, but kind and appreciative of her fans. Man of War was mean to everyone but his groom. Secretariat was
aloof. But Zenyatta loves to interact with people, from children to wealthy donors who pay thousands to spend time with her.
This article from the Houston Chronicle offers some insight into Zenyatta and
her "people skills."
Houston Chronicle story on Zenyatta
RESTORING AN EQUINE MONUMENT
Posted July 26
In Great Britain work is set to begin soon to restore a rock monument carved into a hill in Dorsent nearly 200 years
ago. According to the BBC, the huge artwork -- 260 feet tall -- was created in honour of George III, who visited to the
town frequently on his favourite grey charger.
To read more
from the BBC, click on the link below.
BBC article on Dorset horse monument
ANATOMY AND DRESSAGE
Posted July 26
An interesting clinic is scheduled for Aug.
13, 14 & 15 in Colorado Springs: Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, a veterinarian and author of books on dressage and horsemanship,
and Sunsan Harris, known for her "Anatomy in Motion" paintings on live horses of their muscle and skeletal structure.
To download a flier for the clinic, click on the link below.
Click here to dowload flier
IT'S FAIR TIME ON THE WEST SLOPE
Posted July 23
The Mesa County Fair continues through Saturday at the fairgrounds on Orchard Mesa, although the 4-H horse show was
held last weekend. More PBRA bull riding competition is slated for tonight.
Up in Rifle, the Garfield County Fair is under way, with the 4-H horse show there running today through Sunday. There's
also jackpot team roping with JC Roping set for Saturday.
county fair is also taking place to the south, in Montrose, with a Colorado Professional Rodeo Association rodeo tonight and
Saturday. Sunday, the Junior Horse Show and Junior Horse Speed events are scheduled, followed by a Junior Working Ranch Horse
Show Monday morning. The Montrose County Fair continues through the week, with some rodeo and horse-related evens scheduled.
Delta County's fair doesn't begin until Aug. 8.
DIMWITTED DONKEY ABUSERS
Posted July 22
Animal cruelty sparks anger, even in
places like southern Russia, where this incident took place.
folks at a private beach resort at the Sea of Azov, trying to attract more people to their resortlast weekend, apparently
strapped a terrified donkey into a para-sailing rig, then sent the animal flying high above the water as it brayed in fright.
The owner of the resort could do prison time for animal cruelty, the police say.
The photo here was apparently taken from video one of the tourists at the scene shot. To read more, click the link
Horse Channel.com story on donkey
PONY CLUB IN PARADISE
Posted July 20
Moose and I were fortunate
to be invited to join the Grand Valley Pony Club for a weekend of cross-country schooling at the beautiful Flying Horse Ranch
near Oak Creek and Stagecoach Reservoir.
I'm not sure what the elevation
of the ranch is, but it was a good deal cooler than the Grand Valley last weekend. Hosts Lydia and Lou Dequine were great,
and the lengthy cross-country course, with a variety of jumps at different levels, was wonderful. That's Whitney Jackson and
her horse, Olive, easily handling one of the larger obstacles.
to Julie Ellis for inviting me and to all the Pony Clubbers and their families, as well as Lydia and Lou, for the great time
we had. Cricket, Michelle and Natalie provided instruction.
plan to write more about the Pony Club for the September edition of Horseplay in The Daily Sentinel. For now click on the
link below to view more pictures.
More Pony Club pictures
GRAND VALLEY HORSE WINS COLORADO DERBY
Posted July 20
Porter of Grand Junction sent notice that her horse, Cheatin a Little, won the Colorado Derby at Arapaho Park on the Front
Cheatin a Little is trained by Sally's daughter,
Sarina Obergfell, and he had to overcome the undefeated Danzip to win the race. According to an article from the Daily Racing
Form, Cheatin a Little overtook Danzip in the stretch in the 1 1/16 mile race. He won $31,050 for his efforts.
Sally has long been involved in the horse-racing world while living in the Grand
Valley. She is a former director of the Mesa County Animal Shelter. Congratulations to Sally, Sarina and Cheatin a Little.
HEARING ON LARIMER COUNTY HORSE REGS TODAY
Posted July 19
A final hearing
before the Larimer County Commissioners about proposed new horse rules is scheduled for today. The rules will govern horse
boarding operations, trainers and those that host events. The information below is from the Colorado Horse Council.
"The Larimer County Board of County Commissioners assembled a group of citizens
knowledgeable in the horse industry in early 2009. For 18 months this group has been working to develop recommended changes
to the County's existing horse business regulations. The existing regulations were adopted in 1998 and are confusing, outdated,
and apply very rigorous standards to boarding stables and training facilities. The proposed regulations will scale the review
process to the size of the business and be quicker and less costly than the approval process currently required. The Board
of County Commissioners are also considering a transition program for existing businesses to secure approvals using a simplified
review process with substantially reduced fees. Information about the process conducted by county staff, leading horsemen
in the County, and others is available on-line at http://www.larimer.org/horses/."
QUITE A PAIR
Posted July 19
If you didn't
see Patti Arnold's story about Madison Ketchum and her horse, Tommy in Saturday's edition of The Daily Sentinel, click below
to read it.
It's an interesting story about a young woman who's
found great success in the Paint and Pinto show worlds with a horse she acquired last year.
To read Patti Arnold's story on Madison Ketchem click here
MORE WILD HORSE NEWS
Posted July 15, 2010
Now there are 12 wild horses dead
in the Nevada roundup, according to the latest Associated Press story. Also, a hearing is set for today on the request by
wild-horse advocacy groups for an injunction to halt the roundup. To read the entire AP story, click on the link below.
Meanwhile, for some more encouraging wild horse news, local writer Pat Martin has
peened a piece on Marty Felix, the Grand Junction woman who has spent decades working with the BLM to protect the Little Bookcliffs
wild horse herd. Anyone who has spent any time dealing with the Little Bookcliffs wild horses has probably met Marty. The
photo of Little Bookcliffs wild horses here is one I took in April in Main Canyon near Cameo. To read more about Marty Felix,
click on the second link below.
I'll be unavailable through
the week, so there will be no new postings until Monday.
AP story on Nevada wild horse roundup
Click here to download Marty Felix article
SEVEN HORSES DEAD IN BLM ROUNDUP
Posted July 13, 2010
Although I generally think the BLM has done a reasonable job trying manage wild horse herds in the West under the
restrictions of federal law and competing interests, they blew it in Nevada over the weekend. The roundup was conducted in
extremely hot weather, and horses died as a result.
the full story from the Associated Press, click on the link below.
AP story on deaths in Nevada wild horse roundup
HORSE MANURE TO LIGHT ROYAL STABLE
Posted July 13, 2010
Manure from 170 horses that make up the Royal Horse Artillery in the United Kingdom will be made into pellets to
create a biofuel, according to the BBC.
The mounted regiment,
also known as the King's Troop, is to move to a new headquarters in 2011, and the horse-generated fuel will help it to meet
Britain's targets for reducing carbon emissions.
In the photo
here, members of the King's Troop participate in state ceremonies in Hyde Park.
Click here for BBC article on King's Troop
DOWN UNDER HORSEMANSHIP CLINIC
Posted July 12
This sounds like an interesting
clinic for a little different perspective on horse training. It features Clinician Dale Cunningham and it's a benefit for
Dream Catcher Therapy Center in Olathe.
The clinic is Aug. 28 and
29 at the Montrose County Fairgrounds. To see a flier for the clinic, click on the link below.
Click here to dowload flier
FERAL NEVADA HORSES BOUGHT BY ACTIVISTS
Posted July 12, 2010
With the backing of a California winery and Madeline Pickens, a group called Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue bought
172 horses rounded up from federal rangelands in Nevada Saturday. The horses likely would have been sold to slaughter plants
in Canada or Mexico if the group hadn't bought them for $31,415.
Unlinke other horses rounded from federal lands — and then usually put up for adoption — these horses
weren't considered "wild" under federal law that protects wild horses and burros. Instead, they were considered
feral horses or strays — animals that had recently escaped or been turned loose by their owners in Nevada's Pilot
To read more from the Associated Press, click
the link below.
Posted July 9
This announcement arrived yesterday and
I'm sure it will be a helpful workshop for those who can attend. Plus it's at Gateway Canyons, so it would be a great half-day
Join Horseman Jeff Jefferson for a half-day workshop
at The Stables at Gateway Canyons. Learn how to get your horse to "pick you up" from any elevated surface thereby
giving you permission to mount! "Mastering this one task sets you and your horse up for success every ride." Jeff
Jefferson has been a horse trader for more than 40 years, and has owned thousands of horses. A lifetime student of the horse,
Jeff has a wealth of practical experience and knowledge and a willingness to share.
Date: Saturday, July
31, 2010. Fee: $100 and includes a BBQ beef brisket lunch. Auditors $25 — lunch $10. Registration: 8:00-8:30 a.m Workshop:
9:00 a.m. to noon. Stay and ride after lunch. Enjoy The Stables with more than 500 acres of well marked trails of varying
terrain through awe-inspiring Unaweep Canyon and Uncompahgre Plateau.
Contact Jeff at 970-201-9641 or email at: email@example.com or Amy at The Stables at Gateway Canyons at
970.931.2442 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org."
Click here for flyer
HORSE ARTISTRY IN PALISADE
Posted July 9.
This also came
Thursday, from Brett Lee Arnold with the Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade:
wanted to notify all you horse lovers out there in the Western Slope about our show of amazing equine paintings by Kathleen
Steventon at the Blue Pig Gallery in Palisade This show closes at the end of this month so come take a look!"
The Blue Pig Gallery is at 119 W. 3rd. St., in Palisade. Since Palisade is my adopted
hometown, I can tell you the gallery is within easy walking distance of several good restaurants, not to mention a brew pub
and distillery. And, of course, there are multiple wineries in the immediate area. The exhibit of horse paintings at the gallery
is a great reason to visit Palisade.
COMPETITIVE TRAIL RIDE
Posted July 8
sounds like fun, and a great opportunity to learn about competive trail riding through a sanctioned organization. Here is
the flyer for the event:
Come try Competitive Trail Riding - At
Island in the SKy
Mesa National Forest
August 7-8, 2010
Type A (2-Day Ride) Rider Limit 60
Competitive Trail Riding is a really fun, family friendly event. The trails are well marked
and incredibly beautiful and interesting. Novice competitors will ride 15-24 miles a day at 3.5-5.5 mph and more advanced
competitors will ride 25-35miles/day at 4-6mph, before returning to camp each afternoon.
The horse will be judged on
soundness, manners, condition and the rider will be judged on trail riding horsemanship, care of horse on the trail and in
camp plus courtesy and safety. The horse will be monitored on the trail and in camp for any metabolic or soundness problems.
The judges are helpful, friendly, educational and approachable.
Island in the Sky is located high above Grand
Junction in the Grand Mesa National Forest . Give yourself a treat and come ride the Mesa . This is the land of
lakes, some 350 of them. Ride through Spruce and Aspen forests, around beautiful lakes and lush, alpine meadows.
This is the summer pasture for huge elk, deer and cattle herds and the views are wonderful. Located just south of Grand
Junction , Grand Mesa rises abruptly to an elevation of 10,000 feet and a whole different, alpine world. Bring your fishing
poles if you fish, there are lakes full of trout everywhere. We recommend horses have hoof protection as the trail has rocky
sections (this is the Rocky Mountains ).
CAMP - Camp will be in a high mountain meadow. Elevation is
10,000 feet. Bring blankets for you and your horses. The weather can be anything from warm to cool and rainy.
Porta-Potties and Horse water will be provided. Weed free hay is required. If you need hay to be provided make arrangements
with the Ride Secretary.
SHEDULE- Check in will begin at 2:00 on Friday afternoon until dark.
Depending on the weather the ride will begin at 8:00 on Saturday and 7:00 on Sunday. Awards will be presented as early
as possible on Sunday as soon as the scores are talleyed.
RULES: The ride will be conducted under
current NATRC rules Colorado State law requires that ‘out-of-state’ horses have a current Coggins and health papers.
Please be prepared to show the ride secretary. Registration papers must be shown or sent to ride secretary to be eligible
for breed awards.
MEALS: Price includes dinner Friday night,Lunch and Dinner Saturday, and lunch in
ENTRY FEES: - Senior Entry $105, Junior Entry $50 includes meals. Non-working guests may
purchase meal package for $15. Deposit of at least $30/rider must accompany entry. Cancellations received
by July 15 will receive $15.00 of deposit back. Please cancel if you cannot make it and allow someone else the
chance to ride. Warning: Send entries to Ride Secretary only or they could become lost.
Contact : -
Ride Chairmen: Judy Wise Mason (970) 856-7022, Masonranch@aol.com . See natrc.org for rules and information or
natrc3.org to register in the rms system or send entry form to ride Secretary.Ride Secretary: Rich Garrett (970) 835-8194
or bgarrett@Alliancepaper.com PO Box 70 Eckert, CO.
HALTERS FOR CHARITY
Posted July 7
a halter worn by a champion and help a charitable organization known as The Race for Education.
The halters come from Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra, the two female stars of the
Thoroughbred horse racing world. That's Zenyatta, pictured here.
The Race for Education is a non-profit organization that provides scholarships to the children of low-income families
working in the equine industry. The halters are for sale on eBay.
To read more about the program from HorseChannel.com, click the link below.
HorseChannel.com article on Halters for Charity
IOWA CARRIAGE HORROR UNDER INVESTIGATION
Posted July 6, 2010
More information is coming to light now regarding the runaway team at the Fourth of July parade in
For one thing, it appears the driver was an experienced
teamster who'd had his team in parades many times before. He was dragged down the street, hanging onto the reins, even after
the carriage overturned and the team broke free.
Also, the woman
killed was the driver's wife, who had been riding in the carriage with him.
But I have found little information about the horses -- what kind they are or what happened to them. One item
said they appeared to be in good health after they were halted.
a little difficult to believe that an experienced team bolted because one horse rubbed his head on the other and rubbed
his teammate's bridle off. I'm not alone in that. In one article I read, a gentleman from Minneapolis who has been showing
teams in parades for 28 years said he didn't think that was the primary cause of the wreck. But we all know stranger things
have caused horses to bolt. One reason I've never participated in a parade with any of my horses.
The damaged carriage is removed from the street in the photo above by Mike Burley, of the Telegraph
Herald, via the Associated Press.
To read more from the Associated
Press, click HERE.
FAIRGROUNDS AT FULL GALLOP
Posted July 5, 2010
I wrote this article for
The Daily Sentinel and it appeared in our Horseplay section on Sunday, July 4:
Later this month, the equine facilities at the Mesa County Fairgrounds will be buzzing with activities. First there
is the annual Frontier Belles horse show, July 10 and 11, in conjunction with the Grand Junction Horse Show Association.
That will be followed the next weekend by the Mesa County 4-H Horse Show. And the week after that, there is the remainder
of the country fair, during which some of the livestock exhibitors use stalls in the horse barns.
A year from now, when the same shows occur, exhibitors are likely to find very different, modernized and expanded
As part of the $17 million in capital projects
approved by the Mesa County commissioners earlier this year, the county will spend $1 million to improve the equine area
on the east end of the fairgrounds. A new barn and expanded covered arena are the main features of the planned improvements.
In a related effort, the county also is developing a new master plan to guide
redevelopment of the entire fairgrounds complex on Orchard Mesa.
that in mind, the county has held a series of meetings with residents of the area near the fairgrounds, business owners,
Realtors, tourism officials and more, to help determine what the fairground should look like and accommodate in the future.
But that work will require other funding. The money for renovating the equine
facilities already has been identified and the project is moving forward.
Six firms have submitted proposals for designing the renovation of the horse area, said Marsha Kosteva, the fairgrounds
manager, and the county is in the process of evaluating them. The commissioners are expected to accept one of those proposals
this month, with the intention of having a construction plan in place by late this year.
"We hope to be under construction as soon as this show season is over" late in the autumn, said Tom Fisher,
regional services director for the county. "Our ambitious goal is to be open for shows next March."
Whether that deadline is met, users of the fairgrounds equine area will see significant
changes once the work is completed. Most dramatic will be a new barn at the far east side of the fairgrounds.
It is anticipated that a single large barn will include 70 to 90 horse stalls,
although the actual number won't be determined until designs are finalized. The new barn will replace six old steel barns
estimated to have been built in the 1970s, which are in rough shape.
Those buildings are immediately north of the covered arena, where most horse events are held. When those old barns
are demolished, the area they now occupy will be turned into a parking lot for truck and horse trailers.
The covered arena will be expanded to the east — with 25 feet of additional
show area and 15 feet of shaded waiting area for competitors and their horses.
A permanent awning will be added to cover the bleachers on the north side of the arena. A new show headquarters
building and a new judges' stand are to be constructed.
at one point called for enclosing the entire arena, instead of leaving it open on the sides, but that probably won't be
accomplished because of limited funding available.
improvements include two new lunging round pens, an expanded warm-up arena, and a new small arena designated for trail classes.
"We've known from several studies that there's been a lot of deferred maintenance
of the horse facilities," Fisher said. "The $1 million being spent on the equestrian facilities the commissioners
hope will be catalyst for boosting the entire fairgrounds."
MALNOURISHED HORSES SEIZED NEAR COLORADO SPRINGS
Posted July 2, 2010
The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region seized five horses — three adults
and two foals — from two different private owners in Fountain this week.
Details about the owners weren't
available, but the Humane Society said that although they agreed to turn the horses over to the animal welfare group, they
will still face animal cruelty charges.
The statement from the Humane Society was a little confusing, say the society
"executed a warrant and seized five horses." I assume it did so with the assistance of law enforcement authorities,
because nonprofit organizations don't generally have the authority to execute warrants on their own.
In any event,
it appears the horses were in bad shape, as evidenced by this photo from the Humane Society website. Here's hoping they'll
be restored to health and find good adoptive homes.
To read more from the Humane Society, click the link below.
Humane Society story on seized horses
GRAVEYARD OF DUTCH CAVALRY HORSES?
Posted July 1, 2010
burial ground discovered near Amsterdam contains the remains of at least 51 horses that appear to have been killed in battle
during the 1600s.
Archaeologists who discovered the horse graveyard
were actually looking for evidence of prehistoric human settlements. But, as one researcher put it, "From the first
shovel, it was horses, horses and more horses."
say there were two large battles that the Dutch fought in that region during the 17th century. One involved the Spanish and
one was against the French. It is not clear which army the horses belonged to, but there is definite evidence they were
cavalry horses, not draft animals.
The Associated Press photo
here shows as archaeologist working to uncover one of the equine skeletons Wednesday along the Maas River.
To read the Associated Press article on the discovery, click the link below.
AP story on Dutch horse burial ground