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  Mon May 14

Has Sportsmanship Gone by the Wayside?

by Laura Kathryn Gilmer

 

The word “sportsmanship” is thrown around today like it is a style word or some option to accept or reject if we feel like it, well-respected horseman Dale Livingston says. “It gets brought up at the year-end awards banquets but is seldom exhibited lately. Don’t get me wrong, true horsemen/women don’t generally act in an unsportsmanlike manner. I believe this is because their emphasis, their efforts and thoughts are spent on the performance of the horse, not on themselves,” Livingston explained. “When we see unsportsmanlike conduct in competition, it is always connected to an immature and selfish person’s actions, and frankly they don’t care what anyone else thinks or has to deal with. All they care about is their self, whether they are a trainer, exhibitor, owner or fan.”

Top clinician Andy Moorman mentions that there seems to be a growing lack of respect toward each other in peoples daily lives as well as at the horse shows. “Bad behavior is being rewarded and set up on a pedestal,” Moorman said. “It is very difficult for AQHA and other people that have good knowledge and judgment to stand up and be counted because they are afraid of the backlash.”

Sportsmanship is defined as: playing fair, following the rules of the event, respecting the judgment of the officials and treating opponents or other competitors with respect. Some define good sportsmanship as the “golden rule” of sports — in other words, treating the people you compete with and against as you’d like to be treated yourself.   Good sportsmanship is exhibited when you show respect for yourself, for your competitors or opponents, for those who support your performance whether they be a client, family or friend, as well as respect to the judges, ring stewards and those who hold the competition, Livingston remarked. “Sportsmanship isn’t just reserved for the people in the arena or warm-up pen. Fans, owners, family and friends also need to be aware of how they behave during our competitions. Sportsmanship is not a style, it is an attitude we need to exhibit more often if we intend to continue to thrive. Respect is the quintessential part in achieving sportsmanship and it can have a positive influence on everyone around when it is given to all involved.”

AQHA, APHA, and NSBA all have sections in their rulebooks dealing with unsportsmanlike behavior and the disciplinary procedures that take place for certain behavior. Show management has the right to expel any individuals from the show grounds that exhibit inappropriate behavior and unsportsmanlike conduct to help maintain the decorum at that particular show. Judges have the ability to oust any exhibitor from the arena for unsportsmanlike conduct, and they can recommend to show management that these individuals be asked to leave the show grounds. Also, a particular complaint must be in writing and presented to the Disciplinary Hearing Committee for NSBA and the Executive Committee for APHA and AQHA. Each individual involved in a dispute has the right to their day in court. The evidence of misconduct is presented at these hearings, and the committee members solely determine the punishment for each particular incident. Unsportsmanlike conduct is not taken likely but it is, at times, hard to prove and many people who file the complaints are not willing to ultimately follow through with the long legal process to find someone guilty of an infraction.

In light of what happened at this year’s Reichert Celebration and recently at other competitions across the country involving incidents such as fights, riding while intoxicated, abusing horses, and other unsportsmanlike behavior, many individuals are calling into question the integrity of some trainers in this industry. For the few readers that don’t know what occurred in Tulsa, there was a huge scene after the $250,000 Two-Year Old Challenge involving grown men and women physically assaulting one another after the class did not go quite as planned. It resulted in numerous police cars and an ambulance coming to the scene. Some people site the large amount of money at stake as the cause for trainers behaving badly. Others explain that alcohol mixed with intense emotions caused this unfortunate incident.

Non Pro Nancy Wilkerson who won the 2 Year-Old Non-Pro Western Pleasure with A Sensational Zippo at the Reichert witnessed this incident and was disappointed in the poor display of sportsmanship. “What was the saddest to me is that everybody was not speaking of the horse that won the big money class but the brawl afterward.”    Novice Amateur Micah Howard from Nashville, Tennessee also saw this unpleasant event. Here are his thoughts about what took place. “Horses are animals; they are subject to be less than perfect at any moment. The outcome of this particular high dollar class wasn’t great. In all honesty, I was embarrassed by the actions of the professional horsemen as a result of this class. Their actions made me seriously take stock of why I love this business and caused me to evaluate just what part I wanted to play in this business anymore,” Howard said. “I did take into consideration that a win of this particular class would make or break any trainer. However, the lack of professionalism shown, as a result of this class, was absolutely inappropriate. I believe that professional horsemen should be held to a high standard of professionalism in competition. They are representing the best in show of our breed. They are competing as professionals. Act like it. Yes, there is pressure; there are dollars at stake; there are reputations at stake; there are clients to be had or lost, but being professional and taking the high road will win in the end.”

As far as solutions, Howard adds, “I would like to see some sort of standard set with our professionals in the form of competing while under the influence. We can’t show horses on certain performance enhancing drugs, so why should we allow our professional horsemen to show intoxicated. To me, as a client, if my trainer is showing while intoxicated, it says to me that he/she isn’t taking my hard earned dollars seriously. I will say that not all of the blame should be placed on the professionals either. As the clients, we have the ability to remove our horse from a situation if we feel it isn’t going to be shown to the best of its ability. We depend on our professionals to do their jobs and prep the horses to the best of their ability and to exhibit them in the same manner. However, if more clients would demand that the trainer also conduct himself/herself in a professional manner, then this would certainly contribute to a better system.”

AQHA World Champion Hunter trainer Sandy Vaughn also believes there should be drug and alcohol testing for our trainers and riders. “My position on this is where there is that much money and alcohol you have trouble. If all other pro sports have to drug and alcohol test, F.E.I Olympic Jumpers, NASCAR, swimmers, football, baseball, and soccer, etc. – why not the riders? I suggested it last year at the convention for one of the rule changes. Not all shows but randomly and at all the big ones just like drug testing for the horses. I think integrity, acting like an adult and controlling our emotions is important. Alcohol is a strong thing. It can control us and make us do things we would never do sober. I am no angel, but when we partied it was when the work was done.”

Select Amateur Allison Ham mentions that fights break out in a variety of events. “Did you see the fight after the Oregon/Boise State football game? The Oregon player was suspended for part of the season and was in line for a top NFL draft pick, that is until this happened. One of the statements after the incident was great, ‘Play with emotion, don’t let emotion play with us.’ The NCAA has strict rules concerning sportsmanship. The NCAA definition of sportsmanship is: Sportsmanship is a set of behaviors to be exhibited by student-athletes, coaches, game officials, administrators and fans in athletics competition. These behaviors are based on values, especially respect and integrity,” Ham said.

Pleasure trainer Suzy Jeane remarks that when incidents like these happen at the horse shows there needs to be an automatic fine and suspension of these individuals. “It shouldn’t be where someone has to turn these people in in order to get some action. There should be strict rules that are automatically enforced.”

Highly respected multi-carded judge Andrea Simons mentions that she believes the fight at the Reichert was an isolated yet unfortunate incident. “Hopefully, we will all learn from this event,” Simons said. “J.R. Reichert runs a fabulous show and I take my hats off to them for being the first in the industry to elevate our industry to a new level.” Simons adds, “I understand some trainers were involved in unsportsmanlike behavior, but I don’t believe it is in their true nature. In times of crisis, some of these same individuals are ready to do anything to help people out.”

AQHA Ambassador Lynn Palm and Carol Harris of Bo-Bett Farms mention that there needs to be a steward system set up a lot like the one the USEF has in place. “It will make our shows more professional and emphasize correct horsemanship,” Palm said. “It would also help encourage everybody to abide by the rules while on the show grounds.”

Trainers need to realize that they are role models to our children and that their bad behavior does not set a good example. AQHA judge and trainer Rebecca Halvorson believes that good sportsmanship needs to be brought back to the forefront of our industry. “We spend our whole lives competing and competition is healthy.  We have parents that work so hard to make sure that there child never gets hurt or gets beat at absolutely anything (even meaningless things). Therefore, kids never learn to lose. Sure it hurts but it is life, and we all have to learn to accept the good and the bad even though we just want our kids to be protected from that pain.”

Halvorson adds, “I just want everyone to remember one thing: that it is not about us, the trainers. It is about the kids and the families that keep us going.  We all have to remember our roots and give back to the little guy, the new guy, etc. We have to make sure to encourage and take care of the young people in our industry (give them help whenever we can) and take time to appreciate our customers and all of the people that are involved with managing these shows because none of us would be here if it wasn’t for the aforementioned people.”

Select Amateur Lori Bucholz who recently won the Amateur Working Hunter at the Bayer Select World Show believes sportsmanship should always be addressed, no matter what event, sport or level of competition in which you compete. Bad sports get way too much airplay, whether it be someone like Kanye West, Tanya Harding or just an obnoxious little league parent.  “I do believe when those situations occur it becomes an excellent teaching opportunity for parents to show their kids how not to behave when they’re disappointed. Just because you show up at a show with a great horse, the correct trainer, tack and clothes this does not entitle you to the trophy.  In today’s top-notch competition, everyone shows up prepared.” Bucholz said. “I think bad sportsmanship, sadly, often leads to our horses getting abused.  A bad sport may come out of the arena and spur, pull, tug and do all sorts of horrific things to their horses when they should have taken a step backwards and asked themselves what they did wrong.  Usually your horse is just doing what you asked him to do, or he misbehaved because he was scared or unprepared for the circumstances of that day.”

Bucholz adds, “I do find that the majority of competitors are gracious, especially those in the ‘select’ group and those who’ve been very successful at the world show level.  We all realize the time, expense and heartache it takes to show.  With our life and showing experiences, we know that today could be my day and that tomorrow could be yours. So we’re happy to celebrate with the other competitors, or to commiserate, which ever the case! Those who show with me know I say a few things when I don’t do well: ‘There’s always another horse show’; ‘Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug’; and ‘We’re not out here curing cancer’.  What does all that mean?  To me it means try again tomorrow, that often you just can’t influence circumstances and, finally, get a big picture view of the world.”

Livingston expresses his thoughts about the episode at Tulsa, “I personally found it very disappointing that many people’s efforts to achieve positive changes for the pleasure horse industry and the efforts to achieve great rewards for exhibiting pleasure horses can be so disrespected by a few professionals. Professionals who don’t see and don’t want to admit that their conduct and their actions may cost others a future in the pleasure horse industry beyond the next show or the next futurity season.”

According to Livingston, we need organizations that represent the needs of the industry and hold the professionals responsible for their actions. “We don’t need a lynch party or a Gestapo. We just need a group of professionals and some association members that will institute changes that will make those involved in such actions in the future more accountable,” Livingston said. “I am struck by the example of the PBR and the fact that they took some truly rough and tough cowboys and got them to all smile; got them not to talk or act bad in public; got them to support one another which turned them into millionaire bull riders with fan clubs. If we only apply ourselves, there is no limit to the possibilities available, but it will only come through respect and the help of a strong organization.”

   
  Mon Apr 30

Rescue Horse Stories

Coffee’s Story

Hi! My name is Coffee and I am a Quarter Horse gelding.

I was the first horse seized by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office Animal Abuse Team, founded by Sheriff Tim Mueller.

The people where I used to live thought they were doing enough for me. But, because of my age, I needed more care than they were giving.

Someone cared enough to notice I needed help and called the Linn County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO). A deputy brought some very kind people to take me to Linn County Animal Rescue.

In less than two months in my new place, I gained 450 pounds, and was running around like a young colt.

My previous owner could not believe I was doing that well, so the LCSO arranged a brief visit for me with my previous owner one last time. I took a ride to the LCSO and my new friend Styler went with me to keep me company.

When my previous owner saw how healthy I had become, tears filled his eyes, and he said he was happy for me.

Coffee afterAfter that, I had my picture taken for the newspaper. You can read my article on the News & Articles page of our website. My life was good and filled with love.

Styler’s Note: Coffee has since passed away, but the memory of his friendship is still with us at LCAR.

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Colt’s Story

I am a Morgan gelding. When I was young, I was kept tied in a yard like a dog. But as I grew, I was able to break my tie and go for a run on my own. While off on this adventure, I was pulled over by some LCSO deputies who told me I was too young to be running around all by myself. (I was only about a year old at the time.)

The deputies put me in a field while they looked for someone to babysit me.

When the kind people from LCAR came to get me, I did not understand they were there to help me. I ran from them, kicked, struck out and tried to bite them.

Thank goodness they did not give up!

However, I did acquire the name of “Crazy Colt.”

I was taken to the LCAR barn where volunteers worked with me until I was halter broken. Even then I still made it challenging for them to catch me.

(And, although I know now it was good for me, I did not like it a bit when I was gelded.)

Sometime after that I attended a fundraising event for the Linn County Sheriff Office Mounted Posse. I went home with a posse member from another county, and it was there that I met my new owner. Now I have a new home with someone who loves me dearly (and I don’t run away on my own anymore).

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Buck’s Story

Hello, ya’ll. I am a quarter horse gelding, and my name is Buck.

You could probably saw that LCAR is partly my fault.

I had been very badly treated. When I tried to get away from the abuse, I suffered cuts on my front legs and chest.When I met my owner, Cindy, I was only 2 years old; that was almost 17 years ago.

Cindy was only 14 years old when we met, and I don’t know why, but her family bought me.

Thank goodness they did.

I was afraid of everything, especially men. Even today, I am still unsure around them. But every day, that little girl loved me and worked with me.

Her family helped too, and I healed both physically and mentally.

Now, at 19 years old, I can say I have a wonderful life, and have done so many different things. I’ve:

  • served on a drill team at the rodeo
  • barrel raced
  • appeared in parades
  • assisted with parking and security duties at community events, and
  • lots and lots of trail riding

For as long as I can remember, my owner, Cindy, has brought home stray animals that needed a safe place to stay. But things move along much faster after we joined the LCSO Mounted Posse. (Styler does all the Posse work now, though.)

When the Sheriff’s Office needed help finding foster homes for abused horses, they asked the Posse members first. Of course, my owner, being the way she is, offered to take one or two foster horses.

Our first horse, a POA (Pony of the Americas), we named Sadie. You can read her story on the Successes! page of this website.

Our next foster horse was an Arab gelding we named Tobbie. His story is also on the Successes! page.

When Tim Mueller became Sheriff, he created the Livestock Abuse Team, now called the Animal Abuse Team. You can find more information about them under “Investigation Team” at the “About Us” tab on this website.

As you can probably guess, my owner Cindy became a part of this team as soon as it was created.

After this, the need for foster homes continued to grow and we were getting busier and busier at home too. So, with the support and encouragement of the Sheriff’s Office, we set up Linn County Animal Rescue (LCAR).

With your continued support, we are helping more and more horses in need than ever before. (You can become a monthly supporter through our “Scarlett’s Friends” program.

Please check out the other pages on our website to learn more about how you can be part of our efforts bringing new life and vitality to abused animals in Linn County, Oregon.

Thanks, pardner!

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Makena’s Story

When I was younger, I was a bit too adventurous and got myself into a little trouble. One day I got out of my pen and decided it was a good day to take a little jog down Hwy 99. And while I was jogging along, minding my own business, a LCSO deputy pulled me to the side of the road, and told me I really shouldn’t be on the highway by myself.

The deputy waited in the field with me until the good people at LCAR were able to pick me up.

It took some time for the deputy to find my owner, and when he finally came to visit me at LCAR, he loved it and thought it was a much better place for me.

I have been here ever since, and I love being part of this great big family.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  Mon Apr 30

Quarter Horse

The principle development of the Quarter Horse was in the southwestern part of the United States in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, eastern Colorado, and Kansas. Some breed historians have maintained that it is the oldest breed of horses in the United States and that the true beginning of the Quarter Horse was in the Carolinas and Virginia. Nye1 has suggested that the Chickasaws secured from the Indians were the true beginning of the Quarter Horse. These were small blocky horses, probably of Spanish extraction, which the planters secured from the Indians, and which were adapted for a variety of uses. The colonists were quite interested in short races, and it was only natural that they should have attempted to increase the speed of their horses; to this end some of the best early Thoroughbreds that were brought to the United States included the horse Janus, brought to the United States before the English Stud Book was established, were instrumental in the improvement of these local running horse. Later Imp. Sir Archy and other Thoroughbredstallions were used.

The early improvement in the Quarter Horse-so called because of its great speed at one quarter of a mile-and the early development of the Thoroughbred in the United States were closely associated. Some sires contributed notably to both breeds. Many short-distance horses were registered in the American Stud Book as Thoroughbreds when the Stud Book was established, even though they did not trace in all lines to imported English stock.

It is more logical to assume that the true establishment of the Quarter Horse took place some time later in the southwest range country, rather than in colonial times. It was in the southwest that the true utility value of these short-distance horses were truly appreciated. The cowman found the Quarter Horse quick to start, easy to handle, and of a temperament suitable for handling cattle under a wide variety of conditions. Even in the Southwest much was unknown of the breeding of many of the horses that were classified and registered in the 1940s as Quarter Horses. It is logical, therefore, to conclude that until the Stud Book was established and the pedigrees were based on fact rather than on memory and assumptions, the Quarter Horse should have been called a type of horse rather than a breed.

The Foundation and Improvement of the Breed

A Blending of Bloodlines. It is difficult to give the exact origin of the present-day Quarter Horse because the blending of bloodlines produce a suitable short-distance horse started in colonial areas prior to the Revolutionary War. This blending of bloodlines and the infusion of Thoroughbred blood was continued in the southwestern range territory as the cow country developed. Cowboys wanted to be well mounted. Ranchers tried to breed the kind of horses on which these men could work cattle and that could also be used in the age-old sport of racing. The Quarter Horse was not raced on carefully prepared tracks but was raced on any suitable open space. Organized races were the exception rather than the rule with many of the races being run as a “match race” after a private wager between owner or riders.

In the Southwest country as in the East, no particular attention was made to keep short-distance horses as a distinct breed. Fast horses whose offspring made good cow ponies were crossed on existing stock of mares. Many times these mares carried Spanish, Arabian, Morgan, or Standardbred breeding, and some have been referred to as “cold blooded” mares. The naming of horses after persons was a common practice, and often when the horses were sold their names were changed; such practices have led to no end of confusion in attempting to verify pedigrees after the horses, breeders, and owners were deceased.

The Contribution of Steel Dust. The first horse of Quarter type that attracted a great deal of attention in the Southwest was Steel Dust, foaled in Illinois in 1843, and taken to Lancaster, Texas, in 1846. He was a blood bay that stood 15 hands high and weighed approximately 1,200 pounds. Steel Dust was sired by Harry Bluff and traced to Sir Archy. The popularity of Steel Dust as a running horse and as a sire of running horses and cow horses caused many horses that descended from him, or were of similar type, to be called “Steel Dust” horses2. This name was quite common until the American Quarter Horse Association was established and the name Quarter Horse was officially adopted.

Some Other Early Sires. Other outstanding stallions were introduced into Texas before and after Steel Dust. Among these were Cooper Bottom by Sir Archy, foaled in Pennsylvania in 1828. In 1839 he was taken by General Sam Houston to Texas, where his descendants were considered very fast and made excellent cow horses. In 1849, Old Shiloh, foaled in Tennessee in 1844, was brought to Texas. He was four generations removed in the male line of Sir Archy. Lock’s Rondo, three generations removed in the male line from Shiloh, was foaled in Missouri about 1866, and was taken to Texas about 1868. Later he was also used as a sire in New Mexico.

In 1889, Traveler, a horse of unknown pedigree, was shipped to Texas in a carload of horses, and legend has it that he had originated in Kentucky. Traveler was apparently not considered a valuable horse because he was used on a scraper and at one time changed hands in a crap game. Traveler and his descendants were mated to some excellent mares, and many Quarter Horses today trace to him in male line of descent.

The Most Influential Sire. The most famous of all sires in the establishment of the Quarter Horse breed was Peter McCue, foaled in 1895, and bred by Samuel Watkins of Petersburg, Illinois. Peter McCue was registered as a Thoroughbred but evidence was later presented that he was not sired by the horse indicated in his official pedigree but was instead sired by Dan Tucker, who in turn traced his male line to Shiloh. Peter McCue stood for service in Texas, western Oklahoma, and in Colorado, and most modern Quarter Horses trace to him. Of the 11,510 Quarter Horses that have been registered prior to January 1, 1948,3 2,304 of them traced in male line to Peter McCue through his sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons. Traveler was the only horse that approached him in importance of male lines with 749 similar descendants that has been registered up to that date.

The Use of Thoroughbred Sires and Mares. The outstanding sires in the Quarter Horse type have not always been horses that traced in male lines of descent to recognized Quarter Horses; some trace to registered Thoroughbreds. In addition, many of the mares to which Quarter Horses have been mated have been Thoroughbred mares or mares of other breeds, so it can truly be said that the breed has been and still is in a formative period. Breeders have not objected to Thoroughbred breeding provided the horses were of the correct type.

Eighteen of the first nineteen registration numbers assigned to horses in vol. I of the American Quarter Horse Stud Book were saved for living horses that had proved themselves as outstanding sires of offspring of Quarter Horse type.4 Examination of the pedigrees of these horses indicates that many of them carried in excess of 50 per cent of Thoroughbred breeding, and only a very few of them did not carry some known Thoroughbred breeding rather close up in their pedigrees.

Noted Early Breeders. Many ranchers or persons interested in short-distance racing have contributed to the development of the Quarter Horse. Probably the first really noted improver was William Anson of Christoval, Texas. Mr. Anson was an excellent stockman who collected a band of horses of Quarter type. Among the best stallions he used was Harmon Baker by Peter McCue. Mr. Anson not only bred, used and raced Quarter Horses but he also was a student of the early history of Quarter Horses and attempted to concentrate bloodlines that he felt were useful in racing and range horses.

Another noted Texas breeder was W.T. Waggoner of Vernon and Fort Worth, Texas. Mr. Waggoner collected the fastest short-distance horses that he could obtain, and it was said that whenever he found a horse faster than any he already owned he attempted to purchase it. Many of the better modern Quarter Horses are only a generation or two away from Waggoner breeding because after Waggoner’s death, his estate carried on his breeding operations for many years. In the foundation of the American Quarter Horse Stud Book, the term Waggoner bred was considered pedigree enough for registration-so esteemed were his horses by other breeders and by founders of the breed association.5 Four other breeders who have had considerable influence in the development of the Quarter Horse through their long association with the breed and through their successful breeding operations were: Coke T. Roberds, Hayden, Colorado; George Clegg, Alice, Texas; S.C. Blake, Pryor, Oklahoma; and Dan Casement, Manhattan, Kansas.

Present-Day Breeders. One of the best-known breeding establishments of Quarter Horses at the present time is the King Ranch, Kingsville, Texas. The King Ranch raised good cattle horses for many years and obtained Old Sorrel, a son of Hickory Bill, as a colt from George Clegg of Alice, Texas; Old Sorrel was foaled in 1915 and died in 1945. This horse proved to be such an outstanding cow horse and sire of cow horses that a line breeding program was developed at the King Ranch 6 to maintain his relationship in the herd. Considerable Thoroughbred breeding has been used in the development of the King Ranch Quarter Horses.

It would be very difficult to mention all the breeders that have contributed to the Quarter Horse, because many breeders have not made an attempt to keep their horses before the public but have been content to raise their own horses. Some breeders have preferred to keep speed as a primary requisite and have specialized more in horses for racing than for ranch work

   
  Mon Apr 23

Horsey Tips And Hints

    • When u go to clean anything silver or metal or chrome in ur tack next time use toothpaste or tomato sauce. Both of these substances clean very well because they contain acid which is in most cleaning products. My Ponies favourite would be toothpaste as it does taste yummy!!

    • If your pony or horse makes it hard for you to put the bit in it's mouth then i have found a solution for you! Next time bring some carrots with you and then put them in your hand when you try to put the bit in your pony's or horse's mouth, this way it will open it's mouth to eat the carrot and you can slip the bit in it's mouth! taaadaaa

    • He knows when you're happy He knows when you're comfortable He knows when you're confident And he always knows when you have carrots

    • Don't look a horse in the eye when you're going to catch it. Look slightly to the side and keep your rope and halter just away from his view.

    • It is a good idea to use goodies such as pony pellets, carrots, apples or sugar lumps to reward your horse when you catch it. Carry them in a crinkly plastic bag. This will get him used to plastic bags which spook most horses and appear right when you don't want them. It can also be useful in emergencies so he will always come to the sound of you rustling a bag. 

    • Got extremely nasty knots in your mane or tail? I'm not talking tangles, I am talking things you'd get the scissors out for..CRC or WD40 - just spray it in and out come the knots, dont use a comb or brush, just untangle with your hands. seems odd, but trust me - we've had some nasties in the past and it never fails plus leaves it nice and shiny!

    • I use pop top lids on my shampoo bottles, makes life easier, i buy in bulk & put Glo-White & shampoo in smaller bottles & then add a pop top lid, great show show day! A hack saw blade is good for pulling out a winter coat. Mr Sheen for a coat shine spray.

    • Wash and dry the wound making sure it is clean and free of any foreign bodies. Once area is bone dry cut a piece big enough to cover the wound, peal and stick the Fixamol over the area (it will not stick if the area is even slightly damp). This stays on the area until it falls off by itself. You can continue washing the area with betadene or whatever through the skin but it stops anything getting in and flys etc. Quite a useful product.

    • Save your yoghurt tubs, they make good feed scoops. Or cut the cordial bottles in half, that gives you the equivalent to a plastic scoop RRP $9.95! Pffft!

    • Clean your bit with toothpaste, the abrasiveness helps...this also works well in grey tails.

    • Um....buy a bay, not a grey, then you dont have to wash them as often!

   
  Mon Apr 23

Article: Equine Dentistry * An Article By Tom Judd, D.V.M.

Each year I make every effort to attend the International Association of Equine Dentistry (IAED) conference somewhere in the United States. If I cannot attend this conference, then I will do my best to participate in an affiliated dental group's continuing education opportunities. Many regard the IAED as the premier organization representing equine dental technicians and veterinarians in equine dentistry. One of IAED's most exciting features is their certification program. Currently two levels of certification are offered, basic and advanced. The standard of dental care of basic certification is head and shoulders above the level of dentistry being offered by most equine practitioners and lay dentists. One of my primary interests is equine dentistry, and for many years I have been striving to increase the quality of the equine dentistry I practice. Joining IAED and working up through the certification levels is another stepping stone in my ongoing attempt to offer the best dentistry possible in the area.

Let's start by delineating some of the differences between “routine floating” and progressive equine veterinary dentistry. As many of you know “points” are one of the first things that many owners notice when a horse's mouth starts to become out of balance.

Points are sharp edges of enamel that start to protrude on the buccal (cheek side) of the upper premolars and molars and on the lingual (tongue side) of the lower cheek teeth. The premolars and molars are the large grinding teeth that are situated behind the area taken up by the bit and extend backwards approximately 8”. Floating teeth has basically meant the removal of these points. Progressive dentistry addresses not only the removal of these points, but also takes into account many other factors of equine dentition, for example, removing hooks, ramps and rims which are some of the abnormalities of molars that are often left poorly addressed in a routine float. Other aspects of progressive dentistry include reducing waves, overgrown molars (high molars or steps), re-establishing molar table angles, creating uniform bit seats, incisor maintenance, conservatively reducing canines (not to be confused with wolf teeth) and removing wolf teeth and deciduous teeth (caps). We will go into each of these subjects in more detail next.

Hooks are defined as being an overgrowth of tooth that is taller than deep. After point formation, hooks are probably the most commonly discovered abnormality. They usually form as sharp, fanglike projections on the upper first cheek teeth and the lower last cheek teeth.

Ramps are defined as an overgrowth of tooth longer in depth than in height. Ramps are the next most commonly seen anomaly second to hooks. They involve more tooth body; therefore, are more difficult to remove.

Rims are formed on an individual tooth when the center of the occlusal (grinding) surface becomes worn down compared to the outer edge of the tooth.

Wave formation involves an overgrowth of tooth in more than one consecutive tooth. Since waves involve more than one tooth, they may require a rather large amount of tooth reduction and can be quite involved. Viewed from the side a wave looks just like its namesake. An elevation in the molar surface corresponds with an indentation in the molar surface opposite it.

Overgrown molars can be caused from the lack of an opposing tooth or because of the super-eruption of the offending tooth which causes excessive wear on the opposing molar. These teeth can be handled either by carefully grinding or cutting them back to normal height.

Bit seat creation involves placing shallow angles into the very front edge of the upper and lower first cheek teeth. Creating a bit seat in the leading edge of the first cheek teeth gives the soft tissues of the mouth (tongue, inside edge of the corners of the lips and cheeks) a comfortable place to rest while a bit is in use.

Incisor maintenance refers to making sure the length of the incisors (front, grass shearing teeth) is in correct proportion to the length of the molars. If the incisors are too long it keeps the molars out of contact with each other during a chewing cycle. If the molars are too long in relation to the incisors this won't allow the incisors to come together completely. We can judge molar and incisor proportion by observing the effect of lateral movement of the jaw. Keeping the incisor length proportionate to the molar length and adjusting the molar table angle to 10 to 15 degrees allows the horse to achieve maximum efficiency of feed breakup and therefore utilization. We look for a stem length of no longer than 3/8” in the manure to assess grinding efficency.

Canine reduction involves the conservative shortening and blunting of the canine teeth when they are present. Many authorities in equine dentistry now recommend this procedure since it serves a number of purposes. Canine reduction contributes to making things more comfortable when bitting the horse, they are less likely to abrade the horse's tongue and cause less injury to the hands of anyone examining or working in the horse's mouth and can prevent or slow tartar formation at this common area for tartar buildup.

Wolf teeth are small permanent teeth that erupt usually within the first year or two of the horse's life. The crown (the part of the tooth visible above the gum) usually averages about the size of a pencil eraser. When present, this tooth sits just in front of the first upper cheek teeth and has the high probability of causing potential bitting problems. With proper levels of sedation and analgesia (pain relief) they are usually removed quite easily.

Deciduous teeth are baby teeth that erupt and exist in the young horse's mouth from birth through 4.5 years old. They exist for the incisors and first three upper and lower cheek teeth (pre-molars). Deciduous teeth are often called “caps” and like a loosening baby tooth in humans can be quite uncomfortable for several weeks prior to their natural falling out. When loosening caps are discovered during a dental exam they should be removed at that time.

The above information demonstrates the complexity of equine dentistry when it is approached with the goal of balancing the equine mouth. Please see the photographs of actual cases, diagrams and articles linked to our dental page to learn more and better understand what's going on inside your horse's mouth. The above information demonstrates the complexity of equine dentistry when it is approached with the goal of balancing the equine mouth. 

   
  Mon Mar 05

Can You Teach a Dumb Dog New Tricks?

If your canine seems clueless, it may be that it has been bred to be more independent, or not so eager to please its owner, Yin says.

Training will require more patience and the right kind of motivation, whether it's praise, petting, or treats.

"For breeds, instincts make a difference, but for the basics - 'sit,' 'come,' 'down' - they'll all learn at the same rate. With good technique, the difference might be a month," she says.

Her Australian cattle dog, for example, stays at her side when they're out and loves a pat on the head. Her Jack Russell terrier, a high-energy breed that didn't make the smart list, has to be rewarded lickety-split with a treat or he'll lose interest in learning. A pat on the head just won't do it.

The beagle, a breed trained to work independently, probably needs more training time, Yin says. And the bulldog, which scored well below average on obedience tests, can learn quickly - as long as he doesn't feel pushed around or punished

The beagle and bulldog are among the dog breeds on the bottom of Coren's list. These dogs had to hear commands 80 to 100 times or more before they obeyed them 25% or less of the time. They include:

1. Shih Tzu 2. Bassett hound 3. Mastiff/Beagle (tied) 4. Pekingnese 5. Bloodhound 6. Borzoi 7. Chow Chow 8. Bulldog 9. Basenji 10. Afghan hound (least obedient)
Redenbach doesn't like categorizing dogs as smart or dumb; she says that's too simplistic. Like Yin, she says positive and consistent training will make a good dog.

"The number of intelligent dogs I have met has been on the increase over the years, because the better trainer I become, the smarter I see they are," Redenbach says.

   
  Wed Feb 07

Dogs Can Detect if someone has Cancer

Dogs can detect if someone has cancer

Dogs can detect if someone has cancer just by sniffing the person's breath, a new study shows.

Dogs can identify chemical traces in the range of parts per trillion. Previous studies have confirmed the ability of trained dogs to detect skin-cancer melanomas by sniffing skin lesions.

Also, some researchers hope to prove dogs can detect prostate cancer by smelling patients' urine.

Lung- and breast-cancer patients are known to exhale patterns of biochemical markers in their breath.

"Cancer cells emit different metabolic waste products than normal cells," Broffman said. "The differences between these metabolic products are so great that they can be detected by a dog's keen sense of smell, even in the early stages of disease."

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/01/0112_060112_dog_cancer.html

   
  Sun Feb 04

St. Bernard

While I was Researching The St. Bernard. I found this:

Barry der Menschenretter (1800–1814), also known as Barry, was a dog of a breed which was later called the St. Bernard that worked as a mountain rescue dog in Switzerland for the Great St Bernard Hospice. He predates the modern St. Bernard, and was lighter built than the modern breed. He has been described as the most famous St. Bernard, as he was credited with saving more than 40 lives during his lifetime.

The legend surrounding him was that he was killed while attempting a rescue; however, this is untrue. Barry retired to Bern, Switzerland and after his death his body was passed into the care of the Natural History Museum of Bern. His skin has been preserved through taxidermy although his skull was modified in 1923 to match the Saint Bernard of that time period. His story and name have been used in literary works, and a monument to him stands in the Cimetière des Chiens near Paris. At the hospice one dog has always been named Barry in his honor and since 2004 the Foundation Barry du Grand Saint Bernard has been set up to take over the responsibility for breeding dogs from the hospice.
TODAY:
St. Bernard dogs are no longer used for Alpine rescues, the last recorded instance of which was in 1955. As late as 2004, the Great St Bernard Hospice still maintained 18 of the dogs for reasons of tradition and sentiment. In that year the Barry Foundation created breeding kennels for the breed at the town of Martigny down the Pass, and purchased the remaining dogs from the Hospice.

The animals bred by the Foundation are trained to participate in a variety of dog sports including carting and weight pulling. The dogs at the Barry Foundation are reportedly smaller than the average St Bernard.

Temperament:
Known as a classic example of a Gentle Giant, the Saint Bernard is calm, patient and sweet with adults, and especially children. However St. Bernards, like all very large dogs, must be well socialized with people and other dogs in order to prevent fearfulness and any possible aggression or territoriality. The biggest threat to small children is being knocked over by this breed's larger size. Overall they are a sweet, gentle, calm, loyal and affectionate breed, and if socialized are very friendly. Because of its large adult size, it is essential that proper training and socialization begin while the St. Bernard is still a puppy, so as to avoid the difficulties that normally accompany training large dogs. An unruly St. Bernard may present problems for even a strong adult, so control needs to be asserted from the beginning of the dog's training. While generally not instinctively protective, a St. Bernard may bark at strangers, and their size makes them good deterrents against possible intruders

   
  Tue Jan 23

Blanket Chart

Horse blanket2: Here's how to choose the best blanket for your horse.

 

Horse blanket2: Choosing A Blanket for Your Horse

Here are 5 factors you must consider when choosing and using a blanket for your horse.

1. Fabric: Nylon is very strong and resilient and it doesn't hold stains, but it's very expensive. Polyester is lightweight, more affordable, and but it’s not as strong as nylon. A blend often gives you the best of both worlds.  The strength (and thus durability) of a blanket's outer layer is expressed in denier units  The higher the denier number, the stronger the material. It takes a 1,200-denier polyester to match the strength of only 840-denier nylon.

2. Linings: Polycotton, nylon, and fleece-like wicking material are the most common. Many people prefer a wicking liner because it's more breathable than the others, and breathable blankets are usually healthier and warmer for your horse.

3. Fit: Measure from the center of the chest at the point of the shoulder, around the shoulder, along the barrel following closely to the skin, continuing around the hip to the center of the tail.  The size of the blanket corresponds to the inches you just measured. For example, if your measurement comes out to 78 inches, then your horse wears a size 78.  A blanket measured this way allows four fingers at the chest and a few inches below the top of the tail.

4. Placement: Don’t make the legs straps too tight or else your horse’s hind legs will pull the blanket backwards and rub the chest. If they’re too loose, your horse can get its hind legs caught in them. It is safer criss-cross the straps for most horses.

5. Blanketing Your Horse: If your horse freaks when you try to pull the blanket over his head, you have two choices. The first is to unhook it entirely and place it gently over his back so he doesn’t freak out. Better: Work with a trainer to desensitize your horse to movements like this. It will make your horse braver, encourage him to trust your leadership, and make it immeasurably easier for the staff at your barn (or your friends) to blanket your horse for you.

   
  Mon Jan 15

Pleuropneumonia in Horses - shipping sickness

Over recent years, quite a number of valuable horses have developed acute infection within the lung and chest commonly referred to as 'travel sickness' or 'shipping disease'.
Horses that have raced or been subjected to strenuous exercise immediately prior to long distance travelling are particularly prone to developing pleuropneumonia, which if not recognised and treated early, is invariably debilitating and may be fatal.

 

Cause   Top Low grade viral infection, breathing contaminated air in poorly ventilated transports and the stress of travel appear to be the main underlying causes.
Travel stress includes:
  • noise
  • cramped spaces
  • high speed driving
  • swaying of trailers, and
  • inadequate rest stops.
    'Short tying' the head can lead to the spread of bacteria from the nose and mouth area into the deeper parts of the respiratory tract, predisposing the horse to travel sickness. The risk of travel sickness is increased if horses are unable to put their heads down to drain normal respiratory secretions.
    Travel sickness is also a problem in horses travelled by air over long distances. Studies have shown that general airborne contamination is highest at the rear of the aircraft and transports, and horses travelling at the rear are most likely to develop the condition.
    Transporting horses which are suffering from underlying viral disease, or are tired and dehydrated after racing or competition, increases the risk.
    Dusty feed and hay containing bacterial germs and moulds, and breathing in dust from roads, results in inhaled contamination, which overloads the lungs' defence system. Unfortunately, many modern 'streamlined' floats and horse transports are often poorly ventilated.
Symptoms   Top It is important to watch for and recognise the tell-tale signs early, especially during the few days following a long trip.
Horses with early pleuropneumonia:
  • become depressed
  • develop a fever
  • go off their feed, and
  • pant in shallow, rapid breaths.
    Early signs may be confused with colic, as horses resist moving, stand with the front legs apart, and paw the ground. As the condition worsens, the horse may turn to look at its painful chest.
    Immediate veterinary advice should be obtained. Unfortunately, once pleuropneumonia worsens, it is difficult to treat, and can result in death within 3-5 days.
Prevention   Top
  1. Always ensure that horses are cooled down, and given a drink before long distance travel. In very tired, dehydrated or stressed horses, long distance travel of over 12 hours duration should be delayed until they recover, preferably at least overnight.
  2. Ensure ventilation is sufficient to keep air flowing without causing chills. An adequate rate of air change is important in large transports carrying a number of horses over long distances.
  3. Provide dampened feed or pellets to reduce dust and airborne contamination. Lightly dampen hay, in particular, by wrapping a biscuit of hay in a wet chaff bag for 2-4 hours to reduce dust and other airborne contamination. This will increase palatability of hay and provide additional moisture during long trips. Locate feeders below chest bar height.
  4. Do not tie the head too short - give the horse as much space as possible to feel comfortable and be able to put its head down. Stallion dividers may be required to prevent horses squabbling during transport.
  5. Avoid transporting horses suffering from respiratory disease. If a horse has symptoms, do not transport it as it may infect others during the trip.
  6. Ensure the trailer is in good condition and level on the towbar. Drive steadily and smoothly. Keep the back flap down to reduce intake of swirling dust on dirt roads.
  7. Stop every 3-4 hours and open the trailer doors. If possible, unload and allow the horse(s) to walk around, or preferably graze or feed with the head down for at least 15-20 minutes. Provide access to drinking water at rest stops. A 60ml dose of Recharge over the tongue will replace electrolytes and stimulate drinking.
  8. If a horse has competed or raced hard, give it a day off after a long trip. Turning the horse into a grassy green paddock to graze with its head down for a few hours, or putting dampened feed in a bin at floor level, will encourage drainage of the respiratory system.
  9. After travelling a horse over a long distance, keep a careful watch for loss of appetite, depression, fever and obvious discomfort for the first few days. It is a good idea to monitor the horse's temperature morning and night for at least 3 days after long trips, and seek vet advice if the temperature is elevated (the normal body temperature of an adult horse is 36.5-38.5°C).
   
   
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