Category: News

Cowboy (Cowperson?) UP!!

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Had an little adventure recently. We went to Las Vegas and you know what can happen in Vegas! But it wasn’t THAT Las Vegas, and it wasn’t what you think.
We were in Las Vegas New Mexico, a small city that was once a thriving entrance to the west and the biggest stop on the Santa Fe Trail.
There were always plenty of real cowboys in New Mexico. Did you know the word Rodeo is Spanish and the first rodeos were in Mexico?
This year marked the 100th anniversary of the Cowboy Reunion in Las Vegas! It’s quite a legacy that shows a small part of this multicultural historical city. The first Cowboy reunion and rodeo was in 1915 and horses were THE big deal.
This is the same city where Teddy Roosevelt gathered up some of his “Rough Riders” and changed the course of the nation and liberated Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. This was before he started the Panama Canal and gave Hawaii statehood, now that’s Presidential!

Here’s a few classic photos that show it’s about the ride, not whether it’s a cowboy or cowgirl. Ruth Bibb was one of the family founders and longtime rodeo rider. She’s in the race and not the only cowgirl competing. They say there were four groups in Vegas; Spanish, Anglo, Native American and real “Outlaws”. This made for a fast and dangerous race!

Reunion Poster

Ruth Bibb @ LV Cowboy Reunion
Ruth Bibb @ LV Cowboy Reunion

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If you need a bit of luck for your race be sure to have a Bucephalus along for the ride!

BTW if you like movies.
Las Vegas, NM has been the town for a lot of films. From Tom Mix in 1915, to Easy Rider, Red Dawn, All the Pretty Horses, True Grit, No Country for Old Men and Longmire!

RIDER UP!!

FREE TRIP TO THE DERBY!

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Here’s a contest just announced by AOL;
VIP trip to the `Kentucky `Dreby;
Have you ever dreamed of attending the Kentucky Derby? Now you can!

Enter the #HomeStretchSweeps for a chance to win 2 VIP tickets to the 2016 Kentucky Derby, a $3,000 travel voucher for your Derby weekend stay, and a feature on AOL.com!

This exciting opportunity is provided by AOL.com in partnership with Churchill Downs Racetrack LLC ©, the official home of the Kentucky Derby.

whole story and rules here;

DERBY CONTEST

The other back story;

http://www.kentuckyderby.com/news/2013/05/03/right-man-right-time-kevin-krigger-chases-derby-dream

RIDE ON!!

Horse Illustrated on Black Stallion’s 35th movie anniversary!

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Here’s a nice article on the Black Stallion in the movies written by our friend Elizabeth McCall.
This were great days in Italy with so much to see, do and learn. Very talented people working on a “small” film like Black Stallion was very, VERY exciting.
Let’s Do it Again!!

Life on the Set of the Black Stallion

Walter Farley’s son, Tim, talks about the filming of the movie just in time for its 35th anniversary.

By Elizabeth Kaye McCall | November 2014

Tim Farley was wrapping up his photography degree at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif., when his father Walter’s 1941 novel, The Black Stallion, began its transformation to the big screen. Francis Ford Coppola’s Academy Award-winning feature film was released 35 years ago this fall, and it remains a cinematic classic.

It’s the story of a young boy named Alec Ramsay, who is shipwrecked on a desert island with a wild Arabian stallion that he befriends and names The Black. After being rescued and later discovered by a veteran racehorse trainer, they enter a match race between two champions of the track. Inspiring millions when it debuted in 1979, the film’s exquisite portrayal of the horse-human bond is more appreciated than ever today.

The Black Stallion
Kelly Reno, who plays Alec, grew up riding and was a natural when it came to the bareback scenes.

When the movie first headed into production in 1977, Tim skipped his graduation ceremonies to work on it.

Were you there from the start?
I had the honor of working on the movie from the very first days. I met director Carroll Ballard when he and my dad were looking for an Arabian stallion to play The Black. I was still in college. I went to talk to Carroll and to Fred Roos, the producer, to see if I could get a job. Of course, they said I could have a job. They didn’t say they would pay me at first. I was a 21-year-old kid who knew nothing about making movies.

What did you do?
My screen credit was production assistant, but with only about 30 of us on crew, I did a little bit of everything. My first job was working in the office. The film was in preproduction at that point, and one of my assignments was to make copies of all the script changes for the crew. However, I also ran off an extra set of copies to send to my dad! They weren’t real happy with that. Everyone was wondering, “Where is he getting all this information?” I was his mole!

But actually my dad is the one who came up with the fun sequence in the jockey’s room before The Black races. It became a humorous scene in the movie, because they kept adding weight to this little kid. The way the script was originally written had Alec sneaking weight into his pockets, or putting on a weight belt or something. My dad said, “Nobody would ever do that because the officials add all the handicap weight jockeys must carry before a race. They would never sneak weight.” He came up with some helpful ideas.

What was it like being on the set?
They probably wouldn’t make a film like that these days. It was shot almost like a documentary, with a small crew on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. That’s why the footage is so different. Those scenes with the magic of the boy and the horse getting to be friends on the island really did happen. I was one of the lucky people there watching a young Kelly Reno portray Alec Ramsay, together with Cass Ole as The Black.

It was exciting. Even though we had to take cold showers! Working on those beach sequences, there were no hotels out there. We stayed in an empty school with cold-water showers. Every once in a while you’d see a tourist come through for an hour or two, but we were pretty far out. Almost all the locations were like that.

How were those galloping-on-the-beach scenes filmed?
We had do to a lot of tracking shots, like sequences of The Black running down the sand bar, especially when Alec’s learning to ride and keeps falling off. But, we couldn’t say, “Oh we need some dolly track here for 500 yards and we have to go 30 mph.” So, how are you going to do that? Well, they came up with a Citroën 2CV; it’s like a French version of a Volkswagen Beetle. With one wrench you can take apart the whole thing. We took the doors off and took the seats out. We used that as our [camera] dolly to race down the beach because the horse was going pretty fast. We had to kind of wing it.

What stands out?
Probably the “tag” sequence, when Alec first rides The Black. The scenes where he gives the horse a little bit of the seaweed, then they start following each other back and forth, and pretty soon, he gets on the back of the horse to ride—and keeps falling off. Those scenes on the beach were magical. Also, at the end of the movie where you see that big double rainbow and the horse rolls on the ground and Kelly [Reno] rolls on the ground. It was totally impromptu. It’s during the credit roll at the very end of the film.

The budget on The Black Stallion wouldn’t even pay for most TV commercials these days. I think that the actual budget, including advertising, was under $15 million.

You took lots of photos on set. How was shooting Cass Ole?
He and Kelly had a good relationship because they spent so much time together before the movie started, but Cass Ole was kind of like the character of The Black. He was very independent, knew he was gorgeous, and that everybody loved him. He’d take control if you’d let him. On the other hand, Cass was gentle with Kelly. He didn’t run off, and he could have several times. That’s saying something about Corky Randall too. Corky trained Cass for months to be able to work him at liberty and have him listen to voice commands to come back. When Corky would call and crack his whip, Cass would come to him no matter where he was.

What else was memorable?
The most memorable days for me were on the island. It took us months to get some of those shots. It was almost like in the movie—when Alec arrives back in America, that first sequence when he’s in a real bathroom with running water contrasted with being on the island for months. That’s kind of what happened to us too.

It was fascinating driving to the set daily with Mickey Rooney in Toronto, the location for our 1940s New York scenes. Mickey had been in a long career slump, but The Black Stallion brought him an Oscar nomination and he returned to the stage.

The Black Stallion
Corky Randall trained Cass Ole to come with the crack of a whip.

Here’s to the 35th anniversary. What’s ahead?
We’re still working on getting that next feature, The Black Stallion Revolts, into production. I’d also love to see them re-issue an enhanced version of the film. There’s a lot of footage no one’s ever seen. If you put that together with the extra footage from The Black Stallion Returns, all the outtakes and deleted scenes and so forth, they could make a three-day Movie of the Week for TV or come up with a great boxed set on Blu-Ray.

Speaking of Blu-Ray …
On March 18th, the HD version of The Black Stallion feature film came out on Blu-Ray disk. That’s big news for the fans. It’s an MGM/UA film, but a www.foxconnect.com release. You can find it on www.theblackstallion.com.

ELIZABETH KAYE McCALL is an author, journalist, and media consultant based in Los Angeles, Calif., specializing in the horse industry, travel and entertainment. Her new children’s book about a talking horse, Rajalika Speak, was inspired by her own Egyptian Arabian stallion that “speaks on request.”

President and creator of TheBlackStallion.com, the official Black Stallion fan site, TIM FARLEY is based in Florida, where he furthers the spirit of The Black Stallion legacy along with his work as co-founder of the HorseTales.org literacy program.

Another article from Horse Channel coming soon!

Stay fit, stay strong – all winter long!

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If you’ve ever been to a Horse Tales “Second Touch” you know that we all learn a bit about grooming, tack, feed and keeping horses healthy.

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Here’s some more simple tips about care for your horse and other critters.
Take care of yourself – it’s cold outside. Warm up, cool down and enjoy the ride!
Be sure to leave your comments on the forum, facebook or here on the blog page.

Routine Health Care Of Horses

As loving owners, our horses mean the world to us, but without the right education looking after them properly isn’t an easy task! Here are a few things every owner should be aware of.

1) Regular Veterinary Check-Ups

It’s a good idea to schedule regular veterinary check-ups to ensure your horses stay fit and healthy, and to get much needed medicine in the event of illness. Most general health inspections should begin with nutrition. Many problems can be traced to a horse’s digestive system, which was made to process large amounts of grass, fiber, and water. A simple diet is best, and horses should get plenty of grass, high quality hay and water when they need it.

2) Food

Make sure your horse has plenty of grass and hay to graze on. Malnutrition can lead to several problems including ulcers, which are common in leaner sport horses. It is generally agreed that horses should eat between 2 and 4 percent of their body weight in hay and feed. It’s advisable to monitor their weight regularly to make sure it remains within healthy limits.

3) Vaccination & Deworming

Horses should be vaccinated and dewormed at regular intervals to prevent deadly viruses and parasite infections. The vaccinations needed can vary depending on the horse’s lifestyle. Deworming is particularly important due to how common parasite infections are, and because they can result in weight loss, colic and other dangerous symptoms.

4) Social Life, Excercise & General Wellbeing

Horses need to be social and around others or they could develop emotional and mental problems. They need regular mental stimulation and should receive adequate exercise to ensure they grow up as healthy as possible. Carefully monitor your horse’s sleeping patterns to make sure they aren’t out of the ordinary as strange sleeping patterns can be a symptom of illness or anxiety.

Unless it is particularly wet and windy outside, horses stand the cold better than hot weather. If they cannot sweat, their bodies may have trouble getting rid of excess heat.

5) Medicines

It’s a good idea to stock up on safe, versatile medicines such as Benadryl (containing diphenhydramine only). Purchasing antihistamines for horses can come in handy to counteract blood pressure problems and allergic reactions that would otherwise harm your animal, but should only be administered when you have approval from a veterinary professional. The right types of antihistamines do not block active histamines, and instead compete with them for the receptor to keep your horses healthy. As an added bonus, you can also safely use antihistamines on household pets, meaning you can keep Fido’s summer-time allergies under control too!