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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!

Wild Horses of Sable Island

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A story today of removing the Sable Island horses.
Seems a lot of horses are being rounded up this days.
Saw this beautiful B&W photo show of the Sable Isle horses in NY.
Take a look if you’re in NYC
Roberto Dutesco – 64 Grand Street, New York, 212 219 9622

Today’s story:

Canada: legendary horses ‘should leave’ Sable Island

A Canadian biologist has reignited a long-running debate over whether the famous wild horses that roam a remote Atlantic island should be evicted for endangering the local ecosystem.

About 400 horses wander undisturbed on Sable Island. But scientist Ian Jones of the Memorial University of Newfoundland says the horses are an “invasive species” causing desertification on the island. They eat too much of the vegetation and compacting the soil with their hooves, the National Post newspaper says. He insists they should be relocated to Canada’s mainland to stop further damage to the environment.

But he faces firm opposition. Legend has it that the animals came to Sable Island centuries ago, swimming ashore after their ship was wrecked at sea. “It’s a debate between this romantic idea of horses and conservationism and biology,” Jones says. “But you have to differentiate between values and science.” The public have opposed earlier attempts to remove the horses, even though it’s more likely they were brought to the island as farm animals sometime in the 18th Century.

Other scientists also challenge his theory. Bill Freedman, a Dalhousie University biology professor, tells the National Post: “The horses have been on the island for centuries, and I believe the ecosystem is now in a steady-state condition with respect to their ecological effects.”
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-29157273

Don’t forget to join us on the forum.

And find that gift for your honey!

Racing The Black

KY Derby 2014

Will it be California Chrome, Danza or ….?

California-Chrome-a3-72-684x488 danza derby

Rider up!

Date: Saturday, May 3

Post Time: 6:24 p.m. ET

Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky

Watch: NBC

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra

2014 Kentucky Derby: Post Positions and Odds
Post Pos. Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Vicar’s In Trouble Rosie Napravnik Mike Maker 25-1
2 Harry’s Holiday Corey Lanerie Mike Maker 50-1
3 Uncle Sigh Irad Ortiz Jr. Gary Contessa 35-1
4 Danza Joe Bravo Todd Pletcher 8-1
5 California Chrome Victor Espinoza Art Sherman 21-10
6 Samraat Jose Ortiz Rick Violette Jr. 16-1
7 We Miss Artie Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 33-1
8 General A Rod Joel Rosario Mike Maker 18-1
9 Vinceremos Joe Rocco Jr. Todd Pletcher 50-1
10 Wildcat Red Luis Saez Jose Garoffalo 18-1
SCRATCHED Hoppertunity
11 Dance With Fate Corey Nakatani Peter Eurton 14-1
12 Chitu Martin Garcia Bob Baffert 22-1
13 Medal Count Robby Albarado Dale Romans 22-1
14 Tapiture Ricardo Santana Jr. Steve Asmussen 20-1
15 Intense Holiday John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 12-1
16 Commanding Curve Shaun Bridgmohan Dallas Stewart 33-1
17 Candy Boy Gary Stevens John Sadler 18-1
18 Ride on Curlin Calvin Borel William G. Gowan 18-1
19 Wicked Strong Rajiv Maragh James A. Jerkens 8-1
SCRATCHED Pablo Del Monte

See you at the wire!

catch rider

Been meaning to write about his one … a good summer read …. or maybe that Christmas gift for someone special?
If you have time on your tablet there’s some fun here; Lot’s of other gifts (click) too!!

cover thanks Jennifer!

more as a pdf; ebook

Lonely people have enthusiasms which cannot always be explained. . . . When something touches their emotions, it runs through them like Paul Revere, awakening feelings that gather into great armies.

—Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale

ONE

IT WAS RAINING hard and the lightning was getting close. I ran the red gelding down the path in Dunn’s Gap and listened for that moment when a horse is at a full gallop and none of his feet touch the ground, because during that split second, we’re flying. I pretended we were racing a train as the trees whizzed by, their branches scraping my jacket. I lay down on the horse’s neck to avoid a low branch. Water dripped off my riding hat into my mouth, tasting of sweaty nylon. I spat it out and wiped my face on my sleeve while I kept my eyes up, banking around a muddy turn.

As we galloped, the rain came down in a roar. I was soaked through. The reins were slippery and I fought to keep a grip on the horse. I dug my fingers into his dirty mane and around his martingale strap to hang on. I’d tied his tail into a tight mud-knot, wrapping it around itself into a ball so it didn’t fall past his hocks. It would be easier to get the mud out later.

The red horse took the bit in his mouth, bore down, and ran for it like he was loose in the field. He must have forgotten I was there. His ears were forward and he wanted to go, but it was slick, and running like this in the mud was dangerous. If he stumbled, he could send us both down the ravine. One shoe clinked loudly against an old rusted pipe that was gushing rainwater down into the creek below, but it didn’t interrupt his stride or worry him one bit. I listened to the confident, rhythmic hoofbeats, and I grinned.

Quick thoughts began to flicker in and out of my mind. This was the last of the big summer storms and the last day before school started. Every time I thought about it, I felt sick to my stomach. I hated school. I couldn’t sit in a plastic desk all day, couldn’t stand being inside under those awful lights with those teachers staring down at me. If you had to squeeze yourself into a girdle to stand up and try to teach a bunch of hillbilly kids—well, that was just pathetic. I hated the way it smelled at school, the way the rednecks in the hallway would yell and scream like they owned the place.

One time I’d heard a boy say, “That’s Jimmy Criser’s girl—they live in that shitty little gray house behind Hardee’s.” When another boy laughed, I looked at him and said, “Well, at least my daddy ain’t a drunk like yours.” We all know things about each other in Covington. And people who make fun of me wish they hadn’t.

All these kids thought they were cool, but I knew they’d never amount to a damn thing. They’d work in the paper mill until the day they died. I know that sounds mean and angry, but I’m not either one. We have a life to live that could stop any minute, and I guess I can’t believe this is how some people want to spend it. It makes me sad as hell. I want to ask them, don’t they want to know what’s out there? I sure do.

One day, I’d win the Bath County Horse Show up in Hot Springs, where all the rich kids competed every June. I’d jump every fence perfectly on a big, shiny, braided hunter, and I’d jog my horse into the ring to claim the silver cup and tricolor championship ribbon. The wealthy kids lining the rail would say, “Damn, that girl can ride anything.” Melinda, my mother, would stop cursing horses and love them like she used to, and her dirtbag of a boyfriend would fear me. The kids at school would whisper to each other, “How’d she learn to ride like that?” And some kid might say, “She’s the best rider I ever saw.”

I stood up in the stirrups and planted my hands on the red horse’s withers to slow him down. He pulled against me, and I wondered if I’d have to run him into the bank to make him stop. I couldn’t hear Wayne’s horse at all. The creek always ran hard and loud back there behind Coles Mountain. It probably sounded just like this two or three hundred years ago. I wished for an instant that I could have lived back then and spent my days running through the woods on a horse. If you were fourteen in those days, Jimmy used to tell me, you worked just like the adults, didn’t waste your time at school. Kids were baling hay with a team of horses at nine years old.

The red horse tore around a turn, his ears shot up, and he slammed to a stop. My feet came out of the stirrups, and I had to tighten my knees like a vice to hang on. What the heck had he seen? Maybe June, hiding behind a tree?

The horse snorted hard, and finally I saw what he saw: a hickory had fallen across the path, gotten caught in another tree. Damn, he had good eyes. I could barely see it. Some horses can stand right next to a locomotive and not mind one bit, but others will damn near tear the barn down if a woodchuck runs by. I was right. This red horse didn’t shy at anything. His eyes were locked right on that fallen tree in a way that made my palms sweat.

I waited a moment for Uncle Wayne to catch up. I heard the smack of another horse’s hooves, and my uncle galloped out of the fog on his brown horse and stopped too. His horse was blowing hard with his chest lathered up. Uncle Wayne squinted, his face slick from the rain running off his baseball cap. He cursed. It would take forever for us to backtrack, and the hill was too steep to walk the horses around the fallen tree. They’d be up to their hocks in mud, and I imagined us sliding down the hill, a tangle of reins and hooves, into the ravine. Horse people are always walking that line between being brave and being crazy. Sometimes it just depends on how things end up.

The red horse looked at the fallen tree and pulled on the reins, wanting to go. It must have been four feet high, and I had never jumped anything that big. The horse faced the jump and squared himself up for it.

“Hell no!” yelled Uncle Wayne.

I felt the horse coiled like a spring underneath me, and I dug my heels into his sides. He planted his hind feet in the mud, got his hindquarters up under himself, and took three big strides. But he got in too close. He sprang out of the mud and must have cleared that fallen tree by a foot. I tried to hang on, but even though I had a handful of mane, I was left behind. When he landed, he shook me loose. I fell hard in the mud, and everything stopped.

I heard Uncle Wayne’s voice calling, “Sid!”

Still holding the reins, I put my hands to my face, opened my eyes, and realized the horse was gone. The bridle lay next to me—I guess I’d pulled it right off his head. Now he was running around Dunn’s Gap wearing nothing but a saddle in the pouring rain.

Wayne was on foot in the woods twenty feet away, trying to get to me. He swore again as he helped the brown horse pick his way through the rocks and briars. Finally they made it through, and I looked up at Wayne’s face in the rain. I could see the outline of his skull in his tan skin, and his blue eyes sparkled like big aquamarines. Maybe he was the Grim Reaper, coming to take me to heaven.

“What’s the West Virginia state flower?” he asked me.

“The satellite dish,” I said.

I felt for my teeth to make sure they were all there.

“Damn it, girl!” he shouted. “You’re lucky you didn’t kill yourself!”

I sat up, dizzy and confused, my riding hat lying in the wet weeds. When I inhaled, pain shot out from my ribs. I had a metallic taste in my mouth from the shock. I felt like my bones had crashed into each other.

“When you ride my horse, you damn well do what I tell you,” he said.

I was ashamed.

“I just found that red horse in an auction pen last Thursday,” he continued. “I don’t know a thing about him—”

“He can jump,” I interrupted.

“Well, that’s good, ain’t it?” Wayne said sharply, looking me in the eye. He was scaring me. Sometimes he looked exactly like Melinda. His little sister, my mother.

He put his hands on his knees and stood up.

“We better go find that half-nekked horse ’fore somebody calls the sheriff,” he said.

We walked together down the path, the wet brown horse hanging his head. I slipped a little in the mud, and Wayne grabbed my elbow. “Watch yourself. Slick as a fat baby’s ass out here.”

We found the red horse by the side of the road looking embarrassed, with one stirrup caught on a farmer’s mailbox.

Sweet 16!

Way too busy and yesterday Anonymous crashed the hosting for millions of websites.
Have a safe and thankful 9/11 – it’s been 11 years, so  say “Amen” to our soldiers everywhere keeping the peace – or trying to do so in this crazy world!

Don’t be afraid here’s the next book / chapter;
BLACK FIRE
1
On Saturday, July 15th, Aqueduct Racecourse’s great stands bulged and overflowed, spilling thousands of spectators onto the track’s bright green infield. Front-office officials estimated the crowd at more than one hundred thousand, the largest ever to watch a horse race in New York City. Millions more people throughout the country saw the Brooklyn Handicap on television. Those whose business it was to know reported that the number of television viewers had broken all records for an afternoon program. News film distributors, however, claimed the most stupendous audience of all. They sent prints of the race to foreign theaters and television stations throughout the world. Never had history recorded so many eyes following a horse race … and one pair in a far-off country spoke endlessly of destruction.
Fury and wrath had transformed these normally clear eyes into blazing pits of fire. They never left Alec Ramsay and the Black during the race and they promised death.
By my oath I shall overtake him with my vengeance and destroy him!
The pair of eyes followed the boy and his giant horse to the post, showing no interest in the other two entries. They watched the stallion charge out of the starting gate with Alec Ramsay’s chin almost touching the black mane.
Death to him because of what he took from me.
Heart-rending despair and agony replaced the furious storm in the eyes as Alec and the Black flashed past the stands.
A curse on him for his wings of power. But I shall overtake him and destroy him.
The Black swept into the sharp first turn and Alec shortened the reins. Shaking his head, the stallion swerved to the far outside, twisting in an attempt to free himself of the bit.
A wicked hope filled two watching eyes as Alec Ramsay and his horse almost went down. But the boy kept the black legs driving beneath him and the race went on.
Death to him for his arrogance.
Now the Black was in full flight with Alec Ramsay stretched flat against his broad back. On, on and on the stallion came, faster and faster, until it seemed that one could hear the whistling wind he created. Brighter and larger his black image grew as he swept around the final turn and bore down upon the two front runners. He caught them near the finish line and all three straining heads bobbed together. A great roar rocked Aqueduct’s stands as the Black jumped with marvelous swiftness into the lead and the race ended.
The two eyes staring at the television screen in a foreign land disclosed more vengeance than ever when Alec Ramsay straightened in his saddle. The facial features, too, quivered with rage.
Death to him for making me what I am!
Death to him before the fall of another moon!

More of the story16th book chapter

See you later – gator. tim