Tag: article

Your Horse & You – Care and Safety

Back from the road and it’s always good to be home!
With the wild days of “Wild Horse Tales” (www.HorseTales.org) and all the fabulous stunts the horses and their riders have done over the years – thought we should spend a minute talking about care and safety.
It goes without saying you should know your horse, that you should feed and groom them regularly, have them checked by a vet, and always inspect your tack before and after riding. Maintaining the heath and condition of your horse is important to both of you! Prevention of injury is the most important thing you can do, always. My Dad and I put together a little book about this years ago with his writing and my photos. Still have a few of them for sale if you want to take a look.

If however you do find your self in an emergency and you need to care for an injured horse here are a few tips from our friends at www.animalorthocare.com

4 Tips for Caring for an Injured Horse

Any horse owner who has had to handle an injured horse before will tell you that it can be a challenging ordeal, especially if you have no experience or guidance on the matter. Horses are huge, heavy animals that can do a lot of damage if they fall onto something or accidentally kick an object or person. You don’t want to put yourself in danger or run the risk of worsening the injury by improperly handling or treating the horse, so it’s imperative that you do your research and have the right help on hand to make sure you’re in the best position to provide top-notch care. With that said, here are four things every horse handler should do when they have an injured horse.


1. Seek Veterinarian Assistance and Advice

It’s always best to get a professional opinion on an injury, even if you think it might heal on its own. Try to find a vet that has extensive experience in dealing with horses. If the horse with a severely injured leg or its leg needs to be amputated, you may need to consult with a horse prosthetics specialist to restore the animal’s mobility in the long-term. Regardless of what needs to be done, you’ll feel much better knowing that you’re following the advice of a trained and knowledgeable horse vet instead of going it alone.

2. Be Gentle When Cleaning and Treating Wounds

The reaction you’ll get from a horse will vary greatly depending on the horse’s personality, the extent of the injury, and how well you know and handle the animal. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should try to apply no more than 7-15 pounds of pressure per square inch when cleaning wounds. That’s about the amount of pressure generated by a strong spray bottle. Thus, spraying the wound down and gently patting off the water is the best technique.

3. Approach the Injury Carefully and With Help

Handling an injured horse on your own is never a good idea, and it’s also important that you’re careful about how you approach the horse. If you startle the animal, it could further hurt itself with its reaction or it could respond aggressively and injure you or one of your assistants.

4. Allow for Adequate Rest

Last but definitely not least, giving the horse adequate time to rest and heal is essential. Although walking and other forms of physical therapy may eventually be necessary, in the beginning, sufficient rest should be the primary focus.

Keep Close Watch for Troublesome Symptoms

Finally, once you’ve done all of the above, it’s important to follow up with a vet as necessary. If the horse begins showing any signs of infection or other serious symptoms such as fever, fainting, strange behavior, or lethargy, try to have an emergency vet visit organized as soon as possible. Addressing problems as they arise will prevent the horse from having to deal with an injury that is aggravated or worsened due to postponed treatment.



Searching for that special Christmas gift?


Here’s a wonderful book written by our good friend Jan Carr. Not exactly a mouse in the barn … but if you know any girls that love to dance it’s a winner!!
A great book to read out loud.
Buy it at your local bookshop or online here.

Keep on writing Jan and we’ll keep on reading!
Here’s a well deserved review and a bit of the story;

From Booklist
All the tension and beauty of the ballet are magnified in this melodramatic mouse tale. Little Tendu (that’s “Stretch” for us English speakers) scampers gracefully through all areas of a beautiful old-fashioned ballet theater as he flees a predatory cat, broom-wielding custodian, and gang of ruthless rats until he finds the perfect home: the lamb’s-wool-lined toe of a pink-satin pointe shoe. In this new picture book from Carr (Greedy Apostrophe, 2007), the reader gets a mouse’s-eye view of the theater’s murky back passages, costume workshop, and the chandelier-lit theater itself, with its velvet seats and ornate plasterwork. Like a character in a classic ballet, our adventurous rodent hero experiences rapture, terror, and longing before finding a safe haven—and a new friend—in a dancer’s quiet dressing room. Bell’s digitally colored pencil illustrations are full of soft hues, rounded sketchy lines, and lots of chintzy ribbons and roses, which give the story a classic, nostalgic look. Hand this to aspiring ballerinas who can’t get enough of the ballet world. Grades K-2. –Paula Willey

Of course, if there is a horse around the house come in and visit the Gift Shop!

MERRY CHRISTMAS and Enjoy the Ride!
Your pals in the saddle, Tim and Pam

Happy Thanksgiving!!

TCM is broadcasting the “Black Stallion” a on Sunday. When you are tired of football get some popcorn and curl up on the couch and order your Christmas presents from the Trading Post while you watch :-)

Here’s the story;

The Black Stallion

Sunday November, 30 2014 at 08:00 PM
Saturday December, 27 2014 at 08:00 PM

by Emily L. Rice
One of the most critically acclaimed films from 1979, The Black Stallion, was based on the classic children’s tale written by Walter Farley in 1941. Despite the book’s popularity and that of its sixteen sequels, it was never adapted for the screen until Francis Ford Coppola purchased the rights. He planned to release the film as the first film in a series of classical children’s films. The second film in the series, The Secret Garden, was released in 1993. Coppola called on his former UCLA classmate, Carroll Ballard to direct the first installment, making The Black Stallion Ballard’s feature film debut. His first movie was a documentary entitled Harvest (1967) which was nominated for an Academy Award ®.

The Black Stallion is an exotic and often magical tale of a young boy and his horse. When the film opens, the boy and his father are traveling by ship when a disaster occurs. A fire breaks out and the boy finds himself adrift in the rough seas with an Arabian horse he saw on board. Both the boy and the stallion are washed ashore a deserted island where they overcome an initial mistrust to form a strong bond. Soon the two are rescued and return to the U.S. But the horse runs away and the boy eventually traces the animal to a farm owned by an ex-jockey. In time, the boy learns from the former pro how to be a first rate rider and trains the stallion for a championship race.

In his film debut, Kelly Reno plays the young, aspiring jockey; he had never acted before in any medium, and he was not even a fan of film or television. “Oh, if there’s a good movie, the family’ll take a bag of popcorn and go.” When asked what he considered a “good movie,” he responded, “I guess Star Wars (1977) — I’ve seen it twice. As for TV, I don’t watch it much, except for Soap,” he explained in the September 30, 1979 issue of The New York Times. But when Reno heard from a friend that a movie company was coming to Colorado to look for boys who could ride horses, he persuaded his parents to drive him to Denver for an audition. According to producer Tom Sternberg, “We’d considered all sorts of professional child actors. Then we began to search for boys who may not have acted, but who might be right for the role. We eventually interviewed several hundred from around the country and tested 100.” And the saddle-trained Reno was one of the lucky ones who earned a screen test in L.A..

The $4.5 million film took two years to make and involved five months of shooting in Canada, Rome, and Sardinia. For Reno, whose only trips outside Colorado were to North Dakota and L.A. for the screen test, the film became quite an adventure. His parents chaperoned him while on location, but he still admitted he got homesick. “In Rome, I’d have paid $10,000 for a McDonald’s hamburger – you never know how much you want that if after a week all you get is spaghetti. And I had me a little wine, but after a week, I started drinking cokes again.”

During the first week of shooting, Reno enjoyed the work, but he kept glancing at the camera in the middle of scenes. He recalled that the director, Carroll Ballard, “would tell me, ‘This is the way it is…do it.’ If I didn’t get it done, we’d just have to do it all over again. Lines weren’t a problem. I had a lot of them, but they weren’t in the whole, long scenes. And I could put in other words if the meaning was the same – that was all right with Carroll.” Reno also did all his own stunt work. He had to ride bareback and on a racing saddle, take falls from a galloping horse, and swim. The only time a stunt double was used was for racetrack sequences, which required his character to race a thoroughbred at top speed. “I was too small to hold him back,” says Reno.

The most demanding scene Reno recalled was the shipwreck sequence during a turbulent storm. For this scene, Ballard used the huge water tank at Cinecitta Studios in Rome. “It was all done at night,” says Reno. “And they had wind and rain and fire and smoke. I spent a lot of time in the tank, not being able to touch the bottom, while they made these waves that came far over my head.” Ballard also used a completely realistic model ship to burn and sink headfirst while the boy and the horse struggled in the foreground.

With scenes such as the shipwreck, the horse in this film, Cass-Ole, had to perform as few other horses ever have. Cass-Ole’s trainer was one of Hollywood’s greatest animal trainers, Corky Randall. He trained “Trigger” for Roy Rogers, “Silver” for the Lone Ranger, and all the horses in the chariot-race scene in Ben-Hur (1959).

Mickey Rooney plays the horse trainer in the film, a nostalgic reminder to audiences of his role as a former jockey in National Velvet (1944). Rooney also played a jockey in both Down the Stretch (1936) and Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry (1937). He went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film. Rooney recalls how he first heard about the film, “Francis Ford Coppola got on the horn to tell me he’d purchased the rights to a children’s classic called The Black Stallion. He had a part in it for me, a former jockey called out of retirement by a little boy with a beautiful black Arabian horse and a dream about winning a race. Did I think I could play a former jockey? ‘Gee,’ I said, ‘I don’t know. I never played a jockey before.’

The Black Stallion became a hit at the box-office and received great critical praise. In addition to Rooney’s nomination, the film also received an Academy nomination for Best Editing and the Oscar for Best Film Editing. A sequel, The Black Stallion Returns, was later released in 1983.


Producer: Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Roos, Tom Sternberg
Director: Carroll Ballard
Screenplay: Melissa Mathison, Jeanne Rosenberg, William D. Wittliff, Walter Farley (novel)
Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel
Film Editing: Robert Dalva
Art Direction: Aurelio Crugnola, Earl G. Preston
Music: Carmine Coppola
Cast: Kelly Reno (Alec Ramsey), Mickey Rooney (Henry Dailey), Teri Garr (Alec’s Mother), Clarence Muse (Snoe), Hoyt Axton (Alec’s Father), Michael Higgins (Neville).
C-118m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

Flying Horses

Here’s the rest of Rachael Kraft’s fascinating article. Just think about how horses are transported around the world for shows and races the next time you’re coaxing one into your trailer.  I’ve met a few transporters on the Black Stallion movies, which was very interesting for me, but only one small job on their list. You can imagine the responsibility of moving multimillion dollar horses from one race to the next! Movie stars – no big deal!
Always more to see & do at ;   www.theBlackStallion.com

And now for the rest of the story …

 Traveling inStyle

By: Rachael Kraft *Representative of Double D Trailers:  Horse Trailer Manufacturer since 1997 with emphasis on research, design, product improvement and horse safety through creation of safer technologies. Owned by Brad Heath.

For humans, we have the choice of car or truck…train or bus…economy or first class.  Wherever we go, we’d like to get there quickly, comfortably, and without a lot of hassle.   Some horses travel just as much or more than the typical person and they have the added challenge of weighing close to a ton!  Whether the horse is an elite athlete, a show performer or a beloved pet, they still have the ability to travel in style.

In the horse world, the most recent example of horses traveling in style is the group of talented three-year-olds competing in this year’s Triple Crown.  This prestigious set of three grueling races starts in the rolling hills of bluegrass state with the Kentucky Derby.  The horse Orb gave us a thrilling victory at the 2013 race and many hoped he would be a three-win contender.  His hopes were dashed when he was defeated at the second race, The Preakness, held at Pimlico Racetrack in Maryland.  Only one more race remained, and fans across the nation were eagerly awaiting the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 8 where Orb got a chance to meet his rival Oxbow in the 1 1/2 mile challenge. 

Many spectators forget what a terrific challenge the Triple Crown is for a young horse.  After all, they are only three-years-old.  In many other horse disciplines, a horse this young would barely be starting the training for their sport.  For a racehorse, they are expected to be at their very best.  Each of the races is a physical and mental stress on the animal and there are only days between each of the races.  In addition, the horses need to travel hundreds of miles, settle into a new stable, and prepare on a new racetrack. 

It’s not surprising that Orb’s trainer, Shug McGaughey considered not racing his colt in the Belmont after a fourth place finish at the Preakness.  Lucky for us, he announced that his colt would definitely race on Saturday.  He made this decision after Orb ran a good workout last Sunday morning1.  In the end, the exciting showdown between Orb and Oxbow didn’t matter.  A 15-1 longshot named Palace Malice beat them both to the wire!  Oxbow came in 2nd and Orb came in 3rd.  Nothing is every predictable in the world of horseracing. 


Derby winner Orb arrives at Pimlico for Preakness5.

A question still remains.  Just how do elite racehorses travel from state to state to compete?  Is it possible that you passed a world-class racehorse while traveling the interstate?  In short…yes.  For most racehorses, they travel in plush horse vans or trucks that travel on the highways.  These vehicles have many of the same features as regular horse trailers, but are often air ride equipped to provide an extra smooth ride.  The long trailers will have wide doors, low ramps, extra storage space, excellent ventilation and feature some high-tech amenities. Drivers will use two-way radios and GPS to find their destination while using closed circuit cameras to monitor their equine passengers8.  All of this effort is taken so that the racehorse can arrive at the track in top shape to prepare for their race.

Racehorses aren’t the only equines that travel hundreds of miles by road.  Meet the Budweiser Clydesdales.  These beautiful teams of draft horses travel the country to make appearances at parades and sporting events.  During their demonstrations, eight breath-taking animals pull an immense red cart full of products to be delivered.  The team is driven by two handlers and overseen by a sturdy Dalmatian dog.  These cart horses show their great strength and agility by maneuvering the cart and even “parking” it at an imaginary loading bay.  It is truly a treat to see them on display. 

Three teams of ten horses each travel the country to put on demonstrations.  They perform at a new destination each week, which means a great deal of time on the road.  In order to keep the horses happy and healthy, the horse handlers limit their travel to 500 miles a day and stop for breaks every two to three hours.  “If it’s going to be a longer haul than that we’ll find an overnight along the way to stop,” said horse handler Dave Thomas.  “We won’t haul more than two days in a row; if it’s longer than a two-day trip then we’ll have a rest day built in. 6

The horses are frequently checked to avoid the main health concern – colic.  Luckily, Thomas said severe bouts of colic are rare.  “We’re pretty careful.  That’s one of the main reasons we try not to drive over 500 miles a day.  We don’t (want to) stress them out.”  Once they arrive at their destination, the horses are turned out or taken for walks.  They even have a special sled for the horses to pull for some exercise6.

The Budweiser Clydesdale trailer is hard to miss.  It is a massive red tractor-trailer with an image of the Clydesdales prancing across the side.  The trailer needs to carry ten draft horses, the crew, portable stalls, grooming supplies, basic vet supplies, and shoeing supplies.  Grain, hay, and shavings are shipped ahead to their destination.  They carry anything that you would need to care for a horse when you’re on the road 10-11 months of the year.  Watch a video interview with Dave Thomas here (http://www.thehorse.com/videos/31711/budweiser-clydesdales-whats-in-the-trailer) 6.

Budweiser Clydesdales

TimesBudweiser employee Brady Bardin of Booneville, Miss. leads one of the Budweiser

Clydesdale horses out of its trailer outside Fabiano Brothers Inc. in Michigan7.

For even longer trips, horses cannot be transported by road and must take to the skies.  The mighty Breeder’s Cup race features many horses from other countries who travel in planes to reach the event.  “They travel first-class,” said Chris Santarelli.  “They each want their own stall.”  Santarelli is the treasurer of the Mersant International Ltd., which is the official transport coordinator for the Breeder’s Cup2.

 “It is a major undertaking,” Chris Burke explained. Burke is the co-owner and operator for International Racehorse Transport, which files 5,000 horses each year.  “Each air stable can hold three horses. So if you were traveling from Australia to England, three to a stall is the equivalent of economy ($17,500), two to a stall is business class ($30,000), and one horse on its own is first class ($50,000)3.”


A horse is shown here entering their jet stall for a trip aboard a plane.4

The horses don’t usually have problems with the flight.  “A racehorse is usually a very disciplined animal,” says Andrea Branchini, manager of Horse America Inc.  “He will travel very well.  It will go up a ramp.  It will go into a stall on a plane. 2  This is not to say that all of the horses are calm, cool and collected.  “When you have some two-year-olds racing, you do tend to get horses that have never traveled to America.  You worry a bit about hose horses in flight,” said Santerelli.2

The horses are under constant surveillance while in the sky.  Grooms check them frequently to make sure they are not showing signs of dehydration or restlessness.  They are given plenty of water and hay.  Handlers regularly check horses’ pulses and make sure they are eating and drinking enough.


A horse in his jet stall while on board a plane4.

Each horse carries a passport that contains information about their coloring and identifying features.  The passport also contains their inoculation record.  For the Breeder’s Cup horses, once they reach Churchill Downs, they are put under a 42-hour quarantine to check for a normal temperature and blood tests for four diseases:  glanders, piroplasmosis, equine infectious anemia, and dourine2.  When they are given the all-clear they are ready to leave quarantine to prepare for the race.

Since it seems like such a hassle, you might wonder why an owner would bother to transport their horses such long distances for competitions?  For racehorse owners, the prestige of winning internationally can boost a horses breeding value after they leave the track3. For other horses, special events like the Olympics, Rolex Three-Day Event, and World Equestrian Games will draw international competitors.

Click here (http://www.business-opportunities.biz/2012/03/08/how-do-you-ship-a-horse-to-the-olympics/)  to see an excellent video of horses being transported to the 2010 Horse World Cup in Las Vegas9.

For the average horseperson, we don’t have any upcoming plans of taking wild cross country road trips or traveling internationally to compete.  Still, your horse deserves every bit of concern and care as these elite athletes and performers.  That is why is extremely important to find a horse trailer that has the best safety features for your horse.  DoubleD Trailers is an excellent example of a company that provides fantastic horse trailers (http://www.doubledtrailers.com/Horse_Trailer_Models.htm) to transport your horse.  They provide many different models to fit your individual needs10.  Whether it be in a trailer, horse van, or in a plane, it can be certain that horses can truly travel in style.


1.  Bien, Louis.  SBNation.  Belmont Stakes 2013: Orb to run last leg of Triple Crown. Jun 2 2013. Available:  http://www.sbnation.com/2013/6/2/4388486/2013-belmont-stakes-news-orb-running

2. Laidman, Jenni.  Louisville Magazine.  Flying horses: How foreign race horses get to Churchill Downs [Breeders’ Cup].  Nov 4 2010.  Available:  http://www.louisville.com/content/flying-horses-how-foreign-race-horses-get-churchill-downs-breeders-cup

3. McKenzie, Sheena.  CNN.  Flying high: From ‘cattle-class’ to ‘horse-class’.  March 22 2013.  Available:  http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/22/sport/air-travel-race-horse-flying-class 

4.  Image:  Robinson, Philip.  DailyMailUK. Welcome to Horse Air – how the world’s most elite horses are transported.  Accessed June 4 2013.  Available:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2131554/Queens-Diamond-Jubilee-Welcome-Horse-Air–worlds-elite-horses-transported.html

5. Image:  WCMH-News. Derby winner Orb arrives at Pimlico for Preakness – Available:  www.nbc4i.com

6. Larson, Erica.  TheHorse.com. Caring for the Budweiser Clydesdales.  April 23 2013.  Available:  http://www.thehorse.com/articles/31736/caring-for-the-budweiser-clydesdales?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=health-news&utm_campaign=04-23-2013

7.  Image:  TimesBudweiser employee Brady Bardin of Booneville, Miss. leads one of the Budweiser Clydesdale horses out of its trailer outside Fabiano Brothers Inc. in Monitor Township on Tuesday.  Accessed June 4 2013.  Available:  http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2010/05/mid-michigan_evening_links_bud.html 

8.  Elite Horse Transport.  Accessed June 4 2013.  Available:  http://elitehorsetransport.com/

9.  Video:  Carlson, Dane.  How Do You Ship A Horse to the Olympics?  March 8 2012. Available:  http://www.business-opportunities.biz/2012/03/08/how-do-you-ship-a-horse-to-the-olympics/

10. Double D Trailers.  Accessed June 4 2013. http://www.doubledtrailers.com/Horse_Trailer_Models.htm