It was a BIG show a GREAT show, a wonderful eve full of cheers and tears. So hard to say goodbye to so many wonderful performers – human and equine.
BUT then you start talking about this coming year and know it’s not over, there are too many possibilities for the future. It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later- hasta luego – arrivederci – ciao. New shows on the horizon? … like seeds starting flowers across the nation that wonderful talent spreads out in new ways, new faces, new places.
Today all the horses are moving into open pastures and will run free for awhile, I’m sure they’ll miss the work and excitement but then won’t we all? Thank You Mark Miller for bringing so much beauty and fun to so many families!!
Here’s a guest blog by our friend Kristie at Edgemere equestrian over in the UK. She wants to tell you all about her favorite horses. Which one would you take for a ride?
I’ve always been partial to Bucephalus myself … something to do with a boy and a horse and taming the wild stallion – maybe you know the rest of that story:) Don’t forget you can always find a Bucephalus of your own at the gift shop!
4 Inspiring Horses from History, Myths and Legends
When you are young, you might watch plenty of horse T.V shows and movies, like Disney’s Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron, or even My Little Pony! Sometimes it’s the shows like these that lead us starting to love horses, and anything that encourages us to take up riding can only be a good thing! However, people have been telling fantastic stories about horses for millennia, and some of those stories are even more epic tales than the modern feature films of today. Here are 5 of our favourite horse myths and legends to tell your friends.
The Wind Horse is a story told in Native American culture; it’s about a beautiful wild horse that roams the land. The wind horse is a free horse, and it is his freedom that inspires him to good deeds across the land. Whenever a Native American was injured or in dire need, it is said the Wind Horse would appear and help them.
One day the Wind Horse comes across a young boy who has injured his foot in a bear trap. Selflessly, the horse helps him and they ride home together. During the journey, the horse senses the thoughts of the young boy – he fears for the future as he has injured himself beyond recovery, and he fears that he will be lonely, unable to join in with his friends due to his injury.
The legend says that the Wind Horse knew it’s duty from then on was to protect the boy and be his friend, so the horse gives up his freedom to live out the rest of his days with his new companion. When the new friends reach home, the boy is healed.
Pegasus is a beautiful immortal winged horse from Greek Mythology – you might remember him from stories about the great hero Hercules, but he actually belonged to the hero Perseus! He was a brave warrior who wanted to win the hand of a beautiful lady, but a rival also wanted to win her love. Because of this, a challenge was set, and Perseus had to kill the evil Gorgon monster Medusa. Perseus succeeded in his quest, and the beautiful horse Pegasus was born. The horse helped many heroes with their quests, and he can now be seen honoured as a constellation in the sky.
You’ve no doubt heard of Alexander the Great; he was one of the most successful conquerors the world has ever known! Bucephalus was the horse of Alexander the Great, when they first met, the horse was wild and un-tamed, and he was a huge horse too, with a face like a bull. At just 12 years old Alexander decided to train this famous horse, and he succeeded with his natural horsemanship. Together they rode into many battles and forged one of the biggest empires ever known.
Movies about Thor and Loki have cause a rising interest in Norse culture, and you might have already heard of the Norse god Odin. Well, Sleipnir was Odin’s steed, and he was highly unusual as he has eight legs! Luckily, this made him supremely fast, sure-footed, and able to jump enormous obstacles!
Personally, my favourite story of this selection is the story of Alexander the Great and Buccephalus, simply because it’s a classic example of the great things a partnership between human and horse can achieve. Would Alexander have achieved the same success if he didn’t have his loyal steed? I wonder. However, there’s no doubt that trusting your horse and treating it like a partner will likely lead to you becoming an unstoppable team!
Which ancient horse would you have loved to ride?
This article was written by Kirstie, digital editor at Edgemere.
Think -“Dancing with the Stars” Meets Equestrian Entertainment
The Ultimate Equine Encounter in the Spotlight
This experience includes one-on-one instruction, performer “secrets,” and interaction with the show’s horses and artists, which holds a particularly magnetic appeal for children. “They spend the ‘day’ with us. They get lessons. We do hair, makeup, costumes.”And, they get to be in the show. “We get kids who have never been on a horse before and others who compete in horse shows,” says Reynolds. Typically, around 8 years old, participants have ranged from 4 to adults.
An immersion into life behind-the-scenes and on stage, participants can choose specialty riding (bareback!), trick riding, or a “combo” package with both. Advance measurements sent to Arabian Nights’ wardrobe department ensure that costume options will be ready and waiting, when the countdown to show time begins. But first, budding performers get accustomed to the production setting, starting with lunch in the arena with Reynolds during rehearsals, great for getting to know the artists. An in-depth barn tour and familiarization with Arabian Nights 50+ horses and stable procedures, pave the way for afternoon lessons in the arena.
“We’ve got 14 breeds of horses in the show–amazing stallions, great mares, and national champions,” reflects Miller, who’s devoted his life to sharing horses with millions of visitors, since founding Arabian Nights www.arabian-nights.com in 1988. “People want to know what it’s like to work with these horses.”
To schedule the Performer for a Day experience, contact Jason Temple, Arabian Nights account executive for pricing, information, and reservation details at (407) 589-2411 or Jason@arabian-nights.com
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 …
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.
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.
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.