What kind of supplies do i need to look after my horse?

It’s important to know what kind of supplies you need to best look after your horse; this means having the right equestrian supplies to make you and your horse comfortable, while also keeping a good collection of grooming tools. Regardless of whether you participate in show jumping or dressage events, you should invest in the right kinds of supplies to keep your horse as healthy as possible, while being aware of sizing and other issues with equipment that can have a significant impact on your riding and the care of your horse.

Various brushes and other tools used for groom...
Various brushes and other tools used for grooming horses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bridles

For bridles, patent leather can be the best option for ensuring comfort and durability; always check harness straps, and get a bit that’s of the right size for your horse. Moreover, test out the length of your reins to see whether they’re too tight or not when you’re riding.

Rugs/Blankets

A good rug/blanket for your horse should be able to keep it clean and warm during the colder months of the year; polyester rugs with a waterproof lining are perhaps the best option to take, while you can also invest in hoods for heavier weather.

Saddles

As with bridles, it’s worth spending the time finding the right saddle for you and your horse; it should be leather or synthetic, and fitted to your horse without causing any obvious discomfort or sliding around when you’re riding.

Brushes and Combs

You should have a large collection of different brushes and combs for various parts of horse grooming – dandy brushes can be used for removing mud and dirt, and use stiff bristles; combs can also be used for dislodging loose hair, and for cleaning sensitive areas. Body brushes and wide toothed combs should be used for manes, with a focus being made on avoiding tangles and tearing your horse’s hair.

Shampoos

To keep your horse’s coat and mane in the best condition, use a mild shampoo that’s going to avoid dryness and irritation; a conditioner can also be applied to your horse’s mane to further reduce tangles.

Plaiting Bands

If you are participating in dressage and show jumping events, it’s worth having a series of coloured plaiting bands that can be used to keep your horse’s mane tidy and away from its face.

Travel Boots

These can be fitted over a horse’s hooves, and offer protection for its lower legs against mud and dirt while out riding, while also helping to keep it warm.

Fly Mask

Particularly useful during the Summer, a fly mask can be found in polyester, and offers a breathable, light solution to fly and insect irritation; some fly masks will also feature UV protection.

Stirrups

Check several different stirrup sizes to make sure that your feet aren’t too tightly bound, or that your feet don’t fall out too easily – well fitted stirrups with adjustable lengths will make it easier to stay comfortable while out on a ride.

General Equipment

Other equestrian supplies that you might need if you own a horse include wheelbarrows for hay and dung, as well as grooming kit cases, buckets, nets and supports for hay, and canvas bags for keeping tack clean and dry.

A young rider at a horse show in Australia
A young rider at a horse show in Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Author Bio

Sarah is an experienced rider and horse owner who likes to blog about her experiences and tips for new riders. She recommends investing time in finding the right equestrian supplies for your horse.

NOTE from Joni Solis: One of the best ways of learning about horses and riding is to start off with local riding classes and make friends with people that own a horse or horses. Also do a lot of reading about horses and horse care. You can find many good books at your local public library and at book stores. There are also some wonderful horse blogs online with more info about horse care and riding and horse supplies.

I you are smart you will also keep your mind open to different ideas. Just because something has been done a certain way for a very long time doesn’t mean it is the best way. New studies produce new ideas that should be consider for the best interest of the horse. Like now it has been found that many horses do best without constricting metal horse shoes and work well without metal in their mouths.

 

Horses and Road Safety – How To Stay Away From Danger

When you have a love for horses, you want to spend as much time as possible with them. Looking after them, excising them, grooming and training with them are all activities that can be enjoyed with your animal. But safety is always an aspect you should consider whenever and wherever you choose to take your horse out for a trot. Roads are especially dangerous places if you are choosing these areas to exercise your pet. Although Horses do not like the loud noise of the traffic, sometimes it can’t be helped and you have to use the roads. Each year there are a number of horse riding accidents which occur on busy roads, so it is certainly something important to think about when heading out with your animal.

English: Horse riders at Newbold in Leicestershire
English: Horse riders at Newbold in Leicestershire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You need to follow a few rules in order to keep you and your animal safe when using a road. Horse riders should be properly trained on how to travel on roads with their pet. They should then follow what they have been taught and be fully aware of the potential dangers. Below are a few guidelines which all riders should adhere to when choosing to ride on roads.

•    Young riders should always be supervised when traveling on roads with their horses. Inexperienced riders who are yet to reach full horse riding ability should be accompanied by someone who is experienced in the activity.

•    A helmet should be worn at all times when riding, but this is especially important when on roads. A protective helmet which meets regulatory standards should be chosen and worn at all times when riding your horse on busy roads.

•    Hi visibility clothing is also a requirement for riding your horses on roads. You can purchase reflective items which meet regulation standards from most equestrian shops. Drivers and motorists need to be able to see you clearly in harsh visibility.

•    Make sure all equipment is secure and fits well. The saddle and reins should be properly adjusted and of a high quality. The horse should be comfortable so as to feel more secure when on an intimidating road.

•    Be polite to motorists and always give way. Be aware of the cars that are around you and never try to hurry just to save a few seconds of your journey. Keep a good distance from motorists as closeness to cars could startle your horse.

•    Horse riders should also take note of road signs. These aren’t just for drivers, those who are traveling on horses should also take note of signs and follow them accordingly.

•    The Horse Road Safety Test is also another thing to consider taking. This examines your safety when riding your horse on the road and if passed, allows you a qualification to show you are able to ride proficiently on roads with your horse.

These safety rules should be followed at all times when riding your hose on roads. Failure to do so could lead to an accident or an injury to you or your horse. It is vital to protect yourself from dangers and also your animal too. You are responsible for your pet and should be kept a main priority when heading out on roads.

For horse safety equipment and accessories, Millbry Hill offer an extensive collection for you to try.

 

Note from Joni Solis: For an added note on horse road safety I would like to say that I think one should start off with short rides on very low traffic back roads for a few times before any attempt is made to go on longer rides on busier roadways. Do you have any other helpful ideas about horse riding on roads? If so please leave them in the comments below. Or tell us about your rides that made you wish you took more care about road safety.

 

 

 

A beginner’s guide to horse riding

Horse back riding can be both great exercise and a great way to engage with the outdoors. This fantastic hobby is loved by many, but before you decide to saddle yourself up on a horse, it is a good idea to consult a professional.

There are many ways in which you could get hurt during horse back riding, horses are after all wild animals and should be treated with care and precision. When you first begin to ride, it can be very exciting, yet also very nerve wracking, so you should read up on all aspects of this activity before embarking on the adventure of horse back riding.

horse-riding
Firstly you should always take lessons from a qualified horse riding teacher. They will familiarise you with the proper techniques of getting up on the horse, and getting down from it. Once you become familiar with how it feels to be on a horse then you will be able to start riding properly. Remember if you lose control of yourself, you will undoubtedly lose control of your horse, so make sure you are 100% confident before going off on your own. Just like a dog can sense fear, so can a horse.

If you are planning on taking up horse riding as a hobby it is a good idea to find yourself a comfortable saddle to suit you. You can have your trainer/coach help you find a good quality saddle for your level of riding. It’s also important that you have good riding boots and other quality equestrian supplies.

However, a great exercise which will help you establish balance is riding bareback. Many children establish excellent balance by riding bareback. If you are confident enough, try it, but make sure your horse if willing to let you do this, otherwise it can very easily just throw you off. The ultimate goal of being a balanced horseback rider is to have good posture, timing, and feel. Good posture on a horse is riding with your heels down and in line with your hips, and your hips inline with your shoulders, and your shoulders inline with your ears; all should be lined up in a straight vertical line.  You should be able to maintain this position throughout each gait.

When you are beginning to ride a horse make sure you ride in an open area, stay away from fences, trees and their low branches and steed grades. Staying on a horse’s back requires balance and concentration, and becomes much more natural and easy with practice. Be careful to keep the horse under your control, and watching for anything that may spook or cause the horse to rear up.

This article has been brought to you by Cross Country Style, a specialist tack shop based in the North East of England. We hope that this article has been informative and resourceful and would appreciate any feedback you may have.

 

Building Blocks to Equine Business Success

Running an equine business takes a great deal of planning, patience and understanding. While most equine businesses are ran by horse-loving people with a desire to enhance the horse industry, a solid understanding of business principles is also necessary in order to be successful. So, loving and understanding horses is not enough, it is important and helpful, but not enough.

Business Sign X
Business Sign X (Photo credits: www.roadtrafficsigns.com)

There are many ways that one may acquire the business knowledge necessary to be successful in the horse industry. Depending on what type of learner you are, what kind of budget you have and what type of business you are going to run, any one of these ideas will be appropriate. It may be that you choose a combination of ideas. A well-rounded knowledge base is always the best option. This will provide you with a solid understanding of business principles from different sources. Together they will give you the foundation from which to begin and expand your business.

General Business Courses

Many community colleges offer business classes through their business school. These courses are general but offer a plethora of information regarding planning and operating a small business. You will receive instruction on budgeting, licensing, insurance and liability, accounting procedures, marketing and fiscal management. For people who have never ran a business before, these courses are invaluable. Most colleges allow you to choose the courses that are of most value and may even offer online options to make learning easier.

Equine Management Courses

There are some equine schools that include courses specifically on equine management. The particulars of dealing with people in the horse world are great to learn before opening any equine business. These courses include much of what is learned in general business management classes but with an equine twist. Instructors are usually business minded equine professionals who know the ins and outs of working in the horse world. These classes are an excellent idea for people who are not familiar with horses or the horse industry. Marketing techniques, business start up, funding, and customer base development and liability issues specific to horses are some of the specifics that may be taught. These classes are sometimes even offered online to make studying easier.

Books and Magazines

If you are an avid reader, you will find a plethora of information on running a successful horse business in print. Many times, horse professionals have written books on managing businesses and share an immense amount of knowledge. It is a good idea to get several books written by different authors so that you gain a varied amount of ideas and opinions. Make notes as you read the books and pay attention to parts that are relevant to your desired business outcomes. Magazines also offer business related news that may be extremely useful for those looking at running an equine operation.

Note from Joni: Save money by making sure to check your local library for books, magazines, audios, and videos on running a business, horse businesses, starting a business, and marketing. You can also find some free ebooks online too. Also you can request items from other libraries and have them mailed to your local library!

Virtual Online Horse Game

Virtual horse games are a rather unsuspecting addition to the above list of resources. However, if you are an avid computer user, enjoy online fun and horses, there is much to be gained from playing these simulated games. Online game play has advanced tremendously and now includes a number of reality-based options that take the player from business inception through management. The games sometimes seem so real that it is as if you are really running your own equine operation. In some games, you are given a certain amount of capital to begin with and are expected to manage all aspects of a business and make a profit. Business decisions must be made that will impact your operation. Many games are free while others offer upgrades for a small fee. With upgrades, there is usually an opportunity to become more involved in the equine business. There is no shortage to the amount of information that can be learned while playing these games. Visit Virtual Horse Games to find a large selection of games and detailed reviews. Playing virtual horse games gives you the opportunity to get a glimpse of the horse business world without any risk, which helps to build the confidence you need to operate your own business.

If you are planning on starting an equine business, have you found this information helpful? If you already have a horse business let us know where you found helpful business information.

 

“Wild Hearts” A Ricky Schroder Family Affair

Hallmark Western made for families by the whole Schroder Family

Los Angeles, CA, January 16, 2013–Veteran actor Ricky Schroder (NYPD:Blue) has a lot to smile about these days. With a longstanding and successful acting and directing career since being crowned the youngest actor ever to win a Golden Globe, Schroder has created his dream project, the family Western “Wild Hearts” starring and involving his whole family.

The film was co-written and produced by Ricky and his wife Andrea, an architectural designer and one-time contestant on Bravo’s hit show “Top Design,” who just recently picked up a regular segment on Hallmark’s show “Home & Family.”

The story was based on an idea their oldest daughter Cambrie came up with after begging them for years to be allowed to find her first acting job.  “Andrea and I realized that once she’d have her driver’s license, she would do this acting thing with or without us” said the experienced actor and father of four, “So Andrea and I decided to create this film and produce it, this way, she could be surrounded by protective and loving people who encourage her during her first acting experience rather than being surrounded by strangers.”

Hallmark picked up the film that tells the charming story of a teenage Malibu girl on a quest to meet the father she never knew while falling in love with a wild Mustang in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

“Wild Hearts” will air on the Hallmark Movie Channel on March 9th, 2013, and seems to be the perfect match for the family oriented channel. The film not only features Ricky and Cambrie in a starring role, but when the story called for two rival brothers trying to mess with the stallion, Cambrie’s brother’s Luke and Holden were an easy pick.  Youngest daughter Faith and even family dog Ziggy received an appearance as well.

The family fun was almost spoiled due to a legal dispute over the film in early 2012, which was resolved last fall. The parties involved, Ricky Schroder, Joseph Nasser, Jack Nasser, the Nasser Group Inc. and NGN Productions, Inc. announced that they have resolved all of their disputes concerning the ownership of “Wild Hearts,” have withdrawn and dismissed all of their claims against each other, and wish each other continued success.

To find out more about the Schroder Family project “Wild Hearts” check in for updates at https://www.facebook.com/hallmarkmoviechannel or follow @RickySchroder or @CambrieSchroder on Twitter

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Guess Post by…
Nicole Walther
Silver Lining PR
(520) 979-0175
Nicole@silverliningpr.com
Follow me on Twitter @hopefulnic

Tips on buying a horse

Owning a horse can be an extremely rewarding experience. However, buying a horse is a big investment and not one that anyone should rush into. The initial costs aren’t all you have to take into consideration when making a purchase. On-going upkeep costs will mount quickly, and should also be taken into account.

Horse Jumping
Horse Jumping

If you are desperate to own one of these beautiful animals then the first thing I would recommend you do is sit down and do the maths. You will need to budget for all the essentials:

•    Food
•    Bedding
•    New shoes every 6 weeks or so
•    The cost of a farrier
•    Vets and dental bills
•    Insurance

Beyond that, you will also need extra funds to cover any emergencies that may arise and cash for livery.  The cost of renting out space at stables can vary. If you opt for full livery then it will cost more, however, all of your horse’s needs will be catered for, which can be the less stressful option.

If all of that is within your budget, then you can get really excited! But before you go rushing off to buy a horse, it’s important to take time to work out exactly what you are looking for. Start by writing out a checklist which can help you to make sense of your thoughts and give you something to work from.

Pinto Horse with Rider
Pinto Horse with Rider

Think about what age you want the horse to be ideally; do you want the horse to be experienced or do you have the time and the skills to spend on an inexperienced horse? Making these decisions early on will help you to be clear as you start your search.

Start by asking around anyone you know who is interested in horses and at local stables to see if they know anyone selling. Get online and check out sites like Horse Deals where you can see comprehensive listings for hundreds of horses.  You can also check out the listings in magazines; however these obviously aren’t as up to date as those online.

Once you have a few options, write down any questions you have and give the current owners a call to find out more before making a journey to view any horse.  If you get all your questions answered and you still want to see the horse then that’s the time to arrange a first viewing.

During the first viewing, have someone else ride the horse first so you can see it in action, then jump on and have a ride yourself. Always go back for a second viewing so you have another opportunity to check out the horse’s temperament. The temperament of the horse is the most important thing in the long run and you should pay more attention to that than to anything else.

Once you have found the right horse for you, make sure to have an independent vet check the horse over before you commit to anything. If, at this stage, you are still not 100% confident that the horse is right for you, ask for a trial run to give you a chance to see how you get on. If you are happy to go ahead, always get a written agreement and a receipt to confirm the purchase and immediately get the horse insured so you are free to ride straight away.

Even if you already own a horse it is still a good idea to follow this process to make sure you can afford to look after a second horse – and to ensure you get the right kind of horse to compliment the horse or horses you already have.

Buying a horse is not a quick process so it is important to be patient and see the time you spend as an investment. It will be worth it in the end.

Guess post by Joyce Pearson.

 

Romancing Trigger By Gina McKnight

Legend has it that when North America was new, horses were magical. The original North American Horse evolved from great posterity, the offspring of prized horses owned by kings and princes. The North American Horse’s ancestry can be traced back to the beginnings of antiquity; into the thick canopy of tents of the Bedouin tribe, nestled deep in the sands of the Arabian Desert.  The Spaniards coveted the Bedouin’s agile horse, capturing and transporting a few to Spain.  The Spaniards breed the Bedouin horse to Andalusian and Barb breeds, creating a magnificent stalwartly horse to be treasured throughout time.

Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger
Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger

In the sixteenth century, the brave Spanish Conquistadores sailed with their Bedouin-mix horses to North America.  Following the Conquistadores was Christopher Columbus and his cargo of enchanting horses.  The voyages were long and dangerous for both sailors and equines. All of the horses melded together in North America’s vast terrain.  They intertwined to create a new breed – the American Horse.

Trigger was an American Horse. His original name was Golden Cloud. He was named for his beautiful golden palomino coat and owner, Roy F. Cloud.  Trigger came into this world on a glossy July 4th morning in 1934 in sunny San Diego, California. His dam was a true American Horse and his sire, Tarzan, a Thoroughbred, from the original Conquistador linage. Tarzan was a well-known racehorse, racing in Mexico at the Caliente Racetrack.  Trigger inherited his sire’s golden good looks and his dam’s sweet disposition. His ancestry is rooted deep in American soil.  He was the product of Bedouin tribe posterity and Conquistador ruggedness; America’s Horse.

Stories tell that Trigger was not the average foal.  He was more agile, perceptive and keen than his stablemates. But, most of all, he was drop dead gorgeous.  He became the groom’s favorite and the love of stable hands.  After affectionate handling and beginning etiquette, Trigger was sold to Hudkins Stables, in Hollywood, California.  Hudkins Stables was the major source of equines for Hollywood’s movie industry.  Trigger was schooled by the best trainers and wranglers.  He was fashioned for nobility and groomed to be a starlet. Trigger had charisma, intelligence, screen presence, beauty and glamour.  His classy markings included his famous white blaze flowing down to his nose and left rear white stocking.  He was about two years old when he was started under saddle.

Trigger’s movie debut was in 1938. Olivia de Havilland, the famous movie actress, fell in love with Trigger when he was her steed in “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (Warner Brothers). She starred in the film as Maid Marian.  Olivia, with her crimson medieval attire, gallops sidesaddle through Sherwood Forest in search of Robin Hood (Errol Flynn).  Trigger is mesmerizing in his movie debut, wearing a full-body caparison, as is custom for gallant medieval horses. He sashays through the movie with the utmost confidence and poise.  At only four years old, he steals the hearts of many.

Leonard Slye, aka Roy Rogers, was a new singing cowboy on the rise and needed a blockbuster icon and an obedient ride.  From Duck Run, Ohio, Rogers personified the ultimate backwoods country boy. He was an avid equestrian and horse-lover.  He was 26 years old when he met Trigger, who was four years old, at Hudkins Stables.  It was 1943. Rogers knew when he first saw Trigger that they were destined to be together. Rogers purchased Trigger for $2,500.00 (over $30,000 in today’s market).  It was a steep sum for Rogers at the time, so he set up a payment plan.  Rogers is later to have said that it was the best money he ever spent.  Smiley Burnette, Rogers’ cowboy movie sidekick, said that the horse was ‘quick-on-the-trigger’.  Rogers liked the name and from that day forward Golden Cloud was known as Trigger.

At 15.3 hands, Trigger made the perfect stunt horse. With his amazing good looks, he was on his way to stardom. He had a sultry, silky stance that made him stand out from all the other movie horses.  He was equine congenial and eager to please.  Stunningly photogenic with a compelling cinematic flair, Trigger was more than just a cow pony. He was an iron horse; he was a partner and a pal. He was in his element; lights, cameras, fans, pampering, quality oats and…silver studded tack.

Apart from all of the royalty that celebrity brings, Trigger earned his keep. He was challenged with new scripts, new tricks and places to go. He was constantly bombarded with sound trucks, camera equipment, film crews, boom mikes, and the rigorous stress of working through a scripted day. Trigger was an exceptional learner.  Glenn Randall, world-famous master horse trainer, was Triggers main trainer.  Randall is famous for training the four whites (Rigel, Antares, Aldebaran, and Altair), the winning horses Charlton Heston charioted to fame in the blockbuster movie ‘Ben-Hur’ (MGM 1959).  Randall was a true horse whisperer.  He had ‘equus’, the language of the horse. His soft voice, gentle guidance and groundbreaking training techniques are still admired today.

Trigger responded instinctively to subtle hand movements and the slightest touch.  Patted twice under his mane he would back away.  Patted two inches lower from the same spot; he would rear to his famous pose. Seldom using reins, Rogers used non-verbal signals and commands.  Trigger knew what was expected and that people were watching him.  He responded to ‘ohs’ and ‘aws’ and the never-ending applause.  “Any cowboy worth his stuff owes half of what he gets to his horse,” said Rogers.

Rogers’ signature white hat with the famous ‘Denton Pinch’ (creased crown), along with his flashy cowboy fringed attire, wowed audiences as he waved and smiled to fame.  His handsome good looks allured all ages.  He wore smooth, round silver spurs that jingled when he walked.  Learning to ride bareback at the ripe age of eight years, Rogers quickly became a confident equestrian; he was a natural. He learned the intrinsics of the horse and how to use voice cues and leg pressure to command his horse. He never used whips or spurs.  His early years would mold and instill his inherent equestrian abilities.

In the movie, “Under Western Stars”, Trigger stars with Rogers. The star-studded team goes on to make over 81 movies and star in over 100 episodes of The Roy Rogers Show.  Trigger learned tricks that wowed audiences the world over.  He had a repertoire of tricks; he could shoot a gun, knock on doors, dance, bow, untie ropes, kiss the girls and capture hearts, to name a few.  He was called ‘the smartest horse in the movies’. Through his career he had many look-alikes that were used as stunt-doubles in his movies.  As a star, he was kept in optimum health, inside and out.

Rogers fell in love with Dale Evans, another hardy equestrian and horse-lover.  However, Evans had to learn to be an equestrian, and, upon Rogers’ recommendation, took riding lessons. They met on the movie set of “The Cowboy and the Senorita”. Evans played the lovely Senorita and Rogers the rugged cowboy.  In a scene in the movie, Rogers rescues Evans from the perils of her run-away-horse. Evans, from Uvalde, Texas, is a good match for the rider from backwoods Ohio. They melted the movie houses with their equine fanfare, tales of adventure and swooning tunes.  But, without Trigger and his good Palomino looks, they may not have been as successful.

In 1947 Rogers proposed to Evans while waiting to be introduced at a Chicago rodeo.  They were on horseback when he proposed.  She said ‘yes’, and they were married on December 31, 1947 at the Flying L Ranch in Davis, Oklahoma. Both Rogers and Evans had been married before. More children, horses, stardom and celebrity followed; the couple was married for more than 50 years.

‘King of the Cowboys’ was quickly bestowed upon Rogers and he gained a reputation for theatrical performances with Trigger, on and off the stage. With his new celebrity wife, Dale Evans, in her stunning feminine clothes, girly spunk, perpetual smile and friendly demeanor, Rogers became even more famous.  Evans was not only lovely and well-schooled, but she could ride a horse, round-up cattle, and drink cowboy coffee. Rogers and Evans were known for their feisty banter, congenial ways and gentle teasing. Evans was important to Rogers; she had star quality as an actress, a good relationship with Trigger and she supported his cowboy ventures. Together, they filled the movie houses and arenas.  Box offices around the globe were jammed-pack with movie goers waiting to see Rogers, Evans …and Trigger.

 

Roy Rogers' horse Trigger
Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger

Like most horseman, we are defined by our steeds.  Rogers is no exception.  It is better for some to have a life-long companion in a horse than an assortment.  “He would turn on a dime and he’d give you 9 cents change,” Roy was famous for saying.  Trigger was a superstar.  He was more than a cowboy’s horse; he was a confidant and pal. He was registered with the Palomino Horse Association. Palomino refers to a horses color, not breeding.  Trigger had a coat of deep gold with a flaxen mane and tail. Registered with the Palomino Horse Association, he was a stallion his entire life, but with no offspring.

Rogers, a die-hard patriot, traveled to many USO military bases during World War II and the Vietnam War.  He toured extensively with Trigger to visit our men and women in uniform.  During World War II, he raised thousands of dollars to raise funds for the war effort. The cowboy and his horse symbolized America; homeland and the right to be free.

Besides inspiring troops, dashing through movies, rearing on demand and wowing children, Trigger may have been instrumental in helping Evans to write 20 books, pen a catalog of songs, and guide the family through triumph and tragedy.  Trigger received an average of 200 letters a month from swooning fans.  Having his own fan club and marketing his image required an extra assistant. Fan mail was promptly responded to with a letter and an autographed hoof print.

Trigger’s tack was royal.  He had a $5,000 gold and silver saddle, complete with martingale, golden lariat, and pointed tapadero stirrups. Most of Triggers saddles were made by the famous leatherworker Edward H. Bohlin, referred to as the Michelangelo of saddle making.  Decorated in intricate patterns of silver and gold, the saddles weighed as much as 150 pounds.  Trigger’s ruby-studded saddle was referred to as the ‘crown jewels’ of saddlery.

Roy Rogers on his horse Trigger
Roy Rogers on his horse Trigger

Trigger made Rogers a fortune through personal appearances and merchandising. Before appearing in a show, Rogers would park Trigger’s horse trailer outside of the arena/venue where they were performing.  Rogers wanted the people who couldn’t afford to buy a ticket to the show to be able to see Trigger, dressed in all his finery.  Sometimes overzealous fans would snip a piece of Trigger’s lovely mane and tail as a souvenir.  After too many ‘snips’, Trigger was endanger of balding.  Showing Trigger prior to events was halted in order to save his beautiful flaxen mane and tail.  Eventually Trigger’s locks grew back to their original luxurious length. He was fed only the best hay and grain, mixed especially for his glamorous lifestyle; a diet that kept his coat shiny, his eyes bright and gave him the stamina he needed to perform on a moments notice.

Trigger died July 3, 1965, at the age of 30, a day shy of his 31st birthday.  He died at Rogers’ ranch in Hidden Valley, California.  Dying of old age, they found him in his familiar pasture. His thinning flaxen mane and tail had grayed and were without luster.  His luxurious coat had weathered and wrinkled.  He was fragile, as an old man, feeble and devoid of musculature. His body was sent to Bishott’s Taxidermy of California to be skinned and cast in plaster.  His internal organs – heart, brain, eyes – were disposed of and never buried.  No grave, no stone.  Jokes abounded about Trigger’s demise. “More hay, Trigger? No, thanks, I’m stuffed.”

Millions of people came to see the new, stuffed Trigger.  ‘The Smartest Horse in the World’ drew crowds from around the globe.  Trigger was displayed in the celebrities California home for awhile, then moved to the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Victorville, California.  Finally, Trigger was on display at the new relocated museum in Branson, Missouri. His gem-studded tack was also on display, as well as mementos from the family’s cowboy rein.

Roy Rogers on his horse Trigger
Roy Rogers on his horse Trigger

Rogers died on July 6, 1998; Dale on February 7, 2001. Their legacy is not complete without the love, life and joy of Trigger.  The Branson museum that housed Trigger is gone now, it closed in 2009.  The contents were sold at public auction.  Trigger galloped off for over $266,000. One of his gilded bridles and saddles sold for over $386,000.  It is the end of an era, the end of the trail.  Trigger, the bright palomino horse that wowed audiences throughout the universe, will forever remain in the hearts and minds of those who remember his stunts, fanfare, beauty, anecdotes, movies, and more.

 



Happy Trails gorgeous Trigger.…

Roy Rogers Riding Club Prayer by Roy Rogers
Lord, I reckon I’m not much just by myself,
I fail to do a lot of things I ought to do.
But Lord, when trails are steep and passes high,
Help me ride it straight the whole way through.

And when in the falling dusk I get that final call,
I do not care how many flowers they send,
Above all else, the happiest trail would be,
For You to say to me, “Let’s ride, My Friend.”
Amen

Happy Trails, The Lyrics by Dale Evans

Some trails are happy ones, others are blue.
It’s the way you ride the trail that counts;
Here’s a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?

Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, until we meet again.

Guess post by : Gina McKnight is a writer from USA. http://www.gmcknight.com
All Rights Reserved.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_(horse)
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=1042&pt=%20Trigger

 

Pie: Compelling New Book Tells True Feel-Good Story of An Inspirational Old-Brown Horse

Pie the horse and author Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo
Pie the horse and author Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo

Pie: An Old Brown Horse (That Knows What He Is Doing)

When his days as a working ranch horse were over, Pie was sent off to be sold or destroyed. However, with so much left to give, Pie continued to pile up many amazing achievements in the second half of his life. Now, for the first time ever, his inspirational true story is being told via an insightful new book.

For Immediate Release:

Arlington, Texas The relationship between humans and animals still boasts a powerful and primitive connection. In the case of Pie, a working ranch horse, nobody imagined the life-changing effect he’d have on everyone he met during his long and happy retirement.

Cover of the book: PIE An Old Brown Horse by Kandy Kay Scaramozzo
Horse Book : PIE An Old Brown Horse by Kandy Kay Scaramozzo

Still alive to this day, and written from his point of view, Pie’s amazing and inspirational story is told in ‘Pie: An Old Brown Horse (That Knows What He Is Doing)’.

Book Synopsis:

This is the story of a twenty five year old ranch horse that was injured and pretty much left to die. He was brought to a stable and sold, even though no one really expected him to survive. He was reborn into a merchant of hope. His amazing spirit and calmness have helped many people over the next 13 years as he became the most amazing mentor and therapy horse. This is Pie’s story as he tells it about the most amazing second chance at life and his travels through it.

You will meet his person, a shy young girl who he helps grow into adulthood. He will introduce you to the other horses and people that helped shape his journey. His influence has known no bounds throughout this last 13 years and he continues to shine his light even at the ripe old age of 38.

This is a feel good story about life, love, second chances and giving back.

As Pie’s owner explains, his story needed to be told.

“He has had such a positive influence on all around him. A lot of times when you read about an old exceptional animal they have passed away, says Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo, but not Pie, he continues to influence all those around him as he enjoys his later years.”

Continuing, “Pie is still with us and doing fine. His story is inspiring and puts a warm spot in the hearts of all who read it plus, he is quite entertaining in his descriptions!”

Since its release, the book has garnered a consistent string of rave reviews.

“I saw this book sitting at the counter at my local feed store, read the back of it and decided to buy it.. Boy am I glad I didn’t pass it up! This is the type of book that has you catching yourself smiling and grinning while reading it, it’s an all-around feel good book. Once I finished reading it I had to go back to the first few pages to learn what the characters were, simply because I couldn’t get enough of Pie’s life story,” says Jordan, who reviewed the book on Amazon.

Another reader, J. Warren, was equally as impressed. They said that, “This is an excellent book for all ages, but especially for the horse lovers of the world. Pie, who tells the story in a horses perspective gives an excellent view of how great life is the second time around. Wonderful book! I highly recommended it to all my family and friends.”

As Scaramuzzo attests, Pie really is one-of-a-kind.

“I have spent many years working in alternative education and in rescue groups. Pie really stands out as one of the great ones. He has touched so many people in such a positive manner,” she concludes.

‘Pie: An Old Brown Horse (That Knows What He Is Doing)’, published by Outskirts Press, is available on Amazon: http://amazon.com and It is also available on www.barnesandnoble.com   It is also available at http://www.outskirtspress.com/pie/

Contact Ms. Scaramuzzo at Pieanoldbrownhorse @ yahoo . com (remove spaces)

About the Author: Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo is a seventh generation Texan. She has her own brick at the Cowgirl Museum. She has taught in alternative schools for over 20 years. Ms. Scaramuzzo is a member of the Strathmores 2012 Who’s Who. She has also worked as an animal behaviorist for more than 28 years. She has trained dogs professionally for over 20 years. She has run a therapeutic riding program for autistic children for 5 years. She has been a tester/observer for a therapy dog organization for nine years. She has worked with dog, cat, horse and snake rescues for over 20 years. Her life philosophy has been influenced by her professional training as a criminologist, which taught her that there is a light of hope in even the most disheartening of cases; sometimes all it takes is someone to see it and help it along. She feels it is important to give back to maintain the balance of a civilized society.

How to Take Care of Your Horse in 4 Easy Steps

Horses are magnificent creatures that require a lot of care and grooming in order to stay healthy. Ensuring that one’s horse is healthy requires no rocket science and can go a long way in saving money. Most of the grooming can be carried out at home with no requirement of specialization.

The clean, picked hoof allows for better inspe...
The clean, picked hoof allows for better inspection for injury. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Checking up on any bruises or swelling

Some few basic tips and tricks in grooming a horse include examining the horse everyday to check for any bruises or swellings. This should be done especially after riding the horse. Most scrapes that are not too deep can be ignored and are considered normal. On the other hand, deep cuts may need further examination and also medical attention and dressing.

2. Repairing and cleaning horse barns

If the horse has cuts and swellings and was not ridden any time in the past, the barn should be investigated and examined for anything that would have harmed it. Small horse barns may get old and as a result of the horse rubbing itself against the wall, the wall may break, become jagged and subsequently cut the horse. To prevent this, the barn should be repaired regularly and any holes in the floor and wall fixed. Any object that may harm the horse should be kept away from its dwelling place, for example, broken bottles and jagged rocks.

The barns should at all times be clean and dry. A wet floor may cause the horse to slip and fall while a smelly one may irritate the horse. After using a pitchfork and bucket to clean the barns, one should also dry the wet spots. To keep the barns fresher and cleaner for longer one should spread shavings or straw on the floor as they absorb most of the wetness. Cleanliness should be practiced not only in the barn but even in their water drinkers and food containers. This will ensure that the horse does not acquire illnesses from the atmosphere or their surroundings.

(Note from Joni: If your horse is on pasture please make sure to routinely check the pasture area for any dangerous debris, holes, ruts, etc. and also check all fence lines and gates.)

3. Exercising as a routine

Exercise is very important for the health of a horse. An exercise routine should be established by first riding the horse for a small duration of time and gradually increasing the duration making sure not to overtire the horse.

(Note from Joni: If you can not ride the horse the horse can be hand walked, lounged, or put out in a large pasture with other horses for some playtime.)

A challenge to a horse groomer on a dusty day;...
A challenge to a horse groomer on a dusty day; saddle-shaped mark where dust has gotten stuck with sweat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4. Grooming

As part of the grooming exercise, horses need to be brushed in order to maintain that glowing coat. The chest and girth area should be brushed not too roughly as it may lead to formation of sores. The manes and tails should be brushed and their hooves picked. A hard brush should be used at first for the mane, tail and hooves followed by a soft one. Good quality rubber massage curry combs should be used on the other parts as they do not cause abrasions on the coat of the horse. In brushing the coat, one should follow the direction of orientation of the horse’s hairs as there will be minimum irritation. Many gloss and shine products have been produced and one should be able to decide on which brand to use for their horse.

Proper horse grooming may prove to be cheap in the long run as less medical care is needed for a healthy horse.

(Note from Joni: Grooming your horse also helps you and your horse bond. Many humans also find that grooming a horse helps them relax and release stress. So it good for both of you.

Seven Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Farrier

A badly shod horse might as well be no horse at all, as a horse relies heavily upon proper hoof care. Without it, a horse can go quickly go lame and ruin your chances for riding or further training. If you find yourself without a farrier or you are new to horse ownership, it’s vitally important that you take the right steps to getting a farrier that meets your schedule and your horse’s needs. Before you invite just any farrier to come and hack away at your horse’s feet, use this short list of questions to get an idea of the background and experience of a new farrier.

English: Farrier at work - Ogmore
English: Farrier at work – Ogmore (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. What Are Your Qualifications?

You should ask a few general questions about your farriers experience over the phone before you even meet. Asking these background questions will save you and the farrier the extra time and expense from coming out to your farm if you don’t think it’s a match. Some basic questions to ask include:

  • How Long Have You Been in the Business?
  • Where Are You Located?
  • Why Did You Decide to Become a Farrier?

These questions will give you a general idea of the nature and experience of the intended farrier. It’s important to ask the location of the farrier’s practice, because he may charge additional fees if your farm is located out of his working range.

2. Do You Have Any References?

While you have the farrier on the phone, ask if he has any past clients he would be willing to offer as references. A simple name and phone number for about three-to-four of his past clients will give you an idea of the farrier’s style, how he handles the horse and whether or not he is punctual.

3. Are You Certified?

The largest association for certified farriers is the American Farrier’s Association. This international company developed a program in 1981 to test the competency and accuracy of potential farriers throughout the nation. Ask your farrier if he is part of this association and who he trained with for his apprenticeship. A good farrier should be able to give a clear and succinct answer about his level of education and certification. Be cautious if the farrier beats around the bush or says he’ll get back to you with the information.

4. What Breeds Do You Handle?

Some farriers only handle Thoroughbreds, while others mainly manage large breeds such as Belgians or Clydesdales. Talk to your farrier to see what horse breeds he typically handles and if he has any experience working with your breed. If you have a gaited horse, it’s important to find out if the farrier has experience with shoeing for Tennessee Walkers, Standardbreds, Saddlebreds or other gaited types.

5. What’s Your Schedule?

You run a busy farm, and if your farrier is any good, he will run a busy practice. A horse that is ridden regularly needs shoeing every six to eight weeks. Scheduling a regular date and time for you and the farrier can be a frustrating situation. Make sure your farrier has the time to take on a new horse and can commit to regular visits.

6. What Are Your Rates?

Nothing like a surprise bill at the end of a service to make an experience quickly turn south! Talk with your farrier beforehand to find out what he charges for every visit. Some farriers offer package deals that involve trimming and shoeing, while others provide each service separately. Get the rates ahead of time so you won’t have to short Bessy on her hay next month.

7. Do You Offer Emergency Services/Specialty Shoeing?

Horse owners typically don’t remember this question until they wake up one day and find that a horse went mysteriously lame. As you are looking for the right farrier, ask what extra or specialty services he offers in case you get in a bind. Sometimes it can be cheaper to get a corrective shoe or hoof poultice through your regular farrier than it can be through a vet or unknown farrier. Again, ask for those rates! You will be better prepared when you have a general idea of how much services cost when an accident happens.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions as you interview new farriers. A good farrier expects it, and a great farrier may even offer the information before you even ask.

NOTE from Joni (blog owner): I also make sure to explain to the farrier that I do NOT allow anyone to hit on my horses, with hands, feet, or tools! And no ear twisting or any other punishment like that. I want a farrier that is calm and knows how to hand a horse without violence  even if the horse is acting up a bit.

Guess Article by David Baker
eFarriers.com – A comprehensive directory of farriers from across the United States and Canada featuring full-page farrier profiles with biographies, photos, training and qualifications.
Twitter: @eFarriers
Facebook: eFarriers.com

Read more: Standing Still: Training Your Horse to Stand Quietly for Your Farrier

Farrier
Farrier (Photo credit: Nick Kidd)