We all feel lonely from time to time and, while your horse probably appreciates your human companionship, he or she will need company of their own for when you’re not there. And, although owning more than one animal can be expensive to maintain, leaving a horse alone can make it likely to partake in pacing, compulsive chewing and other pieces of unruly and bored behavior all related to stress and boredom which can be unhealthy.
The situation of the horse without a friend is not dissimilar to that of a lonely human. Inevitably, a horse will become restless, lonely, depressed, despondent, and ultimately unresponsive to its owner given a long enough period without companionship. Just like humans, they’re herd creatures who thrive on the company around them.
That’s why it’s important to find your horse a friend, or what is generally referred to as a companion horse, for those regular intervals when you’re not there to keep them company. In doing this, you will find a pet that is less bored both mentally and physically, and you will, therefore, get the most enjoyment out of your time together.
Invite another horse owner to share your pasture
One potential way to gain a friend for your horse is to rent out your pasture for another horse owner to share. This has the doubly beneficial effect of giving you a little extra income as well as finding an appropriate partner for your horse.
Look for a free companion horse
While horses for professional riding or dressage are costly, it’s important to bear in mind that the primary function of your companion horse is to keep another horse company. This makes it a far easier prospect to find an equine pal for free, as many people are looking to give away their animals to a good home.
The Adoption Option
The RSPCA took in their highest ever number of abandoned horses last year, with 760 of the creatures found by the charity in 2012 alone. They also reported that calls to the horse sanctuary Redwings regarding abandoned horses were up by 75% in the year.
It goes to show that by taking in a horse, you wouldn’t simply be giving your current pet some friendship; you’d be helping an animal in need. It is important to bear in mind that by adopting a horse who may have been under high levels of stress, you will have to be conscious that it could be more nervous or easily scared by seemingly minor occurrences.
If you can, check out local horses for adoption at their foster homes, the rescue center, or animal shelter. Ask ask about, Foster to Adopt, programs that will give you a chance to try out an horse at your place with your horse for a limited time before signing the adoption forms.
Try another animal for your horse
Naturally, the ideal option for horse companionship is another horse, but if that isn’t an option available to you, then another animal can be a good alternative. While dogs or calves are not especially recommended, horses have been known to get on with other animals quite well.
Goats are an especially good fit for your horse, providing a fine alternative, and the two species have been known to get on very well in some situations. And, there possibly isn’t anything cuter than seeing a horse befriending a tiny goat. It’s enough to make your heart melt.
However, your best bet in terms of non-horse companions would be the donkey, given its similarly equine background.
While they need trimming and deworming just like a horse, their smaller frame makes the upkeep far less expensive. They also consume less hay than horses and come at a much cheaper price, making them a great alternative in finding your horse a pal. Same goes with a small pony.
It’s highly important to bear in mind that there is no guarantee of your horse taking to a companion, no matter what species they are. Again, just like humans, horses have likes and dislikes, and they may not immediately like the company of your chosen companion.
In this instance, it’s important to give the animals time to socialize and get used to each other.
It will be necessary for you to supervise the two for a while, as it’s not unknown for animals to be highly aggressive towards each other upon first meeting, in displays of brutality that have ended in death.
It is a process that takes patience and conscientiousness for both animals’ safety. But, with the right levels of time, you can be satisfied that your animals have companions and an improved quality of life. Less loneliness equals less stress and better health for you horse.
Guess Post by Chuck Mintzlaff of friendshiptraining.org
Our principal responsibility as the mentor/caretaker, the one in charge, the one in control of every aspect of our horse’s life, concerned/caring horse owners and the supposedly more intelligent of the two species must be to always ask WHY before making any judgement of a horse’s actions (or using any type of reactionary punishment to what we consider an improper action that a horse has made).
To do otherwise, could very well be considered by some as arrogant, blind abuse of the worst kind that will truly foretell the age-old adage: “You reap what you sow.”
Equine Funktionslust is not just an expression. Nor is Total Equine Environmental Enrichment.
They are a combined philosophy and way of life that develops not only a day-to-day, practical, highly functional working partnership but also acquiring the optimum levels of an intimate interspecies friendship between the human and equine species.
Give them every opportunity possible to enjoy their work without pain, fear or resentment. You will never regret it.
For the questions are NOT, “How can I make him DO something?”
“How can I make him NOT do something?”
The real questions are;
“How can I make him feel like he is the greatest Horse that ever lived?”
“How can I modify his perception of me from being just another controlling human to a trusted friend that will never put him in harm’s way?”
“How can I alter his regard for our mounted activities from monotonous drudgery to scintillating adventurous achievement?”
“How can I endear his mind to embrace his spirit, instead of diminishing it?”
In short, “How can I win his heart?”
Looking beyond the obvious causes, such as a saddle that is not comfortably fitting the horse, or the influence of bad teeth, bad feet and of course bad riding and training, we can look within. The horse’s back is a nightmare of a garden where pain can grow from the many peripheral nerves that run from the spine to the viscera and vice versa, as well as to the musculo-skeletal outer body. Any compromise of these nerves at all, especially the sciatic nerves, will induce bucking. Eighty percent of all internal problems can have a direct effect upon the external.
Bucking is NOT a ‘bad behaviour.’ It is a physical reaction to pain and/or fearful stimuli.
Kissing spine, the fusion of the vertebrae, fusion of the sacroiliac joint, kidney problems, ulcers, a worm aneurysm, a pinched nerve, castration scars, ovarian cysts, a bean in the willy … the list is endless. So before such a question is asked of a trainer, the owner should have checked the horse for any such problems herself and then if unable to
rectify the problem, the next missing step in the answer, the most simple, and the most important, is “have you seen
~ A few possible reasons for a horse “acting out” when saddled and/or ridden. ~
(1.) Sore back.
Poor saddle fit, in sufficient or worn pad, vertebrae out of alignment, etc.
(2.) Girth sores, insect bites or a minor injury where girth or saddle is positioned (or sensitivity from same).
(3.) Mouth sensitivity. Includes (but not limited to) mouth/tongue/lip injury or sores, hot spot from bit or sharp spot on bit, abusive/improper use of the reins (commonly referred to as ‘bad hands’) ‘tongue-over bit or a horse that is unaccustomed to the restricted breathing/choking sensation of the bit. (Reference #16.) (A piece of metal in the horse’s mouth is NOT needed!)
(4.) Eyesight. Diminished visibility due to old age, temporary infection or injury that is not immediately obvious, which would increase apprehension/fear due to the horse’s diminished ability to survive insofar as detecting a potential predator attack or something that might harm them.
(5.) Too little regular association/interaction, exercise and/or no habit or pattern established of doing even limited riding on a fairly regular basis to imprint a positive segment of their Life Pattern.
(6.) Too much and/or too “hot/rich” of a supplemental feed. (Excessive energy patterns, etc.)
(7.) Internal ulcers, illness/trauma, (whether chronic or acute) etc, that the horse tolerates under less stressful, normal living conditions but is forced to exhibit discomfort/displeasure when engaged in mounted activities.
(8.) Growth spurt causing a young horse to test and possibly re-establish himself to a higher herd rank than his rider. (The ‘Terrible Twos and Threes’ equivalent to the dreaded human teenager – stretching boundaries and limits and defying authority to find their place in life).
(9.) Emergent Emotional Intelligence/Maturity. While two and three year olds look physically fit to carry a rider and tack, the equine bone structure does not mature until it is six or seven years old. Their back is the last part of his bone structure to mature. This is directly proportionate to his emotional maturity and would be comparable to expecting the average four-year-old human to sit attentively through an entire opera without once squirming or squiggling in impatience and/or distractive inattention. (If this is the case, you are riding a horse that is not physically or emotionally mature enough to be ridden.)
(10.) Abnormal need for ascension in herd rank (genotype). This is exemplified when a horse of small stature and low herd rank is constantly seen with injuries caused by his continuous, insistent challenging horses of higher herd rank that are forced to wreak physical punishment for CONTINUALLY challenging them.
(11.) Abnormal aggressiveness (genotype) as displayed by an Alpha’s constant physical attacks on other horses of lower herd rank for seemingly no apparent reason. While genetic in origin, it may also be aggravated by a lack of confidence in maintaining present herd rank (much like the proverbial grade school bully). This abnormal aggressiveness may also be due to a complete lack of formative, early life socio-cultural learning facilitated by our present day care and management practices.
(12.) The horse lacks self-confidence in the relational trust he shares with the rider and feels that his herd rank, position and/or very survival is threatened by submission to the rider. (Reference #18 & #21.)
(13.) Bipolar disorder, (and/or other possible neurological disease/trauma.)
(14.) A mare’s overreaction and abnormal sensitivity to estrous. (Also pain caused by pressure or girth and/or riding on Ovarian cysts.)
(15.) An adverse drug reaction, (oral or subcutaneous/intravenous injection) consumption of toxic plants or contaminated hay/feed may cause chronic and/or acute pain and/or sudden mood changes.
(16.) Previous life experiences associated with a negative stimuli implanting a fear imprint on the Amygdala. Either abusive handling, abusive mounted activities and/or a mild injury in what the horse deemed a life-threatening situation. Associative situational circumstance activates an abnormal oppositional or fear/flight response (similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in humans.) This can be triggered by a situational environmental stimuli as well as a physical touch to a specific part of the body, a specific sound or a specific scent.
(17.) Positive Response trigger/imprint is not deep enough to control and/or calm horse with a verbal ‘Calm Down cue’ when the horse feels the excitation of a severe apprehensive survival/stress situation (cortical override of a fear/flight reaction to a negative stimuli induced by an Amygdala fear imprint).
(18.) Insufficient relationship/trust factors. Suppressive imprint is inadequate to instil cortical override and nullify previous fear imprints and/or separation anxiety disorder. Inadequate trust factors and nonreciprocal communication levels result in a confrontational relationship versus a harmonious partnership. This results in minimal (if at all) Peer Attachment and a complete absence of a ‘Herd of two within the herd’ co-dependent relationship.
(19.) Emotional trauma (oppositional defiance disorder) caused by excessive stalling and/or disassociation and lack of interaction with other horses and/or natural freedom of movement.
(20.) PTSD / fear imprint triggered by association to the specific olfactory or visual stimuli (cologne/deodorant) or apparel/accessory such as a particular hat, coat, etc, (may also be gender specific).
(21.) Rider induced lameness, soreness or discomfort caused by a rider that is unfamiliar with the biomechanics of the horse’s body in movement carrying a rider. (Reference #16.) Inexperienced or apprehensive/fearful rider that has not acquired the necessary balance, coordination, independent seat and confidence needed.
While rider induced lameness is an accepted possible cause of varying degrees of physical trauma/disability/stress, rider-induced stress caused by the novice, inexperienced rider’s own apprehensive heart rate, emotional state and anticipatory fear are transmitted to their horse. (Which results in a ‘catch 22 self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.’) Reference: Linda Keeling, PhD, and colleagues at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Professor Ellen Gehrke, Alliant International University and the Institute of HeartMath.
(22.) Fear imprint reaction actuated by tolerating the emotional pressure of a specific situational environment (being ridden-and/or ridden specific places). This may have been caused by the present rider on his back or a previous rider that exhibited unfair treatment and/or physical punishment, ( a form of PTSD).
(23.) Teeth: #1. TMJ misalignment due to improper/inadequate ‘floating’ and bite alignment resulting in limited biomechanical function of the temporomandibular joint, (TMJ). This sequentially affects ALL parts of the body from the head and neck to the back, legs and feet).
(24.) Bone spurs, wolf teeth, blind wolf teeth can also cause a great deal of pain, (especially when bitted) which in turn elicits aversion, avoidance and oppositional defiance behavior.
(25.) Hoof problems. Pain from overgrown bar, high heels, contraction, deteriorated frogs, thrush and abscesses is common and often masked by shoeing until it is so serious as to cause visible lameness. Horses adapt by shifting resting posture to alleviate pain and strain on ligaments and tendons, pain in the joints and muscles of the shoulder, neck, back, hocks, hips, etc. and by moving with shortened strides exhibiting toe first or flat footed
(26.) *I have also heard that the girth can press on the Vagus nerve of some horses causing an irregular heartbeat that results in extreme “cinchiness” and or bucking when first mounted. The Vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve. It is a mixed sensory and motor nerve.
It is my understanding that the neurological system is divided into central and peripheral areas – the brain and spinal cord make up the Central Nervous System (CNS). There are 12 cranial nerves that originate in the brainstem to innervate the organs of sight, smell, and hearing, the muscles of swallowing and mastication, the tongue, sensation of the face, and use of the eye and facial muscles. Abnormalities of these nerves will produce changes in head carriage, balance, eye position, ear and eyelid tone and position, vision, smell, hearing, and problems prehending, chewing, and swallowing food. The 10th cranial nerve, the Vagus nerve, also affects cardiac function, respiratory function, and GI motility.
Given the horse’s incapability to communicate using traditional training formats, he has little choice but to disobey by jigging around and/or bucking when, in THEIR judgment, due to fear, apprehension, pain, discomfort and/or frustration as THEIR think the situation warrants.
*Any of the preceding (or any combination thereof) could very well result in the “spooking at nothing” of an obviously familiar object to jigging and actual bucking in an attempt to dislodge the rider as well as a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality.
This is traditionally viewed as “bad behavior” when in fact it is a complete lack of insight, knowledge and understanding on the part of the rider.
There are several key factors involved; Communication, Understanding, Trust and Intimacy.
Communication: If the horse has not been given the opportunity to communicate his feelings, then his only recourse is to communicate his feelings the only way he can (by jigging, spooking or bucking). If a horse bucks in a manner that may possibly dislodge his rider, he is literally screaming at his rider that something is terribly wrong (either with their relationship and/or external stimuli). His “inappropriate actions” are directly due in great part to not having an acceptable mode of communication (i.e., no reciprocal communication allowed).
Understanding: An extensive knowledge base of the Equine species’ instinctual, emotional, intellectual and physiological facets would be an essential prerequisite. This would give one in-depth judgement factors in determining the extremity (if any) of the specific personality traits of an individual horse and “why he acts the way he does.” Thus it not an initial requisite of the behaviour modification of the Horse, but rather the needed knowledge and perception modification of the human.
Intimacy: To develop the highest possible level of Intimacy, one would need to know the exact steps that all horses use to establish and nurture Equine Friendship (Peer Attachment/Pair Bond/Preferred Associates) with just one other horse in the herd.
We cannot instil our values of friendship and camaraderie in the Horse. He has his own and has refined them for thousands/millions of years. It would therefore seem logical to use his judgement and value system (if one desired to reach the deepest possible levels of an intimate inter-species friendship).
Trust: Trust, (that is, positive trust not negative trust) is directly proportionate to the established levels of Communication, Understanding and Intimacy. If we cannot clearly communicate our intentions, there is no basis for establishing any appreciable level of Understanding or Intimacy. We would never think of asking a stranger from a foreign land to completely trust us with his life in what to him would be potentially deadly situations. Yet we constantly expect this of the Horse from the first moment we touch him. Our human culture is filled with idiosyncrasies. In America, it is customary when meeting someone to shake hands. Yet in India, upon meeting, shaking hands with a woman would be considered very rude. In Japan, one would bow instead of clasping hands.
Just as International businesses must learn each other’s cultural mannerisms to communicate and establish a rapport, we must also learn the cultural mannerisms of the Horse (if we desire those unequivocal levels of Trust, Understanding, Communication and an intimate relationship).
None of the above take into account the possible extremes of the selective abnormal sensory sensitivity of any particular horse dictated by their specific genotypical ethogram of his Basic Origin.
NOTE from Joni (blog owner): Too many riders both young and old are too fast at judging their horse as bad when the horse does anything they don’t like. I hope many people will read this article and reconsider how they react to their horse when things do not go as they like.
Although the official press release from the Royal Dutch Federation of Equine Sports, the KNHS, has not come out yet, we, the NVBP (Dutch Club of Bitless Riders) proudly announce that as from April 1st 2014 bitless dressage will be integrated in the regular dressage competition, valid for the first two levels, B (begin) and L (light).
So, no longer a separate category with classified judges, but a dressage competition open to bitted and bitless combinations, judged by all qualified jury members. Either bitted or bitless, the result will depend purely on the rider and his or her horse.
Thanks to all members of the NVBP we now celebrate this marvelous news. They contributed to this change of the hitherto fixed opinion that bitless dressage was not possible.
Of course we fully trust that the possibility for extending this to the next levels of dressage, the M (middle) and Z (advanced), will be realized as soon as sufficient bitless riders have been promoted to level M. For the NVBP this issue is no longer something we have to fight for, it now is up to all riders (in- and outside the NVBP) who want to ride bitless to enter the regular dressage competition and show that they are just as good as (or even better than) the bitted combinations.
The Netherlands are now world wide leader as far as bitless dressage in official regular contests is concerned. We know many countries are striving for this as well and they contact the Dutch KNHS regularly for its experience in this matter.
Of course we will continue our efforts, for, although we have reached our aim as far as bitless dressage is concerned, for bitless driving nothing has been achieved yet. So we will keep up the good work. The struggle for acknowledgement of bitless driving goes on.
The Board of the NVBP (Nederlandse Vereniging Bitloos Paardrijden = Dutch Club of Bitless Riders)
Note from Joni Solis: I think this is wonderful news. If someone can ride a horse well without metal in his or her month or on their feet why not allow this? I hope this spreads much farther in Dressage and other equestrian sports and everyday riding.
Bitless Bridles for Dressage » HorseShow.com
Jan 17, 2013 – Bitless Bridles for Dressage. Return to Dressage … He no longer opens his mouth and the cross-under action of the bitless actually fixed … happy that I am allowed to compete at www.horseshow.com using my bitless bridle.
Arabian art graphics show above are professional horse clip art of Arabian horses that are for sale at Horse-Logos. Sold in sets for web and print use in both vector and raster art image formats. The vector art images are in the print quality sets and are ready for vinyl cutting to make decals, signs, screen printing, and more. The web graphics are for display online for blogs, websites, your social media sites, etc.
Here are the links to the Arabian art graphics shown above…
Equestrian Creatives Working Together to Promote Each Other
It just makes sense that YOU would make more sales if you have 20 or more other people in your field promoting you at the same time. So that is why the Co-Op Sales Catalog for Equestrian Authors and Artist was created by Whitehall Publishing.
Other industries have been using a co-op marketing strategy for a long time and it is high time horse people consider this form of effective advertising as well. The beauty of a co-op project is that everyone shares the print cost equally and let Whitehall Publishing do the heavy lifting . This way, everyone saves a boatload of money, time, and aggravation and your results are better because you have all those other participants promoting you when they share the free catalog with their customers, family, and friends.
5000 full color sales catalogs will be printed to be distributed in the USA and Canada. As a bonus the entire catalog will also be posted online for a full year so that your tiny, one time investment will keep on making you money month after month for a full twelve months for one low price.
Currently there is no other advertising vehicle providing you with this level of professional exposure for less. Best of all, you keep all the profits from all your sales because you include your ordering information in your listing. Gallery catalogs include only the contact information for the gallery so they can charge a commission on your sales. Other publishing catalogs do the same thing. Whitehall Publishing does not. Their co-op catalog sends buyers directly to you and you keep all the profits.
$60.00 for a Full Color, Quarter Page listing
$100.00, Full Color, Half Page listing
$175.00, Full Color, Full Page listing
$400.00 Full Color Inside Front, Inside back or Back cover (these are the hottest and the largest spots in the entire catalog!)
A full page listing is recommend to start because the cost is so low. If you went it alone, and wanted to print your own catalog it would cost you approximately $1000.00 at Staples for 5000 colored pages and then it would be up to you to distribute them. In a co-op you have partners who are distributing catalogs for you while you are doing the same for them and everyone wins! Participation is easy. Visit http://whitehallpublishing.com/catalog.html for complete details and to see several online magazines that have already been produced. Check out the BONUS offer while you are there!
I had a few questions for Bonnie…
Question number one: Can you tell me more about how and where these catalogs will be distributed? Just equine related places are other places too?
Answer: We are distributing catalogs both in equine-related locations and those that are not equine-related because participants include artists (authors and artists) who work in genres outside of the equine world as well, which increases the exposure for horse-related artists and authors.
The 5000 catalogs will be equally distributed among the participants in the co-op. If there were 20 participants, each would receive 250 catalogs to share with their customers, at their events, etc.
Question number two: Is this the first year for this project are how long have your been doing it?
Answer: We have done dozens of co-op projects with fellow book publishers in the past but this is the first time we have opened it up to individual artists and authors. We have done compilation books with hundreds of artists and authors in “book” form, but this is our first time in catalog form that we are showcasing individual artists and authors. I’m looking forward to doing these regularly as it is a great way to expand your outreach at a fraction of what it would normally cost for an individual to do it.
Question number two: What is the URL to last years catalog online for people to check out?
Answer: Here are some website addresses to similar projects we have done with mainstream business owners. The three links are for two we have done in the past six months and one we did last year. These books were designed to showcase an area of the country and they carry traditionally created “ads”, most of which were done by our staff for the business owners.
Question number three: Who designs the ads for the catalogs?
Answer: We are not doing “ads” in the traditional sense of the word with the co-op sales catalog, we are following the layout we used in our high end art books, with a standardized page layout so there is continuity throughout. Standardizing the page background and layout follows the lead of Art galleries and other catalogs. It is a great way to provide continuity throughout the catalog and it allows readers to focus on the image files provided by the individuals, rather than be distracted by unmatched ads. Our staff designers build the pages when we receive the image files and content from our participants.
Guess post by Bonnie Marlewski-Probert of Whitehall Publishing. Whitehall Publishing is owned by Bonnie Marlewski-Probert, the creator of the Horse Tales for the Soul series of seven books and audio books at horsetalesforthesoul.com. If you have any questions, send a note to Bonnie at email@example.com.
The image above has samples of my professional horse head graphics that are for sale at Horse-Logos. They come in sets for web and print use, vector and raster art image formats. The vector art images are in the print quality sets and are ready for vinyl cutting to make decals, signs, screen printing, and more.
Here are the links to the horse head graphics shown in the above image…
Both rearing horse graphics are available for web and print use, saved as raster and vector art. The print quality sets have silhouette vector files that are perfect for vinyl cutting for signs, decals, vehicle decals/stickers, screen printing, and more. For an fee I can customize the graphic in whatever color is needed or add text to make a business logo design.
If you’re a true lover of horses, you don’t just love our domesticated equine friends, you probably adore the more wild animals out there too. Nothing could be more majestic than a wild stallion running free – doesn’t that sound so poetic?
If you’d like to see the awe inspiring sight of a herd of wild horses galloping, then maybe you should plan your next holiday around one of the destinations in this list. Some of them might be right on your doorstep, others might require a little trek into nature, but we assure you, it will be a once in a lifetime experience, and well worth it. Make sure you take a camera!
We use the term ‘wild’ horses loosely, as most of the horses on this list are actually feral – once domesticated horses that were let loose! They are still extremely beautiful, and many are rare breeds that you might not see anywhere else!
Przewalski’s horses nearly went extinct as a species, but thanks to a clever captive breeding program, they have once again been released into the wild. You can see these horses in national parks in China, but the horses originally came from Mongolia, and can now be seen in the Takhin Tal Nature Preserve. Wolves are still a major threat to these beautiful horses, so they are regularly monitored and cared for. The horses have a very distinctive look too; their unusual bristly mane is reminiscent of a zebra, and they have easily recognizable colorings.
See Dartmoor Ponies in England
The Dartmoor pony is semi-feral breed hat lives in the southwest of England. The horses are utilised by the local people due to their hardy nature and resistance to the extreme weather in the area. Sadly these ponies seem to by dying out, and no one is really sure why. In the 1930s there was thought to be over 25,00 roaming the moors, but now it’s estimated there are only about 5000.
The Mustang is another semi-feral horse, but it’s arguably one of the most infamous free-roaming horses, likely due to it being a popular part of American classic Westerns. Over half of all the Mustangs in America are found in Nevada, making it one of the best places for spotting them. This breed first came to the Americas with the Spanish, as domesticated horses. Today’s mustangs are descended from those first Spanish horses to conquer the Americas.
The Camargue horse is an ancient breed indigenous to Southern France, the origins of the horse are unknown, but the Camargue region in France is one of the best places in Europe for spotting wildlife. These horses are quite small and live in wetlands, but they are also synonymous with French cowboys in the region, and easily recognizable due to the fact they are only ever seen in gray.
Imagine: A Thoroughbred trainer has five horses competing in an important event at Pimlico on the same Saturday. He needs to find four more excellent jockeys to ensure the horses get the best ride possible in the competition. Fairly normal situation, right? Except these Thoroughbreds chase cows for a living, not the finish wire.
Sometimes it really is a matter of the more, the merrier. And when the Retired Racehorse Training Project (RRTP) asked ranch horse trainer Dale Simanton to bring his full crew ranch and cattle-trained off-track Thoroughbreds to Baltimore for the RRTP Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium on October 5 and 6, nobody really thought about who was going to ride them.
“That was when we conceived this idea of inviting a group of jockeys to take the mounts on these horses,” said RRTP President, Steuart Pittman. “We can’t imagine anything more fun than having some of America’s most well-known riders taking the reins on this group of ‘cow horses’ for this event.”
The event, named “Who Let the Cows Out?”, will pair celebrity jockeys with retired Thoroughbred racehorses from the Gate to Great training program of Newell, South Dakota to compete on the Pimlico track in a “team sorting” event. Each team of two horses and riders will have a maximum of two minutes to sort a small herd of numbered cattle into a corral in numeric order. The team with the fastest time and correct sorting order wins the competition. The event requires cow sense, teamwork and fast thinking on the part of both the horses and riders.
And to help select the final group of jockeys to appear at the event on Saturday, October 5, the Retired Racehorse Training Project is inviting the public to weigh in on who they would like to see answer the call to the post and mount up for this cow-chasing challenge. An online nomination form can be found on the RRTP’s website at www.retiredracehorsetraining.org
Fans are invited to nominate any rider, active or retired, to “cowboy up” and join in the fun. Nominations will close Monday, September 9. The final group of selected jockeys will be announced on the RRTP website and Facebook page on Thursday, September 12.
The “Who Let the Cows Out?” event will take place as part of the “Western Invasion” of Pimlico Racecourse on day one of the RRTP Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium. In addition to the team sorting competition, Kentucky Derby-winning owner, Bill Casner, will join trainer Dale Simanton in a team roping demonstration and a barrel racing event with the Thoroughbred Makeover’s own Nikki Egyed and her horse, Symphonic Cat as well as the winner and top four horses from this summer’s Extreme Retired Racehorse Makeover Barrel Race held in Ohio.
“We are excited to have this opportunity to highlight the versatility and trainability of the Thoroughbred breed in creating this truly unique event, ” says Steuart Pittman. “Not only will this event be fan-friendly and fun to watch, it truly shows that retired racehorses are capable of just about anything you can ask.”
The western invasion will take place on Saturday afternoon and evening during the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium at Pimlico Racecourse. More information and tickets are available online at www.retiredracehorsetraining.org
Steuart Pittman, President
Retired Racehorse Training Project
Dale Simanton and his all Thoroughbred ranch rodeo team–Photographer Dorothy Snowden
From Left to Right: Thoroughbred geldings Marcade, Race with a Plum, Drake’s Dancer, Swingn Slew and Finn McCool with Dale Simanton up.
The RRTP Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium will be held October 5 and 6 at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore, Maryland. The event will feature two full days of educational seminars, meetings, demonstrations, and the culmination of the Thoroughbred Makeover. 26 trainers from 15 states in ten equestrian disciplines will demonstrate what their horses have learned in just three months of second career training. Polo, dressage, eventing, barrel racing, cattle work, police work, hunters, jumpers, natural horsemanship, and tricks will be featured both by the Makeover horses and in special demonstrations from top horses in many of these disciplines. The weekend includes a trade fair and an evening celebration with Thoroughbred Storytelling by very special guests.
The Gate to Great training program is a division of Horse Creek Thoroughbreds in Newell, South Dakota. Located on a large ranch in Western South Dakota, the program entails rehabilitation process that gives ex-racehorses a chance to recover from the rigors of a racing career and time to develop new skills outside the backside environment. Horses in the program learn to handle themselves in new ways both mentally and physically as they are ridden across the sweeping expanses of South Dakota ranges moving cattle, negotiating creek crossings and riding over varying terrain, all the while developing reining and maneuverability under saddle. The resultant graduates of the program are ready to move on into new careers in both traditional Western disciplines such as roping and barrel racing as well as eventing, dressage and jumping. More information may be found at www.gatetogreat.com
Excited to see Thoroughbreds chasing cattle? Want to see which jockey struts his (or her!) stuff in a cowboy hat? Type “GatetoGreat” in the Promotional Code section of the RRTP Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium ticket page and receive 10% off tickets to any part of the main events.
Offer Expires: 9/15/2013