Turkey Time or…I Found the Retard Rodeo!

Recently I had reason to be in Florida for a work project, without internet or even a phone (found out too late mine did not work down there). I will not get into the work details, suffice to say I had a few breaks where I had to wait for things to be done before I could do my end of it, so didn’t I find myself driving about with a cohort killing time.

As fate would have it we passed a place advertising trail riding , so I suggested we see what the prices were like and maybe go for a ride.  We pulled a U-turn and headed up the driveway behind a horse trailer pulling in-with two saddled and bridled horses in it.  A ride was an hour long and cost twenty dollars, fitting our schedule and budget, so we paid and filled out the many obligatory waivers.  We then headed over to the corral they pointed us to, filled with the usual assortment of motley dude string horses, all saddled and bridled already.  A few were tied to the fence, and a father and young daughter were mounted and waiting to go.  Being a horsewoman I immediately noticed one of the horses had his bridle twisted up, and fixed it, while I waited to be assigned a mount.

My friend was given a mellow paint mare and helped on, then they brought me my horse.


“My” horse was a palomino of about 15 hands on a good day, with a body score of about 1.5!  None of the other horses looked like that-all I can assume is that they figured I was small so they could throw me on him.  Wrong and WRONG.  I looked at the young girl who led him up and said, “I am not riding this horse, look at him!” Dumbfounded, she replied,

“He’s OK!”

At this point I start to turn into George Morris….“He is NOT OK, I have horses, he is severely underweight!” and I lifted the monstrous saddle pad he wore (to hide the hips and ribs???  Yikes!).  I then told her it would be kinder for me to carry him around the trail! Realizing I was a know it all bitch who wouldn’t budge they scrambled to get me another horse after asking if I could ride, and I heard one girl say to another “Give her Eenie!!” So as one 13 year old went to catch the elusive Eenie the first one told me the palomino, who was now resting his forehead on me gratefully, was a rescue.  I let her know that if you are going to rescue horses you FEED them and get them healthy before you throw dudes on them. The second girl brought out Eenie, an Appaloosa in good weight, and I approved and hopped on.  The first 13 year old got on her horse and we were off to the trails…except she couldn’t get her horse to leave the rail.

My friend is a non-rider so she couldn’t either, and the father/daughter combo  wasn’t going anywhere, though he was skillfully waving the reins and making noises . Lawd have mercy…I reined the Appy around and he too wanted nothing to do with going for a ride, so I gave him some leg.  He backed up.  I gave him more leg. he backed up and went up a bit.  I gave him a good couple of boots…Eenie realized I was not the type of rider he was used to and headed down the trail.  The rest of the party followed us. Yes, Eenie was my “Fuck you” for questioning their lack of horsemanship, I am sure.  LOL!

The guide then gave Dad the lead rope to his daughters horse, as she was all of 5 and could not even reach her stirrups, never mind steer.  Wow, just wow.  I used to take out trail rides, if a child was to be ponied I did it, and from a dead quiet horse, of course.  Dad couldn’t ride to save his life, and he was to lead his kid?  Excellent…Offering to lead the kid did occur to me, but my horse was giving me a bit of hassle and I did not want that on my head, should anything happen. Eventually Eenie decided I was not that bad, and I saw the horse he had once been.  He neck reined lightly, he had been well trained once upon a time, his ears perked forward and I scratched his neck as  he strided out happily.  He didn’t even offer to kick as dad and daughter blundered into his hindquarters repeatedly and half wrapped him up in the leadline. at one point. My friend on her pokey pinto and the “Guide” (term used loosely) brought up the rear. I could hear her telling my friend how her Mom had paid for her to ride in all 50 States, and my oh-so-cynical brain was thinking a few lessons at a REAL barn may have been a better investment.  Where they teach you to actually ride, how to fit tack, that horses should not look like humane society ads…that sort of crazy snobby stuff 😉
Things continued like this until we had reached our turn around point, Dad kicking his horse to trot, blundering into my horse…daughters horse going up one side of me and his the other…me scooting out of there.  As we started to head towards home they (predictably) got a lot more animated and Eenie seemed to have turned into a gaming horse in the chute.  It was then, when his head was flipping in the air, that I noticed the off side shank of his curb bit was bent out at a bizarre angle.  Guess I should not have been surprised, his saddle didn’t fit the greatest either.

We jig jogged along in the lead, having a discussion about not running for the barn at Mach 3…while Dad helpfully kicked his horse to speed up and incited Eenie to more antics.  Then the little kids horse bolted, she screamed, and I cut them off at the pass.

So far my friend had been quite oblivious to how ridiculous and dangerous this all was , as she is not a rider nor has she ever worked at a lesson or trail barn.  But she is a mother, and all of a sudden she sprung into action, telling the guide to get the kid off that horse or lead it herself.  The guide tried to lead the kid but her horse tried to kick (I had visions of little kid smashed leg there) so she switched mounts, as hers was quieter than the kids.  And I finally got sick of dumbass Dad and told him to stop trying to run his horse and just fricking walk, unless he wanted his kid to get run away with.

The skies opened up and we got drenched, but we headed back uneventfully and again Mr Eenie decided I was not the usual dude and relaxed into a nice walk on a loose rein, I silently snickered as we rounded the turn to the barn.  I am sure they expected me to come back hanging on at a dead run, or maybe on foot.  I thought of trying a nice lope so I could look really cool but didn’t want to chance the rest of the horses running.

The stupid did not stop with the ride, I dismounted and asked if I should loosen the girth, which is the least one could do if the horse is to remain saddled in the heat all day!  Nope they don’t do that I was told, the guide simply shoved Eenies reins in the side of the headstall and let him loose with the rest of the saddled up string.  I would have done it anyways, but knew they wouldn’t check it for the next dude.  She then went to take my friends horse and I noticed Dumbass Dad had tied his horse by the reins to the rail.  One of the things a real trail guide immediately catches, as it is a bit of a babysitting gig and dudes do dumb things…so I untied and held the horse instead.  Scanned the herd, hoping to see the palomino untacked, but couldn’t find him.  Told them to do something about Eenies bent bit, as I’m sure that didn’t help his head flipping light-in-the-front-end antics any!

Well, all I can say is they better hope those waivers everyone fills out hold up in court as I have never seen such an unsafe operation in my life.

The Retard Rodeo exists, I rode in it!

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My apologies

For being such a sporadic blogger these days.

My small business has taken off…and I am having a bit of trouble fitting in that, the family, a part time job, cleaning the barn to pay my board…sometimes actually riding my darn horse (I am sure she loves my busy-ness. she has had a month off!) and now a trip to the States to work on a (non-horsey) but important to my future, project.

Lawd have mercy!

I am thinking end of May/June I will be back to writing (AND riding)!  Happy Shedding Season lol.

Thank you all!  Be well!


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Calling it a Day

Let’s talk about trainers, and rank horses.

Although most decent ones can work with horses the average layperson would not take on, they do have their limits.

Trainers are usually self employed, and although the odd injury happens most cannot afford to be crippled for life or killed by a rank lunatic horse, leaving their family to try and get by without them.

Many horses come for routine backing and 30 days w/t/c.  It is also not uncommon to get horses in who have been allowed to get away with all manner of nonsense, but once in experienced hands they learn quite quickly their antics are not going to fly.  And they stop.

Sometimes it is also a matter of training the humans LOL.

But sometimes, no matter the careful groundwork and preparation, a horse comes along that is just…nuts-for lack of a better term.  Extremely reactionary, often without a sense of self preservation. I do not think it is common for any horse to actually try to kill or cripple us, but they certainly can…without malice or forethought.

Some just don’t ever respond to desensitizing and groundwork no matter how often it is repeated, some have been left unhandled until they know full well they can drag or run people over easily.  I gave up on one of the latter, it just wasn’t worth it.

Sometimes a trainer has to call it a day, for their own safety and the good of their family.

I wonder what becomes of these few horses who get sent home by trainers…do the owners try and find another person, who may or may not have any success?  Do they try and sell the horse?  Do they throw it back out in the field to continue the life of a pasture puff/terrorist?

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Impressed is not the word I would use

Because I am 100% anti-slaughter, and always will be.

IMHO if you can afford horses (and sometimes even showing, clinics, fancy tack with bling all over it…) you can fork out the money to have them put the sleep peacefully when the time comes.  Go without the next Iphone for a couple of months or something…you will survive, I promise.

I am sure many of my readers here will agree with me.

But…we don’t all think alike.  Many people, from low end backyard breeders to the often quite well off “I broke it and need a new one” crowd, don’t see anything wrong with sending a horse to auction, and often by way of that-to slaughter.

And some folks  just get plain duped by a smiling white haired kill buyer, promising a forever home for old lame Patches.

There are countless undercover videos of horse slaughter on the internet, from our own (I am ashamed to say) Canadian version to the brutal knife wielding methods used down in Mexico.  I have seen many, and am not going to sit on a high horse here and pretend we are much better than them.  Even in “our” version of slaughter horses go through abuse and terror.  They do not always die instantly.

Being flight animals they often don’t cooperate by staying still, they are highly sensitive to their environment and to what is going on around them, and nature has designed them to pick up and act upon the fear of their herd mates.  We horse people know it, we have likely all experienced the “group spook” on a hack or seen them do it in the paddock.

I could also rant for a day about how they have served us, how we have taught them to trust us, how we often owe them for years of service…but who wants to read my blog for a day?  So I will get to the point.

During my surfing I found this video, and as usual I will warn you, it is graphic footage of a UK slaughterhouse.

Never makes for nice watching, does it?   But I was truly suprised at the calm gentle handling of the horses and the accurate kill shots these employees delivered, especially considering this is an undercover video.  This is their day to day operations, not people on their best behavior for a documentary.  Impressed?  No, I will never be impressed by horse slaughter.  I will forever be dismayed and saddened by it.  Seemed every one of those animals was healthy.  None were visibly lame or crazy.  All trusting and calm.  A lot of potential happy horse years were erased in that video so I can never be “impressed”.

I guess I saw the kindest handling of a bad thing I have ever seen.  No abuse or terror.  Each horse handled carefully and individually, with no idea what was coming.  Some basic humanity in an ugly business.  This is a hard post to write for me, “Hey way to go, you killed horses nicely”?  Damn…

I would like to see it outlawed, I would like to see every horse owner provide for their animals’ end properly.  Death is death, whether by a Vet’s needle or a bullet or a captive bolt, but while they are ALIVE they need to be handled kindly and respectfully.

I think these guys managed that, if nothing else.  Until it is banned and people stop using auctions as a dumping ground we, as a humane society, could at least bring in regulations to ensure handling like this.

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Friday the 13th is Unlucky for some…

Like these 26 pregnant mares on a feedlot.

maresThe write up on the feedlot’s site is as follows:

We have 26 mares, all colors, all due to foal between now and May! 2yrs old to 12yrs old. Not gentle! We worked very hard to get these horses as they are branded. We have been told if there’s an issue they all ship. They are $500 each plus coggins if leaving NV. EMERGENCY!!!! They must be bought by Saturday at noon. There will be no extensions, they will ship Sunday if not sold. We will post more information as we get it.

Breed is unknown, my best guess is Quarter Horses and Paints.  It says branded but that doesn’t mean registered.  But I doubt registration would make any difference since they are unhandled.

SMH.  How many of these train wrecks have to happen before people stop breeding willy-nilly like this?  This is a potential 52 horses, likely without a future.  Why do people need these numbers?  If they MUST breed what is wrong with 2 or 3 quality HANDLED mares.

If they are “not gentle” who wants to bet they have never seen the farrier or vet?

From 2 yrs old to 12@  Congrats on the pregnant baby, ASSHAT breeder!!!  That right there speaks volumes about this “breeding program”.  Let stud out with mares and stir.  Or maybe studs…or maybe last years colts they never bothered to geld.

Step right up, get your pregnant stunted 2 year old now!  Or maybe a 12 year old you can’t get a halter on.  You can hold your own BLM roundup of your very own if you take them all!

Stupid people never pay, their horses do…what kind of future did Asshat Breeder think these mares had?
I truly hope some adventurous souls take a few, but won’t hold my breath.  They are at the Fallon Feedlot in Nevada if anyone is interested.

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Dead Men Tell no Tales


In the ongoing saga of the kill pen full of Standies and my frantic detective work I have learned something.

A lot of the last registered owners of these horses have passed on.

This sweet fellow is in this predicament.


His owner passed on, leaving the horses to his son.  The son was contacted about the horses whereabouts as part of this rescue effort.  Sadly the son could not have cared less about the horses fate, according to my rescue contact who spoke with him.  His father may have cherished them, but it seems that love did not pass down to his son.

Of course I did not know the father in this story, so I cannot say if he would be dismayed or not about his son’s callous attitude to his former horse.  I do know that often if a horse person dies, and no one else in the family has horses in their blood, they are just  considered an inconvenience to dispose of in the quickest way possible.

So, include them in your will!  You may even have to appoint someone to ensure your wishes are carried out.  Sometimes they can be placed with a rescue, with an appropriate donation accompanying them.  I know of a few people who had a terminal illness and did just that, before their passing.  Not that we all get notice that our time is up…sometimes it can be sudden, so make sure now that your horses are provided for.

Before some callous uncaring brat you spawned lets them end up on a hook somewhere…

My relatives are well aware that my mare is to be returned to the rescue from whence she came to live out her days in sanctuary.

They are also rightly terrified that if they do not follow my directions my ghost will turn their lives into the Amityville Horror part 2 😉

And as an aside, a pet peeve of mine!  The term ‘bail” that is used for the money the KB’s want to get these horses out and to safety.  Bail implies a crime was committed.  I think “ransom” is more fitting of a term.  Holding a life hostage until money is paid…

Bugs me almost as much as Furbabies…do these same people call their kids Skinbabies?





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It’s a Feel Good Friday


Why?  Because I helped save a horse.

We often see the posts on Facebook…a horse in need, in a kill pen usually.  Posts alternate between begging for donations, cursing the human race and people wishing they were rich and saying, “If only I had money I’d save them”.

I don’t ask for money and never will.  Curse the human race?  Yeah, guilty.
Do I wish I was rich?  All the damned time hahaha.

So does this mean there is nothing I can do?  Oh nay nay!

Sometimes it is as simple as running a freeze brand, then finding the last registered owner and contacting them.  Letting them know POLITELY (ie: not like an accusatory crazy PETArd) that their former horse is in a bad place and could use their help.

Yeah…sometimes they ignore you, and sometimes they reply with “I could care less”.  But it is my lifelong belief that the worst anyone can ever say is “No”.  To anything you may ask.

And they may just say “Yes”!

So was the case this morning, with Village Supreme.


Poor VS ended up in a kill pen, after a racing career that included winning $50,000 plus,  then a tour of duty with the Amish.

(Ahhhh the Amish, but that is another post…)

I ran him through the USTA, then found his last known owner.  This last owner who still runs a racing stable in Guelph ON and transports horses throughout North America,  agreed on the spot to fund his rescue, and make sure he gets to a safe place.

Dale Devine, of Devine Stables and Horse Transport, I doff my hat to you!  I am outing you on my blog-as a fine example of a human being!!!
You give me faith that the stuff I, and others do, is not always in vain.

And VS…well, he doesn’t have the comprehension we do, but I am sure he will be much happier munching hay tomorrow on his air cushioned ride home than being crammed into a double decker truck on the way to a captive bolt in the head.

And I know I am much happier knowing that is the way it worked out…

If I was shipping a horse I would trust this man, who obviously loves horses, and does not see them only as a commodity.  So if you have the business, consider him for your next transport job.

And feel free to hug him for me and VS!


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Tough Call…or was it

An 11 year old mare, papered.  Well trained.  Raced in her younger days.  Pretty.

Good weight, bright and alert.  A bit of marey pissiness but all in all far from a sad sack.

She was euthed the other day.  Then laid to rest on the farm where her last foal still romps about until it is time for her training.

Her hocks were shot, it became more apparent when she was bred, though she was given the go ahead as breeding sound prior.  The extra weight bothered her, so she was never to be bred again, cute and papered as she was.

Her owner could not keep her, but did not want to try and give her away to parts unknown for free.  Nor did she want to bute her up sell her to someone unsuspecting as a sport horse, or make a few bucks running her through the auction to whatever fate may have waited for her there.

Nope, she pulled out her wallet, paid the vet to put her down and had her buried.

Some people would think this is a horrible thing, some would think this horse owner cruel or uncaring but she was exactly the opposite.  She alone took responsibility for her horse.  She did not put her on the internet free to anyone who would take her.  She didn’t try to sell her.  She did not want this mare to end up being bred, ridden or shipped to slaughter.

And the only way she could do for sure it is to send her over the bridge peacefully and in the place Miss Mare knew as home.  She will never know the horror of slaughter, or be bred again and again for her looks and bloodlines to make some BYB little sport horses while she gimped around painfully on ruined hocks.

Sadly the number of horses like her far outweighs the number of good forever homes for a companion only horse, and also the available spots in rescues and sanctuaries.

A tough call, but the best option of the bunch…I think of this mare when I see the dozens upon dozens of ads looking for a forever home for someone’s old, or lame horse.  They just aren’t out there in any number.  If you do find one that is 100% guaranteed kudos to you and be happy for it, you (and your horse) are lucky!

And there are a lot of wolves in sheeps clothing who will promise your horse that green field of knee deep grass and ship it for a quick buck.  They will even bring along kids and be as sweet as pie!

Out of sight out of mind for some people?




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Good and Bad in Everything…

…even Craigslist!

I LOVE these sales pictures”

image 1


In case you wanted to see more, here is the other side.

This seller does redeem himself with a decent picture further into the ad.  Whew I am glad this horse does, indeed, have a head!

You can even get a decent idea of his build with this picture, apart from the saddle covering his back.  But why use the first pictures as the opening shots in the ad?

Anyways this gave me a chuckle while researching my real topic.





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Form Follows Function-part 2

There is a part one to this, if you care to go back and read 🙂

I may pick on some people, and some horses…but today I am picking on (and lets be honest-bragging about) mine.

Check out these legs, this is not an awkward pic either-this is how she stands:


(And don’t ask me why her back feet look so bizarre here-but they surely do-she was UTD on trimming.  I think she is standing in poop LOL)

I adopted her purely out of love when she needed someone, without any background info.  I had zero expectations, maybe some happy hacking.

Due to her freeze brand I had a place to start researching her life.  My research was limited however, as I would rather spend my money on her actual care, rather than finding out who she is.  So I could only find so much. Reg’d name, sire and dam, etc.  No race records came up for me so I assumed she was unraced.  I mean, look at those gams, who would race her?

Then, by total fluke, the man who came to do her teeth the other day was a die-hard Standardbred fan-with the means to find out more on his magical Iphone with his Standardbred Canada membership.  He saw her brand, asked “Well WHO do we have here?” and punched her in.
He found a lot more information, to the tune of (drumroll) this little (14.3) mare had won $155,000 racing over 6 years with a whopping 166 starts!!!  It is not a lot of money I know, but it IS a lot of racing.

One hundred and sixty six…damn.  29 wins, 17 places and 34 shows.

The World Standardbred Show has a special designation for 100+ plus starts, it is called “Warhorse”.

Warhorse indeed!  Staying sound on those legs?  Yes, here is your medal!

I am a big one for looking at conformation, I would have passed this little darling over in a heartbeat in the “staying sound” category.   I would not have bought her for a prospect.  Or even a retraining project.

Yet she sits in her stall munching hay with her freshly filed chompers, solid as a dollar all day long.

I also have to give credit to all her previous handlers, though she has some common ex-racehorse quirks like making faces, sticking out her tongue and pinning her ears at feeding time she is, all in all, still a happy willing creature!

And (still amazed) sound!

Another one for the books…!


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