Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day One

Hello! I am brand new to this blogging thing, but am looking for new ways to reach other horse people. I am a horse breeder/trainer/riding instructor, and have been riding since I was a young child. I am hoping that this blog creates an open discussion about the methods I use, my views on how horses should be handled, and most importantly, help and influence others to make this a better world for horses, and horse people.

I live south of Kansas City, and right now, we are expecting a snow storm this evening that has the potential to dump 9 inches of snow on us! :( And just when we were beginning to dry out! With this storm comes the return of very cold temperatures, which means taking care of my horses will require a lot more time and effort. We own 11 horses, and three are elderly, so keeping them drinking plenty of water during the cold snaps is always a challenge. After the weather we had over Christmas & New Year's, though, I should feel more confident about this 'little' storm. I know we will get through it, but still - I am ready for spring!

I have a wonderful Arabian gelding, Jake, who is 32, whom I have owned him since he was 4. I love this horse!! I made a vow to him a long time ago that I would personally see to it that he was always taken care of in the best way possible. Short of my own death, nothing will stop me from fulfilling my promise to him. So often, when animals are no longer 'useful,' they are sent down the road, and then, "oughta sight is oughta mind." My feeling is that Jake gave me his best all his life - not that he was a 'perfect' horse, but he gave HIS best - and giving him my best means that I am responsible for giving him a nice green field to relax in, making sure he gets the right feed, gets wormed, etc. and ultimately, that I am there to make the decision that he is no longer physically able to live comfortably, because I KNOW HIM BEST. I owe that to him. It really upsets me when people use up a horse, whether through competition or pleasure use, and then trade the horse off for another one that they can use up, without a thought to the consequences for that animal. Where is the loyalty? Would they do that with their dog? Their employee? Their spouse? It is one thing to find good homes for animals that you can't handle, don't fit with what you want to do, etc., and there are lots of instances where the original owner wasn't really a 'good home." But if you are a knowledgable, seasoned horseman with the means to keep your retirees, then don't you owe it to them? I think you can tell alot about trainers who have the dedication to keep their old horses close to home!