LAWSUIT FILED OVER HORSE’S
By Glory Ann Kurtz
COURT DISMISSES LAWSUIT, by JIM McCOLLEY, AGAINST BRUCE AND DENISE COLCLASURE, et al
ADDENDUM AND UPDATE, BY: Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Writer and Author
WIND RIVER INDUSTRY NEWS
March 31, 2021
LAWSUIT FILED OVER DEATH OF
HORSE AT TRAINER’S FACILITY
On July 2, 2014 Glory Ann Kurtz; Editor, allaboutcutting.com wrote and released an article on her website entitled: “LAWSUIT FILED OVER DEATH OF HORSE AT TRAINER’S FACILITY;” More specifically, “On July 18, 2011, a lawsuit was filed by Jim McColley (Plaintiff) against Bruce and Denise Colclasure and their Flying Bar Ranch Arena, Inc. (Defendants), in the District Court in and for Creek County, Oklahoma, Sapulpa Division.
The petition reads: That on or about July 3, 2009, McColley contracted with the Colclasure’s to board, feed, and train his 2007 AQHA registered stallion, Hard Rock Acre, (nick-named) Rocky. However, on or about May 4, during training and with a rider on his back, Rocky collapsed and died.
McColley is CLAIMING, the Colclasure’s failed to properly care for Rocky and negligently allowed the animal to ingest the “bovine feed supplement – Rumensin, which is known to be lethal to horses. He CLAIMS that the Colcalsure’s knowingly and intentionally bought the MGA with Rumensin for the purpose of feeding the supplement to Rocky and other horses housed at the Flying C Bar Ranch.”
JIM McCOLLEY’S LAWSUIT PETITION CONTAINS SPECIFIC ALLEGATIONS OF (DEFENDANT’S) WRONGDOING, HOWEVER THE COURT DISMISSED (PLAINTIFF’S) LAWSUIT WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Furthermore, and according to Denise Colclasure: The (Defendants) unequivocally have always denied any wrongdoing in this matter and also state: “Even though this lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice the damage to our training facilities reputation was already done and our business reputation is constantly being questioned due to the article written by Glory Ann Kurtz; without adding an addendum stipulating, the courts dismissal of the lawsuit.” Additionally, and according to Denise Colclasure, “this case has negatively impacted us and our training facility, this many years later.”
For the record, In both civil and criminal matters, allegation are just one or more persons accounting of a specific incident as well as those involved, and each actors participation. Furthermore, an allegation of impropriety or wrongdoing is just that – an allegation, until evidentiary proceedings prove the allegation to be factual in order for the (Defendant) to be guilty of the allegations contained in the lawsuit’s petition. Notwithstanding, in this case, McColley’s lawsuit was dismissed, by the court, without prejudice. Therefore, no incidents of wrongdoing, on (Defendants) behalf was ever proven, in court, by the (Plaintiff).
GLORY ANN KURTZ AND ALLABOUTCUTTING.COM - CLOSED
Unfortunately for the Colclasure’s, Glory Ann Kurtz was unable to provide an addendum article stating McColley’s lawsuit was dismissed against the Colclasure’s. Another unfortunate fact for the Colclasure’s is: Glory Ann Kurtz developed a medical condition which caused www.allaboutcutting.com to be prematurely and permanently closed forever, therefore preventing any further updates to this article or any other previously written article, for that matter. Lastly, this premature closure also prevents the first article from ever being retracted or removed from the internet, by the author.
However, the following links to Mrs. Kurtz’s original article is attached hereto which includes the original lawsuit filing, the dismissal, and the verification of the same.
The links are located in a contributors comments, at the bottom of the original article.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE”
THE LANGUAGE OF SPURS
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Writer and Author
Professional Reined Cow Horse Trainer
Monday, December 28, 2020
Copyright December 2020, All Rights Reserved
HISTORY OF SPURS
It is thought, the earliest spurs were probably made from bone or wood. The spur or (point); as it was referred to back then, was used by the Celts during the La Tene period (which began in the 5th century B.C.). Iron or bronze spurs were also used throughout the Roman Empire based on archaeological finds in England, left by the Roman Legions of Julius Caesar.
Prick or (point) spurs had straight necks in the 11th century and bent ones in the 12th. The earliest form of the spur armed the heel with a single prick or (point). In England, the rowel spur - is shown upon the first seal of Henry III and on monuments of the 13th century, but it did not come into general use until the 14th century.
History has taught us: The first recorded metal examples were simple bronze spurs found in Etruscan tombs from the 2nd Century B.C., others from that time period have been found at Roman sites in Britain. Gradually, they changed in shape, developing plates that stopped the spike; (point or prick), from penetrating the horses’ sides, or taking on a ball and spike form (as seen in the Bayeux tapestry) that had the same function. Eventually, a pyramid or conical shaped goad developed.
Again, history teaches us: Spur rowels originated in France or Spain in the 10th Century A.D., they are first recorded in Britain in Henry III’s reign – two seals from 1240 depict the King – on one he wears prick or (point) spurs, and on the other rowelled spurs.
In the following centuries spurs became associated with rank and chivalry. We speak of “earning ones spurs” – a disgraced knight would have his spurs and sword broken as part of his punishment. A Knight would wear gold or gilt spurs and a esquire silver. Through time and memorial, riding spurs have developed into the basic or plain spur, with some being embroidered with fine art; silver and gold, and in some cases custom made to a riders request and monetary ambitions. All-in-all, spurs are a tool to train equines, providing reinforcement when necessary to heighten the horses awareness to subtle leg cues, during training.
LEARNING TO RIDE WITH LEG CUES AND SPURS
A lot of adjustments, to an individuals riding style have to be made - before one takes on the responsibility of using spurs, during a training session. A rider has to have a steady leg and a proper seat in the saddle. The rider has to learn to cue the horse with the heel of the boot in the same manner the rider would, if he or she were using spurs. The rider should learn to relax and allow the leg to drape softly along side the horses side with the foot and boot parallel with the horse. At all times, the riders toes should be up and the heels down.
A proper seat in the saddle requires the adjustment of the riders stirrups, until there’s a slight bend in the knee which allows the rider to fill the stirrups with the ball of the riders foot in a comfortable position. Learning to ride on the ball of the foot is the proper riding style. If a riders leg adjustment is too long the rider will find his or herself bouncing uncomfortably in the saddle. When the stirrups are adjusted properly the rider can use the ball of their foot to provide the leg with stability while in the saddle which offers a more comfortable ride, and a virtually motionless leg, and less bouncing.
The goal of this riding style is: 1) To develop a proper riding style, and 2) the rider should become one with the horse, relaxed, and allow his or her lower body; from t he waste down, to move with the motion of the horse in a graceful rhythmic movement, while the riders back stays straight and erect.
With an improper riding style, English and Western Riders - alike, tend to squeeze in with their knees instead of their calves. This positions the riders toes down and heels up. When this happens, the unsteady leg positions the riders spurs up instead of slightly down - which can cause the spurs to inadvertently strike the horse. According to Ursula Morgan; a Scottish International Show Jumping Rider, Professional Show Jumping Trainer, and Judge - she uses this technique to determine the proper stirrup length for a rider in an English saddle.
Prior to mounting the horse, the rider stands on the ground next to the horse and places the stirrup to a length where the bottom of the stirrup can be placed under the riders arm pit and the riders fist; at the end of riders extended arm contacts the top of the stirrup leather where the buckle joins the saddle. In simple terms, the stirrup leather is the length of the riders arm. This technique can also be used to adjust Western stirrup lengths.
SPUR ROWEL’S FOR A SPECIFIC EQUINE DISCIPLINE
Primarily, Western spur development was heavily influenced by European, Spanish, Latin American, and Mexican spur designers – as were the types, designs, and diameters of rowels used. The Pampas Gauchos and the California Vaqueros’ as well as the old style Spanish training methods greatly influenced spur making, and training aids such as: The Snaffle Bit, Bosal, Two Rein, and Spade Bit. Today in North America, spurs and rowels are designed for a specific riding discipline, e.g.; Western and English.
In Wester disciplines, each trainer seems to have a specific type of spur rowell he or she likes to use during training. Reined Cow Horse trainers, use one rowel style, while Ropers, Team Sorters, Team Penners, Western Riders, Reiners, and Cutters use another rowel style. English trainers like-to use a simple push on spur with a metal ball attached to the shank. I use two types of spur rowel’s. A training rowell which has 8 to 12 flat points and a finishing rowel with sharp rowel points commonly referred to as a Star Burst or Rock Grinder. With the Star Burst, I use it to brighten up a finished horse before I show em, because it only takes a touch to let a horse know it’s out of position. I like a 3 to 4 inch shank on my spurs for training and a 2 inch shank for showing - which prevents me from accidentally flanking my horse while performing high speed maneuvers, required in the Reined Cow Horse discipline.
The spur body is made of metal and the spur rowel is also made of metal; preferably steel. The rowel is held in place on the spur shank by means of a metal pin which is pressed through the rowel and the spur shank. In Western Riding, the spur body is affixed to the heel of the boot, atop the boot heels spur ridge, and held in place by a pair of spur straps. Leather spur straps can be as fashionable as the embroidered spur itself. Since all Western Boot manufacturers have different size heel bulbs it’s imperative to use the correct size spur.
English spurs are also made of metal, and affixed to the heel of the boot and is made such, that the spur is held in place on the boot by a manufacturers design. This design is usually referred to as press-on spurs. As the spur is pressed in place, by the rider, the spur expands and grips the boot heel by squeezing the leather.
SPUR DESIGNS AND ROWELS FOR ENGLISH AND WESTERN DISCIPLINES
Spurs and spur rowel’s, for Wester disciplines, are manufactured in all sizes and shapes. The spurs with the more flat points are the less severe. The spurs with the smallest rowels and sharper points are the most severe. If you stay with a 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch rowel you should be fine. For example, rowel’s suitable for training include: 12 points, 10 points, 9 points, 8 points, etc. Again, the purpose of the rowel is to provide a stimulus to a horse in order to coax your horse to move off of leg cue pressure when you leg cue, by itself, simply isn’t enough to produce a response from the horse.
Always remember: A spur isn’t a training aid to punish a horse for its failure to respond to leg leg cues, during training. If a spur is used with enough force the rowel can cause severe injury to a horse’s ribs and muscle tissue. Punishing a horse with spurs will only produce an animal that becomes scared, rebellious, and shy away from the riders leg cues each time a rider mounts the horse for training with a pair of spurs on. The RULE OF THUMB: Never stick or kick a horse with a spur rowel. Always apply ample leg pressure with the spur rowel, sufficient to a receive a positive response from the horse.
A simple rule of explanation can be explained by the following demonstration. Take your index finger and put it on a persons rib cage and push in. With enough force the individual will move off of you finger cue. The same applies when training a horse to respond to leg cues. In the event leg pressure doesn’t produce a desired reaction, from the horse, one technique I use is to just roll the spur up and down the horses ribs to offer the horse a new feel.
Remember, buying a pair of spurs is a big choice–and a big responsibility. The number of available options can be overwhelming, especially when you are just getting started. While spurs can be a useful riding aid, they can also be harmful if you don’t use them properly. Spurs are designed to be used to back up your leg cues to remind the horse to react to a light leg aid - pressure . If your leg moves backwards and forwards, during riding, your uncontrolled leg will catch/press the spurs into your horses side every stride, which as I am sure you will agree is not the desired affect of spurs. This action can produce an adverse riding experience, and in some cases the rider is bucked off violently caused by - flanking the horse unexpectedly.
Spur designs are as individual as buying an automobile. Each person has their own special tastes. One rule to remember is: When picking a set of spurs and rowel’s, make sure the metal is strong enough to withstand years of use. With spurs, cheaper isn’t always better. Buy the best spurs you can afford. I’m still using the same Tom Balding Spurs, I bought in 1995. I wear out a lot of rowels, but I just send them back to the manufacturer and they replace them.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE!”
PETA BUYS STOCK IN THOROUGHBRED RACETRACKS
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Journalist and Author
November 1, 2020
© Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved
PETA Buys Stock in Racetracks
In an article by the Thoroughbred Daily News (TBN), PETA – PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS; an animal rights advocacy group, has devised a plan to make the most of donors money, in an attempt to control or eliminate the abuse of Thoroughbred Race Horses in the USA. PETA; a long time advocate against horse racing, devised a plan to purchase stock in several tracks throughout the United States in order to have a say-so in the daily goings on pertaining to how Thoroughbred Race Horses are trained and raced.
From a business perspective, PETA’s plan is really rather unique and contains a little bit of genius thinking. As an investor, PETA will certainly have a voice in the industry and will become an even greater threat to those trainers who opt to cheat and abuse Thoroughbred Race Horses.
Friday, October 30, 2020 at 11:45 am | Back to: Top News
Updated: October 30, 2020 at 11:54 am
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a longtime critic of many of the practices in horse racing, has purchased stock in four companies which own racetracks–VICI Properties, Boyd Gaming, Penn National Gaming, and Gaming and Leisure Properties—in order to make their case in the boardroom, according to a press release from the organization.
The release says that, “PETA’s proposed changes include replacing dirt tracks with high-quality synthetic ones, banning trainers who have multiple medication violations, and banning whipping. Tracks will be encouraged to work with state racing authorities when necessary.”
It was unclear exactly how much stock PETA had purchased. The companies collectively own Mountaineer Park, Charles Town, Thistledown, Belterra, Mahoning Valley Racecourse, Evangeline Downs, Delta Downs, Retama Park, Sam Houston, Zia Park, The Meadows, and Penn National.
While not saying so directly, PETA’s Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo hinted that the organization was pleased with the recently concluded Santa Anita meeting, where there were no training or racing fatalities.
“Track owners in California and Kentucky are changing their rules and sparing horses a gruesome death, and every track owner in every racing state needs to do the same,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is eager to get inside the boardroom and push racetracks to make simple changes that will make a world of difference for vulnerable horses.”
For additional information, click on the following link:
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE!”
MASTERING THE EXTENDED (LONG-TROT)
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Writer and Author
Pro Reined Cow Horse Trainer
©September 20, 2020
All Rights Reserved
HISTORY OF THE REINED COW HORSE
For almost 150 years, the reined cow horse was famous throughout California and into the West. In the early- to mid-19th century, the Gold Rush changed the complexion and future of California. The influx of newcomers into the Golden State helped to dissolve the vast cattle ranches of earlier days.
The modern horse was reintroduced to the Americas by the Spanish Conquistadors. By the time the Spanish missionaries were making their way into California in the 18th century, the Spanish vaqueros (cowboys) were well established in other parts of America and came with them.
Over time, the "California" cowboy or vaquero developed a system of training working cow horses that became famous for its elegance, precision, and difficulty of training the horse. The roots of these methods are in European dressage, a system to train horses for war. Adopted by the pre-Moors and Moors in Spain, and transferred to the Spanish conquistadors, the California methods created horses so sensitive to their riders' signals they were known as "Hair-trigger" or "whisper" reined horses.
At the time, a finished reining horse (as it was called) required at least seven years to train: three to four years to train the basics in a snaffle bit and bosal (hackamore), then at least a year carrying the bosal and the high-ported spade bit (named for the spade-shaped port which was from 1-3" high) or two-rein which help the horse learn how to carry the bit, then several years refining techniques in the spade bit until the horse was a "made" reining horse. The training could not be done by just any California cowboy, and reining horses were valuable because of the difficulty of training and scarcity.
A finished reining horse could be controlled and directed with minute movements of the fingers of the left hand, which hovered above the saddle horn. (Compare to the grazing-bit style of Western Riding developed in Texas, where reins are split between the fingers and the hand moves in front of the saddle, controlling the horse by neck reining.) Because of the potential severity of the spade bit, chains added to the ends of the reins to balance the bit in the horse's mouth, and knotted and braided rawhide reins which prevented the reins from swinging unnecessarily, even at a lope, the "made" reining horse seemed to run, stop, spin and handle a cow on its own, with little communication from its rider.
THE FOUR GATES OF THE REINED COW HORSE
During the breaking and training of the Reined Cow Horse, four gates are mastered consisting of - Walk, Trot, Extended (Long-Trot), and Canter (Lope). Each specific gate is used for a specific purpose in the life cycle of a Reined Cow Horse or Ranch Horse. Whether the horse is being used for gathering cattle, separating (cutting) calves from their moms during branding, checking fence, opening or closing gates, or checking pastures or water troughs the using horse must be capable of performing a myriad tasks, on any given day, and at any speed the task requires. It doesn’t make much sense for a ranch of show horse to only have two gates - run or walk.
BENEFITS OF THE EXTENDED (LONG-TROT)
At a walk a horse is relaxed. At a lope a horse is like a perpetual motion machine. It takes less effort and energy for a horse to maintain this gate, than it does at the extended or long-trot. An extended or long-trot simply means: The normal trot of a horse is extended, allowing the horse to extend its forelegs and back legs to complete an extension of the normal trot. This extension of the horses frame increases speed. At the extended (long-trot) the horse is required to use more musculature responses to accomplish this gate than it would at a simple walk, trot, or lope. With the requirement of using more musculature, the horse is able to build muscle tone more rapidly than it would either walk or lope gates. Therefore, the extended (long-trot) will leg a horse up faster and condition a horse faster than any other gate.
Another benefit of the extended or long-trot is the horse can rapidly cover ground without exhausting itself, stop and swap directions with a blink of an eye when compared to other gates. The extended (long-trot) becomes an invaluable tool to the horseman, especially when working cattle or performing general ranch duties. Example, gathering or maintaining control of a herd of cattle on the open range or in a holding pen during calf separation at branding time. Still another benefit for using the extended (long-trot) is during the boxing portion of a Reined Cow Horse event where the horse and rider has to exhibit that it can maintain control of a single cow at the end of the arena. Which ever the case may be, the extended (long-trot) is an invaluable tool to the horseman for performing duties on a working ranch or for the exhibitor in either a Reined Cow Horse or Ranch Horse class in the show pen.
SITTING THE HORSE DURING THE EXTENDED (LONG-TROT)
Remember reining, is an off-chute of Dressage. The proper method to ride the maneuver is to choose one of three positions: Seated in the saddle which is the hardest, rising out of the saddle three or four inches, or learning to post. In order to start the maneuver, position your horse in a round pen, at a walk, and look down at the horses front leg closest to the round-pen fence. This is your diagonal. As the horses front leg extends forward you should be rising out of the saddle. As the horses front leg closest to the arena fence retracts, you should be returning to the seat of the saddle. If you practicing the maneuver correctly, your departure and return to the saddle should be in unison with the extension and retraction of the horses front leg which is closest to the arena fence. Also, if the maneuver is being performed correctly you’ll immediately know whether or not your on the correct diagonal and your ride will be smooth and collected. Eventually and with enough practice, you’ll immediately know whether or not your maneuvering on the correct diagonal.
TEACHING AND MASTERING THE EXTENDED (LONG-TROT)
The extended trot requires your horse to lengthen his frame and stride while increasing the suspension between footfalls. In other words, his hooves stay off the ground longer than they do during a working or collected trot. Increased speed is an incidental result of trot extensions rather than a goal. If you simply ask your horse to pick up his pace, he will not extend automatically. Even though the extended trot is faster, the pace of his footfalls does not increase.
An excellent place to begin the horses training to extend his trot is in the round pen. Prior to implementing this training in the horses daily training regimen, the horse must be capable of head collection and is completely under control in the snaffle bit. It’s always best to practice this maneuver while negotiating the walk, trot, canter (lope) gates. After completely warming the horse up, begin the exercise while walking the horse around the round pen while ensuring the horse remains calm, cool, and collected. The training begins at the walk. While at the walk ask the horse to collect its head. After a bit ask the horse to maneuver into the next gate or the trot or jog. While at the jog keep the horses head collected.
Next, ask the horse to increase its speed to extend its frame and front legs while maintaining the collection. Once I have the desired collection, I increase the horses speed by increasing my leg pressure on the horses rib cage. Once the horse is extending the trot and the desired extension is achieved I release the leg pressure, but I maintain leg contact with the horses rib cage. Also, I maintain a slight contact with the horses face to encourage the horse to maintain head collection.
Once I’ve made a few turns around the round pen, I cue the horse into a lope, by applying more leg pressure, and lope around the round pen a bit. When I’m ready, I break the horse down to an extended long-trot, to a trot, and then down to a walk by applying the desired back pressure on the reins. Once at the walk I allow the horse to cool off a bit before I repeat the series of exercises. Remember, the main objective is to have the horse to remain relaxed at all times. A stiff jaw won’t get you anywhere during these maneuvers.
One happening to be aware of is: Once the extended long-trot is achieved the horse is going to automatically move into a canter (lope), if allowed, and simply due to the fact: It’s harder for the horse to perform the extended (long-trot) than it is to canter (lope). The horse is just going to naturally take the path of least resistance. Another fact to consider is: DON’T get into a brawl with your horse over this maneuver.
If your horse become rebellious, just break the horse down to a walk and start the maneuver all over again after its calm. Theoretically, I use the extended (long-trot) for two separate training exercises. 1) to work on my horses head collection by maintaining a little back pressure while driving the horse into the snaffle bit with the appropriate leg pressure, while refraining from causing the horse mouth discomfort, and 2) teaching the horse the extended (long-trot) while practicing all four gate transitions until the horse is operating calm, cool, and collected during gate transition exercises. Over-time, you’ll learn the extended (long-trot) is an invaluable tool in horsemanship.
UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE
WHERE’S THE HORSE INDUSTRY HEADED, PART 2
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Writer, Author, and Journalist
April 24, 2020
© 2020 All Rights Reserved
On July 14, 2014 I authored and released an article entitled: Where’s The Horse Industry headed. The article was released on http://www.allaboutcutting.net. The article was structured in response to a down-turn in the horse industry and the article offered specific steps the horse industry could take to overcome this calamity. More specifically, it included a myriad proposals for Horse Associations to survive the down-turn. Overall, the horse industry survived the down-turn in the industry, but the industry has never been the same as it was in it’s hay day, or since. Today, the industry is again faced with a another calamity. However, this calamity is even more dire and in some instances the measures to combat it can mean the difference between life and death. The new calamity is Covid 19 – The Corona Virus.
COVID 19 – THE CORONA VIRUS
As we all know, the Corona Virus or Covid 19 entered the world scene in late December 2019 and has successfully shut down the worlds economy. The highly infectious and contagious virus has devastated world populations, caused sickness and death, and instituted fear in most of the world’s populations. As a kid growing up in the 1950’s I remember a similar disease outbreak which shares a common denominator with the Covid 19 virus – Polio. The shared common denominators are – both are highly infectious and contagious. However, there’s one difference between the two viruses. Polio, has a successful vaccine against the harmful and dire effects of the disease and as of yet, Covid 19 doesn’t have an effective vaccine. When Polio first hit the scene there was no vaccine and the same goes for Covid 19.
Sixty years ago, polio was one of the most feared diseases in the U.S. As the weather warmed up each year, panic over polio intensified. Late summer was dubbed "polio season." Public swimming pools were shut down. Movie theaters urged patrons not to sit too close together to avoid spreading the disease. Insurance companies started selling polio insurance for newborns.
The fear was well grounded. By the 1950s, polio had become one of the most serious communicable diseases among children in the United States.
In 1952 alone, nearly 60,000 children were infected with the virus; thousands were paralyzed, and more than 3,000 died. Hospitals set up special units with iron lung machines to keep polio victims alive. Rich kids as well as poor were left paralyzed. All ethnic groups were affected as were male and female genders.
Then in 1955, the U.S. began widespread vaccinations. By 1979, the virus had been completely eliminated across the country. Now polio is on the verge of being eliminated from the world. The virus remains endemic in only two parts of the globe: northern Nigeria and the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The differences between the two highly infectious and contagious viruses are: Polio didn’t shut down the worlds economy and there is a vaccine for Polio. As of yet, a vaccine hasn’t been invented for the Covid 19 virus. However, the techniques used to combat Polio are in use today to combat the Covid 19 Virus. The main one in use is: social distancing.
COVID 19 AND REOPENING THE ECONOMY
Once the Covid 19 virus has reached the peak of its infections in the United States and Globally, the next step for governments, in the U.S. and around the globe, is to develop a plan to gradually reopen the world’s economies, which includes the horse industry. As it was back in the 1950’s, the proposed safety protocols will most likely include social distancing – among other precautionary measures. Notwithstanding, until an effective vaccine for Covid 19 is developed the world as we knew it before the Covid 19 will disappear. The new precautionary techniques proposed and put in place, by governments around the globe, to prevent spread of the disease will be the new normal.
THE HORSE INDUSTRY SURVIVING COVID 19
The big question for the horse industry is: How does it survive the Covid 19 calamity, especially with social distancing guidelines in place? After all, the horse industry is a social happening, at it’s finest. Post Covid 19 will be entirely different from Pre-Covid 19. Therefore, post Covid 19 will establish a new set of guidelines for the horse industry in the same context as it does for society and other social gatherings. The big question is – what is the new normal for the horse industry? Until an effective vaccine is developed, I can envision horse shows being absent of spectators and only allowing participants. I can also envision horse shows being telecasted, or a virtual horse show so-to-speak. Instead of paying an entry fee to the arena, the viewer will pay a fee similar to pay-per-view TV.
Further, I can envision Open Classes being on separate days from Amateur, Novice, and Non-Pro Classes. I can also envision participants wearing protective masks in order to follow social distancing guidelines. Which ever the case may be, it will be our new normal in the horse industry. One thing I’ve found out about horse people, in my thirty years in the business, is that they are hardworking, resilient, adaptable, and survivors. Even though our new normal may be an imposition on our lives we will all comply for the sake of our businesses, our horses, and we all will adapt to the new social distancing guidelines and standards in order for our businesses to grow and be successful. At a horse show, stalling horses next to each other may become a thing of the past for a while or until an effective vaccine is developed. Nonetheless, we will comply and survive this ordeal.
Not only will the new government guidelines affect horse showing, it will also impact the horse sale industry. Horse sales are integral parts of the industry and horse associations rely on them for a boost in their revenue base. As in the foregoing, I can also envision horse sales being telecasted - or a “virtual sale” so-to-speak with a bid for a particular horse coming through the TV instead of from the viewing stands. Which ever the case may be, horse sellers and buyers will come together and adapt to the new government safety standards. In reality, lots of things are sold, bid on, and purchased, via, the TV – why not horses?, e.g., guns, boats, planes, jewelry, etc. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
WILL THE HORSE INDUSTRY SURVIVE?
Unless I miss my best guess, I’d say absolutely! Whatever the new normal will be, horse people will adapt, improvise, and overcome this new normal and hardship to complete our mission and survive life’s calamities. After all, we’re horse people. We’re tough, hard workers, adaptable, and survivors.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE”
TEACHING BEGINNING EQUESTRIANS
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Pro Reined Cow Horse Trainer
Freelance Writer and Author
April 8, 2020
© 2020 All rights reserved
NEGOTIATING THE ROUND PEN
For the Professional Horse Trainer, the round pen is an indispensable tool in breaking, starting, and training young horses. However, it’s also the perfect training venue and platform for beginning equestrians to learn basic riding, equitation, and horsemanship principles, concepts, and skills. Notwithstanding, the primary use of the round pen is to provide a safe and secure location for the young horse and the beginning equestrian to build their confidence in. After all, a confined space is far better than the open arena which for some, is a very scary place to be. Within the round pen’s confined space, both the young horse and the beginning rider are able to build confidence and learning with each lesson.
To put it in the proper perspective: To the young horse as well as the beginning rider, the open arena is like being in the middle of the ocean in a canoe. Further, the open arena should only be negotiated after the young horse and the beginning rider are capable of performing the following maneuvers with ease, in the round pen: Head Collections, Walk, Trot, Canter, Stops, Backups, Spins, Side Paths, i.e., the horse is able to respond to move off of leg cues from the rider, and perform Roll Backs on the fence. It’s the round pen which leads up to more advanced maneuvers outside the round pen or in the open arena, by both horse and rider.
The round pen is where the young horse learns the language of the bridle and bit and learns to respond to the gentle voice, leg, and hand cues of the professional trainer and rider. For the beginning equestrian, the round pen is where the beginner learns the basics of horsemanship, equitation and develops proper riding skills. It’s also the place for building confidence. Further, the round pen is the place where the beginning equestrian learns to use the bridle reins and the bit in conjunction with specific hand and leg cues, in-order, to have the horse respond to the riders requests and negotiate a specific maneuver. Lastly, the round pen is where the beginning equestrian learns and develops the proper equitation skills and techniques necessary to enjoy a successful career with horses.
More specifically, Equitation is the art or practice of horse riding or horsemanship. Therefore, equitation may refer to a rider's position while mounted, and encompasses a rider's ability to ride correctly and with effective aids. In horse show competition, the rider, rather than the horse is evaluated. Such classes go by different names, depending on region, including equitation classes, rider classes, or horsemanship classes. Judging criteria covers the rider's performance and control of the horse, use of riding aids, proper attire, correct form, and usually factor in rider poise and the cleanliness and polish of horse, rider and equipment.
The performance of the horse is not judged per se, but a poorly performing horse is considered to reflect the ability of the rider. Equitation classes occur in the Hunt seat, Saddle seat, Dressage, and Western disciplines. A good equitation rider is always in balance with the horse, maintains a correct position in every gait, movement, or over a fence, and possesses a commanding, but relaxed, presence, able to direct the horse with nearly invisible aids.
The round pen is the place for the beginning equestrian to learn about proper horsemanship as well as the physical makeup of a horse. From its hooves on up and the proper way to maintain a horse. Further, it’s the place for the beginning equestrian to learn how to properly halter, bridle, hobble, and tie a horse as well as the proper way to saddle and unsaddle a horse. But more importantly, its the place to learn one of the most important lessons about horses and that is: how to act safely around them and avoid inducing the horses natural “FLIGHT FOR LIFE” response.
A horses kick has sent many an equestrian to the hospital. A horses kick can also come from many different directions. The beginning equestrian should learn, horses are prey animals and they react differently to certain environmental situations. If a horse doesn’t completely understand a situation or feels threatened, their natural instinct is to run.
Therefore, the young or beginning equestrian should learn the triggering mechanisms associated with inducing a “FLIGHT FOR LIFE” response and avoid it at all costs. Some examples include: loud noises around certain horses, quick movements which startles a horse, walking up on a horse without letting the horse know your in the vicinity or any other movement or sound which may startle or spook a tied up horse. However, the most important lesson to learn is, to never be in close proximity of the rear or directly behind the horse, in-order to avoid being kicked.
WARM UPS AND COOL DOWNS
The round pen is where the most important aspect of horsemanship is learned by the beginning rider – The art of properly warming a horse up prior to work and the art of cooling a horse down after the riding or training session is completed. This valuable lesson will prevent unnecessary injury and colic in a horse. To properly warm a horse up the young or beginning equestrian should learn the horse should be exercised in the round pen for approximately 5 minutes; 2.5 minutes each direction – right and left, prior to engaging in the lesson.
At the conclusion of the lesson the horse should be walked, by the rider, in the round pen until the horse is cool to the touch and the horses breathing returns to normal. Over heating a horse and improper cool down is one of the major causes of horse colic, especially in hot weather. Either type of horse colic encounter, whether its feed related or over heating related, horse colic can be fatal to the horse.
PREVENTING HORSE COLIC
Colic in horses is defined as abdominal pain, but it is a clinical symptom rather than a diagnosis. The term colic can encompass all forms of gastrointestinal conditions which cause pain as well as other causes of abdominal pain not involving the gastrointestinal tract. The most common forms of colic are gastrointestinal in nature and are most often related to colonic disturbance. There are a variety of different causes of colic, some of which can prove fatal without surgical intervention. Colic surgery is usually an expensive procedure as it is major abdominal surgery, often with intensive aftercare.
Among domesticated horses, colic is the leading cause of premature death. The incidence of colic in the general horse population has been estimated between 4 and 10 percent over the course of the average lifespan. Clinical signs of colic generally require treatment by a veterinarian. The conditions that cause colic can become life-threatening in a short period of time.
Overall, for the past 30 years I’ve enjoyed my equestrian career. The beginning rider can too, if they will just take the time to learn the basics. A learning curve I impart to all of my students is: “If you don’t completely understand a specific maneuver or what the trainer is asking you to do, please ask for clarification.” At this time I would like to give a big congratulations to EA Bowling for her embarking on her Equestrian journey. EA is featured in the upper left photo, second from the left.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE”