Saturday, December 29, 2007

Who lets these people breed?

I ask you. Is there anything about this that any of you think could have been a good idea?

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday's Dollar Menu Selections...

I've said before that anything that you can buy for less than $5,000, minimum, is probably not stallion quality. Today I'm going to showcase some fine, fine, fine examples of that theory.

"TRUE BLUE ROAN proven breeder of color, baby on site. 60 days professional training at two years old [not ridden in last 2 years].Check out his pedigree and pictures and decide for yourself how much he could add to your breeding program.He has true black points no white.He has from what i am told Canidien Reining Champs in his Back ground. PRICE IS negotiable."

Oh yay. A five year old fugly clunk-headed, bad-necked, tail set on like an Ay-rab stallion that has not had jack shit done with him in three years. But hey, he is a "proven breeder of color" - I am guessing based upon the baby (singular) on site.

Hey, any "Canidiens" here want to tell me if he has Reining Champs in his background? LOL...Here's what kills me. You had this horse as a stallion and you don't KNOW what is in his background? Of course you don't. You only know he is a pretty color! And now you are hoping to make a whopping $1200 selling him. Negotiable.

But hey, old roanie up there is looking darn good next to our next stallion for sale. This one's only $300! Yes, you heard right, to buy, not to breed to. This is a three year old, pony sized, unregistered Quarab...and he's a cryptorchid! Awesome. The ad says he is the DEAL OF THE YEAR. Well, if they actually get $300 for him, I agree it will be the DEAL OF THE YEAR...for them!

"Blink is a tremendously sweet, friendly 1/2 quarter pony, 1/2 Arabian. He has nice conformation, steady mind, a very nice head & eye... just a dandy, sharp looking little stallion. He would be a terrific gelding, or easy keeping stallion. Handles politely, tethers out on a long line. Ready to get started for riding or driving. The DEAL: we would love to see this great guy gelded and in a great family or home. You can either keep him a stallion, or geld him and still have a very little $$ invested. He would look spectacular on a cart or in the youth show ring - great 4- H project. We plan to have him gelded this fall...but will make it worth someone else's effort. (price will increase after gelding..or we may decide to keep him) One undescended testicle, but sired 4 gorgeous foals for us this year. Our hay supply is low/pony numbers high. Our loss=your gain...offers considered for the right, experienced home. (Note: in 4th photo, rider is quite tall and makes Blink appear smaller than he is)"

Yes, and it is only these pants that make my thighs look big!

Here's another example of optimistic marketing. These people seem to believe the mere fact that something did not hit horse height means it is an ideal hunter pony sire. Since a straight shoulder, bad "nest" (yes, it's a word I made up, figure it out, deal with it) and downhill build are what I look for in a hunter pony...don't you? This is an 8 year old by the way...he isn't going to be leveling up. But hey, only $1000!

"Veto is a very athletic horse with a good mind. He will give you that flashy hunter/jumper pony you have been looking for. Was bred to a cow horse and that filly is posted on this site, Pocos Zip to Liberty. He has never been shown and is for sale. Im getting out of ponies. HE IS ONLY PONY BY SIZE. For more info contact me at"

I will say, his filly is way cuter than he is. However I find it highly amusing that "she has had a rope throne off her." Damn, that IS bombproof for a two year old!

All three of these are stallions-that-shouldn't-be. None of them are flat out horrible and each have some nice qualities but they will make nice geldings. Only truly outstanding individuals should be left as stallions. Stallions have the ability to sire almost unlimited numbers of foals in their lifetime and truly affect the future of their breed. If we only allowed the best of the best to stay intact, we'd see such a huge improvement in every breed that it would be amazing - more correct, sounder, more athletic horses even within the first one or two generations. Unfortunately the world is full of people breeding from stallions like you see above, and that's why the world is full of mediocre quality horses with no real potential to excel at anything!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Common sense is not so common...

I have observed in the past that Columbia Basin Equine Rescue is not, in my opinion, a rescue as they will gleefully hand out horses to anybody with cold, hard cash - including most notably last year, a bestiality practitioner who starved them (this fact could have been discovered in 30 seconds by googling the same e-mail address she used on their message board - but hey, why investigate your adopters? Then you might have to turn someone down and that might cut into your profits!). Well, today we have yet another story of a horse who went out of the frying pan into the fire, and it's a really good example of something I'd like to address here:

In 32 years with horses, I have never lost a horse to an accident or had one permanently damaged in any way by an accident. Sure, I've had typical injuries - horses who stuck their feet through relatively safe fencing and got cut, horses who got cast, horses who got bit by another horse. But I have never (yes, knocking on wood) lost a horse to a stupid, totally preventable pasture accident like this - and I'm curious to hear how many of the rest of you have a similarly good track record thanks to using your common sense about horses and herd dynamics, as well as property maintenance.

The reason I'm going to come down on this guy is because HE HAD WARNING. The mare had ALREADY gotten kicked in the head. When you know you have an aggressive horse, what you do is you march your ass down to the farm store and you pick up materials and you make him his own pen. You do NOT wait until the following happens and then desperately try to ditch Satan Horse.

Post #1

I went out Monday to find Hyacinth dead. It appears that she got tangled up in a gate in tight quarters and killed herself. We believe that another horse we have, a half blind gelding named Westly, was probably the cause of her death. We think that he probably kicked her, knocking her down and into the gate, panicking her and causing her to get tangled up in the gate trying to get back up. I do not have any real proof of this, but he has always been pretty bossy and aggressive with the mares around food, and there was food nearby. I have seen him lash out at the other horses before. And a couple months back Hyacinth mysteriously was injured, kicked in the head by one of our other horses. Again we had no proof but were pretty sure it was Westly, because our 3 mares all get along. Hyacinth was the top mare and the other two were always deferential to her, so I simply have to believe that it was Westly that injured her a couple months back, and at least indirectly caused her death this week. So far Hera, who we got along with Hyacinth and was clearly bonded with Hy, has taken this well, much better than we expected. My wife and I OTOH feel so bad about this, and we miss Hy so much. She was an exceptional girl, a nearly perfect horse, and a very sweet girl who loved attention and hated apples. She is sorely missed.

Post #2

Okay, first thing everyone needs to know is that we believe that Westly has attacked one of my other horses, twice. The last time cost her her life. We believe he kicked her, knocking her down and/or into a gate in tight quarters, and that she got tangled up in the gate killing herself thrashing around trying to get untangled and get up. Westly has always been food aggressive and there was food not too far away. We also had snowy/icy/muddy conditions in the area. So there were a number of things that went into causing her death, but I am certain that Westly started the whole incident by trying to chase her off or outright attacking her. He really needs to be an only horse. We got him through this board. Some of you may remember him, he was a former 4H horse who blinded himself in one eye on an olive tree. He is super sweet around people, though he does not respect personal space the way he should. Never aggressive or anything, just in your hip pocket anytime you are around. We are giving him one shot at finding another place where he can live out his life without putting any other horses in danger. His time is limited, because I am not willing to put my other horses at risk and I can not keep him separated from them, they all go nuts when I try that. If we can not find him someplace to go very soon, I am going to have him put down, which I really do not want to do. But I am just not willing to let him injure or kill another of my horses. I can be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXX. We live outside of Oakridge, OR (and no Amy can not take him, she is not set up to keep a horse that can't be with other horses). We do not want any adoption fee for Westly, we just want him to go to a good home. Any potential adopter/foster would need to be approved by CBER or some other reputable rescue, of course.

(FHOTD in: Back in the olden days, when I had not yet caught on to the $cam that is CBER, I contributed $150 to "bailing out" Hera, or more accurately, to CBER President $amantha Milbredt's disposable income since I am sure Hera's meat price was around $200 and they collected three times that for her. Hera is a Thoroughbred mare with DSLD. Now she's apparently out in mud and snow (that's great for those dropped pasterns) with an aggressive horse chasing her around. Awesome. Can I take my percentage of her back and move it to a more appropriate facility?)
All right, so what can we learn from this? For crap's sake, if you're seeing injuries, GET THE AGGRESSIVE HORSE OUT OF THERE. Buy some goddamn panels if you can't do anything else because it's winter. Put the nasty little fucker in a pipe corral for now. Or euthanize him. I don't care. You don't just leave him out and cross your fingers and HOPE nothing happens. This was a really nice mare, a quality mare that someone dumped, and the entire story makes me ill. I can only imagine how she died (how do you actually die from being tangled in a gate before anyone finds you? Blood loss? Broken neck? Whatever it was, it sounds horrifying.)
Just sad. Sir, you have all kinds of room on your cross fence could have saved this mare's life. Common sense? Anyone? You had warning. You knew you were allowing a dangerous situation to continue. Saying this is an accident is like drinking a half bottle of vodka, getting in the car, taking out six people and then saying whoops, it was an accident. Nope, it wasn't. It was something that you knew about and took no steps to resolve, and now are crying to all of your online pals because you lost the luck lottery and something awful happened.
I feel bad for the mare. You, not so much.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Worthy of the front page...

One of my readers created this yesterday...ROTFL. Perfect!

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas...let's see who's been naughty and who's been nice!

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays, everybody! I hope you are all having a great one and Santa brought you and your horses everything you were hoping for. Yes, I've had a great one and I'm finally over my bronchitis, for those who inquired.

Now, since Santa's busy, it's up to us to determine who's been naughty and who's been nice. If life were fair and I were running the universe, some of our featured breeders would find a nice new aluminum gooseneck with living quarters in their stockings...but some of them would find a lump of well-deserved coal.

I like this Akhal-Teke stallion. As Akhal-Tekes go, he's pretty nicely put together and actually has a hip. What I don't like is that the breeder - who otherwise has nice horses - has decided she is the one to produce a grand and wonderful NEW kind of "sport horse." (Since there are not enough of them sitting around not selling in this market) She's going to do that by - are ya ready? - crossing this guy on Wiescamp bred AQHA mares. Say what? Why? Why? Why? Well, she thinks she is "ahead of her time" and "I hope decades from now...I will be remembered as the pioneers of a whole new line of sport horses, talented, and prize winning in both the hunter and dressage arenas! " I hope decades from now I'll be remembered as the largest lottery winner in American history, but I'm not holding my breath. While, again, I think this lady has some very high quality horses and overall there's nothing wrong with her breeding program, the Akhal-Teke thing is like when you turn 40 and your stylist tells you that you'd look good with "funky" short orange hair and your friends say all the appropriate things and avoid telling you that you look like a dork. I have no such restraints on my behavior. In this case, you have an overall good breeding program but are having a moment of hopefully temporary insanity and I'm going to call you on it and give you a lump of coal.

The ad text: "Spokey is an extremely sweet stud. Very good with kids!! He carries the gene for homozygous black and white. We can send you pic of Mother and father also he might can be REG. A must see!! "

He might can be registered? Is that lolspeak? Where's the kittycat? Fine, I will respond in kind. You can has gelding. It can has bath before being posted for sale. You can has child protective services come vizzit. You needz smack upsyde hed.

(Is that a stock removal truck in the background? Well, how fitting would that be?)

The ad text: "His name is Fleet. He`s jet black with 4 white feet and he Registered Paint. Easy to ride. Age is 7yrs. He`s 15 to 17 hands high. He`s a stud. For more information call 1-419-929-1211"

He's also $4,000, since totally unaccomplished breeding stock Paints with fugly necks are in such huge demand out there. And WTF is 15 to 17 hands high? What, 15 at the back and 17 at the ears? 17 if you're using the metric system?

And WHAT is up with that FENCE? It looks like an abstract art project. Is that a loose piece of barbed wire dangling diagonally across the equally shitty wire mesh? Awesome.

More lump of coal winners:

Jumping lessons, they are your friend

Now here's an interesting pedigree (AQHA will help you with that, you know!)

Tax court determines you are a clueless BYB with more money than sense! My favorite part: "Temptation's stud fee was generally $500 if the owner did not want registration papers and $1,000 if the owner wanted registration papers" Lady, you are a prizewinning asshat.

Now, here are some breeders that I hope Santa brings a shiny new gooseneck to!

A FHOTD regular visited these folks and was very impressed. They have a 28 year old stallion in excellent condition. Their breeding stock is good quality and most have show records. Their young stock for sale are all appropriately trained for their age level which includes the fact that you do not see their 2 year olds under saddle yet. They get a gold star!

Here's what I like to see in a stallion. I want to particularly point out the shoulder. If you want to know what a great shoulder looks like, Artful Move has a great shoulder and it's why he could perform and his get can perform. I know not all of you like the AQHA headset - but look at the conformation. Uniformly good shoulders, hips, compact build, free from the shoulder. Compare this to some crippled up, can barely trot anymore nasty-pasterned halter horse and then tell me that Thoroughbred blood does not improve the Quarter Horse breed. B.S. The introduction of the right Thoroughbred blood has given us a modern Quarter Horse who combines an elegant look and free movement with a quiet, amateur and youth friendly disposition. It's a good thing.

Look, here is someone who actually got off their ass and cleaned up their broodmares for pictures. Makes a difference, doesn't it? Don't these pictures make you excited to see the foals, as opposed to some poor, muddy mare who hasn't had her feet done in a year and has a mane that looks like Britney Spears' weave? And isn't it nice to see absolutely zero crap, junk, shitty fence, children's toys, etc. in the background. People, really. It is not that hard to take a nice picture, and look at the difference it makes. (Yes, the fact that they're quality mares is helpful, too!) Anyway, another gold star. Hope Santa brings you something good.

Another breeder I love...for many, many years Sheila Varian has been not only breeding Arabians but - gasp! - DOING something with them. Her horses work cows and win at the Arabian shows with equal ease. She has specifically bred for disposition and performance and, shazam, that is what she got. I am the first to admit I am "not an Arab person" but I've ridden some horses of her breeding and they were just good, sensible working horses. There was nothing not to like about them. You did not know you were on an Arabian - i.e. they did not go OMG IT'S A BUTTERFLY HOLY SHIT MUST SPIN AND RUN FARFARFAR AWAY! Sheila has a ten commandments of breeding on her site that should be required reading for anyone considering creating an equine life. You can learn a lot just by looking at a picture pedigree of one of her horses and seeing how she has improved upon them, generation after generation.

All right, it's long past time for me to find coffee and breakfast...happy holidays all and I really do hope whatever you wanted is under your tree today! Enjoy this day off to spend with your family and your horses and tell me all about your day in the comments!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I love you BYB's, you are just awesome!

As I read through my 431 piled-up e-mails, I came across this gem:

Problem wanting to be solved

That is the link to my worrys. This person is giving unsportsly man contact with what she/he has writen. That info on there is mine. The pictures on there are mine. I would like you to help me find a propor solution to this. I want this deleted or erased. I want this user blocked from blogspot. Please get back to me,



1. You didn't e-mail Blogger/Google. You e-mailed me. I don't have a problem with anything I've done, therefore your demands are highly unlikely to be met with any action.

2. The problem is wanting to be solved? Sweetie pie, a problem can't want to be solved. A problem does not have the capability to even know it is a problem, much less want to be solved!

3. worrys = worries
unsportsly man = unsportsmanlike? Say what?
writen = written
propor = proper

4. I am getting back to you, Niki, per your request. I have no idea which fugly or collection thereof you're responsible for, because all you provided was the link to my main page. However, I appreciate the fact that you've provided my readers with yet another example of someone who is too dumb to be involved in horse breeding and should probably be provided with a more appropriate hobby. I believe a previous poster mentioned a Sea Monkeys breeding kit that we could provide to people like you so that you could exercise your desire for creation without adding to the slaughterhouse supply chain. If you'd like to show up and post your address, I'll get one of those out to you ASAP!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Papers matter, they just aren't the only thing that matters!

There's been some discussion lately about whether or not papers matter, and I'd like to respond.

I have a good friend who dropped out of high school at 15, ran off with a 27 year old guy and lived in a commune. Not exactly a recipe for success! However, she also happens to be 5'9 with a body and face to die for. She started modeling and parlayed that into a successful acting career. Today, in her 50's, she's far more successful than I'll ever be, with multiple homes and a very nice lifestyle. Yet, if I pointed to her as a reason you - or your kids - shouldn't go to college, you would think I was smoking crack and give me a sound lecture on how idiotic that reasoning is - and you'd be right.

A horse who lacks papers from a major breed registry is like a person who dropped out of high school. If they have great talents and make the right "connections," then like my friend, they can succeed in life...but most of them don't. Most high school dropouts find themselves working a series of depressing, dead-end minimum wage jobs, living in sub-standard housing, being preyed upon by high-interest credit cards, Rent-A-Center, and similar entities, suffering with health problems because they lack insurance, and bringing children into the same sad cycle of poverty with little hope of a way out. Similarly, most grade horses find themselves living in someone's barbed wire fenced field, being dragged out on weekends for a trail ride in a western saddle that sits right on their withers, having their face yanked off by a guy named Bubba who thinks he's a cowboy, having their health conditions go unattended, and often dying either by slaughter or simply dying in the field when hay gets expensive and Bubba can't short his beer budget to pay for it.

Yes, yes, yes, I know everybody's got an exception to BOTH sides of this analogy. I always have to hear about Teddy O'Connor. Teddy O' Connor is exactly like my actress friend. They both have a rare level of talent AND made the right connections. THIS IS NOT TYPICAL. (Also, again, for god's sake, Teddy O'Connor is just an Anglo-Arab with a smidgen of pony blood. He is not a freakin' Friesiawalkaloosavanner.)

I know some of you didn't finish high school but have Ph.D's in the school of life and are smart and competent - yet I'll bet most of you who are successful own your own business - because most of the world is simply not going to give you a chance without certain credentials. The reality is the same for horses. The average person wants to see papers, whether they're hiring an employee or buying a horse. They want to see what they perceive as some kind of proof they're getting something good.

Are there crappy registered horses and excellent grade ones? Of course!

Are there idiots who finished college but can't master a form letter? Hell, I hired one once! (Still hurts my brain to think about trying to train her.) Are there extremely smart, competent, successful high-school dropouts? You bet, I know several.

The point is NOT that papers make a horse good. The point is that papers (from a real registry, not the $!*$!&!$ Blue Eyed Horse Association) make human beings - those creatures who totally control a horse's fate - more likely to give that horse a chance at a good home and a performance career of some sort. When you buy a grade horse, you limit your options and most people do not like to limit their options. If they can buy a registered horse who is eligible for breed shows and incentive programs and horseback riding programs and all sorts of fun stuff for the same price as a grade horse who can only do the open shows or some kind of competition where papers are not relevant, they are going to buy the registered horse, pretty much every time. And in this market - they can.

Breeding grades, or just being lazy and not registering your foals, is every bit as irresponsible as telling the kids they can drop out if they're sick of the 9th grade and that they're going to grow up and be my friend the actress. Horses have enough risk in their lives and we should be doing everything we can to minimize those risks.

All right, and now - perfectly on topic - we have today's featured breeder! This came up in the comments and it is definitely front page FHOTD material. This lady is breeding unregisterable Quarter Horses because of some weird need to preserve the grade horse breeding program started by Grandpa. She seems unable to comprehend that the world has changed and papers matter now. Well, that, and she seems equally unable to comprehend what a good horse looks like. Some examples:

"I have also raised a grade 1997 buckskin stallion sired by Ten Sleep Foxy Bar that is built like a tank, named Buckskin Bo. Bo also sports the Peppy Rojo line in his dam's pedigree and is a good color producer so far. He is by far the smoothest horse I have ever ridden and that old saying holds true with him that you can't ride papers!!! Registered or Grade, he's got some nice qualities to pass on to the right kind of mares if you want color and a reasonable stallion breeding fee without all the hassles of registering his colts! "

The "hassles" of registering his colts? My brain is bleeding...And look at this nasty, long backed thing...Is that a club foot on this side? Sure looks like one to me!

Check out the scars all over him, too. Ya think she's got herself some barbed wire fence? You know it.

Hey, he is cute. He would make a nice gelding if that foot doesn't bother him too much!

This one just got sold to someone in Texas - "Thanks Jeff, for seeing through internet pictures only,
what a fine stallion prospect he is!"


ALL FOUR LEGS ARE SHIT. He's post legged and high hocked behind. He toes out. (Look at the below picture for a better view on the lovely front end) I've seen tied in behind the knee but he looks tied in in front of the knee, or is it just the knee is enlarged? Either way, if someone paid $6500 for this thing as a stallion prospect, they need their head examined. Plus he's got a "nest" and his tail's set as high as an arab's. Yuck. This one's actually registered, which is a good example that papers do not necessarily mean quality, either!

How is it that people buy horses like this? Do they really only look at the fact that it has a big ass? (Sitting on top of little feet...gee, I thought it was only the halter horse people who were to blame for little feet? Guess not!)

My eyes! My eyes!

OMG. Nasty short croup, goose rump, as long as driving through Indiana, camped out, short neck, upright shoulder, downhill and a complete and total lack of any kind of balance or muscling. Hell, even the OWNER admits she is a fugly - but of course there is a justification for the fact she's had TWELVE GRADE FOALS. "Ya, well, so Frosty Flame isn't much to look at, but she sure produces gentle, pretty colts and they don't stay in my corral very long, so obviously her foals are better looking than she is!"

Um, no. They are not.

This is her daughter, who has pretty much her exact same conformation. Guess what they've been breeding her to? The buckskin up top. Four times now. Oy vey...
Of course, she is breeding mixed breed dogs, too, the kind that die every day in our shelters. Doesn't everybody need a mix of Heeler, Border Collie, Aussie and Black Lab? No? Really? She brags that her nasty mixed breed dog has had 21 puppies so far. Yay. Why are these things never sterile? As someone pointed out the other day, it's like Kevin Federline, and shit, the entire Spears family. (Now the 16 year old's knocked up too. And their idiot mother thinks she is going to write a parenting book. I know, I know, I digress...but really. That's like me thinking I can write a book on housekeeping. You have to accept that some things, you are bad at!)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I think she should keep the horses!

Very funny ad.

Sounds to me like the horses have better dispositions! I say keep them and kick his butt out the door.

While I was reading that, I was horrified to see this other ad...OMG FEED YOUR BABY. This reminds me of the 1980s when we kept polo ponies really thin (nobody does that anymore, fortunately).

This poor little yearling is for sale with his "pasture mate," a 2 year old filly named Angel (note that Colt isn't gelded and so for all we know, may knock up Angel before the deal gets done). Note the big ass boat in the background, yet I bet they claim the drought and hay prices are responsible for how skinny the colt is.

Poor Angel is a cutie pie upon whom the world's most hideous saddle has been inflicted. See, you guys thought the turquoise was bad but in the world of bad taste, the bar is raised EVERY day!

A Holiday Wish From Your Vet's Office!

This was posted on my message board by luckyducky, and I know you don't all read that so I thought I'd bring it over. It's well worth cross posting!

I have worked for a equine veterinary clinic for 7 years now. In that time I have dealt with ALOT and I would love to post my Christmas list up to see if any of my wishes come true.

1. I would like for all owners to call me and know EXACTLY what they need, or at least have a fair idea. if you are call for routine care, please have your records (that reminder we sent you last month is even better) ready.

2. I would love for people to remember that I talk to between 75 - 100 people a day, and there is more than 1 person working in our office. Please don't begin your call with "Hi, I just talked to you." Or "Hey, this is Jim" Or, my personal favorite " Hi, this is Beau's mom" Do you know how many Beaus we see? My favorite clients call and say " Hello, this is Joe Blow, and my horse Tuffy was due for his (insert info from previously mentioned Reminder) on Monday the 12." I LOVE THAT!!! (FHOTD in: Oh seriously. I HATE when people do that to me at work too. Oh, hi, blahblahblah...IDENTIFY YOURSELF! You are not my best friend and I DO NOT know your voice. While we are at it, slow down and let me get a word in edgewise and you will not have to repeat your story all over again when you find out there is nothing I can do to help you and you have the wrong department entirely.)

3. I would like clients to know when they are available to have their horses seen. Nothing is more frustrating then leafing through the appointment book 20 times trying to find a time for your horse to have a dental done between your yoga class and your child's tuba lesson. Set aside a few days for your appointment when you can cancel or move a less important appointment. Yoga can be missed 1 time without the world imploding!

4. I cannot promise that your appointment will not get bumped if my Dr. is taking emergencies that day. I wish that clients would not call and chew my ass because Precious couldn't get her Legend shot today due to the Doc being at a down and thrashing colic. If it were your horses colicking would you want him to stop for something routine? Please be patient with me. I want your horse to be taken care of as much as you do.

5. On that same note, I can't control traffic, weather, road closures, Dr. potty breaks, or anything else that would make him late to your appointment. I wish for clients who understand that and don't scream at me because they are at the barn 20 minutes longer than expected. @#%$ happens. (FHOTD in: And again, if you board, odds are your BM or BO will handle for the vet for you for a fee. If you are busy and on a schedule, JUST PAY IT. Don't sit there and be pissy because the vet is late. The vet is ALMOST ALWAYS going to be late, it's the nature of things.)

6. I wish for clients who treat the person on the phone with respect. I am an intelligent person, I know my job. Please don't talk down to me, or act like I couldn't possibly know what you mean when you say your horse is lame or has Cushings or whatever other problem you can think of. I have worked here long enough to know the ins and outs of equine vet medicine. (FHOTD in: And quite frankly, anyone who thinks they can talk down to whoever they perceive to be a "low level" employee is a royal asshat anyway. Grow up. You do not look cool yelling at some underpaid office worker, who for all you know is in grad school about to become far more successful than you will ever be.)

7. I wish for clients who can maintain a shred of composure when disaster strikes. If you have an emergency, I need facts. Don't say your horse is colicking and then not be able to tell me what is going on. I need to know, is your horse down? Has it drunk anything? How long has it been acting this way? If it's down can you get it up? If not, is it lying peacefully or is it thrashing? The same goes for lacerations, laminitis, accidents, chokes, whatever emergency situation you find yourelf in. No hysterics. I need a person on the phone who can give me directions if needed, and all the facts. If you can't do that, please put someone on the phone who can.

8. I wish for clients who understand that the advice I give comes straight from the Dr. I do not pull it out of my heiney. Yesterday, I got a call from a woman with a old horse that was down. not thrashing, laying peacefully. I told her as long as he was laying there, not rolling to let him be, but I could tell she was a "walker" so I didn't press it. I then left for the night. Well, got in this morning and found out she had gotten the horse up, and LUNGED it for 1 1/2 hours til the Dr showed up. Guess what, the horse wasn't colicy, it was laminitic. She chased that horse around for 1 1/2 hours on poor little laminitis feet!! (FHOTD in: OK, now I understand why some of you are anti-walking. The thought that someone could not identify colic properly had not occurred to me. I am 100% in favor of making them walk and/or light longing (sure as hell not 1-1/2 hours, I'm talking 10 min) when you see a gas colic start, but it seriously did not occur to me that someone could confuse symptoms of stomach pain with symptoms of foot pain. I guess you see it all when you work for a vet.)

9. Lastly, I wish for clients who will say Thank you, and good job. Not just to me on the phone, but when I'm out with the Dr. I may not have alot to say when I'm out there assisting, but I am working hard, and I always appreciate a pat on the back! (FHOTD in: Or something nice at Christmas. It is the holidays, is a good time to say thank you to those who have helped keep your horses together all year.)

Happy Holidays form your vet staff!!!

FHOTD back in: I'd like to add one more. I'm sure the OP would agree.

Know what's normal for your horse! This is SUCH a money saver as well as good for your horse. Just pay attention. If your horse who normally takes off running when he's turned out goes and stands in the corner, trust me, something is wrong. Call out the vet NOW and you will save money and possibly save the horse. Remember my story about how Lacy was picking at her feed and it turned out she had split her jugular open, right between her hairy, yak-like cheekbones? How often are you looking at the underside of your horse's cheekbones? I surely wasn't. It was the picking at her food that tipped me off and gave her ten more years of life.

And yeah, we all have "bad vet" stories so when you find a good one...treat them and their staff well and let them know you appreciate them!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I hate to say I told you so BUT DAMN IT, I DID!

Remember my feature on the FAR Ranch in Idaho?

Well I'd just like to update. The state or the sheriff or whatever seized Crazy Appaloosa Breeder Lady's horses and took them to auction where, shazam, surprise, how incredible, they were all bought by the kill buyers. At least twelve of them, at last report. Supposedly the rest are sitting at the Lewiston, Idaho fairgrounds now. Anybody want an unbroke, unhandled foundation Appaloosa? Rumor has it there's a sale tomorrow...will post details when I find out.

Of course, Crazy Appaloosa Lady refused to the end to give any of the horses to good homes. She only surrendered them to avoid prosecution - the usual story.

Thanks for breeding those 50 horses SO THEY COULD DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH. Good job, you stupid *insert word I want to use but will restrain myself from using.*

And yeah, not thrilled with the authorities either - but somewhat sympathetic to the problem of 50 unhandled, untrained Appaloosas being dumped on them in December in Idaho. Sad all around.

Deck the halls endless supply of lying, evil asshats!

$1,500 OBO
rawlins, WY 82301 - Dec 18, 2007
This is Jake, he is 20 years old and broke for ANYONE to ride ANYWHERE. he is about 16 hh. He is in excellent health. Is utd on shots, and just had his teeth floated. I can put ANYONE on him even my 2 year old son and let him go. He is pattened on the barrels and does well. He does not get hot when you run him. I can run the barrels and get off and put my son on him and you would never know i ran the barrels. You can rope off of him and drag things and he does not care. He wil go anywhere by the freeway by a train nothing scares him except the flash on my camera. I would like to sell him because i need a younger faster horse to run barrels on and my son is getting a pony for christmas so he does not need a big horse.

And now for the RESPONSE ad:

Ogden, UT 84405 - Dec 19, 2007
Jake-Dead broke Gelding

I am SO disappointed in you! When I gave you Jake it was in good faith that he would be used as a lesson/babysitter horse and I told you he couldn’t be run hard due to his age (OVER 20) and his knee. You told me he would have a forever home and he would be used by children. I doubt that you have run barrels on him. AND, I gave him to you for free and you’re selling him for over $1,000! And how dumb is it to be so blatant and sell him on KSL where I had him and using his name? Duh?

DO NOT SELL HIM to anyone who does not know his ability. WE MUST keep our industry CLEAN!

Former owner, I do wish you'd take poor old Jake back. I am really worried about him, because he's fallen into the hands of one of the worst kinds of horse buyers/adopters: the Lying, Evil Asshat.

The LEA takes many forms. He may be a killer buyer who comes to look at horses with his precious six year old daughter at his side, saying he is looking for a horse for her, and then puts your horse on the next double decker bound for Mexico. She may have a song-and-dance worthy of an Oscar about how she keeps her old horses forever and is just a great home, but then the horse pops up for free on Craigslist or you find out she traded it to a dealer for two minis because it needed vet care she didn't want to pay for. Or they talk about what a great "rescue" they have and you find out later they've got three dozen horses standing in mud up to their ankles and the farrier won't come out anymore because they owe so much money. The LEA misrepresents their facilities, their intentions, their finances, their riding skills and frequently their sanity level. They tell you they will make payments (and don't), they snooker you into letting them take the horse on a "lease" (and then it disappears), they tell you they will not breed the rescued mare (and then you see her on HorseCity with a fugly partbred foal the next year).

I truly hate the LEA's of the horse world. They make good owners and breeders terrified to ever sell their horses. They give the good rescuers ulcers. They create tons of work and drama as the people who actually care about the horse desperately scramble to save it. I can't tell you the number of friends I have who've done the 90 mph drive to the auction yard because one of their homebreds was there after they sold it to a "forever" home. Not once did the buyer offer the horse back or ever let the breeder/seller know that they weren't planning to keep it or that it hadn't worked out.

This kind of behavior is despicable. Now I am going to worry about poor old Jake, who is in the hands of someone SO STUPID she doesn't realize that he reacts to a flash BECAUSE HE'S A GAMER and THE TIMERS FLASH, you MORON!

*head explodes*

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jeez, it's just like people, nothing to offer but gets everybody pregnant on the first try!

Our Craigslist winner of the day...

Thoroughbred Stallion!!!!!!!!!!! - $1500

Reply to:
Date: 2007-11-26, 11:07PM EST

9 yr old Stallion!!!! Beautiful conformation. Current on all shots and coggins. Dark Bay in color. Will need experianced handler as he is VERY SPIRITED. Crosses well with drafts. Has sired roans, bays, and chestnuts. Knows his job and gets it done. 99% conception on first try. Papers are available.

All I have to say is, what a cute, cute gelding he will make if someone chops off his balls, gives him a few months to get the hormones out of his system and then teaches him some manners. Right now he's a rank sonovabitch who apparently doesn't know how to do anything but have sex. Great. I bet he's fun to handle for breeding. I can just imagine!

Again, there is no such thing as a $1500 stallion. If that's what it's worth, that right there is a tip it should be a gelding. Is this thing even broke? Sounds like they are scared shitless of him!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Discussion: What defines quality?

Forthefutureofthebreed wrote this guest blog, and I think it's a great topic to address. We all have our preferences regarding breed and discipline, but what in your mind defines real quality - the sort of horse who should breed on, even if his/her breed/style/discipline is totally not your cup of tea?

After seeing all the debates on various subjects regarding horses, we can basically narrow down many of the disagreements to the definition of QUALITY.

What defines a quality horse? The term "quality" means different things to different people. It’s one of the most subjective words out there when talking about horses today. It’s something you can’t measure or precisely define, yet it’s the one thing that separates the high priced horses from the inexpensive ones.

Does QUALITY define a horse that pleases only you, or one that pleases others as well?

Does it define a horse that is perfect in every way?

Do you believe that the level of quality should be determined by the buying public or prices realized at an auction?

How about pedigree? Does a great pedigree guarantee a quality horse?

If a horse has no major conformation faults, does that mean it’s a quality horse?

Does an exceptional disposition determine quality?

Do registration papers guarantee a quality horse?

Does the lack of papers guarantee a poor quality horse?

What level of quality does a horse need to be in order to be of breeding quality?

If a horse is successful, either as a performer or producer (or both), does that mean it’s a quality horse that should breed on?

How much value do you place on eye appeal?

What faults would you forgive in a horse?

What is your definition of quality, and why?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Child broke 2 year old filly!

One of my readers sent me this one, and although I frequently feel like I have seen it all, I am appalled anew. Dear Lord, this poor filly. I certainly would like to hear that she's been upgraded before she is ruined completely.

"2 year old paint filly. Currently 14.3 hands, should mature 16+ hands. She is as broke as they come for a 2 year old. Children rode her bareback, double and triple. She is also broke to saddle. Absolutely loves people. she has a super mouth. Very agreeable to anything asked. will stand for hours tied. goes when asked, stops when asked. doesn't anticipate anything. her name says it all. Get her now and make her what you want. $1,500.00 make an offer."

First thought: Dear God, you didn't get on herself, did you, you fat, ignorant, old coot? Aaaaaaggggggghhhhhhhh...YOU should have to carry the FILLY, your torso is bigger than hers!

Second thought: SHE IS NOT GOING TO MATURE 16 HANDS. She is no more going to mature 16 hands than I am going to win the lottery and retire early. Wishing doesn't make it so, trust me!


Fourth thought: Who thought it was a good idea to breed this filly??? Poor little thing, no hip, upside down neck, no muscling...

Fifth thought: You have her advertised as a FOXHUNTING prospect? She is as much a foxhunting prospect as I am a candidate for America's Next Top Model!

I wonder if there are more where she came from? Well of course there are!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Color guaranteed!, not so much.

I am trying to get through some of my 324 e-mails before I have to do all the barn work and go real estate shopping (have I mentioned that Websense is the Tool of Satan lately? I'm sure I have. And yesterday the internet wouldn't work on my Treo. Sprint is also affiliated with Satan.) and, boy, there is enough here to write a book! I'm going to start with these folks. You know how those breeders in SD had come up with a few new dog breeds none of us had ever heard of? Well, these guys have come up with a registry I have never heard of. You learn something new every day...unfortunately!

Even if the world did need foals sired by your 1/2 Paint, 1/4 Saddlebred, 1/4 Arabian stallion who has never accomplished a damn thing except impregnating mares in his whole life, it still would not need foals out of this hammerheaded, ewe necked NSH mare.

Of course, the stallion is "homozygous" and 100% color guaranteed! Clearly these people have never been by their local low end auction to see how many tobianos the killers get.

(By the way, it is spelled Aphrodite, not Apherdite. I suppose you can argue creative license, but my money is on ignorance of classical mythology.)

You have a decent facility and I don't see anything horrifying there, but is it really necessary to market a grade tobiano with a breeding to your ain't-done-shit Paint/Saddlebred/Arab stallion, and then justify it by saying "Venus is grade and my be Registered with the American Grade Horse Registry and also the American Trail Horse Association" Um, no one cares. That's like my having a star named after me for $50. Doesn't make me famous! You also have Moses, who you brag "can be registered in both the blue eyed horse association and the grade horse association." Yeesh.

But hey, it gets better. This unfortunate looking creature is a member of the "Painted Sport Horse Registry." It bills itself proudly as "The only 100% color Registry & homozygous LISTING registry." Hell, with those strict specifications, they could do a membership drive at any kill pen in the country!

The PSHR also lists a "type" on the registration certificate. His "type" is - and I quote "PREFORMANCE." Well shit, I guess so, because it surely isn't HLATER!

The certificate goes on to say something about a DAUTHER of some other horse and notes that he has not yet been tested for the CREAMELO gene. God DAMN, if you're going to be a Crazy Color Breeder, at least learn how to spell the associated lingo!

All right, out to squeeze a week's worth of stuff I have to do when I'm not at work into one mere weekend! Hope you and your horses are having a great one.

Friday, December 14, 2007

OK, who is this worthless creature?

This is from the TB Friends blog. I know it's not Joe's style to "out" the asshats - but as you know, it's mine!

So who is she? I want to know who she is, and I want her to get a whole lot of holiday e-mails from those of you who have an opinion on what she is doing. I am sure many of you do! What a worthless, ignorant excuse for a human being.

"Horse killer Manny Phelps bought these 3 yearlings from a lady in Vacaville. Every year the lady breeds her mares. And then she brags on the internet how she raises colorful and expensive babies. But no one ever wants these babies, so she sells them to horse killer Manny Phelps. A new batch of babies will be born soon. And horse killer Manny Phelps will be waiting for the lady in Vacaville to call him..."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

At least they are being honest...kind of!

Their slogan is - folks, I do not make this shit up - "It's all about the hair."

Well, thank you for 'fessing up before I had to point out that it's clearly not about the quality or responsible breeding! You've allowed me to skip right to step two, detailing your sins for the public...and, boy, do I have a lot to talk about.

First of all, you breed Gypsy Cobs, otherwise known as "coloured cobs that sell for $400 in their native lands but are shipped overseas and sold to foolish Americans for 75x that." Many Europeans have pointed out this fact on the Internet, but this does not seem to dissuade the Gypsy Vanner aficionados, who continue to shell out amazing sums for critters that are, basically, spotted draft horses with more hair on their legs than a Nascar-watching redneck has on his back.

Though, never let it be said that these folks have one-track minds - their horse collection consists of "our Gypsy Cob stallion, four Draft Cross smaller mares, & one filly. Two Welsh Cob fillies, two Arabian mares, one Curly mare, one Morgan mare and three half Haflinger pony mares." And hey! You can put one in your barn because "prices are DRASTICALLY reduced" and "offers will be considered on any."

Well, I can't imagine why they're not selling, given that your stud is such a superstar. In your own words, he is "great with the farrior" and "can be ridden and sat on." Well, shit, with accomplishments like those, I can't imagine why all them big name dressage folks haven't come a'callin' with their checkbooks!

It's like a damn broken record, isn't it?

Here is the best part - they have the "buy it now" paypal buttons so that you can put a horse in your shopping cart and check out! What...why would they need to meet you? Know anything about you? I'm sure you're just as good a horse owner as any! Just paypal over the cash and come get your hafgypsymorcurly baby!

Check out this lovely creature. Poor dear! They say she is really friendly. That is like when someone tells you that your blind date has a great personality! I feel bad for this filly. She had her first foal this year, a month shy of her third birthday, and is bred back again...and she is available on the Internet to any moron who can paypal over $2500. Training level? Described as "baby training" other words, she leads and ties. Hell, who needs to train her? She can just pop out babies, like her momma who is also gettin' booted out the door at age 20 with the following reassuring language: "She was confirmed sound & healthy, and the vet said that she should live for a good long while yet. However, since she is an older mare, her price is for her 2008 in-utero foal only, with Lolli herself being free." Yep, no value except as a babymaker! That's what Momma's life has come to and I'm sure Filly's life is heading the same direction.

But hey, if you don't have Paypal and you still want a horse, no problem! We got one you can have for FREE since she is "lame in her front feet." That's an interesting diagnosis, but c'mon y'all, we can't be callin' the vet for a 24 year old horse! And just so y'all know, we ain't payin' for any vet bills if she gets even more fucked up on the ride to her new home. It's totally y'alls "responcibility."

But, c'mon, lookit this nice mare! She put up with all kinda shit. Like the way we ride.
And yup, you guessed it! Lame in both front feet Danzer popped out a Morab baby this year! (But we figger she's probably done now that she's gonna be 25, so her furry li'l ass is out the door.)

Now, in case you are thinking I've found one of the all time prize winners here, I'm not done.

They ALSO have a dog breeding operation. At least I think they are dogs, because I've never heard of some of these before. Allow me to list the "breeds," and I use the term loosely, they are marketing to the public. Again, just use the paypal button and the puppy of your choice is all yours! We don't need to know nothin' about ya. Y'all got money, that's all we need to know!

Mini Bulldogges
Ori Pei
Colonial Cockers
Mini Colonial Cockers
Mini English Cockers
Mini Aussiedoodles
Comfort Retrievers
Mini Saints
Dakota Sheepdogs
Mini Aussiedoodles
Mini English Shepadoodles

It's ok though, they are happy to educate you about all of these critters. Just peruse the various pages and you can learn that "A Toy Bulldogge is a very small Bulldogge, usually only maturing around 10 inches tall, or less. (As small as 7 inches)" and "A Comfort Retriever highly resembles a Golden Retriever, but are a lot smaller." And hey, they have guarantees in their contract! Allow me to share!

" This pup is guaranteed healthy and checked by our vet prior to leaving our home. We guarantee its health for 48 hours."

After that, if it keels over dead, you're fucked.

"If, within 48 hours after arrival (Sunday’s excluded), the puppy is examined by your vet and is found to be physically unsound, and if, within 48 hour period (Sunday’s excluded) the puppy is returned by the buyer to seller’s home with a written statement from the vet, stating in what respect the puppy is physically unsound, the puppy will be replaced."

That should be easy, returning a sick puppy to middle of nowhere South Dakota within 48 hours. No problem! And GREAT for the puppy!

"Otherwise all sales are final."

My cousin, he's a lawyer, he tole us to say that.

"This pup is also guaranteed to be free from canine hip-dysplagia and retinal eye-dysplagia for a period of twenty-four (24) months from the date of birth."

After that, again, you're fucked.

"X-rays for hip-dysplagia must be submitted to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, 2300 Nifon Boulevard, Columbia, MO. 652012, then submitted to myself, along with the dog, to receive full refund, or without the dog, for half a refund, and a copy of the final Bill of Sale."

'Cause we want to resell that there dog to someone who ain't smart enough to check its hips.

"Eyes must be checked by a licensed opthamologist to receive a refund."

The fact that it's walking around carrying a little white cane is not acceptable proof of visual impairment!

"No guarantee is given if in the rare case any puppy is sold for less then $300."

Of course not!
Say it with me folks...PUPPY MILL, PUPPY MILL, PUPPY MILL!

(And you all know how to stop these people. Make it YOUR MISSION this Christmas that NO ONE in your extended family buys a pet from anything other than a reputable breeder, or that they choose adoption/rescue instead. Let's all make that small effort this year to make animals' lives better.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

RIP Lacy (1979-2007)

For those of you who hate mush, I am warning you now - apply your "back" button. The snark is over for the day. I just found out my oldest horse passed away this morning. Hey, it's my blog and I'm in the mood to write a tribute to her.

Lacy was a horse who had lots of opportunities to fall through the cracks. She began by flunking out as a jumper. Jump she did - stop/rate she didn't. She then went into polo, but after just a few years, the guy who was playing her quit playing. He sold her to an elderly guy who couldn't begin to control her, who leased her to a professional polo player who loved her. She was supposed to be sold to the pro and be hauled to California to play high-goal when she stuck her ankle through a wire fence and cut it to the bone.

(She got her name, by the way, because she'd had some kind of blood clot or something when young that had caused the veins to pop out on one side of her face and stay that way (as seen in the movie "Scanners"). It used to freak out people at horseshows who didn't know her - but the vets all told me it wasn't hurting her a bit.)

When I met her, in 1987, I was working for the elderly guy, who was now stuck with a very angry, very fit mare on stall rest with a bad injury. I hated Lacy with a passion. Every time I went in there to feed or muck, she tried to bite me. I understand now that she was merely an overfit horse going crazy from cabin fever, but at the time I just thought she was a wench (hey, I was only 20...I had a lot to learn!). So you can imagine my reaction when, six months later, my boyfriend announced he'd gotten her thrown in with the deal on another horse!

"I am NOT riding or dealing with that bitch," I announced.
That didn't last a month. I watched his groom at the time ride her and knew I could do better. She was super hot, super fast, and leaped like a kangaroo when you attempted to slow her down. The girl kept clutching on her face and making it worse. I threw her in a plain full cheek snaffle with a surgical tubing training fork (not exactly your typical polo pony rig, LOL) and every time she tried to run off, I just put her in a circle on a long rein. She could run around the circle as fast as she wanted, but she did not get to go straight again until she came back and softened up. She wasn't stupid - she did learn, she did improve and along the way she became one of my favorite horses.

I doubt I could ride the horse that she was, now. She's the kind of horse you can do a great job with when you are 20 and have great balance, legs of iron and no fear. We met each other at the right time!

Within two years, she was his best polo pony. A few years after that, she was safe enough for lessons. By 1992, she was the best beginner over-fences horse I had. She was point and shoot - she'd never refuse. She didn't particularly care if she knocked the odd obstacle down, but she'd never stop. She was totally honest and totally spook proof. Not that she was a deadhead - I remember one show where she did a five stride line in three. She is also the horse who, memorably, laid down and rolled with me in the show ring because it was hot and she was itchy. (And then jumped a flawless hunter hack line and got 2nd in the class anyway!) I let her get away with murder in some respects - she was always allowed to rub her itchy head on me so hard I had to brace myself against a solid object or get knocked down. I remember many times hearing some lesson kid piping "Lacyyyyyy! Stop that!" and I knew exactly what was going on. Yeah, yeah, I never said I was perfect! The picture is her "yay, I'm being scratched face" and you can see the weird veins under her cheekbones.

I almost lost her in 1998. I had gone back to school and was (very fortunately) at home studying for exams. Normally it was my non-horsey-husband at the time feeding the horses, and he'd never have noticed something was awry, but this morning it was me, and I noticed Lacy picking at her food. I called the vet, assuming we had a colic starting, and instead we found a horrible wound in the fur between her cheekbones. She had put her head down on a t-post and split open her jugular vein. We found blood pooled atop leaves all over the pasture. I was horrified. (And yes, now I have t-post caps! You live, you screw up, and you learn!) Fortunately, a few stitches and a vitamin B shot and she made a full recovery.

I moved up to Canada for a job in 2000. I was "out of horses" (yeah, everybody laugh with me, you all know how well THAT works) but still had Lacy and my other old mare, Harmony, so I took them with me to retirement board outside of Toronto. They stayed there, and I visited them from many locations, for the next six years. In the summer of 2006, Lacy started to go downhill and bloodwork revealed she had some thyroid problems. The vet's verdict was that she should be moved to a warmer climate or euthanized. I moved her.

For the last year, Lacy enjoyed a perfect climate and gorgeous grassy fields at probably the nicest retirement farm I've ever seen or heard of. Her weight returned to perfect. Her coat looked fabulous. They were able to resolve her hoof issues (she'd been abcessing chronically). Last night, she was running and bucking with the herd. And sometime early this morning, she lay down and went to sleep for the last time. She most likely had a heart attack. There were no signs of a struggle.

I'm not upset in a traditional sense. I know at that age, you are going to lose them. I am sorry I didn't get out to see her one more time. I was "too busy" but now I can't go back and do it differently, can I? (Still, rationally speaking, did she care? She's a horse. She was busy stuffing her face in equine paradise. She wasn't thinking "where is that crappy owner of mine? Why doesn't she ever visit?")

Here's what I'm happy about:

I am so happy I spent the money for her to live in the greatest place possible for her last year. All of my friends who thought I was batshit can shove it...I will never regret that decision. I paid that mare back for everything she did for me. It was the best money ever spent.

She was the one who needed to go first...she was a hysterical herdbound hothead and would have thrown herself through fences if Harmony had disappeared. Harmony is the realist - she determined Lacy was down for the count and is hanging with the other mares like nothing ever happened.

I am so glad I didn't give her up when I "got out of horses." Even if you do, you can still retirement board. It's not that much money to come up with and the peace of mind...the knowledge that kept control and your horse never had to go without or suffer is something you can't put a price on. If you've ever thought that you're too busy or it's just not the right time for you with horses...and I know everybody has those spells, when you have little kids at home, when you lose a job, whatever...I want you to think about this. Think about whether you want to be wondering forever if your horse was ok without you...or if you want to have the security of knowing they had a great life thanks to you. If it's a horse you're really attached to, keep them. You will make it work. You will find a way. You will never regret it, and you might deeply regret the alternative.

Goodbye, Lacy. You were absolutely wonderful. And thank you so much to Paradigm Farms for giving her the most incredibly idyllic last year of her life.

The picture is this summer, at age 28.