Friday, January 30, 2009

Sensationalized my you-know-what...

(Last day to vote for MWHF is Saturday, January 31st - click above to vote!)


If you haven't already heard, the disgusting father-son team of Craig and Curtis Heydon (original post here, the senior Heydon at left) were found guilty of TWENTY ONE COUNTS of misdemeanor cruelty to animals.

The judge BLASTED the two soulless cretins.

"Ravalli County Justice Court Judge Jim Bailey denounced the men before imposing the harsh sentences, saying they had displayed a gross lack of common sense and humanity by ignoring the horses’ suffering. 'Neither of you has taken any responsibility for your actions,” Bailey said. “It’s unbelievable that you can blame the horses, law enforcement and the Bitter Root Humane Association for what’s happened.'"

Bailey threw the book hard at the two Heydons. The elder Heydon was sentenced to 10 months in jail and fined $5,850. His son was sentenced to 11 months in jail and fined $6,435.The judge also ordered them to forfeit ownership of the horses to the humane association and to pay all restitution for food, medicine, boarding and other care given the horses after they were seized by authorities.

(And folks, this happened in Montana! Not some tree-hugger state where you'd expect a stiff cruelty sentence. Yay progress!)

Quoth the senior Heydon: “I was flabbergasted and dismayed when they told me that I was being charged with cruelty to animals,” Curtis Heydon said. “I've never hit a thing in my life. It was hard for me to understand.”

*shakes head in wonder* Here ya go. This is what's wrong with people. This numbnut genuinely believes the only thing that should be considered animal abuse is hitting one. Merely starving one? Working it when it's emaciated and dehydrated and covered with raw and bleeding sores? Oh hell, nothing wrong with that. I'm sure he pet it on the nose at least once a day!

The Heydons put on a great show of being baffled as to why their horse had fallen down and could not get up. “For whatever reason - I don't know - he would just not get up,” Heydon said. “I didn't know if there was something medically wrong with it,” he said. “I wasn't sure if it was just tired.”

Just TIRED? ARE YOU BLIND? I find it completely impossible to believe, that someone can watch a horse drop 300 pounds and not notice something is wrong. But even assuming this is possible, this is why I argue that no one should ever own a horse who hasn't either grown up in a knowledgeable horsey family or had two years of riding lessons under their belt. Or at the very least is currently with a trainer, at a boarding barn where they can get help.
While the Heydons may genuinely be more ignorant than cruel, ignorance kills. Please don't subject a living creature to your ignorance. If you can't be bothered to put in the time and effort to learn how to properly care for a horse, then fucking walk. Hope you have lots of time to think about that IN JAIL!

And to their dipshit attorney, who whined that the case had been "sensationalized" by the media and animal rights advocates, all I can say is that it's too bad we don't give out Razzies for courtroom performances so that you could actually win something!

The horses survived, thanks to stunningly fabulous care by their rescuers, and are now owned by the Bitter Root Humane Society. I also want to extend huge kudos to the Rocky Mountain Rider for having the guts to attack this story head-on and ensure that it did not slip under the national radar.

Breeding farm or concentration camp?

Breeding season is swiftly approaching and if you are breeding this year, one thing you'll want to think about is what kind of care your mare will receive at the stallion's farm. I was asked to do this topic and it's a good one. We all remember the mares that came back from Gerry Trupia looking like they were about dead (and the ones that didn't come back), but it's not such an unusual story. I've seen a friend's mare come back from breeding 200 lbs. underweight with a skull fracture.

I've seen people here say, well, who sends their mare so far away they can't check on her? Hey, nearly everybody. It happens a lot. First of all, the Jockey Club requires live cover. Second, it's harder to get a mare in foal using A.I. even if your breed association allows it. So it really does make sense to take the mare to the stallion even in these high-tech days.

How do you ensure your mare will be safe? I'd start by saying communication is really important. Your definition of "good care" may not be the stallion owner's. Will your mare be turned out by herself or with a big group of mares she doesn't know? How does your mare do in a new herd? Will she be fed separately or are they all fed together? Is your mare used to having grain? What kind? Does she need alfalfa or does she thrive on local grass hay? Does she stress out over being in a new place or is she the kind who quickly adapts to any new environment? Make sure that you ask for all the details - what kind of fence, for example. You'd be shocked at how many luxurious-looking barns have 3-board fence all across the front and tons of sagging barbed wire out back behind the barn.

Make sure you're honest in return. If your mare is Queen Alpha Bitch of the Universe, that's something the stallion owner needs to know. Understand that if she has special needs, like being fed separately twice a day, that this may cost more than standard mare care. And send your mare for breeding only if she's in proper condition. I recently heard from a barn that had to send a mare back and tell the owner to fatten her up first - that she was way too thin to breed. Hooray for that farm!

Visit the farm at least once before sending your mare there. I can't stress this strongly enough. People tend not to bother, but really, even if it's far away, wouldn't you rather drop $500 on a plane ticket than lose your mare? I assume she is a valuable mare if you are sending her far away for just the right stud, so protect your investment.

All right, so who has a breeding farm horror story to tell? Who has sent their mare out and received a skeleton back? What have you learned over the years to ask and to require to keep your mares safe and healthy?

It's Friday so of course we have a Friday Featured Rescue. This one is guaranteed to have come from ol' Photoshopped Ass's large collection, which makes it practically an internet celebrity at this point! All joking aside, this was represented to be a Trakehner gelding but we're not sure if that's true or he's just a Thoroughbred. Either way, he is very cute - as you can see. He is currently in training in Renton, WA and looking for a home.

Rio is described as both light sided and light mouthed and will need a sensitive rider to bring him to his full potential. He is in excellent weight and health, up to date on everything and gets along very well with other horses. No soundness problems so this guy has no limitations - he can go as far as you can take him!

E-mail for more information.

Finally, today and tomorrow are the last two days to vote in the Care2 Animal Shelter Contest. The winner gets $10,000 and we have an opportunity here to ensure that money goes to a very reputable EQUINE rescue. Let's make a final push for the Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation - click on the banner below if you haven't already voted. If you have, please broadcast the direct link out to your facebook, livejournal and myspace friends or e-mail it around to everybody you know. They are in second place but could be in first if we all get everybody we know to vote. I know you all have a ton of friends so get them voting, today and tomorrow and let's push MWHF into first place.

Direct link:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Watch as the amazing Parellis make your money disappear!

For anyone who was not yet clear on the concept that Parelli people are a bunch of we have one who believes the only way you can get a round, collected horse is with a Magikal Parelli Money-Sucking Saddle.

Yes, your conventional saddle is causing everything from a "prolapsed belly" to a downhill build! No, lack of deworming and shitty natural conformation have nothing to do with it! If only you'd buy a Magikal Saddle for the low low price of (are ya sitting down) FOUR GRAND!

From the Magikal Saddles site (which shows a picture of Linda Parelli riding with her usual hunched shoulders and loose leg): "Many riders have learned to sit up straight, put their shoulders back and their heels down. Our studies have shown that this often does not work for the horse because it causes him to become stiff and restricted in his movement and to put more weight on the forehand."


Yeah, sitting up straight with your shoulders back totally restricts movement.

And having your heels down, now that really fucks them up. Jeez, Beezie, get those heels up. Linda Parelli says so!

Really I just do not know what to say. We have hundreds of years of beautiful Olympic level performances in dressage and jumping using conventional saddles. We have a world full of amazing cutting horses and working cowhorses who are ridden in conventional saddles. In every discipline, I can point to superstar performers who are collected, round, light on the forehand and have never come within 100 yards of a Parelli saddle. I'm as fussy about saddle fit as anyone you will ever meet but to insinuate that (a) conventional saddles will ruin your horse and (b) that there's ANY justification for Linda's riding style is just ludicrous.

And if you buy ANY of this claptrap, you are the fool who is destined to be parted from his/her money!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Really amusing uses of photoshop!

I remember when graphic editing software was new and everybody was soooo excited at the chance to fix red-eye in the comfort of their own home. It was certainly a cheaper solution than the professional photo retouching we'd paid for prior to that to remove the nasty sweat marks and herds of flies from our win pictures. Unfortunately, what far too many people don't realize is that merely possessing Photoshop does not make you a graphic editing professional!

Witness this scary, scary "stallion prospect" ad. You can click on it to see a larger version. First of all, I love how hours were spend Photoshopping and no hours were spent grooming or clipping! I guess that's because you can Photoshop sitting on your ass eating Twinkies, huh? This toed-out, coon-footed critter is about as far from a stallion prospect as I can conceive of. I think they f'ed up following the line of his leg and cut half his hoof off in back, so he may merely be resting it but it looks like he has a club foot and a scarred up leg. He's definitely sickle hocked and short necked with a scary absence of any muscle whatsoever. Everything about him screams GELDING BUS. Then there's the silly background. You know, at least try to make it look real. He's hovering on some surface that has swallowed half of his back hoof, which is apparently on a platform a few thousand feet up in the clouds, except for the addition of the "Six Feet Under" logo tree in the distance. WTF?

They feel the need to point out that his dam is a 23 year old Sir Quincy Dan daughter who has "not done well since his delivery." Well, shit, I hope she doesn't die thanks to bringing this POS into the world. What a waste that would be!

(Yeah, I know these folks are repeat offenders. Their riding lesson program sucks, too. I had somehow missed the PS'd POS last time or maybe it's new, but it was so bad I had to put it up!)

Next we have the Floating Snow Colt from DreamHorse! Too funny. Looking at this, I assumed the the picturesque winter scene placed behind him replaced an original landscape of barbed wire fence, several broken kitchen appliances and a broken down Chevelle, but looking at her web site, the place looks I don't get the point here. Here's another good picture of that colt. Why did she choose such a bad one to sell him with? Weird. Sometimes I wonder if what I'm seeing is the result of an indulgent mom allowing their 12 year old to create the sale ads, you know?

Bottom line, if you cannot hire a true professional to touch up your photos, you are better off posting them as is. Both of these colts would look a thousand times better if someone had taken more time posing them properly and less time playing around on the computer. We've talked about this before but the basics are: Clean them up, clip them up. Stand them up properly (however your breed stands them up at halter is what's correct, or for a loose weanling, try to get a shot where they are either standing pretty much square or have one hind leg back - the one closest to you). Lower your camera so you are shooting level with their sides - shooting "down" to them makes their legs look short. Never use the head on "hey mom, whatcha doing" shot as it makes their head look ginormous and their body look underfed. If you are selling a riding horse, post both a conformation pic and a pic of the horse actually being ridden - preferably being ridden by a properly attired (not necessarily show attire but boots, no shorts, no halter tops - this is not Hooters) rider. If you are asking more than $1500, it is totally worth it to take the horse to a show that has a photographer so that you can get pro pics. Make sure your backgrounds are free from junk, scary fence, etc. Almost any property has ONE picturesque spot - find that background and pose your horse in front of it. Just follow those simple guidelines and you won't look like a Photoshoppin' fool on the Internet!

And another news story...please, please, please be careful when choosing a trainer. You can't make your horse un-dead. This kind of stuff happens more than people realize. If your horse dies suspiciously while in training, you need to have a vet examine him and determine the cause of death, and I do not mean the vet the trainer uses.

This particular waste of oxygen is Greg Collier who lives in New Mexico. Do not leave a horse with him. And for god's sake I hope that gal with the tacky highlights is his lawyer because if you are dating or married to a guy who beats a baby horse to death, what do you think he's going to do to you?

Duh. Now let's hope Greg gets out of the horse biz and into some anger management classes!

Finally, I just wanted to welcome another FHOTD sponsor - Emerald City Fence. If you are in the Seattle area and looking for a reliable fence company with excellent references, this is the one I'd recommend. They do all kinds of fencing, from small decorative jobs around your house to your whole pasture. They'll give you a break on price if you suffered flood damage to your fences, too - just call and say you saw it on FHOTD!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Are you sitting down? Swallow if you're drinking...

Before you click on this.

Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! OMG! What is she smoking???


Hell hath no fury like a designer scorned, but Sonya, for most of us, the fact that they've been on Linda Parelli's ass would make them worth less.

And sweetie...


We truly do not want to know about your personal life while you are selling breeches on ebay, either!

Yep, just the sort of wackjob I would expect would associate herself with the Parellis!

Judges behaving badly...and I don't meant the horseshow type!

"A Loudoun County Circuit Court jury sentenced 56-year-old Dennis Danley to 588 days in jail and $50,400 in restitution on Wednesday. Danley's lawyer says Judge J. Howe Brown suspended the fine and all but 56 days of the sentence and instead charged Danley about $10,000 in court costs."

Good grief! This is why these people don't stop. This is why they continue to re-offend - because they are going to get a wrist-slap from some judge who doesn't think cruelty to animals is a big deal. And yes, he is a re-offender: ""Mr. Danley had a conviction for cruelty to animals in this county in 1997. In addition, in August of 2007, he was prohibited from owning animals in West Virginia based on similar conduct," said Faw."

From another article: "Danley told Tiong that the horses last saw a veterinarian in September 2006 and that the horses "were supposed to look thin" because they were being bred, the complaint stated."

Yes. Because that's when you want them to be at their thinnest! When you are making more of them - since you can't feed the ones you have. But hey, he had five dead ones on his property so I guess that was clearing up space for the 2008 foals crop!

48 counts of animal cruelty and he will be out of jail in less than two months. I think we need to ship some of our Washington judges out to Virginia!

I guess what shocks me here is that this happened in horse country - Loudoun County, Virginia. The jury understood the magnitude of Mr. Danley's actions...too bad the judge threw it all out the window! This judge clearly has an ongoing problem taking animal cruelty seriously. I found another news story where he gave a suspended sentence to a man who viciously killed his girlfriend's 14 year old cat. He may have found this guy guilty, but the wrist-slap sentence is a joke.

Interestingly, I've found where this judge has sentenced people to death. Too bad he doesn't take it seriously when someone metes out that same sentence to an innocent animal.

For those of you who are local - who is this trainer? Is he still trying to be in the business? Has he switched disciplines? He sounds like a habitual re-offender that everybody should be on the lookout for!

Monday, January 26, 2009

But he goes back to the Darley Arabian!

Happy Monday!

Today I feel compelled to comment, yet again, on the misguided idea many low end breeders have that it is somehow rare and special to have a horse that goes back to (insert name of Famous Horsie) in the fifth or sixth generation. This is constantly used as a justification for breeding these horses, even though nothing any closer up in their pedigree has gotten any closer to fame than an American Idol wannabe who is thrown off the stage by Simon after fifteen seconds of producing noises that sound like a cat coming out of anesthesia.

As one reader noted "I hate hearing about how good the mare or gelding are because it is a Joe Hancock crossed onto a King. HOLY CRAP, put the poor thing down because it must be 50 friggin years old to have that cross of blood line."

And yet, this marketing technique/breeding justification continues. I always think it must start with the horses being sold to the hapless BYB wannabe. "This is a great horse," says Joe HorseDealer. "He goes back to Man O'War!" BYB-wannabe whips out his checkbook, sure that he's buying the equine equivalent of a Ferrari for a bargain price, when any experienced horseperson could see something that looks like a cross between an okapi and a yak with some water buffalo thrown in for good measure.

(Recently, a whole stack of paints went through the Enumclaw auction...young, unhandled, scruffy looking. Later, I heard the whole story. They were owned by an older couple who'd purchased $100K of "breeding stock" from some big name breeder who I haven't managed to ID yet. Now, the farm was in foreclosure and the couple took all of these horses to the auction thinking they would sell for a lot of money and enable them to save the farm. Neither the farm nor the horses were saved - they went almost exclusively to the kill buyer. I can only imagine the sales pitch that led to the original purchase and all of the name-dropping of big name horses. I'm sure they left out all of the training/showing/caring/hard and expensive work information because that would have screwed up the writing of the big checks!)

I just googled the phrase "Goes back to Man O'War" and got almost 300 hits. *snork* You know what I think is the funniest thing about this? Unless you're breeding racehorses, I wouldn't be bragging about this. Man O'War was one of the rankest, most ill-tempered SOB's in history. If he hadn't been so fast, he would have been gelded. And honestly, the bloodline is known for being a little quirky, especially the ones that go through War Admiral. So if I were trying to sell a pleasure horse, as most of these people are, that is not the bloodline I would spotlight.

Here's a Thoroughbred stallion (yes, really - I know it looks nothing like one) that you can buy for the low, low price of $1,950. (Horse prices like that crack me up. We all know you basically want $2K, stop pricing it like it's on sale at Wal-Mart) They proudly announce that his "Remarkable pedigree goes back to Man O'War, Nearco, Bold Ruler. " Uh, that's not so remarkable. How many TB's do you think he has those bloodlines in common with? Yeah, most of them. Other than his UNremarkable pedigree, he's a downhill, swaybacked, short-necked POS who needs his feet done. They claim he is 16.2 but if he is 16.2, that dude in the ad must be a giant! They also describe his pedigree as being Peace Valley x Miss Peace Valley. He's not on Pedigreequery so I can't see the whole thing but that sounds suspiciously like a father-daughter mating to me and if so, is pretty good evidence of why not to do that!

And this isn't a rare example. All over the Internet, you can find ads boasting that a horse has "excellent bloodlines." Well, maybe if you're only counting 30 years ago and prior to that! Most of these horses don't have a single ancestor in the past 3 decades who has accomplished one useful thing. This colt's ad brags that he is a great-great-grandson of Jet Deck and The Ole Man. WHO CARES? What have his parents and grandparents done? Oh yeah, eat and reproduce. He isn't a terrible colt but he's not a very marketable one...colts like him are a dime a dozen out there. I've seen nicer ones auction for $100 - that's just the reality of 2009.

Oh, and then she goes on to say "His conformation is excellent--he could be in the halter ring now!" Um, I guess he could be in there...placing last. This little guy is cow and race bred. That's his potential. In a halter ring, he'd look like someone's pet Quarter pony. Look at the neck, for god's sake. That alone would slam him to the end of the placings. He's no more a halter horse than I am a supermodel. He may be a nice little cutting or barrel horse one day, but he's not a halter horse. Come on people, get real. If you are going to breed, know what the bloodlines you're breeding are good for!

On a final note, I would e-mail Amanda to find out what the "great bloodlines" are here, but I am afraid I may suffer an aneurysm from talking to her...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A challenge for my readers!

I am constantly being told that this blog is like a cult and that somehow I possess a Rajneesh-like control over all of you. Looking around at the one-room apartment I live in and the free furniture that decorates it, I can only wonder why I am the only cult leader in history living in so Spartan a style. Geez, not one measly little Rolls-Royce to be found. However, since I'm constantly being accused of being able to make my readers do all sorts of crazy things, I have decided to see if I can make any of you do a really awesome, good thing!

So here goes:

I am declaring Monday, February 2, 2009 to be National Adopt An Animal Already In Rescue Day. All of you who are thinking of adding another animal - whether it be horse, cat, dog, guinea pig, I don't care - to your household are hereby asked to go out and adopt an animal that is already with a rescue or at a no-kill shelter. It can't be an animal that is at a kill shelter or an animal from the auction or a CBER "OMG THE TRUCK IS COMING!" horse. No, if you are ready to adopt, I want you to adopt an animal that has been cooling its heels at a rescue for a while now, waiting patiently for a home and being overlooked because it is not in immediate jeopardy.

I always hear complaints that nobody wants to help an animal if there is no euthanasia/slaughter threat pending, and you know what? That's a valid complaint. There are way too many people who only step up to help or adopt when they can say they "saved a life." Well, for heaven's sake, you save a life every time you adopt, because you clear up space for the next one.

So, I'm giving you two weekends to look at animals and you can report back February 2nd if you adopted one. I'd like to know what you got and how long it sat in foster care or at the rescue before you got it. If you can't adopt, consider fostering an animal that is at a rescue and allowing it to escape the overcrowding and get some one-on-one love. Many rescues WILL pay you for the animal's expenses - ask around!

Want to make a rescuer's day? Go ask them which animal has been there the longest. I once adopted out a plain, shy black cat that we'd had in foster care for four years. I tell you, I nearly kissed that woman's feet. I was so happy for that cat and it has been such a great, great home.

So if you are ready to add another animal to your household, it's time to go shopping!

Along those lines, here's a horse I'd like to mention. Whiskey has been at SAFE for quite a while now after having to be re-rescued from an earlier placement from, yeah, you know, our favorite feedlot rescue. Poor mare wound up back in line for slaughter! Her papers didn't make it through the feedlot with her, but she's obviously a QH mare. She is better-than-green-broke and ready to specialize, and I am pretty sure what she wants to specialize in is cows. So if you're out our way and looking for a team sorting/penning, roping, or similar prospect, you should check Whiskey out. She is also very good on trails and has been ridden with traffic, over bridges, etc. She isn't a cuddly horse - she's a workhorse who needs a job. Whiskey is around 12 years old. If that's your kind of horse, come and see her! (Western WA to Portland, OR area only, please - due to site check constraints, SAFE only adopts to these areas)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Featured Rescue!

I know you are all still talking about ol' P.A. down there, so I won't write a whole new post. I just wanted to point out for those of you in the PNW who may be considering picking up a new young prospect, I saw a great one this week.

Rio is a three year old registered TB gelding who was abandoned at a WTBA sale after he failed to receive a bid as a thin and undersized yearling. He is now neither thin nor undersized. I have to laugh as our friend Katie over at Second Chance Ranch thinks he is small - but that's because she owns 17 and 18 hand giants! I'd guess Rio at a perfectly healthy 15.3 and since he's only coming three now, I feel confident he's going to be at least 16 hands. He is filled out, absolutely gorgeous and cute as can be. I just saw someone on COTH bemoaning that they could not find an unstarted 3 year old with un-ruined legs - well, here you go. This guy does not have a single thing wrong with him. He is super pretty, loves people, gets along great with the herd and he's a blank canvas for you to train in whatever discipline you wish. It is time he did something other than grow, so if you're looking for a new prospect and would like something 100% unraced and clean-legged, contact Katie!
While I'm mentioning Katie, I'd like to thank her for her help with our FlakeSale. Applications and donations are still coming in but so far we have raised over $10,000 to help horseowners who lost hay in our recent floods. We're going to start disbursing money to the feed stores just as soon as paypal finishes transferring it to the bank account, so watch for upcoming pics and stories about those who are being helped. If you lost feed due to the floods or have incurred other damages and expenses related to your horses, please be sure to surf over to and complete an application!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's getting to be like a broken record

OK, you were all waiting for #10 on my STFU list. Well, guess who got 8 horses taken away from her again last night? I have provided a visual clue at left.

She is claiming they're not hers, of course. She says they used to be hers but she gave them to someone named Nancy Pacey, who seems to be the latest person covering up for our favorite batshit crazy hoarder. Of course, Nancy has a gazillion horses of her own that she can't feed. She's been getting her hay bought for her by Jules, long-time hay-buying enabler of ol' Photoshopped Ass. Wow, Jules, you must have a lot of money to be financing all this faux rescuing - or are you simply maxing out your credit cards, second-and-third mortgaging your own home and well on your way to complete and total financial ruin like everybody else who comes near Dean? I hear your generosity is being rewarded by a full plate of backstabbing and lies. If you'd like to spill all the beans, that's what this blog is for - come on over and tell us all about it!

I'm curious to hear which horses are among the eight. Perhaps Kimmie, who was supposed to be given to SOS Equines, but strangely never showed up? Dean claimed Kimmie was impossible to load, yet Kimmie has been moved three times by Dean since all the drama started. Amazing! Of course, the other mare that you can't even halter without it trying to kick you into the next galaxy...that one showed up.

(For those of you whining about my absence this morning, I was waiting to confirm this story before posting...'cause I know all of you inquiring minds wanted to know!)

Is it going to end? No, no, it's not. Dean will always charm people into covering for her and enabling her. That is what she does well. And I suspect that many of you who read this and think "WTF is wrong with these people who help her?" are teetering on the edge of similar situations yourselves. I've been there too. We all want to help out a friend in need, a friend who is going through a tough time and it's admirable to do so...but how long does the tough time have to last before you acknowledge that it's not a tough time, it's how things are and the person is taking no constructive steps to change it? How many jobs do you think Dean has applied for in the past year or two? How many of Dean's personal luxuries has she sold to provide hay and care for her horses? Uh-huh. If you are helping a friend feed their horses right now, take a step back and ask yourself - are they really working to get out of their rut themselves? Or have you acquired an oversized, overaged dependent - complete with four legged sub-dependents?

Definitely something to think about in these difficult times...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You'll never longe horses in this town again!

I have a request today!

I know many of you are in the industry professionally, and that you have worked for some real jerks. If you quit or got fired as a result of refusing to tolerate bad behavior - whether that was cruelty to the animals, nastiness to you, really atrocious conditions/pay, whatever - and got a better job and moved up in the industry, please tell your story.

We have a lot of young people out there right now - and I'm thinking of a couple in particular - who need to know that their career will not be over because they get out of the bad situation with the BNT. None of these BNT's, no matter their level of arrogance, actually has the power to "ruin you" in the horse industry. If you're good, that does shine through and one day you may be a bigger name than they are.

So please, if you've been there and done that, tell your story! You can be as anonymous as you like. You can always create an extra google account for privacy if people here know who you are under your usual screen name.

I did see Champ yesterday and he looks really good - he has definitely picked up a few pounds and has lost a lot of that "drawn up" look he came with. I suspect he didn't drink at the auction yard because it hurt too much to get to the water on the concrete. This really is the sweetest horse in the world - he's so nice to have around and such a "pocket pony" that you'd love to be able to just keep him for a pet, but I don't know if his legs are going to allow that. We're not seeing much change so far and he will be rechecked this week to see if there is anything more that we can do for him. It's definitely the arthritic ankle giving him the major problems and it did feel slightly warm to me yesterday. I suspect he stood in one place for a very long time before we got him, so any kind of walking around is a big adjustment. He is enjoying a really nice life, and very "into" his new spoiled cookie-eating existence, but if we can't get him sounder than this, we won't keep him going. I'll let you all know how he does.

I know everybody wanted a happy update so I will give you that about somebody else - remember Chip, who I posted right before Christmas, the formerly starved POA pony? I am thrilled to announce that Chip went home with a blog reader, and they love him!

Chip's new family has two little girls to love on him and two big horses that belong to Mom. As you can see from the pic, he had no problem making friends his first day. He fit right in with his new herd and is already giving the girls pony rides. His new mom is doing some more ground work with him and the plan is to put him into formal training later this year and also acquire his POA registration so that those horseshows are an option. Hooray for Chip!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More idiots from my mailbag...

I know you're all waiting for #10 on the list but I haven't received all the information I need yet. In the meantime, here's more evidence that we need some kind of license and test to ensure you're not a total moron before you are allowed to own horses and certainly before you are allowed to breed horses!

Texas Redneck Style Horse Moving

Pretty sure they killed a horse in "The Man From Snowy River" doing this.

Sometimes prepotence is a bad, bad thing. The thought that he passes on his conformation scares the heck out of me! Proving that they really think this is what stallion quality looks like, here is their other stallion.

Look, this horse is all ready for that new show class - Doormat Pleasure!

This is why you should take away the Nintendo and make your kids go out and, you know, play some fucking baseball or something...SERIOUSLY, who MADE that horrible game???

More to come later including a Champ update!

Monday, January 19, 2009

We got on PerezHilton!!!

I e-mailed him about and he just plugged Second Chance Ranch, but that's fine because we are front and center on SCR's web page. How cool is this? Perez's celebrity blog was a major inspiration for the Fugly blog and is one of the most popular blogs on the entire Internet, so the mention is VERY much appreciated!

The January STFU List!

I think that for 2009, I'm going to start doing a monthly list of everybody in the horse biz who I think desperately needs to STFU. As my readers, you are of course most welcome to add to the list!

1. Cleve Wells. Cleve decided to defend himself via text message. No, I am not making this up. What are you, twelve? I take that back - most 12 year olds know the difference between there/their/they're.

"Good morning --- customers suggested to continue silence an let everyone bury themselves then they will move in…i have to support there decision because they support me as i said i have a very loyal and wealth set of clients… That speaks for my integrity honesty and loyalty. Thank u for ur respect and i do believe u will do what is right"

OK, what does that even mean? His customers are telling him to shut up (and the fact that they are still his customers tells me they are winning-is-everything asshats who don't care what he does) but who exactly would be "burying" themself? The totally innocent owner who had no idea her horse was being tortured? Secondly, who the hell cares if they are wealthy? We all know being rich isn't proof of being kind, ethical or having any integrity - hellooooo, ever hear of Bernie Madoff??? You ever watch the news, Cleve?

What an idiot. No logical reasoning skills at all. STFU already, you evil, horse-beating piece of shit.

2. Snotty little 21 year olds at boarding barns who think they know all there is to know about horses. I was told this week that "all horses get scratches like this in the winter" and it was "no big deal." It was insinuated in no uncertain terms that I didn't know shit, was overreacting, and had wasted the owner's money on a unnecessary vet call. Never mind that the vet, you know, the person who has actually been to school for this said that if she had not been called, the mare would have suffered permanent damage as the legs were ulcerated and infected.

STFU, sweetie, and stop embarrassing your entire age group by opening your mouth!

3. Phoenix Rising Sanctuary in Duvall, Washington. HOW DARE YOU post ads offering to take in more horses while AT THE SAME TIME you are screaming that you have a "HAY CRISIS?" Her hay supplier went out of business and now she has to, booo hooo pay more. WELCOME TO THE PNW, HAY IS EXPENSIVE! If you can't afford hay for what you have, STOP GETTING MORE. Well, maybe she'll read the response someone WITH a brain wrote. She was begging for pasture last winter. (She and Cleve must have gone to the same grammar school, pun intended.) Oh, did I mention she is breeding fuglies? And check out some of the "adoption fees." The pic was taken by someone unfortunate enough to visit and see her Hoarder Haven in person. It'd be funny if it weren't all so sad. Choo choo! That's the sound of the train heading for the mountainside!

Hey, LynnD? Not sure if this is a drunk friend or a drunk relative, but perhaps you should stop collecting too many horses and spend a bit of time worrying about the alcoholic person posting your rescue's phone number on the internet.

Dec 31 2007 11:09 AM

Hey! I cant find my phone, did i leave it in your truck? JEBUS i was WASTED! last night.I woke up this morning at eight and I was still drunk. Well since you cant call me just myspace me, or call lynnd 206 321 0142.
:) thanks hun

Call LynnD, she'll be holding my hair while I puke while, outside, her horses are wondering when some hay is going to show up!

4. Karma Farms of Marshall, Texas. Because the only thing better than breeding fugly mustangs is breeding fugly mustangs AND "Twisty Cats." Check out that hideous critter on the left. Now THAT is a textbook "nest" (neck runs straight down to the front legs, no chest definition at all) And there's worse on their web site!

5. Betty Jones, the president of the Arkansas Horse Council. Betty sent out an e-mail this week to a bunch of people who, sadly for her, didn't all agree with her pro-slaughter remarks and therefore forwarded the e-mail to me. Betty says: "The majority of states have come out in favor of slaughter and the humaniacs need to be put in their place (to the moon, Alice). " Fortunately for Betty, all of us horrible people who have the nerve to object to our horses being hung by a hook and their throats cut do not want to kick her ass and are perfectly happy with merely publicizing her comments on a globally-read blog. :-)

6. Randy Byers. Randy already got in trouble with me because he had a friend's horse in for training and did exactly what she told him NOT to ... rode her already-high headed, light-in-the-front-end horse it in a twisted wire bit with a running martingale. She discovered this during a surprise visit (as with the Cleve story, see, it pays to occasionally show up unannounced!) Horse was so f'ed up my friend had to pay through the nose for a real trainer to fix it after Randy added to the horse's issues in just a few short weeks. Now, someone has sent me this ad where he is riding a SIXTEEN MONTH OLD Haflinger. Wonder if that's the same twisted wire tongue shredder bit he was riding my friend's horse in? Randy needs to STFU and find a job more suited to his talents and snarly, arrogant attitude...I'm thinking repo man.

7. CBER, as usual. This is actually pretty funny. This is from their message board rules, proving that they need to spend less time scamming people and more time going back to repeat those years of high school they apparently missed.

"You agree, through your use of this forum, that you will not post any material which is false, defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise in violation of ANY law. This is not only humorous, but legal actions can be taken against you."

Unintentionally accurate! Oh, $am, STFU...we all know you're a scammer. If you think you can prove otherwise, you should take some "legal actions" against me. I fantasize about the discovery process!

8. Shirley Roth. Are you all sitting down? Here's a quote from an interview with her. "Over 11 years I’ve had four horses die. That’s it. And the public knows about every one of them. That’s the thing about it. Most trainers have four a month." Folks, as I often say, I do not make this shit up. You must be smokin' crack if you (a) think that any trainer loses 4 a month without actually shooting them or (b) send a horse to this wack job. STFU, Shirley. I've been in horses for thirty two years and so far have had two die that weren't a planned euthanasia due to an irreparable health condition. My stats are similar to most horsepeople I know. Not everybody leaves a trail of carcasses behind them and if you do, something is wrong!

9. LeRoy Baker. The infamous kill buyer and owner of shithole Sugarcreek Auction got his worthless ass fined $162,800 for violations of USDA animal safety regulations. Awww, poor Leroy, is that gonna hurt? He of course is protesting that he's done nothing wrong. STFU. STFU. STFU. If there was any justice, lightning would have struck you when you said that!

10. The biggest STFU is coming tomorrow. And she's a repeat guys are NOT going to believe this!

P.S. Unrelated, but WHAT the hell is this?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Guess the Age!

This is a "full blooded" Arabian stallion for sale for the low, low price of $3,200. I think they may throw that classy halter and lead in with him if you ask nicely. And hey! They already gave him a bath!

How old do YOU think he is? Let's take guesses...extra credit for counting off all of the conformation faults of which there are many.

All I can say is Gelding AMBULANCE for this one!

I know I'm late today but we do have a Friday Featured Rescue! This one is in San Martin, California and he'd love a new home for the new year.

"“Pirate” is a Quarter Horse mix, 14h, 14 years old. He is very gentle and easy to handle. We haven’t tried to ride him, but he has massive scars on his withers from an ill-fitting saddle so clearly he was ridden extensively at some time in his life. He has an unusual brand that we couldn’t trace, but one of our ACOs who is a cattle person said it’s a common type of brand that working ranches use to identify their young stock, so this guy probably was used to work cattle. When he came in, he had a tumor in his eye requiring surgery. Local horse people donated over $1000 and thanks to them, he had his eye removed, teeth floated, and vaccinations/deworming done. He was in foster while recovering from surgery and the foster Dad often led him around with his young daughter on his back. Unfortunately, while in the foster home Pirate started cribbing, a behavior we hadn’t seen before. He is currently at the Santa Clara County Animal Shelter in San Martin. Hours, directions etc. are on our web site"

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yet another presentation fail...

(Click to see a larger version) Is it a llama? No, it's a Quarter Horse stallion...presented just terribly. I am not sure if these people used to be into Arabs and simply did not get the memo that not all horses are posed alike, but everything about this picture screams "amateurs who don't know enough to be breeding or standing a stud."

Let's start with the halter. It's nearly on his nostrils. If he pulled back, it would slide right off his nose. I found a fantastic halter fitting article in all of 30 seconds online by googling, so I am pretty sure the information is accessible on how to do this correctly. As Ms. Thorson correctly observes "If a dress or show halter is too big, too small, or fits sloppily, its purchase price is wasted because the impression left is the opposite of the one intended. The wearer might as well sport a sign saying, 'I spent good money to look like I don't know what I'm doing.'" Bingo! And that's exactly the impression a silvery show halter that nearly covers the horse's nostrils gives off.

Then we have the feet. This is no abuse case, but these are the feet of a horse who is a month or two overdue. The problem with that is the long feet change everything about his legs. They give the impression that he his pasterns are long and weak, and I'm not sure that's the case. It looks to me like they are being forced backward by a super long toe, and that a good hoof trim would reveal legs that are pretty good. (He does look tied-in at first glance but look at the big picture - what you're seeing is sunlight shining on the back of the front leg and making it disappear).

That leads me to the next point - lighting. The sun should be shining AT the horse so if you're the cameraperson, the sun should be behind you. This horse should have been turned about 30-40 degrees counter-clockwise for the picture so that the sun you see shining on the back of his legs would have been shining on him. You can see from his shadow where the sun is. Never photograph the "dark" side of a horse - it simply isn't flattering. (continued below)

Then there's the pose. With one hind leg cocked, the impression I immediately get is that the horse is unsound. That may not be true, but the picture shows a horse who isn't putting any weight on that leg and a hoof that appears to be very different from the one on the other side. There's a reason we "square up" horses - because that pose most accurately shows off their conformation. It's not that hard to teach a horse to stand square.

Then there's grooming or the lack thereof. This horse is in his winter coat, but even without clipping and blanketing, you can do a lot to create the illusion of a slick, shiny coat. A damp towel will remove surface dirt and dust, and then a show spray like Show Sheen or Laser Sheen will gloss them up nicely. Even in the cold, you can wash and pick out the tail so that it looks its best. The nicest thing I can say about this horse is that he isn't muddy.

Finally, there's the angle this was shot at. As you can see, the photographer was higher than the horse. As a result, the horse looks like he has a longish back and stubby legs. He's a foundation quarter horse - he kind of looks like that anyway, why make it worse? They know what they did, as they reduced their original pic from 1515px × 1443px to 302px × 337px. Um, proportion FAIL. The result is a squooshed version of the horse on their web page that looks like he has suffered an unfortunate accident. Not the way to show off your stallion at stud!

Now, this is not such a bad little horse. If they would get off their butts and show him, I might even concede that he has a right to reproduce (I looked, no points). He's got some nice breeding. Of course, not a peep about his HERDA status on their web site and I'm scared they wouldn't know what it was if I asked them. But still, I like him better than a lot of FQHA stallions I've seen. It's a shame they are so clueless they're presenting him like a 5 year old presents her Shetland pony in the 4-H showmanship class. Actually that's probably unfair to the 5 year old...I know many who understand presentation better than these folks!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

If the shoe fits...

Today we're going to talk about shoeing vs. barefoot. I keep on encountering people to whom barefoot trimming is like a cult. They refuse to believe that any horse, regardless of condition or soundness, ever needs shoes to be sound. Honestly, it is like trying to discuss comparative religions with a born-again who believes everybody who isn't on his exact same spiritual path is going to burn in the fiery pits of Hell. So today, I am going to talk about that and yes, I expect there to be a lot of controversy.

I've been in horses for most of my 41 years and I know
why so many of you became barefoot aficionados: bad shoeing. All my life, there has been an overabundance of bad shoeing out there. Shoes smacked on without being shaped to the hoof. Shoes cranked in to pinch the heel. Shoes one size too small put on to try to force the foot into a tiny, narrow, trendy show-ring look. All racehorses seem to come off the track with long toes and underrun heels. (Why IS that? Is there some super seekrit Shitty Racehorse Farrier Training School somewhere? No wonder we have so many breakdowns. Stop worrying about the track surface and start investigating why these poor horses have no heels!) Don't even get me started on the shit they do to gaited horses.

And underneath that, bad trimming! Heels lopped off with scary long toes, or the opposite - so much heel left on that the horse looks club footed. Plenty of that around, too. Hey, I hear you guys on all of this. Many years ago, I acquired a lovely Thoroughbred gelding. He was a made polo pony and he jumped a three foot course. We got him for $1000 because he had just been diagnosed with navicular. This horse had as lovely a long, flat trot as you could ever hope to see. He had a stellar shoulder. I did not believe he was navicular, and advised my then-boyfriend to buy him. Pulled the shoes, and three weeks later, with no other care, voila, sound horse. The seller, who had darn near given away a horse who was probably worth $7000-$8000, was livid - but he kept using that same farrier even though I told him why the horse had been lame. Moron.

I agree that barefoot is both a healthy and low-cost way for a horse to live. The VLC has never worn shoes, but all of his riding has been in soft indoor arenas. He is a little ouchy on gravel. The barefooters would tell me to force him to walk on gravel and "toughen up" his feet. That's where I part company with them. I will be damned if I'm going to cause pain to a horse when it's not absolutely necessary to treat a medical condition and there's no other way. If we start trail riding, he's simply going to get a pair of Boa or similar type boots to wear. I'm assuming the trainer he eventually goes to will want him shod for showing, and I'm open to that as long as we use my farrier.

For many years, I left all of our polo ponies barefoot. They played in a soft arena. In the spring, we started going to arena tournaments, and some of those arenas were hard and unforgiving - so we shod them to prevent bruising. It worked great. After the tournaments, the shoes were pulled and they went out to pasture barefoot.

One of my mares, many years ago, had a godawful case of white line disease. She was probably our best tournament horse - a real superstar who also gave lessons and jumped. Very fortunately, I had a fabulous farrier, Red Renchin - if he is still in business in the Milwaukee area, you should use him. Red resected and packed the hoof with filler and of course shoes went on to hold it all together. That was in the early 1990s and that mare lived to be 29 - I just lost her last December. Without shoes and a damn good farrier, I believe that mare would have had to be put to sleep long, long ago. This was my first introduction to corrective shoeing that worked on an extreme case.

A few years earlier, I had been introduced to corrective shoeing that did not work. This was in 1991 when I took in and tried to fix a polo pony who could barely walk. He was wearing egg bars and pads - back then, egg bars and pads were the cure for everything! The problem is, the asshat who shod him never sealed the pad in the back. He'd been in a dirty stall and manure and urine had packed under the pad. Not only was he standing on rounded balls, but he was horribly thrushy. The frogs were gone. I had the shoes pulled, shot him up with Adequan and turned him out in the snow. Again, a few weeks later - sound horse. Another misdiagnosed navicular, by the way. He was arthritic but the Adequan and going from a box stall with no turnout to pasture board fixed that.

So like I say - I have seen both sides. I understand why so many of you are disillusioned with traditional shoeing and want to try something different, I just don't agree that "something different" is the answer 100% of the time, and sometimes "something different" is a train wreck.

That brings me to the Strasser method, which was mentioned previously in comments on another thread. There are no words to describe how deeply I disagree with Strasser. Strasser thinks it is JUST FINE to lame up a horse with trimming. This is routine in Strasser! She even recommends you put them on rubber mats for a few weeks afterward, 'cause God knows they can't stand without pain anymore. I am baffled by how otherwise intelligent people can think this is okay. I agree with this farrier's observations on Strasser. I mean, come on - the woman actually says that iron shoes always cause contracted heels? Is she nuts? I could show you
thousands of horses that prove that theory wrong. Bad shoeing causes contracted heels. Good shoeing does not.

Then there's the fact that Strasser - and some other barefoot cultists - encourage owners to learn to trim their own horses. Personally, I think that's akin to DIY brain surgery. FARRIER WORK IS AN ADVANCED SKILL REQUIRING EXTENSIVE TRAINING. Anybody who has had a "new" farrier just out of school knows that they don't have the skill and good judgment of the person who has been doing it for five or ten years. I find the mere idea that an owner can somehow (often in the space of a seminar!) be trained to trim their horse's feet BEYOND LUDICROUS. Good God, that horse has to walk on those feet! He doesn't need some DIY-er
using him as a guinea pig. I have been in horses for 30 years and I would NEVER try to do my horse's feet. I don't think anyone who has not been to farrier school or apprenticed with a top farrier long-term should be doing feet, EVER. Rasping off a bit of toe, ok. But not an actual trim. A bad trim job can do a million kinds of evil, from causing mechanical founder to blowing out the horse's tendons. If you want to trim your own horses, go to school for it.

People trained in this method are being found guilty of animal cruelty. That should tell you something! Yup, DIY gone wild. Poor pony had to be put to sleep.

Now, the Strasser devotees argue that the extreme trimming is necessary to increase blood flow and promote healing, and the long-term effects are worth it. And indeed, this has worked for some horses. Others aren't here anymore to tell the tale. Again, it comes down to: why would you inflict pain on your horse when there is another way? And there is another way - for one, the Natural Balance shoeing which I am a huge, huge, huge fan of for horses that do require shoes.

As with all things, NB is only as good as the NB practitioner. Are some people doing it wrong? OF COURSE. But when it's done right, you can correct severe lamenesses without causing additional pain to the horse. My argument is that sometimes shoes are necessary - to take pressure off of bones or to support a tendon in the position required for healing for example. Removing pain promotes movement which, in my never humble opinion, does a hell of a lot more to increase circulation than a trim that leaves the horse standing gingerly on rubber mats. If your foot hurt, wouldn't you feel better with a gel pad on the bottom of it? This truly is common sense. Plus, you'll note that the NB people promote the use of radiographs to determine the shoeing prescription. HOORAY, common sense. How can you correctively shoe OR trim without seeing what you are trying to correct?

My farrier rescued a pony with the coffin bones coming through the soles on all four feet. Normally I assume that is a candidate for immediate euthanasia - past the point of rescue. How exactly would you fix that with barefoot trimming? You couldn't. She had the pony at home and was able to provide corrective shoeing and daily monitoring. A year later, that pony is alive, well and sound. Yeah, I can't believe it either. There are a lot of success stories with NB used on horses with prior histories of laminitis, navicular, chronic abscesses and white line.

Now, NB is not the only good kind of corrective shoeing, either. Here's another amazing story of a horse with a penetrated coffin bone returning to Grand Prix level dressage thanks to GOOD corrective shoeing. Sorry, but with barefoot? He'd have been euthanized years ago. You can't go barefoot when there's no sole to stand on!

Here is another very good example of corrective shoeing helping remodel the hoof of an old Thoroughbred mare with severely underrun heels. Again, how would you fix this without shoes? Good luck! You can clearly see how the support of the corrective shoes is helping this mare's feet return to a healthy shape that will support her legs for many years to come. Maybe she will be able to go barefoot in the future, but right now those shoes are essential.

I told you that I was going to show you scary x-rays of a horse that was sound with corrective shoeing. Here you go, below. This is another CBER special (yes, you're shocked, right?) Dumped at the lot by some asshat, who requested that she go to kill, she was rescued and shipped down to Southern California where she fortunately met up with a wonderful owner and a wonderful farrier. This mare maintains sound with shoeing and supplements despite this scary, scary radiograph. She trail rides and handles hills, rocks and varied terrain. She wouldn't be able to walk around the pasture if she were barefoot.

Bottom line, I think just leaving a horse barefoot with traditional trimming is great if that works for the horse. Many breeds, like mustangs and appaloosas, tend to have hard hooves and will never need shoes in their life. If that's your horse, congratulations - you're going to save a lot of money! I don't shoe horses that don't need it - but some horses DO need it and refusing to provide them with what they need is a form of cruelty in my book. You will never convince me that 100% of the horses in the world can go barefoot.

As for what they do in the wild, don't even start - the lame ones fall behind the herd and are eaten by cougars. That is what they do in the wild. It's not like everything fixes itself if only those pesky human being aren't involved.