Horse history fun fact!

Alright, we’ve all bridled our horse and forgot to buckle our throat latch but didn’t notice until we were already on our horse, or maybe that’s just me? Years ago, when I still bounced when I fell off, no I didn’t get off of my horse that’s too much effort right? So I stood up in my stirrups, leaned as far forward as I possibly could to reach the dangling pieces. Meanwhile the saddle horn is snuggly nestled into my abdomen and my horse thinks this is a great time to drop his head to eat… really I’m not kidding! About this time I turn into a lawn dart and off I go bridle and all. It was at that moment, as I was looking up at my horse seemingly laughing at my failed attempt to not end up on the ground there I was despite it all. Moral of the story is if the throat latch was fastened, the bridle would’t have come off and neither would I.

The throat latch on the bridle was designed back in the day when horses were part of the infantry. Horses were used to gain an upper hand in battles. Our opponents out smarted us when they would rip off the horses bridles so the soldiers had no other choice but to get down off their horse due to lack of control and fight fairly. This is when the throat latch was designed. It’s sole purpose is to keep the bridle on the horses face no matter what. It’s also the name of the part of the horse that it goes around! Right behind the jaw of the horse and beginning of the throat is referred to as the throat latch as well! Now you can’t forget… you’re welcome.

So now, many years later I demonstrated how fully functioning this tiny strap on the bridle is and how important it’s purpose is, still to this day!

The art of growing that long, thick tail is easier than you think!

We all love a long, thick tail on a horse but how? Three simple steps!

1). Feeding a proper diet and supplementing BIOTIN helps aid in hair and hoof health.

*fun fact! Did you know that Biotin helps strengthen hair? Horses hooves are made of compressed hair! That’s why biotin helps hooves grow and become healthier too!

2). Keep the tail clean before braiding and wrapping. This will reduce breakage and matted hair.

3). Wrap with vet wrap. Why vet wrap and not a tail bag? Well, in a tail bag there’s a lot of air which dries out the tail. Horses also tend to pull the bags off over time you’ll find them in their stalls usually pooped on (we’ve all been there! Then we have a moment of silence for that once vibrantly colored, pretty bag that’s now all shades of green…). But instead, with vet wrap the wrap keeps it clean and dry but not allowing so much air to dry it out so the tail can grow to it’s full potential!

– be careful to NEVER WRAP THE TAIL BONE! If you wrap the tailbone you can cut off circulation and the tail will fall off!

This is how it’s done, wash the tail, let it dry for an hour or two, braid it, then bring the e d of the tail up through the top of the braid as if to fold it. Then start wrapping with vet wrap of your chosen color. The trick of this whole method is to secure the wrap so it stays on! How? Well, many miss this vital step so listen carefully. Once you’ve wrapped the tail and the bottom of the tail thoroughly so it’s in a little sock per-say, take the wrap, open the same hole you put the bottom of the tail through at the top of the braid and thread your vet wrap through that then continue wrapping the tail until you run out of wrap. Squeeze it all together with your hands to make sure the wrap is not going anywhere and boom! You’ve done it! Don’t feel bad if it looks funny or akward you’ll get the hang of it the more you do it. Now leave it in for two months at a time then repeat! I personally cut about two inches off the tail ends every time I take it out to do a new wrap to ensure no split ends and full healthy tail. If you stay now you’ll be very pleased with your masterpiece come spring!

Western dressage is just square dancing for horses!

Dressage basics are often taught while using and English bridle and western saddle. Just because your in a western saddle doesn’t mean the maneuvers are any different. You’re just schooling. Relax and enjoy the ride! It’s fun to think about it as a square dance performance. There’s a series of well executed steps and maneuvers which are also memorized in a pattern or sequence. These basics such as two- tracking, shoulder in and shoulder out, stopping at a halt while all four feet are square, meaning in line with the parallel leg. This shows balance and control. If you watch a horse and rider going through their pattern it’s as if they are dancing! Riding the pattern feels as if you’re communicating completely by mental telepathy! The feeling of being in sync with a horse 10x your size is unmatched! All horses can benefit from dressage basics to help gain better body control and balance. It’s a workout for both horse and rider so be ready! “I could have missed the pain but I would have missed the dance”- Garth Brooks

Some of my transformations over the years

I obtain all my horses through word of mouth. I never shop for horses they find their way to me. I specialize in rehabilitation with diet and fitness plans to achieve the highest level of health in a short time. There’s also training transformations. I often get horses people give up on, deem dangerous or have severe PTSD or depression. We work through these issues, find the cause of the problem and work together towards achieving their happiness. Horses can’t fully recover physically if they aren’t 100% mentally These photos are a mixture client owned horses and personal horses. Once my personal projects are rehabbed I help them find their forever homes. All these horses are living happy lives now.

Build a relationship not a dictatorship

With horses, at a young age, they learn teamwork, the value of family and looking out for each other is vital to their survival. Every aspect and member of the herd plays a key role in the safety of the herd as a whole. Training should be no different. Learn to first communicate with them as if they are a new found friend from another country whom of which you don’t speak the same language. Learn to listen, learn to see, be open to their culture and over time you’ll come to adapt to their ways and someday won’t be foreign any longer. With horses this same approach leads to success! They study us more than we study them. We are distracted by bills and money and our to do list, yet horses are not. They are more focussed then we are. They already know what we are about before we ever touch them. Just because one person can achieve a certain outcome from an animal doesn’t mean everyone can. Let me put it this way, if you see a happy married couple enjoying a nice dinner you would be crazy to think you could interrupt and take his wife thinking she would treat you the same she does to her husband right? So why do we expect any differently from a horse after we purchase it? The horse has no idea it’s been sold. Money isn’t a factor in a horses world. All it sees is that his herd dynamic has changed so now he will study you to see where you stand in the pecking order as does he. You are back to square one. It’s now time for you to build your very own relationship with this horse as if you never saw it in harmony with the trainer or previous owner. This is the biggest issue I see in the horse world. “Patience, understanding and a sense of humor” go a long way. “All good things come to those who wait”. And it will just have faith!

Hard work pays off!

In 2016-2018 I was sponsored by Horse Guard. I had the privilege of having a plethora of specialized products to better care for my clients horses, personal horses and most importantly my rescues! We are thankful for the generosity of this locally owned and operated company out of Redmond OR. Without them I couldn’t have helped the many horses I did the the fullest of my abilities. If you haven’t checked them out I highly suggest it! Horses love the products and they work wonders! Thank you Horse Guard!

Horse Guard the winning ingredient!

Ground work is more than elementary!

Did you know you can fully train a horse without ever throwing a leg over?! It’s true! Just takes more time and patience than most people want to invest. I’ve done it a few times and once you do put a leg over its amazing how responsive and untainted the horse is! Did you know most of our “issues” with horses are rider error and made in the saddle?! Therefore if you learn to better understand the horse from the ground at all stages of training you become a better partner and teacher to your horse. Take the time to “see the Forrest for the trees” instead of rushing into the saddle too soon. Your horse will thank you!

Rooster the horse who was deemed a “lost cause”

You’ve heard of him here’s the real story.

I took on this horse after his owner felt defeated with his care. If I didn’t take him home she was putting him down. I took him home. People said I was taking on the impossible. I’m well aware of the journey we had that faced us. I took in a horse everyone said to put down. Mind you I have never ridden this horse or never known him before this. Something in me just couldn’t turn away. Rooster was skinny, not eating, non weight bearing on his bad leg and infection had spread to his hip causing it to atrophy. The first week I got him home the vet took X-rays and doctored him up but prognosis was bleak. She said theres no injury to the bone but if he did heal he wouldn’t be a riding horse “a pasture pet at most”. The next day he was weight bearing for the first time! This alone gave me hope and I decided not to put him down. I saw him fighting so I promised him I’d fight as long as he did. He wouldn’t eat hay or grain just green grass. He was too weak to stand long so most of our days were spend grazing and napping under the juniper trees. I stayed with him. After two weeks with me his appetite started coming back! He was eating grain finally! Once he was eating grain I knew he was going to survive. I fed him a complete feed grain so he was getting all the nutrients needed and day by day his strength was returning! After three weeks he was eating hay and grain normally. He was walking better and using his bad leg more and more. The more he used it the stronger it got. I battled the infection for three months. The infection was So bad it ate almost all of his muscle in his hip. I drew out the infection with Manuka honey and treated him daily with sulfa tabs until the infection was gone. Many have told me I’m a fool for trying to heal him but I see something in Rooster they don’t. I saw hope in his eyes. I saw the strongest will to live. I still see it to this day he’s a fighter and giving up is not in his cards. We are a team. Once he knew he was loved that’s all the power he needed. It was around the clock monitoring and daily doctoring keeping it clean and was healing! Beautiful pink skin is in the place of what was a horrific open wound. It was finally closing and regrowing hair! Miracles do happen. Angels do exist. He’s my inspiration and strength, and I’m his. After a year of non stop bullying and bashing I decided to take the next step in his care to give him to a close friend of mine. His life was no longer on the line and he was healthy and able to be cared for and live like a normal horse. He was not taken from me I gave him to my close friend. I saved him now it was just a matter of time until he was completely healed.

Updated July 2019:

Now after winning the battle to live and he’s been blessed with the second chance he deserves! Before I got him he was a kids ranch horse that took care of everyone who rode him. There’s no gentler horse than he. He never offered to kick me even changing his bandage or cleaning his would he is always Very respectful. At the young age of 11 this boy has been through a lot. Now our obstacle we face together are the horrible people who want him dead and they claim he’s “suffering” you wouldn’t believe that if you saw him running around in the pasture, happy to be strong again and have friends and living in a beautiful pasture with rolling hills nestled up to the forest. These people misrepresent old photos as current to gain attention and followers to continue to try to separate us. After all we’ve been through and fought side by side we refuse to be separated. They’ve called animal control on us and the officer noted there was nothing to report except a clean barn and happy animals. These bad people just won’t stop until they take him from me and kill him. We pray to God daily to give us strength to ride about the devil inside these people and let our loving light shine through. We have faith, he’s reminded us of our strength as long as we keep faith. God has saved my boy, he’s not going to let evil win. We are a team we will prevail. Rooster now lives a normal horse life and gives riding lessons to autistic girls. He brings joy to everyone who meets him. He’s my hero and I’m his.

Updated January 2020:

Even though he’s no longer with me I know I did my duty saving this boy when nobody else would now his life isn’t on the line and a rescue can finish what I started.

From wild to mild

I’ve had the pleasure of taking many wild horses from wild to mild. I was their first touch, I placed their first halter on their face, taught them about captivity all the way up to showing them how to be good citizens when riding. This is the most time consuming way of training but the most rewarding knowing they are the product of your knowledge, if you don’t have the tools and the know-how they can’t progress. I believe it takes a year this way to go from wild to mild and have a well rounded horse with an emphasis on NOT RUSHING them and matching their learning pace with your teaching pace. We’ve all seen or know those trainers that throw a saddle on within a month of obtaining a wild horse. Sure they got them riding but I prefer my foundation solid and not filled with holes like Swiss cheese. Riding isn’t about riding. It’s about communication and patience. Some days I strive to ride but the horse isn’t 100% there so, to avoid an issue we just do review on the ground. Horses have bad days and good days just like us but with short, successful training sessions you will achieve your solid foundation and a willing and steady partner you can trust because he, in turn trusts you. He knows you understand him. “Patience, understanding and a sense of humor go a long way” -Dave Tate (a close and beloved friend of mine said these words to me and I’ll forever remember them). Pictured is my horse Sebastian. He was wild, and heard headed but with patience, understanding and sense of humor we now have a bond and trust that is irreplaceable. It’s a great feeling well deserved by both parties.

To mild