All Things Horse

Forty-seven Years Of Horse Experience – At Your Service!

Meet The Newbies!

Many people have sighed for the ‘good old days’ and regretted the ‘passing of the horse,’ but today, when only those who like horses own them, it is a far better time for horses. ~C.W. Anderson

Bonanza

Twenty-four year old Bonanza is around 15 hh, extremely sound and full of energy.  He is extremely gentle and loves his humans but only after he gets to know them. He is nervous of new activities or lots of people in his presence. If I were to make a stab in the dark about his breeding, I would say that he was Halflinger because of the thick, heavy-weighted cannon bones and indeed his entire leg structure.

Bonanza is a wonderful horses but for some reason, I want to call him ‘George’ and I’ve bit my tongue more then once trying to stop that thought. He reminds me of a George.

Shaman

Twenty-six year old Shaman was slated to be put to sleep this year. Apparently he was in bad shape and had probles walking. He was in serious pain.

Shaman and Bonanza were the last of a riding center’s 30 some odd trail horses, which closed its doors a few years back. The owner kept four of his favorite horses but finally sold two very early in 2009.  Bonanza and Shaman were left to fend for themselves on a large acreage of hilly land.

When I put out the word that I wanted a young female 14.2hh Canadian, their owner asked if I would consider Bonanza because he was putting Shaman to sleep and didn’t want his favorite horse alone. He had seen me with my three, Gimme A Dream, Willow Breeze and Woodmere Frilifili and apparently liked what he saw.  He went into the field with the and found a healthy curiosity about his presence.   He said they were contented horses and he was/is right.

I asked for a week to decide about Bonanza because he wasn’t what I was looking for.  But when what I wanted didn’t turn up, I phoned him and said I would take Bonanza for the winter.  Before he brought Bonanza to me, he called and asked if I would board both Bonanza and Shaman for him for the winter.  Whoa now! This I’d have to check out.

When I went to see his horses for the first time, Bonanza wouldn’t even let us near him. He’d canter with his head held high and his tail held even higher. Lord he was stunning! But he wasn’t the horse I went to see. It was Shaman who was having the problems and I wanted to make certain I could handle anything that might arise. It looked to me that Shaman had broken or severely damaged his stifle or as they say, “Shaman was stifled”.

Since I’ve already worked with repairing the stifle in other horses and Shaman was capable of walking, with a limp, I decided to take the two for the winter. I have the instructions to have the veterinarian put him down, if he develops problems I can’t handle. Barring accidents, I don’t think it will happen. You see, I have the inflammation under control and he walks, trots and canters as well as the rest of the horses now.

The Story of Their Arrival

Bonanza and Shaman arrived during the night of the worst snow and ice storm of the year. Bonanza was soaked with nervous sweat and had to be heavily blanketed. They both refused food and water for a couple of days but they eventually gave in, accepting potatoes at first.  I love giving my horses potatoes and do so frequently, knowing that potatoes will help with any arthritic inflammation that might be present.

Within a week, Shaman was showing no signs of a limp what so ever and hasn’t regressed over the passed three months. I’m so pleased with the old horse, even though I kept calling him ‘Shamoo’. Again, I bit my tongue a hundred times to stop my thoughts and call him by his right name.  Shamoo is a killer whale in Sea World in Orlando, Florida.

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January 23, 2010 Posted by | horse breed | , , , | Leave a comment

Frilly – My American Standardbred

The American Standardbred:

She knows when I’m happy
She knows when I’m comfortable
She knows when I’m confident
And she always knows when I have carrots.
~Author Unknown

Woodmere Frilifili

Woodmere Frilifili is very precious to me. I fell in love with her a good three months before I first saw her. My niece, Amanda took her from the CDP (Charlottetown Driving Park) a year ago, last April, after I acquired the three year old filly. About a month later, she sent a photo via FaceBook and I got my first glimpse of my precious one. She was the most gorgeous thing on four legs and she was no less then perfect in my eyes.

Frilly was a high stakes pacer, superbly trained and flawless in her conformation. However, she was a failure on the track. When she reached the 1:10 mark, she would break stride. Why? Well that is the ten thousand dollar question! Perhaps she disliked pacing or racing or being forced into a situation she didn’t ask for. Perhaps it was as her farrier said, she had a soft hoof. Or perhaps she had growing pains.

Whatever her reasons for failure, they do not change the fact that Woodmere Frilifili is a perfect specimen of the American Standardbred, (in my own opinion). She has the racy body shape which is clearly indicative of the tasks she was bred for.  She has a delicate, lady-like head, reminiscent of that of a Thoroughbred. Some Standardbreds have common heads with relatively long ears and a flat or slightly Roman nose profile.  Frilly has very long legs and flat, strong muscles.  She has a deep chest and her haunches appear slightly higher then her withers.

Generally speaking, the American Standardbred stands around 15hh, although some may be a couple inches either way.  Frilly is almost 16hh. She is a tall one.

American Ideal

American Ideal

It is usual that the American Standardbred is bred primarily for harness racing.  There are two very distinct types of Standardbreds – trotters and pacers. The pace is when both legs on the same side move together in harmony. The trot is when those same two legs move opposite one another.  The speed of the pacers are often faster then that of the trotter. The pacer also outnumbers the trotter in North America.

Although the American Standardbred is bred primarily for harness racing, they also tend to make excellent riding horses. Because most are well handled from a very young age, they become exposed to many situations and the transition to saddle horses is not normally difficult.  Retraining a Standardbred may not be the right activity for everyone but for those who do the task, find it more then rewarding.

Horse owners can appreciate the Standardbred as a horse suitable for any sport. There are shows that exist for Standardbreds to show off their abilities and even some shows have classes that gaited Standardbreds may be shown in.

The American Standardbred began it destiny in New England in the mid 1880’s.  The name Standardbred comes from the qualifying standard time a horse had to cove in one mile or 1.6km, to be considered for the breed registry.  The breed developed from a mixture of many breeds of horses that trotted, paced and raced under saddle as well as in the harness.  A Thoroughbred race horse named Messenger is thought to be the foundation for the breed.  He and his progeny took the lead in setting the standard in Standardbred.  Breeds such as the Thoroughbred, Morgan, Clays and some extinct pacing and trotting breeds made up the American Standardbred, each contributing their desirable racing characteristics.

Pacers often “amble”, or “singlefoot”.  This gait is very comfortable to ride.  The pace stride can also be ridden and is

Twisted Frilly

Twisted Frilly

very soothing for people with bad backs. Frilly has resorted to the pace only once since leaving the track and even there it was only for a step or two. At this time, we are working on her not spooking a the sight of the ocean, not an easy task for her high-strung personality.  We are also working on the first steps to jumping. Perhaps my darling Frilly will like that.

Frilly is not my first American Standardbred, though she is one of the finest bred horse I’ve ever had.  Mighty Anna was our first horse. Mother bought her off the track when she was fifteen years old and pregnant for her two young daughters, my sister(12) and I (9). Mother was scared of horses and rarely went near her, so the mares care was left up to two very small, young girls who knew relatively nothing about horses. The next year, on June 12th, Mighty Anna gave birth to a beautiful bay colt which we named Dancing Moonbeam. The name came from both of us, Audrey naming him Moonbeam, because he was born under a full moon and me, I wanted Dancer after Northern Dancer.

May 6, 2009 Posted by | horse breed | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Troubadour – An Appaloosa Sport Horse

“The mark of high equitation isnt to be found in extraordinary movements

but those that are executed with perfect lightness” – General L’Hotte

It is not often that a person considers an Appaloosa Sport Horse for a particular job. This was the case for Troubadour, a wonderful, rather small, grey gelding with faint marks over his back. Trouby is what is known as a “Snowflake” Appaloosa, or a dark horse with white spots over his body. Classic with his breed, Trouby’s eyes show the white sclera around the pupil, much like a human’s eyes, though in his case it is not very visible.trouby

Occasionally, and only occasionally, the all round perfect child’s horse comes available.  Troubadour is such a horse. Trouby has been the spearhead of the Giddy Up Pony Camp, maintaining his position with dignity amongst the other horses. For the past eleven years, at Giddy Up Acres, he has been loved by humans, young and not so young, as well as by every horse he comes in contact with, Troubadour has made his way into the hearts of everyone who comes near him.  In all his years he has never been one to display displeasure with any activity or any living creature.

Troubadour had one owner before coming to Giddy Up Pony Camp, a wonderful lady, who raised him from a foal until his fourteenth year. He had a pony companion for many of those years called Lightening, whom he adored. When his mistress became ill and couldn’t look after the horses, she made the heartbreaking decision to give him away, to a good home. It was an honour to become Trouby’s care giver.  This was before Giddy Up Pony Camp came into being and the ranch was know as Giddy Up Acres. Both he and Lightening came together and enjoyed the fields with a Standardbred called Darius and a mare called Jody. 

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It wasn’t long before Trouby began to show his abilities in the show ring. He could move into a full stretch gallop from a complete stop, in one stride.  He could turn on a dime, change leads on cue and become as docile as a kitten all in the same breath. As fantastic as he is with everyone and as unusual as he is with his spots, the word Sport in Troubadour’s breed comes to mind when considering the little horse.

 

 

 

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Trouby excels at whatever task is given to him. He is a distinguished gentleman in the English Pleasure and hunter/jumper show ring, as well as a fierce competitor in the western barrel racing and pole bending circuit. A wall had been dedicated to Trouby’s activities but the awards became too many to continue displaying. Now they are carefully wrapped and stored away. As a gymkhana pony, he still brings the ribbons and trophies home for his young riders.

 

Troubadour will be 25 years old this year. He has been retired from stressful gaming circuit, for a year now.  However, Trouby continues to make his presence known to the children, who want him for their very own practice pony at the summer camp.   He is so old now that his spots are almost no longer visible. However, as old as he is, Troubadour remains a real gentleman as his young charges love his gentle spirit and his willing ways.

April 22, 2009 Posted by | Giddy Up Pony Camp, horse breed | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Canadian Horse – My Canadian Horse!

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Horse breed : The Canadian horse
by Gimme a Dream

The Canadian Horse is a little known national treasure of the country, because it was rare for someone to write about the breed. This breed has descended from royal horses, originally sent to the “New World” by King Louis XIV of France in the mid 1600’s. The Norman and Breton horses were thought to have had Arabain, Andalusian and Barb ancestry, all traits of which are still recognized in the Canadian Horse. These horses were distributed among the military officers of the Carignan-Salieres regiment, government officials and the religious communities of new colony.

For centuries the French horses bred with little influence from outside breeds. Indeed, they developed into their own distinct breed, which originally was called the “French Canadian Horse”, but has long lost that name. This horse evolved under adverse conditions of harsh weather, scarce food, and hard work and it remains the sturdiest, most acclimatized horse in Canadian history. They are tough, strong horses, tolerant of inclement weather conditions, and are extremely “easy keepers”. Because of these traits, the Canadian Horse is often referred to as “The Little Iron Horse”.

In the 1800’s around 150,000 of the animals were known to exist. The breed was used for cross-breeding to improve strength and hardiness in other breeds and aided in the founding of breeds such as the Morgan, Tennessee Walking Horse, the Standardbred and the American Saddlebred. The number began to dwindle rapidly when the horse was exported for wars and work in dangerous situations. The Canadian Horse was near extinction with the advent of mechanized farm machinery. By the late 1870’s the peril of the breed was finally recognized and efforts were made by diligent breeders to bring the Canadian Horse back from the verge of extinction. In 1888, the first stud book was created to try and preserve the breed.

Down to a count of 400 horses worldwide and only approximately 250 breeding stock in Canada, the breed slowly began to gain in numbers, after the first stud book was presented. However, after more than a century, there are still only 2500 purebreds in existence. The Canadian Horse is classified as “critical” on the American Livestock Conservancy list. On April 30th, 2002, a bill was passed into law by the Canadian Government making the Canadian Horse an official animal symbol of Canada, sharing the title with the beaver.

Typically the Canadian stands 14 to 16 hands high and weighs 1000 to 1400 pounds. Most often they are black in color, but have been known to be dark brown, bay or chestnut. They have finely chiseled heads, naturally arching necks and thick, long manes and tails that may or may not be wavy. They have sturdy, strong legs and short cannon bones often exceeding nine inches in circumference. Their hooves are exceptionally well formed, tough and require little more that routine trimming. The Canadian Horse is renown for its kind, sensible, sociable nature, intelligence and willingness to please.

Most commonly used for driving, the Canadian Horse is truly one of the most versatile of all breeds and may be found in show classes doing such activities as dressage, jumping, and in event classes. It is known for it’s long endurance, trail-riding, ranch work or just being the family or kid’s horse. Whatever reason a person might want a horse for, a Canadian will fit into that position comfortably.

November 14, 2008 Posted by | horse breed | , , , , , | 1 Comment