Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend Playtime

My Thanksgiving weekend started early. We traveled to Sara's on Tuesday. Tuesday night, Uncle Micah read to Makenzie and Caden.

Wednesday morning, Grandma was watching Makenzie and Caden, while Sara and Jake went to work, and Pop and Micah went to look at a car, and Jacob, Amber and Tyler went to old town.  I spent a wonderful 2 hours watching and playing outside at the swing set. Enjoy the pics!

and there are still more play pictures.

Grandma enjoyed her quiet time wathcing these two play.

Lifting horse slaughter ban: Why PETA says it's a good idea

Peta logo.svg

Does anyone rememeber PETA NOT supporting the ban when it happened??? 

(NOT to get into a PETA debate here, but I'm just saying.  PETA doesn't want us to eat, wear, experiment with or abuse animals, as stated on their website). WHy would they not speak up about slaughter back then, and support it?  Maybe one day, we'll list what PETA has done to hurt the horse industry, besides slaughter, rodeos, etc). 

No debates. Not now. My head hurts just thinking about it and we'll let another site out there with broader shoulders than me, approach that topic.  I'm just interested in knowing what is going to happen next to our horse industry.

Like I said on FB:

Maybe horse prices will go back up now. Our industry has taken a nose dive in
the value of a horse. Horses worth $5000 10 years ago are worth $1000-2000 now,
and that's only if they are dead broke (no pun inteneded) and kid safe. Maybe
we'll see a lot less starving horses. No one wants to see a horse go to
slaughter, but no one wants a horse to starve to death.

Full article below.\

Lifting horse slaughter ban: Why PETA says it's a good idea

PETA, the animal rights organization known for ad campaigns like 'fur is
murder,' says domestic horse slaughter facilities are preferable to shipping
horses to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.

By Patrik Jonsson, Staff writer / November 30, 2011

Cheri White Owl, founder of Horse Feathers Equine Rescue, is pictured with one
of the 33 horses she is currently caring for in Guthrie, Okla. on Tuesday.
Slaughterhouses could be ready to kill horses within a month if the US
Department of Agriculture provides funding for meat inspectors, days after
Congress quietly opened the door to the practice by lifting a 5-year-old ban on
spending federal money on such inspections.

Sue Ogrocki/AP

Congress has found what many may think of as an unexpected supporter in its
decision to bring back horse slaughter facilities to the US after a 5-year-ban:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the often-controversial
animal rights group known for campaigns like "fur is murder."

Way cleared for horse slaughter to resume in US after 5-year ban
Horse racing under new congressional scrutiny
Horse racing moves to reform, but faces many skeptics

In an interview with the Monitor, PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk said the US should
never have banned domestic horse slaughter – a stance that has put the
organization at odds with other mainstream animal rights groups, like the
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

"It's quite an unpopular position we've taken," Ms. Newkirk says. "There was a
rush to pass a bill that said you can't slaughter them anymore in the United
States. But the reason we didn't support it, which sets us almost alone, is the
amount of suffering that it created exceeded the amount of suffering it was
designed to stop."

While PETA says the optimal solution is to ban both consumption slaughter and
export of horses, it supports reintroducing horse slaughterhouses in the US,
especially if accompanied by a ban on exporting any horses at all to other

There are now plans in over half a dozen states in the South and West to begin
horse slaughter processing, a business worth about $65 million a year before
Congress defunded the inspection regime. While unpalatable to most Americans,
horse meat is eaten in Mexico, Asia, and parts of Europe.

As Newkirk predicted, the end to domestic slaughter didn't curtail the number of
horses being slaughtered for consumption, but, according to a GAO report, may
have led to more inhumane treatment of old, abandoned, or neglected equines as
greater numbers were instead shipped to Mexico or Canada for slaughter where the
USDA doesn't have the authority to monitor the horses' conditions.

The number of horses exported from the U.S. to Mexico, for example, increased by
660 percent since the de facto ban, the Government Accounting Office reported in
June. Almost 138,000 horses were shipped out of the country for slaughter in
2010, compared to the 104,899 horses that were slaughtered domestically in the
year before the ban took effect.

"It's hard to call [the end of the horse slaughter ban] a victory, because it's
all so unsavory," Newkirk says. "The [funding] bill didn't mean any horses were
spared, but it does mean the amount of suffering is now reduced again."

Come on over to my chat, Horses Are Our Lives Chat Group, to talk about this, but only if you have some good comments and insights. I don't need debates, only input on the good and bad, and how to move on to inprove the horse industry.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

You Know You're a Horse Person When

Skipa and Starlet, 1996

I called someone's calves their cannon bones. LOL

What else have you said or done, besides the common clucking to get someone to move over, saying whoa to stop, or I say "quit" when I want someone to stop doing something.

What have you done, said or heard?

Come on over to my chat,

and share, discuss, and laugh over our one liners!

I'm also reading and discussing some books this winter on the chat.  I'm a Center Riding Level 1 instructor, trying to move up to Level 2. We are reading and discussing Book 1, and after Christmas, I will start Book 2.

We are also reading Tug of War, Classical vs Modern Dressage.  I hope to go through Jane Savoies Dressage 101, which is a long book.

There are other books on my list, that I hope to get through this winter.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

Origin of Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is America's preeminent day. It is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday in the month of November. It has a very interesting history. Its origin can be traced back to the 16th century when the first thanksgiving dinner is said to have taken place.

Journey of Pilgrims
The legendary pilgrims, crossed the Atlantic in the year 1620 in Mayflower-A 17th Century sailing vessel. About 102 people traveled for nearly two months with extreme difficulty. This was so because they were kept in the cargo space of the sailing vessel. No one was allowed to go on the deck due to terrible storms. The pilgrims comforted themselves by singing Psalms- a sacred song.

Arrival in Plymouth
The pilgrims reached Plymouth rock on December 11th 1620, after a sea journey of 66 days. Though the original destination was somewhere in the northern part of Virginia, they could not reach the place owing to winds blowing them off course. Nearly46 pilgrims died due to extreme cold in winter. However, in the spring of 1621, Squanto, a native Indian taught the pilgrims to survive by growing food.

Day of Fasting and Prayer
In the summer of 1621, owing to severe drought, pilgrims called for a day of fasting and prayer to please God and ask for a bountiful harvest in the coming season. God answered their prayers and it rained at the end of the day. It saved the corn crops.

First Thanksgiving Feast
It is said that Pilgrims learnt to grow corn, beans and pumpkins from the Indians, which helped all of them survive . In the autumn of 1621, they held a grand celebration where 90 people were invited including Indians. The grand feast was organized to thank god for his favors. This communal dinner is popularly known as “The first thanksgiving feast”. There is however, no evidence to prove if the dinner actually took place.

While some historians believe pilgrims were quite religious so, their thanksgiving would've included a day of fasting and praying, others say that the Thanksgiving dinner did take place.

Turkey and First Thanksgiving Feast
There is no evidence to prove if the customary turkey was a part of the initial feast. According to the first hand account written by the leader of the colony, the food included, ducks, geese, venison, fish, berries etc.

Pumpkin and Thanksgiving Feast
Pumpkin pie, a modern staple adorning every dinner table, is unlikely to have been a part of the first thanksgiving feast. Pilgrims however, did have boiled pumpkin. Diminishing supply of flour led to the absence of any kind of bread.

The feast continued for three days and was eaten outside due to lack of space. It was not repeated till 1623, which again witnessed a severe drought. Governor Bradford proclaimed another day of thanksgiving in the year 1676. October of 1777 witnessed a time when all the 13 colonies joined in a communal celebration. It also marked the victory over the British.

After a number of events and changes, President Lincoln proclaimed last Thursday in November of thanksgiving in the year 1863. This was due to the continuous efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor. She wrote a number of articles for the cause.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  A time to be thankful for all that we have. A time to be thankful for all the opportunities that we have been a part of this past year.  A time to be together with friends and family, either in person or in our hearts.

This Thanksgiving, all the family is together. Dad and I, Jacob, Amber, Caden and Tyler, and Micah are together with Sara, Jake and Makenzie.  Caden and Makenzie, the almost 3 year old cousins have been so excited to play together, whether it’s at the “park” which they call the swing set and slide area, or playing with cars, tractors or farm animals, or making sounds on their toy computers. 6 month old Tyler is being cuddled by his aunt and uncle, who haven’t seen him since he was 2 weeks old.

We’ve played a few card games, watched a little bit of the big balloons at the parades on tv, and I’m sure there will be football on this weekend.  I think I’ll enjoy some free time with Sara and Amber, with girl talk or playing cards, or maybe working on a craft.  Who knows?  Maybe we’ll come up with a holiday tradition, just the girls.

Makenzie and Caden have birthdays in December, and along with Christmas, gifts become overwhelming. This is the only time the whole family will be together for the holidays or during birthday times.  The kids have decided to do Christmas later today. Then on Saturday, we’ll take the kids to a fun play area to have a “party” for their birthdays.

Turkey is in the oven for a mid-afternoon meal. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pies will be part of the meal. I think we’ll have pies all weekend! Football games will be on all day.

Family, beautiful weather, good food, presents. What more can you ask for?

I am so thankful for my family, friends, health, horses, and the desires of my heart. As I ponder on each of these areas, I need to think of all the little things that come to mind. A loving husband, my children and 2 spouses, 3 grandchildren to play with.  Horsey friends to ride many trails with and to share Centered Riding with.  Good health and working on living a healthier lifestyle by adding some yoga and exercise classes this winter. My love of horses and the horses that I’m able to ride now.  My desires are to live a centered life, with the peace that yoga brings and the strength that exercise will bring, to better my soul and improve my well-being.  I am thankful for who I am today and who I am able to share my life with.

God bless and enjoy your day of thanksgiving!

I’m Thankful for You
Thanksgiving is the appointed time
for focusing on the good in our lives.
In each of our days,
we can find small blessings,
but too often we overlook them,
choosing instead to spend our time
paying attention to problems.
We give our energy
to those who cause us trouble
instead of those who bring peace.
Starting now,
let’s be on the lookout
for the bits of pleasure in each hour,
and appreciate the people who
bring love and light to everyone
who is blessed to know them.
You are one of those people.
On Thanksgiving,
I’m thankful for you.
Happy Thanksgiving!
By Joanna Fuchs

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tyler and his Smiles!

About a month ago, Tyler really started smiling!

And the fist goes into the mouth!

Tyler loves sitting up!

Tyler watches everything!  He loves having people talk to him and play with him!

Big brother Caden plays with him and makes Tyler laugh!

The boys were Super Heroes for Halloween

Super Caden and Super Tyler with Mommy and Daddy

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fall Horse Pics

The mares are weaned 3 weeks ago.



Dove is saying, where did my mom go?

 Dove and Fawn

Chick and the other mares.


The 4 mares got along very well together. They have been pasture mates before. No one fights, and they just exist together.  I think it helped the most when Dixie and Chick were put together last winter, to get to eat a little more grain.  They really bonded together. But Chick would rather be with Starlet and Goldie.

The trees were this pretty for almost 2 weeks. But that was about 3 weeks ago when I was weaning. They have since lost their leaves and are now barren.

Chick and Dixie have since gone back into the lot with the weanlings, so the 2 harder keepers are able to eat more over the winter. Starlet and Goldie are now in the larger lot of 8 horses. Dixie may join them, as she is starting to be a little bully with the babies. And she is fat enough! But I'll probably wait until Spring to move horses around.

Everyone is being good and not fighting, so I don't want to upset the apple cart. It's good for those babies to get pushed around a little and to know their place in life. They aren't getting hurt, so it's probably a good thing to just leave Dixie in there to teach those 2 babies about respect!

Bloggers Block

I feel like I’m in a Bloggers Block, just like writers get into a writer’s block.  I just haven’t felt like writing my thoughts down like I have since before I started the blog. Before, something was inside me that needed to get out. But now, I’m not sure where that feeling went.
After Finny died, more than 2 years ago now, I really had to write about that, his death, the why, my pain, my guilt.  I am still so sad when I think about him, and how he died. It just breaks my heart that he died such a painful death due to colic. I wouldn’t wish that on any animal. And it had to happen to a horse that meant so much to me.  

Isn’t it always the case that you realize how much or how deep those feelings are once something is gone?  I don’t think I took him for granted. I know I didn’t. I enjoyed riding him so very much! I just rode him, and enjoyed the ride. I enjoyed him!  I realized that he wasn’t a happy camper at the competitions, but his ears were always perked when we rode the fields. I was on my last competitive ride with him, he would have been ridden for fun after that next day.

The whys will always be there.  Why did he have to be the one to die?  He was my baby, the orphan I saved and raised. The little pot who turned into an awesome mover.  He wanted to live when he was orphaned at a month old. He had the desire to live. He took himself out of the pasture to the stall to eat, and he took himself back to the pasture, where the other mares and babies were, to be with them.  He always went first to the water tank and drank. He knew how to survive. Yet, he couldn’t survive this horrible colic.

The guilt and the whys have taken the fun out of riding for me for more than 2 years.  The foals I had this year were a great distraction, and brought back some of the old feelings for me.  The desires are returning.  Riding Shaggy this past year has helped too, as he is such a quiet, comforting soul. But riding him always makes me feel that I should be riding Finny, and I feel that I’m holding something back. But these foals make me think of Starlet, who is one of the mothers. Starlet was one of my first foals that I raised and trained, and who is a favorite of mine.  Having the foals help.
I’ve had a few meltdowns this past year. I guess, who doesn’t, with any portion of their lives when there are troubles?

After a year of thinking, holding it all in, the guilt had to come out. And this is 2 years out! First time, I thought I was over losing him, after the first year’s anniversary date, and I wasn’t. Then I thought I was doing fine, and it came out 6 months later.  The only thing I can say, after each meltdown, is that I felt better after it was all over.  Maybe everything hurtful that was in me just boiled out, and needed to.
I know people lose loved ones. And children.  And this can’t begin to relate to those losses on the same level. But what I felt, and still feeling, is such a deep loss that I can only relate it to losing a loved one. I’ve lost a dear grandmother, and my husband has lost a brother and a father. But this loss feels so different and hurts so much and I don’t know why.

All I know is that I’m ready to ride again.  And ride for fun.   And to blog about my rides.  I can only do this when I’m having fun with my rides.  Which I have had with Shaggy,  working with Duster, my 3 year old, and playing with these 2 new babies. But the pain is still there, and I’m ready for it to be gone.  I’m ready to ride without feeling guilty, and being sad when I think about Finny. I want to think about him with happy memories, and I do, but I want the sadness to be gone.

Because some days, I just can’t stand feeling this sad all the time.   For those of you who have gone through this, HOW do you ever get over it?  When will the tears stop? When did you start having fun with horses again?  When did you ride and have fun and not wish that you were riding your other horse?

I’m going to be getting a different competition horse soon. I’m going to be riding Duke at lessons. I’m going to be taking Shaggy to my Centered Riding Clinics. I’m going to be starting Duster’s training. I’m going to begin lunging the soon-to-be yearling’s, Dove and Fawn, next year.  Other horses are dear to me and are loved. And maybe this is the start to feeling totally happy again. Letting the horses in, and the love out, of the heart.

I want the acceptance. Without sadness. How do you get there? I don’t feel as guilty anymore. Maybe that is a start too. But I’m still sad, and that hurts that I’m still so sad that Finny is gone. I don’t want to be sad every time I think about him. So I don’t think about him, and I don’t want to do that either.
Like I told a friend… I just didn’t want him to die that way.
Like I told a friend just yesterday … I felt like I was coming out of a loss, and ready to move on, and excited about that. But then these sad feelings return, because I don’t want to forget Finny, I don’t want to replace him, but I want to move on. I sure hope I do. I need to move on. And with happy, content memories and feelings about Finny!
And this had nothing to do with the topic, except that I haven’t felt like writing. Until now. And now, every time I write about Finny, my heart doesn’t hurt so much. Maybe I just need to write more so my heart hurts less.
I’ve had other horses die. This isn’t the first, and it won’t be the last. It’s just time to move on. I made another step the other day… I emailed someone about the jewelry they make with horse hair. I guess it’s time. I’m also looking more seriously for that next endurance horse. I’ve not done endurance yet, so this is a different path that I’m taking.  Something different.
Thanks for reading and being there. Thanks for your thoughts and how you felt when you went through this.


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