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“What’s up today, Augie?” “Not a clue, Spuds, but it’s not the carriage.”
“Whoa!” What’s this, Augie?” “Spuds, quit runnin’ into me! I can’t see it!”
“REALLY, Spuds?!” Quit being so dramatic…it’s just the tarp!”
“Okay! I get it. You want me to lead this time!”
“Hey, Spuds! We’re playing follow the leader and I get to be the leader!”
“It’s no sweat, Spuds!”
“Hmmmm…there’s grass in here!”
“Uh, do we really have to stop right here?!”
“We’re working on core strength, Augie!”
“…and then again here?” “Hey Augie, pretty slick move! (I hope I don’t have to do that!)”
“Uh, oh, Augie! It’s my turn!”
“This is a cinch, Augie!”
“Darn! We’re back to the tarp again…HELP, Augie!”
“Don’t worry, Spuds! I’ll show you how to do it.”
“This isn’t so bad, I guess!”
“You’re right, Augie! That was pretty easy and lots of fun after all!”
“It’s even more fun when we do it TOGETHER!”
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) routinely exempts land from leasing for oil and gas development for a multitude of reasons, including protecting sensitive plant and animal species as well as objections from ranchers. Please help wild horses get equal protection — submit comments today on the BLM Ely, Nevada District’s draft Environmental Assessment for 24 land parcels that have been nominated for auction for oil and gas development leases. Twelve of the parcels reside within the Antelope Valley Herd Management Area (HMA), which is currently home to over 700 wild horses. Please take action today to request the BLM to exclude the parcels within wild horse habitat areas from auction for oil and gas development leases.
During Roll’s recent workouts, since his x-rays and last trim, he has felt very stilted and his movement was causing twisting in both hind feet. He was visibly tense through the croup and hip sections in his body. When I rode him, he had no impulsion and did not seem to be capable of initiating any impulsion. When we did the x-rays, there was a slight rotation in the left hind foot and not rotation in the right hind. We determined that the twisting in the right hind was due to undue stress on that leg from shifting the balance from the other three feet that all had slight rotations in the coffin bone. Our vet thought that it might make him more comfortable if we left more heel to flatten the rotation and get the coffin bone in the left hind more parallel to the ground. The result was both hind feet created a situation with ligaments and tendons that left Roll walking behind like he was on blocks with no suspension or impulsion to his gait and a twisting in BOTH hind feet. He was quite literally unable to walk correctly rocking heel-to-toe anymore and the right hind was sliding diagonally underneath his body when he walked.
When tracking straight forward in prior lessons, the visible wrinkles in his flanks were prominent as he stepped straight forward. After he was trimmed leaving more heel, the wrinkles were no longer present as the leg flattened them as it went diagonally forward. Impulsion was literally impossible for him and he had perpetual tenseness in the hind quarters. After his trim/shoeing today, he recovered immediately! We saw relaxation in the hind quarters as soon as both feet were trimmed and as he walked off, the twisting was almost gone and he bounced into an energetic impulsive trot for a few steps before I slowed him down! He had not done that for over a month! So, Roll is now happy again and ready for more lessons!
NOTE: Irregular hindquarter stance and tension in the croup due to elevated heels.
NOTE: No wrinkles at the flank and he is stepping diagonally underneath.
NOTE: Wrinkles at the flank and he is stepping straight forward.
To test this on yourself in your blue jeans, first stand in good posture with your feet together and pointed forward. Lift your right leg straight up and pointed forward. Note the wrinkles that appear in front of your hip joint (comparable to his flanks). See how your pants will wrinkle as you move your leg up and will straighten out only as you walk forward with a heel-to-toe motion in your feet and as your leg goes down and back. Now try moving your leg by just picking it straight up and diagonally forward (like walking on blocks which assimilates what Roll was experiencing by leaving his heels longer)…no wrinkles in the pants except for maybe a split second! Although the vet was correct is his assessment for an animal that is a pasture ornament, it was not correct for an animal that would be doing forced exercise. Sometimes there is a lot more than you think to consider when diagnosing lameness or irregular gait problems.
NOTE: After trim, less heel, more angle in the hind feet allowing a more correct stance and more relaxation throughout the hindquarters.
As I said above, Roll responded well and immediately to our correction for his problems. He is once again A VERY HAPPY camper!
This situation is now critical and cause for alarm. The number of tagged/castrated donkeys is alarming. The castration and euthanizing of our donkeys needs to stop NOW if we have any hope of saving them and preserving our natural and cultural heritage; nearly 500 years our donkeys have been with our people!
Please, people of Bonaire, now is the time for us to act! Call our government, email our Commisioners, or call our friends who can help make this stop…tell them to stop the abuse of our culture and the elimination of our donkeys!
There is no longer time to waste. Please do your part, take 5 minutes and help make this stop – the future of our donkeys and their health depend on us!
Click here to sign the petition or share.
Can you believe it? A mule has made it to the US Dressage Finals! Laura Hermanson and her champion mule Heart B Dyna are heading to Kentucky to represent longears in the national competition—for the first time ever. But they are asking for your help to make it there. Here is their story in Laura’s own words:
A MULE makes it to the US Dressage Finals in Kentucky! I am Laura Hermanson and I have been training and working with mules for over 10 years. I have enormous passion for these incredible equines and believe anything is possible with them. This has been proven true! My own dear mule Heart B Dyna competed throughout the year at 3 star sanctioned shows earning scores up to 75% and qualifying for both the CDS state and USDF regional championships. We had an incredible time at the Championships educating people about mules and being able to ride along side Olympians! I was thrilled to be living my dreams, and then my dream became even greater. The US Dressage Finals invites the top two equines at each level from every region throughout the country as well as a wildcard based on scores. It all comes together for an incredible showcase of the best Dressage horses in the US. And then the unbelievable happened, Dyna and I received an invitation!!! This is the first time in history a mule has been invited to the USDF Finals! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to expose people to mules on a huge national platform. I have put this together to ask for help making this possibility become a reality. Anyone that knows me is aware of how hard I work and how extremely dedicated I am to mules and the sport of Dressage. It is VERY hard for me to ask for help, but the expenses to travel across the country and attend this show are beyond my reach. I would GREATLY appreciate any financial help to make this pioneering journey possible!
Congratulations and best of luck to Laura and Dyna! If you would like to help them make it to Kentucky and make us proud, check out their GoFundMe page here.
As we write this email, helicopters are scouring the beautiful Red Desert, chasing and capturing every last horse in a more than one-million-square-mile area known as the Wyoming Checkerboard. Today is expected to be the last day of this devastating Bureau of Land Management (BLM) roundup in which more than 1,200 wild horses will lose their freedom and families.
At least 13 wild horses have died in this unnecessary roundup, including young colts who crashed into panels and broke their necks, and elderly, arthritic and injured horses who were forced to run in pain and terror for miles in a traumatic helicopter chase before being “euthanized” by a bullet to the head.
These are just some of the tragedies … all the wild horses were unnecessarily victimized by this rancher-driven roundup.
In the end, the BLM removed 50 percent more wild horses than originally planned. This devastating action contradicts Americans’ strong support for wild horses and violates legal requirements for actions on public lands.
First we fought in court against the backroom deal the Wyoming ranchers cut with the BLM. Then we fought to stop this roundup. The District Court denied our injunction request. We strongly believe that decision was wrong. We need to prepare to appeal the Judge’s final ruling, which, based on her decision on our injunction motion, does not look good for the horses.
We cannot let this travesty go unchallenged. If the BLM gets away with this in Wyoming we can expect more of these illegal actions against the wild horses in other western states. Would you please join us in this last stand for Wyoming’s wild horses?
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our courageous and talented 34-year-old Sire-Supreme, Little Jack Horner (1980 – 2014).
He is survived by hundreds of mule and donkey offspring, leaving an amazing legacy of performance in Gymkhana events, English and Western Pleasure, Trail, Reining, Driving, Dressage Driving, Second Level Dressage and Stadium Jumping to four feet in exhibition. He was an affectionate jack with impeccable manners right to the end. On the eve of his passing, I left him standing like a statue with ears pricked and a fixed stare toward the Rocky Mountains. I glanced over my shoulder and as the sun went down, it cast a halo around his entire body as if God was beckoning him home…I knew in my heart he would not make it through the night…he will be sorely missed!