Monthly Archive for: ‘February, 2017’

AHC Update: Save the Date for the AHC’s Annual Meeting & National Issues Forum


AHCThe following is an announcement from the American Horse Council.

Where can you find people involved in every segment of the equine world working together to advance our industry? How can you find out what projects and initiatives are being worked on in every corner of the equine industry?

The answer: the American Horse Council’s (AHC) Annual Meeting & National Issues Forum, sponsored by Luitpold Animal Health! Save the Date on your calendars forJune 11-14, 2017 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC.

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Help Bring the 20 Mule Team to Washington!


America’s iconic 20 Mule Team consists of three giant wagons, pulled by a long line of 20 mules, driven by a single man using only voice commands and a jerk line.

This 20 Mule Team will represent the American pioneering spirit in the 2017 National Independence Day Parade in Washington, DC, and will mark the 100th anniversary of the Team being in the 1917 Presidential Inauguration Parade!

But we need your help in getting the team from Death Valley, California, to Centreville, Maryland, where they will be hosted at the Grove Creek Mule Farm.

Schedule of events

Friday, June 30: Sponsor Party at 6:30 PM

Sunday, July 2: Meet the Mules and Muleskinners Public Event from 12 noon to 4 PM at the QAC 4H Park

Tuesday, July 4: National Independence Day Parade, Washington, DC: 12 noon

Become a sponsor and be a part of history! Contact Donna Stutzman at 410-707-1406.

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SYALER Cabin Fever Auction


The following is from the Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue.

The February doldrums are upon us, and at Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue, we have a full house of donkeys and mules snuggled down in beds of fluffy shavings with piles of hay keeping them warm and cozy as they wait for new homes. In the meantime, the humans of Save Your Ass are keeping busy with their care, as well as planning our 2017 fundraisers to support the rescue in the upcoming year.

Our next event, which is guaranteed to bring some fun into the dark days of winter, is the annual Cabin Fever Online Auction which will be held from March 5th to March 12th on our special Facebook Auction page. We are reaching out to you to ask if you would consider donating an item to this 2017 event. Over the years we’ve auctioned off a little bit of everything – travel, art, handcrafted items, services, gift certificates, produce, baked goods, clothing, equine items, animal training, collectibles, household items – you name it! We welcome and appreciate all donations, large, medium or small.

The auction generates a lot of interest (and competitive bidding!), and the proceeds allow us to carry out our mission of helping donkey and mules in need. In 2016 we placed 40 long ears – a new record!

If you are interested in making a donation of any kind, please email Joan Gemme with the following information.

Deadline for donation submission is February 28.

  1. Item Name
  2. Short description
  3. Donor Name
  4. Website (if applicable)
  5. Donor email
  6. Item Value (including a rough shipping cost)
  7. Opening Bid

Please attach a photo, logo, or any other image that will appear with your item. As in the past, we request that the donors be willing to arrange shipping, delivery or pickup of their item to the winning bidder.

Please email Joan Gemme with any questions, or phone at 413-559-8414 evenings.

Thank you for your support!

Click Here To Visit SYALER

Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue Update: Slick, etc.


The following is from the Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue.

We have had a busy start to the new year here at the rescue. Lots of new animals have joined the herd. They will all be brought up to date on their vaccinations, get a clean bill of health from our veterinarian, then you will see them available for adoption on our website.

All of the animals have been wonderfully healthy and have been getting through the winter just fine… until last Sunday morning. When I looked out the window, cup of coffee in hand, just observing the mules hanging out across the driveway in the paddock closest to the house I noticed that my favorite rescue mule Slick was holding a hind leg up. He put it down and lifted his other hind leg, put that down and did the same with both front legs, then back to lifting the hind legs again. This was not normal. I bundled up and went out to check on him to find him shaking and unwilling to move.

It took me quite a while to get him into a stall where I was able to check his vitals. Other than a slightly elevated temperature, all vitals were fine, no digital pulses, but something was very wrong.

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FINAL Reminder- We Want to Hear From YOU!


AHCThe following is an announcement from the American Horse Council.

If you have already taken our strategic planning survey, thank you very much! We know you are busy, as we appreciate the time you took to give us your feedback. As such, you may disregard this email.

This is a FINAL reminder that we would greatly appreciate 15 minutes of your time to complete a survey to aid in the American Horse Council’s upcoming Strategic Planning  workshop.   The information gathered in this survey will be used by the board and leadership to help identify key focus areas and priorities.

Please note, responses are completely confidential and will not be linked back to any individual. All responses are due back by Monday, February 20th. We appreciate your time, feedback and insights!

If you have any questions, please contact the AHC at


Rein It In: Reining


Flying lead changes? Check! Sliding Stops? Check! Reining Class with mules? You bet! Watch the latest LTR Presents!

WE NEED YOUR HELP – Still here in South Dakota saving horses!


The following is an update from Chilly Pepper-Miracle Mustang Rescue.

The wind is blowing the frozen snow and the roads are covered in ice. The temperature has been -18 degrees wind chill factor and conditions are brutal. However, the good news is that more horses are going out today, and even more are scheduled to leave in the next week or so.

Your donations have purchased another $1100 in milk products for the 6 babies back at Chilly Pepper. Another $1000 to pull 4 more horses (transport, vetting etc.) this last week and yesterday it was over $550 for medical supplies. This was for medicine used for the babies and for horses in need of meds at this time.

We purchased over $5000 worth of panels and had previously purchased $4200 worth. The $4200 was specifically donated by a wonderful woman named Sara, thanks to Elaine Nash and Fleet of Angels.

It sounds like a lot of panels, but unfortunately even with the additional panels purchased by Fleet of Angels, we are still substantially short. A great number of the panels purchased for this rescue are being used to cover up very dangerous fencing so we can safely sort without horses being torn up.

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What’s New with Roll? Massage


Roll has had a tough time with his left hind foot first with the White Line Disease last year and now with an abscess in his foot between the bulb of the heel and the hoof wall. Although we have been keeping a poultice on his foot and he seems to be improving, we thought it would be important for him to have a massage with his equine masseuse, Joanne Lang after his chiropractic adjustment with Dave McClain.





We don’t wait for obvious injury to occur—preventive massage increases the length of the muscle fibers, taking pressure off the joints.

When the muscles are allowed to contract and expand to their full length, they are able to absorb important nutrients that reduce fatigue.

Massage also increases blood flow, which helps the body flush harmful toxins, such as lactic acid, that build up from normal use. Massage aids in reprogramming the nervous system to break patterns that can cause atrophy or knotted tissue.

Massage is not intended to replace the care of a licensed massage therapist or veterinarian and if you are unsure as to the severity of an injury with your equine, consult your vet!

Massage has been an important element in the care and maintenance of all of our equines from the beginning and has increased the longevity of our herd.

Learning to “read” what the equine is telling you is an important part of the massage experience. As you can see, Roll REALLY enjoyed his massage today!


The Veterinarian’s Role in Equine Abuse Investigations


The following is an article from The Horse.

The Veterinarian's Role in Equine Abuse Investigations

Photo: Courtesy of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Veterinarians must know how to properly document findings and avoid destroying evidence while still putting the horse’s welfare first.

How a veterinarian goes about examining and treating allegedly abused horses can mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful case against the owner. He or she must know how to properly document all findings and avoid destroying evidence while still putting the horse’s welfare first.

Nicole Eller, DVM, a Minnesota-based field shelter veterinarian with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Field Investigations and Response team, described the veterinarian’s unique role in animal crime scene investigations during her presentation at the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida.

First, she reviewed the basics of evidence identification, collection, and preservation. “Evidence is generally defined as anything that can demonstrate or disprove a fact in contention,” said Eller. In equine abuse investigations, this can include anything from photos of a horse’s injuries or body condition to the moldy hay in his feeder.

Veterinarians must view these cases through the lens of someone looking for and collecting evidence. As the equine expert, the veterinarian will recognize key pieces of evidence that other investigators might overlook.

Eller then described the four phases of processing an animal crime scene.

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Sybil Ludington: The Female Paul Revere


This article is a repost of Valerie DeBenedette‘s article at Mental Floss.  

“… the midnight ride of Paul Revere, On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five: Hardly a man is now alive …”

Yes, the famed Paul Revere set out on horseback on this day in 1775 to raise the alarm that British troops were on their way from Boston to Lexington.

Revere rode about 20 miles through what is now Somerville, Medford, and Arlington, Massachusetts, knocking on doors to raise people to defend Lexington. Another rider, William Dawes, was sent by another route to do the same thing. A third, Samuel Prescott, was also pressed into service. Only Prescott completed the night’s work and reached Concord; Revere was captured and Dawes was thrown from his horse while evading British soldiers, forcing him to walk back to Lexington.

It was a good ride for Revere, and it was good for the revolution. But a little over two years later, a 16-year-old girl did the midnight riders one better. Sybil Ludington rode twice as far as Revere did, by herself, over bad roads, and in an area roamed by outlaws, to raise Patriot troops to fight in the Battle of Danbury and the Battle of Ridgefield in Connecticut. And did we mention it was raining?

Sybil was the eldest of 12 children of Col. Henry Ludington, the commander of the militia in Dutchess County, New York. Ludington’s farm was a receiving center for information collected by spies for the American cause.

In April 1777, Colonel Ludington and the members of his militia were at their homes because it was planting season. But about 9 p.m. on the evening of April 26, he received word that the British were burning Danbury. The man who brought the news had worn out his horse and he didn’t know the area. Ludington needed to stay where he was to help arrange the troops as they arrived.

Who could he send? He turned to his daughter, who knew the area and knew where members of the militia lived. Sybil rode her horse from her father’s farm in Kent, which was then called Frederick. She first headed south to the village of Carmel and then down to Mahopac. She turned west to Mahopac Falls and then north to Kent Cliffs and Farmers Mills. From there, she rode further north to Stormville, where she turned south to head back to her family’s farm. All told, she rode nearly 40 miles through what was then southern Dutchess County (which is now mostly Putnam County).

Sybil spent the night traveling down narrow dirt roads in the rain with nothing but a stick as protection. To add another element of danger, there were many British loyalists in the area and more than a few “Skinners,” a word generally used then to describe an outlaw or ruffian who had no real loyalties to either side in the war. One account of her ride says that Sybil used her stick to pound on a Skinner who accosted her.

By dawn, Sybil had made it back to her family farm where the militia men were gathering with her father. By this time, the British had gone south from Danbury to Ridgefield. The militia of Dutchess County, led by Colonel Ludington, marched 17 miles to Ridgefield and took part in the battle there, which some considered a strategic victory for the American forces.

Sybil’s hard riding earned her the congratulations of General George Washington, but it seems she got little recognition for her feat after that. She married another revolutionary, Edmond Ogden, in 1784 and had a child. At one point she and her husband ran a tavern in Catskill, New York, but she spent the last 40 years of her life as a widow until her death in 1839. She is buried near the route of her ride in Patterson, New York, with a headstone that spells her first name as Sibbell.

So why do we all learn about Paul Revere in our American history courses and not Sybil Ludington? In more recent times, Sybil has received a bit more acclaim for the ride that she made—there have been books written about her, a postage stamp near the bicentennial honoring her, and even a board game where players follow her overnight path. And in 1961, the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a larger-than-life statue of her on her horse in Carmel, New York.

Revere, of course, is justly honored as a man who served the Revolution in many capacities, including as a messenger and engraver (by trade, he was a fine silversmith). Perhaps his place in history was secured because he had Henry Wadsworth Longfellow serving as his publicist, with Longfellow’s famous (and famously inaccurate) poem—it leaves out both Dawes and Prescott—turning Revere into a legend. Sybil has no such fabled poem, no “one if by land, two if by sea” catchphrase. But perhaps as children we all should hear of the midnight ride of a teen with no fear.

All images courtesy Valerie DeBenedette.


Cabin Fever Auction for SYALER – Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue!


The following is from the Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue.

Dear friend of SYALER,

The February doldrums are upon us, and at the Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue, we have a full house of donkeys and mules snuggled down in beds of fluffy shavings with piles of hay keeping them warm and cozy, as they wait for new homes. In the meantime, the humans of SYALER are keeping busy with their care, as well as planning our 2017 fundraisers to support the rescue in the upcoming year.

Our next event, which is guaranteed to bring some fun into the dark days of winter, is the annual Cabin Fever Online Auction which will be held from March 5-12 on our special Facebook Auction page. We are reaching out to you to ask if you would consider donating an item to our 2017 event. Over the years we’ve auctioned off a little bit of everything—travel, art, handcrafted items, services, gift certificates, produce, baked goods, clothing, equine items, animal training, collectibles, household items—you name it! We welcome and appreciate all donations—large, medium or small.

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What’s New with Roll? X-Rays & Chiropractic


Roll was doing better and then all of a sudden he was very lame in his left hind foot again on February 10th. The only thing we could think of was that he must have twisted it and maybe even caught the boot on something in his pen when he was trying to get up.

He was very warm all over with sweat at his chest, underbelly, around his ears and between his legs. It was an unusually warm day and because it had been so cold and I had not clipped the mules’ bridle paths in a very long time. So, to help cool him off, I clipped his bridle path and sure enough, he began to get cooler and dry off.

We took his temperature and it was in the normal range.

We took x-rays to make sure there were no fractures and there was nothing but the rotation we had seen before.

After our veterinarian Greg Farrand dug around in the hoof, he did find a spot between the frog and the bulb of the heel that seemed to be sensitive and starting to weep.

He was uneven in his hips and seemed to be affected in both legs although the left was worse than the right. We decided to wrap the foot in a poultice again and left off the easy boot in case it was the culprit.

Then we decided to put him on a regimen of “Bute” and call in the equine chiropractor. All we could do was wrap the poultice onto his left hind foot and wait.

On February 13, Roll was exceptionally sore today when our equine chiropractor Dave McClain came out to check him.

There was no real problem in the hip joint, but his fetlock really cracked when he adjusted it, so he was definitely out in that joint.

Dave adjusted the rest of his body and said there probably was nothing other than the fetlock that was affected in the joint, just in the muscles. He said Roll would probably be sore because it was such a dramatic adjustment.

We checked him again the next day and he does seem to be experiencing some improvement although he is still pretty sore. There is not a lot to do but pray and wait. He is undoubtedly having problems that stem from the first 17 years of his life moving in poor posture and not utilizing his body correctly.


Horse Welfare Report Clears European Parliament Hurdle


The following is an article from The Herald.

The report from Julie Girling MEP sets out to stop the abuse of horses across Europe and ensure their welfare is catered for

The report from Julie Girling MEP sets out to stop the abuse of horses across Europe and ensure their welfare is catered for.

Major steps to halt the abuse and cruel exploitation of horses and donkeys, set out in a report from British MEP Julie Girling, were approved this week by a key committee of the European Parliament.

The package of measures for equine welfare received the approval of the European Parliament’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee on Wednesday (January 25).

“We are on our way to a better deal for donkeys and horses. Cruelty and neglect is a problem across the continent and we must tackle it,” Mrs Girling declared.

Julie Girling, Conservative MEP for the South West and Gibraltar

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Donation Brings Companion To Kona’s Most Famous, Loneliest Donkey


The following is an article from West Hawaii Today.

KEALAKEKUA — Loneliness isn’t just a human phenomenon. Its existence has been well documented throughout the animal kingdom, from elephants to primates to canines.

It’s even prevalent with donkeys, the beasts of burden that served a fundamental function in the development of the coffee industry on Hawaii Island.

Just this week, perhaps the island’s most famous donkey — Charlie, the 30-year-old pack animal who has spent the better part of the last 15 years as a staple of the Kona Coffee Living History Farm — finally found himself a friend to share the load.

The Kona Historical Society, which operates the farm, announced Tuesday that its crowd funding campaign, “Charlie Needs a Bestie,” had resulted in the donation of a 6-month old donkey.

“We used to joke his only friends were chickens,” said Gavin Miculka, assistant program director at the Kona Historical Society.

“And those chickens were kind of selfish friends, because they’d just come around when he was eating and steal all of his food,” added Carolyn Lucas-Zenk, volunteer coordinator and development associate with the society. “He’s getting old in age. We wanted him to have a friend. Wouldn’t everybody want a friend instead of being here lonely, by yourself, with some selfish chickens?”

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AWHP: We’re WILD About These T-Shirts!



The following is from the American Wild Horse Preservation.

This week only…Get your limited edition ‘Keep Wild Horses Wild‘ T-shirt…and support our work! We are thrilled to announce that FLOAT is featuring these T-shirts, and for the next six days, will donate $8 for every shirt sold to the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign.

SHOP today – there are lots of fun colors and styles to choose from! This is a great way to support our work to Keep Wild Horses Wild and free on the range and look fabulous! Don’t miss this opportunity!




The following is an article from Horse & Hound.

An animal charity has called for a halt to the global donkey skin trade after finding shocking welfare concerns and suffering on a mass scale.

The Donkey Sanctuary has conducted an investigative report into the trade, titled Under The Skin, and has found that as many as 10 million donkeys are at risk.

It is lobbying for an immediate end to the trade until it can be “proven to be sustainable and humane.”

“We have seen reports of donkeys being skinned alive, being bludgeoned to death, being transported for long distances with no opportunity to rest, feed or drink,” said Alex Mayers, the charity’s international program manager.

“The welfare of any donkey, both during and at the end of its life, is paramount and should be the primary concern, as for any food-producing animal.

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AWHP Update: BLM Wants to Sterilize Blue Wing Horses & Burros!



The following is an update from the American Wild Horse Preservation.

The Bureau of Land Management’s Humboldt River Field Office is accepting public comments on a Preliminary Environmental Assessment (PEA) to manage the federally protected horses and burros in the Blue Wing Complex in Nevada. The Complex, which includes the Kamma Mountains, Seven Troughs Range, the Lava Beds, Blue Wing Mountains, and Shawave HMAs, spans 2,283,300 acres (over 3,500 square miles!). Yet the BLM has set “Appropriate” Management Levels (AMLs) of just 333 to 553 wild horses and 55 to 90 wild burros for this entire area! At the upper population limit, that’s only one horse or burro per 3,551 acres!

Photo of captured Nevada wild horses by BLM

The BLM wants to drive the wild horse and burro population down to low AML in 20 years by implementing an unprecedented plan to sterilize 30 percent of these herds using highly controversial procedures that are untested in wild free-roaming horse herds. The BLM’s plan does not disclose when and how many roundups will occur, how many wild horses and burros will be permanently removed, when and how many mares and jennies will be treated with fertility control or spayed, or when and how many stallions and jacks will be gelded.

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LTR Presents: Double Time


See our draft mules, Rock and Roll at work and play in the latest LTR Presents video!

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What’s New with Roll? Unexpected Lameness


Roll came up lame in his left hind again today, so we called our veterinarian, Greg Farrand to come and check him. He had swelling in the fetlock joint and it appeared to have just begun. I supported his joint with a wrap so is would be easier for him to walk to the Tack Barn work station.

We checked for abscessing, but could not find anything. He did seem to be uncomfortable in the other hind foot as well, but not enough for real concern.

However, it is conceivable that it might not be an abscess, but problems arising from his inability to continue his core muscle strength and balance exercises during the time he was dealing with the White Line Disease.

Taking off a piece of the hoof wall where he tested sensitive seemed to relieve the pressure enough so he did have some improvement in his walk. We checked him all over and I even cut off his overgrown ergots while we were talking.

Greg though perhaps the abscess was just beginning, so we put a poultice on the left hind foot to draw out and escalate any inflammation in hopes of forcing it to weep so we could locate it if it was, in fact, an abscess.

We wrapped the hoof with the poultice and Vet Wrap.

And then put the whole foot in a custom-made easy boot that we had used when he had White Line Disease.

I led him around the room and he seemed to be experiencing some pain relief, so we opted to leave him like this for four days with a change of poultice every other day.

As you can see, our core muscle strengthening and balancing exercises really DO make a drastic difference in the overall shape and movement of the equine.

When dealing with an animal that spent so many years out of good posture, it is almost certain you will be faced with numerous issues from uneven wear and tear on the body over the years, especially as they age like Roll at 24 years. We just hope we can pull Roll through this so he can get back to having some fun with his healthy exercise program.


AWHP Update: ❤ Love Conquers All ❤



The following is an update from the American Wild Horse Preservation.

As Americans, we are united in our love for freedom and our love for our national symbols of freedom:  America’s mustangs.

Is love enough to save these cherished animals? It will be, if we turn our love into action!

Valentine’s Day is two weeks away, and we have a great way for you to show your love and act for wild horses and burros!

For the next ten days, you can donate to support our work and dedicate your gift in honor of a loved one.

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