Monthly Archive for: ‘December, 2020’

Strong, Resilient & Fierce

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

We’re still shy of our EOY matching goal… just hours left to make your tax-deductible gift and double your impact.

As I watch the clock wind down on this tumultuous and difficult year, I’m reflecting on the gratitude I feel for our amazing community of supporters, and the generous spirit and compassion of each one of you. 

The American Wild Horse symbolizes strength and resilience, the qualities our country needs right now. We enter the New Year united in our love for wild horses and burros and committed to our fight to save them.

We have an ambitious agenda for 2021, and that’s why meeting our end-of-year matching goal so important. We only have hours left.

Just today, 20 more wild horses were rounded up by helicopter from their home on our public lands in Nevada. The thought of them alone – separated from their families, trapped and terrified breaks my heart and makes me even more resolute in our work to stop this cruelty from happening.

The 90,000 wild horses and burros who remain free are counting on me, they’re counting on you, and they’re counting on us as a community to keep fighting for them.

So, let’s go into 2021 strong, resilient and fierce – like wild horses and burros – to make real change for these animals we cherish.

We have only a few hours left to meet our goal. We can do this!

On behalf of our whole team, we wish you and your families a peaceful and healthy New Year.

Gratefully,

Suzanne

Day 31: Good-Bye 2020!

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

Thank you for joining us this month as we shared stories from the barn that showed how your support helped horses this year. As we say good-bye to 2020 and ring in 2021, we are reflecting on our blessings from this year and what we would like to accomplish in the new year. We have a few resolutions for 2021! Top of the list is to find forever homes for all of our adoptable horses that didn’t find a person of their own in 2020. We don’t want them to wait any longer! Each of them deserves to have a loving family. Learn more about all of our adoptable horses below. Who knows – maybe you’ll be one of our featured stories next December! Another goal for the new year is to find generous supporters for each of the horses. If you (or someone you know) isn’t looking for a new live-in friend for 2021 but still want to support one of our horses, consider becoming a sponsor. Learn more about our sponsorship program. With the uncertainties and challenges of this year, we truly appreciate your generosity, support, and kindness. It is because of YOU that we were able to help 31 horses in need and placed 23 in their forever homes. Sadly, we lost 9 precious lives. Overall, that makes 318 intakes and 254 adoptions since we started in 2009. We end the year with 48 horses at AAE. We couldn’t do this work without the help of our horse-loving community. Thank you!

AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION

Learn more about each horse by clicking on its name.

If you are interested in exploring adoption,

please submit an Adoption Inquiry via the website.

Martina

Blue

Diesel

Carly

Shooter

Chesney

Mabel

Tegan

Big

Rustic

Raye

Marlee

Clare

Sandy

Teea

Frankie

Allie

Mags

Merle

Curly

For more information, click on the name to visit the horse’s or donkey’s webpage, and submit an Adoption Inquiry if you’d like to explore adoption.

Donate

This holiday season please consider making a year end donation to assure AAE has funding to continue the work we do and have similar stories to share in 2021.

Donate

Thank you for your support helping horses each and every day!

Your donations, volunteering, adopting, and social media shares & likes

allow us to make this work possible!

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MULE CROSSING: Donkey Jacks

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By Meredith Hodges

A donkey jack can be your best friend or your worst enemy! Because he is a donkey, he possesses all the wonderful characteristics particular to donkeys—intelligence, strength, easy maintenance, suitability for many equine sports and, probably most important, an innate affectionate attitude. You must, however, realize that he is still an intact male, often governed by the hormones in his body. When nature takes over, the jack’s conscious thought is greatly diminished and he can become quite hazardous to your health. The jack’s aggressiveness is often masked by his sedate and affectionate attitude, but it can arise in a split second and do more damage than even a stallion. Usually, there is an awkwardness, or indecisiveness, in an agitated stallion that will allow you time to get out of the way, but the jack reacts strongly, swiftly and right on target, allowing you little or no time for retreat. By keeping a few simple things in mind, you can greatly reduce your chances of injury when handling jacks.

First, try to keep your jack in a comfortable atmosphere. Jacks can be great worriers, particularly about their mares and jennets. Ideally, you should keep the jack well out of sight and smell of the females, but this is not always practical. If he must be near females, make sure your jack has a roomy area, free of refuse and debris, and adequately fenced. The fences should be high enough to discourage his leaning over the top and strong enough to bear his weight on impact. Also, they must be constructed so that there are no protrusions that could cause him injury. If females (or other animals) are present, the jack may run back and forth along the fence and catch his head on anything that is protruding. Hot wires along the inside of a weaker fence will often serve this purpose. However, a hot wire used alone is not sufficient. If your jack becomes frightened, he could run through an electric wire before he even knows that it is there. Giving him a clean, comfortable area where his limits are clearly defined will help him to be a calmer and more manageable animal.

Always make sure your jack’s pen is cleaned daily and that he has free access to clean water, a trace mineral salt block and good grass hay. If he gains too much weight with free choice grass hay, then simply limit his intake to two flakes at each feeding in the morning and evening. He can have a limited amount of oats during one feeding a day (preferably in the evenings), mixed with an appropriate vitamin supplement such as Sho Glo, and one ounce of Mazola corn oil (I suggest this particular brand—other brands of corn oils are not the same) for management of his coat, his feet and his digestive tract regularity. During feeding times, you should check him from top to bottom for any new changes to his body like cuts, bruises, lameness, etc. This is also a good way to reinforce his acceptance of being handled all over and to solidify your relationship with him. This consistent management practice paves the way for good manners in the jack, because he then knows with no uncertainty that you are a true friend and really do care about his well-being.

Many people opt to keep jacks in solitude, but this is not really good for them. Being a natural herd animal, they need social interaction. When they don’t have company nearby, jacks can become depressed (donkeys have actually been known to die from depression—they can stop eating and simply give up). To remedy this, jacks can be pastured or penned next to other animals, as long as the fencing is adequate between them. Of course, you also need to take into consideration the personality types of the animals involved, as well as being careful to make sure they are compatible. This can fulfill their need for companionship and keep them happy in confinement. As long as there are no cycling horse or donkey females around, jacks can be pastured next to mules of both genders. I had my own jack, Little Jack Horner, penned next to our teaser stallion for many years and they actually liked each other! We never had any trouble with them at all.

You can spend more time with your jack by using him for more than just breeding. Animals, like people, always do better when they have a regular job to do that affords them some purpose in life beyond propagation. Some sort of job will give your jack an alternative purpose, which can help to diffuse his obsession with the female. It will also attend to the strength of his core muscles that surround the skeletal system and vital organs and teach him self-discipline. And it affords more time for you to develop your relationship with him, have fun together and to deepen the bond between you, which helps the jack to develop a healthy mental attitude. There are many jack owners who use their jacks for riding and driving, as well as for breeding. This is an excellent and actually the best plan, but if you lack the time or inclination to use your jack this way and wish to use him exclusively for breeding, you should still take some time—at least two or three days a week—to work on halter training and groundwork, such as ground driving, for manageability. Teach your jack to walk, trot, whoa and stand still on the lead. During these sessions, keep a positive and relaxed attitude, with more emphasis on your rapport with him than on his performance. Be his friend so he has something to look forward to besides females and breeding, and he will have a much better attitude overall.

When he is flawless with his leading training, you can get him used to the bridle and a surcingle or lightweight saddle, and then move on to ground driving. Lunging is not as important, since most donkeys do not like to lunge. I suppose they don’t see much purpose in going around in a circle more than once to come back to the same place over and over again. Taking the time to properly train your donkey jack at halter and in the drivelines will enhance his obedience, and will make him more comfortable and relaxed.  During the breeding process, it can even speed up his readiness.

When using your jack for breeding, develop a routine that he can count on every time. When you go to the stall or pen to catch the jack, wait for him to come to you at the gate or stall door, and then reward him with oats when he comes to you. Then put on the halter, ask him to take one step backwards, and then reward him again (which is very important to prevent him from running over you and barging through the gate or out the door). If you are going to breed him, the mare should first be prepared. Next, once you are both out the door, ask him to whoa and square up all four feet. Then you can lead him to the breeding area, where you can then tie him to the hitch rail a little ways away from the waiting mare. By being consistent in your manner of going from the stall to the breeding area, the jack will learn not to be pushy and aggressive toward you.

When in the breeding area, your jack must be taught patience and obedience. If the mare is left to stand just out of reach until he is ready to breed, he may consider this a tease and may become anxious and unruly. To clarify your intentions to him, you can take the cloth you used to clean the mare and place it over the hitch rail near your jack’s nose. This way, he can get a good, strong scent of the mare, which will more quickly ready him for breeding and substantially decrease his anxiety time. If he is an indifferent jack, this can actually increase his interest in the female and, in turn, shorten the actual breeding process time. The fact that you brought him the scent allows the jack to believe that it is your decision when to breed and not his and that he must remain obedient. Let him cover the mare only when he is fully ready and make him walk to her in a gentlemanly fashion. If he becomes too aggressive and starts to drag you just return him to his place on the hitch rail, hold him there for a minute, reward him when he stands still and then re-approach the mare.

Just to be on the safe side with your jack while breeding, use either a muzzle or a dropped noseband (snugly fit low on his nose)—this will prevent biting injuries to you or to the mare. When he is finished, make him stand quietly behind the mare while you rinse him off. Allow him that last sniff to the mare’s behind, and then take him back to his stall (or pen), ask him to stand still while you remove the halter and then let him go. That last sniff appears to be an assertion of his act and of his manhood. If you try to lead him away before he sniffs, he might not come with you and he might become even more aggressive toward the mare. Remember to do things with your jack in a routine way, and always with safety in mind—this will allow him to relax and use the manners he has learned. NOTE: Women who are menstruating should never handle jacks or stallions during that particular time, since the scent can trigger aggressive and dangerous behaviors in these animals.

When you are around a jack, you must always be alert and know what he is doing at all times. A jack can be the most adorable, loveable, obedient guy in the world, but you must realize that his natural instincts can arise at any time and, although he may not do it intentionally, he can severely hurt you just the same. And when observing a jack from the other side of the fence, always remember that he can come over the top of that fence, teeth bared, so don’t ever turn your back to him or become complacent around him!

Lastly, when putting on or taking off any of his headgear, watch your fingers—when a jack knows the bit is coming, he often opens his jaws to meet it (with anticipation of the bit on a bridle), and your fingers can easily get in the way. Rather than a standard lead rope, it is advisable to use a lead shank with stallions and jacks for the best control. However, I discourage running the chain of a lead shank either through the mouth or over the nose. The correct position for a lead shank is under the jaw. Run the end of the chain through the ring on the near side of the halter noseband, then under the jaw, then through the ring on the opposite side of the noseband, and then clip it to the ring at the throatlatch on the right side of his face. This gives you enough leverage to control him without the halter twisting on his face. If you have spent plenty of time and done your homework during his leading lessons, your jack will learn to be obedient on the lead shank, even during breeding.

Retired jacks still need regular attention and proper maintenance to stay healthy into their senior years. Donkeys that do not receive good core muscle maintenance throughout their lives will often begin to sag drastically in the spine as they age. Their gait then becomes stilted, because their balance and strength are severely compromised. They can no longer track properly while moving or square up correctly when at rest. This can lead to irregular calcification in the joints, depression because they don’t feel well and premature health problems. On the other hand, the jack who has had a consistent and healthy management and training routine will enjoy longevity. If you keep these basic management and safety factors in mind, you and your jack can have a long, happy and mutually rewarding relationship!

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 1990, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2020, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

THE FINAL 911 FOR 2020. ANOTHER OLD LADY AND THE SADDEST STORY EVER – WILL YOU SAVE THE LAST 2 OF 2020??

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

ANOTHER 911 – LAST CALL FOR 2020!!

THE DEADLINE HAS PASSED FOR THESE 2! LET’S GIVE THEM THE CHANCE TO LIVE IN 2021. THEY ARE DESPERATE, and the gelding’s story will make you cry. It literally made us ill. :(

I had to go on faith.

Meet “TREASURE”. The saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s Treasure” is beyond true. TREASURE was “THAT HORSE”. He was the bomb proof, been there – done that horse. The one you could put any kid on. The one you put the visitors on, knowing that no matter how they rode or what they did to him, the horse would take care of them through thick and thin. He was the RANCH HORSE that worked for years.

TREASURE was literally the perfect horse,

UNTIL – He could no longer work. After 20 some years of perfect service, he no longer “had a purpose”, so he was thrown away like trashWhen the shipper wouldn’t even take him due to his poor condition, he decided that if he didn’t get what he wanted he would just leave him out to die. He was not going to waste money and feed him through the winter. He was not even going to waste a bullet…..

TREASURE is starved, weak and so full of worms I don’t even know if he will make it. He is exhausted and the first thing I am going to do is get his bloodwork done. Please say a prayer for him. He is so tired and so sad. He still doesn’t understand he is truly loved.

MEET “SMURF”. She is the old lady that was shipping to slaughter. She was lucky we could save her, because I received the info that she was a “done deal” and had no chance. Another “miracle for a mustang”.

She is 18ish?, a total sweetheart and did not need to end up on a dinner plate somewhere.

Saving these 2 lives is our “Last Hurrah” for 2020. Let’s end it with victory and save these precious lives! Treasure is going to need vetted asap, and will need all of us to pull together for him.

Christmas is at her new home and all settled in. Noel is with me, and sadly lost about 150 # before we could get her. She will also need lots of TLC!

I did manage to get our beautiful Annie Oakley home, in spite of the weather and incorrect forecast. I am so thankful to the folks that cared for her until I could get her. She is in better condition than when she came in, but still in horrible shape. She is extremely thin, very wormy and they literally picked 100’s and 100’s of ticks off of her. The ticks nearly killed her, and the worms are trying to finish the job. She HAS been dewormed, but is still in extremely poor health.

So we are *wrapping up 2020 with the usual 911 calls and desperate situations! PLEASE help us save these kids.*

_A quick personal note – I found out I have had Fybromyalgia for some time now. Sadly it explains why I have had such an increase in the chronic pain. Hopefully it won’t have much affect on my rescue, but prayers are greatly appreciated!

I guess being partially crippled and having an existing disease that causes chronic pain just wasn’t enough. (haha) But I know God has a plan and He will keep me going! I will keep fighting as long as I can, and I hope y’all will keep fighting with me!_

This is the link to our Chilly Pepper’s Wild Horse & Orphan Foal Adoption Page, where you can see the progress and new lives of the horses YOU HAVE HELPED SAVED! (I can’t believe I didn’t do this years ago, but it is so fun to see the horses, babies and critters that are enjoying and thriving in their new lives.)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/364129998164107/

Annie Oakley, home in Golconda at last!

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HELPING US SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU CAN GO TO:

You can go to gofundme

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

->You can donate via check at: (PLEASE NOTE NEW PO BOX #)

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

PO Box # 233

Golconda, NV 89414

You can also donate via credit card by calling Palomino at 530-339-1458.

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!

SAVING GD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, WIN Project – Rescue & Rehab

We are now part of the WIN Organization

WIN (WILD HORSES IN NEED) is a 501c3 IRS EIN 55-0882407_

If there are ever funds left over from the cost of the rescue itself, the monies are used to feed, vet, care for and provide shelter and proper fencing for the animals once they are saved.

Donate to Help

These faces. It’s why we do it.

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

These heartbreaking photos taken by our photographer yesterday at the Fish Creek HMA roundup in Nevada illustrate why our work to protect mustangs and burros is so important.

As I write this, our observer is in the field documenting yet another roundup of innocent wild horses who were living free with their families just days before Christmas. Now, they cling together in temporary pens awaiting shipment to a BLM holding facility and an uncertain future.

With your help today, we’re working to MAKE ROUNDUPS A THING OF THE PAST.

  • In the field, we’re showing that humane management of wild horses with birth control is possible.
  • In court, we’re defending wild horses from livestock industry demands for mass removals from public lands, and we’re fighting to stop brutal sterilization surgeries on wild mares.
  • In Congress, we’re gaining more and more allies committed to protecting wild horses and burros and reforming the BLM’s outdated and inhumane management practices.

We know we’re asking for a lot during this last week of the year. It’s because the stakes are so high.

At this very moment, our wild horses and burros face an existential threat: the BLM’s plan to decimate wild herds by removing 90,000 of these magnificent animals from our public lands over the next five years.

Our work in 2021 could not be more important and we need your support to make it happen. We’re just HOURS away from the opportunity to unlock $125,000 before we close the books on 2020. I’m asking personally…are you able to pitch in ANY amount right now to help us unlock our biggest matching donation opportunity ever?

hank you for your generosity, compassion and support. Together, we can keep America’s majestic wild horses and burros wild!

Suzanne

PS — Do you know of anyone else in your life who loves wild horses? Every dollar raised today before our EOY deadline matters more than ever. Please forward this email, and share this EOY match appeal on Facebook to help us reach our last and most ambitious goal of the year!

Day 30: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

As we count down to 2021, join us every day this month as we share stories from the barn that show how your support has helped horses in 2020.

With the uncertainties and challenges of this year, we truly appreciate your generosity and support.

In Honor Of

RUSTY, RUBY, and HOPE

As we approach the last post of 2020, we can’t leave the year behind without a special memory of three more horses. Not only was this year difficult with all of the impacts of COVID, but if you’ve been with us all year, you probably know it was a year of difficult losses. From 2009 through 2019, we’d lost 12 horses, many severe colics, some illness, a pasture accident, and a few with quality of life issues. (We do not euthanize to make space). This year was exceptionally difficult with loss of 9 lives (5 horses, 1 mini horse, 1 donkey, 1 mini donkey, and 1 goat). We’ve include stories of six so far. Three that remain were too special to not honor their memory one more time. I’ve relived them all the last 30 days, and they’ve weighed heavy, especially with the loss of Hardy just a few days ago. So, making it a little lighter on me….I’m keeping it brief. It doesn’t mean we won’t miss these three that touched so many people while here: Rusty, Ruby, and Hope.

RUSTY

Rusty was a 1986 Arabian that came to AAE in August of 2010 when his owner was facing deployment. Rusty was like a fixture at AAE until he passed April 16, 2020. Sadly, we were in the middle of COVID stay at home orders, and due to COVID fears, our care team had reduced to a skeleton crew. You can read Rusty’s story from earlier this year here.

RUBY

Ruby was a 1987-ish grade mare that came to AAE with her weeks old colt (Gem) in May of 2011. Yes, Ruby had a foal at about 24! Ruby left us on Christmas Eve 2013 to be a companion to an older horse, then came back in 2014 when he passed. She was a very sweet mare and was Rusty’s pal in the end. You can read Ruby’s story from earlier this year here.

HOPE

Hope was a 1998 grade Andalusian/Lusitano mare that came to AAE in February 2020 just prior to the COVID-19 stay at home order. She had been suffering from a horrific eye tumor for about two years. She was an incredibly brave mare that seemed so appreciative for the help. Hope was only here a short while, but she touched so many people with her kindness and gratitude. You can read Hope’s story from earlier this year here. Rusty, Ruby, and Hope left huge hoofprints on our hearts for a multitude of reasons. They were much loved and will never be forgotten.

Thank you for your support helping horses each and every day!

Your donations, volunteering, adopting, and social media shares & likes allow us to make this work possible!

Give the gift that keeps on giving by sponsoring a horse on behalf of a horse-loving friend or family member!

As a sponsor, your annual or monthly contribution helps support the costs of care for a specific horse.

You can sponsor at any level or any amount you choose. You will receive an electronic “gift letter” with a photo of an AAE horse, acknowledging your gift on behalf of your recipient.

Choose a horse to sponsor today!

Patriotic Mustang T-Shirts

Horse fans will love this shirt!

The Patriotic US Flag/Mustang image on front and Mustang is My Favorite Breed (or Rescue is My Favorite Breed) in white on back. Available in Black, Ash Gray, Navy, and Brown.

Orders may be picked up at the AAE Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs or

shipped for an additional cost.

Order Now!

 

Stop by the AAE Used Tack Store to find the perfect gift for the horse lover in your life! Don’t know what they need? We have gift cards, too!

 

Here are more ways you can help!

Doing any winter cleaning? Donate your gently used tack to AAE’s Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs. We very much appreciate tack donations delivered to the store in sale ready condition (e.g. clean, conditioned, oiled). Please email tack@allaboutequine.org for information about donating or to schedule a delivery.

Proceeds from used tack sales help pay for feed, veterinary expenses, and other operational needs.

Donate Tack!

Have you considered adopting a rescue horse?

Check out our current horses

If you are interested in adopting one of our beautiful animals, please take time to complete AAE’s

Adoption Inquiry Form

Adopt a Horse!

 

Take a look…

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

UPDATE: One day left

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

UPDATE — We’re nearly 25% of the way to our $125,000 End of Year goal we have to hit in order for all donations to be matched. We only have 24 hours before our EOY match goal deadline, and before you lose this amazing opportunity to more than double your donation impact.

Before we ask — for one of the very last times this year — for you to make a donation to our largest match opportunity EVER, we wanted to give you a glimpse of one way your donation will be used.

AWHC operates the world’s largest humane management program for wild horses and burros. The cornerstone of this highly successful program is the remote darting of wild mares with the scientifically proven fertility vaccine known as ‘PZP’. No need for roundups, expensive and crowded holding corrals, or risky sterilization surgeries. And do you know how much it costs for a single mare’s annual PZP vaccine?

$30

$30 today — on the 30th of December, one day before our LAST fundraising deadline of the year — is all it takes to keep a wild horse wild and show that brutal roundups and invasive surgical sterilization are not necessary to humanely manage wild herds.

Compare that to the $48,000 the Bureau of Land Management spends on the roundup, removal and long-term holding of a single horse. PZP is worth every dollar saved to keep wild horses living free with their families.

Can you give $30 on the 30th to help us fund our PZP program and hit our $125,000 match? We cannot afford to miss this goal. Your donation fuels our fight so we can take bigger, better, and bolder steps to defend and protect wild horses in 2021 and beyond.

Thank you!

—AWHC

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MULE CROSSING: Introduction to Behavior Modification, Part 2

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By Meredith Hodges

In Part 1 of Introduction to Behavior Modification, we addressed the steps involved in employing the reward system of training properly whereby desired behaviors are rewarded promptly and negative reinforcement is quick, fair and used sparingly. In Part 2, I will explain how to break down more complex movements into smaller steps that are simple and easy to accomplish, and then how to string them together in order to get the desired response from your equine.

Shaping Behaviors

Shaping behaviors takes reinforcement to the next level. Now you are working with the tendency of an animal to perform in the right way and guiding that performance toward your ultimate goal. This is called successive approximation. For example, if you are teaching a turn on the haunches on the lead line, you must first ask for one step forward. Then walk toward your animal’s shoulder and ask for the turn. In order to teach him to plant his rear pivot foot before the turn, the process must be broken down into smaller steps. First, ask for the step forward and reward him immediately when he complies. Then move on and ask for one step forward and one to the side, rewarding him again when he’s successful. Then ask for one step forward and two to the side and reward, and so forth.

Eventually, your animal will complete as many steps as you desire and, at the same time, learn to cross one foot over the other and only do as many steps as you ask. B.F. Skinner describes shaping behavior as a response that must first occur for other reasons before it is reinforced with a reward and becomes an operant or “action of choice.” A complex response such as executing the entire turn all at once would never occur naturally correct to be reinforced if you simply “turned the animal around.” He could not possibly understand that he must place the pivot foot before the turn is executed, and would most likely just “swap ends,” with no pivot foot placement and no finesse to the turn. However complex responses can be shaped by separately reinforcing their component parts. Then these parts can be put together in the final form of the operant or “desired action.”

An example of shaping a behavior by breaking it down into a string of very small steps is how I taught my donkey, Little Jack Hornerto canter. Although many people tried to tell me that donkeys don’t canter, I had seen donkeys canter when they ran free, so I knew it was possible. First, I set the goal of cantering a circle. No one could run ahead of my donkey fast enough to reward him with oats and negative reinforcement such as the crop didn’t work well at all, so I had to find another kind of reinforcement. Using the pleasure principle of finding the best motivation for an action, I put my cycling broodmares into a pen at one end of our hayfield and I took my jack to the other end. When asked to canter toward those mares, he did so eagerly. He first learned to canter in a straight line. I reinforced the action verbally with, “Good, good,” while we cantered, and then I gave him a food reward once we reached the pen.

The next time I did the same thing, but this time I turned my donkey in a large half-circle route to the pen, and I rewarded him again the same way. The third time, I asked for a little more of a circle and I got it. Several times later, I was able to get an entire circle before we ran the line to the pen with the mares in it. Once my donkey learned that he could canter easily with me on his back, I didn’t need the mares anymore.

I took Little Jack Hornerinto the arena and tried to canter the perimeter with him. At first he cantered a few strides and then dropped to trot. Each time he cantered, I praised him verbally, and when he broke to trot, I would finish the circle, stop him and praise him with the food reward. It was slow going the first few tries, until I started counting strides and realized the jack was adding one more stride at canter with each attempt. Before long, he was cantering the full circle with ease on command.

With training like this, my donkey jack, Little Jack Horner, has performed successfully in Trail, Reining (with spins, slides and flying lead changes), Second Level Dressage and even performed at Bishop Mule Days where he jumped four feet in exhibition —quite remarkable for a 13-hand equine, and a donkey no less!

The Ten Principles of Behavior Shaping

1) Establish and raise your performance criteria in increments small enough to give your animal a reasonable chance of success and create an opportunity for positive reinforcement. If the criteria are too challenging, the animal may fail and give up.

2) Train for one aspect of a behavior at a time. Do not try to teach several skills at once. When training for a dressage test, for example, do not practice the whole test every day. Take a few sections of the test and work on those. Practice going up and down the centerline in straight lines. Practice 20-meter circles. Practice going deep into the corners of the arena with the right amount of bend. Shape the ultimate result by gradually linking the components, and they’ll fit together nicely. Ride the test as a whole, and the quality of the smaller components will suffer.

3) Before you move to a new skill, put the current skill or behavior on a variable level of reinforcement. Use a fixed schedule of reinforcement on any new behaviors, rewarding verbally and with oats each time the behavior is performed, but once the animal “gets it,” reward less often and randomly. Then, as you add a new behavior, reinforce that behavior on a fixed schedule, while randomly rewarding learned behaviors.

4) When introducing new behaviors, relax expectations on the old ones. What was once learned is not forgotten, but under the pressure of assimilating new behaviors, the old behaviors sometimes temporarily fall apart.

5) Stay ahead of your trainee. Be prepared with what you will ask next, in case your animal has a sudden breakthrough and easily performs the next step. You must keep your equine challenged in order to maintain his interest.

6) Avoid changing trainers in midstream. The animal/trainer relationship is an integral part of the training. Changing trainers disrupts the training process until a new bonded relationship is formed. The owner should be doing the training with only guidance from a professional trainer as the animal will bond to the person who actually does the training.

7) If one shaping process is not working, try another. Individuals, whether animal or human, learn in different ways. Continue with the premise of reinforcement, but find what works best for your animal at any given stage. For example, if you cannot get your equine to back through barrels in a figure eight, simply begin by going forward and always start between the barrels to allay any fears he might have of them.

8) Do not interrupt the training process without cause—this constitutes a punishment. When you are training, try to avoid interruptions. When you train using the methods of behavior modification, you are obliged to reinforce the good behaviors. If you aren’t paying attention, you may inadvertently punish a desired behavior if you interrupt it. The most common example of an infringement would be talking to someone while you are training the animal. If you must talk to someone, simply include the equine in the conversation.

9) If a learned behavior begins to deteriorate, simply review and use fixed reinforcement until it is re-established. Sometimes side effects from negative reinforcement can cause this to occur, but if you remain calm and patient, the animal should relearn quickly.

10) Quit while you’re ahead. At the beginning of the each session, you will likely see improvement from where you were at the end of the session before. Drilling on a desired behavior will make the animal tired and less willing to perform. Better to quit with a good assimilation of the requested behavior, and work to refine it in subsequent sessions.

The Road to Success for You and Your Equine

As you begin to understand the principles of shaping and modifying behaviors, it is important to realize that it is a lot like dancing, cooking or any other learned skill—the only way forward is with practice. The more you practice, the better trainer you will become. You have the opportunity to practice positive reinforcement every moment of your life, reinforcing behaviors in everyone—the cat, the dog, your husband or wife, your children. It becomes a game of noticing and praising positive accomplishments while setting clear boundaries to all behaviors, large or small. With practice, you will increase your awareness and, thus, your skill. The success or failure of your efforts to shape behavior in any animal does not depend upon your expertise, but on your patience, respect, consideration and consistency during the process. This may not be the easiest way, but it is extremely effective—and it’s fun!

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2005, 2011, 2016, 2018, 2020 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved

It truly takes a village. We’re grateful for our “herd.”

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

Here at AWHC, we’re feeling the holiday spirit and that’s because of you.

Our incredible AWHC community is the greatest gift of all this season, and with it we have accomplished some of the most historic and unprecedented achievements in wild horse advocacy ever. Together, with our growing community of more than 700,000 wild horses defenders, we are showing that nothing is impossible when we speak as one.

We’ve talked a lot about our progress on the range, in Congress and in the courts, but today we want to share the stories of some of the precious lives we’ve helped to save by working together this year.

Our community is made up of everyday people coming together from all walks of life united to protect wild horses and burros. Time and again, you’ve shown up to help wild horses and burros. You’re always there when they need a helping hand.

We have a lot of work ahead of us — both to hit our fundraising targets before our EOY deadline this year, and to prepare for the challenges of the year ahead. However, we wanted to take a moment right now to celebrate our “herd” — YOU are the reason for the success of our work.

For the lives you’ve helped us save this year, thank you. There’s nothing we can’t achieve when we come together.

American Wild Horse Campaign

Day 28: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

As we count down to 2021, join us every day this month as we share stories from the barn that show how your support has helped horses in 2020.

With the uncertainties and challenges of this year, we truly appreciate your generosity and support.

BLUE UPDATE

Remember this guy? Blue came to AAE from Nevada in March of 2017 after a request for assistance from the Virginia Range Wild Horse Sanctuary and Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund. Blue had been carrying around a large mass of proud flesh (granulation tissue) over his left rear fetlock/pastern area for some time. Although he had been haltered and handled some previously, he was not halterable when he arrived at AAE. We knew we had a big job ahead in helping Blue.

Before we could evaluate the mass, he had to be gentled and easily halterable, and his legs/hooves had to be readily handlable for frequent bandage changes after surgery. With a straightforward mustang, not a big deal, but Blue had some substantial fear/trust issues. Initial efforts with befriending and haltering him were lukewarm. Thanks to Dr. Stolba and Team LBEMC (throughout Blue’s journey), he had made enough progress that we were able to sedate him, radiograph the bony area beneath the mass, and collect tissue samples for biopsy. We wanted to make sure there was not an underlying reason for the mass before getting too deep into corrective measures if they would be for naught. It was not an easy feat. Even with heavy sedation, he kicked quickly and with purpose.

Radiographs and biopsy detected no obvious issues, so the work continued. Weeks in, Blue seemed to have had a reaction to something and developed a mysterious condition that turned out to be a form of vasculitis. He developed sores/ulcers throughout his entire mouth. The first layer of tissue pulled off with any type of pressure. They were horribly painful. Though his history and symptoms didn’t suggest, we had to quarantine him and test him for vesicular stomatitis. Thankfully, it was negative. We scaled back our efforts to reduce his stress and allow him to heal.  But, the mass was growing and oozing, and flies and yellow jackets swarmed the oozy mass.

After several weeks, he improved, and we resumed course. He would take a few steps forward, then a couple steps back. Finally, after many weeks with nominal results, we had a marathon day. We worked until we broke through. Six hours, he accepted handling and touching all over, and we practiced bandaging and removing bandage, over and over. The next day, our learning curve was much shorter, and the next and the next, until finally, we could halter, touch all over, and pick up his left hind and handle it all over. We practiced with big, bulky bandaging materials again, wrapped it up, and he was a gem!

We scheduled surgery, and in late August 2017, he lost nearly seven pounds in a matter of minutes. The mass had a narrow base and truly looked like a big brain. It weighed in at nearly seven pounds. Imagine what that must have felt like with every move. Needless to say, it was done!

However, the mouth lesions returned. There were more, and they were worse this time. They were on his body, around his anus, and on his sheath. Poor guy, these things were awful, and they appeared to be an autoimmune issue. At one point, we questioned his prognosis and quality of life, but before jumping to conclusions, we biopsied the tissue. We ended up with the vasculitis diagnosis. The best thing was, we changed up his meds, and the sores began to heal. The area where the mass was removed was beginning to heal.  In the meantime, the next test came when it was time to change his first bandage. With a bit of sedation, it went fairly smooth, but cleaning the lesion was a little challenging. But, wow, it looked amazing! Such a tremendous improvement. It was like a victory in and of itself, even though not healed.

Healing progressed nicely. After several bandage changes, Blue was getting resentful of the needle for sedation, so we tried without. It went well with cleaning a few times, until he didn’t like it when placing the medicated bandage over the lesion. It seems he was healing, and he could feel the area again. He stomped the bandage off, over and over. The stomp was a little intimidating, but really, he was only trying to get the “big white bug” off his leg. He didn’t kick out or kick at. His stomp was purposeful in knocking the bandage off his leg. Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep the bandage on, so we had to go back to sedation for a bit. Eventually, we could remove the bandage, clean the lesion, and replace the bandage without issue, without sedation, thankfully. Healing continued.

By November 2017, the lesion was almost healed, but there was a small area where the tissue was changing, so it was trimmed by vet. By January 2018, the lesion had nearly healed again.  Blue made tremendous progress.  However, as the months went on, the small area persisted and started to grow again.  We lasered the area and biopsied for a third time, and this time the biopsy revealed a sarcoid. They are persistent little buggers!!!

​We tried some different medication over the months, but nothing resulted in complete healing, and by Fall, we decided to laser again; however, by November 2018, the sarcoid was growing, it was removed, and another course of treatment began with new medications. Blue stood quietly for bandage changes every two to three days.

As of mid-February 2019, Blue’s lesion appears to have healed, we continued applying an anti-viral cream daily for several weeks, maybe months. So far, so good. The lesion is scarred (about a silver dollar-sized area with no hair growth), and his fetlock remains enlarged from lymphatic scarring. He’s sound, just a bit awkward looking above his hoof.

Blue’s healthy, happy, and in much better shape than when he arrived. He continues to have challenges with trust, mostly when introducing new things, but he continues to show progress, one baby step at a time. He loves his carrots, and he will respectfully do almost anything for a bite of carrot.  He also enjoys being “Uncle Blue” to the youngsters, a job he does well!

​Like we have said before, Blue’s story is not an uncommon story in terms of the hurdles we cross with any intake with special needs. We have unexpected bumps in the road that required more than anticipated. For Blue, it was the bouts of vasculitis and later, the discovery of the sarcoid. For some, it’s colic; for others, abscesses, lacerations from tree branches or scuffles with others. We can’t plan for these things, but need the resources to handle them when confronted. We are grateful to have had the support of our AAE community to assure we can manage most any unexpected issue along the way.

Blue is available for adoption only to the perfect, forever home. He needs a person that is mustang-experienced, extremely patient, and has no expectations other than companionship and providing a safe, caring home. Keep in mind, he lived on the open range for years, and he does not enjoy confinement. At AAE, he lives in a herd environment on about 10 acres. He comes in every morning and every evening at feeding time. He is somewhat social, but still skeptical of humans. Given the choice, he’d prefer a free-roaming life with occasional visit to two-leggers. Blue gives his feet for cleaning, and he is ok with the farrier when trimmed in a small paddock. Blue has learned very basic groundwork. He is always looking for Plan B, an escape. He can be touched and handled all over, but continues to have a difficult time relaxing and enjoying. He’s pretty good with his hooves, but the front right is still an effort. His leg is checked regularly for any recurrence of his sarcoid. Fortunately, we are still sarcoid free, and his scar is about the size of a quarter. Blue needs much more confidence before considering saddle training, and he will likely be a very long term project. Continuity and consistency will be key in building his confidence and advancing his skills. Blue is current with hoof and dental care, vaccines, and deworming. He has a microchip.

Thank you for your support helping horses each and every day!

Your donations, volunteering, adopting, and social media shares & likes allow us to make this work possible!

Give the gift that keeps on giving by sponsoring a horse on behalf of a horse-loving friend or family member!

As a sponsor, your annual or monthly contribution helps support the costs of care for a specific horse.

You can sponsor at any level or any amount you choose. You will receive an electronic “gift letter” with a photo of an AAE horse, acknowledging your gift on behalf of your recipient.

Choose a horse to sponsor today!

Patriotic Mustang T-Shirts

Horse fans will love this shirt!

The Patriotic US Flag/Mustang image on front and Mustang is My Favorite Breed (or Rescue is My Favorite Breed) in white on back. Available in Black, Ash Gray, Navy, and Brown.

Orders may be picked up at the AAE Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs or

shipped for an additional cost.

Order Now!

 

Stop by the AAE Used Tack Store to find the perfect gift for the horse lover in your life! Don’t know what they need? We have gift cards, too!

 

Here are more ways you can help!

Doing any winter cleaning? Donate your gently used tack to AAE’s Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs. We very much appreciate tack donations delivered to the store in sale ready condition (e.g. clean, conditioned, oiled). Please email tack@allaboutequine.org for information about donating or to schedule a delivery.

Proceeds from used tack sales help pay for feed, veterinary expenses, and other operational needs.

Donate Tack!

Have you considered adopting a rescue horse?

Check out our current horses

If you are interested in adopting one of our beautiful animals, please take time to complete AAE’s

Adoption Inquiry Form

Adopt a Horse!

 

 

 

Let’s end this year on a high note!

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

News & Alerts

We have a truly game changing opportunity before us in these last few days of the year, but we’re going to need your help to make it happen:

The Opportunity: A generous donor has just pledged to match every single donation made up to $125,000 before the end of the year. This represents the largest matching gift in AWHC history — and we can put it toward sprinting right into next year’s important work, if we can meet this one condition before midnight on the 31st.

The Condition: Together, we need to raise $125,000 in grassroots donations to unlock this generous matching gift. Our wild horses are counting on us.

We have a chance to exceed 2019’s end-of-year fundraising total and gallop past our $75,000 Giving Tuesday goal, but in order for that to happen, we need everyone to pitch in and work together to take full advantage of this amazing generosity.

Opportunities like this don’t come often. Can we count on you to donate toward our biggest-ever EOY fundraising drive TODAY so we can start 2021 in the strongest position to make a difference for wild horses?

 

If you have saved your payment information with FastAction, your contribution will go through immediately on clicking a link.

Together, we’ve made tremendous progress this year. We made history with the first wild horse protection legislation introduced in Congress in more than a decade. We obtained the support of over five dozen members of Congress in the fight against brutal surgeries for wild mares. We have broken all records with our groundbreaking fertility control program for mustangs in Nevada, which is setting a worldwide standard. And perhaps most importantly, the momentum you created with HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of phone calls, emails, and letter-writing has grown our scrappy horse-loving grassroots movement into the powerhouse it is today.

We also have significant challenges to overcome in 2021: with 90,000 wild horses and burros in the crosshairs for removal within the next 5 years if we don’t keep up this work. We need to pull out all the stops, Meredith.

That’s why unlocking the full $125,000 in matching funds for our End of Year goal is so important. We can’t hit this goal without you — Donate any amount TODAY for your donation to be matched and help us unlock the full gift to continue our fight in 2021.

Let’s end the year with our best fundraising effort EVER!

Thank you for your support,

American Wild Horse Campaign

Day 27: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

As we count down to 2021, join us every day this month as we share stories from the barn that show how your support has helped horses in 2020.

With the uncertainties and challenges of this year, we truly appreciate your generosity and support.

CHESNEY, CLARE, and CURLY

Meet the three C’s, ChesneyClare, and Curly, recent intakes that came to AAE the end of November 2020, like others before them, from a distressed mustang sanctuary situation due to a family health crisis and financial distress. After 20 years of serving mustangs, the sanctuary was unable to adequately meet the needs of their horses.Upon arrival, these three were quarantined together, and they have had their hooves trimmed, dental floats, vaccines, deworming, and they got microchips. Two still have hind hooves to trim because they were naughty and need a bit more work!

CHESNEY

Chesney is a 14-ish mustang mare that was on the thin side needing hoof and dental care. She was very timid, but with lots of try. At pickup, she haltered with a slow, patient approach, and she loaded relatively easy.

Chesney lacks confidence, but she tries hard to understand. She allows her front hooves to be handled without sedation, but she needed sedation for her trim (fronts only). She wasn’t so confident with her hinds, so we’ll be working on that.

CLARE

Clare is a 15-ish Mustang mare. She is sweet (most of the time) and was relatively easy to halter. She loaded without issue, until trying to shift her inside trailer. She’s naughty around her hind end and will kick.

Clare was thin and in need of hoof and dental care. She also has a chronic fungal issue on her hinds. She is sweet and social, but can be evasive when haltering. She comes around with patience and persistence.

CURLY

Curly is about a 14-year old Curly Mustang. She is halterable, friendly, and easy going. She was easy to approach and loaded without issue.

Curly needed hoof and dental care. She was trimmed without issue (and no sedation necessary). She’s cute, personable, and seems uncomplicated.

We’re spending some time getting to know these three girls, but they should be available for adoption soon. Thus far, none have any obvious limitations, but we’ve only just begun to explore. We’re focusing on basic handling with Chesney and Clare, with priority on their hind hooves. Curly seems to have a great start, and we’ll likely introduce a saddle soon.

If you’re interested in adoption, please submit an Adoption Inquiry from our website, www.allaboutequine.org/adopt-a-horse.

Thank you for your support helping horses each and every day!

Your donations, volunteering, adopting, and social media shares & likes allow us to make this work possible!

Give the gift that keeps on giving by sponsoring a horse on behalf of a horse-loving friend or family member!

As a sponsor, your annual or monthly contribution helps support the costs of care for a specific horse.

You can sponsor at any level or any amount you choose. You will receive an electronic “gift letter” with a photo of an AAE horse, acknowledging your gift on behalf of your recipient.

Choose a horse to sponsor today!

Patriotic Mustang T-Shirts

Horse fans will love this shirt!

The Patriotic US Flag/Mustang image on front and Mustang is My Favorite Breed (or Rescue is My Favorite Breed) in white on back. Available in Black, Ash Gray, Navy, and Brown.

Orders may be picked up at the AAE Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs or

shipped for an additional cost.

Order Now!

 

Stop by the AAE Used Tack Store to find the perfect gift for the horse lover in your life! Don’t know what they need? We have gift cards, too!

 

Here are more ways you can help!

Doing any winter cleaning? Donate your gently used tack to AAE’s Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs. We very much appreciate tack donations delivered to the store in sale ready condition (e.g. clean, conditioned, oiled). Please email tack@allaboutequine.org for information about donating or to schedule a delivery.

Proceeds from used tack sales help pay for feed, veterinary expenses, and other operational needs.

Donate Tack!

Have you considered adopting a rescue horse?

Check out our current horses

If you are interested in adopting one of our beautiful animals, please take time to complete AAE’s

Adoption Inquiry Form

Adopt a Horse!

 

CROPRichardShrakeClinic8 11 2010 195CC

MULE CROSSING: Introduction to Behavior Modification, Part 1

1

By Meredith Hodges

“Throughout history, mules and donkeys have been pegged as being stubborn and therefore stupid, but I have found just the opposite to be true. They are intelligent, sensitive animals, and they have a particularly strong survival instinct. They’ll go to great lengths to avoid danger or what they perceive as danger, and the process of training a mule or donkey is the process of earning their trust.”

—Meredith Hodges, internationally recognized mule and donkey training expert

When I began working with mules and donkeys, I quickly realized there would be no shortcuts to successful training. I steered clear of fads, trends and shortcuts and, instead, based my training program on Behavior Modification techniques developed by world-famous behaviorist B.F. Skinner over a century ago. For many years now, I have used these techniques to successfully train my own champion mules and donkeys, and I continue to share my method with millions of people through my books, an award-winning DVD series, multiple television shows, my comprehensive website and on Social Media.

The techniques presented here work well with not only mules and donkeys, but also with horses and any other trainable animals (and even humans). The program is designed to be resistance free, and the goal is—and always has been—to help people get the best performance and most enjoyment from their animals and to insure that the animal receives the best treatment possible.

 Behavior Modification Basics

As a young adult I worked as a psychiatric technician at Sonoma and Napa State Hospitals in California, and the Behavior Modification techniques I learned at that time proved ideal for my later equine training purposes for two major reasons:

˚The system in which the trainer sets performance goals and rewards positive behavior leading to achievement of those goals encourages “good” behavior instead of using fear-inducing punishment to suppress “bad” behavior.

˚The step-by-step approach that builds gradually on learned skills gives the animal a sense of security and achievement that encourages trust and helps minimize resistance.

Animals, like humans, need a predictable routine in order to learn. Just as children progress through grade school, building on their knowledge with each successive grade, animals learn best when a solid foundation is laid for each new skill. By creating a logical program from the outset, we avoid the confusion that can lead to resistance.

These levels of achievement are at the heart of Behavior Modification as a training tool. Acceptable levels of behavior must be defined at each level of training, beginning with the simplest of expectations and working forward. At each level the animal must accomplish certain tasks, and each accomplishment must be acknowledged and reinforced. Also note that it is critical—especially if you are working with a mule or donkey—that you, the owner, participate in the training process. Mules and donkeys develop a strong bond with their trainer, and if they’ve learned from someone else, their performance for you may suffer in the long run. It is also advisable to consult with an experienced trainer in your area, and if you are working with my Training Mules and Donkeys training series, I am just a phone call away.

Reinforcing Behaviors

Everything we do, every behavior we choose, is based on an instinctual desire to experience pleasure and avoid pain. Our choices reflect our experience. They are “reinforced” by the pain or pleasure they have given us in the past. Behavior Modification uses the same principles of positive and negative reinforcement with an emphasis on positive reinforcement.

In training, positive reinforcementis delivered in the form of rewards. We know that an equine, when rewarded for performing a certain task, will be willing to perform it again in anticipation of another reward. Note, however, that positive reinforcement is not bribery. The reward is not given as an inducement to perform the task, but as a reward for a task completed. The reward should be something the animal loves and will consistently work for, yet something that is nutritionally sound. In the case of equines, rolled or crimped oats work far better than rich snacks full of empty calories and are healthier for your equine.

Positive reinforcement also takes the form of verbal cues. When your animal performs the desired behavior, you should, simultaneously and with appropriate enthusiasm, say the word, “Good!” This works well when it isn’t possible to give a food reward right away. Clicker training, which has become a popular and effective means of audible reinforcement, is similar and applies the same concept. It’s immediate, it’s consistent, and it can be used with all mules, donkeys and horses to reinforce behavior. However, I feel that it is better to use your voice than a clicker, as the sound of your voice promotes engagement with your equine on a more intimate level, so your voice will yield better results than clicker training.

Negative reinforcement is used not to punish the animal but to encourage them to make a better choice. Negative reinforcement should be brief, to the point and used sparingly. It should never be of long duration or given arbitrarily. Negative reinforcement, such as a slap or a loud “No!” shouldn’t be used so often that it makes the animal unresponsive altogether. Remember that reinforcement by its very definition always strengthens behavior. Punishment is used to suppress behavior and may trigger other undesirable behaviors. B.F. Skinner himself said that positive reinforcement may take more patience, because the effect is slightly deferred, yet it can be as effective as negative reinforcement and has fewer unwanted residual behaviors. When you begin training, you will have to give a verbal and food reward every time the animal performs a desired response. Still, negative reinforcement is necessary to define boundaries.

As your equine learns certain behaviors, you can reinforce the learned behaviors less frequently and focus on frequently rewarding new achievements. Gradually, your animal will become satisfied with a verbal reinforcement for established behaviors, and he will comply for longer periods between food rewards. This shift from a predictable, or fixed, schedule of reinforcement to a variableschedule helps with skill progression. For example, in the transition from lunging when your animal was initially given a reward after each set of rotations in the round pen, to riding, he can eventually be ridden through his entire 30 to 40 minute session before receiving a reward.

Beware of the “delayed gratification” phenomenon, however. If your animal suspects that it will be too long before he receives a reward, he may be reluctant to even begin. Often a quick reward for a simple task at the beginning of a lesson is incentive enough to get him started. Also keep in mind that reinforcing too soon is ineffective. Your animal should be rewarded immediately after the correct behavior, not before. An animal rewarded too soon or too often can become aggressive and/or resistant to training. Remember, each of your own behaviors elicits a response from your animal. You must be meticulous in the way you ask your animal to perform, and always be aware of your own actions. In Part 2 of Introduction to Behavior Modification, I will explain how to break complex behaviors into small and simple steps to achieve the best results.

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2005, 2011, 2016, 2018, 2020 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Day 25: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

As we count down to 2021, join us every day this month as we share stories from the barn that show how your support has helped horses in 2020.

With the uncertainties and challenges of this year, we truly appreciate your generosity and support.

A Favorite Christmas Story

RASCAL & MADDIE

Maddie and Rascal have been buds for a while. They are two very special girls that both had very rough entries into this world, but they are doing very well. This year, the best gift ever, they went to their new home together! Rascal’s story is a long one, poor lil’ thing went through so much, but her will to live was ferocious.

Rascal faced a lot of challenges from her first day on Earth! Many of you may have heard her story, but reminiscing about Rascal never gets old. AAE got a call for help with on April 5, 2017. Rascal was just hours old; she became an orphan when her mom scaled a six foot paddock and left her behind. She was located over five hours away, so we mobilized and met in Reno to pick her up. Her lil’ body was very weak, and she couldn’t get up on her own.

First stop from Reno was Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center. Surprisingly, her initial outlook wasn’t horrible. She was diagnosed with selenium deficiency…

She was hospitalized. The initial outlook was fairly good, but after getting blood results, it was bad. Then, we got call at midnight and her blood values were moving in the wrong direction. We were preparing for not so good news in the morning. HOWEVER, Rascal had different plans. By morning, she was fighting back, she was drinking milk replacer on her own. As it turns out, she was fighting a severe selenium deficiency that caused white muscle disease, which also put her kidneys in distress. Her blood levels started trending in the right direction. There was no doubt she wanted to live! She was a FIGHTER, and she battled to live.  Docs thought she was likely she’s dealing with the results of being rejected by mom, stresses of transport, and secondary effects resulting from mom’s malnourishment and selenium deficiency. but they were hopeful that with 5 +/- days of hospitalization and supportive care, she had a good shot at a relatively normal life. A BIG THANK YOU to LBEMC for their quick actions and the outstanding care provided for this little filly.

The days passed, and her progress was steady but slow. After 13 days in the hospital, she still couldn’t stand up on her own. We brought her home to continue treatment. That basically meant 24/7 care, but fear not, AAE volunteers rose to the occasion. This little gal had someone with her at all times. Rascal was playful and sassy, can’t you tell? We had so much fun with her, and she was a super sport!

Even this special volunteer kept a watchful eye. Like Holli, volunteers slept beside her at night, not the least bit phased by the enormous rats that ran across the rails of the barn and the roof. Rascal had to be lifted to her feet every two hours. Once standing, she was fine. She would romp around the inside of the barn at night, and she run around the outside of the barn by day.

After 13 days at LBEMC and another 13 days at AAE, Rascal was able to STAND up on her own.

As if selenium deficiency, white muscle disease, and distressed kidneys weren’t enough, Rascal had several more hurdles along the way including an umbilicus infection, two bouts with c. diff bacteria (diarrhea doesn’t begin to describe it), large umbilical hernia (some would say she was a he) followed by surgical repair, an enormous hoof abscess, then chronic diarrhea for nearly a year.  Once the diarrhea resolved, so did all of her health issues. Today, she is healthy and thriving (and she passes normal poop). For Rascal, that’s reason to celebrate.

Beautiful girl about a year old.

Growing up

Love this girl.

She had a lot of interest and a few adoptions fell through for one reason or another

Then this happened! We couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity for Rascal and Maddie.

This video never gets old

Rascal video

Maddie

You met Maddie with her mom, Tae, earlier this month.

Maddie was only a few days old when she arrived at AAE. This beautiful little gal was being rejected by her mom. Mom was young, and this was probably her first foal, but sheesh, she needs to eat (drink). It was truly hard to watch.

Mom would bite her every time she tried to nurse, and she had little sores all over her tiny body. Sadly, as we were observing, mom was escalating, and it seemed to be getting more serious.

Smart little Maddie knew how to think outside of the box; she was creative. She learned she could come in the back side to find a teat. Unfortunately, she didn’t nurse like that all the time. After a while, mom picked her up with her teeth, and she tossed her. Heartbreaking to see! At that point, it didn’t look like these two would work out, so we separated them. An hour, maybe two passed.

Without baby beside her, Mom began to worry. We tried re-uniting them once more, and thankfully, everything changed. From that point on, these two were a great pair.

Soon it was time to stand on her own, but really, Maddie has always been her own girl. She’s smart, witty, sassy, and strong (minded). This is going to be one dynamo partner, but you’ll need to assure her you’re the better leader.

Before long, it was time for school, but this lil gal is still young, so she learned the basics, then she waited. And, while she waited, you know what happened next! So grateful! Happily ever after!

Thank you for your support helping horses each and every day!

Your donations, volunteering, adopting, and social media shares & likes allow us to make this work possible!

Give the gift that keeps on giving by sponsoring a horse on behalf of a horse-loving friend or family member!

As a sponsor, your annual or monthly contribution helps support the costs of care for a specific horse.

You can sponsor at any level or any amount you choose. You will receive an electronic “gift letter” with a photo of an AAE horse, acknowledging your gift on behalf of your recipient.

Choose a horse to sponsor today!

Patriotic Mustang T-Shirts

Horse fans will love this shirt!

The Patriotic US Flag/Mustang image on front and Mustang is My Favorite Breed (or Rescue is My Favorite Breed) in white on back. Available in Black, Ash Gray, Navy, and Brown.

Orders may be picked up at the AAE Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs or

shipped for an additional cost.

Order Now!

 

Stop by the AAE Used Tack Store to find the perfect gift for the horse lover in your life! Don’t know what they need? We have gift cards, too!

 

Here are more ways you can help!

Doing any winter cleaning? Donate your gently used tack to AAE’s Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs. We very much appreciate tack donations delivered to the store in sale ready condition (e.g. clean, conditioned, oiled). Please email tack@allaboutequine.org for information about donating or to schedule a delivery.

Proceeds from used tack sales help pay for feed, veterinary expenses, and other operational needs.

Donate Tack!

Have you considered adopting a rescue horse?

Check out our current horses

If you are interested in adopting one of our beautiful animals, please take time to complete AAE’s

Adoption Inquiry Form

Adopt a Horse!

 

 

Wranglers Runaway9 1 20 1

WRANGLER’S DONKEY DIARY: Wrangler’s Runaway: 9-1-20

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Wrangler has been a happy camper since we acquired Chasity. Before that, he was so rambunctious that there was no one else that could be in turnout with him and I had limited time to work with him. He and Chasity are the same size and the same age, so they do get along very well. I still have to make training judgments when working with them. He helped me to get Chasity moving freely in the Round Pen during her first lessons, but lately, he has been annoying her while lunging which does not allow her to relax in the “Elbow Pull” like she should. And, he doesn’t relax either because he is too busy showing off to her now! So, I had to modify my approach. I still take them out together and just tie one up while I am working the other. I find that this works very well. Wrangler is back to moving in a dignified manner!

I can say that showing off to her did have its benefits. It developed his agility and his eagerness to move more forward and into a canter. When working him alone, I did not have to tie his reins to the saddle to keep his head up as I did when I was working him with her, but I did leave them on the bridle and secured them around his neck in case I did need them. His trot was very nice this time, so I decided to actually give the command to “Canter” and Wrangler willingly complied!

As Wrangler passed Chasity, he did occasional do a little crow-hop to acknowledge her, but mostly he stayed in good balanced posture and exhibited core strength with a lot of agility and flexibility. I used to think I needed to tire my animals to make them behave, but I have since found that when I pay attention to their physical development as well as the tasks I want them to do they are much happier and willing to comply. I PREPARE them for performance and bad behaviors decrease exponentially because I make them FEEL good! Good behavior is ALWAYS rewarded!

Wrangler decided to spook at a small branch that was on the ground, so I picked it up and we played with it! Then we got Chasity after her turn at lunging and made our way to the dressage arena.

Although Wrangler does tend to get a bit distracted when I have Chasity along, he does stay in sync with my steps most of the time. This is important in order to have their full attention.

This is Wrangler’s first lunge line lesson in the open, so I began with the short line as I usually do, but when he circled around me, he got to the point where he was facing Chasity and bolted toward her!

Apparently, Wrangler did not want to jump the fence, so he headed for the opening in the fence and then ran around the dressage arena perimeter. I just let go of the lines and watched him as he ran. I stayed where I was and assessed his movement while he got his “jollies” out!

He got halfway around and decided he wanted to go back toward Chasity. I guess he is not a confident jumper because he slowed down and carefully WALKED over the fence…in good balance and then cantered in balance in her direction!

I blocked him from going to Chasity and he darted to the left and toward the other end of the dressage arena. I called his name and asked him to come back…and he did…at a full gallop!

He thought about running around me, but decided a reward was a much better idea! Chasity was impressed with his performance and so was HE! I was just happy that Wrangler had decided to go back to work!

So, we repeated the process and he did nicely tracking to the left and halted quietly upon command. I did not let the line out very far. We would add that step the next time. I rewarded his success!

We did, however, do the same thing in the opposite direction, and again, I did not press my luck and kept the line shortened and controlled. Next, Wrangler would get his ground driving lesson in the open arena…another first.

I employed my Ranch Manager, Chad, as an assistant to make certain that things did not get out of control. I wanted to set Wrangler up for success. He was just perfect through the Hourglass Pattern and over the ground rails in the middle of the pattern.

After tracking through the pattern in one direction with the halts and rein backs in their designated spots between the cones, then crossing the diagonal and completing it the same pattern in the other direction, Wrangler did a perfect halt and rein back, and was amply rewarded for his success! It was time to quit!

Day 23: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

As we count down to 2021, join us every day this month as we share stories from the barn that show how your support has helped horses in 2020.

With the uncertainties and challenges of this year, we truly appreciate your generosity and support.

RED

Red originally came to AAE back in July 2015. He had been at the Monty Roberts International Learning Center (MRILC) for several months. His owner passed while he was at MRILC for gentling. He had been rescued, but we none of the information about him or his rescue situation was available.

Though Red spent quite a bit of time at MRILC, he had a difficult time accepting human interaction. While at MRILC, he experienced a lot. He was socialized, learned basic groundwork and long-lining, and he was introduced to a saddle (no rider). All that considered, when he arrived at AAE, it was like starting over. It took tremendous time overcoming fear and accepting humans. All of his vet care was updated when he was ready.

Red was adopted by a youth adopter in Fall of 2016. and his progress continued, but due to the life circumstances and the realities of work and finances that come with adulthood, his young adopter was unable to continue to meet Red’s needs. Red continued building trust and learning about saddle work, even carrying a rider a few times.

Red returned to AAE the beginning of January 2018. His vet care was updated again, including dental and hoof care, vaccines, and deworming. Though disappointing, we were glad Red was back at AAE. He was always a volunteer favorite, and he was enjoyed by all of the horses,too.

Such a handsome guy! Not long after returning to AAE, Red suffered a freak pasture injury. Veterinary exam indicated he ruptured his peroneus tertius muscle.  This usually happens when the hock is hyperextended, likely in a quick turn or change of direction. Thankfully, it was a soft tissue injury, and not the ghastly fracture it appeared to be.  Red was on stall rest for more than a year, but he healed well.

Red is a super kind and willing guy, but still has considerable difficulty accepting human interaction and trusting that no harm will come to him. First contact with him is like 50 first dates…or 593,625 first dates by now. He snorts when approached. He snorts whenever he encounters something new….even if he’s seen it a million times. Once he’s been touched by human (or monster), he is relatively easy to halter, and he seems to enjoy grooming and hanging with humans. With his injury, after a few months, he was haltered and hand-walked almost daily, but you would never know. He still acts like it’s something new.

Red is sweet, smart, and honest, however he is reactive and perpetually snorty. He is always respectful of his handler’s space. Red was looking for a home where he would be loved for him and not what he could do, a home where Red would be a companion first, potential riding horse or not. Thankfully, Red finally found his person a short while ago!!

Thank you for your support helping horses each and every day!

Your donations, volunteering, adopting, and social media shares & likes allow us to make this work possible!

Give the gift that keeps on giving by sponsoring a horse on behalf of a horse-loving friend or family member!

As a sponsor, your annual or monthly contribution helps support the costs of care for a specific horse.

You can sponsor at any level or any amount you choose. You will receive an electronic “gift letter” with a photo of an AAE horse, acknowledging your gift on behalf of your recipient.

Choose a horse to sponsor today!

Patriotic Mustang T-Shirts

Horse fans will love this shirt!

The Patriotic US Flag/Mustang image on front and Mustang is My Favorite Breed (or Rescue is My Favorite Breed) in white on back. Available in Black, Ash Gray, Navy, and Brown.

Orders may be picked up at the AAE Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs or

shipped for an additional cost.

Order Now!

 

Stop by the AAE Used Tack Store to find the perfect gift for the horse lover in your life! Don’t know what they need? We have gift cards, too!

 

Here are more ways you can help!

Doing any winter cleaning? Donate your gently used tack to AAE’s Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs. We very much appreciate tack donations delivered to the store in sale ready condition (e.g. clean, conditioned, oiled). Please email tack@allaboutequine.org for information about donating or to schedule a delivery.

Proceeds from used tack sales help pay for feed, veterinary expenses, and other operational needs.

Donate Tack!

Have you considered adopting a rescue horse?

Check out our current horses

If you are interested in adopting one of our beautiful animals, please take time to complete AAE’s

Adoption Inquiry Form

Adopt a Horse!

 

Day 22: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

0

The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

As we count down to 2021, join us every day this month as we share stories from the barn that show how your support has helped horses in 2020.

With the uncertainties and challenges of this year, we truly appreciate your generosity and support.

Hello from Hearty Hardy!

HARDY

Hardy came to AAE in July 2019. He retired from the Folsom Police Department in 2017. Hardy was originally going to retire at AAE, but plans for him changed. We were thrilled to finally welcome him about two years later.

We recently searched the Standdardbred registry and learned he was born March 9, 1997 in Marlborough, CT. His name was HeartofHearts. Very suiting for such a loving guy! We were told he was a pacer on the harness track until he was 11 or 12, before he was retired to another rescue where he was loved by volunteers. He was subsequently adopted to the Folsom PD where he served as a police mount until 2017.

We recently searched the Standdardbred registry and learned he was born March 9, 1997 in Marlborough, CT. His name was HeartofHearts. Very suiting for such a loving guy! We were told he was a pacer on the harness track until he was 11 or 12, before he was retired to another rescue where he was loved by volunteers. He was subsequently adopted to the Folsom PD where he served as a police mount until 2017.

He was on the thin side and arthritic on arrival, so our first priority for this big love was getting him back on track with his joint injections to make him more comfortable. At retirement, he was getting bilateral hock and joint injections, but those had not been continued for an unknown period. He was also started back on daily Equioxx tabs to help, too. Then we updated his vaccines and hoof and dental care updated, he was dewormed, and he had a microchip “installed”.

Hardy is a beloved volunteer favorite, and the feeling is mutual. When he’s not getting the love of our volunteers, these days, we find this big hearted guy wandering the barn and keeping a watch over our operations and all of the horses.

He’s also known as our “taster”. As if we were a winery, he takes a little nip of everything he sees (except his own food)! And then, he acts like “What??? Me?? I didn’t do it”!

Hardy is truly one of the heart horses of AAE. He is a deeply soulful old guy that gives something to everyone without even knowing it.

He keeps a watchful eye over all of his equine friends, small and large, and we are grateful to be able to keep a watchful eye over him.

Hardy wishes everyone a happy and hearty holiday season. Happy holidays to you, Hardy, from all your AAE family!

Thank you for your support helping horses each and every day!

Your donations, volunteering, adopting, and social media shares & likes allow us to make this work possible!

Give the gift that keeps on giving by sponsoring a horse on behalf of a horse-loving friend or family member!

As a sponsor, your annual or monthly contribution helps support the costs of care for a specific horse.

You can sponsor at any level or any amount you choose. You will receive an electronic “gift letter” with a photo of an AAE horse, acknowledging your gift on behalf of your recipient.

Choose a horse to sponsor today!

Patriotic Mustang T-Shirts

Horse fans will love this shirt!

The Patriotic US Flag/Mustang image on front and Mustang is My Favorite Breed (or Rescue is My Favorite Breed) in white on back. Available in Black, Ash Gray, Navy, and Brown.

Orders may be picked up at the AAE Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs or

shipped for an additional cost.

Order Now!

 

Stop by the AAE Used Tack Store to find the perfect gift for the horse lover in your life! Don’t know what they need? We have gift cards, too!

 

Here are more ways you can help!

Doing any winter cleaning? Donate your gently used tack to AAE’s Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs. We very much appreciate tack donations delivered to the store in sale ready condition (e.g. clean, conditioned, oiled). Please email tack@allaboutequine.org for information about donating or to schedule a delivery.

Proceeds from used tack sales help pay for feed, veterinary expenses, and other operational needs.

Donate Tack!

Have you considered adopting a rescue horse?

Check out our current horses

If you are interested in adopting one of our beautiful animals, please take time to complete AAE’s

Adoption Inquiry Form

Adopt a Horse!

 

 

911 FOR 2 PREGNANT MARES – NOW WE HAVE “THE CHRISTMAS CREW, PLUS TWO (AND 2 UNBORN FOALS) – WILL YOU SAVE THEM?

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

The phone calls won’t stop. TWO MORE LIVES AT STAKE – AND THEY ARE PREGNANT MARES! I was asked if I will do a “slaughter intercept” and save their lives.

The clock is ticking, and I need to commit.

So now we have the CHRISTMAS CREW – PLUS 2- plus 2

2 Mares and their 2 unborn babies.

The first four Weanlings are safe, but we still need to get them vetted, transported etc.

Thank you for saving their lives! Let’s make this an even bigger Christmas Miracle and save ALL OF THEM!

This is the link to our Chilly Pepper’s Wild Horse & Orphan Foal Adoption Page, where you can see the progress and new lives of the horses YOU HAVE HELPED SAVED! (I can’t believe I didn’t do this years ago, but it is so fun to see the horses, babies and critters that are enjoying and thriving in their new lives.)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/364129998164107/

The original “Christmas Crew” below. I am sorry for the poor quality of the photos, but this was what we could get, considering we just pulled them.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HELPING US SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU CAN GO TO:

You can go to gofundme

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

->You can donate via check at: (PLEASE NOTE NEW PO BOX #)

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

PO Box # 233

Golconda, NV 89414

You can also donate via credit card by calling Palomino at 530-339-1458.

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!

SAVING GD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, WIN Project – Rescue & Rehab

We are now part of the WIN Organization

WIN (WILD HORSES IN NEED) is a 501c3 IRS EIN 55-0882407_

If there are ever funds left over from the cost of the rescue itself, the monies are used to feed, vet, care for and provide shelter and proper fencing for the animals once they are saved.

Donate to Help

Day 20: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

0

The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

As we count down to 2021, join us every day this month as we share stories from the barn that show how your support has helped horses in 2020.

With the uncertainties and challenges of this year, we truly appreciate your generosity and support.

MARLEE

Marlee came to AAE from a small sanctuary in October 2020 during a family distress situation. She was a bit thin, and she had a large summer sore in her right eye. Marlee was a bit timid and anxious. Apparently, she was a kill pen rescue that didn’t work out with her original rescuer.

Her summer sore was treated right away. It’s healed nicely and hasn’t had any residual issues. Her spa days came later. Her hooves were trimmed. Then she got her dental, vaccines, and microchip.

Marlee is a very sweet and pretty mare, and she enjoys grooming and attention. However, she lacks confidence and tends to worry, though since she’s been in a herd environment, her confidence has grown and her worry lessened. When alone, she paces and is constantly on the move. That said, since arrival at AAE, her confidence is slowly growing, and she’s becoming more social.

​Marlee has abnormal stifles, and she is not sound for riding. She is nervous with farrier and hoof handling, in general. The separation issue doesn’t help, but it seems it may be uncomfortable due to her stifle condition, as well.

Marlee is available for adoption and looking for love! She is current with hoof and dental care, vaccines, and deworming. She also has a microchip. She is best suited for a non-riding, companion home.

Marlee has bounced around a lot the last few years. She needs one last soft-landing to call her forever home. Can you be her last stop to call home???

Thank you for your support helping horses each and every day!

Your donations, volunteering, adopting, and social media shares & likes allow us to make this work possible!

Give the gift that keeps on giving by sponsoring a horse on behalf of a horse-loving friend or family member!

As a sponsor, your annual or monthly contribution helps support the costs of care for a specific horse.

You can sponsor at any level or any amount you choose. You will receive an electronic “gift letter” with a photo of an AAE horse, acknowledging your gift on behalf of your recipient.

Choose a horse to sponsor today!

Patriotic Mustang T-Shirts

Horse fans will love this shirt!

The Patriotic US Flag/Mustang image on front and Mustang is My Favorite Breed (or Rescue is My Favorite Breed) in white on back. Available in Black, Ash Gray, Navy, and Brown.

Orders may be picked up at the AAE Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs or

shipped for an additional cost.

Order Now!

 

Stop by the AAE Used Tack Store to find the perfect gift for the horse lover in your life! Don’t know what they need? We have gift cards, too!

 

Here are more ways you can help!

Doing any winter cleaning? Donate your gently used tack to AAE’s Used Tack Store in Shingle Springs. We very much appreciate tack donations delivered to the store in sale ready condition (e.g. clean, conditioned, oiled). Please email tack@allaboutequine.org for information about donating or to schedule a delivery.

Proceeds from used tack sales help pay for feed, veterinary expenses, and other operational needs.

Donate Tack!

Have you considered adopting a rescue horse?

Check out our current horses

If you are interested in adopting one of our beautiful animals, please take time to complete AAE’s

Adoption Inquiry Form

Adopt a Horse!

 

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