Trying to Train Prince, My Beautiful Arabian

Prince side view

When I was living in Virginia, there came a time when I was without a horse. At the place I rode at, I noticed a gorgeous Arabian someone boarded there. Asking around, I discovered that he had a brother, and went out to the farm where the brother lived. I met his owner and breeder, and he told me he still had the brother. When I saw the gray and white Arabian, I fell in love. The owner told me had to be honest; the colt had previously been owned by a teacher, but he had tossed her off his back. He wasn’t dependable. Nevertheless, I wanted that horse, and not only rode him myself but asked my riding teacher, with much more experience than I, to ride him too. We did so and he behaved like an angel’s horse. I paid for him and took him to my teacher’s place to live. He would need training which I would be glad to furnish. At first he seemed uncomfortable there, but soon Prince found the brown horse above and they became buddies. The only thing wrong was that Prince seemed to shy away from a section of the fence. The teacher said that there was nothing there to be frightened of and all I had to do was to be careful when I rode him past the fence. But then there was a heavy rain where I lived and I couldn’t ride for two weeks. Finally I was able to go to my teacher’s farm. The first thing she told me to do was longe him. You longe a horse by working him in a circle around you. He’s fastened to a line about twenty to thirty feet long. I stood in the middle and encouraged Prince to walk and then trot around me in a circle. I envisioned him eventually cantering smoothly in a circle. He did fine this night, and I got on his back and proceeded to trot him around the riding ring. As I approached the fatal section of the fence carefully, he stopped and abruptly flipped me off his back. As I fell to the ground, I thought, “Don’t land on your back.” I didn’t, but landed hard on my left shoulder. As I picked myself up off the ground and stood up,  I found my arm behaving strangely. The lower half was flopping uselessly. The teacher ran over, her face ashen. She drove me to the nearby drive-in hospital annex where a doctor I knew socially received me. (Much later he told me he knew exactly what had happened to me but didn’t want to upset me by telling me the shoulder was broken. He had the same injury himself long ago.) Tonight he was cheerful but at the same time serious, if you can imagine the combination. He told me I had to go to the hospital as soon as possible and dispatched an ambulance. His nurse told the driver, “Don’t shake her around. Go very slowly. She has a dislocated shoulder.” When I got to the hospital and had x-rays, the orthopedist said grimly, “You have a dislocated and broken shoulder. Surgery tomorrow. I don’t have anyone to assist me tonight. I’ll give you something to make you sleep and I’ll operate tomorrow.” He told me to stay as still as possible in bed. It took six months, a stiff course of physical therapy, and two surgeries to get over the injury which the orthopedist had called “a mess” upon seeing the x-rays. What happened to my beautiful Arabian? I had to sell him back to his owner, who was overjoyed to get him back because he had bred him and missed him. I couldn’t go on owning him because I had a demanding, stressful job and couldn’t do much with my wreck of a shoulder. I regretted losing Prince a lot and wished I could have completed his training. Of course I didn’t blame Prince, and I was glad for the short time I had him. I still remember him with fondness.

Update on Anti-Soring Campaign from Clant Seay

Mr. Seay’s bold and vigorous campaign has resulted in many people signing petitions to stop soring. It’s exactly what other campaigns have lacked, that is, involving as many people as possible and giving them access to vote on the burning issues that make up soring.

Note: Thank you Mr. Seay for allowing me to quote directly from the web site.

“On April 24 – 25, 2015, one of the CRUELEST Horse Shows – the “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse is coming to the Maury County Park at Columbia, Tennessee.

The barbaric Show failed in Panama City, Florida due to lack of support. It has now moved to Columbia, Tennessee where it will be called the “Gulf Coast Charity Celebration”, although it is over 400 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

“Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horses are “SORED” to perform the “Big Lick” – a high stepping gait with large hoof build-ups, severe bitting and overweight hunched over riders on Two Year Old Horses.

“Soring” is the illegal and cruel practice of using chemical and mechanical methods to create pain in a gaited show horse’s front feet to exaggerate their animated step.

Columbia, Tennessee is a progressive beautiful city of 35,000 people about an hour South of Nashville.  Columbia’s reputation should not be marred by “Animal Cruelty” being displayed at the Maury County Park in the name of family entertainment.

The Southern States of Mississippi, North Carolina and Alabama have recently risen up against the “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horse “Animal Cruelty”.

  • March 6, 2015MISSISSIPPI – The UMMC (University of Mississippi Medical Center) Children’s Hospital severed ties with the Mississippi Charity Horse Show in Jackson, Mississippi. It refused to accept “blood money” donations from the “Big Lick” horse show due to the national controversy regarding the care and training of “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horses
  • March 13, 2015NORTH CAROLINA – The North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner banned “Big Lick” Tennessee Walking Horses from the 2015 NC State Fair.
  • APRIL 2, 2015ALABAMA – Over 70% voted landslide “NO” in The Decatur Daily newspaper online Poll Question: “Should Celebration Arena Have Hosted The Tennessee Walking Horse Trainers Show Given Its Previous Horse Soring Violations?”

America and the World are ready to HELP innocent Columbia, Tennessee say “NO MORE ANIMAL CRUELTY = NO MORE “SORE BIG LICK” Tennessee Walking Horse Show.”


The Mustangs of Las Colinas

The Mustangs of Las Colinas 2 small

Once long ago, I visited my son in Texas. That trip is memorable for many reasons, but I will never forget our visit to the Mustangs of Las Colinas. When I first saw the nine bronze mustangs running across the pink granite plaza of Williams Square, I realized immediately that their bodies were absolutely realistic and I knew a master sculptor had created them. I was also enchanted with the stream that some of the horses were running through, their legs and the resulting upheaval of the water cunningly combined. What enhances the beauty of the horses is their location in a business development around the plaza. The plaza furnishes an oasis in the middle of the surrounding buildings. And indeed relaxed people are encouraged to sit on the plaza: workers, tourists, anyone else who cares to contemplate these nine horses and their beautiful, powerful, muscular bodies in motion. How did they get there? I learned that they were the brainchild of Ben H. Carpenter who transformed his former family ranch into a business development called Las Colinas. He decided to put a group of wild mustangs on the plaza to celebrate the equally wild and untamed history of his native state. In 1976, he consulted Robert Glen, one of the premier animal sculptors in the world, to bring Carpenter’s vision into life. The sculptor spent a year studying the history of the mustang. He found out that the American mustang was cross bred. Glen discovered a horse in southern Spain that still had the original pure bloodline of the conquistador mustang. That horse became the model for the Las Colinas horses. The story of how Glen made the horses is fascinating, since his studio was in Nairobi, Kenya, and the fiberglass molds of his models had to be sent to an English foundry. There is much more to this history. You might want to do more research. Meanwhile, if you are anywhere near Irving, go and see these horses. I took the picture above and had it enlarged to hang in my home in Virginia. If you’d like to read more about Robert Glen who specializes  in African wildlife, go to Let’s not forget Ben Carpenter whose wonderful vision this was.

In Praise of Friends of Sound Horses

Walking Horse Losing His Balance

An announcement came through the other day about Friends of Sound Horses and its new partnership with the North American Western Dressage group. Their plans are exciting and you can look at to see what will be offered to gaited riders and their horses as a result of this union. However, I want to remind readers while I’m on the subject that FOSH has an honored, courageous history for opposing soring, and there is a special place in the web site devoted to this crime. You can use the site for gaining accurate information if you’re going to be giving a talk or writing about soring. I am particularly interested in using the HPA Suspension Listing, showing who has been suspended for soring. I’ve known for a long time of course that no one wants to share that information, so the bravery of FOSH in making that information freely available to those of us who are fighting soring is indicative of their willingness to do anything necessary to defeat soring.