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DOUBLE-DECKER HORSE TRAILERS MAY BE BANNED

By Bob Silbernagel
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

We don't see many double-decker horse trailers around here, thank goodness. But apparently the livestock trailers pulled by semi-tractors — and usually used to haul sheep, hogs or other smaller livestock — have been used back east to haul horses.

However, a bill that passed the House Transportation Committee would make that illegal. It was drafted in the wake of a horrific accident in Illinois three years ago.

To read the Horse Channel.com story on the bill, click HERE.

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ANOTHER MONTH TO COMMENT ON WILD HORSE PLAN

By Bob Silbernagel
Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Bureau of Land Management has announced it will extend for one month — until Sept. 3 — the time period to comment on its proposed wild horse management plan for the entire country.

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced the proposal earlier this year, but it immediately drew criticism from wild horse advocates. The official BLM Strategy Development Document was released June 3, with a 60-day comment period.

To read the BLM announcement about the extension, click HERE.

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CALGARY SAMPEDE IN HOT SEAT

By Bob Silbernagel
Saturday, July 31, 2010

I meant to link to this earlier. Several news sources say the Vancouver Humane Society and PETA are both demanding the Calgary Stampede end its annual chuckwagon race after five horses died durning the race this year. PETA is going even further and demanding an end to rodeos in general. But that's not unusual for that group.

Here's a link to the online magazine Examiner story about the effort. Click HERE.

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DOES THIS SADDLE MAKE ME LOOK FAT?

By Bob Silbernagel
Friday, July 30, 2010

More to the point, does your saddle fit your horse properly? According to a recently released study from New Mexico State University, there is a good chance it doesn't.

The study looked at 200 horse-and-rider combinations from competitive ropers and barrel racers. It found that nearly half the saddles in both categories created excessive pressure on the horse's back as a result of poor fitting. This photo is from the NMS website about the study.

One surprising discovery to me, and probably lots of other horse folks, is the fact that thicker saddle pads don't necessarily alleviate the problems. In fact, they often make it worse.

Read the article at Horse Channel.com by clicking HERE. At the end of the article are two links, one that will take you to the full report from New Mexico State, and one to an earlier article on saddle fitting.
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THE QUEEN, ON AND OFF THE TRACK

By Bob Silbernagel
Thursday, July 29, 2010

Anyone who pays attention to horse racing knows Zenyatta is royalty at the race track. Seventeen wins in 17 starts, including the Breeder's Cup Classic last year, make her an undisputed champion. This photo shows her winning a race this year. She is expected to race several more times this year, including another shot at the Breeder's Cup, before retiring.

However, unlike so many other champions — human and equine — is also regal off the track, but kind and appreciative of her fans. Man of War was mean to everyone but his groom. Secretariat was aloof. But Zenyatta loves to interact with people, from children to wealthy donors who pay thousands to spend time with her.

This article from the Houston Chronicle offers some insight into Zenyatta and her "people skills."

To read the article, click HERE.

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RESTORING AN EQUINE MONUMENT

By Bob Silbernagel
Monday, July 26, 2010

In Great Britain work is set to begin soon to restore a rock monument carved into a hill in Dorsent nearly 200 years ago. According to the BBC, the huge artwork -- 260 feet tall -- was created in honour of George III, who visited to the town frequently on his favourite grey charger.

To read more from the BBC, click HERE.

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ANATOMY AND DRESSAGE

By Bob Silbernagel
Monday, July 26, 2010

An interesting clinic is scheduled for Aug. 13, 14 & 15 in Colorado Springs: Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, a veterinarian and author of books on dressage and horsemanship, and Sunsan Harris, known for her "Anatomy in Motion" paintings on live horses of their muscle and skeletal structure.

To download a flier for the clinic, click HERE.

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IT’S FAIR TIME ON THE WESTERN SLOPE

By Bob Silbernagel
Friday, July 23, 2010

The Mesa County Fair continues through Saturday at the fairgrounds on Orchard Mesa, although the 4-H horse show was held last weekend. More PBRA bull riding competition is slated for tonight.

Up in Rifle, the Garfield County Fair is under way, with the 4-H horse show there running today through Sunday. There's also jackpot team roping with JC Roping set for Saturday.

The county fair is also taking place to the south, in Montrose, with a Colorado Professional Rodeo Association rodeo tonight and Saturday. Sunday, the Junior Horse Show and Junior Horse Speed events are scheduled, followed by a Junior Working Ranch Horse Show Monday morning. The Montrose County Fair continues through the week, with some rodeo and horse-related evens scheduled.

Delta County's fair doesn't begin until Aug. 8.

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DIMWITTED DONKEY ABUSERS

By Bob Silbernagel
Thursday, July 22, 2010

Animal cruelty sparks anger, even in places like southern Russia, where this incident took place.

Some folks at a private beach resort at the Sea of Azov, trying to attract more people to their resortlast weekend, apparently strapped a terrified donkey into a para-sailing rig, then sent the animal flying high above the water as it brayed in fright. The owner of the resort could do prison time for animal cruelty, the police say.

The photo here was apparently taken from video one of the tourists at the scene shot.

To read more from Horse Channel.com, click HERE.

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Pony Club in paradise

By Bob Silbernagel
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Moose and I were fortunate to be invited to join the Grand Valley Pony Club for a weekend of cross-country schooling at the beautiful Flying Horse Ranch near Oak Creek and Stagecoach Reservoir.

I'm not sure what the elevation of the ranch is, but it was a good deal cooler than the Grand Valley last weekend. Hosts Lydia and Lou Dequine were great, and the lengthy cross-country course, with a variety of jumps at different levels, was wonderful. That's Whitney Jackson and her horse, Olive, easily handling one of the larger obstacles.

Thanks to Julie Ellis for inviting me and to all the Pony Clubbers and their families, as well as Lydia and Lou, for the great time we had. Cricket, Michelle and Natalie provided instruction.

I plan to write more about the Pony Club for the September edition of Horseplay in The Daily Sentinel.

To see more photos, click HERE.

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