Monthly Archive for: ‘February, 2017’

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

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

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

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

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

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  • MULE CROSSING: Dancing with Mules

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    By Meredith Hodges

    Lucky Three Sundowner was foaled at my mother’s Windy Valley Ranch in Healdsburg, California in June of 1980. Two weeks later he and his dam, Candy Etta, an AQHA registered mare were shipped to the Lucky Three Ranch where we continued the superior mule breeding and training program that my mother had started. Sunny was a tall, gangly little bay mule foal with an affectionate and willing attitude.

    His show career began at halter and progressed to Western Pleasure and Reining by the time he was three years old. He won the World Championship in Reining at Bishop Mule Days as a four year old in 1984. Although he did really well in these events, he still seemed tense and nervous. For the next two years, I decided to focus on more relaxing events for him in Western Pleasure, Trail and English Pleasure. People were not easily accepting mules in these kinds of events anyway. They were thought of as stubborn and uncooperative.

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  • LTR Presents: Rein It In

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Click Here To Visit Chilly Pepper And Help Today

  • The Veterinarian’s Role in Equine Abuse Investigations

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    The following is an article from The Horse.

    The Veterinarian's Role in Equine Abuse Investigations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Sybil Ludington: The Female Paul Revere

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Dear friend of SYALER,

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

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

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  • MULE CROSSING: An Historical Lady Muleskinner 2017

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    By Meredith Hodges

    Mules have led me on the journey of a lifetime! My first introduction to mules and donkeys was in 1973 at my mother’s Windy Valley Mule Ranch in Healdsburg, California, where we raised and trained hundreds of mules and donkeys for a variety of uses across America. Many of them we sold to George Chamberlain and they subsequently went to work in the Grand Canyon. At first, I was truly afraid of these animals after hearing all the old myths, but as soon as I met my first mule, I was certain they had to be wrong. Apart from being stronger, tougher and more durable animals, they were also personable, affectionate and quite humorous! Although at that time they were primarily used for packing and driving, their incredible intelligence and conformation led me to believe that they could be trained to become amazing equine athletes! After all, with the addition of the jack’s strength and intelligence, they are always better overall than the horse out of which they were bred.

    In 1979, I witnessed my first Bishop Mule Days Sierra Nevada packer’s rendezvous. That was where my career in training mules and donkeys in every recreational equine event began. I was “ass-tonished” at the impeccable way these knowledgeable men and women handled their mules, wagons, packs and equipment with such grace and dignity…and not without a proper measure of good humor! I caught a very bad case of “Mule Fever” and began my own pursuit with Longears in ALL forms of equine athletics. Bishop Mule Days grew from the weekend packer’s rendezvous into the weeklong show over Memorial Day weekend that it is today, adding new classes each year to accommodate the accomplishments of a lot of Longears-lovers like myself along the way. Little did I know, the friendships I started then were to last a lifetime!

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  • MULE CROSSING: Basic Training for Foals Includes Common Sense

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    By Meredith Hodges

    “Imprinting” is a natural process by which an animal (most typically, when young) comes to recognize another animal or a person as a parent or other object of habitual trust. Imprinting is also the way any equine is touched when he is a foal and handled throughout his entire life. It is never too late to use imprinting with your equine, and the way you do it will determine whether or not he develops a lifelong confidence and trust in you. NOTE: Imprinting should not be utilized only when your equine is a newborn, and then never utilized again. Imprinting should continue throughout his entire life.

    Equine foals must be allowed to play—running, kicking and rolling. This is how they exercise so they can grow up to be healthy adults. Like any baby or toddler, a foal cannot be expected to have perfect manners, so keep lessons short (10-20 minutes every other day at the most) and use good judgment when you are with him to avoid being kicked or bitten. If he does kick or bite while you are doing things with him, use the flat of your hand and give him a quick thump on the rump for kicking or on the side of his mouth for biting, accompanied by a loud “No!” He will probably run off, but should be able to be coaxed back verbally and fairly easily with soothing language and an offer of crimped oats. When he finally does come back to you, reward him with a nice pat on the neck, and then leave him to play. By doing this, you are letting him know that it is okay to play, but not to kick or bite. He has learned that bad behavior will elicit an unpleasant touch while his good behavior will illicit kind touch and soothing words. You can resume more serious corrective lessons later.

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  • Horse Welfare Report Clears European Parliament Hurdle

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    The following is an article from The Herald.

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

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

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

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

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

    Julie Girling, Conservative MEP for the South West and Gibraltar

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

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    The following is an article from West Hawaii Today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    The following is from the American Wild Horse Preservation.

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

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

     

  • CHARITY FEARS DONKEYS ARE BEING ‘BLUDGEONED TO DEATH’ FOR SKIN TRADE

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    The following is an article from Horse & Hound.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Photo of captured Nevada wild horses by BLM

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

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  • MULE CROSSING: Little Jack Horner

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    By Meredith Hodges

    Little Jack Horner, 13 HH sire-supreme of the Lucky Three Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, was the last jack born at the famed Windy Valley Ranch in Healdsburg, California. He was foaled June 11, 1980, by the renowned Windy Valley Adam (14.2 HH) and out of Windy Valley Maude (15 HH). His ancestry can be traced back to the original breeding stock of George Washington’s farm at Mount Vernon, Virginia.

    In 1984 and 1985, Little Jack Horner captured second place in the Bishop Mule Days World Show Halter class for Standard Jacks. His impeccable show record consists of first and second place standings at Halter in his home state of Colorado, and in 1986, he placed first at Halter in the A.D.M.S. Registered Jacks class at the A.D.M.S. Nationals in Dallas, Texas.

     

    In 1984, he made his debut in performance at the Colorado Classic Horse Show, placing first in Donkey Driving and Donkey Pleasure. His willing disposition held him in good stead, placing him first in Donkey Pleasure and Donkey Driving at Bishop Mule Days in 1989. Little Jack Horner by his own request was trained in Dressage and Jumping along with his numerous offspring mules. He reached Second Level Dressage over three years and jumped four feet in exhibition at Bishop Mule Days in 1991 where he received a Specialty Award for his efforts. In 1993, he placed first in Donkey Pleasure, Donkey Pole Bending and Keyhole.

    Although Dressage proved difficult (as it would be for any donkey), it helped to set the stage for his incredible athletic ability in jumping. He soared over fences to 4’6” without a rider and worked up to 4’ with the rider on board. In keeping with traditional Dressage, Little Jack Horner worked on a Pas de Deux in Jumping with another Colorado Standard Jack, Blue Zebulon owned by Fran & Larry Howe of the Bitterroot Mule Company. Those who know the difficulty of working jacks should be able to appreciate the dispositions and good manners of these two unique and very special individuals! Little Jack Horner proved himself not only a well-conformed jack, but also a true athlete! He was inducted into the Bishop Mule Days Hall of Fame in May of 2014.

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  • LTR Presents: Double Time

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

  • AWHP Update: ❤ Love Conquers All ❤

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

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

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

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

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

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  • UHC Roundup – February 2017

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    The following is an announcement from the UHC Roundup.

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    The Media Roundup is now the UHC Roundup, a publication with a new name and a broader scope. In addition to news articles and events, the UHC Roundup highlights member programs and success stories spanning all breeds, disciplines, and regions, plus it has a new photo feature and a link to the UHC Blog.

    If you wish to share your story of unwanted horses becoming wanted again, contact the UHC at uhc@horsecouncil.org.

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  • South Dakota update on Court Case on remaining 540 horses from Chilly Pepper!

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

    After days of driving very slowly on solid ice and snow, we arrived safely after delivering the horses to their new homes. Matt and I have never seen so many wrecks. It was truly terrifying with our precious cargo on board. But our prayers were answered and we had Angels all around us.

    We delivered Copper, Delilah, Precious and Abilene (shown above) safely to their new homes and headed back towards ISPMB. As you can see, by the photo below, the snow is once again a hindering factor in our work.

    This photo was taken just before we arrived at ISPMB. Snow has actually drifted so high over some of the fencing that horses can simply walk out.

    As we were driving, I received a message from the Sheriff that the court hearing had been cancelled. A deal had been reached between Karen Sussman and the Counties. Karen gets to keep 20 of her favorite Gila horses and the rest have been turned over to Fleet of Angels.

    So the work begins. While I would much rather be back home taking care of our critters, there are 520 horses needing homes immediately!!

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  • MULE CROSSING: Rock and Roll: Diary of a Rescue: Part 2

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    By Meredith Hodges

    In Part 1 of Rock and Roll: Diary of a Rescue, we learned about the discovery and rescue of Belgian draft mules, Rock and Roll, by Meredith Hodges and her team of experts. As the pair’s rehabilitation continues, the road to recovery gets tougher. But for every health setback, there is a personality breakthrough with these courageous and now-trusting gentle giants—and always a reason to hope.

    By May of 2011, both mules were beginning to bond well with me and I was able to separate them during workouts. I knew I would have to develop a strong bond with Roll in case Rock didn’t make it, and we all knew the odds were not in Rock’s favor. Being alone with me in the round pen helped Roll to concentrate on the tasks at hand. His way of going was markedly improving with each new lesson.

    Both mules could now square up properly and move in a much more balanced frame, although holding that balance was intermittent. The personality of each mule began to emerge and they became more willing to play games and to be touched and kissed about their heads. Rock was much more overt about his pleasure during the massages, and we could finally tell that they were beginning to trust us.

    By mid-June, we were able to take the pads off Rock’s back feet and reset the shoes without the pads. He had grown three-eighths of an inch of sole on both hind feet and the rotation began to improve in one back foot. Both mules were feeling much better and were actually engaging in play during turnout. Next, we discovered that due to the concussion to his rear feet from improper use during driving in the past, Roll had side bones in his right hind foot. This caused him to twist that foot as it grew out between trims, so we put shoes on his back feet as well.

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