What's New: What’s New

  • MULE CROSSING: The Importance of Good Manners When Training

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    By Meredith Hodges

    When I was growing up, my grandmother constantly reminded me of the importance of good manners. She would say, “You will never get anywhere of any consequence in this world without good manners!” And she would add, “Without good posture and proper dress, you won’t live long enough to enjoy it!” She made me read Emily Post’s Book of Etiquette from cover to cover. In retrospect, although reading the entire book was a real chore, the respect for good manners that she passed on to me has been an extremely valuable gem in my training experience with equines.

    I think that the concept of combining equine training techniques with lessons in good manners is one that many people do not pay as much attention to these days as they probably should. Putting an equine in good posture with respect to his physical comfort is the most obvious form of good manners when communicating with your equine. When you apply the elements of good manners during the training process, you facilitate body and verbal language that equines really appreciate, and when you apply your own good manners and teach good manners to your equine from the very beginning of the training process, you can continue to move forward much more easily than if you do not incorporate good manners between you and your equine. When you run into resistance from your equine, take it as a red flag that you’re missing something in your communication with your animal and change your approach.

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  • MULE CROSSING: Fine-Tuning the Aids

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    By Meredith Hodges

    While doing the exercises in balance by riding without the aid of your reins as described in DVD #5, you probably discovered a lot more shifting of your own balance than you imagined. This nearly imperceptible shift of balance, however, can grossly affect the balance of your equine. Until now, I have always given the rider a visual point of reference by allowing you to glance down at the outside front leg. Now you will want to be more inwardly conscious of your own body position.

    You need to repeat many of the previous exercises to cultivate this kind of sensitivity, but this time, close your eyes for brief periods of time to get the “feel” of each movement in your own body. Do not simply allow your equine to travel freely in any direction, because this will not give you an accurate feeling for any specific gait or task—you must plan your course of action. If, for instance, you set up your equine to bend through and come out of a corner with impulsion, you can close your eyes for a few seconds down the long side and feel the balance that comes out of that corner when the movement is executed correctly. In this particular situation, once you’ve closed your eyes, you may notice that your animal is starting to lean slightly to the inside. A squeeze/release from your inside leg, sending your mule forward and catching that balance with the outside rein, corrects the balance and keeps him going straight and erect down the long side.

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  • MULE CROSSING: LTR Training Principles Philosophy

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    By Meredith Hodges

    No training series would be complete without examination of the principles and philosophy behind the training techniques. The philosophy of my training techniques is based on the principle that we are not, in fact, training our equines. In fact, we are cultivating relationships with them by assigning meaning to our own body language that they can understand.

    Since our own level of understanding changes and grows over time, we must assume that so does that of our animals, and we must gauge our explanations accordingly. In the beginning, the emotional needs of the young equine are quite different from that of an older animal. They need to overcome a lot of instincts that would protect them in the wild, but are inappropriate in a domestic situation. In this case, our focus must be on developing friendship and confidence in the young animal, while establishing our own dominance in a non-threatening manner.

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  • BREAKING: Senate protects wild horses (but fight’s not over)

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    The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

    Our team just got word after months of campaigning: the Senate has maintained protections for wild horses and burros in its version of the Interior Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018.

    Even better, the Senate directed the BLM to come up with “humane and politically viable” solutions to wild horse management. Clearly, our Senators realize that killing our cherished mustangs or selling them for slaughter is neither humane nor politically tenable. 

    This is a huge win! Your phone calls, emails, donations, protests, and petitions paid off. You were heard. Our strength was shown. Thank you.

    But the fight isn’t over. Here’s what’s next: the Senate (which included protections) must now negotiate with the House (which didn’t). This “conference” will determine the fate of wild horses and burros in our country.

    We’re actively tracking who will be in this conference and how we can impact the negotiations. We’ll be in touch as we know more.

    In the meantime, please consider an emergency donation to help us continue to fight for wild horses.

    You know the stakes: if protections are removed and slaughter or “euthanizing” begin, tens of thousands of wild horses will die. It would be an unprecedented mass slaughter. It would be tragic and defy the recommendations of scientists.

    You have done an incredible job of making that case. We’ve won a major victory, but the battle is still on. Please keep it up.

    Thank you for being with us,

    Suzanne Roy, Executive Director

    Donate

  • URGENT HELP NEEDED – ANOTHER 48 HOUR DEAD LINE – MORE BABIES – CAN WE SAVE THEM FROM SLAUGHTER ?

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    The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

    Hi all,

    I am home from the hospital and desperately hoping that we can make this Holiday one to be thankful for. Another “48 hour deadline is here”.

    We just got “the call”. _ As I write this, there are babies at risk of being loaded onto the slaughter truck tomorrow night if we do not step up and save them._ We need to let him know ASAP! if we will be there or if these babies die.

    However, the last time we got a call for 6, it was 14 babies two hours later and by the time Matt did the pick up it was 22. So we need to be prepared for a much larger number. We are praying it won’t be more, but we have never, ever, not had “more” babies upon arrival in WA.Right now it is 4-5??

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  • MULE CROSSING: Equine Behavior: Look Who’s Talking! Part 3

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    By Meredith Hodges

    In Part 1 of Equine Behavior: Look Who’s Talking, we discussed the evolution of man’s self-discovery and how he applied this to his approach to equines. If we want to manage our equines in a healthy way and accomplish even the most basic performance with them, there is much to consider during the training process. In Part 2 of Look Who’s Talking, we learned that equines are honest in nature and produce quick and honest reactions to a stimulus. Therapeutic Riding provides an exemplary teaching experience for both human and equine, and those of us with our own equines can now derive much more from the relationship than we ever thought possible.

    During centuries of use, equines have been asked to perform many tasks, as they have always been essential tools in agriculture, for transportation in cities and as a fighting partner in the military. People who worked regularly with these animals had an appreciation for their general health and longevity. Although people were limited by their own experience, they would generally provide the best possible care because the equine was an integral part of their economy. Many horses and most mules and donkeys worked hard to build this world and support people in their endeavors. It is always amazing when one realizes just how much these animals have contributed to our wealth and welfare.

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  • Contact Congress TODAY

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    The following is from the American Horse Council:

    As Congress continues to negotiate a final spending package for FY2018, the horse industry and its allies have an opportunity to assure that lawmakers include H-2B guest worker visa relief in the final bill.   Federal lawmakers must address this issue prior to the expiration of the FY2017 appropriations measure, which occurs on December 8This creates a three week window to contact your elected officials in Washington and tell them you need common-sense, guest worker visa flexibility. 

    Please contact your federal lawmakers today! By clicking on the TAKE ACTION button below, you can urge them to support any provision that will provide H-2B visa cap relief within the context of FY2018 appropriations bills.

    Take Action

  • UHC Roundup – November 2017

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    The following is from UHC:

    The UHC Roundup

    NOVEMBER 2017
    The UHC Roundup is an online publication that compiles news articles and events related to unwanted horses. It highlights UHC member programs and success stories spanning all breeds, disciplines, and regions.

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

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    UHC NEWS

    UHC Publishes Estate Planning Guide for Horse Owners

    The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) is pleased to announce a new publication, “Estate Planning: A Guide for Equine Owners,” is now available on the UHC website, and as a brochure.

    Read More

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  • CHILLY PEPPER – MIRACLE MUSTANG – ONE broken leg, 3000 miles and 23 LIVES SAVED!!! by Y’all

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    The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

    Please forgive me if this is poorly written. I am sitting in the hospital (actually after care at Renown Skilled Nursing). There are some pain meds involved, so hopefully you will have patience with any grammatical errors.

    WOW – What an adventure. Matt and I were prepping to pick up the 14 babies y’all came through for. It was Sunday and we were maybe 10 minutes from pulling out of the driveway. I was in the office grabbing my purse when I took a step and “snap”. I had been on my crutches for about a week and my leg felt like it was going to snap every now and then. The last time it felt like this they had to add cadaver bone. I didn’t think it actually would break, but it did. Shown above you can see the initial hardware below the break.

    So instead of heading out with both trucks and trailers, we sat waiting for the ambulance to come. We still had to pull the babies, but obviously I wasn’t going anywhere. We immediately called my neighbor Ammy Gorsuch and she and her hubby came over right away. She would immediately take on providing Hope and Gypsum’s milk and their care.

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  • Senate Unveils Tax Reform Details

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    The following is from the American Horse Council:

    Senate Unveils Tax Reform Details, Doubles Estate Tax Exemption without Full Repeal

    On the heels of the House of Representatives’ release of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) last week, the Senate Finance Committee began to roll out details related to its tax reform bill on Thursday afternoon, not releasing text and an official revenue “score” until Thursday night.  There are some major differences between the two bills that both chambers must reconcile prior to presenting legislation to the president’s desk for his signature.   Notably for the equine and broader agriculture sectors, the senate plan would double the exemption for the estate tax without eliminating it altogether, as provided in H.R. 1. The Senate Finance Committee will begin to mark-up the legislation on Monday, November 13.    Please see the below highlights, outlining some key provisions that will impact the equine industry:

    Business Provisions

    • Corporate Tax Rate: The senate bill delays reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent until 2019. By contrast, H.R. 1 provides an immediate corporate tax cut, effective in 2018.
    • Expensing: The senate bill provides “100% bonus depreciation within five years,” which is similar to a provision in H.R. 1.
    • Business Interest: The plan states that small businesses will be able to deduct interest on loans intended to finance the growth of operations and inventory.
    • Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) – Like H.R. 1, the senate bill eliminates the unpopular AMT, which doubles the amount of time taxpayers must spend to calculate their business or individual tax liability within any given year.
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  • On the ground

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    The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

    I’m writing you today on-the-ground in Nevada where community organizations have been protesting outside the Governor’s office. 

    As you know, our organization was working with the the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) on a successful, humane wild horse management program. Two weeks ago, it was abruptly halted. We know our opponents prefer slaughter to seeing success in humane birth control. 

    Help us fight back. ADD YOUR NAME —> Tell Nevada Governor Sandoval: Tourism drives Nevada’s economy and we are the tourists who urge you to put science over politics. Keep humane wild horse management.

    It’s not too late to save this incredible program. Today, we’re presenting the results of the first year of humane birth control program. The results are overwhelmingly positive: at no cost to taxpayers, our partnership built a database of 2,700 Virginia Range horses, we prevented more than 146 births in 2017 using humane birth control, and we project more than 200 births will be prevented in 2018.

    There is no reason to halt this program. Earlier this year, the NDA Director noted how pleased he was with the program. The National Academy of Sciences recommends humane birth control. And our results in the field are validating that recommendation.

    Keep up the fight. With your help, we are optimistic about resuming work with the NDA to allow this very successful public-private partnership to continue.

    SIGN OUR PETITION: Keep the Virginia Range humane wild horse management program.

    Thank you,

    Suzanne Roy

    Donate

  • Stop Flu Where it Starts

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    The following is from the Merck Animal Health:

    Stop Flu where it starts.

    Trust Flu Avert® I.N. for superior protection against relevant flu strains threatening the U.S. horse population.1

    Just ONE dose required
    An ideal first flu vaccine for young horses, providing protection at the site of infection and long-lasting immunity

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  • House Releases Tax Reform Details

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    The following is from the American Horse Council:

    House Releases Tax Reform Legislation, Moves Forward with Small Business, Estate Tax Relief

    The House Ways and Means Committee has shared highlights and text on historic tax reform legislation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  While highlights from the bill are outlined below, AHC is currently reviewing the fine print of the 429-page legislation, received from the tax committee shortly after 12:00 PM ET.  Today’s release initiates a long over-due effort to streamline the nation’s 70,000 page tax code.  In a move that is consistent with advocacy from the equine industry and its allies, the House bill will repeal the estate tax after six years, and reduce rates for small business, or so-called “pass through” entities.  Please see the below highlights, focusing on issues that have the most significant impact on the equine industry:

    Business Provisions

    • Small Business: The bill sets a maximum tax rate of 25 percent on small business, or “pass through” entities.  Under current law, small businesses can pay federal taxes at rates as high as 39.6 percent.
    • Corporate Tax Rate: The bill lowers the corporate rate to 20 percent, down from the current 35 percent corporate tax rate.
    • Expensing: The plan will “allow business to immediately write off the full cost of new equipment.”
    • Business Interest: The plan also states that small business will be able to deduct interest on loans that allow job creators to “hire workers and increase paychecks.”
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  • National Equine Health Plan Published

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    The following is from the American Horse Council:

    National Equine Health Plan Published

    Valuable resource will help curtail risk of disease spread

    The American Horse Council (AHC), in conjunction with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state animal health officials, is pleased to announce that the National Equine Health Plan (NEHP) is now available at equinediseasecc.org/national-equine-health-plan.

    The horse industry is unique because horses are transported with more frequency than other livestock. It’s been seen firsthand how disease outbreaks cost the industry millions of dollars for the care of sick horses, implementation of biosecurity, and lost revenue in the form of cancelled or restricted commercial equine activities such as horseshows. In 2013, the industry felt it was time to step up and address the issue of the handling of disease outbreaks and the dissemination of information surrounding the outbreaks. This gave way to the creation of the NEHP that will outline the issues surrounding the prevention, diagnosis and control of diseases and the responsibilities and roles of the federal and state authorities and the industry.

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  • They pulled the plug

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    The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

    Since 2013, our organization worked in concert with the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) on a successful, community-based wild horse management program. It has been an incredible private-public partnership using zero taxpayer funds to humanely manage the Virginia Range horses using birth control (PZP).

    In four short years, our program has effectively reduced the Virginia Range wild horse population (estimated at 3,000 horses) by 500 through humane birth control and rescue – without any horses going to the slaughter auction. We’ve spent over $400,000 to protect these cherished mustangs and our local coalition partners have contributed thousands of volunteer hours.

    Last week, the NDA terminated this successful program. Out of the blue. And there’s no explanation other than politics. Without our program, more horses will be born, more horses will be removed from the range and horses will go to the slaughter auction. 

    Will help us fight back? We can’t let the forces that want to slaughter wild horses win! 

    1. Call Governor Sandoval’s office at (775) 684-5670

    Tell him: I’m calling to ask Governor Sandoval to restore the Virginia Range Horse Cooperative Agreements with the American Wild Horse Campaign. Governor Sandoval should not turn his back on this successful community partnership that’s bringing private dollars and volunteer resources to protect public safety and humanely manage these cherished mustangs. Nevada taxpayers and these historic mustangs deserve better.

    2. ADD YOUR NAME –> Tell Nevada Governor Sandoval: Keep community-based, humane wild horse management program.

    Our local coalition partners and Nevada citizens have been calling. They’ll be visiting the Governors office and holding events. Will you stand with them by calling and signing the petition today? 

    Thank you,

    Suzanne Roy

    Donate

  • 911 – 14 LIVES AT STAKE…… CAN WE SAVE THEM??? IT’S UP TO Y’ALL AGAIN….48 HOURS TO SAY YES OR NO….. 1

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    The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

    Above are some of the babies from the last trip.

    It’s Saturday, and we JUST NOW got a call from the shipper. We have 48 hours to be there to pick up a MINIMUM of 14 of this year’s babies.They will be older kids, but how do we say no, you need to ship them????

    So it is going to be up to y’all if, and how many, we can save. The last group was underfunded by about $2000, but luckily we received a grant from Giant Steps Foundation who covered the balance still owed for that rescue.

    They also gave us a grant for the additional nursery building we so desperately need, our wild horse chute and to help with hay. THANK YOU & GOD BLESS YOU, GIANT STEPS FOUNDATION. However, these funds can ONLY be used for what they are specified for, and they are needed explicitly for those items.

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  • What’s New? Roll: “Happiness is getting back to good health!”

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    10/26/17: It is MULE APPRECIATION DAY today and the perfect time for an update on Roll! Roll has recovered nicely from his bout with White Line Disease in 2016. He had no workouts during that year, but surprisingly, he retained his core strength and balance throughout 2016 and came into 2017 still in good posture and balance. This leads me to believe that core strength does not necessarily deteriorate as rapidly as does bulk muscle.

    Roll had his most recent “leading for core strength postural workout” on May 23rd this year. However since then, I have been unable to pursue any more lessons during the entire summer due to business obligations.

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  • Topic and Speakers Announced for AHC’s 4th Quarter Webinar

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    The following is from the American Horse Council:

    Topic and Speakers Announced for 4th Quarter Webinar

    Tax Reform and its implications to be discussed

    The AHC is pleased to announce the topics and speakers for its 4th Quarter webinar, which will take place Monday, November 13th at 3:00 pm ET.

    “Will the grass be greener on the other side of Tax Reform?” will be the focus of the webinar, and will feature speakers Danielle Beck, Director of Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA); Liz Minneman, Senior Legislative Assistant to Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY); and Alex Waldrop, President & CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA).

    The equine industry and its partners in the agriculture and small business sectors continue to engage Congress and the Administration on key elements of the GOP’s ‘unified framework for tax reform’ that was released on September 27. The AHC feels it is important to provide the industry with some detailed background information as to how this plan will affect them or their business, as well as get insights from other segments of the agriculture industry and Capitol Hill itself.

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  • Utah’s Famed Wild Horses Need You

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    The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

    Speak Up for Utah’s Famed Onaqui Mustangs

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking aim at one of the most unique and popular wild horse populations in the nation. Visitors travel from all over the world to see and photograph the wild horses of the Onaqui Mountains in Utah, due to their accessibility (close to Salt Lake City), unique herd dynamics, and the sheer beauty of these colorful and historic mustangs. But now the BLM is proposing to roundup and remove nearly 75% of this herd — more than 325 horses — instead of fully implementing a humane birth control program to stabilize population growth rates. If Congress approves the BLM’s lethal budget request, every horse removed from the Onaqui range will be in danger of being killed or sold for slaughter. There’s not a moment to waste – please weigh in today for humane alternatives to this destructive roundup plan! 

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  • ACTION ALERT- H-2B Visa Cap Relief

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    The following is from the American Horse Council:

    Contact your senator, and get worker visa cap relief today!

    This fall, the Senate continues to work on funding bills for FY2018 and put together a package which it must negotiate with the House of Representatives.  Current activity in the Senate has created a unique opportunity for AHC members to advocate for adoption of measures that will provide H-2B cap relief for America’s labor-strapped, seasonal businesses. 

    Please contact your senators today and urge them to support any provision that will provide H-2B visa cap relief within the context of FY2018 appropriations bills. 

    Take Action

     

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