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Year of the Black Horse

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For Information on how to participate in the written column and on-line Q and A, please check out our Submission Rules page! Thanks for making 2001 such a great year and by all means let's keep it up in 2002! Joy B.

 

 BACK TO TOP   ISSUE: JANUARY 2002

HAPPY 2002! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that you're looking forward to the New Year and all the great times ahead! May this New Year be full of welcome surprises, good friends, lots of fun, and plenty of opportunities to ride! The year 2002 is certainly starting off with a bang and has already brought changes to several of the magazines who carry The Right Lead and to the column as well. Be on the lookout for several new features coming this year, but I'm not going to spill the beans! Just keep picking up the papers each month and checking TRL web site- I think you'll like what you see! Joy B.

 

HELP WANTED:

Q. HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?
I hear that the proper form for WP (Western Pleasure) is to have the headset in a level/straight line with the whithers. I also understand that it is illegal (rulebook) to go more than five strides with the headset lower than the whithers. Also, it seems as though all the horses that win in WP appear to be trotting in the front and loping in the back, they look like they are breaking the gate, but these horses are winning first place. I guess I am curious as to why these horses are winning top places, comments, especially from judges, would be appreciated. - Inquiring Mind. Click here to reply!

 Q. SORES WON'T HEAL:
My horse is getting some kind of sore on the outside of his hocks - I guess from laying down? I've heard it can also be caused by fly bites?? Anyway, they're quarter sized scabby areas that won't seem to go away. I've tried Corona, but it didn't help. Maybe I didn't apply it long enough or I did something wrong. Any ideas? - Jamie. Click here to reply!

 

New! PRODUCT PADDOCK:

In response to the question in November 2001's column concerning Old Mac horse boots, two readers, Sandra Walker and Estelle, went on a fact finding mission that provided the basis of this product review. Special thanks to both ladies for the great job they did in the initial research and subsequent follow-ups.

Old Mac's™ Multi Purpose Horse Boots:

Old Mac's Horse Boots

According to Estelle and Sandra, initially, their horses were a little unhappy with the strange footwear, Sandra said it was like watching a "gaited horse that looked like it had just stepped in four blobs of very sticky bubble gum!" However both stated that it didn't take long for the horses to get accustomed to the new "shoes" and they didn't have any problems after the newness wore off. Both ladies said the boots were easier to put on than Easy Boot and that the fit was great. They felt the Old Mac's™ boots are everything they are touted to be so far. Most importantly, both agreed that there was no way the boots would come off accidentally while the horse was being ridden (or in pasture), even in the deepest mud. The boots are waterproof and seemed very tough and wear resistant. Initial reactions from both users during the first week were that they would continue to use them and recommend them to others.

One month later, both Estelle and Sandra are still very satisfied with the boots. Their horses are moving out very comfortably, even over rough terrain with large, sharp rocks. Estelle is so impressed with the change that she is pulling the shoes off her second horse and will use the Old Mac boots from now on. Sandra said, "These boots are worth their weight in gold. I can't see anyone being dissatisfied with them." Estelle agrees and gives the boots a "A++++" rating. Estelle also states that they are holding up so well that she believes a pair will last her an entire season. She claims that after one month's solid use, they're not showing any wear at all.

One small problem both product users discussed was that the inside strap could rub on the horse's pasterns, but both found simple solutions to this drawback. Sandra suggested making two "tubes" of soft, thick fleece, or neoprene, per boot. Sew the seams so they lay flat and slide the straps through the tubes. She had several good ideas for this problem that can be found in her posts on TRL's web site Q and A page.

If you'd like more information, or to read additional reviews, of the Old Mac's™ Multi Purpose Horse Boots, check out The Right Lead's Q and A page and follow the discussions or check out the following web sites recommended by Sandra and Estelle:

The Barefoot Horse

Your Horse Care

The Horse's Hoof

The Natural Equine

To contact Old Mac's directly, go to their web site at http://www.oldmacs.com or call 61 3 9329 1211, please remember this is an international phone call. Their mailing address is:

Old Mac's Pty. Ltd. ACN 090 424 034
34 Steel St.
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051 Australia

Thanks again to Sandra and Estelle for the great information they provided on this product. It was a welcome change to hear of something that actually worked as well as it claimed!

If you have used a product that you either liked, or didn't, and want to share your experiences with others, please send it to The Right Lead at: P.O. Box 1257, Buda, Texas, 78610-1257, or by e-mail to The Right Lead.

 

BACK TO TOP   ISSUE: FEBRUARY 2002

 

HELP WANTED:

Q. ROGAINE FOR HORSES?
Hello all! My mare's mane is falling out and it appears to have a lot of flaky dry particles/skin at the base. A lot of the mane has already fallen out and I'm searching for a remedy to put on what's left to save it. It's not in her tail, but I'm scared it may turn up there, too, if I don't do something quick! Any advice? - BJ Click here to reply!

Q. OLD HORSE NEEDS YOUR HELP!
Hi all! I have a friend that has a 32-34 year old gelding. He has Cushings and a few odds and ends of old timers problems, but nothing serious. His grinding teeth are pretty much shot according to the equine dentist. He is now quitting his hay, but obviously hungry as he is now going for manure to eat. She has him on Equine Senior feed, but as we all know, hay is the biggest part of a horse's diet. I used to feed my old girl hay replacer and a supplement (Source SR) plus Sunshine supplement, but this was quite a few years ago. The owner is going to talk to her vet about what to feed him, but I'm sure there is someone reading this that has experienced this and could help with some type of balanced diet for old Tom. Thanks in advance for any help you all can offer! - Estelle Click here to reply!

Q. NUT WHISPERING?
I was wondering if you're supposed to cut your horse's chestnuts off, and if so, with what and how? I also heard that if you grind the chestnuts up after you cut them off, you can let the horse smell the powder and it will calm the horse. Is that true? - Hannah Dilee Click here to reply!

 

READERS RESPOND:

How Low Can You Go? from TRL January, 2002:
R: In my opinion, this is one of those fads that, hopefully, will pass before too long. It is totally unnatural for a horse to travel this way. Fads do come and go in the horse world - back in the 50's, it was popular to roach manes and pull tails to above the hocks. Now, the long full tail is popular (thank goodness!) and long manes are back in vogue. - Nanci Falley, Rancho San Francisco in Lockhart, Texas.

Sores Won't Heal! from TRL January 2002:
R: Jamie, here's my two cents worth. Not seeing the spots, I'd say if he's got one in the same spot on each hock then it's most likely from rubbing while he's down. Look at where he sleeps. Maybe there's not enough bedding or maybe the ground's rough outside. Flies could be keeping the sores going, but it's not likely caused by flies, if he has two identical sores, located so close to his fly-swatter. Get a jar of "Swat." It comes in a small jar and is made by Farnum. It's a salve with fly repellant, and comes in either clear or hot pink. You can rub it right into a dry, crusty wound, or right around the edges of a raw wound and it'll really keep the flies away. I've had trouble with Corona and Furacin "melting" off the wounds unless wrapped. If they don't heal up with intensive fly control, then I'd say it's just plain rubbing. In this case, either remove the cause of the rubbing, or learn to live and deal with it. Wrapping hocks all the time to prevent rubbing is not a good idea. If the spots get infected and you can't quickly (2-3) days clear it up with an antibiotic ointment, or if the spots start getting bigger, hot or swollen, or the horse goes lame, call the vet right away. Good luck! - Sandra W, Field of Dreams Farm in Kyle, Texas.

 

 LET'S RODEO !!

spur

Yeehaw! It's that time of the year when everyone pulls on their favorite Wranglers, boots, and cowboy hats and celebrates all things Western! In honor of Rodeo Season in Texas, here are a few of my favorite sites! All the sites listed below, plus many more, can be found on The Right Lead's Links Page. Many of the events listed can also be found on our Event Calendar with specific schedules and contact information. Enjoy the rodeo!

bluestar San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo bluestar
  Jan 30 - Feb 17, 2002, FMI (210) 225-1309

bluestar Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo bluestar
Feb 12 - Mar 3, FMI (713) 791-9000

bluestar Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo bluestar
Mar 2 - Mar 16, FMI (512) 919-3000

bluestar Professional Cowboy's Rodeo Association, P.R.C.A. bluestar

bluestar Texas Rodeo Circuit, P.R.C.A. bluestar

bluestar National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, N.I.R.A. bluestar
FMI (509) 529-4402

bluestar National High School Rodeo Association,, Inc., N.H.S.R.A. bluestar
FMI (303) 452-0820

bluestar Women's Professional Rodeo Association,, W.P.R.A. bluestar
FMI (719) 576-0900

Look! For Related Message Boards and Chat Rooms Look!

bluestar Let's Rodeo Message board hosted by SmartHorse bluestar

bluestar Roping n Rodeo Message board hosted by The Roping Box bluestar

bluestar Ropers Only Message board and Live Chat hosted by Ropers Only bluestar

 

 Team Ropers

 

BACK TO TOP   ISSUE: MARCH 2002

Happy
St. Patrick's Day and
Happy Easter!

 
HELP WANTED:

Q. Need "Deep Seated" Advice!
I ride English and am a fairly good rider with good control and position at all three gaits. However, when I work without stirrups, I tend to be quite insecure, especially at the sitting trot and during canter transitions. I ride once a week in lessons during the Spring, Fall, and Summer, so I don't have unlimited time to work on this! Does anyone know of any exercises I can do on the ground to help improve my balance, or any tips for riding without stirrups? Thanks! - Alli Click here to reply!

Q. Food Poisoning?
Can horses get botulism and salmonella? We always thought salmonella came from chickens and eggs, but we're wondering if horses can get it too. Thanks. - J and A Click here to reply!

Q. Splitting Hairs!
I'm trying to put a show tail on my mare, but I can't keep it from bleaching out and breaking off from split ends. So far, I haven't found a tail bag that didn't get ruined by (and full of) stickers, wind up too tight, or fall off in the grass never to be seen again! While we're on the subject, any recommendations about shampoos/conditioners? I've really enjoyed the posts on this board and hope you can help me out, too! Thanks. - Cherryl Click here to reply!

 

READERS RESPOND:

Stubborn Proudflesh? from TRL November, 2001:
R: I've had horses for 20 years. The best thing I've found to control proudflesh and heal up a leg wound with minimal scarring (hair grows back in most cases) is Ichthamol Ointment 20% solution. Apply once a day until almost healed. It works better than Cut-Heal or Wonder Dust in the cases I've had. - Vicki Z., San Antonio, Texas.

Rogaine for horses? from TRL February, 2002:
R-1: If what you're dealing with is a fungus, then I would suggest Micro-Tek by EQYYS. I've used it in the shampoo form and had wonderful results with it. EQYYS now has companion spray that I believe would be very effective as well. Micro-Tek can be used on the whole body which might not be a bad idea right now to prevent it from spreading. I'd lather her up well and let it sit on the skin for about fifteen minutes. If it's really cold where you are and you don't want to soak her down, see if you can find the spray version. Another alternative would be Captan powder. Captan powder is an anti-fungal powder used on roses, but works very well on horses, too. I mix the powder with just enough water to make a paste and smear it on the affected area at least once a day, more often if possible as the paste will flake off. You should be able to find it at any discount store with a lawn/plant section, but if you can't, you can definitely find it at a garden store.

For now, when you groom the horse, don't use the same brush on the body as you do on her mane. A good rule of thumb, especially at a boarding facility, is one set of brushes per horse, and never borrow (or loan out) your horse's brushes, combs, blankets, bits, etc. Good luck! - Joy B.

R-2: Every time you finish grooming your horse, until she's fungus free for at least three weeks, rinse your brushes in a ten percent bleach solution (one part bleach to nine parts water). Good luck! - Cherryl

Old horse needs your help! from TRL February, 2002:
Editors Note: This question had too many responses to fit into one edition, so look next month for a special column dedicated to this question and the replies it generated! Below is just a sample of what you'll see. Stay tuned!! Joy B.

R-1: I use a mush of alfalfa cubes and soybean meal. In a four-gallon flat bucket, I put about ¼ of a bucket of alfalfa cubes and throw in about a baking cup's worth of soybean meal. Then I'll add a half a cup of veggie oil, and fill it up to 7/8 with hot water. I let the cubes soak up the water (there is rarely any water left over), cool down a bit, and then I serve old Cougar his mush. He LOVES it! Cougar also gets two liters (1/2 gallon) of a 50/50 mix of 12% Complete Feed pellets and 16% crunch. Both of these feeds are alfalfa based. Cougar can't chew grains anymore, so the pelletted/cubed formats work well for him. Cougar also gets free-choice timothy/brome hay, but that's probably not an option for your toothless old guy. A few other things come to mind, provide him with some loose minerals and salt to lick up, rather than a block. It'll be easier for him to eat. You also might want to consider feeding probiotics to keep that gut flora healthy and give him an extra boost... - Jenn, Far 'Way Farm, Elk Point, Alberta, Canada.

Nut Whispering? from TRL February, 2002:
R-1: It's easiest to peel the chestnuts in small increments while wet v. cutting them off whith a knife while dry. If the chestnuts are too thick, they have blood supply at the base and you don't want to go too deep. Peeling them over time allows the blood supply to receed and you'll eventually get them down to skin level. As far as horses sniffing the powder, I've never hear of that. Sounds a little "different." - Melissa

R-2: What I've found with my horses is, more often than not, they slough off naturally. Hope's grow incredibly fast and I do take hers off. What I do is one to two days before a bath, I smear Vaseline Petroleum Jelly or Corona all over and around the chestnuts then, during the bath, I soak them and let them sit while I soap her down. By the time she's ready to be rinsed, they usually peel right off in my hand and she doesn't even notice. I'm more comfortable doing it this way than with a knife as it reduces both our chances of getting hurt. Shame it's not this easy with bots!!!

As for ground chestnuts keeping a horse calm, all I can say is that may be a variation of something I was told by a dubious source several years ago. He claimed that if you took some of the powder with you when you went out into the pasture, the horse would come to you and allow himself to be caught. I didn't trust the source so I never tried it. I have to admit though that I was always curious and meant to play with it just to see for myself but never got around to it. If you should give it a try, please let us know what you found out. I think it would be a fun experiment and I'd love to know what result you came up with! - Joy B.

 

BACK TO TOP  ISSUE: APR - DEC 2002

Where's The Column?

John Lennon once said that "Life is what happens to you while you're making other plans." Well, in 2002, life happened. My Mother's on-going battle with Cancer took several unnerving twists this Spring which led to two more surgeries that suddenly changed my focus from the Column to my family. Soon after, my Father's health issues led to further surgeries for him as well in May. I'm happy to report that, as of Christmas 2002, both are doing well and for now the worries are in the background. In the midst of the health concerns in early April, Central Texas, namely the cities of Buda, Kyle, Dripping Springs, and Mustang Ridge, were hit by a series of small tornados and damaging frontline winds. The tornado missed us, but the frontline winds didn't.

We lost the roof of the stable where two of the horses were stalled. The only stalls not destroyed were the ones that Kaspur and Kasov were in. Our camper was in front of the stable and kept the walls from collapsing in on top of the horses, as well as sheltering our well pump from damage. We were very, very lucky and blessed that the horses were spared and I wasn't electrocuted when I ran to the remains of the stable to get to the horses and ran right into the downed power lines. That was a scary night for all and I am very grateful that the horses weren't hurt. It did take my Dad and me about a week to clear the debris so I could get them out. Slowly but surely Dad, and a friend or two, got the roof back on and redesigned the building so, hopefully, this won't happen again. He did a wonderful job and I think the horses like it better- I know I do!

Life was settling back into a rhythm in June when we lost another lamb to thieves. Dad and I vowed it would be the last one and we started keeping vigils at night- Dad took the early shift and I took the late. We lost a lot of sleep, but it paid off in July when the thieves came back after our newest lambs. Buck, my wonderful dog, alerted on the fence line and scared the bad guys off. We've taken measures to help protect our flock, and so far it appears to be working. Knock on wood!!! Our sheep are Barbado but they are not raised for meat, they're here to take care of brush and have become very important to us in that capacity. They prefer to eat what the horses can't, or won't, and leave the grasses alone for the most part. They are an asset to the ranch and a lot of fun to watch.

As many of you know, the message board had it's share of unwanted visitors this year, too. In August we were inundated with multiple posts from a Chinese website, so many postings they were blocking legitimate postings. We did everything we could but they wouldn't stop. I made a hard decision and took the board off-line. Somehow, they kept hitting TRL anyway! Finally it slowed down and in October I felt it was safe to put the board back on-line. They hit us again! I've decided not to pull the board again, I'll just keep removing the messages. In mid November, the mother board on my computer went down! Ever get the feeling you've stepped into a Far Side cartoon?

"Sunday School" started in earnest this September when my filly, Sunday, turned 2 1/2 years old. I've worked with her since the day she was born, introducing her to saddles, blankets, bits and bridles. She'd been put in the round pen and allowed to get used to her surroundings, she'd had ropes swung around her and rubbed all over her body, and had "basic" halter/leading 101, but in September I felt she was ready for kindergarten. She's done well for the most part, but this filly is feisty to say the least, headstrong, aggressive, and smarter than your average bear! With Sunday, there is no such thing as a quick or thirty minute session- it takes the time it takes and you never know at the beginning what kind of session you're going to have. One day she'll be brilliant and a pleasure, the next she's the filly from waaaaaaaay down south if you know what I mean! My other horses have forced me to stretch and continue to learn everything I can to help them overcome physical and mental issues caused by abuse and neglect, so I thought I was ready to bring up a foal and start her myself. Right? Maybe! Sunday tests me daily and I've learned just how much I still need to learn.

It's been a tough year in some respects and it was certainly filled with challenges, but it also had a great many blessings and minor miracles. It was a year of growth for Sunday and healing for my parents, treasured friends drifted away, a good friend in Canada got married in July, and old friends returned. It was an interesting year indeed.

What does all this mean for The Right Lead? It means the message board will continue as it always has and the column will continue as well. The column's format may change a little and how it is offered to magazines may change as well. Time will tell. Some things may have to take a back seat to family, horses, ranch, and job, from time to time, but the site will always be here for folks to ask questions and assist others with suggestions and advice.

2002 started out with a bang, got a little bumpy, but finished in glorious style with a wonderful Christmas. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and that 2003 is filled with good friends, luck, health, and lots of quality horse time for all of us!

Joy B., December 28, 2002.

 

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