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Jun. 7th, 2009


Horse Slaughter Update

Please read the following articles, and most of all, follow the link to the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act to fill out information. We need to stop this inhumane, horrifying, and quite frankly grotesque practice before its roots are too deep...

Article One (Click)

Article Two
(From the ASPCA newsletter of May 29, 2009)

In 2007, a hard-earned victory for horses in the U.S. was achieved: state-level legislation succeeded in shutting down the nation’s last three horse slaughterhouses. These foreign-owned businesses, located in Texas and Illinois, were economically draining, environmentally damaging and treated animals with exceptional cruelty. The owners paid no export taxes and little in income taxes.

Unfortunately, pro-horse slaughter legislation is on the rise. State governments all over the country are considering offering special protections, tax breaks and other incentives for horse meat processing plants to open.

Pro-slaughter legislation introduced this year includes:

  • Montana: In early May, MT passed a law to allow investor-owned horse slaughter plants to operate and prohibit courts from granting injunctions to stop or delay their construction.
  • Tennessee: State Rep. Frank S. Niceley has proposed amending a bill that has nothing to do with horse slaughter with language to pave the way for the construction of a horse slaughterhouse. TN residents, take action
  • North Dakota: The Legislature and Governor Hoeven have approved a bill to spend $50,000 of taxpayer money to study the feasibility of opening a horse slaughter facility.

You can help keep horse slaughter out of the U.S. for good by urging Congress to vote for the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act. This federal bill will criminalize the purchase, sale, delivery, or export of horses and horse meat intended for human consumption. If passed, it will override any state efforts to legalize horse slaughter for human consumption.

Please help us fight for passage of the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.

Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade and receive regular alerts telling you how to help fight for laws that prevent animal cruelty.

Thank you,


Nov. 8th, 2008


Shetland Pony Grand National

Click HERE for a funny article and video about the Shetland Pony Grand National.

Shetland Ponies: They are very similar to Miniature Horses in fact they are being cross bred all the time for bigger gene pools etc.



Oct. 30th, 2008


Horse Dancing

This is some UNBELIEVABLE riding! Check it out. (And this time it's not some dancing fruit...it's really horses.)


Ride on,


Oct. 12th, 2008


WDYT 3: Guide Horses.

Here is a quick What Do You Think. Discuss your opinion on the matter after reading both pieces.

  • Long Lifespan - Miniature Horse can live to be more than 50 years old, with the average lifespan being 30-40 years. According to guide dog trainers, guide dogs have a useful life between 8-12 years.
  • Cost Effective - Training a guide dog can cost up to $60,000, according to the Guide Dog Users national advocacy group. According to Lighthouse International, there are more than 1.3 million legally blind people in the USA, yet only 7,000 guide animal users. Hence, a Guide Horse could be more cost-effective and ensure that more blind people receive a guide animal.
  • Better acceptance - Many guide dog users report problems getting access to public places because their dog is perceived as a pet.  Most people do not associate a horse as a pet, and Guide Horse users report that they are immediately recognized as a working service animal.   
  • Calm Nature - Trained horses are extremely calm in chaotic situations. Cavalry horses have proven that horses can remain calm even in the extreme heat of battle. Police horses are an excellent example of well trained horses that deal with stressful situations. Guide Horses undergo the same systematic desensitization training that is given to riot-control horses.
  • Great Memory - Horses possess phenomenal memories. A horse will naturally remember a dangerous situation decades after the occurrence.
  • Excellent Vision - Because horses have eyes on the sides of their heads, they have a very wide range of vision, with a range of nearly 350 degrees. Horses are the only guide animals capable of independent eye movement and they can track potential danger with each eye.  Horses can see clearly in almost total darkness.
  • Focused Demeanor - Trained horses are very focused on their work and are not easily distracted. Horses are not addicted to human attention and normally do not get excited when petted or groomed.
  • Safety Conscious - Naturally safety oriented, horses are constantly on the lookout for danger. All horses have a natural propensity to guide their master along the safest most efficient route, and demonstrate excellent judgment in obstacle avoidance training.
  • High Stamina - Hearty and robust, a properly conditioned Guide Horse can easily travel many miles in a single outing.
  • Good Manners - Guide Horses are very clean and can be housebroken. Horses do not get fleas and only shed twice per year. Horses are not addicted to human affection and will stand quietly when on duty.
--from the Guide Horse Foundation website.


*Article translated and published with permission of Mr. Wolfgang Seitle*

Finally, I would like to list the significant and considerable disadvantages of using a guide horse as compared to using a guide dog:

A horse, even a miniature horse, is a herd animal and should always live with at least one other horse. Moreover, they should live in a pasture or paddock - not in a living room.

* A horse, even a miniature horse, is a flight animal. Resequin showed that very distinctly. Because she personally has a strong and distinct flight instinct, it is impossible to allow her be used as a guide horse (that is if you have a certain feeling of responsibility for vision impaired people)! When a miniature horse gets in a situation where it wants to flee, it becomes very strong (because of adrenalin). Even a very large and very strong person will most likely not have enough strength to hold it back if it really wants to run away.

A horse, even a miniature horse, has significant problems with climbing stairs. In my opinion, horses are not anatomically able to climb stairs. To demand that a horse should climb stairs like human beings or dogs, borders on cruelty towards that animal.

A horse, even a miniature horse, requires a special means of transport (such as a truck, a van or a trailer). They can not be taken along in a car like a dog.

* Please notice that miniature horses aren’t allowed to use public transport in Germany. Not only are miniature horses not permitted, but also their size and their anatomical structure would not allow them to fit on public transport. There are no problems however with a guide dog.

* The same is true for permission to enter into restaurants and other businesses that produce or sell food. Horses are not permitted.

* The excrement of a miniature horse is about 10 - 20 times as much in size and quantity as that of a Labrador Retriever or German Shepherd dog. Think of how you dispose of this excrement if you are in a public place or even at your home.

* In my opinion, the only advantage that a miniature horse has over a dog is that horses are expected to have a longer lifespan. In my mind this advantage weighs only a very little compared to the considerable disadvantages listed above.
--from GuideHorseNo.com


Mini Farms

As you know, I am in the research stage of getting a Miniature Horse. The other day, I visited Rising Sun Farms to see their Minis. They were so sweet and cute. Unfortunately, my favorite is not for sale. Samantha, though, was really pretty, too. She was in her winter coat already, and we didn't realize that without it, she would be evn more gorgeous.
This is her:

What a beauty, huh?

Now I am trying to figure out what I can do for a barn. We need two stalls and one area for feed, etc. I can't find anything online.


Oct. 4th, 2008


My First Show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today was my first show! I just got back. Let me tell you a little--or maybe a lot ;)--about what went on.

We got to Blue Lakes at around 11:30. I tacked up Johnny. He was in a good mood because he wasn't in the midst of eating. I brought him to the warm-up ring and, well...warmed up. Tom had told me I could try out the show arena so I went in. There's a gate where the warm-up ring flows into the larger arena, and I learned that's where Johnny's problems lie. (Keep in mind some of the things people have said about Johnny at shows.) He was not very happy about it--or rather, he was extremely happy about it, in a very excited way. He rushed through it, and I had to work on keeping him at a slower gait. We went around, trotting and cantering, and then headed back into the warm-up ring to canter a bit more. So then I decided we would try out the show arena once more before the show actually started. Well, Johnny had more in mind than just to just "trying it out." I thought I had him under control until he BOLTED a SPRINT across the arena. It felt like slow-mo but it we were on the other side in seconds. I didn't want to pull the reins harder than necessary in fear of a rear. Johnny turned at the corner and at that moment I knew I was going to fall off. I felt myself sliding with a jolt out of the saddle.
No way. I'm not gunna let this happen, Johnny boy.
planted my feet in the stirrups, pushed one leg forward, and pulled my Johnny-Cakes to a trot, and then soon after, a walk. We walked around the arena, then I got him going faster, and we practiced our course. I was not going to let him get away with this in the show! 
We waited in the warm-up ring--the show was starting! I'd signed up for the first three classes--the first was called "Keyhole" where you have to go up through the two cones, and then back. I was last to go...and nervous about how I would be controlling my beastie. But Tom came and held Johnny until we'd gotten through the gate. Then we took off. It felt great. We ended up with second place! Me and my rowdy partner.
Next class I was going first--it was called "Stakes" where we have to weave 5 cones. Personally, I don't really care for weaving stuff like stakes or pole bending, but i did it for the experience...and got 4th!! (I knocked one cone down)
Finally was the third class, simply called "Down & Back." There were 4 cones set up at the other end in a small rectangle. Instead of going straight through the cones, we had to enter them from the side, and make a U-Turn sort of thing. Once again, Tom lead the overly-excited Paint with me on his back, and we took off. The results came in...it had felt pretty fast, but who was I to judge? And first place goes to....JOHNNY'S RIDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was such an exhilerating day, and I felt good about leaving it at 3 classes. So I dismounted and unsaddled Johnny-Boy, leaving him a carrot in his bucket. (He greatly appreciated that.)
I went back to the sign-ups once all the classes were over, and I got my three ribbons. I must say that I am quite proud of my performance, especially considering the hundreds of pounds of muscles under me, disagreeing with my commands. Aaaaw...love ya, Johnny.
Tags: ,

Sep. 28th, 2008



Johnny is my current riding horse. He is a 10 or 11 year old Paint gelding. He tries to act tough but he's really a big softie. Though one thing I don't get...I have ridden him in 2 Team Sorting events and everyone is like "Wait--you're...you're riding...Johnny?!?!?!?!?!?!?" Or like "Wow, I rode him all the time in lessons, but once I rode him at a show, I never got back on him again." I am so confused. What am I missing here??? He was fine for me? Okay, he wouldn't really stand still, but he didn't buck me off or something like one girl implied.
Anyways, he's got the smoothest trot ever, and he's the only horse I've ever cantered on. You've just got to motivate him.
Here are some pics:
Tacking Johnny
Farm Life


Info Update

New Info On Me:

Name: CMW
Riding since: April 2008
Riding barn: Blue Lakes Farm
Trainer: Tom Snyder
Riding horse: Johnny
Volunteer Job: Fieldstone Farm Theraputic Riding Center
Favorite horse: Cremellos! Yay for Cremellos!


Aug. 18th, 2008


Yee-haw Praisin'

Cowboying up for Jesus

More Christians are praying on horseback at more than 600 such churches in the U.S.
By E.A. Torriero, Chicago Tribune
August 18, 2008
MOUNT VERNON, ILL. -- Wearing a white cowboy hat and preaching atop his horse Coby, Pastor Steve Hamson gives a modern-day meaning to "sermon on the mount." With a Bible in one hand and reins in the other, Hamson strikes the fear of God in his parishioners -- more than a dozen of them listening on horseback in a humid riding arena.

The cowboys put their hats over their hearts when Hamson prays for those who are missing because they "had to do hay."

Men chew tobacco and the horses kick at the ground. And no one minds. This, after all, is cowboy church.

Across rural America, thousands of evangelical Protestant worshipers gather in barns, buildings and beneath the stars to worship western-style. As the beach is to born-again surfers, and the road is to Holy Ghost bikers, the range is the mission field to Christian cowboys and ranchers.

At least 600 cowboy churches are scattered across the U.S., according to leaders involved in the movement and published accounts. In central and southern Illinois, an estimated two dozen congregations meet in barns and arenas, on the dusty trails and in churches -- some decorated with western memorabilia.

Some evangelical Christians have questioned whether the churches offer gimmicks at the expense of a meaningful spiritual experience.

But pastors and churchgoers say their services are divinely inspired. Like the suburban mega-churches that beckon teenagers with gospel rap and rock music, cowboy sanctuaries promote country-western worship while seeking to attract those who find traditional rural church settings unattractive.

In a cowboy church, the music has a twang, the lyrics beckon men to mosey on home to Jesus, and 10-gallon hats are passed around for offerings.

Preachers tell corny jokes. Worshipers whoop, holler and clap. The bands jam with banjos, mandolins, guitars, drums and sometimes a worn washboard. It's not unusual to be baptized in a horse trough. And the sermons usually last just a few minutes so as not to make the audience restless.

"You don't want to scare 'em off," said Pastor Susie Deeters, who along with her husband, John, runs the Ranch House Cowboy Church in a converted Baptist church building in De Land, Ill., near Champaign. "You want to give 'em just enough to hook 'em."

Far from the big cities and suburbs, cowboy churches are apparently a uniquely modern American phenomenon. In the Wild West days, most cowboys were Catholics from Mexico and Baptists from the Confederacy, historians say, but there is little historical evidence of traditional church gatherings. Cowboys usually were not atheists; they saw God in nature. But they were indifferent when it came to evangelical Christianity.

"They were less Christ-centric and more aware of God's providence in their surroundings," said Ferenc M. Szasz, author of "Religion in the Modern American West." The modern-day cowboy church movement seems rooted more in entertainment than cowboy lore.

Today, crowds flock to tourist areas like Branson, Mo., for foot-stomping worship from cowboy bands. Many in the audience have never saddled up but love country gospel and wearing western garb.

Another movement grew out of a Baptist outreach to ranchers in Texas that spread like a wildfire, spawned mega-churches and now even sends cowboy missionaries to Africa. Texas cowboy Baptists claim some 7,000 converts to Christ this decade.

But as cowboy churches gain publicity, some wonder about their Christian authenticity. The evangelical magazine Christian Today asked in a blog in May: "Clearly something is going here, but what?" Blog moderator Derek Keefe questioned whether the movement expanded or collapsed the Christian gospel message.

It's not a question for Pastor Steve Hamson's congregants.

"The cowboy church works because we are people who like to ride and also worship the Lord," said Jonathan Schnautz, a farmer and rider who attends weekly. "But I'm sure people up in the city sure must think it's weird."

As services began recently, riders circled behind Hamson in a dusty arena and other worshipers sat in front of him on bleachers. Hamson asked for prayer requests and singers performed from the bleachers and on horseback.

And Hamson delivered his sermon, all memorized. "You have to pay attention to the horse, and you can't hold notes," he explained.

After a closing prayer from the saddle, the congregation rode off to the old cowboy ditty: "Happy trails to you. Until we meet again."

Jul. 27th, 2008


SC: "Horsing Around"

Sun Is Up Farms is bringing to you a new section of the Sunday C called "Horsing Around." If you have any horse-themed shout-outs, horse pictures (please include photographer's name and preferably horse's), horse word or drawing games, send them in to e-mail horsesandheadlines@gmail.com 

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