Category: Inspirational

Rescuing An Abandoned Wild Foal

HorseHealthAndTraining.com - Rescuing an abandoned wild foal

Stock photo of a foal for illustration purposes only – not the actual foal rescued

Wild horse photographer Carol Walker was making a trip to the Red Desert this past spring when she came across a foal, less than a week old, abandoned and totally alone.

She tells the story of how she was able to rescue the little foal on her blog, “Wild Hoofbeats” – I know you’ll love it!

Wild Horses: Rescuing an Abandoned Salt Wells Creek Foal

By Carol Walker

On Sunday, I was driving in Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Area in the Red Desert of Wyoming. This area is over 1 million acres in size, vast and beautiful in parts, with power plants, a few ranches, wildlife (which includes deer, antelope and wild horses), plus cattle and sheep. You can drive for over 30 miles on dirt roads from I-80 south and still not reach the border of the herd area.

I was there because a judge in Wyoming Federal Court signed a Consent Decree which will eliminate all wild horses from this Salt Wells Creek Herd Area this summer. I wanted to see and photograph some of the over 600 wild horses inhabiting this area that would soon be separated from their homes and families and end up initially at the Rock Springs Short Term Holding Facility.

The last time I had visited this herd was in August of 2010 before the last round up of Salt Wells and Adobe Town.

On Sunday it was rainy and sunny alternating, and there was a storm that was supposed to be coming in that evening, and the roads were wet in spots, so I planned to stay to paved and extremely-improved dirt roads only. I was driving along and saw a sign for County Road 27 and the road looked good, so I turned. I drove and saw manure from wild horses and stud piles, but no horses. The scenery is varied and beautiful, and there was one ranch along this road which I passed.

I saw no other vehicles, and I had been going for about 10 miles. Soon there was a turn for Aspen Mountain, and the road underneath my tires got looser and looser and I started to slide. I almost turned around, but I got this urgent feeling that I needed to keep going. I turned north up CR 27 and drove a little bit, and the road got a little firmer which was a relief. But the clouds started coming in, and I almost turned around. Then I spotted a horse—finally!

As I got closer, I realized that this was a foal, and he looked miserable, head down, standing next to a post. I looked and looked but could not see any other horses. I drove closer and got out, and got my binoculars. I could see for at least a few miles in every direction, but not a single other horse was in sight. The little guy had worn a path around the post, and from the little bits of manure it looked as though he had been there awhile. I approached slowly, not wanting to scare him, and noticed a big bite mark on his neck from another horse.

It looked like a big scrape, not a deep wound, and it was not bleeding. He was bright-eyed and moving just fine. I wondered how he had come to be there all alone—perhaps he had a young first-time mother who had wandered away, perhaps a stallion had bitten him and driven him off, or maybe his mother had died shortly after having given birth. I knew he was less than a week old.

When I got closer he whinnied at me, a little high pitched happy noise, clearly glad to see another creature! I was able to touch him, and he tried to nurse on my fingers. He was thirsty! I knew foals this small could not graze and need to nurse from their mothers every few hours, and there was a big storm coming in the next day, so he clearly needed help. I could not fit him in my vehicle, let alone lift him in, and also there were regulations about how to interact with wild horses and so I needed help.[More …]

[Source: WildHoofBeats.com]


Carol’s beautiful book “Horse Photography: The Dynamic Guide for Horse Lovers”, is one of the best instructional and inspirational guides to horse photography in existence, and is available from Amazon in hardcover or on Kindle. Be sure to check it out.


Barrel Racer Still Going Strong At 81

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Barrel racer [stock photo]

Back in 1964, Ardith Bruce was the World Women’s Barrel Racing Champion.

She’s now 81 years young, but is still the ultimate competitor, still competing even though arthritis makes it harder for her to climb aboard. And she still hurls her horse around the barrels at breathtaking speed and flies across the dirt for home.

Here is her fascinating story:

The cowgirl in tennies, stretch jeans and western shirt is racing hell-bent for leather across the arena in Fountain atop a half-ton horse named Itchy.

They round the barrels heartstop close, then fly across the dirt for home.

And this is just practice.

If you think about the rider’s age, you might get a few butterflies. But like a car crash, you can’t look away.

Don’t worry, this 81-year-old barrel racer is Ardith Bruce, the 1964 world champion. She still sits deep in the saddle and competes even when arthritis makes it a chore to fling her leg over the cantle.

Lucky Ekberg, a long-time friend and president of Fountain Valley Riding and Roping Club sums up Bruce best:

“Her mind has a built-in racing stopwatch and her heart is full of horsehair. Watching her ride takes your breath away.”

Just recently, she came in about 28th out of 140 men and women barrel racers competing at Norris Penrose stadium. She was probably the only one over 65.

“I like to say I came in first — in the 80-year-old category,” she laughs.  [Story continues here]

[Source:  Gazette.com]

You gotta give it to her – she’s a legend!


Just Singing In the Rain: Awesome Video!

What an agile and obedient horse, and such an amazing display of horsemanship, skill and dexterity, riding one-handed and twirling an open umbrella!

I’m gobsmacked –  Enjoy!

Please feel free to share this beautiful video.


Horses Are Good For The Soul

Horses Are Good For The SoulWhy do we love horses? 

We all have our reasons – maybe it’s the thrill of the gallop or the chase, the adrenalin rush, the challenge or the satisfaction of competing.  Or maybe it’s for the peacefulness of a trail ride, or simply the fact that they seem to like us!

But a horse is more than just an animal.  They are far more than our playmates, our work fellows or even our means of earning a living.  They have a spiritual quality about them that speaks to our hearts and our souls, and there are those who appreciate and value this aspect of the horse more than anything else.  To put it simply – horses inspire us in more ways than simply enjoying them.

Here is the beautiful story of how Chronicle of the Horse journalist, Jodie Jaffe, has drawn on her own horses for strength and peace during many difficult times in her life, including head injuries suffered from falls, broken bones, and testing times when she thought she was going to lose both her son and her husband.

Her horses calmed her soul – and most of us will know exactly what she means!  

Horses Help Us Through The Roughest Times
~ by Jody Jaffe
February 12, 2012

Life keeps getting in the way of my return to riding. And this column.

This summer, I’d finally reached my goal of showing in the Special Adults with Woody, Diane Wade’s Doctor of Confidence. I’d spent the previous year emotionally recovering from a head injury. I say emotionally because, while the injury was bad enough to obliterate a day from my life, physically I felt fine in a few weeks. But it erased what little confidence I had on a horse.

Woody took care of that. Really, you could put a monkey on his back, and he’d metronome his way around the ring, which he did with me. But at some point, the riding skills I’ve acquired over the past 40 years clicked in, and I actually rode him around a course, confidently. I had big plans for our fall show season: the Randolph Medal Finals and my first-time ride in a hunter classic! I was even starting to shop Ebay for a shadbelly. But you know what they say: If you want to hear God laugh, tell him/her your plans.

A series of three surgeries—oral surgery for an abscessed tooth, facial surgery for squamous-cell skin cancer and arm surgery to plate together a broken ulna—sidelined me from October through December. I’d just returned to riding when Life struck again. This time, horribly.

My husband, John Muncie (aka The Saint) spent 12 days at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., fighting three infections acquired during a routine back surgery there. Each day brought a new, seemingly life-threatening crisis, including an emergency midnight surgery, a suspected pulmonary embolism and the possibility of bleeding out. I didn’t leave his side. My Facebook friends followed his descent into Hell through my posts. And they continue to follow the developments in my war to make hospitals accountable for hospital-acquired infections. John’s on IV antibiotics four times a day at a cost to us of $60 a day for at least six weeks. Medicare stopped paying for hospital-acquired infections, so why should we still have to pay?

Doesn’t seem fair. But I stopped hoping for fair years ago. Both in life—and the show ring. Sometimes you get pinned in a flat class even after your horse picks up the wrong lead, and sometimes the judge forsakes your horse’s perfect trip for the rail knocker. However, with horse shows, only a ribbon’s at stake. With hospitals, 100,000 lives are lost each year to these infections, many of which can be prevented.

So as you can see, between John’s battle against bacteria and mine against the hospital establishment, there hasn’t been much time to ride. However, that doesn’t mean horses have been out of my life. They are what kept me sane during our 12 days of Hell. After each new crisis, I went to the barn. In my mind. (Read the rest of the article…)

Here is a selection of related books you might enjoy:

Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover’s Soul: Inspirational Stories About Horses And The People Who Love Them  – Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Marty Becker, Gary Seidler, Peter Vegso and Theresa Peluso

Horse Miracles: Inspirational True Stories of Remarkable Horses  by Brad Steiger & Sherry Hansen Steiger

Rescued by a Horse: True Stories of Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Healing  by Cheryl Dudley

Angel Horses – Divine Messengers of Hope  by Allen Anderson & Linda Anderson

Heavenly Horse Sense: Inspirational Stories from Life in the Saddle by Rebecca E Ondov