Rescue Report

Rescue Report: A Smoky Trail Ride

July 01, 2013
SMOKYRIDELast blog, I wrote about moving my rescue horse, Banjo, to a new barn. One of the best things about this barn was all the nice people!

Everyone we met was friendly and really liked Banjo. When we were invited to go on a trail ride in the Colorado foothills, I readily accepted. Banjo loves trail rides.

One horse on the ride was Moose, an off-the-track Thoroughbred. This was Moose's first trail ride. I soon found out that he was ready to resume his racing days, instead of walking along with the group. Banjo and I stayed near the back and let this trailblazer lead.

About an hour and half into the ride, we came over a hill and saw smoke rising from the ridge in front of us. The wind had picked up, and thick, black smoke was billowing from the hills toward the plains.

We weren't in danger, but decided to turn around and head back just in case.

When we turned toward home, Moose decided it was the home stretch and turned on the speed! When his rider took hold of the bit, Moose started jigging. I knew how uncomfortable it was to ride a jigging horse that's fighting the bit.

I had a thought. My big horse was such a natural equine caretaker, perhaps he could help calm Moose.

I offered to let Moose follow closely behind Banjo to help slow down the ex-racehorse. Moose's rider agreed to try this approach, tucking Moose behind Banjo's ample rear end. Slowly, Moose began to relax and actually began to walk!

As we moved on down the trail, Moose began became more relaxed and even began to take in the scenery. His rider was thrilled?and so was I.

Imagine: my horse, who was once scared of everything, now helping another horse who wasn't sure about a new experience.

I was so proud of my big horse!

A-Home-For-Every-HorseIf you want more information on rescue horses or you want to locate a rescue near you, please check out AHomeForEveryHorse.com. Equine.com and the Active Interest Media Equine Network have joined forces with the American Horse Council's Unwanted Horse Coalition to launch A Home for Every Horse Project.

This project helps find homes for America's 170,000 to 200,000 horses in need of care and shelter.

Here's how it works:

? Begin the search for your next equine partner at AHomeForEveryHorse.com. You can search horses waiting for homes at nonprofit shelters across the country. Browse by rescue horse, or find rescue organizations in your area.

? Visit the site's "Services" section to learn about your local rescue organizations. Find out how you can volunteer, donate, or simply spread the word.

? Look for upcoming stories on EquiSearch.com related to horse rescue.

If your 501(c)(3) rescue organization would like to join the Home For Every Horse Project, call (866) 467-7323, ext. 100. Equine.com is a part of Active Interest Media Equine Network.

Horse Rescue Report: Changing Barns

June 24, 2013

Banjo playing in the water near our new barn.


The other day, I was working my rescue horse, Banjo, in the arena, when I thought back to when we first moved to a barn with an indoor arena Hobby Horse Farms. Sometimes, barn changes can be difficult on a horse. But Banjo really enjoyed that first move.

We're no longer at that particular barn, but our experiences there were very enjoyable. Maybe one reason the move went so well was that Banjo was really starting to trust me.

It was a bright spring morning a few years ago that I moved Banjo from a small, private barn with big fields and no riding arena to a professional facility with two large outdoor arenas and one heated indoor arena. There were also the hustle and bustle of sporthorses being exercised and trained in the arenas, and being moved around the barn area.

To back up, when I adopted Banjo, he was terrified of everything. The first time I took him into an indoor arena, he was so scared, he shook all over. By the time I moved him to this barn, he'd come a long way. But I still wondered how he'd handle all the activity, and unfamiliar sights and sounds.

As it turned out, Banjo handled the move very well. The first time I took him into the indoor, he walked around calmly. He was a little worried about the concession stand in the corner, but he didn't shake or snort. What an accomplishment for my big boy!

Banjo did have to learn to work with other horses around. When there were equines around, he thought it was time to socialize, as he was used to doing in the pasture. In his own sweet way, he wanted to meet all the other horses, even when he was under saddle. So at first, I had to keep reminding him that we had work to do.

We spent a lot of time exploring the facility and making new friends (when appropriate). Banjo's best friend was a big bay Warmblood. The two played in their turnout pasture every day?running, rearing, and bucking!

In a group setting, Banjo often looked after vulnerable horses that were smaller and older than the rest of the herd. At this barn, the horse lowest in the herd was a small, older Arabian named Gem. Banjo made it his job to ensure that Gem got a chance to eat and wasn't bullied by the more dominant horses.

We both loved this barn! We especially enjoyed wandering over to the little nearby reservoir to play in the water and going for gallops in the big field behind the barn. I guess you take the horse and girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the horse and the girl!

Another bonus of this barn was that they had a great little schooling show every month. At that time, Banjo and I were working on our jumping. I was looking forward to the day when we'd be ready for our first jumping show!
A-Home-For-Every-HorseIf you want more information on rescue horses or you want to locate a rescue near you, please check out AHomeForEveryHorse.com. Equine.com and the Active Interest Media Equine Network have joined forces with the American Horse Council's Unwanted Horse Coalition to launch A Home for Every Horse Project.
This project helps find homes for America's 170,000 to 200,000 horses in need of care and shelter.
Here's how it works:
? Begin the search for your next equine partner at AHomeForEveryHorse.com. You can search horses waiting for homes at nonprofit shelters across the country. Browse by rescue horse, or find rescue organizations in your area.
? Visit the site's "Services" section to learn about your local rescue organizations. Find out how you can volunteer, donate, or simply spread the word.
? Look for upcoming stories on EquiSearch.com related to horse rescue.
If your 501(c)(3) rescue organization would like to join the Home For Every Horse Project, call (866) 467-7323, ext. 100. Equine.com is a part of Active Interest Media Equine Network.

Horse Rescue Report: Finding A New Barn

June 10, 2013

Banjo making new friends. | Photo by Allison Meyer


I'd been keeping my rescue horse, Banjo, at a small, private barn to while I saved up some money. But now it was time to move him to barn with arenas. All you boarders out there know that finding a good, affordable place can be tough.

I was familiar with many of the boarding facilities in the area, but none had everything I was looking for in my price range. I wanted an indoor arena, big outdoor arena, turnout, trails, quality feed, and friendly people. Not too much to ask, right?

I searched online and called around, I visited a few places. My trainer suggested her barn, but it was a little farther drive than I wanted.

I live in Boulder County, Colorado. Boarding rates, like housing, are very expensive. I looked at some beautiful places and some not-so-nice places and really couldn't find anything that was just right.

Some, had a great indoor, but no trails; others had great trails, but no indoor. Some had really nice people, but unsafe fencing (barbed wire). Some had most of want I wanted, but the people weren't very friendly.

I finally decided to visit the facility my trainer suggested, Hobby Horse Farms (www.hobbyhorsefarms.biz). It's primarily a hunter/jumper barn, it also had a couple of eventers.

The price was right, the indoor was huge, and there were also two big outdoor arenas. The people were all so friendly. Banjo could have a run with a shed and turnout. There were a few trails nearby; one went over to a little reservoir.

I decided this was a great place for Banjo. I'd just have to drive a little farther to see him every day. It would be worth it in the winter when it was cold outside, and I could ride in the heated indoor!

Banjo was moving out of the country into a large horse facility. How would my big boy handle this change?

A-Home-For-Every-Horse

If you want more information on rescue horses or you want to locate a rescue near you, please check out AHomeForEveryHorse.com. Equine.com and the Active Interest Media Equine Network have joined forces with the American Horse Council's Unwanted Horse Coalition to launch A Home for Every Horse Project.
This project helps find homes for America's 170,000 to 200,000 horses in need of care and shelter.
Here's how it works:
? Begin the search for your next equine partner at AHomeForEveryHorse.com. You can search horses waiting for homes at nonprofit shelters across the country. Browse by rescue horse, or find rescue organizations in your area.
? Visit the site's "Services" section to learn about your local rescue organizations. Find out how you can volunteer, donate, or simply spread the word.
? Look for upcoming stories on EquiSearch.com related to horse rescue.
If your 501(c)(3) rescue organization would like to join the Home For Every Horse Project, call (866) 467-7323, ext. 100. Equine.com is a part of Active Interest Media Equine Network.

Horse Rescue Report: Our First Dressage Test

June 03, 2013
BANJO_FIRST_DRESSAGEThe day before the combined training (CT) event I described in my last blog, I spent a lot of time getting Banjo ready. I gave him a bath, and cleaned his four white socks.

The day of the show, I loaded Banjo in the trailer, picked up his friend, Pony (who was also showing that day), and hit the road.

It may seem silly, but I was very nervous. I was much more comfortable jumping around a course; I'd done that in the past and gotten over a lot of the jitters associated with that. But dressage was totally new.

We were just doing one dressage test that consisted of only walking and trotting. But I was really worried I was going to forget where I was going or that Banjo would revert back to his old, scared self.

I walked the cross-country course with the other riders; it helped to take my mind off the test. Banjo and I weren't competing in the cross-country portion of this CT event, but I wished we were ready ? it looked like so much fun!

When it was time to get ready, Banjo was totally relaxed and ready to have fun. In the arena, we warmed up and practiced our transitions. I went over the test in my head for the thousandth time.

And then it was time for us to compete!

I rode around the dressage arena to let Banjo see the judge's stand. He spooked a little, but was okay. Here was my rescue horse?who'd been afraid of everything?going past a dark box with people inside and only spooking a just a bit. No matter how the test went, I was proud of my big, brave horse.

The test went by so fast, I can hardly remember it. There was a moment when I totally forgot where I was going, but I took a deep breath, and it all came back to me. We made it through to the finish.

I stopped and saluted the judge with such exuberance that I heard a view chuckles from the crowd. I learned later that the salute is a usually a little more passive than the energetic stab at the air I gave.

But it didn't matter to me; Banjo and I made it through our first public dressage test!

We were on our way, learning a new discipline and leaving behind the scared rescue horse and his scared person!

A-Home-For-Every-HorseIf you want more information on rescue horses or you want to locate a rescue near you, please check out AHomeForEveryHorse.com. Equine.com and the Active Interest Media Equine Network have joined forces with the American Horse Council's Unwanted Horse Coalition to launch A Home for Every Horse Project.
This project helps find homes for America's 170,000 to 200,000 horses in need of care and shelter.
Here's how it works:
? Begin the search for your next equine partner at AHomeForEveryHorse.com. You can search horses waiting for homes at nonprofit shelters across the country. Browse by rescue horse, or find rescue organizations in your area.
? Visit the site's "Services" section to learn about your local rescue organizations. Find out how you can volunteer, donate, or simply spread the word.
? Look for upcoming stories on EquiSearch.com related to horse rescue.
If your 501(c)(3) rescue organization would like to join the Home For Every Horse Project, call (866) 467-7323, ext. 100. Equine.com is a part of Active Interest Media Equine Network.


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