Women of Age Riding Horses We are the only equestrian publishing entity dedicated to the concerns and interests of "women of age" around the world. We strive to be your go to resource for information, inspiration and a few laughs.
July 14, 2019, Fresno, California (USA): No horse owner wants to get a call like the one Lisa (last name omitted for privacy) received from the Fresno County Sheriff Department on July 2. Lisa was informed that her horse had been found dead from gunshots received during an incident where a deputy was also shot.
Deputy, John Ericsson accompanied by a civilian rider responded to a call regarding a disagreement between neighbors over a property line dispute. The caller told dispatchers that their neighbor had a gun and was shooting indiscriminately. Upon arriving a man took multiple shots at the deputy’s vehicle striking him in the leg. After several hours of negotiation, the shooter surrendered. Following the man’s arrest during investigation of the scene deputies noticed a horse laying in a nearby pasture and assumed it was dead.
Sometime later the horse was spotted standing. The sheriff’s office arranged for a trailer and hauled the horse, Sunshine, for medical attention. Hours after the initial call, Lisa learned the good news. Sunshine is expected to recover from the nine gunshot wounds.
Sunshine Photo Credit Fresno County Sheriff Department
Deputies believe Sunshine was shot prior to Deputy Ericsson’s arrival. The shooter is currently jailed facing multiple felony counts including shooting at an occupied vehicle, using a firearm to commit a felony, committing a felony while armed and animal cruelty.
Deputy Ericsson required surgery but has since been released from the hospital to recover at home.
July 12, 2019, Cleveland County, Oklahoma (USA): A miniature horse slipped away from its owners but not the local police. Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Lacy was quick to apprehend the little run away but the mini wasn’t talking and couldn’t be left free to roam the roads. What to do? What to do?
“Lady fortune smiled on a miniature horse yesterday,” the Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook post stated.
Lacy’s regular patrol car was in the shop that day and he happened to be driving the K-9 patrol car which has more room in the back. The mini hopped into the back of the car and was given a ride home.
This isn’t the first time Oklahoma Officials have been tasked with giving small horses or in this case, a small donkey a lift. In December 2015, a donkey was found wandering the roads in Norman, Oklahoma. A good samaritan called police, helped catch the donkey then offered to keep him until it’s owners were located. Unfortunately her home was four miles away. There was only one option. The two coaxed the donkey into the back of the patrol car. The following day, the donkey’s owners came forward and returned him home.
Runaway donkey Photo Credit: Norman Police Department
Where there’s a will there’s a way. We can all be grateful to the officers whose imaginative solutions likely saved these mini mischief maker’s lives.
Note to Oklahoma criminals. If you are arrested and placed in the back of a patrol car, you might want to check the bottom of your shoes when you get out. Just sayin’.
With regard to the rising cost of managing the U.S. wild horse and burro populations, President Trump’s 2018 budget included a proposed solution: “humane euthanasia and unrestricted sale of certain excess animals.”
July 6, 2019 Boise, Idaho (USA): According to U.S. Bureau of Land Management Acting Director Casey Hammond speaking to the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board on July 6, 2019, the Trump administration will no longer pursue lethal measures such as euthanasia or selling horses for slaughter
Federal officials say that nearly 90,000 wild horses in 10 Western states are triple appropriate levels with nearly 18,000 foals born annually. Currently there are more than 50,000 captured wild horses held in corrals at a cost of $50 million a year.
The Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is preparing a report requested by Congress. The report shall include recommendations for the BLM and U.S. Forest Service regarding management of wild horses and burros upon which federal agencies may accept or reject its suggestions. Ideas under consideration include new sterilization methods, aggressive adoption efforts and doubling the number of captive horses.
The federal government has managed the wild horse population since the passage of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. Prior to ratification wild horses were regular rounded up for slaughter raising concerns of inhumane treatment and possible extinction.
For more information on the Advisory Board’s latest meeting, June 6, 2019, visit the Federal Register.
For more information on the BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program which provides $1000 to anyone who adopts a wild horse or burro – READ NOW.
Photography Courtesy: Jaime Jackson (feature image) and the Bureau of Land Management/Wikimedia Commons
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July 11, 2019, Cornwall (UK): A 100-year-old woman received a birthday telegram from the Queen Thursday, July 11. That wasn’t the only surprise for birthday girl, Anne Tape. The telegram was delivered by horseback. Tape’s grandson, Luke Francis, is the local postmaster and mastermind of the special delivery assisted by Bobby the horse.
He said: “She can remember when the postman would come to her farm on the back of a horse, so we thought it would be significant to deliver her birthday telegram from the Queen on the back of Bobby.”
The tradition of receiving a royal birthday greeting was begun by George V in 1917. The first telegrams were actually written by a royal secretary and delivered by bicycle. In the 1940’s the birthday wishes were officially named Royal Court Telegrams. In the early 1999 the telegram evolved to a personalized card. Though not actually penned by the Queen they are considered official correspondence, delivered in a special blue envelope bearing the coat of arms and including a photo and scan of the Queen’s signature.
In the early 20th century life expectancy was only 37 years, so relatively unusual few congratulations to be sent. Since the turn of the century, the number of centenarians in the UK has increased by 85%. The latest census (2017) counted more than 14,400 centenarians and more than 579,000 people aged 90 years. The Royal greetings now number several thousand a year.
Every British national may apply to receive a birthday or anniversary message. They are issued upon a 100th birthday, 105th birthday then every subsequent birthday. Celebration messages are also sent for diamond wedding anniversaries – 60 years of marriage.
It you are a UK National and wish to arrange for a birthday or anniversary greeting from the Queen, simply download the form and submit as instructed.
June 26, 2019, Washington D.C. (USA): U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) recently introduced bipartisan legislation to permanently prohibit and make it a federal crime to slaughter horses for human consumption in the United States. The legislation also bans any related interstate or foreign commercial activity, such as the export of horsemeat or the transport of horses to slaughterhouses in other countries.
The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act was previously introduced August 2, 2017 as the John Stringer Rainey Memorial Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (US Bill #S1706). The bill’s intent to deem equine parts to be an unsafe food additive or animal drug and to prohibit the knowing sale or transport of equines or equine parts for human consumption. It was defeated December 31, 2018.
The new legislation (US Bill #2006) differs slightly with inclusion of a clause designating horse slaughter for human consumption as a federal crime punishable by up to two years in prison.
While the slaughtering of horses for human consumption in the United States is exceedingly rare, data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that over 100,000 American horses are exported to Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses each year.
The bill would amend Title 18 of the U.S. Code. It will be introduced to the Senate Judiciary Committee of which Graham is the chair.
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Visitors to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, are transported back in time to America’s 18th century capital. The town is a living museum of colonial life providing a dimensional perspective to America’s history. The historically accurate experience fully embraces its colonial legacy from its original buildings, cadre of Nation Builders portraying historical figures right down to serving historically accurate meals.
Visitors strolling down the tree lined streets may well cross paths with Thomas Jefferson and find themselves engaged in casual conversation or invited to stomp clay in bare feet to help brickmakers mold the thousands of bricks needed for the town each year. There is a great deal to absorb at Colonial Williamsburg but what one sees during a visit is only a small part of the tremendous effort made to provide a historically accurate experience.
For instance, many visitors may not be as aware of its conservancy program, which preserves period species including the critically endangered Cleveland Bay Horse, a popular 18th century carriage horse. This year Williamsburg is making history again becoming one of the country’s leading breeders of Cleveland Bay Horses.
In 2017, Colonial Williamsburg welcomed five Cleveland Bays to its conservancy program; stallion – Lord Brigadoon, aka Clarence, gelding – Kenjoc Etay Buckshot, mare – Penrose Willow, gelding – Old Dominion Royal Lancer and mare – Old Dominion Islode, aka Isabelle. The same year Clarence was granted official status as a breeding stallion in both the US and UK. Multiple attempts to breed Clarence with Willow and Isabelle with Penrose Dictator in this first year were unsuccessful when both mares were unable to carry foals beyond 60 days.
In 2018, Willow and Clarence produced three viable embryos, two were transferred to mares Fudge and Cricket. Fudge gave birth to a healthy colt on April 28th. Williamsburg Valiant, named for a famous racehorse “Valiant” from Colonial times. Valiant is the first foal in 16 years born at Colonial Williamsburg.
Week old Williamsburg Valiant investigates the turnout pasture with his birth mother, Fudge. PC: Colonial Williamsburg
“He has a huge personality,” said Paul Bennett, Director of the Coach and Livestock program at Colonial Williamsburg. “He walks along the fence looking for people to talk to. He even has a fan club, people come to Williamsburg just to meet him.”
On June 2, Isabella gave birth to another male, Fearnaught a.k.a. Monty. According to a post on Colonial Williamsburg’s Facebook page, “Monty is full of spunk and energy, we’re pretty sure this little firecracker is just as happy he’s here as we are.”
Fearnaught, aka Monty, approximately one week old. PC: Colonial Williamsburg
Valiant and Monty will soon be joined by 2 more foals. Cricket is due June 25 and Willow July 7. None of the mares will be immediately bred back. Bennett explained that the conservancy wants to give them ‘plenty of time to raise their foals and spend time together.’
The foals born this year will place Colonial Williamsburg as one of the top breeders of purebred Cleveland Bays in North America. Every foal is vital to the breed’s survival however quantity is not the program’s objective but rather quality. Breeding to enhance the genetic pool is a priority for Williamsburg coordinating its efforts with the US and UK Cleveland Bay Societies.
By the 1960’s Cleveland Bays were nearly extinct, only four stallions were left in Great Britain. Queen Elizabeth purchased a stallion named Mulgrave Supreme which stood at stud. Their popularity soared and the breed was saved but enthusiasm to breed to the Queen’s stallion came with a price. The genetic pool was significantly narrowed so much so that breeders today are pressed to compensate in order to secure the breed’s future.
“When you look back 3 or 4 generations you will see many of the same names listed on most pedigrees,” explained Paul Bennett, Director of the Coach and Livestock program.
The US and UK Cleveland Bay Society utilizes a software program known as Sparks. The program analyzes pedigree and genetic information used by breeders strengthen genetically challenged animal populations. Sparks has been utilized by zoological organizations for years but the Cleveland Bay Society is the first equine organization to make use of the technology. When searching for a stallion to breed with Isabella, Sparks suggested six stallions. The conservancy made the final selection based on physical characteristics and traits to compliment Isabella. Their choice, an stallion named Stanmore Wolfhound.
Breeding is just one aspect of the conservancy program at Colonial Williamsburg. With the exception of Willow, the sole brood mare, all four Cleveland Bays work at Colonial Williamsburg. Buckshot and Lancer drive, Isabella is ridden by actor Katherine Pitman as Martha Washington and Lancer was ridden by actor Mark Schneider as the Marquis de Lafayette and currently in training to drive along with his half-brother Clarence.
The carriage teams start their day at Colonial Williamsburg PC: Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg’s Cleveland Bay conservancy program is supported by its donors; Carolyn and Lowell Larson of Burlington, WI; Claudette and Steve Tallon of Williamsburg, VA; Jeanne Asplundh of Fort Washington, PA and Cindy Kiser of Verona, VA. Visitors to Colonial Williamsburg can see these endangered horses working and living as they did centuries ago. Thanks to the conservancy program and its supporters, visitors will certainly enjoy the Cleveland Bays for centuries to come.
Interested in Breeding Your Mare to Lord Brigadoon?
Colonial Williamsburg’s stallion, Lord Brigadoon (Clarence). PC: Colonial Williamsburg
Lord Brigadoon (Clarence) is available for breeding. He is registered in both the US and UK. For information contact:
Colonial Williamsburg Director of Coach and Livestock
You can search but you won’t find any CLEVELAND BAY HORSES in WARHorses New BREED WORD SEARCH PUZZLE. But don’t worry, there are plenty of other breeds to be found. Play for Free We’re old school, so you will need to download the PDF and print a hard copy. Check your answers by downloading the other PDF. Simply tap the buttons below to download. Enjoy!
If you’re interested in learning about other endangered horse breeds, you’ll want to to read WARHorse’s post about Britain’s Suffolk Punch.
June 5, 2019 W, Ogden, NY (USA): Early one recent morning, officers from the Ogden Police Department responded to calls of a run-away disrupting commuters. It did not take long to locate the culprit found running in the road. The suspect was quickly apprehended but unable to answer questions leaving officers to consider what to do next?
“Even a mini horse won’t fit in the back of a police cruiser,” considered Police Chief, Christopher Mears. “And you can’t ride it.”
So they tied a long rope to the mini and from the patrol car window lead her to a nearby stable until her owners were located a short time later.
Afterward, the police department enjoyed a BIT of HORSEPLAY with this story POSTING on social media that the mini was a real TROOPER to run along side the patrol car and suggesting that they were starting a mounted horse unit.
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May 25, 2019 Chincoteague, VA (USA): A stable at Beebe Ranch, home to Misty and Stormy, burned to the ground Tuesday night. The barn was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived just before 11 p.m.. All animals were safely accounted for including Angel’s Stormy Drizzle the great, great, great, granddaughter of Misty.
“It’s been a tough few weeks for the entire Beebe family. Maureen Beebe Hursch (little Maureen in the Misty of Chincoteague book) passed away. Then Billy’s sister Barbara’s precious husband Jack Gray busted through the gates of heaven one day after his 88th birthday. Certainly loss of the barn here is of no comparison to the loss of these two family members, but the little barn here that burned last night was loved by the entire family. Every single family member has memories in that little barn….many as little children growing up here and some of us seeing it only as adults. Last night, the barn here on the ranch caught fire and within 20 minutes, it was over. Billy and I were out of town so only have the pictures as a reference to how bad it was. Fire trucks from, I think, 6 local companies were on scene as quickly as they could get here. Really all they could do was get it contained so as not to damage neighboring property too badly (there was damage to two homes near the barn but thankfully both were superficial and no one was displaced from their home). All four of the horses and our goat Bill and the cat are safe. We are thankful for all the police officers and also so very thankful to all the fire companies that were involved, both local and off-island units…” wrote Bonnie Beebe on Facebook.
The ranch, opened in 1999, served as a museum focused on Chincoteague’s most famous ponies, Misty and her foal Stormy featured in the novels Misty of Chincoteague (1947) and Stormy, Misty’s Foal (1963) by Marguerite Henry. Both ponies lived at the ranch and upon their deaths, their taxidermied figures were on public display. In 2010, the ranch museum closed when Billy Beebe, a retired Virginia National Guard member, was deployed to Afghanistan. Misty and Stormy’s taxidermied forms as well as other Beebe family memorabilia was donated to the Museum of Chincoteague where they are currently displayed. In 2016, the ranch re-opened for limited public tours and remains home to Billy Beebe and his immediate family. Billy is the grandson of “Grandpa” and “Grandma” Beebe and first cousin of Paul and Maureen Beebe around whom much of Henry’s novels are centered.
Little remains of the stable after the fire is extinguished. PC: Eastern Shore Fire Department
Investigators have not yet determined a cause for the fire.
Under Ponciin’s tuteledge, Teddy finished his first painting in about two hours. PC: SWNS: South West News Service
Elodie Poncin, an art and design student at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England wanted her last student art exhibit to be memorable. Inspired by her lifelong passion for horses, Poncin decided to incorporate horses into her exhibit not to paint but rather to be the painter.
Poncin enlisted a Welsh cross pony named Teddy as her protege. Using the same tactics to train a dog, Poncin first approached Teddy’s lesson with a simple task – holding a sponge in his mouth. Step by step the tasks became more difficult, holding a brush in his teeth then placing the brush on canvas and finally moving the brush to apply strokes of paint. Teddy, never one to decline attention or treats, was happy to oblige and eager to learn. In less than eight hours, Teddy was creating works of art and Poncin had four masterpieces for her exhibit titled; Straight from a Horse’s Mouth, It’s Pasture Bedtime, Unbridled and Get Off Your High Horse.
Teddy seems pleased with his work. PC: SWNS: South West News Service
“The thought of horses changes my spirit; inhaling their sweet aroma, fingers pulling softly through silky tail hair, my heart translating their secret language of snuffles, whuffles, and whinnies.” ~ from The Breath of Horse Crazy
Women with a deep affinity for horses struggle to define the near gravitational pull horses have on them. They might say it has always been there, that they don’t remember not loving horses. Or perhaps it was sparked by a defining experience when they were young. In The Breath of Horse Crazy Lynn Baber deftly explores this connection using her considerable and substantial professional and personal experience. She vividly recalls her first ride (and fall) and shares engaging and thoughtful stories, as well as some of the challenges she faced with her horses. Advice and instruction are plentiful but conversational rather than lofty. Interspersed are contributions from trusted friends and fellow horsewomen she considers her “sisters in the Realm of Horses”. Readers of a certain age who bounced and rocked their way through imaginary fields on a springy, plastic Wonder Horse may be momentarily transported by an anecdote, hopefully not remembering how the spring occasionally pinched a bare leg.
What this book is not, is veiled marketing by a “name” trainer, although Baber certainly earned distinguished recognition and success in show and breeding circles. Where it differs from others is in Baber’s authentic voice. There is undeniable honesty and openness and includes a peek into Baber’s sense of humor that may cause an unexpected laugh here and there. The book’s path is easy to follow with passages that the reader will mark and re-read. Just when the reader senses authenticity and humility in the writing, she will discover sections devoted to both as they relate to horse training and the relationship that is vital to a true partnership. Readers will appreciate the ringside seat to Baber’s methods of dealing with and resolving relationship problems with her own and some of her clients’ horses. There is plenty to learn in the process. Baber trusts herself and her experience enough to share examples of her own trials and occasional missteps. She also is honest about her own physical challenges–something that will resonate with WARHorse readers who cringe with pains from age or past injuries.
A primary thread in The Breath of Horse Crazy is the relationship between women and horses and a life of faith. Baber is a Christian author with a background in ministry, and it is clear her faith is as integral to her life as her horses. But this is not a religious book. With few exceptions, Baber recognizes and respects that all readers may not be interested her viewpoint. She references scripture as footnotes, or examines relationship parallels in passages that are easily bypassed or skimmed.
This is a refreshing read by a talented and experienced writer that deserves a space on the bookshelf. It presents a compassionate and personal look at the deep connection between women and horses, and undoubtedly will help resolve some of the stumbling blocks that arise when we don’t understand or fail to nourish relationships with our equine partners. An unintended benefit may be a boost in confidence when our horses show us what is possible.
Reviewed by Karen McPeak
Enjoy an Excerpt from “Breath of Horse Crazy”
Horses are wonderful, obedient, sweet, obstinate, frustrating, challenging, joyous, fulfilling, and obsessive. Most are creative communicators capable of telling you precisely where to scratch, what perfume is most annoying, which treat is the bomb, and when you’ve ticked him off or hurt his feelings.
Draw your horse to you by sharing your dream. Tell him out loud and with great detail. Describe every hope, image, and bit of magic in your heart. Help him realize that he’s capable of more than he thinks he is because you plan to offer more than he believes is possible. Show him your vision then begin to live it.
Don’t accept discouragement. It’s tempting, especially when others think you’re wasting your time. Sometimes it takes years to make your vision a reality. As long as you make the tiniest bit of progress month to month or season to season, don’t quit. Understand that forward is a direction, not a speed.
Reward every try and be gob-smacked delighted with the smallest effort.
Obedience at liberty is true obedience, like walking a tightrope without a safety net. Horses must have the freedom to choose to obey. Would Jesus have the same appeal if He roped and drug you into relationship? I chose Him the same way I want a horse to choose me. When He said, “Come,” I came. When He says “Follow,” I follow. Not because I have no other choice, but because the invitation delights me.
Smile when you ride. It’s powerful, encouraging, and relieves tension, especially when you feel insecure or distracted. Smile. Feel what it does to your core. To your seat.
Smile and mean it. You can’t be on the back of a horse without being grateful for something!
WARHorse, Lynn Baber
Lynn Baber is a best-selling author, World and National Champion horse trainer and breeder, former business consultant, motivational speaker, and serial entrepreneur. She is the author of several books including the Gospel Horse Series.