Monday, July 20, 2009

ACOT - Scrap It Forward

I've been a member of A Cherry on Top Community for about three months. I decided to participate in Scrap It Forward Challenge. This is my entry for the challenge.

I promised to edit the photo, but I've been so busy that I've not had time.

I took this photo last summer after picking up around the house for "Dolly." Hurricane Dolly went in at south Texas. This was the pasture our Arabian Gelding called home. The Upper Gulf Coast of Texas has the most gorgeous live oak trees. I just found the setting sun and the amount of humidity just hanging in the air just gorgeous! The road was not wet but it sure looks like it in the picture, just the shimmer of the amount of water hangin' in the air.

Little did we know Hurricane Ike would make us a visit later in Sept. It is hard to see the barn in the picture, it's behind the tree to the left. Ike damaged the barn so badly it has been torn down. I moved our gelding to the ranch 11 days before Ike arrived. Whew as it also took the fence down.


ACOT - Scrap It Forward

Friday, July 17, 2009

EEE Causes Death of Two Horses in East Texas

I just thought I would share the this particular email I received from Carla Everett. Carla does mass emails to agriculture animal producers throughout the state of Texas from Texas Animal Health Commission. If you own horses in Louisiana, Florida, Missouri or Mississippi then please read. Thank you Carla, your work is so appreciated by those of us who are animal producers in our great state.

Texas Animal Health Commission
Box l2966 * Austin, Texas 78711 * (800) 550-8242 * FAX (512) 719-0719
Bob Hillman, DVM * Executive Director
For info, contact Carla Everett, information officer, at 1-800-550-8242, ext. 710, or

Two Horses in East Texas Die from Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE);
Vaccinate Your Horses and Protect Against Mosquito Exposure!

Two horses, one in Jasper County and the other in Newton County, in East Texas have died from Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Humans also are susceptible to EEE, which causes inflammation of the brain. The disease is spread by mosquitoes, and measures should be taken to prevent human and animal exposure to the biting pests.

“As part of their routine health care, horses in all parts of the state should be vaccinated to protect against dangerous mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile Virus, and Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis (EEE and WEE),” said Dr. Bob Hillman, Texas’ state veterinarian and head of the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), the state’s livestock and poultry health regulatory agency.

“It takes a week to 10 days after vaccination for the animal to develop protective antibodies, and booster shots must be administered as directed by the vaccine manufacturer to maintain the highest level of protection,” he said. “As effective as vaccines are, however, they are not foolproof, and rare instances of disease can occur. Therefore, it is essential that you protect yourself and your horses against mosquito exposure with a repellent containing DEET.”

Dr. Hillman also said other preventive measures should include draining stagnant water, where mosquitoes can breed, and using approved products that kill mosquito larvae in desired water sources, such as troughs, ponds and fountains. Avoid being outside at night or at dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, wear long sleeves when possible, and consider sheltering horses at night.

“Contact your veterinarian immediately, if your horse acts erratically, is confused, staggers or collapses. These are clinical signs of an encephalitic, or brain inflammation, condition, and a blood test is needed to confirm the diagnosis. With appropriate supportive care, about half of infected horses may survive. An infected horse will not spread the West Nile Virus, EEE or WEE to humans,” said Dr. Hillman. Although they are not regulatory diseases, these mosquito-spread infections are reportable to the TAHC, due to their potential to cause human illness. In 2009, a horse in Washington County, also in East Texas, has been confirmed to have West Nile Virus.

EEE also has been reported in July in horses in Florida, Louisiana, Missouri and Virginia.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Thank you to Troy and Stacy, Advocates for Agriculture, for another great find to read. The OpEd written by Megan Daum is a must read if you live in a urban area or are just removed from agriculture. Megan writes as a columnist for the LA Times and her column for today, Animal rights, writ to large? Well written but ultimately I agree with Troy she falls short on understanding the big picture. My response is to add she fell just short of doing her research on Animal Rights Lobby Groups like HSUS & PETA. Like any politician, Wayne Pacelle is good at just leaving out information when asked by the press. She even drew the wrong conclusion of HSUS being a 'The Humane Society is a mainstream anti-cruelty and animal-shelter organization.' Wrong they are a lobbying group only. I don't have to add any more as she got an ear full in the comments to her blog. The comment left by dogmom is the best:

'Your statement that HSUS is a "mainstream" and "animal shelter organization is totally incorrect but it is what Wayne Pacelle wants everyone to believe. HSUS does not own or operate a single shelter on its own and does not regularly give money to local animal shelters. In contrast, the ASPCA in New York operates a state of the art shelter and low cost animal hospital and helps local shelters all over the US. I know, because I am on the board of an East Coast shelter that is getting $ and expertise from ASPCA. HSUS charged us $6,000 for a "consultation" that produced a nothing but boilerplate report. Worthless, just like HSUS!'
Submitted by: dogmom
6:25 AM PDT, July 16, 2009

'Nuff said'


Thursday, July 9, 2009


My other post for today "Shame in the Horse Show Ring" made me think of the most wonderful Quarter Horse I ever rode. I was working as a Livestock Supervisor for Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice. I watched for three years this horse being ridden by another individual doing what one does with cattle: checking cattle daily, penning cattle for working, and checking fence. His name was Shortie. A fire orange sorrel gelding built like a little bulldog standing just 14.1 hands. The time came when his rider left the ranch. I was able to pick him up. Why that rider loved to have this horse's nose in the air was beyond me. I was drawn to Shortie because he loved his job and had a real gutsy attitude. He just knew he could do anything the bigger horses could, and he could.

Well that rough nose in the air gate had to go. Patience was the rule every day I stepped onto his back. After three weeks of a get to know you period I set up a series of cavaletti for Shortie. We would work about five minutes everyday at a walk and trot across them. At first it was like a fish out of water. This powerhouse athletic gelding couldn't even walk across them with out almost falling down. It took two weeks for him to begin to look down at the ground. It was the beginning for him to realize he didn't have to stick his nose in the air. Slowly over the next year he began to drop his head, learned to cadence his gait. We could head across open ground at an extended trot and I could sit and ride with ease. His jog was exquisite and balanced. His lope like a gentle rocking chair, easy and free lead changes with just a shift of the opposite leg by me. His neck level and collected at all gaits. All I had to do was lift my hand and he would stop. A year and half later other employees took notice, the gutsy little gelding was the envy of the ranch. Time and again I would hear someone say, I can't believe Shortie is the same horse. Can I ride him, the answer was always some other time.

Then one day as I climbed on his back, something was amiss. After twenty minutes I got off and check the girth, the pad, the saddle, the bridle, the bit.....I mean I checked everything. He was off, he wouldn't collect, wouldn't cadence any gait. After two hours I felt beaten to death like when I first started to ride him. On top of that I'd felt I was fighting him all morning. He wasn't tossing his head, he wasn't felt like a test. He didn't accept a single cue I gave him. I was trying to get a cadenced jog when I finally had enough. I didn't raise my hand to stop as I just stepped off of him. Roping horses are trained to stop when the rider comes off. He wasn't collected like he should have been. The result taught him a simple lesson he would never forget. He stumbled, scrambling to stop, and his knees hit the ground followed by his nose. He picked himself up as quickly as he fell. Stunned he stood there eyeing me.....I touched his neck lightly stroking him. 'Shortie,' I said, 'I hope that taught you a lesson.' I mounted and my wonderful gelding moved off at a walk, no soreness. I gently asked for a jog, and my gutsy little gelding was in fine form, collected and cadenced. He never again tested me. I never asked Shortie to drop his head so low he couldn't collect himself. I never forced him into an unnatural gait. I asked him to be on the bit and drive off his hindquarter. He was a horse I will never forget. A gutsy little guy that had one of the biggest hearts I've ever seen in a horse.

Some of the best horses I've ever mounted were ranch horses or PRCA Ropers. Working animals with hearts of fire and the patience to go all day long, day after day.


Blog - Shame in the Horse Show Ring

I found the blog Shame in the Horse Show Ring today. An interesting blog to say the least. A subject put forth which for years I was showing our Arabians aggravated me to no end. As all horse owners believe, their favorite breed is the best. For me it is Arabians, but let me stress an excellent horse of any breed is IMHO a joy to behold. I also am a believer that all horses regardless of what they look like should be treated with honor and respect!

Pictured in my LO is one of our family's three Arabians. This is Ibn Zubaydahh (Tammen x Zubaydahh) a Straight Egyptian we bred. In fact the last one we bred. He's a dream, well behaved with a fun loving streak. He isn't for the faint of heart. His mind like all Tammen babies is quick and devious at times. He isn't for a beginner. He will test and test you just for the fun of it. His forever home now resides at the ranch. His companion is Asia TA an El Hadayhh daughter. She has been at the ranch for 10 months as a refuge of Ike. She finally gets to return to her Mother, my Mom next Monday. The third I've yet to meet and shame on me for forgetting his name. Mom just adopted him. A very sweet gentleman in his aged years she says. I will meet him in a couple of weeks. The fourth equine we own is a donkey by the name of "Donkey" who pulls double duty at the ranch as a guard animal and halter breaks our show calves for us. To me the three I know well are so special to me. They never are abused but respected loving members of our family.

As I wrote "Shame in the Horse Show Ring" is a terrific blog! It points out the abuses that go on in the show world. A good friend near our Houston home was telling me about a the Arabian English (Saddle Seat) Horses. I was appalled to hear of them being shoe with stacked shoes, if that is even the correct terminology. I thought in the late eighties we solved that problem from ever beginning to occur. Arabians aren't AHS or Walkers. They are a desert horse: smart, brave, beautiful, and sensitive. WHY!!!!? would the people involved in Arabians do this. I've been away from the show scene since the early '90's because of money back then. Our kids got involved with livestock and that is the direction we have taken. I could never go back with this treatment of a breed as wonderful as the Arabian.

As I sat and read several posts today on "Shame in the Horse Show Ring." The post dated April 28, 2009, Model Citizens of the Horse World, is a post after my own heart. It talks about horse owners with an "ego." Something that would grate on me with several trainers in the show world. An truth be told I see it to some extent and much less in the cattle show world. For the most part it is from those who have moved or are showing horses, too. I shy away from them.

Speaking of which....abuse of horses just doesn't occur in the show world, it occurs outside of it, too. I happened to have my daughter tell me about a man who was chiropractor when she had an appointment the other day. This man had his horse literally dance on his back, run wide open around the ring several times then headed down a calf chute. Read between the lines....he did something to that horse to cause it. I have no sympathy. The nurse at the doctor's said he was always in for something relating to his horses (that was to me as I took my daughter to her appointment)....again read between the lines......I have no sympathy! I've been riding since I was nine and started with English Hunt Seat lessons on a Welsh cross horse. I've only ever had one horse in my entire life buck with me. It was a quarter horse who had a bad accident with another rider working on a ranch I worked on. A cow turned on her and she went to pitching. I road her out, more afraid of the cow then the mare bucking. She took three huge pitches, I kept kicking her forward until she took off at a run. About a hundred yards later I was able to slow her into an easy lope and then to an easy trot and finally to a jog. I never punished her or hit her. Her accident was she had been flipped when her legs got tangled in a rope after the rider roped the cow. In forty years of riding, I've been unseated by a horse shying at something or stumbling. I've never had one buck in training a youngster to saddle.

I've become a follower of "Shame in the Horse Show Ring," if for nothing else then to make a statement that abuse of any animal is abhorrent to me and my sensibilities!

For those animal rights activists who sit and read my blog....I don't tolerate animal abuse! Here at the ranch my husband laughs as he watches "my kids", the show calves, following me around their pasture. Somewhere along the line I would like animal rights activists to give me the freedom to do what I love and that is to contribute to the food supply of my country and to the world. I AM NOT A FACTORY FARM!


Monday, July 6, 2009

Rep. Peterson Flip Flops on Cap and Trade

Have you asked why Cap and Trade was allowed to pass the House of Representatives?

VIEWPOINT: Peterson does flip-flop on cap and trade

Apparently in Congress, Midwestern sensibility only takes you so far. Tuesday night, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., struck a deal with Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to guarantee the votes to pass the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.

By: Pat Anderson, St. Paul

ST. PAUL — Apparently in Congress, Midwestern sensibility only takes you so far.

Tuesday night, Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., struck a deal with Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to guarantee the votes to pass the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill. Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture committee, under pressure from the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, compromised with Waxman.

Politico, a D.C.-based news organization, highlights the terms of the compromise:

“Under the deal they announced Tuesday evening, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will oversee the offset program for farmers, and the House will seek further guidance from the Obama administration about the appropriate role for the Environmental Protection Agency.

“And Waxman has agreed to ask the EPA to roll back its new requirements that farmers offset rural land developed in other countries. Both were major sticking points for rural members and the many agriculture associations opposed to the bill.”

The controversial Waxman-Markey bill, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, has had plenty of opposition from farm state and rust belt lawmakers. Crippling to industry and agriculture, the bill may indeed prove very controversial for Peterson’s constituents. His western Minnesota district’s economy is based heavily on agriculture, and if Peterson’s compromise does not adequately shield farmers from the provisions in the bill, it could have disastrous effects on the district’s economy.

Anderson is president of the Minnesota Free Market Institute. Read more....

I was thinking about a conversation relayed to me by my husband with our neighbor across the street from us. Our neighbor owns a broiler (chicken) farm at another property he owns. He has made little or no profit in the last two years with the increase in cost of electricity. He recently had his lawyer review his contract, most likely Sanderson Farms. They have found a provision for him to shut his broiler farm down. He is also concerned over the Cap and Trade bill. Should it pass the Senate he will shut it down. How many other broiler chicken farmers do the same? What will this do to the cost to you the consumer on the chicken you buy in the grocery store? Shorter supply, higher prices is the result. You should be concerned about this! I encourage you to read the entire article. Then call or email your senator. I already have.

On the personal level Rep. Peterson sold out the American Farmer and Rancher. He comes from the family farm. He shouldn't have sent a message to us, we aren't considered important in his eyes. He sent a message to the American Consumer he wants to see their taxes go up and the cost of their food to rise. If the damage the EPA will do to the farmer, may even cause a greater number of our population to go hungry. The way I read the article, the compromise only dictates the promise to do something to ease farmers burden on the carbon tax, not set in the law. The promise to ask President Obama what the role for the EPA will be. There is nothing set in stone to keep the EPA from setting standards which will force farms to go out of business.

Just my two cents.....