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A Conversation with Lily August 2, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 5:23 pm
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Lily has scratches. That’s a blog post in itself, but for another day. The first day I tried to rub the scabs off she had a fit. I understand they hurt and I understand she is sensitive, but trying to kick me while holding her hind foot is unacceptable behavior. So Lily and I went outside and had a conversation. This was the first serious talk she and I had, and she was initially stunned. I started moving her one direction and then the other and she exploded because she didn’t like being told what to do. However, within only a few minutes she settled down and listened. Good enough for that day.

The following day I went back to work with her again. I figured she would either be like “get away from me you mean lady” or would listen nicely. I was very glad to see that she listened quite well and acted like a lady. She was relatively good for working with her scratches, and she continues to be. She doesn’t like it, but she has not tried to kick me again.

I have since worked with her several more times and she is spot on. Lily is quite smart and willing to work as long as she has her thinking brain on and not her flight brain. (She did break her lead rope spooking at someone wearing a rain slicker. Sigh… We have not gotten to desensitizing with a rain slicker, but it’s on the list.) Today was the first time she had to work while something else was going on around her. A person was bringing horses in while I had her in the outdoor arena. At first she thought it was impossible to focus on me when other things were happening, but it took very little to convince her that she could. Then she tuned into me and didn’t look at the other horses again. I am very impressed with her brain and her willingness. Now only if she can learn to tone down the flight response…

 

One Door Closes, Another Opens January 7, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 5:44 pm
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I haven’t seen Gwen since before Christmas. The holidays, sick parents requiring my attention, and oh yes…the weather, have kept me away. But I did give Debra and Gwen a gift for Christmas. I’ve known for some time what I was going to do, but I had to wait for the right time. What better time than Christmas? Debra and I went into this venture to find Gwen a permanent, loving home. It became obvious to me after a couple of months that Gwen already had her permanent, loving home. Debra adores Gwen and Gwen is quite smitten with Debra. Not to mention that Gwen is very happy where she is. She has lots of horsey friends, plenty of turnout, more than enough hay (judging by her hay belly), and a treat that is never far away. Could we really find a better situation? I doubt it. So for Christmas I gave my “share” of Gwen to Debra. Okay, obviously I’m not a horse trader. Nor am I in this to make money. But that’s okay. What I am in this for is to spread the word about the value of Arabians and part-Arabians, work with horses and people who want to learn, and do my part in finding the right match for a person and a horse needing a good home.

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Could Gwen be any more content?

Although Gwen is technically the “One Door Closes” in this title, the door really isn’t closed. I will still be around her regularly (just as soon as the weather improves), and certainly if Debra finds another perfect person for Gwen she can move her on. But for now Gwen is happily staying at Windwood Farm. Perhaps that is what she (Gwen that is) had in mind all along. And of course I will still update people on how she is doing, but (as the title implies) I already have another project. Her name is Bahea and she is a very sweet Arabian mare. But more about her next time.

 

Horses are an Important Industry January 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — theridingwriter @ 9:25 pm
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I was reminded of these figures while I was looking around the American Horse Council’s website. This is from a study they published utilizing data from 2005. Granted that was pre-global economic meltdown and I’m sure the figures are different now. But still, the equine industry is a viable, important industry that contributes billions of dollars into the U.S. economy. It deserves some respect and is worth our efforts to keep it afloat and make it strong. Did you realize just how far the equine industry reaches? Consider these numbers from the study:

  • There are 9.2 million horses in the United States.
  • 4.6 million Americans are involved in the industry as horse owners, service providers, employees and volunteers. Tens of millions more participate as spectators.
  • 2 million people own horses.
  • The horse industry has a direct economic effect on the U.S.of $39 billion annually.
  • The industry has a $102 billion impact on the U.S.economy when the multiplier effect of spending by industry suppliers and employees is taken into account. Including off-site spending of spectators would result in an even higher figure.
  • The industry directly provides 460,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.
  • Spending by suppliers and employees generates additional jobs for a total employment impact of 1.4 million FTE jobs.
  • The horse industry pays $1.9 billion in taxes to all levels of government.
  • Approximately 34% of horse owners have a household income of less than $50,000 and 28% have an annual income of over $100,000. 46% of horse owners have an income of between $25,000 to $75,000.
  • Over 70% of horse owners live in communities of 50,000 or less.
  • There are horses in every state. Forty-five states have at least 20,000 horses each.

So if you hear someone knocking the equine industry or call horses simply “hay burners” (which yes, they are, but that doesn’t stop us from owning them) toss out a few of these numbers. Chances are non-horse people have no idea the reach the equine industry has. A little education could go a long way.