Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bubba communicating a response to something with my friend Viv.
Viv and I are also good at hanging off of ladders, scaffolding and trusses.
The things we get into!

Dave and Sammy Chatting

The Animals do Speak!
Yes they do in their way, it's just not in English.
It's up to us to step forward as their teachers and care givers be the good listeners and observers in what they are trying to tell us ,when things are good and when they are not.

Some Homework
If you truly want to get good and do the best for your horse while in turn actually doing the best for your self at the same time.
Some folks have to get past the evasion of doing the work and learning as much as we can about these creature we are asking to perform for us.
It amazes me constantly in that people are asking their horse to move and perform with no understanding of how a horses body works. What is reasonable, and what is not with in it's given limits of structure, nerve and muscle use abilities.

The horses do try, and often what an owner sees as good, is not in what it's doing to the horses body and in turn the effects on the mind as well.

Right now with the market in the shape it is, it's not the papers or breed that are going to sell or create value in your horses for the most part, it's the training. This is an industry full of rehab and unusable horses right now. The best papers in the world does not mean the horse is safe and/or sound partner for a human.

With a little work and education one can create value, a usable, sound,happy horse, it just take us, the folks out here to step up and all do our job and do it right.

Two very important pieces of educational material I can't stress enough of value to any horse owner that is ready to learn and understand how a horse can and can not do things with effect and the limits is reading the book" The Dynamic Horse" By Dr. Hilary Clayton. It's easy to understand and gives a great understanding of how the horse body works in performance and movement.

The other must have Media is the DVD "If Horses Could Speak"
by Dr. Gerd Heuschmann. If you care, you just cant afford not to watch this DVD to understand the effects of good riding application's and the effects of
some the new age trends that are not good for our horses.

Another great means of learning the abilities and limits of our horses is the full dissection class that a program called "Equinology" provides.

Taking up the challenge and learning around here, we take on with great relish and same with those we share the same passion of horses with us that come here.

It's always an adventure, fun, horses are better, healthier, live long and happier for it.



Bubba about 6 years ago once again having to do something different. This time by the look on his face says , "This is way more load than I'm used too, and I look ridiculous".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Marshal as a pup

Just a bit more about Marshal as Dave and I received a poem written for him from a friend that knew him very well and always shared with him what ever she ate. Her dog Rosie was one of his friends that visited regularly.

Becky Voss and Marshal as a Pup
The Painting I did of Marshal when he was 2 years old
Titled "Pleading the Treat".

He’s gone now, that Grand Old Gent …
His bright eyes knew just what it meant
When you’d look at him sitting there
Hoping, hoping that you’d share
“Did you want some of these?”
Oh yes, yes I do, PLEASE?
His tail would thump with heartfelt glee
As if to say “You’ll share with me?”
Whatever tidbit he’d been favored
Was so appreciated and savored
Then nose and eyes upon the floor
He’d look and search for any more.
He was kind to all Life’s creatures
You could see it in his noble features
Maybe it was because his own life
Started out so filled with strife
Too tiny to live on his own
Little hope was there that he’d be grown
Into a beautiful Gordon Setter
Little hope that he’d get any better
It was just too hard to breathe
But God then gave him a reprieve
He’d heard the prayers so many gave
Hoping this precious life to save
So God sent an angel with hair of gold
And asked her Marshal’s life to hold
She accepted the challenge on that day
With all her heart (which is her way)
The years that passed flew on by
Too soon the time to say goodbye
The Grand Old Gent, with his kind heart
From his earthly bonds must part
But his spirit will always live
In the hearts of all of those who give
Care, compassion and love undying
To all God’s creatures who are trying
To live in harmony, peace and love
Until they return to Heaven Above.

Jane Greenwood 2009 ©

Marshal and Liz at the old Ranch in Clear Lake, MN

Marshal and Liz at School

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Master Leather Artist and Instructor
Carol Gehrman
Fun Times had by all at Leather Guild Workshop!
The local leather guild holds it monthly workshops here in Dave's shop. This month they had a special treat in which nationally renowned Master Leather Artist Carol Gehrman, with over 50 years experience was this months instructor.
Also known to Dave as his "Leather Momma". Carol was a one of the largest influences in Dave's life to becoming the Master Saddle Maker and Saddle Tree Designers of today. Carol took Dave on as a young teenager , teaching him the art, getting him active in the leather guilds, taking him to the leather shows to learn and compete with his own creations, in turn winning him some very prestigious awards for a such a young artist. Carol refers to Dave as her third son and the relationship is long lived, still close and deep after so many years.
The local guild has a membership of some very talented members which meet monthly to share each others skills in projects they are each working on and learning new skill and applications. It's quite an amazing group that truly enjoys each other and what they do together. It's a joy to watch this happening and the interactions of so much going on, a truly fun group of folks to be around.

A Sample of Carols Work
Carol is known for her work in creating all types of Jewelery all done in leather. Her coloring of the leather and creating 3-D effects in her designs are astounding.

A Traveling Display of Leather Jewelry Carol takes to Shows

Another traveling Display of Carols work

One of the Oak Leaf earring I Received from Dave for Valentines day Carol crafted.

Relaxing and chatting after dinner

We had 21 people in attendance with a potluck dinner and I thought there must have been enough food to feed the whole Minnesota National guard.
No one left hungry unless they wanted to.
Guild Members Working on Projects

Jane and Gary drying leather pieces for their projects. Gary is tall, Jane in not short! I Wrote that for you Jane!

Guild members Pastor Mark, Dave and Carol working on refining carving knife skills

Dave and His Son Will who was also in Attendance

And lastly, I must have been eating one of those homemade cookies I could not stay away from and Tony knows me to well and is in begging mode knowing he always gets what he wants.

This was such a fun event and to not be only around so many great leather artists, but so many of them are experienced horseman and horsewomen themselves. They also have several active youth members which makes it even more of a joy I can tell for the older members to share and work with.


Monday, February 16, 2009

To Have the Greatest Clients in the World!

Andrea and Her Fox totter Fancy
Here are some fun updated photos Andrea sent of herself and Fancy doing some work since they went home this summer when Fancy was started under saddle here at the ranch.
I wrote about Fancy's first ride last year in my blog.
Although a very nice note she sent I still as I have told Andrea before myself, it sure helps to produce quality work in a horse for a client when the client has also done their job. Then it's a success for the client, myself and the horse. It really has been wonderful since setting a higher standard and clarifying the responsibility on an owners part before bringing a horse in for work.
No more just "dump them off and go till pick up".
No more'"just put a band-aid on the horse fast and cheap" only to come in a year later to fix again.
No more "just do it" and "they better have 10 years worth of training in months, and make me look like a star, even if I cant ride and am scared to death of a horse,,just be sure they make me look good!"
You know that type wanting us produce miracles, that's what I pay for kind of people and they should in their minds not have to do any thing on their part to keep the horse going!
And if it does not happen like it should of course "it's all the trainer fault".
It is so great to have people that want to be a working part of their horses education and every scrap information you can give them so they can keep doing the consistent type of work when their horse goes home. They love to learn, and put it to practice and get better and better, in practical use, not just hear words and regurgitate them back a to everyone around them but never really learn how to do it themselves with their horse, just make it sound like they do.
I love the folks coming here now, the conversations we have, like today Jane and I working together on refinements in a horses education and what most people think that is but what it really is in the true sense for the horse. Working and using the gravity we live with to our advantage,controlling our bodies core to make this happen. Just hours and hours of that deeper place my self and they want to get to. Enjoying together the self discipline and dedication it takes on our own part to make all this happen, with work and put it all to practice.
Oh the hours that go by so fast and you never want to leave the barn but our brains and bodies wear out so we must at some point.

Hi Liz,

I sure will keep in touch with my Fancy adventures. I am so happy with her. I hadn't done a darn thing with her all winter till last weekend. I tacked her up in the barn aisle. She stood like a pro with a look of joy. We went into my little indoor to play and she went right to work like the day she left your farm. I am just tickled! I did a little bit of ground driving because the snow was sliding off the roof making a big crashing noise. She didn't even twitch, but I thought I'd be pushing my luck if I climbed on. Anyway, She was marvelous. If the snow if off the roof by this weekend, we will go for a little ride. The thing that I just can't get over is how much she enjoys being taught things. And how really attentive of a student she is. I don't know how you did it, but it just impresses me to no end!! I've brought home too many sore and sour youngsters from trainers I guess. WOW What a difference. Thank You!
Andrea and Fancy
Always fun for me to see also is when experienced folks, that understand and care also like Andrea has above, knows proper position of a good fitting saddle. Using her back rigging angled forward so the tree bars can function properly to distribute rider weight correctly, the back rigging is snug so it can function .
She's wearing her helmet even though years and year as an advanced rider. Great hands to nose band, as she can close her fingers to make contact if she needs to but only if she needs to, not maintaining a constant contact on a horse that is perceived as necessary at all times so often any more. Yet she has not thrown away her reins as called, she is ready to give hand to face communication as she needs to for Fancy.
She just gets it and puts it to use, it increases her success with her horse not only in Fancy's continued education but in safety for both of them.

Behind the scenes most of the time but her wonderful support is husband Leroy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shades Of Marshal Dillon
Aug. 28, 1998 to 2-11-2009
It is with very broken hearts, Dave and I are sharing the loss of Marshal today.
We are posting this here because so many folks that are such a part of our lives also took Marshal into theirs as well.
After a battle with tumors invading his body, he did chose to continue to stay with us another two and a half years longer than was predicated. Monday night, he in his way told us he was about ready to go, and Tues. night gave into his ill body which took him over .
The pain for Dave and I is excruciating, but bearable only because we have no choice in it.
We do have some folks to thank though for their help in Marshals amazing life.
Thank you to Milac's Veterinary clinic, Foley MN for saving a rescue puppy and making his life possible for us all to enjoy.
Thank you to Becky Voss, long time and very dear friend and who I call the "Dog Goddess"
She is as passionate about dogs as I am about horses. She spent many hours with Marshal as a sick little puppy to help him find joy in life and that it was worth fighting for.
He never forgot all through these years the scrunchy in her long hair that he so loved to pull out.
To Greg and Diane Parker for when they would come visit, would play and again show him love and a will to live. I remember very well Greg being to tall for my sofa stretching out on it with legs draping over the arm and folding Marshal ,a very sick puppy in the crook of his arm and taking naps together.
Thank you to Spring Valley Vet Clinic, for helping Dave and I through a very hard time for us today to be with Marshal through the end, while making it as painless as possible, they have quite an amazing staff there.
Thank you to all the friends and clients that accepted and showed kindness to our sweet, loving Marshal when visiting our ranch.
We will miss the popcorn feeds we did because Marshal loved them so, his twice a day biscuit spreads, Dave taking him for his daily walk to 'Snoof and Foof" as we called it, through the fields.
My love of feeding him Long spaghetti noodles.
We now have a very large hole in our daily lives here but every minute and year we had with Marshal made us both better for it and we tried to make his the best life a dog could ever want.
Marshal 's Story
It is here I feel important to tell Marshal's story as it is one of lessons in life learned with many messages for us all to take to heart.
Also I am getting to an age in which I don't care to about protecting the bad people in this world for fear of them hurting me or others, they do so anyway to cover their own guilt's and behaviors.
The Start
It begins on an Oct. Friday making a trip to do a clinic, I have asked a lesson client of mine to make the long drive with me and to work as an assistant.
I have done a clinic here before and know what kind of place I am going to, but this time I was not prepared for what I was to find.
We enter the home, the owner is on the phone with a very tiny puppy in her
hands at a table.
She is talking on the phone while pushing this puppies face into a coffee cup with dog food made into a gruel trying to get him to eat it. She is explaining to the other person on the phone that she does not feel a puppy the person on the other end was supposed to purchase for the amount of $500.00 dollars and go to Canada will make it.
Marshal and Liz at Dog show
When she gets off the phone it turns out the puppy in her arm is the one being talked about, we can see he is very sick. We learn he is but 5 weeks old and already weaned and has gotten aspirated pneumonia due to being forced to eat this gruel to get him weaned for sale. He has already had seizures earlier in the week and looks in bad shape and states she is not going to put in the money to try and save him.
There is a litter of 9 puppies, 3 are what people call runts and the other 6 are in another room in a little pen being fed in an old pot with this same gruel, the smell is awful as the new newspaper bedding is just being piled upon the old dirty feces filled paper. The 3 runt puppies are being kept in a filthy bathroom with a space heater on a foam pad, again filthy and saturated in feces, the air is stifling.
For the night I am put in a bedroom above this bathroom and hear a little puppy making desperate crying through the night. I am up in the morning with little sleep, very upset about what some may term as a dog breeding facility , I would call it something else. I want to go home, and not do this clinic but I do it anyway, exhausted and upset by what is happening to these puppies.
Again Sunday night I sleep above this bathroom for the second night, again this one puppy crying so weakly. At the finish of the clinic we head back to the house to pack to leave This puppy is near death we could tell, I beg in a mannerly way to the owner to let me take him and try to save him, she does not want to do this and says he'll not make it. I could so tell she was worried if he did make it she would be out a perfectly good $500.00 dollars.
She finally gives in and we get in the truck to go. Every 7-10 minutes Lynn my student tips the puppy, head down so the fluids filling in his lungs can drain. The first stop we make as soon as possible is to buy rolls of paper towels and bathroom towels to absorb the fluids we are draining from the puppies lungs.
I had no cell phone then, but had a calling card and at the pay phone called Milac's Vet Clinic the clinic I used close to home. I knew I would have to leave a recording and wait for a call back to see if I could get who ever was on call to meet me that night. We had a 5 hour drive home to see if we could save this puppy, if he made the trip.
To my surprise the vet answers the phone personally, saying he's in the office on a Sunday as he is rearranging the surgery , he would wait for us to get there and do what he could when we arrived.
So 5 hours later of working to keep the puppies lungs clear and praying from both of us for him to live till we get to the vet. He says it does not look good but he will try with the night staff watching him close after he did what first treatment he could.
Marshal as the little babe
Well he made it through the night, I was able to pick him up 2 days later, he was blind due to the seizures he had previously. The vet said he may get his vision back or he may not. It took 21 days but it came back fully, he was left with much scar tissue in his lungs, an enlarged heart and predicted to have a short life. I named him Marshal and took him home to feed milk replacer via an eye dropper, kept him when not out and about the house, in a child's play pen in the living room. I called upon many friends to help me and Marshal to get through the hard start. They supported me, played and helped nurse him back to health. He weighted in at a Meir pound and a half at 5 weeks when he was rescued and grew into a 72 pound big, healthy, happy dog, who cherished life,while wanting everyone else to be as happy and grateful for their lives.
Marshal learned to be a good citizen, went to obedience school, which he would do leaps when I picked up the leash once a week to load up in the truck for school, he so loved school and going any where for a ride.
It was only twice I was not able to protect him from bad people, the first when a few months old the breeder of him came by and before I knew it grabbed him up by the scruff of the neck and dropped him on the floor and said " that is how you make them hold still". I definitely got the feeling for many years she was very angry he lived and she lost out on that all important to her,money. The second time I had training clients staying in the house which I used to do and caught the man smacking Marshal across the head when he thought I was not there. Hence their being asked to leave and for many years never let clients stay in my home again. I have allowed this again but only to those we feel good about , they are watched till we feel we can trust them not to be monitored.
Shade who I bought off a client after not being able to talk any friends into buying to keep her from going back. She is still thin in this photo but was 200 pounds under weight when she first came in and still had some work to get her hooves shorter as they had not seen care in a very long time. Shades story is being written about in full as it's a sad start but a happy end.
The Messages, Things to do and the Price it can Cost
Rescuing critters of any specie can be a lot of work, dedication ,time, money with heart break. On the other hand the joy they bring,no price can be put on.
We are in some tough times right now,the phone calls and e-mails have been coming in here for over a year in folks desperate to give away or sell horses cheap. Dave and I have taken on all we can right now and hope if any one that has the reasonable means to take in any needy critter, to do so.
I have done this for many years now. I have purchased horses from clients that I felt I needed to keep them from going back to if I could not get any one else I knew to buy them from the owners. Trained and/or rehabbed them to get better homes later.
I have bought horses that were so crippled they should never be ridden again to keep that from happening. We have one here now that I payed way to big of a price for just to keep any one from ever riding her again.
We have bought horses that have been victims of bad big lick training to rehabbed and find better homes. My April was one of those horses and took many years to help come through all her horrors of the past.
Not only horses but the goats, Llamas, a chicken" Starven Marven", dogs, ducks, rabbits so many wonderful creatures over the years with so many stories.
My dear April who let me in to help her.
Some of these stories will be told as Jane who patiently and tactfully is writing my book, and is prying from my brain, computer, journals and records pulling it all together.
Right now the animal rescues are lacking funds and space, and I have in the past, donated training and housing to help rescues out, this is another option available to help if you can. We have a wonderful rescue here in MN,' The MN Hooved Rescue". Just know their hands are tied as if you know of abuse or lack of care they can only go in if the state or county authorities call them in, and more often there has to be many dead animals before a state or county will step in.
A word of warning from my own experience, be sure the rescue is legitimate. I myself have been hoodooed by some working under the guise of being a rescue and they were no more than mass breeding facilities and/or horse traders using the name of a rescue to bring in funds or use you, so check them out first.
The price it can cost though can be more than money. Due to much of this kind of work through the years you can also bring the wrath of those you help upon you, along with any one they can bring along to follow them so be stronger in what they do, I call theses "the followers of the cats" with the "cats" being the sneaky predators initiating the events in the first place. These do seem to be times when folks that are kind, giving and trying to do the right thing can be looked upon as weakness and perfect targets for the mean spirited and bullies in the world . Often those you help will feel the need to slander, or go to any means to bring a negativity upon you them selves and from others to cover their own guilt of bad behaviors. Please don't let these type of behaviors stop you from helping the animals, as it is worth the price. A good example of that is with all the sad things Dave and I see in our travels and our work ,when ever at home we had Marshal and have all other wonderful members of our critter family to help us keep going and working and soften the blow of reality. They give us so much back, in joy, laughter and purpose for what we try to give them in love and care.
They create the light in our lives and know they do in many of your as well.
I have many friends that do the same in their lives for the animals they can and I thank them for the work they do and it's rare if ever they hear those words or at the very least do not hear it enough.
Warmest wishes to you all and may even the hardest of hearts find peace and love in this life.
Copyright 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jacquie Cowen & Gatsby of the left
Tomi Finkle & Magnum on the right
Jean Fredlund and her Fox trotter Sinclair

Special People and Their Special Horses

Providing Community Services!

How blessed we are to have those special individuals that put forth the desire,time and work to do community service with their horses. It is a special breed of person that works so hard doing the rigorous training they put forth of them selves and their horses, including the testing to be accepted just to work in these important programs.

All to often I feel they are over looked and do not receive the recognition they so deserve for all they do for us when called upon.

From my self and those that just never thought of it, THANK YOU so much for the great job you do for us all.

Below are some I know and hope you can take the time to search some folks like these out in your travels to meet and get to know.

Jean Fredlund RDH and her horse Sinclair

Dakota County Sheriff's Mounted Patrol

MN Sheriff's Mounted Posse Association

Search, and recovery Resources of MN

Tomi' Finkle and her horse Magnum


Trotstar Mounted Search and Rescue Team, MD

Jacquie Cowen and her horse Gatsby


Trotstar Mounted Search and Rescue Team, MD

Janice McDonald and her horses Trausti, Tiver, Jasper

Mounted Posse Search and Rescue, Florida

You are appreciated!