You are here: NEWSLETTERS > TROT News November 1999Trail Riders Of Today
Note from the President
The large animal rescue group met for the third time in Frederick on October 13. It was nice to see three counties represented by fire and rescue (Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery).
What came out of the meeting was that we would go back to our perspective groups and find out who may have equipment, expertise, and/or knowledge of anything that may help in situations where large animals would need to be rescued from, whether it be off a mountain, out of a ravine, stuck in mud to their belly, in flood situations, or out of a trailer. We don't need "volunteers" to respond to accidents/incidents, BUT if you have heavy lifting equipment at your disposal, or are located near a high traffic route (like I-95) and have facilities to hold animals freed from traffic accidents or natural disasters, please give me a call (301-854-3852). You might also get with your horsey neighbors and make plans for disaster emergencies, or give your local police/fire/rescue department a call to express your interest in their participation in your County's preparedness for equine/large animal emergencies.
The fire and rescue people pointed out they have the knowledge and equipment to tear open a trailer, but they don't know how to handle the animal. How do you keep the animal still or how do you get him out without further injuring the animal? Dr. Jacob Casper, who is now retired from the Maryland Department of Agriculture and has been contracted back by them, will be contacting an organization in New Jersey who teaches rescue workers about large animal rescue.
The next meeting will be focused on road accidents and hopefully will include this organization from New Jersey. Gale Monahan
I've had several requests for the addresses of the rescue organizations involved in Maggie's mountainside incident (see special August issue of TROTNews). Thank you Joyce for faxing them to me. Suzanne
Trail Boss Needed!
Can you keep a calendar? A list of ride leaders and their phone numbers? Can you jot down the essential ride information, dates, phones numbers for the bi-monthly newsletter deadlines? We need YOU!
After many years of much appreciated service to the members of TROT, Terry Ledley has announced her need (not her desire, but the necessity) to hand the job of TROT Pleasure Ride coordinator to someone new. Terry will gladly help you learn the ropes. She has all the lists of ride leaders who know the many public equestrian trails throughout our beautiful state and have hosted TROT rides in the past. She also has the instruction sheets for ride leaders which she mails out as soon as she schedules them into her calendar.
Please, we need you to step forward and take on this important scheduling job for TROT. Many many of our members joined initially because of the wonderful rides Terry has scheduled for our enjoyment every riding season. Please call Terry (301-434-1174) to offer your services.
THANK YOU TERRY from all TROT's members!
FREDERICK COUNTY COMMENTS
by Harriet West (301) 874-3668
I will be stepping down as the Frederick County Coordinator at the end of the year to devote more time to personal interests. There is a lot going on in Frederick County and I'm hoping that one or more Frederick County TROT members will be interested in taking over for me. It does require a fairly substantial time commitment (mostly to attend meetings), but it would be a perfect volunteer opportunity for someone who is retired or works part-time. Please call me as soon as possible if you're interested. It has been a pleasure representing TROT and working with all of the wonderful riders and non-riders that I've had the opportunity to meet over the past 4-5 years.
Pr. GEORGE'S COUNTY COMMENTS
Mary Angevine (301-937-0014)
WB&A Rail to Trail development progresses rapidly! BUT the construction company has asked bicycle and horse back riders to forego use of the trail until completion (early Summer 2000), because the tracks we leave in the beautifully laid trail bases require that they rework the bases before applying the final topping. PLEASE DON'T RIDE THERE for the next 6 months or so. Thank you!
Action is building on the conversion of the Chesapeake Beach Railroad bed to a trail. PLEASE contact me if you are now or will be a potential user.
The equestrian trails at Jug Bay will have the jumps rebuilt. I have been asked to supply specs, and I plan to give specs for some quite plain and easy jumps low enough for ponies. If you would like to have a few more challenging ones, call me with specs.
Have you noticed the changes to the Fairland Regional Park trails?
CECIL COUNTY COMMENTS
Karen Reynolds (410-392-4454)
TROT Ride at Fair Hill
A TROT trail ride was held at Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area on Sunday, August 29th. Karen Reynolds, Cecil Co. TROT, and Volunteer Mounted Patrol member at Fair Hill, led the ride. There were many other horse enthusiasts as well as bicyclists and hikers sharing the scenic trails of Fair Hill.
Our group consisted of 9 riders, including one from as far away as the Annapolis area, and some from as close as 2 miles. A couple came in from nearby Pennsylvania. We signed up a new TROT member too.
It was a hot, humid day, but no Hurricane Dennis! We met at 10:15 am at Fair Hill's Appleton Rd. North parking lot. Our ride lasted about 2½ hours and covered the eastern side of the park. We crossed bridges over Scenic Rt. 273, went through tunnels under country roads, saw parts of the cross country course of the Fair Hill International C.C.I.*** event, held each year in October. Our ride took us through areas of the Starter level cross-country course in contrast to the "really big" fences of the C.C.I.
We visited the remains of the Beloved movie set and finished out the ride in some of the fox-chasing country.
Fair Hill's history is a large part of its beauty, as it was originally created from several smaller farms for the equestrian venue of fox hunting, and all of the creek crossings, overhead bridges, tunnels, and trails were designed for this sport. Despite the heat, a great day was had by all!
Sunday Hunting Issue Back?
It appears that the hunters' organizations are gearing up to reintroduce in the next legislative session a bill that would lift the present restriction on Sunday hunting in Maryland. You will recall that similar legislation was defeated in the last session—thanks to the army of horseback riders, hikers, bikers, birdwatches, landowners, scouts, and others—who protested. All insisted on having Sunday to enjoy the outdoors without fear of bullets or arrows.
Representatives of those groups are meeting in early November to organize another opposition effort, and of course, TROT will be represented. We will keep you informed on this important issue. And, if the fight heats up, we will no doubt be calling on you to again write letters, make calls, send faxes, or e-mail legislators.
An interesting development: A leader of the hunting coalition has asked whether there are any expanded hunting opportunities that would be acceptable to opposing groups, i.e., any sort of compromise that could forestall another fight in Annapolis. Some questions to consider:
If we do not hear from you, we will assume that you have answered "no" to the above and agree that we should continue to oppose any expanded hunting, especially Sundays.
If you have comments, please drop a note to Anne Bennof at 2445 Gillis Falls Rd., Woodbine, MD 21797, or e-mail: TROTfour@aol.com
Members are reminded that the Fall Hunting Season has begun. The following are important dates to make note of:
Deer-Bow Season, 9/15-10/20, 10/25-11/26, 12/13-12/17, 1/3/2000-1/31/2000
Deer-Muzzle loader Season: 10/21-23, 10/29-30, 12/18-1/1/2000
Deer-Firearm Season: 11/13, 11/27-12/11
Trail Tales Wyoming 2000
It's been several months now since I returned from my summer riding vacation and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about Wyoming—the vast and beautiful county, the soothing smell of sagebrush, the incredibly fit horses, the challenging rides, the great group of new friends, the melodic jingling of Skip's spurs, and the (usually) mellow evenings around the campfire. But the most profound effect was the ability of this place—the wind, the sky, and the land—to wipe away what I've come to think of as "mental cobwebs," the inconsequential stuff that seems to consume our daily lives, and rediscover what is truly important to each of us.
This is the fourth ride in seven years that I've done with Skip and Vivian Ashley, owner-operators of Western Encounters (www.horseriders.com) in Lander, Wyoming. There were 11 rider's in our group ranging in age from 11 to 67. (The eldest rider was a lady from Canada recovering from a recent broken hip who wanted to see if she could still ride like she used to.) We did the Wild Horse and Mountain Ride the last week of July and the weather, as has been my experience in past years, was perfect—hot, (but not humid), clear blue skies, and an ever-present breeze. It rained lightly two nights in camp, so we moved into the large tent after dinner and gathered around the woodstove.
Our first two days were spent in the desert, then we moved up to the higher and cooler territory of Crooks Mountain for the remainder of the week. We saw about 20-30 wild horses, far fewer than the first year I did this ride due to BLM gatherings. Other wildlife sightings included eagles, prairie dogs, horned toads, and lots of pronghorn antelope.
We all started out together at a leisurely pace in the morning, then after a long lunch break and nap (napping is strongly encouraged!), we had the choice most days of staying out with Skip or heading back to camp early. I finally summoned the courage to do all the "long, fast" rides and it was truly remarkable. We covered about 160 miles in six days including 47 miles on the second day with about 15 miles of cantering off and on. Later in the week we went swimming with the horses, raced each other in pairs of two (Spanky and I won both of our races), and had many other nice long canters through sandy ravines, across the plains, and through the woods. The slower group made their way back to camp at a more relaxed pace and got back in several hours before the rest of us. (Hint: If you go back to camp early, you get first crack at the shower and cold beer.)
Camp accommodations were up to their usually high standards . . . plenty of good food (our cook, Anneke, is a fellow rider who moved to Wyoming from Holland and is now married to one of the wranglers), friendly and helpful staff, bathroom facilities with fantastic views, and (best of all) a hot shower waiting for you at the end of the day thanks to the portable hot water generator.
Needless to say, I'm hooked and already looking forward to next year's trip. My plans are to do the Wild Horse and Mountain Ride the week of August 12-19, 2000 and then join some fellow riders from last year's trip to do the Outlaw Trail Ride the following week, August 19-26. If you'd like to join me on either of these rides, please contact me at 301/874-3668 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Just a few words of caution...you won't want to go home and you'll definitely want to go back. Harriet West
John Ruler & Arthur Sacks
Whether you're a seasoned riding vacation enthusiast or contemplating your first trip, this book is an excellent resource. Now in its second printing, the 1999 edition describes over 111 rides on 7 continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North America, and South and Central America/Caribbean). Each one-page summary includes information on ride dates and prices (subject to change), airports, ride description, accommodations, children's programs, special activities, meals, ride highlights, and author's comments. The authors have ridden many of the rides and freely share their personal insights. The book contains lots of beautiful color photographs so the reader gets a real sense of the aesthetics of the rides. The book is complimented with a wonderful new web site (www.ridingholidays.com) and can be ordered directly from this site or through www.amazon.com. Happy new trails! Harriet West
A Little Bit of Psyllium Helps the Medicine Go Down
Getting oral medicine into a horse has its little problems, but these can all be solved. You want a method that is easy, does not strain your hands and gives the horse an accurate does. Shoving a whole pill down a horse's throat can be dirty, unpleasant, and risky. Ground up medicine can settle in the syringe and not be pushed out.
I personally don't like pill crushers. They are difficult to work and a significant amount of the medicine is left packed into the crusher's teeth that are supposed to grind the pills. A good mortar and pestle is a better choice and well worth the price. The mortar is the heavy ceramic dish and the pestle is the thing you hold in your and pound with. The problem of ground up pills getting packed into the bottom of the mortar is easily solved by adding a little sugar, or better yet some powdered vitamin C before you start grinding. The vitamin C crystals seem to act the same way that sand does to lighten up a packed clay soil. Clay soil packs because the particles in it are very fine. Pills when they are ground can become a very fine powder and be difficult to completely scrape off the bottom of the mortar, thus reducing the dose. Between this and the horse drooling out part of the medicine after you syringe it into his mouth, he may not be getting what he really needs. The vitamin C you add obviously won't hurt him, since it helps the immune system and can act as an anti-inflammatory.
Now the pills are ground and you need to scrape them into a small dish to mix with syrup and then into the syringe. For most people, this is no problem. But many of us have either carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis, and lifting the heavy mortar is uncomfortable. So let's go to Plan B and solve this problem plus the problem of the medicine drooling horse at the same time.
Use the smallest round Tupperware container you can buy. You know the kind. It holds such a small amount of leftovers, you wonder why they even designed it. It's perfect. Put the unground pills plus _ to ¼ teaspoon of psyllium powder into the container. Add just enough water to cover them. Gently swirl so that the psyllium powder is evenly distributed and does not form a single gelatinous blob. Put on the container's cover and let this sit until the pills are dissolved. The psyllium absorbs water and creates a thick mixture, which suspends the medicine evenly, making it easier to push all the medicine out of the syringe. This works much better than just water and syrup. Add a little syrup for flavor and positive associations and stir.
The only problem you may have with this dissolving method is that some small chunks may clog up narrow tipped syringes. I use an old worming syringe with a wide tip.
The next problem is to make the dosing syringe stand up while you scrape in the medicine. Designate a cup that is not too tall for this job. Take a cloth napkin and fold it lengthwise several times until it is a long strip. Wrap the napkin around the syringe and put them both in the cup. The syringe will now stand up straight enough and not roll around or tip while you are loading it. Scrape in as much medicine as you can and also use your finger to get everything off the spoon. Place the plunger into the syringe and remove most of the excess air without squirting yourself in the eye.
Now, go give your horse his medicine. If you have made the mixture thick enough, and also don't try to squirt it too fast, you will find that the mixture will stick to the horse's mouth and not run out.
If you regular give your horse bute or aspirin in his grain with moderate success, but he still sorts out the larger chunks of pills and drops them on the ground, try this. Keep the small Tupperware container in the barn for dissolving the pills, and then pour and rinse the mixture into the grain. If you add psyllium when the pills are dissolving, it will thicken the mixture so that it will stick to the grain and be more likely to be completely eaten.
FOR SALE—1984 Suburban. Diesel, 4x4. 9 passenger. New batteries, new glow plugs, and new controller. 168K miles. Great tow vehicle. $5,500. Call Anne, 301-829-0949.
FOR SALE—Simco Western saddle, 16" seat, matching breastplate, all basket weave, show quality. In excellent condition. $600/negotiable. Stubben endurance 17½-18" seat, great condition. $650. Other tack available. 301-898-3251.
FOR SALE—or ½Lease, Arabian Gelding, bay, 14.2 hh, 6 yrs old. Very pretty and willing. Exclusively trail ridden. Great endurance prospect. Experienced rider. $1,500 sale. Lease $110/month. Call 410-379-6332.
FOR SALE—Black Carol Lavalle dressage saddle w/ fittings: 2 girths, 2 pads, 17" seat, regular tree width, cut-back pommel. $800. Call Melinda, 703-707-0986.
FOR SALE—1984 Cotner 2-horse tag-along trailer. Extra long, extra wide, extra high. Built-in storage chest, saddle racks, water tank, etc. $3,000. Call Anne, 301-829-0949.
BOARDING—Quality pastures, feed, hay, worming schedule, safe fencing, locked tack room, oodles of trails, lots of love, and extras. Near Smithburg, PA. $150/month.
FOR SALE—16.1 hh, 10 yr old bay Thoroughbred mare. Sound sane Hunter, $5000. 717-765-4039.
Farm Services by TIM
All of the above services are customized to meet the equestrian's special needs and wants.
For any real estate leads generated by or for a TROT member, I will donate a portion of my fee to TROT. Tim
Bits of Hay, and other notes
From Virginia—The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has just opened a new 40 car parking lot for W&OD Trail users at the trail intersection at Ashburn Road in Loudoun County. This lot is just on the opposite side of the trail from the famous Partlows Brothers Store, near mile marker 28.
Helpful Hint—Clifton Horse Society member Ginny Kohls shared this helpful hint. "After spending 3 days trying everything under the sun to remove Koppertox-saturated clothes (prewash, soaking in detergent), I found the secret: approximately ¼ cup of white vinegar mixed in approximately 1 quart of warm water. All the green came out, along with the smell!"
Microchipping your tack—You've heard about inserting a tiny microchip under your pet's skin as a means of identification. Anne Clark of Virginia has applied this technology to your saddle/tack. After an incident at her barn, where a boarder removed their horse and all the tack, Anne found its nearly impossible to prove beyond a doubt what tack belongs to who, unless there's an identifying marker on the tack. Anne has opened a business called MicroTack, providing the microchip to plant in your saddle, a leather stamp as a warning to would-be thieves, and a registry of tagged equipment. Give her a call at 703-754-3148, or e-mail at email@example.com.
TROTNews, the membership newsletter of TROT, is published bimonthly in January, March, May, July, September, and November. Additional copies can be obtained from the Membership Chair, Tara Santmire.
The Editor welcomes submissions of any articles and news items that would be of interest to TROT members. Pictures submitted must be of good quality and high contrast.
DEADLINE: All materials must be received by December 25 for the January 2000 TROTNews. Please send all materials to: Suzanne Anderson, 7928 Bennett Branch Rd., Mt. Airy, MD 21771 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Original articles may be reprinted with the notice "Reprinted from the (month year) issue of TROTNews."
Trail Riders of Today
NEWSLETTER AD RATES
Remember: Keep the mistletoe out of reach of horses, and the poinsettia too. Decorate the barn with safe edibles, like carrots, celery, apples, and horse cookies. But don't let your equine friends eat too much!
Also, prevent winter colic. Over the winter months we feed our friends more grain and dry hay, but don't forget the importance of water! If your horse's main source of water is a pond or stream that freezes or nearly freezes, you might have a problem. Not just that the water might freeze over and be difficult for your horse to reach, but water that cold is not pleasant to drink. Many horses will drink less water from these sources, and with less water in their systems, the dry foods you feed might not be digested as well as they should. Some horses even develop mild to moderate impaction of the food stuff due to not enough water to help move things along.
Try to provide your horse with slightly warmed water. It doesn't have to be baby's formula warm, just make it not so bitingly cold, and you'll see him emptying his bucket more frequently over the winter.
Happy Holiday Trails!