- Start and finish the trail to a safe place to ride
- Keep the original plans to allow equestrian use
- Be sure the trail riding equestrian community is well represented on the planning committee to help ensure safe plans for both horses and other traffic sharing the
Make yourself and others heard by calling Mrs. Owens at 410-222-1821 or FAX her at 410-222-1155. Kids and adult voices count here! Call Now! (Riding to a Different Beat
Chesapeake Plantation Walking Horses Club, Inc., July 2001.)
Another Horseback Adventure with Bob Shirley
It was easy to imagine that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were watching us from a hidden spot up on the canyon wall as we rode deeper into the rough country
along the Outlaw Trail in Wyoming. Here I experienced the roughest ascents and descents I've ever made on horseback as we climbed in and out of several canyons in the high plains of the Buffalo Creek
Marylanders Rachel, Daniela, and myself joined 9 other adventuresome riders for this exciting trip led by the wranglers of Western Encounters in Lander, Wyoming. The
scenery, the 6 days of riding, the atmosphere, and the friendships we made surpassed our expectations.
On the first day we were only 2 miles out of camp when a buzzing beneath sagebrush alerted us to our first view of a rattlesnake. As we stopped and reached for our
cameras, it decided this was a good time to be elsewhere. Another mile and what looked like a spotted rock under some sage turned out to be a very young mule deer fawn that remained motionless as we
rode by within 10 feet of it.
Back at camp, we moved into our sheep herder tents, had a delicious and filling dinner, told some yarns around the campfire, and then got some much needed
The next day proved to be our longest, most rugged ride of the week. Starting at our base camp (elevation 7,000 feet), we climbed in and out of several beautiful
canyons up to the high country (9,000 feet) where cattle are pastured for the summer. Several times we came to a ravine big enough to hide an Indian war party that we wouldn't have spotted until we
got within 20 yards. This country is still unchanged from early pioneer days.
My mount Nutmeg proved to be agile and surefooted as we hopped and slid down a treacherous descent, and still had plenty of endurance for a 32 mile canter, mostly downhill, back to camp.
Bob Shepperson, a 76-year-old rancher, joined us in camp and told stories of his early ranching days. His present ranch of 165,000 acres (roughly 2/3 the size of
Carroll County) supports 1,500 cows and their calves, meaning it takes over 100 acres of this rough county to feed one cow.
During the lunch stop the following day in Lost Canyon, Skip took us on a long hike up to some abandoned golden eagle nests, and then down into a box canyon where
rustlers kept their stolen cattle hidden until is was safe to drive them south. During the ride we saw pronghorn antelopes, whitetail deer, mule deer, sage hens, golden eagles, jack rabbits, and
rattlesnakes. We never did see a coyote, but several times we heard them howling.
We stopped to water our horses at a stock tank where the well pump was operated by solar panels to generate the electricity.
Back at camp, the appetizer before dinner was that old cowboy delicacyCdeep fried Rocky
Mountain oysters. Several of us practiced roping. After lessons and warm up tosses, I was 4 for 4. Maybe I'll be a cowboy yet.
The next days' ride took us along the Red Wall, a 40-mile long bright red wall of rock. Civil War deserters used this area before the time of the Wild Bunch and
Indians used it long before that. Some say that up to 500 outlaws had their refuge here around the turn of the century. We stopped at Buffalo Drop Canyon, where Indians would drive herds of buffalo
off the top of the canyon to kill them in the days before they had horses and rifles.
The middle of the afternoon we visited an Indian medicine site where there were many teepee rings, circles of stones used to weigh down the edges of the teepees.
Historians are still studying this area to determine which tribes held what ceremonies here.
Again, as we did every day, there was a long (35 minute) canter back to camp. Thursday found us riding between the Red Wall and the Gray Wall, with spectacular views
of the country. I'm sure we could see 35-40 miles of rugged scenery whenever we were up high. During lunch, we went on a nature walk to a site where we picked up fossils of ancient octopi and
mussels. One the way back to camp we interrupted our gallop to inspect a rock with names and dates scratched on it dated back to the late 1800s.
Our final day came all too quickly as we rode through the beautiful, rough Wyoming plains for the final time. This scenery is hard to describe with its many earth
colors and spectacular rock outcrops, almost totally devoid of green trees and grass we are so used to in Maryland.
During our farewell dinner at a local western restaurant, we said goodbye to our fellow adventurers and to our hosts, Skip and Vivian Ashley. We left with a real
feeling of the western way of life, its people, and history. We never did find Butch and Sundance! Maybe we'll have to go back.
Western Outfitter in Northern Pennsylvania
I took a long-anticipated trip to the Mountain Trail Horse Center in Wellsboro, PA, this past August for a 3-day trail ride, with your intrepid TROT editor and other
friends from the area in tow.
The adventure began Monday morning, August 13, when we met Pat Maier, our outfitter/guide, at his ride headquarters to sort out horse assignments, pack our lunch,
and stow our gear in the truck that would meet us at camp that evening. Then we hit the trails, which in that part of Pennsylvania seem to be straight up the mountains. When not climbing or
descending, we would encounter Forest Service roads where a nice gallop was enjoyed by all. There were plenty of rest stopsCfor both horses and riders.
The first day we were in the saddle for approximately six hoursCand day two was even longer.
Each evening we would return to camp tired, but happy, to eat and talk around the campfire until fatigue (or wine) lured us to our sleeping bags. Then up early the next morning to be on the trail by
10 a.m. This was the routine we followed all three days of the trip, returning on Wednesday, August 15 to the ride headquarters at approximately 5 p.m. for the long drive home.
The weather was wonderful, the horses fit and sturdy, and the trails challenging. Pat and the wrangler in attendance tended to the horses and did the cooking, so no work was
required on our part. It was a great riding vacationCone that is right in our own backyard. (see their web site at www.mountaintrailhorse.com.)
The WEB Is Passed On
After all these years of maintaining the TROT web site, I have finally given it over to a new web master. It has finally come down to the point where there have been
too many demands for my time and I felt I could no longer do the TROT web site justice. It was an honor to be able to provide this service to TROT, I enjoyed doing it, I learned a lot in the process
and will miss the connection to the group. I have passed the batton over to George W. Graff, firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Trails, Randy Hammock
From all of us still here in Maryland, Thanks So Much for launching TROT's web presence. And be sure to stop in sometime to go riding! Best of luck to you and your
Dynamite the Angel Horse by Carole Petree Iglehart
Years ago I had the opportunity to work for MaWaVa Camp Cherith, an interdenominational summer camp for girls. It had a great variety of activities, including
horseback riding, and I was the assistant riding teacher. At this particular camp, the small group of horses we used had been borrowed from local people. They were on the whole that perfect bunch of
extremely tolerant, extremely safe horse. With only one week per rider, we were just teaching a very basic riding without any finesse. So, to steer the horse all the rider had to do was get the horse
into motion, one way or another, and then point the horse's nose in the proper direction, one way or another, and the rest would happen, slowly but surely.
I worked every lesson trying to get the young students to understand the idea of "ask nice" and "ask with gentle nudges, not a constant pull." I didn't get very
far with that in the short time available. Also, in a way, the horses worked against me because they tolerated all that pulling of the mouth. The students were successful in controlling them and
seemed to be having fun.
All the horses tolerated this type riding except for one. And that was Dynamite. Dynamite was shorter than the rest and much older. His knees were bent forward.
And early in the morning when not being used, he would sometimes lie flat in the sun for a long time. We had named him Dynamite as a joke. But there was something else about him that was different.
He demanded respect from the rider. If he got none, he gave none. If the student would tap or nudge the rein gently, he would cooperate. But if the student tried to forcibly pull his nose around, he
would deliberately walk off in the wrong direction. He never hurt anyone, never kicked or bit or ran off. He just would not tolerate rudeness.
None of the young students liked Dynamite. When they would complain about riding him, I would tell them that if they were polite to him, he would cooperate. If
they learned to ride him, they would really know how to ride. This fell on deaf ears. The children would say he was the dumbest horse there. But really he was the smartest, smart on a level that
cannot be taught.
Also in camp there was a counselor who had cerebral palsy. She had no force in her body and no force in her personality. She was very sweet and very gentle. She
was also smart in ways that cannot be taught. She also had a special gift that the camp director recognized; she could work with the young grade school children who had problems. She was assigned to
the cabin where the children were quarreling and fighting. I wondered how someone so physically weak could handle a group that could be a bit rough. But for her, the children did not fight. She spoke
softly to them, taught them, and told them stories. She never raised her voice. Her charges spent their time trying to help her, because she needed assistance standing up and sitting down and
walking. When these girls walked to the dining hall, they did not march in a straight line, they swarmed around her like bees around a flower, one leading and kicking aside stones and sticks, others
to the left and right holding her up. And you could hear them clamoring for their turn to assist on the way back to the cabin.
When camp was almost over, this counselor requested a chance to ride a horse. The camp director relayed this to the head riding teacher, but she didn't want to do
it. It was turned over to me. When asked "who are you going to put her on?" I replied, "Dynamite."
"You can't do that. No one can ride him."
"He's the best one there," I answered, "and anyway, the others are too strong for her."
So a riding time was set up, and I explained to this fragile woman that Dynamite was the smartest horse we had and he appreciated politeness. Then, using a
mounting block and hoisting, I got her mounted. I led her around a bit to give her a feel of the motion. Then I instructed her on how to neck rein by tapping the neck with the rein, not by pulling;
this seemed the best method as she shook all the time anyway. I assured her that Dynamite was the type of horse that if you wanted to turn right, the rider just needed to think "turn right," and then
move the rein hand to the right and gently tap the neck. I felt so confident in the horse that I let them go on from there with no leading.
And this is what happened. When the rider wanted to go right, her hand shook so that sometimes she got it to move right and sometimes it moved left, and sometimes
the reins tapped both sides of the horse's neck. The signals were unclear and confusing to my human eye. Dynamite lowered his head a bit, squinted his eyes as if concentrating, and then turned. Nine
times out of ten he was correct. It was wonderful to watch. He walked very slowly and carefully, squinting his eyes and thinking. Independently, horse and rider could stop, go, circle right and left,
do a figure 8, and a small serpentine.
At the end of the lesson, I told her she was the only one in camp who could truly ride Dynamite.
That is my story of the angel horse. Horses like this, I believe, are born this way. They seem to know the strengths and weaknesses of their rider, especially if
their rider is somehow handicapped. And so often l, but not always, the same horse makes no allowances for the able bodied rider of normal strength.
There once was a horse fantastic
who's motto was "Why don't you just ask me?
I don't like when you pull,
you are breaking my rule.
I don't like that rudeness, just ask me."
House Farm Bill Makes Horses Eligible for Emergency Relief
(national news from AHC News, May/June 2001)
The House Agriculture Committee concluded action on the 2001 Farm Bill and included emergency relief for horses in 2 separate provisions. The first
is particular relief for horse owners and breeders who suffered losses caused by Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome (MRLS) in Kentucky this year. The second and broader provision would for the first
time make horse owners and breeders eligible for emergency loans under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, just like producers of other crops and livestock affected by an emergency
"This is an important first step," said American
Horse Council (AHC) president Jay Hickey. "Horses have never been eligible for agricultural emergency relief before."
President Hickey went on to say, "It is a recognition that horses are an important part of American agriculture and are eligible for the same
treatment as other crops and livestock."
The same recognition by a state Agriculture Department is being sought and gradually gained right here in Maryland. The Maryland Horse Industry Board
is one result, working under the auspices of the Ag Department in much the same way as other agricultural industries (i.e. beef, dairy, chickens).
New Software: Horse 1.0
Dear Tech Support:
Recently I purchased and installed Horse 1.0. I soon noticed that this program appears to have numerous glitches. For instance, every time my computer boots up, I
have to run Feed 5.3 and Water 7.1. Many times I've been in the middle of writing an important document, and a window will flash telling me to run Clean Stall 2.0. This program also contained
applications I did not wish to install, such as Manure 8.5, however they auto-installed with Horse 1.0.
Applications such as Vacation 2.7 and Free Time 10.1 can no longer run, crashing whenever selected. Possibly the worst is that Horse 1.0 has attached itself to
programs like Finance Manager and MS Money, with folders added such as "Monthly Shoeing" and "Winter Blanket". Periodically, I'll get a reminder telling me to send a check to the manufacturer of
Horse 1.0 for the aforementioned items.
I have tried to uninstall Horse 1.0 numerous times, but when I try to run the uninstall program, I get warning messages telling me that a deadly virus known as
"Withdrawal" will infect my system. Please Help!!!!!
Your complaint is not unusual. A common misconception among users is that Horse 1.0 is a mere "utilities and entertainment program." It is not - it is an OPERATING
SYSTEM and is designed by its' creator to run everything! A warning will soon be imprinted on the box. Since you have already installed Horse 1.0, here are a few tips on how to make it run better. If
you are annoyed by the applications Feed 5.3 and Water 7.1, you may run C: \HIRE HELP, however this will cause another folder to be added to financial applications, labeled "Staff". Failure to send
payment to "Staff" will result in Feed 5.3 and Water 7.1 being run again on startup.
A note of caution: NOT booting up your computer for several days isn't the solution to avoiding Feed 5.3 and Water 7.1. You will find that, when you boot up your
computer again, a nasty virus called "Colic 4.2" will have attached itself to important documents and the only way to rid your computer of Colic 4.2 is by purchasing and installing "Vet 10.1", which
we admit is extremely expensive, but crucial. Otherwise, Colic 4.2 will cause irreversible damage to the operating system. Finally, it is important that you run C:\Carrots and C:\Scratch Ears on a
fairly regular basis to keep the application running smoothly. If you have any more questions, please call our toll free number.
West Nile Virus: Where, When, and How
(by Joyce Bell, Horse Sense, Tuckahoe Equestrian Center newsletter, October 2001)
For those of you who missed out on Dr. Tim Cordes' presentation on WNV at our (to Tuckahoe Equestrian Center's) last monthly meeting, I thought I'd take a minute
and try to give a brief overview. Dr. Cordes is overseeing a tremendous collaborative effort involving scientists, lab diagnosticians, field investigators, researchers, and private practitioners who
are studying the spread of WNV and putting forth efforts to control it. His knowledge on the subject was amazing; his charts and diagrams were enlightening, if somewhat scary.
It all began in September 1999 with a major die-off of exotic birds at the Bronx Zoo and of crows in the NYC area. The virus was isolated, sent to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and found to be very similar to that of the West Nile Virus, which had never been seen before in the western hemisphere. In 1999, there were 62 human cases (with
7 deaths) and 18 equine cases (with 8 deaths), all in the Long Island area, being reported from late August to October. By 2000, the statistics reported 60 equine cases (38% fatality) from 7
different states, ranging from upper New York down to Delaware. Everyone was amazed at how quickly WNV had spread. Not only had the virus over-wintered, but it was being reported earlier in the
summer (early August) and continuing until later in the Fall (November). Preliminary results so far for 2001 show 70 equines with WNV in 10 different states. Curiously, there are no cases in New
Jersey this year, but Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Florida were added to the list, with 54 cases in Florida alone. Also curiously, human cases are reported each year long before equine ones.
Where does WNV come from? The gnomic strain is identical to a 1998 WNV strain from a goose in Israel. In fact, WNV is found in Africa, the Middle East, and the
Mediterranean region of Europe (France and Italy) where outbreaks are called West Nile Fever. But no one knows why or how it came to be in the United States in 1999.
Are there breed predilections? No, although there are slightly more male horses than females affected. Age plays no part in susceptibility, except that a very young
or an older horse that becomes ill is less likely to recover. Horses and humans are dead-end hosts; they cannot amplify the virus enough in their blood streams in order for a mosquito to transfer it
to another host.
What are the clinical manifestations of WNV? Since it is a type of encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, its signs are similar to Venezualian Equine
Encephalitis (VEE), rabies, and EPM: listlessness, stumbling and lack of coordination, weakness of limbs, partial paralysis, or death. Fortunately, neurological damage in equines that survive WNV
appears to be totally reversible given time.
What causes WNV? It appears that you need to have the right kind of mosquito and the right kind of bird in the same place and time to have an
outbreak. Mosquitoes, said Cordes, are "heat-seeking missiles" for birds, whose greater body temperature of 104° F makes
them preferred targets. Once bitten by the mosquito, incubation takes 8 days before clinical signs appear. Incidentally, the mosquito vector in Florida is different from the mosquito vector we have
here in Maryland, according to Dr. Cordes. The degree of illness appears to be dose related. The reservoir for the virus is probably crows, but even this isn't known for certain.
There is no treatment for WNV, so prevention is key. Remove potential water sources (discarded tires, flowerpots, wheelbarrows) since mosquitoes can breed in
any puddle that lasts more than 4 days. Dr. Cordes routinely cleans his gutters to keep water from collecting there. Larvicide is much more effective than insecticide. Keep animals inside, if
possible, when mosquitoes are thick at night.
Finally, vaccinate. Since August 1, a vaccine made of a killed virus has been made available. This is a safe vaccine. Two doses are required, three weeks
apart, with an annual booster thereafter. Put VNW on your horses' regular annual vaccination schedule. This vaccine was developed under the same kind of emergency situation that created the vaccine
for VEE. Although it hasn't been totally tested for efficacy, it has a reasonable expectation of being a preventative for WNV.
For more information, check out this website: www.aphis.usda.gov.
From Ginny Kohls, Clifton Horse Society. After spending three days trying everything under the sun to remove Koppertox from my clothes prewash,
soaking in detergent, LOC full strength), approximately ¼ cup white vinegar in approximately 1 quart of warm water and ta da! All the green came out, along with the smell!
Starting right away, TROTNews will be published and mailed in August, October, December, February, April, and June.
The deadline for each newsletter is the 25th of the preceding month, so the next newsletter deadline is November 25.
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. Original articles may be reprinted with the notice "Reprinted from the (month year) issue of TROTNews."
Please send all materials to:
7928 Bennett Branch Rd.
Mt. Airy, MD 21771
Please send address corrections to:
TROT Membership Chair
Outlaw Run Farm
11838 Ramsburg Rd.
Marriottsville, MD 21104