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Editor:Debbie Palmer
(301) 854-9763

NEWS TROT Information
December 2003 Electronic Edition Number 145

Gene Glasscock's Trip Through Maryland

by Pat Oliva

In September 2002, Gene Glasscock and his two Tennessee walking horses began an historic journey to visit all 48 state capitals in the continental United States. The goals of this journey are to raise scholarship funds and to demonstrate the energy and contributions of senior citizens.

Trail Blazer magazine called and asked for support services for Gene while he was in Maryland. As a representative of Trail Riders of Today, I agreed to welcome him to Maryland and coordinate this part of his journey.

Gene Glasscock arrived at Sandy Point State Park October 6th after being trailered across the Bay Bridge. I had planned the best route for his trip to Annapolis to meet Governor Ehlrich and then into Washington, DC to be a guest of the National Park Police. Afterward he was on to Virginia.

Upon his arrival in Maryland, the arrangements for his overnight accommodations fell through. Jane Toal was with me to help any way she could. She was to be his guide on a tour of Annapolis after his horses were settled. We had to do some creative planning which involved going house to house on the route we had planned until we found someone who would agree to keep his horses for the night. We found the friendly family of John Duvall just a few miles down the road. They welcomed Gene's horses with open hearts and big smiles and their young daughter Jenna was especially helpful. The next day her whole class looked up the Long Riders Guild on the Internet and read about all of Gene's escapades. Jane agreed to let Gene stay at her place.

After a lunch at Jane's, we took a tour of Annapolis and Gene was shown the route he would ride Tuesday. We planned to travel to the city and then trailer back to the Duvall's to await the Governor meeting on Wednesday. Gene was adamant about riding every mile of his trip. He declined even a mile of trailering when he could ride. The plan was for him to proceed through Annapolis and pick up Route 450 outside of town to Bowie's rail trail. It was 22 miles of hard road riding. Jane and I had planned to follow him with a bright caution sign and blinkers.

One would think that a man and two walking horses would be easy to keep an eye on and follow. As we were starting out the owner of the parking lot where we had made arrangements to park, asked us to move my trailer to the other side of the lot. Gene said he would start, as there was a good bikeway on the side of the road. When Jane and I went down Rowe Street to find him, he was nowhere in sight. We learned that he had not followed the route but had traveled down West Street, one of the busiest streets through the heart of Annapolis. After some frantic searching, many cell phone calls and pure luck, we finally caught up with him at a gas station. He was talking to a reporter and waiting for a photographer. He made the front page of the Annapolis Newspaper the next day.

The route Gene took down Route 450 had a very narrow shoulder. Gene's horses, Frank and George, were kicking up bottles and cans at an amazing rate. We arrived safely and got Gene's horses settled before he and Jane went to a dinner given by the Chesapeake Plantation Walking Horse Club, where he was the guest of honor and the main speaker.

Gene's meeting with Governor Ehrlich went very well. We marched down Rowe Street escorted by Jackie Cowan, on her white walker, with the Maryland flag furling out in the breeze. The Governor saw us in Lawyers Mall at the base of the Capitol steps. We were in casual attire and he slipped out of his suit jacket and came to meet us in shirtsleeves. Gene was presented with a personal citation from the State of Maryland wishing him well in his journey and in his efforts to raise funds for the education of the youth of Paraguay.

Gene surprised us all when he got off his horse at the Capitol. He informed the Governor that it was tradition for the Governors to mount his horse. Without any hesitant Governor Ehrlich put his foot in the stirrup and mounted. For the first time in his life, Governor Ehrlich was astride a horse. The surrounding crowd and the people watching from office windows gave him a cheer of approval and everyone was smiling and waving. All the horses were very well behaved and left the capital amid friendly waves.

The Merkle family of Bowie were his hosts Wednesday night. They gave him a warm welcome.

Thursday was easy riding on the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis rail trail to Glendale and on to the Anacostia Trail system. Mary Angevine met him here and was Gene's host. They had a delightful visit. Gene stayed with Charles Sewell, Mary's dad, while the horses were next door at Mary's.

Friday, I picked him up and trailered back to the start of the Anacostia trail system. Here he was greeted by Craig Kelltrom from Prince Georges Park and Recreation Department. I have to say a special thanks to Mary, TROT'S Prince Georges Trail Coordinator and the PG Park and Recreation for their great trail system. Gene was able to follow the trails all the way down to Chillum and on into Washington via the Galloway Greenway to Kennedy Road. He rode three miles down this narrow city street through the heart on NW Washington to Rock Creek Park. He remained in DC for his 69th birthday and a grand tour of the mall on horseback.

Wednesday, he returned to Maryland via the Rock Creek park to the C & O Tow Path and proceeded down it to Potomac. He was welcomed by Naomi Manders, TROT's Montgomery Trails Coordinator. Naomi had found a farm for Gene to keep his horses and marked the trail from the canal to the farm for Gene. While his horses were resting in the grassy fields at Callithear Farm, courtesy of George Sengstack, Gene stayed at my house.

On Thursday, October 16, Gene finished his journey through Maryland when he met Zinx Foxx at Whites Ferry for a trip across the Potomac to the 20th State on his long journey across America.

Gene is an amazing man. He is so thankful for the help of others. He has something to teach all of us and many stories to tell on his quest. You can follow his trek on the internet at

The following article is reprinted, with permission, from Horse Sense...thanks Gail!

Equine Dentist, Mike Dougherty

Hailing originally from West Chester, PA, Mike moved to Centreville in 1978. He's been practicing equine dentistry since 1971, covering the area from central New Jersey to northern Virginia.

Even the most "tooth-savvy" horseman learned something from Mike's talk on July 16.

"God designed the horse to eat grass," Mike said. He went on to explain how any deviation from that diet - such as adding grains to supply the energy needed for high-performance horses - can cause a change in horses' teeth. It is partly because horses are fed grains (which they swallow with less chewing) that points develop on the teeth. The upper jaw is wider than the lower jaw, and the horse's sideways chewing motion tends to sharpen the points on the outside edges of the upper jaw and the inside edges of the lower. Floats (rasps) are used to smooth those points. If whole grains are fed, horses tend not to chew them sufficiently to extract the nutrition from them; many whole grains are passed through into the manure. Mike says processed – rolled, crushed, or crimped – grains already have some of the digestive process started, and don't just lie in the gut unused as do whole grains.

A popular misconception is that horses' teeth keep growing throughout their lifetimes, much like a rodent's. In fact, by the age of 5 or 6, a horse's molars are as large as they'll ever be. Teeth then begin to erupt from the sockets to compensate for the wear occurring on the tooth. This gives the appearance that the tooth is still growing, and also explains why older horses begin to lose their teeth. As the tooth moves up from the socket over time, the pulp and nerves (the live part of the tooth) retreat from the surface. This is why floating (rasping) a horse's teeth is not painful for him as it would be for us. The live part of our teeth is much closer to the surface.

Horses don't experience tooth decay in the same way we do, partly because of their diet, but also because they can't burp. It's gaseous acids which can cause decay. The exception would be a cracked tooth which may trap food and be open to decay; it should then be extracted.

Mike indicated how good performance in a horse can be related to good dentistry. A horse's heavy head on the end of a long neck is used to achieve balance. A horse with a sore mouth may cock his head. Even a slight change of head position will alter aspects of the entire skeletal system, resulting in strains, bowed tendons, etc., especially when a horse is often worked at higher speeds.

Between the ages of 2 and 5 years of age, horses will shed 24 teeth. Molars are the source of most of the problems at these ages, because they push up the baby teeth, creating a high point, which can make the horse tilt its head. These loosened baby teeth, called ‘caps', are popped off by the dentist as they occur to make the young horse more comfortable.

Male horses have 44 teeth, and mares have 40 teeth. The difference in number is because the males have four canine teeth (these are not the wolf teeth) located behind the incisors which are used for fighting other stallions or wild animals. They are used for ripping and tearing. Mares don't usually have the canines.

Wolf teeth are entirely different. They are very small, even the size of a corn kernel, and not rooted deeply. They are usually just in front of the first upper molar. If a horse keeps lifting his head when he has a bit in his mouth, one possible reason is that he is trying to keep the bit from hitting the wolf teeth on his upper jaw. If the horse has wolf teeth on the lower jaw, which is less common, a bit can be extraordinarily painful, and a horse may resort to rearing in response to the pain of the bit lying on its teeth.

Mike recommends an annual mouth inspection for pleasure horses six years old and over, more frequently for high-performance horses. He believes in smoothing teeth to eliminate rough edges near the bit, but not to create a "bit seat" within the teeth. He is against the use of power tools for routine dentistry. He said such tools generate a lot of heat, and also require sedation which eliminates any feedback he might get from the horse. He also cautions against over-smoothing the teeth so that the horse can't grind food properly. When working in a horse's mouth, Mike works first without a speculum, but then puts one in place to hold the horse's jaw open so that he can carefully check his work. A horse's mouth narrows toward the back and the speculum enables him to verify what areas are satisfactory and which need more work.

A couple of questions related to feed. Mike said the quality of feed has come a long way. Pellet feeds can be very good if purchased from a reputable source such as Purina, and he especially mentioned the value of senior feeds, which are keeping horses healthy well into their 30s.

Mike gave us an incidental "heads up" regarding Ivermectin, saying he's aware that parasites are beginning to show some resistence to it. This may be something you might want to discuss with your own veterinarian.

Kudos to all the wonderful volunteers who showed up in the pouring rain Saturday, October 4th, to build the first trail bridge in the Seneca Greenway in Montgomery County parkland. The first day three hours were spent with approximately 25 volunteers moving the bridge components from the roadway to the site. The next day another 25 or so folks finished constructing the bridge in a record-breaking 5 hours. This awesome demonstration of teamwork and leadership, brains and brawn has impressed everyone at M-NCPPC. We just think our volunteers are the greatest and all that planning is really paying off. We now know we can erect a bridge in 5 hours with 400 hours of people-power.

We are going to give you a little rest before asking for your help to put up another bridge but I do hope you will help us again. We were particularly pleased to pick up so many new folks, including neighbors, town folks, high school students and hikers, horseback riders, and bikers. Together we can really build a quality trail system throughout Montgomery County.

Thank you so much for being an outstanding volunteer in Montgomery County Parks!


Naomi Manders,
M-NCPPC Volunteer Coordinator for Trails

For information on saddle fitting:

This Month's Recipe

Honey Applesauce Cookie

1/4 cup oatmeal (dry)
1 handful of sweet feed
2 spoonfuls applesauce
1 spoonful honey or molasses
1 handful Cheerios
4 sugar cubes
a pinch of brown sugar
1/2 cup water

You can mix this right in your horse's feed bucket. Mix the oatmeal with water. Add sweet feed and applesauce. Stir together. Add the Cheerios, brown sugar, and honey or molasses. Mix again and place sugar cubes on top. This serves one horse.


The TROT Pleasure Rides are open to all current TROT members. New members are ALWAYS welcome. Membership forms will be available at the ride. Membership is only $15 for 1 year! What a DEAL! For more information about TROT's Pleasure Rides, call Michelle Beachley (301-482-2526) A Negative Coggins Test is required on all TROT pleasure rides and events.

November 8, 15, 29: Work Days on Montgomery County Trails.  Contact Naomi Manders @ to volunteer or additional information.

November 30, Sunday: Camp Waredaca, Patuxent River State Park, Montgomery County.   These great trails traverse farmland fields into the Patuxent River Park. These trails may overlap and eventually connect with the Upper Patuxent River trails you can explore on a future ride. You may have the interesting experience of riding by some of the cross-country jumps at Waredaca. This is a fun trot/canter ride with a few small log jumps on some of the trails. Contact Gayle Ford at 410-552-5372.

Maryland Horse World Expo January 15-18, 2004 . . . Mark your Calendars!!!


We are pleased to report a new date for the cancelled TJPR in 2003 - a Sunday in 2004 that will be sunny and dry with trails in great shape! The third time will surely be the charm. Riders and volunteers set this date aside NOW. Thanks to Marilynn Miller for her continuing management of this event!

For any feedback, suggestions or comments regarding scheduled rides, contact Michelle Beachley, TROT's Trail Ride Coordinator, at 301/482-2526 or via email(


Please send ads to the editor: Debbie Palmer, TROTNews, P.O. Box 129, Highland, MD 20777. The next newsletter deadline is January 5th. Make checks out to TROT. Type or print your ad, 70 characters per line, 6 lines = $5.00. Each additional line = $1.00.

Please note that the classified ad deadline will now be the 5th of the month prior to an effort to get the bi-monthly newsletter to you by the 1st of the month! 

Horses for Sale:
TB gelding, aged, 16 hands, bay w/blaze & socks. Flashy. Very quiet. Great trail horse, lesson or beginner horse. Very safe. $900. contact Lisa,

QH Gelding, 14 yrs old, 15.3, bay. Big boy. Nice jumper. Great on trails. Nice to work around. Quiet. $3,000. Contact Lisa,

Trailer for Sale:
1998 Corn Pro 16' Gooseneck Stock Trailer. $4,000. 410-489-4910

This is YOUR newsletter...we welcome submissions of any articles and news items that would be of interest to TROT members. Please send all materials to the editor:

Debbie Palmer
PO Box 129
Highland, MD 20777-0129
or email to:

Please refer to TROT in the subject line or your email may not be opened.

PLEASE NOTE: The mailing of the newsletter is not done by the editor. Please refer your concerns to the TROT BOARD. Thank you!

classified ad ---$ 5.00
¼ page or business card ---$25.00
½ page ---$40.00
Full page ---$75.00
Insert ---$50.00*

*this rate is based upon the advertiser providing prepared copy for our mailing, including all number of copies.


Gale Monahan, President (301-854-3852)
Tim McGrath, Vice President (1-800-292-3547)
Pat Merson, Secretary (301-898-3251)
Anne Bennof, Treasurer (301-829-0949)

Directors/Board Members:
Kathy Dobson (
Marilyn Miller (301-898-7274)
Deneen Martin (301-253-2955)
Michelle Beachley (301-482-2526)

Membership:Linda Eminizer (410-661-0176)
Trail Ride Coordinator: Michelle Beachley (301-482-2526)
Mapping Project: Tim McGrath (1-800-292-3547)
Search & Rescue Team: Suzanne Anderson (301-829-3881)
Archivist: Karen Alexander
Web Page: Lisa Graff

County Coordinators:
Carroll – Anne Bennof
Howard – Gale Monahan
Frederick – Pat Merson
Montgomery – Tim McGrath
Prince George's – Mary Angevine

HEALTH ISSUES ... The Information Exchange 

If you'd like to be included in our TROT email mailing list on issues, happenings and events that occur in between our publications, please advise me. Group emailings could be informative when last minute events are scheduled, health issues are posted for our area or weather concerns affect our areas.

You may be included on this list by emailing – use TROT Email List as the subject in your reference line and you will be added to the list. Thanks!

Please send all ITEMS FOR "INFORMATION EXCHANGE" to the editor @, or by calling 301/854-9763. And, remember to reference "TROT" in your subject line of your email to be sure it will be opened.

Murphy's Horse Laws

If you do a thorough check of your trailer before hauling, your truck will break down.

There is no such thing as a sterile barn cat.

No one ever notices how you ride until you fall off.

The least useful horse in your barn will eat the most, require shoes every four weeks and need the vet at least once a month.

A horse's misbehavior will be in direct proportion to the number of people who are watching.

Tack you hate never wears out; blankets you hate cannot be destroyed; horses you hate cannot be sold and will outlive you.

Clipper blades will become dull only when the horse is half-finished. Clipper motors will quit only when you have the horse's head left to trim.

If you're wondering if you left the water on in the barn, you did. If you're wondering if you latched the pasture gate, you didn't.

One horse isn't enough; two is too many.

If you approach within 50 feet of the barn in your "street clothes," you will get dirty.

You can't push a horse on a longe line.

If a horse is advertised "under $5,000," you can bet he isn't $2,500.

The number of horses you own increases according to the number of stalls in your barn.

An uncomplicated horse can be ruined with enough schooling.

You can't run a barn without bailing twine.

Hoof picks migrate.

Wind velocity increases in direct proportion to how well your hat fits.

There is no such thing as the "right feed."

If you fall off, you will land on the site of your most recent injury.

If you're winning, quit.

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