Monday, October 29, 2012

Horse Park Holds Annual Halloween Show

WTVQ CH 36 ABC Lexington

The cold weather didn't stop people from getting in the Halloween spirit today at the Kentucky Horse Park.

         The annual Halloween Show featured park horses and their riders, who showed up in just about anything including the Headless Horseman the Phantom of the Opera and many more characters.

          Even some children were dressed for the occasion, coming out in their best costumes.

          This event went along with the Kentucky Horse Park Campgrounds Halloween Camp Out that awards prizes for best costumes, entertainment and more.

The Horse | Md. Officials: Include Horses in Hurricane Plans


With Hurricane Sandy's approach, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reminding owners that it is important to include horses and livestock in disaster preparedness plans.

Anyone in the agricultural community who needs assistance with livestock, including horses, should contact their local emergency operation center.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Alert! Help Bring Horse Issues (Not Horsemeat) to the Table

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition's Blog

Prior to an upcoming meeting during which Senate Bill S-11, an Act addressing the safety and inspection of Canada’s food supply: ( will be under consideration, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food needs to hear from you regarding the dangers of horsemeat. 
It is common knowledge that many horses are routinely treated with phenylbutazone (“bute”), clenbuterol, and other drugs that are not permitted in food-producing animals.  Yet, unbelievably, the current system rapidly pumps these animals through to slaughter and into the human food supply.  Only random, infrequent testing on horsemeat is performed, and the much-touted Equine Information Document accompanying each horse to slaughter relies upon the honesty and integrity of horse owners and feedlot operators to supply an accurate drug history on each animal.  Needless to say, the system is a sham.  Yet the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continue to promote the slaughter of animals unfit to be human food.
Additionally, conditions in horse feedlots and inside slaughter facilities have recently come under fire for posing potential public health risks:  (
Please act now.  The Committee is slated to assemble soon, so send your comments intoday.  A short form letter is included below for your convenience; however, your own original wording is generally considered to be a more powerful tool.
On behalf of the horses – thank you,
Your friends at CHDC
Copy and paste into “To” field of New Message: 
Body of e-mail:
To: MP Merv Tweed, Chair, and Members of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food
Dear MP Tweed and Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food Members:
I understand that Senate Bill S-11, an Act respecting food commodities, is coming up for consideration at a future committee meeting.  In the interest of food safety, I would like to request that you seriously consider the impact that horsemeat consumption may have on human health.  Here is a link to a related report from the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition: As you know, most horses have not been raised as food animals and are fed a wide variety of drugs, many of which are not permitted in the food chain, during their lifetimes (phenylbutazone and clenbuterol, to name only two).  Random, infrequent testing of horsemeat and Equine Information Documents that can be fraudulently presented do nothing to keep dangerous drugs out of human food.  The government of Canada would do well to support Bill C-322 and end the slaughter of horses without delay.
Yours truly,
(Name, address and email)

Monument honors U.S. 'horse soldiers' who invaded Afghanistan


By Alex Quade, Special to CNN
updated 8:03 PM EDT, Thu October 6, 2011

Artist Douwe Blumberg puts final touches on a clay sculpture that will honor U.S. special operations forces.

 Editor's note: Freelance war correspondent Alex Quade spent nearly 18 months in Iraq and Afghanistan covering U.S. special operations forces on combat missions, including for CNN.
Demossville, Kentucky (CNN) -- The U.S. special operations teams that led the American invasion in Afghanistan a decade ago did something that no American military had done since the last century: ride horses into combat.
"It was like out of the Old Testament," says Lt. Col. Max Bowers, retired Green Beret, who commanded the three horseback teams.
"You expected Cecil B. DeMille to be filming and Charlton Heston to walk out."
Bowers spoke while sitting in the rural Kentucky studio of sculptor Douwe Blumberg, along with three of his former "horse soldiers."
They, along with 30 fellow commandos on horseback, are the inspiration for a new monument that Blumberg is creating, dedicated to the entire U.S. special operations community.
The statue is scheduled to be erected across from the World Trade Center site in New York on November 11, Veterans Day. The artist rounded up these "horse soldiers" to share their personal stories and mission photos as inspiration for the 18-foot, bronze monument.  Read MORE...

From Laura Leigh, Examiner

Controversial BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board set to meet


Press Conference to Call for Immediate Investigation of BLM “Slaughtergate” Allegations

Horseback Magazine

October 27, 2012
Wild Horse & Burro Preservation Groups Announce Salt Lake City
Press Conference
Photo by Terry Fitch
SALT LAKE CITY, (Wild Horse Preservation) – Award winning Cinematographer Ginger Kathrens to join author R.T. Fitch and noted
equine advocate Simone Netherlands in a wild horse and burro advocates press
conference on October 29th during opening day of BLM’s Advisory Board Meeting.
Salt Lake City, UT (October 26. 2012) – The Cloud Foundation, Respect4Horses and Wild
Horse Freedom Federation will hold a special press conference on the current state of
America’s mismanaged wild horses and burros. The groups are calling for a halt to all
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) roundups that are destroying the last of America’s
wild herds at enormous and escalating taxpayer expense and an immediate
investigation into credible allegations where stockpiled wild horses and burros are
being sold to known kill buyers for eventual slaughter for human consumption abroad.
The media and the interested public are encouraged to attend this public press
conference at the Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown (215 West South Temple)
from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. on Monday, October 29th, 2012. The public press event will
take place on the opening day of the BLM’s controversial Wild Horse and Burro
Advisory Board meeting occurring, likewise, at the Radisson Hotel.
Currently the BLM has scheduled massive roundups of wild horses and burros
throughout the remainder of this calendar year. Remnant herds of wild horses and
burros live in 10 western states, including Utah, but their future is tenuous. The agency
responsible for their protection and preservation, the BLM, is managing them to
extinction. While the cruel and costly roundups continue, the BLM has no idea how
many wild horses remain in the wild while pumping tens of thousands of captured wild
horses and burros into both short and long term holding facilities. To date the BLM has
stockpiled more than 48,000 + wild horses and burros in costly government holding,
leaving millions of acres of legally designated wild horse and burro ranges empty.
Advocates are calling for the return of wild horses and burros to the 24 million acres of
designated lands cleared since 1971. Only 180 of the originally identified 339 herds
remain in the wild. Horse Welfare organizations estimate that currently we have less
than 20,000 wild horses and burros remaining wild and free. The BLM continues to
“zero out” herds each year without proper justification.
The groups, supported by advocates from coast to coast, will come together in Salt
Lake City to demand the BLM call o! all scheduled roundups immediately while an
accurate and unbiased count is conducted as well as an investigation into the
allegations of slaughter sales and the continued mismanagement of wild horses and
burros both in the wild and in captivity by the BLM and their hired contractors.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

American Wild Horse Preservation News and Alerts

October 25, 2012
Dear Supporter,

Take Action to Oppose Removal of Historic Timber Horses in Eastern Oregon

Please take easy action today to oppose the government’s plan to remove 338 wild horses from the Murderers Creek Herd Management Area in eastern Oregon. Many of these mustangs are known as “timber horses” who live deep in the Malheur National Forest.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wants to reduce this unique wild horse population down to just 50, while allocating five times more forage to private livestock. Please click below to urge BLM to scrap this plan and to keep these wild horses on the range where they belong.
Take Action

Breaking News… 29 More Virginia Range Mustangs Rescued from Slaughter!

Last night, Nevada advocacy groups again mobilized to save 29 more wild horses (4 foals, 12 mares and 13 gelded stallions) from slaughter. For the third time in two months, members of Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund, Least Resistance Training Concepts and other groups, returned to the Fallon Livestock Exchange where the state of Nevada had again dumped wild horses it had captured and removed from the hills outside of Virginia City. Once again, the advocates had to outbid kill buyers who intended to truck the mustangs to Mexican slaughterhouses.
Thanks in part to your generous support, the local advocates have now saved 82 wild horses from the cruel fate of slaughter. Now they must care for these horses while permanent homes are found. Your help to continue this heroic rescue effort is desperately needed and deeply appreciated.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Wild Horses in Winds of Change Film


Wild Horses in  Winds of Change is now available on DVD for private and public screenings.

This Documentary tells the story of how America’s wild horses are lawfully protected but unlawfully managed by the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program.   The Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act says they are to be managed as free roaming and integral part of the land they are presently found free roaming.  Now…….
as thousands of wild horses and burros are rounded up from their free roaming life on the range, tensions run high for their future.
With close to forty thousand wild horses and burros discarded  in long term warehousing, the time for solutions is critical. Experts in the field challenge the current management system and the non-scientific myths and biased views about the wild horse. Despite the current crises for the horses, this film is a journey of beauty into the meaningful presence of America’s mustangs on public lands  and in our lives.
Summer 2011 Press Release. Wild Horses In Winds of Change, by Filmmaker Mara LeGrand, Skydancer Productions.
Wild Horses in the Winds of Change Seeks Healing Solutions
New Documentary About America’s Wild Horses Invites Everyone to Get Involved
Mara LeGrand proudly announces that her award-winning documentary Wild Horses in  Winds of Change is now available on DVD for private and public screenings. This visionary film is a soulful portrayal of America’s wild horses facing extermination. It is by turns heart breaking and heart warming, and challenges many common belief systems the average viewer may hold.
Can we help stop the myths, lies and betrayals surrounding the brutal helicopter roundups and warehousing of these noble, sensitive creatures? Do human beings have the resources and heart to find inspired solutions? Beyond that, can we develop a new paradigm for managing all wildlife, including the mustangs?
Yes we can, according to LeGrand, “….if people are willing to adjust that old guard way of thinking and not give in to despair along the journey. It’s as much about ecological issues we need to solve, as it is about the plight of our wild horses and our attitude of dominion over nature.”
Wild Horses in  Winds of Change calls upon us to be guardians of the natural world. We will need to care deeply, because understanding Nature, in particular the wild horses, will require all of our skill at giving and receiving trust and respect.
“The film artfully portrays the broken spirit in the eyes of the wild horses, but also reflects a broken spirit in ourselves that truly needs healing.” Photographer Tony Stromberg says, “As we help our wild brethren, we are also helping ourselves.”
To arrange an interview with Mara LeGrand, book her keynote speaking for your event, or to order a copy of the DVD, visit:
About the Film Maker:   Mara LeGrand, PhD. is an award winning photojournalist, screenwriter, and film director. She brings wisdom from her international career in holistic health to her films and offers compelling presentations to accompany screenings. Wild Horses in Winds of Change is LeGrand’s third film. Her mission is to call people to action for the health of the planet and its inhabitants.  Press Release submitted by Carol Upton,  Dreams Aloud Productions.

Are We Leading Our Wild Horses to Slaughter? - The Atlantic

The Atlantic

Wild horses being herded outside Tooele, Utah in February (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)
The video below depicts a gruesome roundup in northeastern Nevada of a small band of the nation's wild horses: mustangs who, under federal law and policy, must be protected and managed by the very government agents whose helicopters here terrorize, corral, and injure them. This grim roundup, at the Antelope and Antelope Valley Herd Management Area, occurred in early October. It came just a few days after ProPublica, the non-profit, investigative journalism endeavor, published a damning piece accusing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of selling captured wild horses to a known horse slaughterer, which is prohibited by law.
Approximately 180 horses were rounded up in the fashion you're about to watch below. (Or not. I would not show this video to my son, who loves horses.) The Obama Administration's Department of the Interior, led by a rancher, says it must reduce the size of the herd in this particularly violent and dangerous fashion to save the horses from drought and the effects of wildfires, and to bring the herd's number "back into balance with other range land resources and uses." The plan this fall is to "gather" thousands of America's wild horses from nearly 20 venues across the American West, and herd them into dirty, unsafe holding pens -- all at taxpayer expense.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Beloved Vancouver police horse Pico passes away

Vancouver Sun

Pico, a veteran police horse, died on Sunday after 13 years of stalwart service with the Vancouver police mounted unit.

Photograph by: Handout , Vancouver Police

VANCOUVER -- After nearly two decades of service with officers and children in the saddle, Pico, a veteran Vancouver police horse, died on Sunday.
Known for his calm and reliable nature, Pico joined the mounted squad in 1993, when officers quickly took a shine to the chestnut gelding with the signature white stripe down his muzzle.
“He was one of the best horses that they ever had,” said the mounted unit’s Sgt. Doug McMillan.
McMillan said Pico, a Dutch Warmblood, went to nearly every major city event during his tenure.
He kept order at an anti-Bush rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2004. He had a background role in the 2003 John Woo action movie Paycheck, alongside Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman.
Pico frequently took part in park patrols, Santa Clause parades, Remembrance Day services and the Celebration of Light.
“He was a pretty busy horse,” said McMillan.
Fittingly, Pico’s final shift was during the 100th anniversary celebration of the force’s mounted unit in May 2006.
He retired that year, “a favourite of the squad and the public,” said Sgt. Randy Fincham.
Pico spent the next five years as a therapeutic horse at a riding camp in Southlands, where he offered young children companionship and confidence on a steed.
In the summer of 2011, Pico suffered a fall. He returned to the Vancouver police stables to live out his retirement.
On Oct. 21, a veterinarian determined it was time for Pico to go, marking the first time in decades a horse was put down in the care of Vancouver police. Typically, retired horses live out their lives at private farms or the properties of retired police officers, McMillan said.
Pico was 30 years old.
“The members of the mounted unit, both past and present, owe a great debt of gratitude to (Police Horse) Pico and we can all take comfort in the fact that he enjoyed his last year living the life of leisure amongst his friends and that he passed peacefully, without pain,” McMillan said.

A Short Inner-View of Bureau of Land Managements Budgets — Phase One of Four

Photojournalist – Journalist

Certainly many of us over the years have wondered about the BLM and its illegal activity, and how they get away with such outright deceptive circumstances.  The only investigation, that this Journalist knows of, generated over 1,000 felony arrest warrants, and several hundred misdemeanors, as well as ethics violations and Supervisors letting staff know they were under investigation by undercover operatives.  Ironically, the investigation called off the night before the warrants for arrests filed.  Many of these folks still work at the BLM.
So with this in mind, and so much data and accounting available to the public over the Internet of today, it was  time to interview someone who could actually read and understand these budgets.  I chose a retired Accountant who had completed my books over the past couple of decades.   Read MORE...

Despite Obama's Horsing Around, Equestrian Patrols are Part of Policing in D.C.



Photo courtesy of

During yesterday's debate on foreign policy, President Obama scored what may have been the zinger of the night when he mocked Republican challenger Mitt Romney for thinking that when it comes to military hardware, quality matters more than quantity. "Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed," Obama quipped.
Sure, but how about the nature of policing the capital? Officers are more and more likely to be seen on bikes, motorcycles, cars, and even Segways, but that doesn't mean that local police forces have completely rid themselves of the horses that used to be part and parcel of maintaining order in D.C.
In fact, the Metropolitan Police Department went in exactly the opposite direction in 2001, when Police Chief Charles Ramsey reinstated the Horse Mounted Division that had been disbanded some 70 years earlier. (Check out some great historical pictures here.) Wrote the Post's Petula Dvorak of Ramsey's decision:


Catching up on the News

News stories:

Hilltown firefighters train for large-animal rescue |

Goicoechea Racked Up $674,591 Dinner Check at the BLM Wild Horse & Burro Trough « Straight from the Horse's Heart

U.S. Horse Detachment teaches smuggling operations at NTC | Article | The United States Army

'Horse Soldier' Statue Near One World Trade Center Honors U.S. Troops Who Led Afghanistan Invasion (PHOTOS)

Behind Closed Doors – What XL Foods and Horse Slaughter Plants Have in Common and What They’d Prefer to Keep Hidden

Canadian Horse Defence Coalition

The CHDC provides evidence of disturbing parallels between the XL Foods contaminated beef recall and conditions inside Canada’s horse slaughter plants. 
Read the full report here.

Update: Wild Horse & Burro Advocate Letters Reach President Obama via Congressman Jim Moran

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Posted: October 23, 2012 by R.T. Fitch
Forward by R.T. Fitch ~ co-founder/volunteer president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Your Voice DOES Make a Difference!
Jerry Finch, R.T. Fitch delivering letters and discussing issues with Rep. Jim Moran
Over 15,000 letters from concerned individuals from around the world crying out for the cessation of the costly and devastating Bureau of Land Management‘s (BLM) relentless roundups of federally protected American wild horses and burros reached the desk ofPresident Obama during the first week of October thanks to the facilitation of Virginia’s Congressman Jim Moran and equine advocacy groups, Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), Habitat for Horses (HfH) and The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and many others.
Originally born as a personal appeal from co-founders of WHFF Terry and R.T. Fitch the call to action spread like wildfire and in a matter of days manifested into an international written appeal to call for a moratorium on the deadly roundups so that an appropriate accounting could take place of both how many wild equids are left on their rightful range and how many are ‘actually’ in long and short term holding.
Terry and R.T. pledged to personally fly the letters to D.C., at their own expense, while the office of Rep. Jim Moran offered to facilitate the delivery to the White House.
On September 13th, Terry, R.T. and Jerry Finch, founder and president of Habitat for Horses, flew from their Texas homes to meet with Rep. Moran, in Washington D.C., and to deliver the letters written by thousands of impassioned American voters and concerned international advocates.
The office of Rep. Moran has delivered the letters to the President and the Congressman reinforced the plea for sanity with a cover letter which is inserted below.  The letter mentions only R.T. Fitch from whence the concept was born but WHFF, HfH, TCF, EWA, dozens of other organizations and thousands of concerned individuals from around the globe reached out to make this happen.
Click (HERE) to download Congressional Letter

Monday, October 22, 2012

Goicoechea Racked Up $674,591 Dinner Check at the BLM Trough

Nevada News and Views

Posted by  on Oct 15th, 2012 

(NN&V Staff) – Independent American state senate candidate Janine Hansen charged today that Republican District 19 opponent Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea has a “startling conflict” in representing rural taxpayers after learning the Eureka rancher has received $674,591 for “Wildhorse/Burro Control Services” from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).   Read MORE...

BLM stalls Wyoming wild horse adoption facility

Star Tribune Wyoming

ROCK SPRINGS — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management says its Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility is closed for adoptions until January.   

Horses are gathered in the wild and taken the facility, where they're inspected, vaccinated, and tested before they're available for adoption or sale to the public. The facility's kiosk remains open daily for public viewing of the horses.
The facility will reopen at the end of January with an expanded adoption event.

Broken Arrow, Broken Program: Wild horse warehouse tour


 The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) gave a tour of their "closed door" wild horse and burro holding facility in Fallon Nevada on 10/19/2012. The facility is considered a private facility, that houses animals that the agency has difficulty adopting, yet keeps the doors closed to the public.
A video released yesterday by Wild Horse Education (WHE), a Nevada based advocacy group, shows some of the 2,647 animals currently stock piled at the facility.
View slideshow: Broken Arrow 10/19/2012 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Broken Arrow BLM wild horse holding 10/2012

It's so hard to see our wild horses no longer wild.

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Living with a Horse is a Labor of Love

“I can’t imagine my life without them”
“It’s “Feel Good Sunday” and as I write from across one great ocean I would like to share a story from across another; a story of love from Scotland.  Half a world away, the feelings and compassion are no different than that which is felt by North American companions to equines.  It is truly the Force of the Horse that binds us and not only allows us to enjoy and celebrate thier company but empowers us with the responsibility to appropriately provide and take care of their needs.  Please sit back, relax and prepare for another week of battle, the war is not over but the end is in sight.” ~ R.T.
EVERY morning at 7am, whether there is early summer sunshine or spitting winter rain, Aileen Allan crawls from her warm Ayrshire bed and pulls on scruffy clothes or a boiler-suit before heading outside. She does this just about 365 days a year, all because she loves her horses.
Last week I got to know Jack, a 26-year-old Clydesdale cross and his two companions, a pair of Shetland ponies called Hector and Sunflower, as they stamped about in the stable anticipating Aileen’s arrival. It is a beautiful scene, witnessing the love and trust that can exist between a human and a horse.
Allan, an inspector for a major British food supplier, has owned a horse since she was 19. “The happiest times of my life have been around horses,” she says. “By nature, a horse is an animal of flight, it is a wary animal, and yet they come to trust you implicitly. I can’t imagine my life without them.”
Jack, something of an old clod-hopping scruff to an equine-layman like me, is a fine beast. He is incredibly friendly, and enjoys that human touch much advocated by the horse whisperers whereby you rub your hand against the grain of his hair on that long neb between his eyes.
As Allan busies herself around him – cleaning, feeding, mucking out – Jack looks well contented at her familiar presence.
I’ve grown to love the clip-clop companionship of horses since my family and I moved out to the country. They pass by our front door producing their familiar stomping percussion, and my children rush to our window and shout “look, it’s Alfie!” or “hey, there’s Edward!” There are few greater sights than the regal, upright horse out for its daily ride.
All sorts are drawn to horses and their companionship. In Allan’s case, now 20-plus years a horse lover and keeper, there was no early farm-life which imbued in her a love of the creatures.
“I grew up in Paisley,” she says. “When I was a kid there were always horses in the outlying fields, and my dad and I would cycle out to see them and feed them. It was my dad’s Saturday and Sunday chore 
for me.
“There was something about horses that I really enjoyed. I started going pony-trekking, and I asked for a horse at 
every Christmas and every birthday of my youth – but I never got one. I was one of four kids and my parents felt it would be unfair to lavish such an expense on me.
“So when I started working, I saved up and bought my first horse when I was 19. She was a black Shetland pony called Pepsi because she was dark and full of fizz.”
Today Allan’s life is woven around her horses, and the time and cost can be expensive. She has to rent a local stable near Dunlop and she sees Jack, Hector and Sun­flower first thing in the morning and last thing before dusk, and often in between. Her devotion to them, it seems to me, is some sort of amalgam of joy, labour of love, and mucky ­necessity.
“It is exceptionally hard work, and it is 365 days a year. Horses don’t take days off. Some days you wake up and you are warm and snug in bed, but you know you’ve got to get up at 6.30am to go and tend to your horse. It can be tough.
“It can also be an expensive hobby. Once you’ve bought the horse, you have to insure it, pay for livery, pay for feed, for vets fees, for annual vaccinations, for blacksmiths, for saddle, for bridle… the list goes on and on.
“Every six weeks a blacksmith costs me £60. I’ve just bought hay for about £200 – that might last a few months. My livery costs me £160 a month. My feed for Jack, Hector and Sunflower probably costs £30 a month. Over 12 months it all adds up, plus your vet fees on top.”
But, Allan insists, it is all worth it, for the deep bond that grows between a horse and its keeper. And with that trust comes a heavy human ­responsibility.
There have been some horrendous cases recently of human abuse of horses, where the RSPCA, acting on tip-offs, have found neglect and dire stable conditions, with horses bleeding or suffering. Owners have been banned from keeping the animals.
Allan says that a caring horse-owner will know and appreciate the vulnerability of the creatures.
“It’s actually against everything in a horse’s nature to allow you to sit on them. But they come to trust you that nothing will go wrong for them – that you will keep them away from danger. On a road your horse learns to trust you, if a car or a van goes past. It’s a special relationship. ”
Sharing the yard with Allan’s beasts are Charlie and Ricki, two horses owned by Rachel McKenzie, an 18-year-old university student who fits her academic life – and everything else – around her love for her animals.
McKenzie has the same outlook as Allan. The weather might be howling, but there she is, at the stables soon after dawn to be met by the excitement of her horses.
To see her lovingly and patiently tend to Charlie and Ricki is to wonder anew at a horse’s ability to capture the human heart. The lowest estimate of the number of horses in the UK is 600,000 so there’s a lot of love out there.
Ricki is a Shetland pony who, in the muck of the field, sometimes looks a tad drookit, with his wet hair slapped over his eyes. Years ago he was swapped for a dining room table by McKenzie’s parents when, as she put it herself, he seemed unwanted and was on the verge of being turned into dog food.
Charlie, a thoroughbred, is a former jump-horse, with quite a bit of cheek about him. McKenzie is smitten, as she has been by horses since she was a toddler. Her horses are certainly smitten by her.
“I’ve had opportunities to turn my back on horses, but I never have, and never could,” she says. “You build a relationship with a horse. You get to understand it, and it gets to understand you. I agree with Aileen – horses have a live-in-the-wild instinct and are easily spooked, so you have to calm them and look out for them. If a tree rustles, a horse can get spooked.
McKenzie almost speaks of a horse in a way that a man or a woman might refer back to a long-gone amoureuse.
“The love of my life was Beau, my pony who died a few years back,” she says. “We had a great time together, a great trust in each other. He gave me so much confidence. It took me two years to find another horse – in terms of me feeling the same way towards him – before I finally got Charlie.
“It sounds a bit ridiculous, but that’s how you are with your horse.”
So what is it like being the spouse or partner of someone so devoted to their horse? Well, to a degree you need to buy into it. It is impossible to imagine one half of a relationship being so devoted to a horse while the other remains uninterested, especially when a significant chunk of a family budget is set apart for them.
In Allan’s case, her partner Stephen has gradually come round, not just to accepting them, but also to being moved by them as well.
“Stephen isn’t really into horses – he doesn’t get it,” she says. “A while back one of my horses was really quite ill and I told him, ‘it’s going to cost £1,000 to get him booked into the vet hospital.’ Stephen said to me, ‘no way, we can’t do that’. But then when he saw the horse and its distress he said, ‘I don’t care what this costs… we’ll pay whatever it is to put him right.’
“Once you get involved with a horse, and you come to love it, you come to accept the costs.”
Click (HERE) to visit the picture gallery and to commen

ASPCA recognizes boy’s efforts in opposing horse slaughter

By  on Oct 20, 2012 in Focus
Declan’s efforts are to be recognized after he heard of the inhumane and cruel practice of horse slaughter
Declan speaking in D.C. last March with Congressman Jim Moran ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation
A 10-year-old boy’s efforts in opposing horse slaughter have earned him the “Kid of the Year” award from the American Society for the Prevention of  Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Declan Gregg, of Greenland, New Hampshire, is among a group of outstanding animals and people to be recognized by the charity for their significant impact on the lives of animals during the past year.
Declan will be honored alongside a paralyzed cat and a canine video star at this year’s ASPCA Humane Awards luncheon in New York City on November 8.
Declan’s efforts are to be recognized after he heard of the inhumane and cruel practice of horse slaughter and decided to get involved.
Declan started his own blog, Children 4 Horses, to spread the word about horse advocacy issues and worked diligently with the Million Horse March campaign to collect letters from children to inspire lawmakers to end the slaughter of American horses.
His dedication to horse advocacy brought him to the nation’s capital twice in recent months, where he represented more than 1000 children from the United States and abroad by presenting the letters to legislators in Congress.
Declan in D.C. with Author/president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation R.T. Fitch (R.T.’s favorite photo) ~ by Terry Fitch
In addition to his Washington visits, Declan testified at a hearing for a bill opposing horse slaughter at the New Hampshire State House in January.
Declan’s blog, read by individuals in more than 80 countries, provides commentary on horse advocacy issues and also includes horse poetry, horse news, photos, Declan’s artwork and stories about other children who have made a difference helping horses.
The award Declan will receive is officially called the ASPCA “Tommy P. Monahan” Kid of the Year.  It is  dedicated to Tommy, a 9-year-old Staten Island boy who perished in 2007 trying to save his dog from a house fire.
“The ASPCA continues to be astounded by the bravery and compassion of this year’s Humane Awards winners,” said ASPCA president and chief executive Ed Sayres.
“Each honoree exemplifies our mission of preventing cruelty to animals in their own unique ways, and we are humbled by their achievements and dedication to the animals who count on us to be their voice.”
Following a nationwide call to the public for nominations in February, an ASPCA-appointed committee reviewed hundreds of entries and selected winners in six categories.
The 2012 ASPCA Humane Award winners, along with Declan, are:
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