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‘Making lemonade’

- May 5th, 2020

On April 10, sour moments for a mare and foal turned into something sweet

Kiskasen, a Clydesdale colt born April 9, and his adopted Quarter Horse mother, Whiz Ms Dolly, who lost her stillborn filly the same day. (John O’Hara photo)

SANTA ROSA—You’ve heard the saying, “when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade.” Well, a pair of misfortunes 130 miles apart in early April led to a refreshing feel-good story about an unlikely match.

It began with the joy of two new foals about to enter the world. One was a long-hoped-for colt out of the 18.1-hand black Clydesdale mare, Nakita, and the other a filly out of a 14.1-hand Quarter Horse reining mare, Whiz Ms Dolly.

Tragedy struck both foalings. Nakita, after delivering a healthy colt, died soon after from complications. Meanwhile, at a ranch in Santa Rosa, Britta Jacobson’s mare, Whiz Ms Dolly, gave birth to a stillborn filly.

The Return is… near?

- May 5th, 2020

What will ‘the new normal’ be as we return to our horse routines, post-pandemic?

What will the shows be like? Or, what SHOULD they have in place?

Horses by nature are socially distant. A horse show isn’t much different. Perhaps some changes in spectator seating, and ways in which the concession stands are run. But no reason to reinvent how horse shows take place

Doris Lora, Tehachapi


Adhere to social distance requirements.

Cady Shaw, Fresno


Today, there are no shows/events, and there should not be any events until the Coronavirus is defeated. No matter how long we wait, we will wait healthy and alive. Ride the trail, be safe—and healthy.

John O’Hara, Petaluma

Babies, Babies, Babies!

- May 5th, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Foals are hitting the ground left and right. It is a rare day for me right now to not be doing a new foal exam (or two or three!). A new foal exam and care in the first few days is vital to keeping a healthy herd, but the first year of life for foals requires some special care that is a bit different than for the adults.

49 years ago, Debra de la Torre’s father launched an aloe industry; now, she enjoys seeing the benefits for beloved horses as head of Pharm-Aloe Equine

HT: Debra, why would I give aloe to my horse?

DEBRA: Well, if you love your horse, you want your horse to be at its very best—and at its healthiest. I got into Pharm-Aloe Equine because my little mare showed up with ulcer symptoms one day. I knew about aloe vera because my dad started the aloe vera business in 1971, so we have had a long history of aloe vera use for our horses and for people.

HT: I can imagine what was talked about at the dinner table all those years.

DEBRA: Many miracle stories, I can tell you that for sure. We have seen a lot of just wonderful effects and results from using aloe.

Human Horse Connection

- May 5th, 2020

By Sheryl Lynde | Horsetrader columnist

A couple of colts came to me to start and sell. However, they needed more time. Although they had progressed, the full extent of their potential had yet to be realized. I could feel it.

Just like us, some colts take longer to bloom. Additionally, I didn’t feel that the prospective buyers were a good match. Someone was going to get hurt and both the human and the colt’s confidence would be undermined. So I bought them. Neither colt was easy. I’ve put an additional three years of training on one, and the other has had an additional year. To see their natural ability and confidence develop gives me tremendous satisfaction in knowing that they have a chance for a secured future. This is my purpose.

From Horsetrader sales staff

Warm weather doesn’t have to be marked by tail swishing, head tossing and foot stomping. Make this the year you put an end to fly season woes with a pest control program that really works. Effective control demands more than just one weapon against annoying, disease-carrying flies, mosquitoes and ticks. That’s why Farnam has developed a complete arsenal of pest control products to block, repel and reduce, enabling you to protect both horse and premises by building your own powerful No Fly Zone.

The Farnam’s “No Fly Zone” Sweepstakes have been such a success, the company is doing it again, even giving horse owners a choice of which products they can win. When you enter online, you’ll have the opportunity to select which No Fly Zone Prize Package you prefer should you win. Ten lucky winners will be chosen by random drawing to each receive approximately $500 in Farnam pest control products. In addition, during each week of the contest Farnam will select a winner to receive a No Fly Zone T-shirt.

Corona Coping!

- April 6th, 2020


Readers share how horses make a difference…

The horses are the ONLY thing in my life that has seen relatively no change since the virus. I get up, shovel poop, brush the horses,  tend to my human family and then I saddle up and ride. From the second that I get on, the rhythm of riding relaxes my whole self. The trail is in front of me, the horses quietly flick their ears and plod along — and for a while, there is no virus. Just us.
I’ll ride ’til they close trails, and then I’ll just take walks on the street with them. I hope everybody out there is just breathing in their horses and staying well.

 Juliet Johnson, Los Angeles

See more inspiring “Corona Coping” comments!

Corona Coping!

- April 1st, 2020

Readers share how horses make a difference…

“As a horse owner and a pediatric nurse, there has been a lot of uncertainty, but in the midst of all of it our mare delivered during a rain storm Thursday morning — a healthy colt! It makes you realize life is such a gift and a blessing.”
— Regina Faucette

See more inspiring “Corona Coping” comments!

Finding your Social Distance

- April 1st, 2020

Appreciation for horses only grows when humans have to stay six feet apart


Angel, my Arabian mare, seems to ponder the long road back to normal. She completed her first 100-mile race a couple years ago in endurance and has always finished in the Top Ten. She is now retired, living and riding these trails on the Ortega. The horse of a lifetime.

–Jill McGovern, Capistrano Beach


Learning a new style of riding in Ione.

The young lady in the mask is from Germany, where she rides English. She’s the niece of a friend, and she’s riding my retired bridle horse, “Reese,” and getting the feel of a Californio-style cow horse. I’m on my two-rein youngster. Even with the light rain that was falling during our ride, it was a good day. (BTW…her aunt, the photographer, was “masked up” also!)

–Peter Taylor, Ione

Bio-security in pandemic times

- April 1st, 2020

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Los Angeles Equestrian Center photo

The COVID-19 global pandemic has bio-security on everyone’s minds. Let’s revisit biosecurity and you may appreciate similarities between some of the recommendations here for your horse and the ones we are receiving now from the government for ourselves during this outbreak.

First off, make sure you are up to date on your horse’s vaccines. Vaccines are designed to help the body fight off an infectious agent if it comes into contact with it. They usually require 10 to 14 days to work. The body is exposed to the antigen and has two ways it can work to fight it off: The first is to develop antibodies; the second is what is called “cell mediated immunity.” Different vaccines have different protocols to follow for them to be their most efficacious, so either read the full label or have your veterinarian perform the series properly so they are able to give you the best protection possible.