The first thing you may notice are a couple of new tabs near the top of this blog. They're my attempt to start turning this blog into a resource as well as a source of entertainment. If you have ideas for additional tabs or links, please let me know! You can leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next up, I missed reporting on a big horse rescue up in Cadott, WI about a month ago. It was a large, but fairly low-key rescue-- a lady had 36 horses and ponies plus other animals that she just couldn't care for anymore. She voluntarily got help (good for her, just wish she hadn't accumulated this many in the first place). Lots of horses were underweight, but none were starving, and most seem to have decent manners. Refuge Farms is the rescue handling adopting them out, and there are plenty to go around! Some of them are VERY pretty, too. Updates are more frequent on Refuge Farm's Facebook page. Article and video here.
Speaking of horse rescues, Todd and his wife have found a great new home for Autumn. Like the heroes they are, they didn't charge a dime to re-home her, but checked references, visited the new home, and sent Autumn on her way with every vet record. Good job guys.
In the Fireman's Park in Columbus, WI there's going to be a super fun, equine extravaganza called Winter Day in the Park on Saturday February 9th. On display will be Skijoring, bobsled rides, a model horse show, a speech by "Abraham Lincoln," a chili cookoff, birthday cake making contest, sleigh rally and pleasure driving contest. There will probably also be stuff to buy. Oh BOY am I excited!! I am TOTALLY going to this, if for no other reason than to watch actual, live people being pulled on skis by horses. Wow. It's for a worthy cause, too: all proceeds go to the Equine Feed Bank, which is like a food pantry but for horses in need. It's organized by the Wisconsin Horse Council, which also has a Facebook page, by the way.
The Humane Society of the United States has formed a Responsible Horse Breeders Council. Members take a pledge to adhere to the highest standards of breeding and to take back any horse they've ever bred. They will also abide by official HSUS guidelines for horse breeding. Which is great, except that no irresponsible breeder will care a tiny bit about this. And it's not like the HSUS, or anyone else, is actually enforcing their little club's rules, or even calling out the liars. *sigh* Good intentions count for something I suppose? As a horse buyer, you can check the list of those who have already signed, and hope they mean what they say. If you are a breeder, you can take the pledge here.
Did you know that the UW Madison Vet School has an animal blood bank? Obviously, there are pets (and horses) who need blood transfusions just as much as people, either because of injury or illness. If you're interested in letting your favorite critter help other critters in need, go here. Blood donation is a harmless process, take only minutes, and is one of the best ways to give to charity when you don't have a lot of spare cash. And remember-- someday YOUR best friend may need blood!
The United States Equine Federation has finally banned soring devices for horses! Article here. The Horse reports that,
"During its Dec. 17, 2012, meeting, the USEF executive committee approved a rule banning soring '...and/or the use of any action device on any limb of a Tennessee Walking Horse, Racking Horse, or Spotted Saddle Horse in any class at a USEF Licensed Competition.'"
That means no more pads or chains or anything else. Unfortunately, this hardly means no more tortured gaited horses. It just means that, theoretically, there will be no more tortured gaited horses at USEF events. Provided the inspectors actually do their jobs.