Regarding the amazing filly Eight Belles
by Joell Dunlap
I was out on a trail ride with students when the Kentucky Derby ran this year. Upon our return to the ranch, I rushed inside to watch the replay of the race on my computer. Big Brown owned the race from start to finish and showed the world that we may have a true phenom on our hands. No surprise to me who has admired the colt for some time. The real treat was watching the valiant filly Three Belles chase the colt down the stretch as the other horses tired. I emerged from my office to tell my students that Big Brown was “the real deal” and that the only horse to be brave enough to give him chase was a fantastic dark gray filly named Eight Belles. I was gloating as I brushed my own haughty OTTB mare Gigi.
“Um, Joell, I guess you didn’t see after the race” one of the mothers said with veiled eyes. “The filly broke down after the finish and had to be destroyed.”
I couldn’t speak.
Continue reading “Regarding Eight Belles”
People ask me all the time what connects girls to horses. After 25 years of searching, the answer is simple; trust.
Continue reading “For Sugar”
Is it trust then that causes you to wrap your tiny hand around the gnarled cotton rope and breathlessly tug as you walk away assuming that 1000 lbs of pure flesh and bone will follow you quietly? Is it delusion? Or arrogance? It doesn’t really matter because the 1000 lbs at the end of the rope is looking at you trustingly as he follows you. No matter who you are, you know that this is amazing.
Continue reading “Girls and Horses, what’s the connection?”
From Carol Beardon of Poplar Place Stables:
“Horsemanship is an art. It is the art of being able to finesse the horse to willing do what you ask him/her to do. It is an art to think like a horse, and therefore understand them.”
From Jeanne Bush, CPHA, CSHA, ApHC
Echos End Ranch
Horsemanship Instruction for all Ages
True Horsemanship is both an art and a science. The art involves the wonderful dance we do each and every time we ride; the science involves what we need to know about the physical horse.
Continue reading “Responses: Horsemanship; Art or Science?”
Written by Marta B:
Horsemanship is the art falling off with style coupled with using what
remains of your good sense to apply body-salvaging pharmaceutical science.
Written by Amy 7th grade:
It’s both, because of this:
You have to know math in order to keep a horse, otherwise, financially you
would be broke, but spiritually, it is an art. You must feel the spiritual
bond of the horse, otherwise you will never enjoy the beauty of riding and
becoming one. You and the horse are a bond, a team, a herd. What some people
don’t get is that a horse is much more then an animal. (But animals are
beautiful and important people already aren’t they?)
Horses help people feel like they can do anything, people feel power when
they are with horses. But also what some people get confused with is that
horses are big animals, so they need to be controlled, show no mercy toward
That’s sounds pretty stupid if you think about it. Horses are loving gentle
giants that are teaching people how to be disoplined and resourceful. (In my
case, horses are what get me outdoors.)
Horsemanship, you must think about the business, about also the horses. What
is your education on mathematics and spirituality on these powerful,
That is what I think.
So I was reading the other night and the thought occurred to me; “is horsemanship an art? is it a science?” Certainly, Horsemanship has elements of both. But I realized that how I might approach a student to teach them might have a lot to do with how the student might answer the question, not how I would. That said, I’m posing the question to you, our supporters, horsemen, students and the community at large. How do you answer the question?
Continue reading “Horsemanship: Art or Science”
The subject has come up lately about bringing in new horses and selling others. I’ve been faced with students, parents and supporters who feel like this reduces our horses to commodities to be bought sold or traded at will. It seems like time to debunk this train of thought.
First, for every horse for whom we find a wonderful home, we are able to receive, rescue, care for another soul. The number of horses in America who end up at slaughterhouses is staggering. This year, the number of horses sent to slaughter in the US and Canada is expected to be 100,000. The work we do at Square Pegs is committed to be “one horse, one student at a time.” This is important work to us here.
Currently, with staff (that’s me) and volunteers at this level, the 9 horses we are caring for today is about all we can handle. This means that each horse is cared for, groomed, vaccinated, has regular vet and hoof care, special diets and exercise and lesson plans appropriate to their mental and physical needs are attended to. If you have spent any time at the barn, you know that there is ALWAYS work to be done. During the short days of winter, darkness seems to fall about 20 minutes too soon. Our board bill would make you cry. And our board just recently went up!
Continue reading “Horses as Family?”
We are on weather hold here on the coast again. It’s been pouring rain here today, except when it isn’t. The last month has been tough on us because this weather requires that we cancel lessons, and we never quite make them all up. That hurts program revenue and we’re still running pretty tight financially.
The bad weather also means extra work for us. The horses stll need exercise, and we have to be especially careful of blanketing and other care to be sure our buddies don’t all get sick.
Hopefully by next year we’ll have a covered arena, making us at least a little bit more weather-proof!