ADOPT A NEW OUTLOOK

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The US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, or BLM as it’s known, has a lot of responsibilities.  None the least of which is their wild horse and burron adoption program.  Wild horses and burros are defined by federal law as unbranded, unclaimed, free-roaming horses or burros found on public lands in the United States.  Most wild horses and burros living today are descendants of animals that were released or escaped from Spanish explorers, ranchers, miners, the U.S. Cavalry and Native Americans.  The problem is, as their numbers increase, resources get stretched thinner and thinner, creating the need for the adoption program.

 

Wild, free-roaming wild horses can be found on public lands across 10 western states.  Wild burros roam rangeland in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Oregon. Pursuant to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM and U.S. Forest Service manage wild horses on subsets of public lands where the animals were found upon passage of the Act in 1971.  These areas are known as Herd Management Areas.   There are adoption centers all over the western US, and adoption events are held nation-wide throughout the year.

 

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Adopting a wild horse or burro can be athoroughly rewarding, but it isn’t for the faint of heart, and the adoption guidelines are fairly strict.  https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/adoption-and-sales/adoption-faq  Most of the animals have had limited exposure to humans, shelter, trailers and other common experiences we often don’t think about.  Adoption and relocation can be a sensory overload for a formerly wild animal, extra love and patience should be at the top of your “to do” list.  Not every animal is going to be the ideal adoption candidate, but for those who’ve been welcomed into new homes, their success stories are heart-warming.  See some for yourself on their Flickr page,  https://www.flickr.com/photos/mypubliclands/sets/72157674369054370

 

Wild horse or burro adoption may not be for everyone, but it’s a fantastic option to research when your considering adding a new member to your family.  Following in the lines of “don’t just shop, adopt!”  There are plenty of animals in need of loving homes and kind families to care for them.

 

For more information about the BLM and Adoption Program, go to their website, https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/about-the-program.  Maybe wild hearts can’t be broken, but wild horses and burros can love and be loved, when given the opportunity.

 

 

 

ON MY RADAR

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As a blogger, it’s important to keep an eye on what other bloggers are up to, and what’s catching a reader’s attention.  Here on WordPress, I enjoy Rodney’s Saga, which also covers a variety of equine topics, and Equipeople Families, which focuses on European agricultural students journeys to stay and study in new places.  A quick search for general subjects, provides lists of possible new reading material.  Take time to check them out!

 

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http://www.hay-net.co.uk/

Another favorite source of all blogs equine-related, is the HayNet.  This aptly-named, European site is the home to tons of great blogs, and a lovely place to connect with other equine friends.  Owned and Managed by Samantha Hobden, a wealth of knowledge herself, the friendly site offers a little of something for everyone.  I’ve often enjoyed being featured on her site, and her readers are a joy to interact with.

 

Maybe you’ve read a few blogs and thought, “I could do that!”  You absolutely should!  On most sites the cost to you is little if any to get started (the basic blogging package on WordPress is free), and you never have to worry about finding your audience, because they’ll find you!  It’s a fun way to reach out to a wider audience than you’re used to, and make great connections.  The best part is it’s all up to you.  You can choose your format, your writing style (you act as your own editor and producer), you can direct your work towards a specific audience, or just see who turns up.  Write once in a while, or daily if it suits you.  Choose a single subject matter, or new every entry.  It’s flexibility bends as far as you want it to go!

 

One of the many wonderful things about horses, is there are always new ways to explore and learn.  If any of you have your own blogs, please share them in the comments so we can grow our network of readers together!

 

 

 

 

237 DAYS

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Admittedly, the 2017 All American Quarter Horse Congress is a ways off, but every year is more special than the last.  Congratulations AAQHC on your 50th last year!

 

As the show has come of age, so has technology to improve, or for some of us, maybe complicate a little, the overall logistics of the largest single breed horse shows in the world.  Some new features to keep your eye on are:

 

The Horse Show Tracker App

http://www.horsenation.com/2016/10/04/horse-show-tracker-app-new-improved-for-2016-congress/

 

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Find out who’s showing where and when, how they did, all in real time.  Offered new in 2017, advertising!

 

The continual addition of new classes, including last year’s addition, Heoroes on Horses.  An event paying tribute to our military horsemen by offering them the opportunity to compete in an assisted or non-assisted walk-trot class (depending on their medical/physical needs may be) at a landmark horse show.

 

The Ohio Quarter Horse Foundation added a Boots, Bow Ties & Bling Gala as an annual event.  Congress Classroom is a new feature designed to help our student competitiors stay current with schoolwork while away from home.  The AAQHC can now also be found on Instagram, @qhcongress

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Just when you think you’ve seen it all, I promise you’ll be surprised by what turns up next October.  Innovation is part of what keeps the blood flowing through this show and all who participate in it.  Keep track of all the latest updates here:  http://www.quarterhorsecongress.com/news

 

 

 

 

 

 

AN INSIDE LOOK

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During my visit to the Columbus Division of Police’s Mounted Patrol barn, I learned a lot.  The purpose of my visit was to gain more insight on the life of Willie, their recently departed equine officer, but in general was to learn about the department and it’s operations.  I got more photos than I shared with you last week, and rather than let them fade from memory in my iCloud, I thought I’d share them with you too.

 

Their current location is the former Police Academy.  The property now also serves as HQ for the K-9 Units, as well as the SWAT department.  I referred to it as “the island of misfit toys” in a way, which got a laugh.  The concrete block building known as “home” to their equine officers, was built in the early 1900’s for use by the refuse/trash horses, but never actually housed it’s intended residents.  The refuse department switched to motor vehicles before the horses could be moved in to their new facility.  The Mounted Patrol horses ended up being the first to live in the barn when it began in 1984.

 

Currently nine of the fourteen stalls are in use, and they’re in search of new horses to join the unit.  They’re supervised by Sergeant Robert Forsythe and are staffed with six officers and two part time hostlers.

 

In addition to their daily activities, the horses are regularly trained for a variety of tasks to keep them fresh and ensure the horse and rider teams are on point when their training is put to use.  They also travel for training to Washington DC and Mobile, AL.  It isn’t all work and no play though, part of the training in Mobile included assisting the local departments during Mardi Gras, and leading the parade.  Like their human officers, the horses not only have to perform their official duties, they also have to serve as ambassadors to the department.  An example given was after the reporters and cameras leave the scene of a protest, it’s common for protesters to approach the Mounted Patrol officers and ask to pet the horses.  This presents them with an opportunity to engage with the protesters in a calmer setting, and develop a positive relationship, to end the day on a good note.  Allowing the public to view them as friend rather than foe, is critical to the mission of the team.

 

The facility is open to the public, tours may be scheduled through the Division of Police.  You can find more information about them here: https://www.columbus.gov/police-mounted/

 

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Joy stops to inspect my phone

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Off-duty officers enjoying some fresh air

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Willie’s BFF, Glory, pauses long enough to pose

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Maddie, I quickly learned, loves the camera

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A familiar scene in any barn, rows of equipment, awaiting it’s next use

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Maddie again, and a failed attempt at a selfie.  Did I mention she loves the camera?

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Tools of the trade.  Well-worn shoes with studs to offer traction on their mostly-pavement patrol routes.

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Joy, ready for dinner

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Mama taught me never show up empty handed (carrots, apples and peppermints for everyone!)

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And that camera-loving Maddie one more time…