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I have totally had similar run ins with branches! Not fun!

I wish AHA had the same hardship registration program as AMHA. I can't get Jake's papers because his breeders refuse to sign him over despite asking to pay for it because they claim they sold him as grade. Grrr. Glad the Morgan Association cares more about paper's going with their horses.
 

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I think that’s fair though @QueenofFrance08. You see, I have listened when I was very small to people talk about shooting a colt because of the way it looks. It wasn’t terribly uncommon. One colt I saw this argument about turned out to be this spectacular horse. I would put him in the top list of horses I’ve ever known, and he wasn’t even that ugly. Who cares about ugly?

Well, some people do. Now though, it’s more common that they’ll burn the papers on a horse and sell it as a grade on the sly. They give the horse a chance at life, and their name isn’t associated with him. They take a big pay cut in calling a papered horse grade, but I think more horses get a chance with that idea.

I do hate the other reason for papered “grade” horses. You can’t lie about the age of a papered horse…
 

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I think that’s fair though @QueenofFrance08. You see, I have listened when I was very small to people talk about shooting a colt because of the way it looks. It wasn’t terribly uncommon. One colt I saw this argument about turned out to be this spectacular horse. I would put him in the top list of horses I’ve ever known, and he wasn’t even that ugly. Who cares about ugly?

Well, some people do. Now though, it’s more common that they’ll burn the papers on a horse and sell it as a grade on the sly. They give the horse a chance at life, and their name isn’t associated with him. They take a big pay cut in calling a papered horse grade, but I think more horses get a chance with that idea.

I do hate the other reason for papered “grade” horses. You can’t lie about the age of a papered horse…
It just frustrates me because I can't compete in the AHA rides with him. I know who he is, I have his number, and they don't even seem to be involved in showing/breeding anymore. He's sweepstakes nominated so if he did well (which he is doing) they would also get money.

I'm glad he's alive and made it through auctions/owners who were trying to use him for something he wasn't successful at but I wish I could use him to his full potential.
 

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Oh, I completely see your side of it too @QueenofFrance08! You know what he’s capable of, and it is hard to be limited! Yet, I think overall it is a good thing, because those back door horses would be shot in my world if someone couldn’t disassociate from them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4,426 ·
@QueenofFrance08 , I wonder if AMHA is still so helpful on these hardship registrations because the breed is small and they are invested in keeping as many horses identified as possible. I am grateful for the option. @Knave, what you describe people doing to horses they aren't impressed with from their breeding program really rubs me the wrong way. To me, stripping their papers is a real handicap to a horse. Easy for me to say as someone who isn't a breeder I suppose. But even without having breeding plans, I really enjoy understanding pedigrees and seeing where a horse fits in historically, and for those reasons want to own registered horses.

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Had another so-so ride today. The roads are still really hard, and I didn't have a lot of time because of work, so I set up some cones in a flat spot in one of the fields and planned on a roundy-roundy kind of ride 😉
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Lately I've been feeling that Fizz isn't very flexible side to side, which isn't so surprising since we're pretty much always going straight ahead without a lot of bending. The ride was frustrating from the get-go, and I remember why I don't try schooling in the field more. Whenever we were facing towards home, I'd completely lose her attention and she'd want to accelerate towards home rather than turning away. I know it's something I could probably spend more time and energy working on, but it's really quite a drag to be constantly having to fight over it and counterproductive when she's bent the wrong way like a banana trying to leave the field for home. I temporarily gave up on trying to do the figure 8s and smaller circles I had in mind when I set the cones out, and instead turned away from home and trotted around the field and then up the road for a short stretch, stopping and doing some turns on the forehand and then coming back to the cones. We managed to do a couple of relatively round (oval?) figure 8s, with minimal lurching in the direction of home, and I called it quits. I don't want to do arena work that often, but it would probably be beneficial to both of us to be able to do more of that. Without having any enclosed area to work, it's challenging. Sort of like holding your nose and eating your grandma's badly cooked, soggy vegetables.

I'm supposed to be doing back-to-back competitive trail rides Saturday & Sunday, but lovely husband has been testing positive for Covid all week, including this morning. I just tested myself again and am still testing negative, but I will likely scratch from the rides this weekend as I don't feel right going and being around a lot of older people knowing I'm clearly exposed to a positive case. We'll keep testing between now and Friday, but at this point with him still testing positive, it's not looking promising. At least neither of us feel particularly sick, so that's something. If I can't do the official ride, I've got a 15-20 mile ride mapped out from home that we'll do instead. It's supposed to rain Friday so the roads will be in better shape, and this is a route that I've been wanting to do since last year but haven't made time for yet. I'm guessing it will take us between 3 and 4 hours, so it's a commitment. We'll see what happens!
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I’m sorry he’s still sick.

I see what you are saying about the papers, but I really do hate to see someone kill a baby anything. I feel like it’s a better life to see what their potential is. That Bart horse is so stinking cool. He’s roman nosed and big, but boy is he talented!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4,428 ·
I see what you are saying about the papers, but I really do hate to see someone kill a baby anything. I feel like it’s a better life to see what their potential is. That Bart horse is so stinking cool. He’s roman nosed and big, but boy is he talented!
It makes me sad it’s an either or choice for some people :( But yes, if those are the only two options, of course I’m with you!
 

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@egrogan I subscribe to Lancaster Farming paper. Every month they publish a section called Mid-Atlantic Horse which lately has some interesting articles. This weeks edition has a spot about Lazarus the castoff Morgan who has found himself a better life and a new home.

You probably already are aware of him and his story but I thought I would post it because it was a 'feel good' Morgan story from Vermont that I enjoyed reading
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. Who doesn't like those, right?
 

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What a charming story! Thanks for sharing.

I believe that the Paso Fino Horse Association is more lenient with gelding registration than with mares or stallions. I wanted to get my Chorro registered so that I could do Pasos for Pleasure on him. The Association was very helpful to me. When I did his DNA, I learned who sired him, but the stallion owner refused to acknowledge anything. They would not answer me or sign anything. Because I was just trying to register a gelding, the Paso Fino Horse Association helped me get it done without the necessary signatures. Everybody wins--they got my money. I got my horse registered.
 

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Speaking of horses who don't impress with looks, the PBS documentary on Seabiscuit starts with a great description of why no one thought he looked (or moved) like he was any good (plus 35 races as a two year old and almost all losses), particularly 45 seconds to 2:30:


Watched the whole things on DVD a couple of days ago. Gave a MUCH better description of what happened with Seabiscuit than either the famous book or the fictionalized movie. I also thought Seabiscuit was quite good looking but I guess that is because I know nothing about horse conformation. Glad I bought the DVD. Really enjoyed it.

The playlist ends with the match race, but my favorite part was his final race:

"One race was left in the season. A week after the San Antonio, Seabiscuit and Kayak II both took the gate for the Santa Anita Handicap and its $121,000 prize. 78,000 paying spectators crammed the racetrack, most backing Seabiscuit. Pollard found his horse blocked almost from the start. Picking his way through the field, Seabiscuit briefly led. As they thundered down the back straight, Seabiscuit became trapped in third place, behind leader Whichcee and Wedding Call on the outside.

Trusting in his horse's acceleration, Pollard steered between the leaders and burst into the lead, taking the firm ground just off the rail. As Seabiscuit showed his old surge, Wedding Call and Whichcee faltered, and Pollard drove his horse on, taking "The Hundred Grander" by a length and a half from the fast-closing Kayak II under jockey Leon Haas. Pandemonium engulfed the course. Neither horse and rider, nor trainer and owner, could get through the crowd of well-wishers to the winner's enclosure for some time.

On April 10, 1940, Seabiscuit's retirement from racing was officially announced. When he was retired to the Ridgewood Ranch near Willits, California, he was horse racing's all-time leading money winner....
"
 

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Discussion Starter · #4,433 ·
What a great story, @TrainedByMares ! I had not seen it. Thanks for sharing :) @knightrider, I didn't know that DNA testing also helped you register Chorro. Another success story of finding a horse's history.

@bsms, I didn't know PBS had a Seabiscuit documentary but I will see if I can find it in the archives on their streaming service. Sounds like a good one!
 

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Chorro has such an interesting story, I will tell it and hope you all enjoy it. All my life I have made do with other people's cast-offs and horses that other people didn't want. My beloved Shadow had died and I decided that I'd just ride my 2 kids' horses. I really didn't need a horse of my own.

My husband said that for once in my life, I should have a quality horse that had never had anyone's mistakes put on it. Only one problem--we couldn't afford a horse like that. Finally I found a yearling Paso Fino with incredible breeding. I could afford him because he couldn't be registered.

What happened was that some Paso breeders were looking for quality mares to breed to their stallion. They bought a lovely mare, Caramela. But she just never came in season, so they couldn't breed her. Then they discovered she was already pregnant, so they contacted the people who sold her to them. The sellers said they only had 2 stallions, a black and a buckskin, so when the colt was born, depending on the color, they would do the DNA test and get the baby registered. Caramela was a bright chestnut mare.

When the baby was born, he was black, so they DNA'ed for the black stallion . . . and it came up negative. He was not the father. All this waiting and testing takes time, and in the meantime, the original owners of Caramela got a divorce. And it was not a nice one.

To get back at her soon-to-be ex-husband, the soon-to-be ex-wife sold the buckskin stallion, (his favorite) to someone they didn't know, who took him to Texas and did not switch over the ownership. So he was gone. That's when they advertised my baby Chorro, saying he couldn't be registered.

A few years went by. I was riding Chorro by then and wanted to do Pasos for Pleasure . . . but to enter your riding miles, your Paso must be registered and Chorro's likely sire was MIA. I hoped the Paso Fino Horse Association would be nice and let me register him with just knowing his dam, Caramela.

But they couldn't do that. What they could do is DNA Chorro for the buckskin stallion, since he was registered; we just didn't know where he was. Sure enough, Chorro, a black bay, is the offspring of a buckskin and a chestnut. Who'd a thought? His DNA matched the buckskin stallion.

The kind people at PFHA did some detective work and tracked down the buckskin stallion's owner. But he/she did not want to get involved and refused to sign any stallion or breeding certificates. They just fudged it for me, and pushed the registration through, since Chorro was a gelding, and all I wanted to do was throw money at them so I could do Pasos for Pleasure--which only involves keeping track of the hours spent riding trails. And now I have a registered Paso Fino!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4,435 ·
I love Chorro's story @knightrider. So much mystery and intrigue. Glad you got it all figured out!

I finally got back in the saddle today after not riding at all for the past week because of the oppressive heat and humidity. Most days it was in the mid-80s temp wise with humidity also above 80%. Just walking outside to feed the horses had me drenched in sweat, and the thought of putting on riding clothes was unbearable. Funny though, given how muggy and buggy it was, I think Fizz actually lost a little weight (in a good way) despite a vacation from riding. Her body looks better; neck still tending towards cresty but also less puffy looking.

Anyway, it was great to go for a ride! We just took it easy, to the overlook and back with lots of walk/trot transitions on a long rein. She seemed happy to be out too. Today was much cooler, but we did have some rain showers along the way. Still, I was happy to just be riding! Everything is so green, despite how hot it's been!
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Also, an update about my town public works situation. Yesterday we had a primary election in town, and the person who checked me in to vote was the Selectboard chair I wrote to with my concern about the ditches. He recognized my name and apologized for not responding. He said that it was a bit complicated (isn't it always?) because of state laws that dictated what kind of road maintenance they had to do, and that he would call me to explain because it would take too long to talk about it there. I thanked him and said I was most concerned with that ankle-breaking footing and wondered if I could share more about why. So I will give him a few days to call and if I don't hear from him I'll reach back out. I am so curious to hear what he has to say.

The dumptrucks are still rolling past the house every day, leaving huge mounds of dirt. Last week they filled the edge of my neighbor's field with piles, and then came and smoothed them all out flat. This week, more new piles appeared. It's so mysterious! The neighbors don't live here year round so I can't nosily ask them what's going on. So I will just have to wait and see 😉
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Also, Josie says hi!
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When we got home, she joined up with Fizz, who was snacking while I untacked and groomed her. I know some people would probably disapprove of loose horses around while you're doing things with another horse, but this is our setup and it seems to work for us. These two share most meals harmoniously so I don't mind Josie hanging around.
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My other horses are always loose when the farrier comes, when we feed, etc. It hasn't ever been a problem. Well, Bandit HAS been known to try to sneak up on a horse the farrier is working on, but the farrier and I both stay alert for that and a sharp "Bandit!" is usually enough to get him to respond, "Who? Me? I was just moseying along, minding my own business...."
 

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I didn't have a lot of time to ride yesterday, but it was a very pretty afternoon so I wanted to get out and do something. I was feeling bored with our overlook-and-back ride down the road, so I decided we'd just go ride around the fields. The perimeter of each field between our place and the neighbor's is at least half a mile, and it's all up and down hill, so it turned into a pretty good ride.

Heading down the road to the neighbors'
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Their hay field has such beautiful views
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All their first cut is still sitting out, and I wasn't sure what Fizz would think about the intimidating marshmallow wall...but she didn't care.
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Home again
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It was still a little humid in the afternoon, but thunderstorms went through and finally cleared the air. And I found the treasure at the end of the rainbow! 🌈
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Today I tried turning the horses out in the new field (the one behind Hugh in the picture). It's been a couple of months since they've been out there because of the bugs. They seemed excited to find some more interesting grass than what's left in their regular pasture. I loved this picture- the angle of the sun made the best shadow on Josie's neck and shoulder.
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Josie is slowing filling in, but she has no muscle to speak of. She looks a bit thoroughbredy to me with that big wither and skinnier neck. I'm not sure what to expect from her as she continues gaining weight. Without being in any kind of work, she's obviously not going to have amazing muscle. She eats well but it's hard to see where she's putting it, as she's still thin. Vet is dropping by next week to give her final Lyme vaccine, so I'll see what she thinks we should do next. I haven't done a fecal since she's been here, since she was dewormed right before she came, but we probably should. Maybe ulcer treatment will be the next step. We'll see.

Unfortunately, while the flies are down, the gnats swarmed and within an hour these guys were running in circles at the gate begging to go back to their sheds, so I guess it's still too soon to turn them out in this field. At some point in the future I'll have to invest in putting shelters up, but with all the other projects planned in the next 12 months this is pretty far down the list. Sorry ponies!
 

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@egrogan, is Josie a necessary retirement or still capable of light work? Time is probably in short supply for you, but if she's capable of light work and would benefit from it, maybe there's a horseless horsey person near you who'd be happy to do some riding in the paddock with Izzy? Occasionally it's possible to find good exercisers who enjoy the chance to work with an animal when they don't have one themselves anymore etc. Though it's probably like hen's teeth and in most cases too complicated.
 

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@SueC, I know she was riding at some point in her younger days, but I don't know how long ago. I imagine she'd need to be restarted, and I'm not really the right person to do that work. And honestly don't know that I would dedicate the time to it. If I can ever get to a place where I feel like I have more time, I think just taking her out for walks would be a good first step. She's a bit of a snorty, nervous girl so it would be baby steps at first, but probably good for her.
 
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