Horsy News, Views and Attitudes   Vol. 1 Number 21  December 10-16, 2007


Lilac Lane Cabin   photo by Jeanne Betancourt


Spring Clinic Planned

       Valley View Stables in Milton, Vermont will host John Lyons certified horse trainer Keith Hosman at a clinic on April 18 to 20, 2008. 


       Events will include a free demo Friday night at 7pm, a 
2-day riding clinic on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. There will be a 
Green/Bratty Horse Mini-Clinic Saturday evening, from 5 to 7 pm. Mini-clinics and 
private sessions are also available.


      Valley View Stables
 are located at 60 Bernier Road, Milton, VT 05468

. To ride, observe, or get more information, look at



      Jane Crandal, a local Wiggins horse trainer, plans to drive to the event and suggested anyone who is interested in carpooling call her at 555-3714.  

Roosting Problem

     Ten chickens were abandoned last month on upper Mudge Road, according to Gertrude Quinn of Wiggins.  The white roosters have taken up residence in trees surrounding the Quinn's property. With this week's snow, the birds are refusing to come down even to eat.


      "We had chickens at one time," Gertrude said. "But these birds are pretty wild and won't let us get close to them."


     Fred Jones of the St. Francis Animal Shelter came out to look at the birds. His opinion was that someone had too many chickens and put them out on the road near the Quinn's property.


     "When eggs hatch, about half of the chicks are roosters," Jones said. "Hens are kept to lay eggs but young roosters end up being chicken dinners. These birds won't survive the winter unless we catch them, its too cold here for them to live outside."


     Jones and the Quinns plan to net the birds this week, luring them out of the tree with food.  The roosters will be available for adoption at the St. Francis Animal Shelter.   

Abandoned roosters in Quinn's maple tree during last week's snowstorm.


Thought for the day - - 

A day without a pony is like an egg without salt.

Page 2

Horsy News, Views and Attitudes    Vol. 1 Number 21  December 10-16, 2007




Q.   Yesterday I went out to the barn and both our ponies (Acorn and Snow White) were sleeping at the same time. They got up when we came out and we went for a ride.  They weren't sick, so why did they both lie down at once?  Lulu H.


Dear Lulu

     You didn't say, but I bet that when you went for a ride that day you got wet from rain. When all the horses in a barn lay down at once during the daytime, they are telling you that it is going to rain.  Even when it’s a sunny day and there are no clouds, a barn full of sleeping horses tells you about the weather.  


     I took the picture above at ten in the morning of my two horses, it was sunny and warm when this picture was taken. By three in the afternoon it was pouring rain.  There is no way we can tell how they know, but they do. 


Q.   Thank you for the advice you gave me…. Scooby…will actually reach his head around and bite your leg…while you are riding.  I am not sure what to do.   Ponigirl


Dear PoniGirl

       If a horse is a 'biter' it thinks it is the boss. Read what Keith Hosman, a well-known horse trainer says.


    "Biting is the single-most dangerous vice your horse can have. It's more dangerous than bucking, than rearing, kicking…The answer is that when your horse disrespects you in any way, he's taken the first step toward his own little revolution...the way to fix this requires getting the horse's respect.

Once you gain their respect, can they still bite? Yep. Unless you stay consistent with your training, never allowing the horse to think for even one minute that a 'coup is a good idea.' Be the boss, always, and the biting will take care of itself. And never, ever give them an excuse or rationalize. It's never okay for the horse to 'diss' you, not for any reason on any day. 

 To be proactive then we need something we can do to the horse that creates a win-win situation, something that's impossible to screw up and something that gains respect. That leaves out reciprocating with a smack(s). Smack your horse and you could create a larger problem if you're timing is off or if you mistake a harmless stance for an affront. That certainly won't bring us much respect. Now, for some folks, smacking may work; it's just never worked for me. I think that's because horse training is such an emotional roller coaster as it is, that such "negative energy" just kind of left me in a funk. John Lyons suggests an alternative that seems to work well. 
We will use the same method then to fix your horse whether it's already biting or has signaled that it might try. … The next time he signals his displeasure at anything, even for an instant, you will drop what you're doing, take his nose between your hands and pet and pet and pet…You'll pet until he takes his head away – and you'll grab it back and do it some more. 

Then you'll start having fun with this. Push your horse a little. Dare him/her to show aggravation – and the moment he does, pet your fool head off. You've got to do this until the horse screams 'enough!' and tries to pull away. More importantly, you have to have fun with it and look for excuses to do it. That is what makes you "active." No longer are you waiting for an attack. Being active puts you in the driver's seat and gains you respect. … It takes time…You'll find that when you don't bring pain or anger into the picture that the horse isn't so quick to travel to the dark side and that vices just sort of evaporate. This petting thing works because you're being proactive, teaching the horse that sure, you can bring your teeth close – but I'm going to pet the devil out of you. What you'll start to notice is that they start keeping to themselves, sorta hoping you don't notice them and start getting all weird again. Ever see a 1200 pound animal try to wish himself invisible?”

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