Previous month:
November 2010
Next month:
January 2011

December 2010

Cash the Mustang: Alive and well

Cash_Mustang_New_OwnerWe wondered what happened to Cash the Mustang, the four-year-old gelding that competed in the Extreme Mustang Makeover competition here at Colorado State University last June. I ran into Cash’s foster mother and trainer, Jessica Dabkowski, at Jax Ranch and Home just before Christmas, and asked her to send me the latest. Cash was adopted at the competition, and Jessica still trains him. Her news:

"Cash has been doing great, and will be staying with me until most likely this spring, when Lauren will be able to take him home and he will be a trail horse for her.   She has ridden him a handful of times and they have done really well together.  So far, Lauren has been the only person other than me to ride him -- the first time she rode him Cash had a bit of a quizzical look on his face, as if to say, "If you're on the ground, then who's on my back?"  But he quickly got used to how Lauren rides and how she asks for things and such.  

$10 Holiday Coupon


I've been taking Cash out on the trails around my neighborhood (Bonner Peak) occasionally and he's still a rock star out there.  I've used him to pony less experienced horses out on the trail and his calming influence helps them so much.  I'm still amazed to say that I use a four-year-old Mustang to pony "less experienced" horses!  


Since the makeover competition, Cash and I competed in an Extreme Cowboy Race in Nebraska (we took 6th place), participated in a mounted shooting clinic, and competed in an ACTHA ride (competitive trail ride) which we took 2nd place out of about 15 horses.  He's been a blast to work with and I'll be both happy and sad to see him go home with Lauren this spring.  


I also had a student's mom who wanted to do a photo shoot with herCash the Mustang's photo shoot. (Click photo to enlarge.) 
daughter on a horse in an open area (no fences) with nothing on the horse.  I thought Cash would be a good candidate for this since he's so calm and reliable.  He was very good and stood nicely for the photo shoot."  


P.S. When we last talked, Jessica planned to apply for this year’s Extreme Makeover competition, and try another Mustang. Good luck, Jessica!

A cold winter's night: Che Gaucho

El_Gaucho_Wine_MyHoofprintsI just ran into another unexpected and affordable wine treat: Che Gaucho 2009 Malbec from the Mendoza region of Argentina. With the horse and gaucho label, this wine qualified for our growing “horsey” red wine collection.

After a Saturday of replacing fence boards and rewiring hot wire, we opened this wine on a chilly almost-winter night in front of the fire. Che Gaucho 2009 Malbec’s lilac hints brought back memories of our stable’s lilac driveway hedges in full, late-spring bloom.

This Malbec’s spicy, deep-grape-skin foundation braced us against the cold. The nifty black cork with “Estate Bottled” in three languages was a classy touch. For our non-Spanish speakers, the word “gaucho” refers to a cowboy of the South American pampas. So, cowboy up and enjoy this hearty red with an easy dinner: the turkey chili on the back of the Nabisco saltines box, and Krusteaz mix cornbread.

You might also enjoy: Wine Lovers on Horseback Canter, Slurp in Bordeaux

Other "horsey" reds you could add to a horse lover's gift basket:

Founder Chronicles: New preventions, treatments

Nine Pocket Ice Boot

A popular series on this blog, The Founder Chronicles, tells the gut-wrenching ordeal we went through when our horse, Bonnie, foundered. She scared us in November when she did it again.

I am happy to report that Bonnie is already almost well. Mostly, she is not allowed to graze much, and she eats low-carb food. Thankfully, founder (laminitis) research has come up with some great new approaches. put together a report on this fall’s fifth International Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot. Read these stories now, so you'll know how to avoid founder and what to do if it strikes.

Shop Jeffers Livestock Products Today!

The perfect Christmas gift: 4-H

4H mounted meeting - Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521
One of our old 4-H mounted meetings. Looking back, the riders in this photo all benefited from 4-H.

Wondering what to give my college-age kids for Christmas, I got to thinking about the best gifts I ever gave them.

I remembered a quote by Gary Gadsby, a longtime stable owner, who once said, “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a kid.” I would add that combining horses with 4-H makes that horse even more effective. Turns out I'm right. 4-H participation grows better kids. Research proves it:

“Participants in 4-H programs had higher school grades, greater emotional engagement in school, and were more likely to see themselves as going to college.” (Tufts University)

“4-H participation has a significant positive effect” on reading and math test scores. (University of Florida)

Done right, 4-H focuses on positive youth development. It is a time investment, but so is all good parenting. My childrens' 4-H careers are one of the best, and most life-forming, gifts they ever received. So, if you’re still out there looking for that perfect Christmas gift for your child, consider the gift of 4-H. To find your local 4-H office, follow this link: (Scroll down the page and click on the “Find Now” button.)

P.S. I would also advocate getting the horse, but there are plenty of non-horse 4-H projects as well, including in many counties, a Horseless Horse 4-H project.

4-H'ers might also enjoy our free horse quizzes.

(Karin Livingston was a career 4-H leader specializing in horses, and is the author of the teen horse novel, Winning Bet.)

A winning lesson plan (for free!)

Predator_Prey_Horse_Ears_LESSON_BUTTON Teachers and Horseless Horse 4-H leaders - check out this free lesson plan, which integrates Colorado model content standards in Science (Animal Behavior) and Language Arts. In this lesson, students collaborate to explore the predator-prey relationship, and tell how one prey-animal species, horses, uses its ears. Have fun!

You may also enjoy these free horse quizzes.

(Karin Livingston taught school for 15 years, and is a career
4-H leader specializing in the horse project. She is the author of the horse novel, Winning Bet.) $5.99 Flat Shipping