Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Blog Post about Thursday's (1-10-13) Blog Post - "We'll Sort This Out" a short story.

Howdy Folks,

On Thursday I wrote a short story, "We'll Sort This Out" and while it went to RSS feed and folks who follow my link from facebook received it, folks who follow only by email seemed not to receive it? Robbie and I never understand why things get mixed up and sometimes the blogs don't go out. We tried several times to fix it, and it won 't send. And since I wrote this as a Thank You to all our friends, I'd like to be certain you can read it. Hopefully this one will go!

So I'm sending this link directly to Thursday's Post, just click here on the title- "We'll Sort This Out"  to go to it. I hope you enjoy!

Thank you for reading Coffee Clutch and God Bless!

Gitty Up
Dutch Henry

Friday, January 11, 2013

"FEATURE FRIDAY-Suzanne Warsinsky-Appalachian Hoof Care-Kids and Horses"

Howdy Folks,

The journey to become a respected and influential Barefoot Hoof Care Practitioner, beloved 4-H co-leader and champion of horse and human charities started in Suzanne Warsinky's youth when she read everything she could lay her hands on about horses and travel. It would not be until her college years that she actually had the opportunity to take riding lessons, and then study took her abroad.

"Traveling to spend 4 months in Salzburg, Austria, I had the usual culture shock that many experience. From that one time with it, however, I never had culture shock again, not in Cameroon, not in Germany, not in France, not in Viet Nam or Thailand, not in Guatemala or Peru, nor anywhere else I have lived, journeyed. I learned that culture shock is an attitude, and I left that behind after figuring it out." Suzanne said.

When Suzanne finally decided to leave the international lifestyle and move back home, she wanted a horse of her own. That horse was an 11 year old Arabian who taught her much. Enough in fact to get a second horse, Baja, a young Arabian mare, who stole Suzanne's heart instantly. When Baja died suddenly of colic, it took Suzane more than a year to open her heart to another horse. Then she met Reighny who has become her heart horse, the horse love of her life. Both horses were bred and trained by Mary Ann Rafferty of Valley View Farms in Bucks County, PA.

Suzanne with Reighny
"Reighny is responsible for getting me into barefoot." Suzanne explained. "When she arrived in November several years ago, I had the farrier come quickly to put shoes on her so that I could ride and not harm her feet. Reighny HATED the experience. And she soon lost the shoes. She had a mild bout of laminitis several months later. The vet told me she would instruct the farrier on how much to wedge her shoes. I knew there was no way I was ever putting her through shoeing again and found barefoot on the internet. A whole new world was opened up to me, and I did not need to go through culture shock! I'd already learned that lesson. I jumped in whole heartedly and have been learning ever since!"

When 3 of Suzanne's equines went lame within 2 weeks of each other, after being trimmed "bare but flat," she found Daisy Bicking of Daisy Haven Farm, Inc. She introduced Suzanne to mechanically correct barefoot trimming, based around the coffin bone, and suggested she learn herself. "I didn't think I could ever do such a thing! Then a group of us hired Paige Poss to come to WV and do a barefoot trimming clinic with us. Then a second one. And I was hooked! I enjoyed trimming so much I decided I wanted to "go pro" once my young kids were in school."

Suzanne trained with several individuals, was offered a competitive scholarship for volunteerism into the Equine Sciences Academy, and continued taking clinics with Daisy Bicking, Ida Hammer, and others. "I have built up Appalachian Hoof Care into a nearly perfect job for me, in which I get to care for horses' hooves along with their great owners. Together and we have formed an equine care team. We bring in dentists and body workers. By looking at posture, diet, teeth and horsekeeping practices, we help horses together."  Suzanne attends as much continuing education as possible each year to offer the highest level of service to her clients.

While Suzanne loves caring for horse hooves, the center of her world her world revolves around her children. With careful planning and scheduling she manages to trim and continue to introduce more and more folks and horses to the barefoot lifestyle, and raise her family. Suzanne is co-leader of the High Riders 4H Club in Randolph County, WV..

Suzanne doing what she loves
"We have a great time together, bringing in generous volunteers to be clinicians in their areas of expertise for the kids. We have had a saddle fitter, a natural horsemanship devotee, a massage therapist, an equine dentist, a centered riding instructor and many more! Generous folks have traveled at their own expense, from as far away as a 4 hour drive to impact the horsemanship of this group of kids. How wonderful! This coming year, we hope to have a rope-halter making clinic, a tack care clinic, an obstacle course clinic, a multi day camp with all kinds of volunteers, a show-prep clinic and more. With an appropriate background from my days as an organizer/planner/facilitator I enjoy putting together these programs and am entirely grateful to those who come to help! We would not be able to offer such a rich program without them," Suzanne said.

Suzanne donates some of her profit to children and horse related causes, and takes on young apprentices who learn holistic horse care. She has written several articles for Natural Horse Magazine on the subject of Barefoot Hoof Care, and she now serves as the strategic planning coordinator for the magazine.

"What I find the most interesting about "me" is simply the turning of natural horse paradigm into a workable model for programming with children, when volunteers are ready to share of themselves." Suzanne told me.

Thank you Suzanne for creating that most wonderful model.

Natural Horse Magazine
Equine Sciences Academy

Gitty Up,
Dutch Henry

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"We'll Sort This Out" a short story.

Howdy Folks, 

I wasn't going to post a blog today, but so many friends sent so much love and kindness I felt I had write a story to say thanks. So I wrote this story for you this afternoon. Your kindness and friendship means the world to Robbie & me. God Bless and be safe!

"We'll Sort This Out"

Finally the sun burned through the heavy fog like haze, lifting its chilly, dreary cloak. With a happy gleam yellow and silver rays drifted down bringing a cheerful glow to the yard and woods around the barn. Even though the rays warmed him, now that the fog had lifted, his hiding place behind the fallen oak, a short distance from the barn, seemed not as safe as it had just moments before. There was still too much activity in the barn to run and hide there. Where to hide? His young mind wondered.

Crouching low in the mud, leaning against the cold tree he stayed put. Wet, cold, tired, he tried to sleep.

It had been a long night of running. His little body craved warmth and rest. His short legs had done all they could but now, they begged for rest. Not everything is easily understood by ten year old boys, but not being wanted was something he could understand, and one more whipping wasn't needed to make the point. So when the belt came off, and was once again swung his way, his legs carried him away.

As quickly as it came, the sun was gone again. The sky, crisp and blue a second ago, now loomed dark and gray. Cold rain replaced warm yellow rays. He had to get to the barn. He worried even if he remained hidden by the big tree, his chattering teeth would give him away.

The small barn door swung open. A tall man carrying a lantern and bucket stepped out whistling as he shut the door. "Thank you girls," the tall man called into the barn as he started away. The boy could almost smell the milk in the bucket. His belly was empty, it hurt. He watched until the tall man was in the house then dashed as fast as he could for the barn.

Waiting a second for his eyes to adjust he stood just inside the door, already feeling the warmth. A cow chain rattled in the dark. As his eyes focused he saw three cows and two horses in their stalls, munching hay. One horse was lying down; it was toward that horse the boy moved.

He crawled alongside the sleeping horse, pulled straw around his legs for a blanket. The horse nickered softly. Sleep came quickly.

"Hey there, young fella," the tall man said, his jolly face held in the warm glow of his lantern. "Who do we have here?"

The boy cringed, then grasped the outstretched hand and pulled himself to his feet. But did not speak. He studied the cheerful face, the big smile shinning down on him.

"You're the little fellow who lives over at the Clark place, aren't you?"

The boy nodded.

"What brings you to hide here in my barn?" The tall man offered a seat on a stack of hay.

Turning back to the horse, the boy tried to be brave, but fear was building inside. Not fear of the tall man, or the barn. But fear of having to go back. He should have kept running. Tears washed his cheeks, a sob broke his voice, "Could I stay here? Please."

The tall man dropped to one knee, "Why sure," he wrapped his arm around the boy's shoulders. "We can sort this out together. How about a big bowl of hot soup? I think Martha has a kettle cooking on the fire."

The boy recognized the look of understanding on the tall man's face and heard himself say, "You won't tell them I'm here will you?"

"Not if you don't want me too." With a smile and a nod the tall man led the way to the house.

"Martha," he told his wife as they entered, "We've got company tonight."

"Why Frank, wherever did you find this young man?" The boy caught the smile and the wink she tossed toward Frank.

"All huddled in the barn, wants to bunk here a spell."

"I see. Well you look mighty wet and hungry. Let's get you out of those wet cloths and a bowl of hot soup in your belly." Martha led him toward the back of the big room, past the blazing fireplace. The warmth touched him. The warmth of the fire, and their kindness. It was a new feeling.

Then he heard a horse outside and a man's voice he was far too familiar with. "Inside the house … You have something that belongs to me."

Fear gripped the boy. "Don't let him take me back. Not yet." He pleaded with Martha. She looked at Frank.

"Inside the house!" Came the bellow again.

"Be right there," Frank answered. Turning to the boy, "Are you afraid to go home?" Tears and a quivering nod told Frank all he needed to know and he turned, snatched the rifle from its pegs and strode to the door.

The boy clung to Martha as she tried to comfort him, they could not make clear the words Frank said, but they heard the horse start away and the man yell, "This ain't over farmer!" Then they heard Frank's reply,

"Yea, maybe it is."

When he came in, he knelt next to Martha and the still shaking boy. He ruffled the boy's hair and with a smile told him, "Like I said, we'll sort this out."
Since posting this I've continued the story ... You can find PART 2 ( HERE) 

Gitty Up ~ Dutch

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Kessy Carried Me Gently"

Howdy Folks,
The ground was soaked from two days of rain. The wind had died down, pretty much. And the Doc had said I could ride, just be careful. Had something going on with my left leg, it was swollen twice its size, had always been a weak leg, but this, well this was proving to be a bother. Since they didn't find a blood clot, and further tests were coming, Doc thought, after I persisted, that a little ride would be okay. Of course Ravishin', Robbie wasn't so sure. I don't think either of them would have approved the two and half hour ride it turned out to be.
We stood in the sun to brush, do a few pre-ride exercises, and tack. I used this time to explain to Kessy I was not 100%, that my side and leg were pretty weak. Here I'd like to suggest when you talk to your horse, just talk as you normally would, with perhaps a pause here and there so they can process, just as when you are doing other learning exercises with them. In the pauses, think of your message, see the picture.
Kessy stood perfectly to mount even though I had a bit of a challenge. We use a 2 step mounting block, which we'll need to change now to a higher one. She waited until I was settled and asked her to, "walk on."
There was a new fire road just cut in that week and I had wanted to explore it, even though just to get to it was a 30 minute ride. I told Kessy about it and left it up to her, but as we set out that darn leg hurt so bad I thought, not today. Kessy walked smooth and quiet, never slipping in the mud or worrying about the wind. You may remember Kessy has a big dislike for mud, and a pretty strong concern about wind, but that day, not a sign of those worries. Before too long I felt a bit better and we were nearly to the new road.
The new fire road, freshly cut, was quite muddy indeed and the ditches remained open where pipes would be laid and several pieces of heavy equipment sat along the road. And I mean big stuff. We paused a second at the beginning, letting Kessy take it all in, then I asked her to walk on.
The wet red clay was like grease and Kessy knew it. She walked along carefully and the few times she felt herself slide she stopped. As if waiting, making sure I was okay. Then she'd cautiously walk on, even staying rock steady as she negotiated her way between the parked equipment on a loose rein. I gave her no guidance. Normally this would be a bit of a dance, but that day she never wavered. Even a Catbird flushing out from under the big dozer couldn't get her to bounce.
It is a beautiful part of the forest and even with the wind we were having a grand time exploring it. I suspected this new road might link onto old roads we'd never been able to explore and it did. But holy cow it went on and on. Normally in new territory Kessy does her nervous quick step with a few twists and hops tossed in, but on this day, you would have thought she was in her own back yard. Even negotiating the ditches she walked, one soft step at a time, over trenches she would normally jump.
After a bit of exploring the old adjoining roads through dense woods I figured we'd better get back. My leg had gone numb and we'd be at least an hour getting back. I have this thing I do when my back starts hurting, I fold my arms on Kessy's neck and ride with my head down. Stretches the back and legs. I rode a good portion of the way home that way that day. Of course you can't see where you're going, but Kessy just tiptoed along and I didn't need to see. Never a misstep, slip, spook or worry all the way home. And there were a few mighty big wind gusts. You'd think that was enough for one ride, but I still had to dismount.
We stopped where we always do. I started to swing out of the saddle, but was hit with real pain in that leg. It sucked the breath right out of me … I just let go and fell with a thud partly under Kessy. I think I was a bit dazed. Kessy stood like a rock. Never moved a foot. She watched me though. Our eyes met.
When I was ready, I took hold of the stirrup and pulled myself up. She stood steady even as I grabbed her mane and tugged my way up. I leaned against her for a minute, then we walked to the barn. Well she walked, I hobbled, but we got there.
Oz Dillon asked me to share this story. He liked it, thought folks might find it inspirational when I told him about that ride in new territory through mud and wind with a horse clearly taking care of her friend. Except for how bad my leg hurt, I like it too. I think it's a good example of how our horses really do hear us and are willing to take care of us. They may play and fool around, act silly sometimes, but they know when it really matters and will be there for us.
Gitty Up
Dutch Henry 

Monday, January 7, 2013

"WHE and Laura Leigh Win Another One For The Wild Horses–Owyee BLM Roundup Stopped"

Laura Leigh on the job.
Howdy Folks, 

Wild Horse Education (WHE) through its founder Laura Leigh has been documenting in film, dialog and photographs the persistent and flagrant inhumane treatment by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of America's Wild Horses during roundups, I call "Kidnappings" at, among other places, the Owyhee Complex in Northern Nevada for more than 3 years. 

Isn't it ironic that the agency charged with insuring humane treatment and management of America's Wild Horses is in fact obviously and repeatedly "Inhumane" in their own actions ... So much so that last week, Federal Judge Miranda Du issued an emergency restraining order in a legal action filed by WHE in Reno Federal District Court against conduct at the BLM wild horse roundup operation in northern Nevada.
Terrified horses trample a horse

The order states: "Defendants shall immediately cease and halt all wild horse gathers at the Owyhee Complex, including the one currently ongoing at the Owyhee Horse Management Area (HMA), and the BLM shall not transport horses from the Owyhee HMA, until the court has had an opportunity to hear this matter."
Being a horse advocate I write often about the good horses do to help people and the good that people do to help horses. It is most difficult for me to understand how people supposedly there to oversee the well being of America's Wild Horses can commit the atrocities Laura has caught on film ... Such as running horses into barbed wire, routine hotshotting, crowding them in pens so forcefully they break their legs and trample foals, running frenzied horses in freezing temps and harassment with helicopters to the point of ramming them with the helicopter skids.
Horses fleeing helicopter get tangled in barbed wire
The Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued last week by Federal Judge Miranda Du will at least temporarily protect from such savagery the horses at Owyhee.
“I can tell you that the effort to obtain the documentation and craft these cases is monumental,” Laura Leigh stated “It really does seem insane to have to fight for a humane care standard with an agency tasked by Congress to manage animals humanely. That said, I will sleep better tonight knowing the wild horses at Owyhee are not being stampeded this weekend."
In the past forty years BLM, the agency tasked with managing these protected American heritage animals on federal land, has failed to implement any humane treatment standard for animal care and handling.
Every day this TRO is in effect is a day that the horses are not harassed, injured and possibly killed. If successful, this lawsuit, the third active suit WHE has against BLM, will probably force BLM to enact an enforceable humane treatment standard for the wild horses in the Owyhee Complex for the next ten years ... This in turn will most likely result in an equivalent standard of conduct being required for ALL BLM roundups. The only way to change BLM from the outside is to get a federal judge to rule against them. The judges can only rule on actions; they can’t just say, “BLM you have to go implement this policy.” So the public has to bring several actions to demonstrate a trend. With enough TROs and enough public pressure, BLM will have to change.
That's steam from hard run terrified horses.
Each win Wild Horse Education has in court sets a legal precedent and sets case law, establishing the framework to discuss and bring cases on other issues as well, such as appropriate management levels (AMLs) and the advisability of managing these animals on the range rather than "Kidnapping" them off of it. So eventually, in court Wild Horse Education could effect an end to the roundups.
"WHE now has four TROs, one injunction, three active cases in federal court, and a win in the Ninth circuit court against BLM. No other group has won against BLM and no other group has the kind of standing Wild Horse Education has. That standing is directly the result of the actions of founder and president of Wild Horse Education Laura Leigh, who has, for the past 3 years, basically lived on the road, following, investigating and documenting BLM roundups and holding facilities." States Marta Williams, Director Public Relations WHE.
Steam from hot, terrified horses running .
"Canned letter writing does nothing. If people are filling out a canned letter and thinking it is useful … BLM counts it as one letter, even if 10,000 people filled it out. The only way to get a letter to count is to copy it, redo the first paragraph and send from your own email. Letters, faxes, calls and protests are essential, but not enough to create change, as we have seen. We have to bring BLM to task in court since Congress is in collusion and will not respond to the public. This is why what WHE is doing is crucial and the only way we will get lasting change for the wild horses and burros." Advises Marta Williams.
We here at the Coffee Clutch celebrate the valiant, selfless efforts of all at the WHE. Thank you and keep up the hard work. The horses are counting on you and all the volunteers!  
Wild Horse Education website - Please have a look and see how you might help.

Current video of Owyhee wild horse roundup very compelling Please Watch:

Previous Coffee Clutch Blogs featuring WHE-

"Feature Friday - Laura Leigh - Wild Horse Education -VOICES FOR THE VOICELESS"  (Nov 16-12)

"Laura Leigh & Wild Horse Education Wins ANOTHER STEP for the Wild Ones!" (Nov 22-12) 

 Gitty Up,  

Dutch Henry