A Eulogy for a horse.

 

SCARLET NATION
2 FEB 1989 – 4 AUG 2017

Scarlet’s doctor and I have decided to let her go across the bridge to Summer-land this Friday. Her old injury has caught up and she’s only on three legs now. She won’t even let me touch her right rear leg to brush it. I will go out early and she will gorge on baby carrots. I will groom her and talk to her and love on her.

How do you say goodbye to your best friend of 28 years? But she’s in pain and losing weight. She has never starved, never been overworked, never been beaten and never done a mean thing. We’ve laughed together and I’ve cried on her neck through the death of others I’ve been entrusted with.

I will get another horse, but not another colt, an older settled one. At 64, I don’t want to leave any orphans in my wake. And of course, she will leave very large hoof-prints on this earth to fill and in my heart. She is irreplaceable.

Some people say I rescued her. She was born solid red in a spotted Appaloosa world. She is bred to the purple, being a Great Granddaughter of Prince Plaudit and a Granddaughter of Colida. Her half brother, Impressive Powder won both World and National Reining Championships, Her half sister Powder Puff, won Texas Junior Reining horse and probably more I don’t know of. There were more, but I lost track of them when we moved to a boarding stable. But I think, she rescued me.

Scarlet was primarily raised to be my trail horse as the Appaloosa Horse Club didn’t allow showing of solid colored horses back in the 90s. We did a lot of trail riding and even a little endurance racing for fun. But her real job was to take care of me when I returned from Desert Storm with pulmonary problems and other issues. The joke around the stable was she cough broke, cane broke, crutch broke and cast broke.

At one point, we went a whole year without riding. When I did manage a saddle again, it was like we’d never stopped except of course I was heavier and slower. Since she was reining/cutting bred I occasionally left the saddle but she never left me behind. Scarlet would always wait for me to get up and get back on. She would stop, turn and berate me for embarrassing her in front of other horses. She also was sharp at chasing dogs who thought horses should run away. A true warrior in every way, she always carried the Appaloosa spirit whether chasing a dog, standing up to a running herd of cows or facing down a llama.

After abandoning the Appy people (who wouldn’t let us play with them), We turned to the welcoming arms of the American Indian Horse Registry. We never made a show or trail-ride with them because by now we were both a little to old to haul for hours to go to a function. But Scarlet and I excelled at Counting Coup and Trail-riding ultimately winning the Hall of Fame Award for their group. Not bad for a filly who was a misfit in her own bloodlines.

But three years ago, after a wonderful fall ride, she got cast in her stall and tore muscles in her right hind leg. I could tell she wasn’t ready to leave yet. After her initial recovery while she could trot out and even canter a bit but she was never stable enough to carry a rider. So I found her two places with two lovely ladies one after the other. Stacy Kirgen and her kids patted her and praised her while I took care of my Mom who passed in 2015. And when they moved their farm to another state, she introduced me to Kristen Brewer of Skull Crossing Ranch. There Scarlet has spent her last year standing under the beautiful Live Oak trees in her ½ acre pen.

But the time has come, my beauty, for you to cross the bridge leaving behind your old, aching body. You can run and play in green grass meeting my other horses who have passed before you. Say hello to Mike, Shadow, Charro, Flash, and Chili. You may even see your mother Spur’s Carrie Nation, your sire R Plaudit’s Bingo and your big brother Impressive Powder. You can tell them of our adventures at Bandera, Perdenales Falls and the many other trail adventures. May you all run free and happy in the tall grass. Play in the sweet water lakes and stand under the shade of the tree of knowledge.

Wait for me my darling. We will meet again.

You never hurt me until you left me.

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Info on our Texas Congressmen in reference to Horse Slaughter Bill and Wild Horse/Burro culling.

First thing, we in the state of Texas do not control any wild horse herds. I know that. But, since this is on a federal level our Congressmen will have a say in their situations. Please take a moment and make a phone call or send an email to support and keep our national icons, the American Mustangs and Burros wild, free and ALIVE!

Let them know you are AGAINST THE FY18 Stewart bill. This bill basically guts the 1971 Wild and Free Roaming Act of 1971 allowing culling of the 92,000 wild equines of  America. That is ninty two thousand horses and burros. Yes, that number is correct and its pretty much all of them.

And also that you are for the S.A.F.E Act (awion.org) the Safeguard American Food Exports Act. Please let them know that you support and care about our wild horses and burros.

Now both of these monstrosities have already passed the Committee. Henry Cuellar voted yes on them so I would say Texans concentrate on Cruz and Cornyn. If not in Texas, please look up your (2)Senators and (1)Representative to give him/her your opinion and your support.

In Texas, to let your duly elected Representatives know how you stand against the culling of 92,000 wild horses and burros, here is their contact for your Texas Senators. Ted Cruz’s San Antonio # is 210 340 2885. For Washington, it’s 202 224 5922. Website is www.cruz.senate.gov. For John Cornyn’s phone number is 512 469 6034. His Washington office is 202 224 2934. His website is www.cornyn.senate.gov. Now each district has their own Representative. Converse and south AKA Dist 28, have Henry Cuellar, who FYI voted to fund inspectors to allow horse slaughter in the U.S. in comittee. Please call him and tell him how displeased with his stance on this issue. HIs San Antonio office is 210 271 2851. His Washington office phone is 202 225 1640. website is cuellar.house.gov

Comments to WhiteHouse and getting comments to President cause he needs to know 202-456-1111 switchboard 202-456-1414 or you can go WhiteHouse.gov to give comments

Please take action or it will be too late.


Why NOT to breed your dog

My statement for the day.

 

Just because you have a ‘registered’ dog does not mean you should allow it to reproduce. Breeding a common type animal of any bloodline doesn’t assure that you will accomplish anything or make any money. A registered black Lab who doesn’t hunt or meet the standards of the breed is just another black dog.

 

A cute little doggie is not a standard to go by. Lots of people say they ‘love’ their breed of choice. Pit Bulls, Labradors and Chihuahuas all have fans, but they are the most euthanized breeds because there are just too many of them. There are more dogs and cats than people who want them.

 

If you have a champion or otherwise titled dog you should also take the time to have them certified by a vet. There are some insidious health issues that should not be passed on into the gene pool. Hip Dysplasia is the most well known among many large breeds. Eye and Sinus problems are common place in the bulldog type dogs that often require expensive surgery. Golden Retrievers have very high cancer rates. Terriers have luxating patellas and eye issues. And some dogs only live to be 7 years old.

 

If your champion whatever breed it is, has these issues they should not be bred to reproduce them in the next generation. Follow the form of the breed description, not the fashion of the day. Be kind to your breed and keep it healthy.

 

And be responsible for the dogs, and cats, that you bring into this world. Know where they are and that they are safe. Be willing to to take that puppy back back so it doesn’t wind up in a pound. It’s the right thing to do.


A Little Common Sense about Heat.

This is long but please read it to the end. It’s getting to be summer and looks like a hot one. Why did I bother to write this. Cause you are my friends or at least friendly acquaintances and I want to get Christmas cards from you.
I’m a born and bred 6th generation Texican, 64 years old. In the AF I was in Korea and froze my ass off. In Saudi Arabia I was happy with the 135 degrees. Of course, I wasn’t humping a 60 lb pack either, but I could do everything I was supposed to.

 

The point of my story? You have to be very careful in high heat. Stay hydrated, wear protection of sunscreen, long sleeves and a hat with a brim that’s not touching the top of your head. And stay out of the sun in midday. Siesta is a way of life to us old timers. It’s not a cute custom, its necessary. Did I say drink lots of Water! Coke, beer and coffee don’t do it. Remember, once you get Heat Exhaustion its like malaria, it never quite goes away and you have to be extra careful. My German farmer ancestors would get up at daybreak, do whatever needed to be done, come in at noon, eat a good meal of protein, carbs and veggies, then take a long nap. Then they’d work in the house or barn until 4 PM or so and go out to work to dark. No A/C at all cause it didn’t exist back then.
As a 911 operator I saw two heat-related deaths. Both AF guys in great condition. A pilot and a high ranking officer. Both went out in the midday heat wearing skimpy clothes and ran for exercise. The pilot was literally found in a ditch, no ID so it took fingerprints to tell us who he was. The other gent was running around perimeter road. But they knew him cause of who he was. But his rank didn’t save him.
So, here’s the third tip. When you do decide it’s safe to run, at the very least carry your identification and a list of your medications. That way if they do find you alive its easier to help you.

 

And last but not least, if you run at night, please run in a well-lit area, and wear reflective clothing (or at least white). I was driving out to our old barn along a dark road, no lights whatsoever. All I saw was little flashy things close to the ground but I pulled over as to not hit the bunny. As I passed by I saw it was a young lady in a dark sweat suit running beside the road and in a large grassy field. I went on out to do the horse thing and noticed a very large tractor mowing the grass. This Scared me stupid. On the way back, I passed the gal again. This time I stopped and made her get in the car and took her back to her car. Why? She was running in the dark in a place that had rattlesnakes, coyotes and stray dog packs. But what really scared me was if she had fallen, been bitten by one of the above or passed out, that big ole tractor would not have seen her. She would have been found by someone in the morning all shredded. I still get the shivers.

 
So, here you go. Please, please think of the worst thing possible and move to prevent it. I’m not that smart, but my grandparents and their parents taught me some common sense and self-preservation. I can only hope this tirade of mine might, just maybe prevent some unnecessary injuries or save a life.
I’m through now. Thanks.


What I have learned by joining a writing group.

Two years ago I joined The San Antonio Writer’s Guild. I have learned much from the monthly meetings with both independently published authors and authors with contracts.Then there are the weekly Critique meetings where your work is read aloud by another member then opinions are given on it by the others. There are a few things I have learned that can be put in little rules. I thought I’d pass these on to my friends who want to write a memoir or short story or even a novel. This is what I have learned:

1. You must write to edit. If there’s nothing on paper you can’t fix what’s wrong.

2. If you mention bringing a gun with you, you must also use it or take it with you at some point.

3. There are always too many thats in the world.

4. Do not use the same word four times in the same paragraph.

5. Do your research!

6. Do not have too many people in a scene at the same time, you will confuse your audience. This includes dogs and horses.

7. Show, don’t tell. Let your character(s) feel free to walk around the room and do things. Don’t stick him in a chair and make him pontificate. I have noticed that some men have trouble accepting multitasking by the women characters. But the women will get it.

8. For us old folks, only use one space after a period and Oxford commas are now looked down upon.

9. If you use a mythical creature, be certain you know the myth.Fairys, elves, leprechauns, trolls, pookas and gorgons are all very different things.

10. And for pity’s sake. Do your research!

Of course, this is not all by a long shot, but if you start here, you’re on the right track.

But most of all it is your story. You can do whatever you want, so don’t take any critiques personally. Write for yourself and your audience but do us all a favor and do it the best you can.Good luck. Go to your yellow legal pad/typewriter/dictaphone/computer and write.


A Lady Walks Into A Bar

Rated G, friendship. DC Cinematic Universe.

The bar was dimly lit, the old mahogany wood showing signs of wear with scuffs along the walls and benches. A man sat alone in a booth, nursing a Guiness beer. His blond hair was cut short, his face a pattern of age lines and scars, his clothes those of a working man.

The elegantly dressed woman entered the bar softly, so as to not disturb the ambiance. She approached the bar and slid onto one of the high, vinyl covered stools. The barman took her order. “Red wine, please.”

As she waited for her drink, she looked around the room. There she saw the subject of her search. When she received her wine, she dismounted her seat and eased over to him as if not to startle the man away.

“Good evening, my friend,” She slid in opposite him, depositing her Gucci purse on the hard wooden bench.

“Good evening, Diana,” He nodded with a sad smile. His voice rough from ages of shouted commands.

“And how shall I call you?” she nodded encouragingly. “Khufu, or Carter?”

“Carter for now,” he lifted his empty mug at the waitress who nodded. He put it with a collection already on the table. The young woman came with another beer and a second glass of wine.

“Do you know why I sought you out?”

He shook his head and took a drink. “No, but I can imagine. Another foe to conquer, another enemy at the gate. Sorry, not interested.”

“I’m working with the Batman for now. There is something big coming.”

“Haven’t you learned that working with mortals will break your heart.” He sat the mug down and drew circles in the water rings with a calloused finger. “Making friends, then losing them, is so sad.”

She looked at him with a little smile. “Neither of us is immortal. You more than I know it.”

“But we are both old.” he drew a symbol on the table. “You are hundreds of years old. Me, thousands.”

“I can die by a weapon if I’m not careful.” she said.

“And I will.” He looked at her with his present blue eyes. “Shy’era is already dead. She is calling to me. You know I cannot refuse the curse.”

“Can you not resist it for a little while?”

“No, the time is too close. I would go, and by dying, break your concentration.” he sighed and drained the mug again. “Perhaps in our next incarnations, my wife and I can be of help. But now, I am only tired. My very bones ache. The wings grow heavy and the mace difficult to control.”

Diana looked at her old friend and saw his depression. She was saddened by it.

“Bruce and Arthur will certainly help,” he said. “I don’t know of the others but I’m sure you will prevail…with Clark.”

“Clark is dead.”

“Not so much I think,” He shifted his weight and climbed out of the booth dropping a hundred and a fifty on the table.

She stood up gracefully and faced him. “So you are now a Priest of Apollo with portents for me?”

“Always follow the sun, daughter of Themyscira. Never look to the shadows.”

“I will see you again, my friend.”

“I hope so. But, in the casting of the bones of chance one never knows where he may find himself.”

She reached out to lay her hand on his shoulder. “I pray you find her quickly.”

“May the gods hear your words.” He took her hand in his and kissed it. “Farewell, daughter of Amazons. Fight well.”

The man turned and walked out of the bar.

The waitress came to collect the glassware and the money. She looked in dismay at the large denominations. “I can’t take these. We don’t take anything bigger than twenties.”

Diana looked at her. “The money is good. Enjoy your tip.”

The girl looked at her doubtfully. “I don’t know. Do you think he’ll be back?”

“No, child.” the woman shook her head as she picked up her purse. “Not in this lifetime.”She gave a sad smile and left the dark room for the sun.

 


What you can do to help prevent Horse Slaughter

Info Dump from Me.  It’s heartbreaking in many ways but scary in others. Some horses are lucky. They live a good life, get retired and loved until they die of natural causes or are humanely euthanized.
Some lead a good life, then are sold off into Hell. Loaded in a cramped trailer, no food or water, driven hundreds of miles then butchered, often inhumanely with knives or clubs.
So who goes to Horse Hell? Surely not anyone I know. Yes, you do. From the parks, the race tracks and the television. In fact ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND American Horses go to slaughter for human consumption in Europe and Asia.
DRAFT HORSES (Belgiums, Clydesdales, Shires, etc.) go to slaughter quite freqently, but so do other types and breeds.  The big horses are ‘preferred’ by Asians and are shipped to Japan to be sold as sushi.
In fact a Budweiser Clydesdale was rescued from a kill pen. It wasn’t Buds fault. The older horse had been placed in a ‘safe home’ but due to circumstances was rehomed twice and then sold at auction. His old trainer stepped up and helped with his rescue.
But most have no such luck. They are work horses and their owners get rid of them when they are too old to work. The AMERICAN MORGAN horse also falls in this catagory because of its popularity as a carriage/ buggy horse. You know, the one you rode in his buggy and fed him carrots. Yeah, that horse.
Did you know that the AMERICAN QUARTER HORSE ASSOCIATION is so interested to breeding their wonder horses to get registry money that on average SEVENTY THOUSAND of their breed, many with papers, go through the Slaughter pipeline to Mexico or Canada either to be killed for human consumption in Europe or Asia?
The AMERICAN THOROUGHBRED Race Horse and STANDARDBREDS are also sold into the Slaughter business when they break down or just don’t perform and win money. Many fantastic beautifly horses are shipped to be eaten by people. They are the next most likely to suffer this inhumane fate.
And the American Mustang, Icon of the freedom of the west, is also vunerable. Initially, the horses that HAD to be removed from their historic homelands according to the Bureau Of Land Management, were held for adoptions. You could buy a wild horse for one hundred and twenty five dollars. Then after a year, you received title to that horse. Then you could sell him to whoever you wanted to. Some of them also go to the slaughter houses.
Now, thanks to the poor management of the BLM, there are over 40,000 wild AMERICAN WILD MUSTANGS in holding pens. There is a new motion in the upper echelons of our government to sell the ‘unadopables’ to slaughter to get rid of them. I’m not blaming the new people in Washington, but the old school who allowed this program to run rampant. They allowed the taking too many horses off their range to lease their homes to Cattlemen, oil men and other companies that want the land for their own benefit. Business wise it may appear like a good idea, but is that good idea worth the American Icon’s disappearance from our country? Surely, we can do better than to murder a vast number of animals  (think Ten Thousand innocent wild horses) that have been living in horse jail for years.
There are many more tragedies committed on purpose, but I would also like to mention horses that are STOLEN from their home pastures. They could be a child’s horse, a therapy horse that is being used to rehabilitate, a show horse walked right off the show’s property or even your pet horse from your barn. These don’t even see another place until they are purchased by a kill buyer and loaded on a huge trailer that is crammed full of horses suffering the fate of the damned.
I want to mention # 11 to these ten ways.  If you are against horse slaughter then call and write your Governor, your Representative, your Senator and your President and express your disapproval for their plans to support horse slaughter. Look up the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act.

The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act would prohibit the slaughter of horses in the United States for human consumption, as well as the export of live horses for the same purpose.

“The permissive allowance of such horsemeat used for human consumption poses a serious public health risk.”1

If I haven’t lost you yet remember the restaurant that made the news last month for selling horse meat in a major city.  Yes, its illegal here now, but the move is on the way to change that.
Anyway, here’s the original blog from Draft Horse Rescue Resource.
And for more info, join the the american-canadian horse warrior forum on Facebook. Lots more info.
10 Things YOU Can Do To Help Stop Slaughter