Equine Benefits – What’s Good for the Runner, is Good for the Rider Too!
Feb01

Equine Benefits – What’s Good for the Runner, is Good for the Rider Too!

All too often I find myself getting the horses out late.  Starting out around the “Magic Hour,” and coming home in the dark.  I am usally riding one and ponying the other and I am almost always on my own. Some of the time is spent on bridal paths and some on more quieter, neighborhood streets. That said, I am always searching  for reflective gear that is both functional and offers easily “visible” benefits. Recently, I found these reflective running tights by Shape and like some equestrian tights, they don’t have a full seat nor knee patches. But they fit well and have a reflective pattern that runs through them. I wear them with boots and half chaps for better staying power in the saddle and my saddle has a suede seat, which also helps. I am not crazy about head lamps as I have ridden with them for years and struggle to turn them off and on. Although they may be great for me, not so great for the horses.  Most horses’ night vision is superior and the light tends to interfere with their ability to see at a greater distance.  I stumbled upon these gloves with LED lights that fit into a flap over the top of your hand, near your knuckles. (sold separately on Amazon.com). They are easy to turn on and off with light pressure and since I always ride with gloves anyway, these work.  These LED gloves are especially useful at night when doing barn chores such as leading two horses to stalls and not having to fumble with a flash light. Also, great when you are loading feed bags in the dark and can do so hands free with a handy light, literally, at your disposal.  Happy Trails! Alice...

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Equine Benefits – Ruth Gerson receives Life Time Achievement Award
Dec01

Equine Benefits – Ruth Gerson receives Life Time Achievement Award

  Editor’s Note – I remember years ago being admonished by a postal worker after I criticized stamps with Richard Nixon’s face on them. “Your generation didn’t build the roads, you didn’t build the dams, and you didn’t fight the wars, what have you done?” I looked at her blankly and politely picked up my mail as I tiptoed away. Now that I am older, I know what the gal at the Post Office was talking about. When it comes to the Santa Monica Mountains, almost every trail I ride my horse on was either found, cleared, or to this day, along with the Trails Council, State and Federal Parks, maintained by equestrian/activist Ruth Gerson. So it came as no surprise when Ruth Gerson was honored last month at  The Calamigos Ranch. Ruth’s cohort Howard Cohen reports,       “It was a great night honoring Ruth Gerson as the driving force for the preservation and maintenance of the trails throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. She spent over 40 years on the Trails Council to date and is still an active contributor to the vision and mission of the Trails Council.  She was honored by Fran Pavley’s office through a presentation by Craig Sap for California State Parks.  She also received a commendation from the President of the United States as a distinguished volunteer, which was presented by NPS Superintendent David Szymanski. Additionally, Jeanne Wallace honored Ruth with a commemorative plaque from the Trails Council. (Jeanne was Ruth’s equestrian partner on many trail rides exploring routes and finding connections to other bridle paths over a 40-year span. Recently, the pair trekked the Backbone Trail to commemorate the same ride they took so many years ago.)  Likewise, MRCA honored Ruth as well with a speech and a gift presented by Rourie Skei. The Calamigos Ranch hosted the event providing a great atmosphere for presenting Ruth with the Lifetime Achievement award.”...

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Equine Benefits – Ocean Trail Riding
Oct01

Equine Benefits – Ocean Trail Riding

       Surf and Turf Riding Holiday By Author/Subscriber and Contributor Linda Ballou “Shorten your rein, grab mane, prepare to canter,” came from plucky Lari Shea, owner of Ricochet Ridge Ranch. Mounted on a Black Beauty double named Rascal, this petite lady has led countless horse treks through the primordial redwood forests of Northern California. I tried not to think too much about the turkey vultures wheeling overhead, or the growing chasm between me and a soft landing and focused on the footing of the trail as the white-fringed Pacific fell away. The brisk canter took us through a frilly fern forest, splashing through a gurgling creek to a grand vista that is best reached on horseback. Horseback riding allows me to get into the scenery, away from police sirens or cell phones, and to get in tune with the rhythms of nature. So, when I found one of the last best riding opportunities in California on the internet and saw that Lari offers everything from slow ambles though gorgeous scenery for the novice, to week long “real deal” rides on fit endurance horses for experienced riders, I was eager to get on board. After a leisure rise and a hearty country breakfast, I began my full day ride through a shady draw beneath towering redwoods. Our energetic horses charged up a steep slope thick with devils club then sashayed into a dell where a creek whispered to us from a moss-laden ravine. This is the home of a 1500-year old giant that towers over the forest gilded with columns of light. This granddaddy of all the trees on the mountain was here when Columbus landed in the Americas and with luck will be spared the logger’s axe and continue to live for another 1000 years.  Another climb brought us back into the sun and a view of the blue pacific wearing a lacy white skirt. We trammeled through knee-high velvet grass meadows spiked with white daisies and red columbine. The crystalline air and endless blue sky livened horse and rider alike. Our group of seven, a mother and daughter team, two guides in training, Lari, her husband Harvey and I, moved briskly through tree tunnels shrouded in wild cucumber vines. Mats of sorrel, trillium and miner’s lettuce thrive on the cool forest floor beneath the canopy of Bishop pine, Douglas fir, spruce, and coastal redwood. A majestic stag standing in a shaft of sunlight upon a ledge above us was completely unmoved by our caravan. This ride is on private land where he remains Lord of the Forest. “It’s so great to ride the trails in an English...

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Equine Benefits – A Good Read Never Hurt Anybody!
Sep01

Equine Benefits – A Good Read Never Hurt Anybody!

Equine Benefits – A little fall reading can’t hurt anyone either. Currently available at the world famous Calabasas Saddlery  The Cowgirl Jumped Over the Moon, by Linda Ballou, is a finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards. The protagonist Gemcie takes you from the Grand Prix jumping world to the ethereal heights of the John Muir Wilderness and back to the stage of competition. Romance. Adventure. Horses – what more could anyone want in a book? Review: by Jacqui Broderick of Lavender & White Publishing-Ireland Gemcie McCauley seems to have everything. She is a rider at the top of her game, making an unbeatable team with Marshal, a handsome Irish bred stallion, until a horrific accident changes everything. Fighting back from a dreadful injury she finds she has lost not only her nerve, but also her horse and husband to her archrival, Dominique La Fevre.   Reeling from the cruel blows Gemcie returns to her mother’s home where she tries to pick up the threads of some kind of life and recover from her mental and physical injuries. Unable to settle to any kind of life Gemcie heads back to her roots and the mountains where she was conceived. Struck by the beauty of the wilderness and longing, for once in her life to be totally alone she feels drawn to life on the trail and persuades her hosts to let her ride the John Muir trail. When a black bear attacks and injures her horse she is rescued by Brady, a loner who lives in the mountains, working for the Bureau of Land Management. On a journey of discovery about herself Gemcie finds herself falling in love with this tough, yet gentle man. Brady though is not without his own problems and after he is forced to kill the bear that attacked Gemcie he abruptly ends their relationship, sending Gemcie back to civilization. I was as devastated as Gemcie – their relationship seems to be so perfect. During her time in the mountains Gemcie has learned a lot about herself and is determined to get her beloved horse back. Dominique has never got on with Marshal and after badly injuring him in a competition it looks as if his career is over. Gemcie, with a team of supporters nurse the horse back to health then begin the impossible and fight to get her riding confidence back in order to be able to pay huge vet and livery bills. She has to ride – and win – in order to be able to keep him. This is a well-written book; Ballou brings her characters and backgrounds to life in often tear-jerking detail. Gemcie...

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Equine Benefits – THE REC RIDE IS COMING!!!
Jul27

Equine Benefits – THE REC RIDE IS COMING!!!

  This little Appaloosa was ready to roll for REC 2015 and hopefully, he’ll be ready again! This year’s ride is scheduled  around the weekend of October 22/23rd, 2016. The REC folks haven’t made the date solid yet, but it will be held either on the 22nd or 23rd of October. If you have never attended a REC ride, now is the time to do so. Don’t own a horse? Don’t worry about it. The organizers have access to great rental outfits so you can rent a horse. There are three different rides that occur simultaneously and each last about two and half to three hours. The Beginner ride usually explores King Gillette Ranch in Calabasas, the Intermediate journeys over to Malibu Creek State Park and sometimes the Reagan Ranch. The Advance riders do the Phantom Trail; it all depends on what you are in the mood for. The Beginner ride is casual walking mainly with some light trotting, the Intermediate is mostly trotting and the Advanced is fast paced and largely composed of gaited horses. Afterwards everyone joins up for a great barbeque at Malibu Valley Equestrian Center catered by Calamigos Ranch. So come out and celebrate the “horsey life” in these beautiful Santa Monica Mountains and support the Recreational Equestrian Coalition (REC). Help is keep horses in the Santa Monica Mountains. Happy Trails!  Alice  ...

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Why Holistic Equine Dentistry Matters….
Jul05

Why Holistic Equine Dentistry Matters….

Dr. Rhiannon Fenton’s article about Equine dentistry was first published in Holistic Horse June/July issue. We wanted to publish a link to the story as a reminder to all of us how important teeth, jaws and yes, even horses can get TMJ are to the function of the rest of the body.  Here is the link: http://www.mirabelsmagazinecentral.com/DigitalEdition/index.html?id=8333b64e-4522-4ef8-8e18-d1039897d30f&pn=17&pv=d Happy Trails! Dr. Rhiannon Fenton of Vital Equine Holistic Veterinary Medicine 310/800-1495...

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