Sunday, August 31, 2008

2008 Wild Horse and Burro Summit

In case any of you are interested, I wanted to post some information that I received recently through an email about an upcoming Wild Horse and Burro Summit here in Las Vegas. I am not yet confirmed to attend, but will know more about my schedule in the next few days. I have posted a direct link to their website below and included the body of the original email for you to refer back to as well.

2008 Wild Horse and Burro Summit

Email -
Lantry, SD- With more than 33,000 healthy wild horses threatened with
euthanasia by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the International Society
for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB), Wild Horses Forever, and
Marisa Morin will hold one of the most informative and enlightening wild
horse summits ever to be conducted.

The summit will bring together the leading experts in the world of equine
behavior, genetics, research, and range management. The focus of the summit
will address the current crisis facing America’s wild horses’ threatened
existence on public lands and will bring forth proposed solutions.

Along with the many equine scientists presenting, there will be panels
composed of interested wild horse groups yet to be announced. “It is the
desire of our group to have as many diverse participants on the panel to
create an enlightening discussion,” says Karen Sussman. The conference’s
theme will be “Using our Diversity as a Strength to Preserve and Protect
Wild Horses.”

The summit will be held at South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on
October 11th and 12th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., culminating with a media event
on the morning of October 13th.

Interested parties should send their names, addresses, and E-mail address to
wildhorsesummit@gmail.com. You may also
check the web site for up to date information at www.wildhorsesummit.com.
Registration deadline for the summit is
September 9th and can be done on line.

Karen A. Sussman
President, ISPMB
PO Box 55
Lantry, SD 57636-0055
Tel: 605.964.6866
Cell: 605.430.2088
Saving America's Wild Horses and Burros since 1960

Friday, August 29, 2008

Much Ado About Mustangs!

Just wanted to give ya'll a heads up about my class I will be doing out at Shiloh on Saturday, September 13th at 10:00 AM. The class is titled, Much Ado About Mustangs, and will be an informative hour long class about Wild Horse and Burro awareness. So, if any of you are fairly close to the Las Vegas area, feel free to come on out and have some fun. You are welcome to bring carrots out to the ranch and visit all the horses and check out our grounds afterwards. Simply click on the link above to get all the information and shoot me an email if you would be interested in taking the class. Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Big Two

Augustus' 2nd birthday is August 24th, but since I will be out of town we went ahead and celebrated today (the 23rd) out at the ranch. Definitely turned out to be a very fun day. Since it was Gus' birthday, I decided to hold off on work and just focus on letting him have some fun and just be a horse with his pals. At the ranch, we have a large arena over at what I like to call the "Boarder" side of the property, and that is pretty much where we were all day long. Borrego, Cochise, Colbert, and Wishes all joined Gus for the fun. Needless to say, there was so much bucking, farting, rearing, and dust coming from that arena! Around noon, we all gathered at the lounge area and enjoyed some cake. I interrupted the play time for a brief moment and brought Gus over. Everyone sang to him, I stuck my finger in the frosting and let Gus try it, and then we all enjoyed the cake while Gus enjoyed the tasty grass around the lounge area and main office. Afterwards, Gus returned to his buddies and finished out the day having a grand time. He was definitely full of himself all day and enjoyed all the attention he received from everyone at the ranch.

Other than hanging out with Gus, I have just been busy with the National Wild Horse Association work, trying to get our Mustangs and Burro adopted out. Lots of interested people calling, but the adoptions have been slow. We have a number of foals from the recent Nellis Gather who are nearly ready to be fostered out as well. Also, our 18th Annual National Wild Horse Association Wild Horse & Burro Show and Adoption on October 18 & 19, 2008 is a definite go now, so if you are at all interested, please keep checking our NWHA website for all of the information. Like I have said before, you may just see Augustus and I there...









Thursday, August 21, 2008

Augustus and Cortez

So, when Augustus was in his stall down on the "Boarder Corner" of the ranch, life was a bit more slow and he probably managed to make a schedule of the weeks activities. You know, certain people on certain dates, breakfast at this time and dinner at that time, etc. But, now that he is out in a pasture over on the main part of the ranch, the "Rescue" side, I am sure he is still trying to make sense of it all. There is so much activity over on that side, and Gus has had the chance to meet many more horses over the last few months (especially since he is an escape artist). He seems to have a special bond with Cortez, one of the "Wanderers" of Shiloh, and the coolest part about this friendship is that Cortez is also a Mustang. Cortez is a Mustang from Arizona, but that is all I know. He is basically the leader of all of the "Wanderers" at the ranch and has full run of the 40 acres. Since he arrived at Shiloh from the AZ feedlot, he has always been a bit distant, and I have not managed to get close enough to get a good, legible photo of his freezemark to learn a bit more of his history. Anyway, he is one of Jill's horses and will always live at Shiloh, so I have plenty of time to work on that freezemark close-up. After a nice walk, I put Gus in one of our arenas so that I could walk down and speak to some other friends who have recently adopted a Mustang, making sure all is well. When I returned, I found Gus and Cortez having some fun. I watched them for a bit, then finally whipped out the camera to capture the moment on video. The other picture is one sent to me from Dave and Deonna Hickey, fellow Boarders of Shiloh, who snapped the pic of Gus in the neighboring pasture, hanging out in the Mesquite trees.

video

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Into the Great Wide Open

Well, the last few days have been rather uneventful..no training breakthroughs, no sandstorms, no flash floods, just Augustus and I enjoying each other's company. I never thought that a guy like me, someone who grew up on the Gulf Coast in Southeast Texas would ever say this, but the humidity lately has been horrible, almost unbearable. It just zaps the life out of you, leaving you with no energy at all. Now, if anyone from back home is reading this, they are either on the floor laughing at me right now or staring at my typed words with their mouths wide open. You see, down in Texas, I grew up in really hot temperatures with the humidity level not far from 100% and then you have to factor in the mosquitos. So, when I say that the "humidity" has been killer, it is probably like 10% or something like that, but for the Mojave Desert...that is alot, and it definitely shows. Everyone at the ranch this weekend seemed to be going at "slo-mo", just getting through the day. Lots of rain clouds scattered about, wetting the mountains but leaving us down in the valley alone. So, being that I didn't have that much motivation, Gus had a blast just playing with his friends and staying active. A few pics below are of him and one of our resident Mustang wanderers, Cortez, having some fun together. We did manage to take off outside the gates and explore the open desert a bit, and on Saturday we had Wishes and Jenny join us. Its always nice to walk outside the property and enjoy the peace and quiet. The four of us walked a bit along the Kingston Ranch airstrip, and luckily their plane decided to hold off landing until long after we had gone. I took some pictures of our walk outside the gates and when I started to email them to my folks back in Texas, I decided to be funny and come up with a short story to send along as well. The story evolved a bit and got out of hand, but I think it is quite funny and felt it worth sharing here on the blog for the rest of you. You will either think I am completely insane or get an idea of my sense of humor, haha. Enjoy.

Saturday August 16th
"So, today was another glorious day for the dynamic duo, Augustus and Eric. They ventured far from the Shiloh fenceline, into the open desert...discovering Palmer's Chipmunks, locusts, new flora and fauna, and even a Chuckwalla. We trudged our way through the hot, sandy floor known to most as Sandy Valley, CA or the "Mesquite Valley" until we reached our destination of Kingston Road. Upon our arrival, we were lucky enough to be blessed with a Dodge pickup passing by, and as any considerate "country folk" would do...they slowed down a bit as they passed us with a tip of the hat. Naturally, we tipped back. Augustus was not timid, and all that was present in his behavior as the truck passed was a mere shiver...almost as if he had seen that truck before.....we moved on. We headed back to the Shiloh gates with a brisk step and dinner on the mind. As the wind picked up, we crossed the threshold of the Shiloh entrance just seconds before a duststorm blew down the driveway creating a stir but with minimal concern. As we headed back to Gus' pasture, most of the horses looked at him with amazement, wanting to taste that freedom for themselves, but he didn't make eye contact for long. We reached the pasture gate and swiftly put on his flymask. Not a sound was made as Gus took a few steps in and then stopped to look at me. There was a brief moment of silence as we both looked at each other intently. We both knew that this was only the beginning. Today, we conquered. Tomorrow, we probably will again."








Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kickin' up some dust!

Augustus has been doing alot of relaxing these last few days, and of course Borrego is always somewhere near. Whenever I can't be at the ranch, Sharil is always there. Wednesday, when she got to Shiloh and went to the "Boarder Pasture", my horse was missing. A few minutes later, I get a picture sent to my phone of Augustus about three of four pasture sections down, in the " Bachelor Pad." He likes to sneak through the fencing and wander all over from pasture to pasture, meeting different horses and seeing what trouble he can get in to. I told Gus that he needs to stay put or we will get evicted! :) This weekend he was in the right pasture when I got to the ranch, so he must have saw my truck driving up and ran back to where he was supposed to be! On Friday we had a bit of a "rodeo" at Shiloh. Cochise has been living in the big pasture and has been giving everyone hell when trying to catch him. From the moment he was put out there, he turned into a "wild child" and would run off and hide in the trees. The pasture is called the big pasture for a reason and you can tire quickly walking back and forth trying to catch him. So, we had 6 or 7 of us out there, a few lassos, and one camera and after about 30 minutes we were able to catch Cochise. The hardest part was getting him separated from all the other horses. Gus watched from a distance, very interested in what all the commotion and dust was all about, and even called out a few times like he wanted to be a part of all the action. Other than all that, Augustus is doing great and enjoying life. I need to remember and measure him over the next few days, as I am curious just how big he is and how much he weighs now. The few pics below are of Augustus and his pal, Rookie, playing in the arena; one of him and Tanis (the Friesian); Gus pressing his nose against me and falling asleep (I love how his lip pushes up and his teeth show); and lastly Gus and Borrego enjoying each other's company.




Sunday, August 3, 2008

Introduction to Saddle

Well folks, we are only a few days into the month of August, but so far it has been a great start. As always, it was a very busy week at Shiloh. Since my last posting, Wishes has been moved out to the pasture with her newly adopted brother, Colbert. Augustus has been enjoying his pasture life with Borrego and Cochise, and now will have the special privilege of living with his girlfriend. Sigh...my boy is growing up. I guess I might have to actually set a curfew and hope that they both follow the rules. Luckily, both Borrego and Colbert are older so they can try to keep the shenanigans to a minimum. As for some really exciting news, we had a surprise little colt born today! The birth came out of nowhere and so far everything has been successful. If you have a few moments, check out the Shiloh blog to get all the details. To spice things up a bit this weekend, I decided to break out some gear since Augustus is nearing his second birthday this month. Now, before everyone gets all up in arms over this, just know that my only intention was to test the waters a bit. I have no intentions on riding Gus anytime soon. I hopped in my truck, threw my saddle rack, saddle, and pad into the bed, and hauled it over to the round pen. This commotion caught the attention of Felipe, Junior, and Leo and they quickly gathered outside the pen ready for a show. I placed the saddle on the rack in the middle of the round pen, and allowed some time for Gus' own curiosity to set in. I walked over with him as he sniffed the objects and then singled out the pad. A few minutes later we were walking around the pen with the pad on his back. I then grabbed the saddle and immediately was able to set it on top of the pad. He processed the situation for a minute or two and then I led him around, familiarizing himself with this new feel and weight. Absolutely no issues folks, this horse is good to go. First time, first try...all it takes is trust. The guys were expecting the event to be a bit more eventful, and truthfully I guess it all happened like I thought it would. I am definitely looking forward to this next year, eventually putting my foot in the stirrup, and showing folks what an All-American Mustang is all about.