Biasini Speaks About Horse Transport to Florida.

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It was still dark when I heard the barn door open. Hay! It wasn’t Barn Manager Carl it was Ma Leueen! YES! That means it is my day to start on the trip south to the warm weather. I have been waiting for this for days. Yesterday I saw Ma Leueen packing my trunk so I knew it would be soon.

Ma Leueen turned on the lights in the barn and gave me my breakfast. Then she fed all the other horses. My neighbor Fluffy said: “Hay Beebs, I guess you’re leaving today. ” ” Yup! It looks like it Fluffy.” “Well safe trails to you.”

I finished up my breakfast and then Ma Leueen took me to the grooming stall to get my winter blanket off and put on my favorite black watch plaid cotton sheet and on top of that my plaid fleece lined blanket. As it gets…

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Ride the Horse Straight. How Hard Can it Be?

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Ride the horse straight. Going down the long side with a wall on one side it can’t be that difficult. Right? Well, I find it is not so easy. I can stay on a straight line. That part is ok. But the tricky part is that the body of the horse must be straight. No hindquarters coming in off the track, no shoulders and neck coming in either. Straight!

For me the problem is Biasini likes to travel with his hindquarters in a bit. Just a little bit but if you train with a coach like Belinda Trussell then even a little bit is toooooo much! There are mirrors at the end of the arena and Belinda encourages me to look and see that Biasini is not straight. In a lesson last week I finally got him straight when Belinda told me to “think” the hindquarters out to the wall. …

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Integrative: Eastern, Western, Ancient, Modern.

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Ancient and Modern, Eastern and Western, these are the combinations of medical practices used by an integrative practitioner. I spoke recently with Dr.Usha Knabe, an integrative veterinary practitioner, about her practice and her treatments for horses.

What got you started with integrative medicine?

I was qualified as a veterinarian and had always been interested in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. The turning point for me was my dog Tess. She had a herniated disk in her back and was paralyzed.  She had surgery and came back from that and did well in rehab. But then another disk caused paralysis and she  was now 14 years old . I did not think I could put her through another surgery. A client of mine had a German Shepherd that had responded well to acupuncture so I took Tess to her vet who was qualified in Eastern medicine and acupuncture. He treated Tess . …

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Monday Minstrel: The Kathiawari Horse

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In this painting Shah Jahan(1592-1666) is shown riding a black and white( piebald) horse with very ornate bridle and saddle. Shah Jahan is best known as the builder of the Taj Mahal.  This horse apparently appeared in several paintings and miniatures. This would indicate that this horse is highly prized by the Shah’s family and was considered to be a very fine specimen.

The Kathiawari breed was established in India in the time of the Mughal emperors (1536-1857) and is famous for its curly ears that seem to point to each other. It was also noted as possessing great stamina. This breed was traditionally bred in royal houses. Today these horses are still sought after and respected in their native area of Gujarat. IMG_20180624_1034277

This painting is attributed to Bhag. Ink, colors and gold on paper. New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I found the photo of this painting in Tamsin…

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Alan Davies and his friend Valegro!

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The riders on the podium! The National anthem! The flower bouquets! The medals!  And behind all that……the horses and their grooms.  I don’t mean to take anything away from the riders but for getting onto the Olympic or World Championship podium the grooms are an essential part of the team and their contribution cannot be underestimated.

“Alan Davies, our travelling groom, is definitely the key to my success–he never stresses, and he’s the most incredible supporter and so proud of what our horses achieve.”—-Charlotte Dujardin.

This past week I had the opportunity to speak with Alan Davies, one of the world’s best known grooms, in the tack room of Carl Hester’s yard in Gloucestershire, England.

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Alan, in case you don’t know him, is the groom responsible for Valegro, the Olympic gold medal winning horse, ridden by Charlotte Dujardin, in London 2012 and Rio 2016. He is also the groom responsible for Carl…

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Monday Minstrel: West and East

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The painting above, by Anthony van Dyck. , depicts the English King Charles 1. Painted in 1637-38 it is a political statement more than a portrait. The horse is extraordinarily muscular in the chest and neck and has an extravagantly long mane. This dun (or buckskin) horse has a tiny head relative to the rest of his body. Van Dyck was certainly capable of painting something more realistic but he chose to paint the horse like this to depict a King who was powerful and in control of his country and his people. The horse however has a look of apprehension and unease. His ears are back, his eyes wide and his nostrils flared. Perhaps he knew something of the future that the King did not. Ten years after this painting was done King Charles 1 was beheaded by Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War.

The painting below is…

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A Walk in the Woods

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We at last have some warmer weather and I decided it was perfect to take Biasini for a  hack in the forest. I think it is good for Biasini’s mental health and for mine to get out of the arena and go for a trail ride once a week if possible.   I did not know if we would be having black flies or not. These are small little terrors that love to give you a nasty bite. So I put on Biasini’s ear protectors and took my trusty fly swoosher. This is like a small stick with 12 inches of black horse tail attached. It is very useful for swooshing away any flies that are bothering Biasini. We set off to the west of the barn and through the pine forest until we came out to the York Regional Forest.  Just before we joined the forest trail I saw a…

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