Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Feed Fest

I hope you had a nice Memorial Day weekend. I had a nice weekend but it was mostly filled with heat, humidity and feeding horses! I was in charge of feeding 26 horses at the farm because the BO and BOH took their horses to a reining show. It was unusually hot and humid here, so I had to bring out my serious hot weather gear. I don’t know about you, but as I age, enduring the humidity all day gets harder and harder. So I gear up even more seriously to be able to take it. Here’s what I use: many bottles of water, Gatorade and tea, plus bottles of water frozen overnight, plenty of snacks, sweatbands, safari shirt, sunscreen, taking lots of breaks, and walking slower than normal. These things help me get through a long, hot, humid, sweaty day.

I arrived at the farm Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. I first looked in on the two oldest horses that were in stalls, and gave them their breakfasts. Then I distributed sweet feed into nine other stalls. There is a large herd of pasture horses which are brought into the barn for meals. They were, understandably, crowded at the gate. There is a particular order in which these horses are brought in, to let them in a few at a time. One horse, Rosie, is to be brought in first, and alone, with a halter. She doesn’t wear a halter when she is in the pasture, so I had to get a halter on her. I decided not to go into the group of excited horses at their main gate- too dangerous. So I grabbed her feeding halter and went in through a side gate, and quietly made my way through the herd to Rosie and put the halter on her. She is such a dear; she immediately thought I wanted to ride her or something and so she followed me eagerly, all the way over to the second gate. A few other horses followed her as well. I got out of the pasture, back through the barn and over to the main gate, where the horses were still hovering with breakfast excitement.

I looked at Rosie and the halter was hanging off of one ear and right down the middle of her face! She looked at me as if to say, This isn’t the way the halter goes. I grabbed another halter and slipped back into the herd and changed halters. Oh, no, this one was too big for her. I didn’t want another horse to try pulling it off of her or tugging on it, so I removed it and went looking for a smaller one. I found one, tried it on her, and it fit. Then I went outside the gate again, opened it a little, Rosie approached, I attached the lead line, brought her through the gate, closed the gate and walked her to her stall. I went back to the gate and the next three horses, in exact order, lined up. I opened the gate and let them run through. I closed the gate and went to their stalls and closed their stall doors. And so on, in particular order, that the horses know by heart, and got everyone into their stalls, munching away. Then I took the stallion’s feed and hay over to his pasture nearby, and then back to the main pasture with a wheelbarrow full of 1 ½ bales of hay, which I distributed into twelve piles. By then the pasture horses were finished eating and I let them, and the oldsters, out into their pasture for their hay. Whew. One barn down. As I walked to the next barn, I stopped and filled their water tubs. Somehow I had twisted my lower back and I could feel it starting to hurt. Oh, well, gotta keep going. Lots of horses to feed.

Next I went out to the barn where Buckshot and two other horses live (a few others were at the horse show). I fed them, gave them hay, filled up their waters, made the sweet feed dinners, added supplements, and was finished. Then on to barn 3. Six horses here. Again, I fed them, gave them piles of hay, filled up their water tubs, and made dinners. Then on to barn 4. Two horses here. Same routine. Then barn 5. Five horses got the same routine. It took me about two hours to make the rounds.

Then back to the main barn to make lunches for three older horses that need more feed. And putting fresh water in their stalls, plus fresh water in the stall for Buckshot for when I groom, tack and untack him. I then got my grooming tools and tack ready. Tired, I took a break, turned on the fans in the main barn, found a chair and relaxed. Later I got a horse ready for my sister who would come out to ride with Buckshot and I. Even as I write this, days later, rereading my descriptions, it is tiring me out! In the heat and humidity it’s harder to do all of the feeding, but I am glad to help out the BO when she is gone. And I really like feeding all the horses, knowing what each one eats, where they like their hay piles, who has to be in a stall, and who doesn’t, etc.

Well, I did the routine three more times – Saturday dinner, Sunday breakfast and dinner. I had a short ride on Buckshot on Saturday but I learned the hard way that if your lower back hurts, riding a horse doesn’t feel good. So on Sunday I didn’t ride him, but instead did groundwork in the arena. By Sunday evening, when the BO returned, I was beat. I took Monday and just stayed in air conditioning and puttered around slowly, reading a book and sitting with the heating pad. Love the heating pad! Hope you had a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Great Riding!

I hope you had a nice weekend! We had beautiful weather here in Virginia and we really enjoyed it!

On Saturday, as I groomed Buckshot, I checked his front hooves for thrush. After I lifted his feet, I stuck my nose down close to the hooves and didn’t smell anything too bad. The clefts between the frog bulbs are still both quite deep but I didn’t detect any thrush. I didn’t put any thrush medicine on them.

Buckshot was in a good mood and when we went out to the arena, a series of poles were set up. So we began our warm up walking around the poles, adding some circles around some of them, and alternating doing shallow pole bending and wide pole bending. He had good energy at the trot also. When our class started we did a game. Each rider had a tennis ball and had to ride to the other end of the arena, put it in a cone, circle a barrel and ride back. It was a lot of fun! Buckshot was right on board with it and I think he liked it. Then we went on the trail and went through the beautiful, sun illuminated woods. When we arrived at the reining arena, we had a great time trotting and cantering. I noticed that Buckshot’s right canter was uncoordinated. I didn’t know what to make of it, and I tried a couple of times to give him really correct aids and just canter a few strides. It was confusing because he didn’t seem off in any other way, just an uncoordinated right canter. I want to have the BO watch us canter and see if she can see what he is doing, or what seems to be uncoordinated. She can also see if I am giving him contradictory aids and am somehow contributing to this. But overall it was a lovely day and a good ride.

On Sunday we took four horses to the reining clinic in a neighboring county. With about seven other riders, the BO, BOH and myself worked on various maneuvers. Buckshot did really well- he had enthusiastic energy right from the first step. When it was our turn to do a maneuver, we started by trotting and if he had enough forward energy I asked for the canter. He did well at it. Not quite as uncoordinated at the right canter. But it was hard to keep him at the canter more than a few strides. Overall, he worked hard and had great, strong energy for whatever I asked of him, so I was proud of him. We have to keep working on the canter. I guess it is a challenge for many horses to stay at the canter without specific aids being given. When we trot, I can sense when he is about to slow down and I can squeeze a little to keep him trotting. I have a harder time sensing that at the canter. It is a much more challenging gait. It is also a very fun gait to ride! I still enjoy the thrilling aspects of cantering.

What do you still enjoy the most with your horse? And how do you keep your horse cantering?? Suggestions welcome!

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Lovely May Weekend, Thrush and A Sleepy Horse

Last weekend I took Friday off from work to go out and enjoy a perfectly beautiful day at the farm! We have had some rainy weather lately so we deserve a few days of picture-perfect weather and they showed up over the weekend. Sunny, warm but not humid temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s- wonderful!

On Friday I groomed Buckshot in the main barn. When I got to cleaning his hooves, he wouldn’t pick up his front left hoof, something he has had a problem with recently. The BO was in the barn at the time, so I asked her to try and get his hoof cleaned. She got the leg lifted, then she worked with the hoof pick and said, he has a very deep cleft here, and it’s a little smelly, looks like the beginnings of thrush. She asked if I had any thrush medication. I did – I had bought a bottle of aerosol thrush medicine a long time ago and so we used it- as an aerosol, you just spray it onto the hoof and it is easier than the other brush-type applicator. She noted, expertly, that it may not be that he doesn’t want to pick up the left hoof; it may be that he doesn’t want to stand on his right front hoof – an explanation that was brilliant and that I hadn’t thought of at all. Sometimes with horses, think about the “other” side – if one side is having a problem, it may actually be caused by the “other” side. So she checked the left front hoof and found that cleft was also very deep. We applied the thrush medicine on that side. I felt bad that I hadn’t noticed the deep cleft, nor had I thought to actually smell his hooves, and keep an eye, or a nose, out for the thrush odor. I was glad that I had gone ahead and swallowed my pride – what horse owner can’t get her horse’s hooves cleaned? That’s pretty basic – and asked the BO for help. Otherwise I wouldn’t have realized or discovered that he had the beginnings of thrush in those deep clefts. So swallowing my pride turned out to be a very good idea.

We went out to the arena and did our warm up and by then, the BO was riding her horse. We went out to the reining arena and practiced reining patterns. Buckshot did great! For the fast spins, I circle him just once in each direction. For the small circles, we trotted, and for the big circles, we did as much cantering as possible. We did the run downs at a canter or trot, and we don’t do any sliding stops. But it was great fun and hard work! Each of us did three complete reining patterns and we were tired. It takes a lot of stamina and focus to do the entire pattern without stopping, but it is so good for me. And it helps Buckshot develop more stamina and finesse as well. The weather was wonderful and the riding was wonderful also.
On Saturday, I checked Buckshot’s hooves again, and reapplied the thrush medicine. The BO said that just a few applications would probably be all that would be needed; that Buckshot’s hooves were only a very mild case of thrush and that we had caught it early. That’s good. I’m so glad I had already bought the thrush liquid and had it on hand. With some things, you just never know when you will need them!

I took Buckshot into the arena and after our warm up, we worked a little on the sidepass. Then I thought we would walk into the trail. Buckshot didn’t think so. He walked with the tiniest steps possible for a horse! And stopped every three steps! I calmly said, walk on. And he walked three more, tiny, tiny steps. I wondered if his feet were hurting him – maybe the thrush, however slight, was painful to him. I felt a little guilty making him continue on walking. But we kept going, ever so slowly, with tiny steps. At the end of the first leg of the trail, I stopped us, and turned us around. And magically! His hooves were healed – he walked great! And fast! LOL! So I guess it wasn’t thrush-caused pain after all. It was horse-reluctance, and horse-arena-love! LOL! Well, I’m glad it wasn’t his feet, and we got out of the woods and back into the arena to do more warm up. He had great energy (once in the arena) for trotting and nice cantering. We waited for the riding class to start and then walked around the rail while the three other horses and riders warmed up.

Then we played games! The BO had two fun games for us to do- one involved shoes set on top of barrels at one end of the arena and a big empty bucket at the other end. We had to pluck a matched pair of shoes off of the barrels, and trot down to the other end and throw them in the big bucket. If you drop a shoe, the rider has to get off, pick up the shoe, remount and continue. Holding two shoes in your hands, with reins, is hard to do! So I dropped one the first time, hopped down and picked it up, and then ran, with Buckshot behind me, over to the mounting block (because I can’t mount without something to step on). It was fun but I didn’t win. The second time, I got shoes that were easier to hold but because some of the horses were spooky about getting close to the barrels, I couldn’t grab the shoes fast enough to win. Oh well.

The second game involved cups of water! They were placed on a barrel at one end of the arena. At the other end of the arena, two barrels were sitting. You had to go to the barrel and get a cup of water, ride down and go around either of the other barrels, and ride back, spilling as little water as possible. I thought this sounded like great fun! We grabbed a cup of water and I got Buckshot trotting and we went around the barrel, and heading back, he started cantering, and we made it to the end, with the reins in one hand and the cup in the other, and we spilled very little water! I was thrilled! (We didn’t win because one student walked the whole game, and didn’t spill any water, so technically she won. Oh well.)

But here’s why I was thrilled with Buckshot and I: many months ago, the reining trainer we go to for clinics said- I’d like to see everyone develop the lope (canter) enough that you can canter and hold a glass of water in one hand and not spill it! That image has stuck in my mind for a long time, as a marker of having achieved something in cantering. And I did not think I was anywhere near achieving it. But, when playing a game (and not thinking about it too carefully), Buckshot and I were able to do it! Hooray for us! I want to practice with the water cup more, and get better at it. It sort of seems like a hidden achievement – something I didn’t know I could do, until I stopped thinking about it and, in a game, just did it. Hmm, food for thought, possibly….

And Sunday was so funny, and unusual. I got Buckshot from his pasture and he seemed a little bit mellow as we walked to the main barn. I let him graze in various spots during our walk, and sometimes I have to encourage him to keep walking. But not Sunday, he would graze happily, and then happily walk on. Mellow. Then I groomed him while he ate hay in the stall. All calm. I put his saddle pad and saddle on him, and stepped out to put my helmet on and get my sunglasses ready.

I looked at Buckshot- his head was over the stall door, and his eyes were half closed. No they were three quarters closed! He was practically asleep! I stroked his face, and said, oh Buckshot, you’re so sleepy. And then I remembered what the BO had told me earlier – that the night before, a critter was in the farm garden and the farm dogs were excited and outside three times in the dead of night barking and running off the critter. The farm garden is right next to Buckshot and Lucky’s pasture, so I’m sure they were awakened by all the commotion. So Buckshot probably hadn’t had a normal night of sleep. And he was sleepy, and I had just groomed him, making him even more relaxed! Poor guy! He just wanted a long nap! I told him we’d just have a light ride, and we did. Mostly walking. When I asked for a trot, he gave me a nice extended walk! Well, he did actually trot a little. I didn’t even ask him to canter. After a bit, he walked to the center of the arena and stopped at our usual dismounting spot. As if to say, clearly, I think it’s time to dismount! And he had been so good, trying as hard as his sleepy-self could, so I dismounted. What a sweet horse! I got him untacked, gave him his treats, showered him and got him back to his pasture so he could take a nap!

So I had a wonderful long weekend with Buckshot. And I tried out some new clothes I had recently bought at REI. The summers here in Virginia are so hot and humid that I thought I’d replace some of my tee shirts and polo shirts with short sleeved blouses. I discovered there is something called safari blouses, and I thought, great! If they are perfect for sweating in on a safari, they should be great for riding! So I bought several- two are REI brand short sleeved blouses, and one is a Columbia brand short sleeved blouse. They have zippered pockets tucked away, and mesh on the inside, and the REI shirts even have mesh inserts down both sides of the blouse that you open up (but can't see through)by unzippering. My conclusion is that they are great for riding. Even though I got sweaty, they feel cooler because they don’t cling to me. And they dry off much more quickly than the tee shirts do. I love them! And they come in very pretty colors as well. I highly recommend them.

On a final note, going back to the thrush medicine, do you have things in your equine box that are must-have’s, and that you always keep on hand? For me, I always have TriCare cream, Swat, Vetrolin spray (for tail and mane, and also I use it as a sunscreen for Buckshot’s large white blanket part of his coat – it’s one of the few sprays that has a sunscreen), Equispot fly serum, a liquid fly spray, and Eqyss medicated spray and shampoo. Also some liquid Dial soap to clean fly masks and dirty tails. What do you always keep on hand?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Giving a Horse Eye Drops

I have to share something that happened a week ago. Buckshot’s right eye was tearing, with a long drip of a tear coming down his nose. I had picked up a Farnum Eye Wash for Horses at the local tack store recently so I got it and wanted to put a few drops in his eye. I put his halter on and gently rubbed my fingers over his right eye. He didn’t pull away from me but he wasn’t exactly cooperating either. I held the bottom strap of his halter with my left hand and had the small eye wash bottle in my right hand. I moved it toward his eye. At first he pulled back slightly. Then he just squinted both of his eyes tightly closed and stopped moving. As if to say “Okay, I’m ready! Go ahead,” but both of his eyes were closed! LOL! With only two hands, all I could do was toss a few drops of the wash in the direction of his eye, but none actually got into his eye! It was so funny! Now I know why you absolutely need two people to put eye drops in a horse’s eye! (A little later, his eye looked fine so I don’t think the eye wash was too important.) Next time, I’ll get a helper. He was so sweet- he trusted me just fine to put something in his eye, as long as it was tightly closed! It still makes me laugh when I think about it!

This past weekend we had some rain, and some sunshine, some warm temperatures and some cool temperatures. It’s very confusing. On Saturday, I was having a good time grooming Buckshot in the stall, when, what did I hear? But raindrops on the roof! I looked out the aisle door and saw it was really only sprinkling. So, I decided to use reverse psychology on the weather and just keep going- on the assumption that if I stopped grooming and gave up the idea of riding, the rain would stop and the sun would come out just as soon as Buckshot was back in his pasture. So I kept going, and got him tacked up and when we headed out to the arena, it was barely misting, and I expected it to stop any minute.

We started our warm up and then! You guessed it – it started raining harder! So I surrendered and dismounted. Darn- Buckshot seemed ready and eager to work!

I walked him back into the barn and decided to do something new – groundwork in the barn! I’d never done it before but I gave it a try. We walked around the barn aisle a few times, trying for good half circles on the ends of the aisle. We did our “walk and halt” exercise where I walk next to Buckshot for a few steps, then say whoa and he is supposed to stop on a dime at my side. He did very well at it. And we did neck stretching exercises, using the apple pieces I had brought him for a treat. He did great, bending his neck around this way and that to get the apple. We also did some backing in the aisle. Buckshot did great, especially considering that it had begun thundering and the rain and thunder made it very noisy in the barn. It’s good to know I can work in some groundwork even when we have very little space to do it. I took him to his stall and untacked him and gave him the rest of his treats, and when the rain slackened, I walked him back to his pasture. What a great horse he is, to do the crazy things I ask of him! He must think I’m nutty sometimes!

After the rainy Saturday, Sunday was sunny and bright and fairly cool. The rain had dampened the arena footing to make it just the perfect mix of moist and dry sand that was wonderful to ride on. After starting our warmup in the main arena, the BO, her husband and I walked our horses down to the field arena and we had a great time there. We all did entire reining patterns – patterns 8 and 9, to be specific – and it was great fun! Buckshot and I did very well at them. For the small circles, usually done at a lope, we trotted, and then for the large circles, we cantered them as much as possible. I concentrated on the order of the maneuvers, and getting us to the right spots in the arena, and steered with as much precision as possible. During the run downs, where you ride the length of the long rail at the canter, Buckshot had super energy! When the pattern was over, we were tired! Then one of the other riders rode the pattern while we watched from the sidelines.

Riding an entire pattern is a terrific exercise that focuses my mind, and yet strangely enables me to not think too much about some parts of it. Circling at the canter is such a challenge. I have to remind myself to stay straight up in the saddle and not lean, yet instinctively, I want to lean. I have to think ahead to where I want to go, and also, with another part of my mind, think about doing the current thing correctly. My mind floats back and forth, from the present moment, to where I need to be in three seconds. It really is very challenging, in a good way, both mentally and physically. I was very proud of Buckshot and how hard he worked. Together, we are getting better little by little. I love that about riding – seeing your improvements, however small, and seeing your horse respond to them. Both aspects are awesome- seeing yourself develop and seeing your horse respond differently, and better.

I hope you had a good weekend with your horse and that you are seeing progress as well!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Grand Theft!

Have you heard about the arrest of a small Illinois town comptroller, accused of massive embezzlement of the town’s funds - $30 million worth!- a woman who used the stolen funds to become a famous Quarter Horse breeder, and who won the AQHA breeder of the year several times recently? The woman who did all this, and was recently caught by the FBI, and arrested, is Rita Crundwell, from the sleepy town of Dixon, Illinois, in the northern section of the state. She held the position of town comptroller for years, yet had developed two large ranches nearby and a third one in southern Wisconsin, an enormously expensive undertaking, using funds that she systematically stole from the town’s funds. I am very, very offended by this, on three levels. As a financial professional myself, I hate embezzlement of any kind. To steal from one’s employer is grievously wrong and is the antithesis of the professionalism and trust the employer places in the accounting staff. She made a surprisingly high salary in her job- $80,000 a year, which shocks me. For a small town to pay such a huge sum is shocking. That salary is quite comfortable, but still she stole millions! From the taxpayers, which essentially means she stole from her neighbors, her friends (if she had any), her family, her coworkers, her boss, every tax-paying store owner and vendor (including the horse-related vendors – vets, feed dealers, tack dealers, repairmen, farm staff, etc) she encountered, she stole their tax dollars right out from under them. It is immoral, unethical and despicable. That is the second reason she offends me – she stole from hardworking taxpayers that she had lived among and worked among all her life.

And the third reason I am so offended and angry at her is that she became a horse person. I don’t and can’t call her a horsewoman, because she is the exact opposite of everything a good horsewoman is. She has sullied and hurt the reputation of every horse-related person in the country. To acquire and care for horses using stolen funds is appalling! It demonstrates the lack of care for horses, not care for horses. She also used the funds to develop and compete her horses and breed them, and she won lots of awards, big awards from the AQHA and other smaller associations. She essentially conned and deceived the other horse people she interacted with. She was a criminal and a con woman.

Her horses competed as halter horses, and one article that I read included a photograph of her and one of her horses. When I first looked at the photo, I thought, that’s odd, that horse looks weird and distorted, his eyes are all bugged out and the back of him, what little I can see behind his head, looks huge and way out of proportion. What is wrong with this picture? That is a weird looking horse, I thought. I went to another article that had a picture of a young horse accompanying the story about Rita Crundwell, and this little horse also looked very weird, almost disfigured. I didn’t know what kind of medical problem or deformity I was looking at.

At the barn where I board, all weekend we talked about this story and I learned that many halter horses are given steroids and become weird looking and that is probably what the horses were demonstrating. I looked up on Google “halter horses steroids” and man! Did I see some ugly, gross, horrible pictures of horses on steroids! Oh, my gosh, how can a horse person not see how unnatural and disfigured a horse on steroids becomes. And how they are probably being horribly damaged internally from steroids as well. So maybe, possibly, probably, Rita used steroids on her prize winning horses, because the picture of one of her horses seemed to demonstrate steroid use.

The best website I have found on following the Rita Crundwell story is It is the website for a newspaper in the Dixon, IL area and they have done a lot of background on her. After all, she spent her life in this town. How can you dupe your life-long neighbors?? It’s just appalling.

I was born and raised in my early years in Indiana and Illinois. I know that people from the Midwest are some of the best in the world, salt of the earth, fabulous integrity, wonderful common sense, moral people. And to know that this woman is also from the Midwest, and conspired and committed this complex, multiple year fraud and theft, is embarrassing to me.
Yes, I have lots of questions about how she could have carried out this fraud of such huge amounts since 2006, without help, and it is my opinion that she did have help from someone. I think there are others who are also responsible and I hope the FBI is doing one hell of a thorough job to uncover them and prosecute them as well.

So currently, as of today, she is not in jail, she is out on $4500 bond. Yes, that little amount! Unbelievable. Gosh, I’m sorry but it makes me wonder, and not favorably, about the wisdom of the official who made that decision.

As I dug around the Internet on this story, I ran across two interesting other tidbits about her. One citation was a short mention at the very bottom of a page in Chronicle of the Horse. One sentence, in what I assume is the “announcements and news” section, that said that a horse sale of over 75 Quarter Horses was planned at Rita Crundwell’s Dixon, Illinois ranch on July 28, 2012. I think that this sale had been in the works for a while and is not related to her recent arrest and legal allegations. I suspect that she planned to have a late July sale of these horses and do what, I wonder, with the money. One of the legal requirements of her bail last week was that she not sell any of the horses. I wonder how they are going to enforce that? A buyer drives onto her property with a trailer, a sale occurs, a horse is loaded onto a trailer, and the new owner drives off. With over 75 horses on one of her three ranches, they must be very large ranches indeed. You are going to need some serious equine security guards to make sure none of them gets sold in the dead of night. The fact that she notified Chronicle of the Horse of her July 2012 sale makes me wonder if she thought the con was about up and she was going to be found out.

The other interesting tidbit I read about was a lawsuit brought against her by three of her, probably former, farm employees. Three Hispanic men sued her for wages and time she did not pay them for. They were hired for between $300 - $350 per week, so these men were paid very little. They made a case that she didn’t pay them all they had rightfully earned and in the end, she settled and paid $47,000 to them. Such a small, small sum of money to employees who only make appx $12,000 per year, and I’ll bet she resented every cent of it. She, who had stolen millions of other people’s money and taxes, may have resented paying hard working farm employees the small amount of $47,000! This is just my opinion, but the fact that they had to sue her meant that she didn’t want to pay them anything at all. In fact, the article said that when one of the plaintiffs mentioned being underpaid to her, she fired him. That tells me something about the type of employer she was. And to think that in the background, she hadn’t earned these funds herself- she stole them.

This woman reminds me of the characteristics from a book we read a few month's ago in Mugwump’s book club- The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. From my notes on the book, sociopaths have no conscience at all but are great actors and fakers, have no emotional attachments to others, human or animal, like to control and manipulate others, want pity so they can manipulate others’ emotions, can be very charming, are mean spirited and cold hearted, covet what others have and want to hurt those that have those “things,” want power over others, want to “win,” are risk takers and adrenaline junkies because without emotions they are often bored, some are violent and abusive, and they make you question a normal perspective of reality. I think someone who can embezzle huge sums of money for years from their own neighbors and coworkers, and set themselves up as a leader in one area of the horse world, and yet can deny their minimum paid employees a small amount of earned money, etc, etc, etc, probably has several of the above characteristics of a sociopath.

I am so appalled and angry about the theft and deception on so many levels that Rita Crundwell did. Everyone at the barn was equally angry. I hope she pays dearly for these crimes. But I feel sad for her horses. I hope all of them find nice, honest, caring, genuine new owners (who don’t use steroids).

After my long rant about this issue, I’ll just mention that I had a nice time last weekend with Buckshot. On Saturday it rained so we didn’t ride, but on Sunday we had a great ride. What a sweet horse he is!! Hope you had a great weekend also!