Again, I wish you a Happy New Year. With plenty of rain in the valley and foothills and snow in the
mountains, water is once more abundant. It is so refreshing to hear the creeks and rivers run once more
and rushing waters encourage us that a beautiful spring and summer lie
ahead. However, winter is
also a season to enjoy and appreciate the workings of Mother Nature. As
Heather Davis so eloquently put when describing the Tevis trail in
winter, “The trail is resting now, ready to re-awaken in the
That’s what winter brings to us and our
horses…a chance to rest so we can greet the spring refreshed and ready
If you did not attend the meeting in January or
have not heard it “through the grapevine”, I broke my wrist in a
riding mishap 2 weeks ago. Pete
has stepped up to the challenge and is taking care of everything on the
home front. He constantly surprises me with his many talents, but needs
a little more practice with the curling iron, clasping a hair clip and
fastening a bra. Fortunately, it was my non-dominant hand, so I can still
work…staying mostly with computer and paperwork. I did manage to get one day of skiing in before this
and a few winter rides and it certainly could have been worse. So, I am waiting for these bones to heal, which takes me a
lot longer than it would have when I was in my twenties. Hopefully, this didn’t happen because I deleted a chain
letter. Now, I’m just
kidding, but you know the emails to which I refer.
I love them because the person sending these email chain letters
states that it is only being sent to his or her closest friends and
contains a beautiful message about how special you are to this person. However, the message ends with a dire warning that if the
email is not forwarded to 8 or 50 of your closest friends, bad luck will
follow you. In their zeal to avoid a run of bad luck themselves, the
email is quickly sent to their list of contacts, thereby granting them
good luck for the next two years?
What kind of friend sends these? Please delete me from your friendship list.
Cali Jansen is our special guest speaker this
month, so please plan on attending.
Some of us have been fortunate to have Cali use her extensive
knowledge on our equines, with amazing results.
Her areas of expertise include saddle fitting, alternative
treatments and therapies, feeds, and all the elements of well being that
are necessary for our animals to live and work successfully.
Cali is a fascinating speaker and it will be well worth your
while to attend the February 17th meeting.
Please show your support for GCER and attend.
I sent this to Ride Camp and if you haven’t
heard the tragic news about Carolyn, the Santa Rosa newspaper, the Press
Democrat said she was shot and killed by her nephew:
I was so shocked and saddened to hear the news
about Carolyn Day, owner of Plush Seat Bottoms. She was a very
popular person with endurance riders, particularly in the west region.
Her sheepskin saddle covers were the best and if yours was worn in the
leg area, instead of trying to sell you a new one, she did an
incredible patch job that was barely discernible and saved lots of
money for the rider. Her booth at the AERC convention was one of
the most popular and fun. She was a delight to do business with
and her sunny smile and disposition will be missed. My thoughts
and prayers are with her friends and family.
Lucy Chaplin Trumbull has volunteered to do our
club newsletter. She is not
writing it, but putting together pieces from members.
I want to thank her for stepping up and accepting this task and
to encourage everyone to submit articles for her to include.
This will only be as good as we make it with our combined
efforts. Thanks to
everyone. See you soon!
Tues. 17th, 7 pm (6 pm if you want to
eat ahead of the meeting)
at Baker's Square, Auburn
Speaker: Cali Jansen
"Does your horse have an attitude or physical
glitch you would like to change or eliminate? Have you ever wondered if
your horse is as well and happy as s/he can be? Are you both benefitting
from your relationship as much as possible?
Come join our group discussion hosted by Cali Jansen,
a well-respected holistic health care practitioner and equine
consultant. In addition to working with several hundred client's horses,
Cali has had a lifetime of living and playing with her own horses. Her
experience ranges from AERC, NATRC, pleasure trail, and packing, to
dressage and jumping. One of her favorite personal accomplishments was
the only 1906 mile Pony Express Race that was run in 32 consecutive
riding days. So, she can relate to you and your desire to have fun and
do well with your horse!
Start thinking before the meeting, of all the details
that influence your horse's (and ultimately, your) life. As we pose
hypothetical and real concerns about horse's attitudes and performance,
we will explore all possible causes. You might be surprised at what
Jon Saunders says:
Dues are now due for 2004!
collect at the meeting, or they can be mailed to
the club PO box.
going to purge the e-mail and s-mail lists by the
end of March, so if people want to receive anything, they must pay the
We don't charge for back dues - so there is no
penalty for missing past
years, but I will drop them if they haven't paid by
the end of march.
Merrylegs not so Merry!!
The tale of the Hartman's new
On October 4, 2003, I rode with Karin (Occhialini) to Idaho to return her horse Bella to Belesemo Arabians. We had a wonderful visit to the Belesemo Arabian Ranch and I ended up bringing home a beautiful 2 1/2 year old filly, a Belesemo Trad granddaughter, Belesema Merrylegs. Yes, probably too soon after losing Abe, but.....
Megg did fine on the trip home to California and was great the next two months here with my three other mares. I had Dr.Todd (Nelson, my usual vet) come and vet her the end of October and she passed fine, except for two patches of what they call in Idaho "scratches" on her left front and right rear fetlock areas. I say "scratches" because they are a little "uglier" then what I have seen called scratches around here. Kim at Belesemo had even given me a concoction to put on them that her vet makes up because they are so prevalent in Idaho. Never could get these "scratches" to totally go away, some irritation remained but not enough to cause lameness or a big issue.
On December 7th I noticed some swelling in the left front lower leg, thought it was a sprain but then it got pretty puffy so on the 9th I tried Todd, he couldn't get out so I called our local vet in Meadow Vista, Dr. Dave Stillian. He couldn't get out until the 10th and by the time he got there in the afternoon she showed some swelling in all four legs. He gave her an injection of Banamine and took blood for a blood test. The test came back the next day (11th) showing an infection so started her on oral antibiotics and banamine. On the 11th, her legs not only were swollen but started to ooze and look like wounds all over them.
We started hydro-therapy and applying Novasan and wrapping. We did this daily and hand walked her but she showed no improvement and began to be in more pain. Through all this though she never stopped having a great appetite. I called Todd on 18th, one week after starting oral antibiotics and Banamine. Todd and Dave Stillian both came back out to consult, couldn't figure out anything so took another blood test which came back on the 19th. The infection looked worse, even after a week of her on antibiotics so we made the decision to head to UC Davis. Here we go again, remember my mare Amber had spent two weeks there last year with Strangles and then we took Abe there with his broken leg in August.
Thank God for Karin, she went with me again (bringing back a bad memory of when she went with me when we ended up putting Abe down). We had Megg looked at by Dr. Suzanne Pratt and a male vet stopped by, I think Dr. Wilson who Todd says is very good. She was assigned to Dr. Pratt and that started three weeks of treatment there. After one week they switched vets to Dr. Sandy Taylor . They treated her with IV antibiotics, steroids and pain med, including Morphin. The ran numerous tests, blood, strep (she was never quarantined) a belly tap, epidural, skin biopsies, etc... No answers to what caused this or what to call it now. Megg ended up colicing about 2 1/2 weeks into her stay there, they contribute it to all the steroids which they explained are dehydrating. It wasn't a bad colic but still a colic. I asked to bring her home after three weeks, to be honest couldn't afford any more money. Her tab was a few thousand dollars and I was maxed out since I also owed Dr. Dave and Dr. Todd!!
Karin and I finally brought her home after three weeks with no real answers (Vasculitis is all they said) but told to continue the hydro-therapy, Demalone ointment, and wraps on her legs. Instructed to hand walk as much as possible, 400mg of Prenisolone for 5 days, then 200 mg for 7 days, then 200 mg everyother day for 10 days. Banamine twice a day and blood tests weekly.
She did okay for a few days but after the 5th day, when we went to 200 mg of Prenisolone she started swelling again. I did that for three days and had Dr. Dave come out for a blood test, then we went back up to 400 mg. Blood test was okay and was told to continue what we were doing. By this point Megg was real bad again, her legs looked like we were back to square one. No founder yet, which I guess is a miracle after all these steroids and meds and stall bound. Megg was so tired of us trying to wrap her and clean up her legs. We've done warm epson salt soaks which she seems to like. The legs continued to ooze serum and blood.
Megg's attitude is still so sweet. She still eats well, we have her on grass hay with bran mashes everyday. We had to force her to walk because she hurts. The fetlock areas were all crusty and swollen and crack with movement. She has also developed a "popping" in her left stifle joint and her left rear fetlock joint is popping at a walk. Now we are wondering what is happening to her joints or is it muscle atrophy. She is very thin even though eats a lot, cleans up everything and is drinking well.
Last Monday 2/2, we took her to Dr. Bob Morgan and his associate Dr. Fielding at Loomis Basin. We are now trying a different steroid therapy, this time using injections of Dexamethosone and an antibiotic called Baytril. They gave her her first IV of these two drugs on Monday and are having us inject her I.M. at home for 5 days then orally for another five days. Along with this she is on Bute twice a day and still doing the warm epson salt soaks and wrapping with Dermalone ointment and tefla pads under quilts and polos.
We are exhausted but will try anything to save her. Poor thing is in her 9th week of treatment. She does seem to be responding to this strong dose of drugs, just so risky with the chance of laminitis. The oozing has slowed but still real crusty and ugly. Her legs seem to not be filling as much and she is more comfortable walking. I will speak to Dr. Bob mid-week to get the next round of instructions. With steroids, you have to slowly take the horse off of the dosage so we still have some time with her on drugs and keep praying that her feet and body can hold up to all this. This latest round of treatment is our last chance, it would be so tragic to have to put her down after all of this.
Keep us in your prayers!
Kristy, Mike & Megg Hartman
After hearing the sad news about Heather Davis
last summer, I was jolted into the realisation that there comes a time
when you should stop saying "oh, I'll think about it next
year" and just get on with your life's ambitions. And so, after covering Tevis for the
last seven years–both through photographs and by trying to do the
webcast by hand (a copy typist, I am not)–I decided this year it
was high time to take the plunge and sign us up.
And I've created a monster in my head. Now my days are
consumed by endless ruminations about the ride and my strategy. My brain
rattles around, dredging up various scenarios which send me spiralling
Against us is the fact that we've never gone
further than 50 miles (and done that pretty slowly - turtle riders R
us). Also not great is the minor detail that my trusty Tevis
hopeful–Provo–is going to be 16 this year and hasn't got the
soundest of tendons. But we've got to start somewhere, right?
Looking on the bright side, for the last seven
years I've already practised staying awake for 72 hours on 4 hours of sleep
over ride weekend, struggling to stay coherent in 100 degree heat. And
my saving grace is that we live just off the WST so in theory by July
Provo will be able to jog the route in his sleep (assuming he doesn't
break before then).
I'm also blessed with a selective memory. Trying
to remember my own phone number - not a hope - but storing away obscure
snippets about Tevis is my forte. Couple that with an obsessive
personality, and, voila, by the time the ride rolls around this summer
I'll have gone over every angle possible (not that this will help me get
a sound horse to the start line, or prevent us from being pulled at
Robinson Flat, but at least I'll be educated).
Last week, in a continuing effort to instruct
myself, I watched the japanese Tevis video three times. You never know
what you might have missed in past viewings.
The actual outcome of this not-so-great idea was a
night full of nightmares.
In the first dream, I came into Michigan Bluff to
be greeted by a sensible nurse-type who announced that, as a courtesy,
she would be measuring my feet to ascertain my exact shoe size - length
and width. OK, thought I, and sat down to be measured. It turned out I
had to wear a special robe while being measured. And then the nurse-type
got called away and disappeared for about ten minutes. My unease grew
until I suddenly realised "I don't have time for this! I need to
get on! Look! It's 2:45 already!" [I should be so lucky to get to
Michigan Bluff that early] and I woke up in a panic.
After a few minutes, I managed to get back to
In the next installment, I'd arrived at
Foresthill, but couldn't find my vet card. I emptied out my pommel bag
(filled with papers), followed by my backpack (also filled with papers,
which, once turned out on the table, looked suspiciously like the desk
in my office) - but no vet card was to be found. Interestingly, I was
carrying a quart of oil, though. The panicky thought running through my
head was that I didn't even know what it looked like. I tried suggesting
to the vet that maybe he hadn't given it back to me after the last vet
check, but he wasn't going for that. Finally, the vet card showed
up–it had been sitting on the table all along. I was just starting to
relax when the vet said "And where's you negative Coggins?"
Ack! What Coggins? I don't have one of those... Quickly I made
small-talk, trying to distract him away from this subject and once again
woke up in a panic.
If nothing else, I've seldom been filled with more
enthusiasm and commitment than I am at present. Poor Provo got ridden 60
miles in January - a month where he normally languishes in the mud,
wondering when the next meal-time is coming up. No matter what it's
failings, this ride still has the ability to make me go misty-eyed at
the slightest provocation. Yesterday I found myself prickling while
reading someone's detailed instructions to their crew. The next five and
half months are going to be interesting, that's for sure.
via email: “Does anyone have any
recommendations on cures for a very cinchy young horse? My 5-year-old went over backwards with me last fall after her neoprene girth was tightened. I want to desensitize this horse
completely before I get back on her.” —[Reply
to Lucy, and she'll post the
responses here next month]
Splint Boots: “A friend was told
to put baby powder under splint boots to reduce rubbing. The friend lives
in an arid climate, so I was wondering how this might translate to our
local climate? Would the baby powder be reduced to slime when you went
through the first muddy section, or made goopy by horse sweat? How do you ensure that you don't put splint boots
on too tightly? Does anyone
have any tips on the best way to successfully use splint boots?”
—[Reply to Lucy,
and she'll post the responses here next month]
State of the Trails
Despite some skepticism, the new trail from the Cool
side down to the Coffer Dam did open at the beginning of February. It
is posted as only being open on Sundays.
signposted and starts a little to the north of where the main
Knickerbocker/Olmstead loop crosses the paved road (near the former route
to the Coffer Dam via Elliott Springs. The former route is now closed and
gated). The new trail parallels the paved road for a short while, then is routed
back onto the paved road, before going around a
gate. Maybe a quarter mile past there, the paved road turns to dirt and there are
approximately six switchbacks which get you down to river level. The trail
comes out at the bottom south of the old Coffer Dam trail. Patrick reports that
it's a good climb out of the canyon when you're on a mountain bike.
At the beginning of February, the CA Loop was
reported open and clear of debris/downed trees. However, minutes after
those reports came in, the skies dumped several inches on top of us, so
who knows now if that had any impact.
Anyone knowing more, please let me
know, as I'm hoping to start riding that section in the next few weeks.
Wendell & Inez Robie Foundation is raising
funds to improve the trail from No Hands Bridge toward Pointed Rocks,
Cool-Tevis trail. They have about $4000 and to do the job they need
Donations to the:
Wendell & Inez Robie Foundation
PO Box 714
Foresthill, CA 95631
Make a notation on the check
- for the No Hands to Cool trail
Trail riders who head to the
coast to enjoy the spectacular riding at Pt. Reyes National Seashore can
help preserve access to these fabulous trails by supporting a concept
being proposed for an update to the 1980 Pt. Reyes National Seashore
General Management Plan.
At present, park management is
considering five proposed planning guidelines for this update (see
At a Jan.14 public planning meeting, according to members of
MarinWatch, it became evident that there was a public consensus in support of a hybrid
guideline that combines elements of Concept 2, which focuses on natural
resources, and Concept 5, which includes sustainable agriculture. Rather
than force a choice between natural resource preservation
and preservation of the cultural landscape and agriculture, MarinWatch
has written a sixth concept, for which they ask your support. MarinWatch is a
California nonprofit public benefit corporation whose purposes include
the creation of a forum for the public exchange of information and
comment as to issues relating to the public lands and waters in and off
the coast of Marin County, and activities designed to support and
preserve the environment and historical heritage of Marin County.
equestrian park visitors, it is in our interest to support continued
agricultural activity within the park, for ranches largely account for
the horse-boarding opportunities in the area. If
the ranches go away, there will be less use and support of trails by
equestrians, and hence fewer voices to maintain our right to be there.
the other hand, a concept that supports agriculture within the park
(Concept 5) will do so at some expense to natural resources, which
enhance the beauty and pleasure of our experience at Pt. Reyes.
This is the purpose of proposed Concept 6—Enhancing Cultural
and Natural Resource Restoration and Preservation through Sustainable
text of proposed Concepts 1-5 can be found at the park Web site
Click on the concepts in the left-hand column of the home page.
Following is the text of Concept 6:
UNDER THE CARE OF THE
POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE
Re: Concepts Newsletter 2003
ENHANCING CULTURAL AND NATURAL
RESOURCE RESTORATION AND PRESERVATION
THROUGH SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
This alternative would seek to
maximize protection of both natural and cultural resources, aiming to
support a park landscape that is both ecologically and economically
sustainable, and continue Point Reyes’ living, working landscape
that has evolved over the past 150 years. This alternative would continue ranching (dairy and beef) on
historically ranched areas, including re-leasing ranches that have
recently gone out of production but which still have the
infrastructure to support an active ranching operation (such as D
Ranch, Lupton, and Wilkins).
New leasing regulations would be
developed under which lands and structures would be leased together
for agricultural use for period of up to 60 years, modeled on the
Cuyahoga Valley National Park's "Countryside Initiative"
plan (Sept. 2003). (See Appendix 1 for excerpts of the Preferred Alternative
from the Cuyahoga EIS.) Lessees
would be required to adopt farming practices considered to be
ecologically sustainable. Organic
operations would be encouraged. Members
of historic ranching families would have the option of continuing
their operations, but if they decide to leave ranching, a Request for
Proposals would be open to all interested parties on a competitive
basis, according to NPS guidelines. In order to encourage developing a sustainable combination of
agricultural land uses, a diversity of food and fiber crops would be
open for consideration in addition to dairy and beef operations.
alternative would also emphasize preservation of native species and
natural processes without reducing the cultural aspects of the
landscape. To improve
ecological integrity, invasive exotic species removal efforts would be
research and species monitoring would be expanded to gather more data
on ecosystem health, local populations, and landscape trends.
Marine protected areas and research facilities could be
created (in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and
Game) to better understand and preserve the ocean environment that
surrounds the park. In
addition, rangeland management plans would be co-developed between the
lessees and NPS staff (see the example in Appendix 2) to take an
adaptive management approach to linking agriculture and pastoralism to
sound ecological stewardship and restoration.
this alternative, PRNS could integrate natural and cultural resource
management to better identify and understand the various connections
and relationships among the physical, biological, and cultural
elements of the landscape, while maintaining the area's distinctive
"sense of place and character”. This approach builds on a growing movement of conservation
scholars and practitioners, particularly within the NPS (see
"Speaking for the Future: A Dialogue on Conservation," Jan.
to provide leadership in exploring integrated methods of landscape
stewardship. It would
also provide synergistic support for the efforts underway in West
Marin County to enhance and strengthen a sustainable agricultural
community, including the work of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust and
the Natural Resources Conservation District, as well as the UC
Cooperative Extension. By
taking this approach, rather than one that conceptualizes natural and
cultural resources as existing in conflict, PRNS could become a model
for parks management around the nation.
write to Pt. Reyes National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher c/o his
stating that you support Concept 6. Deadline for comment is Feb. 20.
“Cathy and I have made the extremely
difficult decision to sell our horses. Things happen and life changes. We
both hope that this doesn't mean that we will lose the many friends that
we have made during our "horsey years". We will still continue
to help out GCER and LOVER, and are always available to take advantage of
an "extra" horse that shows up at a campout! If you know of
anybody that is interested in Cisco or Beholdd, please send them our way.
We realize that Springtime is the time that most people go horse shopping,
but we felt if anybody was seriously interested in Endurance or Ride and
Tie, that now would be the best time to acquire the horses so that there
would be time to get them into shape for the first couple of rides.”
John and Cathy Maretti H (530) 345-0240
Beholdd—Foaled 3/90, Polish Arabian, Grey, Easy going, level headed, has done
several 50's and Ride and Ties, some dressage training, very easy to ride,
Cisco—Foaled 4/90, Spanish Arabian,
Chestnut, extremely athletic, responsive, easy on the hands, several
endurance rides, Level 1 Dressage, experienced riders only, $3500
Click for enlarged pic of Beholdd
Registration papers also available - contact Lucy
Presented by Mother Lode Unit of Back
(Back Country Horsemen is having their
February 23rd meeting at the Placerville
Denny's on Fairlane at 6:30 pm)
April 17 and 18, 2004
Have some fun and learn about:
Pack saddles and rigging
Stock management in camp
How to pack and balance your loads
Equipment to carry gear
Gentle use/low impact techniques
How to lead your animals on the trail
How to "throw" the rope
hitches used to tie on your gear
Preparing for a successful trip and
what to take
$35 Individual/$60 Family
Professional Equine Training Stables
10345 Sheldon Road
Elk Grove CA
(Hw-99 to Sheldon Road, East on Sheldon, quarter mile west of Grant
We'll be in a large covered arena out of
rain or sun. Bring a chair for the lecture sessions. We will have a BBQ
lunch available... please join us!
For information and registration:
Dan Marus (916) 663 9343
Please note: because of insurance
requirements associated with persons working around live animals,
participants must be members of Back Country Horsemen of California.
Membership in BCHC may be obtained and submitted at the same time as
clinic registration. Get a $10 discount on the clinic with your new
membership in BCHC.
- Share rental on a horse
property for single NS adult (horse or dog okay), in Greenwood near
100+ mi of trails. Large sunny bedroom-share bath. Avail. 3/1/04
train/sell calm trail/endurance horses
Bob Marshall treeless saddles
equine energy/body work and would be willing to do a
presentation for a club meeting if anyone wanted their horse worked
a handsome black stallion too who did his first season last
year: 250 miles-won $250 at Comstock IAHA ride in Reno.
also give ''how to be safe'' trail lessons, and took the ham
radio test and carry one on trails always - thanks to Stuart's
Equine Energy/Body work
AB Endurance & Trail Horses
Equine Attitude Adjustment
Black Sweepstakes Egyptian Stallion Service
Bob Marshall Treeless Saddles
Rides of March/