Monthly Archives: December 2011

Egad! It’s almost 2012!

It’s the last day of the year and we just wanted to say

Thank you to Betsy Bueno of Lost Hearts and Souls Horse Rescue for talking to us and giving us a first hand account of the state Sister and Valerie were in when she rescued them.

Thank you to Cowgirl Spirit Rescue Drill Team for being our first featured rescue and answering our (slightly) crazy interview questions!

Thank you to Darla Clark of Strawberry Mountain Mustangs for letting us feature her awesome rant – and for being our second featured rescue!

And most importantly, thank you to our wonderful readers who have been so supportive through their email submissions and comments!  You guys have made this blog more successful than we dreamed and made it such a welcome and inviting place to hang out on the web (well, for the most part :P)


By the way, if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to help horses in some way then you may want to check out Sarah K. Andrew’s Horses and Hope 2012 calendar.  100% of the profits from sales of the calendar “will be donated to a dedicated fund with One Horse At a Time, Inc.”  These people are working “with the owner of the auction to resell the horses who didn’t get a high enough bid to leave the sale.”  Since they began in November 2009 they have saved over 2000 horses.  We’d write more but we have to go buy a calendar now…

Model horses need better models!

This photo is from the website of a model horse stable (which is a whole other post in and of itself – talk about wackadoodle!) wherein they “raise”, “breed” and show (no quotes there, they actually have live, in person competitions!) model horses.

How disturbing is it that this sight is so prolific within the Arabian halter competition world that they would make a figurine of it? Especially considering the horses are supposed to look more like this:

Did you know that in Arabian Halter classes they are first, and foremost, judged on “type” which, in this instance, means whether or not they look like an Arabian.  Sorry, let us get this straight: The horse is being judged on whether or not it looks like it’s breed?  TO WHAT PURPOSE?!  And how is it that conformation is the second judging criterion?  Apparently the stance of the real Arab (above; yes we really did feel the need to clarify that) is considered correct and that is how it is judged.  Yeah, that looks natural.  Would you like to know why Arabian’s are stereotyped as being neurotic?  It’s because of these shows and so-called “trainers”!  Would you like to know the shortcut for getting their heads up in the clouds like that?  Why yes!  It is yanking on the chain when the horse has done nothing wrong!  Of course they’re going to fling their head in the air – they’re trying to get away from the handler!  And they damn well better keep their heads up there too, lest they want to be shanked every 5 seconds.

Speaking of halter training…

Starting at 0:44 does it not look like the horse is totally rocking his weight backwards – as far from the “trainer” as possible?  Probably too scared of having his head ripped off should he actually move his feet. At about 1:15 it looks like he’s about to his the horse’s left shoulder with the whip but then the video mysteriously cuts away… hmmm we wonder why they did that…  And then of course, the pièce de résistance: at 1:40 we have the self proclaimed “halter trainer” aggressively lunging at the horse, feigning like he’s a crazed nun preparing to beat the devil out a homosexual. Then there’s more head jerking and whip flicking (hard to tell if he’s actually hitting the horse or not so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt) both of which are characteristic of good (and here we’re using the term “good” based on a sliding scale – compared to others, this guy ain’t bad) Arabian halter trainers. But hey, if you’re wondering how serious he is about being a trainer, check out his other video on youtube:

We’re sorry, we know people have personal lives and we shouldn’t judge but we just can’t take anyone who plays WOW seriously.  By the way, if you do go to his youtube channel, don’t bother with the third video.  Apparently it’s a power point presentation on animal cruelty – it’s literally just pictures of abused animals.  There’s no information and no point to watching it – unless you want to cry.  Then go for it.

Does it not look like the handler of the model horse is about to beat it over the head with that whip?

PS.  This is by no means our “in depth” Arabian halter post and as such we reserve the right to pick up this topic again – possibly soon!

Featured Horse: SMM’s Huck

We announced last week that our featured rescue for December AND January is Strawberry Mountain Mustangs. This week we’re featuring one of their adoptable horses; say hi to Huck!

Huck is a 5 year old gelding, currently in training near Bend Oregon. He was started a few years ago but not ridden much. His foster mom now is putting miles on him out on the trail and learning to be a good citizen. He is said to be a BLM mustang, born in captivity, so not freeze marked. He’s very “busy”, and very intelligent. He’s the type of horse to figure out how to open gate latches, how to remove his pasture mate’s blanket, how to bring every manure fork or other nearby tools into his stall etc. I would estimate him to be 14.2 or so.

For more information check out his page on SMM’s website (click on his name above or the picture) 😀

Ugh…Turkey Hangover…

…thou art a heartless bitch.  Never mind the actual hangover!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled snark.

We’re sure you’ve all seen pictures of a single toddler without a helmet on a horse.

You may have even seen two.

But what about three?

Is there some sort of contest we’re not aware of?  How to eliminate the most offspring in one spook? Or misstep for that matter…

Aaaand discuss!

WDC: Merry Christmas everyone!

We hope everyone has lots of fun unwrapping their presents.  It’s half the fun of getting them!

May you all get everything on your list!

Enjoy your holidays, have lots of fun with friends and family and drink lots of rum and eggnog!  Best part of the season… at least in JG’s books!

Ow my eyes!

We’ve done posts before comparing horses to cows and tanks but thus far those horses were fairly proportionate (if you ignored the toothpick legs) but this one’s body doesn’t even match its’ head and neck! It’s like a wackadoodle Mr. Potato Head!

So, some brilliant people thought to themselves, let’s breed it to a skinny, almost sickly looking mare and see if it balances out.

And this is what they got:

Clearly the stallion provided the majority of the genes here!  Well, she may have the dam’s skinny neck, but certainly not the length of it!

This is a very nice filly that is ready to find her own home. Loves attention and grooming. Sire is a cutting horse and is throwing his gentle disposition to his foals. Won money at local jackpot cuttings in GA. Dam(AQHA) was broke at 2 then turned out as a broodmare. Jasmine should mature over 15 hands. She would make a great working, cutting or trail horse. Clean slate ready to be worked with. Leads, loads, stands great for the farrier. Has had shots and will have boosters in the next month. Bloodlines include Joe Quincy, Hank-A-Chief, Zippo Pine Taylor and Sonny Dee Bar. Motivated seller $1500 make offer.

This filly is offered for sale on (ad sent in by a concerned reader) and is just over a year old!  We’re wondering what the seller is basing the statement that “she would make a great working, cutting or trail horse” on?  Or do they mean that she would make a great working, cutting or trail horse if the points of her hocks weren’t almost touching? The poor thing is cow hocked (not the worst we’ve seen…) – you can tell because the distance between the hocks is less than the distance between the fetlocks.  Horses that are cow hocked typically experience pain in the joint, causing the horse to use them less and thus develop less musculature in the hind end.  So no, this horse probably will not make a great working or cutting horse – but she may do alright on the trails.  If you have access to this month’s Equus magazine, there’s a great article in there about hocks by Dr. Deb Bennett.

Moving on.

Another horse that “loves attention and grooming“!? Thank  Gawd!  Because those are truly becoming a rarity! Phew! That’s a load off our minds!

Normally when people say that a horse is “broke” they mean it’s been trained to accept a saddle, bridle and rider and all that that encompasses.  However, in this instance, are we the only ones who think that maybe, just maybe, they mean they actually broke the mare at 2 years of age and that’s why she went straight to broodmare-ery?  Or, let us guess, she showed no talent or proclivity for any discipline and so you decided to pop a few babies outa her?  Ya? That sound about right?


Anyone see the resemblance to the stallion?

Anyone at all? Aww come on…

What a lovely horse…

First off, how cute is this horse?  Especially that top left photo?!

Belgian Draft – $2000

3 year old Belgian Draft gelding, he is a big sweet heart, broke to ride and pull, need a little more training or just more consistent riding than we give him. He is very friendly and sociable. for more info call Sheridan at 337.251.2479.


Unfortunately that was the first and last good thing we had to say about this ad.  From left to right, in photo number one we have Mr. Adorable lying in a bed of cozy grass with a nylon halter on surrounded by evil, malicious barbed wire.  What the hell are they thinking with that fencing? With having done little to no research, we can tell you with 100% certainty that, in the long run, barbed wire is not a cheaper fencing option!  Vet bills are astronomical!  And for those of you who don’t own a horse here’ s a little tip:  if a horse can hurt itself on something, it will!  It’s like Murphy’s Law.  Here’s another tip (we’re just full of ’em today) the barbs of the barbed wire can actually break off in any owies the horse inflicts upon itself, causing infection, preventing the wound from healing properly and ultimately making your vet reopen the wound and start from scratch! (after xray’s, of course)

Moving on.

Bottom left: is it just us or is that a garage with cross-ties?  Seriously, that ceiling looks to be about 6 inches above the horn of the saddle!  And is that a work bench in behind Mr. Adorable?  There’s something on top of it… fingers crossed it isn’t some sort of saw.

Bottom right: Now, I  (DE) don’t like making fun of people’s weight because, well, I ain’t exactly skinny – the fat fairy visits me.  Frequently.  Bitch.  However, when you’re on a draft horse, even a young one, and you manage to dwarf it, it’s time to reevaluate some of your life choices (I say as I head straight for the treadmill…). Also, and I hate to say this, but the rider should be considering the fact that this horse is only 3 and perhaps you shouldn’t be stressing his joints quite so much… Am I a horrible person?  There are tons of horses I won’t get on because of my weight… Not sure I’d be willing to subject a 3 year old to hauling me around.  ‘Nuff said.

Reduced for Christmas!

Thank you to Kijiji, Canada’s very own Craigslist (not that they don’t have Craigslist, but apparently they felt they needed something wholly Canadian), and the concerned reader that sent us the following ad for us to snark on!

Do you know why stores reduce their prices before Christmas?  It’s because they know they’re going to be selling more than normal, have purchased more stock to accommodate the increased numbers and have received a proportionately increased discount on said stock.  So really, are the stores losing any money? NO!  But the owner of the following horse clearly does not understand this basic economic concept and is offering her beeutyfull mare at half off the regular sale price for Christmas!


*Disclaimer: If you have an aversion to poor grammar and atrocious spelling (like we do when we’re properly rested and not in a huge hurry! -so basically when it’s convenient for us) then you may want to skip the ad copied below.
Bailey is eligible for registration with the Canadian pinto registry, paper work is being processed.
Bailey had 30 days under saddle last fall, but hasn’t been ridden consistently since. I am getting out once or twice a week, weather permitting, she’s been great!  She is solid at the walk/trot, and backs up well. It’s been to icy to canter. Bailey has excellent breaks, a very soft mouth, and is responsive to leg cues. She is very quiet and takes everything very well.  Will be an excellent show pony.  Was shown in hand by 12yr, very successfully. Has been free jumped to 3’0, long floating strides. Would excel in dressage, hunters, or jumpers.  Bailey is easy to work with, and learns quickly. 100% sound, healthy and sane!
This little mare is a proven producer, throws color and temperament.
Has been confirmed in foal to ‘Youngs Country Brat’ for march/april 2012
She had a Buckskin colt in 2010, foal by bay arabian.
Both stallion and 2010 colt are available for veiwing.
Bailey is 14.1hh, foaled in may 2007
Would consider riding or breeding lease.
$3000 negotiable Bailey in foal – Reduced to $1500 for Christmas
$2250 Bailey, and I retain the foal – Reduced to $1250 for Christmas
Free breeding to your choice of AQHA cremello or Registered Welsh section B for 2013 foal, mare care not included.
I can also sell her tack with her. Black AP synthetic saddle, Bridle, Snaffle Bit, Girth, and Polo’s. $400

May trade/partial trade for tack, welsh or arabian mare/filly, TB

So, this person freely admits they don’t have time for this mare and yet they want to trade her for another questionably bred horse?  Why?  What exactly were they hoping to accomplish here?  If you’re not happy with the horse, which you clearly aren’t, why are you breeding it? Oh, and for those of you following along at home, yup the ad does say this horse is only 4 years old and has already had a baby.  No doubt passing along it’s thick throatlatch and short neck (can’t tell much about the legs from the photos) to the next generation.  People like you should be weeded from the gene pool.

And now for our mantra:


December’s featured rescue!

This month (and actually for January as well since we’re getting such a late start and it is Christmas and all) Snarky Rider is proud to feature Strawberry Mountain Mustangs!  They did such a great job for Grace and work very hard not only to rescue horses, but to make sure those who are responsible for the animals suffering are brought to justice.  You may remember Darla Clark, SMM’s dedicated and driving force – not to mention outspoken! 😉  She crafted her own snarky grumblings a while back and graciously allowed us to feature it on the blog: Helpful tips for communicating with your local rescue.

We performed our customary interrogation interview and here’s what Darla had to say!

1.  You often are called on to give advice to people who are uncertain of how to best approach a possible neglect case.  Can you give some generalized guidelines/steps people should follow?

Be aware that things are not always as they may seem.  If you’re concerned about a horse, sometimes all it takes to help is for you to remain neutral, keep an open mind, and offer to help.  Not every case warrants criminal prosecution.  In Oregon, the Oregon Hay Bank is available to assist owners in times of crisis. They must apply and be screened, and it’s one time help, but sometimes we just need to help a neighbor.

If the owner is unwilling to talk to you, or you feel as if you would be in danger by approaching the owner, then start documenting. Make notes about the times of day that you witness no food, no water etc.  Take pictures, without trespassing. (If you provide food and water, as tempting as it is, be aware that when an officer does respond, you may be hindering the case.)  FILE A COMPLAINT.  I can’t tell you how many times I hear complaints about animal control not doing their job, when in actuality, no complaint was ever filed. Yes, you can file an anonymous complaint, but keep in mind, if the officer is unable to locate the horse, or has questions, how can they contact you?  If you’re seriously uncomfortable with calling law enforcement, find someone who will. And again, a picture is worth a thousand words.

2.What are your horse’s favorite Christmas carols?  Are they Mariah fans?

Mariah? Nah. Sorry.  You might hear our group stomping their hooves to a little Nickelback, see them tossing their manes to some 80’s hair band music, but no Mariah. Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban get some big hooves up too. Do they do Christmas carols?

 3.  What is the most frustrating rescue/neglect/abuse situation that you’ve had to deal with?

Rescue hoarding, by far. One of the most complex issues for any animal control, law enforcement or rescue entity to deal with. So many new rescues are popping up, granted, with a heart of gold, but with no clue what it’s going to take to sustain. Somewhere along the line it becomes “just one more”, and pretty soon the animals need to be rescued from the rescue. Of course large scale seizures are incredibly expensive for any county budget, and no one wants to face the fact that there are often large numbers of animals who may need to be euthanized. It’s an ugly topic, but researchers are gaining ground, and organizations like GFAS are giving the general public a place to go for a sense of security when supporting.

 4.  Do your horses get a special Christmas treat?  Rum and eggnog? 😉

The rum’s for this tired rescuer!  The horses get carrots, apples and cookies. We have a great supporter who sends home made cookies from Chicago, but when the package is damaged and leaking powdery substances, we often find ourselves on lockdown inside the post office. Hazardous suspicious materials ya know.

5.  What is one law that you’d like to see put into place that you think would truly make a difference for animal welfare?

ONE?!  I’m limited to one?  Ok, how about the NEXT one?  Douglas County Animal Control Officer Lee Bartholomew and ALDF Attorney Stephan Otto have drafted the first Aggravated Neglect statute – and we’d like to see it in the 2013 legislative session.  Neglect is a misdemeanor in Oregon, and anymore, that’s just not cutting it. An Aggravated Neglect will address hoarding issues where large numbers of animals must be seized. It will address repeat offenders who move from state to state and county to county. It will address neglect committed in front of a minor child, and it will make all of these a FELONY. Now THAT’s how you will get someone’s attention.

6.  What’s on your Christmas wish list?

Sunny skies and 80 degree temps? Breed standards set forth by AQHA? Oh, you were serious?

Gift cards. Always. Gift cards for fuel. Gift cards for feed and supplies from Coastal Farm & Home. Anything to help with expenses. We have no paid staff and rely on our horse community to support what we do. It takes all of you to rescue a horse. We just happen to do the leg work.


A very special congratulations to SMM!  They are now the only GFAS rescue and rehabilitation facility in Southern Oregon.  For those not familiar with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries – they provide support to recognized sanctuaries and help them procure funding for the animals.  Recognized sanctuaries are held to stringent animal care guidelines, downloadable on their website for those interested.

An Update on the Gwen Stockebrand saga

One of our readers commented on our original post about Gwen Stockebrand to tell us that charges had (finally) been filed against Gwen!  We immediately went over to google to see if we could find out some more details – after a quick search (no, I didn’t search at work.  I would never do that… quickly looks the other way) we found an article on Rate My Horse Pro  that indeed confirms charges have been filed against Ms. Stockebrand.  This article also tells of the unfortunate news of the passing of one of the rescued mares.  Sister was euthanized after presenting stroke-like symptoms.  It was later determined that she had, in fact, suffered from a bleed in her brain.

The good news is that the rescue, Lost Hearts & Souls, is reporting that Valerie is now a 3 on the Henneke Body Chart (she had a score of 1 when she was rescued).

This photo is from 9 days after rescue – already gaining!

This one is from mid-December.  Still a little ways to go, but she’s looking a lot better.

And here’s Sister after being rescued, happily chomping away, may she rest in peace.

For those of you that have been following this case from the beginning, you might remember that there were a few people who were less than thrilled that this case was perhaps receiving more media attention because of the involvement of a former Olympian.  Well, now that charges have been filed against said former Olympian we can chime in with our two cents (or four cents, since there’s two of us).  Olympians are held to a higher standard.  They’re role models to the rest of us.  They also cannot use the excuse of lack of knowledge – they are the experts in their field and have access to resources that most of us only dream about.

We don’t believe anyone’s personal lives should come under public scrutiny, what people choose to do in the privacy of their own homes is very much their own business, provided it doesn’t hurt anyone or anything else.  That was not the case here.  Gwen Stockebrand has been formally accused in this case of neglect and we most sincerely believe she should be punished to the full extent of the law should she be found guilty.

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