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Returning to the basics!!!

by Karen Tharp on 07/12/11


I don’t care how long you’ve been around a horse, or how long you’ve trained.  There will be times when you have to remind yourself of the basics.  This is what I do when I attempt anything with one of my horses.

When attempting to solve any horse problem always begin by asking ‘why’. Why is this problem happening? Understanding the problem will help you understand how to solve it.

Why does my horse not want to be caught? Is it because every time you catch your horse it means he has to go to work? Does he know he is going to be separated from his pasture buddies and would rather stay with them? Does he have a wound that needs taking care of and when you catch him, he knows discomfort will follow?

Why does my horse buck when I ride? Is it because the saddle is pinching or the girth is too tight? Are you heavy and unbalanced in the saddle? Has he learned that he can unload his rider and go back to his stable where he doesn’t have to work?

Why does my horse bite? Is it because the girth is done up too tight and sharply? Have you been frequently hand-feeding treats and he thinks every hand should have a treat in it for him?

Why won’t my horse pick up the correct lead? Is it because you aren’t being clear with your cues?

Some problems are caused by health or physiological issues. Most horse problems are caused by people. So when you have problems with your horse ask yourself honestly how you might be causing it. Understanding why a problem may be occurring allows you to change your behavior so that you can better influence your horses. The first question to ask is not how I solve this problem, but why is this happening.

A couple Things That Never Work

Getting angry or frustrated will only make your problems worse. Anger has no place in horse training or handling. Yelling, hitting or kicking will only teach your horse to fear you. Your horse won’t stop faster because you shout whoa! You won’t catch a cagey horse by stomping up to it in anger.

If you feel yourself becoming angry or frustrated find a way to end the session with your horse on a good note and take a break. Frustration sometimes sets in because we are unclear about how to solve a problem or what we are doing doesn’t seem to be working. That’s when it’s time to ask for some help from an experienced training or coach.

‘Horse Time’ is not ‘People Time’

Horse training or retraining is not a lock-step procedure. Horses learn at different rates and some may catch on quickly, while some take much longer. Don’t set a deadline.

Horses are very sensitive to body language and mood. If you are in a rush, your horse will feel he must rush too. But he won’t know why you are rushing. You might be rushing because your favorite TV show is about to come on. But he might read your sense of urgency as impending danger and his behavior will reflect that.

If you have only 15 minutes to work with your horse do something you know will lead to success in 15 minutes. In the case of teaching your horse to be caught that means you may only go out and walk around and check the fences, hay feeder and water trough so you can be a non-threatening presence in your horse’s pasture. Don’t use those 15 minutes to try to catch a hard to catch horse as you might end up spending those minutes re-enforcing that he can out-run you.

If your horse is hard to lead spend 15 minutes walking and halting. Don’t ask for anything more. If you have only 30 minutes to ride choose an exercise you can do in only 30 minutes. Save the bigger lessons for when your time is more flexible.

Know How to Plan

Before you begin plan what you are going to do with your horse. Have all the equipment you’ll need handy. Plan your time so you can work uninterrupted. You will have a difficult time teaching if you give your horse only part of your attention. You’ll confuse him if you try to teach him while telling the dog to go lie down, talking to another person or running off to fetch a piece of equipment.

Know To Be Satisfied with Small Successes

If your horse moves away when you get on, feel successful if you can make him stand quietly saddled while you stand beside him. If your horse doesn’t like the sound of clippers praise him if he can stand quietly when the clippers run five feet away from him if this is all he can tolerate right now. Don’t try and solve the whole problem the first time out. Only by re-enforcing good behavior will you eventually replace the unwanted behavior.

I hope this helps!  Remember if you’re having a problem leave a comment and I’ll see if I can help you out!



Horse Hydration is a MUST

by Karen Tharp on 07/11/11

Brad here, I thinks it's time for me to do another Blog so here it is.

Been hotter than hot around here the past few days but work still has to be done.  So how does the heat effect your horse?  Well, it's 3 times harder on your horse than it is for you.  Here's why.

The most comfortable temperature for people is between 70 and 80 degrees.  For horses, they are most comfortable at 45-55 degrees.  So when the thermometer is hitting 109 as it has the past two days, horses NEED lots of water to stay hydrated. These animals weigh about five times that of there owners.  Therefore, if they consume 10 gallons of water on a normal day, they are going to need 12 - 15 gallons in this kind of heat and that's just while grazing in the pasture.

Let's think about this from the standpoint that you're using this horse on a daily basis. A horse that's sweating heavily will loose 1.5 gallon of moisture in an hour. That's 12 pounds of weight lost every hour. Without stopping for water, your horse will die in 3-4 hours of steady working. Please take the time to re-hydrate your horse then take the time to re-hydrate yourself. An easy rule of thumb is "when you need a drink, so does your cayuse."

Happy Trails and Stay Cool!!

An Old Problem but a new threat

by Karen Tharp on 07/10/11

Having just moved to Oklahoma I’m learning about all the new risks to our horses.  One risk I learned of this last week was the threat of Blister Beetle Poisoning.  I have found through research that the Blister Beetle is one of the most venomous insect that cannot sting.  They are only dangerous in they are ingested or touched. There are a few caterpillars in this category and two groups of beetle, but the most venomous is the Blister Beetle.

There are around 2000 species of blister beetle worldwide, and when they occur in large numbers they can cause a large problem for livestock. The Blister Beetle produces a toxin called Cantharid in, a chemical that cause blistering on the skin and if eaten also inside the intestine tissue. These beetles live in grass and hay, the natural food source source for many animals and when they are eaten by these grazers, it can cause them serious harm. A cow or horse need only eat 10 or so beetles accidentally to become seriously ill, and this is likely to kill the animal.

Alfalfa and hay growers don't often see the need to treat for blister beetles in their crops.  It's not economically feasible when they can sell untreated hay to customers who don't fear the beetles' toxin. Horse owners and the people who sell hay have to find hay grown farther from home each year.

Many experts say “Oklahoma is full of blister beetles and now Kansas is getting them too.  “Many have to go farther north to get hay.”  Through my research I have found that many growers think it's the other guy's problem.  My growing fear is when it hits home, that's when they'll wake up.”

In Arkansas, blister beetles have been known to defoliate whole fields. That's the only time growers find that spraying pays.  All horse owners and alfalfa growers should be concerned about blister beetle.  My research has showed me that Just about every state has problems with blister beetles at some time or another.  No one is immune to the problem.


Here are six ways buyers and growers can avoid the pest:

  1. When buying hay for horses, find out when it was cut. Purchasing first or last cutting hay, at least here in Oklahoma, is relatively safe. They have never spotted the blister beetle in Oklahoma before late April or even early May, and most first cutting is done in April. Final cuttings are made in early October, after adult beetles die.
  2. Reduce weed problems. The fewer flowers to attract beetles, the fewer beetles there will be.
  3. Cut at bud stage rather than first bloom, again to keep from attracting beetles.
  4. Cut alfalfa with a sickle bar and don't condition it. Driving on windrows can kill blister beetles, too, and the toxin will end up in bales. Live beetles migrate out of cut hay.
  5. Watch grasshopper populations. Immature blister beetles feed on grasshopper eggs, so large numbers of grasshoppers could be followed by blister beetles.
  6. Growers and buyers should work together to reduce blister beetle risks.

If you hope to buy blister beetle-free hay, then you better come across with some help to guarantee that the hay is blister beetle-free. Say you want to purchase some summer cuttings that might be higher in protein, but you don't want to run the risk of blister beetles. Then pay for the treatment. Or meet the grower halfway. Or give him a premium when he sells that hay to you.

Safety cost money, nothing is free.  If I come across anymore issues that concern me I will do a Blog on it.  I feel if I’m concerned then there has to be others that are concerned to. 

Please continue the prayers for rain, I know Oklahoma and much of Kansas needs it.  Hope everyone has had a safe and joy filled weekend.  God Bless.


Sorry for being absent!!!

by Karen Tharp on 07/09/11

I want to apologize to everyone, I haven't done a Blog for a couple days.  Brad, Shayne and I went to Kansas Thursday.  We were gone all day, had a wonderful time It's hard riding in a truck and trying to type on a computer.  Yesterday I didn't feel well, feel some better today.

Update on Cheyanne.  I rode her five miles Wednesday evening.  Brad, Shayne and I went riding with the Usry family.  We had a great time. Did some night riding because its been so very hot.  We arrived back home at about 11PM.  

Brad rode Mason, Shayne rode his horse Skip and I rode Cheyanne.  The only time she spooked was when a water buffalo charged the fence.  In her defense even Mason and old pro spooked.  So I was very happy with her. 

Brad and I have decided we are going to deliver her after Bailee and Brylee finish with the fair this year.  We were thinking that if we took her before they would be so excited about her and forget the animals for the fair.

We also don't want to make it harder on Amy their mother.  So the week after the fair we are taking her to them.  We will be bring their horse Sassy back for some training.  I also get to bring Zan's Last Pokey home.  I can't wait.  

I sure hope everyone is having a great weekend and we could use your prayers for some rain.  

Standing still

by Karen Tharp on 07/06/11

Brad and I both worked Cheyanne last night! She decided she doesn't want to stand for us to mount so this is what we did!  This is how it should be handled.

If you want your horse to stand still, and you keep picking up the reins to try and stop him, then the only thing that happens is that the horse gets aggravated.  There's no possible way to make your horse stand still if he does not want to stand still. What if you tie him up? Can he still move? Of course he can. How about if you put him in a two-horse trailer? Then there's no way the horse can move, right?  Wrong, guaranteed he can still move. What about cross-ties? Can he move around when he's cross-tied? Yes, he can. There is no way for you or I to physically to make this horse stand still.

Training is all about control. Learning how to get control or gain control of your horse. So, let's say I want the horse to stand still but he starts moving. I've lost control, haven't I?  How can I regain control if we know I can't make him stand still?  Answer: Ask him to do something, even if it's just change directions or even to speed up.

If the horse is going at two miles an hour and I speed him up to four, then the movement has suddenly become my idea, hasn't it? He wants to think about everything else, and the longer I let him think about other things, the more he's going to do just that. So what I'm going to do is work my horse. I'm going to practice changing directions or changing leg speed. I'll say "Hey, give me your nose and change directions." The more adamant he gets about going his direction, the more adamant I'm going to get about going my direction. I'll drive him forward, work his neck and start to move faster. I'll say "Horse, you can go faster."  Remember make his moving your idea.  No one wins a fight.

We couldn't get the horse to stand still, but in about ten minutes you can have a horse that wants to stand still. .We work on standing still by telling him to go. Say, "If you want to work on go, then let's go. Let's work on forward. Let's work on softening your neck,changing directions, this really works.

So if your having trouble mounting your horse or getting him to stand after your mounted this is how to get what you want.  Some times you have to think like a horse.

Some funny Horse laws

by Karen Tharp on 07/05/11

Brad and Shayne are cleaning horse pens today.  Its very hot out and they sure are working hard.  I feel guilty that I'm not out helping them.  

I thought I'd share some wacky laws that I have been collecting over the years.  I think some of them are funny and thought you would enjoy them too.

These are just some wacky, odd, strange laws from around the US (and a few from other countries too!).

The horse is New Jersey's state animal.

It's illegal in Marion, South Carolina, to tickle a female under her chin with a feather duster to get her attention while she's riding a horse.

In New York City, it is illegal to open or close an umbrella in the presence of a horse.

It is illegal to fish from horseback in Washington D.C, Colorado, and Utah.

Tennessee prohibits riders from lassoing fish.

A British law states that an Englishman must not sell a horse to a Scotsman.

Horses are required to wear hats in hot weather in Rasario, Argentina.

A fine of $25 can be levied for flirting. This old law specifically prohibits men from turning around on any city street and looking "at a woman in that way." A second conviction for a crime of this magnitude calls for the violating male to be forced to wear a "pair of horse-blinders" wherever and whenever he goes outside for a stroll.

In Guernee, Illinois, it is illegal for women weighing more than 200 pounds to ride horses in shorts.

In Kentucky, it is illegal for a woman to appear in a bathing suit on a highway unless she is: escorted by at least two police officers; armed with a club; or lighter than 90 pounds or heavier than 200 pounds. The ordinance also specifically exempts female horses from such restrictions.

In London, England, law required taxi drivers to carry a bale of hay on top of their cabs to feed their horses. The law was in force until 1976.

In Arizona, it is illegal for cowboys to walk through a hotel lobby wearing their spurs.

In Raton, New Mexico, it is illegal for a woman to ride horseback down a public street with a kimono on.

In South Carolina, it is legal for adult males to discharge firearms when approaching an intersection in a non-horse vehicle to warn oncoming horse traffic.

A mis-worded ordinance in Wolf Point, Montana: "No horse shall be allowed in public without its owner wearing a halter."

In South Carolina, no horses are allowed into Fountain Inn unless they are wearing pants.

In Omega, New Mexico, every woman must "be found to be wearing a corset" when riding a horse in public!  A doctor is required to inspect each woman to make sure that she is complying with the law.

Pennsylvania law states: ``Any motorist who sights a team of horses coming toward him must pull well off the road, cover his car with a blanket or canvas that blends with the countryside, and let the horses pass. If the horses appear skittish, the motorist must take his car apart, piece by piece, and hide it under the nearest bushes.''

In Hartsville, Illinois, you can be arrested for riding an ugly horse.

In the state of Queensland, Australia, it is still constitutional law that all pubs (hotel/bar) must have a railing outside for patrons to tie up their horse.

Pattonsburg, Missouri, Revised Ordinances, 1884: "No person shall hallo, shout, bawl, scream, use profane language, dance, sing, whoop, quarrel, or make any unusual noise or sound in such manner as to disturb a horse."

Abilene, Kansas, City Ordinance 349 declares: "Any person who shall in the city of Abilene shoot at a horse with any concealed or unconcealed bean snapper or like article, shall upon conviction, be fined."

Marshalltown, Iowa, it is against the law for a horse to eat a fire hydrant

I hope everyone has a great day!  

Happy Independence Day

by Karen Tharp on 07/04/11

Happy 4th of July and God Bless everyone.  Well, its a little cooler here at the stables.  We received about a 1/2 inch of rain last night.  We were starting to worry that the pastures were going to burn up.  God saved us again.

I've been giving little tips on training, I think todayu I'm going to step back and make sure all my readers know an important rule.  This should be learned before you even attempt to train.

You need to know how to ride a horse, this means sitting on one correctly. Learning to ride includes the use of your whole body. It is not enough to sit in the correct position on a standing horse. You need to practice using your body as the horse moves.

Center of Gravity

When you are riding, your center of gravity is located about 10 cm below you navel. In order to maintain your horses balance, you must align your center of gravity with that of your horse. Your position will vary depending on the work you are asking of your horse. This is why jockeys that gallop race horses are hunched over the horse's neck.  As the speed of the horse increases, the horse's center of gravity moves forward.  Why dressage riders doing collected work keep the center of gravity further back, helping to slow and collect the horse.   As the movement of the horse slows, the center of gravity moves back.

If you can maintain your balance over the shifting center of gravity of your horse, your horse will stay balanced.   Will be more confident with your aids and will not have to work as hard.  No matter what style of riding you are interested in, balance is important.  The rider's position can influence the horse's way of going to a great extent.  Learning to relax and allowing you to feel the horse's movement can greatly add to a rider's enjoyment.

No matter what your style or riding is, having a good, balanced position is important. In the basic seat position, you sit erect, deep in the saddle with your body balanced and relaxed. Sit tall in the saddle, do not slouch.  You should be able to draw a line from the point of your shoulder  to your heel and from the point of your knee to your toe. Your leg should maintain a frictional grip, maintaining light contact with the horse's body through your inner thigh and upper half of your calf. Your foot should be turned out slightly in a natural position with any weight on the ball of your foot. Your heel should be lower than your toe to allow more flexibility in your ankle. Your hands and arms should be relaxed and supple with your elbows in close to your body. You should hold the reins just above and in from of the saddle horn or pommel. Most positional problems have their beginnings with bad habits.

Develop the following good habits and you will ride in a desirable position.

You should be looking up and watching where you are going. The weight of your head is noticeable to your horse.  They will usually go in the direction you are looking. For example, you can ride in a circle with minimal leg or rein pressure simply by looking into the center of the circle.

Often a rider will look down when they are riding to check diagonals and leads. This can make it harder for the horse to work because it puts extra weight on the front quarters, making it harder for the horse to stride forward.  The extra weight can also make it harder for an unbalanced horse to travel. It is important that you hold your head up to help you feel your horse and develop your seat. 

As you sit in the saddle your shoulders should be level. Shoulders that are not level are a sign you may have your weight shifted to the lower side. This makes the horse lean in the same direction. Loping / Cantering in small circles will cause you to want to drop your inside shoulder, so pay careful attention to keeping them even.

your back should be erect, but not locked and rigid.

your forearm(s) of your rein hand should come straight forward with the hand held vertically just above or on either side of the horn / pommel. The hand should follow the natural movement of the horse's head. When riding one handed, the lower arm should be held at a 90 degree angle in front of the waist. The fingers of the hand holding the reins should be curled around the reins with the thumb held down firmly over the index finger and reins.

Your forearm and reins from the horse’s mouth up to your elbow should form a straight line. This straight line includes your wrists which should not be bent. Your elbows should remain in close to your sides and slightly in front of your body.

riding with two hands the rider's hands should be placed 4-5 inches apart with the thumbs facing upwards and the fingernails of each hand facing each other. The hands should be held slightly in front of the withers. The hands should remain closed with the fingers tight on the reins without being rigid.

The inside of the thighs should remain in contact with the saddle without gripping. Your seat bones should be in contact with the saddle so that your body sits at a 90 degree angle to the saddle. Be careful that you do not sit back on your buttocks and back of your thighs. Sit up, take your feet out of the stirrups and twist your legs until the insides of your thighs are in contact with the saddle.

The legs are used to balance the upper body in the saddle and cue the horse. 

A western rider uses a longer leg position then an English Hunt Seat or Saddle Seat rider, but a similar length to a dressage rider. The differences in riding style are caused by the shape of the saddle and the forward movement of the horse. For all saddles, the stirrups need to be short enough that the legs and ankles can act as shock absorbers.

For western riders, the stirrups should hang so that the bottom of the stirrup touches your ankles. If you are involved in cattle or other events you may want the stirrups slightly shorter. The lower leg is important for leg aids. It may be used to squeeze, kick or bump the side of the horse. The lower leg needs to be kept still when you ride, or your leg aids will not be as effective. This is because the horse has been getting signals all the time and does not know which ones to obey. The distance between your lower leg and the side of the horse will depend on the length of your legs and where they fit against the body of the horse. 

Foot position affects how you can use your legs. The ball of the foot should be resting on the stirrup with your weight carried down through your heel, so that your heel is lower than your toes. If you place your weight on your toe, it will point down and it is possible that your foot will slip through the stirrup. Putting your foot too far into the stirrup makes it hard to flex your ankle.

The feet of the rider should be nearly parallel to the side of the horse. Toes pointing outward can cause problems, especially if wearing spurs. You can accidently jab the horse because of an incorrect foot position. The direction of the foot will turn the whole leg. This makes it hard to get the inside of your calf, knee and thigh against the saddle. Because your legs grip the saddle by friction you will not have as firm a grip if your legs and feet are turned outward. Gripping the saddle too hard with your legs will push you up and out of the saddle, making it hard to sit the gaits.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th.   Enjoy the BQs and fireworks check back tomorrow for more tips, recipes or just the going ons.

Another Hot Day here at Rising Sun Stables

by Karen Tharp on 07/03/11

Brad and I went for a moon light ride last night.  Its been so hot during the day we have decided to do most of our training after the sun sets.  Brad does some early in the morning, but I have some trouble sleeping at night, so he lets me sleep in.

Since this last go round with chemo, I just can't seem to get my butt up early.  So Brad trains mostly in the morning and I train at night. 

We both took a turn on Cheyanne last night, her ears still seem sore.  We are not make a big deal of it.  She continues to get the mix in her grain.  Brad and I have agreed if they show no signs of getting better by the middle of next week, we are going to sedate her and clean them out.  Till then her training continues.

I work with keeping her between the reins, and getting her to turn easily. There are no secrets. You must simply understand a little of the natural behavior of a horse. Understand why a horse does the things she does.  Understand what causes her to make a mistake. Understand what you should do to make her want to do the things you want. The most important rule while working with any horse is to never make it a fight.  No one ever wins in a fight, and remember DO NOT EVER TRY TO FORCE HER TO DO WHAT YOU WANT.  You will not win.

Lets consider another basic point in training.  This is teaching a horse to steer or be willingly guided.   The first and most important point I want to make is keep it simple. There is no need to make it more complex than it really should be.  If you practice the following three points you can go to any event and place near the top.
1.  Your horse needs to stay between your reins.( this means goes where you guide her not where she decides to go.)
2.  Your horse needs to move away from your legs. 
3.  You should never think of winning or losing. 

You should always have a plan when your working with your horse then ride consistently according to that plan.  This plan should be followed no matter where you ride. If you keep changing your plan your horse has no chance to understand it. You should always use the same aids no matter where you ride.

Keep your horse between the reins.  Our primary steering device is our reins, if you guided your horse mainly with our legs they would be called legging horses. Steering is the most basic and important thing a horse must learn.  If she does not steer you are in trouble.  

How do you teach him to do this?  Easy, teach him to stay between the reins.  When your rein hand goes left, he needs to turn left.

Start by simply making her move forward on a loose rein and give her the signal that you want her to learn.  She needs to learn to respond to a light rein with one hand, she cannot learn the signal if she never gets it.  So start by giving her the signal that you want her to learn.  

Since you want her to eventually learn to respond to a and signal (neck rein), start the lesson with a gentle signal from one hand.  The horse will learn to guide if you start by giving her the signal with one hand and then use whateven else it takes to get her to move a little in the correct direction,  then release that pressure.  That means start with one hand and then use the other hand, your leg, your weight or whatever you want to achieve the correct direction.  DO NOT FORGET to relieve the pressure after a very little success.  The horse will associate the pressure release with the first signal.  The signal that you want her to learn. 

If your horse is 100% confident that the pressure in her mouth will be released when she turns then she will always turn.  You will be able to guide her any where with a little pressure.  Its that simple.  Learning is done by associating a series of events together.

Ok!  Look at it from your horses point of view.  As she is walking forward.....

1.  She feels pressure on the right side of her neck and the right corner of her mouth.
2.  She continues to walk forward.
3.  She feels more pressure now by the inside rein and outside leg.
4.  This pressure worries her so she walks a little faster.
5.  She takes a little step to the left and all the pressure disappears.

This is repeated 1,2,3,4,5  1,2,3,4,5 soon she will instead make 1,3,4,5 and then 1,4,5 and then 1,5.  She remembers the sequence of events and wants to get to the end as soon as possible because this is where the pressure is released.  SEE its a simple learning process.

So remember always be consistent.  You must must repeat the pressure in the same sequence often enough for the horse to learn it.

That is a basic training example but one that works no matter what your trying to teach.

Hope you have a great day.  Come back tomorrow, one never knows what will be talked about from day to day.  Hope you are enjoying our Blog!!!!!!

We are just about done breeding for this year!

by Karen Tharp on 07/02/11

Here at Rising Sun Stables we have been breeding our mares for foals next year.  We are later than usual this year because we moved our herd from Michigan in late March. The mares were just finishing their heat cycle then.  We have bred Lady and Dee but Gracie our Black and white mare hasn't come in, so we are thinking that she was bred in Michigan.

The reason we didn't want to breed the mare then transport them is many times a mare will abort of absorb the baby if they become upset.  We felt that the horses being in a trailer for 25 hours might cause this.  So we waited.  

While in Michigan, we had a young man caring for the herd. Early one morning I received a call saying the stud was out and so were the mares.  When we arrived there, sure enough they were running together.  So I'm thinking Gracie was bred then. Time will tell.

If your wondering how to tell if your mare is in heat this is how! 

The majority of mares stop cycling in mid to late Oct and begin again in about mid March.  Signs of heat include lots more frequent urination with urine being thicker and cloudy looking as well as more strongly smelling (musty).  Many mares will tease to a gelding with squeals, front foot stomping, tail raised and sometimes cocked over to the side, backing up, urinating with many "winks" of her vulva afterward, sometimes even assuming a breeding position (pelvis rocked forward, hind legs spread, a bit of a squat).  Some mares are very quiet about their heat cycles while many, especially around a male horse, are just plain sluts.  Heat cycles are on average, 21 days long from the beginning of signs of heat on cycle to the beginnings signs the next cycle.  Usually symptomatic heat is 4-6 days long with the average being 5. 

The best time to breed is in the center of their heat.   I hope everyone is being careful in this heat.  Remember drink lots of fluids, and keep your head covered.  Have a great day and night!  Check back tomorrow for another blog!!!!!


Hope everyone is beating the heat!!

by Karen Tharp on 07/01/11

Life at a horse stable doesn't stop because its hot or cold outside.  There are animals that need to be grained and watered.  Some of our animals are out to pasture and they have a pond to drink out of.  We are trying to get vinegar and garlic into their systems to fight the flies and ticks. 

Guess what its working, but the mares that are on pasture are drinking out of a pond. So we moved a water trough out to the pasture and we are hoping that they drink out of it instead.  We are actually thinking of blocking the pond off so they have to drink out of the trough. 

We are also feeding some of the horses grain with vinegar and garlic on it.  They don't have flies bothering them and their ears are getting much better.  So they are much happier.

I am very relieved that the ear situation is getting better.  It makes handling them so much easier.  Cheyanne's ear are still bothering her but we are hoping that time cures them too.  Till then we are not making it a big deal.  Her training continues.

I have a recipe for a treat for your horses.

Fun Cookies


Oatmeal (1 cup)
Water (1 cup)
Bran (1 cup)
Salt (1 tablespoon)
Brown Sugar (2 tablespoons)
Molasses (1/2 Cup)

Mix all the ingredients together and grease a cookie sheet. Make small sized balls of the mixture and place it onto the cookie sheet. Bake it for 8 minutes at 350 degrees F. These can be stored in the refrigerator for further use. 

Hope your horse loves them!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!

How to Prepare Your Horse

by Karen Tharp on 06/30/11

Horses are athletes. They need practice too.  Athletes, preparing for the Olympics spend months, perhaps years, preparing for their competition.  Why should you and your horse be any different?

Your partner (horse) will need to be in shape and look good   Exercise your horse to keep him in shape, and work on your horsemanship skills. It doesn’t matter what you’re planning on doing, should it be western pleasure, or barrel racing your horse should be in shape.

Getting your horse in shape and doing a good pattern is not all it takes for horsemanship. Your horse needs to look good.  Don't you spend a lot of time putting on your makeup, curling your hair, and getting ready?  The same should go for your horse.

You will want to spend some quality time preparing your horse prior to the competition. You need to spend days, maybe months, brushing your horse to get his coat slick and shiny. Exercise him and get his muscles in shape.

I have only mentioned a couple of long term preparations in getting your horse ready for competition. Most people know how to groom their horse the day of competition. You might think you can pull that horse out of pasture and take him to a competition, but is he really ready?

Work towards perfection. If he’s not perfect, keep practicing.  No one is perfect, and if you’re not prepared, it will show in the arena.

Happy trails!

TICKs TICKs and more TICKs

by Karen Tharp on 06/29/11

Being from Michigan I have never had to fight TICKS.  I now find that a few of the horses have ticks in their ears, so I have been doing so research.  I thought I'd share some of the info I have found.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be used as a bath or as an oral medication. As a bath, simply add three to four cups of apple cider vinegar to your Horses bath. Be sure to clean your horse entirely, focusing on the legs, ears, and neck areas. Apple cider vinegar can also be added to your pet’s water. Add 3 cups to your horse's water daily.

2. Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural insecticide. It has both antiseptic and antibacterial properties so you can basically apply it on your horse's body with confidence and ease. What’s more, it can repel insects like mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks.

3. Eucalyptus

If you want an all-natural insect repellent for your horse, eucalyptus can greatly help. Eucalyptus acts like a natural deodorizer and can keep ticks away because they won’t be inclined to attach to your horse

4. Lavender

Lavender is a light-scented oil that can be used to repel ticks in dogs. When added with other essential oils such as thyme, St. John’s Wort, and base oil, your horse can experience healing, rejuvenating relief in no time. Lavender is effective against bacteria while thyme can stimulate your horse’s immune system.

I am becoming increasingly conscious of chemical that are being used on my horses, so I'm also looking for natural cures.  I feel is there is something natural that I can use instead of using chemicals I'm helping my animals as well as my family and friends that are handling them.

I hope you find these blogs helpful.  If I find more natural cures that could help your horses or other animals I will post them in the future. 

Literary Agent Search

by Karen Tharp on 06/28/11

Karen is feeling under the weather today so I figured it's a good day for me to write.  As some of you may know Karen has been writing a book about her childhood. For those who don't know, she was raised by people who owned a junkyard.  Karen was allowed to attend school one day a week so she and her siblings could work in the junkyard. Even with only one school day per week Karen had a 4.0 GPA.  Her "so called" parents were mentally and physically abusive.  Karen received many beatings as a child.  I used the term "so called" for a reason. She would learn as an adult these people were not her parents.  In fact she was kidnapped from a hospital in Canada as a baby. To this day, nearing fifty, she still doesn't know who her parents are/were, when her birthday is or anything else regarding her identity.  Basically she lives a life with "Roots Unknown".  All this (and more not mentioned) and she has the most positive attitude of anyone I ever met.  I have been encouraging Karen to write this book ever since we met.  I believe it is a story that needs to be told.  Especially when you see all she has been through and the positive attitude she has.  She is VERY inspiring to say the least.

So with her book outline completed (12 chapters) and 3 chapters written, I have begun the long hard search for a Literary Agent.  Anyone who can offer help and/or advise in finding an agent, please respond in the comment section of this blog.  Thanks in advance and to all a great day.

Oh Boy

by Karen Tharp on 06/27/11

The day has just started and Brad and I have already met a challenge.  I have talked about Cheyanne in past blogs.  Well her training is coming along pretty good but we have a challenging situation.  We are having a problem getting a bridle on and off her, because she doesn't like her ear touched.

This morning we tried every thing to get her to let us check them for ticks.  We finally tied her head down and I rubbed a mix of grease and garlic in them hoping to solve the touchy ear problem.

We turned her back out.  Ill bring her in later and try again.  If it wasn't for the ear problem she could go to her new home.  Brad and I agree till we solve this ear problem we don't free good about sending her off.  So we'll keep working with her.  

Again feel free to comment maybe some of our readers have some ideas.  If you do please leave a comment.  Or if your having a problem feel free to ask questions. Between Brad and I we have well over fifty years of horse experience.

A good Prayer for everyone

by Karen Tharp on 06/26/11

?"Lord,make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, faith;
where there is darkness, light;
where is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console,
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen."

*Good bless and keep sharing the Good News

Training can be tough!

by Karen Tharp on 06/26/11

Well Brad worked with Dee again today!!  Things started out pretty good, and ended pretty good.  Its just what happened in the middle that Brad will be feeling for a couple days.

When mounting Dee for the fourth time today, the fender on his saddle decided to give.  Brad was almost on his spur caught Dee in the hip and she started bucking.  Brad did well and stayed mounted for well past 8 seconds.  To bad Dee didn't know 8 seconds were up!

The fender pulled all the way through the saddle and Brad hit the ground.  For someone thats not real young and limber he tucks and rolls like a pro.  Must be from the years of bull riding.

Dee is fine, Brad is pretty sore.  He made me very proud, he dusted himself off went and got a different saddle.  Saddled her up again and we continued our first ride on Dee and Cheyanne.

My training session with Cheyanne went with out any real problems.  She did great even when Dee was bucking off across the field.  She even did great, when we helped Brad catch Dee.

Just another exciting day at Rising Sun Stables.  Feel free to comment!  We love to know our site is being visited.  Hope everyone has a great day.

Hot Day - Hard Day At Work

by Karen Tharp on 06/25/11

Brad and I worked with both Dee and Cheyanne today.  Dee may be an old girl but she is showing much promise.  We believed paired with Twister, their baby will be awesome.

Cheyanne is a horse that we are putting some time on for our grand daughters Bailee and Brylee.  Can not wait to deliver her to them, Cheyanne was a Christmas present from Brad and myself to the girls.  I know they will love her.

Shayne and Brad are doing some clean up around the place right now.  Thats one thing there is never a lack of things to do around here.  

Our black and white mare Gracie is just coming in heat so we may breed her tonight.  We will have to see how far along she is.  It will be nice to have another beautiful baby like Twisted Sister.   I hope you enjoy our website, I'll do my best to write something everyday.

Training today!!!

by Karen Tharp on 06/24/11

Like Brad stated a few Blogs ago, every time you handle a horse you should be in training mode.  We have been trying to teach our 16 year old son Shayne this.  You are either training or untraining when you handle a horse.

Today we worked them by bathing them and teaching them to stand.   I'm new to Oklahoma, so I'm not use to the TICK attack.  We are trying my homemade fly remedy on them.  Cross your fingers, I'm praying it works on the ticks as well as it does on the flies.  Here is the formula for any one that might be interested.

1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 small can of beer (any brand will do)
1 cup of water
1/4 cup dawn dish soap
1/4 cup garlic salt.

Mix it up in a gallon jug and spray on them.  This also works to keep the flies and mosquitoes away if your having a BQ.  You spray it around the perimeter.  The bugs won't cross it.  I know it sounds strange but it really does work.


by Karen Tharp on 06/22/11

Busy day today. Brad rode DD after I rode her for a bit. She is coming along well. Trimmed hooves on our Paint mare Gracie, worked on facebook and the website and finished the day helping our neighbor gather cattle.

Wedding Reception

by Karen Tharp on 06/19/11

Wow! What a long but fun night. Brad and I had a wedding reception that he sang at. I always love to hear him perform. All went well and we met some great people. Hopefully made some good contacts too.  It's Sunday morning and our 17 yr old mare "DD" needs worked in the round pen. Hard to believe at 17 she has been rode very little if any but she is coming along real nice. Brad has done most of the work with her. I'm sure he or I will ride her again today.