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Posts Tagged ‘Peruvians’

No, I did not forget to send you a Christmas card this year. I just forgot to make Christmas cards important enough to get them done. If I catch a magic shot of my kids with my horses over the next few days, I might get some out. But I’m not holding my breath. I know me too well.

But I will share some of my favorite seasonal shots of Peruvians:

DB Romance Joven — or Jr., as his friends call him — is doing a great job putting up with his owner Emily Knight’s Christmas spirit.

Here’s a fun one of Lisa Bialy’s horse — I believe that’s Vista del Dragon. Scroll through and see some other fun snowy pics from Rancho Paso Fuego.

This is my favorite. I love the way the horse is framed through the wire — never seen anything quite like it. It’s from Mer-Girl Gardens, which grows fabulous organic goodies alongside the horses of La Estancia Alegre. You can see more beautiful shots from LEA here.

Happy holidays, everyone!

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Well, by the time I hit “publish,” this won’t be the latest. I signed up for email updates from my vet, I’m wearing cyber tracks into Google and haunting the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s site. Friends send me updates — some legit, some questionable. So I’m doing what I can to stay informed and to share what I know.

And I’m doing what I can to keep my horse safe. Even before my barn manager here in Colorado Springs decided to quarantine the animals, I decided to leave Wonder Pony here rather than trailer him down to La Estancia Alegre for this weekend’s clinic. (Thanks so much to Barbara Windom for offering up her horses to those of us who can’t bring our own.) I’m canceling next week’s vet appointment — teeth floating and Coggins can wait at this point.

But I’m also not freaking out. Six infected horses — two euthanized —  in Colorado is concerning, for sure. But I’m grateful that the flow of info is so quick, so thorough and so constant. I’m optimistic that this has been caught early, and the measures horse owners and professionals are taking will minimize the disease’s impact.

Here’s hopin’.

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April is Autism Awareness Month. On the surface, that doesn’t have much to do with Peruvians or horses in general. But after reading a couple of books by Temple Grandin and watching the HBO movie about her life, I’m convinced otherwise.

Grandin is a world-renowned animal behaviorist. In her books “Animals in Translation” and “Animals Make Us Human,” she goes into vivid detail about how animals see the world. She covers cattle, poultry, dogs, cats, horses and even wild animals. With each species, she explains how her autism enables her to see the world as animals do — visually and with primary emotions of fear and curiosity.

She explains that lighter-boned, hot-blooded horses tend to have stronger fear and curiosity than heavier, calmer horses. She uses Arabs as her example of hot-bloods, but I think everything she describes also fits Peruvians. For hot-bloods, punishment adds to the fear.

Through positive reinforcement and calm, gentle treatment, we keep our horses curious. When they’re curious, they’re learning, communicating and focused on the task at hand; their brio is turned up. When they’re scared, they’re in flight mode. All they can think about is escaping the fear stimulus.

I see this very clearly with Sican the Wonder Pony. As smart and malleable as he is, it doesn’t take much to push the fear button. And I’m sure there are plenty of Peruvian owners out there who’ve rescued their horses from people who just didn’t understand the damage they do through harsh treatment. The rehabilitation of an abused Peruvian is long and painstaking. For some, the trauma does permanent damage.

So it’s up to us to better educate new people about the proper care and handling of our breed, and that means we have to better educate ourselves first. Do yourself and your horse a favor and pick up Grandin’s books.

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