2009-2010 Horses: News Archive
July 2, 2009
Written By: Sarah Ralston
A New Era For The Young Horse Teaching And Research Program
This year we are "re-inventing" the Young Horse
Teaching and Research program to accomodate the changes in the economy and the
equine industry needs as we perceive them. One of our goals for the Young
Horse program has always been to study and help to promote
horses that are "in need" of promotion and research. The North
American Equine Ranching Information Council (NAERIC) draft cross horses which
we had used in the past are now well recognized as valuable equine animals,
commanding high prices even as weanlings. Our research over the past 10
years has documented the unique nutritional needs of young draft cross
horses. The data are available on our website ( see Research ) and in Equine Science
Society proceedings from 2007 and 2009. We have learned to identify
behaviors in the free ranging nursing foals which give us a good clue
as to their disposition and trainability, allowing us to more consistently
select excellent horses for the program. However, the NAERIC horses are no
longer "at risk" and have a well established markets in a
variety of disciplines.
On the other hand, the over 9000 Bureau of
Land Management (BLM) mustangs that have been removed from the public ranges to
prevent overgrazing are definitely in need! They can be wonderful equine
athletes, excelling in a wide variety of disciplines, especially as trail and
lesson horses. Unfortunately general public perception is that mustangs are
"wild", difficult to handle and not very useful. We hope to help
change that perception by incorporating yearling mustangs into our program. We
anticipate that they will not be more difficult to train than our
unhandled NAERIC weanlings have been. As long as we select the yearlings
based on the same criteria we have established over the years for the weanling
draft crosses, they should be attractive, well behaved horses with tremendous
athletic potential by the time the auction is held on April 26, 2010. We
will be selecting 4 yearling BLM mustangs to be used in the program this year.
It will be interesting to compare them to the 4 unhandled weanlings we will get
from our known bloodlines in North Dakota and the 4 yearlings left over from
this year, both with respect to training and growth performance. If all goes as
planned, we will gradually switch the program to focus primarily on mustangs
and other potentially unwanted horses.
For more information on the BLM mustangs go to: http://www.uswhba.org/
Watch for news and updates throughout the summer!
Robin Rivello came this morning and we got two
of the horses, Rose and Casanova, out of their stalls for the first time for a
leading lesson. Cass acted as if he had been doing it all his life, Rose needed
a bit more guidance but overall they did well. Marley and Canella are still
working on trust issues but making great progress. Marley did protest Cass's
coming out by trying to join him over (and through!) the bars but no damage to
horse or stall and he settled quickly when he realized he had hay and Cass was
still in sight (and that he really could not crawl out)! Renee Hines, his
student who met him for the first time today, succeeded in rubbing him all over
on both sides-a major break through for him
August 27, 2009
Written By: Sarah Ralston
August 26, 2009
Written By: Sarah Ralston
Draft cross yearlings,
Pardner, Firedance, Shivna and Glinda hopped happily onto the trailer to go
back to the Ryders Lane barn. They were VERY happy to be turned out in the large
back field with tons of good grass for the next week until the students get
back, when the daily routine of being in stalls at night and day turnout with
training and data collection sessions will resume.
August 24th, 2009
Written By: Sarah Ralston
We selected 4
yearlings at Cornell University on Friday/Saturday. Robin
Rivello, president of the US Wild Horse and Burro Association, and her husband,
Mike, generously donated their time and expertise to get them down here and
unloaded safely on Sunday (8/23/2009).
The new RU Mustangs are:
- RU Canella, a small, stocky blood bay
filly with a star and front sock who was born in the holding facility in
Reno, NV on April 2, 2008. Her dam (freezemark 95601825) was from
Palomino Valley Center, Sparks, NV. She is shy but as of 8/24 let
Robin and Dr. Ralston rub her left side without fuss (Still working on getting
to the right).
RU Rambling Rose, a medium size VERY pretty light bay (? Brindle?) filly with
a blaze, snip, lip and three white socks from Bald Mountain region, Battle
Mountain BLM Office, NV. Rosie LOVES her scratches and rubs all over her
body and was even starting to give to a gentle pull on a lead rope. Will do
anything for hay!
- RU Casanova, a black bay colt with a
tiny star from North Stillwater region, Winnemucca, NV . Cass already loves
being rubbed all over his body-even his legs!
RU Marley, a
very tall black bay colt with a heart shaped star and right hind
pastern from North Stillwater
. Marley is not too sure about this touching thing but loves his hay and will
tolerate touches if it is associated with eating. He'll come around quickly.Photos are up on the 2009-2010 page with many more to come in next few days!
September 20, 2009
Written By: Jorge Pang
Firebro has an official name!
Firebro (Firedance's full brother) has been named RU Woodstock by his sponsors, the Colts Neck Trail Riders.
Woodstock next to his brother, Firedance
RU Brisa was the first to step off the trailer
like the brave filly she is. The others came off quietly too. We had them in
their stalls and got their halters on within 30 minutes without a major
fuss from any of them.
September 11, 2009
Written By: Sarah Ralston
The four draft cross weanlings are
here! They arrived yesterday at ~ 11:45 AM in very good condition.
RU Brisa stepping into her new world; RU Honky Tonk comparing notes with RU
Genesis; Kim Ward with her new best friend, a colt nicknamed Firebro; Erin Koci
with the filly she selected in North Dakota, RU Genesis.
Melissa Reese with her selection from the North Dakota trip, RU Brisa,
Alexandra Bidawid getting to know RU Honky Tonk
Photos by Lauren Seddon.
October 8, 2009
Fisher trimmed the 4 mustangs and 4 weanlings in only 1 1/2 hours.
There were no major battles and Eric even commented that Marley should
come to my house to teach RU Sir Galahad (Class of 2001 who he shoes)
how to behave!
Mustangs and weanlings get their first hoof trim!
Casanova standing like a gentleman in the aisle
getting her hind feet done in the stall
Photo by Robin Rivello
October 10, 2009Sarah Ralston
Coming Out Party a major Success!
40 people crowded into the Ryders Lane barn to admire the young horses
being used in the Young Horse Program this year. All of the horses were
taken out individually to meet their sponsors (if present) and be
admired by the crowd. Even the mustangs were exceptionally well behaved
despite the large crowd and noise. It was great to see so many old friends and to make some new ones!
Mustang yearling RU
RU Woodstock with the
Yearling draft cross RU Pardner with
Rambling Rose with student with his sponsors, the Colts Neck Trail Riders his sponsor, Sandra Denarski
and student, Kim Ward
student, Samantha Rodgers)
Prentiss with "her'
Jane and Bill Meyer with RU Honky Tonk Part of the crowd admiring the young horses.
weanling, RU Genesis
and student Kelly Steimle The yellow US Wild Horse
& Burro goody
grab bags were
courtesy of Robin Rivello
Photos by William Kaminski
October 13, 2009
Mustang colts gelded
Marley and RU Casanova were castrated by Dr. Dan Keenan, using a
standard procedure open/open castration. They were sedated with
Xylazine then dropped with Ketamine for the procedure, using normal
doses of the drugs, though Dr. Keenan did increase Marley's ketamine
dose a little, as he would have done for any more nervous type horse.
The surgeries went well. Cass stayed down a fairly long time after the
procedure was done, apparently waiting until he felt sure he could get
up and walk normally because that is what he did! Marley made an
initial very early attempt, decided that was not a good idea and laid there
sternally with his nose on the ground for another 5 or 6 minutes. He
was much more wobbly when he did get up (A bit sooner than Cass!) and it was rather cute-he kept
looking at the ground and shifting his front feet as if to try find
solid ground that wasn't "spinning" :-)
The next morning both
geldings appeared in good spirits and had great appetites. The incision
sites were draining well and normally swollen. Their students worked
them in the round pen for 10 minutes and both colts were more than
willing to trot and canter on command! The students watching were all
commenting on the gorgeous, floating trot that especially Marley has
(Though Cass is really elegant too).
Cass, Tonk (who will be gelded next month) and Marley sharing a mid-morning snack before the surgeries
Photo by Sarah Ralston
October 14, 2009
Controlled behavior tests reveals that the Mustangs are as good or even better than our weanling and yearling
Draft crosses in basic handling responses.
weeks ago all 12 horses were put through a standardized test where in
they were caught in the field by Dr. Ralston, who led them to the round
walked around it once, halted and made them stand still for one minute.
She then rubbed their face and ears, ran her hands firmly over their
torso and abdomen, asked them to back up 3 steps, turn on the
forehand and turn on the haunches. The students who were observing then clapped
their hands loudly outside the pen with the young horse facing them. The final tests were when Dr. Ralston picked up a
broom, showed it to the horse, laid it down on the ground and asked the
horse to walk over it twice, then led the horse around the pen from the
right side. All tasks were graded by the students' and Dr. Ralston's
consensus on a scale of 0 to 4.5, with:
4.5 being an A+=no resistance,
perfect response, and
0=F=pulling away and resisting violently.
one horse got an F on any of the tests: Shivna did NOT like the broom even though she had
seen it many times during Ag Field day training in the spring, and decided to "leave".
average overall scores were: Mustang Yearlings 3.78 +/- .06,
Cross Yearlings: 3.74 +/- .14 (If we omitted Shivna, the Yearling Draft Cross average was the
same as the Mustangs).
The weanling Draft Crosses got 3.63+/- .07.
It should be noted that the weanlings had had only 3 weeks of training
versus 5 for the mustangs.
during a pause RU Canella turning
RU Rosie leading from right
RU Marley hoof lift!Photos by Samantha Vitale
November 11, 2009
Woodstock was castrated by Dr. McAlister. The surgery was uneventful
and he is recovering nicely. RU Honky Tonk will be done
on November 18 because he also needs to have a small umbilical hernia
November 30, 2009
RU Honky Tonk returned to his herd-mates today for the first time since his castration on the 18th.
Click here for more information.
December 8, 2009
Two weeks ago, on November 19th, the mustangs had their teeth floated for the first time.
Check their photo galleries for pictures!
December 15, 2009
the horses started their "24-hour" turn-out routine; they will remain
outside (with access to both paddocks and run-in sheds) until the start of
spring semester. The weanlings (Genesis, Woody, Honky Tonk, and Brisa) are
brought in daily to be fed 2 pounds of Safe Choice pellets. (This ensures
proper phosphorus intake.) The mustangs and 2-year old draft-crosses are
brought in twice weekly to be reminded of their manners during brief grooming sessions. Despite the
chilly weather, the horses are acclimating well and seem to be enjoying the
freedom afforded by extended turn-out.
December 23, 2009
The horses had some festive photos taken last Thursday; everyone was quite cooperative!
Ella, Glinda, Cass, and Shivna
January 2, 2010
With the arrival of 2010, the horses continue to thrive
in their 24-hour turn-out routine (though they seem to equally enjoy their
bi-weekly grooming sessions!) The new year also brings other
updates: our "weanlings" are now yearlings and our "yearlings" are now two-year
olds! There are some new photos and updates on the research students
participating in the program this spring semester. January 14,
Today all of the horses were brought in to be
weighed, measured, groomed, and handled. Brisa, Genesis, Glinda, Shivna, Cass,
and Ella had their hooves trimmed. The remaining horses will have their hooves
trimmed next week.
January 20, 2010
The beginning of spring semester marks the end of 24-hour
Yesterday, the horses were brought in at 4pm to freshly-bedded
stalls and buckets full of hay cubes. With the start of classes, we will resume
our former schedule: the horses will be turned out at 8am and brought in at 4pm
daily. Also note that the yearlings will no longer be receiving Safe Choice
pellets, as the total mixed ration (TMR) hay cubes provide sufficient nutrients
to meet their current
check out our newest group photos HERE!
January 24, 2010
It's a Baby!
Ella is going to be a mother!
On January 21st,
the vet verified that RU Canella is pregnant--with a 6-7 month foal!
the 11 month equine gestation length and uncertain date of conception, we can
expect the baby to be born any time from late April to early
February 1, 2010
PUBLIC PREVIEW of the young horses will be February 7 at 5PM, following
the Equine Science Center's Equine Seminar on "Keeping your Horse
Sound" and "Unwanted Horse and Responsible Horse Ownership".
Go to www.esc.rutgers.edu for seminar details and registration and click here
for directions to the Ryders Lane barn where the horses are. BE AWARE
THERE IS A TOTALLY NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN DUE TO RTE 1 CONSTRUCTION
AND THAT ACCESS TO THE BARN IS NOW FROM RYDERS LANE or Rte 1 NORTH only!
February 9, 2010
evening's public preview was a success! The horses were all
exceptionally well-behaved and seemed to enjoy the extra attention.
Many of the horses, including Cassanova, Pardner, and Brisa,
demonstrated their trotting abilities, while others--like Rosie and
Canella--showed off their recently-learned "back-up" commands.
February 11, 2010
horses had their wolf teeth extracted today by the dentist. The
procedures went smoothly and all of the "patients" are fully
recuperated. Go to News for other recent updates!
Recently, many students have been working with Wild
Horse and Burro Association President, Robin Rivello.
Click HERE for photos of the training
The Young Horse Auction Information is now
available! Click here for dates, location and bidder
We are on TV! See Lynda Ha's segment on the Young
Horse Teaching and Research Program HERE!
March 17, 2010
Correction to the Horse News March, 2010 story, Pg. 40 on our program
The Cornell adoption where we selected our mustangs was not a
"3 strike adoption." It was for BLM horses that were to be adopted
under the regular BLM adoption regulations. The ones we selected were
in a special group of 2-strike horses. They would have become
"3 strikes" if no one selected them at the Ithaca
adoption and they would have then been sent to a permanent holding
facility in the mid-west or western United States.
Under ordinary adoption regulations, non-3 strike horses must be kept for a
full year before a title is issued to the new owner. The 3-strike horses can be purchased without that restriction. Since
our program only runs for a 9-month period, we had to use the 3-strike
horses. The BLM officials made very generous concessions that allowed
us to purchase our four 2-strike mustangs as “3-strike” horses. This is
not, however, a usual practice and in the future we will wait to get
truly 3-strike mustangs (ones that were NOT selected at an adoption
event that were already 2-strike) from the BLM adoption events.
ordinary circumstances, adopters seeking "3-strike" horses (i.e. those
that have been through 3 adoptions events without being selected) must
visit one of the permanent holding facilities.
March 18, 2010
The young horses are all at the Red Barn on College Farm Road now! RU the Good Witch had been taken to MidAtlantic Equine Medical Center on
Tuesday to get a large abcess on her hock repaired (Thank you, Dr.
Doran and colleagues!). The prognosis is excellent for future soundness
but she may have a "capped hock" for ever. She and RU Shivna were taken
to the Red Barn yesterday - they both hopped onto the trailer without a
fuss and seemed pleased to be back at the Red Barn, though they would
have preferred to be outside. The others were brought over this
morning. We were very proud of all the young horses-not a single one
put up a significant fuss. RU Rambling Rose and RU Brisa had to inspect
the stock trailer floor a little longer than the others but stepped up
quietly once they assured themselves that it was ok. They were all put
in their new stalls for an hour or so while an efficient crew of
students put up the round pen and sorted out the grooming boxes and
record books. The horses were finally turned out in their new paddocks
around noon. We got videos of the major play that ensued, that
will hopefully be put up on U-tube in the near future!
Now on to the final training for Rutgers Ag Field Day and the Auction!
RU Woodstock, RU Marley and
RU Honky Tonk and RU Pardner
RU FireDance looking at the fillies.
looking at us!
RU Genesis, RU Canella and RU Brisa inspecting the waterer
March 24, 2010
Field Day sessions officially began on Monday, March 22nd! Each
of the young horses has been paired with a student with whom he/she
will continue training. This week, the students are bonding with
their assigned horses through extensive grooming and handling sessions.
They are being switched from the experimental Total Mixed ration cubes
they have been fed all year to a more traditional ration of good
quality hay and the cubes and a little concentrate to help with
shedding out and coat shine (Empower and/or Safe Choice pellets donated
by Nutrena). Two of the horses, however, Glinda and Shivna, are already
shed out and dappled! They are only getting hay and cubes!
March 26, 2010
Donors! Dr. Mary Beth Gordon, Director of Research and New Product
Development, Longview Animal Nutrition Center, Purina Mills, Inc has
generously offered to donate fancy showhalters with nameplates for the
young horses. We have orded them from Rick's Saddle Shop in
Englishtown, NJ and they will hopefully be ready in time for the Public
Preview, April 10, but if not-look for them on the horses at Ag Field
Day and the Auction!
April 7, 2010
If you are interested in seeing these horses "up close and
personnal" we are having as public preview this Saturday (April 10) at
5PM - 7PM at the Red Horse Barn on College Farm Road/Sheep Fold Lane on
the Cook Campus. The horses will be shown individually in hand and at
liberty in the round pen. Bidder registration forms will be available
and DR. ralston and the students will be there to answer your questions
about the horses and the program. There is no charge to attend
but we would appreciate your letting us know if your are coming since
we will be providing light refreshments and need a head count!
Please contact Ralston@aesop.rutgers.edu or call 732-932-9404 and leave a message!
April 9, 2010
We have a YouTube channel where you can view videos of our horses!
Click HERE to visit our page.
April 11, 2010
Yesterday we held our annual Public Preview of the young horses. We had a
small, select group attend and I'm pleased to say that all of the horses were
on their best behavior for round-penning demonstrations.
April 18, 2010
Two new "Highest Honors" sponsors have come forward:
Taylor, our Ag Field Day Horse Show judge is part of a new ONLINE
They will be posting videos and photos of the
horses by Friday, April 23 but you will need version 7
player to see them. there is a link to download a free version in
their Help section. IF YOU ARE PRE-REGISTERED to bid (see our
link for forms and details) on Sunday, April 25 on
bid on-line through them! This is their first horse auction (They
have specialized in other types of auctions before).
Tom Byrne: wolftography.com took some amazing photos at the VIP Preview on April 17. To see the file click Here . He will be taking photos at the Ag Field Day Show and Auction too!
April 22, 2010
weather forcast for Saturday, April 24 is looking good! Come see
the young horses perform "in hand" for their students 10AM-12 noon and
play at liberty in the pastures on College Farm Rd, Cook Campus during
the Annual Ag Field Day events from noon to 4PM when Dr. Ralston and
students will be in the red horse barn to answer your questions and
show you the horses.
We are on the Equine Journal Website! Go to: www.equinejournal.com and look at "Breaking News".
Click Here for the Auction Brochure. The Auction will be held rain or shine on Sunday April 25.
SEE PHOTOS HERE!
We couldn't have asked for more cooperative weather on
Saturday; between the sunshine and impressive performances by students and
horses alike, Ag Field Day was a success! The winners of each class are posted
below. Photos will be posted soon.
Grooming Class, Fillies:
First Place: RU Rambling Rose- shown by Rebecca
Freiday, groomed also by Sharielle Lawrence -Cadet
Second Place: RU Genesis- shown by Catherine
Ruesch, groomed also by Jackie Teson
Grooming Class Geldings:
First Place: RU Woodstock -
shown by Carly Painter, also groomed by Devan Murphy
Second place: RU Casanova - Shown by Elizabeth
Gibbs, also groomed by Dana Delfino
Champion Grooming Class: RU Rambling Rose
Reserve Champion: RU Casanova
First place: Lauren Wheeler with RU
Second Place: Taleen Terjanian
with RU Honky Tonk
First Place: Rebecca Freiday
with RU Rambling Rose
Carley Painter with RU Woodstock
Champion Handling: Carly Painter showing RU Firedance
Reserve Champion: Rebecca Freiday showing RU
weather on Sunday was less than desirable, the auction was equally successful.
All of the horse sold to good homes and will be leaving the Red Barn within the
next 10 days!
Details will be posted soon.
Dr. Ralston has decided to
continue the program! We will need sponsors for the 2010-2011 class of 6 to
8 BLM Mustangs! Stay tuned for details...
May 18, 2010June 13, 2010
The auction was a success and there was a lot of interest in the mustangs. Click HERE to see the final results of the sale and where the 2010 graduates went this year-all to very good homes!
Not one of them had more than minor hesitations about getting onto a wide variety
trailers (Everything from standard two horse bumper hitch with ramps to
huge stocktrailers!) to go to their new homes. We were very proud of
are all settling in nicely in their new homes, though Shivna and
Brisa decided to jump fences (with variable success) to join other RU
graduates on the farms they now call home and Casanova decided it was
too scary to walk by a chainsaw being used (who could blame him?) and
ran to hide behind a mare in another field...No harm done, just a lot
of laughter at his expression!
We will be posting updates on their webpages as they come in over the summer.
RU Canella's foal was born June 12, 2010 and it's a Female mule !
Her owners, Kathy and Kurt Landis report:
|"Well Canella FINALLY had her baby at 4;30 on june 12th and its a
girl--LANDIS END FARMS NEVADA MAGIC--OR MAGGIE FOR SHORT --look at the pictures
she is the cutest baby in the world (we are a "liitle" predjudice) mom and baby
are resting comfortabley and are doing very nicely and we are very relieved that
thy are both healthy. Thanks for everyones support we will keep you posted on her
progress." |RU Canella looking very smug about her special baby, LANDIS END FARMS NEVADA MAGIC! Photo by K. Landis