Blogs > Horse Sense

Marissa Raymo will discuss everything about horses, including horse health care tips, training tips, equestrian friendly trails, horse buying info and much more.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Never Underestimate the Kindness of Equestrians

My husband and I moved into our house in the Spring of 2007. Until last week, I had only officially met 2 of our neighbors (the two whose property butts up to ours). But soon after we moved the horses home, everything changed.

When we were building the pasture, I began noticing cars slowing down as they passed the house, but it didn't occur to me why until about a week after the horses came home. That first week, the neighbor kids came over for George's first official pony rides at the new barn. About a week later, two horses (and their riders) came walking down the driveway to meet the new "Neigh"bors (sorry, couldn't help myself). They even offered to lend us a saddle for the new horse until we could order her one.

Then, the "Horsies!" cries from neighborhood children as we walked down the road provided a fond reminder of my own childhood and confirmation that our newfound popularity had nothing to do with my witty charm. And finally, just last week our across-the-street neighbor (who had previously offered me a leg up when he saw me walking my horse home from a exercise in buddy sourness...twice), but have never officially been introduced to, offered us access to a riding trail, open field and arena that we didn't even know existed!

So I guess the moral of this story is that horses bring people together! Okay, that's pretty corny. How about some Cowboy Logic instead?

Cowboy Logic of the Day
"If you work for a man, ride for his brand. Treat his cattle as if they were your own."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Horse Adoption Event September 25th in Bellvue!

On Sept 25, 2010, make sure to join EARTH Services of Bellevue for their largest event of the year!

There will be mule-drawn wagon rides, yard sale, lots of fun and activities for the kids, and (of course) lots of animals for adoption! Lots of great dogs, cats puppies, rabbits, goats, donkeys, mini's, ponies, drafts, and many nice riding and driving saddle type horses. Even if you cannot adopt, come visit the animals and dedicated volunteers. Donations are always needed! 

Donations of dog food, cat food, kitty litter, grain for horses, hay, straw, towels, blankets bowels, toys, and monetary donations are always excepted and appreciated!

SEPT 25, 2010 Farm Event
15323 Jenkins Road
Bellevue, Mi. 49021

For more information:
269-965-2117 or


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

GUEST BLOGGER ~ Nine horses now in good hands

After Sunday's post, Update on Equine STAR - Michigan Horse Rescue Accused of Horse Neglect, I received a few emails from Joan Tucker supporters stating that some of the information in the articles that I linked to was incorrect. So I spoke with Karen Workman, one of the reporters that has been covering the Tucker case. It turns out, we were wrong.

I'll let Karen explain...

Nine horses now in good hands
A guest blog post by Karen Workman, reporter and author of The Dog Blog

There’s been a lot of opinions expressed to The Oakland Press about former White Lake Township resident Joan Tucker. 
Tucker, previously the director of Equine Star — a horse rescue that paired horses in need with people who needed them — foreclosed on her White Lake Township farm earlier this year.
She took about 25 horses with her to Texas. 
I remember when The Oakland Press began reporting about Tucker and Equine Star. We wrote glowing articles about the program that saved horses and helped people, and let readers know how they could donate to her. 
After a while, though, those articles began eliciting a different type of response from the public — we received a barrage of angry phone calls from readers who felt we were being irresponsible in urging others to donate to Tucker. 
We’d later find out that although Equine Star was a 501-C3, it was not licensed in Michigan as a charity and therefore, Tucker was not allowed to solicit or receive donations. 
After being in Texas for just a short while, I received a phone call from the couple who’d taken in Tucker and her horses. They were clearly distraught, at odds with her about how to care for the horses and told me they had asked her to leave. 
Enter the East Texas Horse Rescue and Sanctuary, who stepped up to find Tucker a new home for both herself and her horses. 
Months passed and I’d heard nothing from the folks down in Texas. But then, in August, I received a phone call I wasn’t expecting — one telling me that Tucker’s horses were emaciated, authorities weren’t handling the situation and some type of help was needed. 
The authorities dispute allegations that they didn’t handle the case properly. From my point of view, everyone is entitled their opinion. The rescue organization’s opinion was that the authorities weren’t acting quickly enough, but the authorities said they were handling it by the book. 
Argue opinions all you want, but the bottom line isn’t about who did what or who can be blamed for this, that or next thing — the bottom line is that horses were sick and they needed help. 
The Oakland Press was told last week that nine horses had received such help after being seized by authorities. I’m not sure what happened, but it appears that information was partially incorrect. 
Nine horses have indeed received help, but they were not seized. 
“I did speak to Joan and asked her, ‘If I can find private owners, can I help?’ and she said, ‘Yes,’” said Lori Bowlin, a Texan who is affiliated with the East Texas Horse Rescue and Sanctuary. “At that point, I began looking for private people to take the horses.” 
Bowlin said she personally took two horses, Cody and Rustina. A friend of hers took one more horse and another good friend took six horses. 
“It never became a seizure-warrant-confiscated-type mission,” Bowlin said. 
Texas officials confirmed the same thing and The Oakland Press published a correction in Tuesday’s edition (Sept.14).
Bowlin said Cody is getting multiple treatments daily for his eye issue and Rustina is slowly getting back to a healthy weight. All nine of the horses are now on farms with land to spare and lots of care, Bowlin said. 
Understandably, it will take some time to get the horses back to full health, Bowlin said. 
Bowlin also reported that the horses which remain with Tucker are healthy and being fed properly. 
The last story I wrote about the situation in August, people who had previously owned some of the horses that became emaciated sobbed on the phone with me. As if seeing the photos wasn’t gut wrenching enough, listening to their cries was absolutely heartbreaking. 
And so, I am beyond happy to know the horses are getting the care they need. 
“They’re living it up, things are good,” Bowlin said of the horses. 
Thank you, Lori. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

I know I said I'd never get another mare again, but...

Meet Bella! She's a 2 year old Friesian Sporthorse mare with a puppy dog personality and is the newest addition to my herd. 

When looking for our new horse, it was important to find one that my husband really connected with. I looked for several months to find the perfect horse; one that would make him share my love for all things equine. And just as I was beginning to think we'd never find the right horse, along came Bella.

She was the wrong age, the wrong gender, the wrong color, the wrong name (our Rottweiler's name is already Bella) and out of our original budget, but there was just something about her. 

So stay tuned to see how Bella grows and Mark works to learn the love of horses!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Update on Equine STAR - Michigan Horse Rescue Accused of Horse Neglect

Recently nine horses were removed from a temporary Texas home of the infamous Joan Tucker, owner of White Lake's former Equine STAR horse rescue. You're probably thinking, "Horses rescued from a horse rescue?" 
Yep, that's what I thought too. 

Joan Tucker solicited donations earlier this year in an attempt to save her rescue operation and was later found lacking the proper charity license. After foreclosing on her Haley Hills property, she gathered up enough money to move the horses down to Texas.

When allegations recently emerged that the rescue horses were being neglected and underfed, there were all kinds of excuses, including that the horses' old age was to blame for their condition (which only made the horse community more angry).

Unfortunately, this isn't the end of this heartbreaking story, but it does bring about some important questions, such as:

  • When you surrender an animal, how do you know that you're putting them in good hands?
  • At what point is euthanasia the more humane alternative?
  • How do you determine the difference between a healthy love for horses and animal hoarding?
  • Should there be more strict standard set for horse rescues?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this story. 
Write a comment or send me a quick e-mail to tell us what you think!

And if you aren't familiar with the Equine STAR/Joan Tucker story, make sure to check out the previous Oakland Press Articles below (don't forget to read the comments!).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Adoptable Horse of the Week - Meet Halo!

Halo is very sweet gray Arabian mare. She has a cute gray colt by her side that is also very sweet. She was use as a camp horse and is great for kids. Now after years of negelect, she is no longer rideable. Now that she is with the rescue, she is at a good weight and well loved. She will make a great companion pony. Halo is up-to-date with routine shots.

For more information or to meet Halo, call 269-965-2117 or 269-924-6595 or Email EARTH Services.

Or for information on some of the other adoptable horses
that EARTH Services has to offer, check them out on!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

YouTube Gem ~ "Top 10 Reasons Why a Round Bale is Better than a Mare"

I stumbled upon this YouTube gem recently and thought I should share...


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