Using Guide Horses for the Blind


When you think of "service animals," you usually think of a service dog like a German Shepherd or Golden Retriever leading a blind person. But did you know that miniature horses are also service as guides for the blind?Due to the size of horses typically used for riding, it is not practical to use them as service animals, except in a therapeutic riding program. However, miniature horses are usually about the same size as some of the large breeds used by service organizations. In addition, large breed dogs usually live to about 12 or 13 years old, a miniature horse can remain in service well into their 20's. Guide Horses, as they are called, are not for everyone. They are a personal preference and are typically requested by horse lovers, those who need a guide with a long lifespan, blind equestrians who ride large horses, and blind people with dog allergies.

Most Guide Horses come via donations from large breeding farms and individual donations. Less than 1% of miniature horses are suitable for Guide Horse training. All horses must have exceptional small size with good physical health and stamina, sound legs and above average intelligence. A licensed equine veterinarian examines all horses before they are accepted into a training program.Some of the requirements for having a Guide Horse are a bit different than having a Service Dog.

While Guide Horses are trained to work indoors while guiding, all Guide Horses handlers are required to have a fenced outdoor area and barn for when their Guide Horse is off duty. All horses require lots of fresh air, and all Guide Horses live outdoors when not guiding. Since horses are herd animals, they are happier when they have a friend to come home to after work.

While some horses are fine living alone with their handler, many Guide Horse programs will places a companion horse with each Guide Horse.Guide Horses and service dogs share the same extremely high level of training, though may use different training methods. All Guide Horses must demonstrate 100% proficiency at keeping their handler safe in chaotic traffic. Guide Horses have proven to be exceptionally talented in keeping their handler safe in traffic, partially because their 350 degree range of vision allows them to see traffic in all directions at the same time.

No Guide Horse is placed until their handler can confidently place their life in its control.Training any assistance animal requires an in-depth understanding of animal behavior. Because equine behavior is generic to all horse breeds, any professional horse trainer can start the initial training of the assistance horse, teaching it to accept the harness, and start/stop on command.

Advanced training involves training the horse not to react to environmental distractions, to avoid obstacles and to recognize all potential dangers. The idea is to create a team, person and horse, working together and understanding one another.Training of a Guide Horse includes:The handler, too, will go through an entire training program, from animal care through team training.Though allowed under ADA, Guide Horses are still an experimental mobility option for blind people who do not wish to or cannot use a guide dog.

They are provided by The Guide Horse Foundation, founded in 1999 to provide miniature horses as assistance animals to blind users living in rural environments.

Kentucky Derby Top 15


With all the first round of the 2012 three-year-old prep races done across the country it's time to take a first look at the BetAmerica Kentucky Derby Top 15. ; A lot can change between now and May, but for now here's the list.1. Union Rags2. Mr. Bowling3. Liaison4. Gemologist5. Algorithms6. Out of Bounds7. Junebugred8. Alpha9. Hansen10.Creative Cause So Lucky12.O'Prado Again Padrino14. Discreet Dancer15. SabercatUnion Rags tops the list based on his 2011 campaign, which finished with a second place finish to Hansen in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile. ; After winning the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont, Union Rags was sent off as the even-money favorite in the Juvenile. ; Drawing post ten was probably the reason for the defeat as the Dixie Union-colt was wide the entire trip. ; Off since then Union Rags is eyeing a return in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park on February 26.Hansen won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but plummets down the list based on his performance in the Holy Bull last weekend. ;After stumbling at the start the nearly white colt made the lead on his own, but was run down late by the impressive Algorithms.Algorithms is trained by Todd Pletcher, who also has Gemologist, El Padrino and Discreet Dancer on the list. ; Gemologist is number four after his win over the highly touted Ever So Lucky, who will be starting in the Hutcheson at Gulfstream Park on February 4, in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs in November. ; El Padrino won an allowance race over Take Charge Indy, who was fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, on the same day as the Holy Bull and looks like a horse who will love ten-furlongs. ;

Discreet Dancer has been uber impressive in his two races, a maiden and an allowance at Gulfstream Park, and gives Pletcher a hot hand in the upcoming months. ;Pletcher has the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, March 31, at Gulfstream Park as well the Risen Star, February 25 at Fair Grounds, and the Southwest, February 20 at Oaklawn Park as possible races for his foursome.Should Pletcher ship one or more of his horses out-of-town then he is going to have to face the winner's from the local prep races Mr. Bowling at Fair Grounds and Junebugred at Oaklawn Park. ; Mr. Bowling won the Grade 3 LeComte Stakes by a head and is expected to move on to the Risen Star while Junebugred took the Smarty Jones by a neck with a rail-skimming ride by Jersey Joe Bravo.

The Southern California contingent is led by Liaison, who won the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park in his last start in mid-December. ; The Bob Baffert-trainee is expected to show up next in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis on February 4 at Santa Anita. ;Out of Bounds and Creative Cause are the other Southern California-based runners with Out of Bounds the slight edge based on his recent start in the Sham. ; Out of Bounds was 10-1 in the Grade 3 Sham earlier this month, but did not run like it. ; He stalked the early pace then ran right by the 1-2 favorite Secret Circle, who won the inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint last year. ; Out of Bounds is expected to start in the San Felipe at Santa Anita on March 10.Creative Cause was arguably the top two-year-old in California last year with wins in the Grade 2 Best Pal at Del Mar and Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita. ; In the Breeders' Cup Juvenile the Giant's Causeway-colt was third, beaten just over a length. ; Trainer Mike Harrington could kick off his campaign with a run in the seven furlong San Vicente at Santa Anita on February 19.With most of the New York runners wintering in Florida, including Remsen winner O'Prado Again, Alpha leads those in the Empire State. ; Alpha was second to Union Rags in the Grade 1 Champagne then was eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile before scoring an easy win in the Count Fleet at Aqueduct in early January. ; His next start is to come in the Grade 3 Withers over the track on February 4.Sabercat deserves a spot on this list after winning the $1,000,000 Jackpot at Delta Downs last year. ; That win guaranteed him a spot in the field of 20 on the first Saturday in May as the winner's purse was $600,000.

Sabercat's last published work came in early December at Fair Grounds and his trainer Steve Asmussen has yet to set the next live horse race.In addition to the Withers at Aqueduct and Robert Lewis at Santa Anita the other three-year-old prep races taking place this weekend are the Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs and the WEBN at Turfway Park.Who makes your Top 15 list?

Using Mirrors to Improve Your Horse Riding


Many equestrian disciplines require the horse to work in a certain position or outline such as dressage, western etc. When teaching your horse to work correctly or when learning yourself, it is hard when you are unable to see how it looks and compare this to what it should look like. Many people will video their lessons or schooling sessions then play this back to make alterations for the next session. This is restrictive as it does not allow you to make instant changes and feel the results so you have an ongoing case of trial and error. An ideal solution to this is to have mirrors fitted in your arena or school.By having mirrors in your school it will allow you to check the position of yourself and the horse constantly and improve your performance without the need to have someone on the ground.

Mirrors therefore can help with independence and make the rider feel more confident when schooling alone. As a competitor it enables you to see what the judge sees which is especially important in disciplines such as dressage.When learning new movements such as lateral work, the mirrors can help to show you if the horse is in the correct position.

When positioned correctly, it will encourage the rider to look up at their reflection as opposed to looking down at the horse.When fitting mirrors it is important to remember that unless fitted correctly and made from sturdy stable materials they could potentially be very dangerous. It is important to purchase them from a reputable company that specialise in mirrors for use with horses, as they will understand that they need to be able to withstand horses potentially hitting or kicking them.When riding your horse in an arena with mirrors for the first time, bear in mind that they do not necessarily know what mirrors are and there is the chance they could be spooked by a horse suddenly appearing alongside them.

Allow them time to get used to the idea before attempting any training in front of them.Training is incredibly important if you wish to improve your skills as a rider. The more time spent practicing, the better you will become. With the use of mirrors, your level of training increases as it allows you to actually see where you are doing things right and where you could improve. For those who wish to improve their dressage skills, mirrors can be a very useful addition.

Never Been to The Kentucky Derby? Start a New Tradition in 2011


All family traditions start with a single event that is so enjoyable it is repeated year after year. For many families and groups of friends, an annual pilgrimage to the Kentucky Derby is just such a tradition. You can start your own tradition this year by purchasing Kentucky Derby tickets and finding out what the excitement is all about.If you have never bought Kentucky Derby tickets, 2011 is a good year to do it. The springtime weather is already pleasant, and Louisville is getting geared up for the event like never before. The city is known for fabulous food and a welcoming spirit, so join in the festivities and create some new memories of your own.

You may even win some extra cash if your horse wins the big race!If you're not sure where to stay, you may want to consider one of the many Kentucky Derby packages that include accommodations, Derby tickets, and access to some of those famous parties. There is no shortage of nightlife events in the city at Derby time, so make sure you pack your dancing shoes along with your special Derby hat. Many packages also include Kentucky Oaks tickets, so be sure to look for the combination of features that best meets the needs of your group.

Whether you want to sit in the grandstand or splurge on a clubhouse for your group, there are a variety Kentucky Derby tickets that will help you start your new tradition. No matter where you sit, the experience will not be forgotten, and you will have an event to look forward to year after year.Although it may be an elite event, there are Kentucky Derby tickets available, so there is no reason you can't participate in all the fun. Become a part of the rich history and tradition of the Derby and order your tickets today!

Horse Racing The Finest Sport Played Most Today


Horse racing is a popular game from ancient time. People who are interested in racing have knowledge of its history, when it is started, where it was played first etc. The most common type of horse racing is: -

1. The thoroughbred racing: - It is a type of racing in which the horses are riddled by a person called jockey. This type of races takes place on the smooth tracks and covers the distance of nearly one-fourth or two miles over the course with the speed of forty miles per hour. At present more than 80 thoroughbred racecourses are there in nearly thirty three countries.

2 The harness racing: - In this type of game the conventional horse has to pull a bike on two wheels with a rider and have to cover the distance of at least one mile over the racetrack with the speed of twenty to thirty miles per hour. Now a day, there are twenty nine conventional bread in thirty three countries. This game is generally a fun game along with the money maker also. Horse Racing Singapore is one of the places where this game often takes place. If a person who is the organizer of this must have a good sense of strategy then one should earn a long term profit from this game. So for being a good organizer one must have knowledge of the following points:-

3 In this a person analyzes the horses' fitness, as if a horse have participated recently in a race or have already run well in the last race then the horse is fit and quite good to take part in the next race. But a horse which seems to be good and has a poor fitness then the horse will not be reliable.

4 The jockey should always be an experienced person, as it is totally depend on the jockey that how to improve the win chances of the horse.

5 Beside all one must have to be attentive towards the best value.

6 The condition of the track is also important whether it is favorable for your livestock or not along with the weather condition of that day in which the race will be happening.

The horse race is a traditional game which is being played all over the world and if we talk about Singapore Racing it is really the best place where several world class events take place. So one can achieve an immediate income from this game if a person is having a good faith on his horse and jockey's success then obviously the person will win and gain good income. But the person must be careful about the riders who will be going to ride the horse in the race course and will able to win the race.

Horse riding is like a "King's Sport" and which generally liked by so many aspirants. It also means it is the best source of revenue.

Biography of The Thoroughbred Race Horse Citation


In the history of horse racing there have been a few horses that are remembered through the years for their impressive accomplishments. It is not secret that there is one accomplishment that keeps horses in the memory of horse racing fans. That accomplishment is of course winning the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is rare, but each of the horses that have won the Triple Crown have been remembered as legends.The Triple Crown is won when a horse wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. These are the three biggest races in the American horse racing scene and the winner is revered as a hero. Citation was the 8th horse to ever win the Triple Crown. While those three wins in his career were huge, he was by no means a horse that only won three races.Citation was bred by Calumet Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.

He began to race as a two year old at Havre de Grace, Maryland. From the beginning it was clear that this horse was special as he managed to win his first race ever. He continued on to impress his competition as he broke the Arlington Park record in the second start of his career. He raced just 9 races in his first year and managed to win 8 of the races. He was named the 1947 champion 2 year old colt for his impressive showing through the year.As a three year old he continued to show his value as he beat Armed, the horse of the year from the previous year two times to start the year. He continued to beat older horses and this year would be the biggest year of his career. Throughout the year the horse managed to win 9 major races.

These races included the Tanforan Handicap, Flamingo Stakes, Kentucky Derby, Preakness States, Belmont Stakes, Stars and Stripes Handicap, Jockey Club Gold Cup, American Derby and the Pimlico Special. Besides being the 1948 Triple Crown Champion, he was also named the champion 3 year old colt and the U.S. Horse of the Year.While many horses finish their careers with less on their record than Citation, Citation was not done after that point. As a 5 year old the horse came back into the national scene and managed to win a couple more big races. The notable wins for Citation in 1950 included the Hollywood Gold Cup and the San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile.

As a 6 year old the horse continued to race and won another major race at the American Handicap. Citation was named as the champion older horse in 1951 and went over the 1 million dollar mark in terms of earnings. From that point he retired to stud.Citation was inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame in 1959 and was added to the "Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century." He was named the 3rd best horses of the 20th century on the top 100 list and is remembered as one of the all-time greats.

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Horse Riding Area Design


In the cold and wet winter, weather can shorten the amount of time one can comfortably ride a horse outdoors. A covered horse riding arena will allow you to ride all year long. A post framed arena and barn facility can be designed to fit you needs and budget. A large clear span pole building can be the best way to train and ride horses all year long. Post framed riding arenas are wood framed and steel covered structures that are built strong and durable to last many years. The size options are virtually endless and can be designed with many features to suit your horse riding needs.Pole building riding arenas can be designed with no walls, partial walls, fully enclosed, with doors, and with lean-toos for stall areas. Arenas can also be fitted with roof vents, translucent light panels, electric lights, and exterior wall liners. The arena's riding surface can be dirt, sand, clay, sawdust, wood chips, hog fuel, or recycled rubber.A fully enclosed arena provides protection from the elements with the option of large doors for access and ventilation.

A roof only arena allows for a cool summer breeze and allows dust to escape the building. Partial walls can be the best of both worlds, providing protection from weather, containment of horses, ventilation, and a view outside.The stall portion of the building can be fitted with any size stalls desired, although an efficient size is 12' x 12'. Tack rooms, washrooms, lunchrooms, living areas, and viewing areas are also options. If the stalls are built with ceilings, the area between the ceiling and the building's roof provides a large space for hay storage. The floor of the stall area can be natural dirt, gravel, concrete, or outfitted with rubber mats.Light panels in the roof or walls of a horse riding arena provide a great source of natural light, while still providing protection from the elements. Modern technology allows light panels to be stronger and longer lasting than panels of the past. Electrical lighting can also be installed in arenas to provide illumination.

The lights can even be situated so they reflect off the metal roof's white inside surface to create an even glow throughout the building.Tongue and groove lumber or plywood can be installed to the external walls of the building to create a liner that acts as an attractive safety barrier for horses. The building's structural posts are a perfect attachment point for the liner.A covered post framed horse riding arena is the perfect way for the horse enthusiasts to ride out of the wind and other elements. You and your horse will be pleased with the investment.For more information on horse riding arenas and other barn facilities that fit your needs and budget, contact Econ-O-Fab Buildings through .

Is Owning a Horse Right for You


You've been taking riding lessons at a riding school for some time, and have decided that you'd really like to take the equestrian sport a bit further and would like to have a horse of your own! Something you can ride whenever you want to, take to shows without asking permission, buy the tack, rugs and grooming kit that you want to use and spoil your horse as you see fit! In your mind you can see you and your horse riding off into the sunset and having a glorious future together.But what is the reality of owning your own horse?Being responsible for the full care of an equine is completely different to turning up once or twice a week to ride. Obviously no one will be thinking for a moment that owning a such an animal is cheap - buying the horse, paying for livery or renting a field and stable, shoeing, vet bills, dentists and saddle fitters may add up to more than originally thought, but most people will know they will need a realistic budget to afford their new hobby and will have costed all the elements before proceeding. If you own a horse you might end up poor and unable to afford other luxuries, but who wants to go out and party if you've got your life's dream waiting for you in the stable?If you want to keep the expense down rather than full you might go for DIY livery, or rent a field and stable. But this does mean that you will be investing a vast amount of time in caring for your horse - mucking out and feeding morning and evening, changing rugs, clearing the muck from the field etc.

Then you may need to take time off work for the farrier to visit or the vet. The actual time you'll spend riding is minimal compared to the time you'll spend caring for it.Most riding schools will fit your riding ability and experience to the horse they give you to ride, and as you improve will change you to a different animal. Sometimes when you turn up to ride you'll be told you have to ride another horse, maybe for just that week, or maybe longer. But you'll soon get used to the new one and possibly enjoy riding it just as much, if not more. But have you really stopped to wonder why this is? Normally it's because the original horse has gone lame.Having an inspection by a vet is vitally important when buying a horse, but it can provide no guarantee that the horse will remain sound after you have made the purchase. Being very delicate creatures they are liable to injure themselves in the field, out hacking or even just in the stable! Some horses seem to be particularly accident prone to the extent owners joke about keeping them in padded cells! Once you have your own horse you can't swop onto another when it goes lame, and if you are very unlucky you might have months when you are unable to ride.

When you've seen the previous owner doing flying changes and pirouettes on the horse you've got your eye on, you might imagine that you'll soon be winning all the dressage events around. But having a horse that has been well trained is far removed from you being able to ride it to that standard yourself. Horses rely on you asking them what to do, and if your level of riding skill is not quite up to expert level, you cannot expect the horse to perform that well for you. It really can be very discouraging when someone else jumps on your horse and immediately has it on the bit when you've been trying to do that for months and failing! You must be prepared to learn with your new partner, and not have expectations of too much progress too fast.Your horse will need to be exercised - well of course, riding is what you bought it for! But this means when the weather is abysmal as well as during lovely sunny days. This will be particularly true if you have no winter turnout.

You will need to have the commitment to ride even when you don't really feel up to it.If you have spent your life longing for your own equine to love, care and cherish, then having a horse is right for you as long as you can afford it in both time and money costs, and have realistic expectations.On the other hand, if it's an idea that you've had after a few riding lessons then you need to do some serious thinking. Once you own a horse it will take over your life.

Law For Equines Safety


Horses have played an indispensable role in human history known for its intelligence and sensitive nature Horses suffered untold abuse and neglect in work, war, and so-called entertainment in daily life. Therefore equine law or horse law is made to cover all activities which deal with horses, equestrian sports, horse welfare, riders and rider safety. State, Federal and local laws govern this area of practice.The Horse Protection Act prohibits horses subjected to a process called soring from participating in exhibitions, sales, shows, or auctions. Under equine law there is Horse Protection Act (HPA). It is a Federal law that acts in prohibiting horses subjected to a practice called soring from participating in shows, sales, exhibitions, or auctions. This act also prohibits drivers from transporting sored horses to or from any of these events. Equine lawyer works actively with the horse industry to protect against such abuse and ensure that only sound and healthy horses participate in shows. The ultimate goal is to end this inhumane practice completely.Soring is a cruel and abusive practice which is used to accentuate a horse's gait which may be accomplished by irritating or blistering a horse's forelegs through the application of chemicals such as mustard oil or the use of mechanical devices.

Walking horses are known for possessing a naturally high gait, but in order to be successfully competitive their natural gait is often exaggerated. The exaggerated gait can be achieved with proper training and considerable time however; some horse exhibitors, owners, and trainers have chosen to use inhumane and improper training methods to shorten the time that would take to produce a higher gait without abusive practices.According to Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009 - Amends the federal criminal code to impose a fine and/or prison term of up to three years for possessing, shipping, transporting, purchasing, selling, delivering, or receiving any horse, horse flesh, or carcass with the intent that it be used for human consumption.

The prison term reduces to one year if the offense involves less than five horses or less than 2,000 pounds of horse flesh or carcass and the offender has no prior conviction for this offense.According to section 1824 the failure by the management of any horse exhibition or show which does not appoint and retain a person in accordance with section 1823(c) of this title, to disqualify from being shown or exhibited any horse which is sore.

The failing to establish, maintain or submit records, notices or other information required under section 1823 of the title that the failure or refusal to permit access to or copying of records or the failure or refusal to permit entry or inspection. Similarly under this section, the failure or refusal to provide the secretary with adequate space or facilities, as the Secretary may be regulation under section 1828 of this title prescribe, in which to conduct inspections or any other activity authorized to be performed by the Secretary under this chapter.