Miniature donkeys are so cute and personable that people may tend to think of them as they would any other pet and forget that they are equines with needs very similar to horses. Unfortunately, donkeys of all sizes can end up in homes that are unequipped or unable to care for them properly. That is when Little Long Ears Miniature Donkey Rescue comes in.
Valarie Lowe is a former “A” circuit hunter/jumper trainer who retired as an equestrian professional in 2010. She became a realtor, and with her wife Cheryl Pokorny, a high school physical education teacher, moved to a 15-acre horse farm in Westminster, MD.
Their first experience with donkeys came around 2012 when they purchased a pair of donkeys as company for the retired show horses on the farm. They found Nestor and Sassafras for sale on Craigslist and were told the donkeys had been rescued from a New Jersey auction. Before that, they were unaware of the terrible fate facing unwanted donkeys who are purchased by killer buyers at the auctions. After lots of research and self-education and seeing that there were few rescues that were available to help donkeys, they founded the non-profit organization Little Long Ears Miniature Donkey Rescue in 2013.
Don Newcomer frequently rides his Appaloosa mare Scarlet on the Horse-Shoe Trail, a 140-mile path that winds from Valley Forge to north of Manada Gap. His favorite section is the farthest west, just before the Horse-Shoe Trail meets up with the 2,200-mile-long Appalachian Trail. It's the most remote section, somewhat steep and a bit rocky.
“You feel like you're in the wilderness,” Newcomer said. “It's off the beaten path.”
Sharon Cargill followed the trail's yellow blazes on her ponies Princess and Peppy. She has a particular fondness for a section near Chester Springs consisting of rolling hills, woodlands and farms, where fox hunting is a favored pastime.
Riders and hikers have been enjoying the Horse-Shoe Trail since 1935, after Henry Woolman, an enthusiastic horseman, decided the mountainous section of southeast Pennsylvania was sufficiently scenic to merit a trail comparable to those he rode in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.
On Thursday night, January 18, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) honored a few select members during its annual awards banquet in Lexington, Kentucky.
The USEF President Murray Kessler presented a Pegasus Medal of Honor to three members, including Mike Goebig of Broadmoor in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
Mike Goebig represents the heart and soul of the Morgan horse and its community. Influenced by his parents’ love for the Morgan, he opened his first public stable in 1970 in Philadelphia, PA. Throughout this 47-year span, he has produced many Morgan regional, national, and world champions. Mike made Morgan show horse history by winning the World Park Saddle Championship a record six times. Serving as President of the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA) from 2005 to 2007, his leadership in the Morgan horse industry increased membership and resulted in a framework to increase AMHA’s relevancy in the greater equine industry.
Mike volunteers countless hours to share his training knowledge with others in clinics, hosted by individuals and clubs, across the United States, Canada, and England. Mike and his partner, Dwayne Knowles, have held clinics at Broadmoor, as well as welcomed local 4-H and youth clubs for educational endeavors.
Social Media. Both a blessing and a curse. There is a very high probability if you are a horse person reading this, you have witnessed or been a party to the online reports, accusations, criticism, second-guessing, frustration, and anger that often ensues when someone sees what they believe to be an act of neglect or abuse against a horse and that they feel is not being investigated in a timely manner. These are difficult cases and each incident must be investigated properly and thoroughly to determine a just outcome. It doesn’t do any good to jump to conclusions, try the person in the court of public opinion, or take matters into one’s own hands. That’s how good cases fall through the cracks because proper procedure wasn’t followed, or how innocent people are wrongly accused. It can be frustrating for the citizen who makes the complaint when the wheels of justice seem to turn slowly, but there’s a right way these situations need to be handled. Reporting an incident to the proper authority is step one, but who would that be?
Pennsylvania has a unique set up regarding who has the authority to do what when it comes to the animal cruelty law. To add to the confusion, the law was revamped with a significant overhaul that went into effect in August 2017 and there will be growing pains in the enforcement of the newly written statute.
Horses are an expensive addiction. For that reason, equestrians both novice and seasoned will spend hours researching breeds, trainers, and disciplines for their best match. Yet after shelling a fortune for a specialty-bred performance horse, it’s a gamble. Riders can find after stoic hours in the saddle the relationship only spirals down, and the dream of enjoying just a trail ride or the winner’s circle never materializes. Should you give up on that four-legged heartache and cut your losses?
I had the privilege to talk to Guy McLean, renowned Australian-born Horseman and International Equine Entertainer, to shed light on this question. Although the answer may not be what the equestrian wants to accept, it may just be the essence of every good team—it’s as simple as listening to your horse.
The instant I met Guy McLean I knew he was a horse whisperer, perhaps because he listens. Guy told me, “Throughout a lifetime, I have noticed that although there are many differences between Man and Horse, there is one main area in which we are the same… and that is that we are all individuals. Each and every one of us is born with a gift that only we can demonstrate to its fullest, and it is important to focus our energies on what we are good at to find results that are truly successful.”