#BEST OF 2015

HN Best of 2015 #4: Mama’s Tough Love

Sometimes, kids just need to learn to treat their elders with respect.

It’s no secret that foals can be energetic and playful, even just downright sassy (for instance, we recently shared this video of a Paso Fino foal gaiting like crazy). But a good parent knows when to intervene when things get out of hand. Watch what happens when this naughty colt decides that it’s time to beat up on mom (note: you must be logged into Facebook to view this video):

Naughty Foal Gets Tough Love from Mama!! – MUST WATCH!!

Posted by Horsepower NZ Horse Vans & Trucks on Saturday, January 10, 2015

Nothing like a little tough love to remind a baby that he better watch where he kicks out!

Go Riding!


HN Best of 2015 #7: The Sales Video of the Year

The horse seems super-sweet and lovely but the real star of this video is the 4-year-old kid holding the camera.

Earlier this week we posted this amazing lease video. A couple days later (when it rains it pours!) another gem showed up in our inbox. It’s a sale video for an 8-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding named Paddy, and it has the cutest color commentary EVER.

Reader Kris spotted it on on the Virginia Equestrian Facebook page and sent it our way with the note, “The horse is adorable but the 4-year-old videoing his mom is HILARIOUS! She is such a patient Mom too :-)”

Just watch:

“Mommy, why do you say hit the red button?”

“Mommy, why do you have to have it on record?

“Mommy, now can you do the running? And a zigzag.”

“Mommy, let me tell you something.”

“Mommy, on this camera do the pictures come out? Where do they come out of?”

“Mommy, did you know horses are very good fighters?”

..and the kicker…

“I need to go poop. But I can hold it.”


Here’s a link to the full ad.

Go awesome kids. Go Riding!



2015 Best of HN #13: ‘Oh Crap’ Percheron Thunder Style

Monday is the crappiest day of the week … but nothing’s crappier than when your six-horse Roman hitch comes apart while you’re performing. Check out this amazing (and maybe terrifying) video of Jason Goodman’s Percheron Thunder.

We’re big fans of Jason Goodman and his incredible feats of horsemanship, driving six Percherons at a big trot and rolling canter Roman-style with only the lines, his voice and hours upon hours of careful training keeping them together. However, even the best-trained teams can make mistakes, and even the most practiced of performers can have an accident. In July of this year while performing at the Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo in Utah, that’s exactly what happened.

It’s still a little unclear exactly what happens, but it looks like one of the wheel horses (the hindmost team upon which Goodman stands) either took a misstep or somehow got out from under Goodman, causing Goodman to fall between the horses. The sudden release of tension in the lines sent the leaders and swing team into a run, and the situation escalated quickly. Fortunately, Goodman was able to grab a big chunk of mane on each of his wheel horses and hang on, his hands still on the line, despite one of the swings slipping its bridle in the mayhem. Ground crew tentatively tries to help out and then realizes that when six one-ton Percherons decide to go somewhere, few things on earth are going to stop them.

While the scene looks out of control for a few minutes, Goodman hangs on and eventually the team gathers up by the out-gate. Goodman is able to swing aboard one of his wheelers and get things back under control. According to video comments but not shown in this video, Goodman rebridled the loose horse and took one more lap as though nothing had even happened!

An “Oh Crap” moment indeed — but also quite a feat of strength and horsemanship in getting everything back under control. Jason Goodman, we salute you and Percheron Thunder!

Have an “Oh Crap” moment to share? Email your photo/video and a brief explanation of what is going down to [email protected]! Instagram users, tag your moments with #OhCrapHN (your photos need to be set to public or we won’t see them!)

Go forth and tackle your Monday, Horse Nation. Go Riding!

2015 Best of HN #24: 4 Internet Horse Myths

Spoiler alert: we’re about to crush your hopes, dreams and favorite Facebook shares. You have been warned.

I am not a very fun Facebook friend. (I’d like to think I’m a SUPER FUN real-life friend though.)

But really, I’m probably the Facebook friend that people love to hate: when I see people sharing headlines and stories that sound just too good to be true, I head on over to Snopes, the internet clearinghouse for myths, urban legends and total bull. When the headline proves inevitably to be false, I comment on said friend’s link with the news. Petty? Maybe, but since I make a living encouraging people to educate themselves by reading, I consider it my civic duty.

Which is why we’re raining all over your parade today by debunking these four incredibly Facebook-pervasive email-forward-friendly horse stories that, sadly for horse lovers everywhere, are totally untrue.

Table and Chairs Horse Shelter

table and chairs

Now how totally cute is this? What an ingenious farmer to come up with a creative way to buck the system and get what he needs for his horses. In this case, the photo is totally 100% real … but the caption is fake.

The true story is that this farm owner in Germany is also a wood merchant: these enormous pieces of furniture were constructed to advertise his business. They do happen to double as a source of shade for the horses in the pasture, but they were not built as some sort of wily work-around for a building permit. (They wouldn’t do a very good job blocking wind, anyway.) We’ll give the creators of the fake story some credit, though — it’s a pretty cute idea.

Mule Kills Mountain Lion

“A couple from Montana were out riding on the range, he with his rifle and she (fortunately) with her camera. Their dogs always followed them, but on this occasion a Mountain Lion decided that he wanted to stalk the dogs (you’ll see the dogs in the background watching). Very, very bad decision… The hunter got off the mule with his rifle and decided to shoot in the air to scare away the lion, but before he could get off a shot the lion charged in and decided he wanted a piece of those dogs. With that, the mule took off and decided he wanted a piece of that lion. That’s when all hell broke loose … for the lion. As the lion approached the dogs the mule snatched him up by the tail and started whirling him around. Banging its head on the ground on every pass. Then he dropped it, stomped on it and held it to the ground by the throat. The mule then got down on his knees and bit the thing all over a couple of dozen times to make sure it was dead, than whipped it into the air again, walked back over to the couple (that were stunned in silence) and stood there ready to continue his ride… as if nothing had just happened. Fortunately even though the hunter didn’t get off a shot, his wife got off these 4 …”


Phew! Don’t mess with a territorial mule! … sort of. Like the tables and chairs described above, the photos are real but the story is not. While the first photo indeed looks like the mule has grabbed a live and angry lion by the tail, the mountain lion is in fact already dead — the mule’s owner had shot and killed it. The owner reported to Western Mule Magazine that “Berry” had been aggressively interested in dead mountain lions ever since he bought the animal, and with each subsequent lion kill got more and more aggressive, flinging and shaking the dead lions all about.

52 Thoroughbreds Need Homes

Screen Shot 2015-07-10 at 10.34.57 AM

(See what I mean? I am the wet-blanket Facebook friend.)

Note that this post was shared to my Facebook page in February of this year. When I searched Facebook for “52 thoroughbreds” I found posts that were shared as recently as this morning. While these 52 thoroughbreds were in fact in need of homes back in January and February of 2011, they were all successfully rehomed within four days (our sister site Eventing Nation covered the story.)

The “52 thoroughbreds” story demonstrates the double-edged sword that is social media: it’s so easy to simply click and share instantly that stories and photos can spread in a matter of minutes. While this can be incredibly useful for spreading the word about a worthy cause, it can also be a problem when the actual story or photo doesn’t include some kind of time stamp. Hence, people still believe today, four and a half years later, that 52 thoroughbreds are destined for slaughter, this week, in Ohio, and frantically share and share and encourage their friends to go save these animals that have long since started enjoying new lives.

That Moment You Realize It Spells Horse


The jury is still out on how many of my Facebook friends share this because they think it’s real, as opposed to the ones who share it because they think it’s cool. (Judging by the number of over-the-top reactions, I’m afraid a lot of them think it’s real.) Sorry, folks, this is simply a picture of the rare and elusive Photoshop Pinto. This image was the second-place winner in a Worth1000.com photo effects contest.

Here’s the original, unaltered photo with the altered photo shown below for comparison:


Hey, as far as photo editing goes, they did a pretty good job.

If you’re now silently weeping at your computer, I’m terribly sorry … but now you know the truth! And you can now scroll through Facebook with a new sense of superiority over your less-informed friends.

What other horsey “internet legends” have you seen that simply aren’t true? Share them in the comments section!

Go riding!

2015 Best of HN #25: Do You Know Where Your Horses Are?

After a former Budweiser Clydesdale was rescued from New Holland, the question remains: can you ever truly know what happens after a horse is sold?
Photo via the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue on Facebook.

Photo via the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue on Facebook.

His name is Duke, and once upon a time he enjoyed a stream of adoring visitors at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia. In those happier days, he was a Budweiser Clydesdale, cared for with the utmost attention and respect.

Then, he changed hands and ended up in the auction pen at New Holland, a place that induces a sinking of the heart when mentioned. Hundreds of pounds underweight, missing patches of hair, infested with mites and in need of years’ worth of love and attention, Duke was bailed from New Holland by the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue.

According to the communication between the head of Clydesdale management at Anheuser Busch, the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue confirmed that Duke was sold in 2009 with a contract including a right of first refusal. From there, the trail is hazy, but it’s evident that Duke fell into the wrong hands along the way.

Happily, Duke is doing much better and is enjoying life as he recovers from the neglect he experienced. The look in his eye is bright and kind, as if he still believes in the good life that can be provided by his human handlers.

For those wondering, Anheuser Busch has made donations towards the care of Duke — and did so before the identity of the gelding was confirmed. While we wish that these circumstances had been avoided, the fact is that many contracts are often broken, and Duke sadly suffered the consequences. However, we’d like to also thank Anheuser Busch for working with the CDHR and the care of Duke in his new home.

Fortunately for this particular situation, Duke was microchipped. It was the microchip that confirmed he was indeed a former Budweiser Clydesdale.

While microchipping your cat or dog may be common practice, many do not know that the chips are also available for horses. The chip can be implanted in a quick process that will place it in the horse’s nuchal ligament. Most of the microchips are guaranteed for life and are easily scanned if a solid identification were needed.

This service provides both peace of mind and protection for both yourself and your horses. We know there are too many shady people out there to count, and we’ve all heard horror stories about horses getting into the wrong hands and becoming “John Does” without a proper identification.

Don’t let this sort of situation happen to your horse. It’s far too easy for a contract to go unhonored or for a dishonest person to pull the wool over our eyes. As horse owners, we all need to do our due diligence if the need arises to sell or rehome our horses. Do your research, hold up your end of the bargain, and do everything you can to ensure your horse lives a safe and healthy life.

We’ve reached out to the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue for an interview, so we will provide updates on Duke’s recovery process as they are made available. In the meantime, check out the CDHR Facebook page for more information on how you can help.