The Other “Ben-Hur” Chariot Race

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Original Upload: Andrea Reitthaler Photo Community

Over One Hundred Horse-Drawn Antique Carriages In Historic Christmas Parade

In Lebanon, Ohio the Antique Horse Drawn Carriage Parade has become one of the most anticipated Christmas celebrations. People travel afar to see this time honored tradition.

The unique Christmas parade features more than 100 antique horse-drawn carriages parading through the streets of beautiful historic downtown Lebanon.

Each year, hundreds of horses and thousands of local Lebanon, Ohio residents prepare for the coming of Christmas.

As night falls, historic buildings and candle-lit streets provide the perfect backdrop for this parade.

People of all ages line Lebanon’s charming downtown streets, candles in hand, anxiously awaiting the first of 100 horse-drawn antique carriages to pass by.

Held every year on the first Saturday in December, this Christmas parade has become one of the most unique and beautiful holiday celebrations in the Midwest.

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Source: Examiner News
Photos: Warren County, Ohio

Bell Ringing Mini Horse Raises Big Money For Salvation Army

Tinker may be miniature — as in a miniature horse — but he’s a big money raiser for the Salvation Army.

He uses his mouth to hold and ring a red bell and also picks up with his mouth a “Thank You Merry Christmas” sign. He can also bow and give kisses.

Major Roger Ross, a Salvation Army commander, said Tinker is one of their biggest money raisers in the area: He brings in 10 times the amount of a regular bell ringer.

“A good kettle for a couple of hours brings in about $250, and for the same time period (Tinker and his owners) have been known to bring in $2,500,” he said. “They line up to put money in the kettle.”

The 13-year-old horse, who’s brown, black, grey and white, has been ringing for four seasons.

“I actually save up all my donation and give it to Tinker because I have such a soft place in my heart for him,” said Karen Hammen, who gave money while Tinker stood outside a West Bend, Wisconsin craft show on a recent Saturday morning.

One of Tinker’s owners, Carol Takacs, said she and her husband got Tinker 12 years ago. She said she went to look at a property, fell in love with the miniature horses there and asked that one be part of the deal.

“About three or four years ago I was walking out of a store and there was a bell ringer and I gave,” she said. “I started thinking ‘I wonder if I can, if I can help make this even more interesting.’ So I went home and I started working with Tinker.”

His name was Tinker when they got him, Takacs said.

“As fate would have it, I could not have named him more appropriately if I had tried,” she said.

Before appearances, she spends a half-hour vacuuming his mane and fur and puts glitter on his hooves, a bell on his backside and a Santa hat on his head. And — of course — Tinker wears the Salvation Army apron.

She also made pins with his face on it — a gift for every $5 donation.

While most people are wooed by Tinker and his decorations, she said some don’t believe he actually holds and rings the bell.

“We don’t do that with Velcro or glue. There’s nothing on his bell. He knows that this is his job and he does it very well,” she said.

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Source: Associated Press

Oldest Horse Charity In The World

Home of Rest For Horses
Britain ~ 1886 ~ Today

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In the 19th century, life for the majority of working horses on the streets of London was appalling.

On 10 May 1886 Miss Ann Lindo, inspired by the book ‘Black Beauty’ and determined to do something about it, set up a home of rest for horses, mules and donkeys at a farm at Sudbury, near Harrow, North-West London.

Fittingly its first resident was an overworked London cab horse.

Among the supporters of the new Society was HRH Prince Albert and before long the Duke of Portland, Master of the Royal Household, agreed to become president.

The role of horse as a working animal has changed radically over the past 120 years. No longer do we see cab horses, delivery drays, working pit ponies or the great Shire horses bending to the plough.

Pit Pony

The Home of Rest for Horses’ residents are today drawn from the ranks of those serving their masters in different ways – the mounted police force, the mounted Army regiments, the Royal Mews, Riding for the Disabled, the Horse Rangers Association – and very occasionally a retired race horse, a polo pony or just a much loved family pet.

Set amongst the rolling Chiltern Hills, The Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses caters for the retirement needs of over 100 horses, donkeys and ponies.

Their smaller relatives are also represented – Shetland ponies, donkeys and hinnies – and, of course, the occasional sad case of a neglected pony which requires urgent rehoming and very special care to restore it to health.

It is home to over 100 animals from all over the country, ranging from rescued ponies to retired drum horses from the Household Cavalry.

The residents at the stables share 200 acres of pristine paddocks and loose boxes in the Chiltern Hills, receiving the loving attention they deserve throughout their final years.

Once accepted into the sanctuary of the Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses, they will remain at the sanctuary for the rest of their days.

Three large Shire horses have just arrived to enjoy their well-earned retirement with The Horse Trust.

Jim, at 19hh, is the biggest horse ever to come to The Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses. He arrived along with Tom and Tryfan.

Jim and Tom worked for many years for the Whitbread brewery as dray horses delivering the beer to local hostelries.

Only a month ago, two Shires, “Rosie” and “Duchess”,  joined their former stablemates, “Jim”, “Tom” and “Tryfan” at the Horse Trust’s Home of Rest in Buckinghamshire.

Owner Kay Parry said: “The horses have been part of our lives for more than 10 years. They are precious to us and have been a delight to hundreds of people.

“We are so grateful to The Horse Trust for continuing to keep them where they can continue to enjoy visitors and for providing the care and kindness for the horses in their later years.”

Among The Residents

Leonidus

This magnificent 17 hand, piebald, shire gelding was owned by the army for 18 years. A former military drum horse Leo was used for ceremonial occasions and regularly paraded at Trooping the Colour at Horse Guards Parade. Leo, born in 1982, joined fellow ex-drum horse, Janus at The Trust’s rest home in 2004.

Janus

Janus arrived at Speen in July 2001 from The Household Cavalry based at Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge. Born in 1984 this 17.2 hand, skewbald gelding joined the army in 1989 and spent many years in service as a drum horse for the Blues and Royals. Janus and Leonidas enjoy grazing together in the tranquility and sanctuary of the Chiltern Hills.

Constantine

The Horse Trust is delighted to welcome its third drum horse to the sanctuary in Speen. Constantine, a 17.1 hh Clydesdale, served the Household Cavalry for 20 years and during that time paraded ten times at Trooping of the Colour.

This 23 year old gelding joins ex drum horses Janus and Leonidas who both retired to the Home a number of years ago.

Stevie

Stevie, an 11.3 hand white donkey, has recently joined our family of donkeys at the Home. This 30 year old cuddly newcomer is already attracting a lot of attention from visitors to the yard. He is very friendly and enjoys tons of love and affection.

Just Otto

Simply known as Otto this 17 hand black gelding arrived from The Royal Mews at Windsor Castle in 2004. Born in 1984 Otto won the Queen’s Cup twice and enjoyed eventing at Blenheim. Now teamed up with old stable mate Lancelot Otto has settled well into his new life in the Chiltern Hills.

Fagin

Fagin, a stunning 18.1 hand grey gelding has been reunited with old friends Dawkins and Cratchit from the Greater Manchester Mounted Police. Fagin was beginning to suffer a significant loss of sight in both of his eyes and has retired early from his duties with the police. He is an exceptional character and an adored addition to the herd.

Thomas

Thomas is a little black bundle of fun who is approximately 36 inches high.  This adorable Shetland pony, with a slightly greying muzzle, struts around his field with his head held high and has made many best friends in the short time he has been here – both human and horse!

Sefton

Sefton who retired from the Household Cavalry in Knightsbridge in 2005 is the nominal successor of a famous predecessor. The Home gave sanctuary over twenty years ago to Sefton, the horse that suffered multiple injuries at the hands of the IRA after the Hyde Park bombing on 20th July 1982. The ‘new’ Sefton is a striking 16.2 hand black gelding who was born in 1987.

 

A Safe Haven …

The Horse Trust manages the Home of Rest for Horses.  This sanctuary is funded solely by donations and legacies and provides lifetime care for more than 100 retired working horses, ponies and donkeys.

The Home of Rest for Horses ‘focus of charitable duty now extends far beyond providing a safe haven for elderly horses, ponies and donkeys.

Never losing touch with that core objective, it now embraces a wider agenda which priorities welfare, science and education and has therefore  re-named the charity “The Horse Trust”.

Website:   “The Horse Trust ~ Home of Rest for Horses”

What If Your Horse Is Stolen?

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Debi Metcalfe reunited with
her stolen horse “Idaho”.

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If your horse is stolen go directly to:
Stolen Horse International at
NetPosse.com

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A Shelby, North Carolina  woman
has made it her mission to find stolen horses.

Debi Metcalfe and her husband, Harold, lost a family member. Their horse, Idaho, was horse-napped, in broad day light from their pasture.

A year later, they found Idaho in Tennessee.

This is how Stolen Horse International and NetPosse.com was born and has now celebrated over 10 years of success.

The website has Idaho Alerts which are similar to AMBER Alerts for missing children where members are alerted when a horse, tack or even trailers are stolen.

An estimated 40,000 horses are stolen each year in the United States.

During the Metcalfes’ search, someone set up a Web space for the couple and after finding their horse, they decided to help out other people on the Web. That’s how her site NetPosse.com was started.

“We got so much help, I thought I owed it back,” she said.

Since founding her organization, Debi has written a book and been part of television news stories, newspaper and magazine articles and her expertise was used on Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted” in August.

She appeared as the cover story on The Gaited Horse magazine in an edition that sold out and was most recently featured on “Weekend America,” a Public Broadcasting radio show.

We do a lot more than stolen horses,” Debi said. “That’s how we were started, but we do so much more now.”

Her priority is working with people whose horses are missing first. That comes ahead of fundraising and other functions.

“We try to stress that even if the horse is not found alive and well, it’s better to know than have questions,” she said.

Inspiration … Debi has empathy for the people she helps.

On the NetPosse site is a list of stolen or missing horses across the United States. Also included are photos, dates and current status.

Below are just two of the many horses that have been stolen. 
For complete listings:  Click here:

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Stolen:  LPS Mr. Jalapeno
Bay Morgan Gelding Missing in California suspected to be in Arizona – Feb. 6, 2007

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Stolen:
Valentino
Fleabitten Grey Arabian Gelding Stolen after dark from Therapy Progam in Newton County, Georgia – Feb. 3, 2008

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If you have a horse that has been stolen or strangely disappeared, do not hesitate.  Contact NetPosse.com immediately.

If you recognize the horses pictured above, click on the name of the horse for more information.

It takes everyone working together to keep our horses safe and in their own homes.

 

Umm, excuse me … but was that a carrot that just went by?

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Advice Column For Horses ~ Chapter Two

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Dear Mane Mare
A “Dear Abby” for horses
and their problems with people … (us).

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Dear Mane Mare,
We’ve been doing dressage for a while now, but apparently we need to have more collection. That’s according to the new coach. But I think that collection is what is causing all the sore muscles I have since we switched coaches.  What do you recommend?
*Achy

Dear Achy,
I think you’re right about the cause of your aches and pains. Make it perfectly clear to both rider and coach that if they want collection, they should hire an agency. For some reason, people don’t think collection is quite so desirable if it comes through an agency.

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Dear Mane Mare,
My owner is the trendsetter at our stable, which means that I am the first one to wear the newest trend in tack, suffer through the “improved” training methods and try to eat the hottest supplements on the market. She’s driving me nuts! I’m just a …
*Routine Guy

Dear Routine Guy,
Set your own trend: refuse to eat any supplements, refuse to go along with the new training methods and destroy all new tack.

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Dear Mane Mare,
The instructor says that I should be put into a better frame. What does that mean? Will it hurt?  Will I like it? Is a frame a good thing, or a bad thing?
*Frameless

Dear Frameless,
For those of us who do not naturally possess the desired frame, yes, it can hurt, and it is always hard work.  If the instructor demands a good frame, tell her to go to a gallery.  She’ll fit right in there once you add a little color to her. Black and blue are nice colors.

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From Ride Magazine

Horse and Carriage Show Displays Old Time Elegance

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Once each year, during the second week in August, the picturesque Pittsford, New York countryside comes alive with the magic and romance of an earlier era – a time when the Horse and Carriage reflected the quality of life and influenced the pace and scope of occupational and social activities.

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It was a time when the Horse and Carriage were elevated from a simple means of personal conveyance to a portrait of their owner – a social commentary as to profession, personal taste, and character.

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It was a time when the Horse and Carriage were elevated from a simple means of personal conveyance to a portrait of their owner – a social commentary as to profession, personal taste, and character.

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It was the last decade of the 19th century.

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In an attempt to recapture the essence and spirit of the 1890’s, the Pittsford Carriage Association annually hosts The Walnut Hill Carriage Driving Competition.

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This international celebration of the art and sport of traditional driving in held in a 19th century country fair setting on the commodious grounds of Walnut Hill Farm in Pittsford, New York.

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This living showcase of Americana presents a unique marriage in modern day equine sport – that of combining the pageantry and beauty of exquisitely turned out equipages with the excitement of demanding competition.

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The comprehensive five day schedule of classes offers spectators the opportunity to view a wide variety of 19th century carriages exhibited by over 250 competitors from some 20 states, Canada, and Europe. This year included an exhibitor from Australia!

 

Walnut Hill Farm

A Different Trail For Painted Colts

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It may be an unusual sight for Terre Haute, Indiana … people walking around downtown wearing summer clothes, snapping pictures and leading young children by the hands, looking — in short — like tourists.

But that’s what has been going on since the SheldonSwopeArt Museum’s “Horsing Around in Terre Haute” fund-raiser hit the sidewalks of the city and other parts of town. 

Several local businesses and organizations have sponsored fiberglass colts that have been decorated by WabashValley artists.

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The 4 1/2-foot-tall colts are visible all around town and attracting admiring attention. “I don’t think I’ve seen so much activity downtown,” said Mary Ann Michna, curator of the SwopeArt Museum. “It’s bringing people to the city,” she said.

There are 30 fiberglass colts in total. The bulk of them are downtown, but many are outside the city.

“It’s fun. It’s different,” said Steve Hardin, a reference/instruction librarian for IndianaStateUniversity. Hardin was out taking photos of downtown colts during his lunch hour Friday afternoon and had seen about 12 so far, he said.

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The fiberglass colts are the centerpiece of a fund-raiser for the SwopeArt Museum.

The image of a colt was selected because Terre Haute is home to the Indianapolis Colts training camp, Swope officials have said.

“It’s a natural attraction” to the colts, Michna said. People are making time to come to Terre Haute to see the different colts — in many cases seeing as many as they can in a single day.

“It’s getting people out and around the city,” Michna said. “It’s almost like an Easter egg hunt.”

Story Link:

 

Gotta Go Feed The Horses

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