Attention Horses! Turn Off The Radio!

No more tranquil music for horses

A woman who plays classical music to her horses to keep them calm has been told she must pay for a public performance license.

Rosemary Greenway has been playing passages of opera and orchestral symphonies on the radio to the animals at her stables for more than 20 years, convinced that it helps soothe them.

But at the Malthouse Equestrian Centre in Bushton, Wiltshire, England there will be no more music, and perhaps some very nervous horses now residing there.

Because her stables employ more than two people, she received a telephone call from the Performing Right Society which has been targeting stables as part of a drive to get commercial premises to pay for the music played around the barn.

In defense, a spokeswoman for the society said: “Of course, we don’t ask people to pay for music played to animals. “Mrs Greenway was only asked to pay for music played for staff, like any other workplace.”

The radio is now turned off except for Sunday when there are no staff at the stable yard.

It has long been thought that music helps to calm anxious animals.

Last year a study at Belfast Zoo found evidence that playing Elgar, Puccini and Beethoven to elephants helped reduce stress related behaviours such as swaying, pacing and tossing their trunks.

Perhaps the Malthouse Equestrian Centre might consider purchasing some soothing CDs to calm any horses that have become anxious over this “no radio” ruling.


Link: Have A Spooky Horse?  Try Tchaikovsky!


What’s To Happen To Peter Rabbit ?

Peter Rabbit


October 2008

An old horse who wants nothing more than to eat grass in the Nebraska city of Hickman is now something of a media celebrity.

Peter Rabbit, 32, has grazed his pasture since the day he was born, but the suburbs have encroached and the town fathers say it’s time for Peter Rabbit to go.

His owner says the quarter horse is too old to move.  Peter Rabbit and his owner are not budging.

Talk about your one horse town, Hickman, with 1,084 residents is just that despite a town bylaw saying horses are not welcome within its limits.

But some folks don’t want that distinction. They want an aging horse named Peter Rabbit gone for good.

With houses having sprung up around Peter Rabbit’s pasture, Mayor Jim Hrouda and five of the six City Council members are determined to enforce the livestock ban.

Shortly after a council meeting, the horse’s owner, 76-year-old Harley Scott, was served an eviction notice that orders the animal off the land, plus an infringement notice, which could cost him $100 every day if the authorities want to keep issuing them.

Other folks say the horse should stay, despite an ordinance that bans livestock inside city limits.

“I feel bad for the poor horse. He’s probably going to die soon anyway,” said Jamie Cox, who manages the town bar, Sadie’s Place.

“As long as he’s being taken care of, they should leave him alone.”

Scott said he has raised Peter Rabbit since the brown Morgan-quarter horse crossbreed was born in his pasture in the spring of 1976.

There have been horses on this land since Scott’s father bought 40 acres in 1935. Only about four acres remain in the family.

His land was annexed in 2006, but Scott said no one said anything to him at the time about having to give up the horse.

Scott said. “I would prefer to have him remain as stable as he is and be able to enjoy the remainder of his life.


It appears … this dispute is far from over.

Bo Derek Appointed to Calif. Horse Racing Board


Bo Derek, animal rights activist


California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has named animal lover Bo Derek to the seven-member California Horse Racing Board, which oversees all of the state’s racing and betting action.

The 1980s-era movie star attended her first meeting at Del Mar Racetrack, near San Diego. The post, which was confirmed by the state Senate, pays $100 per day, maybe enough for extra oats for her own stable full of Iberian horses.

Derek, who has been lobbying Congress for the past five years to ban the slaughter of wild horses, could hardly have found a more suitable role.

In addition to being a spokeswoman for the Animal Welfare Institute, in 2002 she penned the memoir Riding Lessons: Everything That Matters in Life I Learned from Horses.

Bo Derek is the founder of her own line of fine pet-care products, Bless the Beasts.

Bo Derek has been active in many capacities for the protection of animals. In addition to her work on the Galapagos Conservancy, she serves on a number of boards, including WildAid, which is trying to stop the illegal wildlife trade.

Bo Derek was also appointed Special Envoy of the Secretary of State for Wildlife Trafficking.

She has taken up the cause of stopping the slaughter of horses in the United States for food export to Europe and testified before Congress with the National Horse Protection Coalition.

With her commitment to animal rights and here love of horses, Bo Derek is well chosen to serve as a watchdog for the much needed protection of horses at the race tracks.


What If Your Horse Is Stolen?


Debi Metcalfe reunited with
her stolen horse “Idaho”.


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


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 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 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:


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


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


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


Like My Hat ?


What? Paris Hilton Not An Original?


This news comes as rather shocking considering Paris Hilton is associated with custom anything and everything.

However, is seems her most recent headline grabbing antics and the possibility that she just may have a not so custom suite in the LA Jail House Hilton Hotel … has, shockingly,  all been done decades before.   


The Los Angeles Times has had their fun reporting the court room details, as well as Hollywood’s “been there, done that” stories.

But columnist Patrick Mott tells it best in the Orange County Metro.  The story goes like this:

Bebe Daniels set the stage – OC had its own Paris Hilton-goes-to-jail’ moment back in the early ’20s.

“As horribly as it makes my fingers cramp to type the words Palfisg Hlighet … Pwelgsil Hbugleq…Paris Hilton (thank God for muscle relaxants), and as much as making reference to the heiress’ recent legal adventures may seem like going brook trout fishing with hand grenades, I’m going to do it anyway.

Why? Because it’s fun.Actually, there’s another reason: whatshername’s approaching 45-day jail sentence gives me – and all of us who live in Orange County – yet another chance to one-up those jurisprudential sissies in L.A. who think they’ve just unleashed the biggest dog-and-pony show since O.J. They have obviously never heard of Bebe Daniels.


Bebe Daniels was a popular silent film actress who had starred opposite Harold Lloyd, and later been further promoted by Cecil B. DeMille. She was young, talented, charming and loved to drive her Marmon automobile as fast as possible.


She was doing just that in the spring of 1921, flogging the Marmon past 55 mph on a lonely road through south Santa Ana. In the car were her mother and Jack Dempsey, the heavyweight-boxing champion whom Daniels was dating. They were headed for San Diego.


She was pulled over by a pair of motorcycle policemen and cited. At the behest of her lawyers, she requested a trial by jury, believing her star power would win her a favorable verdict. 

Her lawyers pleaded for mercy for “this poor little girl who has been subjected to so much.” Instead, Judge John Belshazzar Cox, a genuine eccentric and a lover of the spotlight, who was apparently delighted with a courtroom packed with press and Hollywood hangers-on, sentenced her with a flourish to 10 days in the Orange County Jail.


Sheriff Theo “Budge” Lacy Jr. and movie star Bebe Daniels at the time of her 1921 arrest for speeding in Santa Ana.

Daniels was nonplused. “I suppose if you live in a small town you get like that,” she reportedly said after the sentencing. “I bet 56 miles per hour sounds awfully fast if you’ve never driven anything faster than a plow.”

What followed became early Orange County legend.

Almost immediately after Daniels checked in (there’s no other term for it) to her jail cell, movers from a local furniture store arrived to furnish it with rich carpeting, chintz curtains and a bedroom suite with bedding to match the curtains.  

Local florists sent vases of fresh-cut flowers daily.

The best Santa Ana restaurants and hotels competed with each other to deliver specially prepared meals directly to her cell, where she constantly received friends and visitors from Hollywood, including Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.

Her mother was also allowed to stay with her in the cell.   And at night Abe Lyman and his Coconut Grove Orchestra set up beneath her barred window and serenaded her with the “Rose Room Tango,” a specialty number she had once danced with Rudolph Valentino.

It wasn’t until her cell door was finally shut at the end of each day that she realized (as she later wrote) “how awful it was to be locked in a cell.”

Bebe Daniels was granted a day off for good behavior, and when she emerged from jail, glamorously dressed, she was met by none other than Judge Cox, who presented her with a bouquet of flowers.

She solemnly announced that she had learned her lesson, and immediately left for Hollywood, where she went straight to work on a new film, which was released that fall.

It was called The Speed Girl. ”  


It’s going to be interesting to see how Paris follows this act.  Knowing Hollywood … they’ll come up with something.

Wild Horses Roped Into Border Patrol Duty

Descendants of the same horses that carried soldiers, prospectors, Plains Indians and Spanish conquistadors will be deployed next month by the federal government to help patrol the most rugged reaches of the northern border.


Billed as operation “Noble Mustang,” the U.S. Border Patrol believes this new team of wild horses will not only tighten security but also save taxpayer dollars.

Wild horses are uniquely suited for the backcountry mission, said Danielle Suarez, public information officer for the agency’s Spokane sector. After generations of living in the mountains of the West, the horses have developed unrivaled sure-footedness, musculature and the ability to endure harsh conditions.

“These legends will help us to defend our borders,” Suarez said. “We need horses physically capable of getting into remote and isolated areas.

The mustangs are protected by an act of Congress as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.” But with their population unchecked, the herds have faced starvation after overgrazing rangeland and wildlife habitat, especially during droughts.

The same mustangs that will be used to hunt drug runners, human traffickers and potential terrorists were trained by convicted criminals. Since 1986, inmates at the Skyline Correctional Center in Canon City, Colo., have broken and trained the captured horses.

Working with the horses is a special privilege at the state prison, Suarez said. The training requires extreme patience and trust, he said. “The horses actually help tame the prisoners.”

Most are between 3 and 4 years old and were rounded up in Wyoming late last year. Two are from Nevada, and another is from California. “They’re extremely, extremely tamed,” said Suarez, the agency spokeswoman.

Along with the training, the mustangs were given names by students. In early June, Sisko, Hidalgo, Spurs,
Okanogan, Kootenai, Ike, Chase and Slash will again find themselves roaming a rugged Western landscape.

Only this time, the mustangs will wear saddles, feed on oats and work for the Department of Homeland Security.

The Spokesman-Review, By James Hagengruber, May 17th, 2007

New Starting Gate for Inmates, Retired Race Horses


For ex-racehorses, new life; for the inmates, new skills.

The newest residents at Putnamville Correctional Facility aren’t there for bad behavior.

Prison officials this week brought in the first six of 50 retired racehorses that will take up residence at a neighboring farm, sparing them from likely death.

The Thoroughbreds will be made available for adoption. They also will be trained so they can be placed in riding programs for the handicapped and other therapeutic programs.

“It’s a win-win situation for the state, the horses and the offenders,” prison Superintendent Al Parke said Friday.

“We’ll be providing a viable alternative for horses that would otherwise be ending up in the slaughterhouse.”

What’s more, prisoners will be trained in how to care for horses.


At least initially, about 20 inmates will work with the horses, learning how to groom them and spot health problems. Eventually, more will participate.

Because the farm is across the highway from the prison, only nonviolent offenders cleared for off-site work will be allowed to participate.

Other states that have created similar programs have seen the good it does for prisoners, many of whom have never had another creature that depends on them, said Barbara Holcomb, the prison’s equine instructor.

“It will, I’m sure, fill some voids,” she said. “It’s going to make them feel like they’re worth something.

They’re giving back to some animal that wasn’t going to have a chance at life. They know how it feels to be given a second chance.”

Two of the six horses that arrived this week had been slated to be killed, she said.

Prisoners and prison staff jointly built the barns that will house the horses, mostly from lumber milled from trees on the prison grounds.

Prisoners who go through the program will learn not only how to care for horses, but also business skills required to run a stable, which could be a viable occupation for them once they’re released, Holcomb said.

Indianapolis Star, Andy Gammill

Jackass Justice – Donkey In Court

 Donkey Has His Day In Court


The star witness paced outside the courthouse Wednesday, breathing hard, his head down, an American flag bandanna around his neck.

 He said nothing to the media swarming around him. He just twitched his huge ears and swatted flies with his tail.

People had accused him of all sorts of things: He was loud.

He was aggressive. 

He smelled bad, too.

He was there to show the men and woman of the jury that he was none of those things.

“Call your first witness,” Judge Steven Seider said.

“Your honor, we call Buddy,” attorney Jeff Sandberg replied. “The donkey.”

With that, Buddy the donkey came clip-clopping down the black-and-white tile hallway of the North Dallas Government Center, where two neighbors were fighting about his presence in a back yard just west of Preston Hollow.

“Bringing a jackass into the courtroom? Don’t y’all see enough of them?” an onlooker asked.

Buddy was led down a hallway at the

North Dallas Government Center for his court appearance.

As he got to the courtroom, the 3-year-old, 300-pound donkey paused. But with a quick shove from his owner and a tug on his red rope, Buddy walked slowly to the bench. He stared at the jury.

For several minutes, Buddy held his own. He remained calm. He was polite. He didn’t crack under cross-examination and confess. If he had to go, he held it in.

And when defense attorneys challenged whether he was in fact the real donkey in question, he didn’t blink an eye.

“Your honor, I have no questions,” Mr. Sandberg said.

“Nothing from me, your honor,” said defense attorney Quinn Chandler.

“The witness is excused,” Judge Seider said.

 Buddy went outside. The proceedings continued.

According to the defendant, oilman John Cantrell, his neighbor – high-profile attorney Gregory Shamoun – started a shoving match with him in March 2006 after he complained to the city about a storage shed Mr. Shamoun was building.

To retaliate, Mr. Shamoun brought Buddy from his ranch in Midlothian to the back yard of his 5,300-square-foot stone-veneer home, he said.

“They’re noisy,” Mr. Cantrell testified. “They bray a lot any time day or night. You never know when they’re going to cut loose.”

There was also the manure.

“It appeared that it was scraped up and piled on the fence line between his property and mine,” he said.

Mr. Shamoun denied that.

“One of my heifers had twins,” he testified. “When a heifer has twins, when that happens, the second calf will usually die because the mama doesn’t have enough milk.”

So he had to bottle-feed the calf named Lucy – four times a day.

Buddy – who is used on the ranch to scare off coyotes – came along to serve as a surrogate mother so that Lucy wouldn’t have issues when she was old enough to return to the herd. The land is large enough that the city allows certain animals not allowed elsewhere.

“As far as the poop, yeah, they’re going to poop,” Mr. Shamoun said, adding that his ranch hand cleaned it up three times a week. “It wasn’t stacked up next to my fence line.”

Mr. Shamoun sued Mr. Cantrell for assault. Mr. Cantrell countersued him for being a nuisance.

The trial lasted three hours. But as the jury went to deliberate, the neighbors settled their dispute.

Mr. Shamoun agreed to buy part of Mr. Cantrell’s property. And Mr. Cantrell agreed to withdraw his complaint with the city.

As for the donkey, he can come any time he wants.

“The donkey has visiting privileges,” Mr. Cantrell said. “I love animals.”

Buddy left the courtroom with his head held high.

“Well, you’ve had your day in court,” said his handler, Etienne Grimmett. “Let’s go get some coyotes.”

The Dallas Morning News – Michael Grabell,  April 2007 – Photo: Rick Gershon