Monthly Archives: July 2011

Horses of the Storm

Horses of the Storm:
The Incredible Rescue of Katrina’s Horses
Ky Evan Mortensen
Eclipse Press
Blood-Horse Publications, 2008, $19.95
ISBN: 978-158150185-8

Available on or on Amazon.

Reviewed by Carol M. Upton –

Heart is what got these horses out of hurricane-ravaged areas. ~ Ky Evan Mortensen

Horses of the Storm is a collection of essays for our future, as climate change brings more weather-related disasters. These can strike with little warning and, while we might keep extra water and perhaps an earthquake kit handy, we may not have gone so far as to thoroughly plan for our livestock. What happens to the animals in these situations?

Hurricane Katrina pounced the Gulf Coast in 2005 and flooded New Orleans, causing devastation and apocalyptic suffering to humans and animals in its wake. Ky Mortensen was part of the subsequent largest scale equine rescue ever carried out. This book is his first-hand account of these determined rescue efforts, accomplished with a handful of heroic volunteers and no blueprint.

Many horses drowned or starved during this disaster. Some ponies were swimming in circles for days before being rescued. One horse was found stranded on two boards from which he could not move, waiting desperately for his owner’s return. Mortensen speaks of horses that immediately began to call for help as soon as they realized humans were in the area. These scenes are impossible to forget.

Yet, hundreds of horses and thousands of other animals were saved along the way. No creature was left behind if they were found alive. The book is a heartfelt tribute to those who did this work and it includes an Emergency Preparedness Guide to cover planning for horse care during almost any emergency. Many more creatures can survive the next disaster, no matter where it occurs, due to Mortensen’s careful record of what was learned from this one.

Ky Mortensen is Director of Advancement for the Louisiana State University Equine Health Studies Program. He feels it is paramount that people prepare a disaster plan that includes their animals. A portion of book proceeds goes to the LSU Equine Health Program.

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Posted by on July 29, 2011 in Book Reviews


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Finding a Home For Your Horse

If you’re a boarding facility, let the horses be your testimonial!

The first thing I look at when searching for a new home for my horse is the condition of the horses.  I look to see if they’re a healthy weight, their coats are shiny and their eyes bright and interested.  Do the horses look at me with pricked ears or do they stand listlessly in their stalls? Or, possibly worse still, do they pin their ears and snake their heads towards you by way of greeting?

If you can, schedule your meeting with the barn owner around turn in/out time – this will allow you to see the horse’s behavior and manners.  How the horses behave will help tell you about the barn staff that will be handling your horse on a daily basis.  If the horses are well behaved, it’s a fairly safe bet the barn employs experienced staff.  Conversely, if the horses are rushing about, shoulder checking the handler in a manner that would make a football player jealous – you may want to keep looking.

Keep in mind that some horses may be new, and you have no way of knowing what conditions they came from so, for me, if the majority of the horses (and I’m talking 90% + here) are happy and healthy, I’m asking how much is board and the earliest date a stall will be available 😀

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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in General


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The Muscle Mystery

I would like to know why it seems that my muscles always hurt more 2 days after the fact – not the day after.  What’s going on here? Does this make any sense? Let’s examine the human musculoskeletal system, shall we?

As you can see from the above scientific diagram, the muscles (indicated in red) are inflamed and causing our subject considerable amounts of discomfort (aka: pain).

Now, let’s examine an elapsed time to pain graph.

As you can see, while there is muscle pain immediately and the day after the ride, there is a noticeable spike on the second day after the ride. You’ll be relieved to know that top scientists are working round the clock to study this phenomena in hopes that one day they’ll be able to alleviate my people’s muscle pain.

Footnote:  I swear I’m not that much of a wimp!!!

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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in General


Medical Monday: Puncture Wounds

A puncture wound is defined as any wound whose depth is greater than surface width.  Puncture wounds can result from anything from nails, splintered wood, or some other such material – it’s pretty self-explanatory.  These wounds can be more concerning than general scrapes and lacerations because they are deeper and deposit foreign material (and therefore bacteria) into your horse.


  • Consult your veterinarian before doing anything, especially if removal of the object is required.  If not done by a professional, you may actually cause more damage during removal.
  • Flush and clean the wound thoroughly.  Be sure to remove all foreign material and debris.
  • Be careful when flushing the wound, in some cases, depending on the size and nature of the puncture, you can actually push foreign material deeper into the wound tract.  If you’re concerned at all about this, it’s best to wait for your vet.
  • As a puncture wound practically invites bacteria into your horse, double check to ensure your horse is up to date on their tetanus shots


  • There is no way to prevent any type of wound 100% but definitely look for protrusions (nails!!!) and splintered wood.
  • Keep your horses habitat (stall, paddock, pasture, trailer, etc.) clean and in good working order.
  • Routinely check fields for trash and debris or garbage that may have somehow made its way into your field (and here I’m referring to inconsiderate people who think of the world as their trash bin and may have thrown garbage from the window of their speeding vehicle).

It’s useful to note that if the wound isn’t healing in at a normal rate, it may be because there is still foreign material inside and you may want to consider having your vet our to inspect.

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Posted by on July 25, 2011 in Health


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Horse as Teacher – The Path to Authenticity

Horse as Teacher:Horse As Teacher
The Path to Authenticity
Editor, Marilyn Schwader
Clarity of Vision, 2009
Soft Cover, $19.95
ISBN: 978-0-9824494-0-0
Available at

Reviewed by Carol M. Upton
of Dreams Aloud Promotions

It has been my privilege to collaborate with the talented and dedicated authors who wrote their stories here. They have reminded me of the healing gifts and gentle mirroring a horse provides when you are willing to let the lessons in and open up to following your heart.  ~ Marilyn Schwader

Most riders are aware that they can benefit from interactions with their horses. Not all of them know how powerful those lessons can be or how far a higher level of connection and consciousness with a horse can actually take them. Horses as Teacher is a fascinating story collection, the first in a planned series, to present ten authors who thoroughly explore this topic using their personal experiences.

Learning from and healing with horses is still a relatively new field, in which horses are used to assist in human emotional growth. Horses are large herd animals that have the ability to honestly mirror what their handler’s body language is telling them. Horses provide an ideal opportunity for humans to shift deeply from within.

Horse as Teacher distinguishes itself from other books in the field, not only because the stories are exceptionally well-written, but because readers are treated to each author’s heartfelt discussion of her own beginning path toward a gentler horse consciousness. This often involves encounters with very difficult horses, and experiences of fear, depression, anger, and other challenging life circumstances.

These authors come from varied professional backgrounds – Stormy May, Founder of Stormy May Productions, Melisa Pearce, CEO of Touched by a Horse, and Kathy Pike, Founder of the Mind Body Method, to name only a few. They all have one thing in common – they learned to listen and see in new ways what the horse, with exquisite sensitivity, was offering to teach them.

This book will educate and inspire anyone who is looking for a fresh approach to greater partnership with horses. Readers are sure to learn something new about themselves along the way.

The Horse as Teacher Book Series is dedicated to providing thought-provoking books for individuals who love horses and want to experience the special relationship possible between species. For more information on the authors and the series, or to become one of the authors, visit

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Posted by on July 22, 2011 in Book Reviews


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The Horse Finder Free Trial Offer

With our recent introduction of a number of new services (one of which being the brand new, never before seen Horse Finder! da da-da-daaaa) we would like to offer a free trial for people looking to buy a new horse. 

The Horse Finder service is designed to help people looking for new horses but who don’t necessarily have the time or inclination to spend hours upon hours searching the internet.  Clients can submit their search criteria to HRN and we will do the searching for you, emailing you the results periodically.  This service is fully customizable to your needs and prices vary accordingly. 

For a limited time, we would like to offer people the opportunity to try the Horse Finder free of charge for up to 7 days!  For further details, and to discuss how the Horse Finder can be customized to fit your particular needs, please email

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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in HRN News



We’ve decided to open up this contest to make it more accessible to people who may not currently have something to sell (thus, unable to place ads on HRN).  If you’d like to enter the contest to win this beautiful saddle pad 😉 simply sign up for our newsletter! -we freely admit that we’re also pretty keen to have people subscribe to our lovely newsletter!

Don’t forget, the contest closes July 25!  Get your “entries” in ASAP! 🙂

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Posted by on July 18, 2011 in Contests



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