Jan Swan Wood: Horse teeth, horse hair, pro rodeo season over | TSLN.com

Jan Swan Wood: Horse teeth, horse hair, pro rodeo season over

It sure turned off "fallish." Kind of makes a person wonder what they did with their summer's wages. We finally turned the furnace on, though it went against my fiscally conservative nature to do so. I should get the feeling back in my feet soon.

I took my pet saddle horse in to have his teeth worked on this week. He'd gotten to where he just clenched his teeth to keep from being bridled, so I knew he had something bugging him. Rather than start some bad habits due to mouth pain, I got it taken care of. Now we can go on about our work and remain friends in the process. While there, the vet also ground off those wolf teeth that do so much damage when they bite another horse. His little sister was sure glad to hear about that as she is still healing up from the nasty wound he put on her hiney in August.

Horse maintenance isn't cheap, but something like dental work can make life so much better for everyone involved. I wonder how many horses with mouth pain have started flipping their nose, but, instead of getting to the root of the problem, a tiedown was added to stop the nose flipping. One thing leads to another and more problems develop as the horse continues to suffer. If your horse starts doing something different than what is normal, try to get to the bottom of the problem instead of masking it. They don't have any other way to tell us than to react. Sometimes that reaction can be dangerous.

The Saddle Up For St. Jude Ride raised an incredible $10,398 with 66 riders and 19 wonderful volunteer workers. Next year's ride is scheduled for Sept. 21, if you want to make a note of it.

Just when you think you've heard it all… horsehair theft has happened for the second time this year to a horse near Rapid City, SD. The owner, TJ Aisenbrey, is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever did it. It may not seem like that big of a deal until you think a little more about it. Someone trespassed on his property, handled his horses without permission, and then altered their appearance for years to come by cutting the tail hair off just below the dock and taking some of the mane hair as well. Of course, it didn't do any permanent damage, but it's still wrong. Messing with someone else's horse used to be a hangin' offense in the old west.

There have been over 100 cases of horsehair theft in Wyoming this year. It's happened mostly in Natrona, Converse, Fremont and Sweetwater counties, as far as anyone knows. Again, it was someone's gentle horse that trusted no harm would come to it if a person approached. The Wyoming thefts occurred in pastures along country roads.

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I also have been seeing reports of horses being rescued from horse rescue facilities. The reality of feeding bunches of horses when hay is scarce and expensive has hit rescues throughout the country. It's only going to get worse as winter comes on. It'll be hard times for the horses until the USDA gets inspectors in the processing plants, as is legally their job. Ag Secretary Vilsack says that nothing is going to be done until after the election. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, farm, rescue, reservation… horses are dying the hard way.

The BLM has started rounding up around 3,500 feral horses and burros this month from Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. According to the BLM, there are 11,000 more on federal land than the land can support. Many of the newly rounded up horses will be added to the 47,000 head that are already on equine welfare in holding facilities and pastures all over the country. That's our tax dollars at work. Just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it you?

The WPRA season has closed and the barrel racers know who will be running at the WNFR in Vegas. Nikki Steffes, Vale, SD is going in sixth place, Lisa Lockhart, Oelrichs, SD in ninth and Trula Churchill, Valentine, NE in 14th. This will be the first trip to the finals for Nikki and Trula. We're sure proud of "our girls" and wish them the best!

The National Finals Steer Roping will be Nov. 2-3, at the Lazy E Arena, Guthrie, OK. Jess Tierney, Hermosa, SD, is in fifth place in the standings and we sure wish him well at the finals.

The Belle Jackpot Association banquet will be Nov. 4, at the Cadillac Ranch, Belle Fourche, SD. The social will start at 4:30 p.m. with dinner at 5:30 p.m. and the auction and awards after that. Bring a salad or dessert to share. Meat, dinnerware and pop will be provided. They need lots of silent auction items as the proceeds from the silent auction go toward the startup of BJA for 2013.

Well, I'm going to get off this windy ridge and go put up my horse. Have a great week and send me those upcoming events.

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