Jan Swan Wood: Montana teamsters, Circuit Finals wins, Poisonous weeds, horses seized
February 5, 2013
The mundane, daily things that we do can sometimes prove interesting, can't they? The other day, I decided that I needed to downsize my purse, so I purchased a smaller one with lots of pockets for all my stuff. I proceeded to go through my old, larger purse and place all of the critically important items from it into the new one. I swear, it was a lot like putting a prolapse back in. It all finally fit, but it wasn't easy and I have to keep all those little pockets "stitched up" to keep it in there. An interesting find in my old purse was the brand new, still sealed, 18 gauge by one inch needle in the same pocket with the lipstick I never wear. I imagine that would be called drug paraphernalia in some places. I have no clue why it was in there. I guess I was ready if I suddenly needed to vaccinate something though.
If you know of a great teamster in Montana, you can nominate them for the 2013 Montana Drafter Teamster Hall of Fame. It's based on their contribution in Montana to the use, developmet, preservation and/or education of drafter animals or equipment used by draft animals. A nomination must be made in writing with no more than two typed pages, plus have three recommendations for the nominee. If you have some photos, news stories or other information, that is also good. The nomination deadline is January 31, so call Nick Shauger at 406-586-5113 for more information.
Speaking of draft horses, the tallest living horse is Radar, a Belgian that stands 19.3 ½ hands tall. That's 77.4 inches or nearly six and a half feet! He's a beautiful horse, but I can't even imagine trying to harness him every day. You'd have to stand on a barrel to do it!
Hermosa, SD's, Todd Suhn won the 2012 Texas Circuit Finals Year End and the average at the finals in Waco, TX, on Jan. 3-5. At the Montana Circuit Finals, Jake Costello from way out north of Newell, SD, was third in the average in the saddle broncs and also second in the first round and first in the third round.
With so much hay being bought and trucked in from way out of our region, it's a good idea to check it out pretty close before feeding it. I've heard of some blister beetles in alfalfa which can be very harmful to horses if ingested. At Canon City, CO, 19 horses died from eating hay with whorled milkweed in it. Whorled milkweed is highly toxic to horses and the survivors took a long time to come out of it. I don't know what it looks like or where it proliferates, but, it's sure something to keep in mind.
On Jan. 8, 69 horses were seized in Pennington County near Rapid City, SD, after a month long investigation by the sheriff's office and the South Dakota Animal Husbandry Board. As of this writing, 23 of them remain in the care of Pennington County. There's a criminal investigation pending against the people who had the horses, some of which they were boarding for other people. The horses were alleged to have been underfed. The owners of the boarded horses were notified and the horses returned to them, and others were placed with people willing to take them. The remaining 23 will be placed with new owners as well.
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I'm not going to name names in this deal as the allegations haven't been proven, and I've seen other people go through this when there was no validity to the claims. The pictures of the horses that I saw on the news showed horses in winter hair and in thrifty condition. Some were even pretty fat. I only saw one, and I admit they didn't show all of them, that would be deemed thin and it appeared to be a yearling or two year old.
I hope that the people who kindly took these horses to care for them realize what an obligation they now have. Horses are very expensive to own and feed costs this year are record high. It's possible that some of these horses were placed with well-meaning people who really don't know enough to know what it's going to take to keep that horse. It can be a grim deal for the horse and it becomes an "out of the frying pan and into the fire" scenario pretty fast. Being a horse lover isn't enough as a horse doesn't last long on love alone.
I'll keep my ear open on this deal and keep you updated. If the people who had the horses are truly guilty of neglect and the horses were in danger, I will gladly tell you their names. If they aren't guilty, I wonder if they'll get their horses back?
Well, that's my circle for the week. I hope I get to see a whole bunch of you at the Black Hills Stock Show ® so we can have a visit. That's the best part of the whole deal!