Tuesday, July 30, 2013
My biggest problem with horse competitions is set out hereMill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Do Not Look for Water At the Top of a Mountain or ...: Horse&Rider magazine is primarily for those interested in showing their horses. Few things are more deleterious to having a strong rela...
Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Now Red Feather Used to be a Bad Horse: I am not going to go into all of Red Feather's history but suffice it to say that he is the reason that I cannot say that all Corollas...
The comments on this old post are worth reading. Today my granddaughter asked me who Lido was. Some of those comments tell a lot about who he was.Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: And This is How He said Good Bye: Yesterday morning the sun was shining very brightly and the wind was howling. It was exactly the kind of weather that causes deer to get i...
Last summer we gave three Corolla yearlings to Boys Home of Covington. Virginia. They have a colt and two fillies, all from completely different pairings of parents. The colt pictured above is The Black Drink, born of Baton Rouge and Tradewind. They are doing a great job gentling and training them and this time next year I expect that they will be under saddle.
Last week the kids stopped by and we worked horses a bit. I showed them our various livestock and before I went to bed that night each had ridden either a Corolla or Chincoteague.
The greatest hope for the future of domesticated Corollas is in the development of breeding centers such as this one. I expect to have two foals born this month that could be the beginning of another breeding center. This is a great opportunity to do something for future generations of horses and people.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
This post, to my surprise has been our second most hit post over the years. it is as true now as it was then.Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Missing The Point: Many visitors are surprised at how warm and affectionate our horses are, especially those who once lived wild. What they do not understand...
Saturday, July 27, 2013
This post was our third most hit page. Perhaps it was hit so often just because it was such a great picture. I hope that it was also becase it showed how a riding program can become a riding community. Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: I'm Not Kin To Most of My Family: Yesterday was a great day for our program and I think that it could lead to a great day for the Corolla preservation effort. The day was ...
Friday, July 26, 2013
Patrick Gwaltney would have been one of the earlier settlers in the region immediately around my horselot. He is rather typical of the large number of people that history never took note of. He was so little noticed that he,in fact, never existed. Patrick is my fictional ancestor that lives in the Gwaltney Frontier Farm that we are developing in pasture number two. As the notion strikes me you will see more about his turbulent life here. You will also see a great deal of his mundane life here.
Above you will find a very rare photograph of Patrick. Had he actuall existed the picture would have likely come out clearer. Keep reading and you will get a little back ground on him.
He came over as an indentured servant and worked as a laborer and carpenter's helper for seven years to pay off the cost of his passage. He is 22 years old. He is unmarried. He does not plan to stay that way but must establish himself a bit before he will be able to compete for the still relatively scarce number of eligible women in Virginia. He got on well with his master and when he left he was given a few tools, some goats, a pregnant sow and some hens. He considers the worst thing about being poor the fact that one must walk and that only the wealthy have horses. He adores horses and won a blind mare that was about to have a foal in a drunken card game when he was 20. That old mare, Abigail, has since had two foals. Though he has no money he owns three horses, which is a rare thing for his day.
He is basically honest but takes advantage of "opportunities". One day the over seer at the plantation where he worked got so drunk that he forgot where he placed his gun, powder and shot. Patrick keeps that gun hidden and it is his greatest source of anxiety. He needs the gun that he stole, but if convicted of its theft he will be taken to Jamestown and hung.
He is driven by the simple desire to survive and his primary goal in life is to get more--of everything. He wants to get rich from tobacco. He wants to win money racing his horses and gambling around the large settlements near Jamestown. He does not understand the Puritans that have clustered around the Bennet family down in Nansemond county and even closer at Basse's Choice, only a few miles down the Pagan Creek. He understands the Indians that he trades with even less. These are not Powhatan Indians. Those were driven from Isle of Wight a generation earlier. He follows the swamp west until it reaches the Blackwater River, turns north on the Nottaway and trades with The Nottaway and Meherrins who speak an Iroquois dialect and were enemies of the Powhatan Empire.
So there he sits. He is poor with no plans to stay that way. He will work hard to get what he wants and will steal and gamble to get what he needs.
His abode is simple--a sleeping rack, more deer skins than cloth, a cooking pot, a root cellar, a loft with a false wall where he hides his gun. The area around his home is littered with oyster and clam shells. Shell fish make up the bulk of his protein consumption. He has a corn crib and a log farrow house to keep bears and wolves from his baby hogs. His brindle plott-bull dog cross that came from the dutch traders is named Mary. He calls her Queen Mary when no one else is around. Her barking is the best hope that the livestock have of surviving the wild cats (cougars) that are still found in the area. Down river some of the gentleman have large plantations, some with over a score of African slaves. Patrick hates slavery but he fears slaves. He does not worry about Indians anymore but were there to be a slave insurrection Queen Mary would not be enough to protect him. He has already planned to ride out fast toward Lawnes town if there was an insurrection but would not use the trade road near his home. He knew a way through the woods that would get him there with out having to get on such a potentially dangerous thorough fare.
This is the fifth most viewed post on ou blog over the years. It falls into the category of "Don't tell me what you think. Show me what you do."Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Put Your Mouth Where Their Money Is: If you oppose horse slaughter and belong to a horse breed registry it might be worth your time to find out that registry's position o...
Thursday, July 25, 2013
This blog post was the seventh most hit over the years. It is a clear description of one of the most amazing event of my life. Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: The Last Ride: I am not Aesop. This is not a fable. I am bone cold deadly serious in what I am about to write. There is no artistic license t...
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
When it comes to the eariest history of bringing horses to the new world very few people know what is known about the number, manner of delivery, and ultimate fate of horses first brought to North America by the Spanish.
More importantly no one now what we do not know. This summer a Spanish fort that predates Jamestown by forty years and the Lost Colony by twenty years has been discovered in the mountains of North Carolina.
Who knows how many other voyages, explorations and expeditions occurred that have slipped by history?
One who speaks with abolute certainly of the events of the present is a simple fool. One who speaks with absolute certainty of the events of the distant past is a self delusional fool.
( However, Aiden is correct in his absolute certainity that he loves riding Wind In His Hair.)
This post from only about a week ago has already risen to be the 8th mostoften hit page on the blog. That says more abou Joty Baca than the post itself does.Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Salt That Does Not Loose Its Saltiness: The Board of Directors of The Corolla Wild Horse Fund approved a resolution honoring the work of one of America's greatest mustang...
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
One day we will learn that there is a genetic component to the intense psycological draw that some people have to horses. Deer avoid consuming poisonous plants, not because they were taught to do so by their mothers, not because they reasoned the matter out to a successful conclusion, but simply because those that, for whatever genetic quirk, were not drawn to the taste of the poinsonous plants livd longer and produced more little ones to spread that genetic quirk. Those who did not have that genetic quirk happily dined on poisonous plants until they were greatly reduced in the gene pool.
The phenomenon of a person being "horse crazy from the moment I saw my first horse" can be similiarly explained. No animal has improved the lot of humans throughout history as much as the horse. Those who were drawn to horses instantly had access to more game to hunt, could relocate easier in a drought, could leave areas of pestilence, could conquer and pillage their non-horsed enemies and would raise a disproportionate number of healthy off spring. This would cause the genetic draw to horses to explode from being a relatively small mutation to something that becomes very widespread.
Civilization reduced significantly the genetic advantage that the horse lovers had over the horse fearers. Horse fearers in agrarian societies could now leave large numbers of offspring. The horse lovers were not erased by the horse fearers, but their numbers were greatly diluted.
This theory might seem absurd but I have no better explanation of why some people find more peace in a hot, dusty horse lot than they find anywhere else, or why some people can communicate more effectively with horses than with people, or why some people only feel that they are walking on firm ground when they are sitting on a horse.
Of course, it matters whether a child is socialized into riding. No debate on that. But the inexpicable draw that some people instantly have to horses may very well lie in our dna.
No guess whatsoever as to why Lydia loves Amos, my huge boar hog, so much.
This recent post is number 9 on total page views. The job has not been filled yet as far as I know. Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: A Great Job Is Looking For You: The position of herd manager for the Corolla Wild Horse Fund is open. This is a rare opportunity for a person to take a professional ro...
Monday, July 22, 2013
This post was number 10 in terms of most page views. Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: This Is How You End Horse Slaughter: A few weekends ago Mikhail had his first lengthy canter (that was on purpose, there was an involuntary lengthy canter a few months ago bu...
Sunday, July 21, 2013
This blog has now had over 85,000 page views. Looking back over it I have found the ten most popular hits. It is obvious to me why some of them wdere popular. Others surprise me.
Over the next two weeks I am going to repost those ten top posts starting at #10. Anyone that has a particular post that they would like to see reposted let me know and I will put that up too.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Since last last Saturday, Snow has continued to amaze me..day before yesterday we took our first ride in the woods alone together..this is a huge deal for a horse..for her to have enough confidence and trust in me to let me ride her away from the herd and out amongst all the predators...the next day we started riding solo around and empty pasture..almost as if it were an arena..the first day was, you can go as fast or as slow as you like, but you must go the direction I want...that ended us up trotting, cantering, and loping in big figure eights..today we went the direction I want, and the speed I want, stopped when I want. Just like the fellow in Bull Durham said, "it is a simple game, you throw the ball, you hit the ball, and you catch the ball." She is one heck of a horse...
Posted by Anonymous to Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views at July 18, 2013 at 9:25 PM
The commment above is Lloyd's note on his time workng with Snow on Her. Lloyd does a great job with the horses. It is very important to understand that Lloyd is not someone with years of natural horsemanship experience. It is also important to understand that Lloyd is willing to read the hard works, like Dorrence, and that he is not afraid of the horses.
Most importantly, one must understand that Lloyd has worked hard to understand the concepts that are the underpinning of natural horsemanship. He has no obession with rules, or the dogma and doctrine preached by those who make a fortune telling people that to be successfull with horses they must closely follow the exact techniques that the particular clinician sells.
When a clinician shapes his explantion of the concepts that are the underpinning of natural horsemanship to fit the mold of the product that he is selling, he does horses a tremendous disservice. When he replaces what is real with what he can sell best, no one benefits.
Here is what is real. In a very short time Lloyd has become a tremendously effective starter of colts and inexperienced horses. He is not unique in this regard. I have seen it happen with many others at the horse lot, Rebecca being the best example.
A horse is not a seven course meal and a training program should not read like a cook book. Natural horsemanship is simple. The concepts are simple. It's application is simple.
But simple does not mean easy. It takes dedication, desire and work to learn to apply these simple techniques. In most horse cultures thoughout history the job of starting colts was primarily the work of kids. That says a lot about the task of colt starting.
But when one replaces basic concepts with complex dogma and doctrine one does little but to exclude people from entry into the world of natural horsemanship. When one redefines success with horses as being able to create a creature that can do a particular set of tricks,one seals the exclusion even tighter.
Jed Clampett explained that the way he carved such a beautiful wooden figure of Granny was that he started with his knife and a piece of wood and then cut off all the wood that did not look like Granny.
Wonder how much Jed had to pay for in videos, books, equipment, and memberships to learn that?
Here is a report card from the past. to see what we were doing five years ago take a look at this link. Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: With All Due Modesty: We pause now from our discussion of natural horse care to reflect a bit on the last year at the horse lot. I am a very poor keeper of reco...
Friday, July 19, 2013
Yesterday, while examining my injured shoulder; the doctor took a look at my right bicep which tore in two a few years ago. It did not grow back together. As a result I knew that it is weaker than my left arm. I had never measured how much weaker.
The doctor said that such injuries result in a permanent 60% loss of strength.
The point being that a prudent horse trainer should maintain sufficient strength in his arms such that at any time 40% of said strength greatly exceeds 100% of the strength of a city person's arm.
One must always be prepared.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
The Board of Directors of The Corolla Wild Horse Fund approved a resolution honoring the work of one of America's greatest mustang preservationists. For several decades Joty Bacca and his family haved worked to preserve the Bacca line of Colonial Spanish horses. And work is the correct word to use. The utterly selfless dedication that is required to preserve a line of nearly extinct horses is not a mere hobby. It is hard, exspensive work.
Yet for decades he has done this work. He has not done this work to get famous. He has not done this work to get rich. He has worked so hard because early on he realized that he has something very special in his horses and he put his life not only into saving the strain, but into helping others understand what was so special about these historic horses.
Something can be said of Joty Bacca that unfortuantely cannot be said of many men today. He has dedicated his life to something bigger than himself. To do so is truly to have life and to have it more aboundantly.
Valor is a Corolla mare that came to us nearly dead. She had been captured because she was so weak that she could barely stand on her own. It took a long time to get her healthy and a longer time to get her to trust people.
The first vet that saw her at my place was new and had never been out to our horse lots before. She was confused as to what I hoped to ever do with this wild mare that was but skin and bones. I began to explain the offsite breeding program to her and she very politely interrupted and said that Valor would not be a candidate for breeding. She said that she was unthrifty and would likely always be so.
This morning I looked at her as she stood in the pasture. She is the picture of equine beauty. In a few weeks I will breed her to Wanchese. I am not critical of the vet when I point this out. Few people could have ever looked at her and dreamed of a future for such a sickly looking mare.
I could and I have no doubt that Joty Bacca would have been able to see that same potential. When one considers the long odds against the Corollas it is easy to be pessimistic about our chances of being able to preserve them in captivity.
When I look at what Joty Bacca has done, the pessimism fades. One man can matter.
For what he has done for his horses and for what he has done to inspire others, Joty Bacca matters.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Had a little fall this morning. Kind of fall that is nothing if you are a kid, but at my age the fall was likely to tear whichever parts of me that did not break. I do not know what is torn and what is broken at the moment. Going to see the orthopedic surgeon about that tomorrow.
Without a doubt this will be inconvenient.
And that inconvenience is the only part that really matters. Except in the most extreme cases, pain goes away or you get used to it. I believe in medical attention and in folowing the doctor's advice. However, I see no advantage to all the histrionics about a little fall, or bruise or scrape. In fact, the modern belief that the key measure of being a good parent is whether or not your child is ever uncomfortable, causes a great deal of unhappiness as those kids grow up.
The reality is that I am in significant pain right now but I am not in significant discomfort. And that is entirely because of the way I was raised. My pain greatly exceeds my discomfort because I do not view the pain as some utterly innapropriate interloper into my world. It is natural. Pain is a part of my world. It always has been. It is the feeling that pain is unfair that creates such discomfort for so many people.
When I was very small if I would fall to the ground, neither of my parents would look at me with grave concern in their voices and on their faces and ask "Are you OK?" Instead they would quite properly say, "Get up!" If I was unable to get up that meant that I was not ok. If I was bleeding that would be apparent when I got up. It would be equally apparent if I was not bleeding.
Kids are done no favors by treating every little bump and bruise as the emotional high point of the day. Teaching a child to be weak is not love. Teaching a child to equate mindless hovering and hand wringing with meaningful affection is to deny the child the opportunity to see the importance of real, meaningful affection. If a five year old gets more attention from his mother because he is whining over a little scratch than he would get from his mother if he came to the assistance of a handicapped child being taunted by the rest of the playground what route will he take?
It is courage that should be met with affection. It is caring about other kids that should be met with affection. It is shairing that should generate affection.
If a kid can attract every minute of his parent's attention by whining, why would the child take the harder path of being willing to do what is right regardless of the consequences as he got older.
Physical courage comes before moral courage.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
But for music, I enjoy great photography more than any art form. I am constantly fascinated by why we are drawn to various horse poses. Some are obvious. A picture of a running mustang symbolizes freedom and touches everything in us that wants to leave the constraints of this life behind. A picture of a solitary mustang standing still, but alert, symbolizes confidence and nothing symbolizes power more than the ubiquitous pictures of stallions fighting.
Those pictures show what we want to be.
I am drawn to a much smaller class of photos of horses and humans together. Sometimes a rare shot is taken in which the horses facial expression mirrors that of the person with him. These pictures show the oneness of the horse/human relationship. These pictures demonstrate the Dorrence concept of Unity.
These picture show what we want to feel.
These pictures are rare. They would make a great book, not just for their beauty but for what they show about horse training. This is one of my favorite horse pictures of this genre. Not only are their bodies syncronized, more stikingly, their hair is.
The picture is not misleading. Joseph was an experienced, highly impressive horse who was not tightly bound to any other horse in the herd, or to any other person. Though he lived in a herd he found lonliness as easily as other horses found grass. His prescription to treat his lonliness seemed to be to seek even more time as a solitary horse. He was in a herd but did not belong to one.
For a time before Emily came back home to Norfolk he was rarely ridden at all.
She changed all that. She rode him all the time and rode him every where. She smiled at the sight of him and he became contented in her presence. She was already a solid rider but Joseph made her a better rider. He was a good horse but she made him a happy horse.
And being happy is about the best thing one can shoot for, be they horse or human.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Yesterday I tried an old farm plow horse tactic that worked better than any fly spray that I have ever used. Breaking off a small cluster of sweet gum leaves and inserting them under the top of the bridle between the horse's ears kept the biting flies completely off of the horse's ears.
(In related pork picture news--a regimen of tabata protocol, intense riding, and extremely low carbohydrates has dropped over five pounds off of me in one week. )
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Serious health failures. Dizzy Dean broke his toe and it destroyed his arm, ruining the career of one of the greatest pitchers to ever play the game. The broken toe altered his pitching motion ever so slightly and he ended up with a serious injury to his pitching arm.
This morning I find that something somewhat analogous is happening to me. Three unrelated events over the past year have resulted in a very unhealthy turn for me. In December I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. It only really bothered me when playing music or lifting anything that required me to grip tightly. As a result I made a conscious effort to refrain from lifting anything heavy. My normal life allowed me to lift a great deal of heavy things without having to resort to the gym for working out. Just as grabbing anything heavy and tossing it where it need be had once been something that required no thought or planning, avoiding doing so fell into the same pattern. The bottom line is that for the last seven months I have lifted noting heavier than a city person would.
The other catch was that I spent several hours several days a week sitting still in my office listening to recorded conversations in a murder case. I was not up and moving around the office as was my norm. Instead I vegetated and listened to recordings to glean evidence from them.
The last one really crept up on me. I picked up some new riders and also had a few intermediate riders who were overcoming fear problems. The result is that what was normally several hours of trotting each week was replaced with walking rides. My main companion for night rides moved away and without even realizing it I had ceased riding at night all together.
Few people realize either the calorie expenditure or the core muscle strength building capacity of long trotting rides and cantering. (My heart rate when trotting on a horse 6 miles an hour is the same as it is if I jog 6 miles an hour).
As my body has been degenerating my mind has been on other things and I did not really realize the shape that I had gotten into. I came to realize that it is time to give up on the chance that my hands will heal with out surgery. That will be coming up in the next month or two. I began riding hard on mornings this week. I plan to start regular night rides in August. I radically improved my diet and have already dropped a notch on my belt. In short I was on track for what I guessed would be a fairly short journey back into good health. I figured that by mid October I would be pretty solid.
Things were going so good this morning that I stepped up on the scales to weigh. I have put on 18 pounds since I last weighed. That is what living like a city person will do to a man.
So now I will buckle down harder and get myself back in shape. Need a solid goal to go for if that is going to happen.
For the past two years I have failed when trying to ride 100 miles in a day. It has been strongly suggested that that is an unrealistic goal and that a person my age should be more reasonable in setting goals.
Reluctantly, I agree.
This March I plan to ride 98.6 miles in one day.
One hundred miles is just too much.
Lloyd has been training Snow On Her using the same simple, and I emphasize simple, training philosophy that we use with all of our horses. We train with 51% control and 49% affection. She is in her fourth year. Her grandfather was Sundowner, the stallion famous in the spectacular picture, "Fierce Grace." (Go look up that picture. You will be glad that you did.)
My idea of an ideal horse disappoints those who invest their life savings in videos designed to teach the horses how to do cute tricks and the owners how to write checks. I want a horse that is easily caught and saddled, ridden as much as fifty miles in a day using only the lightest of pressure, who is happy to be caught and saddled the next day to do it all again. I want a horse to go where I want to go, but I want a horse that is smart enough and confident enough to tell me that the route that I have chosen might not be safe and perhaps we had better re think our route. I want a horse alert enough to let me know every possible danger ahead of us. After alerted I then evaluate that risk and take appropriate action.
I want a horse who is glad to see me.
That is what Lloyd is making with Snow On Her. She fell in behind us on the trail yesterday. It was not an ordinary woods ride. We twisted slowly though heavy timber and wild blue berry bushes. The trail was slightly wider than the horses.
Eventually I will breed her to Tradewind, producing an east/west cross of Colonial Spanish horse that might even be as good as those Tom Norush has been breeding for years.
Vickie Ives is much better at looking beneath everything else in order to see the skeleton of a Spanish horse than am I. A wonderful Spanish Colonial horse, when over weight, looks a great deal like a cob. Horses do not have to be as thin as those in Russel and Remington works to see their Spanishness, but neither may they look like four hooved cracklins if one is to best see what distinguishes them from modern horses.
When Vickie first saw Baton Rouge in 2007 she thought her to be highly impressive. At the time she was captive though still wild and unridden. For the last few months she has been covering heavy miles, lost fat, gained lean muscle and now her beauty is coming through. If you get close enough you can smell Sangria on her breath.
I have a recently acquired Spanish mustang of famous bloodlines. Her grandfather was Sundowner. She was not obese. She simply did not have her full muscle potential because she was not yet trained to ride. In a few short months she has gone from looking a bit like a quarter horse to having the muscle and beauty of a Spanish mustang.
When Wanchese, my Shackleford stallion, is fat he reminds one of a large shetland pony. When he is hard bodied and conditioned he looks as if the only thing missing is a Conquistador on his back.
Evaluations of "conformation" based only on pictures are particularly susceptible to being far off the mark unless the horse is lean and hard when photographed.
I have little use for pictures in such an exercise anyway. True, a picture is worth a thousand words, but haven't you noticed how worthless a thousand words are in today's market?
Friday, July 12, 2013
All summer long my horses have gone without sun burn. This week three sunburned. All three in the same pen. The horses in the other side did not sunburn. The difference is not shade. The difference is not the individual horses. The difference is diet.
Pasture number five has a variety of clover that causes photosensitivity in some horses. The horses that were given unlimited access to that pasture had problems with sunburn. The solution is to end that unlimited access for the remainder of the summer and use the pasture sparingly.
Pink skinned horses are best kept away from some varieties of clover.
Just a reminder of what a little crippled, wild , stallion can become. Check out Tadewinds 2011 accomplishments. Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Little Big Man: I find few things more heroic than the overcoming of disabilities. Lincoln, both Roosevelts, and Lido lived heroic lives. Tradewind has ...
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
I am throwing my hat over the wall. I can't go home without it. So there will be no choice but to do some wall climbing. I am putting on my climbing shoes this summer.
We are about to go full bore with the Gwaltney Frontier Farm. I am looking to expand what we do on many levels. I have always been cautious and prudent in developing our program. But it is getting very late in the game for the Corollas. If I continue to produce and place 1-3 Corollas a year we will not have enough domestic Corollas to serve as a safety net should the wild herd cease to be. Last year I only bred two mares. They will be having little ones shortly.
In August we will breed several more Corolla mares. I hope to have two Shackleford mares by summers end and I intend to breed them. We will all have to work very hard to insure that our program continues to grow and we are able to place these foals with others dedicated to helping stave off their extinction.
A little faith, a bit of trust, and a willingness to work very hard.
That will get my hat back
The position of herd manager for the Corolla Wild Horse Fund is open. This is a rare opportunity for a person to take a professional role in the preservation of these nearly extinct wild horses. The job requires solid horse skills, but even stronger people skills. The herd manager has to deal with everything from medical emergencies to the horses to dealing with irate tourists.
This is a job on the front line of the fight to preserve a vital part of American history. The area around Corolla includes, Nags head, Duck and Roanoke Island. The solitude of winter life in the area is its biggest draw to me. This is a great place to live and a better place to work.
To learn more about the position please go to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund web site. I urge everyone that cares abut mustang preservation to re post and send this link to everyone who might be interested or is part of a network of mustang lovers. Let's get the word out so we can find an ideal candidate for this position.
The horses deserve the best.
Riding is not just for kids. See this post from 2008. Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Grown Ups Mount Up Too: Originally I did not plan to teach kids to ride and I certainly never intended to teach riding to adults. It has been said that I do not tea...
WE can never allow ourselves to be distracted by conventional wisdom. Rarely is wisdom found in conventional thought anyway.Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Against the Wind: The hot topic on many equine message boards today is what is called responsible breeding. Certainly no one can be against the concept of re...
Monday, July 8, 2013
Last year we bred two mares for the Corolla offsite breeding program. Persa, the mother of Huskinaw shown above, is bred to Croaotan. and Swimmer is bred to Wanchese. They will likely foal in August.
Both foals are like to be spectacular and both foals will be eligible for placement through the offsite breeding program. As pure Colonial Spanish horses they are eligible for registration in the Horse of the Americas Registry and as "o" class Spanish horses in the American Indian horse Registry. The Corollas are among the oldest and rarest distinct genetic grouping of American Horse. They are on the bring of extinction. If the wild herd, which only numbers around 120 horses, goes under the only thing preventing the extinction of these super horses is the off site breeding program.
These horses are strong, sturdy, very healthy, easy keepers. They are comfortable to ride and,though pony sized, they carry my 220 pound frame with absolutely no difficulty. Their endurance is legendary. They are the easiest horses to train with whom I have ever worked.
In short, they are the perfect family and trail horse. They have been here for 500 hundred years. It would be profoundly immoral if they went extinct through our neglect.
Contact me to learn how to obtain one of these great horses for the off site breeding program.
We have begun construction on an Indian Long House and have completed our settlers smoke house, (circa mid 1600's). We have historically appropriate colonial horses, goats, chickens, and pigs whose lineage on their mother's side is early colonial.
The smokehouse is fully functional. On July 4 we had ham that was cured in the smokehouse. (Of course, all meat that we raise and cure is for our own consumption. Meat must be inspected by the USDA before it can be sold.)
The National Gwaltney Family reunion will be in two weeks. People will be coming to Smithfield from all over the nation for that event. Many of those will come out to the horse lot to see the progress that we are making on recreating an early colonial farm site for a single man, recently released from his indentured servitude.
This is an ambitious project but will be well worth it when we finish the creation of our living colonial livestock historical farm.
She has has a hard life. Noelle was injured quite young in the wild. She had two foals while very young. On top of all of that she had a deep muscle abscess that has now gone away after over a year of treatment.
The end result is that she is very small and will always be so. She is about five years old now. I am training her to be used as what we once called a "lead line" pony. I hope that she will either be adopted by a therapeutic riding center when I complete her training or perhaps she can be used for demonstrations by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.
My granddaughter is shown above giving her her second ride. Moments before Hailey bravely mounted u as Noelle's first rider.
Noelle belongs to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and is eligible for adoption.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Oh the Night Time Is the Right Time: I used to despise the fall and winter because it meant no riding after work. After all, no one could ride in the woods in pitch darkness...
Friday, July 5, 2013
...knowing full well that when I hit the bed, (hopefully by 7:30 pm) I will be absolutely worn out. And I will get up earlier tomorrow to do the same thing.
Wednesday I concluded the most horrible murder trial that I will ever prosecute. One four month old twin, murdered, her sister alive but suffered horrific abuse. the abuse lasted about over about half of their lifetimes. The suffering was chronicled by a series of photos that are seared into the minds of everyone who worked on this case. Over a period of sixteen months I listened to 300 hours of recorded phone calls that the murderer made from the jail. For those three hundred hours I was drawn into his world of violence, justification, self pity, and utter disregard for any human but himself.
I have been around abused kids all of my life but I have never encountered anything like this. I have never been involved in a case so horrible that there were parts of it that I could not even mention to my wife, not because of any rule of confidentiality, but because I could not bring my lips to recite such horror, even to the person closest to me in this world.
I grew to hate him. And I hated him for causing me to do so. It is not given to me to hate. But he taught me how to hate. He caused me to consider seeking the death penalty against him. While others are free to believe as they will, I find the death penalty to be profoundly immoral. My moral beliefs may differ from others, but I do not vary from them. I may do things that others think wrong, but I do not do things that I think immoral. He nearly caused me to do so.
The case is over. His sentence was sufficient to likely insure that he will never leave prison. Were he to stay there for a millennium it would not bring back his daughter.
I was not a victim in this case. The suffering was not mine, yet I was altered by it. It was obvious to me that I was not the person that I was before this case. Angry, irritable, exhausted, and physically sick for over a year. But on Thursday morning I woke up feeling peaceful in a way that I had forgotten possible. I still feel it today. Something very dark and evil has been lifted from me.
I expect that I will be able to make kids laugh like I used to. Might even be able to make them think that they can do impossible things simply because I said that they could. Even if I do not become the person that I used to be, I expect to become reacquainted with that person again.
But all of the last sixteen months has not been consumed with the murder. I did have another outlet. You can see pictures of them above. Everyone talks about how much our program does for the kids. Few recognize what it does for me.
And, through the efforts of energetic participants, our program is reaching its potential. My horses have jobs. They are helping kids and adults that need it. They are part of something very good and through them I am too.
That is necessary because the rest of my life makes me a part of something very bad.
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Today is not her birthday but this post from a while ago reminds us just how important one person can be. Hit this link to see what I mean Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: If Wishes Were Horses...: The best leaders rally and inspire so many other people to action that it becomes difficult to look back at accomplishments and give cred...
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
This post from a few years ago is not a joke, deadly serious. I still have no explanation for it. I am personally aware of another bizarre event that happened at this spot and family lore speaks of an even more disturbing one in the early 1900's. Hit this link to read about one of the most peculiar thing to ever happen to me while riding. Mill Swamp Indian Horse Views: Failure and Fox Fire: I guess the best thing that I can say is that I am surprised that I failed so badly yesterday. I really did not expect failure, but it fo...