Thursday, March 27, 2014

30th reason to be in AWE - New. Now.

One of the best times to start something new is the moment you hear that little voice in your head saying, "I'm too old, it's too late."
Well that is just not true for horsemanship. You are never too old, and it is never too late. Not for the humans; not for the horses.
We don't require any previous horse experience to be in AWE. And you don't need to bring a horse. The horses are already here. Waiting for you, their new partner.
There are many different reasons people get started in AWE. We have 30 of them listed here now! with many more reasons to be added.
For me, I have done lots of different horsey things. I started like many kids do. We lived in the country, though we were not farmers. My mom and dad were teachers. But Dad finally talked Mom into letting us have some horses. I went through a few years during college and in my early career years, without owning a horse. But for most of my life (and it's getting pretty long) I've had horses. It wasn't until I was 40ish though that I actually started taking lessons, because I finally had time and money to think about becoming a horse-show person.. I DID kind of think I was too old to become a showperson at that time, but I tried it anyway. And thanks to a wonderful teacher (Carla Clay, who passed away last year) and a wonderful horse (Moonshine, who died last May at the age of 31), I learned how to be safe, happy, and successful in the show world. I am so glad I tried something new at that point in my life.
But I don't really like traveling that much anymore. So, once again, a couple of years ago, I got that urge to try something new with horses. But this time, something I could do right here, without having to haul them all over the place, and something that would let me use my background in education.(yup, I followed Mom & Dad and became a teacher after college.) And so I started researching some of the popular natural horsemanship programs that are out there. And I chose Parelli.
I too hear the little voice. But the little voice in MY head doesn't really say "I'm too old for this." It says, "I wish I would have started this 20 years ago." And as soon as I start hearing that little voice, I get out there with the horses and get going on some new horsemanship activities. Not so much because I'm afraid of getting too old or that it's getting too late, but more because there is soooooooooo much more to learn!
Good Thing to Know: Stay away from the horse people who think they know it all, for they know nothing.
So in our horsemanship program, in AWE, we use Parelli as our foundation, as our guide. There are hundreds of activities, skills, patterns, games, etc. Both non-riding and riding. Not everyone wants to ride right away. And that's fine! But for those of you who are interested in advancing your riding skills, you can certainly do that here too.
And remember, your sponsor $$$ contribution all goes to the horses. People who help you here are volunteers. None of the horsemanship money goes to a person. Every penny goes to a horse, for the horse's food and care.
We do feel there is something for everyone in our horsemanship program, and that everyone should be in AWE. The foundation is the same for everyone, but the reasons & goals are individual. Everyone has an individual program here.
For those of you who are going through a major life change, if your kids have all moved out, if you are retiring from your career and don't know what to do with all your spare time, if you are just feeling kind of gloomy from this long cold winter and spring, if you want to exercise naturally (through horse activities) to lose a few pounds or get stronger, if you just need a new hobby or learning opportunity. And, for sure, if that little voice in your head is saying, "it's too late, you're too old," now is the time to get started and be in AWE. Now is the time to start something new.
New. Now.

Thanks horse sponsors. Want to become one?

Thanks again to Claudia, and also to Jan, for helping to sponsor Shadow this year. It's about 10% of what we need for his feed and care for the year, and we are very very very appreciative of your help.
Also thank you Angela for helping to sponsor Rocky this year.
It might be difficult to talk yourself into helping to sponsor a horse that already has a home. I get it. It's a lot more "glamorous" to help with those poor little starving guys. Here's the deal: Most of our sanctuary horses WERE those poor little starving guys. We have adopted out many of those horses, after we brought them back to health.
Now we are a sanctuary. We are still available to assist law enforcement in horse cases. That was our original mission, and we have not gone away from that.
But with our sanctuary status, we have the opportunity now to help a lot more horses! Through education. So some of our former poor little starving guys, like Shadow and Rocky, are helping to educate humans, through our equine assisted learning and horsemanship programs. Humans learn a lot about themselves and also about all things horsey: what they eat, what they cost, how they behave, how much time & space they require, what they need for good health and quality of life, etc. Some of the people who spend time in our horsemanship program later become horse owners themselves or already are. But they were able to avoid some serious, new-horse-owner mistakes; because they first learned about horse care and ownership, through our program here.
And the more humans we can help become better horsemen / trainers / owners, the fewer horses will get labeled "bad" or "dangerous," just because their humans caused them to be that way through ignorance.
While we do help humans here, we are first here for the horses. To care for them and teach other humans how to care for them and how to be safe and happy around them.
And if you would like to help us with that, you might want to help sponsor one of our rescued horses, one of our former poor little starving guys or gals. As a horse sponsor, you are also invited to participate in our horsemanship or equine assisted learning program.
Thanks again to everyone who is helping already.
Thanks also to great volunteers last Sunday. Danielle, Cindy and kids, and Jasmine and Madeline. We had a special hay project to get done, and we got 'er done!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

update on Princess - out with the herd

Yesterday the ground was finally soft, so we let Princess go out with the herd.
They welcomed her back, and they were nice to her.
Then, in the afternoon, our farrier came. Nine of the horses got trimmed a week ago. The other nine, including Princess, got trimmed yesterday. They were all soooooooooo good. We got 9 trimmed in less than an hour and 45 minutes. That's pretty good. Princess was really really good for her hoof trim.
 Then of course this morning we got to take some snow pictures again. I guess the snow is prettier than the mud. I guess.

Princess is beautiful in the snow or mud.
We are hopeful about her surgery.
But it's too early to say for sure.    

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

29th reason to be in AWE - pony tails are encouraged

You don't have to get all dressed up or put on a bunch of makeup or anything to be in AWE. And pony tails are highly recommended!
You can kick up your heels and gallop around if you are having a high-energy day.

Or, you can take a break and relax a bit if you are having a more low-energy day.
And getting a little dirt on you builds character.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

28th reason to be in AWE - grooming is good for us and the horses

Horsemanship involves grooming, and grooming is good for the humans and the horses. A few posts back I included some info. about how many calories are burned by doing horse activities. And grooming is really good exercise for us. Now imagine grooming this. This is going to involve a lot of calorie burning.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

27th reason to be in AWE - in South Dakota, we can be your bridge to Parelli

There are more than 100 Licensed Parelli Instructors in the country, but none in South Dakota. We can be your bridge. We have been fortunate to have a couple of Parelli Instructors come here a few times the last couple of years. Bryna Helle from Minnesota stays here from time to time. So, you can partner up with our horses here, use the Parelli resources we have available here, and take lessons from a Parelli Professional whenever Bryna or another one is here. It is our hope that one day someone from our area will become a Parelli Instructor. But so far there are none listed from South Dakota. Here is a link to the list.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Princess got her wraps off today, and got to play!

Three weeks after her neurectomy surgery, Princess has permission to play. We'll probably wait for a few days before we let her out in the horse yard/pasture areas. It's pretty muddy and still frozen in some areas. She's a happy girl.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

thanks Volunteers & thanks Claudia!

Thanks to recent volunteer chore helpers. Jan and Tim, Angela, and Jasmine. We will see you all again soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also more thanks to Claudia, for sending a sponsorship check for our featured rescue horse of the month, Shadow. We need many more hundreds of dollars for Shadow's feed & care for this year. Claudia has now helped to sponsor all 3 of our horses of the month this year. Thanks Claudia!
And by the way, Shadow is available to partner up with for our horsemanship program. he has already been through Level One. Passed it with 1++. He has only had about 30 rides, but this is his year. Guess he's not going to get much bigger, since this is his five-year-old year. So he can do lots of riding this year! If you aren't a very experienced rider yet, you can get used to Shadow with all of the many non-riding horsemanship activities we have. And you can ride a horse that has many more years as a riding horse. Until you and Shadow are ready for riding together. I can keep riding Shadow until then.
Here is a picture of Shadow and his new friend, Volunteer chore helper Jan.

Monday, March 10, 2014

26th reason to be in AWE - it's fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It HAS to be fun. Following the Parelli program, we "play" with our horses during horsemanship. Who wants to work all the time. right? Anyway, there are 7 Games developed by Parelli, that are an important part of our horsemanship program here. The Games are a part of our riding and non-riding activities. When our every-once-in-a-while Resident Instructor, Bryna Helle, was here last year, she saved up a bunch of pictures and videos of our horsemanship sessions here, and she put some of them together in a fun video and put it on YouTube. Here you can see many different horses who live here, participants of all ages, skills of all levels, riding and non-riding activities, but it all looks like FUN!!!!!  Here's a link to the video.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

25th reason to be in AWE - cost (horse sponsorship) is based on your individual program

here are some options:
or here it is just in text for you.
DoubleHP Natural Horsemanship Program
All sessions are approx. 2 hours.
Sessions are scheduled M-F, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(Sorry, we do not currently have a horsemanship facilitator for evenings or weekends. We hope to in the future, but right now we do not.)
We provide the horses, equipment, and facilitators. We have both indoor and outdoor arenas. We have both riding and non-riding activities. There is no previous horse experience required. Our horses will show you everything you need to know. About Life.
Participants in AWE make a financial contribution that helps sponsor one of our rescued horses. 100% of this money is used for horse feed & care. No person gets a penny of this money. It all goes to the horses.
Our horsemanship facilitators are volunteers.
Sign up for 3 months of horsemanship (sessions are M-F).
     $650 sponsorship.
Participate in AWE for 3 consecutive months, schedule 3-5 days each week (M-F).
Sign up for 1 month of horsemanship (sessions are M-F).
     $240 sponsorship.
This sponsor may participate in AWE for a month and schedule 3-5 days each week.
     $160 sponsorship.
This sponsor also may participate in AWE for a month and come 2-5 days each week.
In addition, this sponsor agrees to a weekly chore shift (2.5 hours/week). 
     $80 sponsorship.
This sponsor also may participate in AWE for a month and come 2-5 days each week.
In addition, this sponsor agrees to 2 weekly chore shifts (5 hours/week).
    $200 sponsorship.
This sponsor may participate in AWE for a month and schedule 2 sessions each week.
No chores required with this option. (bring a friend and you each save 20%)
Got a Week free?
     $150 sponsorship.
This sponsor may come every day for a week. (M-F). (bring a friend & you each save 20%)
Got a Few Days free?
     $120 sponsorship.
This sponsor may come 3 days in a row. (M-F)  bring a friend; you each save 20%)
Try it once, or schedule 1 session at a time.
     $50 sponsorship.
This sponsor may come for one session. (bring a friend; you each save 20%)         

Friday, March 7, 2014

24th reason to be in AWE - you can try it out before you dive in

First, a reminder: when we talk about a monthly sponsor $$$ amount, this is money that you contribute to our 501c3 nonprofit organization. This money, every penny, goes to help care for our rescued horses. No person gets a penny of your money. It's for the horses. And as a horse sponsor, you are eligible to be in AWE (our horsemanship program). Our horses and our volunteers help you get started and help you advance.

If you would like to get a feel for our horsemanship program before you start an ongoing, monthly sponsorship, consider one of these short-term, introductory options:
Short-term, introductory options:
A $120/person sponsorship gets you three sessions, 3 days in a row. Each session is 2 hours.
A $50/person sponsorship gets you one 2-hour session.
(bring a friend along and you each receive 20% off)

Keep in mind that our hours are M-F, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We are located about 3 miles north of Crooks, so it usually takes people about 20 minutes to drive here from Sioux Falls.

We have a list of reasons to be in AWE. So far we have 24 reasons listed, might have 100 by the end of the year! Here is a link to the list

Princess had her 2-week recheck after neurectomy

The Vet came today and did suture removal and rewrap on Princess, who had a neurectomy 2 weeks ago. She has had this procedure done twice now. It's also known as "nerving." The surgery area healed very nicely.
We can now start to take Princess for walks. She still can't be turned out in a large area to run and play. For one more week, she stays in her small in/out area but now we can take her for walks. So on about next Friday, a week from today, we take her wraps off and probably let her play in the riding arena first. I doubt that we will just turn her out on the icky ground outside without seeing how she does on soft, dry, even footing in the arena first.
She will be very glad to get back out with the herd, though she has been a very good girl in her small recovery area.
We don't know how her feet feel. We'll just have to observe her as she trots around and see if she looks like she is sore when she moves. There is not a guarantee that the surgery will help, but the first time she had the surgery she was pretty good for about five years. So we are hopeful.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

23rd reason to be in AWE - goals and certificates and continuing education, oh my!

Everyone is different. We know that.
Every horse is different too. And we learn more about that every single day here.

Some people are interested in continuing education, self-improvement, goal management, certifications, etc.
Some people come here to pet and brush the horses and feel their warmth and magic in this way.
Some people are afraid of horses, and their goal is to simply overcome this fear.
Some people are already very skilled and advanced riders, but have never tried a specific horsemanship program like this.

Everyone in AWE (our horsemanship program) has an individual program. The foundation is the same, but everyone's goals and reasons are different.

For those who are more goal oriented and really really really want to advance in your horsemanship skills and program, and are into the whole certification and continuing education thing, you should definitely be in AWE! In AWE, our horsemanship program at DoubleHP, we are guided by Parelli Natural Horsemanship. Several of us have submitted official video auditions and have earned certification in specific activities and levels, some riding and some non-riding. It is a progressive program, and you may keep on advancing through the levels at your own pace. And our horses and volunteers are here to help you.

The temperatures are going up (finally), and it's time to get started! Or to continue where you left off last fall. Give us a call or email us. 359-0961,

Monday, March 3, 2014

22nd reason to be in AWE - it's above zero!

there are no minus signs in the 7-Day forecast!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Shadow is our featured rescue horse for March 2014

What a miracle Shadow is! And yes, he certainly is a tricky little leprechaun. I have told Shadow's story so many times. Perhaps I can just do a summary here. We first met Shadow when he was just a few months old. We brought him and 7 of his friends back to life; county officials had asked for our help.

 But once the horses were healthy, they were given back to their neglectful owners. Poor little Shadow. For a while he was so weak he couldn't get up by himself, and he spent 2 weeks at the Vet Clinic. And back he went to the people who did that to him.
So then, the next winter, the same neglectful owners again did not take care of their herd. Surprise surprise. But we were not called. We did not know about it. They were taken by state officials in January a few years ago, and given to a cattle feedlot guy. The plan was to take them to the slaughter feedlot in Mitchell, but the horses were too skinny and sick. So the cattle guy had them for  about 40 days and then took them to a loose/slaughter horse sale.
Someone tipped us off 3 days before the sale, and we got enough donations to save two of them. Shadow and Bella.
There were no charges of inhumane treatment, even though several little horses had died. There was a trial though, but it was civil. Between the neglectful horse owners, the cattle feedlot guy, and the State. Who owed whom money. that's all it was about. No one gave a crap about the horses. Just about the money. I guess we probably should have been in there swinging too. We paid the cattle feedlot guy $800 for two skinny beat up little horses. After we had already brought them back to life once.
How oddly (terribly) our area counties handle these cases.
Anyway, the reason we know all this is because a couple of us did go to the trial. So we heard it all. And we also paid for some of the courthouse documents. The documents say that evidence of inhumane treatment was found. And the pictures certainly show it.  So why no charges???

Here are some of Shadow's little friends who did not make it. They froze and starved to death. And you want to know what else? this happened just a few miles from our shelter. Perhaps that is why I cannot get it out of my mind. Why didn't anyone call us for help, way before this happened!!!
So so sorry little babies, if only I had known. If only the officials had not given the horses back to these people the year before this happened to you. At least you would have had a chance with some different owners. (though the owners and some of the horses were the same, the county and property were different. The first time around, it was not Minnehaha County. But this time, the second year, it was.)

So now I get to go on my rage again about the need for barns/buildings for horses in South Dakota. And how timely! Weather guys say it's going to be 18 below here again tonight, without windchill. Honestly, folks, you cannot have horses in South Dakota without barns and hay and water that does not freeze. Cuz this is what happens to these little guys in South Dakota's Winter if they are not cared for properly.