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How to Avoid Barn Drama
 by Saferaphus on 21st Apr 2014
How to Avoid Barn Drama General  There are three things common to almost every stable that no one really wants: flies, manure piles and drama. Of these three, the flies and manure can be the easiest to get rid of. However, barn drama seems to stick around, and it can be very hard to eradicate. Yes, there are drama-free barns, but they tend to be rare. And if you're in a drama-free barn consider yourself lucky.
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Canadian Parliament Considers Law to Limit Horse Slaughter   17th Apr 2014
Canadian Parliament Considers Law to Limit Horse Slaughter
General What happens to horses now that the US slaughter plants no longer can accept them? They are shipped to Canada or Mexico. The laws that shut down the plants haven’t really stopped horse slaughter. They’ve actually ensured that horses destined for slaughter have more to endure before they end up as cuts of meat bound for Europe, Asia or the few North American markets that exist. Since the start of the ban in 2007, the number of horses in Canadian slaughtering plants alone doubled.
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New PonyBox Account Changes   12th Apr 2014
New PonyBox Account Changes
Ponybox News Starting shortly, all PonyBox server accounts will be merged into one server. This means PonyBox and the legacy Morgan, Paint, Pegasus and Nokota accounts will no longer exist as separate server logins. In addition, the PB3 sim game portion of the site will be shut down. However, the redesign of the legacy PonyBox sim game will remain intact and preserved with the new merger.

Once the merger is complete, all members will have the opportunity to combine accounts into one account. For example, if you had logins on all the servers, once the merger is complete you will still have multiple accounts on the one main server representing all your previous accounts, with an option to combine these into one account. All member credits, stats, photos, horse data, etc will be preserved and combined to the main server. No data will be deleted, except the PB3 game data.

Please be patient as this transition to one server and login is in progress. We expect to begin immediately with the merger of the main PonyBox (PB3) accounts and Morgan, followed by Paint, Pegasus and Nokota. This transition is necessary in order for PonyBox to complete the game upgrades with compatibility to tablet and smart phone devices.
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A Royal Obsession - All the Queen's Horses   11th Apr 2014
A Royal Obsession - All the Queen's Horses
General On April 21, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II will turn 88 years old. She is certainly not your average 88 year old, and that's not just because she may be the most famous woman in the world. Outside her queenly duties, HRH enjoys spending time with her horses. They are, in fact, her passion and she in a 1954 Time Magazine, is quoted as saying, 'I should like to be a horse.'

Toy horses are seen in pictures of her as a toddler and she and her sister Margaret were given their first pony, a very shaggy Shetland named Peggy, when HRH was four years old. It was only a short while before she was riding on her own, and early in life, she became an accomplished horsewoman. Since then, she has had several favorite riding horses
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It's Shedding Time   8th Apr 2014
It's Shedding Time
Care and Grooming There's horse hair up your nose, in your eyes, stuck to your shirt and in your own hair. Happily, shedding season has arrived in North America. I've noticed this spring that the horses have started shedding a bit late. Horses start shedding their thick winter coat in response to the increased daylight hours. Usually, I notice my horse starting to shed in mid-January. But, not this year. It's been a very cold and dark winter, and the horses seem to be keeping their winter woolies on longer.

If your horse keeps its long coat well into the warmer months, suspect a health problem like Cushing's Disease or poor nutrition. But, problems aside, shedding out is a joyful time for you and your horse. As the hair comes loose, your horse may feel a bit itchy, especially if the weather warms up quickly. To make itself more comfortable, your horse is probably going to revel in the mud or dirt, and leave clouds of hair in its wake. You can't really make a horse shed out faster without the help of controlled lighting, but you can groom away hair that has already come loose.
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Controlling a Strong Horse
 by Saferaphus on 6th Apr 2014
Controlling a Strong Horse General  One of the most common problems many riders have is slowing down a horse that is a puller, or is very forward. The problem may be more noticeable after the horse has had a break, and has stored a little excess energy, like after this long winter we've had, when we haven't been able to ride as often as we'd like or our horses need. Some people like a forward horse, and as long as you are safely managing, that's good. However, others of us may like a slightly slower pace.
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The Life of The Coal Mine Pit Pony   3rd Apr 2014
The Life of The Coal Mine Pit Pony
General A long time ago, a friend's mother took my sister and I, and her two daughters to see a Disney movie, The Littlest Horse Thieves. The movie was released in 1976 and was about three children, who on learning that a coal mine's pit ponies were about to be destroyed to make way for mechanized mining methods, decided to steal and hide the ponies. Like most Disney movies, it was over-the-top dramatic with a tear-jerker ending. I barely remember the movie, but I still remember the heart-rending last scene. I also remember all four of us riding home in the back seat of the car, crying our eyes out and my friend's mother wondering at her decision to let us see the movie.

We can only imagine the lives of the ponies and the people that worked in coal mines. And, it's hard to believe that a few mines still used pit ponies until very recently. The use of pit ponies began in Britain in the 1700s. Ponies were used to pull the tubs of coal along narrow railway tracks to the point where it could be lifted out. Ponies were lowered down into the shaft either in a cage, or by pulley attached to a harness.
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Take Care of Your Riding Helmet   1st Apr 2014
Take Care of Your Riding Helmet
General Your riding helmet is a very important piece of equipment that helps protect the one part of your body that is very difficult to fix if it gets broken: your brain. Helmets don't require a great deal of maintenance, but they do benefit from a little care to keep them clean and looking nice.

One thing many people don't realize about helmets is that they need to be replaced about every three years or after they have taken a hard hit. Damage might not be obvious, but over time, the materials can become weaker and the glues used to hold them together start to break down. The manufacturer
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Six Horses in Tennessee Quarantined After Testing Positive for Equine Infectious Anemia   30th Mar 2014
Six Horses in Tennessee Quarantined After Testing Positive for Equine Infectious Anemia
General Six horses in Tennessee have been put in quarantine after testing positive for Equine Infectious Anemia. Horse owners in the state are being advised to test for the virus. Equine Infection Anemia is most commonly spread from horse to horse through mosquitoes. The insect draws blood from one horse carrying the virus. The virus multiplies in the mosquito, but does not harm it. When the mosquito has another blood meal, a small amount of the virus is 'injected' into the next victim, along with the anti-coagulating saliva it uses to make sure that the tiny wound it made doesn't seal over before it's finished its meal. It's also this saliva that our body reacts to
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PETA Video Exposes Horse Racing Drugs and Deaths   28th Mar 2014
PETA Video Exposes Horse Racing Drugs and Deaths
Shows and Events Have you watched a video released by PETA called Horse Racing's Daily Double: Drugs and Death? It's a 9 minute exposè of the horse racing industry's use of drugs to enhance performance and mask injuries and lameness. The video starts out by stating that 24 horses per week die on U.S. race tracks and describes the use of horses started too young, routinely injected with drugs, whether or not they were needed or the drugs actually worked, the use of electrical devices to make horses run faster and the disposal of horses who no longer had any chance of winning. (If you are inclined to watch the video, be aware that there is the liberal use of the F-bomb and more callous and offensive language.)
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Preparing for the Spring Trail Rides   26th Mar 2014
Preparing for the Spring Trail Rides
General As spring slowly breaks here in the northern hemisphere, many of us will finally be able to access trails that have been deep in snow for the last few months. Even some people who are normally able to head out have been slowed down by this extreme winter. That first time you head out may be a bit exciting. If you're planning on traveling the trails with your horse, here are a few ideas to make it a bit safer.
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Why I'm Jealous of My Horse   25th Mar 2014
Why I'm Jealous of My Horse
General I don't like to complain, but there are a few things that make me jealous of my horse. I probably wouldn't want to be a horse, but if I were, these things would make me happy.

I'll admit I have accumulated a lot of shoes over the years. However, I certainly don't get footwear every six weeks like my horse does. Nor do I get special pedicures, with three people scrutinizing angles and feeding me treats during the process. And, except for my riding boots, most of the shoes I buy come from the bargain bin, largely because my horse needs her shoes looked after every six weeks.
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10 Diseases You Can Catch From Your Horse   23rd Mar 2014
10 Diseases You Can Catch From Your Horse
Care and Grooming When we're working around horses, we tend to share a lot of germs with them. Who else but a horse owner would eat a sandwich with one hand, while brushing their horse's tail with the other? We've all done it and probably haven't come to any harm. We're more likely to get a broken toe from being tromped on then pick up any sort of sickness from our horse.

However, it is possible for your horse to make you ill, although it is extremely rare, a few of the viruses that infect horses can also infect humans. And, some of the bacterium that is on your horse's body might affect you adversely. Is it a worry to eat a sandwich with unwashed hands after you've brushed your horse's tail? Well, you'd probably be better off washing your hands before handling food. There is a small risk that ecoli, campylobacter or other bacteria from manure could be on your horse's tail or hair. All can make humans very sick.
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Horse Blanket Measuring Tricks For a Perfect Fit
 by Saferaphus on 21st Mar 2014
Horse Blanket Measuring Tricks For a Perfect Fit General  It may seem like a strange time of the year to be buying a turn-out rug, but spring is when many tack shops are clearing out their winter stock and warm winter rugs are on sale. Just like buying yourself a coat, it's important that your horse's winter blanket or rug fits well. This will help to keep it warm and dry and prevent rubbing and chaffing. A blanket that is too tight can injure your horse. Sometimes the pressure from the blanket can be so bad that it causes nerve damage and spots where the hair grows back white. A blanket that is too loose is a hazard because your horse can get caught up in it. Here's how to measure your horse for a blanket.
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So Miley Cyrus Doesn't Like the Horse Carriage Trade   19th Mar 2014
So Miley Cyrus Doesn't Like the Horse Carriage Trade
General What do Bo Derek, Liam Neeson, Willy Nelson, Alec Baldwin, Gloria Steinem, Lea Michele and Miley Cyrus have in common? Yes, they are all celebrities. But, they are also celebrities who have spoken out about horse welfare issues. Bo Derek and Willy Nelson were very vocal during the campaign against horse slaughter when the debate came to a head and received increased public awareness a few years ago. Derek continues to campaign against horse slaughter, teaming up most recently with Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

Currently, the debate about the New York carriage horses rages on and celebs are voicing their opinions on both sides. Liam Neeson, said to be a horseman as well as an actor claims the carriage horses are well cared for and thinks the carriage industry should continue. His 'particular set of skills' garnered after years of acting are thought to be formidable weaponry against the politicians who want to see the end of carriage horses in New York City.

However, on the opposite side of the debate are celebs like Miley Cyrus, Gloria Steinem, Pink, Mary Tyler-Moore and Alec Baldwin. All are voicing in against the use of carriage horses. Mary Tyler-Moore, a former sitcom actress and now animal rights
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How to Fight Back Mean Girls at the Barn
 by Saferaphus on 17th Mar 2014
How to Fight Back Mean Girls at the Barn General  So we know one way someone became a mean girl, and what it's like to be bullied by a mean girl (or boy). Most of us feel like we've been bullied at one time or another, and it can be a very hurtful experience. So, what do you do about a mean girl if they are bullying you? I talked to Amy Morin, psychotherapist, clinical social worker and About.com's Parenting Teens Expert and asked for advice.
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Mean Girls at the Stable - The Making of a Mean Girl   15th Mar 2014
Mean Girls at the Stable - The Making of a Mean Girl
General When my daughter and I first met Jessica, she was quite a normal little horse crazy girl. Actually, horse crazy doesn't quite describe the enormity of her love for horses. So when she joined the Pony Club my daughter belonged to, and started taking riding lessons, she seemed as happy as a little girl could be. She started showing a bit, riding her coach's ponies at local shows, and competing in Pony Club events like PPGs and rally. She participated in meetings, had fun at Quiz and pulled her weight, never complaining when there were barn chores to do or cleaning up after meetings. She made a lot of friends at Pony Club.
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Illinois State Junior Horse Show
 by Uphill Climb on 14th Mar 2014
Illinois State Junior Horse Show Shows and Events  For almost three years I leased a mare named Queenie. Recently, Queenie and I competed at the Illinois State Junior Horse Show in a few different classes. Our first class was Hunter Horse Over Fences and it was not very pretty at all. The course consisted of 2'9 to 3' jumps, but I have previously only jumped at most 2'6... so let's just say it was interesting. I started with my circle and then picked up my canter and headed to jump one, Queenie refused once but continued on over with the second attempt. Then we turned to the second jump and she went over like a pro. The first 3' was next, and after two more refusals I was swiftly excused from the arena.
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Horse Game News
The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 5   12th Mar 2014
The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 5 The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 5 The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 5 The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 5
Horse Stories There were just two options - A second surgery to remove the plate that had been put in just eight months earlier, or... Putting Choc down. All at once, I was thrown back into a nightmare from which I had barely awoken. Had we really come all this way for nothing? The answer, when I really thought about it, was the easiest in the world. No. After all she had been through, that just wasn’t an option at all. Choc had proved her mettle. She had earned the right to go on fighting.

So Choc was booked into surgery yet again, only this time, we all looked on it with a certain optimism. Without the plate causing infection in her leg, the possibility of Choc coming sound suddenly seemed all the more likely. But before that, she had to make it through yet another operation. The surgeon decided to do the operation with Choc standing up, not just to reduce the cost, but also to reduce the risk to her – and so the grueling operation began. For five hours, Choc stood under anaesthetic while her loyal surgeon slaved tirelessly away, painstakingly removing each of the eleven screws holding the plate in place.
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Horse Game News
The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 4   10th Mar 2014
The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 4 The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 4 The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 4 The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 4
Horse Stories The next few weeks of her recovery were full of ups and downs. The wound would begin to heal, and then infection would set in again, and once more I’d have to wait, scared to death, while they tested to see if it was in the joint. And so it went on, for months on end, with Choc waiting in the hospital, lonely without her friends, and the bills piling up quickly. It was touch and go all the while, and I learned to keep my expectations low.

She was in the hospital for seven months. Seven months of waiting, hoping, and praying. Seven months of worrying and despair, of good news lifting my hopes, only to be knocked back to rock bottom by the onslaught of bad. When she finally came home, I could not have been more delighted.
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The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 3   8th Mar 2014
The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 3
Horse Stories To me, putting Choc down was never an option. For a horse so full of life, and so eager and ready to take on her next challenge and fight to keep living, it would just be wrong to take away that chance. This, of course, left two options. The stable rest would have been far, far cheaper. It also would have been less risky to Choc, but what of the end result? After months of stable rest, I’d be left with a horse that ‘might’ be paddock sound? I’d already seen Choc stuck in a tiny paddock with her fractured leg, peering through the fence with her big brown eyes blinking dolefully, and just begging to be let out to run and play. With her whole life ahead of her and a heart longing to compete, I had to give her that chance. As difficult a decision as it was, I think that Choc would have done the very same thing if she could have decided for herself.
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The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 2   6th Mar 2014
The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 2
Horse Stories When I got to Choc, she seemed relatively unscathed. There was barely a mark on her elbow, just one little cut, and yet she could barely put weight on it when she walked. The vet had been already, and said to monitor her for two days, and then take her to be X-rayed if there was no improvement. Two days later, with Choc still hopping, it was time to face the truth.

I think I knew already what results the X-rays would bring. One thing about Choc is that – whether it’s in work, play or recovery – she’s one of the toughest creatures under the sun. When she looks as sore as she did back then, there’s just no chance that everything is going to be okay. At least, that’s what I told myself.

Loading Choc that day to take her to her X-rays has since become one of my best and worst memories of her. It broke my heart to have to lead her up to that horsebox with her hopping along on three legs beside me, her eyes bright and ears pricked just like always, despite her tremendous pain. She couldn’t even put her hoof on the ground; how she was supposed to get up the ramp and into the horsebox, I had no idea.
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The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 1   5th Mar 2014
The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 1
Horse Stories So I promised that I would write an article if Choc ever recovered from her surgery, and two gruelling years later, here we are. It has been a bumpy road with a lot of twists and turns along the way, but in the end, looking back at all the tears and turmoil, I can honestly say that I’d do it all again. Seeing the look on Choc’s face when I walk up with a bridle, I’d have to be mad not to.

You all know the story of Choc, the little foal that I rescued from a racing stud after her owner had died, leaving the entire string of horses homeless. She was a trooper from day one, a feisty little animal utterly determined to live out her life as she’d started it; devoid of human contact, and fighting all her own battles with a buck and fart. It took a lot of time and patience to win that little horse’s trust, but eventually, I managed it. From the first time she let me touch her face Choc and I were inseparable. Now, as long as I live, she’ll always be my baby – that special foal who gave me her trust, and slowly, learned to be one of the bravest, most loving animals I’ve seen in my life.
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Dream Holidays on Horseback
 by Ponybox on 4th Mar 2014
Dream Holidays on Horseback General  It seems like it's been winter for about ten years now. I'm trying to remember if I've stumbled through the back of a wardrobe and ended up in Narnia. Right now, a holiday on horseback in a warm place sounds just about right. I've been dreaming about the possibilities,
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Put A Sock In It! Have you ever had a sock go missing? Have you come across that little, lonely, lost sock in your drawer, and never been able to find its partner? Well, I don’t doubt that you have – since this has been a problem faced by . . .
29 May 2010 Showjumping Competition On 29 May 2010, I attended a competition that was a major milestone in my showjumping career. On the morning 29 May 2010 at around 9AM, an 11-year-old Thoroughbred mare was to be seen leaping boldly around a course of 1, . . .
Saddle Up Series - Understanding Your Horse's Back - Part Six Now, as this series has taught us, it really isn't possible to completely ‘prevent’ back pain in horses. Any athlete – equine or otherwise – will take strain, and as riders, it is our responsibility to maintain the physi . . .
The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 5 There were just two options - A second surgery to remove the plate that had been put in just eight months earlier, or... Putting Choc down. All at once, I was thrown back into a nightmare from which I had barely awoken. . . .
Ask Polo - Article 1 This is the first article in my new series, ‘Ask Polo’. In this series, I will be addressing equine problems mentioned by players, and giving suggestions to assist in solving their problems in article format. Today’s . . .
Top Twenty Reasons To Ride A Horse Even though an infinite amount of reasons exist to ride a horse, I reduced this down to the top twenty reasons to ride a horse, as opposed to a dinosaur, flying saucer, or tap dancing polar bear. #20 - A horse will al . . .
Saddle Up Series - Understanding Your Horse's Back - Part Seven Saddle fitters are the main reason that I have trust issues, and I know I’m not the only one. When it comes to saddle fitting, the best advice I can give you is this: Trust no one, not even yourself. Unfortunately for . . .
27 - 28 July Eventing Show - Part One I had two mounts at this show: My own horse, Finola, doing her first 90cm event, and a client’s horse, Pride, in her second event at 70cm. Pride is a five year old mare, Appaloosa cross Warmblood, who I have been tra . . .
Sand Colic What is an impaction, you ask? Well, I suppose it could be compared to human constipation. The horse has a blockage in its intestine, so it cannot pass any droppings or gas from the other side of that blockage. A horse b . . .
Five Very Good Reasons To Learn To Use English I hope all your brains are overflowing with this new knowledge, and that your enlightenment has brought you not only amusement, but motivation to improve your own language usage. Nobody can be perfect, of course. In fact . . .
 
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