Author Archives: dawndi

About dawndi

I've been a very happy film producer (commercial and long format) for over 20 years. But, the horses have always been foremost in my heart... Currently I live on a small ranch in California with my wonderful husband, 13 horses, 4 dogs, 3 cats and various woodland creatures. Life is good!

Spring Has Sprung, the Grass Has Rizz, I Wonder Where the Flowers is?… Spring Inspiration!

My Aunt Sid used to use that expression and it always made me smile.  Spring is here!

I have two things today.  Inspiration and Lists.


Here is an inspirational video (click here) that we shot at Arizona’s Cowboy CollegeThis is a girl who with only a strap around her horse’s neck, takes him over several (not little) jumps, around bushes and trees and whatever else without a fence or any gear except a helmet. Hmmmm.  Kinda inspiring to become ONE with your horse again after a long winter…  I totally remember shooting this and feeling like such a schmoe because I couldn’t ride at liberty.  Anyway, all it takes is lots of devotion, companionship and practice.  And time.  Lots of time.

Did you know that Cowboy College taught this sort of thing?  I didn’t either.  Yup.  It isn’t all about ropin’ and ridin’.  It is about total horsemanship.  Check it out!  We loved it there.  Anyway, here is the video of our Spring Inspirational At Liberty video.


You probably already do this list but I’m writing it anyway just in case my experience helps you:

  • clean and repair flymasks (or buy new ones on sale)
  • clean out feet and apply thrush cure if needed (If you suspect canker, us the purple mush.)
  • detangle manes and tails (this could take several days  ;)  …)
  • wash and put away winter blankets
  • clean out all water troughs/buckets and remember to check them more frequently
  • order your predators
  • order your garlic (if you use it)
  • order fly spray on sale or make your own
  • clean out your trailer and trailer tack room
  • road ready check on your trailer — bearings packed?
  • put fresh water in your trailer
  • grease the trailer ball
  • clean tack (If you use leather cream, my favorite is Skidmore’s.)
  • clean and oil your clippers – or have someone do that
  • check your helmet
  • clean out your saddle bags (hopefully no mystery blobs of old treats in there…)
  • fix your hoses, floats or waterers
  • check/order your hay – this is the hardest time to get hay
  • watch a few videos (They make it look so easy…)
  • get on your trainer’s schedule if needed
  • scour Ebay and Bayequest for tack on the wish list


  • TIGHTEN ALL CHICAGO SCREWS (I lost a bridle mid-gallop because of this — not good.)
  • CHECK FOR SPIDERS IN TACK (One that made no web and left no clues, crawled out mid ride and bit me.)
  • CLEAN THE MOLD FROM YOUR TRAILER HORSE AREA AND TOTALLY WASH OUT THE HAY BAGS/RACKS FOR MOLD  (This seems so obvious but you want to be really careful with this.  Mold climbs up walls and gets into cracks that your horse sniffs.  I have known of respiratory ailments that came from hidden mold in the trailer of a show horse who traveled often.)

Oh, and here is a tip.  I found this plastic 5 gallon gas can that BMX/ATV riders use.  It is perfect for water in your trailer after trail rides.  Previously I used the huge trailer tanks but for me, they were kinda unruly.  This is easy to fill, easy to carry and easy to pour (two handles).  I love it.  You can get them at any motorbike store or online.

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

Update on Deaf Horses and My New Horsey Bling!


I wanted to show you the bling I ordered for my gelding.  It is a tag you put on the bridle.  I talked about it on a previous post regarding Horse Bling (2/14/10).  Anyway, it arrived and is better than the pictures!  Way Better!  I love it!  I am thinking of ordering a few more with different colored stones for each, if possible.  My only issue is that my other horses have really long names.  So, I guess I will come up with creative nick names.  Which, I’m happy to do since I really like it!  One of the most impressive details to me, that I didn’t understand from the previous photos, is that the piece is really substantial.  It is heavy and bigger than I thought it would be.  Total bang for your buck!  I’ve pictured it below with a quarter next to it so that you can compare.  Also, it is silver, not gold.  My professional photography studio here — isn’t.  Here you go!  And, if you want to order your own, click to go to the website.


Well, I kinda feel like I’m cheating because I’m going to cut and paste the words from two owners of deaf horses.  I felt that I should just go ahead and use their emails since I would basically be paraphrasing anyway and I might make a mistake.  So, here you go — two devoted owners of deaf horses tell us a little bit about what it is like to own, train and love a disabled pet.  First though, I wanted to link you to the DEAF HORSE Facebook page where there are several owners as well as a link to the Society web page which is under construction.


Splash was born May 15th, 2009. Her mother decided to give birth to her in a puddle of irrigation water in the bottom of our field. Why? We will never know!! We noticed that the foal was not very responsive, and had probably not nursed as of the time we discovered her. She was ten days premature and had been born in a puddle of cold water gosh knows what time of the night. We got her to her feet and after milking the mare and pouring some of the vital colostrum down Splash’s throat, she commenced to nursing and rarely quit right up to weaning time at six months of age. She is a voracious eater! Still is at almost a year old.

We discovered she was deaf several ways. One was that her ears hung out to the sides and did not “prick up” at loud sounds as did the ears of the other colt we had. Her color is another factor including the fact that she was premature. Splash-White syndrome is the cause of her deafness, and our vet believes hers is due to color and prematurity, rather than genetics, since there are no deaf horses in her background. Color and hearing are the last things to form on foals while still in the uterus. The final deciding factor was when my husband fired up the chainsaw and she wandered over to see what he was doing! All the other horses were leery, of course, and wanted nothing to do with the loud obnoxious machine! Our vet then fired off a few firecrackers just to satisfy his curiosity and it was decided..Splash is totally deaf.

Haltering has been an issue so far. She has learned four “signs” so far: hello, come here, stop, and move over. She is very eager to please, but she doesn’t seem to like new things touching her until she has explored them well. She will, however, follow me across any type of board or bridge without fear. Even across a running stream! I plan to separate her now that she is a yearling and begin the true “leading” process. Right now she follows hand signs only.

To interact with her I often place my throat against her neck and talk so she can feel the vibration of my voice. I tell her I love her and her reaction has become to paw with her front foot each time I do…weird. She loves me to talk to her and it seems to be something she asks for when I spend time with her. Touch is everything with her and she is very affectionate and doesn’t spook as easy as the other horses do either. Only when she is sleeping. Then, I always stomp my feet on the ground to let her know I am near so she doesn’t get startled when she sees me. She picks up the vibration from the ground and usually opens her eye to look at me.
Both of her eyes are sky blue and she will have to be tatooed (eyeliner, vet applied) after she turns a year old to avoid cancer around her eye. Training to begin soon since it’s warming up! Excited!


Adeline is a 10 year old APHA (red roan) overo mare. She is not an albino as some think, as she does have some pigment. She was born with all that white & pink skin & blue eyes, but has SOME black pigment under white coat, and a few red roan specs on her ears. I’m actually quite surprised she wasn’t euthanized immediately thinking she had OLWS. (Overo Lethal White Syndrome).

I met Adeline as a 2+ year old, she came from a breeder who’d picked her up after she was passed around to several homes already in her young life. She was truly a sweet, quiet, honest and intelligent horse, but I think maybe not everyone knew she was deaf and therefore, didn’t know why she didn’t understand them.
At this breeders, she was bred to another paint at a young age and ended up absorbing the foal. I was planning to buy the foal, but the breeder decided she wanted to sell Adeline. I knew I had to have her. She would follow me around with her nose in the small of my back when I was there, I knew she loved me already too.
So, I bought a deaf, untrained mare. She is on one side Impressive bred (beautiful halter horse w/ some issues, and Impressive mares can be quite rank!) and the other side is Jet Deck (QH racing). So she is fast, pretty and deaf. ;) And now, Adeline – who was once spooky and not -so – confident, has turned into the best trail horse, and we practice our lower level dressage for conditioning and really – we just enjoy spending time together. I LOVE her.

So, there you have a few stories to mull about the next time you hear of a deaf horse.  IF you ever hear about a deaf horse… I sure hadn’t until one needed a home around here.  I had no clue about them.  Now, a few more of us do, thanks to these brave owners.

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!