Category Archives: Horse Stories

Sad Story. But maybe knowing about this can help you in your community…

I hesitated writing about this today because I just didn’t see any benefit of relaying this sad story…  Then Hubby suggested that there are several issues at play here and maybe knowing this story would help any of you who live in communities like this where horses are on roadways.


A well known horseman lives in an LA suburb.  The suburb grew up around his little ranch.  He was used to riding around his neighborhood and he continued to do so after it transformed into more of a city than a country area.

The new roads around his house were fitted with storm drains.   The streets were paved.  Cars whizzed by.  But, this horseman still rode his horses around his neighborhood.

The horseman is 100 years old.  His favorite horse was 24.  This month, they were riding on the roads around his house and a car came whizzing by… The horse was startled and her shoes slipped on the metal grate of the storm drain which was covered by wet leaves.  The old rider was thrown and the mare got her back legs caught in the storm drain.  After 5 hours of veterinary care, the mare could not be saved due to extensive nerve damage in her back legs.  The rider was OK.

The old man couldn’t contain his tears when he said that she was the best horse he had ever owned.

The car that whizzed by never stopped.


There is so much controversy… Metal shoes, horses on roads, storm drain safety, hard of hearing riders, speed bumps, lack of designated trails… the list goes on and on.


Truth is, this is a tragedy, pure and simple.  The old guy should be able to ride his favorite horse.  The old guy probably thought shoes were the best thing for his mare.  Any 100 year old person will be hard of hearing.  Storm drains are not made for safety.  Cities don’t want to designate land for trails.  Drivers are very ignorant to horses.  Some drivers are idiots.

You can read the news story via this link.


The good news is that this old guy is not stopped by the loss of his horse.  He has others.  The good news is that he can still ride and care for his horses at 100 years old.  The good news is that his vet worked for 5 hours to save his mare.  The good news is that this community is in uproar over the accident.  The good news is that this story made it into the LA Times.


This video which was part of the news story is not sad.  Actually, it is kindof inspirational.  It shows this old guys mucking stalls, haltering his mule, loving on his Paint and tying up the mule for a photo opportunity with the videographer.

As Hubby said, “I hope I’m that active at 100!”

Click to watch video and read the news story...


My basic thoughts are that this accident was tragic and I’m disgusted that the driver got away.  I, personally, hate to ride on paved roads but I think that 100 year old guys should be able to ride on roads safely.  I think that idiots in cars who think all horses are like Trigger are ignorant and ought to be schooled.

I think storm drains are awfully dangerous and I never walk on them, let alone ride over them — eeesh, they give me the willies.

I think this guy is an inspiration in that he is still smiling, he is still mucking and he’s still riding.


People are now talking about modifying storm drains in this county.  Huge arguments are ensuing over this.  Other people are pushing for mandated riding trails.  Mothers are talking about how this horse could have been one of their kids…

So, this story is tragic, I agree.  But, I am choosing to think that this horse gave her life so that perhaps her buddy could have another year or two of better riding circumstances.  Or that maybe she gave her life so that her buddy could be an inspiration to others.  Or, maybe she gave her life for nothing…  Maybe she just died because of a stupid series of mishaps.

But, since we always have the choice of how we perceive our lives, I choose to believe that she gave her life so that a light could be shined on some issues and on her longtime, benevolent owner.

And, I choose to believe that the guy driving the car will get his sooner than later…  Anyone that rude and insensitive and foolish must piss off a lot of people — often.  So, that person will have a miserable existence.  Maybe that person will be doomed to live 100 years in his miserable life, never to know that kindness of “the best horse a guy has ever had….”

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Click for the Bucket Fund! The last donations for 2010!

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

Mine That Bird going to Hollywood!

Well, it’s official… they are making a movie out of the Mine That Bird “he came from nowhere!” 2009 Kentucky Derby story.

I think this can only help boost awareness of the horse in general and garner sympathies/accolades, perhaps, and new fans for this horse in particular.  And, even though some of you may not agree with some horse racing behind the scenes tactics (I’m one of them), I am totally behind a “come from behind” winner who is a gelding (ha!), was trained in an unusual way, by not mainstream horse racing folk, and was retired while still healthy.  A GREAT formula for a ‘feel good’ movie!

Movie poster

For any of you who are not familiar, Mine that Bird was famously hauled from New Mexico, by his trainer in a basic trailer and pickup, with no fanfare and a non-stop trip, to run in the Kentucky Derby.   He won the race by more than six lengths at 50-1.

For me, I never get tired of watching the race video.  OMG!  Talk about exhilarating!

The second best part is that the announcer is scrambling to figure out the name of the horse with the #8!  I love it!

Click to Watch the Derby!


The fun news is that they are planning on shooting as much as possible in New Mexico which is wonderful since I’m sure NM need the income and of course, that is where most of the meat of the story takes place.

Who is “they”?   Well, Jim Wilson, Academy Award-winning producer of “Dances With Wolves” and many other films, such as “The Bodyguard,” “Wyatt Earp,” and “Message In a Bottle,” is the film’s producer/director.

From where I sit, producer/director is a very tough job…  Any movie production creates volumes of information  for any producer or director to masticate but to have one person do both roles is really a lot to chew (pardon the horrible pun – not enough coffee this morning).

What I think is also interesting is that all of the movies mentioned above included Kevin Costner.  Interesting.  He is not mentioned in any article I’ve read so he is probably not involved with this one.  However, I wonder if he is anywhere behind the scenes… Just asking.

Another interesting point here is that they are making another HORSE movie.  ??  I guess the recent SeaBiscuit and Secretariat movies did well enough that this MINE THAT BIRD movie was green lighted.  Truly, no studio is going to back a bad formula on purpose.

This also makes me wonder if there is a Zenyatta movie on the drafting table?…

Anyway, they plan on using the real Mine That Bird in his movie as often as possible!  Wow!  Fun… he didn’t retire in vain!

Love this!


Mine That Bird was retired on November 29th of this year at Churchill Downs.  He was presented with the ceremonial blanket and cheered by thousands of fans.

Mine That Bird has spent the past three weeks making the transition from racehorse to retiree at his new home, Double Eagle Ranch in Roswell, N.M.

“We’re still hand walking him to let him down,” said Leonard Blach, who co-owns the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner with Mark Allen. “He’s really relaxing and really settled in.

“He’s had quite a few visitors.”

MTB peeks out of his stall the day after the Derby


Yup, it is true.  Mine That Bird was less than remarkable in his races after the 2009 Derby.  However, those in the know cut him some slack with these words:

To be fair to the horse, that eight-race losing streak is riddled with legitimate excuses. In the eight races since the Derby, Mine That Bird has had five jockey changes, a trainer change, traffic in the Preakness and a bad ride in the Belmont. Two starts came at Santa Anita over a synthetic surface he obviously did not like and his first start this year was a last-second entry into the Firecracker Handicap on turf. In the Woodward he again ran with a new jockey, and blinkers for the first time, and a failed attempt at a new, closer-to-the-pace running style.

And, let’s not forget, he is a gelding (running against stallions). The little horse from New Mexico won five of 18 career starts with more than $2 million in earnings.

I have to hand it to his owners… I like this quote regarding his retirement:

“He just doesn’t have that kick anymore, for whatever reason,” Blach told Daily Racing Form. “He’s sound and we’ve never had to so much as inject one joint. He’s done what he’s needed to do so, before he gets hurt, we just thought it was time to go on and bring him home. We don’t want to hurt him or disgrace him anymore.”

Mine That Bird in his Churchill Downs retirement blanket


From what I’ve read, there are many articles on the Internet that say MTB shouldn’t really retire.  He should just take a break and then start training again with his now famous trainer, Chip Woolley.  It seems to be many peoples’ opinion that MTB is very talented, just had a series of unfortunate mishaps.

They go on to say that maybe he shouldn’t race in the 1’s but perhaps settle into the circuit just below.

Hmmmm.  I guess we’ll see…  Maybe this movie will be just the ticket to bring him out of retirement.

Atta Boy!

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INSTANT KARMA DO-GOODING! Our December Bucket Fund

HELP AND GET A PAYBACK!!   Donation Gift Certificates are here (link)!  Yup, if you donate to help Tullie (the burned horse), Gump (the ugly horse), Dixie (the starved and sick horse) or the Wild Mustangs/Burros (the gathered horses), you can now get  “A Donation has been made in Your Honor” certificates to give as gifts!  You can give them to coworkers, family, friends or even in lost pets’ names… for this Holiday Season. Yay!  INSTANT KARMA!

Click to order your certificate!

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