Friday, April 23, 2010

Low Level Accountability

Buck joins the circus

by GD
There's been some talk on the blog about financial accountability if
you're an individual taking donations for a specific horse, rather
than a recognised non-profit.

Accountability is pretty easy to meet on the informal level. First you
need to show how much you received in donations and then you need to
show how those funds were spent.

Accountability in funds received is easy. Ask each donor how they wish
to be recognised on your list of donations that you plan to post
publicly. If they do not wish to be identified by name or initials,
you can identify them as "anonymous" with their check number or last
four numbers of their PayPal receipt (without a lot more information
to go with it, that information is not enough to compromise anyone's
privacy). By publishing the list of donors, it provides proof of funds
received, particularly if the list is published in a forum where
people can respond with "oh, you forgot mine!"

Accountability for funds spent is also easy. Publish a list of
expenses, including vendor, date and price. Most people will be
satisfied with that but if you want to go an extra step, scan receipts
and place them on a website or offer to email them on request. If you
don't have a scanner, you can fiddle with your cell phone camera and
get pictures of them (light from the side is often more effective than
light from directly above in illuminating what is written on the

Every donor should receive an immediate acknowledgement of their
donation via email and a follow up thank you with a copy of the
scanned receipts (will usually fit onto one or two pages).

None of this requires much in the way of time or resources! It's very
simple to do but provides enough information that the situation is
clear to everyone involved.


  1. "scan receipts
    and place them on a website or offer to email them on request".

    Yes, I know.

    Yes, I asked Fugs for receipts from a rescue she orchestrated on the blog, no she did not provide anything, other than..

    sigh, never mind.
    round and round it goes..

  2. You need to also add that if the situation changes with a particular horse for whom the donations are given, such as someone stepping up to the plate and giving the person a bunch of hay, the receiver of the donations should alert people that "the money for hay is no longer needed" and they should offer a refund to the donors. If something else needed comes up, it's not the right of the recipient of the money to just go ahead and spend the money on that instead, unless they have ASKED the donors if it's ok to buy such and such BEFORE they do it. Give the donors a chance to say, "no, I don't want my donation spent on that; I want my money back so I can give it to some other horse in need". The recipient should never ASSUME it's ok to spend the money as they please and it will be "ok" with the donors. Most of the time it will be ok with the donors but that's not for the recipient to decide. Let the donors decide how their money should be spent.

  3. Boy ain't that the truth, GL. No accounting EVER for Fugs no matter who asked. Wasn't jsut you, we all got ripped off. Oh well, she has anew set of victime, er, I mean readers, they will pitch her a few bucks.

  4. Good protocol to remember, and anyone who does not follow it should be held accountable.

  5. Sorry, kids, my mentally paused moon based migraine prevented me from TOTALLY gloating..

    I need to sleep.

    Great picture of Buck!

  6. Lucerne, Would it be Ok to spend the money supporting the horse in another way? Lets say you donated $50.00 for hay, but before I could buy the hay, a local donated 20 large bales. Could I then spend the money on hoof care or oats for the same horse? Or should it go to a horse savings account and if said horse gets adopted/dies I then send the money back to the most recent donor first or should I divide the money up between all the donors and every one get, oh say $1.00?
    I had never thought about how to refund the money given to one horse properly. Any one have any experience with this?

  7. Thanks BMH for the recent pix of the lovely percherons. When I'm out of this current money bind, (My kid just got accepted to BENNINGTON! YEA! The most expensive college in the USA. BOO! They gave her an academic scholarship for her tution! YEA! That leaves me to come up with money for room, board travel and books. And new clothes. Our "winters" here usually average around 60 as a high during mid-January. The kid will have to buy her first winter coat EVER!)

  8. I forgot the rest of my sentence. I'm buy a percheron.

  9. Too stressed out and too late (early?)
    I'm buying a Percheron when my Dear Daughter graduates.

  10. Your welcome Kaede. Most people don't get to see how beautiful draft horses are so I thought I'd put up some draft photos for a while. I'll do other breeds later.

    Congratulation on your daughters acceptance into Bennington. That's quite the accomplishment. You must be so proud of her.

  11. Accountability is great provided the person or persons accepting donations are honest.....Uh, we all know how that turns out at a certain place. (cough)(FUGS)(cough)!

  12. She is selling goods on her website and is not paying state sales tax. At least in Washington.

  13. My purpose in writing that primer on accountability was to point out how simply it can be done. There really isn't any excuse for not being transparent in accounting.

    And yes, I agree with Lucerne, that the conditions for spending the money should be clarified. If I were coordinating a rescue, I would never take donations earmarked for something as specific as "hay," they would all be accepted for "care for specific horse as deemed necessary by Person X." Too much hassle and too little flexibility for me if donations are more tightly specified than that. Other people may well be willing to work with tighter specifications.

    Also, if the amount of money raised is in excess of the amount needed, the plan for using the excess should be specified in advance. Some people are willing to refund donations on various plans of distribution (reimbursing donors in chronological order, reimbursing all donors equally, etc). I think it is just as valid to specify an overall cause that the excess will be donated to or even to donate to an eventual adoptor. The important thing is to specify the fate of any excess in advance, so that all donors agree before donating.

    As for the sales tax question, since she lives in California and I doubt she has a retail facility in Washington, she's on the sunny side of the law as I understand it. However, I am not a lawyer!

  14. Kaede, I had addressed this issue saying, "If something else needed comes up, it's not the right of the recipient of the money to just go ahead and spend the money on that instead, unless they have ASKED the donors if it's ok to buy such and such BEFORE they do it."

    Most donors would agree to let you spend the money on something else for the horse but it's only proper to inform them all that you were already given a bunch of hay and would it be alright if you spent their money on (whatever). As long as you do that, morally you are covered and most likely you will get the thumbs up to spend it however you feel is necessary for the horse.

    If the horse is adopted out or dies and you still have a lot of money left over, you can inform your donors that you have X amount left and let them decide if they want you to keep that money for the next rescue you take in or if they are working on helping another horse somewhere that could use the leftover dollars. As long as you keep your donors informed and ASK what they want done with the money, you would be doing the "right" thing with the money and everyone is a happy camper.

  15. Yes, GD, I agree with what you said; "If I were coordinating a rescue, I would never take donations earmarked for something as specific as "hay," they would all be accepted for "care for specific horse as deemed necessary by Person X." Too much hassle and too little flexibility for me if donations are more tightly specified than that."

    If the donors know and agree that their money would be spent on whatever is needed for a specific horse, there would be no problem purchasing items (whatever they are) for that horse. It's the easiest way to handle the money donated for a particular horse's needs.

    I would be angry if my donated dollars, earmarked for hay, were spent on a new saddle or tack to be used on that horse (used in the training process of that horse) if the recipient didn't first ask me if it was ok to spend it that way.

    Most donors are willing to give their money to urgent needs or needs that involve the health and safety of the horse; not some pretty saddle that the recipient deems is needed.

    Many donors prefer to send their donations directly to the hay supplier or a vet to pay for the horse's medical needs, etc. This way there's no question that the money is being used for its intended purpose.

    It all boils down to how the individual rescuer operates and how their donors feel about how the money is spent. Each case is unique.

    The most important thing is that all donations are accounted for and there's a list of all items/services on which the donated money was spent.

    That's not hard to do. Didn't someone say that the rescue group SAFE in WA has a thread on their message board that shows all monies taken in and what it was spent on? That's the best way that I know of to keep everyone informed. It makes for good business and new donors can see where the money went, thereby prompting them to want to donate to SAFE in the future.

    As an example, I just don't want to see someone get a chunk of donation money for one thing and end up deciding to go to auction and bring home MORE horses with that money instead, especially if the money was donated for the purpose of purchasing hay to feed the horses they already have in their possession. Buying more horses with that money defeats the purpose and causes more problems all the way around. In this case, the money would clearly have been misappropriated.

  16. Oh Fubby....(And this, again, boys and girls, is why we have to PAY for retirement board. Like it or not, it is the ONLY way of ensuring YOUR valuable horse who put a ton of trophies in YOUR tack room is SAFE.)

    So why are you trying to re home Herc Soot and a few others? You saved em now your either crying for $$ or trying to pawn them off!

    I think the IRS really needs to look at her books How many horses does Fubby have? All at full care too. Hmmmmm

    Kaede we shall start a fundraiser :)

  17. I agree with the need for accounting for the $. But my question is can the rescues keep up with every donation at such a micro level. So if 100 donors donates $5 for vet care, and the horse is adopted, can the rescue realistically contact each and every donor? And then to track the yes and no answers I imagine would take time away from the horses they are trying to help.

    Maybe a policy by the rescue stating that the dollars you donate for horse x will be used for horse x but if there is leftover $, then it will go to "uncovered" horses or other needs within the rescue. That followed up with a monthly posting of accounting would satisfy me.

    Just a thought - What do you think?

  18. Each rescue should have a written policy regarding donations and refunds, and I believe that is a requirement of 501K corporations.

    If an organization or individual states that funds will be used for a specific horse they darn well better be used that way, or the organization immediately loses all credibility.

    Look at how much trouble the Red Cross got into for accepting money to aid specific causes and then not using the money for the stated purpose! The same rules apply to any non-profit organization, no matter the size of the organization. I don't remember ever hearing of any donated funds being returned once a non-profit has accepted the funds.

    I don't believe Fubb has her non-profit status incorporated, so we just have to take her word for where the money really has gone. 0-0

    I have to snicker at the 'wish list' most rescue organizations post. "I want new fencing, barns, a paved driveway, and a new mansion for myself...all to help the HORSES, yaknow!" Better yet, "I want a huge farm so I can help horses, yaknow..."

  19. Yes, whatever system a rescuer chooses to use that is agreeable to the donors is fine. That's the key factor...the donors are agreeable.

    As far as keeping track of $5 donations for "Magic" the horse is concerned, that's easy to do on a spreadsheet. All donors could be contacted enmasse via a posting on a message board the rescue has set up informing the donors of any particular situation and they could all be asked what they want done with the money. Then they could individually contact the rescuer privately telling him/her what they want done with their donation and the rescuer should follow through with their request.

    Would a rescuer and their donors WANT to handle the money this way? That's up to each rescuer/supporting donors.

    Bottom line is, whatever works best for the rescuer/horses/donors involved is what should be implemented.

    Above all, accounting of every penny of donation money is a must if a rescuer expects to keep their existing donors and garner new ones.

  20. She was in Washington doing business on the internet. California has state sales tax as well. She never registered in Washington as far as anyone can find.

  21. Those, like Fugs, who collect donations are in no way obligated to account for the money collected and how it was spent to their donors if they are not a 501(c)3. Should they do it? Absolutely. Do they HAVE to? No. Should the IRS know how much these people are taking in? YES. It's considered to be income and thus, reportable to the IRS. If they only collect a few dollars, no it does not have to be reported. I would imagine the IRS has a set amount that the rescuer has to report as income if donations reach or surpass that amount. Do non 501(c)3 rescue people report their donations as income? I don't believe many do. Most just take the money and run with it. It isn't until a disgruntled donor or someone else decides to contact the IRS that anything might be done about it. It just depends on the dollar amount whether the IRS wants to get involved or not. Same goes for State taxes, if applicable.

  22. Whoopsie, meant to say 501 (c) 3 not 501 K!

  23. In CA a business does not have to collect (or remit) sales tax for services sold over the internet. If there is anything physical delivered (say books or a disc with software on it) then there is sales tax due and should be collected. If the business does not have a physical presence in the state of the purchaser, but is delivering something tangible to the buyer, then it is the buyer's responsibility to pay use tax to their home state.

    I haven't noticed what she's selling, so it's possible she isn't required to collect sales tax.

  24. Padraigin said...
    Does anyone recall what rescue was Champ taken in by? Was it Pony Up or another group? Was it not a 501c?
    How often do rescues get audited if they are a 501c?

  25. I think I saw T shirts and coffee mugs...didn't pay much attention though.

  26. Horse Rescue is just an emotional state, anyway.

    OSPCA was by today. Monitoring the situation. I'm very glad he was by, I feel better.
    Less alone.
    No, of course the horse's condition isn't actionable. But he's leaving (again) our standards of care for horses. And he's been made aware of the other horse.
    She still has two more, somewhere....

    I will think of canines
    I will think of canines
    I will think of canines
    and happy times.

  27. I think I saw T shirts and coffee mugs...didn't pay much attention though.

    That's being done through Cafepress, and they handle all the sales tax and business overhead stuff. You just create the design and tell them how much you want to charge for the product.

    You are required to pay income tax on the money you make from a Cafepress store. If you make more than $600 from the store, they send you (and the IRS) a 1099 reporting the income.

    You don't have to handle the sales tax, though. It's one reason so many websites have stores, Cafepress handles all the overhead, production and business stuff.

  28. GL, good news that at least he's being monitored.

  29. PA, I do remember that the rescue was working on getting their non-profit status...

  30. Padraigin_WA-If I remember correctly, the reason fugs said she wasn't responsible for accounting for any of the money donated to Champ is because he was 'saved' by a private citizen. Fugs begged the donations for him. But when people wanted to know what happened to the money, she said it wasn't her repsonsibility to account for it because she isn't the one who 'rescued' him.

  31. GL,
    Amazing job that he's monitored. Give yourself a good pat on the back for a job well done. It's extremely difficult to get a horse taken away. If anything goes wrong can you contact the monitor? Now, if they can only get her to exercise the horse.

  32. Hey, Suzanne. Are you there?

  33. (smacks Paddy with BHM's twelfth tentacle)

    YHI took Champ in, remember?

    The screen-play is in pre-production. I think the blonde floozy part is taken, though.

    It's amazing how my dogs can always make me laugh harder than I thought I could.

    (looks around for Suzanne.)

    Who is Suzanne?? Is the transitorymeeebler broken?

  34. GL, whoa, was it YHI? Fugly has dabbled in so many rescues, I wasn't sure which one it was.
    ow. Tentacle smacks hurt!
    off to sigh at CANTER horses now...

  35. sorry, YHI, I didn't mean to imply you are a rescue. You were nice to take care of that boy right after he was taken from Enumclaw.

  36. That wasn't my tentacle. It was my bioluminescent lure that I use to hunt my prey. I'm thinking of using my tax money to buy a Kraken upgrade. I'm determined to rule the seas. I think I have a transmission fail.

  37. Different states have different sales tax laws. In my state, so long as sales in state remain below $600/year, there is no need to collect or file sales tax. The explanation I got was that below that level, the money collected does not offset the collecting/accounting expenses. Plus, there's a whole bunch of stuff that is exempt from sales tax.

  38. GL what was the horses name you helped Fubby with? Champ?

  39. Champagne 'Til Dawn, hacktually.

    He's no longer among the living.

    is word verf.

    I don't get the US tax system.
    We pay taxes when we wake up in the morning.
    Once the HST comes in...

  40. Does a Kraken upgrade include Johnny Depp, BHM?

  41. I only wish! If I find a JD upgrade I'll email you.

  42. BHM, I was wondering where Buck was sneaking off to. Now I know, he has joined the circus, LOL!

    Silly Pony, he probably did that because he heard that he might be learning to drive!


    That was her and Chelsea aka winterlakesfarm IE: KCAC who saved him and once again Jamie asked her why the hell she was spending all that money on a horse in pain

  44. CCC,
    What types of driving are you going to do? I've heard that running the courses is a hoot.

  45. My geekyness is showing The Kraken (other than the mythical monster) is the Oakridge supercomputer. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Computational physicists like to use it. I don't think Johnny Depp is a computational physicist. He have to take a MAJOR pay cut. Maybe get use to shopping at LL Bean.

  46. Well, isn't that interesting

    What I found truly odd, was that no-one, NO-one, piped up in the comments, or sent me anything, when I asked. They knew I was asking. Why wouldn't they answer?
    My e-mail was in my profile.
    I would have shut up with ONE scan. One.
    One e-mail from someone other than Fugs.
    So Chelsea is PonyUp, is winterlakes..

    Can't we all just SAY who we are??
    Oh, right, no, it's the net.

    Johnny Depp has no NEED of computational physics. He is mythical;)

  47. GL all the comments are gone from the thread too. I dont think any rescue was involved in this just Fubb and Chelsea who are not involved w/ Ponyup and after they found out he was a stud they took him to someone else. All the money spent on that horse could have saved many 3-5 yr old OTTB's

  48. Wow. That's the first pictures I've seen of Champ, other than the few on fubb blog. It's obvious, just looking at him, that he's terminal. Fused ankle, failed corrective shoeing, did they need any more clues?! In those pics Champ is showing every sign of dying from pain at any moment.

    I mean, really nice that they tried to save him, but if I remember correctly he was boarded at full price and they kept him tottering along for over a month. How is that not abusive?
    It would have been a dandy coup if they'd have been able to restore him to health, but sometimes that is just not possible. Reality intrudes on dreamworld again...

  49. Dang, I could have owned Johhny Depp! Woohoo dreamworld!

  50. Poor guy, he looks like he's in so much pain. They should have just euth'd him as there's no sense in buying crippled horses.

  51. New head shot of Herc on FB You cant disguise how skinny he is even his face and neck are skinny Maybe he is in pain? Another epic fail Fubb

  52. oh bhm, and here I thought The Kraken was a mighty pirate ship,
    with Johnny Depp as captain and bioluminescence as the light source.
    Clear glass bowls hanging from the masts, with captured squids flashing, illuminating the galley.

    anon, for a reason.

  53. Anon, that sounds right pretty. I'd light my house that way. Certainly my kitchen. Hide what I buy from takeout, I mean cook, that's it cook. I put it in a bowl and heat it up don't I. That's cooking isn't it? At least during finals?

  54. Anon,
    Naw, GL zapped me with her super sekret ray gun and transformed me into cephalopod. I've made some upgrades by adding a bioluminescent trolling lure from an angler fish. You know, nothing that makes any sense what so ever!

  55. Posting anonymously because I’m not sure the folks who are letting me ride their horses would appreciate the publicity, even though they’re doing a good thing.

    I’m in my late 40’s and more than a little bit overweight. I rode a bit in my teens – friends’ cowhorses, always bareback and using a hackamore, frequently cross country. As an adult, I was lucky to get a chance to ride a rental nag for an hour. A few years ago, I started making an effort to be around horses. I took lessons to brush up a bit, went on riding vacations, found a local outfitter who offers good rides, and finally ½ leased a “trail” horse. So, I’m not a beginner, I’m not an experienced rider and I’m not a re-rider.

    The supposed trail horse was a disaster. When after almost a year of work and frequent trail rides (all with spooks), he spooked out from under me and left me badly bruised (it took me six weeks to recover enough to post a trot), I ended the lease.

    Friends of mine wanted to see me on a horse, and they wanted me to have a chance to develop my riding skills without fear. So, they hooked me up with some folks who like to have friends help them keep their horses worked. I passed whatever inspection they did, and now have permission to take out either of two of their horses almost anytime I want (they have first call on them, of course). Not just little rides around an arena. Out on local trails, by myself, for as long as I want.

    Can anyone here imagine Fugly reaching out to an older, fat, not-so-good rider to help her like that?

  56. BHM are/were you a bio major? Sitting your thesis review on bioluminescence right about now? some day I'd like to see the bio bay off Puerto Rico.

  57. No,bio major. I'm arts and archaeology.

    I wish you were closer as I need someone to exercise my horse.

  58. Well, jeeez, Trooper could fit right into my shed, BHM!

    No fencing, no nothing, he'd love it!
    I wish he was closer, too:(

    Anon, you are really fortunate! That's great. That's how I used to get my rides, too. I don't actively look any more, though.
    Time/Money, all that. Two dogs that insist on the time that could be spent on an equine.
    My dogs rule:)

    Plus, it kinda hurt my pride the last time I part-boarded. The ill-fitting tack I fixed, the re-schooling of her horse. The idiotic comments from other riders. "OH, do you SHOW?"

    No, I ride.

    Okay, I rode.
    Past tense.

  59. I remember plankton lighting up Porteau Cove, north of Vancouver. It was so beautiful. We sat on the dock, and for a long time watched the glow.
    has anyone been watching Life on Discovery ch?
    or seen Oceans on the big screen?
    The beauty of this spinning green planet!

    bwaaa-- word verf : undies!!

  60. I'm Anon 11:59:

    BHM - thanks, I'm flattered.
    GL - I wasn't actively looking. But when I reached out for advice about the horse that dumped me, someone reached out to me with a horse.

  61. Cooool, Anon11:59. I'm so glad you found a good situation. Not enough like ya. Horse is lucky!

    I'm against water, on general principles. Like I'd drown.
    Unless BHM was there...
    Or Johnny!

  62. Anon 11:59, good for you! What a wonderful turn of events! I wish you many good times with many good rides!

    BHM, not sure on the driving yet. I am pretty sure Buck does not know how, but there is a guy that is part of the Hunt who knows how to train, so we will have to go from there. Buck is seventeen, do you think it can be done?

  63. Fugly would never do anything nice unless she got something out of it.
    Im glad you found a wonderful bunch of horse people to connect with. :)

  64. Padraigin I was asked what a fantasy vacation would be for me and I want to see the Grand Canyon. Really spend some time there. I want to see a desert and I want to see a live salmon in a river. Seeing plankton lighting up the ocean would be cool anywhere.

  65. I'm Suzanne and I'm FINALLY here. BHM and I have been making waves on the CD list posting about how draft horses make perfectly good riding horses. I ride a Shire mare, a small Shire mare (really - just barely 16hh).

  66. Kaede, come visit western Washington in the fall and I'll take you to see salmon spawning. It's quite an event. I never get over how they struggle to swim against the current to get to the spot where they themselves were hatched, a journey of many miles. By the time they get 'home' they are dying, and then their bodies provide food for the next generation. The males are aggressive and fight each other, and to watch them all jump up a fish ladder is really something.

    Wouldn't it be fun to ride mules down into the bottom of the Grand Canyon, or hike it?

    hi, Suzanne, and welcome! Lucky you and bhm, to ride Shires.
    I was just scritching a half Percheron, half Oldenburg mare up the road from us. She is really gentle. Black with a star, and she has the sweetest eyes.
    anon- how nice that you can take that family's horses out on trails. Sounds like a good situation. Enjoy these spring days.

  67. In 2008, I spent a week travelling through Wyoming wilderness via horseback (seven "customers", a wrangler, trail boss and cook). My horse was a Percheron/Haflinger mare named "Cookies". She was awesome! Comfy and always careful with her footing. I loved her to pieces.

  68. check out cedar hill's FB page, there's Fubbs helmetless on her super horse.

  69. Suzanne,
    I'm glad you can make it. I can put a picture up of your horse if you'd like. What was with censoring everyone except a few members on the CD list?

    We are on a classical dressage list bothering the Andalusian and Lipizzan owners. If you compare the body of a Shire to an Andy or Lip they are proportionally the same. The difference is that the Shire has a bit wider hip and denser legs. I put up pictures and drew boxes over them to prove my point. It very hard if you only see the head and neck of a Shire or a Perch to tell if they are an Andalusian or a Lipizzan. Most people rely on the length of mane to tell the difference.

    I found it strange that TR was less inclined to accept the high step as a classical gait. One of the pictures that he put of a riding master is clearly showing a high step.

  70. Paddy,
    I must get out west at some point. It sounds so gorgeous. Lucky you.

  71. "check out cedar hill's FB page, there's Fubbs helmetless on her super horse."

    I'm so curious as to how they got his tail to 'lay down'? In older pictures the horse had a very high tailset and carried it up and out. Now it lays nice and tight against his buttocks?

    That doesn't usually magically change...does it?

  72. "check out cedar hill's FB page, there's Fubbs helmetless on her super horse."

    And what are the shoes she is wearing?
    She has a fake tail for BYC and probably weights it down

  73. I can't help but notice that helmets are almost entirely absent from photos on the Cedar Hill page. I've got no problem with adults choosing not to wear helmets when they're out riding on their "own time", but I can't help but wonder about a training center that is so casual about helmet use on their property and during their events. It makes me want to know what other safety shortcuts they're taking. I see it as a huge liability gap, and a poor example to beginning riders.

  74. Ive visited a few in my area in my search for a trainer and all have it posted that you must wear proper riding apparel so I guess Cedar Hill is a Yokel Barn

  75. Heck, the decades old, well-worn and overall very informal barn I was at for most of the last year required helmets in the arena and everyone there wore a helmet even when riding off the property (and not bound by the barn's helmet rule). Hardly anyone there shows, lessons are available but not typical, no organized events.

  76. " Cedar Hill Training Center We are looking for a seasoned Pinto to lease/possibly buy for a client who is new to showing and wants to show on the Pinto Circuit. Anyone?"

    Really, miss 'I have ridden champions?' You talk big on your website, but cannot find a seasoned show horse? This place sounds like a place that has a pretty face, but no real connections.

    (too lazy to sign in)

  77. Our trainer requires even the western riders to wear helmets. That should be a big warning flag for anyone looking for a barn to ride at. Falls can happen at anytime, whether you are on a dead broke horse in an arena or on a greenie out in the pasture. The worst fall I had was on my 19 year old in an arena. He slipped and we both went down together. Please, wear a helmet if you have anyone that loves you! You may not care but your loved ones do, and set a good example for the young ones around you. ~sc

  78. I worry a lot more about proper headgear than I do about wearing flip flops in the pasture...

  79. Helmets are required at the barn where I ride, too.

    Our friends can blast off in an instant- sideways, forward, or up. Even the most well-trained, so called bomb-proof ones.
    They may be domesticated, but their instinct of being prey has never been bred out of them.

  80. I confess to not wearing a helmet for many years, even when jumping and I had a small daughter at the time. Then one day, I came off just riding on the flat, I landed hard and my head hit hard even in a nice soft sand ring, when I glanced over, there was a ground pole only inches away. Scared the holy begeebus outta me, been wearing a helmet ever since.

  81. The Pony Club vidio 'Every Ride, Every Time' will scare the bejeebers out of you! A good look at riding injuries and fatalities that could have been prevented. I wear mine as a statement. If I'm cool enough to wear one my students will be more apt to automatically helmet up.

  82. No helmets. This is a beginner barn. People go there to have fun. The serious trainers are not on fb. I wish someone would teach Cathy how to pull mane.

  83. I was bucked off my super-sweetie, former lesson, never-takes-a-wrong step horse on Saturday. We were on a trail ride, and best we can tell, the horses in front of us kicked up a ground bee nest. My horse got stung (there was a welt by his girth line), and he bucked. I was a little tired, a little unbalanced in the saddle, very relaxed, and leaning forward because we were going up a hill, and I fell off.

    It wasn't his fault. It wasn't really my fault. It just happened, and it happened in the blink of an eye. I landed on my shoulder and hip, not my head, but I remember thinking "oh thank god I have my helmet on." My horse stood over me with this stricken expression on his face that seemed to say "oh Mom! What have I done?" I got back on, and he was perfect the rest of the way home although as soon as the adrenaline wore off, I wanted to die.

    I always, always, always wear a helmet even when other people give me a hard time, and now I have a story to back up my conviction that it's really important to do so. Interestingly, the first thing the emergency room asked me (I had to get x-rays on my clavicle) was "were you wearing a helmet." I said "always." And the nurse said, "your insurance company will be glad to hear that."

    If nothing else, wearing a helmet gives you extra ammo against the insurance company that might try to deny your horse-related injury on the basis that you weren't taking adequate caution when engaging in a dangerous sport.

    BTW, falling off your horse hurts. It hadn't happened to me since I was 14 years old, and I'm nearly 40 now. Wow. I don't remember it hurting this bad back then...

  84. A friend of mine from the draft riders group was walking her horse when the horse stumbled. It was enough to unseat her and she fell. The fall caused her helmet to crack in half and it would have been her skull if she wasn't wearing a helmet.

  85. A friend of mine from the draft riders group was walking her horse when the horse stumbled

    You're high in the air on a draftie...I can't imagine riding Spook or the new guy without a helmet!


    word verf: nutcat


  86. and then there is Courtney King-Dye. She was riding a horse in an arena and in the middle of a leg yield he tripped over his own feet and fell on top of her. Her skull was fractured and she was in a coma for several weeks. She's now coming out of it, and is speaking again, but is going to go through extensive rehab.
    bones can heal, but brains don't always do so.

  87. Hey, has anyone ever heard of a rescue being able to check someone's references (i.e. call them) and approve an application in 10 minutes? Is that possible?

  88. No an application takes at least an hour if all references are available.
    Who did this?

  89. That same trip where I had the lovely Draft cross to ride we had one wasp nest incident. Only one person was unhorsed, but he said one of his thoughts as he came out of the saddle was wishing he'd followed my example (I was right in front of him) and wore a helmet instead of a cowboy hat. Fortunately, he didn't hit his head, and he landed in a nice, soft tree.

    I have a lovely scuffed up helmet at home from when my idiot Tennessee Walker first spooked really big, then jumped down and out from under me. I landed on pavement (paved trail). Without the helmet, I don't know that I would have cracked my skull, but I sure as hell would have had a nasty concussion.

  90. "nutcat" LOL. I have five nutcats, usually this time of day they are swinging from a chandelier. My other name for them is purrmonkeys.

  91. Regarding the 10 minute rescue confirmation, I don't know the name of the rescue in question.

    Here's why I'm asking: I'm trying to place a horse in a free home, and I spent days emailing back and forth with someone who is interested. I asked for references, and she provided them. The first one I called (the vet) had no record of her as a client. The second one I called (the farrier) was positive but had a kind of lukewarm reaction to some of my questions.

    So I emailed her and said "vet office has no record of you...what name is your account under." She emailed back and said "stop calling references, I've found a horse from a rescue, and they approved my application 10 minutes after I sent it in."

    I wanted to make sure that my initial reaction to this (SCAM) was not off-base. I can't imagine that any rescue, no matter how organized could approve an application in 10 minutes. Heck, it took me longer than 10 minutes to call just two references! I now wonder if she never expected me to actually call her references, which would be weird but possible I guess.

  92. Anon, sounds like your horse lucked out. If she does indeed have a 'rescue' horse, sounds like it's a horse that they wanted to dump bad. Farrier 'lukewarm' sounds like a bad job reference to me.

  93. BHM I have five cats too. I didn't mean to have five. I meant to have 3. The other 2 adopted me.

  94. FHotD now has a show horse. When does a horse you show become a show horse? While I ride in shows I don't feel like I should say I'm a show rider. I don't compete that often, and I don't win every time I compete. The horse I most often ride doesn't compete that often either, and only in academy division.(I guess that would be training shows for riders)Does that make him a show horse?

  95. My kid always has a few show horses hanging around that she uses for jumping. She is a professional horse person and makes 6 figures. She saw Fugs horse and kinda chuckled. She also has QH's and thinks the WP people are weird. Hates those low hanging heads.

  96. Fubby gem....Re turnout: Look, SoCal sucks for turnout. There’s a reason I live here but my horses don’t. 50 x 50 is a round pen. It is better than standing in their normal pipe corral 24/7 but it’s not ideal. The best thing you can do with your SoCal horse to avoid problems is a lot of walking – get out there and trail ride!

    So your whole blog post would be a crock of sheet Fubby since you dont take care of your horses! Nor can you trail ride.
    Im trying to count how many she has. Anyone?

  97. How is it that she lives in SoCal but shows up at ride nights in Yelm, WA? She just flies in for ride nights and lame Puyallup schooling shows?

  98. My prejudices are showing here, but why would you want a horse that you can't see or ride but a few times a year? Unless it is an investment horse. I thought FHotD was opposed to investment horses. That would be making them a commodity. Which is against PETA/HSUS ideals.

  99. More of do as I say not as I do....
    She lives two states away from her horses yet expects everyone who has a horse to brush it daily... How does SHE accomplish that? The best of full care facilities do not brush your horse and do a complete health check daily...
    She gripes about SoCal turnout yet her stallion is turned out in a little 75x75 dry lot. How much different is that than a 50x50 turn out in SoCal? Not much. Bottom line is she just would prefer to live in LA and be a hip jet setter, than actually take care of a horse. It is always her mode to palm them off on someone else. Be they rescues or her own horses. It is just too much of a commitment to care for them herself. Much easier to write a check.
    She is the grown up version of the my little pony set. She loves the fantasy of owning a horse but just does not want to do the work of owning one.
    Anyone beginning to see a commitment problem with Fubbly? Can't hold a job for more than a year or two tops, can't commit to one partner, can't commit to physically caring for a horse.... I think her only real commitment is to her lattes....

  100. These are Western state too. Not like living two states away when you live in Rhode Island and your horse is in Nashua, New Hampshire.

  101. It's a long way from Los Angeles to Seattle.

    Wonder if she can smell a thrushy hoof from down there?

    Interesting comments, Kaede. An investment horse.
    I'm with ya, I also it is weird that she has her horse(s) in other states. There are plenty of good trainers in SoCal.

    I would miss my horse so much. If I had one, that is.
    A visit once or twice a month just wouldn't do it for me.

  102. oops, make that "I also think it is weird...".

  103. Dear Fubbass its a Myler Two Ring Combination Bit an excellent bit and if your such an expert you should know this.

  104. What I thought was odd was her suggestion to post faster if the horse starts speeding around. I was taught to slow down my posting, not so much that I not posting correctly, but enough so the horse tries to get into MY rhythm.
    Also I wouldn't want to go on a hunt with no bridle. Or on the X country phase of a 3 day event. Granted, It's been a while. But I did Pony club up to A level. TAking a horse on a level 3 dressage test or over 4'3" course of fences is a bit different then running straight out of a shoot for 5 seconds. I used my bridle for fine communication. God knows what FHotD uses hers for. I guess we had better ask her men friends.

  105. "Try not riding off your hands". All great riders use their hands. What the hell is she talking about today. God forbid anyone takes her seriously. There are little bitty girls that control big powerful horses. Think Julie Krone and think hands.

  106. About the bit blog. I was wondering were the idea for circling as a panacea for a run away came from. You can do that in the hunt field, unless you are going to circle WAY big and try to go behind the field. Neither can you turn them into a fence. I do believe they would jump it. Also do these people ride with more than one person at a time in the ring? Some of their techniques (let him run himself out) sound dangerous in a populated ring. I've never ridden on trails (hunt fields and X country yes. But not out on trails) would a run away horse be a danger to everyone?

  107. You can't do that in a hunt field. Can't type right now.

  108. would a run away horse be a danger to everyone?


    Mind you, for a lot of people "trails" means puttering around their own properties, in which case there is a lot less risk since you know the terrain well and no one is likely to surprise you. My last TB loved him a good gallop, and I'd let him gallop all the way out for short distances on a trail that I knew well and could confirm no one else was on. We also used to let the horses run across the last section of land on the way home in a group...let them race. It was fun! Not the same as a "runaway" though. NEVER in a populated ring. Hand galloping is usually the most speed you're allowed.

    I don't think you'd want to turn your JUMPER into a fence, (nor your hunt horse, nor your show hunter) since the idea is that you want them to honestly JUMP it later. Arena wall, yes. Now, in an outdoor arena, where the wall is actually a rail...I think most of MY horses wouldn't have dreamed of jumping it. It was a BARRICADE. Kind of like how they don't amuse themselves jumping out of the paddocks. I think in that situation, the "fence" (rail) would work as a wall.


  109. This is why, when I taught, beginners didn’t get bits (we just did reins on the halter, this is back in the days before our friend Dr. Cook), and nobody jumped ’til they could w-t-c without stirrups. Really saves on lesson horse sanity/mouths.

    Fubby when teaching you should first know how to ride Your an idiot!

    As far as hand riding if she has ever rode an OTTB she would know this.

  110. My Hunters did occasionally jump over their field fences just to eat grass on the other side. It was a real pain. We had part of a X country course in their field and I saw them on more than one occasion jump the fences just for fun. I've also seen hunters and jumpers hop over the arena fence with a rider. One reason that I decided I wanted to ride saddle seat now that I'm fifty. Those horses are never taught to jump any thing.

    Just saying Fubb. Again back in the day we started preparing to jump nearly from day one. Once we leaned to trot in jumping position, we went over cavaletti. Just poles on the ground, maybe a low (6") x rail at the end. But that is the beginning. I guess this is why jumping was never a big thing to us, cause most of us did it so long. Cavaletti is jumping. That is how you learn to shorten and lengthen stride, and be a helpful rider and not just a passenger.
    Does FHotD thing you start teaching jumping by setting a beginner at a 2' stand alone fence? Preposterous! Or perhaps stupid.

  111. Huh. An OTTB runaway?! Who would have guessed. I hate riding anywhere near another rider on an out of control horse. A bunch of newbies roaring around in halters?! Yay. The rope halter will stop them, but it is also a severe tool, as are several of the bitless bridle arrangements. There is absolutely NO tool that is both benign and effective. Find a trainer.

    I did look at the bit she was reviling, and it looks like a Mylar combination. A very effective retraining device, when used correctly. Now sold by the Parelli's as a 'cradle' bit.

  112. Mu skin is on too tight today. But who the heck are these trainers allowing stable help, young teen girls, etc, to get on and train a owners horse? Isn't that one of the things that FHotD ranted about when looking for a trainer? Make sure the trainer does the training?
    How about all these riding instructors who allowed beginners to be rough with the horses? And magically the kids hit their teens and they are now good riders? Jane Marshal Dillon (my instructor from back in the 60's) would NEVER let any of us be rough on a horse. Beginners are beginners but there is no reason that they have to be rough on a horse.
    What is FHotD talking about when she talks about tom thumb pinching horses because of it's moving parts? In my experience, a tom thumb is just a pelham with really short shanks. If properly fitted it shouldn't pinch. But don't blame the bit for being poorly fitted.

  113. Oh god...she is using the video of Texaco as an example?

    Is the horse hellaciously broke? Oh yea. He's also 15 years old and has been a top caliber calf horse for over 1/2 his life.

    He's not the only one that has done that 'brideless' calf-roping routine either. Brent Lewis did it at the Dodge National Finals a few years ago too.

    Brent actually got the win. Trevor was disqualified because this was an AQHA event and the rules state that the horse must have a bridle. I don't think Trevor would have thrown that check away if he had known he was going to get DQed. It was just a dare from one of the other guys joking that for the competition to be fair Trevor should have to ride Texaco without a bridle.

    So, fubbs trying to show what a 'broke' horse can do and then saying that everyone else should be able to do the same thing with their horses is **as always** ridiculous and overstated.

  114. BEC, would that be like saying that 'every' horse should be just like Stacy Westfall's horse? Um, no. That particular horse has been properly trained since birth, and is out of a bloodline that is renowned for their workable temperament. Not exactly an OTTB or a rescue horse, or an abused horse, or a horse who has no discipline.

    Once a problem has been created it can be hard to fix, and extremely dangerous, and not a job for beginners. A spoiled horse is one of the most dangerous, and a runaway has learned to intimidate it's rider.

    I would be righteously pissed to find out other people were riding my horse at a barn, and I would be extremely angry with a trainer that did not put forth all effort to match me and my horse. A good trainer will never humiliate the owner by having someone else (and the whole barn) prove that they can do a better job. How demoralizing!

    I do agree that there are some nasty bits sold today, and if you explore the mechanics of leverage most horses are less apt to have sore mouths in a short shanked solid, low port curb when ridden by beginners. Loose rein, no contact until the rider has enough muscle memory built up to keep their balance. Snaffles are NOT a kind bit. Put one in the crook of your elbow and pull...respect the tool. Snaffles used correctly are kind, but it's all in the hand using the tool. I've seen how top trainers use correction bits, and they have the hands to use the tool correctly. No muss, no fuss, no undue pain caused, just fix the problem and go on.

  115. Maybe my hair is on too tight too... But did anyone else read _Afraid to Ride_ by C.W. Anderson as a kid? About a girl who has a horrific riding accident and a mare who has been abused? There is rich girl sniping and poor (middle class) over coming and finding your dream horse and retraining it just by walking on a loose lead line through the forest. High point of the story girl (who hasn't ridden for over a year) gets on abused horse (who hasn't be ridden for over a year) and rides a big X country course in a halter to save the rich girl who fell off her horse. Sounds like FHotD stories. I wonder if she knows that story was FICTION and dream fulfillment.

  116. Don't we all wish it was that easy! But back in the real world...

  117. does anyone recall seeing a photo of Fugs riding a horse in a long-shanked bit w/o a curb chain- so that the port placed pressure in the anterior of the horse's top palate?

  118. I absolutely loved CW Anderson's illustrations when I was a kid, and still do. I don't remember that title, Kaede. I'll go look it up in our children's library. What a timely subject, Afraid to Ride.
    I rode yesterday and the horse tried to buck me off. Now, I'm a bit spooked.

  119. I was just looking at Ceder Hills training center FB and website. They remind me of that old joke about car repair places: They specialize in cars. All makes all models.

    She specializes in horses all breeds all disciplines.

    This also just rubs me the wrong way

    "At a very early age, Crystal’s Mom and Dad (Margie and Russell) saw that Crystal had an unusual gift working with horses. Instead of investing in college tuition, they spent all of their money, time and resources investing in the best riding programs for Crystal to be a part of. From the age of 6, Crystal was continuously immersed in the horse show world. As a result, she grew up riding and working for some of the best names in the business. Some of the names and places that Crystal rode and worked for are:

    Lynne Dye-Husted (Boulder Knoll Stables), Jack Stecker (AQHA World Champion), Lisa Wysocki (ApHA World Champion), Dave McKay (AHA National Champion), Judy Hook (AHA National Champion), Kathy Johnson, Eddy Wiggens and Shannon Armstrong (Feature Farms - AHA National Champion). "

    I don't know Crystal from John Adam. She maybe as wondrous as she says. But would it have hurt to get some formal training? A couple of courses in horse management? Or emergency first aid? How about what I recommend all my students take the Standard Red Cross First Aid class with CPR. Where I ride the trainer has a Wilderness First aid certification. Not that we are in the wilderness, but we are more than a 20 minute drive from a hospital. It won't hurt and could help.

  120. interesting discussion here.indeed owning a horse calls for accountability otherwise you are better off without owning one. Gotta give your horses good housing too.