A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses

I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Interesting talk with Animal Control

Ok, the picture to the left is the most recent picture I have of the herd.  It's from June 4th.  It was dark, so I enhanced it to prove a point.  There's some lard on those bums!

So, today was farrier day.  Jae and I were in the barn cycling through 15 horses for trims.  When you have a lot of horses, you don't do them all in one day.  See, the idea is for the farrier to want to come back, not put me on his blocked call list!  Because of some poor time management on my part, I had to leave in the middle of the farrier appointment to grab feed. (Yeah, this is going some where.)  I left the feed in the bed of the truck because we were trimming horses in the alley of the barn.  So I ran over and bought 1000 pounds of grain.  I still have hay, but not as much as I'd like.  Only about 15 squares in the barn.

Now, at this time of year, I do not hay most of my horses.  Only those that do not get access to grazing.  I don't grain the horses on pasture, and in fact, in many cases I have to pull some OFF pasture because they are too fat, and I fear that they will founder.  Check the lard on the Belgian mare above.  I mean, she has a back dimple!  All of our horses have access to clean water, with buckets scrubbed regularly.  Yeah, there's a pond in the pasture, but my horses are sure that such gross water is NOT for drinking.  I sure don't blame them.

So, I'm standing there holding a horse, and I see one of the sheriff trucks drive past.  He stops, pauses, then backs up.  My first thought is, "oh crap, did someone get OUT?"  So I hustle out to meet him.  There he is, driving up my drive, looking into the open sided barn at the hay stacks, and passing the obese mare who just was trimmed.

I walked up and said hi, and he asked me if there was another horse property close by.  I told him where the closest were, and they aren't close at all.  So he reads from his computer screen a location, on Road A, 2 blocks from Road B.  Welp, that's me, and I told him that could only be me.

The sheriff kinda chuckled.  He said, "well that makes it easy, I drove past twice looking for another place, and didn't see one."  Evidently, there was a call placed to animal control that there's a pasture with "no grass" and "no water access" for a bunch of horses, including mares with young at side.  I have one foal this year, so I guess they mean me.

I offered to take the officer around, and he chuckled again.  He said that I obviously have plenty of grass, he didn't see a single horse that was thin, let alone anything to worry about, it was kinda obvious they had farrier care, and the truck sitting there with grain in it proved that I was feeding.  His job was done, and he never had to leave the truck.

Thing is, I have horses with appaloosa coloring.  Some times those horses have rib markings.  This filly is a good example.  She's not thin, but you can see the markings that look like ribs.  Not a very flattering picture at all, but you get the idea.

The officer and I couldn't even figure out any other explanation.  I mean, there's PLENTY of grass.  No, it's not long, but I don't mind it being a bit of work for them at this time of year.  The spring grasses are dieing off, and the summer grasses are starting.  There's enough new growth that it could cause problems if they had too much.  And, I still have plenty of clover growing.  So, ok, the grass isn't long, maybe that was it.  But the water?

Do people honestly expect horses to drink out of ponds as their only water source?  Mine would rather die.  They are a bit spoiled.

The officer said that he gets more calls for no reason, then he gets calls that he actually has to do something.  He said with me being visible from the highway, I should expect it to happen a few times a year.

Personally, I'm perfectly fine with it.  I'd much rather have someone call because of a problem, and get an officer out in less then an hour, then to have horses dieing and no one cares.  Granted, Jae, the farrier and myself got a good giggle out of it, because not moments before the farrier had just commented on me needing to pull a few pounds off the horses.

I also like meeting the local officers.  I want to have those guys driving past my place and keeping an eye on things!  I've had teens try to drive a golf cart into my pasture, through my fence.  These sheriffs are the same people that responded then.  I like to know that if one of my horses gets out, they will know me, and come knocking.  And I really like that it only took minutes from the complain being lodged to someone arriving at my barn.  Wow!  Makes me feel good about the other horses in this (very horse populated) town.

I do have to wonder though, what it is that someone saw that made them think they needed to call.  Was it the large number of horses?  Was it the rib marks?  Jae made the comment that if all of our new fencing was up, no one would ever bother calling.  Because we all know that fancy fencing means good care... right?  Well, looks like I'll get to test that theory. If that's the truth, then I'll be very sad in deed. 

Personally, I think it's the rib markings.  What do you think?


  1. I'm with you: I'd rather have them be hyper-responsive than non-responsive.

    See you tomorrow at 9, prolly a bit before. Kris says she's coming. How about Nita and Jae?

  2. Personally, I tend to think people are nosy pains in the ............

    *cough* sorry ;)

    Lovely Appy's BTW!!! I stop and enjoy the pix tremendously- hardly have time to post, but I'm here reading and enjoying tremendously!

  3. I agree with you there Mrs. Mom! But I am in a very horse dense area, and unfortunately not everyone here is good with their horses. After all the horror stories we hear about animal control needing a bajillion calls before they will drive out, or not bothering to drive out, I was really happy to see one call, and they were at my place in a bit more then 30 minutes from the call (give or take, I didn't exactly check my watch, but I did see the call time on the police log).

    Always glad to have readers! I appreciate all of ya that read, even if you don't post. =)

  4. Personally, I tend to think people are nosy pains in the ............

    *cough* sorry ;)

    Lovely Appy's BTW!!! I stop and enjoy the pix tremendously- hardly have time to post, but I'm here reading and enjoying tremendously!