This Blog is dedicated to the Noble and Great horses in our lives and throughout history. Visit the land of the unicorns in Behind The Mist, the horse lover's fantasy for pre-teens to adults.


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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

NUMEROUS AWARDS

I am so excited to tell you that I have received numerous Literary Awards in the last month.
The first book of my new series, "The Stone of Mercy-Book 1 of the Centaur Chronicles," received the Silver Medal from the Literary Classics Awards for fiction. I attended their award ceremony on the 3rd of September in Rapid City, SD.
When I returned from my trip, I was informed that "In the Heart of a Mustang" won the Silver Medal from the Readers' Favorite International Book Awards! Their award ceremony is in November in Miami. However, I will not be able to attend as I will be at the Equus Film Festival in New York City that same week.

If you love to read horse stories or stories about Horse-Fantasy creatures, you can get these books on my website:
They are also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 
If your local library doesn't have them, please put in a request. 
www.dancinghorsepress.com

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

INCITATUS-THE HORSE WHO BECAME A SENATOR

As I watch all the incompetence in Washington DC, I think about all the manure that needs to be shoveled out of that town and those government buildings. This reminds me of another time when a ruler was dealing with a Senate that was not functioning and a horse who became a Senator!



Caligula was the emperor of Rome from AD 37 to AD 41. He is one of the better known emperors as he was quite eccentric and pulled some pretty funny stunts. He spent his short term, before he was assassinated, feuding with the Roman Senate. He strove to increase his power and expand the Roman empire into Northwest Africa. But his most memorable actions involved his favorite horse, Incitatus.

Incitatus means "Swift" in Latin and was the emperor's favorite horse. The white stallion was so beloved by Caligula that he was housed in a marble stall and ate from a manger made of ivory. He was draped in a purple blanket. At that time, purple dyes were very rare and hard to come by. Therefore, purple fabric was reserved for royalty and signified great social status. Records have noted that Incitatus was fed oats laced with flecks of gold. Another historian recorded that Incitatus had an elaborate jeweled collar. I don't know if they meant a halter, bridle or a Breast Collar.

History records two funny incidents involved Caligula and Incitatus. The soothsayer for Caligula's great uncle prophesied that Caligula had no more chance of becoming Emperor than of riding a horse across the Bay of Baiae that separated the towns of Baiae and Puteoli. So in 39 AD, Caligula ordered grain barges to be connected front to back clear across the bay. He then rode Incitatus across the floating bridge from Baiae to Puteoli!

The other incident involved Caligula's continual conflict with the Roman Senate. He was so angry with the lack of cooperation he was getting from the Senate that he appointed Incitatus to be a Senator and possibly also a Consul. In ancient Rome, two consuls were elected annually to be the chief magistrates who jointly ruled the republic. This move has caused some to claim that Caligula was insane. I think he was pretty smart to call attention to the manure that was being shoveled out of the Senate. I think President Trump should get a horse!

This stunt is what made Caligula famous. Many movies and works of art have picked up on this story.

In  addition, it has been the brunt of lots of jokes.



I can sympathize with Caligula. I'll bet my horses could get more done than our current batch of Senators!







Saturday, July 8, 2017

THE STONE OF MERCY HONORED AGAIN!


I am so honored to be awarded the Silver Medal by the Literary Classics Book Awards for "The Stone of Mercy-Book 1 of the Centaur Chronicles." (You might remember that last year "In the Heart of a Mustang" was awarded the Gold medal by CLC as well!)

Each year Literary Classics looks for the best in children's and young adult literature in various categories, both fiction and non-fiction. They have a team of reviewers who evaluate each book on a 100 point scale. Those that receive 80 points or above move on to the award level and are reviewed again.
I love writing fantasy, especially stories about horse-related fantasy characters! The Stone of Mercy is the first of a four-book series about the fantasy land of Crystonia, home to Centaurs, Ogres, Cyclops, Fauns and the little author-created race of Duende. (That is part of the fun in being an author...you can create what you want so I created the Duende who are half human/half fairy!)

Here are some of the other awards this book has received:


The Stone of Mercy is available on the website or Amazon or Barnes & Nobel.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

THE STONE OF COURAGE...A SWITCH TO CENTAURS!

I am so grateful to Blaze Magazine for this wonderful review of "The Stone of Courage - Book 2 of the Centaur Chronicles." Blaze Magazine is a great magazine for horse crazy kids. It is available in print or on line. You can check them out here:
http://blazekids.com/


Here is their review:

You can get "The Stone of Courage" as well as "The Stone of Mercy-Book 1 of the Centaur Chroniles" on my website: www.dancinghorsepress.com or on amazon or wherever books are sold. It is also available for Kindle.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

BEWARE OF LIGHTNING WHEN TRAIL RIDING

Sunday, May 7, 2017, was a very sad day among the horse people in Colorado. At 3.20 in the afternoon, a fellow Rocky Mountain Dressage Society (RMDS) member was riding her wonderful dressage horse on the trails in her neighborhood in Douglas County. A violent thunder and lightning storm suddenly blew in. As lightning will do, it struck a tree approximately fifteen feet away from the 37 year old woman.
The charge traveled through the ground, up through the horse's legs and into the rider, killing both of them. A fifteen year old girl riding with her was severely injured and is in the hospital. This breaks my heart.

Having spent many days out on trails, I have encountered far too many lightning storms. They are especially common in the late afternoons, though usually later in the summer. Such a violent storm is not that common in Colorado in the spring.

In my third trail guide book, Riding Colorado-Day AND Overnight Trips with Your Horse, I included an article about lightning. I am repeating it here:


LIGHTNING AND TRAIL RIDERS

By: Steve Deitemeyer, Consulting Forester

Wildland Resources

(Excerpt used with permission from the author)

Horseback groups, large or small, or individual horsemen need to understand and anticipate the risks of thunderstorms and lightning and have some practiced and predetermined plan of action.  Mountain weather records in the west provide us a clear understanding about the high risk and predictability of afternoon thunderstorms with lightning. People and stock need to be down off of high mountains and ridges by noon or before to help avoid risk of death or injury by lightning.  Proper planning and preparation is paramount to protecting people, property and prosperity.

So, here is a set of recommendations:

· Plan and layout the timing of the trip and selection of trails to avoid high peaks, mountains and ridges in the afternoon. Think about having an alternate route available. Organized rides should have a formally established “Lightning Safety Policy” as a part of the overall “Safety Plan”.

· Pay attention to the weather.  Mature storms generate lightning and typically include a sudden reversal of wind direction, a noticeable rise in wind speed, and a sharp drop in temperature.  Buy a weather radio and/or a lightning detector and assign a person to monitor NOAA weather radio broadcasts, which are updated hourly.  Adjust the ride as necessary based on morning reports and predictions, but monitor the reports hourly for any changes.

· Be prepared to make some conservative decisions and suspend activities and riding when you hear thunder.  Measuring lightning’s distance is easy.  The “flash/bang” (F/B) monitoring technique is that for every five second count after you see the lightning and then hear the thunder, the storm is one mile away.  For example, an F/B count of 10 equals 2 miles, an F/B of 20 equals 4 miles, etc.  Do not resume outdoor activities until about 30 minutes have passed from the last observable thunder or lightning.

· Do not use electrical equipment. Stay away from fences, railroad tracks and any tall equipment or structures.

· Get away from water tanks, ponds, streams, lakes, and avoid damp or wet ground.

· Get off of your horse, tie up (but not under the tallest trees,) get away from stock and avoid grouping people together. Think about getting at least 15 feet apart and staying twice the height of the tree away from the tree.

· Use your slicker to stay dry, and do not stand under the branches of tall trees.  Avoid tall objects like lone trees. Find a ditch, trench or other low ground. Shelter may be found in clumps of shrubs or trees of shorter more uniform height. Avoid open country, but if in open country, make yourself as small a target as possible.

· Advise your group members that if they feel an electrical charge, if their hair stands on end, or their skin tingles, a lightning strike may be imminent. Squat in a baseball catcher’s stance, kneeling, on your toes with heels off the ground, feet as close together as possible, arms crossed and resting on top of thighs. This technique lowers your profile and minimizes contact with the ground. Cover your ears with your hands to avoid damage and potential hearing loss.   This is opposed to sitting high on a wet horse and saddle with four widely placed steel-shod hoofs on wet ground that would maximize the opportunity to “close the switch” and complete the circuit.

First Aid is extremely important in lightning strike cases as injuries include electrical shock and burns, including entry and exit wounds.  These individuals carry no electrical charge after exposure to lightning and can be touched safely.  Victims of a lightning strike may suffer respiratory and/or cardiac arrest.  Therefore, administer CPR immediately if needed and first aid, as required.

An individual in full-cardiac arrest is a medical emergency and must be transported to an advanced life-support medical facility as quickly as possible.  If there are multiple strike victims, render emergency medical treatment first to individuals who are unresponsive, and then next to those with vital signs who exhibit the most life threatening   injuries.


I hope you will have many wonderful and SAFE trail rides!






Thursday, April 13, 2017

PREVENT THE SPREAD OF DISEASE!

Show season is upon us and horses get exposed to more than just other horses. Unfortunately our wonderful friends can also be exposed to new viruses. There have already been two verified cases of Equine Herpes virus...one in Texas and one in Nevada.
It can spread quickly through a stable. 
Here are the early signs of EHV:


Here are some prevention tips:
1. Make sure your horse is up to date on all vacines. An otherwise healthy horse is less susceptible to getting sick.
2. Do not share water buckets, hay nets or other feeding/drinking equipment.
3. Do not submerge the water hose in the bucket when filling it.
4. Do not share tack or grooming equipment.
5. Avoid nose to nose contact between horses.
6. Do not tie your horse to rails or fences where other horses have been tied.
7. If you are concerned about your horse's health take its temperature. If it is over 101.5, call a vet immediately.
8. If EHV is in your barn, you will need to remove all bedding, disinfect all stalls and aisle ways, clean and disinfect all trailers and grooming equipment as well. 


GREAT NEWS!
My new book - The Stone of Courage, Book 2 of the Centaur Chronicles will be released Saturday, April 15th! Available on my website: www.dancinghorsepress.com or wherever books are sold. It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.






Friday, March 31, 2017

THE ROYAL MEWS-Stable Fit for a Unicorn!


Since 1760, one of the finest stables anywhere in the world has been "The Royal Mews" next to Buckingham Palace in London. "Mews" is the British term for barn or stable originally referring to the barn where falcons and hawks were kept during the moulting (mewing) season. King George III built the original stable and carriage house when he moved into his new home in the Palace. It has been upgraded by several monarchs since that time and still serves as the home for the royal horses and carriages. It is no longer the small stable it once was. It is now a grand structure housing a riding school, a forge, and living quarters not only for horses but for their handler's and the handler's families as well.

The Royal Mews is the department that looks after all royal road travel whether by car (boring) or horse-drawn carriage (cool!)

The day at the stables begins at 6 a.m.. Horses are fed and brushed. Stalls are cleaned. Horses are regularly exercised and trained in carriage driving. Thirty of the Queen's Windsor Greys and Cleveland Bays live there. The Windsor Greys are not a breed but horses that are selected for color and temperament. Cleveland Bays are a breed, originating in the Cleveland District of Yorkshire. The breed is considered the oldest non-draft English breed, developed by the church of England to carry goods and people to remote areas of the kingdom. This breed of horse is very rare. There are only about 500 of them in the world.

 If you are lucky enough to visit London, be sure to take a tour of the Mews. Here is a map to show you where it is located:



I am so excited to tell you that my new book, The Stone of Courage-Book 2 of the Centaur Chronicles, will be released in just 2 weeks! It is the continuation of the Award-winning series that started with The Stone of Mercy. The new book will be available wherever books are sold on April 15th. Autographed copies are available now on my website: www.dancinghorsepress.com